A Preparation into the waye of lyfe, vvith a direction into the right vse of the Lords Supper: Gathered by VVilliam Hop­kinson, Preacher of the worde of God.

Printed at Lon­don, by Robert Walde­graue, for Iohn Harrison the yonger, and Thomas Manne. 1581.

To the right Honorable Syr Henry Sidney, Lorde President of her Maiesties Counsel in the Marches of VVales, Knight of the moste noble order of the Garter, and of her Maiesties most honorable priuie Counsell: VV. H. wisheth plentie of those blessings which haue promises of this life and the life to come.

SEing that it is the duetie of e­uery true Christian (Righte Honorable) from the highest to the lowest, according to the measure of the grace that he hath receyued of the Lord, to reache out him selfe vvith continuall attendance to profite euery his felowe neighbour, especially in the charge ouer vvhiche the Lorde hath set him for the tyme, so labouring in him selfe to exceede the measure of the moste, vvho make muche of lyfe vvithout consideration vvherefore they liue: I haue held my selfe boun­den, [Page]by all meanes that I might, to endeuour the regarde of those ouer vvhom the Lorde by your Honour hath set me. And seeing that not onely the iudgement of reason, but continuall experi­ence doth teache vs, that to make a scholler lear­ned in the tongues, the readyest vvay is, to begin vvith the letters, or vvell profited in any Science, to set first a sure foundation in the principles of the same, I haue helde it the moste ready en­traunce to make the Lordes trueth familiar to his people, especially them of vvhom I haue speciall knowledge, and ouer vvhom peculiar charge, to laye the groundworke as sure as I might, namely in leading them in the light of the Lords vvorde, to the true sight of them selues in two respectes, that is, vvhat they are by nature, and vvhat by grace, vvherof if eyther be vvanting in the know­ledge of Christians, the Lorde looseth (in respect of him) his due glory, and the people their sal­uation. As if the first be not knowen, men receiue the Lordes promises in securitie, as vvhich num­ber at this day seemeth to be great, and if the se­cond be not had, mens hearts are surprised in the vvaye of death. And as he that buyldeth without a foundation layde, shall buylde in the ayrc, so this steddie groundworke surely founded, & vvell beat vpon, shall giue an easie entraunce to fur­ther buylding by the vvord of doctrine and faith, that the Lordes Saintes by this meanes maye through his grace not onely be gathered, as the Apostle sayth, but that through the vvorke of the ministery they may be built vp into him vvhich [Page]is the head, euen Christ Iesus.

And for this cause I haue, as I might, gathered these directions by the Lords vvorde, for a perpe­tuall testimony to remayne vvith thē, a consent to suche as turne to the Lorde, and for a vvitnesse to the rest. But especially (next vnto this foun­dation layde) haue I laboured to leade them into the right vse of the Lords Supper, a speciall con­firmation of Gods promises in Christ to our cō ­fort, a matter also miserably neglected and light­ly accounted of, to the lamentable ruine and downefall of many thousande soules, for the Lordes iudgementes stande inuiolably: vvhose vvorkes doth testifie that they are iustly in daun­ger of his endles indignation, vvho prophane his misteries in vnworthines, of vvhat condition or sort soeuer they be, for vvith him is no respect of persons. In both vvhich I haue ioyned the desire of mine owne discharge, vvith the peoples safe­tie, and gathered the summe of both into suche a forme, as may best agree vvith their experience: not as refusing or lightly accouting of the labors of such godly brethren as haue much profited the Lords people in the lyke vvay, but as casting in two mytes vvith the poore VVidow to the Lotds vvorke, vvhich as it vvas specially ment for mine owne charge, so haue I yeelded to the perswasion of certayne godly friendes, to communicate the same vvith the Church of God by suffering it to be published in print, both for the comfort of the godly, the Lorde blessing it: and testifie to the Papistes the Lordes enimies, that though the va­rietie of speach be diuers, yet that vvee holde [Page]firmely one and the selfe same grounde and sub­stance of trueth, and that there is not amongst vs at all any oddes or varietie of doctrine, vvhat­soeuer they and their lyke, shame not vniustly to say agaynst vs.

But in this case considering that it must vnder­goe the viewe aswell of foes as fauourers, & that as I am assured of fauourable acceptation a­mongst the godly, yet as the sunne neuer vvan­teth light, the fyre heate, or the srostie vvynter coldnes: so haue there euer bene, and vvyll be, plentie of such vvho in steade of vvell deseruing, do please them selues vvith vniust reproching of others labours. In this respect, as that I might content my selfe, in accepting gladly any iust oc­casion to leaue some testimonie of a right thank­full heart for your Honours fauours many wayes vouchsafed me, vvhereby I holde my selfe in the Lorde continually bounde to your Honorable house in all that I maye, and in consideration vvherof, vvhen other meanes be vvanting wher­by to testifie the same, I shall not cease (I truste) right humbly to commende your estate vnto the Lorde, vvho hath promised to heare the iuste prayers of his seruauntes for the vvorthines of his Christ: So haue I bene bolde to present the same vnto your Honour, such as it is, the rather hauing iust cause to perswade my selfe of your honorable acceptation and protection of vvhatsoeuer may profite the Church of God, I haue also together deliuered to the print, for the care I haue of my brethrens health, a most notable and christian cōfortable letter, vvritten by that notable mem­ber [Page]of the Church of God in his time, M. Edward Dering, to a godly christiā gētlewomā, by which through the Lordes blessing I must needes con­fesse to haue gayned muche comfort, as also mine hartie desire and hope is that others shall. So that vvhile the vncleane and impure Atheistes, frozen harted Papistes, temporisers, carnall Gos­pellers, and infidels, shall suppe out the measure of Gods iudgementes to the bottome, vve, vvell vvarranted in our Christian estate, soundly dire­cted in the right vse of the Lordes mysteries, by the vvorde preserued in the extremities of sinne, and in all, lightned to the right application of the grace of Christ, shall vvith inuincible constancie runne out the course that is set before vs, and pa­tiently vvayte for our deliueraunce, euen the comming of our Lorde Iesus Christ, of vvhom it is vvritten that he shall appeare the seconde time vvithout sinne to saluation, to them that vvayte for him. VVhich that vve maye conti­nually do, our good God and Father graunt vn­to vs by the speciall direction of his holy spirite of sanctification and grace, and powre plentifully vpon your Honour those blessings vvhich speci­allye concerne the aduauncement of his glory, your Honours safetie both in body and consci­ence, and the peace of his Church, in and for his sonne our Lorde Iesus. Amen.

Your Honours most humbly to be alwayes vsed in the Lorde Christe, VVILLIAM HOPKINSON.

A preparation into the waye of lyfe: with a direction into the right vse of the Lords Supper.

Question.

HOwe had you your beeing at the first:

Answere. God created mee and all men in Adam, as it is written, The Lorde God made man of the duste of the grounde, and breathed in his face breath of life, and man was made a liuing soule.

Question. Wherefore did God create you?

Ans. To seeke his glory, as it is written, Of him, through him, and for him are all things, to him be glory for euer. Amen.

Qu How will God be glorified?

Ans. According to his will reuealed in his worde. For it is written: Deut. 12.32. Whatsoe­uer [Page]I commaunde you, take heede that you doe it, thou shalt put nothing thereto, nor take ought therefrom. Iosh. 1.7.

Qu. In what estate were you created?

An. Holy and excellent, without sinne, in perfect righteousnes and holynes before him, as appeareth Gen. Let vs make man in our image according to our likenes, Gen. 1.27. &c.

Qu. How became you subiect to so ma­ny infirmities?

Ans. By sinne and disobedience. As it is written: Because thou haste obeyed the voyce of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree wherof I commaunded thee, Gen. 3.17. saying: Thou shalt not eate of it: cursed is the earth for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eate of it all the dayes of thy life.

Qu. How became you sinnefull?

An. Adam transgressed the Lords pre­cept in eating the forbidden fruite, lost his innocencie, and brought sinne vpon him self and all his posteritie. As appeareth when he had yeelded to disobey the Lorde. Gen. 3.9.10. The Lorde God called to the man, and sayde to him, Where art thou? Who said, I heard thy voyce, and was afraide, because I was naked, therefore I hidde my selfe. Also the [Page]Lorde God sent him foorth from the Gar­den of Eden, Gen. 3.23. to till the earth from whence he was taken. &c.

Qu. Is this sinne in euery one by na­ture?

An. Yea in all Adams posteritie, none excepted: as it is written, Rom. 5.12. As by one man sinne entred into the world, and death by sinne, and so death went ouer all men, in as much as all men haue sinned.

Qu. What is the rewarde of sinne?

An. Death eternall: as it is written, Deut. 27.26. Cursed bee hee that continueth not in all the wordes of this lawe, to doe them. Rom. 6.23. Gal. 3.10.

Qu. Shall I escape this death by the workes of the lawe?

An. No. For it is written, Rom. 8.3. For that that was impossible to the law, in as much as it was not able because of the flesh, God sending his owne sonne in the simisitude of sinnefull flesh condemned sinne in the flesh.

Qu. Sith the Lawe doth not instifie vs before God, what profite hath a Christian by it?

An. The vse of the lawe. Iosh. 1.8. First it is a way for Gods children to walke in: as it is written, Let not this [Page]booke of the lawe depart out of thy mouth, but meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest obserue and doe according to all that is written therein, for then shalte thou make thy waye prosperous, and then shalt thou haue good successe. &c. Deut. 6.6. Secondly, it teacheth man not to truste in his owne innocencie. For it is written, We haue proued that all both Iewes and Gentiles are vnder sinne. Rom. 3.9. 10. Psal. 14.1.53.4. Thirdly, it pulleth downe the pride of mans heart, and humbleth him before God: as it is written, We knowe that whatsoeuer the lawe sayth, it sayth it to them which are vnder the lawe, that euery mouth may be stopped, Ro. 3.19.20. and all the world culpable before God. And by the workes of the lawe shall no fleshe be iustified, for by the lawe commeth the knowledge of sinne. Fourthly, it is a scholemaister to Christ. Gal. 3.23. for it is written, Before faith came we were kept vnder the lawe, and shut vp vnto the fayth that should afterwardes be reuealed, wherefore the lawe was oure scholemaster to bring vs vnto Christ, that we might be made righteous by fayth.

Qu. Why should we doe good workes, [Page]sithe they do not iustifie vs?

An. First, The right end of workes. Ioh. 14.15. to shewe our loue to God our father, in walking as becommeth his chil­dren. For the Lorde sayth, If you loue me keepe my commaundementes. Leui. 11.44.19.2. Secondly, to shewe our loue to our selues, making our election therby sure vnto our selues. For it is written. Ephes. 1.3.4. Blessed be God, euen the father of our Lorde Ie­sus Christ. &c. He hath chosen vs in him before the foundation of the worlde was layde, that we should be holy and without blame before him in loue. 1. Pet. 1.2.2. Pet. 1.10. Thirdly, to profite our brethren, and glorifie the Lorde. Mat. 5.16. Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good workes, maye glorifie your father which is in heauen. 1. Pet. 2.12.

Qu. VVhat works be good, and the contrary. Rom 14.23. Howe many things are principally to be considered in good workes?

An. Three. First, that they proceede from an heart purified by fayth. Whatsoe­uer is not of fayth, is sinne. Mat. 7.17.18. Secondly, they muste be ruled by the worde of God: for it is written, Eph. 2.10. We are his workmanship created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, which he hath prepared [Page]for vs to walke in. Thirdly, the speciall ende for which they are done muste be the glory of God: 1. Cor. 10.31 for it is written, Whether you eate or drinke, or whatsoeuer you doe, doe all to the glory of God. Exod. 32.32. Rom. 9.3.

Qu. What is eternall death?

An. The euerlasting curse of God, whiche conteineth all the tormentes that can be deuised both of soule and body: for it is written, Deut. 27.26. Cursed is he that continueth not in all the wordes of this lawe to doe them. Gal. 3.10.

Qu. By what meanes shall I escape this death?

An. Onely by fayth in Christ: as it is written, Rom. 3.28. We conclude that a man is iusti­fied by fayth, without the workes of the lawe. Iohn. 3.13, 36. 5.24. 6.40, 47. 11.25. 20.29, 31. Math. 9.2, Luc. 7.50. Act. 10.43. 16.3. Rom. 1.12. Gal. 3.26. Phil. 3.9. Col. 1.23. Eph. 3.12. Heb. 11.6. 1. Pet. 1.9. &c.

