❧ THE GENERAL Session, CONTEINING AN APOLOGIE of the most comfortable doctrine concer­ning the ende of this World, and seconde comming of CHRIST, Written by THOMAS ROGERS.

The first part, Wherein for the comfort of the godlie is proued not onely that God wil, but also that he doth iudge this world.

2. Pet. 3. verses 3, 4. This first vnderstande, that there shal come in the last daies, mockers, vvhich vvil vvalke after their lustes, and saie, vvhere in the promise of his comming?

Allowed by auctoritie.

AT LONDON, Printed by HENRIE MIDDLETON for Andrew Maunsell.

ANNO. 1581.

To the right Honorable, Sir THOMAS BROMLEIE, Knight, Lord high Chancelor of England &c. his most gratious Patron: Glorie eternal and happines by the comming of our Sauiour CHRIST.

RIght Honorable,The miserie of mankind in ge­neral. ex­perience doth prooue that miserable is the state of mankinde in this life. For we doe both come into the world in paine; and liue in cares; and die with griefe. Our bodies are subiect to ma­nifolde infirmities; and perils: & our minds to innumerable vngodlie perturbations. Our whole life is verie trouble som; & how, or where, or when we shal depart out of this worlde, it is vncertaine.

And although this condition be alike to the iust, and to the wicked; to the good,The great mi­serie of the god­lie in this world and to the pure, and to the pollutedEccles. 9, 2.: yet none do feele the smart hereof so extremelie as the vpright dealers in the world, and such as [Page] vnfeinedlie be religious. For theie are for the most part oppressed, when the wicked haue fauour; there impouerished, when the wicked encrease in wealth; theie impriso­ned, when the wicked are at libertie; and theie grieuouslie afflicted, when the vngod­lie do triumph.The troubles of the godlie dis­maie them sometimes. This good men obserue ma­nie-times, and it dismaieth them not a litle. As it did both King Dauid, & also the Pro­phet Ieremiah, when the one saidPsal. 73, 2., My feet were almost gone, my steps had welnere slipt. For I fretted at the foolish,3. when I saw the prosperitie of the wicked.4. For there are no bands in their death, but theie are lustie & strong.5. Theie are not in trouble as other mē, neither be theie plagued with other men. Therefore pride is as a chaine vnto them,6. and crueltie couereth them as a garment. Their eies stand-out for fatnes;7. theie haue more than their heart can wish.8. Theie are licentious, & speake wickedlie of their op­pression: theie talke presumptuouslie. Theie set their mouth against heauen,9. and their tongue walked through the earth,12. &c. Loe, these are the wicked, yet prosper theie al­waie, and encrease in riches.13. Certainlie I [Page] haue cleansed mine heart in vane; and wa­shed mine handes in innocencie.14. For dailie haue I bine punished, and chastened euerie morning, &c. And the other exclamedIere. 12, 1., wherefore doth the waie of the wicked pro­sper? Whie are al theie in wealth,What the re­probate do ga­ther by the troubles of the godlie. that re­belliouslie transgresse? The reprobate also do marke this, and therbie with corrupt iudge­ments theie falselie imagine, first, that ei­ther there is no God at alPsal. 10, 4.; or that he hath forgotten his seruantes which put their trust in himPsal. 10, 11.; or that he doth neither go­uerne the world, nor see their waiesEzek 9. 9.: & se­condlie that there is no life after this lifeWisd. 2, 2., nor iudgement to be fearedPsal. 94, 7.. Therfore saie theieWisd. 2, 6., Come, and let vs enioie the plea­sures that are present; & let vs cherefullie vse the creatures as in youth.7. Let vs fil our selues with costlie wine, & ointments; & let the floure of life passe by vs.8. Let vs croune our selues with rose buds afore theie be withered.9. Let vs al be partakers of our wantonnesse, let vs leaue some token of pleasure in euerie place: for that is our portion, and this is our lot. Let vs oppresse the poore that is righteous;10. let vs not spare the widowe, nor reuerence the white [Page] haires of the aged that haue liued manie yeares.11. Let our strength be the lawe of vn­righteousnes: for the thing that is feeble, is reproued as vnprofitable.12. Therfore let vs defraud the righteous: for he is not for our profite, and he is contrarie to our doings: he checketh vs for offending against the lawe of God; and blameth vs as transgressors of discipline.13. He maketh his brag to haue the knowledge of God: and he calleth himselfe the sonne of the Lorde.14. He is made to re­proue our thoughtes.15. It greeueth vs to looke vpon him: for his life is not like other mens: his waies are of an other facion. He coun­teth vs as bastardes,16. &c.19. Let vs examine him with rebukes and tormentes, that wee maie know his meekenes, and proue his pa­tience.20. Let vs condemne him vnto a shame­ful death: for he shalbe preserued, as he him self saith, &c. Thus speak the reprobat Epi­cures of this world. And so of eroneous sup­positions, namelie that there is not, neither shal be a iudgemēt, theie do greedilie giue­ouer themselues vnto sinne; and are wholie resolued neuer to repent. Which Atheistes if euer theie did, I am perswaded theie [Page] swarme in our age: as the present state of this worlde can witnesse.The blessed state of the righteous.

Not withstanding, neither are the god­lie for al this to be out of hart; nor the wic­ked ouer-vanelie to insult. For both the righteous shal florish like a palme treePsal 92, 12.; & abide vnmoueable like the mountanes a­bout IerusalemPsal. 12 [...] ▪ 2.: & the wicked shal soone be cut-downe like the grassePsal. 37, 2., and wither as the greene herbe. Because God wil arise, and his enimies shalbe scatteredPsal. 68, 1. 2.; theie al­so which hate him, shal flie before him.The heauie iudgements of God vpon the wicked. As the smoke vanisheth: so wil he driue them awaie; and as the waxe melteth before the fire, so shal the wicked perish at the pre­sence of the Lord. For manie sorowes shal come to the wickedPsal. 32, 10.. He wil breake their armesPsal. 37, 17.; crush their bones with a scepter of ironPsal 2, 9.; and breake them into peeces like a potters vessel. He wil raine vpon them snares, fire, and brimstonePsal. 11, 6.; and bring them at length into helPsal. 9, 17., into euerlasting tor­mentesMatth 25, 41., where shal be weeping and gna­shingLuke 16, 25. of teethLuke 13, 28.. Euen this shalbe their por­tionPsal. 11, 6.. The righteous shal see it, & reioice when he seeth the vengeance: he shal wash [Page] his feetee in the blood of the wickedPsal. 58, 10..

The righteous, I saie shal see it, & feare, and shal laugh at the destruction of the vn­godlie man, saiengPsal. 52, 6. 7., Behold the man which tooke not God for his strength, but trusted vnto the multitude of his riches, and put his strength in his malice.

The wicked theie also in themselues shal freate for griefe of minde, and saieWisd. 5, 3., This is he whom we had sometime in deri­sion,4. and in a parable of reproch. We fooles thought his life madnes, and his end with­out honour.5. How is he counted among the children of God; & his portion is among the Saints,8. &c. What hath pride profited vs? or what profit hath the pomp of riches broght vs?9. Al those things are passed-awaie like a shadowe, and as a post that passeth by, &c.

And so al men shal acknowledge, howe there is a God which iudgeth the earthPsal. 58, 11..

These thinges would the godlie haue continualie in remembrance, doubtlesse nei­ther could the prosperitie of the wicked a­stonish,The fruite of meditating vp­on the iudge­ments of God. nor their own trouble some cōdition ouerthrow thē, as it doth manie times: but boldlie both with Paul theie would saieRom. 8, 35., [Page] who shal separate vs frō the loue of Christ, and with Dauid protestPsal. 23, 4., that though theie should walke through the valleie of death, yet they wil feare none euil; yea; they wil not feare though the earth be moued, & though the mountanes fal into the mids of the seaPsal. 46, [...]2.. Because God is with them, and hath laide-vp vnspeakeable blessings for themPsal. 31, 19.; doth great things for them euen before the sonnes of men; and in the end too wil aduance them vnto euerlasting glorie, honor, and peaceRom. 2, 10.. The wicked also in con­sidering these things must needes be terre­fied from much wickednes. For the verie di­uels when theie remember the iudgements of the Lord do tremble againeIam. 2, 19..

Wherefore especialie (for other causes I haue elsewhere specified in this my booke)The occasion whie this Booke was written. both for the comfort of the one sorte, and for the terror of the other, I haue written this treatise following, wherein out of the worde of God I haue proued, not onelie that God wil (which thing manie Athe­istes doe doubt, and manie vtterlie de­nie) but also that God presentlie doth iudge this worlde.

[Page] For which causes I haue intitled the same, THE GENERAL SESSIONS, because there is not a man, whom God doth not; nei­ther shal there be anie, whome he wil not iudge. At which iudgement howe he wil deale with vs, we are ignorant; what he maie do in his iustice, we know ful wel.

And therefore, as that good King, of an Heathen Prince, Philip of Macedon in his cheefe prosperitie thought it the readiest waie to deteine him both from insulting proudlie ouer his vanquished enimies the Athenians: and from oppressing tyranni­calie his distressed subiectes the Grecians, if he were tolde euerie morning that he was a man; and as the noble men of Aethiopia had alwaies whensoeuer there went abrode, a crosse, and a basen of golde filled ful with earth born before them, that the one might put them in remembrance that earth must be resolued into earth, and the other renue the memorie of Christ his passion; and as the Aegyptians at al their solemne ban­quets had the image of death laide before their faces, that the sight thereof might withdrawe them from defiling themselues [Page] with those vices which commonlie doe fol­lowe after rioting, and bellie-cheere; and finalie as S. Ierome, whether he did eate, or drinke, or whatsoeuer he did, seemed to heare the terrible trompet sounding vnto iudgement: so the readiest waie to please God, and to auoide his heauie indignation, is, in our prosperitie while the euil daies come not, euerie morning with Philip to cal into minde that we are men; when we are abrode with the noble men of Aethiopia to thinke that we are but earth; in our fea­stinges and triumphes, with the Aegypti­ans to fore-think what we shalbe; and with good S. Ierome in whatsoeuer we are doing to remember that a iudgement there must be, yea and is neere at hand, at which God wil bring euerie worke into iudgement with euerie secrete thing whether it be good or euilEccles. 12, 14.. For theie which cal into minde what theie haue bine, haue theie anie grace, wil blush; what theie are, wilbe humble; what theie maie be, wil tremble.

And this treatise,Causes of this dedication. Right Honorable, I thinke most meete to come from your Ho­nors hands into the world. First in respect of [Page] my selfe. For greatlie I doe knowe, and con­fesse that I haue bine bound vnto your Ho­nor for manie great wordes of encourage­ment which it hath pleased you to giue me, but especialie for that fauour which of late I found at your Honors handes, and that when I least looked for the same: the Lorde requite you for it, and make me thankeful.

Secondlie in respect of the highnes of your calling. For being, as you are appointed the chiefest Iusticer vnder God and her Maiestie in this realme, mee thinkes none either ought sooner to be a reader, or wil more gladlie be a patron, of God his iudge­ments than your Honor.

Last of al, in respest of their profite, who are inferior persons both in the Church and common-weale. For sure I am, the more your Honor calleth into minde, which thing your wisedome cannot be ignorant of, the condition of the godlie in this life, the more you wil being their special Patron by office administer both comfort vnto them, which theie haue neede of; and encouragement, being manie waies by the wicked, which make a praie of them, dismaied, while there [Page] is none almost wil helpe. Thus I surcesse; beseeching both your Honor in good part to accept these my labors; and our Sauiour Christ, who is ordeined of God a iudge of quicke & of deadAct. 10, 40., euerlastinglie to blesse you, & the virtuous Ladie your wife, with your children, and familie. The 20. daie of Nouember Anno 1581.

At your Honors commandement, THO. ROGERS.

Faultes escaped.

Page 8. in the margine read, Iauel Epit. p. 29. in the mar­gine r. z Gal p. 31. line 3. r. doe theie. p. 31. l. 11. r. nevv heauen p. 73. in the margine r. Smetonius. p 74. l. 17. read by authoritie. p. 88. in the margine r. g. Gen. 6. 3.

The contents.

  • 1 THAT it is not onelie comfortable for the godlie to heare; but also commendable for euerie Christian reuerendlie to en­treat of the second comming of our Sauiour Christ.
  • 2 Whether there shalbe an end of this world; à resurrection of the flesh, and à general iudg­ment, or no.
  • 3 Against such as thinke how the world neither had beginning, nor shal haue an end.
  • 4 Against them which allowe the beginning, but denie the end of this world.
  • 5 Against the Manichies, and their adherenets, who saie there shalbe no general iudgement, nor resurrection of mankinde.
  • 6 Against H. N. or the Familie of loue, who thinke that nowe the daie of iudgement is come.
  • 7 Against the fauourers of Hymeneus, and Phi­letus, who saide that the Resurrection is al­readie past.
  • 8 Against the Saturnians, Valentinians &c. who denie the resurrection of the flesh.
  • 9 That vndoubtedlie there shalbe à general iudgement of al flesh.
  • 10 Whether God doe iudge this present worlde, [Page] or no.
  • 11 Howe God doth iudge mankinde in this pre­sent world.
  • 12 Whether al the wicked be iudged in this world; and whie these are suffered, in the o­pinion of man, to florish.
  • 13 Causes whie the godlie are afflicted.
  • 14 That the godlie deseruedlie for their sinnes are punished.
  • 15 That none be perfectlie righteous in this world.
  • 16 Whether the sainctes in this world endure greater affliction than other men; and whie theie doe so.
  • 17 Where the bodies and soules of men doe re­maine vntil the daie of iudgement.

CHAP. 1.
That it is not onelie comfortable vnto the godlie to heare; but also commendable for euerie Christian, reuerendlie to entreat of the seconde comming of our Sa­uiour Christ.

SVCH is the nature of al men generalie, bee they bad or good, that what theie loue, wan­ting it, theie long for. As the couetous for profite; the epicure for pleasure; the bondman for libertie; the banished for his natiue countrie. So doe Christians for the cōming of their Christ: and that so much the more earnestlie as heauenlie ioies are better than the com­fort of this world; & the felicitie to come more excellent and surpassing than pros­peritie [Page 2] present, betweene which there is no comparison.

Hence the faithful doe crie, Come Lord Iesus Reue. 22, 20.. And therefore, as theie long ex­ceedinglie for his returne: so doe theie à thousand times more hartilie reioice, when theie heare but an inkeling that he is at hande, than doe worldlinges at the newes of anie profit towardes them.

Which of late theie haue notablie de­clared, especialie in England, by the wel acceptation of à treatise, to this purpose entitled, Of the ende of this worlde, and second comming of Christ &c. A work both liked of the godlie, allowed of the lear­ned, wel bought-vp of al sortes, and of­ten imprinted in à smale time. Not­withstanding, what through the securitie of Atheistes;Aduersaries to this doctrine. the malice of Heretiks; ye ig­norāce (shal I cal it ennie rather, or both?) of som it hath bene oppugned, & vndis­cretelie, vnorderly, & vncharitably cōdē ­ned. Wherfore, knowing how thākfully,The occasion whie this dis­course was writ­ten. and gladlie the virtuous of this land haue accepted that worke; and seeing how vn­christianlie others haue condemned the same, I haue thought it my duetie, ha­uing now some leasure, and being some instrument of bringing that discourse in­to [Page 3] our English tongue, both for the com­fort of ye one sort, and confutation of ye o­ther, to entreat once-againe of the second comming of Christ. And surelie it is not vane curiositie either for me to write, or for anie christian to thinke thereof; but mere security wer it, either quite to forget or but seldome to cal ye same to mind. For is it cōmēdable to prognosticat ye seasons of the weather for the safetie of ye body; & it is not cōmendable to search-out the time of our redēption; so far foorth as the word of God wil permit, for our euerla­sting welfare? Are they rebuked which re­garded notLuk. 12, 56., and cōmended that search­foorth 1. Pet. 1, 10, 11.when, & what time the first cō ­ming of our sauiour should be; and shal theie be blameles ye seeke not earnestlie for his second cōming? Shal our sauiour so gratiouslie foreshew ye signes immediatly before his cōmingMatt. 24, 3. 4. &c., and shal we neglect them?Mark. 13. 4. 5. &c. Shal he tel vs, that when we see al those thinges doe come, he is at the dooresMat. 24, 33., & shal we thinke with mockers, that he wil not come at al2. Pet. 3. 3, 4. or not so sone? Shal he, as our Lorde and master,Matt. 25, 13. com­mand vs to watchMatt. 24, 42, 43. &c., to take heedeMark 13, 23. 33., to praieLuk. 21, 36., to looke-vp, & lift-vp our headsLuk. 21, 28., when those tokens do but begin to come [Page 4] our redemption draweth neere, and shal not we obeie him? O most wretched we, if we doe not; but blessed, if we do! For, blessed is that seruant whome his master, when he commeth, shal finde so doing Mat. 24, 46.

My mind is not to set an houre,The sūme of this treatise. à daie, à yeere, or anie season of his comming, that were extreme impietie: but my purpose is, through Gods assistance, to proue especialie that he wil come, how soone no man knoweth, no not the An­gels of heauen Matt. 24, 36., and that to keepe both my selfe, and others from securitie. For he which thinketh the end of al thinges to be at hande, as saith à right learned manN. Hēmin­gius in cap. 4. e­pist. 1. Pet. wil flie sin for feare of punishment; con­tinue in godlines in hope of the promises; en­dure aduersitie through the cogitation of glo­rie; and in prosperitie be meeke, through thin­king of the blessed immortalitie to come, of which theie onelie shalbe partakers, which reteine faith and à good conscience vnto the end. For theie who finish their liues on this wise, shal come vnto God euē the end of their desires, who shalbe seene without end, alwaies loued, and neuer loathed, and euer praised, but neuer misliked. And then at length shal­be fulfilled that canticle, Blessed are theie which dwel in thine house, ô Lord, for euer [Page 5] and euer, theie shal praise thee.

CHAP. 2.
Whether there shalbe an ende of this world; à resurrection of the flesh; and à gene­ral iudgement, or no.

THere is nothing so certaine, but it hath beene denied; nor anie thing so necessarie to be beleeued, but it hath bin doubted-of; nor anie thing so profitable for Common-weales, but it hath beene spoken-against; nor anie thing so godlie, but it hath beene oppugned.

What so certaine as that there is à God? yet haue some denied the same, as Dia­goras, TheodorusCice. de Nat. Deor. lib. 1., and othersEpist. of Iude vers. 4..

What so necessary as that sinners should repent?Theodoret. lib. de principiis. yet haue the MontanistesHierom. lib. 2. aduersus Iouin., and the NouatiansDionys. Alex. apud Euseb. lib. 6. cap. 43. defended that it is both needelesse, and bootelesse so to doe. What more profitable than gouernment in à Common-weale? yet haue the Ar­riansTheodoret. lib. 2. cap. 31., and the Anabaptistes of our time Melanct. in locis suis cōmu. Tit. de Baptis. Infantium. Georg. Maior, Tom. 3. Homi. suarum. fol. 129. b. 572.inueighed against the same. And what more godlie than to thinke the worlde shal haue an ende; al flesh shal rise-againe, and appeare before the iudgement-seat [Page 6] of Iesus Christ? yet haue there bine mon­sterous, and heretical opinions here­about.

For some haue flatlie, but most blas­phemouslie giuen-out that the worlde neither had beginning, nor shal haue end: so did the Priestles, and Magicians of Ba­bylonHector Boē ­thius lib. 2, ca. 3., with certaine Philosophers. Some, thought it had à beginning, that it shal haue none ende, as do the mockers of whome Saint Peter prophecied2. Pet. 3, 3., and we heare of in our time. Some haue al­together denied ye general iudgement, as the Manichies, &cEccles. hist. Cent. 3, cap. 11.. Some haue granted ye last iudgement, but denied the resurre­ction of the flesh, as the SaturniansIrenaeus li. 5., the Valentinians, the Marcians, the Cerdo­nites, and manie moe.

Which damnable and curssed opini­ons I would not haue recited, but suffe­red them to be buried, as be the Au­tors, were I not perswaded that in these daies, Satan by his ministers had sowed the like ful-thicke in the heartes of ma­nie men; and therefore that it were ve­rie needeful, that theie were both writ­ten-against in Bookes for the posteritie to come, and inueighed-against moste [Page 7] zealouslie with tongue for à present profite.

