The Fortresse of the faythfull a­gaynst ye cruel assautes of pouertie and honger newlye made for the comforte of poore nedye Christi­ans, by Thomas Be­con.

Prouer. xviii.

A myghty strong fortresse is ye name of ye Lord, Unto that flieth ye righteous, and is in sauegarde.

1550.

¶Cum priuilegio ad impri­mendum solum.

Dauid. P [...]al. xxxvii.

I Haue bene young, and am old, and yet sawe I neuer y right­ous forsaken, nor hys children beggyng theyre breade. The ryghtuous is euer merciful and lendeth, and yet shall hys children haue Godds plenty and ynough▪

Salomon [...]ouer .xxx.

Two thinges haue I required of the, O Lorde, that thou wylt not deny me be­fore I dye. Remoue frome vanytye and lyes. Geue me nether pouerte nor riches, only graunt me a necessarye lyuing, least if I be to full, I denye the and saye: who is the Lord? & least I beinge constrained thorowe pouertie faul vnto stealing, and forswere the name of my God.

Christe. Math. vi.

Take no thought, saying, what shal we eat, or what shal we drynke, or wherwith shal we be clothed? after al these thynges seke the Hethē. For your heauenly father knoweth, that ye haue nede of all these thinges. But seke ye fyrste the kyngdom of God and the righteousnes therof and al these thinges shall be caste vnto you.

To the ryght worshipful Syr Ihon Robsarte knyght, Thomas Becon wysheth con­tinuall health both of body and mynd frō God the father in Christ Iesu our Lorde.

SO ofte as I behold the wretchid and to much miserable face of thys needye and beggerl [...] world, yea so ofte as I consyder the lamentable & pytifull, state of the poore people, whych are nowe growen vnto suche a number, that they be almoste innumerable, and so assayled wyth the cruell dartes of po­uertie and honger, that they in a maner despaire of necessary foode and conueni­ent apparel for the sustentation of theyr poore wretched karcasses, and by thys meanes for a redresse of these their to manyfolde miseryes parte of theym, whose braynes are not perfectly setled, whose [Page] iudgementes are not thorowly staied in the waye of perfecte reason, not paciently bearynge the crosse of pouertye, con­trary to Christen order and theyr boun­den dutye attempte vnto the greate do­loure of al good men, vngodlye and vn­lawful enterprises, as wycked councels, vniust assembles, abhominable sediciōs, diuilyshe insurreccions, detestable con­mocions, vnryghtuous spoylynges of o­ther mennes goodes, vncharitable ray­lynges vpō theyr superiours.Deut. xxviii, ii. Reg. xvii. Ie [...]m. xviii. Eze [...]h. iiii. v. iiii. x [...]ix. xxxii [...]xxiii. [...]se. ii. &c. Utter­ly defacynge, somuche as in theym is, the face of the common weale, not consy­deryng thys plage of famyn and honger to be sent into the world for synne accor­dynge to the [...]hreatnynges of God ex­pressed in y holy scriptures: I can none otherwyse thē lament and hartely wysh better and more prosperous thynges to the nedy and poore creatures of god vni­uersally. For although according to the common Prouerbe,Commō pro­ [...]rbes.

Lyt [...]el wo [...]e the ful sow that is in y s [...]ye, What the hungrye sow ayleth, that go­eth by.

Yet so many as are of God, and ledde wyth any natural or humaine affeccion, they remember thys olde sayinge:

It is mery in hel, Whē berdes wag al, and can not euen in the myddes of their wealth, but repent the mysery of the my­serable, the pouerty of the poore, the fa­myn [Page] of the famished,The nature of Charitie. romay. xii. and to y vttermost of theyr power studye to re [...]eue the dys­tresse of the nedy both wyth theyr goods and councel. As a true Christē mā ioyeth wyth them that are glad, euen so sorow­eth he wyth them that are sad. Charitye seketh not her owne, but both wisheth & doth wel to al men, [...]. Corin. xiii euen to her enemies. Charytye putteth on the propertye of Christ, whych became poore to make o­ther ryche. Charytye ioyeth not at her owne ioy,ii. Corin. viii if other sorowe. Charitie dely­teth not in her own fulnes, if other wāt. Charitie abhorreth her owne reaste if o­ther be disquieted. I am combred dayly, sayth S. Paule,ii. Corin. xii and do care for all con­gregacions. Who is weake, and I am not weake? Who is offended, and I am not greued? Yea Charitie refuseth al­most to be saued, if other enioye not the lyke benefyt. Dyd not that most excellēt prophet Moses desyre God either to for­geue the chyldren of Israel theyr synnesExodi. xxxii. or else to wy [...]e him out of y boke of lyfe?romayne [...] ix

Dyd not blessed Paule wyshe to be accursed from God so that the Israeli­tes hys kynsmen after the flesh, myghte be saued?Actes. vii. Dyd not the gloryous Martyr Stephen accordynge to the example of Christ praye for hys enemyts? So wholy doth Charitie geue her selfe to serue the health and wealth of other.Luke. xx [...]

And as touchynge the relyefe of the [Page] poore and nedy, oppressed wyth the wā [...] of worldly thinges, what good and god­ly man hath not at al tymes, as occasiō & habylitie hath serued, sought it? Who beynge godlye mynded seynge his Chri­sten brother or syster in necessitie, seketh not al meanes possible to healye theym? Can a Christiā aboūd in worldly wealth and suffer hys neyghbour to famyshe or to dye for colde? He hath not put on the bowels and rēder compassion of Christ, whych is not moued wyth pitie toward his nedy neighbour?Hospitalitie. O what goodli and notable examples doth y holy scripture mynyster vnto vs of socourynge the so­courles? What a myrrou [...]e to beholde is that most reuerende Patriarke Abrahā the father of the faythful,Gene. xviii. vnto the faythfull? Wyth what alacritie and chereful­nes of mynde dyd he receaue into hys house the Angels of God beyng in mens lykenesse? Wyth what diligence prepa­red he al thynges necessary for them, as he thought, weary bodyes? When Loth saw the two aungels of God, whom he iudged to be men, cōming into Sodome at night▪ howe reuere [...]ly did he behaue hym selfe toward thē, & instantly desyred thē to come into his house & ther lodged y night?Gene. xix. I besech you syrs, saith he, turne into the house of your seruaunte, & abide ther. Washe your feete, & in the morning ye shal go forth on your iourney. And af­terwarde [Page] he made them a feast, saith the Scripture. These two godly aunciēt fa­thers thought is not mete to suffer straū gers and way farynge men to passe fore­by theyr houses wythoute relyefe. They dyd according to Gods holy wyl expres­sed by the prophet, sayinge. Breake thy breade to the hungry [...],Esay. [...]viii. and led the nedye and the way faring into thy house. Whē thou seest a naked mā, couer him, so shalt thou not despise thy flesh. Forget not hospitalite, saith S. Paul, for by it, certeyne vnwars haue receaued angels into theyr houses.Hebrues. xii▪ How ready pacient Iob was to socour y socourles, & to relyue the nedy, it is euident by these his wordes: When the poore desyred any thyng of me,Iob. xxxi. haue I denied it them? Haue I caused the wi­dow to stande waityng for me in vaine? Haue I eaten my porciō alone that the fatherles hath hadde no parte with me?

For mercye grewe vp wyth me fro my youthe, and compassion frō my mothers wombe. Haue I sene anye man peryshe thorow nakednes and wāt of clothyng? Or any poore man for lacke of raiment, whose sydes thanked me not because be was warmed with the wol of my shepe? Agayne he sayeth, I haue not suffered a straunger to lye wtout, but I opened my doores vnto him, that went by the way. As I maye passe ouer many other examples, contay [...]ed in the olde Testamente, [Page] which declare how merciful diuers godly both men and women were towarde straungers and poore people,Marke. viii. how tēder harted and ful of most louynge pitie and vnfayned compassion, dyd our Sauiour Christ shewe hym selfe when he fedde so manye people wyth seuen loaues and a fewe small fyshes? I am inwardelye moued wt compassyon toward y people, sayeth he, because they haue nowe bene wyth me .iii. dayes, and haue nothynge to eate, and if I send them away fasting to theyr owne houses, they shal faynt by the way. Moreouer, as I maye let passe diuers other miracles, which he dyd for the reliefe of y poore, as turnyng water into wyne at the mariage in Caua Ga­lile,Ioan. ii. [...]oan. vi. and feedynge fyue thousande wyth fiue barly loa [...]es & two fishes, did he not shew hym selfe to take great care for the poore, when he gaue the ryche men thys commaundemente? When thou makest a [...]ynner or supper,Luke. xiiii. cast not thy frendes, [...] thy brethren, neyther thy kynsmen, nor thy ryche neyghbours, least they al­so byd the agayne, and a recompence be made the. But when thou makest a feast cal the poore, the feble, the lame, and the blynde, and thou shalt be happy, for they cannot recōpence the. But thou shalt be recompenced at the resurreccion of the iuste menne.Math xxv. In the descripcion of the generall Iudgement, whyche shalbe at [Page] the last day, is not the rewarde of euer­lastynge lyfe ser forth to the mercyfull,Iacob. ii. Math v. and eternal damnacion to the merciles? The Iudgement, sayth S. Iames, shall be without mercy, to thē that hath shewed no mercye. Blessed are the mercyfull, fo [...] they shall obtayne mercye.Luke. x [...]. Gyue al­messe of that ye haue, and behold al thinges are cleane vnto you, sayth our Sa­uioure Christ.Luke. xvi. Was not the rytche glo [...] ­to [...] damned, because he was ledde wyth no pietie towarde the poore?

O how diligent were the Apostles af­ter Christes ascencion to appoynt Dea­cons to mynyster vnto the poore,Actes. vi. xi. and to prouyde that they lacke nothyng?A [...]tes. xxiiii How earnest was blessed Paule in exortynge the Christians to make colleccions for the poore? [...]oma. xv. Yea howe wroughte he wyth hys owne handes,i. Corin. xv that he myghte haue wherof to geue vnto the nedye?ii [...] Cor. viii. What a frendly lesson in ye poore peoples behalfe wryteth he vnto Byshop Timothe to be declared vnto the ryche worldlynges?Actes. xx. Cōmaund them that are rych (sayth he) in this worlde,ii. Thess. iii that they be not hie min­ded,i. Timo. v [...]. nor trust in vncertayne ryches, but in the lyuynge God, whych geueth vs a­bundantly al thinges to enioye thē, that they do good workes, that they be redy to geue, and gladde to dystrybute, lay­inge vp in store for theym selfe a good foundacion agaynste the tyme to come, [Page] that they may obtaine eternallife. How is Dorcas a noble and vertuous womā commended in the holy Scripture? She was ful of good workes & almes dedes, saith blessed Luke, [...]. ix. Yea she with her own handes made coates and garmentes for the poore. [...]irrours [...] Gētle, [...]. An example worthi to be folo­wed of our Gentle women and Ladyes now a dayes, whych in tyringe and gar­nishynge thē selues know neyther mea­sure nor ende, but of preparynge garmē ­tes for the poore, they for the most parte do not somuche as once dreame. Dorcas coulde not abyde, that she herselfe shuld haue a ryche waredroppe full of sumtu­ous apparel, and se her Christen Brethrē and systern go naked and dye for colde, Yea rather then they shoulde wante, she wyl set her owne hādes to worke, which thynge many of our fine whight fingred Gentyl women, yea and some inferioure to them dysdayne to do.

How instantly dyd a certayne womā named L [...]dia desyre. [...]etes. xvi. S. Paule and hys compa [...]ions to come into her house, and there to haue all thynges necessarye for them? [...]reachers vn [...]rouided. If ye thynke (saith she) that I be­leue on the Lorde, come into my house, and abyde there. Wold God the lyke af­feccion towarde the Preache [...]s of Gods woorde were founde in our [...] menne and women at this present, then shoulde not so manye of them be oppressed wyth po­uertie, and wander abrode wythout ly­uinges [Page] as they do nowe, vnto the greate sclaūder of y Gospel, which they preach. Is it not a shame that they should want temporal thynges, whych minister vnto vs spiritual and heauēly thynges?i Corin. ix. Hath not the Lorde ordeyned, that they which preache the Gospell, shoulde lyue of the Gospel? Are not they that rule wel, and laboure in worde and doctryne, worthy of double honoure? Is it not conueniēt, that the housbandeman whyche labou­reth, shoulde fyrst take of the frutes?i. Timo. v. Are we not forbydden to mosel the mouth of the o [...]e that treadeth out the corne?ii. Timo. ii. Is not a rewarde ordeyned for the worke­man?i. Timo. v. If we haue sowen among you spi­ritualMath x. thynges,i. Corin. ix. is it a great mater, if we reape your carnal thynges? Doo ye not know that they, whych minister aboute holy thynges,Math. x. lyue of the sacrifyce? they whych wayte of the temple, are parta­kers of the temple. Euen so also dyd the Lorde ordayne,i. Timo. iii. Titus. i. that they whych preache the Gospel, should lyue of y gospel, saith S. Paule. The Apostle requireth that a Bishop, y is, a spiritual minister shoulde mayntaine hospitalitie. How vnsemely thē is it for thē that shuld fede other,Papistes h [...] to fore bet [...] prouided [...]o thē preaches nowe. ey­ther myserably to liue on other me [...]s trē chers, or els lyke vagaboundes to hunt aboute for theyr lyuinge? Neyther oure aūcestours nor we in tymes paste haue so dealt wt y sorcererlyke Sacryfycers, wt y [Page] prat [...]yng Papistes, wyth the monstrous Monckes, wyth the chatrerynge Chan­nons, wyth the flatterynge f [...]yers, and such other mumryshe mummers, as vn­der the vysar of paynted holynes haue deceyued almost all the worlde, ledynge vs from Gods blessed worde to mannes tryfle inge [...]radicions, from the waye of saluacion vnto the state of damnacion, from heauen to hel, from God to the dy­uyl. But so hath it euer gone for y moste parte wyth the true Preachers in thys wycked and vnthankeful worlde. In the tyme of king Achab, the true Prophetes of God were slayne, and thē that remai­ned alyue, were secre [...]lye kepte in caues and ther fedde wyth bread and water of good Abdy [...], whych vnfaynedly feared God. [...]. xviii. If they had not bene preserued by that godly man, they hadde eyther bene slayne, or els famished. But the Preistes of Baal abounded wyth all kynde of wealth. Eyght hundred and fy [...]ty, sayth the scripture, did eate of Iesabels table.

Who knoweth not, [...]remie. xx. [...]viii. that the Prophet Hieremie was throwen into prysō, cru­elly entreated and lyke to dye for hōger, whan [...]hashur. the priestes, and suche o­ther false prophe [...]es euen men pleasars, [...]ath. xii. lyued in al wealth and aboundaunce of worldly thynges? Wyth what pouertie the disciples of Christe were greued, [...]athe. viii. [...]. it may easly be knowen, whē they for very [Page] honger were cōpelled to plucke y eares of corne & to eate.Ioan. xviii. zachary. [...]x. Math. xxi. And how poore Christ was, not a fewe places of the Scripture do declare, whē in ye meane time Annas, Caiphas, Alexander, ye Scribes, ye Pha­rises, Lawers, ye Byshops, the Priestes, y sacrificers wt al ye rable of Hipocrites lyued in al pompe and pleasure. This in gratitude, churlishnes & illiberalitie to­ward y ministers of gods word shal not escape vnpunished.Luke. x He y despyseth you, despiseth me, sayeth Christ, & he that de­spiseth me, despiseth hym yt sent me.Luke. x. But let vs returne vnto our matter.Luke. xix.

