Conteining a briefe ex­position, or excellent Treatise of the four first verses of the 33. Chapter of GENESIS: Set foorth by IOHN OVER­TON, Maister of Arts.

GENESIS 31. 3.

Reuertere ad terram Patrum tuorum: & ad cognationem tuam, & ero tecum.

AT OXFORD, Printed by IOSEPH BARNES, Anno D. 1586.

TO HIS MOST COVRTEOVS, AND LOVING FRIEND, MA­ster WILLIAM BRENT: IOHN OVERTON wisheth grace, peace, & all true fe­ licitie in Iesus Christour Sauiour.

WORLDLY riches haue I none where with to ren­der the shew of a grate­full hart, but of such me­niall stuffe as God hath lent me, I present & de­dicate vnto your good name, & friend­ly acceptation this litle booke (as the first fruits of my study) intituled, Iacobs troublesome iourney to Bethel. His brother Esau came against him with foure hundred men. Whereby is signi­fied by these two brethren, the misera­ble troubles betweene the malignant Synagogue of Sathan, and the militant Church of Christ: as also other matter very necessary to be considered in this piece of Scripture. And though it bee litle in quantitie, and in habite sutelike according to the hability of the au­thor: [Page] yet when I gladly cal to minde, & with no small comfort remember your vnfeigned friendshippes, and fauours towardes mee heretofore at Ilming­ton, I cannot but be ashamed of my selfe, that abilitie doeth not afforde my hande so much to write, as my heart willeth my tongue to vtter howe deepely indebted I am to your great curtesie. But considering that your due and full rewarde is laide vp vntill ano­ther day, in an other place, by another man, of al fulnesse, & habilitie, Christ Iesus the high Steward, and paie-ma­ster of all, I am to request you til that time come, which I trust shall not be long, to accept my good heart, which in all possible dutie is and shall bee yours bounden to command. A smale rewarde for such benefites, I confesse, yet as kinde, and dutifull a mite, as the greatest valure of a farther summe. And sith that the most precious iewel in this worlde, which man can shew, or giue to man, is vnfeigned loue, then truely the loue that creepeth when it cannot goe, is aswell to be accompted of, and esteemed, as loue, [Page] nay perhappes the rather than when it carieth a higher looke, and a loftier countenance: for to say the trueth, be­nefites which are liberall for the gyft, & grateful for the repay, are in that re­spect said to bee great, or litle, as the affection of the heart is great or litle. But weying my vnhability, I am forced to say with Virgil: Grates persoluere dig­nas non opis est nostroe.

This consideration therefore, as al­so your zeale in religion, and loue of learning, did altogither moue mee to pen this worke.

And in this treatise is this especial­lie to be obserued, how Iacob, where­by is signified the Church of Christ, hath beene maliced, & griuouslie bur­dened by Esau, the malignant Church, from the beginning. All places are so fraught and full of examples here­of, that wee neede not experimentes from farre. Only the Church of Rome in this place shall serue vs in steede of manie: which as long as shee was vnder persecuting TYRANTS, and sharpened as it were vppon a grynd­ing whetstone, shee was found, and [Page] truely called the only nurse, or mi­stresse of all godlinesse, and continen­cy: in whom all the giftes of Christian religion, and honest life did most abun­dantly excel, & most brightly shine. But afterwards (the case being quite altred) she began to malice Iacob, and to laie grieuous burdens vpon his shoulders, chiefly, when in steed of danger, perse­cution & vexatiōs; Riches, pride, sump­tuousnes, & alielenes their companion came in place, & crept into the Church. And when as Byshops in steed of mar­tyrs began to be persecutors of Martyrs themselues: and the strength, and force of the gospel decaied, & weakned more & more, into what wickednes & abo­mination that church did run, & fall, let euery one consider, & iudge with him­selfe: I am not able sufficiently to ex­presse it according to the indignity, & hainousnesse thereof.

This example, and note (by the way) shalbe sufficient for my purpose, especi­allie, for that the matter appeareth so plaine, and manifest in al the bookes of the godly.

And thus submitting my selfe & this [Page] smal treatise vnto your frindly protecti­on, & wonted fauor, referring the faults rather to the simplenes of my skil, then to my willing mind, and wishing you as great pleasure, & liking in the reading, as it hath bin some paine, and trauell to me in penning: I commend you to the direction and guiding of God his holie spirite, who grant you prosperous suc­cesse in all godlines. From my studie at Welsborne, the first day of April, 1586.

Yours with all dutifull endeuors, euer at commandement: IOHN OVERTON.


1 And as IACOB lift vp his eies, & looked, beholde E­SAV came, and with him four hundred men, and he diuided the childrē to LEAH & RA­HEL, & to the two maides.

2 And hee put the maides and their children foremost, and LEAH and hir children after, and RAHEL and IO­SEPH hindermost.

3 So he went before them, and bowed himselfe to the ground seuen times, vntill he came neare his brother.

4 Then ESAV ranne to meet him, and fel on his neck, and embraced him and kissed him, and they wept.

IT hath bin euer a thing common in the world, and not so commō as noisome, to all e­states, that pride, enuy, & couetous­nesse, Enuy, coue­tousnesse, and pride, soweth discord in the worlde. should sowe discord among the sons of men, to stir vp not only princes against princes, but also one brother against another. Wherof al­though 1. Reg. 1. 5. there be many exāples extāt suf­ficient to instruct thē that haue any doci­lity, yet there is none of more importāce than this of Iacob, & Esau, set downe by Moises. for in it who list may beholde (as in a glasse) the most lamentable gar­boils between the malignant synagogue of lathan, & the militant church of christ.

The two principal causes of the hatred The causes of the hatred of Esau against Iacob. of Esau against Iacob, is not vnknowen to them which haue indifferently bin con­uersant in the scriptures, namely the losse of his birth-right and blessing, wherein Gen. 25. Heb. 12. none was to blame but himselfe, which contemned the one, and by preuoking his mother, through his strange wiues, was forestalled of the other.

[Page 2] In this portion of scripture the mee­ting Gen. 26. In what array Iacob put his family. of these two brethren is prescribed, & in what arraie poore fearefull Iacob, put his company to entertaine that sauage knight his brother Esau, honorably vsing this courteous & humble demeanor as an ordinary meane offered of the Lord, for the appeasing of his brothers wrath.

Although there be no great felicity in The holy ghost is not tied to a me­thod. divisions where the holy ghost is not tied to a Methode, yet because this piece of Scripture is in a manner diuided to our hands, let vs by Gods help in this our ex­plicatiō, stand vpō these four points only.

In the first place the injuries & miseries of Iacob, & so of Christs Church at these Gal. 1. 16. daies, whereof Iacob was then a figure, & the pomp & power of Esau: & so of the si­nagogue of Sathan, which in our time, E­sau did then represent, & to be noted out of these words: And Iacob lift vp his eies and loked, behold Esau came, and with him foure hundred men.

Secondly the disposing of Iacobs fa­mily, is to be obserued, because of his dis­cretion, The disposing of Iacobs peo­ple. in these next wordes: And hee diuided the children to Leah & Rahel and the two maides, & he put the maids [Page 3] & their children foremost, and Leah & hir children after, & Rahel & Ioseph hindermost.

Thirdly we haue to consider the cou­rage, deuotion, and humility of Iacob, in The deuotiō, courage, and humilitie of Iacob. this meeting, in this third verse: So hee went before them, and bowed himselfe seuen times, vntill he came neare to his brother.

Fourthly is set forth the unlooked-for louing meeting of Esau & the ioy of them The louing entertainmēt of Esau. both in this fourth verse. Then Esau ran to meete him, & embraced him, and fel on his necke and kissed him, and they wept.

The first part.

COncerning the first, we haue to con­sider The feare of Iacob. Gen. 32. of these wordes, Iacob lift vp his eies and looked, the miserable plight that Iacob was in, which looked euer among when Esau should lay blouddie handes vpon him, and that the feare of his power, which was a litle before re­ported to him by the messengers, had smitten him to the heart, before hee sawe them, which made him (no doubt) with terror to looke vp so often, so as he [Page 4] might see, when he came, whom hee most necessarilie met, for it was in the waie to Bethel, whither God had commaunded him to returne: neither had hee forgot­ten Ge. 31. his Mothers advertisement when she sent him from home, that his Bro­ther Esau was comforted against him, meaning to kill him: which caused him greatelie to feare the inuincible tyran­nie The tyrannie of Death. of death, which he thought to bee at hand. For here, by the way, we maie note, howe Death is daylie ranging, & raging in the worlde sundry wales: the power and force whereof which of the Patriarks or Monarches of the world was once able to withstand: no not the dreadfull Ma­iestie of Kinges or Keasars could not at anie time haue her at becke or check, no craftie conueiance or drifte in Lawe, could circumuent hir, no worldlie wealth could bribe hir, nor no Pharisaical holy­nes, Religion of Bishops, Monkish au­steritie or prayers of Priestes coulde euer intreate hir. No citizens poli­cie or handie craftes labour coulde ba­nish hir of house or Towne. Finallie no strength of nature, no reasō of man could at any time resist or giue hir the foile.

[Page 5] This force, and great feare of death being stroken into Iacob, knowing the malice of his barbarous brother, not unfournished with the power of ven­geance; It seemed good reason that it mooued him to looke vp so often, but heere hee shewed his great infirmitie, Iacob fainted in gods pro­mises. Gen. 32. 28. who did not stick to the promise of God, which hee had receiued assuredlie, Cum hominibus proeualebis, that hee should preuaile with men, but did as it maie bee said, so much faint by lifting vp his eyes to his Brothers power, which shoulde haue beene fastened vpon the couenant of the Lord, with whom hee preuailed: not that wee condemne his forecast, and vigilancie in foreseeing the daunger that was like to ensue, but that it was likelie, that this often lifting vppe of his eyes, and his loo­king so longlie, proceeding from a doub­ting and quailing heart, which should haue beene established in the othe which GOD sware vnto his Grandfather Gen. 22. & 26. 3. The promises entailed to Iacob, spiritu­ally. Abraham, and his father Isaac, which was as it weere intayled vnto him spirituallie, in the decree of the Al­mightie, which decree his Father [Page 6] could not alter, as well as he loued Esau, For so often as we distrust gods promises Ge. 25. 28. when wee haue vsed the ordinary meane, we derogate from the glorie of God, by calling his credit in question, through our infidelitie, which deserueth no pittie at his handes, but to vee forsaken. Take Ge. 3. 12. We must be­ware of vnbe­leeuing harts. heede therefore, that wee haue no euill and unbeleeuing hartes to depart from the liuing God, by lifting vp our eies, and looking still with faithles fearefull hartes vppon the violence of Esau, since God hath said to the maintainers of e­quitie, Non derelinquam ie, nec deseram Iosua. 1. 5. te, I will not leaue thee, nor forsake thee.

Wee will proceede to the exposition of the other member of the first part, before wee goe farther, that in the explication they maie bee vsed Ioynt­lie. That which followeth therefore conteineth the pomp and power of Esau: And beholde, Esau came, and with him foure hundred men. The worde Iohn. 1. 36. Beholde, betokeneth demonstration. As Iohn Baptist poynted at Christ passing by with his finger saying, Behold the Lambe of God which taketh awaie [Page 7] the sinnes of the worlde. Heere is no­ted vnto vs, that Iacob discribed Esau a farre off comming before hee mette him: which hee might the better doe, because hee came with so great a com­panie, which did awaite vpon him. Moreouer this worde Beholde in the Scripture prepareth attention to some strange matter which ensueth. Such Recorick vsed Gods Angell, when hee would declare that Elizabeth being both Luke. 36. olde and barren, should beare a sonne: to both these vses it serueth in this place.