Wherefore against al, and euerie of these opinions somewhat, according to the measure of that grace which God shal giue me.

CHAP. 3.
Against such as thinke howe the worlde neither had begin­ning, nor shal haue an end.

SVndrie arguments to defende their damna­ble opinion do theie bring, who thinke the world hath bine, and shalbe euerlasting.

First theie saie with I. Argument. Aristotle Arist. lib. de Coel. & Phy. li. 8 Of nothing nothing can bee made. Therefore seeing the world cannot be made of nothing, it must of necessitie be e­ternal.

I aunswere, Certaine it is of nothing [Page 8] no creature can make any thing: but God who doeth whatsoeuer he wil both in heauen and earth, of nothing can make whatsoeuer he list.

O Lord of hostes, God of Israel, thou hast made the heauen, and the earthIsai. 37, 16.

Thou hast made the heauen and the earth by thy great power, and there is nothing hard vnto theeIerem. 32, 17..

Thou hast afore-time laide the foundati­on of the earthPsal. 102, 25., and the heauens are the worke of thine handes, theie shal perish, but thou shalt endure;26. euen theie al shal waxe olde as doth à garment; as à vesture shalt thou change them, and theie shalbe changed. But thou art the same,27. and thie yeares shal not faile.

Let al the earth feare the LordPsal. 33, 8. let al that dwel in the worlde feare him. For he spake,9. and it was done; he commanded, and it stoode.

Of nothing he did make the worldeWisd. 11, 14..

Therefore no good reason is it, but à meere fallacie, to saie, because we cannot make of nothing some-what,2. Argument. therefore God cannot; or because man doth not, therefore God did not.

Secondlie, saith Iauel, Iauel. epist. in lib. 1. Artist. de Coelo tract. 4. c. 5 according to the minde of Aristotle, The Maior. Al men thinke [Page 9] that heauen is Gods abiding place.The Minor. But an e­ternal thing cannot haue à corruptible place. For the place, and the thing placed must haue like proportionArist. Phys. lib. 4.

Therefore heauen, which is supposed to be God his abiding place,Conclusion. is eternal, as God is.

I answere, the Maior is false. For al men thinke not that heauen is Gods abi­ding place. For Salomon wiselie 1. King. 8, 27. 2. Chron. 6, 18., Behold the heauen, and heauens of al heauens, are not able to conteine thee. And Bernard no­tablie Bern. de tri­plici cohoerentia vinculorum serui., Whether then is the beloued gone from the beloued, and we will seeke him? Where is he? What said I, wretch that I am? But where is he not? He is higher than hea­uen, deeper then hel, broader than the earth, huger than the sea. He is no where, and yet is euerie where, because he is neither absent from anie; nor contained in anie place.

But God saith by the Prophet Isaiah Isaie. 66, 1., Heauen is my seate, and earth is my foote­stoole. I grant: so doth the Spirite of God in S. Peter saie 1. Pet. 3, 12. The eies of the Lorde are ouer the righteous, and his eares are open vn­to their praiers; and the face of the Lorde is vpon them that doe euil. Yet hath not God either eies, eares, or face. But it is an vsual phraze of the Scripture to giue vnto God members, actions, and affections of man for [Page 10] our capacitie, & vnderstanding, saith Hem­mingius Hemmingius in c. 3. epist. 1. Pet., by the figure Anthropopathie: and by à certaine excellencie he is said to be in heauen, as proueth Zanchius Zanch. de tri­bus Elohim p. 1. lib. 1. c. 4. For the eies of God signifie his fauour; his eares, his willingnes to heare; and his face, his displea­sure, saith Thomas Aquinas Tho Aquin. in cap. 3. Pet. 1.. And though it cannot be douted that God is euerie-where: yet is he so in heauen, as in respect thereof, he seemeth not to be in earth at al, as maie ap­peare in Bernard Bern. in ex­plic. Psal. 90, serm. 1..

Thirdlie, and last of al (to omit the o­ther vane reasons vsed of the Philoso­phers) saie theie:3. Argument. It is impossible that God who is infinite, The Maior. either could, or maie be e­uerlastinglie idle.

But God both had bine idle, if the worlde had not continued frō euerlasting;The Minor. and should be idle, if it continue not euermore.

Therfore, theie conclude, The Conclusion. the world hath bine, and shalbe euerlasting.

I answere, the Minor containeth à fal­lacie fetcht from no cause, as if it were à cause. For it followeth not that God should be idle, though he made not the worlde from euerlasting. For his workes are eternal in himselfe, though none of them appeare outwardlie.

Nowe, if anie be not yet satisfied, but [Page 11] wil needes knowe, what God was about before the world was made, I answere, yet not I, but AugustineAugustine., He was prepa­ring of hel for al such as curiously enquire there-about. If yet not satisfied, hee wil further demaund, what he wil doe, when the world hath an end, not Augustine but I make answere, hee wil not ceasse from tormenting thee, and such like in hel, and also reioyce with his saincts in perpetu­al blisse.

CHAP. 4.
Against them which allowe the be­ginning, but denie the end of this world.

SAint Peter through the spirit of God did foretel, that in the last daies moc­kers shoulde come, who wil deride, and scoffe at the doctrine of the worlds con­summation. Whose wordes, because they are continualie to be fixed in mind, I wil recite as I finde them placed in the sacred Bible.

This first vnderstand, saith S. Peter 2. Pet. 3. 3., that there shal come in the last daies mockers, which shal walke after their lustes, and saie, [Page 12] where is the promise of his comming?4. For since the fathers died, al thinges continue a­like from the beginning of the creation.5. For this theie willinglie knowe not, that the hea­uens were of olde, and the earth that was of the water, and by the water, by the worde of God.6. Wherefore the worlde that then was, perished,7. and ouerflowed with water. But the heauens, and earth which are nowe, are kept by the same word in store, and reserued vnto fire against the daie of iudgement, and of the destruction of vngodlie men.

In which wordes among other nota­ble pointes, these are chiefelie to be con­sidered for this place. First, the speakers, who they are; secondlie, the arguments which they do vse; thirdlie, the answere of the Apostle; last of al, the manner of the worlds destruction.

The enimies of this doctrine are de­scribed here to be mockers, such as deride al religion; and walke after their lustes, not according to Gods word. Therfore none wil impugne this comfortable doctrine, but such as are meere Epicures for their leude conuersation, and Atheists for their diuelish opinions.

One argument which they doe vse, is this: 1. Argument. Since the fathers died, al thigns conti­nue [Page 13] alike from the beginning of the creation. Therefore they shal continue after vs, and af­ter our posteritie too at one staie, as they haue done, neither is there anie iudgement to bee feared, nor resurrection to be hoped for.

Vnto this vngodlie assertion the Apo­stle answereth by an argument taken from ye vndoubted historie of the floud.S. Peters an­swere vnto A­theistes. which historie, he saith, they against their conscience denie, who be of opinion that the world shal haue none end. For he de­nieth that euer the worlde was drowned with water, who denieth that the worlde shalbe destroyed: yea, he thinketh that the Raine-bowe, which is the signe of the couenant betweene God and vs Gen. 9, 13., is but à toie to mocke men with al. For we are to thinke, and learne vndoubtedlie by that great punishment, First, that the worlde and al therein, was made to serue for the vse of the godlie and virtuous, not of the wicked; and that the saincts of God euer­lastinglie shal enioie the same, the repro­bate being cast into vtter condemna­tion.

Secondlie we must thinke, that God as­suredlie wil punish wickednes, although he haue promised, and the Raine-bowe doth witnes, that he wil not ouerwhelme [Page 14] the world again with an vniuersal floud, but consume it with fire. For which cause he hath set diuers colors in the Rain-bowColors of the Raine-bow, and what they signi­fie. as blew principalie, and red: whereof the one sheweth howe it hath bene drow­ned, the other howe it shalbe consumed with fire.

At these things, saith Peter, doe these Atheists and Epicures euen contrarie to their verie conscience, denie. And there­fore there needeth none other confutati­on, but onelie to laie before them either the historie of Noahs floud, or the Raine­bowe in the cloudes. For beholding ei­ther of them, they cannot choose but cō ­fesse that the world must haue an ende.

Another of their arguments, 2. Argument. is this: Had God minded to bring the world vnto an end, he would haue done so before this. But seing it hath continued these 5500. yeres, & vpwarde: likelie it is that euermore it shal endure.

Thus do they miserablie deceiue them­selues,Answere. saith Peter in effect, not conside­ring that God being eternal, is not enclu­ded within the compasse of anie time. For one daie is with the Lorde as a thousande yeares 2. Pet. 3, 8. and a thousande yeares, as one daie. Therefore it followeth not, because hee [Page 15] differreth the destruction of the worlde, that he wil not make an end thereof. But hee is patient toward vs, and would haue no man to perish, but would al men to come vn­to repentance. Whie the world hath continued to this daie. The cause then whie it is not yet vtterlie ouerthrowne, is his great, and infinite mercie, for our euerlasting welfare. For the patience, long-sufferance, and bountifulnes of God, leadeth vnto re­pentance. Rom. 2, 4.So did he spare the old world an hundred and twentie yeares before he drowned itGen. 6, 3.; and Ierusalem 40. yeares after Christ his death before he destroied the sameEcclesi. hist. Cent. 1. lib. 2. c. 14. fol. 664. It is therefore a special cause whie wee shoulde seeke to please so gra­tious, and merciful à God, no cause to make vs secure.

The manner of the worlds destructi­onThe manner of the worlds de­struction. at the day of iudgement, is signified by à comparison. For as the worlde in time passed for the wickednesse of men was after à sort destroied with water: so it shall burne, and bee consumed with fire.Whie the world must be consu­med with fire. And that, both for a signe of the e­ternal paines, which ye vngodlie shal en­dure; and also for the purging, and repai­ring of the world. For as filthily diseased persons infect the places where they are: [Page 16] so haue the wicked polluted this worlde with their manifolde sinnes. Therefore it must be purged with fire, that it maie be à meete, fit, and pleasant theatre, as it were, both for Angels, and the chosen seruants of God with Christ for euer­more.

CHAP. 5.
Against the Manichies, and their adhe­rents, who saie there shalbe no general iudgement, nor resurrection of mankinde.

THeie who denie the general iudge­ment to come, are diuers, & of diuers opinions. For some doe holde that it shal not be at al; some, that it is nowe; and some, that it is alreadie past. The first sort are Manichies; the seconde H. N. or the Familie of Loue; the laste the fauorers of Hymeneus and Philetus2. Tim. 2, 17. 18. as the Familie of Loue. Al wicked, heretical, and abho­minable. For proofe whereof they al doe bring, not humaine reason altogether, as they did whom alreadie we haue confu­ted; but they abuse ye diuine Scripture, as shal appeare. Of euerie of these therefore [Page 17] as they stand.

The Manichies,1. Obiection. and their adherents, to proue that there shalbe no general iudge­ment, doe bring-out first à place out of the thirde of Iohn, where it is thus writ­ten: Iohn. 3, 17. God sent not his sonne into the world, that hee shoulde condemne the world, but that the worlde through him might be saued. If therefore, saie they, hee came not to condemne the world, it shal not be iudg­ed.

Against which their allegation I might bring à contrarie place out of the same Gospel, where our Sauióur saith,Iohn. 9 39. I am come vnto iudgement into this world, and so let one place answere vnto the other. But I answere, there is à two-folde comming of our Sauiour Christ,A twofold com­ming of Christ. à first, and à se­conde; the first is past, the seconde is to come.

The principal cause of his first cōmingWhie Christ came in the flesh. was not to condemne, but to be condem­ned; the principal cause of his seconde shalbe to execute iustice,Whie Christ wil come. iustice with se­ueritie vpon the reprobate, iustice with mercie vpon his elect, yet iustice vpon both, vpon the one sort for imbracing his Gospel by à liuelie faith vnto their saluation, vpon the other for contem­ning [Page 18] the same vnto their vtter condem­nation. Therefore according to his di­uerse commings hee beareth the persons of diuerse men, in his first comming of à priest, whose part is both to teach, and to offer sacrifice: in his seconde of à iudge, whose duetie we haue shewen.

Secondlie, 2. Obiection. theie cite this place out of the same Chapter of Iohn Iohn 3, 18., He that be­leeueth in him (which is Christ) shal not bee condemned: but hee that beleeueth not, is condemned alreadie; because he beleeueth not in the name of the onelie begotten sonne of God. They saie therefore August. de a­gone Christ. cap. 27., If he who be­leeueth, shal not come into iudgement, and he who beleeueth not, is condemned alreadie; where are they whom hee shal iudge at the daie of iudgement? In effect, if none are to bee iudged, there shalbe no iudge­ment.

I answere; first touching the righteous who beleeue, that, though they shal not bee condemned, yet that they shal bee iudged.A twofold iudg­ment of Christ. For Christ wil rewarde euerie-man according vnto his workes Rom. 2. 6.. There is then a iudgement of saluation, and a iudge­ment of condemnation. The righteous shalbe iudged, yet not condemned, but quited by proclamation: the wicked [Page 19] shalbe iudged, and condemned both by God, and the countrie, that is by their owne conscience, and al the Angels in heauen.

Secondlie, against the wicked I saie with our Sauiour, because they beleeue not, they are condemned. But doth it followe thereof that they shal not bee iudged? I beleeue not. For it is à phrase v­sed much in ye holie Scripture, to take the time present for the time to comeAugust. de a­gone Christiano. Cap. 27.. As,Theophylactus in cap. 23. Lucae. cursed be he Deut. 27, 26., or more plainelie, cursed is euerie man Gal. 3, 10. that continueth not in al things, which are written in the booke of the Lawe to do them. It is not, Cursed shalbe e­uerie man, but, Cursed is euerie man &c. For God hath signified what shal become of vnbeleeuers, and wicked men; onlie there lacketh but pronouncing of sentence at his general Sessions. So saith Saint Augu­stineAugust. de a­gone Christian [...] cap. 27., He that beleeueth not, is now iudged, that is, condemned by the foreknowledge of God, who knoweth what hangeth ouer the heads of vnbeleeuers. And verie notablie in another place he saithAugust. in 3. cap. Ioan.: Iudgement hath not yet appeared, and yet iudgement is come. For the Lord knoweth who are his: hee knoweth who are to be crowned, & who to be [Page 18] [...] [Page 19] [...] [Page 20] burned: He knoweth his wheate, and hee knoweth his chaffe: He knoweth his good corne, and he knoweth his tares. He who be­leeueth not, is now condemned.

By which their obiection,The state of the wicked euen in this world. occasion is giuen for our profit and comfort to con­sider these three thinges. Firste, the wretched state of the wicked, theie are condemned, that is, in the eies of the Al­mightie theie goe euen with their handes bound; their feete fettred; and their necks be in cords, onely theie tarie but for these wordes, Hangman, dispatch them, or, Tor­mentors, spare them not; or, as our Sauiour saith,Math. 25. 41 Depart fro me you curssed into euer­lasting fire &c. Secondly, the cause of their miserie, Vnbeleefe. It is in themselues, not in God that they are condemned. For, God woulde haue al men saued, and come vnto the knowledg of the trueth, 1. Tim. 2, 4. He that beleeueth not, is condemned, as in an other place,Iohn 3, 36. He that beleeueth not, shal not see life, but the wrath of God abideth vpon him. Thirdelie, the waie to auoide this con­demnation, euen To beleeue. Laste of al, among other vane argumentes theie al­ledge3. Obiection. these wordes of our SauiourIohn 12, 47., If anie man heare my wordes and beleeue not, I iudge him not: for I came not to iudge the [Page 21] worlde, but to saue the world. Wherebie they wil conclude howe there shalbe no gene­ral iudgement.

Vnto which place I saie, that as was their first, so must this also bee vnder­stoode of his first cōming, when he iudg­ed not. For at that time he brought, and preached not the Lawe, but the Go­spel, wherebie he declared howe, and which waie they might escape the bitter, and byting cursse of God his heauie in­dignation, and be saued, euen if they re­ceaued the recōciliation promised, which was himselfe, by faith.

In his seconde comming he wil iudge the worlde. For so is it plainelie set­downe: Rom. 14, 10. We shal al appeare before the iudg­ment seate of Christ. And yet more plain­lie, if plainer it may be, We must al ap­peare before the iudgement seate of Christ, that euerie man maie receiue the thinges which are done in his bodie, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or euil. In which places the wordes of the Apostle are most diligentlie to be considerd, one saith, we shal, the other, we must, both of them import à necessitie of à iudgement to come, and that of al men: monie shal not saue the rich man; nor might the ho­norable; [Page 22] nor learning, the student; nor yeeres, the aged; nor weakenes, the sicke; nor anie thing, anie man, but Al must appeare, and that before the Iudgement seate of Christ, where he wil shewe him­selfe to his foes terrible, but amiable to his friendes.

CHAP. 6.
Against H. N. or the Familie of Loue, who thinke that nowe the daie of iudgement is come.

AMong al the sectes which haue bene since the Apostles time, I am perswa­ded there is not one which hath bene ei­ther more foolishlie fantastical, or more miserablie caried-away from ye truth vn­to fables, & fantasies of mans grosse inuē ­tion, than (I onelie except the most blas­phemous companie of Papists) that new disordered Familie of Loue, as theie cal it. And among al their errors, displaied by one, battered by another, & ouerthrown by à thir de, I verilie doe thinke there is not one which for impietie is more abho­minable, than that which theie haue con­cerning the daie of iudgement.

[Page 23] When I name the Familie of Loue, Who are the Familie of Loue. I vnderstand so many as know and defend the errors of H. N, not those who knowe them not, much lesse defend them. For e­uerie one which leaneth vnto the sect, is not priuie to their errorsIn the dis­plaieng of the Familie of Loue, leafe H. 4. Art. 6 6.. For the il-lu­minate Elders knowe right wel, that ma­nie which fauor them for the open shew of godlines that they see in them, would vtterlie abhor them, if they knew the dā ­nable heresies2. Pet. 2, 1. Which priuilie they bring­in. Therefore like subtile fellowesEphes. 4, 14. they disclose not them-selues but onelie vnto such, as be either of no religion at al, & so readie like waxe to receiue the print of al opinions; or sworne enimies, against the Gospel of Christ; as for those, who zealouslie doe hunger and thirst after righteousnes, and abhor al wicked opini­ons contrarie to the worde of God, they make such not acquainted with their er­rors, but feede them with faire wordes, as they can wel enough, either to make them in time euen to denie the Lord which hath bought them 2. Pet. 2. 1., and so bring vpon them selues swift damnation; or to be some coun­tenance vnto their curssed sect. For who neuer seeing their bookes, nor hearing of their errors, woulde thinke that to bee à [Page 24] Familie of vngodlines, & heresies, which so discrete men, sober women, so ancient fathers, so graue and so godlie matrons, doe fauor? Oh the subtiltie of Satan! Oh the deceit and craft of men! O dangerous daies! O time of trial!

Notwithstanding, as the venemous Adder lurketh manie times vnder the greenest grasse; and as euerie thing which glittereth is not gold: so vnder their faire shew of à vertuous life, the elders doe hide venemous opinions; and though theie haue the shew of Godlines: yet they denie the power therof2. Tim. 3. 5.. Euen tares they be, like wheatMatt. 13, 24.; false Prophetes vnder sheepes cloathing2. Cor. 11, 14.; seducers, yet like the ministers of righteousnes2. Cor. 11, 15.; and as Cyril saithCyril. Catech. 4. de decem dog­mat., such as bite lik wolues though they would faine seme euē as simpleE. R. one of the Familie in his Epist. sent vnto M. Iohn Rogers, and is to be found a­mong the Epist. annexed vnto the displaieng of the Familie. leafe L. 6. as sheep, & so louing as lambes. As their opinions extant to be seene, & iudged of al men do sufficientlie declare; and shal appear euen by their errors which theie haue concer­ning the daie of iudgement, had they no moe but them.