What nede I reherse,Actes. ix. Martha, Za­che, Simon the tanner,Actes. xvii. Iason. Aquila, Philip the Euangelist,Act. [...]xi. xxv [...] Publius, Phile­mon, Gaius,Galath. vi. and suche other, whyche all shewed thē selues courteous, gētyl & be­neficial toward al ye poore, but chefly to­ward thē yt were of y houshold of fayth, as s. Paule warneth. If we haue recourse vnto aunciēt histories, O how shal we learne of thē the fatherly pytie & Godly glad affecciō,O factum bene. which was in ye Bishops & Deacons toward the poore people when Christes churche began to florishe. Read we not, that for the comfort of the poore and oppressed Christians, the godly aun­cient Byshoppes dyd not onelye sell the Ornamentes, Treasures, and Iewelles of the churche, but also the verye boxes of Golde and Syluer, wherein the Lor­des [Page] brea [...], whych we cōmenly cal y Sa­cramēt of the aulter, [...] or our By­ [...]oppes. was kept? they had rather kepe the Sacramente of Christes bodye in a basket of wyckers, and to fell that they made of golde for the releife of the pore, then they shulde wante. O god­ly Byshoppes and faithfull sheppardes, whiche so diligently watched for the preseruation of their shepe both bodily and ghostly. Is it not to be thought, that the sūmes of money, which the beneficed mē yerelye paye to the archedecon of euerye dioceise, were fyrste of all frely graunted and gyuen of oure predecessoures to be distributed amōg the pore people of that diocease, as necessitie required, and theyr descrecion serued? But howe that money is nowe abused, who seeth not? the office of the archedecon,The of [...]yce of [...] Archdecō. is yerely to visit eueri paryshe in the diocese, wher he dwelleth, and diligently to se, what y pore people of euery paryshe want, and to make pro­uision for them, & vnto that vse, as I said before, was that mony geuen, which eue­ry beneficed mā payeth to the archedecō agayne, to se whither parson or vicar be resident vpon hys benefice, and maine­taine such hospytalite, as y pore of y pa­rish be y better for it. But now a dayes y archdcōs aske not for y pore, nor in what cōdiciō they stād, but whether y hosts be wel kept in y pyxe frō moulding & fur­ring, whither corpraise clothes be clene washed, whither the Chrismatory besafe­ly [Page] locked vp, whyther the Prieste vseth any vnhalowed garmētes or chalyce in hys sacrifisynge, whyther y copes, vest­mētes and albes be sufficiētly repayred, whither the Church, Chaūcel, or Church yard be in case good ynoughe, and suche other trifles. God haue mercion vs, & sēd vs once a redresse of these thynges. Fur­thermore wt what a Godly pitie & chari­table affecciō dyd our auncestours burne toward y poore mēbers of Christ,Folowe thes [...] fore fathers. which as I may speake nothynge of Abbeyes, Colleges, Chaūtries, frechapels. &c. bilt with theyr greate cost hospitals & suche other houses, enduing the same wt yerely reuenewes for the relife of y poore? Men [...]rie, fathers, fathers, but the maners of these fathers are clene forgottē.Philip. ii. All seke theyr own auaūtage, & not those thinges whych pertaine vnto Iesu Christ. Thus se we y al good mē haue euer pityed the poore, & sought al meanes possible to do thē good. But the cōtrary is foūd amōg vs nowe a daies.ii. Timo. iii. For mē according to s. Paules prophecy, are the louers of them selues & not of the poore. They are coue­tous to thēselfes, & not liberal to y poore They heap to thēselfes, they prouide no­thing for the poore, ther be many signes of y last day to be at hand, but this colde affecciō, & more cold loue, & most cold ly­beralitie toward y poore proue euidētly y it is not far of. Amōg mani other signs and tokēs, which Christ declareth to go [Page] before the daie of Iudgemēt,Math. xxiiii. is not this one of the most euident? For asmuch, say­eth he, as iniquitie shal abound, the loue of many shal waxe colde. When dyd ini­quitie euer so abounde? when was y loue of men euer so colde towarde the poore? The ryche worldelynges in tymes paste could buylde greate monasteries for the bellyed Hypocrites,Note. greate Colledges, Chauntries, and Freechappels, for sub­tle cariars and Purgatorie rakers, but who buylde somuche as a cotage nowe for to harbour a sely poore man? Men in tymes past disherered theyr lawful hey­res to nouryshe in ydlenes a numbre of ydle bellies [...]nder the pretēce of prayer, but who now euē of his superfluities do­eth any notable thyng for Christes poore mēbers? A number of people heretofore hath decked Idols and mawmets, with silke, vel [...]et, and other precious veslures yea wyth gold, syluer, pearle, and preci­ous stones, how many now in so greate a multitude do cloth y poore naked creatures of God wyth canuis and rugge? They gaue shoes of syluer & golde set wt rych stones to dome mawmets, but who now geueth shoes of leather to y poore? O to [...]uche vnmercyfulnes. Can these thynges escape vnplaged? If the Lorde lyueth, plages be at hande, excepte we amende. Thys oure ingratytude to­warde God, and vnmercifulnes toward [Page] the poore, wyl surely accelerate & haste forwarde the vengeauns of God to fall vpon vs. For whether we respect and behold the spiritualtie or temporalty, their loue towarde the poore compared wyth the loue of our Aūcestoures, is very cold, yea it is almost nothing. But if we com­pare theyr coue [...]uousnes with the desire of our Elders toward the goodes of the worlde,Spiritual mē couetou [...] we shal fynde it so farre to excel and surmount, as the hie heauens do the lowe earth. How do many of oure spiri­tual men, as they are called, heape pro­mocion vpon promocion, benefyce vpon benefyce, deanrye vpon deanrie, prebend vpon prebend, and prebēd for auaūtage? Ah, one [...]ylthy belly to deuoure so many wealthy lyuinges? O abominaciō. And yet the carelesse swyne are led wyth no pitie toward the poore, whose sweate of theyr browes they lyk vp, whose labou­res of theyr handes they cormorantlyke deuour. Behold theyr paine in teaching, it is very smal, behold their hospitalitie, it is nothinge at all. Woo be vnto these shepherdes, saith God by the Prophete, that fede thēselues. Shulde not y shepe­herdes fede the flockes?Ezech. xxxi [...] Ye haue eatē vp the fat, ye haue clothed you wyth y wol, the best fed haue ye slayne, but the flocke haue ye not nourished. The weake haue ye not holdē vp, y sycke haue ye not hea­ [...]d the brokē haue ye not boūd togither, [Page] y outcasts haue ye nor brought againe, the lost haue ye not sought, but churlish­ly & cruelly haue ye ruled them.Temporal [...] couetous. Agay [...]e how do many of the temporal worldlin­ges ioyne ferme to ferme, office to office, lordshyp to lordshyp, pasture to pasture, land to land, house to house, & house for auauntage? that the vengeaunce of God threatned by the Prophetes maye come vpon thē. [...]saye v. Wo be vnto you, y ioyne house to house, & couple land to lande, so nyghe one to another, that y poore man can get no more ground. Shal ye dwel alone vp­on the face of the earth? These thynges are come vp vnto my eares, sayth y Lord of hostes. Shal not many great & gorgi­ous houses be so waste that no man shal dwell in thē? [...]ab a [...]uk. ii. Agayne, wo be vnto hym, y heapeth vp other mēs goodes. How lōg wyl he lade hym selfe wt the thycke clay? Wo be vnto hym, y couetously gathereth euyl gotten goodes into hys house, that he maye set his nest on hye, to escape frō the power of misfortune. Thou hast deuised y shame of thyne own house. The ve­ry stones of the wal, shal cry out of it. O how doth our sauiour Christ thunder a­gainst y rich worldlings, y liue al in pleasure, & yet are not once moued wt pytie & cōpassiō toward y pore? [...]. vi. Wo be to you, y ar rich (saith he) which haue your cōsola­ciō. Wo be to y [...]u y are filled, for ye shal hōger. Wo be to you y laugh now, for ye shal mourne & weepe. Thus se we what [Page] vnmercifulnes reigneth in the world al­most vniuersally. And how al the threat­ninges of Gods vēgeaūce can not quēch in y wicked worldlynges hartes y insa­ciable thyrst of gathering worldly good­des, but that they go styl for the to heape vp thycke claye agaynst thēselues, yea & that beyond al measure, not consideringe how vaine & deceatful y possessiō of tem­poral thinges is in this worlde. He hea­peth treasure vpō treasure,Psal. xxxi [...]. saith Dauid, & yet knoweth he not for whō he gathe­reth these thinges to gether. Notable is the histori y our sauiour Christ telleth of a certaine rich mā in y Gospel of.Luke. xii. s. Luke The grownd of a certaine rich mā, saith he, brought forth plētyfull frutes, and he thought win him selfe, saying: what shal I do, because I haue no roume, wher to bestow my frutes? And he sayd, thus wil I do. I wyl destroy my barnes, & buylde greater, & thē wyl I gather al my good­des y are growē vnto me, & I wyl say to my soule, O soule y hast much goods laid vp in store for mani yeres, take thine eas [...] eat, drinke, & be mery. But God said vn­to him, y foole, this night wil they fetche awai thy soule again frō the. Thē whose shal those things be, which y hast proui­ded? So is it wt him y gathreth riches to him self, & is not rich toward god. What thē remaineth, but y thei which ar godl [...] ri [...]h, remēber thēselfes to be y stewardes [Page] of God, endued wyth worldly substaūce, not to spēd it voluptuously or after their own folyshe fansye about trifles, but vp­on theyr necessaryes, and that they may conueniētly spare, to distribute vnto the poore, which are their brothers in Christ of the same fleshe and bloude, & fellowe enheritours with them of one and of the same glory. O blessed is the riche, which is founde wythoute blemyshe, and hath not gone after golde, nor hoped in mony and treasures.Eccle. xxxi. Wher is ther such a one, and we shal commend hym, and call hym blessed. For great thinges doth he amōg hys people. And that the Godlye ryche maye be the more encouraged to gratify the poore and to do good vnto the nedye in thys wretched and begerlye tyme, let thē euer set these and such lyke sētences of the holy scriptures before the eyes ofSentēces for [...]he Godlye [...]yche to remē [...]er. theyr minde. My sonne defraude not the poore of hys almes, and turne not away thyne eyes from hym that hathe neede. Despyse not an hongry soule, and despise not y poore in hys necessitie. Greue not the herte of hym that is he alpelesse, and wythdrawe not the gyft frō the nedeful. Refuse not y praier of one y is in trouble tourne not away thy face frō the nedye.Eccle. iiii. Cast not thine eyes asyde frō y poore for any euil wil, yt thou geue him noue occa­sion to speake euyl of the. For if he com­playne of the in ye bytternes of hys soule [Page] his prayer shalbe herd, euē he that made hym, shal heare him. Be courteous vnto the cōpany of ye poore, humble thy soule vnto the elder, and bow downe thy head to a man of worship. Let it not greue the to bowe downe thine eare vnto ye poore, but paye thy debte, and geue hym a frēd­li answer, & that with mekenes. Deliuer hym that suffereth wronge frō ye hand of ye oppressour, & be not faint harted, whē thou fyghtest in iudgemēt. Be merciful vnto the fatherles as a father, and be in steade of an husband vnto theyr mother, so shalt thou be as an obediente sonne of the hiest, & he shal loue the more then thy mother doth. Helpe the poore for ye com­maundementes sake, and let him not go emptie frō the, because of hys necessitie. Lese thy money for thy brother & neigh­bours sake,Eccle. xxix. and bury it not vnder a stone wher it rusteth & corrupti [...]h. Gather thy treasure after the commaundemēt of the hyest, & so shal it bryng the more profitte thē golde. Lay vp thy almes in the hand of the poore, & it shal kepe the from al y­uyl. A mans almes is a purse wyth him, & shal kepe a mās fauour as y aple of an eye, & afterward shal it aryse & pay eue­ry mā his reward vpō his head. It shall fight for the agaynst thine enemies bet­ter thē ye shyld of a Giaunt, or speare of y mighty.Eccle. xxxv. Who so is merciful & geueth al­mes, that is the ryght thanke offeringe. [Page] Loke what thine hand is able, geue wt a chereful eye. For y Lord recōpēceth & geueth the seuen tymes as muche agayne. [...]o [...]i. iiii. Geue almes of thy goods, & turne neuer thy face frō the poore, & so shal it come to passe, y the face of yt Lord shal not be tur­ned away frō the. Be merciful after thy power. If y haue much, giue plē [...]eously, if y haue litle, do thy diligēce gladlye to giue of yt litle. For so gatherest yu thy self a good reward in ye day of necessitie. [...]or mercy delyuereth frō al syn & frō death, & suffereth not ye soule to come in darknes. A great cōfort is merci before ye high god vnto al thē that shew it. Eate thy bread wt the hōgry and poore, & couer y naked with thy clothes. [...]rouer. xi. He yt is mercyful, doth him self a benefit, but whoso hurteth his neighbour, is a tiraūt. He yt is liberal in geuing, shal haue plenti, & he yt watereth shalbe watered also him self. Who so hordeth vp his corne, shalbe cursed among y people, but blessinge shal light vpon hys heade, [...]rou [...]r. xiiii. yt geueth foode. Whoso despyseeh his neighbour, doth amisse, but blessed is he yt hath piti of y poore. He that doth a poore mā wrōg, blasphemeth his maker, [...]rouer. xix. but who so hath pity of y poore doth ho­nor vnto God. He y hath piti vpō y pore, lēdeth vnto y Lord, [...]rou. x [...]ii. & loke what he laieth out it shalbe payed him agayne. He yt is bēt vnto mercy, shalbe blessed, for he ge­ueth of hys bread vnto y poore. He y ge­ueth [Page] vnto y poore,Prouer. xxvi shal not lacke, but he y turneth awai his eyes frō su [...]h as be in necessitie, shal suffer great pouertie hym selfe.Psal. x [...]i. Blessed is he yt cōsidereth y poore & nedy, the Lord shal deliuer him in y time of trouble, y Lord shal preserue hym and kepe him, & make him blessed vpō earth, & not deliuer him into ye hands of his en­nemies, y lord shal cōfort him, whē he li­eth sicke vpō his bed, yea & make his bed in y time of his syckenes.Math. vi. Lay not vp for your selues treasure vpō earth, wher the rust & moth doth corrupt, & wher theues breake through & steale. But laye vp for you treasures in heauē, wher nether rust nor moth doth corrupt, & wher theues do not breake thorow, nor steale. For wher your treasure is, ther wil your hart be also.Luke. iii. Luke. vi. He y hath two cotes, let him parte wt him y hath none, & he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Geue to euery one that axeth the.Luke. xii. Be ye merciful, as your father is merciful. Sel y ye haue, & giue almes. And prepare you bags, whych ware not old, euē a treasure yt faileth not in heauē, wher no these cōmeth, neither mdth cor­rupteth.Luke. xvi. Make you frendes of y vnrigh­teous Mammon, that when ye shal haue nede, they may receaue you into euerlastynge habitacions. If thou wylt be per­fect,Math. xix. go and sell all that thou haste, and geue to the poore, and thou shalte haue treasure in heauen.

[Page] He which soweth lytyll, [...]. Corinth. ix. shall reape lytyl, and he that soweth (in geuinge) largelye and frelye, shall reape plenteouslye. And let euery man do accordynge as he hathe purposed in hys hart, not grudgyngly, or of necessite: For God loueth a chereful geuer.Galath. vi. Whyle we haue tyme, let vs do good vnto al mē, but cheifly vnto them, whiche are of the housholde of fayth. To do good and to destribut,Heb. xiii. forget not, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. He that hathe the goodes of thys worlde, and seeth hys brother haue nede,Ioan. iii. and shutteth vp hys compassion from hym, how dwelleth the loue of God in him? My babes let vs not loue in worde neyther in tounge, but in worcke and trueth.

Agayne yt the vngodly rych may learn somwhat to bridle their couetous affects & by that meanes be the more occasioned not to be altogether vnmercifull to the poore, let them graue these and suche like textes of ye holy scripture in theyr hartes and beleue them to be as true, as there is a God. [...]entē [...]es for [...] vngodlye [...]che to remē [...]. Truste not vnto thy riches, and saye not: tushe, I haue ynoughe for my life. For it shal not healpe the in the time of vengeaunce and temptacion.Ecclesi. v. Ecclesi. x. There is nothynge worse then a couetouse man. Why art thou proude, o thou earthe and ashes? there is not a more wycked thyng thē to loue mony. And whi? such one hath his soule to sel, yet is he but filthi doung whyle he lyueth. He yt loueth riches, shall [Page] not be iustified,Eccles. xxxi. & who so foloweth corruption, shal haue ynough therof. Many one are come in great mysfortune by the rea­son of gold, and haue found their destruc­tion before thē. It is a tre of falling vnto them that offer it vp, and al such as be folishe, fal therin.Prouer. xl. He that trusteth in his riches, shall haue a faull, but ye righteous shal floryshe as the greue leafe, take not ouer great trauayle & labour to be riche,Prouer. xxi beware of such a purpose. Whi wilt thou set thyne eye vpō the thyng whych sodenly vanysheth awaye? for ryches make thē selues winges, & take their flyght like an Eagell into the ayer. He that geueth vn­to y poore,Prou. xxvi shal not lack, but he yt turneth away hys eies frō such as are in necessi­tie, shal suffer greate pouertie hym selfe. The bread of y nedy is ye life of ye poore he that defraudeth hym of it,Eccle. xxxii is a mās [...]ayer. He that loueth monye, wyll neuer be sa­tisfyed with money, and who so delyght­eth in riches, shal haue no profyte therof. Where as much riches is,Ecclesi. v. ther are many also that spend thē away. And what pleasure more hath he that possesseth thē, sa­uinge that he may loke vpon them, wyth hys eyes? a labouryng man slepeth swetly whether it be lytle or much that he ea­teth, but the abundaunce of the ryche wyl not suffer hym to sleape. Ye can not serue God & Māmon,Math. vi. that is, the world­ly ryches. Uerylye I say vnto you, a rich [Page] mā shal hardly enter into y kyngdom of heauē: [...]ath. xix. and againe I say vnto you, it is easyer for a gable rope to go thorowe y eye of a nedle, then a ryche man to enter into y kyngdome of God. Wo be to you riche men which haue your consolaciō. [...]ke. vi. Wo be to you that are filled, for ye shall honger. Wo be to you, that laugh now, for ye shal mourne and lamēt: Take hede & beware of couerousnes. For no mans lyfe stādeth in the abundaunce of y thinges, which he possesseth. [...]ke. xi [...]. Neyther theues, nor couetouse parsones, nor yet extorcioners shal inhe­rit the kyngedome of God. [...]or. vi. Let not coue­tousnes be once named amonge you, as it becometh Sayntes. For this ye know, that no couetous parson which is a wor­shypper of Idolles, [...]phesians. v. hath an [...] enheritaūce in the kyngedome of Christe, and of God. Godlynes is greate riches, if a man be content, wyth yt be hath. For we brought nothing into ye world, neither may we cary an [...] thing out. [...]im [...]. vi. But whē we haue foode and rayment, we muste ther wt be cōtent: they y wyl be rytch, fal into temptacion & suates, & into many folyshe & noysome lustes, which drowne men into perdiciō & destructiō, for couetousnes of money is y [...]ote of al euil, wh [...]ch while some lusted after they erred frō y fayth, & tāgled thē sel­ues wt m [...]ny sorowes, but y mā of god [...]e such thinges, folow ryghteousnes, godlynes, faith, loue, paciēce, mekenes: let your cōuersatiō be without couetousnes, & be [Page] cōtēt wt such things as ye haue al ready.Hebru. xiii. For he hath sayd, I wyl not faile the, nor forsake y. The Iugemēt shal be wythout mercy to hym,Iacob. ii. y sheweth no mercy. Go to nowe ye ryche mē, wepe & houle on your wretchednes, yt shal come vpō you. Your ryches are corrupte, your garmentes are moth eatē. Your gold & siluer is cākred, & y ruste of thē shal be a witnes vnto you,Iacob. iii. & shal eate ye fleshe as it were fyre. Ye haue heaped treasure together in youre laste dayes. Behold the hire of labourers, which haue reaped down your feldes (which hire is of you kept backe by fraude) cry­eth, & ye cryes of thē which haue reaped, at entred into y eares of y lord of hostes. Ye haue liued in plesure on y earth, & ben wanton. Ye haue noryshed youre hartes as in a day of flaughter, ye haue cōdēned & kylled y iust, & he hath not resisted you. If both y godly & vngodly rich wolde [...]et these sētences before y eyes of their mind cōtinualli, surely it shuld go much better wt ye pore people, thē it doth at this presēt For thē wold not y rich mē so gredily gripe to thē selues the goodes of this world, nor so niggardli kepe thē after they haue gottē thē, as they do now. Thē wold not many gētlemē, as thei ar called, so growe out of kind frō their name bi shewīg litle gētilnes to y poore, nether bi enhaūcing their fermes, by taking fines, bi receauīg great incomes, nor yet bi putting y pore [Page] out of their houses, and sufferynge the tenemētes to faul downe, as they do nowe, then wolde not the ryche worldlynges ioyne ferme to fearme, & heaue other men out of their lyuinges, as they do nowe. Then wolde not many of oure spirituall ministers lyke insaciable wolues, gett so mani ecclesiasticall promociōs into their handes, as they do now, but hauyng one lyuynge and that sufficient, be contente, and remaine vpon it, teache theyr flocke, lede a good lyfe, and maynetayne hospi­talitie amonge their Parysheners, yt the poore of theyr paryshe in tyme of nede maye haue bread, broth, befe and bere, as they saye. [...]alach. iii. [...]ote. Brynge euerye rythe into my barne, sayeth the Lorde, that there maye be mea [...]e in my house. The parsonage or the vicarage is Gods house, & [...]ythes are payd vnto thē, that they shuld haue meat in theyr houses to norysh & cōfort ye pore, [...]hillip. ii. but whyle al men, as Saint Paul sayeth seke their own, & not Iesu Christs, while al, [...]ere. vi. viii. as ye prophet testifieth, euē frō yt lest to y greatest giue their mindes to couetous­ness haue no regard to y poore & to their cōmoditie, y poore lyue misserably: y pore mutter in corners & grudge against y rich ye pore breake ye bond of peace, y pore rune hedlong into al kynde of myscheif, which thing we of late haue sene vnto our great sorow, trouble & disquietnes, yea some of y pore misers for lack of bodeli sustenaūce [Page] fal to pyckyng, robbing, stealyng & mur­thering of other, some kyl, drowne, hang them selues, because they do not present­ly se how they may be able to fede thē sel­ues, their careful wiues, their lamentable childrē, & their altogether wretched family, wishing rather thorow desperaciō desperatly to ende this their nedy, careful & wery life, then so to much wretchedly for to liue. Oh what good man is not moued wyth pytye to heare, se, and knowe these thynges? Yea what good man thyn­keth not hym self bounde euen of duty to healpe vnto the redresse of these inconue­niēces, yea pestilences? they are enemies to God, to mā, to y contrey, to ye publyke weal, to our posterity, yea to heauē & earthe, which walowing in al kind of weal­the like Eth [...]ysh Epicures, & liuing al in pleasure lyke effeminat Sardanapalus, & heaping y goodes of y world togyther as though they should neuer hēce depart are nothynge moued wt the miseryes of y poore miserable people. Wo be to that gloton, whych enfarcing hys own stinc­kyng & draffesaked belly with al kynd of plesure & deintie dishes, suffreth his pore nedy neighbour to perish for hōger. Wo be to yt couerous cākred churle, which so ioyneth house to house & lande to land, y the poore mā knoweth not, wher to hyde his head, nor how to lyue. Wo be to that wicked worldling, which deckinge hym [Page] self gorgiously wt sumtuous apparel, suf­fereth his poore Christē brother to go naked, & to die for cold. Wo be to that riche rauening raker, which hath raked toge­ther plēti of worldly goodes, & yet is vn­merciful to ye nedi mēbers of Christ. Wo be to y benificed mā, which hauing wherof to cherish y pore of his parish, is absēt frō his benifice nothing caring what becōmeth of thē, so yt he may liue pleasātly & wealthely of y sweat of other mēs bro­wes. Yea & wo be to al thē, which beyng able to healpe y nede of y nedi, & to relife ye misery of the miserable, refuse to do it. Great is their dānaciō. But forasmuche as euery mā godly affected is by y order of charitie for his power boūd to seke & furder a redresse in thinges y are amisse. I for my part considering yt nothyng in this world disquieteth a mā more thē pē ­siue care & careful pēsiuenes for a liuing (if not tomuch, yet cōueniē) cōsideryng also how many incōmodities do chaūce to a mā, yt is cōtinualli vexed wt greuous thought taking for y prouisiō of y belly, I thought it good to gather togither, as time hath suffred, certain sētēces & histo­ries of y holy sciptures, which declare & setforth vnto vs y vnmesurable boūtie & exceding large liberaliti of god toward al thē y cast their care on him, & trauaile according to their vocaciō & calling, y bi reading or hearinge of thē, the weake in fayth may waxe strōg in faith, & be fully [Page] perswaded, that y god which nourished thē in their mothers wōbe, wil not leaue thē now socourles▪ whē they be able tho­row his grace to cleu vnto his promises, to cal vpō his name, & for their power endeuout thē selfes bi one honest go [...]l [...] meanes or other, to get their liuing, euer casting their care on God, & yet not beynge idle, but laboring in their vocaciō accor­ding to gods good wil & pleasure. I doubte not, but if they diligētly weigh & earnestly pōder these cōfortable sētences & histories of y holy scripture, thei shal not only cease to attēpt any vnlawful mea­nes, but thei also shal find great quietnes procure much reast to their myndes, & so lōg as they liue, liue wt a meri cōscience. If I had bene as able to redresse y mise­rable state of y pore wt worldly goods, as my wyl is to stay their cōsciences wt the word of God, y they may not despaire of a liuing, I wold haue bene as redy to do the one, as I haue labored to do y other. But seing froward fortun goth forward to frowne vpō me, & daily ceaseth not to pearse me wt y cruel dartes of pouerti, I must do yt I mai, whē I mai not yt I wolde, laughing folish fortun to scorne wt al her vanities, & pleasures, thincking my self sufficiētli rich, solōg as I haue such a lord,Romay. x. as is plēteously rich for so many as cal on him solōg as thorow gods grace I am endued wt this faith to beleue yt while I trauayle in my vocacion for my power [Page] according to Gods wyl, I shal want no good thing, yt is necessary for the eyther couering or feding of this my mortal bo­dye. And wold God al mē coulde so quiet thē selues, & with Democritus the Phi­losopher laugh thys foolish worlde wt al y voluptuous worldlings to scorne, or wt the blessed Apostle euen frō y very harte say,Galath [...]. vi. y world is crucified to me, & I to the worlde. Thys lytle treatyse after I had once finished it, I thought mete to dedi­cate vnto your right worshipful Mastershyp, partly for y Godly affecciō & Chri­stē zele, which both you & that good ver­tuous Ladye youre wyfe haue borne to­ward y pure religiō of God these many yeres, partly for y good reporte yt bothe you haue amōg al good mē for your cha­ritable liberalitie, & plentiful almes to­ward ye poore people, vnto ye notable ex­ample of al rich mē, specially of suche as professe y Gospel,Grosse Gos­pellers. wherof many in these our daies, alas for pitie, haue y Gospell swīming in▪ their lips, & yet in their dee­des liue no part of ye Gospel, but abuse ye name therof to cloke their beastli liuing & to shadow their carnal liberti, thei thē selues being ye bond slaues of Sathā, further frō y true faith thē the very Turkes and Iewes, more estraunged frō al god­ly workes, both of fastinge, praiyng, ge­uyng of almes, mortifiyng their carnall affectes. &c. then the very papistes, so co­touse, [Page] proud, ha [...]eful, vain glorious, diss [...] ­blyng, bankeryng, liynge, sclaundering, disdainefull, vncharitable, vnmercif [...]ll, wicked, and vncleane in conuersacion, that I know not to whom I may iustlie compare them. They professe that they know god,Tit. [...]. as S. Paule sayth, but with their dedes they vtterly deny him, being abhominable, bisobediente, and wholye [...]straunged from al good workes. What shal we thē loke for, but (except we repēt and emende) euē as Christ did prophecie,Math. xxi. the kingdom of god shal be takē from vs, and geuen to a nacion, which shall bring forth y frutes therof. He loued not bles­sing, therfore it shal be far frō him,Psal. xix. saith Dauid. This vnthankefulnes towarde g [...]d, this vnmercifulnes towarde oure neighbour, this dissoluciō of lyfe toward our selues, can by no meanes scape vnpunished. The Lord haue merci vpō vs, and turne our hertes, [...]. that we may serue him in holines and righteousnes al the daies of oure lyfe.

