CERTEINE comfortable Expositions of the constant Mar­tyr of Christ, M. Iohn Hooper, Bishop of Glocester and Worcester, written in the time of his tribulation and imprisonment, vpon the XXIII. LXII. LXXIII. and LXXVII. Psalmes of the Prophet Dauid. Newly recognised, and neuer before published.

MATTH. 24. 13. ¶Who so continueth to the end shall be saued.

AT LONDON, Printed by Henrie Middleton ANNO 1580.

TO ALL THE FAITH­full flocke of Christ, grace and peace from God the Creatour, Christ the Redeemer, and the holy Ghost the comforter.

MAnie are the monu­ments (beloued in the bowels of Christ Ie­sus) and volumes of the faithfull left as le­gacies to the Church of Christ: which as they are ye true riches (for they are spiritu­all:) so ought they to be reuerenced, not onely with outward seruice of body, but also with inward submission of soule. Among which monumentes, being the treasure of the Church, and such iewels in deede as the price of them is inualuable: this excellent worke, (though wanting bignesse, yet ful of brightnesse) of that most learned, godlie, faithfull, zelous, con­stant, and in all points praise worthie Protestant, Maister Iohn Hooper, Bishop of Glocester and worcester, challengeth no small title of dignitie. [Page] For, if the wordes of our Sauiour be true, (which to improue what incestuous mouth, without horrible blasphemie, a trespasse vnpardonable, dare presume, seeing he is the verie substance of truth it selfe?)Constan­cie & con­tinuance required in the pro­fessours of the trueth. that he is a true disciple of Christ, which continueth to the end: then is it the dutie of vs all, except we hide our profession vnder the hiue of hypocrisie: not onely by looking at the life of such a loadesman, to reforme our defor­mities: but also, by tracing ouer and through the testimonies of the trueth (such godlie bookes I meane as are left in writing to the worlde, as vn­doubted assurances of an vnspotted conscience) to thanke God for so singular an instrument of his Gospell: & to beseech him to worke in vs the like loue his law, that we may be partakers of such glorie, as (no doubt) this notable Martyr of God doth immortally enioy. Of whom breefly to in­sert and say somewhat (because the brightnesse of such a glittering starre, cannot bee ouercast with the cloudes of obscuritie and darkenesse) shall be a meanes to make the worke more commenda­ble, although (in very deed) precious things haue their proper price, and therefore consequently wil haue their deserued praise.An abridgment of Bishoppe Hoopers life, and death, tru­lie gathe­red in cir­cūstances. And first to touch his blessed beginning, blessed (I say) euen frō aboue with the dewe of Gods grace, his education in Oxford, his prosperous proceeding in the know­ledge of Diuinitie, his forsaking not onely of the Vniuersitie, but also his common Countrie, his flight into Germanie, his returne into Englande, [Page] his painefulnesse in preaching, his fame and cre­dit among the people, his obteined fauour with the Kings maiestie,Bishop Hooper in estimation with King Edward ye sixt. his aduauncemēt to more thā a Bishoplike dignitie, his dispensatiō for his cere­monious consecration, his secret enimies the sup­porters of papistrie, his supplantation by their pri­uie cōspiraces, his faithfull continuance notwith­standing in sowing sincere doctrine, his painful­nesse in hearing publike controuersies, his visiting of scholes and founteines of learning, his main­taining of godlie discipline, his want of parciali­tie in iudgement betwixt person and person, his Bishoplike behauiour abrode in his Dioces, his fa­therly affection at home towardes his house and familie, &c. do warrant him the name of a Saint vpō earth: & surely God hath registred him in the Kalendar of his chosen seruāts in heauen. Againe the falling away of his fauourers when religion languished, the malicious practises of his aduer­saries threatening his destructiō, the bloudthirstie broching of his persecution, his appearing before the Queene and her Councell, the tyrannicall cō ­tumelies of his Archenimie,Stephen Gardiner Bishop of Winche­ster, Bi­shop Hoo­pers pro­fessed eni­mie. his spitefull accusati­on, his milde purgation, his vndeserued depriua­tion, his cruell imprisonment, his harde intertain­ment, his lamentable lodging, his succourles sick­nesse, his pitifull complaintes, his restlesse tribu­lations, his streight examinations, his apologe­ticall aduouchments, the cōmitting of him to the Fleete, the tossing of him from the Fleete to the Counter in Southwarke, from the Counter in [Page] Southwarke to the Clinke, from the Clinke to Newgate, his vniust degradation, his cruell con­demnation, and his lamentable execution, &c. all these pageantes considered, as they were done, woulde make a flintie heart to mealt, and stonie eyes to sweate, not onely water, but also bloude: and to be short, the whole bodie, though all the lims thereof were as strong as steele, euen for pi­ties sake to tremble. This comming within the compasse of my poore consideration,If Christe the heade haue bene persecuted euen to the death, the mem­bers must needes bee subiect to affliction. I remem­bred that Christ Iesus, the onely begotten sonne of the almightie & eternal God, had passed the like yea and worse perilles: as by the historie of his death and passion may appeare: that the Proto­martyr, S. Steeuen had his tormenters, S. Paule the Apostle his persecuters, and other of Christes disciples their afflicters: then thought I, that these sanctified vessels made their vocation honoura­ble, euen by their deathes, which were opprobri­ous: and therefore, howe can it bee, but that this our Martyr, worthie Bishop Hooper, offering vp his body a burnt sacrifice, liuely, reasonable, & acceptable vnto God, shoulde giue good credit to his doctrine, assure his profession, affirme his vo­cation, & liue in euerlasting memorie, by the dis­persion of his bookes, though his fauour be for­gotten, and his body consumed? Of such a soul­dier, so valiantly fighting vnder the ensigne of his Capteine, I cannot say sufficient. Of this I am re­solued, that although his earthly tabernacle bee destroyed:2. Cor. 5. yet hath hee a building giuen him of [Page] God, euen an house not made with handes, but eternall in the heauens, where God graunt vs all to reigne,The lay­ing down of his life for the Gospels sake, de­serueth be liefe and reuerence. as ioynt heires with Christ his annoin­ted. To proceede and approch neerer to our pur­pose (for the premisses are effectuall enough, to breed beleefe, and to kindle reuerence, in the heart of any true Christian, towardes this our excellent Martyr, replenished with the abundance of Gods holy spirit) I commende vnto thy minde (good reader,) a good work of this so good a mā: name­ly, Certaine expositions vpon the 23. 62. 72. and 77. Psal­mes of the Prophet Dauid, of the which the three last (being gathered together by a godly professor of the trueth M. Henrie Bull) were neuer before printed. Their beginnings are vsually read in this maner. 23. The Lord feedeth me, & I shal lack nothing 62. My soule truly waiteth vpon God. 72. Truly God is louing vnto Israel, euen vnto such as are of a cleane hart. 77. I wil crie vnto God with my voice, euē to God will I crie with my voice, & he shall hearken vnto me. The expositions of which psalmes to be pithie, & profitable, this may be a substantial proofe: because they were written in the time of his trouble, whē (no doubt) he was talking in spirit with God: & being so occupied, his exercises could not but be heuenly, & therfore effectuall, fruitfull, and comfortable. Come there­fore yu sorrowing soule, which gronest for reliefe to this spring. Come hither, & heare what a good man wrote ex carcere & vinculis, out of bonds and imprisonment, for thy consolation. Heare him once, heare him twise, heare him often, for thou [Page] for thou canst not heare him enough. He giueth thee a pleasaunt Pomander, vouchsafe it the smelling: he soundeth swete musicke, it deserueth good dansing: he bidds thee to a sumptuous ban­quet, bee not deintie in feeding: he presenteth vn­to thee a pretious diamond, it is worth the taking: Oh giue God thanks for all, & glorifie the Lords name, whome it hath pleased to plant in his vine­yeard so fruitefull a vine, which beareth grapes Gods plentie, of whose iuice ô Christ vouchsafe vs to tast, that our vessels beeing seasoned with true sanctification, they may be made sweete to receiue and preserue the water of the riuer of life, flowing from the liuely rocke Christ Iesus: to whom, with the Father, and the Holy ghost, one Trinitie in Vnitie, be all laud and praise euerlasting, Amen.

Thine in Christ, A. F.

[Page 10] CERTEINE EXPO­sitions of the constant Martyr of Christ, Maister IOHN HOOPER, som­time Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, vpon the 23. the 62. the 72. and the 77. Psalmes of the Prophet DAVID.

vpon the xxiij. Psalme.

THE ARGVMENT OR MATTER, which the Prophete chiefly intreateth of in this Psalme.

IT should seeme, by the meruellous and wonderfull descrip­tion and setting foorth of almightie God, by the Prophete and King DAVID in this Psalme, that he was inflamed with the holy Ghost, being deliuered from all his enemies, to declare vnto all the world howe faithfull and mightie a defender and keeper God is, of as many as put their trust in him. He was in great daunger, and specially in the warres that he made against the AMMONITES, the euent and successe whereof it seemeth by the 20. Psalme his subiectes greatly feared: wherefore they commended their king (as true subiectes alwayes vse) with ear­nest prayer vnto God. And that battell and many other daun­gers more ended (wherein the godly king found alwayes the protection and defence of the heauenly father ready and at hand) nowe being at rest, he would haue this mercifull defence of GOD knowne to all others, that as he, in all his aduersities, put his trust in the Lorde, and had the ouerhand of all his eni­mies: euen so by his example, all other men should learne to doe the same, and assure them selues to finde (as he found) the Lorde of heauen to be the succour and defence of the troubled, and their keeper from all euill.

And bicause the hearers and readers of this most diuine & godly Hymne, should the better vnderstand the same, and the sooner take credite thereof in the heart, he calleth the heauenly father (the God of all consolation) in this Psalme, a shepheard or heardman feeding his flocke: and the people (with him selfe) he calleth sheepe pastured and fed by the shepheard. And by these two meanes, as by a most conuenient Allegorie or Tran­slation meete for the purpose, from the office of a shepheard, & the nature of sheepe, he setteth out meruellously the safegard of man by Gods prouidence, and goodwill towardes man. And in the same Allegorie or Translation, he occupieth the foure first verses in this Psalme. In the first verse, and so to the ende of the Psalme, he declareth stil one matter and argument of Gods de­fence towardes man, and howe man is preserued. But yet it see­meth, that he expresseth the same by other words and by an o­ther translation, shewing the nature of God almightie, in feding and nourishing of man vnder the name of a Lord or King, that [Page] hath prepared a table and plentie of meats to feede the hungrie and needie: and setteth foorth man poore and destitute of con­solation and necessarie helpe, vnder the name of guestes and bid­den folkes to a Kings table, where is plentie of all things ne­cessarie, not onely to satisfie hunger, and to quench thirst, but also to expell and remoue them, that the poore man shall neuer hunger nor thirst againe: and only that, but also for euer world without end, this poore man shall dwell and inherite, by the mercy of his heauenly king, the ioyes euerlasting. And this last Translation or Allegorie is in maner not only a repetition of the first in other wordes, but also a declaration, and more plaine opening of the Prophetes minde, what he mea­neth in this celestiall Hymne.

The partes of the Psalme.The texte of the Psalme.
1 Who it is that hath the cure and charge of mans life and saluation.The Lord feedeth me. &c.
2 Wherein the life and sal­uation of man consisteth.In pleasaunt pastures, &c.
3 Howe man is brought to the knowledge of life and saluation.Hee shall conuert my soule. &c.
4 Wherefore man is brou­ght to life and saluation.For his names sake. &c.
5 What trouble may hap­pen to suche as haue life and saluation.Althoughe I walke through the vallie &c.
6 Whereby the trouble of Gods people is ouercome.For thou arte with me. &c.
7 What the ende of Gods troubled & afflicted peo­ple shall be.I wil dwel in the house of the Lord. &c.

¶The first part of the Psalme.

1 Who it is that hath the cure and charge of mans life and saluation.

‘The Lord feedeth me, and I shall want nothing.’

KIng Dauid saith,Or, The Lorde is my shepheard: as saith the com­mon, and the Gene­ua transla­tion. the Lorde fée­deth him: wherfore he can lacke nothing to liue a vertuous and godly life. In this first part some thinges are to be considered. First, of God that féedeth: and next of man that is fed. GOD that féedeth, Dauid calleth by the name of a shep­herd, and his people he calleth by the name of shéep. By this name of a shepheard, the Prophet openeth and discloseth the nature of God to al his miserable and lost creatures, that he is content, not onely to wish and desire man that is lost, to be found and re­stored againe: but also doth séeke and trauell to re­store and bring him home againe: as it is written in Esaie the Prophete,Esaie. 40. 11. He shall gather together his lambes in his arme. Ezech. 34. And in Ezechiel the Prophet, the Lorde saith, Behold, I will require my flocke of the shepheards, &c. And I will deliuer my flocke from [Page] their mouth, and they shall be no more their meate: for thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will search out my sheepe, and will visite them as a shepheard doth vi­site his sheepe, when he is in the middest of his scatte­red shepe, so will I visite my shepe, and deliuer them from all places whereas they haue bene scattered, &c. And Ieremie the Prophet in the same sorte,Iere. 31. decla­reth the nature of God towards the lost flocke, say­ing: He that dispersed Israel shal gather him together againe, and keepe him as the shepheard keepeth his flocke. Christ our Sauiour nameth him selfe a good shepheard,Iohn. 10. and saith, that He was sent to call such as were not shéepe of the vtter marke and signe in the world, to be his shéepe. This nature of the hea­uenly father sawe king Dauid, when he saide at the beginning of this heauenly Hymne: The Lord fee­deth me, &c.

When he is assured of Gods mercifull nature, that séeketh the lost shéepe, he openeth further the nature of God, what he wil do with the shéep, which he findeth: féede him (saith the Prophet Dauid,) and putteth him selfe for an example. Here is the mercy of the great shepheard further declared, that he kil­leth not his shéepe, robbeth them not, but féedeth and nourisheth them.Ezech. 34. Of this speaketh the Prophet E­zechiel, in the person of almightie God: I my selfe will feede my sheepe, and make that they shall rest quietly, saith the Lord God. That which is lost I wil seeke, such as goe astray I will bring againe, such as be wounded I will binde vp, such as be weake I will make strong, but such as be fat and strong those will I roote out, and I will feede my sheepe in reason and iudgement. Iohn. 10. And the great shepheard Christe saith, whether his shéepe goe in or out, they shall finde pa­sture.

[Page 11] After that this king hath opened in this Hymne, that Gods nature is not only to séeke the lost shéep, but also when he hath found him to féede him, then he addeth in his Hymne, after what sort he féedeth him: So that I shal lacke nothing, saith the Prophet. Here is the declaring of the great shepheards pa­sture, wherwith he féedeth the flocke of his pasture. Christ expresseth the same wonderfully, in the ope­ning of his office and doctrine vnto the world in S. Iohn saying:Ioh. 10. 4. 6 I came that they might haue life, and haue it most abundantly. And talking with the poore woman of Samaria, he told her yt the drink he would giue her should be water of life. And to the Caper­naites he said, that meate which he would giue them should worke eternall saluation. As these proper­ties be in God the shepheard, (as the Prophete hath marked,) euen in the like sort be the contrarie con­ditions in man, the shéepe he speaketh of: for as the nature of God is to séeke, so is the nature of man to go astray.Psal. 119. As the Prophete saith: I haue strayed like a wandering sheepe. Esaie. 53. And euen so doth Esaie write of all mankind: All we haue erred (saith he) as shepe going astray. Matth. 9. Christe our Sauiour also in S. Mat­thewe doth bewayle the people of the worlde, that stray as sheepe that had no shepheard. S. Peter like­wise saith vnto his countrimen that he writeth vn­to, Ye were as sheepe that went astray, 1. Pet. 2. but ye con­uerted now vnto the shepheard and pastoure of your soules. 2. 3. Reg 22. And as the nature of man is to stray from GOD, so is it likewise to féede vpon all vnholsome and infected pastures: to beléeue euery false Pro­phete that can do nothing but lye. In the Prophete Esaie the Lorde saith,Esaie. 28. The nature of sheepe is to be deceiued, and their pastours to be dronke, that ney­ther knowe nor see the pastures of the word of God. [Page] And in the same Prophete, there is a most horrible plague vpon man for sinne,Esaie. 29 for, The pastours shal be vnable to feede, and all the foode of life shall be as a booke fast clasped and shut. This going astray and féeding vpon euill pasture, is wonderfully set foorth by Saint Paule:2. Thes. 2. for when men will not féede vpon the truth, it is Gods iust iudgement they should féed vpon falshoode. And as Gods nature is not onely to féede, but fully to satisfie and to replenishe with all goodnesse, so that nothing may lacke for a godly and vertuous life:Iohn. 4. 6. 3. in like manner, the nature of man is not only to féede, but also to replenish it selfe with all infected & contagious doctrine,Rom. 1. vntill such time yt he despise and contemne God and al his holesome laws. This we may sée in the holy Prophete Esaie:Esaie. 30. The people (saith the Lorde) prouoketh me vnto anger, a lying nation that will not heare the lawe of GOD, they say to their Prophets, Prophesie not, looke not out for vs things that be right, speake pleasant things vnto vs, &c. And this replenishing of man with cor­rupt pasture,Iohn. 7. is horribly set foorth in Sainte Iohn, when the wicked priestes and Phariseis would not beléeue the shepheardes voyce Christe, no not their owne seruaunts that tolde them the truth, nor yet Nichodemus one of their own court and profession. Thus in the first part of this celestial Hymne, is the nature of God and man described, vnder the name of a shepheard and of shéepe.

Of this part of the Psalme,What is to bee no­ted out of this part of the psalme Rom. 19. what the Prophete hath saide of God and of man, we must for our owne doctrine and learning, gather some thinges to be the better by. For S. Paule saith, What so euer is writ­ten, is written for our learning. Two thinges we learne of this first place: The one, a certeintie that God hath the cure and charge of vs: and the other, a [Page 12] consolation and comfort, that we & all ours be vnder his protection and gouernaunce. The first doctrine to be certein and sure of Gods defence, and care ouer vs, maketh vs constant and strong to suffer & beare all aduersities and troubles that God shall sende vs. And the second doctrine shall cause vs patiently and thankfully to beare our crosse, and to follow Christ. Both these doctrines the Prophet Dauid expresseth in the third and fourth verse of this Psalme: If I should (saith he) trauel and passe through places con­tagious and infected, where appeareth nothing but the image and shadowe of death, or be compelled to passe through the handes and tyrannie of mine eni­mies, I wil not feare, for thou art with me (O GOD) and defendest me. Psal. 91. In the 91. Psalme, he setteth foorth the assurance and felicitie of all them that put their whole trust in the mercy of God, and therein also the Prophet reckoneth vp a wonderfull sort of dangers, and layeth them before the eyes of the faithfull, that he may by the sight and knowledge of the daungers, fixe and place the more constantly his faith and trust in God, that hath the charge and cure of him: Hee shal (saith he) defend vs from pestilence most infec­tiue: from fleeing arrowes in the day, &c. By the which the Prophet vnderstandeth all kinde of euils, that may come vnto vs, by the meanes of the diuell, or of wicked men. And these things the faithful shall escape (saith the Prophet) bicause they say from their hearts vnto GOD,The assu­raunce of Gods de­fence and comfort in troubles; must bee lerned out of Gods word. Quoniam tu es spes mea, that is to say, For thou art my hope: euen as he saide in the beginning of this Psalme, The Lorde feedeth me, and I shall want nothing. Such certeintie and assu­rance of Gods defence, and such consolation in trou­bles of this life, we must learne & pray to haue out of Gods word, or else it were as good neuer to heare [Page] nor to reade it.

And from this first part of the Psalme, euery estate of the world may learne wisedome and consolation. If the Lorde féede and gouerne him, he shall haue God to his maister and teacher, that shall giue him holesome and commodious doctrine, meete for the state of the life he hath chosen to liue in this world. For all that shall be saued in time to come, followe not one kinde of life, Some be Magistrates and Ru­lers, & appointed to sée both the laws of the realme, and the goodes and commodities thereof, to be vsed and applyed to the vse and profit of such as be vnder them. Some giue them selues to studie and contem­plation of heauenly and diuine things, not busying them selues with trauels of the body, but to knowe them selues the way of life, and to be teachers of the same to others. Some be giuen to apply the lawes of the Common wealth: some to exercise the trade and course of merchandize: some one kinde of liuing, and some an other. But of what art, facultie, science or kinde of liuing so euer he be, that is not contrarie to Gods honour or honestie, he may vse therein to serue God, to obserue iustice, to exercise truth, kéepe temperance, and be acceptable to God, who hath gi­uen lawes méete and conuenient to Publicans and Souldiers, seruants and maisters, parentes & chil­dren, husbandes and wiues, and so to all other: but all these sortes of people must assuredly knowe, that in euery of these vocations be more daungers, then he that must liue in them is able to beare. Therfore from the bottome of his heart, he must be assured of this beginning of king Dauids Hymne: The Lord feedeth me, and I shal lacke nothing. And in déede the Lorde hath not only saide, He will féede and defende him from all daungers, but also saith, He wil teach [Page 13] him howe to liue vertuously & reuerently towards God, and honestly and quietly towardes man, what state or vocation so euer he choose to liue in, so it be not against Gods lawes, and the lawe of nature. So saith king Dauid:Psal. 25. God hath appointed a lawe to rule and teach the man that feareth him, what soe­uer kind of liuing he appointeth him selfe to liue in. What treasure is there to be compared vnto this, that man is not onely fed and mainteined by God, but also taught and instructed in euery craft and science that he appointeth him selfe to liue in? Bles­sed therefore is the man, that in the entrailes and déepe cogitations of his hart, can say, beléeue, & féele this to be true, that Dauid saith: The Lorde ruleth me, and careth for me, and I shall lacke nothing. But yet there is almost nothing spoken, that this king would haue chiefly knowne. Howbeit doubtlesse, they be wonderfull things, that preserue and teache all persons both men and women, in what so euer kinde of liuing honestly they appoint themselues to liue in. He him selfe knew this to be true right wel, as it appeareth when he saith:Psal. 144. Blessed be the Lorde my strength, that taught my handes to battel. For if the Lord had not taught and ruled him, he had bene ouerthrowne many times, bycause there was not onely more strength then he had of him selfe against him: but also more wit, more policie, more experi­ence. But what things can ouercom that man, that is couered with this shielde, Dominus regit me, The Lord ruleth me? Doubtlesse nothing at all, whether it be in heauen aboue, or in the earth beneath, or in hell vnder the earth. Notwithstanding, this is not all that this doctrine, The Lord ruleth me, doth for the poore shéepe that is ruled. But here must the rea­der and hearer of this Psalme followe king Dauid, [Page] and desire to haue the eye of his minde purged and made cleane: for if the scales of infidelitie, and the loue and delight to sinne remaine, or else the minde be otherwise occupied then vpon the vnderstanding of the Hymne: he shall heare it, or sing it, as the vn­godly Colleges of Priestes doe, that daily bo-o and rore the holy Scriptures out of their mouthes, and vnderstand no more the meaning thereof, then the walles which they sing and speake vnto. We must therfore do as king Dauid did, lift vp the eyes of our mindes into heauen, and fire our faith (as he saith) fast in the Lord:Psalm. 25. 128. and then shall we sée the vnspeak­able treasures and wisedome, that lyeth hid in this meruellous and comfortable head and beginning of this Psalme: The Lord feedeth me, &c.

Our Sauiour Christ openeth plainely in Saint Iohn, what it is to be the shéepe of God, and to be fed by him, and saith, They wil heare the shepheards voyce, but no straungers voyce: and bycause they heare the shepheards voyce, the shepheard will giue them euerlasting life, and no man shall take them out of the shepheards hands.The in­warde and spirituall comforte, treasurie, and riches, which this doctrine bringeth. There is the greatest treasure and most necessarie riches for the shéepe of God vttered, which is not the knowledge of God a­lone to be preserued in this life, and to lacke nothing that is expedient and necessarie for the preseruati­on thereof: but also to vnderstand, which wayes the heauenly father teacheth and leadeth vs to the mansion and dwelling place of life euerlasting. And if man were wise, he might soone perceiue, how much the life to come is better then the life present: yea, be it neuer so fauourably fed and preserued by the heauenly father our shepheard and gouernour. For his tuition here of vs, although it be sure, and so strong, that none can take vs out of his handes: [Page 14] yet is our safegard and life troubled and mingled with aduersities, subiect to persecution and also vn­to death: but in the life to come, Gods tuition is all ioy, all myrth, all solace, with all perpetuitie, and endlesse felicitie. And of this treasure Dauid chiefly meant in the forefront of the Psalme, when he said: And I shal lacke nothing. 1. Peter. 4. For as we sée (vntill this life be taken from vs) most troubles and most care beginneth and tarrieth in the house of GOD a­mongest his shéepe, whiche be as lambes among woolues.Matth. 10. Wherefore, the voyce and teaching of the shepheard, doth heale the mindes of the shéepe, Gods deare elect, and pulleth from them all vnprofitable feare and carefulnesse: it quencheth all flames of lust and concupiscence: it maketh and giueth a man a noble and valiant minde, to contemne al worldly things: it bringeth a man in loue with Gods true honour, maketh him ioyfull in trouble, quiet in ad­uersitie, and sure that the end of Gods people shal be glorious and ioyfull: and also that this fauour of the shephearde shall be his guide into the place of blisse, whereas be crownes of euerlasting glorie, for such as haue bene led by the Lorde, and there they shall lacke nothing. For there is neither eye can sée, nor toung can speake, nor minde can comprehend these ioyes and glorie. And therefore the Prophete both constantly and chearefully saide: The Lorde feedeth me, and I shal lacke nothing: for all thinges of this world be but trifles, in comparison of things to come. Although it be a singular fauour of God, to vnderstand his goodnesse and mercie towards vs, in things belonging to this life: yet is it not to be com­pared to the other, as Dauid wonderfully declareth in the 25. Psal. When he hath numbred a great ma­ny of Gods benefites, which he doth bestow vpon his [Page] poore seruants in this life, he in ye end maketh men­tion of one specially that passeth them all, in these woordes, Arcanum Domini timentibus illum, & tes­tamentum suum manifestabit illis: That is to say, The Lord openeth to suche as feare him his secretes, and his testament, The Lorde openeth to his faithfull seruaunt the mysteries and secretes of his pleasure, and the knowledge of his lawes. And these treasures, the knowledge and right vnderstanding of Gods moste holie woorde, he sayth, was more swéete vnto him, then honie or the honie combe, and more he es­stéemed the vertue of it, then he did precious stones. Of all giftes this was the principall, that God gaue vnto him a right and true knowledge of him selfe: Wherefore, it shall be moste expedient and necessa­rie, for euerie Christian man, to labour, studie, and pray, that he may earnestly, and with a faithfull heart knowe him selfe to be no better, then a séelie poore shéepe, that hath nothing of him selfe, nor of a­ny other, to saue his bodie and soule: but onely the mercie of his shéepehearde, the heauenly father, and to be assured also, that his only mercie and goodnesse alone in Christ, and none other besides him, is able to féede him, so that he shall lacke nothing necessarie in this life, nor in the life to come.

¶The second part of the Psalme.

Wherein the life and saluation of man consisteth.

‘He shall feede me in pleasant pastures, and he shall leade me by the riuers side.’

[Page 15] HE shal set me in the pastures most plea­sant and rich of his doctrine, and in the contemplation of heauenly thinges, wherewithall the minds of godly men are nourished, and fed with vnspeake­ble ioy, & néere vnto the plentious flouds of the holy Ghost, and the swéete waters of the holy Scriptures he will féede me: in the which places the shéepe of the Lord are nourished to eternall life, abounding with milke, and bringing foorth most blessed fruite.Iohn. 20. The Scripture of God vseth this word (feede) in many significations. Sometime to teach and instruct,Actes. 20. some time to rule and gouerne,Ieremi. 3. as magistrates rule their people as wel by lawe,Ezech. 34. as by strength.2. Reg. 57. Sometime to punish and correct,Mich. 5. &c. But in this place, the Prophet vseth (feeding) as wel for instruction by Gods word, as also for defence and safegard of Gods people, by Gods most mightie power.Iohn. 10. He vseth this word (pa­sture) for the word of God it selfe,Psalm. 74. 79. 95. as a thing which is the onely foode of a mans soule to liue vppon,Ieremi. 3. [...]. as the meate and drinke is for the body.Ezech. 34. He vseth this word (leade) for conducting, that the man which is ledd,Ioel. 1. at no time goe out of the way,Matth. 4. but alwayes may know where he is, and whither he is going: as in many other of his Psalmes, he vseth the same manner of speaking. The (riuers of refection) he vseth, for the plentifull giftes of the holy Ghost, wherewithall the faithfull man is replenished. His saying therefore is as much,Psalme. 60. 73. 7. as if he had spoken without Allegorie or Translation thus, He instructeth me with his word, Apoc. 7. and conducteth me with his holy spirite, Esaie. 55. that I can­not erre nor perish. Ioan. 4.

In this part of the Psalme be many things wor­thie to be noted. First, it is declared, that the life of man consisteth in the foode of Gods word: then, that [Page] there is none that giueth the same to be eaten, but God our heauenly shepheard: the next, that none can eate of this meate of Gods word, but such as the ho­ly Ghost féedeth with the word.Matth. 4. Our sauiour Christ declareth, that Man liueth not by bread alone, but of euery woord that proceedeth out of the mouthe of God. We can no more liue in GOD without GODS word, then in the wor­lde with­out world­ly foode. Iohn 6. Whereby he teacheth vs, that as the body li­ueth by externall meates, so doeth the soule by the word of God. And no more possible is it for a man to liue in God without the word of God, then in the world without the meate of the world. And S. Pe­ter confesseth the same. For when the Capernaites, and many of Christes owne disciples had satisfied their bodies with externall meates, they cared not for their souls, neither could they abide to be fed nor to heare the meate of the soule spoken of, althoughe Christ did dresse it most holsomely with many godly and swéet words: they would not tarrie vntil Christ had made that meate readie for them: they could be contented to féede their bellies with his meates, but their soules they would not commit to his diet, but departed as hungrie as they came, thorough their owne follie. Christ was leading them from the fiue barlie loaues and two fishes, wherwith they had fil­led their bellies, vnto the pleasaunt pastures of the heauenly word, that shewed neither barlie loaues nor fishe, but his owne pretious bloud and painefull passion to be the meate of their soules: how be it, they could not come in to this pasture, nor tast in any case of the swéet herbes and nourishment of their soules. When Christ perceiued they would not be ledd into this pleasaunt pasture, he let them goe whither they would, and to féede vppon what pasture they would, And then he asked of his twelue that tarried, saying: Will ye depart also? Peter, as one that had fedd both [Page 16] body and soule, as his fellowes had, perceiued that the body was but halfe the man, and that béeing fed, there was but halfe a man fedd, and also that such meates as went into the mouth, satisfied no more then the body, that the mouth was made for: he felt moreouer, that his soule was fedd by Christes doc­trine, & that the hunger of sinn, the ire of God, the ac­cusation of the lawe, and the demaund and claime of the diuel, were quenched and taken away: he percei­ued likewise, that the meat which brought this nou­rishment, was the heauenly doctrine that Christe spake of, touching his death and passion: and he vn­derstoode also, that this meate passed not into the bo­dy by the mouth, but into the soule by faith, and by the presence of Gods spirite with his spirite, that the body also should be partaker as wel of the grace that was in it, as of the life. So that he felt himselfe not onely to haue a body and a soule aliue, but also that they were gratiously replenished with the pastures & food of Gods fauour. Wherefore he said vnto Christ, To whom shal we go? thou hast the words of euerla­sting life. Which wordes in effecte sound no other thing then this Psalme doeth, where Dauid saith: The Lord feedeth me and I shal want nothing, for he leadeth mee into his pleasant pastures, and pastureth mee by the riuers side. Wherein it appeareth mani­festly, that the word of God is the life of the soule.

The Prophete Dauid doeth meruellously open this thing, in the repeating so many times the word of God, in a Psalme worthie much reading, and more marking of the thinges conteyned therein. For he intreateth all the Psalme thorough, that a godly life doeth consist in the obseruation of Gods lawes, and therefore doth he so many times in the Psalme,Psalm 119. pray God to illuminate and indue his spirite and [Page] hearte with these two vertues, Knowledge and Loue of his word, wherewith he may both knowe howe to serue God, and at all times to be acceptable vnto him. And our sauiour Christ himselfe in Saint Luke saith vnto a woman,Luke 11. Blessed be they that heare the word of God and kepe it. And in S. Iohn,Iohn. 5. Christ exhorteth all men to the reading and exercising of the Scripture.And yet our blinde guids say, that igno­raunce is the mo­ther of godlines. Amos. 8. For the ignorance of Gods word brin­geth with it a murren and rott of the soule: yet for the sinnes of the people, God said, He would sende a hunger and famine amongst men, not a hunger of bread nor water, but of hearing Gods word. King Dauid therefore, as one assured both of the Authour of life, & also of the foode wherewith the life is main­teyned, stayeth himselfe with Gods benediction and fauour, that he is assured God féedeth him with his word. And he sheweth also that none is the authour of this word, neither can any giue it, but God alone. For when the first fall of Adam and Eue by eating forbidden meates, had poysoned & infected both bo­dy and soule with sinne and Gods displeasure, so that he was destitute both of Gods fauour & wisedome: none but God could tell him where remedie and help lay, nor yet could any deliuer him the help but God. For till God made promise that the séed of a woman should make whole, and saue that which the diuel and man had made sicke and lost, by reason of sinne, and also made open the remedie vnto Adam, and in­clined his heart to beléeue the remedie: Adam was dead in sinne and vtterly cast away. Then the pittie of the heauenly shéepheard said, He should notwith­standing in time be brought into the same pasture a­gaine, Iohn. 10. and none should deceiue him, nor bring him any more out of the pastures of life.

But onely God gaue this meate, which was his [Page 17] holy word and promise,Ephes. 2. and also the mouth of fayth to eate these promises of Gods onely gift. And the same appeareth throughout the whole Bible, that onely God, by sending of his worde and preachers, brought knowledge of euerlasting life, to the people that were in ignoraunce. As Saint Paule sayth:Heb. 1. God before time spake vnto our fathers by the Pro­phets, and in these latter dayes vnto vs, by his sonne, and after the ascension of his sonne, by his Apostles and Euangelistes, Matth. 28. in so much that none of the Pro­phetes-euer spake of Gods worde, that mainteined the life of the soule, otherwise then they receiued it of the high shepheard, almightie God, as Saint Pe­ter saith:2. Pet. 1. Prophesie came not by the wil of man, but the holy men of God spake as they were taught by the holy Ghost. So that God is the onely authour and founteine of his true word,Iames. 1. the foode of all mens soules. In like manner, he is the onely giuer of the same: as he is the giuer of it, and none but him selfe: so none can eate it, but such as haue the same deliue­red vnto them by the holy Ghost. So our Sauiour Christ likewise in the Gospell of Saint Iohn telleth Nichodemus,Iohn. 5. that it was not possible to vnderstand and to knowe the grace of redemption, except he were borne from aboue. And when Saint Paule preached the worde of God at Philippos, amongest the women by the water side, the Lorde opened the heart of Lidia, to vnderstande the things spoken of by Paule.Actes. 16. And when Christe preached among the Iewes, and wrought wonderfull miracles, yet they vnderstoode nothing, neither were they anything the better. And Christe sheweth the cause, Proptereà vos non auditis, Iohn. 8. quia ex Deo non estis, that is to say, Therefore ye heare not, bicause ye be not of GOD. But the fault was not in God, but in the obstinacie [Page] and frowardnesse of their owne heartes, as ye may sée in Saint Matthewe.Matth. 23. Christ offered him selfe, but yet the malice of man rebelled at all times. Sainte Paule to the Corinthians wonderfully setteth foorth mans vnablenesse,1. Cor. 2. and saith: The naturall man is not able to comprehend the thinges that be of God. Iohn. 6. And in Saint Iohn, Christ saith, No man can come vnto him, except the heauenly father drawe him, for they must be all taught of God. Nowe as the Pro­phete sawe these things for him selfe and his salua­tion in Gods worde: euen so must euery Christian man take héede, that he learne the same doctrine, or else it were no commoditie to haue the scripture of God deliuered and taught vnto vs. And euery rea­der and hearer must learn of this Psalme, that there is none other foode nor meate for the soule, but Gods word, And who so euer doe refuse it, when it is offe­red or preached: or when they knowe the truth ther­of, doe yet of malice, feare, lucre and gaine of the world, or any other way repugne it, they be vnwor­thy of al mercy and forgiuenesse. Let euery man and woman therefore examine their owne conscience, without flattering of them selues, and they shal find that the most part of this realme of England in the time of our holy and blessed king Edward the sixt, were fed with this holy foode of Gods worde, or else might haue bene fed with it. For it was offered and sent vnto them, as well by most godly statutes and lawes of Parleament, as by many Noble men, and vertuous learned Preachers. If they fed not vpon it accordingly, or now their téeth stand on edge, and their stomachs be cloyed with it, to their perill be it. Thus Christ saith:Iohn. 15. They haue nothing wherby iust­ly to excuse them selues of their sin. And likewise he faith, that Whosoeuer hateth him, hateth also his fa­ther. [Page 18] By which words it appeareth manifestly, that no man can hate Christes doctrine, but he must hate Christe him selfe: and no man can hate Christe, but he must also hate the father of heauen. Wherefore, it is expedient for euery man to marke such places. For it was not Christes name, nor Christes person, that the Iewes hated so mortally Christe for: but they hated him to death for his doctrine sake, and it was Christes doctrine that condemned the world, and shewed the life and learning of the worlde to be euill,Iohn. 3. and could not abide the light of Gods worde, and therefore in no case they could abide to heare of it: as ye sée the like in his poore Preachers.Mark whithe prea­chers of God are contem­ned of the world. For his wordes sake they be lesse passed of, then dogges or brute beastes: for they be hated to death, and more fauour doeth Barrabas the murtherer finde, then Peter the preacher of Christe, that would leade the flocke redéemed with Christes pretious bloud, into the pastures of Gods word with the Prophete Da­uid: and yet in this hatred of Gods worde the foode of Gods shéepe, they would be séene, and none but they, to loue and honour God, but it is not so in their heartes: for they haue a contempt of God, as their fruites well declare. And Christe saith, They hate both him and his father, yea, and that without cause.

But thou (Christian reader) sée thou féede thyPsal. 35. soule with no other meate,Iohn. 15. then with the holesome pastures of Gods word, what so euer the world shal say or doe.Iohn. 15. Looke vppon this text of Saint Iohn: When the comforter shall come, whome I shall send from my father, euen the spirit of trueth, which doth proceede from the father, he shall testifie and beare recorde of me. Weigh that place, and thinke, wherefore the sonne of man referred him selfe to the witnesse of the holy Ghoste, and ye shall knowe, [Page] that it was for no vntruth that was in the authour being Christe, or in the doctrine that he preached: but only to make the disciples to be of good comfort, and that they should not estéeme the Gospel he prea­ched vnto them any thing the lesse, although it had many aduersaries and enimies, and was spoken a­gainst in maner euery where: for against the furie and false iudgement of the world that cōtemned the Gospell, they should haue the testimonie of the holy Ghoste, to allowe and warrant the Gospell. Let vs therfore pray to the heauenly shepheard, that he will giue vs his holy spirit, to testifie for the word of God the only foode of our soules, that it is true that God saith, and onely good that he appointeth to féede vs. And this we may be assured of, that in this heauie and sorrowfull time, there is nothing can testifie for the truth of Gods word, and kéepe vs in the pleasant pasture thereof, but the very spirite of God, whiche we must set against all the tumults and daungers of the world. For if we make this veritie of GOD subiect to the iudgement of the world, our faith shall quaile and faint euery houre as mens iudgements varie. Wherefore, let vs pray to haue alwayes in vs the spirite of adoption, whereby when our faith shall be assaulted, we may cry, Father, father, and the same helpe for the maintenaunce of trueth, God promised by his holy Prophete Esaie, saying:Esaie. 59. This is my couenant with them (saith the Lord,) my spirit which is in thee, and my wordes which I haue put in thy mouth, shall not depart from thy mouthe, nor from the mouth of thy seede, nor from the mouth of the seede of thy seede, from hencefoorth vntill the world end.

Here doth the almightie God set foorth, what a treasure and singular gift his worde is, and that it [Page 19] shall not depart from his people, vntill the worldes end. And in these wordes is this parte of Dauids Psalme meruellously opened and set foorth. It is the Lorde alone that feedeth and instructeth (saith Esaie the Prophet.) It was not mans owne imagination and intention, nor the wisedome and religion of his fathers (what so euer they were:) but it was the Lord that spake, and made the couenant with man, and put his spirite in man, to vnderstande the coue­naunt, and by his worde, and none other worde, he instructed man and saide, that by this meanes all men should till the worldes ende,What thinges we re­ceiue by feeding vppon Gods promises in this life. féede and eate of Gods blessed promises. For in his word he hath ex­pressed and opened to euery man what he shal haue, euen the remission of sinne, the acceptation into his fatherly fauour, grace to liue well in this life, and at the end to be receiued into the euerlasting life. Of these things the reader may knowe what maintei­neth life, euen the word of God,Matth. 4. as Christe saith:Psal. 19. 119 If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, 2. Tim. 3. aske what ye will, and ye shall haue it. Heb. 1. He shall learne also, that it is not Generall counsell, Prouinciall counsell,1. Pet. 1. the determination and agréement of men, that can be the authour of this foode, but only God.Gala. 1. And as God is the only authour of this foode: euen so is his holy spirite, he that féedeth the poore simple soule of the Christian man with his blessed pasture,Iohn. 6. and not the wisedome of man,Esaie. 54. mens sacrifices, or mens doings. But as touching the foode of mans soule,Iohn. 15. to be the only word of God, I will (if it be Gods blessed plea­sure, to whom in the bitter and painefull passion of Christe, I commit my will, with my life and death) open vnto the shéepe and lambes of God at large in an other booke.

¶The third part of the Psalme.

Howe man is brought to the knowledge of life and salua­tion: which part sheweth what man is of him selfe, and howe he is brought into this life, and to feede in the pleasant pastures of Gods worde.

‘He shall conuert my soule, and bring me into the pathes of righteousnesse, for his names sake.’

MY soule erred and went astray from the right way of godly liuing, but the Lord conuerted me from mine errors & faultes of liuing, and brought me to the obseruation of his holy lawes, wherein is conteined all iustice, trueth, and godli­nesse. Here is to be noted, what degrées and orders the Lord and heauenly shepheard doth vse, in bring­ing his shéepe vnto the pasture of life. First, he con­uerteth the man that is gone astray, by his wicked wayes and sinnefull maner of liuing. If he were an Infidel, he bringeth him first to knowe, féele, and hate his infidelitie, and afterwardes to a true faith. If he be a persecuter, he sheweth him first his tyran­nie, and afterward how to vse him selfe méekely. If he be a sinful man that liueth cōtrarie to his know­ledge & profession, he bringeth him first to the know­ledge and hatred of his sinne, and afterwards to the forgiuenes of the same. As Christ our sauiour won­derfully teacheth in Saint Iohn,Iohn. 16. where he saith: The holy Ghost, when he commeth, shall rebuke the world of sinne, iustice, and iudgement. By the which wordes he declareth, that the faithfull of God, can not profite in the Gospell of Christ, neither loue nor exercise iustice and vertue, except they be taught, and [Page 20] made to féele the burthen and daunger of sinne, and be brought to humble them selues, as men that be of them selues nothing but sinne. And therefore the lawe and threatenings of God be verie wholesome, whose nature and propertie is to cite and call mens conscience vnto the iudgment of God, and to wound the spirite of man with terrour and feare. Where­fore, Christe vseth a wonderfull way, and teacheth the same vnto his Apostles, that neither him selfe for that present time, nor they in time to come, could preach profitably the Gospell, wherewith men are led into the swéete and pleasant fieldes of Gods promises by his word, except they vse this order: to leade them from sinne to iustice, and from death to life. And as iustice and life commeth by Christe, shewed vnto vs in his bitter passion,The con­sciēce that feeleth the sting of death by sinn, thir­steth for life. death, and glo­rious resurrection: so doeth sinne and death both appeare and be felt by the spirite of God, shewed vn­to vs in the lawe. This order also fawe the holy Prophet, when he saide: The Lorde conuerteth my soule, and leadeth me into the pathes of righteousnes. This is a wonderfull sentence, and much and déepe­ly to be considered and weighed of the Christi­an man. The Lorde conuerteth my foule, saith Dauid. He féeleth in him selfe, that as long as the diuell and sinne haue the rule and kingdome in man, the soule of man being Gods creature, is deformed, foule, horrible, and so troubled, that it is like vnto all things, more then vnto God and ver­tue, whervnto it was created: but when the wicked diuel & deformed sinne, be by the victorie of Christ o­uercome & expelled, the soule waxeth faire, amiable, swéete, louing, pleasant, & like vnto God againe, and cōmeth into order & obeisance vnto his creatour, & so brought into ye pathes of righteousnes, féedeth with [Page] the rest of Gods well ordered flocke vppon she pa­stures and foode of his holy worde, to doe his blessed will.

Oh that we would, in the glasse of Gods worde, looke vpon our owne soules, when they be in the ty­rannie of the diuell, vnder the kingdome of sinne, as this king did: we should more loathe and detest our owne soule, and the companie that our soule is ac­companied withall, then if we should for all our life time, be put into sties with hogges, and alwayes be bound during our life, to liue with them, féede as they féede, sléepe and wake as they do, and be as they be in all things.Luke. 15. Looke in the Gospel of Saint Luke, and there shall ye sée a man by sinne, so foule, so dis­ordered, so accompanied with swine, so hungerba­ned, so rent and torne, so beggerly, so wretched, so vile, so loathsome, and so stinking, that the very swine were better for their condition, then he was. But sée howe the heauenly shepheard behelde from his heauenly throne, the place of the euerlasting ioyes, this poore strayed shéepe, féeding not amongst shéepe, but amongest swine, and yet could not be sa­tisfied therewith. And no meruell, for swine féede not vpon the meate of shéepe, nor yet doe shéepe fill them selues with hogges draffe and swillinges: but this shephearde vsed his olde wonted clemen­cie, and strake the heart of his shéepe, making him to wéepe and bewayle his condition, a man to come to suche dishonour to be coupled and matched with swine, to féede like swine, eate like swine such meate as swine eate, remembring that the worst in his fathers house was a Prince and noble King, in com­parison & respect of him: then also being persuaded of his fathers mercy, he returned, & his father brought him into his pleasant & swéete pastures, & gaue him [Page 21] his old fauor & accustomed apparel againe, as a man to kéepe companie with men, & no more with adulte­rous men, and vncleane swine: howbeit, he came not to his old honour againe, till the Lord had prac­tised in him, that he practised in this Prophete king Dauid, Ammam meam conuertit, He conuerted and turned my soule.

It is but a follie for a man to flatter himselfe, as though he were a Christian man, when his hart and soule is not turned vnto the Lord. He shal neuer féed in the pastures of life, but be an hypocrite all the days of his life, as the most part of the world be that professe Christes name at this present day. They say they be conuerted from the world to God, when there is nothing within the pastures of Gods word, but that they wil contemne rather, then to haue as much as an euil looke of the world for it. They say they be conuerted to God, when they be contented with the world to honour that for God, that is but bread and wine in the matter and substance, as the scripture of God, and the holy Church of Christ haue taught and beléeued, these thousand and fiue hundreth yeares and more. Oh Lord, be these men turned to thée? Be these the men that shall dwell with thée, in thy ho­ly mount of Sion, Psalme. 24. and stand in thy holy place? Nay doubtlesse, for they be not turned to thée, but from thée, & be not with thée, but against thée. They speak with thée, and yet their déedes dishonour thée, they talke of trueth and practise lies. What (good Lord) shall thy simple & poore vnlearned shéepe do? Where shall they séeke thy trueth? For the shéepeheards say and sing this Psalme euery wéeke, and at euery di­rige for the dead, and yet they be not conuerted in their spirits to thée, that thou mightest lead them in­to the pathes of righteousnes. But (Lord) there is no [Page] man nowe (in manner) that dare accuse them: they destroy themselues and thy shéepe, and no man can be suffered with Gods word to remedie it. Notwith­standing, (good Lord) although in this world none may accuse them, yet they in the world to come shal haue king Dauid (whose Psalmes they daily reade, and in whom they most glorie,) to accuse them, both of heresie and blasphemie: as Moses shall accuse the wicked Iewes, whome they most glorie of. For as the Iewes read the scripture of Moses, and yet were neuer the better: so these priests of Antichrist reade the holy scripture, & yet neither the people, nor they themselues, are any thing the better. And in this they passe ye abhomination of the Iewes & Turkes: for they were, and yet be content, that their bookes of religion shal be vsed in their churches in the vul­gar and common tongue: but these enimies of God and man, would not haue the word that God hath appointed for all mens saluation, to be vsed in any tongue but in the Latine.

The God therefore of peace, that brought a­gaine from death to life, the great shéepheard of the shéepe, by the bloud of the euerlasting testament, our Lord Iesus Christ, conuert the soules and heartes of all those, that cause the shéepe of God thus to eate and féed vppon the carrine and infected pastures of mens traditions. Amen.