And what are theie? I saide in the ti­tle of this Chapter, and also in an other placeAfore, Chap. 5. pagi. 16., howe theie holde not onelie that the daie of iudgement is nowe; but also [Page 25] that is alreadie past, as in the chapter following shalbe proued. For confir­mation of their former opinion, I wil not frame an argument, as I might wel, and one doth wittilie, by the verie wordes of H.N. after this sort, Whatsoeuer the vngod­ded, or vnilluminated Men out of the ima­gination, or Riches of their owne Knowledge, and of their Learnednesse of the Scriptures bring-foorth, institute, preach, and teach, is assuredlie al false, and lies, seducing, & deceit ful H. N. in his 1. Exhort. cap. 16 sen. 17. page 43. b. But the vngodded, or vnilluminated men (which are al the godlie learned that abhor the heresies of H. N.) preach and teach that there shalbe à general iudgemēt of al mankind, and à resurrection of the flesh.

Therefore it is false, lies, seducing, and de­ceitful to preach, and teach so.

If I should thus reason, perhaps theie woulde saie I presse them too sore, and as it were violentlie wrest à confirmati­on from their bookes. Their owne words therefore for mee, shal confirme what I saie.

That theie holde that the daie of iudg­ment is now, he that waieth with iudg­ment these fewe places out of their owne workes, wil easilie confesse. I wil recite but three of them, and that from sundrie [Page 26] of their workes, omitting à great many both in the first ExhortationH.N. in his first Exhort. cap. 6. sent. 1, 2. 3. 5. cap. 7. sent. 42.; in the In­struction of the vpright faithH.N in his Instruct. praef. Set. 1. 3, 5. Art. 8 sēt. 35. Arti. 11. sent. 42. Ex­hort. after to those Art. sent. 1.; in the Prophecie of the SpiritH.N. in Pro­phecie of the spirite of loue, cap. 14. Sent. 7. cap. 16. Sent. 6, 7, 8. Cha 19 sent. 14. in ye ProuerbsH.N. in his Prouerbs Chap. 1. sent. 17. 18. of H.N; and also in Elidad his exhortati­onElidad a fel­lowe Elder with H.N. in his Ex­hort. sent. 33, 34 35.. Wherebie it maie be gathered that it is not à scape, but à doctrine adui­sedlie taught of H.N. and his scho­lers.

The first is this H. N. in his E­uang. Chap. 2. sent. 1., Beholde in this pre­sent daie theIsai 3. b. Mat. 24, d Mat. 25, d glorious comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, with the many thousands of his Saints, be commeth manifested: which hath set himselfe Now vpon the seate ofIsai. 16, b. his ma­iestie for to iudge in this same daie which the Lord hath ordeined, or appointed: the whole Acts 17, d.worlde with equitie, and with faithful­nes Zacha. 8. [...].and trueth according to his righteous­nesse.

The wordes are plaine enough, that Christ in this present daie is come; and hath Now set himselfe vpon the seate of his Ma­iestie, for to iudge in this same daie the whole world. Yea, he is so come that he may euen Nowe, not he onely, but thousandes of his Angels also sensiblie be seene and percei­ued. Therefore doth hee saie, Beholde, in this present daie the glorious comming of our Sauiour. Which some haue seene, as [Page 27] that dreamer Vitel for an ensample, be­leeue him that list.

For so himselfe doth saie Christopher Vitel in his Li­bel against the Booke intituled, The displaieng of an horrible sect of grosse, wicked Here­tikes, naming themselues the Familie of Loue.: Moreouer there was made manifest vnto me, through the same seruice of Loue, and the Lords mi­nister H.N, the comming of Christ with his Saints, and his righteous iudgement.

The second place is this H.N. in his documental sen­tences chap. 15. sent, 4.: This is the daie which GodActes. 17, e. hath appointed for to iudge in the same the compasse of the earth with righteousnes through his worde, in whome he hath concluded his iudgement.

The thirde shalbe this H.N. in his preface before the instruct. of the vpright Faith, sent. 2.: For asmuch then, as that nowe in this same newest daie Matt. 24, 25. d Luke 17, c. 21.the cōming of Iesus Christ as à Lord in his maiestie from the right hand of God his Fa­ther appearethAct. 1, b. 2. 2., and becommeth manifested vnto vs,Thes. 1. b. with ful clearing of his heauenlie il­lumination, according to the Scripture.

In al which places he either saith Christ cōmeth in this present daie; or, Now he is set in iudgement to iudge in this same daie; or, this is the daie which God hath appointed for to iudge in the same the compas of the earth;What the Fa­milie of Loue doth meane by the iudgement, in this present daie, or nowe executed. or finalie, Now in this same newest daie the comming of Iesus Christ, as à Lord in his ma­iestie, &c. appeareth; al are in the time pre­sent. It wilbe good therefore to examine what he meaneth by this present daie; by [Page 28] Now, by this daie; by this newest daie. For therbie the hed of this viper wil notablie peepe-out to the destruction of it selfe.

For interpretation whereof, I wil not alleage the wordes of anie aduersarie of theirs, but euen their owne iudgement; yea the iudgement of the whole Familie, which is this In the answer of the Family of loue vnto the notes of the Bi­shop of Roche­cter, placed be­fore the confut. of M. Wilkin­son, leafe A, 4. line 34. He (meaning H. N.) af­firmeth this present time of the light of loue, to bee the daie of the cleare and righteous iudgement of God: wherein God wil restore al thinges to their right (to wit) bring or set the lie in his lieng being to be condemned in the hellish caue, and the trueth likewise in his right forme or degree, to wit, to preuaile, flourishe, or beare swaie ouer the vnrighte­ousnes for euermore, wherebie that the wil of God might be accomplished in earth as in heauen.

In which wordes note with mee, I be­seech you, first, what theie think the daie of iudgement to be; secondlie, at the daie of iudgement what thinges be renued; & thirdelie, the ende of his iudgement.

For the first, it is manifest that the daie of iudgement among them is nought els,1. Daie of iudgement what in the opiniō of the Familie of Loue but this time wherein the Light of Loue, that is, their obscure and erronious opi­nions are published. For so theie doe ex­presselie [Page 29] saie: He affirmeth this present time of the light of loue to be the daie of the cleare, and righteous iudgement of God. By which I gather, either that their doctrine is but newlie vp-start, and so afore this time that God had no Church; or if theie grant, that it hath from time to time, and from hand to hand euen from the begin­ning beene deliuered, that the daie of iudgement was alwaies, which is impie­tie to be thought, and heresie to be spoke. Let them take which parte theie wil, as one of them theie must, they shal see how theie runne into manie, and absurde o­pinions.

If their doctrine hath beene from the beginning, then hath the iudgement bin from the beginning. For when their do­ctrine peeped-foorth, the iudgement ap­peared. But that the iudgement hath bin alwaie, I thinke theie wil not saie.

Therefore their doctrine is but newe. And if it bee but newe, then is not the same, which the olde Patriarches, Pro­phets, and Apostles preached, and belee­ued; and wherebie theie were saued. And being not the same, it must of necessitie leade vnto damnation. And the teachers thereof are to be helde accurssed, accor­ding [Page 30] vnto the commandement of the A­postleGal. 1, 8..

If theie saie the iudgement of Christ hath bene from the beginning, how is it that theie saie, Beholde in this present daie the glorious comming of our Lorde Iesus Christ, with the manie thousandes of his An­gels becommeth manifested, and not, The glorious comming of our Lorde Iesus Christ, &c. hath bin manifested from the beginning? And yet were it shameful and vile here­sie to saie so. For what godlie man euer was of that opinion? Or howe by Scrip­ture can there proue the same? Into which error theie must needes fal, if theie holde their doctrine hath bene alwaies; and the iudgement to appeare, that is, the glorious comming of our Lorde Iesus Christ, with ma­nie thousandes of his Angels to appeare to iudge the world, whē the light of the Loue brake-out.

But whether theie thinke that their doctrine hath bene alwaies, which theie can neuer proue; or whether theie thinke that of late it sprang-vp, which al the worlde doth know; theie vtterlie de­nie à iudgement to come, and saie that nowe it is: which is à verie detestable o­pinion.

[Page 31] Secondlie,2. What shalbe renued. for the thinges to be renu­ed, marke their verie wordes: They saie, In this cleare and righteous iudgement God wil restore al things to their right. That is, the head, and it seemeth goodlie, but in the taile which followeth, great poison doth lurke. For doe theie saie, That wee shal al be changed, or, that this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal im­mortalitie, as Saint Paul doth1. Cor. 15, 51. 53.? or that the elements shal melt with heate, and the earth with the workes that are therein shalbe burnt-vp, as S. Peter doth2. Pet. 3, 10.? or finalie, that al thinges shalbe so renued, that there shalbe a newe heauen, and à newe earth, as Saint Iohn dothReuel. 21, 1.? No. Yet do theie saie, God wil restore al things to their right.

What doe theie meane then therebie? To wit, God wil bring or set the lie in his lieng being, to be condemned in the hellish caue, & the trueth likewise in his right forme or de­gree. Then to bring or set the lie in his li­eng being, to bee condemned, &c. is to restore al thinges. A goodlie reason no doubt. That which the Scripture spea­keth of, theie neuer mention; and that which the Scripture is against, theie a­uouch. The Scripture saith, al things shal­be [...] [Page 34] & it nameth what, as afore I said,52. namelie the bodies of al men, 53. be they aliue or dead 1. Cor. 15, 51.; the elements 2. Pet. 3, 10.; heauen and earth Reuel. 21, 1.: but that the lie in his lieng being shoulde be restored,2. Pet. 3, 13. I finde no mention neither in the worde of God, nor in the wri­tinges of godlie men. And therefore in my iudgement it is à great error to saie so.

And the rather I thinke it, because I neuer finde that à restoring shalbe made of things either absolutely good, or abso­lutely euil: but of things indifferent. For neither can virtue bee turned into vice, nor vice into virtue; trueth cannot be­come falsehoode, nor falsehoode be­come trueth. No, theie cannot degenerate in anie sort from their verie natures. And therefore à restitution cannot be made of them, as though theie had changed ei­ther into others nature. But man for that being left in his owne handes to chuse either good or euil, he left that good was and followed the contrarie, hee must be restored vnto his first integritie: and the creatures which haue serued to the lust of man, theie shalbe renued.

Thirdlie, and last of al, the end of the iudgement which theie faine,3. Ende of the iudgement. is, That [Page 35] the wil of God maie be accomplished in earth as in heauen. The grossenes of the former mer pointes maie palpablie be percea­ued, and yet theie wil seeme more blas­phemouslie wicked, when the impietie of this last clause is discouered.

These thinges come to passe, saie the Familie, That the wil of God maie be ac­complished in earth, as in heauen. Where­bie, as I nowe sit, me thinkes theie i­magine verie baselie, and grosselie of the euent of this iudgement. Saint Paul saith1. Cor. 15, 28., When al thinges shalbe subdued vn­to him, (meaning Christ) thē shal the sonne also himselfe be subiect vnto him, that did subdue al thinges vnder him, that God maie be al in al. That God maie be al in al is the euent of this iudgement, saith Paule: that the wil of God maie be accompli­shed in earth as in heauen, saie the Fa­milie. Thus are the Scriptures, and the Familie of Loue cleane contrarie, not in this point onelie, but in the other points beside. For the Scripture saith, That in à momēt in the twinkling of an eie 1. Cor. 15, 52., iudgemēt shalbe: the Familie make it either euerla­sting, or of long continuance, & saie that Now it is. The scripture testifieth yt al mē, [Page 36] and other creatures shalbe restored: the Familie restraine it vnto the Lie in his li­eing being, and to the truth; of which there is no mention in the Scripture. The scrip­ture maketh nothing capable of euerla­sting felicitie, but the obedient seruantes and sonnes of God: the Familie make vir­tue capable both of the same, & of dam­nation too; as though virtue could be contrarie vnto virtue, that is, Trueth vnto Righteousnesse, or Righteousnesse vnto Trueth. Finalie the Scripture proueth the ende of the iudgement to be, that God maie bee al in al: the Familie wil haue it, that the wil of God maie be ac­complished in Earth, as in heauen, that is, that theie maie leade à life answerable vnto the forme which H.N. hath prescri­bed in this present worlde.

For proofe of which my wordes I could cite manie places both out of the Prophecie of the spirite of LoueH.N in his prophesie of the spirite of Loue Chap. 7, sent. 19. Chap, 19, sent. 12, 14., and out of the Prouerbes of H. N.H. N in his Prouerbs Chap. 1. sent. 16, 17, 18. Chap. 4 sent. 9. 10. &c., and also out of the spiritual land of peace H.N spiritual. terr. pacis cap. 44, sent. 9, 10, 11, 12. &c., but for al heark what in his Euangelie he doeth saieH. N. in his Euangelie Chap 35, sent. 8.. Beholde nowe in This present daie is the Scripture fulfilledScripture in this daie of Loue fulfilled. and according to the testimonie of the Scripture, the raising vp, & the resurrection of the Lordes dead commeth [Page 37] also to passeResurrection is come. Presentlie in this same daie through the appearing of the comming of Christ in his maiestieChrist in his maiestie appea­reth.. Which resurrection of the dead, seeing that the same Is come vn­to vsResurrection come vnto the Elders of loue. from Gods grace, we doe likewise this present daie, to an Euangelie or ioieful mes­sage of the kingdome of God and Christ, pub­lish in al the world, vnder the obedience of the Loue, In which resurrection of the dead, GOD sheweth vnto vsNone but the il-luminate El­ders knowe the fulfilling of the Scriptures. that the time is Now fulfilled, that His dead, or the dead, which are fallen à sleepe in the LordeThey onelie do rise-vp which are fallen à sleepe in the Lord. rise vp in This daie of his iudgementDead do a­rise in this daie of iudgement., and ap­peare Dead appeare vnto H.N. and to the Elders of the familie of loue, and that in glorie.vnto vs in godlie glorie, which shal from hence-forth liue in vsThe dead shal liue in the Elders of the familie., euerlastinglie The dead shal liue in the Elders euerlastinglie.with ChristDead shal liue in the Elders euerlastinglie with Christ., and raigneThe dead shal raigne vpon earth; or in this world enioie absolute felicitie. vpon earth.

Were it my minde to stande vpon this place of H. N. I could easilie proue moe curssed errours in the same than it containeth lines: but I hasten vnto other matters, I alleage it in this place onelie to shewe, that he teacheth happines to bee naught els, but à pretended righteousnes in this present worlde, and that such as be risen-againe from the dead, and en­ioie [Page 38] felicitie, doe liue and raigne vppon earth.

Then by their owne wordes, if the iudgement be come; if the dead be raned; if happinesse bee attained, they shal ne­uer be partakers of the fruites of the se­cond resurrection, nor of those thinges which eye hath not seene, neither eare hath heard, nor heart conceiued prepared for such as loue God1. Cor. 2, 9.. For they are hap­pie alreadie in their owne opinions, in mine theie are of al men the most misera­ble; and that partlie because they are al­together destitute both of faith, without which it is impossible to please God Heb. 11, 6, and al­so of Hope, without which they cannot bee saued Rom. 8, 24.. For Faith is the grounde of thinges that are hoped for, and the euidence of things that are not seene Heb. 11, 1.. Which thinges being once seene and attained, Faith cesseth, and hope vanisheth-awaie. For howe can à man hope for that which he seeth Rom. 8, 24. 25.? But if we hope for that wee see not, we do with patience abide for it.

They therefore being come vnto the top of blessednesse, haue banished-awaie al Faith, Hope, and feare of God. Mar­uel then I wil no more whie they cal themselues the familie of Loue; neither [Page 39] whie they so highlie commend Loue, say­eng of those three virtues, Faith, Hope, and Loue, the chiefest is Loue 1. Cor. 13, 12.; neither whie they wil needes be caled, not the householde of Faith Gal. 6, 10., but the Familie of Loue, for I haue them nowe. They are come, forsooth, vnto the third forme, and become capitanes in the schoole of Christ, they are past Faith, and Hope yea and grace too., and are come vnto Loue, which is the chiefest, wherebie they are like Angels, what saie I like Angels? Theie are God­ded with God H.N. in his first Exhort. ca. 16. sent. 16. but more truelie they are Diue­led with the di­uel, as their own phrase is, though in another sense. Christopher Vi­tel in his Libel, leafe D. 3, b. line 21., or incorporated with God in al Loue; and are consubstantiated or conformablie vnited as one man of God in God H.N. in the prophecie of the spirit of Loue..

Especialie I account them of al men the most miserable,Chap. 7, sent. 19. for that theie take drosse for golde, miserie for happinesse; this life for à blessed life; earth for hea­uen; yea theie dreame or doate rather that theie see God, not through à glasse darkelie1. Cor. 13, 12., but face to face; and knowe him not in parte, but as theie are knowen; and are in such à state where­in theie laugh alwayes, and neuer weepe; liue alwaies, and neuer die; alwaies reioice, and neuer bee sadde; al­waies merrie, and neuer sorrowful, [Page 40] in pleasure alwaie, and neuer in paine. For that is ye state of an happie lifeReuel. 21, 4.. And yet who seeth not that they liue wret­chedly as sinners; and die like men, to speake no worser of the ends which com­monlie they haue.

Nowe, by what auctoritie of scripture doth H. N. proue that the iudgement is nowe (for that would be considered?) His principal places be taken out of the 24. and 25. of Matthewe; the first and the 17. of the Actes; the 17. and the 21. of Luke; the 2. Thessal. 1; and the Epistle of Saint Iude. In al which places menti­on is made of the vtter destruction of the worlde, and of the seconde comming of our Sauiour vnto the general iudgement: and proue as wel that the daie of iudge­ment is come as that text, where it is said: Mal. 3, a. 4, a. Beholde I sende mine Angel or messenger, Math. 11, 17. which shal prepare the waie, Marke 1. or make plaine the path before Me, Luke 7. set afore most of their Bookes, doth proue that H. N. is the mes­senger of Christ. Thus much against the Familie of Loue, and this one opinion of theirs, as wicked, as it is strange, and vn­heard-of vntil these late yeares.

CHAP. 7.
Against the fauorers of Hymeneus, and Philetus, who saide that the resur­rection is alredie past.

AS had S. Paul in his time Hymeneus and Philetus: so haue we in our time such as fauor Hymeneus and Philetus, namelie the Familie of Loue, who denie the iudgement to come, and saie the re­surrection is past. Yet so I woulde not write of them, did not both Christopher Vitel, and also H. N. himselfe auouch the same.

For saith Vitel, C. Vitel in his Libel leafe F. 1. The Lord hath accom­plished according to his promises through the spirite of Christ,line 3. in him (namely H.N.) al that he hath spoken through the mouth of his ser­uants the Prophets. And, in this daie are al Prophecies fulfilled, saith H.N. himselfe. H.N in his Euang. Chap. 36. sent. 13..

In which two places, although ex­presse mention bee not made either of the iudgement, or comming of Christ: yet in that they saie, Al Prophecies are fulfilled, and that the Lord hath accomplished al that he hath spoken through the mouth of his ser­uants the Prophets, they do comprehend the iudgement, and comming of Christ, [Page 42] so wel as anie thing els.20. For the Prophets haue foretolde thereof.21. As the Prophet IsaiahIsai. 26, 19.; the Prophet EzekielEzek. 37, 4., the Pro­phet DanielDan. 2, 44. Dan. 7, 13., and others.5. If therefore whatsoeuer the Lorde hath spoken by his seruantes the Prophets,6. be fulfilled; and the Lord hath fore-tolde by his ser­uants ye Prophets of à general resurrecti­on,14. iudgement and seconde comming of Christ:Dan. 12, 2. Then is the resurrection,3. iudge­ment, and seconde comming of Christe, come and past already, euen by the verie words of the arch-pillers of the Familie.

Yet would I not thinke that so wret­chedlie theie do erre, had I not read, that one of the Familie gaue-out that Christe was already come. For one of the Familie, being asked before manie witnesses, touching Christ his comming vnto iudgement, did an­swere plainlie that he was alreadie come Answere vnto the Libel of C. Vitel, leafe l. 17, line 12..

Neither yet should I so conceiue of thē, did I not finde, that not onelie H.N. him­selfe was H.N. in his Euang. Chap. 1. H.N. in his 2. E­pist. Chap. 2. sent. 1., but also the Lords deade are al­readie raised-againe H. N. in his Euang. Chap. 35. sem. 8..

Which opinion theie woulde neuer stand-in,H. N. in his pre­face before his instruction of the vpright Faith sent. 1. or defend, if theie did thinke a­nie other resurrection to be, than onelie à rising from sinne; à casting-of of the olde man; and à putting-on of the newe.

