Of the communion gospel, and the scriptures of . god, are vntrue? God forbidde . Priest. Truly yonge man, I am sorye for you. I am affrayde that I shall bee fayne to put you vp to my Lorde: then are ye vndone . Prentyse. Dooe as ye shall thynke beste. Fare ye well master person: God open youre hearte.

Be ashamed of your doings ye Papystes.

✚ Of the lawful and vnlawful vsurie amōgest Christians, added by Wolf­gang Muscul vnto the ende of his booke vppon the Psalmes.

¶ The Preface.

AMōgest other euils of this present tyme, also pestilente vsurie is soo farre growen and towardes the vengeance of God, that I maye thincke it altogether in vaine too speake any thinge agaynst it, yea, though it were spoken with much earnestnes, and singular endeuer.

For we haue knowen by expe­rience, that this euill did then specially encrease, whē as in our time it began to be openly blased & re­proued by the preachinges & wri­tinges of godly learned men: that almoost euen as the disease of the Canker, after cuttinge groweth & spredeth more hurtfulli thā afore so after iuste and deserued repro­uinge [Page]is thys becomen vncurable and moost noisome.

Wherefore I mighte well bee thought to loose my labor, and as it is sayde by a prouerbe, to wash tyle stones, if I were not bonden by promes, and forced by letters of my brethren.

Therefore that I maye in anye wyse kepe promes, and please my brethren, I will soo farre speake of vsurie, as maye bee profitable vnto them that be godlye, and as yet not so much infected with this pestilente disease, as is paste all hope. I know at what tymes, and by what persons there hathe ben disputations concernynge vsurie, not onely in Germany, but also in the scholes of other contries: but I will not meddel with scholerly shredinges, that be as faste intan­gled one with an other, as the na­ture [Page]of vsurie it self is inwrapped together, but I will simply vtter those thinges, whiche are mete to be spoken, withoute anye cumbe­rous contention.

Fyrste I wil tell what vsurie is. And then that it may be sene, if it can be lawful vntoo Christians, I will cōferre it with the doctrine of Chryste, and with the profession of Christen religion.

[Page]¶ Of the lawefull and vnlawful vsu­rie.

☞ What is vsurie.

LEst that anye man might accuse me as a mainteiner of vsurie, I wil bring a definition of vsury, not now deuised of my felse, but long ago setforth by them, whose godlines in Christes church hath gottē such authorite, as can not be roted out by vsurers, or by theyr defenders.

Hierom vpō Ezechiel in his .6. boke doeth write thus. Some mē thinke vsurie to be only in monei, [Page]the which thinge godly scripture foreseing doth take awai the ouerplus of euery thīg, so that yu maist not receiue more than thou hast geuen. Also other, for money put too vsury, are wont to take littell gif­tes of diuers sortes of thinges: & they do not vnderstande that the scripture calleth vsurie and ouer­plus, whatsoeuer thing it be, that they take more, besides yt whiche they did geue. These be Hierōs saienges. Ambrose of Nabuthe, sayeth. Many fleinge the precep­tes of the law, when thei haue de­liuered their monei vnto marchā ­tes, do not exact vsurie in money, but of their wares thei take in va­lure as of vsures. Therfore let thē hear what ye law saieth. Thou shalt not take vsurie of meates, nor of any other thinge. Therefore meat is vsurie, and apparell is vsurie, [Page]and whatsoeuer cōmeth too the stocke is vsurie, and what name soeuer thou wilt geue it, vsurie it is. So sayeth Amb. Augustine also vppon the .36. Psalme. defi­neth vsurie after this sorte. If thou commit vsurie to a man (that is to say) if thou lende thy monei, of whome thou lokest too receyue any thyng more than thou haste geuen, not onely money, but anye thinge more than thou hast geuē, if it be wheat, if it be Wyne, if it be Oyle, if it be anye maner of o­ther things, if thou loke to receiue more than thou haste geuen, thou arte an vsurer, and in that too bee disalowed. Thus sayeth he. Therefore, accordinge vnto these mennes sayinges: Vsurie is, not oneli to take, but also to hope and loke for any thinge, besides that which is called the stocke: that is [Page]to saye, besides that which is ge­uen, vnder what name so euer it be cloked. For the change of the name, doeth not take awaye the wickednesse of the vice which abideth.

And it is euidente in the .18. of Ezechiel, that that is vsurie, what soeuer is taken besides the stock, when as the Prophet sayeth: He lendeth nothinge vpon vsurie, he taketh nothinge ouer. For as D. Kimhi doeth wel declare, what it is to lende vpon vsurie, it is expoū ded by that whiche foloweth, where it is added: he hathe taken nothinge ouer. And so is it redde in the .25. of Leuit. Thou shalt not take of him vsurie, and anye thinge ouer, but thou shalte feare thi God. Thou shalt not geue him thy money vpon vsurie, thou shalt not geue thy meat to receiue more [Page]ouer. Also Cesars lawes in the boke of vsurie, in like manner call vsurie, whatsoeuer is taken besy­des the stocke: howbeit thei suffer the vse of it after a sorte, of the which we shal speak afterwards. It is called vsura in latin, because for the vse of money a certain re­cōpense is receiued, wherby there returneth some vantage vnto the vsurer. The Grecians call it Tocon, as a chylding or ge­neratiō of the money stocke. In Hebrue it is named Neschech, of byting, because at ye last it biteth him, which payeth vātage. Thus much is now sayd, to shewe what vsurye is.

☞ Wether vsurie bee law­full or not.

WE do seke here too knowe not of vsurie of vsuries, whiche the Iewes dooe vse, of the whyche noo [Page]man doubteth, but that it is vn­lawfull and abominable, & in no wise to be suffered: but of symple vsurie, by the whiche more is takē than geuen, whether it be muche or littell, whether it bee done in money, or in other thinges. For this vsurie some men suppose not to be vnlawfull of it selfe, but ex­cepte it too be made vnlawfull by vnlawful circūstāces. I deny not that there may be fonde a kind of vsuri, which is not vnlawful, but profitable: suche is that vsurie, whiche is called earth vsurie, by ye which much more is receiued, thā was bi sowīg to ye earth cōmitted. This vsurie doth he geue, whiche geueth vnto all mē all things, & [...] not wtstāding, hath neuer ye lesse. That vsuri is so geuē, that it hur­teth nothinge the geuer, & muche profitteth the receyuer, and is not to be cōdēned of couetousnes, [Page]but rather by reasō of great good will and excellent well doinge is muche to be praysed.

Beholde, here is a kinde of vsurie for the, lawfull, profitable, and godly, by the which Abrahā and Isaac became ryche. By thys some tymes thirty folde, some ty­mes sixty fold, and some times an hundreth folde, without sinne is bothe geuen of God, & also receyued of man. This vsurie did oure forfathers much vse, which nowe is rekened vile, & forced too geue place vnto the damnable vsurie of money. And there is an other cer­ten vsurie, by the whiche without any sinne, a mā maye take an hun­dreth for one. This Christ hī selfe in ye sted of his father, as a shuerti doeth promise vnto his faithfull, saying: And eueri one, which shal leaue house, or brethrē, or sisters, [Page]or father, or mother, or wife, or sō nes, or fyldes, for my name, shall receiue an hūdreth fold & possesse life euerlasting. Mat .19. Behold an other & a heauēly kind of vsuri, vnto ye whiche we be called & not feared frō it. But I pray you, see how many there be, whiche sette their minds to ye gethering of hea­uēly riches, wt so great gaines?