Qu. What is a Christian fayth?

An. VVhat fayth is. A full perswasion and assurance of mine heart, that whatsoeuer Christe hath wrought for mans saluation, perteineth [Page]not onely to others, but to me also, and is furely mine: as it is written, For I am perswaded that neither death for life, Rom. 8.38. nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other crea­ture, shall be able to separate vs from the loue of God which is in Christ Iesus our Lorde. 2. Thes. 1.7. Heb. 11.1. 1. Iob. 3.2.

Qu. Shall all men be saued by Christ?

An. No. None but they onely that do in deede beleeue in him. For it is written, To whom the death of Christ is profitable. He that beleeueth in the sonne hath life, and he that beleeueth not in the sonne hath not life. And, he that beleeueth not is dam­ned already, because he beleeueth not. Iohn. 5.24. 6.47.

Qu. How do we attayne to fayth?

An. The holy Ghost worketh it in our hearts. As Esay testifieth of the Churche, Esa. 54.13. [...]aying, they shal be all taught of the Lord. [...]ere. 31.33. Rom. 12.3. 1. Cor. 2. Eph. 2.8, 6.23. Phil. 1.29. 2. Thes. 1.3.3.2. Heb. 2.2. 1. Iob. 5.20. Iob. 6.44, 45.

Qu. By what meanes? The necessitie of the words preached.

An. By hearing the word preached: as is written, Faith is by hearing, Rom. 10.17. and hea­ring [Page]by the worde of God.

Qu. May not this hearing be as well by reading, as by the preaching of the worde?

An. No. For it is written, Howe can they heare without a preacher. Rom. 10.14. Gal. 3.2.

Qu. May euery one preach that liste?

An. Rom. 10.15. No. For it is written, Howe shall they preach, except the Lorde sende them.

Qu. What testimonie can be had of any whether he be sent of the Lorde in this of­fice, for you knowe it is an easie matter to pretende a sending?

An. Besides an ordinarie calling of the Church wherein he liueth, he muste of ne­cessitie haue Vrim and Thumin, knowledge and holynes, he must be, as it is written, wise, righteous, holy, temperate, holding faste the faythfull worde according to doc­trine, that he also may be able to exhorte with wholsome doctrine, Tit. 1.8, 9. and improue them that say against it. 1. Tim. 3.2.3. 1. Pet. 5.3

Qu. Do you holde it conuenient that euery minister of the worde and Sacra­mentes be a preacher?

An. Yea especially. For the Lorde is the fulnesse of all wisedome, and sendeth [Page]only such as by his grace haue to dispatch his message, also he sending forth his Apo­stles saide, goe preach the Gospell &c. and to shewe ye necessitie of preaching, he saith to Peter. Feede, feede, feede, Acts, 20.28 1. Cor. 3.5. 1. Cori. 4.1. 2. Cor. 3.6. Ephe. 3.7. Col. 1.7.1. Tim. 4.6.1. Per. 5.2.

Qu. Do you thinke it needefull to haue in euerie congregation a minister that is apte to teach?

An. Yea, most needefull, for it is writ­ten, wher there is no preaching, the people perishe. Also the Apostles in the wisdome of the holie ghost (beyonde which we may not presume) ordeined suche in euerie Church, Acts. 14.23. Tit. 1.5. and Paul appointed Titus to do the like.

Qu. Do you not think it sufficient that the people do heare the worde preached once in a year, or in their life. Though they haue no continuall preacher to labour in the worde amongst them?

An. No, in no case. For as the body can not liue with such nourishment, The greate necessitie of preaching ministers. muche lesse the soule without continuall comfort from the worde of God our only spirituall foode: and there be dayly profitings in Gods [Page]Church wherto the Lords ministers must carefully attende. To this effect speaketh Paule to Titus, Tit. 1.5. saying, For this cause left I thee at Creta, that thou shouldest continue to redresse the thinges that re­mayne, &c. Also no house is buylt so soone as the first stone of the foundation is layde, and S. Paule sheweth the ende for whiche the Lorde doth giue his faythfull seruantes his ministers into his Church, namely, not onely for the gathering togeather and for the worke of the ministerie, but also for the buylding vp the Lords Saints, the edifi­cation of the body of Christ, Ephe. 4.12, 14.15. that we might be no more children caried about with eue­ry winde of doctrine, but that we mighte grow vp into him which is the head, that is Christe.

Qu. Seeing you thinke it a matter so greatly needefull that there be in euery congregation continually a godly minister apte to teache, let me (I pray you) heart your iudgement by the word of God what is required of the people concerning them, and the worde which they bring vnto thē, is it in their choyce whether they wyll heare their preachers, and any whitte ac­count [Page]of them, or no?

An. No. The peoples duety to their pastours. For as no Prince or maister can beare the reiecting of his Ambassador or seruaunt sent foorth in speciall message, though to his equals: so neither can or will the Lorde beare the like at our hands who be his vassals. And to this effect, The Lords mi­nisters must be receiued. that his faythfull seruauntes his ministers might be comforted agaynst the vnthankfulnesse of the world, and to set the people out of doubt how he would haue them taken, he sayth, He that receiueth you receiueth me, Mat. 10.40. and he that receiueth me receiueth hym that sent me. Also he addeth, Luc. 10.16. He that despi­seth you despiseth me, and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. And to put vs out of doubt in what sort he would haue vs to receiue his seruauntes sent to vs for our suche singuler profite, as the saluation of our whole soule and body, They must be heard and o­beyed. he doth testi­fie vnto vs in his worde, first that we must heare and obey them. Secondly, that we must nourish them: and thirdly, that we must esteeme of them, and lastly, that we must pray for them. For the first he sayth by the Apostle S. Paule, 2. Cor. 2.9. For this cause did I write, that I might know the proofe [Page]of you, whether you would be obedient in all things. 2. Thes. 3.4, 14. Heb. 13.17. For the second, They must be nouri­shed, & pro­uided for. Gal. 6.6. it is thus written, Let him that is taught in the worde, make him that hath taught him, partaker of al his goods. And also we beseeche you brethren, that you know them that labour among you, and are ouer you in the Lorde, and admo­nishe you, that you haue them in singuler loue for their works sake. &c. 1. Tim. 5.18. 1. Cor. 9.7, 8, 9. 1. Thess. 5.12 13. They must be esteemed 1. Tim. 5.17. For the thirde it is writ­ten thus: The Elders that rule well are worthy of double honour, specially they which labour in the worde and doctrine. 3. Iob. 8. And for the laste it is written thus, They must be prayed for of the faithfull. Col. 4.3. Continue in prayer and watche in the same with thankes giuing, praying al­so for vs, that God may open vnto vs the doore of vtteraunce, to speake the mysterie of Christe, &c. that I may vtter it as I ought to speake, &c. And also, Brethren pray for vs, 2. Thes. 3.1. that the worde of the Lorde may haue free passage and be glorified. &c. Ephes. 6.19.

Qu. I pray you, how are they accoun­ted of before the Lorde which do not these dueties, for I thinke you shall easily finde [Page]many which professe the Gospell, and yet do neuer one of them, but rather the con­trarie. So that the very Papistes and In­fidels receiue more readily, obey more wil­lingly, prouide for more sufficiently, esteme more highly, and do all other things more carefully (as our experience doth approue too true) for their popish sacrificers, idola­ters, and diuell worshippers, then these doe, the true seruauntes and ministers of Iesus Christ?

An. In the Lordes presence they be found to deceiue them selues, The state of such as neg­lect ther du­tie to the Lordes mes­sengers. Mat. 7.21. whose religi­on is but in vayne words, for that the Lord liueth not in them, as in deede he doth not where his glory and kingdome is not ca­red for. Of whom the mouth of the Lorde hath spoken, that they shall neuer enter in­to the kingdome of heauen, and they de­serue to perish in extreme famine, that ey­ther reiect, or so lightly account of the sp [...] ­rituall foode of their soules reached vnto them of the Lorde by the handes of hys Church and ministers, and their iudge­ment sleepeth not, for the Lorde him selfe [...]arth, Who soeuer shall not receiue you, nor heare your wordes, when you de­parte [Page]out of that house, or out of that citie, shake of the dust of your feete. Mat. 10.14, 15. Truely I say vnto you, it shall be easier for them of the lande of Sodom and Gomortha in the day of iudgement, then for that Citie. Luc. 10.11, 14, 15.

Qu. Many thinke them selues in best case when they haue a minister that cannot labour in preaching the worde of the Lord amongest them, what do you think of their estate.

An. Men misera­bly blinde and see it not. First their estate is most wretched, for that as blinde men without guide, they wander in darknesse, for without the word there is no light in our waies. Psa. 119.105 Thy worde is a lanterne to my feete, and a lighte vnto my pathes, and also both the one and the other be vnder the iudgement of God. Mat. 15.14. The estate of the people that haue an vnpreaching minister. If the blinde lead the blind, doth they not both fall into the ditche?

Qu. Then it semeth that you tye the sal­uation of the people of necessitie ye to prea­ching of the Gospell.

An. It is moste true, for without the preaching of the Gospell, there is no ordi­narie meane to attaine to faith, Rom. 10.14, [...]7. faith com­meth by hearing the worde of God prea­ched. [Page]Without faith we cannot atteine to Christ. Ioh. 6.40. He that seeth the sonne and belee­ueth in him hath euerlasting life. &c. With out Christ is no way to pacifie the fathers wrath. Mat. 3.17. This is my beloued sonne in whom I am well pleased, heare him. And if the fathers wrath bee not pacified there is no hope of life, Psa. 2.12. if his wrath be kindled yea but a little we shall perish in the way. The necessitie of preaching the Gospell, which men make light of. So that I conclude, that without the preaching of the Gospell it is not possible to be saued.

Qu. Do you include, infants, fooles, and deaf folkes within this necessity?

An. No, The wisdome of Gods spirit doth leade vs in the streight wayes of the Lorde. nor binde the Lorde vnto the meane, but in all chinges confesse him to be free, but I say, that for others, the Lord hath giuen vs no ordinarie meane but the preaching of his Gospell. Mat. 28.19. Goe preache the Gospell to all creatures, who soeuer be­leeueth and is baptised shall bee saued. &c. Mar. 16.13.

Qu. There be that thinke, that if a man haue learning, Selfeliking, ig­norance, and reason that is corrupt, blin­des many a one. especially in the sciences & tonges, he can not be ignorant of the way of life, and so will often reason for others, and persuade them selues, the one say such bee learned, they muste needes knowe the [Page]truth, The wisdom of carnall men is a­gainst God. The Lorde when he wil doth vse the meane, but he is not bounde to it and the other contemne preaching, as if they were too wise for it?

An. Albeit it pleaseth the Lorde to vse the ciuill knowledge whereof you speake for the furtherance of his gospel, when one where he seeth it conuenient, yet is it no sure consequent that where these thinges he, there also is the sure knowledge of the Lordes truth, for in Ephesus were many excellentlie learned in ciuill knowledge, As Pitha­goras, Par­menides, Zeno, De­mocritus, & such like. Ephes. 1.13. and yet wholie ignoraunt of the way of the Lorde, and Saint Paule proueth their faith in Christ, to haue commed only from the preaching of the Gospell thorough the power of the spirite of Christe, saying. In whom ye also trusted, after that you heard the worde of truth, euen the gospel of your saluation.

Qu. Then, as I take it, also you would that in teaching there should onely be vsed the testimonie of the worde it selfe. The maner of such as seeke more to please their cares then to pro­fite their soule. And yet many that goe for wise men, do looke that the preachers should feede them with prophane stories, and sayings of men. Al­so some like to spende much time in fables, and other needlesse matter? Howe thinke you of it?