[Page 43] But as Hymeneus and Philetus were de­ceaued, for yt theie deuided not the word of God aright2. Tim. 2, 15.: so the Familie of Loue do so perilouslie erre, because theie vnder stand not the worde of God aright. For did theie so, theie would confesse, and be­leeue not à single, but à double; not à spiritual onelie, but à corporal resurrec­tion also: wherof the one which is spiri­tual, must go before the other, that is cor­poral. Wherefore to auoide the error of the aboue mentioned,Twofolde re­surrection. we are to beare in minde yt there is à twofold resurrection, of the dead; one spiritual, of the mind; the other corporal of the bodie.

When I saie there is à spiritual resur­rection:Spiritual resur­rection what. I meane, not that the Soule or Spirite can die, and be raised vp-againe. For the soule is immortal. But the spiri­tual resurrection is, when à man who was dead in sinne, through the preaching of the Gospel, is reclamed frō the death of vngodlines, vnto life, that is vnto faith, and knowledge of Christ, wherebie he is made à new creature. According as Irenae­us doth saieIrenaeus lib. 5. aduersus haereses Vlentini. &c., Agnitio Dei renouat homi­nem, that is, the knowledge of God maketh à new-man.

For,A double death, and a double re­surrection. as there is à double death, to wit à [Page 44] spiritual and à corporal: so is there á dou­ble resurrection. He is spiritualie dead, though he seeme healthful in bodie, who is à blasphemer,Spiritual death what. à traitor, an adulterer, an vserer, à murtherer &c. For he is as à dead man in the sight of God. Euen as we count him, who either hath done some horrible fact worthie death against the lawes of man, or else is condemned to die, but for à dead man: because he stand­eth at ye mercie of the magistrate either to be saued, or cast-awaie, as our phrase is.

He therefore who by the preaching of the Gospel is sorie for his sinnes,Who spiritualie risen. and beleeueth that through the bloode of Christ al his offences are washed, and wypt-awaie; and through the virtue of his faith, doth so fight against his wic­ked affections, that he is become à newe man, that is, of à blasphemer, à continu­al praiser of God; of rebellions, obedient; of incontinent, pure and chast; of an v­serer, à free lender, yea à liberal giuer; of à murtherer, à careful preseruer of mē, &c. this man, I saie, through the power of the holie Ghost is raised from the death of sinne,Spiritual resur­rection before the corporal. and risen with Christ.

Which spiritual resurrection, as euen­nowe I saide, must goe-before the cor­poral [Page 45] resurrection. For vnlesse we arise spiritualie by Faith vnto newnes of life, let vs not looke to rise-againe corporalie vnto eternal life. For our Sauior doth doth saieIohn. 5. 29., Theie shal come-foorth that haue done good vnto the resurrection of life: but theie that haue done euil vnto the resur­rection of condemnation.

So then,None arise cor­poralie vnto sal­uation, who haue not risen spiritualie from sinne. if anie man desire to liue e­ternaly in the sight of God, and to be à partaker of the felicitie to come, let him first arise from sinne; beleeue that his offences are pardoned through the death of Christ; and spende the time he hath in this worlde, godlie, righteouslie, and soberlieTit. 2, 12., and assuredlie he shalbe rai­sed at the second resurrection vnto eter­nal lifeReue. 20, 6..

The corporal death is when as the soule doth forsake the bodie;Corporal death what. and the bodie re­turneth vnto duste, where out it was ta­ken. Which bodie we Christians doe be­leeueAs appereth by the Creede, Apostolical, Nicene, Athanasian., shal rise-againe at the daie of iudgement. But the fauorers of Hyme­neus & Philetus wil not be so perswaded to thinke. And therefore, because theie vnderstande not the Scriptures aright, theie holde that there is onelie à spiri­tual resurrection. But the Scripture [Page 46] doth so wel speake of à corporal, as of à spiritual.

For, as it is written Coloss. 2, 13., ye which were dead in sinnes, and in the vncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened-together with him; which is the spiritual: so is it wtit­ten 1. Cor. 15. 52. 53., The dead shalbe raised-vp incoruptible, and we shalbe changed. For this corruptible, must put on incorruption, & this mortal must put on immortalitie, which is the corporal resurrectiō. And as it is writtē Coloss. 3, 1., If ye be ri­sen with Christ, seeke those things which are aboue, which is ye spiritual: So is it wtitten, Iob. 19, 25.I am sure that my redeemer liueth, & he shal stand the last on the earth.26. And though after my skin wormes destroie this bodie: yet shal I see God in my flesh.27. Whome I my selfe shal see, and mine eies shal beholde, & none other for me, though my reines be consumed within me; which are the corporal. Which diffe­rence theie marke not; and therfore they goe-astraie, and haue made shipwracke as concerning faith 1. Tim. 1, 19..

CHAP. 8.
Against the Saturnians, Valentinians, and such like, whoe denie the re­surrection of the flesh.

[Page 47] AN hard thing it is to make flesh and blood beleeue, that there shalbe à re­surrection of the flesh. Therefore haue theie who defended the affirmatiue part, had manie aduersaries. Much contradicti­on, saith CyrilCyril catech. 18., yet but one trueth. Gre­cians denie it; Samaritanes beleeue it not; Heretikes saie it shal not be, And al of them to proue their vane opinions doe bring either reason, as theie thinke, or scripture.

Their reasons are these. Man dieth, rot­teth, & is eatē-vp of wormes; which wor­mes also doe perish: Seeing therefore the body so putrifieth, and perisheth, how can it rise-again? Manie are drowned, and deuoured of fishes, which fishes after­warde perchance be taken, and eaten-vp. Howe then shal the whole bodie arise? These and manie moe idle imagi­nations, which of purpose I ouer-passe, theie bring-foorth to proue the impossi­bilitie of the bodies resurrection. Vnto which. S. Cyril as in other places christi­anlieCyril catech 4, and 14.; so most diuinelie, in his 18. Cate­cheis doth answere to this effect:

Thou which we beleeuest not those things which are written concerning the resurrecti­on, being carnalie minded, look-vpon earth­lie, and material thinges, and thou shalt see [Page 48] most notable examples of the resurrection. Beholde the seede which is sowen, how doth it spring-afresh, and florish if it putrifie! if it putrifie not, it would neuer spring. Which seede is created for vs, and our vse, not for it selfe. Shal therefore that which is made for man, being euen dead spring-afresh; and shal not man himselfe rise-againe when he is dead?

Looke somewhat higher vpon the trees, consider them as theie are in the winter sea­son, and consider them as theie are in Som­mer. In the winter theie are dead without both leaues and fruite: in the Sommer most goodlie to beholde either with greene leaues, or goodlie fruite, or with both. For God who knoweth thine hardnes of heart, euerie yeere setteth à resurrection before thine eies, that by thinges without soule, thou mightest be­leuee the resurrectiō of reasonable mē which haue soules.

Looke higher yet vpon heauen, and thou shalt finde à most euident proofe of the resur­rection. The Moone sometime is in the waine, and sometime at the ful: sometime it is bright as daie, and sometime red as blood. Which thing God doth, saith Cyril, that thou man consisting of blood, shouldest not doubt of the resurrection of the dead; and [Page 49] that thou shouldest beleeue that of thie selfe, which thou seest happen to the Moone in heauen. With manie other both strong and Christian arguments doth Cyril in that fore-saide place ouerthrow the foo­lishe opinion of fleshlie minded men, the which, either because I studie to bee brief, or for that I know these by me now alledged be sufficient to preuaile with à man anie whit reasonable, I omit: confu­ting their error, & concluding this point with an excellēt place of Irenaeus, which is this Irenaeus ad­uersus haereses Valentini &c. lib. 5..

Theie therefore denie the power of God, and see not the trueth, who looke vpon the weakenes of the flesh, and consider not his power who raised it from the dead. For if he doe not quicken that which is mortal, nei­ther make that incorrupt which is corrupti­ble, God is not almightie. But inasmuch as in al these things he is mightie, we should think­vpon, and cal into minde our beginning. For God tooke duste of the grounde, and made man. And vndoubtedlie more harde, and incredible is it to make man, yea and à liuing and reasonable man too of bones, and sinewes, and veines, and forme which ne­uer was before; then to raise-againe that which sometime was beeing dissolued into [Page 50] earth, for those reasons aboue mentioned; yea, though it returne vnto that, whereof at the first he made him to be who was not, when he thought good: much more wil he now, & that willinglie restore thē whe sometime were into that life which he giueth. Hitherto Irenaeus. The principal place of scripture wherby theie would proue that the body shal not rise-againe, is this 1. Cor. 15, 50.: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdome of God. Which place maketh no whit to their purpose. For ye Apostle in that whole chapter wher­out that text was taken, as no where else so forceablie, proueth the resurrection of the flesh. What therefore doth the Apo­stle meane by these words, Flesh and blood cānot inherit the kingdome of God? Is it that so manie as are not regenerated by the holie Ghost, shal neuer be partakers of heauenly cōsolation? or equiualent with that of our Sauiour Ioh. 3, 36., He that beleeueth not, shal not see life, but the wrath of God abideth vpon him? yes vndoubtedlie. Of which iudgement Irenaeus is, as appea­reth in these his wordes Irenaeus ad­uersus haereses Valent. lib. 5.: The Apostle ad­horting vs vnto the participation of the spi­rit, according to the reasons aboue mētioned, did saie: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdome of God. As if he should saie: Be not [Page 51] deceiued, for vnles the word of God abide, & the Spirit of the Father be in you, vanelie, as it falleth out, ye haue spent the time, & so be­ing blood and flesh, ye cannot inherit the king­dome of God. This to the ende we should not refuse the ingraffing of the spirit by following & fauoring the flesh. And thou being, saith he Rom. 11, 17.à wild oliue, wast graffed into the good oliue, and made partaker of the fatnesse of the O­liue. As therefore à wilde Oliue, if, being ingraffed it continue as first it was, is cut-waie; but if it keepe the ingraffing, and change into the nature of à good oliue, it bea­reth fruite as though it were planted in the paradise of à king: so mē, if through faith they profit in godlines, & take the spirit of God, & prosper in bringing-out fruit of the same, they shalbe spiritual, & as it were planted in Gods paradise. But if theie refuse the spirit, and a­bide as theie were at first, liking better of the flesh, than of the spirite; thē rightlie it is saide of such,Diuers significa­tiōs of the word flesh. Flesh and blood shal not inherit the kingdome of God. Againe, ye more fullie to answere them, I saie the word Flesh, hath not alwaies one signification in the holie scripture. Frr somtime it is properlie ta­ken, as the nature therof doth import, for à masse & substāce of flesh, as where Paul faith 1. Cor. 15, 39., Al flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of mē, & another of beasts & [Page 52] another of fishes, and another of birds. Some­time vnproperlie, both by the figure Sy­necdoche it is taken, sometime for man onelie, a where it is saide Gen. 6, 12., Al flesh had corrupted his waie vpon earth, meaning al men; sometime for euerie liuing crea­ture, as in this sentence Gen. 6, 13., An ende of al flesh is come before me: and also by the fi­gure Metonymie it signifieth, first ye state & condition of this life, as in these words of Paul Gal, 2, 20., In that I nowe liue in the flesh; I liue by the faith in the son of God; secondlie, ye outward shew or appeerance of things, that Christ meant when he said Iohn. 8, 15. ye iudg after the flesh; thirdlie, & last of al, it signi­fieth the corruptiō of our nature, or what soeuer is in à man not regenerate; this meant both our Sauiour in saieng Iohn. 3, 6., That which is borne of the flesh, is flesh, and Paul too Rom. 8, 13., If ye liue after the flesh, ye shal die.

Therefore Paul in saieng, Flesh & bloud cannot inherite the kingdome of God, mea­neth that fleshlie minded men, such as delight in the workes of the fleshGal. 5, 19. 20. &c., as ad­ulterie, fornication, vncleannes, wanton­nes, idolatrie, witch-craft, hatred, &c. shal not inherite the kingdome of God. Now had he meant the earthie or fleshie sub­stance of man, as these heretiques doe [Page 53] dreame, he should therebie haue spoken▪ against that which he had not onelie so couragiouslie maintained both at Athens in the streete of MarsAct. 17, 22. 23. &c. 31. 32.; and at Ierusalem in the counsel of the IewesAct. 23, 6.; and at Cesa­rea, before Felix the gouernourAct. 24, 14. 15. 16.: but al­so so learnedlie by arguments taken frō the resurrection of Christ1. Cor. 15, 12. 13. &c.; from the end of our Baptisme1. Cor. 15, 23.; from absurdities which arise by the denial thereof1. Cor. 15, 13. 14. 32.; from simili­tudes of thinges created1. Cor. 15, 36. 37. &c.; from compari­sons1. Cor. 15, 48. 49., & from sundrie other special pla­ces, proued and confirmed. But leaue we these heretikes.

CHAP. 9.
That vndoubtedlie there shalbe a general iudgement of al flesh.

THus I haue both shewed their opini­ons, who either doubt-of, or denie the general iudgement; and also confuted the argumentes which theie alleage. I wil nowe therefore proceede to proue the certaintie of the iudgement to come.

And although in M. Scheltco à Ieu [...]ren his booke, this matter hath notablie bene handled▪ yet, because I do know the god­lie cānot chuse but receiue great comfort [Page 54] & profite by hearing of them, I wil vnto his arguments adde sundrie others of no smal importance to confirme our faith in this point.

First therfore (to omit ye testimonies of men; 1. Proofe from the testimonie of the Prophets be theie Fathers, as theie vse to cal them, or late writers) ye Prophets haue at large, & in manie places fore-tolde the same. As the Prophet Isaiah Isai. 26. 19., Thie dead men shal liue; euen with my bodie shal theie rise. Awake and sing, yee that dwel in dust: for thie dewe is at the deawe of herbes, and the earth shal cast-out the dead.20. Come, my people, enter thou into the chambers, and shut thie doores after thee; hide thie selfe for à verie litlewhile, vntil the indignation passe ouer.21. For lo, the Lorde cōmeth out of his place to visit the iniquitie of the inhabitants of the earth vpon them: and the earth shal disclose her bloud, & shal no more hide her slaine. Al­so in ye prophecie of Hosea it is thus writ­ten Hos. 13, 14.: I wil redeeme them from the power of the graue: I wil deliuer them from death: O death, I wil be thie death; O graue, I wil be thie destruction; repentance is hidde fro mine eies. And againe for al by the Prophet Daniel it is saide Dan. 12. 1.: And at that time shal Michaël stande-vp, the great Prince, which standeth for the children of thie peo­ple, [Page 55] and there shal be à time of trouble, such as neuer was since there began to be à nation vnto that same time: and at that time thie people shalbe deliuered, euerie one that shalbe found written in the booke.2. And manie of them that sleepe in the dust of the earth shal­awake, some to euerlasting life, and some to shame and perpetual contempt.3. And theie that be wise, shal shine as the brightnes of the firmament: and theie that turne manie vn­to righteousnes, as the starres for euer and e­uer. I omit the places in Iob, in Ezekiel, in the 4. of Esdras, and manie mo. I saie nothing also of the whole Booke of wis­dome, especialie of the 3. and 5. chapters of the same, the which what are theie but euen à verie Sermon concerning the last iudgement of God; of the rewards of the godlie and paines of the reprobate?

Secondlie, 2. From the te­stimonie of Christ. our Sauiour Christ, who is trueth it selfe Iohn. 14, 6., doth auowe the same. For in one place thus he saith Matth. 12, 36, I saie vnto you, that of euerie idle worde that men shal speake, theie shal giue à count there­of at the last daie: in another Matth. 24, 30., Then shal appeare the signe of the Sonne of man in heauen; and then shal al the kinreds of the earth mourne, and theie shal see the Sonne of man come in the cloudes of heauen with [Page 56] power,31. and great glorie. And he shal send his Angels with à great sound of à trompet, and theie shal gather-together his elect, from the foure windes, and from the one ende of the heauen vnto the other.

Thirdlie, 3. From the te­stimonie of Angels. the Angels of heauen do te­stifie ye same, when theie saide Act. 1. 11., Ye men of Galile, whie stand ye gazing into heauē? This Iesus who is taken-vp from you into hea­uen, shal so come, as ye haue seene him go into heauen.

Fourthlie, 4. From the cō ­mandement of Christ. Christ hath not onelie te­stified this matter himselfe, but besides enioined the Apostles to preach the same in ye eares of al men. For so Peter saith Act. 10, 39.: We are witnesses of al thinges which he did both in the land of the Iewes, and in Ierusalē, whom theie slew hanging him on à tree.40. Him God raised-vp the thirde daie, & caused that he was shewed openlie:41. Not to al the people, but vnto the witnesses chosen before of God, euen to vs which did eate and drinke with him,42. after he rose from the dead. And he cō ­manded vs to preach vnto the people, and to testifie, that it is he that is ordained of God à iudge of quicke and dead.

Fiftlie, the testimonies of the Apostles do confirme this point.5. From the te­stimonie of the Apostles. For Paul, besides that he stoode hereineuen to the teeth of [Page 57] his aduersaries, as in the end of the Chap­ier immediatelie going-before, I haue de­clared, he proueth the same, though most effectualie in ye 15. chap. of his first epistle vnto ye Corinthians:Rom. 2, 3. 4. 5. &c. yet verie forceablie in diuers other places.Rom. 14, 10. As in the 2. and 14. Chapters vnto the Romans;2. Cor. 5, 10. & in the 5. Chapter of his latter epist. vnto the Co­rinthians. Peter also he saith: The end of al thinges is at hand 1. Pet. 4, 7.; & that the wicked shal giue accountes to him that is readie to iudge quicke and dead. Againe, Their iudgement is not far-of, saith he2. Pet. 2, 3., & their damnation slee­peth not, &c. Furthermore the last Chap­ter of his 2. epistle is wholie in à manner to proue this article of christianitie. Now seeing the Prophets, Christ himselfe, his Angels, & Apostles, who haue not lied nor deluded men at any time before with vane prophecies, haue foretold of à iudge ment to come, the godlie doubtlesse wil build their faith vpon their wordes, espe­cialie because theie al haue spoken therof, moued thereunto by the spirite of God, who cannot lie. Which testimonies maie bring much good vnto al mankinde. For first the godlie herebie in al their trou­bles maie receaue great and vnspeakeable comfort, considering that their afflictions [Page 58] shal not alwaie endure, but that one daie, when the Lord thinketh good, theie shal be adorned with euerlasting glorie, and life, according to his promises. This made S. Paul to breake into these wordsRom. 8, 18.: I ac­count that the afflictions of this present time, are not worthie the glorie, which shalbe shew­ed vnto vs. Secondlie, the wicked hearing these prophecies of the Lorde touching the last iudgement, maie be terrified frō displeasing so gratious à God, who of his mercie hath reuealed what shal betide the wicked and vngonlie, that theie maie with heartie sobs and sorowe repent.

Last of al, both good and bad maie herebie as in à glasse beholde howe the world neither is gouerned by chance, nor shal endure euerlastinglie: but that, as the old world, the sinnes of men being come vnto ripenes, was drowned with water: so the whole world, when iniquitie hath gotten the vpper hand, shal perish and be cōsumed with fire, Theie also, both good and bad I meane, ought herebie to learne so to set thēselues in order by repentance, that when theie shalbe summoned to ap­peare at that general Assise, theie maie boldlie stand in the presence of his glori­ous Maiestie.

[Page 59] But beside these testimonies which I haue aleaged,6. From the iu­stice of God. there be sundrie other great arguments of the worlds consummation. For, the present condition of men in this life is a manifest proofe that this worlde cannot alwaie endure. For who are in more prosperitie then the wicked; and who more afflicted thē the godlie in this life? Therefore of necessitie there must be a iudgement, where at both the vngodlie are to be condemned for their wickednes, and the virtuous to receaue rewardes for their wel-doing. For euerie good master to his power, wil prefer his good ser­uants; and euerie vpright iudge, wil quite the innocent, and punish malefactors. Is this vprightnesse among mortal men, saith CyrilCyril. Catech. 18., and shal not God the immortal king reward euerie man according to his workes? Hee which otherwise thinketh, is in a wrong opinion. For, as it is in à certaine Psalme Psal. 5, 4., God is not a God that loueth wickednesse, neither shal euil dwel with him. 5. The foolish shal not stande in his sight: for hee hateth al them that worke iniquitie. 6. He shal destroie them that speake lies. The Lorde wil ab­horre the bloudie man, and deceitful. Wher­fore seing, though now & then some; yet [Page 60] al the wicked are not destroied; there must be à iudgement, at which al the vn­godlie shal perish from the face of the earth, and be damned. For the Lord nei­ther can, because he is iust; neither wil, for that he is holie, suffer his seruants, and holie ones alwaie to be afflicted, alwaie to be oppressed, to be kept in thraldome and bondage of the reprobate alwaie.