Nowe, as king Dauid in this text hath wonder­fully set foorth ye miserable nature of al Gods shéepe, and put himself for an example, that the nature and condition of all men is corrupt, wicked, and damna­ble, so that it cannot be partaker of Gods benedicti­on and euerlasting grace, except it be borne a newe, amended, restored, and instructed: so likewise he she­weth, that none conuerteth the soule of man, but [Page 22] the heauenly father the great shéepeheard, that both séeth the loste state of his shéepe, and willeth of his mercie the saluation and calling of the shéepe home againe: and then he procéedeth further, and sheweth what the heauenly shéepeheard will doe with his shéepe. He saith, Hee will lead them into the pathes of iustice. Wherein the Prophete declareth, that it is not onely God that conuerteth the man from e­uill, but also he alone that kéepeth him in goodnes and vertue. And therein is shewed a wonderfull miserie and wretchednesse in the soule and body of man, that can neither beginne nor yet continue in a life acceptable vnto God, except that GOD wholy worketh the same himselfe.

And as it declareth the wonderfull wretchednes of man, so doeth it manifest and set foorth a wonder­ful and vnspeakeable mercie and compassion of God towardes man, that so meruellously and gratious­ly he canne be content to helpe and saue his enimie and very aduersarie. But herein is required of as many as the Lorde conuerseth from iniquitie and sinnefull liuing, that they walke in the same lawe, and vse their conuersation in equitie and iustice, as it béecommeth obedient men and wo­men redéemed with the shéepeheardes most preti­ous bloud.

For the Lord doth not teach his shéepe the truth, that they should liue in falsehood: neither giueth he them the remission of their sinnes, that they should returne to the same againe: but because they should studiously applie and diligently exercise themselues in vertuous woorks,Psalme. 1. to the honor of almightie God.Matth. 5. There be two sortes of people that the Lorde will iudge and punish in the latter day, with extreme ire and iustice.

[Page] The one sort be called vpon to learne the knowledge of God and of Gods honour, as Gods word comman­deth: but they will not heare, nor obey the calling, but knowe God and learne God, as the custome and maner of the world is to know him and learne him, though it be neuer so farre from the trueth. And the other sort be contented to heare and learne to knowe God, and to serue him as he teacheth in his holy and most pure word, but in their heartes consent not to their knowledge: but contrary to it they do outward seruice to a false God, and frame their conuersation, both in religion toward God,Woefull are these dayes whē in so cleare lighte of the trueth, the profes­sours ther­of are so faithlesse and fruit­lesse. Esaie 65. and their maners to­ward men, as men of the world do. So that God hath no more reuerence of him that knoweth the trueth, then of him that is ignorant of the trueth.

Esaie the Prophet speaketh against the first sort of men, that will not heare when they be called, nor learne when they be taught, and saith: When other men shall laughe, they shall weepe: when other bee merrie, they shal be sorrie: when other be whole, they shalbe sicke: when other men shal liue, they shall die: and when other men reioyce in mirthe, they shall la­ment in sorowe. And good cause why saith S. Paule: For,Rom. 10. the Lord hath stretched forth his hand alwayes to a rebellious and obstinate people, that will not learne nor knowe his holy will. Againe, the other sort that knowe and haue learned the Lordes will and pleasure, and yet prepare not themselues to doe his will,Luke 12. shall be beaten with many stripes (saith our sa­uiour Christ.) And the Lord in S. Matthewe doeth wonderfully charge both such as ignorantly doe of­fend, and those that doe with knowledge offend, those also that be called vppon to amendment in faith and charitie, and those that be not called vppon by prea­ching of the trueth, and saith: The greater damna­nation [Page 23] is vppon such as know or might knowe, or els when they do knowe, they be nothing the better for their knowledge. He putteth foorth there foure cities, Chorozaim and Bethsaida, Tire and Sidon: two of them many times admonished by Christ to amend: the other two not so called vppon, neuerthelesse both of them the Lord will iudge, but most seuerely such as neglect the word of God when it is offered. Ther­fore, it is not ynough for a man to hearken or heare, read or learne Gods word, but he must be ruled by Gods word, frame his whole life after Gods word, and before all things auoyd idolatrie by Gods word: as king Dauid saith in this Psalme, that The Lord did not onely conuert his soule, but brought him into the pathes of iustice.

Let euery man and woman therfore thinke with themselues, what knowledge they haue receiued of God: for he that hath receiued most, shall make ac­compt for most: and the more he knoweth, and abu­seth his knowledge, the more shalbe his damnation: and in case they knowe nothing at all, and be neuer the better for all the preaching of the Lordes word, let them take héede what persons they be, and in what place they haue dwelled. In case their pouer­tie was such, that they could not heare, and their dwelling where as was no preaching at all: yet be they vnder the iudgement and damnation of God, because they knowe not, as Tire and Sidon were. If they were of such state, as they might haue come if they would, and had preachers to tel them the truth, in case they would haue heard the trueth, such men and women shall be the more in daunger of Gods se­uere and iust iudgement.GOD re­quireth not only a compt of that hath beene re­ceiued, but of that might haue bene receiued. For God doth not onely take an accompt of that which men haue receiued, if they vse not Gods giftes well: but also straightly re­quireth [Page] of them, that might haue learned the thing, that either willingly or obstinately they refused to learne: as ye may sée by Choroazim and Bethsaida. God will as well take an accompt of him that refu­sed to receiue the gift of Gods word, as he requireth an accompt of him that hath receiued it, and abused it.Matth. 11. Whereby we learne,Luke. 12 that not onely the man that abuseth Gods word shalbe damned, but also he that will not learne Gods word. King Dauid had the word offered, he receiued it, and was carried thereby into the pathes of iustice, and liued godly thereafter. Nowe he goeth foorth, and sheweth, wherefore man is brought to life and saluation.

¶The fourth part of the Psalme.
THE THIRD VERSE continued.

Wherefore man is brought to life and saluation.

‘For his names sake.’

HE brought not me to life and saluation (saith the Prophet,) for any merits or deseruinges of mine, but for his owne infinite goodnes sake. And whatsoeuer euill hath béene done, and sinne com­mitted, all these thinges I ascribe to my corrupt na­ture, and accuse my selfe to be the doer of them: but if any thing haue béene thought, said, or done, that is vertuous and godly, that I wholy ascribe and attri­bute vnto the mercie of God, that gaue me a good minde to wish to do wel, and also strength to doe the thinges, that he gaue me will to wishe.

Of this part of the Psalme we learne, that man [Page 24] can neither wishe, nor speake, nor doe any thing, nor yet vnderstand any thing that good is, but onely throughe the mercie of God, who maketh of an igno­rant man a man of knowledge, of an vnwilling man a willing man, of an euill speaker a good spea­ker, and of an euill doer a good doer. Therefore S. Paule, when he séeth that the nature of man will take vppon her to be the authour of any good thing, he accuseth and condemneth her of arrogancie and pride, saying, What hast thou that thou hast not re­ceiued? 1. Cor 4. If thou hast receiued, why doest thou glorie as though thou receiuedst not? And in the same E­pistle he saith, that Hee preached Christ crucified, 1. Cor. 1. which was a slaunder to the Iewes, and a foolishnesse to the Gentiles: Yet, (saith he,) The foolishnesse of God is wiser then men, and the weakenesse of God is stronger then men. And that had king Dauid good experience of, when he said, The Lord ruleth me, and I lacke nothing, hee putteth mee in a sweete pasture and leadeth mee by the riuers side, hee turneth my soule, and conducteth mee into the way and pathe of iustice for his names sake, and for his mercies sake. He sawe the diuel, the world, his flesh, and sinne, all conquered by the power of God, and for his names sake brought both to liue, & also vertuously to liue, to his honour that gaue the life, and to his owne sal­uation that receiued the life.

All our teaching a great many of yeares, and also your whole labours, haue béene chiefly to knowe the miserie of man, and the mercie of Almightie God. Wherefore, it shal not néed long to tarrie in opening of this place of the Psalme: for ye be riche in God in these 2. points, God giue you grace wel to vse them. Yet in any case we must remember, that our soules be turned from sinne, & we accepted as the people of [Page] euerlasting life, only for Gods mercies sake. So doth king Dauid wonderfully open vnto vs in the 32. Psalme, where he saith, Blessed be they whose sinnes are forgiuen, Psalm. 32. and whose transgressions be couered: blessed is the man to whome the Lord imputeth not his sinne. Of the which wordes we learne, that the godly king called those happie and blessed, not that be cleane and pure without sinne, (for there is no such man in this life:) but those be blessed, whose sinnes the mercie of God forgiueth: and they be one­ly such, as vnfeignedly acknowledge their sinne, and stedfastly from their heartes beleeue, that the death and passion of Iesus Christ is the onely expiation and purging thereof: as S. Paule wonderfully ex­poundeth Dauids woordes in his Epistle to the Ro­manes. As the Prophete by these wordes, (For his names sake,)Rom. 4. declareth, that there is nothing in him, nor in any other man, wherefore God should turne the soule of man from death to life, from errour to trueth, from the hatred of God to Gods loue, from wandring a stray to a stablished continuance in the veritie of Gods word, but only Gods mercie: so doth he in other of his Psalmes always, when he intrea­teth of Gods mercie & of mans sinne, set foorth man so naked and vile, as a thing most destitute of all health and saluation, and sheweth that none of these giftes, remission of sinne, acceptation into Gods loue and fauour, pasturing of them with his most blessed word, can happen vnto any other, sauing vnto such as do knowe, and earnestly confesse, that they be sin­ners and infected with many contagious & daunge­rous infirmities, And therfore he sayth in the 2. verse of ye psalme aboue mentioned, Blessed is he to whom the Lord imputeth no sinne, Psalme. 32. & in whose spirite there is no guile. For there is no greater guile, nor more [Page 25] danger in man, then to think himself to be somwhat, when he is nothing in déede: or else to thinke him selfe to be of such puritie of minde, as though he née­ded not this frée remission and fauour of God. And as there is nothing more proude and arrogant, then such a minde: so there is nothing in man more detes­table and miserable. Of the contrarie part, they be blessed that hunger and thirst for iustice:Matth. 5. for, God filleth the hungrie with good thinges, Luke. 1. but the proud he sendeth away emptie. And that knewe this holie Prophete right well, that it was humilitie and the casting downe of him selfe that was most ac­ceptable vnto God, and the séeking of health and sal­uation onely for his names sake, that is to say, for his mercie promised in the death and passion of his onely sonne our Sauiour Christe. In the end of the .xxxij. psalme, king Dauid that had thus hum­bled himselfe,Psal. 32. bringeth in God that speaketh vnto him, whiles he is thus making his complaint of his corrupt nature and sinneful life, saying in this man­ner, Intellectum tibi dabo, &c. that is to say, I will giue thee vnderstanding, & instruct thee in the way thou shalt goe, and will haue mine eyes euer vppon thee. Wherein he declareth, that suche humbled men and lowly persons, as knowe their iniquitie, shall haue vnderstanding of God, and shall not swarue from the right wayes: not for their déedes and their deser­uinges, but for his mercie that vouchsafeth to in­struct & teach them. And so likewise doeth this god­lie king shew in this Psalme: The Lorde ruleth me and I lacke nothing, he feedeth me in sweet pastures and leadeth me by the riuers side, he turneth my soule, and bringeth me into the pathes of righteous­nesse, and all for his names sake. When he hath ope­ned the saluation of man, and also the cause thereof, [Page] and wherein it consisteth: he procéedeth to the fifte parte of his oration and holie Hymne.

¶The fifte parte of the Psalme.

What trouble may happen to such as God giueth life and saluation vnto.

‘Although I walke thorough the vallie and shadowe of death, I will feare no euill, for thou art with me, thy rodde and thy staffe comfort me.’

SEing I haue suche a guide and de­fender, there is no difficultie of pe­rill, nor feare of death, that I will passe of. For what harme can death do to him, that hath God the authour of all life with him? Or what can the tyrannie of man do, where as God is the defender?

In this fifte part, King Dauid sheweth, howe the Lord God doeth exercise his shéepe, whom he féedeth with his blessed worde, in daungers and troubles: & also how he will defende them in the middest of their troubles, what so euer they be. In the first wordes of the fift part of this sacred and holy Hymne, the pro­phet declareth that the life of Gods shéepe and people in this worlde, can not be without daungers and troubles. Therefore Christ sayeth, that He came to put fire in the worlde, and that the same fire should burne, meaning that he came to preache suche a doc­trine, as shoulde moue dissention and discorde be­twéene friend and friend,The wic­ked make the Gospel of peace an occasion of discord. the father and the sonne, and sette them at debate. Not that his worde is a learning or doctrine of dissention and discorde of it [Page 26] selfe, but that by the malice of men, that can not a­bide to be rebuked by the worde of God, they will be alwayes at discorde and variaunce with the worde of God,Luke 12. and with any friende or foe that teacheth it. And the same doeth Christ our heauenly shéepeheard shewe vs,Iohn. 7. 8. 9. 10. 16. both in his doctrine and in his life, who was hated and troubled more then any man before or sithens his time,The crosse is the sure badge of Gods chil­dren. and assureth all his to haue trou­bles in this world, yea and death also. But it forceth not, for he sayth, I haue ouercome the worlde. And whatsoeuer the dangers bée, and howe horrible soe­uer they séeme,Iohn. 16. Christe being with vs, we néede not to feare. Therefore in this pointe the prophete cor­recteth the foolish opinion of man, that woulde liue as one of the shéepe of God in this world without trou­bles. It is contrarie both to the person that profes­seth God, and also to the religion that he is professed vnto, for in ye worlde both shall be (as Christ sayth) hated:) of which hatred commeth persecution and troubles, so that the people of God shal, whether they will or will not, passe through many daungers, and no lesse perillous then the shadowes, and verie i­mage of death, as here King Dauid sheweth in this wholesome and blessed Hymne.

And as he séeth right well, that the state and con­dition of Gods people and shéepe, is to be troubled for Christe and his worde:Zachar. 11. euen so did Zacharie the prophet speake of Christe and his people,Matth. 16. howe that not onely the shéepe should be troubled and scattered abroade, but also the shéepehearde should be stricken with the sworde, that both shéepe and shéepehearde shoulde be condemned in this worlde. But nowe, as Dauid and Zacharie declare, that the life and condi­tion of Christe and his shéepe be troublous in the world: so do they both declare, that whatsoeuer the [Page] troubles be, they be both knowen and appointed vp­pon whom they shall fall, and in what time they shal trouble the shéepe of God: so that they can come no sooner then God appointeth, nor do any more harme then the heauenly shéepeheard shall appoint them to do. And this we may sée and learne as wel in Christ, as in his shéepe. Howe many times did the Priestes and Phariseis conspire Christes death? Yet because his time was not come, they had not their purpose: but when the time of God was come, Christ said to his shéepe: Ye shalbe all troubled this night for my cause, Iohn 18. for the sheepeheard shall bee stricken, and the sheepe shalbe scattered abroade. Then, as God had appointed the time, it could be no longer deferred. And because they should not misse of him, whose death they sought, he came and met them and offered himselfe vnto them, and said, that He was the same man Iesus of Nazareth, whom they sought. And when they had taken him, and vsed as much crueltie towards him, as their wicked malice and diuellishe hatred could deuise, they killed him, and made him to passe not onely the shadowe and image of death, but also death it selfe.Matth. 27 They thought then they had him where as they would,Marke. 15 and said, He hath saued other, let him now saue himselfe, Luke 23. if he can.

When he was layed in the graue with his fa­thers,Iohn 19. they thought to execute their plagues and ty­rannie towardes him being dead, purposing that as they had brought him to death and killed him: so likewise they woulde kéepe him downe still, that he shoulde neuer sée life againe, but rotte in the earth like a wretche, vntill wormes had eaten him. And for the performance of this purpose, to doe all their whole willes to the vttermost, they came to Pilate and said, that The deceiuer of the people that [Page 27] lay in the graue, made his bost whiles he was aliue, that the third day after his death he would rise a­gaine, but if it should be so, it would be worse with them after, then it was before. Appoint therefore souldiers (said they) and watchmen to kéepe the Se­pulchre till the thirde daye be past.Matth. 27. Whiles they yet minded to lay as much euil and contempt vppon Christ our shéepheard, as they ment vnto him, came the heauenly father, that suffereth no more ignomi­nie to fall vpon his, nor will suffer them to continue any longer then him pleaseth, with this inhibition and stay of further procéedings in dishonouring and persecuting his onely sonne, and said: I am redijt lux tertia, surge sepulte meus, That is as much to say, Nowe is come the thirde day, arise mine owne deare sonne buried. And then was the sorrowe & contempt of this our persecuted shéepeheard not onely ended, but also turned into endlesse & vnspeakable ioyes: he passed with his forefather Dauid most bitter paines and also most vile death, but he feared not because God was with him.A doctrine of Gods prouidēce most com­fortable to all his af­flicted. Psalme 2. The same appointment also hath the heauenly father made with al dangers and troubles that shall happen vnto vs his poore and af­flicted shéepe, taken daily (as it were to the shambles) to suffer what Gods enimies can deuise. But the heauenly shéepeheard doth sée all their doings out of heauen, and mocketh them to scorne: for they shall neuer do as much as they would, against Christ and his people, but as much as God will suffer them. Dauid afterwardes in his 37. Psalme, teacheth vs the same with meruellous woordes and diuine sen­tences: Commite Domino viam tuam, & spera in eum &c. Laye (saith he) thy care vppon the Lord, and trust in him, and he shall helpe thee.

It is most necessarie therefore for euery troubled [Page] man, to knowe in his minde, and féele in his heart, that there are no troubles that happen vnto man, whatsoeuer they be, come they by chaunce or For­tune, as many men say and thinke, but that they come by the prouidence of God: yea, the very winds of the aire, tempestes in the cloudes, trembling of the earth, rages in the sea, or any other that come, howe soudaine or howe vnlooked for soeuer they ap­peare: as ye may read in the 29. Psalme of this Pro­phete, wherein be wonderfull tempestes,Psalme. 29 and trou­blesome thinges spoken of, as well done in the wa­tors, as vppon the drie land.

But here (alas) is our nature and knowledge much to be lamented and complained vppon: for as the knowledge we haue of Gods fauour and gentle­nesse towardes vs in Christ, (for the most part) con­sisteth in the vnderstanding of the minde, and talke with the mouth, but the vertue, strength and opera­tion of the same fauour of God is not sealed in our heartes and consciences: euen so be the troubles and aduersities,The cause why there be so fewe sincere and true pro­fessours of the Gos­pel. which God threateneth for sinne, spoken and talked of with the tongue, and knowen in the minde, but they be not earnestly nor féelingly sealed in our conscience and heart. And of this commeth it, that we neither loue God, nor reioyce in his pro­mises as we ought to doe, when we heare or read them, neither yet hate sinne, nor be sorrowfull for Gods displeasure, as sinne and Gods displeasure should be sorrowed and mourned for of Christian men. Hereof also commeth it, (dearely beloued) that we loue no further, then in knowledge and tongue, nor hate vice but in knowledge and tongue. But (alas) how miserable is this our state and condition, that knoweth neither life nor death, vertue nor vice, trueth nor falsehood, God nor the diuel, heauen nor [Page 28] hell, but halfe as much as they ought of Christian men to be knowen? Read you therefore and marke the 37. Psalme,Psal. 37. and you shall knowe, that it is not ynough for Christian men, to vnderstand and speake of vertue and vice, but that the vertue must be sea­led in the conscience and loued, and the vice kept out of the conscience and hated, as Dauid saith: Leaue doing of euill and doe good. So like wise he speaketh of a féeling Christian man, whose conscience hath tasted howe swéete and amiable God is. Taste and feele (saith the Prophete) howe sweete the Lord is. And this assure your selues, that when ye féele your sinnes, and bewaile the daunger and damnation of them, the spirite of God hath wrought that féeling,Psal. 53. And that troubled and broken heart God wil not des­pise. And there is no doubt nor mistrust of a sensible and féeling sinner:Here is thy cōfort thou bro­ken harted and afflic­ted of the Lord. but in case he can finde in him­selfe no loue to the obedience of God, nor desire to do his will by hearing of his word, nor any féeling at all of sinne, nor desire to be ridde from it by hearing of the lawe: he hath knowledge in the minde, and speache in the mouth: but no consent and féeling in his heart and conscience. And this knowledge liueth with sinne, and speaketh with vertue: whereas the heart & conscience consenteth to good, and abhorreth euil, if the vertue & nature of Gods woord by Gods spirite be sealed in the conscience. And this doth S. Paule teach wonderfully, as wel by faith, that com­meth by hearing of Gods woord, as also of his preti­ous Supper, the Sacrament of his bodie and bloud and passion.Rom. 10. He saith, that The heart beleeuēth to righteousnesse, What it is to beleeue vnto righ­teousnes. that is to say, The conscience and heart of him that is sealed, and assured of the vertue and grace of Gods premises in Christ, beléeueth to righteousnesse, or is ascerteined and knoweth it selfe [Page] to be righteous and iust and before God, because it hath consented, and receiued the mercie of God offered in the Gospel thorough the merites of Christ: and then the same faith,Faith sea­led once in the heart with the assurance of Gods mercy, can bee no more with out the fruite of wel doing, then fire without heate. which God hath sealed in the heart, breaketh foorth by confession, whiche confession is a very fruite of faith to saluation, as it is written by S. Paule in the same place. And where this faith is so kindled in the heart, there can be none other but such a fruite following it. And as possible it is to haue fire without heate or flame, as this vertue, Faith, without the fruite of well doing. And that is it that S. Paule saith to the Corinthians: As often as ye eate of this bread and drinke of this cupp, shew ye the Lordes death vntill he come. Wherein Saint Paule requireth a knowledge of Christ in the recei­uer, not onely in his minde that he knowe Christ died for his sinne, and the sinne of the world, and to speake and declare the same death with his tongue vnto others: but this is the chiefest and most princi­pall commoditie of Christes holy Supper, (whiche men nowe vngodly call the Masse,) that the vertue and benefite of Christes death, as it is appointed for the remission of his sinnes,1. Cor. 11. be sealed and fully con­sented vnto in his conscience. And this knowledge of Christes death,Whē right knowlege & assured sense of Gods mercie are ioyned toge­ther, note what they worke. with the assurance of the vertue, strengthe and power thereof in the heart, will and ought to inflame vs to thankesgiuing, and to preach and teach vnto others those commodities of Christs death, that we knowe and féele first in our selues within our owne spirite and heart.

Thus I haue tarried longer then I thought in this matter, bicause I would bring my selfe and all others (as much as lyeth in me) to féele that know­ledge and talke of vertue and vice, of Gods fauour and of Gods punishment, is not sufficient: and to [Page 29] bring my selfe and all men from knowledge and talke,Knowlege and talke without the feling of Gods fruitfull working spirit is not of God. to féeling, consenting, and a full surrendring of our selues, vnto the profite and vauntage of the things which we speake and knowe, or else know­ledge and speaking please not God, nor profite our selues, as Christe saith: Not euery man that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of heauen. Therefore did Dauid both knowe, speake, and féele signed in his heart,Matth. 7. the fauour, helpe, and assistaunce of God, to be with him into what troubles so euer he should fall, and in that féeling (did say) He would not feare. But it may fortune I haue so written of ver­tue and vice to be knowne of in the minde, spoke of with the mouth, and felt in the heart: that ye may iudge and féele in your selues, neuer to haue come to this perfection. For this is out of doubt, he that hath Gods loue and feare thus sealed in his heart, liueth in this life rather an Angelicall life, then the life of a mortall man: and yet it is euident by king Dauid in this Psalme,Psal. 121. and by his 121. Psalme, and in many more, that he was so sure, and so well ascertained of Gods present helpe in his troubles, that he cared no­thing for death, or any other aduersities that could happen. And doubtlesse, we perceiue by his Psalmes in many places, yt his faith was as strong as stéele, and he trembled not nor doubted any thing, but was in manner without all kinde of mistrust, and no­thing troubled what so euer he sawe contrarie to Gods promises, and he passed ouer them, as things that could not once withdraw his cogitations from the trueth and veritie of Gods promises, which he beleued.Gene. 22. As Abraham likewise did, he staggered not, but with constancie of faith would haue killed his owne sonne, so strong was his faith. But as the gift of faith is a treasure incomparable, thus to knowe [Page] and féele faith to ouercome all daungers: so maketh it the heart of him that is sealed with such a faith, to féele the ioyes and mirth vnspeakable. But as this faith is the gift of God, and cōmeth only from him: so is it in him only to appoint the time when it shall come, & how much and how strongly it shal be giuen at al times, which is not at all times like, but some­times so strong, that nothing can make the faithfull man afraid, no not death it selfe, and sometimes it is so strong, that it maketh the man afflicted to be con­tented to suffer: yea, death it selfe, rather then to of­fend God. But yet it is with much cōflict, great trou­bles, many heauie & meruelous cogitations, & som­time with such a feare, as the man hath much ado to sée, & féele, in the latter end of his heauie conflict, the victorie and vpper hand of the temptation. And at an other time the Christian man shal finde such hea­uinesse, oppression of sinne, and troubles, that he shal not féele as much (in manner) as one sparke of faith to comfort him selfe in the trouble of his minde,The state of Gods children beaten downwith the sense & horrour of sin and dread of gods iudgments. (as he thinketh:) but that all the floudes and dreadfull assaultes of desperation haue their course through his conscience. Nothing féeleth he, but his owne minde and poore conscience, one so to eate the other, that the conflict is more paine to him then death it selfe: he vnderstandeth that GOD is able to doe all thinges, he confesseth with the knowledge of his minde, and with his toung in his head, that God is true and mercifull, he would haue his conscience and heart to agrée therevnto and be quiet: but the conscience is pricked and oppressed so muche with feare & doubtfulnesse of Gods ire for sinne, that he thinketh God can be mercifull vnto other, but not vnto him. And thus doth his knowlege for the time of temptation, rather trouble him, then ease him, [Page 30] bicause his heart doth not, or rather can not consent vnto the knowledge: yet would he rather then his life, he could consent vnto God, loue God, hate sinne, & be Gods altogether, although he suffered for it al ye paines of the worlde. I haue knowne in many good men, and many good women, this trouble and hea­uinesse of the spirit for the time, as though God had cleane hid him self from the afflicted person, and had cleane forsaken him: yet at length, the day of light from aboue, and the comfort of the holy spirite hath appeared, that lay couered vnder the veile and co­uert of bitter cogitations of Gods iust iudgements against sinne.The com­fort of the afflicted e­uen when God see­meth to haue forsaken them. Therefore, séeing that faith at al times hath not like strength in man, I doe not speake to discomfort such as at all times finde not their faith as strong as Dauid did in this Psalme: for I know in the holy Saints them selues, it was not alwayes like, but euen in them as in others. And although we can not compare with them in all things in the perfection of their faith, yet may they compare them selues with vs in the weakenesse of our faith, as ye may sée by the scriptures.

In this Psalme and in many other, ye shall per­ceiue, that Dauid by the constancie and suretie he felt in the promises of God, was so strong, so ioyfull, and comfortable in the middest of all daungers and troubles of death: that he did not only contemne troubles and death, but also desired death, and to be dissolued out of this world, as Saint Paule and o­thers did. At an other time ye shall perceiue him to be strong in faith, but not so ioyful, nor yet the trou­bles so easie vnto him, but that he suffered great bat­tell and conflict with his troubles, and of the cause of all troubles, sinne, and transgression of Gods lawes,Psal. 6. as ye may sée in the sixt Psalme, whereas he [Page] cryed out and saide: Lord chasten me not in thy fu­rie, nor punishe me in thy wrath: my soule is sore troubled, but how long Lord wilt thou deferre help? And of such troubled consciences with conflictes, ye shall finde oftentimes in the booke of Psalmes, and in the rest of Gods scriptures: yet shall ye finde the end of the temptation to be ioyfull and comfortable to the weake man that was so sore troubled. For, although God suffer a long fight betwéene his poore souldier and the diuell: yet he giueth the victorie to his seruant, as ye may sée in king Dauid. When he cryed out, that both his body and soule was wearied with the crosse of Gods punishment: yet he saide at the last, Discedite à me operarij iniquitatis, quoniam ex­audiuit Dominus vocem fletus mei, Depart from me ye workers of iniquitie, Psal. 6. for the Lorde hath heard the voyce of my weeping. And in other of his Psalmes, ye shall perceiue his faith more weake, and his soule troubled with such anguish and sorrowe, that it shal séeme there is no consolation in his soule, nor any shewe of Gods carefulnesse towardes him. In this state ye may sée him in the 13. Psalme, where as a man in manner destitute of all consolation, he ma­keth his complaint saying, How long wilt thou for­get me? The same may ye read also in the 43. Psal. where he sheweth that he, his most iust cause, and the doctrine that he professed, was like altogether to haue bene ouercome, so that his spirite was in man­ner all comfortlesse.Psal. 42. 43 Then he said to his owne soule, Quare tristis es anima mea, & quare conturbas me? Why art thou so heauie my soule, & why doest thou trou­ble mee? Trust in the Lord, &c. And in the 42. Psalm he setteth foorth wonderfully the bitter fight, and sorrowfull conflicte, betwéene hope and despera­tion. Wherin he complayneth also of his own soule, [Page 31] that was so much discomforted, and biddeth it trust in the lord. Of the which two places ye may learne, that no man had euer faith at all times like, but sometimes more strong, sometimes more weake, as it pleased God to giue it. Let no man therefore des­paire, although he finde weaknesse of faith: for it shall make him to humble him selfe the more, and to be the more diligent to pray to haue helpe, when he perceiueth his owne weakenesse: and doubt­lesse at length, the weake man by the strong GOD shal be brought to this point, that he shal in al trou­bles & aduersities say with the Prophet, If I should goe through the shadowe and daungers of death, I would not feare what troubles soeuer happen. And he sheweth his good assurance in the text that fol­loweth, which is the sixt part of this holy and blessed Hymne.

¶The sixt part of the Psalme.
The fourth verse continued: and the fift verse expounded.

Whereby the troubles of Gods elect be-ouercome.

For thou art with me, thy rod and thy staffe com­fort me.

Thou shalt prepare a table before me, against thē that trouble me, thou hast annoynted my head with oyle, and my cup shall be full.

SEeing thou art with me, at whose power and will all troubles goe and come, I doubt not but to haue the victorie and ouerhand of them, howe many and daungerous so euer they be, for thy rod chasteneth me when I goe astray, and thy staffe stayeth me when I should fall. Two things most necessarie for me (good Lord) the one to call me from my fault and errour, and the [Page] other to kéepe me in thy trueth and veritie. What can be more blessed, then to be susteined and kept from falling by the staffe and strength of the most highest? And what can be more profitable, then to be beaten with his merciful rod, when we goe astray? For, He chasteneth as many as he loueth, and beateth as many as he receiueth into his holy profession. Not­withstanding, whilest we be here in this life, he fée­deth vs with the swéete pastures of holsome herbes of his holy word, vntill we come to eternall life, and when we put off these bodies, and come into heuen, and knowe the blessed fruition and riches of his kingdome, then shall we not only be his shéepe, but also the guestes of his euerlasting banquet. The which (Lorde) thou settest before all them that loue thée in this worlde, and doest so annoynt and make glad our mindes with thine holy spirite, that no ad­uersities nor troubles can make vs sorrie.

In this sixt part the prophet declareth the old say­ing amongest wise men, Non minor est virtus quàm quaerere parta tueri, that is to say, It is no lesse mai­strie to keepe the thing that is wonne, then it was to winne it. King Dauid perceiueth right well the same, and therefore as before in the Psalme he said, The Lorde turned his soule, and lead him into the pleasant pastures, whereas vertue and iustice reig­ned, for his names sake, and not for any righteous­nesse of his owne: so saith he now, That being bro­ught into the pastures of trueth, and into the fauour of the almightie, and accounted and taken for one of his shéepe, it is onely GOD that kéepeth and main­teineth him in the same state, condition, and grace. For he could not passe through the troubles and sha­dowe of death (as he & al Gods elect people must do:) but only by the assistance of God, and therefore he [Page 32] saith, he passed through al peril, bicause he was with him. Of this part of the Psalme we learne, that all the strength of man is vnable to resist the troubles and persecutions of Gods people, and that the grace and presence of God is able to defend his people, and nothing but it. Therefore doth Saint Paule bid the Ephesians be strong through the Lord, and through the might of his strength,Ephes. 6. for he saith, that Great and many be our aduersaries, strong and mightie, which goe about not onely to weaken vs, but also to ouer­come vs, & we of our selues haue no power to with­stand. Wherefore he willeth vs to depend and stay onely vpon Gods strength.1. Pet. 5. And Saint Peter also, when he hath declared the force and malice of the diuell, he willeth vs to resist him strongly in faith. And Saint Iohn saith,1. Iohn. 5. that This is the victorie that ouercommeth the world, euen our faith. And our sa­uiour Christ, when the time was come that he shuld depart out of the world corporally, and perceiued howe maliciously and strongly the diuell and the world were bent against his disciples, that he should leaue in the world as shéepe amongest woolues, and howe little strength his poore flocke had against such maruellous troubles: he made his most holy and effectuall prayer for them present, and them in trou­ble, and likewise for vs that be nowe, and also in trouble in this sorte:Matth. 10. Pater sancte serua eos, per nomen tuum, quos dedisti mihi, &c. That is to say, Holy fa­ther, keepe them for thy names sake, whome thou hast giuen me.

Here hath euery one of Gods people suche lear­ning,Psal. 120. as teacheth that our help is only in the name of the Lorde, who made heauen and earth. And in this learning we shall vnderstand two necessa­rie lessons. The first, that none can defende vs, [Page] but God alone, who is our protectour and none but he. And by this learning, he will beware to aske or séeke helpe any other where, sauing of God, as we be instructed by his holy word. And herein we ho­nour him, to knowe and confesse, that there is none that can preserue nor saue vs, but he alone. The o­ther lesson is, that our conscience vnderstanding that God can and will helpe vs, shall cause vs in all trouble to commend our selues vnto him, and so more strongly and patiently beare & suffer all trou­bles and aduersities, being assured that we shall o­uercome them through him, or else be taken by them from this world, into a world whereas is no trou­ble at all. So said this holy Prophet and King Da­uid, If I walke in the shadow of death, I wil not feare, for thou art with me. Nowe in that he saith (he will not feare) he meaneth not that a man may sée and suffer these perils without all perils: (for then were a man rather a perfect spirite, then a mortall crea­ture:) but he meaneth that feare shall not ouercome him. For Christe him selfe feared death,Matth. 26. neyther is there any man that shall suffer imprisonment for Christes sake, but that he shall féele the paines: ne­uerthelesse, Gods spirit shall giue strength to beare them, and also in Christe to ouercome them. There is no man that can haue faith, but sometimes, and vpon some occasion, it may be troubled and assaulted with mistrust: no man such charitie, but that it may be, yea and is troubled with hatred: no man such pa­tience, but yt it may at times féele impatience: no man such veritie, but that it may be troubled with falshoode: howbeit, in the people of God, by Gods helpe, the best ouercommeth the worst, and the ver­tue the sinne. But in case the worst preuaile and o­uercome, the man of God is neuer quiet, vntill he be [Page 33] restored vnto God againe, & vnto the same vertues, that he lost by sinne: as ye may sée in this king by many of his Psalmes, that he beléeued, and found God to defend him, howe so euer his state was, and therefore attributeth vnto him the whole victorie & prayse of his deliuerance, saying: Thou art with me, and doest ouercome.

But nowe the Prophete declareth, howe and by what means God is with him, and doth deliuer him from all troubles. And this means of Gods presence and defence, he openeth by diuers Allegories and Translations, wonderfull méete and apt to expresse the thing that he would shew to the world. The first Translation or Allegorie, he taketh of the nature of a rod: the second, of a staffe, and saith, They did comfort him and defend him: the third, he taketh of a table, which he saith the great shepheard prepared before his face, against as many as troubled him: the fourth, he taketh from the nature of oyle, and of a cup that was alwayes full, wherwith he was not onely satisfied, but also ioyfully replenished in all times, and all troubles whatsoeuer they were. By the rod, is many times in the scripture vnderstanded the punishment and correction that God vseth, to cal home againe, & to amend his elect & beloued people, when they offend him: He punisheth them, and yet killeth them not, he beateth them, vntill they know their faults, but casteth them not away: as he saide to king Dauid,2. Reg. 7. that whē he dyed, his kingdome should come vnto one of his own children: & in case he went astray from his lawe, he would correct him with the rod of other Princes, and with the plagues of the sonnes of men, but my mercy (saith God) I will not take from him, as I did from Saule. This same manner of speache may ye reade also in his. 89. [Page] Psalme, and in the Prouerbes of his sonne king Solomon ye haue the same doctrine:Prou. 10. He that wan­teth a heart, must haue his backe beaten with a rod. And in the same booke he saith, He that spareth the rod, hateth the childe. So doeth king Dauid here confesse, that it is a very necessarie and requisite way, to kéepe the shéepe of God from perishing, to be chastened and corrected when they waxe wanton, and will not heare the voyce of their shephearde. And it is the part of euery wise godly man, to loue this correction and chastisement of the Lord, as So­lomon saith:Prou. 12. He that loueth discipline and correcti­on, loueth knowledge: he that hateth to be rebuked, is a foole. And king Dauid saith, It is to my great good commoditie, Psal. 119. that the Lorde chasteneth me. This rod of correction, Dauid saith, is one of the instru­ments and meanes, wherewithall God preserueth his shéepe from straying. Nowe in the scripture somtimes the rod is taken, not for a correction that amendeth a man: but for the punishment and vtter destruction of man,Psal. 2. as Dauid saith of Christ: Thou shalt breake them with an yron rod: Apoc. 12. and in the Apo­calypse ye may sée the same. But I will speake of the Metaphors and Translations none otherwise, then Dauid doeth vse them in this place, for his pur­pose.

The staffe which he speaketh of in the scripture, is taken for strength, power, and dominion: which staffe is spoken of, as ye may sée, in the bookes of the Kinges, howe the Embassadours and men of warre sent from the king of the Assyrians to Ezechias at Hierusalem,4. Reg. 18. called the strength & power of the Ae­gyptians, and also of the almightie God, a staffe of réede,Esai. 10. 14 28. 39 and a broken weapon, not able to withstande the king of the Assyrians: Ezech. 29. and of suche manner of [Page 34] speach ye may reade many times in the Prophetes. But in this place Dauid confesseth, that the staffe of the Lorde, that is to say, Gods power, is so strong, that nothing is able to ouercome it: his wisdome is such, that no man can make it foolishnesse: his trueth is so true, that no man can make it false: his pro­mise is so certeine and sure, that no man can cause him to breake or alter it: his loue is so constant, that no man can withdraw it: his prouidence is so wise, that no man can beguile him: his care is so great for his flocke, that they can want nothing: his folde is so strong, that no beast can breake it: he letteth his shéepe so in and out, that no man can deceiue him: he hath suche a care of all, as he neglecteth not one: he so loueth the one, that he hateth not the other: he so teacheth all, as none is left ignoraunt: he so cal­leth one, as all should be aduertised: he so chasteneth one, as all should beware: he so receiueth one, as all should take hope and consolation: he so preserueth one, as all the rest may be assured, that he vseth his staffe and force to comfort one king Dauid (as he saith, Thy rod and thy staffe, they comfort me,) as all other should assure them selues to be safe vnder his protection.

In this Metaphore and Translation, vnder the name of a staffe, king Dauid hath declared the po­wer of God to be such, that in case he should passe by and through thousandes of perilles, he would not care, for GOD is with him with his rodde and staffe.

Then he setteth foorth the thirde Allegorie, and expresseth an other meanes, which God vseth for the defence and consolation of his poore shéepe, and saith, that GOD hath prepared a table in his sight, against all those that trouble him. By the [Page] name of a table, he setteth foorth the familiar, and (in manner) fellowlike loue, that the God omnipotent hath towardes his shéepe, with whome he vseth not only friendship, but also familiaritie, and disdaineth not (being the King of Kings) to admit and receiue vnto his table, vile and beggarly sinners, scabbed & rotten shéepe.The frendship and familiari­tie of God the heuen­ly shep­heard to­wardes his sheepe. That friendship and familiaritie is meruellously set foorth in this, that he made a table for Dauid: as though Dauid had saide, Who is he that can hurt me, when the Lorde of Lordes doeth not onely loue me, but admitteth me to be alwayes familiarly in his companie? The same manner of speache is vsed of king Dauid, towardes Miphibo­seth Ionathas sonne,2. Reg. 9. when he saide he shoulde not only haue the fieldes againe of Saule his grandfa­ther, but also be enterteined at his owne table, that is to say, vsed friendly, honourably, and familiarly. This worde (Table) is diuersly otherwayes taken many times in the Scripture, but in this place it is néerest to the mind of king Dauid, to take it in this signification that I haue noted. And our Sauiour Christe taketh it in the same signification, in Saint Lukes Gospell where he saith, his disciples shall eate with him at his table in the kingdome of God.

The fourth meanes that the heauenly shepheard vseth in kéeping of his shéepe, the Prophete setteth foorth vnder the name of oyle, and a full cuppe. In the worde of God these wordes haue also comforta­ble significations and meanings extending to Da­uids purpose. Isaac, when he had giuen the bles­sing from Esau to Iacob, sayde to Iacob, God shall giue thee of the deaw frō heauen, Gen. 27. and from the fruit­full ground thou shalt haue aboundance of corne, of wine, and oyle, &c. By the which blessing, he mea­neth that Iacob should lacke nothing to serue his [Page 35] néedes, and to make him merrie. And if we take Dauid that he meaneth by (Oyle) as Isaac did, that at the Lordes table was all plentie, myrth and so­lace, we take him not amisse: for so many times oyle is taken for consolation and ioy in the Scrip­tures. When Christe had purged the hurt mans woundes, first with smarting wine, he afterwardes put into them swéete oyle, to ease the smarte and sharpnesse of the wine. And so likewise saith our sa­uiour Christ to Simon the Pharisée,Luke. 10 that gaue him meat enough to his dinner, but gaue him no myrth: Since I came into thy house, thou gauest me no wa­ter for my feete, nor oyle for my heade, this poore woman neuer ceassed to wash my feete with the tears of her eyes, Luke. 7. and to annoynt them with oyle. But in many Psalmes king Dauid vseth this word (Oyle) to signifie the holy Ghoste, as when he speaketh of our Sauiour Christe:Psal. 45. Thou hast loued iustice and hated iniquitie, therefore hath God annoynted thee with the oyle of ioye aboue thy fellowes. And this oyle is not the materiall oyle that kings and priests were annoynted withall in the old time of the lawe, of whose confection we reade in the booke of the Le­uites: but this is the oyle by whose efficacie, strength and power, all things were made, that is to say, the holy Ghost.Psal. 89. And in his 89. Psalme, he speaketh of the oyle in the same signification. Therefore I take king Dauid here, when he saith, God hath annoyn­ted his head with oyle, that God hath illuminated his spirite with the holy Ghost. And so is this place taken of godly men,The work of the holi Ghoste in the hearts of the saith full. his head taken for his minde, and oyle for the holy Ghost. And as oyle nourisheth light, mitigateth labours and paines, and exhilera­teth the countenaunce: so doth the holy Ghost nou­rish the light and knowledge of the minde, repleni­sheth [Page] it with Gods giftes, and reioyceth the heart: therefore the holy Ghoste is called the oyle of mirth and consolation. And this consolation commeth vn­to king Dauid, and to all Gods liuely members, by the meanes of Christ,1. Pet. 2. as Saint Peter saith: We be people chosen, and a princely priesthoode, &c. By the word (Cup) in this verse he meaneth, that he is fully instructed in all godly knowledge, to liue ver­tuously and godly for the time of this mortall life, and so is the cup in the scripture taken for any thing that can happen vnto vs, whether it be aduersitie or prosperitie, for they be called cuppes: as Christ said of his death,Matth. 26. Father, if it be possible, take this cuppe from me. Psal. 16. And Dauid in the 16. Psalme vseth it for mans prosperitie in God: The Lord (saith he) is the portion of mine inheritaunce, and of my cuppe. And therein he speaketh in the name of Christ, whose in­heritaunce is the whole number of the faithfull, and saith, that His inheritance which is the Church, by Gods appointment is blessed and happie, for no ad­uersitie can destroy it. This is meant by Dauids words (The rod, the staffe, the table, the oyle, and the cup:) and he vseth all these wordes, to declare the carefulnesse, loue, and defence of God towardes mi­serable man. And he could the better speake thereof vnto others, bicause he had so many times felt, and had experience that God was both strong and faith­full towards him in al time of daunger & aduersitie.

And here is to be noted, that the daungers that man is subiect vnto in this life, be not alone such as heretofore king Dauid hath made mention of, as sicknesse, treason, sedition, warre, pouertie, banish­ment, and the death of the body: but he felt also (as euery man of God shall féele and perceiue) that there be greater perills and daungers that man standeth [Page 36] in ieopardie of, then these be, by occasion of sinne, the mother of all mans aduersitie.What sinn bringeth a man vnto. Sinne bringeth a man into the displeasure and indignation of God, the indignation of God bringeth a man into the ha­tred of God, the hatred of God bringeth a man into despaire and doutfulnesse of Gods forgiuenesse, des­paire bringeth a man into euerlasting paine, and e­uerlasting paine continueth and punisheth the dam­ned creature with fire neuer to be quenched, with Gods anger & displeasure which can not be reconci­led nor pacified. These be the troubles of al troubles, & sorrowes of al sorrowes, as our sauiour Christ de­clareth in his most heauenly prayer in S. Iohn,Iohn. 17. Non rogo vt tollas eos è mundo, sed vt serues eos à malo. That is to say, I do not (saith Christ to his heauenly father) pray, that thou shouldest take those that I pray for out of the worlde, but that thou preserue them from euil. And in this prayer he hath wonderfully taught vs, that a Christian man is subiect to two troubles, one of the body, and an other of the soule, one of the worlde, and another of the diuell. As for the troubles of the world he saith,It is not expedient that we be without troubles, least we seeke our selues and forget god It is not so expedient, that Christian men be deliuered from them, least in idlenesse we should séeke our selues, and not God, as ye children of Israel did: but this he knewe was most necessa [...]e, that the father should preserue vs in the midst of these troubles with his help, from al sinne, & transgression of his holy lawes: & this he assured his disciples of, & al other that put their trust in him: not that they should in this life be preserued & kept from troubles and aduersities: but that the heauenly fa­ther should alwayes giue vnto his, suche strength and vertue against all the enimies of GOD, and mans saluation, that they should not be ouer come with troubles, that put their trust in him.

[Page] For God suffereth and appointeth his to fight and make warre with sinne, and with all troubles and sorrowes that sinne bringeth with it: but God will neuer permit his, to be deadly and mortally woun­ded. It is therefore expedient that man knowe who he his greatest foes, & do worke him most daunger.

There be diuers Psalmes, wherein he setteth foorth the perill that he was in, as well in his body as in his soule: as when he complaineth of his ba­nishment, amongst not onely cruell people, but also vngodly, that sought to take both his mortall life from him, and also his religion and trust that he had in Gods worde. Wherefore he compareth them to the Tartarians and Arabians, Psal. 120. men without pitie or religion. And the like doth he afterwards in another Psalme, where as giuing thankes for his deliuerie, he saith, that, sinners froad vpon his backe, and ma­ny times warred against him, and he should haue bene ouerthrowne,Psal. 129. if GOD had not holpen him. Where in he speaketh, not onely of battell with the sworde against the body but also of heresie and false doctrine against the soule. As ye may sée howe Sena­cherib and Iulius the Apostata, two Emperours, fought against the people of God, not onely to take from them their liues: but also their religion and true honouring of GOD. And of all battells that is the cruellest, and of all enimies the principall, that would take the soule of man from Gods word, & bring it to the word of man. And that persecution & trouble openly against Gods word cōtinued many yeres, vntill Christ was preached abroad, & princes made Christians. Then thought the diuell his king­dome to haue bene ouerthrowne, and Christian men might liue in Christes religiō, without any trouble or warre for religion: howbeit at length for sinne, [Page 37] the diuel entered by subtile meanes, not onely to cor­rupt true religion, but also persecuted the true pro­fessours thereof vnder the name of true religion, and therein vsed a meruellous policie and craft, by men that walked inordinately amongest the Christians themselues.2. Thes. 3. From whose companies, sectes, and con­uersation, S. Paule willed vs to refraine by these wordes: Wee commaund you brethren in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that ye refraine from euery one that is accompted a brother, that vseth himselfe inordinately, and not according to the institution he receiued of vs. And because ye haue not taken héede of his holy commaundement, and kept your selues from danger and peril of heresie, sinne, idolatrie, and superstition, by the rod and staffe of God, nor haue not eaten your meate of religion at Gods table, nor your mindes haue béene annoynted with the holy Ghost, (as Dauid in this Psalme saith that he was against all troubles, by these meanes, defended and mainteyned, that no perill of the bodie by the sword, nor perill of ye soule by false doctrine could hurt him:) therefore marke a little, and see the daungers that haue hurted both you and your conscience also, not like to be healed (as farre as I can sée) but more hurt hereafter. For the way to heale a man is to expell and put away sicknesse, and not to increase and con­tinue the sickenesse. From whome thinke ye that S. Paule commaunded you to restraine in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ? He saith, From him that be­haueth himselfe inordinately. Who is that think ye? S. Paule saith, He that ruleth not himselfe after the rule and institution that he himselfe had taught the Thessalonians. So ye we must refraine then from all such,Gala. 1. as conforme not them selues to ye institution of S. Paule: yea, although he be an angel from heauen.