God whiche hathe begonne a good worke in you, mought cōtinue & finishe the same vnto the glory of his holy name, and the profite of his christen con­gregacion.

Amen.

The Fortresse of the faythfull.

Philemon. Christopher. Theophile and Eusebius talke together.
Philemon.

WHO soeuer (moste dere brethern) with a single eye behol­deth the corrupt maners of this moste corrupt worlde, he shall easly per­ceiue that Satan our olde enemie sleapeth not, but as .s. Peter saith walketh about lyke a roring lion,i. Pe [...]. v sekyng whō he may deuoure. For if a tre may be knowen to be fruteful by her grene leaues, florishing blossomes and plesaunt frute, if a workemā maye bee proued by his laboures & paines not to be idle, if the sunne maye be perceiued to shyne because of his fyrie & gliste­ringe beames, surely Satā by the workes that he bryngeth forth in [Page] the childrē of this world, may iustlye be iudged not to be idle, not to slepe, not to slacke his office, but to behaue him selfe in al pointes like very Satā. For when at any time sēce ye beginning of his infernal empier brought he forth so large testimonies of his deuillishe trauailes, and shewed him selfe so diligent & painful in procurīg thinges mete for the enlarging of his empier as he doth in these out daies? Let our time be cōpared with any age that hathe ben from the beginninge (I speake euē of that age which was most vngodly, most wicked) and it shall more right well seeme to bee most godly, moste vertuouse. For although y pride, the couetousnes the whoredō, the vnmercifulnes, y malice, the bāketting, the building the bieng and sellinge. &c. exercised in ye daies of Noe, [...]. vii. [...]. xxi [...]. [...]ke. xvii. or at any other time, was wtout doute great & abhominable, & iustly deserued ye vē ­geaūce [Page] of god, as it came to passe, yet cōpared wt the outragiousnes of vices vsed in this our time, yea & that so vniuersally & vnmeasurably, thei may be iudged but trifles seinge the nūber of thē cōpared wt the infinite multitude yt now most wickedly lyue, is almost nothing. The pride of these our daies is lucifer like, y couetousnes is vnsaci­able, the whoredome is monstru­ous, the vnmercifulnes is bo [...]her­like, the malice is immortal, the bā ketting is tomuch Epicurelike the building is infinite, the bying and selling is full of falsehead, craft, & dissimulaciō, & soforth of other vi­ces, which are alread [...] growē vnto such an exceading heigth, y thei cā stretcheout their braūches no fur­ther,i. Iho. [...]. so yt it is truly said of .s. Ihō, the world is altogether set on wyekednes. They are corrupte and becom abhominable in their doingsPsalm. [...] [Page] ther is not one that doth good, no not one, sayth Dauid. The lord loked doune frō heauē vpon the children of men, to se if there were any yt wold vnderstād & seke after god. But thei are al gone out of y way, they are altogether become abho­minable, ther is none yt doth good, no not one. And althoughe euerye christē herte beholding this moste vngodly state of the worlde cā not but lamēt & bewail the abhominacions vsed in these our daies, and right hertelye be sorie, yt the [...]ares haue so ouergrowē y good wheat, that vice doth so abound that vertue can take no place, yt sinne hath so ouerflowed the whole worlde, y true godli [...]es is not onlye neglec­ted and contemned, but also hissed at and vtterly abhorred, yet these traiterous cōspiracies and hellike cōmocions, [...]surreccions [...] cōmoci­ [...], come o [...] [...] Deuyll. which we of late haue seene, wherwith also the comune [Page] weale of England hath both bene disturbed, defaced, and greatly en­pouerished, who except an enemie to al good order, sorowfully sorow [...]th not? Who if not an aduersary to our successiō with large teares lamenteth not? The inferiour mē ­bers to enuie the principall partes of the bodye? O vnnatural dispo­sicion. The seruaunte to rule the master, y inferiour to ryse against his soueraign, y subiect to disobey his gouernour? O comberous cō ­fusion. The brainsicke, yea rather the brainles head to attēpt redres of matters in a comon weale, vn­sent, vncalled? O preposterous order.

Christo.

It can not de denied but diuers of ye comons haue gone far beyond their limites, & takē in hand that hath not become them, for asmuch as thei cōtrary to [...] callinge haue presumed to do the office of magistrates, of men law­fullye [Page] called to rule in the cōmon weale.

Theo.

Those their rashe & disobediēt behauiour cā bi no meanes please god.

Phil.

Please? yea it rather most highli displeaseth god [...]or. xiiii. which is the author of peace, & not cōfusiō, which wil al thinges to be done semely & in comeli order, [...]. xiii. [...] .ii whiche cōmaūdeth the subiect to obey his superioure in all thinges, not only for feare of punishmēt, but also for cōscience sake. How greatly god is & euer hath ben offēded wt disobediēce & rebellion, with order breaking & disturbaūce of a comō weale, y holy scriptures sufficiētly do shew. [...]ne. xiii Was not Adā our grād­father throwen out of paradise for his disobedience toward his lorde god, ye most high & most excellente magistrate, & both he & all we his ofspring dāned for euer, if we had not ben redemed by the preciouse [...]it. i. bloud of y vndefiled lambe Iesu Christ? Thus frō the be [...]inninge [Page] se we howe greatly god abhorreth disobediēce, though y faute in our eies semeth verye lytle & not to be passed of.

Euse.

Truly therfore is it said of Samuel, [...]. Reg. [...]v. behold to obey is better thē sacrifice, & to harkē is better thē the fat of rāmes. For rebelliō is as ye sin of whordō, & stubburnes is as ye sin of idolatry.

Phi.

But y I may declare to you how god in comō weales hath euer punished disobedience,Rebellion p [...] ged. rebelliō, cōspiracies, insurrecciōs, cōmocions. &c ageinst lawful magistrats, I pra [...] you geue eare & marke what shall be sayd.E [...]odi. xiii,

Chri.

We gladly hear.

Phi

Ye know ryght wel, y whē god determined to deliuer his people the Israelites out of Egipt y lāde of bōdage & slauery, he made Moses their gide & ruler vnder him.

The.

Ye sai trut [...]

Phi.

Here was Moses chosen and appointed of god to be the supreme magistrate and prin­cipal gouernour of gods people. [Page] And as he had here by gods com­maundemēt authoritie to rule, euē so were the Israelites bounde by gods worde to obey, which thinge so long as they did, they ryght wel prospered, they liued quietly, god fauored them, Moses as a louing father cherished thē. But whē thei shoke of the yocke of obedience, sought carnal libertie, murmured against their magistrate, troubled the comon weale, oh how did god punishe and plage thē? The lorde hath heard your murmurings sai­eth Moses, [...] which ye murmure a­gainst him. For what are wee (he speaketh of him selfe and Aaron) your murmurīges are not against vs, but against the lorde. The Is­raelites murmuring against Moses, murmured against god, whose officer Moses was. Therfore say­eth the scripture, behold the coun­tenaunce of the lorde was moued [Page] against the people & the lorde fiue the people wt an exceading greateNume. xi. plage.Psalm xviii▪ And as Dauid sayeth, the heauy wrath of god came vpō thē and slue the wealthiest of thē, yea and smot doune y chosen men that were in Israel. For ther is no power, sayth S. Paul but of god,Rom. xiii. the powers y be, are ordeined of god. Whosoeuer therfore resisteth power, resisteth the ordinaunce of god. But thei that resist, shal receiue to them selues dānacion.Nume xi. With how greuous and horrible leprosy did god stryke Mir Iam for murmu­ring against Moses? How plaged god y Israelites for murmuringeNum. xxii. against him & Moses his seruaūt with fyrie serpentes, which stonge them vnto death? Corah, Dathan and Abirom, because they did not obeie Moses goddes magistrate,Num. xvi but disdained that he shuld reigne ouer them, although appointed of [Page] god, wer they not swalowed vp of the earth bothe they, their wyues, their children, & al theyr goodes? Went not they, & al that they had doune alyue vnto hell, & the earth closed vpon thē, and they perished from among the cōgregaciō?

Chri

A mete plage for rebelliō.

Phi.

On the morow after when the people of Israel murmured against Moses, saying: ye haue kylled the peo­ple of the lorde, & so vnreuerently rayled on him, what, escaped they vnpunished? The scripture sayth, there dyed in that plage .xiiii.M. and .vii. hundred, besides thē that dyed about the busines of Corah. Thus se we, that in y beginninge of the Israelites publyke weale, god by no meanes could abyde rebels & sedicious persons, but pu­nyshed them with moste horrible & notable plages.

Eus.

If god so greuouslye plaged thē which dyd but [Page] murmure against his magistrate, how extremely wyl he punishe thē y do not onely vn [...]cuerētly speake of the hye powers,Take heade ye rebels but also gather vnlawful assembles against them and enarme thē selues on such maner, as though they shulde ryse a­gainst a comō pestilēce of the publyke weale? Surely ye ende of such must nedes be tomuche miserable.

The.

These thinges were done to shew how greatly god approueth the office & dignitie of a lawefullNote magistrate, & that he wyl be auenged of al suche as despise his holy ordinaunce, agayne y we by these examples maye learne to feare the hye powers, to honoure and obey them, and by no meanes to resiste them, excepte wee wyll proue the same or worse plages.

Philemon.

Well sayde. Absolom Kynge Dauides sonne made an i [...]surreccion agaynste hys father, [Page] and thorow the counsel of wicked Ahithophel wrought moste vila­nie [...] Reg. [...]v xvi. [...]vii. [...]. xviii. againste his fathers honoure. What folowed? was not Absolō miserably slaine? Did not his vn­godly councellour hang him self? Wer ther not also .xx.M. mē slain in battell, ye toke Absoloms parte? Se to what poynte sedicion brin­geth both the authors, coūcellors, and mainteiners thereof.

Chri.

It is therfore wisedom for all men to folow this councel of the wisemā, my sonne feare yu the lorde and theProu. xxiiii. kynge, & kepe no company with sedicious persons, for their distruc­cion shall come sodenly. And who knoweth the aduersitie that maye come of them both? Againe wishe the kyng no euyll in thy thought, and speake no hurt of the ryche in thy priuie chamber,E [...]cle. x. for a byrde of the ayre shal betray thy voice, and with h [...] fethers shal bewraye thy [Page] wordes.

Phil.

Who knoweth not that Seba the sōne of Bichri, whiche conspired also against Dauid and disswaded the people of Isra­elii. Reg. xx from obedience to their liege so­ueraign lord, had his head cut of?

Euse.

A mete death for a traitour.

Phile.

Baasa the sonne of Ah [...]a cō spired againste Nadab kynge of Israell,iii. Reg. [...]v. s [...]ue him, & raigned in his stead. But what folowed? though Baasa in the syght of the worlde died no shameful death, yet died he in the displeasure of god, & after­ward al his succession with al hisiii. Reg. xvi frēdes & kinsfolke were al destroi­ed, so that ther was not one left a­liue. Again zimri cōspired against Ela kynge of Israell, slue him, & reigned in his steade. But shortly after he was driuen to such misery and strayte, that he f [...]ed into y kinges palace at Thirza, & settinge it on a fyre, brent him selfe, & so wret­chedlye [Page] ended hys lyfe.

Theo.

An ende worthy of such a beginninge.

Phil.

What shall I rehearse vnto you the histories of the .ii. sedici­ous men, Theudas and Iudas of Galile, [...]tes. v. of whom blissed Luke wri­teth in his booke of the Apostels actes? The one boasted to do great thynges, and so allured much people to folowe him, the other coun­celled the Iewes by no meanes to paye tribute to Cesar, but to maintaine theyr olde liberties, and by this meanes moued great sedicion amonge the people. What became of thē? were they not put to death, and so many as folowed them ey­ther s [...]ayne, or els scatered abroad, and so brought to naughte? Wee reade not in al the scriptures, that any traytour or notable sedicious parson hathe at any tyme escaped wythout notable punyshmente. God cā not suffer his magistrates [Page] to be disobeied, his cōmon weales to be disturbed, his polltique or ciuile lawes to bee contemned [...], hys godly and honest orders to be broken. &c. Who soeuer attempteth a­ny such wickednes, god wyl be a­uenged of him, as it is euident not only in the holy scriptures, but also in the prophane histories. For god, euen among the Heathen cannot abyde his ordinaunce to be dispised.

Chri.

Wold god that al they which eyther were authors of sedicion, or consented therunto at any time in this our realme, had knowen these thinges, then wolde not they so greatly haue forgottē thē selues and theyr duetie.

Euse.

If they had ben as wel trayned vp in learning suche godly histories, as thei were [...]ouseled in hearing po­pishe masses, & such other trifeling trūpery, thei had raised vp no such tragedies. If there had bene but [Page] the tenth part of true and learned preachers, y there were of popyshe priestes among them, they had neuer fallen to such disorder. But it is truly sayd of the wiseman, [...]. xxvi. whē the preaching of gods worde fay­leth, the people runne out of order, perishe and come to naught.

The.

Yet haue I heard it reported that these new preachers,Prechers. as they call them, thorow their vndiscrete ser­mons, opened a large window vn­to dissolucion of lyfe, and by this meanes caused the cōmon people to aspire and breath vnto carnall libertie, which whyle they hunted they forgot bothe them selues and theyr duetie.

Phil.

I wyl not excuse al preachers. For some, as I haue heard, haue taken vpon them the office of preachinge vncalled, vn­sente, and suche disordered prea­chers for the mooste parte, brynge all thynges to a disorder, yea to [Page] an vtter cōfusion, maske they wyth neuer so pleasaunt a visare, and bable wyth neuer so paynted elo­quence in the syghte and eares of the simple and ignorante people. Howe shall they preache excepte they be sente,Roma. x. sayeth Saint Paul? I haue not sent the preachers, say­eth the Lorde, and yet they runne.Iere. xxiii I haue not spoken to them, and yet they preached. But as I maye speake in the faythefull and dis­crete preachers behalfe, whyche are lawfully sente of the hye pow­ers, and called thereunto by the se­crete mocion of goddes spirite in theyr hertes, howe soeuer they be reported, certaine I am they neuer taughte suche doctrine, as should minister occasion to godlye peo­ple to shake of the zeale of obedi­ence, or to breake any good order or pollityke lawe.

Chri.
[Page]

Yet haue I heard some preachers, whom I knowe to be bothe prudent and faythful, sclaundred, that they by their preaching haue caused these vproures.

Philem.

Ye sayde well, sclaundred. Were they preachers or rather massemūgers, that caused y insurreccions in Deuonshyre?

Chri.

Massemungers & papi [...]tes, as it is reported.

Ph [...]lem.

Then are the godly preachers fre from geuinge any occasion of that sedicion.

Euse.

But what of Nor­folke?

Phil.

Euen in Norfolke al­so or els where, I am sure the veri rebels them selues wyl confesse, as I haue partly heard and knowen that the preachers wer not the authors nor prouokers of theyr commocion. Can the sermons of them which teache al obedience, humili­tie, and pacien [...]e, moue men vnto disobedience, hautines of mynde, and desyre of reuenginge? Canne [Page] lyght be the occasion of darkenes, or truth of salsehead? But what is so prudently, godly, and circūspect lie spoken, that enuy can not wrest and corrupt? Neither is it straūge for the christē preachers to be mis­reported of the voluptuous world lynges and couetouse carles. How earnest a setter forth of gods glo­rie was the Prophet Elias, & yet howe was he reported, not only of the baser sort, but euen of the king and of the Quene? Art thou he, saieth Kynge Achab,iii. Reg. that troubleth Israel? As though he shuld saye: art thou he which thorow thine vndiscrete and rashe sermons mouest the people to sedicion, makest thē disobedient to me theyr kynge and to al my officers, causest them vn­lawfully to assemble together, and to make hauocke of all thinges? But y Prophe [...] boldly answered. It is not I that haue troubled [Page] Israell, but thou and thy fathers house, in that ye haue forsaken the cōmaundementes of the lord, and folowed the waye of Baall, as though he should haue answered: Doest thou O kynge, laye to my charge, yt I troubled thy realme, which teache thy subiectes to obey the in all those thy cōmaundemen­tes that fyghte not wyth goddes worde? Then vntruly thou accu­sest me. There is, I graunt, in thy realme sedicion and muche hurlye burly: what then? Impute not the faute to me, but corie thy selfe on the head, & saye: I my selfe and my wycked progenitors, which haue not tēdered the glorie of god, nor loued to heare his blessed worde, nor to maintaine ye preachers therof, but rather haue slayne them and folowed the way of that foule Idole Baall, and nouryshed hys priestes at oure owne table, and [Page] haue not ruled the Realme wyth such iustice and equitie, with suche clemency aud gentlenes, as becommeth ryghteous and godlye ru­lers, but haue polled and pylled oure subiectes, oppressed the wid­dowes and fatherlesse, receyued brybes, condemned the gyltelesse for gyftes, and shedde innocente bloud lyke vnmercyful & Bocher­cyke tirauntes, we, we are only the occasion of al these tumultes, sedi­cions, conspiracies. &c. wherewith thys my Realme at this presēt is so greatly dis quieted. As I maye let pas the other Prophetes,Math. v whi­che for their godly sermons susteyned the like displesure at y world­ly tirauntes handes, how was the self master of truth, the wysedome of the father, I meane Iesu Christ our Lorde, [...]. Pet. [...] in whose mouthe was found no guyle, no disceate, hau­deled for hys Sermons?