An. I graunt you that such things may carry a wilie shew to the carnall man, but in all these and a thousand moe of like sort, standeth not the faith of Gods chosen, for it onely resteth in the word of trueth, which Saint Paul testifieth in this respect, Esai. 55.11. to be the Gospell, and when these be at the last, yet want the warrant of the spirite to testi­fie for them that they be the word of truth. Againe, the Lord blesseth his own meane whose gospel hath a blessing in it selfe, and neuer returneth emptie, which all these earthly out showes want, though in some sort ye auouching of some haue their vse, namely to confute them that trust in thē, Act. 17.28. Tit. 5.1.12. 2. Tim 4.2. as S. Paul doth in the like, also they are com­manded to preach the worde, Mat. 28.20. 1. Pet. 4.11. Iho. 9.10.

Qu. I see then that the onely way to iu­stifie vs before God, is through fayth in Iesus Christ, which you proue that God worketh in our hearts by the preaching of his Gospell. But by what meanes I pray you is this iustifying fayth continued and increased in vs?

An. By the selfe same preaching of the worde. For as it is written, As new borne [Page]babes, 1. Pet. 2.2. desire the sincere milke of the word, that you may grow thereby. 1. Pet. 2.5. 1. Cor. 3.2. Heb. 5.13, 14. Also the holy Sacramentes are ordeined for vs of the Lord to this end, The Lorde by his word and Sacramentes sheweth hys singuler care for the saue­garde of his Church. Gal. 3.27. namely to confirme the promises of his Gospell vnto vs, and to confirme our fayth in the same. As appea­reth, All ye which are baptized into Iesus Christ, haue put on Christ. Act. 2.38. And, Ioh. 6.51. I am the liuing bread which came downe from heauen, if any man eate of this bread, he shall liue for euer. &c.

Qu. Are there no necessarie helpes vnto these for the increase and confirmation of our fayth?

An. Yes, and those that can not be wanting without great preiudice to the Church of God: namely true, earnest and often prayer, and discipline according to the worde. As, for the first it is sayde, Aske and haue, and whatsoeuer you aske of the father in my name he will giue it you. And for the seconde it is written thus, Cor. 5 3, 4, 5. I verily as absent in body but present in spi­riie, haue determined already as though I were present, ye he that hath thus done this thing, when you are gathered togeather [Page]and my spirite in the name of our Lorde Iesus Christ, that suche a one, I say, by the power of our Lorde Iesus Christ, be deliuered to Satan for the destruction of the fleshe, that the spirite may be saued in the day of the Lorde Iesus.

Qu. What is a Sacrament?

An. A Sacrament what it is. An outward signe ordeined of God for the greater assurance and strength of our fayth, beeing vnto vs sure pledges of those venesites of our saluation which we receiue in Christ to be ours. For it is writ­ten, Gen. 17.11. Ye shall circumcize the foreskinne of your fleshe, and it shall be a signe of the couenaunt betweene me and you. Exo. 12.3, 4, 5, 6. Rom. 4.11.

Qu. How many Sacraments be there in the church of Christ?

An. Two, baptisme, & the Lords supper, as appeareth. Brethren I would not haue you ignorant, ye al your fathers were vnder the cloude, and al passed through the sea, & were al baptised vnto Moses in the cloude, and in the sea, 1. Cor. 10.1, 2, 3, 4. and did all eate of the same spirituall meate, and did all drinke of the same spiritual drink, for they dranke of the spirituall rock that followed them, and the [Page]rocke was Christe.

Qu. Who shall minister the Sacra­ments?

An. He in whose mouth the Lorde hath put his worde for the people, as it is writ­ten, Go teach al nations, baptising them in the name of the father, and the sonne, and the holy ghost. Christ gaue this commaun­dement, neither to midwiues (as they call them) or any other women, or to priuate men, but to those whom he had chosen, his Apostles, and had giuen them warrant, & habilitie to teach, Mat. 28.19. The Sacra­ments mini­stred where the worde is preached. whereby appeareth that the word preached and Sacraments must go together. Act. 10.47. Act. 16.32.33.

Qu. Where must it be ministred?

An. Where the worde is preached, and because this Sacrament comprehendeth an holy and solemne introduction, or ad­mittance into the Church of God, Priuate pla­ces be not fit for pub­lique actiōs. Mat. 28.19. and is a testimonie of our heauenlie deliuerance, it is not lawfull to minister it, but in the assē ­bly of the faithful, as appeareth in that is said, Go preach and baptize. &c. and. Mar. 16.15.16.

Qu. To ye strengthning of our faith, how many thinges do we principally learne by [Page]baptisme.

An. Especially two, First as water washeth away the filthines of the flesh: so the bloode of Christe doth wash away sin from my soule, as is written. Mar. 1.4. Iohn did bap­tise in the wilderues, & preach the baptism of amendment of life, for remission of sinns Secondly I am taught to rise to newnesse of life. For it is written, we are buried then with him by baptisme into his death, Rom. 6.4. that like as Christ was raised vp from the dead by the glory of his father, so we also should walke in newnesse of life.

Qu. Wherein is the faith strenthened in the vse of the Lordes supper?

An. First as by the hande and mouthe my bodie receiueth bread and wine, so by faith, my soule feedeth of the body and blod of Christ. Iesus said vnto them, Ioh. 6.35. I am that bread of lyfe, he that commeth to me shall not hunger, and he that beleeueth in mee shall neuer thirste. Secondly, all the be­nefites of Christes passion, and his righ­teousnes, are as surely sealed to be mine, as I am sure my body hath receiued the bread and wine, and as if I my selfe had wrought them. For it is written, He was [Page]deliuered to death for our sinnes: Rom. 4.25. and is ri­sen agayne for our iustification.

Qu. Who shal be admitted to the Lords Supper?

An. A Christian choyse, in ad­mitting to the Lords Supper. Only they that can do those things that are required of them that be parta­kers thereof.

Qu. Children, fooles, madde folks, and the ignorant, must not be admit­ted, for they can not doe this. What must they doe that be parta­kers thereof?

An. Examine them selues: as it is writ­ten, Let a man examine himselfe, and so let him eate, &c.

Qu. Must euery one that receiueth the Lordes Supper, of necessitie examine him selfe?

An. 1. Cor. 11.28. Hee must of necessitie, or else hee shall bee guilty of a moste horrible sinne.

Qu, Of what sinne shall he bee guil­tie?

An. Vnworthy re­ceiuers equall with the mur­there [...]s of Christ. 1. Cor. 11.27 Of the death of Christe, and shall be equall with those murtherers that slew him: for it is written, Who soeuer shall eat this breade, and drinke the cup of the Lorde vnworthilie shall bee guilty of the bodie and bloode of the Lorde.

Qu. What is the rewarde of that sinne?

An. Gods standing vengeance & eternall [Page]death, for it is written, he that eateth and drinketh vnwortily, 1. Cor. 11. eareth and drinketh his owne damnation.

Qu. Seing the necessitie of this exami­nation is so great, as may appeare by the iudgements of God, for ye want of it, Ignorant mi­nisters & care­lesse people shift sinne be­tvvixt them. which yet is greatly to bee feared that very fewe do rightly consider of. How many thinges muste they especially seeke for in them selues that do communicate?

An. Three. Three things to be especial­ly considered in examinati­on. Namely their estate before God: their right knowledge concerning the Sacrament: and their estate towards their brethren, or before the Church.

Qu. In seeking their estate before God what must they doe?

An. First seeke their estate by nature according to the lawe rightly vnderstoode, where they shall finde themselues in the wrath of God, as S. Paule testifieth to the Ephesians, saying, Ephes. 2.3. We were by nature the children of wrath as well as others.

Qu. Whereto serueth this, in searching their estate before God? In all our acti­ons vve mus [...] especially ca [...]e for the glory of God.

An. First for the glory of God, whiche is not duly considered, where our condem­nation is not knowen. For it is written, [Page]Who careth for the Phisition that is not sicke. VVe must not shrinke to looke into our sinnes, seeme they neuer so hor­rible, sith the sight of them serueth to shew vnto vs more plainly, the greatnesse of the loue of God towards vs, in Christe. Secondly, for their owne greater comfort, for the more they see their con­demnation by nature, so muche more ap­peareth the loue of God to haue abounded towardes them in their deliueraunce by grace in Christ. As it is written, So God loued the world that he gaue his onely be­gotten sonne.

Qu. Then as you would haue the chil­dren of God to looke diligently into their naturall condemnation that is by the law, which adiudgeth euery one guyltie of eter­nall death that continueth not in such abso­lute and pure obedience as the lawe requi­reth, so you would not that they shoulde staye there?

An. VVe beholde our sinnes but the better to see the grace of Christ. No in no case for then were there no hope of deliuerance, for vntil we atteine to him that hath conquered the lawe, the law still reigneth ouer vs vnto death, as it is written, whatsoeuer the lawe saith, it saith it to them that are vnder the law. &c. which no Christian is, for Christ is not vnder the lawe.

Qu. Wherein standeth the deliuerance of Gods chosen from his condemnation, [Page]that is by the lawe.

An. Not in the works of the Lawe, nor in any childe of man, but onely in the free grace of God through Iesus Christe, as it is written. Rom. 7.24.25. Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliuer mee from this body of death. I thank God through Iesus Christ our Lorde.

Qu. What is the meane of our attay­ning to this righteousnes of Christ?

An. Faith in him: as it is written, This is the will of him that sent me, Ioh. 6.40. that whosoeuer seeth the sonne and beleeueth in him, hath euerlasting life, &c.

Qu. I remember you said, that this faith was the peculier worke of the spirite of Christ, and his ordinarie meane to be only the preaching of the Gospell, but I pray you wherevpon must this fayth be stayde or grounded? for a house without a foun­tation will not long continue.

An. Vpon the free promises of Christ. A conscience feared with the sighte of Gods iudge­mentes for sinne, muste not deal with the conditio­nall promises.

Qu. Why say you, free promises?

An. Because in the gospel are promises with condition of our doing, or perfour­ming which appertaine to the Lawe.

Qu. What is the triall whether we haue [Page]this faith or no? for as it is easy to say that we haue it, so are there verie fewe or none that do not say so.

An. We must by the effects learne to knowe the cause whiche woorketh them. The tree is knowen by his fruites. This iustifiyng faith is a peculier worke of the Spirite of Christe, who lurketh no [...], but reneweth the heart, as Christe testifi­ed to Nichodemus, Ioh. 3.3. saying. Except a man be borne againe, he can not see the king­dome of God.

He worketh in vs first, He doth not rightly hate others sinnes, that loues his owne. Rom. 7.23. an hatred and de­testation of sinne in all men, but especially in our selues. As it is written. I see an o­ther law in my members rebelling against the lawe of my minde &c. Secondly it ma­keth vs to haue our whole delight and ioye The Lordes vvayes are grieuous to our corrup­tion. Rom. 5.1, 2. in those thinges which be agreeable to the will of God, as it is written, being iustifi­ed by faith, we haue peace with God tho­rough Iesus Christ our Lorde, by whome also we haue accesse into this grace where­in we stande, and reioice vnder the hope of the glorie of God. &c.

Thirdly it frameth our liues in obedi­ence to the word: as, There is no condem­nation to them which are in Christe Iesus [Page]which walke not after the fleshe, Rom. 8.1. but after the spirite.

And fourthly it worketh effectually in Their imagi­nations are vayne, vvho holde their hope in hug­germugger, and professe it not in the sight of men. Ioh. 15.5. vs that we expresse the same in our liues and conuersations: as it is written. I am the vine and ye the vranches, he that abi­deth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth muche fruite &c. Mat. 7.18. Iames. 2.17.

Qu. Now concerning the seconde parte of this examination whiche apperteineth the supper it selfe: I pray you what is the Lordes supper?.

An. The Lordes Supper vvhat it is. It is a ceremonie instituted by Christ to confirme and manifest our society and communion in his body and blood, vn­till he come to indgement, as appeareth. He tooke bread, and when he had giuen thankes, he brake it and gaue to them say­ing. This is my body whiche is giuen for you, doe this in remembrance of me. Mat. 26.26, 27, 28. Like­wise also he tooke the cup, saying. This cup is the new testament in my bloude which is shed for you. &c. Mar. 14.27.

And as oft as thou shalt eate this bread and drinke of this cup thou shall shewe the Lords death till he come. 1. Cor. 11.26

Qu. Howe many thinges are to be con­sidered in the supper?

An. The author, the water, and the end.

Qu. Who is the authour of it?

An. The Lorde Iesus Christ him self, as appeareth Mat. 26.26. Mat 14.27. Luk. 22. &c.

