¶ Aggeus and Abdias Prophetes, the one corrected, the other newly added, and both at large declared.

The earnest loue that I beare to thy house hath eaten me. Psal. lxix. Ioan. ii.
Phinees hath tourned awaye my anger because he was moued with loue of me. Num. xxv.

Imprinted at London by Willyam Seres. 1562.

¶ A Preface to al that loue the earnest promotinge of Gods glo­rye, in his Churche by true religion.

ALthoughe the com­men vsage of dedicating bookes, is to require the defense of some woor­thye personage of lear­nynge or authoritye for the thing that it is writ­ten: yet the maiestie of the matter in thys boke, is such, that it rather defendes than sekes defence, and thexample of the Pro­phet, whych wrytes it not to one, but ma­nye, suffers me not to sende it, to any one sorte of menne particularly, but general­lye to all that should vnfeinedly promote the encrease of Gods glory, bicause all de­grees of men do owe a dutye to the buil­dinge, of this gods house. And if anye of­fence be taken (as God knowes, none is purposelye giuen) the defence of manye is greater than of a fewe, and that authori­tye or credite, which one manne alone can not bring to passe, al iointly together shal more easely obtaine. The Prophet is sent from God to the Prince, the highe Priest [Page] and the people: so I speake to the rulers, the ministers and comminalty. The cheef intent of his Prophecie, is to stirre all to the spedye buildinge of Gods house, whi­che they had so long neglected: my labour is to bring some of euery sort (for al is not possible) to an earnest fortheringe of gods true religion, of late most mercifullye re­stored vnto vs, which not long agoe, most cruellye was persecuted, of manye yet ha­ted, and of euery man almost now to cold­lye folowed and practised. But if this Prophecy were read and depelye conside­red, with such a hungry desire of gods glo­rye, as the Prophete spake and wrote it, and I for my parte and pore abilitie, haue declared it: I doute not, but ye good should be stirred by gods spirit, more earnestly to seke gods glory, & the froward shuld be a­frayed of gods plague, & ashamed stubber­nely to striue against ye trueth cōtinually.

The state of religion in these our mi­serable dayes, is much like to the trouble­som time that this Prophet liued in: God graunt that after many greuous stormes it may take like roote in vs, as it did than in them. After the long captiuity of gods people in Babilon, god gaue them gracy­ous king Cyrus, which set them at liber­ty Esdra. i.and sent them home to builde Goddes [Page] house: So after our longe Romish slaue­rye, God raysed vs vp good kynges which restored vs gods booke that long had bin buried, and loused vs from the bondage of straunge gods, forreyn powers, cruell hi­pocrites, and wicked Idols. And as after that short fredome vnder good Cirus, en­sued the crueltye of Hamman, for negli­gently handling gods buildinge: And not long after milde Ester,Ester. iii. came blouddy An­tiochus for their falling from god: So for our talking gospel, and not worthely wal­king nor folowing it, vnder our gracyous late Iosias,Macha. i. crept out a swarm of Romish waspes, stinging to death all that would not worship their Gods, nor beleue their doctrine.

God for his mercies sake, graūt that now for our vnthankful coldnes in gods cause vnder our myld Ester, burst not out again bloudy Antiochus with his whelpes, iust­ly to auenge our cold slacknes in gods re­ligion, and insensible dulnes.ii. cor. ii. Gods word is neuer offered and geuen in vaine, or to vse at our pleasure: but it workes eyther saluacion in them that here beleue and fo­lowe it, or els condemnacion in them that proudely despise it, sturdely rebell, or for­getfully do heare, and vnthankfullye re­ceyue his mercies. Therefore as after a [Page] storme folowes a calme, and after winter comes sommer: so nowe where God hath geuen a breathing time, (lest our weake­nes had not bene able to haue borne hys heauy displeasure anye longer) let vs ear­nestlye applye our worke, whan we haue time, for the nyghte wyll come whan no man shall be able to worke.

If this be true (as it is most true in deede) that euerye dede of our sauiour Christ, is our instruction: & also that what thynges soeuer are wrytten, they be writtē for our learning (as S. Paul teacheth) let vs cal to remēbraunce,Rom. xv. what zele & earnest loue our sauiour Christ, especially shewed in buil­ding his fathers house, and restoringe the true vnderstanding of the scriptures, frō the supersticious gloses of the Scribes & Pharises, and also what a feruent desire of promoting gods glory our fathers haue shewed afore vs, that we may be good sco­lers of our schoolemaister Christe Iesus, and obedient childrē, walking in the step­pes of our fathers.Iohn. ii. Luke. xix. Oure Lorde and sauy­our christ, comming into the temple, and finding it full of biers, sellers and chaun­gers, was greeued to see Gods house so misused, gate a whippe and droue them al out, saiyng: My house is a house of praier: but ye haue made it a denne of theues, so [Page] surely al Christians, whiche vnfeynedly [...] beare the name of christ, and zelously loue the building of his house, woulde gladlye see sinne punyshed, and lamente that the whip of Gods disciplyne is not shaken in gods house, to the driuing out and confu­sion of all gredy theues, which if they can not get in at the dore, by lawfull meanes, wil climbe in at the wyndowe, and for a litle money wil sel the bodyes and soules of Christes sheepe, and make gods house the Popes market place. But as she that had so much worke to doe, that she could [...] not tell where to begin, sate her downe & left al vndone: so I say, worldly wise men see so many thinges out of order in Gods house, and so little hope of redresse, that they can not tell which to correct or amēd first, and therefore let the whippe lye stil, and euery man to do what him lust, & sin to be vnpunished.

And not onely this euil reignes, but the worlde is come to such a dissolute liberty, and negligēt forgetting of god, that men sleping in sinne, nede not so much a whip to driue anye out of the Churche, so fewe come there, but they nede a great sorte of whips, to driue some fewe thitherwarde. For come into a Church on the Sabboth day, and ye shall see but few though there [Page] be a sermon: but the alehouse is euer full. Wel worth the Papistes therfore in their kind, for they be earnest, zelous and pain­ful in their doinges, they will build their kingdom more in one yeare with fire and fagot,Zele in correcting sinne is godly. than the colde gospellers will do in seuen. A popishe summoner, spy, or pro­moter, will driue mo to the church with a worde, to heare a latin masse, than seuen Preachers will brynge in a wekes prea­ching, to heare a godly Sermon. If this be not true, remember the late dayes of popery, and see who durst offend him that weere a shauen crowne. Who loked so high than, but he woulde geue place to a priestes cappe: and now who regardes the best preacher ye haue? O what a condem­nacion shall this be to al such, as haue the whip of gods correctiō in their hande, to se the wicked so diligēt, and earnest in their doinges, to set vp Antichrist: and Christi­an rulers and officers of al sortes, hauing the whip of correction in their hande, both by gods lawe, and the Princes, so colde­ly behaue them selues, in settinge vp the kingdom of Christ, that neither they giue good example theym selues in diligente prayinge, and resorting to the church, nor by the whippe of dyscipline driue others thitherward. Where apperes in any chri­stians, [Page] in these our dayes this earnest zele of Christ, to promote gods glory by suche correction, that we maye say we be his fo­lowers. I feare rather that Christ, of whō we more talke, than diligently folowe, or earnestly loue, for this cold slacknes that he sees in vs, will say vnto vs.Reuel. iii Bicause ye be neither hote nor colde, I will spue you out of my mouthe. Wo be to that Realm where god is compelled to take the whip in hand to punish sinne bicause the rulers will not: great shalbe the plage thereof. Phinees turned awaye gods anger from his people,Num. xxv bicause so zelously he auenged gods quarell and punished that wicked­nesse, which other wincked at. Dauid se­ing gods glory defaced, and his enemies so contemptuouslye to forget the lawe of the lorde, was so greued that he said.Psal. c.xix The earnest loue that hee bare towarde God, made him to pine awaye, bicause his en­nemies had forgotten the worde of God. Elias fleing from cruell Iesabell, thret­ninge to kill him, bicause he had destroied Baals priestes, liued in wyldernesse, de­sired he might die,iii. king. xix. for he was wery of his life to see how manye were fallen to Ido­latrye, & how few (or none as he thought) worshipped truly the liuing god. Though Iehu was a euil man otherwaies, yet god [Page] gaue him a worldly blessing, and commē ­ded him for his earnest zele in rooting out the posterity of Achab, [...]ii. kin. x pulling down Ba­all, and his sacrificinge priestes, makinge a common Iakes of the house, where they worshipped him. S. Paule seing the Co­rinthians, rather reioysinge then lamen­tinge or punishinge that filthinesse com­mitted amonge them: that one of theym had defiled his stepmother,i. corin. v. wrytes vnto them, rebukes al thē sharply, bicause they did not correct him, and willes them al to assemble them selues in the name of god, to excomminicate and geue him to Sa­than that had done this wickednes, not to eat and drinke with him, that he might be ashamed, repent, and amend. So whereas this great zele and loue towarde god and his house buildinge, standes either in cor­recting euill and lamenting the defacing of gods glorye, or els in wisshinge and do­ing good therto, and fortheringe it to our powers: for the first part to be earnestlye folowed, these fewe examples shall serue: for the other, there be so manye that it is harder to tell where to ende, then where to beginne.

Moyses in the wildernesse, wyllinge to make a Tabernacle and place where the people should resort to worship their god, [Page] had the Princes and people so liberall to offer and bringe to the makinge thereof,Zele to promote gods glo­rie plea­ses him. Exo. xxxv golde, siluer, precious stones, silke, pur­ple, heare, iron, brasse and timber, of all sortes such plentye, that they would haue geuen more then neded. Dauid earnest­ly desiringe to builde a house for the Lord (if god would haue suffered him) lefte his son Salomon so great plenty of al things necessary to that buildinge in a readines,i. Chro. xxix. that he finished that costly building in se­uen yeares. Good king Cirus restored a­gain to Gods people al that couetous Na­bucho had robbed from them: Cirus, Da­rius, Artaxerxes, and hys Princes gaue out of their treasures to the buildinge of the temple, and maintenaunce of their sa­crifices according to the lawe of Moyses,Esdr. 6.7. sufficientlye that they myght pray for the king, his children, & the common wealth. Constantinus the firste, worthelye called magnus, a Chrystyan Emperour gaue great liberty [...] the Bishoppes, and other ministers. Iustinianus, Theodosius, Ca­rolus magnus, Ludouicus Pius. &c. aug­mented and encreased the same with lan­des and lawes. This zeale and earnest loue to build gods house,We are vnlike our fa­thers. and punishe sin was in our fathers: this liberality was in Princes and rulers that vnderstoode not [Page] gods benefites and mercies so plentifully as we do. They pacified gods wrath, in correcting sinne, & we prouoke his plages with heapinge vp of sinne: They were greued and wery of their liues when they see Gods enemies despise his worde, we winke and cloke it, we laugh and smile at it, and thinke it not to be a fault. They were offended if wickednesse were vnpu­nished, and the partye not ashamed that sinned, and we be offended if any man go about to see it punished, or the offendour ashamed. They were liberall in geuinge, relieuinge & maintaining the ministery, we are greedy in snatching and plucking away from them: They were ready to de­fende with priuileges the ministers, that they shoulde not be withdrawen from do­ing their dutie, and we bind them to such clogges, that they can not do their dutye: They restored all that was taken from them, and we study daily how to get more from them. When I compare these doin­ges together, and see howe good successe the one had, and gods Church was glori­ouslye builded that waye bothe vnder the law & the gospell, it makes me to quake when I loke what shall fall vpon vs, go­ing so farre cleane contraryway. Surelye both they and we go not in the right way. [Page] The lord for his crucified Christes sake, which came downe from the bosom of his father, to teache vs to builde him a house here, that afterward we might raigne in glory with him there: graunt vs all, in all degrees from the higheste to the lowest, suche an earneste simple loue to the true buildinge of hys house, as the Prophete here teaches vs, that vprightly we might walke the right way that he hath gone a­fore vs.

If the Prince and nobylitye will main­taine that honorable estate that god hath called them to, and auoyde the bondage of forreine powers: If the Bishoppes and clergie will feede Gods people with the liuely foode of oure soules, gods doctrine and discipline, and not with mannes in­uentions: If the people will trulye serue God and obey their prince, flee from Ido­latrye, & escape gods plagues: let vs ioint­ly together earnestly abhorre poperie, cor­rect sinne, turne vnto the Lord, delight in his worde, reuerence his ministers, be di­ligent in prayer, that we maye be liuelye stones, mete for his building, and become the temples of the holy ghoste, where he with the father and the sonne .iii. persons and one god, may dwell and be praysed.

[Page] I. P. L. C. D.

My earnest loue to God hath pined me away, because my enemies haue forgot­ten thy wordes. Psalm. 119.

I haue bene earnestlye zelous for the Lord god of hostes: because they haue for­saken thy couenaunt .3. king. 19.

The Prophete Aggeus. …

The Prophete Aggeus.

IN the seconde yeare of Kynge Darius, in the vi. moneth & the firste daye of the moneth, the word of the Lord was sente by the hande of Aggeus the Prophet, vnto Zerubabell the son of Salathiel, ruler of Iuda and vnto Iosua the Sonne of Iosedec the chief Priest, saying.

¶In asmuch that the yeare,Notinge of circumstāces, is a tokē that the thinge is true whiche is telled. moneth and day, when this Prophecy was spoken, be so diligentlye noted of the Prophete: and also that in which kinges daies, by whom and to whom it was preached, is so dili­gentlye mencioned, it makes muche for prouynge the trueth of the prophecie, and that we shoulde the rather beleue it. For they that will teach lies, vse not so exact­ly to declare the circumstances, wherein thinges were done, least in examynation of the same, thinges be proued contrary, [Page] and they founde liers.

But chiefly this long time here appoin­ted of xl. yeares,The differ­rynge of Goddes pu­nyshement▪ declareth his longe suffe­ringe and our slouthfulnes in wel doing teacheth vs the pacience and long sufferaunce of god, who wil not punishe so sone as we do a faulte, but ta­ry and looke for oure repentaunce and a­mendmente as he did here so longe beare the Iewes. And also it setteth before vs the vnthankful disobedience, and slouth­full negligence of gods people, whiche af­ter so mercifull a deliueraunce, and brin­ging them home againe from Babilon to their owne countrey (from whence they were led prisoners by Nabuchodonozor) had so longe and manye yeares left of the building of that house, which God willed them so straightly to restore, and the good King Cirus had giuen them liberty to do the same,.i. Esder. i. and restored their old ornamen­tes to doe it withall. And in them also we learne our owne slouthfullnes to the ful­fillinge of gods lawes: For of our selues we be no better then they, nor more diligēt in wel doinge, except God stirre vs vp by his vndeserued grace.

The Iewes for their disobedience to god and his Prophetes preachinge his worde,Iere. ii. [...]. according to the Prophecy of Ieremy, had their country spoyled, their Citie Ierusa­lem burned, their Temple destroyed, they [Page] them selues were manye killed,Ierusalem was destroy­ed for not o­beyinge the Prophete, but after re­turned. some for hunger in the besiege of the Citie, did eat their owne children or donge, and the rest were led prisoners to Babylon by Nabu­chodonozor, and there kept three score and ten yeares in great bondage. After these years ended, by ye good king Cirus, they had lycence in the first yeare of his reigne to go home and build their temple as ma­nye as would, and all other might freelye aide them with monie toward that great costly woorke. Some good amongst them (but fewe in comparison) as Zorobabell, Iosua, Nehemia, Mardocheus and other, whose names are rekened in Esdras,.i. Esdra. ii. toke in hande to be Captaines of this worthye worke: and after they came to Ierusalem, they builded an altar to serue for to make their offeringes and their sacrifices on, vntil the time that the Temple was buil­ded. The first and seconde yeares of their comming home to Ierusalem,.i. Esdra▪ iii.iiii. and .v. they were some thing diligent about their building, and laide the ground worke of the temple: But after, partlye for complaintes of the rulers in the country (whiche were straū ­gers and placed there longe afore by Sal­manasar, & had accused them to the king,iiii. king xvii saiyng: if they were suffered to build their Cytye, they woulde rebell, as they were [Page] wont, and paye no more taxes) and partly for slouthfull negligence of them selues,Because wee can not stirre vp our selues to doe good, preachinge is too bee este­med. they left of buildinge vnto nowe this se­conde yeare of Darius, God sent this his Prophet to stirre them vp to their worke. By this we may learne that when we lye longe on sleepe in sinne, we can not wake vp our selues vntil God stirre vs vp by his Prophetes, his word, or holy spirite. For Dauid after he had committed adul­tery with Urias wife,ii. King ii. and caused her hus­band to be slaine, laye without remorse of conscience, without repenting for his eull doinges, or asking mercy, vntill the Pro­phet Nathan came and rebuked him for the same. Therfore let vs not lightly re­garde the warninges of God sent vnto vs by hys preachers, but thankfully embrace them, praisinge his holye name, that not only he hath so paciently borne vs so long and not sodenlye destroyed vs walowing in sinne, and forgettinge him without re­pentaunce: but now lastlye hath called vs by the preachinge of his worde, and resto­ring his gospel by our gracious Queene, to a new life, which god graunt vs for his Christes sake.

The Iewes had now lyen after their cō ­ming home almost, xl. years not regardīg the building of the temple, wherfore God [Page] mooste louinglye sente his Prophete to warne them of their dutye, rebuke them of their negligences, and stirre theym vp earnestly to go about that worke. And although the counting of these yeares be harde to count, and are diuersly reckened of diuerrs men, because they would make the greke Histories to agre with the scrip­tures: I shall let all other Histories passe, because they be to troublesome, and fo­low that onelye whiche the scripture tea­cheth, for that is the easiest and plainest to vnderstande, and without al doubt true. In Iohn we reade that the Iewes asked our sauior Christ what marueylous signe he would worke to perswade theym,Ihon. ii. that he might do suche thinges as he did.This temple was .xlvi. yeares in buyl­dinge. And he sayd to them: distroye ye this temple, & in thre dayes I wil build it agayne. He spake of his owne body, whiche he would rayse vp the third day after they had putte him to death: but they vnderstoode him of that greate costlye solēne Tēple of lyme & stone, whiche nowe they were building, and therfore said: Fourty & six yeres was this temple in buildinge. And wylte thou buylde it in three dayes? Here we se howe longe this temple was in buyldynge? al­thoughe some expounde thys place other­wise: yet this is not ment that they were [Page] contynuallye workynge on the same, so longe (for partly they were forbidden and stopped by the Kynges that ruled after Cyrus,.i. Esdra. iiii. and partlye they were negligent and carelesse for it) but that there were so many yeares from the beginninge of that worke, vnto the finishing of the same. In the second yeare of Kinge Cyrus, whiche was also the seconde yeare of their retur­ninge home to Ierusalem from Babilon, they layd the foundacions of the temple: In the second yeare Darius, as this presēt place teacheth, they are willed by Aggeus to take in hand their worke againe▪ And in the sixt yeare of this same Darius they finyshe it:.i. Esdra. vi. so that from the seconde yeare of Cyrus, vnto the sixte yeare of Darius, must be .xlvi. yeares wherein they were building, as S. Iohn sayth. This was a great negligence of Gods people and vn­thankefulnes, so long forgetting the buil­ding of the temple, and their duty to god, after so mercifull and late restoring them to their coūtry:If god rule vs not euery mi­nute we for­get him and our selues. Philip. ii. but this all our croked na­ture bent vnto, except God do not onelye begin the good woorke in vs, but also con­tinuallye leade vs in the same to the ende. Therfore haue we neede to loke diligent­lye vnto our selues, & pray that god would not turne his mercifull eyes from vs: for [Page] yf he neuer so little withdrawe his hand [...] from vs, and do not euerye minute guide all oure doyinges, wee fall into a forget­fulnes of him and our dueties.

Manye doubte also whiche Darius this was, that is here named of the Pro­phete, because the Greeke hystories make mencion of diuers of that name, as Dari­us Histaspis, and Darius Longimanus with other mo. But because the Scripture makes mencion of none after Cirus time, but this one: I will seeke no further, nor trouble you with suche harde shyftes as many do, to make the Scripture and those historyes to agree.Vnder what kinges thy [...] temple was builded. The Scriptures make mencion of no mo Kinges for thys buil­ding time, but of Cyrus, Assuerus, Da­rius, and [...]rtaxerces: Therefore in theyr dayes muste this whole historie, and those sixe and fourty yeres mencioned of Saint Iohn, be fulfilled. Assuerus I take to be husbande to queene Ester, and thys Da­rius to be her Sonne, whereunto also the Hebrewe commentaries agree. And al­thoughe other thinke other wyse, yet I see no Scripture that they bringe. Cyrus gaue first lycence to the Iewes to go home and buylde this temple.i Esdra▪ iiii. Assuerus moued by the accusations of the rulers, did for­bid theim to buylde anye more. Darius [Page] broughte vppe in the feare of God by his Mother Ester, and seinge the wickednes of his father,iii. Esdra. iiii. made a vow, that if he euer reygned after his father, he would buyld the temple, and so in his seconde yeare he gaue the Iewes free libertie to go home and builde their temple, renewed theyr Commission, and gaue them money libe­rallye to do it withall. Artaxerxes in his seuenth yeare sent Esdras home againe with geate giftes,i. Esdra. vii. and gaue lyberty to as manie as woulde go with him, and so the woorke was fynished.

Many do thinke probablye, and to whō I can well agree, that the .vii. yeare of Ar­taxerxes was the seuenth yeare of thys same Darius here named, and that Artax­arxes and Darius is both one man. For Artaxerxes was a common name to al the kinges of Persia,Artaxerxes. as all the kinges of E­gipt were called Pharao firste,Pharao. Ptolomeus. Caesar. and Pto­lomeus afterward, what time soeuer they liued in. And as all the Emperours are called Cesar, althoughe they haue proper names of their owne beside. But I will not enter further in this matter, for it is more subtile then profitable, and litle edi­fication is in the searching of it: euery one iudge as the scripture will best beare, and as God shall teache him.

[Page]The Iewes in reckeninge their yeres and moneths, haue diuers soortes. For sometime Marche is their firste moneth, & the beginning of their year, and specially when they count their solempne feastes, as God bad Moyses, that,Exodi. xii. ye Moone wherin they came out of Egipte, shoulde be the firste Moone in the yeare. Sometime was September when al the fruites of ye earth was gathered into their barnes.Diuers sortes of reckening years & mo­nethes & na­mes of dayes and moneths Some­time they recken from the daye of the co­ronation of their Kinges, as wee vse di­uersly to recken also, and sometime to be­gin at Newyears daie, sometime at ye An­nunciation of the virgin Marie, commōly called the Lady daie in Lente, Sometime from the daie of Coronation of oure Kyn­ges, and sometime when they paie their rentes, as Mighelmas, Martinmas, He­lenes daie. &c. But their moones were reckened to begin euer from the chaunge of the moone; what daie soeuer of oure moone it chaunged, and not by the Kalen­der (for than there was none made) as we do. So that the first dai with vs in the Ka­lender might be farre frome the chaunge of ye moone with them, as the .xii.xiiii.xix xxiiii. or so foorth. Their monethes for a long time, and their daies alwaies, had not proper names geuen them by men as we [Page] haue now, to cal them Mondaie, Sondai, Wednesdaie, Fridaie▪ And Ianuary, Marche, August, Iulye, but thei reckened bothe their monethes and daies thus: the first, the second, the third, fourth. &c. Nor we reade in the scriptur any names geuē to monethes vnto the time of Moyses, & than had thei no Heathen names, as oure daies and monethes haue nowe. So by this reckning, this Prophecie was spokē in the second year of Darius raigne, be­ginning the yeare of the time of his coro­nation, when soeuer it was. And in the sixt moneth from Marche, whiche is oure August, and the first dai, which is not Lā ­mas as we count, but the first of ye chaūge of the moone, what time soeuer it chaun­ged. The marking of this reckening shal help you too vnderstande diuers places of scriptur, if thei be remembred, for because thei vse another manner of reckening thē we doe.

And although it seme too many but a smale matter, by what names the daies & monethes [...]e called: yet if we consider it wel, there is a great thing in it. The La­tin men and many other more, geue na­mes to euery daye in the weeke of some one of the Starres, commonlye called the Planetes, as though the Starres ruled al [Page] thinges. As Sundai of the Sun,It is hurtfull to call dayes by Heathen names. Mōdaie of the moone, Saterdai of Saturne: & th [...] monethes many haue their names of Emperours, as Iuly, August, for a vain glory that their name should not dye with thē, and diuers other haue their names of as light causes.

If we remember the beginninge of the names of twoo most solemne daies in our weeke, Wednesdaie and Fridai, we shall better perceiue the rest. Fabian and other Chronicles tell, that when the Saxōs in­uaded this Realme, and there were seuen Kinges ruling here at once, thei broughte with them twoo Idols, ye one called Wo­den, and the other Fria: Or els as other write, it was a noble Captain & his wife, whiche for their worthines were made Gods, and when thei hadde ouercome the English men, thei made two daies in the weeke to be called Wednesdai & Fridaie by the names of their false gods or Cap­tains, and so to be worshipped,wednesday. Fryday. and those names we kepe still. Why than maie it not be thought to be in remembraunce of those Idols or Captaines, if euery thinge haue their name after their beginninge? And this maie be thought the beginning of ye Wednesdaies & Fridaies to be [...] ho­lier then the reste, what pretence soeuer [Page] was founde after to fast or halow theym. So this good can come by vsing ye names of straunge gods, that Idolles with false worshipping of God were set vp.

We neuer readde in the scripture, nor in anye aunciente writer on the scripture (that I remember) that either moo­nethes or dayes were called by names of Starres, menne, Idolles, or false gods, but Feries, as Augustine often doeth vse too call theym: yea, the Popes Portues, calleth the daies in the week [...] thus: the second and the third Fery. &c.

But nowe in time it is come too passe that euerye daie in the yeare is called by that name of some saincte, and not in all Countryes a like, but as euerye Coun­trye is disposed too worshippe their sain­ctes.

In the new Testamente I finde no daies named,Reuela. i. but the first of the Sabboth &c. and the Lordes daie, which I take too be the Sundaie, when Ihon sawe his Re­uelation. Thus superstition crepte intoo the worlde, when men began too forgette callinge on the true and onelye God, and made them gods of euery deadde sainct as they list.

Astronomers dooe euill in calling some dayes infortunate.What can we saye for oure selfs, but [Page] that we put greate superstition in dayes when we put openly in Kalēders and Al­manacks and say: these dayes be infortu­nate, & great matters are not to be taken in hand these dayes, as thoughe we were of gods priuie counsell.

But why are they infortunate? Is God a sleepe on those dayes? or doeth he not rule the woorlde and all thynges those daies, as well as on other dayes? Is he weary that he muste reste hym in those daies? Or doth he geue the ruling of those daies to some euill spirite or pla­nete? if God geue to Starres suche power that things cā not prosper on those daies, than God is the author of euyll. If Star­res doe rule men those daies, than man is their seruaunt. But God made man to rule, and not be ruled, and all creatures should serue him.

What shall be the cause? If Astrono­mers saye true, euery man at his byrthe by his constellation, haue diuers things and desires appointed him. Why than, howe canne soo manye diuers constella­tions in so many men at your byrth agre▪ to make one daye vnlucky in your lyfe to all men? Eyther let him proue it by lear­ning, or for shame and sinne holde your [...] [Page] tounge. Starres maye haue some power on the naturall qualities and actions of ye bodye and for phisicke: But on the Ciuyll voluntarie actions of Christians myndes none. Sainct Paule sayes, the chyldrē of god be led with the sprite of god, why thā not by Starres. It is faithles superstitiō to teache or beleue such things: that either at the byrth or after we be ruled by Star­res. All Astronomers coulde neuer tell why Iacob and Esau brother twynnes, borne in one momēt, shoulde haue so con­trarie natures. What Starre ruled when Sodome and Gomorre were burned, and the next townes scaped? were all born vn­der one starre, that then perisshed, or all Noes floudde? was not thā diuers sortes, men and womē, yong and olde, good and badde. Doeth not the scripture saye yt god made seuen dayes, and when he had made all thinges, he did beholde them all, & they were very good. Why shall we then be holde to call them euill, infortunate, and dismall dayes? If god rule oure doinges continually, why shal they not prosper on those dayes, as wel as on other? God bles­sed the seuenth daye: and yet we dare call that infortunate, euil, and cursed, whiche he blessed.

Althoughe it be vnpossible to redresse [Page] this olde common errour, so depely rooted in all tunges and countries, yet it is not vnprofitable to note the begīning of these thinges, that this superstition maye bee some thinge knowen. When god made seuen dayes, he called them the firste, the second, thirde, fourth. &c. But the last day he called the Sabboth, whiche betokens rest, and hath not the name geuen too bee called of any other creature, man, sainct, starre or Idoll, but as the name soundes, so should we on the seuenth daye reste frō all bodely labour, except nede compel, but specially from all filthy sinne.Holy men are better re­membred by writing, than calling dayes by their na­mes. Boniface. 8. This is not the right waye to make holy men too be remembred, nor surest to auoyd Idola­trie. It were better to be done by writing the Chronicles, liues, & deathes, of suche as were godly in dede, and not euery Ras­call, as Legenda aurea, the Legend of Lies does. Pope Boniface the .viii finding thē of Farrare worshippinge .xx, yeares, one Hermanius as a sainct, digged him oute of the ground, and burned him for an He­retike and authour of the sect called Fra­tricelli, and forbad to worshippe such euyl men. So I thinke we scraping together a number of sainctes as we liste, worshippe many euill persons. What holines was in Thomas Becket,Thomas whiche had gotten [Page] twoo dayes in the Kalender called by his name,Becket of of Càterbury. and Priestes must euermore mumble him one wicked memory in Ma [...]tins [...] Euensong. If papistes, rebels, and tray­tours to their kinges, as this stout Cham­pion of the Popes was,This signe notes the text expounded. maye be thus re­warded, it is no marueyle if many rebell against their kinges as he did.

In that, yt he saieth: ‘the worde of ye Lord was sent by the hand of Aggeus the Pro­phet: it teaches the duety bothe of the hea­rer and the preacher.’ For neither must we teach any thinge of mans deuises,The woorde of God is onely too be taught▪ and beleued. nor the hearer must regard him so muche whiche preaches, yt for his cause we muste either more or lesse beleue the thinge whiche is taughr (for the preacher takes his autho­ritie of the woorde of God, & not ye woord [...] takes his authoritie of the preacher) but onely because it is the woorde of God, of whose truth we must not doubt, but with obedience receiue it. Untoo the preacher saieth sainct Peter, he that speakes, lette him speake as the woordes of God:i. Pet. iiii. & Ag­geus being but a poore Leuite, kepinge this rule, was not to be despised more thē the priest And where as preaching & bele­uing the thinges preached, is the hyghest and mooste pleasaunt seruice and worship of god, what thinge shoulde bee taughte & [Page] what punishment is for them whiche doe it not, the scripture teaches playne. Saint Mathew saieth: they worship me in vain, teaching learninges, whiche are the com­maundementes of men.Deut. xviii. And the false Prophet whiche runnes before he be sent and deceiues the people, speakinge in the name of God, that whiche he was not cō ­maunded, or els speaking in the name of false gods, shalbe put to death▪ Therfore let the pratinge pardoner, or the Popishe priestes take hede in whose names they speake, and what they teache, when for the gredy gayning of a litle money, they condemne them selues, and set out to sell Heauen▪ Purgatory, & Hell, as thei were al in their power to geue at their pleasur. In the Popes name they promise .xl.lx. an hundreth daies of pardon, & for a Trental they mai be brought from Hel. The true Prophetes of God, as appeareth in theyr writinges, alwaies vse to say: thus saieth the Lorde: the woorde of God was spoken to me. &c. but the Popes creaturs, as Par­doners, priestes, fryers. &c. say: thus saith Pope Alexander, Gregory, Ihon, Clemēt or some suche other like, and nothing wil they do without money.Ihon. [...]iii. Let the true preacher teache the mercies of god, that God hath so loued the world that he gaue hys [Page] onely begotten sonne, yt euery one whiche beleues in him, shall not bee damned, but haue lyfe euerlasting: & yet shal the dron­ken pardoner and sir Ihon Lacklatin bee better beleued, then Christe whiche spake these wordes, & promised it: yea rather ye people wil [...]ye forgeuenes of their sinnes at the Pope and such his messengers hāds then take it frely at christ paying nothing therfore, suche as the brutishe blinde vn­thankefulnes of the worlde.Esay. lv.xliii. Come & bye freely without money, saieth the prophet and agayn: It is I, it is I that put awaye thy sinnes, for mine own sake, than it is not for thy money,Math. xv. nor the Popes bulles nor pardons. Let the world therfore take hede, for if the blind lead the blind, bothe fall in the diche.Vayn excuses This miserable common excuse, which is so often in their mouths, shal not excuse them, when they say: thus we are taught, oure ghostly fathers sayes so, & our fathers before vs haue so beleued Christ sayes ye shal both fall in the pytte. Beleue no doctrine that teaches to go too heauen other wayes then by Christ frely, or whiche is not written and conteined in the Bible: for that onely is the perfecte woorde of God, and whiche onely teaches true saluation. Loke the Popes testamēts throughout, called his decrees & decretals [Page] and you shal not once ther be taughte too seke comforte at Christ in any trouble of mind, but onely to set out his vain glorie, & that he is Lord of heauen & earth, Pur­gatory & Hell, & if thou liue neuer so wic­kedly he & his Chaplains haue full autho­ritie to bring thee frō Purgatory,Priestes praye not without money, nor hire any for them selfe. so that thou bring them money. I thinke it hath not ben oft hearde tell of, that any prieste euer saids Tretal without money, or hy­red any said for thē selfes: but if thei were good, why should they not haue them for thē selues? If they had charity, thei would say them for the poore as wel as for ye rich: they would not suffer so many poore sou­les to lye broyling in Purgatory, as they think do, no they would do nothing night nor day all their liues but saye Masses, yf they had such loue towardes their brethrē as they should, and if thei were able so to deliuer them For what charitie is in hym that maye helpe his brother and will not by all meanes possible? But they shew by their doinges their meaning well inough when thei turn thē to the people & saye: of your deuotion & charitie pray ye for ye soul of N. as though they should say: we praye for money without charitie, but ye muste do frely of deuotiō without mony. These false Prophetes, Papistes, and members [Page] of Antechrist, came not in ye Lordes name, nor speake his worde, therfore they be ac­cursed.

Also in that he sayeth, ‘the woorde was sent by the hād of Aggeus, we are taught how to esteme preaching, Ministers by this Hebrew kynde of speaking.’ For as the hand serues to do mo thinges withal, then any part of the bodye, so whan they will signify any thing too be done by the ministery and seruice of any man, thei vse to saye: it was done by the hande of suche a man. Therfore the woorde and message whiche he brought was the Lordes, & Ag­geus was but the seruaunt that broughte it.Preachers are but seruaūts, and must not go before thei bee sent: but their woorde is Gods Math· x. So must we thinke of the preachers, they be but seruaunts, though they be ne­uer so good and learned preachers, & their message is the worde of the Lord. Thus sayes Christ: it is not you yt speake, but it is ye spirite of your father, which speakes in you. Sainct Paul also teaches how we shoulde thinke vpon him and others such preachers, when he sayes: let a mā iudge & thinke thus of vs, [...]. Cor. iiii. that we be ye seruāts of Christe, and dispensers of gods secrete misteries. Therfore they which seke ra­ther to be lordes then seruaunts, & be hin­derers of preachinge gods woorde, rather then faithfull teachers of gods holye will [Page] to his people: are not to be counted amōge the seruaunts and ministers of Christe, but rather enemies, sekinge their owne glorie more then gods.

And as Aggeus did not go this message afore he was commaunded and sente by god, and therfore was a true Prophet: so they whiche thrust in them selues to teach not called by god, nor sent by man ordinarely, come often afore they be welcome, & are not true Prophetes. For it is writtē:Heb. v. let no man take honor vntoo him, but he whiche is called of god, as Aaron was. And if the worser learned bee preferred afore the better, to the ministery (if thei be bothe true teachers) let not the better dis­dain hym, but know god to se further thē he doth, and that there be iust causes why the other is preferred afore him.

‘Whereas Zerubabell is firste named here, and set in order afore Iosua the high priest,The Ciuyll ruler is aboue the priest. and the prophet Aggeus was sente by commission from god to the ciuyll ma­gistrate first: it teaches the preeminence ye Temporall rulers haue afore priestes, by what name so euer they be called.’ If the Pope should haue receyued suche letters, as these be and sene a layman preferred & named afore hym, he would not haue ben well content, and specially such a man as [Page] Zerubabel was, beinge neither king nor Emperour. What a rayling letter wrote pope Adriane the fourth,Adrian, iiii. an English mā, to Frederic the Emperour▪ because ye Emperour in his letters hadde set his nam [...] afore the Popes, writing thus his super­scription of his letters: Fredericke by the grace of God Emperour. &c. vnto the holy father Adriane Pope. If he had written thus: to the most reuerent and holy father the pope Adriane, gods vycar here in earth &c. your poore and humble seruaunt Fre­derick by the grace of god Emperoure of Almaine. &c. & had placed the Popes name before his owne, al had ben wel. Because he did not, he called the Emperoure tray­tour and rebell against god and sainct Pe­ter. &c.

The common welth of the Iewes was ruled first by Iudges from Moyses vntoo Saule, then by Kinges, frome Dauid too their captiuitie in Babilon, and now last from their returning home, vnto Christe▪ by princes of the stocke of Iuda. Their Iudges were raysed vp of god too deliuer the people,Iudges. sometime of one tribe or kind­red, sometime of other as pleased god, [...] the chyldren did not succede the father lo suche authoritie. Kinges were alwayes of the stocke of Iuda onely,Kynges. [...] the sonne was [Page] King after the father, but these princes,Princes. although they were for the moste parte of the stocke of Iuda, and the successiō, was by heritage (except ye Machabees) yet they had not a kingly maiesti, croune & power: for they were but as mayres or Dukes, & head men amongest the people, as the He­brew woorde signifies, Pachath, and yet they be preferred before the highe priest. By whiche we muste learne chiefe power in all cōmon wealthes, to be ioyned with the temporall swoorde, thoughe he be but a meane man, and that euery man as S. Paule sayes must be subiect vnder hym.Roma▪ [...]. Chrisostome notes well, writing on that place, that euery man must obey the Ciuil power, whether he be Apostle, Euāgelist, prophet, or by what name so euer he be called. Sainct Peter hym selfe (being Bishop as they saye at Rome, and of whome they clayme all their authoritie too bee aboue prynces, Kynges, and Emperoures) was not onely obediente too the Ciuill rulers hym selfe, but left written in his Epistle, that we should all obey the kyng as chiefe and highest ruler aboue all other. And although Kynges and rulers in common welthes were then Infideles, & not Chri­stened, yet he biddes obey them as ye chief and hyghest, and neither willes anye too [Page] be disobedient, too pull the swerde oute [...] their handes, nor to set vp him self aboue them, but humbly to obei them in al thin­ges, not cōtrari to gods truth and religiō. But if they commaund any thing cōtrari to gods woorde,Obey God rather than mā. we muste aunswer wyth the Apostles: we must rather obey god thē man. And let no man thinke that in dys­pleasinge god, he can please man. For god who hath all mens heartes in his hande, will turne his heart to hurt thee, whome thou woulde please and flatter, by displeasing and disobeing god: nor we owe anye obedience to any mā in such things where in god is offended and disobeyed. If Eng­lande had learned this lesson in the time of persecution, we should neither for feare at the voyce of a woman haue denied our [...] maister with Peter, nor for flattery haue worshipped Baal, nor rashly rebelled, but humbly haue suffered gods scourge, vntil it had pleased god to haue caste the rodde in the fyre: the whiche he woulde sooner haue done, if oure vnthankefull sturdines had not deserued a longer plague. The Lorde for his mercies sake graunte, that bothe we and all other, maye here after beware from like pulling on our headdes the righteous scourge of god for our wic­kednes, [Page] and the vnpacient bearing of the same when it comes.

The Text.
verse 2 Thus sayth the God of hostes, saiynge: this people saye: the tyme is not yet come to buylde the house of God.

¶The Prophete dare speake nothinge in his owne name, or of his owne deuise,The scriptur is onely to be thaught. Gala. i. but alwayes names the Lorde who sente him, & whose message he brought: whiche thinge all preachers must folow most dili­gently, or els they are not to be beleued. Sainct Paul sayeth: if I, or an aungel frō heauē should teach you any other gospell, beside that whiche you haue receiued, cur­sed bee he. And marke that he sayes not, if he teach contrary to that which ye haue receyued, but besides and more then that whiche ye receiued: For the Pope and hys cleargy, thinke that thei maye for our sal­uation adde more to the gospell, so that it be not contrary to the gospell: But sainct Paul sayes, besides or more then ye which ye receyued. And Moyses sayeth: Thou shalt neither put to, nor take awaye anye thinge from the woorde of god, but cōtent thy self onely with that which he teaches, [Page] for he onely is true and all men be lyers, & no man is of his counsail, to teache thee what pleases or displeases him,Deut. iiii. except he speake him self. And although rulers mai ordaine some thinges for an order in the Churche, yet none of their decrees are ar­ticles of our faith, but thei may and ought to be chaunged, when they be hurtfull or turne to any misuse or superstition.

And for all that, that the people had greuousli sinned in not building the lords house so many yeares, yet whyle God dyd vouchesafe too speake vnto theym by his prophetes, and rebuke their sinne, there was hope enoughe of forgeuenes, so that they woulde amende & tourne vnto God. For like as longe as the phisicion doeth apoynte the sicke man what he shall doe, howe to dyet hym selfe, and what medi­cines to take, there is hope of lyfe, but yf he forsake hym, and will not speake vnto hym, we loke for presente deathe: Soo as longe as God of hys goodnes lettes hys woorde be amonge vs,Whyle God lets vs haue his woord it is a token of his loue, and the taking it away, of hys displeasure. i. King. xxviii there is good hope of forgeuenes, but if he take awaye hys woorde, there is no comforte left.

Saul whē Samuell was deadde, as­ked counsayll of god, but he woulde not speake too hym, neither by dreames, nor at the Arke of god, nor by visions or pro­phetes, [Page] and than he runnes to Wytches: So we when god teaches not, but are left too oure selues, seke such vnlawfull mea­nes.

The Iewes had lyen almost .xl. years in this negligēce of buylding gods house: It is almoste as many yeares, since wee vnder pretence of receyuinge the gospell, and buyldinge Gods house, haue pulled it doune: and to roote oute all the rable of Monkes, Friers, Nunnes, Chanons. &c. wee for the moste parte haue soughte too enriche oure selues, and one like theefes robbed an other, & haue not of pure loue destroyed Gods enemies, nor prouided for the poore, and furthered learninge nor placed preachinge Ministers in place of dumme Dogges, after the rule of hys woorde as wee shoulde haue done, and buylded hys house.

And what remedy do the wicked pa­pistes finde too redresse this with all? They pull awaye Gods woorde, and saye it was neuer good worlde since it came abroade, and that it is not meete for the people to haue or reade it, but they muste receiue it at their mouthes. They are the Nurces they saye, and must chowe the meate afore the chyldren eate it. [Page] Woo be vnto such dissemblers, as vnder pretence of chowinge, eate all vp, or elles that litle whiche thei geue (for they saye it is not necessary to preach often by the exā ple of Pābo,Pambo. which whā he had heard one lesson, the first verse of the .39. Ps. whiche beginnes thus: I thought wt mi self I wi [...] kepe my wayes, yt I offēde not in my tūg▪ woulde heare no mo vntil he had in man [...] yeares learned to practise that one: which example rather proues that we should dyligently learn, than seldom preache) It is I saye so poysoned in their filthy mouth [...] and stinking breathes that it poisons and feedes not the hearer.Psal. [...]xix. Dauid sayes: by what thinge shall a yonge man amende his euill wayes, and he aunswers: by ke­ping the sayinges of god. And how shall we see to doe this: thy woord O Lorde he sayes is a lantarne for my feete, & a light to my pathes. But these theefes that take awaye the woorde of god from the people, whiche is the lantarne and light, to teach them to go a righte, woulde haue them in darkenes styll, that they shoulde neither se their owne faultes nor others. When the fault is not sene, how can it be amē ­ded? and how can it be sene, seinge it is in darkenes, excepte the light of gods truthe do open it vnto vs.Deut. vi. Moyses biddes the fa­thers [Page] tell their chyldren the lawe of god often times,Psal. lxxviii. Ephesi. vi. i. Cor. xiiii. and to studye on it in theyr houses, in goinge by the way. Dauid bids the same, and the chyldren too aske the fa­thers. Paule bids fathers bringe vp theyr children in the nurture and learninge of god:All sonnes must learn the scriptures. And wyues if they will learne anye thinge, aske their husbandes at home. Than if the father must teach the sonne, and the sonne must aske the father, and the wyfe must learn of the husband: How shall those fathers and husbandes teach, except they be learned? and howe can they be learned, hauinge none to teache them, but sir Ihon mumble matins, nor cā not be suffered to reade them selues? But it is true that saincte Ihon sayeth: he that doeth euill hateth the light,Ihon. iii. and will not come to the light, leaste his euill doinges be reproued. And this too be true their cō ­mon sayinges declare when they sayde: it was neuer good worlde since euery shoo­maker coulde tell the priestes duty. They were ashamed of their faultes, & therfore woulde haue you in blindnes styll, that ye shoulde see neither youre own faultes, nor tell them of theirs, for that speciallye they can not abide. But oure good God whan he blessed his people and offereth his pardons, he sendes manye teachers & [Page] open diuers waies to learne, and [...] he is most angry, he takes away his wor [...] that they shall not see how to amend, a [...] Amos sayeth:Amos. viii. I will sende a hunger vnt [...] the earth, not a hunger of bread, but of the woorde of God, that they shall seke it [...] East to West, and not finde it. Therfor [...] they whiche take awaie his woorde, or be hinderers therof, are nothing els but in [...]struments of his wrath and gods [...] to his people.

‘And that they should the more diligētly marke the message which he broughte, [...] tels them in whose name he spake & saith the Lord of hostes spake those wordes, [...] as the Hebrewe is Iehoua:What Iehoua signifies. whiche is a [...] muche to saye, as that god of mighte, ma­iesty and power, whiche hath his beinge [...] substaunce of hym selfe,Exod. iii. Actes. xvii. Psal. ciiii. and by whome a [...] other thinges stande and be, and without whome all thinges fall to nothinge, if he do not vpholde them, he speaks these wor­des.’ The other worde ioyned with all, whē he cals him ye god of hostes, is a word of feare and reuerēce, as Iehoua is a name of loue and power: so that if either they loued hym as a father and God of power, or els feared him as a Lord and maister, & one that had many hostes of souldiers [...] conquere them with all, if they did rebell [Page] agaynste him still, they shoulde receiue & obey this message. In like maner God by Malachy rebukes the people which called hym father and maister in wordes,Malach. i. but in dedes woulde nothinge doe as he taughte them, and sayth: if I be your father, wher is my loue that you owe me, if I be youre maister, where is the feare that is due too me. This woorde and name is seldon red in the new Testamente, too call hym the god of Hostes, because it is a worde of fear more then loue, and rather threatens thē comfortes, whiche the newe Testamente doeth not commōly. Sainct Iames sayes:Iames. v. the withholden wages of them that haue reaped your fieldes, cries vengeaunce in the eares of the Lorde of hostes.Why God is called the Lorde of ho­stes, and how he vseth hys weakest crea­tures, to pull downe the proud with­all. It is as muche to saye in this place: as thus sayes that mighty Lorde of hostes, whome if ye heare and obey, he will make all his crea­tures to serue and obey you: but if you be disobedient to hym styll, he hath many ar­mies and hostes to fight with against you and all his creatures from the hyghest to the lest, shall be harnised agaynste you. Thinke not, that if ye escape one plague, that ye shall escape the rest: for differring or escapinge one, is but to see whether ye will amende before the nexte come. His arowes and thūderboltes are neuer spēt, [Page] but he hathe new in store: and in the ende the victorie shall be his, and all disobediēt shall perish. And for the better vnderstan­dinge of this to be true, the scripture hath sette oute diuers examples, where Go [...] hath fought agaynst mā with all his crea­tures, to let hym see how diuers kyndes of hostes he hath to beate him down with all.Gene. xix. ii. Reg. xxiiii The Aungels destroyed Sodome and Gomorre with fyre and brymstone, & kyl­led with pestilence in three dayes space lxx. thousande for Dauids offence:iiii. Reg. xjx. & als [...] in one nighte destroyed in the tentes of Sennacherib .clxxxv. thousand. The Sun at the commaundemente of Iosua stoode styll, geuing him lighte, vntill Gods ene­mies the Amorites in the chase were kyl­led by hym,Iosua. x. so that one daye was as longe as twoo. In Egipt the Starres & Sunne gaue no lighte too the Egiptians, but the darkenes was soo greate,Exod. x. grosse & thycke mystes, that no manne sturred out of hys place, and men might grope the mystes, & feele them with their hande: but wher the chyldren of Israell were, the Sūne shone bright and pleasauntly. Againste Sisara Bod foughte out of heauen.Iudge, v. The water drouned the whole worlde saue .viii. per­sons vnder Noe.Gene. vii. Exodi. xiiii. The redde Sea suffred Gods people to passe, but it drouned Pha­rao [Page] and all his hoste.Num. xvj. The earth swalo­wed my quicke Dathan, Corah, and Abi­ [...]n, and all those rebels with them.Exodi. ix. In Egipt stormes of ba [...]e killed the Egip­tians [...] after and destroyed their corn, but harmed not the Israelites. So the Towre [...] Siloe fell and killed [...] within it.Luke. xiii. Such a drought was in the time of Elias, that it rained not for the space of iii years and a halfe.i. Regum. xvii Suche hunger in all coūtries, that Iacob with all his house went intoo Egipt, and there also the Egiptians for hunger solde their lande, their cattel, wy­ves, chyldren, and themselves to be bond men and slaues to their kynge.Gene. xlvii.

In the besiege of Samaria for hūger an Asses head and Doues dung was solde dere, and women did eate their owne children.iiii. Reg. vi. Ioel threatens that God will sende four ho [...]e [...], one Grasshoppers, an other of Caterpillers, Blastinge and Locustes, to deuoure all the fruiteof the grounde: & all that, whiche one of these left, the next shoulde destroye.Ioel. i. In Egipt, marke what mighty men of warre God chose to fighte [...] frogs euē into yt kings [...] and hys hedde, and flees [...] Pharao and the whole [...] and made them weary, [...] the heades, Exod, viii.but by these [Page] meanes [...]ob got the vi [...]ry [...], [...] ten tribes were led awaye [...] wilde beastes encreased, soo that the [...] ­uoured the dwellers in ye country, because they feared not God.iiii. Reg. xvii God closed by y [...] bes of at Ab [...]milleths womē Gene. II. yt thei [...] not beare chyldren, because he did [...] Abrahams wyfe.i. Reg. v. When the Ph [...] had taken the [...] of God & [...] God smote thē with [...]mperours [...] [...]erses.Act. xii. Herode & [...]iuers Emperours [...] woryed with Lyfe. Arrius [...]ittinge [...] priuye, auoided all his gu [...]s, [...] of a kyng was more a [...] & liued in woods.Daniel. iiii.

Iudg. vij.Gedeon with [...] men, knock [...]nge that po [...]erdes together, made his eternal (which were so many yt they lay as thicke as gresho [...]pers vse to lye on the grounde to afraid, ye thei [...]roue who [...]ghte [...] away [...] if his felow stode in his [...] he kylled him straight:Iosu [...]. vi. The walles of [...]richo fel wont violēce or hi [...] [...] off [...] Syriās thinking thei hea [...] [...] n [...]ght,iiii. Reg. vii. [...] their enemies came [...] (where [...]re was none such [...]) [...] all away.Iudith. xv. [...]udith a weake [...] ii [...] Reg. xiiii. [Page] prise in buildinge ye towre of Babell was stopped by cōfoūding their lāguage, ye one could not vnderstād an other.i Reg. xvii. Dauid a yōg man with a sling & a stone, kylles Golias so strōgly harnised. A bishop of Mētz, beīg persecuted wt rats frō house to house, fled into a towre, he hais stādīg in ye mids of ye riuer, lying a mile frō any lād: but ye rats folowed him & swāme ouer, neither dores nor stoone walles coulde kepe thē out, but thei woried hī for his vnmercifulnes to ye people in a year of dearth. Thus our God may wel be called [...] Lord of hostes, which hath so many weapōs & diuers to punishe vs withal, as fyre, water, earth, darkenes frogges, lyse, greshoppers, catterpillers, pestilēce, hayle, drought. &c. so yt ther is no help to be disobediēt & striue against hī ▪ for he wil haue ye victory. There is waies a­boue & beneth vs, within vs & wtout vs, to throw vs down at his pleasur, there is no remedy but to obey him either willingly & be rewarded, or els against our wils & bee punished. His power is not yet minished, but he fights stil wt his enemies, yt al glori may be his. He hath foughtē sore of late wt his vtter enemy the Pope, & wt what weapōs▪ wt a goose feather, & old clout [...] (wher­of be made pēne & paper) & such [...] hath he vsed to do this feate as ye world: ha­tes [Page] & despises. But he hath so shaken hys [...]eat, that his fal is begunne, & euery man whiche is not wilfully blinde sees it. His abhominations & his wickednes is [...] to the worlde as the Prophete saieth: [...] will shewe thy filthy partes in thy fac [...]Naum. iii. & wil set foorthe thy nakednes to people.

These be the ordinaunces, great Gū ­nes, and Bulwerkes that he will sette by his Churche with, and pull downe Anti [...]christ, that all victorie maye be his, which by suche small and weake thinges, [...] downe [...]he glor [...] [...] the world. [...] although their faltes were greuous,To be rebu­ked of vnthā kefulnes is the greatest grefe to a lo­uing heart. yet oure good God is contente with a litle re­bukinge of them, and doeth no more but caste in their [...]eeth their vnthankefulnes and saieth: this people saies, it is not yet tyme to buyld the house of God, as though he should saye: ‘this people whome I chose amongest all the world, and in respecte of whome I seme to regarde no other people bu [...] them, bestowinge winge on theym onelye [...] chiefly any blessinges, whose fathers I broughte out of slauery in Egipt, & made them lordes of this plenteous lande, de­stroyinge the dwellers of it, & subduing [...] their enemies round about thē, to whom [...] I sende my Prophetes in all [...] will and pleasur [...], and whom [...] [Page] now of late when they were led prysoners to Babylon, I brought home agayne and restored to them their land [...] ▪ and willed nothinge of them but to buylde my house and kepe my lawes, this vnkinde people I say, saies it is not yet time to build gods house.’ This stifnecked people, that will neither be ouercomē & moued with gētel­nes to do their duties, nor yet feare my plagues and threatninges, will not dili­gently go about to do, that whiche I wil­led them so straitly to do. The rod is sharp to the flesh, when we be beaten, but too a gentle hearte there can be no sharper re­buke then to haue his vnkindnes caste in his teeth.Mich. vi. My people saies god by his pro­phet, in what thing haue I offended thee, yt thou doest so disobeye me, or what haue I done to thee, tell me? And that we shuld better consider our vnthankfulnes, he cō ­pares vs to beastes & saies:Esay. i. the Oxe kno­wes his maister, & the Asse knowes hys master stable and manger, but my people will not know me. So saieth Ieremy, the Turtel,Iere. viii. swalow and the Storke knowes their times of the yeare to come, but my people know not the iudgement of ye lord. If a kinge shoulde mary a poore woman▪ and make her Queene, and when she dis­pleased him, shoulde saye vnto her: where [Page] thou wast but a poore woman, and neuer loked to haue ben maried to me, I forsake all other women for thy sake, and made thee my wife & felow, hath it becomen yt to do this fault agaīst me? If she haue any honest heart in her, it will make her burst out into tears, & aske forgeuenes: so wil it moue any christiā heart yt feares god, whē he heares his vnthākful disobediēce lai [...]d to his charge, & specialli if he cōsider what goodnes and how often he hath reciue [...] a [...] gods hāds, & how forgetful he hath ben a­gain to so louing a Lord god. The lord for his mercies sake graūt vs such tēder hart [...] yt we may burst out into tears, whē we cō sider his goodnes & our wickednes his vndeserued mercye, & our great vnthākeful­nes. What a bitter griefe shal this be to [...] hear him lay our vnkīdnes to our charge? I gaue you a good king, many true prea­chers, my word plēteously, my sacramēts purely, rooted out Idolatri, deliuered you frō straūgers, with all wealthe, & yet you would not feare me, what can we say for shame, but condēpne our selfs? God graūt we mai, for thā he wil not condēne vs. I do not doubt but many of thē had great excuses to lay for thē selfs, if thei had ben asked why they did not buyld gods house, aswel as we haue for our negligēce in the [Page] same doinge.Excuses of our negligē ­ce be vayne. i. Esdra. iiii. Some would say we are for­bidden by the king & his officers (& so they were in dede, as apperes in Esdras.) Some, we muste first prouide a house for our selues to dwell in, for our wyues and childrē: Other we are vnlerned, we know not how to do it: Other we be poore & not able to take in hāde such a costly woorke: Other, let ye rulers begī & we wil help: O­ther, we shal not lose our life & goods if we disobey the Kings cōmaūdemēt. But god would alow no such excuse, but castes in all their teethes their disobediēt vnkind­nes & sayes: This people say, it is not yet tyme too buylde gods house.i. Chro. xxiii. The priestes would say it is not our duty to buyld, but to offer sacrifices, & sing Psalmes as wee be appointed. The rulers might say their office was to see the commō wealth well ruled, and not too meddle in suche mat­ters. The people mighte saye it belonged not to them, beinge suche a costly thinge, that required wisdome, learning, ryches▪ and power, but they muste applye their husbandrye, marchaundise. &c. Euen as they sayde in the Gospel: I haue boughte a Farme, or, v. yoke of Oxen,Luke. xiiii. yt I wil not come, hold me excused. Or I haue maried a wyfe, that I can not come: so none could or woulde take goddes woorke in hande. [Page] thereto [...]et that one sorte shoulde not [...] them selues blameless, and the wher [...] fault, or that one should not [...] other, because the [...] the [...] were [...] men the reste, and woulde haue [...] Gods house more gladlye than other [...] prophets sent to rebuke them all, [...] were gylty in not buylding. And [...] not the rulers saye, it is not [...] buylde gods house, or the [...] or the [...], or [...] men: generally all this people of [...] it is not yet time too buylde gods [...]. And so because the rebuke is general [...] all sortes, younge and olde, [...] learned and vnlearned, they maye [...] stande that it is their duties to build go [...] house, what manner of men so euer they be.

God acceptes and requires the seruice of the simplest.What a comforte is this for the poor vnlearned man whan he heareth that [...] refses not, but requires & takes in good woorthe that litle seruice whiche he [...], and willes him to builde his house [...] wel [...] as the [...]yche, that he should not [...] god loues not poore men, nor [...] are not able to serue him, but he loue [...] onelye the [...]yths and learned, and they mu [...] serue hym. Nor agayne, he most not thinke, I maye doe what I will, God cares not for [Page] me, no [...] he hath no worke for me to doe in his house.

It is in buyldinge Gods spirituall house, as it is here with vs in oure buyl­dinges. In buyldinges there bee maister Masons, and Carpēters, which do deuise the worke, drawe out the facion of it & set their men on woorke? there bee also some that fell trees, cary stones, bringe morter, and make cleane the place. &c. So in buyl­dinge gods house there be riche & learned, there be poore and meaner learned, but ye lowest and meanest of al, as he is the creature of God, and made not him selfe, soo god hath some woorke for him to doe and requires his seruice. If he be not a ruler or a preacher, yet he hath wyfe and chyldren, whome he must se liue in the feare of god, and that god wil require of his hand: and though he be not maried, but both lame & blind, yet he hath a body and soule, which Christe dyed for, and they be the house of God, and temple of the holy Ghost, which we should buylde, and of that thou shalte make accoumpt. He that hath receyued greater giftes, hath a greater charge, and more worke shall be looked for of him: but if he haue no more but life in him, and be not able to styrre any part of him, neither hande nor foote, yet god will looke that [Page] hys mynde shalbe continually occupied [...] prayer for him selfe and others, that he [...] no dronkard, glutton. &c. and thynke no [...] but this is the hyghest seruice that ye [...] man liuing can do to god. Such a louin [...]e god is our god euen to the poorest man l [...] ­uing, that he geues him as wel as ye ryc [...] all thinges indifferently, whiche shoulde bring hym to heauen, as baptisme, fayth▪ hoope,All things to saluation are geuen indif­ferētly to the poore & ry­che. and charitie, repentaunce, prayer, fasting, auoyding whoredom, theft, mur­ther, anger. &c. all are as cōmon & as eas [...] to come by (or rather more easy) for ye poore then the ryche. He disdaynes not, but thā ­kefully takes the poorest seruice that [...] least creature he hath can do, so that he [...] it diligently and willingly, & wil reward that litle so done as liberallye, as he doeth the greater. He that hath receyued muche shall make a counte of muche, and he that hath but litle, yet shall make a counte [...] that litle.

But this is marueylous, that where all sortes of the people were in faulte, [...] Prophet is sent by commission from god▪ namely to Zerubabel the chiefe ruler i [...] the common wealth, and to Iosua the hye Priest, as though they had onely synned, or they coulde or shoulde remedye thys matter.

[Page]What reason seemes this, that when many do offende, a few shalbe rebuked? & when all the people be negligent, ye chiefe rulers, both in Ciuil matters of the comō wealth, and the chiefe Prieste & highest in matters of religion are blamed. This is the hye wisedom of god, ye mans wyt can not attayne vnto: and there is greate rea­son, if it be wel considered, why it shoulde be so. God our heauenly father knowinge the crookednes of mans heart, & how rea­dye we be all to euil, hath appoīted rulers in the comon wealthe too minister iustice, punish sinne, defend the right, & cause mē to do their dueties. And in his churche he hath placed Preachers to teache his lawe, to pul downe superstitiō & Idolatry, & too styrre vp the slouthful & negligēt, to serue and fear him.The rulers & ministers are to be blamed if the people offende tho­rowe theyr negligence. For as bre­thren they must agre to promot Gods glorye. If either the one or bothe of these rulers be negligēt in their office, the people (which be alwais readi to seke their owne ease & pleasurs) fal frō god: but god wil punish the ruler for their negligēce, that neither they did their duties thē selfs nor see the people doe theirs, and thei shal be gilty of the sins of the people, and par­takers of their wickednes, because it was done through their negligence, in not pu­nishing, and seing the people do their du­ties, bothe to god and man.

Speake to Zerubabell, y sōne of Salathiel, ruler of Iehuda and to Iosua [Page]Whan God gathered his church [...] ▪ he appointed Moyses and Aaron,Exod. iiii. two [...] thren to be the chief rulers of the people, the one in religion; and the other in Ciuil matters: to teach vs that these two kin [...] of rulers be lawful and necessary in a common wealth, that they should loue & sticke together like brethren▪ & that the one with the woorde, and the other with the sworde shoulde ioyntely buylde gods house, pull downe Antichrist the Pope, and set vp the kingdome of Christ. When the chyldren of Israel had committed idolatry in Baal Peor,Num. xxv. and fallen to adultry with the wo [...]men of Moab.

Moyses in the name of god commau [...] des all the Rulers of the people to be han­ged on gallowes againste the Sunne, be [...]cause they did not their dueties, in keping the people from such mischiefe. To ye preachers, saieth Ezechiel, thou sonne of man I haue made thee a watche manne to the house of Israel:Ezechiel. iii.xxxiii. thou shalt heare woordes of my mouth, and shew them from me. If I saye to the wicked: thou wicked thou shalt dye the death, & thou wilt not speak to him that he maye kepe him frome hys wickednes, the wicked shal dye in his wickednes, but I wil require his bloudde of thy handes: but if he wil not leaue hys [Page] wickednes when thou tel best him, he shall dye in his wickednes▪ and thou hast saued thine owne soule, because yu hast done thy duety in warning him. By these punishe­mentes we maye se that it is neyther the duety of Ciuyll rulers, by what name so euer they be called, to be negligēt in their duety, or to set in an euill deputy for them to gather vp the profites that they may go hawke, or hunte, game, or keepe whores: for god that gaue theym that authoritiye, will loke▪ for a count for it of them: nor yt it is lawfull for Bishop, Deane▪ Archedeacon▪ Prebendarie or Parson to set in a pa­rish priest to make cōiured water, & serue the people in a straunge tunge, which neither he nor they vnderstande: for by these meanes the people be not amended.

Hely hauing complayntes made to him of the vnhappines of his chyldren fell and brake his necke,i. Reg. iiii. because he would not pu­nish them: and they them selues were kil­led in battayle: and the Arke of god was taken by gods enemies: so shal the fathers of ye people perish, if they punish not faul­tes of the people.

He that desires a Bishops office sayth sainct Paule, desires a good labour:i. Timo. iii. he cals it not a good Lordshippe nor idlenes and wealth, but labour. What a manne the [Page] labourer should be,Ezech. xxxiiii Ezechiel tels particu­lerly, saying: woo to the Sheptheardes [...] Israel, whiche fede them selues, & not [...] flock: ye haue eaten the fat, & ben clothe [...] with the wol, but ye haue not strēgthne [...] the weake, nor healed ye sicke, nor brou [...] home the straye, nor soughte the loste, but ye haue ruled ouer them with sharpnesse▪ These be the dueties of good Shepehear­des and their labours, and not maskyng [...] Masses, mumming mattyns, and babb [...] they knowe not what: and he that either can not or will not doe these thinges, see­kinge his owne ease and wealth, and not bringe the people to god, is a theefe & murtherer.To admit an vnable mini­ster, is too be partaker of the euill that he doeth. i. Timo. v. Also the Patrō of a benefice or Bisshop, which admitte any suche, as can not doe these dueties to haue cure of soules, are partakers of his wickednes, and as much as in them lyes, murther so manye soules, as perish this wayes for wante of wholsome doctrine. Sainct Paule sayes to Timothy: laye not thy hande rashly on any man, nor without good triall, apoint hym a Minister, least thou be partaker of of other mens sinnes· We muste neyther do euil our selues, nor consent to other to do it, but as muche as in vs lyes, stoppe it: for bothe the doer and he which agrees to it, are woorthye deathe, as saincte Paule [Page] saieth.Roma. i. But he that places an vnworthye or vnable minister wittingly in a bene­fi [...]e, consentes to the euill whiche he doth, because he might stoppe hym from it if he woulde, and therefore is he woorthye death also.

A Tayler that is not cunninge to make a gowne, maye mende hose, a Cobler that can not make shooes, maye mende them, a Carpenter whiche is not cunninge too make ye house, yet may he square trees or fell them: but an vnable priest to teach, is good to nothinge in that kynde of lyfe or ministerye, ye are the salte of the earthe (saieth our sauioure Christ) but if the salt haue lost his saltnes,Math. v. wherwith shal it bee salted?An vnlearned minister is not to be suf­fered in the ministery. it is not good inough to be caste on the dunghill (for so it woulde doe good in dunginge the fielde) but it is mete for no­thinge but to be cast in waies to be troden vnder oure feete.

So these priestes whiche haue not the salte of gods woorde to season mans soul with all, are mete for nothinge in ye kinde of lyfe, but to be put to some occupation, whiche they can doe, and get their liuing with the sweate of their face, and not oc­cupye a place amonge gods Shepeherdes, seinge they be rather dum and deuouring dogges than good Preachers.

[Page] Wee are lyke the Iewes in longe negli­gence.Are not we in Englande [...] like fault? When god s [...]rred vp our [...] as chiefe in the realme, and [...] Cranmer: Archebishoppe of Canterb [...] with others, for matters in religion [...] driue the byers and sellers of Masses▪ [...], Trenta [...]s. &c. oute of gods [...] (whiche they had made a denne of [...]) was not this in al oure mouthes? it is [...] yet tyme to buylde gods house▪ the [...] can not beare it: we feare straūge prin [...] and rebellions, as thoughe god were [...] to suffer Idolatry for a time, & [...] not or coulde not promote his owne ma [...]ters without oure politike deuises. [...] almoste as many years haue we lyen [...] as these men did, and not buyl [...] gods house, but pulled it downe, buyld [...] oure owne houses goodly withoute anye stoppe or feare, where rebellion [...] shoulde haue ben feared, because it [...] done oft with the iniurie of others, as by extreme raising of rents, takinge [...] incomes and fines. &c. by these meanes [...]king our owne rest and profite. It wa [...]t [...] not muche of so many yeares since kyn [...] Henry began to espy the Pope, & yet go [...] house is not buylt. What maruell is it then if we haue ben thus greuouslye pl [...]ged for oure negligence in thus doing [...] [Page] that euery one hath ben soughte oute too death, yt was iudged to loue gods woorde? When the good kynge Cyrus had geuen free liberty to the Iewes euery one to go home that woulde,i. Esdre. ii. the moste parte had so wel placed them selues in straunge coun­tries and waxed soo wealthye, that they woulde not go home when they might to buylde gods house. What maruayll was it thā, if god to punish this great wicked­nes, sturred vp king Assuerus by the mea­nes of Hamā,Ester. iii. to make proclamation tho­rough all countries, that it should be law­full for any man too kyl all the Iewes he coulde, to take their goods, and order thē at their pleasur: that if gentlenes coulde not driue theym home too serue God, yet sharpenes should compel them to go build gods house.

And hath it not ben soo in Englande taught, that all Gospelers shoulde be de­stroyed, and shoulde not leaue one to pisse againste the wall? And this thinge god of loue and mercy did vnto vs, that wher we woulde not know him by gentlenes, wee shoulde be compelled by the rod and shar­penes to seke him. All faultes in oure late Popery (were they neuer so great) might be pardoned, saue this, to loue gods word. But as God tooke Haman in his owne [Page] deuise, and the vengeaunce light on hym and his: so god hath mercifullye deliuere [...] many in Englande from the persecuters, gloriously called many too be his witnes­ses in the fyre, and turned the deuises of his enemies on their owne headdes, and sharpely destroyed them, whiche murthe­red his sainctes, when they thought moste to haue enioyed the worlde at their will. Therfore let vs thinke that God speakes to vs by his Prophet sayinge: this people of Englande, to whome I haue geuen so plentiful a land, deliuered them so often, and sent them my preachers, and whome when they forgot me and their duty I pu: nished, sometimes sharpelye of fatherlye loue, & sometime gently that they mighte turne to me: yet they say it is not yet time to buyld gods house, for fear of their own shadowes: they woulde lye loytering still and not be waked out of this slepe. Let vs consider what benefites we haue receiued daily of our good god, and se what a grefe it is to be vnthākeful, & haue our vnkind­nes thus cast in our teeth. Poore cities in Germany cōpassed about with their ene­mies, dare reforme religiō through wtout any fear, & god prospers thē: & yet this no­ble realme, which all princes haue feared, dare not, We wil do it by our owne poly­cies [Page] & not by committinge the successe to God, and so we shall ouerthrowe all.

