A comfortable trea­tise vpon the latter part of the fourth chapiter of the first Epistle of Saint PETER, from the twelfe verse to the ende. By O. PIGGE.

1. Cor. 49.
¶I thinke that God hath set foorth vs the last Apostles, as men appointed to death: for we are made a gasing stock vnto the world and to Angels, and to men.
1. Peter. 4. 15.
Let none of you suffer as a murtherer, or as a thiefe, or an euill doer, or as a busibodie in other mens matters.

Seene and alowed.

AT LONDON. Printed by Robert Walde-graue, fot Iohn Harison the yonger, and Thomas Man. 1582.

TO THE RELIGIOVS AND VERY worshipful knightes, Sir ROBERT IERMYN of Rushbrooke, and Sir IOHN HEIGHAM of Baroe, in the countie of Suffolke: Grace and peace be mul­tiplied from God our heauenly Father, and from our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christe.

YOVR worships remember, that at the beginning of the last newe yere, I presented to you in wrighting, that which the Lorde a little before, had giuen me to speake, in two short Ser­mons at BURI [...], adding not muche to that which was then vttered, as the diligent hearer of me can te­stifie. The reason of my so doing I alledged (as the trueth was:) that I might haue somevvhat (according to the maner of that time) vvherewith to testifie the good affection vvhich of duty I owe vnto you both: as vvel for the manifold blessings, vvhich the church of God and the common wealth in these partes of Suffolke, enioyeth by your meanes: as for your care for my particuler safetie, and for the great comfort which by you, from time to time, I haue had sithence my comming into this countrie. The Lord register them in his booke, that they may come into your good accounts in the day of his sonne. And because it pleased you then, to giue such liking of the treatise, that both of you desired to reteine the coppie, and requested the same at my hands, vvherof also I made promise: the best vvay for the performance of this, I supposed vvas the putting of it in print: which I was the rather contented to do, because the matter deli­uered in it, beeing neces [...]arie to be taught & belee­ued, [Page] I hoped might be profitable and comfortable to others: vvhich also vvas the iudgement of some god­lie and learned men that reade it ouer. My purpose when I preached of the text, was to sturre vp my self and the hearers, to beare patiently, comfortablie, and profitablie al afflictions that might fal out for a good conscience sake: my purpose in sending it a broade, and in making it more common to the churche of God, is the same. The doctrine is necessarie to pre­pare vs for those times of trouble, which the abusing of our peace, the contempt of the gospell, the euill handling of the ministers, & the infinite abhomina­tions of the land, haue most iustly deserued. accor­ding also as vve haue these many yeares beene vvar­ned and threatned, not only by our prophets & tea­chers, but also by fearefnll signes in heauen & earth, that fortesl vnto vs further euils, vnlesse in time from the highest to the lovvest vve repent, take a better course, and turne from our disobedience. Yea, in re­spect of the time present, this argument is not alto­geather vnnecessary: for although we haue iust cause dayly vpon our knees, to praise God for her maiesty, the most honourable of her counsell, and the rest of the gouerners in the Churche & common wealth: by whose gracious meanes wee haue good lawes e­stablished & executed, for the liberty of true religi­on, & for the comfort and incouragement of such as meane well: yet wee see howe in euerye place where the worde is taught: cold protestantes, earthly minded men, papistes and Athiests, seeke & deuise all possible meanes they can, to hinder the course of the gospell, and to disquiet the preachers & professours, which oppose them selues againste their corruptions, and refuse to ioyne with them in their disorders. A matter too to vsual in these euil dayes, [Page] as the faythfull seruants of God knowe, and in ma­ny places finde true by miserable experience If the preachers in any towne be carefull to do their duty, what quarrelles doe wicked men pick, to stop their mouths, weary them, and to driue them away? and if any of the flocke take part with their teachers, and professe obedience to the trueth, they want no euill words, frovvning lookes, and hard practises againste them, from popish, vvorldly, & irreligious men. The practises of our country of Suffolke, (to let pas [...]e o­ther parts of the lande) witnes this to be true, & cry alowde for vengeance in the eares of the Lorde of hostes, as your vvorships very vvell know. VVe haue many godly, learned, wise, faithful, & painful pastors, I suppose that diuers Counties of the Realme being put together, can scarse afforde so greate a numbe [...]. They teache the trueth of God, vvith all manner so dutifulnes and holy loialty to her maiesty and the state, they be carefull to liue vvell to the vttermoste of their povver: and the Lorde be thanked, that hath giuen them some good measnre of grace, in that be­halfe. They lacke not countenance, comfort, and re­liefe, from the honorable and worshipful in the commission of peace for the shire, so farre as they maye with a good conscience, and according to the lawes of our most gracious souereigne. VVee prayse God therefore, and thinke our selues bound to pray daily for you all. But I pray you, what impes hath Sa­than sturred vp amongst vs, almost in euery Towne vvhere the vvorde is preached, to hinder this vvorke of the Lorde? hath there bene any vvay vnattemp­ted, to shake some of the preachers, and in them, no dout al the rest? They vvhich seeme to make any ac­count of the teachers, and to professe more holinesse then others, (though alas not so much as they should [Page] doe) escape not the vennom of poisoned tongues. The pore people here and there in the country, that be more carefull then the rest, to resort to sermons, to heare the vvoorde, learne their dutie, and vvith a good conscience to discharge such duties as by oth, are layd vpon them, bee not vvithout their crosses. Some (by the malice of naughty insufficient mini­sters, & other vntovvarde men), to redeeme peace, glad to leaue the tovvn vvhere they dvvelled: Others frovvned vpon, for doing othervvise, then their su­perstitious landlordes doe, & vvould haue them: O­thers maliced for indicting, and complaining of pa­pists & other vvicked men, for not resorting to the church, not comming to the Communion, and for misusing of the prechers, & some molested one way, and some another. And this I speak not of any thing done, by any magistrate or gouernour in the church or common vveale: let no man take me so: but by vvicked papistes and godlesse persons that be scatte­red abroade in the counrry, as Goates among the sheepe, and darnell among good corne. VVho con­trary to the lavves, peace, Crovvne, & dignity of her highnesse and the kingdome, purpose and practise mi [...]chife and violence, sometime couertly, and som­times openly, against suche as mean most faythfully to God, and their Counrrye, and desire to take that course in euersy thing, that might bee acceptable to him, that shall iudge the quick & the dead. VVe haue good cause to pray continually for the long preser­uation of our renouned princes Elizabeth our grati­ous Mother and N [...]sse, vnder the shadow of vvhose vvinges (as of the Lorde [...] annointed) by the meanes of her good lavves and Lie [...]etenauntes, in her ovvne courte and in the country, there is reliefe for all the good people of the land, against such vexati­ons of the vvicked. Othervvise assuredly it should go [Page] hard, vvith them, that of all others ought most to be made off: because the deuill vvill not cease to sturre vp enemies against them. For the instruction & comfort of such as be any vvay troubled for vvel doings, I confesse that I labour somvvhat in this litle booke. Praying the Christian reader, if hee reape any small good thereby, to giue the praise vnto God to whom only it is due: and to pray for me, that my selfe, (ac­cording to my need, either present or to come) may be partaker of the doctrine & comforts herein men­tioned. Concerning your good worships to vvhom I am so muche beholden: euen as openly and to the view of the country, you haue declared your readi­nes to further me, in my good and lavvfull causes, & (so much as in you haue liē) to restrain thē that haue soght to vex me vniustly & intēded my hurt: so haue I thought my self in duty bound, to giue forth some publike testimony of thankfulues to you. In regarde vvhereof, if it may please you to accept this my pore trauell, it is an especiall thing that I desire. I am bold to ioine you both in one: because the Lord hath knit you fast together, not only by the bond of kindred & perfect friendship: but also in care of my good e­state, & that vvhich is principall, in an holy desire to further true religiō, & to procure the peace, vvelfare, and prosperity of the prince, and the country vvhere you dvvel. The Lorde increase in you all his graces, that being zealous according to knovveledge, you may become yet more glorious instruments for the furthering of his kingdom, & may go forvvard in the profession of his gospell euen vnto the ende, to his immortall prayse, the sturring vp of manye other knightes and gentlemen, to be of this your christian order, in the true obedience of Gods vvord: & to the euerlasting saluatiō of your souls in the life to come: [Page] vvhich graces in like manner I praye him to povvre dovvne from heauen, vpon the right vvorshipful the Ladies of both your houses, vpon your children, and all your company for Iesus Christes sake, our only & omnipotent Sauiour. Amen.

At London this sixt day of April. 1582. the day vvherein the great & fearfull Earthquake vvas tvvo yeares before: a day to bee called to oure remem­braunce, because, of the greatest number, so rare and terrible a thing is quite forgotten, and so certeine a forerunner of other iudgements, is not regarded.

Your worships in the Lord OLIVER PIGGE.

To the Christian Reader, Grace and peace from God the father by Iesus Christ, sealed by the spirite of adoption, till he haue assuraunce of euerlasting life in him. Amen.