Let the wicked then consider that à daie wil come when tribulation and an­guish shalbe vpon the soule of euerie man that doth euil Rom. 2, 9.. And though either through policie, or friendship theie escape the di­spleasure of man: yet that they cannot a­uoide the wrath of God. For idolaters, blasphemers, and al wicked persons God wil iudge, though man do not: because he is righteous.

Further let them note, that though they suffer, and that deseruedlie in this worlde: yet if theie die impenitent, the ende of their life, is but the beginning of an euerlasting death. For God is righte­ous, and wil punish most seuerely, vnles his wrath be turned-awaie by the teares of Christian repentance.

Moreouer man punisheth outwarde of­fences: but god outward and inward too. [Page 61] Man executeth correction for one, or à few: but God for al sinnes, which either the heartMath. 5, 21. 22. &c., mouthMath. 12, 36., or any member of the bodie hath committed2. Cor. 5, 10., and that be­cause he is righteous.

Againe, the ende whie this worlde was created,7. From the end of the worldes creation. is an vndoubted argument, that à iudgement one daie must come. For it was created onlie to serue for ye vse of the saints & sonnes of God, not of Atheists, & Epicures. A iudgemēt therfore is to come, whereby the wicked must be cast-into e­uerlasting torments, that the godlie, and none beside, maie enioie the creatures of almightie God. Hitherto maketh that of the ApostleRom. 8, 19. For the feruent desire of the creature waiteth when the sonnes of God shalbe reueiled, 20. because the creature is sub­iect to vanitie, not of it owne wil, but by reason of him, which hath subdued it vnder Hope. Because the creature also shalbe deliuered 21. from the bondage of corruption into the glori­ous libertie of the sonnes of God. 22. For we knowe that euerie creature groaneth with vs also, and traueleth in paine together vnto this pre­sent. This Peter meaneth when he saith2. Pet. 3. 12., by the comming of the day of God, the heauēs being on fire shalbe dissolued, & the elements shal melt with heate. 13. But we looke for newe [Page 62] heauens, & a new earth, according to his pro­mise, wherein dwelleth righteousnes.

Againe,8. From the base estate of the god lie in this world. the base estate of the saints in this world doth proue the same. For they are now humbled: therefore they shalbe exalted. for before glory goeth humility. So then, We are with Christ to suffer Rom. 8, 17., that with Christ we maie be glorified. And the life of the saints is hid with Christ in god Colos. 3, 3.. There remaineth then à manifestation, and à glorification of the godlie. When Christ which is our life shal appeare Colos. 3, 4., then shal yee also appeare with him in glorie. Nowe, saith Iohn1. Iohn 3, 2., are we the sonnes of God, but yet it doth not appeare what wee shalbe: and wee knowe that when hee (which is Christ) shal appeare, we shalbe like him. For we shal se him, as he is. In this worlde, wee are saued by Hope Rom. 8, 24.. Therefore the time must come when our Hope shal cesse, and we shalbe saued in deede, and by the sentence of à righteous iudge be pronounced the verie sonnes of God, and heires with Christ of that kingdome which hath bene prepa­red for the elect euen from ye foundation of the worldMath. 25, 34.: where we shal see god face to face1. Cor. 13, 12.; and know not in part, but as we are knowen.

Moreouer the verie conscience of men [Page 63] is an euident argument of à iudgement to come.9 From the testi­monie of mans conscience. By this murtherers, whoremon­gers, & wicked liuers be pricked, & tor­mented. This made Cicero to saieCicero Epist. ad Aitici [...] li. 11.: There can no euils bee imagined, but I am troubled therewith, notwithstanding in respect of the griefe of sinne, which is greatest and eternal, theie are al easie to brone. Therefore vn­doubtedly those torments of mind are to­kens that God is the auenger of wicked­nes, and that a seuere iudgement shalbe pronounced against al the wicked.

Furthermore, wars, famine, pestilence, afflictiō,10 From tempo­ral punish­mentes. al temporal & corporal punish­ments in common weales; what are theie but arguments of euerlasting torments to come for sinne and wickednes after the general iudgement? Finalie,11. From the curse appointed to the wicked for breaking the lawes of God. we are to be­leeue yt the lawes of God were not giuen out in vane; but that God, as he requireth an exact performance of them: so if hee find not ye same, he wil seuerely punish ye transgressors, according as it is writtenDeut. 27, 26., Curssed be he that cōfirmeth not al the words of this Law, Gal. 3, 10. to do them. Wherbie it maie be gathered thē an vniuersal iudgemēt must come, wherin this cursse shalbe executed vpon ye wicked, & the righteous receiued into ye felowship of ye saints. And as that [Page 64] Moral Lawe of Moses was not giuen-out in vane: so neither hath God written the same in the minde of euerie man in vane. For so manie as haue sinned without the Law, (saith Paul)Rom. 2, 12., shal perish also without the Law: and so maine as haue sinned in the Law, shalbe iudged by the Law (For when the Ger­tiles which haue not the Lawe, 14 doe by na­ture the things conteined in the Lawe, theie hauing not the Lawe, are à Law vnto them­selues, 15. which shewe the effect of the Lawe written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witnesse, and their thoughts accu­sing one another, or excusing) At that daie when God shal iudge the secrets of men by Ie­sus Christ, 16. according to my Gospel. In which wordes of Paul it is euident, that as the wicked shal perish for breaking of the Law of God, whether it bee the written Lawe, or of Nature: so is the time expres­sed when destruction shal come vppon the wicked, namelie when God shal iudge the secrets of mē by Iesus Christ. There shal­be therefore à general iudgement.

CHAP. 10.
Whether God do iudge this present world, or no.

BVt one perhaps wil saie, yea, I thanke God, I vtterlie detest al such as either doubt-of, or anie waie denie the general iudgemēt to come; I beleeue it shal come, and I praie God it maie come this weeke before the next. For doubtlesse wee had neede of à iudgement, wee haue lacked iustice à great while: too to long hath god neglected his seruants, too to long hath he winked at the vngodlie, and suffered his faithful children either with pouertie, or with infamie, or with slauerie, or with per secutiō, or with one crosse or other to be afflicted: where-as the wicked, theie doe continue for riches, welthie; for health, lustie; for auctoritie, of countenance; e­uerie waie at their hearts ease, florishing, iocunde, and happie.

This I knowe manie doe thinke; and some, comparing the state of the godlie in this world, and of the wiked together, wil not let to saie so much: not considering that by such words they vtter out as dan­gerous, and damnable opinions, as anie of them are which they doe detest. Where­fore, albeit when I tooke this discourse in hand, I thought not to handle this que­stion: yet, because I see both how it sprin­geth of ye premises, & is also very needful [Page 66] to be discussed in these wicked daies, and the handling thereof beside wil much confirme the mindes of the weake, & ad­uance the glorie of almightie God, I wil alleage such proofes for the affirmatiue part, as no cause, I hope, shalbe left of doubting, whether GOD hath care of this seruants, or doe iudge mankinde in this world.

Thou therefore who saiest, God hath no care of the godlie in this worlde,Diuers reasons, and arguments, prouing that God iudgeth mankinde. an­swere I praie thee, is hee their father? If thou saiest, No; thine wordes shal con­demne thee. For thou saiest in thy daielie praier, O our Father. If thou saiest, Yea; then hath he à fatherlie affection toward his children. For can a woman forget her childe Isai. 49, 15., and not haue compassion on the sonne of her wombe? Though theie should forget: yet wil not God forget his children. God then doth not forget, naie he can­not but haue à care of the godlie, because they are his children. If therefore with­out great follie it cannot bee saide, that earthlie fathers wil neglect their chil­dren; without extreme folishnesse thou canst not saie, God neglecteth the godly: because he is their father.

Againe, is he their Lord? If thou saiest, [Page 67] No, whie dost thou serue him? whie dost thou feare him? whie doest thou dreade his displeasure? if thou saiest, yea; then doth he gouerne; and if he gouerne, hee doeth iudge. For where à gouernement is, there is also administration of iustice. If therefore without great absurditie, it cannot be denied yt he is à Lord; without foule absurdities thou canst not deny that he iudgeth: because he is a Lord.

If thou saiest, he is à Lord but in litle, he doth not the office of à Lorde, he exe­cuteth no iustice: in sayeng so, thou be­wraiest thy madnes. For what realme; naie, what towne; naie, what house; naie what one man can prosper without à go­uernour? For an house without an inhabiter commeth quicklie to decare; à ship without à master, goeth to warcke; and à bodie without à soule cannot liue, and do wel. So Lactanti­usLactant. de falsa Sap. ca. 10.. Then if smal things, in the iudgemēt of the wise, must needs be gouerned; the whole worlde is gouerned: and if go­uerned, then iudged. For hee that is à gouernour, is a iudge. If therefore with­out meere madnesse it cannot bee saide that smal thinges can continue with­out gouernours: it is extreme madnesse to saie, God iudgeth not the worlde: be­cause [Page 68] he is gouernour of the same.

He gouerneth the world, thou wilt say, but hee iudgeth not among men; for the innocēt are oppressed of the wicked. But listen, can God, thinkest thou, iudge the whole worlde, and yet not iudge à part? Or wil he gouerne things senselesse, and liuelesse, and neglect reasonable men?

Againe, if he be à iudge, and yet doe no iustice, what doest thou make him, but à rechles, & careles person, one that fetteth al at sixe and seuen, not caring which end goeth-forward? which thing thou canst not conceiue in thy mind, much lesse re­port, without great impudencie; and as­sure thy selfe God wil not hold thee gilt­lesse for thinking so of him, who is onelie wise1. Tim. 1, 17..

Last of al, I aduise thee, O mā, take heed what thou saiest. for, if thou grant, as thou canst not denie, that God iudgeth al men, and yet saiest the innocent are punished, or oppressed without iust cause whie, and the wicked cherished; then is he not à righteous iudge; and if not righteous, then à tyran; which is blasphemie be it either thought or spoken. Wherefore laie thine hand vpon thy mouth.

These are good reasons, thou confessest. [Page 69] If they bee, they wil perswade thee, bee thou à reasonable man. Happilie, thou lookest for scripture. Wouldst thou haue it proued that God doth iudge? God is the iudge of the whole worldGen. 18, 25.. He sitteth in his throne and iudgeth rightPsal. 9, 4.. That God hath care of ye godly? Behold the eie of the Lorde is vpon thē that feare him, & vpon them that trust in his merciePsal. 33, 18.. That he hath cōsidera­tion too of ye wicked? The face of the lord is against thē that do euil, to cut-off their remē ­brance from the earthPsal. 34, 16.. That he beholdeth ye waies of al men? The Lord looketh downe from heauen, and beholdeth al the children of menPsal. 33, 14. 15.. From the habitation of his dwelling, he beholdeth al thē that dwel in the earth, euen, the euil & the good, & that in euerie placeProu. 15, 3.

Thou seest therefore first, that God doth nowe iudge, that thou maist thinke al iu­stice is not reserued vntil ye time to come. Secondlie that God hath an eie vpon the godlie, that thou maist note howe hee is charie ouer them. Thirdly, how his face is against them that do euil, that thou maiest vnderstand, howe his wrath is kindled a gainst the wicked. Last of al, howe he be­holdeth al men, that thou maist know, how he neglecteth no man: and not giue­out, that he winketh at the wicked. For [Page 70] he beholdeth, the good for their welfare, and the euil to their destruction. With whō looke thou to haue à part, who deniest that God be­holdeth the waies of mē. And not onely know thou that God doth cleerelie behold thee, but acknowledge also that he wil assuredly cōdēne thee. For seing the face of the Lord is against them that doe euil, to cut-off their remem­brance from the earth: of the gouernement of of God it must ensue, that thou who through infidelitie deniest the countenance of God, must through destruction vnderstand the wrath of the beholder, saide SaluianusSaluianus de gubernat. Dei. lib. 2., and so doe I.

But the more to preuaile, vnto these reasons, and testimonies of scripture, I wil annexe moste euident examples of the iudgementes of God. For, if wee into the holie Bible,Examples of God his iudge­ments in fore­time. wee shal finde the same to be euen à glasse as it were of God his iudgementes from time to time. For our first Parents Adam & Euah were ex­pelled out of ParadiseGen. 3, 23., through the iu­stice of God. The murther which Kain committed, was reuengedGen 4. 10. 11. through the iustice of God. The whole worlde was drownedGen. 7, 21.; Babel ouerthrowneGen. 11, 6.; So­dome and Gomorh burnedGen. 19, 23. 24,; Pharao and al his host brought vnto destructionExod. 14, 23., [Page 71] through the iustice of God.27. 28. Againe, that Noah and his housholde were pre­seruedGen. 7, 23.; Lot with his wife and daugh­ters sauedGen. 19. 16.; Moses and the Israëlites, deliueredExod. 14, 21. 22., it was through the same iu­stice of God.Wisd. 10, 15. 16. Againe, that Dauid in the the deflouring of his wife; rauishement of his daughter; rebellion of his sonnes; banishement from his kingdome; defecti­on of his subiectes; and in the odious death of his sonne Absolom was puni­shed; what was it but the righteous iudg­ment of God, for his sinnes committed against the cōmandements of the Lord?

In al these examples, saith Saluianus Saluianus de gubernas. Dei. lib 1., what is there not? would you see à ruler? Lo, he both reformeth that which is presently a­ [...]isse & disposeth thinges to come. Would you see à seuere iudge? Lo, he punisheth malefa­ctors. Would you see à iust, yet à merciful iudg? Lo, he spareth the innocent. Would you see yet à iudge in al thinges? Lo, here is iudge­ment. For he reproueth as à iudge, and go­uerneth as à iudge. A iudge pronoūceth sen­tence, à iudge condemneth the guiltie, and à iudge rewardeth the innocent. Againe saith he Saluianus de gubernat. Dei lib. 2., And althese thinges, Whie? Whie? but that we should vnderstand that as God hath iudged and punished; so he wil euermore. [Page 72] And therefore we reade how euen holie men were corrected afore time by the iudgement of God, that we should know how God wil iudg vs in this present world. Because God, as he liueth alwaie, so he iudgeth alwaie; as his omnipotencie lasteth euer, so his righteousnes edndureth; and as he is eternal, so is his iustice from age vnto age.

CHAP. 11.
Howe God doth iudge mankinde in this present world.

NOw God iudgeth mankinde in this present world three maner of waies; sometime by men, by himselfe some­time, and somtime both by himselfe, and by man too.

By man diuerslie, as by eeclesiastical peesons; and by the ciuil magistrate: by the worde and power of the one; and by the sworde of the other. Therefore the worde of the preachers is saide to be the sauor of death vnto death to some 2. Cor. 2. 16., and the sauor of life vnto life to others; and that which officers of the Church doe binde on earth, is saide to be bounde in heauen, & that which they loose on earth, is loo­sed in heauenLuk. 18, 18.: and Magistrates for that cause are caled the ordinance of God Rom. 13. 1, 2., and [Page 73] saide to execute the iudgements not of man, but of the Lorde 2. Cor. 19, 6., and are named the mi­nisters of God Rom 13, 4. 6., yea, Gods Psal. 82. 1. 2. too, not simply, but for that theie sit in the roome of God here vpon earth.

So that, when either the vengeance of God against obstinate sinners; or a gra­tious pardon vnto the penitent, is pro­nounced: or theeues be hanged, witches burned, traitors quartered, malefactors punished; when the innocent are desen­ded, right mainteined, and iustice duelie executed according to the lawes of God, it is the iudgement of the Lord.

I saie, when iustice is executed accor­ding to the lawes of God. For al the iudgements of men, in authority, though according to lawes, are not the iudge­ments of God. Because, manie times both ecclesiastical persons, and that by lawe, condemne those whom God doth par­don; and absolue those whom God doth condemne: and temporal gouernours also allowe that by their lawes, which God abhorreth. So both theeuerie in LacedemoniaEx Heraclid. de politiis.; publique whoredome in AssyriaOsorius de gl [...] ­ria lib. 1.; incest in PersiaBoëmius de moribus, & le­gibus gentium, lib. 2., was: & cōmon stewesCor. Agrippa de Vanit. Scien. cap. 64., yea and Sodomitrie somtime of yeere at RomeTho Swetoni­us cōtra Hamil­tonium Aposta­tam. p. 102., and grosse idolatrie in [Page 74] al places where the Pope hath supreme power is mainteined. And therefore ma­gistrates iudging according to such laws, are not the ministers of God, but of Sa­tan; and execute the iudgementes of the diuel, not of the Lorde.

When therefore be magistrates the ministers of God? or when doe theie ex­ecute his iudgements? Surelie when they iudge according to Gods lawes. Which lawes of his be either imprinted in the mindes of al and euerie man, and are for that cause termed the lawes of nature; or else written in the worde of God, which is the scripture, and are called the Deca­log or Ten-commandements. Whatsoeuer is by the authoritie enacted contrarie to these lawes, it is the law of Satan; & what is either grounded vpon them, or done by them, God alloweth the same.

And such good magistrates, and their lawes the Lord so fauoreth, that he com­mandeth them to be obeied, as his owne ordenance Rom. 13, 1. 2. &c., and that theie maie be due­lie put in execution, he reueileth hai­nous malefactors often-times; and those whom men by no policie can either get, or knowe, he by his omnipotencie in his iustice doth descrie. Thus come theeues [Page 75] and murtherers commonlie, and traitors dailie into the magistrates hande. And whie? No doubt, because the Lord would haue it knowen, that he is à righteous, and à most iust auenger of enormous crimes, and y albeit by his almightie po­wer, he can: yet through his wisedome he wil haue the ciuil magistrate to punish such, and that partlie that others maie be terrified by their punishment from fol­lowing their example: but especialie that notorious offenders maie haue notorious and deserued correction.

Againe, he iudgeth by the ciuil Ma­gistrates, when throgh strength of armes, and force of warre, the innocent are de­fended against al enimies whatsoeuer, be theie domestical or forreigne vsurpers of anothers kingdome, or Tyrants in their owne. And theie who take such warres in hand, are saide to fight the Lordes battel, as both IoshuaEccles. 46, 1. 2. &c., Dauid2. Sam. 17, 24 2. Sam. 18, 1. 2. &c., Machabeus2. Macc. 15, 7 8. &c. did, & praised be God our renoumed Queene doth, both in defending her loial subiects against al enimies; and in protecting the oppressed against vsurpers.

By himselfe the Lord also doth iudge and that diuerslie. And though in al his workes he be maruelous: yet most won­derful [Page 76] is he in those his iudgements. For he iudgeth secretelie, and he iudgeth o­penlie; he iudgeth particularlie some, & he iudgeth vniuersalie, al mē by himselfe.

By his secrete iudgement he stirreth­vp the hearts of man against man manie­times,Secrete iudge­ments of God. and againe maketh some to be ex­traordinarilie fauoured. This do the god­lie note. And therefore when either theie do finde for loue, enimitie; for good wil, hatred; for benefites, ingratitude, or get y friendship which theie neuer looked for: the one theie impute vnto the righteous iudgement of God for their neglecting his loue, & requiting his friendship with vnkindenes, & his manifold good turnes with vnthankfulnes; and for the other theie crie with the PsalmistPsal. 75, 6., To come vn­to preferment is neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South, but God is the iudge, 7. he maketh, low, and he maketh hie. By this iudgement the Lord both taketh awaie good magistrates sometimes; tur­neth the heartes of Princes; and changeth the state of Common-weales. For à true sentence is that of CominaeusPhil. Cominae­us Commens. suor. lib. 6.; God suf­fereth no wickednesse to goe vnpunished, al­though sometime it be long ere he take ven­geance. For so often as we see anie notable al­teration [Page 77] in mightie Princes, we ought cer­tainlie to persuade our selues that it procee­deth from the iustice of God. And by this iudgement he succoureth, yea and pre­serueth his Church miraculouslie from destruction; and also punisheth the eni­mies of the same from time to time.