The Text.

verse 3 And the woorde of God was sent by the hand of Aggeus ye Prophet sayinge.

verse 4 It is time for you yt ye should dwel in your celled houses, & this house lye waste.

¶This is moste woorthy to be noted yt the Prophet dare speake nothinge of hys owne heade, but alwayes in the name of God, and as he receyued it of gods mouth and for our example moste diligently it is to be folowed, seing he durst not so muche as rebuke sinne, but as God taught him, but of this inough is spoken afore in the firste and seconde verses.

This Prophete hauinge a gentiller spirite then many of the other Prophetes doeth not so sharpelye threaten vtter de­struction of theym and their countrye, for their disobedience: but chiefelye settes before theym theyr slothfulnesse too­wardes the buyldynge of Gods house, and theyr shamefull and shameles scra­pinge [Page] and scratchinge together of goodes their polling and pillinge, their laboure diligence, and paynes takē to buyld costly gorgious houses for thē selues. As though he woulde saye: ‘It is not a shame for you to take so muche labour, & spend so muche money in making your selues seled & karued houses,Gods house is to be bylt be­fore our own and can find no time nor mo­ney to spend on gods house?’ Do you loue your selues better then your god? Do ye set more by youre owne pleasur, thē gods honour? Wil you firste satisfy your owne lustes, and then when ye can fynd any leasure, peraduentur god and his house shall haue a pece bestowed on him? Is not thys to set the carte before the horse? ye should first serue God seke his wil, & after look [...] to your owne necessities, and not vayne pleasures. The Heathen poete coulde re­proue this in Heathen people sayinge: O citiezens citiezens, is money to be sought first, & than vertue after riches? as though he shoulde say, nay not so. This is spoken to all: firste seke the kingdome of god, and the righteousnes therof,Math. vi. & al other things necessary shalbe geuen you.

But was this so greuous a faulte in gods sighte too buylde their owne houses afore gods house, that they were soo pla­ged for, as aperes in the seconde verse fo­lowing? [Page] Or was there not other as great sins as this amongest theym? yes truely there was other haynous sins amongest them, and whiche god abhorres as wel as this.Vsury vnlaw­full. They had gotten into their handes all the landes and goodes of their poore brethren by vsery, and not contēt with yt, they had so handled the matter, that the poore sorte had solde theym selues, their wyues and chyldren to be bondemen and slaues to the ryche. And yet their vsury was but litle in cōparison of ours, which we can more wisely and worldly thā wi­sely and godly defend to be lawful.Nemi. v. They take but one at the .c. of an .c. shillings one of an .c. poūd one, and yet Nehemias ma­kes them to restore all againe. But we cā defend .x. at the .c. to be charitable & godli. Surely if they could not kepe it, but were compelled to restore it again, it was theft and robbery so to get it, or yet too kepe it: for he is as wel a thefe that kepes yt which is euyl got, as he that got it or tooke it. And if they did make restitucion, takinge but one at the .c. I see no cause why oure vserers shoulde not be compelled by authoritie to restore, that whiche was so gottē by .x. or .xvi. at the .c. This was our gospe­linge in England, when we shoulde haue buylded gods house, as they shoulde haue done here.

[Page]The prophet speakes here of buylding houses namely, but vnder that one sinne he rebukes all such like:All sinne is forbidden a lyke, if it lette Gods house. Dronkards. as when we saye geue vs our dayly bread, we desire vnder the name of bread as wel drink & cloth, as all other things necessary to liue withal. And he saieth as wel to ye dronkards: is it tyme for you to drinke vntill ye be thrift­les & witles, & gods house lye vnbuylded? It is writtē by the prophet, wo be to you yt rise early in the morning to drink & to fo­low drinking tyl it be euening.Esay. v. He saieth likewise to the dayntye sluggarde yt lyes walowīg in his costly beds & soft pillows▪ Sluggards. It is time for you to lye slouening in your couches night & daye, and Gods house vn­buylded? Is it not written: woo be vnto [...] you whiche slepe in youre costly beds,Amos. vi and playe the wantons in your couches.

And he sayeth likewise to ye gredy care and proulinge poller, that is neuer filled, but alwayes heaping together:Prollers. it is tyme for you that ye scrape and scratche toge­ther, all ye can laye youre handes on, and Gods house lye vnbuylded? Doe ye not knowe it to be written:Esaye. v woo bee too you whiche ioyne house to house, and lande to lande, and neuer cease. Thus must euery man thinke that God speakes to him styll by this his Prophete and sayes to the am­bicious [Page] Prelate: Is it time for thee, which shoulde chiefely buylde my house too gape for promocion,Ambitious. to ioyne benefice too bene­fice, prebend to dencry. &c. and my house lye vnbuylte.i. Timo. vi Remember thou not Pauls saying: If we haue meat, drinke & clothes let vs be content therwith? Thou that chiefly shoulde further this woorke, doest hinder and pull downe my house as much as in thee is. Let the marchaunt that spa­res not to sayle thorow all ieopardies on the sea and trauayle by lande,Marchaunts. so that he get muche gaynes, thinke that god sayes to him styl: Is it time for thee too runne & ryde, bye and sel, and my house ly vnbilt? Let the vnthrift thinke that god speakes to him sayinge:Vnthrifts. Is it time for to hawke & hunt, carde and dyce, and folow whores, & Gods house lye vnbuylt? Thinke not it is inough to saye, I am a gentle man, what shoulde I do but take my pleasure, it be­commeth not me to take such paynes: yes truly, for God hath no more allowed thee to wast vnthriftely thy goods,God allowes the ryche no­thinge more to misuse thā the poore. Ephe. iiii▪ nor to mis­pende thy tyme, than the poore man. For like as thou haste thesame baptisme, faith Lord, God, and father in heauē with him, & hopest for thesame kingdom yt the poore mā doth: so hast yu thesame lawe geuē thee to lyue after, & by thesame shall we all be iudged.

[Page]Why, wil no excuse serue, but yt euery man must lay his helping hand to ye buyl­ding of gods house? No verely: remember them whiche were called to the feast, and one excused him self sayng: I haue bought a farme, an other: I haue bought .v. yocke of Oxen,Luke. xiii. and both said: I praye thee hold [...] me excused, and the thyrde had maryed a wyfe, makinge no excuse, but flatly deny­inge he coulde not come. But it fkyls not whether he make excuse or not,No excuse is alowed in not byldinge Gods house. all were shytte out and had no parte of the feaste.

And soo shall all that buylde not god [...] house, though they seeme to theym selues to haue good excuses: God alowes none at all. Why, they were forbidden by ye kyng to buyld any more, as appeares in Esdras and must they not obey?i Esdre. iiii. they should haue runne in the kyngs displeasur, ben in ieo­pardye to haue lost lyfe, lande and goods: Shoulde they haue ben rebelles and tray­tours to the Kynge? No surely, this is not treason to Kynges to do that whiche God commaundes. When Daniel did praye thryse a daye to God,Daniel vi. Actes. iiii. contrary to ye Kyngs commaundement: And the Apostles didde preache contrary to the willes & commaū ­dementes of the Rulers, it was neyther treason nor rebellion. So must we doe al­wayes that whiche god commaūdes: and [Page] if the rage of the rulers go so farre as too kyll or cast vs into Lions dens as Daniell was,God is rather to be obeyed then man. or whip and scourge vs as the Apo­stles were: we must suffer with Daniel, & saye with the Apostles: wee muste rather obey god in doinge oure duety, than man forbiddinge thesame, knowinge alwayes that god hath euer wayes inough to deli­uer vs out of their daungers, if he will, as he did Daniel and the Apostles, or els wil strengthen vs to dye in his quarell, whe­ther so euer shalbe more for his glorie, & the edifiynge of his Churche. If the Shyrife shoulde bid thee one thinge, and the Kynge commaunde thee an other, wilte yu obey the lower officer afore the hygher▪ So is the Kyng gods vnder officer, & not to be obeyed before him.

It is written, that if anye man come to Christ and hate not father and mother wyfe and chyldren, brother and sister,Luke. xiiii. yea euen his owne lyfe rather, than forsake & offende God, he can be none of Christes scholers.Math. v. Christ takes all excuses from vs when he sayeth: If thy right eye let thee, pull it oute, if thy hande offende thee, cut it of, for it is better to goe into lyfe wt one eye and one hande, than to be cast into Hel with bothe thine eyes and handes. In the .ix. of Luke, whan Christe called [Page] twoo disciples to folow hym, the one sa [...] let me go and bid them farewel at home, & the other said: let me go & bury my father, & than I wil come. But our sauiour christ would suffer neither of thē both to go too do so litle things & honest as reason [...] iudge, but saieth: let the dead bury ye dead, and he yt puts his hande to the plough and lokes backe, is not meete for the kingdom of God.Luke xvii. Remember he saieth Lots wyfe howe she for lokinge backe, was turned into a pyller of salt: therfore there is no excusers admitted in not buyldinge God [...] house, and that earnestly.

Yet is not this so spoken of ye prophet that it is vnlawful for noble men to haue costly houses,Princes maye haue houses to their degre so they build Gods house firste. so it bee not aboue their de­gre, nor bylte with oppressinge the poore, or that they take not more pleasure & pay­nes in buylding their owne houses, then gods: but that they shoulde studye & take more paynes too buylde Gods house, then their owne. For Dauid, Salomon, & other good kynges had gorgious houses, accor­ding to their estate:ii. Reg. vii but when Dauid had buylded him a goodly house, he sat down, loked on it, & remēbred howe the Arke of God, & the treasures that God had geuen them, were but in tētes couered with sack clothe,Psal. cxxxii made of Goates heire, he was sory, [Page] sware an othe & made a vowe to the god of Iacob, yt he woulde not go into his house nor his bed, & yt he would neither nap nor slepe, nor take rest, vntyl he hadde a place for the Lorde to dwell in, and buylded his house. Such a desire haue all good men to the buyldinge of gods house in all ages that they wil preferre Gods matters and the common profite of manye afore their owne.

But here in this people, as among vs also the rychemen woulde not, the poore could not, the Priestes had forgotten the law, & folowed their owne fantasies, the vnlearned knew not how to do it, yōg mē were geuen to pastimes, old men to gredynes, noble men gredili to get, and vnpro­fitable to spnd it, the common sort as men without guydes folowed their own wil­les. Sommer was to hote, and Wynter was to colde, so yt no sort of men nor tyme was geuē to ye building of gods house, but euery mā folowed his owne will, & either thei could not, would not, or durst not goe about ye building of gods house. Thus we in Englād whyle we haue li [...]n folowing our own fantasies, & seking vayn excuses vnder pretence of religion haue destroyed religion, & in pulling awaye supersticion did seke our own profite and promocion. [Page] To pull downe Abbeis, Collegies, Cha [...]tries, and suche dennes of theefes, we are ready inough,Vaine excu­ses in not byldinge Gods house be not alowed. because wee hoped too ha [...] part of the spoyle our selues: but to main­taine schooles and Hospitals was not fo [...] our profit, to take awaye Masses, Idols, vnpreaching prelates, we durst not, some­time for feare of the kynges displeasure, sometyme for rebellion or insurrectiōs of the commons, other whyles to beare with the weakenes of the people, or for losse of lyfe or goodes, or some suche lyke excus [...] we woulde not. But Salomon to pull awaye all fonde fayned excuses, teaches diuers good lessons and woorthy to be no­ted.Fearfull. Too the sluggyshe fearfull man, that feareth and casteth peryls to doe that whiche God commaundeth him, he sayth, mocking and rebuking hym thus: There is a Lion in the waye, saieth the slouthful man (whan he is willed to do his duety) [...] he will woorye me if I goo,Prouer. xxii. whiche is as muche to saye: caste no perilles in seruing God, go diligently about to do thy duty, and God will defende thee, thoughe thou goe thorow Lyons, Wolues, Bears, Bisshoppes, and all wylde beastes. And that we shoulde more boldely doe our duties to God without feare of man. Sainct Ihon in his Reuela. xxi. sawe the fearful, vnbe­leuers, [Page] abominable murtherers. &c. shall haue their part in the lake that burnes wt fyre and brymstone, whiche is the seconde death.

To the slouthful delicate man, which wil not forgo his pleasures he saieth:Prouer. xxvi. Slouthfull. as the doore is turned in and oute vppon the henges and ginnes, so is the sluggard rol­led about in his bedde from one side to an other, as though he shoulde say: as ye doore when it is opened or shyt, it styrres in and out, but it styrres not out of his place but is on the henges styll: and the sluggarde ye roles him selfe from one side of the bed to an other, is a slouen styll and lyes sloue­ninge in his bed, takinge no paynes to do good: so they that begeuen to anye kinde of pleasure, if they sturre to any thinge, it is so litle that it doeth no good, they role but from one side too an other, frome one pleasure to an other, too seeke where they maye finde most ease. They moue as the Snaile doeth, alwaies creping and neuer the further.Worldlings. Unto them that seke excuses that either they dare not, or canne not he saieth: he that watches the wyndes doeth not sowe, and he that markes the cloudes shal neuer mow. As if he shoulde saye:Prec. xi. as he that waites for a good wynde too sowe in, or whether any clouds arise betokenīg [Page] rayne, or there be none at all but great [...] drought towardes that he may mow, sh [...] neuer sow nor mow: for either blowes [...] North wynde, and that is to colde, or the South, and that is to hoote, or the East, [...] that is to drye, or the West, and that is [...] wete, & the wynde is euer in one of these corners, and euer is it droughe or cloudes like to rayne whan the wynde is so: So [...] that waytes whan he maye buylde God [...] house, & haue the worlde with hym with­oute displeasure of the rulers, the people, the cleargy, or the layty, shal neuer do hys duety, for euer the gospel hathe some ene­myes. Therfore he concludes saying: Sowe thy seede in the morninge and in ye eueninge,Prec. xi and let not thyne hande cease: meaninge that eueninge and morninge, early and late, fayre weather and foule, with fauour or with displeasur, we shuld not cease to buylde Gods house. Do ye not know that god & the worlde are enemies, and he yt wil please the one,The Gospel is neuer with­out enemies. Iames. iiii Math. vi shall displease the other, and impossible it is too please bothe. Neuer loke to haue the worlde too fauor thee, whē thou goest about to serue God: and if thou wilt seeke the frendship of the worlde, thou shalt be an enemy too God. So sayeth sainct Paule to Timothy: preache the woorde,ii. Timo. iiii. bee earnest, reproue, [Page] rebuke in season and out of season, spare no time, place, labour, nor person, laye it amongest them, tell them their duety, let it worke as God wil. Do thou thy duety, & as much as in thee lies, and let God alone with the rest. God requires nothing of the but thy labour: the encrease belonges too God alone to geue as he thinkes good. Sainct Paule comparinge him selfe with the other apostles, saith:i. Cor. xv. Roma. xv. he laboured more then any of the rest, and filled all places & countries with the gospel, betwixt Ieru­salem & Illyricum, but he neuer tels how many he conuerted to the faith,i. Cor iii for that is the worke of God, and neither he whiche graftes, nor he whiche waters is anye thinge, but god which geues the encrease. And although the scripture require, that a preacher which is a steward of gods house must be ware as a Serpent, & simple as a Doue, and the weakenes of oure brethren that haue not learned their liberty muste be borne with for a time: yet are wee not bidden alwayes to do it, nor be soo wise yt to please man, we displeased God.

When our sauiour Christ had taught that it was laweful too eate all kinde of meates at all times, for all men,HoWe far the weake is too be born with all. Math. xv in all places: the Phariseis were angry with hym, and his disciples tolde him of their anger, [Page] but he aunswered let them alone they be blinde guydes of the blinde, he passed not for the offending of them, for they mighte haue learned the truthe if they had luste. So must we beare with the weake vntill they be taught sufficiently: and if thei wil not learne, we must not loose oure liberty for their folishnes, but aunswer them as Christ did.i. Cor. vii. And as the faithfull husbande is not bounde to the vnfaithfull wyfe, yf she will not abide with him: so is not our liberty bounde to the frowarde supers [...]c [...] ­ous Papistes that will not learne. It is better to offende sayes Gregory, than too forsake a truth: and Chrisost. teaches that whan more commodite commes by offen­dinge than hurt, we must not care for the offence: but this commodite that he mea­nes is not worldly but godly, & bringinge many to Christ. I had rather neuer eate fleshe sayeth sainct Paule,i. Cor. viii. then offend my brother: but that is spoken for the weake that haue not ben sufficiently taught and all doutes they can laye, taken awaie: but to the stubborne, sturdye stifnecked Papi­stes (whiche teache that some meates at some times are vncleane and vnholye for some men to eate, and so makes man too serue creatures in conscience, that he dare not handle that, ouer whiche God made [Page] hym Lord) he neuer sayde so, but contra­rely, let them alone they be blinde guides of the blinde. Like is to be sayde in mar­riage of Priestes, handelinge their chalice corporas and suche other burdens as they laye not onely on the bodies, but misera­bly on the consciences, of them which wil beleue them. Stande in the liberty, to the whiche ye be called saieth sainct Paule,Gala. v. & be not subiect to such yokes and beggerly ceremonies: Let not such Cayphas treade you downe, but kepe youre consciences in knowledge free too vse frely all the good creatures of God made for your vse, accor­dinge to the scripture with sobernes and thankesgeuinge.

Thus all the people is chyde here for their disobedience that they buylded not Gods house, although they were forbiddē by thy kinge, or coulde make like excuses. God sent them all home to do this worke, and required it of theym all,All sorts haue woorke in Gods house to doe. and yet they were all so farre from doinge it, that they let it lye, not onely vnbuylded, but waste, deserte, neuer regarding it. There was worke for all sortes of men, the costly pe­ces for the ryche, the meaner for the com­mon sorte, and the fellinge of trees, cary­inge morter. &c. for the poorest & simplest. When Moyses shuld make ye TabernacleExod. xxxv. [Page] and Tente, wherein they shoulde resorte to serue God vntyl the Temple was builded, the ryche sorte offered golde, siluer, brasse, yron, silke, and suche lyke: but the poorest when they came and brought but Goates heyre, it was thankefully taken, and did good seruice in that worke, for the vppermost cloth that couered the Tente, was made therof to kepe away raine and stormes. And to the yonger sorte that thei shoulde not thinke them selues vnmeete, saieth sainct Paul,i. Timo. iiii. let no man despise thy youth: & generally to euery man he saith: It is now time to ryse out of slepe. Bring so much to this buyldinge as you can, let no fault be found in you for lacke of good will, God will take in good parte ye litle ye can do. Let not the simplest thinke, I am vnworthy to do such thinges,Roma. xiii He that thin­kes lowlest of himselfe, is metest afore God to build God ne­des not my labour, I am to vyle too serue him, or it belonges not to me, for he onely is woorthy whom God makes woorthy, & he onely is welcome, whom he wil vouch­safe to take in good woorthe. Of oure sel­ues the best man liuing is vnworthy, and the more vnwoorthye that thou thinkest thy selfe vnfaynedly, the more worthye y art afore hym. Gedeon whā he was taken from threshinge his corne,Iudg. vi & made a Cap­tayn to deliuer Gods people, sayd: who am [Page] I? the yongest and least of all my brethrē: or what is my fathers house, that his stock afore all the rest, shoulde be taken to thys honour:i. Reg. ix. So said Saule also takē from the Ploughe folowing his Oxen, and made a King: and as long as he continued in this lowlines of minde, & did his duety, he was a good king.Amos. vii So Amos keping beastes an heardman, and pullinge Mulberies of the trees, when he was called to be a Prophet wondered that God would cal suche a sim­ple man as he was to that hyghe office. So the virgin Mary when the Aungel sa­luted her,Luke i wōdred that God would cal such a poore mayden & virgyn to be the mother of his sonne. But euer he that thinks him self vnworthy, God takes him as worthy: & those that thinke so highly of thē selues that they be worthy, God refuses, & makes vnworthy. Therefore let euery man that feeles him self in consciēce withdrawē frō doing his duty to god, by any kynd of sin,Euery man think this to be spoken to hym selfe. say thus to him self: Is it tyme for thee to delite thy self in this or y kynd of synne, & gods house vnbylt? Think y god hath left this in writing to rebuke hī, & styrre him vp to be more diligēt in repairīg his house wherin god dwels. And let eueri mā cōfort him self yt god not onli requires, but takes in good part, ye least seruice yt ye poorest mā liuing cā do.

[Page]And as he saide afore in the seconde verse: this people sayeth it is not tyme to buylde. &c. nothinge the vnkyndenes of that people, to whome he had so often and longe ben so louinge a Lorde and maister: So he sayeth now:The worthy­nes of the place maketh the faut grea­ter being neglected. iii. Reg. viii this house lyes waste, to set out before them y greatnes of theyr disobedience that they did not neglect and leaue vnbuylt a common house, a Bishop [...] palaice, or an Abby, but that house wher­in God him selfe sayde he woulde dwell, where onely they shoulde offer their sacri­fices, whiche onely not oute of the whole worlde, but amonge the places, townes & cytyes in all Iewry, he chose by name too be worshipped in, in whiche onely he was moste delited, and made promys to Salo­mon in the dedicacion of thesame, that he woulde heare the prayers of the that there called vpon hym in faith. That house thei did not onely suffer it to decaye, but were so forgetful of it, that they let it lye waste desolate, layde no hande to it, as thought it belonged not to them, nor it were theyr duety: they hadde so farre forgotten God, whiche willed them so straightely to do it. The Lord for his mercy sake, graunt that thesame vnkyndnes maye not be layde iustly against vs, whiche leaue that house vnhuylt, yea treade vnder oure feete like [Page] filthy swyne, wherin not the sacrifices of Moyses are offered, but for the saluation of whiche Christ offered his bodye a sacri­fice to be kylled, and his bloude shed, and in whiche his holy spirite dwelles, if tho­rough vnthankefulnes we driue him not awaye. This house is the holy churche of Christe generally,Cods house and oure owne bodyes and soules particulerly, which be not only membres and partes of his misticall body but the temple and house where the holye Ghoste dwelles, & where in he wil chiefly be worshipped.

The Text.

verse 5 And now thus sayth the Lord of hostes: cōsider in your harts your owne waies.

verse 6 You haue sowen muche and broughte in but litle, ye haue eaten and not ben satisfied: ye haue dronke, and not ben fil­led with drinke: ye haue ben clothed and not kept warme: ye haue wrought for wage, & put your wages in a purse wt a hole in the botome.

¶Although ye haue lien lōg without consideratiō of your duty toward God, & hys [Page] house buylding, & haue ben sore punished of god, & not knowē the cause of it, & haue sought your pleasur & profit, but not obtained them, being so blinded in fulfillinge your worldly lustes: yet now the mightye Lord of hostes & power, whome all other creaturs (except you) obey, giues you war­ning now to cōsider better in youre heart your tyme past,i. Ihon. ii Sīne maketh vs withoute feling of God and his plages & not so negligētly wey ye working of god wt you, for he hath lōg pu­nished you to haue had you to amend, & ye regard it not at all. Synne of it self is darkenes, & whosoeuer walkes in sinne▪ wal­kes in darkenes, & knowes not what he doeth: & if a man geue him self to be ruled by sin, it makes of fooles mad men, & darkenes so the reasō, yt it knowes not what to do or saye. They had thus many yeares ben plaged, & knew not ye cause why, but layd it on some other chaūce, then not building gods house, which was ye chief cause: or els like insensible beastes without the feare of God, regarded it not as though it had come of some natural cause & god had not plaged their sinne. But as his disease is most perillous, which lies sicke & feeles not his sickenes, nor can not cōplayne of one parte more than an other (for thā the disease hathe equally troubled the whole body) so they which lye walowing in syn, so forgetting God & al goodnes, yt thei fel [...] [Page] no remorse of consciēce, are desperate & al­most past all recouery, yet God most merci­fully dealing with this people, sendes his Prophet to warne them, & sturre thē oute of their slepe, yt their thei should no longer so lightly wey Gods displeasure towardes them, but depely wey why, and wherfore these plages were thus poured vpō them, The scholemaister correctes not his scoler nor the father his child, but for some fauts & for their amendment: no more hath God sent these plages to you so many yeares, but to remēber you of your disobediēce to­wards him, & that ye should turn to hym. But if the leude scoler, or vnthrifty sonne do not regarde the correction, laid vpō him nor cōsider not the greatnes of his faulte, nor the displeasure of his father or schole­master, ther is no goodnes to be hoped for of him: so is it we you, if ye thus lightly or els not at all cōsider your lyfe paste, Gods dealing with you, & how euil things haue prospered wt you all ye time ye thus haue disobeyed god. Whē the life of mā pleases god saies Salomō, all things prosper & go forwards with him:Pro. xvi. but whā he offendes his god, all creaturs turn to his hurt & hinderaunce. If thou heare the voyce of the Lord thy God (saith Moyses) and kepe all ye commaundementes, which I teache thee,Deut. xxxiii. [Page] the Lorde wil make thee greater than al other people: thou shalt be blessed in ye citie and in the fielde, thy chyldren, the fruit [...] of the earth, and all thy cattel, thy shep [...] ▪ Oxen shalbe blessed, and increase: but yf thou heare not the voyce of the Lorde thy God, and kepe his cōmaundements, thou shalt be cursed in the towne & in the field [...] thy chyldren shalbe cursed, and the fruit [...] of the earth, and the fruit of thy cattel, thy sheepe and thy Oxen, the Lord will sende vpon thee nede and trouble and destructiō on euery thinge, thou goest aboute vntyll he destroye thee. &c. These plagues when they fall in any country,The cause of Gods plage is diligently to be searched. are not lightlye to be considered.

But as the Phisicion, seing in a glasse by the water, the disease within the body, by the learninge searches out the cause of the disease, and ministers good things for thesame: so in lokinge in ye glasse of gods worde, the diseases and sinnes, which are in common wealthes, we shall soone per­ceyue the cause of these plagues, & whol­somely minister, some profitable & cōfor­table remedies for thesame. ‘God is here so good to his people, that he makes them Iudges them selues, and mistrustes not the cause, but if they woulde consider it wel, it woulde moue their harde hertes, [Page] therefore he sendes thē not to any straūge Iudges, but biddes them be Iudges them selues, waye it wel first, and than iudge: for the thinge of it selfe is so playne, that if they had not altogether ben blynd, they should in the middest of these plages haue perceyued gods anger and theyr own wickednes, neither of whiche they hadde yet worthely considered.’

‘Ye haue sowen muche sayeth ye Pro­phete, and broughte into your barens but litle: ye haue wrought and toyled, ye haue spared no laboure, thinkinge to haue en­riched your selues therby and filled youre barens: but all was in vayn,Psal. xxiiii. for ye sought not first to be reconsiled with God, which ye oughte to haue done, and fulfilled hys wil and not youre owne.’

The earthe is the Lordes, and all the plenty on it, and it obeyes the will of God in seruinge him, and geuing her fruites to them that loue the Lord their God, and not to them whiche disobey God, that made and rules bothe man and the whole earthe. Let the gredy charle thinke than, that though he be the owne of the lande & fielde by mans lawe, yet he is not ye Lord and maister ouer him, whome the earthe will obey in bringinge foorthe her fruite. Let hym dygge, dyche, and velue, weede, [Page] stone,Our labour is in vain except God blesse vs. harowe, plowe, sow, mow, clot and role, roote vp trees & busshes, water, hedg▪ and waterforow, or what other thinge so euer he can deuise to make the groūd fruitfull: yet there can no fruite growe, nor in­crease come, but by the gift and blessinge of the liuing Lord. It is written of kynge Kauntus,Kauntus. king of this Realme, that as he was standinge by the water side after a great rayne, marking how the water did ryse, by leasur so it increased that it wette his foote where he stode: and he beinge so proude in his hert, that he thoughte what soeuer he saide euery thing woulde obey, streight commaunded the water yt it shuld ryse no further, nor wet his maisters fet [...] any more: But whan he sawe that ye wa­ter rose styll, and would not obey him, but rāne into his shoes, he perceiued his folishnes, and cōfessed there was an other God and kyng aboue him, whome the waters would obey: so shal all gredy churles well perceiue when thei haue wrought thē sel­ues weary, & gottē litle, y all increase co­mes from the Lord, & not of them selues. For Dauid sayth ye promocion comes nei­ther from the East nor the West,Psal. lxxv but the Lord is iudge. It is not the waye to ware ryche, to get much, but too get it rightlye:Psal. xxxvii for it is better saith Dauid to haue a litle [Page] righteously gotten, thā to haue the greate ryches of sinners: nor it is not ye wai to be filled, to gather much together, but thākefully to take and vse that litle which thou haste, and be content therwith.

These ryche gluttons, whiche ye Pro­phet rebukes here, did eate & drink so wel▪ so costly, so finely, & so much as they could deuise, & yet they were neuer full, but the more they dranke, the dryer they were,No desire cā be ruled but by grace, & keping it vnder. & one good feast prouoked an other, & theyr studye was how to fyl their gredy stoma­kes. A dronken man is alwaies drye, ac­cordinge to the Prouerbe: & a glottonous appetite is neuer fylled, but ye more dain­tely he is fed at one meale, the more desy­rous is he at the next. All gredy affections of mans hearte are vnsatiable, if they be not brydeled with the feare of God. And the wai to rule them, is not to folow their lustes and desires, but to kepe them vnder and not let thē haue their full desire. The Dropsy desires drinke & drinke increases it: so euil desires if thei be folowed, they increase and in refraining thē, thei decay. Crescit amor nūmi, quantum ipsa pecunia crescit. that is to saye: as thy money increases,Ouidius. so does the loue of it. Therefore if thou wilt haue thy meate to do thee good, & thy drīk to slake thy thurste, take it soberlye with [Page] thankesgeuinge at gods hande, acknowledge it to be the good creature of god, g [...]uen to noorishe thy necessitie, and not too fyll thy beastly appetite.i Cor. x. So saincte Paul [...] saieth: whether ye eate or drinke, or what soeuer ye doe, doe all to the glory of God: as though he shoulde appointe how [...] a man shoulde eate and drinke, that is [...] saye: so much that the mynde be not ma [...] sluggish by cromminge in meate, or pou­ringe in drinke, that it can not lift vp him selfe to the praysinge of God.

Eate not so that it make the vnlusty to serue God.Therefore he that eateth vntyl hys bellye ake, or that he lye downe to slep [...] yt he can not prayse God, whiche hath [...] hym: or he that drinkes tyl his eyes water or his tunge beginne to swarue, swea [...]e, stut or prate, he doeth it not too the glorye of God, whiche is hys duty, nor to the nou­rishinge of his weake body, which is law­full and necessari: but he kindles suche an vnnatural heate in his bodye that it stur­res vp his appetite to desire more than it shoulde, and is not content with inoughe (and that he called here not to be filled nor satisfied in eatinge and drinkinge) or els it ouercomes the stomake and is vndige­sted, and fylles the bodye ful of sluggishe­nes, makes it vnlustye and vnmeete too serue God or mā, not noorishing the body, [Page] but hurtinge it, and laste of all castes hym into many kyndes of incurable diseases & desperate deathes.

Loke the ende of the ryche glutton in the Gospel,Luke. xvi. feastinge euery daye with hys brethren, and at lengthe cast into hel fyre without hope:A [...]hinne dyet with the fear of God, is better than fea­stinge. Daniel. .i but the poore begger Laza­rus, that was content to gather vp ye crō ­mes if he might haue had them which fell from the gluttons table, was carried vp by Aungels to the bosome of Abraham to ioye without ende. Daniel taken priso­ner to Babel, beinge but a boy, & hauinge a fyne dyet and costly meats apointed for hym by Nabuchodonozor the kyng frome his owne table, because he was born of ye kyngs stocke, desired his Tutour to geue him course meate, browne breade, potag [...] and water: but when his Tutour sayde he durste not, because the king had geuen cōtrari cōmaūdement, & if he through ea­tinge suche course meat, shoulde not be so wel liking as his felowes, than the king woulde be angry with hym. Wel sayde Daniel, proue me but .x. dayes, & if I lok [...] not so wel and lusty as my felowes, than I wil desire no more: but god blessed him and his meate, so that he was so well fed, as they whiche had all daynties, as lusty, as healthful & wel liking as his felowes. [Page] For except God blesse thy meate and geue it strength to fede thee:If God blesse them and thy meat, it skyls not howe course it bee: if no the best can not fede thee. & except God strēg­then thy nature to digest thy meat, & thee to take profit of it: either it shal lye walo­wing in thy stomake, & thou shalte vo [...] it vp agayne, or els it shall lye within [...] body vnprofitable, stinking as in a sy [...] or cannel, & engender infinite diseases w [...] in thee. But if God blesse thee & thy meat; though it be neuer so course and thou [...] hongry: thou shalt digest it, & it shal feede thee, and make thee as lusty, as stronge, as helthfull, as wel likinge, as he whiche is fed with Capen, Partriche, Quayle, Feason, or the finest disshes he cā deuise. And as God here by this Prephete willeth them to consider wel in their owne hearte whether these thinges were true in dede so God biddes vs now loke our selues and iudge whether it be not so amongst vs to this daye.

Loke howe many of youre poore neigh­bours eate broune bread, drink thin drink haue litle flesh, liue with mylke, butter. & cheese, lye on the straw without mattres, or fetherbed, & iudges youre selues whe­ther they be not more lusty, strong, healthful & wel liking thā thou, whē thou art crō med full of all dainties, which thou cā in­uent or desire. Thus we maye see what it [Page] is to eate & drinke, and not be filled there­with as the Prophet saieth in this place.

We wonder muche at the great miracles of God, when he chaunged water into bloud & plaged Egipt,Exod. vii, whā he turned wa­ter into wyne at the wedding in Cana of Galile, and such other,Ihon. ii To fede oure bodies is as great a mira­cle as anye. because they were done but seldom. But surely to feede oure bodies with meat, is as great a miracle if it be wel considered, as anye other suche thing ye God workes. What is more mar­ueylous then to se the flesh of ye sheepe or Oxe, beast, fish, or foule which thou did se yesterday running in the fieldes, flieng in the ayre, or swimming in the water, thys day to be chaunged into thy flesh & bloud, and the substāce of thy bodye. We are not norished onely with accidētes & qualities of things as smels & tastinges: but with ye substance of that thing which we eate and drinke.Norishing [...]. Norishing is defined of the Phisi­ [...]ions to be a chaunging of the norishment into the substāce of the body which is nor­rished. All ye workes of God,The cōmons of Gods wor­kes makes them to seme no miracles, which of thē selues be wō derfull. if they be wel considered in theyr own nature, are mira­cles & aboue all reason: but our dul blinde­nes is so greate, that because we se them dayly, we regarde them not, and because we be cloyed with them, and plenty is no dainty, we consider them not woorthelye. [Page] But surely if we had this great miracles of God afore oure eyes, as we oughte too haue, how by his mighty power he chaunges the substaunce of that which we eate and drinke in to the substaūce of our flesh and bloude: we shoulde eate and drinke wt more reuerence than wee doe, more dili­gently thanke hym that he would vouch­safe to fede vs, and wonder at his mighty power that he can, and prayse his mercy [...]full goodnes that he will woorke such [...] [...] miracle so oft and so wonderfull a work [...] vpon suche vyle wormes, gredy glutto [...] and vnthankeful creatures as we be, and sustaine oure sinful nature, by feding wt so meruelously and chaunginge the goo [...] nature of his other creatures, whiche ne­uer sinned, and yet are kylled for vs too feede vs, chaunginge them. I say into the substaunce of oure bodyes, whiche can doe nothinge of them selues but sinne.i. Reg. xix. Elias fleinge from Iezabel, founde a therse calm baked in the asshes, and a dishe ful of wa­ter at his head, whā he waked out of slep [...] and was commaunded by the Aungell to ryse and eate, for he had a long iourney to go. And when he had eaten he walked in the strength of that bread .xl. dayes and . [...]. nightes eatinge nothinge els. So shal all thei whiche feare the Lorde as Elias did▪ [Page] in their persecution, be able and strong to do great thinges by sclender meat & drink (as we this day haue proued) God blessing them and their meat, be it neuer so course and simple: and they that seeke to streng­then them selues by dainty meats forget­ting God, shal not be fylled in eatinge and drinkinge, nor haue profite of that which they receyue: but the more they haue the more thei shal desire, & neuer thinke they haue inough as the Prophete here sayeth.

Suche is the stinkinge nature of syn,Si [...]aining in a man, wil le [...] nothing that he hāthe, do him good that whyle it lies lurkinge in the heart of man ruling him, and not ruled of hym by grace, but sturringe him too a further for­gettinge of God and his duety: that it wil not let the corn growe in the fielde and in­crease, it wil not suffer the meat & drinke to feede thee, but it shall goe thorowe thee vnprofitably as through a sinke (which as it auoydes one filthe is ready gapinge to receiue more) it doeth not quentch, but ra­ther increase thy appetite. God will not blesse any thinge thou goest about, thy clothes will not keepe ye warme, nor thy mo­ney will abyde in thy purse, but shal wast away, thou not weeting how nor when, as if there were a hole in the bottome. To a good man euerye thinge shall serue and prosper, but to an euil man, nothing shall [Page] do good. ‘What a wonderfull thing is thi [...] that the more a man eates & drinkes, the more he shall desire and not bee filled: the more clothes he putteth on, ye colder he is: yea, if he haue neuer so warme a fire n [...] soft fether bed, he shall be more greued [...] colde, then they whiche fare courselye, be homely apparaled, & lye harde.’ Let euery man iudge how true this sayinge of God is. These fyne fingered Rufflers wt their Sables about their neckes, their fine f [...] ­red gounes, corked slippers, trimmed bu [...] kyns, & warme myttons, thei chyl for co [...] and tremble whē they come abroade, thei can not abide the winde to blow on them: yea, and alwaies the more tenderly they kepe them selues, hurting or not helping the poore, by the iust punishmente of god, the more are they pearced with colde them selues: Contrariwise, the labouring man can abide in the felde all the long dai wh [...] the Northwynd blowes with few clothes on him, & neuer greued with cold: he hath his health, fedes sauerly on brown bread, thin drinke, & a poore supper: yea, manye poore beggers runne frō doore to doore wt few clothes on thē & torne, dyuing with [...] pece of bread vnder a hedge, whē they can get it, & at night lappīg thē selfs in a litle straw, not once in a weke fillīg their [...]e [...] ­lies, [Page] yet they loke more lustye, healthfull, strōg, then y, which hast thy celed chāber, furred stomacher, lōg goune & good chere. And what can be ye [...]ause of this, but that God blessed ye one which is cōtent with his poore kynde of lyfe, & thankes God for it, thinking it better then he is worthy:Costly ap­parell. and a­boue their d [...] grees. and the other whiche thinkes so highly of him self, that nothing is good inough for him, taking no care, but how to cherish hī selfe most tenderly, God doth not bles him nor those things, on which his pleasure is set.Exod. xvi. The Israelites in wildernes desirīg flesh had Quailes great plēti. geuē thē: but whē the meat was in their mouths,Deuter. xxix. ye plage fel on thē. And after repenting, thei were so blessed of God, that their shoes & clothes lasted theym .xl. years, and those clothes, which the fathers had worne, the chyldrē were content to vse afterward. But these tender Pernels must haue one gowne for the daye, an other for the night, one long an other shorte, one for winter, an other for sommer, one furred thorowe an other but faced, one for the woorke daye, an o­ther for the holy daye, one of this coloure, an other of that, one of clothe, an other of silke or damaske, chaunge of apparel, one afore dinner, an other at after, one of Spa [...]ish facion, an other Turky, & to be brief, [Page] neuer content with inough, but alwayes deuisinge newe facions and straunge: yea a Ruffin will haue more in a ruffe & hys hoose, then he shoulde spende in a yeare. I reade of a Paynter that woulde paynt [...] euery countrie man in his accustomed ap­parell, the Dutche, the Spanyarde, ye Ita­lian, the Frencheman: but when he came to the Englishemā, he painted him naked and gaue him clothe,English apparell. and bad him make it him self, for he chaūged his facion so oftē, that he knew not howe to make it: suche be oure fikle and vnstable heads, euer de­uising and desiring newe toyes. But what, woulde ye haue all apparell alyke? There be diuers degrees of authoritie, & so better apparel for them. I do not wishe all alike, but euery one accordinge too hys degree.

Geue a Kynge clothe of golde & siluer. a Duke veluet and silke, a Marques sa­tyn and damaske, than an Earle, a Lord, a Baron, a Knight, an Esquire, a Gentle­man, a yeman, according to their degrees and see whether those shall not be compel­led to go in a russet coate, which now spe [...] as muche on apparell for hym & his wyfe, as his father woulde haue kepte a good house with.

God graunt euery one might be brought [Page] to hys degree.Math. [...]. Oure sauioure Christe bad his disciples, they shoulde not haue twoo coates, but we because we will be mooste vnlike his schollers, haue oure presses soo full of apparel ye many knowes not howe many sortes and chaunge of raiment they haue. We are in the number of those rych men, to whome sainct Iames saieth: woo,Iames. v. because they had so greate plenty of appa­rell, that the mothes did eate theym, and their poore neighbours wente colde & na­ked, wantinge them.

‘And althoughe those be wonderfull and straunge kyndes of plagues that God layde vpō them for their sinnes, ye neither the corne nor the fruite of the earth coulde encrease, their meate woulde not fede thē. nor drink fyl them, nor their clothes kepe them warme: yet this is mooste meruey­lous, that the money whiche they had in their purses, woulde not abyde with thē, but wasted away they coulde not tel how, not profiting them, but euen as though it had fallen out at the botome of their pur­ses, or that their purses had ben torne soo fast, it went from them as thei gat it, thei did not thriue by it.’ But suche is ye wise­dome of God, that whiche waye we thinke to enryche our selues, displeasing him, the same is turned to our owne hurt, and we [Page] be catched in our own snares. [...]ail gotten gooddes neuer thriue· A mā [...] think his money sure inough whē it were in his purse: but laye it where thou wilt vnder locke & key, yea, in stone houses if ye wilt, if it be wrōgfully gottē, or nigardly laid vp, & not bestowed to releue the nede of other as occasiō requires, rather then y shalt enioy that wicked māmon, the ruste & canker shal eat it, theeues shal steale it, or fyre shall come frō heauē, if it can not some other wayes, & destroy thee and it, rather than thou shalt continue wealthy, contrary to Gods will disobeinge him. It is with money as in corne & other fruites: for as he that sowes muche, & that in good ground, reapes much, so he that liberally bestowes much of his trulye gotten goods on the nedy mēbers of Iesus Christ, shall be enriched much of Christe: for the poore are the good ground y bringes thee foorth much encrease by the blessinge of God. I haue seene saieth Salomon, some geue their owne goods,Proue. xi. and they waxed rycher: other scrape that which is not their owne, & are euer in nede. So he that wil thryue, must firste get it righteously, & after spēd it liberally: for that whiche is euill gottē, though it be after dealte in almes, displeases God. When blinde father Toby [...] hard a Kid blea in his house, he biddes thē [Page] take hede that it be not stolen. He saieth also t [...]o his sonne:Toby. i [...] Of thine owne sub­staunce geue almes (but that which is euil gotten,Toby. iiii▪ is not thine own) and if thou haue muche, geue muche, and if thou haue but a litle, yet geue it willingly. These men whome the Prophete here rebukes, dyd none of al these things: for neither it was well gottē, nor liberally spēt. What mar­uell was it then, though it fell out of the purse botome, & consumed away thei wist not how, nor yet did them any good?

This gredines was so farre growen into all sortes of men, that the poore laboring man, which wroughte for his daies wage, was not cōtēt to worke a true dais woorke, but woulde loyter and be ydle, make his woorke suttle and full of crafte and deceyt, haue a greater wage than his woorke was woorth.Iere. vi. It was true nowe also that Ieremie complayned on in hys tyme, sayinge: frome the hyghest to the lowest, frome the Prophete to the Priest,Euill gotten gooddes wa­ste [...] that whiche is trulye come by. al studye for couetousnes & deceite. But I would wish all such gredy guts to marke this similitude of Chrisostome, where he cōpares a peny euill gottē, & laid amōgest the other siluer, which is truely comē by, to a worm yt lies at the hearte of an Aple. For as she first corrupts y hart of ye Aple, [Page] and that once beinge rotten, it rottes the next pece vnto him, and so foorthe euerye pece that whiche is next vnto him vntyl ye whole Apple be rotten (though for a great space it seme on the oute side to be a fayre harde Apple and sounde) so that euill got­ten penye, saieth Chrisostome, shall infect that whiche lyes next him, and so foorthe euery owne his felowe, vntill all bee wa­sted. Thus the plage beinge general, that all sortes of mē were punished, & nothing did go forwarde with any kynde of men, because generally all sortes had sinned: & God requiringe generallye of all sortes yt his house shoulde be buylte: it proues that euery one had a porcion to doe in the buyl­dinge of Gods house, and that none could [...] be excused from this worke. So we in Englande, all be gyltye, all haue ben pu­nished, because euery sort of men shoulde haue laide his helpinge hande to the buyl­dinge of Gods house, refourming his reli­gion, restoringe & maintaininge his Gos­pell, whiche none or verye fewe haue ear­nestly done: and therefore all these plages haue fallen vpon vs that these people felt: yea, and more to, for all that would holde fast their profession, either were caste into the fyre, or banished.

No countrye hays more bely chere thā [Page] we, & we eate as though we were hūgry. stylle. None hais more store of apparell, and yet we be a colde. Howe oure money hais waisted, if I seke but onely of ye sun­drye falles of money, many can remēber, and yet feele ye smart of it, though I truste muche good shall folow on it. The Lord [...] for his mercy open oure eyes that we may see and consider the cause of these plages, whiche he hath layde on vs soo longe, and spedely turne vs to amende those faultes, for whiche we be punished. For euen frō the highest, vnto the poore laboringe man we haue all sinned, and one plaged an o­ther: yea, seruaūts haue thought to waxe wealthy by greate wages takinge & litle workinge: but as this Prophete saieth, their wages was putte into a bottomles purse▪ & they haue not thryuē by it. What hath ben the ende of ambicious and coue­tous men from the hyghest to the lowest: whiche neuer beinge contentente with inoughe desired more. He whiche is not blinde may se it more amonge vs then all Christendome.

The Text.

verse 7 Thus saith the God of hostes: consider in your hearts youre owne wayes.

[Page] verse 8 Go vp to the hyll and bringe home tīber, builde this house and I will haue delighte in it,Targ. dwel in it with glorye. and I will be glorified say­eth the Lorde.

¶The Prophete hath neuer done inough in bearinge in the authorite and maiestye of his God that sent him with his commission to his people, & neuer speakes thinge in his owne name, but in the beginninge and ending of these short verses, addeth ye glorious name of God Iehoua, calling hym the Lorde of hostes, at whose commaunde­ment all creatures be, and who will arme all his creaturs to fight against all suche, as either do not buylde his house & hinder his glori, or els stoppe them which woulde further it. With suche woordes of feare & power must all stubborn stomakes be pulled downe: & thei whiche wil not be ouer­come by gētlenes to do their duty, must be feared wt authorite. Thus must preachers learn to tēper their tūgs,An example for prechers. neuer to speake but that which they find in Gods booke: & where the people be hard harted to beleue & stifnecked to heare, they muste vse suche woordes of gods maiestie & power, which [Page] will make stony hartes to trēble: & where feare raignes, ther to cōfort & raise thē vp bi ye gētle louīg mercies of god, offered to ye world in his sonne Iesus christ our Lord. And yet once again he referres thē to their own iudgmēt, & bids them cōsider in their own hartes, their own waies, & be iudges them selues. As if he should saye: ‘hitherto haue ye folowed your own desires, & haue had no profit in so doing, but being sūdry wise plaged ye haue not cōsidered it.’ No­thing yt ye haue gone aboute hath prospe­red with you: your fruite of the earth hath not encreased, your meat & drink hath not fed you, youre clothes hath not kepte you warm, your money wasted in your purse, ye could not tell how. But now buyld my house, and marke your owne doings wel, whether euery thing shall not be blessed & encrease that ye go about: I wil be delited in your buylding, & I will shew my glorie to the whole world amonge you, in defen­ding you, & that my house & worship ther. I wil be your God, & ye shal be my people, & no enemies shal ouercome you: ye earthe shalbe fruitful vnto you, your meat drink, clothes, & money shal fede and norish you: chuse you whether ye wil let my house lye vnbuylded stil, & still be plaged, or ye will repare it diligently, and be blessed.

[Page] ‘Go vp to the hyl, bringe home tymbr [...] and buylde this house: these three thinges God requires of theym, and he promises them twoo blessinges for them: firste that he will be delited in that house buylding, than that he wil shewe his glory amōgest them.’ For these causes, rather than for worldly profit, they shoulde be more ear­nestly stirred to do their duety: whan they were certaine that they pleased God in so doinge. The hil that he wils them to goe too is Libanus,i. Esdras. iii. as appeares in Esdras, whiche is not within the bonds of Iewry, but of Tyrus and Sidon: for there grewe the fairest trees of any countrye. Frome thence had Salomō trees in his time also for thesame buyldinge.iii Reg. v. This figure doeth teache vs,The Heathē be called too bee membres of Christes churche. that as Gods temple was than buylded of trees that grew amonges the Heathen people: so whā the full time was comen, Christes churche shoulde be buyl­ded of the Gentiles and Heathen people, whan the gospel shoulde be preached tho­rough all the worlde. And this is confor­table for vs, ye although we be not born of Iewes, yet we be trees meete too buylde gods house on: & god wils vs to be brought home to him by the preaching of his word that we maye be partakers of that house, wherein he wil dwel, and he delited in vs▪ [Page] and amonge whome he wil shew his glo­rie. He bids them climbe vp the hill,The painfull labor must be borne with­out respect. draw home trees, and buyld the house, which al be woords of great labour and pains, and speakes nothing of ye easier sorte of work, as deuisinge, casting the worke, framing the postes. &c. But willes them not to re­fuse the greatest laboure that belonges theretoo, and that nothinge shoulde bee thought painfull that God commaundes. And he bids them not loke for any greate worldly wealth whan they had done (al­though God of his goodnes woulde geue them that beside) but thinke this a suffi­cient rewarde, that God was pleased in their doinges, and woulde shew his glory amonge them.

This is the greatest reward that wee can loke for, whan God is delited with vs: and happy is that people to whome it fal­les. What haue the Aungelles in heauen more than that God is delited to be amōge them, and shew his glorious maiestye too them? Thus in buyldinge gods house, we maye make of earth heauen, and of men Aungels. For where God shewes him self glorious, there is heauen: and we shall be like Aungels, delightinge oure selues in praysing our God, and god will be delited and dwel with vs, shewinge his glorious [Page] maiestye to vs, be oure god and blesse vs.

When they had fallen these trees and caryed them home, least they shoulde turn them to their owne vse, and buylde their owne houses with them, he saieth: buylde this house, meaning the house of God, and temple which god had chosen amonge all other places, and where onelye he wille [...] them to offer their sacrifices. In which we are taughte that we shoulde not turne to oure owne pleasure, those thinges which God wil haue dedicate to him selfe and to the buyldinge of his house. If England [...] hadde not ben so gredye to turne to their owne vse churche goodes,Necessarye church goods are not to be [...] awaye. whiche shoulde haue necessarely ben bestowed to the buyldinge of gods house: we shoulde not haue felt gods rodde so sharpeli, but God would haue ben pleased, and shewed his glorie amonge vs.

But whan men would not geue lād [...] fast inough to Abbeys, than the Pope ra­ther than his chaplēs should want, would robbe many Parisshes to fede his mōkes. God graunt that the gospell maye restore that iustly, whiche the Pope toke wrong­fully awaye, and gaue them yet a right [...] name of impropriations, because impro­perly thei be takē away & properly belong to the parishes. The workemā is worthy [Page] hys byre, he that serues the gospel, muste lyue of the gospel. Therfore those impro­priacions, whiche take awaye the Prea­chers liuinge, be againste the woorde of God.

But what, doeth this belong to vs or oure time? doth goo require of vs to build him Abbeis, Nunries, Chauntries. &c. no surely,Goddes house generallye is the whole church, or e­uery particu­ler person. but this was an outwarde exercise for that grosse, harde harted people for a time to be excused in, that they should not buylde temples to Idols▪ and teacheth vs to buylde god spirituall house, wherin we maye offer spirituall sacrifices & prayers to him, where in he is well delited, & will shew his Maiestye. This house is nowe for vs to be vnderstande generallye ye hole churche and companye of Christians, and the bodye and soule, the hearte, minde, or conscience of all Christiās particularly, wherein god dwels by his holy spirite, as sainct Paule saieth to the Corinthians. Do ye not knowe that your bodyes be the temples of the holy ghoste,i. Cor [...]. x [...] and whiche he hath sanctified to be kept holy for him self alone by Baptisme, and for the whiche Christe hath died that we mighte liue by [...], whome he hathe redemed with hys [...], and wasshed cleane from all sinne [...] shoulde liue no more to our owne [Page] lustes and desires, but to him that hath redemed vs. It is written that God dwels not in Tempels made with handes,Actes. vii. nor is worshipped with any worke of mānes hādes:Ihon. iiii but he is a spirite, an inuisible sub­stance, and wil be worshipped in spirite & truthe, not in outwarde woordes onely of the lippes, but with the depe sighes & gr [...] ­ninges of the heart, and the hole power of the mynde, and earnest hearty callinge on hym in prayer by faithe. And therfore he doeth not so muche require of vs to [...]uyld him a house of stone and timber; [...]. Timo. ij but hath willed vs to praye in all places, and hath taken awaye that Iewish and Popish ho­linesse, whiche is thoughte too be more in one place than an other.God is wor­shipped in spirite & all places. All the earthe is the Lordes, and he is present in all places▪ hearinge the peticions of them which call on him in faithe.

Therfore those Bishops, which thinke with their coniured water too make one place more holy than the reste, are no bet­ter than Iewes, deceyuinge the people & teachinge that onely to be holy which thei haue censed, crossed, oyled, and breathed vpon. For as Christ saide to the woma [...] thinkinge one place to be holier to [...] than an other:Ihon. ii [...]i. Woman beleue [...] time is come whā ye shal worship [...] [Page] [...]t Ierusalem nor in this byl, but the true worshippers shal worship God in spirite & truthe: so is it now saide the place makes not the man holy, but the man makes the place holy, and ye shal doe worship youre Idols, stockes, & stones, neither at Wal­singham, Ipswich, Cāterbury nor Shene for God chuses not ye people for ye place sake but the place for the people sake.ii. Macha. v. But if ye be in the middest of the fielde, God is as ready to heare youre faithfull prayers, as in any Abbey or Nunrye, yea, a thousand times more: for the one place he hates, as defiled with Idolatry, and the other he lo­ues as vndefiled and cleane. If the good man lye in pryson, tyed in chaynes, or at the stake to be burned for Gods cause: that place is holy, for the holines of the man, & the presence of the holy Ghooste in him, as Tertullian sayeth.

Yet there shoulde be common places appointed for the people too assemble and come together in, to prayse oure God.Commō pla­ces of prayer are to be ap­poynted. Heb. x. For where the Apostle rebuked them, whiche woulde not resorte with the rest of ye Chri­stians to make their common praiers to­gether, to hear his woorde and receiue his sacraments: it proues they had some com­mon place to resort to. And where saincte Paule requires that all thinges should bei. Cor. xiii [...] [Page] done in a comely order: what can be more comely or agreing to good order, then [...] haue a time appointed, and a place too re­sorte vnto together, to worship oure onely God. Nay how shal they come together, [...] cept place and time be appointed? Howe shal they know when & whither to resort, vnappointed? How canne the sheepe­hearde teache his sheepe, if he haue not a folde to gather them together in? In the Apostles time when the rulers were not christened,Actes xvii. they resorted into priuate hou­ses and chaūbers, & by the water side [...] worship their God: but when princes be­came christened, they had churches appo [...]ted for them: yet all these prayers & prea­chinges that were priuely in parlers, and by the waterside, were as pleasaunte too God (yea better peraduēture for cōmonly they came of a greater and better l [...]ue [...] faith) as ours be now. Those also whiche than were buried in no halowed churche nor churcheyarde, nor christē moldes, as they be called (when it is no better then o­ther earth, but rather worse for ye cōm [...] that Bishops vse about it) were no worse then they which were buried with al solē ­nitie. It appeares in the gospel,Marke v by the Le­gion liuing in graues, the widdows some going to burial,Luke vii Christ buried withoute [...] [Page] Citie. &c. that then thei buried not in halowed Churchyeardes by any Bishops,Burials out of church or the yarde. but in a seuerall place appointed for thesame purpose without the Citie, which custome remains to this day in many godli places. As that thē was lawful & no hurt to ye ded so is it nowe,Hebru. ix. & one place is as holy as an other to be buried in, sauinge that cōly or­der requires the bodies not to be cast awai because thei were the temples of the holy ghost, & shalbe glorifed at ye last dai again, but semely to be buried, & an honest place to be kept seueral frō beastes, & vnreuerēt vsing thesame, for thesame vse. It is Po­pish to beleue that which the bishops doe teach: that place to be more holi then ye rest which thei haue halowed as thei sai,Bishops bles­sings make nor places more holy nor god too heare vs soner there then els where. with washing it with their cōiured water, cros­sing, cēsings, processiōs. &c. & that God wil hear our praiers afore one Idol or Image rather then an other, or in one Abbey, as pleases thē to apoint him, rather than an other. Wher it pleases thē to graūt mani daies of pardon, ther God must hear their praiers soner, & work mo miracles: so God is become their seruaūt, & shalbe wher thei wil apoint him. But blessed be ye God our lord, which by ye light of his word doth cō ­foūd all such wicked & fōd fātasies as thei can deuise to fil their bellies & maintayne their authoritie.

[Page] The vse of churches.Churches be Gods schoole house, the preacher is a schoole maister, sent from God is teache vs his woorde, we be his scholers, and thyther must resort to learn oure les­sons and his holy wil, to amend our liues▪ to make our praiers to him, desiring mer­cye for our wickednes past, and beg gra [...]e and strength for that whiche is to come, to thanke him for all his goodnes so merci­fully poured vpon vs, to receiue his Sacra [...]mentes, and professe our fayth which w [...] haue in him. For these causes must we haue churches as common places to res [...] vnto, & vse thē with such comelines as be [...]comes men professing Christ: and not [...] binde any holines to this churche or th [...] churche, as though it laye in vs too ma [...] holy or vnholy, when and what we lust. As sainct Maries in Cambridge was had inough to saye masse in for three yea [...] space, & all that woulde not heare it mus [...] be prisoned, althoughe Bucer was the [...] burried: but whan it pleased the Carnal [...] commissioners to saie it was not holy, be [...]cause he laye buried there: than the Heretike muste bee digged vp and burned, [...] their masses were woorth nothinge. A [...] other mighte lye still, and not hurte the [...] masses, though they were of his opinion.

The house of God nowe for vs left [...] [Page] buylde:Goddes house generall. perticular. i. Timo. iii. Hebru. is sometime called in scripture ge­nerally the whole company of Christians, and sometime euery particular man, as sainct Paul teaches Timothe how to liue in the house of God, whiche is the churche and congregation of God, the piller & seat of truth. And to the Hebrues it is writen: you be the house of God perticularly also, it is sayde to euery man,i. Cor. vi. doe ye not know that your bodyes be the temple of the holy ghosts? and he that defiles the temple of God, him wil God destroy. Again ye be the husbandry of God and the building of god. And sainct Peter saieth:i. Pet. ii. ye are buylt like liuely stones for a spirituall house of God. This spiritual house muste be diligently buylded of vs, and the buyldinge of thys house of wood and stone amonge the Ie­wes, was a figure of this spiritual house buyldinge for oure dayes. This is that whiche sainct Paule calles so often edifi­ynge or buyldinge one an other,Edifiynge. and that edification whiche he speakes so muche of in all his Epistles, that is as much to saye as one to sturre vp an other to vertue and godlines. For as the buyldinge goes for­ward and encreases by laying to one stone after an other, and one poste or tree after an other, vntill the house be finished: So we by goinge forwarde dayly in the feare [Page] of God and godlines, shal at lengthe bee [...] meete house for God too dwell in. This house is the bodye & soule of man,The spiritu­all house of God. whiche must be buylt with dayly hearinge God [...] woorde, praier, mercie & faith, with godly exercises, as s. Paule saieth ye be cytezens with saincts,Ephe. ii. & of Gods house, builded in the foūdacion of the Apostles & the prophetes. God, because he would haue vs al­waies praying & calling on hī for his help, hath so ordred the matter, that this eart [...] house of ours wherin he dwels,This house nedes conti­nual repay­ringe & helpe of al degrees. should al­waies be in building or repairinge, & that we should not be ydle, and thinke we ha [...] done our duty, but euer desiringe him [...] help forward ye building of this his [...] If we ouercome one euil affectiō, straight waies rises an other, & after one tēpta [...] cometh an other, & the deuill neuer ceases to throw doune oure house.Psal. cxxvii. Dauid sa [...]th: except the Lord build the house, they labor but in vayn which build it. Let vs doe all we can therfore, & pray the lord to further our worke, ye rulers wt the sword defēd the good & punish the euil, ye preachers with y word, the scholemasters by their teaching the fathers by bringing vp their childrē, ye maisters by correctiō of their seruāts, the peple in obeyīg their heads, & neighborly loue: & euery one defend true religiō to the [Page] vttermost of his power, driue away ye Po­pe & his baggage: and as occasiō requires guide the ignorāt, rebuke croked stomaks amēd fautes in the feare of ye Lord, & bring into the right way all such as run astrai yt thei may be mete houses for God to dwell in. Thus hath euery mā a part in bylding gods house: but the greatest porciō is lefte to euery man which is his own consciēce, to amend that he finds amisse in him self, because euery man knowes him self best. Great faultes onely do appeare vnto the worlde, & by rulers muste be punished: but the priuy hid faults which euery mā kno­wes in him self, for the moste parte (for no man knowes all that be within him self) muste bee corrected within him selfe, by prayer, sighinge, repentaunce and asking forgiuenes. Dauid saieth:Psal. xix. who knoweth his owne faults: Lord clense me from my priuy hid & secret sins, & spare thy seruaūt frome other mens sins. Thus must euery one him self seuerally, and iontly altoge­ther clime vp to the hils, that is our lofty mindes, & cut doune the penishe desires of oure heartes, though it be painfull: & also correct the hye minded, whiche are called often in the scripture hylles, and cutte doune the highe trees, growinge on the toppes of them.

[Page] All offenders must be cor­rected indif­firently.That is to saye to bringe into good [...] the high men of the world, whiche should geue good exāple for the people to folowe and to punishe their fautes, and rebuke them as well as the lower sorte. They muste neither for feare nor flattery leaue theym vnpunished, nor saye that is good which is euil afore God. For as God ha [...] geuen one lawe for all men, highe & lowe to liue after, and like a righteous iudge wil punishe all that breake it: So must al indifferently be punished here (if rulers [...] ministers do their duety) that breake hy [...] lawes. God hath geuen no more liberty [...] to sinne to the ryche than to the poore, [...] hath not willed thone to be punished, and the other to escape, but generally & indif­ferently hath sayd to all:Ezech. xvii [...] that soule whi [...] sinnes, it shal dye: and in iudgemente ye shal regarde no person,Deut i. but iustly iudge y whiche is iust, neyther condēyne the poor [...] because he is poore,Exod. xxiii. nor deliuer the ryche, because he is ryche. So must the preacher tell euery man his duetye, spare neither high nor low, neither flatter the ryche for rewardes,Math. v. nor feare the mightye for highe lokes or bitter woordes: for whan he does his worst he can not hurte thy soule but a litle punish thy body. These are hard hyls to clim, and croked trees to fraine meete [Page] for any worke: yet it muste be done, & God requires this of euery mannes hande too bringe some thinge to the buylding of his house, and according to his power.

And if we marke these woordes well,We are lyke to trees. we shal see our owne nature set afore vs. For as trees growing on ye toppe of hils, haue a rough barke, crooked knots, longe bowes, and therfore vnmete for any buil­dinge, vntil thei be fallen, pylled, squared, drawen home, and can do nothinge of all these them selues: so we as long as we be wanderinge in the mountaynes & wylde woodes of this world, being highly myn­ded and in greate wealthe or authoritie aboue others, as on an hyl: We haue fro­warde proude myndes, and not meete for Gods house, vntil we bee made lowlye in oure owne sightes, and fall flat doune at Christes feete, & haue the rough barke of oure olde Adam pulled of, and our croked affections cutte awaye, be mortified, and drawen home by the learning of his word and working of his holy spirite. For that whiche is hygh and set by amongest men is abhominable afore God,ii. Cor. iii. and as s. Paul saieth: we are not able of our selues, as of oure selues too thinke a good thoughte: muche lesse than to cast away all this fro­wardnes of our corrupt nature, vntil god [Page] bring vs home, and make vs mete for the buyldinge of his house, which he doeth by preachinge as it is written: how shal they beare without a preacher:Roma. x for faith, come [...] by bearing, and hearing comes by ye wor [...] of God, and oure sauiour Christ sayeth by sainct Ihon: No man comes to me excepte my father drawe him.Iohn. vi. As the scriptur cal [...] a good man the good tree yt bringes foorth good fruite, and the euil man the euil tree with euil fruite: so the Philosopher desi­nes a man to be a tree with the roote vp­warde. For as a man receiues at ye mouth norishmente for the hole bodye, and hai [...] his head decked with heyre: so the tree by the roote drawes norishing to it & decke [...] his bowes with leaues, and as the heade of mā is vpward: so is the rote to the tree, though the vnlearned beleue it not. Many other thinges there bee wherein they bee, like the one the other: but I wil not stand to reherse all.

God graunte vs suche preachers that we maye heare, and so too beare that we may beleue, and so to beleue that we may beare good fruite & be drawen home lyke good trees, all frowardnes cut of, and we made mete for ye buyldinge of gods house.

‘Nowe briefly to consider how God per­formed his promises, in beinge delited in [Page] that house, & shewing them his glory:’ tho hole historye of the Machabees and other like doe declare and tell the greate glorie whiche appeared in them, the kynge sent Heliodorus to bringe him the treasure of the tēple:Heliodorus but Onias the good high prieste woulde not deliuer it, but with his felo­wes stode stil loking for help from God, in their priestly apparel according to the law and that was delited in their doinge,ii. Macha. iii. tru­stinge and callinge on him, it appeared than:God is much delited in the buildinge of his house. for he shewed his mighti glori in de­fendinge them that maintayned his reli­gion, not yelding to tyrants: & punished Heliodorus for layinge violēt handes on ye money, whiche was layd vp there, for the fatherles and wydowes. Likewise Alex­ander the great,Alexander. whiche conquered al coū ­tries about him, after he had gotten Ty­rus and Sidō, sent to Ierusalem for a tri­bute, thinkinge it to smal a thinge, & not worthy the cost and labor to cary his hoste thither for the winning of it, & that they woulde yelde vntoo him for a woorde: yet whan the highe Priest fearing God more than him, denied to be his subiect and tri­butary, Alexander came with all his po­wer, purposinge to haue destroied all, but the Priestes meting him in their Priestly apparel, not to fight, but to see howe God [Page] woulde defende his people: Alexander lighte of his horse, worshipped the highe Priest, and confessed him to be the onelye God, whose Priest he was, and that in his country afore he came forth, he saw a like vision bidding him do no wronge to suche men: and afterwardes he graunted them great liberty, and did them no harme. But most wonderfully this glorie appea­red,Exod. xxxiiii. that where euery man must go thrise a yeare to Ierusalem too worship & sacri­fice God, promised and performed it, that he woulde defende their lande vntill they came again. Their lande was compassed rounde with their enemies, they left no [...] at home but women and children: yet God was so wel delited in this their doinge, y as longe as they did it, thei prospered, and no enemies durst inuade their land, while they were worshippinge God: But when they did it not, they were ouercome, and lost their lande.

If all men in Englande shoulde goe thrise in the year to Londō, leauing none at home but womē & chyldren as thei did to Ierusalem, and tarie there eight daies (for soo longe continued their feaste) w [...] woulde thinke the Scots & all roūd about vs, woulde inuade our countrie: but if we were as ernest in religion as they were, [Page] God woulde defende vs as he did them, & no enemy shoulde hurt vs, whan we kept religion, we wanne Bullē, whan we fel from it, we lost Calis.

But the great glory of all was shewed in this temple, and God declared himself to be wel delighted in it, firste whan oure Sauioure Christ came and sat disputinge with the doctours in it, healed the sicke,Luke. ii. preached the will of his father, and droue out the biers and sellers. After also when the Apostles did the like,Actes. viii. & when the Eu­nuche of Queene Candace, moued with the glorie of God and that temple, came so farre of to worship there: which al & other like, do declare sufficiently what opinion of Gods glorie was there commonly iud­ged to be. And how God is nowe delited with oure assembles,i. Corin. iiii. when wee come too praye vnto hym, and heare his woorde: Sainct Paule teaches saying: If ye speak in a straunge tunge, & an vnlearned man come in amongest you, he will saye ye are madde: but if ye expounde that whiche is redde, he is rebuked of all, and he will fal doune, worship God, & saye God is amōgst you. Suche an earneste defender of his glory is God, that he wil geue it too no o­ther: and so loues he buyldinge of this his house,Math. xviii. that if there bee but twoo or three [Page] gathered in his flame with feare & reue­rence of his maiestye, sekinge his glory & not their own, he wil be amongest them.

How God hath ben delited in al aged, in the buylding of this his spiritual house, by the preaching of his gospel, ye glorious deaths of all his holy Martirs frō time to time do declare: but now latel [...] in Englād by the cruel persecution of the bloudy bis­shops, for the maintaininge of their we­alth, their ydolatry, & their Antichrist the Pope, whose hāgmē thei were, we al haue sene it, yea & al good consciences hath ab­horred their madnes in burning the in [...] ­centes, pullinge vp the dead, & haue pray­sed God for strengthninge his poore crea­tures againste all their mad rages & furi­ous rebelling against God & man. The al­mighty god graūt vs like grace, strength [...] and boldnes to offer oure bodies to deathe withoute feare for the buildinge of Gods house rather then to see it lye waste & tro­den vnder fete.Most happi­nes is to haue God delited [...] vs, though we suffer death for it. What greater comfort cā any Christians haue, than in geuing their bodies to death, for the buildinge of thys house whan he hears God saye, that he is delited in their so doīg, & that he wil shew his glorie in them? What greater promo­cion can a mā come to than, to be one such instrumēt wherin God wil be delited, and [Page] shew his glorie? Death of the body is gre­uous to the flesh, but death of the soule is a thousand times more fearful too a good man: the one is a litle painfull for a tyme, the other hath grefe without ende. Ther­fore Christ saieth:Math. x. feare not them whiche kyll the bodye, and can not hurt the soule, but fear him, which can cast bothe bodye & soule into hel fire. Suche an earnest loue shoulde we haue to the buildinge of Gods house, bothe the hearers & teachers, bothe to build & be builded by al meanes possible because he is so well delighted in it: that we should feare neither losse of goods, nor yet death of body, no nor displeasur of mā so that we maye please God, & haue hym delighted in our doynges. To please man is but a smal thinge, but to please God is the greatest good thinge that can be, he ye honours me saieth God, I wil glorifi him and he that cōfesseth me before men,i. King. ii. I wil confesse him before my father: and he that is ashamed of me,Math. [...]. I will bee ashamed of hym, and he that denies me before men, I wil denie hym before my father in heauē.