Qu. What thinges are wee taughte by that knowledge, namely that Christ is the author of it.

An. By the maiesty and wisoome of the author is signified vnto vs, the excellencie and necessity of the thing.

Qu. Where must it be ministred?.

An. In the assembly of the faithfull, where the word is preached, for it is a pub­like action or deamed for the Churche as may appeare. 1. Cor. 11.17.18.20. Now in this that I declare, I praye you not, that you come together not with profite but with hurt. Also when you come together into one place. &c.

Qu. How manie persons are to be con­sidered in this action?

An. Two. The pastor, and the people.

Qu. What is to bee considered of both?

An. In the pastor or minister, is requi­red, not onely that he be able, but that he do preach the worde of the Lorde before vnto the people, Mat. 26.24. for Christ first preached to them of his death, and the indgement of God vpon the wicked. &c. And the Apo­stles also did the like, as appeareth Act. 2.42. and Act. 20.7. Also in the people, that they examine them selues. For when Christ spake vnto them of the wicked fact of Iudas, euery one entred into his selfe, and sayd, Master is it I? Mat. 26.25.

Qu. What is needefull for euery one that is willing to receyue the Sacrament aright, to consider of?

An. When in examining him selfe, he come to consider of the thing, and so to deale with the worde of the Lorde, he is especiall to beware of wrong meaning, VVrong ta­king the vvorde is cause of much mischiefe. and false gloses of the worde, wherein as we shall so escape two daungerous extre­mities about this Sacrament, so are we well warned by a sorowfull experience of Adam, as may appeare Gen. 2.17. Gen. 3.3, 4, 5.

Qu. Whiche are the two extremities that may by this herdefull auoyding of [Page]false and wrong meaning of the worde be escaped?

An. Transubstantiation of the Papists, and suche like: and the vile contempt that Epicures, Atheistes, carnall Gospellers, and many ignoraunt, do to it.

Qu. In many places to this day (for want of the Lords good meanes to make the worde familiar to them, and to bring the people in obedience to be instructed in the wayes of the Lorde) you shall heare many say, Those that feare the Lord see the trueth of this to their greefe. that they looke to receiue Christ by the act of receiuing the outward signes: and some be yet so ignoraunt, that if you aske them what they thinke so to receiue, they will answere, Their maker. I praye you what thinke you of it?

An. Rom. 8.9. First you know it is written, that who so hath not the spirite of Christ, is none of his. So that he that bringeth not Christ, or rather is not brought of Christ to the Sacrament, may rather assure him selfe of the diuell and damnation, then to apply Christ and his merites to him, by the acte without faith, Mat. 26.47, 48. as maye well be seene in Iudas. &c.

Qu. What say you to the state of suche [Page]poore soules, as first be ignoraunt of all these: secondly, haue no ordinatie meane of further knowledge: and thirdly, be straightly tyed vpon much bodily perill to receiue it by a day. And what holde you best for them to do?

An. First, if the Lorde haue set their aboade where his countenaunce, which is comfortably shewed by the Gospell prea­ched and Sacramentes rightly miuistred, is not to be leene, wherein alone standeth their knowledge and fayth, they are to secke to the Arke, where it is, 2. Sam. 6.11. euen to O­bed Edoms house, and to heare what the Lorde sayth to them, all excuses set apart, Psal. 27.8. Seeke ye my face. And cōcerning the rest, it is good not to runne into the daunger threatned of the Lord, nor to touch the way that leadeth to so great perill, before they shall haue learned the Lords trueth.

Qu. Whereas you sayde that this Sa­crament must be ministred where the word is preached, and shewed cause why. I pray you, what if some one that lyeth at the poynt of death, should desire that the mini­ster should come to deliuer him this Sa­crament, and hath there one or two of his [Page]neighbours or others that will receyue it with him for companie, because there must be moe then one, yet that the Papistes thinke will serue, do you not thinke it good that he haue it?

An. What I thinke it matereth not much, except my thoughtes be stayed vp­pon the worde of God rightly vnderstood. The beste thoughts of the heart of man are vaine if they vvant the vvarrant of Gods vvorde. Prou. 2.1. For all the thoughtes of the heart of man are vayne, and will casily vanishe as the winde, except they be strengthned by the Lords truth, which sithe it alone must di­rect vs in all our actions, muche more in these of so great importance. For it is writ­ten, My sonne, if thou wilt receiue my wordes, and hide my commaundementes within thee, &c. Then shalt thou vnder­stande righteousnes, Pro. 2.9. iudgement, equitie, and euerie good path. 1. Cor. 11.31. Rom. 14.23. but as for the matter of your de­mande it shoulde seeme that whosoeuer in such sorte desireth the Sacrament, dothe neither rightly consider him selfe the thing he desireth, nor the ende why it was ordei­ned: and therefore needeth more instructi­on and information of the Lorde, then the thing it selfe. And thus to minister the [Page]Sacrament, causeth many times the poore sicke partie to put his hope and confidence in the externall fact and receyuing of the Sacrament, and neuer to thinke him selfe sufficiently prepared to death, but when he hath receiued the externall signe. Also no parte of the Pascall Lambe was brought to the sicke, in the eating whereof, and ce­lebrating of the Passecuer was onely re­garded the Lordes ordinance, wherevnto was nothing added or lefte out, and it was not done of any in prinate, but when the people did it together. As it is written, Exod. 2.6. All the multitude of the congregation shall keepe it at euen, &c. Num. 9.4.5.

Qu. I pray you what is the cause, why you woulde the sacraments not onely to be ministred where the word is preached, but when the word is preached.

An. First that we may holde proportiō with the Lordes people in celebrating the the Passeouer, Exod. 12.6. Num. 9.5, 4. who held them selues strait ly to al that which they had receiued of the Lorde. Also to glorifie the Lorde in yeel­ding obedience to his worde. Who said go preach and baptise, Mat. 28.19. Mat. 26.20. and in the institution of this sacrament he him selfe did the like [Page]Mark. 14.18. Luke 22.14. Iohn. 13.21. Also the sacramentes are to the church of Christe, as seales of his promise, and what profiteth a seale without it be annexed to a grant.

Qu. Doe you not thinke it suffiseth in this behalfe if the worde be preached halfe a yeare or more, or lesse before, and not at the same time, for whereas you spake of the seale to be onely in his vse, when it is ioyned to the promise, you know that men make grantes, and seale them afterwards.

An. Your reason of the vsages of men which make graunts and seale them after­ward, if it proue any thing it should seeme to proue this, that the promise may better be for a time without the seal, then the seal without the promise, yet you knowe that no man will seale a grant, but at the time of sealing, he will heare the grant, and the meaning of euerie particular made plaine to all that haue interest or right in that ac­tion. Also the Apostles who shoulde be our best president in this case, next to the Lord himselfe, helde them selues straightlie to that which they had receiued of the Lord, and haue not sundred those thinges which [Page]the Lord hath ioined together, as it is writ­ten. Act. 20.7. The disciples being gathered together to breake bread, Paul preached vnto them. &c. Acts. 2.41. Acts. 8.12. Acts. 9.17.18. Act. 10.34. Act. 16.15.32.33.

Qu. What inconuenience suppose you, may follow of the Sacramentes ministred without the worde preached?

An. Contempt of the Lorde, and an opi­pion of iustifying in the act, which is com­mon with papists, and vnbeleeuers, and for the moste parte those that be ignorant.

Qu. The papists say that in the Sacra­ment of the Lords supper, after the words (of confirmation as they call them) be spo­ken, there remaineth no more bread but the verie bodie of Christ, A perillous proofe of wrong mea­ning to the vvorde. reallie and naturallie and they say they haue the worde to proue it, namelie, the wordes of our Sauiour Christ to his disciples saying. This is my body. What thinke you of it?

An. The Papistes and vnbeleeuers in saying that these words of our Sauiour are of power to chaunge the nature of the bread, & in the very pronunciation to make the body of Christ, forget them selues, and in the enteraunce of their cause commit a [Page]foule ouersight. For Christ in saying, this is my body, proueth it to be his body in suche sort as he ment it before the wordes be spoken, and sayth not that after the words spoken it should be his body, which they must confesse, or els they wil be found to misname the thing, and call bread fleshe, whiche I thinke they will not laye vnto Christes charge, who said, it is my body, not, it shall be my body, or is made my bo­dy by the words that I speake.

Qu. In deede as you say, the words do playnly import that it is his body before in such sort as he ment it (in whose mouth is no guile) This is my body. Eut I pray you, may this their false iugling be made to appeare by the worde, in any suche sorte as their nakednesse may be seene to the simple. For as strumpets and brothels oft­times pretende great shewe of honestie, so doe the Papistes and their friendes pre­tende great matter for the mainteinaunce of this, and set a notable face on it, and I perceiue that sith they meane still to dwell in the dregges of Romish idolatrie, it doth muche stande them vpon to lye apace for the holding vp of this cursed vntruth. For [Page]it is the chiefest prop of all the rest, for a­way with that, & downe goes their priest­hoode, who, (they say) haue greate skill and singuler dexteritie to make the Lords body when they lifte?

An. There be sufficient proofes in the worde (the best witnesse) to all them that haue not hardned their hearts and faces a­gainst the truth, as appeareth that the Pa­pistes haue, for it may be truely auouched of them that is written, The deafe adder stoppeth her eare, and will not heare the voyce of the charmer, charme he neuer so wisely. And albeit I haue small hope to profite them to amendement, yet for their sakes that may be snared with their subtil­ties, and to helpe them to one witnes more of the Lords vndoubted trueth to their dee­per iudgement, I will here set downe a fewe, wherein I trust their falsehood shall somewhat be seene to all that are not blind of purpose.

First, Transubstan­tiation pro­ueth an im­possibilitie. the transubstantiation which they so straine after, teacheth an impossible thing, namely the breaking of the body of Christ, for they say it is the very naturall body, and the worde addeth breaking vnto [Page]it. So that if it be (as they seme not vniust­ly to say) the very naturall body of Christ, then is Christes body and bones broken in the celebration of the Supper, so that he is worse vsed amongst his dearest friends, then he was at the handes of his greatest enimies. For the Scripture witnesseth that they brake not a bone of him. Io 19.33, 36 Also this breaking that the Apostle speaketh of, doth proue it to be bread after ye words spoken, for breaking hath respect to a sub­stance, for no accident can be broken: but there we see the accidents of the bread, as the shewe and taste, and the Apostle ad­deth breaking. Therefore it must needes be the same after that it was before, name­ly bread.

Secondly, it ouerthroweth the trueth of Christes body, for to say that the bread is become the very naturall body of Christe that was borne of the virgin, is to say that he is in the fleshe in many places at once, and it mainteineth the error of Martion, It proueth Christes body to be phanta­sticali. which sayd that Christ had but a phanta­stical body: and also the error of Entiches, which cōfounded ye two natures in Christ.

Thirdly, it destroyeth our fayth, as may [Page]appeare by that definition of fayth giuen by the holy Ghost. Heb. 11.1. It destroyeth our fayth. Faith is the ground of things that are hoped for and the euidence of things which are not seene. But if there be the naturall body of Christ vnder the forme of bread as they say, then it can not be denied but we see it, for they saye it is not bread that we see, but ye body of Christ, The Papistes vnder a [...] shew of [...] deliuer death. therefore this teacheth that we can haue no fayth in this action, and if we do it not in fayth, all that we do therein is sinne: as it is written, Whatsoeuer is not of fayth is sinne.

Fourthly, It is contrary to the vvorde of God. it is contrary to the worde of God in other places, and giueth a priuate sence to that place, which S. Peter sayth the word of God can not beace, for he sayth that there is no priuate interpretation in the worde. And it is restefied in the worde, Act. 3. that the heauens must receiue him vntill the time of there storing of all things. And Christ him selfe sayth, If they shal say vnto you, Lo here is Christ, or there is Christ, beleeue them not.

Fifthly, It is agaynst the articles of our fayth. it discenteth from the articles of our fayth, which say, He assended into hea­uen, and sitteth on the right hande of God [Page]the father, from whence he shall come to iudge the quicke and the dead.

Sixtly it destroseth the institution of the Lordes supper, It denieth the continuance of the Lords Supper. which was commanded to be continued and vsed vntill the Lord him selfe should come. If nowe therefore, he be really present in the bodye of his flesh, then must the supper cease.