Secretelie also the Lorde doth iudge, when hee toucheth the minde of man with the feeling of sinne and wickednes. And this iudgement of God, if the holie spirite be not assistant, is vnportable. For herebie diuers haue desperatelie finished their lines; as Kain, Iudas, and in our age Franciscus Spira. By this iudgement di­uers which seeme in manie outward and worldlie respectes, as either for authori­tie, or for their nobilitie, or for their pla­ces, or for their learning, or for their pro­fession, or for their wealth, happie; yet are theie by the testimonie of their gnawing conscience, which accuseth them conti­nualie of hainous and manifolde crimes, in à curssed state, and condition.

Last of al, when the wilful despisers of God his mercies preached by the Gospel, and the malitious resisters, or peruertors of his worde be deliuered-vp into reprobate mindes, wherebie there [Page 78] take darkenes, for light, sower, for sweete; for trueth, falsehoode, wickednes, for ho­lines, superstition, for true religion, mans fantastical imaginations, for the verie ser­uice of God: and folowe, without re­morse of conscience, or sense of wicked­nesse, sinne, and that with greedinesse, what is it but the secrete, yet righteous iudgements of the LordRom. 1, 21. 22. 23. &c.?

Secondarilie, without the ministerie of man God iudgeth by himselfe open­lie to the sight of the worlde by diuers means,Open iudgemēts of God. as by the fire somtime, by water som­time, by the earth sometime, &c. By which, and such like the Lorde in his iu­stice doth punish vs in these daies manie times. So haue we bine by great fires, great inundations, great earth-quakes, great plagues, corrected: yet verie mer­cifulie. For we are neither consumed of fire, as Sodome wasGen. 19, 23. 24., nor drowned of water, as the olde world wasGen. 11, 6., nor swal­lowed-vp of the earth, as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram wereNumb. 16, 31. 32.: and that, not because we are more innocent nowe in the sight of God,Psal. 106, 17. than theie were, nor God is, ei­ther lesse righteous, that he wil not, or of lesse power, that he cannot punish so se­uerelie as euer he did: for both we are by [Page 79] so much more wicked thantheie were, as we contemne greater benefites than euer theie enioied, and God also is as righte­ous for iustice, and for his power as migh­tie, as euer he was. For he is the Lorde and changeth not Mal. 3, 6. But of his infinite mercie he bringeth vs not vnto vtter confusion, but punisheth vs by litle & litle, because we should amend.

Thirdlie, by himselfe God openlieExamples of God his iudge­ments vpon particular men. punisheth particular men, and that no­toriouslie, that others maie beware. Thus hath he punished long-ago both Herode Antipa, for his crueltie, and Herode A­grippa for his pride, and Cerinthus, and Arius curssed heretikes, for their blasphe­mies, and the enimies of Narcissus for their periurie, and Hatto of Maguntia, for insatiable couetousnes, and crueltie, and Dalburgius of Wormes in Germanie, for his lewde and vnchaste conuersation, and to omit à number mo, Frier Bacon for his familiaritie with Satan. For one of those Herodes hee threwe from hie authoritie downe to extreame beggerieEccles. hist. cent. 1. lib. 2. cap. 3. p. 30., the other was eaten-vp of vermineAct. 12, 23., Cyrinthus was bruzed into peeces with the fal of an housePaulus ab Eitzen Eth. doct. li 2. ca. 19., the bowels of Arius gushed-out, and so horriblie ended his daiesPaulus ab Eitzen, ibidem., one of [Page 80] Narcissus his enimies with fire, another with an odious sicknes, & ye third hauing lost his eies with weping perished mise­rablieEuseb. lib. 6. cap. 9.; Hatto was pursued, yea at ye lēgth deuoured of Myce and RatsEccles. hist. Cent. 10. ca. 10. p. 590.; Dalburgi­us going to naughtie companie in the night, fel into à cellar, and so tooke his deathGeorg. Maior Tom. 2. Homil. fol. 746.; and Frier Bacon pined-awaie with hunger, hauing both à greedie de­sire to eate, and plentie of meate to feede­vponFrancis Coxe in his briefe treatise concer­ning the dete­stable wickednes of Magical sci­ences..

And of verie late yeares, what nota­ble, and howe manie examples of God his iudgements against wickednes haue we seene? What à death came Anne Aue­rie (à notable example of auarice) for her wilful periurie vnto? How died widowe Barnes, because she wold haue defrauded her owne children of their portions of goods due vnto them by Lawe? Howe desperatelie did father Lea finish his life, for bearing false witnesse to à matter? Howe died one Thomas Hil at Feuersam in Kent for murthering his owne Mo­ther? Did not the verie excrements of Anne Auerie come-out of her mouth? Was she not stroken with such à sicke­nes, and that sodenlie, that neither her feete could moue, nor her mouth speake, [Page 81] nor anie member of hers in à manner do the duetie it should? Died she not odious­lie in à stinking stable for her abhomina­ble couetousnes and periurie? Fel not wi­dowe Barns out of an hie windowe, and so brake her necke? Did not Father Lea dispatch himselfe with à rustie knife, and that two yeares after hee had forsworne himselfe? And did not fiue smal points strāgle, in strange manner, Tho. Hil? Read the litle treatise intituled, A viewe of ex­amples; The Booke was printed at Mor­ges this yeare 1581. par Iean le Preux. & if thou haue the French tongue, reade also the Booke intituled, Des grands & redoutables iugemens & punitions de dieu aduenus au monde, &c. and there thou shalt see that punishments haue bine ex­ecuted vpon some one or other, for the violating of euerie commandement of the Lord. The which, and such like exam­ples God he sendeth daie by daie, that men should know & consider, how that maie happen vnto euerie forsworne, blas­phemous, & wicked person, which hap­peneth to anie. Finalie, God as he iud­geth particularlie some for some special sinnes: so he iudgeth vniuersalie al men, when he taketh them out of this worlde by death. For the wages of sinne is death Rom. 6, 23.. Of which sith euerie man is guiltie, no [Page 82] man escapeth the punishment of sinne, which is death. For, it is the condition of al times Eccles. 14, 17., Thou shalt die the death: And it is appointed vnto men, that theie shal once die Heb. 9, 27., For so much as al men haue sinned Rom. 5, 12..

But the law of the spirite of life which is in Christ Iesus, hath freed vsRom. 8. 2. from the lawe of sinne and of death; whie ther­fore doe we die, and are not forth-with clothed with immortalitie? I aunswere with BernardBern. serm. ad milites, Cap. 11., It is that the trueth of God maie be fulfilled. For seeing God loueth mer­cie and trueth, man is to die, because he pro­phecied that he should, & yet shal rise-againe, least God seeme to forget his mercie. So ther­fore death although it beare not dominion al­waie: yet notwithstanding it abideth for the trueth of Gods sake, or for à time in vs: euen as sinne although it nowe raigneth not in our mortal bodies: yet are wee not without the same.

The thirde manner of God his iudge­ments is both by himself, & by man too. As when he not onelie suffreth ye Magi­strate to punish the bodies, but also him­selfe tormenteth ye minds of malefactors by himselfe. Exāples of which his iustice I wil recite two: one shalbe of à murthe­rer executed at Vienna, named Paul; the [Page 83] other of Muntzer the traitor put to death in Germanie.Paul the mur­therer. For Paul, hauing not onelie robbed his owne master of that monie which with great paines and toile he had gathered for the reliefe of him and his in necessitie: but also murthered, to make his waie sure, first his felowe workman, then à maide seruant, then his master, next his mistres, and last of al à poore young in­fant à maiden childe, and being miracu­louslie by God himselfe apprehended at Ratisbone à citie distant from Vienna 50 Germane miles, deliuered into the hands of the magistrate, by them conueied to the place where that horrible fact was perpetrated, and there, according to the lawes of that countrie, adiudged vnto à most bitter death, amid his paines, which were most greeuous to fleshe and blood, he openlie confessed yt al his bodilie tor­ments did not so much afflict his flesh, as the last wordes of the poore infant and innocent, whome among the rest he had murthered, did torment his minde. For when he came with bloodie hands to kil her, ye sweet babe entreated him earnest­lie to saue her, promising ye best thinges which she had for a recompence of his mercie, in these words: O Paul, good Paul, [Page 84] do not thou kil me, and thou shalt haue al my poppets whensoeuer thou wilt. Those words from the time hee had murthered her, were as corosies at his heart; and at his death as the paines of hel to his soule: so testifieth à good, and à godlie wtiterD. G. Maior Tom. 6. Hom. fol. 509. b..

Muntzer also,Muntzer the Traitor; Father of the Anabap­stes. being readie to be put vnto death for raising the poore Coun­trie-men in Germanie against their leige Lordes, and gouernours, was so vexed in minde, that such as stoode by him, when he was to be executed, might sensiblie heare his heart to pant, shake, and beate-againe. so did God for his part shewe his iudgement vpon him for his wicked­nes; as witnesseth D. George MaiorD. G. Maior Tom. 7. fol. 612, b..

CHAP. 12.
Whether al the wicked are punished in this worlde; and whie theie are suffered in the opinion of man to florish.

IF God then so fauour iustice, some wil saie, he should iudge and punish al the wicked in this world.

He should in deede,No wicked man but hath his pu­nishment. and he doth. For there is not à wicked man vpō the earth, [Page 85] whome God in his iustice one waie or o­other; either by his Magistrates, or by himselfe; either by his secrete, or by his open iudgements; either by an accusing conscience, or by casting him of into à re­probate minde; either by sickenes, or by pouertie; by aduersitie, or by prosperitie, doth not punish. But it maie be obiected, to haue à guiltie conscience, is an heauie crosse; and to be vtterlie forsaken of the Lorde, and possessed of Satan, is of al the sorest plague, which can fal-vpon man in this world; aduersitie also is à grieuous punishment, but that prosperitie can be à crosse, that is a Paradoxe in the opinion of the world. I grant it is so. For so theie haue alwaies thought. Therefore the Ro­mans with Cicero; the enimies of Iob, & the aduersaries of Paul in their owne eies were; & the Turks as theie thinke them­selues are happie. And why? The Romans had al the world as it were in subiection, Iob his enimies liued at their heartes ease, Paul his aduersaries were not touched with aduersitie, as theie thought, ye Turks doe florish. Wheras contrariwise ye Iewes with Cicero, Iob euen of his friendes, Paul of the barbarous people, Christians of the Turkes, are iudged accurssed.

[Page 86] But whie? The nation of the Iewes are van­quished, are carried from their natiue coun­trie; are deteined in captiuitie, said CiceroCicero Orat. pro L. Flacco.. Iob was in miserie; And who euer perished being an innocent? or when were the godlie destroied? saide the fained friends of IobIob. 4, 7.. Paul had a viper vpon his hande; There­fore he is à murtherer, and though hee haue escaped the sea, yet vengance wil not suffer him to liue, saide barbarous peopleActs 28, 4.. Chri­stians are but fewe for number, and for power nothing so mightie as they haue bene; theie endure much affliction and trobles in respect of others; therefore they are not the sonnes of God, saith MahometAzoara 12..

These are the rash, and sinister opini­ons of the world. When god sendeth pro­speritie hee loueth; but when aduersitie doth come, hee hateth. But the god­lie are of an other minde. For albeit when such as feare God enioie prosperitie, they thinke it an argument of his fauor: yet when the wicked haue the same, in their iudgemēt, it is a token of his displeasure. Therefore Augustine in à certaine place doth saie, The men of this world are vnhap­pilie happie, that is, in their wealth theie are poore; in their health, sicke; and in their felicity, they are accurssed. For when the [Page 87] Lord seemeth not to be angrie at al with the wicked, he is most displeased. So Ber­nardBern. super Cantic serm. 41, when God is not angrie, as mē thinke, he is most angrie. And this may appeare to be true both in the Romans, in respect of the Iewes; in Iob his friends, as they were called, in respect of Iob; in the barbarous people in respect of Paul; and in the Turkes at this day in respect of Christi­ans. For who were out of God his fauour more than the Romans; than Iobs friends; than Paul his aduersaries: and who more miserable in deede than the Turkes, not­withstanding their prosperitie? And such is the state of the wicked at al times.

Then whie doth the Lorde suffer the wicked in the sight of men to florish?Whie the wic­ked do florish. and whie doth hee not in iustice confounde them speedilie, and vtterlie?

Sundrie reasons may be giuen hereof. For either of his wisedome he thinketh it no due time as yet to punish them; or of his mercie he spareth them, because they shoulde repent; or in his iustice hee hath quite forsaken them. In his wise­dome he spared Sodome, vntil the sinnes therof were exceeding ripe, and cried-up to heauē for vengeanceGen. 18, 21.: in his mercie he spared ye old world an hundred & twenty [Page 88] yeeres, that theie might amende g: in his iustice oftentimes he spareth the wicked in this present world, because he hath gi­uen them ouer into reprobate minds, and reserued thē for euer-during torments in the life to come. So doe good Physicions suffer such to haue their wils with-out gaine-saying them, who are past recoue­rie. But, as they who are so desperatelie sicke in bodie, are nigh vnto death: so they whom God for saketh, and leaueth to their owne hists, are nigh vnto damna­tion. And as calues the fatter they be, the nigher they are to be killed; and as trees the bigger there are, & the more vnfruit­ful, the nighter to bee hewen-downe: so the prosperitie of the vngodlie, is an vn­doubted argument of their destruction at hande. Which punishment of their shal thē by so much be the more grieuous & intolerable, by howe much the time was great before the Lord executed his iudg­ment. Phatao is a notable example here­of. For hee was long spared, but at the length ouerwhelmed in the red seaExod. 14, 21. 22.. So is Balthasar,Psal. 78, 13. who in the middes ofWisd. 15, 19. his iolitie came to destructionDan. 5, 29. 30.. But they which are best knowen, and most of al to be noted, are Sodom and the old [Page 89] world, the one whereof was vtterlie con­sumed with fireGen. 19, 24. 25., the other drowned with waterGen. 7, 17. 18. &c.: both special examples of the sudden, and vtter damnation of the vngodlie.

CAP. 13.
Causes whie the godlie doe endure such miserie, and troubles in this worlde.

FVrthermore, it maie bee demanded,

Whie such as feare God of al others most zelouslie, and fauour religion best, suffer such miserie, and affliction in this present world, as they do?

I answere: one cause is in them-selues, through their zeale of godlinesse, they chuse it: another in Satan their enimie, through his malice against them, hee see­keth it: à third in God, who partlie of his wisedome, and of his iustice partlie, doth send it.

For, to speake seueralie of these causes somewhat, doubtles the godlie endure af­fliction oftentimes, when wold they but assēt vnto sin, or consēt vnto the wicked, they migh florish in al outwarde happi­nes, [Page 90] and worldly, as they cal it, felicitie. But, for that they haue the feare of God alway before their eies, and thinke-upon the valor-both of religion, & virtue, they chuse rather to be afflicted for righteous­nes sake, then either for wickednes to be aduanced, or that the glorie of their pro­fession should be blemished. Herebie ma­nie endure displeasure, which might haue fauor; manie suffer pouertie, which might be rich; manie be obscure, which might be of countenance; and manie are in great aduersitie, that might doe wel in the worlde. So Michaiah for speaking the truth faithfullie without flatterie2. King. 12, 26 27.; Dani­el for seruing the true God zelously with out hypocrisieDan. 6, 16. 17. &c.; olde Eleazer for obser­uing the holie Lawes of his God religi­ouslie2 Macc. 6, 28.; Ioseph for his loialtie to his ma­ster wardGen 39. 12. 20., and such like both were puni­shed, and are daily afflicted.

Of which their inuincible courages manifold commodities do arise. For, first in so doing albeit they lacke outwarde comfort of the world: yet they haue the inward ioie of a good conseience, which, as Salomon saithProu. 15, 15., is a continual feast.

Secondlie, they giue testimonie vnto the worlde, how they fauor Christianitie [Page 91] & religiō; not of hypocrisie, or in world­lie respectes, but of pure zeale: and that theie regarde those wordes of our Saui­or Mat. 10, 32., Whosoeuer shal confesse me before men, him wil I confesse also before my Father, which is in heauen. But whosoeuer shal de­nie me before men,33. him wil I also denie be­fore my father which is in heauen:37. Againe, He that loueth father and mother more than mee, is not worthie of me.38. And he that lo­ueth sonne or daughter more than me, is not worthie of me. And he that taketh not his crosse, and followeth mee, is not worthie of me. He that wil saue his life shal lose it;39. and he that loseth it for my sake, shal saue it.

Thirdlie manie-times therebie theie winne such as are without, & make them to glorifie God, & to forsake either their naughtie life, if theie haue beene sinners; or their idols and errors, if theie haue beene superstitious.

And last of al theie both encourage the weake, and confirme the strong in good motions, by their examples.

Again, considering how it is impossible to please God, and in the world to florish too; and that such thinges as delight the bodie, are extreme enimies to the soule, theie voluntarilie abandon al occasions [Page 92] that maie with-drawe them from God, or quench the zeale of virtue within thē. Whereof it is that theie doe, yea it can­not be but theie must suffer manie trou­bles, as Lactantius notethLactant. de diuino praemio. cap. 5.. For, it is verie hard to be holie in this worlde, and hap­pie too. Therefore theie doe chuse and willinglie for welth, pouertie; for plea­sure, paine; for à florishing state, affli­ction: and though theie doe neither with Democritus, pluck-out their eiesCicero lib. de finibus.; nor with Spurina, deface their facesValer. Mar. lib. 4, Cap. 5., nor with the Monches liue by them-selues; nor with the superstitious Iesuites whip their owne corpses: yet with Saint Paul1 Cor. 9, 27., theie beate downe their bodies, that their flesh preuaile not ouer the spirite.

Furthermore, insomuch as the diuel is for power mightie, in that hee is à PrinceIohn. 14, 30. Iohn. 16, 11.; and his hatred is deadlie, because there is enimitie betweene his seede and the godlieGen. 3, 15.; and his crueltie vnsatiable, being à draconReuel 20, 2.; and his subtleties ma­nifolde, because he is a serpentRuel. 12, 9. Reuel. 20, 2,: mar­uel it is not, though the saincts of God in this worlde, wherein theie are but strangersHeb. 11, 13. 14. Heb. 13, 14., enioie neither such ease, nor such honor, nor such prosperitie, as the wicked doe.

[Page 93] Notwithstanding whatsoeuer the di­uel doth against them,Power of Satan what. it is because God doth either sende him, or suffer him. And therefore although his hatred, be mor­tal; his crueltie, extreeme; and his sub­tleties, past finding-out: yet can he doe nothing to hurt the godlie, without God permit. So that his wil is nought, but his power is good. For his wicked wil is of himselfe: but he hath no power, but from God. Which power notwithstan­ding the Lorde alwaies doth moderate, that of his malice he cannot afflict, more than the wil of God is, he shoulde. This maketh the godlie neither to feare the power, nor to set à rushe by Sathan for al his malice. Because he can do nothing but by sufferance.

God also himselfe doth bring the godlie into troubles, and that as afore I said, partlie of his wisedome, and partlie of his iustice. In his wisedome he doth correct them for diuers ends. First to trie whether theie are such indeede as theie would seeme to be. For manie doe both thinke themselues, and are thought also, to be valiant Christians, who in the time of tentation are but verie cowardes. And therefore, as when warre is hot, men are [Page 94] proued, whether theie haue hearts or no: So affliction sheweth who is the faithful Christian. For God proueth them, and fin­deth them meete for himselfe Wisd. 3, 5.. He trieth thē as gold in the fornace, 6. & receiueth them as à perfect fruite offering. He hideth him­selfe oftentimes, and turneth-awaie his face, but not in wrath: It is to trie, not to destroie them Bern. serm. in [...] Mari [...].. Yet trieth he not Christians the better to know them him­selfe. For he both knew them before theie were fashioned in the wombePsal. 139, 15. 16.; and continnalie beholdeth the secretes of mans hearte1. Sam. 16, 7. Psal. 7, 9. Act. 15, 8.. But that both theie them selues, & others also should see what theie are.

