SERMONS Made by the most reue­rende Father in God, Edwin, Arch­bishop of Yorke, Primate of England and Metropolitane.

DAN. 12. 3.

They that be wise shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament: and they that turne many to righteousnesse, as the starres for euer and euer.

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AT LONDON, Printed by Henrie Midleton, for Thomas Charde. 1585.

To the Christian Readers, grace and peace through Iesu Christ our Lord.

OF other thinges besides these,Eccl. 12, 12. 13 my sonne, take thou heede: for there is none end of making ma­nie bookes, and much reading is a wearinesse of the flesh. Let vs heare the ende of all, feare God, and keepe his commandements, for this is the whole dutie of eue­rie man. By which wordes of weight, proceeding from the Oracle, not of Apollo, but of God himselfe, what effect hath beene wrought, both in the heartes, and in the handes of many great learned Clerkes, both heere and elsewhere; both heeretofore, and at this day, to make them withdraw their mindes from writing, and to withholde their pens from paper: some witnesses wor­thie credite could testifie, but that dayly experience needeth no farther proofe. Howbeit, when it is well knowen, and ought accordingly to be considered, that the place alledged shold rather correct the bookish hu­mor of cōmon writers, & idle discoursers, then control the writing of necessarie and needefull workes, which to the singular aduancement of kingdomes & cōmon­weales, to the most excellent seruice of almighty God, to the inestimable benefit and blessing of his Church, many hundred yeeres, sithens that saying of Salomon, haue beene printed and published notwithstanding: (as by large volumes innumerable, of Scriptures and fathers, of histories and artes in all kinds of knowledge [Page] may euidently appeare): Euery man of abilitie, should rather by those examples encourage himself, the suffer himselfe by these wordes to be disswaded, to imploye the talent, as wel of his hand, as of his tongue, to meete with, and ouertake all practises, & inconueniences, and as it were, to applie a salue to euerie sore; to minister a medicine to euerie maladie, that may occurre. Againe when we perceiue Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, Noadi­ah the Prophetesse, and their accomplices, continual­ly to hinder and impeach, as much as in them lyeth, the worke of Gods Temple; that is Papistes, Iesuites, and Malecontentes, with their adherents, all aduersaries & enimies to the euerlasting truth of the Gospell, with­out intermission to abuse their great leasure, and small learning, to plant error and heresie in the heartes of our brethren, thereby to supplant all religious woor­shippe of almightie God, all audience of his woorde and reuerence to his Sacramentes, all humble obedi­ence to lawefull Magistrates, all dutifull regarde of wholesome lawes, all carefull obseruation of aunci­ent discipline, all sincere and seemely conuersati­on of Christian life and honest manners: howe can the holie Ghost (who reprooueth the woorlde of sinne) but require vs to bestowe all the forces and habilimentes wee haue, not onely as good Zacha­rias and Aggeus to prophecie, but as godly Zoro­babell and Salathiell, to reedifie, that is, aswell by writing, as by preaching; aswell by our bookes, as by our sermons, and as it were with a trowell in the one hande, and a sworde in the other, to rayse and erect the newe Ierusalem, supplying the decayes, [Page] repairing the ruines, filling vp the breaches, building vp the wals and towers of Sion in perfect beauty? The consideratiō wherof together with some other earnest and vehement perswasions to the like effect vsed: did at the last though long first, induce the most reuerend au­thour of this booke, euē another Esdras or Nehemias to suffer these his labours to come to light: aswell for that he mought leaue behinde him a witnesse and war­rant of his godly & zealous affection, that the professiō of his faith mought become the sweete sauour of life to life in all rather thē the sauour of death, to death in any: as also for that words spokē are soone come soone gon but written withall, may make a deeper impression, & so by striking aswell the eye of the reader, as the eare of the hearer, may perse his heart the better: & saue his soule the sooner. Of the booke it selfe I will saie but this: that for myne owne parte, I am verilie per­swaded, there is no worke, written in this kinde, wher­in men of principall estate, or particular callings, may be either more sufficiently enformed to know, or more plainely directed to performe their seueral duties: The superiour how to gouerne, the inferiour how to obey: the Minister what to teach, the people what to learne: the Parliament what to establish, the Realme what to embrace: her Maiestie and counsaill what to heare, Courte, Citie, and Countrie what to amend: why Pa­trones especially professing godlines should be vncor­rupt: why Pastours vndergoing such a charge shoulde keepe the flocke from the foxe and wolfe; why Bishops should be more vigilant & precise not to admit Mini­sters hand ouer head: why the rich should be open han­ded [Page] and poore Christ in his needie members compe­tenlie relieued: how the Church to be disciphered by hir proper marks of the word to be heard with diligēce, and the sacramentes with reuerence to be frequented: how the Temple to be purged of idolatrie, superstition and superfluitie, the Church men of ignoraunce, neg­ligence and simonie, the commonweale of vnmerciful­nesse, couetousnesse, and vsurie, the iudgement seates both ciuill and Ecclesiasticall of briberie, extortion & partiality: why the Gospell to be preached with fauour, the Law with terrour, yet both with a caueat: how God to be worshipped, our neighbours intreated, our chil­dren & families catechised, our selues conformed to Christ his image, the simple aduised, the subtill preuē ­ted, the weake supported, the obstinate corrected, what patience to be vsed vnder the crosse, what thankeful­nesse to be shewed for Gods great mercies, what pray­ers in our extremest necessities to be powred out: what sorrow must throw downe the sinfull man, what faith raise him vp, what hope sustaine him, what charitie in­flame him, what worthy fruites commend him to the world: finally, how the truth may be cōfirmed, falshood refelled, vice reproued, vertue aduaunced, and so the child of God made a man wise vnto saluation, and per­fectly enabled vnto euery good worke: Besides many other most profitable obseruations, sooner taught then learned, yet sooner learned then followed, such & so many, as in so few sermons you shal hardly finde I beleeue, but in the same. Nor is this my single opi­nion only, but many mens censure of greater learning & better iudgment: who know what belonges to mat­ter [Page] and method, to times and persons, to place and occasions, with other due circumstances of well and wise meaning, speaking and writing. But as those ser­mons be best praysed euer, that be euer best practised: so if these shall be receiued into the good grounde of your heartes, with the same affection and spirite they were preached first, and nowe be published, no doubt but the sower, the seede, the soile, the increase and all, will be founde to the glorie of his grace, that worketh all in all. Wherfore as not onely Paul, Apollos, & Ce­phas, but all are ours, and we are Christs, and Christ is Gods: so let vs comfort and strengthen one another, in our holy faith, holding nothing more deere vnto vs, then the saluatiō ech of others: and in Gods holy feare commend we one another to that faithful creator, who is father of all, aboue vs all, and through vs all, and in vs all. To him be rendred all thanks, and all honour geuen for euer and for euer.

The order and matter of the Sermons.

  • 1 The first, Ho euerie one that thirsteth come to the waters, &c. Esa. 55. 1.
  • 2 Be this sinne against the Lorde far from me, that I shoulde cease to pray, &c. 1. Sam. 12. 23.
  • 3 Take vs the little foxes which destroie the vines: for our vine hath flori­shed. Cant. 2. 15.
  • 4 I exhorte therefore before all thinges that requestes, supplications, &c. 1. Tim. 2. 1.
  • 5 Be like minded hauing the same loue, being of one accorde, &c. Phil. 2. 2.
  • 6 Teach mee thy way O Lorde, and I will walke in thy truth. Psal. 86. 11.
  • 7 Drawe neere to God, and he will draw neere to you. Iac. 4. 8.
  • 8 Seeke the Lorde while he may bee founde, call vpon him while hee is neere, &c. Esay 55. 6.
  • 9 All the daies of this my warfare do I waite, till my changing come. Iob. 14. 14.
  • 10 That being deliuered out of the hands of our enemies we may serue him, &c. Luc. 1. 74.
  • 11 Owe nothing to any man but this to loue one another: for hee that loueth, &c. Rom. 13. 8.
  • 12 He hath shewed thee O man what is good and what the Lorde requireth of thee, &c. Mich. 6. 8.
  • 13 And Iesus went into the temple of God and cast out all them that soulde and bought, &c. Matth. 21. 12.
  • 14 Then Peter opened his mouth and saide, Of a truth I perceiue that God, &c. Act. 10. 34.
  • 15 We therfore as helpers beseech you that ye receiue not the grace of God in vaine, &c. 2. Cor. 6. 2.
  • 16 Mariage is honorable in all. Heb. 13. 1.
  • 17 After these thinges Iesus went his waie ouer the sea of Galile, &c. Ioh. 6. 1.
  • 18 Then there shalbe signes in the sunne and in the moone, &c. Luc. 21. 25
  • 19 And when he was entred into the ship, his disciples followed him, &c. Mat. 8. 23.
  • 20 The end of all thinges is at hand. Be ye therefore sober. &c. 1. Pet. 4. 7.
  • 21 Offer the sacrifices of righteousnesse. Psal. 4. 5.
  • 22 For the rest, brethren fare yee well, be perfect, be of good comforte, &c. 2. Cor. 13. 11.

A Sermon made in Paules on the day of Christes Natiuitie.

ESAY 55.

1 Ho, euerie one that thirsteth, come to the waters; and ye that haue no siluer, come, buy, and eate; come, I say; buy wine and milke, without siluer, and without money.

2 Wherefore doe ye lay out siluer, and not for bread? and your labour with­out being satisfied? Hearken diligently vnto me, and eate that which is good, and let your soule delight in fatnesse.

3 Encline your eares, and come vnto me; heare and your soule shall liue; & I wil make an euerlasting couenant with you, euen the sure mercies of Da­uid.

OVR Euangelical Prophet Esaias,Christ, and thos [...] things which he should doe & suffer, foretold by Esayas. through the spirit of reuelation, hath in the former part of this his prophecie, 800. yeres be­fore the birth of Christ (euen as if the thing had alreadie beene performed, such is the certainetie of his prophecie) most liuely described, and set foorth the natiui­tie, the preaching, the persecution, the apprehension, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, yea and the latter comming of our Sauiour Christ, to iudge the quicke and the dead: in such wise, that, for the substance thereof, no Euangelist hath more perfectly or plainly set foorth this great mysterie of our saluation. He foretelleth that Christ shall be borne of a virgin, that his name shalbe Immanuel, that his office shalbe to preache the glad tidings of saluation to the poore in spirit, that he shalbe led as a sheepe to the shambles to be slaine, that he shall be stricken for our sakes, and beare the burthen of al our sinnes vpon his backe.

2 His birth foreshewed so long agoe by this heauenly Prophet was in fulnesse of time accomplished,His birth ac­cording to yt which was spoken before by ye Prophet▪ as this day, in Bethlem, a citie of Dauid, according to the testimonie of that Angel sent from hea­uen, to proclaime the birth of the sonne of God at the same time, [Page 2] saying,Luc. 2. Behold I bring you tidings of great ioy that shalbe vnto all the people, because this day is borne vnto you a Sauiour which is Christ our Lorde in the Ci­tie of Dauid. This is that seede of the woman which breaketh the serpents head, that meeke Abel murthered by his brethren for our sinne, that true Isaack whom his father hath offered vp to be a sacri­fice of pacification and attonement betweene him and vs. This is that Melchisedeck, both a king and a priest, that liueth for euer, with­out father or mother, beginning or ending. This is Ioseph that was solde for thirtie pieces of monie. This is that Sampson full of strength and courage, who, to saue his people, and destroy his e­nemies, hath willingly brought death vpon his owne head. This is that Lorde and sonne of Dauid, to whom the Lord sayde, Sit thou on my right hand. Psal. 110. This is that bridegroome in the Canticle, whose heart is so inflamed with heauenly loue towards his deare spouse, which is his Church. This is he whom holy Simeon imbrasing prophesied that he should be a light to the Gentiles and a glorie to his people Israel, he vpon whom the holy Ghost descended, and of whom the father te­stified from heauen, This is my welbeloued Sonne. This is that lambe of God pointed at by Iohn, and sent to take away the sinnes of the world; to redeeme vs from thraldome, not with golde nor siluer, but with the inestimable price of his pretious bloud, to be made our wisedome, iustification, sanctification and redemption. This is the childe that is borne for vs, the sonne that is giuen for our cause, the king whose rule is vpon his shoulders,Esay 9. whose name is maruellous, the giuer of counsell, the mightie GOD, the euerlasting father, the prince of peace; the same Messias which was shadowed in the ceremonies and sacrifices of olde, which was prefigured in the Lawe, and is presen­ted in the Gospel, and hath beene approoued to the worlde by signes and wonders, by so cleare euidence as cannot bee either dissembled or denyed. Let vs therefore embrace this babe with ioie, let vs kisse the sonne, let vs with the Angels of heauen praise the Lord, let vs sing their Psalme to the honour of his name,Luc. 2. Glorie be to God on high, and on earth peace.

3 The Prophet Esaias hauing in spirite espied Christ, and seene the day,All men inui­ted vnto Christ. though farre off, wherein the Sauiour of the world should be borne, calleth all the nations of the earth together, and exhor­teth them to come, to behold, to beleeue, to embrace, to tast of the mercies of Christ Iesus, which are as water to refreshe their thirstie [Page 3] spirits, and as milke to nourish and comfort their hearts. All you that thirst come to the waters, &c. In which exhortation the Prophet ob­serueth this order: First he exhorteth the people to come; Second­ly he telleth whither, and to whom they should come; Thirdly he teacheth after what sort they must come; Fourthly what commodi­tie such as come shal receiue.