The Text.
verse 9 Ye haue looked for muche, & beholde it is but litle, ye haue brought it into the house and [Page] I haue blowē on it. And why so? sayeth the Lord of hostes▪ because thys is my hous [...] whiche lieth waste, and [...] runne euery one to his ow [...] house.

¶The chiefest reasons too perswade [...] euill man to leaue any wicked wayes, [...] to set before him, and often to put hym [...] remembraūce howe God hath ben angry [...] with hym,The euyl bee rather moued with threate t [...]nges. when he did such thinges, and punished him as long as he laye in suche forgettinge of his Lorde God: and also to threaten him with greater plagues, if he do continue in them styll. Bothe these kyndes of counsayle doeth the Prophete here vse, to sturre them vp to buylding of this house of God. He, bothe sundry [...] cals to their remembraunce the great p [...]ges, whiche they suffered ofte and longe afore tyme, for not buyldinge Gods house: and also biddes them not thinke that all their sorowe was at an ende, but more & greater scourges was hanging ouer their heads, if they would not buylde his house earnestly: and if they ceased not to sinne, God woulde not cease to punish them, and if they continued styll, not regardinge the [Page] buyldinge of his house, God woulde con­tinue still encreasinge his curses on thē. Ye haue ben gredy desiringe muche sayth" the prophet, ye haue scraped and scratched together all ye could laye your handes on, ye haue spent your money, and wroughte youre selues weary, thinkinge to enriche your selues by suche meanes: but beholde and marke it well, and it is come but too litle. Where the scripture vses to saye be­holde,Beholde: there it tels some notable straunge thinge as this is here: that their laboure wasted awaye vnprofitably, they coulde not tel how. That waye wherby all other waxe wealthy: hathe done you no good, & those meanes whiche God vses to woorke by in other and blesse them, in you it hath not gone forwardes, accordinge to youre expectation and lokinge for: yea, and that whiche is most merueilous, youre corne & other fruites hath not onely not encreased in the fielde, but whē it hath ben brought into the barnes, it hath consumed there, you coulde not tell how. ‘A man woulde thinke his corne were sure inoughe when it is in the barne (for whilest it is in the fielde, it is subiect to many daungers, as blassinge, myldews, frost byting, thunder beating, layde with a raine, or shakē with the wind, stolē or eaten with beastes. &c.) [Page] but euen in youre varnes saieth God.No strengthe can put away the plage of God. I haue blowen on it. It is as easye for me (saieth God) to waste it in the house, as in the field: For if I but blow on it, it is not able to stande in my sight. And as afore he saide: their money fell out of the purse botome, so now in their houses their frui­tes were not sure. No, locke vp in stoone houses if ye will, it is as easy for God too consume it there, as to blow a blast wt hys mouth: yea, nothing shal withstande hym whatsoeuer ye deuise, but he will take it frō you: ye shal not haue your pleasure, by displeasing God, nor any thing shall pros­per with you vntil ye build him his house that is to say, maintain his pure religiō, defend his honour, forsake your vain pleasures, & refrain your gredy coueteousnes. The defēding of true religion wt a good & godly life is nowe the true buyldinge of Gods house: nowe commaunded vnto vs: and that man,God [...] house. Citie, or countrye, whiche doeth not build this house so, hath & shall haue the like plages fall on theym, vntyll they ernestly build this house of ye Lords. For as a kinge is stablished in his kinge­dome, whan his godly lawes are taughte & kepte, and that realme is strongly buylded and blessed of God, wher good order is maintained: so is Gods church & cōgrega­tiō [Page] wel & surely builded, where gods word & religion is purely taught, sin punished, & vertue embraced. God can no more suf­fer his lawes to be contēned, or his honor geuen to Idols, thā kings can suffer their kingdoms to be betraied to their enemies. For as in the hole history of the Iewes cō mon welth,False religiō is the cōmon cause of pla­ges. in the boke of the Iudges and the kings, while the people liued in ye fear of the Lord, kept his religion, geuen thē from God, thei were defended by god from all enemies round about thē, were thei neuer so many & so stronge: But when they would worship God, either as thei lust thē selues, or not at al, or els as he did not ap­point them, thā they were geuen into the hand of the Philistins, Ammonites, Chaldees, Egiptians, &c. somtime for the space of .40. yeares, sometime .18. sometime. 70. and whan they were least three years: So shall all they, that buylde not, or pull doune Gods true religiō, & set vp ye Popes taughte by manne, and not of God, lyke­wise be punished or worse, eyther wyth hunger, pestilence, swoorde, or blynde ig­noraunce, not knowynge God, and bee geuen vp too theyr owne lustes, without remorse of conscyence, or anye feare of God, whyche is the greatest plague that can be. Marke oute of oure owne [Page] Chronicles, what was the estate of th [...] oure Realme, when we were made Tri­butaries to the Romayns by Iulius Ceasar,Romaines. and so continued .400. yeares & more: Or afterwarde when the Saxons diuided this Realme into .7. kingdoms,Saxons. droue out all or most and best of the Englishmen, & ruled as long: Or when Williā Conque­rour subdued all too him selfe at his plea­sure:Normannes. and ye shall finde that thesame wic­kednes raigned then, that was now like to haue made vs slaues too the Pope and straungers.

The rulers were ambicious dissemblers, the bishops lordly and vnpreachinge Pre­lates, the people couetous, Gods woorde vnknowen, and in no degree of men was there any truthe. Thus for oure sinfull disobeyinge of God, not defendinge hys true religion, haue we ben geuē in to the handes of all countries rounde about [...] to the Romains and Normains from the South, to the Saxons from the Easte, too the Danes and Scots frome the Northe: What daunger was of late frō the West. he that woulde not see, shoulde haue felt, if God had not holpen in tyme.

And leaste they shoulde thinke these plages to be layde on them for some other causes, the Prophete tels theym in gods [Page] name here, what was the cause of al these sorowes, and shoulde prouoke also these other, whiche folowe to be poured on thē, if they did not amende. ‘Because this my house (saieth God) lies waste vnbuilded, not regarded of you, and ye runne euerye one into his owne house, sekinge his own pleasure and profit. God wil not suffer his honour to be geuen to anye other: or anye other (no not oure selues) too be preferred before him.’ The Lawier in the gospel as­kinge oure maister Christe,Mat. xxii. whiche was the firste and greatest commaundement, when he hearde this aunswer: thou shalt loue the Lorde thy God with all thy heart, with all thy minde, with all thy soule, & with all thy strength, he did alowe it, and saide that was the chiefest in dede: & shall we Christen men, thinke other things to be preferred before gods will, or our own desires to be more loued, and more ear­nestly fulfilled then gods? Naye, marke what great plages fel on any countrye,False religion hath caused al Countries to be plaged. & we shal see and finde this to be true in all ages, that forgettinge gods true religion hath pulled Gods anger alwaies most greuously vpon the people. What causes the Iewes at this daye too be driuen oute of their countrye, their Citie and Temple vtterly destroyed, and they thē selues ab­horred [Page] of all men: but denying Christe to be their sauiour, and not receiuinge hys gospel, nor buyldinge his house? What causes most part of those people, to wh [...] sainct Paul wrote his Epistles, which w [...] haue to this daye, and many other coun­tries to, among whom the other Apostles preached, to be geuen vp nowe intoo the Turkes & Heathens hādes: but that they fell from their faith, which they first receiued by the Apostles preaching, & forsake [...] their christē religion? What caused those greuous plages in Egipte,Exo. viii.ix.x but that Pha­rao would not let the people worship God, as Moyses sent from God did will hym? What caused Nabuchodonozor of a mightye kynge to be made a vyle beaste▪ Daniel. iiii. & eate hay as Oxen doe, but that he woulde not know God and his owne wickednes, & set vp Idols, and kylde them whiche woulde not worship them? What caused the chyl­dren of Israel to haue suche welth for the most part vnder Dauid, Salomon, Iosa­phat, Ezechias, & Iosias, which wer good kinges & restored religion, & other tymes to be plaged vnder Ieroboā, Athalia, Acha [...] Manasses, & other wicked kings, of whom it is so oft written, & of euery king in Is­rael that thei walked in the waye of Iero­boam, maintaining Idolatry? Nothinge [Page] surely: but the good kings defended Gods true religion, set foorth his woorde, buyl­ded his house, & God blessed thē therefore: the other pulled it doune, set vp Idolles, persecuted his Prophetes, burned or hyd vp his scripturs & holy woorde, folowinge their owne fantasies, & the teachinges of the false Prophetes and preachers, & God plaged them therfore.

And if ye marke the history of the Pope and Mahomet,Mahomet & the Pope be­gan their au­thoritie at one tyme. ye shall finde that at the sametime that the Pope in the West part of the world began to get authoritie ouer Kinges and countries, too set abrode hys superstition, and the people receyued it, forsaking Gods religion: Mahomet then began in the East parte too growe in au­thoritie, and conquere Countries, and hath euermore soo done since that tyme, because the people fell from true religion and the more that Countries haue fallen to folowinge of supersticion and forsa­kinge Christe, hys woorde and religion: the stronger waxed the Turke and Pope, as Goddes plagues too punishe vs, and [...]e lyke too doe euery daye more & more, vntyll they be driuen out of Gods church, and Christes woord, religion and Sacra­mentes be restored to their simplicitie, as Christe did ordeyne them.

[Page] GregoryWhan Gregory the firste Pope of that name, had denied Ihon archebishop of Cō stantinople,He that desi­res to be a­boue all Bis­shops is An­tichrist. striuing with him afore the Emperour Mauritius, that Constantinople shoulde be the chiefe churche, and that the Bishoppe there shoulde be the chiefest Bishop, in authoritie aboue al other Bis­shops, and sayde that wosoeuer desired ye blasphemous name or authoritie, was the forerunner of Antichrist:The Bishop of Rome is graunted to be aboue al other bishops Phocas the next Emperour folowing, graunted by muche sute Boniface the thirde, about the yeare of our Lord. 607. that the bishop of Rome shoulde be the chiefest bishop of all other, and therefore is he the blasphemous fore­runner of Antichrist, as Gregory said full well: It was a worthy graunte of suche a wicked Emperour, to set vp a Bishop like him selfe. Phocas murthered his lord and maister Maurice the Emperoure, killed his wyfe and chyldren in his owne sighte▪ and made him selfe Emperoure. After­warde he made Boniface the Pope, head Bishop ouer all, and in Rome the chiefe. Thus oure holy father gat his suprimaci by a wicked Emperour, & not from Peter as he sais, but one thefe set vp an other. Peter, Act. iii, sais gold and siluer I haue none: but the Pope sais as the Deuil said to Christ whan he tempted him, & shewed [Page] him all the kingdomes and riches of the earth. All these are mine, & I geue thē to whome I lust, I wil geue thee thē, if thou will fal doune and worshippe me. So sais the Pope: but he lies as his father the de­uill did.

This thinge once graunted, the .xii. yeare of Heraclius the nexte Emperoure after Phocas: Machomet the greate Pro­phete of the Turks inuaded Christēdom the yeare of the Lorde. 623. Honorius be­inge Pope, and almost droue the Empe­rour out of his Empire, & made him glad with money to bye peace vnhonorably. And since the time the Turke hath gro­wen bygger and bygger in the East countries, subduing al to him self, but the Em­perour weaker and weaker: & the Pope hath taken from hym mooste parte of hys Empire, and rules in the West partes, & is Emperoure in dede, the other hauinge onely the name of an Emperour.

The religion and authoritie of Macho­met the Turkes greate prophete, and the Popes religion, or rather superstition & suprimaci began thus in one age within xvi. yeares together: and as it were diui­dinge the whole worlde betwixte theym, the one in the East, the other in the West haue waxen greate Rulers, that a man [Page] coulde scarse tell whether was the migh­tier, as iust scourges sent of God to punish the world for, not maintaining his word. But now the Popes wickednes & suttel­tye by Gods woord, beinge declared & ope­ned to the world, his power waxes lesse, & the Turkes power increases, because he kepes his people in ignoraunce: so that if Gods mercy be not much more then oure deseruinges, it is to be feared that be shal ouecome Christēdom. For the cold slacke­nes of the people & princes to builde Gods house & true religion, will care for no reli­gion at all, if they maye not haue the olde [...]urty dregges of popery. So God giues vp in to all blindnes, them that forsake hys light: and forsakes them that forsake him and caste him of.

But many would haue not longe ago said, what nede we to fear these plagues, are not we come home agayn to oure holy father the Pope & to oure holy mother the churche, is not our old litle god come home agayne to vs? haue we not our aulters, copes, masses & trentais, ye wil bring vs tho­rough purgatorie for a litle money, howe wickedly so euer we had liued? our holy father the Pope by his legate the Cardinal or by his pardons wil absolue vs,Carnall foole & the Popes▪ churche. a paena et culpa, that is, frō all punishmēt, from sin, [Page] yea, and from al faute, or giltines of syn, & geue vs as many daies & years of pardon, as we list. What shuld greue our cōsciēce hauing thus many wayes to heauen? Are not we much better then our holy brethrē, which wil none of all these to saue them, but onely Christ, & thinke hym onely suf­ficient for the sinnes of the whole world? Is not this house well builded that hathe so many strōg pyllers? Can God be angry with vs that haue bought & broughte him so many things into the churche to delyte hī withal? We haue gylded many goodly ymages, pleasaunt to loke at: & delite the eyes if he will haue any mirthe, we haue goodly singing and striuing, who can fet the highest note: we haue swete Organes for the eare, and sweete frankencense for the nose, what woulde God haue more? Where not the churches before like bar­nes, bare and naked, and nowe are they trymme, that anye God woulde dwell in them?

Haue we not done God good seruice trow ye? No surely, for God dwels not in Tēples made with hādes of wood & stone but in the heart of mā:Actes. vii nor yet is worship­ped with mans inuentiōs, but as he wil­led and taught him self. And this is it that pulles all these plages on oure headdes. [Page] For as the Iewe is moste styffe in his re­ligion▪ so the Turke defēdes his by might & power, the Pope maintaynes his with fyre and faggot, the Anabaptist, Arian, & Libertine, are as busye in corners to turn many vnto them, and yet all these be ene­mies to Christe, sekinge to serue God an other waye than he thaught them, and to saue them selues by some other meanes, then by onely faithe in him, whiche was sent to teache vs his fathers will (whiche none knew but onely he,Math. xi & they to whom he hath taughte it) and too saue theym all whiche shalbe saued: so these and all other whiche buylde their religion other waies than God apointed, are traitors vnto him, and procure his vengeaunce. For he there is not with me (saieth Christ) is agaynst [...] me,No religion is to be had, but that whiche Christe taught. Exod xxv. and he that gathered not with me, scateres abroade.

Moyses when he was in the hyll with God, had the facion of the tabernacle and tent shewed vnto him, like vnto ye whiche God willed him to make an other, where the people shoulde re [...]orte to worship hym vntil the temple was builded by Salamō. And least he shoulde deuise any thinge of his one head, or inuente an other facion: God geues him warninge sayinge: See that thou make it like vntoo that facion, [Page] whiche was shewed thee in the hyl, deuise nothinge of thy selfe, neither put to, take awaye, nor chaunge any thing, but onely contente thy selfe with that whiche I she­wed thee. This is so notable a lesson that it is repeated in the .vii. of the Actes, and the .viii. to the Hebrues, because it should be kept in memory, and diligentlye obser­ued of all men in al ages, that they should not be curious in deuisinge a new way to serue God of their owne imaginacion, but submit their wit to Gods wisedome, and be content with that whiche he hath ap­pointed: for that onely is good, and all in­uencions of man (as they bee of man) dis­please him. Likewise Dauid whan he woudle haue buylded God a house to haue ben worshipped in: God appeared vnto hī and tolde him he shoulde not do it, but Salomon his sonne should builde it. God she­wed him also the facion that he shoulde buylde it after (which faciō Dauid taught Salomon, and prepared all mettals necessary to do it withall in his life tyme) least they shoulde haue deuised some facion of their owne: as mans brayne is neuer content too bee ruled by Gods wisedome, but pleases him selfe in his owne inuentions better then in ye whiche God teaches hym. And this Temple also that the Prophet [...] [Page] speakes of here, whiche they were sente home too buylde by kinge Cyrus (whose mynd God moued to restore them to their countrye,Esdras. vi. and so liberally to help them to the buyldeng of so costly a woorke) is ap­pointed to them by cōmission, how broade wyde, long, hygh, and thicke it should be, as it was vnto Salomon before. If none of these, Moyses, Dauid, Salomō, Esdras nor none of the people might buylde these temples and houses of woode and stoone, so hygh, wyde, long, thicke, broade, or any other facion as they lust them selues, but muste folowe (and are straightly charge [...] often and sundry times so to do) that Pa­tarne, copy, example and facion precisely, which God apointed them: muche lesse in this spirituall house of Gods buildinge, which is chiefly by the preachinge of hys woord, may we deuise any thinge of oure selues, but exactly folow, that which God hath taught vs, & content our selues ther­with, thinking that most sufficiente lear­ning, able to saue oure soules, moste true and holye, and all other too be dreames, lyes, fantasies, and vanitie in compari­son of this. The law of the Lorde (sayeth Dauid) is pure,Psal. xix. xii turning souls) the witnes of the Lord is true, and geues wisedom to litle ones. &c. And agayne: the woordes of [Page] the Lord are pure as siluer, which is tried seuen tymes.

But how many wayes hath the Pope deuised to buyld his house and authoritie, that a man may chose whiche him lust too folow, so that he folow not Christe. For (sayth he in his hart) euery one is as good or better than that which Christ ordeined. This to be true a man maye easely proue him to thinke:The Pope thinks his la­wes better then Christes because he perswades men to folow his deuises, and persecutes them that loue Christ and his woord, or wil not beleue him & his doinges, to be aboue the scripture, all these thinges he would not do, except he thought his wais the better. Howe many orders of monkes, Freeres, Nunnes, Chanons, Heremites, Pylgry­mages, Pardonnes, Reliques, Sainctes, Masses, Holy water, hathe he sette in hys Churche (whiche all the scripture castes awaye as noughte, because they bee not taughte vs by God, but inuented by the Pope)for hys vantage and vayne glorie. What diuersitie is amōg them (although they charge the gospelers with ye falselye) when thei put their holines in their coats,Papists differ among them selues in opi­niōs of holiest thinges. & some saye a whyte Coule is more holye, some saye a blacke, an other sorte a graye: Some saye masse of Requiem is beste, other saye of Scala coeli.

[Page]Some of the fiue woundes, some of [...] Lady. Some praye to one sainct, as [...] in gods fauour, and some to other: Some vse trinite knots, and other sainct Kat [...]rins. Some haue saincte Tronions [...], other oure Ladies, and many the gol [...] Fridayes: In the schooles, some holde [...] sainct Thomas, some of Duns, and [...] of Gabriel or Bacon: Some holde of Fra [...]ces in religion: some of Dominike, [...] of Augustin: but the holiest was s. [...] For as Fasciculus temporum saies: he was [...] holy that he broughte too heauen [...] 5555. Popes .24. Cardinals .2000. Arche­bishops .7000. Bishops .15000. Deanes, 5000. Abbots .74. beside many Nunnes and holy Sisters and Priestes. O holy [...] Benet, that was more holy than so many Popes, Freeres, Cardinals. &c. And wr [...] ched Popes that can bringe other to hea­uen, and not them selues. Some priestes saie matins, masse, and after Yorkes vse, some of Sarum, some Bangor and other of common sanctorum. But neuer one see­kes Christ as he shoulde, accordinge too the scripture.

Christ is only scholemaister of his scolers, & the Papists agre not in themselues Mat. xvii. Deu. xviii.They haue made them schoolemay­sters, whom they will folow of their own deuisinge, where as God the father hathe appointed his sonne Christ and sayd: this [Page] is my welbeloued Sonne, in whom I am well delited, heare hym. And he is that Prophete of whom Moyses wrote saying: the Lorde youre God will rayse a Prophete from among youre brethren like vnto me, hym shall ye heare, and that soule whiche will not heare him, shall perishe. He is the wisedome of God the father,Actes. iii by whome he hath shewed his mercie and power to the whole worlde,i. corinth. i, and by whome he hath confounded the mightie and wise of ye world: and he is God withoute beginninge. These other whiche they call sainctes, or rather make them their Gods, are founde of late, and it is not manye yeares synce they liued. It is not since Fraunces, Augustine, and Dominic lyued,Frauncis. Dominic. muche a­boue . [...]00. years: and if those be the pillers of Gods churche now, howe did it stande afore their daies? If these be the meanes to bringe vs to heauen now, howe do they that died before that these men were born and knowen?Apoc. xiii. God witnesses of his sonne Christ, that he is the Lambe whiche was slayne from the beginninge of ye worlde, and that by his deathe, the sinnes of the whole worlde are forgeuen, & that what­soeuer we aske hym in his name,Iohn. xviii. he will geue vs.

We haue no suche promise made vsSaluacion onely by Christ. [Page] in any other creature: and therefore if we aske any thing in their names, God nedes not to geue it vs, for he hath not boūd him selfe by any promise, as he hath to his son Christ. God hath not found a new way of late for vs to be saued by, but hath apoin­ted one means for all ages, by which only we shal please him: that is the merites & death of his deare sonne Christ Iesus [...] Lord. He is the strong rocke, vpon whom, what house soeuer is buylded, shall stande all other be builded on the sande, & there­fore shall fall.

Englande re­pentTherfore Englande howe canst thou escape the greate plages written in thys booke, that had banished the worde of God that the people might not haue it nor read it: the shepe heard not the voice of the true shepeheard, but the straunge language of Wolues, Hierelinges & thefes: yea, thou wast come to suche a shamelesnes and ha­tred of Gods woorde, that thou could not suffer the clere light of the gospel to shyne nor the shryl trumpet of Gods moste holye woorde to sounde in thine eares, whiche would confound all such enemies of God to haue any place at al in thee. Marke wel Englād, in how miserable an estate thou wast, yt thou mightest not hear God speake to thee by his woorde, nor beleue what he [Page] teaches thee, but whatsoeuer pleases the Pope to commaund thee, or the parliamēt to decree. What are those bishops woor­thye to haue, which in one yeare space cō ­firmed the preaching of the gospel of christ and pure minestringe of Gods sacramēts, and thesame men within thesame yeare, with thesame impudent mouthes, & blas­phemous tunges brought in the Pope, set by Idols, banished Christe and his holye supper appointed for all men that wil, to receiue it together, toke awaye his holye gospell and sacramēts: and placed by their authoritie, the masse for one shaueling to eate vp all, and blesse the people with the empty Chalice, and burned his preachers to fyll their bellies. Moyses commaunded suche blasphemers of gods name to be sto­ned: and yet they beare the name and title of ministers in Christes churche.

If the Iewes deserued all these ven­geaunces, because they didde not buylde gods house, what had thou, O Englande deserued, in this defacinge and pulling [...]-doune: and haste thus chaūged gods house into a denne of theeues, and made it the Popes market place, to bye and sell Hea­uen, Hell, and Purgatorie, to deceiue chri­sten soules, and deface the deathe and pas­sion of oure sauioure Christe.

[Page]Thou didst set vp Idols to be [...] and sought helpe at stockes & stones: ther­fore howe muche nede haste thou [...] vnto God that he woulde geue thee [...] rulers, for thou must beleue as they [...] and if they loue not God, thou shalte heare him speake vnto thee by his worde, if [...] will not worship God arighte, thou [...] not be suffered to do it if thou would. Can any people escape vnpunished, [...] thus mockes God? Or if Gods mercy [...] not vnspeakeable, coulde he haue [...] his handes thus longe, but haue [...] oute his vengeaūce, and throwen his th [...]derbolts in euery corner of thee, to [...] thee before these dayes?

If thou wilt not glorify God in repen­tinge, he will glorifie him selfe in dest [...] ­nge thee. Marke howe manye daies [...] hath forborne to punishe thee, & so manye dayes haste thou had of his endlesse merci▪ graunted thee to repent in: and if thou [...] it not by times, loke not for the contrary, but thou shalt be made an example to the whole worlde, a laughinge stocke too thy enemies, a pray and slaue to all countries rounde aboute thee.

What can be thoughte of those, which will euer folowe that whiche the prynce desires: but that they seeke their owne [Page] pleasure and profite with all diligence, whiche the prophete cals here ‘to runne to their owne houses:Al build their owne houses rather then gods. that is as muche to sai as with al their wit and power they do sa­tisfye their owne lustes, seeke their plea­sures, hunt and gape for their own profit▪ to enryche them selues, buylde costly hou­ses, and laye lande too lande, and neuer thinke they haue inough. Woulde to God they whiche preache Christ, were not gyl­tye in not buyldinge Gods house as they shoulde, as well as others bee. If it be taught of contencion, ambicion,Phillip. i or vayne glory. Paule sayeth: he is glad that Christ is preached, but woo bee to him that tea­ches for suche causes, and preaches not for pure loue and duety to his Lord God, see­kinge his own glorie. All preachers must saye (bee their giftes neuer so greate) not vnto vs Lorde, not vnto vs,Psal. cxix. but to thy na­me geue all prayse and glorie. And all the bearers muste saye: wee do not beleue the worde, because suche a man teaches it, but because God spake it:The praise is gods, for the authori­tie of the gospell hanges not on the mes­senger which bringes it, but on gods ma­iestie, whiche sendes it. For as Peter and Ihon (when thei had healed the blind beg­ger, and the people maruayled) sayd:Actes. iii why do ye wonder as though we had done this [Page] by our owne power and holines: so [...] all Preachers saye, wonder not at vs [...] prayse God whose messengers we be, [...] him whose spirit he hath geuen to speake in vs. For it is not we yt speake, when we speak any truth: but it is the holy spirit of God yt speaks in vs, whose instrumēts [...] be. Thus haue all partes ben giltie of [...] building Gods house: ye Lord for [...] sake forgeue vs all that which [...] and styrre vp our mindes to do our [...] more diligentlye frome hencefoorth, [...] we maye escape the plagues whiche [...]lowe.

The Text.

verse 10 Therefore the heauens [...] shytte vp from geuing these dewe vpon you, & the earth is closed from yelding their fruite

verse 11 And I will call a droughte vpon the earth, and vpō the hyls, vpon the wheat & vpon the new wyne: vpon the [...] and vppon whatsoeuer the earthe bringeth forthe vpon man, and vppon beaste, and [Page] vpon all the labour of youre handes.

Now folowes the other kynde of per­swading, which the Prophet vses: that is of the great plages that hange ouer their heads, yf they did continue in t [...]is stubbornes, and would not build gods house. For although they had suffered great thinges, yet these were muche greater which were to come: and God would not holde his hād vntill they went earnestly about to build his house, as they were commaunded.It is profita­ble to repeat one thing oft In the further verse he repeates the plages in other woordes, whiche he spake of be­fore: and more playnlye toke the cause of all the scarcenes that was amonge them, & why of so great labour they had so litle fruite and encrease. Here we may see how necessarie it is often to repeate and beate in one lessō, because we be so dul to learn. And althoughe many be wearye to heare one thing often, yet sainct Paule saieth to the Philippians: I am not w [...]arye,Phili. iii. & it is profitable for you to repeate one thīg oftē. ‘The heauēs sayeth he, haue ben locked vp from geuing any dew or rayn to you, and the earth hath ben so harde & drye by that meanes, that no fruite coulde growe.’ [Page] Maruayle not if the earthe be barren whē moysture comes not from heauen: for no­thinge can multiply here, except it be bles­sed from heauen.Al good thinges from hea­uen. And this is true, not onely in worldely thinges, but also in spi­ritual giftes of the soule: to teache vs [...] loke vp to heauen, and from thence to [...] and loke for all goodnes frō gods hād [...].

i. Cor. iiii.What hast thou (saieth sainct Paule) which thou haste not receiued of God? and sainct Iames saieth:Iames. i. euery good gift, and euery perfit gift is from aboue, comming from the father of light. For as the ray [...] and dewe from aboue, watering ye gr [...] makes it fruitful: so the grace of the holye Ghoste, comminge frome God the father, for his sonne Christes sake, styrres vp [...] myndes to al goodnes. Thus by outw [...] blessinges, God will teache vs to loke [...]p to hym for all goodnes. For as it is be­twixt the earthe and the cloudes, so [...] betwixt God and oure heartes: bothe [...] vnfruitfull, except they receyue blessinge from aboue.

But it had ben amonge them now, [...] it was in the time of Achab, when Iesabel did so persecute the true Prophetes, [...] they were compelled to hyde them selues in Caues,False religion wil not let the heauens raine, nor the earth be fruitfull. and Dēnes of the earth. Eli [...] tolde the kynge that there shoulde bee [...] [Page] dewe nor rayne in all the countrye, but at his woorde whan he sayde it should be (for God had geuen that priuilege too the Pro­phete, to set foorth his doctrine) & it rained not of three yeares and a halfe,iij. king▪ xvii. nor was any dewe, but greate hunger, famine and [...]arcenes of all fruites in the countrye. So nowe when Gods house laye vnbuil­ded,Iames v. the heauens did not water the earth, but great barennes was of all thinges. This is one of the plages that God threa­tens to sende on all countries, for contemninge his woord sayinge: I wil make hea [...]n as harde as brasse ouer youre heads, [...] ye shall not wringe out of it a droppe [...] or rayne to comfort the earthe,Deut. xxviii. and I will make the earthe as harde as yron, that it shall not geue her fruite: and so for false worshippinge of God, all countries haue ben diuers tymes thus punished.

Englande hath had many great drough­tes and dearthes, bothe in the time of Po­p [...]ri & the gospell: but if ye marke it well, you shall finde greate diuersitie betwixte [...]. In the dearthes vnder the gospell it was not for wante of thinges that God [...] not send them plēteously,The diuersi­ty of plages vnder the gospel and poperye. but through the wickednes of man, whiche in so great plenty and blessinges of God, made a ne­ [...]es dearth. For farmes were raised, [Page] that farmers mighte not foorthe to sell [...] they were wont. Many thinges were gotten into few mens handes, & thei woulde sell as thei list, & not as thīgs were worth▪ according to charitie, beinge content with a reasonable gaines. Corne was cari [...] out of the realme, or solde through many handes or it came to the markets, & euery one woulde raise the price, and haue s [...]me parte of gaines: some woulde feede their Hogs with it, els let it foist in their bar­nes, & be eatē with myse, rather then they would bring it to the market to pull do [...] the price. Men of honor & worship were [...] come shepemaisters and grasiers, tyll [...] was turned into pastur, and townes [...] graunges, & all not: to make thinges [...] ­per, whiche might haue suffered, but [...] ­rer, which was & is hurtful & not tollera­ble. But since the Pope was restored, [...] haue had vnseasonable weather, bothe [...] weate and droughte, the earth hathe [...] brought foorth her fruit, & straūgers [...] deuoured much of that whiche ye had. All your latin processions & singing of gospel [...] vnder busshes, nor yet youre Or [...] pro [...] his could get you Gods blessings, but [...] ther increased his anger▪ When were [...] compelled to eat acornes for bread, but [...] your popery & falling frō God? Whē [...] [Page] Calys lost, but in popery? Whē was Bul­len gottē, & the Scots vanquished so mā ­fully, as vnder the gospel? But this is the greatest plage of all & lest regarded of you: that the heauenly comfort of Gods worde was locked vp from you, & cōfortable dew of Gods fauoure did not fall on you, nor your earthly harts could bring forth good fruit & worke of repentaunce. And so that curse was fulfilled on you whiche is written: I wil sende a hunger into the earthe, not a hunger of breade,Amos. viii. but a hunger too [...]eare the woorde of God, that ye shall goe from the East vnto the West to heare it, and shall not finde it. The good men and true Prophets of God, feling what a grief it was to want this dew of Gods woord, & seing heauen locked vp from the plētifull preaching of thesame, and desiring the cō ming of Christ and comfortable promises of his gospell, crye out:Esay. xlv. O ye heauens send donne your dew from aboue, and lette the cloudes rayne righteousnes, let the earth be opened & bringfoorth the sauiour. But God be merciful vnto vs, & soften our hartes: we are come to such a hardnes of hart▪ that those thinges, which good mē moste desired, we most abhorre, & ye gospel which they thought most happines & treasur, we are weary of it, and woulde not haue it.

[Page] The seconde verse the Hebrue [...] reades thus: ‘I haue called a drought vpon the earth and the hyls. &c. & than it shoulde be nothinge but a repeatinge, or an exp [...] ­sition in mo woordes of that dearth [...] and scarcenes that was amonge them, and so often spokē of before:’ but the Greke which I had rather folowe, reades thus: I will bring the sworde vpon the earth & hyls▪ &c. If oure Hebrue bookes were without [...] pointes as theirs were, whiche turned it into Greeke, these pointes might be will ioyned to,Choreb drougth Chereb sworde. whiche signifie so as the Greeke is: or els these pointes a litle chaunged, [...] maye be so translated also as the Greeke reades it. I think it better to be an [...] singe of the plage, whiche God threaten [...] them withall, to styrre thē vp to this buil­dinge, rather then an often rehearsing [...] these plages, whiche were past. And when he names here the hyls, if wee reade it a drought, as the Hebrue now pointed is, it is not so great plage or maruell to see [...] hyls barren and drye: but if with ye Grek [...] we reade the swoorde, that is to saye th [...] enemies shoulde come and vtterly destroy all, and they whiche fledde to the hyls [...] saue them selues, shoulde not escape, [...] their Castels and Towers, whiche they had buylded in the toppe of Mountaines [Page] shoulde defende them: it were more won­derfull, and woulde strike a greater feare into them, & stirre them vp soner to buyld this house, that they mighte auoyde these great daungers ensuing. Thus he would pull them from trustinge in their stronge holdes on the mountaynes, or els frō that holines, whiche they put in those hylles within Ierusalem, where thei thought no enemies coulde preuaile.

In Ierusalem were two hils Moria, [...]n whiche was buylded the temple,Moria Sion▪ & Siō where was the kinges palace, vnto which bothe God had promised many blessinges: and therfore they might thinke thē selues sure there.

The Cytye was compassed afore time aboute with three walles: with in the in­nermoste was the temple and the priestes lodginges: within the second walle were the Leuites houses, the Kinges palace, & the Uniuersitie, houses of learninge .300. or mo: within ye vttermoste were the mar­chāunts and the people: and yet their ene­mies with the sworde shoulde destroye all these.

There is no place so holy, as to defend a wicked man:No place so holy as to de­fend the wic­ked. nor the place makes ye mā holye, but a good man makes euery place whersoeuer he be holy. When Ieremye [Page] preached that God would destroi the tem­ple for the wickednes of the priestes, the priestes could not abide too heare that but cried out,Ieremy. vii the temple of God: the temple of God: yet Ieremy said styll, he woulde doe vnto the house as he did vnto Silo and de­stroy it. There is no creatur of God so holy but if a man doe abuse it, God will ge [...]e both him & it to his enemies power, if thei do not amend. God suffered his holy Arke wherin were the tables written with his owne finger, & Aarons rod & a pot full of Manna with other reliquies, to be geuen into the Philistines handes for the wic­kednes of the people, & the priestes whiche bare it Ophni & Phinees Elies sons. [...] likewise should these holy hyls & all of thē be deuoured with the sworde,i, King. iiii. if they buil­ded not this house of God. As long as th [...] kept gods true religion, God defend them and his temple after it was buylded: but when they forsaked Gods word & religion. God forsaked them, & gaue them into the handes of Antiochus which defiled the tē ­ple,i. Mach. i set vp Idolles in it, made a schoole of fence and Heathen learninge of it, & kyl­led all those yt woulde not folowe him. So was this prophecy & curse than fulfilled, & thei destroied: but specially when Titus & Uespacian with ye Romains destroyed it, [Page] according as Christ said, there shoulde not be one stone left standing vpon an other, so there should nothing saue them,Math. xxiiii. excepte thei would not onely build this house, but also defend and maintain his woord and true religion. Those with all other lyke are written for vs, to kepe vs in dew fear and reuerence to God and his woord, least we suffer the like plages as they didde for falling from his holy woorde.

But here let vs chiefely marke ye good­nes of God in this and all his other threat­ninges: for he doth not tel vs this,God threatēs that we may auoyde them. because there is no remedy to escape it, but that in hearing this we should repent & so escape it.Gods threat­ninges haue in them a condicion euer Ionas. iij Ieremy. xviii All the threatnings of god are to be vn­derstand with this condicion, if ye doe not repent and amende, as Ionas comminge vnto Niniue sayd: yet. xi. dayes & Niniue shalbe destroyed: presupposing if they did not aske merci, but thei asked it & escaped.

Ieremy saieth, if this people repent thē of their euil, I will repent also saieth God of that euill, whiche I purposed to sende vppon them. If God were disposed to pla­ge as often as he threatens, he would ne­uer geue warninge nor time too repents in, nor promise mercye to theym that re­pent, but woulde sodenly come & destroye withoute all mercie.

[Page]And where he workes all for oure [...], it were a double sorow, bothe to be [...] and knowe it so certainly afore [...] that it cā not be escaped: but he geues thē and vs this warning, that we might [...] & by repentaunce obtayne mercy in [...] God neuer sendes plage into the wor [...],God geues warning be­fore he plages but he geues warninge before it come, that they may repent and escape as [...] saieth:Amos. iii the Lorde will do nothinge, but [...] sheweth it first by his seruaunts the Pro­phetes. Before he drouned the worlde, [...] styrred vp Noe, whome Peter calles [...] eyghte preacher of righteousnes:ii. Peter. ii wh [...] he was making his Arke a hundreth and twenty yeares, and tolde them the [...] of god towardes thē for their sinnes [...] they might amende and auoide the da [...]ger comminge by repentaunce, so [...] laughed at him, and fewe cared for hym [...] therfore were al drowned saue eyght p [...] ­sons.Gene. xix Lot preached in Sodom, and [...] they would not amend, fire from heauen destroyed them. Before the destruction of Ierusalem by Nabuchodonozer, God [...] manye prophetes manye yeares to war [...] them before hande, whose writinges also we haue, as Esay, Ieremy, Osee &c. and before the laste destruction by the Rom [...] ­nes, Christ himselfe came, and also [...] [Page] his Apostles too teache repentaunce: but when all was in vayne, then they vtterly perished. Haue not we in Englande ben as diligently warned by our preachers, & almost all in vayne? What shall we loke forthen, but destructiō, if we amend not? Thus God of his endles mercy, neuer cō ­meth sodenly vpon vs, to destroye vs: but mercifully warnes vs that we be not takē in oure sinnes, and so perish, and euer he stirres vp the sluggish, eyther by his spi­rite, worde, minister, or els his gentle cor­rection to call for his mercy.

And where he saieth: ‘I will call a [...]rought or the swoorde vpon the earth.’ Calling. &c. this kynde of speaking is oftē vsed in the scripture, and betokeneth nothinge but ye power of God, that he is able too doe it so easely, as to speake a woorde, or call for it:As sone as God cals, all thinges obey and that as soone as he spake it, so soone it shoulde be done, as whan one of vs, cō ­meth at anothers callinge. God doth all by his woorde: and to saye a thinge, is too do it with him, and as soone as he saieth the woorde, so soone it is done with him. Sayinge & doinge are two diuers things with vs, and muche payne we take to doe a thinge after it be spoken: but with God it is not so, but as the Psalme saieth:Psal. cxlviii. he spake, and al thinges were made, he com­maunded, [Page] and they were created.Gen. i. Moyses speaketh more playnely in the making of the worlde and saieth: God said, let ther be light made, & let there be made the Sunne and starres, beastes and fysshes, and they were made straight wayes. So when God brought Nabuchodonozor to destroy Ier [...] ­salem and the countrye, [...]say v. he said he woulde call & hysse or whistle him from the North and he should come: God called & he came. So all other things, drought, hūger, plage sworde, do tarye and wayte for Gods c [...] ­linge: and as soone as he whystles, they come straighte, and nothing dare or canne withstande his callinge, as Dauid saieth, fyre, hayle, snowe, yse, & tempestes which doe his commaundement. Seing therfore his threatninge is not to destroye, but too saue and bringe vs to repentaunce, let vs turne by time that he be not weary of cal­linge, and desyre hym not to order vs, ac­cordinge to his iustice, but after his ende­lesse mercies: for els shall that bee true of Salomon, ‘I called, and ye refused, & ther­fore I will laugh at your destruction,Pro [...] [...]. saith the Lorde.’

"And where God threatens to destroye wheat,The horrible­ [...]e [...] of thys synne not to build gods bouse is pro­cured by the plages. wyne, oyle, all fruits of the earth▪ and labour of man, yea, man him self, and beast, for not building his house: Let [...]s [Page] consider the horrible filthines of this sin especially in not buildinge his house, that it will not let anye creature of God serue man, so longe as he thus displeases God. This sinne doth not onely stoppe the frui­tes of the earth, but it flieth vp to heauen, and locks it vp, and so hardēs the cloudes that no raine nor dewe can be wrong oute to moysten the ground withall. Suche is the iust iudgement of God, that wher God of his mercy made all thinges in heauen & earthe, Sunne, Moone, Starres, Cattell, Fishe, foule, corne, herbes and trees, too serue man, (so that man would serue him reuerence, feare and worship him as hys onely Lord and God, maker and sauiour) so when he did disobeye him & serued God of his owne deuising,Through sin no creature would wil­lingly serue man. or brake his cōmaū ­dementes, he shoulde haue those creaturs whiche God appointed to serue him at the first, to disobey him, to rebel against hym, and as it were to auenge Gods quarel vpō that man, which disobeyed the liuing God their Lord & maister, and they would not willingly serue hym, whiche woulde not willingly serue & obey their God & kinge. When Adā was in Paradise, as lōge as he obeyed God, so lōg all creatures obeied him, as apoīted of God to be their lord & ruler, as the Psalme saieth:Psal. viii. yu haste made all [Page] thinges subiect vnder his feete, shepe and oxen, and all beastes of the fielde, birds of the ayre, and fishes of the sea: but so soone as he brake Gods commaundemente, and eate of the fruite whiche God forbad hym, all thinges began to disobey him, and as it were; would auenge that disobedience done againste God their maker.

The earth woulde not bring forth her good fruit willingly, but weedēs, brāble [...] and bryers: no kinde of beastes woulde obeye him, but waxed wilde, and rebelled againste him. The tokens of this iust pu­nishment, remaines on vs to this daye, & shall to the worldes ende. The earth will bringe forth no good fruit willingly, but with muche labour, toylinge, tillinge, dū ­ginge, barowinge, sowinge. &c. as though it shoulde saye too man: I will not serue thee, nor yet willingli geue thee any fruit at all. So neither horse, dog, oxe, nor shepe nor any other liuinge thing is tame at the first to obey man, but it must haue many stripes, or it will be broughte to any good order to serue him. And many beastes, as Lions,The disobe­diēce of crea­tures shoulde remember vs [...]f our fal, and gods anger toward sinne. Beares, Wolues, be so wilde that they will not serue man at all, but still re­maine his continuall enemies, alwayes ready to deuour him. As often as we see any of these ferce beastes, whiche are fo [...] [Page] cruell, we shoulde remēber the firste cause why they were so turned, and bee so ferce againste vs: and we shoulde then lamente oure sinne, whiche was the onely cause of this so greate a plage and chaunge. God hath left them amongst vs to be our scho­lemaisters, that when we se and consider them to be so ready too take vengeaunce vpon vs for oure disobedience to God, wee shoulde muche more feare God him selfe whiche is a more righteous iudge, & bothe is able, and wil punish vs more greuously then they do or can, if we repente not and aske mercy by time. These cruell beastes are set before vs for examples of greater thinges: that as we feare to fall intoo the daunger of these raueninge beastes▪ so we shoulde muche more feare too fall into the handes of the almightie and liuinge God, whose anger is a thousande tymes more greuous than the cruelnes of anye beaste.Roma. vii. And it is not the onely with one creature or twoo that they disdayn to serue vs wil­lingly, but euery one as sainct Paul saith: The creature is subiecte too vanitie not willingly, but for his cause whiche hathe made it subiect vnder hope. Here we see that no creatur would serue vs willingly but for Gods cause whoe hath soo pointed them to doe. So that of them selues we [Page] can get no profite nor seruice of those that haue no life without muche laboure, and taminge them by strengthe and violence which haue lyfe: yet for the hope they both haue to be deliuered from this seruice, for the tyme they doe obey vs accordinge too Gods ordinaunce.

Also in the destruction of these his crea­tures,Gods maie­stie is decla­red in his creatures and saints do not rule them that they should not serue such euil men, God declares him selfe not onely [...] be the mighty Lorde in making and crea­tinge them: but also a merciful god in blessinge them with fruitful encrease, whan his people serued hym rightly: and also a righteous iudge in taking them away for our sinnes, when they be not so plentifull as they haue ben to vs. For as plenty of them is a token of his mercy and fauour, & that it is he onely which regardes, loues, feedes, noorishes and increases the leaste creatures which he hath made: So the ta­king them away, or the baren vnfruitful­nes of them, is a signe of his anger & dis­pleasur. It is not as ye commonly say, S. Antonie saue my Hogge, saincte Loy my Horse, sainct Blase my house, saincte Ap­pollony help in the tooth ache, sainct Ro­che for the plage. &c. But he that made all saues all, guides all, rules all, feedes all, blesses all, & encreases all, & takes thē frō [Page] vs at his will and pleasure, as Iob saieth:Iob. i. the Lord gaue it, the Lord toke it awai. &c. These were lessons that the Heathen people and we also might & should haue lear­ned by the making and ruling of ye world, that God did rule all thinges: and because they did not, they were iusty punished. Shall then we Christian men thinke God to be weary of ruling his creatures, & put them to some Romish saincts handes that are more able and willing to rule thē bet­ter then he can and wil? If this were true sainctes should be more merciful, able & willing to help, then God him self, which can do nothinge but loue, & hates nothing that he made, but so to thinke, were most horrible blasphemy against his maiesty: for he should be an euil lord & master, if he so lightly regarded his seruaunts, his creatures that he woulde put theym too other mens rulinge. God hathe not left him self withoute witnesses, saieth saincte Luke, geuinge rayne and fruitefull times. As these woorkes were sufficient witnesses to the Heathen of Gods goodnes,Act. xiii. and that he ruled all, and that their iuste con­dempnation folowed, if they didde not be­leue: So is vnseasonable weather, with takinge awaye his fruites, iust tokens of hys anger for oure sinnes.

[Page]Therefore where we haue thesame wor­kes sufficient witnesses vnto vs bothe of his anger and good wil, and also his won­derfull workes writen in the script [...] to teache vs: what can we saye for oure sel­ues, if we do not worship him oure onely God, sekinge helpe at his onely hande, in whome onely it is to be founde and recey­ued. God doth not onely make all things, but ruleth theym also, accordinge too his good will and pleasure: he is not weary of well doinge, but guydes euen the least of his creatures.

Psa. cxlvii.He makes grasse to growe on the hils and herbes to serue men, he geueth meate to the cattell, and to the younge rauens, yea, he fedes the byrdes of the ayre, which worke not nor spynne, sowe, nor mowe, reape, nor cary into ye barnes. And briefly to speake: all thinges doeth looke, saieth Dauid,Psal. cxlv and ciiii. that thou shouldest geue thē meat in due season: if thou open thy hande and fede them, they are full of goodnes, but if thou withdrawe thy hande, they fall, vade awaye, perish, and turne into earth, whe [...] of they were made. Thus must al wheat, wyne, oyle, fruites of the earth, & beastes perishe for the sinne of man, and not buil­dinge Gods house: but thei prosper and in­crease to theym whiche loue hym, mayn­tayne [Page] his true religion, and feare him.

The two last wordes where he saith: ‘Man and al handy labour shalbe destroied’ also, they be more notable in the Hebrue,then can be well expressed in one woorde in English. For where the Hebrue hathe diuers woordes to signifie a man, as Isch, and those be noblemen: Aenosch, Isch. Aenosch and they be so called of their sorowes and infirmi­ties they be subiect to: Here is written Adam,Adam▪ whiche betokens the common sort of people.

The woorde that here signifieth la­bour, betokens not euery kinde of labour, as that whiche is easye or for pleasur: but it signifies that labour, whiche the poore man doeth vntill he be weary, euē the vy­lest and sorest drudginge labour.None is ex­cused from building gods house. By the whiche bothe wee are taughte, that God woulde not spare the simplest and basest man liuinge, but as they hadde sinned in not buildinge his house, so should they pe­rishe, least they shoulde thinke or saye: we did not this faulte, but oure rulers, or we were not able to take it in hande, or if thei had begon wee woulde haue folowed, or suche like fonde excuses. God requires his house to be buylded, his woorde & religiō to be kepte and maintained as well of the lowest as the hyghest: and they whiche do [Page] not, shall not escape vnpunished. There­fore wicked is that saying: vnder persecu­tion: let the Preacher stande too it, what doeth it belong to me? If the maister [...] teache, oughte not the scholer too learne▪ Maye the scholer denye or dissemble wyth God, and the maister must not? What priuilege hays the scholer more too doe euill than the maister? That is sinne to the one & the other. He yt denies me afore mē (says Christ) I wil denie him afore my father.

Man hathe this generall name ge­uen him too bee called Adam, of an o­ther Hebrue woorde that signifieth the earthe Adama, whiche woorde was placed afore when he said he woulde destroye all that the earthe bringeth foorthe: & in la­tine Man is also called Homo. ex humo, which allusion & likenes in woordes,Homo. we can not well speake in Englishe, but it is as muche to saye: Man is called earthe, be­cause he is made of earth as Ieremy saith: Earth,Ier. xxii. Gen. xviii. earthe, earth, heare the woorde of the Lorde. And Abraham talkinge with the Aungel of God, & demaunding diuers questions said: let not my Lord be greu [...] if I yet once again aske my lord, seinge I am earth & asshes.It is profita­ble to remember wherof we be. This shoulde put vs in remembraunce, that is as ofte as we hear this name Adā, that we are earth & ashes▪ [Page] and are come of the sinfull seede of Adam our first father, who was made of ye earth and for breaking Gods cōmaundemēt, re­turned into earth againe from whence he came, as we shal al at our appointed time. If this were well considered, it woulde make our proude Peacockes feathers too fall, when we remember frome whence we come, and whither we shall, and how we be not able too thinke of oure selues a good thoughte, but that all oure goodnes is geuen vs of God, and vnto him we bee traytours and theeues, if we be proude of his giftes, and geue not him worthy thā ­kes for them, but take the prayse to oure selues.

Thus by degrees doth God encrease his plages, and threatning, not destroying vs at the firste, but by layinge on vs one litle rodde at the first, he biddeth & warneth vs to beware of the next, for that wil be greater if we amend not, this he doth by his o­ther Prophetes also. In Osee he cōpares hym self to ye mothe & Lyon in punishing:Osee. v. for the mothe doth not eate vp clothes ha­stely, but by leasur, & by litle and litle, but the Lyon deuoureth vp all at once.

So saieth God, I will be no more onely as a mothe in clothes in punishing you so gently, and by leasure (for by that gentle [Page] kynde of punishinge ye waxe wors [...] [...] worse) but I will come now as a Liō and destroye you quickely, for ye abuse my gē ­tlenes, and I can not hold my handes any longer beside you. Lorde soften oure har [...] hearts, that wher we be gilty in thesame fault of negligent, buyldinge thy house, we may heare and feare those great [...] teninges towardes vs, wee maye dri [...] thee, and obtayne mercy for our sins pa [...], and here after be more diligente too serue thee.

The Text.

verse 12 Then Zerobabel the sonne of Salathiel, and Iosua y sonne of Iehozadac ye hyghe Priest and all the remnaūt of the people gaue eare vnto the voyce of the Lorde their God, and vnto the woordes of Aggens the Prophete, [...] as much that the Lord their God sent hym: and the peo­ple were afraid in the sight of God.

verse 13 Angel.13 And Aggeus the messenger [Page] of the Lorde, sayd in the mes­sages of the Lorde to the people sayinge: I am with you saieth the Lorde.

¶Hitherto from the beginninge hathe ben nothinge but chydinge and threate­ninge for their greate negligence in buyl­dinge Gods house: nowe folowes the pro­fite and commoditie that came by suche a sharpe kynde of rebukinge. They began to geue eare vnto it, marke it, and were afrayde too heare and consider those pla­ges, whiche yet hanged ouer their heads: they beleued those sayinges too bee true, whiche Aggeus sayde vnto them, and thei [...]eared God. This is ye ordinary way that God vseth to teache by, & whiche the scrip­ture sets before vs to learne too beleue in God and feare him. First, to rebuke sinne and declare the anger of God towardes sinners, and preache repētaunce as Ihon Baptist and oure sauioure Christe began to preache:Math. iii Roma. x. repent the kyngdome of God is at hāde. Fayth commeth by hearing, saith sainct Paule, and hearinge by the woorde of God: therefore he that will beleue, and haue his fayth encreased, must be diligent in the scriptures, too heare sermons, and [Page] marke what God saieth vntoo vs there. What maruayl is it if the Papistes haue so litle faith, seing thei reade not the scripture, and hold opinion that it is not neces­sary, yea, not to be suffered that the scrip­ture should be muche read or taughte but the Popes lawes, customes and decr [...]es. The whole scripture hath these .ii. chiefe partes,Law. Gospel, into the whiche it is deuided, the lawe and the Gospell: the lawe contaynes properly the setting forth of sinne, threat­ninges, curses, Gods anger toward sin [...] remorse of conscience for thesame, dāna­tion, hel, despaire: the Gospel contains cō ­fort, hope, forgeuenesse, mercies in Christ heauen, saluation, agrement with God. Thus teaches s. Paule sayinge:Rom. iiii. the lawe workes anger, within a man in consciēce towards him self, for displeasing his [...] God, and also declares what is sinne, & the angre and iust iudgement of God for sin. By the law comes the knowledge of syn. Agayn he saieth:Rom. iii I had not knowen coue­ting,Rom. vii. lusting, and desiring for any vnlaw­full thing to haue ben sinne, except ye law had said, thou shalt not lust nor couet. The gospel is the power of God to saue al that beleue in Christ whiche saieth:Roma. i. come to me all ye that laboure and are laden,Math. xi. & I will refreshe you, & thus God loued the [Page] worlde,Iohn. v that he gaue his onelye begotten sonne. &c. with many suche like promises: as if any man sinne, we haue an aduocate with the father, &c. this profit came here to this people, by preaching the law of God,i. Ioh. ii. and threatninges vnto theym, that they whiche were afore so forgetful of their duties, now hearing the great anger & ven­geaunce of God that hanged ouer their heads ready to fal on them, it styrred them vp to do their duties and fear God. Thus maye we here se the fonde & tender eares of them, which would not heare nor haue the law preached, but all together ye swete comfortable promises & mercies in Christ nor can not abide the anger of God, & iuste iudgement for sinne to be taught, saying: it bringes a man into dispaire, and that it is not nowe in the time of grace mete too be preached.

A man as he is made of bodye & soule, so hath he the lawe geuen hym,Law. too beate doune the lustes of the fleshe, and keepe hym in due feare to his Lorde and God: & least the soule should despaire when it cō ­siders the greatnes of the sinne, whiche ye fleshe and mynde drawes hym to, he hath the cōfort of Christ offered vnto him in ye gospell.Gospel So least we be proud & forget God we haue the lawe geuen too set before vs, [Page] the righteousnesse of those thinges which God requires of vs, & oure weake vnable [...]nes to fulfill thesame, and the righteous sentence of deathe and Gods anger pro [...]nounced vpon all that fulfill not thesame lawe.Cala. iii. But least we shoulde despayre, [...] haue the vnspeakeable mercies of God [...]fered vnto vs in his sonne, whiche by hys death hath conquered death, and paied the full price for the sins of the whole world. He biddeth vs when we feele oure owne weakenes & vnablenes to fulfill his law, to come vnto hym, aske help and mercy at his handes, and doubte not thereof, but it shalbe graunted. For as we see in iudge­mentes here amongest vs, there is a royal seate set where the iudge sittes, he that is accused standes at the barre, holdes vp his hande, heares his enditement redde, wit­nes is broughte in againste him, and [...] iustly condempned to death: so we shal see Iesus Christe the righteous iudge of the worlde, that will not be brybed, sit in hys seate of maiesty at the laste daye, & all the companye of Aungels about him, and we shall stande at the barre, as accused & en [...]yted for breakinge that righteous lawe of his woorde: the deuill whiche entised vs so to do, shal beare witnes that to be true, yea, and our own conscience also: the fea [...] [Page] of that fearfull sentence (go ye cursed into euerlasting fyre,Math. ii. which is prepared for the Deuill and his aungels) shall make vs to tremble. And of mercy there is no hope at all, excepte we doe as we reade of a womā whiche when she stoode before Alexander the great, and was condempned, she said:Alexander. I appeale from thee o Kynge. Alexan­der wonderinge at her sayde: thou arte a madde woman, doest thou not know that euery appellacion is frome a lower iudge to a hygher, but who is aboue me? Then sayde shee: I knowe thee too be aboue thy lawes, and that thou maye geue pardon, and therfore I appeale frō iustice to mer­cie, and for my faultes desire pardon.

So we when wee loke into the righte­ous lawe of Gods woorde, & see him ready to condemne vs, and oure conscience wit­nes that we haue deserued death: we must appeale from iustice and our deseruings, vnto hys pardon and forgeuenes, & bothe call and truste to be partakers of that sal­uation, which he hath purchased and offe­red to the whole worlde. Hys mercies doe passe all oure miseries, as farre as God is greater than man, and his pardō can for­geue all that call on hym.

This is not too be lightely considered that it is sayde: ‘they hearde the voyce of [Page] the Lord their God, and the woorde of [...] ­gues geus the Prophete.’ What neded bothe to haue ben written, seinge they were bothe one? for the woordes of Aggeus were th [...] same that the Lorde badde him speake, [...] he hath saide diuers times before. He be in this example we shall learne twoo g [...] lessons: one for the preacher, and all other for the hearer. The Preacher muste [...] bee afrayde to rebuke sinne, in all [...] and degrees of men,Sin must be rebuked in al estates. as here Aggeus dyd rebuke bothe Zerubabel the chief ciuil r [...] ler in the common wealth, and Iosua the hye Priest, and chief in religion, and also the whoole people beside, and threatens the plages indifferentlye to all withoute any flattery or respect of person. So do all the Prophetes: as Esaye; cals the rulers felowes with theeues, and princes of Sodome and Gomorrha,Esay. i. because thei folo­wed their wickednes. And when Achab, a kinge asked Elias,iii. king. xvii. whether it was he that troubled all the countrye (because it was so longe a droughte, for the space of three yeares and a halfe without any rain or dewe) he aunswered the kynge boldely and sayde: naye, it is thou and thy fathers house yt hast pulled this righteous plag [...] [...]on thee and thy whole realme. Where [...] haue sinned, all muste bee rebuked, for [Page] as God a moste righteous Iudge will pu­nishe all sinne, so must his Preachers in­differently warne and rebuke al sortes of sinners, or els God wil require their blud at their handes if they perishe withoute their warning as Ezechiel sayeth.Ezech. iii. The hearer must disdaine to learne of the sim­plest preacher that he heareth, as Iosua ye high Priest here doth not disdaine to hear the rebuking of Aggeus, being but a poore Leuite and a simple man in comparison of him: no nor yet Zerubabel the chief ru­ler, & borne of the stocke of Iuda the kin­ges stocke, disdaynes him.

If a preacher should rebuke the Pope,Disdaine not to heare and learne of the simplest. a Cardinall, an Archebishop or Bishop, a Doctour, or a babler in Diuinitie, woulde they not disdaine too heare suche simple men? Woulde they not saye as hathe ben sayde of late to many when they were ex­amined before Annas and Cayphas: be­comes it thee to speake thus to my Lorde Bishop? arte thou wyser or better learned then he? Shall he become thy scholer? Was not the like saide to oure Sauioure Christe:Iohn. xviii. doest thou aunswere the hyghe Bishoppe so? What woulde the Pope or Cardinall saye, if a man shoulde threaten suche vengeaunce of God towardes him, as Aggeus doeth here to the highe Priest?

[Page] paul. ii.Paule the seconde Pope of that [...] when he had wrongfully taken lande [...] [...] offices from diuers, and caste theym all [...] pryson, and woulde not heare any [...] speake for them: At lengthe by much [...] whan Platina him selfe came to him, [...] coulde get no help, at the laste he [...] of the Pope that he might be hearde & [...] by his owne lawe. Then the [...] lokinge cruelly on him sayde: what [...] thou me of the lawe? doest thou not [...] that whatsoeuer I say, is law? Am not [...] sainct Peters Uicar, and all lawes are [...] in my breste, and I can not erre whatsoeuer I saye? Am I not Pope, and may dis­anull the decrees of my predecessours [...] do what me lust? Thus it shall be, thus I am determined. Thus speake holy Popes when simple men aske their right, or tell them of any faultes: their proude stomac­kes can not abide too bee rebuked of anye man.

Was not this common also in Eng­lande in the Papistes mouthes when the Gospell was preached, to deface the [...] Who are your Preachers nowe, but yōg men, vnlerned and not skilled in the Doc­tours? And who teaches the other old lear­ninge, but my lorde Bishop, maister Doc­tour, auncient Batchelers in Diuinite, & [Page] proue it by the auncient writers. These are gay glorious woordes in deede if they had ben true: but although yonge men did teache, yet their doctrine was moste whol­some and approued by the scriptures and all good writers, whiche is moste to Gods glorie, that opened the mouthes of yong­linges, to confounde the dotinge of olde fooles. Simple men confirmed with their bloude and constant deathes,Papistes chaūge wit [...] the world. that whiche before bothe maister, doctour and my lord Bishoppe also allowed and taughte with mouthe and handes subscribinge, vntyll contrary rulers arose: but than for flatte­rie and their belly, they destroied thesame with all their mighte and power that thei taught before.

So whan and howe often soeuer ye world shal chaunge the most of thē, as mē with­out conscience, will be ready to do the lyke and make a face as thoughe they beleued thesame to be true: but not one of theym will auenture his bodye to be burned for the dirty dregges of Poperye, and yet are they not ashamed to teache and maintain thesame with fyre and swoorde, so longe as the worlde is on their side.The elder must not dis­dain to learne and heare his fault of the yonger. There is scarce a more certain argument of an ob­stinate Papist, then to loke how simple a mā he is that preaches, and not to beleue [Page] his doctrine for the simplenes of the man, nor too looke at the thinge whiche he tea­ches how true it is, and spoken by God. Let all Christians heare and be content [...] with Christes holy worde, as most & only sufficient doctrine to saue our soules, and disdayn none that bringes it,Rom. iiii. be he [...] so simple. Saincte Paule sayeth: Christe died for oure sinnes, and rose for our righ­teousnes: & where this is one of the grea­test treasures that we haue by Christe, to be made righteous by hym, marke who [...] were the firste preachers of it. Mary Mag­dalene and the other wemen,Luk. xxiiii whiche wēt earely in the morning with ointments to the Sepulchre, they se Christ first of all o­ther after his Resurrection, and wer sent to teache it to the Apostles and Peter. Shoulde we not beleue this resurrection, because that wemē taught it first? Apollo a mightye learned man in the scriptures, submitted hym selfe to be further taught in true religion of Priscilla and Aquila [...] simple man & his wyfe.Acte xviii. Timothy & Ihon the Euangeliste were bothe verye yonge when they were called to be preachers.i. Timo. 4. Peter the elder Apostle is content to be rebuked of Paull his yonger.Galath. ii. Iudith that good woman corrected the Elders,Iudith. 8. Prie­stes and Rulers in Bethulia, mistrusting [Page] Gods helpe and prouidence for them, whē they woulde yelde vp the Citye.

Dauid a man accordinge to Gods owne heart,ii. Reg. xii heares most willingly the Prophet Nathan rebuke hym,4. Reg. xx who was of muche lesse estimation then he. And kynge Eze­chias heareth Esai rebuke him of his faultes. These and suche other examples be written to teach vs, that the elder in what authoritie so euer he be, or by what name so euer he be called, shoulde willingly suf­fer the iuste rebuke of the yonger, brin­ginge the woorde of God for hym.

Further where he addes this twyse, sayinge: ‘the Lorde their God, the Lorde their God,’ it is verye comfortable for all sinners that haue longe lyen in sinne, that they shoulde not dispaire of Goddes mercie, but spedely turne by repentaunce. The longe sufferinge of God is farre a­boue our desertes, & had suffered this people thus longe to lye in sin, & yet had not caste them of, but doth vouchesafe to send his Prophet to thē to rebuke them, & stirre them vp to their duties, calling him selfe their God,Mercy is ready to al repentant. whiche had forgottē & forgeuen all their former disobedience, who nowe was & woulde continue their good, gra­cious and mercifull Lorde and God styll. Who can dispaire too obtayne grace and [Page] pardon for all his greate offences, seinge set before him ye louinge gētlenes of oure good God and maister, which offereth vn­desired his mercies so plētifully, to so hard a hearted and disobedient people, his free pardon A poena et culpa, from all payne due to sinne or the gylte thereof, whiche alsoo calles him selfe their God, and by conti­nual earnest cryinge of this his Prophete awakes them out of this deadde sleepe of sinne, wherein they had lyen so long, and left his house vnbuylded. It is commonly saide (saieth Ieremye) if a man put away [...] his wyfe for adulterye,Ierem. iii. will he take her a­gayne? yet thou sayeth God to his people, although thou hast played the harlot with many hoores, yet turn vnto me, and I wil receiue thee againe sayeth the Lorde thy God. O mercifull Lorde, praysed be thy holy name for thy gentle offers, and libe­rall promises offered vnto vs in thy sonne Christ Iesu oure Lorde.Reuel. iii.

Thou standest at the doore of our con­science, knockinge too be let in, offeringe thy selfe to dwell with vs if we would re­ceiue thee. There is no time so longe that a man hath run from God in, nor any time so short to aske forgeuenes, but if he will turne, God is ready to forgeue him. The Gentiles hadde lien in synne aboue foure [Page] thousande yeares from the beginninge of the worlde to the deathe of Christe, with­oute any true teachinge or knowledge of God: and yet whan they receiued the Gos­pell by the preaching of the Apostles, they were most gently receiued of Christe into the number of his people. The thefe han­ginge on Christes right hand on the crosse askinge mercy in the houre of deathe, ob­tained it. So that neither the greatnes of sinne, nor the longe tyme that man hathe continued in it, nor the shortnes of tyme to aske forgeuenes in, can stoppe the great vnspeakeable mercies of God, to pardō the sinnes of the whole worlde. Why should we than mistrust the goodnes of our God seinge he is the maker of thesame lawe, whereby we shalbe iudged: & also able to dispence withal, & pardon the breakers of thesame lawe, if he will: who also shalbe Iudge and Executer of thesame lawe as pleases him?

‘But that the people should rather be­leue his woorde, he saieth the Lorde their God sente him: no straunge God, but the mightie God of hostes, and the liuing God of Israel: nor he ranne not before he was sent, but soberly looked for the callinge of God, and then did his message faithfullye.’ This is an example for all ministers too [Page] folowe, that they doo not with bribery or flattery thrust them selues into any office but paciently tary the calling of the Lord their God, which can and wil call them at suche tyme as he iudges them necessarye to serue him.Ministers muste not thrust them­selues in of­fice. Who woulde be so bolde to bye a Benefice, or flatter for a Bishoprike if he did thinke them to be offices in Gods house, and that they must make a count to God for his people. He that comes before he be sent for, oftentimes comes before he be welcome: and he that climbes in at the wyndowe is a thefe, for the doore is made to come in by. But because these Popishe prollers, seke not the profit of the flocke, but to fyll their bellies, thei care not how thei come by it, so they maye haue it, and thinke they haue done God good seruice, & the people well content when they teache them neuer a woord of scripture but haue saide Masse, made cōiured water, or song an Antiphone of our Lady. If they hadde this true stedfaste opinion of God as they ought to haue, that he were a louinge fa­ther to his household, and a wise maister that could and woulde set wise Stuardes ouer his house, and that whosoeuer presumed to take any office in his house vncal­led, were a theefe, and should be sharpelye punished: A man coulde not hire them for [Page] money, to take any cure of teaching Gods people vntill they were inward moued of God to do it for loue to the people, & not for their owne gayne. Thei woulde also pro­uide to be ordinarely called by man, leaste he which should teache and se others kepe good order, should be proued the first brea­ker of all good lawes & orders. If a straunger shoulde violently thrust in him self to be the Shepeheard of thy shepe, thou wouldest aske him whoo sent for him, what he had to do there, and thou wouldest rather thinke him to be a thefe and a murtherer of thy Sheepe, then a trusty seruaunt: So surely if thou come to take charge of gods people, before he inwardly moue thy con­science to pitie hys people, and outwardly by order cal and place thee where he thin­kes good, he will iudge thee a theefe, a Wolfe, a deuourer, and not a feeder.

After they hearde that the woorde of God was sent vnto them by Aggeus, and had wayed and considered diligently how true his sayinges were, that so many yea­res they had suffered soo greate plagues, they beganne so feare, and beleue that the threateninges folowinge, woulde alsoo proue true: and than they humbled theym selues in the sight of God, and were afraid in dede.

[Page]This profit had thei by hearing the word of God, that thei knowledged their owne sinnes, that thei had offēded the gracious goodnes and maiesty of God, in not regar­dinge his house so manye yeares: and for feare, than they began to take in hande a­gayne that woorke wherewith they were so straitly charged.