It followeth, Esau came & with him foure hundred men. This great retinew Esaus reti­new was of his sonnes and kindred. of his, as may appeare els where, was of his sonnes & kindred, which had encrea­sed vnto him of his Cananitish wiues a­mong the Hittites, men of great account, Ge. 26. 34. dukes, and nobles of the earth, liuing ne­uertheles of the spoile, as many do, which beare their heades full high at this day.

In our iudgement it may be thought that Moyses mentioning-foure I undred men doth closely distinguish betweene the warlike marching of Esau, and the wearied traueling of sillie Iacob, which was combred with Women, Children [Page 8] and cattle, in his iourney. But to come to our purpose, wee see here the miserie of Iacob, and the pomp, and power of E­sau, to bee considered. Esau martcheth The misery of Iacob, the pomp of Esau. forwards, with what purpose wee know not: saue that a man may coniecture by the circumstances, that he came with a purpose of reuenge against his brother. For that rictous assemblie would haue made ante man in Iacobs case to suspect no lesse, especiallie considering the place whence hee came, euen from among the Heathen. It was verie like that hee re­turned Esau came from among the Heathen. from thence more deformed, then reformed, cōcerning his malicious mind: As manie of our countrimen haue doone from the other side of the Sea, feeding vaine mens fautasies with Italian gra­ces, Spanish fashions, and french cour­tesies, and verie seruiceable in speach, A Vostre commandemente Monsieur: & are therefore become a by-word vnto the Deuils in car­nate. worlde to bee called Deuils incarnate. To let passe that whereof wee haue no certaintie, this troup of men was easilie able to ouermatch the wearie, and weak companie of Iacob: and who woulde thinke now, seeing the great inequalitie [Page 9] of their states, but that the birthright and blessing which Iacob had receiued aboue his brother Esau, was a meere mockerie:

This no question, is the Iudgement The iudge­ment of the flesh Rom. 9. 8. of the flesh, which esteemeth things ac­cording to the outward shew: but Iacobs promise was spiritual, with which hee held himselfe well apaied, neither held he himselfe beguiled, if it were fulfilled in his posterity, as shal be shewed in more due place. In the meane while though Iacob be despised, let vs learne with wise hearts, to esteeme of things as they are. For God is not as man: if he promise, he promiseth to the heart of Man. And without faith no man is capable of his promise lawfullie, but shal bee accomp­table for instruction.

This euer hath beene the condition Iacob, ment by Christes church despi­sed. of Iacob, which is to bee ment of Gods Church upon earth, to bee vile in most places in the eies of the world, to be an vnderling, to bee tossed from post to pil­lor in all the members of the same, which might bee prooued by manie testimonies and examples, from Abel to Christ, and from Christ to this daie: but it were to [Page 10] carry stickes into the wodde, and to set up a candle where the sun shineth. On the other side, Esau, whereby is ment, the Esau termed the Diuels Church. Diuels Church: for we purpose to dwell a while in both the branches of this cōpa­rison: for in such matter of teaching wee haue the Apostle Paul for a warrantic; Gal 4. 24. The congre­gation of the wicked are mighue. and therefore we may say, that the con­gregations of the vngodly are mightie, the worlde goeth on their side, they eate the fat of the land, they haue the best pre­ferment, and offices, they liue at ease, they aile nothing, & yet they can scarce afforde Iacob the bare breathing of the aire. In Sam. 2. 7. this worlde they suffer no pleasant thing to passe by them vntasted, their Kyne cast Iob. 21. 10. no Calues, their Children daunce in the streets, they drink wine in carued bowls, Amos. 6. 4 5. 6. 7. they stretch their limmes vpon beds of Iuory: But none of them remember the calamity of Ioseph. Iacob is maliced, yea Iacob mali­ced. Esau will come against him with foure hundred men. It was so then, and is so now: we haue iustified our fathers in all their crueltie. Gods Church is made a Stockfish amongst them, & hir Children are sent home by weepeing Crosse. It is 1. Cor. 1. 26. no maruel therefore that Paul saith, Not [Page 11] many wise after the fleshe, not many mighty, not many noble are called.

And here by the way we haue to look in Iud. 3. 7. The wrath of God against the Church of the Israelites. (as in a glas most clear) how the church of the Israelites forgotte the Lord their god, & serued serued Balaam & Astaroth, & there­fore the wrath of the lord was kindled a­gainst Israel, & he sold thē into the hands of Cusan King of Mesopotamia. Againe Iud. 4. the Church of the Israelits did wickedly in the sight of the Lord, and therefore the Lorde solde them into the hands of Iabin King of Canaan. God and his Christ be as mighty & strong at this hour, as when his word was preached in the Churches of Goletta, in Tunes, in Cyprus, in Rhodes, in Constantinople, in Iudea, in Macedonia, Ponthus, Bithinia, Cicilia, Phrygia, Greece, Egypt, and the endes of the worlde. But Esau came against Iacob with foure hundred men, and de­field Christian mens handes, and filled their fingers full of iniquitie, their lippes spake vntruethes, & their tongus vttered wickednes, Esau & his cōpany haue made Esah hath made chri­stians forget God. christians to forget the lord, & serued Ba­laam of Rome, & Astaroth of Florence. They be either superstitious idolaters, or [Page 12] Godlesse and thancklesse Epicures, and worldlings. Esau his companie came a­gainst Iacob to praie, and spoile, to fill the land ful of Usurers, bribers, and ex­tortioners, and the Sea ful of Pirats, and robbers: therefore the Lord hath hid his face from Iacob, to be ment the Church of Christ, and hath solde into Esau the Turkes hands, not onely Constantinople, Christian kingdomes subdued by the Turke. Cyprus, Goletta, Moldauia, Bulgaria, Hungaria, Strygonyum and Buda, but also hath opened thereby to the Turke, Christendome both by Sea and by land. No great iourney hath the Turke from Buda to Saxonie, and Demnarke: and how nigh the Danes, and Saxons bee to The Turke hath no farre Journey to England. England, Englishmen should remember. No great Journey hath the Turke, from Goletta to Spayne: and howe nigh Spa­niardes bee to Englande, Englishmen cannot forgette. Yet Iacobs familie in England wanteth not a Captaine and heade, but hath a good and gracious go­uernor, We haue a gracious cap­taine and Head in Eng­land. whom God preserue with Gods word and Sacramentes, Peace, plentie, and all good things. But it was not e­nough for the Israelits to saie, Templum Domini: nor for the Iewes, Domine, Domi­ne: [Page 13] nor for the Romanists, The Church, the Church: nor for vs, The Gospell, the Gospell: but we must doe works worthy of the worde, and worthie of the Gospel. Ferte igitur fructus, bring forth there­fore Ma. 3. 8. the fruites &c. Well, wee reade that Esau came against Iacob, and with him four hundred men. Whereby we ga­ther, that the congregation of the wic­ked and vngodlie are manie and migh­tie, they haue the world at will, they re­member not the miserie of Ioseph, and Iosephs mise­rie forgotten. Iacob is maliced. And can this great wickednes escape vengeance: no truely. For whosoeuer is guiltie, & so persisteth, shall heare his owne condemnation. The very ground groneth vnder the burden Esay. 26. 21. of Tyrantes, and shal disclose hir blood, and hide hir slaine no more.

And heere wee haue to consider, how much of hir owne blood and of the blood Rome came by her regi­ment by shed­ding of blood. of strangers did Rome shed before shee came to the regiment, and rule of the worlde: but the blood of Gods Martyrs which they haue persecuted crieth for ven­geance to God, euen as the blood of righ­teous Abel, which was slaine by wicked Kaine, Oh God of heauen neuer plague [Page 14] vs again with that infernal Synagogue of Rome: if there be any Christian heart doe wish it, God open that heart to the sincere acknowledging of his Gospel, and Rome could continew hir persecution no longer then God had appoin­ted. the embracing of his mercies in Christ Jesus. But when the time of their tiran­nie and persecution was ended, no longer or farther could they go, as the captiuity of Babylon was appointed to continew threescore & ten yeers, & so to cease.

And when Rome had aspired to the rule and gouernment of the world, what shameful oppression raigned on the earth, their owne Chronicles make mention. This did the Prophete Esaiah foresee, saying, Quid vobis accidit, atteritis popu­lum meum, & facies pauperum commolit is? Esay. 3. 15. What haue you to do, that you beate my people in peeces, and grinde the faces of the poor (saith the lord?) Audite quoeso ca­pita Iacob, & Duces Israel, nonne vestrum Mich. 3. 1. erat scire iudicium? Heare, I pray you, you heads of Iacob, and you Princes of Isra­ell, should not you know Judgement's But they hate the good, and loue the euil: they pluck off the skins from them, & the flesh from their bones, they choppe them as small as flesh to the potte. These were [Page 15] the complaints of Isaias & Micha in their times. If they had liued with vs, what The com­plaint of the prophet Esay, and Micha. shal we think we should haue hard at their handes? Iacob hauing experience of his brothers malice, lifteth vp his head feare­fullie, looking stil for more anger: For the burnt Child feareth the fire.

Dauid after Saul had darted his Jaue­lin at him, fled from his tiranny. And gods 1 Sam. 18. 11. & 23. 43. Gods church persecuted looketh for greater trou­bles. Church amongest vs hauing alreadie su­steined many great iniuries, lifteth vp and looketh with great feare & trembling for sorer oppression. But least any mā should think that she complaineth & lifteth vp hir eies wtout a cause, let vs consider by these fewe particulars, the wrong that is done to Israel. The souls of the people are most precious iewels & tenderly to be kept (for Actes. 20. 28. The soules of the people being preci­ous iewels are betraied. they cost christ his life) they are neglected, nay they are betraied into the handes of the Diuell. Although Esau himselfe (I mean the Pope) be banished by a most no­ble & vertuous prince, yet the stincke that he hath left behinde him hath to this day infected many.

There are some that deny him in word, Vnfaithfull protestantes. Ephe. 4. 18. and yet build vp his kingdom: For is not ignorance the pillor of his kingdom? Hath [Page 16] not the blindnes of our harts bin the chie­fest weapon, with which he hath driuen so Ignorance the pillor of the Popes kingdome. manie of vs before him, as Oreu to the slaughter? Why then is Iacob (we meane gods Church) with domb dogs, I meane domb Deuils, so iniuriously burdened: I cal the ignorant, & domb ministers, domb dogs, & not I, but the Prophet Isaias. Esa. 56. 10. And we call the ignorant vsurping Ministers which fil vp the measure of their sins, with licencious life, domb Deuils, which can­not be cast out, without fasting, & prayer. Gods church burdned with dumb dogges. Mark. 9. 29. For wherin are they not become vnto vs in steed of Belial? Alas, alas, poore Iacob, how dost thou mourn in thy ashes: why do men cal thee blessed, since thou art yet sub­iect to the oppression of Esau?

Let vs mark, I pray you, the power of these Traditionaries: Esau hinde­reth the re­formation of Iacob. they come out euen to the number of 400, to hinder the re­formation of Iacob: and if any be desirous to know the cause why, Demetrius the sil­uer-Smith shall aunsweare for them all, Sirs you know, by this craft, we haue our goods. Acts. 19. 25. Let Esaus Traditionaries des­cend into the consideration of their Ca­nons, which they so mightily defende, then shall they perceaue in steede of reforming [Page 17] malefactors, discipline bought out, and Discipline bought out for mony. Hose. 4. 8. so in the corruption of their consciences, making marchandizes of sin, Peccata po­puli mei comedunt, They eate vppe the sinnes of my people, & lift their hands to iniquitie. And is this the friendlie intertainment of Iacob? With what face dare they looke vpon the Sunne, which haue let souls to farme to the Diuel: Let vs speak the trueth, and lie not: we stand euen now in the presence of God, who wil not suffer vs to escape vnpunished, if we speak of the roote of bitternesse like Esau Heb. 12. 15. Ios. 7. 15. A excommu­nicate thing in the land. It is said, there is a excōmunicate thing, and before that excommunicate thing be taken away, we shall not be able to stand against our enimies. what is that pyonder Antichristian Esau, & that foule Dragon Re. 9. 10. 11. Abaddon of Rome with his locustes. Abaddon with his locustes hath left his taile behinde him, and is not the sting in the taile: That is true, the wounded of Gods people shall shew you. That which superstition cannot doe because it is in a great part weakened, (the Lorde haue the glorie for the same) Sathan hath cō ­mitted Sathans au­thority. to the spirite of Ambition, & Co­uetousnes to accomplish. The time was when Iacob came in the name of Esau, & Gen. 17. 18. [Page 18] was blessed, but now is Esau stopped in with the smooth handes of Iacob, and is Esau blessed, Iacob cursed. cursed.