[Page] This departure from such as haue ruled and put foorth errours and lies, is not newe, but hath béene vsed in England of English men, more then twentie yeares since we departed from the sea of Rome, for the ambition of the Romish bishops that transgres­sed both this ordinance of S. Paul and also of Christ. Of the which deadly and pestilent ambition, the pro­phet Ezechiel prophesied,Ezech. 34. and so did also S. Paule, if prophesies by God,Actes. 20. and commaundements by his ho­ly Apostles had any thing preuailed in our dull and naughtie heartes. Read the places, & sée your selues, what is spoken of such a wicked shéepeheard. I doe put you in minde of this wicked sea, because I do sée, that contrarie to the word of God, contrarie to the lawes of the realme most godly against the Popes supremacie, against all our othes that be English­men, and against all the old godly writers: this An­tichrist & member of the diuel, is not vnlike to haue the regiment of your soules againe, which God for­bid. I doe exhort all men (therefore) to beware of him, as of one that came naughtily to such vsurped authoritie, and whose authoritie is not onely the trouble of all Christian realmes and princes, but al­so of all Christian soules. And as he hath béene al­wayes a trouble vnto the one, so hath he béene a de­struction to the other: as I will a little declare vnto you, that ye may know him the better, and so by the rodde and staffe of Gods word, defende your selues from him.

The Gréeke Church for this ambition of the Ro­mishe bishop, separated her selfe from the Church of Rome, and would not haue to do with her. For after that the Gréekes knewe, that the bishops of Rome ment to take from them their liberties, they would not indure it: yet did the Romish bishops alwayes, [Page 38] to come to the supremacie, picke quarels and maters to fall out vpon, first with the Clergie and then with the Laitie. Platina writeth howe Pius bishop of Rome, béeing deceiued by one Hermes a very euill man, began a new order about the kéeping of Easter day, and altered the time that the Apostles and their disciples vsed, vntill Pius dayes, which was to cele­brate and kepe the day of the resurrection of our Sa­uiour Christ the fourtéenth moone of ye first moneth, which is with the Iewes our March. And although it be wel done to kéepe it vpon the Sunday, yet was this an horrible presumption vpon so light a cause, to excommunicate the Gréeke Church, and to make diuision where before was vnion. It came to passe in Victors time the first, which was about the yeare of our Lord two hundred, and in the time of Iraeneus, the bishop of Lugdune the disciple of Iohn the Euan­gelist, this Victor would haue cōdemned the Gréeke Church, & procéeded with excommunication against it, had not Iraeneus letted it: yet was it the elder Church, and had continued in the doctrine of the A­postles from Christes time, and had Iohn the Euan­gelist amongest them for the space of thréescore and eight yeares after Christes ascension. And notwith­standing the Gréeke Church was the elder Church: yet the Romane Church to be equall with them, ac­cording to the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, & also according to the decrée that was made in the ge­nerall Counsell at Nice. And the Gréeke Church ne­uer contented with the Romish Church for the Su­premacie, vntill a proud and arrogant Moncke that feigned humilitie, was preferred to be bishop of Cō ­stantinople, which came to such arrogancie of spirit, that he would haue béene taken for the vniuersall head of ye Church: which was a very marke to know [Page] that he was of Antichrist, and not of Christ, as Gre­gorie the great writeth to Constantia the Empresse,Antoni­nus histor. tit. 13. 3. 23. 13. and at length this proud Monke at a Synod kept at Constantinople, created himselfe the vniuersall head of the Church. Although before his time one Menna, and other archbishops of Constantinople, for the dig­nitie of the imperial state being there, were called v­niuersal Patriarches: yet that was by name alone, and without execution of authoritie in any foreigne bishopricke or Church. But such was the ambition of these bishops, that walked (as S. Paule saith) in­ordinately, that they would haue the head and prin­cipalitie of religion and of the Church, at Constanti­nople, because there was the head and principalitie of the worldly kingdome, and so they began betime to confound the ciuil policie, with the policie of the Churche, vntill they brought themselues not onely to be heads of the Church, but also Lords of all Em­perours and kings, and at the last of God and Gods word: as ruthfully it appeareth in mens conscience at this present day. Which abhomination and pride Pelagius the second bishop of Rome,Distinct. 99. nullus. both spake and wrote against, and would that he nor any man els should haue the name of a generall bishop.Antoni­nus tit. 12. cap. 3. And S. Gregorie doeth confirme the same godly sentence of his predecessour Pelagius, and would not, when he was commaunded by the Emperour, whome Iohn the bishop had abused, take the Archbishop of Con­stantinople for the vniuersall head, nor condescend vnto the Emperours commaundement, and wrote to the Empresse that it was contrarie to the ordi­nance of Christ and his Apostles, and contrarie to the Counsell of Nice. He said also, that such new ar­rogancie was a very token, that the time of Anti­christ drew nigh. And Gregorie did not onely write [Page 39] and speake against this arrogancie and pride, but suffered also great danger (as Platina writeth,) and so did al Rome by the Lombards that Mauricius the Emperour made to besiege Rome, because Grego­rie refused to obey the Archbishop of Constantinople as the head of the Church.

But although Pelagius, Gregorie, and other god­ly men, detested and abhorred this wicked arrogan­cie to be the vniuersall head of the Churche: yet the bishop of Rauenna, began amongst the Latines to prepare the way to Antichrist,De gestis Longo­bard. lib. 3. cap. 12. as Paulus Diaconus saith, and separated himselfe from the societie of o­ther Churches, to the intent he might come to bee a head himselfe. But what at length came of it, Plati­na writeth. And within a short time after, Boniface the third being the bishop of Rome,In Leon. 2. about the yeare of our Lord sixe hundred and seuen, Phocas the Em­perour iudged him to be head of the Church, against both the bishop of Constantinople, & also of Rauenna, and such a sentence was méet for such an arbitrour. Phocas was a wicked man, a couetous man, an a­dulterer, and a traiterous murtherer of his Lord & maister Mauricius: Platina in Bonifac. 3. and this man to make God and the Romans amends, gaue sentence that the bishop of Rome should be the vniuersal head of the Church.Paulus Diaconus de gestis Long. lib. 4. cap. 11. But here was contemned the sentence and doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, and also the decrées of the holy Counsell of Nice. And no meruell: for they con­demned both partes of arrogancie and vsurpation, and not only these Counsels, but all other for many yeares, which decréed, that although one seate was named before the other, yet the bishop of the princi­pall seate should not be the chiefest priest, or head of the rest, but onely he should be called, The bishop of the chiefest seate. And how much it is against S. Cy­prian, [Page] they may sée that wil read works,De simplicitate cle­ricorum. and al­so against S. Hierome. But what lawe can rule wic­kednesse?

This wicked sea contended stil after Phocas had giuen sentence with it for the supremacie, yet were the bishops of Rome alwayes subiect to the Empe­rours, as well of Constantinople as of Fraunce, for the time of their reigne: yea, foure hundred yeares and odde, after the iudgement of Phocas, they were in this obedience, and were made by the Emperors, vntill the time of Gregorie the seuenth, who in the time of great sedition, translated the Empire into Germanie, and neuer vsed iurisdiction in Empe­rours and kinges, nor yet in the citizens of Rome: but onely desired to haue all bishoppes causes to be discerned by the sea of Rome, yet could not obteine so much at those dayes: as appeareth by the Coun­sell of Africa, whereas Boniface the first, could not obteine with craft, nor with his lyes, that he made of the Cannons decreed in the Counsell of Nice, to haue causes deferred to the sea of Rome. And as for this name (Pope,)To be cal­led Pope, was at the first gene­rall to all bishops. was a generall name to all bi­shopps, as it appeareth in the Epistles of Cyprian, Hierome, Augustine, and of other old bishoppes and doctours, which were more holy and better learned, then these latter ambitious and glorious enimies of Christ & Christes church. Read the text. Distinct. 50. C. De eo tamen, Histor. lib. &c. Absit. And there shall ye sée, that the Cleargie of Rome,2. cap. 27. in their letters, called Cyprian Pope, and Clodoueus the king of Fraunce named the bishop of Rome, as he did other bishops, A bishoppe.

This was the state of the primatiue Churche, which was both néere vnto Christ in time, and like vnto him in doctrine,Gal. 2. and kept S. Pauls equalitie, [Page 40] where as he saith, He was appointed amongest the Gentiles, as Peter was amongest the Iewes. And although the bishops in the time of Constantine the great, obteined that, amongest bishops, there should be some that should be called Archbishops and Me­tropolitanes: yet,Con. Ni­cen. cap. 6. all they were not instituted to be heades generally of the Church, but to the ende they should take more paines, to sée the Church well or­dered and instructed: and yet this preeminence was at the libertie and discretion of princes, and not al­ways bound vnto one place and one sort of prelats, as the wickednes of our time beléeueth: as ye may sée in the Counsels of Calcedon and Africa. So that it is manifest, this superiour preeminence is not of Gods lawes, but of mans, instituted for a ciuil po­licie: and so was the church of Constantinople equal with the Church of Rome. And in our dayes Eras­mus Roterodame writeth and saith, this name (To be high bishop of the world) was not knowen to the old Church: but this was vsed, that bishops were all called Highe priestes: and that name gaue Vrban the first vnto all bishops, as it is written in Distinct. 59. cap. Si officia. Anno Dom. 226. But as for one to be head of all, it was not admitted. And the Gréeke Church did neuer agrée to this wicked supremacie, nor obeyed it, vntill the yeare of our Lord one thou­sand two hundred and two, compelled therevnto by one Baldwine, that brought the Frenchmen by the helpe of the Venetians vnto Constantinople, to re­store one Alexius vnto the Empire, vppon this con­dition, that he should subdue the Gréeke Church to the Church of Rome. But this came to passe, that the Pope, neuer after he had gotten by almes and helpe of princes to be ouer them, passed one iote for the Emperour of Constantinople, further then he [Page] serued his turne. So that ye may sée both his begin­ning and procéedinges to be of the diuel, which if ye kill not with the staffe of Gods woord, and beate him from your conscience, he will double kill your soules.

Nowe within one hundred and fiftie yeares af­ter Phocas had made the bishop of Rome head of the Church, the bishop of Rome contemned the Empe­rour of Constantinople, and deuised to bring the em­pire into Fraunce, and to giue the king of Fraunce the same authoritie ouer ye bishop of Rome, that be­fore the Emperour had, as it appeareth in Charles the great, and his successours a long time: and yet was the bishop of Rome vnder the princes, and not (as he is now) an idol exempt from all order and o­bedience. For princes made the bishops of Rome, and all other bishops within their realmes, and so continued the making of the Pope in the Emperors authoritie, vntill it was about the yeare of our Lord one thousand one hundred & tenne. After that Hen­rie the fift being sore molested by sedition moued a­gainst him by the Pope Paschalis the second,Hee mea­neth here authoritie to electe bishops, & to haue power of bothe swords. was constreined at length to surrender his authoritie vnto him, who turned the face of his bishopricke in­to manifest warres. What followed when ye Pope was thus frée, and liued without obedience to the Christian Magistrates, I will not in this treatise make mention, but put you in remembraunce that for certeintie there followed such trouble amongest Christian princes, as neuer was before, as it is to be séene by the doing of the wicked man Gregorie the seuenth, who toke then vpon him to haue autho­ritie to vse two swordes, the spirituall and the tem­porall, in so much that Henrie the fourth was com­pelled thréescore and two times to make warre in [Page 41] his life,Alberus Crantzius ecclesiast. histor. li. 6. by the meanes of the bishop of Rome. And as it is written, this wicked bishop stirred vppe the Emperours owne brother in lawe Radulphus the Duke of Sueuia to warre against him, and sent him a crowne of Golde with this verse grauen in it, Pe­tradedit Petro, Petrus diadema Radulpho. That is to say, Christ gaue the Empire to Peter, Peter giueth it to Radulphe. Meaning that Christe had giuen the Empire worldly to the bishop of Rome, and he gaue it to Radulphe. Ye may sée what a rodde the Em­perours made for their owne tayle. For, after they had made the bishop of Rome head of the Church, the bishops made themselues shortly after the heades of Emperours and kings. A iust plague of God for all them that will exalt such to rule, as God said should be ruled.

These bishops be not onely proude, but also vn­thankefull. For whereas all the worlde knoweth the bishops authoritie to come from the Emperour in worldly things,Abbas Vs­pergensis in suo chronico. and not from God, but against God: this monster Gregorie the seuenth saide, that Christ gaue him the Empire of Rome, and he giueth it to the Duke of Sueuia Radulphe, to kill his good brother Henrie the fourth. He that will know more of this wicked man, and of his brethren bishops of Rome, let him read Benno the Cardinal that wri­teth in his historie of the Popes, that he saw of Iohn the twentieth, Benedict the ninth, Siluester the third, Gregorie the sixte,Platina in Alex. 3. Leo the ninth, Alexander the se­conde. But in his olde dayes he sawe and writeth horrible & execrable thinges of Gregorie the seuenth. Yet was Englande free from this beaste of Rome then, in respecte of that it was before the idol was expelled in king Henrie the 8. time. But Alexander the third, neuer rested to moue men to sedition, vntil [Page] such time as king Henrie the seuenth was content to be vnder him as other were: And all this suffered England for Thomas Becket the Popes Martyr.

When they were crept vp into this high autho­ritie, all their owne creatures bishops of their secte, Cardinals, priestes, monkes, and friers, could ne­uer be contented to be vnder the obedience of the princes: and to say the trueth, princes durst not (in maner) require it, for they were in danger of goods and life. And ye Emperour Henrie the seuenth, was poysoned by a monke, that poysoned the idol of the Masse, both a god and minister méete to poyson men, and both of the Popes making. And what conscience did they make of this thinke ye? Doubtlesse none at all, for the Pope saith, and so do al his children, that he can dispense, and absolue themselues, and al men, from what othes soeuer they haue made to God or man. This enimie, with his false doctrine, is to be resisted and ouercome by the word of God, or els he wil destroy both bodie and soule. Therefore, against all his craftes and abhominations, we must haue the Rodd, the Staffe, the Table, the Oyle, the Cup that Dauid speaketh of, in a readinesse to defend our selues with all. Now followeth the last part of this holy Hymne.

¶The seuenth part of the Psalme.

What the ende of Gods troubled people shalbe.

‘The louing kindnesse shal followe me all the dayes of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for euer.’

[Page 42] I Will in the middest of all troubles be strong and of good chéere, for I am assu­red, that thy mercie and goodnesse will neuer forsake me, but will continually preserue me in all dangers of this life: and when I shall depart from this bodily life, thy mercie wil bring me into that house of thine eternal ioyes, whereas I shall liue with thée in euerlasting felicitie.

Of this part we learne, that the dangers of this life, be no more then God can and will put from vs, or preserue vs in them, when they come vnto vs without danger: also that the troubles of this world be not perpetuall nor damnable for euer, but that they be for a time onely sent from God, to exercise and proue our faith and patience. At the last we learne, that the troubles being ended, we begin and shall continue for euer in endlesse pleasure and con­solation, as Dauid sheweth at the end of his Psalm. So doeth Christe make an ende with his disciples, when he hath committed them, for the time of this life, to the tuition of the heauenly father, whiles he is bodily absent: he saith at length they shalbe where he is himselfe in heauen for euer. For in this life, all be it the faithfull of God, haue consolation in Gods promises, yet is their ioy very darke and obscure, by reason of troubles both without and within: out­wardly by persequution: inwardly by temptation. Therefore, Christ desireth his father, to lead and conduct his Church in trueth and veritie, whiles it is here in fight & persequution with the diuel, vntill it come to a perfect and absolute consolation, where as no trouble may molest it. For then, and not be­fore (to what perfection soeuer we come) shall wee be satisfied, as Dauid saith:Psalm. 16. The plentifulnesse of [Page] pleasure and ioy is in the sight and contemplation of thee, ô Lord. For, Then shal the minde of man fully be satisfied, when he being present, may presently be­holde the glorious maiestie of God: 2 Cor. 13. for God hath then al ioyes present to him that is present with him, & then man knoweth God, as he is knowen of God, These ioyes in the end of troubles, should giue the troubled man the more courage to beare troubles patiently,Rom. 8. and be persuaded (as S. Paule teacheth,) that The troubles of this present life, be not worthie of the ioyes to come, whiche shall be reuealed to vs, when Christ commeth to iudge the quick and the dead. To whome with the father and the holy Ghost, be all honour and praise, world without end. Amen.

¶AN EXPOSITION vppon the 62. Psalme, made by the constant Martyr of Christe, Maister IOHN HOOPER, Bishop of Glo­cester and Worcester.


THe Prophete in this Psalme doeth declare (by his owne ex­perience,) how the trueth of Gods worde, and such as fa­uour and followe the same, be esteemed and vsed in the worlde, of worldly men: the trueth it selfe reiected: and the louers thereof slaundered and persequuted. And seeing trueth and true men before the Prophetes time, in his time, and after his time, were thus miserably afflicted: in this psalme he writeth his own condition and miseries, with certeine and most comfortable re­medies, whiche wayes the afflicted person may best comforte him selfe, and passe ouer the bitternesse and daungers of his troubles, and suffer them, as long as God layeth them vppon him, patiently. So that whosoeuer from the feeling of his heart can say this Psalme, and vse the remedies prescribed therein, by the spirite of God: doubtlesse he shall be able to beare the troubles bothe of the diuell and man patiently, and contemne them strongly.

¶The partes of the Psalme be in num­ber generally two.
  • 1 In the first is conteyned: how that the fauour of God, and his helpe, is able to remedie all aduersities.
  • 2 In the second is conteyned: how that the fauour of man, and his helpe, is able to redresse no aduersities.
  • The first part comprehendeth eight verses of the Psalme.
  • [Page] The second part conteyneth the other foure ver­ses that next followe to the end of the Psalme.
¶These two generall partes doe conteine more particular partes in them, in number sixe.
  • 1 First what is to be done, by the Christian man, that is afflicted.
  • 2 The seconde parte sheweth, why the troubled man in trouble, looketh for helpe of God.
  • 3 The third parte declareth, how soudenly God can de­stroy the persquuters of the trueth.
  • 4 The fourth part conteyneth the repetition of the first and the second part, with more causes shewed: why patient­ly trouble is to be borne, and faithfully to be beleeued, that God can and will remedie it.
  • 5 The fifte part declareth, that mans power is not to be feared, nor his friendshippe to be trusted vnto: for no man is able to damne or saue.
  • 6 The sixte parte setteth foorth, how that God hath promised to helpe the afflicted: and will assuredly per­fourme it.
¶The Psalme with the partes before named, where they beginne: and where they ende.
  • 1 My soule truely wayteth still vpon God.
  • The first parte teacheth a man to flie vnto God in the time of oppression and trouble.
  • 2 For of him commeth my saluation. He verily is my strength and my saluation: hee is my defence, so shall I not greatly fall.
  • The second part of the Psalme that declareth, why the [Page 44] troubled man trusteth in God.
  • 3 How long will ye imagine mischiefe against eue­rie man? Ye shalbe slayne all the sorte of you: yea as a tottering wall shall ye be, and like a broken hedge.
  • 4 Their deuise is onely how to put him out, whom God will exalte: their delight is in lyes: they giu [...] good wordes with their mouth, but curse with thei [...] heart. Selah.
  • The thirde parte of the Psalme: wherein is shewed, th [...] soudenly thy persequuters of the innocent shall peris [...]
  • 5 Neuerthelesse, my soule wayt thou stil vpon Go [...] for my hope is in him.
  • 6 He truely is my strength, and my saluation, he [...] my defence, so that I shall not fall.
  • 7 In God is my health, and my glorie, the rocke [...] might: and in God is my trust.
  • 8 O put your trust in him always (ye people) pow [...] out your harts before him, for God is our hope. Sela [...]
  • In these foure verses is conteyned the fourth part: whe [...] in is mentioned the repetition of the two first verse [...]
  • 9 As for the children of men, they are but vaine, th [...] children of men are deceiptfull vpon the weightes▪ they are altogether lighter then vanitie it selfe.
  • 10 O trust not in wrong and robberie, giue not you [...] selues to vanitie: if riches increase, sette not you [...] heartes vpon them.
  • Here is the fifte parte, that teacheth no trust to be put [...] man: for he is not able to damne nor saue.
  • 11 God spake once, and twise, I haue also heard t [...] same: that power belongeth vnto God.
  • 12 And that thou Lorde art mercifull: for thou r [...] wardest euerie man according to his worke.
  • In these two verses is comprehended the sixt parte, whi [...] is, that God hath promised to be mercifull in helpi [...] the afflicted: and that he will performe his promises.

A briefe explanation of the Psalme generally.

MY soule doubtlesse wayteth still vpon God, &c. Be my troubles neuer so great and daungerous: yet my soule shall trust continu­ally and constantly in the Lorde, that can and will remedie them. For he is my strength, and my saluation: and he is my defence.

So shall I not greatly fall. Although good Lorde by reason of mine infirmitie and sinne, which is in all men, my soule is weake and féeble, that it wilbe op­pressed with the lightest of all thy troubles, whiche thou layest vpon man for his sinne: yet, when it taketh holde of thy mercie, it waxeth strong. And al­though it be weake and trembling by reason of in­firmitie: yet doth it not cleane fall from the trust of constancie and hope.

And let the wicked imagine their wicked imagi­nations against thy poore seruauntes, O God: yet at length shall they come to shame and destruction: as the tottering wall doth fall, and the rotten hedge is consumed with fire. For that they go about, they shal neuer bring to passe: because they deuise to put him to shame, that God hath purposed to exalt and magnifie. And what so euer doublenesse they vse, to speake faire with their mouthe, and yet haue false and hollowe heartes: it shall not bring their intent to their purposed end. Sela. God be thanked, of whom dependeth al the hope of my saluation. And he is my strength, my saluation, and my defence: so that I shal not fall.

Wherefore, all Christian and afflicted persons [Page 45] (saith the Prophet) follow mine example, and put al your hope and trust in the mercie of God: who onely saue vs from euill, and blesse vs with all goodnesse.

Powre out therefore before him all your cares and heauines: and looke assuredly for help from him: for doubtlesse the helpe of man is nothing worthe. For, If man and vanitie were bothe weighed in a paire of balance: vanitie it selfe would be weightier then man. How then can so light a thing as man is, helpe in the time of trouble? And as a man is but vanitie, or else rather more vaine then vanitie: so be al worldly riches that man possesseth, and as little, or lesse able to helpe an afflicted, as man is vnable to helpe himselfe.

And this I knowe (sayeth the Prophete) not by mans wisdome, but by the mouth of God, that what so euer helpe man looketh for, besides God: he may be assured at all times, to be both helpelesse and com­fortlesse: and trusting to God, he shall be at all times both holpen and comforted. For so saith the Lorde: whose sayings no power is able to falsifie, nor to resist.

¶What things are to be noted out of euerie particular part of this Psalme, for the edifying and comfort of him, that shall vse to say, sing, or meditate this Psalme.


‘My soule truely wayteth vpon God.’

OVt of the first part (wherein is contey­ned, what the Christian should doe in the time of trouble) is to be noted, what it is for a man to haue his soule wayting still vppon God: or else to [Page] haue silence alwayes in his soule towardes God, in the dayes of aduersitie. As this Psalme speaketh.

When the Christian man or woman in the time of sorrowe and heauinesse,When doth the soule of man waite vpon the Lorde in the dayes of trouble or els hath silence? without grudge or impa­tience looketh for the helpe of God, and giueth not himselfe to quarelling or complayning of God, as thoughe hée did him wrong and punished him too muche: then doth the soule waite vpon the Lord, or else hath silence towardes God. As wee maye sée by Iob: where his soule attended stil vpon the Lord. When his goodes, cattell, house, and children, were taken from him, he said after this sorte:Iob. 1. The Lord gaue them, the Lorde hath taken them away: as the Lorde is pleased, so is it done: The name of the Lord be blessed, All this while hee bore the crosse of God without murmur or grudge: and had his soule still wayting vpon God, as this Prophet here saith. But when he was burdened further, and from the sole of the foote to the top of the head, was stricken with sores and botches: he cursed the day that he was borne in,Iob. 3. and the night wherein he was conceiued, with many more vnquiet and lamentable wordes, as it appeareth in his Booke.

The like example we haue before of king Dauid in the Booke of the Psalmes,Psalm. 31. Iob. 13. 17. Psalm. 23. where be these wordes. In trouble and aduersitie, I said: I was cast away from the sight of thine eyes, ô God. And as Iob sometime saide, If he should die, yet he would trust in the Lord. So sayde Dauid a litle before, If he should goe in the middest of the shadowe of death he would not feare. In the whiche Psalme ye may sée, how con­stantly his soule wayted vpon the Lorde: yet in the 31 Psalme his troubles were so great, that in them he saide, I am cast from the sight of thee, ô God. So that these testimonies and examples of the Scrip­tures [Page 46] do declare, that to haue the soule to wayte vp­pon the Lord,What it is to haue the soule to waite vpon the Lorde in the time of trou­ble? is to be assured that God will helpe in trouble, and patiently to beare the trouble without grudge, vntill God sende remedie and helpe for it.

The second thing to be gathered of the first parte, is to marke and sée, that in the verie electes of God, and most excellent personages amongest holie men: there is sometime, quiet, patient, and thankfull suf­ferance of aduersitie strongly, that it séemeth in the soule of him that is troubled, there is so constant and strong faith, that it maketh all sorrowes and trou­bles rather pleasaunt and swéete, then heauie, bur­denous, or painefull. At another time troubles séeme vnto them so heynous and grieuous, that the bur­den of them is as great a paine, as death: not onely vnquieting the bodie, but also verie sore vexing of the spirite, with these and like cogitations,Psalm. 31. 42. 43. 77. Increase and de­crease of faith in the fayth­full. Wisdome to be lear­ned of the premisses. God hath cast me out of his sight, God will haue mercie vppon me no more, My soule is heauie and troubled. And this diuersitie of increase and decrease of faith and hope of holie men and women before our time, tea­cheth vs great wisedome and consolation: wisdome, in that we sée, faith and hope be not naturall qua­lities in man, although he be neuer so vertuous, or neuer so gratiously elected by God, to eternal salua­tion: but they be the mercifull giftes of God, giuen vnto man for Christes sake: and wrought by the ho­lie Ghost, aboue mans deseruings.

We learne also that the giftes of God,faith, hope charitie, &c. be not at al times of like strength. faith, hope, and charitie, patience, and sufferance, with such like vertues: be not at all times of like condition and strength in man: but at sometime so strong, that no­thing can feare vs: and at another time so weake, that all thinges do make vs dismayed, and fearefull. Now and then it is so doubtfull, that we cannot tell [Page] whether it were best to suffer for the trueth: or else to be released consenting vnto falshoode. Thus God vseth his giftes in vs, not alwayes after one sorte, partely for our sinnes: and partely, to proue vs, and to bring vs to a certeine knowledge of our infirmitie and weakenesse. From Saule, Iudas, and Caine, he tooke his spirite cleane: to punishe their iniquitie, and wickednesse. And from Iob to attempte his patience, and to make his féele, that of him selfe, he coulde beare nothing.

We learne consolation out of this texte,Consola­tion. in this, that in our troubles the Lord forsaketh vs not, but comforteth vs.The Lord forsaketh not his people in trouble. Psalme. 44. And the more our troubles and ad­uersities be: the more is his grace and fauour to­wardes vs. As the Prophet sayth in another of his Psalmes, As aduersities oppressed my heart: so thy consolations, Lorde, reioyced me. In the whiche Psalme ye may sée, what consolation the afflicted conscience taketh in aduersities.

The Psalme is made against the wicked oppres­soures, and persequutors of the poore. Wherein they say, As the tyrannie of the wicked troubleth vs: so thy consolations (good Lorde) do reioyce and comfort vs. and the same sayth Saint Paule to the Corin­thians,2. Corin. 1. As the afflictions of Christe doe abounde in vs: euen so by Christe aboundeth our consolation.

There is also to be noted, in that the prophete sayeth: (His soule wayteth vpon the Lorde.)

Many men can dissemble iniuries,Mat. 10. 26 wrongs, and oppressions outwardely.Iohn. 11. 18 Some times, when they be not able to reuenge:Luke. 19 and some tunes, when they dare not reuenge, for lacke of opportunitie and occa­sion, lest more harme mighte insue of that their en­terprise. As the Iewes durst not kill Christ a great while, for feare of the people: yet were they mur­derers [Page 47] in their hearts before God, the fact outward­ly not then being don. Some againe reuenge not, bi­cause they thinke, dissembled patience will gaine worldly commodites & riches. Howbeit, this quiet­nesse & refraining from reuenging: is nothing worth before God. But when the hart & soul waiteth vpon God,Note. & is contented to be as God maketh it: yt way­ting & seruice of the soul, the Lord delighteth in, and is pleased withall. This is a godlie doctrine & much to be desired, to haue the minde contented with such things, as be troublesome and painefull to the bodie outwardly. And where the minde wayteth not pa­tiently vpon the Lorde in trouble: it will appeare diuers wayes. Sometime, many yeres after the dis­pleasure is done, the man that suffered the displea­sure, reuengeth it wrongfully,The impa­tience of the minde, is many ways kno­wen. and cruelly: as the Phariseis and the highe priestes, deferred the blou­die fact in the killing of Christ, vntil they had gotten time and opportunitie for their purpose. Sometime the impatience and vnquietnesse of the minde, ap­peareth with checkes and taunting aunsweres vnto God:Caine. Gene 4. as when God asked Caine, Where his brother Abel was? he asked God againe, Whether he were his brothers kéeper, or no? The same wayes appea­red Pharaoes vnquietnesse.Pharao. Exod. 5. When God would haue had him to dismisse his people: he asked, What God he was, vnto whome he should doe such homage and seruice? Somtime it appeareth, by desperate weigh­ing the greatenesse of trouble: not considering the mercie of God that is greater then sinne.Gene. 4. Abel. As Caines vnquieted soule for the killing of Abel, brought his tongue to blaspheme the mercie of God, saying: that His iniquitie was greater then the mercie of God could forgiue.Iudas. Matth. 27. So did the wicked soule of Iudas that betrayed Christ, make his tongue confesse before the [Page] Pharisées his treason and wickednesse: and neuer to call vpon Christe for remission thereof.

Sometime the impatience of the mind, is know­en outwardly: by finding fault with Gods workes. As when Adams minde was vnquieted for the ea­ting of the apple,Adam. Gene. 3. he said vnto God: that his wife the woman that he gaue vnto him, deceiued him. Achab the wicked king being impatient,Achab. 3. Reg. 18. with the scourges that God sent vpon his Realme, for his owne sinnes and the peoples: picked a quarell with the good pro­phete Elias, & saide: that he troubled all his Realme. So saide the Iewes against Paule:Iewes. Act. 21. 23. This is he that troubleth all the worlde.

This is daily séene, when so euer the minde and the soule is vnquieted: the fault is laide vpon Gods worke. As if the higher powers hang a true man, and saue a théefe: deliuer Barabbas, & hang Christ: streight way the tongue walketh, that He is set in authoritie by God. In déede so he is, but yet to pu­nishe the euill, and to mainteine the good: and not to molest the good, and mainteine the euill, as com­monly now a dayes is séene.Simon Magus. Simon Magus shalbe at libertie: and Simon Peter in chaines. Annas and Caiphas shall rule like Lordes: Christe and Saint Paule shalbe ruled, and suffer death: althoughe not personally in their owne bodies, yet in their mem­bers and disciples.

Let the minde of the théefe be touched for thefte:Theefe. streightway pouertie, the worke of GOD, beareth the blame.Whore­mongers. Let whoredome vexe the whoremongers minde: immediately the tongue complayneth vpon Gods worke,Couetous men. youth, strength, and such other. Let the minde be troubled with couetousnesse: by and by Gods worke, wife, children be alledged for excuse. For they must be prouided for, saith the couetous [Page 48] man: when he hath enoughe for himselfe and tenne times as many moe children, as God hath sent him, if it were thankfully vsed towardes God, and libe­rally towardes the worlde. So that if any man be touched with anguish or heauinesse for sinne: imme­diately the tongue saith, He was borne vnder an e­uill Planet,Gene. 1. or in an euill houre, and so findeth fault with the worke of God, which God made excellent good. Thus may ye sée, where as the soule of man wayteth not vppon God: the impatient man accu­seth God, and all his workes, both in heauen and in earth.Prou. 18. The god­ly feeling the rod of God, doe accuse thē selues: acknow­ledging their offences to haue merited the same. Mich. 7. But the godly féeling the rodde of God for sinne and iniquitie (as GOD neuer punisheth withoute iuste cause,) he firste accuseth him selfe, and acknowledgeth his owne offences: and then sayeth with the Prophete Micheas, I will suffer the indignation of God, for I haue deserued it.

To this wayting vpon the Lorde without qua­relling and desperate lamenting, exhorted Ieremie the prophete the children of Israel, for the time of their being in seruitude and captiuitie of Babylon: bidding them to plante and grafte trées, and so to prouide for themselues vntil the time were expired, of their affliction and captiuitie.

Men may mourne and lament their sinnes and troubles, that they suffer for sinne: as we may sée howe the Psalme of the Prophet,Psal. 137. conteineth the be­wailing and wéeping of the people, that sate heaui­ly and lamentably by the riuer side in Babylon. And the like may ye reade in the Lamentations of Ieremie. But this mourning was without despe­ration and quarelling, as the letters and bookes do recorde. Besides these thinges, the cause of their be­wailing and lamenting, whiles their soules waited vpon the Lorde, differeth from the moste forte of [Page] mourners and bewaylers nowe a dayes. For we may sée nowe a dayes, if the wife bewaile the death of her husbande: it is moste commonly, because she hath taken from her a louing head and gouernour.Note. If the husbande lament the departure of his wife: it is because he is bereaued of a faithfull healper. If the sonne mourne for the death of his father: it is because there is taken from him, not onely his fa­ther, but also his patrone and defender. If the pa­rentes be sorrie for the taking away of their chil­dren: it is because they want their daliaunce, sport and pastime with them, or such other worldly affec­tions. If the prince take gréeuously, the calling a­way of his subiecte from this worlde: it is because he lacketh a trustie souldier, a faithful capteine, a wise counseller, or profitable officer. If the subiect lamente the death of his prince: it is because he hath lost his aduauntage, authoritie, or estimation. If the seruaunt wéepe for his maister: it is because with his maister is departed his commoditie, and trust of wordly riches and friendship. If the mai­ster mourne for his seruaunt: it is because there is taken from him, a skilfull, a diligente, or a faith­full doer of his businesse. And such like causes, as men gréeuously of euerie sort féele and lament. If the Parson lament his parishioner: it is most com­monly because he séeth the breach of an honest hous­holde decayeth his tenthes and profite. And if the parishioner mourne for his pastour: most common­ly it is, because he loss a good companiō or profitable friend. If the Bishoppe bewaile the death of suche as dy in his diocesse: it is most commonly because he is destitute of suche a one, as fauoured much affecti­on, to set fourth and doe suche thinges as he worldly desired shoulde goe forewardes: or else perchaunce [Page 49] such manner of one as coulde excuse him, what neg­ligence or faulte so euer he shoulde perpetrate or committe for the time he were in office. If the di­ocesse be sorrie for the death of the Bishoppe: it is because the one parte (which is the Clergie) doth feare, leaste there shall come another, that wilbe more diligent and quicke in doing his office, and sée that they shall do the same. The other partie (cal­led the Temporaltie) lamente, because they haue loste such a one, as peraduenture fedd well their be­lies with bread and béefe, or else was so remisse, that he woulde suffer all sinne vnpunished, and rather be a bearer of the euill, then a mainteiner of the good. Nowe this is suche béewayling and mourning, as Ethnickes, Publicanes, and Infidels may haue. But wherefore the Christian soule that wayteth vppon the Lord (without quarell or desperation) doth wéep & lament: reade you the Psalme before named, and the lamentations of Ieremie: and there shall you finde in the Psalme these words: We sate by the ri­uers of Babylon and wepte, when wee remembred thee (ô Sion).

The chiefest cause of their wéeping was, be­cause the worde of God was not preached, the sacra­ments ministred,Why sate the people by the ri­uer side of Babilon nor the Almightie God lauded and praised in the temple of Hierusalem: as God had commaunded by his worde. This is a moste iust, & also a moste worthie cause to wéepe for, whiles God punisheth vs: that for our sinnes, not onely our quietnesse & wealth, but also the worde of God (whi­che is greater) is taken away, and his due honour giuen vnto idols. A iust cause of lamentation.For the children of Israel percei­uing, that Gods honor was defaced for their sinns, they wepte as often as they remembred it: as God giue vs grace to doe the same. The like did Saint [Page] Peter.Peter. He lamented not, because he leafte all his goods for Christes sake: but wept that by his de­niall of Christe,Matth. 27. he felte him selfe not constant in the faith and loue of his Maister.Marie Magdalen. Luke. 7. So did Ma­rie Magdalene bewayle that she hadde offended Christ: and not because the world knewe her to be a sinner.Io. Chry­sost. in E­pist. ad Rom. c 1. 2. Psal. 73.

Saint Iohn Chrysostome hath a notable saying, He that feareth more hell, then Christ: is worthie of hell. And that ment the prophet when he cryed out, What is there in heauen or in earth, that I preferre before thee, O Lord. As though he had saide: There is nothing can make me as gladde as thy loue to­wardes me, nor any thing so sorrie, as thy displea­sure, (good Lorde.)

Thus doth the soule of the verie Christian, waite vpon the Lord in all troubles and aduersities: and patiently doth beare the punishmentes of sinne: and not only beare patiently the paine, but also conside­reth, what is the greatest losse that may happen vn­to him, by reason of troubles. Not the losse of world­ly richesse, landes, and promotions, nor the losse of health of bodie by sicknesse, neither the lesse of the bodie it selfe by death,What is the gretest losse that a Christian cōsidereth. ne yet the losse of the soule in­to eternall paines. But the greatest losse that he weigheth, is the losse of the good will of him that made him, and of greate mercie redéemed him, and with much kindenesse alwayes nourished him.The pro­digall son. Luke. 15.

That is to be séene in the prodigall sonne, whi­che when he had spent all his goodes lecherously, and brought him selfe to moste miserable pouertie, & to such extreame famine, that he would haue bene glad to haue eaten the meate prepared for the pigs, besides the great heauines of hart, that weighed the time of prosperitie, and conferred it with his estate [Page 50] of so extreame miserie: yet nothing made him so so­rie and pensiue, as the calling to his remembrance, howe vnreuerently he had vsed his moste gentle, louing, and benigne father, who was not onely libe­rall and frée to his children, but also to his hirelings that lacked nothing.

This consideration of his offence towards his fa­ther, made him a great deale more sorrie: then al the paines he otherwise susteined. And thus must eue­rie Christian waite vpon the Lord, and then doubt­lesse consolation shall followe: as it appeareth by the same prodigal sonne, and by this Psalme of the Prophet.

Moreouer, if we marke, with what dangers and troubles the soule séeketh her Lorde and spouse Ie­sus Christ, in the mysticall booke of Solomons Bal­lads: we shall sée, with what attendaunce, dili­gence, and patience the soule waiteth vpon Christ.Canti. 5. I sought him (saith the soule,) but I found him not. I called him, and he woulde not aunswere me. The watchmen of the citie found me, and beatte mee, and wounded me. They tooke my robe from me that kepte the walles. I require you ye daughters of Hie­rusalem, if ye find my spouse, tell him that I am sicke with loue.

Note these wordes,Note. I sought him, (saith the soule) & found him not. I called him, and he answered not. Was not this ynough to haue cleane discomfor­ted the heauie, sicke, and troubled soule, that ranne and cryed to her loue and husband Iesus Christe, and yet for the time, neuer the neare? Fur­ther, in running and calling for him: the soule fell into the handes of her enimies, that robbed her of her mantell. And yet notwithstanding these daun­gers, she cryed out vnto all that she mette: that in­case [Page] they founde her spouse,Note diligently. What dangers a christian shall fall in, and his duetie in seeking Christ prescribed. A notable example. The soule that hath a feruent loue to Christ, the troubles she sustei­neth in se­king him greeueth her not: but the not find­ing of her spouse, is the onely cause of her sor­rowe. The woman of Canaan. Matth. 15. Patient expectation of redresse taketh all scourges and trou­bles in good part. they woulde tell him that she was sicke with his loue.

Ponder these thinges altogether, first to trauell and crye, and not to profit. Next, in trauelling and crying to lose all her goodes, yea the mantell that she went in. Thirdly, to putte her life in daunger with confessing Christe to be her spouse, before such as hated him mortally. And yet howe did this Chri­stian creature? Doubtlesse wayted vpon the Lorde, without murmur or grudge. And in all these trou­bles, note there is no complaint nor quarell made of her prayers that were not heard, of the paines that for the time profited not, of ye losse of her goodes and apparell, nor yet of the daunger that she was in, of her and Christe her spouses enimies. But here was the wéeping, lamentation, and sorrowe, that Christ her spouse could not be found. In whose loue she burned so ardently, that all aduersities gréeued her not, neither did shée any thing at all e­stéeme them: but onely the want of Christe was her gréefe and sorowe. Yet was she patient, and trusted still in the Lorde.

The like may ye sée by the woman of Canaan, howe she called vpon the Lord for her daughter: vn­to whome Christe made no worde of answere. Fur­ther, his disciples wer troubled and wearied, by her importunate suite. Also Christe called her in maner no better then a dogge: yet was there neither the bitternesse of his wordes, nor the inhumanitie of his Apostles, that she passed for, but she wayted still vppon the Lorde, and was nothing sorrowfull for all the sharpe words she suffered: but onely, because the helpe of the Lord was not extended and bestow­ed vppon her daughter, as she desired. But what in­sueth of suche a patient expectation, and sorrowful­nesse [Page 51] of Gods absence? Marke what the Prophete sayeth.

The seconde part of the Psalme.

1 For of him commeth my saluation.

2 He verily is my strength and my saluation: hee is my defence, so shall I not greatly fall.

The seconde parte declareth: why the troubled person, seeketh health of God.

HEere firste be thrée doctrines to be no­ted.Three do­ctrines to be noted.

Firste to knowe by Gods worde, that God can helpe. The second, that God will helpe. And the thirde, that the afflicted is bounde, boldely to require helpe of God. Whereof the troubled person muste be assured by the scripture, or else he shall neuer finde conso­lation.

Now to the firste parte, that God can helpe: this scripture is to be marked,God is omnipo­tent. that saith, God is om­nipotent, that is to witt, able to do all thinges. So said he to Abraham, when he eftsoones promised him the land of Canaan:Gene. 17. I am the God omnipotent, walk before me and be perfect. The same saide Iacob, when Beniamin his young sonne, was so instantly desired by his brethren, to go into Egypt, when they lacked corne: My God omnipotent (saide Iacob) can make the prince of Aegypt fauourable vnto you. Gene. 43. So did God tell Moses, that he was the Lorde that appeared vnto Abraham,Exod. 6. Isahac, and Iacob, euen the almightie God. The like is in the same booke, when God had drowned Pharao and his hoaff:Pharao. Mo­ses gaue thankes,Exod. 15. and sayde, His name was almigh­tie. [Page] Thus in the word of God we may learne euery where, as well by his name, as by his most meruel­lous works: that he is omnipotent, and there is no­thing impossible vnto him.

As God is able: so is he willing to saue.Euen so doth the word of God declare, that as he is omnipotent and can saue: in like manner is he willing and will saue. King Dauid saith,Psalm. 26. that He sa­ueth both man and beast. In another Psalme he saith,Psalme. 34. God saked him from all aduersities. And a­gaine he saith,Psalme. 36 He wil saue all that trust in him. And not onely saue: but also saue for nothing.Psalm. 56. So God saith by the prophet Esaie: I will saue thy children. And in the same booke it is declared, that Gods hand is not weakened: but that he can saue and wil saue.Esaie. 49. and 59.

This willing nature of God to saue, is manifest­ly opened vnto vs in al the Prophets.Iere. 15. 23. Ezech. 34. Daniel. 12. Ose. 1. Sophon. 3. Zachar. 8. 9. 10. And in Saint Matthewe Christe saith:Matth. 18. Hee came to saue such as were lost. The same is to be séene in S. Luke,Luke 9. howe that The sonne of man came not to damne, but to saue. S. Iohn the Euangelist saith:Iohn 3. His comming was to saue the world. And S. Paul saith,1. Tim 2. He would all men to be saued.

As God can & will helpe: so doth hee command vs to call vnto him for helpe.Now as the word of God and the examples con­teined in the same, declare that God can & will helpe in the time of trouble and aduersitie: so doeth it de­clare that men be bound, to call and séeke for helpe in the time of aduersitie. As we read in Esaie the Prophet, where God cryeth out, in this sort:Esaie. 55. Ye that be a thirst, come to the waters, &c. In S. Matthewe Christ commaundeth all men that be troubled, to come vnto him.Matth. 11. Also in the Psalmes, He biddeth all men call vpon him in the dayes of their heauinesse: and he will heare them, and deliuer them.Psalm. 50. Againe, He willeth vs to aske and it shalbe giuen vnto vs.Matt. 7. 18. Marke. 11. Luke. 11. Ioan. 14. 15 16. 1. Ioh. 5.

Nowe, as these thrée doctrines are to be marked [Page 52] in the almightie God, so must they be grounded in the heart of the troubled person. God alone is able to saue: and none but he.And first he must giue this honour vnto God: that he alone is able to saue, and none but he: as the Prophet Esay sayth of him.

Then being thus persuaded, the afflicted person will not séeke helpe at dead Saintes,Esaie. 45. nor at any o­ther creatures hande:No helpe to be soght at dead saincts, &c. but onely of God. God is in­clined of himselfe to haue mercie. but at Gods onely. And as none giueth God the strength able to helpe, but is of it selfe in God and with God: so is there none that can giue God a wil to helpe: but he of himselfe is in­clined to haue mercie vppon the afflicted, and his mercie is most prone and readie to helpe the poore and miserable.

Hereof learneth the afflicted Christian, that none inclineth God to be mercifull, but his owne gentle and pitifull nature. So that the sinners may bolde­ly in Christ resort vnto him firste, because he is mer­cie it selfe: and not to goe astray to séeke firste mercie at dead Saintes handes, and by their meanes at laste finde God mercifull and readie to helpe him.

The afflic­ted, by the comman­dement of God: ta­keth and a­citie to approch to his mercie.And when the afflicted perceiueth, by the word of God, that he commandeth him to call vpon him and vppon none other: he may take a courage and au­dacitie to be bolde to come vnto him, be his sinnes neuer so many, horrible, or filthie: yea, if in number they excéeded the grauell of the sea, yet be they few­er alwayes then his mercie. If they be as redde as scarlet: yet shall they be made as white as snowe.Esaie. 1. The booke of wisedome sayth euen so,Sapient. 15. Although we haue sinned, Lord we be thine: knowing thy great­nesse.

And whereas these doctrines be grounded: sée what followeth. In all the depth of anguishe and sorrowe this followeth, (as this Psalme sayth,)Psalm. 62. Of [Page] him commeth my saluation. He is my strength, my saluation, and my defence, &c. The same may we sée also in the Dialogue betwéen the Christian soule, or Christes Churche and Christe, in the booke of Solo­mons Ballads: were she neuer so blacke and bur­ned with the sunne, were she neuer so troubled with the vanities of the worlde, she cried out and saide boldely vnto Christe,Cantic. 1. Drawe me, we will runne after thee.

And although the poore wretched soule be enuiro­ned and compassed about with sinne, troubles and aduersities, as the faire Lillie is hedged about with thornes: yet she trusteth in her husband, that he will helpe her.Consola­tion. And in déede most comfortably her spouse Christ comforteth her, with these maruelous words. Arise, haste thee my spouse, my faire one, and come. Nowe Winter is past, the rayne is gone and ceassed.

That Booke of Solomon is to be read,Read the booke of Solomons Ballads. to sée how mercifully God comforteth a troubled and deformed soule by sinne: and yet God layeth it not to the soules charge, that hath Christe to her husband. Also there is to be séene, that the soule is bolde to séeke and call for help of God her husband, and goeth to no strange God for ayde or succour, althoughe she be burned with the sunne, and a miserable sinner.

The like is to be séene in the Prodigall sonne. Although he was neuer so beggerly,Prodigall sonne. miserable, sin­ful, wretched,Luke. 15. and vnkinde to his father: yet he said, Euen as I am with my miseries,Let vs not bee asha­med to go to our hea­uenly fa­ther and confesse our sinnes, be they ne­uer so hor­rible: for when soe­uer we re­turn from our wic­kednes, he remēbreth no more our trans­gressions, but embraceth vs as his deare children. I will go to my father and tel him, that I haue offended against him and against Heauen.

The father, when he sawe him, spatte not at him, reuiled him not, asked no accomptes of the goods he had viciously spent, laide not to his charge his filthie conuersation with whores and harlots, neither did [Page 53] he cast into his téethe, howe he had dishonoured him and his familie: but when he sawe him a farre off, hee was moued with compassion towardes him, ranne to méete him, tooke him about the necke, and kissed him. The sonne confessed his fault: and the fa­ther minding more the comforte of his lowsie and beggerly sonne, then the repetition of his transgres­sions: commaunded his seruantes spéedily to fetche him robes and to clothe him, gaue him a ring vpon his finger, and shooes to his féete, killed his fat calfe, and made merrie and reioyced with his loste sonne, that he was found againe. Here is the state and con­dition of a soule, that wayteth (as Asaph saith) for a time vpon the Lorde in trouble and heauinesse, mer­uellously sett foorth.