Thus faithe comes by hearinge the woorde of God: and by hearinge & geuing eare to his threatnings, our slowe & slug­gishe dulnes is raysed vp to take in hande Gods woorke, and builde his house. How necessarie feare is,Psal. cxi. Dauid teaches saying: feare of the Lorde is the beginning of wisdome. So nowe when they feared these threatninges, they waxed wise, & turned to the Lorde. Truth it is that the anger of God is not alwayes to be taught, & that it bringes not a man to perfection: for Dauid calleth the feare of the God but the be­ginninge of wisedome, and not the perfection thereof, and sainct Ihon sayeth: per­fecte charitie castes oute feare.i. Ihon iiii But yet it is the ordinarie waye to pull doune proud stomackes,The Lawe is to be prea­ched. and to bringe them to knowe their owne vilenes: and it also stirres vp slouthfull myndes to be more diligent to do their duties. Sainct Paull sayeth, the Gala iii.law is a scholemaster to bring vs to Christ [Page] that where we see oure selues iustly con­dempned by gods righteous lawe, & that we be not able to stande in iudgement wt him,Iob ix. nor aunswere one thinge for a thou­sande that shalbe layde agaynste vs: wee shoulde runne to Christ for pardon, cōfes­singe oure faultes and aske mercie. Thus they had the righte vse of the lawe, not bringinge them too dispayre with all these threateninges, but comfortinge thē to go to God and cōfesse their sinnes, and hope for merci in Christ.Feare goes before, and loue folowe [...] Sainct Augustin compares feare to the bristel, whiche is on the shomakers thrid, the bristle goeth tho­rowe the hole firste, but it drawes alonge and a stronge thred after it: so the feare of gods vengeaunce firste goeth before, and throwes doune a man in his owne sighte, and then foloweth the long thred of gods mercies in Christe offered too the hole worlde.

The scripture teaches twoo sortes of feare: The one whiche is godly when we feare oure God with loue and reuerence, & woulde not displease him for the loue we beare him: and this remaines for euer, as Dauid sayes.Psal. xix. Feare for loue, & feare to escape payne. The holy feare of the Lorde continues for euer. On other kinde of fear is, not to doe well for the loue of God and goodnes it selfe: but that we maye escape [Page] punishment, as the thefe will not steale, not for loue of anye righteousnes or reue­rence to God, but to escape the galowes. This is that feare whiche can not stande with perfect charitie, but [...] cast out. Feare in a mans mynde is like to the thunder in the ayre:Feare is lyke the thunder. For as when the ayre is couered with cloudes, the Sunne darkened, tem­pestes begin too arise, lighteninges & fyr [...] flye from heauen, rumblinge and noise is in the ayre, the cloudes burstes, & the thū ­der cracke comes, ye raine falles, & straight folowes Sunne shine and fayre weather: So when a man for feare of his sinnes, in conscience lyes flatte doune in the sighte of God, confessinge his sinne, as one op­pressed with the burden & vylenes therof, complaines to God, accuses him selfe, gr [...] ­nes, sobbes, and sighes like the thunder cracke, dare not loke vp towardes hea [...] for his wickednes, but condemnes hym selfe, at the laste, burstes out on wepinge, & the teares like rayn droppes come trick­linge doune his cheekes: straighte wayes folowes quietnes of mind, God offers him pardon and clerenes of conscience, with wondering and praysinge the vnspeakea­ble goodnes of God for his mercies & com­fort in Christ his sonne offered to suche & troubled conscience.

[Page]In the latter verse is first declared the worthines, authoritie, hye title & rule ge­uen to the preachers, for the cōmendation of their office. ‘Aggeus here is called ye Aū ­gell of the Lord, as some in Englishe doo translate it, or the messenger, or Embas­sadour, whiche signifie all one thing vnto: vs. So these names with suche like are ge­uen to preachers in ye scriptur, to set forth the highnes of their vocation and authoritie that God calleth them to.’ The worldly wise men considering the decay of the ly­uing of Bishops and Priestes,Worldlines decayes the mynistery. & that they be not so muche estemed and as wealthye as when thei were loytering, lordely, vn­preaching Prelates, and ruled all, woulde saye: Shall I make my sonne a minister, and when I haue spente all that I haue on hym, he shall neither bee able too helpe my other chyldren, nor yet scarce able too liue him selfe, but shall be disdayned of all sortes of menne, and if he preache the truthe, he shall be in ieopardye of his life. Or shall I marry my doughter to a priest? with suche like vncomely sayinges: naye I trowe not, there is more profite by the lawe or Phisicke, yea, if he be but a pen­clarke, an Auditoure or Deceiuer. I will prouide for him better any of these waies. [Page] The goodes of the Churche are the [...] of the poore: woo therfore be to them [...] robbe the church so by impropriaciōs, th [...] neither the minister nor the poore can hee releued. For by that meanes, the necess [...] foode of the preacher is geuen to ydle b [...] ­lyes: and these worldlinges declare them selues too desire nothinge but worldely [...] wealth, in thus doing, or so saying. But i [...] they marke this & other places of the scriptures, & woulde haue their chyldren made worshipfull, they shall finde mo worshipfull names geuen too the preachinge mi­nister,The prea­chers office is worshipfull. then to any one forte of men.

The noblest creatures that God hathe made, be the heauenly spirites and Aun­gels, whiche be alwaies in heauen, moste happy for the continuall beholdinge of his glory, and for their office sake are chose [...] and called Aungels, because they be sent on his message, and do moste willingly [...] at his commaundement.Aungel. This woorde Aungell betokens not the substaunce of the creature, but the office: and is a Greke woorde, signifyinge a messenger, or E [...] bassadour, this name: Aūgell was cōmōly vsed to be geuen to these heauenly messengers, whom God sēdes his message frō his holy place of maiestie: as Gabriel the Aungell was sent to the virgin Marye, & other [Page] to Ioseph, Daniel, Moises, &c. This name is also geuen to the preachers for the hea­uenly comfort that they bring to man frō God, whose messengers they be.Preachers be aungels.

In the Reuelation of sainct Ihon writes to the seuen aungls,Reue. i.ii. that is to saye to the seuen ministers of the seuen congrega­gations or [...]hurches in Asia. Ihon Beptist was called the aungel of the Lorde or Embassadour sent to prepare his wayes.Marke. i. And whome do kynges vse to sende Embassa­dours, but suche as be faithfull and trusty whome they loue, and to whome thei dare commit secrete & waightye matters vnto? What can be more worshipful, then to be Gods Embassadour, & in suche trust with hym, that God will vouchesafe too sende hym on his message.

Saincte Paule desyres the Ephesians to praye for hym,Fphe. vi. that he might haue vtte­raunce geuen hym to speake and preache the Gospell freelye, for the whiche he was sent Embassadoure .ii. Corinthians. v. he sayeth his Embassage stoode chiefelye in this pointe to reconsile vs to God. Is not ye Stuardes office an highe office, & of grea­test credite in greate mens houses,Stuardes. and at their commaundement and appointinge all thinges be done? They prouide & geue all in their maisters house, meate in due [Page] season. &c. Sainct Paul therfore saieth: let a man think thus of vs that we be the seruauntes of God and Stuardes of his se­crete misteries,i. Corin iiii. whiche be meate for [...] soules. Sainct Mathew in a parable calles the preachers Stuardes,Math. xxiiii. appointed [...] Gods house, to geue their felow seruants meate in due season. Saint Marke called them porters in Gods house,Mark. xiii. hauinge in [...]maundement too watche that no theeues nor vnrulye persones come in too trouble the house.Porters.

They be called the light of the worlde to leade other the righte waye:Lyght, Salt. they be the salt of the earthe to season vs that by cor­ruption we doe not smel euil before God: They be Gods souldiours to fight for hys people,Math. v. as s. Paul sais. No man goes to warre on his owne wages. They be wat­chemen to geue warning when ennemies come.watchmen. They be Dogges to barke & awake vs out of oure deadly sleepe when we for­get God.Dogges. They be the mouthe of God, that where we were not able too stande in the sighte of God,Esay. lvi. if he shoulde speake vntoo vs in his glorious maiestie: he doeth vou­chesafe to speake vnto vs by the mouthe of hys minister, beynge a man as we bee, and whome we shoulde beleue to be sente from God as longe as he teaches Christ & [Page] hys worde. These names of trust and cre­dite are geuen to preachers for the commē dation and settinge foorth of their office, whiche they beare in Gods house, and that they shoulde not thinke it a vyle, but a moste worshipfull roume. And to make theym more regarded, the Lorde countes those iniuries done to him selfe, which be done to his preachers sayinge: he that des­pises you, despises me,Mathew. & in what rowme soeuer ye come, if they will not receyue you, shake the dust of youre feete, & it shall heare witnes againste them in the daye of iudgement.

And because he ioynes too the nexte saying: In the messages of ye Lord: it doth" vs to weete, the faithfulnes of this Pro­phete in his dutie yt he spekes nothing▪ but the words of ye Lord truly, which sēt him, which rule al true preachers should folow. But of this is inough spokē in the verses before. Now folowes the glad tidings of the Gospell to comfort this people wt all after the great threatenīgs of God, which the Prophet here pronoūced in the former verses, For as God workes in his creaturs that after wynter comes sommer, & after a storm fair weather: So in ye spiritual doctrine of our souls, first he teaches repētāce preaches ye law, threatēs vēgeaūce for sin, [Page] castes doune man in his owne sight, and lettes hym looke euen into hell with fear of conscience for his disobedience: but af­terwardes he comforts hym, rayses hym vp, and heales him, that this may be foūd true that is sayde of oure sauiour Christ: I came not to call the righteous,Math ix. but sin­ners to repentaunce:The law is firste to be taught and then the gos­pell. & they that be whole nede not the Phisicion, but the sicke.

All the Prophetes vse thesame trade in teachinge, as Esays in hys firste Chapter calleth the Iewes worse then beastes: for the Oxe woulde knowe hys maister, and the Asse his maister māger, but they wold not knowe their God. And the rulers he calles the princes of Sodome, & felowes with theefes.

Ionas also in the beginninge of hys prophecy saieth: within .xl. dayes Niniue shalbe destroyed: Sophones first woordes be that God will destroy man, beast, foole, corne and fruite of the earthe: but after­wardes euery one of theym prophecies of Christe, promises blessinge frome God, wt encrease of all wealth and goodnes. Like­wise Ihon Baptiste began his preaching: repent, for the kingedome of heauen is at hande.Math. i i. And oure sauioure Christ beganne his preachinge with the selfe same woor­des. Peter in his firste sermon, after they [Page] receiued the holy Ghoste, rebuked the Ie­wes sharpely for crucifyinge Christe the geuer of lyfe,Actes. iii. and for askinge Barrabas a murtherer to be deliuered vnto them: but when their conscience pricked them, they asked what they shoulde doe, and he com­fortes them, biddes them repent, and bee baptised euery one of them in the name of Christ. So here, after the sharpe preaching of the lawe, and threateninge of Gods plages, foloweth the swete cōfort of the Gos­pell, for he sayeth: I am with you saieth the Lorde, as though he shoulde saye, lette" nothinge greue you, neither the greatnes of the sinne, that ye haue ben so negligēte in forgettinge the buildinge of this house so longe, nor the greate coste, as thoughe ye were not able to beare and perfourme it, nor be not afrayd of the kinges officers whiche stopped you, for I am with you (saieth the Lorde) whose power they can not withstāde, whose mercie passeth your miserie, and who can pardon and forgeue more than you can sinne, and who shalbe iudge of youre doinges, and am able too forgeue all thinges trespassed against me. All the ryches of the earthe is myne, and I bestowe it as pleases me: the heartes of kynges and rulers be in my hande, and I rule them as I thinke good, whan I wyll [Page] they shall shew you fauour and frendship, and when they lust they shall not stoppe, hurt, nor hinder my worke, accordinge to their desire or pleasure as muche as they woulde: but those that feare and loue me, I will blesse, and they shall not haue anye harme, and my woorkes shall prosper and go forwardes in their handes as I thynke good▪ in despite of all their foes, therefore let nothinge feare nor trouble you: for I whome all thinges do obey, am with you saieth the Lorde. These are but few wor­des in number, but they are mighty in operation and working, where they be recei­ued with an earnest faith: and so mightye that whosoeuer heares and beleues them to be spoken of God, is not afrayde too at­tempt anye thinge, be it neuer so greate & hard.

When Iacob was doubting & afraid, whether he should go into Egipt too hys sonne Ioseph or no,Gene. xlvi. God spake too hym & sayde: Iacob be not afrayde, for I will goe doune into Egipt with thee, & I wil bring thee out again also. Then Iacob fearinge neither the death of his sonne Ioseph,Goddes helpe promised sti­reth vs vp to enterprise greate things nor the displeasure that mighte come to hym & his, if either he or yet Ioseph offended the kyng, nor yet least Ioseph shoulde lose his authoritie by a new kyng, as it is cōmōly [Page] sene, nor the ieopardy of the iourneye, no nor yet any other worldly thing yt coulde or might chaunce, but wente into Egipte boldely with all his chyldren & substaūce, and was defended by God. When Moises keping sheepe, sawe the fyre in the bushe,Exod. iiii. and God sayde vntoo him, that he woulde sende him to kinge Pharao to deliuer hys people, he was afraide & merueyled y, he being but a shepeheard, should be sent on such a message, to so mighty a prince. But after that God had promised him that he woulde be with him, he was encouraged, and toke in hande to go to Pharao, on his embassage, & to lead Gods people oute of Egipt.Iudg. vi. When God sent his Aungell too Gedeon threashing his corne, and sayd he shoulde deliuer the people from their ene­mies, which inuaded their countrye, and laye as thicke in nūber as Greshoppers do in the fielde: Gedeon doubted at the mat­ter, vntyll such time as God said vnto him that he wold be with him. And after triall of his fayth in ye promise made vnto him, he durst, with .100. naked men, hauing no weapons, but earthen pottes, a fire brād, & horns in their hāds, set on their enemies which fledde all awaye, as soone as they hearde the p [...]t sheardes knocked together.

Oure sauioure Christe after hys As­cencion,Math. xxviii· sending his Apostles into ye whole [Page] worlde to preache and baptise, addeth no greater thinge to comforte them with all in this great and daungerous enterprise, that so fewe vnlearned men shoulde con­quere the whole world, but saythe: behold I am with you, euen too the ende of the worlde.

What good successe their preachinge had, we at this present daye yet feele and see: and also howe he is presente alwayes with his, euen too the ende: and howe true his prayer is, that he didde not praye onely for his Apostles,Iohn. xvii. but for all yt should beleue on hym by their preachinge. Whā sainct Paule sayeth that he was perswa­ded,Rom. viii. that neither nakednes, pryson, hūger, persecution, nor lyfe: neither deathe, aun­gels,Actes. xvii. nor powers could pull hym from the loue in Christ Iesu: He had nothinge is strengthen hym self withall, but that God promised that he was with him, and then he boldely sayde: if God bee with vs, whoo can be against vs? All be but dust, worms and vylenes in his sight: nothing can pre­uayle againste those, whome he doeth as­sist with his grace.

Therfore whan we doubte to take in hande anye good woorke, whiche agrees with the woorde of God, for any worldlye reasons or carnal fear: let vs styrre vp our [Page] fayth, and heare God speaking and saying vnto vs: I am with you, be ye not afrayd. If thy conscience beare thee sure witnes that thou sekest nothinge but the glory of God, & the profite of his people: no doubt God will asist thee in suche enterprises, & offers this hys promise to thee also, say­inge: I am with thee, be not afrayde, but go on forwardes, and I will blesse thy do­inges, seme it neuer so hard or vnpossible to thee.

The text

verse 14 The Lord waked vp the spite of Zerubabel, sonne of Salathiel, prince of Iuda, and the spirite of Iosua, sonne of Iosedec the high Prieste, & the spirite of all ye remnaūte of the people: and they went and wroughte in the house of the Lorde of Hostes theyr God.

In the .xxiiij. daye of the sixt moneth in the second year of kynge Darius.

[Page]¶This is a notable Metaphore, & wor­thely sets foorth the nature of sin in that he saieth, the Lord waked vp the spirite of all this people: for sinne is a sleepe of the soule, hauing no feare nor feling of God, so long as a man lyes in it. It is nowe tyme saieth sainct Paule to awake out of slepe,Roma. xiii meaning sinne. God in his woord, by such outward bodely thinges declares vnto vs the nature of spiritual thinges,Sin is a slepe and death of the Soule. both good and euill, As the dead body lyes rottinge & stinking in the graue fearfull to looke on, and greuous too remember: so when wee lye buried in sinne, we stinke in the sight of God, he can not abyde to loke at vs, nor will remember vs. And as we, when the body lieth on slepe in the bedde (whiche is an image of our graue) can neither se, fele heare, taste, smell, vnderstande, nor yet moue out of ye place, vntil we be awaked, nor can take any pleasure at al in any one creature of God: So when we lye walo­winge in sinne, we neyther see the maie­stie of God, with the eyes of oure faythe, nor feele hys mercies offered vntoo vs in hys deare sonne and oure onely Sauioure Christe Iesus, nor yet can wee taste at al howe sweete the Lorde is.

Oure eares are stopped from hearing good counsayll, we perceiue nothinge at [Page] all of Gods goodnes towards vs, his word is not sauery vnto vs, neither yet bee wee moued or stirred vp too doo anye one good woorke of charitie. But nowe it pleased the Lorde, pitying their miserie, too wake them vp out of thys dead sleepe, and sette them in hande with buylding of his house agayne.

But where he had preached too them both the law & the gospell, threatnings & cōfortes with the plages, they were mo­ued to nothing but feare as is saide in the verses before: but after they hearde the glad tidinges of the gospell that God pro­mised to be with them: then they were a­waked out of their sleepe, and wroughte lustely.The law kils, the Gospell quickens. So it is the gospell that quickenes and geues lyfe: but the law kylles, feares, and threatens. For as after sleepe the bodye, being awaked, it is freshe, lustye, stronge, and couragious to do his worke: so after the fearful threatninges of ye law when we heare the gladde tidinges of the gospell (that God will be oure Lorde and dwell with vs) the minde is comforted, strengthened, & moued vp to do his dutye. And as a man is iudged too be wakinge when he canne doe the office of a manne, as talke, woorke, write, or suche like: so is manne awaked out of the slepe of sinnes, [Page] when he lyues in charitie, feares God, & walkes accordinge to his lawe in hys vo­cation.

Further as whē a man lyes in hys dead slepe, he can not awake except some noise awaken him, or some other call hym: [...] can we not arise oute of sinne, excepte the spirite of God or his preacher, which is his watcheman, with often cryinge vnto vs, awake vs. Crye therefore, and feare not saieth Esaye the prophete,Esay. lviii, lifte vp thy voice lyke a trumpette, and tell my people their wickednes. So that it is the trūpet of Gods woorde continually sounding in oure eares, whiche is the onely waye too awake vs out of this sinfull slepe. But the Papistes turne thorder and saye, cease and crie not, holde thee peace & sai nought, lyue in rest and bee still, and so let all goe to hauoc, and the people perishe.

Thus we maye learne here the necessitie of preaching, and what inconueniēce folowes where it is not vsed. Where preachinge fayles saieth Salomon, the people perishe:Pro. xxix. therefore let euery man kepe hym selfe in Gods schoolehouse, and learne his lesson diligently,Preching is most necessa­rye. Math. iiii. for as the bodye is noris­shed with meate, so is the soule with the woorde of God, as sainct Mathew saieth: A man doeth not liue by bread onely, but [Page] in euery woord that comes from ye mouth of God. This is then the ordinary waye to kepe vs in the feare of God, and continual remembraunce of the laste daye: oftē and diligently to reade and heare Gods woord preached vnto vs: for that is it which doth and will kyll sinne in vs, as it is written:Eccle. vii. remember the laste ende, and thou wilte not sinne.

Faith is kept and increased by thesame meanes that it is gotten:Roma. x. it is gotten by hearing, and hearing comes of the worde: let vs therfore heare and reade it diligētli. What is the cause that the Papistes lye so sounde on sleepe in their abhominatiōs but that they care not for preachinge, nor thinke it so necessarye, and because they woulde not be tolde of their faultes, that they mighte amende them? Where sinne is not rebuked, it is not knowē to be sin: nor it will not be amēded, without muche cryinge on. Dauid the good kynge & true Prophete of God, after he had gotten with chylde Urias wyfe, coulde not awake out of that slepe of sinne, vntyll he was war­ned by the Prophet Nathan, notwithstandinge all and singuler suche great giftes, whiche God hath indued him with all, but inuented one policy after another to cloke his whoredome and noughtines withall. [Page] First he sendeth for Urias home, beinge his faithfull souldiour in his warres,ii. king. xii. wil­linge hym to go home too his wyfe, thyn­kinge that if he had lyen by her, the childe might haue ben called his. But when he sawe that Urias woulde not go home too his wyfe, he deuised to send him with let­ters vnto Ioab the captain, that he should be set in the fore frount, when the towne should be essaulted, and that his felowes shoulde flee from him, that he mighte bee slaine. This policie Dauid wroughte soo priuelye, that he thoughte no man shoulde espie it: for who durst open the kinges let­ters? But at lengthe commeth Nathan the Prophete, and telleth him a parable, howe there was a ryche man that hadde many sheepe, and a poore man his neygh­bour had but one, whiche he loued mooste dearely: the ryche man toke this one shepe from the poore man, and Nathan asked what this man had deserued. Then aun­swered Dauid in anger and sayde, he de­serued death: then sayd Nathan, thou hast geuen a very good sentence, it is euē thou thy selfe that haste done this deede, thou shalt dye. For thou haste manye wyues, & couldest not be contēt with them, but hast taken thy poore neyghbours Urias wife. Then cried Dauid: I haue sinned, & made [Page] that worthy Psalme fifty and one: O God haue mercie on me, according to thy great mercie, and accordinge to thy manye mer­cies washe awaye my wickednesse. And yet more washe me frō my wickednes. &c. But before Nathan came, he laye with­out feelinge of his sinne, or yet anye re­morse of conscience at all knowinge that he had done euill.

So when the good kynge Ezechias, be­inge restoreo to his former healthe,iiii. Kin. xxii. hadde letten the Embassadours of the kinge of Babel, whiche came to reioyce for his re­couerye, see all his treasure and iewels, beinge very proude of them: Esaye the Prophete comes vnto him, & asketh what they had seene, he tolde hym: well (saieth Esaye) euen from thence a king shal come to robbe and spoyle all these treasurs that thou hast ben proude of. Than the kynge knowledged his faulte, but not before he was rebuked by the Prophete. Peter,Galath. ii. vntyll he was rebuked of Paule for hys dissimulation with the Gentiles, did not leaue it.

Ioas was a good kynge as longe as Ioiada the highe prieste liued,ii, Chro. xiiii. for he folo­wed hys good counsayle: but after he fell frome God, when he woulde heare noo good counsayle at all.

[Page]Thus we see howe necessari it is for vs to be kept in Gods schoole, and heare the trū ­pet of his woorde soundinge continually in oure eares, to awake vs vp out of thys deadly sleepe of sinne, and styrre vs for­warde to a diligent doinge of our dueties.

What a pryde is this for vs, to thinke so highly of our selues, that we be so farre more holy, stronge, wise, learned, more able to stande, then these good men were: and that we nede not suche continual tea­chinge and counsayle, but that wee maye wel inough want it. These men fel when they heard not the voice of the Prophetes: and yet we that are not so muche worthy as once to be compared vnto them in the giftes of God, thinke we shall stande of oure selues.

Many will saye, what should I do at the sermon?To heare preaching all men ought. I knowe as muche before I go, as I shall learne there, I can reade the scripture at home, and comfort my selfe sufficiently. These are better then they, that will neither heare nor reade, but say: I knowe there is no more but do wel, and haue well. I knowe this is all that can be saide: loue God aboue all thinges, and thy neighbour as thy selfe. I can saye my Pa­ter noster and my Crede, as well as he: & further I knowe yt in the one is conteined [Page] all thinges necessary to bee asked at Gods hande, and in the other all that is to be be­leued: and what can or should a man haue more than this? These sayings, although they be true, yet are they moste brutishe, & nothinge els in very dede, but noughtye excuses to cloke oure slouthful wickednes withall: & signifie plaine that we would not in any wise haue preachinge, because we woulde not heare oure faultes rebu­ked, nor yet oure myndes exercised in me­ditation of God and his goodnes, of oure owne sinne and miserie.Philip. iii. Sainct Paule to the Philippians saieth: that he was not ashamed to write one thinge often to thē,Math, xxv and it was for their safetye. The parable of the .v. foolishe virgins and the .v. wyse, teacheth playnely that bothe the wise and the foolish did bothe nap, slumber, yea, & fall harde on sleepe: where in is set before vs all our natures, whether we be foolish or wyse (we fall on sleepe forgetting God, when we shoulde watche for his cōming, though we thinke neuer so hyghly of oure selues) if we haue not the light & burning lampe of Gods eternall woorde, burning in oure heartes.

What a foolishnes is it to thinke yt we can or shall stande, where as euerye one hath fallen that is gone before vs? or [Page] that we shall escape, where euery one els hath ben taken?

There is not the best learned mā, but he nedes often too heare the preachinges and counsayle of others, althoughe he can comfort hym selfe in hys priuate studies, and in readinge the scriptures neuer soo well. For as the Phisicion when he is sicke, canne not heale hym selfe, nor hath not hys iudgemente soo perfectelye as he hadde before hee was sicke, but seeketh helpe at an other Phisicions hande: So [...] the learnedst man liuinge, as longe as he lyueth, and beareth synfull fleshe aboute with hym, shall haue sinnefull and fro [...] ­warde lustes and affections rayninge [...] hym, whiche blyndeth hys sighte, that he [...]eeth not his own sinnes, vntil he be war­ned of them by others.

[...]Sainct Peter saieth he would put them in remembraunce of their duetie, as longe as he liued, although they knewe it well. What shoulde moue Paule so often and so earnestly to write vnto Timothee and to Titus,i Tim. iiii. Titus iii. hauing such woorthy giftes as they had, if they nede not to be warned of their duties? For what cause should either Dauid haue had ye Prophet of God Nathā, sente of God hym selfe vntoo hym, [...] King. xii or yet Ezechias the prophete Esaye, eyther the [Page] Apostles to be sent forth by couples toge­ther,Actes▪ xv. or yet to mete in counsayll at Ierusalem, and ther to decree hard maters, if one should not learn at an other?

And marke here that he sayeth, ‘all were fallen on slepe, and lay still on slepe, vntil the Lord awaked them vp by this his prophete Aggeus: both Zerubabel the prince and chief ruler in the common wealth▪ Io­sua the hye prieste and chiefe in religion, & all the people also: not so much as one frō the highest to the lowest that did his duty here in, but were all fallen on sleepe.’ What would the Pope saie,The Pope erres. if a mā shuld tel him he were on slepe, & fallen frō God? Would he not straight wayes rage, freat and fume, and saye that he was Gods Ui­car, or at least Peters successoure here in earth, & that he coulde not erre, but euery thinge whiche he did or sayde, was bothe good and also godly? Surely this high Priest, otherwise a verye good man, bea­ringe the figure of Christ, and much com­mended in Zacharie the prophete, and hauinge hys authoritie geuen hym of God, and comminge vnto it by discente also, ac­cordinge to the lawe of Moyses, had thus foulye fallen on sleepe, and forgotten God: and shall wee thynke that the Pope liuinge in the puddle of synne, geuen too [Page] folowe all pleasure, and vsurpinge autho­ritie againste God and his saincts, can not doe or saye amisse?

And as I noted before, so it is not too be lightly considered, that where so often the Prophete here rehearseth the names of Zerubabel and Iosua the twoo chiefest rulers:The ciuil ru­ler is aboue the Priestes. yet he euermore setteth in order the ciuill Magistrate and power, before ye chiefe prieste, to signifie the preeminence and preferment that he hathe in the com­mon wealth, and other matters more thē ye chief prieste, by what name so euer he be called, whether he bee the Poope, Arche­bishop, or Metropolitane.

‘When they were thus awaked, they went and wrought in the house of ye Lord their God.They that buyld not the Lords house, slepe in sinne. This is a sure argument, that a man is awaked and not styll on sleepe, when he can and will go woorke aboute his busines. It is not inough to saye, he is awaked and will woorke, but to woorke in dede. So differs the hypocrite and dis­sembler frome the true charitable man: that the one hathe noothinge but fayre glosing woordes, and the other as ofte as he hath occasion offered, doeth it in deede, without boastinge or crakinge of it: For he that doeth not woorke in verye dede, is on sleepe styll, what fayre face soo euer he [Page] make on it.Math. vii and .xx [...]. The gospell sayeth playnelye that by their fruites ye shall know them. And the twoo sonnes, whereof the one, when his father bad hym go worke in his Uyneyarde, sayde he woulde and did not, the other sayde naye and wente, onely he that wrought did his fathers wil: So only be they awaked, which worke in the lords house: the other eyther slumber, dreame, or els be harde on sleepe, an doo not their due woorke in buyldinge the house of the Lorde oure good God.

When they began to laye the foundation of this temple, the people of the coū ­trie, whiche were placed there by Salma­nasar, woulde haue holpen them to build, and sayde they worshipped thesame God that they did (because they perceyued that the good kynge Cyrus fauoured them at that present) but after that Assuerus the nexte kynge folowinge,iiii. Kin. xviii. hadde stopped them from buildinge any more, thei were moste earnestly againste them.

The good men that were amongest them, perceiued their dissembling, & wold not suffre them to woorke with them: So many amongst vs, whiche be papistes in dede, when they see that they shall please the rulers, will crye mooste earnestly for the buyldinge of Gods house, and pretēde [Page] as though thei would worke most stoutly: but if they se the world turne, they will be the first and most earnest destroiers of the same. Such false brethren muste be moste diligently taken hede of, and not be suffe­red to ioyne them selues wt the true work men, least they betraye all the good, as we bothe feele and see oure Papistes to haue done, to the slaūder of God and his word, our hurt and shame. Sainct Paule telleth oftē how great daūgers he was in: [...]i. Cor. ii but he complaineth of none more thā of false brethren, which make a shewe of godlines, & yet are mooste wicked within, euen verye Wolues in Lambes skynnes.

But these men after they were thus awaked, by the preaching of Aggeus, wēt and wrought, nowe no longer about their owne houses, as before seking their owne profite and commoditie: but in the house of the Lorde of hostes, whose power nowe they feared, and mightie hand they hadde felt so longe, and yet not worthely regar­ded the heauines of his displeasur, nor his great plages that he had layde vpon them so many yeares. It was noted in the ver­ses before, why God is called the Lorde of hostes, which is for the great, mighty, sun­dry, and diuers waies, that he hath cōquered and vses to conquer, those which rebel [Page] against hym? This is the strength & po­wer that comes by the worde of God: that where it is diligētly heard,Preaching [...] maketh vs new mē & of coward [...] [...] and faithfully beleued, it maketh vs altogether new mē, of loiterers workers, and all together lu­stye and couragious, and afrayde of no displeasure, so that wee maye woorke in the Lordes house.

If we marke in what sort & case these people were, we shal better perceiue what effect this litle short preaching toke in thē. They hadde lien many yeares, not regar­dinge the building of Gods house, for fear of the kynges displeasure, who had com­maunded the rulers in the coūtrie too stop ye buylding of that house: but nowe partly for feare of the plages, which the mightye Lord of hostes had threatened too laye on them, and chiefly that God had promised that he woulde be with them: thei were so stirred vp yt thei regarded not nowe, their owne gayne and pleasure, nor they fea­red not the Kynges officers displeasure, whiche had forbidden them to buylde any more: but straight without suīg for a new cōmission, or licēce of the king, or speakīg with the kinges officers, thei set vp their work, knowgī yt he which promised, wold be wt them, & that they should prosper well in it, for he was able & would performe it. [Page] In Esdras it appeares what bolde aun­swer they make whan the kinges officers asked them by what authoritie they begā to renue their olde woorke,Esdre. v & that letters were sent to king Darius, to know whe­ther they should be suffered to go forward in their buylding or not. But God so mo­ued the kyngs heart, that he gaue thē not onely libertye to buylde, but money alsoo to do it with all: & by the strength of God, they had not onely geuen the enterpryse, but also went forwarde in their building, askinge no licence at all of anye man, be­fore they were complayned on.

This strength hath Gods woord whē it is worthelye receiued, that it maketh a man to forget his owne profite, yea lādes wyfe, chyldren, goodes and life, & māfully to beare death, pryione, fyre, and displea­sure of princes, so that he maye do his du­tye to his Lorde God, and escape his dis­pleasure. Peter, who denied his maister at the voice af a handmayde, after he had receiued the holy Ghoste, was bolde to confesse hym before lordes and princes, euen to the deathe.

Actes ix.Paule in furious rage of his persecu­tion was striken doune, and of a wolfe rose vp a lambe.Iohn iii and xix: Nicodemus, that afore durst not be knowen to be Christes disci­ple [Page] or beare hym any good wil: after durst aske the body of Pylate, and bou [...]dly bu­ried it. Thus where true fayth is geuē to God, commaundinge any thing to be don, or to the preachinge of hys woorde: it ma­kes of haters louers, of fearfull bolde, of persecuters preachers, and doeth wholye chaunge the nature of manne,Psal. xix as Dauid sayeth: The lawe of the Lorde is without spot, turninge the mindes of men. Thys was neither treason nor rebellion against the kynge to do that which God by his pro­phete so straitly commaunded, as was de­clared and noted before: but they were ra­ther traytours to God, that had not of soo many yeares gone more earnestly aboute that buildinge of Gods house, as God wil­led them to do.

And where he calles God their God, yet after so great and longe disobedience:" it commendes vnto vs the long suffering and merciful goodnes of our God, that wil not forsake vs for a fault or twoo, nor in a yeare or twoo,God is longe suffring. but continually beareth wt vs, callinge vs to hym by all meanes pos­sible, and woulde not one of the leaste too perishe. All the daye longe sayeth God by his prophet Esay,Esay lxv. I haue stretched out my handes to a people yt speakes against me, and faytheles. But of this is inough spo­ken before.

[Page] And where he addeth this and sayeth: ‘they went & wrought in the Lords house, the .xxiiii. daye of the .vi. moneth, and the▪ same seconde yeare of Darius: it teaches vs the earnestnes of them towardes theyr woorke, nowe after they were thus awa­ked and sturred vp out of their sleepe.’ They had but three wekes and .iii. daies, bothe to heare this preaching of Aggeus, and to make ready their tooles to woorke withall: whiche time had ben litle inough to haue prepared their tooles in, although they had not hadde any other busines too haue ben occupied withall. The prophete was sent from God the first daye of the .vi. moneth, as appeares in the firste verse, & nowe the .xxiiii. daye of the same moneth, they began to renue their woorke with a lusty courage: so the whole tyme both too heare the preaching, and prepare all thin­ges necessarie. For their greate woorke, was but three weekes and three dayes. Soo earnestly doeth true [...]aithe woorke,Faithfull loue seekes no de­layes. where God is truely feared, and his com­maundement reuerently obeied: that thei can not be quiet vntil they haue done that whiche God commaundes. There is no­thinge now that can hinder them frō this woorke, neither the feare of the kynges displeasure, nor the costlines of the greate [Page] worke nor the gredines of their owne profite, whiche they sought so muche before, neither the greatnes of their disobedience in so longe forgetting their lorde God: but with one minde and courage thei sette vp this great costly woorke, manfully conti­nuinge in it, & happely finish it in. 4. yea­res space, notwithstanding the great lets, hinderaunce and accusations that were made againste them to the kynge, & other diuers wayes many. This promise that God had made thē that he woulde be with them, had so encouraged them, ye nothing coulde stop them frome their woorke, but as Dauid goinge to fighte with Golias,i. Kinge. xvii. was not afrayd of al his strength, harnes, nor yet his power and mighte, but sayde: thou commest agaynste me, trustinge in thyne owne strength, and I come to fight with thee with this litle slinge and fewe stoones in the name of the lyuynge God of Israel: so they were bolde in him onely to sette on thys great woorke.

If they were thus sturred vp by thys litle preachynge: what dulnes shall wee thynke too bee in oure selues, that after suche continuall cryinge and callinge can not be awaked to do our duties? Is it any maruayle that God doeth so often and soo [Page] greuouslye plague vs, seinge we shoulde without all excuses doe it, whiche he com­maundeth vs: and yet in so long tyme we can not be broughte too feare hym as wee shoulde doe. We maye also learne what a treasure it is to haue Gods worde amōgst vs (seinge it is the ordinarie way that he hath ordeined to bring vs vnto hym by) & what a grefe it is too want the continuall preachinge of thesame:Scripture is necessarye for all men & no cause of euill. and also the wic­kednes of the Papistes that thus do robbe the people of it, and woulde make them to beleue that it were not necessary for thē, but bringes them in to heresies, and that it is the mother of all heresie and mischief & that there was neuer good worlde since the scripture was in Englishe, with such like blasphemies.

But if we marke the scriptur throughly in all ages, we shall finde y in good kings dayes, whiche maintained Gods woorde & his true religion, as Dauid, Salomon, Iosaphat, Ioas, Ezechias, Iosias, in Iuda onely there was more plēty of all worldly blessinges, then there was in all Israell beside, where as the scripture was not re­garded. Again if ye marke wel all the aū ­cient heretikes, euē from the beginning, as Arrius, Pelagius, Ualētinus, Marciō, Sabellius, Donatus, Eutyches. &c. You [Page] shall finde none at all or verye fewe that were vnlearned, but all for the moste part were great clarkes: and by this reason thē the learned rather then ye vnlearned shuld be kept from the scriptures, if reading the scripture make heretikes. For men fail chiefely into heresies, when they trust too their owne wittes & learning, forsakinge or not submitting their wittes vnto gods wisedom, cōteined in hys infallible worde and truth. If they will let the people heare the scripture in sermons, I canne not tell why they shoulde not be suffered to reade it. Why shoulde rather heresy come by readinge then by hearinge? Naye, thys is their meaninge, they woulde haue no preachinge, nor yet readinge, sauinge of their dirty dragges of popery, which maintaines their ydle lordelines: where as the scripture setteth out their wickednes, whiche they will not haue knowen, nor yet once touched. The Lorde for hys mercie sake defende vs from their tirāny. Amen.

¶A prayer.

[Page] MOst mighty Lord and merciful father, which didst stir vp the Iewes too the buyldinge of thy house by the preachinge of thy Prophete Aggeus: we thy miserable crea­tures, oppressed with sinne, and liuing in blindenes, beseche thee for thy mercy sake haue mercy vpon vs and thrust out diligēt woorke men intoo thy haruest, sende out faithfull preachers, whiche maye by the harde threateninges of thy lawe, and comfortable promises of thy gospel, awake all thy people out of their dead slepe, wherin thei lie walowing, forgetting thee & their dutye. We haue all sinned from the hy­ghest to the lowest, in not earnestly professinge thy holy woorde and religion. Both the princes, rulers, and magistrates, bis­shops, ministers of all sortes, and all ye people, no state nor condiciō of men hath done their duetie herein vntoo thee oure onely Lorde and God, Therfore we all wt heauy heartes fall doune flat afore thy throne of grace and maiestie we begge, craue & aske thee forgeuenes of oure greate sinnes: opē oure eyes O good God, that we maye con­sider the plagues, whiche thou haste layde on vs so longe for oure great disobedience [Page] towardes thee and thy woorde. Geue vs newe heartes, and renue thy holy spirite wtin vs O Lord, that both the rulers may faithfully minister iustice, punishe sinne, defende and maintaine the preachinge of thy woorde, and that all ministers may diligently teache thy dearely beloued flocke purchased by the bloud and death of thine owne and onely deare sonne oure Lorde, and that all people maye obediently learn and folowe thy lawe, too the glorie of thy holy name, for Christes sake oure onelye Lorde and Sauioure.

¶The .ii. Chapter.

IN the .vii. moneth and the .xxi daye of the moneth, was the woorde of the Lorde sente by the hande of Aggeus the Pro­phete sayinge:

The Text

verse 2 Speake to Zerubabell, y sōne of Salathiel, ruler of Iehuda and to Iosua the sonne of Io­sede [...], the chiefe Priest, and to [Page] the remnaunte of the people sayinge.

verse 3 Who is left amongst you that hathe sene this house in his former glory, and what a one you se it now? is it not like as it were nothinge in your eies?

¶As concerning the rekening of yeares, monethes, and daies ynough was spoken in the first chapiter: and what it is too bee sent by the hande of a Prophete, who soo lust, there he maye reade. This message sent now in the .7. moneth, and the nexte that comes in the .9. declare the good will of God towardes thē that buylde his house and howe ready God is to further all their doinges. They began to worke the .xxiiii. daye of the sixt moneth, and had cōtinued to the .21. daye of the .7. moneth, and then leaste the feare of the kynge or the rulers shoulde discourage them, they had nede to be comforted: therefore Aggeus is sente vnto them agayne too encourage theym, leaste they shoulde haue fainted or lefte of workinge. Agayne in the .8. moneth is the Prophete Zachary sente vnto them, and [Page] in the .9. moneth Aggeus is sent twise,God sende [...] preachers to theym that serue him▪ & all because thei should not let their worke slip, but with a courage finish it: and that also they might see how true it is, that to euery one that hath, it shalbe geuen, and for them, whiche woorke couragiously in the Lordes vyneyarde, how wel the Lord is delited with them and blesses them. Thus God knowinge the weakenes of this people, euerye mooneth sendes newe messages vnto them, that they maye vn­derstande what a care he hath ouer them: and that they shoulde trust in hym, which had al thinges in his handes to rule at his pleasure, and not to trust in them selues, whiche of them selues coulde do nothing. Let vs therfore worke in the Lords house and no doubt he will sende vs comfoorte ynough.

Nowe where he is bidden speake to Zerubabel the prince, to Iosua the chiefe Priest, and to the remnaunt of the people▪ and so often reherses theym in this same order in this prophecie: ‘it doeth vs too vn­derstande that there is one doctrine of sal­uation to be taughte vnto all sortes of mē and that all sortes are bounde to hear and learn thesame: and besides that it teaches the prefermente of the ciuil magistrate or ruler to the priest, as was noted before.’ [Page] And herein we shall chiefly learn the wic­kednes of them that withholde the scrip­tures from the lay people, saying it is not mete for them too be so muche occupied in hearinge thesame. For the Prophet saith here sundry times that he was sente to all the people as well as to the rulers: & ther­fore it was their dutie to learne and heare his message as diligētly, as it was the ru­lers. And this is a greate occasion, why yt all rulers shoulde behaue thē selues lowly towards the people,Al thinges to saluation are geuen to al sortes of men [...]n lyke. Ephe. iiii seing God hath made all thynges, as concerninge saluation co­mon and of one sorte, bothe too poore and riche, that by this meanes he mighte en­crease brotherly loue betwixt both partes. There is one Lorde god saieth s. Paule of all, bothe poore and ryche, one holy Ghoste that makes vs all holy, one baptisme, one faithe that we beleue, one sauioure Iesu Christ, one father in heauen, vnto whom we praye, one euerlastinge kyngedome whiche we all loke for, one scripture and woorte to teache vs, one sacrament for vs all, wee bee borne, gotten, dye and buried all in like, and a greate knottell is of loue amongest vs, seinge wee speake one lan­guage, beinge of one countrye or towne, and one ayre whiche we receiue, one fyre, Sunne, Moone, Starres, earth, herbes, [Page] trees, corne, cattel, fishe, foole, that we be fede on. We goe, stande, slepe, worke all alike. &c.

All the difference that is betwixt vs is this: that one is hygher in authoritie, bet­ter clad or fed, hathe a prouder coate or a softer bed, or more store of money, landes or seruauntes then an other hath, whyche thinge helpe not to saluation. But what vayne thinges these be to reioyce in, or to despise one another for that wātes them, the thinges them selues do declare. For he that wantes all these, not necessarie thinges to saluation, is commonly better man, more lustye, stronge and healthfull then the other, as is sayde in the verses before. And to reioyce is auncient bloude, what can be more vayne? Do we not all come of Adam our earthly father? and say we not all, Our father whiche art in hea­uen, halowed. &c. How can we crake then of oure auncient stocke, seinge we came all bothe o [...] on earthelye and heauenly fa­ther. If ye marke the commō saying, how gentle bloude came vp, ye shall see howe true it is.

When Adam dalue, and Eue span, Who was than a gentle man?

And although no nation hais any thing to reioice in of them selues, yet Englande [Page] hais lesse than other, we glory much to be called Britans, but if we consider what a vacabunde Brutus was, and what a com­pany he brought with him, there is small cause of glori. For ye Saxōs of whome we come also, there is lesse cause to crake. So that of Brutus we maye well bee called Brutes for our brutish conditions, and of the Saxons saxi. i: stout and hard hearted, but if we goe vp to Cain, Iaphet, & suche other fathers of vs Gentils, we maye bee ashamed of our auncetors: for of all these we come that knew no God.

Tully a Heathen philosopher telleth how many wayes men came first to haue greate possessions,How authoritie began. and waxed more weal­thy and mighty in the earthe then others did: either by comming in to voyde places (saieth he) where as none did dwell, and then euery man toke to him self, as much grounde as he woulde, or els they got it in the warres by power frō others, or bought it, or els by gift or discent. So that at the first we were all alike, not one better thē an other: and we shall be also all alike aū ­gels at the last. For in heauen there is no higher place for ryche men, nor lower for the poore, but euery man accordinge as he hath d [...]ne, so shall he receiue. If the poore and ryche mans bloude were bothe in one [Page] basen, howe should the one be knowen to be better then the other, seinge we crake so muche of it. Yet doth this derogate no­thinge from that honour & dignitie, which is dew to all Princes and Magistrates in this lyfe of all sortes of men: but it is only spokē how all sortes shall obtayne the life to come, & that we shoulde not ouermuche reioice in worledlye vanities, but in God alone, that we haue him for oure God. And where as the prince, Priest, and peo­ple haue all one lesson taughte them, and no difference at all is made betwixt them how to please God, we may see the wickednes of oure priestes, but that by their Trē tals & other masses can healpe as they sai others to heauē, but they them selues care not for such baggage, and bye none of thē for their selues (because they thinke them vnprofitable, or els they see there is ano­ther waye to heauen than this, and ther­fore will not vse this at al for them selfes, but deceiue others therewith:) or rather they care not for heauen, but will heare lyue at ease and enriche them selues, they care not how, not hoping for an other life. But the prophete here, and all the scrip­ture thoroughoute teaches one waye of saluation for al sortes of men whatsoeuer thei be, how to lyue & dye, & enioye heauē.

[Page]The effecte of this message nowe, is to comforte theym that they shoulde not fainte in their woorke, but manfully goe on forwardes, and luckely finish the buyl­dinge of Gods house, beinge discouraged at nothinge. Many there were that beside the feare of the kynges displeasur, which had forbidden them, to buylde any more, seinge the gorgiousnes of the olde temple, buylded by Salomon, and howe sclender a house this woulde bee in comparison of that, were sore greued at it, and discoura­ged.

Esdra. iii.Esdras writeth that whan the groūd woorke, and foundacion was layde, some whiche had sene the olde tēple how costly, greate, and solempne it was, were verye sorye to see this, how sclender a woorke it woulde be in comparison of the olde, and therefore they fell on wepinge, whan as they considered it.

The yonger sorte, whiche hadde not sene the olde Temple, that was destroied by Nabuchodonozor, and nowe seing thys go so wel forwarde toke their instrumēts, sange Psalmes, and praised God that had geuen them soo good and prosperous suc­cesse, and were right glad that thei might haue such a house to resorte vnto, to make their prayers and sacrifices in, althoughe [Page] it were not so costly and pleasaunt, as the [...] woulde wishe. In whiche twoo sortes of men, the one as Esdras saieth, wepte be­cause this house was not costlye inoughe, nor be comming the maiestie of God their Lorde: the other did singe and reioice that they had one so good a house as this was: We maye learne the sorowe, which good christen hearts take when they see Gods true religion,Diuers good affections in religion. not onely coldly set foorth & negligently folowed, but also if it bee not in suche perfection as it oughte to be, and as they haue sene or yet woulde wishe. Also we be taughte howe wee shoulde re­ioice when we haue any honest litle house and religion graunted vnto vs to serue & worship our Lorde and God in, soo that it be accordinge to his woorde: for the primatiue churche was gladde if they coulde get priuate houses to teache in. The noyse was so greate as Esdras saieth: that a [...] coulde not diserne whether was greater the noyse of them that songe, or of theym whiche wept: therfore the Prophete sayth to them, whiche were so sory and heauye for the sclendernes of this buyldinge: that althoughe this house semed nothinge in comparison of the other in beauty in their sighte, yet it shoulde appeare a more glo­rious house afore God then the firste. And [Page] so it came to passe, as afterwardes it shall appeare.

Let vs note also where he sayeth: ‘which of you hath sene this house in his former glory.’ [...]he crosse must be born strongly though it seme long. &c. the stronge pacience and longe sufferinge of the people of God that hadde borne their crosse so longe, and were not weary of it, but were very sorye that they coulde not haue God worshipped so solēly as they woulde: There was none yt could haue seene the firste temple of Salomon, standinge in his glorie, and nowe this se­conde temple beginninge too bee renued, but he must at the least be fourescore year olde, and yet be not past .x. yeares old whā it was destroyed by Nabuchodonozor. The years of ye captiuitie in Babilō were 70. as Ieremie promised, and the foundation of this temple was sayde vnder Cy­rus the seconde yeare of their returning: soo that if wee take these yeares besides those. 70. yeares of captiuitie, they muste haue so many also after they were borne, that they might be able to remember the temple standinge, which can be no lesse then ten yeares, or twelue: so that all coū ­ted, they could be no lesse, but rather more then fourescore yeare olde, but if we token to this secōd of Darius, thei must be anno 130. yeare olde at the leste. This I speake [Page] too note howe manfullye they had borne their banishment vnder Heathen kynges, where they were prysoners, mocked and euill intreated: where as we are so tender that we canne not abyde a litle sorowe for Christes sake vnder Christian rulers, nor can not departe from oure fleshe pots and bellye cheare. We call the Iewes sturdye and stifnecked people: but if we compare oure selues to them in many pointes, we shall fynde oure selues muche worse. They satte on the water bankes of Babilon, 70. yeares weepinge,Psal c.xxxvii. and hāged their harpes in the willowes, in steede of ye temple, whan they had songe their Psalmes, they were mocked, and yet manfullye dyd they beare all sorowes: wee beinge banis­shed or punished vnder Christian rulers, yet can not be contente with necessaries, but grudginge that wee wante oure olde fleshe pots of Egipte, and oure superflu­ous daynties, murmour & grudge at Gods doinges and prouoke hys vengeaunce vp­pon vs.

The Apostles comminge to oure Sa­uioure Christe,Math. xxiiii & shewing him the goodly buylding and workemanship of this tem­ple, whiche they nowe buylded, wondered at the costly fines of it: but these olde men which had sene the first tēple of Salomōs [Page] buyldinge, wept because it was not good inoughe, nor too be compared to the firste. Notwithstandinge all the fines of it our [...] sauiour Christ told thē that the dais wold come, when their enemies shoulde come, besiege it, destroye it, and not leaue one stoone standinge vpon an other: and soo it came afterwardes to passe by the Romay­nes.iii. King. vi. The first house if ye marke in the life of Salomon, where is described all the fa­cion of it, length, breathe, thyckenes, and heighte of the walles, the wydenes of the house, and what thinges & Iewels were in the house, it is muche more gorgious, costely, and pleasant, than this second tē ­ple is, whose greatenes Esdras telleth in the .vi. Chapiter: but the things that were done in this seconde house by Christe and hys Apostles, were much more wōderous then those, whiche were done in the firste. It was great glory that ye Quene of Saba came from the vnmost part of the earth to see the first temple:iii. King x. but it was much more glorious that into the secōde temple came the sonne of God from heauen to preache hys fathers will, and the glad rydinges of the Gospel. As in the restoringe of this se­conde temple, many olde men did weepe, because it was not soo greate, gorgious, costely and glorious as the firste was: soo [Page] now in the restoringe of the Gospel many weepe, whan they see not the Churches so well decked and furnished as before.The diuersity of the Popes Church and Christes. The Popes churche hath al thinges plea­saunt in it to delite the people withall: as for the eyes their God hanges in a roope, ymages gylded, paynted, carued moste fy­nely, copes, chalice, crosses of golde & syl­uer, banners. &c. with reliques and altars for the eares, singing, rynging, and orga­nes pipinge: for the noose frankensence sweete, too washe awaye sinnes as they saye, holy water of their owne halowing, and makinge. Priestes an infinite sorte, masses, trentals, diriges, and pardons. &c. But where the Gospell is preached, they knowinge ye God is not pleased, but only with a pure heart, they are contente with an honest place appointed, to resorte toge­ther in, though it were neuer halowed by bishoppe at all, but haue onely a pulpit, a preacher too the people, a Deacon for the poore, a table for the communion, wt bare walles, or els written with scripturs, ha­uinge Gods eternall woorde, sounding al­wayes amongest them in their sighte and eares: and last of all thei should haue good discipline, correct fautes and kepe good or­der in all their meetinges. But as they wepte too see this seconde house no more [Page] costly nor pleasaunte too the eye: So oure poore Papistes weepe to see our churches so bare, saiyng: they be like barnes, there is nothinge in them to make curtsey vnto neither Sainctes nor yet their olde litle God. But hereafter it appeares, whether of these churches god is more delited with all.ceremonies. For although these ceremonies in the olde lawe were geuen by Moyses for the hardnes of the people to kepe them exerci­sed that they fall not to Idolatry of ye Gentiles: yet is there no mencion of anye of these in the new Testament, nor yet com­maundement now, neither to vs nor thē, but forbidden to be vsed of all, both of vs & them. We be no longer vnder shadowes, but vnder the truthe. Christ hath fulfilled all, and taken awaye all such darke kinde of ceremonies, and hathe placed the clere light of hys Gospell in his churche to continue to the ende.

But the Pope hath thrust the churche full of more blinde & wicked ceremonies, then euer Moyses did: & where Peter said (when the Apostles were consulting how many ceremonies shoulde continue for a time) that it was not mete to lay on ye Gē ­tils neckes the yoke of Moises law,Actes xv. which neither thei nor their fathers could beare: yet the Pope with crakes to be s. Peters [Page] vicar, cōtrary to s. Peters saying, wil laie on all people suche a heape of his owne ce­remonies, and that vnder pain of cursing as the Iewes had neuer the like in folishe blindnes nor mo in number. S. Augustin saieth that Christ in the new Testament was content with few Sacramēts in nū ­ber, but which were in signification most worthy, as baptisme & the Lordes supper: but the Pope hath made so many as plea­sed him, and that such as no scripture can alow. Thus we are taughte here, not to esteme the goodnes of thinges by an out­ward & glorious shew, but to be contēt wt the Homely simplenes that Christ taught vs in his churche, and vsed him selfe: for that is more pleasaunt than all the gorgi­ous deuise of mans brain. The wit of mā is neuer content to submit it self to ye wi­sedō of God, but pleases it self more in his own inuēcions, than in that which God cō maūdes:: But ye gospel saith plainly that, that which is so excellēt in the sight of mā is abhominable in the sight of God.Luke xvi.

The text,

verse 4 But now be stronge Zerubabell (sayeth the Lord) and be of good courage Iosua, the sōne of Iosedec ye chief priest, [Page] and plucke vp your courage all people of the earthe saith the Lorde, and woorke for I am with you, sayeth ye Lord of hostes.

verse 5 I will perfourme the pro­mise whiche I made with you when yee came oute of Egipte, and my spirite shall dwell in the middest of you, be not afrayde.

¶Leaste wee fainte in the middest of oure woorke, where daungers be greate, and lets many, there is nede of great comforte. The kynges officers asked them often tymes, who geue thē leaue to renue this buyldinge, and what commissiō they had: the woorke was great and costly, and their owne rulers and breihren, by bry­binge and vsury had polled them soo sore that they mighte well thinke they were not able to finish it accordingly? their sin­nes and negligence were great, that they had deserued suche plagues. therefore too comforte theym withall, God sendes hys [Page] Prophet to encourage them all generally▪ They that haue fallen most ar most to be comforted. and particulerlye [...]hose by name, whyche were chiefe in the common wealth and religion, as Zerubabel and Iosua, whiche had offended moste, because thei being ru­lers, did neither their duty theym selues, nor yet caused others to do theirs, whiche both they shoulde haue done: Firste in ge­uinge good example theym selues, & after in seinge others to haue done their duties in this buyldinge. But as oure sauioure Christe, after that he arose frome deathe sent Mary Magdalene & the other women to the disciples generallye, and too Peter chiefely by name, bothe to comfort theym altogether (because they all had forsaken hym) and to encourage namely Peter, be­cause he craked mooste that he woulde ne­uer betraye him, but afterwarde fell the foulest of them all, and therefore had nede to be comforted more then all: Soo nowe Zerubabel and Iosua by name are cōfor­ted of the Prophete, because they had ben more negligent than the reste, and shoulde haue ben better then the rest.

Tell my disciples (saieth oure sauiour Christe to the women) and tel Peter that they go into Galile,Mark. xv [...] and there they shall se me as I t [...]lde them before: Such a louing God is oure Lorde and maister, that least [Page] weake consciences should dispaire, except they haue cōfort of forgeuenes, he sendes vnto them by name, he speaketh too some by name. The rest of the people are bidden bee of good courage, for ye Lord God wold be with them, pardon and forgeue them, ayde them, and further their doinges: but not by name as these other were, because their offēces were not so greate as the rest were.

Absolution.So God hathe yet in his churche bothe generall absolution, and forgeuenes of sinnes offered vnto all [...]y preachinge his woorde, and promise made in Christe too the beleuers: and also particular to cōfort the weake conscience withal, when as he applies to him selfe, the promise declared vnto him: and beleues thesame.

Worke on styll (saieth the Lorde) and be not disamayde of anye trouble, whiche ye see towardes: For althoughe ye thinke that many hostes of men be againste you, yet feare ye not, for I the Lorde of hostes, whiche haue all my creatures readye har­nessed to fighte againste them that stryue againste you my people, I saie: I am with you Who can preuaile agaynst you, whā I am on your side? How can any creature that is but vyle wormes & asshes in com­parison [Page] of me the euerlastinge God, pre­uayle against me their and God creatour? Marke before, and ye shall better perceiue here, why he doeth so often call him selfe the Lorde of hostes: whiche is chiefely, be­cause in suche daungerous enterprises they had nede of some strong man to take their part, and where he had so many ho­stes ready to defende them as all his crea­tures, from the hyghest to the lowest, thei shoulde not feare, for they had one strōger on their side to fight for theym then all o­thers coulde be, that shoulde fight against them.

The selfe same woordes of comforte that were geuen them at the beginninge to enterprise the buyldinge withall, are nowe repeated agayne, that they shoulde more manfully continue in thesame: Euē so is it the selfe same doctrine, faithe and beliefe, by the which we are receiued into the number of Gods people, firste by bap­tisme, by the whiche we encrease and go [...] forwardes in thesame faithe, and by the whiche also we shall enioye heauen at the laste. For euen as in a chylde he growes to be a man, remaynes thesame substaūce that was in the chylde before,It is one faith by which w [...] are receiued [...] gods peo [...] which [...] grow [...] of [...] by [...] we be [...] and [...] in al [...]or­ [...] men. but now is made stronger by age and castes away all chyldishe toyes: So in thesame faythe [Page] whiche we professe in oure baptisme must we grow and learne the full vnderstan­dinge of it, yt it maye be felt sweter vntoo vs dayly more and more whyle wee lyue euen to our laste ende. And as the wordes are all one here, to comfort the rulers and people with all: So that faythe is one also by the whiche we shall all be saued. God hath not apointed one way nor Gospell for the ryche, and an other for the poore, but all haue one as is sayde before: & so is he with al alike as wel wt the people as with the rulers. He is not a partial God, but to is with all and defende all alike, prouidīg for all indifferently and will defende the simplest as well as the highest, the people and subiectes, euen as well as the prince. For as a naturall father prouides for, and loues euery chylde, and a good prince will not so looke to one pece of his realme, that he neglecte the rest: So God oure heauenly kinge and father, will not so loue some of his people that he will hate the reste, nor so prouide for a fewe that the other shall wante, but moste louingly prouide for all and sayeth he will be with theym all that woorke hys woorke.

With whome soeuer God dwelles, he can wante nothinge, no more than he that standes in the Sūne can want light: [Page] for in God is the welle of all goodnes, & he geues parte thereof to all them that be his, and that he takes into hys tuicion. What comforte is in these woordes, and what it hath caused all faythfull men too take in hande whan God so promised thē, ynough was sayde before. Almoste all the notable thinges in the scripture were ta­ken in hand by the comfort that was tak [...] in these few wordes: I am with thee, & by the sure faythe that was geuen to God by them.

And as God requires nothing here of them but to woorke, and other thinges he hym selfe woulde care for: So in all other our doings, he reserues to him self ye suc­cesse and goinge forwarde of thinges, and nothinge shall be oures, but the woorke. He will geue encrease to all good thinges that are taken in hande,Let vs work [...] and the pro­fit commit to God. in his name as he thinkes best. Lette not vs therefore bee so carefull for that: onely let vs woorke as he biddeth vs, and he will blesse it too hys pleasure. Neyther he that plantes, nor hee that waters is anye thinge, but God that geues the encrease, sayeth saint Paule. And agayne,i. Cori. iii.xv [...] your labour was not in vayne in the Lorde.

He geues encrease to some thirtye, sixtye,Math▪ xiii. or an hundred, as his heauenly wisedome [Page] thinkes good: yet all must woorke mooste earnestly in his vyneyarde, referring the ende of their labour and profite too hym, whose woorke it is, who wil see no neces­sary thinge faile them, whiche be not loy­terers in his buyldinge. Litle thinges yt are taken in hande in the Lordes name, shall growe to greate thinges, too theym whiche woorke diligently as the scripture saieth: that whiche is weake before God, is stronger than mennes: and that which is moste glorious before men is abomina­ble before God. [...]. Cor. i. Luke. xvi.

Ionathan and his page, discomfited all the hooste of the Philistians,i. Ro. xi [...]i. and than Saule folowinge the chase destroyed thē. Eliseus and his boy beinge in the Cytye,iiii Reg▪ vi. when his boy was afrayde, he desired God to open his boyes eyes, that he might per­ceiue howe many moe were with theym, then againste them: and then the boy saw the hyll ful of Aungels harnessed to defēd them bothe, and God so blynded his enne­mies yt they folowed the Prophete, whom they sought to kyll, into the middes of his countrie, where he mighte haue destroyed them if he had lust.

God made diuers promises to theym, after thei came out of Egipt: But because he beginneth to entreate of Christ in these [Page] sentences folowinge, I thinke he meanes that promise chiefely, where Moyses said: The Lorde woulde rayse vp vntoo you a Prophet like vnto me, him shall you hear.Deut. xviii This Prophete was Christ Iesus like to Moyses in many pointes, beinge borne a­mongest them and of their brethren of the stocke of Iuda and Dauid, of whom after­wardes the father sayd with a voice heard from heauen:Math. iii. This is my welbeloued sonne, in whome I am well pleased, hear hym. Or els it maye well be taken for the promise,Christ pro­mised was present With oure fathers before he was borne. Esay. ix. whiche is written in the .22. of Exodus, where it is sayde, beholde, I wil sende my aūgel, or messenger before thee, and he shal leade thee in the waye, & shall driue all thy ennemies oute before thee, whose lande thou shalte posses. This Aū ­gell was Christe Iesus, who is called the Aungell of the greate counsayle, because he broughte from the bosome of his father the secrete counsayle of God, and preached hys greate loue to the worlde. An aungell is no more but a messenger or Embassa­doure from God, to declare and preache his will and pleasure to the worlde. And that Christe was present with the Israelites,i. Cor. x. and guided thē in the wildernesse. Sainct Paule telleth playne that they tempted Christe, and murmured agaynst him: and [Page] Christe was the rocke. The meaning and effecte of this promise is no more, but that as God was presente with their fathers whan he brought them out of Egipt, and deliuered them oute of al daungers, were thei neuer so many nor so great, & brought them in to the land that he promised thē: So he woulde nowe be present with them deliuer them and finishe their woorke yf they woulde woorke earnestlye, neyther mistrusting hys mercie, but that he would be with them, and defende them againste the rulers whiche hated them, nor fearing his power, but that he was able too per­fourme his promise vnto them. If wee mistruste eyther his good will towardes vs, that he will not, or hys power that he can not delyuer vs, wee prouoke his an­ger too deuoure vs, and can not looke for helpe at his handes to saue vs: for nothing offendes hys maiestie more then mistrust vnfaithfulnes or doubtinge, as sainct Ia­mes sayth: [...] he that doubtes, is like a waue of water driuen with wynde too and fro, and that man whiche so doubtes, can lok [...] too obtayne nothinge at Gods handes, he gyues all hys giftes too them that bee faythefull and beleue that hee is bothe a true God, perfourmyng all that he promy­ses, merciful and willing to help al which [Page] in their neede call vpon hym, and able too fulfill all that he saieth. They that either doubte or denye his offered mercie or po­wer to helpe: denye hym to be a God. Therfore feare not, but beleue me too be youre God, and I will deliuer you, and de­fende you, as I did youre fathers: and ye shall finish this temple by my protection. As I did bring them into the lande which I promised them▪ droue out their enemies and gaue them the lande to dwell in: So according to this promise it came to passe, to this people now, for in .4. yeares space next folowing they finished that tēple as Esdras teaches.Esdras vi. So good spede had they after that they beleued his promise & that he woulde be with them.

But here maye be moued a greate que­stion howe this is true that God saieth by this Prophet, ‘here that he broughte them out of Egipt’ whā this people neuer came there but about a .1000. years before Moy­ses brought out their fathers through the read sea,That which the father had is [...] saide to [...] the childrē. where Pharao was drouned af­ter yt he would not beleue the great won­ders wrought in his sight, nor fear ye Lord that had so oftē & greuously plaged hym, for hādling his peple so cruelly. The scripture vses oft to geue yt which was done to ye fathers, as thoughe it were done to the chyldren.

[Page]As when Melchisedecke tooke tithes of Abraham he is saide also to haue takē ti­thes of Leui,Heb [...]. vii. whiche was not borne of many yeares after, because he was conteined in the loynes of Abraham, and after­warde borne of his stocke and sede: So li­kewise saieth sainct Paule:Roma. v. By one man sinne entered into the worlde, and by syn, death, and hath gone through all, in whō all haue sinned. So we all that now liue or hereafter shall doe, & all before vs, haue sinned in Adam, and broken Gods com­maundemente, as well as Adam did, be­cause we were conteined in his loines, & as it were parte of him, and toke our sin­full nature of him in his sede & posteritie. As we see those ryuers, which spring out of littel welles, are of thesame nature yt the head and springe is whereof thei come though they runne .2, or, 300. myle of tho­rough diuers countries: and as those crab­bes are soure this daye that growe on the crabbe tree, whiche is .200. or .300. yeares olde, because the first roote and plāte was sower: So wee all be sinfull that be borne of Adam, and soure as he was, because he the first tree was suche a one, & the spring whereof we come, was corrupte & filthye. So likewise God saieth: he broughte thys people out of Egipt, whiche neuer hadde [Page] ben there, because he deliuered their fa­thers thence, in whose loynes they were conteined, and should haue ben born ther, and subiect to thesame slauerie that their fathers were, if God of his greate mercie & mightie power had not deliuered their fa­thers thence, and broughte them into the lande whiche he promised them. And as ye mercie whiche had ben receiued in times paste,Mercy receiued afore time is an ar­gument of like to be showed in trou­ble to come or present. is a token & argument of like merci and grace, to be shewed when soeuer wee stande in the like neede and distresse: soo here that they shoulde loke for a sure helpe at Goddes hande, nowe in these daungers that they were in, he putteth theym in re­membraunce of that greate deliueraunce, whiche not their fathers onelye, but they also had before out of Egipt, yt they should not be afraide now, but loke for sure help. The daunger was greater before, oute of whiche thei were deliuered, and yet they escaped it: So now Gods power and good will, beinge no lesse towarde theym then before, they shoulde loke for the like helpe of God as before.

‘He promises theym here that his spi­rite shoulde dwell with them, & therefore they shoulde not be afraide.’ For as before he sent his Aungell to guyde them in the wildernesse: so now he woulde sende hys [Page] holy spirite vnto them, to dwell with thē, whiche shoulde teache them all thinges yt they doubted of, or were ignoraunte in: shoulde comforte theym in all daungers and distresse, and deliuer them from al pe­rilles that were towarde them, & therfore they shoulde not feare.

But as the other parte of the promise concernes Christ, whiche shoulde come to deliuer them out of spirituall bōdage and slauerye of sinne and the spiritual Egipt: So this part here concernes the sendinge of the holy Ghoste, whome Christ sayde he woulde send to dwell with vs, and be our comfortour to the ende.

And as the buylding of this second tē ­ple betokens the churche of Christ builded by the preaching of the Gospell:The holye ghost is pro­mised to the builders. Iohn. vi. So here is the holy Ghoste promised, whiche he sayde should not come excepte he wente awaye from them. Thys spirite is called a com­forter, because he strengthēs vs in all our trouble: he is the spirite of truthe, because he leades vs into all truth, and putteth vs in remembraunce of all thinges, whyche Christ him self caught before,Iohn. xiiii. but no new doctrine he bringes of his owne. And be­cause our sauiour Christ is taken from vs in hys bodelye presence, he promises vs yt this spirite shall dwell with vs, not for a [Page] tyme, but too the ende, and therefore wee shoulde not feare.

But is this a sufficient cause too per­swade a man yt he should not fear the po­wer of kinges or worldly trouble, because the spirite of God dwelles with hym? yea" truly: For what spirite can preuayle a­gainst the holy spirit, which is the power of God. It is written of Gedeon whan he enterprised that venterous acte to fight a­gainste Gods enemies, that the spirite of the Lorde bid clothe and defend Gedeon as our clothes doe vs:Iude. vi. and so he obteined that noble victorie with so few agaīst so many.

And not to be afraide in suche trouble is the woorke of the holy Ghoste,Esay. xi. as Esaie called hym the spirite of boldnes strength and wisedom.i. Tim. i. Peter whan he denied hys maister for the woordes of an handmaide, after he receiued the holy Ghoste, did and durste confesse hym too the deathe before princes and rulers.Math. x. So sayde oure sauiour Christe to hys Apostles: when ye shal stād before Kyngs and rulers, take no thought what or howe ye shall speake, for in that houre it shalbe geuen vnto you what you shall speake: For it is not you that speake but the spirite of youre father which spea­keth in you.

And although to worldly wisedome thys [Page] spirite seemes but a small thinge, yet it is moste true that s▪ Paule saith:i. Cor. i. that which is folishnes before God, is wyser then me, and that whiche is weake before God, is stronger then men. And he that hath this spirite dwellinge in hym, needes not too feare any power, be it neuer so greate: for if God be for vs, who shall be againste vs? and if he take his breath and spirite, from the mightiest princes,Psal▪ c.iiii. Rom. x, they are troubled & vade awaye.

The text.

verse 6 For thus saieth the Lorde of hostes: yet one litle time shal be, and I will trouble ye hea­uens and the earth, the sea & the lande.

verse 7 And I will trouble all peo­ple, and the desire of all peo­ple shall come, and I wil fyll thys house with glory saieth the Lorde of hostes.