By these exāples of vsurie it is proued, not to be vnlawefull of it self, to restore more thā yu hast re­ceiued, or els to receiue more than thou hast geuē: but whether ye sam sorte of vsurie, which in our tyme hath ye vpperhād, & of ye which at this time we speake, haue the same reason, yt the vsurie of ye earth, or ye heauēly vsurie hath, by ye whiche God him self is [...] greatest vsurer of all other, this nowe muste bee spied with simple & pure eies:

They, which defend customable [Page]vsurie, doe deuise manye thinges which thei mai shewforth, & wherby thei mai be bold to sai, that it is not vnlawful. Thei brīg ye law out of the boke, called ye code in ye trea­tise of vsures, by ye whiche is per­mitted, yea ordeined ye hūdreth, & the halfe of ye hundreth &c. & they thinke yt ye authorite of ye ciuill law maketh yt, which thei do, either not to be vsurie, or if it be vsurie, not to be vnlawful vsurie: we aūswer yt the law maker was forced of ne­cessite, not to defēd vsurie, but too set some stai of exceding couetousnes, ye which thing ye text of ye lawe it self proueth, for it taketh awaye great hurtfulnes of vsury, & apoī ­teth certē measures, ouer ye which nothing mai be claimed. His de­sire was without dout, yt such charitie might preuail amōg christiās as shuld leaue no place vnto vsu­rie: but for because yt couetousnes [Page]did grow past measur, he iudged it nedefull yt it shuld be kept in by latises or railes, & therfore he cut awai ye hurtfulnes of vsurie, euen vnto ye middest of it. Wherefore ye law doeth not maintein vsurie, & make it lawful, but rather witnes­seth yt charite amōg christiās was waxē cold, & most filthi & abominable couetousnes growē so farre yt it must be kept vnder, by ye authori­tie of ye Emperor. And so as ye law of diuorce, made by Moises, dyd not excuse ye Iew afore god, which vsed ye law as to be giltles of brea­king wedlock: likewise this ciuill law doth not make vsuri so lawful yt a christē mā mai vse it withoute offēce afore god. As Christ spake vnto ye Iewes of ye law of diuorce: It was not so frō ye beginninge, & for ye hardnes of your harts, Moyses did suffer a byll of diuorce, & so sente them back vnto the fyrste begynninge of lawfull wedlocke, [Page]vnto the which thei ought to con­forme thē selfs: euē so in this case or cause of vsurie, we christians must loke vnto ye purenes, begin­nings, righteousnes and equite of christē religiō, which is to be sene Math .5. & Luc .6. & we must not loke vnto the ciuil lawes. For thei are not made for christiēs, whiche haue no nede of ciuill lawes, to ye ende yt thei there by should be sta­yed frō their couetous desire, lest that the breake & leape ouer the border of measure. For they are so gyded by the spirit of loue, yt thei loue their neighbor hartely, & are ready to bestow vppon him, not onely their money, but if nede be, euen their life also. Where as this loue preuaileth, there canne be no place for anye coueteousnes: nor there is no reason or cause for any suche lawes to be established by [Page]the whiche coueteousnes maye be measured. Wherefore the minde of the lawemaker was not too mainteyne him, which in lending requireth vsurie, but too prouide for him yt boroweth: le [...]t yt because he is oppressed wt nede, he should be forced to borow monei, & then by the vnsatiable couetousnes of vsurers, he shoulde be vtterly pil­led and spoyled, when as charite is so colde, that he can fynd none, that wil lend frely without vsury. Wherfore yt law, made by a chri­stian Emperour, concerninge vsu­rie, is a plaine profe, that loue of neyghbors was waxē cold, to the great shame of the christē name: & so it is far frō excusing of vsurye, in any such sort as to make it law­full. Christiās are in case, partly by ye inward gyding of ye holi gost & partly by the lighte & authorite of gods word, to be called frō all [Page]those thynges, whiche dysplease god: so yt they nede not by any cō straynt of Emperours lawes e­ther to be forced or feared. Cyuyl lawes do not forbyd al thīgs yt be vnlawful afore god: & what thīgs they forbyd not those things they punysh not: howbeit therby it cā ­not be proued, yt al thyngs ar lawful afore god, which ar not forbiddē vnto vs by ciuil laws. They do not forbid anger, indignaciō, vn­pacyence, enuy, hate, pryde, euill lusts, couetousnes & such other as the Apostle calleth the dedes of ye flesh, and sayth yt they do shit out of ye kingdō of god al those, yt haue such minds.Gala .5. Wherfore no mā that doth any such thīge is therfore ex­cused a fore god, because he is not cōdēned by any ciuil law. Agayne ye ciuill lawes do not cōmaunde al those things, yt are requisite vnto true rightuousnes. No ciuill law [Page]cōmaundeth fayth, hope, loue of god & thy neibor, paciēce in aduersite, gētilnes, meknes, lowlines & modesty &c. Whervpō not wt standing no mā shold suppose, yt he is not boūdē vnto these, because yt if he be otherwyse disposed, he is bi no ciuil lawes cōdēned. Furthermore they suffer sōe things for certain causes, which yt not wtstādīg afore god be vnlawfull, & by gods word ar cōdēned. They doe suffer thē not as in thēselfs right & law­ful, but yt worse thīgs may be shut out & displaced. So thus far also thei suffer vsury, yt a measure of couetousnes mai be limited. Thei do not ponish whordōe, nor take not awai ye stewes: yet therbi no whormōger is excused afore god, nor yt of ye Apostle is not made of none effect Ebr .13. Wedloke is hono­rable & holy but whoremongers and adultrers the lord shal iudge. [Page]Lyke wyse al those threatnyngs, whych in holy scripture cōdemne vsurers, be not therefore made of none effect, because they bee not condemned by ciuill lawes, but ye ende of ciuill lawes is to be considered: and we muste not thynke that they are made to make men ryghteous afore god, but to kepe men some what in a tollerable or­der, liuing together, and that the malice of man should be restrey­ned wythin some border. These woulde I knitte vp in fewe wordes, for an answere vn­to them, whyche by the pretence of ciuil lawes do so defend ye vsury of our times, yt they denie it to be vnlaw­full afore God.

¶ Howe a manne shoulde lende accordynge vnto the doctryne of Chryste.