4 Come all that are thirstie. Gods mercie is great and generall; he 1 hath no partiall respect vnto any person;Who are cal­led: generally, all; but speci­ly, the thirstie. no countrey, no kindred, no age, no condition, no sexe is excluded. He calleth Iewe, and Gentile; young, and aged; riche, and needie; bond, and free; man and woman. He commaunded his Gospel to be preached to all, Goe your waies preache the Gospel to euerie creature. Mark. 16. In the parable, all are in­uited to that magnificent mariage and kingly supper. Christ himselfe cryeth in general words,Matth. 11. Come to me all that labour. If all bee cal­led and exhorted to come, what cause can any man alleage sufficient to excuse his not comming? the buying of fermes, or the trying of oxen, or the marying of wiues? They haue base mindes that are withheld by these meanes. But if any haue a feareful and a trembling heart; who being called, stand stil a farre off, not be­cause they wil not, but because they dare not approche neere: them God pitieth, yea vnto them especially, or rather onely vnto them he saith, Come you. Be thy sinnes neuer so great, feare not to come; for he that calleth thee, hath stretcht out his armes of mercie at length; they are wide open to embrace thee; mercie is readie to all that will receiue it; and to them that neede it most, most readie. A comfor­table [...]esson to all sinners.

5 Come all that are thirstie. He calleth not them which are full, and neede neither meate nor drinke; but such as be hungrie and thir­stie, them he calleth. The proude Pharisey, that was ful of his owne righteousnesse, hungred not after remission of sinnes; and they who are ouerfilled with works of supererogation, and haue store to serue themselues and others, neuer thirst to drinke of the cup of saluation: In generall such as are drunke with the vaine trust of their owne me­rites, wil neither tast of this bread, nor drinke of this water. The co­uetous man thirsteth after monie, euen with the sale of his owne soule, to get it; The lewde after fleshlie delights and pleasures, to the wasting of his patrimonie vpon them; The proude after glorie, that his itching eares may be tickled with his owne praise: But what thirst [Page 4] the Prophet doth meane, Christ sheweth in the Gospel where he al­so blesseth it.Matth. 5. Blessed are they which hunger and thirst for righteousnesse. Such as see their owne nakednesse; as feele their owne infirmities; as grone vnder the heauie burthen of their sinne; as confesse with Da­uid,Psal. 51. I knowe mine owne iniquities; as make request with the Publicane, God be mercifull to me a sinner; Luc. 18. as crie with the Leper, Lorde if thou wilt, thou canst make me cleane; Luc. 5. such are inuited, vnto such our Prophet spea­keth. He calleth not the iust, but vnto sinners he saith, Come. Goe not away, but come.

2 6 Whither and to whom? Come to the waters. Not to such waters as either the wel,Whither and to whom they are called. To the waters, wine, & milk. or the riuer yeeldeth: but to those that issue from the sonne of God, to those that shalbe in him which tasteth them, a wel of water springing vnto euerlasting life. Vnto whom shall we goe? thou hast the words of euerlasting life. Come to these waters, buy this wine,Iohn 6. and this milke. Other bread is no bread; Eate that which is good. Vnder these names of water, wine, and milke, all things ne­cessary to a spiritual life are comprehended. For as with these cor­porall meates and drinkes the bodie is nourished: so in Christ, tho­rough the beleeuing of the Gospel, our soule is refreshed, & perfect­ly fed vnto euerlasting life. Christ is the fresh fountaine, whereof who so drinketh shall neuer thirst. Christ is that bread, which des­cended from heauen. He that eateth that bread, which is his flesh, shal liue foreuer. Christ is that wine, which maketh merie the heart of man, and quieteth the troubled conscience. Christ is that milke, which nourisheth, and feedeth vs, that we may growe to a perfect man. Milke is fit for infants; water is conuenient for young men; wine agreeth with olde age. So in the Scriptures there is foode, both for such as are simple, and weake; and also for such as are learned and strong.

7 This grace of God which saueth hath appeared to all men;Water, wine, milke freely offered by Christ. this heauenly foode Christ Iesus, by preaching the Gospel, is offered to all, as Manna the heauenly bread, by faith to feede vpon; and as a liuely fountaine to drinke of, to euerlasting life. All are of mercie, grace, and fauour freely called; al may come, and freely feede, with­out penie or penieworth. The grace of God is free, remission of sins is free:Contra Pelag. de origin pec­cat. cap. 24. freely graunted, freely giuen, without monie. The price of our redemption is neither golde nor siluer: Through grace ye are freely saued. For it cannot be grace any way which is not euerie way free, saith S. Augustine.

[Page 5] 8 Wherefore doe ye lay out your siluer for that which is no bread, The contrarie sold by Anti­christ for mo­nie. and your labour on that which is not to satisfie? As before he exhorted vs to come and buie freely, without monie; because God is no monie man, nei­ther can any man deserue fauour at his hands, but whatsoeuer wee haue of him, we haue it of mercie: so nowe he sharpely reprooueth all such, as by monie or merchaundise; by desert, or merite seeke af­ter saluation. He dehorteth vs from false teachers, craftie seducers, which offer to sel the grace and mercie of GOD for monie. Christ proposeth his heauenly treasures, remission of sinnes, iustification, sanctification, mercie, grace and saluation freely. He that sitteth in the Temple of God, and termeth himselfe Christs Vicar, doeth in like sort offer vnto the people bread, water, wine, milke, pardon of sinnes, grace, mercie and eternall life: but not freely, he is a mer­chaunt, he giueth nothing, and that is nothing which he selleth. For although he make large promises to the buyer, he selleth that which he hath not to deliuer. Eternall life is the gift of God. The Pope there­fore selleth but wind and smoke for fire, shadowes for truthes: he de­ceiueth the buyers with false [...]lights, false measures, false weightes. Beware of this merchaunt; loose not your labour; cast not away your monie: it is not meate but poison which he offereth you. His phi­sicke cannot heale your diseases; His holy water cannot wash away the spottes of a sullied and defiled soule, as he vntruely would beare you in hand; His blasphemous Masses doe not appease, but prouoke Gods wrath; they cannot benefite the quicke, much lesse the dead, which either neede no helpe, or are past al helpe; His rotten relikes cannot comfort you; His blinde, dumbe, and wormeaten Idols can doe you no good; It is cast awaie which is spent vpon his shamelesse pardons, they wil not preuaile, God wil not admit them; By his La­tine seruice ye cannot be edified, or made wiser. Yet this trumperie they sel for monie, and vpon this trash they cause sillie men to wast their substance, and to these to commit their soules. Thus you see a manifest difference betweene Christ and Antichrist, the doctrine of God and the learning of man, true teachers and false, sounde and counterfaited religion. The one offereth true bread, freely; the other that which is no bread for bread, and that not freely neither, but for monie. The diuersitie of religion professed in these our times is here most plainely and liuely depainted. For the better clearing whereof, I wil in three notes lay before your eies the whole difference which [Page 6] is betweene them.

9 First we disagree in the very foundation.Three diffe­rences be­tweene th [...] doctrine pro­fessed by true Christians, & that which is maintained by their aduersa­ries, the Pope & his adhe­rents. They lay one ground, and we an other. We lay no one stone but onely vpon that founda­tion of the Prophets and Apostles, whereupon whosoeuer is buil­ded groweth into an holie temple in the Lord; a temple, which no winde, no waues, no storme, no tempest is able to ouerthrowe. The foundation of our religion is the written worde, the Scriptures of God, the vndoubted records of the holie Ghost. We require no cre­dite to be giuen to any part or parcel of our doctrine, further than the same may be clearely and manifestly proued by the plaine words of the lawe of God,The first dif­ference is in the ground and foundati­on of doctrine Reasons why religion shold be grounded onely vpon scripture. which remaineth in writing to be seene, read & examined of all men. This we doe, First, because we knowe that God hath caused his whole Lawe to be written; Secondly, because we see that it hath beene the practise of all the defenders of the truth since the beginning to relie their faith onely vpon the Scripture and written word; Thirdly, because it is euident and plaine, that we can­not receiue any other foundation of heauenly truth, without the o­uerthrowe of Christian faith.

10 There was neuer any Lawemaker so simple,The whole Lawe of God, which is the rule of religiō committed to writing. as to make sta­tutes for perpetuitie, and not to register them in bookes, or engraue them in tables. When Memucan was desirous to haue a Law made for the bringing of women in subiection vnder their husbands, his perswasion was this, If it may please the King, let a royall decree proceede from him, Hester. 1. and let it be written. The Lawes of the Medes and Persians that might neuer be altered, were for euer recorded. When God de­liuered his first Lawe vnto his people, the Lawe which commonly we call morall, he gaue it them written in tables of stone. Againe when he deliuered them ciuil ordinaunces for the administration of iustice betweene man and man, Moses first proclaimed all those Lawes and ordinances amongst the people, afterward he tooke and wrote in a booke all the words of the Lord. As for the Lawes of rites and ceremonies, they are likewise written in this booke. To these we must adde that Lawe, which the blessed Apostle doth call the Lawe of faith. Rom. 3. This Lawe God preached vnto Adam by himselfe, The seede of the woman shall breake the serpents head; Gen. 3. vnto Abraham by his Angel, In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Gen. 12. to the children of Abra­ham by his Prophets,Esay 7. Behold a virgin shal conceiue and beare a sonne; final­ly vnto vs, by his sonne, and by them whom his sonne hath sent into [Page 7] the world to make it knowen,Acts. [...] that through this man is preached remission of sinnes, and from all things from which ye could not be iustified by the Lawe of Moses, by him euerie one that beleeueth is iustified. And the statutes of this Lawe are also written. God being moreouer desirous to haue his ser­uaunts not only taught by doctrine, but prouoked also by examples, gaue them a fift sort of Lawes and testimonies called historical, not leauing these neither to men, to deliuer vnto their children by word of mouth, but all by writing. If God haue committed his Lawes mo­ral, ciuil, ceremonial, euangelical, and historical also vnto writing, where should we seeke for the statutes of the almightie but in his written word?

11 The auncients of the house of God knewe no fountaine of his truth but this.The [...] pro­fessors [...] then saith vpon scripture [...] ▪ Iosua. 2 [...]. They neuer enquired what had beene whispered in mens eares, that which they beleeued and taught, they read it out of the booke. In the Historie of Iosua it is recorded, howe hee did assemble the Tribes, Elders, Heads, Iudges, and Officers of Israel together, shewing them what God had spoken vnto them by Mo­ses, but vttering to them no speech which was not writtē. Iosias with all the men of Iuda,2▪ Reg. 23. and all the inhabitants of Ierusalem, the Priests, Prophets, and all the people, small and great, made a couenaunt be­fore the Lord to keepe his commaundements, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all their heart, and with all their soule: But what statutes? what testimonies? The words of the couenaunt written in this Booke. Christ speaketh many things, his Apostles many things concerning the doctrine of the Prophets, but no one point of do­ctrine which is not found in their bookes and writings. The prophet Esay crieth Adlegem & testimonium, Esay. 8. To the lawe and to the testimo­nie; If they teache not according to this Lawe, it is because there is no light in them. Consider the practise of Christ Iesus. His proofes are, Scrip­tum est, It is written; His demaunds are, Quomodo legis? Howe doest thou reade? His Apologies are, Scrutamini Scripturas, Searche the Scriptures, they beare me record. His Apostles tread in the same path, they goe not the breadth of an haire, not a whit from that which is written. Thus S. Paul protesteth,1. Cor. 15. I deliuered vnto you that which I receiued, how Christ died for our sinnes, according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose the third day, according to the Scrip­tures. It is not lightly to be marked, which is twise repeated. He de­liuered nothing but according to the Scriptures. I would heare the voice of [Page 8] my pastor saith S. Augustine. Reade this out of some Prophet, reade it out of some Psalme, recite it out of the Lawe, recite it out of the Gospel, recite it out of some Apostle, reade it and we will beleeue it. These be good presidents for vs to followe, til sufficient reason be alleaged, why we should lay an other foundation than that which hath beene laide by so many, so wise, so reuerend builders.

12 Especially sith this foundation is so peculiar to the trueth,It is daunge­rous to admit vnwritten ve­rities. that we cannot rest vpon any other without manifest daunger of the vtter ouerthrowe of Christian faith. For first what certainetie or as­surance can we haue of any of those things which are beleeued, if our faith doe not leane onely vpon the Scriptures? If once a religi­ous credite be giuen to vnwritten verities, and to mens reports, the vndoubted articles of our beleefe cannot choose but at the length become doubtful, and vncertaine, like a tale that passeth from man to man, and is told as many waies as there are men to tel it. Againe, if once it be graunted that there is any part of the Lawe of GOD vnwritten, if entraunce once be giuen to Lawes that passe by the word of mouth, I would know when we should be able to say, Nowe we haue all the statutes of God, these we must obserue, but moe we may not re­ceiue. The Marcionites, they haue a doctrine as they say, receiued from the Apostles by tradition, without booke: Valentinus he like­wise vrgeth very stoutely, Christ had many thinges to tel his Disciples, which as then they could not beare, and therefore his doctrine may not be tryed by the booke, It is a tradition. Let any thing but the written word of God take place in matters of faith, and who seeth not that the very mainesea of heresies must needs breake in vpon the Church of Christ? These are, as we suppose, causes iust & allowable and suffi­cient in the indifferent iudgement of reasonable men, why we should deliuer you no doctrine concerning faith & religion, but onely that which is in Scripture; why we should admonish you to beware of bread sowred with pharisaical leuen, and to feed vpon that which ye know came down from heauen, to shun broken cisternes, & to come to the wel of liuing waters, as here ye are exhorted by the Prophet.