¶The Prophete goeth on forth with this comforth to all people, and promises not onely that God woulde be with theym [Page] in hys buyldinge, whiche they shoulde fi­nish in fewe yeares folowinge: but into [...] the temple also, which thei did now build, God woulde sende his sonne Christ Iesus to preache his fathers will, whom all peo­ple looked for and desired hys comminge, and he woulde fyll that house with glory, that they shoulde not neede to care for the smalnes of it: if they woulde onelye with courage woorke, God woulde fulfill the rest. And that they shoulde know him too be able to fulfyll hys promise, he cals hym selfe by the glorious name of the Lorde of hostes so often here in these verses, yt they maye vnderstande all creatures too bee at hys commaundement, & that none coulde preuaile againste that whiche he woulde haue done, as is saide before.

But this is a straunge kynde of com­forte too tell theym of suche a trouble as shoulde trouble heauen and earth, sea, lād, and all people, and yet they should be glad of it, and that it shoulde come not long af­ter. The tyme when this trouble chaūced was about .500. yeares after that this prophete had thus spoken, and yet he cals it but one litle time. And this maye well bee called a litle tyme in respecte of God, with whome all thinges are present before hys sighte withoute tyme, and a .1000▪ yeares [Page] with hym is as yesterdaye which is paste, and he hym selfe is before all times, not cō teyned in tyme, but liuing for euer wyth­out tyme. Or els it is called a little tyme, in respect of that longe time, wherin their fathers had so long looked for the cōming of Christ, and so muche desired hym, and yet see hym not. It was now aboue 3000. yeare since he was promised to Adā:Great trouble for christ is ioy to the good and though it be long it semes shorte: but the euyll be vexed sore at it. about 2000. since he was so often spoken of too Abraham: and .1000, since it was renued to Moyses, and after to all the Prophetes from tyme too tyme: in respecte of whiche 500. maye well be called a litle tyme. This trouble whiche he sayeth shoulde trouble heauen, earthe, sea, lande and all people, is described by these mightie wor­des, to set out the greatnesse of the trouble by the figure called Hyperbole: and not the trouble was suche that heauen, earth, sea, and lande shoulde feele it, & be troub­led therewith, whiche are insensible creatures, and can feele nothinge that trou­bles them: but thus by these woordes the scripture vses too tell the greatnes of any thinge that it speakes of.

Deu. xxxii. Esay. i.Moyses and Esaye, because the peo­ple were harde hearted, and woulde not heare their sayinges, to set foorthe theyr [Page] hardnes of heart, and the greatnes of that message which they had frō God to speake saye thus▪ Heare ye heauēs, and geue care thou earth. &c.

Sainct Paule saieth by the like figure, euery creature grones and trauayles,Roma▪ viii▪ loo­kinge for the laste daye, wherin they shall be deliuered frō this vayn corruptiō wher­in they serue: not because deade creatures can grone or trauayle, but for the great desire that they haue to see that day of oure redēption fulfilled, as the woman whiche trauels, grones, & desires too be deliuered out of her payn, & to be restored to her for­mer quietnes, or els it may be taken that all creatures in all these places should be troubled. But if this trouble shoulde be so great, how can it be a promise of ioye and comfort? Who can be merye to hear tel of such a greate trouble? Surelye this is not promised to the euil, but to ye good. For as our Lord & maister Christ saieth, speaking of the trouble yt should be in the destructiō of Ierusalem & the latter ende of ye world:Luc. [...] woo be to thē yt be with chyld, & geue sucke in those daies, & the wicked shall wish the hyls to fal on thē & hide thē ▪ thei shuld seke for death▪ & it shuld flee frō thē: So he saith to the good in ye midst of all ye desperat [...]o­rowMat. xxiiii▪ wherin ye euil man cānot tel what to [Page] Lifte ye vp your heades and bee merye for your redemption, and deliueraunce is at hande. So after this shorte time that he speaketh of, this greate trouble whiche shall be at the byrthe, preachinge, mira­cles, and deathe of oure sauioure Christe shoulde be but onely to the wicked. For the good men shoulde as muche and more reioyce, because of that daye of saluation and redemption was comen: & he whome all people looked for, had now appeared to the comfort of all good men. And thys trouble shoulde not be so muche to the bo­dies and goodes of the wicked men, as to the mynde and conscience: nor this ioye shoulde not be so muche worldly and out­warde to the good, as too the soule and in­warde.

Luke. ii.Greate worldlye peace was in all the worlde, when oure sauioure Christe was borne, but that peace whiche the Aungels sange: glorie be to God in hygh, & in earth peace, is rather the peace of conscience, be­cause God and man were now reconciled, and peace was made betwixt vs and God, because his sonne had taken oure nature vpon hym, and was made man: but vnto the wicked it maye alwayes well be sayd: [...]say. xlviii. there is no peace too the wicked sayeth the Lorde. What a trouble was Herode in [Page] whan the wyse men came & asked where was he that was born king of the Iewes? The scripture sayeth that Herode and all Ierusalem was troubled at this questiō. Herode thoughte he shoulde lose his king­dome,Math i [...] and the scribes & Phariseis thought that their authoritie was gone: whiche thinge greued them so much that thei had rather haue hadde no Christe, then loste that authoritie. But Herode deuises a po­licie to saue him selfe withall, and kylles all the chyldren that were twoo year old [...] and vnder, thinkinge amongest theym all he shoulde haue kylled Christe: and he had rather haue kylled all, then ye onely Christ shoulde escape. What a trouble was he in whā he caused such a murther, for fear or a yonge chylde? What reason is it that suche a kynge shoulde so much feare a yōg chylde? But God prouided well ynoughe for hys sonne, and was as wyse, readye & mercifull to saue & deliuer hys sōne christ, as the other was subtil and cruel to mur­ther him: for Herode had rather slea all y chyldren then that one Christe shoulde es­cape. God had Ioseph take Marie and the chylde Iesus, and [...]lee into Egipt, & tarye there vntyll he gaue hym contrary word. What trouble were the Scribes & Phariseis in, whan for his doctrine, preachinge [Page] and miracles, whiche were so wonderful that they coulde not tell what to saye, but sometimes saide:hon. vii Do we not saie wel that thou arte a Samaritan, and haste a deuil: another time they woulde haue throwne hym doune of the hyll: and agayn thei say it hath not ben heard of frome the begin­ninge,Actes. iiii. that any man hath opened the eies of hym that was born blinde: and agayn, a manifest wonderfull signe they haue wrought, we can not denie it: and also yf we let hym alone thus, the whole worlde will folow him. Howe was the other He­rode (which beheaded Ihon Baptist) troubled when he heard of his miracles,Math xiiii. & wold haue hadde him to haue wrought some in his sighte. Howe was Pilates wyfe troubled in her dreame for hym, and sente her husbande woorde that he shoulde not medle with him: howe gladly woulde Pi­late him selfe haue deliuered hym,Luke. [...]xii. was­shed his hands to declare his innocencie, and sayde he founde nothinge woorthye of deathe in him.

Howe were all the Priestes afearde, when they heard tel that he was rysen frō death, and gaue money to the watchemen to [...]aye hys Disciples came and stole hym a [...] ye when they slept. [...]h. xxviii. Why sh [...]uld they feare a dead man? [...]f we were a man only, [Page] he coulde not hurte them: if a God, they coulde not withstande him▪ What trou­ble were the priestes in when they forbad the Apostles to preache any more in Chri­stes name,Actes. iiii. and folowed the counsel of Ga­maliel, sayinge: if it were of God they coulde not abolishe it. Why shoulde they bee afrayde of a deadde man? Howe was kynge Agrippa troubled whā Paule had defended his cause, and sayde to hym, thy greate learninge O Paule, maketh thee madde.Act. xxvi xv [...] How were the great learned Phi­losophers in Athēs troubled, when Paule preached the resurrection of the dead, and of Christe, and sayde: What meanes this sawer of newe doctrine? hee semeth too teache newe Gods. What a trouble was the Emperour Tiberius in, when Pilate wrote to him of the preachinge & miracles of Christ, and he demaunded that ye whole parliament of Rome woulde worshippe hym as a God. But they consideringe that he is a gelous God, and that he will haue no other worshipped with him, but all honor muste be geuen to him onely: de­nied him to be a God, or yet to be worship­ped there as God.Papistes feare the Gospel▪ & in dedes deny Christ▪ What caused Pope Leo the x. to bee so afraide whan Zuing­lius beganne too preache the Gospell, but that hee perceyued the lighte of Gods [Page] woorde woulde deface his pompe & pryde, and sette abrode all his wickednes too the worlde to be laught at: and least he should go forwarde in preachinge and rebuking hys abhomination, he sent hys letters too him sealed vnder hys bull of lead, willing hym too holde his peace, and preache no more suche of thinges, & he woulde geue hym what liuinge, and as many bishopri­kes as he woulde, yea, to be a Cardinall, and whatsoeuer he woulde aske, excepte his owne seate to be Pope. But be lyke a true Preacher went on forwardes in hys busines, settinge vp Christe, and pulling doune Popery.

What makes the Pope at this daye & hys Clergy too burne, persecute & empry­son all that loue the Gospell, but that they feare to loose their lordlines, make their bellyes their God, and woulde lyue at ease like lords of the lande? What makes thē to denye Christ to be a Go [...], not so muche in playne woordes, as in doctrine & dedes couertly? but that they se they get muche ryches by reliques, pylgrimages, sainctes masses, pardons &c. whiche do as much in effect as denye Christes too bee God, be­cause they seeke helpe by these meanes in their troubles, and forgeuenes of sinnes, with comforte of conscience, which all be­long [Page] so vnto Christ, that whosoeuer sekes them other wayes, or els where, then at his handes onely, do as muche as in them lyes as to make Christ no God, robbe hym of that honour, whiche is due to him only and geue it to Gods of their own making. What maruayle is it if they folow ye olde decree of the Romaynes in their parlia­ment where they denied Christ to be receiued, and worshipped for a God, because he shoulde not haue all honour alone, as it is due to him onely. Thus we se what great trouble it is to the wicked to haue Christ and his doctrine to come abroade: and how true this was that the Prophet saith here and what trouble hath ben, and shalbe too the ende, where the Gospell is preached. The father shal deliuer the sōne to death, and the sonne shall ryse agaynste the fa­ther, so shal the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, brother againste brother.Math. x. &c. whiche thin­ges we all see at this daye to haue comen to passe.

Howe many wyues, rather then they woulde forsake God, haue suffered death, forsaken husbande, chyldren, goodes, and countrye, and willinglye banished theym selues, and so haue many good husbandes also. Howe hath one brother persecuted [Page] another? One frende & familiar an other euen to the death? Howe hath one Bishop deposed and burned an other? not to be an earnester preacher then the other was, but more lordely and cruell persecutour. But this is euer true that Christ oure sauioure saide should folowe the preachinge of hys woorde: that who so will bee his disciple, must forsake him selfe and all pleasurs of the fleshe, and those whiche be of his own house shall be his enemies.

‘Although this is marueylous that in suche trouble there shoulde bee ioye & com­forte, yet this is more marueylous, that after all people were thus troubled for y Gospell, they shoulde come vnto it, beleue it▪ & receyue it, not regardinge any sorow whiche was ioyned therwith, no not fea­ringe the losse of their liues so thei might enioye it.’ Feare maketh a man too runne awaye, and not to come: But this is the nature of the Gospell, that the more it is persecuted, the more it florishes, as Da­uid saith:Psal. x [...] the righteous man florishes like a palme tree. The palme tree is suche, that if a greate waighte be layde on it, the broder it spreads and florishes. And as ca­momylle with treadinge on it, and wal­kinge, waxes thicker: So the good man, the more he suffereth for hys Christe, the [Page] more is his faithe encreased. And as the husbande manne that will reape muche, must sowe muche: so the moe that dye for the woorde of God, the moe encrease too folowe the same. As we commonly saye of the asshes of heretikes ryse vp a newe sorte. It can not be,Persecution increases the Gospel & boldeneth men but when men see one so constantly stande in defence of hys opi­nion, that he geues hym selfe to the death for it, they will begin too consider what a thinge it was that he died for, and that no man will rashly cast hym selfe awaye: When they see the truthe of it, and God opens their eyes to perceyue they are mo­ued to offer them selues to thesame death and ieopardy also.

Cypriane writes that the bloud of mar­tirs is the seede of the Churche, whereof ryse and encrease mo, as of the sede in the fielde springes newe corne. Augustine ly­kewise saieth of thē yt were persecuted for Christ and his woorde:Ciuitate liber xxii. cap. vi. they were tyed in chaynes & [...]orments, they were whypped, slain & burned, they were imprisoned, thei were kylled & torne in peeces, & yet they encreased. Thei wer so far frō fear, ye not onely thei denied hī not: but ye more sorow they had, the mo beleued on him. And whē saint Laurence se his bishop Xistus being than Pope, to be drawen to death, he said: [Page] Quo is pat [...] sine Diacono quod non soles. That is to saye: Father, whither goest thou withoute thy Diacon, whiche thou waste not wont to do. Well saieth he, thou shalt folowe me not longe after: and so it came to passe in dede, for he died for Christe to. It is written of one notable womā, which when she hearde tell of the daye of execu­tion, and that many shoulde bee putte too death for Christes sake: she toke her child in her armes, vncalled for, & runnes thy­ther that she might professe her faith, and be put to death with them: As she was [...]ū ninge, shee met the officer goinge too see them put to death: he seing her make such haste, asked her whether she went, and she tolde hym, whye (saieth he) knowest thou not that there shalbe a greate number put to death, and that I goe to see it done? yes saieth shee, I knowe it well, & therefore I go that I may dye with them. Then said the officer, why doest thou carye thy chyld with thee, and shee sayde, that it may be a martir to dye for Christ. The officer mer­uaylinge that the Christians did not fear death, sent the Emperour woorde that he woulde not go to put them too death, but he shoulde sende another if he would haue it done.

Actes. v. ii [...].Likewise in the Actes, whan the prie­stes [Page] for bad the Apostles too preache anye more in Christes name and whypped thē, the more they preached, and thoughte thē selues happy yt they were thoughte woor­thye to suffer suche thinges for his names sake. And for all ye cruelnes of the rulers, Peter turned twoo thousande at one ser­mon, & three thousande at an other, which came saying: Brother what shall we do,Actes. ii. iiii. & beinge pricked in conscience ranne not a­waye, but came as the chylde to the father when he is afraide.

When Paule & Silas had ben whyp­ped all daye,Actes. xvi. and locked in the stockes at nighte in the deepe dungeon, and were watched with souldiers: The chaynes fel of them, the keper perceiuinge the pryson doore open by it self, and thinking the pri­soners were escaped, woulde haue kylled him selfe: But after that he see they were all there, and perceiued the greate woorke of God, he fell doune desired them to go in to his house, wasshed their stripes, bele­ued in Christ and was baptised.

There is no people vnder heauen,Psal. x. No doctrine hath ben ge­nerally receyued but the Gospell. but they haue once receiued the Gospell, & that can not be sayd truely of any other kynde of learninge in the worlde. Their sounde hath gone throughe the whole world saith the Psalme. The Philosophers neuer [Page] agreed all in one kynde of learninge, but had manye sectes amongest them, nor the whole worlde neuer receiued thym: nor any heresye was generally receyued, but onely the scripture hath ben vniuersallye taughte and receyued, whiche is a sure argument of the truthe of it.

Psalm. ii.Aske of me ( [...]aieth God the father to his sonne Christe) and I will geue the people for thy heritage and the vttermoste partes of the earth for thy possession. Many suche generall promises there bee, wherein the turninge of all people on the earth too the Gospell is conteined, and since the cōming of Christe perfectly fulfilled.

The heresye of Transubstanciation, Purgatorie, Priestes not too mary, mini­stringe the Lordes supper in one kynde, the Popes supremicie, & the Greke church neuer receiued nor yet doe. And although at the counsaile at Florence, a fewe semed to agree to it, yet were they shente for soo doinge, whan they came home, & it would not be receiued. Before the deathe of oure sauioure Christe, God hath chosen to hym but onely the Iewes to be his people, but after they had refused too receiue hym for their redemer, he had his Apostles go into the whole worlde, & preache to all creatu­res. Now was the time come that al were [Page] called & of all sortes, degrees, countries, & states, many were turned vnto God.

There is no people vnder heauē that can excuse them selfe by ignoraunce,None can bee excused by ignorans. but they haue ben sufficiently taughte: For s. Paule saieth, yt the Heathen before Christ was borne, were without excuse, for wher they knew God, and worshipped him not as God,Roma. i. therfore god gaue them vp to their owne lustes. By the creature his inuisi­ble power, and maiesty, maye be knowen that he is a God. And therfore the mooste vnlearned is withoute excuse: for this is sufficient to teache them to knowe, there is but one God, and too worship him as a God, though they neuer reade scripture: & who so euer doth not worship him by this naturall knowledge, is iustly condēpned. We reade of Anthony that holye father,Anthony. whiche lyued in wildernes, and beinge so farre vnlearned ye he could not reade, was asked of his frēd how he passed the time a­way, seing he liued alone & had no bokes: yes saith Anthony I wāt no bokes, for all the creatur [...] of God are my bokes,The creatures of God are rather lay m [...] bookes the ymages. & I read & learne his maiesty out of his creatures, as you do out of your bokes. And surelye thei be goodly bokes to be loked on & to be hold, ye Sūne, ye Moone, stars, birds, fishes, beastes, herbes, corne & grasse, trees, hyls, ryuers. &c.

[Page]And he is worse then a beast that can goe looke at all these, and not loue, prayse, & wonder at his strength, power, wisedom, and goodnes, whiche hath made all these to serue vs.

The starres kepe so good an order & course in their mouinges, the vertue of herbes help diseases, and all fishe, foule, & beastes fede and serue man: whiche thinges come from him, who is Lorde of nature, & not of them selues. These maye better be cal­led laye mens, and the vnlearned peoples bokes than ymages and idols, whiche bee like vnto whome soeuer it pleases ye pain­ter to make them like. If all the ymages of any one sainct were laide together, they woulde all be vnlike one too another in many pointes: and what a Monster shuld he be that shoulde be like all these. If the reliques, as armes, head, legges, scalp, heire, teeth▪ &c. were together in one place that are saide too be worshipped in many▪ some should haue two or three heads, moe legs and armes than a hors woulde cary, their gylded cootes & painted faces should teache rather to be proude and to playe the harlot, than sobernes, simplicitie, holines and lowlines as becommes the godly and saintes in dede.

After when he addes: ‘the desire of all [Page] people shall come:’ there is prophecied thecomminge of Christ in oure flesh & nature to redeme vs from the bondage of hel, syn and death, whiche thinge al good men frō the beginninge haue desired. It was a ioyfull thinge to perceiue Christe to come by the eyes of faith, and happy was he,Christ is desi­red of al good men. to whome it was geuen to vnderstande, and beleue in him to come: but more happy did they thinke theym selues, whiche did not onely beleue in hym to come, but see hym present in fleshe.Luke. ii. Simeon a righteous mā alwayes occupied in praier, desired to liue tyll the daye when he might see the Lord, whiche request God graunted him: & when the chylde Iesus was presented in the tē ­ple by his mother, he tooke the chylde Ie­sus in his armes, praised God and sayde: Lorde, now lettest thou thy seruaunte de­parte in peace, accordinge too thy woorde: For mine eies haue sene thy sauīg health: and so was well contented to dye after he had his desire.

Ihon Baptist, beinge yong in his mo­thers wombe,Luke. i. leaped for ioye as soone as his mother hearde the salutation of ye vir­gine Marie, comminge vnto her. Anna the Prophetesse a widowe, liuinge in fasting and prayer continuallye, chiefely desired to see the daye of hys comminge. Many [Page] kynges and Prophetes saieth sainct Luke haue desired to see that daie and haue not sene it.Luke. [...]. Suche a greate desire for the en­crease of their faythe, haue all good men had to see Christ in our fleshe and nature, that we might by his death bee deliuered from the slauery of hel, sinne and death. What a misery is it too be in bondage of consciences for our sinnes, and Gods righ­teous iudgement: and what a comforte is it to knowe, that God is recōciled to vs by the death of his sonne: This is the desyre of all good men, whiche is fulfilled too vs in Christ. And he is called the desire of all people, by the Hebrue phrase, which is as muche to saye, as moste desired. So sainct Paule calles hym not onelye righteous & peace maker,i. Corin. i but righteousnes and peace it selfe: for soo haue suche woordes more strength when they be pronoūced like substantiues, then the adiectiues haue. What a desire had Esaye the Prophete whan he cried, woulde to God thou woul­dest burst the heauens and come doune.

‘For this peace that God sayeth, he wil fyll thys house with glorie, muche was saide afore:’ But there he sayde onely he woulde shewe his glorie, and nowe hee sayeth he will fyl it with glorie: And this is to comforte them that were so sory, be­cause [Page] this house was litell in comparison of the other olde one, and nothing so costli and glorious. The fulnes of this glorie appeared whan Christe preached hys Fa­thers will, healed diseases, wroughte mi­racles, rebuked the Scribes with their tradicions. &c. as was sayde before. What greater glorie can be, than to doe good too them whiche be hys enemies, to helpe thē whiche can not helpe them selues, and too doe it so frely that he looke for no reward in so doinge, but euen of free pitie, which he had on vs, seinge vs lie in such miserie,The glory of Christ in hys Churche. did shewe suche mercy as to redeme vs, to take vs for his chyldren, louers, & frendes to teache vs, helpe vs, and geue vs grace too doe his will, worshippe hys maiestie, feare hym, and loue hym, knowe oure owne weakenes, and pardon oure negli­gence, oure infirmitie, oure forgetfull and vnthankefull disobedience.

Greate glorie was shewed in this house, when as Alexander the greate cal­led Magnus, submitted hym selfe too the hyghe Prieste Gods minister, confessinge his God to be the true God, where afore he was purposed too haue destroyed Ierusa­lem: and also whan Iudas Machabeus wyth hys bretheren after manye noble [Page] victories restored Gods religion. But none of these fylled this house with glorie, but some parte of it: Onely Christe our Lord, in whome is the fulnesse of the Godhead, filleth this house with glory. Christ filled this temple, so ful of hys doctrine & mira­cles, by hym selfe and his Apostles, that ye fulnes thereof ranne throughe the whole worlde: for there it began as in a springe, and nowe hathe fylled the whole worlde therewith. So liberall is he that he ge­ueth not onely a parte, but full and hea­ped measure, euen to the toppe that it flo­wes ouer.

Actes. ii.iiii.What a glorie of God was shewed in this house, whan oute of all countryes vnder heauen were gathered deuout men to worshippe God there: And after that the Apostles receyued the holye Ghooste, whan Peter in his sermons conuerted .5. thousande. Howe farre spread was thys glorie when the Eunuche of Quene Can­dace moued with the great reporte of that gorgious Temple,Actes, viii. came thither for too worshippe. But thys wirkes the migh­ty Lorde of hostes woorkes, whiche hathe all thinges at commaundemēt and truely fulfilles all his promises, euen vntoo the ende.

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The Text.

verse 8 Golde is myne, and siluer is myne, saieth the Lorde of ho­stes.

verse 9 Greater shalbe the glorie of this later house, then of the further sayeth the Lorde of hoostes. And in this place will I geue peace saieth the Lorde of hostes.

¶There were twoo chiefe reasons, whiche discouraged them from this buyl­dinge, whiche were meete, yea and neces­sarie to be pulled oute of their myndes: And therefore the Prophete chiefely tou­ches these twoo. The first was the kings before time, who had forbidden to buylde, and their officers, whiche were as diligēt to stoppe them: The second was pouertie, for that by the greate vsurye, bribery, and oppressiō of the rulers, they were so nedy, that they were not able to finish it. For the first God sets him self against the king as though be shoulde say: though ye kings power be great, yet I am greater though he forbid, yet I bid: though he be againste [Page] you, yet am I with you, saieth the Lorde of hostes. What harm can they all do [...] vnto you, whā I am with you: Who can hurt whan I wil defende? For their po­uerty they shoulde not feare, for all gold, siluer, ryches and treasure is myne, saith the Lorde, and I geue as muche & as litle, when, where, howe longe, and to whome I list. All be my stuardes, and too me shall make an account: it is not their owne to spende as they will, but as I appoint. Although churles be nyggardes, and will not part with it, vnthrifts doo waste and misspende that which they haue, and nei­ther of them wil further thys my woorke: yet feare not ye, for I (in whose handes are all heartes,God will not see his buyl­ders want. and all ryches) will see moue their myndes, and bringe the mat­ter so too passe, that my house shall not lie vnbuylded for lacke of money. I aske no more of you but too doe as muche as in you lieth: Put your good willes to and woorke, let me alone wt the rest: although ye knowe not howe to come by money, I haue wayes ynough, and wil not see you want.

And although this promise be made to this particuler people, in this present matter of buyldinge Gods house: yet it serueth not for that onely case, but it is a sufficiēt [Page] comforte for all them which take the lords woorke in hande (what kynde thinges so euer it be, so that it be too set foorthe hys glorie, & not our owne) that in suche godly enterprises wee shall not lacke, but haue ynough to finish it, and do it withall.If we beleued all ryches too be the Lordes we wold neyther get them wrongefullye nor spend thē wastfully. And besides that, if we beleued this to be a true saying, that God did speake it, and woulde perfourme it, it woulde woorke muche goodnesse in vs.

Fyrste, it will woorke such a feare in vs towardes God, that for no nede or van­tage we would take, or yet get one pēnye wrongfully, either by flatterye, periurye, vsurye, briberye, lyinge, stealinge, disceit, false waightes and measures, or by anye other vnlawful meanes. For who durste take one halfe penny, if that he were per­swaded that it were Gods hys Lorde and maker, who hates and punisheth all false­nesse? Who dare be a theefe and a tray­toure to God that is in heauen, who made and rules all in earthe? But because he thinkes it to be suche a mans, & that God seeth him not, and man shall not perceiue it: withoute all shame he deceyueth man, and robbeth his Lorde God and heauenlye father.

Therfore whan the deuill puttes in thy heare to get any thing wrongfully, thin [...] [Page] with thy selfe: What shal I do, shal I be a theefe to my lorde God, who made me and saued me? these goodes be not this mans onely, but they be my lord Gods, who hath made him hys stuarde ouer them, & vntoo whome he muste make account of them. And althoughe I can deceiue man in get­tinge of theym, yet God seeth all thinges and nothinge is hyd from hym. If true faith considered these things thus, no mā woulde nor durst vse any deceyte in anye kynde of thinge.

Secondely, if this sayinge were duely considered that all golde and siluer is the Lordes, who durst mispende or waste one farthing of it vnthriftly, vpon things not necessary? God hath geuen man all hys creatures to serue for hys necessary vse: But too be a dronkarde, a hore hunter, a gamner, a swashebuckeler, a ruffin too waste hys money in proude apparel, or in haukinge, hunting, tennyes or in suche o­ther vnprofitable pastimes, but onely for necessarie refreshinge of the witte after greate study or trauayle in weghty affay­res, he hathe I saye not alowed thee one mite. Reade the scriptures through, and thou shalt not finde where gentelmen be alowed to waste their money vpon vayne pastimes or vnprofitable, more than the [Page] poore simple man is.No degree by alowed vainti too waste hys goods. In all good common wealthes there bee no lawes that geues more liberty to sinne to the ryche then too the poore. God oure heauenly father like a ryche wise stuarde deales hys money a­broade to vs his seruauntes, some more, some lesse, as he thinkes good: And saieth vnto vs al, worke vntil I come & encrease this porcion that is geuen you. Poore and ryche hath this sayde vnto hym, and euery one shall make an accounte vntoo hym, & it shalbe sayd to euery one: Make account of thy stuwardship.Luke xix. and .xvi. Looke in the lawe of God, and there shalt thou fynde howe too bestow thy money: And if thou can not finde it agreinge with Gods woorde, it is euill, howe soeuer thou bestowe it. For as a ryche man geueth hys man money, sen­des him too the market, and biddes hym not bestowe his money as he liste, but ap­pointes hym howe too doe it, thus muche vpon suche thinges, and thus much vpon other: So God hath geuen vs hys scripture as a rule to folowe in bestowinge his mo­ney or other giftes. And although men or thinges be not there named, where on to bestowe it: yet the degrees and sortes of bothe, as the poore, and necessaries be oftē beaten into our heads. Gentlemen & yong ruffelers maye not saye as they commōly [Page] vse: Is not my money myne owne? Maye I not spende it as me luste? who shall cor­rect me? what woulde ye haue me to doo? Shall I buyld Castels and Towers with it? I haue more than I can get spente: the next rent daye is at hande. Shall I be a loute and sit in a corner? Nay it becōmeth a gentleman to make merye and raffle it. Shall I not make good cheare, that other may fare the better. Let me make merye whan I am yong, I will waxe sadde, wise and thryue, whan I am olde.

But thou which thinkest thus, remē ­ber the euyll stuarde, which whan he was called to account, and could not discharge his rekeninge,L [...]ke. x. [...]. gaue awaye his maisters goods that he mighte maintaine hys idle­nes. But he was put out of office, as all they shall be caste from Gods face, whiche likewise vnprofitably spende that porciō, whiche God hath geuen them. Thinkest thou that God will allowe this accounte if thou saye: Thus muche is spent vppon hoores, this at cardes, this at dyce, this on maskinge, thys on mumminge, thys at bearbytynge. &c. Naye, nor yet on massinge, gyldinge of sainctes, payntinge of stockes and stoones, settinge vp roodes, byinge of Popishe pardons, geuinge mo­ney [Page] too this cloyster of Monkes, and that house of Friers with suche like. Who woulde spende one pennye soo euill, if he thought yt it should beare witnes againste him, and condemne him at the laste daye? It is for lacke of faith that such vnthrifts doe mispend Gods their maisters monei: because they thinke it is their owne, & not the Lordes, as the Prophete saieth here.

Thirdely, if this were beleued as it ought too be, it woulde make vs neyther to grudge against God that geues plentye many times to the euyll men, and the ho­nester sorte liues more barelye: nor wee shoulde not disdaine to see one preferred before oure selues, in more wealth or au­thoritie. We shoulde also contente oure selues with that porcion which God hath geuen vs, not murmuringe nor sorowing that we haue lesse then other. This thing hath often greued Iob, Dauid, Ieremye,Psal. lxxii [...]. Iob. xxi. Iere. xi [...]. Abac. i. Abacuk, and other holy men that they did see euyll men in wealth, and good mē in trouble and they coulde neuer satisfy thē selues in this, what should be ye cause o [...] it vntil thei entred into ye sāctuary of ye Lord & there thei spied yt the riches of ye earth is the Lords, to dispose at his holy wil & pleasur. And because it pleases God to bestow so much or so litle, vpō this mā, or that mā: [Page] it is iuste, and I shoulde content my selfe therewith, knowinge that whatsoeuer he doeth, it is good because he doeth it, and no man muste grudge or disdayne ther at. The will of God is the rule of all iustice & righteousnes: as because God will haue it so, therfore it is good, iust, and righteous. Gods will is the firste and chiefe cause of all thinges: so that when we see that God will haue it so,To refer al to Goddes wysedom staies the minde in all trouble. we must not aske why he wil haue it so, but be content therewith, sit doune and quiet our selues, praysinge his goodnes, and marueylinge at his wy­sedome, that rules all thinges so well and wisely. And with that litle porcion that it hath pleased him to geue vs, we shal con­tent our selues, when we consider that he owes nothinge to any man, but ye whiche he geues, he geues it freelye and liberally: & so much as he knowes better then thou thy selfe, what is meete for thee to haue.

Thou whiche haste litle thinke thus with thy selfe: My good God & father who hath ruled and doth rule all thinges at his owne will and pleasure: whose wisedome I am not able to perceiue, and whose vn­speakeable loue towardes me, in geuinge his onely sonne to dye for me, I canne not vnderstande: He that loues me better thē I loue my selfe: he I saye knoweth that if [Page] I had more riches and wealth, I should be to wanton, and so displease hym, and if I had to litell, I shoulde deale vntruely and blaspheme hym. Therfore praysed be his wisedome, whiche doeth not ouerlode me with more than he will geue me grace too discharge, nor lets me want necessaries, that I fall not to any falshode or vntruth. Howe can I loue hym ynough that geues me all necessaries, and doeth not charge me with superfluities? The euill men whiche haue suche plentie of all thinges, he woulde wynne them with gentlenes, and by gentlenes drawe them vnto hym: but in thee that haste lesse, he wil let al the worlde knowe that thou louest him not for any greate wealthe, whiche he geueth thee (as euill flatterers manye time doe) but euen as duty, and that thou wilt bear the crosse of pouertie willingli, rather thē forsake hym.

What a misbeliefe is it, to thinke that God doeth not geue and dispose his goods so wel and wisely, but that many can de­uise it better? And if we hadde once this faithe rooted in oure heartes, that he doth all for the best: it woulde make vs saye, howsoeuer we oure selues,i. King▪ iii. or other haue muche or litle: It is the Lorde that doeth it, let hym do ye semeth good in his sighte. [Page] And if we loose it by fyre or robberie, wee shall bee content to saye with Iob: ye Lord gaue it,Iob. i. and the Lorde tooke it awaie, and as it pleases the Lorde, so it is done, the name of the Lorde be praysed.

What a pryde is this in man to thinke that he coulde deale his goods better then God hath done?Esay. lix. Or that it were better for suche men, and such to haue more or lesse, then they haue: as though we were wiser then God, and if thinges lay in our hāds, we coulde doe them better then he can or doth.Math. vi Our sauioure Christe cals it lacke of fayth, when we mistruste the power of him that he can not, or the goodnes of God that he will not prouide necessaries for vs chiefely if we seke the kyngdome of God, and the righteousnes thereof) and sayeth [...] Marke the byrdes of the ayre howe they neither sowe nor mowe, nor gather intoo the barne, and yet your heauenlye father feedes them: how muche more will he doe you, ye of litle faythe?

There is nothing can greue that faith­full heart so, whiche constantly beleues ye golde and siluer is the Lordes: but it wold vndoutingly loke and hope for al necessa­ries by Gods prouision to be geuen hym:iii Reg. xvii and if ordinarie meanes didde fayle, that the Rauens shoulde feede him as thei did [Page] Elias,Exod. xvii▪ Ihon. ii. iii. Reg. xvii. the stoones shoulde flowe out wa­ter as in the wildernes, or water shoulde be turned into wine, as in Cana of Galile or that [...]itle which they haue should so en­crease that it shoulde be sufficiente vntyll plentye came, as the handfull of meale of the poore wydowes,The faithfull can not lacke necessares. or els one sclender dynner shoulde strengthen them so vntyll they came where they mighte haue more sufficiently, as Elias walked in ye strēgth of one therfe cake .xl. dayes, eatinge no­thinge els. For it is as easye for God to prouide for hys people by some one of these wayes or other like,iiii. King. vii. as by any other ordinarie meanes: as in the beseeginge of Samaria, where they eate their owne children and dunge, and the next daye suche plenty, a bushel for a grote. But this is euer moste sure that those, whiche bee of God can not lacke.Roma. viii. For as sainct Paule reasons he that hath not spared his owne sonne, but hath geuen hym for vs al: how can it be but with him he hathe geuen vs all thinges? and for hys sake he will denie vs nothing mete for vs? Howe can he de­nye vs a pece of bread, meate, or a coo [...]e, yt hath geuē his only sonne Christ Iesus to dye for vs? Can a worldly earthly father if he se his child wāt, wepe & aske him meat, deny him? wil he not rather spare it frō his owne belly, then see him weepe or want? [Page] And shall we thinke that God hathe lesse pitie and loue towarde vs, then one of vs hath towardes another? Whiche thinges all considered, they and all wee, whiche haue Gods house to buylde, should not dis­courage our selues for pouertie or lacke of habilitie: For the Lorde of hostes saieth: all golde and siluer is his▪ and he wil geue sufficient to his owne buyldinge.

And although many of them thought that this later house woulde be nothinge so pleasaunte, gorgious and costly as the first, and therfore they wept whē ye groūd worke was layde as was sayde before. yet to comforte theym with that they shoulde with better courage & stomake go aboute it, he promises them ‘that the glorie of this later house shalbe more then the first, and they shall not onely haue inough to builde withall, but it shall bee a more gorgious house in the sighte of God, then the firste was.’

The firste temple had in it the golden candlesticke, the golden censer, the golden aultare, the Cherubins, the golden Arke of the Lorde, wherein was the tables of Moyses, the rodde of Aaron, and the pot of Manna, the golden Table: it hadde alsoo Urim and Thummin, with diuers other relickes, which all or many of them were [Page] destroyed by Nabuchodonozor and others whiche spoyled the temple?what thinges make a tēple to please God best. So that al­though other iewels and ornamēts were restored by the good kynge Cyrus: yet we do not reade, (& the Rabbyns also thinke) that these were not in the second temple, and of Urim, and Thummin, Esdras se­mes to speake plaine that they were not there.Esdras. ii. What shoulde make then this house more glorious than the first, seinge it wanted these outwarde, glorious & pleasaunt thinges too the eye, and in suche or­naments was nothinge to bee compared with the first? Surely nothinge, but thys that we speake of before. That oure saui­oure Christe presented him selfe therein, preached hys fathers will, and the glad ti­dinges of the Gospel, rebuked the tradi­cions and ceremonies of the Scribes and Phariseis, healed all diseases. Therefore maye we gather here this necessary argu­ment vpon these woordes of the Prophet: that the churche is more pleasaunt in the sight of God, where the Gospel is preached Gods maiesty and his merci declared: then where all the ceremonies of Moyses, or ye Pope do shyne so gloriously, to the sighte of the worlde. Let the papistes examyne well by these woordes, whether their Co­pes, Chalices, Uestiments, crosses of gold [Page] and siluer, their singing, ringing, sencing their Images, reliques, pardons, coniu­red waters. &c. be more pleasaunt seruice to the lord our God, then where the trōpet of Gods woord sounds in our ears, to stir vs vp to the praising of God, and pullinge doune of our owne croked froward natur and stomakes. There can be nothing foūd in this secōd house, but it was all & much more to be had in the firste, saue the prea­chinge and miracles of Christe & his Apo­stles: For this point onely therfore, wher in it did excel the first, it didde please God more then the first, therfore must it nedes folow that those companies and churches please God better, where his liuely worde is preached & the Sacramentes withoute great pompe comenly & purely ministred▪ then where they go about with dead cere­monies to serue him, though thei be neuer so glorious outwardly. Let vs be ashamed then of these [...]ewd sayinges: what should I doe at the churche? I maye not haue my beades: the Church is like a waste bearn: there is no Images nor sainctes too wor­shippe and make cursy vnto, littell God in the boxe is gone: there is nothinge but a littel redinge and preaching, that I canne not tell what it meanes, I hadde as lief [...] kepe me at home.

[Page]This is a woful sayinge, that because we maye not worship God as we lust our sel­ues, we wil not worship hym at all. This is Idolatry to leaue that kynd of worship which he hath apointed vs in his woorde, and deuise a new sorte of our own, which God shall either bee content withal, or els be without. The Heathen people woulde saye when they see the people so foolish, to thinke that God woulde be worshipped we golde & siluer: dicite pontifices in templo quid facit aurum? which is to say, tel vs O ye bis­shops, what good doth gold in the temple? Ambrose saieth: the Sacraments loke not for golde: and those thinges which are not boughte with golde, can not please with gold. And the best writers do witnes that it was better when the Lords supper was ministred in woode and glasse, & the Prie­stes were pure as golde, & did preache: thā when the Priestes were woode, & the cup­pes golde, that is to saye dumme, vnlear­ned, vnpreaching prelates, and yet would minister the Sacramēt in cuppes of golde and siluer. The riches & treasures of the church belōg to the poore, & vppon theym should all the goods o [...] the church be besto­wed, which is remaining of the preachers liuings, & not to fede ydle bellygods with­all, as monkes, friers, priestes. &c. [Page] Suche a godly aunswere made the godly & true deacon Laurence, when as the Em­perour sente his man to spoyle the church of the treasure that there was. He cōmaū ­ded Laurence in the Emperours name to deliuer him all the treasure in the church. Laurence required a few dayes respite to gather al the goods together: which being graunted, at the day appointed, he gathe­red all the poore folkes in Rome together. When the Emperoure seruaunte came, thinking to haue receiued the whole trea­sure, & callinge for Laurence, asked where the treasure was: Laurence shewed al the poore people, and sayde beholde the trea­sure of the churche. Thus was the goods of the churche than bestowed, and not too maintayne the Pope, nor yet his carnall Cardinalles in their ruffian rowte and ydlenesse. &c.

‘The peace whiche he promises to send in this place, is not so muche an outward peace, although thei had that peace as lōg as thei feared the Lorde: but here is ment the peace of conscience, whiche Christe brought from heauē as the Aungels song at his byrth:Luke. ii Glory be to God on hygh, and in earth peace. &c. and he is not onely the peace maker betwixt God and man, but Ephes. ii.peace it selfe as saincte Paule calleth hym [Page] saying: he is our peace, which hath made of bothe one, as was noted before. It is more to call him the peace it selfe, than to call him the peace maker betwixte God & man, pacifying the fathers wrath for our sinnes, and purchasinge pardon for al our wickedned. The peace of conscience whan we beleue God to be oure father for Chri­stes sake, for geuinge all oure sinnes, and bestowinge all his goodnes on vs, is the greatest comforte that can be, thoughe the worlde rage neuer so muche againste vs, as oure Sauioure Christe sayeth:Ihon. xvi. in the worlde you shall haue affliction & trouble, but in me you shal haue peace. And again▪ I leaue my peace among you,Ihon. xiiii and I geue my peace vnto you. &c. And althoughe the churche of God is often more forgetfull of his goodnes receyued, whan they haue worldely peace (as the Prophete sayeth:Esay. xxxviii. In this outwarde worldly peace, my bit­ternes is moste bitter, and therfore neces­sari it is to be tried by aduersitie, heresies imprisonments, death,worldly peace is moste gre­uous▪ & in persecution the conscience quiet. & other cruelties) yet in the middest of all trouble they shall fynde present comfort and peace patiently to beare all such sorow as shalbe laide on them.

When as Emperours were not Chri­stened, greate was the persecution, & yet [Page] coulde they not preuaile. When heresies began to springe in the Church, than God raised vp Augustine and others to with­stande them, and the mo that they were, the more was the truth tried out and flo­rished: but after that the Pope had conquered all, good learning decayed, and the de­uell thereby had lulled all on sleepe, then came this outwarde worldly peace, where the moste parte submitted them selues to the beast, and his peace was the bitterest thinge that coulde be before God, and greatest trouble to all good consciences. For then outwarde peace broughte in Lordely pryde, whiche harmed more then any per­secution, as Bernarde sayeth. But nowe after that the light appeares agayn, with what peace of conscience can and doe men offer them selues to the fire, thoughe the Pope and his clergye rage lyke Lyons or mad dogges? What great learning hathe God reueled in our time more then before: and chiefly it hath ben done because of er­rours, heresies, sectes, and controuersies that be abroade, that Gods chosen people should not lyue in blindnes styl, & that his goodnes may be knowen. And althoughe persecution be great, yet God strengthens his to dye for his truth in most quiet peace to the shame of their persecutours. Wher [Page] there is no striuinge, there is no victorye: where ther is no victory, there is no praise nor reward: Therfore God of his gret loue that his people may haue most noble vic­tories, & greatest reward, suffreth them to be troubled by the deuyll & hys ministers, but not to be ouercomen. Where the tor­mentours rage, because thei can not ouer­come the simple souls, holding fast ye faith which thei would pul from them, & for the whiche thei striue: God so strengthens hys that they suffer all tormentes with more peace of conscience, then the tormentours delaye it on thē, whiche deuise the deaths for them. But not onely this inwarde peace, but an outwarde alsoo was geuen them, as longe as they displeased not the Lord. God cōmaunded that euery man a­mongst the Israelites should come thryse a yeare to Ierusalē to worship him there:Exo. xxxi [...]ii. & least thei should grudge saying: who shal defend our countrie when we are gone so far frō home, our enemies wil inuade and destroy vs: God promises yt he will defende their coūtry in ye mean time, & yt thei shuld haue no harme. Thus thei beleuing God, were bold to go to Ierusalē to serue God, leuing none at home to kepe their goods & landes, but a few wemen & chyldren. So we if we would serue the Lord a righte & [Page] maintayne his true religion, our enemies shoulde not hurt vs, but wemen and chyl­dren shoulde be able to defende vs: if wee will not serue him as he hathe appointed, there is no worldly power able to defend vs, but we and they shall perishe altoge­ther.

The Text.

verse 10 In the .xxiiii. daye of the .ix. moneth, and the second year of Darius was the message of the Lorde sent by the hāde of Aggeus ye prophet saying:

verse 11 Thus sayeth the Lorde of hostes: Aske I praye thee, y priestes the law sayinge:

verse 12 If any man beare holy flesh in the lap of his garmēt, & do touche with his lappe, bread or brothe, wyne, oyle, or anye kynde of meate, shall it bee made holy? the Priestes aunswered and saide no.

verse 13 And Aggeus sayd: if he that [Page] is defiled in soule, do touche any of these, whether shal it be defiled? the Priestes aun­swered and said: it is defiled.

verse 14 Aggeus aunswered & sayd: So is this people, and so be these folke before my face (sayeth the Lorde) and so is all the woorke of their han­des, and whatsoeuer they bringe hyther, it is defiled.

¶For the rekeninge of monethes, years, dayes, and such other particular wordes▪ we sayde ynough before: Now is the Pro­phet sent to appose the priestes in the law of God, and make theym geue sentence a­gainste them selues. The lippes of the Prieste kepe knowledge, and they shall aske the lawe of his mouthe saieth Mala­chy:Mala. ii And therfore to see what knowledge they had in the lawe of the Lorde, & what aunswer they woulde make, he was sent to examine them: and he puts foorthe hys question so wisely that he makes them to condemne them selues by their owne iudgement. He is bidden them aske thē oute [Page] of the lawe of God, and not out of the Po­pes lawe, nor yet any mans lawe, whiche often through bribes is ended as a man is frended, but out of Gods boke, which with out parcialitie speakes indifferentlye on all partes, and neither feares the riche for his might and authoritie, nor hath foolish pitie on the poore for his pouertie, but vp­rightly iudges right, and condemnes sin, wheresoeuer it is founde. If the priestes in Moyses law had this charge geuen thē, to be so cunninge in the scriptures,Priestes shuld be learned in the scripture. y they shoulde be able to aunswere all doubtes, whiche coulde be asked them: How much more shoulde oure Priestes nowe be able by the scripture to teache all which be ig­noraunte, and aunswere all doubtes that can bee moued. for saincte Paule sayeth: a minister shoulde be able too exhorte wyth holsome doctrine,Timo. i. and confute false. But if ye wante one too keepe a Curre rather then a Cure, to be a Hunter, or a Fawke­ner, to be an ouer [...]ear of your workemen, to be youre stuarde, or loke to your sheepe and cattell, too be youre Gardiner, kepe youre Orcharde or write youre busines, who is meter for anye of these businesses then syr Ihon lackelatine?

What a wickednes is thys that they shoulde take such paynes to be so cūninge [Page] in these thinges that God lookes not for o [...] them: and in those thinges that God hathe charged theym withall, they can saye no­thing at all, they be dumme Dogges, not able to barke in rebukinge sinne, & blynd guides, not able to rule their flocke, but if the worlde be on their side, they can thē playe the woode Dogges, bytinge & snat­ching at euery man near them, and let no honest man dwel in rest by thē, but accuse burne and condemne all yt speake against their mischiefes. If there be a trētall to be saiee, or any money to be gottē for masses. Diriges, Relikes, pardons. &c. then who is so ready as they? they can smell it out a great sorte of myles of. But if a man wāt comforte in conscience, woulde vnderstād his duety towards God, or Gods goodnes towardes vs, they be blinde beastes, ignorant doltes, vnlearned asses, and can saye nothing but make holy water, & bid them saye a Ladies psalter.

The questions which he putteth forth here, tēd to this purpose, that by one thing which is like, he may proue an other lyke. For loke as halowed fleshe did not halow these thinges which it touched: so did not the goodnes whiche was in some of them make the rest holy. But like as he who is defiled in soule, did defile al the workes yt he taketh in hande, euen hys prayer and [Page] sacrifices. &c. so thei did also defile al which kepte companye with theym, by theyr euill example. This kynde of teaching by parables and similitudes, which be like in matter consequence and truth (althoughe diuers in woordes) is pithy too perswade,Similitudes be a good kīd of teaching ii. Reg. xii. and is vsed sundrye times in the scipturs, to bringe a man to geue sentence against hym selfe. As when Nathan tolde Dauid the similitude of the ryche man that had many sheepe, and the poore man that had but one: and that the riche man had taken the poore mans one sheepe. Dauid sayd [...] he had deserued death, not vnderstanding that Nathan did meane Dauid him selfe to haue done this thinge: who gaue thys sentence of death against him self, because he had so many wyues of his owne, & yet coulde not be content with them, but toke Urias wife also.

ii. Reg. xiiiiSo when the woman of Thecua fay­ned her self to be a poore widow, and her twoo sonnes hath the one kylled the other and the officers woulde haue put y other too deathe for murtheringe his brother: she makes supplication to the kynge Da­uid, desiring that her other sonne mighte not be put to death, for she had rather lose the one sonne which was kylled, thē haue the other now put to death also: For then [Page] all her comfort was gone. When Dauid had graunted her request, that her sonne shoulde not dye for this murther, thē sayd she: Why should not the king bring home againe his sonne Absalon, whiche kylled his brother Ammon, but suffer him to dye also banished. Thus Dauid was deceiued by the woman, whiche vnder the names of her owne sonnes made sute for Absalō the kynges sonne by the coūsayll of Ioab: and Dauid thoughte in reason he shoulde be as ready to shewe pitie to his own son Absalon, as to another, and gaue sentēce so againste him selfe. So the priestes here graunting, that whatsoeuer touches him who is defiled in soule, that thinge is also defiled to, proue and geue sentence agaīst them selues, condemninge all their owne dedes too be noughte and defiled, because thei them selfes were wicked and defiled· What wickednes were in this people, Esdras tels when he diuorces suche a nū ­ber as had married Heathen wyues con­trary to the lawe:i. Esdras. x Nehem. v and Nehemias when he tels howe by bribery and vsurye they had polled their poore brethren, & gotten their goods and landes into their handes: and howe they had all offended God, in not byldinge this temple, this Prophete teaches here plaine. These with diuers other [Page] grosse sins, had defiled this people: & ther­fore all that they did and touched was de­filed▪ Synne defiles those thinges that God him self commaundes. Esay. lxvi Sinne is so vile and filthy that it defiles euen those thinges whiche God hym self hath commaunded. Esay saieth: your sabboth daies and other feastes, my soule abhorres [...] & yet God had cōmaunded them his owne mouth to obserue suche feastes. Esaye saith also: he yt offers an Oxe, is as if he killed a man, and he that sacrifices a sheepe, is as though he brained a Dogge. And again, sacrifice & offerīg for sin thou hast not required.Psalm. xl But Esay addeth a rea­son why God shoulde hate that whiche he once cōmaunded, & saith: your handes are ful of bloud, ye do not hear ye widowes & ye fatherles. &c. Seing then sin hath suche a strēgth in it, yt it makes God to hate those things which he ordeined him selfe: howe much nede haue we to take hede what we do, least in thus offending God, we make him to forsake both vs & all that we shuld haue good of?

That is called holy flesh, which was of­fered to the Lord,Holy flesh. & whereof sometime the whole was burned, & sometime that part which remained, was eatē of the Priests, & them that brought it to be sacrificed. If that flesh then, whiche was thus halowed by the cōmaundemēt of God had not thys [Page] strēgth in it, to halow the lap of a garmēt wherin it was caried, & so ye lap to halowe what thing so euer it should touche: howe can the Popes coniured water, whiche he cals holy, make the man or house where it is sprinkled so holy, that no deuils dare enter? The deuill durst tempt our Sauioure Christ: & yet they say he feares their cōiu­red water, as thoughe it were holier then Christ hym selfe.Popes haue no scripture for their halowing of thin­ges. Where hath he any pro­mise from God of such foolishnes? what cā their holy asshes, holy palmes, holy crosses holy belles, holy creame, relikes, moldes, chalice, corporas, fire, candels, beades, or that which is their most holy relike, their oyle, wherwith they anointe their shaue­linges, Priestes, and Bishops do? They would make mē beleue that the oyle hath suche holines in it, that whosoeuer wan­teth it, is no Priest nor minister. Therfore in the late daies of popery, oure holy bishops called before them all such as were made ministers without suche grea­singe, and blessed thē with the Popes blessing, anointed them, & then all was perfit they might sacrifice for quicke & dead: but not marry in no case, & yet kepe hoores as many as they woulde. If any of their such greased disciples were traitour, felō or he­retike, yt he had deserued death (in token yt [Page] their oyle was so holye, and had entred so depe in to the flesh, but bringing no holy­nes with it, for than their anointed shuld not haue fallen so sore as they did, and do before anye suche offender coulde suffer death, he must firste be deposed of all that he receiued from the Pope, of his orders & apparell, and haue all that skynne of hys croune & fingers pared of or scraped, be­cause they were greased with their oyle. What oyle vsed the Apostles in makinge ministers,Nothing ha­lowed by the Popes tradi­dicion, can halow an other thinge. or what scripture is for it? The holy flesh whiche was offered too God by his owne commaundement, had not thys power to halow the thinges which it tou­ched: and yet their holy water and grease must haue it. Is this like to be true? doeth not all their false fayned holinesse, which they putte in thinges made holy by theyr owne halowinge onely, and not by God, fall by this one sentence of Gods mouthe? Can any thinge be more playnely spoken againste all their iuglinge then this? For the same reason that is againste fleshe, is against all their holy toies, by what name soeuer they be called. If they will not beleue God and his scripture, let thē be­leue the Priestes their elders and prode­cessours: yea, and that whiche they crake so muche of, that is a generall counsayle, [Page] whiche they thinke can not erre. The Prophete here is sent to all the Priestes: and here is aunswered in all their names by generall consente and counsayle, that holy flesh can not halow that thing which it touches. If it be so in one halowed thīg, as it is in this flesh, why shoulde it not be so in all other likewise?

There is no creature whiche can geue that holines to an other which is in it self:Christe onely maketh vs holy, & onely hath the ful­nes of holi­nes. i. Cor xii this thinge belonges to Christe alone, for of his fulnes al we haue receiued as saint Ihon saieth. And where we haue giftes of the holye spirite, by measure so muche as pleases god of his goodnes to geue: Christ oure Lorde and sauiour had the fulnes of ye spirite without all measure,Ihon▪ iii▪ that of hys fulnesse wee all might receiue part. Christ hath the fulnesse of the gifts of the spirite so muche, that although he geue part too vs all, yet he hath nothinge lesse him self. For as the Sunne geues light plentifull to the whole world, and yet kepes the self same light within it self: so oure sauioure Christe God and man hath the perfite ful­nes of all goodnes in him selfe, and yet geues part to vs as he thinkes good, not lo­singe anye pece of that he hath him selfe, but lightninge oure darkenes with that light which he hath withī him self. Saint [Page] Paule saith he is our wisedom,i. Corin. i. righteous­nes, holines and redemption, because he geues vs all these thinges.

As it is in fleshe, soo is it in all other creatures: although a probable obiectiō to the contrari maye be made out of the scriptures them selues: Oure sauiour Christe saying,Math. xxiii woo to the Scribes and Pharise is which taught that he, which swore by the temple or the aultar, was nothing, but if he swore by the golde of the temple, or the offering on the aultar, he was in faut: se­mes to teache contrarye, for he ads vntoo more, sayinge that the temple makes the golde holy, and the aultar the offring: and that he which sweares by ye aultar, swea­reth by it, and those thinges whiche be on it, and he that sweares by the tēple, swea­res by it, & him whiche is in it, as thoughe the temple & the aultar made other things holy.i. Corin. [...]ii Sainct Paule speakinge of the mar­riage of the faithful and the vnfaithefull, saieth that ye vnfaithful part is made holy by the faithful. But here you must marke that this holines which sainct Paule spea­kes of, belōges nothing to the saluation, or forgeuenes of sinne of the vnholy party but teaches that such mariage to cōtinue is not vnlawful & whoredome, & the chyl­dren so borne, be not bastards, & Heathēs. [Page] That other holines in the temple and the aultar, is but suche a holines as Moyses teaches in his law, which than was a ceremony, but is now taken away, & therfore belōgs not to vnto vs. Any thing is called holy by the law of Moyses,Holy. which is dedi­cated to serue god in any kind of ceremoni or seruice in the temple, & is no more tur­ned to serue man in any kind of ciuil mat­ter, or in his house: or els which by his in­stitution signifies some holy thing vntoo vs. But these be called holy, not because any holines for saluation is in them, or yt they can geue holines to other things: but because the ende & vse where vnto they be turned is holy. Nothing beside man cā re­ceiue this true holines: for faith is ye instrument & means wherby true holines is re­ceiued, which profit to saluation, whereof the Prophete speakes here chiefely.

But it is not so wt the euilnes & sinne of man: for y doeth not only defile the man:Synne defiles not onely the man him self but euery thing that he doth, and all that vse hy [...] company. when it is in him, but all that the euil mā doth is euil also: as all ye touches the thing which is defiled, is defiled also.

For as a car [...]on doeth not onelye smell euill it selfe, but infectes all that come nere it: So that man whiche is defiled in soule, doth defile all thinges that he ta­kes in hand. Ualentianus a christiā man, turned from Idolatrye to the knowledge [Page] of Christ, & afterwarde made Emperour, when other had cast vpon him suche holye water as thei made to their Idols: he was angrye with theym that they defiled hys coate, and smote the priest that gaue hym the holy water, & moued him to sacrifice. For he thought (as truth is) that whatso­euer was consecrated too Idols, was so [...] filthye that it defiled whatsoeuer it tou­ched, if it was receiued with such opinion of holines as they thought. Some read here, if he that is defiled by the deadde doe touche. &c. the sence is bothe one of this & that.

Num. xiiiMany vncleane thinges were in Moy­ses lawe, that whosoeuer touched theym, shoulde bee vncleane also: as he that tou­ches a dead body, shalbe vncleane .7. days: and he that hathe the fluxe of seede shalbe vncleane:Leuit. xiii & he that touches the bed where suche haue lyen, or sits where they haue sitten, shalbe vncleane also. But this is not so muche for the vncleanes, whiche is in the dead body or the sede by nature (for bothe be the good creatures of God) as ye vnder this figure God woulde teache vs that we shoulde not as muche as touche sin, whiche is the death of the soule. Like­wise the euyll lustes, whiche raygne whā the flux of the sede is, be the causes which [Page] make them vncleane, which suffer suche diseases and affections. So that whether we reade, he that is defiled in soule, or he that is defiled by the dead, it is sinne that bothe do meane: For that not onely defy­les, but killes the soule which doth it. And sinne is such that it defiles all that touch it as Strack saieth, comparing it to pitch:Eccle xiii i. Cor. xv He that touches pitche is defiled with it. Sainct Paule saieth also: euil communications corrupt good maners. Dauid saieth:Psal. cix the sinners prayer is turned into sinne. The good man therefore makes all his woorkes good: and the euill defiles euery good thinge he takes in hande.

This verse teaches plaine that the hole life of an euill man, whatsoeuer hee doeth is defiled.i. Cor. x. For as sainct Paule requires, of a good man that whether he eate or drinke, or whatsoeuer he do, he shoulde do all to the glorie of God: So the euil man if he eate, drinke, slepe, wake, talke, worke▪ or be Idle, all is defiled before the Lord. For an euil tree can not bring foorth good frute, nor figges growe on bryers: yea,The lyfe of the wicked is all holly d [...] fyled. let him studye, praye, faste, geue almisse, bye [...]rentals, geue his body to be burned, or do what he can deuise, and it is defiled. If I had all faith saieth sainct Paule, so that I coulde make mountaines to sturre out ofi. Cor. xiii. [Page] their places: if I knowe all secretes, geue my goods in almes, and my body to be burned, I am nothinge better: it profites me nothinge if I lacke charitie. All euyl men lacke charitie: For by this shall ye bee knowen too be good men,Ihon. xiii and so my schollers, if ye loue one another (sayeth our sauiour Christ) therefore whatsoeuer they do, it is defiled. The good man if he eate or drinke, he doth it with thankes gi­uinge to God, for suche sustenaunce righ­teously gotten, and soberly takes it, to re­freshe his weake nature, that he may the better serue his Lorde God. If he woorke, vse marchaundise, or anye other kynde of lyfe, he doth it so much for his own, as for the comen profit: But the euil man either geues not due thankes for his meate, or gettes it wrongfully, layes it vp nigardly or els spendes it vnthriftely: And in all his labour sekes hys owne profitte, with the hurt of others, & therefore it is synne.

By this is also proued this great con­trouersy, whether we be made righteous by woorkes or faith. For if workes should make vs righteous then the good workes which an euil man doth,We bee not mad [...] righte­ous by woor­ [...] properly. should make him righteous. But the Prophete saieth here, that whatsoeuer the euyll man doth it is defiled. Therfore the man must be good [Page] before the worke be good, as our sauioure Christ saieth: Eyther make the tree good and the frute good, or make the tree euyll and the frute euil. And as the frute makes not the tree good, but shewes and geues it to be a good tree: So it is in the euyl frute and the tree. The soure crabtree ma­kes the crabbes bitter, and not the crabbes makes the tree euyll As the tree is, so is his frute: and as the man is, suche is hys lyfe. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringes foorth good thinges,Luke. vi and an euyl man out of the euyll treasure of his heart, bringes foorth euyll. But the heart & ye man is euyll, before the dede be euyll, not in tyme, but in the order of na­ture. For as in a well spring, looke what taste ye water hath at the head of ye spring, thesame it hath when it runnes foorthe: So if ye heart of man be defiled, which is the springe whereof comes hordom, adul­tery, murther, and all other oure doinges, the deedes muste nedes be nought, which come oute of suche a defyled headde and springe. So that if we wil doe any good dede, we must be good mē & trees before, in Goddes sighte and election of God, that our fruite and dedes mai be good. For out of an euyll roote, can not come good frui­tes. God loues the dedes for the mās sake▪ [Page] whiche doeth theym, rather than the man for the good woorkes that he doeth.

Gene. iiii The woorke is good for the mans sakeAs God looked firste at Abel and then at his giftes: but to Cain & his offeringes he loked not, because Abel was a choosen vessel of God, therefore God receiued his offeringes: and Cains were not receyued, because he was not of that number. For as a scholemayster will take in good part the diligence that his scholers can do, and if he see them put their good willes there­too, he wil beare with their faultes, and teache them their lessons: But to stub­burne and frowarde, he wil shew no gen­telnes, but cast them of: So God wt those whome he hath chosen in Christe, before the world was made, will bear with their infirmities, and wyncke at their littell faultes, teache them to do better, & prayse their well doinges and gentellye correcte their faultes: But his enemies and outca­stes, because whatsoeuer they doe is hypo­cresye, he loues them not, but euen theyr prayer is turned to sinne, and whatsoeuer they do is defiled, because they be not graffed & chosen in Christe Iesus, as the wyse man saieth: [...] i.ii. the wicked man and his wic­kednes are hated in like of God. Thus the man makes the woorke good, rather then the woorke makes the man [Page] good in Gods sight and iudgemente, be it neuer so godly to the outwarde shew in ye eye. So if the heart of man and conscience be defiled: it defiles the good creatures of God, whiche otherwise be good and lawe­full.Titus. i. Sainct Paule speakinge of meates saieth all be cleane and laweful to theym whiche be cleane: but to the vncleane, no­thinge is cleane, but their myndes & con­sciences be defiled. For [...]f a man eate but a pece of bread, and thinke that it is not lawfull for him to do so, he sinnes, because he doeth it not of fayth: and so the cōsciēce wantinge fayth is defiled. For whatso­euer is not fayth is sinne:Rom [...]. xiiii. and he wātinge true knowledge that God made all things to serue man, nowe throughe supersticion and a defiled conscience, serues that crea­ture whiche shoulde serue hym, and so de­files that whiche of it selfe God hath crea­ted holy, cleane, and mete to be eaten at al tymes, with thankesgeuing. All this co­mes by reason of sinful superstition in the man, whiche not beleuinge the scriptures that all meates be laweful for all men, at all times, wantes faythe, and so hath hys conscience defiled, which defiles the meat whiche he eates.

Where as they commonly reason,Synne condē ­nes, but good woorkes sa­ues not. our euill woorkes condemne vs, therfore our [Page] good woorkes saue vs: this place of the Prophete teacheth the contrarie reason: For all the Priestes in their general counsaill, graunte that he whiche is defiled in soule, defiles al thinges which he doth: yet they denye that if a holy thinge touche an other thing vnholy, that it maketh it holy also: So that sinne hath greater strengthe to defile other thinges, then goodnes hath to make other things holy. Sainct Paule reasoninge of thesame matter,Roma. vi. teaches vs howe to conclude, saying: the rewarde of sinne is death, and then he sayeth not: the rewarde of vertue and good woorkes is euerlasting lyfe, but he saieth: euerlasting lyfe is the free gift of God. Thus must we reason than, bothe as the Prophete doeth here, & sainct Paule in thesame ease: that oure euyll is more able too condemne vs, then our goodnes is to saue vs. This shoulde also be a sufficiente warninge for vs, too beware what companye we ioyne our selues vnto: For sinne in one man is of so great force, that it defiles all the company he is in. Thus teaches sainct Paule: euyll communication corruptes good ma­ners.i. Cor. xv ii. Timo. ii The wickednes whiche is in these mē it crepes like a cāker which infects al­waies the next part vnto it, vntyl it haue run through & infected the whole bodye: [Page] So ye wicked neuer cease,Euil compani is to he auoy­ded. vntill they haue drawen vnto them all suche as kepe their companye.

What is a more daungerous thinge than too kepe companye with vnthriftes? Haue not many which before they knew such vnthriftynes, were sober and honest: but after they haue ben tangled wt suche euyll men, solde house and lande, some be­came beggers, & many hanged. Haue not many honest yong men by keping cōpany with swearers and horehunters, become open blasphemers, and geue them selues to al vnhappines. So in companing with Papists, and to please the worlde, manye haue forsaken the truth which thei knew and profest, and are become open enemies and persecuters of God and his people. Did not Salomon fall too Idolatrie with marriyng Heathen wyues?iii. Reg. [...]i Did not God forbid marriage with the Heathen, least they shoulde entyse vs to Idolatry?Deutero▪ vii Was not Sampson ouercome in keping cōpany with Dalida?Iudge. xvi

What a proud presumptiō then is this to thinke: I am strōg inough, wise inough to take hede to my self, in what company so euer I shal come? For except you be wi­ser then Salomō, or stronger then Samp­son, thou shalt be ouercome as thei were. [Page] When thou shalt sit amonge Papistes & heare them blaspheme thy God and praise their Idolatrye: howe canste thou escape with a safe conscience vndefiled, if thou holde thy peace? yea, and if thou haue not greater grace and learning to iudge good and euill, thou shalte heare some crooked reasons whiche shal deceyue thee, & perad­uenture entangle thee and bring thee frō gods truth. If thou sit by, heare the truthe spoken agaynste, and will not defende it to thy power: thou art gylty to thy Lorde God.Math. xii. For Christe sayeth: he that is not with me is againste me. If thou speake in Gods cause thou shalt be in daunger of thy life and goods, or bothe. These thinges well considered would make them which haue the feare of God in them, too marke this lesson well, and flye euyll companye: for whatsoeuer the euyll man (who is de­filed in soule) touches, it is defiled.

Where the Prophet [...] saieth here that ‘the people and the woorkes of their hands and all that they brought thither [...]o offer, was defiled also,’ it moues this hard ques­tion: whether the euilnes of the minister do defile his ministerie, and Gods Sacra­ments, whiche be ministers. First marke that the minister, if he be a dronkarde, an adulterye, or couetous. &c. he doth not hurt [Page] the strengthe of the Sacrament which he ministers,An euil mini­ster makes not the Sacra­ment or word euill. i. Cor. xi neither yet defiles any mā that receiueth at his handes: but to him self he ministers dānation, as sainct Paule sayth he that eates and drinkes vnwoorthelye, eates and drinkes his owne damnation. But he sayth sibi ipsi to hym selfe (for so is the Greke, and not to thee) he receiues iud­gement, If we shoulde flee ministers be­cause of their sinne, whome shall we than heare? for who wantes sinne? So in prea­chinge as longe as they saye true, heare theym, thoughe their doctrine condempne them selues. For Christ saieth:Math. xxiii. in Moyses chayre sit the Scribes and Phariseis, doe as they bid and teache you, but do not as they doe. Soo he that is baptised of an euill minister, is as well baptised, as hee that receyues it of the good, and as muche doeth it profite him: for els so muche difference shoulde be betwixt their baptismes, as is betwixt the goodnes of ye ministers: and the baptisme of the better minister, shoulde excell the baptisme of the woorse: and then might we well saye: I am Pau­les, I am Apolloes, and I am Cephas, whiche Paule forbiddes.i. Corin. i The goodnes of baptisme hanges vpon God, who did insti­tute it, and not on the minister whiche ge­ues it.

[Page]Let them loke therfore whiche [...] so holy, that rather thei wil sitte at home, than here pray or communicate with such a minister as pleases them not, what scripture or example they folow? Esay▪ Ieremi Aggeus, yea Christ and his Apostles for­saked not Ierusalem, but diligently kept the feastes appointed by God, and offered their sacrifices accordinge too the lawe: though the temple was full of Ciuill prie­stes, Scribes and Phariseis. As longe as Gods institucion in his Sacramentes and sacrafices was kept, thei did not so muche respect the goodnes or euylnes of the mi­nister: no more oughte thou to do.

