THE AP­PELLATION OF IOHN KNOXE FROM the cruell and most iniust sentence pronounced against him by the false bishoppes and clergie of Scotland, with his supplication and ex­hortation to the nobilitie, e­states, and cōmunaltie of the same re­alme.

Printed at GENEVA, M.D.LVIII.

TO THE NOBI­LITIE AND ESTA­tes of Scotlād Iohn Knoxe wisheth grace, mercie, and peace from God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ with the spirit of righteous iudgement.

IT is not only the loue of life temporall (right honorable) neither yet the fear of corporall death, that moueth me at this present to expone vnto you the iniuries done against me, and to craue of you, as of laufull powers by God appointed, redresse of the same, but partly it procedeth from that reuerence whiche euerie man oweth to Godds eternal trueth,Euery mā oght to confesse and reue­rēce god­des trueth. and partly from a loue which I beare to your saluation, and to the saluation of my brethren abused in that realme by such, as haue no fear of God before their eyes. It hath pleased God of his infinite mercie, not onlie so to illuminate the eyes of my minde, and so to tuche my dull hart, that clearly I se, and by his grace vnfeanedly beleue, that their is no other name geuen to men vnder the heauen,Act. 4. in whiche salua­tion consisteth, saue the name of Iesus a­lone,

[Page]Who by that sacrifice which he did once offer vpon the crosse,Hebr. 10. hath sanctified for euer those that shall enherite the kingdom promised: but also it hath pleased him of his super­aboundant grace, to make and appoin­te me most wretched of many thousandes a witnes, minister and preacher of the same doctrine: the somme whereof I did not spare to communicate withe my bre­thren being with them in the realme of Scotland in the yeare 1556,1 Cor. 3. because I know my selfe to be a steward and that ac­compts of the talēt cōmitted to my charge shalbe required by him who will admit no vaine excuse which fearfull men pretend.Mat. 25. I did therefore (as God did minister) du­ring the tyme I was conuersant with them (God is record and witnesse) truely and syncerly according to the gift grāted vn­to me, deuide the worde of saluation, tea­chinge all men to hate Syn, whiche before God was and is so odious that none other sacrifice coulde satisfie his iustice except the death of his onlie sonne, and to magnifie the greate mercies of our heuenlie Fa­ther,Iohn 3. who did not spare the substāce of his own glorie but did giue hym to the world to suffer the ignominious and cruell de­ath of the crosse,Rom. 5, 8. 2. Cor. 5. by that meanes to recon­cile [Page 3] his chosen children to hym selfe: tea­ching further what is the duetie of such as do beleue them selues purged by such a pri­ce from their former filthines.Rom. 6. To wit,Ephe. 4. 5 that they are bound to walke in the newnes of life fighting against the lustes of the fleshe and studyinge at all tymes to glorifie GodEphe. 2. by such good woorkes as he hath prepared his children to walke in.

In doctrine I did further affirme, so taught by my master Christ Iesus,Mat. 10. that whosoeuer denieth hym, yea or is ashamed of hym before this wicked generation, hym shall Christ Iesus denie, and of hym shall he be ashame whē he shall appeare in his maiestie. And therefore I feared not to affirme that of necessitie it is, that suche as hope for life euerlasting auoide all super­stition, vaine religion, and idolatrie.Vaine re­ligion or idolatrie. Vai­ne religion and idolatrie I call, what soe­uer is done in Goddes seruice or honour without the expresse commaundement of his own worde.

This doctrine did I beleue to be so cō ­formable to Goddes holie scriptures that I thoght, no creature could haue bene so impudent as to haue dāned any point or article of the same. Yet neuerthelesse me, as an heritike, and this doctrine as heriti­call, haue your fals bishoppes and vngod­lie clergie damned,A sentēce pronūced. pronouncing against [Page] me a sentence of death, in testification wherof they haue burned a picture.Appella­tion from the same. From which fals and cruell sentence, and from all iudgement of that wicked generation I make it knowen to your honours, that I appeal to a laufull and generall counsil, to suche I mean, as the most auncient lawes and canones do approue to be holden, by suche as whose manifest impietie is not to be reformed in the same:The re­quest of Iohn Knoxe. most humbly re­quiring of your honours, that, as God hath appointed you princes in that people, and by reason therof requireth of your handes the defence of innocētes troubled in your dominion, in the meane tyme, and till the controuersies, that this day be in re­ligion, be laufully decided, ye receaue me and suche others, as most vniustlie by those cruell beastes are persecuted, in your defence and protection.

Your honours are not ignorāt that it is not I alone, who doth sustain this cause a­gainst the pestilēt generation of Papistes, but that the most part of Germanie,The peti­tion of Protestantes. the countrie of Heluetia, the kinge of Denmarke, the nobilitie of Polonia, togither with many other Cities and Churches re­fromed, appeall from the tyrannie of that Antichrist, and most earnestly do call for a laufull and general coūsil, wherin may all cōtrouersies in religion be decided by the [Page 4] auctoritie of Goddes most sacred worde. And vnto this same, as said is, do I appeal yet once againe, requirīg of your honours to hold my simple and playn appellation of no lesse value nor effect, then if it had bene made with greater circunstāce, solemnitie, and ceremonie, and that ye receaue me calinge vnto you, as to the powers of God ordained, in your protection and de­fence against the rage of tyrantes, not to mentaine me in any iniquitie, errour, or fals opinion, but to let me haue such equi­tie, as God by his worde, auncient lawes, and determinations of most Godlie coun­sils, graunte to men accused or infamed.

The word of God will that no man shall die except he be found criminall and worthie of death for offence committed,Deut. 17. of the whiche he must be manifestly con­uicted by two or three witnesses. Ancient lawes do permitt iust defences to such as be accused (be their crimes neuer so horrible) and godlie counsilles will that ne­ther Byshopp nor Person ecclesiasticall whatsoeuer accused of any crime shall sit in iudgement, consultation, or counsil, where the cause of such men, as do accuse them,The peti­tions of Iohn Knoxe. is to be tried.

These thinges require I of your ho­nours to be graunted vnto me: to wit, That the doctrine which our aduersaries [Page] condemn for haeresie may be tried by the simple and playn word of God, that iust defenses be admitted to vs that sustain the battaile against this pestilent generation of Antichrist, and that they be remoued from iudgement in our cause, seinge that our accusation is not intended against any one particular persō, but against that hole kingdome whiche we doubt not to proue to be a power vsurped against God,Note well. against his cōmaundement and against the ordenance of Christ Iesus established in his Church by his chefe Apostles: Yea we doubt not to proue the kingdome of the Pope to be the king dome and power of Antichrist. And therefore my Lordes I can not cease in the name of Christ Iesus to require of you that the matter may cōme in examination, and that ye the estates of the realme by your auctoritie compell such as will be called bishoppes, not only to desist from their cruell murthering of such as do studie to promote goddes glo­rie in detecting and disclosing the dam­nable impietie of that man of syn the Ro­mane Antechrist, but also that ye cōpell them to answer to suche crimes as shall be laid to their charge for not righteously instructing the flock committed to their cares.

Answer But here I know two thinges shalbe [Page 5] doubted. The former:1. to obie­ctions. whether that my appellation is lawfull and to be admitted seing that I am damned as an heritike: and secondarely whether your honours be bound to defēd such as call for your support in that case,2 seing that your bishop­pes (who in matters of religion claime all auctoritie to appertaine to them) haue by their sentence allredy condemned me.

The one and the other I nothing doubt most clerely to proue. Fyrst that my ap­pellation is most Lawfull and iust: and secondarely that your honours can not refuse to defend me thus calling for your aid,NOTE. but that in so doing ye declare your selues rebellious to God, mentainers of murtherers and shedders of innocent blood.

How iust cause I haue by the ciuile law (as for their canon it is accursed of God)The appellation is iust and lawfull. to appeale from their vniust sentence my purpose is not to make long discourse. Onlie I will touche the poyntes which all men confesse to be iust causes of appella­tion. Fyrst laufully could I not be som­moned by them being for that tyme ab­sent from their iurisdiction, charged with the preachīg of Christes Euāgill in a free citie not subiect to their tyrannie.

Secondarely to me was no intimation ma­de of their sommondes, but so secrete was [Page] their surmised malice that the copie of the sommondes being required was denyed.

Thirdlie to the realme of Scotland could I haue had no free nor sure accesse being before exiled frō the same by their vniust tyrannie. And last to me they ne­ther could nor can be competent and in­different iudges, for that, before any sommondes were raised against me, I had accused them by my lrēs published to the quene dowagier, and had intended against them all crimes, offring my selfe with hasard of life to proue the same, for the which they are not onlie vnworthie of ecclesiasticall auctoritie, but also of any sufferance within a commune welthe profes­sing Christ. This my accusatiō preceding their sōmōdes, neither by the law of God, neither yet by the law of man can they be to me competent iudges till place be grā ­ted vnto me opēlie to proue my accusatiō intended against them, and they be com­pelled to make answer as criminalls. For I will plainelie proue that not onlie bishoppes, but also Popes haue bene remoued frō all auctoritie and pronouncing of iudge­ment till they haue purged them selues of accusations layd against them. Yea fur­ther I will proue that bishoppes and Po­pes most iustly haue bene depriued frō all honours and administration for smaller [Page 6] crimes then I haue to charge the hole ra­ble of your bishoppes.

But because this is not my chefe grounde I wil stand cōtent for this present to shew,Goddes m [...]ssin may ap­peall from uniust sentences, and ciuile powers are bound to admit them. that lawfull it is to Goddes Prophetes and to preachers of Christ Iesus to appeall frō the sentence and iudgement of the visible churche to the knolledge of the temporall Magistrate, who by Goddes law is bound to hear their causes, and to defend them from tyrannie.

The Prophete Ieremie was cōmmā ­ded by God to stand in the courte of the house of the Lord and to preach this ser­mon in effect.Ier. 26. That Ierusalem should be distroyed and be exponed in opprobrie to all nations of the earth, and that also that famous tēple of God should be made desolate like vnto Sylo, because the pree­stes, the Prophetes, and the people did not walk in the Law, which God had ꝓposed vnto thē, neither wold they obey the voy­ces of the Prophetes, whome God sent to call them to repentance.

For this sermon was Ieremie appre­hended and a sentence of death was pro­nounced against hym and that by the preestes, by the Prophetes, and by the people, which thinges being bruted in the eares of the Princes of Iuda they passed vp frō the kinges house to the tēple of the Lord, [Page] and sat down in iudgement for further knowledge of the cause. But the preestes and Prophetes continued in theyre cruell sentēce, which before they had pronoūced saying, This man is worthie of the death: for he hath prophesied against this citie as your eares haue hard. But Ieremy so moued by the holie Ghost, began his de­fence against that their tyrannous senten­ce in these wordes. The Lord (saieth he) hath sent me to prophetie against this house, and against this citie all the wordes which you haue hard. Now therefore make good your wayes, ād hear the voyce of the Lord your God, and then shall he repent of the euill whiche he hath spoken against you. As for me behold I am in your handes (so doth he speak to the Prin­ces) do to me as you think good and righteous.Aduert. Neuertheles know you this most assuredly, that if ye murther or sley me, ye shall make your selues, this citie, and the inhabitants of the same criminall and gyltie of innocent blood. For of a trueth the Lord hath sent me to speak in your eares all those wordes.The prin­ces did ab­solue the Prophet whome the preests had condēned.

Then the princes and the people (saieth the text) said, this man is not worthie of death, for he hath spoken to vs in the name of the Lord our God. And so after somme cōtention was the Prophete deliuered frō [Page 7] that dāger. This fact and historie manefestly proueth whatsoeuer before I haue affirmed. To wit, that it is Laufull for the ser­uantes of God to call for the help of the ciuile magistrate agaīst the sētēce of death if it be vniust, by whome soeuer it be ꝓno­unced ād also that the ciuile sword hath power to represse the furie of the preests and to absolue whome thei haue cōdēned. For the prophete of God was damned by those who then only in earthe were knowē to be the visible churche, to wit preestes & pro­phetes who thē were in Ierusalē the succes­sours of Aarō to whome was geuē a charge to speak to the people in the name of God,Deute. 17 ād a precept geuē to the people to heare the lawe frō their mouthes, to the which if any should be rebellious or īobediēt he should die the death without mercie. These men I say thus auctorised by God, first did excō municat Ierimie for that he did preache o­ther wise then did the cōmune sort of pro­phetes in Ierusalem, and last apprehended him, as you haue hard, ꝓnouncing against hym this sētēce afore writen frō the which neuertheles the prophete appealed, that is sought help and defence against the same and that most earnestly did he craue of the princes. For albeit he saieth, I am in your handes do with me as ye think righ­teous, he doth not contemne nor neglect [Page] his life as thoghe he regarded not, what should become of hym, but ī those his wordes most vehementlie did he admonishe the princes, and rulers of the people ge­uing them to vnderstād what God should require of thē.The mea­nyng of these wordes I amin your han­des, &c. As he should say, You princes of Iuda, and rulers of the people, to whom appertaineth in differentlie to iud­ge betwixt partie and partie, to iustifie the iust man and to cōdemne the malefactour, you haue hard à sentence of death prono­unced against me by those, whose lippes oght to speak no decept, because they are sanctified and appointed by God hym selfe to speake his law and to pronounce iud­gement with equitie,Deut. 17. but as they haue left the liuing God,Ierem. 1. and haue taught the peo­ple to follow vanitie,Deu. 1. 10 so are they becōmed mortall ennemies to all Gods true seruantes, of whom I am one rebuking theire ini­quitie, apostasie and defection from God which is the onlie cause they seke my life. But a thing most contrarie to all equitie, law ād iustice it is, that I a mā sent of God to call them, this people, and you againe to the true seruice of God, from the which you are all declined, shall suffer the death because that my ennemies do so pronoun­ce sentence. I stād in your presēce, whome God hath made princes, your power is a­boue their tyrannie, before you do I expo­ne [Page 8] my cause I am in your handes aud can not resist to suffer what ye think iust. But lest that my lenitie and patiēce should either make you negligent in the defence of me in my iust cause appealīg to your iud­gemēt, either yet encorrage my ennemies in seakinge my blood, this one thinge I dar not consile: That if you murther me, (which thing ye do if ye defēd me not) ye make not only my ennemies gyltie of my blood, but also your selues and this hole citie. By these wordes I say, it is euident, that the prophete of God beīg dāned to death by the preestes ād by the prophetes of the visible Churche, did seke aid support and defence at the princes and temporall ma­gistrates, threatnyng his blood to be required of theyre handes, if they by theyre au­ctorite did not defend hym from the furie of his ennemies: alledging also iust cau­ses of his appellation, and why he oght to haue bene defended: to wit, that he was sent of God to rebuke theire vices and de­fection from God:The cau­ses of his appella­tion and why he oght to haue bene defended. that he taught no do­ctrine which God before had not pronounced in his Law: that he desired theyre con­uersion to God, continuallie calling vpon them to walk in the wayes which God had approued and therefore doth he boldlie craue of the princes, as of Goddes lieutenā tes to be defended from the blynd rage & [Page] tyrannie of the preests, notwithstanding that they claimed to themselues auctoritie to iudge in all matters of religion. And the same did he what tyme he was cast in pryson and thereafter was brought to the presēce of king Zedechias, after I say that he had defended his innocētie, affirmyng that he neither had offended against the king, against his seruantes nor against the people, at last he made intercession to the king for his life, saying,

But now my lord the king take hede,Ierem. 38. I beseche thee let my prayer fall in to thy presence commaund me not to be caried againe in to the house of Ionathan the scribe, that I dye not there.

And the text witnesseth that the king commaunded the place of his impryson­ment to be chaunged. Whereof it is eui­dent, that the prophet did ofter then once seke help at the ciuile power and that fyrst the princes, and thereafter the king did a­cknowledge, that it appertained to their office to deliuer him from the iniust sen­tence, which was pronounced against him. yf any thinke that Ieremie did not appeall becaus he onely declared the wronge done vnto him, and did but craue defence [Page 9] according to his innocencie let the same man vnderstand, that none otherwise do I appeale from that fals and cruell sentence,Iust cause of appellation. which your Byshoppes haue pronounced against me. Neither yet can there be any other iust cause of appellation but inno­cēcie hurt, or suspected to be hurt, whether it be by ignorance of a iudge, or by mali­ce and corruption of those, who vnder the title of iustice do exercise tyrānie. if I we­re a thefe, murtherer, blasphemer, open a­dulterer, or any offender whome Gods worde commaundeth to suffer for a crime committed, my appellation were vaine and to be reiected: but I being innocēt, yea the doctrine which your Byshoppes haue condemned in me, being Gods eternall veritie, haue no lesse libertie to craue your defence against that crueltie, then had the Prophet Ieremie to seke the ayde of the Princes and King of Iuda. But this shall more plainly appear in the facte of sainct Paule, who after that he was apprehen­ded in Ierusalem,Act. 22. [...] & 25. did fyrst claime to the libertie of Romayne citezēs for auoiding tormēt, what tyme that the captayn would haue examined hym by questions: there af­ter in the coūcile, where no rightious iud­gement was to be hoped for, he affirmed that he was a Pharisie, and that he was ac­cused of the resurrection of the dead, and [Page] last in the presence of Festus he appealed from all knowledge and iudgement of the Preestes at Ierusalem to the Emperour: of which last point, because it doth chefelie appertaine to this my cause, I will som­what speak.

After that Paule had diuerse tymes bene accused, as in the Actes of the apo­stles is manifest, at the last the chefe Pree­stes and theyre faction came to Cesarea with Festus the presidēt, who presented to them Paule in iudgement, whome they ac­cused of horrible crimes: which neuerthe­les they could not proue, the Apostle de­fending that he had not offended neither agaīnst the Law, neither against the Tem­ple, neither yet against the Emperour.

But Festus willing to gratifie the Iewes,Act. 25. said to Paule: Wilt thou go vp to Ierusalem, ād there be iudged of these thinges in my presence? But Paule said: I stand at the iustice seat of the Emperour, where it behoueth me to be iudged, I ha­ue done no iniurie to the Iewes as thou better knowest. Yf I haue done any thing iniustly, or yet com­mitted crime worthie of death, I [Page 10] refuse not to die. But if there be nothing of these thinges true, where of they accuse me, no man may geue me to them: I appeall to Cesar.

It may appear at the first sight that Paule did great iniurie to Festus the iudge, and to the hole order of the preesthode, who did hope greater equitie in a cruell tyrant then in all that session and learned companie. Which thinge no dout Festus did vn­derstād, pronouncing these wordes: Hast thou appealed to Cesar? thou shalt go to Cesar. As he would say, I as a man willing to vnderstād the truth before I ꝓnoūce sē tence, haue required of thee to go to Ieru­salem, where the learned of thyne owne nation may heare thy cause and decerne in the same. The controuersie standith in matters of religion. Thou art accused as an apostatat from the Law, as a violator of the temple, and transgressor of the tra­ditiōs of theyre fathers: in which matters I am ignorant, and therefore desire infor­mation by those, that be learned in the same religion, wherof the question is. And yet doest thou refuse so many god­ly fathers to hear thy cause, and doestappeale to the Emperour: preferring hym to all [Page] our iudgements, of no purpose belike, but to delay tyme. Thus I say it myght haue appeared that Paule did not only iniurie to the iudge and to the Preestes, but also that his cause was greatly to be suspected: partly for that he did refuse the iudge­ment of those that had moste knowledge (as all men supposed) of Gods will and religion: and partly because he appealed to the Emperour, who then was at Rome farr absent from Ierusalem, a man also ignorāt of God and ennemie to all vertue. But the Apostle cōsidering the nature of his enne­mies, and what thinges they had intended against hym, euen from the fyrst day that he began freelie to speak in the name of Christ,why Pau­le wold admytt none of the Le­uiticall or­dre to iud­ge in his cause. did not fear to appeale from them, and from the iudge that would haue gra­tified them. They had professed thē selues plain ennemies to Christ Iesus and to his blessed Euangill, and had soght the death of Paule, yea euen by factiōs and treasona­ble cōspiracie: and therefore by no mea­nes would he admit them either iudges in his cause, either auditours of the same as Festus required:Vpō what reasons the appel­lation of Paule was grounded. but grounding him selfe vpon strong reasons, to wit, that he had not offēded the Iewes, neither yet the Law, but that he was innocēt, and therefore that no iudge oght to geue hym in the hādes of his ennemies: grounding I say his appel­lation [Page 11] vpon these reasons, he neither re­garded the displeasure of Festus, neither yet the brute of the ignorāt multitude, but boldely did appeal from all cognition of them to the iudgement of the Emperour, as said is. By these two examples I dout not but your honours do vnderstand, that lawfull it is to the seruantes of God op­pressed by tyrānie to seke remedie against the same, be it by appellation from theire sentēce, or by imploring the helpe of ciuile Magistrates. For what God hath appro­ued in Ieremie and Paul, he can condemne in none that likewise be e [...]reated. I might alledge some histories of the primatiue Church seruing to the same purpose: as of Ambrose and Athanasius, of whom the one would not be iudged but at Millan, where that is doctrine was hard of all his Church and receaued and approu [...]d by many: and the other would in no wise geue place to those coūciles, where he knew that mē conspired against the trueth of God should sit in iudgement and cōsultatione. But be­cause the Scriptures of God are my only fundation and assurance in all matters of weight and importāce, I haue thoght the two former testimonies sufficient, aswell to proue my appellation reasonable and iust, as to declare to your honours that with safe conscience ye can not refuse to [Page] admit the same. Yf any thinke it arrogācie or foolishnes in me to compare my selfe with Ieremie and Paule, let the same man vnderstād that as God is immutable, so is the veritie of his glorious Euangill of ae­quall dignitie,The cause is to be re­garded and not the person. whensoeuer it is impu­gned, be the membres suffering neuer so weak. What I think touching myne owne person, God shall reueale when the secrets of all hartes shall be disclosed, and such as with whome I haue bene conuersant, can partly witnesse, what arrogācie or pryde they espie in me. But touching the do­ctrine and cause which that adulterous ād pestilent generatiō of Antichrists seruāts (who wilbe called Byshoppes amongst you) haue condened in me, I neither fear nor shame to cōfesse and auow before man and Angell to be the aeternall trueth of the aeternall God. And in that case I dout not to cōpare my selfe with any menbre in w­home the trueth hath bene impugned sēce the begynnyng. For as it was the trueth w­hich Ieremie did preach in these wordes,