The time was when many seemed to melt at the misery of Sion. The time is, when the selfesame men, ly frozen in their Zoph. 1. 12. The miserie of Sion. dregges in Babylon. When the king­dome of Sathan began to increase after the decease of Godly pastors in the Pri­mitiue Sathans king­dome increa­sed. church, idle and prophane men v­surped the place and tooke to themselues condemnation by violence. These men beeing both vnable, and vnwilling them­selues to execute their office in teaching the people, put ouer their charge to stocks and stones, & dombe Idols. To this end Gregories error pleased them wel, That Images are Lay-mens books. Pope Grego­rie his error.

Thus wrapped they mens hearts in ignorance, & with the price of their Ido­latry The papistes enriched by Idolatric. built them Pallaces, which threat­ned the heauens. Consider therefore, that Erercise, and diligence, in hearing, & rea­ding of Gods worde taught, or preached, bringeth men from ignorance, And again Erercise & diligence causeth men to haue a credit in Religion, whether it be true or What bring­eth religion into credite. false: for it neuer taketh place and root in [Page 19] the people without diligence, as it is to be perceaued in the Actes & gests done in the time of Ieroboam, & Roboam Kings 3. Reg 12. The Masse brought into credit. of Israel & Iuda. What brought the masse and al other Idolatry into estimation, but daily saieng & preaching therof, with such laud and praise, that the most ignorants knew what a Masse was worth? Fifteene Masses in a Church were not enough for the Prestes of Baal to bee said daily: And should one Sermon in a daie be too much for a godly & euangelicall Minister? But here some will say, labor is left and mens businesly vndone.

Surely this is ungodly to bee spoken: The sayings of the vngod­ly. for those that beare the people in hand of such thinges, know very well, that there was neither labor, cares, needs, necessities nor any thing els, that could heretofore keep thé from masse, though it had binsaid at four of the clock in the morning. Ther­fore wee may perceaue the people were contented to leese more labour, and spend more time then, to goe to the Devil, than More labor spent to go to the Diuel, thá to come to God. now to come to god: wherefore where daily praier is said, not only in churches, but al­so in priuate houses, the Parentes, Mai­sters, Children and family shall finde ad­uauntage [Page 20] and gaine thereby at the yeeres Daily praier in priuate houses. end, though they hear daily a sermon, mor­ning and euening praier euery day in the weake.

Thus did Adam serue god, after he was Gen. 4. Adam serued God. called to repentance, and in steed of a mi­nister, did teach his children, and familie, first to know their sauiour, and to serue god, in true faith, as witnesseth the oblati­on of his obedient son Abel. Seth and E­noch Seth & Enoch called on god. Gen. 5. Heb. 11. Gen. 6. Noah the preacher of righteousnes. in like manner serued God, for it is written of them, that they began to make inuocation to the name of the Lord.

Noah with his children & family was not onely saued from drouning, but hath this true title to be called the preacher of righteousnes.

What should we speake of Abraham, Isaac, Iacob & Loth, which made inuoca­tion Gen. 11. 12. 47. Heb. 11. Iacob & Loth preached gods word. to the name of the lord, and in steed of preachers, taught the word of god them­selues, and retained the true faith surelie grounded vpon the said word, and by good example of life, and doctrine, left the same to their families & posterities: but when, as we haue said, in the kingdom of Sathan prophane men vsurped the places of god­ly men, in the primitiue Church, and had [Page 21] wrapped mens harts in ignorance and I­dolatry, Mens harts were wrapped in Idolatrie. they maintained Esaus Traditi­onaries with the gaines thereof: but now (thanks bee giuen to God) in these latter times we haue eased Iacobs shoulders of such burdens, and haue well purged our Churches from such abominations.

But yet must it needes bee said, that Many igno­rant ministers of the mean­est sort. Reg. 12 31. there are put in the places of godly pastors many an ignorant, & dissolute person: and our ministers for the most part, are as the priests of Ieroboam, euen of the lowest of the people. And this we haue don, least we Wee loue not to haue our faultes repro­ued. should hear hard things, least our ambiti­on, and couetousnes should be reproued: and why should we not speak plainly and tel the truth: for filthy lucre sake we haue committed Sacrilege, nay wee will saie Sacrilege for Lucre sake. Soules mur­thered. more, we haue murdered the soules of our brethren. Will anie bodie put vs to our proofe: Who wil then seek for reformati­on when it is proued:

Many are patrones of benefices, & they Benefices sold to Symonistes for mony. sel that for mony to thē that wil giue most, among the wicked Symonists men of litle account, lesse vnderstanding, & least consci­ence of al: & yet they say we are no Church Church-rob­bers. robbers, and we murther no soules.

[Page 22] Noblemen and men of worship (or els they bear lies) write their letters vnto the Bishops for admitting of vnworthy per­sons to the ministerie, yea such as are of Vnworthy persons ad­mitted to the ministerie. the worser, and baser sort, farre vnmeete for that calling: neither learned, godly, or zealous, but couet the roomes of godlie pastors, to lead an idle life, and for coue­tousnes Christs Church fraught with vnlearned hierlings. sake they may bee well tearmed good cheap hirelings. Iacobs church is at this daie so fraught with them, that the learned which desire the office to set forth the glorie of God, and the edifieng of his people No place for the godly and learned in Christes church. in the right knowledge of his word, can haue no places to increase their ta­lents, vnlesse they wil be hirelings for ten pounds by the yeere, although the liuing be worth to the parson or farmor, and hun­dred pounds by the yeere.

The common people say, that Spiri­tuall men haue too much, they keepe no The murmor of the people against the spiritualtie. hospitality, they neither preach nor teach after they haue liuings, they become co­uetous. They ware rich, & wil not arise out of their nests, which they thinke they haue built in a rocke. Those that should Psal. 74. 9. be ouer-seers of these, lie idle, not looking to their charge, they send foorth manie [Page 23] to waite vpon Esau, but fewe to wait vp­on Iacob. They which haue the places of punishing sinne, haue learned their lesson of the horsle aches two daughters. A man Pro. 30. 15. may trauel some way, & find not a prea­cher Preaching de­caied. in fifteene Parishes, nor yet any Mi­nister able to expound fire woordes of the Scripture. Haue we not then iust cause, to take vp the ould complaint of Moses Exod. 32. 21. against Aaron? what did the people vn­to thee, that thou hast brought so great sinne vpon them? All these miseries of Iacob not withstanding, cast vp your eyes about, and you shall see a pompe like the pomp of Esau. What they were in times past, that maketh no matter to vs: God Gal. 2. 6. Ezech. 33. 12. accepteth no mans person, their oulde works are forgotten. If they discontinue I say many of them now, whether of Ia­cob or no, wee can not tell. The Lord knoweth who are his. But this wee are sure of, they lift vp themselues against Is­rael, musling the mouth of the Oxen that treade out the corne: and comming out 1. Cor. 1. 9. Psal. 9. 12. with foure hundred men, some dumbe dogges, some filthie Cananites, which The procee­dings of Iacob hindered. haue cast in their lots among theeues, to hinder the proceeding of innocent Iacob. [Page 24] Will not God haue all these things in minde, when he maketh Inquisition for bloud: Can not hee iudge through the Iob. 12. 13. darke clouds? Yes, yes, God hath not so conteinned the lifting up of Iacobs eies, nor colerated the wayes of the scornfull, that he should returne to visite them, and take them as he findeth them. Neverthe­lesse let us pray for them, euen the prayer of the Prophet, Giue them, Lord: What Hose. 9. 14. shalt thou giue them? A barren womb, and drie brests: Let the children perish for the sinnes of their fathers. As for E­sau himself, let him drinke, and be drunk, and stumble, and fall, and rise no more. It is little enough that to some we seeme more sharpe, than the matter requireth. But I would to God we were more tou­ched with the ruine of Ierusalem, that Iacob, I meane Gods Church, might finde redresse for these iniuries.

Who is he amongest men, or what is A similitude of the church. his name, which hauing one onely daugh­ter, most vertuous, & most beautiful, ad­orned with most excellent qualities, the staffe of hir fathers comfort, being betro­thed to a worthie king of great estate, would not bee drowned with teares, and [Page 25] swallowed up with unmeasureable sor­romes, if shee were violently taken from him, and given to a miscreant bastarde, Iothsome and deformed person, being in­fected with all manner of most filthie, and contagious diseases? And is not this the case of gods church? How glorious is the Psal. 45. 15. Eph. 5. 27. 2. Cor. 11. 2. Christs church cōmit­ted to the mi­nisters charge 1. Sam. 4. 11. kinges Daughter within? She hath nei­ther spot nor wrinkle: she is betrothed to Christ: And by procksie he hath cōmitted her to the charge of his true ministers. But lift your eies, & look, behold, I say, & weep. For the arke is taken frō the Leuit: the spouse of Christ is committed to the hands of filthie, uncleane, and brutish per­sons: Reuelat. 9. 3. Iuskish locusts are ingendred of the smoke of bastard discipline, which are as thornes to our eies, and scorpions to out sides. The sheeprives stand by, and looke on, yet none of them stretcheth forth his arme to pluck the lamb frō the Eagle, nor the Turtle Doue out of the hande of the Psal. 74. 19. beast. And now wee beseech you giue sen­tēce, are the tears of Israel as the tears of an unconstant womā? Or hath be not iust cause to complain? But to what purpose are the iniuries of the Church laide be­fore The iniuries of the church laid before vs, you, & compared with the iniuries of [Page 26] Iacob? Forsooth to this end, that like as the iniuries alreadie offered to Iacob, made him to fear farther violence, & ther­fore to lift up his eies, and look when Esau came: So it might appeare that the iniu­ries offered to Gods Church maie iustlie make it to feare farther vengeance from God, and violence from men: and therefore to lift up their eies, and looke when the Pope himself shal come. For let him come A number of the Popes knightes dub­bed to main­tain his king­dome. to morowe, and wee haue dubbed a num­ber of doltes for his purpose: He shall need to alter neither the men, nor their or­ders: and if wee haue made idle pastors, hath not Gods church reason to lift up hir eies to see, when the Idols themselves shal follow?

If we varnish his styrrops, wil we neg­lect his sadle? If wee be so desirous of his discipline, wil we make daintie of his doc­trine?

The Turk keepeth himselfe to his Al­caran, the Iew to his Talmud, or Kabala, & the Pope to his Portuise. But if gods The true church of god accused of sin­gularitic. church cleaue to the singlenes of the word, refusing mixture, and seeke a service and administration thereafter, she is then ac­cused of singularitie, How say you nowe? [Page 27] do not these things giue Iacob good cause to lift up his eies and to looke when Esau should come with four hundred men? Be­leeue me, beleeue me, if any Magistrate should goe about to colour these thinges, but not with the couering of gods spirite, and say, what maketh this to vs? we maie very well say againe, What make they then in the places of government in the Church of Christ?

Therefore let the godly lift vp the eies of their harts to God, and pray vnto him, from whom nothing is hid, that there may be a zealous reformation of Iacobs trou­bles, We must pray for the refor­mation of Christes Church. and griefes, which is to be feared wil not be, unles we cease from carnal gospel­ling, oppression of the poore, couetousnes, earthly mindes, fleshly Iusts, and not to be wise in our own selues, but to seeke to be wise in the lord. For he is the opener and mollister of all hartes which hee turneth. Knock therefore, that the lord may open, seeke that you may finde, but see that you knock, and seeke aright.