13 At this the aduerse part doth greatly storme,The Pope will not haue his doctrine tyed vnto this ground: and why. they cannot a­bide to haue controuersies iudged onely by the scriptures. They which make scripture onely the ground and foundation of faith, are no fit builders for the Church of Rome. When Constantinus re­quired that those matters, about which the Church was then verie­hoat [Page 9] in contention, might be decided onely according to those things which are written, the aunswere of Hilarie was, Hoc qui repudiat Anti­christus est: Hil. ad Constant lib. quem ipse tradidi [...]. He which refuseth this is Antichrist. Why then doe our aduersaries flie this kinde of triall? why refuse they to goe to the lawe and testimonies there to be iudged? The reason is rendred by the Prophet, It is because there is no light in them. They haue chosen to them selues another foundation than that of the Prophets and Apostles. Wherefore as Herode, to couer the basenesse of his stocke, and to the end that in time he might be thought to be of the bloud royall,Ambros in Luc lib. 3. cap. 3. burned the sacred monuments and bookes of the Iewes, wherein the lineal descents, pedigrees, and genealogies of the kings of Israell were described; so they, to strengthen the authoritie of their base and ilfauoured grounds, doe endeuour not onely in word and writing, by contumelious and reprocheful termes, to discountenance, but al­so (if the power of God were not greater than theirs) by fire and flame to destroy for euer the eternall testament of the sonne of God. We charge them with no corner attempts, we haue seene the bur­ning of these heauenly records, we haue seene the verie handling of the booke of life punished with bitter and cruel death. May we not iustly say to that man of sin,August contra liter. Petilia. lib. 2 cap. 7. as S. Augustine to Petilian? Iudas Christū carnalem tradidit, tu spiritualem: furens Euangeliū sanctum flammis sacrilegis tradidisti. Iudas betraied Christ in the flesh, but tho [...] in the spirite. In thy furie thou hast deliuered the holy Gospel vnto heynous flames.

14 But what are the grounds,The grounds of Poperi [...]. for which they haue thus furious­ly bent themselues against the writings of the holy Ghost? The grounds whereupon they build such doctrines as cannot stand with the scriptures of God, are fained miracles, the record and witnesse of fowle spirits, precepts of men, muddie legends, vncertaine tra­ditions: which grounds, so long as the light of the Gospel shineth in mens eies, so long as we haue the scriptures to direct vs in our iudgement, are easily perceiued to be but bogges and false grounds: but take away the scriptures, put out the light; and, in darkenesse, who can descrie what they are? This is the onely reason, why Anti­christ doth so much striue to hoodwinke the worlde, by conueying the scriptures out of sight.

15 By the scriptures we learne,Miracles. 2. Th [...]ss. 2. that the comming of that wic­ked one shall be with power, and signes, and lying wonders, and in all deceiue­ablenesse of vnrighteousnesse: which when we heare, it giueth vs plainly [Page 10] to vnderstand, that miracles are rather to be taken for causes of rea­sonable suspition, than infallible proofes of true doctrine. But the Pope wel perceiueth, that, if the scriptures may be buried, his mi­racles wil then stand him in good stead. As soone as Philip preached the things that concerned the kingdome of God and the name of Iesus Christ to the people of Samaria,Actes 8. they forsooke the sorceries of Simon Ma­gus, and beleeued the doctrine of the scriptures. But till then, they all gaue heede to witchcraft, and their generall iudgement of Ma­gus was, This man is the power of the great God.

16 In the scriptures we are charged to heare Moses and the Pro­phets.Foule spirites. In the scriptures we finde, that Christ refused the testimonie of an vncleane spirit. In the scriptures we haue learned how to aun­swere them, which sende vs either to diuels, or dead mens ghosts to be schooled and taught.Esay 8. Should not a people enquire at their God? From the liuing to the dead? But let it be prouided, that such sentences as these may be no more remembred, and then what is it which the Pope may not confirme by his pale and grislie witnesses? when men doe not heare of these scriptures, they will easily finde as good rea­son as Saul to open their eares and to listen vnto Satan, God aunswe­reth me no more neither by Prophets nor by dreames, 1. Sam. 28. Therefore I haue called thee that thou maist tel me what to doe.

17 How often are we warned in scriptures to take heede that we build not religion vpon doctrines of men?Precepts of men. How sharply are the Co­rinthians taken vp by the Apostle, for pinning themselues vpon mens sleeues,1. Cor. 3. saying, I am of Paul, and I of Appollos? But if this were concealed, who would controlle the Pope for diuiding his traine, for appointing some to be of Benedict, some of Frauncis, some of Dominicke; for exacting more rigorously the strict obseruation of their rules, than the keeping of the Lawes and statutes of God?

18 So long as the myst of poperie was thicke ynough to stoppe the light of the scriptures of GOD,Legends. the fabulous legends of Saints liues were thought as true as the Gospel. There they had with mar­uellous cunning conueyance, interlaced all points of popish do­ctrine; which being barely taught, would, by reason of the grosse­nesse of them, haue beene loathed in short time: but being mingled with straunge and pleasaunt fables, and so powred both into young and tender wits, as the first licour wherewith their mindes were sea­soned, and into olde heads, as the onely thing that might hold them [Page 11] euen then when all other entries of delight were shut vp, so long as they had but an eare left, were so effectual to deceiue al sorts of men, that, knowing this, we cannot meruaile if poperie were spread far & wide. He did the Pope very profitable seruice which first found out this ground to builde on. It bare vp their building a great while. But after that the light began a litle to appeare, when men had gotten once a sight of the scriptures in a knowen tongue, they woonde­red to see the world so deluded; in so much that euen amongst them­selues, such as had any small freedome of iudgement, spared not plainely to auouche, that this ground was but mire and slough, alto­gether vnfitte for spiritual building. Why that booke should be called a golden legend, Viu [...]s. saith Viues (for so it was intituled) I doe not knowe sith it was written by a man of an yron mouth and a leaden heart, and is altogether full of most shamelesse lies. Ann [...]t. in Hie­ron. de Ecclesiast. scriptorib. Erasmus likewise, At this day, saith he, euerie bodies dreames, yea the dotages of sillie women are read amongest diuine Scrip­tures.

19 The last ground which they haue,Traditions. and the fairest to the eye is their traditions. Vnder the name of doctrine receiued from Mo­ses by word of mouth, without writing, that is to say tradition, the Scribes and Pharisies were able smoothlie to carie away anything, til Christ recalled all things to the Lawe, the Psalmes, and the Pro­phets, til he opened the scriptures. And as in other grounds, so in this, the Pope hath found by good experience, that they cannot stand longer than the scriptures lie secret and vnknowen.

20 He therefore that buildeth vpon these grounds, hath cause,Doctrines builded vpon the foresaide grounds a­gainst scrip­ture. I thinke, to besturre hand and foote, that men may be alwaies kept off from the scriptures. For whatsoeuer is builded vpon these grounds, by the scripture it is ouerthrowen. The scriptures haue prescribed an holie communion; they vpon their foundation haue reared a blas­phemous Masse. The scripture maketh baptisme the consecrated seale of mans saluation; They vpon their foundation haue builded the baptisme of belles and shippes. The scripture saith, Christ was offered vp but once; they vpon their foundation haue erected an al­tar, whereupon he is daily offered vp. The scripture wil haue the scriptures to be read of all men, prayer to be made with vnderstan­ding, Christ to be a full satisfaction for sinne, worship to be doone vnto God alone; They vpon their foundations haue builded a do­ctrine that forbiddeth Gods people to reade his word, that teacheth [Page 12] them to powre out their prayer in a tongue which they cannot vn­derstand, that hath found out a way to satisfie the wrath of almigh­tie God in this life by penaunce, and after this life by indurance in Purgatorie, a doctrine that commaundeth them to call vpon Saints and soules departed, to worship the worke of their owne handes, to say to a peece of bread,Religion buil­ded vpon such groundes, though it were not iniurious, is notwith­standing friuo­lous & vncer­taine. My Lord & my God. If these doctrines of theirs did not containe, as they doe, most manifest impietie, yet all reli­gion builded vpon such grounds must needes be vaine and friuolous. For although we offer vp neuer so many sacrifices; though we keepe all the daies in the yere holie; though we pray, and giue thankes, and doe almes; yet except we knowe that herein we shewe obedience to the lawes and statutes of our God, we doe but tire out our selues in vaine. Wil God reward those things wherein he taketh no delight? Or taketh he delight in any thing and hath not shewed it? Or hath he shewed it, and not in scripture? Doubtlesse they worship him but in vaine, which either teache or practise the precepts of men for the Lawes of God. That they teache or practise the precepts of men they wil not graunt, yet the most that possibly they can alledge to prooue any one of these things to be of God is this, Such or such a fa­ther saith that this or this being not written, is neuerthelesse Apostolicall. And they knowe that the witnesses whom they cite in matters of traditi­on, doe sometimes checke and contrarie one another. In the con­trouersie that was betweene the East and West Churches concer­ning the feast of Easter, the one part alledged tradition to prooue their custome, and the other part tradition to prooue the contrarie. It might be that neither was Apostolicall, both could not be, when eche gainesaide other. Yet both must be, if al be Apostolicall which the Fathers haue saide is Apostolicall. If al be not, where is the cer­taintie of these grounds? Why doe they murther, burne, and perse­cute from place to place as many as make any doubt of these things, which are grounded vpon so fickle and weake foundation?

21 But to leaue the foundation whereupon they builde their doctrine,The second difference be­tweene true Christianitie and Poperie is in the ende. if in the rest we finde them as corrupt, as in this they haue beene declared weake; surely then we may boldly affirme, that the Church of Rome is rather a sinke of all abhomination, than a foun­taine from whence those liuing waters, or a storehouse wherein that heauenly foode, whereof the Prophet Esay speaketh, may be had. Let vs therefore nowe consider the end, as wel of our religion as of [Page 13] theirs. Let vs viewe the marke whereat eche part doeth shoote. Whatsoeuer men doe; they doe it to some end. And the qualitie of things which are doone to any ende is iudged to be good or bad by the ende whereunto they are doone. Hereof it is, that in scripture, things otherwise highly commended, as prayer, fasting, and almes deedes are most bitterly reprooued when they tend to bad ends. As there is but one author from whom all things are, so there is but one end, vnto whom al things should encline and bend themselues. God is Alpha, the first, from whom all other things haue their being and beginning; wherefore in reason he is Omega, the end and finall cause of all things: vpon him they must attend, and seeing they are not of themselues, therefore they may not serue themselues, but for the glorie of him by whom they are. From hence a rule may be gathe­red to iudge betweene pure religion in deede, and that which is vn­truely so called. For that religion no doubt is best, which most ad­uaunceth the glorie of God; and that which taketh most from him, the worst.Ephe. 3. Ipsi gloria in Ecclesia: In the Church of God all glorie is gi­uen not to men, but to him. This is the song of the true Church of Christ,Dan 9. Righteousnesse O Lord belongeth vnto thee, but vnto vs open shame.

22 Wherefore touching our selues,Man is humb­led by true do­ctrine tou­ching original sinne. we teache with the blessed Apostles and Prophets, that by nature we are the children of wrath; that corruption is bredde and setled within our bones; that we are both borne and begotten in it; that with it all the powers and faculties of our nature are infected;Ephe. 2. that still it cleaueth fast vnto our soules, and, although the deadly sting be taken from it, yet there it sticketh as long as life doth endure, so irkesome and so grieuous, that it forceth the most vpright and perfect to crie,Rom. 7. Miserable man, who shall deliuer me?

23 By this inbred corruption our vnderstanding is so darkened,Thraldome of will. that naturally we cannot perceiue the things which are of God; no we count them foolishnesse; our will is in such thraldome and slaue­rie vnto sinne, that it cannot like of any thing spirituall and heauen­ly, but is wholly caried vnto fleshly desires.

24 If therefore we perceiue the things that are of God,Grace. and doe like of them; if our hearts be enclined to doe his will, because this cannot come of our selues (our nature bending a cleane contrarie way) we acknowledge most willingly, and vnfeinedly, The good we doe is his, it is not ours; our beginning to doe, and our continuance [Page 14] in dooing well proceedeth onely, and wholly from him. If any man receiue the grace of God offered, it is because God hath framed his heart thereto. If any man come when God calleth, it is because his grace which calleth, draweth. If being brought vnto Christ, we con­tinue in him, we haue no other reason to yeeld of our dooing, but onely this, he hath linked vs and fastened vs vnto himselfe. We nei­ther rise, when we are fallen; nor stand, when we are risen, by our owne strength. When we are in distresse, we are of our selues so far from abilitie to helpe our selues, that we are not able to craue helpe of him, vnlesse his spirite wrest out Abba Father from vs. We cannot mone our owne case, vnlesse he doe grone and sigh for vs; we are not able to name Iesus, vnlesse by the speciall grace of his spirite our mouthes be opened; no, we cannot, of our selues, so much as think of naming him, if to thinke of naming him be a good thought.