Secondlie, to bring them into his feare. Because in prosperitie euen the righteous oftentimes forget the Lord: but in aduersitie theie remember him. For as the starres do shine in the night, but in the day time are not seene: so the virtues of men which in prosperitie appeare not, in aduersitie are most glorious to be­holde. And then theie see both the frailtie of their owne nature, and theie acknowledge it; and the vnspeakable mercie of God, and theie commende it; and the general miserie of mankinde, and [Page 95] theie bewaile the same. This made the Prophet to saiePsal. 77, 2. 3., In the daie of my trou­ble I sought the Lorde; my sore ranne, and ceased not in the night: my soule refused comfort. I did thinke vpon God, and was troubled: I praied, and my spirite was ful of anguish. AgaineIsa. 26. 16., Lord, in trouble they haue visited thee: theie powred-out à praier when thie chastening was vpon them. And againePsal. 119, 67., Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but nowe I keepe thie worde. 71. It is good for me that I haue beene afflicted, that I maie learne thie statutes.

Thirdly, y they may be like vnto Christ; and that partelie because he is their el­dest brother. Nowe no reason is it, that the yonger brethren should haue greater preheminence then the eldest, so longe as he is good. But Christ their eldest and good brother suffered, and so entered into his glorie Luke. 24, 26., wherefore the yonger, and wicked of necessitie must looke for troubles. For otherwise theie are neither the sonnes of God, nor the heires an­nexed with ChristRom. 8. 17.. Partlie for that he is their master. But he was persecutde, and hatedIohn. 15, 20.. Therfore they are to looke for persecution and harted. For the ser­uant is not greater than his master: 19. but [Page 96] à greate praise is it for seruantes rightlie to follow the steppes of their Lordes. It sufficeth the disciple to be as his master; and for the seruant to be as his Lorde. And partlie, because theie are comman­ded to follow his steppes. For so saith Peter1. Pet. 2, 21., Here vnto ye are caled. For Christ also suffered for vs, leauing vs an ensample that we shoulde followe his steppes. And Paul2. Tim. 2, 11 12., If we be dead with him, we also shal liue with him. If we suffer with him, we shal also reigne with him. As who should saie, If we die not, as he did, we shal not liue with him; and if we suffer not after his ensample temporal affliction, we shal not reigne with him in eternal felicitie.

Fourthlie, that both themselues should be assured, and others know howe theie are not of the world. For God hath chosen them out of the world. And ther­fore theie are hatedIohn. 15, 19.. For which cause the doctrine of the Gospel is caled the word of the crosse; and the prouerbe is, Crux comes Euangelii, The crosse accompanieth the Gospel, because the worlde doth per­secute the professors of the same: not for anie euil which theie doe, but for that theie reproue ye works of darknes which thing the worlde cannot abide. And [Page 97] therfore theie persecuted the Prophets, Apostles, and Sainctes of GOD from time to time. Then seeing theie protest the same trueth, let them prepare them­selues vnto the like patience, For we must through manie afflictions enter into the king­dome of God Act. 14, 22. And al that wil liue godlie in Christ Iesus shal suffer persecution 2. Tim. 3, 12..

Fiftlie, to put them in mind what they are; and whither theie tende. For in this world theie are pilgrims, and stran­gersHeb. 11, 13. 14.; their countrie is heauenHeb. 133, 14.. Which countrie theie woulde little couet-after, enioied theie prosperitie according vn­to their heartes desire. O death, saith Ec­clesiasticusEccl. 41, 1., howe bitter is the remem­brance of thee to à man that liueth at rest in his possessions; vnto the man that hath no­thing to vexe him, and that hath prosperitie in al thinges; yea vnto him that is able to re­ceiue meat▪ O death, 2. how acceptable is thie remembrance vnto the needeful, and vnto him whose strength faileth, and that is nowe in the last age, and is vexed with al thinges, and to him that dispaireth, and hath lost pati­ēce! Therfore y Lord knowing this, doth in his wisedome crosse, & afflict his ser­uants on al sides, that theie maie be out of loue both with the world, and with the [Page 98] thinges in the worlde1. Iohn. 2, 15., and desire as Paule did to be loosed, and to be with ChristPhil. 1. 23..

Sixtelie, that it maie appeare howe the godlie doe fauor Christianity and re­ligion not for temporal profit, or prefer­ment; not for glorie and praise of men, or in anie worldelie respect, but princi­palie of meere zeale and duetie to God­ward.

Seuenthlie, that their deliuerance, which in the iudgement of mā could ne­uer come to passe, maie assure the consci­ences of them, and others too, of God his continual prouidence, and presence with his seruantes. So doubtles the miraculous deliuerance both of Ioseph out of his troubles; of the Israëlites, out of Egypt; of Dauid, out of the handes of Saul; of the three yong men, out of the consu­ming fire; and of the godlie from time to time, out of the cruel pawes of rauening wolues, tyrants and oppressors, doth not a litle strengthen the mindes of al the godlie in their miseries; and confirme their faith touching the continual pre­sence of God with his seruāts at al seasōs.

Eightlie, to shew that intolerable shal­be the paines of the reprobate. For, if [Page 99] God so afflict his Children; howe wil he torment his enimies! If he spare not the righteous! how wil he punish the repro­bate. If iudgement begin at the godlie; what shal the ende be of them which obeie not the Gospel1. Pet. 4, 17.! If the righteous scarslie be saued; where shal the vngodly & the sinner appeare! If he doe so to the greene wood;18. what shalbe done to the drieLuke. 23, 31.! And if he plague them which cal-vpon his Name, how wil he afflict such as feare him notIer. 25, 29.!

Last of al, that the righteous maie at­teine the rewards which are promised to the miserable of this worlde; according both vnto these words of ChristMath. 5, 10., Blessed are theie which suffer persecution for righ­teousnes sake, and these also of Paul2. Cor. 4, 17., Our light affliction, which is but for à momēt, cau­seth vnto vs à farre moste excellent, and an eternal weight of glorie.

CHAP. 14.
That God in his iustice doth punish his seruantes for their sinnes.

IN his iustice God also doth punish euē his sainctes for their offences. Because theie are guiltie not onelie of original, but of actual also; not only of secret, but of [Page 100] knowne sinnes beside. Of original, be­cause Theie are borne in iniquitie, conceiued in sin Psal. 51, 5.; and their harts, are euil euen frō their youth Gen. 8, 21. Gen. 6, 5.: of actual, For who can saie, Mine heart is cleane Pro. 20, 9., I am cleane from sinne? There is no man that sinneth not 1. King. 8, 46. 2. Chro. 6, 36. Eccl. 7, 22.: of secret, for, If thou ô Lorde, streightlie markest ini­quities, ô Lord, who shal stand Psal. 130, 3.? If I would iustifie my selfe, mine owne mouth shal con­demne me; If I woulde be perfect, he shal iudge me wicked Iob. 9, 20.; yea my cloathes shal iudg me filthie: 31. and of knowne, for, I know mine iniquities Psal. 51, 3., and my sinne is euer before me; Againe, In manie thinges we sinne al Iam. 3, 2. Seeing then so manie waies the god­lie are guiltie of sinne, what maruel though God as a righteous iudge, doth seuerelie in his iustice pinish them for the same!

In this their affliction the godlie haueCogitations of the godlie in their troubles continual consideration both of them­selues and their miserie; and of God and his mercie. In themselues theie compare their sinnes, and their miserie together; and by the greatnes of their afflictiō theie gather, what an ouglie, filthie, and abo­minable monster sinne is. Theie con­sider that by their sinnes theie haue of­fended not man but God, who is soue­raignelie, [Page 101] and infinitelie righteous: and that impossible it were for them to be sa­ued, except some extraordinarie pardon did come. At the remembrance wher of theie do euen tremble & quake-againe.

As Dauid did when he saide i;1. Psal. 38, 2. 3. 4, Thine arrowes haue light vpon me, and thine hand lieth vpon me. There is nothing sounde in my flesh, because of thine anger; neither is there rest in my boanes because of my sinne. For mine iniquities are gon-ouer mine head,5. and as à weightie burden theie are too hea­uie for me. My woundes putrifie and cor­rupt6. because of my foolishnes. I am bowed & crooked verie sore: I goe mourning al the7. 8. daie. For my reines are ful of burning; and there is nothing sound in my flesh. I am weak­ned9. and sore broken, I doe roare for the ve­rie griefe of mine heart. And afterwarde, 10. Mine heart panteth, my strength faileth, and the light of mine eies, euen theie are not mine owne.

By which words the affections, & sor­rows of those men who truly doe repent and weigh their wickednes in equal bal­lance, are described. For theie conceiue of their sins, not as the hypocrites doe, ac­cording to their owne opinions, & flesh­lie imaginations; but theie place before [Page 102] their eies, first the maiestie of his per­son whome theie haue offended, name­lie God: then the filthines and abhomi­nation of sinne in it selfe: and last of al the punishment which theie deserue for sin­ning by the sentence of the Lawe: and ac­cording to the maiestie of God which is most sacred; to the nature of sin, which is most abhominable; and to the torments y theie deserued, which are endlesse, & in­tolerable, theie do think of their offēces.

In God theie note iustice and mercie.The great mer­cie of God in punishing sinneful man. For of his righteous iudgemement it is that theie are punished, & of his mercie, y theie perish not vtterlie. And although theie are scourged sometimes gentlie, & sometime sharplie: yet alwaies fauoura­blie. For when he is angrie hee sheweth mercie Tob. 13, 2., and in the time of trouble forgiueth the sinnes of them which cal vpō him. Ther­fore,18. blessed are theie whome God correct­eth Iob. 5, 17.. For though he woundeth them,19. yet hee healeth them: though he smi­teth them, yet he maketh whole againe: though he sēdeth troubles, yet at length he deliuereth: though he doeth afflict2. Cor. 4, 8. 9., yet he forsaketh not; and though he ca­steth down, yet he raiseth-vp againe. For he tempereth his iustice with mercie vn­to [Page 103] the preseruation of his seruants.

But howe come theie by such mercie? Euen through the obedience of Iesus Christ. For he was wounded for our of­fencesIsa. 53, 5.; and made à cursse for vsGal. 3, 13., so that by his stripes we are healedIsa. 53, 5., & de­liuered though not from worldelie pu­nishment, yet from the guilt of sinne; wherbie we appeare boldlie before God, being iustified through his obedience, & and made cleane by his bloud.

These thinges when the godlie doe thinke-vpon, as seldome theie are quite out of their minds, theie do magnifie the goodnes of God exceedinglie, partlie for punishing them, which is an argument to their consciences, not onelie y theie are his children (for theie who are without cor­rection, are bastards, and not sonnes Heb, 12, 8.) but al­so that hee loueth them entirelie (be­cause,10. whō the Lord loueth he chasteneth Heb. 12, 6., and correcteth them for their profite,11. that theie maie bee partakers of his holines, and bring-forth the quiet fruite of righ­teousnes: Partlie for punishing thē in this world, and not in the worlde to come; with lenitie, not in his furie; as his chil­dren, not as seruantes; and as elect, not as cast-awaies.

[Page 104] But especialie theie praise him for their reconcilement vnto God ye FatherCol. 1, 21. by the pretious bloud of the immaculate lambe Iesus Christ1. Pet. 1, 19.: wherebie theie be­beleeue that none afflictions can hurt them. And therefore theie reioiceRom. 5. 3., kno­wing that tribulation bringeth forth pa­tience, and patience, experience, and ex­perience, hope;4. and hope maketh not a­shamed, but boldlie to endure al manner troubles;5. and earnestlie to desire not on­lie à quite deliuerance from sinne, but al­so that quiet state, where shalbe no more death, neither sorowe, neither crieng, nei­ther paineReuel. 21, 4..

CHAP. 15.
Against à vane opinion that the Saints, yea in this world, haue no sinne.

NOtwithstanding this being so appa­rent, that it cannot be doubted of; & so true, that the Scripture doth confirme what so euer hath bine written: yet some fantastical heades wil not let to saie, yea and to publish also, that the Saintes are without al manner sinne, or do not sinne at al.

[Page 105] Whose wordes if theie be true, then doth God against al iustice in punishing them so seuerelie, and that without ceas­sing, who deserue not the same, beeing pure from al contagion of wickednes. For this necessarilie must be inferred vp­on their wordes, although happilie theie do not marke so much. To proue their o­pinion theie bring diuers, as theie thinke, substantial arguments; of which I wil re­cite, though not al, yet the strongest, that such as either be assaulted by their So­phismes; or shal heare their argumentes, maie the more easilie both dissolue, and abhorre them.

Theie saie therefore by an argument à diuisione:

The Saintes are without both original & actual sinnes:The Antecedēt.

Ergo theie haue no sinne.The Consequen [...]

For confirmation of their false ante­cedent, theie first labour to proue that theie are without original sinne, and that by this argument.

That sin which is forgiuē, remaineth not.The Maior. But Baptisme is à seale to assure the con­sciences of the faithful,The Minor. that original sinne is forgiuen:

Therfore it remaneth not.The Conclusion. And if it doth [Page 106] not remane, then are the Saintes without ori­ginal sinne.

The Maior is vntrue. For original,Answere. yea al sinnes are forgiuen through the obe­dience of Christ. For he being iust, did suf­fer for the vniust Rom. 5, 6. 7. &c. 1. Pet. 3. 18.; and hath taken-awaie the sinnes of the world Iohn 1, 29.; so y by his stripes theie are healedIsai. 53. 5., and sanctified by his bloud1. Cor. 6, 11. Ephes. 2, 13.. Yet remaineth, though there raigneth not, much wickednes yea in the godlie, as both concupiscence of the hart, and other sinnes. Which sinnes (although theie remane in them) are not to their hurt, because theie beleeue in him that iustifieth the vngodlieRom. 4, 5.. For, their faith is counted for righteousnesse; and theie are in God his sight, pure, holie, and faultlesse. Wherof it is that Theie are pro­nounced Blessed, not which are without sinnes, but whose iniquities are forgiuen Rom. 4, 7.; not theie which are pure from al wicked­nes, but whose sinnes are couered.

Secondlie, to proue that theie are with­out actual sinne, thus theie reason:

Where there is no condemnation,The Maior. there is no sinne.

The Minor. To the Saints there is no condemnation Rom. 8, 1.: Therefore in the saintes there is no sinne. The conclusion. The answere. I aunswere vnto the Maior, where [Page 107] there is no condemnation, there is no sinne vnto death. For the sinnes of them which are in Christ Iesus are venial, or pardoned, or blotted-out euen as though they had neuer bene committed. Not­withstanding they are suffered to be in the godlie, yea and to assaile them sore, that they may continuallie beare in mind howe much they are bound vnto God, and stil seeke to please him whose helpe they stande alwaies in neede of. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit Gal. 5, 17., and, as the prouerbe is, he is liuelesse that is faultlesse. And yet, who shal laie anie thing to the charge of Gods chosen Rom. 8, 33. 34.? it is God that iusti­fieth, who shal condemne? so that, there is no condemnation to the faithful, not be­cause they are cleare from al contagion of wickednes; but for that their sinnes are not imputed vnto them.

For mans righteousnes, is Gods mercie Bern. super Cantic. ser. 23.. Againe saie they: Whosoeuer is borne of God, sinneth not 1. Iohn 3, 9. 1. Iohn. 5, 18..

But the saints are borne of God:

Therefore the saints do not sinne.

For the better answering this argu­ment,The Answere. it is to be considered, that ye saints haue à double generation, one à carnal of their earthly parents, ye other a spiritual, [Page 108] of God: according to the diuersitie wher­of theie are carried diuerslie, partlie with humaine, and partly with diuine cogita­tions. By the carnal generation, their flesh lusteth against the spirit Gal. 5, 17.; by the spiritual, the spirite lusteth against the flesh: by the carnal, they sinne in manie things Iam 3, 2.; by the spiritual, theie shewe their faith by their works Iam. 2, 21. 22. &c.: by the carnal,10. theie are sinners 1. Iohn 1, 8.; & by y spiritual, they abide in God, & auoid sinne,9. because theie are the sonnes of God 1. Iohn 3, 2..

Therefore, saith Augustine Aug. Tom. 7. lib. 2. de peccat. merit. &c. ca. 8., consume that wherebie we are the sonnes of the flesh, and of the world, and that wil come vnto per­fection, wherebie we are the sonnes of God, & redeemed in the spirite. This made the same Iohn to saie, Dearelie beloued, now are we the sonnes of god, but yet it doth not appeare what we shalbe. What meaneth this, We are, and we shalbe, but onelie that we are in hope, but shalbe indeede? For afterwarde hee saith, wee know that when he shal appeare, we shalbe like him; for we shal see him, as he is. Therefore we both nowe haue begun to bee like him in this world because we enioie the first fruits of the spirit; and are yet vnlike him, through the remnants of the olde man. Then, so f [...]forth as we are like him, so farforth we are through the regeneration of the spirite, the sonnes of [Page 109] God: but by howe much we are vnlike him, by so much we are the sonnes of the flesh, and of the worlde. In respect of the one, wee cannot sinne: but in respect of the other, if we saie that we haue no sinne, wee deceiue our selues. and so Augustine.

Bernard answereth vnto the maior on this wise Bern▪ in septu [...] ges. Serm. 1., Whosoeuer is borne of God, sinneth not, that is, saith he, resteth not in sinne; or sinneth not, that is, it is so much, as if he did not sinne. Because sinne is not imputed vnto him.

Wherefore to conclude mine answere vnto this argument, I saie with Augustine Aug. Tom. 7. lib. 2. contra E­pist. Parmen. cap. 7., So long as through patience we hope for the redemption of our bodies, let vs neuer haue the faces to saie wee haue no sinne; least that arrogancie of minde, bee a most hainous of­fence.

Moreouer they reason thus, It is the commandement of God,The Maior. Do this, that is, fulfil the commandements, and thou shalt liueLuke 10, 28. Leuit 18, 5..

The saints doe liue, that is, in the eies of God they are blessed.The Minor.

Ergo they fulfil the commandementes of God.The conclusion.

Hereunto I answere, first the argu­ment is false. For it is no good reasō, They should, therefore theie doe keepe the comman­dements; [Page 110] or, they are commaunded to fulfil, therefore they do fulfil the lawes of God.

Secondly, the commaundementes are fulfilled two manner of waies; by Christ, and by our selues. By our selues we could neuer keepe them; and therefore Christ hath fulfilled thē on our behalfe. For (that that was vnpossible to the lawe, saith Paul Rom. 8, 3., in asmuch as it was weake, because of the flesh) God sending his own sonne in the simili­tude of sinful flesh, and for sinne, cōdemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousnes might bee fulfilled in vs, which walke not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

Last of al vnto the minor, I saie, The saints do liue, but not through any righ­teousnes which they haue done, or for their keeping the Lawe, it is by their faith in the bloude of Christ, for so saith PaulRom. 1, 17. Gal. 3, 11..

Furthermore,The Antecedent they obiect, The saints be righteous:

Ergo they do not sinne. The consequent.

If this argumēt be meant of the saints in heauen, it is true: but if otherwise, I de­nie the same. For the saints in this world be righteous, and yet sinners, Righteous, because God accepteth them for righte­ous; and righteous, not absolutelie, but in [Page 111] respect of other men. So was Noah righ­teous, but in his generation Gen. 6, 9., and ye Publi­cane righteous, but rather than the Phari­sie Luke 18, 14., and the spouse of Christ fairest, but among women Sal. songe 1, 7. And so the saints in this world before others, rather than the wic­ked, among men, be righteous: but sim­plie without al comparison righteous, or without sinne they are not. For in that re­spect God onelie is holie Reuel. 15, 4.; and there is none good but one, euen God Math. 19, 17.. For no man liueth, that sinneth not Eccles. 7, 22..

Who then is righteous? Euen hee, as I said, whom it pleaseth God to accept for righteous. Who most righteous? He that hath the greatest faith, and doth least of­fend. Finallie to omit the rest of their ar­guments, thus they argue:

If the godlie do not obserue the comman­dements of God,The Maior. no man can fulfil them.

But the commaundements of God may be fulfilled,The Minor. because God prescribeth nothing to be done of man, which is vnpossible to be per­formed; or in vane.

Therefore the godlie do obserue them.The conclusion.