The Preestes haue not knowen me (saieth the Lord) but the pa­stors haue traiterously declined and fallen back from me.Ierem. 2. The Prophetes haue prophesied in Baal,Ierem. 1. [Page 12] and haue gone after those things, which can not helpe. My people haue left the fontaine of liuing waters, and haue digged to them selues pits, which can containe no water:

As it was a trueth that the pastors and watchmen in the daies of Isaie were be­comed dōme dogs blynd, ignorāt,Esa. 56. proud and auaricious And finally as it was a trueth, that the Princes and the Preestes were murtherers of Christ Iesus,Act. 3. & 4. ād cruell persecutors of his Apostles: so likewyse it is a trueth (and that moste infallible) that those that haue condemned me (the hole rable of the papisticall clergie) haue declyned from the true faith,Tim. 4. haue geuen eare to deceauable spirits and to doctrine of deuils, are the sterres fallen from the heauen to the earth,Iude 1. are fontaines without water:2. Pet. 2. and finally are ennemies to Christ Iesus, deniers of his vertue, and horrible blasphemours of his death and passiō. And further as that visible Churche had no crime, where of iustly they could accuse ei­ther the Prophetes, either the Apostles, ex­cept theyr doctrine only: so haue not such as seke my blood other crime to lay to my charge, except that I affirm, as alwais I of­fer [Page] to proue,Let the cause be noted. that the religion, which now is maintained by fier and sword, is no lesse contrarious to the true religion taught and established by the Apostles, then is darknes to light, or the Deuill to God: and also that such as now do claime the title and name of the Churche ar no more the elect spouse of Christ Iesus, then was the Synagoge of the Iewes the true Church of God what tyme it crucified Christ Iesꝰ, damned his doctrine and persecuted his A­postles. And therefore seing that my bat­tail is against the proude and cruell hy­pocrites of this age, as that battaill of those most excellent instrumentes was a­gainst the fals Prophetes and malignant Church of theyr ages: neither ought any man think it strange that I cōpare my self with them, with whome I sustaine a cōmon cause, neither ought you my Lordes iudge your selues lesse addetted and bound to me calling for your support, then did the Princes of Iuda think thē selues boūde to Ieremie, whome for that tyme they deliue red notwithstāding the sētēce of death ꝓ­noūced against him by the visible Church. And thus much for the right of my appel­latiō, which in the bowelles of Christ Iesus I requier your honours not to esteme as a thing superfluous ād vaine, but that ye ad­mitt it, ād also accept me in your ꝓtection [Page 13] ād defence, that by you assured I may haue accesse to my natiue coūtrie, which I neuer offēded to the end: that freely and opēly in the presēce of the hole realme I may geue my confession of all such pointes as this day be in controuersie, and also that you by your auctoritie which ye haue of God, compell such, as of long tyme haue blyn­ded and deceaued both your selues and the people,Answer to an ob­iection or dout. to answer to such thinges as shalbe laide to theire charge. But lest that somme dout remayne, that I require more of you then you of conscience ar bound to graunt, in few wordes I hope to proue my petitiō to be such, as without Gods heauy displeasure ye can not deny.The peti­tiō of Iohn Knoxe. My peti­tion is, that ye, whome God hath apointed heades in your cōmune welth, with single eye do studie to promote the glorie of God, to prouide that your subiectes be rightly instructed in his true religiō, that they be defended from all oppression and tirannie, that true teachers may be main­tained, and such as blynde and deceaue the people, togyther also with all idle bellies which do robbe and oppresse the flock, may be remoued and punished as Gods Law prescribeth. And to the perfurmance of euery one of these, do your offices and Names. The honours and benefites, which ye receue, the Law of God vniuersally geuen [Page] [...] [Page 13] [...] [Page] to all men, and the examples of moste godlie Princes bynde and oblish you.

My purpose is not greatly to labour to proue, that your hole studie oght to be to promote the glorie of God, neither yet will I studie to alledge all reasons that iustly may be broght to proue that ye are not exalted to reigne aboue your brethrē as men without care and solicitude. For these be principals so grafted in nature, that verie Ethnicks haue confessed the same.The singular ho­nours w­hich Ma­gistrats receaue of God oght to moue them with all diligēce to promote his religiō. For seing that God only hath pla­ced you in his chaire, hath appointed you to be his lieutenantes, and by his owne seall hath marked you to be Magistrats, and to rule aboue your brethren, to whom nature neuertheles hath made you lyke in all points (for in conception, birth, life, and death ye differ nothing from the commune sort of men, but God only, as said is, hath promoted you, and of his especial fauour hath geuen vnto you this prerogatiue to be called Gods:) how horrible ingratitude were it then, that you should be founde vnfaithful to hym, that thus hath honored you? And further what a monster were it that you should be proued vnmerciful to them, aboue whome ye are appointed to reigne as fathers aboue theyre children? because I say that verie Ethnicks haue graunted, [Page 14] that the cheefe and fyrst care of Prīces, ād of such as be appointed to rule aboue others, oght to be to promote the glorie and honour of theyr goddes, and to main­taine that religion, whiche they supposed to haue bene true. And that theyre se­cōd care was to maintaine and defend the subiects committed to theyre charge in all aequitie and iustice. I will not labour to shew vnto you what oght to be your studie in maītainyng Gods true honour: lest that in so doing I should seme to make you lesse careful ouer Gods true religion, then were the Ethnickes ouer theire idolatrie. But because other peti­tions may appere more hard and difficile to be graunted, I purpose brefely,The due­ties of Magistrats. but yet freely, to speak what God by his worde doth assure me to be true. To wit▪ fyrst that in conscience you are bounde to pu­nysh malefactors, and to defende inno­cents imploringe your helpe: seconda­rely that God requireth of you to prouide that your subiects be rightly instructed in his true religion, and that the same by you be reformed whensoeuer abuses do crepe in by malice of Satan and negligence of men: and laste that ye are bounde to remo­ue from honour, and to punish with death (if the crime so require) such as deceaue the people, or defraude them of that foode [Page] of theyre soules, I meane Gods liuely worde. The fyrst and seconde are moste playne by the wordes of S. Paule thus speaking of lawfull powers.Rom. 13.

Let euerie soule (saieth he) sub­mit hym selfe vnto the hygher po­wers. for there is no power but of god. The powers that be, are ordained of God. Whosoeuer therefore resisteth power, resisteth the ordi­nance of God, and they that resist shall receaue to them selues damnation. For rulers ar not to be feared of those that do well, but of those that do euill. Wilt thou then be without fear of the power? do that which is good, and so shalt thou be praised of the same. For he is the minister of God for thy welth. But if thou do that which is euil, fear. For he beareth not the swor­de for noght: for he is the minister of God to take vengance on them that do euil.

As the Apostle in these wordes moste straytly commaundeth obedience to be [Page 15] geuen to lawfull powers, pronouncing Gods wrathe and vengance against such as shall resist the ordonaunce of God, so dothe he assigne to the powers theyre offices, which to be take vengance vpon euil doers, to maintaine the well doers, and so to ministre and rule in theyre office, that the subiectes by them may haue a benefite and be praised in well doing. Now if you be powers ordeined by God (and that I hope all men will graunte) then by the plaine wordes of the Apostle is the sworde geuen vnto you by God for maintenance of the innocent, and for punyshement of malefactors. But I and my brethren with me accused, do offre not only to proue our selues innocents in all thinges laid to our charge, but also we offre most euidently to proue your Byshoppes to be the verie pe­stilence, who haue infected all christiani­tie. And therefore by the plaine doctrine of the Apostle you ar boūde to maintaine vs, and to punysh the other being euident­ly cōuict and proued criminall.In what pointes be Powers bounde to theyre subiestes. Moreouer the former words of the Apostle do teach, how far hie powers be bounde to theyre subiectes: to wit, that because they are Gods ministers by hym ordained for the profitt and vtilitie of others, moste dili­gently oght they to intēd vpon the same. For that cause assigneth the holie Ghost [Page] commaunding subiectes to obey, and to pay tribute: saing,

For this do you pay tribute and tole.Rom. 13.

That is because they are Gods mi­nisters, bearing the sworde for your vtili­tie. Wherof it is plaine, that there is no ho­nour without a charge annexed. And this one point I wishe your wisdomes dipely to consider: that God hath not placed you aboue your brethren to reigne as ty­rantes without respect of theyre profitt and commoditie. You heare the holie Ghost witnesse the contrarie, affirmyng that all lawfull powers be Gods mini­sters ordened for the welth, profitt and sal­uatiō of their subiectes, and not for theyre destructiō. Could it be said (I besech you) that Magistrates,Let the si­militude be noted. inclosing theyre subiects in a citie without all victuales, or geuing vnto them no other victuales but such as were poisoned, did rule for the profitt of theyr subiet [...]es? I trust that none would be so foolishe as so to affirme: but that ra­ther euerie discrete person would bold­ly affirme, that such as so did, were ty­rantes vnworthie of all regiment. Yf we will not deny that, whiche Christ Iesus af­firmeth to be a trueth infallible, to wit, That the soule is greater and more pre­tious, [Page 16] then is the bodie: then shall we ease­ly espye how vnworthie of auctoritie be those, that this day debarre theyre sub­iectes from the hearing of Gods worde, and by fier and sworde compell them to feede vpon the verie poison of theyre soules, the damnable doctrine of Antichrist. And therefore in this poīt I say, I can not cease to admonish your honours dili­gently to take heede ouer your charge, which is greater then the most parte of men suppose. It is not ynough that you abstaine from violēte wrong, and oppres­sion which vngodlie men exercise against theyr subiectes:It is not inough that ru­lars op­presse not theyre sub­iects. but ye are further boūde, to witt, that ye rule aboue them for theyre welth. Which ye can not do, if that ye ei­ther by negligence not prouiding true pastors, or yet by your maintainance of such as be rauening wolues, suffer theyre soules to sterue and perishe for lack of the true foode, which is Christes Euangill syncerely preached. It wil not excuse you in his presence, who will require accom­pte of euerie talent committed to your charge, to say that ye supposed that the charge of the soules had bene committed to your Byshoppes. No no, my Lordes, so ye can not escape Gods iudgement. For if your Byshoppes be proued to be no Byshoppes, but deceauable theues and [Page] rauenyng wolues (which I offer my selfe to proue by Gods word,The offer of Iohn knoxe and his accusation in­tended against the papi­sticall Bysshoppes. by law, and coū ­cils, yea by the iudgement of all the godly learned frō the primatiue Church to this day) then shall your permission and de­fence of them be reputed before God a participation with theyr thefte and mur­ther. For thus accused the Prophete Esaie the Princes of Ierusalem.

Thy prīces, saieth he, ar apostatats:Esaie 1. that is obstinat refusers of God, and they ar companions of theues.

This greuous accusation was laid a­gainst them, albeit that they ruled in that citie which sometyme was called holy, where then were the temple, rites and ordo­nances of God: because that not onlie they were wicked them selues, but chefe­ly because they maintained wiked men theyr Preestes ād fals ꝓphetes in honours and auctoritie yf they did not escape this accusatiō of the holie Ghost ī that age, looke ye neither to escape the accusation nor the iudgemēt which is pronoūced against the maītainers of whicked men: to with that the one and the other shall drinck the cup­pe of Gods wrathe and vengance togi­ther.Ierem. 23. & 27. and lest ye should deceaue your sel­ues,Ezech. 13. Hosa 4. esteming your Byshoppes to be ver­tuous [Page 17] and godlie, this do I affirme and offer my selfe to proue the same, that more wicked men, then be the hole rabble of your clergie, were neuer from the begyn­ning vniuersally knowen in any age, yea Sodome and Gomorra may be iustified in theyre respect. For they permitted iust Lot, to dwell amongest them without any violēce done to his bodie, which that pe­stilent generation of your shauensort doth not, but moste cruelly persecute by fier and sworde the true membres of Christes bodie for no other cause, but for the true seruice ād honoring of God. And therefo­re I fear not to affirme that, which God shall one day iustifie: That by your offi­ces ye be bound, not only to represse theyr tyrānie, but also to punishe them, as theues and murtherers, as idolators and blasphe­mers of God,NOTE. ād in their roumes ye are boū de to place true preachers of Christs Euā gile for the instruction, comfort,Yf powers prouide not for in­structiō of theyre subiects, they do neuer rule a­boue them for theyre profit. and saluation of your subiectes, aboue whome els shall neuer the holy Ghost acknolledge, that you rule in iustice for their proffit. Yf yee pretēd to possesse the kingdome with Christ Iesus, yee may not take exāple neither by the ignorāt multitude of Princes, neither by the vngodly aud cruell rulers of the earth, of whome sōme passe theyre tyme in slouth, insolētie, and ryote with­out [Page] respect had to goddes honour or to the saluatiō of theyre brethrē: and other moste cruelly oppresse with proude Nīrod such as be subiect to them. But your pattern and example must be the practise of those, w­home God hath approued by the testimo­nie of his worde as after shalbe declared.

Of the premisses it is euident that to lawfull powers is geuen the sworde for punyshement of malefactors, for mainte­nance of innocents, and for the profitt and vtilitie of theyr subiects. Now let vs consider, whether the reformation of reli­gion fallen in decay, and punyshement of false teachers do appertaine to the ci­uile Magistrate and nobilitie of any re­alme. I am not ignorant that Satan of old tyme for mentainance of his darknes hath obtained of the blynd world two chefe points.what Sa­tan hath obtained of the blind world. Former, he hath persuaded to Princes, rulers, and magistrates, that the fee­ding of Christes flock appertaineth no­thing to theyre charge, but that it is re­iected vpon the Byshoppes, and estate ec­clesiasticall: and secondarelie that the re­formation of religion, be it neuer so cor­rupt and the punishement of such, as be sworne souldiers in theyre king dome, are exempted from all ciuile power and are reserued to them selues, and to theyre own cognition. But that no offender can iustly [Page 18] be exempted from punyshement, and that the ordering and reformation of religion with the instruction of subiects, doth es­pecially appertaine to the ciuile Magi­strate, shall goddes perfect ordenaunce, his plaine worde, and the factes and examples of those that of God are highly prai­sed, moste euidently declare.

When God did establish his Law,The mat­ters and reformatiō of religion appertaine to the care of the ci­uile power Exod. 21. 24. 25, &c. sta­tutes and ceremonies in the middest of Is­rael, he did not exempt the matters of re­ligion from the power of Moses, but as he gaue hym charge ouer the ciuile politie, so he put in his mouth and in his hand: That is, he fyrst reuealed to hym, and the­reafter commaunded to put in practise w­hatsoeuer was to be taught or done in matters of religiō. Nothing did God reueale particularely to Aaron, but altogither was he commaunded to depend from the mouth of Moses: Yea nothing was he per­mitted to do to hym self or to his children either in his or theyr inauguration and sanctification to the preesthode,Note. but all was committed to the care of Moses, and therefore were these wordes so frequētly repeted to Moses,

Thou shalt seperate Aaron and his sonnes from the middest of the people of Israel,Exod. 28. that they may [Page] execute the office of the Preestho­de, thou shalt make vnto them garments, thou shalt annoynte them, thou shalt wash thē, thou shalt fill theyr handes with the sacrifice.

And so furth of euerie rite and ceremonie, that was to be done vnto thē, especiall commaundement was geuen vnto Moses, that he should do it. Now if Aarō and his sonnes were so subiect to Moses, that they did nothing but at his commaundement, who dar be so bold as to affirme that the ciuile Magistrate hath nothing to do in matters of religiō? For seing that thē God did so straytly require, that euen those, who did beare the figure of Christ, should receaue from the ciuile power as it were theyre sanctification, and entrāce to theyr office, and seing also that Moses was so far preferred to Aaron, that the one com­maunded and the other did obey, who dar esteme that the ciuile power is now beco­med so prophane in Gods eyes, that it is sequestred from all intromission with the matters of religion. The holie ghost in diuers places declarethe the contrarie.

For one of the chefe praecepts commaun­ded to the king, when that he should be placed in his throne, was to write the ex­ample [Page 19] of the boke of the Lordes law, that it should be with hym, that he might read in it all the daies of his life, that he might learn to fear the Lord his God, and to kepe all the wordes of his law, and his statutes to do them. This praecept re­quireth not onlye, that the king should hym selfe fear God, kepe his Law, and sta­tutes, but that also he as the chefe ruler, should prouide that goddes true religion should be kept inuiolated of the people and flock, which by God was committed to his charge. And this did not onlie Da­uid and Salomon perfectly vnderstād, but also somme godlie kinges in Iuda after the apostasie and idolatrie,The factes of Godlie kings are an inter­pretation of the law and declaration of theyre po­wer. that infected Israel by the meanes of Ieroboam, did practise theyre vnderstanding and execute theyre power in somme notable reforma­tions. For Asa and Iosaphat kinges in Iu­da, fynding the religion altogither cor­rupt, did applie theyre hearts (saieth the holie ghost) to serue the Lord, and to walk in his waies: and thereafter doth witnes that Asa remoued from honours his mo­ther, somme say grādmother, because shee had committed and laboured to men­taine horrible idolatrie.2. Paral. 14. & 17. And Iosaphat did not only refuse strange goddes hym selfe, but also distroying the chefe monuments of idolatrie, did send furth the.Note. Leuites [Page] to instruct the people, whereof it is playne that the one and the other did vnderstand suche reformations to appertaine to theire dueties. But the factes of Ezechias, and of Iosias do more clerely proue the power and duetie of the ciuile Magistrate in the reformation of religion. Before the reign of Ezechias so corrupt was the religion that the dores of the house of the Lord were shut vpp,2. Paralip 29. the lampes were extingui­shed, no sacrifice was orderly made, but in the first yeare of his reigne the first moneth of the same, did the king open the dores of the temple, bring in the Preestes and Leuites and assembling them to­gither did speak vnto them as folloeth.Aduert that the kinge ta­keth vpon him to cō ­mand the preestes. Hear me o yce Leuites and be sanctified now, and sanctifie also the house of the Lord God of your fathers and carie furth from the sanctuarie all filthynes (he mea­neth all monumēts and vesselles of idola­trie) for our fathers haue transgressed and haue committed wickednes in thee eyes of the eternall our God, they haue left hym and haue turned theyre faces from the ta­bernacle of the Lord▪ and therefore is the wrath of the Lord cōmed vpon Iuda and Ierusalem. Behold our fathers haue fallen by the sworde, our sonnes, daughters ād wifes are led in captiuitie, but now haue I purposed in my heart to make a couenante [Page 20] with the Lord God of Israel, that he may turne the wrath of his furie from vs. And therefore my sonnes (he swetely ex­horteth) be not faint, for the Lord hath chosen you to stand in his presence and to ser­ue hym. Such as be not more then blynd clerely may perceaue that the king dothe aknolledge, that it appertained to his charge to reforme the religion, to appoint the Leuites to theyre charges and to admo­nish thē of theyre duetie and office, which thing he more euidently declareth, wri­ting his lettres to all Israel, to Ephrtaim, an Manasses, and sent the same by the handes of messingers hauing this tenour.

You sonnes of Israel return to the Lord God of Abraham Isaac,2. Pa. 30. ād Israel, and he shall return to the residue that resteth from the han­des of Assur. Be not as your fathers and as your brethren were who haue trāsgressed against the Lord God of theyre fathers, who hath made them desolate as you see. Holde not your heart therefore, but giue your hand vnto the Lord, return vnto his sanctuarie, serue [Page] hym and he shall shew mercie vnto you, to your sonnes, and dough­ters that be in bondage, for he is pitifull and easie to be intreated.

Thus far did Ezechias by lettres and messingers prouoke the people, declined from God to repentance, not only in Iuda, where he reigned laufull king,NOTE. but also in Israel, subiect then to an other king. And albeit that by somme wicked men his messingers were mocked, yet as they lacked not theyre iust punishmēt (for within sixe yeares after Samaria was destroyed and Israel led captiue by Salmanazar) so did not the zelous king Ezechias desist to prose­cute his duetie in restoring the religion to Gods perfecte ordenance, remouing all abominations.

The same is to be red of Iosias, who did not only restore the religion, but did fur­ther distroy all monumentes of idolatrie,2. par. 34. which of lōg tyme had remained. For it is written of him, that after that the boke of the law was found, and that he had asked counsil at the prophetesse Hulda, he sente ād gathered all the elders of iuda and Ierusalem, and standing in the temple of the Lord he made a conuenant,2. Reg. 23. that all the people frō the great to the small should walk after the Lord, should obserue his law, sta­tutes [Page 21] and testimonies with all theyre heart, and all theyre soule, and that they should ratifie and confirme,The king commaunded the preestes. what soeuer was writ­ten in the boke of God. He further cōmaunded Helkias the hic preest, and the preestes of the inferiour order, that they should carie furth of the temple of the Lord all the vessels, that were made to Baal, which he burnt and did carie theire pouder to Bethel. He did further distroy all monuments of idolatrie, yea euen those that had remained frō the dayes of Salomō. He did burn them, stampe them to powder, whereof one part he scattered in the broke Kidron and the other vpon the sepulcres and graues of the idolaters, whose bones he did burn vpō the altars, where before they made sa­crifice not only in Iuda, but also in Bethel, where Ieroboam had erected his idola­trie: yea he further proceded, and did kyll the preestes of the hie places, who were idolaters, and had deceaued the people: he did kyll them, I say, and did burn theyre bones vpon theyre owne altars, and so re­turned to Ierusalem. This reformatiō made Iosias, and for the same obtained this testimonie of the holie Ghost, that neither before hym neither after hym was there any suche kīg, who returned to God with his hole soule, and with all his strengthe according to all the law of Moses.