And lastlie, It is agaynst the trueth of the vvorde of God. Mat. 26.20. it ouerthroweth the trueth of Christes wordes, for he bid them doe it in remembrance of him, now a remembrance and the thing remembred be not one, so that if Christ be really and corporally present in the Sacrament, the remembraunce is cea­sed, for the thing remembrance presenteth it selfe.

Also if the wordes and the thing mente by the wordes be one, then is the cup and not the wine in the cup the testamente in Christs bloud, Luc. 22.20. for it is written. This cup is the newe testament in my bloud, which is shed for you. Iohn. 13.18.

Also if the bread be turned into the natu­rall body of Christ, Thus they iu­stifie the vvic­ked, and con­demne the in­nocent. then the wicked eat his flesh and drinke his bloud, but the wicked doe not eat the flesh of Christ or drinke his bloude, therefore it is not transubstantiate.

Qu. Why the wicked do eat the fleshe of Christe, do they not?

An. No, for then should they haue eter­nal life, as it is written, Iohn. 6.54. Who so eateth my flesh & drinketh my blood, hath euerlasting life, &c.

Also it is bread after the wordes be spo­ken.

Qu. Now proue you that?

An. The Apostle calleth it breade both before and after, 1. Cor. 11.27. and therefore not the na­turall bodie of Christ.

Qu. They will say he calleth it breade after because it was before, as Symon the leaper and Naaman were called leapers when they were clensed, because they had bene leprouse, Exod. 7.12, And Moses his rodde being turned into a serpent was called stil a rod.

An. In these was a plaine shewe to the senses that they were changed, but in this it is not so, but especiallie ye Apostle puttes it oute of doubt, adding breaking to it, whiche can not agree with the bodie of Christe.

Also if the breade and wine be transub­stantiate, and tourned into the body and blood of Christe, then was it transubstan­tiate [Page]at his last supper, but it was not tran­substantiation at his last supper, therefore there is no such change of the breade and wine as they immagine.

Qu. Why was it not transubstantiate at his last supper?

An. No, for then shoulde Christes natu­rall body which sate at the table, haue bene also at one instant in their mouthes, so that it must needes haue followed that he either had two bodies or else that his bodie was phantasticall, and not a true bodie, whiche can be but in one place at ouce.

Qu. But they will say that a glorified bodie may be euerie where, and therefore both at the table and in their mouthes at one instant.

An. Besides that to say that Christ glo­rified bodye may bee euery where, is to speake an intollerable vntrueth, for the ho­lie Ghost saith, concerning his body which he tooke of the virgin, he assended into heauen, & sitteth on the right hand of God and from thence shall he come &c. so, if his bodie was not glorified till he rose againe (which I trust they will grant) then was it not glorified at his last supper, and con­sequently [Page]not at the table & in their mouths by their owne reason.

Also Christ is testified to be like his bre­thren in all thinges, Heb. 2.17. whereby we are put in some experience (in that his body was like ours, in all thinges except sinne, and our bodies will not bee forced into suche a straight withall their coniuringes, as to be closed in a peece of bread) that Christs bo­dy is not changed in such sorte as they i­magine.

Qu. What say you to the ministring of the Lords Supper vnder one kind, and of keping the Lords cuppe from the people?

An. Christ did minister it in both, Once decline from the worde, and ther is no stay in falling. whose institution it is not lawfull for any man to alter.

Qu. Some say, that the Churche vpon good consideration may alter what they will, and as they see cause, in Rites, Cere­montes, and Sacramentes. Christes Church is his spouse, and is obedient to the vvorde, but the church of Rome is a strumpet, and will rule the vvorde.

An. The Institution of this Sacramēt standeth vpon the order, example, and com­maundement of Christ: for first be deuided the bread seuerally from the cup, and the cup seuerally from the bread. Secondly, in this he gaue vs example to doe the same [Page]vnto the ende of the worlde. Thirdly, be­sides this order taken and example left, he added also an expresse commaundement, saying, Do this, drinke ye all of this. A­gaynst this order, example, and commaun­dement of the Gospell, no Churche nor counsell of man or Angell hath any power or authoritie to chaunge or alter, for it is written, Gal. 1.8, 9. If any bring vnto you any other doctrine besides that which you haue re­ceiued, holde him accursed.

Qu. They say further, why may not the Church as well alter the forme of this Sa­crament, as the Apostles did the forme of Baptisme, where S. Peter sayth, Let e­uery one be baptized in the name of Iesus Christe. Acts. 2.38. &c.

An. That Scripture, nor any other, proueth that the Apostles vsed this forme of baptising, I baptise thee in the name of Christ: but they vsed many times this ma­ner of speache, to be baptised in the name of Christ, not as expressing thereby the formable words of baptising, but as mea­ning that they would haue them to become members of Christ, and to be baptised as Christians, entring into his baptisme, and [Page]not onely into the baptisme of Iohn: and therfore although the Apostles thus spake, yet notwithstanding when they baptised any them selues, they vsed doubtlesse the forme prescribed of Christ, and none other.

Qu. What doe the faythfull receiue in the Lordes Supper then, more then onely bread and wine?

An. For our resolution in this, Contemners of the Lordes misteries pro­phane his trueth. we must haue respect vnto the minde of Christe, which is best knowen by his words, who sayth, This is my body. Which words of Christ be most true: and least we should be like vnto strumpets, which onely looke to the gystes, and neuer regarde the minde of the giuer, in a certayne assuraunce of the vndoubted truth of the words of the Lord, I couclude that as to the outwarde senses it is bread and wine, so to the soule, beeing receiued in fayth, it is the body and bloud of Christ. Baptisme is not onely a signe of washing away of our sinnes, but is, in a spirituall maner, a very washing and clea­sing from sinne. Ananias sayde to Paule, Arise and washe away thy sinnes. Acts. 22.16. So the supper is called a pertaking of the Lords body, and not a signe of the pertaking of [Page]the Lords body.

Qu. Sithe the body of Christ is in hea­uen as the worde doth witnesse, and we in the earth as experience doth proue, howe can we communicate with his body and bloud?

An. Reason is a beast in Gods causes. In deede to our carnall reason it is an absurde thing, and therefore the Pa­pistes & vnbeleeuers measuring the Lords wayes by their corruption, on the one side haue blindly imagined their transubstan­tiation, and the Epicures and such like, in the like measure thinke of the Lordes my­steries prophanely, as namely in this, that in the Lords Supper is onely bare bread and wine. Contrary to both which I con­clude, that supernaturally and spiritually by faith holding fast the truth of the Lords promise, we communicate with, and are made pertakers of the body and bloud of Christ. And albeit in deede the body of Christ is so farre from our eies and senses, and therefore from the place where we ce­lebrate the Supper concerning his bodi­ly presence, as heauen is from the earth: in so muche as this action is heauenly, and our fayth ascendeth thither, that it maye [Page]most effectuall apprehende Christ, in this respect whosoeuer doth not graunt that the fleshe of Christ is most effectually present in the Supper, maketh boyde the Supper of the Lorde, for Christ sayth, This is my body which is giuen for you, Mat. 26.26. This is my bloud which is shed for you. Mar. 14.22. Luc. 22. 1. Cor. 10. which words can not be restrayned to the effects.

Qu. There be that thinke that whereas Christ then speaketh of his bodie he, mea­neth not his natural bodie, but his mistical body.

An. There can be nothing more absurde there & foolish then that, for we our selues are the misticall body, whereof Christe is the head, and therfore nothing can be spo­ken more without sence, then that we shold be commaunded to eate the misticall body of Christ which was giuen for vs, that is, that we should eat our selues giuen for our selues. Also what shall be saide when wee come to speake of the blood, for the Church is not called the misticall blood of Christ. That blinde imagination, therefore euer­throweth it selfe.

Qu. Doth not the eating of the very bo­dy [Page]and drinking of the very bloud of Christ which you speake of, proue his bodie to be phantasticall (that is, not a true bodie in deede, but a bodie by immagination) be­cause that many doe eat it.

An. In eating the body of Christe, wee must distinguish betweene the spirituall eating which the Church of God vseth in fayth, and the carnall eating whiche they that holde transubstantiation and consub­stantiation do imagine.

Qu. Christ saith. The wordes that I speake are spirit and life, the flesh profiteth nothing, it is the spirit ye quickeneth. How say you then, that we must eat the very bo­dy of Christ and drinke his bloode?

An. The fleshe of Christe profiteth not beeing eaten carnally or with the mouth, which kinde of eating the Capernites did, and the Papistes doe fancie, who, because they behelde nothing in Christe more then in other men, they were to be admonished, that the flesh of Christe was, and is to be eaten spiritually by fayth, and not to be re­ceiued with the teeth.

And further, the worde, eating, is not properly but by translation, and proporti­on [Page]of speech, VVhat's mēt by this worde eat, in the in­stitution, and vse of the Lords supper. applied to the spiritual recei­uing, and by a sacramentall kind of speak­king, whereby that which is proper to the signes is transferred to the thing signified. Therefore when we speake of spirituall ea­ting, we are to vnderstand that this worde eating, signifieth nothing else, but by faith to apprehēd, or to ioyne it vnto our selues.

There be two euilles about the Sacra­ment carefully to be auoided, and we are also taught that wisdom by the holy ghost. For least we shoulde with the Papistes thinke Christs body present, Transubstan­tration &c. and contempt in or with the breade really, naturally, carnally to be receiued with our bodely mothes (where there is no other presence of Christes body then spirituallie, & to faith in many places he keepeth stil the name of bread. And least we shold make to light of it, 1. Cor. 10. 1. Cor. 11. accounpting it but a bare signe and no better then com­mon breade. The holy Ghoste calleth it Chrstes body.

Qu. Then you seeme to desire ye the Sa­craments of the Lord, shoulde be vsed with al due reuerence do, you not?

An. In any wise and such as feare and loue the Lord, will (I am sure) willinglie [Page]condiscend thereto. And to that end I wish that the Sacrament of the Lordes supper shoulde be esteemed and called of Christi­ans after Christes words, as diuers of the fathers esteemed the Sacramentes after Christes words, and not after the outward appearaunce, as in the supper the breade Christes bodie, and the wine Christs blood rather then other waies. Not ye I thereby meane any other presence of Christs body then a presence of grace, a presence to faith a presence spiritually, not carnally, really, and naturally as the papists do meane, for in such sorte Christes body is onely in hea­uen, whither our faith ascendeth, in the vse of the Sacramente and receiueth whole Christe accordinglie.

Qu. Yea, but to call the Sacramente on that sort, is to giue occasion of Idolatrie to the people, whiche will take the outwarde signes which they see, simply for Christes body, as we haue too muche experience al­ready. Therefore I take it, it were better and lesse daungerous to call it bread.

An. In deede great idolatrie is com­mitted in and about this Sacrament, ther­fore men ought to be as beedefull as they [Page]can to auoyde occasioning it, or doing any thing that may cōfirme it. But in as much as the holy Ghost is wiser then men, and did foresee the euils that might be, and yet notwithstanding doth cal it Christes body, I thinke we should do euill to take vpon vs to reforme his speach. Mat. 26.26. If ministers did their duties in catechising and preaching, then doubtles, to cal the Sacrament Chri­stes body, and to esteeme it accordingly, could not giue occasion to Idolatry. Ther­fore, wo to them that preach not.

Qu. But to call the Sacrament Chri­stes body, & to make none other presence then by grace, or spiritually to faith (which is of things hoped for, and which appeare not to the bodily senses) is to make no pre­sence at all, or to make him none other­wayes present then he is in his word when it is preached, and therefore what neede we to receiue the Sacrament, seeing that by the doctrine a mā may receiue him day­ly in the fieldes as well, and as muche, as in the Church in the vse of the sacrament?