How this argument hangeth together,Aunswere. I wil not spende time to discusse: onelie vnto the minor I saie, that the laws of god are to be fulfilled. For both ye Saints here­after [Page 112] being vnloaden from the burden of sinful flesh, shal; and Christ in the flesh hath kept them, not transgressing the lest precept, nor any iote of them. Notwith­standing that which hee was able to doe, man cannot do in this world: and yet are the laws of God prescribed to man, not in vane. Because manifold commodities do spring thereof.

For, first by the Lawe we gather how there is God.1. Because it is vnpossible, that those most true and certaine notices tou­ching the difference of honest and disho­nest thinges, expressed in the law, should either be knowen, or continue without the prouidence of some God.

Againe by the Law we may learne the disposition of God;2. as that he is al righ­teous, al holie, merciful, true &c. For, se­ing the seedes and sparcles of those vir­tues are in the mindes of man; and that it is vnpossible that the cause can be worser then the effect, it must needes be, that the virtues commended to men in the Lawe of God, and glitter somewhat in our na­ture, bee most gloriouslie, and singularly in God himself. Neither may it be doub­ted, but God by his Lawe doth shewe himselfe what he is: euen as the ciuil laws [Page 113] of à countrie declare the inclination of those men which made them.

Againe,3. by the Lawe of God we maie, as in a glasse, behold to what end man at the first was created, or in what à state of perfection our first parentes Adam and Euah were. For with such virtues were they adorned, yea, and with such, af­ter the state of this life, shal the saints of God be endued withal, as the lawe exa­cteth: That is, both they did, and we shal, both knowe God perfectlie, and serue him zelouslie, and loue him and one a­nother faithfullie, hartelie, and blessedly.

Againe, by the lawe we may see howe filthilie we are polluted, and defiled with sinne. Wherefore he that would knowe ye manifold spots, wrinckles, and corrup­tion of mans nature, let him go vnto the looking glasse of God his lawe, and he shal easilie perceiue in the mind, à darke ignorance of God; in the wil, à declining from and loathing of true religion; in the heart vitious affections; & in al the mem­bers, an horrible deformitie.

Againe,5. by the Lawe we may knowe what an ouglie, filthie, and abhominable thing, sinne is. For saith PaulRom. 7, 7.. I knewe not sinne, but by the Lawe. For I had not [Page 114] knowen lust, except the lawe had saide, Thou shalt not lust.

Againe, 6. by the Lawe we are brought vnto Christ. For the Lawe, as noteth Paul Gal. 3, 24., was our pettie schoolemaster vnto Christ,25. that we might bee made righteous by Faith.26. But after that faith is come, we are no longer vnder a scoolemaster. For yee are al the sons of God by faith in Christ Iesus.

The office of a pettie-schoolemaster, or of an Vsher, as we cal him, is to teach; to reforme manners; to correct; and to bring vnto an head-master. Al which the Lawe doth. For first it teacheth what God is, and of what disposition; and what we ought both to do, & to leaue vndone. Se­condlie, it is a rule for the directing of our life. Thirdly, it correcteth, when it de­nounceth ye wrath of god against the vn­penitent, and condemneth. And last of al, hauing laid-open the abhomination of sinne, and the anger of God, it bringeth vs vnto Christ ye headmaster, that of him we maie learne howe to pacifie the wrath of his almightie father.

To conclude (for who is able to recite al the benefits which it bringeth!)7. by the Lawe of God, both euerie priuate man may learne howe to leade à godlie life; & euerie publike person howe to gouerne [Page 115] aright; and euerie state, condition, and calling of men, how to please God. For the cause of al enormities both publike & priuate, is the neglect or forgetting of the holie commandements of the Lord.

CAP. 16.
Whether the saints in this worlde endure greater affliction, than other men; and whie they do so.

THus, I trust it is euident that the saints deserue their troubles, because theie are sinners.

But some wil yet againe obiect and saie, they deserue not greater troubles in this word, because they are not so egregi­ous offenders, as others be.

Of which their obiection it must fol­low, that if they haue more miserie, and yet deserue greater mercie; that God is both partial in iudging, and not al holie for fauoring the wicked. But this is an in­tolerable reproch against the maiestie of god. For it is none hard matter to proue, that neither the wicked haue more fauor; nor the godlie deserue lesse troubles, than they do suffer.

For, touching the first point, who are more afflicted, I praie you, theie [Page 116] whose soules doe triumph with ioie, though their bodies do smart; or they ra­ther whose bodies be at ease, and their minds tormented? they whom God doth scourge of loueHeb. 12, 6., or they whom he spa­reth of hatred? they which in fewe things Wisd. 3, 6., or they which many waiesWisd. 12, 22., are puni­shed? they which fauorablie are forsaken for a litle while in this worldIsai 54, 7. 8.; or they which both now in this life seuerelie are,8. and in the time to come shal euerlasting­lie be tormentedMath. 25, 41.?

Againe, what troubles suffer the godlie, but the wicked are made to feele ye same? Is it pouertie? The wicked are poore. Is it sickenesse? The wicked be diseased. Is it imprisonment? The wicked haue not their libertie. Is it vnnatural deathes? The wicked come vnto them.

But not so manie wicked men are poore, as godlie. Who shal be iudge? shal magistrates? They wil saie; for one god­lie man that is poore, they are troubled with twentie wicked; some through vn­thriftines, some through idlenesse, some through falsehoode. Which vices no godlie man but doth detest. And there­fore in reason there must bee moe of the wicked, thā of ye godlie in à poore estate.

But not so manie wicked are sicke as [Page 117] godlie. Who shalbe iudge? shal the lear­ned Physicions? They wil saie, for one godlie person that is sicke, they are trou­bled with twentie wicked; some through dronkennesse, some through gluttonie, some through incontinencie. Which vi­ces no godlie man but from his heart doth abhorre. And therefore moe of the wicked than of the godly diseased.

But not so manie wicked are impriso­ned. Who shal be iudge? shal the iudges of realmes? They wil answere; for one godlie man they sende twentie wicked vnto the iayle, some for polling, some for roaging, some for quarreling, some for periurie, which vices the godlie wil not defile themselues withal. And there­fore more wicked, then godly impriso­ned.

But not so many wicked come to vn­natural ends, as godlie. Who shalbe iudg? Shal common experience? That must needes declare, that for one godly person an hundred come vnto euil ends, some for thefte, some for murther, some for trea­son, some through desperation. With which vices the godlie wil not be stained for al the goods in the world. And there­fore mo of the wicked than of the godlie doe come vnto vnnatural ends.

[Page 118] On the otherside, what prosperity hath God promised, for this life, but the god­lie enioy ye same so wel as the wicked? For riches, they are welthie, for health, lustie; for power, mighty; learned for knowledg wise for experiēce, honorable for calling; for fame renowmed, so wel as they. Yea, but al the godly are not such. Neither be al the wicked: But moe wicked yet than godlie be such. Howe canst thou tel that? the scripture saithEccles. 9, 1. by outward things no mā knoweth either loue or hatred, 2. al things come alike to al: and the same condition is to the iust and to the wicked; to the good and to the pure, and to the polluted, & to him that sacrificeth, & to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner, he that sweareth, as he that feareth an othe. But doe the wicked more florish? Let them assure themselues they haue their reward. And haue ye godly lesse prosperity? They are to reuiue their spirites through consideratiō that à time wil come, when they shal fully be cōfor­ted, and the vngodlie tormentedLuk. 16, 25..

Againe, be it that they find lesse fauor, & moe troubles in the world, not for mani­fest wickednes, but through the malice of Sathan and his mēbers, than the wicked doe: yet are theie punished, as vniustly of man, so iustly of the Lord: and that, both [Page 119] because he exacteth à greter righteousnes of them than of other men, which he fin­deth not, & also looketh for more thank­fulnes for his extraordinary benifites cō ­ferred vpon them, and they yeeld it not.

CHAP. 17.
Where the bodies and soules of men are vntil the daie of iudgement.

SEeing nowe à general iudgement shal ensue; what becommeth of bodies and soules vntil ye daie of iudgment? wil some say. Touching the bodies theie are dead, without any, either sense or feeling at al vntil the last daie, & abide in their places 2. Esd. 2. 16., if theie were neuer buried, & in the graues, if theie were cōmitted to the earth. But the houre shal come in which al that are in the graues shal heare (Christ) his voice Ioh. 5, 28.. And theie shal come foorth &c. 29. and such al­so as haue beene either deuoured of beastes, or consumed of fire, or drowned of waters, or any way dead since the beginning of the world, theie altogether in à moment in the twincling of an eie shal arise Aug. tom. 9, lib. de vanit. se­culi. cap. 3..

But whie reasteth the bodie, and goeth not presently with the soule either vnto ioie or paine? It is because neither the [Page 120] sins of al ye wicked, are yet perfectly ripe; nor the number of the faithful fulfilled. For neither the wicked which haue died since the beginning of the worlde shal preuent those which are to come vnto them in extreme tormentes: nor any of the godly enioie perfect happines vntil ye whole nūber of ye faithful com together.

Whie shal the bodie arise at al? The rea­son is easilie giuen. That whole man may be rewarded according to his deserts: ye is, that as neither the soule without the bodie did anie thing; nor the body with­out the soule while it was aliue: so both bodie and soule together maie receiue ei­ther the reward of wel doing, or the pu­nishment of sinne. For, we blaspheme with the mouth; we pray with the mouth; we praise God with the mouth. We are wanton with the bodie; and we are chast with the bodie. Wee pil and poll with the hand: and we giue almes with the hand. &c. Seeing then, saith CyrilCyril Catech. 18., the bodie is à doer in al thinges, it shal reape the fruit of his labour in the time to come.

But some wil saie, How are the dead raised vp? and with what bodie come theie foorth1 Cor. 15, 35? O foole,36. that which thou sowest, is not quick­ned, except it die.37. And that which thou so­west, thou sowest not that bodie that shalbe, but bare corne, as it falleth, of wheate, or of [Page 121] some other.38. But God giueth it a bodie at his pleasure, euen to euerie seede his owne bodie. &c.42. So also is the resurrectiō of the dead. The bodie is sowne in corruption, and is raised in incorruption;44. It is sowen in dishonor, & is rai­sed in glorie, it is sowen in weakenes, & is rai­sed in power; It is sowen a naturall bodie, & is raised a spiritual bodie. Wherbie it is euidēt howe the same bodie in substance which we haue, but not in qualitie shal arise. For the qualitie shalbe changed of the same. Hereunto Cyril beareth witnes when he saith Cyril Catech. 18.; This bodie shal arise, but not subiecte to infirmities, yet this same verie bodie, being transformed into an incorruptible body. Euen as iron burned in the fire, becommeth fire. But more than so as the Lorde rising knoweth best. This body than shal arise: but not remaine as it is, but be eternal. It shal not stand in neede either of meat to liue with­al, or ladders to climbe by: for it shal be­come spiritual. A certaine glorious thing (it shalbe), such as sufficientlie for theworthines of the same cānot be expressed. The righteous shal shine as the sunne, as the moone & as the brightnes of the firmament. And God fore­seeing this incredulitie of man, hath giuen to smale wormes bright bodies in the sum­mer that therebie theie maie shine, to make men by apparent thinges to beleeue that [Page 122] which through hope we lookefor. For he that canperforme a part, can also accomplish the whole; and hee that hath made a worme to shine with cleerenesse, can much more make the iust to be glorious. So then we shal be rai­sed hauing eternal, and al like bodies: but he that is righteous shal receiue à celestial body, that he maie accompanie the Angels; and he that is wicked shal take an eternal bodie, by which he maie suffer the punishmēt of sinnes, and burne in fire, and yet neuer be consumed; so Cyril.

This being spoken of the place of the bodie, and resurrection of the same, I wil nowe shew what I thinke concerning the places where the soules are, had I recited the sundrie opinions of diuerse men tou­ching this matter. For great varietie of iudgementes haue beene here-about. The Pharisees haue one opinion, the Dormi­tans an other, the Papistes another, the fa­thers another; and the purest writers of our time, another.

For the Pharisees they thought that the soules of the good had no certaine abiding place, Opinion of the Pharises. but passed from one bodie vnto another vntil the day of the generall resurrection.Boēmius de moribus Genti­ [...]m lib. 1. or in 2. part of the Fardle of faci­ [...]ns, Cap. 4,

The Dormitans they thought the soules haue à certaine place, where it is either in [Page 123] heauen or hel theie shew not,Opinion of the Dormitans.where theie sleep vntil ye day of iudgement M. Ca [...]ne in his treatise of the immortali­tie of the soules. and I Cha [...]on in his se [...] of the 2. comming of Christ.. The Pa­pists saie before the death of Christ there were foure places for ye soules, to wit, Hel Lymbus puerorum, Purgatorie, and Lymbus Patrum. Hel, as saith IauelIauel Philos. Chri. p. 8. Tract. 4. de felicit. Christ. cap. 3., is the lowest place, & there such as are damned for actual and mortal sins, are in torments. Next aboue that is Lymbus puerorum,Opinion of the Papistes. which is à place for infants, that died either vncircumcised be­fore the comming of Christ, or vnbaptized af­ter his resurrection. Next aboue that is Pur­gatorie, à place where such are to be purged as haue not sufficientlie repented in this life. Next aboue that Lymbus patrum, where the souls of such as died godli abode in peace, &c. Which Lymbus Patrum, as testifieth Dio­nysius CarthusianusDionys. Car­thus. Col. de iud. Animarum Art. 15. out of Bonauenture, was also called Abrahams bosome, & Hel. It was called Hel both because it was inferior, and also for that after à sort it was à place of miserie. It was called Lymbus, because the punishment of lacking was there. And it was called Abrahams bosome, for that there was an expectation of glorie. And of this opinion is Petrus de Tharantasia, Richardus de media Villa, and Thomas de Herfordia. So Dio­nysius Carthus. Which foure places, saith Iauel Iauellus in the foresaide place, doe continue yet, and haue their situation, albeit the fourth which is the hiest [Page 124] is quite emptie (hel is so ful by like tho­rough Papistical delusions). And with this felow agree those vnholie fathers of the late general Councel holden at Trent in al points Catech. Tri­dent. vpon this art. of the creede, Descen­dit ad inferos., sauing that theie make no mention of Lymbus puerorum at al; espi­eng perhaps that alreadie theie haue set moe places beside, than theie can by anie good reason, or Scripture defend.

Furthermore,Opinion of the Fathers. the fathers theie haue had their opinions. As Irenaeus, who see­meth to thinke, as in the ende of his 5. Booke appearethIrenaeus ad­uersus haereses Valent. &c. li. 5., that the soules so soone as theie leaue their bodies goe not presentlie either vnot ioie, or paine; but are kept in à secrete place against the daie of iudgemēt: agreeing therin verie much with the Dormitans aboue mentioned. In this error also was Pope Iohn 20. But one of these, which was Irenaeus, seemeth not to be throghly resolued in this point. For in another place of the foresaid Booke, he hath these wordesIrenaeus lib. 5. not far from the beginning.: Wherfore the Priests, who are the disciples of the Apostles, theie say that such, as are translated, are translated thither (For Paradise is prepared for the iust, and spiritual men, whereinto when Paul was carried, he heard words that cannot be vtte­red, as touching vs at this present) where they which are translated do abide euen vntil the [Page 125] consummation beholding incorruption. And the other,The recantati­on of Pope Ioh. the 20. to wit, Pope Iohn the 20. of that name, was enforced by K. Philip of France, surnamed the Faire, at the sute of the diuines of Paris, to recant his error in à solemne and publique audience, as wit­nesseth GersonIohan. Gerson serm. de Pas­chate.. Other fathers, as Chry­sostome and Augustine, according to the diuersitie of times, haue conceaued di­uerslie of this matter. For touching the soules of good men (for I saie nothing of the soules of the wicked, because genera­lie al men, the Dormitans, and Atheistes onelie excepted, do holde that theie are in hel) in respect of the time frō the crea­tion vntil the death of Christ, theie think theie were in one place, namelie in the lower partesChrys. hom. 4. ad Marcum. Aug. quaest, vet. & noui Testa­menti quaest. 121: and in respect of the time from his death vntil his second comming in glorie, theie iudge theie are in another, euen in heauenAugust in Io­an. Tract. 40.. One opinion whereof is of al good men to be abhorred; the o­ther no Christian but wil defend. For touching the former, did theie al, I meane the Patriarches, and Prophets, our forefa­thers, eate the same spiritual meate, and drinke the same spiritual drinke, which we doe? were theie saued by the same hope; iustified by the same Christ; redee­med with the same blood; sanctified by [Page 126] the same spirite, yt we are; yea, were theie as doubtlesse theie were, as good, as ze­lous, as holie, as righteous in al respects as we, & yet shal we thinke, that God wold be lesse fauourable to them than to vs; & receaue vs forthwith into his euerlasting kingdome, and let them remane either thousandes, or manie yeeres, or anie time at al, either in dead bodies miserablie, as the Pharisees thought; or in a dead sleepe vnsensiblie, as the Dormitās taught, or in Lymbo vncomfortablie, or piteouslie in P [...]torie, as ye Papists would persuade, or i [...] an out-corner not happily, as some, or in ye lower partes wretchedlie, as other fathers gaue out? No, rather think we, that as now the faithful doe: so then ye godlie did presentlie, and directlie, and with­out anie stopping, & staieng ascend vnto their masters ioie. And their other opiniō is to be beleeued & defended,Iudgement of the [...] writers as yt which al the godlie and best learned of this age haue embraced, as consonant & agreeing to the holie Scripture: of which I wil a­leage the testimonies of one or two. For saith M. BullingerD. Henrie Bul­linger in his 32. Sermon vpon the Apoc. p. 90.: Where be the soules of thē that are slain for the word of God shewed vnto vs? vnder the altar. The altar is after­ward in the 8. chap. set in heauen, before the throne of God. Therfore the soules of al saints [Page 127] are in heauē before the throne of God, which was also signified before in the type of the 24. elders. The Lord hath said also, where I am, there shal my seruant be likewise. But the Lord is in heauen: therefore the soules of the faithful, whose bodies haue bine slaine, or bu­ried without slaughter, be no where els but in heauen. And afterwarde within three or foure sentences he saith: For like as the bo­some of Abraham is called the receptacle, & hauen of saluation, into the which the soules of them be receaued which had the faith of Abrahā: so do we vnderstād the altar to be à place of blessednes in heauē, wherin they rest, which with true faith haue acknowledged Christ the altar, propitiation, sanctification, & satisfaction &c. Vnder this altar was gathe­red the faithful martyr Abel: vnder this al­tar are gathered as manie as haue died since that time for religions sake: and vnder this altar shal al be gathered hereafter, as manie as enter into glorie with Christ throgh sundry tribulations in bearing of the crosse. Hitherto Bullinger. And D. ChytraeusD. Chytraeus in 6. cap. Apoc.: This is the rest of the holie soules, which are dissolued frō the bād of their bodies. It is not an idle rest, or à certain dead sleep, as manie do fain the souls of the dead together with their bodies to sleep vntil the last iudgmēt: but it is à tranquillitie à ioie, and à peace of that conscience which [Page 128] hath finished the labours of the warfar which it susteined in this world with the Diuel, the flesh, and the world, & now enioieth the com­panie of the celestial Church, and resteth, yea & reioiceth sweetlie in the Lord praising his goodnes with hie commendations. That trea­tise also touching the immortalitie of the soule written by the reuerend father M. Iohn Caluine, is altogether to the confir­mation of this matter.

These late writers agree with the an­cient Doctors;The testimonies of the Scripture and both with the holie Scriptures. For the soules of the righteous are in the handes of God, and in peace, saith the wise manWisd. 3, 1. ▪ theie rest from their la­bors, saith à voice from heauenReuel. 14, 13.. Which hand of God, and rest in other places also is called Abrahams bosome Luke 16., & Paradise Luke 23.. Therefore the foules of the righteous vn­til the daie of the last and general iudge­ment, are in Abrahams bosome, euen in Paradise, where theie haue from the be­ginning; and shal vnto the end of the world enioie, though not perfect, yet vn­speakable happines. There euerie of the saints hath his seueral robe, but shal not be clothed with double robes vntil we put thē on too for cōpanie, saith Ber.Bern. in festi­uit. omniū sanc. serm. 3.. The 1. robe is the felicitie and rest of the soules: but the 2. shalbe the immortalitie, and glorie of the bodies.


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