[Page]Of which histories it is euident that the reformation of religion in all points, togither with the punishement of false teachers doth appertaine to the power of the ciuile Magistrate. For what God re­quired of them, his iustice must require of others hauing the like charge and aucto­ritie: what he did approue in them, he can not but approue in all others, who with like zeale and synceritie do interprise to purge the Lordes temple and sanctuarie. what God required of them, it is before declared, to wit: that most diligently they should obserue his Law, statutes and cere­monies. And how acceptable were theyre factes to God, doth he him selfe witnesse. For to somme he gaue most notable victories without the hande of man,2. Par. 32. and in theyre most desperat daungers did decla­re his especiall fauours towerdes them by signes supernaturall: to other he so esta­blished the kingdome, that theyre enne­mies were compelled to stoupe vnder theyre feete. And the names of all he hath regestred not only in the boke of life, but also in the blessed remembrance of all po­sterities sence theyre daies, which also shall continue till the commyng of the Lord Iesus, who shall rewarde with the crowne of immortalitie not only thē, but also such, as vnfaynedly studie to do the [Page 22] will and to promote the glorie of his he­uenlie father in the middest of this corru­pted generation. In cōsideration whereof ought you, my Lordes, all delay set apart, to prouide for the reformation of reli­gion in your dominions and boundes, which now is so corrupt that no part of Christes institution remaineth in the original puritie, and therefore of neces­sitie it is, that spedely ye prouide for re­formatione or els ye declare your selues, not only voyde of loue to werdes your subiectes, but also to liue without care of your owne saluation, yea without all feare and true reuerence of God. Two thinges perchance may moue you to este­me these histories before briuely tuched to appertaine nothing to you. Fyrst be­cause you are no Iewes but Gentiles: and secondarely because you are no kinges,The factes of the god­lie kings in Iuda do apper­tain to the powers among the genti­les profes­sing Christ but nobiles in your realm. But be not deceaued. For neither of both can excuse you in goddes presence from doing your duetie, for it is a thing more then certein, that whatso euer God required of the ciuile Magistrate in Israel or Iuda concernyng the obseruation of true re­ligion during the tyme of the Law, the same doth he require of lawfull Magistra­tes professing Christ Iesus in the tyme of the Gospell, as the holie Ghost hath [Page] taught vs by the mouth of Dauid, saying Psal. 2.

Be learned you that iudge the earth, kysse the sonne, lest that the Lord waxe angrie, ād that yee pe­rish from the way.

This admonition did not extend to the iudges vnder the law only, but doth also include all such as be promoted to honours in the tyme of the Gospell, when Christ Iesus doth reigne ād feight in his spirituall kyngdome, whose ennemies in that psalme be fyrst most sharply taxed, theyr furie expressed, and vanitie mocked: & then are kings and iudges, who think them selues free from all law and obediē ­ce, commaunded to repent theyre former blynd rage, and iudges are charged to be learned: and last are all cōmaunded to ser­ue the eternall in feare, to reioyce before hym in tremblyng, to kysse the sonne, that is, to geue vnto hym most humble o­bedience, whereof it is euident that the rulers, Magistrats and iudges now in Christes kingdome are no lesse bound to obediēce vnto God, thē were those vnder the Law. And how is it possible that any shall be obediēt, who dispise his religion, in which standeth the chefe glorie, that man can geue to God, and is a seruice, [Page 23] which God especially requireth of kings and rulers?Epist. 50. Which thing saint Augustine plainely did note, writing to one Boni­facius a man of warr, according to the sa­me argument and purpose, which I labour to persuade your Honours. For after that he hath in that his epistle declared the difference betwixt the heresie of the Dona­tists and Arrians, and hath somwhat spo­ken of theyr crueltie, he sheweth the way how theyr furie should and oght to be repressed, and that it is lawfull for the in­iustly afflicted to seke support and defen­ce at godlie Magistrates. For thus he writeth:

Either must the veritie be kept close,Aduert. or els must theyr crueltie be susteaned.

But if the veritie should be concealed, not only should none be saued nor dely­uered by suchsilēce, but also shoulde many be lost through theyr decept. But if by preaching of the veritie theyr furie should be prouoked more to rage, and by that meanes yet somme were delyuered, and made stronge, yet should feare hinder ma­ny weaklīgs to folowe the veritie, if theyr rage be not stayed. In these fyrst wordes Augustine sheweth three reasons, why the afflicted Church in those daies called for [Page] the help of the Emperour and of godlie Magistrates against the furie of the perse­cuters. The fyrst,

The veritie must be spoken orNote well. ells mankind shall perish in errour.

The second, the veritie being plainlie spoken prouoketh the aduersaries to rage. And because that sōme did alledge that ra­ther we oght to suffer all iniurie, then to seke support by man, he addeth the third reason: to witt that many weakones be not able to suffer persecution and death for the truethes sake, to whome not the lesse respect oght to be had, that they may be won from errour and so be brought to grater strength.

O that the rulers of this age should ponder and wey the reasons of this godly writer, and prouid the remedie, which he requyreth in these wordes foloīg, Now when the Church was thus afflicted yf any think that rather they should haue sustay­ned all calamitie,Augusti­nes words. then that the helpe of God should haue bene asked by Christian Emperours, he doth not well aduert, that of such negligence no good cōptes or rea­son could be geuen. For where such, as would that no iust lawes should be made a­gainst theyre impietie, alledge that the A­postles soght no such thīges of the kinges [Page 24] of the earth, they do not consider that then the tyme was other then it is now, and that all thinges are done in theyr owne tyme. What Emperour then beleued in Christ, that should serue hym in making lawes for godlines against impietie?

whill yet that saying of the ꝓphet was cō plete, why hath nations raged, and people haue imagined vanitie? The kinges of the earth haue stand vp, & princes haue con­uented together against the Lord, and a­gainst his annoynted. That which is af­ter said in the same psalme, was not yet comme to passe. And now vnderstand, o you kinges, be learned you that iudge the earth, serue the Lord▪ in fear, and reioyce to hym with tremlinge.Aduert the mynd of Au­gustine. How do kings serue the Lord in fear? but in punishing and by a godlie seueritie forbidding those thinges which are done against the commaundement of the Lord. For otherwise doth he serue in so far as he is man, other wise in so far as he is king.

In so far as he is man,In two sortes oght kinges to serue God he serueth hym by liuing faithfully, but because he is also king he serueth establishing lawes, that commaund the thinges that be iust, and that with a conuenient rigour for­byd thinges contrarie. As Ezechias ser­ued distroying the groues, the temples of idols and the places, which were buyl­ded [Page] against goddes commaundement. So serued also Iosias doing the same: so ser­ued the king of Niniuites compelling the hole citie to mitigate the Lord: so serued Darius geuing in the power of Daniel the idol to be broken, and his ennemies to be cast to the lions: so serued Nabucadnezer, by a terrible law forbidding all, that were in his realme, to blaspheme God. Herein therefore do kinges serue the Lord in so far as they are kings, when they do those things to serue hym, which none except kings be able to do. He further procedeth and cōcludeth, that as, when wicked kings do reign, impietie can not be brideled by lawes, but rather is tyrannie exercised vn­der the title of the same,O that the worlde should vnderstand. so is it a thing wi­thout all reason, that kinges professing the knolledge and honour of God, should not regard nor care, who did defend, nor who did oppugne the Church of God in theyr dominions. By these wordes of this aunciēt and godlie writer your Honours may perceaue, what I require of you, to wit, to represse the tyrannie of your Byshoppes, and to defend the innocents pro­fessing the trueth. He did require of the Emperour and kings of his daies profes­sing Christ, and manifestly concludeth, that they can not serue Christ, except that so they do. Let not your Byshoppes thinke [Page 25] that Augustine speaketh for them, becau­se he nameth the Church. Let them read and vnderstand, that Augustine writeth for that Church, which professeth the trueth and doth suffer persecution for the defēce of the same, which your byshoppes do not, but rather with the Donatistes and Arrians do cruelly persecute all such, as boldly speak Christes eternall veritie to manifest theyre impietie and abomina­tion. But thus much we haue of Augu­stine, that it appertaineth to the obedi­ence and seruice,NOTE. which kinges owe to God aswel now in the tyme of the Gos­pell, as before vnder the Law, to defende the afflicted for matters of religion, and to represse the furie of the persecuters by the rigour and seueritie of godlie lawes. For which cause no doubt doth EsaieEsaie 49. the prophete say, that kinges should be no­rishers to the Church of God, that they should abbase their heades, and louingly embrase the children of God. And thus I say your Honours may euidently see, that the same obedience doth God require of rulers and princes in the tyme of the Gos­pell, that he required in the tyme of the Law.An ans­wer to the second obiection.

Yf you do think, that the reformation of religion and defence of the afflicted doth not appertaine to you, because you [Page] are no kings, but nobils ād estates of a real me, in two thinges you are deceaued: for­mer, in that you do not aduert, that Dauid requireth aswell, that the princes and iud­ges of the earth be learned and that they serue and fear God, as that he requireth, that the kings repent. Yf you therefore be iudges and princes, as no man can deny you to be, then by the playn words of Da­uid you are charged to be learned, to ser­ue and fear God, which ye can not do, if you despise the reformation of his reli­gion. And thys is your fyrst errour. The secōd is, that ye neither know your duetie, which ye owe to God, neither yet your auctoritie, which of hym ye haue receaued, yf ye for pleasure or fear of any earthlie man despise goddes true religion, and contēne your brethrē, that in his name cal for your support. Your dutie is to hear the voyce of the Eternal your God, and unfainedly to studie to folow his preceptes: who, as is be­fore said, of especiall mercie hath promo­ted you to honours and dignitie. His che­fe and principall precept is, that with re­uerence ye receaue and embrace his on­lie beloued sonne Iesus: that ye promote to the vttermost of your powers his true religion: ād that ye defend your brethren and subiectes, whome he hath putt vnder your charge ād care. Now if your king be [Page 26] a man ignorāt of God, ennemie to his true religion, blinded by superstition, and a persecuter of Christes membres, shall yee be excused, if with silence yee passe ouer his iniquitie? Be not deceaued my Lor­des, ye are placed in auctoritie for an o­ther purpose then to flatter your king in his folie and blind rage: to witt, that as with your bodies, strength, riches, and wisdome ye are bound to assist and defend him in all things, which by your aduise he shall take in hand for Gods glorie and for the preseruation of his commune we­alth and subiectes, so by your grauities, counsil and admonition yee are bound to correct and represse whatsoeuer ye know him to attempt expressedly repugning to Goddes word, honour, and glorie, or what ye shall espie him to do, be it by ignorance or be it by malice, against his subie­ctes great, or small. Of which last part of your obediēce yf ye defraud your king, ye cōmit against him no lesse treason, then yf ye did extract frō him your due and ꝓmi­sed support, what time by his ennemies in­iustly he wer pursued. But this part of their duetie I fear do a small nomber of the no­bilitie of this age rightly consider: neither yet will they vnderstand, that for that purpose hath God ꝓmoted them. For now the cōmune song of al men is, We must o­bey [Page] our kinges be they good, or be they bad, for God hath so cōmaunded. But horrible shall the vengeance be, that shalbe powred furth vpon such blasphemers of God his holie name, and ordinaunce. For it is no lesse blasphemie to say, that God hath commaunded kinges to be obeyed, when they cōmaund impietie, then to say, that God by his precept is auctour ād men­tainer of all iniquitie. True it is, God hath cōmaunded kinges to be obeyed, but like true it is, that in things, which they cōmit against his glorie, or when cruelly wi­thout cause they rage agaīst theire brethrē the members of Christes body, he hath cō ­maunded no obediēce, but rather he hath approued, yea and greatlie rewarded such as haue opponed them selues to theyre vn­godly commaundementes and blind rage: as in the exampls of the three children, of Daniel, and Abdemelech it is euident. The three children wold nether bowe nor stou­pe before the golden image at the cōmaundement of the great king Nabuchadnezar. Daniel did opēly pray, his windoes being open, against the established law of Darius and of his counsil: and Abdemelech fea­red not to enter in before the presence of Zedechias ād boldly to defēd the cause ād innocētie of Ieremie the prophet,Ieremie 38 whome the king and his counsil had cōdemned to [Page 27] deth. Euerie one of these factes should this day be iudged foolishe by such, as will not vnderstād what cōfession God doth require of his children, when his veritie is oppugned, or his glorie called in doubt: suche men, I say, as prefer man to God, and thin­ges present to the heauenlie inheritaunce, should haue iudged euerie one of these fa­ctes stubburn inobedience, foolishe pre­sumption and singularitie, or elles bold cōtrolinge of the king and his wise coun­sil. But how acceptable in Gods presence was this resistance to the vngodlie com­maundementes and determinations of theyr king the ēd did witnes. For the three children were deliuered from the fornace of fyer, and Daniel from the den of liōs to the confusion of their ennemies, to the better instruction of the ignorant kinges, and to the perpetuall comfort of goddes afflicted children. And Abdemelech in the day of the Lordes visitation, when the kinge and his counsil did drink the bitter cupp of goddes vengeance,Ierem. 39 did fynde his life for a praye, and did not fall in the edge of the sword, when manie thousan­des did perishe. And this was signified vnto him by the prophet him self at the cōmaundemēt of God before that Ierusa­lem was destroyed. The promesse and cause were recited vnto him in these wordes, [Page] I will bring my wordes vpon this citie vnto euill and not vnto good: but most assu­redly I shal deliuer thee because thou hast trusted in me, sayeth the Lord. The trust ād hope, which Abdemelech had in God, made him bold to oppone him selfe, being but a man, to the king and to his ho­le coūsill, who had cōdemned to death the Prophet, whome his cōscience did acknolledge to be innocent. For this did he speak in the presence of the king sitting in the port of Beniamī: My Lord the kinge, saith Abdemelech, these men do wickedly in all thinges, that they haue done to Ieremie the Prophet. Aduert and take hede my Lordes, that the men, who had condemned the Prophet, were the king, his prīces, and counsill, and yet did one man accuse them all of iniquitie, ād did boldly speak in the defēse of hī of whose innocētie he was persuaded. And the same, I say, is the duetie of euery man in his vocation, but chefely of the nobilitie, which is ioyned with theyr kinges to bridel and represse that folie and blind rage. Which thing if the nobilitie do not, neither yet labour to do, as they are traitours to their kings, so do they prouoke the wrath of God agaīst them selues and against the realme, in which they abuse the auctoritie, which they haue recea­ued of God to mentaine vertue and to re­presse vice. For hereof I would your Ho­nours [Page 28] were most certainly persuaded, that God will neither excuse nobilitie nor people, but the nobilitie least of al, that obey ād folow theyr kinges in manifest iniqui­tie, but with the same vengeāce will God punishe the Prince, people, and nobilitie conspiring togither against him and his holie ordenances: as in the punishment taken vpon Pharao, Israel, Iuda and Baby­lon is euidently to be sene. For Pharao was not drowned alone, but his captayns, cha­retes, and greate armie drank the same cup with him. The kinges of Israel, and Iuda were not punished whitout cōpagny, but with them were murthered the counsi­lers, theyre Princes imprisoned and thei­re people ledd captiue. And why? because none was found so faithful to God, that he durst enterprise to resist nor against and the manifest impietie of theyr Princes. And therefore was Gods wrath powred furth vpon the one and the other. But the more ample discource of this argument I differ to better opportunitie: onely at this tyme I thoght expediēt to admonysh you, that before God it shall not excuse you to alledge, We are no kinges and therefore neither can we reforme religion, nor yet defend such as be persecuted. Consider my Lordes that yee are powers ordened by God (as before is declared) ād therefore [Page] doth the reformation of religion, and the defense of such, as iniusty are oppressed, appertaine to your charge and care, which thinge shall the law of God, vniuersally geuen to be kept of all men, most euident­ly declare: which is my last and most as­sured reason,Deut. 12. why I say yee oght to remo­ue from honours and to punish with death such as God hath condemned by his owne mouth. After that Moses had declared what was true religiō, to wit, to honor God as he commaunded, adding nothing to his worde, neither yet diminishinge any thīg from it, and after also that vehemently he had exhorted the same law to be obserued, he denounceth the punishment against the trāsgressours in these wordes, Yf thy bro­ther, sonne, doghter wife or neghbour, whome thou louest as thyne own life, soli­citate thee secretly, saying, Let vs go ser­ue other goddes,Deut. 23. & 27. whome neither thou, nor thy fathers haue knowen, consent not to hym, hear hym not, let not thyne eye spa­re hym, shew hym no indulgentie or fauour, hide him not, but vtterly kill hym, let thy hād be the first vpon hym, that he may be slaine, and after the hāde of the hole people. Of these wordes of Moses are-two things, apperteanīg to our purpose, to be noted. Former, that such, as solicitate only to idolatrie oght to be punished to death [Page 29] without fauour or respect of person.Idolatrie oght to be punished without respect of person. For he that will not suffer mā to spare his sōne, his daughter, nor his wife, but straitly commaundeth punishmēt to be taken vpon the idolatours (haue they neuer so nie cōiunction with vs) will not wink at the idolatrie of others, of what estate or condition so e­uer they be.

It is not vnknowen,If anie estate might haue claimed priuiled­ge, it was the prophetes. that the prophetes had reuelations of God, which were not commune to the people, as Samuel had the reuelation, that Eli and his posteritie should be destroyed, that Saul should first be king and thereafter that he should be reiected, that Dauid should reign for him. Micheas vnderstode by vision that Achab should be killed in battaile against the Si­rians. Elias saw that dogges should eat Iesabel ī the fortres of Iesrael.1. Sam. 3. Eliaesus did see hunger come vpon Israel by the spa­ce of seuen yeares.1. Sam. 9. 15. Ieremie did foresee the destruction of Ierusalem and the tyme of their captiuitie,1. Reg. 22 and so diuerse other prophetes had diuerse reuelations of God,1. Reg. 21. which the people did not otherwise vnderstād,2. Reg. 8. but by their affirmatiō, and therefore in those dayes were the prophetes named Seears, because that God did opē vnto thē that, which was hid from the multitude. Now if anie man might haue claimed anie [Page] priuiledge from the rigour of the Law, or might haue iustified his fact, it should haue bene the Prophete. For he might haue alledged for hym selfe his singular prerogatiue, that he had aboue other men to haue goddes will reuealed vnto hym by visiō or by dream, or that God had de­clared particularely vnto hym, that his pleasure was to be honoured ī that maner, in such a place, ād by such meanes. But all such excuses doth God remoue, cōmaūdīg that the Prophete, that shall solicitate the people to serue strange goddes, shall die the death, notwithstanding that he alledge for hym selfe dream, vision, or reuela­tion. Yea althogh he promisse miracles, and also that such thinges as he promi­seth come to passe, yet I say commaun­deth God, that no credit be geuen to hym, but that he die the death, because he tea­cheth apostasie, ād defection frō God. He­reof your Honours may easely espie, that none prouoking the people to idolatrie oght to be exempted from the punishmēt of death. For if neither that inseparable cō iunction, which God hym selfe hath san­ctified betwixt man and wife, neither that vnspeakable loue grafted in nature, which is betwixt the father and the sonne, nei­ther yet that reuerence, which goddes people oght to bear to the Prophetes, can [Page 30] excuse anie man to spare the offendour or to conceale his offense, what excuse can man pretend, which God will accept? Eui­dent it is that no estate, condition nor honour can exempt the idolatour from the handes of God, when he shal call him to accomptes, or shall inflict punishment vpō him for his offence: how shall it then excuse the people, that they according to goddes cōmaundemēt punish not to death such, as shal solicitate or violētly draw the people to idolatrie? And this is the fyrst, which I would your Honours should note of the former wordes. To witt, that no person is exēpted frō punishmēt, if he can be manifestly cōuicted to haue prouoked or led the people to idolatrie: ād this is most euidently declared in that solemned othe and cōuenante, which Asa made with the people to serue God ād to mētaine his re­ligiō, adding this penaltie to the trāsgressours of it: To wit, that whosoeuer should not seke the Lord God of Israel,2. Par. 15. should be kylled, were he greate or were he small, were it man or were it woman. And of this oth was the Lorde cōpleased, he was foūd of thē ād gaue thē rest on euerie parte, be­cause they soght hī with their hole heart, ād did swear to punishe the offēders according to the precept of his Law without respect of persons. And this is it, which [Page] I say I would your Honours should note for the fyrst, that no idolatour can be ex­empted frō punishement by goddes Law. The seconde is, that the punishment of such crimes as are idolatrie, blasphemie, ād others, that tuche the maiestie of God, dothe not appertaine to kinges and chefe rulers only, but also to the hole bodie of that people, and to euerie membre of the same accordīg to the vocatiō of euerie mā, and according to that possibilitie and oc­casion, which God doth minister to re­uenge the iniurie done against his glorie, what time that impietie is manifestly knowen. And that doth Moses more plainely speak in these wordes,

Yf in anie of thy cities,Deut. 13. saieth he, which the Lord thy God geueth vnto the to dwell in them, thou shalt hear this brute, There are sō ­me men the sonnes of Belial pas­sed furthe from thee, ād haue soli­cited the citizens of theyr cities by these wordes, Let vs go ād serue strange goddes, which you haue not knowen, search and inquire diligently, and if it be true, that such abomination is done in the [Page 31] middest of thee, thou shalt vtterly stryke the inhabitants of that ci­tie with the sworde, thou shalt destroy it and whatsoeuer is wi­thin it, thou shalt gather the spoile of it in the middest of the marketplace, thou shalt burne that citie with fier, and the spoile of it to the Lord thy God, that it may be a heap of stones for euer, nei­ther shall it be any more buylded. Let nothing of that execration cleaue to thy hand, that the Lord may turne from the furie of his wrath, ād be moued to werdes thee with inward affection.