FOrasmuche as in thys place we demaunde, whether that vsurie be lawful or vnlawfull, not afore ye world but afore God, and yt ther­fore the pretence of ciuill lawes, or of any ordynaunces of manne, can haue no place in this questiō the cause of Christian professyon constrayneth vs to heare euen Chryst Gods sonne, and to learne of his mouthe, howe Chrystians should lende and not sinne in the sight of ye lord. For of this oughte we to be well perswaded, that no thyng can be lawfully dōe, which [Page]striueth against ye doctrine of our sauiour. Wherfore we must consider how vsury agreeth wt Christs word. But first I do protest, that I speake not vnto ye childrē of this world, but vnto faythfull men, which be perswaded yt the doctrīe of Christ is so godly, & cōteineth such a rule of true godlynesse and rightuousnes, that all they muste nedes displease god, which do not hartely yelde & applye thēselues vnto it. Math .5. Thus we reade, loke not frō hym, that woulde bo­rowe of thee. And Luke .6. lende, lookyng for nothyng therof. And if you shall lende, frō whence ye hope to receaue, what thāks haue ye? For synners lende vnto siners that they may receiue like. Bi these words Christ did teache his, how they ought to behaue thēselues in thys case, he putteth a difference [Page]betwixt thē & ye children of thys world. First he cōman̄deth that they do not denye hym yt woulde borowe. Vnderstande so, that ther be abilite for to lēd. For he which hath not himself, how can he be a­ble to lende vnto others? Hedoth not permit and suffer vnto hys, which haue the substance of this world, a liberte to lende or not to lende. That is to say, he sheweth yt they ar straūgers frō ye kingdō of god & frō true rightuousnes belō ­gyng vnto the children of God, which denye to lende vnto hym yt nedeth & asketh. Therfore he warneth his, yt they doe not yt, if they wyll belong vnto him, & be in the nōber of gods chyldren. Thys cō ­maūdemēt ye childrē of this world do not acknowledge, nor they ar not therto forced by ciuil lawes, [Page]but they wyl be at liberte to lende or not to lende: and they dooe not thynke that they synne, if they do denye hym that asketh, when as they may helpe hym. Wherfore if we haue pleasure in the professiō of Chrystes religion, we must take hede to bee otherwyse mynded, than they be.

It is a synne great enoughe, if we denye our help vnto him, that woulde borowe. But truelye it is farre to much, if, like as infidels, we doe not beleue any [...]sine to be done of vs, when as vpon a bro­ther, that would borowe, we doe not best owe the duety of charite, as though those were tryfles that Christ sayeth: Deny not hym that would borow of thee. They saye, these are no commaundements, but counsels. Vnto the Iewes it is commaunded playnly Deu .15. [Page]after this maner. If one of thi brethren, whych dwelleth within the gates of thy cite, in ye lande which the lord thy God shall geue vnto thee, come vnto pouertye, yu shalte not harden thy hart, nor pul in thy hande: but thou shalt open it vnto the poore, and lend that, whych thou seest he nedeth. How then can it be, that Moses law should haue more perfect ryghteousnes, than the gospell of Chryst? and that we maye freely doe, [...] leaue vndone the woorke of ch [...] whiche thyng was not free vnto the Iewes.

And then also if it had been spoken in stede of a counsell: de­nye not hym that would borowe of thee, howe is it mete for Chry­stians, that Chrystes counsel, so earnestly geuen, they maye cause to be taken vp or down, to or froo [Page]and to thynke that it beyng con­demned shal not be punished? He saith I speake vnto you whyche heare. Therfore they, that wyl be hearers of Christe, are bounde to obey his counsel, & they can not wynd thēselues frō it wtout sinne and losse of their saluacion: euen as ye sicke cannot neglect the coūsel of the phisiciō wtout ye domage of their helth. But in ye .25. of Deut. It is manifest that they synne cō trary to gods wil, whych denye a br [...] askyng to borow. Lest yt (saith he) he cry agaynst thee vn­to the lord, and it becōe sine vnto the. Afterwardes Christ prescri­beth vnto his how they ought for to lend. Lend (sayeth he) lokynge for nothing therof. The which many so vnderstād, yt no profit, no lukar, no gayne, beesides yt whyche was lent, shold be loked for, & receued: [Page]& this is yt which is specialli required of him, which desireth to kepe his hands cleane frō vnpure vsury: but that is not ye ful mennīg of Christ, whiche requireth of vs by thys place, yt we also lende vn­to them, of whō we can not hope to receiue anye thing at all, whyche doth sufficiently appeare, by the wordes that he addeth, when he sayeth: if ye shal lend whereof ye hope to receiue again, what thāks haue ye? For so synners doe lend vnto siners to receiue like. See, he sayth not to receaue vsury, ouer­plus, some what besyds the sūme that was lent, but to receiue lyke. Wherefore also here he putteth a difference betwixte his, & those yt do not belong vnto him: for he requireth his not only to lēde wtout profet, seīg yt siners do yt sōe times but also with their own dāmage [Page]and losse of lente money, to helpe their neighbour and brother, and so to lende, that they maye pur­chase vnto themselues fauoure of God.

Therefore here is a difference to be made betwixte the heathen and the Christian. The heathen lendeth first vnto those, that be able to restore that, whyche they haue receaued. Then vnto those, whych some tymes haue lente or bee able to lende. Thirdlye vnto frendes and kinred. Fourthly vn­to those, of whom some kyndnes may be loked for. By these kinds of leandyng synne is not committed, howbeit as yet the righteousnes of the kingdome and sprite of Christ is not expressed. Wherfore they that be Chrystyans do thus lende.

First vnto them, that be not a­ble [Page]to restore. Then vnto them, yt neuer did lende any thynge, nor can not geue agayne. Thyrdly not onely vnto frendes, but also vnto enmyes, not onely vnto kinsfolke but also vnto others and straun­gers. Forthly, wheras no thankes geuyng, much lesse any recōpēce, can be loked for. And in doynge these thynges they declare them selues to bee in dede his childrē, whyche bryngeth forth his sonne ouer the good and the bad, and raynneth vpon the thankful and vnthankful: whych also Chryste requireth of hys, saying: that ye maye be the children of your fa­ther. &c. Bryng therfore vnto this rule of Christian righteousnesse those, whyche lende vpon vsury, and see howe farre they be from the rule of Chrystes word, which is so sette vnto all Chrystyans, yt [Page]except they do cōforme thēselfes vnto it, they ought to be rekoned amōg sinners, & not amōg Gods childrē: yea they bee not so iuste as sinners. For so much rightuousnes is attributed vnto synners, yt the lend wt out vsury, & that they desier to receiue nothinge in the sted of lukar, but onely yt whiche they did lend. Therefore by thys conferēce, we, whych loke vnto ye rightuousnes of Chrystes kynge­dōe, vnto ye prescriptiō of christes words, and vnto the professyd of christian religiō may easely iudge how vnlawful vsury is vnto thē, whych haue yelded them selues vnto chryste, and would be taken to be chrystyans. It is not belon­gyng vnto vs to iudge others. It belongeth to a Christiā to answer to his professiō, & not otherwise to iudge of things, whether they [Page]lawful or vnlawful, but acording to the prescription of Christs doctrine: and not so to behaue hym­selfe in the triall of rightuousnes as afore a worldly iudge, but as in the sight of god, that he may be quitt of vnrightuousnes. Where­fore agreably wyth holye scrip­tures and Chrystes wordes we cō clude, that that vsury, which mar­ueylously in thys last time hath growen in the church of Christ, is not lawfull but damnable and very farre from the profession of Chrysts rightwisnes. How wic­ked a thyng vsury is to be seen in it selfe, any mā may easely iudge excepte onelye suche menne, as thinke the sauour of lukar to bee swete, of what thyng soeuer it is gotten, the eies of whose myndes be vtterly blinded wyth the loue of couetousues. [Page]First, the vice of couetousnesse hath euer been iudged most vyle, not onely amongest Chrystyans, but also amongest heathens. And that is the rote of vsurye. Take a­way ye loue of money & couetous­nes, & we shal haue no vsurers in Christes churche. Secondarelye, who doeth not see, howe wicked a thyng it is, to hunte for gayne, gotten by the laboure and swete of others? For vsurie, whyche is geuen, commeth not of the care & trauell of the vsurer, but of hym, that payeth, foenus, vantage.

