[Page]A Necessary instruction of Christian faith and hope, for chri­stians to holde fast, and to be bolde vp on the promise of God, & not to doubt of their salua­tion in Christ.

Translated out of D. Vrbanus Regius, into English And newly recognised by Iohn F.

PSALM. 54 verse. 8. Taste yee and see how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

¶Imprinted at Londō by Hugh Singleton, dvvelling in Crede Lane, at the signe of the gylden Tunne, nere vnto Ludgate, and are there to be sold.

Cum priuilegio.

Anno. 1579.

[Page]To the Right honourable Sir Fraunces Knolles Knighte, Thre­sorer of the Queenes Maiesties houshold, and one of her highnes most honourable pri­uie Counsaile, vvisheth aboundance of blessednes, both in this lyfe & in the life to come.

HAVING (RIGHT honourable) aboue thir­tie yeeres since, printed this shorte treatise en­suing, being translated and deliuered vnto mee by Maister Foxe, whose iudgement and faithfulnesse in the Lordes causes are, so sufficientlye grounded among the faithful both at home and abroade, as my pore te­stimony can nothing adde thereunto, naye so much as I not only protect, but also re­ioyce my selfe in the fyrst printing hereof vnder the same. And the euent hath yet more made good his choyse in this trea­tise whilest that the same was euen desi­rously embraced of the christian readers, and hath ben knowne to perswade in the matter, it treateth of, some that before were farre wide from the truth ther­in. For though the volume be very smal yet doth it discourse a great poynt of our chri­stian [Page] faith, religion, and comfort, not only very plainly and familiarly, but also moste pithely and substantially, which to do can not be but to the reader singularly fruit­full. Wherefore I haue nowe my selfe re­quested of M. Foxe, of whom I fyrste re­ceiued it, that it would please him to re­viewe the same, with such profitable additions as to him should seeme meete for the benefite of the godly reader, that yet once more in my time I might publish the same to Gods glory and the comfort of the god­ly. Wherin I esteme my selfe much bound vnto him for graunting my request. And now (righte honourable) I thoughte my selfe to haue a fit occasion aswell to giue vnto your honor some duetiful remēbrance of my thankefulnes for so greate kindnes as I acknowledge to haue inioyed frō you [...] as also to publish a booke so greatly adu [...] ̄ ­cing the honour of God and the faithe of his people vnder your honours name, to whom I know both those respects to be ve­ry precious: The Lorde giue his blessing thereunto, and encrease his heauly giftes vpon you with daily encreases, euer preseruing your honor and al yours in this life, & vnto the life of immortality, blessednes, & glory, in the kingdome of heauen.

Your honors euer to cōmaund, Hugh Singleton.

¶ A preface to the booke here folowing.

THere came to my hands of late a cer­taine litle boke, bearing the title: An instruction hovv to be bold vpon gods promise, &c. VVhich boke being trās­lated aboue xxx. yeeres since, for a deere father of mine, one Richard Melton (to recompence hym with some fruite of my studyes, for the charge which he more like a naturall, then a stepfather bestovved vpon me in setting mee to schoole) and being broughte to mee by the Printer, I was de­sired to take a litle paines in perusing the same. VVhereunto, to satisfie the request both of hym, and certaine others, which semed desierous of the booke, I vvas contented to graunt. And so much the more, both for the authors sake, being a lear­ned vvriter of Luthers yeeres and standing, and especially for the argument of the booke, whiche in these our dayes I see greatly expedient & much needefull, for comfort of the simple ignorant. For vvhat doctrine can be more excellent, then of saluation? vvhat more sure, then the promise of God? vvhat more certaine then the veritie thereof? vvhat more comfortable, then to stand firme and ascerteined of the same? or vvhat more needefull, then the same doctrine to be taughte a broad? And that so much more nedefull, by how much vvee see the aduersaries of this doctrine in these our dayes to growe, both strong and many, but none more strong, then mans owne naturall sence and iudgemente, vvhich f [...]lowing nothing [Page] but his ovvne originall capacitie. vvithout the vvorde of the gospell, can comprehend litle or nothing, of thys mysterie.

From the vvhich our naturally ingrafted blindnes little differeth the scholediuinitie of the papistes, who albeit they do seeme outvvardly to hold the nam of christ: yet the promises made to vs in christ, they hold not: the freedome of his grace they see not, but make doubts vvher none is, teaching also that no man ought to be sure of his saluation, but to stand in feare and doubt. And no great maruel if they so teach,Difference between the Papist and the Protestant. for if iustification as they say doe stand by workes vvith faith, and not by faith with out vvorkes: by merites: and not by promise fre­ly, by our selues partly, and not by Christe onely, how can any certainty c be holden vvithout feare or doubting? And yet neither is feare altogether excluded from this certainty, vvhych we hold, ne­ther vvorkes also from fayth. The feare of God I meane,How feare & confidēce stand togea­ther in a true christian. vvhich is and ought to be in euery good childe of God. And yet not vvithstanding his in­heritaunce standeth fast and sure. As a sonne and heyre feareth and reuerenceth his father, and yet doubteth not of his heritage: So God is alwayes to be feared, but his couenant neuer to be mistru­sted. Neither doe they rightly consider the causes of our saluation, whiche teache this docttrine of feare and doubting.

Touching the explication vvhereof, thre cau­ses are especially to be noted.Three cau­ses of salua­tiō declared VVhereof the one resteth in the promise of God, the other in the bloud of Christ. The third in the fayth of man. All vvhiche three, bee causes together concurrent for our saluation. For both gods promise saueth, and [Page] Christes passion saueth: Also faith saueth, but in sundry and diuers respectes, by promise and grace vve ar saued, as being the cause purposing, or for­mal. By Christ, as cause material & meritorious. By faith as cause instrumental or conditional. Of these three, the promise, (the thinges promised I meane) is to come. The death of Christ, vvherup­on the promise standeth, is past. Faith which loo­keth to the person of him that dyed,Assurance of our salua­tion hovv it resteth. endureth. And hereupon resteth the true assurance of saluation in the hearts of all the faithful, for as it is true that the suffering of Christ is past: So no lesse true it is, the thinges promised vpon his suffering, are to come.

And for so much,Hovve faith bringeth in hope. as all these promises of God are in Christ, and made to them that beleeue in him: therefore fayth in Christ, to vvhich fayth a­lone the promise is made, may boldlye call hope vnto her, and so most certainly assure himselfe of vndoubted saluation. And here riseth vp the o­peracion of fayth, and of hope, with difference betvveene them both. VVhich tvvo albeit moste ioyntly knitte together, yet they differThe diffe­rence be­twene faith and hope discussed. some what in the obiecte. For as hopeThe obiecte of faith and of hope considered. properly respecteth the promise of God, and respecteth things to come: euen so faythe properly looketh to the person of the sonne of God, and in him taketh present iu­stification. Thus then the obiecte of hope is the vvorde of promise. The obiecte of fayth is prin­cipally the person of the Sauior. And though it may be sayde truely, speaking in righte terms, that wee beleeue the promise of god to bee true: yet it is not so truly said, that vve beleue in the promise, but hope in the promise of almighty god.

