THE IVSTIFICATION OF MAN BY FAITH ONLY: MADE AND VVRITTEN by Phylyp Melanchton. and Translated out of the Latyn in to this oure mother tonge by Ni­cholas Lesse of London

AN APOLOGIE OR DEfence of the worde of God, decla­ringe what a necess [...]ry thynge it is, to be in all mennes handes, the want wherof is the only cause of al vngodli­nes committed thorowe the whole earthe, made by the sayde Nicho­las Lesse.

Augustinus in Psal. 31.

Si vis esse alienus a gratia iacta merita tua.

TO THE MYGHTIE AND VICTORIOVS PRINCE Edwarde by the grace of God duke of Somerset, Lorde gouernoure mooste fortunate of the Kynge hys hyghnesse owne proper persone, and Lorde Pro­tector of the Realmes of Englande and Irelande, with the rest of the Kyng his dominions on bothe syde the Seas. Nicholas Lesse of London desyrethe good helth both of body and minde with long conti­nuance therein to the plesure of the Lorde.

COnsidering and pondering with my selfe (mooste noble Lorde and verye frende of God) the greate diuersitie of opinions nat onely in thys Realme but in al other realmes and dominions, ry­sen and spronge for lacke of the true knowledge of the worde of God, con­cernynge the iustificacion of man, be­syde the greate variaunce and mortall hatred, nat onely betwene man and man [Page] but also betwene Realme and Realme that almoste no countrye, no region, or place, is voyde of thys and suche lyke kynde of controuersies, to no small dy­structyon of Christians: the matter be­ynge in the time of Lent last past (which was in the yeare of our lorde. 1547. by the Kynge hys grace hys owne subiec­tes before his highnes in his Chappell moste clarkely and connyngly declared and made open that nothynge coulde be desyred more: it semed to me a thynge very necessarye and expediente: amonge many, whiche haue written on this ar­ticle: accordynge to good and syncere doctryne, to select and chose on [...] doynge: whose labour and payns shulde seme to me so fruytfull: whose reasons so pl [...]ne, so mete for the capacitie of al men to be perceyued and vnderstanded: that for the comon profite and lerninge of all men (whiche are wyllynge to knowe and learne the truthe): it shulde seme to me no laboure, no payne, but great pleasure and comfort, to trāslate it into this oure mother tonge. That lyke wyse as they haue bene instructed and taught by the liuely voyce of godly and learned preachers: so they maye be­ynge at home in theyr houses, certifie and confyrme theyr owne conscience, [Page iii] euery man as God wyl gyue him grace to receyue it.

OF the which article of Iustification: for as muche as there be thre sundry opinions and myndes of men, so diuers so contrary and different one from that other that almoste no blak [...]i [...]s more con­trary to whyte, beynge no lykenesse of similitude and agrement in them euery man for his perswasion with to the and nayle striuinnge and contendynge: that almost the whole some of our belefe is nowe come to that case that it is no­thynge els but a bare contention, it is nedeful (I say) therefore that there be set abrode to al the kynge his moste lo­uynge subiectes in wrytynge some per­fect instruction (all other phantasies and opinions sayde asyde (wherein be­ynge lerned they may knowe certaynly wherto they may-stycke and confyrme theyr myndes.

¶ There is one kynde of men whiche contende that by theyr owne workes and merites, they ar iustified, to whom theyr sauyoure and redemer is of none effecte and serueth for no purpose except it be to theyr condempnation, bicause they do refuse so gentyll and lo­uynge a sauyoure, makynge and deuy­synge to them selues, euerye man after [Page] his owne phantasye a sundrye sauyoure and redemer, some one thyngesome an other.Papistes, Iewes. The whiche sorte of men are the foule and stynkynge Papystes, and also the Iewes. Of the whiche twayne the Iewes are least to be blamed: for as muche as the Papystes professynge the name of Christ do vtterly denye Christe in byenge and sellynge the saluation of man: none otherwise than Iudas dyd bye and sel his maister. I feare me, that lyke mischefe wyll happen to them, as dyd to Iudas, whiche for sorowe moost desperate, wente a [...] [...]ed him selfe. The Lorde gyue them g [...] to repente whyle they be in the waye. And as for workes they do drowne mennes consci­ence in them so muche, that withoute they do them as they be prescribed there shal remaine no hope of saluation: more redy to dryue men headlynge into desperation, than to any trust of the bloude of Christe. The Iewes are no Iewes in comparation to these. They haue the Scriptures to serue for theyr purpose at the leaste they do make them to do them seruyce as the Deuyll, what tyme he tempted the Lorde. If it wolde please God to open the eyes of the Iewes, that they myght beholde and se the lyghte of the ryght Messias, whiche is come all [Page iiii] redy to vs: whome they yet loke after, they wolde deteste and abhorre these foule Cankres they wolde nat knowe them to be anye of the flocke of Christ: but of Sathan: to whom they do seruice of whom they shall be rewarded.

¶ An other sorte there is, to whome Christe is somewhat more beholdynge nat so openly malicious as they be: but no lesse dangerous, for as much as they do come more vnder coloure of vertue. At whose handes Christe lesyth nat all hys laboure, beynge allowed as yet for halfe a sauioure. Our saluation beynge cutte of in the myddes: that one halfe to Christe: and that other to theyr owne workes ascrybed.Hipocrites These be the holy Hi­pocrites which perceyuynge and seyng the lyght of the Gospell so shynynge a­brode all the worlde, that theyr abho­minable traytery to God can no lenger be hydde, do nowe at the last mitigate and swage some thynge that greate and foule errour, wherein they made Christ to lese all his labour, all his paynes, all hys bloudshed as muche as lay in them. They do sause it (I saye) with Sew­gar: they do myxe Hony with Poyson to begyle the poore soules the more craftely and subtyllye, sayenge that with workes and faythe togyther they muste [Page] or iustified, so that from our iustification in no case they wyl exclude workes: for none other purpose, but to mayn­teyne and holde vp the fylthye dignitie of those workes which they haue inuented by theyr owne brayns for lucre sake The worde of God,The word of God is Triacle to the soule. whiche is the most fyneste Triacle that maye be: can nat chose but expell this deadelye Poyson from the herte of man.

¶ T [...] thyrde sorte knowledgyng and confessynge Christe in his owne kinde: that he is the only sauiour, the only redemer,Trewe prechers. our only mediatour and aduocate, whiche shewethe to his father in oure cause hys bloudy payns, which he hath suffered and passed for vs these men do teache that onely by faythe euery Chry­styan man is iustified in the bloude of the Lambe, whiche is Christ. Nat there by excludynge repentaunce and good workes from our lyfe:Good workes. as the Papystes, and Hypocrytes do continuallye barke and blaspheme: but excludynge them from the cause of our iustification,The cause of our iustification. whi­che cause is only Christ and his merites These be those men which wolde fayne that Christ had hys ryghte and hys ho­nour nat mynyshed: these men wyll and teache him to be a whole sauioure: nat scanteled, mangeled, peced and botched [Page v] Of these sort of newe learned men was Iohn Baptyste:Iohn Ba [...] tyst. whiche for all that he taught the people repentance and knowleginge of theyr sinne, yet for al that he declared, that all that wolde nat serue them, dyd they neuer so muche, shewing to the people with his fynger him whi­che shulde be theyr sauiour, which came downe for none other cause but to take awaye the sinne of man. If there hadde bene any other thinge beside him, wherin our saluation shulde consist: he wold nat haue sayde, beholde the Lambe of God whiche take the away the sinne of the worlde, he wold haue ben wel ware of it: he wolde nat haue spoken these wordes so playne to be any maner of occasion of heresye or diuision, he wolde haue sayde: loke, yender is he, whiche may do muche in thys cause: he shalbe a greate part of youre saluation: but yet take good hede and truste nat to muche to hym:Iohn fyrs [...] preached [...] pentaunce [...] afterwar [...] the Gospe [...] trust to your workes also or els ye may be deceyued. This or suche lyke oration wolde he haue made to his hea­rers. But he was wel assured of the contrarye. And therfore he shewed to them theyr synne, that they myght se and ab­horre theyr abhomination of lyfe: theyr fylthynes of maners: to the entent they myght be the more apte to receyue com­forte [Page] of the Gospell: whiche is the glad tidinges. And so after he had rebuked them of theyr sinne: with lyke counsell to repent and to forsake theyr vnhappy lewdnesse: then he taught them the Gospell: that [...]hriste shulde take awaye the sinne, nat of one or twayne: or of a fewe in nombre: but of all the whole world. To this brasen walle he commaunded them to leane harde: whiche is vnable to be broken. If he hadde spoken these wordes within these fewe yeres in London,Smithfeld [...]ger san­ [...]uinis. I thynke nat the contrarye but Smythfelde wolde haue bene to whote for hym: he shulde haue learned, what it is to roste a faggot, he shulde haue bene taught to knowe: howe Iudicare came to Crede for hys true preachynge.

¶ Thus the people beynge taught .iii. maner of sundry wayes: euerye teacher hauynge his patron: hys heade: hys bearer: hauynge and makynge the Scrip­tures for theyr purpose: howe is it pos­sible (moste noble and Godlye disposed Lorde) that the poore and simple people shuld be in an vnitie,Diuersitie [...]f prea­ [...]hynge cau [...]ethe dys­ [...]orde. concord, and loue. Howe is it possible the carte shulde go forwarde when the horse drawers do plucke and drawe sundry wayes. What tyme shal a shyppe be brought to her vi­age [Page vi] ende, yf euerye maryner styrrethe a contrary course: what tyme wolde it be or these foure persons shuld mete, if the one goeth East, another West, the third Northe, the fourthe Southe: we muste all go one waye: we must kepe the kyng his highe waye, nat turnynge into by pathes and lanes for lesyng and goyng forth of the ryght way, which is Christ We must kepe all one course to the port of saluation.

¶ I do offer therfore: & exhibite to your grace the mynd, iugement and sentence of that noble clarke: and Godlye deuyne Phylyp Melanchton:Phylypp Melanchton. a man for his in­tollerable payns and sweat, in settynge forthe the woorde of God susteyned by hym: worthy to be hadde in most hyghe estymatyon: touchynge the artycle of oure iustyfycatyon: by me translated forthe of the Latyne into Englysshe: by hym so playnly: so openly set forthe, his argumentes, reasons, examples, and auctorities beynge so manye and so many­fest: that euerye plowman, whiche can fynde in hys herte to learne to knowe to whome he shal cleaue for his saluation: may with no great payns ye in passing of his tyme come to the knowledge: whereto he shal stande and stycke to for [Page] his saluation. Whose doctryn in al matters: and specially in thys, i [...] so conformable and correspondent to the Scrip­tures bothe olde and newe: nat writhen nor wrasted (as shall appeare to the rea­ders) that I thinke there be no man, which can be so peruerse and malicious that can fynde any faulte therewith. Excepte he wyll denye vtterlye Christe to be Christe and the Gospel to be trewe. If there be any suche (as there hath ben in dede: and I feare me there be many: whiche louynge the Deuyll as well as the Gospell wyll put awaye theyr ser­uauntes: yf they maye knowe that they do but ons smatter therof) such I wold wyssh to be banyshed foor from al mens company: suche wolde I desyre to be in lowe auctoritie & rule: that they might do lytell harme or none, I wolde wisshe (I saye) that God of hys infinite mer­cye wolde open theyr eyes that they myghte se the lyghte of theyr saluation that theyr eyes shoulde be nomore blea­red with the phantasies and auctori­ties of men.

¶ Thys worke bycause the learned as well as the vnlearned myghte be full instructed and ledde as it were by a lyne to the perfecte knowledge and vnder­standynge [Page vii] of thys proposition. Onely faythe iustyfyethe. Therefore it is deuyded into foure partes.

¶ The fyrste conteynethe the declara­tyon of this vocable and word Iustice howe it is taken in the Phylosophers and howe with the Gospell, and what they be bothe in effecte, shewynge what the lawe of God doth requyre of vs: and what we can perfourme of oure owne selfes. And at the laste what remedy by what meanes is to be hadde for oure in­fyrmytye.

¶ The seconde parte doethe teache the ryghte vnderstandynge of these voca­bles and wordes. The lawe, the Gos­pell, Synne, Iustification, Grace, and faythe, howe and in what maner after the sincere doctryn of the Gospel euery one of these vocables must be taken. The blyndnes and ignoraunce wherof: hath broughte so greate darkenesse into the worlde: that the cleare bryghtnesse of the Gospel coulde nat be perceyued: but made darke, clowdye, and so mysty that men hadde no lyst to haue the worde of God in theyr handes, as a thynge most asperous and bytter and fore frome all comforte. The whiche thinge did cause the vngracious and peruerse maner of [Page] interpretacion of the sayde vocables and wordes contrary to the ryght sence and meanynge of them. The ryghte vn­derstandynge and meaninge therof perceyued and knowen: that whiche semyd before darke and cloudye, shall appeare nowe bryghte, shynynge, lyke the sonne as cleare as any Christall: that whiche was harde and rogged: shall be founde softe and tender: and fynally, which se­myd to be as bitter as Gall, shalbe more swete then any Honye. So great an all teratyon shall the worde of God brynge with it.

❧ And bycause that the Papystes do beat into the heades of the simple plain and vnlearned people to styrre them to the hatred of the worde of God, sayeng and beatynge theyr handes that these newe felowes they do teache no good workes: they bydde you do no more but beleue, and you shall be saued, lyue you neuer so licensiously, so lewdly. To cō ­uince them therfore of theyr most deue­lyshe malice and open sclaunder in the thyrde parte he speaketh and teachethe good workes, what workes, and howe they muste be done, howe they shalbe pleasaunt and acceptable to God. The whiche workes he callethe a Christian [Page viii] mannes obedience,A christian mannes obedience. which commeth necessary after faythe. In the which parte he shewethe howe venyall sinne is to be taken, and what sinnes they be whiche makethe vs destytute of grace and the holye Ghooste.

¶ In the fourthe and laste parte, lyke a moost diligent Scholemayster, be settethe forthe one after an other all theyr Sophistical cauillations and croked argumentes, where with they myght deceyue and begyle a ryghte good clerke that bothe you maye knowe what they be, and howe they are to be dissolued and put awaye, whiche thynge shall be very necessary to be marked, that when men do heare them in theyr reasonynge wryenge and wrastynge the woorde of god, thei may stop theyr mouthes with the ryghte vnderstandynge of it, that at the laste they shalbe ashamed to brynge anye more suche durte before men. At thys poynt this Godly clerke finisheth his worke very profytable and necessa­rye for all men. The whiche woorke I wolde exhorte all men to rede earnestly and to marke the auctorities of the scriptures, by hys Godly laboure gethered togyther for the vse of other men. that they may haue them at all tymes in a redynes, [Page] to ferche them forthe of theyr brestes as it were shaftes oute of a quy­uer to serue theyr purpose to the mayn­tenaunce of the trewe worde and glorye of God agaynst the whole rabble of the Papystrie.

¶ In consideration therfore of the most propensed and redye good wyll and fa­uoure, whiche youre grace alwaye hath borne, and doeth beare styll to the most heauenlye worde of God, and to the furderars thereof. I coulde deuysing with my selfe fynde no man more fytte, to whome thys treatyse shulde be dedicate and gyuen better than to youre grace. Whose naturall inclynatyon to al goodnesse to be very Godly, the mooste lucky and prosperous successes of all your af­fayres (the Lorde declarynge his espe­cyall fauoure and loue to youre grace warde, that agayne in hys defence you shoulde haue a stronge stretched oute arme agaynste hys enemyes) do giue so trewe and manyfeste euydence and testyfycatyon, that all Chrystendome spea­kethe moste honourable thereof.

❧ To the whiche worke of Iustyfy­catyon I haue annexed and sette to, a lyttell matter: nat vnfruytefull, I truste, called an Apologye or Defence [Page ix] of the worde of God, declaryng and prouynge howe nedeful it is that the word of God be in the handes of all men and common for al persones, shewynge also what great inconuenyence commeth by the lacke thereof, beynge the only cause of al the detestable enormities and vices whiche are wroughte and commytted thorowe all the worlde. Wherewith as with an apple of myne owne tree moost lowly with all reuerence I submitting my selfe vnto youre grace do presente and gyue, trustynge in the Lorde that accordyng to your olde accustomable gentylnesse, you wyll with no lesse good wyll receyue and accepte thys myne en­terpryse, than it was with a most pure and louynge herte offered vp. Whereby I am surely certayned of .ii. commody­tyes thereby receyued. Fyrste that the purenesse and sinceritie of my herte to your grace ward is hereby declared and also accepted. Secondelye that all they whiche shall receyue any profyt of this translation, shall most thankefully next to God ascrybe the occasyon thereof to your grace, whome I beseche the Lorde long to preserue to the safe tuition and good gouernaunce of oure soueraygne Lorde and vyrgyn Kynge, and to the comforte of all the realme, and dyscom­forte [Page] of al those whiche are Goddes and his grace his enemyes, and specyally to the furderaunce of the worde of God. Whose excellente Maiestie I pray God manye yeares to contynewe with in­crease of all hys Godlye gyftes, that his grace may sprynge and growe of a lyltell swete tender plante to be a strong olde tree with many goodly and comfortable braun­ches.


THE IVDGEMENTE OF PHILIP MELANCHTON concernynge the artycle of the iustyfycatyon of man which is by fayth only.

IN MY BOKE EN­tytuled the common places of the scripture, my mynde and entente was to declare and make o­pen with all simplicitie and plainnesse, as nighe as God wolde gyue me leaue, all that the Prophettes, and Apostles haue written and taughte, concernynge the ar­tycle of iustification, entendynge nowe the selfe same thynge bycause that that kynde of matter is mooste peculyer and proper vnto the Epystle of Paull vnto the Romains purposynge in some places thereof to speke more playnly.

THE Phylosophers do call, Iu­styce, a certayne Obedyence vni­uersal, as touchyng to al vertues, (that is to saye) an outwarde honeste dyscyplyne, the whiche a man by hys owne strength may and can perfourme. The whiche Iustyce,Iustyce of workes. Paull doeth call the Iustice of the lawe, and the Iustice [Page] of workes. We haue often tymes decla­red to you that God wyllethe and com­maundethe that all men shalbe bounde and as it were tyed faste with an oute­warde honest dyscyplyne, as Paull witnesse the sayinge. The lawe is made for the vniuste, and the Lorde doethe pu­nyshe those which be offenders and brekers of this dyscipline, as be those, whiche are swearers, periurous personnes, blasphemers of the Lorde, seditious, manquellers, horemongers, thefes, and lyers. It is true that Arystotle sayethe. Neyther Hesperus, nor yet Lucifer, the nyghte and the daye starre are nat more beautifull and goodly, thā Iustice, that is to say honest discipline. It is forsoth a good ornamēt of man beyng no thyng in the world that thys weak nature of man can or maye perfourme more excel­lente than thys. But yet for all that, we muste be certaynly assured, that this dyscyplyne can nat by any meanes satysfy, and perfourme all that the lawe doethe requyre,Oure oute­warde workes are nat perfect. as the very lawe, but that thys discipline, is nothīg els but as it were a smal shadowe of the lawe bearynge thereto witnesse excellently Paull, the 2.what is to behold moyses vnder a vayle. Corinth. 3. Cap. sayeng these wordes. The Iewes do beholde and loke vpo [...] Moyses with a couered face, vnde [...] vayl, [Page xi] that is to say, nat hauing the very lawe shynynge in them, I do meane the knowledge of God, and a perfect obedyence, suche I saye as can be no more re­quyred, but onlye a fewe outewarde workes. The lawe of God doethe aske at our handes,No man for hi [...] workes is iust be­fore God. nat only externe and outwarde workes, but also a perfecte obedyence, whereby it is easye to be perceyued that no man can be iust before God, that is to saye accepted for the outward dyscyplyne, as the sayde Paull wytnes­seth playnly, by the workes (sayeth he) of the lawe, no flesshe shall be iustified. The whiche sayenge doethe mynyshe, nay plucke away cleane, the commendatyon and prayse of iustyfycatyon nat onlye from ceremonyall workes, but also from morall workes, speakynge of the whole outwarde disciplyne. And where as the Philosophers and lawes hu­mayne, do dyspute and reason of thys outwarde discipline, whiche is the co­uered face of Moyses, they do nat serch howe, or which way a man may be iust, that is to say accepted be for God. Fur­thermore we may nat compare, and set togyther, as of lyke estimation, the sen­tences and myndes of the Philosodhers with the holy learnyng and teachinges of Paull. Lette thys carnall Iustyce [Page] haue his place.What rule beareth this outewarde Iustyce of the Philosophers. That is to saye, lette the lewde wycked and carnall people be brideled and pluckt in with this outwarde discipline. let the teachyngꝭ of the Phylosophers be in the middes of the greate multitude of the people, let them behold the face of Moyses couered nat ascen­dynge vp into the mounte vnto God Let Origenes and suche as be of hys secte continewe styll amonge the blinde people,Origen. nat beholdynge the cleare and open face of Moyses, teachyng and prechyng none other but a carnal outward and fleshely Iustice. For as much then as the naturall reason of man can nat se by what meanes, nor howe, we shuld be reputed iust before God, the Gospel prechethe an other kynde of Iustice,The Iustice of the Gos­pell. nat knowen to mannes reason, but reueled and made open to the fathers, fyrste by God hym selfe, and afterwarde by hys Prophetes more and more declared, and laste of all by Christe him selfe and hys Apostles manifested to the whole world Therfore Iohn saide: God no man did euer se but only the sonne of God whi­che is in the bosom of the father, he hath declared him to vs. As though he wold saye, thys wyll of God that God wolde forgyue frely, and giue lyfe euerlasting for his sonnes sake, no creature, no re [...] son [Page xii] humayne coulde attayne to vnder­stande and perceyue, but onelye by hys sonne manifested and declared. Of the whiche moste merueylous and excellent benefyte, Paul preacheth, whose saying brefelye in the declaration of the Epy­stell I entende to expounde and declare, ye and Christ hys selfe, as it becommeth hym, whiche is a cunnynge craftes mayster, in fewe wordes comprehendynge the whole summe and discipline of the Gospell, commaunded hys disciples to preache repentance and forgyuenesse of sinne in hys name.The totall summe of the preach is of the Go [...] pell is repentaunce and fo [...]gyuenes of sinne fo [...] Christ sake onely. By the whiche wor­des you may perceyue that the ministery and office of the Gospell is fyrste to reprehend and rebuke sinne as witnesseth our mayster Chryste sayenge. The holy Ghoste shal reproue you and rebuke the worlde for sinne. &c. And so the mynde and conscience of man, recognisyng and knowlegynge of olde hys sinne, and for that, the dredefull angre and wrathe of God,Repentance then is moued and styrred with no counterfete and fayned feare, but with mooste heuye teares and sorowes (that he quakethe agayne) which with heuy and depe syghes, beynge ones per­ceyued and felte, the Gospell doeth laye and sette before him that thynge which is full of all comfort vtterynge and pro­nouncynge [Page] that voyce whiche is proper onely to the Gospell, whiche is the pro­mise of Christ his benefyte, declarynge the sonne of God to be the mediator, after that maner that Iohn dyd sette hym forthe and descrybed hym, sayenge. Be­holde and se the Lambe of God, hym I say which taketh awaye the sinne of the worlde. He commaundeth you to be certaynlye assured and persuaded that for thys medyator hys sake, whiche is the sonne of God oure Lorde Iesus Christe we do obteyne remission of our synnes: beynge imputed iuste nat for any of our workes or merites but freely by faythe, that is to say, when we do beleue with­out any wauerynge that we do obteyne those greate benefites for Christe hys sake,when do we obteyne re­mission of our sinne by whome and howe. when we do lyft vp our selfes standynge vpryghte, beynge vnderset with thys faythe, lokyng on no thynge elles but on Christe, then do we obteyne re­mission of our sinnes, and are reputed iuste, that is to saye. God for his mercye sake doeth accepte vs, and sendethe into vs the holy Ghost making vs the sonnes of God, and heyres of lyfe euerlastynge. Bearynge therto wytnesse Iohn. 1. cap. He gaue to them the poure to be made the sonnes of God, to them I saye which do beleue in hys name. These thynge [Page xiii] are playne and easy to be thorowly per­ceyued, and moste fytteste for the vse of our consciences,Dauyd. as by dyuers examples may appere. Dauyd beynge a kynge for hys abhomynable Adultery committed and murder, beyng accused of the Pro­phet: dyd fele in him selfe so greate tor­ment and feare, that he was nat able to stande vnder it, but was borne downe to the ground, the tormentes of his conscience were so heuy, whome afterward the Prophete comfortynge, with thys voyce of absolution, dyd lyfte him vp as it were takynge and lyftynge hym from the grounde by the hande, sayde.The ryght [...] maner of absolution. The Lord hath taken away thy sinne. Thou shalte nat dye. At the whiche voyce Dauyd dyd beleue hys synne to be forgiuen nat for hys owne dignitie,The faythe of Dauyd. deseruynge or merites, but freelye for the mercye of God hys sake. And so he was thorowlye taught and lerned, that the delyuerance frome sinne and deathe is promysed for the sauiour sake, that was to come, beleuynge stedfastlye, that Christe shulde be the onely oblation and sacrifice for the sinne of man. As the psalme bearynge wytnesse sayeth. Thou arte the preeste euerlastynge. &c. with thys faythe Da­uyd steyinge and bearynge hym selfe vp was made iuste: that is accepted before [Page] God to euerlastynge lyfe.what / and how is this worde iuste, taken with the Scrypture. Luke also. 7. cap. The woman came wepynge to Christe knowledgynge her sinnes, and herde of Christ: go thy way in peace, thy fayth hathe saued the.

SO these two motions feare and fayth are set forth and described in our conuersion.Feare and faythe are togyther in oure conuersion. The whiche feare, men vse to call contrition: whiche, (beleue thou verelye). can neuer merite remission of sinne. Naye excepte thou be propte vp with faythe, thy mynde beynge oppres­sed and ouerwhelmed with teares, heuines, & feare: thā must nedes runne head­lynge to euerlastynge deathe. Euen so dyd Saull and Iudas peryshe for euer:Saul. Iudas. nat cōfortyng them selfes in the middes of theyr anguishe and sorow: with faith and knowledge of the mercye of God. And this is the sence of Paull his say­inge. The law causeth angre and wrath that is to saye the lawe driueth into thy stomake and herte, horrible terrors and feare: suche as the psalmyst descrybeth. And Ezechias also: sayenge. Lyke as a Lyon hathe crusshed togyther and bro­ken all to pouder my bones. These tor­mentes excepte that faythe doeth com­forte, and gentylly lyft vp the mindes of men, lokinge and beholdynge onely the promises of Christ: and so (as it were) [Page xiiii] holdethe Christ fast shulde brynge them into vtter dystruction and euerlastynge death. These battayles.Co [...]trition or sorowfulnes without faythe dryueth into desperatyo [...] howe huge and greate they be: we maye learne in the psalmes: beholdynge howe great a bat­tayle Dauyd stroke with him self when he cryed. Lorde do thou nat correct me: nor rebuke thou me in thy furye. Haue mercye and compassion on me. There is no man among the deade creatures that can remembre the, nor yet in Hell anye that can prayse thy name. Caste me nat amonge the dampned creatures, whiche do burne in horrible and euerlastynge hatred of the: and curse yt. Let me nat be throwen into the company of thyne enemyes. And also psalme. 41. O my soule why art thou sadde and heuy: why doest thou thus trouble me. Trust and putte thy confidence in the Lorde: for yet I wyll laude and prayse hym.