Plaine it is that Moses speaketh nor geueth not charge to kinges rulers and iudges only, but he commaūdeth the hole bodie of the people,why euerie man in Israel was bo [...]d to obey goddes co [...] ­maunde­ment. yea and euerie mem­bre of the same according to their possibi­litie: and who darbe so impudent as to de­nie this to be most reasonable and iust?

For seing that God had delyuered the ho­le bodie from bondage, and to the hole multitude had geuen his law, and to the twelue tribes had he so distributed the in­heritance [Page] of the land of Canaan, that no familie could complaine, that it was ne­glected. Was not the hole ād euerie mem­bre addetted to cōfesse ād acknolledge the benefites of God? yea had it not bene the part of euerie man to haue studied to kepe the possession, which he had receaued? w­hich thīg God did plainely ꝓnoūce they should not do,Deut. 28. and 30. except that in their heartes they did sanctifie the lord God, that they embrased, and inuiolably kept his religiō established: and finally except they did cutt oute iniquitie from amongest them, declaring them selues earnest ennemies to those abominations, which God declared hym selfe so vehemently to hate, that fyrst he commaunded the hole inhabitants of that countree to be distroyed and all mo­numents of their idolatrie to be broken doune,Deut. 7. and thereafter he also streatly com­maūdeth, that a citie declininge to idola­trie should fall in the edge of the sworde, ād that the hole spoile of the same,Godds iudgements to the car­nall man appear ri­gorous. should be burned, no portiō of it reserued. To the carnal man this may appeare a rigorous and seuere iudgement, yea it may rather seme to be pronounced in a rage, then in wisdome. For what citie was euer yet, in which to mannes iudgement were not to be found manie innocent persons, as in­fants, children, and somme simple and i­gnorāt [Page 32] soules, who neither did nor could consent to such impietie? And yet we fynd no exception, but all are appointed to the cruel death. And as concernyng the citie and the spoile of the same, mannes reason can not think, but that it might haue bene better bestowed, then to be consumed with fier, and so to profitt no man. But in such cases will God that all crea­tures stoupe, couer their faces, and desist from reasonyng, when commaundement is geuen to execute his iudgement. Al­beit I could adduce diuerse causes of such seueritie, yet will I search none other then the holie Ghost hath assigned. Fyrst, that all Israel hearing the iudgement should fear to commit the like abomina­tion: and secondarely, that the Lord might turn from the furie of his anger, might be moued towerds the people with inward affection, be mercifull vnto them, and multiplie them according to his oth made vnto theire fathers. Which rea­sons as they are sufficient in goddes chil­dren to correct the murmuring of the grudging fleshe, so oght they to prouoke euerie man, as before I haue said, to de­clare hym selfe ennemie to that, which so highly prouoketh the wrath of God a­gainst the hole people. For where Moses saieth,

[Page]Let the citie be burned, and let no part of the spoile cleaue to thy hand, that the Lord may return from the furie of his wrath, &c.

He plainely doth signifie,For the idolatrie of a smale number is goddes wrath kindled a­gainst the multitude not puni­shing the offēdours. that by the defection and idolatrie of a few goddes wrath is kyndled against the hole, which is neuer quenched till such punishement be taken vpon the offenders: that what soeuer serued them in their idolatrie, be broght to destruction, because that it is execrable and accursed before God. And therefore he will not, that it be reserued for anie vse of his people. I am not igno­rant that this law was not put in execu­tion as God commaunded. But what did thereof insue and folow histories declare: to witt, plage after plage till Israel, and Iuda were led in captiuitie, as the bokes of kings do witnesse. The consideration whereof maketh me more bold to affirm, that it is the duetie of euerie man, that list to escape the plage and punishement of God, to declare hym selfe ennemie to idolatrie not only in heart, hating the same, but also in externall gesture, de­claring that he lamenteth, yf he can do no more,EZech. 9. for such abominations. Which thing was shewed to the ꝓphete Ezechiel, what tyme he gaue hym to vnderstād, why [Page 33] he would destroy Iuda with Israel, ād that he would remoue his glorie from the tem­ple and place, that he had chosen,Ezech. 8. and 9. ād so po­werfurth his wrathe and indignation v­pon the citie, that was full of blood and a­postasie, which became so impudent, that it durst be bold to say, the Lord hath left the earth, and seeth not. At this tyme, I say, the Lord reuealed in vision to his prophe­te, who they were, that should fynd fauour in that miserable destruction. To witt, those that did murne and lament for all the abominations done in the citie, in whose foreheades did God commaund to print and seal Tau, to the end that the de­stroyer, who was commaunded to stryke the rest without mercie, should not hurt them, in whome that signe was found. Of these premisses I suppose it be euident, that the punishment of idolatrie doth not appertaine to kinges only, but also to the hole people, yea to euerie membre of the same according to his possibilitie. For that is a thing most assured, that no man can murne, lament, and bewaile for those thinges, which he will not remoue to the vttermost of his power.NOTE. Yf this be requi­red of the hole people, and of euerie man in his vocation, what shall be required of you, my Lordes, whome God hath raised vpp to be Princes and rulers aboue your [Page] brethren, whose handes he hath armed with the sword of his iustice? yea whome he hath appointed to be as bridels to re­presse the rage and insolencie of your kinges, when soeuer they pretend mani­festly to transgresse goddes blessed orde­nance? An ans­wer to an obiection. Yf any think that this my affirma­tion, tuchinge the punishmēt of idolaters, be contrarie to the practise of the Apo­stles, who fynding the Gentiles in idola­trie did call them to repentance, requi­ring no such punishmēt, lett the same man vnderstand,why no law was executed against the Genti­les being Idolaters. that the Gentiles, before the preaching of Christ, liued, as the Apostle speaketh, without God in the world, drowned in idolatrie, according to the blind­nes ād ignorāce, in which then they were holden as a prophane natiō, whome God had neuer opēly auowed to be his people, had neuer receaued ī his houshold, neither geuen vnto them lawes to be kept in re­ligion nor politie: and therefore did not his holie Ghost, calling them to repentance, require of them anie corporall punish­ment according to the rigour of the law, vnto the which they were neuer subiects, as they that were strangers from the com­mune welth of Israel.Ephe. 2. But if anie think, that, after that the Gentiles were called from theyr vaine conuersation, and by embrasing Christ Iesus were receaued ī the [Page 34] nombre of Abrahams children, and so ma­de one people with the Iewes beleuing, yf ani think, I say, that then they were not bounde to the same obedience, which God required of his people Israel, what tyme he confirmed his leage and conue­nante with them, the same man appea­reth to make Christ inferiour to Moses, and contrarious to the law of his heauen­lie father. For if the contempt or trans­gression of Moses law was worthie of death, what should we iudge the contempt of Christes ordenance to be? (I mean after they be once receaued.) And if Christ be not commed to dissolue, but to fulfill the law of his heauenlie Father, shall the li­bertie of his Gospell be an occasion, that the especiall glorie of his Father be troden vnder foote and regarded of no man? God forbid. The especial glorie of God is,The espe­ciall ho­nour, which God requireth of his people. that such, as professe them to be his people, should harken to his voice, and amongest all the voices of God reuealed to the worlde, tuching punishement of vices, is none more euident neither more seuere, then is that, which is pronounced against idolatrie, the teachers and mentainers of the same.1. Sam. 15. And therefore I fear not to af­firm, that the Gentiles (I mean euerie citie, realme, prouince, or nation amongest the Gentiles, embrasing Christ Iesus [Page] and his true religiō) be bound to the same leage and cōuenant, that God made with his people Israel, what tyme he promised to roote owt the nations before them in these wordes.

Beware that thou make anie cōuenante with the inhabitantes of the land,Exod. 34. to the which thou com­mest, leste perchāce that this com­me in ruin, that is, be destruction to the: but thou shalt destroy theyr altars, break their idols and cutt doune their groues. Fear no stran­ge goddes, worship them not, nei­ther yet make you sacrifice to them. But the Lord, who in his great power, and owtstretched arme hath broght you owt of the land of Egypt, shall you fear, hym shall you honour, hym shall you worship, to hym shall you make sacrifice, his statutes, iudgements, Lawes, and commaundementes you shall kepe and obserue. This is the conuenante, which I haue [Page 35] made with you, saieth the Eternall, forget it not, neither yet fear ye o­ther goddes: but fear you the Lord your God, and he shall deliuer you frō the hādes of all your ennemies.

To this same Law, I say, and cōuenante are the Gētiles no lesse bounde, then som­tyme were the Iewes, when soeuer God doth illuminate the eyes of anie multitu­de, prouince, people or citie, and putteth the sworde in their own hand to remoue such enormities from amongest them, as before God they know to be abominable. Then, I say, are they no lesse boūd to pur­ge theyr dominions,▪ cities and countries from idolatrie, then were the Israelites, what tyme they receaued the possession of the land of Canaan. And moreouer I say, if any go about to erect and set vp ido­latrie or to teach defection from God, af­ter that the veritie hath bene receaued and approued, that thē not only the Magistra­tes, to whome the sword is cōmittet, but also the people are boūd by that oth, which they haue made to God, to reuenge to the vttermost of their power the iniurie done against his Maiestie. In vniuersal defecti­ons, and in a general reuolt, such as was in Israel after Ieroboam, there is a diuerse consideration. For then because the hole [Page] people were togither cōspired agaīst God, there could none be foūd, that woulde execute the punishement, which God had cō ­maunded, till God raised vpp Iehu, whom he had appoīted for that purpose. And the same is to be cōsidered in all other general defectiōs, suche as this day be in the papi­strie, where all are blinded, and all are de­clined from God and that of lōge cōtinu­ance, so that no ordinarie iustice cā be executed, but the punishmēt must be reserued to God ād vnto such meanes, as he shall appoint. But I do speak of such a nōbre, as af­ter they haue receaued goddes perfect religiō, do boldly professe the same, notwith­stādīg that sōme or the most part fal back: (as of late daies was ī Englād) vnto such a nōbre, I say, it is Laufull to punish the idolatours with death, if by anie meanes God geue them the power. For so did Iosua and Israel determine to haue done against the childrē of Rubē, Gad ād Manasses for their suspected apostasie ād defectiō from God. And the hole tribes did in verie dede exe­cute that sharpe iudgemēt agaīst the tribe of Bēiamin for a lesse offēce then for idolatrie. And the same oght to be done wher­soeuer Christ Iesus ād his Euāgill is so re­ceaued ī any realme, ꝓuince, or citie, that the Magistrates ād people haue solemnely auowed ād promised to defēd the same, as [Page 36] vnder king Edward of late dayes was done in Englād. In such places, I say, it is not on­ly lawful to punish to the death such, as la­bour to subuert the true religiō, but the magistrates ād people are boūd so to do, onles they wil prouoke the wrath of God agaīst thē selues. And therfor I fear not to affirm, that it had bene the duetie of the nobilitie, iudges, rulers, ād people of Englād not on­ly to haue resisted and againstanded Marie that Iesabel, whome they call their quene, but also to haue punished her to the death with all the sort of her idolatrous Pree­stes, together with all such, as should haue assisted her, what tyme that shee and they openly began to suppresse Christes Euan­gil, to shedd the blood of the saīcts of God, ad to erect that most diuellish idolatrie, the papistical abominatiōs, ād his vsurped ty­rannie, which ones most iustly by cōmune oth was banished from that realme. But be­caus I cā not at this present discusse this argument, as it appertaineth, I am cōpelled to omitt it to better opportunitie, and so returning to your Honours, I say, that if ye confesse your selues baptised in the Lord Iesus, of necessitie ye must confesse, that the care of his religion doth apper­taine to your charge. And if ye know that in your hādes God hath put the sworde for the causes aboue expressed, thē cā ye not denie, [Page] but that the punishement of obstinate and malepert idolatours (such as all your bishoppes be) doth appertaine to your of­fice, yf after admonition they cōtinew ob­stinat. I am not ignorāt, what be the vaine defēses of your proude prelates. They claime first a prerogatiue and priuiledge, that they are exempted, and that by consent of Councils and Emperours from all iurisdi­ction of the temporaltie. And secōdarely, when they are cōuicted of manifest impie­ties, abuses, and enormities aswell in their maners as in religion, neither fear, nor sha­me they to affirme, that thinges so longe established can not suddenly be reformed, althogh they be corrupted, but with pro­cesse of tyme they promisse to take order. But in few wordes I answer, that no priui­ledge, graunted against the ordenance and statutes of God, is to be obserued althogh all Councils and men in the earth haue appointed the same. But against goddes ordenance it is, that idolatours, murtherours, fals teachers, and blasphemers shall be exē ­pted from punishement, as before is decla­red, and therefore in vaine it is, that they claym for priuiledge, when that God say­eth: The murtherer shalt thou riue from my alter, that he may die the death. And as to the order and reformatiō, which they promisse, that is to be loked or hoped for, [Page 37] when Satan, whose children and slaues they are, can chāge his nature. This answer I doubt not shall suffice the sober ād god­lie reader. But yet to the end that they may further see their own confusion, and that your Honours may better vnderstād, what ye oght to do in so manifest a corruption and defectiō from God, I aske of them sel­ues, what assurance they haue for this their immunitie, exemption, or priuiledge? who is the auctour of it? and what frute it hath produced?God is not auctour of anie priuiledge gra­unted to papistical bishoppes, that they be exem­pted from the power of the ciuile sword. And fyrst I say that of God they haue no assurance, neither yet can he be proued to be auctour of anie suche priuiledge. But the contrarie is easie to be seen. For God in establishing his orders in Israel did so subiect Aaron (in his pree­sthode being the figure of Christ) to Mo­ses, that he feared not to call him in iud­gement, and to constrain hym to giue ac­comptes of his wicked dede in consenting to idolatrie, as the historie doth plaine­ly witnesse. For thus it is written,

Then Moses toke the calf,Exod. 32. which they had made, and burned it with fier, and did grind it to powder, and scattering it in the water, ga­ue it to drink to the children of Is­rael▪ declaring herebie the vanitie of their [Page] idol and the abomination of the same, and thereafter Moses said to Aaron, what hath this people done to the, that thou shouldest bring vpon it so great a syn?

Thus, I say, doth Moses call and accuse Aaron of the destruction of the hole peo­ple, and yet he perfectly vnderstode, that God had appointed hym to be the high Preest, that he should bear vpon his shoul­ders ād vpō his breast the names of the 12. tribes of Israel, for whome he was appoin­ted to make sacrifice, praiers, ād supplica­tions. He knew his dignitie was so great,The dignitie of Aa­rō did not exempt him from iudgemēt. that only he might entre within the most holie place: but neither could his office nor dignitie exempt hym from iudgemēt, when he had offended. Yf any obiect, Aa­ron at that tyme was not anointed ād the­refore was he subiect to Moses, I haue ans­wered, that Moses, being taught by the mouth of God, did perfectly vnderstād, to what dignitie Aarō was appointed, and yet he feared not to call hym in iudgement, and to cōpell hym to make answer for his wicked fact. But if this answer doth not suffice, yet shall the holie Ghost witnesse fur­ther in the matter. Salomō remoued from honour Abiathar being the high preeste, and cōmaunded him to cease from all fun­ction, [Page 38] and to liue as a priuate man. Now if the vnction did exempt the preest from Iurisdiction of the ciuile Magistrate, Sa­lomon did offend, and iniured Abiathar. For he was anoynted, and had caried the ark before Dauid. But God doth not reproue the fact of Salomon, neither yet doth Abiathar claime anie prerogatiue by the reason of his office, but rather doth the holie Ghost approue the fact of Salo­mon, sayinge,

Salomō eiected furth Abiathar,1. Regū 2. that he should not be the Preest of the Lord,1 Sam. 3. that the word of the Lord might be perfurmed, which he spake vpon the house of Eli.

And Abiathar did think that he obtai­ned great fauour, in that he did escape the present death, which by his conspiracie he had deserued. Yf anie yet reason, that Abiathar was no otherwise subiect to the iudgement of the king, but as he was ap­pointed to be the executour of that sen­tence, which God before had pronoun­ced,Note well. as I will not greatly denie that rea­son, so require I that euerie man consi­der, that the same God, who pronoun­ced sentence against Eli, and his house, hath pronounced also, that idolaters,Gal. 4. hoo­remongers, murtherers,1. Tim. 3. and blasphemers [Page] shall neither haue portion in the king­dome of God, neither oght to be per­mitted to bear anie rule in his Church and congregation. Now if the vnction and office saued not Abiathar, because that goddes sentence must nedes be per­furmed, can anie priuiledge graunted by man be a buckler to malefactours, that they shall not be subiect to the punish­mentes pronounced by God? I think no man will be so foolishe as so to affirm. For a thing more then euident it is, that the hole preesthode in the tyme of the Law was bound to giue obedience to the ciuile powers. And if anie membre of the same was foūde criminal, the same was subiect to the punishement of the sworde, which God had put in the hand of the Magistra­te. And this ordenance of his father did not Christ disanul,Mat. 17. but rather did cōfirme the same, cōmaunding tribute to be payed for hym selfe and for Peter. Who per­fectly knowing the mynd of his maister, thus writeth in his epistle,

Submit your selues to all maner ordenance of man,1. Pet. 2. (he excepteth such as be expressely repugnyng to goddes commaundement) for the Lordes sake,Act. 4. and 5. whether it be to king as to the chefe head, or vnto rulers as [Page 39] vnto them, that are sent by hym for punishement of euill doers, and for the praise of them, that do well.

The same doth the apostle saint Paule most plainely commaund in these wordes,

Let euerie soule be subiect to the superiour powers.Rom. 13.

Which places make euident that nei­ther Christ neither his Apostles hath ge­uen any assurāce of this immunitie ād priuiledge, which men of Church (as they wil be termed) do this day claime. Yea it was a thing vnknowen to the primitiue Churche many yeares after the daies of the Apostles. For Chrysostome,Chryso­stome vpō the 13. to the Rom. who ser­ued in the Churche at Constantinople foure hundreth years after Christes ascension, and after that corruptiō was greatlie increased, doth yet thus write vpon the forsayd wordes of the Apostle,

This precept,Let Papi­stes an­swer Chrysostome. saieth he, doth not appertaine to such as be called se­culars onlie, but euē to those, that be Preestes and religious men.

And after he addeth: Whether thou be Apostle, Euangelist, Prophete, or whosoeuer thou be, thou cāst not [Page] be exempted from this subiection.

Hereof it is playn that Chrysostome did not vnderstand that God had exēpted any person from obedience and subiectiō of the ciuile power, neither yet that he was auctour of such exemptiō and priui­ledge, as Papistes do this day claime. And the same was the iudgemēt and vniforme doctrine of the primatiue Church many yeares after Christe. Your Honours do wōder, I doubt not, frō what fōtaine then did this theyr immunitie, as they terme it, ād singular priuiledge sprīg. I shall short­ly tuch that, which is euident in their own law and histories. When the Byshoppes of Rome, the verie Antichrists had partly by fraud, and partly by violence vsurped the superioritie of some places in Italie, and most iniustly had spoiled the Empe­rours of their rētes and possessiōs,Lett theyr owne hi­stories wit­nesse. and had also murthered somme of their officers, as histories do witnesse, the began Pope after Pope to practise and deuise, how they should be exempted from iudgement of Princes and from the equitie of lawes, and in this poynt they were most vigi­lant, till at length iniquitie did so preuai­le in theyr handes, according as Daniel had before prophesied of them, that this sentence was pronounced,

[Page 40]Neither by the Emperour,The mouthe of the beast speakinge great thinges. nei­ther by the clergie, neither yet by the people shall the iudge be iud­ged. God will, saieth Symmachus, that the causes of others be determi­ned by men,Distin. 9. quest. 3. but without all que­stion he hath reserued the Byshop of this seat, vnderstanding Rome,Theyre lawes do witnesse. to his own iudgement.

And here of diuerse Popes, and exposi­tours of their lawes would seme to geue reasons. For saieth Agatho,Dist. 19.

All the preceptes of the apo­stolik seat are assured, as by the voice of God him self.

The auctour of the glose vpō their ca­non affirmeth, that if all the world should pronounce sentence against the Pope, yet should his sentēce preuaile. For saieth he,Cap. de transla­tione titul. 7.

The Pope hath a heauēlie will, ād therefore he may chaūge the nature of thinges, he may apply the substāce of one thing to an other, and of nothing he may make som­what, and that sentēce, which was nothing (that is) by his mynd fals [Page] and iniuste, he may make somew­hat that is true ād iust. For, saieth he, in all thinges, that please hym, his will is for reason. Neither is there any man, that may aske of hym, why doest thou so. For he may dispens aboue the Law, and of iniustice he may make iustice. For he hath the fulnes of all power.