[Page]Faith then,The opera­tion of faith and hope. touching his obiect, runneth to the person of the sonne, in whom the promise is ge­uen. Hope holdeth fast in the promise giuen in Christ, vvhereby hope assureth, faith f [...]aueth.Faith saueth hope com­forteth The cause of our salua­tion, euer to faith onely and not to hope. And as true faith in Christ can not b [...]e without hope: So hope againe vvithout faith in Christe is to no purpose. Neither is euery man [...]h [...]t hopeth, or be cause he hopeth vvell, therfore saued, but because he beleeueth vvell, (that is in the sonne of God) therefore is he saued. VVho so is freely saued by bloude, as boldlye may hope of saluation by pro­mise and nothing doubte. Albeit notvvithstan­ding this hope is not alvvayes alike strōg in eue­ry particular beleuing man, for although the pro­mises be generall, and indifferently extended to all beleeuers, and ought to be hold [...]st of all men: yet euery particular person, though hee beleeue in Christ right well, can not so vvel at al tymes, as we se, apply these promises to himselfe, as he should, but many times creepeth in some distrust or mis­doubt of himselfe, partlye thorovve vvekenes of spirite, partly through conscience of sin, or gre­uous impressions of the enemie. As many times by experience vve see happen to the good s [...]intes of God, vvho holding the same professiō of chri­stian fayth,Faith to iu­stification may be somtimes where hop fainteth but hope to comfort can neuer be without faith. as other good christians doe, yet in applying these generall promises to themselues, can not vvithout some feare and diffidence, be so comforted, as others be, and as they wold them­selues. Against vvhom, nothing in this booke is ment, or spoken, but onely againste suche as vvil­fully mayntain the contrary doctrine: Not agaīst such as of infirmity being deiected through feare woulde fayne hope better, and can not: but against [Page] those, which of purpose contrary to the promise of grace, doe holde that no man oughte to be certaine or assured in this life of his saluatiō and fauour of God, but euer to stande in doubte and feare thereof. Of the which two sorts of men the one is to be comforted, and well hoped of, for though hope and faith many times in good men do shrinke and qua [...]e through infirmitie and ten­tation, yet by grace and goodnes of the Lorde it riseth again. The other vtterlye as hereticall and contrary to grace, are to be detested and by sound doctrine impugned, by such godlye bookes as in this ye may read. The lord Iesus of his grace & goodnes, comfort the weake sp [...] ­ted, raise vp them that be falne, reduce the ignorāt, & set vp his glorious kingdome with speede, to whō be glory for euer.

Amen.

[Page]AN errour of all er­rors, most pestilent and deuilish it is, to teache vs euer to doubt, and neuer to be sure of Gods fa­uour and our salua­cion: as we haue bene ledde in the popes church, by vnlearned priestes, which for their purpose haue wickedly wrasted the words of Salomon in a wrong vnder­standing.Eccl. 9 No man can till whether he be worthy of loue or hatred.The Hebrue text mea­neth āother thing, and is wrong trās­lated. This erroure hath Sathan himselfe broughte into the church to obscure Christ, and cleane to abolish our fayth in him, and in the place of our faithe to bring in wauering and doubtfull opiniones, and weake imagi­nations into our heades, whereby in great extremitie, and earnest temptati­ons we could take no assurance,A true chri­stian man doubteth not of Gods fauour. but wer driuen to feare and doubting, for he that doubteth of the will and fauour of God, and is not assured that he will be merci­ful to him for Christes sake, and that all his sinnes be pardoned in him, and ma­keth a staid doctrine thereof, and wilful­ly resteth therein, hec is no trewe chri­stian, [Page] and in his incredultie can not be but condemned, if he doe not rise and re­pent. Most sure it is, faithFaith. in Christ is on­ly that maketh a true christian mā, doubtting and incredulitieIncredulity. maketh a man no christian. To bel [...]ue and to doubt be not both one. To beleue is one thing, and to doubt is an other. Therefore he that con­tinueth in this foresaid errore, beleeueth not the twelue articles of our Crede, in which Gods grace is clerely and vndou­tedly giuen to vs in Christ: Then howe can they be christian men, which lack the faith of Christ? Or how can such one say the Lords oration well, which maketh a doctrine of doubtfulnes. Hee may with his mouth sound the words, O our be auē ­ly father, but his heart hath no truste in God, neither hath anye [...]irmitie yt he is a mercifull father, but doubteth of yt grace of god, whither he be mercifull or no, or whither he pardon him or not. His tonge sayth, I beleeue in Iesus Christ, I beleeue the forgiuenes of sinnes, but his heart be­leueth not that Christ dyed for our offen­ces, and yt by his death he hath obteined for vs forgiuenes of all our sins. He that [Page] wauereth thus, can not but despaire in y laste extremitie of this life. And if he de­spaire, without repentance is in daun­ger: for he deperteth with an euill consci­ence, & hath no knowledge of Christ, nor beleueth the gospell. Then what hope can he haue of euerlasting life except I say he repent his error? Yet our blynde guydes & seducers in the Popes clergye haue taughte vs, that no man can pre­ciselye knowe, but oughte to doubte whether hee bee in Goddes fauoure or no. They that bee or haue bene in thys erroure, what beleife had they? dyd they not waunder like the Winde hi­ther and thither? Were they not cleane voyde of fayth? Had they not a wret­ched, vncertaine and a wauering life? Howe coulde they knowe whither their workes pleased GOD or no? What coulde suche a man thinke in hym selfe but thus.

I am a Christened man, I haue studyed to lyue well, and to doe good woorkes: but yet I am vncertayn whi­ther my woorkes please GOD, or whether my sinnes be forgeauen me or [Page] or not. Mine ill deedes be moe then my good. I haue don mo sins then vertues. Alas what shall become of mee. They that thus wauer and doubt, what hope cā they haue in the agony of death, what faith haue they, what thing to trust vp­on? At what time Sathan and his owne conscience shall accuse him of sin, saying, he that liueth ill, shall be damned, thou neuer fulfilledst the commandements of God, No sinner can be saued. Doth not Christ say if thou will enter into life kepe the commandements:Math. 19. but thou hast neuer kept them. Here is no hope left but that a man oppressed with such cogitations, must needes despayre. The blynde Pa­pistes haue taughte vs poore wretches, that the foundation of our hope lyeth in the grace of God,The doctrine of the priests clergye. & in the m [...]rites of our owne workes, so that our hope should be nothing els but the expectation of life comming of gods grace and of our owne deseruinges.VVhat hope is, by the sophisters. Item, that our hope in no wise coulde stande without the helpe of our merites, other of the sophisters doe thus defyne it: Hope is a boldnesse of minde conceiued of Gods goodnesse to haue euerlasting life throughe our good [Page] workes.

Here thou hearest these two, grace and deseruing,Grace and deseruing are tvvo cōtrary things & to be seperated but these two do i [...] ioyne toge­ther, for where is grace there is no meri­ting, againe, where meriting is there is no grace. Therefore if a sicke persone tempted about his sinnes thinke thus, that without his owne merites hee can looke for no saluation, then he trusteth not to the grace of God, neither doth he ap­prehend it nor ground himselfe vpon it, for so he hath ben taughte and ledde that it was presumpcion to say, a man might be assured of Gods fauour, without the adding of his works and merites. And thus haue we ben led in this fals perswa­sion so many yeeres, but in earnest tenta [...]ions there is none that can stande vpon his merites or deedes, for here commeth in the lawe of God accusing him and all other men, that none of them al haue ful­filled it. Then where be those good dedes wher vpon the sicke man may trust, and hope for saluation therby? In our great tentations wee all doe feele that we bee sinners, and that all our lyfe is noughte and so voyde of all goodnesse, that it is not able to abide and stande in the seuere [Page] iudgement of GOD. These blynd seducers haue made one foote of our hope lame and mayned, which is grace. The other foote lame and halting, which is our owne woorkes. Nowe howe can our hope stand faste, that we fall not into desperation?