OF suche kynde of fyght and bat­tayle Paull doeth speake,The lawe doeth feare the conscience. nat of swines flesshe onely and suche other lyke rytes and obseruations. He cryeth out aloude sayinge. All men are vnder sinne In the whiche wordes he preacheth feare vnto vs. But afterward he doth shew Christ sayenge that we are iustified freelye by faythe. And that we maye perceyue and vnderstande, that he speakethe nat of an [Page] ydle thought or cogitation of the mind but of a stronge fayth,Faythe. which doth fyght with the fearefull tormentes of our conscience, he doeth saye furthermore. Be­ynge iustified by faythe we haue peace, and attōment: and fre passage vnto god.

¶ For as muche then as thys sentence of Paull doethe agree so well with the teachynges and preachynges of the Prophetes. What frowardnes is it, to gyue to Paull an other cleane contrarye vn­derstandynge or sence?

❧ Furthermore I do saye that for as muche as thys sentence by me rehersed concernynge the conuersion or renew­ynge of man: and of our iustification is so playne and manyfest (the vse where­of is here in thys worlde, while we be in thys lyfe) beynge the fyrme, stedfast, and immutable sentence and mynde of the Gospell declared and made open to oure fathers: I can nat tel wel whether the great blīdnes of Chryst his aduersaryes is more to be bewayled and lamented: than the frowarde, croked, and way warde stobbornesse of them is to be most beynyouslye of all men detested and ab­horred in that they do reprehende: naye vtterlye condempne thys good: trewe, and ryght interpretation.

AND here I do most hertely desire [Page xv] and praye all vertuous and charytable men diligentlye to expende and marke, what on bothe partes may be sayde and alledged. Our aduersaryes do confesse, that there must nedes be terrors and tormentes of the minde: but as concerning faythe they be of a contrarye opinion. They be contente also, and confesse the hystorycall knowledge of Chryste: but as touchynge the remyssyon of sinne,An obiectyon of the aduersaries. they do bydde and commaund: that men shuld nat haue to much confidence: but rather to doubte. And yf perchaunce a man doth obteyn the remission of sinne (saye they) it is nat for faythe sake, but for thy merites. By the whiche wordes they do vtterlye extyncte and abolysshe the lyghte and comforte of the Gospell, whiche teacheth vs that for Christe the benefyte of remyssion of sinne, is obteyned. Being therto (to make vs the more certayne and sure) added a promyse, where God commaundethe vs bothe to giue trust, and also to cleane stedfastlye therto: as men thorowly persuaded, that that same promise doeth perteine to vs. That this is the true, and sincere mea­nynge thorowe out all the Gospel: wyl we, or nyll we, we must nedes graunte. For Paull hys selfe doeth refute and reproue that foule & erronyouse opinion [Page] of dubytatyon or doubtynge whether thy sinne be forgiuen the ye or nay,¶ The promyse muste be receyued by faythe. say­ing: that the promise is none other way to be receyued but by faythe: Rom̄. iiii. cap. And therfore by faythe frely (saieth he) that the promise may be made fyrme and out of all doubt. He commaundeth also that we shulde gyue and ascrybe to God only the praise and commendation of all [...]eritie and truthe. Lykewise as Abraham dyd nat doubte with any my­strust, and Iohn 1. the .5. cap. Who that doethe beleue in the sonne of God, bea­rethe wytnesse in hym selfe: who that doeth nat beleue God, he maketh God a lyer. &c Ergo, when we do saye, that by faythe the benefytes of Chryst are obteined, we must nedes vnderstande that we haue them for Christe hys sake. To the whiche promyse of God there is no re­medy but we must gyue oure whole as­sent and consent and ful belefe, that god for his sonnes sake wyll perfourme all that he hath promised. Wherfore fayth doeth nat signifie onely the knowledge of Chryste hystorycally: that is to saye, that Chryste was borne of a vyrgyn im­maculate, that he lyued here in earthe moste poorely: that he preached: that he fasted and prayed: that he was betrayed to the preestes of the Iewes: that he suffered [Page xvi] most sharpe and bytter passion and death: that he did rise agayne the thirde daye from deathe to lyfe: and such other lyke thynges as are conteyned in the history. But faythe doeth signifie also a strong and stedfast confydence and trust in the mercy of God promised to vs for Chryste hys owne sake, to vs (I sa [...]) consentinge and agreinge to the promise of God. Such a fayth Paull doeth require of vs as beleueth with herte and mynde all the articles of the Crede whiche is oure belefe that they be true, that is to say: that for the sonne of God hys owne sake, whiche dyd suffer and ryse agayne for oure sakes: we haue the remission of oure sinne gyuen to vs frelye. For vnto thys artycle all other artycles which by ordre are set before in the Crede,The fynall cause of our belefe. are to be referred, as vnto the fynall cause of oure belefe.

¶ Wherfore the contrary parte reher­synge in their dayly deuotyon and prayers thys artycle of oure belefe (I do beleue the remission of sinne) doeth shewe and declare: howe theyr owne selfes doeth nat consent and allowe that thing whiche they do pronounce and speake with theyr owne tonges in theyr pray­ers. In that they commaunde to doubte of the remission of sinne, theyr owne [Page] lyppes declaringe the contrary: that we shulde nat doubt but that we haue remission of oure sinne. I do knowe diuers men, whiche by the comfort only, which they haue receyued of thys artycle con­teyned in our Crede, haue clene caste a­way the mooste dampnable doctryne of the Monkyshe and Popyshe sort, concernynge dubytation, and merites, committynge them selfe all togither to the comfortable promise of Chryste oure moost mercyfull Lorde.

¶ But for what cause I praye you, is thꝭ word frely which is called in latyn gratis,Frelye. only added by Paul, & nat these wordes also (by oure workes) but for Chryste hys sake. Aboute the whiche wordes, nat onelye the consciences of men, but also the Prophettes and Apo­stles haue spoken largely. It doeth comprehende in it selfe .ii. thynges mooste hyghly to be noted. It doeth exclude all merytynge of oure selfes and our owne deseruynges, settynge as it were before oure eyes the deseruynges and merytes of Chryste. In the which place specially aboue all other is to be obserued and marked the dradfull angre and wrath of God agaynste synne,The greate wrathe of God. in so muche that no kynde of oblatyon or sacrifice coulde pease and swage hys wrathe, but the [Page xvii] death onely of hys owne sonne.The vnspeakable loue of God. On that other syde the greatnesse of his loue to­warde vs is declared in gyuynge his only begotten sonne for oure sake, whiche was an excedynge loue farre passinge al other loues. The whiche bothe as wel the wrathe of God as the loue of him (togyther) we must comprehende and hold fast: what tyme our consciences beynge in the conflycte and battayle agaynste synne, are moste sorowfully payned and greued. To God must we lay for vs the merites of Christe,what lawe muste we wage with God. for whose sake we muste bothe aske and surely truste, and loke for pardō: nat for our merites sake In this poynt consysteth the whole end of thys conflyct and battaile. The mind beynge in greate feare of the wrathe of God doethe nat seke to knowe whether God wyll be mercyfull to them whiche haue sufficiently meryted, and can shew many godlye dedes and other gaye ver­tues. For that thynge the mynde know­eth wel ynoughe without any question that is to say, that God is good and mercyfull to them, that are worthye and without sinne for the knowledge of the lawe, whiche we do brynge into the worlde to vs (as sone as we are borne) doethe teache vs that God is good and mercyfull to them whiche are good, it [Page] is nat that thinge whiche the mynd and conscience seketh after, but an other maner of tryng, that is: whether God wyl be mercyfull to the vnworthye, and to the sinner, ye or nay: wherin this word freely, doeth declare what difference is betwene the Gospel and the lawe. For the lawe doeth teache that God is good and mercyfull:The lawe requy [...]e our owne worthynesse. but besyde that it doethe set forthe a condicion of our owne worthynesse and merytes: sayenge, that god is mercyful to them which are without sinne, or whiche be leaste defyled there­with. As for the Gospel it doth remoue and put away the condicion of our worthynesse and merytes, bearynge witnes that God is recōciled againe to vs frely for the merytes of Chryste his owne sake: and nat for our merytynge: consy­derynge that thys faythe: that is to saye the sure confidence of the mercy of God doeth leane and depende only on Christ and hys merytes. We vse otherwyse in the Scripture in the steade and place of thys exclusyue (frely we are iustified by faythe) to speake after thys maner,Freelye by faythe, only by faythe / and by faith we are iusti­fied is all one. sayinge. Onely by faythe we are iustyfyed. The whiche worde, onely, doeth nat exclude all other kynde of vertues and good dedes, that we shulde nat do them. But it doeth remoue frome our mindes [Page xviii] that dampnable opinion of hope and truste in our merytes and the condicion also of oure owne worthynesse, exclu­dynge it cleane and shuttynge it forthe from the cause of oure iustification or acceptation to God, as here after I wil speake more largely. And verely it is al one thyng to say: By fayth we are made iust, and by faith we are made iust frely: And by onely faythe we are made iuste. For it coulde nat be called faythe, if our confydence were set in oure owne wor­thynes and merytes as the Papystes do dreame. Fayth is clene banyshed away: yf I shoulde thynke that God wyll be then mercifull to me,On what thynge de­pendeth our faythe. when I haue done workes ynough, and meryted sufficient lye, it foloweth therfore that faythe can depende on no thynge, but onely on the promyse of God, whiche promyse doeth shewe to vs Chryste, for whose sake the father hathe promysed that he wyl with oure any fayle be mercyfull vnto vs.

ALSO when Paull (in reasonyng thys matter) doethe demaunde whether by faythe or by workes we shulde be iu­stified:The mercy of God and our wo [...]thynesse are contrary. he doethe meane by that worde faythe: the perfect trust in the mercy promysed for Chryste sake: the which truste of mercy he doeth laye agaynste and as, cleane contrary vnto our worthynesse. [Page] As thoughe he wolde saye to the these wordes folowynge. Howe doeste thou thinke that thy sinnes are forgiuen the, and that thou arte made the chylde of God, for the dignitie and worthynesse of thyne owne workes vertues & other good qualities, or els by the moost ten­der mercy of God only for Christ sake. Therefore trulye he doethe exclude the dignitie of our workes, sayinge, that by faythe we are iustified.

VVHERFORE without doubt thys sentence is exclusiue and barryng of all our worthynes, when Paul saieth By fayth we are iustified: that is to say nat for oure dignitie and deserte: so that who that wyll truly iudge and deme on thys thynge, maye easely perceyue, that it is all one thynge to say. By fayth we are iustified: by faythe we are iustified frelye: and by onely faythe we are iusti­fied. Thus muche haue I spoken that the phrase and maner of speakynge of these wordes myghte be perceyued and weyed diligently. But howe so euer we do vse oure speakinge and wordes: lette vs take hede and beware, that the thing and matter it selfe be nat confounded, and made darke: but that thys sentence exclusyue of all worthynes: may be kept in hys ryght sence farre from our free acceptation, [Page xix] wherby we please God the father for Chryste hys sake. For that ma­kethe the difference betwene the lawe and the Gospell as I haue sayde. Therfore I haue spoken of thys worde, frely, that the vertuous and Godly maye con­syder,Our mery­tes must be repelled frome oure free acceptacion. all merites to be taken and cast a­waye. Nat to make vs to be the more ydle in well doynge absteynynge frome good woorkes. But to make the promyse certayne, whiche promyse shoulde be vncertayne if it shoulde depende on the condicion of our merites, and to rendre to Chryst the honoure due onelye to hym, besyde that it makethe vs se and vnderstande, that all oure dedes, be they neuer so glorious, are neuer able to at­teyne to the perfectnes of the lawe. For faythe doeth spryng forthe of the worde of God: that is from the Gospell:From whē [...] commethe faythe. whi­che Gospell is the promise: wherein the benefyte of Chryst is bothe promysed to vs and also exhibited. For the wyt, and reason of man, by it selfe coulde neuer come to the knowledge of the remission of sinne: yf God had nat opened his wil in a certayne worde, or a certayne pro­myse to vs.

VVE muste also be certaynlye assu­red that thys promysed of the Gospell is vniuersal:The pro­myse of the Gospell to vniuersal [...]. wherfore it is most necessary [Page] of all thynge that good and Godly men be infourmed therof and taught that it is so: bycause, that feble and fearefull myndes, and weake consciences, be al­way with these .ii. questyons combered, of worthynesse, and of election, as by example.

worthynesseFYRST they doubt whether that God wyll receyue to hys mercye those whiche be vnworthy,Electyon. or nay. On that o­ther syde in case that they be worthye, they do mystruste and thynke, that God hathe chosen certayne specyall freendes whome he fauoureth aboue other wyl­lyng to bestowe hys benefytes on them. They do feare also: lest that those bene­fytes do nat perteyne to them, doubting that they be nat of the number of the elected. And thus the reason of man hangethe as it were in a payre of balaunce, wauerynge hyther and thither in doubt fulnesse and mystrust of the wil of God. For the philosophers be of that opinion that God doth fauour and loue a few in nōbre,The blynde opinion of the Phylosophers [...]onceruynge election. of those which be noble men, gouernyng and prosperyng theyr affaires in especyallye at ou [...] all other, all other kynde of men neglected and nat regar­ded. And thys is the minde of some men concerninge predestination (as they cal it) whiche folysshe and weake opinion [Page xx] of man the heauenly voyce of God reprehendeth, In thys poynte dyfferethe the Gospell from the opinions of the Phi­losophers, and from the lawe,wherein doth the Gospell dyffer from the lawe. declaring to vs after an other maner of fasshyon: the wyll of God, than the lawe doeth set forth to vs, shewinge and teachyng that God wyllyngly doethe receyue to hym, ye those whiche be vnworthy, offerynge to all men hys spirite with thys condy­cion, that they do beleue stedfastlye in the promyse.

VVHERFORE let al chrystē mē learne to knowe that the promise is vniuersall perteynynge to all men, as wyt­nesseth many sayenges in the Gospell, as. Come you to me all that laboure and are burdened. And to the Romaynes the iii. cap. The iustice of God thorowe the faythe of Iesu Chryste in and on al men whiche do beleue. And to the Romaines the .x cap. The selfe same Lorde of all men, and ryche for all men. Let vs therfore vnder thys generall and vnyuersal worde comprehende al and euery one of vs togyther iointly and seuerally: bele­uynge that no man is excluded from the promyse whiche perteynethe to all men indyfferently.Predestina­tyon.

VVHERFORE in our communication of iustification we haue nought [Page] to do with predestination. We must be­gynne at the Gospell: whiche fyrste re­bukynge sinne doeth afterward extende and holde forth to vs, the grace and pardon promysed for Chryste hys sake: and that frely: so it be receyued with fayth. Loke we vp therfore al and euery one of vs, on thys general worde, taking good hede that we be nat with the speculati­ons and reasonynge of predestination seperated and pluckt away from the promyse.By what way is the wyl of God searched. For the wyll of God maye nat by any mannes blynde reason, but by hys owne worde onely be searched, iudged, and demed. And lykewyse as the promyses be generall, so do I vnderstand this sayenge. God wylled al men to be saued: the whiche saluation in hys promyses he doeth offer to al men. But mannes folyshe wyl in those thynges, which they wyl nat beleue doeth repoung, and goth agaynste the promyses. And contraryewyse those whiche do holde vp and vn­dersette them selfes with the promyses, they do nat doubte, but that the benefy­tes of Chryste doethe perteyne to them, and be theyrs, bycause they wyll nat make God a lyer. So that when in receyuynge of the Gospell, they do erecte and coragyously lyft vp them selfes, cō fortynge them therewith. Then wor­keth [Page xxi] the holy ghost effectuously in them thorowe the voyce of the Gospell, accordynge to that sayenge. Faythe is by hearynge. And to the Galathyans .iii. cap, that we maye receyue the promyse of Chryste by faythe. And thus when the sycke, feble and feareful myndes be comforted, holpen, and made strong by faith then do they receyue the holye Ghoste. The whiche is the true conuersion, be­ynge called in the Gospel the regenera­tion or newe byrthe, conteynynge in it iii. thynges moost notable, and for vs expedyente.Remission of [...]ane ou [...] iustificatio [...] and the gi [...] of the holy Ghoste a [...] togyther [...] our conuersyon. Remission or forgyuenes of sinne. Our iustification, that is, that we be accepted of God and imputed iuste. Thyrdly the gift of the holy Ghost with lyfe euerlastyng. I haue nowe spoken of the sharpe motions, tormētes & terrors of the consciēce, and also of the comfort whiche we do receyue by faythe. Where fore thys sentence of Paull is to be re­ceyued of al men, beynge nat entangled with foolysshe and ydle questions, but playne, open, and agreable to al the preachynges and techinges of the prophetes and Gospels, gyuynge vs knowledge of greate and weyghtye matters, whiche good and Godly men in this lyfe by ex­perience do fynde true. The knowledge whereof is so necessarye to the churche, [Page] that nothynge is more.

NOVVE therfore I entende, with as fewe wordes as the matter wyl giue me leue, to make playne and declare vn­to you, what these vocables and termes folowynge doo signifie. The lawe, Gospell. Synne, Iustification, Grace, and Faythe.

Lawe.THE Lawe from the Gospell doeth dyffer no small thynge. For the lawe is a doctryne by the whiche we are taught and commaunded of God what maner of men we oughte to be, what thynges we are bounde to do and obserue, and what the contrarye. And albeit that the common weale of Moyses is vtterly extyncte and nowe nothynge at all, yet the moral lawe abideth and remaineth styl, beynge at all tymes one thynge that it was at the begynnyng. The knowlege wherof we are nat so sone borne, but we are endued with it.The lawe of nature. For God wold that some knowlege shuld remain in mā natu [...] to knowe and perceyue what is synne: besyde that, at all times the voyce of the lawe doethe rebuke sinne what tyme it preacheth repentaunce. Whiche thyng Paull wel perceyuynge was induced to saye, by the lawe is the knowledge of sinne Nat meanynge and speakyng on­ly of the ceremonies, but also of the morall [Page xxii] lawes, and of the commandementes accusynge alwaye at all tymes al maner of men. We maye nat reason of the de­uine lawe of God as we do when we do talke of a moral lawe, and of the maners of a cyuyl lyfe.

FOR the cyuyll lyfe doeth require but an externe and an outewarde dyscy­plyne onely that we myght outwardlye appeare honeste and iuste.Ciuyll lyfe what doeth the lawe o [...] god requir [...] But the lawe of God doeth requyre a perfect obedy­ence, bothe an inwarde and an outward as wel a spirituall obedience to appeare iuste before God: as a corporall in the outward obedience of the lawes, where to beareth witnes the commaundement. Thou shalte loue the Lorde thy God with al thy hert. And so Chryst his selfe in Mathewe .v. cap. doethe expounde the lawe.

FOR as muche therefore as the na­ture of man beynge infected and corrupted by the naturall corruption and dy­sease of sinne, whiche dyd sprynge from Adam, can nat possyble perfourme a perfecte obedience, the lawe declarethe the wrathe of God against synne accusinge and condempnynge al men (Chryste on­ly excepte) whiche hathe delyuered vs frome the malediction and curse of the lawe. He hathe delyuered nat onely the [Page] Iewes and al other whiche lyued after the lawe was gyuen forthe, but also the fathers, whiche were before Moyses. Wherfore it doeth folowe that these fa­thers,The fa­thers before Moyses were saued by theyr truste to the promyse. which were before Moyses were vnder a lawe And so beyng accused and brought into greate feare, hadde vtterly peryshed, yf they hadde nat styckt and clouen faste to the promyses of Chryste. For whose sake they knewe well they shuld be deliuered from sinne and death. These wordly, politike, and cyuyl wise men, peraduenture wyl deride and make a mocke at that we do say, that the law of God doeth requyre a perfecte and an absolute obedience: and that we do saye that no man can satisfie and perfourme al that the lawe doeth requyre of vs by­cause that naturally the greate blynde­nesse, ignoraunce, and contempt of God is so roted in vs, whiche doeth seme and appere to the Philosophers and to them whiche do vse theyr iudgementes after the wordlye fashyon nothynge els but foly and madnes. But howe so euer they do take it, I do assure you yt the Prophettes and Apostles mente none otherwyse than I haue declared to you, Therfore the Prophettes wyl, that men do know the greatnesse of sinne: bycause they do nat knowe God in dede as they oughte [Page xxiii] to do, no nor glorifie him as witnesseth Paul. This ignoraunce and contempte of God is the sinne which the Prophettes and Apostles do shewe and teache to be the cause of al our calamities and miseries,The ignoraunce of God is the roote of all mischiefe. wherewith thys weake and feble nature is opressed they do teach (I say) that we shulde seke the true iustyce and delyuerance from sinne and death frely gyuen by Chryste. As touchyng al other thinges of the lawe that I might nowe speake of: I do referre and send al them whiche are studious and desyrous to knowe them, vnto the boke of common places of the scripture whiche I dydde wryte and gather togyther. Wherfore nowe I wyll speake of thys vocable Gospell.

¶ Gospell.

THE GOSPEL DOTH preache repentaunce,The pro­myse of the Gospell is nat to be ioyned with the promise of the lawe. promisynge forgyuenesse of sinne and lyfe euerlastynge. The whiche promyse we must be ware that we do nat ioint with the law. For thoughe the lawe hathe certayne promises annexed to it, yet they do dif­fer and varye muche from the promyses whiche are peculyer and proper only to [Page] the Gospel, for the promises of the lawe are promysed condicionallye, requiring a perfecte obedience, as witnesseth the fyrste precepte, (The Lorde sayenge I wyl be good to thē [...]hat loue me with al theyr herte. Where as the promyse con­teyned in the Gospell doethe declare to vs the remission of sinne, our iustifica­tion, and lyfe euerlastynge freely with­oute any condicion of our merites and worthynes, but for Christ sake only. No mannes voyce or tonge can declare this great benefyte, which the Lord thorow his sonne Iesu Christ doeth bestowe on vs, that is to say: that the greate blotte of sinne by h [...]s bloude scraped and ras­shed forthe, and deathe vtterly vanquisshed we maye haue the fruition of the syght of the Godhed in euerlasting life iustyce and gladde ioyfulnes. The pro­myse of thys benefyte by no man but from heauen is declared to vs, as Iohn sayeth. The sonne whiche is in the bo­som of the father he hathe declared and made manyfest to vs.An other dyfference of the Gos­pel and of the lawe. And although that there is a certayn knowlege of the lawe in vs euen from oure byrthe, it is nat so with the knowledge of the Gospell, for the knowledge therof we haue nat na­turally. Mannes reason of it selfe being nat able to perceyue and knowe the wyl [Page xxiiii] of God: that God wyll sende hys sonne downe to be oblatyon and sacrifice for the churche, and forgyue sinne frelye without the deseruynge of our me­rites. Thys is farre frome mannes vn­derstandynge. Therefore the wordes of the lawe, and the promise of the Gospel must be dyuers and sundry wayes taken and perceiued. In the writinges of Phocillides and Hesidus: o with such other lyke wryters a man shal fynde many sayinges of the lawes: but as touchyng the promise of the free forgiuenes of sinne and of the sonne of god, it is neuer to be founde amonge them. Whiche in theyr writinges dyd imitate and folowe the iudgemente and naturall reason of man onely. Moreouer for as muche as a cer­taine knowledge of the lawe is natural to vs, ye from our fyrst byrthe and nati­uitie, our owne myndes and conscience accuseth sinne in vs,what doeth our owne conscience [...]udge oure synne. thynkynge and be leuyng no thyng els, but that God wyl punyshe, and also cast forth of his syght those men which be vniust and synners. This is the iudgement whiche the lawe doethe gyue, beinge bothe a iuste and a ryghte iudgemente accordynge to the mynde of the lawe. Agaynst the whiche heuye sentence of the lawe: in the tyme of knowledgynge thy sinne and repen­taunce [Page] thou must obiect agayne and lay for the, the most lyberal and fre promise of mercy, whiche ought to be preferred before the lawe. As by example: when Adam after hys offence,Adam. was accused, he coulde thynke none other thyng in him selfe but that which was the lawe. that he shulde peryshe, bicause he obeyed nat the Lorde. But streyght way the Lorde: (natwithstandynge that he hadde made him subiecte for his disobedience vnto the deathe of the body) whiche was be­fore immortal: and to other miserable calamities,The promyse giuen to Adam. yet God gaue to hym a com­fortable voyce promysynge deliuerance from sinne and death, and the restoring agayne of mankynde, sayenge that the sede of a woman shulde breake the head of the Serpent. The whiche voyce spo­ken and declared by God: streyght way the son of God mouynge and styrrynge the hert of Adam: dyd poure into hym a newe lyfe and lyghte. At that tyme the sonne of God was constituted and or­deyned to be a keper, a gouernour, and a sauyour of the churche. Then beganne the sonne of God to giue battayle to the Deuyll: That lykewyse as the Deuyll most cruelly doth rage ouer al mankind in the dispyte and hatred of God, to de­face and put out of al remembrance his [Page xxv] most holy and blessed churche, fastening his moste venemouse tethe in oure hels and flesshe. So on that other syde, the sonne of God is stronge and myghty in them which beleueth, treadynge downe vnder hys fete the furye of the Deuyll, restorynge and delyuerynge the fayth­ful from the tyranny of hys enmy. The worlde hathe nat the grace to consyder and se this battayle, but the great falles of many with the most heuye and tragy­call calamities and miseries and againe afterwarde, the moste gloryous and try­umphant delyueraunce (example of Da­uyd and of many other) do manyfestlye declare and shewe what maner a kynde of fyght and battayle this is.