Sée this wretched man spoyled of al his goods, de­stitute of all friendes, shutte out of all honest cōm­panie, of a Gentleman become a swineheard, of one that had once men to waite vppon him, become now a waiter vpon pigges: once he gaue others meate, and nowe all men refuse to féede him: erst a man that scarse delicate dishes coulde contente his appe­tite, nowe his stomache yrketh till it be filled with swines foode: yet more ouer then that, he sawe no­thing behinde him, nor before him: but miserie and wretchednesse. Behind him he left al his goods spent riottously, his estimation, parentage, such frends as he had: when mony was plentie, lost & also (as farre as reason could sée) his fathers vtter displeasure and the reproch & ignominie of his alliaunce and kinse­folke purchased for euer. Before him he saw hunger and scarsitie, a sorte of filthie swine, and the best meate, draffe & chaffe for the sustenance and main­tenaunce of his piggishe life, in case he might haue béene so mainteyned: yet in the middest of these sor­rowes, [Page] attending in his spirite vpon the mercie of his father: meruelously in the filthe of a pigges slie, and in the paines and anguishe of miserie: hearke what a wonderfull doctrine he bloweth out: Oh what abundance of bred is there in my fathers house, and I starue here for hunger? I will arise and gette me to him, and confesse my fault, &c. He saieth not, Oh what abundaunce of bread hath my brother and my kinsefolke: but, What abundance of bread is there in my fathers house. He said not, I will make my com­plaint to my brother: but said, To my father.

Whereof is learned,The hea­uenly fa­ther is to be resorted vnto in the dayes of necessitie & hunger: for he on­ly hath the breade of mercy to seede his children. that all penitent Christian sinners doe know, that the heauenlie father hath the bread of mercie, to satisfie their hungrie desire: and that he is to be resorted vnto in such sinnefull and troublesome state, and not any other in heauen, but he alone through Iesus Christe, who was killed to redéeme and saue the penitent faithfull sinners of the worlde.

Sée now how this Prodigall & outragious sonne knew, why he should séeke helpe of his father, in the time of his vile miserie and wretchednesse.

First he knewe his fathers power, and therefore saide:What cau­sed the prodigal sonn to resort vnto his father in the time of miserie. Oh, how great plentie of bread is there in my fathers house? beléeuing that his father was able to giue him meate sufficient. Next he was assured that his father was mercifull, and would giue him suche thinges as he lacked: & being thus persuaded, boldly he returned vnto his father, and to him he vttered al his griefe: who was a great deale more prest & rea­die to helpe, then his sonne was readie to aske helpe.

Of the same minde,The wo­man of Canaan. was the woman of Canaan. For although she founde little comfort at the firste: yet she argued so from the nature of man to the na­ture of Christ, that Christe cried out vpon her, [Page 54] and sayde:They that come vnto christ must debase thē selues with humilitie. Oh woman greate is thy faith, be it vnto thee, as thou desirest. For when she saide the dogges did eate of the crumbes that fell from their maisters table: she knewe that she her selfe, and all men in re­spect of God, were no more, nor yet so much as dogs in the respect of man. And when she perceiued, that man could be contented, to spare his crumbes to the dogges: she knewe right well, that man was not so mercifull and liberall vnto dogges, as God vnto sin­ners. Wherefore she stoode stil with Christ constant­ly, and least not calling, vntill Christe gaue her to witte, that she was in déede a verie well persuaded woman, both of his power able to helpe, and of his good will readie to helpe. For in déede, although she was a Cananite, she knewe, that if a man shut not out dogges from his table, Christe woulde not shut from his mercie a sinnefull Cananite.

The same persuasion made Marie Magdalene créepe vnder the boorde to his féete with teares:Marie Magdelen. there to receiue and eate of his mercie, to quenche the hunger and smarte of her sinnes.

These examples do declare, why the troubled may put their trust in God.God is both om­nipotent and merci­full. Because he is omnipo­tent, and can doe all thinges: and he is mercifull, and will help all penitent and faithfull sinners. And so sayd this Prophete Asaph, Of him commeth my saluatiō. And he sheweth the cause why: For he is my rocke, my saluation, and my defence.

These thrée woordes declare meruellousty, the nature of God, that alone helpeth: and also the faith of him that calleth for helpe.

As for God, whome the Prophet calleth first his (Rocke:) by this worde,Rocke. he openeth meruellously, how strong, firme, and sure, and howe inuincible he is against all troubles, aduersities, and tempestes, [Page] as well of the bodie as of the soule.Matth. 7. He that buildeth vpon the rocke is wise. In Saint Mat­thewe, the man that buildeth his house vppon the rocke or stone, is called wise: and the cause is, that what windes soeuer blowe, and what tempestes so euer arise: they cannot cast downe the house, nor o­uerthrow the building: for it is grounded vpon the stone.What is the rocke. The stone is God and his worde, the builder is the Christian man, and the building is the religi­on that he hath learned of God by his worde. And although we sée God our rocke and sure stone, is not assaulted with stormie and tempestuous shoures & rayne: yet the builder and the building, that is to say,If the rock were not sure: the builder & building woulde come to ruine. the Christian man and his religion, be blowen at, and suche shoures of trouble fall vpon them, that were not the rocke firme and sure, all the building and the builder also, (for mans parte) would surely fall, and come to vtter ruine.

The experience of the same windes and floudes, we may sée in the Actes of the Apostles. For when Peter & the rest builded the house of God,To builde the house of God: is to teache saluation in Christe. that is to say, taught men their saluation by the merites and passion of Christ: there arose such winds and flouds, that the builders were put into prison, and the buil­ding in great danger. When S. Stéeuen builded the congregation with Gods word in Christ,Act. 5. whiles he was building,Act. 7. such windes and floudes of malice assaulted him, yt his braines were knocked out. Whē Ananias and the rest planted & builded the house of God, yt is to say, conuerted the infidels vnto the faith of Christ at Damascus:Act. 9. there arose such windes and tempests at Hierusalem, that Saul came frō thence towards Damascus, with commission from the high priestes, to kill the builders, & to ouerthrow all they had builded. Let vs leaue off the examples of holie men, & sée what hapned to the head & chiefe capteine [Page 55] al Saints & good builders,If Christe had not bene the rocke of strength it selfe: he had bene cast down. our sauiour Iesus Christ. When he called the worlde from ignorance to knowledge, from death to life, and from damnati­on to saluation: there arose such winds and storms, that, had he not béene the rocke it selfe of strength and inuincible power, he had béene ouerthrowen cleane, and his buildings turned vpside downe. For before he was of age to be borne,Christ was slandered before he was borne Matth. 1. 2 Christ per sequuted as soone as he was borne. in his mothers bel­lie, ye diuel went about to slaunder him as a bastard: and woulde haue persuaded the same to the godlie man Ioseph, spoused in marriage to the blessed vir­gin Marie. He had no sooner put his head out of his mothers bellie: but streight way Herodes sworde was whette and bent to kill him. Within a little while after, the diuell stirred vp his owne kinse-folke & countriemen,Christes own kinse folke were raised a­gainst him Luke. 4. to cast him downe from a hill toppe, and to breake his necke: and at length killed him indéede. But what was the outgoing of this builder? Forsoothe, Father into thy handes I com­mend my spirite. And what was the assuraunce of his building,Christe slaine. that is to say, in what suretie stoode his disciples and folowers in the middest of these winds & great stormes?Luke. 23. Doubtles,Christe commen­ded his disciples to the protection of his Father, Iohn. 17. Christ commended them to the custodie and protection of his heauenly father the rocke & sure stone of all saluation: from whome windes, floudes, temptations, persequution, death, sinne, nor the diuell himselfe, with all his companie of wicked spirites, be able to remoue the simplest of all Christes flocke. In the Reuelations of Saint Iohn,Math. 16. there is a meruellous doctrine, what windes and floudes shall blowe and ouerflowe this rocke in the bulding,Apoc. 12. and builders, for the time of this life. There is a woman that had broughte foorth a man childe, and by and by there was a foule greate red dragon with seuen heads and seuen hornes, that [Page] would haue deuoured this childe, before he had come to his inheritaunce and kingdome appointed vnto him. And when he saw he could not preuaile against the childe, he caste out of his mouth water, as it had bene a greate streame, after the Mother: but there was giuen her winges to escape. For the rocke that she was builded vppon, was sure: that what soeuer windes or waters (that is to say, what troubles so­euer) should happen,Hee that hath God for his rock, is as­sured of a sauiour. nothing could ouerthrowe her. And so sayeth Asaph here, God being my rocke and sure fortresse, my soule nor my bodie shal neuer be confounded. As he declareth more openly by the two words that followe, He is my strength and my saluation also, sayth the Prophet. As though he had sayd,Applicati­on of gods strength by faith, to his owne defence. I do not onely knowe God to be sure, strong, & inuincible: but also I know this his might, strength and surenesse, is my wealth and my saluation.

For many men knowe, that GOD is the rocke and strength of all powers: but none doeth knowe that this power and strength, is saluation for him selfe, but such as be Gods in déede.

Therefore,Faith is the gift of God. séeing this faith that beléeueth God particularly to saue a priuate person is onely Gods gifte, and commeth not of man: let vs pray, that when we sée howe God hath bene the rocke of sal­uation to others, that he will be so vnto vs like­wise. For it is a singular gifte of God, to say bolde­ly, stedfastly, and merrily from the bottome of the heart vnto him:Hee that feeleth in himselfe God to be his salua­tion, hath the grea­test trea­sure of all. Thou Lorde art my rocke, my sal­uation, and my comfort. And he that féeleth in him selfe for him selfe, GOD to be his saluation, hath suche a treasure, that all treasures besides it, are nothing to be estéemed: and he will not passe of goodes, landes, nor life, for this faithes sake.

But faith, as long as it cōmeth no nearer the hart [Page 56] then the eare, the lippes, the téeth, or the tongue: it is but an easie mater to beléeue. As we sée these rum­blers vp of the Psalmes, & the rest of Gods word, at this time in the church, where they that say them, nor they yt heare them, vnderstand any thing at all, or be any deale y more edified for that which is done or said in the church.The abuse of Gods word pro­uoketh this vengeance. And I am assured, if the priests felt in their heartes, the vengeance of God to come, for this abusing the word of God, & the people knew what an incomparable treasure they haue lost, by ye taking away of ye word of God in the vulgar tonge: the priest would wéepe water of his eyes as often as he said his seruice,Gods word in an vnknowne tongue a­mongest the people to be la­mented. & the people wold sigh ful heauily as oft as they hard it, & vnderstood not what it ment. Wherefore let euery man pray to God, that he may know him, as the Prophet Asaph doth, that he is the rock & saluation, to him that so calleth vppon him.

The thirde word is (Defence.) By the which the Prophet noteth two meruellous doctrines. The one touching God: and the other touching man. The thing touching God is this.Defence. Two doc­trines. Looke as in himself God is omnipotent: so is he of power both in body & soule, to do all things for his creatures in general. And as generally he can doe all things for his creatures: so particularly he is saluation, to all that by faith be­léeue in him. And as he is also saluation, particular­ly to such as beléeue in him: euen so particularly is he a defence,Note. buckler & protection of such as shall be saued: that neither sinne, the diuel, or any troubles of the body:Nothing can hurt him that is in Christ Iesu. nor troubles, doubtfulnesse, anguish, per­plexitie, or heauinesse of minde, shal hurt or danme him. The doctrine touching man by this word (De­fence) is this. Looke as the faithfull man hath in him selfe this generall knowledge with all men, that God is Almightie to doe all thinges, as he lust, [Page] with his creatures generally: so particularly he beléeueth, that he is able, and will saue such as par­ticularly beléeue their saluation in him.The faith full beleeueth, that as God is able to saue generally: so is he to saue particularly. And as the faithfull particularly beléeueth his saluation to be onely in God: so doeth he also beléeue and challenge particularly with the rest of his brethren in Christe, maintenaunce, perfection, and defence from all misseaduentures, ieopardies and dangers, that may happen in this life, before he come to euerlasting ioyes. God (therefore) giue vs grace with the Pro­phete Asaph to say faithfully vnto him, Thou art my strength, my saluation, and my defence: then doubt­lesse we shall be assured of that, which followeth, So shall I not greatly fall.

Of these wordes, (So shall I not greatly fall, we be also taught and instructed verie necessarie les­sons, and doctrines. Firste, what difference there is betwéene the defence of God towardes his people in this life, and in the life to come.

As touching the defence of God towards his peo­ple in this life:Defence of God towards his people in this life. it is meruellously set foorth by Christ in his prayer, a little before his death: where he prayed vnto his father, not to take his Apostles out of this worlde:Iohn. 17. but to preserue them in this worlde from sinne.They that wil liue in Christe must suf­fer per­sequution Iohn. 16. So that he woulde his friendes with Gods defence, shoulde abide for a time in the world. And what they shuld haue in the world for all Gods defence, Christe tolde them: In the worlde (sayeth he) ye shall suffer affliction: and ye shall weepe, and the world shal laugh. Againe,Matth. 10. he said vnto them, that He sent them foorth as shéepe amongest wool­ues. Whereby we may sée, that Gods fauour and Gods defence saueth not his verie elects in this life from troubles and afflictions. For (Saint Paule saith,) As many as will liue godly, shall suffer perse­quution. [Page 57] Therefore the holy Ghost placeth the faith­full congregation, the spouse of Christ (whome God loueth and defendeth) amongst thornes, and bram­bles: Cant. 2. Matt. 13. 7, The faith­full con­gregation is likened to a shipp, a house, & a woman trauelling with child, &c.and sometime likeneth the faithfull congrega­tion vnto a ship, tossed vpon the sea with daunger of drowning: sometime vnto a house, wherevppon bloweth all windes and weather: and sometime to a woman trauelling with child, before whom standeth a foule dragon readie to deuour both childe and mo­ther. So that by this prophet Asaphes wordes that saith,Apoc. 12. He shal not greatly fall, and by these other pla­ces, we learne, that in this life, such as God loueth & defendeth from the eternall fire of hell, he (notwith­standing for this life) vnder great crosses, and won­derfull troubles: yet Christ willeth vs to be of good comfort, for He hath ouercome the world. And ye pro­phet saith,Iohn. 17. God is my rocke and my saluation: I shall not greatly fall. Who doe suffer in this world greatest troubles. Prouerb. 3. Hebr. 12. Apocal. 3. 1. Peter. 4. Rom. 8.And to consider the trueth, such as God most strongly defendeth, and best loueth in this world, suffer many times, greatest troubles. Yea, and God beginneth with his friends somtimes first, and most sharply: as S. Peter saith. And S. Paule saith, We be praedestinate to be made like vnto Christ in troubles, whiles we be in this troublesome world: But the defence of God and his loue in the world to come, is voyd from al bitternes and paine, and from all troubles and aduersities. Consola­tion.As it is most comforta­bly and ioyfully written in the Balads of Solomon:Cantic. 2. where (for a time) the Lord defended his spouse that stood in the middest of sharpe and pricking briers and thornes: at length he calleth her to perpetuall rest & consolation, assuring her that the winter is gone, and ye tempestuous shoures past. The swéet floures do appeare, and the pleasant voyce of the Turtle is heard. Meaning, that such as be loued and kept by [Page] God in the world of blisse to come:They whō God cal­leth of mercie out of this life, be voyd of all troubles. be sequestred, and departed from all troubles and aduersities.

Apoc. 21. The de­scription of the hea­uenly ioyes.The like may you sée in the Reuelations of S. Iohn, wherein he mystically to set foorth the plea­santnes and vnspeakeable ioyes of heauen, saith: It is paued with pretious stones, and the gates thereof be also of pearles. And moreouer, There is a light more lighter then the Sunne or Moone, for the claritie of God lighteneth it, and the brightnes is the lambe of God. There shall the electes dwell for euer, and the gates shall neuer be shutt, neither shall there be any night there to trouble it.

The de­fence of God to­wards his in the life to come. Esaie. 66.The same is to be séene also in Esaie the prophet, how in that life Gods defence is in such as be saued, without all kindes of troubles and aduersities.

The fa­uour of God to­wardes his in this world, is annexed with trou­bles.Nowe here is to be noted, that as Gods fauour and defence in ye world to come, in such as be saued, is voyd of all troubles & aduersities: euen so Gods fauour and his defence in this world in such as shal­be saued, is ioyned and annexed with troubles and aduersities. Let vs therefore be content with trou­ble & persequution in his fauour here in this life: or els doubtlesse we shall neuer haue his fauour and defence in the life to come, in ioye and euerlasting consolation.

Trouble shall not ouercome Gods chil­dren.There is yet another learning in these wordes: I shall not greatly fall: That is, that the children of God shal not perish for any kinde of trouble: and yet in this world they can lacke no kinde of affliction. All shall they suffer: and yet at length ouercome all, as this prophet Asaphe did. He was troubled, but yet not ouercome: he fell, but not so farre that he arose not againe: and he was so troubled with the crosse that God sent him, that he could speaks nothing for the time: yet at lengthe he said, God was his sure [Page 58] rocke, and his saluation. Thus God tempteth his, but desperation he leaueth to his enimies.Desperati­on, God leaueth only to his enimies. God suf­fereth his to féele in this world the punishment of sinne: but he reserueth the paine therof in the world to come to his enimies, and to the reprobates. He maketh his to be sorie for sinne in this world: but such as be not his,Note the difference betweene Gods chil­dren, and such as be not his. he suffereth to be carelesse & paine­lesse of sinne in this life, that their damnation maye be the more dolorous, in the world to come. There­fore blessed be such as fall and feare, as the Prophete Asaphe saith: but not too farre vnto all wickednesse and wantonnesse of life.


3 Howe long will ye imagine mischiefe against a man? Ye shall be slaine all the sort of you: yea as a rottering wal shal ye be, & like a broken hedge.

4. Their deuise is onely how to put him out, whome God will exalt, their delight is in lies: They giue good woordes with their mouth, but curse with their heartes.

The third part sheweth, how the persequuters of the innocent shall soudeinly perishe.

The wic­ked perse­quuters be as a totte­ring wall, soudeinly ouerthro­wen, in their most prosperi­tie. BY the similitude and Metaphore of a tottering or quiuering wall, the Pro­phet declareth, how lightly and sodein­ly ye Lord wil destroy the persequnters of his people. For as the wall that is tottering and quiuering, with euerie winde & wea­ther, is easily and soudeinly ouerthrowen: euen so be the wicked and tyrannical persecuters soudeinly de­stroyed: yea when they be in their owne conceites, most strong and valiant. As it may be séene by the [Page] mightie host of Zenecharib and Benedab:Zenecha­rib. the armie of king Pharao and such other, that persequuted the people of God:Beuedab. 3. Reg. 20. 4. Reg. 8. 18. 19. verily supposing their strengthe to haue béene able vtterly to haue oppressed Gods peo­ple, whom they hated. The like is to be séene where Hester and Iudith two séelie and poore women,Exod. 14. were instrumentes to ouertumble and destroy the wickedHester. 7. Am [...]n and Proud Holofernes.Iudith. 13. So by this we learne, that the strength & persequutions of ye wicked,Holofer­nes. be not permanent nor strong,The pre­sence of Gods fa­uour to­wards his: is the destruction of the wic­ked. but transitorie and féeble, de­stroyed & vanquished with the presence of Gods fa­uour towards his, as often as it pleaseth him to pu­nish the malice and mischiefe of the wicked.

But there is one learning particularly to be noted in this similitude of a trembling or tottering wall: wherewithall the Prophet setteth foorth the fall and confusion of the wicked, which is this: that when the wicked persequuteth the godly, & that the least resi­stance of ye world is stirred vp by God against them, the Lord that stirreth vp the plague to punish them, striketh also their heartes with such trembling and feare,God doth so strike the heartes of the wic­ked with feare, that one man in a good cause, is able to withstand tenne. that one man in a good cause shalbe able, to wt ­stand ten such wicked persecuters, whose conscience God hath so feared, that they are not able to beare the countenance of a man: no, not able to ouercome the terrour of their owne spirite, which beareth them record, that as they in time past haue fought against God & his cause: so now God iustly fighteth against them, both with the feare of hell fire towardes their soules, and with outward aduersities towards their bodies. So God said, he would send such trembling & feare vnto such as neither loued,Note. nor kept his lawes: as it is written by the holy Prophet Moses.Deut. 28. The ex­ample whereof ye may read also in Daniel the Pro­phet: that the Emperor of the Caldées,Daniel. 5. when he was [Page 59] in the middest of his strength, mirth, banquets, and iollitie,A hand writing in the wall feared the Emperour of the Cal­dees in his most iolli­tie. sawe no more but a poore little hand write in the wal of his palace, that neuer spake word, shewed no terrible sight of men of warre, nor gaue any blow in his palace: yet fell the Emperor into such a trem­bling & feare at the sight thereof, that all his limmes (in maner) stoode him in no stéede. Christ neuer gaue blow, but modestly asked his murderers whom they sought for: and yet fell they flatt and prostrate to the ground.Iohn. 18. So that the wicked persecuters of the godly, be aptly and properly likened and compared to a tot­teringChrist as­king his murderers whome thei soght: they fell vppon the ground. and trembling wall. For as soone as euer the blastes of Gods ire and iudgement be moued & kin­dled against them: they be so quiuering and comfort­lesse, yt they would take them to be most their frends that soonest would dispatch them out of the world. As Christ said aptly of them, they shold pray the moun­teines to fall vppon them.Luke 23. As long as God feigneth himselfe a sléepe, and suffereth the blessed to fall into the hands of the wicked to be crucified and slaine, as they please,Note dili­gently. they be more strong, and more cruel then Lions: but when God ariseth & taketh the defence of his poore people, then they be more feareful then the Hart, or trembling Hare. As we may sée, when séelie harmlesse Iacob,Iacob. passed homeward into his countrie from Mesopotamia, such as he neuer gaue blow nor spake foule word vnto,Genesis. 43 trembled at his comming, as though he had bene in battel with thousands of soul­diers. The like may we sée by the brothers of Ioseph when he spake most gently vnto them,Ioseph. yea and tolde them that he was their brother: there was such a ter­rour and feare strake their consciences for persecu­ting of him,The chil­dren of Is­rael. that they could make no word of aun­swere. When the children of Israel should come in­to the land of Canaan, the Lord said he would sende [Page] before them his feare,Exod. 23. to amaze and astonish the peo­ple of the countrie, that their strength should do them no harme.

The furie of the wicked may séeme in his owne eyes to be stable, firme & constant: but in déede there is nothing more trembling nor tottering. As wée may sée at this present day.They that persequute Christes flocke at this pre­sent, haue no assu­rance but flesh and bloud. Such as persequute the liuely and séelie flocke of Christ, and tyrānously hold the necke of the godly vnder the yoke of idolatrie: they haue no groūd, no certeintie, nor any assurance more then flesh & bloud, that fauour them, by whose fauour they oppresse the trueth, & persequute the lo­uers of it. So that in case flesh & bloud should faile them, then would they be in such trembling & quiue­ring, that they would do whatsoeuer they were com­manded to do, to be deliuered from feare and terror.

As we may marke and sée in the bishop of Win­chester Gardener, Stephen Gardener. Edmund Boner. and also Boner the bishop of Lon­don. When king Henrie the eight suspected them both to be fauourers of the Pope, (the capital enimie of Christ and his church) Winchester fell into such a trembling and feare, that with all hast he wrote his purgation in a booke named,A booke, De vera o­bedientia. True obedience: and Boner set an epistle before it, both they crying our a­gainst the Pope, as against a tyrant, and false vsur­per of authoritie in this Realme, (although they thought nothing lesse.) Thus we may sée how incō ­stant, trembling, and quaking these tottering wic­ked persequuters of Gods word be.Read Tun­stals ser­mon a­gainst the bishop of Rome, & the treason of Cardi­nal Pole.

I could declare more of their religion to be of the same conditions: but because these two and Tunstal the bishop of Duresme be knowen openly to ye world, by their bookes to be such, I speake onely of them. When the prophet hath declared that the persequu­ters of the godly shall soudenly perish, he telleth the [Page 60] cause why they shall perish,Why shal the perse­quuters of the godly perish? Because they deuise how to put him downe (saith he) whome God will exalt. And after that the Prophete hath shewed, that the cause of their fall and punishment, is their conspira­cie against Gods elect: he setteth foorth by what mea­nes the wicked vse to depose, persequute, & tumble downe the people of God: By what meanes do the wic­ked put downe the people of God? By lies (saith the Prophet) and by imagining of falshod and vntruth. And when he hath declared, that the wicked do purpose, to bring their case and matter against the godly with lies: he sheweth after what sort and fashion lies by wicked men be vsed (To bring mischiefe to purpose.) This is the letter of the Psalme concerning the third part of it. Now there is in euery of these sentences pro­fite to be gathered by the reader or hearer of it.

First is to be noted the conspiracie and treason of the wicked against God. If it please the Lord, to fa­uour and aduaunce one: the nature of the wicked is, as much to deface that God would haue honoured, as may be.Caine. Abel. Genesis. 4. As God bare fauour and aduaunced Abel: Cain wrought treason and killed his brother, for the loue that God did beare him. The Lord appointed Samuel to rule:1. Reg. 8. the wicked people misliked that, which God best approued.1. Reg. 18. God would exalt Dauid: Saule,3. Reg. 15. Absolon, and Achitophel, would prefer them­selues. Againe, the Lord appointed Noah to teache the people to beware of the vniuersall floud:Gene. 6. 7. the peo­ple preferred liers, vnto whom God neuer gaue his holy spirite.Ierem. 20. God elected Ieremie the true prophete: the people aduaunced Passur the false prophete. The Lord exalted his deare sonne, and willed the world to learne of him:Matth. 3. 17. 28. the people preferred the Pharisées, & desired the Iudge to hange Christ. God commanded his word onely to be taught: but the world plucketh it so downe,Iohn. 5. that either they cleane refuse the word, [Page] or els they will haue it none other wise then it is au­thorized, and made true by man. God saith,1. Cor. 1. That which is wisedome before the world, is foolishnes before him. The world recompenseth most arro­gantly God, with the like, & accompteth all his wise­dome and learning foolishnes, in respecte of worldly wisedome, counsell, and religion. What shal become of the con­trollers of God.But what saith the Prophet Asaphe shall become of these Nemrods and controllers of God? They shal (saith he) quickly fall, and be destroyed as a tottering wall.

Here we sée howe controlling, and amending of Gods workes at length spéedeth: and what is the end of these persecuting Giants of Gods afflicted. They fight,GOD laughteth the intent of the wic­ked to scorne. Psalme. 2. they fare foule, they moue heauen and earth to alter the purpose and minde of God: but, He that sitteth in heauen laugheth them to scorne. And they themselues that thus wickedly vse Christe and his members, fal downe and come to nought, as old, rotten, and dustie walles.

And in the other part that these shameles tyrants conspire thus against Christ and his people,So the wic­ked maye obteine their pur­pose: they care not by what meanes. by lies and falshoode, is declared the filthines of their con­science: that be so farre past shame and honestie, that they care not (so they may obteine their wicked pur­pose,) howe craftily or falsly they lie or calumniate any sayinges or doinges of God or man. As the diuel their father, when God had exalted man into Para­dise, he wished him out of it,Genesis. 3. and began to worke mans destruction,By what meanes the diuel deceiued Adam. with calumniating and false ly­ing vppon Gods owne word. When God had set vp Dauid to reigne: Absolon his owne sonne thinking the better to pull his father downe, lied falsly vppon him to the people, & said, that There was no Iudge appointed in Israel to heare causes,Dauid. Absolon. 3. Reg. 15. and to end them betwene man and man. So slaundered he his father, [Page 61] a man of good iustice: and aduaunced himselfe, that neuer knewe what iustice ment. Elias. Achab.The good Prophet Elias likewise, whome God appointed to warne the people to beware of sinne:3. Reg. 18. king Achab to disgrace him, lied falsly vppon him, and said, that He was the troubler of the common wealth. Christ. The wic­ked sort of the world.So Christ, whom God had elected to saue the world from death and damnation: the wicked sort of the world said, Hee hath saued others, but he cannot saue himselfe. A­gaine,Matth. 27. God sent him to be amongest the troubled to comfort them,Matth. 8. but such as wanted consolation,Mark. 5. when they sawe him,Luke. 8. prayed him to depart out of their countrie: because with his presence, they loste their swine. Paule. Tertullus, &c.God said that Paule was the chosen vessell, to beare the name of him thorough all the Gentiles:Actes. 24. Tertullus and the other Iewes said,Whome God do exalt to say the truth: the wicked condemne as hereti­ques. He was one that molested all the world. Euen so at this time, there is neither honest nor vertuous man, that God exalteth to speake the trueth: but the wicked saith, He is an heretique, a scismatique, & a traitour. But séeing it is none other then alwayes hath béene ac­customed, falsly to be layed to such as God loueth: it must be borne patiently.

Howe doe the wicked vse their lyes.But nowe the Prophet sheweth, how these liers and enuious persecuters vse their lies. They giue faire woordes with their mouth, (saith the prophet,) but they curse with their heart. By these wordes we may learne, that there are thrée maner of ways that lies do harme.

Three maner of wais doe lyes harme.The one, when they be openly and plainly vsed. The other when open falshoode outwardly, is cloked with pretended trueth. And the third when they be dissembled outwardly, & yet in the heart they lie hid, tarying for a time when they may be put abroad, to do mischiefe, & to worke the destruction of the godly.

[Page] But for as muche as the diuell the father of all lyes,Iohn. 8. knoweth that such as he inspireth with lyes, can not do harme with his lyes, except they be vsed as the persons be qualified, amongst whom the lyes must be sowen: he teacheth his disciples to vse them as opportunitie and occasion shall serue.

Manifest and vncouered lyes he causeth to be v­sed,Manifest lyes amōg the igno­rant. amongest suche as doe not knowe nor loue the trueth. For those lyes shall stablishe and confirme the wicked in their errour, and wickednesse. As for example.Example. Absolon and Achitophel tolde the people, as many lyes (in maner) as they did words,1. Reg. 15. against king Dauid: and when they were by Absolons faire wordes alienated from king Dauid, and bent vnto his sonne, bicause he promised to vse instice to euery man and lawfull fauour: after Absolon came to Hebron, and had of his side Achitophel his fathers chéefe counseler, he lyed openly, and the people more and more were stablished in errour and treason.

The like is to be séene in the booke of the Num­bers,Num. 14. that when such as returned out of the lande of Canaan, whither they were sent, to viewe the good­nesse and strength of the countrie: tenne of the twelue espies, brought the people into such a terror and feare, that they thought it impossible to recouer the land. Thus being in an errour: manifest lyes a­gainst God,Moses. Iosua. Caleb. Moses, Iosua, and Caleb, might be vsed well enough and preuaile.

In matters of religion is the same,Manifest lies in matters of re­ligion. amongst such as be deceiued and in errour: manifest lyes do take place, and do as much harme, as the diuel requireth to be wrought by them.

As amongest the Caldées, such as most commen­ded the idol of fire:Gene. 11. were most estéemed. Amongest the Egyptians,Exo. 6. 7. 8. suche as most blasphemously could [Page 62] speake in the defence of witchcraft and sorcerie: were taken for the best men.3. Reg. 16. 17. 18. Such as could best de­fend the honour of Baal, amongest the idolatricall Iewes:Matth. 15. had most reuerence and honour. Amongest the Phariseis, he that could most speake for the maintenaunce of mens traditions: was taken for the worthiest man.Amongest the papists defenders of idola­trie be proferred. And nowe amongest the Pa­pistes, he that can best defende Papisticall idolatrie and supersition, is highest preferred. But (as I said) this vse of lyes and falshood, takes place in none but in such as the diuell (the God of this world) will not suffer,2. Cor. 4. to haue the word of trueth knowne. And this vse of lyes and flashoode, doeth not trame men vnto errour and heresie: but stablisheth men in them, that do not knowe the trueth.

There is an other sort of people, which be the faithfull: at whome the diuel hath indignation, and laboreth with al diligence to deceiue: against whom the vse of manifest lyes (he knoweth) can not pre­uaile: for such as doe knowe and loue the trueth, do abhorre falshoode. Wherefore, if the diuell preuaile against them: it is by another vse of lyes, then he v­sed to the other sort of the world.

This vse of lyes is of two sortes:The vse of lyes a­mongest the faith­fullesse. as we sée by the word of God. The one is to make an euill thing to appeare good, vnder the pretence of good: and a false thing to appeare true, vnder the pretence of trueth.Gene. 3. 4. As we may sée, how the diuell vnder the pre­tence of good and profite vnto Eue,Eue. Caine. made her eate of the apple, which was forbidden. Caine vnder the pretence of friendship, brought Abel into the fielde and killed him.1. Reg. 17. Saule vnder the pretence of amitie,Saule. bade Dauid to feast: and so meant to haue staine him.Absolon. Absolon vnder the colour of iustice and loue to the Common wealth:3. Reg. 15. sought his fathers death, and [Page] made his subiects traitours. With many more such examples in the word of God. Whereby is declared, that the diuell by his disciples, vseth lyes many wayes:The diuell vseth lyes many wa­yes. sometime to stablish men in errour, that be in errour already: sometime to deceiue such as be in the trueth: but then manifest lyes be not vsed, but rather lyes conueyed, couered, and cloaked with the mantell of trueth and veritie: as we may sée by the examples before specified: howbeit, many times this vse of lyes, howe so euer it pretendeth trueth, can not deceiue men. Then, rather then the diuell will misse of his purpose: he teacheth an other vse of lyes, which is more daungerous and painefull to the godly, then any yet before mentioned of. Of the which vse the Prophete Asaphe speaketh in this place,A peril­lous vse of lyes. saying: They speake faire with their toungs, but thinke euill in their heartes.

This is a perillous kinde and vse of lyes: for it doeth one of these two great mischiefes, or else both of them. That is to say, eyther at length it ouercom­meth the trueth: or else mortally persequuteth the trueth that will not be ouercome. As we may sée by Esau.Esau. He vsed a great while faire speach and gentle manners with Iacob his brother: but in his heart he saide,Gene. 27. If my father dye, I will kill my brother. A­gaine, Absolon spake faire to his father,Absolon. and asked him leaue to go to Hebron, to pay there the sacrifice that he promised (whilest he was in Gessur of Syria) vnto God:3. Reg. 15. but in his heart he went thither to rayse king Dauid his fathers subiectes against him. Cer­teine came to Christ and saide:Matth. 22. Maister, we knowe that thou art true, and that thou teachest the wayes of God in trueth: yet in their hearts, they came to trippe him in a case of treason, if they could.

This vse of lyes is very daungerous, for it lyeth [Page 63] in the heart hid secretly, expecting and looking for time conuenient, when and howe it may breake foorth to serue the turne: yet is the diuell the father of lyes, and the temple of the diuell the wicked mans and womans hearts, wherein they lye ashamed or afraide to vtter them:Note. but holdeth outwardly with the trueth, which inwardly they mortally hate, vn­till they may take occasion to doe outwardly as they would.The ami­able coun­tenance of the papists in King Edwards dayes: be turned nowe into firie faces. And we sée it in Caine, Esau, Absolon, the Phariseis and others. Yea, our owne age hath too good experience of this vse of lyes. For, howe many within this twelue moneths spake faire of God and his worde, and shewed them selues outwardly as friendly as could be vnto them? but what their con­science and heartes were inwardly, nowe it appea­reth. Doubtlesse, that they hated deadly in their spi­rites, that they most extolled with their mouthes: for nowe they be gone from the trueth outwardly, whi­che inwardly they neuer loued. And by the vse of their lyes, they traine as many, as they may, to be partakers of their euils: and suche as they can not, (by the vse of lyes drawe vnto their sect) by violence and tyrannie they persequute and compell, with ex­treme punishment and hatred, in landes, goodes, and body.

Thus may we sée by this Prophet Asaphe, which way the wicked persequuted the godly, and mole­sted the séelie members of Christ, that wished al men good, and no men harme: euen with lyes and false­hoode, and vsed many craftie and subtile wayes. Whereof we be not instructed by the Prophet only to knowe this poyson of the diuell concerning lyes, and the diuers and manifold vse and practise of thē: but also, that the Christians be most in daunger of them, yet must be contented for Christes sake to [Page] beare them, and circumspectly to beware they be not deceiued by them.


5 Neuerthelesse, my soule wait thou stil vpon God: for my helpe is in him.

6 He truely is my strength, and my saluation, he is my defence: so that I shall not fall.

7 In God is my health and my glorie, the rocke of might: and in God is my trust.

8 O put your trust in him always (ye people) poure out your hearts before him: for God is our hope. Selah.

The fourth part repeateth more at large, the declaration of the first and the second part.

THE fiue and sixe verses be worde for worde, as the first & the second were: Onely there is left out in these two verses, this word (greatly:) for before he saide, He should not (greatly) fall. The which worde may be taken two wayes very comfortable, of the reader and hearer, if it be well marked and beléeued.

The first way is,Prou. 24. that the Prophet meaneth not, that the people of God shal not fal,The peo­ple of god do fall. for that is against the Scripture: for, The iust man falleth seuen times in the day. 1 Iohn. 1. Againe, If we say we haue no sinne in vs, we deceiue our selues: and the trueth is not in vs. Nowe, whereas sinne inseparably dwelleth (as it doeth in all men whilest they liue vppon the earth) there be faultes and falles before God of the mans part, in whome this sinne dwelleth: yet God of his [Page 64] mercy for the bloud and death of Christe,The sin­nes of the faithful be not impu­ted vnto them for Christes sake. doeth not account these inseparable sinnes to be falles: but lo­ueth the person, preserueth him, and will not impute nor lay any of those falles or faults, vnto his charge, but in Christe estéeme him iustified and cleane, as though he were of him selfe so in déede. And thus the Prophete saith, that of Gods part, and by our accep­tation into his fauour,Rom. 8. through Christ, the faithfull falleth not.Iustifica­tion. Note. That is to say, his sinne is not accounted damnable nor laide to his charge, for Christes sake: As Saint Paule writeth to the Romanes.Rom. 8.

An other way it may be taken. That a Christi­an hath testimonie in his spirit by the spirit of God, that he is so elected, chosen, and ordeined of God to eternall saluation: that what so euer the world, the flesh,He that standeth fast of Gods election: can not fall to damnation the diuell, or sinne shall doe: yet standeth he as­sured of Gods election, grace, strength, and fidelitie, that he shall neuer fall to damnation, but arise a­gaine, and be called from his falls what so euer they be. And yet this most sure & comfortable knowledge will not giue him licence, nor libertie to sinne: but rather kéep him in a feare and loue of the strong and mightie God, in whose handes he is, and kept from the great fall of eternall damnation, from the which he was deliuered from the beginning with God. So that ye may learne of this place, what perseuerance is, in the meditation & contemplation of Gods most holy word and promises.Nichode­mus.

At the first they séeme vnto the fleshe,Iohn. 3. things im­possible, as we may sée by Nichodemus, who was as ignoraunt as could be at the beginning,The lōger a man is at schoole: the more sweetnesse in learning doeth he feele. when he came first to schoole to Christ. But when a man hath bene exercised a while in it, he féeleth more swéet­nesse in the promises of God: as we sée by this Pro­phete. For after he had borne the crosse of affliction [Page] a little while, and learned the nature of God, howe mercifull he is to sinners, he saide: Although I fall, yet it shall not be greatly. But when he had tarried in the schoole of Christe, and learned in déede what he was, and howe that he was able to perfourme his mercy, he saide plainly: Whatsoeuer, sinne, the di­uell, the world, the fleshe, hell, heauen, or the earth would say against him, he should not fall. These two interpretations are to be noted. For which so euer we vse, we may finde comfort, and vnspeakable con­solation.

Now, when he hath declared, that he shal not fall into Gods eternal ire & displeasure: he sheweth how this certeintie of eternall saluation came vnto him: and why God so mercifully and strongly, hath war­ded and fenced him against all temptations and pe­rilles of damnation.

It is (saith he) bicause God is his health.Why shal not be godly fall. Health. That is to say, One that hath not onely taken him from the sicknesse and daunger of sinne, the tyrannie of the diuell, and damnation of the lawe: but also preser­ueth him in the same state, that he fall not againe, into the sicknesse and perill that he was deliuered from.The mer­cy of God and not manswork saueth a sinner. Whereof we learne, that it is not mans la­bours, nor mans workes that helpeth a sinner, and saueth a damnable soule: but it is the frée worke and vndeserued mercy of almightie God. Wherfore we be taught, that There is no health, but in God alone.

Then saith the Prophete also,Glorie. that in God is his glorie. Of the which worde he noteth two thinges. The one touching God alone:Note. and the other touch­ing God and him selfe.

The glorie that toucheth God alone, is, that this troubled Prophete pondered in the heauinesse and [Page 65] anguishe of his minde, the number and strength of his enimies, the diuel, the flesh, sinne, the world, and the bitter accusation of Gods lawes, that truely ac­cused and painfully grieued his conscience for sinne. Of the other side in faith he considered, howe the scripture declared that God was merciful, euen vn­to the greatest sinners of the worlde. And he lear­ned also by the word of God, that GOD had made promise vnto sinners, to be mercifull. He conside­red further, that god had many times vsed and prac­tised his mercy towardes sinners. And he founde likewise by the scripture, that God, to perfourme his mercy, would not spare his owne dearely beloued sonne, to redéeme man from his sinne with his own precious bloud, and painfull death.

Thus weighing the strength of the diuell and sinne in the one part to damne, and the strength of Gods mercy in Christe Iesus on the other part to saue,The afflicted Chri­stian that beleeueth the stren­gthe of Gods mercy, to ex­ceede the force of his eni­mies: receiueth con­solation. and perceiuing the riches, aboundance, and strength of Gods mercy to be more auaylable to saue, then all the power and strength of the diuell and sinne to damne, (for the great victory that God taketh ouer such strong enimies,) the Prophete tri­umpheth in the glorie of God, ioyfully and thanke­fully: extolling him for his mercy and power, that hath broken the serpentes head, and spoyled him of his prisoners. So we vse to doe, when any man by valiauntnesse, defendeth vs from our enimies: we extoll and magnifie him for his victorie and con­quest.

This glorie gaue the Prophete Asaphe in this Psalme of God,Euery christiā giueth the glorie only vnto God. when by faith he sawe God conque­ring of hell, sinne, the diuell, the accusation of the lawe, desperation, the fleshe, and the world. And the same glory giueth euery faithful creature vnto God, [Page] at the end of the Lordes prayer,Matth. 6. when he saith: For thine is the kingdome, the power, and the glorie. By the which wordes we knowe, that howe so euer the diuell and wicked people, take vppon them to v­surpe by violence, warre, and tyrannie, and liue ne­uer so princely in pompe and pride: they be but v­surpers, if they come to it wrongfully: for the king­dome apperteineth vnto GOD. And howe so euer they extend their power, (in Gods sight) they be no stronger then a brused réede, or broken staffe: for the power is Gods. And what glorie so euer they seigne and flatter them selues to haue: it is but wi­thered haye and vile dust, in the sight of God.

But nowe the Prophete,The Pro­phete by faith clai­meth the glory of God▪ to be his glory. by the eye of faith, sée­ing this glorious triumphe, strength, and power in God: saith, that In this glorious, almightie, and triumphant God is his glory, and desireth to haue part of that victorie, and of that meruellous maie­stie. And as the Psalme saith, He calleth and na­meth the God of glorie, his glorie. Oh meruellous, and vnspeakable boldnesse and constancie of faith.Note. A man nothing but sinne by nature, in the sight of God, nothing but earth and ashes, replenished with all miserie and wretchednesse, by nature corrupt, the very enimie of GOD, a vessell prepared vnto all dishonour, ignominie, shame, and perdition, contem­ned through sinne, and shamed before all creatures: and yet nowe with all these dishonours (by faith) saith. The king of glorie is his glorie: and the con­querour of all dishonour, is his shield and buckler.

Of the other part, who can thinke or speake any thing thankfull to suche a king of glory, and most mightie conquerour, that abhorreth not of mercy, to be the honour and glory of so vile, sinfull, and wret­ched a thing, as man is? Whose eyes abhorre no [Page 66] filthe of sinne in penitent sinners,Consolatiō whose presence re­fuseth not the companie of the sicke and miserable, whose strength comforteth the weake, whose mercy reioyceth the comfortles, whose life expelleth death: whose health banisheth sicknesse, whose loue van­quisheth hatred,Psal. 103. whose immortalitie giueth euer­lasting life: and who crowneth vs with endlesse pi­tie and compassion in ioyes perpetuall.

Thus the Prophete, after he had espied the al­mightie God in him selfe gloriously, to be voyd of all troubles, dolours, and other aduersities, and that he had also conquered gloriously the capteines of al ad­uersities,Oh liuely faith. hell, death, satan, and sinne: he challenged by faith, and craued by Gods promise, to be parta­ker of Gods glory in this point. And doubtlesse, he that can féele in his heart, that GOD is his glory: he shall take no dishonour nor shame, by all the wor­kes of the diuell, sinner, or the worlde. There­fore, many times in reading or thinking of the Psalmes, or other parte of the holy scripture: it is expedient to meditate and pray, that the word we speake or pray, may be vnto vs as much saluation, comfort, and glory, as we perceiue GOD hath ap­pointed in it for vs. And when we say with our mouth to God,Luke. 17. Thou art my saluation, my glorie, my rocke, and my trust: Let vs cry, Lorde increase our faith, helpe vs for thy name sake constantly to be­leeue thee, to be vnto vs in deed in spirit as we speake of thee outwardly with our mouth. For in case the heart vnderstande not,Esai. 29. nor beléeue the wordes we speake with our mouthe:Matth. 15. we honour God in vaine, as the scripture saith. Let vs therefore praye, as Saint Paule teacheth vs,1. Cor. 14. saying: I will pray with the spirite, and I will pray with the minde also.

When the Prophete hath by faith assured him [Page] selfe of Gods fauour,Exhorta­tion. he exhorteth all the Christian congregation to doe the same, saying: O put your trust in him alwayes (ye people, &c.)

Here the Prophete teacheth,What is the office of the pa­stor, when he vnder­standeth the scrip­tures? what the Minister of the Church, Bishop, and others should doe, when they vnderstand the scripture, and learne by it, feare and faith, loue and hope in GOD: they be bound to teache the congregation the same Scriptures for her saluation. Whereby is condemned the vse of the Scripture in an vnknowne toung: which is directly against Gods worde.1. Cor. 14. The office of Kinges and Magi­strates, Pa­rentes and Maisters. And here be Kings and Rulers also taught, to sée their subiectes, te­naunts, and seruaunts to vnderstand the worde of God: likewise the Father and the Mother, the Mai­ster and the Maistresse, who be bound to knowe for their saluation the worde of GOD, and to teache it vnto others vnder their gouernaunce. Therefore, in the end of the verse is put (Selah.) As though he had saide, Happie be those that put their trust in the Lorde, and teach other to doe the same. And curssed be those that trust not in the Lord, and teach others to do the like.


9 As for the children of men, they are but vaine: the children of men are deceitfull vpon the weights. They are altogether lighter then vanitie it selfe.

10 O trust not in wrong and robberie, giue not your selues to vanitie: if riches increase, set not your heart vpon them.

The fift part sheweth, howe mans power is not to be trusted vnto.

[Page 67] THE Prophete by no meanes would haue men to put their trust in fleshe and bloud:No truste in fleshe & bloud. Note. in case they doe, they must néedes perishe. For when miserable man shall trust in vaine vanitie, whi­che is man: he can be no lesse then vanitie it selfe, in whome he hath trusted. And this is one miserie and wretchednesse, a man to be deceiued of helpe and suc­cour: whereas he most trusted to haue bene holpen and succoured. Thus must it néedes happen to them that trust in men. For men of most excellencie and greatest authoritie, riches, and power in the world, be but vanitie:As man isIf we say we haue no sinne in vs so is his helpe. as the Prophete saith. Nowe as they be, so is their helpe. And as their helpe is, so is the comfort and consolation of such as seeke help at their handes. Those that be trusted vnto, be but flesh and bloud:Note dili­gently. the best of flesh and bloud is but vanitie: the consolation and helpe of vanitie, is miserie and wretchednesse: wherefore the Prophete exhorteth all men to beware, they séeke not ayde and comfort of man,The Israe­lites vsed the Egyp­tians for helpe. for he is but vaine. The Israelites vsed for their helpe against their enimies, the Egyptians: but the more flesh conspired together, the worsse suc­cesse had all the battels they fought. Nowe as we sée, men that haue their trust in men, suffer muche trouble and miserie in the world,An inferi­our me­dicine to the dis­ease: can not cure the patiēt. Iere. 17. What doth come of the trust in man. bicause their helpe they trust in, is of inferiour strength and power to the troubles and aduersities, that they be combred withall. So doeth the word of God declare, that such men as trust in vanitie, haue not onely worldly ad­uersities against them, but also for their so doing, (trusting in fleshe) they be accurssed of God, as the scriptures say: Curssed be he that trusteth in man. So that we sée meruelous and vnspeakable harmes come of the trust in man. First, miseries of ye world, [Page] and next the enimitie and cursse of God. For he that putteth his trust in man, with the same one fact and doing,Two euils. doeth two horrible euils. The one, he decei­ueth him selfe: for the vanitie that he trusteth in, can not saue him. And the other, he dishonoureth God that onely can saue, in putting his trust in mortall man, that can not saue: and so maketh of man God: to Gods high displeasure and dishonour.

Euery Christian man therefore should forsake fleshe and bloud, and trust in the Lorde Almightie maker of heauen and earth, as the Prophet Asaphe did a little before, when he saide: In God was his glory, who could defend him from all hurts present, past, and to come, what so euer they were.