25 When against our naturall inclination to euill,Workes. his spirite, which worketh all in all, hath so preuailed, that wee now beginne to hate the workes of the flesh, hauing an earnest desire to abounde in loue,Gal. 5. ioie, peace, long suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, meeke­nesse, temperaunce, and all other fruites of the spirite; yet, by reason of the strength of that bodie of sinne which euer fighteth against the spirite, our inward man is so weakened, that we cannot do the things which we would, and the things which we do, euen the best of them, are so farre beneath that perfection which the Lawe of God requi­reth, that, if he should rigorously examine them in iustice, no fleshe could euer be accounted righteous in his sight. The loathsomest things that can be imagined, the cloathes that be most vncleane are not so foule as our very righteousnes is vnrighteous: Wherupon we conclude, that whatsoeuer wee receiue by way of reward at Gods hand either in this life or in the life to come, wee receiue it as a thing freely giuen by him, without any merite or desert of ours; we doe not say in our hearts, The Lord hath giuen vs these good things to possesse for our righteousnesse. For seeing it is he which giueth both to will and to doe, he crowneth in deede his owne worke, when he rewardeth ours; and he neuer rewardeth any worke of his owne, wherein there is not som­what of ours which he pardoneth.

26 Thus being naked and vtterly destitute in our selues we seeke all things in Christ Iesus.The truth see­keth to throw downe men, and to ad­uance Christ. Him onely we acknowledge to be our wise­dome, our iustification, our sanctification, our redemption, our [Page 15] priest, our sacrifice, our king, our head, our mediator, our phisition, our waie, our trueth, our life. In our selues we finde nothing but po­uertie, and weakenesse; praise, and honour, and glorie wee giue to him. The onely marke we ayme at is to set vp his throne, to aduaunce his kingdome, to make it knowne that in him the Father hath layde vp all the treasures of heauen, to the ende that vnto him the thirstie may repaire for water, the hungrie for bread, the naked for cloathes, and wee all for all things needeful to the safetie of our soules and bodies.

27 This is not the scope which the Church of Rome proposeth;The Church of Rome see­keth her own glorie and gaine. They direct all things to an other end. How can ye beleeue, saith Christ to the Iewes, which receiue honour one of an other, and seeke not that honour which commeth of God alone? Iohn. 5. And howe can the faith of the Church of Rome be sound, sith they hold such doctrines, as tend wholly to their owne glorie, their owne gaine, and not to the praise and honour of God?

28 That they seeke not his glorie,She paireth & diminisheth mans original corruption. but their owne, it may appeare vnto any man which throughly considereth of their doctrine. First they will not acknowledge that pouertie and nakednesse, those filthie garments of corruption and sinne wherein Adam hath wrapped his posteritie; But in the pride of their hearts, they dissemble it, diminish it, and make light of it. For although they denie not but that mans nature is corrupted, yet marke how they paire and lessen this corrup­tion. The Prophet Dauid doeth terme it wickednesse, Psal. 51. and sinne: but they make it onely an inclination vnto sinning. The Lorde himselfe doeth witnesse that by it all the imaginations of the thoughts of mans heart are only euill: Gen. 6. they restraine it to the inferior part of the soule, and make it onely a mother of some grosser desires. The blessed Apostle pray­ed, groned, and wept against it, as a thing which made him altoge­her wearie of his life: But after Baptisme, they make no more ac­count of those inward rebellious motions against the spirite, than they doe of the beating of a mans pulse.

29 And as they hide that weakenesse which indeede they haue,Shee boasteth of freewill. so they boast of that strength which is not in them. For being sub­iect vnto miserable bondage vnder sinne, by reason of that corrupti­on which hath spred it selfe ouer all flesh, they bragge notwithstan­ding of the freedome of their wil: as if sinne had not vtterly berea­ued vs thereof, but stil it were in vs to frame and fashion our owne [Page 16] hearts vnto good things. For proofe whereof their maner is to make long discourses teaching, that Gods foreknowledge doth not take a­way free will, that men are not violently drawen to good or euill. Which things we easily and willingly graunt; neither doe we teache, or euer did, that the freedome of our wil is taken away by the eter­nall decree of his vnsearchable purpose: but this we say, and all that haue the trueth doe say the same, that the will of man being free vnto naturall and ciuill actions, hath of it selfe no freedome to desire things heauenly and spirituall; not because the eternall purpose of God, but because the corruption of our nature hath addicted vs only vnto euill. We doe not teache or euer did, that any man is the ser­uaunt either of sinne or of righteousnesie by constraint. For whe­ther we obey the one vnto death and condemnation, or vnto life and saluation the other, our obedience is alwayes voluntarie, it is not wrested from vs against our wils. But the question being how we are made willing vnto that which is good, this is the difference betweene our aunswere and theirs: We say onely by the grace of God; they say partly by grace, but principally by the power and strength of their owne nature. For being ashamed to affirme with Pelagius that a man may doe the workes of righteousnesse by nature without the grace of God, they hold his grace to be a thing indeede necessarie: But howe? As a birde that is tyed or a man that is in fetters needeth onely to haue those incumberances remooued, hauing then a natu­rall abilitie to flie and walke without any further helpe; so man, as they say, hath in himselfe abilitie to doe good, if the grace of God doe but remooue lets. Is not this to make nature the principal cause of our well dooing, whereas in trueth, without the speciall motion of Gods spirite, and that in euerie particular action, wee are no more able to walke in the waies which GOD hath commaun­ded, than a drunken man to goe without leading, who stagge­reth euen in the plainest ground, though all stumbling blockes be re­mooued, though his waie lie neuer so smooth before him, such is our weakenesse. In consideration whereof the blessed Apostle sayth plainely,Rom. 9. It is not in him that willeth, or in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercie. We dragge, and are not able of our selues to set one foote before an other.Cantic 1. Drawe me, saith the spouse in the Canticles, and then we will runne after thee. But these men litle considering of what fraile metall they are made, perceiuing not how sinne hath weake­ned [Page 17] the faculties of the soule, vaunt of freedome, of strength, of inward power, and make their owne will the chiefest cause of their wel dooing.

30 And when they haue doone any thing which to their see­ming is wel doone,Iustification by workes. they prise it so high and esteeme so much of it, that God, as they thinke, should doe them iniurie if in iudge­ment he did not pronounce them iust and righteous for their workes sake. If it were possible that God entering into iudge­ment should finde any so vpright and perfect that by their workes they might be iustified in his sight, doubtlesse he should finde his owne seruaunts to be such; or else none: if any of his seruaunts, surely his Prophets; if any Prophet, rather Dauid than any o­ther. But Dauid crieth out,Psal. 143. Enter not into iudgement no not with thy Seruaunt O Lord. For in thy sight shall none that liueth be iustified. For whether we consider workes forbidden, or commaunded by the Lawe; what man is there liuing which can say in the one, My heart is pure, in the other, I haue doone all that is enioyned me? For if it were so that we knewe nothing wherein we had transgressed the lawes and statutes of the almightie, yet herein could we in no wise be iustified, because of secret sinnes hidden euen from our owne selues. For which if God shal call vs to our reckoning, and marke straitely what is doone amisse,Psal. 130. O Lord, saith the Prophet, who shall stand? Againe, if we had doone whatsoeuer wee could; yet, because we cannot doe so much as we should, we ought to acknowledge our selues vnprofitable: whereas we, euen the best of vs, are farre from dooing that which, if we would, we might doe.

31 Nowe if God notwithstanding,Of merites and workes of superero­gation. for his sonnes sake, doe so allowe and accept the worke of our hands, that he bountifully rewardeth our weake seruice with an excellent and an eternall waight of glorie, how much are wee bound both to praise his mercie, and to hate the insolencie of those men, who, besides al this, swelling in the proude conceit of their workes, will haue e­ternall life which is his gift to be their merite? nor onely that, but the worthinesse of their deserts to be so great, that many of them dooing God more seruice than can bee sufficiently rewar­ded in their owne persons, deserue heauen not onely for them­selues, but for others too. These shipwracks of faith they haue [Page 18] made by reason of their inward pride.

32 The excessiue desire of outward pompe hath further­more caused them to disdaine the basenesse of Christ Iesus,She desireth excessiuely outwarde pompe. and of his Apostles; to bee ashamed of the meane and lowe estate, wherein they liued; to make of their Deacons and Priests Cardi­nals exceeding the kings of the earth in glorie; of their Bishop a Monarke, vnder whose foote the Emperour himselfe hath beene a footestoole, whose stirrop the greatest Soueraignes haue scarse beene deemed worthie to holde, at whose bridle kings haue at­tended as seruaunts, that the wordes of the Preacher might bee iustified,Eccles 10. Follie is set in great excellencie, and the riche set in the lowe place. I haue seene seruaunts on horses and Princes walking as seruants on the ground.

33 This pompe cannot bee maintained with nothing,She maintai­neth it by vile merchandise. it must haue strong sinnewes. And therefore whatsoeuer mans wit might possibly deuise for gaine, they haue both founde it out, and put it in vre: setting Offices, Masses, Prayers, Pardons, Sacramentes, Heauen and Earth, all the treasures of the house of GOD to sale, if wee may terme it the house of God, which they haue made a shoppe of so vile merchaun­dise. It were infinite to recite what huge summes of money they haue heretofore, by religious pretenses, euerie yeere ga­thered within the compasse of this one Ilande: What heapes then haue they raked out of other partes of Christendome? Which offals and profites if once men beginne, as here, so in other kingdomes also, to withholde from them; if men leaue off buying their wares any more, if things which are fatte, and excellent depart, doubtlesse that citie, which nowe is cloa­thed in fine linnen, and purple, and skarlet, which nowe is guilded with golde, and decked with pretious stones, and pearles, shall in one houre be made desolate. This they know, and it maketh them carefull to maintaine whatsoeuer is com­modious and gainefull to them. As for the glorie of GOD, it is the least part of their care; nay, they care not howe hey­nous sacrilege they commit in spoyling and robbing him of his honour.

34 It is an honour vnto God,She robbeth God of the honour which he shold haue by Faith, In­uocation, and Obedience. when all men by faith point their fingers, as it were, at Christ Iesus, naming him the [Page 19] onelie Lambe which taketh away the sinnes of the worlde; when he is acknowledged the onely mediatour betweene God and vs; when wee confesse, that hee is that Priest according to the order of Melchisedech,Heb. 10. which, hauing offered one sa­crifice for sinnes, hath therewith, because it was a perfect sa­crifice, consecrated for euer them that are sanctified; when our faith is so ascertained and grounded vppon his promises, that we can bee bolde as Lyons, Prou. 28. assuring our selues that the eye of the Lorde is on them which trust in his mercie to deliuer their soules from death, Psal. 33. as the Prophet witnesseth. But how doe they giue vnto him this honour, who haue deuised so many waies to take away sinne besides the bloud of the Lambe of GOD; who, as though wee might not be bolde to enter into the ho­lie place by the newe and liuely way which hee hath prepared for vs through the vaile which is his fleshe, or as though there were some others without whom the father in him is not pleased, some others more willing to heare our requestes than hee who gaue himselfe to death for our sakes, haue made their intercessors infinite in number; and, as though his sacrifice were so vnperfect, that by beeing once offered it could not perfectly consecrate those which are sanctified, renue their ob­lations day by day; finally, as though the Prophet were ouer presumptuous which saieth,Psal. 46. God is our hope, and strength, and helpe, therefore will not we feare, goe about by all meanes to strike a seruile terror into the heartes of the faithfull, to keepe them alwaies wauering and doubting, to take away all assurance of the mercie and fauour of God towards them: which when we haue lost, what courage can we haue to withstand the fierie assaults of Satan? what comfort or consolation in the middest of those sharp and bitter conflicts, which we must endure, if we will liue godly in Christ Iesus?

35 It is an honour vnto God, when his name onely is called vpon; when we worship and fal downe before none but him. This honour he getteth not at their hands, which haue gotten to them selues legions of Angels, to whom they pray, and millions of I­dols, which they daily adore. Their differences betweene an I­doll and an Image are but shifts. Call them what yee will; They are similitudes of things in heauen or things in earth, which is [Page 20] sufficient to condemne them of Idolatrie that worshippe such things. Their distinctions betweene the honour which they giue to Images, and the worship which they doe to God alone, may serue to bleare the eyes of mortall men: But the eternall God doth knowe, that they honour creatures with that honour which is forbidden them in the Lawe: that they bowe downe to them, and that they serue them. Exod. 20.

36 It is an honour vnto God when reuerence and obedience is shewed vnto his Lawe. But is this performed in that syna­gogue, where he sitteth which is an aduersarie, and exalteth him selfe against all that is called God, or that is woorshipped; ma­king himselfe supreme Iudge of all nations, requiring his owne words to be heard of all men as the words of God; bereauing magistrates of their lawfull power; exempting his Clergie from the ciuill sword, what villanie soeuer they commit; chaunging at pleasure the gouernment of Christ established in his Church; dispensing with sinne be it neuer so directly against the expresse commaundement of God; forbidding his Clergie mariage, vn­der colour of seuering them from the worlde, but in deede to ease them of such cares and troubles as are necessarilie ioyned with that honourable estate which God commendeth, and both secretly with concubines and openly in stewes permit­ting them fornication which God doeth hate? Seeing there­fore that this their synagogue is nothing but a sinke of all vn­cleannesse, seeing that all their indeuours tend to no other end but onely to the aduauncement of themselues, the dishonour of God, and the disgrace of Christ, doubtlesse they are not, they cannot be the men which minister the waters of eternall life vnto thirstie soules.