THESE wordes also whiche are written in the Genesis. The sede of a woman shall treade downe the heade of the Serpent, hath none other meaninge than those wordes which Iohn did pronounce, sayenge. For thys purpose the sonne of God is exhibited vnto vs to distroye and breake the workes of the Deuyll. Thus dyd Adam take and vnder­stand the promyse. So did al the fathers after him beleue, that for thys sede sake which was promised, they shuld obteyn remission of theyr sinnes, with deliue­raunce from sinne and deathe. By thys [Page] faythe they were made iuste, nat by ful­fyllynge of the lawe. This beynge that same faythe wherby in al theyr perilles and terrors they were comforted and holde vp. For they knewe wel that thys Lorde was alway at theyr hand to helpe them as Iacob most lyuely dyd expresse the .xlviii. of Genesis, sayeng. The Angell whiche delyuered me from all euyl: blesse these children. In the which wordes he declared that same Lord by whō he was deliuered from al euils desiring and prayenge to blesse and kepe hys po­steritie. Al those wordes can be of none other than of the sonne of God meaned. As wytnesseth Paull. The son of God was in the tentes of the people of Israel where soeuer they went. And Iohn al­so. By thys sonne of God al thing was made, by whom lyght dyd shyne in darknesse. All tryumphe and victories gotte and won agaynste, and ouer the deuyll, was by none other than by thys sonne. Noe was reserued, Abraham was defended, Ioseph was wakened vp. The peo­ple was delyuered forth of Egypt, and Daniel also dyd speake with hym. After thys fasshion the preachynges of the Apostles do teach of Chryst: wytnessing that he is the sacrifice: the deliuerer and sauiour, counsellynge and commanding [Page xxvi] vs to set our whole trust and confidence in this captayne. The which thyng ma­ny places in the prophetes doth testyfy: as the second psalme, kysse you ye sonne. Blessed be al they that trust in him, with out the whiche faythe otherwyse called the certayne confydence of the trust and mercy of God promysed for Chryst sake all the prayers in the worlde seme they neuer so holy, neuer so longe, al the worshypfull worshyppynge that ye can do, are in effect as muche as nothinge. For thys is the same Bysshop by whose meanes we muste come to the father, as it is written in many places. The blyndnes therfore, of them which do imagin and dreame that the Gospel is a lawe conteinynge certayne preceptes of amitie or mutuall loue whiche requyre the faythe, that is to saye, a bare and naked know­ledge of the lyfe of Chryste hystorycally, and that men shoulde take God as a tea­cher of good preceptes, as they dyd vse to take Socrates and Phocillides: I say agayne the depe and profounde blynde­nesse of them is to be detested, execrated and of all creatures abhorred. Suche lyke is theyr blyndnesse in phantasyeng that men are made iuste for theyr owne good deseruynges beynge for al that in doubte, whether God doeth forgyue vs [Page] oure sinnes, whether he doeth heare vs or whether he wyll haue any thynge to do with vs, ye or nay, as one, whiche nothynge regardeth what doeth or shal become of vs. Thus the greate gorbelyd Monkes, and nowe, our great supercy­liouse & proud popishe Philosophers do transforme,The doctrin of the Po­pishe clerkes. translate, and make, the Gospell, which is the most pure and sincere worde of God, to be a Phylosophy Academical, dysputynge and reasonynge of good workes, commaundynge men to doubt in the promyses of God. But of faythe whiche leanneth on Chryste and the promises made for his sake, nat ones for a thousande pound they wyl neither thynke nor speake: herein they be as domme as stones, and as drie as a stocke fyshe. Therfore I pray and desyre with all my hert, al gentyl readers that they wolde weye and consyder the difference of the lawe and the Gospel, of Moyses: and of Chryst. And to marke diligently what is the glorye of God: what was the ryght honour, seruyce, and worship done to hym by our olde fathers Adam: Iacob, the Prophetes and the Apostles. Of these men let vs learne, that Chryste is alway the valyant Captayne, the on­ly gouernour: delyuerer: sauyour: pro­tector: an dedfēder of hys church against [Page xxvii] the Deuyll with al his members. Let [...]s learne I say, that by fayth we must per­ceiue and receiue the benefites of Christ Let vs haue in remembrance and nat for gette that the gospell is a swete voyce, which promyseth and sheweth to vs, as it were puttynge into our bosoms these great benefites: Paul bearynge thereta wytnesse, sayenge. The gospell is the power of god to saluatyon to hym that doeth beleue. That is as muche to saye, as the gospell doethe offer vnto vs par­don of our sinnes and lyfe euerlastynge frely for Christ his sake, and nat for the law. By thys gospel god worketh in vs effectuously, gyuyng to vs his holy spirite: he beginneth in vs a newe life, and gyueth vs lyfe euerlastynge.

¶ Synne.

THYS VOCABLE AND word Syn doth nat signify noughty corrupt & viciouse maners only,Vnder thys worde synne is comprehended our Originall synne. as the Phylo­sophers do take it: but it cō ­prehendeth vnder the same vocable also the great feblenes and weaknes whiche is brought into this world with vs and in vs beyng called original sinne, The which sinne though carkles men do nat [Page] muche passe for regardyng and settyng it lyght as though it were a very small tryfle, or rather no sinne at all, as the Philosophers do iudge it, yet we maye nat so mystake it, but must make an o­ther maner of rekenynge therof. For the darke blyndnes with [...]ubitation and ignoraunce of God, beynge vncertayne whether God doethe passe and regarde mortall men, ye or nay: whether he doth punishe offenders or nat: whether he norisheth, fedeth, and helpeth, or herkeneth to men and theyr inuocations and cryes ye or naye: to be withoute the feare and drede, and loue of God, to set muche by oure selfes and our paynted shethes to make muche of our owne wyttes, nat regardyng the Lorde mockynge and daly­enge with thys opinion, and that opinion of God, as the supersticyous holy hipocrites, and the deintly fedde epicures vseth to do dayly, to haue dyuers and sodein motions and styrringes in vs clene contrary to God and hys lawe. These I tel you playnly be no small euyls and vyces. Nay that they be great and sore vyces: the bytter and sharpe paynes or­deined by God, and prepared, for the cō ­mytters and offenders, doeth sufficiently declare to vs. For these abhominable vyces, God dyd make man subiecte and [Page xxviii] thrawl to deathe, punishynge and chastenynge him straytly, with many and marueylous kindes of calamities and mise­ries. Consyderynge therfore that the wrathe of God for these offences might by no maner of sacrifice be peased and pleased, but by the death of his owne son onely, it doeth folowe of necessitie that that vyce is a greate vyce, which requy­reth so greate a raunsome to be redemed with. It is a marueylous thynge to se that the dulnesse of man is so great, that he can nat perceiue and se this his owne disease beinge so great. Wherfore sithe that man is so blynde that he canne nat nor wyll nat se and knowledge it: God hys selfe with hys owne voyce and doctryne hathe made it open to the eyes of al men. Lette vs heare hym and beleue hys worde, settyng at lyght al Sophi­stical cauillations, whiche with theyr mockyng and mowyng do make of ori­ginall sinne but a trifle, and a thyng smal to be regarded and taken hede of: nat muche settyng by, nay vtterly refu­synge and dispisinge our sacrifice, whiche is Chyst. From the whiche most pernycyous doctryne: let vs both with the inwarde and outwarde eares, with hert and mynde abhorre and flie from, as the most dangerous pestilēce of mās soule.

¶ Iustification.

NOVVE TO COME TO iustification, and to declare that thys worde, to iustifie after the Hebrue Phrase is vsed commonly for to pro­nounce or to repute iuste. As if a manne wolde say after the maner of speakynge of the Hebrewes. The Romaynes dyd iustifie Scipio, whiche was accused of the tribuns, whiche is as muche to say, as: the Romaynes dyd quite Scipio pronouncynge hym iuste, and wrongfullye accused. After the selfe same maner in Paul hys reasonynge muste we vnder­stande iustification, to signifie remissiō of synnes, and free receyuyng or accep­tacion vnto lyfe euerlastynge, as it is manifest the .iiii. cap. to the Romaynes. In the whiche place he doeth defyne iustification to be the remission and for­gyuenes of sinne. So that this sentence by faythe we are iustified: is as much to saye as we are reputed of God iuste, for Chryste sake: when we do beleue. And thys worde iustyce doeth nat meane in thys place the iustyce of the lawe, or the obedience vniuersal and our owne qualities Iustyce.when we do say (by faythe iustice [Page xxix] is gyuen). But it doeth signifie the im­putacion of iustyce, and acceptacion of God, that is to say, though we be nat of our owne worthynes cleane and iuste: yet, it doeth please God for Chryst sake to take ī good worth our vnworthines callynge and makynge vs iuste if we do beleue, and so accepteth our good wyll,A iust man makynge hys iustyce our iustyce, hys worthynes our worthynes. So that by thys vnderstandyng a iust man is taken respectiuely for hym that is accepted of God to lyfe euerlastinge. We must note also that as sone as we do obteine remission of synne, we haue also gyuen to vs the holy Ghost, when with faythe we do comfort vs after our fall. So that to our iustification is annexed and ioyned the gyft of the holy Ghost, which doethe nat begyn to worke in vs one vertue only, but also al other vertues, as the feare and loue of God: the loue to the truthe, purenesse of lyfe, pacyence, ryghte dea­lynge with our neyghboure, as here af­ter I wyll declare more when I do speake of workes.wherfore [...] we nat iust for oure ve [...] tues. The whiche vertues do nat meryte remission of synne, nor yet are our iustyce: or iustification, for the whiche a man is accepted, and plea­seth God: bycause those vertues be nat thorowly perfect and good.

[Page]FVRTHERMORE when oure conscyence is full of anguysshe and tor­mente for synne, and doeth seke where­fore we are iustified, it doth nat inquire what vertues we haue, and what good dedes, but it doeth seke howe we may attayne to remission of sinne, and reconcilyatyon with God. Oure conscyence is vexed and troubled aboute the wyll of God, nat beholdinge what we our selfe haue done that is good or what vertues we haue in vs. But in case we haue any vertues whiche be of any estymatyon, yet oure conscyence doethe nat laye and compare them with the iudgement of God.

THEREFORE they whiche do interpretate thys worde Iustyfycatyon to be an infusion of vertues they do nat attende and marke that in thys case we reason of the remission of synne, onlye, of the peace of conscience, and reconciliation with God. For we do seke howe we may be iustified, whiche is howe we maye haue remission of synne, makynge one necessarye conclusion, that God is mercyfull to vs.Iustificatiō It folowethe therfore necessaryly that iustifcation is to be taken for the remission and forgiuenes of sinne, for the fre acceptation of god, and for imputation of iustice.

¶ Grace.

GRACE DOETH SIG­nifie the fre acceptation and mercy of God, promysed to vs for Christ sake, wherwith is ioyned the gyft of the ho­lye Ghost, as witnesseth Paul Rom̄. v. cap, howe muche more the grace of God and the gyft in grace, by the which grace is vnderstanded the free reconciliation and by the gyfte in grace is mente the gyft of the holy Ghost, with the renewynge and begynnyng of a newe and eternall lyfe. For in the forgiuenes of sinne as I haue sayde is conteyned the gyft of the holy Ghost. It is the prophane and vngodly Philosophy of Pelagian to be detested, whiche holdeth opinion,Pelagians doctryne. that without the operation of the holy ghost men are made the sonnes of God and heyres of lyfe eternal. Oftentymes therfore vnder the vocable of grace, is signified the helpe and woorke of the holye Ghost.Grace. But the pryncypal signification of grace is free acceptacion, as is sayde. Paul by Grace obteyned remission of sinne, beynge as muche to say as Paull for Chryst sake obteyned forgyuenes of synne. Wherfore the Monkishe and Popyshe [Page] exposition is cleane to be refused,Grace after the papistes doctrin doth signifie vertues and good qualyties whiche are in a ma [...] as when we saye he is a gracious man whiche is full of good dedes whiche inuentynge and deuisinge a de­claration cleane contrary to the mynde of Paul saying that by grace we do purchase remission of sinne, whiche is as they say, for our own vertues.

AND that grace doeth signifie the reconciliation and fre acceptacion pro­mised for Chryst sake, many sayinges of the Scriptures do beare witnesse. As, ye are nat vnder the lawe, but vnder grace, perceyuynge that the iuste man, thoughe he be nat cleane and pure from all synne, yet is nat accused, bycause he is vnder grace, that is to saye, accepted and pleasaunte to God for Christe sake. For he wyll nat that man shall thynke hym selfe accepted and pleasant to God for hys owne vertues and good qualy­ties: but only for Christe his sake. As Paull Rom̄. iiii. cap Therfore by faith and thorowe grace that the promise myght be made fyrme, certaine, & stable. Oure owne qualities and vertues can nat make oure conscience certayne of remission of synne, but only for the fre mercy promised for Christ. Wherefore: for this place, the glose of the Po­pyshe secte, teachynge that grace doethe signifie our owne vertues, is farre vn­mete and nothynge agreable. The .v. [Page xxxi] cap. to the Romaynes, witnessethe the selfe same sayenge. Where as sinne was most aboundant: there was grace moste plenteous, that is the fre mercy of God dyd then shyne moste cleare, when the greatnesse of oure sinne is most percey­ued and sene. We also then do fele that for none of our owne merites, we do obteyne pardon and remission of sinne but for Christ. And to the Ephes. i. cap. Pre­destenynge vs thorowe Iesus Chryste: after the plesure of hys wyl, to the praysynge of the glorye of hys grace: mea­nynge none other thynge by these wor­des, than that the free mercy of God, nat our vertues oute to be commended and praysed. And to the Galathians .ii. cap. I do nat contemne and dysprayse the grace of God, for if so be that our iustice is of the lawe, then Christ hath suffered in vayne. He sayeth nat, I do commende and bost my selfe of my vertues and perfectnes: but I am prowde (sayeth he) of the mercy of God: Wherby I do beleue thorowe the deathe of Iesu Christe that God is mercyfull to me. And the seconde Epistle to the Thessalonians .ii. cap He gaue vs good hope in grace. He biddeth vs nat hope and trust in our vertues, but in the fre mercy of God, promised for Christ sake. And to the Hebrewes [Page] the .iiii. cap. Lette vs drawe nere with a sure trust and confidence vnto the thron of grace, that is of the mercy whiche is promised. It is euidente by thys to se that by grace is nat ment our owne ver­tues. To be short what this word grace after the Hebrewe phrase doeth signify al learned men doeth know. Which maner of speakynge obserued it is easye to knowe the signification of the vocable. There is no man also so ignoraunt and blinde, but that knoweth that Paul for none other cause dyd incolcate and beat into oure heades this vocable Grace, than that we shulde be surelye perswa­ded that we are acceptable to God for Christ sake, and nat for oure owne ver­tues. Whiche sence and meanynge, by theyr durty gloses and wrastynges, is cleane inuerted, teachynge that we are iustified by grace, that is to say, by our own vertues. It is also to be noted that in thys word Grace doethe lye hydde a partycull exclusyue, whiche as I haue sayde muste be diligently obserued. For these wordes gratis propter Chriust, that is frely for Christe, doeth make the dif­ference betwene the lawe and the Gos­pell. And albeit that I do speake thus muche of thys worde exclusiue, I do nat meane that repentaunce for our sinnes [Page xxxii] with other vertues shulde be excluded, but onelye the condicion of the dignitie and worthynesse of oure merites, that the fearful conscience may haue a firme and stronge comfort in Christe. For all oure promises of remission of sinne &c. withoute we do adde and include thys worde frelye, they be vnsauery and no­thinge pleasant. All men which do make theyr inuocation and call on the name of God shall be saued. To the whiche wordes, if I shulde ioyne these wordes (yf they be worthy) theyr myndes shulde be thereat astonned and made affrayed. Wherfore the Gospell doeth crye out a­loude thys worde, frely,The vnworthy muste call on Christ. that thou maist call on hym, ye though thou art vnwor­thy. For thorowe Chryst all they which call on the Lorde shalbe saued. More ouer the psalmyst sayeth. With the lord is mercy. If I shulde say towarde them whiche be worthy: in what case wolde the pore conscience stand: it wold ronne away for feare if it coulde tell whither. Fynally the Gospel wylleth that by thꝭ word Grace, shuld be vnderstand the fre mercy of God promised for Christe. As though he wolde say, flye nat away, but drawe nere vnto the Lorde, and receyue with faythe the gyfte offered vnto the. For God wyll frely for Christe forgyue [Page] vs, which decree is certayne and immu­table: if there be anye whiche do doubte in that, what soeuer they be: they do great iniury and despyte to the sonne of God, whiche is the onely pledge of this promyse, whiche promyse by fayth must be receyued.

THESE wordes haue I rehersed the oftner: bycause it maketh muche for the purpose, that thys exclusyue be knowen of all men, whereby they learne to knowe wel what difference is betwene the Lawe and the Gospell. And that vertuouse myndes and faythful hertes may thynke berelye that they haue a sure and substancyal comforte offered vnto them that they maye ryse vp theyr selfes vnto fayth and inuocation in the tyme of all theyr harde busynesse and daungers.

FOR in oure daylye troubles thys faythe must be practysed and put in vse. Neyther the Gospell without these ex­ercyses can nat be vnderstande, no nor yet true prayer can nat be made without thys fayth. As Christ hym selfe wytnes­seth sayinge. What soeuer you shal aske the father in my name, that is with a sure trust and confydence of my name I wyl perfourme it. Here may you se how farre the chrystian inuocatiō and praier doeth dyffer and passe the prayer of the [Page xxxiii] Ethnyckes.Our prayer must be with out mistrust

FOR they prayenge be in doubte, whether God regardethe the prayer of man, whether God be moued and hathe compassion on mannes calamities, yea or nay. On this maner to pray & to make thyne inuocation: thou doeste nothynge elles but dishonour and displease God. And yet for all that thus contumelious and spytefull are the inuocations of the wycked, beynge taughte and learned of the Monkyshe and Romyshe hipocrites to make theyr prayers, with dubytacion and mystruste, whiche is a thynge moste desperate. Agaynst the which most wic­ked opinion we must ponder and lay the sentences of Paul Rom̄. v. cap. By hym (meaninge Christ) we haue free passage and way in faythe. And to the Ephesiās v. cap. Thorowe whom we maye bold­lye by fayth in hym to come nye. And to the Rom̄. viii. whiche syttynge on the ryght hande of God doethe continually pray for vs. Therfore no man can come to God but thorowe this mediator and Bysshop whiche beareth our prayers to him without any stoppe or let of any o­ther. As to the Rom̄. x. cap. Howe can they call on him on whome they beleue nat. Iames also teacheth, lette the man aske in fayth nat doubtynge. And Ma­thew [Page] .xxi. what soeuer you aske in your prayer beleuynge you shal haue it. Therfore the way to make thy seruyce to god and worshyppyng of him trewe, perfect and pleasaunt, and also acceptable, is of necessitie to learne to knowe thys doc­tryne of faythe, and mercy which is gyuen frely.

¶ Faythe.

ABOVTE THYS VO­cable and worde of faythe: many do make much a do a­gynst vs, whiche maketh vs to meruayle that there hath bene and is so greate darkenesse in the churche, that the very naturall signifi­cation of thys worde, which is in euery mannes mouthe, that all mennes eares are full of it, is so loste, forgotten, and vnknowen, that fewe do vnderstande it aright. The whiche losse of the ryghte meanynge of faythe beynge much to be lamented: hathe associated to it another greater and more euyll: that it is harde and almost vnpossible, to plucke the en­ueterate and olde erronyous opinion out of mennes heades. The which cer­tayne raylers, as Cocleus and certayne other (which do shewe them selfe to be [Page xxxiiii] of a more sadde and demure sort) do most styfly and stronglye defende and mayn­tayne, with whom bycause they seke nat for the knowledge of the truth, but how they may serue theyr owne apetyte and foolyshe blynde disease: we entende nat for to brawle and scolde: referrynge vs to the iudgement of vertuouse and learned men. For the Prophettes and the Apostle do declare and shewe so plainly the verye true signification of faythe, that of no man which hathe hys ryghte wyttes it can be denyed. Fayth therfore is nat only a knowledge of the hystorye of Chryst: but it is a stedfast trust also in the mercye of God promysed to vs for Chryst sake.Grace. And to beleue that lykewise grace which is the free mercye of God: the gyft of the holy Ghost, and lyfe euer lastyng is promysed to vs and that euen so it shall be perfourmed. Thus to be­leue and to be agreable to the promyse couetynge and desyrynge thys heuenly comfort, and there in for to haue our re­pose and rest: when we do heare that god wyll be mercyful to vs for Iesu Chryste sake, it perteyneth to the inwarde parte of man the hert and mynde. Wherefore when we do heare say that by faythe we are iustified, we maye nat imagine and thinke that we are iustified bicause that [Page] faythe is a Godly and a worthy vertue. But when we saye that by faythe we are iustified, we must vnderstande this sayinge relatyuely, hauyng respect to that thynge whiche I do receyue by faythe, beinge the fre mercy promysed to vs for Christ sake, by the whiche we are made iust, pleasaunte, and acceptable to God. By thys fayth we apprehende, receyue, and knowledge the mercye of God ma­kyng it fytte and mete for our necessary vse.Faythe is a vocable relatyue. For faith, and confidence, although I graunt them to be qualities: yet they be as all other vocables and wordes of affections to be taken relatiuely, that is to say, to be referred hauynge respect to an other thynge beside it selfe. As by thys example. Thys worde loue, is respectyuely taken to that thynge whiche is loued. Feare hathe hys abiecte that thynge which is feared. So the abiecte of faythe or confidence is that thynge which is trusted and hoped after. Thys maner of dialecticall reasonynge and profe, nat so muche as chyldren but do knowe it to be true. The which that vnshame faste and foule mouthed personne Mensenger as bolde as Gawyn within tempest audacitie and oute of all season dyd reprehende. But I do appeale to the whole iudgemente of them that be lear­ned [Page xxxv] men whiche knowe that vocables. relatyue, are to be vnderstande respec­tiuely, as it is sayde in latyne. Secundum dici, perceyuynge howe necessary is the vse of these smal and tryfelynge (to seme to) preceptes in matters whiche be of great import and weyght.

LYKEVVISE as these wordes folowinge are to be taken respectiuely. The confidence of his treasure, maketh the ryche man in tyme of de [...]th & scarsty to be of a quyet mynd, and stomake, that is to say. Thorow his treasure the riche man is quyet. So when we saye that by faythe we are iustified, streyghte waye thou doeste remembre the correllatyue, beynge thorowe mercy for Christ sake promysed we are made iust. I remembre that I haue bene sometyme demaunded and asked thys question: Wherfore we must say. By faythe we are made iust, yf we wyl that man shalbe iust by the mercye promised for Chryst. Wherto I an­swere sayinge, that these wordes ar correllatiue that one hauynge respecte to that other. By faythe we are iust, and by mercy we are iust. There must nedes be mention made of faythe, for as much as by some motion and meane we muste receyue thys gyft of mercy applienge it to oure commodities. And when we do [Page] speake of faythe, our mynde doethe loke streyght way on Chryst, beholdynge the mercy which is frely promised for him, beinge thorowly persuaded that we are made iust, nat for our owne vertues and dedes: but for some thynge elles whiche is without vs and nothinge of our self: that is for Christ, the mediator, which sytteth on the ryght hande of the father callynge and intreatynge for vs. Thys fayth being in our mindes is nat a phantasy or an idel cogitaciō, but it is a thing which stryueth and wrasteleth with the terrors and tormentes of our consciēce, with sinne, with deathe, and with the Deuyl, whiche by huge and wonderous craftes doeth besege our sycke myndes: to dryue them if he mighte into the con­tempt of God, whiche contempte, vtter and most to be wailed, desperation doth folowe. As Cayn, Saull, Iudas, with a great many mo, whiche rekenyng them selfes abiect from God: did incontinent lye with all furyous and outragyous madnes begyn to hate and dispise God. There be an other sort whiche passinge nat for God do thynke that there is no God at al, lyuing lyke epicures as Pharao, which when they be in the stormysh and troublous brontes and daungers, do nat regarde, naye they do dispise the [Page xxxvi] worde of God, and the heauenlye com­fort, nat aydinge them selfe with fayth, but beynge as men broken and clene o­uercome, do gyue place to the Deuyll, which sayeth to them, there is no God whiche hathe any power, and that the worlde with al the contentes thereof is not gouerned by God, but that al thyn­ges doeth liue and dye agayne, come and go again naturally. Contrary wise they which do gyue eare to the Gospel, that, to be cast downe into the extreame cala­mities and miseries, as it were into the bottom of Hel, and to be thence brought out and restored agayne, are the verye workes and ordynance of God. Those men do staye and comforte them selfes with faythe, they haue theyr refuge vnto theyr captayne Christe. Hym they knowe to be the conquerer: which breaketh the heade of the Serpent, whiche (as is before sayde) doeth distroye the workes of the Deuyl, beyng and conti­nuing alway from the begynnyng with hys faythfull louers. For they which be holpen of the sonne of God, are they which do vanquisshe and ouercome the Deuyl, nat forsakynge the Lorde. And thys is the thynge, for the which the Deuyll doethe make all thys styrrynge and great romble, striuing with vs to make [Page] vs to deny the Lorde, our fayth stedfast­ly withstanding, and commaundyng vs to stycke and to cleue fast to him, which is our captayne, teachynge vs also that there is a Lorde, which though he doth punyshe sometyme, yet be gyuethe also a fre promise of mercy for hys sonne sake whom he hathe gyuen to vs to be oure helper, and promisinge to hys beloued euerlastinge lyfe and felicitie. God therfore is both sene and knowen in and by hys words: wheron mannes mynde stedfastly with a perfect fayth fyred, doethe nat forsake God but knowledgyng hys mercy, doeth cal on hym lokyng for de­liuerance, submyttyng hym selfe all to­gyther to the wyl of God. Who hath the prayse of the victory but onely Christe, which saieth without me you can do nothyng. Those men which haue proued thys by experiēce in theyr owne lyuing and inuocation maye vnderstande thys doctryne of faythe, and also iudge that we are iuste, that is to saye accepted for Christ sake only.Fayth must be kyndel [...]d with the knowlege of God. The which fayth must be kyndled in vs with ye true knowlege of God, whiche faythe I saye can nat be kept and defended withoute greate bat­tayle and fyght.

NOVVE wyll I declare to you bryngynge forthe the testimonie of the [Page xxxvii] Scriptures, testifieng and teachyng vs that faythe doeth nat signifie onely the knowledge of Christe hystorycally, but also a sure and stedfast confidēce of mercye, whiche doeth striue continually a­gaynste desperation and contempte of God.Rom. iiii.i. Paull to the Romaynes the .iiii. cap. doeth conferre togither the promise and fayth as correllatiues, that one res­pondynge to that other, teachynge that the promise of necessitie muste be recey­uyd by fayth. Ergo, Fayth doth signifie a confidence which dependeth onely on the mercy of God. The which testimony is so cleare and playne, that the Deuyll of Hell can nat withstande it. Therfore (sayeth he) by faythe and thorow grace and fauour that the promyse may be certayne, that is: I do requyre fayth where by the promise of oure reconciliation may dereceyued.Eph. iii.ii. To the Ephesians .iii cap. By whom we haue boldnes and co­rage with fre entraunce by the confy­dence, which is by faythe in him. What testimony can a man haue more excellēt I haue nat nowe to do with iesters and raylers, but with vertuouse and gentyll redars, whome I do exhorte and desyre for the verye glorye of Christ, that they wolde weye diligently the testimonyes and witnessynges of the Scripture. [Page] Paul in thys place doeth excellently de­clare the nature of fayth with .iii. goodly vocables. By faythe (he sayethe) that we haue boldnes, we haue entrance, we haue confydence. The which vocables do nat pertayne to the historycal know­ledge, which shulde discomfort vs if we shulde thinke, that then we shal come to Christ, when we shalbe founde worthy. It foloweth that faythe is to be vnder­standed, the trust of mercy, thoughe Co­cleus wolde burst for angre, with al his cauilations. If fayth (sayeth he) and cō fidence, or trust in mercy be al one, wherfore shoulde Melanchton ioyne vnto faythe, confidence or trust of mercye, as effectes of foythe. Wysely forsothe and full of lyuely wytte. As though that one motyon of the herte can nat be expressed and declared with sundry and diuers vocables. And for as muche as faythe is a motion of the hert, wherby we haue en­trance to the Lorde, it can nat be taken onelye for the hystorycall knowledge of Christ, which as I haue sayde wolde rather discomfort the myndes and consci­ences of men which are weake, then to comforte them and make them stronge, as to the Romaynes .v. Thorow whom we haue entrance by faythe.Rom v.ii. The third testimony, to the Romaynes .v. cap. We [Page xxxviii] beynge iustified by fayth, haue peace. &c Nowe the hystorycall knowledge of Christ doeth nat sette the conscience of man at reste and quietnes, nor at peace with Christ, but rather doeth augmente and increase terrors and feare in vs, so longe as we do holde and kepe the opi­nion of the lawe. For what signe or to­ken more terrible of the wrathe of God can we haue, than to cōsider that he neither coulde nor wolde be pleased with no kynde of sacrifice, but only with the bloude and death of his sonne.