And manie other most blasphemous sētēces did they pronoūce euery one after other, which for shortnessake I omitt, till at the end they obtained this most hor­rible decrie: that albeit in life and con­uersation they were so wicked,Distinct. 40. and dete­stable, that not only they cōdemned them selues, but that also they drew to hell and perdition manie thousandes with them,Note the equitie of this com­maunde­ment. yet that none should presume to repre­hēd or rebuke thē. This being established for the head (albeit not without somme contradiction, for somme Emperours did require due obedience of them, as goddes word commaunded, and aunciēt Byshop­pes had geuen before to Emperours, and to their lawes, but Satan so preuailed in his suete before the blynd world, that the former sentences were confirmed, which [Page 41] power being graunted to the head) then began prouision to be made for the rest of the membres in all realmes and con­tries, where they made residence. The frute whereof we see to be this, that none of that pestilent generation (I mean the vermine of the Papistical order) will be subiect to anie ciuile Magistrate, how e­normious that euer his crime be, but will be reserued to their own ordenarie, as they terme it. And what frutes haue hereof ensued, be the world neuer so blynd, it can not but witnesse. For how their head that Romane Antichrist hath bene occu­pied euer sēce the graūting of such priui­ledges, histories do witnesse, and of late the most part of Europa subiect to the plage of God, to fier and sworde, by his procurement hath felt and this day doth fele. The pride, ambition, enuie, excesse, fraude, spoile, oppression, murther, fil­thie life, and incest, that is vsed and men­tained amongest that rabble of Preestes, freers, monkes, channons, byshoppes and Cardinalles, can not be expressed. I fear not to affirme, neither doubt I to proue, that the papisticall Church is further de­generate from the puretie of Christes doctrine,The mat­ter is more then eui­dent. from the footesteppes of the A­postles and from the maners of the pri­matiue Church, thē was the Church of the [Page] Iewes from goddes holie statutes, what ti­me it did crucifie Christ Iesus the onlie Messias, and most cruelly persecute his A­postles. And yet will our Papistes claime theyr priuiledges and auncient liberties, which if you graunt vnto thē, my Lords, ye shall assuredly drink the cupp of god­des vengeance with them,whosoeuer mētaineth the priui­ledges of Papists, shall drīk the cupp of gods vē geance with them and shalbe re­puted before his presence compagnions of theues and mētainers of murtherers, as is before declared. For theyr immunitie ād priuiledge, whereof so greatly they bost, is nothing els, but as if theues, murtherers or briggandes should conspire amongest them selues, that they would neuer answer in iudgement before anie laufull Magi­strate, to the end that their theft and mur­ther should not be punished, euen such I say is their wicked priuiledge, which nei­ther they haue of God the father, neither of Christ Iesus, who hathe reuealed his fathers will to the world, neither yet of the Apostles nor primatiue Churche, as before is declared. But it is a thinge conspired amongest them selues, to the end that their iniquitie, detestable life, and tyrannie shall neither be repressed nor reformed. And if they obiect, that godlie Emperours did graunt and con­firme the same, I answer that the godli­nes of no man is, or can be of sufficient [Page 42] auctoritie to iustifie a foolishe and vn­godlie fact, such I mean, as God hath not alowed by his worde. For Abraham was a godlie man, but the deniall of his wife was such a fact, as no godlie man oght to imitate. The same might I shew of Da­uid, Ezechias and Iosias, vnto whom I think no man of iudgement will prefer anie Emperour sence Christ, in holines ād wisdome, and yet are not all theyr factes, no euen such, as they appeared to haue done for good causes, to be approued nor folowed. And therefore, I say, as errour and ignorance remayn all waies with the most perfect man in this life, so must their workes be examined by an other rule, thē by their own holines, if they shall be ap­proued. But if this answer doth not suffice, then will I answer more shortly, that no godlie Emperour sence Christes ascensiō hath graunted anie such priuiledge to a­nie such Churche or person, as they (the hole generatiō of Papistes) be at this day. I am not ignorāt, that sōme Emperours of a certaine zeale and for sōme cōsideratiōs graunted liberties to the true Church af­flicted for theyr mentainance against ty­rants, but what serueth this for the defen­ce of theyr tyrannie? Yf the law must be vnderstāded accordīg to the mynd of the lawgeuer, then must they fyrst proue thē [Page] selues Christes true ād afflicted Churche, before they can claime anie priuiledge to appertaine to them. For only to that Churche were the priuiledges graunted. It will not be their glorious titles, nei­ther yet the longe possession of the name, that can preuaile in this so weghtie a cau­se. For all those had the Churche of Ie­rusalem, which did crucifie Christ, and did condemne his doctrine. We offer to proue by theyr frutes and tyrannie, by the Prophetes, and playn scriptures of God, what trees and generation they be, to witt vnfrutefull and rotten, apt for nothing, but to be cutt and cast in hell fier, yea that they are the very kingdome of Anti­christ, of whome we are cōmaunded to be­ware. And therefore, my Lordes, to return to you, seing that God hath armed your handes with the sworde of iustice, seing that his Law most streatly commaundeth idolaters and fals prophetes to be punis­shed with death, and that you be placed aboue your subiects to reigne as fathers ouer theyr children: and further seing that not only I, but with me manie thou­sand famous, godlie and learned persons, accuse your Byshoppes ād the hole rabble of the Papistical clergie of idolatrie, of murther and of blasphemie against God committed: it appertaineth to your Ho­nours [Page 43] to be vigilant and carefull in so weghtie a matter? The question is not of earthly substāce, but of the glorie of God, and of the saluation of your selues, and of your brethren subiect to your charge, in which if you after this playne admonitiō be negligent, there resteth no excuse by reason of ignorance. For in the name of God I require of you, that the cause of re­ligiō may be tried in your presēce by the playne ād simple worde of God: that your Byshoppes be compelled to desist from theyr tyrannie: that they be compelled to make answer for the neglecting of their office, for the substāce of the poore, which vniustly they vsurpe and prodigally they do spend, but principally for the fals and deceauable doctrine, which is taught and defended by theyr fals prophetes, flatte­ring freers, and other such venemous lo­custes. Which thing if with single eyes ye do (preferring goddes glorie and the saluation of your brethren to all world­lie commoditie) then shall the same God, who solemnely doth pronounce to ho­nour those, that do honour hym, power his benedictions plentifully vpon you, he shall be your buckler, protection and captayne, and shall represse by his stre­ngth and wisdome, whatsoeuer Satan by his suppostes shall imagine against you. [Page] I am not ignorant, that great troubles shall ensue your enterprise. For Satan will not be expelled from the possession of his vsurped kingdome without resistance. But if you, as is said, preferring god­des glorie to your own liues, vnfeaned­ly seke and studie to obey his blessed will, then shall your deliuerance be such, as euidently it shall be knowen, that the angels of the eternall do watche, make warr, and feght for those, that vnfeyned­ly fear the Lorde. But if you refuse this my most reasonable and iust petition, what defēce that euer you appeare to haue before men, then shall God (whome in me you contemne) refuse you. He shall pourefurthe contempt vpon you,Deu. 28. and vpon your posteritie after you.Leuit. 26. The spi­rit of boldnes and wisdome shall be ta­ken from you, your ennemies shall reign, and you shall die in bondage, yea God shall cutt doune the vnfrutefull trees, when they do appeare most beautifully to florish,Esa. 27. & 30. and shall so burn the roote, that after of you shall neither twigge, nor branch againe spring to glorie. Hereof I nede not to adduce vnto you examples from the former ages, and auncient hi­stories. For your brethren the nobilitie of England are a mirrour and glasse, in the which ye may beholde goddes iust [Page 44] punishment. For as they haue refused him, and his Euāgil, which ones in mouth they did professe, so hath he refused them, and hath taken from them the spirit of wis­dome, boldenes, and of counsil. They see and fele theyr owne miserie, and yet they haue no grace to auoid it. They hate the bondage of strangers, the pride of pree­stes, and the mōstriferous empire of a wic­ked womā, and yet are they cōpelled to bo­we their neckes to the yock of the Deuill, to obey what soeuer the proude Spaniards, and wicked Iesabel list to commaund, and finally to stand like slaues with capp in hand till the seruantes of Satan the shauen sort call them to counsil. This frute do they reape ād gather of their former rebel­lion, and vnfaithfulnes towardes God. They are left cōfused in their owne coun­sils. He, whome in his mēbres for the plea­sure of a wicked woman they haue exiled, persecuted ād blasphemed, doth now laugh them to skorn, suffereth thē to be pyned in bondage of most wicked men, ād finally shall adiudge thē to the fier euerlastīg, ex­cept that spedely, ād opēly they repēt theyr horrible treasō, which against God, agaīst his sonne Christ Iesus, and against the li­bertie of their owne natiue realme they haue cōmitted. The same plages shall fall vpon you, be you assured, if ye refuse the [Page] defence of his seruantes, that call for your support. My words are sharpe, but cōsider, my Lords, that they are not mine, but that they are the threatnynges of the omnipo­tent, who assuredly will perfurme the voi­ces of his Prophetes, how that euer car­nall men despise his admonitions.Lett En­glād and Scotland both ad­uert. The sworde of Goddes wrath is alredie dra­wē, which of necessitie must nedes stryke, when grace offred is obstinatly refused. You haue bene long in bondage of the Deuil, blyndnes, errour and idolatrie, preuai­ling against the simple trueth of God in that your realme, in which God hath ma­de you princes and rulers. But now doth God of his great mercie call you to repen­tance, before he power furth the vttermost of his vengeance:God cal­leth to re­pentance before he strike in his hote displea­sure. he crieth to your eares, that your religiō is nothing but idolatrie. he accuseth you of the blood of his saincts, which hath bene shed by your permission, assistance, and powers. For the tyrannie of those raging beastes should haue no force, if by your strength they were not men­tained.Papistes had no force, yf Princes did not mentain them. Of those horrible crimes doth now God accuse you, not of purpose to con­demne you, but mercifully to absolue, and pardō you, as somtyme he did those, whom Peter accused to haue killed the sonne of God,Act. 2. so that ye be not of mind nor pur­pose to iustifie your former iniquitie.

[Page 45]Iniquitie I call not only the crimes and offenses, which haue bene and yet remaine in your maners and liues, but that also, which appeareth before men most holie, with hassard of my life I offre to proue a­bomination before God:No true seruant of God may commu­nicate with the papistical religion. that is, your hole religion to be so corrupt and vaine, that no true seruante of God can communicate with it, because that in so doing he should manifestly denie Christ Iesus and his e­ternal veritie. I know that your byshoppes accompained with the swarme of the papistical vermine shal crie, A damned here­tik oght not to be hard.An ans­wer to the old obie­ction, that an heretik oght not to be hard. But remembre, my Lords, what in the beginning I haue protested, vpō which groūnd I cōtinually stād, to witt, that I am no heretike nor deceaua­ble teacher, but the seruante of Christ Ie­sus, a preacher of his īfallible veritie, innocent in all that they can lay to my charge cōcerning my doctrine, and that therefo­re by them, being ennemies to Christ, I am iniustly damned. From which cruell sentence I haue appealed and do appeal, as before mention is made: in the mean ty­me most hūbly requiring your Honours to take me in your protection, to be audi­tours of my iust defēses, graūting vnto me the same libertie, which Achab a wicked king and Israel at that tyme a blynded people, grāted to Helias in the like case. That [Page] is, that your byshoppes, and the hole rab­ble of your clergie may be called before you and before that people,1. Reg. 18. whome they haue deceaued: that I be not condemned by multitude, by custome, by auctoritie or law diuised by man, but that God hym self may be iudge betwixt me and my aduersaries. Let God, I say, speak by his law, by his prophetes, by Christ Iesus or by his Apostles, and so let hym pro­nounce, what religion he approueth, and then be my ennemies neuer so manie, and appeare they neuer so stronge and so learned, no more do I feare victorie, then did Helias, being but one man against the multitude of Baales preestes. And if they think to haue aduantage by theyre coun­cils and doctours,Tuching councils and do­ctours. this I further offer, to admitt the one and the other, as witnes­ses in all matters debateable, three thin­ges (which iustly can not be denied) being granted vnto me. First, that the most auncient Councils nighest to the primi­tiue Church, in which the learned and godlie fathers did examine all matters by goddes word, may be holden of most auctoritie. Secondarely, that no deter­mination of Councils nor man be admit­ted against the plaine veritie of god­des word, nor against the determination of those foure chefe Councils, whose au­ctoritie [Page 46] hath bene and is holden by them equal with the auctoritie of the foure E­uangelistes. And last, that to no doctour be geuen greater auctoritie, then Augustine requireth to be geuen to his writinges:In prologo Retract. to witt, if he plainely proue not his affirmation by Gods infallible worde, that then his sentence be reiected and im­puted to the errour of a mā. These thinges graunted and admitted, I shall no more refuse the testimonies of Councils and do­ctours, then shall my aduersaries. But and if they will iustifie those Councils, which mentaine theyr pride, ād vsurped auctori­tie, and will reiect those, which plainly haue condemned all such tyrannie, negli­gence, and wicked life, as byshoppes now do vse: and if further they will snatche a doubtfull sentence of a doctour, and refu­se his mynd, when he speaketh plainly, then will I say, that all man is a lyer, that credit oght not to be geuen to an vncon­stant witnes, and that no Coūcils oght to preuaile, nor be admitted against the sen­tence, which God hath pronounced. And thus, my Lordes, in few wordes to cōclude I haue offred vnto you a triall of mie in­nocencie: I haue declared vnto you, what God requireth of you, being placed aboue his people, as rulers and princes: I ha­ue offred vnto you, and to the inhabitātes [Page] of the realme, the veritie of Christ Iesus, and with the hasard of my life I presently offer to proue the religion, which amon­gest you is mentained by fier and sworde, to be fals, dānable and diabolicall. Which thinges if ye refuse, defending tyrantes in their tyrānie, then dar I not flatter, but as it was commaunded to Ezechiel boldly to proclaime,Eze. 33. so must I crie to you, that you shall perishe in your iniquitie, that the Lord Iesus shall refuse so manie of you, as maliciously withstand his eternall veritie, and in the day of his apparition,Mat. 24 & 26. when all flesh shall appear before hym, that he shall repell you from his compagnie and shall commaund you to the fier, whiche neuer shalbe quēched,Dani. 12 and then neither shall the multitude be able to resist,Mat. 25. neither yet the counsils of man be able to preuaile against that sentence, which he shall pronounce.

God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ by the power of his holie spirit so rule and dispose your hearts, that with simplicitie ye may cōsider the thinges, that be offred, ād that ye may take such order in the same, as God in you may be glorified, and Chri­stes flock by you may be edified and com­forted to the praise ād glorie of our Lord Iesus Christ, whose omnipotent spirit rule your hearts in his true feare to the end.

Amen.

TO HIS BELO­VED BRETHREN THE communaltie of Scotland Iohn Knoxe wisheth grace, mercie and peace with the spirit of righteous iud­gement.

VVhat I haue required of the Quene Regēt, estates ād no­bilitie as of the chife heades (for this present) of the re­alme, I can not cease to re­quire of you dearli beloued Brethrē, which be the cōmunaltie and bodie of the same. To wit, that it (notwithstanding that fals and cruel sentence, which your disgised byshoppes haue pronounced against me) would please you to be so fauorable vnto me, as to be indifferēt auditours of my iust purgation. Which to do if God earnestly moue your heartes, as I nothīg doubt, but that your entreprise shall redounde to the praise of his holie name, so am I assured, that ye and your posteritie shall by that meanes receaue most singular comfort, e­dificatiō, ād profit. For when ye shall heare the matter debated, ye shall easelie percea­ue and vnderstand, vpon what grounde ād foundation is builded that religion, which [Page] amongest you is this day defended by fier and sword. As for my own conscience I am most assuredly persuaded, that, what soeuer is vsed in the papistical Churche is al to­gither repugning to Christes blessed ordināce, and is nothing but mortal venem, of which whosoeuer drinketh, I am assuredly persuaded, that therewith he drīketh death and damnation, except by true conuersion vnto God he be purged from the same. But because that long silence of goddes worde hath begotten ignorance almost in al sor­tes of men, and ignorance, ioyned with long custome, hath cōfirmed superstition in the heartes of many, I therefore in the name of the Lord Iesus desire audience as­well of you the communaltie, my Brethrē, as of the estates and nobilitie of the real­me,Petition. that in publike preaching I may haue place amongest you at large to vtter my mind in all matters of cōtrouersie this day in religion. And further I desire, that ye cō curring with your nobilitie would com­pell your byshoppes and clergie to cease their tyrannie, and also that, for the bet­ter assurance and instruction of your con­sciēce, ye would compell your said bishoppes and fals teachers to answer by the scri­ptures of God to such obiectiōs ād crimes, as shalbe laid against their vaine religion, fals doctrine, wicked life, and sclande­rous [Page 48] conuersation. Here I know, that it shalbe obiected, that I require of you a thing most vnreasonable. To witt, that ye should call your religion in doubt, which hath bene approued and established by so long continuance, and by the consent of so manie men before you.Answer to an obiection. But I shortly ans­wer, that neither is the lōg processe of ty­me, neither yet the multitude of men a sufficiēt approbation,Lactanti. which God will alow for our religiō.Firmian. For as somme of the most aunncient writers do witnesse,Tertuliā. neither can long processe of tyme iustifie an errour,Cyprian. neither can the multitude of such, as folow it, chaūg the nature of the same. But if it was an errour in the begynnyng, so is it in the end, and the longer that it be folowed, and the mo that do receaue it, it is the more pestilent, and more to be auoided. For if antiquitie or multitude of mē could iustifie any religion, then was the idola­trie of the Gentiles, and now is the abo­mination of the Turkes good religiō. For antiquitie approued the one, and a mul­titude hath receaued and doth defende the other. But otherwise to answer, godlie men may wonder, from what fontaine such a sentēce doth flow, that no man oght to trie his faith and religion by goddes worde, but that he safely may beleue and folow euerie thing, which antiquitie [Page] and a multitude haue approued. The spi­rit of God doth otherwise teach vs.Iohn 5. & 7. For the wisdone of God Christ Iesus hym sel­fe remitted his aduersaries to Moses, and the scriptures, to trie by them, whether his doctrine was of God or not. The Apostles Paule and Peter commaunde men to trie the religion,Actes 17. which they professe, by god­des plaine scriptures,2. Pet. 1. and do praise men for so doing.1. Iohn 4. S. Iohn straytly commaun­deth, that we beleue not euerie spirit, but willeth vs to trie the spirits, whether they be of God or not. Now seyng that these euident testimonies of the holie Ghoste will vs to trie our faith and religion by the plaine worde of God, wonder it is, that the papistes will not be content, that theyr religion and doctrine comme vnder the triall of the same. If this sentēce of Christ be true (as it is most true, seing it sprin­geth from the veritie it self) who so e­uill doeth, hateth the light,Iohn 3. neither will he cōme to the light lest that his euill workes be manifested and rebuked, then do our papistes by their own sentence condemne them selues and theyr religion. For in so far as they refuse examination and trial, they declare, that they know somme fault, which the light will vtter: which is a cause of theyr feare▪ ād why they claime to that priuiledge, that no man dispute of theyr [Page 49] religion. The veritie and trueth, being of the nature of fyne purified gold,why Pa­pistes will not dispute of the ground of theyr religion. doth not fear the trial of the fornace, but the stu­ble and chaf of mannes inuentions (such is theyr religion) may not abyde the flame of the fier. True it is, that Maho­met pronounced this sentence, that no man should in paine of death dispute or reason of the grounde of his religion.Mahomet and the Pope do agree. Which law to this day by the art of Satā is yet obserued amōgest the Turkes to theyr mortal blindnes and horrible blasphe­myng of Christ Iesus, and of his true reli­gion. And from Mahomet (or rather from Satan father of all lies) hath the Pope and his rabble learned this former lesson. To witt, that theyr religion should not be disputed vpon, but what the fathers ha­ue beleued, that oght and must the childrē approue. And in so diuising Satan lac­ked not his foresight. For no one thing hath more established the kingdome of that Romane Antichrist, then this most wicked decrie. To witt, that no man was permitted to reason of his power, or to call his lawes in doubt. This thing is most assured, that whensoeuer the papisticall re­ligion shall comme to examination, it shalbe founde to haue no other grounde, then hath the religion of Mahomet. To witt mannes inuention, deuise and drea­mes [Page] ouershadowed with somme colour of goddes worde. And therefore Brethren seing that the religion is, as the stomake to the bodie, which, if it be corrupted, doth infect the hole membres, it is necessarie that the same be examined, and if it be fo­unde replenished with pestilent humors (I mean with the fantasies of men) then of necessitie it is, that those be purged, els shal your bodies and soules perishe for euer.NOTE. For of this I would ye were most certaīly persuaded, that a corrupt religion defileth the hole life of man, appear it neuer so ho­lie.Reformation of re­ligion be­longeth to all, that hope for life euerlastinge. Neither would I that ye should esteme the reformation and care of religion les­se to appertaī to you, because ye are no kinges, rulers, iudges, nobils, nor in auctori­tie. Beloued Brethren, ye are goddes crea­tures, created and formed to his own ima­ge and similitude, for whose redemption was shed the most pretious blood of the onlie beloued sonne of God, to whome he hath commaunded his Ghospell and glad­tidinges to be preached, ād for whome he hath prepared the heauenlie inheritance, so that ye will not obstinately refuse, and disdainefully cōtemne the meanes, which he hath appointed to obtaine the same: to witt, his blessed Euangile, which now he offereth vnto you, to the end that ye may be saued. For the Ghospell and gladtidin­ges [Page 50] of the kīgdome truelie preached is the power of God to the saluation of euerie beleuer,Rom. 1. which to credit and receaue you the communaltie are no lesse addetted, then be your rulers and princes.The sub­iect is no lesse boūd to beleue in Christ, then is the kinge. For albeit God hath put and ordened distinction ād differēce betwixt the king and subiectes, betwixt the rulers and the commune peo­ple in the regiment and administration of ciuile policies, yet in the hope of the life to comme he hath made all equall. For as in Christ Iesus the Iew hath no grea­ter prerogatiue,Galat. 3. then hath the Gentile, the man, then hath the woman, the lear­ned, then the vnlearned, the Lord, then the seruante, but all are one in him, so is there but one way and meanes to attaine to the participation of his benefites and spirituall graces, which is a liuelie faith wurking by charitie. And therefore I say that it doth no lesse appertaine to you, beloued Brethren, to be assured that your faith and religion be grounded and esta­blished vpon the true and vndoubted wor­de of God, then to your princes, or ru­lers. For as your bodies can not escape corporal death, if with your princes ye eat or drink deadlie poison (althoghe it be by ignorance or negligence) so shall ye not escape the death euerlasting, if with them ye professe a corrupt religion. Yea except [Page] in heart ye beleue, and with mouth ye confesse the Lord Iesus to be the onlie Sal­uiour of the world (which ye can not do, except ye embrace his Euangile offered) ye can not escape death and damnatiō.Abac. 2. For as the iust liueth by his own faith,Marc. 16. so doth the vnfaithfull perishe by his infidelitie.Iohn. 3. And as true faith is engendred, norished, and mentained in the heartes of goddes e­lect by Christes Euāgile truelie preached, so is infidelitie and vnbelefe fostered by concealing and repressing the same. And thus if ye loke for the life euerlasting, ye must trie if ye stand in faith, and if ye would be assured of a true ād liuelie faith, ye must nedes haue Christ Iesus truely preached vnto you. And this is the cau­se (dear Brethren) that so oft I repeat, and so constantly I affirm, that to you it doth no lesse appertaine, then to your kinge or princes▪ to prouide that Christ Iesus be truely preached amongest you, seing that without his true knolledge can neither of you both attaine to saluation. And this is the poynt, wherein, I say, al man is a e­qual,

That as all be descended from Adam,Wherin all man is equal. by whose syn and inobedi­ence did death enter into the world,Rom. 5. so it behoued all, that shall [Page 51] obtaine life, to be ingrafted in o­ne, that is,Isa. 53. in the Lord Iesus, who being the iust seruant, doth by his knolledge iustifie many:Iohn 3. & 5. to wit, all that vnfeanedly beleue in hym.