To proue than that by our deedes wee can deserue no iustification, neither anye parte thereof, wyth all that euer wee are able to doe: And that it is not in our power to accomplyshe the lawe of GOD, but that the laweThe lavve, onely ser­ueth to see our vnablenesse, our vices & sinnes thereby, it needeth no greate de­claration. Wee see thys daylye in our selues, that our fleshe neuer ceaseth figh­ting, agaynste the spirite, and dooth in­wardlye grudge at euerye good deede wee doe, so that this naughtinesse and corruption of ours marreth all, whereby our good woorkes can not bee pure nor acceptable that wee doe Ro. vii.Rom. 7. Gal. v.Gala. 5. 1. Iohn. 1.1. Iohn. 1 Wherefore writteth Iohn, if we say we haue no sinne, we deceiue our selues, and truth is not in vs. Also all the faithfull say dayly in the Lordes prayer. Forgeiue vs our trespasses, Ers. lxiiii. [Page] We be as vncleane euery one, and al our righteousnesse like a cloth de [...]led with the flowers of a woman.Eph. 64. Furthermore if we did fulfill all commandementes of God, yet did we nothing but which is our bound duety to doe, neyther can we looke for any reward thereby, witnes to Christ. Luke. xvii.Luke. 17. Whan you haue d [...]n all that you can, yet saye you be vnprofi­table seruants. These wordes of Christe verelye may plucke downe our glorye, and make vs all ashamed to put anye affiaunce in our selues, or in our owne good workes.

Howbeit I speake not this to extenuat the worthines of good works,good works, hovv they are neces­sarye. or to pluck men back frō wel doing. For y scripture teacheth vs, y the studye of good workes is euer to be employed, and willeth vs to be folowers of honesty & good working.

But no man must put affiaunce in hys works, as though by y worthines of thē he could obteine grace, or put away sin, or gett his saluation. Fo [...] if our righte­ousnes & iustificatiō before god stande in our might or merites, then dyed Christe in vayne. Gala. ii.Gala. 2. Good woorkes in their degree & order haue their value and [Page] be greatly commended. A good man ought to insewe good vertues to thentent he may doe the will of his Lorde God, which commandeth vs to liue vertuous­ly, and that he may also approue himself to his Lord God, that God our heauen­ly father may be glorified thereby.Math. 5. Also we ought to doe good workes, to shewe our selues thankfull againe to God, for his infinite benefites and giftes.Phil. 2. Also we must doe good workes to exercise our faith, that they may be testimonies of our beleife, and thus doe they profit both me and my neighbour: My neighbour in geuing example to encorage him the bet­ter to a christian life, also in that he is succored by them in his necessitie. Se­condarily, they profit me in that they ex­ercise my faith,2. Pet. 1 and mortifie my fleshe and kepe me truely in my vocacion. For why if I doe any benefite to my frendes and to mine enemies, and perceiue it to come of a franke and free hearte, then I well assure my selfe that my faith is liuely and a true faith which maketh of damned sinners the true children of god.Iohn. 1 Gala. 3.

Item, here is to be noted that good workes be those, which a man beleeuing [Page] in Christ worketh in fayth in his lawfull vocation, after the ordinaunce and forme of the lawe of God: Contrary euil worksEuil vvorks. and sinnes be those, which be don without fayth and with a fained charitie, tru­sting vpon them to purchase the fauour of God, the forgiuenesse of sinnes, and the kingdome euerlasting, which is di­rectly contrary from our christian fayth. For our christian fayth doth grounde vs vpon a more substanciall stone, which is Christ the true forgiuer of sinnes,The foun­dation of our faith. and our onely reconciler, which hath obtey­ned for vs this grace, hath washed away our sinnes and hath deserued for vs euer­lasting saluation. This faith maketh our consciences not to wauer nor doubt anye thing of the grace of God. For the pro­pertie of this fayth is to quiet our consci­ence. The true catholike and liuely fayth is this,Rom. 5. when a man grounding vppon Christ fully perswadeth himselfe,VVhat true faith is. & bele­ueth stedfastlye and nothing doubteth, that he hath God pacified, and a moste gentill father to him for Christes sake, to whom in all his necessity, aduersitie, and in all his affaires as a childe to his father, he wholy cōmitteth and commendeth [Page] him selfe, putteth al his trust in him calleth on him, seeketh no succour, con­solation, nor goodnes but onely of him.

This faith purifieth our hearts.Acts. 15. This faith is alwayes working throughe cha­ritie and hath the holy ghoste which mo­ueth vs and stirreth vs vp to folowe the example of Christ, which hath left behind steppes of all good workes, and patience in afflictions for vs to folowe, saying to vs: This is my commandement that yee loue together as I haue loued you.Iohn. 15. You be my frendes if you wil do these things that I haue giuen and taught you. Hee that loueth me will keepe my lessons.Iohn. 13. I haue giuen you example,Luke. 19. as I haue done to you, so doe ye to your selues, by thys you shal bee knowne to be my disciples, if ye haue loue one to another. Agayne, he that taketh not vp his crosse and folo­weth me, he is not my disciple.

Where there is no repentance nor a­ny amendment of life,No good faith, no good vvorks and studye of good workes, verery there is no true faythe.

True faythe can not bee without good woorkes,True faith true vvorks. no more then a good tree with out fruite or the sunne without hys heat, thys is vndoubted. Therefore let euerye [Page] man examine and searche himselfe well least he deceiue himselfe. Many men ther be whiche saye they beleeue when they haue no beleife, as it may appeare by their vicious and wicked lyfe. For this is certaine, where soeuer true faith is, there is also the feare of God, ther is re­pentance, there a true and a Christian mans life foloweth, there the olde sinfull man is put off and a newe put on.Ephe. 4. For because this is the vertue and operation of our holy baptisme, that fayth doth clean renue & transforme a christian into a new man, which walketh not afte flesh but after the spirit. Rom. viii.Rom. 8.

Then where the grace of god wor [...]keth in vs good fruite, and wee begin to folow the commandementes of God, our old man is not all mortified straight way, but wild and wanton flesh, wyth her lustes dothe striue againste vs all our lyfe long, and neuer ceaseth prouo­king vs to sinne, and euer rebelleth a­gaynste oure spirite, letting and hinde­ring vs in all honeste vertues, whereby we bee not able to liue so vprightlye af­ter Gods commandements as we would Wherefore when our sinfull conscience [Page] or the feare of death doth come vpon vs, we can not trust to our works, nor finde any comfort therein, but (if we will bee saued) we must needes cry with the holy king Dauid. Enter not Lord into iudge­ment with thy seruant, for in thy sight no liuing flesh shall be iustified. Our good workes thoughe they bee neuer so holye and excellent, yet the value of them is not such, neither oughte wee to doe them for any such purpose, neither doth God require them to be done of vs for that in tent, that we should be iustified and saued by them. For no man can trust anye thing to his workes, neither be they able to deliuer vs from our death. That thing only the works of Iesus Christe is able to doe and nothing els.

This glory and honoure is onely dewe to him and to no man else,Our iustifi­cation only belongeth to Iesus Christ. to be a Iesus, that is by interpretation, a Sauiour. For hee onelye taketh away our sinnes iusti­fieth and saueth vs by his workes, & pas­sion. This is his office, his worke & duty onely, for the which hee was sent hither of his Heauenlye Father and oures to doe. Therefore if the holye workes and commandements of God, can bring no [Page] peace of conscience, then what shall a mi­serable sinner doe in the distresse of hys tentation? Whether shall he goe? whe­ther shall he turne himselfe? Wher shall he find helpe, and succour and comforte? so then if we looke for any saluation, we must firmelye beleeue and perswade our consciences, that our sinnes be pardoned vs, and cleane taken away.

But now howe shall we be so certified in our mindes. I answere, in such tenta­tions a man must needes sette aparte the lawe, and all his good deedes that euer he hath done, all his strength, all his po­wer, and merites, and let them all stande a side in this case. For here nothing can succoure vs, but onely the workes and passion of Iesus Christ. And therefore we must appeale from the law,Appeale frō the lavve to Christ. streighte to the riche and mercifull promise of our Father in his sonne Christ, as vnto a sure succour and a sanctuary of eternall security and peace, and holde it fast in a firme and a sure fayth. And thus shall we find comfort and quietnes ynough, and more then we can desire, then neyther sinne, nor death, nor hell, shall be able to hurt vs.