We maye not communicate at Popish masses.Than if the euilnes of the minister do not hurt me, whiche receyues the Sacra­ment: why am I forbidden too communi­cate with Papistes at their masse? Surely not so much for the euilnes of the men thē selues, as the wickednes of the order and thinge whiche thei minister. For whan thou commest to the Cōmunion with the Papistes, and accordinge to saincte Paule woulde eate of that bread, and drinke of ye cuppe: they will neither geue thee breade nor wyne, accordinge to Christes institu­tion (for they saie the substaunce is chaun­ged, and ther remaynes no bread) but thei will geue thee an Idoll of their owne ma­kinge, [Page] whiche they call their God. They come not together accordinge to Christes rule, to breake the breade: but they creepe into a corner, as the Pope teaches thē, too sacrifice for the quicke and the dead, to [...]el heauen, harow hell, and swepe Purgato­rie of all such as wil paye. They come not to communicate with the people, but too eate vp all alone. Therefore because they haue chaunged Christes ordinaunce in his supper, broken hys commaūdement, and set vp their owne deuise, we muste not meddle with them in such thinges as thei haue done contrarie to God & his woorde. Their baptisme, although it haue manye euyl thinges blend in among:Baptisme of Papists is not so euyl as the masse, & yet faythfull mi­nisters are to be preferred to baptisme. yet because they kepe the substaunce of the Sacramēt the woordes and facion that Christe hym selfe vsed, it is nothinge so euyll as theyr masse is: although it be as muche too bee abhorred of all good men as may be. And good men oughte to seke as much as may be, to haue their chyldren Christened in a Christian congregatiō, and of a godly mi­nister, where no suche cuniuring nor mis­use is practised. Yet if he can not come by suche a one as he woulde wisshe, lette not the Christian parente thynke hys chylde too bee woorse Baptised, because the mi­nyster is wicked: for euerye one shall [Page] sinke in hys owne sinne,Ezech, xviii▪ and the fa­ther shall not dye for the chylde, nor the chylde for the father, nor the minister for him which receyues at him, nor he that re­ceiues for the euilnes of the minister: al­though that minister, which so wickedly corruptes y good Sacramēts? and holy or­dinaūces of God, doth minister thē to his owne dampnation and iudgemente.

Than to conclude this place, the Pro­phete here exhortes the people to the buil­dinge of the temple. For although they had an aultare to sacrifice on for the time: yet because thei left vndone that building which God sent thē home to doe, and wil­led them so straitly to do it: they brake his commaundement in not buylding, and so were defiled with sinne of disobedience. And the hearte being ones so defiled, all their woorkes whiche came from suche a defiled heart, muste nedes be defiled also. When Saule was commaunded by God to destroye all the Amelekites,i. Reg xv Disobedience to God defi­les all our do­ynges. and al that had lyfe amonge them and to spare none: he was moued with a foolish pitie and co­uetousnes, and saued the fairest and lat­test cattell to sacrifice vnto God: But God because of his disobedience, cast hym and all his posteritie from the kyngdome, and Samuel telles him that obediēce is better [Page] then sacrifice. Some woulde thinke it cruelnes to kyll the beastes whiche made no faulte: and other would thinke it holi­nes to saue for Gods sacrifice, the fattest & fairest: But that is not cruelnes whiche God biddes, neither is that good which he forbiddes, whatsoeuer woorldly reason cā saye to the contrari. Therfore let vs with out all e [...]cuse do that which God commaū ­des, and seke no startinge holes:Gods com­maundement must be kept withoute ex­cuse. for than we deceiue oure selues.

These people might alledge pouerty, the kinges authoritie who forbad them to buylde: but nothing can defende vs, wher that is lefte vndone whiche God cōmaun­deth, but it is sinne. And where this sin of disobedience raygnes, there the man & all that he doeth, is defiled. Therefore if they woulde that any thinge whiche they did or toke in hande, shoulde please God: they must washe awaye this fylthye diso­bedience, buylde this temple, & all should be well. If we woulde applie these things to oure selues and oure times, we shoulde with hearty repentaūce buyld Gods house muche more diligently than we doe: and truely although we haue had greate pla­ges, yet is there greater behinde, if we do it not throughly without halting: For the seruaunte whiche knoweth his maisters [Page] will, and doeth it not, shall haue manye strypes.

The Text.

verse 15 Nowe consider (I praye you) in youre heartes, frome this daye backewarde, afore one stoone was layde vpon an o­ther in the house of the Lord.

verse 16 Whyle they were so, they ca­me to a heape of corne of .xx. bushels, and there was but x. & ye came to a wyne presse to drawe .50. gallons, & there was but .xx.

verse 17 I haue smytten you wyth blasting wyndes and myl­dewe, and with hayle, al the woorkes of youre handes, & you woulde not turne vntoo me (sayeth the Lorde.)

verse 18 Consider now in your hear­tes frō this daye backward, from the .xxiiii. daye of the .ix [Page] moneth, from that day whā the grounde woorke of the temple was layde, consider it (I say) in your heart.

verse 19 Is your sede yet in the barne or haue youre vyneyardes, Figgetrees▪ Pomegranates and Oliuetrees, not yet flo­rished? from this day foorth wil I blesse them.

¶The Prophete cals them here to an earnest and diligent consideration of the yeares past, and the plages whiche they suffered so many, so diuers, so greuous & straunge. As though he shoulde saye vnto them thus: ye are to negligēt in markinge Gods working towardes you, which hath wrought so wōderful great thinges amōg you, to the entent that ye shoulde returne vnto hym, and be more diligente in buyl­dinge his house, which so straitly charged you to do. Marke thē now more diligētly, for God did it to teache you youre duetie, if ye woulde haue learned. God doeth not [Page] onely teache vs by his woorde & writing,Gods doynges shoulde teach vs whether they be good or plages. by Prophetes and preachinge, but by hys dedes also and woorking. If they be good, and blessinges, to loue and thanke him for all his goodnes bestowed on vs suche my­sers: and if they be sharpe and painfull, to bring vs home agayne by repentaunce, to aske forgeuenes of our faultes, & beware that we no more offende him. Therefore these straunge plages whiche ye haue suf­fered so many yeares, that the earth didde not yelde her fruite, your meat & drink did not fede you, your clothes did not kepe you warme, your money wasted in youre pur­ses, ye coulde not tell howe, as thoughe it fell out of the bottome, youre corne in the barnes consumed ye wiste not howe, yea when it came to fanninge & wyndowing a man thoughte in one heape he shoulde haue had .20. busshels, he founde but .10. the halfe: And in the wyne presse, where ye thoughte too haue had .50. gallons, al­moste .3. partes lacked and were cōsumed, and there was but .20. gallons. A good husbande that hath much experience, whē he comes too an heape of corne, or a presse of wyne, wil gesse within a fewe bushels or gallons, howe muche is contayned in the whole: but here in the corne too be de­ceiued the half, & in the wyne three partes [Page] was very straunge, and coulde not be but as God sayde before, that when it was brought into the house, he didde blowe it awaye, and so it consumed.We can not worthely cō ­sider Gods plages with­oute a speciall grace. What a negligence was this to suffer suche plages soo many yeares, and yet to be so harde hear­ted that they wayed them not, but lightly let them passe, not consideringe wherfore God sent them, nor what fault was in thē to be amended, whiche prouoked Gods an­ger so greuously againste them? But such blindenes is in vs all, that whan we bee vnder the rodde, wee feele it not, if God open not oure eyes to see hys displeasure: yea, rather of nature we murmur against his gentle corrections.

Or elles if God withholde hys heauye hande for a tyme to trye whether we will amende with litell correctiō, before he lay on vs a greater: we fall to oure olde faciōs and forget God, his rod, our duty, and hys reuerence, attributing such plages to vn­seasonable wether, pestilēt ayers, or some euyl chaunce, as though they came not frō God. As when we had the sweate where so many dyed soo sodenly, that men were astoned at it, so many sicke that there was not hole folkes inoughe too kepe theym: Then for that tyme we coulde cal on God, repent, restore euyll gotten goodes, geue [Page] almes, and be sory that we hadde not ben more liberall before tyme: but as soone as it ceased; we were as euill or worse then before. So in the late dayes of bloudy per­secution and cruel Popery, how ofte with teares desired we God once agayne to re­store vs, and we woulde no more soo wic­kedly lyue? and yet we be worse then be­fore. How many sweates, rebelliōs, dear­thes, vnseasonable yeares haue we had, & yet we haue forgotten thē, as though thei came not frō God, nor yet that God hadde not sent them to teache vs to turne to him by them.

Gods doyngs are diligently to be conside­red.The workinges of God, whether thei be in blessinge or plaging, present or past, to our selues or others particularly, or to a whole countrye generally, are depely to be considered: for he would teach vs many thinges by them, if we had that grace, wit and eyes to consider them.i. Cori [...]. [...]. Saincte Paule teaches the Corinthians by examples past long before that they should not murmur, be Idolatours, nor tempte Christ as their fathers did, least they shoulde be destroied as their fathers were. Howe often doeth the scriptur put the Iewes in remembrāce of their greate deliueraunce oute of ye vyle bondage in Egipte, [...]. [...]i.i [...] and biddes them not trouble the straunger, for they were straū ­gers [Page] in Egipt them selues, and knew the greefes, whiche straungers suffered. In particular examples and plages he sayth: Remember Lottes wyfe,Luc. xv [...] least in lokinge backe, and desiringe youre olde lustes in Sodome, ye perish as shee did.

Soo in good thinges also, he teaches vs by examples paste: ye see the sufferinge of Iob, and the ende how the Lord rewar­ded hym, sayeth saincte Iames,Iames. v. mouinge vs too pacience in trouble. And generally it is sayd to vs all:Roma. xv. What thinges so euer are written before hande, they are writ­ten for oure learninge, that by pacience and comforte of the scripture wee mighte haue hope.

So in thinges done in our time,The plage of one is a war­ninge too the rest. when we see Goddes anger, poured vpon the whole Realme, or one countrye, or house, as warre, plage, hunger, dearthe, sickenes, fyre, losse, of landes, or goods, swete, losse of frendes, loke what greuous and nota­ble sinnes, then reygned in suche men or places, and learn to auoyde the same, least the lyke fall on thee. For by that pla­gue God teacheth all, whyche heare of it, too auoyde the lyke wickednes, least lyke plagues fall on them. If they will not learne, what maruayle is it, if they sincke in their owne sinne?

[Page]So if thou see thy neyghbour punished reioyce not at it▪ but praye for him, cōfort him, and learne the goodnes of God to­wardes thy selfe: that where thou hast de­serued more too bee punished then he, yet God spares thee, and geues the warning by his punishment too amende betimes, leaste thy course be nexte, and then shalte thou bee more greuouslye plaged, because thou didst not learne to amende thy faul­tes by his correction and punishment.

If thy neighbour be in wealthe & thou in trouble: learne too amende thy faultes by his, that God maye bestowe his bene­fites on thee, as well as on hym. Disdain not his welth, nor be not sory for it, whe­ther he be good man or euyll: for if he bee euyll, God woulde wynne hym wt gentle­nes: if he be good, folow his doinges, that God maye blesse thee also. Thus shall wee learne of Gods doinges too comforte oure selues, and amende oure owne lyues.

Howe diligent we shoulde be to search oute for what cause God plages vs, we are taught by Iosua, in castinge lotte with ye people whan they were plaged,Iosua. vii. who had angred God so greuous [...]y, that he punished them so sharpely, and so tried by the lotte that Acham was in the faulte. So Saule tried by lo [...]e, [...]. iiii. that his sonne Ionathā had [Page] offended whan God so sharpelye punished them. Ionas runninge from God was tried by lotte, cast into the sea, and the tē ­pest ceased.

Thus muste not Gods plages & woor­kes be lightly passed ouer,offēders must be tri [...]d & punished that the plage ma [...] cease. but depely con­sidered wherefore he punisheth, and the offenders tried oute and punished ye Gods plage maye sease▪ for before, it will not. If the rulers be negligente in punishinge synne, as their duetye requires, God must needes take it in hande hym selfe (for syn muste needes be punished, and he is a righteous God, and will as well punish ye sin­ner, as rewarde the good) but if man doe punishe the faulte, God will not, for he pu­nishes not twyse for one faulte. Therfore let vs no more be so negligent, in not re­gardinge Gods plages, leaste in despising litle gētle ones, we prouoke hym to poure hys whole wrathe on vs, as these menne didde.

‘He biddes them looke backewarde, not at one yeare or twoo passed, but euen frō the beginning whole fourty yeares, synce one stoone was layde on an other in ye foū dation of the Temple, and tyll all ye tyme that they lefte of their buyldinge, and too remember howe vnfruitefull and vnsea­sonable yeares they had?’ ‘The corne didde [Page] not yelde the halfe that men looked for, or yet iudged it to be: ye wyne not three par­tes, of that they hoped for in thus manye yeares together▪’ therfore thei should haue knowen that all was for their disobediēce in not buylding the Lordes house.

But howe came all this to passe? who was the woorker of these plages? was it wynde, myldew, hayle, stormes or tempe­stes, which did all this? In dede they had all these and many mo: but God sayeth, ‘I smote you with blastinge wyndes & myl­dewe, and hayle, all the woorkes of youre handes.’ In which he teaches that wynd, hayle, myldewe, storme and tempestes be his seruaunts, go his messages, where he will, destroying so muche and so litle, whā & where as it pleases him,Psal. cxlviii. as Dauid saith: fyre, hayle, snowe, yse & tempestes, which do hys commaundement.All thoughe God vse hys creatures in punishinge, yet hee cals it his own dede And because no suche harme comes by chaunce, or by the rulinge of the Starres, but all be his creatures, serue and obey hys holy will & pleasure, he calles it hys owne deede, & sayeth I smote you. Therefore by hys iuste iud­gemēt it is done, whatsoeuer is destroied: and murmure or grudge we muste not at hys doinges, thynkynge hym too dooe vs wronge, or deale lyke a tyranne wyth vs, but thankefullye beare it, knowing that [Page] by suche lighte punishmente,Iob. [...] hee willes vs co amende and escape a greater. We muste saye with Iob, the Lorde gaue it, and the Lorde toke it awaye, as the Lord willeth so let it be, blessed bee the name of the Lorde nowe and euer.

If we coulde thus with a reuerent feare acknowledge Gods workinge, in all hys punishinge, we woulde not seke vnlawe­full meanes in daunger of fire as s. Agas letters, the holy candell or a hawthorne in lighteninge, the halowed bell to ringe in thunder. &c: and it would be a great quiet­nes to oure myndes that wee shoulde pa­tiently and willinglye beare all crosses ye he shall laye vpon vs, least wee seeme too grudge at his doynges, whiche were no small faulte When Iob had loste all that he had, yet he accused neither deuyll, ene­mies, nor any other man, but sayde: if we receyued good thinges at the Lordes han­des, why shoulde we not suffer euyll also? The Lorde gaue it, and the Lorde tooke it awaye.

Thoughe the deuyl of malice sturred vp such men to cōmit such robbery against Iob, and they of coueteousnesse or enuye didde spoyle and robbe the good man, and soo bothe the deuyll and hys membres, [Page] in all their doinges heape their owne con­demnation, because they doe it of suche a wicked mynde, and for so euyl a purpose and ende: yet the good man in suche pla­ges,Gods loue & iustice, the deuils malice, & mans crueltye apeare in one deede. hath a further respecte to God, thyn­kinge that he whiche ruleth all, and suffereth these thinges by suche meanes trieth his patience, and therefore he thankefully taketh it. So in one deede Gods loue with iuste punishment for our sinnes and trial of our faither and pacience doo appeare: & also the malice of the deuill towardes vs, and the frowardnesse of vs one towardes an other. But because the ende & purpose wherfore it is done, be so farre diuers, we woorke oure owne dampnatiō willingly, whan we do any wickednes one towards another: and God is not the cause nor yet the entiser of vs too any euyll, but a iuste punisher of all synne.

Marke here diligentlye the mercifull goodnes of oure good God, and father in punishinge his people, howe he destroyes not vtterly first their wyues and chyldrē, or plages them with extreme diseases, but beginnes gently with their corne & other fruites, farre of frome theym, whose losse they might better beare:God begyn­nes first gētly to punish. yet neuerthelesse by these litle ones he gyues thē warninge to amende, or elles he will punishe them [Page] more greuously, and come nerer vnto thē in suche thingess a thei loue more dearly▪ and at length they and all theirs shoulde perishe, if thei woulde not amende. Thus saieth God, I will visite you in the rodde of men, that is to saye gentillye:Psal. xcix. and Da­uid in Gods name sayeth: I wil visit their wickednes with a rodde, and their sinnes with a scourge, but my mercie I will not take away from them, nor I wil not hurt them, as I am a true God. Thus like a father, and not like a tyranne he punishes to amende, and not too destroye, to saue, & not to condempne, for loue, and not for enuye, to pull vs from our wickednesse to hym, and not to make vs too hate hym, or runne from hym, firste by litle ones, that we maye auoyde greater, and not in them vtterly perishe.

‘The ende of Gods punishing, this people so longe, appeares here when he saith: you woulde not turne vnto me saieth the Lorde.’ For this cause then,God punishes for our profit & suffers lōg. that thei shuld turne to him, did he sende these plages, & not for hate or harme to his people. But what a wickednes & harde heartes were these men of, that amonge so many threa­teninges, so great plages, and in so many yeares, they woulde not turne vntoo the Lorde. Here appeares howe true it was [Page] that he sayde before, that all were fallen on sleepe, bothe prince, prieste, and people vntyll the Lorde awaked vp all their spi­rites, to see their greate disobedience, and to goo aboute their buyldinge. And also this declares how vnable and vnwillinge we bee to do good, vntyll God styrre vs vp by hys grace. God deales with vs as the shepehearde doeth with his sheepe: If a sheepe runne from his felowes, the shepe­herde settes his dogge after it, not to de­uoure it, but too bringe it in agayne: So our heauenly shepehearde, if any of vs his sheepe disobey him, he settes his dogge af­ter vs, not too hurte vs, but too bringe vs home to a consideration of oure dutye to­wardes this oure heauenly father and lo­uinge sheepehearde.

Gods dogges be pouertye, banishmēt, sickenes, euyll rulers, dearth, death, war, ignoraunce, superstition, losse of goods, or frendes. &c. Who coulde haue holden hys handes beside such a sturdye people, & not vtterly haue destroyed thē, where no sorte of men amonge suche a number, for soo many plages in so many yeares, woulde turne to their lord God.God suffers longe, Here therefore maye appeare the longe suffering of God, who doeth not sodenly in a rage take ven­geaunce on vs as soone as the faulte is [Page] done: (as one of vs doeth towardes an o­ther) but taries so longe too looke for oure amendement and repentaunce.Roma. xi. Also it is euidente howe true that is whiche God sayeth: all the daye longe I stretched oute my handes too an vnfaythfull and rebel­lious people.Reuela. iii. Oure sauioure Christ saieth he standes and knockes at the doore, and woulde come in, & we wil not let hym in.

The Lorde for his mercies sake softē oure heartes that we despise not such gen­till callinges, and be founde in the nūber of suche hard heartes, least we bee geuen vp to our owne lustes, and so perish in our owne wickednes. When we reade and heare this sturdye disobedience towardes God, we thinke this people to be ye worste vnder heauen, and if we had ben in theyr case we wolde not haue ben so disobediet: But if we loke at oure selues, & withoute flattery examine oure owne consciences & behauiour towardes God, wee shall fynde that we haue ben plaged no lesse then thei & haue had Gods lōg sufferāce & benefites shewed towardes vs no lesse then thei, & yet we haue not learned so much, yea lesse than they. God of hys goodnes amende it in vs for Christes sake.

And because they hadde ben so negli­gent, in not considering Gods plages and [Page] woorkes amonge them soo many yeares yet twyse agayne in this verse, ‘he willes them not lightly too consider it nor forget it any longer as they had done before ty­mes, but depely to way why those plages had fall vpon them.’ God workes nothing in vayne but for oure learninge & greate profite, that we maye remember our duty the better and more reuerentlye worshyp him hereafter. It is no smale faute so lightly to consider Gods workes towards vs: for that we might the better doe it, he hath geuen man onelye reason as a chiefe treasure, that we maye do thesame, & also taught vs by hys woorde to do so. There­fore if we do it not, we are worse thē bea­stes, whiche haue not reason too consider suche hys woorkinges.

No kynde of fruyte, corne, vynes, fig­ges, pomegranates, oliues, hadde prospe­rously encreased of all these yeares▪ which coulde not be but for some greate cause: & yet they passed but lightely on it, neyther fearinge God, the more least he should en­crease the plagues, nor amended their ly­ues, that he mighte holde his hande from plaginge them any longer.Remēbringe oure sinnes, & plages, worke good in vs. Often & ear­nest remembringe of our disobedience to­wardes God, and consideringe hys scour­ges for thesame,Luke. xv. workes in all good herts [Page] an earnest amendement of lyfe. The vn­thrifty sonne in the Gospel that had spent all his porcion of goods vnthriftely, when he was dryuen by hunger to remembrāce of him self and his misbehauiour: Comes home to his father, submittes hym selfe, confesses his faute, saying: Father I haue sinned agaynste heauen and thee, and am not woorthy to be called thy sonne: and so is receyued to mercy.

The Publican acknowledginge hys sinnes, went home righteous. Saincte Paule,i. Timo. i. remembringe howe he was a per­secuter, cruell, a blasphemer, is kept in an humble and lowli knowledge of him self. Esdras and Daniel confessinge their dis­obedience and sinnes of the hole people,Daniel. ix. knowledge their miserie, Gods iustice in punishinge, and so obtayne mercie. Moy­ses to teache the Iewes too be pitifull too straungers,Exo. xxii. biddes them remember howe they were straungers in Egipte, & slaues to Pharao: For in so consideringe their olde estate and heauye case that they were in before, they should learne the better to pitie straungers and consider their heaui­nes. This by remembringe diligentlye oure case and state passe, with Gods pu­nishment for oure sinnes, we shall learne oure misery, call for helpe of God, and bee [Page] more ware hereafter that we fall not into the lyke sinnes, & so procure Gods anger and heauier hand, heaping our owne damnation. God sendes such thinges to teach vs our duty: and if we do not learn, he wil cast vs out of his schole. No good schole­mayster will suffer suche lewde scholers in his schole, as will not learne, whā thei be sufficiently taughte, bothe by gentil­nes and sharpnes, by thinges past and presente, by example of others, and experiēce of them selues.

‘And where these plages began to fall vpon them, euen after the grounde worke of the temple was laide, & when thei lefte of buylding: a man wold thinke, God dealt extremely with them, whiche woulde not spare them any thinge at all, but for the firste faulte punishes so sharply and continues so longe.’ But as the Machabees teache,ii. Macha. vi. when he hath rekened the cruelty and persecution of Antiochus, least a man shoulde thinke God hated hys people for dealinge so sharpely with them, he saieth: God didde it for loue, and that he loued thē more then al other people, because by cor­rection he woulde so soone call them backe and not let them lyue in sinne styll, as he didde other nations. The Gentiles whom he punished nothinge so sharpely, but let [Page] lyue at their pleasure, they knewe hym not, worshipped hym not, he gaue theym not his worde, nor his Prophetes, but let them take their pleasure, as though he ca­red not for them,Psalm. cxix. Dauid considering the diuers plagues and sickenes, whiche God layde on hym, saide:Gods punis­shing is a to­ken of his loue. it is good for me that thou haste corrected and humbled me, for before I was corrected, I sinned. For as the [...] mā will suffer those beastes, which he apointes to be killed, to go where they lust in the best pastures, and to breake his hedges, that in so doinge the sooner they be fat, the sooner they may be slayne: So God, those people whiche he loues not in Christ his sonne, he lets them take theyr pleasure, correctes them not for their amē ­dement, but lets them woorke their iuste condempnation, in geuinge theym vp too their owne lustes. Euery father saith the apostle, correctes his chyldrē, & those which he correctes not be bastards. And although correction of God seme sharp and bitter for the present tyme▪ & semes to come of hat [...] and not of loue, yet the ende is sweete lo­uing & profitable that he may geue vs his holines. A vessel if it be foule, muste be scoured before wine be put in it, & he yt wil make his ground fruitfull, must first pull vp the weedes, before he sowe good seede: [Page] So by these sharpe medecines of Gods cor­rection, muste the bodye be purged, that ye mynde maye bringe foorth his due fruyte in feare and reuerence.

Let vs in Englande therfore remem­ber Gods plagues, whiche we haue suffe­red, of Gods good wil, so longe and many, for oure amendement: and let vs lamente oure hardenes of heart, that haue ben soo greuously & longe punished, and yet haue not duely considered the heauines of Gods hande, nor the greatnes of oure sinnes, whiche haue so prouoked his anger vppon vs. We are sufficiently taught by all exā ­ples before vs, if we wil learne, & by these present plages that we feele, what a gre­uous thinge & horrible synne it is in Gods sight, to leaue Gods house vnbuylte: & yet lyke vnreasonable beastes and vnsensy­ble, we neyther feare oure good God as [...] Lorde, nor loue hym as a father, as Mala­chie sayeth:Malachie. i If I be youre Lorde, where is the feare ye owe me? If I be youre father, where is the loue that is due vnto me?

From hence foorthe God promises too ‘blesse their fruite and woorkes: and they had not so great scarsenes before, but now they shoulde haue as great plentye.God turneth to vs whē we turne to him. So that whan man turnes vntoo God, God turnes vntoo hym: when man amendes, [Page] God lookes cherefully on hym, where be­fore he was angry: whan man leaues sin­ninge, God leaues plaginge: whan man buyldes Goddes house, and maintaineth his true religion, God blesseth his house, & all that is in it.

As Moyses teaches:Deutre xxviii. If thou heare the voyce of the Lorde thy God to doe his com­maundement, thou shalte be blessed in the Citie, in thy house, in the fielde. &c.

And howe came all thys to passe,Preachynge moues more than plages. that they were so amended? by preachinge ra­ther then plaginge: for that whiche coulde not bee obtayned in 40. yeares plagues, was gotten in three weekes preachinge. Aggeus came the firste daye of the 6. mo­neth, and the 24. of thesame thei beganne to worke: so they hadde no more tyme too preache in, nor too prepare their tooles in, but three weekes and three dayes. Suche a stronge thing is the woorde of God, shar­per then a twoo edged swoorde, and pear­cinge to the deuision of the minde & soule: and where it is earnestly receiued,Hebre. iiii. it ma­kes many to feare no deathe nor displea­sure, nor to thinke any thing painfull, so that he maye please hys God. Therfore let vs haue it in reuerence, vse it, heare it, reade it, marke it, remember it, and prac­tise it: for in it is shewed vntoo vs all the [Page] counsaill of God, and it is sette for a suffi­cient doctrine to vs, to sturre vs vp too the doinge of our dutye,Gentilnes is oft better thā sharpenes. and saluation of our soules, to the worshipping of God, and vn­derstanding his goodnes offered vnto vs. Also a worthy example it is to be folowed of all that haue correction of other, yt when the rodde will not serue, to proue wordes and counsayle: For often, many be suche, that they wil do more for a woorde, then a stripe, and often strokes harden the heart, when gentlenes wynnes and perswades.

The Text.

verse 20 The woorde of the Lorde was spoken the second time vnto Aggeus, in the .xxiiii. daye of the moneth, saying:

verse 21 Speake too Zerubabell the ruler of Iuda, saying: I wil trouble heauen and earthe also.

verse 22 And I wil destroy the seate of the Kyngedomes, and I will breake in sunder the strengthe of the Kyngdoms [Page] of the Heathen: and I wyll throwe doune the Chariots and the ryders in them, the Horses shall fall doune, and the ryders on them, and the noblest shal be slayne by the swoorde of hys brother.

verse 23 In that day saieth the Lord of hoostes, I will take thee Zerubabell, sonne of Sala­thiel my seruaunt (saieth the Lorde,) and I will put thee as a signette, because I haue chosen thee (sayeth the Lord of hoostes.)

¶The people of God nowe going dili­gently aboute to buylde the Lords house,God bless [...] thē that build hys house, & sendes theym preachers. and woorkinge at it now three ful mone­thes, did so well please the Lorde, that he sent his Prophete twyse on a daie to com­forte and encourage them in their doings. least they shoulde fainte, or bee slacke in goinge forwarde, as they were before. Such a louing Lord is our good God vnto his people, that he will mayntayn and set [Page] forwarde all suche as go about diligently to walke in their vocation, and buyld hys house to their power. Euery moneth from the beginninge of the restoringe of thys Temple, they hadde one message or other from God, by his Prophete, too will them to continue and go forwarde in this well doinge and buylding Gods house.

In the syxte and seuenth moneth came this Prophete Aggeus with goddes mes­sage vnto them, as is sayde before: In the eyght moneth comes Zacharias the Pro­phete.Zacha. i In the 9. moneth comes this Pro­phete agayne twyse on a daye frome God with comfortable promises: in the 11. mo­neth comes Zachary againe. So whyle they were thus diligent to do their duty, God was as ready to shewe them mercye: and will be to all whiche do the like, as he hath promised that to euery one that hath it shalbe geuen.Luke▪ ix. Therfore if we be desi­rous to haue encrease of the Lordes bles­singes, let vs be diligent to encrease that littel, whiche we haue geuen vs first, and it shall be encreased to muche more. He bringes the Lordes message and not hys owne, like a true seruaunt: not for money as the Popes pardoners and Priestes do, but freely and willinglye comes twise a daye as the Lorde appointes hym. Con­trariwise, [Page] if the people folow not ye which they be taught, God takes his woord and Prophetes from them.

It is written of a holy father called Fe­lix,Felix. whiche when certaine desired hym too preache, he sayde: In time past when men did as they were taughte, God opened many preachers mouthes: nowe the peo­ple will not learne, therfore God stoppes their mouthes.

‘He is now sent to Zerubabel ye prince and chief ruler, specially by name: but not as though this promise perteined to hym onely, and not to the rest of the people,Promises ma­de to rulers, pertayne too their succes­sors. but by hym to the rest of the people.’ Under the name of Zerubabel is conteyned here all his posteritie and kyngedome: for too him it was neuer performed. As what leage, truthe or promise of fauour so euer is made to anye kinge, in the same is hys kyngedome conteyned, and hys subiectes are also pertakers of thesame. So the pro­mises made too Abraham, Isaac, Iacob & Dauid, belonge not to them onely, but to their children also, successors, heyres, peo­ple, and subiectes.Amos. ix I will restore the de­cayed houses of Dauid (saieth the prophet) meaning the kingdome of Christe & Chri­stians, to the ende whom he calles Dauid by the preaching of the gospell.

[Page] For this troubling of heauen & earth ynough was sayd before, and this is that which the Apostle saith to the Hebrewes:Hebre. xii. ‘yet once I trouble heauen and earth:’ mea­ninge that those thinges whiche are thus troubled, perish, and those whiche be not, continue: and that those kyngdomes that set vp them selues agaynst Christ, shal fal, but Christes kyngedome shall stande for euer, as Dauid saieth: This kingdome is an euerlasting kyngdome. It is as muche to saye: that he would fyll the world with warre betwixt the Persians and the Gre­cians, that they shall trouble the earth.

This Prophete in the verse folowing tels of the destruction of the kyngdome of Persians, vnder whose dominion the Ie­wes were now, and to whome they paied great taxes, as Nehemias telles. He cals it the seate of kyngedomes, because many kyngdomes were subiect vnto them, and that all the greatest kinges feared them, serued them, were in leage with them, or sought frendship at their handes. And al­though this is nowe tolde, yet it was not fulfilled of a hūdred, fourty, & fyue years afterwards, or a hundred, thirtye, & foure years as some do count. It is spoken too comfort the Iewes, and aunswere to two priuie obiections, whiche thei might haue [...]ayde againste God and hys Prophete.

[Page]After that they had nowe wroughte earnestly at the buyldinge of Gods house three monethes, God was so well delyted with them, that where as heretofore he had so long plaged and sharpely punished them, he sayde? From this daye foorthe will I blesse you and youre Oliues, vyne­yardes, pomegranates, and other fruites shoulde encrease and multiply, whiche all before had ben vnfruitefull. But to thys the people mighte haue sayde: what are wee the better to haue all these fruytfull and plentious? Are wee not Tributaries to the Persians, and what plentye or pro­fitte so euer wee haue, they take it frome vs by their great taxes?

All is one matter whether wee haue muche or litle, plentye or scarcenes, good cheape or dearthe: for if wee haue muche, we paye muche, and if we haue but litle, wee paye little, so all is one thing too vs, except this coulde be amended. ‘Therefore oure moste mercifull God,Goddes pro­mises, satisfie the consciēce in all doutes. which wil take all doutes from vs, which we can obiect, & comfort vs in all points that we can fear, sayth thus vnto thē be not afraide of thys great power & kyngdom of the Persians, vnder whō ye now be, & pay tribute vnto, for rather thē my people shalbe styl oppressed, I wil pul doun the whole kyngdome, [Page] and strength thereof, the Chariots, Hor­ses, the ryders on them, and horsemen, all shall fall, yea the chiefest man among thē, euen the Kynge hym self shal be slayne by the swoorde, not of a straunger, but of his owne countreimē, brother and seruaunt.’ And although thys shal not come to passe nor be done in your tyme and dayes, yet be ye sure it shall be done at the time ap­pointed when God shall thinke it best for his glory, and your commoditie.

Daniel in hys visions was often taught of 4. kynges & Monarchies, which should come. First of the ymage which hadde the head of golde, the armes and breste of syl­uer,Daniel. i [...].vii. the bealy of brasse, the legges of yron: And agayne by the ymage of 4. beastes, a Lyon, a Beare, a Libarde, and the fourth for cruelnes wanted a name, which with hys teeth should teare all, and tread vnder hys feete. &c. By whiche all, were note [...] firste the kyngdome of the Assirians, and Babilonians, the seconde of the Medes & Persians, vnder whiche the Iewes nowe were: The thirde was the Grecians, and the fourthe of the Romaynes, whiche all shoulde raygne in course a tyme, & should continue to the worldes ende, but euerye one more cruel and worse then the other, as is now ye Romish Pope, vnder whome [Page] we be. He is Emperour in dede, vsurping the fourthe kyngedome, and rules lyke a prince on earthe aboue kynges, and hathe dryuen the Emperour almost out of Italy and taken the landes and possessions of the Empire frome hym,The Pope is Emperour in dede, and hys rulīg is worse then the rest. and makes hym content with a corner of the world in Ger­many, where the reuenues of the Empire is not now so much as diuers lordes haue. Euery one of these kyngdoms was worse then the other before them, as these bea­stes and mettalles were woorse then the other. By the which we maye learne that the kyngdome of the Pope is worse then the others were: and that it is worse to be vnder hym, than the other whiche were Heathen, and knewe not God. God hates them woorse, whiche beare the name of Christen men, and make a shewe too loue God, and in dede do nothinge els but hate and persecute the good men as the Pope doeth. The seruaunt whiche knoweth his maisters will & doeth it not, shal be worse beaten then he whiche offendes by igno­raunce.

The kyngdome of the Assirians was nowe pulled doune, and geuē to the Per­sians: & this is that kyngdom now which the Prophete sayeth God woulde destroye and geue ouer to the Grecians.

[Page]This came to passe in the time of the last Darius, who in diuers battailes foughte with Alexāder the great, suffered ye worse and was ouercomen. Where Alexander firste takinge Darius wyfe the queene, his mother and his chyldrn prysoners,Darius. Alexander▪ vsed them gently as his owne. Darius seinge suche gentlenes, and thinkinge to fynde lyke fauour for him selfe, sent Em­bassage to Alexander and said if he would let hym kepe his kyngdome styl, all other thinges should be at his pleasure. But Alexander aunswered that he coulde not suffer him so for the world coulde no more abyde twoo kings to raygne, then to haue twoo Sunnes too shyne: therefore there was no remedye, but yelde hym selfe if he woulde lyue. Then Darius seing that, prepared hym selfe to the fielde, where he was trayterously slayne by his seruaunt Bessus. So is this true whiche the Pro­phete sayeth, the chiefest man by ye sworde of his brother shoulde be slayn. So would I translate the Hebrew woorde Isch, ra­ther then euery man as some doe. For euery man was not slayn by hys brother, but the kynge namely as the history tels.

This is common in the scripture, too putte the woorde brother for one that is of thesame countrye, kinred, or religion, [Page] and not alwayes for those whiche haue one father and mother. So it maye well stande that he was slayne of hys brother,Brother. that is to saye of hys countryman, as the history calles Bessus his seruaunt. Alex­ander finding kynge Darius thus deadly wounded of hys seruaunt, for iustice sake to punishe suche traytours,Traytours. bended doune the toppes of twoo yonge trees, and tied the legges of Bessus to them, and let thē swynge vp sodenly agayn, and so rent him in peces. Likewise Dauid,ii. Reg. [...] when one came vnto hym, telling him how he had slayne. Saule his enemy, thinkinge thereby too picke a thanke, and get a rewarde of Da­uid, he was by the commaundemente of Dauid slayne: and so shoulde all traitours which be false to their maisters be serued. Thus the kynge beinge slaine, the king­dome was broughte frome the Persians too the Gretians, as the Prophete telleth here.

‘Where God saieth by his Prophete that he will destroy the kyngdome, throw doune the horses, and horsemen. &c. we be taught that God maketh kynges,E [...]cle x Leuiti. xviii Princes stande not by theyr owne power. pulleth doune, and chaunges kyngdomes, frome one people too another, for the sinnes of the people as Sirach sayeth, and maketh to rule whome pleaseth hym.’

[Page]The lande spued out the rulers and peo­ple in it for their sinnes, and God gaue it to the Iewes: Therefore let not princes trust in their greate strength and power, for it is the Lorde God that geueth victory as he thinketh good, whether thei be good rulers or euyl, they be sette vp of God, as Salomon saieth:Proue. viii. Ihon. xix in the name of God, by me kynges doe raygne: and oure sauioure Christ sayd to Pilate, thou shouldest haue no power ouer me, excepte it were geuen thee from aboue. If thei be good rulers, it is Gods good blessinge and free mercye: if they be euyl, it is of iustice to punish oure sinnes, as Iob saieth: God makes hypocri­tes to rule for the sinnes of the people.Iob▪ xxxiiii. What cause haue we then in Englande to complayne, that God deales so sharpely with vs, that where we haue ben lōge hy­pocrites afore hym, he punished vs of late, a whyle, with hypocrites too bee in aucto­ritie ouer vs? whan the Saxons inuaded this realme, droue out the Englishemen, and ruled as kyngs, the state of ye cōmon­wealth was much lyke to these our days, and the lyke sinnes reygned in all sortes of men, bothe hygh and lowe, nobilitie & people, rulers and subiectes, prelates and clergie: the moste parte were greate hypo­crites, and superstitious, cruel, couetous, [Page] proude, gluttons, whorehunters, & ambi­tious. Therefore let vs amende, or we shalbe geuē vp, to the Spanyardes, Scot­tes, Flemmynges, or Frenchmen, as we were then to the Saxons. God gaue hys people into the handes of the Babiloniās and other people rounde aboute theym, whiche were then the commen scourges of the worlde: and so wil he do with vs as he hath done to our fathers afore vs, if we doe not amende, for he hateth sinne in all ages, and will punishe it.

But as God comfortes his people here nowe buyldinge his house, and sayeth, he will throwe doune that kyngdome, which than troubled them: so he will be as good vnto vs, if we worshippe hym truely, and he will destroye them that trouble vs. Hys loue too his people is greatest as he saith: he that touches you, touches the ap­ple of my eye. So tender is our God ouer vs as we be ouer our eyes,Zacha. ii. Gods loue in all ages is greatest to his people. whiche be the tenderest partes of vs: and he wil (mooste assuredlye) reuenge all displeasure done vnto vs, for he can no more see his people take wronge, and be oppressed now, then afore times. He is no chaungelinge, nor his loue waxes not colde, nor olde: wee be hys chyldren and the members of his mis­ticall bodye, as they were now, to whome [Page] he promiseth this helpe, he is oure Lorde God and father, louinge his chyldren and members in al ages, and pouring his blessinges on them, for Christes sake in whom he hath chosen them: therfore he wil shew the like mercies vnto vs, and of iustice re­uenge all displeasures done too vs for hys sake.

The last verse maketh aunswere too an other obiectiō, which the Iewes might haue made againste the Prophete saying: If this kyngedome shalbe throwen doun, and so great warre shalbe, as though hea­uen & earth should go together: then shall we be destroyed, we are but few in nūber, there is but few of vs come home again, & what shal we do then, how shal we escape being compassed about with so strong and many enemies, we shalbe deuoured. To this God maketh aunswer, & biddeth them not be afrayde:God deliue­reth hys in greatest daū ­gers. ‘for in ye day whē this great trouble shal come, I wil take the Zerubabel my seruaunt, whom I loue saieth the Lord, & I wil kepe thee as my priuie sig­net, & thou shal not perish saieth ye mightie Lord of hostes, because I haue chosē thee. So good a God & comfortable lorde is our God to all his people in all ages, that he will leaue no doubte vntaken awaye that can discomfort his chyldren:’ But he will [Page] satisfie all whiche can be sayde, and pul al feare from vs. Therfore Zurubabel is here promised too bee deliuered out of all daūgers of that great warre, & trāslating of the kingdō from the Persians to ye Gre­tians, so that he shoulde catche no harme.

But here ryseth a harde question, how this should be true that God woulde deli­uer Zurubabell in that daye of soo greate trouble, seinge that he liued not so longe, but dyed within .14. yeares after his Prophecie. Zurubabel was the firste prince of Iuda, whiche ruled the people after theyr returning home frome Babylon: he came home with the people, was their capitayn and had now ruled a .40. yeares, he ruled in all but .52. yeares as the history sayeth: and this destruction of the kingdom of the Persians was not fulfilled of 145. years afterwardes or nere hande so much. How could he then be deliuered in that dai, and died so long afore?Promises ma­de too the fa­ [...]her, belonge to the chyldes vnto this mai be aūswered yt which was said afore: that promises made to kinges, & that fathers are dot too be applied to thē selues onely, but they be made also too their chyldren & subiectes, & shalbe fulfilled in long years afterwards▪ rather thē at ye prosent, so wil God exercise our faith, in patiētly lokīg for his cōming whē his holy wisedom shall thinke good, [Page] and not when oure foolishe rashnes shall wishe and desire hym to come.

Promises made vnto Abrahā, Isaac, Dauid, and Iacob. &c. were not fulfilled in their dayes, but to their chyldren long af­terwardes: so God makes promise here too these princes and rulers, that all the sub­iectes maye knowe that they be conteined also in thesame truce and leage of God, & that the promise concernes them also, and they shalbe deliuered in that daye frome all the daūger of warre, and enemies that shall come vpon them. And it is as muche as though the Prophete shoulde say: thou Zerubabell and thy kyngedome, all thy people and subiectes, be not afrayde: for in those troublesome daies I wil saue you and kepe you as diligently as my rynge & priuate seale.

And that they might the more earnestly "beleue it, he called hym seruaunt: where­by he mighte well assure him selfe, that yf earthely lordes and maysters wil defende their seruauntes, much more he that was kynge of heauen and earthe, and Lord of Lordes, mooste tender and louinge of hys subiectes, woulde not see hys seruauntes oppressed, violentlye troden vnder foote, nor throwen doune: but he would be their mighty deliuerer, & reuenge their wrōgs. [Page] What can he greater comfort to any peo­ple,God deliue­reth his ser­uaunts, if they wil wear his lyuerye. than to heare God vouchesafe too call him selfe their Lorde God and maister, & them hys seruauntes? If this be thought soo greate a promotion that an earthelye lorde will take vs too his seruice, speake cherefully to vs, set vs in some office or let vs weare his lyuery: it is muche more too be estemed to be seruaūt to Iesus Christ, to beare his crosse for that is his lyuery, to fighte vnder his bāner, and haue hym for our capitayne. Men do commonly sue too be seruauntes vntoo noble men, & weare their lyueryes, that whosoeuer seeth their coate, maye feare them, and vnder theyr maisters name they mai rule in their coū ­trye like lords of the lande, do wrong whā they lust, and euery man shall cal it right: and thoughe they were slaues afore, yet now they shalbe euery gentilmans felow▪ but they whiche weare Christes lyuerey, be obedient and louing to all, do no wrōg but suffer, praye for them which persecute them, and do good for euill This lyuerye we muste weare if we will bee the lordes seruauntes, and partakers of his promise and deliueraunce in the daye of trouble.

This similitude, which the Prophete vseth of a ringe, that God woulde keepe him as safely as his ring, is takē of kings" [Page] and Princes, which emōg all things kepe their seale signet and ringe moste surely, either them selues, or betake it too some moste trusty frende to kepe. If the seale should be counterfeated, stolen, or blāckes sealed with it: what hurt or treasō might be done thereby? their landes, offices, or treasure, mighte be geuen away: the sub­iectes sturred to rebellion, or the destruc­tion of the hole common wealth might fo­low thereon. Therfore that thei mighte moste certainly perswade them selues, yt in that troublesō time of warre & destruc­tion of the kingdome of the Persians thei shoulde be moste safely kepte:God saueth hys people in all daungers. he saieth he wil kepe theym, as hys ringe and seale, that is too saye, mooste safely. And as when a frende sende his ringe or seale for a token to his frende, it signifieth that he loueth hym moste derelye, too whome he sendeth suche a pledge of loue & frendship: and also teacheth him that where he seeth his frendes ringe, he shoulde not denye him his request, nor doubte of the message that it shoulde be counterfeated: so whan he names his ringe here, they shoulde not doubt of his loue towardes them,The scripture is Gods indē ­ture, and the Sacramentes be seales. nor mi­strust hys promise. For as with vs, whan Doctors be created thei haue a ring geuen them as a ceremony of honour and aucthoritie, and in marriage, the husbād [Page] geueth hys wyfe a ringe for a sure pledge of loue: so God our sauioure vnder this si­militude of a ringe commendes his ho­nour that he hath called vs vnto, to be hys seruauntes and chyldren, the loue he bea­res vntoo vs, in that he hath marryed vs vnto hym in hys sonne Christe, by the weddinge ring of sayth. And the wedding apparell appeareth when Osee sayeth:Osee. ii. I will marye the to me in faith, iustice, iud­gement, mercie, and many mercies.

Under this name of a seale, he commē deth vnto vs also,Seale. bothe his outward visi­ble sacraments, and the inwarde grace of the holy Ghoste, working in our conscien­ces by them. Saincte Paule .iiii. to the Romaines called Circumcision (a Sacramēt of the olde lawe) the seale of the righteousnes of faythe: and as that was a seale in that time to our fathers of righteousnes, so be our sacramēts too vs in these dayes, seales of Gods promises vnto vs, & al haue one strength & vertue. The scriptur of God is the indentur betwixt God & vs, wherin is conteined both the promises, grace, and mercy, ye God offereth to the world in hys sonne Christ, & also the conditiōs which he requires to be fulfilled in our behalf: ye sa­craments are ye seales set to his indēture, to strengthen our faith yt we do not doubt. [Page] For as it is not ynough to write the conditions of a bargain in an indenture, except it be sealed: soo God for oure weakenes thought it not sufficient too make vs pro­mise of his blessinges in writinge in hys scripture, but he woulde seale it with hys owne bloude, and institute his sacramēts as seales of thesame truth to remaine too be receiued of vs in remembraunce of him and strengthning our faith.

Baptisme is a sacrament sealed by God, and sealinge our consciences that God ta­keth vs for his chyldren and seruauntes: and we offer and binde our selues to serue hym onely as a lorde and father. The sup­per is also a sacrament, wherein he fedes vs spiritually, (thus takē into his seruice) with his owne precious body and bloude: and we rekening with oure selues, where in wee haue offended hym, aske mercye, nothinge doubtinge to obtayne it, and re­newe oure bonde to hym whiche we haue so often broken, and promise too doe so [...] more. So that when God geueth these hys sacramentes to vs by his ministers, & wee receyue thesame, the bargayn is ful made betwixt God and vs, the writinge sealed & deliuered: we are become his people, and he oure God, we to serue, loue, honour and worshippe hym, and he too helpe, deliuer, [Page] defende, and prouide for vs al necessaries. This inwarde sealinge of the conscience, whiche is the seconde sorte of sealinge, is where God poureth his loue so plentifully into our heartes by the holy Ghoste,Roma. v.viii. which is geuen vs, that he beareth witnes too oure spirite, that we be the childrē of God, and sturreth vp oure myndes to call hym father, father: we haue a taste and felinge that God hath chosen and sealed vs for hys people with the holy Ghoste promised, as saincte Paule sayeth.Ephe. i. This is a sure tokē to a faythfull hearte, that he is the chylde of God, and God his father:God sealeth the con [...]en­ces of hi [...] people with the holy Ghoste. and of this he takes so greate comforte yt in what trou­ble soeuer he fall, he knoweth that God doeth it not of hate but of loue, trieth hys faith that other may knowe thesame how earnestly he loueth his God, and that no­thinge can be so stronge to pull hym oute of his Goddes handes, not for his owne strengthe, but that God whiche holdeth hym, is stronger then all. Of suche as were thus sealed, saincte Ihon in his Re­uelation speaketh whan he sayeth:Reuele. vii. That of euery tribe [...], there were .12. thousande sealed:ii. Timo. i [...] and saincte Paule teacheth Timo­thee, that this grounde worke stand strōg hauing this seale: the Lord knoweth who be hys. For as noble men & princes beare [Page] a loue to their seruauntes, and for a witnesse of thesame, will geue their outward Coignessance, Badge and liuery, wherby they maye be knowen from others, & stur­reth vp their myndes to loue him agayne by suche tokens: So God wyll bothe by hys spirite poure his loue into our hearts, and let vs se the care that be taketh for vs, and will also by outwarde sacramentes, as badges marke vs for hys people, & by thesame seale vs surely too hym selfe, and sturre vs vp to loue him agayn, and looke diligently to oure dutie. If earthely lords and princes will soo safelye defende theyr seruauntes: let them not doubt, but God that is Lorde of lordes will defende hys people frome all daungers and wronges, be they neuer so manye and soo greate, if they woulde earnestly in faithe call vpon hym in the daye of their trouble, forsake their owne strengthe witte and polic [...]e, & truste in him onely. [...]al c [...]lvii Dauid sayeth wel: the Lord is not delited in ye strēgth of an horse nor the strong legges of man, but ye Lorde is wel pleased with them the which feare him, & with them that trust in his mercy.

There is no waye sooner to prouoke Gods anger, and make hym to forsake vs in trouble, than to trust to our selues, and in our owne witte, strength & policie: for [Page] that is as muche to take the praise to oure selues from him, and mistrust God that he can not or wil not defēd vs.Although we muste vse all lawfull mea­nes, yet truste onely in God. Luke. xvii. Psal. cxxiiii And although we must not trust in oure selues: yet wee muste vse all meanes, whiche he hathe or­deined for oure defence. For as we muste be diligent to do all good workes, and not put our trust of saluation in them, but sai with saincte Luke, whan ye haue done all that I commaunded you, saye ye bee vn­profitable seruauntes: so we must vse al­wayes lawefull, to defende oure selues, & yet saye: our help is from the Lord, which hath made both heauen and earth, he hath ordeyned suche meanes to saue vs by, and workes by thesame our deliuerāce whan pleaseth him: & sometimes too shewe hys power, he deliuereth vs without such or­dinarie meanes.

‘And why wil God thus saue them? for any goodnes in them, which had so longe forgottē him & his house? or for their good workes, who had so lōg ben so disobediēt? no,God helpeth vs for his owne sake & not for oure goodnes. but euen because I haue chosen thee saieth the Lord.’ This is the first & chiefest cause, why he bestoweth his goodnes vpō any people▪ euē because he hath chosen thē in Christ, afore ye world was made: & for this cause he cōtinueth, bestowing his blessing to the ende vpon thē, whom he hath once chosen.

[Page]Saincte Paule reasoninge of this matter putteth twoo causes, wherfore God shuld loue,Rom. ii▪iiii iustifye and chose vs: either freely of grace and mercy saieth he, or for the good­nes of oure woorkes? If it shoulde bee for oure woorkes, than (sayeth he) it can not be of grace: and if it be of free grace, loue and mercie, than is it not for our woorkes neither paste nor too come: for than grace shoulde not bee grace saieth he, if it were not thus freely geuen. If God shoulde chose vs for anye goodnes in vs, than hee shoulde but doe one good turne for ano­ther, and freely withoute rewarde doe no­thinge, whiche is mooste againste his na­ture, that doeth good for euyll, yea and where he seeth no possibilitie of goodnes or rewarde to be looked for. Who hath ge­uen him anye thinge firste, and he shalbe recompensed agayne sayeth sainct Paule? as though he shoulde saye:Roma xi Iohn xiii. no. I haue cho­sen you, and ye haue not chosen me sayde Christe to his disciples and Apostles. And as he thus chose theym, soo he choses all whiche he choosen: and so he will declare his fre grace, loue, and mercy, to al which be his freely, euen because it pleased hym to chose them, and they deserued not to be chosen of him, but rather to be caste away from hym. Whan God promised too [Page] deliuer his people in like distresse, by hys Prophete, he sayde: for myne owne sake, for myne owne sake, I will doe it. And not onely thus in bodely deliueraūce, but in forgeuenes of sinnes he saies likewise: it is I: it is I:Esai. xlviii. Esai. xliii whiche forgeueth thy sinnes for myne owne sake. Thus freely God oure heauenly father, for the loue whiche he beareth too vs in his sonne Christe, in whome he had chosen vs from the begin­ninge, and for whose sake he continueth hys fauour to vs (he: I saye) bestowes all his blessinges freely on vs bothe in bodye and soule, in this lyfe and after.

The will of God is the firste cause of doinge all good thinges:Gods will is the first cause of all. and whan he wil all thinges worke and they him: & whan he wil not, thei staye and cease: so because his chosing of vs cōmeth of his free will & mercy, it is the firste and chiefest cause of our saluation. If he shoulde be sturred too chose vs for our goodnes whiche he fore­sees in vs, that is euer vnperfite: or if for any other cause within vs or without vs, than he shoulde not be the firste cause and mouer of all thinges.Actes. xvii. But sainct Luke sayth: In him we lyue, be and are moued. That whiche moues an other thinge is in nature afore that whiche is moued, & also it is better, stronger and wyser; but to say [Page] that any ting is stronger, wyser, or better than God, is treason and blasphemie too his maiestie: therfore his will is the firste cause of all our goodnes.

Thus our good God teaches vs, & comforte his people, that all thinge shal turne to the best, to them which loue him, be the troubles neuer so many and great, ye mās witte can not tel how to escape. Let kings and princes fal together by the eares, kyl, murther, shewe what crueltye they can, gette or lose kyngdoms, warre, fighte, or what they can deuise:God deliueres his people [...] of all daū gers. God will saue and deliuer his people, if it please him oute of all their handes. Whan Pharao persecu­ted the Iewes thorough the read sea: God saued his people, and drouned the Egip­tians. In the wildernesse whā Seon and Ogge, two mightie kynges denied them vitayles and passage: God destroied them bothe, [...]. xxi and gaue their landes to his people. After they came to the lande promised, he droue oute 7. mightie people, and delte it to the Iewes:Actes vii and when all the Heathen people, whiche dwelt rounde about them, made warre againste his people, hee de­stroyed them all. In Babilon, when they were prysoners vnder Balthasar, kynge within the cytye, and Darius kynge of the Medes,Daniel. v. with Cyrus the king of ye Per­sians, [Page] beseginge the cytye rounde aboute that none shoulde escape: when the cytye was taken, God did not onely deliuer hys people from all the cruell handes of these three mighty kynges, but gaue them such fauour in the sighte of Cyrus, that he not onely hurte them not, but set them at li­bertie, sente them home to their countrye, gaue them licens too buylde this temple, restored their Iewels, whiche Nabucad­nezer tooke awaye, and gaue free licens to euery man to helpe theym with money as muche as they woulde. Who coulde haue thought Gods people shoulde haue ben now deliuered oute of the handes of three Heathen kynges, beinge all theyr ennemies, and mighte haue slayne theym lyke sheepe? whan Haman had gotten ly­cens of the kynge to destroye the Iewes, and made a galowes for Mardocheus: God sent queene Ester to saue his people,Ester. vii and Hamā was hanged on his own galowes. Whan Darius was slain by Alexander & the kyngdō brought to the Gretiās: Alex­ander cōming to destroy Ierusalē: because they denied hym tribute, God soo turned his heart, ye he entreated thē wel: submit­ted him self to the high priest, meting him with ye other priests in their priestly appa­rell, & cōfessed their God, to be ye true God. [Page] When the Romaines conquered the [...] ­tians, and the Iewes were vnder the rule of the Romaines: they didde not greatly harme them vntil they crucified Christe, & denied hym too bee their God: sayinge, hys bloude be vpon vs and vpon our chyldren. In the cruell persecutions afterwardes,Math. xxvii the more sorowe that was layde on Gods people, the more they encreased.

Thus in all ages God deliuered his out of trouble, or els taketh them to him selfe by some glorious death. In these our dais when the mightiest princes of the worlde stryue and fighte cruellye, who shalbe the greatest, rather then godliest: God prouy­deth alwayes some corner for his too flee into, where they maye serue him. And if they be persecuted from one place, he pre­pares an other to receyue them. And al­though persecution was greate amonges vs: yet God shewed him self more glorious mightye, and mercifull in strengthninge so many weake once to dye for hym, than in so mercifully prouiding for them which were abroade, although bothe be wonder­full. What glorious crakes made proude persecutours, that thei woulde make god­des poore banished people, too eate theyr syngers for hunger: but they had plentye for all the others crueltie: Gods holy name [Page] be praysed therefore. What a mercie of God is this, that where we deserued to be cast from him for euer, because of our wic­kednes, he nowe corrected vs gentellye: & called vs to this honour, that he punished vs not so muche for oure owne sinnes, as that he called vs to the promotion of bea­ringe his crosse, witnessinge to the world his truth, and vouchedsafe to proue, teach and confirme others in this his truthe, by oure witnesse bearinge. He called vs too thesame honour, that he called his owne sonne Christe Iesus, in suffering for hys names sake: that wher as we suffer with hym,Roma. viii we shalbe glorified and raigne with hym. Let the cruell Papistes consider therefore howe God hathe deliuered hys people out of their handes, fulfilled thys his promise, and kepte vs safely, like hys priuie signet, in these miserable dayes of their persecution. Let the bloudy Bishops voyde of all religion,Gods people haue the victorie by suffe­ringe. and chaunging with the worlde, to fyll their filthy bellies, (al­though they woulde nowe make men be­leue they woulde be constant, and stoutly confute that whiche afore they proued true by othes and doctrine). Let them, I saye, consider whether they, or the simple soules whiche they tormented, haue got­ten the victory. The simple soule offered [Page] hym self to dye, rather then to offend God by superstition or Idolatry: The proude Cayphas threatened fyre & faggotte, if he forsoke not his true faith. Thus whylest they striue for religion, & not for lyfe: the poore mēbers of christ hold fast their faith, & the proud prelate wt his tormēts can not ouercome Gods simple shepe. They striue not for life, but the simple man offeres it willingly, rather than forsake ye truthe: & so God euer confoūdes the wisedom of the world, & is glorified in ye fooles & abiectes. God for his mercie sake graūt all his lyke boldnes to witstād their crueltie, whanso­euer God shall trye vs.

A prayer.

MOst righteous iudge and merciful father, which of loue did punish sharpely thy people being negligēt in buyldinge thy house, yt by suche sharpe correction, they mighte be stirred vp, to do their duty, & so haue plea­sed thee: we acknowledge & cōfesse before the world & thy diuine maiesty yt we haue no lesse offended thee in this behalfe than they haue done, & that for all the sharp plagues which thou laide vpon vs, we coulde not awake out of our deadly sleepe, & for­getting [Page] the earnest promotiō of thy glorie & true religion, but rather consented to ye persecutiō of our brother, thy true & faith­ful people, vntil now yt of thi infinite goodnesse, by geuing vs a gratious Queene, & restoring the light of thy worde, yt hast let­ten vs taste the treasurs of thy mercies in our extreme & desperate miseries whā for our wickednes we durst not, & for ye gret power of thy enemies we coulde not hope nor loke for any such help or redresse at al. We fal doun flat therfor before ye throne of grace, desiring pardō of this gret negli­gence & of al our former offēces. & prai thee that ye wil not deal wt vs as we haue deserued: but as of thy own free wil yu promised thy people falling earnestly to thy work & restoring of thy tēple, yt frō thēce forward thou would blesse al their worke & fruits, ouerthrow their enemies & saue thy peo­ple, yt woldest make ye house also more glo­rious thā the first, by the preaching of thy Gospel: so we desire thee for Christes sake thy sonne & our sauiour to be no lesse good & gracious Lord vnto vs, yet once againe going about to restore thy true religiō tr [...] den doun & defaced by the cruell papistes. Send foorth O Lord many such faithfull preachers as wil set out thy glorie vnfey­nedly: open the hearts of thy people yt they may se how far more acceptable vnto the [...] [Page] is the liuely preaching of thy holy woord, than all the glittering ceremonies of Po­perie: deliuer vs we besech thee frō all our enemies, saue and preserue our gracious Queene as thine own signet, indue her & her coūsel wt such reuerēt fear of thee & thy woord yt all policie which is cōtrarie to thy woord set apart they mai vprightly seke & ernestly maintain thy true glory minister iustice, punish sin, & defend the right. Cō ­foūd most mightie God, & bring to naught all ye deuises of suche as go about to ouer­throw thy woord & true worship: open our eyes yt we may se how derely thou hast lo­ued vs in Iesus Christ thy sonne our lord: hold vs fast, O Lord of hostes, yt we fal no more frō thee: graūt vs thākful & obediēt hearts yt we may encrease dayly in ye loue, knowledge, & fear of ye: encrease our faith, & help our vnbelefe, yt we being prouided for, and releued in all our nedes by thy fa­therli care & prouidēce as yu shalt thīk good mai liue a godli life to ye praise & good exā ­ple of thi people, & after this life mai raign with thee for euer, through Christ our sa­uiour, to whom wt thee & the holy Ghoste, three persons & one God, be prayse & than­kes geuing in all congregations, for euer and euer. Amen.

¶Here endeth the prophete Aggeus.
¶A preface to all th …

¶A preface to all the Ene­mies of God, his woorde, people & Religion, to leaue their wickednes: and to comforte the good manfully too beare their madnes, and pa­tiently to loke for Gods goodnes.

LIke as in Agge­us my endeuor and purpose was that those that feare the Lorde shoulde be sturred vp to an ear­nest buyldinge of Gods house, louinge of his woorde, and maintaininge of true religion so in this shorte Prophete, my trauall and meaninge is, that the wicked vnderstanding how vainly they stryue with all their witte, power & policie against the poore simple innocent, cruci­fied Christ Iesus the almighti sonne of the liuing God, the wisedome and power of God his father, might cease their raginge madnes: and not onelye that, but also howe they shalbe ouerthrowen in their owne deuises that they imagine against true Christians, the misticall members of his body and churche, or againste hys woord and religion, as all their fathers haue bene frome the beginninge, whose steppes they folow in hating and persecu­ting gods people. Their stomackes be stout, theyr [Page] pollices great, their might is stronge, their wittes are wile, yea, all the worlde is on their side: yet in the ende they shall serue dastards,Prouer. xxi. ignorant, help­les, witles and misers: for as the wise man sais, ther is no wisedom, politie, nor counsell againste the Lorde. The more wisdom, subtiltie, strengthe or power that a man hais, the more he hais it to hys owne destruction, if he haue it not, and vse it too the glory of God and comfort of hys people. For as wylde beastes, the more fearce and cruel that they be, the more it harmes them, and causes men to hunt and seke wais how too destroy them: so the more that the wicked set vp thē selfes against the Lorde, and oppresse hys people, the readyer i [...] God to help and deliuer his, and ouerthrowe the other. Can they finde any rebels againste God, hys woorde and people from the beginninge too thys day, that hais preuailed agaynst the Lorde and hys chosen folke? If there be none (as it is mooste true none to be) how can they loke to be the firste? Why maye not true Christians, boldely saye with Dauid than: Why do the Heathen freate and fume, and the people imagine vain thinges againste the Lorde and his anointed?Psal. ii. saying▪ let vs brust in sun­der their bondes, and cast their yoke awaye frō vs. But it folowes, he that dwels in the heauens will mocke them, and the Lord will laughe them too scorne.

In the twoo first sinnes of Adam and soo or­derly in al ages to these dayes, it appeares how the [Page] wicked continually malice & persecute the good, but to the burt of theym selues and the prayse of the godly: Cain killed his brother Abel, & thought he should haue ben blameles: but Abels innocent bloude and suche like cried vengeance on Cain & hys folowers from that daye to this and the righ­teous God reuenges it dayly,Math. xxii [...]. and at length wil cō demne the obstinate vtterly. Cham mocked hys father Noe and hys seede the Canaanites persecu­ted Gods people the Iewes,Gene, ix. that came of Sem his brother: therefore his posteritie was accursed of God to the worlds ende. The proude Giants with their captain Nimrod buylding the tower of Ba­bell, to get them selues a name in earth,Gene. xi. were ouer­throwen in their owne deuise by God from hea­uē.Gene. xxvii Carnal Ismael sought to destroy the promysed Isaac, but in vain: Bloudy Edō or Esau (whom thys Prophete describes) sought the deathe of his bro­ther Iacob, but the God of Abraham their father saued them Ioseph was solde into Egipt by hys brether, and by the false accusinge of his maysties,Gene. xli. was wrongefully prysoned, yet hee that sittes on hygh, looked doune to the lowe dungeon of the pryson, and raised Ioseph to be ruler and sauer of the lande. The Egiptians oppressed Gods people for a tyme:Exod xiiii. but the Lord of hostes drouned Fha­rao and hys companye for their crueltye againste them: the frowarde people murmuringe often a­gainste their captain Moyses, some were swalo­wed vp with earth quick, some burned with fire.Nume xvi. [Page] The Philistians and seuen nations rounde aboute Gods flocke, kepte continual warre against them, yet they coulde neuer deuoure them, but were de­uoured at the length. Saul and hys flatterers banis­shed and pursued poore Dauid, whome his God of a shepeherde made a kynge, mauger all his foes. The ten tribes of Israel with their kyngs were e­nemies to Iuda & Beniamin euermore: yet though they were the strōger & mo in number, thei were soner rooted oute. The Chaldes, Assirians, Persiās, Grecians and Romaines, the mightiest princes on the earth oft subdued the Iewes, forsakinge theyr God? but the Lorde their olde sauiour euer resto­red them agayne when they fought him, vnto thei vtterly refused Christ their sauiour. The Iewes crucified Christ Iesus oure Lorde, thrust hym to the heart with a speare, buried hym, and layed a heauy stoone on hym thinkinge he should neuer ryse agayne a conqueror, but in vain was all theyr spite and their labor lost. Themperour many yeares cruellye tormented all that beleued in the Lord fondly, thinkinge to haue by that meane [...] ouerthrowen them: The Pope in processe of time conquered almoste al princes, except the Gretians, vnto of late the Lord opening the eyes of some, brake hys snares, and deliuered hys folke. Mōkes and Ereres, by mans traditions woulde haue ouer­whelmed true religion: Papistes of late haue ba­nisshed, burned and persecuted many godly men, so cruelly as no history speakes of the like thys [Page] thousande yeare, willing to haue feared all frome euer acknowledging their Lord & Christe: Many Heretikes haue laboured to haue defaced Goddes truthe: but al is in vain. God (his name bee praysed therefore) hais ouerthrowen them in their highest ruffe, laughed them to scorne, and raised vppe that whiche they would most gladly haue vtterly op­pressed▪ For as death and the graue could not pre­uaile against Christ our head: no more shall it a­gainst his bodye and members. As Nimrod there­fore, Pharao, Ieroboam, Nebucadnezar, Darius & Alexander with all their kyngdoms and partakers be now vainquished and subdued by the Turke, the Sophi and the Souldan, priester Iohn & other Heathen princes, their coūtries made wast, straū ­gers possesse them, their religion altered frō euill to wors, their cytyes, townes and temples (as the Prophetes did tell afore) are made dennes of wilde beastes, owles & other filthy byrds: so sence christ, that which Emperors māfullly cōquered the pope by subtiltie deuoured, made him selfe a prince of princes, but now by the power of Gods woorde preached, he is made a laughing stocke to al thos [...] whose eyes the Lord hais opened to see his abo­minations, and all realmes that afore feared hym▪ now God visiting hys people, fal from hym: For as the woodbinde leaning to a tree, climbes vp & spreades it selfe ouer all the branches, vnto it haue ouergrowen and kylled the hole tree: & as a strōg [...]eady streame, vndermining great hygh bankes, at [Page] length makes all to tumble intoo the water, and wasshes it awaye: so the Pope first seeking aid at princes hands & finding fauor, ouerwhelmed thē all at length as the woode bind and vndermining them as the heady waters hais throwen thē doune these many yeares, vnto it pleased God to opē the eyes of some few to consider their estate and seke for remedy.

No kingdom, people nor religion that with­stode god and his truthe, can be found, but it hais ben ouerthrowen. Babylon the first & wurst con­tinued longest: yet it had an ende by the Persians. The Persians, Greciās and Romains can not alto­gether compare in tyme with Babilon, & yet thei be vainquisshed away. Poperi hais troubled gods churche a long tyme: but nowe throughe godde [...] mercy, it melts away like snowe afore the sunne. But Christ saieth, our religion and people profes­sing the same, without all kynde of Popish super­stition, haue ben from the beginninge, continued in all ages from time to time, and at these dayes, (the Lords name be praised therefore) hole coun­tries do abhorre his abhominations. In the mid­des of all mischief, whan euerye kynde of fleshe had so defiled him self that god of iustice, drow­ned the hole world, except eight persons: yet was there found kept vndefiled, and calling vppon the liuinge god with true faythe, holye Seth, Enos, Enoch, Noe, &c. In Idolatrous Chaldae, was faith­full Abraham, Sarai, Nahor and Lot. &c. In superstitions [Page] Egipt liued innocently Iacob and hys sonnes, Moises, Aaron. &c In the wildernes wan­dred in gods feare, Iosue, Caleb, Phines, Eleazar. &c whan the number of gods people encreased in the tyme of the Iudges and kings, there were so many godly men found amonge the people (beside men of power, as Gedeō, Iephthe, Dauid, Iosaphat, Eze­chias, Iosias, that thei can not be numbred. Against Iesabel stode vp Elias, Eliseus, Abdias &c. In the captiuitie were Esdras, Daniel, Aggeus, Nehemias with many moe. Against Haman and Holopher­nes stode Ester, Mardocheus, Iudith and Alier. What valiāt warriors the Machabees were against bloudy Antiochus, the auncient father Eleazar & the manly mother of the vii. brether soo cruellye murthered, the history declares. From Christes time to consider gods stout souldiors, it is harder to tell where to beginne, than where to make an ende. The Apostles and Martirs so cruelly tormē ­ted, be so many, and so wel knowen, that they nede not to be rehersed. What stormes than can the Pope deuise with his clergy to oppresse, de­face and ouerthrow god his woorde, religion or people? Can thei be more cruel thā Nero, Diocle­tian, Domitian? Can rhei passe Iesabel, Nebucad­nezar, Antiochus or suche like beastlye tormen­tors? In the spite of all the mightie persecutours, God blessed his. Surely their mischeuous malice & bloude thirsty tyranny, passe all these in madnes: and yet if they could passe them selues in cruelty, [Page] all is vain, He is stronger that is with vs, than any can be against vs. The deuil is cruel in his mēbers: but the louing Lord forsakes not his. Let not the wicked thā triūphe, nor gods peple be disamaied.