37 Now that we haue seene both the ground,The third difference be­tweene true Christianitie and Poperie is in ye meanes and maner of proceeding. and the end, as wel of that faith which we professe, as of the doctrine which is helde by them who are deadly enemies to vs and our pro­fession, it remaineth that a worde bee spoken of the meanes which are vsed on both parts, to set forward that for which we striue. Touching our selues, as the marke which wee shoote at is to set vp the kingdome of Christ Iesus, a kingdome which is not of the worlde, so the meanes which herein wee vse, are not worldlie, but altogether heauenly and spirituall. [Page 21] What the proceedings of the Gospell haue beene, yee are not ignoraunt; ye knowe verie wel, how without force, without cru­eltie, without trecherie and deceit, without all wisedome of flesh and bloud, in naked simplicitie, in trueth vncoloured, and, as the Apostle speaketh, in foolishnesse of preaching we haue laboured to prepare you for one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ, not outwardly arrayed in purple and skarlet, guilded with gold, pretious stones, and pearle, like the strumpet that sit­teth vpon many waters, but, like the spouse of Solomon, glori­ous within, ful of Christ, riche in faith, and in good workes, ful­filled with knowledge of his wil in all wisedome and spiritual vn­derstanding, strengthened mightily in the inward man, rooted and grounded in syncere loue, inabled to comprehende with all Saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height of the loue of Christ, strengthened with all patience and long suf­fering, blessed with all spirituall blessings in heauenly things.

38 Contrariwise they desiring no such thing, but seeking to build an earthly kingdome for themselues, vse the meanes which are fittest for that purpose. They feede mens eies with all glori­ous and glittering shewes, they inuent to themselues instru­mentes of Musicke to delight the eare; but of the worke of the Lord, of preaching the Gospel, of instructing the heart, of building the faith, of exhorting and comforting Gods people, who seeth not how litle regard they haue? They keepe men oc­cupied alwaies in corporal and bodily exercise,1. Tim. 4. which profiteth litle: But are they careful to traine men vp in the knowledge of Christ, which is eternal life? in true godlinesse, which is profi­table vnto all things, which hath the promise of the life present, and of that which is to come? No, their practise from time to time doth shewe that most prophane and godlesse men onely si­ding themselues with the Church of Rome, and defending by all meanes the Popes honour, may both be counted as Catholikes, and euen canonised as Saints among them. If they passe the daies of their life lewdely, after death at a reasonable prise they may purchase rest for their soules. If their hearts be set vpon a­dulterie, incest, theft, murther, consider the holie father for his parchement and lead, and what more easily graunted in the Court of Rome, than full and free libertie to commit sinne? [Page 22] Hence it commeth to passe that as euerie man is most licentious­ly bent, so he ioyneth himselfe most willingly to the Church of Rome, and warreth most earnestly for that faith, which faith if the riche men of this worlde be for the most part readie to embrace, what maruel is it? For whereas Christ hath saide, It is hard for a riche man to enter into heauen, their doctrine and practise maketh the way expedite onely for the riche; but by the way which they teache for a poore man to enter into the kingdome of heauen, it is a hard matter. It were too much to recite all the meanes whereby that kingdome of darkenesse hath growen; it were a thing too full of horror to discourse of all the trecheries, poysonings, murtherings, massacres which they haue vsed to maintaine their power, neuer any tyrant in the world more. Did Christ, did Peter, did the blessed Apostles, thus subdue and con­quer nations? Did they thus inlarge the kingdome of God? As verily as he doth liue, it is not the goodnesse of their religion but the strength of their faction, and the wilinesse of flesh by which they stand.

39 Wherefore briefly to conclude this matter, and in fewe words to knit vp that which remaineth; I haue, as you see, set be­fore you life and death, truth and error, wholesome foode and noysome poison. If ye tender the safetie of your owne soules, be not as children readie to take whatsoeuer is offered you; learne to iudge betweene good and euill; lay not out monie for that which is no bread; spend not your labour in that which cannot satisfie; come to the waters whereunto God calleth you.

3 40 The maner of comming is set downe by the Prophet in many words: the summe of all is this:After what sort men must come to the waters of life. Wee must not giue eare vnto lying spirits; Heare not the wordes of the Prophets that prophecie vnto you, and teache you vanitie: they speake the vision of their owne heart; and not out of the mouth of the Lord, Ierem. 23. turne away your eares from such, and hearken vnto me, saith the Lorde. Hearken diligently, carefully, attentiuely. The word of life is of power and strength to saue your soules: But if ye be as vessels that leake, and runne out, how should the doctrine of saluation profite you? This food, refusing all other, we are exhorted both to take, and to eate. If sinners, he­retikes, enemies of the truth say, Come with vs; shunne them, turne away your feete from their pathes, offer not you their offe­rings [Page 23] of bloud, present not your selues in their temples, tast not things sacrificed vnto their Idols, Eate that which is good. Labour not for the meate which perisheth, much lesse for that whereby men perish; but labour for the meate that endureth to euerlasting life, which meate the sonne of man shall giue you. For him hath God the father sealed. He is the bread of life, his flesh is meate in­deede, and his bloud is drinke in deede, his word is the power of God vnto saluation, his sacraments are seales of righteousnesse by faith, in him are all the treasures of peace, ioie, rest, comfort; no eye hath seene, no eare hath heard, no heart hath conceiued the things which are hidden and laide vp in him. Whereupon if we feede in such sort that our soules take ioie, pleasure, and delight in fatnesse, then the fruite which hereby we shall reape is this.

41 Your soule, saith God, shall liue, and I wil make an euerlasting co­uenaunt 4 with you, euen the sure mercies of Dauid. What com­modities such as come shall receiue. What? Shall they then which hearken vnto him and put their trust in his mercie deliuer their liues for euer from the hand of the graue? Shal they liue, and not see death? There is a first and a second death, the one onely seuereth the soule from the bodie for a time; the other tormenteth first the soule seuered, and afterward both bodie and soule for euer. The second death shal not touche them of whom the Prophet here speaketh.Iob. 30 But of the first Iob hath saide, Death is the house appointed for all the liuing. Wherefore God doeth not pro­mise to prolong the daies of his children continually heere on earth, but his promise is that their soules shal liue. For touching outward things, we cannot certainely iudge the hatred or loue of God by them.Eccles. 9. In these externall euents, The same condition is to the iust and to the wicked, to the good and pure and to them that are polluted, to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not. As is the good, so is the sinner, he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. Howe dieth the wise man? Euen as the foole, saith the Preacher. Nay one is wicked and liueth in ease and prosperitie, another feareth God and dieth in the bitternesse of his soule; they sleepe both in the dust toge­ther, the wormes couer them both alike.Iob. 21. This onely is the diffe­rence. The wicked is kept to the day of destruction, and shall bee brought foorth to the day of wrath. But the iust shall liue by faith: his soule shall liue. The foundation from whence this life floweth is that co­uenaunt which was made with Dauid,2. Sam. 7. I wil set vp thy seede after thee [Page 24] which shall proceede out of the bodie, and I will stablish his kingdome, hee shal build an house for my name, and I wil stablish the throne of his kingdome for euer. Now as Dauid, so the children of Dauid after him fulfil­led their daies, and fel asleepe: the throne of Dauid was not esta­blished in them for euer. But of Christ, the Angel of the Lorde hath saide,Luke 1. The Lord shall giue vnto him the throne of his father Dauid, and he shall raigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kingdome shall be no ende. Wherefore in Christ this couenaunt with Dauid is ful­filled. The mercies which were promised vnto Dauid are the be­nefites,Acts 13. and, as the Apostle termeth them, the holie things which we receiue by Christ Iesus. This couenant is euerlasting. If, saith God by the Prophet Ieremie,Ier. 33. you can breake my couenaunt of the day and my couenaunt of the night, that there should not be day and night in their season, then may my couenaunt be broken with Dauid. As the coue­naunt made with Dauid is euerlasting, so the mercies therein contained are sure. Of the sure mercies of Dauid thus he speaketh in the booke of Psalmes, Mine hande shall be established with him and mine arme shal strengthen him, the enemie shall not oppresse him, neither shall the wicked doe him hurt, but I will destroy his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him, my mercie will I keepe for him for euermore, and my couenaunt shall stand fast with him. The couenaunt made with Dauid is made with vs, his mercies are our mercies, if so be we performe that which here is required at our hands. If we hearken diligently vnto him that cryeth, Come to the waters, if we cleaue fast vnto his trueth, if we embrace his promises with ioie, eating that which is good, shunning and loathing that which is euil, surely his hande shall be established with vs as with Dauid, his arme shall bee our strength, the enemie shal not oppresse vs, neither shal the wicked doe vs harme: but God shall destroy all our enemies before vs, and plague them that hate vs, his mercies he shal keepe towards vs for euer, his couenaunt shall stand fast with vs, our soules shal liue, he shal make an euerlasting couenaunt with vs, euen the sure mercies of Dauid. Which mercies the God of all mercie graunt vs, vnto whom with the Sonne by whose blood they are purcha­sed, together with that glorious Spirite which hath sealed in our heartes ful assurance that they cannot faile, be honour and glo­rie for euer and euer. Amen.

A Sermon made before the Parlia­ment at Westminster.

1. SAMVEL 12.

23 Be this sinne against the Lord farre from me: that I should cease to pray for you. But I will shewe you the good, and the right waie.

24 Therefore feare you the Lord, and serue him in the trueth.

HIstories,The vse of Parliamentes. as well sacred as profane, at large record, that good Princes haue euer vigilantly looked into the state of the common wealth, which is their charge: and perceiuing disorder, or foreseeing danger, haue speedily cau­sed consultation to be had, as well for the reformation, as for the preseruati­on thereof. In which consultation, three especiall things are commonly offered to consider of: The state of religion; the state of the Prince; and the state of the com­mon wealth. Three most necessarie things to be regarded, and prouided for. If religion be not sound, mens soules cannot be safe; if the head be not preserued, the bodie of necessitie must decay; if good gouernment want, the common wealth falleth into con­fusion. Our Prophet, that good Prince and ruler of the people, in the great assemblie of the Israelites, remembred vnto them these selfesame things, as by the words which I haue chosen to treate of it wil appeare. Our Samuel, our good and gratious gouernour, moued with like affection, hath called this honourable and high Court of Parliament for like end. Wherein, that things wel in­tended may the better proceede and take best effect, let vs in our prayers craue helpe and assistance from aboue. Wherein let vs not forget Christs vniuersall Church, this particular Church of England and Ireland, the Queenes excellent Maiestie, our most Soueraigne Ladie and chiefe gouernour, that God remembring vs in his mercie may graunt her Maiestie a long happie life, with the encrease of all godlie honour and felicitie, to the great praise [Page 26] of his name and great good of his Church. Let vs also remem­ber in our prayers the honourable priuie Counsel, the Clergie, the Nobilitie, with the whole people of this Realme: that God may graunt euerie one grace in his calling syncerely to serue him. And especially at this time, let vs call vpon God for wisedome and grace from aboue, that in this consultation of Parliament all priuate affections and respects to our owne commodities laide a­side, Gods glorie and the good of his Church and this common wealth, onely and syncerely may be sought. For these, and grace let vs pray vnto God, as our Sauiour Christ hath taught vs, Our Father, &c.

2 The better to conueigh my selfe to the matter which I haue in hand I shall craue leaue that I may speake somewhat of this princely Prophet Samuel:Things to bee considered in the person of Samuel. He was a Mi­nister. who descending of noble paren­tage, was by his mother consecrated to the ministerie. Of which calling though Christ himselfe thought so highly, and honou­rably,Iohn. 6. that refusing to bee a King, he chose the office of a Mini­ster: yet, so peruerse is the iudgement of the worlde, that they thinke no condition more base or vile. The minister with his master Christ is contemned: this holy office is become odious: All men seeke their owne and serue themselues:Phil. 2. it is accounted sla­uerie to serue the Lorde.

3 Samuel was called of God to be a magistrate:He was a god­lie magistrate; yet misliked by them ouer whom he was placed. wherein he was so faithful and vpright, that his aduersaries were forced to iustifie his dooings, and to beare him record, that he neither was a bribetaker, nor an extortioner, nor one that had iniuried any man. It were wel with our common wealth, if all officers could carie away the like testimonie. But euill subiects cannot away with good magistrates. The prodigall, which haue consumed their substance in lewdenesse and vanitie, long for a chaunge: suppo­sing that their state wil be bettered thereby, and perswading them selues that it cannot be made worse. All change is perilous, and an olde saying is it, Seldome comes the better. A better this people could hardly haue had: yet so vnquiet and discontented they were, that (the good and peaceable gouernement of Samuel notwithstanding) they misliked their present state, and desired an other gouernour to be giuen them.Exod. 15. The worthie magistrate Moses was muttered against:2. Sam. 17. The noble king Dauid for a time [Page 27] deposed: our faithful Samuel reiected. Behold the harde state of good Princes, who are for the most part rewarded with great in­gratitude.Psal. 70. Moses deare cousins became his deadly enemies: Da­uids familiar friends became his most fierce and violent foes: Sa­muel was reiected of such as he most fauoured.Crysippus. Crysippus ob­seruing the course of these things, saith that, which experience prooueth true: Thou shalt bee sure if thou gouerne amisse, to purchase Gods; if well, the peoples anger and displeasure. The daunger of this office, by reason of the great ingratitude of the people, made Moses say to God,Exod. 2. Send whom thou wilt send: it caused Demosthe­nes rather to wish banishment,Demosthenes Themistocles Valer. Max. lib. 7. cap. 2. than place of gouernement; and Themistocles to prefer hel it selfe to the iudgement seate. When Antigonus should put on a royall diademe, he brake foorth into this speeche, O cloth of more honourable, than happie estate: wherewith if a man were so throughly acquainted that he could tell the number of cares and miseries wherewith thou art fraught, hee would not stoupe for thee, though he might haue thee for the taking vp. Wherefore it grieued not Samuel to be eased of so heauie a burthen: but God was much grieued, to see so great disgrace offered to his annointed. They haue not reiected thee but me, 1. Sam. 7. saith the Lorde. To dislike and cast off a good magistrate is to dislike and cast off God: because all power is of God. Rom. 13. God in his wrath for godly Samuel gaue them wicked Saul. I pray God in his iustice serue all such alike, as seeke after such change, as cannot submit themselues with louing and obedient hearts to the good gouernement of woorthie Samuel their natural Prince, their good and faithful Magistrate: whom for conscience sake, they ought to honour, and obey.