Thirdly, thys is farre from e­quite, that the vsurer, wythout a­ny losse or danger of his mony, receiueth lukar, so yt he is in daūger of no dāmage, what soeuer chāce of ye dice cōmeth: but ye miserable mā, which paieth vsurie, is forced to beare ye losse of misfortune and [Page]chance. He hath all the hurte that happeneth, the vsurer hath no thyng but the gayne that is taken, and the stoke that is saued.

Fourthly: Thys is also more o­uer, that howe greate vsurie, and how many yeares so euer the det­ter paieth, yet not wtstanding the whole stok remaineth & is nothīg lesned or worne by occupyinge. But howe sore these thīges dooe greue ye mind, & decaye the abilite of ye payer, I nede not to geue ani aduertisemēt, seyng by experiēce ye thing is euidēt. Whē he that is in such case, perceaueth that thys pestilēt euil can not be ouercomē, thē being vtterly discouraged he for­saketh wyfe & childrē, & leaueth what other goods so euer he hath vnto ye vnsaciable violēt couetous vsurer. So .1. Sam .22. We reade that they did, which oppressed wt det cōueihed thēselues vnto Da­uid [Page]an exile. Such sightes, whē as magistrates winke, godlye men beholde dayly afore theyr eies with sorow & sighinge. And that which is most greuous, in the sāe season whē as such vsurers ought to haue no place amongst citizēs, then doe they inioye honours in the church and in the citie.

¶ But the vsurer replyeth.

IT is (saith he) common in euery mans mouth: He yt is willing hath no wrong, I send for no man. I force no mā to take money of me. Thei cōe of their own accord, thei take my money, & do not aske it of any other cōdiciō, but only of vsury? What do I in thys case offende? [Page]Let them leaue me my money to my selfe, if the dāmage of vsurye be so greuous vnto thē. I answer, these are ye sayinges not of a chri­stian man, but of a very heathen, yea of him that hath no mynde of man.