[Page] The promise of God is this.

Almightye GOD hath promised vs damnable sinners in his onely begotten sonne Iesus Christe,VVhat the promise of God is. without any maner of exception or condition of our owne merites clearely [...] of his owne free grace and goodnes,Hie. 31. full remiss [...]on of al our sins his holy spirite and euer lasting life, and that he will euermore be our Father,Heb. 3. and that he wil vouchsafe to receiue vs to his children, & giue vs perpetuall saluation.

These things stand true,Heb. 9. firme eternal, vnfalible, sure and stedfast for euer. God which is almighty, & which can not lye hath so promised to vs,2. Cor. 1 and hath sworne depely by himself yt he wil performe thē.

This is the newe testament and the e­uerlasting couenant of grace made to vs in Christ betwixt him and vs, and confir­med with his bloud, wherof his prophe [...]s so greatly speake.

Christe the sonne of God hath confir­med this testament by his death, and is a sure gage or a pledge of this promise of God. The truth and grace of God is layd and reposed for vs in Christ, in him we be sure to finde it, as God speaketh of his sonne Christe, our true Dauid in the [Page] psalme. lxxxix.Psalme. 89.

My truth and my mercie shall euer­uermore be with him, & in my name hys power shall be exalted, he shall call me: Thou art my father my god, & the rescue of my health. And I shal set him to bee mine heire & first begotten, auance him abaue al ye kinges of ye earth. I shall e­uermore reserue my mercy to him, and my faithful testamēt vpon him. And I shal set vp his seede for euermore, & hys throne like the dayes of the firmament. And if his children transgresse my pre­ceptes, & wil not walke in my iudgemēts I shall visite & chastice their iniquities with my rod, & their sinnes with stripes but I will neuer take away my mercye cleane from him, & my truth shall neuer fayle him. I will neuer breake my testa­ment that I make, neither wil I euer go frō my words yt procede out of my lyps. Once haue I sworn in my holines, see if euer I breake mine appointmēt with my leruant Dauid, his sede shal remaine for e­uer, & his thron like y son in my sight. &c.

This promise is also read in the ii. Reg. vii. Here in this prophesie God speaketh of yt eternal kingdom of Christ [Page] which perpetuall mercy, peace and qui­etnes is, for in Christe he hath reposed & layd vp his truth and mercy. Therefore in no other thinge can this promise of grace be found or obtained saue onely in Christ. In him God hath promised to vs saluation freely through his mighty mercye: Therefore who soeuer beleeueth in Christe without any more a doe (to bee bolde vpon it) he hath al thinges. And thoughe there be in Christes kingdome weake and infirme-sinners,VVeakenes in Christes kingdome born vvithal which slippe and fall many times, yet this priuiledge and prerogatiue they haue, their sinnes shall not be imputed to damnation. All their offences be offences of children not of seruants. We haue a salue-conducie & a passeporte throughe all the perills of death and damnation. And though we fall neuer so hainous [...]ye yet shall wee not perish therefore, for our christian faythe doth so fasten vs vnto our Dauid Christ that we be made o [...]e spirite with hym. In Christ we haue the veritie of Goddes promise, and his mercye euermore to continue, our heauenly father will not punishe his weake children in his wrath for euer, but will chastice them with fa­uour [Page] in this temporall lyfe, call vs again to repentance. Thus the grace of God shall euer abide firme and stable, whiche we bee sure shall not fayle vs so that wee beleue this Dauid Christe to be our king, and cast all our trust on him.

And here is to be noted and considered where he sayth. My truthTruth. and mercy al­wayes goe with him, if it bee his truthe then it cannot lye, nor deceiue vs: if it be his mercy and grace,Grace. then it standeth not by our workes nor the lawe: wherefore al these things shal happē to vs in Christ and for Christes sake, which by his wor­kes & passion, hath purchased & boughte all thinges for vs.Esa. 55.

‘Bowe downe your eare and come to me, heare me and your soule shall liue, & I shall strike a bargaine with you per­petuall, the sure mercies which I promi­sed to Dauid. This shall be the bargaine, that I shall strike with the house of Is­raell. Iere 31. After those dayes I shall giue my law within their bowels, and will write it in their hearts: and I wil be their god,Nota. and they shall bee my people, for I will pardon all their iniquities, and will no more remember their offences. &c.’ So [Page] doth the Apostle in his epistle to the He­bruesHeb. 8. 10. alledge the same place, wher he approueth that this bargaine of grace or this newe Testament betwixt God and vs is nowe confirmed and sealed vp by the death of Christ. And that god is now no more a streight iudge, but a most tēder father to all the faithfull of Christ, & that he will pardon all their offences. Likewise to the Gala.Gala. 3. S. Paul calleth this e­ternall bargayne of grace, a testament that shall stand for euer, where as he wri­teth: ‘No mā breketh or addeth vnto y wil or testamente of a man being once con­firmed and ratified. Then if mens testa­ments ones made and confirmed, abide firme and sure, how much more the testa­ment of God once confirmed and ratified shall abide firme?’ These testimonies doe proue euidently and stronglye that Gods grace promised in Christ is firme & sure,VVe oughte not to dout. so that nowe no beleuer oughte ne can doubt of the fauour of God and remission of his sinnes. But vndoubtedly and con­stantly oughte to sticke to the promise of God, which cannot, neither shal be found false.

What heart nowe is so hard or stonye [Page] that will not relent nor bee stirred vp by thys firme and sweete promise of god, to take a bold faith & a confident trust vpō ye grace & fauor of almighty God being so promised to vs? Will not these wordes make vs certified, yea & also secure as it were, a bond,Bond, testa­ment. pro­mise. mercy. oth. a bargaine, a testamēt, pro­mise, othe, & mercy. And al these doth no mā which may deceiu vs, but god eternal our father in heauen promise, which is truth it selfe. Yt is an horrible blind­nes in vs y whē god himselfe doth call vs to his grace, & doth promise freely to vs for his mercy sake, cleare remissiō of our sins, & for y same purpose hath sent to vs his onely begotten sonne into the world, to be a sure token or pledge of his hea­uenly fauor and grace, and yet we leane & hold more to our own stinking workes then to the true and euerlasting truthe of God. Ah for pitie how many precious soules most pituously haue we brought to ruine & doubtful desolation through these works doing. The lawe onely hath bene vttered vnto them, and nothing els beatē into their heades but thys, what God requireth of vs, howe greate sinners wee were, what vengeance of God did fall [Page] vpon sinne, what tormen [...]s, what fire and brimstone we shoulde suffer in hell. But none taught the people faithfully the pro­mises of God, the go [...]pell of Christ, in the which sorowful and vexed consciences of sinners might be refreshed, and learn the infinite and vnlearchable grace whiche God of his vnknowen mercye hath pro­mised, that is to say hath giuen vs freely in Christ,Gods pro­mise is a gi [...]t. with the which promises seelye consciences might be reliued and confir­med strongly against all the gates of hel. We blynd and wretched creatures wold rewarde God with ou [...]s, and deserue of him all thinges that we haue, we woulde not be in his debt or danger, we disday­ned to haue his liberty come freely vnto vs, and nothing woulde take of him by grace. An [...] that was the cause why Christ was not rightly preached,VVhat vvas the cause vvhy Moses vvas prea­ched and not Christ. but on­lye Moses: So it alwayes commeth to passe, when the commandementes onely be set forth, after the manner of y Iewes, and the promises of God nothing spoken of, ther can be none other but that mens consciences muste needes bee vexed and disquieted with miserable sorow and per­plexitie, so that they can receiue almoste [Page] no consolation. But whosoeuer wil bring men to God in deede, and will quiet their consciences, muste alwayes teach these two together, the lawe and the promyse, as the prophets, Christ, and the Apostls euer did.