The same god that opened the bowels of Moses towards his brethrē, giue al his elect pittiful harts towards poore Iacob, yea & to our owne soules, that we may in [Page 28] simplicity and rightnes of spirites, tacke our powers to the highest pin, for the ad­uancement of gods glory. Let this suffice We ought to lament the miseries of Christes Church. for the first part, concerning the injuries and miseries of Iacob, and the pomp and power of Esau: Now followeth the second part concerning the disposing of Iacobs family conteined in these wordes.

The Second part.

2 And he diuided the children to LEAH and RAHEL, and to the two maides: and he put the maids and their Children foremost, and LEAH and hir children after, and Rahel, and Ioseph hindermost.

HEere is first to bee considered and obserued that difference which is The differece between the faithful & the vnfaithfull. Gen. 31. 1. found between the vnfaithful & them that feare god with a confidence assured in his promises. For although Iacob, otherwise feared the violenee of his brother Esau, and bewraied his infirmitie, euen after God had comforted him, by an host of An­gels, and had giuen him victorie in wra­stling: yet was he not amazed nor blasphe­med Psa. 5. 5. & 62. 4. god, like the wicked, with curses and most terrible othes, of all fortes: against [Page 29] who the prophet Dauid crieth out saieng: The wicked blaspheme god, swearing cursing, and lieng. The vnrighteous shall not stand in thy sight, O lord: thou hatest thē that work iniquitie. Thou shalt destroy al thē that speake lies: but how much more likely is it, that the lord will destroy all them that speake blasphemie, and abuse his holie name:

Saul verily blasphemed the name of the 1. Reg. 28. 8. Blasphemers punished. lord, because he called not vpon his name in his extreme misery, and trouble, but asked counsaile of a Pithonisse, was com­pelled to kil himselfe with his own hand, after he had seene his people downe right slaine by the Phylistines his enimies, and his sonnes lie dead in the middest of the people.

Ananias & Saphira his wife, lied to the Acts. 5. 3. 10. Lyers puni­shed. holy ghost, and falling down sodenly to the ground, go with shame enough to the di­uel of hel.

Senacherib sweareth & blasphemeth 4. Reg. 18. 30. the name of the eternall God, before the walles in Ierusalem: but anon after hee for his labor was berest of his puissant ar­my, and in his owne gods temple shot tho­rough by his sonne.

Iehoachim and Zedechias both kings [Page 30] of Iuda, and blasphemers of gods name, 4. Reg. 24. 20. 4. Reg. 16. 9. & 10. are taken captiues, & slain by Nabucho­donosor king of Babylō. Achas, Iesabel, and the priestes of Baal are cleane wyped by King Iehu, because that they vnder the colour of God & godlines, persecuted the true religion.

The man that blasphemed the name of Leuit. 24. God, was ouerwhelmed with stones to death.

The which examples of holy scripture, as they are terrible, & dreadful, so are they written for vs, to consider, that not the least part of our calamities at these daies do happen vnto vs, because of our detesta­ble lying, cursing, & horrible othes, which few magistrats, parents and maisters do goe about to redresse as they shoulde doe. Magistrates & Parentes must punish blasphemers. Many blas­phemous peo­ple in these daies. Wherefore the name of the liuing god is blasphemed with passing deep, and horri­ble othes of al sortes, and of al ages, so that it is verily to bee thought from the begin­ning of the worlde, was there neuer such blasphemous people, as are in this wicked age of ours: and therefore are we vered with vnspeakable and endlesse troubles. The plague neuer goeth from the house Eccle. 23. 12. of swearers: For God is true & cannot ly, [Page 31] which saieth, That they shall not escape Exod. 20. scotfree, that take his name in vaine. We should then be so tru, one of vs to another, and careful to say the truth, that our com­munication should bee yea, yea, nay, nay. For whatsoeuer is more then this, is sin. Mat. 5. The men of our time do not only take the name of God in vaine, but doe of malice blasphemously defile it. It were therfore very godly, not only that the magistrates, but also parents, and masters, in euery of The dutie of houshoulders. their priuate houses, would looke to this horrible abuse of gods name, and sharplie punish those that are accustomably giuen to swearing, cursing, and lying: and sin­cerely by good example & liuing, set forth the true worship of god among their peo­ple, ouer whom they haue charge: Or els, if this may not be obtained at their hands they will bee no worse nor godlesse then Caiphas: who whē he hard as he thought Caiphas. Mat. 26. Mark. 14. 10. 18. Luk. 21. blasphemy against the name of god, rent his clothes and cried that the blasphemor was worthy to die. For assuredly vnlesse Christian magistrates, and gouernors of families do not very earnestly punish the Vngodly hous­holders worse thā Caiphas. offendors herein: it cannot otherwise bee said, but that they are a great deale worse [Page 32] than that wicked Caiphas.

But now to come againe to the effect of our matter, wee may well perceaue, that Iacob although hee was put into a Iacob in his crouble blas­phemeth not God. great fear and agony by his brother Esaus comming against him with four hundred men, yet did hee not by any meanes blas­pheme god. or was amazed like the vngod­ly: but behaued himselfe wisely. descreet­ly & prudently, in disposing of his family, for the best safety and aduantage, if ought had betyd him more rigorously: wheras the wicked in time of peril are at their wits end, & stand amazed like stocks, Iob. 18. 11. or els are driuē into such brutish passions, that they be wray their fearfulnes, (so far separated from discretiō) that they neuer had any great strength. Example hereof we haue in Ahas, and his people, who at Pro. 24. 10. Esau. 22. the report of the cōming of Aram against them, are said to bee moued with feare like the leaues of a tree shaken with the mind. It is true that the wiseman saith, Blessed is hee that alwaies maketh him­selfe Prouer. 28. 24. afraid. For if wee acquaint not our selues with mortification, and set before We must ac­quaint our selues with mortificatiō. vs the terror of God, to be exercised and humbled in the time of peace, and quiet­nes, [Page 33] it is to be feared, lest when the storms of affliction beat vpon vs, we be so affrigh­ted as much some strange thing, that wee shall not onely bee beereft of patience, the Patience the principal ex­ercise of faith. Deu. 28. 29. principall exercise of faith, whereby wee possesse our saluation: but also be disabled to vse the ordinary meanes, set before vs for our deliuery, without the which wee shal not bee able to escape the violence of our enemies. Moreouer if this disposing of Iacobs family be considered, as occasi­on wilbe giuen by & by, we shal perceaue the doubting of the man which we speake of in the beginning. And these infirmities The infirmity of the Fathers not to be ex­cused. Gen. 30. 4. 10. of the fathers we must not go about to ex­cuse, neither in this, neither in that, he be­gat children of Bilhah and Dilpah, his wiues maides, whereof mention is made, nor yet in his plurality of wiues, least that I should iustify a piece of clay, and besides that preferre iniury to many. Yet in one respect (although I reioice not in their sins) since God hath so ordained that their Saluation cō ­sisteth only in Gods mercie. 1. Cor. 9. 10. saluation should consist in mere mercy, we may reioice that they fel. For example of gods mercy, for in raising them which fel in the beginning, is a staf to hold them up, which are now bowed downe with their [Page 34] infirmities. Not that man should wound himself in hope of this salue, but that those which are already wounded and know it, might not be to seek of the Chirurgian.

But to come neer to our purpose, Iacob Iacobs discre­tion, and his wisedome not in fleshe nor bloud. not withstanding the fearfulnes of his hart, yet she weth he great discretion, and wise­dom in ordering of his busines, as one pur­posed to vse the best ordinary meanes that was offered, & to leaue the rest to the lord, And whence had he this staiednes & wise­dom in so trouble some a time: certainlie neither of fleshe nor blood, but by the gift of God, without which no man can stand vpright in the euil day.

We read in this former chapter howe he prepared himselfe to this purpose with Man nothing without god. Gen. 32. 9. Iacob prepa­red himselfe with humble praier. feruent and humble praier, for that is the tower of the faithful, and the very ordina­ry way, & meanes, whereby god is moued to help vs in our necessities: & they which seldom vse it, prouide euil for their faith. Surely the good successe, that the Lord gaue Iacob here (after the said praier) should encourage vs to enterprise nothing before we haue first craued the direction of our god, and so much the rather, by this example, because it appeareth by the tenor [Page 35] of this praier and the politique disposing of his family being compared with that which followed, and succeeded, that God God gaue Ia­cob more thā he asked. Psal. 79. 13. gaue him more then he durst either aske, or looke for, so plentifully receiued he, his praiers rewarded home againe into his own bosom. Our lesson by the way is, that when we haue poured out our spirites be­fore God, crauing any thing at his hands, We must rest in gods proui­dence. we must so rest in his prouidence, that we do neuertheles vse the ordinary mean, & not lie still presumptuously tempting the Lord, as the maner of some is. Thus did Iosua. 7. Iosua work the will of the lord in his bat­tel, & the fruite of his labor was the fulfil­ling of his praier. Yea when we haue an assurance of that we aske at the Lordes hands, yet the exāple of Elias teacheth vs 1 Reg. 18. 24. Praier doth exercise our faith. to pray stil, that our faith be not dul, & idle.

The conclusiō of this note is, that if we wil not haue our wisedome to fail vs, whē we most neede it, let vs not forget in the In our trou­bles we must put the Lord in mind of his mercies. searefulnes of our harts because of our in­firmity, to put the lord in mind of his mer­cies, least when dāger is laid vpon vs, our shadowe of wisdome be scattered into the clouds, & we crushed vnder [...]

Further more here is [...] [Page 36] care & love that this holy Patriat [...] The christian love and care of Iacob to­wardes his fa­mily. had towardes his familie. The malice which was in Esau, he knew wel, was but against his own persō. And therfore if his tender love towards his wiues, had not greatlie preuailed wc him, he might haue taken his flight to escape frō the hands of Esau: But he as a louing, & faithful father of a family, did not only carry by it, but al­so put them in such array, as might best beseem the intertainmēt of the lord Esau, or rather might best serue for the safegard of come of their liues, which was kinder­most, by taking their flight, if Esau should assault the foremost. This christian loue Iacobs loue to his wines, is wanting in many hus­bands in these daies. of Iacob to his wiues, & the godly care to­wards his family, is wanting in many in these daies, which range abroad not for a­ny danger that driveth thē, but they go to seek it. If one that were in autority shuld examine many of our young gentlemen, which haue bound thē to the unseparable knot of holy marriage, what is the cause Vaine trauell. that english ground cannot bear thē: why some of them shake the buckler in Paris, & some other walke the streets in Venis: & Like husbānd [...] [...] they can giue as good account of it, [...] wiues which they haue [Page 37] left behind them, cā do of their unchast be­haviour in England. But such marraige is no more honorable than whoredome.