Of this equalitie, and that God requi­reth no lesse of the subiect, be he neuer so poore, then of the prince and riche man in matters of religion, he hath geuen an eui­dent declaration in the law of Moses. For when the tabernacle was buy lded, erected, and set in order, God did prouide, how it, and the thinges appertaining to the same, should be sustained, so that they should not fall in decay. And this prouision (al­beit heauē ād earth obey his empire) would he not take from the secrete and hid treasures, which lie dispersed ī the vaines of the earthe,Exod. 30. neither yet would he take it frō the riche and potent of his people, but he did commaund, that euerie man of the sonnes of Israel (were he rich or were he poore) that came in compt from twentie yeares and vpward, should yearely pay half a si­cle for an oblation to the Lorde in the remembrance of their redemption, and for an expiation or clensing to their sou­les, which money God cōmaunded should be bestowed vpon the ornamentes and [Page] necessaries of the tabernacle of testimonie. He furthermore added a precept, that the riche should giue no more for that vse, and in that behalf, then should the poore, neither yet that the poore should giue any lesse, then should the riche in that consi­deration. This law to mannes reason and iudgement may appear verie vnreasona­ble. For somme riche man might haue geuen a thousand sicles with lesse hurt of his substāce, then sōme poore man might haue payed the half sicle. And yet God maketh all equall, and will that the one shall pay no more then the other, nei­ther yet the poore any lesse then the ri­che. This law I say may appeare verie vnequall. But if the cause, which God ad­deth, be obserued, we shall fynde in the sa­me the great mercie and inestimable wis­dome of God to appear, which cause is expressed in these wordes,

This money receaued from the children of Israel thou shalt geue in the seruice of the tabernacle,Exod. 30. that it may be to the children of Israel for a remembrance before the Lord, that he may be mercifull to your soules.

This cause, I say, doth euidently decla­re, [Page 52] that as the hole multitude was deliue­red from the bondage of Egypt by the mightie power of God alone, so was euerie mēbre of the same without respect of per­son sāctified by his grace, the riche in that behalf nothing preferred to the poorest. For by no merit, nor worthynes of mā was he moued to chose, ād to establishe his ha­bitation and dwellinge amongest them. But their felicitie, prerogatiue ād honour, which they had aboue all other natiōs, proceded only frō the fontaine of his eternal goodnes, who loued thē freely, as that he freely had chosen them to be his preestlie kingdome ād holie people from all natiōs of the earth.Exod. 19. Thus to honour them, that he would dwell in the middest of them, he neither was moued (I say) by the wisdome of the wise, by the riches of the potent, neither yet by the vertue and holynes of any estate amongest them, but of mere good­nes did he loue them, and with his presen­ce did he honour that hole people, ād the­refore to paynt owt the same his cōmune loue to the hole multitude, and to cutt of occasions of contention,The pre­sence of God represented in the tabernacle. and doubtes of conscience, he would receaue no more from the riche, then from the poore, for the maintenāce of that his tabernacle, by the which was represented his presence, and habitation amongest them. Yf the ri­che [Page] had bene preferred to the poore,The pre­sence of God represented in the taber nacle. then as the one should haue bene puffed vp with pride, as that he had bene more acceptable to God by reason of his greater gift, so should the cōscience of the other haue be­ne troubled and woūded, thinking that his pouertie was an impedimēt, that he could not stand in so perfecte fauour with God, as did the other, because he was not able to geue somuch, as did the rich, to the men­tenance of his tabernacle. But he, who of mercie (as said is) did chose his habita­tion amongest them, and also that best knoweth, what lieth within man, did pro­uide the remedie for the one, and for the other, making them equal in that behalfe, who in other thinges were most vnequal. Yf the poore should haue founde hym selfe greued by reason of that taxe, and that asmuch was imposed vpon hym, as v­pon the riche, yet had he no small cause of ioy, that God him selfe would please to cō pare hym, and to make hym equal in the mentenāce of his tabernacle to the most riche and potent in Israel. Yf this equalitie was commaunded by God for mentenāce of that transitorie tabernacle, which was but a shadoe of a better to cōme,Hebr. 9. is not the same required of vs, who now hath the ve­ritie, which is Christ Iesus? who being clad with our nature is made Immanuel, that [Page 53] is, God with vs.

Whose natural bodie albeit it be receaued in the heauens,Isaie 8. where he must abyde till all be complete,Act. 3. that is forespoken by the Prophe­tes,Mat. 28. yet hath he promised to be pre­sēt with vs to the ēd of the world.

And for that purpose, and for the more assurance of his promisse he hath erected a­mongest vs here in earthe the signes of his owne presence with vs, his spiritual ta­bernacle, the true preaching of his worde, and right administration of his sacra­mentes. To the mentenance whereof is no lesse bounde the subiect,The spiri­tual tabernacle and signes of Christes presence with vs. then the prin­ce, the poore, then the riche. For as the pri­ce, which was geuē for mannes redēption, is one, so requireth God of all, that shalbe partakers of the benefites of the same, a like duetie, which is a plaine confession, that by Christ Iesus alone we haue recea­ued, what soeuer was lost in Adam. Of the prince doth God require, that he re­fuse hym selfe, and that he folow Christ Iesus: of the subiect he requireth the same. Of the kinges and iudges it is required, that they kysse the sonne, that is, giue honour, subiection, and obedience to hym. And from such reuerēce doth not God ex­empt the subiect, that shalbe saued. And [Page] this is that aequalitie, which is betwixt the kinges and subiectes, the most riche or noble, and betwixt the poorest, and men of lowest estate: to wit, that as the one is oblished to beleue in heart, and with mouth to cōfesse the Lord Iesus to be the onlie sauiour of the world, so also is the o­ther. Neither is there anie of goddes chil­drē (who hath attained to the yeares of discretion) so poore, but that he hath thus much to bestow vpon the ornamentes,NOTE. and maintenance of their spiritual tabernacle, when necessitie requireth: neither yet is there anie so riche, of whose hande God requireth any more. For albeit that Dauid gathered greate substāce for the buylding of the temple:1 Par. 29. that Salomon with earnest diligence and incredible expenses ere­cted and finished the same:2. Para. 3. 4. & 5. that Ezechias and Iosias purged the religion,2. Para. 29. 30. & 35. which be­fore was corrupted, yet to them was God no further dettour in that respect, then he was to the most simple of the faithfull posteritie of faithfull Abraham. For theyr diligence, zeal, and workes gaue rather testimonie and confession before men, what honour they did bear to God, what loue to his worde, and reuerēce to his reli­giō, then that any worke proceading from them did either establishe, or yet encrea­se goddes fauoure towardes thē, who free­ly [Page 54] did loue thē in Christ his sonne before the foundation of the world was laied. So that these forenamed by theyr notable workes gaue testimonie of theyr vnfained faith, and the same doth the poorest, that vnfeanedly and openly professeth Christ Iesus, that doth embrase his gladtydinges offred, that doth abhorre superstition, and flie from idolatrie. The poorest; I say, and most simple, that this day in earth in the daies of this cruel persecution fer­mely beleueth in Christ, and boldly doth confesse hym before this wicked genera­tion, is no lesse acceptable before God, neither is iudged in his presence to haue done any lesse in promoting Christ his cause, then is the king, that by the swor­de and power, which he hath receaued of God, wrooteth owt idolatrie, and so ad­uanceth Christes glorie. But to return to our former purpose, it is no lesse re­quired, I say, of the subiect to beleu [...] in Christ, and to professe his true religion, then of the prince and king. And there­fore I affirme, that in goddes presence it shall not excuse you to alledge, that ye were no chefe rulers, and therefore that the care and reformation of reli­gion did not appertaine vnto you.

Ye dear Brethren (as before is said) are the creatures of God created to his owne [Page] image and similitude: to whome it is com­maunded to hear the voyce of your hea­uenlie Father,Mat. 17. to embrase his sonne Christ Iesus, to flie from all doctrine and reli­gion, which he hath not approued by his own will reuealed to vs in his moste bles­sed worde. To which preceptes and char­ges if ye be founde inobedient, ye shall perish in your iniquitie as rebelles and stubborn seruantes, that haue no pleasure to obey the good will of their soueraigne Lord, who most louingly doth call for your obedience. And therefore, Brethren, in this behalf it is your part to be carefull and diligent.Note. For the question is not of thinges temporall, which allthoghe they be endaungered, yet by diligēce and pro­cesse of tyme may after be redressed, but it is of the dānation of your bodies and sou­les and of the losse of the life euerlasting, which once lost can neuer be recouered.

And therefore, I say, that it behoueth you to be careful and diligēt in this so weghtie a matter, lest that ye, contemnyng this oc­casion, which God now offereth, fynd not the like, althoghe that after with gronyng and sobbes ye lāguyshe for the same.The offer of Iohn Knoxe to his natiue realme. And that ye be not ignorant of what occasion I mean, in few words I shall expresse it.

Not only I, but with me also diuers o­ther godlie and learned men do offer [Page 55] vnto you our labours faithfully to instruct you in the waies of the Eternal our God, and in the synceritie of Christes Euangil, which this day by the pestilent generatiō of Antichrist (I mean by the pope, and by his most vngodlie clergie) are almost hyd from the eies of men. We offer to ieopard our liues for the saluation of your soules, and by manifest scriptures to proue that religion, which amongest you is mentai­ned by fier and sworde, to be vaine, fals ād diabolical. We require nothing of you, but that paciently ye will heare our do­ctrine, which is not oures, but is the do­ctrine of saluation reuealed to the world by the onlie sonne of God:what he requireth. ād that ye will examine our reasons, by the which we of­fer to proue the papistical religion to be abominable before God. And last we re­quire, that by your power the tyrannie of those cruel beastes (I mean of preests and freers) may be brideled till we haue vtte­red our mindes in all matters this day de­bateable in religion. Yf these thinges in the fear of God ye graunt to me, and vnto others, that vnfeanedly for your saluation, and for goddes glorie require the same, I am assured, that of God ye shall be bles­sed, whatsoeuer Satan shall deuise against you. But and if ye contēne or refuse God, who thus louingly offereth vnto you sal­uation [Page] and life, ye shall neither escape plages temporall, whiche shortly shall apprehend you, neither yet the torment prepared for the deuil, and for his an­gels, except by spedie repentance ye re­turne to the Lord, whome now ye refu­se, if that ye refuse the messingers of his worde.

But yet I think ye doubt,An an­swer to two que­stions. what ye oght, and may do in this so weghtie a matter. In few wordes I will declare my conscience in the one and in the other. Ye oght to prefer the glorie of God, the pro­moting of Christ his Euangil, and the saluation of your soules to all thinges, that be in earth: and ye, althoghe ye be but subiectes, may lawfully require of your superiours, be it of your king, be it of your lordes, rulers and powers, that they pro­uide for you true preachers,Subiectes may law­fully re­quire true preachers of theyr rulers. and that they expell such, as vnder the names of pa­stours deuoure and destroy the flock, not feeding the same as Christ Iesus hath commaunded. And if in this point your su­periour be negligent, or yet pretend to maitaine tyrantes in their tyrannie, most iustly ye may prouide true teachers for your selues, be it in your cities, townes or villages: them ye may maitaine and defend against all, that shall perse­cute them, and by that meanes shall la­bour [Page 56] to defraude you of that most confortable foode of your soules, Christes Euan­gil truely preached. Ye may moreouer withhold the frutes, and profetts, which your fals Byshoppes and clergie most in­iustly receyue of you, vnto such tyme as they be compelled faithfully to do theyr charge and dueties, which is to preach vn­to you Christ Iesus truely, ryghtly to mi­nister his sacramentes according to his own institution, and so to watche for the saluation of your soules, as is commaun­ded by Christ Iesus hym selfe and by his apostles Paule,Ioan. 21. and Peter.Act. 20. Yf God shall moue your heartes in his true fear to be­gynne to practise these thīges, and to de­maund and craue the same of your supe­riours, which most lawfully ye may do, thē I doubt not, but of his greate mercie, and free grace he shall illuminate the eyes of your myndes, that his vndoubted veritie shalbe a lantern to your feete to guyde ād lead you in all the wayes, which his god­lie wisdome doth approue.Thinges, that may draw men back from the synce­ritie of Christes euangil. He shall make your ennemies tremble before your faces, he shall establish his blessed Euāgil amō ­gest you to the saluation and perpetual cō fort of your selues, and of your posteritie after you. But and if (as God forbyd) the loue of frendes, the fear of your princes, and the wisdome of the world draw you [Page] back from God, and from his sōne Christ Iesus, be ye certainly persuaded, that ye shall drink the cupp of his vengeance, so many I mean as shall contemne and dispi­se this louing calling of your heauenlie father. It wil not excuse you (dear Bre­thren) in the presence of God, neither yet will it auaile you in the day of his visita­tion, to say, We were but simple subiects, we could not redresse the faultes and cri­mes of our rulers, Byshoppes, and clergie: we called for reformation, and wished for the same, but Lords brethrē were Byshop­pes, theyr sonnes were abbottes, and the frendes of greate men had the possession of the Churche, and so were we compel­led to giue obedience to all, that they de­maunded. These vaine excuses, I say, will nothing auaile you in the presence of God, who requireth no lesse of the sub­iectes, then of the rulers, that they decline from euil, ād that they do good, that they abstaine from idolatrie, superstition, blas­phemie, murther and other such horrible crimes, which his law forbiddeth, and yet nottheles are openly committed and ma­liciously defended in that miserable real­me. And if ye think that ye are innocent because ye are not the chefe auctours of such iniquitie, ye are vtterly deceaued.

For God doth not only punishe the chefe [Page 57] offenders, but with them doth he damne the consenters to iniquitie:Rom. 1. and all are iudged to consent, that knowing impietie committed giue no testimonie, that the same displeaseth them.Note. To speak this matter more playne, as your princes and rulers are criminal with your Byshoppes of all idolatrie committed,Princes, and Bys­hoppes are a lyke cri­minal. and of all the innocent blood, that is shed for the testi­monie of Christes trueth, and that because they maintaine them in theyr tyrannie, so are you (I mean so many of you, as giue no playn confession to the contrarie) cri­minal and gyltie with your princes and rulers of the same crimes, becaus ye assist ād maintaine your prīces in theyr blynde rage, and giue no declaration, that theyr tyrannie displeaseth you.How sub­iectes of­fend with theyr Princes. This doctrine I know is strange to the blynde world, but the veritie of it hath bene declared in all notable punishments from the begyn­nyng. When the original world perished by water,Gen. 7. & 19. whē Sodom ād Gomorrha were consumed by fier, and finally when Ieru­salem was horribly destroyed,Iosephus. Aegesip­pus. doth any man think, that all were a lyke wicked be­fore the world? Euidēt it is, that they were not, if they shall be iudged according to theyr external factes. For somme were yonge, and ould not be oppressours, nei­her yet could defile them selues with vn­natural [Page] and beastlie lustes: sōme were pi­tiful and gentle of nature, ād did not thr­ist for the blood of Christ, nor of his Apostles. But did any escape the plages and vengeance, which did apprehend the multitude? Let the scriptures witnesse and the histories be considered▪ which plainely do testifie, that by the waters all fleshe in earth at that tyme did perishe, (Noah and his familie reserued) that none escaped in Sodom and in the other cities adiacent, except Lot and his two daughters. And euident it is, that in that famous citie Ie­rusalem in that last and horrible destru­ction of the same none escaped goddes vengeance, except so many as before were dispersed. And what is the cause of this se­ueritie, seing that all were not a like offenders? Let fleshe cease to dispute with God; and let all man by these examples learne betymes to flie and auoid the societie and compagnie of the proude contemners of God, if that they list not to be parta­kers of theyr plages. The cause is eui­dent: if we can be subiect without grud­ging to goddes iudgementes,why all perished in the flood, in Sodom, and Go­morrha. which in them selues are most holie and iust. For in the original world none was founde, that either did resist tyrannie and oppression, that vniuersally was vsed, either yet that earnestly reprehended the same. In So­dom [Page 58] was none founde, that did against ād that furious and beastlie multitude, that did compasse about and besiege the hou­se of Lot. None would beleue Lot, that the citie should be destroyed. And finally in Ierusalem was none found, that studied to represse the tyrannie of the Preestes, who were coniured against Christ and his E­uangil, but all fainted, (I except euer such, as gaue witnesse with theyr blood, or theyr flying, that such impietie displea­sed them) all kept silence, by the which all approued iniquitie, and ioyned hāds with the tyrātes, and so were all arrayed and set, as it had bene in one battayle against the omnipotent, and against his sonne Christ Iesus. For whosoeuer gathereth not with Christ in the day of his haruest, is iudged to scatter. And therefore of one vēgeāce tē poral were they all partakers. Which thīg as before I haue touched, oght to moue you to the depe cōsideratiō of your duties in these last and most perilous tymes. The iniquitie of your Byshoppes is more then manifest: theyr filthie liues infect the aier, the innocēt blood, which they shed, crieth vēgeāce in the eares of our God: the idola­trie and abominatiō, which opēly they cō mit, ād without punishmēt maītaine, doth corrupt ād defyle the hole lād: and none a­mongest you doth vnfainedly studie for [Page] any redresse of such enormities. Wil God in this behalf hold you as innocentes? Be not deceaued dear Brethren. God hath pu­nished not only the proude tyrantes, fil­thie persōs, and cruel murtherers, but also such, as with them did draw the yoke of iniquitie,what sub­iectes shall God pu­nishe with theyre Princes. was it by flattering theyr offen­ses, obeying theyr iniust cōmaundemētes, or in wynking at theyr manifest iniquitie. All such, I say, hath God once punished with the chefe offēders. Be ye assured, Brethren, that as he is immutable of nature, so will he not pardon in you that, which so seuerely he hath punished in others, and now the lesse, because he hath plainely ad­monished you of the daungers to come, and hath offred you his mercie before he pourefurth his wrath and displeasure vpō the inobediēt. God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, who is father of glorie, and God of all consolation, geue you the spi­rit of wisdome, and open vnto you the knolledge of hym self by the meanes of his dear sonne, by the which ye may at­taine to the esperance and hope, that after the trubles of this trāsitorious life ye may be partakers of the riches of that glorious inheritance, which is prepared for such, as refuse them selues, and feght vnder the bāner of Christ Iesus in the day of this his battaile: that in depe consideration of the [Page 59] same ye may learn to prefer the inuisible and eternal ioyes to the vaine pleasures, that are present. God further graunt you his holie spirit, righteously to consider, what I in his name haue required of your nobilitie, and of you the subiects, and mo­ue you all togither so to answer, that my petition be not a testimonie of your iust condemnation, when the Lord Iesus shal appear to reuenge the blood of his sain­ctes, and the contempt of his most holie worde. Amen.

Sleap not in syn, for vengeance is prepared against all inobediēt. Flie from Babylon, if ye will not be partakers of her plages.

Be witnesse to my appellation. Grace be with you.
Your brother to commaunde in godlines IOHN KNOXE.

AN ADMONITION TO ENGLAND AND Scotland to call them to repentan­ce, written by Antoni Gilby.