By the lawe they broughte men to the knowledge of their sinfulnes,The vse of the lawe. their vn­worthines, their infirmitie and vnability to goodnes, their duety what they oughte to doe, and their damnation which therof folowed: And so brought them to humi­liate themselues before God, whereby they being iustly stroken with the feeling of Gods right iudgement, might ernest­ly forethinke them of their sinnes, & call for mercye. They taughte not the lawe so as though it were ynough to know, what were to be done, or not to be done, or as thoughe of our strengthe wee coulde doe good and eschewe yll, and so by the lawe and by our owne workes be founde iuste before God, and put away sinne. They taughte not the lawe I say, for no suche end and purpose,VVhy the lavv vvas giuen. neyther was the lawe geuen therfore that we should be iustified thereby before God, but it was giuen for this, to require of vs all righteousnes, [Page] and to threaten vs, that by the requiring of this righteousnes, & we being nothing able to performe it, we mighte the better learne thereby our vnright [...]ousnes, and naughtines, & so finally to acknowledge and confesse our owne wretchednesse, to thintent y being thus contrite & humili­ated in heart we might seeke to Christe for succoure the which by his works and passion doth onely iustifie vs.

We bee nothing able to deserue anye saluation by the law or our works. That is an higher and a more excellent thinge then that our rotten workes bee able to procure. God hath promised to giue vs that freelye by his mercye for Christes sake, and dooth giue it of grace to them that beleeue in Christe, as S. Paul to the RomainesRom. 6 doth call euerlasting lyfe the g [...]ft of God. And likewyse to the Gala­thiansGala. 3. dooth put a cleare difference be­twixt them, and sheweth playnlye hys minde of the law and of the promise how they concurre to our iustification. Let vs weigh well his words, for all y weight & foundation of our iustification dooth lye vpon thē. His wordes be these. If our in­heritance stand of the lawe, then it stan­deth [Page] not of promise. But God did geeue it to Abraham.Marke this vvell. If the lawe had bene ge­uen vnto vs, which mighte haue iustified vs, then our iustification might be of the lawe. But the scripture hath wrapped al thinges vnder sinne, that the promise might come by the fayth of Iesus Christ to all that beleeue.

And agayne in the second to the Gal.Gala. 2.If our iustification sayth he, coulde come by the lawe, then Christ dyed in vayne. Therefore I saye where as men thus by the lawe were brought to the knowledge of their sinnes, and so stroken with great sorowe and heauinesse of conscience, for their sinfull and vicious nature, thā was the gospell put and set before them, that is to saye grace promised in Christ.

And than did they beginne to beleeue er­nestly and to reioyse in their hearts truly for this grace promised in Christe, that God had geeuen them for Christes sake, forgiuenes of their sinnes. Thus s. Paule in the place afore recited, dooth comfort with true consolation wretched and desperate sinners, for he leadeth thē only to the promise of GOD and bea­teth that into them, for thereby only [Page] our consciences be cleane and quieted. And doth teach the law & Gods cōman­dements also, exhorting vs diligentlye to the study of good workes, and is not on­ly content with that, but also doth shewe where and how to come by the corage & iust to doe these good works.

Thus first they taught the lawe for re­pentance, but streighte after they ioyned with all the promise of God, to bring mē to the knowledge of the moste rich grace of God giuen and promised vs in Christ, teaching withall where wee shoulde get the strength to fulfill the commandemēts where our sinfull nature was not able to fulfil it. In consideration whereof, the Apostles euerye where declared and settefoorth the exceeding and passing riches and treasures of Gods mightye grace which he hath giuen and promised vs in Christ,Rom. 8. if we beleeue vpon him, and so [...]orth did leade wretched sinners from y lawe to Christ. This great grace of god, so offered they receiue then and imbra­ced greatlye: and thus beleeuing were pacified in their consciences.

The law doth threaten and affraye, but than shee is not able to heale or comforte [Page] them being greeued, or to deliuer them from their agonye, wherefore wee must needes flee to the promise. And ther shall we find righteousnes, peace, life, & health ynough. Here vpon S. Paule to the GalathiansGala. 3 saith. The lawe was as it were our schoolemayster vnto Christ,The ende of the lavve. that wee should be iustified by Christ, for the lawe doth force vs, doth straine vs, doth call vpon vs, doth manace vs, and lyeth vpon our necks, requiring of vs all manner of good workes, perfecte iustice, perfect in­nocencie of heart, perfecte feare and loue of God, and also of our neighbour. But we of our owne strengthe bee not able to accomplish that which it requireth, and thus it driueth vs to Christe, and is our schoolemaister vnto Christ. He than re­ceiueth vs comming to him, helping vs, and giuing vs all suche thinges that the lawe requireth of vs, so that the law shal not be able to damme vs.

For this cause S. Paule dooth call Christ the ende of the lawe:Rom. 10. Or as Saint Augustine doth expound it, the fulfilling of the lawe. He that hath Christ is iuste, he that beleueth in Christ, hath al things which the lawe requireth. Christe hath [Page] reconciled for vs God his Father, hee is our mediatour and euerlasting priest, hee hath obteyned for vs grace, the holye ghost wyth all his giftes, remission of sinnes, and all manner of goodnesse, with life euerlasting, he as IeremyeIere. 11. writeth doth giue vs a newe hearte, and a softe heart, and the holy ghoste to moue vs to doe well. And where as yet we be partly fleshly, nor can not be al mortified in this body, nor thorowly fulfill the commaun­dements of God, there is hee made oure wysedome, our iustice and redemption, so that his innocencie and all that euer hee hath, is made ours by fayth, for after that we put on Christ vppon vs, and af­ter we beleeue in him, there is no ieoper­dye can hurt vs, thoughe we be neuer so weake and frayle, so that we do not walk purposely after our appetite of the fleshe and runne still headlong in sinne, without repentance, for oftymes it happe­neth that good and most godly men doe fall as well as other,Good men doe sinne. but yet they lye not still, but get vp againe, and be stil delited with the lawe of God inwardly in theyr heartes, euer calling for remission of sinnes by Christe, and obteyne also the [Page] same which we desire.

All these things we may see very well expressed in Abraham, for Abraham saith Paule is the father of all the faithful be­leuers in Christe, therefore wee haue in Abraham a clear figure, and an example howe that a sinner may be iustified, and what is the nature of a christian fayth, what is the power, the propertye and working of the same, and also howe that our consciences may be quieted, whither by faith or by workes. Therefore he that is the true child of Abraham, that is a good man in deeede, or that woulde bee a true member of Christ, let him loke vpon Abraham his father, and there he shal se how God doth with vs, how he tendereth vs, and how we oughte to doe againe for him, as Paul also teacheth vs. Firste of all Abraham hearde the greate and ri [...]he promise of God, saying vnto hym:Rom. 4. Doe not feare Abraham,Gal. 3. I am thy de [...]ē ­der, and great is thy rewarde with mee. And afterward. In thy seede all nationes shall be blessed, that is, shall be deliuered from sinne, death, and malediction, and shall haue euerlasting life. This was gladde tydinges to Abraham. And stil [Page] did Abraham bel [...]eue this promise, not­withstanding yet much greued with troubles and sorrowes. And so therefore was iustified by this faith and truste, that hee had to the promise of God. Nowe thys was iiii. [...]. and thirtye yeeres,Not [...]. before the lawe was giuen, and therefore was hee saued, not by the workes of the lawe, but by his faith in God & in the blessed seede which was promised him. And no other­wise also must we all bee saued, for there is no other waye nor meanes to come to health, but only the promise of God must iustifie vs if we beleeue, and not the law, nether works.