The like may we sée in Saint Paule,Gal. 6. that saide: God forbid that I should glory in any thing, sauing in the crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ, by whome the world is crucified vnto me, and I vnto the worlde: That is, bicause I put al my trust of saluation (saith Saint Paule) in him that was crucified, the worlde taketh me for an heretique, and so persequuteth me: but yet it ouer commeth me not,A goodly explanatiō of Paules words: god forbid that I should glory in, &c. neither taketh it a­way my glory, my consolation, and my crowne of eternall ioyes. For euen as the world persequuteth me with fire, sword, and all other crucifyings: so I crucifie the world againe, testifying by the worde of God, that their liuing is nought, and their faith and trust worse. So that as they crucifie me with world­ly trouble: in like manner I crucifie the worlde a­gaine with the worde of God, and speake against it, bearing testimonie that it is the enimie of God, and shall perish eternally. But this I doe (saith Paule) bicause I glory in nothing, sauing in Christ crucified.

Thus doeth the Prophete Asaphe teach all men to put their trust in Christe, and not in sinfull man: [Page 68] which is not onely vanitie: Man more vaine then vanitie.but also, If vanitie were laid in one balance, and man in the other, yet of both man were the more vanitie. Therefore man is not to be trusted vnto: (saith the Prophet.)

And for a further declaration that man is more vaine, then vanitie: he openly declareth in the pro­cesse of his Psalme, that man is giuen besides vani­tie, to wrong and robberie, which two euilles do in­crease mans miseries.Why man is more vaine then vanitie. For man is not onely borne vaine vanitie: but also by processe of time in wicked liuing, addeth wrong and robberie vnto vanitie, and so maketh vanitie more vaine and damnable, then it was before.

Nowe this robberie and wrong is done two ma­ner of wayes:Who so trusteth in any thing sauing in God, doeth dishonour God. Wrong done. vnto God. to God, and to man. He that putteth his trust of saluation in any other thing, sauing in God: looseth not only his saluation, but also robbeth God of his glory, and doeth God (as much as lyeth in him) manifest wrong, as the wicked people a­mongest the Iewes did, that saide, As long as they honoured and trusted vnto the Quéene of heauen, al thinges prospered with them: but when they hear­kened to the true preachers of Gods word,Ose. 2. they said al things came into worsse state,Iere. 44. and that with scar­sitie and trouble they were ouer whelmed.

He that putteth also his trust & confidence in any learning or doctrine besides Gods worde,What doth he that be leeueth a­ny doctrin besides gods word. doeth not only fall into errour, and lose the trueth: but also as much as lyeth in him, he robbeth Gods booke of his sufficient trueth and veritie, and ascribeth it to the bookes of mens decrées. Which is as much wrong to God and his booke, as may be thought or done. In the which robberie (or rather sacrilege) no man shuld put his trust, (as the Prophete saith.)

An other way,Wrong done vnto man. wrongs be done vnto man: when [Page] the riche and sturdie of the worlde, by abusing of friendship, oppresse, robbe and spoyle the poore. And by his thus doing, first he deceiueth him selfe: for e­uill gotten goods can not long prosper, neither can any familie aduaunced by fraude, crafte, or subtiltie long time endure. Then he deceiueth the simple and poore that trusteth vpon the outward shewe of his port and estimation: which glittereth in the worlde as a vaine, glorious, and deceiuable beautie, and ho­nour: and marketh neither howe wickedly the glo­rie of the robber and doer of wrong sprang vp, nor howe miserably God hath ordeined it to fall againe. But séeing carnally he séeth a vaine man in vani­tie, prosper for a time, he trusteth in this vanitie pampered vp with robberie and wrong, vntill suche time as vanitie vadeth, and he much lamenteth that put in vanitie, so much vaine hope. But graunt that honour and riches by Gods gift and trueth, abound: yet were they not giuen for men to trust in,Why ri­ches are giuen vnto man. but for men to giue GOD more thankes, and to helpe the poore with them, from iniuries of oppression, and néede of hunger, thirst, and pouertie. Therefore the Prophete saith, Although riches doe abound: yet men should not put their heartes vpon them. That is to say, men should not trust in them, nor kéepe thē otherwise, then their vse or kéeping should serue to the glorie of God: in aboundance to be liberall: and in time of néede to be carefull: not to kéepe them for a priuate commoditie: but as Iosephe did say, to saue the multitude from scarsitie and penurie. Thus doeth the Prophete exhort all men to beware they put not their trust in men:Gene. 4. for both they and all that they haue of worldly things, be transitorie, vaine, and inconstant.


11 God spake once, and twice, I haue also heard the same: that power belongeth vnto God.

12 And that thou Lorde art merciful: for thou re­wardest euery man, according to his worke.

The sixt part conteineth: howe that God hath promised to helpe the afflicted, &c.

IOb hath the same phrase and manner of speache: The Lord spake once, and will not repeate the same againe. Iob. 33. That is as much to say,Note. as that the worde of God is so sure, that it can not be made frustrate, nor changed by any meanes. So saith this Prophete Asaphe, God spake once, which standeth sure for euer, and cannot be altered.

This word of GOD hath relation to the verses before: wherein be opened the vanitie of man, or in­sufficiencie to helpe him selfe or others in trouble, which can not be chaunged, nor euer shall be, but as fleshe is vanitie be it neuer so holy: as Adam called his best sonne and holy Martyr,Genesis. 4. Abel in Hebrue: in English in Vanitie. Abel: that is to say in the Hebrue toung, Vanitie: perfectly knowing, that all flesh by sinne, was vile and vaine: and ther­fore not to be trusted vnto.

This (once) speaking of God, is also referred vn­to the text that followeth: which declareth two ver­tues in God, Power and Mercy: Power, to punishe his enimies:How God doth re­ward eue­ry man af­ter his workes. and Mercy, to recompense his faithful afflicted. And this is so true, that it shall neuer be made false: the wicked to féele Gods strength in damnation, and the faithfull to féele Gods mercies in saluation: not bicause their workes deserue it: but bicause God of his mercy, so contented to blesse [Page] the poore faithful workeman. So he giueth eche man after his workes, the euill hell fire by iustice, and the good heauens blisse by mercie.

Now the Prophet saith, He heard it twise at Gods mouth, that is to say, He knewe God had made pro­mise of mercie to saue the faithfull penitentes: and of iustice to punishe the impenitent sinner. And this he heard in the time of the Lawe of Nature, by rea­ding of Moses bookes: and also by the holy Ghost in his owne time, when by the inspiration of the holy Ghost, he wrote this Psalme and the rest of his pro­phesies. The same haue we likewise heard: first, by reading of the bookes of Moses: next, by reading of the Scriptures of the Prophets: and third­ly, by reading of the new Testament. The which I pray God giue vs grace to beléeue and followe. Amen.

¶AN EXPOSITION vppon the 73. Psalme, made by the constant Martyr of Christe, Maister IOHN HOOPER, Bishop of Glo­cester and Worcester.


THE matter and argument of this Psalme, is a consolation for them that are wont much to be moued and afflicted, when they see the vngodly flourish, and prosper in all wealth, and pleasure: and contrariwise, the godly and good people op­pressed with pouertie, and all other calamities, & afflictions. As ye may see the Prophet Asaphe intreate of this matter in this his first Psalme: the same ye may see also in king Dauid, in his 37. Psalme. Wherein he exhorteth men not to iudge amisse of God,Psalm. 37. nor to leaue off godly conuersation, although the best be punished, and the worst scape quit. These two Psalmes in­treating of one matter, are to be read and knowen of vs in these perillous dayes, least the hatred & persequution that happeneth to Gods truth, and to the louers thereof, might vnhappily make vs to iudge of God, & to forsake his trueth, as many haue done, and daily the number of them increase, with the decrease of Gods honour, and the increase of their owne damnation. For nowe Christ trieth the chaffe from the come,Matth. 26. the rust from the metall,1. Tim. 1. and hypocrisie from trueth, If we will not, or cannot a­bide the hammar,2. Tim. 4. or trying potte that God setteth vs in, to ex­plorate and search,1. Iohn. 2. whether our faith wil abide the fire of trou­ble and persequution,1. Cor. 3. or not: if we suffer not, all our religion is not worth a hawe. For,Heb. 11. it is not woordes that proue faith, but deedes.Matth. 10. If it abide the triall, it is true, and the more it is tried, the finer it wilbe: and at lengthe brought into such finenesse,Iames. 2. as corruption shall neuer hurt nor harme it,Gen. 12. 15. 17. 22. in the world of grace and vertue. GOD therefore graunt vs grace to suffer his triall, and search strongly,Rom. 4. patiently and thankefully.Matth. 7. Amen.


¶The order of the Psalme:
  • 1 The text and letter of the Psalme.
  • 2 The Paraphrase, or plaine explanation of the text, and letter of the Psalme.
  • 3 The principall partes, and most notable doctrines con­teyned in the Psalme.

¶The text and letter of the Psalme of Asaphe.


‘1. Truely God is louing vnto Israel: euen vnto such as are of a cleane heart.’

¶The Paraphrase or plaine explanation.

GOD loueth the godly,Matth. 5. although they be afflicted:Luke. 6. and hateth the vngodly,Apoc. 3. althoughe they be in prosperitie.Prouerb. 3. The Lord is louing and merciful to such as be afflic­ted,Heb. 11. and specially if their hearts be pure and cleane, & iudge no­thing of God amisse: whether they sée the good op­pressed, or the euil exalted. In their hearts they mur­mur nothing at Gods doinges: nor in their mindes they find no fault with Gods order, and prouidence.

THE second and third verse.

2. Neuerthelesse my feet were almost gone, my trea­dinges had welneere slipt.

3. And why? I was greeued at the wicked, I doe see also the vngodly in such prosperitie.

¶The plaine Explanation.

Yet notwithstanding,Psal. 37. 73. when I sawe the good af­flicted, and the euil prosper,Abac. 2. it troubled my minde: so [Page 71] so that in manner I was forced and compelled, tho­roughe indignation, to iudge of God as other euill men did: and gréeuously offended his high maiestie, in thinking his doings not indifferent, in troubling the good, and quieting of the bad.

THE fourth Verse.

‘4 For they are in no perill of death: but are lustie and strong.’

¶The plaine explanation.

I perceiued further, (saith the Prophet) that the wicked liued not onely quietly, and pleasantly: but also died (in maner) without heauines, or any great tormentes. Besides all these felicities, pleasures, and ease for their owne partes in this world: it hap­peneth when they die, they leaue also pleasant and delectable mansion houses, great riches, and large possessions to their children.

THE fift and sixt Verse.

5 They come into no misfortunes like other folke, neither are they plagued like other men.

6 And this is the cause that they be so holden with pride, and ouerwhelmed with crueltie.

¶The plaine explanation.

If any misse of losse and damage in this world, it is they: if sicknesse flieth from any, it flyeth from them. So that much felicitie, and little aduersitie, causeth them to knowe neither God, they neigh­bours, nor themselues.

THE seuenth Verse.

7 Their eyes swell for fatnesse, and they doe what [Page] them lust.

¶The plaine explanation.

Such as flourish with riches and authoritie, waxe proud and arrogant; for all thinges come so aboun­dantly vnto them, that they haue more then they looke for.

THE eight Verse.

8 They corrupt other, and speake of wicked blas­pheme, their talke is against the most highest.

¶The plaine explanation.

They afflict and cruelly persequute the good and innocent, and they are come to this insolencie and pride, that they would not onely their abhemination should be knowen: but also they themselues bost of it, and in most abhomination, most extoll and mag­nifie themselues.

THE ninthe Verse.

9 For they stretch foorth their mouth vnto the hea­uen: and their tongue goeth through the world.

¶The plaine explanation.

They be so blinded and deceiued with he felici­tie, and trouble of this world, that they spare not God, nor godly men: but speake against both, and do their willes and pleasures.

THE 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. and 17. Verses.

10 Therefore fall the people vnto them, and there out sucke they no small aduantage.

11 Tush (say they) howe should God perceiue it? Is there knowledge in the most highest?

12 Loe these are the vngodly, these prosper in the [Page 72] world, these haue riches in possession.

13 Then haue I clensed my heart in vaine (said I) & washed my handes in innocencie.

14 All the day long haue I beene punished, and cha­stened euery morning.

15 Yea, I had almost said euen as they: but loe, then should I haue condemned the generation of thy children.

16 Then thought I to vnderstand this, but it was too hard for mee.

17 Vntill I went into the Sanctuarie of God: then vnderstoode I the end of these men.

¶The plaine explanation.

Because the wicked men prosper so well in this world: the people of God conforme, and applie them selues to do as they doe, and frame their liues and manners, vnto the rule and fashion of such wicked people as prosper. And they sucke and drawe into their mindes, the wicked mens opinions and con­uersations: and so replenish themselues with iniqui­tie, as the thirstie man doth replenish himselfe with water. And when the people sée the best part turne vnto the manners of the worst, and be as euill or worse then the worst: they muse and thincke whe­ther there be any God, or knowledge in God, that suffereth these abhominations. And not onely the common people (saith the prophet Asaphe,) stoode in a mamering whether God tooke any héede or cared for the world, séeing that wicked men did so prosper, and the godlier sorte so vexed: but I may selfe also considering these things with my selfe, fell into such madnesse and error of iudgement, that I had done e­uill so to applie my selfe to vertuous and godly life: séeing I was vexed and turmoyled with continuall [Page] miseries, & séeing that there was neuer a day, that did not bring her crosse and trouble to the seruaunts of God, and vertuous people. These thinges (saith the prophet,) fondly and foolishly I spake to my selfe many times: but when I weighed the thing with more iudgement, and considered the matter more déepely with my selfe, I thought, If I thus iudge and speake of God, doe I not improue, reprehende, and condemne the life, conuersation, and labours of all godly men? The which will not be drawen nor inticed from godly life, and the loue of vertue by no misaduentures, nor afflictions in this world: nei­ther doe they iudge that they haue studied, and fol­lowed godlinesse in vaine, whatsoeuer trouble hath happened to them in this world. And therfore, when I assayed to compasse the cause, and veritie of these thinges: the greatnesse thereof brought me into much feare, and carefulnesse. And further I percei­ued, that I could not come to the knowledge of these thinges, except the Almightie God would reueale, and open vnto me the mysteries and secretes of his prouidence, and wisedome: that I might sée, and vn­derstand, what ende and outgoing these wicked men should haue, that with most abhomination and blas­phemie in this life had most felicitie, and pleasure. And by tarrying in the thoughtes, and cogitations of this case and matter: at last I found, that these wicked men and women, whose felicitie and prospe­rous estate tormented me, their end was most mise­rable, full of wretchednesse and paine.

THE 18. and 19. Verse.

18 Namely, thou settest them in slipperie places, and castest them downe, and destroyest them.

19 Oh howe soudeinly do they consume, perish, and [Page 73] come to a fearefull ende?

¶The plaine explanation.

Doubtlesse the felicities and pleasures (Lord) that thou gauest to these wicked doers, are slipperie and brittle: for so may I well call them, because such as enioy them (for the most part,) so abuse them in this life, that they loose the life euerlasting.

THE 20. Verse.

20 Yea euen as a dreame when one awaketh: so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the citie.

¶The plaine explanation.

These wicked mens felicitie vanished, as the dreame of him that is awaked. For as ye dreame for a time séemeth to be true, & as long as he sléepeth he supposeth it to be as he dreameth: but as the dreame passeth the sléepe being broken: so doth these wicked mens felicitie, when they depart out of this life.

THE 21. 22. 23. and 24. Verse.

21 Thus my heart was greeued, and it went tho­roughe my raines.

22 So foolish was I and ignorant, euen as it were a beast before thee.

23 Neuerthelesse I am alwayes by thee: for thou hast holden me by the right hand.

24 Thou shalt guide mee with thy counsell, and after that receiue me with glorie.

¶The plaine explanation.

Before (saith Asaph) that I sawe such wicked men (as flourished in all felicitie, and pleasure) caste downe headlong from their places, I was wonder­fully troubled. And no meruell: for I was but a foole and an idiote, that perceiued not the iudgement [Page] of the Lord, but as a beast before thée in that respecte, Oh Lord, yet diddest thou conduct me (such a foole as I am) to the vnderstanding of thy pleasure, in such difficil and hard causes. And in their pleasures thou shewedst me their losse, and damnation: and in mine owne aduersitie and trouble shewedst me, my salua­tion and perpetuall health.

THE 25. and 26. Verse.

25 Whom haue I in heauen but thee? And there is none vppon the earth, that I desire in comparison of thee.

26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for euer.

¶The plaine explanation.

When the Prophete hath weighed Gods iudge­ment, towardes such as with iniquitie liued in all pleasure, and perceiued that their paines were for e­uer, and their ioyes but for a time: he is nowe infla­med with the loue of God, and breaketh foorth into these godly words, and sentences: Who can delight me in heauen, but thou? O Lord. Whom shal I loue vppon the earth? Whom shall I reuerence and ho­nour, but thée? Doubtlesse of all thinges except thée, I passe nothing of, nor set stoore by. Thée onely I embrace, thée onely I desire, and thée onely I couet, and wishe for: for onely thou art to be beloued, to be honoured, and to be wished for. So that both my soule, and my body be rauished with the loue of thée: for thou art the strength, and foundation of my soule and body. Thou art my riches, my treasure, and my euerlasting inheritance.

THE 27. and 28. Verse.

27 For loe, they that forsake thee shal perish: thou [Page 74] hast destroyed all them that commit fornication a­gainst thee.

28 But it is good for me, to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God.

¶The plaine explanation.

And good cause haue I (Oh Lord) to loue thée: for they shall perish, and be destroyed, as many as loue any thing besides thée, and forsake thée. Therefore as I knowe it profitable onely to preferre thée (O Lord) in all loue and fauour: so is it méete that I bée­ing thus saued by the mercie, and receiuing so many benefites at thy hand, should continually with laude and praise, celebrate and magnifie the meruellous works of thy goodnesse and prouidence.

The end of the Paraphrase or plaine explanation.

¶The principal partes of the Psalme 73.

Verse. 1. Truely God is louing to Israel, &c.The first part is conteyned in the first verse: and it declareth that God loueth the good, although he punisheth them.
Verse 2. My feete were almost gone, &c.The second part is conteined in the second verse: and it declareth how weake & fraile a thing the nature of man is, and vppon howe small an occasion it is in danger to fall from God.
[Page] Verse 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. I was gree­ued at the wicked, &c.The third part is conteined in sixe verses that follow, wherin the felicitie of wicked men consisteth, that good men bee so sore gree­ued
Verse 9. 10. 11. Therefore fall the people vnto them, &c.The fourth part is conteined in other three verses next ensuing: And it declareth howe fraile, brittle, and weake a thing man is, that for euery trifle turneth, and withdraweth himselfe from God.
Verse 12. 13. Then haue I clensed my heart in vaine, &c.The fift parte is conteined in two other verses next following: And it declareth howe soone men repent their well doinges.
Verse 14. Yea and I had almost said euen as they, &c.The sixt part is conteined in one verse next following: And it de­clareth how great a daunger it is, temerously to iudge of God, or of Gods people, without the word of God.
Verse 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Then thoughte I to vn­derstand this, but it was too hard for me, &c.The seuenth part is conteined in seuen verses next following: And it declareth that mans reason is but ignorant and beastly in consi­dering of Gods workes, vntill it be illuminated by God and his word. And then is made open, how vaine all things be that wicked men pos­sesse in this world.
[Page 75] Verse 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. Neuer­thelesse I am al­waye by thee: for thou hast holden mee by my right hand, &c.The eighth part is conteined in sixe verses next following vnto the end of the Psalme: and it decla­reth a wonderfull & vnspeakable consolation. For althoughe wee be greeuously tempted: yet we be not forsaken of God, but preserued and lift vppe, when else otherwise wee should fall. And in this part in set­ting forth the multitude and num­ber of Gods consolations: he draw­eth neere the ende of the Psalme, and concludeth it with this text, I wil set forth thy workes. Wher­with he declareth that hee will be thankefull vnto God for his great giftes and mercie.
¶The end of the partes and chiefest mat­ters in the Psalme.

What thinges are to be marked out of these partes, and matters of the Psalme.

¶Out of the first part are many thinges to be noted.

FIrst the nature and condition of God, (for as much as hée hath prepared for men a place of ioye permanent and e­uerlasting:) is not to reward such as be his,Matth. 6. and ordeined to the life to come with so slender,Colos. 3. and small a recompense in the bloud of his sonne Iesus Christ,1. Cor. 15. as these worldy and tran­sitorie thinges be of this world:Matth. 25. but with riches and treasures that shall not corrupt,Cantic. 4. nor be eaten with [Page] vermine,Iohn. 17. nor yet taken from vs by théeues. As S. Paule saith:Ephes. 2. He hath made vs to sit with him in the glorie of heauen. Matth. 19. And as Christ said vnto Peter, that became a begger with the rest of the Apostles in this world, for Christes sake: Ye shall (saith Christ) sitt vppon the twelue seates, iudging the twelue tribes of Israel. We must therefore note out of this place of the Prophets Psalme, That God, although he whip and scourge vs, as we haue most worthily deserued: yet he loueth vs, and will not take his mercie from vs, but once leaue beating of vs, and burne the rod: and then in Christ reward vs with euerlasting life.Rom. 8. In any case therefore,Luke 23. we must well assure our sel­ues in the dayes of Gods punishmentes,Psalm. 119. that the end of his crosses & afflictions be the beginning of euer­lasting ioyes.Apoc. 6. 27 22. For, He receiueth none: but such as he first correcteth and chasteneth. Esaie 54.

The second learning in this part,Ose. 1. is to be persua­ded,Heb. 12. that God doth not punish without iust cause,Esaie. 53. for that he delighteth in punishing of his people:Rom. 3. As the wicked Pharao,Exod. 14. Nemroth, Saule, and Iulian the A­postata said.Gene. 10. When he had drowned all the world with water for sinne,1. Reg. 28. the wicked people iudged, that God had punished of a parcial and cholericke passion in his furie,Trip. Hist. without iust matter & cause. And there­fore they went about in contempt of God, to build a tower so high, that God should neuer haue béene a­ble to wreake his wrath vppon them againe. So did cursed Pharao,Exod. 5. he asked What God that should be, that could plague him and his realme? And in the time of his punishment railed,1. Reg. 28. and spake most vnre­uerently. Wicked Saule also, when God for his dis­obedience punished him: he in despite of God, sought remedie to withstand the punishmentes of God by witchcraft,Trip. Hist. and Nekromancie. And Iulian the Em­perour, [Page 76] when Christ gaue him in the warres his deathes wound, tooke an handful of his owne bloud, and hurled it in despite of Christ into the aire, and said, Thou hast ouercome thou Galilean, and so in moc­kerie he called Christ, & Christian men Galileans. Wherfore, in any case this beginning of the Psalme is to be marked, and vsed in the time of all mens pu­nishments: and to say with heart and mouth vnto the heauenly father, whatsoeuer he layeth vpon vs, Truely God is louing vnto me, &c. And so doth king Dauid crie out, when God was most seuere and bu­sie in punishing both him and his people,Psalm. 119. saying: Thou art iust, (Lord) and right: and iust is thy iudg­ment. So did the Emperour Maurice say, when his wife,Carion. and children were killed before his face: Thou art iust, Lord, and thy iudgementes are righteous.

Iob likewise was of the same minde,Iob. 1. 2. although his wife and kinsefolke prouoked him to speake vnpa­tiently, and vnreuerently of God: yet he said, that He and all his were the Lords, and that if he had ta­ken them of him, why should not he be contented, that God should haue them againe at his pleasure? These two notes are to be marked, and vsed, what­soeuer happen.Ioh. 16. First, that God purposeth to bestowe heauenly pleasures and treasures vppon his people:Gal. 5. and therefore he wil not reward them with the trash and wicked Mammon of this life,Col. 1. and transitorie vale of miserie.1. Thes. 1. The second,Heb. 12. when he punisheth his in this world,Iames. 1. it is of loue: and that the person af­flicted must both take it so,1. Iohn. 1. and also saye so with this Prophete Asaphe, Truely God is louing vnto Israel, (that is to say,) To him that professeth his religion.

The third note is, to marke that God is knowen and felt in the time of punishment, and persequu­tion [Page] to be louing:Psalm. 119. but of such as be of a cleane heart. Whereof we learne,Deut. 4. that all men that beare the name of Israelites,2. Reg. 22. and of Christian religion: iudge neither reuerently nor yet patiently of Gods punish­mentes,Neh. 9. but such Christian men as be of cleanePsalme. 18. 91 118. heartes.Rom. 5. 12. Out of this place we may learne, the cause why in this troublesome time,1. Cor. 4. so many waxe wea­rie and fall from the trueth of Gods word,2. Cor. 1. whiles God is a punishing of vs that haue béene vnthanke­ful vnto him, and did not liue according to his word, (the Lord forgiue vs.) Doubtles, now they mislike, and starte backe: no not starte backe, but open­ly in the face of Gods enemies sweare and stare, as Peter did, (God sende them Peters repentance,) that they neuer passed, nor cared a iote for Gods word. And all is, because they be not, nor euer were of a cleane heart: that is to say, so persuaded in their heartes, that Gods holy word is the onely trueth, what punishment soeuer GOD lay vppon them that professe it. God giue vs this cleane heart, that we may vnfeignedly say, Doubtlesse the Lord is lo­uing vnto his word, and to them that professe it, al­thoughe he lay thousandes of crosses vppon them in this world.

Out of this place we be admonished (dearely be­loued,) to beware of the greatest, and abhominable euill (one of them) that can be done against God: that is to say, witchcrafte, and calculation by Astro­nomie, and such other like. Howe haynous an of­fence is this, when we sée the heauens raine, the cloudes wholy bent to stormes and tempestes, the windes roaring, and in such rage, as all should goe a sunder, thunder and lighteninges as men won­der at: and vnder all these plagues, tempestes and soule weather, the young springing corne, the swéete [Page 77] roote of hearbes, the little withered grasse lye bu­ried and couered vnder weather and stormes, frost and snowe, whilest GOD suffereth winter, and maketh colde to continue. Were it not now witch­craft and very abhomination, to say and diuine of these stormie and winterly tempestes, that sommer should not be gréene, parched blades of graine should not come againe in the haruest to corne: bitten, and buried rootes, should not at the spring bring foorth swéete and pleasant floures: that shaken and wind torne trées by tempestes, should not in the calme comming of the sommer, bud foorth their leaues? What witche and cursed man would thus iudge of earthly things, that haue their times of vading and loosing of all beautie for the sinne of man? If this be abhomination for the bitternesse and stormes of winter, to condemne and curse the sommer to come, bycause sommers fruites, and the sprin­ges beautie be stayned and all defiled with win­ters barrennesse, and dimme cloudes: what is this, but tenne times more abhomination, for the bitter­nesse and stormes of persequution, to condemne and curse the life to come of Gods people, bicause truthes fruites, and the resurrections glory be stained, and all dishonoured with worldly scarsitie, and dimme persequution? But as Asaph the Prophete saith, Al eyes see not these thinges, but such as be of a cleane heart. All men haue eyes, for the most part, and all men haue hearts, but they be such, as the wormes of the earth, and birdes of the ayre can eate and de­uour: but he that will liue in GOD, and sée these things, must haue immortall eyes, and an incorrup­tible heart, which commeth by grace in Gods spirit, to sée by faith, and honour with reuerence Gods do­ings, as well in the winter and colde stormes of per­sequution, [Page] as in the summer of felicitie and pleasure: and to remember that all men and women haue this life and this worlde appointed vnto them, for their winter and season of stormes. The summer draweth neare, and then shall we be fresh, orient, swéete, ami­able, pleasant, acceptable, immortall, and blessed for euer and euer: and no man shall take vs from it. We must therefore in the meane time, learne out of this verse to say vnto God: whether it be winter or summer, pleasure or paine, libertie or imprisonment, life or death, Truely God is louing vnto Israel, euen vnto such as be of a cleane heart.

¶Out of the second part are diuers things also to be noted.

‘2 My feete were almost gone, &c.’

FIrst the Prophet noteth, how wret­ched and miserable man is, and how soone inclined to doe euill. He saith, that He was ready and prest to haue slipt from God: euen with the behol­ding of Gods owne works, when he sawe God giue vnto the wicked felicitie and prospe­ritie, which things be onely Gods riches to giue to whome he will. Although he bestowed none of his vpon the wicked, yet was he offended that he should bestowe his owne where he lusted.Matth. 20. The same occa­sion tooke the workmen in the vineyard, to murmur against God: as it is in the Gospell of Saint Mat­thewe. So that we be naturally giuen to this, that God giueth alwayes too muche vnto other, and too little vnto vs: yea, although he would giue vs all the world, and yet kéepe any one thing for himselfe, [Page 78] (euen his very Godhed,) in case he wil not giue also that vnto vs:Gene. 3. we be ready to bid him farewell. And in case he will not also giue vs as muche, as is in him: such is our nature, that we will by some mea­nes or other séeke to haue it. As we may sée, when he had made Adam, and giuen him both knowledge and power, aboue all other creatures made for his vse, bycause he was not made God altogether: he fell most haynously from God: and slipt not only in his féete: but also in soule and body, to his vtter ru­ine and destruction, and of vs all that come of him. For this is our condition. Let God giue vs neuer so much, we thinke it too litle, (except we haue a singu­lar grace to consider it.) And let vs surrender vnto God neuer so little homage or seruice: we thinke it all too much. Such is our cursed nature and first birth, to be ready to slip from God vpon the lighiest occasion of the world: yea, when GOD doth other men good,Gene. 3. and vs no harme. But this nature we haue of the diuel our forefather,Iohn. 8. to disdeine and ma­ligne at other mens profite & preferment, as he did. For when God made Adam, and put him in Para­dise: the diuell neuer rested enuying Adams prospe­ritie, vntil he had brought him to the lesse of altoge­ther, and to slip cleane from the Lorde. This doc­trine therefore touching the brittlenesse and fraile­nesse of mans nature, is to be marked: least that whereas the Prophete saide, My feete were almost gone, we slide and fall altogether from God.

There is also to be noted, that the Prophet said, He was almost gone, and not altogether. Here is the presence, prouidence, strength, safegarde, and kéeping of man by almightie God, meruellously set foorth: that although we be tempted and brought (euen to the very point,) to perpetrate, and doe all [Page] mischiefe: yet he stayeth vs, and kéepeth vs that the temptation shall not cleane ouercome vs. And so Saint Paule saith of Gods prouidence, and present helpe: that He will not suffer vs to be tempted fur­ther, then we shall be able to beare. And many times when we be brought into the greatest daunger and perill both of body and soule: before we fall and be ouercome, the Lorde preserueth vs, and preuenteth the euill.Gene. 20. As when Abraham went into Egypt, and perceiued that the Egyptians would put him in daunger for his wife Sara, (for she was a faire wo­man,) he desired her to say, She was his sister: and by that meanes thought to saue him selfe from dan­ger, and to winne fauour at the Egyptians handes. The chastitie of this godly matrone Sara and wife of Abraham, came into such extreme peril, that nei­ther Abraham nor she, knewe how to stande fast in the state and chaste condition of matrimonie: for she was coupled to the king, as his wife. But least the woman should haue falne, and her féete slipt: the Lorde rebuked the king, and tolde him, that Sara was an other mans wife, and vnlawfull for him: and so, by his merciful defence and goodnesse, kept al partes from falling in that respect.Iudith. 13. The like may ye sée also in Iudith the godly woman, that without a singular grace of God, had falne with Dlofernes, and abused womanhoode, and widowhoode: had not the Lord stayed in time, the fall was imminent, and (in manner) at hande.Iudith. 7. And ye may reade the same likewise of the people that were within the citie of Bethulia, at the same time, howe neare they were falne, when they appointed God a time to help them the space of fiue dayes: in case he deferred his helpe any longer, they would yealde them selues into the handes of their enimies: but God stayed their fall, [Page 79] and that by the handes of a woman. And if there had not bene more mercy in GOD, then faith in them, their féete had not onely slipt: but also all the whole lande, countrie, and citie. The like ye may sée also in the notable historie of Hester:Hester. 4. whereas the very rocke and chiefe stay of the Iewes health Mardo­cheus, made suite to the Quéene for Asuerus par­don, for the life of the Iewes, when sentence and iudgement was past against them of death. So that, if faith in the promises of God had not stayed him, he had slipt and falne downe, to sée al things against him, and his countrimen. But before men vtterly fall, the Lorde is with them, and preserueth them with his mercy:Psal. 94. as Dauid saide, When my feete were moued, thy mercy (oh Lord) stayed me.

The thirde thing to be noted of these wordes, is the manner of the Prophetes speaking, which must be marked and vnderstoode, or else the reader or hea­rer of the Psalmes shall take no profite.

My feete were almost gone, and my treadings had well nigh slipt.

By the féete he vnderstandeth the minde: and by the treadings well nigh slipt, he vnderstandeth the iudgement and wisedome of the minde. As foule and slipperie wayes be daungerous for the féete: so be the workes of God to the minde, that is not illumi­nated with the light of Gods word. And as the slip­ping and running away of the feete, causeth all the body to fall: euen so the ignorance of the mind cau­seth both body and soule to fall, and gréeuously to misseiudge the workes of God. And as the fal of the body sowceth and defileth it self with mire and dirt: euen so doth the fall of the minde defile both body and soule with impatience, and enuious indignati­on at Gods workes. So that the Prophete saith by [Page] these wordes, My feete were almost gone, and my treadings had well nigh slipt: My minde was so troubled to sée God suffer the euill in such prosperi­tie, and the good in suche aduersitie, that my iudge­ment almost slipt from the right sentence of thée (O Lorde:) and very scarsly I auoyded most haynons sinne towardes thée, in controlling of thy most wise and iust doings. If we marked the pithe and wise­dome of the scripture, we should sée many thinges more in our selues, then we doe: & doubtlesse growe to an excellencie in wisedome, and finde out what e­uils we be most inclined vnto. Amongst all other, hatred and indignation of other mens prosperitie is not the least, nor the most seldomest. And in déed the father of sinne, the diuell, hath that in him. First, he disdained God, and his felicitie: but he wan nothing thereby,Gene. 3. but euerlasting paines. Then he enuyed man & his felicitie: yet the wicked spirit gayned no­thing to him self, but double damnation, and losse of vs all. And this séede of the diuell descended into our nature (as we may sée,)Gene. 4. 21. 27. and made Caine to kill Abel his brother:Num. 16. made Ismael, to persequute Isaac: E­sau, Iacob:Num. 12. Dathan and Abiron, Moses and Aaron: Aaron and Marie his sister,Gene. 38. Moses: Iacobs children, Ioseph:1. Reg. 19. Saule, Dauid: Herode and the Phariseis, Christe and Iohn the Baptist,Mat. 14. 27 the tenne Apostles, Iohn and Iames,Matth. 20. Peter, Saint Iohn the Euange­list: and the members of the diuell and Antichriste in this our time,Iohn. 21. the members of Christe. So that they be not onely almost falne,Iohn. 16. but also (the Lorde help them, and vs all) altogether sliden to enuie and indignation, and likewise to violent oppression of Gods holy word. But let vs not slip ne fall into in­dignation, that they prosper and we are afflicted: but say in the middest of these oppressions of the good, [Page 80] and prosperitie of the euill, Truely God is louing vnto Israel: and let vs praye also for their amend­ment.

¶The third part.

‘3 And why? I was grieued at the wicked, &c.’

HErein is conteined what the feli­citie of the wicked is, and where­in it consisteth, that the godly be of­fended with all, when they flourishe and be in honour: and the poore mem­bers of Christe persequuted and without all ho­nour, and be rather worms then men: Psal. 2 [...].yea, the dogs and brute beastes of the enimies, be in more estima­tion, then the poore beléeuers in Christe.

Out of this part is to be noted. First, a great fault and ouersight in the people of God, for lacke of iudg­ment and true knowledge: wherein trueth and ve­rie felicitie in déede consisteth: the lacke of the which knowledge, maketh men both impatient, and lewde iudges of Gods holy workes. The Prophete there­fore herein amendeth his owne, and our ignorance, and willeth vs to knowe perfectly, wherein felicitie and happinesse doth rest. The Christian must vn­derstand and assure him selfe, that the felicitie and e­uerlasting beatitude of man, is wrought by quiet­nesse of conscience, and innocencie of life: of which two partes and vertues, in this tract I will speake more hereafter, as well what they be, what be the causes of them: as what is the effect of them. I wil assure you, if we knowe not these thinges well: our religion will be but a while permanent, and true vnto God. To enter therefore into the knowledge of the matter, wherein the beatitude & felicitie of man [Page] consisteth: it is requisite to cast some cloudes and darknesse vpon these worldly things that wicked men possesse, and godly men thinke them thereby to be happie. Looke as the Sunne at the rising and pas­sing ouer the earth, doth hide and couer the globe & sphere of the Moone, and darkneth also the light, and clearenesse of the starres: euen so doth the tranquil­litie of conscience, and the brightnesse of faith and charitie that dwelleth in the heart of the faithfull, darken and hide all things that séeme beautifull and voluptuous to the world, and carnall lustes of man. And he that hath a testimonie at home in his owne conscience, that he is in the fauour of God, will not greatly passe of other mens iudgements, whether they saue or damne, laud or disprayse: nor yet great­ly passe, although he lacke such notes of riches and glory, as worldly men iudge and knowe felicitie by. For he that knoweth surely wherein felicitie doth consist, will not take the worldly opinion of men for his recorde, nor for his rewarde: neither will he greatly feare for any damnation or punishment, that the world can annexe and ioyne vnto his life, for this mortall time. It is therefore Christianitie to knowe, that felicitie and beatitude resteth in the riches of the mind, by Gods grace, wrought by the holy Ghost, for the merites of Christ.

There was amongst the Philosophers great di­uersitie of opinions in this matter, wherin felicitie & beatitude shoulde consist. Some saide it rested in this, a man still and continually to be voyde from anguishe and sorrowe. Other saide, it consisted in the knowledge of thinges. Some saide, in plea­sure and voluptuousnesse. Aristotle and Theo­phrastus, and such other as were of the sect of the Pe­ripatets, did hold, that a blessed and fortunate life did [Page 81] consist in honestie, and said, that The same might be accomplished with the voluptuous pleasures of the body, and with externall riches, honour, and felici­tie. But both these opinions, and all the rest are con­futed by our sauiour Christ, and his holy word. He saith,Iohn. 17. This is life euerlasting, that men knowe thee (O father) the only and true God, and whome thou hast sent Iesus Christ. And in an other place he saith,Matth. 19. Euery one that forsaketh house, brothers, sisters, fa­ther, mother, wife, children, or possessions for my name, shall receiue an hundred folde, and possesse life euerlasting. By these places we knowe, that beati­tude & felicitie consisteth in knowlege, & working of Gods will, which be the causes of quietnesse of con­science, and innocencie of life: wherein felicitie doth consist, as I saide before. The right knowledge of GOD bringeth faith in Christe. Faith in Christe bringeth tranquillitie of conscience. Tranquillitie of conscience, by faith worketh charitie and loue, to do, and worke the will of our heauenly father. This may ye sée also in the booke of the Psalmes, that fe­licitie & blisse resteth not in these trifling things that glitter to the eye, wherewith the Prophete was so sore offended: but in knowledge and working of Gods will.Psal. 94. Blessed is the man whom thou teachest (Lord,) and whom thou instructest in thy lawe. And in an other Psalme he saith,Psal. 112. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, and desireth to worke his will. In these Psalmes, if ye reade them with iudgement, and prayer to God: ye shall finde both knowledge and consolation, farre aboue the common sorte of such as reade and vse them in the Churches nowe, to the dishonour of GOD, and to the destruction of their owne soules. And in this matter of felicitie and beatitude of man and woman in this life: I [Page] would haue you iudge by the scripture of God, or else ye shall be deceiued, what it is, wherein it consi­steth, and what it worketh: for onely the worde of God teacheth and sheweth it, and nothing but it. The scripture of GOD plainely declareth, that no­thing can be profitable: whiche is not honest and vertuous. And vertue is blessed and very felicitie, in what condition or state so euer it be: neyther can it be increased with any externall or bodily goods or honour: neyther yet can it be diminished with any aduersities or troubles. And nothing can be blessed, but that which is voyde from iniquitie, full of hone­stie, and the grace of God. As ye may sée in the booke of the Psalmes, whereas this matter is plainely set foorth.Psal. 1. Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsell of the wicked, nor stoode in the way of sin­ners: nor sate in the chaire of scorners. But his de­light was in the lawe of God, &c. And in an other Psalme he saith:Psal. 119. Blessed are they that be cleane of life, and walke in the lawe of God.

Out of these places we learne, that knowledge and innocencie of life, worketh felicitie and beatitude. We must therefore beware, that we iudge not feli­citie to be in these inconstant, and vncerteine riches of the world: but we must contemne them, and also beware we feare not the trouble that may happen, for such vertues wherein felicitie doth stand. And we must vnderstande also, that although these ver­tues, wherein felicitie consisteth: and suche as be friendes of God dwelleth, be afflicted and troubled: that neyther the felicitie, nor the person in whome it dwelleth, is any thing the worse for troubles and aduersities before God, but rather the better. As ye may sée by the worde of God that saith,Matth. 5. Blessed be ye when men speak euill of you, and persequute you, [Page 82] and speake al euill against you, lying, for iustice sake. Be glad and reioyce, for your rewarde is great in hea­uen. So did they persequute the Prophetes before you. Matth. 10. And in an other place it is saide:Matth. 16. Hee that will come after me, let him denie him selfe, and take his crosse and followe me. The Psalme therfore in this part, amendeth the iudgement of weake and waue­ring Christian men, that be offended with the pros­peritie of the wicked: bicause they do not know, nor marke by Gods word, wherein felicitie doth consist, and that it remaineth in suche vertues as be not diminished, nor drowned in the aduersities of this world, what so euer daungers happen. When was Moses stronger, then when he saw of the one side the mounteines of Egypt,Exod. 14. and of the other side Pharao and his armie, and before him the red sea, and in the middest of these enimies, he and his people standing like shéepe, ready for the woolues to be slaine: He was neuer more strong, nor in this life more bles­sed, then at that time.Dan. 3. Daniel was neuer better then amongest the Lions. We must therefore know the vertues, wherein felicitie doth consist, to be nothing diminished by sorrowe and trouble: nor any thing increased by voluptuous pleasures, and brittle ho­nours of this world.Philip. 3. As S. Paul most godly setteth foorth in his Epistle to the Philippians: The things (saith he) that I thought profite and gaines, for Chri­stes sake, I esteeme as hurt and damage: for whose loue, I esteeme all thinges as nothing, so that I may winne Christ. Hebr. 11. And Moses estéemed the treasures of Egypt hurtfull, and preferred them not before the reproches and rebukes of the Lord: neyther thought he him self rich nor blessed with the riches of Egypt, ne cursed when he was in néede, and lacked them. Elias the Prophet,3. Reg. 1 if he had considered his néed and [Page] daunger, he might haue accounted him selfe very miserable and vnhappie: but bycause he knewe it was appointed him of GOD, he complained not of Gods doings: for he was as well contented to haue bread from God by the Rauen in the morning, and water at night from the founteine: as though he had had all the world. And he was nothing the lesse blessed, although he was poore, but rather more bles­sed: bycause he was riche to God ward. Reade the Gospell of S. Matthewe,Matth. 17. and sée the practise of this felicitie. Moses that was so destritute of all worldly helpe, and Helias voyde of all worldly consolation, do talke with Christ in the mount of Thabor, where as Peter would haue tarried with all his heart, al­though he knewe both Christ, and those that he tal­ked with, in the estimation of this world, were ac­counted most vnhappie, and miserable of all men: yet he sawe, that transitorie honours, riches, and fe­licitie holp nothing to the life euerlasting. As Christ plainly teacheth in S. Luke,Luke. 6. Blessed are the poore: for theirs is the kingdome of God. Blessed be they that hunger and thirst for iustice: for they shall be satisfied. Blessed be ye that nowe weepe: for ye shall laugh. Therefore the pouertie, miserie, and afflicti­on that the Prophete was in, when he spake this Psalme and most godly Hymne, hindered nothing at all his felicitie, and blessing of God: but rather furthered it, if he had wist wherein truely and veri­ly felicitie had consisted: as ye may sée hereafter, how he came to the knowledge of it.

An other thing is to be noted out of these sixe ver­ses, conteyning the third part of the Psalme: [...]. Tim. 6.That such treasures, riches, and honours, as men set most by in this world, be rather (vnto men that haue not grace) lets and impediments to euerlasting felicitie, [Page 83] and to the atteinment of vertue in this life, then fur­therers. As the scripture saith:Luke. 6. Woe be vnto you rich men: which haue your consolation. Woe be vn­to you that are nowefull: for ye shall hunger. And such as laugh, shal weepe. 3. Reg. 25. Achab the wicked king not contented with his kingdome, would take Naboths vineyard from him: but it had bene better for him that he had bene a swincheard: for his lands and ri­ches abused, made him to kill an innocent man, and his true subiect. Plentifulnesse of Gods giftes abu­sed, bringeth contempt of God and man:Dan. 4. as ye may sée how Nabuchodonozer in wealth and riches, en­uied the liuing God, and came into beastialitie.Exod. 32. The children of Israel, when they had filled them selues with giftes, were not thankfull, but vnthankfull: and fell from vnthankfulnesse to idolatrie, and all abhomination. And as men contemne God in pros­peritie: so do they also their neighbours. As ye may sée by this part of the Psalme, whereas the Prophet saith: Their eyes swell for fatnesse, that is to witte: Their riches and honour puffeth them vp in suche pride, that they contemne and despise all men.

The thirde thing to be noted is, that all thinges that the felicitie and ioyes of wicked men consist in,Deut. 40. be but worldly and transitorie thinges,Psal. 92. and as vn­certeine as man is him selfe:Esai. 40. which is to be marked. Bycause no man can be happie or blessed,Matth. 6, 1. Pet. 1, by any such vading and inconstant things: neyther can a­ny man come to the beatitude of ioyes permanent, by such things as God giueth indifferently, as well to the bad as to the good, and to the vicious as to the vertuous.Eccle. 3. 4. 5. As Solomon in the booke of the Preacher meruellously setteth foorth, and matcheth equally the good with the bad, in such things as happen vn­der the sunne. The good & the bad (saith he) be rich [Page] and poore, in trouble & in prosperitie, haue frends & foes, be merrie and sorrie, do liue and dye all in like. But neither the things that bring them to life euer­lasting, nor yet life euerlasting it selfe, be one thing. For there is nothing that leadeth to euerlasting life but the knowledge and feare of God, and the doing of his blessed will: the which vertues come not by nature,3. Reg. 8. but by grace. As Solomon declareth: when he prayed so earnestly to haue wisdome & vnderstan­ding from God. And as these vertues come not from nature: euen so be they not the riches of all men, but of vertuous and godly men only. And as they dwell & inhabite only in such as feare God: so do they only conduct, and lead such as be godly (and none other) to eternall life. The which differeth as farre, and as much from the wickeds eternall life, as ioy differeth from sorrowe, ease from paine, plesaunt consola­tion from fierie flames, loue from hatred, God from the diuell, and heauen from hell. For these riches, wherwith the vngodly are indued in this life, be not the things that can make any man blessed or cursed before God. Therefore no more to be cared for, then néede is to haue them, if GOD will: if not, to lacke them: to haue them with Gods grace, well to vse them: or else to pray to lacke them, least they abuse vs. Better it were to haue too little in the worlde with Gods fauour: then too much with his displea­sure. If we haue meate,1. Tim. 6. drinke, and cloath, let vs be contented with it, as with sufficient things to passe this life: if any more then these come, to take héede they make vs not to swell in pride, and take from vs the remembraunce and seruice of God. Oh that godly eyes would looke vpon this Psalme, & name­ly vpon this part of it, that declareth, wherein the glory, honour, & felicitie of wicked men consisteth: [Page 84] then I know, his eyes shal hardly escape teares and wéepings, to sée and heare a wicked and cursed crea­ture of God, pampered with such a sort of vaine flée­tinges, that when he woulde most gladly flée from sorrow,Luke. 12. the least be able to carrie him away. Marke the wicked mans riches, and ye shall perceiue, that God hath giuen no more, then he hath vnto the clay, moolde,Matth. 6. and stonie earth: wherin lyeth both gold and precious stones. His beautie and amiablenesse of ve­sture and apparel, is not like the Rose of the garden, nor the Lillie of the field. His strength much inferi­our to brute beastes. His wisedome lesse then horse or mule, that vse in meates and drinkes ynough for necessitie, and not too much for sensualitie. If lacke and néede oppresse them, patiently they lacke vntill order prouide for them: but if the wicked lacke, he beareth not lacke with patience, nor séeketh ynough by trueth. The couragious horse fiercely in fight cō ­temneth death: and the méeke swanne féeling the life to passe,That is to say, Death. with swéete tunes welcometh Atropos: and striueth not, but willingly is contented to sur­render that, which will not be kept with force. But what doth the riche wicked man? Forsooth, as the wiseman saith:Eccle. 41. Oh death, howe bitter is the remem­brance of thee, to such as haue confidence in their ri­ches. Lord what a canell house of stinking carion is this body and life of wicked man puft vppe with ri­ches? Inferiour, with all that euer he hath, to the birdes of the ayre, the beastes of the fieldes, and vn­to the barren clay that he was made of: and the soul it selfe within that wicked body cursed of God, and ordeined to eternall paines.