HOwe necessary bookes of such like ar­guments, as this, (by the godly labour of our faithful and painful brother, now published to the profite of many) are, I need no [...] long to stand vpon, and to de­clare: as well in respect of vs▪ that pro­fesse the gospell, in these breathing dayes, muche forget­ting our selues, though we lacke not diuers crosses to put vs in remembraunce, and to awaken vs, as in respect of of oure enemies, who of late haue more threatned, and blustered out against vs, then in many years before, crying out of persecution when they suffer not for Christ, or for any his causes: but against him, laboring thēselues to death to ouerthrow his kingdome, (which though they burst, they shall neuer (I am sure) be able to do) & vndermining his ministers most disloyally: whom he hath placed in that highest authoritie, to execute his owne iust iudgements a­gainst them. It is wonder to heare what complaints they make of persecution & Tyranny, when for their iust de­serts they receiue the punishment due to their treasons, conspiracies, and rebellions. They laye vs on, and yet they crye out against vs, they complain of persecution, & yet them selues are the persecutours, that set themselues agaynst the seruauntes of the Lorde, in all ages, against his faithful minnisters & against al professors, & which is most lamentable againste the holy trueth of God, yea, againste [Page] God himselfe, to whome they owe all duetie and reue­rence. But alacke this is a thing common together with them and all other heretikes, that when they haue no truth at all, yet they must pretend some, and though they can neuer iustifie their cause, they muste at least a [...]euer it, as though they possessed it, and face vs out, to shroud their idolatrous abhominations and curssed corruptions that they maynteine and stand for, to their vtter destruction. There cannot be a Traitor nowadayes executed accor­ding to his demerits, (but fauouring their superstition, which indeede is alwayes ioined with treason, to shake the seate of our gracious soueraigne,August. de Donatist. cap. 7. 8. and to ouerthrow a­ny state else wheresoeuer they liue) but by and by, they take him vp and make him a martir. So did the Donatists as Aug [...]stine witnesseth: to whom we must make the same answere, that he did to them. They are true martyrs, of whome the Lord sayth: Blessed are they that suffer perse­cution for righteousnesse sake. They must not su [...]fer for i­niquity, & for the wicked rending of Christian vnity: but they that suffer for righteousnes, they are the true martyrs in deede. If therefore they endure any thing at our hands, they may thanke their owne vnquiet and hamering heads that like (Moules, are alwaies heauing in their dark pathes to marre the Lords vineyard) & to ouerthrow the gracious worke of the Gospell, which God will haue to proceede, Maugre their heads, when they haue vsed all their treaso­nable practises they can against it. Neither shall the perse­cution of Agar, (if it may bee called a persecution rather then a correction) be compared to that of Dauid, nor that of the theeues to our sauiour Christes, whom though the suffering made one, yet the cause did seperate. They crye out of persecution, and fo [...]ste out their traiterous bookes like wildfire, that they might set al on fire [...]make a h [...]rly burly, and so open some way to their further de­uised mischiefe:In their late booke of eng­lish persecu­tion. They alleadge examples of parti [...]ular iudgments, against particuler persons, sarced with as ma­ny vntruths, as their books are▪ no [...] with leaues, but almost with lines: when yet they will not see that if any offence haue bene committed on our partes it hath bene in this that they haue bene to much borne with. For we appeal [Page] to themselues that haue any modesty in them, whether e­uer prince or state, where the Gospell onely is professed and mainteined (as it ought to be) by the lawes of the lande, did euer suffer or beare so much with them, as our gracious prince and state hath done, no doubt of a good purpose to winne them, & to reclaime them to the trueth howsoeuer nowe they maye learne at length by experi­ [...]nce to take better heede of them, seeing they are incorri­gible and hate to be reformed. Howe long did shee keep [...] her royall sword within her scabbard, vntouched with any bloud? Surely till they had like (if God of his gracious goodnes had not preserued her maiestye) to haue set her both beside seate, swotd, scepter and all: and if their diue­lish practises coulde haue taken place by rebellion at home, or treason abroade, to layd her full low, and to haue brought vs againe vnder the [...]r cruel & vnsupportable yoke of their Egyptiacall bondage: From the which, the Lorde for his mercy sake deliuer vs. If they count it therfore any persecution, it is a iust persecution against the enemies of God, against the enemies of our state and Country. It is also done in loue, to draw them from iniquitie, to reduce them from errour, & for the safegard of the whole polli­tique body. I will not speake of their persecutions, & hor­rible butcheries from time to time: God shall giue better opportunity one day and in another place. But I beseeche thee (good Christian reader) marke what is deliuered con­cerning persecution in this booke, then thou shalt both [...] learne what it is, and vpon whose backes it is like to light, if they will be like him who is entred by the same gate be­fore vs. Neither let vs be discouraged, though it be in deed our portion. For it shalbe a token vnto vs of our saluation, but vnto them who are persecuters of perdition and de­struction. The reason is because Christ the Capitaine & fi­nisher of our battell is with vs, and hath troade the pathe before vs, vvith vvhome as long as vvee suffer, let the ys­sues be neuer so hard, vve can not quaile nor perish. Hee hath forevvarned vs, to looke for them. They come not by chaunce but by his appointment. They are for our good and the cause being iust and Gods, according to his vvill and for the holding out of his excellent glory, though [...] [Page] vve d [...]e for it vve shal be most happy. Our aduersaries vn­derstand not th [...]s, and therefore they smite they care not where nor whome, but a time shall come, they shall see whom they haue smitten, & tremble before him, for feare of his iudgements. Be therfore of good comfort, & reioice, O al the Saints of God, though we passe thorow this wret­ched vale, in contempt and misery, in heauines, and sorrow with mourning and teares, with lacke of liberty, & com­modity, that many vsurpers enioy: yet a day shall come of an aboundant haruest where we shall sit vpon the seates of glorie & be satisfied with it, when we shal be crowned with immortality, & shall see God, euen as he is. The trou­bles are short, though they be sharpe, and though they be many, yet they are light, in comparison of that eternall waight of glory. And you that are persecuters, whome the Lorde hath not giuen vtterly ouer. Take heede whom you strike. Thinke not to ouercome him whose power is infi­nite. God vvill raigne in despite of his enemies in the mid­dest of them. Looke vpon your olde predecessours what became of them. VVhere is Decius and Dioclesian, where is Valerius, Maximinianus and Maximius, where is Lucius, Iulianus & Aurelius? But you will say: these were ethnikes and persecuted Christians, surely so do you. You are chri­stians in name, but you deny the power thereof. You boast of the fa [...]th of your ancestours, but you deny the faith of Christe. You say you vvoulde not haue slaine the prophets, but your handes haue beene the first vppon those vvhome God hath styrred vp and sente amongste you? Are you not ashamed to boaste of the Truethe, and yet to to persecute poore Christians for it? You complayn of our harde lawes, of the seuerity of the punishment of treason, of the iniquitie of our ministers, of the hard estate of your falsenamed Catholiques that liue amongst vs: of their in­famye after their death, of the contumelies they suffer in their life, yea when they are taken at their Masse how they are brought forth in their Pageant apparrel, and what re­uell is kept vvith your breaden Idoll: ye complayne of our prisons, and shevv the hardnes of our Iaylors, at London, at Yorke & in other places. Mystresse Tomson. Master Di­mock and others are still in your bookes, as though they [Page] had receiued great vvrongs Thus you kick & flyng as vn­tamed heifers ye care not where, sparing neither noble nor vnnoble, that might once by any occurrent, come to your intelligence: but al this while you speak not a vvord, to the proore of it, vvhereupon the proofe lieth. For in respect of the cause, yours is false & ours true, ours the cause of Christ & yours the cause of Antichriste, vvee suffer for religion & you for treason. Agayne there is no comparison betvvixt that pun [...]shment layd vpon you, for your iust offences, and our persecution, laide vppon vs not for our sinnes, but for righteousnes sake. If vve haue layd a finger vpon you, you haue layd vpon vs an intollerable clog. If vve haue scour­ged you vvith father [...]y roddes for amendment:, you ha [...]e vvhipped vs vvith scorpions, vtterly to destroy vs: if vvee haue derided your superst [...]tion & brought out your priests, as they were playing their pageants, that the people might vvonder at their follies: you haue made vs spectacles (as much as lay in you) both to men and angels, and lastly vve haue vvith the trueth, pursued you, to bring you to the trueth, & so to God, but you vvith falsehoode haue perse­cuted vs to bring vs from the trueth to error, and so to the Deuill. You talke of orderly proceeding vvith vs, that we vvere tried in time past by order of Iustice, and disputed vvithall, that vvee might if vve vvoulde, see our ovvne vveaknesse &c I pray you in vvhose Courtes hath it bene most found, eyther in yours, vvhere all iustice vvas peruer­ted, or in ours, vvhere the trueth of Gods word guidingal; they haue beene taught the feare of God, and to doe as they vvould be done to: VVhere hath beene greater mur­thers, by disordered dealings then amongst you, vvithout all colour of lavv & iustice, killing them by vvhole multi­tudes, and sometimes some of youre ovvne profession for company, that you mighte enioy their ritches? vvhere hath priuate men beene more armed, to make dispatch of prin­ces that mighte stand in your vvay, then amongst youre selues? Your pope dispensing vvith the sinnes either they had already, or should aftervvardes commit: Example by that Caitife, that vppon his pardon vvoulde haue slaine the vvorthy Prince of Orange, had not God miraculously deliuered him? to hovv many such treasons, by poisoning [Page] and killing haue sundry beene sturred vp vvithout all pittye amongst you? Surely it is no maruell, that you shoulde novve pleade youre innocencie, vvhen all the vvorlde may knovve your vvicked & traiterous treche­ries, that vvill not vvillingly shut their eyes. But it maye bee, You thinke by some popishe vvitchery, to goe in uisi­ble, by hauing some of the Popes trumpery aboute you. But you deceiue youre selues, and so doth he vvhom you serue. Therefore repent, and turne to him, vvho is a­ble to saue your soules, Returne to Iesus Christe that high pastour, that suffering for trueth vvith him, you maye like­vvise bee glorified vvith him, othervvise hovvsoeuer you byte his heele vvith the Serpent, hee vvill bruse your head and in the end triumph ouer you. The Lorde Iesus san­ctifie all that are his, euen thoroughout both body, soul, and spirite, that vvee may bee kept blamelesse vnto his holy comming. Amen. Amen. the 27. day of this third moneth.

Thine assured in Christe Iohn Field.
1. Pet. 4. 12.‘Dearely beloued, think it not strange con­cerning the fiery triall, which is among you, as though some strange thing were come vnto you.’

IT appeareth by the dis­course of this epistle, that ye Christians to whome Peter wrote, were at that time in great persecution: whereup­pon, after other thinges handled before in this text, he commeth to giue them instruc­tions touching this matter, how they shold patiently [...]eare the crosse, and comfortably behaue themselues in the middest of their greatest afflictions. A point of doctrine not vnnecessary for vs at this time. For al­though by the great mercye of God, it fa­reth not with vs, as it did with the chur­ches then: Because we liue vnder a grati­ous prince that doth cherish and mainteine the trueth. Yet because our sinnes: be such, [Page] as doe iustly diserue the taking away of he [...] royall maiesty, and the restraint of pure re­ligion, I see no reason why the teachers should be charged not to take a good course in preparing the people before hande to bear such troubles, whensoeuer they should come, no more then our sauiour Christ was to be challenged. For telling his disciples so oft of his and their own persecutions be­fore they came, & arming of them againste the same. It is the practise of well ordered common wealthes, in the time of peace to teach their people the feates of warre. And each man that hath any care of himself and his country, when all things are most qui­et, doth neuerthelesse prouide such things in a redinesse, as may stand him in steed in y time of trouble. Euen so is it necessary, that in the peace of the gospell, we [...] be in­structed to bear afflictions for the sa [...]e: & when the trueth hath greatest liberty, we should continually looke for persecution, & therefore, by the precepts and comforts of the worde, be alwayes prepared to abide whatsoeuer may fal out. Which considera­tions haue moued mee at this present, to speake vnto you out of this scripture.

[Page] Thinke it not straunge concerning the fiery triall: In this first verse, he willeth the Christians, not to maruell at the perse­cution of the churche (which hee calleth by the name of fiery triall) as thoughe some strāge thing had happened. The last words seeme to bee set downe as a reason to per­swade that which he requireth. As though he should haue sayde on this wis: the trou­ble & affliction of the church or any mem­ber thereof, is no straunge thing, and ther­fore no reason why you shoulde maruel at it. For we maruell at such things onely, as doe seldome come to p [...]sse, and after an ex­traordinary maner: But if any thing come to passe often and ordinarily, that wee are not wont to maruell at, although in it selfe it be neuer so wonderfull. If we should see a horse flye in the ayre: if wee shoulde see great snowes in the middes of sommer: or a plentifull haruest in the middes of win­ter: behold iust occasions to make vs won­der, because these things seldome or neuer fall out, and the course of nature, the order set downe by God himselfe shoulde bee in­uerted. But to see a horse runne apace vpon the grounde, to see deepe [...]snowes in the [Page] middest of winter, and haruest in August or September, doth neuer cause wonder [...]ng or astonishment, although in deede they be most marueilous works of the Lord. Euen so persecutions and afflictions for righte­ousnes sake, beeing the ordinarye portion which from time to time the saints of God haue receiued in this worlde, there is no more cause why we should be amazed or a­stonished at that whensoeuer generally or particularly it falleth out, then at the snow in the winter, or haruest in the sommer. If we looke vnto the beginning, we shall see that Cain persecuted his own brother Abel: afterward Ismael Isaack, Esau Iacob. And when ye visible church began to be a great people (I mean ye Iewes:) the Egyptians first, & then al the nations round about, ben [...] their force against them. Among the Iews hypocrites, and naughty persons, of the kings, priestes▪ prophets, and people failed not to hold on the same course, in offering all manner of cruelty, to such as truely fea­red the Lorde, and zealously executed the functions in them committed, as the histo­ries of the scripture doe playnely witnesse. If we looke into the enterteinment of our [Page] sauiour Christe and his apostles in their time, it shall appeare to haue bene nothing better th [...]n the former. And that the like condition hath bene vpon the church euer sithence, it is knowne to such as haue read the stories. In so much as that complaint is most true, w [...]ich she maketh in the psal. They haue often times afflicted mee from my youth vp: Psa. 129. [...]. that is to say, euer sithence I had any being vpon the earth, mine enimies haue not ceassed to afflict me, & as it were to plowe deepe furrowes vpon my backe. You see then what we haue here to learne in the first place, namely not to be troubled at the persecutions which may happen to our selues, or any other the members of Christ, For the profession of his truth and doing of our duety, as though some strange thing were come to passe, seeing it is the ordinary course, which the wicked worlde (whose works are nought) taking their di­rection from their grandfather Caine, hath from time to time practised agaynste the church, and the ordinary way, by the which the Lord from age to age, hath lead all his children: to the verifiyng of that, which Paul and Barnabas preached wheresoeuer [Page] they came: Act. 14 22. Through many afflictions wee must enter into the kingdome of God.