THVS for to thynke that the me­rites of Christ perteineth to none but to them, whiche of them selfe haue suffici­ently merited, doeth nat minishe the terrors of our conscience, but increasethe them. Ergo,Fayth doth comfort the sycke consc [...] ences. then it foloweth that yf fayth doeth worke this Godly feat and dede of comfort in lyftynge vp and comfortynge of the diseased and sycke con­science, why shulde nat we then cal this faith to be, and to signifie the confidēce and trust of mercy. And for as muche as Paull his selfe doeth shewe and declare that he doth speake of that fayth which doth fight and striue with the feare and tormentes of the mynde: howe can oure aduersaries say that by thys fayth is vnderstande the knowledge hystorycall of [Page] Christe. The fourth testimonye. To the Colosenses. In whom you are also risen again thorow faith, which is wrought by the operation of God. He doeth saye that we are sanctified thorowe faythe, that is as much to say, that God thorow a sure and stedfast confidence in his mercye is effectuously in vs.Iohn. v.v. Iohn also the v. cap. Who that beleue the nat in the Lorde his promise makethe hym a lyer bycause he beleuethe nat the testimonye and witnesse of God, that God hath gyuen vs euerlastynge lyfe, and eternal fe­licitie. Wherin he doeth remytte and referre faythe to the promise, requyrynge vs to giue faith and trust to the promise which who that beleueth nat makethe God a lyer. As thoughe the lorde wolde nat perfourme that which he hath pro­mysed.what is to beleue the promyse. Rom. To agree to the promise is no­thynge elles but to haue confidence and trust of mercy for Christ sake. The syxt testimonye. And to the Romaynes .iiii. Which agaynst al hope, where nothing was to hope, beleued vpon hope. I pray the most gentyll reder, can in thys place thys worde faythe and belefe be other­wyse expounded, than of the confidence and trust of mercy by the promise. We nede nat go farre about to seke the signification of the worde. Abraham is commended [Page xxxix] bicause he beleued that God wold perfourme his promise,Abraham hi [...] faythe although to hym naturallye it semed vnpossible. On thys maner must the good and God­ly christians be instructed and taught in theyr fayth, that when we be most desti­tute of mans helpe, we may loke moost surest after the helpe and ayde of God, and so to kepe and holde God faste. It doeth folowe afterward in the self same chapyter,Faythe and mystrust are ii. con [...]aries where Paull doeth conferre fayth and dubytacyon togyther: as lay­inge .ii. contraries one against an other sayinge. He doubted nat on mistrust, or els, he was nat feble in fayth: where he speketh of fayth, which wrasteleth with dubitation or mystrust in ceceyuynge of the promise. The seuenthe testimonye. Marke the .ix. chap. I do beleue Lorde:Marke. ix.vii. helpe thou myne vnbelefe. In the whi­che place the Euangelyste speakethe nat of the hystorycall knowledge, but of the perfecte and sure confidence and truste, whiche doeth aske, call, loke, and hoope stedfastly after the benefites of Chryste. As the hystory of the woman of Canany Mathewe .xv.The faythe of the wo­man of Canany. cap. whiche beynge putte twyse from Christ: ye and with rebuke: did nat for al that ceasse to cal and make her petition with a meruailous discrete wisdome and sobrenes, refutynge the [Page] sayinge of Christe, confessynge her selfe to be in dede vnworthy of the benefites of Christ: yet for the goodnes of the lord she trusted stedfastly after hys benefyte. The fayth of the which Ethnycke wo­man: Christ with his owne mouthe dyd extol, prayse, and commende hyghly, an swerynge to her O woman thy faith is greate, so be it to the as thou doeste de­sire Wherfore shuld we nat only in thꝭ place: but in many other suche lyke histories of the Gospel nat doubt, but be certaynly persuaded that fayth doeth signifie a confidence which both doeth aske and also trustethe after the benefites of Christ. Which feyth, sithe that it ought to shine and be as most principall in all our inuocations and prayers: it is ne­cessary that al mē be instructed the right way of it. But cōtrary wise the enmies of goddes worde biddeth vs to loke on the life of Christe: they counsell vs to doubte & to be in mistrust, whether god will be mercifull vnto vs, and here out peticiōs ye or nay. The which doctrine is cleane contrary and repugnant vnto this most godly exaumple of the woman of Canany, and such other like, vtterly abolishynge the true worshippinge and right inuocation of god.H. br [...] .xi. viii. The description of Fayth to the Hebrewes .xi. capi. [Page xl] doth teache vs that Fayth doth signifie a confidence and trust, with these wor­des. Feythe is a certayne expectation of thinges loked and trusted after. This is an exposition of this worde fayth after the bare grammer rule, as al lerned men doethe knowe. If it be an expectacion: then it is a true confydence, or truste of a promise to be perfourmed. Also,Ac [...]. xv, ix. the Actes .xv. By faith purifieng the hertes of them. By this it is euident and playn that the hertes are nat purified & made cleane by the hystorical knowlege. For it foloweth afterwarde as it were an exposition of that same, with these wordꝭ Neyther our fathers, nor yet any man hadde euer theyr hertes cleane thorowe the iustyce of the lawe. But cleane con­trary he sayethe, that theyr hertes are clensed and made pure: yf they be made cleane thorowe the fauour of our Lorde Iesu Christ: wytnessynge, that by fayth is signified a certayn confydence dependynge on the mercye of God promysed for Chryst sake.

¶ Romaynes .x. cap.Rom x.x. All they whiche do beleue in hym shal nat be confounded or made frustrate and boyde of theyr be­lefe. Here Paul doeth seperate the benefyte of the Gospell from the lawe, spea­kynge nat of the knowledge hystoricall [Page] only, but of suche a confydence whiche maketh vs certayne that God is mercy­full to vs for Christ his sake, and nat for the lawe. Which sentence is often tyme repeted in the Prophettes, as psalm̄ .ii. kysse you the sonne. Blessed be all they which trust in the sonne. By these wor­des, the confydence and trust in the son must nedes be vnderstande. We are commaunded to knowledge and take him to be the sonne of God. On the which lord we are commaunded to put and sette all our confidence.

FOR as much as the condicion of the lawe maye nat be added thereto (for Faythe can nat be parte on Christe, and part on the Lawe) we must of necessitie take Fayth to be a confydence, wherby we ac [...] persuaded that thorowe the son of God we are deliuered frome sinne and tyranny of the Deuyll.ii. Para. xx.xi.

THE seconde of the Paralip. and xx. cap. Truste you to your Lorde God, and you shall nat fayle but be safe. The army was commaunded to call and to trust certaynly for helpe from the Lorde In the which place there is no speking of the historical knowledge: but we are commaunded to haue confidence, which doeth both cal and also loke for helpe of God. These testimonies I thynke do [Page xli] sufficiently declare that Faythe doethe signifie confidence or trust in the mer­cye of God. And many mo exaumples, they which wyl rede may fynd.There is no testimon [...] of the scriptur so plai [...] but it maye be p [...]ru [...]te [...] I know verye well that the Deuyll with all hys babes can deuise cautels and craftes y­nough with cauillatione, wherby they wolde go about to [...]elude, peru [...]rce, and inuert, and corrupte the ryghte sence of these testimonies.

SVCHE is the wanton ydlenes nowe a dayes of wittes, that some ambiciouslye in hope of prayse and honoure, and gapynge for promotion, some maliciously for euyl wyl, and some for mere hatred agaynst the truth wyl after theyr corrupt, malieiouse, and enuiouse iugementes, [...]eprehende and falsefye these and all other testimonies of the Scrip­ture, be they neuer so manyfeste. But ones agayne, for Christe sake: I desyre and pray al gentyl and good reders that they wolde ponder and wey with all di­ligence this interpretacion: and to cōsi­der what great inconuenyence and danger wold insue and folow to our soules yf we shulde admytte the contrarye, and wrong sence therof: that therby al hope and comfort is clene taken from our cō ­sciences: al true inuocation clene abolyshed: and Christ his most profytable be­nefite, [Page] nat darkned only: but also pluckt away. Wherefore we muste wipe and with moste sharpe pikes put of frome al our lyfe, & in specyally from the church all Sophisticall delusions and cauylations, and nat to suffre euery man: nay no man to phantasye otherwise of this vo­cable Fayth than we haue declared, as they do now at theyr owne libertie and pleasure, lyke to paynters with theyr colours, some thys waye, some that waye. Lette the simple and playn veritie most necessary for the church be maynteyned and delyuered interly, whole, and pure, to our posteritie. Thys duety doth God requyre and demaunde of al men: but in specyallye of them whiche be the welles and heades of learninge and gouernors of the common welth: most due of right to the church of God. Beyng certaynly assured that there is no seruyce or wor­shyppynge more pleasaunte and accep­table to God: than is this. For after this maner are the sentences of Paull to be vnderstande. Abraham dyd gyue confy­dence to the Lord his promyse, and therfore he was reputed iust. As who shulde say, Abraham knowledged that he was nat iust for the lawe sake, or his owne vertues, consyderynge his owne natu­rall infirmities, which is the mother of [Page xlii] many vices, that is to say, of mistrust of Goddes promyse, of many wanderynge and wauerynge desyres and lustes. He remembred the offences commytted by hym, when he was amonge the Calde is defylynge hym selfe with most vngodly worshyppinges. But after that he herde of the sede that was promysed (the lorde sayinge to hym) I wyl be thy protector and defender: then he beleued that tho­rowe the fauour and mercy promised of God he shuld obteine remissiō of sinnes and to haue God a mercyfull defender and sauyour. By that meanes was Abraham pronounced iust by Faythe, that is by the confydence and trust in the mer­cye of God, althoughe he perceyued hys nature, to be corrupt, weake, noughtye, and vicious. Fayth also doeth nat onely pertayne to remission of sinne, and free acceptation of God: but also sometyme it hathe his outwarde obiectes, beynge about externe thinges.Fayth some tyme is about oute­wa [...]de thynges. As was the Faith of Dauyd about the fyghte and battayle with Golyathe. The whiche examples do serue also for thys our purpose. For thys Fayth whiche lokethe after corpo­rall ayde, must nedes be after that other Fayth, which goeth before, which receyueth remission of sinne. For the mind of man: can nat be persuaded in hym selfe [Page] that he shal obteyn helpe and succour of God, before he be surely certayned that God is and wyll be mercyfull to hym. The which rule doth shewe and declare that Paul doeth alledge the testimonies and scriptures of Fayth aryght, giuing vs instruction, how we shal behaue our selfes in our inuocation and prayer.

Augustine.VNTO the testimonies of the scriptures I wyl adde and ioyne the mindes and iudgementꝭ of the olde writers. Augustyne, doeth say. The Lawe make the vs to feare God, but Faythe causeth vs to flye to hys mercy: wherin Augustyne declareth verye well that Faythe is nat the historycal knowledge only.

ChrysostomCHRISOSTOM also in his cō ­mentarye whiche he dydde wryte on the Epystle to the Romaynes the thyrd chapyter. By Faythe (sayeth he) we do nat onely loue God, but also we do beleue that we are beloued of hym, be we neuer so gyltie, and that our sinnes be forgiuē by hym for hys sonne sake. There is no kynde of worshyppynge more excellente than thys. No though thou shuldest ab­steyne from theft and murdre: that same dede can nat be more pleasant and acceptable to God. Hytherto the wordes of Chrysostome, which though he do some tyme erre and go out of the way, yet for [Page xliii] thys poynt he deserueth no smal prayse and commendation. For he hathe sette forthe and paynted thys worde and vo­cable Fayth in his owne colours so liuely and so manifest (in that he sayeth that we muste beleue that we are beloued of God, ye though we be fawty and full of fylthynes, and that we through oure belefe do receyue remission of sinne) that no man can more. The faythful man re­ioyseth and is proude, nat only bycause he louethe God, but also bycause he fyn­deth at hys hand agayne great loue and profyte. For lykewyse as he loued God gyuynge and puttynge great confidence in hym, beynge a token of a great loue, so lykewise God loued hym beynge a great sinner nat only nat punyshyng as the sinne deserueth: but for hys stedfast confidence and trust in hys mercye ma­kynge hym iust and ryghtwyse.

¶Bernarde also is no lesse worthye of commendation:Bernarde. for that he writeth concernyng feythe, whose wordes are these folowing, written in his sarmon of the Annunciatiō. It is necessari (saith he) fyrst of all to beleue that thou maist and shalt obteyne remission of thy syn: none other way than by the pardon and moste ientill fauour of god. Thou muste also adde this vnto thy belefe and trust of remission [Page] of sinne: that for Christ sake thi [...] sinnes ar forgiuen the. This is the testimonie and witnesse that the holy ghoste beareth in thy barte, saiyng to the: thy sinnes are forgiuen the. After this ma­ner did the apostle deme and iudge, that a man frely by feith is made iuste. This far gothe the wordes of Barnard, whi­che hath many suche like sentences: be­yng but of late, & not very many yeares past a writer, not ignorant nor voyde of these spirituall exercises and motions, wherby he dyd perceiue that the consci­ence could not be satisfied and set at rest without the trust of the mercy of god by feyth, whiche feyth he called as we do, the confidence or trust of mercy. I haue said before, that we do comprehende vnder this vocable of feith, the historicall knowledge also of ye life of Christ, with all the circumstances therof: and all the articles of our feith: so that when feith doth conceiue and comprehende this ar­ticle of remission of synne, then doo we streyght way gyue trust and confydence without doubt that we shal receiue this benefite. Where as other, which going no further than ye bare hystorycal knowledge of Christ: at thys poynt makynge theyr stay, do nat beleue of the remission of synne, (accordynge as they do teache [Page xliiii] and preach) that is: that men shal doubt whether theyr sinnes be forgyuen them ye or nay.

I HAVE spoken sufficiently (I thynke) of thys worde Fayth, which to them that be louers of the truthe were sufficiente, Therefore nowe I entende some thynge to touche the Sophisticall clusion of Origen, and many other, whiche do thynke that thys saying and pro­position (by Fayth we are iustified) is spoken figuratiuely by a figure whiche is called Synechdoche, meanynge that we be by the knowledge of the hystorye of Christ iustified Thus they do vnderstande Fayth, thynking that Paul doth only commende our profession (that we be called Christians) bicause that the name of our profession (whiche is com­mon to the euil persons as wel as good) causeth (as they thinke) oure vertues to be plesaunt and acceptable to God, whi­che vertues in the Turkes and Infidels shulde nat be pleasaunt nor acceptable. Thus this figure doth transforme and transpose the Gospel into the Lawe, turnynge the glorye and prayse of Christe into our vertues and that thinge which is the comfort of our conscience: to our greate discomforte and sorowfulnesse, lere abolyshynge the doctryne of Faith [Page] which is the trust or confydence of mer­cye. And wherfore do they doubt in this article of remission of sinne? bycause they do perceaue and fele that our na­ture is weke, feble, and ful of all doubt­fulnesse and mistrust of the wyl of God. Therefore they do confyrme thys doc­tryne of dubytation, bicause they do persuade them selfes, that the blindnes and darknes which we do brynge naturally from Adam with vs into the worlde: to be no vice nor sinne. As the Academical questioners: Philosophers which other haue done. The which figure beinge all togyther contrarye to that doctrine of Paull in the exposition of thys Epystle to the Romaynes. I wyl refute and take awai: with so manifest argumentes and and profes: that they theyr owne selfe shal se and also say that all togyther is a wrye and amysse. We wyll byde by the wordes of Paull, which sayeth that we be iustified by Faythe frely, that is that we do obteine remission of our sinne, beynge reputed iuste before God nat for any of our merites, but by Fayth, which is the trust of mercye promised to vs for Christ sake only. We wil nat make Paul speakynge here in figures: we do nat chaunge his wordes, but we do lerne of him to take the true meanynge, as the [Page xlv] nature of the worde, and the matter whiche the Apostle takethe in hande to dys­pute, doth requyre. It is very profitable and necessary to al good men to haue certayne sure testimonies of the Scripture wi [...]h the confirmations of this proposition, alway redy and at hande: bothe to instructe other and also to styrre vp true Fayth and perfecte prayer The whiche vocables by vs declared and perceyued of you. I trust in the Lorde that this proposition. (By Faith we are iustified) is easy and lyght for euery man to vnder­stande. For the which cause at other ty­mes we haue gathered togyther forthe of Paull many places for this purpose. Wherfore at this present it shalbe suffi­cient to haue touched the principall. In the ende of the thyrde chapiter to the Romaynes. Paull mooste lyke a cunninge clerke, propoundynge this proposition: By Faythe we are iustified freely: vseth weyghtye and clerkly confyrmations, whiche moost of all are to be printed in mennes myndes to kyndle vp our Faith that in al our perylles and dangers they may be alway before our eyes.

THVS muche haue I spoken of Iustification and of Faythe.workes. Nowe wyll I declare some thyng concernyng the doctryne of good workes, which are called [Page] the newe obedience:Dure newe obedience. whiche necessaryly foloweth Faith. There be .iiii. thinges that we wyll speake of. The fyrste what workes are to be done, the second: howe they maye be done. Thyrdly, howe they maye please God. In the which thyrde part we wyl dyscusse whether we be iu­stified, that is to say accepted of God to eternal felicitie for that newe obedience sake, whiche be borne agayne in a newe kinde of life, and whether we be with­out sinne and worthye euerlastinge lyfe for our owne purenesse. Fourthlye we wyll treat of deadlye sinne whiche ma­keth vs voyd of Grace, of Fayth, and of the holy Ghost: consequently declaryng what are called venyall sinnes, and whiche they be.

[...]hat wor [...]es are to [...]e done. TO THE FIRST QVEstion, what workes are to be done, wherin it is right that we do lede the mindes of mē to the worde of God, that they may know that al theyr life as wel concerninge the conflicte of conscience as their outwarde dedes must be gouerned and ruled by the worde of God, as witnesseth the Prophete, saienge. The candle or lanterne to my fete is ye worde of God. I do aunswere therfore to thys [Page xlvi] question,worde of God. that those workes whiche are commanded to vs of God are to be kept and done: and that by the manifest word of God. As the ten commaundementes in maner and fourme as they be decla­red and also expoūded in the newe testa­ment: yea and also if there be any other preceptes or commaundementes perteynynge to the outwarde lyfe: in the tea­chynges and lessons of Christe and hys Apostles. This I do say bicause I wold nat that men shulde make and faine no newe worshippinges and workes with out the worde and commaundement of God. As dyd the Monkes, Chanōs and Fryers, Nonnes,Monkes. with other Popysshe prelates, and nowe of late the Anabap­tistes, whiche nat takinge the worde of God to councell, did inuente and pike out for them selfes, workes after theyr owne iudgemente and phantasies, ma­kinge men beleue afterward. that they were styrred therto by the holy spirite. The which may in no case be resisted or cōtraryed, but obeyed by allawes, right & reson. This was the cause of the dissolute and vnlawfull liuinge of the Ana­baptistes.Anabap­tystes Wherfore here after it shalbe declared to you: what is to be vnderstāde and ment by this wordes (to be deliue­red from the Lawe) purposyng nowe in [Page] fewe wordes to shewe, that they whiche be regenerated and new borne by Faith as I haue sayde, do receyue the holye Ghost, that there may be begon in them a newe obedience or better maner of li­uinge, a newe lighte, and life eternall, whiche is a beginning and an entrance into the lawe of God.

THERFORE the Prophete say­eth. I wyll gyue and put my lawe into theyr hertes. Faythe of necessitie muste nedes go before this newe life, the whiche life must also folow as necessarily. Many sentences in the Scriptures bea­rynge therto witnes. Example. If thou wylt entre into heuen kepe the commandemētes Also. Excepte the iustice of you do abounde aboue. &c. Fornicators and adulterers shal nat possesse the kingdom of God. And. The holye Ghoste doeth moue and styre the hertes of men by the worde of God: to the which worde we muste gyue all our obedience. As Paull witnesseth, we are detters, that we doo nat lyue after the fleshe. For Fayth can nat stande in vs withoute repentaunce. For by Faythe we muste receyue the re­mission of sinne. And that man doth nat in dede aske and call for remission of sinne, whiche agaynst his owne consci­ence deliteth in mischiefe. It is nat the [Page xlvii] outwarde discipline only whiche is re­quyred of vs. But the beginninge of the inwarde obedience, that is to saye, the godly motions of our herte agreable to the lawe of God. A man may se that the aduersaries of the truth, when they doo crye and barke good workes: they doo play as though they shulde teache chyl­dren how they shuld behaue them selfes in modest and honest wearinge of their garmentes, in theyr eating & drinking. Nowe and then peraduenture they doo speke of almes dede. But touchyng the workes commaunded in the fyrst table: they do playe mum: nat one worde for a good pounde: beynge as dum as a fishe. Wherfore is ye: but bicause they knowe nat the doctrine of Fayth: therfore they can gyue no good instruction. But God commaundethe and requyreth of vs the workes of both the tables.

HE wyllethe that we do feare and drede the angre and wrathe of God a­gaynst oure infyrmities & innumerable offences. He wylleth also that we being reconciled by the sonne of God do be­leue that he hath receyued vs to hys fa­uour, that he wyll saue vs, that he wyll helpe vs. With this Faythe wyll he be called on. He wyllethe that with thys Faythe we do bothe call and surelye to [Page] loke and trust after helpe, as the psalme. Call on me. &c. He wyllethe with this Fayth, that we do depende and hang on him, and nat to seke other aides & helpes contrary to his worde and wyll. These are the secrete and moste propre workes of a christian man which we must nedes vnderstande. The examples whereof are sene in those Godlye men whiche God hath sette before vs as maysters and teachers. In Abraham, Isaack, Iacob, Io­seph, Samu [...]l. Dauid, Ieremy, Danyel, and such lyke. He commaundeth vs also that we haue a whote and an ardent de­syre: both to knowe and also to set forth abrode to all men the Gospell. This is the worshyppynge whiche he teacheth: for the whiche we are al chefely ordey­ned, created, regenerated and called. As Peter writeth. Being called from darknesse, to shewe and sette forth to all men the benefites of God, and the psalme .34 I wyl confesse to the &c. and psalme .95 I wyl rendre and perfourme to the lord before all the people my vowes: in the porches of the house of our god. He willeth, that in the profession of the gospel we be constant, and in afflictions obedient, callinge and trusting for helpe and succour from him. He willeth vs to take hede, that with our yll examples of lyfe [Page xlviii] we do gyue none occasion of sclaunder. He commaundeth vs to refute, hate and abhorre al wicked doctrines: and nat to corry fauell with the instrumentes and membres of the Deuyl: whiche do go a­boute to obscure and darken the mooste clere, pure, and holsome doctrine of the Gospell. I go nat about nowe to make none exposition of the commaundementes: but yet I wolde councel all men al­ways, to loke earnestly on them, and to considre howe many, greate, and harde matters they do comprehende.

¶Howe workes may be done.

TO the seconde question: by what reason and howe maye so greate workes: both the inward and the outwarde workes be perfourmed and done, our weakenes being so great as it is. Although that the outwarde workes by mannes power and diligence may be somewha [...] likely, and skant so so performed, yet the inwarde discipline & worke being in the spiritual motions agreing to the worde of God: without the wor­king of ye holy Ghost can by no meanes be done as they ought to be. Therefore when that with Fayth the hertes of mē are erected and lifte vp with comforte, [Page] then is giuen the holye Ghost to kindle in the mindes of men godly motions respondent to th [...] lawe of God, according to the sayinge of Paul, that we may re­ceyue the promise of the spirite by faith Zachary the .iiii. cap. I wyl poure oute vpon the dwellers of Ierusalem the spirite of my grace, fauoure, and pardone. Very godly forsothe did this Prophete set forth and declare, the office & workes of the holye Ghoste in the hertes of the vertuouse, and also the righte worship­pinges that we oughte to do. He doethe name the spirite of Grace bicause that when by Fayth we are lyfte vp: then we are holpen of the holy Ghoste, whereby we are persuaded that God is mercifull to vs, and againe that we are acceptable to him.

FIRST therfore he doth declare and signifie to vs that Faythe is styrred vp in vs by the holy Ghost, in the which motion and styrrynge the holye ghoste doth giue vs testimonie and witnes. As Paul sayeth. For as much (saieth he) as by faythe we do knowledge the mercye and presence of god, we do th [...]n also cal on him, we do submit our selfes to hym beginning al other true worshippinges which vnder the name of pra [...]e [...] the prophete doeth comprehend. For this is the [Page xlix] chefe honour that can be done and exhi­bited to god. It is therfore easy ynough to be perceyued, that Fayth of the whi­che we do speake, is the beginninge of the inwarde obedience, good purpose or intentes, (as men vse to call it). Ney­ther can the fyrst precept which techeth of the wrath of God agaynst sinne, and also of his free pardon, haue any roote or beginninge in vs, except thorowe the hearing of the worde of God, whiche is the Gospel with a strong Fayth we doo certaine our selfes that for Christ sake. we do obteyne remission of our sinne. For Fayth doeth beholde the son of god in his kingdome, knowinge perfectly that he is nat idle: but alway giuing bat tayle to the Deuyl, whiche continually ragynge ouer mankynde: neuer ceasseth with his cautels and giles to illure and prouoke him to sinne, and other misfor­tunes, for none other cause but to draw him into desperatiō, with diuers kindes of errors and other epicuris opinions, whiche doo flatter and deceyue gentyll and soft wittes. On that other side he styrreth vp tyrantes for to putte downe and to suppresse withal crueltie the name of Christe. For as muche therfore that it is manifest that the nature of mā is so weake and feble, that without the [Page] heuenly helpe it is nat able to vanquish and ouercome so cruel & fierce an enmy, whiche neuer slepeth. Therfore Faith calleth to remembrance the kingdom of Christ, beleuyng stedfastly that he hathe ben contynually with his faythful euen from the tyme of his fyrst promise, whiche was,The fyrste promise. the sede of the woman shal trede to pouder and dust the head of the Serpent. The which promise by Iohn is made playne, sayinge. Christ appered to distroy the workes of the deuyl. The Lorde was at hand with Iacob and blessed him with the holy Ghost: he was by Danyel, and talked with him: he doeth reygne so, that he is alway presēt with his members confyrmynge them with the holy Ghost, gydynge them agaynste the crafty gyles and deceytes of the Deuyl with all his assaultes. What maner and howe glorious these victories be: The examples of Dauyd, Ezechias and Danyel do declare, ye and Christ at the resurrection of ye deade shal shewe those gorgious triumphes, which the world doth make lyght at: naye they do openly deride and laugh to skorne.

BVT to good men these battailes are well inoughe knowen: which in the tymes of perylles and daungers muste practyse thys Fayth: knowledging and [Page l] callyng on Christ theyr captaine: and so hauing confidence in him to fight with the Deuyl, remembringe the wordes of Iohn. Christ came downe among vs to distroy the workes of the Deuyli. By thys, men maye se that Faythe is nat an ydle speculation or phantasy, but that it is a lyght which gouernethe all oure actes, ye and al our perylles and daun­gers. We may therfore by the helpe of the sonne of God, which reygneth, be­gyn this newe obedience, which lyke a valiaunt captayne neuer forsaketh hys beloued, puttynge into them his holye spirite. We may nat thynke that Christ lyueth and reygneth in Heauen ydelly, as the Poetes fayned Iupiter to banket and to make mery in Heauen, nothinge regardinge what is done in earth. Such darknes is in the mynd of men, contemnynge and settynge lyght by God. The which errors by the lyght of the Gos­pell and by Fayth must be redressed. Of this practise and exercise of Fayth with true inuocation of God: what can the aduersaries of god say, and speke, which in the steade of the Gospel and of Faith doeth inculcate and teache vs the Pir­rhonious Phylosophye of dubitation and mystrust.

¶ Nowe foloweth the thyrde question [Page] which the olde writers haue nat spoken of, so largely and playnly as they haue of that other twayne, beynge no lesse, nay more necessary

¶ Howe our workes may please God.