[Page] When they broughte hym before Pilate, [...]e. xxiii. dyd not his aduersaries & accusers lay to his charge, that he sowed sedicion among the people? that he corrupted and peruerted the commons wyth his doctrine, that he forbad men to pay tribute to Cesar, and that he sayd, he hym selfe was Christ a kinge? How vniustly Christ was here accused, the holy scriptures aboundantly testifie. How could he be the author of sedicion, [...] whyche came in to thys world to make peace? How coulde he corrupt and peruert the people with his doctrine, when he taught nothynge, but that whiche he had hearde of his father? Can heauēly thinges corrupt y mindes of mor­tal men? [...]th. xvii. xxii. Forbad he to pay tribute to Cesar, which him self paied tri­bute to Cesar & cōmaūded other so to do? Boasted he him selfe a king which [...]ed away from the people, [Page] when they wolde haue made hym theyr kyng?Iho. vi. Sayd he not vnto Pilate, my kyngedome is not of this world?Ihon. viii. Was he disobedient to the temporal rulers,Math. xvii. whych disdayned not to be brought before them, to be iudged of thē, yea and to suffer death vnder them? [...]ctes. vi. Moreouer was not the blessed martyr. S. Steuē accused y he spake blasphemouse wordes against Moses & against god? when of God no man euer spake more godlye, nor of Moses more reuerently. Yet must Steuē to the pot, and be condemned for an heritike, whē Steuen deserued rather praise and promocion. But Steuen had offended inoughe, se­ynge it was the chief priestes pleasure, & the other rauening rabines, that Steuen shulde lyue no lon­ger. Agayn when .s. Paule & Si­las came to Tessalonica,Actes. xvii. and .S. Paul preached in the sinagoge the [Page] passion & r [...]surreccion of Christe, howe dyd certeyne of the Iewes complain of them vnto the heades of the Citie, and rushed into the house of Iason thapostels hoste, and violentlye plucked him oute, saiynge: These that trouble the world are come hither also, whom Iason hath receiued priuelie. And these al do contrarie to the decrees of Cesar, affirming another kinge one Iesus. Here are thapostels accused both of sedicion and treason, and yet wer they neither sedicious persons nor traitours. They troubled not y world, except the world here be taken for the deuelishe people of y world, to whō it is a trouble to hear any thing of Christ, or to heare their abhominable liuing rebuked. The good people of the world, they quieted & made thē mery in their cōscience, [...]phe. ii. [...]olo. i. for asmuch as they perswaded by ye word of god, [Page] which thapostels preached, y they had gottē fre remis [...]iō of al their sinnes thorow faith in Christes blud. Thapostels did not cōtrary to the decrees of Cesar, if they were not against goddes worde, but rather taught mē to obei thē. And though thei preached Iesus to be a kyng, yet dyd this nothing derogate Cesars honor, for they taught Christ not to be a temporal, but a spiritu­al king, not to rule with sweard or polare, but with his spirit & word, not to reigne in Princes palaces, but in the hertes of the faythfull. Is not here great sedicion, greate treasō?Acte. xxi. Whē .s. Paul was but sene at Hierusalē in the temple how cried the iewes out, saiyng: O ye men of Israel, help: this is the mā that teacheth al mē euery wher against the people, & [...]he law & this place, & violētly drue him out of y tēple, [...] him, & wold haue slaine him [Page] if the hye captaine had not come. What had Paule offended? He spake nothing, he did nothing, bu [...] as other Iewes dyd. It was inough to kyll Paule, because he was that Paule which had prea­ched Christ to be the sonne of god. At another time when he tolde the Iewes, that god appointed hym to be a teacher of the Gētils, how lifted they vp their voices, saiyng. Away wyth such a felow from the earthe,Actes. xx [...]i. for it is no reason that he shoulde liue. Paule muste dye, because at the cōmaundement of god he turneth the Gentiles from Idolatry to the true worshipping of god. And as the wycked world linges cruelly entreated the Apo­stels of Christe, so doe the worldly tirauntes hādle the good byshops and faythful ministers in the pri­mitiue churche. If any myschiefe, plage, or euyl chaunsed in the con­ [...]ey [Page] wher thei wer, it was straight [...]ay layd to their charge. Euen so [...]kewyse doth y world at this time [...]eal wt the true preachers of y lor­ [...]es worde. Dearth, famine, hōger, [...]lage, pestilence, battel, insurrecci­ [...]ns, cōmocions, treasons, heresies, Epicurisme, licencious liuing. &c. all is imputed to the preachers of Christes gospell. They, they, and [...]one but they, are the occasion of al that naught is, whē no kinde of people is farther from doynge harme to a cōmon weale thē they, neither doth a cōmō weale receiue mo benefites of any man, then of the godlye preacher. If the olde worlde had hearde and obeyed the sermons of Nohe, they had not perished with waters. If the Sodomites and gomorianes had harkened to the sermons of Loth,Gene. vii. ii. Pet. ii. they had not ben consumed with raine, fyre and brymstone from heauen. [Page] If the Israelites had geuen eare to the warninges of the ProphetsGene. xix. they had not so ofte be plaged and led awaye into captiuitie. If the iewes had receiued the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, they and their citie with all their posteritie had not come to such a destrucciō. But when the lord rayseth vp his Prophets & preachers, to admo­nishe y people of their wickednes, and to exhort them to repētaunce, and yet they wyll not amende, but cruelly entreat them, s [...]launder thē persecute thē, kyl thē, then cometh destruccion. The lord god of their fathers,ii. Para. xxxv [...]. sayth the scripture, sent to them by his messengers, rising vp betimes & sending, for he had compassiō on his people & on his dwellinge place. But they mocked the messengers of god, and despised his wordes and misused his Pro­phets vntyl the wrath of the lorde [Page] arose against his people, & tyl ther was no remedy. And so broughte he on them the kinge of Chaldes, which siue their yong mē with the swearde in their holye temple, and spared neither yongman, mayden, olde man, nor him y stouped for age.

Chr.

The scholer is not aboue his master,Math. x. nor the seruaūte better thē his Lord. If ye world hate you saith Christ, ye know it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, ye worlde wold loue the is his.Ihon. xiiii. But for asmuche as ye are not of the world, but I haue chosē you frō ye world, therfore ye world hateth you.

Eus.

Preachers are cō maunded of god vnder pain of dā naciō to tel the people their fautes & yet if they rebuke couetousnes, thē the couetous worldlinges are mad. If thei inuey against pride, the proud are displesed. If they cō demne whoredome, whores, bau­des, and rufianes are woode.

[Page] Looke what soeuer sinne they re­proue, the gilty can not abide, but maligne the preacher, and seeke to do him displeasure. The Gerge­sens had rather Christ shulde ne­uer come amonge them, yea they had rather go to the deuil, thē thei wold haue their filthy swine drouned.Math. vii [...].

Theo.

They owe him euyll wyl sayth the Prophet, that reproueth them openly, [...] and whoso tel­leth the playne truth, him they ab­horre.

Phile.

Well, thus se ye it is no new thing for godly preachers to be sclaundred & burdened with those fautes, wherein they be no­thinge gylty.

Chri.

I haue heard it reported, y diuerse Gentlemē haue ben y occasiō of al these tumultes and sedicions thorow the great oppressions and wronges that they haue done to the [...], as by making cōmon pastutes seue­rall to them selues,Of gentlemen by enclosinge [Page] more ground to their own vse, thē heretofore hath bene accustomed, and by this meanes take away the necessary fode from the pore mens cattell, without the which they can not lyue: againe, by gettynge so manye farmes in to their handes, and letting out their owne landes vnto their tenauntes and farmers for so great pryce, or els take such large fines and greate incommes, that they cā neuer liue of it. These & such lyke thinges haue I heard.

Phil.

Ye haue heard my mynde of preachers, which were sclaundred (I speake of the godly) in this be­halfe. I wyl now speake sumwhat of gentlemen. As I do not alowe al that be called preachers, so do I not approue the doinges of al thē that be called gentlemen. And as I do not condemne all preachers, so do I not dispraise all gentlemē. For as they are, whiche are trewe [Page] preachers in dede, so lykewyse are ther whiche are true gentlemen indede. But some abuse the name of preachers, by teaching papistrie, a nabaptistry, Epicurisme, &c. & are no prechers in dede, but rather praters & deceiuers of the people: so lykewise are ther many which are called gentlemē, & are no gentlemē in dede, but pollers and pillers, rakers and catchers, bribers and ex­torcioners, yea and very caterpil­lers of the commō weale. For they abuse the name of a gentleman, whiche is vnfeynedlye a name of muche worship and great honour, and worthy to be had in reuerence and hye estimacion. Wythout the true gentlemā the common weale can no more safely be, then the bo­dye wythout eyes. For as the eyes are the principall co [...]forte of an whole bodye, so lykewyse are the true gentlemē of the cōmon weale. [Page] And looke what the nose is with­out smellynge, the tonge without speakyng, the handes wythout fe­ling, the feete without goynge, the very same is a cōmon weale with­out them that are true gentlemen: as the wiseman sayeth.Prou. xi Where no good councell is, there the people decay, but where as many are that can geue good counsell, there is wealthe. For suche as are true gentlemen, are fathers of the contrey, mainteiners of the pore, defēders of the widowes & fatherles, socu­rers of ye nedy, conforters of the cō ­fortles, & vpholders of the cōmon weale, in fine, gentlemen bothe in name & dede. These be pearles & iuels to a realme, & as necessari for the cōseruaciō of a publike weale, as fyre, water, and heate is for the health of mans bodi. For their pricipal respect is not vnto their own priuat lucre, & singular cōmoditie, [Page] but their whole study is how they maye profite the cōmon weale and do good to many, as Salomō sayeth: [...] the ryghteous laboreth to do good, but the vngodlye vseth his encrease vnto sinne. Not onli their goodes, but theyr verye lyfe also wyll they bestowe to do good to o­ther, so farre is it of, that for their owne aduauntage they wyl enpo­ueryshe or hinder any man.

Euse.

Wolde god we had many such gē tlemen.

Phi.

We haue without all doute many, although not so ma­ny as I wolde wyshe, for of good thinges we cā neuer haue inough. Then is there another sort, which glory in the tytle of gentlemen al­so. And they are suche, as this cō ­mō prouerbe noteth: As ryseth my good, so ryseth my bloude. They thinke al nobilitie to consist in the abundaūce of worldly goodes, in wearinge of golden cheines, and [Page] costly aparel, in hauing faire hou­ses and pleasaunte gardens. And to set forth this their gentlemāry, they poll they pyl, they wake they [...]ake, they sweate they freate, they gripe thei nipe, thei face thei brase, they semble they dissēble, yea they moue euery stonne, as they saye, to maintaine and set forth their vn­noble nobilitie, not caringe howe they come by it, so they haue it. All is fyshe that cometh to the nette: it is good to be takinge. Bonus est odor lucri ex re qualiber. These studye not as the true gentlemen do, to profite many, to do good to the contrey, to maintaine the poore, to relieue y socurles, to nourishe the weake, to cherishe their nedy tenaū tes, neither seke they the cōmodity of the cōmon weale, but their own priuat aduauntage. They labour to posses much,Eccle. iii but thei distribute nothing. Their hande is stretched [Page] out to receiue, but shut when they shoulde geue. If they once exe [...]pe in to a towne or vyllage, they for the mooste parte neuer ceasse, tyll they haue deuoured and eaten vp the whole toune. What soeuer is pleasaunte or profitable, muste be theirs by hoke or by croke. It ly­eth handsomlye for them & so nere their nose, though it be a myle of. If there be either farme or shepe­ground, vpon the which some ho­nest pore man liueth, both he and his familie, oute he muste. Had it must be whatsoeuer it cost, though the pore man & all his should go a begging, it lyeth so cōmodiouslye for our newecome gentleman. If they bye any tenement, & let it out againe to the pore man, O how do they racke it, and stretche out the rentes therof, almost from a peny to a pounde? yea and some of them biynge house and land in a toune, [Page] suffer the houses to falle downe, and turne the grounde vnto pa­sture, the poore man not hauynge where to hyde his head. Who wyl be troubled, say they, wyth suche a sorte of shake ragged slaues in a towne, whiche do nothinge but burne vp oure hedges, eate vp the common, fyl the towne full of beggers braules? Who? No man I trowe, namely where such fine and longnosed gentlemē dwell. Some biynge the lordeshyp of a towne, handle the inhabitauntes thereof on such sorte, that they lose diuerse of theyr liberties, beynge in much worse case then they were afore. Thus ye pore people be so wroūge of these vngentle gentlemen, yt the selye soules are lyke vnto dry had­dockes. Some Irishe men behol­dynge them, myghte well thynke, that they came latelye oute of Saynte Patrickes pargatorye. [Page] They are so wythered awaye euen to the hard bones for colde and hō ger. Agaynst suche churlyshe gen­tlemē speaketh god by ye Prophet, saiynge: O ye heades of the house of Iacob, & ye leaders of the house of Israell: [...]che. iii. Should not ye knowe what were lawful and right? But ye hate the good, and loue the euel, ye plucke of mens skinnes and the fleshe from their bones, ye eate the fleshe of my people, and flaye of their skinne, ye breake their bones ye chop them in peces as it were in to a cauldron, and as fleshe into a potte.

Theo.

These gredy gripes, and hongry horseleches, by vsur­pinge the name of gentlemen, do muche obscure the renowne, wor­ship and honour of true gentlemē, and cause the name of a gentlemā to be muche disdained amonge the cōmon people, as wee haue bothe heard and seene now of late daies. [Page] And thoughe they chalenge to thē selues neuer somuch the name of a gentlemā, by their goodes, by their auncestoures, by antiquitie, by the worthines of their stocke, and ma­ny god morowes, yet if they do de­generate and growe out of kynde from the natural maners of a true gentleman, they are no gentlemen in deede, but carles & churles, yea and in hurtinge their neighbours they are tirantes and murtherers,Eccle. xxxiiii. as the holy scripture calleth them,E [...]ai. i and in pollyng and pyllyng them,Miche. ii. they are theues,Sopho. iii. lions, and wolues as the Prophetes terme them. An ape shall be an ape, though she be clad in purple and golde. Esops crowe was styll a crowe, euen whē he had decked him selfe with the pleasaunte and goodly fethers of other byrdes.T [...]e nobili [...] It is vertue, and not grosse fleshe & bloud, which thinge we all are, that maketh the true, noble [Page] and gētlemā. It is a minde disposed to do good, yea & doth good in dede when occasion serueth, and not sumptuous aparell and goldē cheines, that setteth forth true no­bilitie. It is iustice, mercy, libera­litie. kyndnes, gentlenes, hospita­litie for the poore, and suche other godly gyftes of the mynd, and not the multitude of ryches, that de­clare who is a gentlemā, and who a churle, who is noble, who vn­noble. He that can nyest approche vnto lady vertue, and most liuelie set forthe her naturall disposicion in his conuersacion and behaue­oure, he is the beste gentleman, be his parentes neuer so base, and his kinred neuer so vyle in the iudge­mente of the worlde.

Christo.

So­crates the Philosopher beholding a man verye ryche and wealthy in deede, but an assehead in the knowledge of goodnesse, and notwith­standynge [Page] gorgeouse and galante in apparell, sayde: Beholde a gol­den slaue. Socrates nothynge e­stemynge the ryche man for hys ryches and sumptuous rayement, called hym a golden slaue, mea­ninge: that thoughe he were laden wyth neuer so manye golden cheynes, golden rynges, golden appa­rell, yet so longe as he hym selfe is but fylthye in hys conuersacion, and hathe a mynde subiecte to carnal lustes, as couetousenes, pryde, ambicion. & cete, he is but a verye slaue, so farre is it of that he is a gentleman. At an other tyme that same Philosopher seynge a man bothe ryche and galauntlye appareled, sayde: Here is a horse trapped in syluer. Hys apparell shewed hym to be a gentleman, but his maners and condicions declared hym to be but a horse and a beast. [Page] Diogenes hearing a certeine man bragging and boasting of his kinred, ryches, beautie, costuous apa­rel, and such other worldly visars, knowing not one pointe of nobili­tie to be in him, nor ought els worthy of prayse, sayde: loo, here is a shepe with a golden flese. Cato the elder was wont to saye, that the ly­tle theues dyd weare fetters, but the great theues went vp & doune galauntly appareled with purple and golde. I pas ouer diuerse o­ther saiyngs of the wise mē, which without any respect had to carnal nobilitie, worldlye ryches, gorge­ous aparell. &c. called the wealthy worldlinges, by suche names, as theyr maners and behaueoure de­serued.

Euse.

Wolde god all they which wyll be taken for gentlemē were gentlemen in dede. Then shulde it go much better with this realme of England.

Christ.

Thys [Page] endles encroching of worldly pos­sessions shew euidently, y they whiche vse it are not frindlye to the cō ­mon weale, seing thorow it ye poore cōmons are brought to beggarie. Salomon hath a notable saiynge and wold god all men wold learne it.Prou. x [...]iii. It is this. The encrease & pro­speritie of the comons, is the kyn­ges honour: but the decaye of the people, is the cōfusion of y prince.

Theo.

Frindely to ye comon weale [...] Mary syr they are not frindlye to the kynge by Salomons saiynge, that enpouerysheth the comons: if the comons encrease, wealth, and prosperitie bee the honoure of the kinge, and if the decaye and enpo­ueryshement of the comons be the confusion and destruccion of the prynce, then are they extreme ene­mies to the kynge, which without any respect had to the comō weale, seke thorow their vnsaciable couetousenes [Page] to beggare the Kynges subiectes, whereby they shall be the lesse able bothe to serue the kynge, and to beare for their porcion, the charges of the Realme, when tyme requireth.

Philemon.

Certes a Kynge can neuer be poore, so longe as hys subiectes be wealthye. And better it is to haue many that shuld healpe in tyme of nede, then fewe, and easier is the burthen and the gladlier it is borne yt many beare then few.

Christo.

If that same gentlenes and liberalitie were found at this present amonge the ryche men of this worlde, that hath bene here to fore in men of lyke degre, the commons shulde not only at all times be quiet, but also the realme shuld floryshe wyth greate wealthe, yea and that vniuersallye, where as nowe it resteth in fewe mens handes. Gentlemen to be enchrochers [Page] of Farmes, notable shepemon­gers, Grasi [...]rs, Bochers, Clothiers, Weauers, Brewers. &c [...]. as I maye speake nothyng of theyr parsonages, vicarages, prebendes. &c hauynge otherwyse whereof abundantly to lyue? O vnworthy acte. O vnsemely syght. O abhominacion. What is it to beggare the Realme, to famyshe the Kynges subiectes, to brynge slauery in to thys realme, if thys be not? Do they not sucke the poore mennes bloud, that suffer them not to haue whereof to lyue? The wyseman sayeth:Eccle. xxxiiii. The breade of the nedy is the life of the poore, he that defraudeth him of it, is a murtherer.

Philemon.

Well neyghboures, althoughe I doubte not, but that the Kynges maiestie and his most honorable councel wyll se redresse in these thynges when they haue [Page] conuenient leasure, yet if the world shulde go forth & continue as it is, & the ryche worldlinges more miserably oppresse the pore then they heretofore haue done, god forbyd that the comō people, or any kynd of people shuld reise vp tumultes, styrre vp sedicions, lyfte vp their hande againste the hye powers.

For that is a sinne, whiche by no meanes can escape vnplaged, yea they that so do, runne into the daū ger of eternall damnacion, as ye haue heard afore.

Chri.

I say god forbyd also: but ye know the come [...] prouerbes, the belli hath no eares, honger is sharper then thorne, necessitie is an harde darte, nede maketh the olde wyfe trot.

Philem.

Saint Paule had rather neuer toRom. xiiii [...]. viii. eate fleshe nor drinke wyne, then he shuld offend his weake brother▪ Wolde he then thinke you, trouble an whole comon weale, make [Page] vproures, rayse vp commocions, come armed in the felde, assemble a sorte of idle braines and brainles people together, robbe mens hou­ses, spoyle their goodes, breake vp their hedges, make seuerall pa­stures cōmon to all men, hunte carnal libertie, make a cōmunion, yea con [...]usion of al thinges, and al for the belly? Paule woulde rather lyke vnto the pore Lazar haue dyed for honger,Luke. xvi. then once violently and vniustly to take awaye other mens goodes.

Chri.

Ye se the vn­mercifulnes of ye riche, what, wold ye haue the pore people starue for honger?

Phil.