And this being so, It behoueth vs, when wee first ioyne our selues to the churche of God, and enter into the profession of his trueth, with purpose to leade oure liues according thereunto: to sitte vs down, ac­cording to the counsel of our sauiour Christ & to make our account on this wise.Luk 14. 27. 28. 31. 32. Sure­ly I see that al flesh is grasse, and al things vnder the sunne are but vanity. The time will come when I must dye, and God hath appoynted a day wherein he will iudge all the worlde.Act. 17. 31. He hath prepared life and bles­sednesse for them that feare him, and ven­geance for them that knoweth him not, nor obey his gospell.2. Thes. 1. 8. I perceiue therefore it is necessary, that I care for the life to come, & prouide for the safety of my soul after deth. If I take the course of the world, I run to eternal destruction, If I embrace the word the only way vnto heauen & eternall life, I must make my ful reckoning of that which al the faithful professors therof haue tasted before me, I must prepare my backe for stripes, I must looke to bee euil spoken of, iested vpon, scorned at, to lose the fauour of those that bee mighty, to be cast in prison, [Page] lose my goodes, yea and my life also. For I see this is the estate of the true seruants of God in this worlde. Hee that shall thus debate the matter with him selfe, and with an heart careful of his owne saluation cal vpon God for his direction, wil soone be resolued with Moses, Heb. 11. 25. to chuse rather afflicti­tions with the people of God, then to enioy the pleasures of si [...]ne here for a short time. Moreouer when stormes arise, the windes b [...]ow, and the floods beare vpon his house: yt is, when troubles and persecutions come, he shal be able to beare them more patient­ly, and with greater comfort, sith in t [...]ueth he may say, I thought so: Loe, it is come to passe as I looked for long since. It is a common saying: euils that be thought vp­pon before doe hurt lesse when they come. Then they pearce vs deeply whē they come vpon vs at vnwares, and when wee neuer before suspected any such matter.Math. 16. 24. Therfore to couclude this poynt, sith the crosse is in: seperably ioyned to the profession of the trueth, let him that wil stand with comfort in the time of his trial, before hand make his reckoning and looke for no better. It followeth in the text.

[Page] Concerning the fiery triall, or triall by fire, the wordes do beare either. Now the apo­stle doth on this wise, terme the persecuti­ons of Gods children.Vers [...]. 7. According as hee doth before in the first chapter. The speech is metaphoricall or borrowed, signifying thus much: As fire trieth the pure golde, from that which is counterfait and naught, fining it, & moreouer burneth, wasteth & sun dreth yt drosse & rust from yt which is good, so troubles and afflictions for Christes sake, doe discerne the faythfull Christian from the hypocrite, and time seruer, and wasteth away the corruption of sinne that creepeth and stealeth in vppon the fayth­full in their peace and prosperity, making them more pure and fine to the Lord. For the first, there lurketh so great selfe loue & hipocrisie in vs, and there are so many de­ceitfull corners in our heartes, that it is a meruelious harde matter, to be vndoubted­ly persuaded in our consciences of our in­tegrity and vprightnesse to the Lord and his trueth, while the profession thereof is commanded by Princes, and hath coun­tenance, liberty, & profite wayting vpon it. For then how earnest soeuer wee seeme to [Page] be, peraduenture wee loue our selues, & not the Lord, & it is our own estimation & pre­ferment yt we seeke, & not the holding forth of the trueth with a pure conscience. Then in deed we know our selues, when we haue bene tried. And if in the middest of al temp­tations, we continue without fainting and turning back, we may be bold of our obediēce yt it is good, yt we be such as haue built our house vpō ye rock,Mat. 7. 24. 25. and yt neither heighth nor depth,Rom. 8. 38. 39. principalities nor power, life nor deth, things present or things to come, shal be able to seperate vs frō the loue of God. While our sauiour Christe was at liberty, Peter thought himself maruellous stout,Mat. 26. 33. he affirmed very confidently,Ioh. 18. 10. yt he would not shrink frō his maister, although all the rest should runne away: yea when the officers came to attach him, he drew out his sword, & smote of a seruaunt of the high priest his ear. But when ye matter came to ye pinch in deede, we knowe how all his courage was quailed, & the very speech of a damsell cau­sed him to abiure the sauiour of ye world, to whō he had before so earnestly vowed him self. By him wee may learne to suspect our selues, and our owne weaknesse, and not to imagine that wee bee without all feare [Page] of reuolting,Luk. 8. 13 because in the liberty & peace of the gospell wee make pro [...]ession of the same. The sandye grounde nourisheth his blade, so long as the weather continueth seasonable and calme, which neuerthelesse in hot and scorching wether, withereth and is vnprofitable. That onely we approue for good ground indeed, which in the extremity of heat, we haue seene bring forth the eares with full corne. Euen so, it is nothing in these daies to pro [...]esse the true religion, the same being commanded by the lawes, and countenanced by so many good means: but if for our sinnes God should take away the prince, if popery shold be established again, or a mingle māgle of religiō permitted as in France: then y true & faithful professors shold be easily discerned from the hypocrit and dissemvler. When all the enemies of Dauid were subdued round about, and the whole kingdome of Iudah approued him for their only and true souereigne, ther was no great trial of the fidelitie of his subiects But when Sheba the sonne of Bichri blew the Trumpet and sayd,1. Sam. 20. 1. 2 we haue no parte in Dauid, neither haue we inheritaunce in the sonne of Ishai, euery man to his tents [Page] O Israel. And this drew away great num­bers of the people to make an insurrection: Then such as in the middest of those rebels by word or practise, testified their subiecti­on to Dauid with the hazard of their estate, gaue vndoubted testimonies of their fideli­ty. We can not say for a truth, that al such be faythfull to her maiestie, whiche in this her great prosperity (wherein no enemye dare quech) seemeth so to be: they which in the dayes of Westmerland and Nort hum­berlaud, stoode vnto her in those partes of the North agaynst their Lordes to their daunger, were faythfull in deede, and the land might make a good reckoning of thē, in any other the like occasion. As therefore by suche meanes as these, loyall and true hearted subiectes to their prince be tried: so when troubles and persecutions arise for the word, they which be sincere & vpright in the feare of the Lord, be discerned from the counterfeite, whiche in their profession [...]aue sought nothing but their aduauntage [...]nd ease. And then in deed we haue put the church of God and our owne consciences out of al doubt concerning our entegritye, when in the middest of afflictions for the [Page] gospell sake, we haue continued with bold­nes to professe the same. We see therefore yt it is not without good cause, why persecu­tions be called a fiery trial. Now, euen this should teach vs, patiently & comfortably to endure al maner of crosses, for the trueth & a good conscience, sith yt our holding out in them, is a certein proofe yt our faith is good & our obedience such as will go for paimēt before the Lord. From whēce also we may vndoubtedly perswade our selues, that wee shal not faint when the like or greater dan­gers fall out. When we haue a case in law for any landes yt we claime, we are glad to haue our euidences examined, whether they be good or no, before we come to the pinch: & if we haue golde lye by vs, yt we occupy not, wee are content to haue it tried before hand, yt we may be sure it will bee currant, whensoeuer occasion falleth out to vse it. Why then be we not glad, of disgracings, railings, complaints, losse of fauour, impri­sonment, and such like, when they come vn­to vs for doing of our duty & righteousnes sake? seeing yt by our suffering of them, the Lord prepareth vs for greater matters, & our patiēce in these is as it were an earnest [Page] vnto vs, that wee shall stand when we bee tried to the vttermost. Therfore I conclude this part,Iac. 1. 2. 3. 4. with that of S. Iames: count it for great ioy (my brethren) when you fall into many tentations: knowing yt the triall of your faith bringeth forth patience. And let patience haue her perfect work, yt you may be perfect & entire lacking nothing.

The second effect of persecutions, where­vppon they be compared to a fiery triall, I sayd was this. As fire drieth vp al maner of drosse in the good golde, so they dry vp ma­ny corruptions, that creepe vpon the god­ly, in the time of their liberty & peace. For thus it fareth with the best of Gods chil­dren, when they be a litle quiet, & the world seemeth to smile vpon them, if they breake not out, as resty & pampred horses, to open outrage & disorder, yet at the least ther stealeth vpō them much vanity, worldlines, de­light in things earthly, & negligence (if not contēpt) of things heauenly. Wherupon ye loue of the word doth decrease in them, and they become not so carefull and zealouse of the honour of God as they were before. The examples of Ioseph, Gen. 41. 51. Dauid, & Eze­chias, 2 Sam. 11. may serue to proue the trueth of this.Isa. 39. [Page] The Lord seeing the tickle disposition that is in all men to this vnrulinesse, was wont to meete with the same before hande with mani [...]olde Crosses, euen in such men as he made especiall account of. For no doubt this was one principal end, of the in­finite turmoyles, that Abraham and Iacob were encombred with, that so they mighte be brought to despise the earth which is re­plenished with so many miseries, seeke af­ter eternity, & zealously set them selues to ye whereunto the Lorde did cal them. Now as he mercifully and in great wisdome did on this wise preuent such disordered affec­tions, as were otherwise like to haue poste­red their hearts: so dealeth he as gratiously with his children in seeking to reclaim thē by the like meanes when they haue bene o­uertaken. Whereuppon, beside the inward afflictions of the minde, he often times stirreth vp agaynst vs, enemies that speake e­uil of vs, & trouble vs for well doing, that so he might fre vs from enemies that be more daungerous to our souls. For although the ignorant and carelesse, in all the crosses that happen vnto them, doe only regard the meanes and instrumentes whereby they [Page] come, crying out of the iniurie of their op­pressours, and clearing of them selues as parties vniustly troubled. Yet it is other­wise with the seruants of God, that be wise & vnderstanding, they looke vp to the hand of the smiter,Amos. 3 6. whome they knowe to be the Lorde himselfe, whome they straight way conclude to be righteous and so iust,2. Sam. 16. 10. as hee will not punishe withoute cause, and that therfore somthing is amisse in them which he woulde haue them to ament: althoughe that be good, commanded of God, and no­thing but their duty for the which they be persecuted by their aduersaries. Whereby it commeth to passe, that they examin them selues and their doinges more streightly, & finde out many corruptions, which before were eyther vnknown, or else vnregarded, and therfore would haue proued very dan­gerous to their soules, if they had not thus bene rouzed vp to consider of them. Which they doe so profit [...]bly, that in the ende they say with Dauid, It is good for me (O lord) that thou broughtest mee lowe.Psa. 119. 67. 71 For euen such troubles cause them to doe their duty better, to bee marueylous circumspecie of their wayes, that their enemies may haue [Page] no iust matter against them, and sturre vp in them a great zeale to prayer, so as they do it more often and earnestly then before. We ought therefore to be glad, & to thanke the Lord most hartely, whensoeuer it shall please him to purge vs on this sort. Our vessels of siluer and golde which in time doe gather soyle, we desire to haue scoured: and the linnen that wee vse to our tables, we reioyce to haue often washed. And why then do we not take in good part all maner of persecutions? seeing they be scourgings and washings to our soules, whereby the Lorde mindeth to make vs cleane, from some vntowardnes that is in vs. Verily this is a greater mercye then any mans tongue is able to vtter, and the wisdome of the Lorde in this behalfe is very wonder­full: we be entred into an euill course some way or other, offensiue to the maiestye of God, and hurtfull vnto our selues, In the mean time God concealeth those disorders of oures from men, whiche peraduenture woulde procure our punishmente by their Lawes, and intending to reclayme vs, & to bring vs to himselfe againe, hee sturreth vp some against vs, and to our great honor [Page] causeth some afflictiō to come vnto vs for well doing, that was due vnto vs for our sinne and disobedience. O the ritches of his grace: who is able to conceiue it? Certein­ly the Lord his retiring of Saul from pur­suiug of Dauid, 1. Sam. 23. 27 28. causing the Pailistines to inuade the lande, was not so ioyfull to the wearied man, as this should be ioifull vnto vs, when after this manner he stoppeth vs in our euill course, and causeth vs to retire from that which is not good. But ynoughe of this fruite of persecutions, and the pur­pose of God in the same. It remaineth that each man in all such troubles sturre vp his heart, and pray to God, that he may profite by them as we haue heard. It followeth.