FOR as muche as in them which he regenerated remayneth yet greate imbecillitie and weaknes, nat ha­uynge the feare (which they oughte to haue) of God: nat brennynge in Faythe and loue, seketh the helpe of man, more than the worde of God permitteth, be­ynge seducted with errors, and negly­gent in doynge theyr duetye and offyce, beynge proude and puffed vp with im­moderat affections of loue and hatred, courtynge vnhonest and vnlawful pleasures: and in theyr afflictiōs & troubles bendyng theyr browes agaynst the lord, doubtynge, or rather dispayryng of his mercy, are inflamed with vniust desyre of vengeaunce, doeth nat with herte de­clare them selfe to God gentyll and lo­uyng: nat thankyng him hertely for his great benefytes, passyng nat much whether the Gospel doth go backewarde or forward, nat bewaylyng the calamities and miserable state of the churche, and of the common welth, nat prayenge for [Page li] the churche, and for princes: but beynge set a fyer with vniust desyre of gatherīg togither of richesse, honours, and of power, hatynge them which do shyne in godly vertues and godlye gyftes, or ra­ther caysyng vp sclaunders on them: as the contention of superioritie betwene the sister of Moyses and Aaron did cause stubburnesse.

FOR as much I say as these greate [...]yces do yet reygne in them: ye whiche are borne againe in a newe byrth, vices I say much contrary and repugnante to the lawe of God, worthy deathe euerla­stinge, spryngynge from the most pesty­ [...]ent well and fountayne of al mischefe. I say Originall sinne, that is the igno­rance and want of the knowlege of god, and frowarde turnynge thy selfe awaye from the wyl of God, (of the whiche vyces Paul speakinge discribeth no small deformite: but a great and monstruouse euyll, saying, the sence, felyng, and pricking of the fleshe is mortall enemye to God), it is manifest therfore that no mā can performe and satisfie the Lawe but only Christ, and that in the newe borne by Fayth, there doth remaine sinne contrary to the Lawe of god, and worthy euerlastynge death without they be for­gyuen. Syth that this is true: nat onely [Page] in the scholes, but also in mens mindes thꝭ questiō being resoned causeth no sma [...] perylles and contention within man, resonyng with other, yea, and with theyr owne selfes, whether they please God ye or nay: secondly howe this impure, and imperfect newe lyfe can please God beynge so full of vnclennesse.

IT is necessary therfore that men be taughte to vnderstande and perceyue both of these doubtes. For the hypocritꝭ (so feble and weake is theyr nature) d [...] stande muche in theyr owne conceyt regardynge and settynge muche by they [...] owne vertues, thynkyng that they b [...] strong ynough of them selfe, makynge the naturall vicious inclination of the flesshe no sinne or very small: do thynke them selfes without sinne, that they be able of theyr owne strength to perform the lawe of God, and worthy to obteine the lyfe euerlastyng for theyr owne de­sertes and merites. This is the mynde nat only of Hipocrites, but also of those which in theyr iudgementes do folowe theyr owne blynde reasons and phantasies. Such was the reasonyng of Plato and of Tullye of the immortalitie of soules, sayinge that those soules which departed forth of the bodies most purist hauing least part of the dregges and filthynesse [Page lii] of the bodies did flye vp to the ayre. Contrary wise: those soules, whi­che departynge, were full of all fylthye lustes and foule desyres of the fleshly bodies, did continue styll on the earth be­ynge about the sepulchres and graues where theyr bodies were layde and bu­ryed. Is nat al one matter that our religious fathers, bosting and setting vn of theyr merites semeth for to do Do they any thynge els than Plato or Tully. Although that the reason of man by his owne lyght and knowledge of him self can none otherwise iudge, yet the word of God doth testify, that no man can sa­tisfy the lawe, accusyng al men, and settyng before vs our mediatur, the only son of God. It is necessary therfore that those proud, arrogant, and carkles stomakꝭ of Hipocrites be rebuked, as much as it is requisite, that the fearful consciences and weake myndes are to be comforted with the true comfort nat to my­strust the mercy of God (for that he ha­teth) but to haue a stedfast Fayth: and to learne howe the lyfe, maners, & workes may please God. Peter: when he was in the bote, beyng affrayde, sayde: go from me Lorde, for I am a sinner. Thoughe that Peter beyng in great feare did nat marke what he sayde his selfe, yet as it [Page] doeth happen often tymes vnwares to a man being sodenly moued, he did simpelly declare with his mouth what his hert thought. For he fledde from God, beholdyng and considering his owne vnworthynesse. Lykewise all men beholdinge theyr owne vnworthynes, do flye from God, thynkyng that in so doing they do well to go from him, bicause they do seme to theyr selfes vnworthy. The whiche erroure beinge fyxed in mennes myndes, the gospel doth reprehend, commaundinge all men though they be vn­worthy, to come boldlye vnto hym, tru­styng stedfastly on the mediator, which is the sonne of God.

AND although as I haue declared a new obedience, (which is the iustice, in declaration of a good consciēce) is very necessary, yet for al that they whiche be regenerated and newe borne agayne in Christ in a newe lyfe by Faythe and in­spiration of the holy Ghost, neyther do nor can fulfyll al that the lawe doth re­quyre. For in them (for al theyr newe byrth) remayneth our fyrst and original disease: nat to be set lyght by, bredinge and causyng innumerable ill affections in vs. Considering then that these vices are worthye and deserue euerlastinge death, ye those whiche be newe borne [Page liii] agayne are nat iust, that is to say accep­ted or pleasaunt to god for theyr owne propre vertues, but thorowe mercy, and that frely: by a ful trust in the mediator Christ. Also they do nat merite eternall felicitie by theyr owne workes and vertues: but they muste be of thys opinion that they be heyres of euerlastinge lyfe by Christ, frely by Fayth: although they haue the newe obedience, or the good workes which consequētly must folow this Fayth.

TO proue that none of al the godly and most vertuous men that euer were, can nat perfourme the request of ye lawe and that there doeth remayne in them sinne: ye after theyr regeneratyon thys sentence folowinge doeth proue.i.

¶ Psalme. 143. Thou shalt nat enter in to iudgement with thy seruauntes, for no liuing creature shall be iustified in ii. thy syght. The fyrst epistle of Iohn, and fyrst cap. If we shulde say that we haue no sinne, we do begyle our felfes, and the truth is nat in vs.

ALSO Romaynes. 7. cap. I do se iii. and fele another Lawe in my members striuing agaynst the Lawe of my mynde makynge me bonde vnder the Lawe of sinne. And often times Paul doth repete the worde of sinne, signifieng to vs that [Page] it striueth in vs alway against the Lawe of God,Synne. deseruing eternal death: except by Fayth, our pardon be obteyned, mea­ning by that worde sinne, nat onely the smal motions, styrringes and prickingꝭ of the flesshe, but also the sharpe motiōs of the minde, that is to say, the mistruste of the wyl of God, abhorring the crosse nat beyng lift vp and erected with trust and gladnes in the Lord, as we be when we do fynd ease and helpe of our bodely diseases and sicknes. From the whiche diffidence and mistrust, riseth many euil and noughty myndes. Therfore the A­postle vseth .ii. vocables in the same text to the Romaynes, very propre and mete for this purpose. The fyrst is this worde striuing or fighting against: signifieng therby that like a most cruell enemy in an open feelde: it doeth fyght against vs and seketh al meanes & craftes to woūde our mynd with mistrust in the mercy of God, with terrors and great feare, with pride, with trust vnto our owne wytte, and rightwisnes of our self, putting vs out of al care of God, and kindelingin vs the flame of all noughty lustes and fylthy desyres. The seconde vocable is this, (going about to make me captiue) the which is so sayde bicause thou shul­dest take the better hede of him, whose [Page liiii] study is to haue vs in bondage, oppres­syng the weake mindes, and at the laste takinge vs prisoners, thoughe we be a­gayn deliuered by Christ. As when Moyses was snared and taken at the rocke, he douted and mistrusted. Dauyd also was taken when he commaunded to nombre his people, eyther deceyued by error, or els by vainglory that he had augmented and increased his kingdom so mightely or for some such like cause. We shal nat nede to bring forth many exāples: euery vertuous man hath ynough of suche ex­amples within his owne dores, by their owne experience, feling and seing howe diligent and busy our enmy is to seduce and oppresse our minde with oure owne opinions and phantasies. For the deuyl doth neuer cease to besege the vertuous and faythful men in specially.

PAVL to the Corinthes the fyrst Epystle. 4.i. Corin. i cap. I knowe nothing in my iiii: selfe wherof I am gyltye: but I am nat for that iustified, which is as muche to say, though I haue good workes, whi­che is the outward iustice and witnesse of a good conscience, yet for all that I am nat therfore made iust, that is accep­table and pleasaunt to God to eternall blysse. But onelye by Faythe in Iesu Chryste.

[Page] v.CHRIST also biddeth his holye ones to cal for remission of sinne with these wordes, and forgiue vs our dettes &c. commaunding them also to say: We vi. be vnprofitable seruantes. Also the 129 psalm̄. If thou woldest marke & obserue our iniquities (good Lord). Lord what man shulde be able to withstande them: he knowledged that he was burdened with sinne, yet for all that he persuaded him self that he was pleasant and acceptable to God by mercy, and so did truste and loke after helpe and helth, sayinge these wordes. My soule hath stande fast and continued in his worde, that is to say, by the heuenly promise I do susteyn and hold vp my selfe. I do go to no creature but to him: I loke for helth of none but of him: I do rest altogither in hym, trustinge in his goodnes that he wyll saue me. Also. Psalme. 18. Who doethe vii. knowe mine offences and faultes? from my secret and priuie hid filthines make me cleane. It doeth appeare nat only by this place of the Scripture, but also by many other places of the said prophete, that he spake nat these woordes in hys owne person only, but in the name of al sayntes, faythful and Godly men. Naye those mē theyr own selfꝭ whō he calleth the seruauntes of God, sanctified by the [Page lv] holy Ghost, replenished with excellent giftes continuyng in exercise of Fayth, hauing gouernance and rule ouer great matters (As Abraham, Ioseph, Moyses Samuel, Dauid, Esay) al togyther with one voyce they do crye (I saye) these wordes. What man doth knowe all our offences: from our secrete and priuie vices make vs pure and cleane, good lord. Wherfore the arrogant and proud boldnesse of the hipocrites, is much to be detested, whiche do boste and cracke that they do deserue eternal felicitie by their owne merites and workes, and as they do say, both worthyly and of duety.

¶ Psalme. 31. I haue sayde. I wyl con­fesse and knowledge againste my selfe viii. (Lorde) mine iniquitie and vnrightwisnes, and thou shalt remitte and forgiue my sin. For this shal all men make theyr inuocation and praier, they shal cal and crye (for remission of theyr sinne) vnto the, in tyme conuenient. Which wordes witnesseth that al men of what perfect­nes soeuer they be, must call for pardon of theyr vices and offences. Iob. 4. cap. sayeth. I mistrusted and feared all my ix. workes. Exodꝰ 33. The innocent before the is nat innocente, that is to say. Al­though x. by mannes reason he hath nat deserued to be accused, yet thou mayste [Page] accuse him.

TO the Lorde be al rightwisnes: to xi. vs perteyneth cōfusiō and vtter shame, that we are nat able to shewe abrode our faces, which is as much to say. I knowledge that we haue sinned, and that we are iustly punished of the: it folowethe. Confusion to vs is proper, to the truely belōgeth mercy and pitie, that is to say. I knowledge that we are sinners, but thou for thy mercy sake, whiche is pro­mised here ones agayne to our praier and deliuer vs. The which sentence, the Prophete afterwarde repeting, sayeth. We pray the nat for oure rightwisnesse sake, but for thy great mercy. These maner of teachynges and preachinges are repeted to vs with one consent of al the olde fathers in ye scriptures. Our weke­nes is alway accused, we are commaun­ded by Fayth to flye to mercy, thorowe the sonne of God, promised whiche is our mediator. Likewise Paul doeth nat accuse one certayne kinde and sorte of men, but without any exception he af­fyrmeth al men to be gylty of sinne, on­ly Christ excepted, before god, sayinge these wordes, that all mennes mouthes may be stopt, and al the whole world giltie before God. He concluded al men to be vnder sinne, to the entent that al men [Page lvi] shulde knowe them selfe nedy of mercy. Also Paul sayeth He that is proud and reioyseth: let him be proud in the lorde. These and such other lyke sentences set good men set before them, that they may learne to knowe theyr infyrmyties to be sinne without doubte, and that they may feare the wrath of God, whiche is against sinne, and so let repētance grow in vs. It is sayde in the Genesis concerning the latter iudgement. Sinne shalbe at rest tyll it be reueled and made open. Wherin the carklesnes of mankinde is described, which doth neither feare nor regard the iudgement of god. He saieth sinne shalbe at rest, that bicause the lord which doeth prolong and differ his pu­nishmentes: all men wyll be slogardes without care: dispising the threteningꝭ of god, but at the last theyr sinne shalbe layd forth and set abrode that it can nat be hyd. There it shal nat rest, but it shal bring to mannes mind euerlasting ter­ror and feare with horrible and soore paynes.

TO make our newe obedience and good life acceptable to God,what is requyred to make oure workes acceptable to God. thre thyn­ges are requyred. Fyrst we must beleue that man frely for Christe sake is accep­table. Seconde to knowledge our owne infyrmities and weaknesse to be verye [Page] sinne, being sory and repentāt for those great vices. Thyrdly to comforte oure selfes, beleuing that those sinnes be for giuen vs for Christe sake, after that by Fayth we are made the sonnes of God, being certayne that our newe obedience and worke pleaseth the Lorde, nat for theyr owne dignitie or worthines, but for the mediator Christe. Who beinge our Bisshop doth offer vp and carieth to his father our praiers & worshippinges as Peter writeth. Offre you spirituall sacrifice acceptable and pleasant to god by Iesu Christ.

THIS Apostle setteth forth good workes goodly calling them sacrifices that is to say,Spirituall sacrifice. the mouinges and affecti­ons styrred in oure hertes by the holye Ghost. And yet for al that, this kynde of worshippinge beinge so holye: is none otherwise accepted nor pleasaunt to the Lorde, but only for Iesu Christ sake our redemer and Bisshop, which dayly doth sue to the father for vs.

THVS must Christian hertes be instructed and styrred vp to good workes God made and created man to be as a felowshyppe and company togyther, to the entente that he wolde be knowen a­monge men, and to teache one an other the doctryne and knowledge of god and [Page lvii] of the sonne of God, as wytnesseth Stigellius in his verse as foloweth.

Vt (que) alios alii, de religione docerent
Contiguas pietas, iussit habere domos.

GOD also for man hathe ordeyned diuers kindes of degrees & orders as some to be the heades and ru­lers of the churches, some of vniuersi­ties and scholes, and so forth in al other kind of rulers and offices. He ordeyned Matrimony for the bringing vp of chyldren. The guvernaunce of the common welthes, and the kinges to be the heades and chief rulers: he hath ordeined wares and bying and selling betwene man and man. He hath ordeyned the church to be subiect to great afflictiōs and troubles. For what intent was so great a diuersi­tie of thinges ordeyned, but that oure Fayth might shine bright in al our dan­gers & perilles, ye and then to increase most, and that we shulde beleue that we are nat made to be distroied, but to be receyued of him and saued by Christ. To cal on him: to beleue that Christ is oure captaine, which putteth away ye brontes and assaultes of the Deuyl, helping vs, both in our priuate and publike busines [Page] He that is a Bysshop,Bysshoppe. parson, or parish [...] preeste muste crye: Lorde open thou my lyppes,Scholemayster. and my mouthe shall pronounce thy prayse. The scholemaister shal cons [...] der howe sore that Christe threateneth them which giueth sclaunderous occa­sion of lyfe to chyldren,Houschol­ders. prayinge that Christ wold vouchsafe to be in theyr studies & to gouerne theyr maners. House­holders: let them consider theyr charges likewise. Good Princes also must sette theyr churches in a good and conforme vnitie,Prynces. and concorde, punishing the epi­curious persons, liuing in all voluptu­ousnes of life, passing neyther for God: nor for the Deuill, and to se good ordre and rule among the people: chastenynge theues, vnchast liuers, and lyers: to se [...] that the right be ministred, euery man to haue his owne. The Deuyll styrreth about labourynge to disquiete and di­sturbe the quietnesse and tranquillitie of the church, the common welth: ar­ming tyrantes against the worde of god Wherefore let Princes be burnynge in Fayth: beleuynge that Christe is theyr helper and distroyer of the worke of the Deuyl.

TO be short likewise as inuocation and prayer: so muste Faythe glister and shine in al our workꝭ & dedes. Although [Page lviii] that the vertues and workes of good mē do nat deserue and merite eternal felicitie, and remissiō of sinne, being nat able to bye and to purchace euerlastinge life (for no man can fulfyl the Lawe, beinge contrary to al reason, that the merytes of Christ shuld be referred to our workꝭ and merites, making the promise vncertayne if it shulde depende on the condi­cion of our worthines) neuerthelesse a newe obedience otherwise called good workes must necessaryly folowe Fayth,Fayth doth go before and good workꝭ doeth folowe. which obedience then, and nat before hath the beginning: when by Fayth we do receyue the holy Ghost, which faith and holy ghost we do cast away from vs as often as we do lese this newe obedy­ence,Fayth and mynd to d [...] yl are neue [...] togyther. transgressing the commandementꝭ of god against our conscience. For these twayne, Faythe, and a wyll to do or to worke against conscience, can in no case dwel togyther. To this effecte pertey­neth many sayinges of workes, with hert we beleue to our iustificatiō, with mouth we giue knowledge to our saluation. All our whole obedience must be a knowledginge and a confession, that is must be referred to the glory of Christ, and furderance of the gospel. For albeit by Christ we are made iust, and heyres of lyfe euerlasting: yet must we haue stil [Page] this obedience, which is pleasaunt and acceptable as I haue said, being nat possible that Faith can be without this obedience. Paul bearynge therto wytnesse sayinge Let vs be cledde with an other garment: leste we be founde naked. For Christ his sake, life euerlasting is giuen to none but to them which do beleue, in the which Fayth beginneth euerlasting lyfe, which begynning is the newe obedience and workes.wherfore ar [...]oure workes excluded from iustification. Our workes be ex­cluded that Christ maye haue his owne honor and prayse, that ye promise myght be certaine, and that we may haue a sure comfort and consolation against despe­ration. The thefe hanging on the crosse being conuerted had this new obediēce repentyng and lamentynge his sinne.The Thefe on the crosse A great lighte of Faythe did shine to vs in this abiect person, the Lorde declaringe by this example to vs, that he doeth preserue and restore the church when it se­meth most destitute of helpe, and lyke to be ouerthrowen.he compareth and cō fer [...]ethe the stedfaste Faythe of the thefe with the d [...]uot [...]umes of the Apostles. The Apostles seinge and perceyuyng the great troubles and paynes that theyr maister was in, doubted of him: thinking that he was forsa­ken of God. But this pore thefe was nat discomforted, for all that he sawe Christe on the crosse, but called on hym for helpe, hearing him before saye. Fa­ther [Page lix] forgyue them: he hard of ye workes of Christ: and what he professed. He marked the natures of thinges, hearing witnesse to that same, the darknesse of the sonne and the erthquake. Therfore with a strong hert he called on him, sayinge. Remembre me Lorde when thou doeste come into thy kingdome. What a great matter of Fayth was thys, that he wold knowledge him which suffered lyke punyshment with him: whiche shulde dye with him, to be the Messias the forgiuer of sinne: the giuer of lyfe euerlastinge: and that shulde (death being ouercome) reygne a kingdome after this lyfe. The Apostles before ye tyme did thynke that the Romains being expulsed, he shuld be an erthly kyng: but this thefe declared, that he which there suffered death with him: after death shuld reygne. Whereto Christ giuing euidence saide that he hys selfe shulde reygne, that he was the gy­uer of lyfe eternal, giuing to him abso­lution, and the Gospell of euerlastinge lyfe, to kindle and confyrme his Fayth, sayinge. This daye thou shalte be with me in Paradise. Wherwith this poore thefe being made strong and confyrmed did knowledge and confesse that he had lyfe euerlastinge giuen to him, nat for his owne merite and deseruing, but for [Page] this Lorde sake declaring as sone as he hadde this Fayth and comfort the newe obedience towarde God. Marke there­fore I praye you and se howe that thys Apostle hanginge on the tree did teache nat only those which were there presēt, but also the church which was to come. ¶ What a good spectacle is sette before vs, wherby we may lerne that by Fayth frely we are saued by Christ, nat exclu­dinge for al that repentaunce and other good workes.

what are to be noted i [...] the thefe.¶ In the which thefe is to be noted, repentance, fayth, inuocation, confession, and the office of a preacher. Which for­soth are the chiefe and principall good workes and kinde of worshippinge that we cā do to God. There is also an other marueilous godly lesson to be obserued and ī especial necessary, in that thꝭ good thefe rebuked with sharpe wordes, that other thefe his felow, which there was hanged with him: defending the glorye of God:what is to be onderstand by that thys these rebuked hys felowe bicause he spake blasphemously of God, giuing vs example howe to re­buke and reprehend the teachers of wicked lerning contrary to the word of god with tyrantes and al such other which are full of blasphemy persecutinge and speakinge yll of Christ in his members. The which preacher may well be like­ned [Page lx] to them in these oure latter dayes. Wherefore let vs heare him diligently both considering the example and also folowynge of that same.

FOR as much therfore as our newe obedience is pleasante and acceptable to God as I haue shewed you: althoughe that the lyfe euerlasting is giuen freely for Christ his sake, yet he doeth recom­pence our labours, dedes,Oure good dedes are rewarded and troubles susteyned for his sake, as he doeth testi­fie, pour reward is great in heuen. And natwithstanding that of iust merite thei deserue nat lyfe euerlasting, yet they deserue other rewardes both corporal and spirituall. For the Lorde entendinge to mainteine and preserue his church doth liberally giue and distribute many cor­porall benefites, as mainteininge life with liuing competent, giuinge also a ciuyl peace and trāquillitie, with other thinges necessary and profitable for thꝭ lyfe. We haue also nede of spiritual be­nefites, as wisdom, learning, strength, good successe to euery mā in his calling Therfore Christ said, first seke the kīg­dome of god, and then al thinge shall be throwen to you. Paull saith also, that pitifulnesse and charite hath her promyses bothe in this present life and in that other to come. Marke the .10. chap. He [Page] shal receiue an hundredfold more in this life, but not without persecution. The fourth precept saith that thou maist liue long on the yerth. And Christ saith, giue you and you shal receiue againe. Math x. He that gyueth but a cup of water to one of these for the doctryne, he shall nat lese his rewarde. Euerye where in the Prophettes promyses of corporall and spiritual benefytꝭ are cōteyned,These are goodly rewardes. as Esay 33. speakinge of the good and vertuouse sorte. Breade shalbe giuen to them, and they shal se their king florishe: they shal lacke no foode, their comonwelth shal prosper and be quiet:Fayth. worke. Rewarde. The widow Sa­repton receiued into her house the pro­phet Ely, when there was great scarsite of vitayles. In the which dede, fyrst the faith of the woman, secondly her worke and thyrde her greate rewarde are to be noted and marked. The Prophete commaunded her to giue to him some meat, if she had any left, addinge therto a pro­mise as the historye declareth. The wo­man gaue to him for to eate, when she had nomore in her house for her selfe. This woman wolde nat haue extended to so great liberalitie, if she had nat ben of a stronge Faythe, thinking fyrst that God must be obeyed, and the Prophete succoured, and so did loke after the re­warde [Page lxi] and benefite promised of God. Therfore she receiued a reward of faith and charitie. For her house was mayn­teyned, and fed from heuen by ye power of the Lorde tyl that vittayles were better chepe, and waxed more plenty. Her childe which was dead, was restored to lyfe agayne: by the which great miracle her Fayth was made strong and stedfast and the yonge man called vnto vertue. Whom Epiphomius doeth write to be Ionas the Prophete,Ionas. which afterwarde preached to the king of Assirians in Ni­niue, promoting and settyng forthe the worde of God. Likewise at all tymes godly and vertuouse men haue receyued nat onely spirituall benefites, but also many corporall, to the preseruation of the church, some this gift, some that,Paul. as it pleaseth the Lorde to gyue, The lord preserued Paul frō al daungers, proui­ding for him both house & meate, and al to her thinges necessary, so longe as it pleased him that he shulde serue him in his ministery and office. So Paull to the Corinthians writethe concerninge the plage of pestelence, saying, that god punished thē with that plage for theyr offences, and if they wolde repente be sayde, that then the plage wolde ceasse, Suche lyke are the wordes of Zachary. [Page] Be you conuerted to me, and I wyll turne my face to you, that is as much to say, as I wyl swage and mitigate youre calamities and plages, if you wyll re­pent, nat meaning of one worke only to be done, (as though it were satisfactiō) but of the true conuersion and fruite, and declaring that same. By these examples rehrrsed, you maye perceyue after what fashion this newe obedience is acceptable to God, and what kinde of re­wardes it hath. There be many thinges that may kindle a mannes herte to well doynge.There is no greater [...]lage then [...]lyndnesse [...]nd synne. Fyrste the commaundement of God. Secondly, Faythe is cleane extinguished if you do neglect this newe obedience, that is to say, if newe workes folow nat this Fayth. The thyrde is, considering that the lacke of this Faith, and al other vices are punished with plages in this lyfe, and with paynes to come. Blyndnes, and sinne are great plages to vs: althoughe there were none other. Furthermore it is nat only the promise which moueth vs to beleue and to be in a stedfast Fayth, but also the commaun­dement of God, which doth commaunde vs to giue credite and belefe to the son: it doth courage vs to practice our fayth in good workes, bicause that withoute suche exercise and practice oure Faythe [Page lxii] doth nat grow and increace, as it is de­clared, by the talent. Augustine saieth. Loue deseruethe agayne to be increased with Loue, speaking nat of our acceptacion but of giftes. Gyftes do growe by vse of giuing, and deserueth to be incresed. The greatnesse of the mercy of God also doth encorage vs, bicause it pleseth him to allowe this our miserable beg­garly, and s [...]lender obedience, and nat only allowing it, but also reputing and taking it to be high honour vnto him. Many other thinges do corage vs therto as the rewardes necessary and expedient for this lyfe, for the mayntenaunce of the church, with rewardes offered to vs of the Lorde at tymes conuenient for our Fayth, and the practice thereof, as certayntie of meat and drinke: peace good successe in al our callinges, in our studies, in the gouerning of the church and of the common welthe, honeste and vertuouse chyldren. &c. These be greate rewardes: but the blindnes of the world is so great, that the commaundement of god, and mention of eternal payns doth nat much moue and styrre theyr mindes. They knowe nat howe necessary these corporal benefites are for vs and howe much it skylleth to vse them wel.

LET vs praye therefore vnto God [Page] for our lorde Iesu Christe sake, whiche doeth pray for vs, to styrre vp vertue in vs, to teach and gouerne vs in his holy spirite, euen as he promised to giue the holye Ghoste to them that wolde aske and call for it.

¶ The fourth question.