An. In deede neither the Scripture, nor christian fayth will giue vs leaue to make or alowe any carnall, naturall, cor­porall, [Page]or any such grosse presence of Chri­stes body, for it is in heauen, and as the scripture doth witnesse, the heauens must haue it till his comming to iudgement, Except we would deny the humanitie of Christ, and the trueth of mans nature in hun. The presence therefore which we be­leeue & confesse, is such a presence as rea­son knoweth not, and the worlde can not learne, nor any that looketh in this matter with our naturall eyes, The worlde knovveth not the Lordes vvaies. or heareth with o­ther eares then with the eares, and seeth with the eyes of fayth. Whiche fayth, though it be of things hoped for, and so of things absent to the corporall senses, yet this absence is not an absence in deede, but to reason and the olde man, the nature of fayth beeing a possession of things hoped for, as appeareth Heb. 11.1. Therefore to grauut a presence to fayth, is not to make no presence at all, but to suche as know no righte christian fayth. Also the same meate is offered in the words of the Scripture, which is offered in the Sacra­ment, so that no lesse is Christes body of­fered by the Scriptures then by the Sa­craments, but hereof may no man gather, [Page]that therefore it needeth not to receiue the Sacrament, or to affirme that a man may as much by him selfe, meditating the mord in the field, receiue Christes body, as in the church in the right vse of the Sacrament. For Christ ordeined nothing in vayne or superfluously, and he sayth, Take and eate this, and he ordeineth nothing whereof we haue not neede. Agayne, The Lordes vvaies be righteous. though in the fields a mā may receiue Chrisles body, by faith in the meditation of the worde, yet I deny that a man doth ordinarilic receiue Christes bodie by the onelie meditation of his death or hearing of his worde, with so much sight, & by such senses be assurance, (whereof our infirmitie hath great need) as by the receiuing of the sacrament, not ye Christ is not so much present in his worde preached, as hee is in or with his Sacra­ment, but because there bee mo windows open for Christ to enter into vs, in the par ticipation of the Sacrament, then by his worde preached or hearde. For in the word Christ entereth into our hearts only by the eares, and through hearing, but in the sa­crament is sealed the promises of God in the experience of all our sences. Rom. 4.11.

Qu. Then you say that the Sacrament rightlie receiued is Christes bodie and bloud, do you not:

An. Yea, I say yet further, that it is Christes bodie broken, which ioyned with eating doth set another difference betwene vs and the papists, for that we affirme that it is not the bodie of Christe, before it be eate of the faithfull, Eating goeth before the te­stimonie that it is his body. for Christ saide, take eat, this is my bodie, so that eating doth go before, which if they had knowne and con­sidered, it would easily haue put an end to all their vile and vaine questions aboute their hoste (as they call it) rotting in the pix, and of a mouse or such like eating it. Also the breaking of the bodie of Christe & shedding of his bloude which the scripture witnesseth, giueth vs to see ye present brea­king thereof, and the exceeding horror of Gods iust wrath againste our sinnes, The horror of Gods wrath for sinne is much more then the most can be per­swaded of. which could neuer be pacified, or cur sinnes done away, but by this meanes, namely, by the breaking of the bodie and shebding of the bloude of our Lorde and alone saui­our Iesus Christ.

Qu. What benefites haue we by recei­uing the communion?

An. First by worthy receiuing this Sa­crament, we abide in Christ, and Christe in vs.

Also we atteine an heauenly and celestial life, in assurance to be cuer with the Lorde in the lande of the liuing, for it is written he that eateth my fleshe, Ion. 6.41. and drinketh my blood hath cuerlasting life, and I wil raise him vp at the last day.

And also we receiuing the Lorde Iesus Christe by faith with all the benefites of his death, wee receiue in a certeine assu­rance, the remission of our sinnes and eter­nall life.

Qu. Thus be thou­sands of the blinde multi­tude persvva­ded, vvhiche dreame to them selues they shall be vvell, though they neuer haue more re­ligion then a horse. Is it not sufficient to holde that we are made partakers of Christes benefites though we haue in the mean time no com­munion or fellowshippe with the body of Christ:

An. That is no lesse absurde, then if I shoulde say, that one liueth by that meate which he did neuer eate, or recouer health by that medicine which he did neuer taste.

Qu. Now concerning the thirde matter aboute the Sacramente, in examination which (as you said) was the end for which it was ordeined of the Lorde, and so to bee [Page]receiued of vs, I pray you wherefore was it ordeined, and to what end shall a christiā receiue it.

An. The end is Gods glory, & the profite of his Church. To preuide for his owne glorie, and the profite of his Church, remedying two great and continuall euils in vs, namely forgetfulnesse of Gods benefites, & doubt­fulnesse of Gods fauoure towardes vs, and also to shewe forth our profession before the Church, and and in the face of the enimie.

First that we might be holden in conti­nuall mindfulnesse of Gods benefites. The Lordes supper doth put vs in minde of the death of Ghrist. The cheefe and principall of all other is heare presented to vs, namely the death of Christ the alone, and deare sonne of God, and to this end Christe saith. Doe this in remem­brance of me.

And to assure vs of the vnfaigned loue of God towards vs, what can be more effec­tuall then to be in the fellowship of bys owne sonne, in whom the loue that he bea­reth towards vs is without ende or mea­sure, I. Cor. 11.25. It doth assure vs of his loue. for his mercy endureth for euer, and of this loue of God towards vs, we are assu­red in the Sacrament: as it is written, The bread which we breake is it not the communion of the body of Christe? Is not [Page]the cuppe of blessing which we blesse, the partaking of the bloud of Christ? So as we are set in mindfulnesse of that which we should neuer forget, so also are we put in assuraunce of that whereof we maye not doubt.

Qu. The Papists say that a man ought not to be sure of his saluation by Christe, A doctrine fit for papistes, but not for the Lords people. howe thinke you of it:

An. No maruel though they teach men to doubt alwayes of their saluation, the ground of whose teaching is their owne gayne. For once let the trueth take place, that Christians be by the worde and spirite of Christ assured of their saluation by him, The Papistes God is his ovvne belly. then downe goes their Priesthood, their pardons, their trentals, their dirgies, their chaunteries, their sencing, their singing, their Masses and prayers for the dead, with what soeuer of like sort, for take away the gaine, and all these will quickly lye in the duste. But we are wartanted by the word of the Lord, that the Lords children oughte to bee sure of their saluation by Christ. Rom. 11.1. In deede carnall men that measure all by reason, see not howe. But the Pro­phet Esay sayth, Esa. 26. With my body shall they [Page]rise, and S. Paule sayth, They shall haue rest with vs. 2. Thes. 1. Also it is written, His spi­rite doth certifie our spirite that we are the sonnes of God. Now if we be sure that we are Gods sonnes, we are also sure of Gods grace and fauour, and so consequently of our saluation.

Qu. Is there no other ende of this In­stitution?

An. Yes. That he which worthily re­ceiueth, should be certayne of the remission of al his sinnes, how many or great loeuer they be, and so labour to aduaunce the prayse of God for his mercy: but howe great this kindnes of the Lorde is, They beste knowe vvhat sinne is that feele the vveight of it. they onely know who haue felt the burthen of sinne, which of all woes in this life is the greatest, and of all burthens the most hea­uy. Agayne, no man can cōmunicate with Christes body & bloud, but the same must communicate with his spirice, He that hath not the spirite of Christ is none of his, he that hath his spirite, hath proofe of his effects. for Christes body is no dead carkas. Nowe he that communicateth with Christes spirite, is made partaker of Christes righteousnes, holynes, innocencie, and immortalitie, and of all the merites of Christ, and his whole glory. For it is written, The glory which [Page]thou gauest me, I haue giuen them. He also is made partaker with the Church, and all the good that euer it or any mem­ber of it, had, hath, or shall haue, for there is in it a communion and fellowshippe of Saintes which we beleue, and which hath wayting on it alwayes the forgiuenes of sinnes, the rising agayne, and eternall lyfe with God.

Qu. In examining our selues, The third mat­ter in exami­nation. what els must we looke for?

An. Our estate before the Churche, The state of the faythfull before the Church. wherein is required not onely that we for­giue from our hearts those that haue of­fended vs, that we may haue an experience within our selues of Christes spirit, and so glorifie God in our heartes, by assurance of his mercy in forgiuing vs, and accep­ting of vs in Christ. As it is written, For­geue, and you shall be forgiuen. Math. 6. But also we muste seeke to be reconciled to them whom we haue offended. As it is written, Mat. 5.23. If thou offrest thy gyft vpon the alter, and there remembrest that thy bro­ther hath ought agaynst thee, leaue there thy gifte, and go and be reconciled first to thy brother, and then come and offer thy [Page]gifte, and this must not only be done of vs before we come to the Sacrament, but also concerning prayer to the Lorde. For it is written, When you pray say thus: Our father, &c, Forgiue vs our trespasses, as we forgiue them that trespasse agaynst vs.

Qu. But were it not better, firste to doe these thinges that concerne Gods glory, & then to seeke reconcilement afterwardes, for is not this to prefer to offices of charity before the worship of God, and to set the the second table which cencerneth our bre­thren, before the first which concerneth the Lorde him selfe?

An. As the heart of man is prone into ye way of offence euen from the wombe, and hath not any inclination of it selfe into the way of the Lord, The naturall man hath an cuill heart. so they in vain pretend to haue receiued eternall blessings from him by his spirite, where there is not in some measure these & the like fruites of the same spirite. And the Lorde taxeth them as false pretenders to worship God, which proudly cōtemn their brethren whō they haue offē ­ded. And vnder one kinde, he setteth downe the outward exercises of ye diuine worship, wherby men oftē times do more coūterfet [Page]lines, thē truly testify it, which is ye proper­ty of al hipocrits, as it is seen in ye pharasie.

Qu. The papistes in steede of all this say, goe to the prieste and tell him all thy sinnes, & then come at Easter and receiue &c. do you thinke it well?

An. No, nothing of vs ought to bee ac­counted well done that is not done to the gloric of God.

Qu. Why they will say they doe it to the glorie of God, and how can you prooue the contrarie?

An. There is no good thing vvithout the light of the vvorde. Nothing can be done to the gloric of God without obedience. There is no o­bedience without the worde, so that I con­clude, nothing can bee done to the glory of God without the testemony of the worde. But these vile immaginations be not only without the worde, which were enough to throw them withall their good put poses & intents down to the diuel in iudgment, but that they may holde their interest in a dee­per and more horrible vengeance, they are directly agaynst the manifect testimonies of the worde of the Lorde. First they will haue the people to confesse their sinnes to them. The Scripture willeth vs to con­fesse [Page]our sinnes to the Lorde onely. Dauid sayth, Remember not Lorde the sinnes of my youth, Psal. 25.7. Psa. 51.3, 4. &c. And agayne, Agaynst thee O Lorde, haue I sinned. Also Luke tea­cheth vs by the example of the lost sonne, to confesle our sinnes to the Lorde. The Publicane sayde, Luc. 15.1. Luc. 18.18. Lorde be mercifull to me a sinner. And where the Priestes say, they must confesse all, the Prophet Dauid sayth, Who can tell howe ofte hee offen­deth. Psal. 19.12. Also where as they say they can for­giue sinnes, Sooner sayde then proued. they shew their fust condem­nation, namely that the diuell and sinne reigneth in them. For if they can forgiue sinnes, then Christ dyed in vayne. But let God be euerlastingly true, and the diuell and all Papistes lyers. I, euen I am he (sayth the Lord) that put away thine ini­quities for mine owne sake, Esa. 43.23. and will no more remember thy sinnes. Psal. 3.8. Also whereas they alow the Sacrament to the people onely at Easter, they do in that as in the rest, for as they robbe the Lorde of his honour, and put an holines in the time, so all the other times of the yere, wherein the Lorde sayth to the whole Church (in respect of the Supper beeing a publike [Page]action) Take ye, ea [...]e ye: the Papists say, let the Priest eate it alone, and let all the people gase & looke on. But be the Lords trueth neuer so playne ageynst this kind of superstitious receyuing the Lords Sacra­ments, yet such force hath these deuises of the diuell to holde the vngodly in condem­nation, that you shall see many in many places, and they not the least, euen at this day, The Popes friends which professe to ferue the Lord by seasons, come once a yere to the Sacrament, more for feare of the lawe then for loue to the Lord. who at Easter will come very deuout­ly, and all the yere after neuer a whit, in whom the foule stenche of the diuels excre­mentes, in these and the like practises of popery, hath so forestalled their senses, that there is no place in them for the sweete fauour of the worde of lyfe, whose con­demnation sleepeth not. And for so muche as these and their Popish teachers hold vp an other doctrine then Christ hath taught vs, we are warranted by the Apostle to holde them accursed.