But reioyce, in as much as you are parta­kers of Christes sufferings, that when his glory shall appear, ye may be glad & reioice. In this verse he requireth more then in the former. There he would haue vs not to bee astonished at our persecutions for the truth sake: here he sayth that we must reioyce & be glad, when any such thing commeth vn­to vs. And least he shoulde seeme to call for any thing, without rendring a reason ther­of, in this sentence he deliuereth two argu­ments [Page] of great force, whereby he laboureth to persuade the reioy sing mentioned. The first is drawen from the example of Christ to whose image we should desire to be con­formed, because we were thereunto prede­stinate:Rom. 8. 29. the next, is from the rewarde, that we shall haue at such time, as Iesus Christ shall appeare, the second time in glory. For the first: his meaning is, that whensoeuer we be afflicted for righteousnesse sake, it is no otherwise with vs, then it was with Christ, our Lorde, our king, our head and sauiour before.Math. 20. 22. He was baptised with this baptisme,Luk. 7. 34. & 11. 15. and he beganne of this cup vnto vs. If we be rayled vpon,Ioh. 8. 48. hee was charged to be a glutton, a Samaritane, an enemye to Cesar, and to worke by the deuil: If men desire to haue vs out of their companies & countries: so was hee dealt with all by the Gergesenes. Math. 8. 34. If we be put to our shiftes, to flye from place to place for our own safety:Math. 14. 13. he was so before vs.Ioh. 10. 39.. If some of our friendes whom we trust doe betray vs, so did Iudas to our Lord. If we be arraigned before the indgemente seates of princes, if there, wee bee skoffed and mocked at, beaten with roddes, and condemned to death: was [Page] not this also the portion of the son of God? If we be thought the worst men vppon the earth, more daungerous and hurtfull to the common wealth then any others, we know that Barrabas was preferred before the Lord of life. This is therefore a certeine trueth, that Iesus Christe hath gone this way before us. And Cranmer in those ma­nifold disgracings about his disgrading: ye man whom Bonner scourged in his gar­den, and all the martyrs in their torments, were nothing els but his companions. Now this shoulde be sufficient to comfort vs in all our troubles, and to cause vs most ioyfully to endure the same. It is an olde saying: it is comfort to the wretched, to haue companions in their miseries: howe comfortable then should it be vnto vs, seing Iesus Christ tooke part with vs? When Vriah, 2. Sam. 11. 10. 11. by Dauids commandement was sent to the court, and by the king himselfe wil­led to goe to his wife to his owne house to take his ease: he refused it, & chose rather to sleepe at the pallace dore with the rest of the kings seruants. And being demaunded the reason by Dauid of his so doing, he an­swered that it was vnequall and vncom­ly [Page] for him to be at rest in his bedde in the house, when Ioab his Lord lay in the fields. The valiant & couragious souldier thought it a matter of delight vnto him, to endure hardnes with his captein, and the greatest dishonour that coulde be, to doe otherwise. How much more ought we to reioyce in all our extremities? seeing in them we do after a sort drinke of one cup with Christ, and as it were draw in one yoke with him. It had beene sufficient to cheare vs, if Peter had said as our Lord spake before in the gospel of Mathew: Math. 5. 12. so persecuted they ye prophetes which were before you. But when he tel­leth vs, that persecution and affliction was the portion of the sonne of God, it is an in­struction to patience, and a comfort in trou­ble, free from all chalenge, exception, and speaking against. If the prince shoulde say vnto vs, or any other subiect: you must do somwhat for me, which the L. Chanceller, & the rest of my priuye counsell haue done be­fore you, surely the thing beeing good, though neuer so painfull, we ought to yeeld vnto it. But if the prince shoulde say, mine only sonne and heire, or mine owne selfe haue borne this brunt already: how coulde [Page] we challenge the prince of any hard mea­sure offered vnto vs? and how beastly faint hearted, and cowardly shoulde wee be to re­fuse it? Therefore to end this matter: let vs be patient in all our afflictions and reioice in the same, seeing therin we be partakers with Iesus Christe the sonne of God, and our true soueraigne and euerlasting king. For as the wood cast into the bitter waters at Marah, Num. 15. 25. made them sweet to the children of Israel: so Iesus Christe being throwen into the sea of afflictions, hath made them most sweete to so many as beleeue in him. The second reason is the recompence pro­mised vnto such, as with Iesus Chrste suf­fer afflictions for a good conscience. When his glory shall appeare (sayth the apostle) then shal you reioice, and leap for ioy: For ye word seemeth to signifie so much. His meaning is yt the ioy of Gods children shall be perfect then, wheras now by reason of our corruption & mortality, it is mingled with much heauinesse and sorrowe. But we must note, that this shalbe at such time, as Christ appeareth agayne in his maiesty. Whiche glorious manifestation of himselfe, is op­posed or set againste, that base condition of [Page] his, which he was in here vpon the earth, in the sight & iudgement of men. For as he is nowe in perfect glory, euen in respect of his humanity, although the worlde neither see it, nor beleeue it: so when the day com­meth, wherein the father hath appointed by him to iudge the earth, he shall appeare most glorious and excellent as he is, with millions of Angelles attending vpon him, sitting vppon his throue of maiesty,Apoc. 20. 11. so as from his face, the heauen and earth shal flye away, and all the vngodly of the world shal runne into caues,Apoc. 6. 16. to hide them, & shall call for mounteines to fall vpon them, yt so (if it were possible) they mighte not come into his presence, The apostle telleth vs, that at that time, we shall lift vp our heads and reioyce,Apoc. 7. 17. all teares being for euer wiped a­way from our eyes, because after that wee shall neuer more haue any occasion of sor­rowe. For so we be taught by Sanct Paul in other places.2. Tim. 2 11. 12 That if wee dye with Christ we shall reigne with him, and if we suffer with him: we shall reigne with him: & if we be partakers with him of his shame, we shall also communicate with him in his glory. Now this reason should be of grea [...] force with vs. Wee see naturall men, ver [...] [Page] well contented to endure some hardnesse and paynes with the Sonnes of mortall men, that bee of honour and wealth, du­ring the time of their mynormitye, because when they come to their landes, they hope for some preferment from them. And to bee in greate straightes in a straunge Countrye with the kinges sonne, who woulde not be gladde for a time? especial­lye hauing certeynty of their returne into their owne Lande, and vndoubted promise to be preferred then with the prince. Let vs therefore reioice in the middest of all our tentations, when Iesus Christ shall re­store al things, and come agayn to declare his authority in iudgeing all flesh: al our mourning shall be turned into ioy, and our shame into honour. The hope of a moste blessed and happye estate at that time, muste make vs comfortable in all oure troubles, insomuche as in respecte of it, they shoulde seeme easy and nothing vnto vs.Ephe. 6. 17. And this may bee the reason why hope,1. Thes. 5. 8. is compared to an Helmet: be­cause as men hauing a good Helmette vppon their heades, doe not feele anye smarte by verye greate blowes giuen [Page] there: so the hope of eternall life, shoulde cause vs not to feele (as it were) the afflic­tions of this present. We see the husband­man how he comforteth him selfe in all his paynfull trauell about manuring, tilling, sowing, and weeding his grounde, one­ly with the hope of recompence a good while after in the haruest time. And the souldier setteth light by the cold in winter, the heate in somner, his lying vppon the ground, his hunger, his grosse diet, and his woundes, because he hath an eye to the end of the battel, the victory, the spoil, the praise of his capteyne, & the return into his coun­try with honour. Now what is all the pelfe of this earth, beeing compared with the kingdome of God? what is the vic [...]ory a­gainste men, in respect of the triumph a­gainst sinne and Sathan? and what is the spoile of tents, to the ritches of heauen? and what is the prayse of men, to the commen­dation of of the Lorde, saying vnto vs? O good and faithful seruant enter into the ioy of thy master.Math 25. 21. seing therfore al these things shall come vnto vs, if we patiently suffer afflictions for wel doing, there is good rea­son why we should embrace the counsell of [Page] the Apostle, and in our greatest miseries reioyce our selues in the hope of that glory that in the worlde to come shall be powred vpon vs. It followeth.

If you be railed vppon in the name of Christ, &c. By ye name of Christ he vnder­standeth the doctrine of Christ, as S. Paule in ye same speech expoundeth the meaning of ye holy ghost in another place.1. Tim. 6. 1. Where name and doctrine b [...]ing mentioned, the latter is set downe, as the interpretaion of the first. There is good reason of the speach because as the name of euery thing decla­reth what the thing is, so the doctrine of Christ doth set forth, and as it were painte him out vnto vs.

Saint Peter here speaketh of one parti­cular kinde of persecution consisting in e­uill and opprobrious wordes: whiche al­though worldly men think no great matter so long as they proceede not to imprison­ment, fire and sworde: yet the spirit of God in this place giueth it no better title, a­greeing with saint Paul in his epistle to the Galathians: cap. 4. 29. wheras it is apparāt in ye histo­ry that Isaack was but mocked of Ismael. Gen. 21. 9. If therfore thou wilt not be counted a per­secuter [Page] secuter of the church and seruants of God, looke well to thy toung, that it spue forth no taunting nor reprochfull words against the professors of the trueth: if thou doe, the sentence against them is penned already, & thou art branded in the cheeke, with the note of a persecuter. And how odious this thing is in the sight of God, how slenderly soeuer thou account of it, may appeare in the hystory that we reade of in the seconde booke of the Kings:cap. 2. 23. 24. Two and forty little children were miraculously destrOyed with Beares, for mocking the Prophet of God, & calling him baldhead: and thinkest thou to escape vengeance if thou be a rayler v­pon the seruants of God? the extraordina­rye punishment, after so strange a manner, vpon yong children that might seeme to offend rather of wantonnesse then vpon a­ny set purpose, declareth howe the Lorde misliketh of the like dealings, by such as be of riper yeers, whose fault must needs be ye greter. The instructiō is profitable against the mockers at all times. Now the apostle seemeth to speake of this kind of crosse, ra­ther then any other, because it doth insepe­rably & alwaies waite vpon the profession of ye gospel: insomuch as in ye gretest peace [Page] & liberty of the church, it is not free from ye same. For euen in those kingdomes where the trueth is receiued by the prince, & esta­blished by lawes, so as open tirranie is re­strained, yet no man in any calling or con­ditiō can walke vprightly before the Lord, but he offreth himselfe to harde speaches checks, taunts, & reproches. The practise of our owne time proueth it, wherin pestelent toungs of professed popish enimies powre out their vennom, by giuing ye sound professors of religion & the loyall subiects to her maiestie: ye names of prescisians, puritans, hot of the spirit, familie of loue, & disobedi­ent subiects, confounding names, & multi­plying their scoffes, not knowing ye good & faithful protestants, are as farre from these heresies as they are from truth or honesty: seeing therefore it is a thing yt doth ordina­rily fall out, ye holy ghost in this place pro­uideth wel for our infirmity, in ministring vnto vs so great comfort against the same. You are blessed (saith Peter) if you be ray­led vpon for the name of Christ, according to that speach of our Lord: Blessed shall you be when men hate you,Luk. 6. 22. 23. and separate you, and rayle vpon you, and put out your [...] as euil, for the sonne of mans sake. [Page] Reioyce and be glad in that day▪ for behold great is your reward in heauen. A naturall man whose iudgement is corrupt, seeth notblessednes in this condition: neither can he possibly conceiue, how we should be happy in the middest of the shame and reproches which happen vnto vs, when we be mocked and tannted for righteousnes sake. Nay, he is of an opinion clean contrary, imagining those to be happie of whom all men speake well, and therefore he laboreth to keepe an euen hande, and to displease neither side: whereas Christ sayth, woe vnto you when all men speake well of you. [...]uk. 6. 26. Thus the natu­rall man being led by his owne reason and sense, pronounceth them accursed, whome the Lord doth blesse, & them blessed, whom the Lorde doth curse. But let it suffize vs that he hath spoken it which is holy & true: let vs patiently wait for the performaunce of his promise. And seeing he saith, that we be happy, notwithstanding all the railings and speakings against of our enemies, let vs according to the sayings of the Apostle, through honoure and dish [...]r,2. Cor. 6. 8. thorough good report and euill rep [...] [...] forward, to finish the worke whereunto he hath called vs. It followeth.