Nede is a sharpe shaft. These wretches forced by nede come vnto thee, of whose wretchednesse thou cruelly & filthely takeste thy vantage. The vsurer replieth agīe: But when as they receiued mony of me vpon condiciō of vsury, thei wer glad and dyd geue thankes. What iniure can thys be, whyche causeth gladnes and thankes ge­uyng: I answere, that these wret­ches reioyce & geue thāks, not be­cause they doe fele a benifite, but because they suppose yt by thys domage of vsurye, they maye ease ye greuous necessyte, whyche doeth oppresse them presently. [Page]Surely they desier rather simpli to borow money, thā to take it v­pō vsurye. But for because so gret inhumanite preuaileth, yt they can no where finde such liberalite as lendeth frely, they ar glad to take money vpō vsury: but thys kynde of gladnes at ye last turneth into greatest heauines. And whē they fle frō charibdis, thei fal into scilla, frō ye roke into ye gulfe. Chriso­stome doeth well cōpare this gladnes of takyng vsurye moneye, vn­to the bitynge of a serpente called aspis: for euen as he, whyche is bittē of the Aspis, doeth gladlye fal onslepe, & by the swetnesse of deadly slūber dieth, because in sleping ye poison passeth to euerye mēber: so he yt taketh money of the vsurer is presētly glad, as though he had a benefite, howbeit vsuri, hauing spedy passage to all yt he hath, turneth all into det. And Ca­to [Page]ye elder, being demaūded what it was to take vsurye, answered, the same yt it is to kill a mā. Thirdly they, which seme to haue some tast of Christes gospel, do bryng that, not by thee which they may amende thē selues, but by ye which they would cloke their vngodly­nes: but al ye sūme of ye law and the prophets, as Christe witnesseth, stādeth in this, yt what I would should be done vnto me, ye same I doe also vnto others. Vnto mi self I wold wish no other cōdiciō, but for one hundreth florens, to repay euery yeare fiue. What sine is it for me thē to take so much of others? For I my selfe take vpon thys condicion so oft, as nede is. So many I geue to others, and agayne so many I take of others. I answer, it is moste vngodlines to abuse Chrystes word, which ar so cōpared to mainteine not coue­tousnes [Page]but brotherli loue. Thou as is euidēt, dost ye same toothers, whiche yu requirest of others. If yu do this of a charitable sprit, set thiself in ye place of ye pore & nedye, & cloth thiself wt the affectiō of hys nede, thinking, what yu, beyng in his case, woldest that ye rich shold do vnto the, whether yt thei, shold lēd vnto the wt vsury or wtout vsury? Vndoubtedly yu wouldest ra­ther wtout vsury. For yt shoulde be more profitable vnto the, thā if yu sholdest be burdened wt chargea­ble vsury. Wherfore that sayinge of christ: Do vnto others, as thou woldest yt others shold dooe vnto the, yt muste yu vnderstād to bee so spokē, as what yu woldeste wishe dōe vnto thee, being in such case as thi neighbour is, ye same muste yu do vnto him, wt ye same frēdly lo­uing affectiō, wt ye which yu art mī ded towards thyself. Search thyn own cōscience & iudge indiffe­rētly [Page]whether yu mayst say truly yt thy pore nedy neighboure is so loued & helped of thee, as yu placed in his case woldest be loued & helped of others. Wherfore seing yu cāst not truly say this of thyself, what availeth it deceitfulli to dali wt ye saying of Christ our sauiour? Also yu geuest vsury vnto others, & takest of others. I heare this, & I besech the tel me for what cause yu geuest: & for what nede: for ye sāe, for ye whiche they doe geue of whō yu takest? No, no. Thei beare ye dāage of vsury forced bi nede yu bearest no dāage, but for hope of greater gaīe, not for nede but for couetousnes, geuest .v. for an .c. to gain x. xv. xx: and yu so geuest & ta­kest, as many sacrificīg priests ar wōt to offer a halpeny to kepe vp in ye church ye gaines of offering, & to prouoke the people to offer by their e [...]sāple: & by yt wai for laiēg down one penie they take vp ten. [Page]So very wel doe vsurers & Sy­moniaks agree, because they are both caryed by one sprite of couetousnes. Forthly whā as ye vsurer feleth himself in a strait, & seth no way to defend vsurye, he turneth towards other artes & saith: if v­sury be such a thyng, [...] I do sinne if I take, then I knowe what I wyll do. I will lende no parte of my money vnto any man. I wyll kepe it vnto my selfe, le [...]t that I shold be an vsurar. I answer, this is that escapyng of vsurye, for the which ye Emperors lawes wolde not vtterly forbid vsury. Wilt yu kepe thy money to thy self? Afore the courte of ye world [...] is lawful, but it is vnlawful afore ye court of Christ, by whose cōmaūdemēte yu art boūdē, not to deny him yt wold borow of thee, but to lend, lokīge to receaue nothyng: wherfore if yu boest either of these, yu declareste [Page]the self not to be a Christiā. Whether yt thou wtdraw lendyng vnto thy brother, [...] asketh whē yu art a­ble, or whether yt thou so lende as to take agayne: yu synneste alyke, both agaynst Chryst and against thy next brother. If thou lend no­thing at al, yu sinnest not in vsury: howbeit ye rote of vsury, which is couetousnes, thou norishest in thi heart, and art a transgressoure of Chrystes worde. If thou lende vpon vsurie, then yu synnest against the commaundement of Chryste. And to be short, as much as lyeth in thee, yu destroyest thy neighbor aswell by not lending as by len­ding vpō vsury. If yu wtdraw len­ding, yu art worse thā a hathen sinner: for sinners do lende vnto sinners, yt they may receue lyke. If yu do lende for vsury, so art yu worse thā many heathē, which by ye law of nature kepe thēselfes frō yt vice. [Page]Fiftly ye couetousnes of ye vsure [...] wil reply after thys maner: if I lende wtout vsury yt, which is mīe own cā not be restored vnto me: for ye pore hath nor so muche, yt he may rēder agayne ye hole summe. But if he shal geue euery yeare a certein vsury, thē sūme parte of my mony shalbe restored vnto me I answere. Thou knowest ye pouerte of thy brother to be so great, yt he cā not rēder ye borowed mony: why thē doest not yu yelde vnto ye words of christ? by ye which Lu .6 he saith: and your rewarde shalbe great in heauē. And ye shalbee the childrē of ye moste highest. And Luk .14. And it shalbe rēdred vnto thee in the regeneracion of the rightuous. How doeste yu receiue nothing, whē as for earthly gaine [...], which lasteth euer, shal bee ren­dred vnto thee? Therfore this pre­tense [Page]is vtterlye contrarye vnto Chrysts doctrine, which teachesh euen therfore to do good vnto ye poore, because he hath nothynge to geue agayne, that the heauenly rewarde may be purchased. And thou euen for the selfe same cause wilt not lend vnto ye pore, because he hath not so much as to restore that, whiche he hath receaued of thee. Therfore ether yu doeste not beleue that Chrystes promyse is true: or els yu doest more desier tē ­poral gayne, than eternal, earthly than heauenly. Sixtly. All yt I haue (sayeth he) I haue gotten wt great care and trauell, wherefore then shoulde I bestowe them v­pon others in vayne? What is it to me, that others doe not so take hede vnto theyr owne, as I doe? What owe I vnto thē? I answer: [Page]Christ bestowed no smal thing [...], redemyng thee vpō the crosse wt his bloud: & for thy sake he becāe poore to make thee rich. Thē what is it to Chryst yt we take no better hede vnto our saluaciō: And bee­sydes these, what thou owest vn­to thy brother, heare the Apostle: Ye owe nothing vnto any manne sayeth he, but that ye loue one an other. Ro .13. Thou owest therfore vnto thy nedy brother loue, & also vnto god yu owest thy selfe, & not only money. Wherefore beecause Christ hath loued vs & geuē hym selfe for vs, therfore we ought to bestow our lyues for our brethrē 1. Io .3. We doe all muche fayle in thys thyng, yt without the affection of true loue, we loke vpon the slendernesse and humilite of oure brethren, & not rather vpō the wil of god & his manifest commaun­dements, [Page]albeit I keepe in silēce the vnmeasurable worthynes of our free redempcion. Is the pore mā vnworthi, vnto whō yu sholdst geue freely? But Christ is not vnworthy, which requireth thys of thee. The pore hath not deserued thys benefite. Chryst hath deser­ued it. Is not the poore able to restore that, whiche he receaueth? Christe is able to restore an hun­dreth folde, and to geue life euer­lasting, as he also hath promysed Mat .19. Sixtly because couetousnes is the most toughest wrangeler, the vsurer as yet replieth, say­ing: how should I live? How shal I prouyde for me and myne, if I must so lend yt I receaue nothīg? I answer, it is said of ye lord: first seke the kyngdome of God & the rightuousnesse thereof, and all these shalbe cast vnto you. And [Page]the gentils seke all these thinges. Therfore neither doeth thys w [...] ge [...]inge waywardnesse belong vnto Chrystians: neyther ought we to feare, lest [...], by helpyng nedye brethren, we doe not well prouide or see to our own thynges. For thus we reade Pro .11. Some dis­tribute their own and become rycher, some catche that, whyche is not their own, and be euer in nede The soule, which blesseth, that is to say, which doth good, shall bee fylled wt fatnes: & he, whyche ge­ueth drynke, shalbe satisfied wt drinke. And Esa .58. Breake vnto the hongery (sayeth he) thy bread and ye nedy & wāderers leade into thy house. When yu seest the naked clothe him, & doe not despice thy flesh. When as thou shalte haue powred forth thy [...]oule vnto the hongry, & refreshed the afflycted [Page]soule, then shalt thou be as a wa­tred gardē, & as a well of waters that neuer fayll. And the Apostle .2. Co .9. He hath dispersed, & ge­uen vnto ye pore, & hys ryghteousnes abydeth for euer. He, which ministreth sede vnto ye sower, wil also geue bread to be eatē. There­fore a fa [...]thful mā shold not feare fallyng into pouerte by helpynge thē yt be poore. Howbeit I would not damne it if ye Apostles saying might haue place: so yt ye abūdāce of ye rich should help ye lacke of brethrē .2. Co .8. But if of necessaries ther wer not so ready geuing vnto others, yt might bee tollerable, so that ye weaknes of fayth be not ex­cused but cōfessed. But who cā a­low this in ye church of Christ, yt in so great riotous wast of al things lack, is not feared, but whereas ye nedines of brethrē should be rele­ued there it is feared? [Page]If we folowed that [...] rule, whyche is wrytten .1. T [...] 6 after thys sorte: hauyng what to eate, and wherwith to be clothed, let vs be contented, litell place shoulde remayne vnto this feare. Nature (as he sayeth) is sente a­way with a litle, but glotony beggeth vnmeasurably. See yt honost labor bee exercised, idelnes auoyded, ryoteousnes layd a syde, & the abuse of al thinges shut forth: and we shalbe without care vnder the protection and prouydence of God, and there shalbe no nede to feare ye necessite of penurie. Now whē as so great coostes are bestowed vpō proude & beautiful buildinges, vpō riotous apparel, vpō al maner of dainty meates, howebeit I speake not of innumerable other things not necessary, what maruel is it yt pouerte is feared, if the gaine of vsurye should fayle? [Page]Suerely he must stand in nede of many thinges, whiche fedeth and clotheth those, that be hys, moste deliciously and gorgiously.

He stādeth in nede of many thin­ges, whiche is purposed to leaue great ryches vnto his heyrs. He, that nedeth many thinges, vseth also many meanes, by righte & by wronge, to come to his purpose.

These thinges beinge taken a­waye, it will not seme very harde, neither to cast away these detestable usuries, neither by any meā to succour nedy brethren.

¶ Of the vsurie of them, which geue their monei for vsurie, either vntoo marchauntes or vn­to Princes.