Secondarilye the faithe of Abraham y he hadde vpon Christ, made him a newe man, and cleane did alter his olde affec­tions, and put in him newe cogitations, otherwise then this nature of ours hat [...], for he reioysed onely in the Lorde, and in him taketh a maruailous boldnes, he knoweth well that God is his father, which in al his affaires, afflictions & troubles, will helpe him, and thus trusting vnto Goddes promise receiueth and reposeth him selfe in the handes of God, with a bold heart & a strong confidence, doubt­ting [Page] nothing that God will be mer­cifull vnto him, euen as any father will be to his owne naturall child, whom hee loueth most tenderlye, so then Abraham hauing this faith, wēt vp to the hill at the commaundement of God, to shew his o­bedience, and offered his sonne.Iacob. 2 For true faith can neuer be with out good works,Gala. 2. but euer will be occupyed, in the obedi­ence of God. In the meane season Abra­hams heart and conscience was nothing vnquieted for all that, but still quiet by reason of his fayth [...]he had in Christe, for he was euer sure of the fauour and loue of God toward him.Roma. 4. Wherfore s. Paule full well describeth his whole thoughte and cogitation, where as he sayth that Abraham did neuer shrinke in his fayth, nor doubted in the promise of God, but euer strōg in his fayth, did giue glory to God, knowing well this that [...]ee whiche promised him was able to performe it. And therefore he sayth that it was imputed to him for righteousnes, that is for his iustification, for this Abrahā thought and perswaded himselfe, that God was almighty and true of his promise, which would not defeate nor deceiue his people [Page] And if he had so thought in himselfe (as nowe our papists doe teache) I can not tell surelye whither God loue mee or no, peraduenture he is not freendly vnto me, nor careth for me, nor regardeth me. &c. If Abraham I say, had thoughte on thys maner, or had shrinked so in his faith, I thinke hee would neuer haue intended to offer vp his onely sonne, nor would haue bene persuaded to goe from his Fathers house out into a strange land, but rather would haue thought thus: It is good to be sure of that a man hath already, this I haue and am sure of, the other is vn­sure, what should I kil my onely and wel beloued son? who will giue me another? What shall I goe out of mine owne house into a strange land, I can not tell howe farre? what folishnes were it? I will not so, I will tary still her [...] wher I am in my Fathers house, neither will I be so cruell to my sonne for to slaye hym.

Thus I say he had thoughte if hee had not beleeued constantlye, but when hee went out so boldly and mearily out of his Fathers house, into a farre and a strange countrey, and with so lustye cheere went vppe to the hyll with his Sonne to offer [Page] him vp to God, which no na [...]ure of man can doe, for what naturall man can finde in his heart to offer vp his sonne. Than be like he did onely hang of the hands of God, onely did trust vppon God, vppon his grace, vpon his helpe, nohing doubt­ing in his conscience, but that God was able to performe all that hee had promy­sed, for why no doubting heart can be so willing to doe as Abraham did, nor yet once thinke to doe it. So quiet was A­brahams conscience by faythe in Gods promise, that Paule in his Epistle to the Romaines,Rom. 4. dooth giue him an excellent prayse therefore, that we all should mark it, and wel bear it away. Abraham, saith he, neuer did shrinke in his faith, but al­wayes strong in his beleeuing trusted surely. Why did he trust surely? because God promised, for this he did knowe and was fully perswaded that God was true of his word and promise, what soeuer he promiseth hee performeth of his grace, and is well able to performe it, for hee is almightye, nor dooth not promise for our deseruinges, but of his grace one­lye, that nowe wee may be bold to trust vnto it. For if he shoulde promise after [Page] our deseruinges any thing, hee coulde ne­uer performe it, for our merites be none, and nothing worth. And yet notwithstanding hee dooth promise vs infinite good­nes in Christ without our merites, onely of his owne pure grace and mercy.

And therefore writeth Paule y God promised Abraham the blessing cccc.xxx. yeeres before the law of Moses was gi­uen,The pro­mise vvas made before the law cāe. because no man should think so, this blessing to stand by the works of the law or that he could not enioye this free pro­mise and blessing of God, before he did fulfill all the lawes of Moses. Wherfore for the loue of God let al good men here marke, that Abraham neuer fayled nor did shrinke in fayth,Nota. nor euer doubted at the promise of God, nor of the loue and grace of God toward him. For so y holy ghost doth say that he had a sure perswa­sion, marke [...]his well: Yf it were a firme perswasion he had, then it was no opini­on, or doubting, but fully did he trust and beleue, & he went not whether, increduli­tye and doubting did bydde him to goe, (which doubting papistes haue taughte vs) neither thought be thus, be it true or not true, I will doe it: but his conscience [Page] was fullye perswaded that it was true which God had promised, and that God woulde be good and mercifull vnto him, had forgeuen his sinnes, had iustified him and would neuer forsake him nor abiecte him, and after this life also woulde giue him euerlasting life, for the [...]ede sake that was promised him, which was Christe.

If God hadde sayde thus to Abraham. Heare Abraham: I wil be merciful vnto thee, I will forgiue thee thy sinnes, and alwayes be present with thee and helpe thee, so on this condition, that thou keepe and fulfill all my commandements, thus I saye if God had geuen hym hys pro­myse vnder thys condition of fulfillyng his commaun [...]ementes, then Abrahams conscience hadde neuer bene merye nor quiet, but alwayes doubtting of y grace of God and for [...]iuenes of his sinnes, nor should euer haue bene certaine of his sal­uation.

For thus hee mighte haue thoughte: I haue done all that I can with al diligēce to fulfill Gods precepts, yet I coulde ne­uer fulfill them so perfectly as I ought, nothing like. Wherefore this promise of God is vncertaine to mee, neither can I [Page] test whither I shall take it or no, because I haue not performed all was inioyned and commaunded mee, and God did giue me his promise no otherwise, but of this condition if I kept his commandeme [...]ts and I am not able so to do. Wherefore I am not sure whether he wil giue me these things y hee promised. I can do nothing on my parte, and therefore howe can hee keepe his promise with me, wherefore what hope can I haue nowe of health. It is but lost labour all that I go about.

Thus I saye if God had promised hys blessing vnder this contition to Abra­ham, then hee might well haue despeared but nowe hee addid no suche condition,The pro­mise came vvithout a­ny cōdition. and all because wee should not doubt, but that his promise remaineth alwayes sure and stable. And this it is that god requi­reth onely of vs, that wee should neuer doubt nor question of his free grace, but to be bold and trust vpon it, that hee is a louing father vnto vs, and that we be his children.

But wee could neuer be so bolde of thys grace of God, if any such conditionCondition. excluded. of ful filling ye lawe were giuen wt al, as if thou kepe my commandements wel, then shalt [Page] thou haue thy sinnes forgiuen. There­fore it is necessary that y promise of thys blessing stand wtout al conditions, and wt out all respect of workes or merites, but onely in the free grace of God, or els we could neuer be sure of it, nor certain, but alwayes in doubt & mistrust. For if re­mission of our sins should stand in ye fulfil­ling of the lawe, then our fleshe being so weake and fraile, and not able to fulfil the lawe, howe shoulde wee be sure that god is good to vs, or that wee were in the fa­uour of God, but rather shoulde thinke, that he were angry with vs, because wee neuer fulfil his commandementes, as we should doe. And thus the free promise of God shold stand voyd & in no effect. For why, no man were able to obtaine it.

But thanks and prayse be to the faith­ful Lorde the father of our Lorde Iesus Christ & ours, the father of mercye & the god of all comforth, who hauing mercye vppon vs and tendering our weakenes, hath not bilded our health and saluation vpon any such brickle & weak foundatiō,The foun­dation of our hope. as vpon our works and our fulfilling of ye law, for so we cold neuer be saued. But the foundation yt we be grounded vpon & [Page] preuaile against the gates of hell, is the great grace and mercy of God in his son Christ. For in him God hath promised vs all, remission of our sinnes, and euer­lasting life. This promise is onely and a­lone all our comforte, which boldlye wee doe and may trust vpon.