VVhere as many haue writtē many profitable admoni­tiōs to you twaine, (O En­gland and Scotlād, both ma­kinge one Iland most hap­pie, if you could know your own happi­nes) somme against the regimēt of womē, wherewith ye are bothe plaged, somme against vnlauful obediēce, and the admit­ting of strangers to be your kinges, som­me declaring the vile nature of the Spa­niards, whome thou, o Englād, to thy de­structiō mainteinest, somme the pryde of the Frenchmen, whome thou, o Scotland, to thy ruine receauest: and many hundre­thes with penne, with tonge, with worde, with writing, with ieopardie and losse of landes, goods, and lyues, haue admoni­shed you bothe twaine of that cākred poyson of papistrie, that ye foster and pamper to your own perdition, and vtter destru­ction of soules and bodies, of your selues ād yours for now and euer. I thoght it my duetie (seing your destructiō to mans iud­gemēt [Page 60] to draw so neare) how much or litle so euer they haue preuailed, yet once agai­ne to admonishe you both, to giue testimonie to that trueth, which my brethren ha­ue writtē, ād specially to stirre your hearts to repentance, or at the least to offre my selfe a witnesse against you: for the iusti­ce of God and his righteous iudgementes, which doubtles (if your hearts be hard­ned) against you both are at hand to be vt­tered. Thus by our writīgs, whome it pleaseth God to styrre vp of your nations, all men, that now liue, and that shall comme after vs, shall haue cause also to praise the mercie of God, that so oft admonisheth before he do stryke, and to cōsider his iust punyshment, when he shall pourefurth his vengeance. Giue eare therefore betymes, O Britanie (for of that name both reioy­seth) whiles the Lord calleth, exhorteth, ād admonisheth, that is the acceptable tyme, when he will be founde. Yf ye refuse the tyme offred, ye can not haue it afterward thogh with teares (as did Esau) ye do se­me to seke it. Yet once againe in goddes behalfe I do offre you the verie meanes, which if God of his mercies graunte you grace to folow, I doubt nothing but that of al your ennemies spedely ye shallbe deliuered. Ye reioyce at this word, I am sure, if ye haue ani hope of the perfourmāce. Thē harkē to the matter, which I do write vnto you [Page] not furth of mennes dreames nor fables, not furth of prophane histories painted with mannes wisdome, vaine eloquence, or subtile reasons, but furth of the infallible trueth of goddes worde, and by such plai­ne demonstrations, as shall be able to con­uince euerie one of your owne conscien­ces, be he neuer so obstinate. I will aske no further iudges. Is not this goddes curse, and threatninge amongest many other pro­nounced against the sinfull land and diso­bedient people?

That strangers should deuoure the frute of thy lād,Deu. 28. that the stran­ger should clyme aboue the, and thou should comme downe and be his inferiour, he shall be the head and thou the taile. The Lord shall bring vpon the a people farr of, whose tongue thou canste not vn­derstand, thy strong wales, wherin thou trusted, shall be destroied &c.

And doth not Esaie reckē this also as the extremitie of all plages for the wicked­nes of the people to haue womē raised vp to rule ouer you?Esa. 3. But what saieth the same ꝓphete in the begynnyng of his prophesie for a remedie against these and [Page 61] all other euilles?

Your handes are full of blood, saieth he, O you princes of Sodom, and you people of Gomorrha, but washe you, make you cleane, take away your wicked thoghts furth of my sight. Cease to do euil, learn to do well, seke iudgemēt, help the oppressed &c. Then will I turn my hand to the, and trie owt all thy drosse, and take away thy tynne, ād I will restore thy iudges, as afore tyme, and counsilours, as of old.

And Moses said before in the place al­ledged.

That if thou wilt heare the voice of the Lorde thy God,Deut. 28, and do his commaundementes, thou shalt be blessed in the towne, and blessed in the feelde. The Lord shall cause thyne ennemies, that rise vp a­gainst the, to fall before the. &c. Lo the way in few wordes, O Britanie, to winne goddes fauour, and therefore to o­uercome thyne ennemies. But to prynt this more deeply into your heartes, o ye [Page] princes and people of that Iland, whome God hath begōne to punishe, seke I warne you no shifting holes to excuse your faul­tes, no political practises to resist goddes vengeance. And first I speak to you (ô Rulers and Princes of both the realmes) repēt your treason, and bewaile your vnthank­fulnes. For by no other meanes can you es­cape goddes iudgementes. You stomack I know to be called traitours, but what shall it auaile to spare the name, where the facts are more then euident. You hath God ere­cted amōgest your brethrē, to the end that by your wisdome and godlie regiment your subiectes should be kept aswell from domestical oppression, as from bondage and slauerie of strangers. But ye alas decli­ninge from God are made the instrumētes to betray and sell the libertie of those, for whome ye oght to haue spent your liues. For your consent and assistance is the cau­se, that strangers now oppresse ād deuoure the poore within your realmes: who short­ly, if God call you not to repētance, shall recompence you, as ye haue deserued. For the cupp, which your brethren do now drink, shall be put in your handes, and you shall drink the dreggs of yt to your de­struction. And wōder it is if ye be becōme so foolishe ād so blynd, that ye think your selues able long to continue, and to be sa­fe, when your brethren rounde about you [Page 62] shall perishe: that you can pack your mat­ters well enough with the princes, that ye can make you stronge with mariages, with flateries, and other fonde practises, or that with your multitude or strengthe ye can escape the daies of vengeance, or that you can hide your selues in holes or corners. Nay thoghe you should hyde you in the hels, God can drawe you thence, if you had the egles wynges to flie beyōde the east seas, you cannot auoid goddes pre­sence. Submitt your selues therefore vnto hym, which holdeth your breath in your nostrels, who with one blast of his mouth cā destroy all his ennemies. Embrase his sō ne Christ, lest ye perishe, ād for your obstinacie agaīst hym ād his worde repent be­tymes, as we all do admonishe. Repent for your crueltie against his seruants and the contempt of his worde so plainely offred, as it was neuer sence the begynnyng of the world. Repent we cry repent. For repen­tance is the onlie way of your redresse and deliuerance. Did God euer longe spare any people, whome he hath taught by his Prophetes, without somme euident re­pentance? or vseth any father to pardon his childe, whome he hathe begonne to chastice, without somme token of repen­tance? Consider how the Lord hath intrea­ted Israel and Iuda his owne people: how oft they trespassed, and how he gaue them [Page] ower into the hand of their ennemies. But whensoeuer they repented and turned a­gaine to God vnfeanedly, he sent them iudges and deliuerers, kinges ād Sauiours. This way then of repentance and vnfea­ned turning to God by obedience is the onlie way before God accepted and alo­wed. Therefore was Noah sent to the old world to bring this doctrine of repentan­ce, and all the old prophetes, as Elias, Eli­saeus, Esaias, Ieremias and Malachias, and he, who excelled all the prophetes, Iohn Baptist. Any of whose stiles, and sharpe re­bukes of synners if I should now vse, it would be thoght full strange and harde­ly would be suffered: yet were any of their lessons, wherebie they called to repentan­ce, most mete for our tyme and age, and nothinge disagreinge from this my present purpose. For the same spirit still striueth against the malice of our tymes, thoghe in diuerse instrumētes and sundrie sortes and fashions. Noah pronounceth, that within an hundreth and twentie yeares all fleshe should be destroyed. We haue many No­haes, that so crieth in our tymes, yet no mā repēteth. All the tyme, that Noah was preparing for the arke to auoide goddes vengeance, the multitude derided this ho­lie prophete, as the multitude of you two realmes doth at this day deride all them, [Page 63] that by obedience to goddes worde seke the meanes appointed to auoid gods iud­gementes. Then the people would not re­pent, but as they should liue for euer, they maried, they banketed, they builded, they planted, deriding gods messēger. Do not you the like? I appeale to your own con­sciences. You marie, but not in God, but to betray your countries, you bāket and buil­de with the blood of the poore.

The Lorde calleth to fasting (saieth the prophete Esaie) to mortifie thē selues, and to kill their lustes, but they kill shepe and bullockes. Ieremie crieth for teares and lamentation, they laughe and mock. Malachie crieth to the people of his tyme, Turne vnto me ād I will turne to you, saieth the Lor­de of hostes, and they proudly answer, wherein shall we returne? Are ye not suche? Do not ye aske wherein shall we re­turne, when ye will not know your sinnes? when ye can not confesse, nor acknolledge your faultes, thoghe ye go a hooringe in euerie street, towne and village with your idols? thoghe the blood of the oppressed crie euerie where against you for vengeance? So that seyng no token of repentance I can not crie vnto you with Iohn Baptist, Qye generatiō of vipers who hath [Page] taught you to flie from the wrathe to comme?

O that I might see so good tokens, that ye would fear goddes wrathe and venge­ance. But this must I say to you bothe to your confusion, and shame, that ye are such vipers and serpentes, vntil I see better to­kens. You do what ye can to destroy your parentes, you cast of God your heauenlie father, ye will not fear hym calling you to repentance, you destroy and banishe your spiritual fathers, which once had begot­ten you as spiritual children by the worde of trueth, you consume your countree, which hath geuen you corporal life, you stīge with tounges ād tayles all, that would draw you from your wickednes. Finally man, womā, and childe are either venemed with your poysons or stingged with your tayles. In you are fulfilled the wordes of Dauid.

Their throte is an open sepul­chre, with theyr toūges they haue deceiued, the poyson of aspis is vn­der their lippes, their mouthes are full of curse ād bitternes, their fete are swift to shedd blood, destru­ction and wretchednes are in their wayes, and the way of peace they [Page 64] haue not knowen, the feare of God is not before there eyes, &c.

I do know your tendre eares, you can not be grated with such sharpe sentēces of condēnation, that thus prick you to the he­arts: howbeit thus it behoueth, that ye be taught to iudge your selues, that in the end ye be not dāned with the wicked world. But I will wounde you no more with the words of the Prophetes, with the sayinges of Da­uid, or of this holy sainct of God Iohn the Baptist, but with our sauiour Christs two most swete parables of the two sonnes and of the tilme, to whome he set his vineyard, I will labour to set before your eyes your rebellion, hypocrisie, and crueltie, if so I cā bring any of you to repentance. Our sa­uiour Christe putteth furth this parable,

A certaine man had two sonnes, ād he came to the first, and said sō ­ne go ād worke to day in my vine­yard. Who answered, I will not, but afterward repēted and went. Then came he to the second, and said li­kewise, and he answered, I will syr, but went not.

Wherein a wonderful comforte first is to be cōsidered, how the Lord our God maker of heauē ād earth doth hūble him selfe [Page] not only to be called a mā, a husbād man, a housholder, ād such like, but he abaseth hī selfe of mercie to vs vile earth and asshes, that his sonne becometh mā to make man­kynd glorious in his sight, to make all those, that do not refuse his grace offred, of the slaues of Satan his sonnes by adoption. You are his sonnes, you are his vineyard, you are as dear vnto hym, as the apple of his eye, as Moses speaketh, if you can be­leue it: he sweareth that you shall be his inheritāce, and he will be yours, if ye will only receiue his grace and beleue hym, when he sweareth. Will ye call his trueth into doubt? his glorie into shame by your misbelefe? Better it were, that all creatures should perish, heauen, man and angels, then that God should not haue credit, or that his glorie in the least iote should be diminished. He hath called you by his worde now many a tyme to worke in his vineyard, I aske what you haue answered: your conscience can witnesse and all the world seeth it. Sōme of you haue said plaine lyke rebellious childrē, that ye would not do it, that ye would not worke in your fathers vineyarde. Shall I applie this part to Scotland? I may right well do it, and al­so to a greate parte in England. But Scot­land in dede called most plainely and eui­dently through the mercies of God both [Page 65] by their own faithfull countrie men, and also by earnest trauail of our English na­tion to comme to the Lords vineyard in the tyme of king Edward, hath to the do­mage of both cōtinually refused, as the cō science of many this day beareth witnesse. That tyme, as ye know, the vineyarde in Englād by the children of God was not all togither neglected, and thē most earnestly were ye (O Brethren of Scotland) required to ioyne hādes with vs ī the Lords worke, but Satan alas would not suffer it. His old fostred malice, and Antichrist his sonne could not abyde, that Christ should grow so strong by ioynynge that ile togither in perfect religiō, whome God hath so many waies coupled ād strēgthended by his worke in nature: the papistes practised all theyr fyne craftes in England, Scotland, and in France, that the Ghospellers should not with so strong walles be defensed, lest this one iland should becōme a safe sanctuarie, as it began to be, to all the persecuted in all places. They moue sturdie stomackes, they dispens with periuries, they worke by theyr craftie cōfessions, they raise vp war­re in the end, whereby ye (deare Brethren of Scotland) were sore plaged. Of all the­se traiterouse sleghtes ye can not be igno­rant. For yet it is not passed the memo­rie of man, that your king made promisse [Page] to haue mett king Hērie the eght att Yorke▪ whose purpose (albeit in other things I do not alow him) in that case was most god­lie and praise worthie. For it was to make an end of that vngodlie warre, and cruell murther, which lōge had cōtinued betwixt the two realms. Your king, I say, made promisse to mete him: the breche whereof as it was the occasion of much trouble, so is it euidently knowen, that your Cardinal, and his clergie laboured and procured the same. For it is not vnknowen to somme a­mongest you, how many thousand crow­nes the churchmen did promisse for main­tenance of the warre,I suppose they pay­ed litle. which king Henrie did denoūce by the reason of that breche. Superfluous it were to me, to recite all the causes mouing your pestilent preestes to solicitat your king to that infidelitie. But this is moste euident, that they feared no­thing, but the fall of their glorie, and the trouble of their kingdome, which then in England beganne to be shaken by suppres­sing of the abbaies. This moued your preestes ernestly to labour, that your kinge should falsly breake his promisse. But what affliction ye sustained by that and o­ther their practises, your selues can witnes­se. For your borderrs were destroyed, your nobilitie for the most parte were takē pri­soners, and your king for sorowe sodenly [Page 66] died. But these your miseries did nothing moue your preestes to repentance, but ra­ther did inflame them against God, and a­gainst the ꝓpfit of their natiue realme. For when againe after the death of your kīge, your frēdship and fauours were soght, first by king Hērie, and after his death by king Edward his sonne, ād by him, who thē was chosen Protectour, how craftely, I say, did thē your preestes vndermine all, ye are not ignorāt. When your Gouernoure with the consent of the most part of the nobilitie had solēnely sworne ī the abbay of Haliro­ode house, syr Raphe Sadler thē being em­bassadour for Englād to perfurm the ma­riage cōtracted betwixt king Edward and your yonge quene, and faithfully to stand to euerie point cōcluded and agreed [...] perfurmāce of that vniō, when seales were interchanged, and the embassadour dimis­sed, what sturr, tumult, and sedition raised your Cardinal in that your realme, it is not vnknowen. To witt, how that by his craft and malice the realme was deuided, the Gouernour compelled to seke his fa­uour, to violate his oth, and so to becomme īfamous for euer. And finally by the pride of the papistes was that leage broken. But what did thereof ensue? Edinburgh, Leith, Dūdie, yea the most part of the realme did fele. Your shippes were stayed, your good­des [Page] were lost, your chefe townes were bur­ned, and at the end the beautie of your real me did fall in the edge of the sworde, the hand of God manifestly feghting against you, because against your solemne oth ye did feght against them, who soght your fauours by that godlie cōiunction, which before was promised. But still proceaded your ennemies the clergie, and theire ad­herētes in theyr purposed malice. Wōder not that I terme them your ennemies. For albeit they be your countrie men, yet be­cause they seke nothing more, then the maītaināce of their owne kīgdome, which is the power of darckns, ād the king dome of Antichrist, they are becomme cōiured ennemies to euerie citie, nation or man, that labour to comme to the knolledge of the trueth. That pestilent generation, I say, did not cease, till they obteined their purpose, by deliueringe your yonge que­ne to the handes of the French king, assu­redly mindinge by that meanes to cutt for euer the knot of the frendship, that might haue ensued betwixte England and Scot­land by that godlie coniunction. What the papistes feared is manifest. For then Christe Iesus being more purely prea­ched in England, then at any tyme before, would shortly haue suppressed their pride and vaine glorie: and therefore they ra­ged, [Page 67] that he should not reigne aboue them also. But what is like to apprehend you, for because ye did not betymes withstād their most wicked coūsils, wise men do cōsider. How heauie and vnpleasant shall the bur­then and yock of a Frenchman be to your shoulders ād necks, God graunt that experience do not teach you. But to returne to my former purpose, by all those means re­hersed, by his messēgers, by the blood of his saincts shed amōgest you, by fauours ād frendship, by warre and the sword, yea by famin, ād pestilēce, ād all other meās, hath God your mercifull father called you to labour in his vineyard, but to this day, alas, we heare not of your hūble obedience, but stil ye say with stubburn faces, we will not labour, we will not be boūde to such thral­dome, to abide the burthens of the viney­ard. Ye think perchāce I am to sharpe, and that I accuse you more then you deserue. For amōgest you many do know the will of your father, and many make profession of his Ghospel, but cōsider, Brethrē, that it is not enoug he to know the cōmaūdemēt, and to ꝓfesse the same in mouthe, but it is necessarie, that ye refuse your selues, your owne pleasures, appetites, and your owne wisdome, if ye shall be iudged faithfull la­bourers in the Lordes vineyard, ād that ye beare the burthens togiter with your bre­thren, [Page] and suffre heate, and sweate, before ye taste the frutes with them. God will not stand content, that ye loke ouer the hedge, and beholde the labours of your brethrē, but he requireth, that ye put your hādes also to your labours, that ye trauail continually to pluck vpp all vnprofi­table wedes, albeit in so doing the thornes pricke you to the hard bones: that ye as­sist your brethrē in theyr labours, thoghe it be with the icopardie of your lifes, the losse of your substance, and displeasure of the hole earthe. Except that thus ye be minded to labour, the Lord of the viney­arde wil not acknolledge you for his faith full seruantes. And because this matter is of weight and greate importance, I will speake sōwhat more plainely for your in­struction. It is bruted (to the greate com­fort of all godlie, that heare it) that som­me of you (deare Brethren of Scotland) do desire Christ Iesus to be faithfully preached amōgest you, which thing if frō the heart you desyre and with godlie wisdo­me and stowt courrage folow your purpo­se and enterprise, ye shall be blessed of the Lord for euer. But in the begynnyng ye must beware that ye folow not the exāple of your brethrē of Englād, in whose han­des albeit the worke of the Lord appeared to prosper for a time, yet because the eye was not single, we see to our grief the ouer [Page 68] throw of the same. They began to plante Christ Iesus in the heartes of the people, ād to bānish that Romish Antichrist, they did driue owt the fylthie swyne frō theyr dennes and holes (I mean the monkes and other such papisticall vermin from their cloisters ād abbayes). This was a good be ginning, but alas in the one and the other there was great faulte. For the banishīg of that Romish Antichrist was rather by the feare of the lawes pronoūced against him by actes of parlamēt, thē by the liuelie pre­achīg of Christ Iesus, ād by the discouerīg of his abominatiōs. And the suppressiō of the abbaies did rather smell of auarice, thē of true religiō. Those venemous locustes, which before were holdē within their cloisters, were then set abrode to destroy all good ād grene herbes. For superstitious freers, ignorāt mōks, ād idle abots were made archbishoppes, bishoppes, persons, vicars, ād such as oght to fede the soules of men▪ who thus set at libertie did cōtinually wro­otup the Lords vineyard. And one crafty Gardener, whose name was Stephen, hauīg wolflik cōditiōs, did maītaī many a wolfe, did sow wicked seed in the gardē, ād cherished many weedes to deface the vineyard. And his maid Marie, who after was his mastres, now maried to Philip, wātīg no wil to wickednes whē she was at the weakest norsto [Page] make to do euill, when she gatt the mastrie did cherishe many weedes. Those two I say haue so broken the hedges of the same vi­neyarde, (God so punishing the sinnes of those, that oght to haue made better pro­uision for the same) that the husbandmen are hanged vp, the diggars, dressours, and planters are banished, prisoned and bur­ned. Such hauock is made, that al wilde beastes haue power to pollute the sanctuarie of the Lorde. O heauens beholde her cru­eltie, o earthe cry for vengeance, o seas, and deserte mountains witnesses of her wickednes, break furthe against this mon­ster of England. But whether do I runne by the bitternes of my grefe? I must nedes leaue the o Scotland, after that I haue ad­uertised the of this, that thou folow not the example, as I haue said, of Englād: but in the bowels of Christ Iesus I exhorte the, that if thou pretēdest any reformatiō in religion, which is the chefe labour of the vineyarde, that thou do it at the first with a single eye, and all simplicitie, that from yeare to yeare thou be not compel­led to change, as was England, but let thy reformation be full and plaine, according to goddes holie will and worde without addition. Let all the plātes, which thy hea­uenly father hath not planted, be rooted owt at once, let not auarice blind the, nei­ther yet wordlie wisdome discourage thy [Page 69] hearte, let none beare the name of a tea­cher, that is knowen to be a fosterer of su­perstitiō, or any kynde of wickednes. And thou so doing shalt moue God of his greate mercie to send vnto the faithfull worke men in abundāce, to blesse the worke, that thou pretēdest in the vineyarde, ād to pre­serue the to the glorie of his own name, and to thy euerlasting comforte. Thus must thou Scotland repent thy former inobedience, if that thou wilt be approued of the Lord. And now do I return to the (O Englād) I do liken the to the secōde sonne in the parable which answered his father with flattering wordes, saying,‘I go father, but yet he went not at all.’For sence the time, that I had any remembrance, our heauēlie father of his great mercies hath not ceased to call the in to his vineyard, and to these late daies thou hast said alwayes, that thou woldest enter and be obedient. In the tyme of king Hen­rie the eght, when by Tyndale, Frith, Byl­nay, and other his faithfull seruantes God called Englād to dresse his vineyard, many promised full faire, whome I could name. But what frute folowed? nothing but bit­ter grapes, yea breeres and brambles, the wormewood of auarice, the gall of cruel­tie, the poisō of filthie fornicatiō, flowing from head to foote, the contempt of God [Page] and open defense of the Cake Idol by o­pē proclamatiō to be red in the Churches in the stead of goddes scriptures. Thus was there no reformation, but a deformation in the tyme of that tyrant and lecherous mōster. The bore I grāte was busie wroo­ting ād digging in the earth, ād all his pigges, that folowed hym. But they soght on­ly for the pleasāt frutes, that they winded with their longe snowtes. And for their own bellies sake they wrooted vp many weeds, but they turned the groūde so, mīgling good ād badd togither,Kinge Henry his boke a­gainst Luther is noted. swete and so wre, medecine, ād poyson, they made, I­say, such cōfusiō of religiō and lawes, that no good thing could grow, but by great miracle, vnder such Gardners. And no meruail, if it be rightly cōsidered: for this bore raged against God, against Deuill, against Christ and against Antichrist, as the fome that he cast owt against Luther, the racing furth of the name of the Pope, and yet alowīg his laws, ād his murther of many Christian souldiours, and of many papistes, do clearly ād euidētly testifie vnto vs. Especi­ally the burnīg of Barnes, Ierome, ād Garrat three faithful preachers of the trueth, & hāgīg the same day for maintaināce of the Pope Powel, Abel, and Fetherstone, doth clearly paynt his beastlynes, that he cared for no maner of religiō. This mōstrous bore for al this must nedes be called the head [Page 70] of the Churche in paine of treason, dis­placing Christ our onlie head, who oght alone to haue this title. Wherefore in this pointe (o England) ye were no better then the Romishe Antichrist, who by the same title maketh hym selfe a God, sitteth in mēnes cōsciences, bānysheth the worde of God, as did your king Hērie, whome ye so magnifie. For in his best time nothing was hard, but the kings booke, ād the kings ꝓ­cedings, the kinges homelies in the Chur­ches, where goddes word should onely ha­ue bene preached. So made you your kīg a God beleuing nothīg, but that the alowed. But how he died, I will not write for sha­me. I will not name how he turned to his vomet. I will not write your other wickednes of those times, your murthers without measure, adulteries and incestes of your kinge, his Lordes, aud cōmunes. It greueth me to write those euils of my coūtrie, saue onlie that I must nedes declare, what fru­tes were foūde in the vineyarde after you promised to worke therin, to moue you to repentance, and to iustifie Godds iudge­ments, how greuously so euer he shall pla­ge you hereafter. Wherefore I desire you to call to remēbrance your best state vnder king Edward, when all men with generall cōs̄t promised to worke in the vineyarde, and ye shall haue cause I doubte not to la­mēt your wickednes, that so contēned the [Page] voice of God for your owne lustes, for your crueltie, for your couetousnes, that the name of God was by your vanities e­uill spoken of in other nations. I will na­me no particulare thinges, becaus I reue­rence those tymes, saue only the killing of both the kinges vncles, and the prison­nement of Hoper for popishe garments.