And here by the waie we may wel con­sider, The vngodly attyre of weo­men. that Iacobs wiues were not appare­led, like to our wiues in England in these baies, more like Maskers, than Matrons, with heades compassed like to Rammes Hornes, and frilled haires, more meet for sparrowes to make their nests in, than for christians to wear. If they were wel dis­posed to reade the scriptures, they should learn what Saint Peter speaketh of wo­men-like apparel, saying: That womens 1. Pet. 3. 3. 4. 5. 6. apparel should not be outward with broy­ded haire, either in putting on of gorgious apparel. But let the hid man which is in the heart, bee without all corruption of a meeke and quiet spirite, which spirite is before God a thing much set by. For after this maner, did the women in the old time which trusted in God, attire themselves, being obedient to their husbands, euen as Sara obeied Abraham & called him Lord. Cyprian that godlie martyr writeth this Cyprian spea­king against the vnseemly attyre of weo­men. of women, saying. Qua sericum & purpu­ram induunt, Christum induere non possunt. Women that advance themselues in put­ting [Page 38] on silke, and purple, cannot lightlie put on Christ. And againe, Foemine crines suos inficiunt malo proesagio, capillos enim sibi flammeos auspicari non metuunt. They which colour their heires with red & yel­low begin to prognosticate of what colour their heads shalbe in hel. And farther hee saith, Qui se pingunt in hoc seculo, aliter quā creauit Deus, metuant, cum resurrection is venerit dies, ne artifex creaturam snam non cognoscat. They which loue to paint them­selues here in this world, otherwise than God hath created them, let them feare, least when the day commeth of resurrec­tion, the creator wil not know them. And for these and the like abuses the lord both punish our sinnes, one with another. Wee may heere in like maner obiect the exam­ple of Iacob with the peeuish Papistes, which uppon forged pretence of consci­ence, haue left their Nature soile, their wiues, their children, their families, and haue broken their obedience to their true, lawful, and christian Princesse: and when England is to hot for thē, are run to roust at Rome. If Iacob had fled, hee had fled from Esau, a tyrant. But they in fleeing 1. Sam. 15. 10. 1. Reg. 11. 4. are become like to Ieroboam, which fled [Page 39] from peaceable Salomon, to the Egypti­ans. But they haue a vow in Hebron like Absolon a traitor to his own father. And can there bee a more vnconscionable act, then to break the loialty of true subiectes towards so louing a princesse, & to make themselues slaues to a infamous stranger? we may maruell with what forehead they may plead conscience any longer. The maner, why Moses doth so diligently re­port the order of this array, is, that wee might vnderstand whom Iacob was most Iacob desired to saue some. desirous to saue (if any danger had bin) for the foremost were in most danger, and likest to be slaine first, if Esau had drawne Gen. 32. 8. sword against them: and therefore he de­clareth that the twoo Maides with their children were put in the Fronttire, and Leah, and hir children next, and Rahel & hir children hindermost. Onely this note is here to be giuen, that when he thought to prouide for the escape of some, Ioseph Ioseph most precious in Ia­cobs eyes. his yongest sonne, and the only son of Ra­hel was most precious in his eies, and (no doubt) he was cōforted in the hope which he had of him, euen when he was yet but a child: and therefore placed he him with his mother hindermost, that hee might escape [Page 40] with the first. Our instruction out of this example is twofold. First we learn not to Wee must not be desperate in troubles. cast off al care of busines, though thinges go not forward as we would haue them, for that were to be desperate: but to do the best we can to saue some, though there be no hope to saue all. Iacob looketh not to saue all, yea, hee feareth to lose the most part: yet doth he not set all at sixe and sea­uen, as one without care, or counsel; but hath a respect to his posterity after him, Iacob hath a respect to his posteritie. Ios. 14. 23. expecting to himselfe nothing but present death. Likewise Moyses, although the Lord told him flatly, that none of the peo­ple which he brought out of Egypt should enter into the land of promise, but Caleb and Iosua, thought not he had lost his wea­ry and long trauel among the rest. For he knew that in time God could accomplish his promise, much vnlike to those peeuish spirits, which if the Lord follow not their Peeuish pa­pistes. humor, bid him take al (as it is in the pro­uerbe.) And the prophet sheweth, that the Isay. 1. 9. reseruing of a remnant maketh vs that we are not destroied, as Sodom, nor con­sumed Sodom. Gomorrah. like Gomorra. Our other lesson is, that they which are guides, especially go­uernors which should be as noursefathers [Page 41] and nourse mothers: not to put the wea­kest Gouernours should be nurse fathers and nurse mo­thers. to the worst, but to prouide carefullie for Ioseph. But now the daies are come a­gain that Ioseph is carried away from his father, & sold into Egypt by his brethren, where they cast him into prison. Not­withstāding his blessing which his father Iacob gaue vnto him, was also repeted by Moyses, as he then had a carnal fruiti­on of it, so shal be in the latter times (in his posterity) obtaine a spirituall possession of the same: Namely, the blessing of God, which dwelt in the bush, shal be vpon the Gen. 49. 26. Deut. 33. 16. head of Ioseph, and vpon the toppe of the head of him, which was separated frō his brethren. If it bee demanded why Iudas Why Iudas was not pla­ced hinder­most. was not rather placed hindermost for his safetie, seeing that the scepter was his by promise, and seing that of his tribe should come the Messias as appeareth in his pro­phesie vpon his death bed, the answere is Gen. 49. 10. easie, for as per this was vnknown to Ia­cob himselfe, who had not the reuelation before he was towards his death.

Nowe to the last note of this second part: you shall obserue the notable go­uernment of Iacob, howe reuerend a fa­ther of a family wee may gather him to [Page 42] haue bene, by this place, and of how great The notable gouernment of Iacob. autority in al his houshold. You haue hard how they all went in great danger of their liues. In which cases euery one of vs, is giuen to shift for our selues, though it be to the breach of obedience. It is mar­uel therfore, that they stroue not who shuld go hindermost, and that euery one coueted not the place of most safety. Surely in that they were obedient, & stood in such array as he thought good to set them, there is a notable president vnto vs of his pru­dence, & autority, which had trained them vp to this tractablenes: and in them com­mendable A notable ex­ample of obe­dience. obedience, which quietly kept their places assigned without brawling or contention.

The like example was notable before Gen. 17. 23. Abrahams fa­mily obeied him. 1. Reg. 2. 3. 4. in his grandfather Abraham, to whom al his seruantes obeied and were content to haue their foreskinnes cut, which was a grieuous wound in the flesh, when cir­cumcision was ordained. Contrariwise Eli the high priest his two sons Hophni Elies sonnes obeied him not, and are slaine. and Phinees, because they obeied not their fathers monition, when he rebuked them for their wickednes, for lying with strāge women, which waited at the doore of [Page 43] the tabernacle of witnes were both slaine by the Philistines their enemies. Ely also Elie plagued for not corre­cting his sonnes. himselfe because he did not sharply punish and correct his sonnes for their wicked­nes, & disobedience, but did seem to winck at their sins, saying, Sons, how is it that I heare such report of you, that yee make the lords people to trespasse against him: What became of Ely for omitting pu­nishment? Surely when he hard the ark of the Lord was taken by the Philistines, he fel from a stoole and brake his neck. Hoc scriptum est ad nostram doctrinam: These things are written for our learning: And Parents must be reuerend, to be reueren­ced. that maisters, and parents should learne by the example of the two godly fathers, to be reuerend, that they may be reueren­ced: and by Ely and his sonnes to minister sharp discipline for notable offences. And let them both by nurture, example and dis­cretion, go in and out before their family, that they haue them obedient in al the wil of the Lord. For it must be obserued, that because both Abraham and Iacob went Gen. 18. 19. Abraham and Iacob did gods will. Num. 22. 23. about the wil of their God, therefore they enclined the hartes of their family to obe­dience. Otherwise, the very Asse, whereon Balaam rode, was disobedient vnto him, [Page 44] because he went about wickednes, & him­selfe disobeied the almighty. Thus we conclude this second part, wherein wee haue noted the discretion, and staiednes of Iacob, whereby the danger not withstan­ding, he feared not like the faithles Mam­monists, the infirmities of the fathers not The Mam­monusts feare. to be excused, the preparation of Iacob by praier, the loue towardes his family, and how he sought to saue some, not hoping to saue al: how he tendered the weakest, and his authority and gouernment in his fa­mily. The lord powre a great measure of his spirit into the hearts of our guides to dispose the family of Iacob discreetly for the preseruation of Innocent Ioseph.

The third part.

The third part is conteining the cou­rage, deuotion & humility of Iacob in his meeting of Esau.

3 So he went before them & bowed himselfe to the ground seuen times, vn­til he came neere vnto his brother.

In the first member of this sentence where hee saieth (so hee went before thē) Moyses in this doth declare the cou­rage of Iacob, which like a good captaine [Page 45] ledde them the way chearfully. In the se­cond Iacob a good Captaine, go­eth before his family. member when it is said, To haue bowed to the ground seuen times, is set down his deuotion towards god, & his hu­mility towards his brother. In euery one of these we see nothing, but that which be­seemeth so great a Patriarke, as Iacob Iacob did that which besee­med a Patri­arke. was. First therefore you heare how he set himselfe foremost in the ranck, least by his feare, and towardlines, the rest should bee discomforted. After that the prophet Da­uid Dauid slatte­reth himselfe in the flesh. had put affiance presumptuously in the flesh, slattering himselfe in his ease, that he should not bee moued for euer, he was compelled to confesse that when God had hidden his face he was troubled, & to sing this new song: Lord of thy good plea­sure Psal. 30. 28. thou hast stablished strength to thy mountaine. That is to say, before & faste­ned my Ancre vpon my present wealth & peace, or I spred forth my sails at my me­rigales of wind, I presumed vpon my self. and depended not vpon the free fauor of God: therefore in so doing the Lorde by withdrawing his countenance taught me, that my courage was but foole hardines, and in mercy shewed me a more sure hold, where to trust, euen his mountaine, to [Page 46] which his good pleasure hee hath establi­shed strength. Now Iacob (we know) sub­mitted Iacob depen­ded vpō gods produidence. himselfe wholy to Gods proui­dence, being ready at all times to resigne into his hands whatsoeuer God had besto­wed vpon him. With this faith therefore Faith looketh God in the face. which euer looketh God in the face, who performeth that hee promiseth, hee goeth boldly and couragiously before his people. And surely if we haue faith, we are not a­fraid, Mat. 8. 28. Rom. 5. 5. and if we hope we are not ashamed. For the grimly coūtenance of the tirants vpon earth whom we behold with our bo­dily eies, are not so terrible vnto vs, as the Lord of hostes is comfortable, whom our faith, which is our spiritual eie, beholdeth, armed for our defence in the heauens. But in this couragiousnes, Iacob hath compa­nions but a few, for the heads of the people and gouernors of the earth, are content to erceed others in wealth and ease, and from There is no bridle cā keep vs from coue­tousnesse. Esau cōming, we shrinke backe. the lururious pomp of this worlde, there is no bridle to pluck them back. But whē Esau commeth, they are content to loose their place of dignity, they straine curtesie there, who should go foremost. This is true in the gouernors, this is true in the priests, they care not who go before them, [Page 47] when any danger is at hand. But if there bee any time at the length in which they may cease to be apprentises to the Diuel, let them not stop their eares against the great pastor of the flock, which saith, That Ioh. 10. 11. a good she epheard giueth his life for the sheep. After the decease of Moyses which couragiously went before the people tho­rough a roring wildernes, his seruant Io­sua was raised vp to continew their con­ductiō: & because he had many barbarous Giaunts to suboue, and perilous exploits Iosua. 1. 5. 7. 9. to atchiue, the lord driueth him for wards often with this cōmandemēt, Cōfortate, & Heb. 12. 13. roborate valde. Be strong onely be strong. And that he might make streight steps to his feete, least by halting he should turne out of the way, he setteth this promise be­fore him: Non derelinquam te, ne que dese­ramte, The promise of God to Io­sua. I will not leaue thee, nor forsake thee. And the same arme of God, which then smote the proud and confounded his enemies before him, which cut Rechab, Rechab. 2. Reg. 4. 12. and wounded the dragon, shal in our daies also wake vp, if we wil be strong in Gods strength, to scatter Esau, and his four hun­dred men before us, as chaffe before the winde. But the same exclamation, which [Page 48] was woont to be in mens mouthes at the death of the faithful prophets agreeth too wel with our time. Oh the charriots of Israel, and the horsemen of the same, for the true prophetes decay, and their praier [...] Reg. 13. 14. and prophesie was of more force than all our warlike munitions, and whose spiri­tual courage was more mighty than the sturdines of the flesh. As for the most part which remain, they are turned backward, they are like to the sluggard which saith: There is a lion in the street: yea manie will rather leade the daunce to iniquitie. The courage of Iacob was built upon Iacobs cou­rage built on faith. Heb. 11. 2. & 12. 1. Iacob a pat­terne of chri­stian courage. faith, therefore is he reckoned in the nom­ber of those fathers, whose stedfast beliefe the Apostle saieth, Hath compassed vs with a great number of witnesses. Wel we see a perfect patterne of christian cou­rage: the commaundement of God was of more force in him, to make him obey, than the perill that was instant to make him afraid.