Who is he that can reade or behold the state and honour of man, in whom is not mentioned one ver­tue to dwell, without sorrowe & heauinesse? What [Page] a cursed nature is man made of, that can sée an other thus pampered vp with Gods displeasure, and can not rather bewayle and mourne to sée his brother by these riches lost, and cast away, then to enuie or disdeine at his person? Oh woe befall them, that fal into this sinne of ours, that thus rather with malice and disdaine, enuie the miseries and curses of God vpon other: then charitably do goe about to amend them, or ruthfully to bewaile them? Read (my deare beloued in the Lord) this place, and marke well the wicked men, and learne to pray for them, as GOD giue vs all grace to doe.

¶The fourth part.

‘10 Therefore fall the people vnto them, &c.’

OVt of this part is to be noted, how daun­gerous a thing it is, to be continually as­saulted with temptation: and that the end of it (for the most part) is the conquest and ouerthrowe of as many as be assaulted. As we may sée by the examples of our forefathers. Temp­tation not resisted at the beginning,Gene. 3. preuayled a­gainst the innocent fathers Adam and Eue in Pa­radise: against Caine in murther:Gene. 4. against Aaron & the people in idolatrie:Num. 17. against Nemroth in pride: against Dauid in adulterie:2. Reg. 11. against Iudas in aua­rice: against Aaron and Marie his sister in enuie:Matth. 26. against Esau in gluttonie:Hebr. 11. against Pharao in pride: against Herode in hypocrisie:Exod. 3. against the Phariseis in blindnesse and obstinacie of minde:Matth. 14. against the Iewes in the slaunder of Christes death:Iohn. 7. 8. 9 1. Cor. 1. against the Gentiles in ignorance of Gods worde:Rom. 1. against the most part of Christians now a days in cowardnesse and feare: and against all the world, in looking more howe to profite it selfe, then to serue and feare God.

[Page 85] The Prophet said before, He was almost gone, to sée the wicked so prosper: but he saith now, that The people fall vtterly vnto them, and learne both wic­ked opinions and wicked life of the wicked.

The second is, that the people fall not into the wicked blasphemie of iniquitie one by one, but by clusters in great number. Wherein is much to be noted, that so few so hardly turne to God, and so ma­ny so quickly to abhomination. But as Christ said,Matth. 7. The way to heauen is narrowe and straite, and fewe enter: and the way to hell is broade and plaine, and many enter in it.

¶The fifte part.

‘14 Then haue I cleansed my heart in vaine, &c.’

OUt of it we be admonished, that our na­ture is to be offended by and by with troubles, for the glorie of God. And e­uen as we be vnquiet with the trou­bles: so be we inconstant and vnstable in the knowledge and trueth, that we suffer trouble for: and beginne to repent, that euer we began to fa­uour or imbrace the trueth: and wishe also, that we had vsed our selues, as other men did: and then, to haue suffered with other men the common lott and fortune of the world, and not thus to haue béene gi­uen to a singular knowledge of Gods word, whiche bringeth with it a singular hatred and punishment in this world.Iere. 20. Such is our nature, if we be by afflic­tions and troubles, but for a dayes space, made like vnto Christe, we thinke it too long: but if we be by sinne, for all our life time, made like vnto the dinel, we thinke the time too short, and wish longer to liue: because we would longer worke and delight in sinne [Page] and abhomination. Great and haynous is our of­fence in this respect: for a little time spent in wel do­ing, we iudge too long: and all time spent in euil do­ing, we iudge too short. All labours and paines be too little, if they be bestowed in worldly thinges: but if they be appointed to heauenly thinges, (be they ne­uer so fewe and slender,) we thinke them too much.

There is not sea nor land with all the perils with­in them, but men dare aduenture both their goodes and their liues, to winne increase of worldly goodes: but to winne towards God and godlines, scarse one of a great many without danger will labour or take paines to gaine it. So doth the Prophet say in this place, that He had clensed his heart in vaine: because he sawe clenlinesse and vertue persequuted, and filth with iniquitie honoured and exalted. Christ in the Gospel of S. Iohn perceiuing, that when vertue & wel doing should be troubled, men would waxe wea­rie of well doing, and vertue: he said vnto his disci­ples,Iohn. 16. Remember when they come that I spake of them and warned you before.

¶The sixt part.

‘15 Yea, and I had almost said, euen as they, &c.’

OUt of it we learne, that no man should iudge of Gods workes, nor Gods peo­ple, but by the word of God. In this be­halfe we do many times gréeuously of­fend the Almightie God. For when the world damneth Gods word, then doeth the most part of men the same. If the world say it is true, we say so to. If the world say it is vntrue, we say it is vntrue. And if the world condemne it, we condemne it also. Likewise, if the world accompt them cursed [Page 86] and damned, that be persequuted for Gods sake, and for the testimonie of his name: we do so to. Yea, and moreouer, if the world slaunder and lie vppon poore men and poore women, that suffer for Gods sake: we speake as they doe, & sometimes persequute also the good with them. This is an horrible thing, to re­proue, (after such a carnall and worldly sort,) God, and all his blessed people: whiche will be at lengthe (doubtlesse) a iust condemnation of the world.

¶The seuenth part.

‘16 Then thought I to vnderstand this, but it was too hard for mee, &c.’

WE learne out of this part, that vntill reason be amended and remoued from her naturall blindnes, it can doe none other, but condemne both God, and Gods people. And no meruell: for the Prophet in the 83. Psalme, & also in the 31. Psalme hath these wordes:Psalm. 83. and 31. Consultauerunt aduersus abscondi­tos tuos, They haue consulted against thy hidden people. As though he had said: The mercifull father of heauen, kéepeth the godly people in most sure and strong defence and protection: but this kinde of pro­tection is hid from the eyes of mans reason. So that it séemeth many times, that God hath the lesse care of the godly, and passeth more of the wicked then of them. Yet, howsoeuer the world iudgeth, God slée­peth not. Further, how blessed the state and life of the godly is, and how cursed the life and state of the wicked is, only the vertuous and godly do perceiue. Therefore the Scripture calleth those that be godly and vertuous, The hidden of God. Moreouer, the godly doe perceiue, that all the vanitie of worldly things, which be the treasures of the wicked: and the [Page] permanent state and condition of heauenly thinges, whiche be the treasures of the godlie: be onely séene of such as enter into the holy Sanctuarie and secret treasures of Gods most holy word, without yt which worldly thinges séeme to be riches, and heauenly thinges pouertie, wicked men to be blessed, and god­ly men cursed, falsehood to be trueth, and trueth fals­hood, death to be life, and life death.

¶The eighth part.

‘23 Neuerthelesse I am alway by thee, for thou hast holden me alwayes by my right hand.’

THe Prophet out of this part declareth that, which Saint Paul writeth to the Romanes.Rom. 8. If God be with vs, who can be against vs? If he loue vs, what is hee that can separate vs from his loue? which spared not his only sonne for our redemption, but gaue him for vs vnto the death. Therefore, there is neither life nor death, thinges present nor thinges to come, that can separate vs from him.

Unto this place is referred all the diliuerance from trouble and danger that God vsed from the be­ginning of the world, vnto our time. And when we vnderstand and knowe Gods mercie, towardes our selues, and others: we must giue our selues wholy to laude and praise his holy name, and be thankful. For, There is nothing more vnnaturall in man, then forgetfulnesse of Gods great and innumerable giftes towards vs. To whom be all honour and praise, world without end. Amen.

¶AN EXPOSITION vppon the 77. Psalme, made by the constant Martyr of Christe, Maister IOHN HOOPER, Bishop of Glo­cester and Worcester.


WHen this Prophet Asaph, (being a man appointed to the seruice and teaching of Gods word vnto the people,) perceiued, that such as were vnder his cure & charge, were ma­ny times troubled and brought into great heauinesse, for the feare and dread they had conceiued of Gods most iust ire and straite punishment for sinne, & transgression of his holy lawes: and in himselfe felte especially the burden of Gods displea­sure against sinne intollerable: hee receiued, from the holy ghost (the spirit of consolation,) what was the best remedie and helpe for euery troubled conscience, to appease and quiet the poore spirite of man, that knoweth and feeleth not onely that God is iustly angrie for sinne: but also will straitly punish the iniquitie and abhomination of the same. And when hee had learned himselfe by God, how a troubled and desperate con­science might be quieted, hee spake it to such as were aliue and with him, and wrote it to all such as should come after him vn­til the worldes end, that troubled sinners might see their sinnes for giuen in the mercie of God, and they themselues accep­ted, as Gods most deare children, into eternall friend­ship, and endlesse ioyes of saluation.

¶The partes of the Psalme.

1 In whome a man should put his trust, and to whome he should resort in the dayes of sicknesse, troubles, and ad­uersitie.

2 How a man should vse himselfe towards him, in whom he putteth his trust, in the time of trouble.

[Page] 3 What great and perillous dangers the man that is trou­bled shall suffer for the time of his trouble.

4 Howe a man taketh consolation in the time of his trouble.

¶The two first verses of the Psalme, con­teyning the two first partes.

1 I will crie vnto God with my voice: euen vnto God will I crie with my voyce, and he shall hearken vnto mee.

2 In the time of my trouble I sought the Lord: my hand I held vp all night, and it was not wearie, my soule refused comfort.

¶The first part.

¶In whom a man should put his trust, and to whom he should resort in the dayes of sicknesse, troubles, and aduersitie.

‘1 I will crie vnto God with my voice: euen vnto God will I crie with my voice, and hee shall hearken vnto mee.’

FIrst out of this text it is to be noted, that God onely is to be trusted vnto in the dayes of trouble: as our Sauiour Christ exhorted in heauines and an­guish of body and soule, all peo­ple to resort vnto him, saying:Matth. 11. Come vnto mee all ye that be laden and burthened, and I will refreshe you. And the same is spoken of God by Esaie the Prophet:Esaie. 55. Ye that be a thirst come vnto the waters, and ye that haue no monie come & take it freely. S. Iohn likewiseIohn. 7. in the midst among [Page 88] troubled and afflicted persons, reciteth the words of Christ,Esaie. 18. saying, If any be drie, let him come to me and drinke: Hee that beleeueth on mee, (as the Scrip­ture saith,) flouds of water of life, shall flowe out of his bellie.

Of this knowledge and suretie in the soule of man,Rom. 5. 14. that God is, can, and wil be an ease and reme­die for the troubled conscience, cōmeth iustice, peace, and ioy of the conscience. Not that any man shalbe by and by without all feare, trembling and dread of his sinnes, & of Gods iust iudgement against sinne: but that this feare and trembling shal not come to desperation: neither shall he be more afraide of his sinnes, then comforted by Gods mercie and grace in Christ. Therefore saith our sauiour Christ,Matth. 5. Blessed be they that weepe, for they shalbe comforted. Bles­sed be they that hunger and thirst for iustice, for they shalbe replenished.

In this that he saith,Of those that weepe & mourne who be blessed. Blessed be they that weepe, He noteth such as do knowe and féele with sorrowe and heauines of conscience, that they be sinners, and the filthines of their sinnes maketh them sorrowful and heauie hearted: yet shall they in Christ be com­forted. Againe, the poore, sensible, féeling, and trou­bled sinner doth wishe his sinnes away, and would gladly haue vertue and iustice to rule and do altoge­ther in him Gods holy will and pleasure. This hun­ger and thirst (saith Christ,) shalbe quenched for the merits of his owne death and passion: as it shal not misse, if men in their thirst, hunger, persequution, and trouble, doe knowe and vse onely God for their helpe and consolation: as this Prophet did, and tea­cheth vs to doe the same in this Psalme.

In this first part be two sorts of people condem­ned.Two sons of people condem­ned. The one is such as plainely despaire, and in [Page] their troubles, neither looke for consolation, nor yet beléeue that there is any consolation to be hoped for in Christ. The other is such as séeke consolation, but not onely at Gods hand & power, but at the Saincts departed, at witches, coniurers, hypocrites, and the workes deuised and done by man.

The first sort be left comfortlesse, because they séeke no consolation: and the second sort find no comfort, because they séeke it where it is not, contrarie vnto God and his holie word. Happie therefore is the troubled, that séeketh consolation at Gods handes, and no where els:Esaie. 45. For he is (as it is written by the Prophet Esaie,) the God alone, that doth saue, and none but hee. Two im­pediments keepe God from hel­ping the troubled.But there be two manner of impedi­mentes that kéepe the Almightie God from the hel­ping and comforting of people that be in trouble. 1. Igno­rance.The one is ignorance of Gods nature and proper­tie towards the afflicted: 2. Feare of Gods iustice.and the other is feare and dread, whereas God is most iustly angrie for sinne, lest that in his anger and iust punishment, he will not be mercifull.

Of the first impediment, whiche is ignorance, is sprong into the world horrible blasphemie,Of igno­raunce is sprong horrible blasphe­mie. that nei­ther séeketh helpe at Gods hand, nor yet is thankful vnto God for any thing that God giueth: but rende­reth all things to such Gods and Saincts as he hath deuised out of his owne imagination, or els learned (as S. Peter saith) out of the traditions of his El­ders.1. Peter. 1. The reme­die against ignorance. So that ignorance taketh away the honour of God, & also the saluation of them that be ignorant. The remedie against this great impediment is one­ly the reading,2 Peter. 1. meditating, hearing, and learning of Gods holy word, whiche is as a candle light in a darke place, to kéepe and preserue a man from dan­ger and peril.Psalm. 119. And so saith king Dauid, that, It is a [Page 89] candle vnto his feete, and a light vnto his stepps. And in an other place of his Psalmes he saith: The lawe of God is so perfect, that it turneth soules vnto the Lord. Wherefore (saith he) it is the part of euery man that wil be vertuous and godly,Psalme. 1. to haue his de­sire and cogitations in the law of God both day and right. And to preserue the people from this horrible impediment of ignorance, God spake by his prophet Esaie,Esaie. 59. these wordes: My spirite which is in thee, and my woordes which I put in thy mouth, shall not de­part from thy mouth, and from the mouth of thy seede (saith the Lord) from henceforth for euermore. And in the same Prophesie Christ prayeth the hea­uenly father to seale his word in his disciples,Esaie. 8. wher­by the daungerous impediment of mans saluation, which is ignorance, might be eschewed & auoyded. The same remedie against ignorance,Deut. 6. commandeth Almightie God also by Moses in Deut. and by S. Paul to the Ephesians,Ephes. 6. whereas the fathers and the mothers be not bound themselues alone, to knowe the lawe of God: but also bound to teach it to their children, that by ignorance they offend not God.

Of the second impediment,What cō ­meth of the feare of Gods iustice. whiche is feare and dred of Gods iustice, commeth trembling and terror of the conscience, and many times also the extremest euil of all euils, very desperation, that neuer looketh who can helpe, neither yet trusteth to find any helpe. But of these fruites of terror and feare, and also of their remedies how they may be cured and holpen, it shalbe shewed hereafter in the Psalme, as it fol­loweth, whereas both terror of conscience and tran­quillitie of the same, be meruellously and diuinely set foorth. Onely, vntill I come to those pointes I doe note, that this feare and terror of conscience in the faithfull, be the very hunger and thirst that [Page] Christ saith shalbe quenched:Matth. 5. and they that féele them, shalbe replenished with grace and consolati­on, as the blessed Virgin the mother of Christ saith:Luke 1. and they that féele them not, shall departe emptie without grace.

Rom. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. Gods spi­rite wor­keth the knowlege of sinne by preaching of the law.And the cause of this terror and feare, is the spi­rite of God that worketh the knowledge of our sinne by preaching, reading, or thinking of Gods Lawe, that openeth and detecteth, how wretched and sinne­full we be by nature in the sight of God. But of this matter is better occasion ministred afterwardes in the Psalme, then in this place.

¶The second part.

¶How a man should vse himselfe towards him, in whome he putteth his trust in the time of trouble.

‘2 In the time of my trouble I sought the Lord: my hand I held vppe all night, and it was not wearie: my soule refused comfort.’

How we should vse our selues in the time of trouble. IN this part is taught vs, both by doc­trine and by example, howe we should vse our selues in the time of trouble. When we know there is no helpe nor helper but God alone, it is not ynough for a man to know that God can helpe: but also we must beléeue constantly, that he hath as prompt a will to helpe, as a sufficient power able to helpe: and then béeing assured that he both can and will helpe, we must call vppon him for helpe, according to his commaundement vnto vs, Call vppon mee in the dayes of trouble, &c. Psalm. 50. 15.

[Page 90] But of this place we may marke and learne,The feare and terror of sinne is an intolle­rable but­then. what an intollerable burthen and vnspeakeable sorrowe, the terrour and feare of sinne is: and how gréeuous a thing the sight and contemplation of Gods displea­sure and iust iudgement is against euery sinner for his sinne and transgression of Gods most holy Law. The text saith, That the Prophete, when he felt the displeasure of God against sinne,The con­science be­ing admo­nished of the filthi­nes of sin, bringeth the body into a trē ­bling and feare. cryed out with a lowde voyce vnto the Lord. Whereby we learne, that the conscience of man admonished by the word of God, of the filthinesse and abhomination of sinne, bringeth all the bodie into a trembling and feare, lest God should vse rather iustice, and iustly punishe sinne: then mercie, and mercifully forgiue sinne.

And thus béeing made afrayde thoroughly of sinne, the mind is occupied with sorrowfull and hea­uie cogitations:What en­sueth after the feare of consci­ence for sinne. and the tongue by vehemencie of the spirite, brought into clamours and cryes. As we may sée commonly by examples left vnto vs in the word of God, that where sinne is throughly felt in the conscience, the feeling sinner is not onely trou­bled within in spirite, but also outwardly in all the members and partes of his bodie: as it is to be séene most manifestly in king Dauid.

In what a sea of heauines was king Dauid in his conscience, when he spake to his owne soule:Psalm. 42. Why art thou so heauie and sorrowfull, ô my soule, and why dost thou thus trouble mee? Againe, How long wilt thou forget mee (ô Lord?) for euer? And in o­ther Psalmes we may sée, into what trembling and feare outwardly he was brought by the knowledge and féeling of his sinne.

In one place he saith, The feare of his sinnes did not onely ouerlay his conscience:Psalm. 38. but also crushed and (in maner) all to broke his bones.Psalme. 6. And in ano­ther [Page] place, His visage was all defaced with wéeping teares: and so abundantly they gushed out of his eyes, that he watered, or rather ouerflowed his bed with them where he lay. Into what horrible cryes and waylings many times he fell for feare of sinne:Psalm. 77. this Psalme and many other doe declare. The like horrour and feare also of the sight and féeling of sinne we sée to haue béene in Saint Paule, when he cryed out vppon him selfe: Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer me from this bodie subiect vn­to death? Rom. 7. And Marie Nagdalene with the sight and féeling of Gods displeasure against her sinne, made teares and wéepings enowe to washe the founteine of mercies féete, Iesus Christ. But blessed is that conscience feared by the Lawe,Note. whose feare by the swéete promises of the Gospel, is turned into mirth: and blessed be those teares and wéepings, that end in consolation:Psalm. 126. and happie is that troubled bodie,Matth. 5. whose end is immortalitie in the resurrection of the iust.1. Cor. 15. Further, as we sée here king Dauid a sinner for feare of Gods iudgement, breake out into lowd cryes for helpe and preseruation: the same anguish and trouble of minde and of bodie, for feare of Gods punishment for sinne towardes man, was likewise in Christ without sinne,Matth. 26. which said: My soule is heauie vnto death: and in such an agonie was his bodie, that he burst out and swett both water and bloud.

So that of this second part, first we learne, that such as be truely & vnseignedly brought to a know­ledge,No trou­ble to the trouble of cōscience. féeling, and repentance of their sinnes, haue it with great heauines of minde, terrour of conscience, and trouble also of the bodie many times: that no sicknesse nor troubles, may be compared to the trou­ble of the conscience, for feare of due and condigne [Page 91] punishment for the sinne perpetrated and commit­ted against Gods lawes.

The second doctrine that we be taught out of this second part,Differēce betweene the peni­tent, des­perate, and contemp­tuous man. The peni­tent man. is to declare what difference there is be­twéene the penitent Christian in aduersitie, and the desperate person that looketh for no helpe, or els the presumptuous person that contemneth helpe.

The penitent afflicted calleth vnto the Lord, and although he finde his burden neuer so intollerable, doe wéepe and lament neuer so sore: yet he despai­reth not, but in aduersitie he hath hope, and is not confounded: as in prosperitie he hath faith, and yet presumeth not.The des­perat man. The desperate man féeleth all trou­bles and no consolation, is wholy ouercome with mistrust, ful of incredulitie, and cleane voyd of hope:The con­temptuous man. as Saule, Iudas, and others. The contemner of ad­monition hath hope in prosperitie, with al presump­tion: as Cain and Pharao: and in aduersitie, despe­ration, with all mistrust,Note. The Chri­stian afflic­ted. & diffidence. The Christian afflicted, calleth in faith and hope vppon the Lorde, and is heard: the wicked afflicted calleth not vppon the Lord, but is cleane reiected and comfortlesse by Gods most iust iudgement. The Christian afflicted, séeth all his sinns lesse then the least mercies of God:The wic­ked afflic­ted. the wicked afflicted séeth the least of his sinnes, grea­ter then the greatest mercies of God. The one, in trouble by faith glorifieth the Lord,Note. and by mercie findeth saluation: the other, in trouble by mistrust dishonoureth the Lord, and by iustice findeth dam­nation. The one, by troubles thoroughe faith in Christ, is made like vnto the sonne of God, and can­not be separated from him in eternall life: the other, by troubles through desperation of Christe, is made like vnto Sathan, and cannot be separated from him in eternall death. The one, in eternall life findeth e­uerlasting [Page] ioyes: the other, in euerlasting death, fin­deth endlesse paines. Almightie GOD (therefore) graunt vs grace in all our troubles and afflictions, penitently and faithfully to call vppon him: and to finde him merciful vnto vs his wretched creatures, Amen.

The third thing to be noted in this second part is,Gods na­ture and mans, dif­fer much. that Gods nature and mans differ much one from the other. For man (for the most part) is no more seruiceable vnto God, nor longer friendly vnto man, then Gods condition vppon the earth is fortunate and quiet with the world.Man for the most parte is vnstable & follow­eth religi­on as the world fa­uoureth. For if stornies arise for Gods cause, and troubles happen where quietnesse erst had place: the men of the world alter their loue, seruice and reuerence: and will neither make nor medle with God nor his cause: no, althoughe tenne thousand idols be brought in for one God: as En­glishe men haue séene in former time. As long as Christ had a king in this realme to hold of his part,Idols set vp againe in Queene Maries time. and that great liuings, gaines, friendship and loue of ye world rose for Gods sake, they dissembled towards his worde, and so long as faire wordes could please God, he lacked none: but now euen such as God did most for, doe knowe neither God nor his word: but had rather heare tenne times spoken of the falsest tradition that euer man brought into the Churche, then once of Christes most holy Gospel: so that now mens natures, for aduersities sake, be cleane turned from God.

How long the loue of man continueth towardes men, daily experience sheweth within one moneth.How long mans loue continu­eth to­wardes man. If a man fall into trouble for the most iust cause: he that was his friend, will not onely alter his loue from him, but also all the notes and tokens of the same: whereas in prosperitie he was assured both [Page 92] of friendly words and friendly workes, in aduersitie he shal find neither words nor workes, except words and works of displeasure. In prosperitie faire lookes and amiable countenances were as common as the cart way: in aduersitie there shall neither looke, nor countenaunce be shewed, except it be frowning and bending of browes: yea, and moreouer, aduersitie ta­keth from the dissembling friend, all knowledge that euer he had of his friend afflicted: that if the poore af­flicted, (although he be euen vnder the nose of his feigned friend) with courtesie and all obeisance can­not be knowne.

Oh God,God lo­ueth and helpeth the poore afflicted. blessed be thy name, that withdrawest neither thy knowledge, loue, nor yet thy helpe from the poore afflicted, but hearest them, and grauntest them their godly and honest requestes: as here this Prophete most godly & comfortably writeth of thée. For he saith.Psalm. 77. Consola­tion. The Lord shall hearken vnto me: when I seeke him in the time of my trouble. And also the Lord abhorreth not to be present with the afflicted, be his troubles neuer so great:Psalme. 91. For I am (saith the Lord) with him in trouble, I will deliuer him, and set him in honour, &c.

Of this doctrine we learne two things.God ha­teth not the trou­bled for his trou­ble but for his sinne. Man ha­teth man for trou­ble and not for sinne. The one that God hateth not the troubled man for his trou­ble, but for his sinnes. Men doe cleane contrarie for the most part. For they hate the man for trouble, and not for sinne. For let the wickedest man aliue haue prosperitie, and all wicked men will loue him, for his prosperities sake. God turneth not his fa­uour from man for trouble, but for sinne. The world for troubles sake will not knowe the most deare and honest friend: but let the most wicked that liueth by breath haue prosperitie, and wicked people will not faile to know him with beck and du-gard, if he come [Page] into companie. Yea rather then faile, the most wic­kedest man aliue, shall be narrowly sought out, that wicked men may haue acquaintance of him. But he that hath God to his friend, is sure of a Sauiour as well in aduersitie as in prosperitie: as the Prophet here declareth, which can in troubles send ease, and in quietnes continue ioyes for euer. To him there­fore be all laude and praise worldes without end, Amen.

The fourth thing to be noted in this second part,Continu­ance in prayer. is the continuance of the faithfull afflicted in prayer vnto God. For the Prophet saith, that He lifted vp his hands all night, and waxed not wearie. Of this continuance in prayer we learne two thinges. The one perseuerance in prayer, and the other patient ex­pectation, and willing sufferance vntill God sende redresse and ease. To the first the Scripture exhor­teth vs, that we pray both heartily and continually vnto God: not because he is ignorant of our trou­bles, but because we should throughly be brought to vnderstand, that there is none can helpe vs out of trouble, but hée: and also that by continuance in prayer we may the better knowe, and more earnest­ly repent our sinns, that be the cause of our troubles: thirdly, that by often remembrance and diuers re­hearsalls of our iniquitie vnto GOD, we may the sooner bring both our soules and bodyes, into the seruice and homage of Almightie God, whome we haue by sinne most gréeuously displeased.

The second vertue patient expectation in trou­bles,Patient expectati­on. declareth that we be much bound vnto God, that chasteneth vs in this life: and deferreth not our punishment to the eternall paines in the world to come. Also it maketh the minde of man to vnder­stand the wisedome of GOD, and also the foolish­nesse [Page 93] of man, that many times for lacke of patient expectation and thankfull sufferance, waxeth wea­rie of his crosse and punishment, and also murmu­reth against God, bicause he helpeth not when mans wisedome iudgeth most méete to be holpen. But pa­tient expectation prescribeth God no time, when to helpe, nor yet meanes how to helpe, but saith:Matth. 6. 8 Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen. Also: Lord, if thou wilt thou canst deliuer me. As the Prophete vseth here in this Psalme, He called and cryed vpon the Lord all the night, and attended patiently, when God would helpe, leaning altogether to his blessed will and pleasure, to doe, or not to doe, as him best pleased.

¶The third part.

What great and perillous daungers the man that is troubled shall suffer for the time of his trouble.

2 My soule refused comfort.

3 When I am in heauinesse, I will thinke vpon God: when my heart is vexed, I will complaine. Sela.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so feeble I can not speake.

5 I haue considered the dayes of olde: and the yeres that be past.

6 In the night I called to remembraunce my song, and communed with mine owne heart, and my spirite searched diligently:

7 Will the Lord absent him selfe for euer? and will he be no more intreated?

8 Is his mercy cleane gone for euer? And is his pro­mise come vtterly to an end for euermore?

[Page] 9 Hath God forgotten to be gratious? and will he shut vp his louing kindnesse in displeasure?

HEre in these verses it appareth what terrible and fearefull thinges, a man that is in trouble, shall suffer and be vexed withall. And the first that the Prophete mentioneth, is in the end of the second verse, and it is this: My soule refuseth comfort.

Of this aduersitie and anguishe of the soule,As long as sinn is not felt, man is iocund & pleasant. we may learne many thinges: First, that as long as sinne appeareth not, nor is felt, the minde of man is quiet, iocund, and pleasant: and the mirth and plea­sure of the minde reioyceth the body, and maketh it lustie and pleasant: not féeling at all the breache of Gods commanundements,2. Samu. 1. neither passing any thing at all of sinne,Rom. 8. nor euill conuersation: but rather de­lighting in things that displease God,Act. 9. then in any vertue or honestie. But when trouble, sicknesse, or death commeth,When the horrour of a mans sin is felt to desperatiō no world­ly ioyes cā comfort the afflic­ted person. then most commonly, though men sée not the horrour of their sinnes to repent: yet féele they the horrour thereof to desperation: and that once felt in the soule, all the ioyes of the worlde can not comfort the troubled person. As Adam with all the solace of Paradise could not reioyce, when his soule felt the abhomination of his offence towardes God. Caine could neuer plucke vp merrie counte­naunce for the cruell killing of his brother Abel.Gene. 3. 4. Peter coulde not stint wéeping for his denyall of Christ,Note. vntill Christ looked vpon him.Matth. 26. Marie Magda­lene could not put vp her head from vnder the table,Luke. 7. for shame of her sinne,Iohn. 8. vntill Christe had forgiuen her: nor the poore woman that was taken in adul­terie, vntil her offences were pardoned. Neither yet [Page 94] could this Prophetes spirite take any consolation,Psal. 77. as long as his sinnes were felt and not pardoned. Whereof followeth this saying: A small trouble of conscience putteth away all ioy and mirthe of the world. Wherefore it is wisedome and also the due­tie of all Christian people, to auoyde sinne and the enimitie of God, which onely troubleth the consci­ence: and to put the body to all paines possible, yea, and to death it selfe, rather then to put the soule in daunger towardes God:1. Tim. [...]. as Saint Paule writeth to Timothie his disciple: and not without cause. For as the spirite that contemneth God, and féeleth (for his contempt) Gods displeasure, can not take comfort, but is full of anguish & heauinesse inward, and in the outward man full of paine and sorrowe:Esai. 66. so likewise shal the soule in the life to come inward­ly féele vnspeakable grudgings and sorrowes,Apoc. 14. and outwardly the vnquenchable and euerlasting fire of hell.The dea­rest frends of Christe be not voyde of trouble & anguish of minde for their sins. Consola­tion. And here is to be noted that the very elect and dearest friendes of Christe, be not frée from trouble and anguish of minde for their sinnes, perpetrated & committed against God. But this is a consolation, that the elect, as they finde anxietie and anguish of minde for sinne in this life: so in this life is the con­sciēce that is troubled, by grace quieted, that it may after this life finde eternall rest. And it is a common order and ordinarie way,An ordinari way that God vseth to call sin­ners to re­pentaunce, and from repentance to forgiuenesse. whereby GOD vseth to bring the sinner to acknowledge and repent his sin, and so from knowledge and repentaunce to the for­giuenesse of his sinne: to shewe and set before the conscience of the sinner, his sinne: as the example of king Dauid and others do declare. My sinne (saith Dauid) is alwayes before me. As though he had said: In case I coulde hide mine iniquitie from all the world,Psal. 51. yet can I not excuse it before God, nor hide it [Page] from mine owne conscience. And euery mans sinnes thus open before God, and knowne and felt in his own conscience, bringeth the soule into this discom­fort and heauinesse, that it refuseth all consolation and comfort: as this Prophet Asaph sayth meruel­lously in this second verse of his Psalme.

There is to be noted out of this comfortlesse spi­rite of the Prophete Asaph,Two ma­ner of dis­comforts. an other most necessarie doctrine for euery Christian creture, which is this: that there is two manner of discomfortes, or two sortes of heauinesse in the word of God, that is ap­pointed to leade vs in the time of this wretched life: as there is in it also two manner of consolations. There is two manner of brightnesse and clearnesse, and two manner of darknesse and obscurenesse in it: as it shall appeare in the treatise of this Psalme hereafter. And bycause the diuersitie is not marked: the worde of God doeth many times, and in many places and persons, no good at all.

There is a discomfort inwardly, and a discom­fort outwardly in the scripture.An inward discom­forte. The discomfort in­wardly is, when the sinneful man or woman séeketh and suffereth the same discomfort in his soule, that the lawe of GOD doth open and proclame against him for his sinnes committed against God and his lawe: so that, as the lawe commaundeth after this sort:Matth. 3. Agite poenitentiam, Repent ye: so the man that is commaunded by the lawe to be sorie and heauie for his sinnes,Mark. 1. is sorrie and heauie in déede, by the working of Gods spirite:Gene. 3. 4. as we may sée in Adam, what inward feare and discomfort he had,2. Samu. 11 when he heard the voyce of God after the doing of his sinne: Caine the like,Matth. 27. Dauid the same,Act. 9. with Peter, Paule, and others in the word of God, This discomfort in­wardly is felt of al Gods elect, that be able to learne [Page 95] and knowe the nature of Gods lawe, and the dam­nation and curse of God vpon sinne.Matth. 3. For this is a ge­nerall commaundement to all fleshe borne and con­ceiued in sinne:Mark 1. Agite poenitentiam, Repent ye. It is also many times felt of suche as dye,Saule and Iudas. and liued wic­kedly. As Saule and Iudas,1. Samu. 31. whose spirites in their discomforts refused al consolation,Matth. 27. and so dyed with­out comfort in great anguishe and perturbation of minde.Mark. 14. But that is not generall in all wicked and damned persons: for many times they féele no dis­comfort, nor heauinesse of spirite inwardly in this world: but God, of his vnspeakable wisedome and iustice, maketh them (for their sinnes) aliue, and in securitie of conscience,Pharao. to goe to hell. As Pharao, whilest he followed the Israelites in persequution into the red sea,Exod. 14. soudenly was drewned. Chore, Da­than and Abiron, whilest they were doing their sa­crifices, God killed them,Num. 16. in opening the earth that swallowed them aliue downe into hell. Nowe this inwarde discomfort,Rom. 3. 5. although it eude not in ioye, but onely in such as beléeue their sinnes to be forgi­uen in the death and passion of Christ: yet we sée by the examples of the scripture, that both good and bad suffer and féele this, that their spirite will take no comfort.Outward discomfort But nowe as concerning outward and ex­ternall discomfort: which is felt as well of such as haue the word of God, as such as haue not the word of God, but only the lawe of nature. As we may sée in the time of the lawe of nature, how Noah shewed the discomfort of all men, and the destruction of the world for sinne:Gene. 5. 6. but this discomfort did not enter into the spirites of the hearers. Christ complaineth of the same, that the people had both discomfort and comfort preached vnto them: and yet they receiued none of them both. To whome (saith Christ) should I [Page] compare this generation? It is like boyes that sit in the streates and cry vnto their fellowes, and say: We haue played vpon our tymbrels to you, and you haue not daunsed: we haue soung mourning songs vnto you, and ye haue not wept. Matth. 11. Luke. 7. God by his Prophete E­saie saith the same:Esai. 65. All the day long haue I exten­ded foorth my hand vnto an vnfaithfull and intrac­table people: Meaning, that what so euer he threa­tened, or gently offered vnto the Iewes, it came no further then the outwarde eare.Esai. 53. 6. Whereof both the Prophets and Christ him self gréeuously complaine,Matth. 13. in this sort:Iohn. 12. They haue eares and heare not, and they haue eyes and see not. Rom. 11. Saint Paule rebuketh men also,Rom. 1. that by the lawe of nature knewe good, whereof they should haue reioyced: and euill, whereof they should haue lamented, and yet did not. And to leaue off the examples of our fathers mentioned in the scriptures: we may sée the same by daily experience amongest our selues. We reade in the booke of God, we heare by preaching, we knowe in our owne con­sciences the displeasure and anger of God, against vs for our sinnes. God outwardly sheweth vs the same with many horrible plagues: as by sicknesse, warre, sedition, scarsitie, enimitie, and hatred, by the deliuerance and surrender of a whole realme (to the vtter destruction thereof) into the handes and rule of a straunger, and by the deliuery and giuing ouer of Christian soules into the hands and rule of the An­tichristian Pope, and his wicked Cleargie: and yet this discomfort commeth no further, then our out­ward eare. If Asaph the authour of this Psalme were amongest vs, he would say, His spirite would take no consolation. And this is an horrible plague, that wéekely this Psalme is read amongest the Po­pish Cleargie, and yet it bringeth their spirites to no [Page 96] sorowe nor féeling of God displeasure. Wherefore our owne experience teacheth, that there is an in­ward and an outwarde discomfort in this Psalme, and in the rest of Gods most holy word. The one pe­nitent sinners féele, and by it amend their liues: and the other some wicked men féele, and yet despaire: but of the most part of the world, it is not felt at all. Whereof commeth the contempt of God,Sinne not felt, bring­eth the cō tempt of God, &c. the loue of our selues and of the world, and the losse of our sin­full soules in the world to come. Let vs therefore marke the scripture that teacheth this discomfort, and pray to God, that as we sée it in the letter: so we may féele it in the spirite. Of the two maner of con­solations, it shall be saide in the next verse: and of the brightnesse and darknesse also, in the Psalme hereafter.

Nowe in the trouble of the spirite is an other thing to be considered, whereof the text also maketh mention: that is, howe the discomfort of the spirite had continuaunce all the night. Whereof is to be gathered the greatnesse of discomfort. For as the night is a very image of death, and the bed a very si­militude of the sepulchre and graue: euen so is the discomfort of the spirite in the night, that will not suffer the body to take rest, but to be vnquieted with it selfe.Vnquiet­nes of the spirite is a veri image of eternall death. The which vnquietnesse of the spirite, is a very similitude and image of eternall discomfort in the world to come, that both body and soule, whiche were created first to inherite the heauenly blisse, af­ter the fall of Adam, should rest by night, (as king Dauid saith) and after this life,Psal. 104. for sinne vnforgi­uen, should for euer be disquieted in the vnquench­able fire of hell.

Here may we learne the circumstances and cau­ses,The cause of al trou­ble is sin. how the trouble of the Prophet Asaphes spirite [Page] was increased.Psal. 39. It was trouble ingendered by sinne, (the occasion onely of al mens miseries,)Rom. 5. 7. 8 opened and reuealed vnto the conscience by the law, condemned by iustice to eternall fire, and it continued al night: yea,The night represen­teth hell prison. The bed represen­teth the graue. The sheets of mans fleshe is earth. how much more, the scripture declareth not. In the which night, the darknesse thereof represented vnto his eyes outwardly, the horrour of hell prison: and also his bed, the graue and sepulchre, wherein al flesh is clad, after the spirite departeth. The shéetes of mans flesh after this life, be nothing but earth a­boue and earth vnderneath: as whilest it liueth, it is clad with such vaine thinges as grow vpon the earth.

This whole night in discomfort of the spirit, de­clareth two notable things.Two thin­ges to be noted. First, howe earnestly God is angrie in déede with sinne, that putteth man to such long paine for it. And the next, howe grati­ous a God he is, that will not yet suffer the discom­forted spirite to despaire in his discomfort, as it fol­loweth meruellously in the next verse.

3 When I am in heauinesse I wil thinke vpon God: when my heart is vexed I will complaine. Sela.

Whilest Asaph was thus troubled in spirite, he remembred the Lord,No cōfort to the af­flicted but GOD a­lone. and called vnto him for helpe. First, out of this verse it is to be considered, that no­thing can quiet the comfortlesse spirit, but GOD a­lone. But for as much as it séemeth by the partes of this Psalme that followeth, that this verse came in by occasion, rather then to shewe a full remedie for the Prophetes trouble: I will not write what I thinke thereof, but deferre the remedie against trou­ble to such other verses as follow: bycause the Pro­phete saide before, that his spirite could take no con­solation, [Page 97] and that a great many of troubles followe, as the Psalme declareth. It sheweth, that he was not able to beare the troubles of the minde alone, without the inuocation and helpe of God. Where­fore, before he expresseth by writing al his troubles: he writeth also, howe in the middest of them, he did remember and put his trust in the Lord.

Out of this we learne, howe necessarie it is in time at the beginning of troubles and temptations, to remember the Lord, and to cal vnto him for mer­cie. For the more temptations doe growe without present assistance of Gods grace, the greater is the damnation, and the more is the daunger thereof: as we may sée in the examples of the scripture.

Adam fell into anxietie and discomfort of spirite,Gene. 3. and God immediately tolde him of his fault, and by Gods grace his discomforted spirite was quieted in the promises of God:Note. Caine by the murther of his brother Abel,Gene. 4. felt the discomfort of the spirit, and by neglecting of Gods calling, dyed in the same.2. Samu. 12 Dauid being admonished by Gods grace, found rest for his vnquieted spirite:1. Samu. 31 Saule in deferring the remedie of Gods grace, died comfortlesse. Peter, at the begin­ning, through Gods grace with one looke of Christe,Matth. 27. put away discomfort: Iudas with contemning Chri­stes admonitions, dyed in horrible despaire.

Whereof we learne to beware, (as much as may be,) that temptations growe not so farre, that Gods admonition, or the remembraunce of Gods name be forgotten: but that we doe in the middest of discom­forts, (as Asaph the Prophet did,) remember and cal vpon the Lord for help. There is also by this remē ­braunce of God, in the discomfort of the spirite, to be noted, what a vanitie all the world, and worldly things be for man in time of trouble, when God shal [Page] shew and reueale vnto man his sinnes.What ma­ner of mā Asaph was. This Asaph (as we reade in the scripture) was a man, whom for his vertues and good qualities, king Dauid appoin­ted to be a Musician for the comfort of many, vn­till the building of the temple of Hierusalem:1. Paral. 6. Yet nowe, (as we sée) he is not able to solace him selfe with his Musicke, nor yet with any worldly thing: but this onely comfort is in the Lord. And here the Prophete declareth the truth of Christes sentence, written in S. Luke:Luke. 9. What doth it profite a man to winne all the worlde, and to loose his owne soule? What externall riches can comfort the inward spi­rite, troubled with sinne and transgression of Gods lawe? None at all doubtlesse: as the scripture she­weth examples euery where.Note. Al king Dauids king­dome was not able to appease his troubled and dis­comforted spirite, when he said to his troubled soule:Psal. 42. 43 Why art thou so heauie and sad my soule, and why doest thou trouble me?

Nowe, this one thing more I will marke in this verse, and no more, bycause it is more fully vsed by the Prophete for the comfort of discomforted spirits in the verses that followe.

I sayde, there was two kindes of consolations in the word of God.Two kin­des of consolations in the worde of God. The one outward in the face and lesson of the letter: and the other inward, in the vn­derstanding and féeling of the spirite. And of this di­uision must great héede be taken. For it is not euery man that readeth and heareth, that Christe dyed for the remission of sinne, that shall haue the consolation of the redemption promised in Christes bloud. For we sée and reade, (God giue vs grace to learne it,) that Adam caused his sonnes to heare of his owne fall in Paradise, and the redemption of his fal in the bloud of Christe to come,Gene. 4. as Abel his yonger sonne [Page 98] right wel perceiued: yet did Caine, hearing the same consolation, perish in his sinne. There was consola­tion and rest promised vnto all them that came out of Egypt: but none tooke the benefite thereof, but Iosua and Caleb. There was in the outward letter promised consolation vnto all Abrahams children:Who be the childrē of Abra­ham. but none receiued the commoditie thereof, but suche as in spirite followed the fayth of Abraham. The scripture saith in the letter, that GOD would all men to be saued: yet we sée such as followe not the spirite offered,Consolation offered vnto Eng­land in K. Edwardes dayes. be damned. God by his worde in the time of holy and blessed King Edward the sixt, offe­red consolation vnto all this realme: yet none shall inioy it, but suche as in their spirites haue learned, kept, and do followe the word of consolation. So our Sauiour Christ in S. Matthew doth say: Not euery man that calleth me, Lord, Lorde, shall enter into the kingdome of God: but he that followeth in Christ Gods commaundements.

There be a great many at this day (as there were before our time,) that knowe and speake of such con­solation, as is conteined in the letter, & vtter barke of Gods worde: but in their consciences they féele not in déede the consolation thereof.Iudas. As Iudas prea­ched abroad with the rest of his companions, conso­lation to the lost shéepe of the house of Israel: but he shewed vnto others that he felt not him selfe. So did the Phariseis,Phariseis. when the scripture was read euery Saturday in their Synagogues, shew that Messiah should come to redéeme the worlde: yet they them selues (for the most part) felt not the consolation in déede, that the scripture did testifie of Christ. Euen so at this present, many reade this Psalme (and daily almost in the letter,) whereof if it be in Englishe, he that vnderstandeth not but the English toung, séeth [Page] great consolation in the letter, and also in the Pro­phete Asaph, that vsed the Psalme: yet when néede should be, the inward consolation of the Psalme, of many is nothing felt. The cause is, that either they vnderstand it not, or else marke it not: eyther they thinke (as the Papistes doe teach) that to say or sing the Psalme without vnderstanding and féeling of it in the spirite, is sufficient for the worke it selfe, and that it pleseth God Ex opere operato, as they terme it.

It is too euident, and also too horrible, (if it plea­sed God,) that men be contented only with the exter­nall consolation conteined in the word of God. For if they heare that Gods commaundements be true, and full of consolation, they be contented to heare of them in the letter or by speach, and neuer learne thē or féele them by heart. The like is in the Articles of our Christian religion. They be thought to be true and godly: and yet the most part that so iudge, ney­ther learne them nor féele them in their conscience: Wherefore they doe outwardly and inwardly as much idolatrie, contrarie to their Créed, by the com­maundement of men, as can be deuised: for their consolation of faith is no more but such an outward knowledge, as the most men hold withall, without any proper iudgement, or singular féeling of their owne spirites.Prayer. The same is likewise in prayer. For in the externall letter, there is so much consolation as may be: but in the heart of him that prayeth, is there no vnderstanding nor féeling of the consolatiō that outwardly is spoken and talked of. Therefore, marke this order of the Prophete Asaph. He sayde, that His spirite could take no consolation in all the night time, whilest he helde vp his handes. And as there is not only discomfort and vnquietnes spoken of, but also felt: not onely noted and written in the [Page 99] letter of y Psalme, but also throughly felt inwardly in the spirite with heauinesse and anguish, without comforte and consolation: so in this verse is there consolation in the letter, in the voice, & in the mouth mentioned of, & inwardly the same consolation felt in the spirite. And as outwardly Gods displeasure troubled him: so inwardly Gods holy name & promises comforted him. And this is to be noted, least we should heare of consolation outwardly, or reade it in the booke of the holy Bible: and yet inwardly ney­ther féele nor knowe any consolation at all.

Man in trouble without Gods pre­sence is miserable.In the end of this verse is put this worde (Sela.) And it doth note vnto the Reader or Hearer, what a miserable and comfortlesse thing man is in trouble, if God be not present with him to help him. It is al­so put as a spurre & pricke for euery Christian man and woman, to remember and call vpon God, in the days of their troubles. For as the Iewes say, where so euer this word (Sela) is, if doth admonish and stirr vp the Reader or Hearer, to marke what was saide before it: for it is a worde alwayes put after very notable sentences. Then followeth the rest of suche paines & troubles, as this Prophet suffered, whilest the Lord laide his crosse vpon him: after this sort.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so feeble I can not speake.

Before, he saide his spirit could take no consolati­on, which was a gréefe vnspeakable. For no thought is able to comprehend the anguish of the mind, much lesse is the toung able to expresse it. But now he she­weth a further increase of discomfort, and saith: that The terrour of his mind was such, that he was not only comfortlesse, but the Lord also to the increase of sorrowe, kept sléepe from him. And as the greatnesse [Page] of Gods punishment, suffered him not to sléepe: so would it not permit him to speake,Note. but made him speachlesse: such was the great punishment of God towardes him.

Here is the tyrannie and violence of sinne to be perceiued and séene:What sinn worketh in man. which is first in this verse to be noted. It taketh all mirthe from the spirite, and bringeth in heauinesse and discomfort. It taketh a­way sléep, and placeth for it tediousnesse and sorow­full watch. It taketh away also the speache of the tong, and leaueth the man mute and speachlesse. If sinne can do so painful things in the body and soule, whilest they be yet conioyned together, and there is hope of remission: what can it doe, when the one is in the earth, and the other in hell separated, or else both of them conioyned againe in the resurrection of the wicked, where there is no hope of redemptiō, but assuraunce of euerlasting paine? Besides this, it is to be noted in this verse,A peacea­ble consci­ence, pre­cious iuel. conteyning the increase of the Prophetes heauinesse, what a precious iewel man or woman hath: that hath a quiet heart and peaceable conscience. For where so euer they be, there be all the members of man & woman, wholy bent vnto the seruice and honouring of God. The eyes shall neuer be turned from their seruice: ney­ther shall the toung ceasse (if it be able to speake) to sound foorth alwayes the glory of God. As Dauid saith:Psal. 25. 121. Mine eyes be alwayes towardes the Lord. A­gaine:Psa. 123. 131 I lifted vp mine eyes vnto the Lord. As the eye of the handmaide attendeth vpon her Maistres: so our eyes attend vpon the Lord. Againe:Psal. 132. Mine eyes Lord be not proud. And in another Psalme he saith, There should come neither sléepe ne slumber in his eyes, vntil he had prouided a place for ye arke of God to rest in. In case the spirite be troubled, or in a con­tempt [Page 100] of Gods lawes, not liking his holy deuises: the eyes be eyther troubled with ouermuch watch, (as in this Psalme we sée:) or else bent to sée vani­tie, the lustes and concupiscence of the flesh and the world. Wherefore Dauid prayed the Lord,Psal. 119. to turne his eyes that they looked not vpon vanitie.Prou. 17. For the eye of him that hath not a right spirit, is insatiable. And many times the eye (wheras the spirit is with­out the fauour of God) abhorreth Gods owne good giftes. As the eyes of the Israelites lothed Manna in the desert, saying: Our eyes see nothing but Man­na:Num. 11. euen so the toung also of the godly spirited man will sound the glory of God,Psal. 35. 39. 71. as king Dauid vsed his toung, and will not hinder it by naughtie speach.