[Page] For the spirite of glory and of God resteth vpon you: Lest the Apostle should seeme to affirme any thing without good proof, here h [...]e rendreth a reason of that which hee had saide before: namely, that it cannot other­wise be, but such are happie that be railed vppon for the name of Christ, because the spirit of glory & of God resteth vpon them. His meaning is, that it is a most certeine euidence and demonstration, of the spirit of God (which is always accompanied wt glory) dwelling within vs, when we patiently indure persecutions for the words sake, & holde on our scincere profession notwith­standing all the mockings of our enemies. It may come from fleshe and blood, and the corruption of our nature, to pretend zeale to the trueth in the libertie thereof: but to continue in the stormes and tempestes of afflictions, so as no hardnes can remooue vs from the zeal, which according to know­ledge we beare vnto God, this must needes be supernaturall, vpright, and no other but the fruite of the spirite: which beeing the Lords, he cannot but acknowledge where­soeuer he find [...] it: and therefore must neces­sarily be glorious in his sight, and euerla­stingly [Page] honored in heauen hereafter, how­soeuer for the present time it appeare vilde and odious in the eyes of men. Whereupō saint Paul exhorting the Phillippians, cap. 1. 28. not to feare their aduersaries which opposed thē ­selues against them, affirmeth constantly, that persecutions were manifest signes of the destruction of the wicked from whome they came, and most euident tokens, and as it were earnest pence of ye saluation of such against whome they were intended: agree­ing with that which is in his later epistle to the Thessalonians: cap. 1. 5. where hauing spoken before of their sufferings, he sayth, that it was a manifest declaratiō of the iust iudge­ment of God, to the end they might be coū ­ted worthie of his kingdome. The sense of this place is the same with that going be­fore, although the words seeme somwhat to differ. Let vs therfore despise al ye scorns of ye vngodly, & set light by al the mockings of ye wicked: in our shame we be honorable, & in al confusion suffered for a good cōscience we are glorious, for the spirit of God & of glory resteth vpon vs, & we shalbe saued if we cōtinue to ye end. This spirit (the apostle saith here) is blasphemed on ye behalfe of ye wicked, and glorified on the behalfe▪ of the [Page] godly. The meaning of the first wordes is, that the enemies of the Church, deride and scorne the graces of God in his children, & therefore blaspheme the spirit it selfe being the authour and fountaine of the same: as we see despight offred to the gift of the Prince, is worthily deemed villanie to the Prince himselfe. We reade that the zeale of God in our Sauiour Christ was termed frensie:Mar. 3. 21. Math. 27. 43. and his faith reposed in his father scorned on this wise: he trusted in God, let him deliuer him now, if he will haue him. The grace of speaking with diuers toungs in the apostles,Act. 2. 13. was chalenged of drunken­nes with new wine: And Festus said vnto Paule: Act. 26. 24. thou art out of thy wittes, too much learning hath made thee madde. And in all times of the afflictions of the Church, we shal see not only the professors taunted and reproched, but also the gifts of the spirit of God in them mocked & gibed at: As their knowledge, their patience, their chastitie, temperance, trust in God, and watchful­nes ouer their toungs: In so much as we may finde tirants, that iested at the Chri­stians, because they woulde not sweare when there was no necessarie cause: [Page] Well: they deale with one that is more then their match, & they shall one day feel ye smart of it, sith their trechery is againste the holye Ghost euen God himselfe, when they scorne his graces in the saints. wheretas it is said in this place that the same spi­rite is glorified on the behalfe of the god­ly, his meaning is, that we honour the spi­rite of God, when in all temptations we continue to professe that which it sealeth in our hearts, and thinke it sufficient comfort against all our troubles, that it testifieth to our hearts, we be the children of God, that we may call vpon him as a father, and that we please him in all our sufferings▪ To conclude this verse, let it not appeare strange vnto vs, that euill men despise the grace of God that is in vs. It we glorifie his spirit as we haue heard, we shal hereafter be glo­rified with him eternally in the heauens: e­uen as our Lorde by his owne example hath taught vs to praye with comfort:Iohn. 17. 4. I haue glorified thee vpon the earth, now (O Father, glorifie me with thy selfe. It fol­loweth.

Let no man among you suffer as a man­s [...]eier, or a thiefe, or an euill doer, or as a bu­sibody. [Page] Hauing spoken before of the bles­sednes of the Christians, that be troubled for righteousnes sake: in this verse the A­postle calleth vpon vs, to be so circumspect and wary of all our doinges, that we com­mit no euill for the which wee might iustly be punished as malefactors. He rehearseth three particular offences: the first two be playne: the third which in english we read a busibody, (yt is, such a one as curiously busi­eth himself in such matters as concern not his calling, & neglecteth them that belong to his duty) the learned thinke may as fit­ly be interpreted, a man greedy of other mens goods. The other worde malefactor or euill doer, may be vnderstoode of euery offender whatsoeuer▪ as well those that transgresse the lawes of the first table in matters of Religion and the seruice of God, as those that breake the commande­ments of the second table, in such thinges as concerne our duty towarde men: so that vnder these. Saint Peter comprehendeth all manner of sinne and corruption, heresie and idolatry which the word doth forbid & punish,Deu. 13▪ the whol chapt [...]r. as well as disordered behauiour of one man toward another. We must there­fore [Page] take heede, that as wee professe the name and gospell of Christ, so all our suffe­rings may come for the trueth of that, and not for any Idolatry, heresy, schisme, mur­ther, adultery, whoredome, theft, couetous­nesse, going beyond the bounds of our cal­linges, or any such other thing. For if wee be euill spoken of, broughte before iudges, restrayned of our liberty, cast in prison, and put to death in th [...]se cases, there is no rea­son why we shoulde reioyce of the matter, and think our selues happy therefore. Our master Christe speaking to his disciples of this point sayd:Math. 5. 1 [...]. blessed are you, when they speake al manner of euil of you lying: for my sake: Hee saith not simplye blessed are you when they speake all eui [...]l of you: but when they lye in so doing. And it is an an­cient saying of a Father: it is not the pu­nishment, but the goodnesse of the cause that maketh a Martyr. The papistes therefore in resp [...]cte of God and his true church, Heritiques and Schismatiques, & in respect of their prince and country high Traytors, haue no cause to boast them­selues of any their sufferinges, as though they were persecuted for righteousnesse [Page] sake: sith besides their heresies and corrupt opinions concerning religion, for yt which they be worthy of death, they beare treche­rous and trayterous heartes to their soue­reigne prince and country, which also from time to time hath bene founde out by their vnnatural and curssed attempts. The like is to bee sayd of the false pretented Fami­ly of loue, & al other heretiks & euil doers: the vnclean person, the oppressor, deceiuer, vsurer, drunkard: the euill minister when he is cryed out against, and taunted by the name of a hireling,Ioh. 10. 12. a greedy dog that is neuer satisfied,Isai. 56. 11. a dumbe dog, a blinde guide, or an idle pastor: cannot in trueth▪ applye the comforts to them here mentioned, sith they be iustly reproched and punished for their sinne: which the Apostle doth [...]orbid vs in this place. And yet this is not so spoken, as though all men were to dispayre of them selues, which bee any w [...]ie corrected for their euill doings:Luk. 23. 43. no, we knowe what is written of the thiefe, y ▪ was crucified with our Lorde, and how he sayd vnto him: this day shalt thou be with me in paradise. E­uen so assuredly whatsoeuer the offēces be, that we be euill spoken of for, or otherwise [Page] punished by imprisonmēt or deth, yet we be happy & shal be saued, if grace be giuen vs wt the thief, to repent, to hate our sinne, & to beleue.Apoc. 14. 13. For this is true for euer: blessed are ye deade yt dye in ye Lord, in what sort, or for what cause soeuer they dy. Therefore, ye mā yt sufferreth for Christes sake, is blessed in respect of the goodnes of his cause: and [...]e that suffereth for his sinne, is blessed, if the Lord by that punishment bring him to re­pentance. But let vs with all good consci­ence attend vpon this of the apostle, to ho­nour our profession and high calling with good life, and absteining from euill. We see how it fareth with the faithful seruants of God, though they walke neuer so pre­scisely, yet wicked men will espy somwhat to speake euill, to take away their crowne of suffering for well doing. How then shall all our honour iustly be turned into shame, and lye in the dust, if we walke retchles [...]ye and dissolutely? The exhortation is very profitable for our time, wherin great num­bers turne the grace of God into wanton­nesse: and therefore although they professe the gospell & true religion of God, yet are worthily, reproched for their vncleannes, [Page] riot, vsurye, oppression, couetousnesse, and deceite. It followeth.

But if he suffer as a christian, let him not be ashamed: nay let him▪ glorifie God in this behalf: In the former verse, as you hard, he willed vs to take heede of being punished for doing euill, because then there is iust matter of humiliation offered vnto vs. In this sentēce he returneth to yt which he had in hād before, namely to comfort vs in al afflictions, yt happē for ye trueth sake. If (saith he) any suffer as a christian, yt is for ye scin­cere professiō of Christs doctrin, let him ne­uer be ashamed of ye mater, but let him thāk God in yt behalf. There are two thi [...]gs re­quired of vs in this verse: ye one is yt we be not ashamed of ye persecutions yt we eudure for a good cōscience: ye other yt we reioyce & be glad of them. Cōcerning ye first: ye euil of yt which we do, & the vnworthines or basenes of ye party for whome we do it, are the only occasions yt minister iust matter of blus­shing & shame vnto vs. But the truth yt we professe in the word is so pure & excellent: & the sonne of God, in whome we beleeue, and for whose sake wee suffer is so holy, so glorious, so mighty, & worthy of all honor [Page] and seruice from vs, that there is no cause why we shoulde be ashamed of the crosses which we suffer in that behalfe. S Paule he beleeued this, and therefore in the mid­dest of all the calamities that came vnto him for doing of his duty,2. Tim. 1. 12. coulde say with confidence. I am not ashamed. For I know him wel inough in whom I haue beleeued, and am fully persuaded, that hee is able to keepe that whiche I haue committed vnto him against that day. Let vs be like min­ded: and sith Iesus Christ hath all power in heauen and earth, so as he is able to de­fend vs from the rage of our enemies here, and to keepe our saluation sure from being hurt by any meanes, let vs neuer blush for anye thing that happeneth vnto vs for his sake. Naturall men thinke that moste vile and ignominious,2. Sam. 6. 20. whiche in deede is moste glorious and beautifull. Michal thought it the greatest disgrace that might be vnto Dauid, to abase himselfe to daunce before the Arke of God, gyrded with a lin­nen Ephod:21. 22. But Dauid thought no honor like this, by humbling himselfe, and being vilde in the sight of others, to exalt and set vp the Lord. Euen so, they which be carried [Page] onely by sense and reason, can see n [...]thing but confusion in the persecutiōs of ye saints, when as in deede it is the most honourable thing vnder heauen. In so much as neither Iosep [...], Gen. 41. 42. hauing the kings ring vpon his fin­ger, arayde in fine linnen, with a chaine of gold about his necke, and set vpon the best Charret of the king saue on [...], and hono [...]r a­bly saluted of al the people:Hester. 6. nor Mordecay, at the kings commaundement most gorgi­ously carried thorough the Citie vpon the kings hors, with this proclaimation before him: thus shall it be done to the man whom the king will honour: were so glorious in the sighte of their▪ beholders, as the true Christians are in the eyes of God, when in the iudgement of man they seeme to be co­uered with most confusion and shame. And in deede Cranmer, when hee was broughte forth, and as it were set vpon a stage, to bee mocked at by all the people, his Pall pul­led of, his haire cut by a Barber, his sin­gers endes scraped, an old gowne put vpon his backe, and an olde cap vpon his head: the admirall of Fraunce first mained with a shot, then most trecherously slayne in his chamber, after tumbled out of a windowe, [Page] his head cut of, his corps dragged through the streates in Paris, & after hanged vpon a gallows by ye heels: in ye middest of al these were more glorious then either Mordecay or Ioseph in all their pompe & maiesty. Intsomuch as these neuer vanted so much of ye one, as they no doubt did of the other. Euen as we finde n [...] such boasting of any the ser­uants of God in the scripturs, in respect of their outward estate were it neuer so good: as we do of S. Paul for his sufferings: ac­cording to ye which is writtē:Gal. 6. 17. frō henceforth let no man put me to busines: for I bear in my body the markes of ye Lord Iesus. The imprisonments, bands, scourgings, stripes, stonings, & reproches yt he indured, he cal­leth the badges of the Lord Iesus, wherby he was known to be highly in his fauor, as a faithful seruant of whom he made a special account, & therfore is not only not asha­med, but also after a godly sort boasteth of thē. Therfore let vs not think it any shame vnto vs, whensoeuer the Lorde shall thinke it good to haue vs tried on this wise. It followeth.