AS concerninge the diuersitie of sinne: when we say yt the dregges of the olde sinne remayneth in vs after our newe byrth, and Fayth also, it is necessary that we make a distinction of sinne, bycause that no man shall thinke that aduoutry and such other deuelyshe abhominations can be in place where Faith is. In my boke of common places I haue written large, as tou­chinge deadly and denial sinne. Where­fore nowe brefely I wyl shewe & teach the reder therof. When we be ones iustified by Faythe: then muste the iustice of our good conscience in good workes folowe and appeare of necessitie. Thys thynge doth the teachinge and doctryne of Christe teache and commaunde often tymes openly, and Paul the fyrst epistle and fyrste chapiter to Timothie. The whole summe of the commaundemente is a perfect loue frome a pure herte, and [Page lxiii] from a good cōscience, and from a faith nat fayned. It foloweth in the sayde chapiter, se that thou doest fyghte a good fyght, hauyng Fayth and a good conscience. Also the seconde epistle to the Co­rinthians and the fyrste chapiter. Thys is our glory and reioyce the witnes and testimonye of our conscience. And the fyrst epistle of Iohn the .iii. chapiter. If our hert doth nat cōdempne vs, we haue a good trust and confidēce to god warde Whereby we are taughte that they can nat call and make theyr inuocation on God, which haue theyr intent to breake his commaundement against theyr conscience. Also the fyrste Epistle of Peter and .iii. chapiter. With al sobernes and feare, hauing a good conscience. And to the Galathians the .v. chapiter. The workes of the fleshe are manifest, aduoutry, whore huntinge, worshippinge of forbyd thīges, which is Idolatry. They which so do shal nat enherite the kyng­dome of heuen. Therfore he calleth thē manifest, bicause he condempnethe al ye weting and wt their knowlege do cōmit any thing of these against theyr consci­ence. Wherfore Paul to the Romaynes viii. chapiter doethe make a distinction of sinne saying. If you do lyue after the flesshe you shall perishe and dye. If you [Page] mortifie the dedes of the fleshe with the spirite you shal lyue. There be in godly men operations and dedes of the fleshe whiche are corrupt affections agaynste the which when we do fighte in spirite that is to say, nat faynyng and in Hipocrisie, but refreyninge them with the true feare of God, and a perfecte Faythe we do abide styl in Grace, hauinge styl in vs the holy Ghoste and Faythe, whi­che thinge can nat be withoute greate Fayth in the mynde, so manifold are the enticementes and troubles of the world and soden motions of the flesshe.

THE Deuyl is alway seking occa­sions, wherewith he maye entice oure mindes and drawe them to him. Wherefore we hadde nede be alway watchynge contynuynge in Faythe and inuocation For the victory of thꝭ battayle is Christ which doth ouercome the Deuyll in vs.

BVT for all that our discipline and obedience must be present and redy cal­linge for helpe by Fayth. As Peter say­eth. Be you wakinge for the Deuyl go­eth styl about lyke a raueninge Lion se­kinge whome he maye deuoure. And as touchinge our discipline it is sayd. I do chasten my body bringinge it into bon­dage. Let the feare of God continuallye resyst our desyres and temptations. Let [Page lxiiii] Fayth call for helpe and pardon of oure infyrmitie. Let vs marke the examples which do declare the greatnes of sinne. and the paynes both perpetuall and also present in this lyfe therefore. As Ioseph being tempted and moued by the tenta­tion of his Lady and maistres: nat with out great battayle and fyght of mynde did resist the fury of the woman and the crafty assaultes of the Deuyl, he percey­ued that the Deuyl went about fyrst to pollute him with sinne, and so to plucke him from God: to spyl and robbe him of the gift of ꝓphecie, to make him naked of al heuenly ornamentes and gyftes to rayse vp a sclander wherby the doctrine of Ioseph shulde be had in lesse estimation and regarde, that God shulde be euil spoken by, and finally that the true religion, whiche was but newe spronge vp shulde be vtterly extinguished and putte out of memory.

SO great a ruine and decay shulde so lytle, so small, and so folysshe a pleasure haue broughte with it. For the Deuyll doethe se a farre of, workinge snares to oure distruction, which be inextrycable and vnpossible that thou shuldest euer come forthe of them, if thou doest ones fall into them. As Dauyd & many other vertuouse men haue had the experience [Page] therof. Ioseph considering al this mat­ter what wolde folowe, didde stande vp strongly with Fayth against these enty­cementes and perilles vsinge this outwarde discipline, and callinge for the helpe of God. So our captayne the son of God by Ioseph did ouercome & breke the purpose of the Deuyl.

Venyall synne.ON this fashion when good and vertuouse men do striue against this infyrmitie, the infirmitie is commonly cal­led venyal sinne.

OTHER sinnes there be cōmitted against our conscience, which we do cō ­myt for the nones wyllyngly. And Paull sayeth. The workes of the fleshe are manifest, that is when a man againste hys conscience willingly doth breake the cō maundementes of God: nat resistinge temptation, but flatteringe with his owne vices and noughty desyres. Pry­uely, as Saull hatinge Dauid, or elles opēly and outwardly in outward actes and deds. As Dauid in taking away the wife of an other man. They whiche of­fende on this maner do lese Grace, they shake of the holy Ghost from thē. They do cast away theyr Fayth from them, in so muche that without they do repente, turninge againe to Faythe, departinge forth of this lyfe beinge in that misera­ble [Page lxv] case, they shal perishe for euer.

VVE nede nat in this place reason and dispute of predestination, We wyll iudge and pronounce of our dedes, and of the wyl and iudgement of God, as the worde of God expressely doth teache. If Dauyd had nat repented he had ben cast into euerlastinge tormente, as Saull. Mannes mynde is so ydle and negligent that it regardeth & passeth for nothing. Wherfore we must take good hede that we do nat flatter with that euyl, which may be couered with many colours and clokes, to make it appere to be good, honest and vertuouse. Let vs set before our eyes the word of God, as he saieth. The lanterne to my fete is the word of God. The which word beareth wytnes, that for such sinne committed: grace is gone away, and the holye Ghost cast of, as to the Romaynes viii. If ye lyue after the flesshe ye shall dye. Example we haue in Mathewe .xii. The Deuyll returnynge backe agayne to them frome whom he was caste out. doeth bringe .vii. spirites with him of a more mischeuous nature then himself, and so entring in, causeth the later parte of theyr lyfe to be muche worse than that which was past. Ma­thewe also in the .xiii. chap. speaking of the sede which was suffocated and strangled [Page] with the enticementes of ye world and Paul the fyrst Epistle and .vi. chap. to the Corinthians. Go nat out of the way, for whormongers, Idolaters, Theues. &c. shall nat possesse the kyng­dom of God. Where he wytnesseth that he precheth to them, which before hadde receyued the benefites of Christe. Than he warneth nat to lese those benefytes. Also the fyrst Epistle to the Corinthiās. x. chapiter. Be you nat ydolaters, let nat vs be whormongers, as some of them were, and perysshed in one day .xxiii. thousand men. And the .v. cap. to the Galathians. They which so do shal nat at­tayne to the kingdom of God. It folow­eth. He that soweth in flesshe, shall repe distruction, he that soweth in spirite shal repe euerlasting lyfe. And the fyrste Epystle to Timothe .v. cap. He that ta­keth no care and charge for his owne fa­milie, doth deny hys fayth and is worse than an infydel. To the Hebrewes .xiii Aduouterous persons, and whoremon­gers the lorde shal iudge, and the second Epystle of Peter and seconde chapiter. If, when they haue receyued the knowledge of God, and of theyr sauiour Ie­su Christ, they haue ones escaped & fledde from the fylthynes of this world, and afterwarde agayne do suffer them selfe [Page lxvi] with the same vices to be entangled and ouercome, theyr latter tyme is made much worse than the fyrst. Mathewe .x. He that denieth me before men. I wyll denye him before my father in Heauen, Mathewe .xxiiii. He that continueth til the ende shalbe saued. Mathew .xxv. Go you from me ye cursed into fyer euerla­stinge. I hungred and you gaue me no meat. &c. and .i. Corinth. xiii. And I had al Fayth and nat Loue, I were nothing Although that for our own vertues and workes we are nat iust, that is to say accepted before God, yet must we haue a newe obedience in vs (though it be nat perfect) as men which be ruled and led with the spirite of God, as the sonnes and chyldren of God. As the fyrst epistle of Iohn .iii. cap. In this are knowen the sonnes of God, and the sonnes of the Deuyl. He that doth nat iust is nat of God. He that loueth nat his brother abideth in death. My litle babes, let no man de­ceyue you: He that doth iustly, is iuste: be that worketh sinne is of the Deuyll. The nature of man is so weake and re­dy to euyl, that it doth alway extenuate and make smal the greatnes of theyr of­fences, makinge them eyther to be none (as they do flatter with them selfes) or els if they be offences, to be very small. [Page] But marke what bytter threateninges these be. What might be sayde more sore more terrible than these wordꝭ. He that worketh sinne, is of the Deuyll, that is to say, he is bonde to the Deuil: he is led and gouerned by the Deuyl: being forsaken of the holy Ghost, and out cast from God: as the ende of him doth testyfy.

VVHAT a great heape of sinnes, calamities and miseries did the on fall of Dauyd cause. After that the noughty desyre and fylthy luste hadde ones got the vpper hande in him, thē he toke an other mannes wife. He commaunded her husbande to by kylled, and with him many Citezins good, godly, and vertuouse mē were also destroyed. The name of God susteynynge and sufferynge great blas­phemy. Then nat longe after the son moueth sedition agaynst his father. He ta­keth & vseth his fathers wyfe in whor­dome: so consequently folowing a most lamentable and pyteous distruction of many thousandes of the Citezins. To be short, sedition is the mother of many euyls.The ydolatry of Salomon. By the ydolatry of Salomon what mischefe did insue and ryse.

THE kingdom of Israel was torne a sonder,The fall of Adam. they continued in perpetuall ydolatry and deadly warres. The fal of Adam, did it nat bringe great and many [Page lxvii] euyls into this worlde.

THIS is the mynde of the Deuyl to worke suche craftes for vs when he per­ceiueth that we make light of sinne, flattering our owne affections, giuinge to them the brydle and reyne at large, wherby Fayth is extinguished. For Faythe which asketh remission of sinne can nat be in them whiche haue theyr delyte in sinne, nat being sory, nor repenting thē selfes as witnesseth this saying. Where shal God dwel. In a contrite hert which fearethe my wordes. They wyl nat be deliuered from sinne, which wyllyngly delyteth therin. The teachinge of Iohn warneth vs from whens sinne commeth howe great an enmy we haue, declaring what is the entente and purpose of oure aduersary: that we may learne to prac­tice Fayth, and that Christe, in vs maye ouercome this great and cruel enmy.

¶ Hytherto haue I declared to you the whole summe of the teachinges of ye prophetes, and the doctryne of the Gospell, concerning iustification or Grace, con­cerning our reconciliation, concerning Faith and good Workes. Wherfore for as much as this is playne and open, ha­uing no darknes or perplexitie, without Sophistical cauilations, when it spea­keth of ye motions and stirringes which [Page] be knowen to vertuouse mindes in the church of God, conteynyng no maner of folyshe questions, but settyng forth the glory of Christ, and makynge open the great infyrmitie and weaknes of man, being in al pointes agreable to the scripture, both of the olde and newe Testa­ment, and for as muche (I say) as in all ages in the churche, all godly disposed people do find by experience this conso­lation and comfort to be trewe, most necessary and expedient. I meruayle greatly that our aduersaries be so blynd, that they can nat fynd in theyr hert to alowe it, and muche more that they be full of furye and madnes, that with toothe and nayle they do openly resist it. But the Deuyll is in the cause, whiche diuers wayes doth poure in errors into mānes mynde, to the entent that the glory of Christ myght be obscured & made darke ❧ LET godly men therefore praye that it wold please the Lord to preserue his owne worde and Gospel, that he do nat suffer it to be forsaken, and put oute of the waye, that it wolde please hym to gouerne vs with his lyght, and that in settynge and shewynge forth his truthe and veritie vnto al men, the foule darke cloudes which the Deuyl hath brought in, maye by the bryghte clearenes of his [Page lxviii] worde be vtterly expulsed. Finally that the contagious and stinkynge myste of his traditions full of rotte and all infection, with this brennynge heate may be dryed vp frome the face of the earth.

LET our industry and diligence prouoke and styrre vp Christ towarde vs. Let lerned men endeuor them selfes to set forth this great cause and matter, plainly, openly, and diligently, that our posteritie maye haue at oure handes without knottes or knorres, withoute Sophisticall and deuelysshe elusions, let them nat refuse neyther payne nor labour in lerning therof, nor yet no kinde of punishment in professing and confes­sing therof. For without lerninge thys matter can not be made playne. And to beare the hatred and displesure of great heades, and wordly wyse men, which do resist the word, some for one cause, some for an other cause, improuing and con­dempning this matter. it is requisite to haue a manly herte and a good stomake. Good and godly men must contende and fyght spiritually vnder the banner and standerd of the Gospel, as Christ witnesseth. In this my father heuenly is glorified, if ye be my disciples bringing forth fruite bounteously. Wherfore lette vs [Page] set forthe this doctryne faythfullye and truly, with al simplicitie and plainnesse making our inuocation to the Lord that it wold please him to gyue to vs his ho­ly spirite and graunt vs increase therof ¶ TO this matter we wyll adde and ioyne certayne argumentes and obiecti­ons wherwith the aduersaries of God doth impunge this our iudgemente and mynde.

THE fyrst & principal of theyr ob­iections, is borowed forth of the epistle of Iames, nat takinge him as he mente: but to make him for theyr dogged & stubborne proude stomakes, purposes and intentes.

NAT by Faith only but by workes &c. Wherto it is very easy and lyght to make answere being no great difficultie to him which doeth vnderstande Iames aright.The fyrst obiection of the papistes whero [...] thei d [...] [...]on [...]de theyr iustifica [...]n by workes. Iames in thꝭ place doth cal faith the hystorycal knowledge of Christ: for he sayeth. The Deuyl doth beleue. But Paul speaketh of fayth in his other signification, which is the certayne confydence and trust of mercy promised to vs for Christ sake. Wherfore Iames doeth reprehend and rebuke the error of those which do suppose them selfes to be iust in that they do professe the knowlege of the hystory and lyfe of Christ (which is [Page lxix] a thinge very necessary in dede as all o­ther good workes be, but that is nat the truste and confidence whiche we haue wherby we do receyue remissiō of sinne as it is manifest. And where he sayeth, yt Abraham was iustified by his workes you muste marke and obserue the maner of speakynge.

HE meaneth nat that Abraham for his workes is reconciled, but that the workꝭ of Abraham being by Fayth recō ciled to God, ar after his reconciliation pleasant and acceptable to God. For the workes are a certayne outwarde iustice of the Lawe, and are acceptable in them which be reconcyled, but they deserue nat remission of sinne, or acceptation to eternal life. Therfore he sayd that Abraham by his workes is iustified, that is as much to say, as the workes of Abra­ham are pronounced iuste, the which is true in Abraham being iust and reconcyled and beleuing. And truly it is neces­sary that workes do folowe, in the whi­che our Fayth may be lyuely and put in practyce. Let vs go vpright in this mat­ter and handle it in his owne kind with out Sophistical bablinge. Iames doeth nat treat and medle with that argument that Paul speaketh of, but of that fayth whiche is the belefe of the hystory of [Page] Christ, whiche the Deuyll as wel as the faythful had. Wherefore the wordes of Iames are nat contrary to the wordes of Paul, nor yet to be alledged agaynste him, or agaynste any other parte of the Scripture.

¶ An other obiection. [...]he second [...]biection.

IF thou wylt enter into lyfe, kepe the commaundementes. Ergo, then for our workes is gyuen lyfe euerlastinge, and nat frely to him which beleueth, you must marke distinction betwene the wordes of the Lawe and the wordes of the Gospell.

THESE be wordes of the Lawe which must nedes be expounded by the Gospel, for no man shulde be saued yf he shuld be iudged by the Lawe, as by thys reason folowing appeareth. The keper of the commaundemente shall enter into lyfe: but no man kepeth the commaundement and Law: being therfore nat with out sinne (and so no man which is without sinne shalbe saued) bicause he cā nat kepe the commaundement as he oughte to do.

Solutyon. ❧ Therfore you muste adde to those wordes (yf you wyll enter into lyfe. &c. that is to say after the Gospell, whiche promiseth forgiuenes of sinne, and iustification or imputation of Iustice for [Page lxx] Christe sake, and so begynneth in vs a newe obedience which the Lorde doeth approue and allowe, ye though it be vnperfect, nat that it shulde be the pryce of lyfe euerlastinge. And so it is necessary that the commaundement be kept, and the Lawe taught, that repentaunce and fayth may growe in vs. But the Lawe alone is nat to be taught without the promise, which promise being taken away the Lawe is nothinge els but a minister of wrath, bringinge death euerlastinge without ende. It is playne that Christe is the ende of the Lawe. Wherefore we may nat consyst and byde styl in the law But when we do heare the Lawe prea­ched to vs trymblyng and quakyng therat, we maye nat thynke that we be accu­sed bicause we shuld perishe, but bicause we shulde thereby haue occasion to seke our mediator the sonne of God, whome let vs take to be gyuē to vs, that by him we may be deliuered frome sinne, frome the tyranny of the Deuyll, and extreame death. Therfore when that lyfe euerla­stinst is begon in vs, then we do obaye the Lawe, and kepe the commaundementes, as it is wrytten. I wyl poure forthe on the house of. Dauid the spirite of Grace and of prayer.

IF I hadde in me all Fayth,The thy: t [...] obiectyon▪ and nat [Page] loue, I am nothinge. Which is thus to be answered, as before is sayd. I cōfesse that loue is necessary, but the loue of God can nat be, nor be acceptable, except fyrst by Fayth we do receyue remissyon of sinne, & imputation of iustice. Euery man maye inuente and deuyse of theyr owne braine a loue of God, but the very loue of god, which is a perfect loue must be referred to the wrasteling of ye minde and to the true motions in our inuocations and perylles. Some men there be whiche do doubte whether God doethe passe or regarde mannes necessitie and causes, whether that eyther prosperitie or aduersitie doeth chaunce and happen by fortune, withoute any prouision and gouernance of God, or nay. Some men feling and perceyuyng in them selfe the angre and wrath of God, doeth in theyr afflictiōs & trobles fal down dispairīge & rayling against the iugement of God. Of these great stormes and bytter shu­res of the mynde, preacheth the heauen­ly voyce, comforting the mindes of mē in the middes of the great waues & sourges of theyr troubles with the promise of the Gospel. When the mynde of man doth comfort and lyft vp him selfe with this Fayth kowledginge the mercye of god, then foldweth loue. It is necessary [Page lxxi] therfore that Faythe doethe go before whiche askethe remyssyon of synne. The whiche feyth dothe not leane and depende of our worthynesse or deseruinges. Therfore thoughe that loue dothe folowe, it is not consequente: that for that loue we be iustified, but for Christ sake only. Men commonly do expounde this word loue of the loue of god and of our neyghbour, therfore I haue answered as touchynge the loue of god. But Paule in this place speaketh not of the loue of god but of the loue of our neigh­bour, which much lesse can meryte remission of sinne: Forgiue and thou shalt be forgiuen. Ergo.The fourt obiection. By our forgiuenesse & remission to other, we merite to vs our iustification. These wordes be exhor­tynge to repentaunce, as be many suche lyke in the prophettꝭ, as Esai the .i. Cap. Cease and leaue you of from doyng euil and lerne to doo good. Then shall your synnes be wyped from you. The fyrste part of this is a precepte of repentance. The second part conteyneth a promise.Precept. Christ doth not say you shal obtein par­don for your pardon, but he commaun­deth only that we do pardon and forgiue our neighbour.Promise. Afterward he doth giue vs knowledge of a promyse, which pro­myse is dependinge of an other thynge, [Page] than of the worthynesse of our workes, what a trouble and vexacion wold it be to our consciences: if we shuld thyncke that the pardon of god shoulde depende on the purenes and worthy dignitee of our forgiuenesse & pardon to other whiche haue offended vs: For be they neuer so well made frendes, those which were at variaunce, yet remayneth some scarre & grudge of ye old displeasure. Therfore it is necessary some other cause & waye of remission of our sin to be sought, and so to kepe the true sence and mynde of ye Gospel concerning the free forgiuenes of sinne. There is also such an other saienge in Daniel. The fyrst part whereof perteynethe to pennance or repentance, as this. Loue and enbrace iustyce, helpe the miserable wrōgfully oppressed, and defend the church against tyrantes and persecutours. The seconde part contey­neth the promise, as this. And thy sinnes shalbe forgiuen, thou shalt be heled and made whole of thy infyrmities. Repen­taunce must nedes be, and yet our for­giuenes and pardon must be frely giuen and receyued by Faythe. For if the pro­mise shulde be none otherwise a promise than we are worthy depending on oure worthynes, then it shulde be made voide and no promise, as Rom. viii.

[Page lxxii]¶ Loue is the pryncipall and chifest of all vertuse. Ergo.The fyft obiectyon. for loue we are repu­ted iuste. I doo denie plainly the conse­quent, the reason is manifest for it wold folowe muche better if you wolde saye, Loue is the chefest and godliest of al vertuse. Ergo. Bycause we canne not per­fourme that loue as we ought to do, we are nothing iustified for that vertue. If we had the vertues whiche the lawe of god doth require, and were without syn then we might be sayde well, to be iuste for loue & other vertues: but bycause of our wekenesse and gret infirmite is far from that parfection of the law, not be­gynnyng in loue as we ought to do, therfore the gospel setteth forth an other iu­stice teaching vs not for our owne ver­tuse but for some other thyng that is not in vs: that is for our mediatours sake, the sonne of god: to be reputed iust, but vnder a condition: that by feithe we do assure our selfe, that god is merciful to vs for his sonne sake. It foloweth that we be by imputation, that is to saye, by­cause it pleaseth hym to impute it to vs, of his only goodnes and fauour, beinge made iuste, nat for oure owne vertues, though we seme to haue some beginnīg of them in vs. But if a man wyll de­maund and knowe the difference, of vertues, [Page] marke well.Fayth. Hope. Faythe receyuethe in this life remission of sinne. Hope is a lokinge and a trusting in dede after that thinge whiche is promised, that is oure cleane deliuerance, whiche is to come. Fayth is a consent, wherwith the wyll of man wylleth and receyueth the pro­mise, so beinge made quiet and at rest, wel setteled in his minde, for the media­tor the sonne of God his sake. And when the wyl is so contented, then the hert is at rest and wel pleased, receyuyng com­fort and gladnes, which is the beginnīg of a newe life. These motions foloweth Hope and Loue.

¶ Bycause that Faythe doeth make vs certayne that God is merciful to vs we do call and loke for the other benefytes promised to vs.Loue. And so loue doth ryse bicause we do knowledge that God is nat ydle, as the folyshe reason of man doeth feyne, and that he is our frende, and no enmye to vs, as the Lawe doeth declare, And that he is a merciful father, taking pitie of our great affliction & calamitie coueting to deliuer vs. Bearing thereto his selfe witnes by an other sayinge. I do liue and wil nat the death of a sinner By this way we knowledginge that we are receyued into Grace, and our inuo­cations harde, and granted to vs of god. [Page lxxiii] We do submit our selfes vnto him, and so is kyndeled in vs a certayne reuerent loue and desyre to him ward, preferring God before all other thinges. Whiche loue in this lyfe is nat brenninge as it ought to be, but very weake and colde.

¶ They do lay for them this word and vocable (Rewarde), sayinge. The lyfe euerlasting is called a rewarde. Ergo,The syxte obiection. good workes do deserue lyfe euerla­sting. I wil nat seke any crafty interpretation of this vocable rewarde, but the thing and matter it selfe must be substicially mayed and pondered.

¶ The psalmist sayeth: Enter nat into iudgement with thy seruant, for in thy sight, no liuing creature shal be iustified Also what man doth knowe and vnder stand our offences, which declareth that by our vertues we canne nat merite lyfe euerlasting, making them to be the price and rewarde of the same lyfe. Before I gathered togyther many testimonyes whiche do teache vs that in those men whiche be regenerated a newe by the spirite of God there doeth remayne synne. which testimonies in this place we must lay before our eyes. And let euery man examine his owne conscience, whether he had rather that lyfe eternal shulde be giuen to him for Christe sake, or to be [Page] payed to him as a rewarde for his me­rites. Thou wolde peraduenture say to me.

¶ If so be that lyfe eternal shulde be giuē to him for Christ sake, thē men wold nat care muche howe lytle good dedes they did. Wherto I answere. That contrarywise desperation doth cause greate negligence in doinge well. And verely they must nedes dispayre, which do ymagin that lyfe euerlastinge is giuen after our deseruynge.

¶ The which daungerous peryl our fathers were wel ware of. Therfore Au­gustine and Bernarde agreinge to the Apostle his wrytyng, sayde that frely for Christ sake is giuen lyfe euerlasting to him that beleueth, and as Paul forther more doth testyfy with these wordes. The gyft of God, is lyfe euerlastinge thorowe Christ Iesu our Lorde. Thys is no vncertayne gyfte, the Lorde com­maundinge that we do beleue, and that we shall receyue lyfe euerlastinge for Christ sake alone, as Iohn the .vi. chap. This is the wyll of the father: that all men which beleueth in the son shal haue lyfe euerlasting. This Fayth doeth nat consist without repentance, but it doth consyder and beholde both partes of the sayinge of Christe, whiche is. I lyue, I [Page lxxiiii] wyl nat the death of a sinner, but I wyl that he repenteth and haue lyfe. But by which way? by the sonne, as he sayethe: this is the wyl of the father, that al men that beleueth in the sonne shalbe saued, and haue lyfe euerlastinge.

¶ Wherfore natwithstanding that re­pentaunce is requyred at our hande, we maye nat thynke that the condicion of oure worthynes is to be admitted.

❧ But clene contrary, repentance and trust of our owne merites, are repugnāt and of contrary effectes, and ende, as it is written. He that reioyseth, let hym reioyse in the Lorde. Thou wylt say to me agayne. Wherfore is it called a rewarde I say that although that lyfe euerlasting is gyuen frely for Christ sake: yea after that it is gyuen, it doth recompence our labours and troubles. I wyl make the to vnderstande it more playnly. This is the maner of speakyng of the Lawe. He shall gyue to euery man after his workes. Al­so theyr rewarde shalbe plentiful in Heuen. The scripture speketh after the ma­ner of the Lawe, concerning iustice, as though it shulde be of our worthynes, and likewise of Faith as though it were our vertues, saying the rewarde is gy­uen to our vertues. But for all that, the Gospel teacheth vs, that we are nat iust [Page] for our worthynes: but by free acceptation, and that by fayth the benefytes of Christ are to be receiued, nat for the worthynes of fayth, bycause it is a vertue: but bycause it doth depende of an other which is Christ. This is the most ryght and playne aunswere, that can be made, without any Sophisticall cauilation.

¶ I wyll to these obiections of our ad­uersaries, adde and ioyne certayne of theyr croked and sophistical argumētes whiche beinge opened and made playne shal gyue much lyght to this disputatiō and matter that we haue in hande.

¶ The fyrst argument of ye Sophisters. Iustice is an obedience to the hole law Oure good workes be obedience to the whole lawe. Ergo.

By good workes we be iustified.

Oure good workes are no perfecte obedience.¶ The seconde part of this argumente called the minor, is to be denyed, for our good workes are nat a perfect obediēce vnto the law, for as much as the nature of man is repugnant to the lawe of god. As to the fyrst parte called the Maior. I say that is true, if we speake of iustice of the lawe. For the iustice of the lawe is obedience to the hole lawe. But bicause we can nat perfourme this perfect obedience and iustice to the whole lawe, ther­fore the Gospel doth offer to vs free iu­stice, [Page lxxv] ascribinge to vs frely of his good­nes that, which we can nat perfourme of our selfe. As Paul doeth declare by thys worde and vocable imputation. The which obiectiō is very profitable, shewynge the difference of the iustice, which is of the lawe, and of that iustice which is of the Gospel. It doth teache vs also that this word iustice is taken somtyme one way, sometyme an other.