God graunt you all repentant heartes, for no order nor state did any part of his due­tie in those dayes. But to speak of the best, whereof ye vse to boast, your religion was but an English matyns, patched fur­the of the popes portesse, many thinges were in your great booke supersticious ād foolishe, all were driuen to a prescripte seruice lyke the papistes, that they should thinke theyr dueties discharged, if the nō ­bre were said of psalmes and chapters. Fi­nally there could no discipline be broght into the Churche, nor correction of ma­ners. I will touche no further abuses, yet willing and desiering you to consider thē in your heartes, that knowing your negli­gence ye may bring furth frutes of repen­tance. For this I admonishe you (o ye peo­ple of England) wheresoeuer you be scat­tered or placed, that onles ye do right spe­dely repent of your former negligence, it is not the Spanyardes only, that ye haue to feare, as roddes of goddes wrath, but all [Page 71] other nations, France, Turkie, and Den­marke, yea all creatures shall be armed a­gainst you for the contempt of those ty­mes, when your heauenlie father so merci­fullie called you. To what contempt was goddes worde and the admonition of his prophetes comme in all estates, before God did stryke, somme men are not igno­rant. The preachers them selues for the most part could fynd no fault in religion, but that the Churche was poore and lac­ked liuing. Trueth it is, that the abbay lā ­des and other such reuenues, as afore ap­pertained to the papistical Churche, were most wickedly and vngodly spent, but yet many thinges would haue bene reformed, before that the kitching had bene better ꝓuided for to our prelates in England. It was moste euidēt, that many of you vnder the cloke of religion serued your own bellies: somme were so busie to heap benefice vpon benefice, sōme to labour in parlamēt for purchesing of lands, that the tyme was small, which coulde be founde for the re­formation of abuses, and very litle, which was spent vpon the feeding of your floc­kes. I nede not now to examine particular crimes of preachers. Only I say, that the Ghospell was so lightly estemed, that the most part of men thoght rather, that God should bow and obey to theyr appetites, [Page] then that they should be subiect to his ho­lie commaundementes. For the commu­nes did continew in malice, and rebellion, in craft and subtiltie, notwithstanding all lawes, that could be deuised for reforma­tion of abuses. The merchants had their own soules to sell for gaines, the gentle­men were becomme Nērods and Gyants, and the nobilitie and coūsile would suffer no rebukes of Gods messēgers thogh theyr offenses were neuer so manifest. Let tho­se, that preached in the court, the lent be­fore king Edward deceased, speak theyr conscience, and accuse me, if I lie, yea let a writing written by that miserable man, then duke of Northumberland to master Harlow for that time Byshoppe of Har­ford, be broght to lighte, and it shall testi­fie, that he ashamed not to say, that the li­bertie of the preachers tonges would cause the counsile and nobilitie to ryse vppe against them: for they could not suf­fer so to be intreated. These were the fru­tes euen in the tyme of haruest a litle be­fore the winter came. And of the tyme of Marie what should I write? England is now so miserable, that no penne can paynt it. It ceaseth to be in the nomber of chil­dren, because it openly dispiteth God the father. It hath cast of the trueth knowen and confessed, and foloweth lies and er­rours, [Page 72] which once it detested. It buyldeth the buylding, which it once destroyed▪ it raiseth vp the idols, which once were the­re confounded: it murthereth the sainctes, it mainteineth Baals prophetes by the cō ­maundement of Iesabel. Such are the euil husbandes, that now haunte the vineyard, so that this is true, that our Sauiour Christ, saieth:

The Lord hym selfe hath plan­ted a faire vineyard, he hedged it round about, and buylded a tou­re, &c. And when the tyme of the frute drew nere, he sent his ser­uants to the tilmen to receyue the frutes thereof, but they caught his seruantes, they bett one, they killed an other, and stoned o­thers. Againe he sent other ser­uantes mo, and they serued them like wise.

What nede any exposition to ap­plie this vnto England? All is fulfilled, that is spoken in that parable, onles they do waite for the sonne hym selfe, for to comme, that they may handle hym lyke­wise, as they haue done his seruantes. But all is one, saieth our Sauiour Christ.

[Page]That, which ye do to one of the­se litle ons,Mat. 25. the same ye do to me, be it good or bad. Why doest thou persecute me, saieth Christ to Saul, when he was, as he now is, at the right hand of God his father in the heauens. Therefore they persecute, they banishe, they burne Christ the sonne of God in his mem­bres. The iudgement therefore now re­maineth, which the wicked then gaue a­gainst them selues,

That the Lord of the vineyar­de will cruelly destroy those euill persons, and will let furth his vi­neyarde vnto other husbandes.

And the confirmation of the same by the sentence of the chefe iudge, that

The kingdome of God shall be taken from such, and geuen to a people, that shall bringe furth the frutes thereof.

The which iudgement is begonne in Englande, and shortly alas will be fully executed and finished without right spe­die repentance. Somme hope is in Scot­land, which hath not shewed furth any such crueltie, and hath not contemned the knowen treasures: but lyke wanton chil­dren [Page 73] haue contemned the commaunde­ment of theyr father, partely of frailtie, partely of ignorance. But Englād the ser­uante, that knew the will of his Lord and maister, which was once lightened with most clere beames, which hath tasted of the swetenes of the worde of God, and of the ioyes of the worlde to comme, which hath abiured Antichrist, and all idolatrie, which hath boasted to professe Christ with greate boldnes before all the worl­de, must be beaten with many stripes, it can not be auoided.

But to be shorte this only remaineth for bothe these nations, that they repent and returne into the vineyarde with the fyrst sonne. For neither shall ignorance excuse any land or nation, as is playn in the fyrst to the Romanes, neither can any people be receyued without the frutes of repentance, as Iohn Baptist proclaimeth.

The frutes of repentance I call not only to know your synnes, and to lament them, but to amend your liues, and to make streght the Lordes pathes by resisting Sa­tan and synne, and obeying God in doing the workes of righteousnes, and execu­ting goddes praecepts, and iudgementes, so longe amongest you contemned.

For euen now is the axe put toMat. 3. [Page] the roote of the tree, so that euerie tree, that bringeth not furthe goode frute, shalbe hewē downe, and cast into the fier. The Lord hath now his fanne in his hande, and will purge his flore, ād gather the wheate into his garner, but will burne the chaffe with vnquē ­chable fier.

Repent therefore, whiles ye haue ty­me, before ye be fanned, hewē downe and fiered. When I do behold both your two realmes, I see the fanne, I see the axe. But this I am suer is the begynnyng of your ruine, that ye do mary with strangers, and giue your power to forraine nations, such as feare not God, but are open idolaters, blasphemers, persecuters of the saincts of God, that careth neither for heauen nor hell, God nor deuill, so that they may wynne landes, townes and countries. God shall hew you downe by thē therefore, as he hath done other nations by like mea­nes and causes, and they shall fanne you furthe of your own huskes and homes, to make you vagaboundes and beggars, and after possesse your landes and goods, as God threatned by Moses, as was before [Page 74] alledged. Trust not to thy strengthe af­terwarde, when thy ennemy is setled, if thou haue no strengthe to resist his begyn­nynges, no more thē thou canst ouercome a canker, that hath ouerrunne many mem­bres. That God would not haue you to truste to your force of men, townes, or ca­stels, there is enough exāples, that you bo­the haue felt to your grefe. And I can not write without murnyng. For how litle a­uayled the multitude, and stowt courrage of you (dear Brethrē of Scotlād) att Mus­selburgh, or Pinkefield, the carcases alas of many thousands, who that day fell in the edge of the sworde, may teach you. And how vaine be all strengthes, (be they iud­ged neuer so stronge, or inexpugnable) lett Calice lately taken admonish you.

But I do leaue such exāples to your consi­derations to teache you to call to the li­uinge Lord, who offereth hym selfe, as a mercifull father vnto you, still calling you to repentance by wordes, by writin­ges, and most gentle corrections, if ye will not be harde harted.

Yet here haue we to lamēt the misera­ble state of mākynde, which is so seduced by the subtile serpēt, that he can not know his miserie, when he is admonished, nor perceaue his perdition, when it draweth so nere. When the seruantes of God set [Page] furthe his trueth, they are charged to trouble realmes, and countries, as was Elias: when they warne men not to ioyne han­des with wicked kinges and princes, they are counted traitours, as was Esaias and Ieremias. Such is mannes malice. But if there be a God, that is fyrst of all to be soght, and without whome nothing can be profitable vnto vs, but without hym all thinges are vnhappie and accursed: if the kingdome of God and the righteous­nes thereof must fyrst be soght, and then all thinges shall be ministred: if our hea­uenlie kinge must before man be obeyed, then all such doctrine, as calleth vs from man to God, is easie to be perceaued, and oght not to be resisted. Wherefore I do admonish and exhorte you bothe in the name of the liuinge God, that how so euer you haue hitherto shewed your selues the seruants of men to beare and to flatter with the worlde, that now ye learne in goddes cause to despise the faces of men, to bend your selues against this wicked world, neither regarding the visars of honours, vaine titles nor dignities any further, then they seke God his onelie glorie. For his glorie will he not suffer to be contemned for any cause. No he will powre contempt on those princes, that striue against his trueth: but those, that [Page 75] glorifie hym, will he glorifie. And what king dome, realme or nation so euer it be, that will not seke to sanctifie his name, they shall in the day of goddes greuous visitation, which is now at hand, be vtterly cōfounded, theyr strēgth shalbe straw, theyr honours shall be shame, and all their idolatrous preestes, in whose lies they delyte, togither with their idols, with whome they are bewitched, shall be stub­ble and brymstone to burne togither, whē the wrathe of the Lorde of hostes shall set them on fier. The preestes shall not saue theyr goddes, nor the goddes their wor­shippers, but both alike accursed shall thē perish for euer. And thoghe our mercifull father hathe longe suffred heretofore in the tyme of ignorāce, yet now in the ende of the world he calleth all people so plai­nely by his worde to repentance, that he must nedes take spedie vengeance, if his callinge be contemned: especially becau­se the day can not longe be delayed, whe­rein he hath determined to iudge all peo­ple and nations of the whole world, and to put an end to wickednes.

Wherefore to conclude, behold, your onlie remedie remaineth to repent your tyme of ignorāce, of stubburnnes, of crueltie, of idolatrie, wherein ye haue so long continued. And now with all diligence [Page] to seke for knolledge of the worde of God, and opēly to professe the Ghospell, which is the power of God, whereof ye oght not to be ashamed. Cease at the last from your olde stubburnnes, wherbie ye haue deserued vengeance, and labour in the vineyarde with all mekenes, that ye may receaue mercie and grace: cease from your crueltie against Christes membres, and learne to suffer for Christes sake, if ye will be true Christians: banishe all ido­latrie and popishe superstition from a­mongest you, els can ye haue no parte in Christes kingdome, no more then Christ can be partaker with Antichrist. Pray to the Lorde of hostes and armies to giue you the courrage, strengthe, and meanes. The Lords arme is not shortened now, no more then of olde. Be stronge therefore in the Lord for the defence of the trueth, thogh all the worlde ryse agaīst itt. Now when the battaile is fierce against the li­uinge God for dead idols, (euen for the vile wafercake, the most vaine idol, that euer was) against the Ghospel of Christe for the inuentions of Antichrist, against Christes mēbres for Popishe ceremonies, can any of you, that wilbe compted gods children, styll halt of bothe handes? If that cake baked in yron tonges, not able to a­byde a blast of winde, be the aeternal God, [Page 76] folow it: but if he only be God, that hath created the heauens, abhorre suche vile i­dols, that haue no force to saue thē selues: if Christes Ghospel and doctrine be suf­ficient to saluation, and by receauing of it ye are called Christians, away with all Antichristes inuentions broght into your Romish churches: if you hope to haue any parte with Christ, cherishe his mēbres and maintaine thē against theire ennemies the papistes, ād the bishoppe of Rome the verie Antichriste. What strengthe, what force, what power, what coūsil so euer ye haue of God, bende all to this ende and purpose, as ye wyll make answere to your heauēly kīg for the talent receaued. If you haue no re­garde of those prīcipal pointes, which on­ly, or chiefly should be before your eyes, go to with your forraine mariages, ioyne Frāce to Scotlād, and Spayne to England, if it be possible, yet shall ye all be confounded. The Lord shall plage you one with an other, vntill you be consumed, your strēgth, wherein ye trust, shall be shakē to naught, your courrage shalbe cowardise, your wisdom shall be folie, ād the Lord of hostes by your ruine ād destructiō will be renowmed ād praised, ād his iust iudgemēts through owt the earth shalbe honoured ād feared. Where of the contrarie if you will maintaine Gods trueth in the earthe, he [Page] will receaue you as his children into the heauens, if you confesse his Christe befo­re this wicked generation, Christ shall confesse you before his father in the heauens, in the presēce of his angels. But if you per­siste stubburnly to banishe goddes worde, and his sonne Christ in his membres furth of your earthlie kyngdomes, how cā ye lo­ke for any parte in his heauēlie king dome? muche more if ye continue to murther his messīgers, what cā ye loke for emōgst your selues, but that ye shoulde digge one ī ano­thers bellie to be your own murtherers? So that if ye wil stil remaine after all these ad­monitiōs in your murthers and idolatries, be suer, that in this worlde ye shall haue enoghe of your idolatries, and you shalbe filled with blooddy murthers aud in the end ye shall be iudged without the gates of the heuenlie Ierusalem a­mongest the dogges,Reuel. 21. enchaunters, hooremōgers and murtherers and idolaters with all those, that lo­ueth lies. But he, that ouercom­meth all these, shall inherit all thinges, and I will be his God, saieth the Lord, and he shall be my son­ne. Where as the fearefull in gods [Page 77] cause, the vnbeleuing, the abomi­nable, the murtherers, hooremon­gers, sorcerers and idolaters shall haue their parte in the lake, that burneth with fier and brymstone.

Lo here is the choise of life and deathe, of miserie and welthe offred vnto you by gods mercies, and the meanes how yow may winne goddes fauour opened, where­bie onely ye may preuaile against your ennemies. God graūte you heartes to answer as the people did to Iosua offering the ly­ke choyse.Iosu. 24. God forbyd (say they) that we shoulde forsake God, we will serue the Lorde our God and obey his voice, for he his our God.

And we your banished brethren by the power of God to prouoke you forward, will thus pronounce with Iosua.

That we and our families will serue the Lorde God, thoghe all natiōs runne to Idols, thoghe all people do persecute vs. We knowe that Satan hathe but a shorte tyme to rage, and that Christe our captaine right spedely will crowne his souldiours, to whome, as he is the eternal God with his father, be all ho­nour and glorie for euer and euer. So be it.

IOHN KNOXE TO THE READER.

BEcause many are offended at the first blast of the trompett, in whiche I affirme, that to pro­mote a woman to beare rule, or empire a­boue any realme, nation or citie, is repu­gnant to nature, contumelie to God, and a thing moste contrariouse to his reuealed and approued ordenāce: and because also, that somme hath pomised (as I vnderstād) a confutation of the same, I haue delayed the second blast, till suche tyme as their reasons appere, by the which I either may be reformed in opinion, or els shall haue further occasion more simply and plainly to vtter my iudgement. Yet in the meane tyme for the discharge of my conscience, and for auoyding suspitiō, whiche might be ingendred by reason of my silence, I could not cease to notifie these subsequent propositiōs, which by Gods grace I purpose to entreate in the secōd blast promised.

1 It is not birth onely nor propin quitie of blood, that maketh a kīge lawfully to reign aboue a people professing Christe Iesus, and his eternall veritie, but in his election must the ordenance, which God hath established, in the election of [Page 78] inferiour iudges be obserued.

2 No manifest idolater nor noto­riouse transgressor of gods holie preceptes oght to be promoted to any publike regi­mēt, honour or dignitie in any realme, prouince or citie, that hath subiected the self to Christe Iesus and to his blessed Euāgil.

3 Neither can othe nor promesse bynd any such people to obey and main­tein tyrantes against God and against his trueth knowen.

4 But if either rashely they haue promoted any manifest wicked personne, or yet ignorantly haue chosen suche a one, as after declareth hī self vnworthie of regiment aboue the people of God (and suche be all idolaters and cruel persecuters) mo­ste iustely may the same men depose and punishe hī, that vnaduysedly before they did nominate, appoint and electe.

MATTH. VI. If the eye be single, the whole body shalbe clere.

PSALME OF DAVID XCIIII, turned in to metre, by W. Kethe.

O Lorde sith vengeance doth to thee,
and to none els belonge:
Now showe thy self (o Lorde oure God)
with spede reuenge oure wronge.
Arise thow great iudge of the worlde,
and haue at length regarde,
That as the prowde deserue and do,
thow wilt them so rewarde.
How longe (o Lorde) shall wicked men
triumphe thy flock to slea?
Yea Lorde, how longe? For they triumphe
as thog he, who now but they.
How longe shall wicked doers speake?
their great disdaine we se,
Whose boastīg prowd doth seem to threat
no speach but theirs to be.
O Lorde they smite thy people downe,
not sparinge yonge or olde:
Thine heritage they so torment,
as strange is to beholde.
The widdowe and the stranger both
they murther cruelly:
The father lesse they put to death
and cause they know none why.
And yet saye they: tushe, tushe, the Lorde
shall not beholde this dede,
Ne yet will Iacobs God reuolue
the thinges by vs decreed.
But now take hede ye men vnwise,
amonge the folke that dwell:
Ye fooles (Lsaye) when will ye waye
or vnderstand this well?
He that the eare did plante and place,
shall he be slowe to heare?
Or he that made the eye to see,
shall he not see most clere?
Or he that whipte the hethen folke,
and knolledge teacheth men,
To nurture such, as went astraye,
shall he not punishe then?
The Lorde oure God, who mā did frame,
his very thoghts doth knowe,
And that they are but vile and vaine,
to him is knowne also.
But blessed is that man (o Lorde)
whom thou doest bringe in awe,
And teacheste him by this thy rodd
to loue and feare thy lawe.
That patience thou mayste him geue
in tyme of troubles great,
Vntill the pitt be digged vp
th'ungodly for to eate.
For why, the Lorde will neuer fayle
his people, whiche him loue:
Ne yet forsake his heritaunce,
whiche he doth still approue,
Till righteousnes to iudgement turne,
as it must be in dede,
And such as be full true in hearte
to folowe it with spede.
Who now will vp and rise with me
against this wycked bande?
Or who against these workers ill
on my parte stowte will stande?
Yf that the Lorde had not me holpt,
Dowtelesse it had bene done,
To witt, my soule in silence broght,
and so my foes had wonne.
But thogh my foote did swiftly slide,
Yet when I did it tell,
Thy mercie (Lorde) so helde me vp,
that I therewith not fell.
For in the heapes of sorrowes sharpe,
that did my hearte oppresse,
Thy comfortes were to me so greate,
they did my soule refreshe.
Wilte thow (vaine man) haue ought to do
with that most wicked chaire,
That museth mischief as a lawe
with out remorse or feare?
Against the soules of righteous men
they all with spede conuent,
And there the giltlesse blood condemne,
with one most vile consent.
But my refuge is to the Lorde
in all these daungers deepe,
And God the strength is of my truste,
who allwaies dothe me keepe.
He shall rewarde their wickednesse,
and in their wrathe them kill,
Yea, them destroye shall God oure Lorde,
for he bothe can and will.
FINIS.

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