Qu. What say you to the place of Saint Iames which thy alleage for eare confesse­on, Iames. 5.16. where he saith confesse your sinnes one to another?

An. Saint Iames in the wisedome of ye holie Ghoste prouideth for the comfort of [Page]Gods chosen in the distresse of spirite tho­rough the conscience of sinne, in which case he adutseth the Lords people to imparte them, such greefe with some such of their brethren, as in the wisedome of Gods spi­rite according to the folowwip of his, hee may iustly hope both for such counsell in ye warrantise of the word, as his soul needeth and also may be strengthened by his fer­uent prayers to the Lord, and so the words following proue, for he saith Confesse your sinnes one to another, and pray one for a­nother, that ye may be healed, &c. Also if this gaue any strength to eare confession, then must the prieste confesse him to one, which they wil not grant therfore they do, but ingle with the Lordes trueth.

Qu. Then you will take nothing from any mans warrant, No warrant is fase but the Loras. namely the Papistes without proofe of the worde of God right­lie vndersteode.

An. No, for leauing thē, & their friendes, we their vnwritten verities. Ioh. 4.25.5, 39 16.13. Their chopping & changing of the worde, Deut. 5.2.12.32. Their holding them miufficient to deeide controuersies, Psa. 19.7. Luk. 16.20. Therfore keeping [Page]them from the people. Psal. 95.10. Iohn. 17.3. Their imagination of the Scrip­tures darknesse. Psal. 19.7. Some of the dregges of the Popes Church Their vayne boasting of the Churches authoritie a­gaynst the worde of God. Iero. 7.8. 1. Tim. 3.15. Their false opiniō of works. Iob. 9.3 Rom. 3.10. Their presumptuous opinion of the Popes supremacie, Mat. 1.28.19. Iohn. 20.23. Luc. 22.26. 1. Pet. 5.1, 2, 3. Their eare confession, Psal. 25.7. Their Purgatorie, Mat. 25.26. Psal. 51.3, 4. Their praying for the dead, their Masses, and trentals, and dirgies. 2. Sam. 12.21. Luc. 19.26. Their praying to Samtes, Iere. 17.5. Rom. 10.14. Their olde cu­stomes and following of forefathers. Mat. 15.2, 3.12.30. Their Latin seruice. Mat. 7.6, 7, 8. Their Images. Exod. 20.4. Their transubstantiation. Mark. 16.19. Luc. 24.16. Act. 1.9, 10, 11. Their vn­preaching priesthood. 1. Tim. 3.2. Act. 20.28. 1. Pet. 4.1. The diuersities of meates for conscience sake, and a thousand mo abhominatiōs. Mat. 6.11. Rom. 14.14. 2. Tim. 4.3, 4. We rest our selues wholly & safely in ye alone word of God, as vpon a most trustie witnesse of all trueth, that fay­leth [Page]not: for it is written, Heauen and earth shall perishe, Mat. 24.35. but not one sote of the worde of the Lorde shall fayle.

Qu. I woulde be moste glad to partici­pate with the Church of God in the vse of this Saccament, so oft as they come toge­ther to that ende: but I see it is a thing most worthy such reuerent consideration, as is commanded vnto vs in the word, & I see the horror of my sinnes so great, The best con­sciences are soonest feared vvith sinne & fecle in my selfe so litle repentance and fayth, that I feare I am vnworthy to receiue it.

An. In deede to the worthy receiuing of the Lords supper, suche examination of euery one in his owne conscience as the A­postle requireth, is very needfull. But as for sinne, which is in euery one by nature, which also of it selfe is deadly, euen from the greatest to the least, we are to discerne our estate in that case not by the sinne, but by the partie, as we are taught in ye Rom. 6. where he willeth that sinne do not reign in vs, which it doth in euery child of man till the spirite of Christ be giueu vnto vs by the preaching of the Gospell. As it is written, A strong man armed keeping the house, all that he possesseth be in peace, till [Page]a stronger then he come, &c. Then our sinnes bee deadely, VVho sinne deadly. when they haue the reigne and dominion in vs, And sinne reigneth when we giue ouer to sinne, when we striue not agayust it, VVhen sinne hath the ma­sterie it flay­eth the man. but alowe of it and consent vnto it. If you yeelde your selues to obey, his seruauntes you are to whom you obey, whether it be of sinne vn­to death, or of obevieuce vnto righteous­nes. And this power of sinne thus raig­ning, doth testifie that the grace of Gods spirit is wanting. But if we striue against our sinne, if our eye be single, that is, our minde vpright striuing into the waye of the Lord without hypocrisie or dissimula­tion, though sinne be in vs, yet our sinnes are not of force to separate vs from God, nor are any such things as shall euer con­demne vs, but for Christes sake (whose pe­culier spirite hath wrought in vs this mis­liking of sinne, as ignoraunce, want of fee­ling of the Lords kindnes, and whatsoeuer of like sort, with a longing alter the wayes of the Lorde) they are forgiuen vs, and shall neuer be layde to our charge, because we beleeue in Christ. For the distance be­tweene heauen and earth is not so great, as is the difference betweene sinne beeing [Page]in vs, Rom. 7.20. and sinne raigning in vs, as maye appeare in that it is sayde, Gal. 5.17. If therefore your sinnes do displease you, These fruites of Christes spirit assureth vs of the grace of Christ. if you purpose to be an enimie to sinne in your selfe and others, if you purpose to walke al your life in the true feare of God, and in the light of his worde, if you beleeue in Christ Iesus for pardon of your sinnes, and stay your selfe vpon his promises: I testifie vnto you, that you shall be a moste welcome guest to this table of the Lorde. Christ hath already sealed in you that you are deare in his sight, he hath giuen you of his spirite, They that are least in their owne sighte, are moste dear vvith the Lord. and you shall haue fellowship with him, and with the father by him, and with the whole Church of God. Christe will dwell in you, and you shall dwell in him for euer, therefore measure not the Lords mercies by reason which is cor­rupted, but let fayth holde fast his promi­ses, and be ioyfull in the Lorde, and from the grounde of a pure heart giue all prayle to him to whom all prayse is due for euer­more.

Qu. Not the deed, but the maner of doing is al. How many sortes be there of them which receiue not the Sacrament?

An. There be two sortes, namely those [Page]that will not, and those that can not.

Qu. What is the estate of both?

An. The estate of the one, namely those that can not, is not daungerous, for the ne­cessitie of the Sacramentes extendeth not so farre as to exclude them from eternall life which can not enioy the vse therof, and those that haue faith (which giueth them title and right to eternall life, and power to discerne rightly of the Sacramentes,) though they haue not the means to be par­takers of the Sacraments, shall not be de­priued nor excluded from saluation. Their estate i [...] not daunge­rous, vvhiche vvould and can not. Also as this estate is not dangerous, so the con­dition of such as will not, namely of those which contemne the Lords mysteries, is damnable. For it is vndoubtedly an act of infidelitie, and worthy of damnation, Their estate is damnable that can and vvill not. for this and all wickednes proceedeth from vnbeliefe. For it is written, Take heede brethren, that there be not in any of you an euill heart and vnfaithfull, Heb. 3.12. to departe a­way from the liuing God, &c. Frō which estate of men the Lorde keepe all that be his for euer. Amen.

FINIS.

A most godly and comfortable letter, written by by maister Edvvard Deering to a Christian gentlevvo­man beeing in heauinesse of spirite, very needefull and (by the grace of Christ) helpfull, to suche as be in any measure in the like heauinesse.