But let him glorifie God in this behalfe: This is the second thing: we must be glad [Page] of our persecutiōs, & thank God most high­ly, if he vouchsafe this honor vpon vs. For in deede this is an especiall token, yt he ma­keth some reckoning of vs, when as he cal­leth vs out, to vndergoe some hardnes for his sake. As we see the prince so thinketh of those men, whome he picketh forth from a­mong the rest, to send about some notable & most famous exploite, whereunto many are not meete.Act. 5. 41. This made the apostles to leape for ioy, because they were counted worthye to suffer for the name of Christe, euen then when they had beene▪ cruelly beaten: this stu [...]red vp like affections in some of them after in prison: and this mooued S. Paule to wrighte to the Phillippians, that they should esteeme of their sufferings, as of an especiall blessing, or mercy of the Lorde bestowed vppon them:Phil 1. 29. to you (sayth hee) it is giuen for Christe, that you shoulde not onely beleeue in him, but also suffer for his sake. Nowe wee haue to thanke God, not onely in respecte of the rewarde, that shall followe oure persecutions, as wee haue harde: but espe [...]iallye in respecte of the cause for the whiche wee suffer. And in deede this offereth more matter of ioy, [Page] then the tongues of men and angells be a­ble to vtter: that, whereas the best of Gods seruants for their lewdnes and euill,Deut. 27. 26. might iustly be defamed,Rom. 6. 23. 1. brought before gouer­nours,Ioh. 1. 10. cast in prison and put to death, (for who can deny this, seeing eternall damna­tion is due to euery one): The Lord should conceal and couer all these, & in the meane time giue them ouer, to be punished for his sake and for well doing: and that punish­ment to be recompensed with eternall hap­pinesse. Seing then we be blessed if we en­dure troubles for righteousnes sake, and al manner of iudgements be due vnto vs for sinne, let vs moste heartily prayse God (ac­cording to the counsel of the Apostle) when soeuer by any means we bee corrected for well doing. It followeth.

For the time is come wherein iudgement must begin at God own house. By the house of God is vnderstood his church, & the peotple that do rightly worship him▪ and truely call vpon his name:1. Tim. 3. 15. as we may learne by the first epistle of S. Paul to T [...]mothie, Heb. 3. 6. and that whiche is written to the Hebrewes. The speeche teacheth: that the Churche of God, ought in euery thing to be ordered [Page] and gouerned by his lawes and statutes: as it is equall and right, that the house of each man, and al things in the same, should be disposed according to the direction of the owner and master. They which think or practise otherwise▪ accuse the almighty, either of want of skill, that he shoulde not knowe what was best: or else of wante of care for his people, in not deliuering that in his worde, which he knewe moste expe­dient and necessary to be established. But because it is great blasphemy, once to ima­gine any such thing: they shall on day an­swere for their sin, which turning al things vpside downe, commaund that for the disci­pline and order of Gods house, which he hath not giuen in charge or else forbidden: and neglect or forbid that, which he moste excellently and in great wisedome hath set downe and appointed. No prince woulde thinke himselfe well dealt with, if any sub­iect or subiectes should thus presume to in­uert the gouernment of his house: and will earthly princes being subiectes to the al­mighty God, and dust and ashes in his pre­sence, thinke to escape vnpunished, if they commaund or suffer to be commanded any [Page] thing for the orderi [...]ng of the churche the house of god, which he before hath not alowed? The master is of more importance then the most be ware of: & all princes that pro­fesse the religion of Iesus Christ, had need to looke vnto it. If Moses for the building of the Tabernacle of ye Iewes, and for the ordering of enerye thing apperteining to that first worship of God,Exod. 25. 40. had a patern and lawes shewed him by the Lord, which bee must keepe himselfe vnto, and for his fidelitie in that behalfe hath his iust commenda­tion:Heb. 3. 5. It is meete that we thinke as magni­ficentlye of the chn [...]rhe vnder the gospell, that nothing is left for the deuising of man, sith Iesus Christ as the sonne of God,Heb. 3. 16. was faythfull in his fathers house by deliuering the orders for the gouernment of the same. Therefore let not the Lordes remembran­cers keep silence,Isa. 2. 6. nor giue him any rest, vn­til he repaire the ruines of Hierusalem.

Moreouer, this speech teacheth what puri­tye of doctrine and manners ought to bee continually in the churche, and euery par­ticuler member of it. Euen such as becom­meth the temple and house of God, and the place where the almigty hath his residēce, [Page] and doth dwell. We see what care there is in the officers of princes houses, that no fil­thines be in any corner of the Court, to of­fend the prince, or the nobles passing by: & for this purpose there be writings set vp in euery place. But ther is not the like regard of the Lords court, to keepe corruption out of his house. We see how the church is pe­stered, with euil ministers, with adulterers, whoremasters, swearers, prophaners of the Sabbaoth, mockers of the worde, and the messengers thereof, vsurers, deceiuers, rio­tous & contentious persons. Against whom there is very small discipline. Although the Lorde haue on euery wall set vp is billes forbidding these enormities, and comman­ding they shold be thrust out of his church, as vnworthy of any place there, vntill they haue declared openly their true repentance Seeing then the people that professe the true religion of Christe, be the church and house of God: it concerneth all those to whom God hath cōmitted ye [...]ouernment, to see yt it [...]e kept from the pollution of sinne: and each Christian must looke to himselfe, to posses his vessel in holines & honor,1. Thes. 4. 4. 1. Cor. 6. 19. as it becommeth the temple of the holy ghost.

[Page] The apostle telleth vs here, that the time was then come, that the Lord would begin to punish his most faythful seruaunts: and therefore we must eyther bee contented to endure afflictions, or else not to be acconn­ted of the housholde and Churche of God. The Lorde in this place is likened vnto a wise and carefull prince, who although hee haue an eye to the disorders of the whole realm and kingdome, yet doth especially re­gard to correct ye offēces of his own famili. Euen so God: although in all ages he hath testified his displeasure agaynst sinne in all kind of people and persons: yet his roddes and scourges haue at all times beene so oc­cupied about the chastising of his churche, that in comparison of it, he hath seemed to spare the rest, and to neglect the transgres­sions [...] of the heathen. Let vs consider the temptations, of Abraham, Iacob, Ioseph. & Dauid. Had not he most wicked of yt time, greater ease and peace then they had in the greatest part of their life? surely if we know their stories, we must confes so much. And if we looke to the whol nation of the Iews, first in Egypt, and then after in the lande of Canaan: we shall finde that the Lorde pu­nished [Page] them alwayes first, and that to, so sharply, as the like vengeance and destruc­tion lightened not vpon any people. As it is mentioned in Daniel: Cap 9 12. Cap. 25. 29. And as Ieremie sayth: I beginne to plague the City where my name is called vpō. The reason of this proceeding of the Lorde, is best knowne vnto himselfe, it suffiseth vs for this text to be perswaded of this trueth, whiche we may vnderstand by the recordes of the scriptures. Although it mighte bee briefly sayde, that hee hath an especiall care of the saluation of his people, and therefore puni­sheth them aboue and before the rest, to re­claime them from their sinnes, that they shoulde not bee damned with the worlde.1. Cor. 11. 3 [...]. Moreouer, because his mercies towardes his Churche,Amos. 3. 1. 2. are beyonde all comparison more then vnto others: It is equall and righteous, that it offending, should both be first punished, and more seuerely then the rest. But as this hath beene the ordinary course of the Lorde toward his Churche, from the beginning: so was it especially true of the time wherein the Apostle writ, after the manifestation of the sonne of God in the flesh. For both then, & euer sithence, [Page] the Lorde was and continueth so sharpe to them that truly worship him, & be carefull to please his ma [...]esty, (in the meane season seeming often times to spare the wicked and vngodly) that in the iudgment of flesh and bloud,Iob. 21. 14. 14. it was better with suche as sayd vnto God: departe from vs, we will none of thy lawe, what is the almightie that we should feare him? then with those that stood in awe of his commaundements, and sette naught by all the pleasures, and tormentes of the worlde, in comparison of the fa­uoure of God, and keeping a good con­science beefore him. Consider the e­state of the Apostles, and professours in the Actes. The condition of the Church hath not amended any thing si­thence, but as the glorye of it approcheth neerer & neerer: so the warrfare of it vpon the earth hath increased sharper & sharper: The persecutions, vnder the Romaine em­perours, the Turkes, and last in the vsur­ped dominions of the Prieste of Rome, doe sufficientlye prooue the truethe of this matter. Let vs remember what hardnesse, Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Hooper, Bradforde, and the reste, indu­red [Page] of late yeares with in our owne realm, when as it was peaceable and quiet, with all the wicked of the lande. And how hath it gone more lately with the true Christi­ans, and faythfull seruants of God in our neighbour countries of Flanders, France, and Spayue, as their stories doe witnesse: when as in the meane time, brothels, wit­ches, adulterers, incestuous persons, mur­therers, blasphemers, ruffians, and abho­minable Idolaters were vntouched. And was there euer suche a iudgement vnder heauen, as after that marriage at Pa­rise fel vpon those zealouse and sincere pro­fessours of the trueth? S. Paul therefore sayth truely, of all faithful Christians, that if the hope of the life to come were taken a­way, of al other men, they were most mise­rable. If in this life onely we beleeued in Christ,1. Cor. 15. 19. we were (sayth he) moste wretched of all others. Neither spake he this, with­out good matter to lead him vnto it. For whereas the wicked, liue peaceablie in the worlde (because the worlde loueth it owne) be free from aduersity, and in their prosperity reioyce them selues: the faithful seruants of God bee alwayes hated and [Page] persecuted one waye or other: they no soo­ner creade awry, but the Lord calleth them agayne into the way, with some scourge, & in the middest of their greatest peace, they be humbled with inward temptations, sor­row for sinnes past, griefe for present and dayly falles, doubtes & terrors, so as they alwayes woorke out their saluation with feare & trembling.Phil. 2. 12. Insomuch as indeed the most wicked were in better case then they, if their fayth, hope, & good conscience, had no other recompense but in this life. But the life to come is their comforte, because they know, [...] Cor. 5. 1. that if the tabernacle of this earthly house, be put off and dissolued, they shall haue a building giuen them of God, that is an house not made with handes, but eternall in the heauens. Therefore let vs not be discomforted in oure troubles, as though for them wee mighte conclude wee were forsaken of the Lorde, and did not be­long vnto him. Wee see here the apostle tel­leth vs, that iudgement beginneth at his owne house. It followeth.