Rather starue and die for honger as pore Lazar dyd, then to trouble a cōmon weale. As riches, so likewise pouertie cometh from god: And both are to be takē thankefully, and not to be grud­ged at. If oppression be done to the pore of the ryche worldlinges, [Page] shall they auenge them selues? God forbyd, yea rather take that crosse paciently, and thynke that they haue deserued far worser thinges, whiche haue so ofte deserued hell, and pray to god to geue those ryche men mercifull hertes, that accordinge to their dutie they may be moued with pytie and compassion toward the pore. Againe if they haue iniuries done vnto them, if they can not otherwise be redressed let them complayne to the Magi­strates and officers of the commō weale, whyche are appointed to heare mennes causes.

Christo.

If the poore oppressed complayne to the Iustices of peace or suche lyke in the contrey where he dwelleth, that hathe the iniurye done vnto hym, lytle redresse, as I heare, can be hadde, one so serueth anothers turne, euen as the Mules scratche one anothers backe.

Philemon.
[Page]

If there be anye suche parciall officers, whyche are not indifferente, but iudge for fauour, yet remayneth there another re­fuge, and that is, to complaine vnto the Kynges Maiestie and hys moste honorable councell, whyche wythoute all doubte wyll bothe gladlye heare theire lamentable complayntes, and redresse theyr matters accordinge to iustice. But who so leaueth godly meanes, and attempteth wycked wayes, bothe he and his enterprise muste nedes come to naught, as we haue seene of late dayes.Math. xxv [...]. The lorde hym selfe hath spoken it. All they that take the sweard, shall peryshe with the swearde. All they that are priuate menne, and go aboute wyth force and violence to auenge theyr own cause, and to redresse theyr owne matters, shall surelye come vnto destruccion. [Page] For they be order breakers and despisers of goddes holy ordinaūce, which hath appointed magistrats and head rulers iustly to iudge betwene man and man in al matters of controuersie, that peace and quietenes may be maynteined in a cō mon weale.

Theo.

If men wer christen men in dede, as they professe in word, they wolde neuer for the bellies sake go aboute to disturbe, trouble, and disquiet all the mem­bers of the bodie. There is a pro­uerbe no lesse true then common, God neuer made mouthe, but he made meat. And truly I am thus perswaded, that god, which made me a liuing soul, and fed me in my mothers wombe, wyl not, after he hath brought me in to this world, suffer me to peryshe for honger, if I hange on his fatherlye proui­ [...]e, cast my care on hym, seke to please hym, and liue in my vocaci­on [Page] according to his worde.

Phil.

I am glad neybour Theophile this to heare you speake: for as I may tel you truth, the principall occasiō whi I so greatli desire to speake wt you & wyth my other neyghbours here, was to confort and strengthē you againste this sollicitude and thought taking for the belly, wherwyth manye at this presente are muche vexed. For I am not ignorant what importune su [...]er the bellye is, and how she is euer crauing and castyng doutes, fearinge that she shuld neuer haue inoughe, and therfore continually knocketh at the doore of the mynde, to putte him in remembraunce to prouide for her, saiyng: Adfer, Infer, bring hither, bringe in. For the idle belly continuallye consumeth, wasteth, but getteth, prouideth nothinge. Therefore is she full of thoughte and care for her liuynge, euen as a [Page] beggare is, whiche is so ielouse o­uer hys drynke, that he wyll not suffer the lytle flye to sitte vpon the brymme of his cuppe, leste she should beguyle him of his drinke. Thys belly care causeth the Lawers to corrupte the lawe, the iudge to geue false sentence, the officers to be vntrue to their Lordes and masters, the Hipocrites to corrupt the holy scriptures, the ryche men to be vnliberall, vnmercifull, the Beneficed menne to receyue much and distribute lytle, the Patrones of benefices, to sell to vnlear­ned Priestes theyr benefices, pa­rentes to sell theire chyldren lyke calues and sheepe for money, the papiste to hate the truthe of god­des worde, the marchaunte to for sweare hym selfe in sellynge hys marchandise, the craftes manne to make and vtter false and sleyghty [Page] wares, the temporal Lord to raise hys rentes, or to take greate fines and incommes, the I [...]ne kepers to polle and pylle hys geastes, the seruaunte to robbe his master, the mayde her masters, the syngle or maried woman to pley the whore, the syngle or maryed manne to playe the Rufian, and the thiefe, the subiecte to ryse agaynst his superioure. &c. Innumerable euels dothe thys belly care brynge vnto menne, againste the whyche except they be well furnyshed both wyth strong fayth in goddes holy prouidence, and also fortressed wyth the knoweledge of holye scriptures, wherein lye buryed so greate con­solacions for the faithful, they can not abide y importune & continual futes of the sluggyshe bellye, but must nedes dispaire of satisfiynge her requestes, and by this meanes [Page] not only haue an vnquiet mynde, but also throwe them selues into desperacion, and so to muche wretchedly finishe this their careful life

Chri.

Thys bellye care withoute doute is a great temptaciō to mā, and very muche disquieteth hym, namely when he seeth all thynges so dere as thei be now, and despair of a redresse, for asmuche as they which shuld amende thys thynge, are the cause of this dearth and famine, I speake of Grasiers, Shep mongers, and riche fa [...]mers. Therfore neyghbour Philemon, ye can not intreate at this present in your communicacion amonge vs of a thing more mete for this beggerly and nedy wretched tyme, then to declare vnto vs by the holy scrip­tures, how merc [...]full and bounte­ous l [...]de we haue in heauen, whi­che wyll not suffer vs to peryshe for honger, if we hange on his fa­therly [Page] prouidence, and cast al oure care on hym.

Phil.

Thys your bēte good wyl to heare, doth not a litle encourage me to speake that whi­che I haue purposed, yea and that in fewe wordes, because I wyl not be tedious vnto you.

Eusebius.

Speake I pray you, we wyl geue good eare.

Phil.

That ye maye be thorowly perswaded of goddes li­beralitie toward his faythfull ser­uauntes, I praye you fyrst of all consider gods order in the prouision for hys creatures. Before god made man, whom he was determi­ned to make the hygh ruler vnder him ouer al thinges in this world, he made and prepared euery thing necessarye for him, and for the con­seruacion of his bodie, y he might abundantly haue, what soeuer is expedient for hym, and by no mea­nes peryshe for honger and lacke of foode. Fyrst placing hym in paradise [Page] that garden of pleasure, he gaue man libertie to eate of al the frute that grew in the garden,Gene. ii. ex­cept the tre of knowledge of good and [...]uel. After the transgressiō of gods cōmaundement, when man was iustly driuen out of paradise, and worthye for his disobedience not only to starue for honger, but also to be condēned for euer, if god for his mercies sake, promised in that blessed sede Christ Iesu, had not fauored & forgeuen him.Gene. iii. God sending forth man into this vale of misery, dyd not leaue him con­fo [...]les and without prouision for his bodelye sustenaunce, neyther sente he him into a bareyn, deserte or [...]alte grounde voyde of all frute, but into this worlde, where he founde plentye and aboun­daunce of all thynges, and gaue him libertie to eate of all frutes and seedes growynge in it. En­crease, [Page] saieth he, and multiplie and replenishe the earthe, and subdue it and haue dominion of the fyshe of the sea,Gene. i. [...] and the foule of the ayre and of euerye liuinge thinge that moueth vpon the earthe. And god sayde: Beholde, I haue geuen you euery hearbe, sowinge seede, which is in the vpper face of al the earth, and in euerie tree in the whiche is the frute of the tree, and that sow­ [...]the seede, that they maye be meate vnto yo [...]. Wyth thys kynde of foode was Adam and his posteri­tye contente vntyll the floude of Nohe. After the floude, God pur­posinge as it were, to repayre man kinde, and to be mannes good and merciful lorde, & no lesse but much more bounteous to hym, then he was afore [...]sayed: bringe ye forth, and multiplye and replenyshe the earth.Gene. i [...] The fear of you, & the drede of you shall be vpon euery beaste [Page] of the earth, and vpon euerie foule of the ayer, and in all suche as the earth bringeth forth, and in all the fyshes of the sea, into your hande are they deliuered. Euery thynge that moueth it self, and that liueth shal be meate for you. Euen as the grene hearbe, haue I geuen you al thinges. As god afore gaue mā libertie to eate al kynde of herbes, sedes, and frutes that grow vpon the earth, so likewise geueth he mā authoritie nowe to eate all kynde of fyshe or fleshe as he lysteth.

Christ.

O exceadinge greate is the liberalitie of our lorde god, which dealeth so fauorablye wyth wret­ched manne: Not onlye to geue hym libertie to eate all kynde of hearbes, seedes, and frutes, bu [...] also all maner of fleshe and fyshe. This is with out doubte a singulare benefite and greate token of goddes inestimable goodnes to­warde [Page] man.

Phi.

Here euen frome the beginning and reparing of mā dothe the kyndenes of god braste out and shew forth it selfe toward man abundantly, so that nowe all thynges are pure,Tit. i. to them that are pure. Nothing is commune or vnclean, neither is any kinde of meat to bee refused,i. Timo. iiii. if it bee taken with thankes geuinge. For that which god hath purified & made cleane,Actes. x. ought no man to call vnpure, vncleane. And all these thinges hath god geuē vs to eate. Now that ye maye be thorowlye perswaded of goddes truth in performinge hys promises, call to remembraūce the histories of the holye scriptures, whiche do declare and euidentlye proue,Psalm. [...]xlv that god is faythfull in all his wordes, and dealeth no lesse fauorablye wyth his seruauntes in dede, then he promiseth in worde. GOD cōmaunded Absolom to [Page] get him out of his contrey and out of his nacion, [...]. xii. and frome hys fa­thers house vnto a lande that he woulde shewe hym. Abraham dyd as the lorde commaunded him. If Abraham had not bene fully per­swaded of goddes constancie and truthe in accomplyshing his pro­mises, wolde he haue forsaken his natiue contrey, and gone oute of hys owne house, where he was qui [...]tely placed and wealthily settled, and wandered abrode lyke a ma­sterles hounde, he can not tell whither?

Eusebius.

A carnall and worldlye wyse man woulde haue thought it greate madnes to leaue a thynge certeine, for that that is vncerteyne.

Philemon.

So iudgeth the wyse­dome of thys worlde, [...]or. iii. whyche is folyshenes afore God. Notwyth­standinge Abraham nothyng doutynge [Page] of goddes promise, forsoke contrey, nacion and house, and o­beyed the voyce and commaunde­mente of God. Neyther was he a­ny thynge at all thereby impoue­ryshed. The scripture sayeth, he was very ryche in cattell, syluer, and golde. For his natiue contrey, God gaue hym a contrey that flowed wyth mylke and honye,Gene. xiii that is, wyth the abundaunce of al thinges. For one house, he gaue hym many houses. For one naci­on, he made hym a father of many nacions.Rom. iiii. So recompenseth God the losses that any man susteineth for hys sake.

Theophilus.

The lyke thynge is promised of oure sauioure Christe in the gospel. Ther is no mā saieth he, that hath forsaken house,Luke. xviii. either father or mother, either brethren, [Page] or wyfe or children for the kyngedome of gods sake, which shal not receiue muche more in this world, and in the world to come, life euer lastinge.

Phil.

Who euen by this one exemple is not greatli encouraged to beleue the promise of god, and to be fully perswaded, that as god dealte wyth Abraham, so in lyke maner wyl he deale with vs if we obey the voice of god, as Abrahā did? For there is no respecte of persons with hym, [...] but in al people he that [...]areth hym & worketh ryghteousenes, is accepted vnto hym. The promise of god is vniuersal. Whosoeuer therfore laieth hande on it wyth stronge fayth, he shall haue of god, whatsoeuer he hath promised. There is no difference betwene the Iewe and the Gentile, [...]oma. x. [...]el, ii. for one is lorde of all, whiche is ryche vnto all that cal vpon him. For whosoeuer calleth on the [Page] name of the Lorde he shall be safe.

Chri.

It is not withoute a cause, that thapokles praied: Lorde en­crease oure faythe.Luke. xvii. For if true and vndoubted faythe were in the her­tes of mē, thei wold nether distrust y promise of God, nor yet despaire of conuenient lyuinge.

Phil.

Faith is muche, yea faithe is altogether. Whatsoeuer ye axe when ye praie, saithe Christ beleue to haue it,Marke. x [...]. and ye shal haue it in dede: as god shewed him self faithfull in his promise to Abraham, whiche is the father of the faythfull,Rom. iiii. so lykewyse did he to other, because no man shoulde doubte of his liberalitie, whych is comune not to Abraham only, but to all the faithefull in lyke māner: ye remēber yt Hager was the hand maide of Sara Abrahams wife & because Sara hir self was barrē &Gene. xvi childeles, she gaue to hir husbande her maid to be his wife yt she might [Page] be edified by hir.

Christo.

We re­member it well.

Phil.

This Hagar broughte forthe a sonne called Is­mael, by hir master Abraham, whi­che child was a mocker, in somuch yt after Sara had brought forthe Isahac hir sonne, [...]ene. xxi. she wold not suf­fer neyther the lad nor his maister to tari any longer in hir house, but caused Abraham to put them both oute.

Eusebi.

Ye saye truethe.

Phi.

Abraham rose vp earelye in the morenynge, and toke breade and a bottell of water and gaue it vnto Hagar, puttyng it on hir shulders with the ladde also, and sent hir a­way. Nowe marc [...] Hagar is put oute of hir masters house wyth hir childe. She knoweth not whither to go. She hathe no house wherin to hide her head, but wandreth vp and downe in ye wyldernes of Ber Seba. To conforte her no man is bente: For no man is presente. As [Page] touching her vitaile, it is al spent. The breade is eaten, the water is drunke vp. There remayneth now in sight no more but vtterly to des­payre of soucoure, and miserablye to dye. Which thinge Hagar con­sidering, casteth the ladde Ismael vnder a bushe, goeth her waye, and sitteth on the other syde a greate waye, as it were a bowe shote of, because she wolde not se the deathe of the chylde. Wyth howe great sorowes her herte was stuffed, wha [...] plentie of teares gushed out of her eyes, what careful fayntenes occu­pied her whole bodie, no man is a­ble to expresse. A chylde to dye for honger, the mother knowinge of it, yea and as it were in her syghte, in her bosome, O dolour vnspeakeable. The mother lykewyse to bee pearsed wyth the same darte, O in comparable payne. Al thinges are brought here to extreme desperaciō [Page] There is no waye to escape this present mischiefe. The childe cry­eth, the mother wepeth: Both loke for presente death. But what? Is god vntrue, vniust, false in his promise? Stoppeth he his cares, that he may not heare the lamētable cō plaintes of the to much wretched? Despiseth he the teares of the mo­ther, and the cryinges of the child? Yea rather when no remedie is lo­ked for, god is present, [...]. [...]on. xiiii. [...]. god confor­teth, god helpeth, because he wyll be founde a god which is faythful in all his wordes, whych is the self trueth and can not lye, whiche lea­ueth no mā socurles that calleth on him. He sendeth his holye angel to the miserable womā, [...] xxi. when no mortall creature is present to help. He conforteth her, and biddeth her not feare: for god hath heard, saith he, the voice of the chylde where he ly [...]th. He sheweth her a well of wa­ter [Page] to confort both her & her childe withal, and afterwarde pr [...]miseth that the lad Ismaell shall be a no­ble man, and greate multitudes of people shall ryse of hym.

Theo.

O historie ful of most swete consola­cion. This is a confortable & plea­saunt mirrour for all people to be­holde, specially for them that are maried, and yet se not (suche and so great is theyr pouertie) howe they maye bee able to noryshe them. If the maried folke liue according to their vocacion, and trauaile in their estate in the feare of the lord, though they haue neuer so manye childrē and great familie, yet shall the sea soner be without water and fyshe, and the land without grasse and cattell, then any of them shall perishe for honger. If god proui­ded for Ismaell and his mother in the wyldernes, wher no sustenaūce was to be gotten, wher no mā was [Page] present but brute beastes, & foules of the ayer: wyl he leaue thē socourles, that put their trust in him, be-being in cities, townes, and villa­ges, and cōuersant with men, wher all thinges do aboūd?

Chri.

If the pore maried mē dyd earnestly wey, and diligentlye ponder this moste swete and confortable historie, they shulde neuer dispaire of a liuinge, neither for thē selues, nor for their chyldren and familie, neither wold they seke any vnlawefull meanes, as by stierring vp cōmocions, ma­kynge insurreccions, spoylynge o­ther mens goodes &c, how to auoid their misery: but rather laboure to answere their vocacion, and with­out ceassing call on the name of the lorde, which wyl deale no lesse fauorably wyth thē, then he dyd wt Ha­gar and Ismaell. Putte thou thy truste, [...] xxxv [...]i. sayeth Dauid, in the lorde, and do good, so shalte thou dwell [Page] in the earthe, and be fedde wyth the beste daynties thereof. Delyghte thou in the lorde, and he shal geue the thy hertes desyre. Committe thy waye to the lorde, and put thy truste in hym, and he shall brynge it to passe. He shal make thy rygh­teousenes as cleare as the lyghte, and thy iuste dealing as the noone daye. Holde the styll in the lorde, and abyde pacientlye vpon him. &c Agayne: Put your truste in God alwaye,Psal. lxii. O ye people, powre oute your hertes before hym, for he is oure hope.

Philemo.

In the dayes of Isahac Abrahams sonne, there fell a greate dearthe in the lande where he dwelte, in so muche that he remoued frome that place, and tooke his iourneye towarde Abi­meleche Kynge of the Philistines,Gene. xxv [...] euen vnto Gerer. And whyle he was yet in hys iourney, god spake vnto hym and sayde.

[Page] Go not doune into Egipte, but a­bide in the land which I shal shew vnto the, soieorne in this land, and I wyl be wyth the, and wyll blesse the. For vnto the and to thy sede, I wyl geue al these contreis. Behold goddes carefull prouidence for his seruauntes. Isahac wyshing to es­cape the cruell daries of honger, hunteth aboute where he and hys maye conueniētlye dwell. And ra­ther then he wolde die for honger, he after the example of his father Abrahā, [...]. xii. determineth to go doune into Egipte. God which is able to fede and to saue his people in eue­ry place (for the earth is the lordes [...]l. xxiiii. and al that is conteined therin) for biddeth Isahac to go doune into Egipt, wylleth him to tary styll in the contrey, and promiseth to blesse hym, yea to geue to him and to his sede, all the contreis of that lande. Isahac obeying the voyce of god, [Page] taried in that cōtrey, & waxed exce [...] ­ding myghty, wealthy & ryche. For god gaue him greate abundaunce of corne, of shepe, and of oxen, yea wyth a myghtie household dyd the lorde blesse hym, insomuch that the kinge him selfe came vnto him, & desired to make acouenaūt of peace and amitie with him: vnto suche & so great power was Isahac grow­en. He which afore knew not wher cōmodiously to lyue, and in y con­trey which he wolde haue forsaken for penurie and honger, euen he nowe is become so ryche, that the kynge him selfe is glad to come to hym, and to desire his fauour.

Eus.

O wonderful workes of god.

Chri.

Here finde we that true, whiche is spoken by the wyseman: Put thy truste in god, and abide in thine e­state, for it is an easye thinge in the syght of god,Eccle. xi. to make a poore man ryche, yea and that sodenlye. The [Page] blessinge of god hasteth to the re­warde of the ryghteous, and ma­keth his frutes sone to florishe and prosper.

Theo.

This in dede was proued true in Isahac. phil. Not in Isahac onlye, but in so many as e­uer obeyed the voyce of God, and liued according to their vocacion. God is the same god to vs all, that he was to Abraham and Isahac, if we by stronge faythe hange on hym and on his fatherlye proui­dence, as they dyd, if the same inte­gritie of maners and innocencie of lyfe apeareth in vs, that shined in them.

Euse.

This beneficence and liberalitie of god towarde Isahac ought to encourage al men to tary at home in their own contreis and houses, to be contente wyth theire estate & callinge, and not to stray a brode for liuinges, as many idle braynes do nowe a daies, leauinge theyr wyues and theire children in [Page] greate care and miserie, and manie of them neuer returning vnto thē. Neyther ought men to doubte, but that god whiche is almyghty, and able to do what soeuer hys good pleasure is, wyl as wel prouide for them at home in their poore cota­ges, as in the haulles of Princes. The blessinge of the lorde maketh men ryche,Proue. x. as for carefull trauaile it doth nothing therto.

Phil.