God our father, for loue will trie his people what they will beare for his sake: but of mercy, he will not lay to heauy loodes on vs, nor forsake vs, the Lord of strength and power will shew hys glory in our weakenes, that by his mightie hande suche weake bodyes may be strengthened to suf­fer that, that passes reason. The oftner that the goldsmith tries his gold in the fyre, beates & knockes it with hys hammer, the finer is the gold: the more that god tries our faith in the fornace of tēptation, the more he loues vs, and the more we glo­rifie hym: The stormy winter cā not ouerwhelm the fruites of Sommer. Weedes be many, yet the corne is not deuoured: wylde beastes be cruel, yet god defends the shiftles sheepe. Many fishes be raueners, yet the yong fish encreases the Hawkes be gredy, yet shifts the littell byrds. Dogs hunte & folow the chase most gredily▪ yet escapes safeli the fearfull hare: Sommer is raging hoate: yet the lea­ues make a comfortable colde shadow, the wind [...] blowe boustously, yet stand faste the low busshes whan the great ookes are ouerthrowen: the wa­ues of the sea are rough & hudge, yet safelye slips away the slyding shippe, the rage of fyre is swa­ged with water: the heady streames are kepte in with bankes. Vnruly people are brideled by la­wes: [Page] hote burning feuers are coled by medecines▪ Thus euer against an extremite, God hais prepa­red a remedy, that fearfull man shuld not mistrust gods carefull prouidence that he takes for hym: How should proud Popery than thinke too con­quere all by might and cruelty that god defendes so fatherly? and why should gods people be afraid at euery storme? he that smites heales: and he that sends trouble, gyues strength. Let vs therfore pluck vp our stomackes, and pray with s. Augustine: D [...] quod iubes & iube quod vis: Lord giue me strēgth to do and beare that, that thou commaundes, and commaunde what thou will.

It is wonderfull to consider the folishnes of the wicked, which in politie wold seme so wise. The higher that a man climmes, the nerer and more daungerous is hys fall: the greater weighte that is cast on, the soner it breakes, the faster a mā runnes▪ the sooner he is wery: the forther that the bowe is drawen, the sooner it flies in peeces. The heauier that the cart is loden, the slower it goes: the hooter that the fyre is, the lesse whyle it con­tinues. The more greuous that the disease is, the shorter it is. Tyrannes raygne not long: wylde beastes the crueller they be, the more thei be hun­ted and killed. In summe: No violent thinge can longe endure. Yet foolish Papistes thinke wyth cruelty to wishe their will to raygne like lordes of the lande, and stablish their kingdom on earth, and to bring it so to passe, that not onely menne [Page] dare not or will not withstande them, but wil­lingly beleue, folow, doe and practise whatsoeuer they commaunde them: they can not be so igno­rant to not knowe these thinges: and wilfully to wishe againste knowledge and conscience, muste nedes be a great madnes. Gods woord, Christian faith and religion is of that nature, that the more it is persecuted, the more it thriues: the more it is hated the more good men loue it, the faster that thei be puld from it, the more they runne vnto it: Let theym therefore consider howe God hais wrought in other kyngdoms, ouerthrowing thē all that set vp them selues against him▪ and howe yet he works in the naturall course of thinges to teache vs by them his like working for vs spiri­tuall thinges, and let theym looke for no lesse a [...] ouerthrowe at gods hande in his appointed time.

If these things can not perswade them to stai their rage: I woulde thei would cōsider to whom thei make them selues seruaunts, that thei mighte be ashamed to serue so vile a maister. They geue place to the deuill (for all cruelti is of him) they b [...]ome his instruments, whereby he workes hys feates: they be his slaues and drudges at commaū ­dement to doe that he biddes (but were made too serue and feare their Lorde god) thei be driuen & ledde of hym like brute beastes, forgettinge hym that made them, and their sely tormented brether that praye for them: vnnaturally forgetting them selues to be men, they regarde not mans life, but [Page] vnmercifully spilles and spoiles them: And for what ende or purpose? to satisfie (if thei could euer be full) their bloudy appetites, to fill their idle bel­lies, to rule like kynges, too bee glorious in the world, to oppresse the simple, to deceiue the ignorant, & deface gods truth: to fede the people with lies, to set vp their god the Pope, to deface Christe and his merites, to hyde his woorde, and set vp su­perstitious Idolatrye: where they shoulde doe all thinges to the contrary, because in such their do­ynges all true Christians abhorre them.

But in these our miserable daies where it plea­sed god of his vndeserued [...]ercy, to staie their rage in burning & prisoning gods seli soules, that mis­chief, which their bloudy handes and cruell herts darre not attempte, their poysenfull tunges spue out. Now ceases fire and faggot, yet their sclaunderous lieng lippes are not stopped, where thei dar not blaspheme the doctrine soo frelye as thei bee wont: now thei inuei against the teachers & pro­fessors of it, with suche termes as please theym, though neuer one be true: But as Samuel saide too the people whan he had anointed Saul kinge:i. King. xii. Speake here afore the Lord and his anointed king, whether I haue taken any mannes Oxe or Asse, or haue oppressed any one of you, or taken bribe, & I will restore it, and they were not able to charge him, and yet were wery of him: so I dout not, but thei be not able iustli to burdē the preachers with such lies as thei deuise against them: and if any be [Page] for my parte, I wish theym not to be hid. This kynd of persecutiō is as greuous to an honest hert a [...] the other is: but a iustified mynde in this case will turne him selfe to the Rord, beare his crosse thankefully, & knowledge that the scholer is not aboue his maister. If Christ our lorde escaped not these tunges, but they calde him Samaritane, and sayde he had a deuill, let no Christian loke too be free.Psal. cxx. Dauid felte these panges whan he prayed: Lord deliuer my soule from wicked lippes, & frō a deceitfull tunge. If they remembred Gods thre­teninges to all suche, they would not be so talka­tiue. What shalbe geuen thee thou craftye tunge says Dauid:Psal. xii Euen sharpe arowes and burninge cooles, aunswers the holy Ghoste, and agayne: the Lord will destroy all crafty lips and proud tūges. Woulde God that these wicked men vnderstode these threateninges to be true, & that God would faithfully fulfill them to their confusion, if they did beleue them, they woulde tremble and quake for feare of them, and not be so ready too speake what please them. Many thinke their tunges too be their owne, and that they maye speake what they lust, and wordes to be no grefe nor kynde of persecution:Psal. lii.lvii. but blessed Dauid is of contrary opi­nion whan he compares suche tunges to swordes, poisonfull stinging of serpents, sharp rasers. &c. Thus be we fallen in such miserable daies, where vnder Popery we be tormēted & persecuted with all extremitie, & vnder the Gospell we be slaunde­red [Page] & reuiled, that we maye iustly saye with the Apostle: we are counted as shepe, apointed to the slaughter dayly.

If these fearfull examples & greuous ouerthrowe of the wicked, and so many from the beginninge can not perswade these cruel haters of God & hys woorde, murtherers of his saincts & their brether, to abate their pride, & swage [...]heir malice: if thys perticular prophecie writen for that purpose (too teache all bloudy butchers & proude Caiphas, that a like destruction will fall on them, as it did on Edon) can not help, than let them marke the ma­nifolde threateninges of [...] Lord where he thun­ders against such wicked doers. Be not afraid saies the Prophete thou Israell my seruaunte, for I am with thee, & fear not, for I am thy God that strēg­thens thee, & helps thee. Behold, they shalbe asha­med & confounded all that fighte against thee, & all that gain say thee shall perish, and bee brought to nought. &c. Again: thou art the hope of Israel:Esai. xli. all that forsake thee, shalbe ashamed, & they that goe from thee, shalbe writen in the earth,Iere. xvii. and not in heauen.

But this sede of Esau in our daies is wors than olde Edon▪ as their dedes well declare, whā Iacob was banished .xx. yeares, Esau was content to mete his brother Iacob, returning homeward, too for­get all olde grudges, to take & vse him as his frēd and brother: but our Edomites would not receiue their banished brother returning home, forget no olde malice, [Page] nor vse any frendship toward thē, but with word and dede shew all crueltie thei could deuise agaīst them, & yet so cōtinue. To this, some of the wiser forte peraduenture wil sai: there is iust cause why thei should do so: thei be not vsed as Iacob did his brother Esau. Iacob sente great gifts too his bro­ther Esau, toke nothing frome him, but lette him liue where he lusted. In dede this may be a greate cause: for they are so wel pleased with giftes and wealth, that in the middes of their rage, a littell bribe would haue loosed heauy chaines of yron, and quenched hote flaming faggots. But nowe though many thinges [...]ay be suffered in tēporall matters, yet the discipline of the gospell will not suffer persecutors too occupie the place of feders, nor wolues the rowme of shepeherds. If true dis­cipline might take place, not onely murtherers & apostates, forsaking that religiō which afore thei professed and taught, should be deposed frō theyr office, but al turntippets that turn with the world and kepe their liuings still, should haue no office in Christs church, vntyll thei made satisfaction by open repentaunce afore the congregatiō. But alas for pitie, for lacke of sharp discipline thei lie lur­kinge and loking for that daye whan they maye turne to their old vomitt again, en king their hāds in bloude, and laugh in their sleues too see suche coldnes in religion to serue the liuing Lord, wher they were so earnest, bold and diligent to sette vp their owne deuises. Yet all things considered, it is [Page] no meruail, why the good men succeding in the place of such euyl persons, be so euyl spoken of at these dayes. Eor as he that ripes in a dungehyll, is infect with the smell therof a longe time after, though he were neuer so cleane afore, and be that comes to a house infected with the pestilence is soone takē therwith, though he be neuer so soūd afore (yea the better complexion, the soner smitē) so good men, now searchinge the festerd cankers and riping the stinking duddels of Poperi, for a time smell euil in the noses of the wicked, & seme to be infected with a wor [...] plage than the other. Their places may [...]e well [...]med with the scrip­turs Cathedrae pestilētiae, the seats of pestilēce, be­cause thei either infect the good or elles sore as­saultes them. This miserie good men must be cō ­tent patiently to beare. for this is our nature more than any other people, alwaies to repine & be gre­ued with the present state. In the late daies of persecutiō, those which now be eye sores to loke on, were much desired and wisshed for: and those that now be lamented were than commenly cur­sed of the greater and better sort. Than all cryed Lord god deliuer vs this once, and we wil be most ware euer here after, how we offende thy diuine maiestie: but now being deliuered, we are worse, more vnthankefull, and disobediente thanne euer afore: which wickednes, surely the righteous god will not let escape without heauy plages.

To make an ende: if any natural pitie or merci [Page] of man were in them: or if like men they woulde be ruled by reason, these threateninges and exam­ples of the wicked might moue stony hearts: but seinge many of them be so blinded in their wic­kednes, that it nedes not or bootes not to speake vnto them, to the rest, whose heartes God hais, some thinge touched and are not altogether caste of God, I saye thus muche. Consider for gods loue and helth of your owne soules, who they be that ye hate and persecute, thei be gods creatures & hys handy worke, made lyke to his owne image and similitude: they whome ye murther so innocētly be those that Christ l [...]ed so derely, that he wold dye with moste bitter paynes for them, rather thā they shoulde perish, they be many of them youre kinsfolke, the moste parte your neyghbours, but euery one is your countreman, spekinge thesame language that ye doe, true subiectes too thesame prince that ye shoulde faithfully obey, and mem­bers of thesame common wealth, they saued your lyues and goods, not seking your vndoinge whan it laye in their handes. Consider how vnnaturall a thing it is thus to fight againste nature· remem­ber howe daungerous in gods sight it is thus vn­thankefully to prouoke his anger, thinke on how in your late raging madnes. God sodenly cut you of, and yet patiently taries too see if ye woulde haue new hearts. whan that daye came, which ye so longe loked for, ye had not euerye thinge after your owne will, but many heauy plages God laid [Page] on you: and surely whansoeuer God sendes the like agayne for oure vnthankefulnes, and not for your goodnes, all can not fal as ye woulde wishe. Surely if God lyke a father sharpelye correct hys childrē: what can hys enemyes loke for? geue place to nature, feare God. loue your brother in Christe, liue quietly like frēds and subiects to one prince: washe your bloudy handes and heartes with bit­ter wepinge teares, take to you pitefull mindes, loue them that wishe you good, leaue youre ra­ginge madnes, lest ye perishe in youre obstinate blindnes: so shall God the Lorde, blesse both you and vs, contrary to oure desertes for his own mer­cies, and not for any our goodnes, through his de­rely beloued sonne Christ▪ who offerd hym selfe a swete sacrifice for vs all, that we shoulde sacrifice our selues to hym, mortifyinge all carnall lustes, that we maye lyue and dye to him, and afterward be glorified with hym too whome vvith hys father and holy spirite three persons and one God, bee glorye and prayse in all congregations, now and euer. Amen.

Psal. cxxxvii.

¶Remember O Lorde the behauior of the chyldren of Edon, in the daye of Ierusalem: whan they sayde, doune with it, doune with it too the grounde.

The vision of Abdy.
¶Thus sais the Lord god to Edom, we hearde a voyce from the Lorde, and a message: was sents to the Heathen, sayinge ryse and let vs go fighte agaynste her in warre.

THys Prophete is not long in wordes, but he is pithie in sentēce: he en­treates not manye nor dy­uers maters, but thys one is weightie & depely to be considered, for euen as Apothecaris vse to put their cost­list medicynes, and ryche men their grea­test Iuels in some littell boxe or chest: so [...] God our heauēly scholemaister vses many times to teache in short writings so much of his heauenly wisedom, as many other tymes ye shall not finde in longe bookes: likewise of learned men, in one witty sen­tence and figure, will declare as much wit and eloquence as the commen sort wil do [Page] in long volumes. And as a litle gold is woorth a greate deale of brasse: & a smalle Diamond is better thā a number of right stones: so in this shorte Prophete is more learninge, comforte and godly wisedome than ye shall finde in searching longe and sondry sortes of ye learnedst Philosophers or eloquence Orators.

The Prophets vse to cal theyr writings visions or sights, for diuerse causes: firste because none shoulde take in hande to be Gods messenger to teache his people, but he that is lightened of the Lord, & hais his eyes and sight opened to see the misteries of God. For vnto the blinde sinner says God: why dost thou declare my righteous­nes and takes my testamēt in thy mouth: and again,Psalm▪ [...] Luce. vi. if the blinde leade the blinde, both fall in the pytte. Secondly, because they open the eyes, and geue sight too the blind as Dauid sais: the declaring of thy woordes lightens and geues vnderstan­dinge to the simple ones,Psal. cxix and also: thy woorde is a lanterne to my feete, & a light to my pathes. Thirdly and last of all, be­cause of the certainty of the things which they writte,Why Prophe­tes are called sights & pro­phesers. that is to wete: they were not tales whiche he had heard of our men, but whiche he sawe him selfe by the eyes of faith. Things that a mā heares of others, [Page] oft be false, but of those which he sees him selfe, no man doubtes as the Poete sais: one witnes yt sees it with his eye, is more to be beleued than tenne that harde it by report. For this certainty, Prophe­tes were called seers, commenlye of all men. In olde time as it is written:i, King. ix. whan they went to aske counsaill of God, they sayde: come let vs go to the seer. But how can he see these thinges whiche were not done in his lyfe time, but longe after? he sawe theym not in a dreame nor in a con­iurers glasse, nor by the vayn forsight of ye Starres, as Astronomers deceyuinge the world, woulde make menne beleue, they can tel them their destinies and things to come: but he sawe thē by the eyes of faith, when God, which can not lye, had shewed these thinges vnto him afore hād, & pro­ued thē true afterward in dede.Sighte by faythe is surer than the eye. This is ye surest way of knowledge, and seinge for those thinges which I beleue and se with the eyes of fayth, be surer than those that I see with my bodely eye, or fele with my hande. God is truth it selfe, and therefore those thinges that he teaches must nedes be true: and that faith and credēce, which is geuen to his woorde, can not deceyue, but must nedes come too passe, and bee as true as if I see them with my eye. Whan [Page] Thomas Dydimus woulde not beleue, excepte he see the prynte of the nayles.Ihon. xx Christe sayde: blessed be they that beleue and se not. O notable example for al true Prophetes & teachers to folowe, that they teache nothinge but that whiche they see in Gods booke, and not mans learninge, for that is full of deceit, and that they mai call their preachinges visions and sights, for the certaintie of them that thei be sene by a true faythe and founde in gods boke whiche can not lye: and therefore they be as true and too be beleued as if wee sawe them with oure eyes.

Mans learning is darknes, & therfore can not be called visions or thinges sene, but fained as Ezechiel says: woo be to the foolishe Prophetes,Ezech. xiii. whiche folowe theyr owne spirite and se nothinge, but of gods woorde it is sayde contrariwise, we haue o surer wrytinge of the Prophetes, to the whiche when ye geue attendaunce, as to a candle shyninge in a darke place, ye doe well vntoo the daye shyne,ii. Pet. i. and the daye Starre ryse in your heart. Thus sainct Peter attributes thus to the scripture & writinges of the Prophets, yt thei lighten our heartes and eyes, as a candle doeth a darke place vntoo a fuller knowledge bee geuen vnto vs by the spyrite of God too [Page] dryue out ignoraunce. As the daye Starre or daye it selfe dryues awaye darkenes.

Abdia or Oabdia as the Hebrewe cals hym,Abdya [...] is as muche to saye as the seruaunt of God, wheren we learne, who is he that wrytes this Prophete, and from whome he comes, & the goodnes of our good God towarde his seruauntes, that he lettes not them wander in ignoraunce, but de­clares hys hole will and pleasur vnto thē, yt they perish not with the wicked world, but he was not of suche sorte of seruaūts, whiche sainct Ihon wrytes of: The ser­uaūt knowes not what his maister does,Ihon. [...]. for suche be rather slaues, whiche knowe not their maisters pleasures, & serue not of loue, but feare. But he seruid the Lord hys God in true worship, for such sorte of seruauntes the Hebrew woord signifies, and that kynde of seruice is true fredome as sainct Paul sayes: Ye be made free frō sinne, but ye are seruauntes to God. Thus Paull & Peter call them selfes not onely Apostles, but also seruaūts of Iesu Christ: therfore the Lorde vouchesaued to declare his hole will vnto hym, his fayth­full and beloued seruaunte, concerninge thinges to come, and the estate of ye cruell Edomytes, whiche did so cruelly handle Gods people, and had persecuted them so [Page] longe, and lyke a true seruaunte that lo­ues hys felowes, he kepes it not close too hys selfe, but confortes others therewith Names in the scriptur bee not geuen in vayne,Names are not geuen in vayne. but that soo often as they heare or thinke on their owne name, so ofte they shoulde consider what they be taughte by it. Abdia in thinkinge on his name shuld remember that he shoulde serue the Lord his God Abraham, on the blissing of God, whiche made hī a father of many people.Abraham. Zacharia. Peter. Zacharia, that accordinge too hys name, he shoulde continually remember ye Lord. Peter that his faythe is the stronge rocke whereon Christ will buylde his churche, for so the woorde signifies by interpreta­tion & so foorth in all others. Therfore fa­thers doe well in geuinge their chyldren suche Christian names, as may remēber them of their duetye to Godwarde, & call them not by Heathē names or feyned foo­lishe sainctes, whiche can teache them no goodnes. Many doeth thinke this Abdias to be the steward of Achabs house, which had an. 100. Prophetes of God in caues, and fed them: 50. in one cōpanye, and as many in another in the tyme of Iezabels cruel persecutiō, & now by gods prouidēce fedes many thousandes with hys holsome doctrine. And although the holye scriptu­res [Page] do not playnly shewe that he was the­same Abdia in dede, yet probable enough it is, as many learned men thinke. Unto whose mynde also I can well agree that it is thesame man. He was one that fea­red the Lorde as he sayde to Elias,iii. King▪ xviii & was a straunger borne in Sychem of Idumea as some thinke, and not a Iewe borne, but turned after to the lawe of the Lorde, forsakinge the wickednes of his people. Hys writing is so muche more notable, because beinge a straunger, hee prophe­cies agaynste his owne countrye, and therfore the trewer be lyke also it is, and without percialitie spoken: because none will willingly threaten suche distruction to hys natiue countrye, as he does here: but he that is a true seruaūt of God with­oute sparinge, will speake his maysters message frely & truelye againste his dea­rest frendes, if the Lord God sende hym.

Thys prophecie is more meete also for these our dayes, because we were vnder ye lyke persecution that he was or worse: for the true Prophetes of God were not suffered to hyde them selfes in dennes & wildernes as they might do than, vnder cruel Achab and Iesabel, but were moste cruelly throwen intoo the fyer, yea, the madnes of Gods enemies was so muche, [Page] that they coulde not be satisfied with thē bloude of theym that were on lyue, but ye whiche was seldome redde of amonge ye Heathen. They pull vp the dead bodyes, whiche were buryed many yeares before, to burne their bones, and strawe their as­shes abrode, as maister Bucer, Paulus Fagius. &c. yea, of theues for praying god to deliuer vs from the tyrāny of the Pope, These Edomytes agaīst whō he writes, were not so cruell as oure men were & be. And therfore your distruction shall be the greater at the appoynted tyme, than thys other was. Let vs not flatter theym nor our selfes, because they be oure countrye men, or because we woulde not see the de­struction of oure countrye. For the Lorde is a righteous God, and will sharpely pu­nishe synne wheresoeuer he fyndes it, yf we doe not earnestlye begge hys pardon, mercy and forgeuenes, with amēdement of lyfe. But it is to be feared, that as Ab­dia did no good to his countrie folkes, be­cause they woulde not heare hym: So, muche labor is loste in oure countrye, be­cause they stop their eares, and will heare nothinge but that whiche pleases theym, for it is true that our sauiour Christ says:Math, xiii. There is no Prophete without honor and credite, but in his owne countrye: yet ne­uerthelesse [Page] lifte vp your voyce, blowe the trumpet of God, and tell the people theyr faultes, lest they perishe, and their bloude be required at your handes, discharge your selfs, rebuke them earnestlye, and lette it take rote and profit as God will, whiche geues all increase as he thinkes good. If they heare not, they perishe in their owne synnes, and thou art free. The preface that he puts here before, gets hym greate aucthoritie and credit with the hearers, & declares him also to be a true Prophete of God, because he speakes nothinge in hys owne name, but says the Lord god hadde put these woordes in his mouthe, and he was aucthor, and Abdyas but the messen­ger" to speake thē to his people. A worthy example for all teachers too folowe, that they neuer saye thinge but oute of Gods booke, and that they maye saye for euery thinge that they teache: Thus sayes the Lorde, this sayinge is mooste common in all the Prophetes, and to be folowed of all preachers. As sainct Peter says, if any mā speake,i. Pet. iiii. let hym speake but the woords of God. But of this enough is sayde in sun­drye places of Aggeus.

Edom, vnto whom the Lorde speakes here, is all the people of Idumea, beinge so called of Edom their fyrst father: as the [Page] scriptures vses too call the people by the name of the father: So were the Iewes called Israell of Iacob, whiche was called Israel their olde father.Gene. xxxvi Likewise Ephraī Ioseph, Iehuda, of these their old aūcetors. This Edom is Esau, Iacobs brother, as he is called in Genesis, Esau he is Edō, and had that name geuen hym for his co­lour that he had when he was borne,Edom. or of the colour of the potage, for the whiche he solde hys byrthe righte for, vnto hys bro­ther Iacob, when he was hongrye. Esau was also called Seir,Gene. xxxvi Seir. whiche signi­fies rough, because of the roughnes of his skynne: and for this cause these people of Edō and their coūtrye, is sundery tymes in the Prophetes called Seyr also: or if we seke forther, Edō maye haue his name of Adam,Adam. for they be written bothe with one letters in Ebrew, saue that they differ in poinctes: Adam signifies to be read, wher­fore Edom for his crueltie, in sheddinge bloudde maye well be so called. As oure cardinalles in their readde Scarlet robes, whiche be the folowers of these Edomy­tes, do well declare in their apparell, the bloude thristie myndes within: and theyr outwarde dedes haue declared theym too the whole worlde, but they say theyr read apparell signifies, they shoulde abyde by [Page] the truthe to their bloude shed. Adam also betokens a man, and one of the com­mon sorte: soo these men were not noble afore God, whiche is onely the true nobi­litie, but enemies to hys woorde and hys people. Adama signifies also the earthe,Adama. so that from whence soeuer we shal driue thys woorde Edom, and all that be dery­ued lyke it, they signifye no good people, but earthy, worldly, cruel, bloud thrystye, mortal, and abiects. Of the two brethrē, Iacob and Esau, came these two people, the Israelites and the Edomites. And as Esau did euer hate and persecute hys brother Iacob: so his stocke and posteritie did continually hate and persecute the chyl­dren of Iacob.

This is the secrete iudgement of God: That of one good father Isaac, came two so contrarie chyldren. The one so wicked, the other so good, and this wicked hatred to continue in the heartes of their childers chyldrē, so many ages after, but this is to teache vs the free grace of God withoute any desertes on oure parte, whan soeuer he cals any to the true knowledge & feare of hym:An euyll fa­ther maketh not an euyll sonne: nor cō trarie: and soo the good. and that neyther the good­nes or euelnes of ye father that makes a good or an euill chylde, for many good fa­thers haue hadde euill chyldren, and euill [Page] fathers good chyldren. Adam had good Abell and wicked Cain. Noe had good Sē and euill Cham: Abraham had bothe the carnall Ismaell and the spirituall Isaac: Isaac had the beloued Iacob and the hated Esau. Dauid had both proude Absalon & wyse Salomō: so that ye soule of the father is the lordes, as well as the soule of ye son, and the soule that synnes shall perishe,Ezech. xviii. & not the father for the sonne, nor the sonne for the father, as the Prophete sayes: but euery one [...]hal dye in his owne synnes. So hays there ben from the beginning in the house and children of one father, both good and euill, bothe carnall and spiri­tuall, where the one hays persecuted the other: as there is nowe in the outwarde churche of Christ, and company of them yt call them selues Christians, bothe trewe people and faithfull, and also hypocrytes, dissemblers, & cruell persecutors of theyr brethren, as these late dayes well decla­red, wher the father persecuted the sonne, and the sonne the father: the man ye wife, and the wyfe the man: whiche all & suche other our sauiour Christ declares to be cō ­sequentes to the Gospel. Therefore can none doubt of ye truthe of the Gospel now [Page] taught, & who be the true folowers of the same, but he yt is wilfully blinde, seing all these & many other true [...]okēs fulfilled in our days. And where he sayes: ‘we heard a sayinge frome the Lorde, and a message was sent to the Heathen that they should go fight agaīst Edō.’ He declares by what aucthorite these people came to destroye ye Edomites: not sent by any kynges or the hygh Prieste, but it was the Lorde God, which would vse Nabuchodonozor & hys people for a scourge of his iustice, too the punishing of these wicked people. It must not be thought straunge that God lettes one people plage an other, seing the scrip­tures is so full of it: for as God shewes hys mercy vnto his people, by the helpe & meanes of other men (for God woorkes nothinge without meanes) so he does not plage other without some meanes, & lets one people distroy an other. When [...] [...]am would haue foughtē againste Iero­boam, for withdrawing .10.iii. King. xii▪ Trybes from hym: the Lorde spake vnto hym, and bad hym he shoulde not fighte with him, for ye thinge was his dede,All plages be [...] frō God, yet only man synnes in plagīg one an other. & he willed it shulde be so. All gods creaturs be but his seruāts to do hys pleasur: to help & comfort where it please hym, and to punish, correct, trye or distroye where it please hym.

[Page]But all other creatures, excepte man, doe not synne in destroyinge or hurting man, because they haue no euill affection of mynde in doynge it: onely man sinnes in his doynges, because he addes too hys do­ynges some euill affection of his owne mynde, or els is stirred too it of the deuill. So Iob says, the Lorde hays geuen, & the Lorde hays taken away,Iob. i. the Lords name be praysed: He cals it not the dede of the Sabes or Chaldes that robbed hym, but the lordes, and yet they sore offended God in so doing: for thei did it not to trie Iob as God woulde haue had it, but of a gredye couetousnes to robbe hym, and a mali­tious mynde, because he was so welthye, whiche thinge they disdayned. Ioseph says, that his brether whiche solde hym to the Ismaelites,Gene. xiv. were not the cause of hys comminge into Egipte, but the good wil of God, for the Lorde turned the malice of his brether, bothe to the promotion of Io­seph and all their comfortes.

The Lorde therfore, nowe when the synne of thys people was rype, an [...] when he had tryed longe ynoughe for the amendement of theym, and they woulde not turne vntoo Cod, but abused his pa­tience and longe sufferinge: He sendes foorthe hys messenger too the Heathen [Page] aboute, to come and iustly to punish these obstinate people for their longe disobe­dience, it is as well the propertie of God to shew iustice and punishe sinne, as mer­cifully to help the weake and repentaunt heart: and mercy is not so in God that iu­stice is banished. As the Lorde sayde: he would whistle and with hissinge call for Nabuchodonozor to come and destroye Ie­rusalem: so now he sendes messengers to come bidde them fighte againste Edom.Esai. v.vi [...] Yet Nabuchodonozor, in iustly punishing the Iewes and Edomites, and that by the commaundemente of God, sore offendeth God, because he was proude of the victory, cruell in murther, and couetuous of spoy­linge, ambitious in raueinge, and neuer thought he had ynough: and therfore was his kyngdom afterward distroyed by the iustice of God. So the dede as it is of God, is good, pure and iuste: but beinge defiled of vs, with addinge our euill affections to it, as whan good wyne is put into an euil vessel: It is sinne and damnable, and yet is God free from all oure sinne & wicked­nes, and no causer therof, but a hater and reuenger of all wickednes.

But here is doubted, who these be ye heard this voyce of the Lorde, & how thys message was sent to the Gentils. To the [Page] firste parte I had rather saye that the Prophete speakes of him selfe in the plurall number, as though they were many that hearde it: whiche kinde of speaking is cō ­mune in the scripture,i. Corinth ix. as Paul sayes: If we haue sowen you spirituall thinges is it muche, or els that the other Prophetes whiche prophesie againste Edom, herde the same sayinge frome God as well as he did, and they altogether or Abdias alone in their names saies, we heard a sayinge from the Lorde.Who hearde [...]hys voyce. &c. And soo this sayinge shoulde be true and the rather beleued, because so many did agre in one sayinge. Againste Edom prophesied Esai. 21.34. Iere. 49. Ezech. 35▪ Amos. 1 But moste plainly, earnestly and orderly agreinge wt this Abdia, & almooste woorde for woord [...] does Iere. 49. Whose wordes, if ye com­pare with this present prophecie, ye shall see the agreinge truthe of Gods spirite in his scripture, & a great light shalbe mini­stred too this place therby.How the message was sent It is no l [...]sse doubt howe this message was sent, & who was the minister that caried it, for some thinke that Abdias was sente with thys Embassage him selfe to stirre vp Nab [...] ­chodonozor and his people, to destroy these Edomites: but other to whome I had ra­ther agre, thin [...] [...] deuil by gods suf­ferance, [Page] put intoo the minde of theym too worke his wil and iustice vpon them: God calles Nabuchodonozor his seruaunte for suche causes,Iere. xx [...] althoughe the deuill moued him to it and sayes: that he did him good seruice in executing his iudgemente: as ye hangman serues the kinge in punisshing offenders, and the Ialer in prisoning thē, as wel as other do in their kynde & office. Yet is God no more the cause of their sin and euil doing, than the king is of the of­fences and roberies of the people: but God like a righteous iudge of iustice, must ne­des punishe suche faultes as other magi­strates doe in their common wealth. But like as this voice of the lord was not herd by the eares of the body of the Prophetes, but put into their myndes by the worke of God as he thought good: So I thinke this message was not sente by any man, but as whan Embassadors be sent, or ru­mors of warre be certainly spred, Kyngs prepare theym selues too warre: so these people stirred vp of God by iustice too pu­nishe their sinne, and sette forwarde of the deuill, to satisfie their wicked desy­res ryse vp altogether too fight againste Edom, and destroyed it.iii. King. [...]x▪

So the Lord vsed the deuill as his Iaylor [Page] and hangman, to be a lyinge spirite in the mouth of Achabs prophetes, and send him to warre that he might there perishe, and gods righteous sentēce be executed, wher he sayde that the dogges shoulde licke hys bloude where they did licke vp Naboths. Thus God in his scripture speakinge too men, vses to speake as men: for as menne by messages or rumours of robberies, are stirred vp to warre: so the Lorde by some mete meane, as though it were by messengers woulde stirre vp the Chaldes too de­stroye Edom.

The cause of this warre and destruc­tion was as Ezechiell sayes .35. because ye Edomites,The cause of thys warre. whiche should haue bē helpers vnto the Israelites in their trouble (be­cause they were not onelye neighboures, their kyngdomes ioyninge together, but also they came of twoo brethern, Iacob & Esau, whiche thinge shoulde haue knitie them in brotherly loue) they did not onely not help them, but cruelly persecute them continually. I will destroy thee sayes the Lorde, and make thee desolate because y hast had a continuall hate against the Is­raelites, and diddest feare them with the swearde in the time of their trouble. Am [...]s telles the same cause likewise & al­moste [Page] with the same woorde.Religion cau­ses nerest frē ­des to bee ex­treme foes. So thys is the case of Gods people: that for their reli­gion they shall haue enemies of their own house, kinsfolke and frendes, as thys day well declares. And oure sauioure Christe sayde, he came not to set peace but too de­uide the father agaynste the sonne. &c. Where hatred falles betwixt brethern & frendes, and specially for religion, it is ye cruelst hate that can be. This hate began betwixt Iacob and Esau, for losinge hys blessinge, but it continued and encreased with the tyme in their chyldrē & posterite. The eldest sonne,The priuilege of the elder brother. as the Hebrews wryte had than priuileges afore the yonger, as they haue commonly now. The eldest thā succeded in his fathers authorite, was re­uerenced of his brethern, he had also dou­ble porcion of his fathers goods, as other say, and also enioyed their priesthod, wher wordlings that care for nothyng so much as the worlde haue lost their worldly ho­nor & authorite, how do thei rage & sinne? Esau whan he hadde loste and solde these thinges, he sought his brothers death: as our papistes yt woulde be counted the el­der brether, losinge their worldly estima­tion, theyr belly chere and lordlines, their wealth and proude priesthode: They freat and fume, burne and kyll all that gayne­say [Page] thē, as the Edomites did. But as thā for Cain the wicked & his sede (although the elder brother God chose Abel,God refuses the Elder and glorious in the world to cho­se the yonger an [...] abiects. the yon­ger Seth and Enos, for Ismael the elder, Isaac the yonger, for Esau Iacob, for Ru­ben Iuda & Leui, and Dauid the yōgest of seuen bretherne, and as of no reputation in respect of his other brethern, but set too kepe shepe: so God to pull doune the pride of man in these daies, also choses the ab­iects to setfoorthe his glory, refusinge the proude Pharises, and disdaining holy hy­pocrites, and at the lengthe will destroye them as he threatens here the Edomites. For God to comfort his people that ye wic­ked shoulde not euer prosper,The wicked shall not euer prosper▪ nor the godly bee in miseri. & the chosen people liue in continuall miseri, lest they fall awaye from God through ouer greate aduersities, threatens too destroye theyr enemies, and deliuer thē if thei will abide his leasure. But as destruction is here prophesied to Edom for their crueltye, so shall all haters of Gods people, perishe at the length Where as difference is in religion,No true loue is where reli­gion differs, but enemies wi [...]l ioyne to ouerthrow it their can be no true hearte nor sted­fast loue: for seinge God is loue it selfe, that loue whiche is not in God, but reased of carnall and worldely reasons, whā the world turnes, must nedes chaung & shew it selfe what a loue it was, and where it [Page] was grounded: but that which is build [...] on God will continue, because h [...]e chaūge not, & all theyr chaūge with tyme. These Edomites ioyned them selues with Na­buchodonozor, whan he came to destroye Ierusalem, as Pylate and Herode, which afore were enemies, agreed too crucifye Christ oure Lord, and as our papistes did now with the Spaniardes, to destroy the Gospell and hys professors.

The Text.

verse 2 Beholde, I will make thee a littel one among the Heathē, thou shalbe very much despised.

verse 3 The pride of thy heart hays deceyued thee, because thou dwelles in the open places of the rocke, and in ye height [...] is thy dwelling, and says in thy hearte, who shall drawe me to the earth.

verse 4 If thou wil climbe vppe as high as an Egle, and if thou will make thy nest amonge the clowdes, from thence I [Page] will make thee come doune, says the Lorde.

¶Where as the scripture vses to put this woorde behold, it betokens some no­table thinge to folow,Beholde. Esai. vii. as whan the Pro­phete sayde: Beholde, a mayde shall con­ceiue and beare a sonne, he signified that it shoulde be a notable byrthe and concey­uinge of a chyld, and cōtrary to the course of nature, and that the chyld whiche was borne shoulde be wonderfull. So sayes Dauid: Beholde I was conceyued in sin, betokeninge the greate corruption,Psal cxxiii. infir­mitie and defiling of oure nature in oure conception. Beholde, as the eyes of the seruaunts are at their maisters hand says Dauid, signifiyng that he would be more diligente in watchinge what the Lorde God woulde doe, and what were his holy will for him to do▪ than the lowest and di­ligentest seruaunts woulde be to watche what their maisters woulde will & com­maunde them to doe. In thesame sense says the Prophete here: Beholde & marke it well what I will saye vnto thee, for it is no small mater, and truely it shal come to passe. Likewise in threatninges in our owne tunge we vse to saye: marke what [Page] I saye too you, take hede to your selfe, for I [...]este not: Remember my woordes well for I will be euen with you, and I will do it in dede, and such like sayinges. Behold marke well says the Lord what I saye: ‘I will make thee a litle one among ye Hea­then: thou that thinkes so highly on thy selfe, and thinkes thy selfe to be so strong so mighty, and greater than thy felowes, I will make thee a litell one amonge the people where thou dwellest, and lesse thā any people about thee.’ Thou flatterst thy selfe of thy strength, might, power, mul­titude, stronge holdes, and too be greater than thy neighbours, people or countries about thee, and thinkes none is able too conquer thee, or pull thee doune, or wor­thy too be compared vnto thee: but I will pull thee doune says the Lorde, I will cut thy combe. I will abate thy strēgth, pluck doune thy courage and highe stomacke. I will throw doune thy castels and stronge holde, and whatsoeuer thou reioicest in, I will take it frō thee, and make thee more vyle and slaue, lesse and weaker than any people round about thee. Thou shalt wel know that there is a God, which can and will be auenged, on all high myndes, and will let al suche lusty stomackes, see what it is to be proud in their owne eyes, and [Page] rebelles against him and his people. God castes in their tethe that where he hadde geuen thē a narow place to dwel in amōg the hyls, they were proud of it, as though it were the plenteoust place in the coun­ [...]rye. Thei were proude of a thinge of nought in comparison of other places, as Malachie sayes: the Edomites I haue placed in the mount Seir.Malach. i. He speakes not all these woordes in number & order, but so many in effect and purpose, & to thesame meaninge he writes them in the preteri [...] temps, as though the thing were done & past:The Prophets for the certaintie, speak that to be paste, that is to co­me. Psal xxii. For so al the Prophets vse to speake by the preterit temps, such things as shal not be done of many yeares after, and yet shal as certainly come to passe, as though thei were now done and past. In this sort sayde Dauid: Thei haue wounded my handes and feete: as thoughe the thinge were done and past, which was not fulfil­led vnto Christ our Lord had suffered. Also of the murther of the chyldren by Herode,Iere. xxxi. spake Ieremye as though it had ben done and past. A noyse was heard in Rama, wepinge and much lamentinge, with infinite such other like, which were not fulfilled of many yeares after. And because the hole countrye and people pleased theym selues so highly, and stoode so [Page] muche in their owne conceite, God threa­tens them f [...]rther, that they shalbe much despised.

The righteous iudgement of God is-commōly to punish vs by thesame partes, wherin we offend him. The riche gluton that sinned so greuously in his feasting & bāketting,Luc. xvi. Iudg. i. now desires a drop of cold wa­ter, & can not haue it. Adonibezec, whiche had cruelly vsed his victories, & had chop­ped of ye hāds & fete of .60. kings, whom he conquered & made thē gather vp ye crūmes vnder his table wt the dogs, was vsed af­ter ye same sort him self whā he was ouer­comen by the Israelites. Thus teaches ye wise man:Wisedom. xi. By what thing a mā sinnes he shal be punished by thesame. This people had much & many years despised ye Israe­lites without cause, thei had highly auaū ­ced thē selfs in their owne conceate: ther­fore iustice requires yt thei should be despised again, & should vnderstand how vile a thing pride is in ye sight of god, & how hor­ribly it procures his gret anger to fal vpō vs whā we one despise another. And al­though Nabuchodonozor was ye woorker of this destructiō, & minister executīg gods iustice vpon this wicked people of Edom, yet the Lord sayes him self that he will do it, and it shall be counted hys dede. [Page] So Iob sais, that the Lord had gyuen and takē awaye his goods, although the Cal­des and Sabes robbed him as wee noted afore.In all thinges looke vp too God, whiche rules all. Thus muste we in all thinges that be done, whether thei be good or euil (except sinne, whiche God hates and cau­ses not) not onely looke at the second cau­ses, whiche be but Gods meanes and in­struments wherby he workes, but haue a further eye, and loke vp to God. If thei be good thinges that he bestowes vppon vs, thynke not, nor meruayll not so muche at the manne or the meanes whereby it is wrought, but lowly praise the Lord God, which hays vouchesaued to vse such away to thy comfort: and if it be euil aduersitie that is fallen vpon thee, doe not so muche murmur and grudge agaynst hym, or the thinge by whiche it was done, but loke vp to thy Lorde God, whiche author beinge displeased with thy sinne, will this waye correct thee and bring thee to repentaūce, amendement of lyfe, and the knowledge of thy selfe, thyne owne vylenes, and hys holy maiestie, mercye and power (whome thou hast prouoked so too punishe thee, & yet in mercy, and not as thou hast deser­ued) or els he will trye thy pacience, and declare thy fayth and hope that thou haste in him to the worlde, that his might may [Page] be praysed in thy weakenes, whiche al­thoughe of thine owne selfe thou bee not able to suffre suche aduersitie, yet by the strength of his spirite, thou bothe can and will.

In the next vse is declared the cause of this greate destruction, and Gods venge­aunce so greuously poured vpon this peo­ple▪ It was thesame sinne that droue Adā out of Paradise, beinge not content with his owne state, but woulde be felow with God, and out of whiche, as out of a roote, springes all mischiefe. The beginning of sinne is Pryde sayeth Ecclesiasticus .10. Whan a man leaues,Pryde. consideringe of hys owne vylenes, and the mightie power & maiestie of God (whiche aucthor of both is able to work lowlines in any honest hert) and beginnes too flatter and please hym self in any good gift that he hays within hym or withoute him, in body or soule, in worldly wealth or wisedom, for than hee forgets God and him selfe, runnes head­ling to all mischief, offending God & hur­tinge him self. The pryde of this people was bothe sundry & greate, both of mind, wisedom and politie, strengthe of bodye, holdes, castels, and towres, wealthe and plenty of corne and cattell, that it mighte be well sayde of them, that whiche proues [Page] true in all, wealth makes wanton. We will entreate of all these in order as the Prophete does, and sette them oute some thinge more at large. The kinde of pride that here is touched, wherein they reioy­ced so muche trusting in them selues and offendinge God, was theyr strong holdes, theyr high castels, buylded on the top of the rockes soo strongelye that they were sure ynough as they thoughte, frō all hurt and daunger that thei should not be ouer­comen. These be pleasaunt thinges too a worldly wit, and therfore we are sone ta­ken with the loue of them. To declare the inexcusable pride of this people, the Pro­phete sayes: the pride of thyne owne heart hays deceyued thee, as though he shoulde saye: it is not God nor the deuill onely, nor any other mans counsayll or perswasion, that hays thaughte thee this, or beaten it in to thy head, but it is euen thy self, thine owne deuise and free will, thine owne proude hearte and vaine truste that thou haste taken in thine own strēght & goods. It is a notable woorde that the holy Ghost puttes here whan he sayes: The pride of thine owne heart hays deceiued thee, and well declares the nature of pride, and wel springe of all sinne to beginne in thy heart and thine owne free wil. From the [Page] heart come euill thoughts, murther, adul­tery, theft. &c. As sainct Matthew says .15. And well maye that be sayde too deceyue man, that vnder the cloke of godlines, ho­nesty, profite or pleasure intises a man to it, where in the ende it proues wicked, hurtfull and displeasaunt. For except it had in the beginninge some fayre shew of some goodnes in it, no man woulde be al­lured to it. If it wer good in dede, it were no deceate, but because it is not, it maye well be sayde to deceyue.Pride is onely of good thin­ges. Pride amonge all other sinnes hays this propertie, that it euer rises of some good thing that a mā hays geuē him of God, and takes ye praise of it hym self. For no man is so foolish to reioice in any thinge that is euyl of it self, except it haue some apparance of goodnes in it. Whan God gyues a good gift to any man, than the deuil and his own froward nature makes him not too gyue God due thankes for it, but to reioyce in hym self, as though he him self were worthy all the praise for findinge out, or vsing wel suche a gifte.

Thus the Pharise beinge proude of his owne righteousnes in fastinge, holy­nes, and payinge his tithes, abuses the good gifts of God, and takes parte of the [...]raise to him self, whiche should be geuen [Page] holy to Cod alone, and also in pride he con­temnes. The poore Publicane, whiche sate prayinge by him, because he was not so holy as he was: So, stronge holdes and castels is the good gifte of God, but to re­ioice in them, not puttinge his hole truste and deliuerance in God, is a great pride & vnthankefulnes to God, which hays geuē thee suche giftes to stirre thee vp, rather to prayse him whiche hays taught thee to find out the profitable vse of such things. But it is harde for a worldly man to haue these, and not be proude of them, & there­fore he sayes: thy pride hais deceiued thee, Beauty is the good gifte of God, but be­cause in outward apperāce it semes good▪ Beawty. it sone deceyues man, entisinge him too euill, rather then to prayse God in it, the wyse man sayes, loke not in the face of a mayden,Sirach. ix. lest yu he entised with her beutie▪ Towres, castels, holdes, bulwarkes, bee ordeined by the prouision of God to defend his people▪ but yet muste we euer know,Holdes. that in vaine laboures the watchemen be they neuer so many, wise and strong, to defende the cytie, except the Lorde defend it,Psal. cxxvii. as Dauid sayes: What an vnthankful pride is this toward God, that whan [...]e hays geuen vs wit too deuise suche engy­nes of warre to defende oure selues with [Page] all, and liberally bestowed on vs men and money, to make suche thinges withall, & than we doe rob him of his due glorie, and take that praise to our selfs, which is due to him, and reioice in oure selues Because thei dwelt and buylded their holdes on ye toppes of hils, thei thought no man shuld be able to climme vp to hurt them, excepte he coulde flie: and though vnderminings will hurte many times, and throw doune great castels, yet where the buyldinge is [...]n the hard rock of stone as this was, thei cannot mine through the rocke, so ye aboue except thei coulde flie, thei could not come nere thē, nor by low thei could not pearce the hard stones of the grounde worke, be­inge so many, harde, depe, and stronge. Wyne is pleasant to loke on, sweete too taste, and chere the hearts of man:Wyne. yet in drinkinge, it sone deceiues a man, & ouer­comes the braine, and therefore the wyse man counsails sayinge:Prouer. xxiii. delite not thy self in loking on the wine whan it shines me­rely in the glasse.Women. Riches. i. Timo. vi▪ The woordes of womē are swete, yet oft ful of poyson. Riches is the good gift of God, yet the Apostle cals them the nettes of the deuill, because vn­der a fare pretence we bee soone tangled with the desire of them. So generally to speake of al ye creatures of God, whā they [Page] be loued or trusted in for them selues, and not for his cause that made them, thei de­ceiue vs.Consider not creaturs in them selfs. Consider not therfore the beauti, strength, wealth, commodite & pleasur of any creature in it self, for thā it wil surely deceiue thee: but lift vp thy minde to hym that made them for thy vse & commodite, & praise him for his great care yt he takes for thee, in making of them, & geuing thee ye vse of them, & so shalt thou not be deceiued by them, but receiue profit thy self, geuīg him his due honor whā thou knowledges thy God to worke thy saluation, pleasure or commodite, by such his creatures. The Lord hais geuen herbes diuers strēgth to heale diuerse diseases: but if in sicknes we trust in the phisiciō or his medicines, wee be deceiued in his good creatures. For as Dauid sais: It is ye Lord yt heales our dis­eases,Physicke. Psal. ciii. & is at our bed side whā we be sicke. So these people, hauing receiued a strong & plenteous coūtrie at the merciful hādes of God, forgat him that gaue it thē, trusted in their owne strēgth, wisdom & politie, & so be ye fare outwarde show of these thin­ges, pride crept in, deceiued thē & made thē to trust in them selues. And wel it mai be saide too haue deceiued theym, because it crept in vnder suche a faire pretēse, & also because whē thei loked to haue ben saued [Page] by them they were soonest deceiued, theyr holdes wherein they trusted, were thro­wen doune, their countrie conquired, and the people spoiled & destroied. Thus does all worldly thinges wt a goodly outwarde shew, deceiue a mā whan he trustes most in them.Horses. Ps. xxxiii.x [...] A horse is a deceitful thing sayes Dauid: & again, some truste in their cha­riots, & some in the horses, but we trust in the name of our lord God. When the peo­ple woulde haue gone into Egipt for suc­cour. The Prophete saide,Esai xxxvi. Egipt is but a rede.Princes. Psal. cxlvi. Golias trusted in his [...]arnes & strēgth but Dauid in Gods name ouerthrow him. Trust not therfore in any worldly thing, for it will sure deceiue thee when yu lokes for help of it. No, truste not in princes, be thei neuer so mighty, for Nabuchodonozor walking in his gorgious pal [...]yce,Daniel. iii cōside­ring his mighty strong citie of Babylon, cōteining .16. miles square, as Plinie tea­ches, his many kingdoms & people yt were his subiects, thought he shuld neuer haue fallen, & thā sodenly was he cast out of his kingdom, & liued & eate gresse wt beastes, what could be deuised strōger thā ye towre of Babel,Gene xi. but howe sodenly vainquished that vain hope awaye.

That which is added: thou saies in thy heart, who shal draw me doun to ye earthe [Page] teaches vs thus muche, that it is not onely these grosse outwarde sinnes, as murther, thefte, horedom, and suche like: but euen the fine thoughtes of our owne hearts, whiche we thinke that none kno­wes but our selfs, whiche God will iudge and be auenged of them. Thei did not so much blasphemously crake opēly saying: who shal draw vs doune? as they thought it in their hearts, and priuely laughed in their selfes at Gods people, being so few, hated, oppressed, and despised of all round about them, and thoughte them selfes so stronge,Psal. xiiii.xlv. that none durst be bolde to touch them. Likewise speakes Dauid: the wic­ked manne saide in his hearte there is no God: meaninge not soo muche that there was no God, or that they didde so openly speake of him, as that they thoughte God had no care ouer thē, or knew not thinges done on earth, as he says in an other psal. is their knowledge in the heighte? or who sees vs?Math. v. euen in these grosse sinnes. Our sauiour Christe sayes: He that lokes at a woman too luste for her, hays committed adultery, therfore let vs not deceiue oure selfes sayinge:Sinnes of the minde be [...]. Psa [...]. xii. thought is free, or I maye thinke what I lust, or as the Psal. sayes: oure lips are oure owne, and who is oure God, for as God hais creat and made oure hearts and all oure powers of our soules, [Page] so will he haue a counte of them, be seruid with them, and haue them to thinke vpō his maiestie, mercy and goodnes, and bee praysed that waies as well as in our out­ward dedes: and if we do vse thē for other purposes, it deserues damnation.

In the laste verse, the Lord makes aun­swer: w‘hat shal becom on Edō for al their greaie crakes, proud lokes, strōg holdes, or any thinge that they reioyced in. And he saies, I wil not only drawe thee doun; to the bare earth, frome the toppes of the hylles, where thou delites thy selfe in thy stronge holdes: but if it were possible that thou coulde flie as high as the Egle, and buyld thy nest amonge the Starres, from thence I woulde drawe thee doune says ye Lorde.’ Herein we maye see howe horri­ble a thinge it is to forsake God, henge on oure selfe, or trust in any worldly strēgth. Let not the wise reioice in his wisedome, nor the stronge in his strengthe, nor the ryche in his ryches: sayes Iere. And these thinges all to be true shall wel appeare in this Prophet, proued by particulers:Iere. i [...] for ye people had all worldly wealth wherin to reioice, but they were deceyued in them al and destroied, as here after shall appeare. But this is euer the wisedom of the flesh, to reioice in thinges contrary to God, and [Page] therfore is it worthely condemned by hys exāple. The worldly man says, whan hys enemies come against him, it is good abi­ding wtin strong walles, & se whether thei can flie ouer thē like birds, or vnder mine thē like con [...]es:iiii. King. vi. but ye godly man sais with Eliseus being beseged of the king within the citie, & his boie came & told him: feare not, for there is moe with vs than wt thē. Afterward he desired the Lord to opē hys boies eies, that he mighte see howe many were on their side: ye Lord gaue him sight, & he saw the hils ful of Aūgels & chariots ready to fight for him: & beside yt the Lord blinded his enemies, & Eliseus led thē in to the middest of Samaria amonge theyr enemies, where God bade him fede thē, & not harme theym, for it was not he yt had brought them thither, but the Lorde hys God. The worldly man, whā persecution comes, thinkes, shall I leaue my countrie frendes & goods, go into a straūge land: I know not whyther, and whose lāguage I vnderstand not: but ye faithful mā, hering God speake to his conscience: as he did too Abrahā.Gene. xii. Come out of thy coūtrie & frō thy frēds, into a lād yt I wil shew thee, serue me: & fal not to Idolatri: he wil obei with faithful Abrahā, knowing yt God wil gide all those yt loue & folow him, & yt his coun­trie is, whersoeuer God is serued, & these [Page] be his frends & cosins yt feares the Lorde: as our sauior Christ said, these be my mo­ther,Math. x [...]. brether & sisters yt hear the woord of God, & kepe it. The towre of Babel was buylded a wōders height, & Nārod wt hys cōpanions would haue gotten an euerla­sting name by it:Gene. [...]. but ye Lord perceyuinge their proud enterprise, disapointed thē, & scatered thē abrode in to all coūtries. Sa­than was an Aūgel in heauē, but for hys disobediēce is nowe made a deuill in hell. Nabuchodonozor was ye mightiest prince, yet afterwarde made a veri beast:Daniel. ii [...] Herode was proud of his great eloquēce & streight after was wiried of life. Rabsaces blas­pheming ye liuing God of Israel, & auāting him self in his great cōquestes,Act. xii. as though thei had ben goten by their Idols power, had almost .200.1000. slain in his cāpe in one night by thaūgel of God,iiii Kīg. [...]iii & wtout mās power, in ye time of good Ezechias ye Ma­dianites, lying so thick as groshoppers in the field, thought thei shuld haue deuoured Gods people at their pleasur,Iud. vii. but God send his captain Gedeon, whiche with .300. na­ked men vnharnessed, hauing lāps in one hand, & earth pots in the other, vāquished them all. Thus it is true yt the psal. says: If I climbe vp in to heauē, yu art there, & if I goe doune into hel, thou art there also.Psal cxxi [...] And there thy hande shall rule me.

[Page]The hole scriptur, if ye go thorow it, is nothinge els but a perpetuall teaching howe God alwaies throwes doune the proude, and liftes vp the simple & lowly. O if the papistes woulde be as earnest to set vp the true glorie of God, as thei be di­ligent spayniels to seke alwayes possible to set vp that vyle podell of Idolatrie, of their god the Pope. In all ages haue ben some people yt haue ben plages to ye rest, & yet God hays throwen theym doune at length: So no doubt the Papistes be now, but their falle will be incurable whan it comes, although they bee a great scourge almost to all christendome, and florish for a tyme.

‘Marke wel the laste wordes of the Pro­phete: I will make thee come doune says the Lorde.’ The destruction of this people was done by Nabuchodonozor many yea­res after, and yet the Lorde calles it hys owne dede, and says he will pul thē doun. So as I haue noted afore. &c. that is called the Lordes dede, whiche is done by his seruaunts, whether they be good or bad: for by suche meanes the Lord wil correcte vs,It is called the Lords dede that the ser­uaunts doe. bringe vs to the knowledge of oure selfes and him. In all suche worldly corrections, therfore let vs not looke so muche at hym that vexes vs, or murmur and grudge at [Page] hym, but loke who hays sente him, whose seruaunt he is, and wherefore he comes: For he comes from God to doe & teache vs good: And than we shall paciently beare whatsoeuer comes. And because thei shuld not flatter them selfes, as thoughe these thinges shoulde not thus come to passe, he ioines vnto it, the Lord sayes: As though he shoulde saye: flatter not your selfes, I speake not of mine owne head: the God of all truth, that can not lie says thus: ther­fore most certainly loke for it. He that is a righteous iudge of all creatures, & both can and wil be auenged on all euil doers, and will deliuer vs his people oute of the handes of their oppressors, whan he hays sufficiently declared the patient abidinge and depe sighing of the oppressed, & abidē longe inough for the turninge of ye proude enemies, whan he sees no amendemente to be hoped for, he wil then come in dede, fearfull for his enemies, and comfortable for his poore people, as the Psalme sayes:Psal. xii. For the miserie of ye poore, & the sighinge of the oppressed, I will rise saies the Lord. Who shall be able to stande whan he sais he will pul doune: yea, who dare be bolde to looke whan hee shewes his anger, de­ceyue not youre selfes, he will come.

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The Text.

verse 5 If thefes had comen to thee, and if robbers in the nighte, how should thou haue holdē thy peace? woulde they not haue stolen sufficiente for thē selfes? If grape getherers hadde comen to thee, woulde thei not haue lefte some clus­ters?

verse 6 But howe haue they serched Esau, and ransacked theyr hid thynges.

¶After that the Prophete hays tolde them that thei shalbe destroied, nowe he [...] telles them after what sorte, and of what thinges thei shoulde be spoiled. Edō was a countrie, not onely compassed aboute wt hylles, that no enemies coulde enter and fortefied with stronge holdes and castels on the top of the hyls as appeares afore: but it was a plentious countrie also of all fruites, and full of wise men of great po­litie, whiche all shoulde be taken frō them with all their things that thei reioiced in. And where he vses two similitudes here, [Page] one of theues & of grape getherers, which both whersoeuer thei come do much harm and take all thinges at their pleasure, spare nothinge, but searche all priuie cor­ners, where any thinge can be hidde: yet these spoilers shoulde be muche wors and more cruelly intreate them. This firste part of the similitude hays two argumēts of their cruelnes in it, and it is asmuch as though he should haue sayd thus to them. If theues shoulde come in the day time to spoyle thee, or robbers in the night season thou coulde not haue holden thy peace, but woulde haue called and cried for helpe of thy neighbours, thou woulde haue pre­pared thy self to haue foughten with thē, to haue withstande them, too haue defen­ded thine owne goods, and to haue taken or killed theym that thus violently came on thee, but whan these destroiers shall come, thou shall not be bolde too whisper, to crie, to call for helpe, or els if thou crie neuer so loude, it is but vaine too defende thy selfe, or rescew thy goodes, but fear­fully like a shepe lie stil, and like a coward let them doe to thee what they please: it shalbe fulfilled in thee that God thretens to the brekers of his lawe,Deut. xxviii.xxxii. Leuit. xxvi that one shall chase a thousande and ten men, ten thou­sande: yea, and that whiche is more mer­uailous, [Page] they shalbe afraide at the fall of a leafe. ‘Or if we rede thus (so the Ebrewe woorde signifies both wayes:) how shuld thou haue ben destroied?’ than this is the meaninge: that although theues and rob­bers woulde haue destroied them, yet that destruction should haue ben like to this: so extreme a plage should this be to them, yt these other were not worthy to be cōpared vnto it. The later token of their greate destructiō is, that the Babilonions, whā they come should deale wors with theym than theues or robbers would: for theues whan they come thei doe not take all, but the best thinges thei finde, lest they shuld not flee fast ynough awaye, or be bewraid by many thinges whan they shoulde bee knowen. And agayn they vse not to tarye longe in robbinge a house, for feare lest some shoulde espie them, and come vppon theym sodenly: but the Chaldees shoulde not be afraid of any company of men whā they shoulde ouerrunne them, nor be con­tent with a few thinges, but destroye all after them, and that which thei could not cary awaye, they would vtterly marre by some meanes, that they shoulde haue no good of that, which was left. Thei would not be content with a few thinges as the­ues, but they woulde haue all: thei would [Page] not haistly runne awaye for feare of any helpe cominge too rescow them, but they woulde without feare spoile & tary theyr leasure, searchinge all corners, not caring who shall espie them. And that whiche is more meruailous: theues althoughe they come sodenly vpon a man, geuing no warninge that a man might prepare him self to stande in his owne defence, shoulde not doe so much harme as the Assirians shuld, cominge not sodenly vpon them, nor they vnprepared, but beinge prepared, and al­though they knew of their coming, & had all kinde of weapons to defend them self withall, yet thei shall not be able nor bold to defende them selfes or their countrye, but shoulde vtterly perish, be robbed, spoi­led and destroied.

The latter similitude of grape gethe­rers declares this more plainly: Grape getherers, althoughe they searche euery branche & pepe vnder euery leaf, lest they leaue any grapes growing behind them, (and yet they were commaunded in the lawe by Moyses,Leuit xix to leaue some growing of all kinde of fruite behinde them, and if they let any fall, they shoulde not turn [...] again to take it vp, but let the poore come geyther and gleane) yet these gredy cormorantes, so couetous that they neuer hadde [Page] inoughe, so gredye that they were neuer fyld. They woulde not leaue one cluster growinge behinde them, but soo vtterlye spoyle theym, that they woulde leaue no­thinge at all, neither for poore nor ryche. Thei woulde spare neyther man nor wo­man, old nor yong, house nor lande, town nor castell, beastes of all sortes withoute mercy shoulde be wasted, burned and de­stroyed.

‘The later verse shews this vtter destruc­tion at large, in fewe woordes, sayinge: But howe haue thei searched Esau, and ranseckt their secrete thinges, as thoughe he shoulde saye to them: although theues, robbers, grapegetherers vse to doe muche harme, wheresoeuer thei come, & nothing can escape their handes, yet it shalbe no­thinge like vntoo this destruction, yt these of Babylon shall doe.’ This destruction shalbe incurable, these shall spoile, kyll & destroye without mercy: Nabuchodonozor whan he comes with his men, shal search and ranseck all your secrete places & cor­ners that nothinge shall escape them. In sackinge of townes, men be wonte to cast their plate, money, Iuels and suche other treasures in to depe welles, too digge thē in ye earth or some priuy place, wher none or fewe vses to come, or few wold mistrust [Page] any thinge their to be hidde: but whan he comes, hide your treasurs where you lust, caste thē into [...]akes, dunghils, cesterns or blinde corners where please you, it shall not skil, it shalbe espied, and shall not es­scape, ye shal not haue profit of any thing ye haue. He wonders at the vtter destruc­tion of them whan he says: ‘how haue thei searched and ranseckt the secretes:’ as if he shoulde saye, it shalbe vnlike vntoo all other doinges, no reason woulde thinke what great crueltie in searchinge & spoile shalbe shewed vnto thee, it shalbe so hor­rible, so contrari to mens loking for, & so farre vnlike too all that hais ben shewed to any other people. And meruaile not at this extremitie, shewed vnto you: good reason it is that they which haue comfor­ted them selues in their worldly thinges beside God, that they shoulde be so correc­ted of God, that they shoulde vnderstande that their is no help, succor or comfort but in [...]od: and thei whiche woulde not know God in prosperite, muste nowe drinke of his iustice in aduersite. He had geuē plēty to them of all fruites, corne, cattels, & all kinde of riches, but this coulde not moue them to knowledge him to be their Lorde and God, giuer and sauer both of man and beast: therfore now must they teste of the [Page] rodde too knowe ther was a God, whome they had offended. God does not geue vs his benefites, riches and blessinges too make vs truste in oure selfe or any other creature, but to stirre vp oure mindes too heauen, to loke on him, trust in hym, call on him, and praise him: therefore it was right that all these shoulde be taken from them, to bringe them too the knowledge of them selues and his iustice, whiche can not abide suche thinges. This is the re­warde, due for all suche as will not shewe merci, but crueltie to them that bee in di­stresse: thei shall finde thesame crueltie, & measure, geuen them againe whan they shalbe in nede, they shall aske mercy, call for help, but finde none.

Gene. xliiiiIosephs brethren, when they woulde shewe no mercy to their brother, whan he desired them, were straitly loked on for a time, and sharpely spoken vnto whan thei came into Egipte: and than they coulde confesse that God had worthely rewarded them their vnkyndenes that thei shewed their brother Ioseph. Nabuchodonozor, with all his cruel proude men, which spoi­led, conquered and cruelly entreated all countries about them, were serued wt like measure at Cyrus handes, whan he ouer­came theym, he destroied their cytye, and [Page] conquered their countrie. And as our Pa­pistes wt their spies in all corners, would let no man dwel in reste, but accuse, com­plaine, imprison, and burne theym, & had rather fulfil the bloudy desires, & mindes of the cruell murtherers and bochers, thā shewe any gentilnes to Gods people (and all to pike a thanke, or gette a bribe of the proude Bishops or harde hearted, & neuer satisfied horsleches, the lawers:) so theyr time will come whan thei shall fele Gods heauy wrath and displeasure against th [...], with suche griefe of conscience,Reuela. vi. that they shall wishe for death, and not finde it, de­sire the hilles to couer them from the face of the lambe, and yet be without comfort: These be the Edomytes that persecute ye true sonnes of Iacob at this day, these be the false brethren that be moued, neyther with the feare of Gods loue to his worde, nor naturall to their brethren, countremē and kinsfolke: but like brute beastes de­voure all aforeth, ēsatisfieng their owne lustes and desires, encreasinge their own condemnation, if they turne not and re­pent with teares.

verse 7 Euen vnto the border of thy countrie haue they caste oute [Page] thee and persecuted all men, which were in leage & confe­derate with thee: the mē that made peace with thee, haue deceiued thee, & preuailed a­gainst thee, & those that eate thy bread, haue woūded thee priuely, there is no wisedom in hym.

verse 8 Shal I not in that day says the Lord destroy ye wisemen from Edom, & wisedom from the hyl of Esau.

verse 9 The strong men of Theman shalbe afraide, because euery one of the hyll Esau shall bee destroyed.

¶This plage that God threatens to thys people now, is of two sorts, & that because they had double offended. According as it is ye policie of princes to ioine thē selfs in leage & frendsh [...]p with princes that dwell nere vnto thē (yt by their help, thei might be the strōger & more feared) & also to haue wise men of the counsel: so had these Edo­mites sought thē frēdship of all ye mightie countries about them, & picked oute also [Page] the worldly wisest men, thei coulde finde to be their rulers, thinking that by politie and wisedome of the one, & the strengthe, power & richesse of the other, thei shoulde be able to defend them selues againste all men that would proferre them wrōg: yea thei should rather vnder this pretence bee bolde to do other men wrōg, & none shuld once be so bolde to say, why do ye so. This is a comen practise, likewise at these days of such as would hurt other (but yt either thei dare not nor can not) to run alwayes vnder some greate mans winge, to beare the name of his seruaūt, weare his liuery or be one of his retinu, that vnder this co­lour he maye disquiet the hole countrie where he dwelles, & no man darre bee soo bolde to blame him: but God hates al such as forsake him, and hange on them selfs, takes all suche in their owne deuises, and that wherein they thinke too saue theym selues, is turned to their owne destructiō. ‘These people, sayes the Lord with whom thou art in leage, thinkinge therby to saue thy selfe, and be stronger than all other, euen the selfe same people shall rise vppe againste thee, take parte with thy enne­mies, and dryue the out of the borders of thy owne countrie.’

[Page]You woulde thinke it a great pleas [...] if when thou were cōquered & ouercomē, thou might dwel in thine owne countrye styll, payinge tribute and taxes to Nabu­chodonozor: and other about thee, but thou that hays bē so cruel to thy brethern gods people, the sonnes of Iacob, shal not finde so much fauor and frendship at their hāds as to dwell in thy owne lande, but shalbe driuen, not onely out of thy strong holdes and wealthy places of it, but euen out of all the coastes and borders of the same, & that by those whiche thou takes for thy frendes, and in whome thou puttest thy trust. Suche shal be the case of all those that forsake the Lord, and put their trust in them selues or their frends When the people of God woulde haue gone to Egipt agayne for succour, whan Nabuchodono­zor had subdued all the countrie: Ieremie cried styll no,Iere. xlii they shoulde not doe so: for where they loked for help, thei should find wo: for Nabuchodonozor ouercame Egipt also, and than all that fled thither were in wors case, than if they had taried in their countrie styll.Esai. xxxvi. Egipte is a rede sais Isaie: and they that f [...]e thither shal perish in daū gerous times, there is no succor to be foūd but at the Lords handes: for when ye Lord sees that in prosperite wee forgete hym, [Page] he sendes vs aduersite, that for feare we [...] shoulde be compelled too loke for helpe at his handes. Suche a louinge God is he vnto vs, that he woulde winne vs by all meanes possible, but if we can be drawen to him by no waye, [...]e geues vs ouer that we maye worke iustly our owne condem­nation, without excuse, hauinge nothing to laye for our selues.

‘Moreouer, those that made peace with these people, deceyued them, and those yt eate their bread woundeth them priuely.’ This is the rewarde of worldly wisedom that whan they trust moste in them, they shalbe sonest deceiued, & whan thei looke for help of them, they shalbe the first that shall wounde them.True loue is onely amōge the godly. There can be no true loue, whiche is not grounded in God and for his sake: for where as God onely is sought for, there is loue and truth it self, wheresoeuer he is not, there is neyther truthe nor true loue. That loue whiche is grounded on worldly causes, whan the worlde chaunges, it failes to. If it be for beauty, profit or frendshippe, as soone as these be gone, fare well loue, frendship is gone. Nabuchodonozor whom thei feared and looked for promotion at his handes, was now comen to destroye Edom, and therfore all the countrie aboute was not [Page] onely ready to fall from the Edomites, wt whome thei were in leage afore, giuinge thē no help, but were ye first & cruelst ene­mies yt thei had readye, not onely not too help them, but to dryue them out of theyr own countrie. Who pretended a greater loue to Christ thā Iudas? & who soner be­traied & denied him? How many examples is England able to geue of such, as while thei were in authorite thei were feared rather than loued (althoughe it was called loue, faire faces were outwardly, promi­ses, othes, bandes, mariages were made & all deuises that could be to make it sure) but whē thei fel, thei which were thought derest frends were becomen opē enemies accusers & condēners in hope to climbe in to his rowme, or catch part of his goods or landes. Dauid cōplaines of such as made fairest face of frendshipe,Psal. xli. & did eate of the same dishe, and yet sonest deceiued him. These wordes in the Hebrew be written in the preterit tēps, but spoken that so it shoulde come to passe as sure as if it were now done:Preter temps. accordinge as the custome of ye Prophetes is, to speake that which is too come as though it were done, where other languages vse to speake suche thinges in future temps.