4 Samuel was both a Prophet,He was both a Prophet and a Prince. and a Prince: a Minister, and a Magistrate: So was Melchisedech, Moses, Dauid, Christ. Hee had neede to be a rare man that should wel aunswere sundrie offi­ces.Luke. 16. When Redde rationem, giue account commeth, then one of­fice such as the least of these, will be thought a burthen heauie ynough for any one, besides these, to haue borne. But the mat­ching of these two offices doth teache, what agreement, loue, and liking should be betweene these two officers. They are Gods two hands, to build vp withall the decayed wals of Ierusalem. If the one hand set forward, and the other put backeward, Gods worke will be ill wrought.Exod. 4 The wisedome of God matched Moses [Page 28] and Aaron, two brethren; the one the minister, the other the magistrate: that knit together in brotherly loue, they might la­bour together with both handes, for the furtherance of Gods building. When the word and the sword doe ioine, then is the people wel ruled, and then is God well serued. So long as king Ioas and the good priest Iehoida liued together,2. Reg. 12. God was serued according to his word; the priest rightly counselled, the king gladly followed.

5 Samuel zealous for the glorie of God,Things con­tained in the wordes of Sa­muel. and carefull for the commonwealth, preacheth to the Parliament assembled after this sort: Be this sinne against the Lord farre from me, &c. Wherein first, he putteth the ministers in minde of their dutie;1. The duetie of the mini­ster. secondly, he tel­leth the prince and people of their office; lastly, hee sheweth if they doe it not,2. The duetie of the Prince. what punishment wil followe.

6 Samuel reiected & put from the office of a magistrate by this froward & rebellious people,3. The dutie of the people. yet was not so froward himselfe, as to forsake the office of a minister.4. The pu­nishmēt if this dutie be not performed. Neither minded he to reuēge this wrong offered him; but, with a milde minde, he was content not onely to pray for them, but to teache them faithfully, and louing­ly to admonish them.Samuell zea­lous in Gods cause, but milde in his owne. A patterne for all princes, to bee milde in their owne matters, yet earnest and zealous in the quarel of God. He prayed for the people his enemies; the cause was his owne: he tooke the sword in his hand,1. Sam. 15. and cut King Agag in peeces; the cause was Gods. Moses in his owne cause was a man most milde, he quietly suffered wonderful wrongs: but when he perceiued I­dolatrie committed, Gods glorie comming into question, hee with his partakers for worshipping of that calfe put to the sword three thousand men.Exod. 32. Christ our Sauiour and Master suffered,Iohn 2. though vndeseruedly, yet meekely all reproofe, yea reproch, yea death it selfe: but when his fathers cause came in hande that the house of God was made a denne of theeues; hee bestirred him with his whip, coursed those symoniacall choppers and chaun­gers, buyers and sellers out of the Temple, and made hauocke of whatsoeuer they had.

1 7 This milde and zealous Samuel; zealous in Gods cause, and milde in his owne,By his owne example hee giueth mini­sters to vn­derstand that it is their due­tie to Pray & to Teache. first by his owne example putteth the ministers in minde of their duetie: in whom hee requireth two things, as principall points concerning them, To pray; and, To [Page 29] teache. God forbid that I should sinne against the Lorde and cease praying for you: I will shewe you the good and right waie.

8 Christ,His praier was earnest: as ap­peareth by his words, Be this sinne farre from me that I should cease to pray. that good pastor, was earnest in praier for the peo­ple, Holie father keepe them: yea for his enemies, Father forgiue them. Paul the good Apostle prayed without intermission. Iames the good Bishop of Hierusalem, made his knees as hard as the hoose of a camell, with continuall praying. Our good Prophet Samuell thinketh it a great sinne not to pray for the people. Absit a me hoc peccatum, Be this sinne farre from mee. Christ, Peter, Paul, Ie­remie, praied with many teares. God is delighted with an hear­tie prayer both in the minister, in the Prince, and in the people. Christ was so feruent herein,Luke 22. that he swet water and bloud. King Dauid in his earnest prayer,Psal. 6. nightly watered his bed with teares. The Israelites,2. Par [...]l. 33. in Babylon, in powring out their heartie prayers, powred out also teares aboundantly. Moses was so earnest with God in his prayers,Exod 3 [...]. that God saide vnto him, Why doest thou holde me? 1. Sam. 1. Anna was so eager, that shee powred out her verie heart be­fore God in prayer. The verie Ethnickes would not dallie with their false gods in prayer.Plato. Plato reporteth, that when they met in the house of their Idols to pray, one openly pronounced, Hoc agite, Doe this. Talke not, trifle not, let not your mindes wander. Doe that ye come for. For prayer is the lifting vp of the minde to God. And Christ complaineth of this lippe labour:Matth. 15. This people honour me with their lippes. God seeth thy heart, and he requireth it.

9 The persons for whom Samuel did praie are specified in the latter ende of his speeche.He prayed for the prince & the people. For to whom hee saith if yee doe wickedly ye shall perish both you and your king; for them, that they might not doe wickedly, he prayed. Wee must pray first for kings, 1. Tim. 2. and all that are placed in authoritie: that God may giue them vnderstanding hearts rightly to rule; faithfull counsellers, from whom they may receiue wise and graue aduise; carefull mindes, to put good counsels in execution. Euil counsel giuen and fol­lowed hath wrought much woe to many princes, and vtter ruine to sundrie common wealths.2. Sam. 10. King Hanan hearkened to euill counsell, and executed it: but it turned to the confusion of him and his people.2. Sam 20. Absolon likewise followed Achitophels wicked counsel:1. Reg. [...]1. and destruction likewise followed them both. Solomon he gaue eare to foolish women, and followed their idolatrous de­uises: [Page 30] whereby he procured to himselfe the wrath of God. Ro­boam reiected the counsel of the graue and wise,1. Reg. 12. and followed the light and lustie deuises of young braines: but it spoiled him of the most part of his kingdome. Zedechias would not heare the good counsel of Ieremie,Ier. 38. but gaue eare to the euill aduise of his bad counsellers: which, in the ende, turned to his confusion. Happie is that Prince, that hath wise and godly counsellers: and thrise happie that wil followe them. Then may the people liue a quiet and a peaceable life, in all godlinesse and honestie. Samuel praied for the Prince, and the people. This is one principall part of the ministers office.

10 The other is to teache.The next du­tie of the mi­nister is to teache; not what they list, but the good & right way. If I teache not, woe woorth me saith S. Paul. But what is it that the minister should teache? The Pope to be head of the vniuersal Church? No, that Christ clay­meth as his owne right. To abstaine from mariage and meate, as not lawful to be vsed? That S. Paul termeth the doctrine of de­uils. Shal we teache Purgatorie, and prayer to the dead,Col. 1. or for the dead?Eph. 4. But S. Iohn teacheth, that we are purged by the bloud of Christ.1. Tim. 4. And God commaundeth vs to call vpon him in our prayer.1. Iohn 1. Other commaundement haue we none. To be short, shal we teache the doctrine of men? Then all our worshipping of God shall be in vaine. Matth. 15. Samuel therefore telleth vs what we shal teach, name­ly,Esay 30. the good and right waie. Esay speaking of Gods word saith, This is the waie, Ier. 6. walke in it. The prophet Ieremie hath the like, Stand v­pon the waies and see, and inquire of the olde waie, which is the good waie, and walke in it. We ought to walke in the olde path of Gods aun­cient woord. For that is the good, and the right waie. Yee shall not doe that which seemeth right vnto you: Deut 12. but what I commaund, that onely doe; neither adde nor detract any thing. Iohn 14. Christ taught not his owne waies, but the waies of his Father. The wordes which I haue spoken, are not mine, but his that sent me, the fathers. S. Paul durst not teache any other thing,1. Cor. 11. than what he had receiued of the Lorde▪ Yea he curseth the verie Angels of heauen,Gal. 1. if they teache any o­ther way, than that which hee had alreadie deliuered, as right and good. It is the office therefore of the minister to teache the woorde.1. Pet. 4. He that speaketh let him speake as the words of God. The good Emperour Constantinus was so carefull of this, that hee required of the Synode ouer which he was set, to decide matters [Page 31] of religion, that they should order all things by the booke of God, which booke hee placed for the same purpose in the mid­dest of them: and what the Bishoppes in Synode did so con­clude to bee godly and behooueful, that he did ratifie and con­firme.

11 The ministers,Such as doe not this worke should not be suffered to beare this office. you see, should teache the right waie. He, which beareth that name, and performeth not this office, is but an Idoll. Let another take his Bishopricke. Such drones were better smothered than suffered in that hiue, where none should liue, that wil not labour.Zach. 11. Such as sowe not, why should they reape? Nei­ther is it any new thing to cast out vnworthie ministers who cast off care of their duetie.Acts 1. Solomon deposed Abiathar the high Priest:1. Reg 2. and Iustinian depriued Syluerius and Vigilius Bishops of Rome. These are good presidents for Princes in like case to fol­lowe.

12 Again,Punishment due vnto such as teach waies contrarie to that which is good & right. such as teach, but teach not the good, & right way; such as are open and publike maintainers of errors and heresie; such, in the iudgement of God, are thought vnworthie to liue. Falsus Propheta moriatur. Elias, and Iehu did not thinke themselues imbrued,Deut. 13. but rather sanctified with such bloud. I haue no cruell heart;1. Reg. 18. bloud be farre from me: I minde nothing lesse. Yet needes must it be graunted that the maintainers and teachers of errors & heresie are to be repressed in euery Christian common wealth.2. Reg. 10. Such troublers of the quiet of the Church, such deceiuers of the people are at leastwise, according to the auncient commendable custome of the church, to be remooued from the ministerie. It is no reason that the church enemies should bee fostered in the bosome of the church. The histories of things doone by good princes and rulers in these cases are so many and manifest, that I neede not trouble you with recitall of them.Trip hist. lib. 9. cap. 25. Amphilochius the Bishop sharply reprooued Theodosius the Emperour, that he so long winked at Arius, and suffered him to spreade his pestilent heresie farre and wide, ouer the bodie of the church. The Em­perour was not angrie at the words of iust reproofe; but foorth­with banished Arius, and gaue him some part of his iust deserts. The ministers, what roume soeuer they haue in the church of God, ought to pray, and teache the good and right way, or else to giue place to others that can and will. And thus much for the [Page 32] duetie of the ministers.

2 13 It followeth, Feare the Lord and serue him in the trueth withall your hearts. The duetie of the Prince towards God and the com­mon wealth. The Prophet, in these words, putteth the prince and people in remembrance of their dutie. Wherin double seruice is required: The seruice due vnto God; and the seruice due vnto the common wealth. The seruice which we owe vnto God is feare; which feare is euer ioyned with loue, and for that cause called a sonnelike feare: to distinguish it from that seruile feare, the ende whereof is desperation, as the fruite of the former is loue, which maketh not ashamed. Feare God: for they which feare him shal not feele his power. All things bee naked and open before him. He doeth see and wil iudge. Feare him therefore; but loue him too: who hath so loued thee, that hee hath not spared his onely sonne, but giuen him to death for thee.

14 God putteth the heads in minde of this duetie:How princes doe serue God as Princes. knowing that, as they goe before, so the people wil followe after. Ierobo­am gaue euil example,2. Reg. 22. and he made the people sinne. Iosias fea­red and zealously serued God; and the people did the like. Quo­modo reges Domino seruiunt in timore, Aug. cp. 50. nisiea quae contra Domini iussa sunt religiosa seueritate prohibendo atque plectendo? Aliter rex seruit vt homo, aliter vt rex: vt homo, fideliter timendo; vt rex, leges iusta praecipientes & contraria prohibentes sanciendo. How doe Princes serue the Lorde in feare, saith S. Augustine, vnlesse with religious rigor they forbid, and punish things wherein the statutes of the Lorde are broken? The king serueth God as a man one way, and an other way as a king: As a man by leading a faithfull life: as a king by making Lawes such as inioyne things that are iust & forbid the contrary. Ezechias did God the seruice of a king in destroying the groues and temples of Idols,2. Paral. 3 [...]. which were builded against the comman­dement of God.2. Paral. 34. Iosias did the like, in reforming the church; in dispatching all Idolatrie, and superstition. Darius did God royall seruice,Dan. 6. when he gaue the Idol into Daniels handes, and cast his enemies into the denne of Lions.Dan. 3. Nabuchodonazer did the like, when by straite Lawe hee commaunded that none should blas­pheme, but that all should serue the God of Sydrach My sach and Abednago. Herein Princes doe rightly serue God as Princes, when, to serue him, they doe such things, as vnlesse they were Prin­ces they could not doe.