When Isahac sent his sōne Iacob to Mesopotamia,Gene. xxviii. y he might take to wife one of y doughters of Labā, Iacob as he passed forthe on his iourney, made a vow, & sayd: If god wyl be with me, & wil kepe me in this iourney which I go, and wyll geue me bread to eate & clothes to put on, so y I come againe vnto my fathers house in safetye, thē shal y lorde be my god, & this stone which I haue set vp an ende, shall be gods house, and of all that thou shalte geue me wyll I geue the tenthe vnto thee. [Page] Here Iacob desireth gods assistēce in his iourney, that he may go and come safe. And as touching world­ly goodes, he desireth no more but foode and raiment. And so nothing douting of goddes helpe, he goeth forward on his iourney according to the cōmaundemēt of his father. Nowe behold the louing kyndnes of god toward Iacob. God which neuer leaueth them socourles that calle on hys holye name, appea­reth vnto Iacob in his slepe, and promiseth that he wyl geue him & his seede the lande that he slepeth vpon, and that his posteritie shall be great and many, that they shall be as the dust of the earth, and shal spread abroude to the weaste, to the easte, to the north, and to the south, yea and that in his sede all kinreds of the earth shall be bless [...]d.

Chri.

Here are mo benefites promised to Iacob, then he asked.

Phil.

Yea mo [Page] then he durst haue required of god

Euse.

But what of the requestes cō cerninge his iourney?

Phil.

Ye shal heare. Wher as Iacob desired god to be with him, and to kepe him in his iourney, god sayd vnto him on this maner: Behold I am with the and wyll be thy keper in all places whither thou goest, and wyl bring the againe into this lande, neither wil I leaue the vntil I haue made good al that I haue promised the. According to goddes promise Ia­cob had a prosperous iourney tra­uailynge into Mesopotamia. Of whose cōminge, when Labā heard, vnto whom he was sente of his fa­ther,Gene. xxi [...]. Laban for very ioye ranne to mete him, enbrased him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house

Theo.

Thys was good lucke.

Chri.

Good lucke in dede.

Phi.

So worketh god for hys seruauntes, which hath all mens hartes in his [Page] hande.

Theo.

But what entertainement had Iacob afterwarde?

Phil.

Iacob taried wyth Laban twenti yeres: in the which tyme, God dyd not only sende him bread & clothes accordinge to hys requeste, but al­so such wiues as his harte desired, wyth manye goodly children. Yea God so blessed Iacob, that he was excedinge ryche in gold and siluer, in maide seruauntes and men ser­uauntes, in sh [...]pe, Camels, Asses,Gene. xxxi. goates, kyne. &c. And afterwarde God brought him home again in­to his contreye bothe saffelye and wealthely. Who will now distrust the promyse of suche a Lorde, so li­berall, so bounteous so beneficial?

Euse.

This historie is greatlye cō ­fortable for al godly traua [...]lers by cōtreies, hereof may they learne, y god wil not forsake thē nor leue thē socourles, but sēd thē al things ne­cessary in their iourney, defēd them [Page] frome theire ennemies, and safely bryng them whō agayn, if they cal on his holy name & caste their care on hym.

Chri.

So sayth the Psal­mographe,Psal. xci. he shall giue his Aun­gels charge ouer the, to kepe the in al thy wayes. They shal beare the in theire handes, that thou hurte not thy foote against a stone. God shall defende the vnder hys wyn­ges, & thou shalt be safe vnder hys fethers. His faithfulnes & trueth shal be thi sheld & buckelar. Thou shalt not be afraid for ani terrour by nyght, nor for y arrowe y flye [...]th by y day.Psal. cxx [...]. Againe, my helpe cometh euen from y lord which hath made heauē & earth. He wil not suffer thi foote to be moued, & he that kepeth the, will not sleape. Behold he that kepeth Israel shal neither slomber nor sleape. The Lorde hym selfe is thy keper, the Lorde is thy defence vpon thy ryghte hande.

[Page] So that the sunne shall not burne the by daye, neither the moone by nyght. The Lord shal preserue the from all euyl, yea it is euen he that shal kepe thy soule. The Lord shal preserue thy goinge oute and thy comminge in from thys time forth for euermore.

Theo.

Thes [...]e be swete and comfortable scriptures

Phil.

I graunt to the faithefull, whiche depend altogether on God and on hys fatherlye prouidence. But the vnfaithfull, whiche truste on them selfes, on their owne wysdome, and pollicy, fele no sauour nor swetnes in them, as saynt Paule saith: a naturall man perceaueth not the thinges that belōg to the spirit of god [...] for they are folyshnes vnto hym. But let vs beholde mo histories, which shal declare & set forth god­des hi [...] prouidence & singular liberalite toward his seruauntes, y we mai learne perfectli to hāge on the [Page] lorde our god. Ye reade in the first boke of Moses, that in the time of Iacob whom we spake of a litle a­fore,Gene. xli. there was a great dearth in al contreis, in somuch that in the lāde of Canaan there was no vitaile to be gotten for money. Now behold the prouidence of god. God aforeseyng this plage of famine, to the entente that his seruauntes shulde not peryshe in tyme of honger for lacke of fode,Gene. xxxvii. wonderfully sent Ioseph afore into Egipte. And al­though his brothers solde him in to a straunge land, by this meanes sekyng his destruccion, yet god turned thys his seruitude vnto his honour, and the euel that they dyd to theyr brother, vnto their profite, wealthe,Gene. iiii. and commoditie. For god exalted Ioseph, and set vp his ho­nour aboue all the lordes and princes of Egipte: euen nexte vnto the Kynge was he in dignitie, in so­much [Page] that he hadde the rule of all the kynges dominions, & did what semed him good in his owne eyes, such fauour founde he in the syght of the kynge thorow goddes wor­king. Now when this dearth was also felte in the lande of Canaan, and Iacob wt his familie in great daunger thereof, [...]ene. xlii. Iacob hearinge that corne was to be sold in Egipt (for thorowe Iosephes wisedome was there corne inoughe layde vp in the store houses of euerye Citye in Egipte) [...]ene. xli. sente his sonnes thither to bye corne for theire money, that they might liue and n [...]t die. To be short, seyng the historie is knowen, when the sonnes of Iacob came thither for vitaile, there was Ioseph their brother in hie authoritie, whō they iudged eyther to be dead, or elles to liue lyke a bonde slaue and drudge, not able eyther to do him selfe good or any other. In fewe, [Page] they had vitailes home with them, and their money also, with manye precious gyftes, and at the laste a cōmaundement geuen them y they shuld bringe their father and hysGene. xlii [...] [...]. xiv. houshold wyth al that he had, and prouision shulde be made for them euen in the best partes of the lande of Egipte. Yea the kynge him selfe sente char [...]ttes oute of Egypte to fetche Iacob and all his familie, and bad them not regarde theire stuffe, for the good of all the lande of Egipte is youres, sayth he. Ia­cob and all his were honorablye brought thyther, liberally and gently enterteyned of the kynge,Gene. x [...]v [...]. qui­etely and wealthelye placed in the lande of Egypt. And all this came to passe by the prouidence of God, whiche afore seynge thynges to come, worketh wonderfullye for the sauegarde and healthe of hys seruauntes.

[Page] For the cause that Iacob and hys chyldren found such fauour in the syght of kynge Pharao, was not fortune, nor chaunce, but goddes prouidence: againe, that Ioseph was exalted vnto such dignitie, the cause thereof was not Iosephes fayr face, nor yet his goodly perso­nage, but gods good wyll, whiche gaue him suche wisedome, as none had the lyke in all Egipte, neither was there any in al the dominions [...] of kynge Pharao founde lyke vn­to Ioseph, whom the kyng might make gouernour ouer his realme. And al these thinges wrought god for the preseruaciō of his seruaun­tes as Ioseph himselfe said to his brethren: [...] xlv. I am Ioseph your bro­ther, whom you solde in to Egipte. Nowe therefore be not greued therwyth, neyther let it seme a cruell thinge in your eyes that ye solde me hither. For god dyd sende me [Page] before you into Egipte for your wealth, and to saue your liues. For this is the second yere of dearth in the lande, and fyue mo are behind, in whiche there shall bee neyther earing nor heruest. Wherfore god sente me before you to make prouision, that ye myght continue in the earth, and to saue your lyues by a greate deliueraunce. So nowe it was not you that sente me hither but god, which hath made me a fa­ther vnto Pharao, and lorde of all his house, and ruler thorowe oute all the lande of Egipte. God hym selfe also spake vnto Iacob in a vision by nyght, saying: I am god, the god of thy father, feare not to go doune into Egipte, for I wyll there make of the a greate people. I wyll go doune wyth the into E­gipte, and I wyll also bringe the agayne.

Chri.

O the vnspeakeable good wyll of god toward all them [Page] that trust in hym. What other na­cion, saith Moses, is so greate that goddes come so nye vnto, [...]eut. iiii. as the lorde our god is nye vnto vs in all thynges, so ofte as wee call vnto hym? The Lorde our god is a mercifull god, he wyll not forsake vs, neyther destroye vs, nor forget the appointement of our fathers, whi­che he sware vnto them. The lorde oure god cherysheth vs euen as a father doth his sonne. Wyll a mo­ther forget the child of her wombe, saythe god, [...]. xlix. and not pitie the sonne, whom she bare? And thoughe she doth forget, yet wyl not I forgette the. Behold I haue written the vp vpō my handes. &c.

Theo.

The last historie which you rehearsed, neighbour Philemō, is very cōfortable, and teacheth vs that although the plage of famine be caste vpon any realme, & the wicked therof peryshe for honger, yet wyl god so prouide [Page] for them that fear him, & cal on his holy name, that they shall want no good thyng.

Phil.

Wel noted neighbour Theophile. So wold I haue you both heare and reade the histo­ries of y holy scriptures, y ye shuld perswade your selfe that what soe­uer confortable historie ye finde in the sacred byble, is ther written for your cōfort. And to proue your saying true,Esa [...]. l [...]v. heare what god sayth by the Prophet. Behold my sernaun­tes shal eate, but ye shall honger. Behold mi seruauntes shal drinke, but ye shal suffer thirst. Behold my seruauntes shall be merye, but ye shall be confounded. Beholde my seruauntes shall reioyse for a very quietnesse of hearte, but ye shal cry for sorowe of herte, and complaine for vexacion of mynde.

Eusebius.

The sayinge of Kynge Dauid dothe not muche differ frome this.Psal. xxx [...]i [...]i.

[Page] Beholde the eyes of the lorde are vpon them that feare him, and vpon them that truste in his mercie, that he maye deliuer their lyues from death, and noryshe them in tyme of honger.Proue. x. Salomon also sayth: the lorde wyl not let the life of the ryghteous suffer honger.

Phil.

After god had deliuered the Israelites out of Egipte with an out stretched arme, and broughte them into the wyldernes of Sin, where they sawe neither meate nor drynke (for god was determined to proue them whether they wer faithfull or not) they grudged againste Moses and Aaron,Exod [...]. xvi. sayinge: wolde to God we had died by the hand of the lorde in the land of Egipt, whē we satte by the fleshe pottes, and when we dyd eate breade oure bel­lyes full. For ye haue brought vs oute into thys wyldernesse to kyll the hole multitude wyth honger.

[Page] Ye se the vnthanckefulnes of this people for whō God had wrought so manye wonders, and to whome God had shewed so greate tokens of louynge kyndenes, euen as a father dothe to his childe. Ye haue hearde howe they murmured agēst Moses & Aaron Goddes laweful ministers, whiche is nothynge else then to murmure agenst God him selfe. Ye se theire vnfaithfulnes, & howe they are altogether swarued frome God and from his holy prouidence, so that they are worthy no benefite at the hande of God: but what thē? Is God false of his promise? yea rather euē for his promis sake (where vnto God hathe euer cheife respecte) whyche he made to theire fathers Abraham, Isahac and Iacob, he wonderfullye sente them downe meat from heauen, e­uē māna, & so fed thē as y wise mā sayeth: yu hast fed thine own people [Page] with angels foode, & sent thē bread redye from heauen wythout theyr laboure, [...]pi. xvi. beynge very pleasaunte & good of taste. And to shewe the ri­ches and swetnes vnto thy childrē thou gauest euery one their desire, so that euerye man myghte take what lyked hym beste.

Theo.

If God for his promyse sake fedeth the vnfaithfull & no les vnthācke­full Israelites frome heauen, we that beleue his promises, and hāge onlye on him and on hys fatherlye prouidence, may be sure not to wāt but abundantlye to haue what so euer is necessary for vs, [...]sal. cxliii. as ye Psalmographe sayeth: The eyes of all thynges loke and wayte vpon the O Lorde, and thou geueste them meate in due tyme. Thou openest thy hande, and replenishest all thinges lyuynge wyth thy blessynge.

Ageine: They that feare the Lord shal haue no scarsenes. [...]sal. xxxiiii. Thei why­che [Page] seke the Lorde, shall wante no [...] good thynge.

Chri.

God shall soner cease to be God, then such as vnfainedly trust in hym, shal peryshe for honger.

Phil.

As ye Israelites mur­mured for meat, so likwise did they for water.Exod. xvii. They came to Moses & chide with him, yea thei wer almost redye to stone him, and saide. Gyue vs water to dryncke. Wherefore haste thou broughte vs oute of E­gipte to kyll vs and oure chyldren and cattalle wyth thyrste? The Lorde God styll con [...]derynge hys promyses, and not weyinge their in fidelitie nor vnthanckefulnes, wō ­derfullye and agaynste all natu­rall and humayne expectaciō, gaue them plentye of swete waters oute of the harde stonye rocke.

Euse.

O the maruelouse worckes of God. He is not called almyghtye wyth­oute a canse. For he dothe what so euer hys good pleasure is.

[Page] It is truelye sayde of Dauid:Psal. cxlvii. greate is oure Lord, and greate is his power, yea his wysdome is infinite. Who wil now doubt of necessari foode, seing God so meruelously fedeth the vnfaithful, vnthāckefull & disobediente people?

Phi.

At a nother tyme the rascall people yt was amonge them, beinge wearye of the meate sent downe from hea­uen, fell a lustynge, and turned thē selfes and wept (euen as did also ye children of Israel) and sayde: who shall gyue vs fleshe to eate? We remember the fyshe which we did eat in Egipte for nought, and ye cucū ­bers, and melons, lekes, onions & garlecke. But nowe oure soule is dryed away, [...]ume. xi. &. xxi for we can se nothing else saue Manna. And oure soule lotheth thys lyghte breade. Ye see that these people are styl like them selfes, that is, vnfaithful, vnthāke­full, disobediente. O frowarde and [Page] croked generaciō,Deut xxxii. sayth Moses, do ye so rewarde the Lorde, O ye fo­lyshe people and vnwyse?

Chri.

It is not without a cause, that sainte Stephen called that nacion styf­necked,Actes. [...]. vncircumcised hartes and eares, and suche as alwaye resyste the holy ghost.

Phil.

Wel yet note: Notwithstandinge their infideli­tie, vnthanckefulnes, and disobe­dience God continued styl iuste in his promises, faythfull in his wor­des, & true in his dealynges, for ac­cordinge to their desire for his promyse sake, he wolde not suffer them to wante, but gaue them whatsoe­uer they lusted for. Ther wēt forth a wynde frome the Lorde, saythe the scripture,Nume. x [...]. and brought quailes from the sea and let them fal about the host, euē a daies iournei roūd about on euery syde of ye hoste, and they dyd flye in the ayer as it were two cubites hye ouer the earthe.

[Page] And the people stode vp, & all that daye, and all that nyghte, and on the morow they gathered quayles. And he that gathered a litle, gathered ten homers full. And they spred them abrode rounde aboute the hoste. Thus se ye how God for hys promyse sake, cheryshed the Israelytes although vnfaythful, vn­thanckefull and disobedient, euen as ye Nurse doth hir sucking babe, and fedde them by the space of .xl. yeres in ye wildernes without their paine, care, trayuayle or laboure.

Theo.

If God shewed such gentil­nes to the vnfaithefull and disobe­diente for hys promyse sake, howe much more wyll he shew hym selfe a gentle and louynge father to them that fear hym, beleue in hym, loue hym, and for their powers la­boure to walke in hys holye path­waies?

Phil.

Such shal neuer wāt. Nowe marcke what followeth. As [Page] god prouided meate for the Israe­lites, so in lyke manner suffered he them not to go naked, nor to peryshe for colde, but all that tyme of fortye yeres, when they were in the wyldernesse, he so preserued their clothes, that they waxed not olde, and soo saued their shooes that they were not worne: but both garmentes and shooes so whole at the fortie yeres ende, as they were at their fyrste comminge into wil­dernes.Deu. xxix. I haue led you forty yeres in the wyldernesse, sayeth god: and your clothes are not waxed olde vpon you, neyther are the shooes of your feete, worne. Ye haue ea­ten no breade, nor dronke wyne, or stronge drynke, that ye mighte knowe that I am the Lord youre god. Moses also sayth: god hum­bled the, & suffered the to honger, & fed the wyth Manna, whiche ney­ther thou nor thy fathers knew of, [Page] to make the to knowe that man dothe not lyue by breade onlie,Deute. viii. but by euerye word that procedeth out of the mouthe of the Lorde, doth a man lyue. Thy rayement waxed not olde vpon the, neyther did thy foote swell those fortie yeres. Here of maye ye perceaue, howe bounti­full God is in geuynge foode and apparell, to them speciallye yt feare hym, and kepe his holy commaūdementes. Who wyll nowe be care­ful eyther for the bellye, or for the backe, as they saye? God made thē both, God wyl nourishe them both

Eus.

These histories do so set forth the kindenes of God towarde mā, that none excepte verye infideles haue iuste occasion to dispayre of Gods liberalitie, if they cal on his name and trauaile accordinge to theire vocacion.

phil.

There is no thyng more certeine. But leste any man should thyncke, that thys [Page] kyndnes of god ceassed in them, of whome I haue hitherto spoken, I wyll rehearse one or two histories mo out of the olde testamente, and then alledge certeine oute of the new, wherof ye maye learne that other proued the lyke kyndenes at the hand of god euen as wel in the newe testament as in the olde, that by this meanes ye maye be perfectlye perswaded god to be the Lorde of the same liberalitie now, that he was afore, & alike kynde to his ser­uaūtes in all ages. Who knoweth not y Elias was an excellent Pro­phet of god, feruent in spirit, vehe­ment in worde, and ielous for the glory of god?

Chri.

The scriptures testifie no lesse of him.Eccle. xlviii.

Theo.

Elias stode vp as fyre, saith the wiseman, and his worde brent lyke a cresset. Whyle he liued he was afrayed of no Prince, and no man myghte o­uercome him. Of his prayse wry­teth [Page] Iesus the sonne of Syrache.

Phil.

Thys man of God lyued in the time of Achab kinge of Israel, in whose dayes God sent a greate dearth into the world, for it rained not vpon the earth by the space of iii. yeres and .vi. moneths. In this plage of famine, whereof innume­rable wythoute dyed, se howe God prouyded for hys seruaunt Elias. Fyrste when the waters began to be dryed vp,Reg. xvii. God sente hym to the brooke Cherith, where he promy­sed to gyue hym drincke, whyche thyng he vnfainedly performed: so that whē other perished for lacke of dryncke, he hadde Gods plentye & inoughe, as they vse to saye. Now as touchyng his meate, behold the wonderfull power of God, whyche commaunded the Rauens to fede him and to bringe him meate. The Rauens, saith y scripture, brought hym breade and fleshe in the mor­ning, [Page] and likewise bread and fleshe in the eueninge, & he dronke of the broke. Behold & marke well, howe god prouideth for his seruaūt. He maketh the foules of the ayer to be Elias cookes, & to bring him meat, and god him self is butler & geuith him drinke at ye broke Cherith. O what a god haue the faythful, how tender & gentle, howe louinge and kynde is he to al thē that put their truste in him? Rather then his ser­uaunt shulde die for meate, he ma­keth the foules of the ayer to bring him thinges necessary for the sustenaūce of his bodie. O behold & di [...] gently marke ye fatherli care, which the lord god hath for his seruaūtes Euen as a father pitieth his owne childrē,Psal. [...]iii. euē so is the lorde merciful to thē y feare him. It is trulie sayd of y Psalmograph:Psal. xlv. The lord is at hand to all thē that cal on him, yea to all thē that call on him in truth.

Theo.
[Page]

Elias myghte ryghte well saye, as Dauyd wrytethe of hym selfe. [...]al. xxlil. The Lorde fedethe me, there­fore can I lacke nothinge. He shal fede me in a gre [...]e pasture, & leade me for the besyde the waters of conforte.

Eus.