There was no other way to Bethell Gen. 13. 13. whither he was commanded to returne, but by Esau: should be therefore contemne the voice of God which said, I am the god of Bethel, where thou annointest the pil­lar [Page 49] [...] no: If God have said go to Bethel, we may not stay in Padam Aerā, though Esau with foure hundred men stay in the way, (as wee shal finde them in the right We must o­bey Gods word. way) yet must we go to Bethel. Obey the word of God, he is the God of Bethel,

It followeth that Iacob bowed him­selfe Iacobs deuo­tion and hu­militie. to the ground seuen times vntill he came to his brother. Here in these words (as we haue said before) is comprised the humility and devotion of Iacob. For it is probable, and it is the iudgemēt of many, that all this curtesie was not giuen to E­sau alone, but that hee also in the way de­uoutly did humble himselfe before God. This deuotion as it is at all times most requisite, so do we then most use it, & feele the most fruit of it, when any danger han­geth ouer our heads, and we know by ex­perience, as many as haue not put awaie the feeling of Gods spirite with both their hands, that we are apt by nature to gather pride unto our selves in the time of pros­perity. And we then forget god most, when In prosperity we gather pride & for­get God. be powreth his benefits most beneficially upon us. Therefore both the lord gather by the flitting of his childrē by afflictions, to set an edge upon their praiers, that [Page 50] they may bee keene to cut the cloudes and come before him. Some that are not of Our earnest praiers cut the cloudes before God. the stubberner sort he humbleth in spirit, and maketh them to goe foorth sowing in tears, when he seemeth to bend the brows of his iudgement upon their terrified con­sciences. Others that are more unruly, he correcteth with the roddes of men, and ta­meth Terrified con­sciences. them with outwarde punishment, teaching them deuotion in the schole of af­fliction. Finally there is no dispensation giuen to any of Gods children. For the a­postle both set down appossitiue lawe. As 2. Tim. 9. 10. manie as will liue godlie in Christ Iesu, must suffer persecution. And when we see the fruite of affliction in the person of Ia­cob, euen deuotion, and a religious care of godlines, whereas to many of us, our ease & fulnes of bread hath brought forth contempt and security, which of us hauing a spirit any thing better than the spirit of a Pagan, wil not wish rather to abide all God corre­cteth whom he loueth. his life under the correction of the Lord, the corrector of them whom hee loueth, than by wallowing in such prosperitie, which many are not able to weld, to becōe like a horse or mule, which hath no under­stainding? Psal. 32. 10 The prophet Dauid bringeth in [Page 51] himselfe for an example, to confirme this doctrine. Before I was afflicted, (saith he) Ps. 119. 67. 71. I went astray, but now I keep thy word. And a little after, It is good for me that I haue bin afflicted, that I may learne thy statutes. For this cause, ought we all to lift up our weake hands to God, that our true repentance may turne away his an­ger. In which hee threatneth to make our sunne to go down at noon, because he hath Amos. 8. 9. found us in the number of those, of whom Moyses prophesied thus in his song: He Deut. 32. 15. that should haue bin vpright, when hee waxed fat, spurned with his heele: thou art fatte, thou art grosse, thou art laden with fatnes, therefore he forsooke the God that made him, and regarded not the strong God of his saluation.

Questionles, if Moses were now aliue, Deuotion in prosperitie is the sister ger­man to the papisticall daughter of ignorance. to stand by, & behold our insolēcy, he could not haue met more iumply with our sin. This is euen the deuotiō that our prospe­rity hath brought foorth. sister german to the papistical daughter of ignorance. But how much better were it, if wee would in the dais of our peace, draw our sleepy souls with violence to the tribunal of god? Thē should not our deuotion betied to affecti­on, [Page 52] neither shuld our righteousnes be like the deaw, & the morning cloud. And there we have to learn, that if god should never touch his child rē, whō he loveth wc the rod Without af­fliction we forget God. of his fatherly discipline, but to take the bitte between their teeth, & so to run for­wards & never to be pluckt back, but as it were, alway to fil the belly like gluttons wc delicat meats, the ears ful of musick, to flow in wealth, to excel in authority, to flo rish in honour, aboūd with friends, richly appareled, garded wc routs of serving mē, The vanity of the world and worldlings. had in admiratiō & reverēce in the face of y world: but what thē alas, shal become of our miserable & wretched souls: there­fore let us look, what is don in our inward world, let us open I pray you the secret & inward eies of our harts, thē shal we wel understand, that ther is a far other world then this, where far greater riches, & ri­cher treasurs are foūd of thē, who serious­ly We must look for the world to come. & hartily trauel to seek thē out. Wher­fore we must not murmor against god for his louing correction, whē we set greater force by the pleasures of this world, then the observatiō of his wil & cōmandemēts.

Now concerning the humility of Iacob to his brother, it is evident in his obeizāce [Page 53] which he made to him. In that he bowed himselfe before him, it was the maner of the people that dwelt Eastward (among whō Iacob had bin to be curtous in such Iacob vsed the curtefie of people that dwelt East­ward. kind of curtsy, in bowing thēselves down before great personages. This exāple ser­ueth us that Iacob held the patience of hope: & because he beleeved, therefore he made no hast but was contēt to be būbled to him, ouer whō his father in his prophe­tical blessing had ordeined him Lord: not Gen. 27. 29. because he distrusted that which his Fa­ther had spoken, but partly because he un­derstood it spiritually: & partly because y time was not yet come, in which the king dom of Israel which was of Iacob, should exercise that dominiō ouer the Edomits, The Edomies were Esaus posterity. which was the posterity of Esau. And al­though the wicked do usurpe the blessing of gon upō the earth the lawful use wher­of Heb. 1. 2. christ hath restored to none but his bre­thren: yet the children of god are so lifted up wc the riches of their hope, that wc an holy concēpt they vouchsafe not to giue at tendāce upō this world, where they haue Heb. 3. 13. no abiding City, but ley for the world, where they look for one to come. Thus shortly haue we performed that we pro­mised in the beginning.

[Page 54] But before we go farther, we haue one The promises made to the fathers. Gen. 27. 29. thing here to obserue, concerning the pro­mises made to the fathers. Isaac said, Be thou lord ouer thy brethren: and let thy mothers children honor thee. But for al that, Iacob stowyeth lowe to Esaus foote. Likewise to Salomon, it is said, Thy throne O God is for euer and euer. But Psal. 45. he is no sooner dead, but ten Tribes are rent from his sonne, & given to a stranger: 1 Reg. 11. 31. and within 419 yeeres after his posterity were captiues in Babylon. So christ pro­mised to ratifie the doinges of Peter, but Mat. 16. 19. Gal. 2. 12. 13. yet the spirit of God, which spake in Paul, withstood him to the face for his dissimu­lation. Notwithstanding in al these pro­mises, the word of the lord standeth firme, and his truth re acheth to the heauens. In The word of God standeth firme. Many of the fathers bare the person of Christ. the scriptures many of the fathers bare the person of Christ and of the church, and in Christ or his church those promises the fathers sawe then no otherwise, than A­braham saw the daies of christ, that is spiritually. Concerning Peters promises, I Aug. in Psal. Peters pro­mises. am of Augustines iudgement, that many things are spoken to Peter, which haue not their ful sense, but being applied to the whole Church, for the authority of the [Page 55] keies, where of the Pope boaffeth, preten­ding Ioh. 20. 13. Greg. lib. 4. senten. succession from Peter, As it was gi­ven to Peter by name, so was it also given to the rest of the Apostles generally with­out respect of persons: and so to them only which persist in their doctrine. As for the Heb. 1. 8. Salomon was a figure of Christ. eternal throne promised to Salomon, the Apostle to the Hebrewes sheweth that it both properly belong to Christ, of whom he was a figure.

And as touching Iacob whose example we haue in hande, the promise of his sove­raignity was fulfilled in Dauids daies. 2. Reg. 8. 20. from whose times the Edomites conti­nued in subiection, til the daies of Ieho­ram: in whose time, they rebelled for the sinnes of the people. The Apostle min­ding Heb. 7. 9. to prove Melchizedech, of whose or­der christ was a priest, to be aboue Leui, to whom tythes were due, reasoneth thus: The Priest­hood of Mel­chisedech abouc Leui. To say the truth, Leui also which recei­ued tythes, paid tythes in Abraham, for hee was yet in the loynes of his father, when Melchizech met Abraham. Euen The Edo­mites worship the ofspring of Iacob. so may we reason in this promise in the re­spect of Eau, that since the Edomites which came out of the Ioines of Esau did worship the offspring of Iacob: therefore [Page 56] Esau did worshippe Iacob, as Leui is said to haue worshipped Melchizedech. Neverthelesse, to the outwarde appea­rance, Iacob is bowed downe before his brother, and disdained not, for hee looked for the things he saw not. And surely wold to God, wee had the humility of Iacob, Iacobs humi­lity procee­deth of hope 1. Pe. 4. 1. which proceedeth of hope: for what though we be wronged of Esau! What though the wicked do assault us iniuriously? Have we not learned that therein is our confor­mitie Math. 11. 29. with Christ, who saith, For I am weake and lowly in hart? What though our bodies be made euen with the ground, so that the wicked go ouer vs, and plough long furrowes upon our backes? What is al this to the iniuries of him, which neuer­theles triumphed in patience? Onely let We must stand to the defence of the trueth. 2. Ti. 2. 24. 2. Ti. 2. 2. The seruants of God must not striue. vs consider where about we were: if wee stand in the defence of the trueth, there is no ground to bee giuen, but in all this, let vs holde fast the rule of the Apostle: The seruant of God must not striue, but must be lowely minded. Behold in this one man, a liuely patterne of long suffe­ring, faith, discretion, and humilitie. He awaiteth the Lords leasure patiently, for the accomplishment of his promise. He [Page 57] beleeueth that hee shall haue dominion, his present subiection withstanding: he disposeth his family, and doth homage to his Brother. And hee lost nothing by it. For it is possible, that many of Esaus retinew, did seeke more after am­bition, and vaine glorie, than after the honestie of themselues, or their Lorde: As diuerse Sicophantes, Sycophantes. about great men doe at this daie, vpon reporte that Iacob should bee Lord ouer their Lord. The which thing Esau had determined to preuent, by making hauock of him, and all his, had not the Lord vsed the humble submission of Iacob, as a meane, not to make them beleeue the Prophesie, where­by their outrage was staied. How euer it hee, humilitie was in him a great ver­tue, By humilitie we draw nees to Christ. and most excellent: and it is that, wherein wee drawe neere to the image of Christ.

The Lorde therefore of his mercie graunt that wee maie imprint this les­son deepe in our memorie, that the nea­rer wee drawe to the Lorde, the more we be displeased with our selues.

The Fourth part.

NOw in the fourth part remaineth the bulooked for louing meeting of Esau, and the ioy of them both are descri­bed in these wordes.

4 Then Esau ran to meet him, & fel on his neck, & embraced him, & kissed him, and they wept.

MOyses hauing declared how Iacob The successe that god gaue to Iacob. bowed himselfe before his brother Esau, proceedeth to them diligently by cir­cumstances, what successe God gaue to his deuotion and humilitie, by mentioning the running of Esau to his brother, his embracing him, his falling vpon his neck, his kissing him, and his weeping with him. Here we haue found the wise man Pro. 15. 1. as good as his word. That soft and gentle aunsweres and lowly demeanor, brea­keth anger.