If it beginne first with vs, what shall be the end of them that obey not the Gospell of God. We haue heard before of the trou­blesome [Page] estate of Gods Church & people vpon the earth, and how the Lorde seemeth to fauor the wicked, because for a time they florish, and be spared in their sinnes. Now, least the faythfull shoulde be deceiued with the prosperity of the wicked, and imagine that the Lord would euer beare with them in their naughtinesse: here the apostle tel­leth vs, that they likewise must haue their course, and that necessarily there must be a time wherein they shall be plagued. For thus doth he reason from the lesse vnto the greater: If God correct them that imbrace his gospell, and be careful to doe him faith­full seruice, if he begin first to scourge such: is it possible that they should escape moste fearefull vengeance, which be sworne ene­mies to his maiesty: superstitious, idola­trous, ignorant, and disobedient to his wil? The time certeinly will come (God being iust) when they shall bee rewarded seuen­folde into their bosoms.Psal. 79. 12. Therefore let not wicked men presume vpon their safety, be­cause they be spared for a time: & let them not insult vppon the Seruauntes of God, because they are afflicted and kept vnder, when themselues, enioy the desire of their [Page] heartes, and often times be the Lordes roddes, whereby he whippeth his chosen. For when the Lorde hath worne them to the stumps, aboute the backes of his chil­dren, to their greate good, then muste themselues be throwne into the fire of destruction, because the Lorde hath no more vse of them.Isai. 10. 12. This did Isaiah the pro­phet prophesy to the comfort of the church in his time: when sayth he, the Lord hath acomplished all his worke vppon Mount Sion and Ierusalem, he will visite the fruite of the proud heart of the king of Ashur. As though he should haue sayd: although God for a time, giue vp his church: to be chasti­sed by the king of Assiria a wicked man, so as he may seeme to haue cast of his owne people for euer, and to haue taken the proude and irreligious Assirians in their stead, Yet the time will come, when they shall bee restored to their beautye, and the wicked king with his people broughte to confusion and ruine: Euen when the Lord hath by them, accomplished that correcti­on of his Church, which hee hath determi­ned. According to that which he sayth in a­nother place: Woe to thee that spoylest, [Page] and wast not spoyled:Isai. 33. [...]. and doest wicked­lye, and they did not wickedly againste thee: when thou shalt cease to spoyle, thou shalt bee spoyled: when thou shalte make an end of doing wickedly, they shall do wickedly agaynste thee. With these te­stimonyes agreeth that of Ieremy, which he prophesied agaynste the Babilonians, af­ter that the People of God shoulde haue beene with them in bondage 70. yeares: I beginne to plague the Cytye (saythe the Lorde) where my name is called vp­pon,Ier. 25. and shoulde you goe free? You shall not goe quit.

And howe truelye these Prophesies agaynste the Assirians, and Babyloni­ans were accomp [...]ished, may appeare to all those that reade the Scriptures of the olde Testament.Gen. 15. 13. 14 To the same pur­pose mighte bee alleadged, that whiche God long before colde Abraham, con­cerning the bondage of Israel in Egypt, their wonderfull deliuerance from thence, and the destruction of Pharaoh and his people.1. Sam. 31. 4. So it came to passe with Saule, when hee had a long time afflicted Dauid: [Page] with Haman when hee had obteyned that murdering decree against the Iewes,1. Mac. 6. & 2. 9. read the chapters. Act. 12. and with Antiochus the tyrants, when for a time they had blasphemed the God of heauen, o­uerthrowen his true worshippe, and killed his people. Saule slewe himselfe: Haman & his children were hanged vpō the gallows, that he had set vp for Mordecai: the first An­tiochus dyed in great vexatiō of his mind, & the later so eaten with woormes, that his most familiar friends coulde not abide him for stinke.

Of Henrie the second the father, & Charles the ninth the sonne, kings of Fraunce: the first when he had caused much blood to bee shed, and lately before had saide, that him­selfe would see the burning of a noble Pro­testāt called Anduburgè, had one of his own eyes first put out by Mountgomerie, after a wonderfull manner, running with him at a Iusting in sport, and dyed in great weari­nesse of his life by reason of his paine, the tenth of August. 1559. The other the son, when hee had brought to passe that most strange massachre immediatly after the ma­riage of his Sister with the king of Na­uarre, and had sucked much blood of Gods [Page] seruants afterwardes, dyed himselfe most miserably ye 30. of Maie, 1574. it is writtē of him in ye french histories, that he was sick of a bloody flixe, and reported for a trueth, that blood yssued from diuers partes of his body wher there were other natural yssues, so as tossing and tumbling himselfe in his bed most fearefully: horribly curssing, and blaspheming the name of God, euen vntill his last gaspe, which also he had vsed to doe from his childehood, he so ended his wret­ched life, being at length filled with blood which he had before insaciably thirsted af­ter. Of the Cardinall of Loreine a chiefe practiser of mischiefe against Gods church who as the stories witnesse of him, dyed in a frensie, and when the prieste broughte oyle to annoynt him after their popishe or­der, he thrust his hand into the dishe, and all to be smeared the face of the priest with it. So he dyed at Auineon. 1574. The like might be said of Herode, Stephen Gardiner in Englād, & others. Such ferful ends c [...]me to diuers bloody persecuters, as our owne countriman M. Fox reporteth. And assure your selues (O al you wicked of ye earth,) y same portiō abideth for you, if you turn not [Page] to the Lord. Go to therfore mock on, at the saints of God, set your selues against his trueth, persecute his seruants, and proceed in all mischiefe, and flatter your selues be­cause God stayeth to punish, & the worlde smileth vpon you: doubt you not but the day will come when you shall pay full dearely for it. And we that suffer, or shall suffer any thing at the handes of the vngodly, let vs not be offended at our sufferings, and their prosperity:2. Thes. 1. 6. 7. For it shal be a righteous thing with God, to recompence trouble to those that trouble vs, and to our selues rest, if not in this world, yet at the least, when ye Lord Iesus shall again shew him selfe from hea­uen with his mighty Angelles. [...]. Thes. 1. 8. And seeing the apostle sayth here, that it must needes goe hard with them, that obey not the gos­pell, let vs not content our selues, with a bare and naked profession of the trueth: but whatsoeuer is taught, and we know, let vs take heede, that we be obedient thereun­to. It followeth.

And if the righteous be scarcely saued, where shall the vngodlye and sinner ap­peare? By the righteous hee vnderstan­deth, suche as bee studious of righteous­nesse, [Page] and bee carefull to please God, althoughe they bee not free from all sinne.

And by sinners hee meaneth not all manner of offendoures, but suche as yeelde them selues to corruption,Psal. 1. 1. Luk 7. 39. Ioh. 9. 31. and de­light in wickednesse: according as this woorde is vsed in other places of the Scripture. Nowe the purpose of the Apostle in this sentence, is the same with that in the ende of the laste Verse: Hee confidentlye affirmeth, that the wicked muste needes bee iudged with extreame seueritye, sithe the hande of God is often times heauye vppon them that feare him. This hardnes for ye righteous must not be vnderstood, of the last iudgement, as some would haue it, as though they should not there acquite thems [...]lues without great difficulty, and be saued without much ado. Noe, we see what saint Paul writeth tou­ching this matter:Rom. 8. 33. 34 Who (sayth he) shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods cho­sen? it is God that iustifieth who shall con­demue? it is Christe which is deade, yea or rather whiche is risen agayne, who is [Page] also at the right hand of God, and maketh requestes also for vs. The summe of his speech is, that there shall be none to accuse, or to pronounce sentence against any of the elect of God, and therefore their passage into glory at that time shall be moste easie. Whereupon our sauiour Christe willeth vs, that we looke vp, and lift vp our heads for ioy,Luk. 11. 28. whensoeuer there appeare any to­kens of the approching of that day. Which there were no great cause that we shoulde doe, if such hardnesse were then to be endu­red as some haue imagined. And howe should the saying of the sonne of God bee true?Apoc. 14. 13. blessed bee the deade that dye in the Lorde, and they rest from their labours: if newe labours were to be taken in hand at the last iudgement. This difficulty there­fore is to be vnderstoode of this life, accor­ding also as the verb (be saued) in the pre­sent tense doth euidently shewe: So as the Apostle his meaning is, that the estate of the godly is so troublesome vpon the earth, that they enter not into the kingdome of rest & glory, except first in the worlde, they haue gone thorough infinite daungers, and escaped as it were a thousand deathes. E­uen [Page] as the Apostles preached wheresoeuer they came, exhorting the disciples to conti­nue in the fayth,Act. 14. 22. affirming that they must thorough many afflictions enter into the kingdome of God:Psa. 34. 19. and as Dauid saythe: Greate are the troubles of the righteous: and as S. Paul setteth it downe for a prin­ciple vnto Timothie: 2. Tim. 3. 12. that all suche as will liue godly in Christ Iesus, must suffer per­secution. The trueth of this we haue heard before: and each man which knoweth any thing of himselfe, and the Church of God as hee ought to knowe, doeth vnderstande and beleeue it. Nowe this beeing proued true by continual experience: can the Lord be iust, thus to chastise and keepe in heaui­nesse his faythful seruants? except in time, most fearefull vengeance light vppon the sinners:Gen. 18. 25. shal not the iudge of all the world doe right? Yes verily. For this doth cer­teinely preach vnto vs, and cryeth as lowd in our ears as al the teachers in the world, that there shall bee a iudgement,2. Thes. 1. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. when all things shal be brought in good order: when the godly shal cease from all their sorrowe, and the wicked shall drinke the full cup of Gods wrath. Therefore as Iesus Christe [Page] saide of himselfe, so may it be spoken of all the children of God for euer: if they do these things to a green tree that is fruitful, what shalbe done to the drie and barren? And if the righteous be not saued but through so many afflictions: howe miserable muste the condition of the sinner be? If Abraham rested not in peace, til he had a great while wandred as a stranger from place to place, was pinched with famine,Gen 12. 10. 11. & 21. 25. & 22. [...]. driuen to denie his wife, to striue for water, and commaun­ded to be a butcher of that sonne in whome the hope of his saluation rested? If Iacob ended not his pilgrimage to passe into glo­ry,Gen. 27. 42. & 28. 11. till first hee was constrained to flee for feare of his owne brother: to lye all night in the broade fielde with a stone vnder his head for a pillowe:Gen. 29. 20. 27 to serue seuen yeres for one wife, & seuen for another, vnder an vn­ciuill and barbarous vncle: to abide mani­fold stirres & discords in his house between his wiues: to bee checked by Labans chil­dren: to be deceiued by their father: to haue his owne daughter rauished: his sonnes Si­meon and Leuie, Cap. 30. 14. 15. & 31. 1. 41. & 34. 1. 25. to commit most horrible murther: to haue one of his wiues abused by his owne sonne: his dearling Ioseph [Page] torne in pieces of wilde beastes as he was brought to beleeue:Gen. 35. 12 & 37. 32. and in his olde age to be vexed with hungre.Gen. 42. [...]. O Lord, what shal be the ende of the vngodly? If the Pro­phets in their time: If Iesus Christ him­self the Lord of glory: & his holy Apostles, indured the displeasure of princes, impri­sonments in myerie dungeons, buffetings, whippings, scornings, sawing asunder, cru­cifying, stoning and beheading, before they were glorified?Ier. 3 [...]. O howe miserable shall the portion be of the sinner? It the most famous witnesses of Iesus Christe, Hierome of Prage, Iohn Husse, VVickliffe, Cran­mer, Latimer, Hooper, Ridley, Philpot, Bradforde. the Shatillion of Fraunce, Bu­cer, Paulus Fagius and the rest, entered not into heauen till they were firste impriso­ned, mocked, dragged through the streates, scorched, and their fleshe with fire consu­med vnto asshes: If the last two, coulde not bee glorified in their bodies, till first they were taken vp beeing dead, and their bones burnt: If so straunge a kinde of ma­nacle was Cuthbearde Simpsons Ladder into heauen?Acts and [...] nume [...]tes. Is any tong able to expresse, [Page] or any heart able to conceiue, the height & depth of the miseries prepared for the wic­ked, and all the enemies of the Church? al­though for a time in this worlde, they pro­sper and haue peace. If such as haue liued without all blame before men: or for a time hauing gone out of the way, doe afterward vnfeynedly repent, and become as zealous in Gods matters, as they haue bin forward in corrupt [...] [...] and declare as great a dete­station of [...] [...]ines in themselues and o­thers, as euer they shewed liking of the same: yet for all that, in this life indure ex­treeme pouertie,Luk. 16. as did Lazarus: be plun­ged in the gul [...]e of all outward miseries as was Iob, who scraped the filth from his bo­die with a po [...]sherd,Iob. 2. 8. 9. and was euen loathed of his owne wife: be pressed with such ago­nies of the soule, as no tongue can vtter, as was that Iob, Dauid and others: insomuch as they refuse all comfort of meate, spende many nightes without sleepe, flee the com­panie of men, feare euery thing that they see: the earth lest it should take them downe quicke, the heauens lest they should fall, and crushe them to pieces, and all creatures, be­cause they see nothing but horror in them. [Page] Moreouer be troubled with straunge visi­ons and dreames, bee brought merueilous low in their bodies, their bones weakened, their fleshe consumed, and their eyes sunke in their head: that when it is euening, they say, would God it were morning, and when it is morning, they say, would God it were euening. And that which is the depth of all miserie, haue their sinnes (committed by them since they had any vnderstanding) at one time brought to their remembrance, & all comfort concerning hope of remission so taken away (because they can see nothing in God but an angrie iudge) that in the end they breake out into these most lamentable speeches: woe is me poore caytife that euer I was born: curssed be the houre wherein I was conceiued, and the day wherein I first faw the sunne:Iob. 7. O that God had made me a Serpente to licke the duste vpon the earth, or a toade to creepe vpon the ground: so shuld my misery haue ended at my death. But now alasse I know it shal be mine en­trance tnto eternall paines, hell is my por­tion, and there I must remaine for euer: I am most sure of it. Comfort you not me (my friends) the promises of God belong to you [Page] and to his elect: there is no mercie for me: I haue so grieuously offended: I feele my selfe destitute of all markes of Gods childe: and I was a reprobate from before the be­ginning. If for a time suche bee thus cast downe, & peraduenture throwne into grea­ter miseries then any of these rehersed, that no comforts be able to rayse vp their tyred soules, but eyther yet wrastling with sathan and dispaire, or els ouercome by them, bee pressed out of al measure: And notwithstan­ding all these, recouer afterwards, & casting away all horror, doubting and slauish sea [...]e, by their fayth mounte aboue the heauens, where they see their Sauiour whome their soule hath longed after, sitting at the right hand of God: so as they bewayle their for­mer vnbeliefe, lament those speeches of dis­paire, be throughly perswaded of the remis­sion of all their sinnes, haue certeine hope of eternall life, & become so comfortable in Gods promises, that by his grace they bee able to rayse vp such as doubt and feare: & finally leaue behinde them vndouted proofs of the elect of God, that to all such as haue iudgement and vnderstanding, they appear plainely to haue bin sealed vp vnto eternall [Page] life from the beginning? Can it otherwise be, but that there are vnspeakable torments after this life, appointed to such as make a sport of sinne, neuer turne to God, and dye without repentantaunce: although in this world they abound with all health, wealth, and prosperitie? let vs therefore reioyce in all our afflictions, wherein we take part with all the seruauntes of God: and let vs not be offended at the prosperity of the vn­godly: the time will come when wee shall haue comforte, & when they shalbe tormen­ted: For so doth it stande with the trueth & iustice of God, according to that which A­braham sayd to the rich man in hell: sonne remember that thou in thy lyfe time recey­uedst thy pleasures, and likewise Lazarus paines: now therefore is he comforted, & thou art tormented. If followeth.