But the latter ende of the verse, where [Page] he sais there is no wisedom in him (yt is to say in thē, or al the Edomites by a cōmon figuratiue speach in Ebrew, wher ye sin­guler is put for the plural) as in ye .89. psal. I wil visite their wickednes wt a rodde. &c but my mercy I will not take from him. Them is most meruailous, for who will beleue, or who can iudge the contrari, but that it is greate wisedome & policie to the strengthening, defence & maintaining of a countrie, to haue strong holdes in it, and to be in leage with their neighbors roūde about them as these men were. But God says there was no wisedō in them, nor in this their doīg. Not because it is not law­ful for Gods people too haue, vse or make such things in their comen welth, for their defence & keping out their enemies, but yt thei mai not do these things too put theyr trust in thē, or whā they haue them to dis­pice their Lord God, seking no help at hys hāds, but trust in their own strēgth, thin­king them selfs able to defend them selfs against all enemies, as though God didde nothing, nor victorie & defence were not of him. And agayne whan they haue suche strong defence, they may not vse it too the hurt of Goddes people, as these wicked proude Edomites did bothe against God, their bretheren and the people of God. [Page] This is right wisedō to forsake him selfe and heng vpon God, to know that no po­licies are good which is against Gods peo­ple, nor to thinke them selues stronge by hurting others. The coniurers that stode afore Pharao,Exo. vii.xiiii working miracles, thought thei shoulde haue defaced Moyses, & set vp them selues: but Pharao was drowned with his hoste, Moyses with his people was deliuered, and the coniurers graūted that the liuinge God wrought in Moyses. Achitophel counsailing Absalon to folow his father Dauid,ii. King. vii. that same nighte he be­ganne to rebell, lest in deferringe time he shoulde escape, thoughte Absalon shoulde haue ben a kinge:Worldly wy­sedom is foo­lishnes. but God proued his worldly wise counsaill to be folishnes, for whan he see that he was not beloued, nor his counsail folowed, he went and hāged him self: but Dauid escaped, and Absalon was slain. Whan Haman had obtained a proclamation for the distroinge of al the Iewes,Ester. v.vii. and made a galowes for Mardo­cheus, he thought him selfe wiser than all the worlde, and that he shoulde haue ben promoted him self, and the people of God spoiled and destroied. But Haman was hanged on the same galowes, Mardocheus promoted,i. King. xviii. & the Iewes deliuered. Whan Saul promised Dauid his daughter for the [Page] killinge of an hundreth Philistines▪ not for loue, but thinkinge Dauid shoulde haue ben killed him self afore he had kyl­led so many: he thought he had done poli­ticly, but Dauid kylled them all, marye [...] hys doughter, and was kyng after hym. For whiche thinge onely Saul abhorred him. The Scribes and Phariseis,Luce xx. thin­king if Christ were once dead, thei should be safe, & neuer hear tel more of hī: but af­ter his death, thapostles wrought mo mi­racles in his name than he did him selfe, beinge aliue, and mo beleued in him af­ter his death, than euer did whan he was aliue. Thus all the scripture proues plain that, that whiche worldly wisedome thin­kes best to set vp them selues by, and too destroye Gods people, is proued too be the destruction of all those that truste in it: & whan thei loke for moste comfort of their deuise, it turnes to their owne hurte: as we see it hays chaunced by Gods merciful prouidēce to our papistes, for bringing in the Spaniardes, trusting by that people to maintayne their superstitious popery & ydell lordly authorite. The wisedome of this worlde says the apostle is foolishnes afore God. The wiser thou art afore men,i. Corin. iii not hauinge the glorie of God afore thine eyes, euer studyinge howe too set foorthe [Page] his will to the world, the more foole thou art: the craftier thou art to set vp thy self, the soner thou workes thine own destruc­tion. How many of the worldly policie m [...] ̄ haue ben trapped in their own snare here amōg vs? haue not they whan they were highest in auctorite, suffered death by the same, their own lawes? thus ye se that al worldly wisedō againste God is nought, & that it is no wisedō in dede, but folishnes. And althoughe worldly wittes doe many things wel for a time, yet whā they trust in it most, & stande most in nede of it, they shalbe deceiued as the nexte verse saies. ‘Shall I not in that daye destroie saies the Lord, the wisemen frō Edom. &c.’ And as it is in worldly wittes & policies, yt they be all vain whan thei striue against God, so is it in the spiritual kingdō of Christ in his woord & church:Mans witte in Gods mat­ters is vaine f [...]oli. for the dregges of Po­perie with their Canōs & Decrees, shalbe throwen doune, & can not alwaies main­taine those idel bealy gods, ye Popes chap­lens, but as thei haue ben cast doun by ty­mes euer, so shal thei at length be troden vnder fote to their confusion. Like is the case of subtil scholemē wt their distinctiōs, defacing Christ & his truth: neither settīg forth ye maiestie of God & his sonne Christ Iesus, nor edifying wt cōfortable promises [Page] the weak consciēces, nor opening ye miste­ries of the scriptur, but with folish gloses defacing the mercies of God, taught in his holy word & burdening men wt traditions vnwritē verities, or rather vanities their own dreames & phantasies: all which God abhorres & says, al yt worship him, teching mās doctrine, worship him in vain. These & all such like conning of the wisedō of ye flesh be euerlasting death as Paul saies:Math. xv Ro viii. Iaco iii. i. Corin. ii & sensual, carnall & deuelish as Ia. termes thē, & mere ignorāce of God & his mercies, for a natural sensual man, perceiues not the things of God. And to conclude, gene­rally all wisedom that settes vp it selfe in any kinde of thinges whatsoeuer it be, it is no wisedom, it shall confounde all that vse it or truste in it, and whan thei would moste gladly enioye it, they shall surelye not haue it. There is no wisedome nor counsaill againste the Lorde sayes Salo­mon:Prouer. xxi. the Pope with all hys rabel is not so wise to throwe doune Christ, as the Scri­bes and Phariseis were in their time: & as they were confounded so shall all that rebell agaynste the sonne of God, whyche by the mighte of hys holy spirite, in the mouthe of his true Apostles, disciples and ministers, beīg but poore simple abiects & [Page] a despised people in the sight of ye worlde, hais ouerthrowen tyrannes, stopped blas­pheminge mouths, confoūded the wyse & learned and declared his strengthe in oure weaknes, that there is no power, wisedō strēgth, nor policie that preuailes against him or his people, and because they didde glorie so muche in their wisedom and po­licie, the Lord countes if a glorious thing to throw them doune: & because ye glorie "may be geuē to him alon for such a noble victorie, he says: Shal I not thr [...]w theym doune? as though he should saye: No man shall haue the praise of it but I my selfe, I will destroye them wt myne own hādes in that daye whan thei loke not for it, & trust moste in them selues. The towre of Ba­bel, the cytyes Niniue and Ierusalem, be­inge greate and mightie, were sodenlye ouerthrowen whan they thoughte not on it. The wisedome of God purposes one thinge, and the wisedom of man an other: so wisedome shall ouercome wisedome, & the pride of man shalbe ouercomen by the mightye hande of God. God taries longe to haue his enemies too turne by repen­taunce, too see their owne folye, and aske forgeuenes: but whan he sees there is no remedye nor hope of their amendemente, hee comes lyke a sharpe and righteous [Page] iudge, and vtterly ouerthrowes theim.

‘But not onely their wisedom & wise­men perished, but their stronge men shal be afrayde also, because euery noble man amonge theym shoulde be afraide, as the laste verse sayes.’ What a case shal these people be in, whan neither wysedome nor strength shall serue?Theman. Theman signifies by interpretation the south, and it is also, the name of one of their chiefe cities, and therfore some translate: thy strong men shall be afraide of the southe, because Na­buchodonozor came with his hoste frome the south, [...]o: so Babilon stode southward from them: or better the strongest men of Themā, thy chiefe cytye shall be afrayde, and so Ieremie vses it,Iere. xlix. [...] there is no more wisedō in Themā, it is thought of many learned, and that probably that Iob dwel­led in this countrie afore Esau was borne and married Dina Iacobs daughter, as Philo saies: & that Eliphas also the Ami­nites, one of Iobs frendes, whiche came to comfort him as he sate on the dunghyl,Iob. ii. dwelled in this citie Theman, and therof was called the Aminites, and wel it may be so: ‘for in his counsailinge and confor­tinge of Iob, he speakes oft more worldly than godly, although wittely & wisely, ye latter ende of the verse, some rede euery [Page] one of the hyll Esau, some the noble men, as the Targ. redes, but both wel inough.’ For Isch signifies bothe euery one & also a man:Isch. but suche one as is noble. Therfore I ioyne theym together and saye, euery noble man: and so I expresse bothe their meaninges. So here is plainly taughte, ye neither wisedom nor strength can preuail againste the Lord. All gloryinge, craking, reioicing or boasting that any man hays of hym selfe, or any thinge beside God, is vaine and wicked: for this muste alwaies be afore vs. He that glories let, him glorie in the Lorde, and Cyprian sais well: wee must glorie in nothinge, because nothing is oures. We haue receiued al from God, & therfore all praise must be geuen to him yt giues al. What hays thou says s. Paul, that thou hays not receiued of God?i. Cori [...]. iiii. and if thou haue receiued it, why crakes thou on it, as though thou had not receiued it? What a proude soule is he that will bee proude of his borowed coate or paynted sheath. God clothes vs, and couers our fil­thy nakednes with his godly gifts: what vnthankefull treason is it than, to take ye praise from hym to oure self, and not ren­der due thankes vnto him for them? Marke here the difference betwixte true wisedome and boldnes, & earthly worldly [Page] witte and power, whan daunger comes, the godly wise man will commit him self holy to God, lokinge for helpe & deliuerāce at his handes, or elles patiently beare it without any dismaiyng, whatsoeuer God lays on him: for he knowes well, ye things are not ruled by fortune, nor yt any thing can fall on him withoute the good will of his good God and louinge father. But ye worldly wise man, whan he sees worldly witte, power and politie faile, he thinkes all the worlde failes, and things be with­out recouery: he trusteth not in God, and therfore no meruaill, if he be left desolate. Of the good mans feare, in the time of ad­uersite writes Ieremie:Iere xvii. Godly. Wyse. Worldly. blessed is he that trustes in the Lorde, for he shall be a tree, planted by the waters, and in the drught, he shall not be carefull, nor cease to beare frute. And Dauid also sayes Psal.Psal. iii. Thou shalt not be afraid of fear in the night. &c. The wicked contrariwise shall be afraide at the fall of a leaf: one shall chase a thou­sande: and ten, thousande as God thretēs in Deute: by Moyses. He will lie, flater,Deut. xxvii [...].xx [...]ii. swere, and what ye wil haue him to doe, rather than lose his profit. The like says Ieremie of theym to: they shall bee a rede, shaken with the winde. Thei shal dwell in drie wildernes, in a salt grounde. The [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] people whiche dwelte in the lande, promised to the Israelites, whan they heard t [...] what wonders God wrought in the wil­dernes,Iosue. ii. and the reade sea for his people, & seinge them come nere vnto theym, & hea­ringe the victories thei hadde againste the kinges. See and Og: their hearts melted in their bodies like waxe, as Rahab con­fessed too the spies, whiche Iosue sente: but Rahab her selfe, shee plucked vp her heart, trusted in God, and was deliuered where the other perished. So the good Ga­baonites that feared God, yelded thē selfe to Iosue, and were saued: the other yt tru­sted in their owne strengthe,Iosue. ix. and woulde trie it with the sweerde, for all their brag were faint hearted and ouercomen. So the Philistines seing Goliath their graūd Captaine slaine of Dauid,i. King. xvii beinge but a chylde in comparison of hym, fled awaye poste: where the Israelites afore were s [...] afraide, that they durst not sturre. Thus God turnes the course of thinges whan pleases him: that those, whiche afore were dismaid, plucke vp their courage & wynne the victorie, and those that were stoute, bragginge of them selues afore, nowe be made cowards, runne awaye & flie, thin­kinge the daungers greater than they be in dede. It does euidently appeare here [Page] also, how the Lorde raises vp one wicked, to plage and throw doun an other. These Edomites had ioined them selues with their neighbours to trouble pore Iacobs seede and his people:One wicked plagues an o­ther. iiii. Kinge. ix. but nowe the mater is so turned, that one wicked, persecutes, destroyes and plagues another, and Na­buchodonozor destroies Edom. Wicked Iehu was raised to throw doune cruel Ie­sabel: and all the kynges of Israell, called the .10. tribes, beinge all euill, euery one murthered his predecessor, and was killed of his successor. Howe many Popes haue vsed thesame practise in poisoning one an other, that they might come aloft? it were more longe and tedious to tell, than hard to finde. In .12. year space vnder one Em­perour were .8. Popes. Wherof euery one almoste persecuted an other, beinge dead and digged vp out of the earth & beheaded them, as Formosus Stephanus▪ &c. Some other raigned but a moneth, and poisoned one an other, as Cranty writes.

verse 10 For the violence towarde thy brother Iacob, shame shall confounde thee, & thou shall be destroied for euer.

verse 11 In that daye did thou stāde [Page] against him, euen in that dai whan straungers didde take his goodes, & whan straun­gers entred hys gates, and whan thei cast lotte for Ieru­salē, thou also was one of thē. Thou shalt not loke in ye day of thy brother, nor in the day whan straunge thinges shal happen hym, nor thou shalte not reioice againste the chyl­dren of Iuda, in the daye of their destruction, nor thou shalte not open thy mouthe, boastingly in the dai of their trouble.

verse 13 Thou shalt not enter the ga­tes of my people, in the daye of their destruction nor thou shall not looke on their trou­ble in the daye of their mise­rie, nor thou shall not stretch out thy self vpon his goodes in the daye of his destructiō.

verse 14 [Page]Nor thou shall not stande in the crosse wayes to kil them that flee, nor thou shall hem them that be left in the daye of their trouble.

For the day of the Lord ouer all people is at hande: as ye hayes done, thei shal do vnto thee, like punishmente shall fall vpon thine owne head.

As ye haue dronkē vpon my holy hyll, so shall all people drinke continually: they shal drinke and swalowe vp, and shall be, as though thei were not.

¶Now folowes the declaration of the causes of Gods anger, and heauy displea­sure against Edom, lest any man shoulde thinke God vniuste in his doinges, or too sharpe in his punishinges. Some woulde thinke a lesse punishment might haue suffised to haue corrected theym with all: but [Page] whan they shall consider howe great and greuous the sinnes of them were, it shall be iudged to litel a punishmēt for so many fautes. The first verse cōtaines generally that whiche the verses folowinge declare by particulars. The pride, violence, iniu­ries, wrongs and robberies that thei she­wed toward their brother Iacob, be ye cau­ses of this their destruction. Iacob & Edō are not here taken for the two brethren ye sonnes of Isaac: but for the hole seede, stocke, posterite, chyldren, and issue borne of them bothe:Iacob. Esau. Edom. so that as hatred began in Esau against Iacob in their fathers lyfe, yea, in their mothers wombe (in so much that Esau persecuted his brother Iacob to deathe, so sore that Iacob was caused too flee to his vncle Labā) so the hatred, perse­cution & enemite did cōtinue in their chil­dren vnto this time, was fulfilled that ye Prophet speakes of here, whan the poste­rite of Esau was vtterly destroied.God is slowe, but he is sure. And this is comfortable, both for the long suf­feringe of God afore he doe extremely pu­nishe, and also a true profe of his iustice, yt although he do differ his punishing long, yet he is a righteous iudge, and will come at the length, and be auenged on his ene­mies, and deliuer his chyldren that haue ben so lōg oppressed vnder their enemies. [Page] Therefore as the good nede not to be dis­scouraged, as thoughe their God cared not for them: so the wicked shall not triūphe as though they might do what they list, & God woulde not call them to a count.

They had thus persecuted Iacob and his posterite, aboue a thousande yeare, & that continually afore thei were destroied and coulde neuer be satisfied of their cru­eltie: therefore partly too stoppe their ra­ginge, and bring them to the knowledge, bothe of God & them self, & partly to feare other for folowinge the like exāple, if they shoulde be vnpunished, but specially for ye crying of the poore oppressed people,The wicked be cruell, the godly patient Psal. xii. whō God takes in to his custodie, to be their tu­tor, the Lorde will rise to shewe him selfe glorious, mighty and merciful, pull doun his enemies, deliuer his oppressed as Da­uid sayes: for the misery of the poore, and the sighinge of the wretched, I will rys [...] says the Lorde. &c. Why should Gods peo­ple than be dismaide whan they be perse­cuted, seinge they haue so mighty a iudge that canne and will deliuer them whan it shall be metest for his glorie, & their com­fort. Refer the vengeaunce to me says the Lorde, and I wil reuenge it. Let vs ther­fore submit our selfs vnder his handes,Roma. xii. & patiently loke for his coming, for no dout [Page] he will come. When Moses led the peo­ple through the wildernes and came nere the boundes of Edom he asked licence to passe throughe their contree kepinge the high wayes,Nume. xx. hurting them in no behalfe, in so much that they woulde paye for the water that they drāke but they more like no men then cosins, cominge of the same stocke and father, beinge not contente wt this churlishnes, to denie theym passage threatens them forther, that if they wold not passe by all their countrie, & not once be so bold as to entre within their coastes, they would by and by feight against them with all their power. So Moyses to kepe peace, ledde the people by a great compasse round about,Deut. ii. and what sayde God to this? did he bid destroy them? No, but cleane cō ­trarie, he bade them not to feight agaynst them, not onely theym, but he sates vnto them: thou shall not harme Edō, because he is thy brother. Note here the patience & longe suffering of Goddes people yt wolde not once attempt to reuenge such displea­sures, vnkindnes and iniuries done vnto them: and againe note the churlishnes of feined frends hypocrites and dissemblers whiche will shewe no gentelnes to Gods people though they maye do it withoute their hurte o displeasure of anye man. Is [Page] not the worlde full of suche vnthankefull vnkinde, and vnnaturall folke at thys daie? S. Paul complaines of suche as caste of all naturall affection that shoulde be amonge men: as whan thei whiche be all of one house, stocke and kindred comen of one great grandfather or auncetors, bee so cruell one againste an other, ye nature whiche workes in brui [...]e beastes hays no place in them one to loue or help an other, he calles thē Sine affectu as though he shuld saye,Roma. i. if nature canne not worke nor moue them, whiche moues stoones, trees, her­bes and beastes, what hope is there that the Gospell, whiche is so farre aboue and contrarie to nature should take any place in them? So sainct Paull calles theym, whiche doe not prouide for theym, and theirs wors than infideles.i. Timo v Therefore it was necessarye, some greate plague too fall on this people that hadde so ferre for­gotten nature, that they woulde not let theym passe throughe their countrie, nor drinke of their waters, which thei would paye for. But this is the merke betwixte Gods chyldren and the diuels, the Gospe­ler & ye papiste, the true christian & an hy­pocrite: that the one will suffer wronge, doe good for euyll, praye for theym that hate hym, bee contente wyth a lyttell, [Page] not murmuringe: but the bloudy papiste is proude cruel, murtheringe, oppressinge the innocent, merciles, hatinge withoute reconciliation, euer sekinge to hurte, that thei maye liue like lordes of the lande, & idel bellygods. What a comfort is thys for Goddes poore afflicted people▪ that al­though God doe longe suffer them to bee vexed of their enemies, yet he wil not suf­fer them to be ouerwhelmed: but he will vtterly roote out the wicked whan he be­ginnes to execute his iustice on them. He that touches you says God to his people, by the Prophete Zacharie, touches the ap­pel of myne eye.Zacha ii. What parte of man is more tender than the eye? or whiche parte doe we take more care for than that?The godly be corrected for a tyme: the wicked for euer. yet if the eie be sore or dimme of sight, we will laye sharpe bytinge waters or pouders in it to eat oute the webbe, perle, or bleared­nes: so will God, although he loue his peo­ple so tenderly, lay sharpe bytinge salues, purging medicines, corrosines, laūcings, lettinge bloude, yea, and cutte of rotten membres, lest the hole body perish or rotte awaye. But all that is for fatherly loue to driue vs vnto him, to make vs weri of the worlde, to purge carnall cares, eat out the dead rotten phantasies of our mindes, let out the brused bloude, or cut awaie by [Page] death some for the example of other, too strengthen them boldly to confesse ye truth and glorifieng of his name, by suche con­c [...]nstant witnes of our weake natures. A littell worldly shame, as it is thoughte of worldly, but not godly men maie light on Gods people for a time, but euerlastīg shame shall confounde their enemies for euer afore God: A short temporal punish­ment maye greue Gods chyldren for a ty­me: but their haters shall bee vtterly de­stroyed for euer. The Israelites were as­shamed for a time in their captiuitie, whā Esau ioined with Nabuchodonozor, to de­stroi them, & yet afterward were brought home agayne: but now shoulde these bee vtterly destroied for euer without recoue­rie. The Philistines for a tyme made the Israelites ashamed:i. King. 1 [...] but after ye Dauid had slaine Goliath, the Philistines were vanquished, slaine, and euery day more & more rooted out.

The verses folowing, declare ye cause of the destruction of Edom. ‘First because whan Nabuchodonozor sacked their cytye Ierusalem, entred the gates & caste lot on Ierusalē, who shoulde haue the best part, spoiled their good, burned their houses & Temple, beate doune their walles, and made hauoc of all:’ ‘Thou Edom stoode [Page] amonge them, tooke their partes, robbed as fast as the best, cast lot with thē, which shoulde be thy parte:Psal. cxxxvii. & whan other would haue shewed pitie, thou cried as the psal. says: Doune with it, doune with theym, euen to the botome, leaue not one sticke standing, leaue not one stoone vpon an o­ther.’ O what cruel woords are these? that they which were cosins, and should haue ben frendes vnto this people, whan their enemies would haue shewed pitie, they crie doune with them, doune with them, leaue not one pece standing The Scottes inuading Englande, made a like bragge amonge them selues to destroie all afore them, & the morning afore the battel was fought, thei plaide at dice for all the duke­doms & great cities in Englād, who shuld haue them: but God turned them in theyr owne pride, for their kyng was slain in ye fielde, & all the hoste disconfited too theyr great losse and shame. ‘Where brotherly loue required that thou shoulde haue hol­pen thy brother Iacob and his seede, thou stode by & loked on, and woulde not helpe, whan suche straunge thinges and destruction fell on hym: yea not onely that, but ye reioised at their harme, and stode boasting and crakinge againste them, where thou shoulde haue ben a comfort, and deliuered [Page] of them.’ It is harde to tell whether he of­fendes God more that does the wronge & oppresses an other, or he that standes by laughing, mocking and scorning, & maye helpe and wil not: but sure both be damp­nable. Dauid complaynes of such as hurt the oppressed: they haue persecuted hym whom thou hast smitten and they increa­sed my sorowe, and againe they songe ry­mes againste me as they sate drinkynge wyne.Psal. lxi. They that stode mockinge at oure sauiour Christ hanging on the crosse were as giltye of his deathe,Mat, xxvii. Roma. i. as they that cru­cified him. Thou that destroyes the tem­ple of God haile king of the Iues. Let him saue him if he will haue him, they which consent to anye wickednesse are as well gilty as they that do the dede. It is against al humanity that when god puni­shes, man should also lay on more sorowe beside. No beast if an other sticke fast in ye mire or fal vnder his lode, will stand moc­kinge or hurting him, or laying on more weight to hold it down: & what beastlines or worse rather is this yt mā shulde reioice at an other mans harm it is agaīst nature of man. God bids by Moises yt if yu se thine enemies Asse fallen vnder his lode yt thou shall not passe by but thou shal help to lift him vp:Exod. xxiii. & surely god does not cōmaūd this so much for ye Asses sake as ye mās as s. pa. [Page] a like case in muslinge the laboring oxe. Hais God care for oxen? & if we be taught thus to shewe this frendship to oure ene­mie and his asse, muche more it wil be re­quired at oure handes, for oure frendes & neighbours. But they had so ferre forgot­ten all gentilnes, yt they were more ready to doe them harme than their open enne­mies were and straungers. ‘They brasse open their gates, and wēt in with ye first, layde handes vpon their goods, and spoi­led them as fast as the best.’ Yea thei were not cōtent to stande by, loke on, & rob thē, but they stode in the crosse wayes, that if any escaped, ranne awaye, or made shifte to saue him selfe, they eyther were ready to kyl him, or elles take him prisoner, and bringe him and deliuer him in to ye hands of his enemies. O miserable cruelnes, that woulde not let them lyue, which had once escaped daunger, nor woulde not let them flee awaye, which were once de­liuered from their enemies. What a pleasur had these wicked men in murthering and robbinge their brethern, that coulde not suffer them to escape, whiche had once escaped. Yea all this crueltie thei shewed whan the Lord had forbidden them: for so the Hebrue redes al these cruel partes ne­gatiuely, forbiddinge them so to doe. And [Page] because they had done so cruelly too theyr brethern, and contrari to Gods commaū ­dement, the plagues fell on them, whiche the nexte verse speakes of.

‘The Chalde targum redes theym all af­firmatiuely, sayinge thou didde stande a­gaynste thy brother, whan the Heathen robbed hym, entered his cytye, cast lot for Ierusalē, thou toke their partes, stode lo­kinge on him in the daie of his destructiō and spake boastingly againste him, yu rob­bed hym, & stode in the crosse wais to kyll them that ranne awai to saue them selfs.’ The sēse and meaning is al one, whither we rede them affirmatiuely or negatiueli for the one castes in their teethe their cru­elty, and the other forbiddes them it, and shewes that for this their vnkinde & wic­ked behauior toward their brether Gods people, they shoulde drinke suche as they had geuen other. This is the comen prac­tise of the worlde, that whan a manne is doune, than euen those whiche were hys fained frendes afore, will be the first that shall worke him displeasure. Whan Absalon had gathered a greate companye, and driuen out his father, thā those that were Dauids counsailers and flattering frēds▪ were the firste that forsaked him: saw the world chaunge, ran to Absalon,ii. King. 1 [...]. & thought [Page] there was most profit to get,i. King xv to be gotten that waye. But if I: shoulde applie thys to Antichrist the Pope and his pigges we shall easely perceiue howe true it is not onely afore, but in these oure miserable daies.

Whan Uertiger kinge of this realme woulde forsake his lawful wife ye Quene and marry the doughter of Hengist a Saxon, thā to defend that noughty dede, moste the Saxons be brought in contrary to the peoples minde, and so at lēgth they conquered all, and made them selfs kings driuing out the English men. Of what one cruell poinct can oure vnmercifull pa­pistes excuse them selfes at this daye, but they haue ben as cruell againste the bre­therne in this realme for religiō, as Edō was againste Iacob. For the maintey­ninge of the Idolatries, whan they see that the moste parte of the realme had es­pied their wickednes and proude tyranny that they woulde exercise againste ye peo­ple of God,Papistes are worse thâ the Edomites. they see there was no waye to kepe their pompe, and feede their idel bel­lies, but by might power and strong hād. So these caterpillers, caringe not howe they come by it, so that they had it: better they thinke it to daunger the hole realme, than Idolatry be not mainteyned, theyr [Page] Pope honoured, poore soules bought and soulde, their gredy ambitious desyres set a loft that they may rule lyke lords. Whā they se their brethren cast in the fyre, they stande by laughing, boastinge theyr false doctrine, craking to roote out al ye loue the gospell, and not to leaue one aliue that is suspecte to loue any good religion. These gredy cormorantes if they se any that had a good liuing that they lyst to haue, by & by thei set one of their promoters or other to accuse him, & neuer ceased vnto thei had driuen him oute. Yea when the Popes spanielles, some woulde speake againste such crueltye and wishe more gentelnesse to be vsed, they would most earnestlye be against it and ye cal them selfes spiritual.

Nero when anye euill chaunced or he had done anye mischiefe hym selfe and set fyre in Roome,Nero. woulde say the christians were cause of it, or had done it, to brynge theym in hatered wyth the people: so oure papistes, if there was vnseasonable wea­ther or any thyng did displease the people they sayde it was because these gospel­lers were not yet rooted out but suffered to liue, whan any was content to forsake coūtrey, house, wife, lands, & goods, according to gods cōmaundement rather then [Page] file him self with wickednes, submitting him self to their abominations thei wold raile on hym, callinge him runne a gate, traitor, heretike, and what pleased them. And because thei woulde be like Edomi­tes in all pointes, whiche watched theyr crosse wayes to kyll those that escaped: so the papistes, if any gospeler had escaped their handes, thei woulde sende commaū dementes in to other countries to cal thē home, laye watches & spies in all corners to catche suche as they lust to haue, & bring theym home like prisoners, whiche neuer had offended. What straite watche was laide in euery hauen to catche them that came in or oute, thoughe they were but poore afflicted men, and banished mem­bers of Christ. What reioisinge, if any was taken: and what straite commissions to searche what goodes any such banished person had left behinde him: and in whose handes it was, that it might be taken frō them. What great crakes their greate Nimrod and captayne made, that he wold bringe all suche runneagates (as it plea­sed hym to terme them) to suche nede that they shoulde eate their fingers for hūger, it is not vnknowen too the worlde: that they mighte thus proue theym selfes true Edomites, in robbing their poore brother [Page] Iacob. But that we maye perceiue oure papistes to be the true seede of the spiri­tuall Edom, marke the beginning, and it shall more easely appeare.

Edom whiche is Esau,A comparison betwixt the Edomties. and Popes▪ lost his fathers blessinge, by whiche he shoulde haue had auctorite ouer his brother, & yt was ye chief cause of hatred toward Iacob: so oure pa­pists by cause ye gospelers teache thē to be humble as Christ was, and to leaue their lordlines ouer Gods flocke, they persecute them to death. Esau to fyll his belly, loste his byrthright▪ by whiche he shoulde haue had double portion of his fathers goodes to his brother: so our Popes, because they maye not haue double honor, promotion, riches, and welth to other, as their father the Pope hayes, thei hate all that gayn [...] saye they: Esau was roughe skinned, [...] wylde man of conditions, and a hunter: so oure hypocriticall Popes bee of cruell & tough conditions, hunters for promotiōs▪ yea haukers and hunters in dede, & geuen to all pleasure, rather than to feede Gods sheepe. We reade in the scripture of two notable hunters, and thei were bothe nought, Nimrod and Esau: but amonge the Popish priestes ye shall find fewe, but he can kepe a curre better than a cure, can finde a hare, kepe a kenell of houndes, or [Page] a cast of hawkes better than many other: and because thei will be conning in their occupation, & all kind of hunting, thei hūt for pluralites of benefices a tribus ad centū, & tot quot, yea thei can hūt hoores (for they say it is better to haue a boore thā a wife) so cunningly that they may teach a schole of it. Edom hunted for venison and good cheare: so can our belligoddes the Popes Sir Ihon smell smocke, smel a feast in all parishes nere him, sit at ale house, carding dising, bolling & drinking from morning to night, thinking he hais serued God wel whan he hais mumbled his matens, some pece rosted ouer the fire, some sodde ouer ye potte, some chased ouer the fieldes, some chopped, some chowed, yt if their god were not coming, he could neuer set them toge­ther. Other of the higher sorte, can sitte drinking wt their maluesey, marmelade, sucket, figges, rasens & grene ginger. &c. and say they faste, punishe their bodies, & goe the righte waye too heauen: euen as right as a rammes horne.

Esau because he hadde lost aucthorite ouer his brother, persecuted him so shar­pely, that he liued banished .20. yeares: so our Edomites (I had almoste saide Sodo­mites) bannishe their brether for euer if [Page] thei can, yea curse theym to hell, because they maye doe muche there, by their many frendes, not leauing them any rowme in their purgatory, because they be lordes of the soile, and none shal dwel there, except he take a lease and paye rent to them. Esau because he woulde not obey, but displeased his parentes, married diuers wy­ues of the Heathens rounde aboute him, contrary to God, & example of all his good forefathers: so oure papistes abhorring [...] lawful mariage, folow carnal hoores, and liuinge in spiritual adultery, worshippe false goddes, images, stockes and stones, the workes of mans handes, and folowe all mens traditiōs in al countries about, gaddinge from countrie to countrie a pil­grimage, to bye pardons, and rob Christs of his due honor. But I muste make an ende of their vngodlines, whiche hais no ende: and let them, which would see more of their doinges, conferre the life of Iacob and Esau together, frome the begin­ninge too the ende, and thanne they shall easily see howe truely these Antichristes doe resemble their father Edom, that all thinges whiche is here prophe [...]ied, maye bee well and truely applied too theym. It shalbe sufficient for me thus briefely [Page] at this time in these few thinges to haue compared them together, & haue opened the waye, and gyuen an example for the ruder sort to folow, in comparing thē fur­ther together, & setting out worthly their wickednes, if any tunge or penne coulde sufficiently do it. ‘What shall be the ende and rewarde of suche cruelty, pride, reioi­singe, robbinge, killing their brether: the two laste verses declare.’ The daye of ven­geaunce ouer all people that haue so vio­lently handled Gods flocke is at hande: ‘God hays borne longe ynoughe, he will not see his shepe any longer deuoured, he hayes taried sufficientlye for their repen­taunce, if they woulde haue turned: hee sees there is no hope of amendemente, he will now be auenged of his enemies, and that most iustly. For euen as thou o Edō hayes done to hym, it shalbe done to thee: and what measure thou hays gyuē other,Luce. vi. thesame shalbe measured to thee agayne.’ Suche punishment shall it be, that it shall extende euen vnto thy infantes, whiche in all other destructions are wont to finde fauour, and thoughte to be innocente: yet now they shalbe as extremely punisshed as the rest.

‘And as ye haue dronke and made mery [Page] on my hyl Sion and Moria, where the tē ­ple was buylded, and God worshipped, & ye laught to see it destroied, burned & cast doune: so shall your enemies drink, laugh and make merye on youre hylles, where youre stronge holdes were buylded, whan they shal throw them doun, conquer your landes, and leade you captiues and priso­ners, make you slaues, robbe your goods and treasours, laughe you too scorne, and worke their pleasure on you and youres, they shall swalowe you and youres vp soo cleane, leauing nothing behinde them, & deuoure all your goods, as though ye had neuer ben dwelling there, and as though no suche thinges had ben.’ This is the [...]ust iudgement of God to doe agayne thesame thinges to his enemies, that thei did too his people, and rewarde like with like. If he should shewe sharper punishmente, men woulde call him cruell: if lesse, many woulde iudge that he coulde not, woulde not or durst not. Therfore he renders euē thesame againe, that both his enemies & his people may cal him a righteous iudge. For fewe will or iustely can blame hym that does but like for like: So saies Dauid let ye people reioice, for yu iudges thy people righteously. Adonibeze [...] a Heathen,Psal lxvii Iudg. i. that chopped of the toes and fingers of .70. [Page] kinges whiche he conquered, was so ser­ued him selfe whan he was taken: and than confessed he God to be righteous in doinge to him, as he had done to other. Absalon killed his brother with ye swerde violentlye,ii King. [...]iii [...]viii.iii.ii. [...] and perished with the swerde him self. Ioab smote Abner vniustly, and Dauid commaunded him to bee likewise handled: He that came bringinge woorde to Dauid, that he had killed Saul, thinkīg thereby to haue piked a thāke, and goten a bribe of Dauid, was commaunded by Dauid to be slaine, for laying his hand on the anointed of the Lorde, contrary to his expectation. Thus by these few and suche other examples, the rightuous iudge­ments of God, and merciful dealing in his punishing appeare: that although his enemies rage and furye in their doinges and in their madnes, care not what crueltye they shewe: yet God although he mooste iustly might, accordinge to their desertes, reuenge with more sharpnes, he will not but rewarde with like. Let all cruel papi­stes and persecutors of Gods people take hede therefore what violence they shewe: for although God seme to suffer for a time yet he wil come at his apointed time to do liuer his, and reward theym with ye lyke measure that they haue shewed too other. [Page] And of all causes and iniuries God canne suffer none wors vnauenged,Among al in­iuries god wil not suffer hys religion, spe­cially to be defaced. than that whiche is counted against Ierusalē, hys temple, his religion, and where he is ho­nored: for that touches his owne person. His honor he says him self he will gyue to no other, he is a ielous God. And ye first & chiefe commaundement is, to worshippe him alone,Esai. xlii. too haue no other Goddes but him, for els he punishes to the thyrde and fourth generation of them that hate him.Exod. xx. Can any countrie or people be founde frō the beginninge, whiche rebelled againste God and his people, but God hays thro­wen them doune? Can than our antichri­stes or any hater, mocker of God or hys people at this daye, by what name soeuer they bee called, loke for any lesse than too receyue thesame measure that they haue gyuen other? nay nay, for surely the mo examples that thei haue had to teache thē, and they will not learne, the greater shal be their condemnation.

And let them not thinke that this day of vengeaunce is so ferre of, seing that so many thinges crie on the Lorde to hasten his cominge. Euery creature in heauen & earth, quicke and dead, grones and tra­uails, loking for our ful deliuerance. The soules vnder the aultare crie, howe longe [Page] o Lorde,Rom. viii. Reuela. vi is it that thou reuenges not oure bloude, and these be not fewe in number: for from the bloude of the righteous Abel. all innocent bloude shal come on you. The spirite and the spouse, crie come, and he that hears cries come.Math. xxiii Reuela. xxii Merci to help his oppressed, and iustice to reuēge, crie come Lorde Iesus quickly. Can God stoppe hys eares from all these cryinges?The day of vē geance is not ferre of. No no, let them assure them selues, their daies be at hande, they shall perishe euerlastingly, yf they repent not, and Gods people shall be deliuered to his glorie. Come Lorde Iesus let all crie, and he wil come. The churche of Christ is the spouse of Christ, and he is oure housbande, he our head, and we hys members, and parte of his mistical bodye: he oure father, and wee hys chyldren, he oure God, and we hys creatures, he oure kynge, and we hys subiectes, he our Lord and maister, and we hys poore seruaunts, Christ our brother, and we felow heyres with him, he loues vs better, and takes more thought for vs, than we doe for oure selues. Greate is the loue of the mother towarde her chyldren, yet greater is Gods loue towarde vs. Although the mother can forget the chylde, sayes the Prophete, I will not forget thee:Esai xlix. Math. xxiii Yea as the henne [Page] will feight for her chekins, so will oure God for vs againste all oure enemies.i Corin. iii i. Pet ii. Ephe. ii. How oft would I haue gathered thee vn­der my winges as the henne her chekens: sayes oure sauioure Christ. Oure bodies are the temple wherein he dwelles, yea we are the liuely stones, wherof his house is buylt: we be of his household, cy [...]ens, burgeis and freemen in heauen, his fami­liar frendes, whome he loued so derely, yt his sonne should dye that we might liue. And that we should not doubt of his good will, but that he hays gyuē vs all his treasure, he sayes: He that spared not his own sonne, but gaue him for vs all,Rom. viii. how can it be but hee hays gyuen all thinges with him? &c. Let no man therfore doubte of Gods good will towardes vs, seinge God him selfe hayes declared so many wayes, his excedinge greate loue towardes vs, by so many similitudes: and lette no pa­piste reioice nor triumphe againste Gods people, as thoughe God cared not for thē, had cast them awaye, or woulde not dely­uer them. For he will come in dede, & not be slow. Peter sayes, the Lord is not slow in cominge as some thinke, but patienly taries for vs: &c. Can any housbande see his wyfe take wrong?ii. Pet iii. Math. vii or any man hate or [Page] neglected his owne fleshe, can the father denie his chylde any thinge he askes, or if he aske bread, will he gyue him a stoone? is any more ready to help his people than God? will not a king defend his subiects, the maister his seruaunte, or lorde his te­naunt? will not brotherly loue moue him (that is loue it selfe as s. Ihon sayes) too haue pitie on vs, he hays boughte vs too dere to see vs caste awaye. Will he doe lesse for vs then the Henne for her chekēs, or the brute beast for her ionge ones? No man will see his house pulled doune ouer his head, but he will restore it. A good burgmaister and ruler of a citie, will pro­uide necessaries for his that he hais rule ouer: therfore seinge our God hays taken all these names and offices on him, doubt not but he will doe his part for vs, if wee doe not runne from him. He settes not deputies to doe his office, nor is not wery of well doinge: He beares not the name of these offices, and refuses the labor as men doe: but he sais by Salomon: My de­lite is to be with the chyldren of men: and by Dauid:Prouer viii. Psal. cxxi. he neither slumbers nor slepes that watches Israel.

The Text.

verse 17 But in the hyll Syon shal [Page] be eschaping, and there shall be holines, and the house of Iacob shall possesse the enhe­ritaunce of them, which pos­sessed hys.

verse 18 And the house of Iacob shall be fire, & the house of Ioseph the flame, and the house of Esau for stuble, & shal burne them, and shall deuoure thē, and there shalbe no remnant of the house of Esau, for the Lorde hays spoken it.

verse 19 They shall possesse the south parte of the hyll Esau, & the playne countrie of the Phili­stines, and they shall possesse the countre of Ephraim, and the coūtrie of Samaria: Bē ­iamin shall possesse Galaad.

verse 20 And ye captiuite of this hoste of the chyldrē of Israel, those whiche be ye Cananites vnto Zarphat: and the captiuitie [Page] of Ierusalem, whiche be in Sepharad, shall possesse the cytyes of the South.

verse 21 And there shall come saui­ours in to the hyll Syon, to iudge the hyl Esau, and the kyngdome shall be ye Lords.

¶Marke here the diuerse ende of the good and bad, the persecuted and the per­secutor, the true Christian and the hypo­crite, the gospeller and the papiste. The wicked florishes for a time, but his ende is euerlastinge damnation: the manne of God lokinge for an other kyngdome than on the earth, is content to beare the crosse here, vnder hope of that which is to come. The stocke of Esau hays hitherto trium­phed againste Iacob, Goddes people, but now whan his wickednes is ripe, ye Lord rewarde him, accordinge to his desertes. ‘The hyll Esau afore reioiced in his strōg holdes, wealthy countrie, and the leages made with al neighbors round about thē: but now in the hill Sion shall be safe es­scapinge, whan Edom shal haue no place to flee vnto.’ In Sion that is Ierusalem and Goddes elect beloued people, shall be [Page] holines the true worshipping of God, the hole sanctuarie and temple where Gods holy name shall be called vpon: where as Esau in the meane time is defiled with Idolatrie, and geuen vp to the handes of the gentils. Yea, and furthermore Iacob shal possesse the lande of them that posses­sed" his. And although God haue promi­sed to godlines, not onely in the worlde to come, but in this life also great blessings, as appeares by Iob, Abraham, Isaac, Ia­cob, Dauid, Iosias, Ezechias, Iosaphat, whiche were of greate ryches: yet this place doe I not thinke to be so vnderstand that Iacob should euer possesse the landes of Esau, although the scriptur says yt Dauid & Iacob ouercame ye Edomites. But I think rather vnder this outward king­dom to be prophetied that the kyngdom of Christ (as the Prophetes vse by worldlye prosperite to declare the spiritual felicite) by the preachinge of the Gospell,i Chro. xviii iiii. king. xiii [...] shoulde be enlarged in those coūtries, which were now enemies to God and his people, and so the spirituall seede of Iacob, the Chri­stians shoulde by preachinge conferre and possesse Esau his lande and the gentyls whiche so sore hated and persecuted them afore. This is the nature of Goddes peo­ple, to be good to the [...] which hate them, [Page] and to winne them all to God, which haue done them moste displeasures: and this is the nature of God to cal thē, which be hys vtter enemies, & soften their stony hearts to make theym meete houses for the holy ghoste to dwel in, & in the middest of their raging persecution, to smite them doune as he did Saul, raise them vp, & make thē Paules, of wolues, sheepe, & of haters, lo­uers of the truthe. Thus shall Esau be destroied whan his Idolatrie, superstitiō, false goddes & such wickednes shall be ta­ken awaye: and Iacob shall possesse him, whan he shal turne him too the true wor­shipping of the liuing god, forsaking their Idols & superstitions, and folow true reli­gion. ‘What can be counted a greater con­quest than to conquere the deuil, & make all people subiect to Christ.’

After rebukinge their sinne, & threate­ning them iuste punishment for thesame, now folowes cōfort, as euer after ye lawe preached folowes the gospel, & after correction comes grace & pardō. Siō is ye church. & congregation of Christe & faithfull men beleuing in him:Syon. so yt whosoeuer flees thi­ther shalbe safe, & whosoeuer is not vnder his winges, & in the nūber of christen peo­ple, shal perishe in the dai of his wrath. As all liuing creatures, which were not in ye [Page] Arke with Noe, did perishe with the wa­ters, so al that be not of goddes houshold, shalbe cast into outward darknes. This other promise that God makes here vntoo the faithfull seede of Iacob, that hays hys faith, is most notable & confortable. ‘In ye hyl Sion: the church of Christ there shalbe the holy one as 70. reade or holines as o­ther, or the sanctuarye, as summe & holy place to worship God in purely.’ It skilles not muche, whiche we reade for the sens [...] is al one, & the meaning is: that ye churche and faithful people of Christ, shal not wāt the true religion & knowledge of god. For the church of Christ is the spouse of Christ and his mistical bodye: and if mortal men loue their wyues & bodies so derelye, that they wil not forsake them or leaue theim comfortles, muche lesse will Christe oure sauiour not forsake vs after that he hays redemed vs, seing he bought vs, and loue vs so derely, beinge hys ennemies. Thys is than the greatest token of goddes loue to hys people, whanne he gyues them hys true religion, and therefore mooste ear­nestly too bee enbraced of vs: And thys is the blessinge taken frome Esau, and geuen to Iacob, If we reade the holy one, he is Christe, whiche promised to bee with vs to the ende of the worlde, he is [Page] made to vs of God oure father, righteous­nes,Math. xxviii i. Corinth. i holines, wisedom and redemption: because that who soeuer is holy receyues it of him, and none is holy that hais it not of him, though he haue bulles, calues, pardons, reliques, holy water, holye asshes, holy palmes, holy crosse: yea, and all the holines that is in Rome, if he haue not ye spirite of Christe. I am sure they will not saye they sell the holy Ghoste whan they sell pardons, for that were symony: ther­fore thei bye no holines in them. If we reade, holines, than it is an vpright lyfe, true faith with pure worshipping of God.i. Thes. iiii. This is the wil of God says sainct Paul, your holines. As they haue but one God, so they will worshippe him onely, and as he hais taught them, and not after the de­uise of man: thei will also studie for a holy life, as God commaundes. Be ye holy, for I am holy. And if we reade a holy place or sanctuari to worshippe God in,Leuiti xix. it is true also: for in all persecutions, & in the spite of the Pope and all Antichrist, there hays ben in all ages and shalbe (for God so say­inge can not lye) true professors of God, althoughe the moste parte of the worlde was blinded.Luce. xii. So Christe cōforts his, say­inge, feare not thou litel flocke. Thus in Christes churche, in spite of their foes [Page] shall euer be Christ the heade, knit to the bodye necessarely, and as he is holy so shal he make them holy that heng vpon him, & so gouerne them by his spirite, that they shall euer folow a holy kinde of lyfe, fle­inge mischiefe and vnclennes,In all persecu­tions God de­fendes his, & prouides a pl [...] ce for them to worship him in. and so shal thei haue also his sanctuari and holy place where to resort to worship their God, here is worde and call vpō him. Abrahā, Isaac, Iacob, Dauid in their wādrings called vp­pon their God, taughte their chyldren too feare the Lorde, made their sacrifices, and God reueled him self to them againe, and neuer forsaked them. In the captiuite of Babylon, thoughe not in the temple,Psal. cxxxi [...] Act. i.ii. yet they coulde by the water bankes singe psalmes on their instrumentes: Whanne Christ was crucified, the disciples kepte them together in a chamber, praying and loking for the cominge of the holy Ghoste: after whan persecution beganne, some went to other countries, some from house to house teachinge, prayinge,Act. x [...]i▪ communicatinge and dealinge to the poore. Paule sayes at Philippes, by the water side thei were wonte too praye: and in the middes blindnes of all Poperi hayes there euer ben, some good men teachinge true doc­trine, and openinge their blasphemies: for this can not be false that Christ promi­sed [Page] his churche. When the spirite whic [...] is the comforter shal come, he shall leade you into all truthe:Ioan. xiiii.x Math. xxviii I will be with you vnto the ende of the worlde, he that is of God, heareth the woordes of God, & you heare not, for because ye are not of God. And my shepe heare my voice, a straunger they doe not folow. Therefore let all that be vnder the crosse and persecution, se thei assemble together to praise God, & openly confesse him if it be possible, or at the leste as muche as they maye, folowing the ex­ample of the faithfull christians in the be­ginninge, whiche in spite of their foes coulde not be holden from assembling to­gether with prayers and songes, afore ye daye was lighte, nor lette any papiste re­ioyce againste goddes scatered and perse­cuted flocke, for this is the state and con­dition of goddes people, and preachinge ye gospell, that they shal not want a crosse: & yet God will performe this promise, that in Sion the holy one Christe will be with them, to gouerne them in holines of lyfe, purenes of religion, and an earnest fayth, trustinge in God, and will geue theym a place to call vpon hym in, that his might, mercy & grace to his people may appeare to the worlde, in the sight of his enemies. Whan Abraham and Iacob fledde into [Page] Egipte, the Egiptiās learned God, which afore neuer heard of him: in the captiuite of Babylon, the Caldees, Assyrians,Persecution spreades the gospel abrode Ba­bylonions, Medes and Parsians, with al other people, amonge whome the Iewes were scatered, lerned God of them. Whā persecution beganne in Ierusalem after Christes Ascension, the disciples scatered by persecution, went and preached Christ to the Heathen, whiche afore heard not of him. In Englande after Wiclefs death, whan persecution arose, some died for the trueth constantly, some fledde into Boe­mia, and broughte the gospell thyther, where it continues to this day, although bothe Emperoure and Pope with al their mighte, many sharp battels and bloudde sheddinge, woulde haue rooted it oute. What great assaulte the poore Walde­ses haue suffered at diuers French kings handes, goinge aboute to haue destroied them for their religion, beinge a fewe in number, and yet coulde neuer deface thē this .360. yeares, it is piteous to heare. Thus is this euer true, that in Sion: the true church of Christ shalbe the holy one, Christ sanctifieng all that beleue in him: there shalbe holines, in faithe, religion & maners to the prayse of God, there shalbe also a sanctuari and holy place wt assēbles, [Page] in spite of their foes, and persecutiō does not hurt, but rather increase and further true religion, thoughe not in the greater, yet in the better parte of men. For who soeuer the holy ghoste does enflame with an earnest zele to his religion, they canne not kepe it within them, they canne not abide to see their God and his woord blas­phemed, thei will braste oute and declare their faith and saye: the earnest loue to­wardes thy house hais eaten me: as oure Sauioure Christe did whan he see the tē ­ple his fathers house so misused,Psal. lxix. Ioan. ii Ierem. xx. and hys religion contemned, he gate whippes and droue them out. Ieremie sayes: the worde of God was to hym as a burninge fyre in his hearte, and closed within his boones, that he was not able too keepe it within him, but woulde brust out.

‘This victory is sette oute more at large in the nexte verses folowinge, where hee sayes: the house of Iacob shalbe fyre, the house of Ioseph the flame, and the house of Esau the stable. &c.’ Here is no descrip­tion of horse, haines, gunnes, any greate hoste, or such other worldly things where in princes doe conquire and triumphe. As the house of Iacob is spirituall, and the kyngdome of Christe, so be the weapons souldiers and victorie. The swords where [Page] with thei faught, were as the apostle sais the woorde of god, which is sharper than any twooedged swoord,Hebre. iiii. and per [...]es more the soule, conqueres the affections, & pul­les doune hygh stōmackes, deper than the swoorde can the bodye.

The gunnes were the Apostles words as Iames and Ioan were called the son­nes of thunder,Mar iii. because with suche great power thei thundered terribly, preached and feared carnall mindes more than the thūder does, and threw doune sinne more than any gunnes coulde the walles. Whan Peter at two sermons conuerted 5000. and Paul filled all countries frome Ierusalem to Illyzicum with the gospell,Act, iiii xv what Emperour is able to bee compared of suche men of warre? Whan Charles the .5. Emperour, beganne to raygne Lu­ter and Zuinglius began thesame time to preache: and whither he hays throwen doune, stopped and hindered the gospell more with al the help, that his gostly and superstitious prelates coulde gyue,Preaching cō ­queres more [...]eighing. than they with their scholers haue set it foorth, and shewed the wickednes of Popery, & defaced his pompe, let them selues iudge. The Pope with his partakers haue had strength, power, politie, wit, wisedome, armure, gunnes, horses, harnes, men and [Page] money and whatsoeuer they could deuise these other haue foughten with preachīg, writing and giuing them selues to ye fire for the trueth. Their weapōs were their tonges, penne, inke & paper, neuer shed­dinge bloude but their owne, and euer se­king how to saue other mens soules, spa­ring no labor, nor fearing any displeasur. So mighty weapons is the vndefiled law of the Lorde,Psalm. xix. Roma viii. turning soules and hearers that neyther lyfe nor death, aungels nor powers, thinges present nor to come can pull them from the loue of oure God, offe­red in Christ Iesus. This fire yt he spea­kes of here, is the might of the holy ghost which came on the apostles in firie tūgs, and so kindels the hearts of all ye receyue the woord, that it burn vp al carnal affec­tions and worldly lustes, so that for the glorie of God they care not what thei suf­fer.Psalm xxvi. Reuela. xiii. i. Corinth. iii Dauid prayes oft for this fire: burne my renes and heart. And Ihon in his reuelation sayes, that these which be neyther hote nor colde, God will spue them oute of his mouthe: it is therefore a good fire that burnes vp the stuble, whiche is false doctrine, superstition and all euils, as S. Paul calles it: if any mā buyld hay, wode stuble, it shall perish. &c. The house of Ia­cob and Ioseph shall be the preachers, and Esau shall be thus happely burned vp frō [Page] his former fylthy lyfe, and turned too the Lord. The house of Ioseph cōtaines two tribes, Ephraim and Manasses, whiche were the chyldren of Ioseph,Ioseph. Gene. xlviii but chosen & taken of Iacob to be as his own sonnes, whan he blessed theym all, lyinge on hys death bed, and made them equall enheri­tors with his own chyldrē, of the land promised.iij King. vii. ‘And because Ieroboam, which first set vp the golden calues in Dan and Be­thel (and so prouoked all Israel to sinne & Idolatrie, in whiche they continued so many yeares) was of the house of Ioseph and stocke of Ephraim, lest thei shoulde thinke them selfs to be cast away of God, and their sinnes coulde not be forgeuen, he sayes thei shall be so hote folowers and setters foorth of Christ, yt they shalbe lyke the flame, & shal turne Esau & the gētils,God is merci­full too the wretchedst: & hys woorde woorkes either life or death migh­tely. Heathen & wicked men to ye knowledge & worshipping of ye true God.’ Such a merci­ful & louing God is our Christ, yt euē those that haue ben most traitors & enemies to him, he wil cal thē to most high honor. Pe­ter & all ye rest of the apostles denied our sauiour christ, whā he was takē of ye Iewes & rāne awai frō him: but he forsaked not thē, nor cast not thē out of their apostleship but sent thē into al ye world to preache the word of lyfe, grace, & saluatiō, & gaue thē more fulnes of ye holy ghost than thei had afore. [Page] And because it is vncertaine in the scrip­ture, whither any of the Apostles were of the tribe of Ephraim (yet in ye later ende,Roma. xi. and whan all sort of Iewes shalbe cōuer­ted to the Lorde, and so all Israell shal be saued) if this be not yet performed in thē or but partly performed, it shall be afore the laste daye more fully. Thy woorde is fierie sayes Dauid:Psal. [...]xix. and therfore it is no meruaill if it burne them vp, that heare & receiue it. The woorde of god is not lyke other histories or learninge, which do not moue, or elles but litel sturre the hearers: but suche grace and strength is gyuen by it to the ministers and hearers of the same that eyther it turnes them that heares it too a godly zeale, and loue towarde his glorie and an vpright lyfe, or elles it ca­stes them in to the burninge fire of hell, as the Apostle sayes. He makes his aungelles, spirites or winde▪ and his mi­nisters a flaminge fire, and agayn ye prea­chinge of Christes crosse is foolishnes too them that perish:Hebre▪ i. i. Corin. i. but to them that bee sa­ued? it is the power of God. In the dispu­tacions againste the Arrians, where all the learned men could not confute Arrius a man vnlearned stoode vppe,Ruffinus. lib. i. capi. iii. makinge a simple confession of his fayth openly, and where as longe as thei thoughte to ouer­come him by disputinge and by reasons. [Page] He euer had to aunswer theym withall, whan this simple playne man, trustinge not to eloquence nor learninge, but in the mighte of Gods spirite,Ruffinus lib. i. capit iii & onely sekinge the glorie of God, beganne to speake, hee see such grace in his woordes and power, ioyned withall that he was, not able [...]oo withstande it. Arrius graūted his one er­rour, and the other to saye true.i. Corin ii. ii. Corin. xi. So sainct Paul writinge agaynste false Prophetes saies, his preachinge was not in eloquēte woordes of mannes wisedome, but in po­wer of the spirite, and althoughe he was not eloquent in woordes, yet not ignorāt in knowledge. Thus shall hypocrites, Antichristes, and vnbeleuers be ouerco­men by the mighte of Gods woorde and the holy Ghoste, workinge with all, and not by any worldly witte, strength or po­litie, as ye Apostles preachinge, toke place & turned the hole worlde, to receiue theyr doctrine after thesame sort.

But where he sayes there shall be no remnant of Esau left: that shall be fulfil­led in the latter daye, where the wicked shall be cast into vnquenchable fire: for in the meane time the good and bad shall be blend together, so that wicked hypocrytes Idolaters shall be consumed bothe in thys world and after: but in the fulnes of time [Page] whan God hays apointed, and not whan we thinke, for thei shal preuail a time, as this wicked seede of Esau did for the trial of the good, and exercise of their faithe, yt all men maye knowe that the godly loue the Lord vnfainedly. Thus the house is put for them that be of the house of Iacob and Ioseph, and not so muche for the car­nall seede, as for theym that haue and folowe the faythe of Iacob and Ioseph, whiche be onely they that bee ordeined to lyfe.

‘And because they shoulde not doubt of the performance of the thing, he addes: ye Lord hais said it.’ As though he should sai, this is no mans tale, but the liuing Lord God yt made both heauē & earth, & haue all things at his commaundemēt, whiche is truth it self & can not lie, whiche is bothe able, and wil performe it: hais saide these wordes, therfore they must nedes come to passe. All men be liers, but God onely can not be deceyued nor deceiue, & whatsoeuer he hais said, yt he wil performe. Cā ye find any thing yt he said he would do since the worlde was made, but he hays done it? beleue him therfore in this thing to, for he will do it in dede.

‘The next verses, which cōtein so many people by name, I thinke do not signifie these people onely to be counted (for yt is [Page] to possesse them) to the faithe, but all gen­tils & people should receiue the word, and these be putte by name, specially because thei were the next countries about them, and always their open enemies.’ For if these, whiche were euer moste bitter ene­mies, should be conuerted by them: much more other countries yt were not so ernest haters of them, should rather be turned to them.Cananites. Zarphat. Sepharad. The Cananites be called of some men the Germanes. Zarphat is thought too bee Fraunce, and Sepharad Spaine by the Rabbines: so that euen the vtmost parts of the worlde shal folow theym. For in to these partes it is writen of some that the Apostles came, or at lest their doc­trine, as Dauid says:Psalm. xix. their sounde wente out in to the hole earth, but whither they or their scholers came to teache the gospel it skilles not, the thinge is proued plaine, that these coūtries once receiued the word & faith of Christ, howsoeuer thei be nowe drowned in Popery, or fallen to Heathen Idolatry, which shalbe rooted out at lēgth to notwtstāding their malitiousnes now. Haue not al ye wicked tyrans & Idolaters which raigned once in all these coūtries, be driuē out by ye light of Gods word? their cruelnes coulde not stoppe the faith of the Christians, neyther with fyre, swoorde, nor any cruel deathe thei coulde imagine: [Page] Yea, the more cruell they were in persecutinge the more earnest were they in pro­fessinge, and the mo they putte to death, the mo encreased,Ciuitat. dei, lib. xxii. cap. vi as Augustine sayes. Christian men were bonden, caste in pry­son, beaten, racked, burned, cut in peces as butchers cut their fleshe▪ kylled, & yet notwithstandinge all this they multi­plied and encreased.

‘The laste verse promises Sauiors too come and iudge: and the kingedome to be the Lordes.’ This is notable to consider in the kyngedome of Christe, that whiche is contrary to earthly kyngdomes. Worldly princes whan they goe too con­quere a countrie, thei goe with fire and and swerde to destroye all that withstāde them: but in Christes kyngedome, there come sauiors to preache saluation too re­belles, his enemies and haters if thei wil repent. Earthely princes come with gun­nes, horse, and barnes. Christes disciples come to conquire the deuill and his mem­bers without bagge,The diuersite of Christes kyngdome & earthy. staf or money: mor­tall prīces come with might and power of men: the preachers of Christes kyngdom▪ come in the might of Gods spirite, which opens the eyes of the blinde, and softens stony heartes, and turnes theym too the Lorde. Worldly princes do muche by flattery, [Page] bribery or threatning to win the people, but christes ministers come in meke­nes of spirit, prayinge and besechinge, se­kinge not their own vātage, but the tur­ninge of the poore straye sheepe, that they maye bringe theym home too the folde a­gayne. Earthely princes feighte for an earthy kyngedome: but the preachers of Christes gospel teache the way to heauē, peace of conscience, the loue and fauor of God, purchassed by the death of Christ Ie­sus▪ So in all pointes as heauen & earthe are contrarie, soo are the kingdomes, the ministers, and subiectes of theym bothe, the waye to conquere and compasse them bothe, the meanes to enioye them bothe, and the pleasures in them bothe whanne we haue gotten them. ‘Yet notwithstan­dinge all thinges in them be so contrary, and worldly menne by all wayes possible goe aboute too stoppe and hinder the get­tinge of the other heauenlye kyngedome, to withdrawe men frome it, and enuye the glorie, and encrease of it, yet the king­dome shall be the Lords, in spite of all his foes, and their malitious enterprises shal come to nought.Sauio [...] ▪ iudges. They be called sauiours because thei teache the woorde of salua­tion: and iudges, because thei will be rig [...]teous and neyther for giftes, bribery, nor [Page] partialitie, deliuer the wicked, and con­demne the innocent, but vprightly accor­dinge to the scripture, preache saluation to the penitent, and condemnation too the harde herted. Their iudginge shall not be in worldlye maters, no more than their preachinge and sauing: but as their ministery is spirituall, so shall their com­mission, iudgemente, and deliueraunce be. In Esau is ment hypocrites, persecu­tors, false teachers, and all euyll doers. Saincte Paul sayes to Timothe,i. Timo. iiii. that in doinge these thinges, whiche he taughte hym, he shoulde saue him selfe, and these that hearde him.Iaco i. Saincte Iames called the gospell, the woorde that can saue their soules, and too the Romaines: it is called the power of God vnto saluation of euery one that beleues:Roma▪ i. because the mightye power of God, howe he saues vs, is d [...] declared in it.

But Christ is onely the Sauiour, pro­perly speakinge: and other bee but mini­sters and teachers of thesame, for there is no other name, as saincte Luke sayes vnder heauen,Actes iiii. in whiche we muste bee sa­ued. Thus in the churche of Christ, Sion shall be euer, saluation preached iudge­mente ministred, and sinne punished. Woo than be to theym that flatter, laye [Page] pillowes vnder their elbowes, teach false doctrine. &c. And yet will haue the row­mes and names of preachers in the house and churche of Christe, they be Wolues, hierelinges, and deuourers of the flocke of Christe.Ioan. i [...] Christe sayes he came to the iudgemente of the worlde: too condemne the woorkes of the worlde, and so for the same vse, he geues hys spirite still too hys ministers, to sette vp hys kyngedom, and condemne the woorkes of the worlde, an­tichrist, and his enemies. A kyngdom can not stande without ministering of iustice: punyshinge sinne, and maintaininge the trueth, deliuering the innocent repenter, and condemninge obstinates. So the mi­nisters of Christes kyngedome haue po­wer spirituall to louse and binde as they see, the scriptures teache them.Ioan. x [...]. Receyue ye the holy ghoste, whose sinnes you for­geue thei are forgeuen: but not whan so­euer syr Ihon lacklatin wil for money lay his hand on his heade, whisper Absolutio­ne et remissione. &c. in Latin, that neither he nor the other weake conscience vnderstā ­des it, is not I saye by and by forgeuen: but vnto them it is saide,Malach. ii. I will curse youre blessinges, and I will blesse youre cursinges. If the absolution be not geuen [Page] to the penitent heart, oppressed with the burden of sinne, and sekinge comforte in Christe, it is no more profitable thanne Baptisme or the Communion is too an hypocrite or vnpenitente synner. Yea, rather it is to the condemnation, bothe of the gyuer and receyuer, if it bee vngodly done, because they misuse ye good ministery of God. Therefore they that in absoluinge iudge not, accordinge too the commission of Gods woorde, committed vnto them, be not sauiours of the people, but deceiuers.

And where he sayes, ‘the kyngedome shall be the Lords▪’ he condemnes all that teache any doctrine in the churche, to sette vp any other kynge or kyngedom, but the woorde of God, whiche be hys lawes ge­uen to hys people, that they maye lyue, accordinge thereto knowinge them to be hys subiectes, and hym their kynge: that so his kyngedome maye encrease and bee ruled by his lawes, as earthy princes rule by their lawes. Therfore the Pope tea­chinge hys Decrees, settinge vp him selfe and hys kyngedome, as though he were Lorde of heauen and earthe, purgatorye and hell, and bringinge the people to hys obedience, as the chiefe ruler, is traytour [Page] to God, and deceiues the people.The Pope is moste vnlyke sainct Peter. And to saincte Peter, whose vicar he sayes he is, he muste nedes bee proued mooste vnlike and a traitour too Christe, for drawinge men from hym, and willinge them to bye his pardon and forgeuenes of sinnes at hys handes, as thoughe he were set toge­ther vp Christes tollinge money,i. Peter. i. whan saincte Peter teaches: ye be not redemed frome youre vayne and false superstition, with golde eyther with siluer. &c. If wee bee not redemed with money, than the Pope lies, sayinge: oure sinnes bee forge­uen if we bye pardons to forgeue sinne. Sainct Peter sayes: money does not for­geue sinnes, but the bloudde of Christ Ie­sus: the Pope sayes yes, or at least he will not doe it withoute money. Sainct Pe­ter hadde hys owne wyfe, the Pope will none, nor lette his clergye, but hoores as many ye will. Saincte Peter sayde he had neyther golde nor siluer, the Pope will doe nothinge without golde or siluer, as it is sayde: Quicquid Ro. dabit, nugas dabit, accipit aurum Whatsoeuer it be that Rome will geue trifels it will geue, but golde it doeth receyue. Saincce Peter was sub­iecte him selfe vnto Nero, a wicked infi­dele tyranne, and teaches other too bee so [Page] in ciuill maters, but the Pope wil rule all christian princes by rigor, depose theym at hys pleasur, and obey none, but his own lustes. Therfore it is playne too see what is to be thoughte of hys kyngedome, and of suche men as will rule with rigor ouer the flocke of Christe, and wil not feede Goddes sheepe with his woorde, that the Lorde maye rule in his owne kyngdome, by hys owne lawe and woorde, and hys sheepe heare the voice of their owne true sheepehearde, and flee from straungers, hyrelinges, and wolues. It is not mete that God shoulde be kynge, and the Pope too make lawes for hym to rule by: but God rules by hys owne lawes.

Praye therfore the Lorde of the Haruest that he wil thrust out workmen into hys Haruest that thei may work truly for the setting vp of his kingdō, & pulling doune the popes: and that we may grow to good corne, to be laid vp in the Lords barnes, & be not lighte chaffe, blowen awaye with euery puft of doctrine, but grounded vpon the rocke Christe Iesus, may surely stand against all stormes, that we be not cast in to outward darknes and euerlasting fire but may enioy that vnspeakable ioie that he hays prepared for them that loue him, and loke for hym.

AMEN.

¶A prayer.

MOoste righteous iudge, God of al mer­cie & comforte, which by thy secrete iudge­mente and wisedome, suffers the wicked to triumphe and encrease for a tyme, for trial of the faith of thy welbeloued litel flock, and the mortifiynge of their lustes, but at length to the vtter confusiō of the enemies, and ioiful deliuerance of thy people: loke doune we beseche thee on thy dispersed sheepe, oute of thy holy habitation in heauen, and strengthen oure weakenes a­gainste their furious rages, abate their pride, asswage their malice, confounde their deuises, where­with they lift vp thē selfs against Christe Iesus thy sonne our Lord and Sauiour, to deface his glorie and sette vp Antichrist. We be not [Page] able of oure selfs to thinke a good thoughte, muche lesse to stande a­gaynste their assaultes, except thy vndeserued grace and mightye arme, defende and deliuer vs. Performe thy promises made to Iacob, and stoppe the mouthes of the cursed Edomites: call theym to repentaunce whome thou hays apointed to saluatiō: bring home them that runne a straie, lighten the blinde, and teache the igno­rant: forgeue al those that wilfulli and obstinatelye rebell not against thy holy wil, let thy fearful threatninges parse oure stony hearts, & make vs tremble at thy iudge­mentes. Make the examples of them, whom thou hays ouerthro­wen in their owne deuises, to be a warninge for vs: that we set not vp oure selfes agaynste thy holy will: graunte free passage to thy holy woorde, that it maye woorke [Page] effectually in vs, the blessed hope of oure saluation, too the eternall praise of thy maiestie, throughe oure mediator Christe Ie­sus, too whome with the father and the holye Ghoste, three per­sons and one God, bee praise and thankes geuinge in all cō ­gregations, worlde without ende. So be it.

Iaco. P. Ep. D.

¶Imprynted at London, by Wylliam Seres, dwelling at the west ende of Pau­les Churche, at the signe of the Hedgehogge.

Anno. 1562.

¶ Cum priuilegio ad imprimen­dum sol [...]m.

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