¶ Wherin the maysters of the sentence haue ben so foule begiled, which lernīge in Aristotle that iustice doth signifie an vniuersal obedience,The iustyce of Aristotle do dream that it is alwaye to be taken in that signification in the writinges of the Prophettes and Apostles, which is false, as it is written in the Psalme. In thy iustice they shall reioise and be glad, nat meaning the vertues which Aristotle did wryte of: but respectiuely saying. Thy iustice, that is to say. The iustice which thou doest im­pute to them, nat of theyr deseruing, but for thy mercy, making them iust and ac­cepted. The iustice of the lawe doth sig­nifie obedience, as thus. I haue done iudgement and rightwisnes. But the iustice wherof the Gospell speaketh pro­perly doth signifie respectiuely,The iustyce of the gos­pell. the im­putation or giuing of iustice to vs whi­che we haue nat of our selfe, a free accep­tation [Page] and receyuing to lyfe euerlasting wherto is ioyned the free gift of the ho­ly Ghost. So when thou doest heare thꝭ sayinge (to be iustified), remember the maner of speakinge of the Hebrewes, wherby is signified that thou art repu­ted & pronounced iust, or els made quite of thine accusation and vnrightwisnes A iust man doth signifie that man which is accepted of god to lyfe eternal.A iust man. As the seconde Epistle to the Corinthians .v. chap. He made him, which knewe no sin to be sin, that by him we might be made the iustice of God, which is as much to say, that Christ was made gyltie for our sakes, that we might be acceptable and pleasant for his sake. This is grammatycally after the meanyng of the bare wordes, For this worde iustice is sometyme taken for the obedience of the law, sometyme it is taken for imputatiō of iustice being very expedient and necessary that euery man shulde marke well the diffe­rence therof.

¶ An other argument Sophisticall.

  • Workes which be againste the lawe of God, are sinne.
  • Ergo. Good workes are iustice.

☞ This consequent must be true (saye they) for they be contraries: bad workes and good workes. And the knowlege of [Page lxxvi] the one contrary,Contrari o [...] eadem est disciplina. is the knowledge and declaration of that other. Wherefore it foloweth that by good workes men are iustified, for as much as good workes be iustice.

☞ This is very lyghte and easy to be answered. It is true as they say, if that good workes were a perfect obedience. But bycause they be farre frome a per­fect obedience, you maye soone perceyue that the argument is nat good, bycause they be nat right contrary For noughty workes are right nought in dede: but our good workes, are nat perfectly good workes, for as much as they haue much fylthynes and corrupcion in them, wher with they be corrupted. As by example. Pomponius Artycus: was both modeste and iust to the Citezins. But he douteth of the gouernance and prouision of god: he is without the feare of God, whiche marreth the rest of his vertues.

¶ The whiche argumente may sone be­gyle and deceyue them whiche are nat warned and taughte the subtyltie ther­of. Therefore the consequent of thys ar­gument is false bicause they be nat clene and directly contrary. Lyke answere shall you make to thys argumente that foloweth.

☞ An other.

  • Ill workes do condempne vs.
  • Ergo. Good workes do saue vs.

¶ I do deny your cōsequent, affyrminge that it is no ryghte contrarietie. For yll woorkes are thorowly euyll: oure good workes are nat thorowly good, beynge bothe corrupte and vnperfect. Example. Dauyd hath many good workes, and yet he hath many vicious affections, as somt [...]me in doubting of the goodnes of God. The which darknes a greate heape of vices doth accompany: as to be with­out care of God: to haue confidence in thyne owne wysdome and iustice, to be without the feare and loue of God: nat to be in Fayth so ardent as he ought to be. I do knowe men whiche haue made theyr bost, that with this argument they haue broken down the walles of thꝭ opiniō of iustificatiō. But how folish & childish a thīg it is, ther is none which hath eyther eyes to se, or eares to heare, but can perceyue, and iudge this matter.

¶ An other.

  • Synne is the hatred of God.
  • Ergo. Loue is the iustice of God.

¶ With this argument Eccius thought to bynde Beares, and to proue that by fayth only we are nat iustified,The paruis [...]f Oxforde. and I thynke no boye of the paruis scholes, is [Page lxxvii] so folyshe and ignorant, but that can put this blowe asyde without any daunger. I do graunte that perfect loue is the iu­styce which the lawe doeth requyre. But as I haue sayde we are nat iuste by the law. For it is vnpossible that loue shuld be before we are by faythe reconciled. After the which reconciliation, folow­eth a begynnynge of a newe obedience and lyfe, remaynyng styl in vs great in­fyrmitie and wekenes repugnant to the lawe of God, which doeth disdayne and rage against the iudgement of God, as the Psalme. Be you angry, but sinne nat Therfore we must haue an other maner of iustice, which is the free acceptatyon of God.

¶ An other.

  • Iustice is in our wyll.
  • But fayth is in vnderstandynge.
  • Ergo Fayth is nat iustice.

¶ The fyrst part which is called the Maior is true, concernyng the iustyce of the lawe, which iustice doeth signifie oure owne qualities and vertues which are in our wyll. But when that Paull doeth speake of the iustyce of fayth, he dotth nat meane our vertues or qualities, but our free acceptation & imputatiō of iu­stice, that is to say, that we be made right wise by fayth, which are in dede vnright [Page] wise. For he teacheth that men are repu­ted iust, yt is accepted to God, nat for our owne qualities, but for an other thyng without vs, and that is our mediator the sonne of God, only by mercye. The which mercy must be receyued by fayth The which faythe is nat onely a knowledge of the minde, but it is also a con­sentment and agrement to the promise, beleuing the promise to be true: wherto is requyred the motion and styrryng of the wyl, as lerned men doth knowe, whiche motion is both to wyl and also to receiue the promise & so to rest in it.

¶ This fayth to conceyued when we do assent to the promise of the Gospell wherwith when the trobled conscience doth comfort it selfe, in the selfe same moment the holy Ghost by the word moueth the hert to beleue.

¶ Another.

  • By Fayth we are iust.
  • Fayth is a worke.
  • Ergo. By workes we are iust.

¶ By fayth we are iustified: nat bicause fayth is a worke, qualitie, inuert in vs, but bicause it doth take holde of mercy: cleauinge faste to Christe: but to make it playne, you must turne this sayinge, by fayth we are iustified to his corrella­tiue, that is to say. By the mercy of God [Page lxxviii] for Christ we are iust, but yet by faythe we must certyfy our selfes that the same mercy perteyneth vnto vs. And to the se­conde part of this argument, called in latin the minor, I grant it true. For fayth is a worke, as other vertues be workes as loue, pacience, chastitie, and lykewise as al other vertues be vnperfect: so faith also sometyme is weke and feble. Wherfore we are nat iust for the worthynes of the vertue fayth, as for a worke, but by­cause it doth apprehend and receyue the mercy of God. It is necessary that there be some instrument and meane, whereby the mercy of God must be trusted after wherby Christ must be loked on wt the inwarde eyes, wherby also we must cer­tayne our selfes, that Christ wil forgiue vs. Therfore we must aunswere to the minor, that faith is a worke, for the whiche worke sake, being taken as a worke, we are nat iust, but bycause it doth take hold on the mercy of God. Therfore it doth nat folowe that for our workes we are iustified. It may also be aunswered that this argument is nat good, bicause there is more concluded in the consequēt or conclusion than is conteyned in the premises. For it maketh conclusion of iustification, wherof is no mētion made neyther in the fyrst nor seconde parte of [Page] the argument, that is neyther in the maior nor in the minor.

¶ An other argument.

  • By Grace we are iust.
  • Grace is a loue poured into our mindꝭ
  • Ergo. By loue we are iust.

¶ To the seconde part I answere, that the ryght and chiefest signification of Grace, is to be taken respectiuely, signifieng the fauor or mercy, or free acceptation for Christ, with the which free ac­ceptation is ioyned the gyft of the holy Ghost, which is the moost propre and right interpretation of this vocable Grace. And therfore they which expoūde by Grace we are iust, that is, for the ver­tues which be in vs we are iust, they make an exposition cleane contrary to Paul, takinge away from our syght the true comfort and consolation of our sycke mynde [...] [...]d consciences. If when we do make our inuocation and prayer: we do beholde our owne selfe, thinking that the [...]we shall come to God: when we are f [...]ll of godly vertues, we muste nat loke for the kingdome of Heuen be­fore we do se these great vertues and perfectnes in vs. Truly our myndes wolde abhorre our impurytie and fylthynesse, and dispayre of the helpe of God. And the more that our myndes are vexed and [Page lxxix] troubled,Thoughe thou be vnworthy lett nat to com [...] boldlye to Christe, the more they do ponder and consyder theyr owne vnclennes & wekenes of nature. Paul therfore bycause he doth perceyue that we can nat bring me rites worthy saluation vnto God: therefore he doth set forth Grace, that is free pardon and acceptation for Christ sake. Therfore, although thou canst nat bring worthines, and come worthily to Christ let nat for al that to come boldly in with a sure confidence in our mediator Christ hauinge him therefore as Paull sayeth our Bisshoppe: let vs drawe nere to the throne and mercyful seate of his Grace.

¶ These refutations I haue nowe ioy­ned to the matter of iustification, that they which do reason and dispute of the propre signification and meaning of this proposition (by fayth we are iusti­fied) may hereby be sufficiently instruc­ted. For I entende alway (God is my recorde) nothinge more than to speake and declare that thynge which is both true and ryght, voydynge al maner of subtyl reasonynge, to instruct them whiche be learners howe they maye the better put away these crafty cauilations, whiche they do vse in the scholes.

¶ Therfore I wysshe and desyre, that these examples may be profitable to ma­ny, both that the matter which we haue [Page] handeled and spoken of, may be the playner, and that they whiche be studious of knowledge, may with the better wyl gyue them selfe, and theyr whole mindꝭ therto. For these refutacions do declare that those men which shulde open these controuersies, beinge so intrycate and doubtful, had nede both to be lerned, and also wel exercised in suche matters.

¶Let nat those men which do take on them the office of true opening and set­tinge forthe of the doctryne of Christe, thynke that they haue taken a smal mat­ter in hande. Therfore I pray God that it wolde please him to gouerne the studyes of the vertuosly dysposed, and nat to suffre in his church the true knowledge of Christ and the lyght of his Gospel to be obscured and made darke, to the glory and prayse of him for euer.


AN APOLOGY OR DEFENCE OF THE VVORDE of God: declarynge howe necessarye a thynge it is to be hadde in the handes of all persons, which do beare the name of Christe, and beinge called Christians, are wyllynge to knowe his veritie. To the myghtie and victoryous prince Edwarde by the grace of God, Dukes grace of Somersette, Lorde gouernoure of the kynge hys highnesse owne propre person, and Lord protector of the Realmes of Englande and Irelande, with the rest of the kynges dominions on bothe syde the Seas.

FOR AS MVCHE as there is nothynge in this worlde more necessary and expediente for man (most godly dispo­sed Prince)The feare and loue of god than the feare and also the loue of God, bearynge thereto wytnesse the wyse man, sayinge. The begynnynge of wysdome is the feare of the Lorde, nat a seruyll and a bondmans feare, which engendreth hatred and malyce rather then loue: but suche a feare as the chylde bearyng [Page] to his natural father, for loue fea­reth to do that thynge which myght displease his father, the whiche loue and feare of God, being nat only for any cō ­moditie or displeasure wordlye, no nor yet for any thyng which might be com­modious or contrary after this presente lyfe: but to declare and shewe our selfes nat to be ingrate, and vnthankful for so great and manifolde benefytes: whiche we haue and do daylye receyue at his most plentifull and liberal hande: at the hande I say nat of a nygard, but of such [...]on, whiche nat only thynges cadewke and mortal (al thynges being of hꝭ goodnes) but also that thing which for oure ryght helth was most necessary, and to him most paynfull (nat against his wyl) vouched safe to gyue: ye to the bloude of his hert, that we shuld no more but loue and feare him.

¶ The perfect knowlege wherof, what thinge can or may better teache and in­struct vs,The reding [...]f the worde [...]f god is the [...]eachinge of [...] to feare [...]d and to [...]ue him al­ [...]o withoute [...]he whiche [...]ou canste [...]o neyther. which wolde be fayne Christyan men in dede, than the contynuall reading of his most blessed wyll, declared & left vnto vs of him selfe, by ye mouthes of the holy and vertuous men the Patriarkes and Prophettes beinge inspired with the spirite of his most heuenly god hede, and after by the mouth of the right [Page lxxxi] Messias promised to vs and exhibited according to the promise, to the confyrmacion and stablishing of al his behestes & louing promises, which at no tyme hath promised any thyng which he hath nat ye with auauntage perfourmed with much more than we coulde of our frayl weaknes, desyre, or wyshe. The want of the which loue and feare, howe great ruine and decay it doth cause and bring in to the cytye of the Lorde,The c [...]tye of the lord which is the church or congregation vniuersal of all them which professeth his name: taking on them to do his wyl: it is so manifest and open (the more is the pitie) that al­most in a great nombre, a man shal scant fynde one, that lyueth in the true loue and feare of the Lorde, in so much that he may wel say. If I do fynde but one iust man in the cytye, I wyl ceasse my wrath from it, & contrary wise innumerable almost al ye world which passeth nat & good haw. which ende of the staffe doth go forward, whether God or the Deuyl be better man, which neyther for the loue of god, for his merytes sake, nor yet for the sharpe thonderboltes and threateninges of his wrath, ones begynneth to redresse and reforme to better, theyr lewde and vngracious kynde of lyfe, nat squayring and playning it after the ryght lyne and [Page] rule of his most blessed worde: but clean contrary euery man (as the Deuyll put­teth into his head) doth hacke maungle and choppe this most blessed and pure worde al to peces, to serue theyr owne purposes and most dampnable affectiōs, going about nat to make the stone fyt to the lyne, as the prouerbe maketh menti­on, but the lyne and rular to the stone.

¶ O what a goodly pece of worke, and wel framed buylding wold this be? how euen and well proporcioned a matter, how excellent a frame. A frame? worthy forsoth to be put in paterne, for an example to al them which are most expert and cunnynge workemaysters. Howe longe tyme wolde it be if a man wolde thus begyn to buylde an house to dwel in, or a shyp to sayle with, or that he shuld make an ende and finishe his worke? All men truly myghte most iustly laughe hym to skorne. Lykewise howe long tyme shulde that man lyue or that any kynde of ver­tues shulde take any rote in him, whiche endeuoreth all that he may, to make the Scriptures for his owne purpose of lyfe and nat rather framinge his lyfe to the Scriptures? Howe great blasphemye is it to Goddes worde when we go about to flatter our owne selfes in our most detestable vices: by the exāple of the falles [Page lxxxii] of godly men, which by fraylnes of this flesshe, after they haue fallen, didde nat long lye styl but with sorowfull repen­taunce and perfect confidence in the on­ly mercy of God by the helpe of the holy spirite did rise vp māfully agayn. This is the lacke both of the feare and of the loue of god. This lacke of fear and loue is thorowe out al the earth: begynnyng at them which haue the keys delyuered to them of the opening of the Scripturs vnto the very lowest, and most (to seme to) vyle and abiect person that lyueth:Bysshoppes What a great nombre of soules are committed to the cure and charge of the Bisshoppes, to be fedde and made fatte with the pregnant worde of God. What great liuinges haue they gyuen to them for none other cause, but that they shulde be diligent therin. What rentes, what fees haue they, more lyke Earles and Dukes than pore spirituall pastors of Christ hꝭ shepe. And nat vnworthy forsoth, but ryght wel bestowed, if they wolde de­clare them selfe no lesse desyrous, of the helth of theyr flocke, than they be gredy in gatheringe of theyr reuenewes and rentes. God forbyd al shulde be of that mynd. Some Byshops, without doubt, I knowe of the contrary mynde and stu­dy (whom I pray the Lord preserue and [Page] cōtinue in theyr good purpose) I thinke verely, and you may say and affyrme al­so that theyr be but some, nat many, the lesse the nombre, the more to be lamēted The thynge it selfe euery where decla­reth. and openly testifieth, howe slacke and loose they be in doyng of theyr due­ty. As though to be a Byshop were no­thing els but to be mytred, to be promo­ted with great rentes and knyghtes fees and fynally to be called my lorde Bys­shop. These glorious tytles many, naye the most part do gape on both sides for, they wyl nat lese one [...]ote of theyr dignitie, they wyl nat part with one locke of wolle, to the comforte and succoure of theyr shepe, ye though any of them (of whom they had the wolle of) shulde pe­rysh for colde. They wyl lyue of the profites and commodities of the aulter, but they wyl do no seruyce to the alter, they wyl eate corne wt the Oxe, but they wyll nat tread it forth of the strawe with the Oxe. They wyl (finally) haue al thynge but they wyl do nothinge.

¶ Yet: me thynketh to be a thyng reaso­nable, that they shuld do some thyng for theyr great liuinges: otherwise they ap­peare to be consumers and deuourers of those liuinges, which by most godly and noble prynces were prouided and ordeyned [Page lxxxiii] for good mē, which wold be glad to do theyr duties. They do thīke (but they are deceyued) that they haue done theyr duty sufficiently, if ones or twyse in the yere they do go about on visitatiō, whē the pore creatures, were better to haue them away than among them. For the Euangel or Gospel of god, is nat a whit the more preferred nor set forth, the re­pentance for sinne, the truste and confy­dence of mercy for Christ sake only, nat so often as ones mencioned. The com­mandementes are nothing taught how they shulde be kept. They do no more but seke and serche if a fewe of mannes traditions be thorowly obserued and kepte, that the infringers and breakers therof myght be with most rygor and al extremytie punished. They do rebuke no vyces, as whordom, aduoutry, forni­cation, blasphemy agaynste the name of god, extorcion, neglect of the holy & blessed word of god, as thynges perteyning nothing to theyr offyce. And at theyr departing, they do leue ouer the pore flock (beinge neuer the better for theyr com­ming) suche pastors and shepeherd, as to whom for theyr knowledge and lerning and muche lesse wytte, and muche worse conuersation of lyfe: a wise man wolde be lothe to commytte the kepinge of his [Page] Swine, more mete to be scourers of foul masers, than to haue the cure of soules. These be no curates, but gaylers and tormenters, keping the consciences & souls of men laden downe with yrons of their owne traditions, keping them in greate famyn and hungre, as leane as rakes, perishing for lacke of the heuēly fode, and cryeng out to your good lordship, meate meate for pore prisoners, nat of New­gate, but of the Pope his foule stinking and darke dungel: being by most gracy­ous pardō quite, and our fees payed and yet for al that kept in most cruel durāce, lieng and rotting in colde yrons, that no man is able to abide the sauour. O that your good lordshippe mighte with your merciful eyes se and beholde, howe pitifully, howe bare and leane they loke, howe they be eaten with vermine for lacke of kepinge: there is no doubte but your good lordship wolde take pitie and compassion on them, wolde se them sette at large. And the lorde whiche doethe se your compassion on them for his sake, wyll a thousande folde rewarde you a­gayne, that you shulde nat thynke youre labour yll bestowed. What is the cause of al these miserable calamities whiche the pore soules do abyde and susteyne? what is the cause, the Bisshops, Persōs [Page lxxxiiii] and Curates do nat theyr dueties. For­soth the lacke and want both of the fear & of the loue of the lord: whosmost high maiestie if they had in feare, eyther for his threateninges and curses, conside­ring al the woes, conteyned in the olde and newe Testament for theyr negligēt administration: or els if they had hym in loue, for his great and vnspeakable goodnes declared vnto vs al, they wolde be sore ashamed ones to be espied with so great a fault. But they feare neyther God nor the Deuill. They loue him nat for his great goodnes, nor yet they do feare him for his threateninges. I feare me, that there be many: I pray god that there be none, which do thinke the speaking of God and of the Deuyll to be, as it were, but an olde wyues tale or fable inuented by the policie of man and natural reasō, to kepe men in an ordre while they be in this lyfe, as did thinke manye of the blynd Philosophers the Epicurs thinking none other lyfe after this pre­sent:Epycures. did de liue in al kinde of delites and plesures. I trust in the lorde that he hath sent an angel among vs with a two handed swerde to cut away cleane these dis­cordes and abuses to his glory eternal. What nede I speake of men of power, which by theyr power and strength, by [Page] no equitie nor iustice,Men of [...]ower. agaynst cōscience and right, care nat a beane what wrong and iniury they do to the meane sorte, if that eyther house or lande, pastures or woddes doth lie commodiously for theyr purpose: and specially when it ioyneth to any part of theyrs. Such as doth thus haue nat red the blessing in the olde Testament conteyned with the reward prepared for them, which do ioyne house to house, felde to felde, farme vpon farme, some one mā .xx. some .xxx. some .xl. scant xx, good mē which shuld be able to serue theyr prince at nede maynteyned, where in tymes past hath nat ben so fewe as .v. hundred as by experience in places nat long dayes paste was almoste founde to true. As for fynes, and incoms, with reysinge of theyr rentes they be so impor­table, so tedious and so heuy, that the pore tenantes or theyr yeres be halfe ex­pyred shall be glad to lay the keye vnder the dore and runne theyr wayes.

¶ Such is the pitie we haue of our christian bretherne, so lytle is the feare and loue of God among vs, ye which profes­seth the Gospell (which thinge makethe wel for the Papistes to the sclaunder of the worde of God). As for the office of a iudge,Iudges. what man can saye but it is moste iustly executed, vpright without parci­alitie, [Page lxxxv] nat fauouringe of one man more than an other, nat prolonging of sutes, in the fauor of the ryche, to the vtter vndoing of the pore, nat takyng of gyftes, worthy to be compared to the courte of the Ariopagittes. which to auoyde per­cialitie, iudged al causes by night dark­ling. If it be any otherwise thā I haue declared, it is to be ascribed and imputed to none other thing more, nay to nothīg so much as to that, they be nat in feare of the iudgement of the lorde, which doth commaunde with these wordes. Iudge and ministre right iudgement you sons of men. There is no man that can fynde fault with those kind of men, which are occupiers,Occupyer [...] liuing by theyr laborius venter and trauayle, so vpeight is theyr dealinge, so iust, so indifferent, that almoste no faith, no truth, no trust, no confidence is to be giuen to theyr othe, muche lesse to theyr worde and bare promise,Theues. What Thefe wolde steale and robbe to be han­ged on a gallow, if he were toched with the feare and loue of the lorde.Murther [...] Who wold be so stony harted to quel and sley his brother, for whom Christ did suffer and shedde his bloude?Aduouter persons What man wold be an aduouterer, a fornicatour, a com­mitter of rapt: if he had but one sperkil of the feare and loue of God, knowinge [Page] that they which do so shall nat inherite the kingdome of heauen, iudged by sen­tence diffinitiue, without helpe of appellation to euerlastinge sorowes, excepte there be in this lyfe or they departe, a true and perfect repentance, with truste in the mercy promised for Christe sake.Traytors. What causeth so many ranke traytours and rebelions againste theyr moste law­full kinges and gouerners, constituted immediatly vnder God, and by God o­uer them, to kepe them in a good rule, quietnes, peace, and tranquillitie, but, that they do want and lacke the fear and loue of the lorde, the hygh king and go­uernour.

¶ The want wherof the more and greater it is, the more ranke and poysonous are the treasons which are wrought.

Adam.¶ Howe great an euyll this is, howe huge and foule, a monster of howe innu­merable calamities and sorowes which we haue and do susteyne, this is a moste wicked mother: what thinge can better set forth or paynt, as it were in a table or in a glasse before your eyes more euidently, more lyuely than the great fall of A­dam, beinge for lacke of the feare, and of the loue of the lorde, which broughte vs into thraldome, bondage, and capti­uitie of the Deuyl. For if he had loued [Page lxxxvi] him for his benefites, bicause he was created, by him a heauenly creature like vnto his owne image, or if he had feared him, for feare to displease him, whom he found so good a lord, or for feare of breaking of his commaundement, as of hys heade and mayster (for he that is com­maunded, is vnder him that doeth com­maunde) he wold nat haue transgressed, whose transgression is our transgressi­on, whose fall is our fall. Oure sinfull lyfe and corrupt maners, beinge the re­lyques, dregges, and remenaunte of hys olde sore.Cayn.

☞ What caused cursed Cayn to slee so cruelly,Pharao. and vnnaturally his owne bro­ther? What caused Pharao to persecute the children of Israel.Dauyd. What made kynge Dauyd to commyt abhominable aduoutry, nat contented with one mis­cheuous dede, but also to ioyne and adde bloudy murdre, to stynkynge aduoutry, in sleying the husbande of the woman, with the most lamentable distruction of many mo.Iudas. What caused Iudas to be a traytor to his most louing mayster. To be truely certayned and assured, there was nothinge elles in the cause, but the want of the feare and of the loue of the lorde, O cruel and dampnable mischiefe comminge from the bottomlesse pytte of [Page] Hell. What remedy and salue is to be founde for this foule sore? what is the cause yt it reygneth so much among vs christiās euery where, yt almost no feare nor loue of ye lord, is found in any place nay rather open contempt and blasphe­my and dishonor to his most blessed and holy name? what man can expresse the cause therof: that this plage more to be feared than any pestelence, hath so infec­ted the ayre thorowe al the worlde, that no man hygh nor lowe: what state, de­gree or dignitie so euer he be, hath esca­ped it.Iob. The foule botches and sores of Iob did neuer stinke so sore to the nose of man, as thꝭ maketh vs to be abhorred of god. stopping his heuenly nose, and turninge his merciful visage frome vs. Among our earthly phisicions which do take cure of bodyly deseases only (which bodies being neuer so wel healed, shall at the last go to corruption) the cause of the disease and sicknesse knowen (being the chefe point of theyr sciēce) the parth which is sicke is halfe cured and holpen alredy. For lykewyse as in ministration of medecines, the cause of the bodily in­fyrmitie nat knowen perfectly, they do kyl, sley, and murdre, nat with knife, but with poyson, the party which seketh af­ter helpe and remedy. So the cause and [Page lxxxvii] rote of the sicknes perceyued, the medy­cation is made therafter, to the helpe and comfort of him that complayned and lamented his grefe and infyrmitie. Euen so agayne, of our spirituall infyr­mities and sicknes (which kylleth nat the body, ye oftentymes doth sende both body and soule to the whorlpole of hell (paste remedy and helpe if he commeth ones into that place,) speaking our He­uenly mayster and doctor, and spirituall phisicion Christ (whiche knoweth all our waters a litle better than we do our selfes): to whom al our diseases and ma­ladies are thorowly knowen, which sercheth with ye instrument of his spirite, ye very reynes of our backes, ye the depest thoughtes and cogitations of our hertꝭ declared the cause, the very principall cause, and cause efficient of all our maly­des: with these wordes. Quia non cog­nouerunt me ne (que) patrem meum: bicause they knew neyther me nor yet my father It foloweth therfore that if we knowe him and his father, we wolde both loue and feare both him and his father. And contrary wise bicause we know neither we loue and feare neyther: nay we hate and persecute both. The ignorance then of God, being the cause that we be voide of all feare and loue of the lorde: what [Page] maruayle is it, if we do runne headling into all kinde of mischefe, if we sette nought neyther by God nor by ye world if we regarde nat his precept? his fruyt full teachinges and most beneficial pro­mises? Nay truly Sathan the father of ignorance, is nat so contented to le [...] hys disciples rest, at that point of lytle regardinge of the lorde his goodnes, but he doth styrre them to high treason against his maiestie, to open contempte and ma­nifest blasphemy, to the defiance of his godhed, proclayming warre against his infinite power, with trompettes and heraldes of armes, of his owne begettinge and sendinge, dishonouring him, mini­shing of his godly and imperiall tytles, those I say which do belonge of ryght, by his own purchase and great cōquest, to the heuenly crowne, I do meane the titles of our creation, of our redemptiō, of our iustification, and free acceptatiō (they giuing honor vnto the creatures, in the stede of the creator) with lyke de­testable, most dampnable, and hereticall persuasion and opinion, in ascribinge part of our saluation, ye sometyme alto­gyther to our own (worthy) deseruingꝭ and merites, the prayse whereof he hys owne selfe lyke a most valiant captayne with no feyned sweate of his owne body [Page lxxxviii] with no counterfeyted bloude, with no mocking death (for he was a right naturall man) and no man dyd euer offer so much as he) dyd obteyne and wyn.