[Page]HEtherto we haue cōside­red yt vsuri, by the which the pore is bondē vnto ye ryche, & the goods of ye bare and nedy are supt vp: and of that kind of lending, bi the which Christ cōmaundeth vs to succour nedy brethren.

Now must we speake of those, which haue monei by inheritaūce or gottē otherwise, & lend it vnto ryche men, marchauntes or prin­ces, vpon condition too receyue e­uery moneth, or euery yeare, some vsurie, the stocke in the mean time abiding whol, to be restored whē they wil cal for it. Here springeth a questiō, what sinne is cōmitted in this kind of vsurie. They saye neither is burdened, neither he yt geueth, nor he that taketh vsurie: but by good prouision they haue bothe profet. He, that geueth vsu­rye, [Page]doeth vse his stocke wel, and gaineth so much of it, yt with oute any losse he can geue vsurie.

On the other side, he that taketh vsurie of his monei: he gathereth as it were a yearelye fruite, with­out any dekey of the stock, which bi these meās he mai reserue hole vnto his heires. When as therfore here is no hurt, howe can here be any sinne againste charitie? and there bee none, howe maye thys vsurie be called vnlawfull?

I aunswer. That this muste nedes be graunted: that there is not so greate sinne in thys kinde of vsurie, as in that, by the which vsurie is taken of the pore, which crueltie is forbidden, not onely, by the lawes of Christe, but alsoo by the lawes of nature.

For it is playn cruelnes, to seke [Page]after lukar, out of the labors, and calamites of the poore. Wherfore this vsurie, of the whiche we shall speake now, differeth muche from that, which by no meanes can bee tollerable. Howbeit, in the mean season it is not too be supposed, yt there is nothing, whiche can be reproued in the vsurie of ryche men. For the righteousnes of a christen man doth not rest in that he doth burden no man in any bargayn or busines. Wherefore we muste se, whiche be the circūstances of this vsurie, for the which it may not be commended.

Fyrst, this I suppose is sure: yt there is in both, as wel in hi [...] yt ge­ueth, as in hym that taketh vsurie, a respect of priuate profet. For neither the one for brotherly loue lēdeth out his money vnto a riche marchaunt, but for too receyue of [Page]it yearly or monethlye gayne: nor the other is so redy to geue vsury, that he wolde geue it, if he coulde kepe it with his owne aduantage. For as he saieth: The loue of mo­ney groweth as much, as the mo­ney it self groweth. Notwithstā ­dinge he geueth vsurie withoute wranglinge, lest that he shoulde bee forced too restore the whole stocke, or to be noted of euell cre­dite.

There be many notable exam­ples of this matter. Therefore, seinge that the rote also of thys vsurie is the loue of priuate pro­fite, I do not se, howe it can agree without blemish vnto christians, which ought to be furdest frome loue of priuate profet. Let no mā seke those, whiche bee his owne, sayeth the Apostle, but those whiche belonge vnto others.

[Page]The loue of priuate profet, with the losse of others, is so euil that it ought not to be suffered a­mongest the gentils: and to gape for gaine, although it be without domage to others, yet is it a thīg of it self that ought to be farre frō christians, euen as to liue delica­telye and idely, although a mā do so liue, not hurtinge nor hinde­ringe others. Wherfore as they sinne, which liue delicately in the houses of princes, of noble & ry­che men, albeit they fele or percei­ue no hurt of it: so a christen mā sinneth, coueting priuate profet, albeit he go so aboute it, that he seke for hys owne gaine, not of the nede of poore men, but of the welth of the ryche.

Moreouer he, that taketh vsurie, must take good hede, whe­ther [Page]he serue hys owne lack of be­leue or not.

For it is not inough for a christen man, so too deale with hys neyghboure, that he can not com­playne: but he muste also consi­der, what fayth he hathe towarde God, and how all thynges, which he doeth, agree, or disagree wyth sincere faith.

And to come to the trial of this matter, let hym thinke in him self, which taketh vsurie, that it is bet­ter to take to him self his own monei, and to put away the gayne of vsurie. But if he fayle in faith, then shall he soone falle in these thoughtes. If I shoulde lyue not vpon vsurie, but vpon the stock, it coulde not sufficientlye discharge my necessary expēses, throughout all my life, & then what coulde be [Page]left after my death vnto my chyl­dren and successors? where vpon shoulde they liue, if I should spēd all?

But these be thoughtes not of fayth, but of mistrust: and argu­mēts of a minde so geuē to vsury, that he supposeth, no way can be for him to liue, if he muste forsake vsurie.

But they make this obiection: That the Lorde must not be tempted, as though it were a tempting of God by sure trust, accordinge to Gods worde, to hang vpon his prouidence, and to forsake yt kinde of liuing, in the whiche men lyue idely, seking by vsurie to haue all thinges necessari. If it be a temp­ting of the Lorde, not to liue vpō vsurie: what excuse is there for so many godly fathers, prophets, apostles and others, bothe of the [Page]olde testament and of the new, as did rather suffer pouertie and hū ­ger, thā embrase vantage of vsu­rie? Doeth Christ teache this too tempt the Lord, when he cōman̄ ­deth them not too gather treasure vnto them selfes: and to lend, lo­kinge for nothinge therof? To tempt the Lord, is to truste vnto ye Lord, where as nothing is promised of the Lord: and to neglect the trades of liuinge and doinge, whiche he teacheth, and too vse other.

But I finde no where, that the Lord hath promised too norishe & kepe vs by vsurie in idelnes. Wherefore, this is rather a temp­tinge of God, to liue in idelnes, & also to cōsecrat chyldrē vnto idel­nes: and then to trust, that money yelding yearly vsurie can be able continually to geue them enough, [Page]lose rue not onli for necessares, but also for superfluous pleasured.

Wherefore also their reason is but vaine, whiche too cloke their vsurie saye: when as for vsurie I do committe my monei of truste vnto others, then do I let it forth to dāger. For it mai chāce that the marchaūt, which vseth my money about his marchaundyse busines, either by misfortune, or els by his owne negligēce fall into pouerte, and so my whole stock be loste.

Wherefore whiles fortune fauou­reth, it is not far amis that I take vsurie of him. So is the vsurer tossed in vncertentes, and casteth his goodes into ieoperdy, far vn­like vnto them, which trusting to God occupye thē selfs honestly.

Gameners also ieoparde their monei in vncertente, & yet no wise man doth alow the loue of Gamening [Page] in a christen man. After this sorte, when as thei wil not be such as tempte God, thei confesse by woorde and dede, that they caste their monei into vncerten successe & daungers, when thei let it forth for vsuri, and so thei tempt God.

Thirdly, thou shuldest cōsider, how that riche marchāt or prince behaueth him self, whiche payeth thee vsurie. Thou thinkest it is a sufficient excuse for vsurie, that he is not so poore, as by payinge of vsurie to hinder him self. But if thou make a good rekeninge, thou shalt perceiue besides these, other thinges to be considered.