If the spirite be voyde of Gods feare, then doth it speake of malice falsly to slander the good, as king Dauid doth declare: or else for trēbling or quaking,Psal. 6. 12. 14. 140. it can speake nothing at all, as ye may perceiue by ye Prophet Asaph in this place. He that will therfore consider accordingly, the greatnesse of this feare in the spirite, and howe it taketh away the office of e­uery member externall: doubtlesse must labour to haue the spirite that Dauid prayeth,Psal. 51. in this sorte: Cor mundum crea in me deus, & spiritum rectum innoua in visceribus meis, Create in me a cleane hart, O Lord, and renue in me a right spirite. In the which verse the Prophete prayeth first, to haue such an heart, as by faith in Christe may be cleane and purged from sinne: and next, to haue a certeine and sure spirite, that doubteth nothing of Gods promises towardes him. For, such a spirite within the body of man or woman, maketh the heart so ioyfull, that no sorrow can molest it: and it strengtheneth so euery mem­ber, that they will be giuen to nothing so much as to the seruice of God. But if the spirit be wicked, dout­lesse [Page] the outwarde members will serue nothing but iniquitie: if it be troubled, the outwarde members can not be quiet. For as the soule giueth life to the body:Note. so doth the vertue of God in the soule, drawe the outward partes of the body vnto the obedience of vertue. And contrariwise,Rom. 7. 8. 12. the vice of the soule draweth the members of the body vnto the seruice of sinne and iniquitie. And as the eares and eyes of man were made by God,Vnto what vse the eys & eares of man were created. to be instruments to heare and sée Gods will and pleasure,Rom. 10. & by them (sith man fell in Paradise) knowledge might come into the soule and spirit of man, by hearing Gods word prea­ched, & séeing his sacraments ministred: so by them abused, in hearing and seeing of sinne and abhomi­nation, there entreth into the soule much vile filthi­nesse and transgression. The Prophete Asaph (there­fore) doth admonish vs to beware that we bring not our spirites into discomfort, by sinne and transgres­sion of Gods lawes: for if we do, whether ye offence be done in the spirite, by the euill that naturally is in it, by originall sinne, by the temptation of the di­uell, or by the meanes of any member of the body: doubtlesse the trouble of the spirit shal not only take away the office of the members, (as ye sée in this place the speache of the toung, and the closing of the eyes, be taken away:) but at the length also, God shall make the same body and the same mem­bers to rise againe at the generall resurrection,Iacob. 19. and they shall suffer with the wicked spirite eternall paines.1. Cor. 15. Let this doctrine therefore teach all men to knowe and féele the crueltie of sinne, that so paine­fully vnquieteth doth body and soule, and think that if these grudgings, discomforts, terrours and feares be so great, that death it selfe is more tollerable and easie to beare: howe much more intollerable and [Page 101] vnspeakeable be the paines of hell, which God hath ordeined for all impenitent sinners?Esaie. 66. After this verse of trouble and anguish,Matth. 25. whereas we sée sléepe taken from the eyes, and speach from the tongue: followeth next, how these great sorrowes were mollified and somewhat diminished.

5 I haue considered the dayes of old: and the yeres that be past.

6 In the night I called to remembrance my song, and communed with mine owne heart: and my spi­rite searched diligently.

I did (sayth the Prophet) in this great discomfort and heauinesse, consider with my selfe the times and worlds of old, wherein the Lord had holpen and deli­uered my fathers before my time, from such trou­bles as I am in, and also from greater. And in the night, while I was sléeplesse, I remembred that ma­ny times I lauded and exalted the goodnes of God in my Psalms and Hymns, giuing him thanks for his great mercie and goodnes vsed towards his Church at all times: and in remembring Gods accustomed clemencie and pitie, my spirite was much giuen to debate thinges.

Out of these two verses we may note diuers doc­trines for our consolation in the dayes of our trou­ble.Consola­tion in trouble. And the first (after my minde) shalbe concerning the two brightnesse and the two darkenesse in the word of God. The one brightnesse is in the letter outwardly, and the other brightnesse is in the spi­rite and heart of the reader of the Scripture. This brightnesse or claritie of the letter is this, when by reading, hearing, or thinking of Gods word: men learne and knowe that God made all thinges, and [Page] that he preserueth all thinges, and that Iesus Christ his onely sonne is the mediatour betwéene God and man, and that he pacified Gods iust ire against man by his bitter death and passion. Also he knoweth by the externall histories of the Scripture, that GOD hath deliuered many times his people from dangers and perils, in maner impossible to be holpen.

This claritie and brightnesse of the Scripture, although it be necessarie: yet it is not sufficient: for if standeth alone in bare and naked knowledge, whi­che before God saueth no, neither illuminateth the man that hath the knowledge in a sufficient claritie and brightnesse of faith, and of Gods promises due in Christ vnto faith.Gene. 12. 13. 15. 16. 17 As we may sée, how the children of Israel had the external claritie and brightnesse of Gods promises vnto Abraham, Isahac, and Iacob, that they and their posteritie should inherite ye lande of Canaan, that flowed with all plentie and aboun­dance: yet notwithstanding such as came out of E­gypt, for the most part,Num. 14. perished in the desart & wil­dernesse. The Phariseis and learned men amongest the Iewes,Mich. 5. had the clearenesse and brightnesse of Christes comming,Matth. 2. & of the place he should be borne in, and told in that part the trueth vnto Herod: yet did they for all this knowledge and claritie, abhorre Christ when he came, and put him to death most wrongfully. The people in like sort saw an external brightnesse in Christ,Matth. 27. that by his miracles and won­ders, they thought him worthie to be made a king:Mark. 15. Luke 20. Iohn. 19. Iohn. 6. Luke 4. and yet for all this, they cryed out against him: Cru­cifige eum, crucifige eum, Crucifie him, crucifie him. The diuel himselfe said he knewe who Christ was, the sonne of the most highest: and yet for all this knowledge and clearenesse shall he neuer be saued.Matth 7. And Christ himselfe also perceiued that this external [Page 102] brightnesse was amongest a great many that called him Lord, Lord: Yet notwithstanding he said, they should not enter into the ioyes of heauen. So like­wise be there very many at this present time, that sée the claritie and brightnesse of Christ outwardly in the letter, and yet follow it not here in liuing, nei­ther shall they haue the effect of their knowledge in the life to come: for their clearenesse is onely know­ledge, without féeling or practise of the brightnes in­wardly:Luke 12. which deserueth more stripes then obscuri­tie or darkenesse doth.

There is another claritie or brightnes, which is an inward vnderstanding and spirituall knowledge and sight of Gods trueth, which no man hath but he that is possessed with the spirite of God: that what­soeuer he readeth in Gods word himselfe, or heareth preached of other men, he vnderstandeth it, and con­senteth vnto it gladly, and willingly. As for exam­ple: God spake vnto Adam,Genes. 3. and his wordes made him afeard, so that he trembled for feare. Christ spake vnto Paule, and he fell downe flatt,Actes. 9. and could not a­bide the peril of Christes voyce: So that as the lawe rebuked sinne in the voice and letter, it wrought al­so rebuke and discomfort in the hearts of Adam and Paul, and made them afraid inwardly, as the voice and letter was terrible outwardly. Wherefore they had not onely an externall clearenesse of Gods ha­tred against sinne, but also an internall sight and fée­ling of the same, as the Scripture doth record.

The like is also in the promises of God, when they be preached or read, that promise remission of sinne. The inward claritie and brightnesse of the same, is to féele priuately euery man and woman in his owne conscience (through faith in Christ) that the same promises doe apperteine and belong vnto [Page] himselfe. As the Prophet Abacuc saith:Abacuc. 2. The iust man liueth by his owne faith. Rom. 1. Also Christ said vnto the woman of Canaan, that it was not good to cast the bread that apperteined to the children, vnto dogges:Matth. 15. she said, Yes Lord: for the dogges do eate of the crumbes that fall from their maisters table. And so doth Christ himselfe vse the brightnesse of his pro­mises to Marie Magdalene:Luke 7. Thy sinnes be forgiuen thee. Applying the clearenesse of the letter, vnto the inward comfort of her soule.

The same is likewise meruellously expressed in the common créede, whereas euery man saith: Hée beléeueth in God the father, God the sonne, and God the holy Ghost, and that he beléeueth the remission of sinnes: meaning, that whosoeuer saith his créed, should sée & feele in his soule the claritie and bright­nesse of his saluation, that is conteined in the letter and wordes of the créede. But this clearenesse is not séene of all men, nor yet of the most part of men: As Christ declareth:Matt. 20. 7. Many be called and fewe chosen. Many say: Lord, Lord, and fewe doe the Lords will. Therefore Christ saith meruellously concerning the claritie and brightnesse of Gods word inwardly, in S. Luke: Blessed be they that heare the word of God and keepe it. Luke 11. By the which words he declareth, that many heare and sée the outward light and trueth of Gods word: but very fewe there be that sée the in­ward light and profite thereof. Of this is learned what the cause is that Christians beare the name of Christ, and yet be not Christes in déede: for because a great many be contented with the name, and few do vnderstand what the name truly and verily con­teineth in it.

And as there is in the Scripture this double brightnesse, whereof the one lyeth in the letter, and [Page 103] many sée what it meaneth by the externall word, and the other lieth in the meaning of the letter, and is perceiued onely by such as haue the spirit of God: so is there two kindes and sortes of darkenesse and obscuritie in the Scripture: the one in the letter, and the other in the sense and taking of the letter. The outward obscuritie is to be séen in such as contemne the word of God, and wil not read it nor heare it. As the Turkes and heathen, and also the common sort that beare the name of Christe, be christened in Christes name, and outwardly be taken to be very Christians in déede, and yet they know not so much as the letter of Christs lawes, that prescribeth them what they should doe, and what they should not doe. And this obscuritie is a brutish, beastly, and exter­nall darkenesse.

The other is obscuritie or darkenesse inwardly in the text.The in­ward ob­scuritie. For although the letter be well knowne, and the sound thereof séemeth to be plaine: yet the sense is not so common nor so manifest as the letter soundeth. Wherevppon S. Paule bindeth all men in the vnderstanding of the letter, vnto the Analogie and proportion of faith, that no one place be taken contrarie to many places. Whereof was gathered the abridgement of our common Créede, accepted at all times and of all Christian men, for an infallible trueth: so that whosoeuer beléeued it, was accomp­ted a good Christian man. And of this obscuritie of the Scripture in the sense and spirite, is risen this troublesome contention about transubstantiation of bread and wine in the sacrament of Christes bo­die and bloud. For the vngodly sort would haue no substance of bread and wine to remaine in the Sa­crament, and yet a corporall presence of bodie and bloud: contrarie, not onely to the articles of our [Page] faith,Matth. 26. that telleth vs he is in heauen, and shall abide there vntil he come to iudge the quick and the dead:Marke 14. but also contrarie to many other places of the scrip­ture.Luke. 12. And this is no new thing,1. Cor. 10. 11. to haue and record the text and letter of the Scripture, and yet lack the effect and the very consolation of the Scripture in déede.Actes 3. For here in these two verses the Prophet A­saph doth record and remember Gods doings merci­fullyColoss. 3. in time past, and yet taketh no more consolati­on thereof: then he findeth in the barke of the letter, or in the rehearsall of the histories. And the same he doth of his owne Psalmes and Hymnes, wherof he maketh mention, and yet by the same meane his spirite is brought into no further considerations of Gods trueth then it was before: with much heaui­nesse and sorrow, as the verses following do declare: So that in the affliction of the spirit he could repeate and cal to his remembrance the truth, how God had delt mercifully with his forefathers, but felt not at that present the like mercie of God towardes him­selfe: neither could he sée nor féele for his consolation the ease and succour of Gods promises which he saw in others: as all the electes of God at lengthe shall doubtlesse féele: As it is said by the Prophet,Psalm. 48. Sicut audiuimus, sic vidimus, As we haue heard, so haue wee seene: and at length (as the Psalme saith) he felt him selfe. Whether he wrote the Psalme of his own sor­rowes and troubles, or of the sorrows and troubles of the Israelits, it maketh no matter: let euery man in that case vse his owne iudgment, so that he mark the doctrine of the Psalme.

There is to be noted of these verses also this doc­trine, that what soeuer trouble ye spirit was brought vnto, whatsoeuer watch had taken his eyes, & what soeuer vehemencie of disease had taken his speach [Page 104] from him: yet vnder all these crosses he cursed not God, nor grudged against his plagues, but as a man contented, gaue himselfe to record and to call to me­morie, how God was wont to be vnto men afflicted, and tooke accompt how in times past he had spent his yeares, and found that he had made certeine Psalmes or Hymnes to the glorie of God, and to the praise of his holy name. Of the which we learne not onely patience in the time of trouble and persequu­tion, but also how to spend our youth and transito­rie life in doing or making some thinges, that may be recordes and remembrances when we be gonne, that we liued here to serue God, and not to serue our selues. And it is a great helpe and no small consolati­on for a man that is in trouble & heauines, to thinke that he in his life before sought the glorie of God: & that testimonie of conscience is more worth in the time of trouble, then all other mens déedes for him. Not in that his séeking Gods glorie & setting foorth of the same, can be his gage and raunsome before God: but because it is a very testimonie, that God once loued him, and gaue him of his blessed spirite, to indite something to Gods praise and honour. And as godly Psalmes and vertuous Hymnes, be testi­monies of a vertuous spirite: so be wanton and a­dulterous ballads, records of a vicious and sinnefull spirite. And as the remembrance of good & vertuous workes in the time of sicknes and trouble, be ioyful and comfortable: so is the remembrance of wicked doinges sorrowful and painefull.

We be therefore taught by this Prophete to be circumspect and warie, how we accumulate & heape vppon our soules infidelitie, and the wicked workes thereof: for as they be the only cause of trouble, so do they not onely worke trouble, but also increase trou- [Page] and augment the heauinesse of the spirit and paines of the body, as is declared meruellously by the graue and profound sentences following. Wherein he de­clareth what it was that his spirite searched so dili­gently for. It was this.

7 Will the Lord absent himselfe for euer? and wil he be no more intreated?

8 Is his mercie cleane gone for euer? And is his promise come vtterly to an end for euermore?

9 Hath God forgotten to be gratious? And will he shutt vp his louing kindnesse in displeasure?

10 And I said, It is mine owne weakenes: but the right hand of God can chaunge these thinges.

These verses declare what mindes and cogitati­ons do happen to men that be in sicknes or trouble:The trou­bled spirite is ouer­whelmed with gree­uous cogi­tations. and how gréeuous they be vnto the patient.

Out of these verses first we sée a common rehear­sall of the great terrour and feare of the féeling of Gods displeasure and anger towards the wofull spi­rite for sinne. The first meditation of the sinnefull spirite was this: Will the Lord absent himselfe for euer? This may be vnderstood two maner of wayes. For this English word (euer) hath two meanings in the Hebrue tonge. Sometime it is taken for con­tinuance and time euerlasting:The re­mēbrance of Gods iustice for sinne: is greater paine then the death of the bo­die. sometime for cer­teine yeres, and the life of men. If it be taken in this place for time euerlasting, the sorrowes of the Pro­phete were the greater, when he reuelued with his spirite, that God iustly for sinne might cast him into euerlasting paines: the remembraunce whereof is greater paine, then the mortall death of the bodie. If this word (euer) be taken for a certeine time, and the life of man, then meaneth the Prophet thus: Will [Page 105] God as long as I liue absent himselfe? And thus continue me in heauines of spirite and sorrowes, as long as I liue? Which sense soeuer be taken, there be profitable thinges to be learned of it. But I sup­pose the latter sense to be the better for diuers cau­ses. First in this, that the Psalme conteineth the complaint and prayer of the Prophet, a man of God, that cannot be brought to this desperation, that he should be cast away for euer from the fauour of God vnto eternall paines. And the text that saith: It is mine owne infirmitie, and the right hand of the Lord can chaunge this: doth beare with this latter sense and explanation. For the words be of great weight, and of meruellous wisedome and consolation, and do declare, that although the Prophete felt the iudge­ment of God against sinne, and was in a meruellous terror & feare with the horror and sight of his sinns: yet the spirite of God did testifie with his spirit,Rom. 8. that he was the child of God,A godly consola­tion. and that it was a paine and punishment of the soule and body, and not a despera­tion and thorough casting away and absenting of Gods mercie. For the very electes of God be cho­sen, so ordeined,Iohn. 6. 10. so preserued and kept, that nothing is able to take them out of Gods hand. For the god­ly men in the Scripture, did reioyce, with the assu­rance of Gods certein promise: and did not presume to do euill, as S. Paule in sundrie places doth giue testimonie: Once to the Romanes, where as he felt and perceiued the filthines of sinne, & the iust iudge­ment of God against the same:Rom. 7. as it appeareth by his wofull crie and complaint, Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer mee from this body sub­iect vnto death? He felt (as we may perceiue) the hea­uie burden and weight of Gods displeasure, and yet in the midst of terror and feare, he stayed assuredly in [Page] the mercie of God through Christ.2. Cor. 15. And the same he writeth also to the Corinthians,2. Tim. 4. & to his disciple Ti­mothie: that his death was at hand, & that he knew (although his quarell were neuer so good,) that he of himselfe was a sinner, and by sinne worthie reiecti­on & casting away from God: yet he said that Christ had in kéeping for him a crowne of iustice, whiche he should assuredly receiue at the day of his death. God is contented that his chosen people, shall suffer and beare the burden and heauinesse of temptation and feare of euerlasting paine,Genes. 3. as Adam did first in Pa­radise, Dauid many times,Psalm. 42. 43. Iob, and others: yea Christ himselfe,Iob 3. that said his soule was heauie euen vnto death,Matth. 26. which made him sweat both water and bloud.Nothing can hurt him that is in Christ Iohn. 6. But these temptations and terrors shall ne­uer ouercome and cast away the person that hath his faith in Christ: for none is able to take his shéepe out of his hand. Yet God withdraweth his hand many times, and suffereth his to be tempted and to be com­fortlesse, and as it were cleane ouerthrowen: not that in déede their election can be altered,Note. or they them­selues left comfortlesse vntill the end of their liues,Iob. 3. 42. but for a time: as ye may sée by Iob, who spake as horrible words, and as desperatly as might be. Yet sée in the end of his booke, and marke what a ioyfull outgoing his gréeuous temptations had. What pi­tifull cryes were these of Christ our Sauiour vppon the crosse? My God, my God, why hast thou forsa­ken me? Yet the end was, Father into thy handes I commend my spirite. Matth. 27. Marke. 15. Luke 22. Iohn. 19.

Psalm. 34. Actes. 14.It is written that we must enter into heauen by many troubles. The trou­ble of the minde is the grea­test.Now, of all troubles, the trouble of the minde and of the spirite is the greatest. Who then can enter into heauen without such troubles? Doubtlesse no man. For the iudgement of God must [Page 106] begin at his house, as Saint Pater saith: That is to say,1. Peter. 4. None shall in this life more féele Gods displea­sure for sinne in the spirite,Prouer. 12. nor suffer more aduersi­tie in the bodie,Heb. 12. then such as be of Gods owne hous­hold and very electes. Wherefore we be admonished in the troubles and sorrowes that this Prophete A­saph susteined in his soule that could not rest, and in his bodie that could not sléepe nor speake, that good men be not frée from aduersitie,God hi­deth his consolati­on for a time to trie vs. and that aduersities (be they neuer so great) shall not separate men from God for euer, but for a time he punisheth sinne and hideth the consolation of God from vs: As the scrip­ture saith:Esaie. 54. For a time, a little while I haue forsaken thee, but I will gather thee together in wonderfull mercies. In a short time of my wrath I hidd my face a while from thee, but I will haue mercie vppon thee for euer: saith the Lord thy redeemer.

All men that shall profitably knowe and féele the certeintie of Gods promises in this life, and enioy them in the life to come, shall be troubled with some paine of doubtfulnes of them,Genes. 3. before he come to per­fection. For as by sinne death entered into the flesh,Rom. 5. and also the flesh is subiect vnto sicknesse and aduer­sitie: so is there entered into the soule and powers thereof,Rom. 7. 8. by reason of sinne, great imperfection. As the minde of all men is burdened with ignorance,Ephes. 2. the heart with contumacie,Psalm. 53. and the will with fro­wardnesse, so that as they be before regeneration and knowledge of God in all godly matters starke blind, very obstinate, and naturally altogether fro­ward: euen so after regeneration and the knowledge of God, they continually resist and fight against the spirite, not onely of man, in whome these powers dwell:Rom. 8. but also against the spirite of God,Iohn. 3. that tea­cheth and leadeth the spirite of man to eternall sal­uation: [Page] So that it is not man that is able to ouer­come the wickednesse of his owne soule.Phil. 1. 2. And there­fore séeing life through grace dwelt in a bodie natu­rally full of sinne, Saint Paule said,Galath. 2. I doe liue: yet not I, but Christ liueth in mee. So this Prophete Asaphe séemeth in wordes to be starke dead from grace,Psalm. 77. but it was not for euer: for he felt the spirite of God that told him, that such heauie and vngodly thoughtes of his spirit came of his owne infirmitie, and that Gods right hand could alter and chaunge them. And this is the difference betwéene the afflic­tion of the godly and vngodly: as it is wonderful­ly sett foorth in the Psalme next before this sauing one, where it is said:Psalm. 75. There is a cuppe in the Lordes hand full of redd wine, and hee powreth out of it, but the wicked shall drinke the dregges thereof, and the vngodly of the earth shall receiue the bottom of it. The cuppe in the Scripture is taken many times for aduersitie,Matth. 26. whereof God filleth a quantitie and a certeine measure vnto all his electe and chosen ser­uauntes:Marke. 14. but the wicked shall drinke the bottome and all,Esaie. 66. and neuer come to rest nor ease.Matth. 25.

Out of this temptation we may learne how foo­lish and how impatient we be. When God sendeth troubles,Prouerb. 3 we thinke such to be best at ease that want them:Apoca. 3. whereas the Lords booke declareth, that it is necessarie,Heb. 12. and also very expedient, that we should haue them. Againe, there is to be noted how that the Prophet in the cogitations of his minde,The Pro­phet ma­keth no mention of the griefe of the body. maketh no mention of the griefe of the bodie, whereof he spake before at the beginning of his troubles. For in the second and fourth verse he declareth how he held vp his handes all night, cryed with his voyce vntill he was speachlesse, and lay waking & could not sléepe. Of the which sorrowes now he maketh no rehear­sall, [Page 107] but saith: his spirite was searching and inquisi­tiue, Whether God would absent himselfe for euer, with diuers like interrogatories of Gods nature, as followe in the Psalme. Whereof we learne the vilenesse of our owne nature, and also the treason and subtiltie of the diuel. For as long as we sinne, we haue such delight and pleasure therin, as though it were but a play to transgresse and breake Gods holy commaundementes.Note. But when sickenesse and trouble haue layed the wicked the bodie abedd.Rom. 7. and made it weake and féeble:Gal. 2. 3. our conscience is waked by the Lawe of GOD, and we put in such terrour and feare, that nothing can quiet vs. Also, as long as we doe sinne, the diuel beareth vs in hande that God is so mercifull, (doe what we will,) that hée will not be angrie: but when sicknesse or death in­uadeth, then turneth the diuel his tale, and persua­deth with vs, that GOD is onely extreme iust, and nothing at all mercifull. And this griefe of the minde is so sore and vehement, that all the pai­nes of the bodie séeme nothing in comparison there­of: as we sée in this place by the holy Prophete A­saph, that was very sore vnquieted in his bodie, yet did his spirite make no accompt of it, but still hée stayed and staggered, trembling and quaking at the heauinesse and sorrowe of the spirite, that could not féele, for the time of his trouble, any certeintie or cō ­solation in the promises of God.

Of this we be admonished, that whatsoeuer we haue, if Gods fauour lacke, we haue nothing able to reioyce vs. And of the other side, if we lacke all thinges, and haue assuredly Gods fauour, there is nothing able to make vs heauie and sorowfull: As we see king Saule, hauing a noble kingdome, and lacking the fauour of God, was alwayes vnquie­ted: [Page] Poore Dauid hauing the grace and fauour of God, was quiet and contented with all thinges, say­ing: If God will, he may restore mee: if he will not, his will be done. 1. Reg. 16. 1. Reg. 24. 2. Reg. 16. 15. 2. Tim. 4.

The assurance of Gods promises made Paule glad to die: and the mistrust & desperation of Gods promises,Matth. 26. made Iudas wearie to liue. The certein­tie of Gods trueth made Saint Stéeuen quietly to die in the assurance of eternall life:Actes 7. the vncerteintie and doubtfulnesse of Gods mercie caused Saule to die in the feare of eternall death.1. Reg. 31. Riches of this world be treasures muche estéemed and made of: friendes and louers much sought for and warily kept, and health of bodie highly regarded and preser­ued with much care: yet, if the soule be destitute of the assurance of Gods grace, the rest séeme to be of no valure at all.1. Reg. 16. As we sée, Saule in his kingdome with riches, strength, and friendship: yet his minde vexed still an euill spirite, and Gods spirite depar­ted, his sorrowes were incomparable. So that we learne that not onely the goodes apperteyning to the body be nothing worthe, whereas the spirite wan­teth the grace of God: but also, whereas the spirite is troubled, the goodes of the bodie be little felt and nothing passed of: as we sée by this Prophet in this Psalme.

The other part of his cogitations in the time of his sicknesse was this: Will hee be no more intrea­ted? This gréeuous temptation, whether GOD would be intreated to forgiue sinne any more, may haue two vnderstandings: The one generally, and the other particularly. Generally in this sort, whe­ther God once offended, will be mercifull and for­giue or not? Particularly, whether God, whose na­ture is mercifull, will forgiue the priuate man, that [Page 108] séeketh by saith, mercie, as he hath in time past for­giuen al men that asked it with repentance in faith? The first sense and taking of the text generally, is meruellous wicked and blasphemous, to thinke that God once offended with any man, will neuer for giue againe? Of this opinion was Caine,Genes. 4. when he said his sinnes were greater then they might be forgiuen: and he thought God would be no more in­treated, because he iudged his fault greater then the mercie of God that forgiueth faultes. And whereso­euer this iudgement of the spirite is, this sentence is verified: God will be intreated no more.

And as euery man that is priuatly thus minded, that his owne sinnes be greater then can be forgi­uen: euen so hath he the like minde and iudgement also of all other mens sinnes that be like vnto his,A wicked iudgment. thinking them to be greater then they may be for­giuen. For he that despaireth of his owne faultes, cannot thinke well that other mens faults as great as his owne,Matth. 27. 26. be remissible. As Iudas that hanged himselfe for betraying of Christe, could not thinke well of Peter that denied Christ: but rather iudged of Peter as he did of him selfe, saying: God will be intreated no more.

Of this wicked iudgment of Gods mercie, Whe­ther he will be intreated any more of a sinner, after that he hath sinned: I wil speake no more. But they that lust to read how horrible a thing it is, may haue many Psalmes that do declare it: namely Psalme 10.Psalme. 10▪ and 73. and 73. In the one of them it is said by the wic­ked, that God hath forgotten the earth, and careth neither for the godly life of the godly and vertuous, nor the vngodly life of the vngodly and wicked. And in the other Psalme they make a doubt, Whether there be any knowledge in God of man and of his [Page] life, or not. But these sortes of people be too horrible and blasphemous, and not to be rehearsed or muche spoken of.

The other sense of this place that is more parti­cular, is the better sense for the argument and mea­ning of the Psalme: that is, to aske whether God will be intreated no more, as touching the remission of his owne sinne: or els whether God will be no more mercifull to helpe him out of trouble, that spe­cially and particularly suffereth the trouble. And this question so asked, is very common and familiar to the Christians, and putteth them to great trou­ble, and heauinesse. As we may sée that this Prophet Asaphe considered the yeares before him, and what God did to his elders, and found that they receiued remission of their sinnes, and great benefites in this world at Gods hand. So do a great number of men in hearing and reading the Scripture of God, sée and perceiue the remission of many mens sinns, and how mercifully God delt with them: yet when they féele their owne sinne, and suffer their owne crosse and trouble, they haue much a doe, and with great difficultie doe they beléeue that God will be as good vnto them, being priuate sinners and priuately af­flicted, as he was vnto the great number of those, of whom they read in the Scripture, that God forgaue them their sinnes, and preserued them in most hor­rible and daungerous troubles.

A whole man can giue good counsel to the sicke: but being sicke him­selfe can­not apply the same to his comfort.Therefore, this is a common wisedome and daily experimented sentence, Omnes, cùm valemus, bonum, consilium aegrotis damus. When other men be sicke, we can giue good counsell patiently to beare it. When other men be afflicted and troubled, we can speake of many meanes to quiet them. When they be in a­ny mistrust of Gods promises, we can comfort them [Page 109] with many arguments of faith: but most common­ly, if we be sicke our selues, troubled, or in mistrust of Gods promises, we can ease or comfort our selues very little. And good cause why: for God that giueth of his owne gist and only frée liberalitie, wisedome, knowledge, learning, and consolation: giueth also the grace that the saide vertues may worke their o­peration, and expell the infirmities and diseases, wherefore these wisedomes and vertues were ordei­ned. As it is meruellously noted of Saint Paule:1. Cor. 3. I haue planted, & Apollo hath watered: but God gaue the increase. The word of God is a meanes to teach truth,Rom. 1. and to condemne falshood: to place vertue, and to remoue vice:Matth. 10. 28. to giue consolation, and to banishe and put away diffidence and mistrust: but God gi­ueth and worketh the effect thereof.Act. 16. Meate is made to preserue the body: but if God giueth not strength, it misseth the purpose.Prou. 21. The horse and man be means to ouercome: but in battell God giueth the victory. The preacher preacheth Gods word: but God ope­neth and teacheth the mysterie therof. Man heareth: but God giueth the vnderstanding. Asaph remem­bred Gods workes, and had in minde his own god­ly Psalmes: but God must giue the consolatiō. He sawe the trueth, and knewe that God was faithful: but the ioy and profite thereof, lay in the distributi­on and gift of God: as we may wel perceiue by this sorrowfull interrogatorie: Will he be intreated no more?

Of this part we learne howe we ought,When we heare or reade gods promises, wee ought to pray. when we reade or heare Gods promises for our saluati­on, to pray: and howe necessarie a thing this prayer is that godly men made in the scripture: Lord help my incredulitie: Lord increase our faith. Mark. 9. The poore man that heard and sawe Christes mercy and libe­ralitieLuke. 17. [Page] in healing of others, desired also helth for his owne childe, Christe saide: if he beléeued, all things were possible: the poore man sayd: I beleeue Lorde, helpe mine vnbeleefe. The Apostles, when they heard Christe speake of forgiuenesse of one to the o­ther, they sayde: Increase our faith, good Lord. As though they had sayd: Except thou giue vs strength to beléeue and credite thy godly lessons: we shal take no commoditie nor profite by them. Therefore let the preacher of God, the reader of Gods worde, the hearer of Gods worde, & the thinker vpon the same, many times before, also whilest they be speaking, thinking, reading, or hearing of Gods word, pray in their spirits, that ye word of God may work in them the thing, wherfore the word was instituted and ap­pointed of God:2. Tim. 3. or else we shall be (as Saint Paule saith) alwayes learners, and yet neuer come to the knowledge of the truth.

And I do verily thinke, and am truly persuaded, that for lacke of earnest and continuall prayer, with lifting vp of my heart vnto God, whilest I preached his most holy word vnto the people, God iudgeth me not worthy to sée such fruites of my labours as I hoped for. And for this, that the people did not hear­tily pray, to vnderstand Gods pleasure by his word preached, they be accounted vnworthy of such salua­tion, as GOD did offer them by his worde, and the true preaching of his mysteries. Let all men there­fore pray to God in Christ, that they may be the bet­ter for the hearing, recording, remembring, or rea­ding of Gods word. For notwithstanding they haue amongest them the booke of God: yet shall they be troubled (without Gods singular grace) with one of these two euils: either to mocke and scorne at the scripture, caring not whether they learne it or no: [Page 110] or else when they haue learned it, to dout whether it be true or no. And then followeth these questions: Will God absent him selfe for euer? And, Will God be no more intreated? with such other doubtes as do followe in this Psalme: with much heauinesse vnto the spirite where such demaundes rest & haue place. Then followeth the third demaunde by this trou­bled Prophete: Is his mercy cleane gone for euer?

Here in this demaund first be two things to be noted: The one declaring a fault in the Prophetes faith: and the other expressing a veritie in the Pro­phetes knowledge. The fault in his faith, was to doubt or to stande in a mamering of Gods mercy, which is most sure and endureth for euer and euer: and to aske this question, Whether his mercy were cleane gone for euer? The veritie of his knowledge was to iudge and say, that It was his mercy that forgaue sinnes, and not his or any other mens me­rites that could deserue the pardoning of sinne: As ye may sée how sinneful Saule for his sinne,1. Reg. 15. thought to haue appeased God with sacrifice,Luke. 18. and the proude Pharisée with his pretenced good workes. But here in this knowledge, that the Prophet complained of the departure of Gods mercy, is set foorth, that only mercy appeaseth Gods ire in Christ, for the sinne of man.Exod. 34. And what works so euer be done, except Gods mercy pardon the sinne,Deut. 5. 7. they all can neyther please God,Psal. 33. 51. 56. 85. nor quiet the conscience and troubled spirite of him that doth the workes.Psal. 130. 143. As it may be séene in the example of Sainte Peter, and the rest of the Apo­stles. When that Saint Peter walked vpon the sea comming towardes Christ,Matth. 14. and felt the wind strong and tempestuous, he beganne to feare: and when he beganne to sincke, he cryed: Lord saue me. And the Lord put foorth his hande and tooke him, & sayd vnto [Page] him: Thou of little faith, why doubtest thou?

Here we sée, if GOD did helpe vs no more of his mercy,Note. then our owne merites deserued, or else no more then the gifts of God, faith, hope, and charitie, as they be qualities in vs: we should surely perish. Therefor this place of the Prophete Asaph, where he demaundeth this question: Whether Gods mer­cy be gone for euer? doth teach vs, that of all thin­ges we should be most assured of this: that onely mercy is the help of mans troubles and damnation. But as I saide before, there were two maner of cla­rities and brightnesse in the word of God: so nowe I say,Two ma­ner of mercies men­tioned in the scrip­ture. there is two manner of mercies of God men­tioned in the scripture: The outwarde mercy is in the letter which men reade and sing euery day, and speake and talke of: but the other is inward.

When that men can not féele Gods mercy in their conscience, as they heare it spoken of, and as they reade it in the booke, they be troubled and full of an­guish and paine: and as long as they be in this case, without Gods mercy, they can do nothing that ple­seth GOD, or content them selues. But as soone as the spirite is assured and féeleth, that GOD for his mercy doth forgiue and forget the iniquitie that the spirite and body haue committed and done against God, it reioyceth and is so glad, that it will doe no­thing but that, which pleseth and is acceptable vnto God, and in Christ shall content and quiet his owne conscience. As for example: Adam before he inward­ly felt the mercy of God promised in Christe,Gene. 3. to for­giue and remit his sinne and offence: in what hea­uinesse was the poore man? He hid him selfe, and could not abide the voyce of the liuing God: for he felt that his doings pleased neyther GOD nor him selfe. But when grace had assured him of Gods mer­cy, [Page 111] he fell in the spirit to quietnesse.Rom. 8. For where the spirite of God testifieth and beareth record with the spirite of man, that he is the childe of God, there is ioy and consolation, with this ioyfull song and me­lodie: Abba pater, Father, father: So that where so euer this song is felt in the spirite: there are suche ioyes as no toung can expresse: as all the booke of Solomons ballads meruellously doe declare. And wheras the mercy of God is not, there is eyther ab­homination of sinne, and continuance therein, with­out any feare or grudge of conscience at all: or else such heauinesse of spirite, that desperation vtterly quaileth, and oppresseth the spirite for euer. Yet shal the spirite & soule of man féele this for a time, while God hideth his mercifull face: Is his mercy cleane gone for euer? Which cogitations of the minde, be full bitter and sorrowfull: as all men of GOD doe knowe that haue felt them, and as the Prophete de­clareth in the processe of his Psalme, in this sorte: And is his promise come vtterly to an end for euer­more? Hath God forgotten to be gratious? And wil he shut vp his louing kindnes in displeasure? These demaundes and questions of his owne minde and spirite that was troubled, be no more in effect, then troubles that he named before. But in this that he calleth the trouble by so many names, it de­clareth that his spirite was for the time so disquie­ted, that the paines in maner could not well be na­med and expressed. As it is to be séene always when the minde of man is brought into an excellencie and profoundnesse of mirth or sorrowe: then it is so ra­uished with the vehemencie of them both, that the toung is not able to expresse the inward ioy, nor the inwarde sorrowe, as it is to be séene as well in pro­phane writers, as in the holy word of God. Reade ye [Page] the 18.Psal. 18. Psalme of king Dauid, which he soung to the Lorde when he was quit and deliuered from all his enimies, & ye shall sée what shift and copie of wordes he vsed to name God, & to expresse what he thought of God in his heart, and with what Metaphors he expresseth the strength of God, that ouercame al his enimies, the Psalme is to be read and marked. A­gaine, reade ye these Psalmes 42. 43.Psal. 42. 43 where ye shall perceiue the prayer of Dauid, wherein is described a vehement agonie and most bitter battel betwéene faith and desperation: and there mark, what words he hath found out, to expresse the sorrowes of his heart, that was so sore put in doubt by desperation and weaknesse of faith. The Harte (saith he) being wounded, was neuer more desirous to come to the water: then my soul desireth to come to thee ô God. And at length, when he can finde no more wordes to vtter the pensiuenesse of his heart, he turneth his wordes inward to his owne soule, and asketh why she is so heauie and sad. Ye may sée also the ve­ry same ioyfull and sorrowfull spirites in the bal­lads of Solomon, and in the lamentations of Iere­mie the Prophete. In the one it séemeth, that the soule annexed vnto Christ, is in such ioy as the tong can not expresse it: and in the other for sinne, the soule is afflicted in such sort, that it can not tell how to expresse the heauinesse thereof.

There is to be considered also in these demaunds of the Prophete, that he made to him selfe in his spi­rite (as the text saith, he reuolued the matter with his owne spirite) this doctrine, howe easie a thing it is to teach and comfort other men, and howe hard a thing it is for a man to teach and comfort him selfe in the promises of God.Rom. 2. S. Paule found fault there­withall, and saide to the Iewe: Thou teachest an o­ther [Page 112] man & teachest not thy selfe. And Iudas went foorth with the eleuen other of his fellowes, to teach Gods mercy in Christ vnto the lost shéep of the house of Israel:Mat. 10. 27 but he neither followed his own doctrine, nor yet tooke any comfort of remission of sinnes in the promises of God, but hanged himselfe desperate­ly. Wherefore it is very expedient for eueryman and woman that hath learned, and doth knowe the truth of God, to pray, that they them selues may fo­lowe the truth: and for such as knowe and teach o­thers the consolations of the scriptures of God, that they may with knowledge of them féele them in déede, and with speaking of them to others for their learning, they may speake them to them selues for their owne edifying.

But doubtlesse it is an easie matter for a man to speake of comfort and consolation to others: but a hard thing to féele it him selfe. Vertue is soone spo­ken of to other mens instructions: but the putting thereof in practise and vre, is very hard: yea, not only in the scholer that is taught, but also in the maister that instructeth. Beware of despaire, can e­uery man say: but to eschue despaire in great con­flictes of the minde, is an harde matter. Reade the booke of the Psalmes well, and ye shall sée the experience thereof to be most certeine and true. In the 62.Psal. 62. Psalme, ye shall haue this commaunde­ment to all men: Trust ye alwayes in him ye peo­ple: yet when it came to the triall in him selfe, ye may sée with what heauines and great trouble of mind, he came to ye trust in the Lord. Ye may learne by these Psalmes indited by king Dauid,Psal. 41. 43 that easi­ly he taught Gods religion, and how men should put their trust in the Lord: and yet how hard it was to do and practise the thing himselfe that he taught [Page] vnto others?Psal. 73. 77 Asaph also declareth the same. For in the 73. Psalme, he teacheth what men should thinke and iudge in aduersitie: that God would be good vn­to Israel. But in this Psalme he himselfe being vn­der the rod and persequution of God, is come to que­stioning and demaunding: Will God absent him selfe for euer? Will he be no more intreated? Is his mercy cleane gone for euer? with many other de­maundes, declaring vnspeakable troubles and diffi­culties of the minde: before it be brought to a per­fect consent and full agréement vnto the promises of God. So that we sée the excellent Prophetes, and most vertuous organes and instruments amongest sinfull men, knewe it was an easie matter to speake of faith & vertue: and yet a very hard thing to prac­tise true faith, and to exercise vertuous liuing.

Saint Paule sheweth the same to the Romanes to be in him selfe.Rom. 8. For he had more adoe in Christ to get the victorie of sinne in him selfe, then to speake of the victorie vnto others by mouth: and more adoe to mortifie and kill the fleshe, and to bring it in sub­iection to the spirite, then to practise the death of the flesh in him selfe,2. Cor. 12. and to followe the spirit. He spake and vttered with his mouth most godly doctrine,Rom. 12. 8. to the destruction of sinne:2. Cor. 6. but with what prayers,Gala. 5. teares,Ephes. 5. and clamours to God, he did the same in him selfe,Matth. 11. read 2. Corinth. 12.

The olde saying is,To such as haue wre­stled with sin, and in Christ got the vpper hand, Gods preceptes be easie & sweete. Knowledge is no burthen, and in déede it is a thing easie to be borne: but to put knowledge in experience, the body and the soule shal finde paine and trouble. And yet Christes wordes where he saith, My yoke is light, & my, burden ea­sie, be most true to such as haue wrestled with sinn, and in Christ got the vpper hand. To them (I say) the precepts of vertuous liuing be easie and swéete, [Page 113] as long as the spirite of God beareth the ouer hande in them. But when faith waxeth faint, and the flesh strong, then can not the spirit of God command nor desire any thing,Rom. 7. but both body and soule be muche offended with the hearing therof, and more gréeued with the doing of it. S. Peter likewise maketh men­tion of the same. For when Christ bade him followe him, (meaning that he should dy also for the testimo­nie of his word) he liked not that:Iohn. 21. but asked Christe what Iohn should do, being (doutlesse) in great per­plexitie, when Christ tolde him that he should suffer the paines of death. But here are to be noted two things: The one, that as long as affliction is talked of generally, & other mens paines spoken of, so long can euery man and woman heare of affliction: yea, and commend the persons that suffered affliction, as we sée at this day. All men be contented to heare of ye death of Christ,We can praise o­ther men for wel doing, but we be loth to put it in experience our selues. of ye martyrdome of his Saints, and of the affliction and imprisonment of his godly members: but when the same or like should be ex­perimented and practised by our selues, we wil none of it, we refuse it, and we abhorre it: yea, so much, that where Christ, and those Saints (whose names be most common and vsual in our mouths,) suffered the vilest death that could be deuised: we will not suffer as much as the losse of a frend, or the deceiue­able goods of this vnstable and transitorie world: so that in the generalitie we be very godly, and can cō ­mend al godly martyrs and sufferers for Gods sake: but (alas) in the particularitie we be very vngodly, and will followe no martyr, nor suffer at al. Also, as long as we be without danger for Christes sake, we can speake of great daungers, and say, that we will suffer all extremitie and crueltie: but when it com­meth to passe, that an enimie to God and his worde [Page] shall say in déede, Forsake thy religion, or else thou shalt dy (as Christ said vnto Peter,Iohn. 21. When thou art old, an other shall girde thée, and leade thée whether thou wouldest not:) then a litle threatening of an o­ther man, stark quayleth this man that said he wold suffer al troubles:Matth. 26. as Peter said, If he shuld loose his life, he would not refuse his maister, but when an o­ther, yea, a poore maide but asked him, Whether he were one of Christes seruants, and made no mentiō at al of losse of life or goods: he would not hazard him selfe to beare so much as the name of Christes disci­ple. Thus we sée the vilenesse & frailtie of our owne nature, how weake we be to suffer in déede, when of necessitie we must beare the crosse, and can by no means auoyd it. How troublesome also it is both to body and soule, this Psalme & place of the scripture declareth: and therfore in the end of these temptati­ons is put, Sela. A worde that maketh as it were, an outcry against the corrupt nature of man for sin. As S. Paule said:Rom. 7. I know that there dwelleth in my flesh no good thing. To admonishe therefore man thereof in déede, and to shewe him his owne dam­nation, the word is put there to cause the reader or hearer of the place, to marke and bewaile the wret­chednesse thereof. As the Prophete him selfe doth in the next verse.

¶The fourth part.

Howe a man taketh consolation in the time of his trouble.

10 And I said, This is my infirmitie: but these things the right hand of God can chaunge.

[Page 114] HEre is life and death, and the occasions of both meruellously set foorth. He said that it was his infirmitie that caused him to question & doubt of Gods mer­cy. Wherein he hath disburdened God, and charged him selfe with sinne and doubtfulnesse. And so much al men sée and find in them selues, that damnation is of our selues:Osee. 13. and saluation onely of God. There is also to be noted in thi [...] infirmitie, yt it occupieth not only the body: but also the soul. For he saith, These cogitations and questions (as touch­ing the doubtfulnesse of Gods mercy) were the deui­ses and actes of his mind: so that both his body and soule were comfortlesse. And good cause why: for in both of them were sinne and abhomination against God. And of these two partes of man, the body & the spirit, came these dubitations of God and of his pro­mises. The which fruites of corruption, ingender (except sinne be forgiuen) eternall death.Rom. 8. And here is the wisedome of the fleshe séene to be very enimitie vnto God, working continually the breach of Gods commaundements, and the destruction of mans sal­uation, as much as lyeth in it. But in the second part of the verse is life, & the occasion thereof: which is a sure trust that God can remoue despaire, & put in place therof,The occa­sion of mans help is Gods right hand faith, hope, & sure confidence. And the occasion of this helpe is not mans merites, but the right hand of God: yt is to say, Gods power inclined to saue man by mercy. Of this doctrine be certeine things to be marked of euery reader & hearer of this Psalme. First, in this verse is declared how man taketh consolation in time of his trouble, which is ye 4. part of the Psalme, & in the same part the Psalme endeth. He saith, It was his infirmitie, that made him to question & demaund in his spirit so doubtfull [Page] things of God, and of his promises. Whereof we learne, that consolation beginneth where sorrowe and heauinesse is first felt: for the spirit can take no solace by Gods promises, vntill suche time as it fée­leth by Gods lawe, how sinnefull it is for the trans­gression thereof.Prou. 18. Therfore Solomon saith: The iust man is the first accuser of him selfe. And so doth the Prophet Asaph in this place confesse, that these cogi­tations and profound thoughts against God, came of his owne infirmitie and sinne. And the knowlege of a mans owne wickednesse from the bottome of the heart, although it be a shame to speake or re­member the vilenesse of sinne, wherewith sinner hath most gréeuously transgressed Gods commaun­dementes: yet is this knowledge and confession of our sinne and iniquitie very necessarie, and is (as it were) an induction to the remission thereof:True con­fession of sinne is in manner an induction to the re­mission thereof. as it is to be séene in this Prophet, and in the Prophet Da­uid. For here is first confessed, that all sinnes in him came of his owne infirmitie: and all conso­lation against sinne, came of Gods right hand. And the Prophet Dauid sayth, whē he was in like trou­ble for sinne:Psal. 74. Psal. 32. I determined (saith he) to confesse a­gainst my selfe, mine owne iniquitie: and thou Lord forgauest the wickednesse of my sinne. But here is to be noted in this, that the confession of sinne is (as it were) an induction and beginning of consolation: that confession of sinne is not the beginning of con­solation, except he that maketh the confession be as­sured in his heart of Gods promises in Christe, that of mercy in Christes death, his sinnes be forgiuen: as ye may sée in these two Prophetes. The one said: It is mine infirmitie the worketh this doutfulnes in my soule. And the other saide: I determined to condemne my selfe of sinne.

[Page 115] Thus farre it is death, and an increase of diffi­dence in Gods promises, and an induction to despe­ration, to féele sinne, to bewayle sinne, to speake of sinne, and to remember sinne. But whereas know­ledge and confession hath a certeintie and assurance of Gods forgiuenesse annexed vnto it, there is con­fession and knowledge of sinne, partly a beginning of consolation against sinne.Rom. 7. I call it partly, or as an occasion, bycause first of all,1. Samu. 15. God by his word, or by his punishments,2. Samu. 12 through the operation of the holy Ghoste, openeth the soule of the sinner, to sée and know his sinne: also to tremble and quake at sinne, rather then to hate and abhorre sinne. And from these principles and originalls, commeth the hum­ble and lowly confession of sinne, not to man, but vn­to God: except it be such an open sinne done against man, as man knoweth of that the sinne is commit­ted against.Matt. 5. 18. Then must the offender of man also, reconcile him selfe to man that is offended,Iacob. 5. accor­ding to the commaundement of God.Luke. 7. Therefore we must marke what confession and acknowledging of our owne infirmities is. For euery confession is not acceptable before God, nor the beginning of consola­tion: as these examples declare. Iudas saide openly in the face of the court (where Christe our SauiourMatth. 27. was arraigned) that he had offended in betraying in­nocent bloud:Mark. 15. but there followed no faith nor hope of forgiuenesse: So that for lacke of faith in Christes bloud, desperation and hanging of him selfe ensued his confession. Whereby it is euident, that confessi­on of sinne without faith, is nothing worth, but a testimonie of a desperate mans damnation.