As God dealte wyth E­lyas and Dauid, so wyll he deale with vs, if we labour to please him as they dyd.

Chri.

So I truste, for there is no respecte of parsones wt God. [...]m. ii. And what so euer is written, is written for our learnyng, [...]es. x. yt tho­row pacience & comfort of ye scrip­tures [...]o ii. we may haue hope. [...]ma. v

Phil.

Ye saye truethe. Neyther dyd the care of God cease for hys seruaunte E­lias wyth that benefyte, wherof ye haue hitherto hearde. For God is no chaungelinge, whom he loueth, he loueth to the end. Therfore whē the brooke was dryed vp because there fell no rayne vpon the earth, [...] Reg. xvii. God, whych neuer leaueth his ser­uauntes [Page] socourles▪ sayd to Elias, vp and get the to Sarepta, why­che is in Sidon, and dwel ther, be­holde I haue commaunded a wi­dowe there to sustayne the. So he arose, and went to Sarepta. And when he came to the gate of the ci­tye, the wydowe was there gathe­ryng styckes. And he called to hir and sayd: fet me I praye the a lytle water in a vessel, yt I may drincke. And as she was goyng to fet it, he cryed after hir, and sayd: Brynge me I praye the a morsell of breade also in thyne hande. She sayd: As trulie as the Lord thy God lyueth I haue no breade redye, but euen an handefull of meale in a barrell and a lytle oyle in a cruse. And be­holde I am gatherynge two styc­kes for to go in, & dresse it for me & my sonne, that we may eate & dye. And Elias sayde vnto hir: feare not, come and do as thou hast said, [Page] but make me thereof a lytle cake fyrste of al, and bringe it vnto me, and afterwarde make for the & thy sonne. For thus sayeth the Lorde God of Israel: the meale in the barel shal not be waked, neyther shal the oyle in the cruse be diminished, vntyl the Lord haue sent raine vpon the earth. And she dyd as Ely­as sayd. And she and hyr house did eate a good space, and the meale wasted not out of y barrel, neyther was the oyle spent out of the cruse accordyng to the word of the lord, whych he spake by the hand of E­lyas. Here agayne ye se what pro­uysyon God made for Elyas, and howe benefycyall he also was to Elyas hostesse, and to her house­holde, because she entertayned him so gentyllye & dyd what so euer he commaunded.

Theo.

These be cō ­fortable hystories.

Euse.

And written for oure conforte.

Phil.

At ano­ther [Page] tyme when he fled frome wic­ked Iesabel kynge Achabs wyfe, [...]. Reg. xi [...] which sware that she wolde surelye sley him, because he had kylled all Baals priestes, whom she ful dein­tely nouryshed at her owne table, howe dyd god, euen when he was a slepe, sende his Angell vnto him wyth a loafe of broyled bread, and a vessel of water, and bad him eate? For thou hast yet, sayth he, a great iourney to go. And in the strength of that meate, sayeth the scripture, walked he fortie dayes and fortie nyghtes, euen vnto Horeb the mounte of God. Here se ye, that when we sleape, god watcheth and careth for vs, euen as he cared for Peter,Actes. xii. and sente his Aungell to de­liuer him oute of pryson, when Pe­ter was in a sounde sleape, and thoughte nothynge at all of the matter. Beholde sayeth the Psal­mographe,Psal. cxxx [...] he that kepeth Israell, [Page] shall neyther slomber nor sleape. Note agein, that wyth one meales meate God is able to preserue vs fourty dayes and fourty nyghtes, as he dyd the Prophet Helyas, yea all our lyfe tyme, [...]ute. viii. if it be his plea­sure, so that it is trulye sayde, man shall not lyue wyth breade alone, but wyth euerye worde, that com­meth out of y mouth of God: And as God made prouysion for Elias euen so stoored he vp Abdia Go­uernour of wycked kynge Achabs house to petye hys Prophets and to prouyde for them: [...] Reg. xviii. whyche when diuilishe Quene Iesabel destroied the Prophetes of God, toke an hū dred of them, and hyd them, fyfti in one caue, and fyftye in a nother, & prouided bread and water for thē: suche and so great is the care, whi­che the Lorde taketh for hys ser­uauntes vniuersallye.

Chri.

It is therefore truly sayd of the Prince­lyke [Page] Prophet,Psal. xxxiiii. thei y seke the Lord shal want no good thyng. Ageine: I haue bene younge and am wax­en olde,Psal. xxxvi [...]. and I haue not sene ye righteous forsaken, nor hys chyldren beggynge theyr breade on the ear­the.

Theo.

These be comfortable histories for christē and Godli prea­chers, whom for the moste part the wycked and vnthanckefull world neglecteth, despyseth & set noughte by, yea and maketh les prouision for them, then for theire malte hor­ses and bandedogges. Here maye the true Prechers se, yt althoughe the world regardeth them nothing at all, and suffereth them so muche as in them is, not onlye myserable to lyue, but also to peryshe for honger, yet God, whose ministers they are, whose worde they preache, wyl not suffer them extremelye to wāt, but wyll eyther wonderfullye fede them hym selfe, as he dyd Elyas, [Page] or elles store vp some good Abdie to make prouision for thē, as this Abdi dyd for the Prophetes of the Lorde, when they hyd them in the caues from the tirāny of quene Iesabel, & prouided thinges necessary for their liuinge.

Phil.

We reade also that a certeine womā of y wiues of the Prophetes came vnto Heliseus the Prophet,iiii. Reg. iiii. declaringe vnto him, that her husband was dead, & that for dette which she ought and was not able to paye, the creditour was come to fet her .ii. sonnes to be his bond men. This woman was a Prophetes wyfe. Her husband is dead, which lefte her both pore and in dette. Comforte hathe she none, but only the cōpany of her .ii. sōnes which also the creditour wold take awaye and make his bonde men, because she is not able to discharge the dette. O in what miserye is this carefull woman? She hathe [Page] nothing at al in her house, but a pitcher of oyle. But what is that to the dispatche of the dette. And if that be gone, there remaineth no­thing wherof she & her sonnes may lyue. What is then to be done?

Det must be payed. Her substaūce wyl not reache so far. To make her childrē bond slaues, shuld be to her present death. This therfore remaineth. The sorowfull widowe lamē teth fyrst of all her cause secretly in her hert vnto god, which is the helper and patrone of all true wyddowes and fatherlesse children, and afterwarde vttereth the same to Elizeus the Prophet of god, whiche thorow gods blessinge of one pytcher of oyle, filleth so many emptie vessels ful of oyle, that she sellinge part of the same, was not only able to paie her dettes at the vttermost, but also had inough of the reste to fynde her and her children.

Eus.
[Page]

O notable miracle. Here fynd we true yt holy Thoby sayde to his sonne: [...]obi. iiii. My sonne, be not afraide.

Truth it is, we leade here a poore lyfe, but greate good shal we haue, if we feare god, and departe frome al sinne, and do wel.

Chri.

This womans husbād was a Prophet, and feared the lorde, therfore could not she and her children remaine longe confortles. For god hath promised to be a husband to suche widowes, and a father to suche godlye mens children.Psal. xxxvii. I haue not sene the rygh­teous forsaken, nor their children begging their bread on the earthe,Psal. cxii. sayth the Psalmographe. Againe: Blessed is the man that feareth the lorde, he hath great delyght in his cōmaundementes. His sede shal be myghtie vpon earthe, the generacion of the faythfull, shall be blessed. Riches and plenteousenes shall be in his house, & hys ryghteousenes [Page] endureth for euer.

Theo.

This is a confortable historie for suche god­ly womē as are christen preachers wiues. Hereof may they learn, that though theyr husbandes be neuer so poore, when they departe out of this world, yet if they remain faithful, and in the feare of god, and diligently call on his blessed name in their aduersitie, he wyll neither suffer them nor their children to lacke necessaries for their liuinge, but by one meanes or other sende them all good thinges, so that they shal not wante.Iosu. i. I wyll not fayle the, nor yet forsake the,Psal. clv. sayth god. The lord geueth meate to the hongry.Psal. xxxiiii. Beholde the eyes of the lorde are vpon them that feare him, and vpō them that trust in his mercy, that he may deliuer their liues from death, and nouryshe them in the tyme of honger. God despiseth not the desire of the fatherles nor the wydowe,Eccle. xxxv. saith the [Page] wyseman, when she powreth oute her prayer before hym. Dothe not god se the teares that runne downe the chekes of the widowe? or heateth he not the cōplaint ouer suche as make her to wepe? For frō her chekes do ye teares go vp vnto heauen, & the lord which heareth them, doth accepte thē.

Phil.

At a nother tyme also we reade, yt thaforesayd Prophet in the tyme of dearth fed the Prophets childrē,iii. Reg. iii [...]. & with a few loaues norished a great number of men, in somuche that they dyd not only eat inough, but also left much of ye bread, so greatly was it multiplied thorow ye blessing of god, which is able of a lytle to make much, seyng of nothing he made al. Geue vnto the people, yt they may eat, sayeth ye Prophet. The minister answered: What, shulde I set this before an hundred men? Set it before the people, sayth he, and let them eate, [Page] For thus sayth the lord: They shal eate and leaue. And he dyd set it before them, and they dyd eate and leaue accordyng to the word of the lorde. Se ye not here, what the blessyng of the lord is, and how al thinges increase and abound,Psal. cxlv. when the lord openeth his hande? If we depend on goddes goodnes, he wyll surely increase our vitayle in our store houses, vpon our table, yea in our mouthes and bellies.

The Prophets seruaunt though it not possible, that so great a number of menne coulde be sustayned wyth so fewe loaues.Math. xix. But that whiche is impossible with menne,Marke. x. is possible with god.Luke. xviii.

Who therefore wyll doubte anye more of goddes liberalitie, haue he muche, or haue he litle? It is all one before God to feede wyth muche, or to feede wyth lytle.

[Page] If god blesse vs, we can not want, but if Gods blessinge be taken frō vs, we muste nedes peryshe.

Euse.

So sayth the Psalmographe:Psalm. iiiii. All creatures depende vpō the O lord, that thou shuldest geue them their meat in due time. For thou geuing it them, they take it, and thou opening thy hād, thei are wel satisfied. But yu hidinge thy face, they are sorowfull, & thou taking away theyr breth, thei are but dead, and turned into the earth, that they came of.

Phil.

Howe wonderfully dyd God fede Daniel the Prophet, when he was caste in to the Lions denne of the hye rulers, because he sayd that the greate Dragon, whom they of Babilon worshipped as god, was not god? [...]an [...]. xiiii. Dyd not the Angel of the lorde take the Prophet Abacucke by the top, when he was goinge in to the fielde to beare meate to the mowers, & caried him by the herre [Page] of the heade, and thorowe a mygh­ty wynd set him in Babilon, vpon the denne, wher Daniel was? So carye thy meate, saythe the Angel, that thou haste into Babylon vn­to Daniell, whyche is in the Ly­ons denne. And whan Abacuch eryed and sayde: O Daniell thou seruaunte of God, haue take thy breakefaste, y God hath sente the. Daniel answered: O god hast thou thought vpon me? well: Thou neuer fayleste them that loue the. What a lyuely exāple is this of gods singular prouidēce and fatherly care, whiche he hathe for his seruauntes? Notable and worthy to be written in letters of golde, is this sayinge of Daniel. Thou neuer faylest them that loue the.

Chri.

This hi­storie is very confortable for al thē that suffer inprisonment for the glo­rie [Page] of god, and the confession of his truth. Hereof may they learn, that god wyl not leane them socourles, nor destitute of help, as Dauid sayeth: The lorde is my lyght and my health, [...]al. xxvii. whō then shal I feare? The lorde is the defender of my lyfe, of whom then shal I be afraid? Whē mine enemies came vpon me to eat vp my flesshe, they stoumbled and fell. Therfore thoughe an host of men were layd against me, yet shal not my hearte be afrayde, yea and thoughe there rose vp war against me, yet wyll I put my trust in him.

Phil.

As I maye leaue of the hi­storyes of the olde Testament, and rehearse certeine oute of the newe, that we maye learne goddes libe­ralitie towarde hys seruauntes to bee one and the same at all tymes, and in all ages, lette vs call to re­membraunce the wonderfull myracles that Chryste wrought for the [Page] sustenaunce of hys people. Reade we not that our Sauioure Christ at a certeine time fedde almost fiueMath. xiiii. thousande men besyde women and children with fyue loaues and two fyshes?Marke. vi. And yet when they all had eaten inoughe,Luke. ix. they gathered vp so muche of the fragmentes that be lefte,Iohn. vi. as filled twelue baskets full. At a nother tyme, when the people hadde bene with Christ thre daies, and were readye to departe, ha­uynge nothynge to eate, and some of them hadde farre to go, so that if they had gone awaye wythoute meate, they shulde haue faynted by the waye, what a fryndlye care had Christe for them? I haue compas­sion on the people, saythe he, be­cause they haue continued with me three dayes,Math. xv. and haue nothynge to eate.Marke. viii And I wyll not lette them departe fastyng, leste they peryshe by the waye.

[Page] And whē his disciples sayd: whēce shuld we get so muche bread in the wiloernes, as shuld suffice so great a multitude, & tolde him that they had but seuen loaues, and a fewe lytle fyshes, he cōmaunded the people to sit doune on the ground, and toke the seuēloaues and the fishes, and geuyng thankes, brake them, and deliuered them to his disciples, and the disciples to the people, and they all dyd eate and were fylled.

And they toke vp of ye brokē meate that was lefte, seuen baskets full. And yet they that did eate wer .iiii. thousand men besides women and chyldren. Here se ye, that the loaues and fyshes were multiplyed in the handes of the disciples, and in the mouthes and bellies of them that dyd eate thorow Christes blessing, so myghty is he to preserue the li­ues of his seruauntes in the tyme of nede.

Theo.

This is a conforta­ble [Page] historie for all them that loue to heare the worde of god, & to frame theyr lyfe accordinge to the same. Such may be sure not to want the liberalitie of god in theyr necessitie, which,i. Timo. vi. as S. Paul sayeth, geueth vs all thinges abundauntly to en­ioye thē.

Chri.

This affirmeth that princelyke Prophet,Psal. xxxiiii sayinge: The ryche shal want & suffer hōger, but they whych seke the lord, shal want no good thyng.

Phil.

Whē Christ & his mother wyth his disciples wer at the mariage in Cana a citye of Galile,Iohn. ii. ye know that ye gestes wanted wyne. What, spared he hys liberalitie from them? Yea rather dyd he not cōmaund the seruitoures to fyll the water pottes wyth water? And when they had fylled euen vnto the bryme .vi. water pottes of stōne, containing .ii. or thre fyrkins a pece, dyd not he turne all y water in to swete wyne? Certes they can [Page] want nothyng, which haue Christ present wyth them. Let vs prouide that we haue Christ amonge vs, & we may be sure to haue abundaūce of al good thynges.

Euse.

This hi­storie is very confortable for al maried persons, which mary in ye lord. Al such that so mary, & continue in the feare of god, may be sure, that the water in their welles shal soner be turned into wine, & the stones of their walles in to bread, & the claye of their flores into meat, & ye thatch of their houses in to cloth, then thei shal extremely want necessary thin­ges, eyther for them selues or for their family.

Chri.

Wold god al mē beleued thys. Then shulde they haue merrye and quiete myndes, where now thorow infidelitie they be miserablye disquieted wyth the care of worldly thynges.

Theo.

Laye thy care on the lorde, sayth Dauid, [...]sal. lv. and he shal noryshe [Page] the.i. Peter. v. Also. S. Peter: Caste all pour care on god, for he careth for you.

Phil.

Agayne,Math. x. how dyd our sauiour Chryste prouide for hys disciples, when he sent them forth to preach, without money or meat? as he him selfe sayeth in the gospell of Luke.Luke. xxii. When I sent you without wallet, and scryp and shoes, lacked ye any thynge? And they sayde: No. The disciples accordinge to their voca­cion, wente forth and preached the gospell, nothynge doutyng but he that sente them, wolde prouide for them. For what maister can fynde in his hert to se his seruātes lacke?

Chri.

Thys is verye confortable for the true Preachers of goddes word. Herof maye they wel be asserteined, that if they do their masters message faythfullye, they shall not wante, though the wycked worlde be neuer so vnthankeful and nyg­gardely vnto them.

Phil.
[Page]

O how confortable are these wordes of our sauioure Christe to a faythfull christen man:Math. vi. I say vn­to you, be not carefull for the lyfe, what ye shall eate, or what ye shall drinke, nor yet for your body, what ye shal put on. Is not the life more worthe then meate, and the bodye more of value then raymente? Be­hold the foules of the ayre, for they sowe not, neither reape, nor yet ca­rye into the barnes, and yet your heauenly father feedeth them. Are ye not muche better then they?

Whych of you (thoughe he tooke thought therfore) could put one cubite vnto his stature? And whye care ye then for rayment? Consider the lylies of the fyelde, howe they growe. They labour not, neyther spyn. And yet for all that I say vnto you, that euen Salomon in all his royaltie was not arayed lyke vnto one of these. Wherfore if god [Page] so cloth the grasse, whych is to day in the field, & to morow shal be cast into ye furnace, shall he not muche more do ye same vnto you, o ye of lytle faith? Therfore take no thought saying: what shal we eate, or what shall we drinke, or wher wt shal we be clothed? After all these thinges seke ye gētiles. For your heauēly father knoweth that ye haue nede of all these thynges. But rather seke ye fyrst the kyngdome of god, and the ryghteousenes thereof, and all these thynges shall be caste vnto you. Behold what goodly and na­tural examples our sauiour christ bringeth forth here, that he may allure vs to truste only on gods pro­uidence, & not to be carefull for the necessaries of this lyfe, whych are not gotten by painful trauaile, but receyued of gods mere liberalitie. And because we shuld not be care­ful for meate, he first setteth before [Page] our eies the foules of ye ayer for an example, whō seing god the father feedeth so plenteouslie yt they want nothyng, when they neyther sowe nor reape, nor cari in to the barnes, muche more wyll he feede vs, and sende vs what soeuer is necessarie for the preseruacion of thys our naturall lyfe, if we call on hys holye name, and lyue accordynge to our vocacion. If he fedeth the byrdes because they be hys creatures, whi­che notwythstandyng so once dye, that they neuer lyue after, muche more wyl he prouide for vs, which are not only hys creatures, but al­so created after his owne Image, endued wyth an immortall soule, and made vnto this ende, that we shulde set forth his glorye, prayse hys blessed name: and after the ge­nerall resurreccion, our bodies and soules beyng knytte together, liue wyth hym in glorye worldes wythoute [Page] ende, as hys lawefull heyres, thorow Iesus Chryste our Lorde. And as touchynge oure apparell, to disswade vs from thoughte ta­kynge for that, he byddeth vs con­sider and diligentlye marke the ly­lyes and floures of the field, which although they neyther labour nor spynne, are so clothed wyth fyne and pleasaunte coloures, that not Kynge Salomon in all hys royaltie and glorie was apparelled lyke vnto one of them. If God so dec­keth the transitorie flower, whyche thys daye is in the fielde pleasauntly growynge, and to morowe shall be cut downe and caste into the furnace, howe muche more wyll he sende vs conueniente apparell for oure bodies, whyche thoughe they once dye, yet shal they ryse againe, and for euer lyue wyth God in e­ternall glorye?

[Page] Christ therfore concludeth, that all these thynges shal be cast vnto vs, if we seke the kyngdom of god and the ryghteousnes therof. Lette vs seke heauēly thinges, and thynges worldly shall abunde vnto vs. Let vs labour to garnishe our mindes wyth vertues, and god wyl not suffer our bodies to peryshe for lacke of transitory thynges.Psal. cxxxvi. For god is the lorde which geueth meate to al fleshe.Psal. cxlvii. He geueth, as the Psalmo­graphe saith, fode to the cattel, and fedeth the yonge rauens that call vpon hym. He fedeth ye Turke, the Saracen, the Iewe, and all the ra­ble of Infidelles for their creacion sake, and for his mercies sake. He therfore wil not leaue them that be hys faythfull people vnprouided, socourles and destitute of help. He geueth the vyle wormes of ye earth not only theyr beyng, but also wher of to lyue: he therfore wil not se the [Page] faythful man lacke, which is made lyke vnto hys owne similitude and image. Let vs therfore neuer des­payre eyther of fode, or of apparel. God gaue vs the lyfe, god wyl preserue the lyfe. God gaue vs the bodie, god wyl clothe the body. Away therfore wyth carefull pensiuenes, and pensyue care. Let vs cast oure eyes on gods most holy and infal­lible prouidence, which is certeine and neuer fayleth.Luke. xii. Take hede and beware of couetousnes, sayth oure sauiour christ, for no mans lyfe stā deth in thabundaunce of the thin­ges, whych he possesseth.