But if he laboure, by the abust of thy monei, to get great ryches, eyther vnto pryde and riot, or els vnto the practise of tirannye and warres, to lay waste & oppresse o­ther contries, and also his [...]ne: [Page]then I praye the, how canst thou glorie, that thy taking of vsurie is blame lesse: seinge that for it thou arte made to serue other mennes sinnes, in makinge thy money subiect vnto suche mēs lustes? Thin­kest thou, that thou mayste frelye let out thy money vnto any vse, so that it be don to thy nown gaine? Is not moneye letten oute of vsu­rers the greatest cause of riotte­ousnes dayely incressinge in thys our age, of pride more than is a­mongest the Heathen, of shame­full idelnes of many thousandes, of so many bloudy warres & spoiled subiectes? If thou be a chri­sten man, how canst thou kepe no rekeninge of these thinges?

There is as it were a certen cōspi­racie betwixt them that geue, and them that take vsurie. For they lay their labors together, wherby [Page]thei serue, on either side, their own gaines or affections, and so they ioyne together one with the other to commit sinne.

It is a heauy thinge, if any mā alone, and by hym selfe do sinne: but howe muche more weightie ought it to be thought, if any man for priuate gaine doo so bestowe his diligence towardes his neighbor, as to norishe him also in hys naughtines?

Fourthly also this is to be considered, how this kinde of vsurie letteth the workes of charite. As concerninge that money, which yt vsurer hath vnoccupied, and ne­deth not to be bestowed vpon any necessary houshold affaires, that it do not remayne idell and vn­fruitefull, but that he maye take some profitte of it, he supposeth yt it oughte to be let oute vnto some [Page]vse. Therfore he letteth it forthe vnto vsurie, and this way he thin­keth that he doth wel prouide for his own profet. But I besech you when shal he, being of this mind, help his neighbors roūde aboute him, that be pore and nedi? That, which he taketh vp of vsurie, he appointeth partly vnto necessary vses, and partly vnto the gaine of vsurie, to increase his stock yearly by suche gaines, as he can gette. Whereof, can a man thinke, that he will geue vnto the pore: wher­of will he frely and without vsu­rie lend vnto the pore that asketh: of that, of the whiche he findeth him self and his: No, I suppose: wherefore shoulde I geue, say­eth he, vnto others that, which I nede my selfe? Paul sayeth: that youre abundaunce maye fille vp their want. Here is no abundāce, [Page]all that I haue is necessarye. I must take hede too beautefie thys estate, whiche I [...]eceyued of my ancetors, I must regard mi name and my honor, I muste, as mere is, kepe my wife and chyldren not beggarly & barely, but liberally. Here is nede, not of a littell and common summe of money, but of a greate and notable. Will he geue of that, which he appointeth vnto vsurie? No, no. These he thinketh be holye thinges, not too be touched. What then remai­neth, but that in such a mā yt wor­kes of charitie be suppressed by diligence to get monei: especially if this vsurie be thought not vnlawful, so yt a mind, possessed wt loue of monei, cā be nipped wt no felīg of sinne, but as in a lawful matter thinketh there is no daunger.

And so we heare these aunswers, [Page]when as any thinge is asked to be borowed of suche men: I wolde lende saye thei, if I had money in a redines, but at this time I haue no monei, wherfore ye must be cō tent, albeit so I lende nothinge.

So thei neglect and excuse a dede of charitie. But why haue they no money at hāde? Therfore, because parte is appointed vnto houshold and dayly charges, part to enrich and incresse the stocke,

And hereof we se it cōmeth oft to passe, that thei which be so minded vpō vsurie, do not out of hād paye the hire, which thei owe nei­ther vnto smiths, neither vnto tailers, neither vnto shomakers, but suffer it certē years to growe into great summes, lest that they shuld be constrained to cut of ani portiō of monei, belonging either vntoo vsurie, or vnto the familie: howesoever [Page] those worke men, unto the whiche thei be indetted, in ye mean time bē at home with nede oppressed. What thinge can be deuised worse than this is?

Therfore, if those be wel weyg­hed, whiche I haue heretofore re­cited, that is to [...], how this vsu­rie is the nori [...]ente of pri [...]te profet, and serueth incredulite & mistruste vntoo such abuses, as monei let out vnto vsurie serueth, and how that the dedes of charite be distroyed, by desire, to gather monei: I thinke that it is euident enough, that this vsurie, which is exercised amongest ryche men, as thoughe it were lawefull, can not be alowed of them, which knowe what is required of ye professors of christen faith, which bear such a badge of brotherly charitie, and of contempte of ryches earthely, [Page]that withoute them, they can not be counted to be christians.

¶ Of the vsurie of wydowes and the fatherles.

THey, that be tutors either of widowes or of the fa­therles moue here a ques­tion, concerning such mo­ney as is not their owne, but re­mayneth by enheritance vnto wi­dowes and orphanes, whether it be lawfull for them to let out that monei vnto vsurie, and deliuer it to be vsed of them, which without their owne hinderaunce may yea­rely repay some vsurie. They saye the monei is not oures, but we be trusted with it. That, whiche we do, is not for our owne gaine, but for the widowes and fatherlesse. [Page]Wherefore we are not in this too be blamed, as thoughe by takinge vsurie, we seke oure owne. For we seke not our owne, but the profet of others, widowes & fatherles: and so we fulfil the worke of cha­rite, and we do as we are bonden by promes vnto them.

I aunswere: I know that thys was a custome amongest oure fa­thers, afore pestilente vsurie had defiled the church, that yt was permitted vnto widowes & orphāts, which was permitted vnto none other. All vsurie was called euil, except that of widowes & of ye fa­therles. At the laste, all the gates were opened vnto this euell, and gaine of vsurie graunted too anye man. But how wel widowes and orphanes were prouided for, the corruption of the times folowing doeth euidently witnes. There [Page]coulde haue ben brought no euill more noysomme into the churche of Christe, by the whiche after­warde the goodes of widowes & fatherles began miserably too be wasted. For when as the fyre of vsurie hath eaten vp all the welth of a familie, after the death of the father of the familie, what rem­nant remaineth vnto widowes & fatherles, that maye be lette oute vnto vsurie.

Should it not haue ben better for the prouision of widowes & of ye fatherles, if liberte of vsurie cold no where haue hadde any place a­monge christiās? Nowe, because gaine of vsurie is crepte in vnder ye pretēce of widowes & orphāts, vnto them can not come of ye vsu­rie of these times anye so greate gaynes, as hurt and hinderaunce, that is spronge oute of that suffe­raunce [Page]of oure ancitours.

Furthermore, it is euidente e­nough by reason of that sufferāce that vsurie was not therfore suffered vnto widowes and fatherles, because it was lawefull: for if it had ben taken as lawfull and fau­teles, wherfore should there haue ben any sufferāce and permissiō? but for that, which was vnlawful vnto others, was thought yt ī such sort it might be suffred vnto wy­dowes and fatherles, whē as charite the mother of all liberalite, began in the churche, not onely to waxe colde and fruiteles, but vt­terly dead and vanquished.

But, & if the apostles precept, concerninge widowes .1. Timo .5. had ben kept, certenly thei mighte farre better, & more christian like haue ben prouided for, than by sufferance of vnlawfull vsurie.