So thus you see howe God promiseth vs remission of our sinnes and life euer­lasting, not vnder any condition of work­ing,Grace free vvithout condition. and fulfilling the lawe, but he giueth it frely, of his fre grace I say, only & alon thorow Christ, and not for any workes of ours. And therefore he geeueth it freelye without any condition of our workes, be­cause the promise might stand firme and stable, that is, that we may be sure of the fauour of God, and of remission of oure sinnes, doubting nothing therin, notwithstanding wee [...]ee neuer so much sinfull in our nature, & vnworthy wretches, that e­uery beleeuing Christian man may saye with Paule:Rom. 8. ‘This I knowe and is vn­doubted, that neither death, nor life, ney­ther angels, neither princes, nor pote­states, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depenes, nor no other creature is able to seperate vs [Page] from the loue of God, which is in Iesus Christ our Lord.’ Here may we playnly see that Paul had a bolde and a confident trust of the forgiuenes of sinnes, and of his health to come, plentuouslye perswa­ded of the grace of God towarde him, or els how could he so feruently reioyse and tryumphe in spirite against all creatures bothe in heauen and in the worlde, so mightelye, defying them all, being right sure and certaine, that nothing neyther aboue nor beneath, coulde anoy him. And why? because he beleued in Christe, and was sure of the mercye of God towarde him thorowe fayth, and therefore was his conscience so quiet, and triumphant.

And euen so may euery Christian man likewise take ye same courage & the same mind in himselfe.Marke and learne. Howbeit no man can doe this vnlesse he put away all respecte of his own merites and workes and one­ly trust vnto the free mercy and grace of God,Tit. 3. which grace is giuen vs only tho­rowe Christ and not through our selues. Notwithstāding yet that good works of ours consequently do folowe and springe out of this faith, and promise of God. So that where as the same doe not folowe, [Page] and may folow, ther is no true nor liuely fayth, but a deede, and barraine opinion of fayth, but where this true and liuely faithe is, there is workes and miracles and thynges farre passing the possibility of naturall working. For as saynt Paule sayth, wee receiue the holy ghost,Gal. 3. not by our working, but by hearing of the Gospell, thys holye Ghoste, wyll not suffer vs to doubte after the papists fashi­on, or as they woulde haue vs not to feare as their seruyle spirite dooth: but wyth a bolde truste cryeth in our hearts to GOD Abb A Father, and witnes­seth wyth our spirite that wee bee the chyldren and the heyres of GOD, and felowe heyres wyth C [...]riste, that wee may be glorified togeather wyth hym. And as Paule to the Ephesians sayth,Ephe. 1. they that beleeue in Christe bee sealed vp with the holy spirit of promise, the wt spi­rite we have as a pledgeThe holy spirite is our pledge. or an ernest pe­nye of our inheritaunce and possession which we haue got and be redemed vnto

Therfore with al faith & trust we must euer looke vpon the promise of God, and vppon Iesus Christ onely. And so in thys promise of God our conscience may [Page] finde comforte and peace plentye, but in our workes we shall finde none. And therefore marke well this text of Paule and keepe it well in your remembraunce,Rom. 4. where hee sayth: ‘Abraham had thys promyse geauen to hym and to hys sede, that he should be the heyre of the world, not for hys working after the lawe, but for his beleeuing in fayth, for if they that belonge to the lawe, bee the heyres, then is fayth voyde and the promyse of none effecte, for why the law worketh anger, by reason that if there were no law, ther were no traunsgression, therefore the inheritāce is giuen by faythe as by grace freely, because the promise muste stande firme and stable to all y seede of Abraham.’

Dayly experienceExperience. and practise in trou­bles and distresses declareth, that no mā (bee hee neuer so holy) can quiet hys cō ­science by his workes. Our sinnes and death be more greeuous ennemies vnto vs, then that wee bee able to ouer come, by our owne deedes and deseruings, we must haue an other manner of meanes to that, which is our faythe, receiuing and hol [...]eing the promyse of GOD in [Page] Christ. And so that shall be able to con­quer the mighty feircenes of sin & death, This faith retaineth and apprehendeth those infalible and eternall things, that is to say: it receiueth not the feeble workes of ours, but the greate grace of GOD, Christ himselfe, his works and his deser­uings, and the promises in Christ, which things be much greater, higher, more stable, and magnificall, then our capacities be able to comprehend. Therefore when anye tentacion assaulteth, wee muste not looke to the lawe and our works,Remedy. in tentation. but set­ting all them aside, wee muste runne and creepe to the crosse of Christe, wee muste seeke for helpe and grace by Christ, and humbly must knowledge our faults.

And though our sins be neuer so gret, or g [...]eeuous, though the feare and tentation of death be neuer so horrible, yet [...]e must still sticke to the promise of God, & sure­ly must trust and doubt nothing, that our sinnes be forguiē vs for Christes sake ac­cording to the promise of God, withoute any dese [...]uings of ours: and that God is our father, and we shall hue with him for euer and euer.

[Page] The works and passion of Christ which be of great and infinite and omnipotent power, oughte more to stirre vs vppe to trust well on God, that hee will bee euer more to vs a merciful Lord, then our sins ought to fray vs. For the grace of God in Christ is much stronger & more able to deliuer and helpe, then our sinnes bee to condemne vs. And this grace of GOD dooth not hang of our workes,Rom. 5. for than it shoulde be vncertaine, but it standeth firme by grace and by fayth in Christe, with out any regard or respect of our working. And this is done by the singular pro [...]idence of the great father­ly loue of God towarde vs, because our iustification should stande firme and cer­taine by faith, so that no man nede doubt of the fauor and mercye of God towarde him. If this grace and promise stand in y hand of God, then is it sure, so that wee cannot doubt of the remissiō of our sins. But if [...]hey should stand in our own hand and sho [...]ld hang of our selues, then wee should a [...]wayes be vncertain because we were ne [...]er able to descrue sufficiently, being not sifficient of strength to fulfil the law. But after that we return [...] & repose [Page] our selues in Christ alone, and in the pro­mise of God, through Christ, then be we safe and sure ynough, because God hath so promised of his voluntary grace frely, and hath founded his promise vppon the fayth in Christ, to the intent it shal stand firme and certaine. And therfore I sayd, and say agai [...]e the kingdome of Christe to be a kingdome of securitie and peace, as the Prophets doe desc [...]ybe it.

In thys kingdome we haue peace and most sure succour, so that there is nowe neither sinne, death, nor hel can feare vs. So doth Es [...]ias also call Christ ye prince of peace,Christs kingdome is a kingdom of secu [...]e: Esa. 32. Esa. 9. Christ the prince of peace. Icre. 23. whose princedome is large and great, and whose peace shall neuer haue ende. In Ieremy also, God doth promise vnto Israell, that is, vnto all beleeuers in Christ, a springing bud of iustice, a king which shall rule wisely, and shall execute indgement and iustice in earth, and vn­der whom Israell shall dwell boldly with confidence, these things be in the spiritu­all kingdome of Christ, in which there is true and spiritual securitie, where as e­uery christian mans hart hath pea [...]e with god through faith in Christ, in the which kingdome neither sin can damneos, nei­ther [Page] death can kil vs, nor hel can swalow vs, for god is with vs and feedeth vs, and defēdeth vs as his sheepe. Therefore who shall stande against vs? And Esai ‘When ye holy ghost,Esa. 42. saith he, shal be pow­red from aboue (yt was when Christe be­gan his kingdome) then the worke and fruite of iustice shall bee peace & the kee­ping of Iustice shall be silence & security for euer & euer. And ye people of god shall dwell in com [...]ines of peace & in houses of trust.’ All these things do nothing els but signifie y Christes people in his kingdōe shall be all good, quiet, at rest and merry which shall haue a quiet & a glad con [...]ci­ence, being euermore sure & certain that God is fauourable vnto them for Christ, which doth deliuer vs from all euills wt ­out any doubt.