There is no cause why any man should Esau his affe­ction. cal Esaus affection towardes his brother in question, before that the lord, which can turne the streams backwards, and checke God turneth al things at his wil. the raging of the sea, that it swel not aboue his pleasure, had mostified his heart, and brought him againe for a time to that na­tural [Page 59] loue of a brother, from which, other­whiles both before, and after he had verie barbarously degenerat. With so much the more admiratiō, let vs note this great al­teration: How God turneth the harts of the vngodly. A cruel enuious tirant to become gentle, and louing. But to whom: euen to him whom he purposed to murder. Before he came marching against him with four hundred men to destroy him & his: Now he runneth to him, that hee might preuent him with Brotherly greeting. Before he went to stretch foorth his hande to take him by the throte: now spredeth his arms abroad to embrace him. Before he would fal vpon him to kil him: & hee now falleth vpon his necke to kisse him. At the first, he wept for curst hart (like a woman) when he had lost his blessing, and afterwardes knitting his frowning browes against his brother (as the picture of enuy:) But now between sorrow, for their falling out, and ioy for their pure meeting and reconcile­ment, he falleth forth into weeping. The good na­ture of Esau was not of himselfe. The triumph of vertue o­uer vice.

And truely heere we haue to note, that this came not of the good nature that was in Esau, but was the onely working of the lord, & the triumph that vertue hath ouer vice: that wheresoever shee is most hated, [Page 60] there doth shee sometimes shew her selfe. And this is the great punishment, that God bringeth on the wicked: Euen as the Poet saith, Virtutem vt videant, intabes­cant (que) relicta. Virgil. That though they Ioue not vertue, nor cannot like to follow hir: Yet shal they pine away with a longing desire after hir. And this I am sure striketh deep Vertue woun­deth the con­science of the wicked. & woundeth the conscience of the wicked, that though they haue set their hartes as hard as an adamant stone, and made their faces, like flint to do al kinde of mischiefe: Yet God by his great mercy and grace, worketh throughout their consciences, mollifieth their harts to godlines: And so doth cause them to confesse sometimes that the way of vertue is best. As for example. There was neuer so unpure and dissolute an adulterer, but he hath said sometimes, The chast body is best. There was neuer so great, and cruel a murtherer, but some­times hee calleth to minde that God hath commanded him: Thou shalt do no mur­ther. Exo. 20. There was neuer so blasphemous, nor vile a swearer, but sometimes he hath treambled at gods maiesty. There was ne­uer man so proud, & ambitious, but some­times he remembreth that he is but dust, & [Page 61] ashes. There was neuer such an vsurer, nor couetous wretch, but sōtimes he thin­keth his Gold & siluer shal canker, and Ia. 5. 2. the rust of it, shall bee a witnesse against him. There was neuer so riotous a per­son, sumptuous, & prodigal, but sometime he condemneth his own doing, and saieth with the prophet Dauid, Psa. 37. 12. The vnrighte­ous man boroweth & paieth not again. What should we say more: For as it is in a wicked life, euen so likewise in a corrupt religion. Trueth that is strongest, Trueth in re­ligion forceth the papists to confesse hir. Merites. and o­uercommeth all, in religion forceth the e­nemy to confesse hir. For their was neuer papist, that so magnisted merits, and tal­ked of his workes of supererogations, but sometimes in his conscience he wold sure­ly confesse, That when he had don al, Luk. 16. 17. yet he was vnprofitable. There was neuer any so great an enemie to faith, but when his conscience was touched with the grief of sinne, hee would crie aloud, Faith alone doth iustifie. There was neuer papist Faith a lone iustifieth. Fleshly wor­shippings. (I am sure) yet so dronkē, that made so much of al his fleshly worshippings, of organs, & singing, of altar, and altar clothes, of fran­kencense, sweete smelling sauor, of ban­ners, and streamers, of goodly tunes and [Page 62] melodies, of siluer crosses, & chalices, but he hath said sometime: Who requireth Esai. 16. 12. Ioh. 4. 13. these things at our hands? The true wor­shippers do worship in spirit and verity. There was neuer papist, in so deep a sleep of pardons, and purgatorie, but hee hath Pardons, and Purgatorie. surely said, such weak engines can break down, but paper walles: And such colde water, can quench but painted fiers.

There was neuer Pope, nor generall General counsailes. councel so desperately bent to set vp wor­shipping of Images, but their own harts haue often cried within them: They haue Psal 115. 5. Images. mouthes, and speake not, they haue eies and see not, they haue eares and heare not, they haue noses and smell not, they haue hands and handle not, they haue feete and walke not. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worshippe them. There was neuer papist so blinded Papistical su­perstitious Transubstan­tiation. wt the great absurdity of transubstātiatiō, but some times seing the wine in the Cha­lice, he hath vin afraid to say, By this, & by nothing els, let my sins be washed: & see­ing the cake in the priests hands, Thou a­lone hast redeemed me, & alone by thee I look to be saued. This much we haue spo­ken to that intēt, we may see the working [Page 63] of the lord in the hearts of al his enimies. Refuse him, how they wil in life, or religi­on, Papists doe striue against God and his word. they carry day and night, a witnes in their brests against themselues, that they rebel & striue not against flesh, & blood, but against God, and the trueth of his word.

Truly so may we see how god wrought in the hart of Esau, howsoever men talke of the force of nature. We cannot impute it to any thing, but to the miraculus doing of the lord: Who, though we be in the bot­tome of the sea, can command the water, Esai 45. 15. that it shal not drown vs. And, though we Hos. 2. 18. go through the fire, can keep vs from bur­ning. To this purpose speaketh the Pro­phet in the person of God: I will make a couenāt for them with the wild beasts, Hos. 2. 18. and with the fowles of heauen, and that which creepeth on the earth, and I will break the bow, and the sworde, and the battel out of the earth. And if he haue ta­kē an oth of his domb creatures, that they shal not do his chosen harme, much more shal he incline the hart of one man to be lo­uing towards another. Notwithstanding, Esaus gentle­nes was but a violent moti­on. this was but a violent motion of Esau, & therefore endured not. For afterwardes be slang away from his brother, and the [Page 64] spirit of enuy returned vnto him, and pos­sessed Gen. 36. Math. 12. 45. him as before. It is nothing there­fore, that many fond worldlings bost thē ­selues (if they haue but one sparcke of hu­manity) seeing they are caryed about like waterles clouds, and haue no continuance The wicked continew not in goodnes. in that which is good.

When Dauid both by word & deed, had witnessed his innocency towards Saul, At 1. Sam. 24. 17. Dauids inno­cencie to­wards Saul. what time he let him escape aliue out of the caue of Engeddi, only cutting off the lap of his coat: the enuious tyrant, which persecuted him, being conuinced by open Saul weepeth for his iniury don to Dauid. testimonies of his iniurie, lift vp his voice & wept, acknowledging his fault, which sought after blood without a cause. Such is the power of Gods spirit, which expres­seth it selfe in the Godly, that the wicked many times are ouercom by their vertues, whom they hate to death. Esau by al like­lihood supposed (for such is the maner of the wicked to thinke al men like affected The wicked think al men like to them­selues. to themselues) that Iacob presuming vpō his fathers blessing, would haue behaued himselfe stoutly, and disdainfully towards him; and therefore he prepared to encoun­ter with him. But when he drew neer and perceaued his humility, hee was enforced [Page 65] with tears to run, and embrace him. And How we must deale with the froward. learn we here, to deale with the frowarde discreetly. For, the maintenance of chri­stian concord, what greater foyson coulde Iacob haue of his humble, & lowly minde: his desire was only to escape aliue, out of the handes of his brother: but the lord did more for him thē he desired. Behold Esau, in what taking he is, he rūneth, he embra­ceth, & he weepeth. But how now Esau: The perplexi­ty that Esau was in. how cōmeth this to passe, that you are so kind vpon the sudden: Is this you, which a little before was ready to burst with en­uie? I perceaue, it is the lord, that keepeth the keies of al harts, he openeth and The lord kee­peth the harts of al men to doe gods pleasure. Gen. 30. 26. shut­teth at his plesure. This roas the blessing, that alitle earst, god gaue to Iacob, Thy name shalbe caled Iacob no more, but Isra­el: because thou hast had power with god, thou shalt also preuaile with mē. And now you see, he preuaileth with his brother so mightily, that a hart of flint is turned into A field wonne without bloudshed. a hart of flesh. The glorie of a field wonne by shedding of blood, had not bene compa­rable to the triumph of this victory, this was indeed to preuaile with men. So tru­ly said our sauiour: When all thinges are Mar. 13. 31. turned topsie turuie: yet the word shall [Page 66] not fail, but be accomplished.

But to returne a little to the vnstable­nes God maketh the wicked instruments to worke his pleasure. of Esau, we see how the lord can make the wicked, instruments to work his plea­sure, maugre their beards, though in their own kind they set vp their vristles against him. Esau sheweth himself wonderful cur­teous Esau curteous to Iacob. Nu. 40. 18 20. Esaus posteri­ty molesteth Iacobs chil­dren. to Iacob, but his posterity would giue his children no passage in time of their miserie. Wherein it appeareth, that he had rather suborued them to malice, than erhorted them to peace with his bro­ther. The egyptians which lent to the Is­raelits (by Gods working) their Jewels, & their Exo. 12. 35 30. The ouer­throw of the Egyptians. raiment, within a while after, God hardned their harts, were turned against them to pursue them, till the Lorde ouer­threw them in the midst of the sea.

The same people which would haue made christ a king, & which strowed their Ioh. 6 15. garmentes in the way when christ passed through the streets, and greeted him with Hosanna: the selfe same people, within a Mark. 12. 8 9. short time after, were ready to stone him to death, and cried, Crucifie him, Cruci­fie Io. 10. 31. him, which had neuer offended them. Thus the inconstancy of the wicked be­traieth The vncon­stancie of the wicked. it selfe: they think they haue doone [Page 67] God high seruice, when they haue left one or two shewes of Christianitie, though they return to their vomit. But wee haue not so learned christ Jesus: Esau hateth, Esau loueth, and Esau hateth againe. Ne­uertheles, although that the confidence, The friend­ship of the vn­godly is like the house of a spider. which is put in the friendship of the vn­godly be like the house of a Spider, yet herein the louing prouidence of god shew­eth it selfe, when he giueth poore Iacob a time of intermission from his tribulati­ons and persecutions. And his name is so much the more to bee glorified in this, be­cause where Iacob looked for nothing, but thistles, he gathered sigs: & when the dan­ger was most dreadful, the lord as it were The lord doth work by impossibili­ties. vpon impossibilities, that the knowledge of his power might be grauen more deep­ly in our brests, replenished his hart with ioy, and gladnes. And that their condem­nation may be iust, to whom be giucth no grace to beleeue.

After that the Jewes had beene three­score and ten yeares prisoners vnder the Psa. 126. 4. Dauids praier for the Iewes. king of Babel, the Prophet praieth, That the lord would bring again their capti­uity, as the riuers in the fourth: Shewing that he which maketh waters to flow so [Page 68] abundantly, in baren and dry places of the wildernes, which to vs seemeth vnpossi­ble, was also able to deliuer his people from the bondage of their enemies. Oh We must fear the lord with a holy feare. that we feared the lord with a holy feare, and that wee were right humble before him like Iacob. Then shoulde Esau haue no power to hurt vs, though we were as a brand, halfe burned: yet should the Lorde pluck vs out of the fire, and make vs grow When we thinke god far off, he is most nigh to vs. to the bignes of a forrest. Then, then shuld al the creatures of god crie truce with vs, when we do not deny the power of godli­nes, to be of one, and true religion, profes­sing christ rightly and his Gospel, exten­ding We must haue truce with al men. the same by our Godly life and con­uersation, and to become as members of one body, whereof Christ is head. And as saint Paul did write this doctrine to the We must al be members of one body. 1. Cor. 12. 12. Corinthians: Euen so he speaketh to vs of England. As the body (saith he) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being ma­ny, are one body: euen so is Christ also. The church of England as one hath ma­ny members. This body of Christ his Church in Eng­land is one, and hath many parts, English men, Scotishmen, Dutchmen, Spaniards, Italiās, Noblemen, Ministers, Lawyers, [Page 69] Marchaunts, Farmors, Artificers, Labo­rers, and Poorfolke. And though they bee many, yet are they but one body, which by one spirit, are baptised into one fayth: Whether they bee Iewes or Grecians, bond or free, Englishmen or any other of the afore named.