King Saule,1. Samu. 15. after long impulsion by the Prophet Samuel, was brought to confesse that he had offen­ded in preseruing aliue Agag king of ye Amalekites, [Page] and the fattest of his cattell. I haue offended (sayth Saule:) for I haue broken and transgressed the com­maundement of God. Psal. 77. But what followed? Gods right hand can remedie my sinne,Psal. 32. as this Prophete Asaph saith? or, God hath forgiuen the iniquitie of my sinne,Luke. 18. as Dauid sayde? er else: God be merciful vnto me a sinner, as the Publicane sayd? No, but this ensueth:Sual wold haue Sa­muel to beare his sinne. I Pray thee (sayth Saule to Samuel) beare thou my sinne. In this mans confession of sin, was not the beginning of consolation, but of more sorrowes: for his heauinesse from that day more and more increased,1. Samu. 31. with his sinnes: vntill he was slaine.Matth. 9. And the cause thereof was this. He would that Samuel being but a man,Luke. 5. should haue pardo­ned his sinne:Mark. 2. whereas none can doe it but God, as it is notably to be séene in king Dauid. For when he sayde, he had offended the Lord, Nathan the Pro­phete sayde:2. Samu. 12 And God hath taken away thy sinnes. Wherein is declared, that the minister can but pro­nounce to the sinner, that God in Christe forgiueth sinne. So that we sée Iudas confession of sinne was nothing worth, bycause he found no fayth nor trust for the remission thereof: and Saules confession was of no valure, bicause he trusted and desired con­solation at mans hand, and not at Gods.

Yet in Saules confession was some thing good, in that he confessed (although it were long first and in manner wrested out of his mouth by the Pro­phete Samuel) his fault to God: and in that point he did as Dauid did,Psal 51. who sayde: I haue offended the Lord. 2 Samu. 12. And this is to be noted,Esai 63. bycause nowe adayes men be taught to confesse their sinnes to the SaintsEcclesi 9. departed,3. Reg. 8. that knowe not what the outward works of men be vpon the earth:Papisticall confession. much lesse the inward & sinfull cogitation of the heart. So that in this part, [Page 116] the Papists confession is worse then Saules: and in the other part it is like.1. Samu. 15 For as Saule trusted to the merites of Samuel, and would haue him to beare his sinne:Oh blas­phemie. so do the people trust, that the Priestes hand vpon their head, & the penaunce inioyned them by the Priestes, shall be a cleane remission and full satisfaction for all their sinne: but before God, their sinnes be as much forgiuen them as Saules were, that is to say, nothing at all.

But wheras sinne is knowne and confessed from the very hart,1. Iohn. 1. vnto God, although it be a bitter thing and also a shamefull thing,Psal. 130. to féele and beare Gods displeasure for sin, the burden wherof is very death, and more gréeuous then death it selfe: yet whereas confidence and trust in the mercy of God is annexed with it, there followeth great consolation and com­fort: As it is to be séene in this Prophet that spake with a strong faith boldly: The righthand of God cā chaunge these things. So that the latter part of this verse hath more comfort, then the first part hath dis­comfort. And it is a plaine doctrine, that although ye sinnes of man be many & horrible:Esai. 1. yet be they fewer and lesse in estimation many thousande foldes, then Gods mercies. Death is declared in the first part of the verse, in this, that mans infirmitie is not onely sinful in body & soule, but also doutful of Gods mer­cy & holy promises: Yet in the second part by grace is set foorth life, and cleane deliuerance from the ty­rannie of the diuel, the seruitude of sinne, the accusa­tion of the lawe, and the infirmitie of nature, by the strong and mightie power of God, whose mercy in Christ is alwayes ready to helpe poore afflicted and troubled sinners.Ezech. 18. After this confession of sinne, and the great confidence that the prophet had in God for his mightie power and mercies sake,1. Iohn. 1. that was both [Page] able by power and redy with will, to help and reme­die this troubled spirite, and great aduersities of the Prophet: he goeth foorth in the consolation, & taketh yet more and more of Gods benefites, vsed in times towardes such as were afflicted, after this sort.

11 I will remember the workes of the Lord, and call to my minde thy wonders of olde time.

12 I will thinke also of thy workes, and my talking shall be of thy doings.

13 Thy way (ô God) is holy: who is so great a God as our God.

14 Thou art the God that doth wonders, and hast declared thy power amongest people.

15 Thou hast mightily deliuered thy people, euen the sonnes of Iacob and Ioseph. Sela.

16 The waters saw thee, ô God: the waters saw thee and were afraid: the deapthes also were troubled.

17 The cloudes powred out water, the ayre thunde­red, and thine arrowes went abroad.

18 The voyce of thy thunder was heard round a­bout, the lightenings shone vpon the gound, the earth was moued and shooke withall.

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy pathes in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not knowne.

20 Thou leadest thy people like shepe, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Of these meanes howe men take consolation in aduersitie, that the Prophet nowe maketh mention of: first we learne, what difference is betwéene the consideration of Gods works aduisedly & by faith: & the consideration of Gods workes rashly & without faith. The which diuersitie is to be séen in this Pro­phet. For the one part, as touching the remembring of Gods workes out of faith and in faith, he spake before in the second verse, and in the fourth verse, [Page 117] how that he considered the workes and old doings of the Lord when he was troubled. But, as ye haue heard, because his spirite was in a doubtfulnesse and mamering vppon the certeintie of Gods doinges: he felt no consolation thereof, but much heauinesse and anguish of minde. For those demaundes: Will God absent himselfe for euer? Will he be no more merci­full, and such like heauie and doubtfull complaintes, could neuer procéed but from a sorrowful and much troubled conscience. But now, after that Gods spirit hath wrought in his spirit this assurance and iudg­ment, that God can in him chaunge the conditions of his miseries (as ye may sée,) he maketh no more complaint of doubtfulnesse, neither remembreth any more the fearefulnesse of his conscience: but goeth foorth with repetition and rehearsall of all thinges comfortably, how that God in time past holpe trou­bled spirites and afflicted personages, that put their trust in him. So that of this we learne, that whoso­euer hath a sure faith in God, taketh consolation of Gods word and workes. And such as haue not first true faith in God, cannot in the spirite receiue com­fort of Gods word or workes. Outwardly men may meruel at God and his worker, but inwardly it ea­seth not the heauinesse, nor yet quieteth the grudge of conscience.

Wherefore,Exhorta­tion to prayer. it behoueth vs all, that we pray ear­nestly vnto GOD, to giue vs faith to beléeue his word and workes, when we heare, read, or sée them: For the word and workes of God do nothing com­fort the vnfaithfull,Esaie. 65. as we may sée by the Scripture: where God saith,Rom. 10. He stretched foorth his hand al day long to a people that beléeued not:Esaie. 6. for such as haue eares & heare not,Iohn. 12. eyes & sée not, be rather the worse for Gods word & workes then the better. Ye shal sée [Page] where the spirite of Dauid was replenished with faith, he was in assured and ascerteined of Gods pre­sent helpe, that he said he would not feare, although a thousand men inuironed and compassed him round about:Psalme. 3. No, he would not feare, thoughe he should walk in the shadow of death.Psalme. 23. At another time, when faith quailed and waxed faint, he was trembling in his spirite, and fearefull in his bodie: as we may sée when he felt his spirite waxe faint, he said:Psal. 6. 38. My soule is troubled very sore, and my bones be weakened. And in other of his Psalmes he sheweth,Psal. 42. 43 that his soule was very heauie and comfortlesse, and could take no consolation.

Also when the spirite is assured of Gods grace, then the eyes cannot looke vppon any worke of God. but the mind taketh by the contemplation and sight thereof, vnspeakeable consolation: As Dauid decla­reth in his Psalmes, and saith, He would sée the hea­uens the workes of Gods fingers, and would marke how one day was an induction to an other: and how the heauens praised the Lord.Psal. 8. 19. 148.

At an other time, when the consolation and life of the spirit was ouer whelmed with troubles, he could not sée at all with his eyes: but cryed and complai­ned that he was starke blinde.Psal. 38. And also in that mer­uellous Psalme in number 88.Psalme. 88 whereas prayer is made to be deliuered from the horrour and féeling of sinne, the Prophet saith, that his eyes waxed dimme and blinde. The same is to be séene likewise in the crosses and afflictions that God sendeth. As long as true faith and confidence remaineth in the heart, all troubles be wellcome and thankfully taken: as we read. When Iob had newes that his goods and chi­dren were taken from him,Iob. 1. 2. in manner soudeinly, he most patiently said: God gaue them, and God hath [Page 118] taken them away, as God would so it is done. But when faith quailed, and the spirite was troubled, then followed these impatient wordes:Iob. 6. I would my sinne were layed in one balance, and my paine in an other. As though God had layed more vppon him, then he had deserued. When the spirit was quieted, for all his pouertie and nakednesse, he reioyced and was contented with his birth and comming into the world, and also with the state in the world appoin­ted vnto him by God, saying:Iob. 2. Naked I came out of my mothers bellie, and naked I shall depart hence a­gaine. But when faith fainted, then came out these woordes:Iob. 3. The day, the night, and the time be cursed wherein I was borne. With many more horrible wordes, as the text declareth. So that we sée, where­as Gods spirite wanteth, there is no learning nor consolation to be had of any thing: as it is opened in this Psalme, in that at the first time the Prophet recorded Gods workes, and was so troubled in his minde, that he occupied his cogitations this way: Will God be no more mercifull? Hath God shut vp his mercie in his ire? But now in the second record of Gods workes, he beginneth his entrance cleane contrarie, and saith: Gods right hand can chaunge his sorrow, and turne his heauines into mirth. And vppon this ground and sure hope of Gods promises, he procéedeth foorth to a consideration and déepe re­cord of Gods factes, in this sort: I will remember the workes of the Lord, &c.

In this verse and in the next folowing it, be con­teyned thrée kinde of words: remembrance, medita­tion and speach. By the first we learne that it profi­teth nothing to read or heare Gods word, except we remember it, & beare it away with vs. By the next we learne that it auaileth vs not, to learne and beare [Page] the word of God in remembrance, except by medita­tion and thinking vppon it, we vnderstand what it meaneth. And by the third we learne, that neither the remembrance it, nor the vnderstanding there­of profiteth, except we teache and instruct other in the same, of whom we haue charge, if we may.

Now to consider further, we sée how the Prophet be­ginneth with this word (Remembrance,) whereof it appeareth that he had learned before out of Gods word, Gods nature towardes penitent sinners to forgiue them: and towards wilfull, obstinate, and impenitent sinners to be a iust iudge to punish them. Here is the ignorance of all people condemned, that neuer learne to know Gods word in sicknes, nor in health: but when they be troubled or sicke, they send for such as they thinke and fansie haue learned and doe remember how Gods word doth comfort in ad­uersitie. And then, if he that is sent for be not lear­ned in Gods word, he cannot remember how God is wont to comfort the troubled or sicke: then all that euer the sicke man heareth of an ignorant comforter or counseller, is as clene voyd of consolation or coun­sell, as though he had neuer sent for a counseller or comforter. For no man can haue more of another, then the other hath himselfe, which is neither know­ledge, counsell, nor consolation out of Gods word. Therefore he is not able to giue knowledge, conso­lation, nor comfort to another.

If the Prophet Asaph, had béene as the most part of people now a dayes be, that fall sick and into ma­ny kinds of trouble, & had sent for an ignorant foole, (which commonly is called a ghostly father,) he had béene in as good taking as these wretched soules be, that béeing comfortlesse séeke comfort where none is to be had, séeke knowledge where none is, & séeke [Page 119] counsell where ignorance aboundeth. Let all men therefore remember this verse, that when the Pro­phet was in trouble, he remembred the wisedome and meruellous workes of God: (for he knew them before:) so let all men and women learne, before they come into trouble, a true knowledge of God, that in the time of trouble they may remember it to their consolation. But now to the second word, where he saith, He will meditate in all the workes of God.

Here is another notable doctrine, that neither the learning of Gods word, nor the remembrance ther­of profiteth any thing, except it be vnderstanded and applied to the vse that God hath appointed it for. And here be two sortes of people wonderfully con­demned. The one sort be those, that for custome or bondage to their profession, doe learne without the booke a great part of the Scripture: or els by daily vse in singing or saying their seruice (as it is called) they learne to sing and say a great part of the Bible. But this auaileth nothing, nor they vnderstand it not in the sense and meaning that the holy ghost ap­pointed it for: nor perchaunce the Grammaticall construction therof. And these remembrances of Gods word, be nothing but lippe labour, and honou­ring of God with the mouth,Esaie. 29. but the hart is farre a­way: which before God is in vaine,Matth. 15. and of no estima­tion. The other sort of people be such as professe the Gospell, that haue learned much, and can remember much, but follow very little: so that they be nothing the better for it.

The third word is, that the Prophet saith, He wil speake of God and his works, as outwardly and inwardly he remembreth them, and with his spirite doth meditate them: as it is likewise the part and duetie of all Christian men so to doe. For as they be­léeue [Page] in the heart to iustice:Rom. 10. so wil they confesse it to saluation, as S. Paule saith to the Romanes.

Here in this word be thrée sortes of people con­demned.Three sortes of people cō ­demned. The one that wil not confesse and teach the trueth for feare of loosing their aduauntage. The o­ther will not confesse and teach the trueth for slug­gishnesse and slouth. And the third will not confesse and teach the trueth for timiditie and feare.

In the first sort be such as know doctrines for the soule, or medicines for the body, and yet because they gett gaine thereby, they would not haue too many know thereof, lest their owne gaines should be the lesse. As we fée, such a one as knoweth a good me­thode and order to teach, would be lothe it should be common, because his estimation and gaine, (as he thinketh) should diminish & decrease. The excellent Physician would not haue his cunning common, least many men, as cunning as he, should part his gaines amongest them.

The second sort of men be those that come to great liuings by their learning,Note well. and when they haue the reward of learning, they teach no more, as bishops and ministers of the Church: whome the Prophet calleth dumbe dogges that cannot barke,Esaie. 56. their mou­thes be so choked with the bones of bishoppricks and benefices. I speake of such as knowe the trueth and loue it, and not of such as neither know it nor loue it. For although those men speake but seldome, yet it is too much: for better it were neuer to speake, then to speake falsely.

The thirde sorte be our Nichodemes,Nichode­mes. that can speake of Christ in the night, or to their friends, but openly they will confesse nothing with the mouth, nor doe any thing outwardely for feare of the world, that should sounde to Gods glorie. And these [Page 120] men be assured they shall haue their rewarde:Matth. 10. that Christe will denie them before his father which is in heauen. Of this we learne wherein our professi­on consisteth.Wherein doth our profession consist. First, to learne Gods worde. Secon­darily, to beare it in our hearte and remembraunce. Thirdly, to vnderstande it. And fourthly, to speake of it to the glorie of God, and the edifying of our neighbours. And Gods word this wayes vsed, shall kéepe vs humble and lowely in prosperitie, and pa­tient and strong in aduersitie. But in these two ver­ses be more wordes necessarie to be considered, if we will take consolation in aduersitie. The first, I will (sayth the prophet) remember the works of the Lord, and that of olde time, (or from the beginning.) The se­cond, I wil think also of al the works of the Lord, &c.

In this that the Prophet sayeth,We ought not to be ignorant of any booke in the scrip­ture. He will remem­ber the workes of the Lorde of olde time, or from the beginning, we learne that it is expedient to know, or at the least way,) not to be ignorant of any booke in the scripture. For where as we finde not consolation in the one, we may finde it in the other. And where he sayth He wil remember all ye works of the Lord (meaning as many as the scripture ma­keth mention of:) we be instructed, that we cannot sée these works for our erudition, neither yet giue ye almightie God thanks, except we learne them from one of his bookes to the other. And here is to be no­ted, that séeing we be bounde to knowe and to be thankefull for all the workes of God conteined in the scripture, we be muche in daunger, as well for ignorance as vnthankefulnesse, that we knowe not the principall workes of our owne creation or re­demption. We be therefore admonished, to haue bookes to read the works of God, and to be diligent to ask better learned then we be, what Gods works [Page] doe meane. As the children by Gods law vs bound to aske the parents,Deut. 4. 6. 31. & the parents bound by the same to teach them: then shall both fathers and children finde comfort and consolation against all temptati­ons, in the time of trouble and heauinesse. As we sée this mans remedie (by ye spirite of God) riseth from recording, meditating, and speaking of Gods word and workes.

Here hath this Prophete meruellously opened, howe a man in trouble commeth to consolation and comfort. First, that the spirite and heart of man must haue such strong fayth, as may credite Gods power, and also his good will: and beléeue that God both can and will for his truethes sake, helpe the troubled conscience. Therefore Solomon giueth a godlie and necessarie commaundement:Prouerb. 4 Keepe thy heart with all circumspection, for of it proceedeth life. So did Dauid, when the Prophet Nathan had made him afraide for the murder of Vrias, and the adulterie with Bersaba, his cōscience was in great anguishe and feare, and among other thinges that he prayed for to God,Psalm. 51. he desired that God would cre­ate and make him a newe heart: that is to witte, to giue him such a stedfast and burning fayth, that in Christe his sinnefull heart might be purged. And secondarily he prayeth, to haue so right and sure a spirite, that shoulde not doubt of Gods sauour to­wardes him. Thirdly, that God woulde alwayes preserue his holy spirite with the heart regenera­ted, that from time to time, the heart might be ruled in obedience towardes God. Fourthly, he prayeth to be lead with a willing spirite, that quietly and patiently he may obey God in aduersities, without impatience or grudge against God. And, where as this knowledge and féeling of the favour of God is [Page 121] in the spirite, there followeth recording, and re­membrance of Gods works, meditating and think­ing vpon heauenly thinges: and the tongue readie also to speake foorth the glory of God, to Gods ho­nour and praise, and to the edifying of Gods people and congregation, after this sorte.

13 Thy way oh God is in holinesse: who is so great a God, as God, euen our God?

Here is a consolation much worthie to be learned and receiued of all troubled men: and it is this, To vnderstande and perceiue,Consola­tion. that all the doinges and factes of Almightie God be righteous, although many times the fleshe iudgeth, and the tongue spea­keth the contrarie, that God should be too seuere, and punishe too extremely. As though he did it rather of a desire to punishe, then to correct or amend the per­son punished. As we sée by Iobs words, that wished his sinnes layed in one balance,Iob. 6. and his punishment in another balance: as though God punished more extreamely then iustly. The same it séemeth king Dauid also felte, when he sayde:Psalme. 13. Howe long Lorde wilt thou forget me, for euer? With like bitter spea­ches in the scripture: complayning of Gods iustice, iudgement and seueritie.Ierem. 20. The same we reade of Ie­remie the Prophete, He spake Gods word truely, and yet there happened vnto him wonderfull great aduersities: the terrour whereof made him curse the day that he was borne in. And doubtlesse, when he sayde, Why haste thou deceiued mee Lorde? he thought, God was rather too extreame, then iust in his punishment,Passur. to afflicte him in aduersitie, and to suffer Passur the high Priest and his enimie to be in quiet and tranquillitie.

This prophet Asaph was before in great trouble, [Page] as ye heard), and especially of the minde, that self not a sure trust and confidence in Gods mercie: and thought of al extremities that to be (as it is in déed) the greatest, a minde desperate and doubtfull of Gods mercie: yet nowe he saith, God is holie in his way, and all that he doeth is right and iust.

We learne hereby, that the potte can not say to the Potter,Ierem. 19. Why hast thou made me after this sorte? Neither may the mortall man,Rom. 9. in whom is nothing but sinne,Potter. quarel with the Lord and say: What lay­est thou vpon me? But thinke, that although he had made vs both blinde, lame, and as deformed as mon­sters: yet had he made vs better then euer we deser­ued. And in case he layd all the troubles of the world vppon one man: yet are they lesse then one sinne of man doeth deserue. Thus hath the Prophet learned nowe and felt, and sayth: The doinges of God be holie and right, and there is none to be compared vn­to him: and sheweth the cause why none is to be compared vnto God. In the declaration whereof, he continueth seuen verses, and so maketh an ende of the Psalme.

The first cause why he sayeth none is to be com­pared vnto God: is this.

14 Thou art the Lord that doth wonders, and hast declared thy power amongest people.

Firste he noteth generally that God is the doer of wonders,God is the doer of wonders. and miracles: and afterwardes he sheweth, wherein God hath wrought these mirac­les. Of this we learne thrée doctrines. The one, that some men knowe generally,Three do­ctrines. that God worketh all thinges meruellously. The second, that other some knowe that God worketh in some men meruellous­ly. [Page 122] The third, that other also knowe that God wor­keth in themselues meruellously.

Of the first sort be such as know by Gods works generally, that God hath, and doth dispose all things vpon the earth, and nothing hath his beginning nor being but of God:Rom. 1. of whome Saint Paule speaketh to the Romanes, that by Gods workes they knewe God, and yet glorified him not. Of the seconde sorte be suche, as more particularly knowe and speake of Gods miracles:Genes. 7. as suche be, that reade how God of his singular fauour preserued Noah & his familie, and drowned all the world besides:Exod. 14. how he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and deliuered the people from the captiuitie of Babylon, with such like: and yet when they be in troubles themselues, these meruellous workes and mercies shewed vn­to others, cannot comfort themselues. Of the thirde sorte be suche, as knowe generally the meruellous workes of God, and perceiue that in some God is particularly mercifull: and from some he findeth it in him selfe singularly the mercie of GOD, and from the remembraunce of Gods benefites vnto o­thers he findeth in him selfe the working of Gods mercie, and findeth in his conscience such comfort in déede, that he remembreth others before him, that had of Gods mercies in their time of troubles.

The moste parte of men consider generally,Note. that God is the worker of miracles:The true Christians take con­solation themsel­ues of gods miracles wrought vppon o­thers. the common sorte of Christians consider, that God hath wrought mi­racles particularly vpon others: but the verie elects and Christians in déede, sée the miracles of God wrought particularly vpon others, and take conso­lation singularly of Gods mercies themselues. As we sée this Prophete meruellously declareth Gods wonders, & putteth the generall working of Gods [Page] miracles betwéene a singular working of wonders: and a particular working of wonders.

The generalitie is this: Thou art God that doth wonders, and hast declared thy power amongst peo­ple. The singularitie and particularitie of Gods working of wonders, is the one before, and the other behinde. The singularitie is in this, that he percei­ued that is was his owne infirmitie, that made him doubt of Gods promises: & yet Gods singular grace made him singularly féele & perceiue that God sin­gularly would be good vnto him. The particularitie is in this, that he saith: With Gods right hand God deliuered the posteritie of Iacob and IosephIacob and Ioseph. from the seruitude of Egypt, &c. The way to consider the meruellous works of God is a profitable considera­tion & sight of them, as wel to know them, as to be ye better for them. For there is no man can take com­moditie or profite by Gods goodnesse shewed vnto a multitude, except he singularly receiue gaine therby him selfe. As we sée, when a whole multitude was fed meruellously with a fewe loaues and fewer fi­shes,Iohn. 6. (almoste fiue thousande people,) he taught the consolation and health of mans soule in his owne bloude:Euery man must be­leeue for himselfe. but none was the better for it, but suche as beléeued euerie man for him selfe that which Christ spake. The miracles and mercifull helpe of Christe vnto others, had nothing profited the poore woman of Canaan:Matth. 15. excepte she her selfe had bene partaker of the same. And as it is in the workes of God, that doe comfort the man afflicted: so is it in the workes of God, that bring men into heauinesse and sorrowe for sinne.

Generally, the worde of God rebuketh sinne, and calleth sinners to repentaunce: particularly it sheweth vnto vs, howe that Dauid, Peter, Marie [Page 123] Magdalen and others repented. But to vs those sor­rowes and repentaunce do no good:Repen­tance. except we euery man singularly, repent and be sorrowfull for his sinnes. For it is not another mans sicknesse that maketh me sicke,Notable doctrine. nor another mans health that ma­keth me whole: no more is any other mans repen­tance my repentance, or any other mans fayth my fayth: but I must repent, & I must beléeue my selfe to féele sorrowfulnesse for sinne by the law, & remis­sion therof by faith in Christ. So that euerie priuate man must be in repentaunce, sorrie with the true repentaunt sorrie: and faithfull, with the true faithfull. For as God himselfe is towardes man: so be all his workes and promises.Note. For looke to whom God is mercifull, to the same be all his promises comfortable: and to whom God is seuere and rigo­rous, to the same Gods threateninges be terrible, and his iustice fearefull. As king Dauid sayeth,Psalme. 18. With the holie, thou wilt be holie: and with the in­nocent; thou wilt bee innocent: with the chosen, thou wilt be chosen: and with the peruerse, thou wilt be peruerse.

Such as followe vertue and godlinesse,To whom God is mercifull, and to whome se­uere. God in­creaseth with gifts and benefits: & such as haue wic­ked manners, and by false doctrine decline from the truth, in those God is seuere & sharp. And except such persons repent, God wil spoyle them from all iudge­ment of trueth: and being blinde and destitute of knowledge, permitte them to the power and domi­nion of most filthy lustes, and abhominable desires. So that such as would not loue the beautie & excel­lencie of vertue, shal tumble & wallowe themselues like swine, in the filth & vomit of sinne: of the which abhominations and iust iudgements of God,Rom. [...]. Saint Paule speaketh in the Epistle to the Romanes. For [Page] this is to be noted, looke as euerie man is: euen so he thinketh of God. And as the good and godlie man thinketh well of God: so doeth he euill and wicked man thinke euill of God.

Some thincke that man and all worldly thinges be ruled and gouerned by God, with greate iustice and inscrutable wisedome,A wicked iudgment of Gods doinges. with all mercie and fa­uour. Others thinke that GOD ruleth not this world, and worldly things: and in case they thinke he doe, yet do they condemne his administration and rule, of iniustice and parcialitie: because God doeth as it pleaseth himselfe, and not as man would haue him doe. And vpon these diuersities of iudgements in mens mindes: God is to the godly, mercifull: and to the vngodly, seuere and rigorous.

If the spirite of man iudge truely and godly of him, by and by the spirite of man shall perceiue and féele the heauenly influence of Gods spirite, stirring and impelling his spirit to all vertue and goodnesse.Oh horri­ble blind­nesse. If the spirite of man be destitute of spirite of God, and iudge peruersly and wickedly, the spirits of man shall féele the lacke of Gods spirite, and true iudgement, to blind the eyes of his mind, & cast him self into al abhomination & sinne: as the iniquitie of the man iustly hath deserued. Of the which thing cōmeth this, that as the vertue & godlinesse of godly men daily increaseth: euen so doeth the iniquitie and abhomination of the vngodly also increase.Lokewhat preemi­nence God obteineth of man: the same place hath man with God. And looke what place and preeminence God obteineth with a­ny man: in the same place and preeminence is the man with God. And suche as doe godlie after Gods worde, honour and reuerence the almightie God: iudging aright of Gods might and prouidence: they giue moste humble thankes vnto the mercie of God: that alone, and none but he, can teach or instruct the [Page 124] mind of man in true knowledge, nor incline his will to godlie doings, nor inflame the soule with all her powers to the desire and feruent loue of godlinesse and vertue. As we sée by this prophete Asaph in this place, that as long as his spirite, wanted the helpe of Gods spirite, it iudged doubtfully of Gods mer­cie and promises: but, when the spirite of God had exiled and banished doubtfulnesse, and placed this strong fortresse of confidence,A stronge fortresse. (The right hande of GOD can chaunge this my wofull and miserable estate,) with the iudgement and féeling thereof, he was rapte and stricken with a meruellous loue of Gods wonders: and repeated them with greate ioy and consolation, what God had done generally to all men: after that, what he had done to some parti­cular men, and priuat nations: naming Iacob & Io­seph, whose ofspring and succession he brought out of the lande of Egypt, as it followeth in the Psalme.

15 Thou hast mightily deliuered thy people, e­uen the sonnes of Iacob and Ioseph. Sela.

Of this verse we learne two consolations. The one, that euerie Christian troubled, may sée his el­ders, and also his betters troubled:Two con­solations. not that it is a comforte to a man that is afflicted, to sée another in trouble: but to marke that God loued none so well, but in this world he sent trouble vnto,Whome God lo­ued he al­ways cor­rected. and excepted not his déere sonne. Wherefore, it is a consolation to the afflicted, to be made like vnto the godly fathers, (that were before his time) by tribulation: and to remember, that although all Christian men be not brought vnder the captiuitie of Pharao in Egypt,Euery Christian member hath an Egypt and a Babylon. nor vnder Nabuchodonozer in Babylon: yet there is an Egypt and a Babylon for euery Christian mem­ber: that is to say, the captiuitie of sinne, the bondage of the fleshe, the seueritie of the lawe, the daunger of [Page] the worlde, the enimitie of Infidels, the treason of dissembling friends, the wickednesse of ciuil & diuel­lishe ordinaunces, the dissimulation of hypocrites, the periurie of incōstant persons, the breach of faith­full promises, the inconstancie of the weake, ye cruel­tie of Papistes, the loue of man, & the hatred of God, with many others: as ye ignorance of Gods lawes, rebellion of the heart against it, frowardnesse of the will to consent vnto it, diffidence & mistrust of Gods mercie, boldnesse to sinne in the time of health, faint­nesse and mistrust of the remission thereof in sicke­nes, loue of vice and sinne, hatred of vertue and god­linesse, souden falling from grace, slowe rising vnto it againe, lothsomnesse to die mortally, readinesse to liue wickedly, sorrowfulnesse to forsake this world, great delight to vse it euill whiles we haue it, lothe to séeke heauenly thinges, glad to séeke earthly thin­ges, nothing féeling the pouertie and trouble of the soul, alwayes grudging at the pouertie and trouble of the body, with innumerable other captiuities that euery Christian is intangled withall, as euery man may iudge by his owne life.

The next consolation is to sée the trueth of Gods helpe promised to all men, when they be troubled, to haue béene declared opened, and verified in others, in time past.The grea­test conso­lation in trouble. For, this is the greatest consolation that can be to any man, in trouble, or in sicknesse: when he is assured of such help, and such medicines, as neuer were vsed, but did helpe the afflicted, and heale the sick. Now, against all the troubles of man, and also against all the sickness of man. God hath pro­mised his present and helping mercie: the which me­dicine and helpe neuer failed, but did helpe as many as put their trust therein. Therefore doth this Pro­phet Asaphe, establish and assure himselfe of Gods [Page 125] helpe, against his gréeuous temptations and trou­bles that he suffered, by recording that his greefes were no greater, nor his troubles more daungerous then Iacobs, Iosephes, and their posterities: nor yet so gréeuous.From the greater to the lesser. In so much that, séeing the mercie of God could helpe the greater troubles in his prede­cessors: he could helpe and ease the lesse in him that was presently troubled. And béeing so assured of Gods helpe, he spake at the end of this verse, (Sela:)Sela. as though he had said. It is most true that God can help and comfort me: as he holpe and comforted my forefathers. And for the better consolation and more firme assurance, he sheweth, how meruellously he did helpe the posterite of Iacob & Ioseph, after this sort.

16 The waters sawe thee, oh God, the waters saw thee, and were afraid: the depthes also were troubled.

In this that he saith, The waters were afraide, when they sawe God.Vnto in­sensible thinges be attributed sensible qualities. First the maner of speach in the Scripture is to be noted, that attributeth vnto insensible things, sensible qualities: as in this place is attributed vnto the water sight and feare, where­as in déede properly the water cannot sée nor feare. But, when the Scripture vseth any such phrase or speache, there is to be marked diuers doctrines of edifying.Three doctrines. First of GOD, then insensible creatures, and thirdly of man, for whose sake the Scripture sometime speaketh vnto insensible creatures, as though they were sensible, and worketh miracles in them for the instruction and amendement of sensi­ble and reasonable man.

The learning touching God is,The first doctrine touching God. that he worketh his will, and vseth his creatures, as it séemeth vnto his wisedome inscrutable most méete and conueni­ent: [Page] as here he troubleth and altereth the condition of the seas and waters.Gene. 1. These waters were appoin­ted by God, in the third day of the creation, to be in one place, and was called The Sea, a pleasaunt ele­ment, and a beautifull thing to sée: and God said, It was good, as the effect thereof sheweth in déede: for it nourisheth the earth with necessarie moysture, by priuie veines and secrete passages, secretely passing through the earth. And when the floudes, that doe moysture the earth, haue done their office, they re­turne into their old lodging, the Sea againe: from whence riseth the matter of showres and raine to moisture from aboue, that flouds beneath cannot be conueyed vnto. And it serueth for transporting the necessaries of one realme to the other, quietly suffe­ring the ships of passe with great gaine & pleasure. These and many more commodities God worketh by this insensible creature, when it is calme and na­uigable: but when he moueth it with his winds and tempestes, it is so horrible in it selfe, that no man may, without perill and death, trauell within it, so raging and feareful is that pleasaunt element of tho water, when God moueth it. It hath (by Gods ap­pointment) his time of calme, and time of storme: time to profite men,Time. and time to vndoe men: time to be a refuge for men in the dayes of peril, and time to be a graue and sepulchre for men: time to conioyne strange nations together, and time to separate them againe: as it pleaseth the creator Almightie God to appoint and direct it.

The doctrine that toucheth the insensible crea­ture it selfe,The se­cond doc­trine touching the insensible creature. is: that it can be no longer calme, nor any longer troubled, then it pleaseth the heauenly gouernour to dispose it. And here is to be noted, a­gainst such men as attribute stormes and calmes to [Page 126] Fortune:Psal. 29. whereas onely the voice of the Lord mo­ueth tempestes, and sendeth faire weather. It is also a doctrine against all men, that do thinke the waters and seas may be moued, and ceasse at their owne pleasure: which is contrarie to this Prophets doc­trine,Psal. 77. that saith: The waters sawe the Lord & were afraide. So that their trouble riseth from the com­maundement of the Lord, and they cannot do what they lust,Psal. 114. but what God biddeth them to doe. It is godly set foorth afterwardes in another Psalme, wherein the passage of the children of Israel is men­tioned: as it is in this Psalme.

The doctrine touching man,The third doctrine touching man. in this verse, is a de­claration of mans obstinacie and stubbernesse. The insensible creature the water, that lacketh both life and reason, at euery commandement be as the Lord their maker commaundeth them to be. With euery tempest they be troubled, and with euery calme so plaine and quiet: that it séemeth rather a stablished land, then a variable sea.Oh rebel­lion of man. But let God send his word vnto man, and the contentes thereof threaten the tempest of all tempestes, eternall death, hell fire, and Gods euerlasting displeasure: yet man will not heare nor sée them, nor yet be moued any thing at all.Insensible creatures shall be a condemnation vnto man. Or let God gently and fauourably offer his mer­cies vnto man, and by his word exhort him neuer so much to repentance: it is for the most part in vaine. Therefore God by his Prophets Moses and Esaie, called Heauen and Earth to witnesse against mans stubbernesse and hardnesse of heart.

There is also out of this trouble of the water, this doctrine to be learned: how to receiue consolation, and how to learne feare by the creatures of God that beare no life, and yet be thus troubled. Consolation in this sort: When the penitent man that suffereth [Page] affliction and trouble, séeth vnsensible thinges mo­ued and vnquieted that neuer offended,Marke most dili­gently. he shal iudge the lesse wonder at his owne trouble. When he séeth that a sinner, and wretched offender of God, is pu­nished, he shal learne feare. When he séeth God doth punish his creatures that neuer offended, for the sinne of man: what punishment is man worthie to haue, that is nothing but sinne it selfe? And what feare should this bring into Christian mens consci­ences,The diuell & man be only diso­bedient vnto God. to knowe that no creature deserueth punish­ment, no creature disobeyeth God: but the diuel and man? Oh what man or woman can with faith looke vpon the least flowers of the field, and not hate him­selfe? In Summer time, when men shall sée the me­dowes and gardens so meruellously apparelled with flowers of euery colour, so that he shall not be able to discerne, whether their beautie better please the eye, or their swéete sauour the nose:Oh take heed mise­rable man. what may they learne, in thinking of themselues (as the trueth is) that there is nothing in them but filth and sin, that most heynously stincke before the face of God? And when man shal perceiue that flowers vade,Consolati­on. and loose both beautie to the eye, and swéete sauor to the nose, that neuer transgressed: what may miserable man thinke he is worthie to loose yt is nothing but sinne, and euer offendeth? Againe, when man shal perceiue that God thus meruellously, after long Winter and great stormes, doth raise out of the vile earth so beautifull flowers, plantes, and trées: what consola­tion may the man take that hath his faith in Christ, to thinke that all his sinnes in his precious bloud be forgiuen: and after long persequution & cruel death, he shall come to eternall life. After this sort did the Prophet consider the workes of God, & the troubles of his creatures, & receiued great consolation therby.

[Page 127] In the end of this verse the Prophete sayth,Deapthes. The deapthes were troubled. In the which words he hath aptly shewed the mightie power of God, and percei­ueth how the record of Gods fact may be his conso­lation. In this that he saith, The deapths were trou­bled: there be diuers vnderstandings. If the meane of the seas, when they are troublesome & tempestu­ous by soule weather, he speaketh rather after the iudgement of such (as suffer the trouble and peril of the waues,) that thinke at one time they fall to the bottome of the sea, & at an other time they be rather vpon high mounteins then vpon the waters, the ra­ges thereof be so extreme: yet in déede, the bottome of the seas be not felt, neither doth the shippe that is saued descend so farre: but the tempestes be so sore, that it séemeth to the sufferers thereof, that no extre­mitie can be more. In this sense it serueth meruel­lously the Prophetes purpose.A goodly similitude. For as they that en­dure the tempestes of the sea, thinke there could be no more extremitie then they susteine: so doe they that suffer the tempest of mistrust and despaire (for a time) of the conscience, thinke they could endure no more extremitie of conscience: whereas in déede, if God should suffer them to féele the extremitie, it were eternall death: as the extremitie of the sea in tempestes, is shipwracke and losse of man and goods. But if it be vnderstoode as if standeth in the letter, then hath the Prophet relation to the mightie hand of GOD, that brake the red sea euen vnto the very bottome,Exod. 14. and also the water of Iordane:Iosua. 3. that his people might haue both a nighe way, a safe way, & a glorious way towards the land that the Lorde had promised them. And then in this sense we learne, that although water and winde, with all troubles else, couer the face of the earth, in the bottome of the [Page] sea, and is not possible to come to the vse of man: e­uen so the troublesome temptations, and great ter­ror of Gods wrath against sinne, couereth the soule of man, that vnto the iudgement of the flesh, it shall neuer come to haue the vse and fruition of Gods ho­ly fauour againe. Oh the mercifull goodnesse of God to­wards man inscrutableBut nowe, as we sée by miracle, God maketh drie the deapthe of horrible seas, and turneth the bottome of them to the vse of man: so doeth he in the bloud of Christ (by the operation of the holy ghost) drie vp and cleane lade out, the ponds and déep seas of mistrust & heuines out of the soule, and turneth the soule it selfe to the vse of his owne honour, in the ioyes euerlasting. And as the water couereth the beautie of the land: so do sinne & temp­tation couer the image and beautie of mans soule in this life. But as with a worde God can remedie the one: so with the least of his mercies he can re­dresse the other. And for the better experience and more certeintie thereof, we sée it proued by this pro­phete Asaph, in this place. For the ground was ne­uer more ouerwhelmed with water, nor the bright Sunne with dimmie cloudes: then was this poore Prophetes spirite, with heauinesse and sorrowe of sinne and temptations. Therefore he féeleth howe God easeth the heart, and recordeth howe he bani­shed floudes and waters, to make his people a way to rest and tranquillitie.

17 The clouds powred out water, the aire thunde­red, and thine arrowes went abroad.

Noah.The Prophete remembreth the meruellous in­vndation and drowning of the worlde, in the dayes of Noah, that drowned all the world for sinne: sa­uing such as were in the Arke or Ship with Noah. And he remembreth also the horrible thunder that [Page 128] was heard of the people,Gene. 7. when God gaue his lawe vnto them vpon mount Synai.Exod. 19. Likewise, he calleth to remembrance the plagues of Egypt,Note. wherewith­all God punished Pharao,Exod. 5. 6. 7 8. 9. 10. 11. his people, and the whole land: which paines and plagues he calleth (after the phrase of the scripture) arrowes and dartes. These remembraunces may be comfortes to the hearers, and to the readers, two manner of wayes. First, in this, that God (when he punisheth) punisheth iust­ly: as he did the whole world for sinne.God puni­sheth iust­ly for sin. Whereof the Prophete gathereth, If sinne iustly merited, doe trouble all the generation of man: it is no great meruell, though sinne trouble me, that am but one man, and a vile sinner. If sinne brought all flesh vn­to death, sauing those that were in the ship: is it any meruell, though sinne make me to tremble & quake? Againe, If God, when he gaue the lawe of Moses, and to the people, spake out of thunder, declaring what a thing it was, to transgresse that lawe, in so much, that al ye people were afraid to heare the Lord speake,Exod. 19. and desired that Moses might supplie his roome: what meruell is it, that my conscience trem­bleth, féeling that my soule hath offended the lawes of God? And if Pharao and his realme were sore a­fraid of Gods outward plagues: what cause haue I to feare the inwarde dread and sorrowfull sight of sinne, shewed vnto me by Gods lawe? So that we may take this cōsolation out of this place, that God is a iust Iudge to punish sinne:God is no tyrant. and not a Tyrant, that punisheth of affection or wilfull desire. And so saide Dauid,Psal. 51. 10. 119. When so euer, or howe so euer thou punish, (let men say and iudge as they list,) thou art iust,God al­wayes pre­serueth pe­mitent sin­ners. and righteous be all thy doings.

The other consolation is, that in the middest of all aduersities, God preserued penitent and faithfull [Page] sinners. As in the time of the vniuersall floud, the water hurted not Noah, nor suche as were in the ship. In the time of Pharaos plagues, the Israelites tooke no harme. At the giuing of the lawe, the Israe­lites perished not with lightening and thunder. E­uen so, sorrowes and anguish, diffidence and weak­nesse of faith, they are plagues and punishments for all men by reason of sinne: yet penitent sinners, by reason of faith in Christ, take no hurt nor damnati­on by them. As it appeareth by this Prophete that was troubled in the spirite and in the body, as mer­uellously as could be: but yet in Christ escaped the daunger,Rom. 8. as all men shal do that repent and beléeue. Whereof we learne, that as the rayne falleth gene­rally, and yet bettereth no earth to bring foorth her fruite, but such as is apt to receiue the rayne (stonie rocks and barren ground being nothing the better:)Hebr. 6. 10. euen so doth the plagues and rayne of Gods displea­sure plague all mankinde, but none be the better therefore, but such as repent and bewayle their sin­nes, that gaue GOD iust occasion thus to punishe them. The same is to be considered also of the verse that followeth, which is this.

18 The lightening shone vpon the ground, the earth was moued, and shooke therewithall.

By these manner of speaches, The lightening shone, and the earth quaked: the Prophete setteth foorth the strength and might of Gods power, and willeth men to loue him and to feare him: For he is able to defend and preserue his faythfull, and to punish and plague the wicked. And the like he sayth in the verse following.

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy pathes in the deep waters: and thy footsteps are not knowne.

[Page 129] He taketh comfort of this miracle, that GOD brought the Israelites through the red sea,The Israe­lites were conducted by God, through the red sea. in this, that the waters knewe the Israelites, & gaue place vnto them, that they might drye footed goe through them. But when king Pharao and his people would haue followed in the same path, persequuting Gods people, the sea would make no way for him, nor yet shew the steppes where the Israelites troade,Pharao & his were drowned. but o­uerwhelmed them in most desperate deaths. So in the seas of temptations,Exo. 14. suche as put their trust in the Lorde,Psalm. 121. 125. 13. 46. 54. 71. passe, and neuer perish by them: where­as such as put not their trust in the Lorde, perish in temptations: as Pharao and his armie did by wa­ter. And the next verse that concludeth the Psalme, sheweth by what meanes the Israelites were vn­der God saued in the red sea: by the handes of Mo­ses and Aaron, as it appeareth.

20 Thou leadest thy people like sheepe, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Of this verse the afflicted may learne many con­solations.The best is not able of himself to resist temptati­ons. First, that the best people that be, are no better able to resist temptations: then the simple shéepe is able to withstande the brier that catcheth him. The next, that man is of no more abilitie to be­ware of temptations, then the poore shéepe is to a­boyd the brier,Sheep­hearde. They that doe thin­ges at Gods commaunde­ment, can take no harme. being preserued only by the diligence of the shéepheard. The thirde, that as the shéepheard is carefull of his intangled and briered shéepe; so is GOD of his afflicted faithfull. And the fourth is, that the people of Israel could take no harme of the water, bycause they entered the sea at Gods com­maundement. Whereof we learne, that no daunger can hurt, when God doth commaund vs to enter [Page] into it: and all daungers ouercome vs, if we choose them our selues,Math. 14. besides Gods commaundement. As Peter,Math. 16. when he went at Gods commandement vp­pon the water, tooke no hurt: but when he entered into the Bishops house, vppon his owne presump­tion, was ouercome, and denied Christ. The Israe­lities, when they fought at Gods commaundement, the perill was nothing:Num. 14. but when they would doe it of their owne heades, they perished. So that we are bound to attend vppon Gods commaundement, and then no daunger shall destroy vs, though it paine vs.

The other doctrine is in this,Such as be ministers of the Church, ought to attend on­ly vppon the voyce of God. that God vsed the ministerie of Moses and Aaron, in the deliuerance of his people: who did commanded them to do nothing, but that the Lord did first bid. Whereof we learne, that such as be ministers appointed of God, and doe nothing but as God commaundeth, are to be follo­wed. As S. Paule saith, Followe mee, as I followe Christ. And these men can by the word of God giue good counsell,2. Cor. 11. and great consolation, both for bodie and soule: as we perceiue this Prophet, in marking. Gods doinges vnto the Israelites, applied by grace the same wisedome and helping mercie vnto him­selfe, to his eternall rest, through Iesus Christ in the world to come, To whome with the father and the holy Ghost, be all laude and praise world without end. Let all Christians say, Amen.


❧A table declaring as well the generall as the speciall contentes of this whole Booke.

¶The figures note the number of the leafe. A. the first side. B. the second.

    • ❧The argument of the 23. Psalme. fol. 9. A.
    • ¶Of this Psalme, there are seuen partes. ibid. B.
      • 1 Who it is that hath the cure and charge of mans life and saluation. 10. A.
      • 2 Wherein the life and saluation of man consisteth. 14. B.
      • 3 How a man is brought to the knowledge of life and salua­tion: which part sheweth, what man is of himselfe, and how he is brought into his life, and to feede in the pleasaunt pastures of Gods word. 19. B.
      • 4 Wherefore man is brought to life and saluation. 23. B.
      • 5 What trouble may happen to such, as God giueth life and saluation vnto. 25. B.
      • 6 Whereby the troubles of Gods elect be ouercome. 31. A.
      • 7 What the end of Gods troubled people shall be. 41. B.
    • ❧The Argument of the 62 Psalme. 43. A.
    • ¶Of this Psalme there are two generall partes, and sixe particular. ibid. A. & B.
    • ¶The first generall part, conteyning foure particular partes.
    • 1 How that the fauour of God, and his helpe, is able to re­medie all aduersities. 43. A.
    • ¶The second generall part conteyning two particular partes.
    • 2 How that the fauour of man, and his helpe, is able to re­dresse no aduersities. 43. A.
    • ¶A breefe paraphrase vppon the whole Psalme. 44. B.
    • ¶The sixe particular partes as they followe in their order and place.
      • 1 What is to be done by the Christian man that is affli­cted. 45. A.
      • 2 Why the troubled person seeketh health of God. 51. A.
      • [Page] 3 How the persequuters of the innocent shall soudenly pe­rishe. 58. A.
      • 4 Why trouble is patiently to be borne, and faithfully to be beleeued, that God can and will remedie it. 63. B.
      • 5 How mans power is not to be trusted vnto. 66. B.
      • 6 How that God hath promised to helpe the afflicted. 69. A.
    • ❧The Argument of the 73. Psalme. 70. A.
    • ¶A Paraphrase vppon the whole Psalme. Fol. 70. 71. 72. 73.
    • ¶Of this Psalme there are eight partes. 74.
      • 1 That God loueth the good, although he punisheth them. 75. A.
      • 2 How weake and fraile a thing the nature of man is. 77. B
      • 3 Wherein the felicitie of wicked men consisteth, &c. 80. A
      • 4 How fraile, brittle, and weake a thing man is, &c. 84. B
      • 5 How some men repeat their well doings, &c. 85 A
      • 6 How greate a daunger it is, temerously to iudge of God, &c. 85. B
      • 7 That mans reason is but ignorant and beastlie in conside­ring of Gods workes, &c. 86. A
      • 8 The multitude & number of Gods consolations, &c. 86. B
    • ❧The Argument of the 77. Psalme. 87 A.
    • ¶Of this Psalme there are foure partes. 87. A & B.
      • 1 In whome a man shoulde put his trust, and to whome he should resorte in the dayes of sickenesse, troubles, and aduer­sities. 87. B.
      • 2 How a man should vse him selfe towardes him, in whome he putteth his trust in the time of trouble. 89. B
      • 3 What great and perillous daungers, the man that is trou­bled shall suffer, for the time of his trouble. 93. A
      • 4 How a man taketh consolation in the time of his trou­ble. 113. B
    • ¶Other pointes of Christian doctrine are referred to the consideration of the reader.

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