¶ What meruayle is it, though such as they be, are traytors against theyr pryn­ces here in erth, if they do worke in huggar muggar theyr most pitiful and lamē table distruction, to the ouerthrowe of whole realmes, to the vtter castinge a­way and decay of common welthes, to the impouerishinge of al the worlde, to the mayntenans of theues, murtherers of thē that are voyde of al pytye, against theyr fathers and mothers, of whormongers, aduouterous persons, rauishers of vyrgins, breakers and dispysers of the most holy state & sacrament of wedlocke and finally the very roted sede of al kind of mischiefe.

¶ If therfore the knowledge of god causeth, the loue of god: so that without we knowe him, we can nat haue, neyther him nor none of his benefites in estima­tion and valour of a good strawe: it foloweth consequently of necessitie, that the lacke of the knowledge of him, causethe the hatred and lytle good affection to­warde him, or any of his workes. So that it foloweth, that the cause that we loue him nat, is the cause we know him [Page] nat. Nat as Iudas knewe hym, whiche alway was present in cōpany with hym familier with hī, at borde & table with him, which kyssynge his blessed mouthe and knowinge him corporally, betrayed him. Nat as the Iewes knewe him, whiche scourging and beating of his blessed body commytted al kynde of vilany, nayled his body to the crosse, and so forth as the hystory maketh most godly & ghost­ly mention. For that corporal know­ledge howe lytle it profiteth, nay howe much it hurteth (if you do rest there and go no further) the mayster of al heuenly knowledge Christ declareth with verye playne wordes speakinge of his owne flesshe and bloude, saying: the flesshe profiteth nothing at al: it is the spirite that gyueth lyfe and quickeneth. The lorde dyd speake playnly, nat meaninge any o­ther thing then he did with his mouthe speake and declare. To mannes iudge­ment what thing coulde be more heuen­ly, more blessed (as it is in dede) than to haue ye body of our sauiour, forty wekes within our owne bodies, as the vyrgin Mary had? But if yt she had nat knowen him in her spirite a lytle more perfectly than her corporal knowlege might haue gyuen informatiō, forsoth it shuld haue profited her very lytle or nothinge: she [Page lxxxix] had ben no mete vessel, habitacle or mansion place for that sacred body. But gy­uinge credyte at the last, forsakinge her owne reason and iugement, wherby she coulde nat attayne to the knowledge of God his wyl & plesure, being of her selfe counseled to ye contrary by natural rea­son, as by these wordes appeared. (Quoniam virum non cognosco) I neuer had flesshely knowledge and company with man: I knowe nat what it meaneth: I can nat tell, whiche way it shulde be so, most lyke a playne, simple, and vertuous mayden, felinge her spirites moued and newe altered in her selfe (for the holye Ghost wrought merueylously in her and strongly) nature gaue place, reason quaked, fayth relyued, so that to the wordes pronounced by the Aungell. Thou shalt conceyue. &c. she made no more a do but yeldinge herselfe vp cleane, as one hauing no power of her selfe, answered these wordes, here I am the handmayde of the lorde, let the lorde do with me as it shal please him. This worde whereto Mary gaue credit and belefe did get her with chylde, this word was made flessh this worde came into the worlde natu­rally (sinne excepted). To this worde before any thinge was, nothinge did gyue place, to be made some thing, and of no­thing [Page] [...] [Page lxxxx] [...] [Page] al thing. To this worde if Adam had gyuen credit and belefe: by the whiche worde he was made and created, he had nat fallen, nor many more after him This worde the holy fathers frō Adam to Moises had nat writen, but declated and pronounced by the mouthe of God wherby they knewe God, and beleued God to be God, and the Messias to come To this worde Moyses gaue credyte, which was gyuen to him in the mounte in the tables of stone, written with the fynger of God, that he shulde gyue them to the people, that they might be his people, a people that shuld feare and loue the lorde. This word Moyses dyd wryte in the boke called the Deuteronomium. This worde the lorde commaunded to be in the handes of his people, and neuer to be left out of theyr handes, to be al­way with them in al places, at al tymes, at theyr eatinge and drinkinge: ye and at theyr slepinge, hauing it for a pyllow to lay theyr hedes on, and in theyr iurneys to be theyr companion to comfort them to be theyr staffe to staye them and holde thē vp. And finally in al theyr pastimes, to be theyr reioyse & delyte. This worde was harde of the people in the mounte, wherby they knewe God, by the whiche he wolde be knowen, and nat by any out [Page lxxxx] ward vision, bicause partly oure flesshe and corrupt carnall nature can nat aryse vp into the mount to beholde the cleare glistering bryghtnes of his Godheade, and partly bicause they shulde nat delude deceyue, and blinde thē selfes with none outwarde apparance and similitude of thynges: to auoyde the great incoueny­ence of Idolatry, to be committed vnder any spiritual or godly colour.

¶ With this worde were all the Pro­phettes and godly kinges illumined and set a fier with the loue and knowlege of God vnto the tyme of the son of God be comming man, which declared thꝭ word by mouthe and myracle, that therby he might be knowē perfectly what he was and is in dede. This worde had the dis­ciples and Apostles committed vnto thē, with a speciall cōmandement, to declare this worde: nat theyr owne phantasies or imaginations: the worde I say of preching the Gospel to al creatures, that is to say: Repentance and remissiō of synne for Christ sake, the hope of our saluatiū, by Christ only and his merites.

This word the holy & most vertuously disposed Apostles moste faythfully put­ting in writing did leue behind them to our discipline and saluation, as witnes­seth Paull, sayinge: the Gospell is the [Page] power of God to saluation of all them that beleueth, commaunding also vnder the payne of bytter curses, neyther to minisshe or plucke awaye, neyther to adde nor ioyne one worde or tytle to this worde: as Iohn in the last of his re­uelation sayeth. If thou wylt be so bold to enlarge his worde, adding any thyng to this boke of lyfe: wherto nothing can or may be ioyned, more than it is, or els to plucke any thinge from it, I do beare witnesse sayeth he, the lord shal encrease on the, the plages conteyned and writ­ten in this boke, and for his boldnes: to take away any thing from this boke: the lorde shal take away from him his parte and portion out of the boke of lyfe, oute of the holy eytye, neuer to be partaker of any thing cōteyned in this boke. Against this worde our mortal enmy hath conti­nuall warre and battayle, this is the ca­stel which he goeth about to vndermine coueting to ouerthrowe it if he myght. At fewe worde the euerlasting being of God without begynnynge: al his power as muche as maye be perceyued by man, that he created the world, with al thing there in conteyned: that he sent downe his only begotten son (moued with compassion of our imprisonment and capti­uitie) to set vs at liberty with ful salua­tion, [Page lxxxxi] and what is there els, that is nat knowen by this worde. Considerynge then that lykewise as in our corporal bodies corruption and putrefaction com­meth of corrupt matter, as sometyme the cause of corruption beinge without vs, by the corrupte infection of the ayre and poisonous sauours doth cause the inwarde partes to be infected and corrup­ted, sometyme the cause beinge within the body, as raw and indigested humors comming of yll dyet, of surfetinge, with other kindes of vnhonest and inordinate ordre of lyfe, so proceding from corrup­tion to putrefaction, from putrefaction to mortification and sleynge of the mat­ter which is fyrst corrupted. Euen so the cause why we lacke the loue and fear of the lord, is the want of the knowlege of God spiritually, wherby we shulde glorifie God, as Paul wytnesseth to the Romains. Yet muste there folowe an other cause why we knowe nat the lorde, and that truly is bicause we embrace nat him with our armes in his word, bicause we do nat make muche of him in his worde: bicause we kisse him nat with the mouth of our herte earnestly and hartely in hys most blessed worde, and so to folow him in lyfe with al purenesse and godlynesse of liuinge. What is the occasion of all [Page] these our spiritual infyrmities, that we may lerne and know the original cause and fountayne, that hereafter we may be preserued from this most poyson and pe­stiferus infectiō the better: being (as the prouerbe sayeth) ons warned and so half warned.

☞ He that was sometyme an Aungell the father of pryde, the olde enmy of god and man Sathā, the chyld of euerlasting wrath and dampnation: he (I say) whi­che made to our sauiour many great promises and gay, if the lorde wolde haue fallen downe and worshipped him, of whom Sathan knew wel his head shuld be broken: he worketh al this mischiefe, al our sorowes, he enuieth vs to be the chyldren of God, he wolde fayn haue vs to be as he is in extreme miserie: he plucketh from vs the lyuely and most holsō fode of the soul: he knoweth that as our bodies beinge destitude of bodily suste­nance can nat chose but dye, so the bodye of the soule, being without the heuenly and most comfortable fode of the worde of God of pure necessitie must perysshe. As Christ ye ryght scholemaister of helth answered. Breade is nat only. &c. Thys is our aduersary wel ware of: he know­eth hꝭ power very weke and feble where the worde of God is in place.

[Page] ❧ Some Antechrist therfore, lyke to him selfe muste he styrre vp and ordeyne (as he knowethe what makethe for his purpose) making and constituting hym as god in earth, lorde ouer al the worlde felowe and chekmate with God, forgy­uer and holder of sinnes, hauing ye keies of Heuen and of Hell, nat beinge vnder any▪ but holding the heades of al princes vnder his gyrdle, crowned wt the crownꝭ nat of glory (as he wolde haue them be­taken) but with the crown of the world of the flesshe, and of the Deuyl, aboue all potentates in power, hauing his power in euery kyng his dominiō, more strōge than the most natural and lawful kingꝭ them selfe, and for none other cause but to remoue frome the hertes of men thys stomblinge blocke the worde of God by his power, threatening and cursyng the rowe his most wicked ministers, which shulde be the vpholders and defenders of this most holy and blessed worde, puttynge into princes heades that it is nat lawful: for the lay and common people, to meddle with the Gospels, with the secretes of God, to knowe the wyl of god, to knowe by whom they are created: by whom they do obteyne saluation and remission of sinnes, declaring many more greate inconuenyences and hurtes that [Page] wyl folowe therof if they be suffered to haue it at lybertye, ascribing and impu­ting to the knowlege and redinge of the worde of God, those thinges and vyces which are clene contrary to the nature of the worde of God, making the magy­strates and rulers beleue that it wyll cause sedition, tumultes and insurrecti­ons in the common welth, O most cruel sect of vipers, whiche doeth shut vp the kingdome of Heuen from men, neyther wyllynge to enter in your selfes, nor cō ­tent that any els shal, most lyke vnto bā ­dogges, which lye tyed at the maunger nat feding of the hay that therin is, nor yet sufferinge the pore Oxe or Horse to eate and fed? of it to theyr sustenaunce. What thing doth teache peace? but the word of God. What preacheth tranquillitie in feldes, townes, cytyes: and real­mes, ye thorowe all the worlde? but the worde of God. What meanethe these wordes. Discite quia mitis et humilis sum. Lerne of me, for I am mek, lowly and gentyl. Also peace be with you, loue you one another, as I loued you, in this men shal know that you be my disciples What thing sheweth forth true obediēce of subiectes vnto theyr louinge kynges but the worde of God, which declarethe to vs, howe obedient, howe subiect our [Page lxxxxiii] mayster Christ shewed him self vnto Cesar, sayinge to Peter: let me se the coyne and stampe of Cesar, knowledgynge and alowynge therin, and also comfyrmyng the auctoritie of princes, commaunding also to gyue, pay, and rendre vnto Cesar all that doth belonge to the emperyall crowne and dignitie of the Emperoure. What doth Paul teach in commanding vs to be obediente to kinges and magy­strates, addinge thereto a cause of oure necessary obedience, declaringe that he is nat ordeyned of man but of God, as the hygh minister and officer of god, and that he beareth nat the swerd in vayne. Paul also which commaundeth ye lawes to be kept, teacheth nat disobedience.

¶ What place of the Gospels and Py­stles is nat euery where full of al maner of obedience. Of the sonne to the father: the seruant to the mayster, with lyke ex­hortations vnto the maysters & fathers towardes theyr seruantes and chyldren. This geare is farre from rebelling, frō seditions, from risinges and insurrecti­ons. Yet these hell houndes be nat a sha­med, to report, belye, and sclaunder most shamefully the holy worde of God, bea­ring most false witnes agaynst it, for to banyshe it, to burne it, to hange it out of the way, that theyr mayster Sathan may [Page] haue ful swey and rule in the hert of mā whiche is the seate, house and temple of God. Such as these be, are fyrst traytors to God, and after to theyr princes and kynges. For it standeth nat with reason nay it is vnpossible, that ye or they shuld loue theyr kinge hartely, which loueth nat God, which taketh part with Ante­christ. They theyr owne selfes be those persons which wolde haue seditions wt risinges and insurrections of the cōmōs and other heades, to the maynteyning of the kyngdom of Sathan. For I doubte nat to abyde by it, that where the worde of God is, there can be no such disobedience, no nor mistrust of subiectes. But where the word of god is nat, there loke for no maner of goodnes, no kind of vertue, none obedience or loue, but for feare nat from the hert, but from the teche forwarde, laughing as the Hare, which hā geth on the saddle bowe, amonge them is the Deuyll with all his whole bande and rable. Example we hadde nat many yeares past when Sathan his minister Antechrist, with his retinue of Monkes Fryers, and other of his chapleyns had thought to haue stroke a great stroke in this realme to ye vtter vndoing of al the whole comiualtye of the said realme, if the most mightie hand of the lorde hadde [Page lxxxxiiii] nat turned all theyr cogitations vppon theyr owne neckes. I wolde they shulde answere me whether the worde af God was the cause of the insurreetion in the northe ye or nay. If they be choked with this demaunde, I wyll go a lytle more nere vnto them, to se if they cā scape any way, by any honest answere and excuse but that they shall be founde lowde and shameful lyers against god, Which part was the fyrst mouers and styrers of thꝭ most lamentable insurrectiō (if the lorde had nat set his fote in) the laytie or the spiritualtie of the north partes. If they wyl put it from them, and laye it on the lay mennes shulders, I wyl answere thē and say that the cause of the seditiō was nat the lay cause but the spiritual cause (as they cal it) for to maynteyne and vp­hold theyr vngracious power, kingdom and dominion, and that the lay men were but ministers of theyr fury & mad­nes, prouoked by them with most false persuasions. Wherfore they most iustly suffered nat lyke traytors, but traytors in dede. If it was nat the popyshe cause or cause of religion (as they do cal it) in the defence of theyr sodomiticall mona­steries, and mayntenance of the most stinking & proud Babilon wt the great crowned whore and al her harlottes, for what [Page] cause dyd theyr chalyses, crosses, pyckes of syluer and golde (which no lay or prophane seculer man myght touche for the holynes therof, but nat to holye & good to commyt treasō with them flye so faste about to the mayntenance of this greate euyl: with al theyr cattel, as oxen, shepe, and grayne also, that no thinge shulde lacke to the furtherance and setting for­warde of so euyl and deuelysh a purpose The badge and token that theyr souldy ours did were on theyr backes & brestes for a knowledge, and in theyr standerde was it nat the signe of the fyue woūdes of Christ, in token and significatiō that theyr rysynge was in the ryghte of the churche. Then must you confesse that ye spiritualtie there being, was the whole cause of that tumulte and sedition, howe soeuer the pore laytie did beare ye bront (nat vnworthily) for consenting and ayding of theyr treason. But such hath ben alway the practice of Antechrist and hys true sworne seruauntes, to set kinges wt kinges togyther by the eares, & to styrre the commons against theyr kynges plucking theyr owne neckes forth of the halters, they haue wayes inoughe to shyfte for them selfe. Yet they wyl and affyrme that among them only doth and must re­mayne the worde of god, which hath nothing [Page lxxxxv] to do with any such matter, no nor yet can nat, nor wyll nat be, where anye such feates be vsed and practised. For cō monly where the word of God is absēt, there wāteth no kind of mischiefe, there is styrring & mouing of hatred, betwene the subiectꝭ and rulers. This is the practise of the Deuyl in his ministers. This was the practise of Augustin, the legate of Sathan his minister Antechrist, with whome al kinde of Abhomination was brought from Rome the seate of all ini­quitie into Englande, takinge at ye tyme this noble realme so great infection that it could neuer sence be thorowly purged

Was it not with god his worde, that this Augustine caused a thousande fiue hundred godly and true preachers to be slayne in one day? was not this the pra­ctise of the holy shrined traytour Tho­mas Becket for the church right? what shamfull contumelise and opprobrious despite hath diuers right noble and godly kynges of this realme, at the handes of these wicked fyndes perforce sustey­ned, and glad yt they might so scape with no worse turne? What shulde I remembre that godly kynge Iohn: whiche for the loue he dyd beare to the lorde: and ardent desire in settyng forth of his gospel: was he not after most shamful hād­lyng [Page] at the last with poyson depriued of his lyfe? what cloke? what coloure had they to bleare the commons eies: but only that thyng which they thought shuld please the commons for theyr poore bel­lies sake: saiyng nay, beliyng and most falsely sclaunderyng the kyng: that he went about to bryng in & to make suche a derth of corne, as was neuer seene nor harde, with extreame famyne and hun­ger into the realme. Howe long shuld a man stande in rehersyng all the practise of antichrist prelates? How many kyn­ges .lx. or .lxxx. yeres paste durste ones open theyr lyppes agaynst these holy seruantes of god: but they wold haue wat­ched one tyme or other to haue displea­sed them, that it had ben lesse peyne and displeasure for the kynges and head ru­lers to haue had open warre with any other foren prynce: and lesse harme also for the commons: than to haue angred but one of the least of this most vile ge­neration of Antechrist. These are good and sufficient warnynges for the kyn­ges and head rulars, to trye theim well, whether they be of Antechrist stocke ye or nay: before they suffer them to be to bolde or to nere about them, for they cā not chose but practise theyr malice, their poysonous nature in so who [...] and ranke [Page lxxxxvi] Dyd not within this fewe yeres a sorte of pyld friers obteyne a comaundement from the bishop of Rome, with a cursse agaynst theyr owne naturall and righte kyng, which now dothe reigne in Por­tingale, for not fulfyllynge his fathers wyll in buyldynge of theyr monastery, for a sorte of sodomites (which is made all together of the feyrest and finest marble that maye be) compellyng their oin­ted king and heade to performe it? wher dyd they euer reade this in Paull or any other of the apostles writinges. And yet for all that they haue the worde of God with them, they be also of the spiritual­tie. Wherein they do make no leasinge. For there is .ii. kindes of spiritualtyes: that one is of God, that other is of the Deuyl. The Deuyl is a most dampnable spirite, working spiritually, by his spiritual members. The Deuyl also hath his church. the Deuyl hath his spiritual mi­nisters as wel as God, the Deuyll hathe his commaundementes as well as God and this is the principal and fyrst of his commaundementes, nat to suffer ye word of God to reygne in the hertes of men.

¶ What token can you haue more euy­dent, more plaine to spye and know a bisshop, an Archdeacon, a Deane, a Person a curate of his church, than when you do [Page] here him preach & teache the commandemēt of his mayster ye Deuyl, ye the worde of God is nat to be hadde in the mother tonge, is nat to be common among al mē as though the benefites of Christ perteyned but to a fewe in nombre, and nat in generally to al men. Such persons when you do heare on this maner teachyng, streyght way marke him vp to be of Sa­thans church, and one of his chapleyns be he Archbyshop, or Bysshop, Suffrigā or Archdeacon, Deane, Persone, or pore Cucate. We haue a saying in our mother tong. Thou shalt neuer make me beleue that thou louest me, when thou doest take my meate frome me. It is in dede a token of very smal loue. Howe lytle thē are they our freendes, nay howe muche de they the enemyes both of God & man, which do robbe our soules, bought with so deare a price, taking the word of God from the people, which is the ryght to de of the soule, and the only preserue frome al corruption,

¶ This great enormitie and abuse, or rather the great sclaunder of soules, the kinge his excellent maiestie, which late reygned of moste godly and happy me­mory perceyuyng (beinge taught frome god aboue): What a sorte of rebellious conspiratours, of god his enemyes Antechristes [Page lxxxxvi] disciples and ministers, with the name and most falsly vsurped power of Antechrist him selfe: didde his grace, (naye god in him, for it passed mannes power) as it were in a moment of tyme to be compared to so great an act, swepe awaye and shake cleane forthe of hys realme and dominion. Howe manye of thē did rather chose to be hāged, drawen and quartered quicke, then (forsakinge the cōmon tyrant of al the wide world) to eleue vnto theyr most natural & louinge king. What thing was thought among them to deare, for that bloudsucker and soule killer? and with theyr owne king wolde scant fynde in theyr herte to part with a good wyl with ye paryng of theyr nayles: if they thoughte it myghte haue done him any good in preuaylynge a­gainst his enemies. Theyr abomination and deceytfulnes perceyued: his grace commanded the blessed worde of god to be set at large for all men, nat withoute great struggelinge and resistence of the sede of Antechrist: howe hath this word sence that tyme ben tost from post to piller, from the west ende of the church, to the east, from the north to the fouth, frō the body of the church, to the quere, and at the last was glad to skyp forthe of the church [...]ore, or to be hydde in the vestry [Page] for feare of tearing al to peces or burnīg What greuous complayntes hathe bene made against it, howe the worde of god hath let god his seruice to be song, in a tong, that neyther the singers nor the hearers vnderstode or were the better for. I know a certayn cathedral church in Englande, of no smal rentes and possessions, replenished and adourned with al kinde of goodly ornamentes, lacking neyther popynge nor syngyng, a temple worthy to be (as it is) the seate of a Bisshop, called saint Augustins of Bristow in the which for the space of .ix. mōthes after they had expresse commaundement by the kīges maiestie, which is in glory a man mighte haue sene Poules steple stande vpon the hyghe aulter, as sone as the byble in the church, or any part there of. So greate is the fauour that they do beare to the worde of god, so good is the example that they do giue to the pore paryshe churches, which are in dede, much better disposed than those which shulde be the chefe lanternes of lyght. These men do set forth the worde of god gaily. These men didde set so muche by theyr kinges commaundemente, that neyther for feare and loue of God, nor for feare of breaking the godly commaundement of the kinge, coulde finde in theyr herte [Page lxxxxviii] to suffer it to be in tht sight of his people If there shulde be a commaundemente that the people (for satisfaction and pennance, bicause they haue committed ydo­latry) shulde sette vp on euery of theyr seates an ymage of this or that, with certayne candels before it, to knele downe before it at certayne tymes, to kisse and lycke it, to saye certayne prayers to it. What loking and totinge: what prieng and spyeng shulde there be: what diligēt obseruation, who did obserue: who did neglect this pennance. Euery one of Antechrist his byrdes wolde haue had here in as many eyes as euer had Argus, th [...]y wolde neuer haue slept, some shulde al­way haue ben waking. But against this moste sacred and blessed worde of God, howe malicious they be, howe spitefull and with what tyrannye they do perse­cute those whom they know to embrace this worde, it maketh christian mennes hertrs blede to se it. They haue shutte vp this worde frome the pore, and handye craftꝭ men, as though they had no souls permitting it to ryche and great landed men, wherin is a great point and pece of theyr leger demayne and craftye iugge­ling to be noted. They do shut and locke it vp frome the pore, bicause they be al­way most redy to receiue it, they do giue [Page] and grant it to the rych, nat that it shuld be set forth the more fruitfully by them, but for .ii. other causes whiche they do kepe close within theyr owne bosomes to them selfe, that one is, knowing that the most part of the ryche sort ar so cho­ked vppe with this worlde, and the care therof, that they passe nat for it (which maketh well for theyr purpose) that o­ther cause is, if any of the ryche do re­ceyue the word thankfully, knowleging the benefites of God, yet they wyl be a­frayed to professe it openly, for daunger they shulde be entrapped with the losse both of theyr bodies and goodes.

¶ These be the practices of the prelates of Antechrist hꝭ church to suppresse and put downe the worde of God, that Sa­than his kingdome myght florishe. God therfore declaringe his manifolde bene­fytes and vnspeakable loue toward this realme, in the stede & place of that noble kyng deceased, nowe restynge in the bo­som of Abraham, hath sent downe to vs a lytle Dauyd to breake greate Golyath his heade with the stone of the worde of God, to ouerthrow on the heades of the inhabyters hygh and proude Babilon, nat leauing one stone or stycke standing but to burne it al to pouder, with brym­stone and wyld fyer. And in the stede [Page lxxxxix] therof to buylde vp a newe the temple of God, to sette forthe the righte honor and glory of God, that we appere nat vnthākfull to him for the preseruation of thys our yonge vyrgyn kyng from the handes of his mortall enemyes: which, lokinge and gaping for a day, which shulde haue ben to vs blacker then any pytche, more bytter then any gall: were most luckely (we may say) deceyued & made frustrate of theyr hope.

¶ We nede make none other rekenynge but that his grace was deliuered & pluc­ked out (by the myghty and strong hand of God) forthe from betwene the iawes and sharpe tethe of the Lyon, at ye houre when his cruel enemies were taken and dystroyed, beinge as greate a myracle wrought by God in his grace, as was ye deliuerance of the chyldren of Israel in the reade Sea from the tyranny of Pharao. The lorde requyreth againe for his manifolde kyndnes, no golde nor siluer nor any other kynde of wordly treasure but a thankful hert, a knowledge of hys godly wyl: open confessinge of his bene­fytes before al the worlde.

☞ The lorde rebuked the chyldren of Israel for theyr vnkīdnes in forgetting and nat hauinge in mynde theyr deliue­rance from the captiuitie in Egypt, and [Page] from the tyranny of Pharao.

¶ Your good lordship can do no better seruice to the lorde, than to se his moste blessed worde,Truste nat [...]togyther [...]o the Bys­hoppes. most purely with al sinceritie sette forthe in his owne nature and kynde. It is youre grace his offyce and duety to se that it be done in dede: for as muche as it hath pleased God to cal you to so hyghe administration and gouer­nance. This is one of the tytles pertey­ninge to the crowne of England: the de­fence of our fayth: whiche consysteth in seynge the worde of God ryghtly mini­stred, and truly broken vnto al the kyng his grace his highnes most louing sub­iectes: as your grace alway hathe decla­red your selfe most earnestly affectioned thereunto, and so to procede to the ho­nor and glory of God. Then shal Sathā be banyshed with his adherentes and cō missioners forth of this realme.

¶ Then shal the worde of God florishe and bryng forth goodly fruyt, that is to say the ryghte knowledge of god and of his benefytes, a perfect loue and feare to offende his heuenly maiestie with god­ly liuing accordyng to his wyl and pleasure. Then wyll he lette his worde be a­monge vs: to the comfort of our soules, and honeste conuersation of oure lyfe. This worde is the way: the truthe: and [Page c] the lyfe: who that doth nat go this way goeth forth of the way and is deceyued. Who that teacheth any other doctryne teacheth nat the truth, but false doctrin and lies, who yt seketh any other life can nat mysse but fynde most terryble death. Let vs therfore kepe this truthe, and we shall nat erre in opinions: lette vs kepe this waye and we shall nat be deceyued of oure iurney. Let vs seke after this lyfe: and we shall nat fayle but fynde it, to the only honor and glory of the lorde, who be praysed for euer worlde without ende AMEN.

Domine saluum fac Regem.

❧ Imprinted at London in Flete strete at the Signe of the George next to Saynt Dunstones church by VVilliam Powell. In the yere of of our Lorde God .M.CCCCC. XLVIII. the .XI. daye of October.

¶ Cum priuilegio ad imprimen dum solum.

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