If al were Nobles, where were then the If we were all of one vocati­on, there were no common wealth. Preachers: If al were Preachers, where were then the Lawiers? If al were Law­yers, where were then the Merchants? If al were Merchants, where were then the farmors, the poor and the laborers? One of these cannot saie to another, we neede you not, least there should be diuision in the body.

Noble-men, Gentle-men, & Lawiers should not say, these Ministers haue too We must not despise one a­nother. much, they keepe no hospitality, they nei­ther preach, nor take paines after they haue gotten liuing, they eat of the milke, Idle ministers & Preacher's reproued. & cloth thēselues wt the wool, they become too couetous, not seeking to feede the flock of christ whom they haue charge of.

Ministers & Lawyers, & others should Vngodlie and vnbrotherlie crueltie. not say, many of these great men, & gentle men, their partners & seruants, doe take away, & withold many mens freeholdes, [Page 70] Coppyholdes, and Leases, goods, and chattailes at their pleasure. Take away goods by sea of Englishmen and others, Papists and Protestantes, such as come next to hand. They maintaine & set forth Backward pa­pistes in reli­gion. Such as are of no religion. such as are backwardes in religion, and looke euery day for Mariana tempora. They are of Esaus decinue, making no accompt of religion: all is one to them, if they serue their present turne.

Noblemen, Ministers & others should not say of the Judges, and Lawiers, that they do nothing but talke, and take mony, defēd bad causes for mony, peruert iudge­ment Lawes wre­sted by crafty Lawiers for lucre-sake. & iustice, for rewards, make Lawes doubtful, that they may expound them as they wil: & picke holes in good Lawes, to make strife, & debate; for increase of gaine and lucre. Rich men should not saie of The riche ought not to reuile the poore. The poore ought not to speake all of the rich. poore men, they be idle persons, Roages, Uagabondes, Darlotes, burne them in the care, hang thē. Nor poore men should not say of Rich men, these Cluttons doe nothing but eat and drink, they haue ma­ny farmes, many Lordshippes, many hou­ses, their hawkes, and their houndes, they spend more thā many a good body. They take such great fines, and rents. They [Page 71] spare themselues and their friends, and so wring the poore subiect in subsidies, tares, and such like paimentes: that they bee forced to liue miserably.

Though faults be faults, and neuer Faultes to be corrected in subiects. Freedome of speach dan­gerous to reli­gion and go­uernment. so true, in respect both to be spoken of, and corrected in subiectes of any degree, by loue and charity: Yet this late freedome of speeches at tables, and such other pri­uate places tuching the states, may grow dangerous to religion & gouernment.

And surely euen as that famous Demosthenes oration to the Athenians. Dra­tor Demosthenes did say in an oration to the Athenians, When the field is lost, the Captaines blame the souldiers, and the souldiers the Captains; the foreward, the rereward: and the Battell, the winges. But if euery one that blameth his fellow We reproue others when we are most blame-wor­thie our selues. had doone his owne dutie, all had beene wel. And so if such Noblemen, Gentle­men, & others, as blame Ministers, Prea­chers, & Lawiers: such Merchantes and farmors, as blame Noblemen, Gentle­men & others: and such rich as blame the Euery man must doe his owne dutie. There are many godly and vertuous poore in England, would euery one doe his own dutie, al would be soone wel. For God be praised for it, there be many good Noblemen, and Gentlemen, many lear­ned [Page 72] and godly Preachers, many zealous of all vocati­ons, God bee praised. The godly being ioyned together in a­mity, the wic­ked cannot hurt them. and vertuous Lawiers, Merchants, Far­mors, and others; the which if they would throughly agree togither, and helpe one another in their vocations, and callings, all Esaus Canonists & Traditionaries, & other had persons of ech degree, would soone either be reformed, or driuen away, allothed and oppressed should be at liber­berty, superstitious A Egypt would bee religious Iuda, the ruinous walles of the Church would glister with the Law and the Gospel, Iacob and his familie should haue a free and quiet trauell to Bethel, the people of God woulde bee brought againe from Ephraim to Beersaba, from vice and error, to the vertue and trueth of the Lorde God of our fathers, the Apo­siles of Christ, and his blessed Martyrs.

But alas, the postes of Christian con­cord The postes of Christian concord de­faced. and amity, be digged vp, the rayles broken, and the pales carried away. So that poore Iacob, and his family, are in great daunger. Esau commeth against them with 400 men. So that it is not for Matth. 6. 22. naught, that Christ saith, The light of the body is the eie, then it is not hard to dis­cerne by the strangenes of our steps, the [Page 73] blindnes of eurcies. For if our eies were Hippocrites say they Ioue the lord, and hate their brother. single, I meane if wee were not hippo­crits, we wold not say, we loued the lord, & pet hate our brother: Neither would wee fil the mouths of our enemies with laugh­ter, with this woful dissipation, in which we are diuided against our selues.

The death of Saul and Ionathas was 1. Reg. 31. 5. 2. Reg. 1. 20. Dauid his sor­rowful song for Saul and Ionathas. the ioie of the vncircumcised Philistines. Wherefore Dauid sang sorowfully: Tel it not in Gath, nor publish it in the streets of Ascalon, least the Daughters of the Philistines reioice, least the Daughters of these vncircumcised triumph. And what shal we say? Is it not nough that we haue changed the couenant of our God, The enemies of christ laugh his gospel to scorne. 1. Cor 3. 3. Saint Paul re­buketh the Corinthians for dissenu­ons. Mark. 3. 24. vulesse wee make the enemies of Christs crosse to laugh his gospel to skorn? Saint Paul when he hard of contentions among the Corinthians, asked them earnestlie thereupon: Are yee not carnal? and it is ve­hemently to be feared, seing that eur con­trouersies haue passed the bands of chari­ty, least we also be carnal. And it must bee true that Christ saieth, Omne regnum in se diuisum desolabitur. Euery gouern­ment diuided within it selfe shalbe ouer­thrown. Iacob and Esau run together and [Page 72] [...] [Page 73] [...] [Page 74] meet one another, louingly. But we with al the rancor of our vnquiet hearts which boile ouer to the offence of many, run a sil­der: one sort giueth no place to the trueth, another Our abuses declared. raiseth slanders to strengthen the wrestes of discord to our shames (we may speak it) the peace of the church is broken. Iacob & Esau embrace one another, but we disgrace one another, reioising in their How we back­bite one ano­ther. transgression, ouer whom we haue power to insult. Iacob & Esau kisse one an other, but we kick one another. They weepe one vpon anothers neck, but one of vs scorn a­nother behind his back. And now I pray you tel me: Is this the fruit of christiani­ty? Is this the meed of 28. yeers labor, to make the sun a witnes against vs, by suffe­ring The Sunne a witnes against our wicked­nes. Eph. 4. 26. Gal. 5. 15. Enme causeth vs to be con­sumed one of another. Mat. 6. 12. How we do a­buse the lords praier. it to goe down vpon our wrath?

Let vs take heede (being warned of the holy ghost) lest while we bite one another, we be cōsumed one of another. If we seek not to haue peace with all men (as much as in vs lieth) our daily praier is that gods vēgeāce may light vpō vs: seeing that for­giuenes of sins we craue of the lord, is ac­cording to the proportiō of the forgiuenes, which we extend to thē yt haue offended vs.

If therefore wee haue any bowels of [Page 75] compassion in vs, if there bee any spark of charity raked vp in the ymbers of any Phi. 2. 1. re­ligion towards God, any loialty towards his church, or any christian sobriety, tem­perance or lowlines in our selues, let vs now crie truce, let vs meet togither in cha­rity, let vs embrace togither in godly We must now cry truce and be in loue and charitie with al men. vni­ty, let vs meete together in true peniten­cy: Let vs all (as one man) returne to the lord, that he may turne to vs, & remember our wickednes no longer.

The lord in the treasures of his rich We must pray for al magi­strates. mer­cy make the day star to shine bright in the barts of the magistrats, & shape the harts of the people to al godly obediēce, that Ia­cobs wrongs may be righted, & the tyran­ny of Esau may bee suppressed: that the fa­mily of Iacob may be discreetly disposed, We must pray for the con­cord & vnity of the church. that his christian courage may not be aba­ted, that his deuotion & humility may be sound & perfect, that his godly attonemēt may be accomplished. So that a christian concord being wrought in al sincerity and simplicity, of Gods eternal tesTament, we al (as many as purpose to lift vp pure hāds without wrath or douting) may one with another run with patience to the eternall throne of grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

A PRAYER AGAINST the enimies of the Church of Christ, vnder the borowed name or speach of IACOB.

O Eternal God and most mightie shephcard of Is­raell, which commandest Ia­cob thy Ge. 31. 3. seruant to return out of Mesopotamia to Bethel the land of his fathers, and to his kindred, promising to be with him, and that hee should pre­uaile Ge. 32. 8. with men: the which thy commaundement he obeing, diddest according to that thy promise cause him to preuaile with Esau his Brother, who came against him with foure hūndred men, thinking to haue ouerrunne him & his family. [Page] But thou hauing the keies of all hearts to open, and shut at thy pleasure, doest miracu­lously, and as it were by im­possibilities make the stonie hart of the most cruell, to be­come a heart of flesh, and the wicked to do thy wil: we ther­fore thy seruants, O thou god of Bethel, do lift vp our eies to the throne of thy maiesty with an holy feare & faithful harts, most humbly beseeching thee to look down with thy merci­ful eies vpon Iacob (we mean thy Church) that that excom­municat & Antichristian Reuc. 9. 10. 11. Esau (we mean the pope) that foule dragon Abaddon with his lo­custes, [Page] Traditionaries, Symo­nistes, and domb dogs, and al idle hierlings which are care­les of thy family, may be roo­ted out of thy vineyeard, who go about and practise by all possible means to deface and hinder the proceedings of Ia­cob & of thy faithfull seruant, our gratious Quene Eliza­beth, whom thou hast sette to gouern and raigne ouer vs, to set forth & maintain the prea­ching of the gospel of thy son Christ Iesus, & to place in the roumes of Godlie Pastours, dumb dogs, Traditionaries, Esai. 56. 20. and idle hirelings, which shall seek to fil their bellies, & not [Page] caring to feede the beloued flock of thy son Christ, whom he hath so deerely redeemed, with his own precious blood: & also to break in sunder the vnity, and concord of thy ca­tholick church, and this com­mon wealth, which the godlie learned compare to a defece, about which there be postes, pales, and railes, that so long as they be fastened the one to the other, so long they keep in & out all things accordingsly: but if any of them be pulled a­way or broken down, the rest are more easier to bee ouer­thrown: So that the wild boar Psal. 70. 13. of the wood, and beasts of the [Page] fielde maie haue their waie to root it vp, and eat the grapes of the vineyeard. Power out therefore, O omnipotet god, vpon thine elect, that as mem­bers of one bodie, whereof christ is the head, we may pro­fesse 1. Cor. 3. one true faith and religi­on agreeable to thy most ho­ly words, hauing pityiful harts towards poorlacob, yea & to our own soules, we maie also with Iacobs humilitie, simpli­city, and vprightnes of spirits rack our powers to the high­est pin for the aduancement of the glory of god. To whom bee all honor and praise both now and euer.


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