[Page 33] 15 The first point of kinglie seruice vnto God is to purge,The first point of king­ly seruice vn­to God is to purge his Church. and cleanse his Church. Christ teacheth this, by that which he did at his entering into that fowlie defiled temple of Ierusalem. It appertaineth to Princes, to Magistrates, to them which are nowe assembled in this honourable Court of Parliament, by all good meanes and Lawes to see Gods house made cleane: that it may be the house of prayer, and not a denne of theeues.

16 First it must be purged from all false doctrine:From false do­ctrine and I­dolatrie. from all I­dolatrie, and superstition. The good kings, Ezechias, and Iosias were careful in this behalfe. They could not abide Idolatrie to be committed, or God to be blasphemed within their dominons. It had beene hard to haue purchased such a thing as a Masse at Moses hands with a masse of money. That zealous Prince king Asa deposed Maacha his grandemother wholly from all gouern­ment, for setting vp a foule Idol in a groue. He that dealt so sharp­ly with his grandmother for this, surely would, in no case or res­pect, haue tolerated a blasphemous masse in his reformed church and kingdome. The euill which others doe by our sufferance is ours. We doe it, when we suffer it to be done. Princes, to please princes, may not displease the prince of all princes. Feare the Lord, and serue him in zeale, and in trueth; cast out of the church of England all leuin of blasphemie and Idolatrie. So shall you glorifie God,1. Sam. 2. and he shal glorifie you. Pauls heart was set on fire, his spirit was kindled within him,Acts 17. when hee sawe the citie of Athens giuen to Idolatrie.1. Mac. 2. Ye knowe the Historie of that woorthie man Mattathias. We praie daily, Hallowed be thy name: but with what mindes, if wittingly we suffer his name to be prophaned & blas­phemed?

17 Feare the Lord, From occasi­ons of offence. purge his Church, remooue all stones of offence out of his vineyard.1. Cor. 14. S. Pauls rule is, Let all things in the Church be doone seemely: What that seemelinesse is he himselfe ex­poundeth in these words,1. Cor. 14. Let all things be doone vnto edification. The primatiue Church, casting away Iudaicall, and Heathenish rites was simple in her ceremonies. The pope hath polluted, and bur­thened the Church with both. Wee may haue no other than such as are comely, and serue for the furtherance of true religion.

18 The church had neede to be purged of an other enormi­tie,From Simonie or else it cannot be safe. The sinne of Magus must be remoo­ued. [Page 34] This disease spreadeth farre. Patrones gape for gaines, and hungrie fellowes, vtterly destitute of all good learning or godlie zeale, yea skantly cloathed with common honestie, hauing mo­ney, find readie entraunce into the Church. These are theeues and robbers,Iohn 10. they creepe into the church of Christ by stealth. They are not called of God,Heb. 5. as Aaron was. This sinne is vniuer­sally complained of. Surely, if symoniacall affection haue cor­rupted the heart of any Bishop: (as some will not let openly to say) it were not amisse if his heart were giuen him in his hande. He is easily dealt withal if he be disbishopped. If the lot fal on the lay man, the losse of his patronage is but a light punishment for a fault so heynous. But whosoeuer is this money man, I wil say vn­to him in the words of S. Peter,Acts 8. Thy money be with thee vnto perdi­tion. Shifts are but shifts in these matters. It is all one to goe plainely to worke with Iudas, What will ye giue me: and to giue thy patronage to thy seruaunt to sell, and so to diuide Christs coate betweene you.Ambrosius. Ambrose, in his booke de pastore, seemeth to touche Bishops of his time with simonie: saying, Quod dedit, cùm Episcopus ordinaretur, aurum fuit; & quod perdidit, anima fuit: cùm ali­um ordinaret, quod accepit, pecunia fuit; quod dedit, lepra fuit. That which he gaue when he was ordained Bishop was gold: and that which he lost was his soule. That which he tooke when hee or­dained an other was money: and that which he gaue was a lepro­sie. This is the hole whereat so many vnfit and vnwoorthie per­sons haue crept in.1. Tim. 5. Lay not thy hands on any man quickely, is worne out of remembraunce. Such as cannot feede the flocke, are now dispensed withall to be owners of the fleese. God no doubt will finde out the fault, and the bloud of such as perish wilbe required at some bodies hands. God graunt speedie reformation heerein. Such in authoritie, as truly feare God, wil purge his church from false doctrine, from Idolatrie, from superstition, and from Si­monie.

19 The next point of princely seruice doone to God,The next point of princely ser­vice to God, is to prouide that his peo­ple may be taught the way of sal­uation. is to nurse the church with wholesome foode till we all growe vp to a perfect man in Christ Iesus. That this foode may bee ministred, that this word may be preached, euerie where, to Gods people; good princes, and such as are in authoritie must take special care. For this is truely to serue and feare God. It is not enough that [Page 35] princes and magistrates embrace the Gospel, that they feed vpon the foode of saluation themselues; but they, as heads and pastors, must see this bread broken & deliuered to the people. Christ had care of al the people, & sent his disciples abroad with this charge, Go your waies into the whole world. Matt. 28. The wil of Christ is, that all be saued and come to the knowledge of the truth. 1. Tim. 2. The preaching of the gospel is called the kingdome of Christ. For by that meanes Christ is plan­ted, groweth, & raigneth in the hearts and soules of the people. If the flocke want their pastor, &, by reason therof, through famine perish; doubtlesse that bloud of soules wil be required. Lawes pro­uide for many matters of small importance. This waightie matter of mans saluation is not lightly to be passed ouer. The haruest no doubt is great,Luke 10. many willing to heare the word: fewe there be that labour, but many idle lookers on, who take the wages, but either wil not or cannot worke. They haue learned of the euill steward to play the theefe:Luke 16. both to robbe their master Christ of his glorie, and the church of Christ of their saluation. But woe be to those sheepeheardes which feede themselues, and suffer the flocke of Christ to want their meate.

20 The want of reward hindereth this worke.Prouision to be made for teachers to that purpose. But this wil be answered. Some haue ynough and some haue too much. I am ac­quainted with these speeches: but let me say againe: A great sort haue too litle, and some that are worthie to haue, haue starke no­thing. No man hath too much that wel doeth his dutie: for he is worthie of double that honour which he hath.1. Tim. 5. And he that can iustly be charged with want of duetie,Apoc. 2. let his candlestick in Gods name, and for Gods sake be remooued. Nowe if it be alleaged, that if equall diuision were made, all might be sufficiently proui­ded for: But who shal make the diuision? There is cause, why men may thinke it skant safe for the Church of Christ to put her patrimonie to arbitrement: least, while diuision bee pretended, some Quintus Fabius adiudge a good part thereof to the Senate of Rome.Cic. de Off. lib. 1. Rome hath robbed Christ of his honour; and, by im­propriations, giuen his patrimonie to idle fat Monkes to feede v­pon. We haue restored Christ to his honour and dignitie: but we stil holde from him his lands and liuing like a ward. The Eth­nicke and Idolatrous priests of Egypt, of Iupiter, of Baal, of Bel were liberally prouided for. The priests of Aaron, the Scribes [Page 36] and Pharisies, the Monkes, Friers, and sacrificing popish priests were in high authoritie, and had the wealth of the worlde. Shall Idol seruice be preferred to the true seruice of God? Shall false prophets be better regarded and rewarded than true Preachers? Then iust is our condemnation.Iohn 3. For we shewe, that light being come into the worlde, wee loue it not so much as they loued darke­nesse. The Gospel hath euil lucke: it is neuer preached, but the patrimonie thereof is pinched. Such as wil pretend the Gospell, and labour to pull away the patrimonie of the Gospel,Tit. 1. may well professe Christ in words but they denie him in their deedes.

21 As the ministers are to bee prouided for,The people to be constrained to heare; what soeuer they pretend to the contrarie. that the worde may be preached: so the people must bee brought to conforme themselues to the thankefull receiuing thereof: that from thence they may learne truely to serue and feare God. And this care al­so pertaineth to godlie princes, and good magistrates, to prouide good Lawes for the same, and to see those Lawes put in executi­on. Although conscience cannot be forced; yet vnto externall obedience, in lawful things, men may lawfully be compelled. God the great king who worketh al things wel, sent foorth his officers to compel men to come in,Luke 14. and eate of his great supper. Here­vpon S. Augustine saith,Aug. epist. 204. Qui compellitur, quò non vult, cogitur; sed, cùm intrarit, iam volens pascitur. Hee that is constrained, is driuen whither he would not goe willingly: but when hee is entred by constraint, then he feedeth with a good will. Paul neuer embra­ced the gospel vntil he was cast off his horse flat vpon the earth: and then he cried,Acts 9. Lord what wilt thou haue me to doe? It is profitable for men to be constrained vnto those things which are good. And as it is profitable for them to be constrained, so is it a thing verie reasonable to constraine them. For why should not the Church enforce her lost children to returne to saluation: if lost children enforce others to turne to destruction? Seeing that the whole seruice in our Church is no other than Gods written worde: as there can be alleaged no iust cause, why any man should with­drawe himselfe from this word; so appertaineth it vnto princes that feare God, within their dominions, to compel euery subiect to come and heare this worde: least the church by this euill ex­ample should be greatly offended. Gods causes are zealously to be seene vnto: and the winning of mens soules is religiously to [Page 37] be sought. And thus much briefly touching the seruice of God: To see the Gospel eueriewhere preached, the ministers prouided for, and the people compelled to come heare the worde. This is the feare of God which Samuel requireth.

22 Whereunto must bee added a speciall regard to the com­mon wealth.The duetie of the prince to­wardes the common wealth. It is commonly saide that the common wealth is sore diseased, and that euerie member of that bodie seemeth to be grieued. Remedie would bee sought in time, least remedie come too late. But I am no Phisition for that bodie, and therefore is it not fit for me to minister any medicine to it. But I shall pray for the health thereof, and set it ouer to such as haue skill and can helpe. The care of the common wealth chiefly appertaineth to the head of the common wealth, who is Parens Patriae, the mo­ther of this sicke childe. It is required at our handes to feare and serue the Lorde in trueth. That prince doth serue God in trueth, and in deede, which is careful that the euill may be punished and repressed; and that the good may bee defended, and aduaunced. When generally all men are seene vnto, that euerie man doe his duetie, then God is in trueth and synceritie serued.

23 The prince is set as the head ouer the bodie;With the prince other officers must be ioyned of whose choise howe great care should be had. as the chiefe shepeheard ouer the flocke. These titles are giuen to Princes, and gouernours, to put them in minde not onely of their honour and preeminence, but of their charge and office also. But the prince cannot doe this alone, it is a burthen too heauie for one to weeld. And therefore hee must, according to the counsel which Iethro gaue vnto Moses, choose out of all the people men wise and fearing God, lo­uers of the trueth, Exod. 18. such as hate couetousnesse, and out of them make rulers ouer thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tennes, that they may sit and iudge the people at all seasons. Magistrates should bee chosen out of all the people for their woorthinesse. It is vnmeete that such things as should followe deserts, bee procured by other sinister meanes. Magistrates should be wise men, furnished with learning, vnder­standing, good skil, and long experience; men that feare God, re­ligious louers of his trueth, fauourers of the Gospell, and of all such as liue in the feare of God; True and vpright dealers, such as will stedfastly fasten their eies vpon the causes brought before them, and not regard the face of any man; lastly haters of co­uetousnesse, bribes, and rewardes. Good officers should [Page 38] thus be qualified. And to the end that magistrates may be such, it must be prouided that there may be choise of officers without sale of offices. It is not probable that he which obtaineth such a roume for a price, wil leaue it freely, or deale iustly in it. A grea­ter corruption than this cannot enter into a common wealth. For by this meane both the prince and people are deceiued. To pu­nish the euil; to maintaine the good; to ouerlooke the whole, and to choose & appoint forth worthie officers for the gouern­ment of the common wealth, this is the duetie of a prince that feareth God. That prince which doth this serueth God in trueth.

24 Homer bringeth in Iupiter sitting in the middest of the assemblie of gods,The power of princes if they list to vse it vnto good purposes. whom he menaceth and threateneth on this wise: Let not any god or goddesse attempt the breache of my mandate. If I vnderstand that any doe, I wil giue him small ioie of this place, or prouide him another farre ynough hence, a dwelling place the gates whereof are yron, and the ground brasse. I will plunge him as deepe vnder hel, as heauen is o­uer earth. He shall well knowe his might to be somewhat beneath mine. For if ye thinke your selues to be stronger than I am, make triall of your strength, fasten a chaine in heauen and ioyne all your force at the end thereof. But yee shall neuer be able to pull Iupiter out of heauen, no though ye sweate much a­bout it: whereas if I list to put but my finger to the haling of you, I wil pluck vp sea and lande with you: So much am I superior vnto gods and men. Kings and princes in their seuerall dominions haue such power, through the prouidēce of almightie God, by whose appointment they weare their crownes, that their ordinaunces bee not lightly broken, vnlesse themselues be carelesse to haue them kept. For by reason of the Maiestie that God hath giuen them, they are feared of all estates and conditions of men. They can throwe downe whom they wil; and whom they wil they can aduaunce. They haue the chaine and the reine in their hands: they can draw others whither they wil, but others are not able to drawe them vnlesse they list. This power and strength and glorie which GOD hath giuen vnto kings, and whereby they are able to leade the worlde as it were in a string, leaueth them vtterly with­out excuse if they vse it not to the benefite of the common wealth. They cannot serue God in trueth, and giue the bridle to their subiects, to sinne without restraint. These times of greatest and grauest consultation are fit occasions wherein Princes may [Page 39] most effectually shewe howe heartily and truely they feare the Lord.Making of Lawes to re­medi [...] abuses in the com­mon wealth. These are the times to prouide chaines, that is to say, good statutes and lawes to holde all men within compasse, and to binde together the skattered parts of the common wealth. When the great counsel of Rome entered into the Senate, to consult for the good gouernment and defence of the Empire; first they went & sacrificed to Iupiter, and there euerie man offered vp and left be­hinde him his priuate affections: promising that their consulta­tion should onely tend to the common benefite. Leaue you all priuate affections likewise; cast them behinde you, seeke not your owne commoditie. Let it appeare that you loue your Countrie. God, the Prince, and the common wealth require a faithfull per­formance of this seruice at your hands. Seeke by Lawe the syn­cere setting foorth, the maintenance and continuance of Gods true religion. Let this be your first and principal care: and so shal ye serue the Lorde in trueth.