Therefore let them that suffer according to the wil of God: commit their soules to him in wel doing, as vnto a faithful Creator.

This is the conclusion of the whole trea­tise: as thoughe hee shoulde haue sayde on this wise: sith the afflicting of the churche is no newe thing, sith it is a meane to trye the good from the bad, and to make them [Page] better, in whome there is (by the grace of God) some goodnes: sith in all sufferings it is a partaker with Iesus Christ, & shall re­ioyce with him, when he appeareth againe in glory: sith we be happy when we be rai­led vpon in the name Christe, because the [...]pirite of God & of glory resteth vpon vs: sith we suffer not as euill doers, but as chri­stians, & so haue no cause to bee ashamed: sith the time is now, wherein the Lord wil scourge his owne house: and hereafter will most seuerely proceede agaynst the wicked although he spare them for a time: Let vs continue in well doing, and committe oure selues to him, that is faithfull, and able to keepe that, whiche wee trust him with. There is yet another cōfort for vs in this verse, that we heard not before: and that is where he telleth vs, that we be not afflicted by the will and pleasure of men, but onelye at the pleasure & appointment of the Lord. To proue this point of doctrine, I shall not need to labour much: the truthe of it should soone be granted, if we knew what we sayd in this confession: I beleeue in God the fa­ther almighty maker of heauen and earth. For what is this else, but to ascribe such a [Page] souereigne power vnto God, that nothing is done nor can be done, in heauen, earth, or hell, but that onely which he determineth & appointeth? The diuel himselfe coulde not sturre one foote forward,Iob. 1. 12. & 26. Luc. 8. 30. 32. to hurt Iob in his cattel, children, or himselfe, till the Lorde from heauen had first sayd, goe: Nay the le­gion of Deuils, coulde not touche one of the Gadarenes swine, til the Lorde Iesus had first giuen them licence. And shal we think that mortall men, (whose malice againste the hurch is not so deadly, nor their power so great) can so much as lift vp a finger to pul a hair frō the faces of any of Gods chil­dren,Luk. 127. till first the Lord haue taken order for the matter? wee be deceiued, & greatly de­togate from the maiesty of the almighty, if we once imagine any such thing. Where­upon Nabucadonizer in the middest of all his malice to the Iews the church of God, is termed the Lordes seruaunt:Ier. 25. 9. because in deede as an hangman or executioner, he did nothing else, but that which hee had deter­mined. Although the sinne of the king was in this behalfe great, because his purpose was not to doe the will of the Lord, but to satisfie his owne proude and cruell affecti­ons. [Page] So is Ashur. Luk. 16. 25. (ye king of Assiria) called the rod of God. And to this purpose it is said in the acts, that Poncius Pilate and the Iewes,Act. 4. 28. in condemning and crucifying the sonne of God, did that which the father be­fore had appointed. Insomuch as it may be truely concluded, that the deuill and all the wicked of the earth, in their extreamest rage against the saints, do nothing else but the will of God,Isa. 10. 5. 8. although they know it not, neither do it to any such intēt, sith they wholy oppose themselues against his maiesty. And yet the Lorde must not be charged to be the author of euill: for the self same fact, I mean the troubling of the church, in re­spect of God, and his purpose therein, is holy, glorious, righteous, full of mercy, and to the great good of his seruaunts: which neuerthelesse in respect of the instruments by whome God worketh it, is wicked, vn­iust, full of cruelty, and intended to the hurt of his children. But inough of this com­mon place, that the enemies of the faythful, be nothing els, but the Lords rods, where­with he exerciseth his people: and that of themselues they can do no more, then a rod or a whippe out of the hand of the smiter. [Page] Now this teacheth vs not to fear the faces of the vngodly, nor to be dismaid at their threates: the Lorde appointeth them cer­taine bondes, beyonde the which they can not passe the bredth of an haire. And this offreth vnto vs great comfort. For what childe that is wise and hath vnderstanding, doeth not reioyse, in the correction of his father? sith being perswaded of his father­ly and tender affection, he is out of doubt, that it is well meant, and shall turne to his good. Seing then the Lord is our Father, & his compassion ouer vs, passeth the kind­nes of a mother toward the infant sucking vpon her brest:Isa. 49. 15. Let vs be comfortable in all our afflictions, sith they come from him, and fall vpon vs according to his will. And that we maye haue to cheare vs in all our distresses, let vs seriosly meditate vpon this one thing: the Lorde sendeth them. After which consideration: it by the testimonye of the spirite crying in our hearts (Ab­ba) father,Gal. 4. 6. & the sanctification of our liues, we can perswade our selues, that we be his children: ye present smart shall not quail vs,Heb. 12. 11. because of the fruit of righteousnes follow­ing after:Rom. 8. 28. & it must needs turne to our best, [Page] because it commeth from our father. Thus much of these words of ye apostle: Let so many as bee afflicted according to the will of God. &c.

His conclusion is, that in all well doing we commende our soules vnto God, that hath made them. For, as wee haue be­fore in the time of our peace, declared some rare of pleasing God, and doing his will: so is it our dueties to continue in our afflicti­ons, and not for them, to take any libertie to doe euill. And therefore wee must not murmure against the Lorde, as though he dealte hardly with vs: wee muste not bee fainthearted to denie his trueth: we muste not be bitter to our enemies in curssing of them, and rewarding them as they deale with vs: but with all patience, weekenesse, gentlenes, courage, forgiuing of our aduer­saries, and praying for them: constantly to endure whatsoeuer the Lorde will trie vs with, according to the precepts of the scriptures, & the example of Dauid, Christ him­selfe, Stephen, and the rest of the holy mar­tyrs, which blessed their persecuters,Luke. 23. 46. Act. 7. 59. 60. and in the destruction of their bodies, committed their spirites into the handes of God: In [Page] whome they beleeued, that he was faithful, & able to keepe safe whatsoeuer was com­mended vnto him:2. Tim. 1. 12. whose steppes if we doe follow, according to the doctrine of the a­postle in this place: then, although our bo­dies be turned into dust,Eccle. 12. 7. whēce they came, beeing racked by Tyrants, cast in prison, burnt, and the ashes throwne into riuers: yet vnto oure soules they shall offer no violence, but beeing committed into the handes of the Lorde, shall returne to him that gaue them, till the daye come when all our enemyes shall bee troaden vnder oure feete:Apoc. 2. 26. 27 Apoc. 20. 13. when the earthe and Sea, rendering theire deade, bodye and Soule shall meete together, to bee crow­ned in token of victorye, and with all the holye Angelles to take full possessi­on of that glorious and immortall king­dome, which nowe we hope for.Apoc. 14. 4. Where we shall followe the Lambe whersoeuer he goeth, and sing prayses to him that hath redeemed vs for euer. Whiche dayes the Lorde hasten, that wee may be par­takers of that happinesse, euen for Iesus Christ his sake, to whom with ye Father & the holy ghost, three persons & one true and [Page] euerliuing God, be all prayse, honour, pow­er, might and dominion, now and for euer­more. Amen, Amen. Amen.

Apoc. 17. 14.

These are they, which came out of great tribulation, & haue washed their long robes, and haue made their long robes white in the bloud of the Lambe.

15 Therefore are they in the presence of the throne of God, and serue him day and night in his Temple, and he that sitteth on the throne, will dwell amomg them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shal the sunne light on them, neither any heate.

17 For the Lambe which is in the middes of the throne, shall gouerne them, and shall lead them vnto the liuely founteines of wa­ters, and God shal wipe away al teares from their eyes.

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