JT is true (good maistres H.) which the Spirite hath spoken, and wee seele it by experience, that by many tribulations wee must enter into ye kingdom of heauē. This is a common decree whiche God hath san­ctified to be a let for all his children. So the author and finisher of our faith, Iesus Christe himselfe was made perfect. Into his similitude we are also predestinate, that we should first die with him, & then be par­takers of his glorie, Let vs not therefore refuse that condition of life, in whiche we haue ye fellowship of al the Saints of God. But rather confesse with the holy Apostle, that blessed is the man who endureth temp­tation. But because al afflictions are bitter for the present time, & when the minde is shaken with sorrowe, it is then moste easily throwne downe of the enimie, let vs learne wisely what our troubles are, and be prepa red of remedie in the day of triall. All our afflictions are ether according to the fleshe in hunger, cold, nakednes, shame, contēpt, slander, &c. or according to the spirite, in la­mentations [Page]& mournings, which the world knoweth not. The first euilles are easilie borne, for they are all but vanitie, and in vanity ther shall dye, if we see no fauour in ye sight of the Sun, that shire not heare ac­ceptable vnto vs: when we haue paide the debt we owe vnto death, the Lord then wil deliuer vs from al the iniuries of men. But in this behalfe let me confirme my selfe. God hath set you free from such afflictions your goodes are vnto you in a liberal por­tion, your life made happie with a louing husband, your calling acceptable vnder a gratious and good maistresse. In whose sight you haue found fauour, In this estate you shall feele no trouble, therefore I let it passe. The other affliction, whithe is the spiritte, and whiche can not bee re­sisted with anye earthlie blessing, looke for it assuredly, for it will come vnto you ye you may suffer with Christ and reign with him in glorie, These troubles they come many waies, euē accordingly as God doth leade vs into life. First we are commanded to learne and knowe the worde of God, a­gainst this looke for many tentations, the enimy will try which way to plucke, that [Page]out of our hearts, out of the worde we must learn a pretious faith, & hold that vmnoua­ble before God, against this, what tentati­ons are betweene heauen and earth, you shall feele your portion, if any thing possi­ble can discourage you, with faith you must ioine a liuelie hope, which is a longing ap­prehensiō of gods glory, in this also Satan wil pretermit nothing to quēch your affec­tiō, ye it may be dead & to darken your mind ye you may see nothing, with out these you can not possiblie liue, & vnto these you can not possblie come, but firste you shall feele what is the strength of sinne. And yet not­withstanding faint not, the Lion hath ouer come which is of the tribe of Iuda. The force of the Serpent shall bruse our heele but it shall not take away from vs the head peece of saluation: Learn therefore, first the word of God, this is the seede of regenera­tion by which we are made new creatures, this is the bread of spirituall nourishment, by which wee are growne vp into eternall life, This is the weapon of our warfare, by which we may wounde and driue away our enimies. This is the scepter of our glo rious kingdome, by which we do knowe ye [Page]God doth reign in vs. Take this vnto you, the shield of your defence, the strengthe of your age, the wisedome of your hearte, and the safetie of your life, cōmended vnto you in ye word of Christ. Search ye Scriptures, and seale it in your heart, with a good per­suasion that it is the word of God & of life, and he hath grauen in it an expresse image of eternall trueth, Let it dwell plentifully within you, and your hart is armed with a most strong defence, all enimies shall fall before it, the wisedome of the wise shall be brought to nought, and the counsaile of the prudent shal be made foolishnes, the waies of the aduersaries shall be scattered, and the scorners seate shall be thrown down, so true it is that the Lord hath spoken, Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lorde, and whose meditation is in it day & night. Let vs then bring downe the hawti­nesse of our minds and receiue with meeke­nesse ye word grafted in vs whiche can saue our soules, To this desire of vnderstanding when God hath brought vs, then let vs pray to be deliuered from tentation, & take heed we be not spoiled of so great a treasure, we haue three especial enemies in this be­halfe, [Page]of which S. Paule biddeth vs al be­ware, the one is Philosophy, that is a vain & curious searching of Gods misteries, or measuring thinges reuealed according to our vnderstanding, with which tentations whilest our fathers were ouercome, they became foolish in their own imaginations and changed the glory of God into the like­nes of a corruptible man, making images, praying to angelles, immagining of soules like little children, deuising purgatorie, rea soning of Gods wiseddme aboue our capa­citie. As if we be predestinate, we may liue as wee list, if we are commanded to worke, if our daies are numbred why seeke we any safetie to our life. If the Angels do keep vs in all our waies that we shall not hurt our foote against a stone, why feare we any fal­ling: these phantasies and worse then these disquiet our mindes and fight within vs a­gainst our humble obedience to the worde of God, which all when we haue ouercome (and said with the Prophet secrete things are for the Lorde: but thinges reuealed for vs and our children) yet we haue no peace, A second enimie riseth vp greater then the first, which S. Paul calleth ye traditions of [Page]men, for the heart of man which drinketh in error as the grounde doth drinke water, is very obstinately bound with old customes, and long continuaunce, measuring trueth which is pure & holy, onely by time which is corrupt and euil, & not only this, but na­ture also hath inflamed our affections to loue to muche our fathers waies to like their opinions, to esteeme their iudge­ments, to prayse their doings, to commend their rage, to talk of their names, til throgh many entisemēts we are at last bewitched, our wisdome is stollen away, and trueth is taken from vs, by this meanes all corrupti­ons which haue ouerflowed the earth haue still wide roomes in the hearts of many the Popes supremacie, latine seruice, praier for the dead, Masses, diriges, pardons, pil­grimages, sensing, & all poperie, with the Authors of it, Popes, Cardinals, Monks, Friers, all which haue neither trueth, nor shadow of truth, not one word of them in al the gospel of Christ, only old custome hath bred it in our benes, & an opinion of our fa­thers hath printed it in our brests & we wil not cast it out, but the Lorde be thanked who hath had mercie vppon vs to make, [Page]hold fast the word of truth, what soeuer our fathers haue vainely taught vs, And yet we are not in securitie. But a third enimie is in the hart of man, that the word of God may not haue his perfect honor, and that is an opinion conceiued of earthly thinges, & planting of holines in corruptile creatures As in meates, drinkes, daies, garmentes, conditions of life, places, times, Cerimo­nies, neither hearing our Sauiour Christ, that God is a spirite, and onelie he is to be worshipped in spirite and trueth, neither his Apostle Paule, that the element of that world commend vs not vnto God, for nei­ther if we eate are wee euer the worse, nei­ther if we eate not, are we euer the better. These many and great tentations stand a­gainst vs assoone as wee woulde giue our selues to the word of God, which is the be­ginning of a christian life. Trowe you that in the continuance of our course and iorney before we come at our sauiour Christ, shall we not be sifted and tried, to see what is within vs. And you (good mystresse H.) to apply this to your selfe, tell me howe you haue learned Christe, hath his gospell bene peaceable in you, from the first day til now [Page]without all contradiction? was your minde neuer puffed vp in vaine imaginations, did the traditions and persuasions of men neuer shake your thought? haue you not ben tēpted we opinions of creatures, as though some wer more holy, some more prophane: I knowe, as you long after Christ, & desire his trueth in single heart: so his grace you haue not without sharp & bitter trials, and the more freely the word of God shall pos­sesse your soule, and fill your hart full with all desire of it, the more you shall feele what fight is againste it, looke for the like in all your life, and when you approche to the true feare of God, prepare youre hearte to the strongest assault. The word of God thus made knowen vnto vs, and when we follow it with all our soule, that we maye haue a liuely fayth to reioyce at the promi­ses of God, to feare at his threatning, and feele a full perswasion of a certayne perfor­mance of all his words. O Lorde what is the malice of Satan, and though many temptations are against vs, the long pros­perities of the wicked in which they triūph whiles the goodnes of God prouoketh thē still to repentaunce, the bitter sighing of [Page]the godly in which they mourne vnder ma­ny crosses, whiles God maketh their fayth precious before him: these haue rooted quite out of the hearts of the vngodly, the fayth and truth which they owe vnto God, so that agaynst all his iudgementes they haue opened their mouths and said aloude: Where is the promise of his cōming, and against all his mercies they haue proclay­med warre, and sayde, they will not haue Christ to reigne ouer them. But these tem­tations Christ hath ouercome in vs, and giuen vs his spirite, in which we know as­suredly that the Lord reigneth, neither slac­keth he his comming as many accounte slacknes, but he will come, and his glory shall be knownen. And yet we are not in peace, but Satan wil sift vs another way, He will lay our sinnes before vs, to make vs feare that the promises of God belong not vnto vs, and this of all temptations is the greatest, yet we feare not, for what belongeth to all our sinnes which Christe hath not borne? sorowe, sicknes, death, hel, condemnation, were they not in his body, and are they not all crucified vppon the Crosse: Is he not risen from them, and [Page]hath he not broken the chaynes of death, and so is ascended vnto glory: If this be my feare because I am a sinner, rather let me reioyce, for Christ hath takē my sinnes vpon him, and hath buried them deeper then the bottome of the sea, he hath ledde it openly in triumph, and nayled it vppon the crosse from henceforth and for euermore. It hath no strength whosoeuer secme to colour it as redde as scarlet, or make it like purple, it is still nothing, and casteth but a vayue terror before our eyes, we will neuer deny this, but freely confesse it, that we be miserable sinners, and not worthy to lifte vp our eyes to heauen, but who will lay our sinnes to our charge, now god hath iustified vs: Or what sinne can rest vpon vs, now Christ hath washed them away: That which once was in fight with Christ and he hath ouercome it, who shall set to his hande the seconde time to make the vi­ctorie perfect? This is true, and euerla­sting trueth hath sealed it vp, that sinne is abolished for euer and euer, howsoeuer we feare, or tremble, or be faynt harted, yet be­fore the Lorde with whom our life is hid, there is no perill, no daunger, no fcare, but [Page]peace and righteousnes without ende. Let our sinnes be neuer so great, neither we nor our sinnes can chaunge the new testa­ment that God is mercifull to our sinnes, and will blot out all our transgressions, therefore this care is paste, that our sinnes be many, the more they are, the greater is his mercy who hath forgiuen them. And this is the token which God hath giuen vs that we are his, because we are greeued with our sinnes, for our Sauiour Christe ouercame sinne, with paynes & sufferings which belong vnto it, and this is the badge of our redemption, to be made like him in afflictions, we haue sinne, and abhorre it, it woundeth vs with feare, it setteth before vs condemnation, we haue a sence and fee­ling of Gods anger agaynst it, and hell gnaweth vpon our soules because of trans­gression. O blessed state, and treasure of gladnes, this was the image of Christ when he ouercame sinne, a marke of my re­demption in my owne flesh, that I should not faynt. As the sunne maketh the day, and the night darknes, so this affliction of sinne is the badge and cognisaunce of our [Page]certayne forgiuenes. And herein see the goodnes of God, which turneth all things to the best, to those that loue him. Through feare of sinne the diuell fighteth agaynst vs: without feare of sinne we could neuer haue boldnes: through anguish of heart the diuell woulde ouerwheline vs with sor­rowe, without anguish of heart we coulde neuer haue ioye. In feeling Gods anger the diuel would make vs to dispayre, with­out feeling his threatning and trembling before him, we could neuer haue strength of fayth that his mercies are for euer. In all sufferings I am like to Christ, they are the markes of mine addoption that I am hys childe, do we not heare the Lord: him selfe doth speake, If we be without correction, then are we bastardes and not sonnes: and to shewe what our correction shall be, he sayth in another place, If we be planted with him into the similitude of his death, then shall we also be partakers of his re­surrection. Who hath heard so great sal­nation as this: Euery weapon wherewith the enimie striketh, the same armeth vs to greater saluation, and euery wounde that we do receiue, the same confirmeth vs to a [Page]suter life. (Then before as I sayde) care not for sinne, for that is abolished: so here I may adde, Care not for hell, for the nea­rer we feele it, the further we are from it. Let them feare sinne that feele it not, and let them be afrayde of condemnation that knowe not what it is, vpon whom destruc­tion shall come sodenly as an armed man. Our eyes haue be kept waking, and we haue seene our sinnes, our harts haue fain­ted before the anger of the Lorde, and wee haue not despised his heauenly calling, therefore in the daye of trouble we shall haue rest. In this perswasion we will liue and dye, and if our soules should melt for feare within vs, although the Lord should kill vs, yet would we trust in him. Abra­ham beleeued in the Lorde, and it was imputed vnto him for righteousnes against hope, he beleeued vnder hope, and if our hoye seemed to be takē from vs, yet would we patiently wayte the Lordes leasure vutill we saue our hope agayne, that at the least our fayth might haue agayne, the glo­rye and trueth of full assuraunce. An other thing we must labour in, and in an other thing we shall haue temptation, and that [Page]is, that we may see what is the glorie of God, and immortall life herein, lette vs meditate in our beddes, and thinke on this in our secret places, in the middest of com­panies, let these cogitatiōs be often in our heartes, and in all places let these be out m [...]ses, when we shall apprehende with all the seruauntes of God what is the height, the bredth, the length, the depth, we shall know that the glory is great of immorta­litie, and he is onely to be belecued, who shall shine in honour when this vanitie is ouerpast. His strength is great that layde the foundations of the worlde, and bys brightnes exceeding that made the Sunne and the Moone. His treasure and ritches are aboue measure, who hath giuen prin­ces their golde & siluer and other precious stones for the honour of man, he in deed is of excellent maiesty, who is king of kings, & Lord of Lords, & his power is aboue all, who maketh sicknesse his messengers, and death his minister, till he shal abolish them both, for his mercies are vnspeakable that forgineth vs all our sinnes, & his goodnes is great who hath had regard to the chil­dren of men. From nothing be brought vs [Page]into life, he kept vs from the graue, he wil restore vs & make vs see his glory. When I would think on this, my soule is compas­sed with dulnes of flesh, that I cannot see ye fulnes of his fauour. When I would consi­der in my heart what is his grace, darknes ouershaddoweth mine vnderstaning, & all my thoughts do vanish in his immortality. Whē I would speak of al his louing kind­nes, my toung cleaueth to the roote of my mouth, and my words stick fast within my lippes. But this one thing in al mine infir­mities I can perceiue, that his glorie is ex­ceeding great, whose glorie I can not com­prehend, & the life is long, appointed vnto man where his heart and minde can see no end. If al the world were a flowing water, and euery yeare one drop shoulde be demi­nished, the Sea should be all made dry, and the bottomes of the deepe shoulde appeare, before he shall ceasse to liue, whome God hath raised from the dead, and this breadth & widenesse betweene heauen and earth, if it shoulde be filled vp, and cuerie yeare but one handful of earth added to the work, yet sooner should ye great distance be closed vp & the emptie places made full, then he shall [Page]cease from ioy and gladnes, who shal stand in the resurrection of the iust. This is the glorie that hath neither spot nor blemishe, before which me thincketh, not only prin­cesse & the glory of the world, but the Sun and Moone & all the hostes of heauen, are nothing else but meere vanitie, for death shaddoweth the glorie of man, though hee spread his branches neuer so farre, yet the graue closeth vp in little roome the ambiti­ous heart which before was enlarged from East to West. And the heauens that are high & free from death, yet are holden vn­der the tyranny of enuious and consuming time, in which they shall be changed: onely the Lorde is in honour and maiestie, who hath set eternity rounde aboute him, & cast out time vnto confusion. Oh Lorde: where are their eyes that say not this, or their hearts that see and regard it not: who hath be witched them in the countenances of mē to carry the hearts of beasts, and to forget the latter ende: The Lord turne them ye run astray ye they may know & see wher is their glorie, but the tēptations haue ouertaken them which are against our hope, when the Lord shall deliuer them from euil, they shal [Page]giue thee thankes and reioice with vs that they also haue eyes to see. And blessed are you good mystres, H. and God hath visited you in an acceptable time, whose heart he hath touched with feare, & whose affections he hath filled with hunger and thirst, that you should mourn for the redemption that is in Christe, and be pleased with nothing but with ye grace of his countenance. This is a schoolmystres to bring you vnto him, & a bond to tye you fast, that you shal not be seperate, And accomplishe I beseeche you this good worke of his grace, till you loue the Lorde withall your heart, and till you can say with the blessed Apostle I desire to be desolued and to be with Christ. For this purpose we are chastised of the Lorde, and when our faith is tried at the last it shall be made strong, that we it wee may quench al the firie darts of Sattan, and in righteous­nes and peace, and ioy of the holy Ghost, runne the course that is set before vs, till in a blessed issue of happy daies, with a good spirite wee maye say boldly, Lorde, nowe lettest thou thy seruaunte departe in peace, whiche I beseeche GOD the father, [Page]of our Lord Iesus Christ, the God of mer­c [...], and Father of all consolation graunte vnto you. Amen.

Pray, pray, pray, pray, this is your best seruice wheresoeuer your duetie is most bounde.

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