Euse.

I beseche god geue vs all grace so to do.

Theo.

Amen good lord, I most hartely beseche the.

phil.

Further­more that we shulde be certeine of corporall necessaries,Math. vi. Christe oure Sauioure hath commaunded vs in that prayer which we cōmomlye call the Pater noster, and so lyke­wise [Page] taught vs, that we shulde axe oure bodely sustenance of our hea­uenly father. Thys wolde he not haue done wythout doute, if he had not ben certeine, that according to our requestes our heauenly father wyl deale wyth vs, & geue vs our desyres.

Chri.

Of whom shulde the chyld craue but of his father?

Phil.

Again to make vs thorowli assured of this thyng, what cōfortable promises haue we in ye holy scriptures? [...]. vii. Axe & it shal be geuen you: Seke & ye shal finde: Knocke & it shal be o­pened vnto you. For who soeuer axeth receiueth, and he that seketh, findeth, & to him that knocketh it shal be opened. Is ther any mā among you, whiche if his sonne axed hym bread, wolde offer him a stone? Or if he axed fyshe, wold he profer him a serpente? If ye then whych are e­uyl, can geue to your children good gyftes, how muche more shal your [Page] father which is in heauē, geue good thinges to thē that axe him?Marke. xi What soeuer ye desire when ye praye, be­leue that ye shal haue it, & it shal be done vnto you.Iohn. xvi. Uereli, verely I say vnto you, what soeuer ye shall axe the father in my name, he wyl geue it you. Axe and ye shal receiue, that your ioye may be full. The lorde is at hande,Philip. iiii. sayth. S. Paule. Be not carefull, but in all thynges shewe your peticion vnto god, in prayer, and supplicacion, wyth geuinge of thankes. Many other moste swete and confortable promises haue we in the holi scriptures, wherbi we be assured to obtaine of god, what soeuer we axe of hym beyng agreable to hys moste holye wyll.i. Ihon. v.

Euse.

To axe necessaries for our liuyng, is according to goddes wyl.

Phile.

Truth. For God hath com­maūded vs so to do, and promised that he wyll heare vs.

[Page] Iacob and Salomon, [...]ene. xxviii. as the scripture wytnesseth, [...]roue. xxx. axed of god neces­saryes for theyr liuynge, and were heard.

Chri.

Although we ought to depende on gods prouidence, and by stronge fayth and feruent pray­er loke for all good thinges at his hande, yet maye not we be idle, and lye wyde open, gapyng when godwyll put meate into our mouthes lyke careles swyne.

Phil.

God for­byd. [...]. v. For as the holy man Iob sayeth: A man is borne to labour, euē as the byrde is to flye. From the beginnynge, god appoynted man to labour, [...]ene. iii. saying: In the swete of thy face shalte thou eate thy bread, vntyll thou returne vnto the earthe, whence thou wast taken: For earth thou art and vnto earth shalt thou returne. [...]sal. cxxviii. Dauid also sayeth: Thou shalt eate the labours of thine own handes. [...]essa. iii The holy apostle Saynte Paul geueth a cōmaūdement, that [Page] if ani man wil not labour, the same shuld not eate, and geueth a charge that all men worke wyth quietnes, and eate their owne bread. We be­seche you brethern, sayth he, that ye studye to be quiete,ii. Tessa. ii [...] and to meddle wyth your owne busines, and to worke wyth your owne handes, as we cōmaunded you.Ephe. iiii. Againe, lette him that stole, steale no more, but let him rather labour with his handes some good thynge, that he may haue to geue vnto him that nedeth. Saint Paul calleth it thefte for a­ny man to lyue of the laboure of o­ther mens handes, idelly and wythout any certein vocacion, and com­maundeth that all suche shulde la­bour and get them some honest oc­cupacion, wherby they maye be the more able both to find them selues, and also to distribute vnto other,Gene. iii. that haue nede. Our fyrst father Adam toyled in the earth accordinge [Page] to gods cōmaundement, and so ga [...] his liuyng. [...]nt. iiii. Cain was a plowman. Abel was a shepeheard. Iuball ex­ercised musycke. Thubalcain was a smyth, and a grauer in metal. No he was a planter of vineyardes. Abraham, [...]ne. ix. Lot, Isaac, and Iacob were plowmen and shepeheardes. Ioseph was a Magistrate, [...] xiii. xxvi. [...]. x [...]. and a publike minister in the cōmon weal of Egipte vnder kyng Pharao. [...]odi. iii.

Moses was a Shepehearde, and kepte the shepe of Iethro hys fa­ther in lawe, [...]od. i. Prieste of Madian. The Chyldren of Israell got their liuynge wyth harde and paynfull laboure in Egypte vnder Kynge Pharao.Reg. xvi Dauid before he was a­noynted Kynge of Israell was a shepeheard. All the Priestes and Leuites of the olde lawe, [...]od. xxviii. euerye man according to his vocacion la­boured by geuynge attendaunce in the tēple, by kyllinge of beastes, [Page] and offerynge sacrifices,Luke. i. by study­inge the Scriptures of God,Mala ii. and teachinge the same vnto the peo­ple.Amos. i. etce. Amos the Prophet, was one of the shepeheardes at Ther­na.Daul. xiiii. Abacuch the Prophete trauailed in husbandrie.Marke. vi. Christ him selfe was a carpenter.Math. iiii. The Apostles of Christ were fyshers. Paule laboured with hys own handes, and gat both his owne liuynge,Actes. xx. and others that were wyth hym. Saynt Luke was a Phisicion,Collo. iiii. and as some wryteth a Paynter also. Aquila was a maker of tentes, of the whych occupacion Saynte Paule was.Actes. xviii.

Symon,Actes. x. Sayncte Peters hoste was a Tanner.Actes. ix. Dorcas that vertuouse womanne made garmentes wyth her owne handes, and gaue them to the poore.

Ther was no good & godly man euen frome the begynninge of the world, which hath not practised sū ­what [Page] to get his liuynge, and lyued in some certein honeste and godlye vocacion, wherin he myght wyth a good conscience eate his breade.

The Magistrate is called of god to rule wyth the temporall swerde, to be gouernoure of the people, to promote goddes worde, to noryshe the preachers of the same, to exer­cyse iustice, to defende the wydowe and fatherles, to conserue the com­mon weale, to banyshe all false religion out of his realme, and to seke the quietenes and cōmoditie of his subiectes, euen as a father seketh the health and profite of hys naturall sonne. The spirituall minister is appoynted of God to rule wyth the swerde of the spirite, whych is the word of god, to rebuke sinners wyth the lawe, yea and to excomu­nicate them, if thei be obstinat and wyll not repent, to conforte and cheryshe the weake with the swete promises [Page] of the holy scripture, to encorage the stronge, & to exhorte them to go forward vntyl they waxe ancient, and be perfect in Christes religion, to minister the sacramentes, to make colleccions for the pore, to mayntein hospitalitie, for the relief of the nedie. The subiecte is called of god to obey, and to be in subiec­cion vnto his superiours, and eue­rye one of them is bound by the cō maundemēt of god, to lyue in their vocaciō. The Lawer, in pleadyng and defending poore mens causes: The Shomaker, in making shoes, the Tailour, in making garmētes, the Merchaunt, in occupyinge merchandise faythfullye and trulie, the Scholemaster, in bringing vp his scholers godly and vertuously, the Father of the houshold, to prouide for his familie, the Mother of the housholde, to looke vpon thynges perteyning to the house, and to see [Page] her familie well gouerned, and so forth in al other personnes, in what soeuer state God hath called them. Euerie man in his vocacion ought to laboure, and by no meanes to be idle. And who so dothe, God wyll blesse his laboures, and sende hym wherewyth abundauntlie to lyue.

Theo.

The wyse manne saythe: the slugherde ploweth not for colde, [...]roue. xx. wherefore he beggeth in herueste, and getteth nothinge. He that ga­thereth in heruest, is a wyse sonne: but he that is idle in somer, is the sonne of confusion. Againe: He that tylleth his fielde shall be satis­fied, but he that is idle, shall suffer honger. [...]ro. xxviii.

Philemon.

God in deede hathe promised to fede vs, but yet so, that we oure selues laboure for oure liuinge. God hath promised vs saluacion in Chryste Iesu, yet so, that wee beleue hys pro­mise, [Page] and laboure to the vttermost of our power, to frame oure lyues accordynge to hys blessed wyll.

Dauid saythe not onlye,Psal. xxxvii. Spera in domino, truste in the Lorde, but he addeth vnto it, et fac bonitatem, and do good. All oure affiaunce and truste, must be reposed in God, and all good thynges muste be lo­ked for at his hand, yet must we do that lyeth in oure power concer­nynge all those thynges that wee desyre to obtayne of God.

Therefore Chryste saythe:Math. vi. Take no thought. He sayth not, laboure not. The pensiue care and thought takyng for our liuyng, wherwyth the Heathen be so greatly disquie­ted, we must caste away from vs, and laie it vpon God, which careth for vs: but as for labour, whych is layed vpon vs of God as a Crosse for oure synne, and disobeience in [Page] Adam, we may not refuse, euery mā in his vocacion, but ioyfullye take it vpon vs, and geue god thankes, that by suche meanes without our care and thought takyng, he wyll fede vs accordynge to his worde. For what are all oure paynes, la­bours, and trauailes, if god blesse them not?sal. cxxvii. as the Psalmograph sayeth: Except the lord build the house their labour is but lost that builde it. Except the lord kepe the citie, he watcheth but in vaine that kepeth it.

Chri.

Me thinke the occasion of thys dearth, wherwyth we are now oppressed, is not so greatly to be ascribed vnto the couetousnes of certeine gredye gripes, as vnto oure owne selues, vnto our vngodlines and dissolucion of lyfe, whiche so lyue, as though there were no God at all, so behaue oure selues, as thoughe there were neither heauen nor hell. They whych haue the gospell [Page] swymminge in their lyppes, so liue cleane contrary to the doctrine of the gospell, as though ther were no gospell at all. In ambicion, in pride, in couetousnes, in enuye, in malice, in wātonnes of lyfe. &c. thei geue place to none. Another sorte are so drowned in papistry, in supersticion, in hipocrisie. &c. and burne wyth suche an immortall hatred a­gainste gods worde, that they can neyther abyde that (otherwyse then it shall serue their phansie) nor the preachers of it, nor yet suche as a uaunce it. Can God do any otherwyse then sende his plages, where such impiety & vngodlines reigne? It commeth from gods great mer­cies, that we be not consumed, and handled as Sodome & Gomorre. But our owne damnacion slepeth not, if we do not bothe shortly and earnestly repente and amende.

Phil.

Trueth it is in dede, that god [Page] many times sendeth the plage of famyne into the worlde for sinne, as it came to passe in the tyme of that moste wycked an idolatrous kynge Achab, and at diuerse other tymes. [...]ute. xxviii. And Moses that most excellente Prophet of God, sayth: If thou wylte herken diligently vnto the voice of the lorde thy god, to obserue & do al his cōmaundemētes, whych I cōmaunde the thys daye, the lord wil set the vp on hie aboue all nacions of the earthe. And all these blessinges shall come on the, and ouertake the, if thou wylt her­ken vnto the voice of the Lord thy god. Blessed shalte thou bee in the towne, and blessed in the fieldes. Blessed shall be the frute of thy bodie, the fruite of thy grounde, and the fruite of thy cattell, the frute of thy oxen, and thy flockes of shepe. Blessed shall thy almerye bee and thy store. Blessed shalte thou bee [Page] both when thou goest out, and blessed when thou comest in. &c. The Lord shal commaund the blessinge to be with the in thy store houses, and in all that thou setteste thyne hande to. &c. The Lorde shal make thee plenteouse in goodes, in the frute of thy bodye, in the frute of thy cattell, and in the frute of thy grounde. &c. The Lorde shall o­pen vnto thee hys good treasure, e­uen the heauen, to geue rayne vnto thy lande in due ceason, and to blesse all the laboures of thyne hande. &c. But and if thou wylte not herken vnto the voyce of the Lorde thy god, to kepe and do all his cōmaundementes and ordinaū ces, which I cōmaunde thee thys daie, then all these curses shal come vpon the, and ouertake the. Cursed shalte thou bee in the towne, and cursed in the fielde. Cursed shall thine almery be, and thy store.

[Page] Cursed shall the frute of thy bodye and the fruite of thy lande be, and the fruite of thy oxen, & the flockes of thy [...]hepe. And cursed shalt thou be when thou goeste in, and when thou goest out. And the lorde shall send vpon the famine, honger and goynge to naught in all thynges that thou settest thine hand to, vn­tyll thou be destroyed and brought to naught quyckely, because of the wyckednes of thyne inuencions, in that thou haste forsaken the lorde. And the heauen that is ouer thy heade shall be brasse, and the earthe that is vnder thee, Iron. And the Lorde shall turne the rayne of thy lande vnto pouder and duste, euen from heauen shal they come [...]oune vpon thee, vntyl thou be broughte to naught. &c. Thou shalte carrye muche sede out in to the fielde, and shalte gather but lytle in: For the vermine shall destroy it. The Pro­phet [Page] Esai also saythe:Esai. i. If ye be lo­uynge and obediente, ye shall eate the good thinges of the earth. But if ye bee obstinate and rebellious, ye shal be deuoured with the swerd. For thus the lorde hath promised wyth his owne mouthe. These sen­tences, with many other in the holy scripture [...]d [...] euidentlye shewe, that the plage of famine and honger is sent vnto vs of god for our sinnes.

Euse.

It is conuenient therefore, that we all harken to the admoni­cion of God geuen by the Psalmo­graphe,Psal. lxxxi. whyche is, that there be no straunge God amonge vs, nor that we worshyppe any other God, but hym alone, whych only is the lorde our god that deliuered vs oute of the spirituall Egipte, that is, from the seruitude and tirannye of Sa­tan. If we so do, God promiseth that he wyll geue vs what soeuer we aske of hym. He wyll feede vs [Page] wyth the finest wheat floure, yea & satisfie vs wyth hony out of the stonie rocke. But to obteine of God this abundaunce & wealth, we may worship, and haue no straunge goddes. These straunge & new founde gods, are not only idolles and maumettes made of wood or stone, whi­che in tymes past the simple and folyshe ignorant people worshipped as gods, but the abhominable vi­ces, whych reigne so comonly nowe amonge vs, I meane couetousnes, pryde, ambicion, glotonie, lecherie, malyce. &c. These are straunge goddes. These muste we put oute of our breastes, if we wyl haue god mercyfull and liberall vnto vs.

For is thys reasonable for vs to serue straunge goddes, and to geue ouer oure selues as bonde slaues to them, and yet to requyre our wa­ges and rewarde of the true and onlye liuynge God? What felowship [Page] hath righteousnes wyth vnrighte­ousnes?ii. Cor. vi. What company hath light with darkenes? What cōcord hath Christ wt Belial? Either what part hath he yt beleueth with an infidel? How agreeth the tēple of god with idolles?Roma. vi. Know ye not saith .s. Paul how that to whom soeuer ye cōmit your selues as seruaūtes to obey, his seruantes ye are to whō ye obei, whether it be of sinne vnto deathe, or of obediēce vnto ryghteousnes? Euery one yt doth sinne, is the ser­uāt of sinne,Iohn. vii [...] saith Christ. We must first of al be gods seruantes, before we flatter our selues wt the obtey­ning of the good thinges promised by god, or elles we deceiue our sel­ues. If we be once the seruantes of god, and faithfully continue in his seruice, then maye we be bolde to axe of hym oure wages, and to per­swade oure selues, that all the con­fortable Histories and sentences, [Page] whych we reade in the holye scrip­tures, perteine vnto vs, otherwyse we haue no more to do wyth them, then the Turcke or the Iewe. And if we receiue anye good thynge at the hande of god beyng not his seruauntes, we receiue it as all other Infidelles do, vnto our damnaciō.

phil.

I confesse neyghbour Eusebius all this to be true, whyche you haue now spoken. Neyther meante I by talking so much of gods gentlenes and liberalitie, & by alledge­ynge all these confortable histories and sentences, to stablyshe the Idolaters in their Idolatrie, the wyc­ked in their wyckednes, the coue­tous worldlynges in their coue­tousenes, the proude in their pride, the lecherous in their lecherie, the idle bellies in their idlenes. &c. and yet notwythstanding to loke for al those good thynges at the hand of god, whych belonge vnto his ser­nauntes, [Page] as he wytnesseth by the Prophete,Esai. lxv. but to declare for your conforte and myne, that so manye as geue them selues ouer to God, beleue in him, feare him, serue him, and lyue accordynge to their voca­cion, shall neuer peryshe for hon­ger, but at all tymes haue what so­euer is necessarye for them. And if any shuld chaunce to famishe (whi­che seldome or neuer happeneth) God suffereth them so to do, partly that he may the soner call them vn­to hys glorie, partelye, that their death maye turne vnto the greater dampnacion of suche vnmercifull monstures, as suffered the seruauntes of god to peryshe for honger.

Theo.

We knowe your godlye en­tente, brother Philemon, neyther doth our neyghboure Eusebius o­therwyse take the matter. And I for my parte thanke you ryght her tely for your godlye admonicions, [Page] frely confessinge that I am muche edified by your talke, and strongly enarmed agaynst the dartes of po­uertie and honger, when soeuer thei shall go aboute to oppresse me.

Christo.

We all confesse no lesse.

Euse.

I spake that I spake, to this ende, that men shulde not flatter them selues wt the swete & confortable promises of god, when they lyue in all wyckednes, and abhominaci­on, whych promises perteyne not vnto them, but vnto the faythefull seruauntes of god, whych shall en­ioye no lesse at the hande of god, then he hath promised. If they wyl enioye the lyke commoditie, they must do the like seruise. Thei must away with their straunge and new founde goddes, I meane, pryde, couetousenes, gluttonie, whoredome, malice. &c. and serue the onlye true, and liuynge God.

Philemon.

Well neyghboures, to knyt vp our talke [Page] wyth fewe wordes, ye haue hearde howe beneficiall God is to them that put theyre truste iu hym, and lyue accordyng to theire vocacion: so that those that be faytheful nede not to despayre of comfort, seme the scarsenes of thynges so greate, that it bryngeth presente deathe almoste wyth it. For in that dearthe and penurye, the faytheful man that casteth hys care on God, and han­geth wholly on hys fatherlye pro­uidence,Psal. xxii. maye well saye wyth the Psalmograph. If I walcke in the myddes of the shadowe of deathe, I will not be afrayde of any euell, for thou arte wyth me. God is euer present wyth hys people in al their tribulacion,Psal. xci. & he wyl vndoubtedlie delyuer them, & saue them harmles. Thys nowe remayneth, that when ye come amonge the poore neadye Christians, ye conforte them wyth these swete scriptures that ye haue [Page] hearde, which wythout all doubte shal greatly stirre and quiete their myndes, and refrayne them frome attemptyng any vnlawful redresse of thynges after this. Agayne, ac­cordinge to your habilitie, releue their pouertie wyth your ryches.

Exhorte your ryche neyghboures lykewyse to be beneficiall to the poore, as the faythful stewardes of God, remembrynge that vnto that ende god hath endued them wyth theyr possessions. Praye vnto god that he maye geue vnto the coue­touse worldlynges, a merciful and liberall herte, that after thys they maye no lesse wyllynglye seeke the profite of their neyghboures, then hytherto they haue soughte theyr owne priuate lucre, and singulare commoditie. To conclude, pray vnto god, that euerie one of vs maye so lyue, and so frame our lyfe according to his wyl, that he may vouchsafe [Page] to blesse vs, and send vs neces­saryes for our liuyng, that we may the more frelye, and wyth the more quiete mindes, serue him in holines and ryghteousnes all the dayes of oure lyfe.Luke. i. Well neyghboures, I praye you take the paynes to come into the parlour wyth me. Ye shall take your parte of suche homelye fare as I haue. And I praye yon be no straūgers: The ofter ye come the more welcome shall you be.

Euse.

We thanke you moste gentle neyghboure Philemon, and praised be the lord for your godlye and confortable exhortacions. Chri.

AMEN.

Geue the glorie to god alone.

¶Imprinted at London by Iohn Day dwellynge ouer Aldersgate, and William Seres dwelling in Peter Colledge. Anno. M. D. L. The fontrene daye of Februarye.

¶Cum priuilegio ad impri­me [...]dum solum.

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