[Page]If a yonge woman were a wy­dow, she should be occupied with some honest labor, and being of a basse stocke, she should be either a waiting, or a bonde seruaunt vnto her ancientes, vntill suche time as God did geue good occasion of conuenient mariage. If she were olde, she should liue simply of her owne, so longe as her owne good­des did laste: and after that they were spent, she should be fonde of her kinsfolke, or if thei were not able, then should she liue vpon the churche goodes, accordinge to the custom of the Apostolical church. When as at the beginning of the growinge of the church by faith­full contributors churche goodes were laid together, how were thei thē disposed? Thei were diuided, accordinge vnto euery mās nede, and were not let oute vnto vsurye [Page]for gains. That simplicite did wel agree with faithfull christianite: and did muche commēd yt charite, by the which badge Christs scho­lers are knowen. But now in thys vsurers world and season, howe faithfully the nede of widowes & fatherles is prouided for, it is by ouer many exāples daili declared.

Howbeit, that vsurie might ea­sely be suffered, by the which it is thought that ye nede of widowes, fatherles and power hospitals be prouided for, if the confuse heape of other vsuries and vnlawefull bargens mighte bee vtterly taken awaye, either by the authorite of gods worde amongest them, that wil be taught to feare God, or els by the power of the magistrates, whiche ought in these assembles, summoned by the Emperor, not to be leste regarded: if, as is pre­tended [Page]tended, so ther be indede any sekīg of ye reformatiō of christes church.

Wherefore it is hartelye to be wished, that if all vsurie cā not vt­terly be bānished oute of Christes church: yet at the leste yt this vsu­rie be not suffered, by the whiche the substāce of pore men be miserably, cōtrari vnto christē charite, pilled and piked, yea, supt vp and deuoured: I mean yt vsurie, which the ryche doth require and take of him, whome he knoweth to be vn­able to beare the hinderaunce of vsurie, and vnto whome throughe the affection of true loue, accor­ding to the sentence of Christ our sauioure, he oughte either by ge­uynge or lendyng to streach forth hys handes, not too spoyle, but to helpe.

Againste this kinde of vsurie: The Canonist haue apointed certē [Page]penaltes besydes gods ponishe­ment, which the vsurers deserue. Firste that they bee noted of infa­mie, wyth infamye of the lawe, and that also by the ciuil lawe as wel as by the canon law. Furthermore that they bee not admytted vnto the communion of ye church. Thirdly that they be imbarred of buriall belongynge vnto Chrysts churche.

Fourthly that theyr testamentes and willes be of nōe effect by any law, wyth manye others suche kyndes of iust penaltes. But these haue remayned in papers, and in the meane season vsurers in the church haue honors wyth vnlaw­ful gotten goods. And suche vn­shamfastnes hath preuayled vn­punished, yt manye magistrates, princes, & other great personages doe geue liberte vnto the Iewes, [Page]in their dominions to exercyse not only simple vsurye, but also that, which is named vsury of vsurers & they doe not onely geue licence, but they also let out houses, & bargen wt thē for certayne exaction, what they shall yearely paye for liberte to exercyse vsury, & moste vnrighteously they force their subiectes to be bounde to paie suche vsuries. And here is setled that bishoplike correction, which par­doneth rauēs, and plageth doues But here we make an ende of thys cōsideraciō of vsury. For as I said of the first it myght wel be thogh great folye, to be muche occupyed in such a mater, that, beynge lyke vnto the gowte, can be helped by no handes of any surgery. Thys euill is waxen so bygge, yt after ye admonition of many good menne it is becōe vncurable. For it hath [Page]corrupted euen the crownes of the heades of those, whyche oughte by their autorite to haue wtstande such corrupcyon, and to haue kept and ordered the other lower members in the trade of true righteousnes. It is Chrystes saying: If the salt be vnsauery, what shalbe sea­soned therwyth? also: Ye are the light of the world. If the lyght, whych is in you, be darknes, how great shal the darknes of the bodi be? Ther remayneth nothyng els, but that we loke for the hande of the Lorde, whyche soone shall remoue oute of the churche all kynde of corrupcion. The Lorde come at once, and deliuer his Amen.

✚ An ad­uertismente of the translatoure. T. L.

LOncernyng lendyng, here maye any man easelye see, who, what, to whō and to what ende Chryste hath taughte and commaūded to lend. First he that hath receyued any talent at the Lordes hands, he him selfe must put it forth. Math .25. Luke .19. For if he doe not occupy it, then shal it be taken from hym and he be cōdemned for not vsing of it. Also he that hath, must dyspose of that, whych he hath, vnto hym that lacketh. Luke .3. And the ende of doyng good and lendyng vnto hym, that lacketh & nedeth, [Page]must not be to hope or looke for glory, gayne or any thing thereof vnto hym selfe. Luke .6. So he yt hath but onli to find his wife, childrē & family, or but only a suffici­ent stocke for his own trade in his own vocacion: he must, as the so­wer lendeth his sede vnto ye good groūde, so wt diligēce lay forthe & lend, he himselfe hys owne stocke to hys own occupying. And he, yt besydes suche a stocke hath any more he must reserue and kepe ye residew to be in a readynes to bee geuen in almes, or sent to releue others yt be nedy. And thys beyng done to ye ende yt god may be glorified, & the nedye releued, wtout any lokynge for of glorye or gayne worldly to himself, he shal be sure to fynde thys a verye profitable and godly vsury: but if any man for worldly police, priuate profet [Page]or vayne glory, do pull from the finding of his familie, from the maintenaunce of his own exercise in hys own trade, or from the charitable relief of the nedy, to lend vnto the riche and welthy, that is vncharitable, vnlawfull and vn­godly. I doe not thynke that by­ing and sellyng, lendynge or ge­uyng, or any indifferente bargeynynge amongest welthy rich men is euill: but as concerning vsurye I aduertise al them, that be wise and wel learned in other matters & yet cannot, or wil not see their owne daunger in this case, yt they wolde call too remembraunce the example of coueteous Balam, whiche beinge so wise a Prophet, that he could se many thinges lōg before to come vnto others yet bi loue and lokinge for the rewarde of wickednes, became much more [Page]dulle and blind than a veri Asse, to see in his own wayes hys own daūger. Nu .22. And I also aduertyse thē, which geue coūfel cōcer­nyng vsury vnto suche others, as wold haue an easy lyuing vpon other mens labours, yt they make no cushens to lay vnder their elbows Eze .13. And that they be wel ad­uised afore they answere such, as by the idol of couetous gaynes in their hartes do prouoke ye lord, to make thē answere so agreable vn­to the filthi meaning of their own myndes, as is appertaynyng vn­to the vtter perdicion of both the asker & the answerer. Ez 14. And finally I aduertise euery pryuate persō, yt thei learne of Achā ye sōne of Carmy not by vngodli gaines to polute ye whole finding of their familie, ye hole stoke of their trade any ye hole abūdāce of gods pro­uidēce in their handes, yea I ad­uertise [Page]euery Christē congregaciō as they desyer to stād in the pro­fessiō of Christē religiō agaynste their enemyes afore god, yt thei remember the word of god, my [...]es­syng yt Alcan, by ioynyng vn [...] gaynes vnto hys own stuffe, had poluted al the Israelits so yt they could not stande afore the face of their enemyes nor haue god to be wyth them, vntyll they had vtterly ro [...]ed oute that vngodlines frō amongest them.

The lord graunt, that charita­ble almes may vtterlye ba­nysh al couetous gaines from amongest faith­ful Christians. AMEN.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.