I besech you what can our aduersaries bring against this? or how can they maintain their errors in the face of the world?The conclusion.

Here I haue proued & taught out of ye foundatiō of the word of God, y no faith­full beleuer in Christe can, or oughte to doubt of the fauour of God, & of remissiō of his sins, & that his consciēce may tho­rowly be certified, y god is fauorable vnto [Page] him, which will pardon all his fautes, for Christes sake in whom we beleeue, & which will iustifie vs, and giue vs euerla­sting life wtout any doubt. Here our ad­uersaries can haue nothing to lay against this doctrine or to subuert this foūdation but one refuge they haue,Obiection. of the pa­pistes. that when wee bring scriptures agaynst them: what say they, the Lutherians, bryng Scriptures for them, but they muste expounde Scriptures as our fathers dyd.

I aunswere againe, An answere We doe not denye so to doc, for we may doe it well ynough. And I may saye with Saint Cirillus Cirillus. we keepe the faith of our fathers, and of the church so farre as we ought, and vse their interpretations so much as they require. But the chiefest of the auncientAncient. doctors a­gainst the new Roman Papistes. fathers of the church do agre in the same matter no otherwise then we expound it, there­fore why doe these holye workers bring for them the church?

S. Augustine Augustine de predest. 11. one of the moste catho­like & godlye doctor of thē al, in his boke which hee writeth of Predestination, in the xi. chapter. saith in thys wise: Truely wher as ye apostle in his epistle to ye Ro. writeth these words: Therfor is our inhetaunce [Page] giuen vs by fayth through grace, because the promise mighte stande firme and stedfast, I maruel (saith he) that mē had rather looke on their o [...]ne infirm [...]y then vnto the firmity and stedfastnesse of Gods promise. But here thou wilt saye, I can not tell nor doe not knowe the will of God of me. Well then dost thou knowe thine owne will of thy selfe? if thou doest, beware, for he y thinketh he standeth let him take hede y he fal not. Therfore in so much as thou knowest nether his wil nor thine owne wil, then why should not a mā rather put his trust and hope in y, which is more certaine, than in that which is lesse certaine?

But say they againe, where it is spo­ken, if thou beleeuest thou shalt be saued, there one of these is required of vs, the o­ther is offered, and that which is requi­red of vs is in our owne power, the other in God. And why I pray you, is not both in Gods power, both that which is required, and that which is offered? for do not we as well desire God to forgiue vs that which he requireth, as wel as that he offe­reth? doe not the beleeuers also desire him to encrease their fayth: Do they not [Page] desire also for the vnbeleuers, that they may haue faith, so that God onely muste be the beginner and increaser of faith. In like manner is thys to be taken. If thou beleue [...]st thou shalt be saued, And this: if you mortifie y works of the fleshe by the spirit, ye shall liue: for in like case here one is required, the other is offered. If thou mortifie (sayth he) y works of fleshe by the spirit, ye shal liue: Then to mortifie the works of the flesh by spirit, that is re­quired, the other is offered vs that wee should liue. What then therfore shall we not say, that this is the gift of god to mortifye the workes of the fiesh, because it is required of vs to be done? God forbid, y any pertaining to the grace of god shold so thynke. Thys is a damnable errour of the Pelagians. whom as the Apostle in his wordes following doothe confute, saying: Who soeuer be led with the spirit of God, they be the childrē of God. Lesse we shoulde thinke this mortefiing of the flesh came by our spirite, but by the spirit of God, of the which spirite of God the same Apostle speaketh more ouer. All these things sayth he, worketh one alonly spirite, destributing to euerye man hys [Page] gyftes so as it pleaseth hym, amongste the whyche gyftes also hee rekeneth faythe. So then, lyke as thys mortifieng of the fleshe, notwithstanding it be requi­red of vs, is the gyfte of God, euen so is fayth also the very gyft of God, though neuer thelesse it be required of vs (if wee will bee saued) to beleeue, for these thinges both bee commaunded vs of god, and also be the giftes of God. To the en­tent we shoulde vnderstand, that both we doe them, and yet it is the gyfte of God that we doe them, so as the Scripture sheweth by EzechiellEzechiell.the Prophet. And I (sayth almighty God) shal make you that you shall doe them. What can be more playne? Marke well this place of scrip­ture (gentyll brethren) and yee shall see that God promiseth hee will make them to doe suche thinges, which he will haue done. And ther in ye same place, hee brin­geth forth no merites of theirs, but much wickednes, shewing & declaring thereby y hee giueth good for euil, in y he maketh thē bring forth afterward good workes,Augustine vpon the psal. 88.causing them to doe his commandements.

Also in the lxxxviii. psalme hee saythe in lyke manner. Lyfte vp your heartes, [Page] for he which promised will performe, so as he hath performed manye things al­redy, for the trust that we haue in him, we haue it not in our merits, but only of his mercy. No man can be strong in this life but onely in the hope of Gods promise.VVe be weak in our selues, in Gods pro­mise strong. For as concerning our owne merites, we be marueilous weake, but as concer­ning the promise of God we bee strong.

And in the lxxxxviii. psalme hee saythe: where is security and peace? hee answe­reth againe, truely none in this lyfe but onely in the hope of the promise of God.

S. Ambrose in the firste booke de vocat genti. Ambrose. De vocat genti lib. 1. Cap. 3. &c. writeth if no man (saith he) wil breake or dispise a mans will or testa­mente, as sayth the Apostle nor alter it, Then howe can it bee that Gods will & testament should be broken in any thing. It tarieth alwayes, and euery day is ful­filled, that the Lorde promised to Abra­ham without any condition, & gaue with out any lawe.

By this saying of Ambrose it may wel appeare, that the promise of the newe te­stament, (which is, that God wil be mer­cifull vnto vs, wil forgiue vs our sinnes, wil giue vs the holy ghost, and wil make [Page] vs safe) that this promise I say doth not depend of any condition of the law. For freely it commeth onely of grace, because we should neuer doubte of his grace and fauour toward vs. And what other thing meaneth S. Ambrose Ambrose vp on. Paule to the Rom. 3. 4. 9. 10. where hee sayth so ofte, y wee be saued before God by fayth only and a lonely. Looke vpon his co­mentaries of the Romains, looke also in the Corin. and Gal.

Theophilactus 1. Cor. 1. Gal. 1. 3. 5. Theophilact in Rom. 4 also writeth in like sort. In so much (saith he) as it is euident, yt the lawe bringeth nothing but anger, therefore had Abraham, his iustice and inheritance giuen him, because that all should goe by grace. Wherefore then se­ing that all thinges nowe doe stande, in the grace and in the mercy of God, so that he is bounde nowe not to worke af­ter his iustice, then what should let vs to thinke, but that all thinges bee certaine and stable what soeuer he doth, giueth, or promiseth.

Nowe if blind hipocrisie here obiecte again that Paule in this place speketh onely of Abraham and therefore y thing concerneth none els but him, but wee muste seeke our health and iustification [Page] otherwise. I answere again. Not so. For therefore Paule calleth Abraham there the father of all the beleuers, and in him propoundeth, to vs al y true meanes how al men both before the cōming of Christ, and after the comming of Christ, must be iustified. And therefore this text of Paule doth as well pertaine to vs all, for it is writen and set forth vnto all vs. Euen as S. Paule in the very same chap.Rom. 4. writeth This is not written for him onely (sayth he) that it was imputed to him for iustice but for vs all, to whom it shall be impu­ted for iustice, beleeuing on him, who raysed vp from death our Lord Iesus Christ, w̄ was giuen for our sins, and raised vp again for our iustificatiō.

Amen.

Imprinted at Londō by Hugh Singleton, dvvelling in Crede Lane, at the signe of the gylden Tunn, neere vnto Ludgate, and are there to be sold.

Cum priuilegio.

Anno. 1579.

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