25 Seeke by Lawe to represse the gainesayers,Libertie of professing di­uers religions is daungerous to the state. and the ene­mies of this trueth. This libertie, that men may openly professe diuersitie of religion, must needs be dangerous to the common wealth. What stirs diuersities of religion hath raised in nations & kingdoms, the histories are so many & so plaine, and our times in such sort haue told you▪ that with further proofe I need not trou­ble your eares. One God, one king, one faith, one profession is fit for one monarchie, & common wealth. Diuision weakneth; Con­cord strēgtheneth. The storie of Scilurus the Scythian is knowen, who vpon his death bed taught his lxxx. sons the force of vnitie by the strength of sticks (weake by themselues) when they are ty­ed in a bundle. Let conformitie and vnitie in religion be prouided for, and it shal be as a wall of defence vnto this Realme.

26 And as these things are especially to be regarded;Smaller abu­ses in attire, dyet, &c. as our principal care must be for the highest matters, synceritie and vni­tie in religion: so we may not neglect or passe ouer smaller things, which neede redresse. For as diseases and sores in the basest and vilest parts of the body doe grieue, and may endaunger the chie­fest, vnlesse they bee cured betimes: so the least abuses, by suffe­rance, may worke the greatest harme. Gorgeous apparel, and sumptuous dyet, with such like matters, may seeme small things: but they are the causes of no small euils. They eate vp England, [Page 40] and are therefore to bee repressed by straite Lawes. It is a part of true seruice done vnto God to see euen vnto these things.

27 Wee may seeme to cast our eyes very lowe,Corruptions in officers vn­der the prince when wee looke into the dealings of euerie officer vnder the Prince. Yet euerie one must be seene vnto. They waxe sodainely rich by the spoile of the Prince. Reforme it by Lawe, that all may walke in trueth.Deceit in the meaner trades of life. If merchaunts, with other artificers, and meaner trades doe inriche themselues by impouerishing others, through de­ceitfull shifts; the common wealth suffereth dammage by their vneuen dealings. If we wil haue God serued in trueth, wee must by Lawe reforme them.

28 That biting worme of vsurie,Vsurie. that deuouring wolfe hath consumed many; many it hath pulled vpon their knees, and brought to beggerie; many such as might haue liued in great wealth, and in honour not a fewe. This canker hath corrupted all England. It is become the chiefe chaffer and merchaundise of England. We shall doe God and our countrie true seruice, by taking away this euill. Represse it by Lawe, else the heauie hand of God hangeth ouer vs, and wil strike vs.

29 That vile sinne of adulterie,Adulterie. in Gods common wealth punished with death, so ouerfloweth the bankes of all chastitie, that if by sharpe Lawes it be not speedily cut off, God from hea­uen with fire will consume it. Preuent Gods wrath, bridle this outrage: so shal you serue the Lord in truth.

30 There is nothing more hurtfull to the common wealth than these corner contracts,Corner con­tracts without consent of pa­rents. without consent of parents; con­trary to the woorde of God, the Lawe of nature, the Lawe ci­uil, and all right and reason. The inconueniences that fol­lowe are not sufferable. Euaristus a Bishop of Rome saith, It is not wedlocke, but whoredome, when the consent of parents is wanting. God cannot bee better serued than if by Lawe yee restraine this vnlawfull contracting. The children of this inconuenient ma­riage may scarsely bee termed lawfull. The deuill, that hath e­uer hated wedlocke and loueth whoredome, was the first author of this great disorder. God graunt you vnderstanding heartes and willing mindes, faithfully and in trueth to trauell to represse and take away these euils.

31 And as euill is to be controlled by Lawe,The poore. so that which is [Page 41] good is also by Lawe to be procured. God hath made vs many wayes riche. For what wee haue, freely at his hands we haue it. But he himselfe is become very poore: in so much that, for want of reliefe, he is forced to begge; and, for want of lodging and meate, hee lieth and dieth in our streetes. This great ingratitude God cannot but reuenge. Oh what shame is this to a Christian common wealth, in a reformed countrie? Obstinate Iewes would neuer shew themselues so vnthankful.Deut. 15. Their auncient Lawe for­bidding beggars is euen to this day most straitly kept amongest them. Lawes in this behalfe haue beene prouided: but as they wanted perfection, so haue they in manner in no point or any where had execution. Serue God in trueth, prouide that Christ craue not. Such as wil not feede him here: he wil neuer feede in his kingdome. Thus haue I, point by point, let you see disorders and wants in the common wealth. Ye haue authoritie by Lawe to reforme them. Consider duetifully of it, and serue God true­ly as ye ought, alwayes remembring the saying of the Prophet Esay,Esay 10. Woe be to them that make wicked Lawes.

32 When good Lawes are made they must be put in execu­tion.Execution of Lawes. Lawe is the life of the common wealth: and execution the life of the Lawe. And better not to make Lawes: than not to ex­ecute Lawes, when they are once made. This is the dutie of the publike ministers of the common wealth. They must first keepe Lawes themselues: & then see that others in like sort may obserue them. If the officers and ministers of the common wealth con­temne lawes; doubtlesse the people wil neuer reuerence them: if they breake them; the people wil neuer keep them.Solon. Which Solon wisely considering, wisely aunswered being demaunded what was chiefe safetie for a common wealth: If the Citizens obey the Magi­strate, and the Magistrate the Lawes. You that are appointed to this purpose, and put in trust therewith, lay aside dread and meede, fauour and friendship, gift and gaine, and with simplicitie of heart punish the transgressor of the Lawe according to the Law. Make not Anacharsis webbe of the Lawe,Valer. lib. 7. c. 2. Let not the hornet es­cape: and the litle flie bee caught. Fewe Lawes well made and well kept, would serue the turne. This is Gods seruice; the execution thereof he hath set ouer to your hands.Ier. 48. Serue him in trueth and singlenesse of heart. Cursed is he that negligently doeth the [Page 42] worke of the Lorde.

3 33 Thus much hath beene spoken concerning higher pow­ers and of their duetie in the seruice of God. Samuel speaketh not to them alone,The duetie of the people to­wards God. to the people it is spoken as well as to the prince, Feare and serue ye the Lorde in trueth. Feare God, embrace the Gospel, leade your liues in holinesse and righteousnesse ac­cording to the word of trueth. The Lorde is a strong defence to them that feare him.Psal 34. They that feare him want nothing.

34 Giue vnto the Lordes annointed due reuerence and ho­nour.Towardes higher pow­ers. Let euerie soule be subiect, not by constraint, but for consci­ence sake.Rom. 13. Imitate those worthie Israelites, who were so willingly obedient to Iosua, that they cryed with one voice, Whosoeuer shall rebell against thy commaundement, Ios. 1. and will not obey thy woordes in all that thou commaundest him, let him die. Grudge not, repine not at higher powers: say not in your hearts,Psal. 2. Let vs breake their bands, and cast a­way their chaines from vs.

35 Seeke the peace of the common wealth and the safetie thereof:Towards the common wealth. for in the peace thereof your peace doeth stand. In this sort God is to be feared,Ier. 29. in this sort of all sorts he is to be serued: and by this meane the common wealth is to bee maintained and pre­serued. If we, linked together in the feare of God, and in true concord and amitie among our selues, put to our helping handes euerie one duetifully in his calling, to the supporting of this state, and defending thereof; doubtlesse no enemie, no forren power can hurt vs, no Bull of Basan shall preuaile against vs: but wee and our common wealth in despite of all both corporal and spiri­tual enemies, shall be strengthened and stablished for euer. So true is it,Greg. Nazian. that kingdome which is grounded vpon good wil, standeth fast and sure for euer.

36 But as the naturall bodie without sinewes can not growe,Subsidies. waxe strong, or continue: no more can a ciuil bodie without his sinewes. The sinewes of the common wealth are the treasures. Tributes therefore and subsidies are due to the Prince. Giue vnto Caesar those things that are Caesars; Matth. 22. tribute vnto whom tribute belongeth. It is not giuen to the Prince,Rom. 13. but to the common wealth: it is in trueth bestowed vpon our selues. The prince, in respect of pri­uate vse, neither needeth, neither requireth our money. It is the common wealth, whereunto we owe not our goods onely, but [Page 43] our liues also: it requireth this at our handes, for our owne safe­tie. The prince will be but a steward hereof, seasonably to lay it out for publike vse. Good common wealthsmen haue not spa­red to giue their very liues for their countrie:Val. lib. 5. cap. 6. as Themistocles, Curtius, Codrus and others. And who can so litle regard the common wealth, as by pinching at a peece of monie, to pinche it? He that seeth his house ruinous, and for sparing will not re­paire it; if it fall vpon his head, let him fall himselfe. Moses found his subiects maruellous readie in this behalfe; when a voluntarie contribution was required towardes the building of the taber­nacle,Exod. 36. they brought in so much, that he was forced to crie, Suffi­cit: Nowe ynough. Cyrus was a gentle and a good prince, and he had thankefull subiects: their voluntarie gift at one subsidie surmounted all the long heaped treasure of riche Craesus. The Princes treasure is wasted in our defence; our duetie is to repaire it againe for our safetie. This duetie God and our common wealth require at our handes. Let vs paie franklie this debt: so shall we worke our owne safetie, strengthen the common wealth, and serue God and our countrie in trueth.

37 And thus we learne, that if the ministers earnestly praie 4 for,The punish­ment, if by the minister, the prince, and ye people ye fore­saide duties be not perfor­med. and faithfully teache the prince, and the people; if the prince and the people syncerely feare, and serue God; feare him as an omnipotent Lord, and iust Iudge, and withall loue him as a most louing father, serue him in cleansing, and feeding his Church; cleansing it from false doctrine, Idolatrie, superstition, and symonie; feeding it with the word, by causing it eueriewhere to be preached, which will be by prouiding maintenance for the preachers thereof, and compelling all subiects to heare Gods word, and receiue his sacraments: Further if the Prince carefully consider of the common wealth, to represse the euil, encourage and strengthen the good, and ouerlooke the whole; and doe choose wise, religious, louers of the trueth, and haters of coue­tousnesse vnder him to gouerne it: If in this great and stately counsell of the kingdome (banishing priuate affections) it syn­cerely be sought, by Lawe to set foorth and preferre true religion, and withall to bridle the desperate tongues of gainesayers: If by strength of good Lawes they represse monstrous apparell, and excessiue dyet, deceitful bargaining, vsurie, adulterie, vnlawfully [Page 44] stolen contracts; and so prouide for the poore, that Christ in his members may be relieued: If the officers of the common wealth keepe good Lawes themselues; and faithfully, without foolish pi­tie (which is crueltie) see them executed vpon others; If the people like good subiectes feare God, honour the Prince, liue peaceably, and seeke the safetie of their countrie: Lastly, if we all linked together in loue, liberally relieue the common wealth, and frankly supplie the want therof, for our owne safetie: then doubt­lesse the Lord wil blesse and preserue our Prince, and vs, and sta­blish this kingdome in peace, and prosperitie, to flourish and to continue. But if we be cold, and negligent in Gods cause: if we be vnthankefull and disobedient to our good Samuel, to our gra­tious Soueraigne: then let vs looke for that which God threate­neth here by his prophet, Both you and your king shall perish. God graunt in his mercie that assisted with his grace we may syncerely seeke and serue him to his great glorie and our great safetie in this life, and eternal saluation in the world to come. To that immor­tall onely wise and most gratious God, &c.

A Sermon preached in Yorke at the celebration of the day of the Queenes entraunce into her Raigne.

CANTIC. 2.‘15 Take vs the litle foxes which destroy the vines: for our vine hath flourished.’

SVch solemne assemblies in so sacred a place,Solemne as­semblies or­dained in the Church to the praise of God for spe­ciall bene­fites. to giue God thankes for great benefites receiued, are no rare things among Gods people, but are confir­med by sundrie examples in the scrip­tures.Nehem. 8. Nehemias, after that the house of God was reedified, assembled the people, caused the Lawe of the Lord to be openly read, gaue thankes vnto the Lord for their deliuerance from Babylon and for restitution of religion, and with great reioising and feasting kept that day [Page 45] holie vnto the Lord.Hester 9. When, by the meanes of Queene Hester, the Iewes had gotten rest, and giuen a great ouerthrow to their enemies, she likewise with the aduise of hir godly vncle Mardo­cheus, commanded the people to keepe that day the fourteenth of the moneth Adar holie vnto the Lord yerely, to feast and giue thanks for Gods great mercies and their maruellous deliuerance. When God had deliuered his people Israel from the tyrannie of Triphon,1. Mac. 13. by the meanes of Simon the high priest, a gouernour and prince of the Iewes: Simon ordained that the same day of their deliueraunce should yerely bee kept holie vnto the Lorde, with gladnesse, feasting, and thankesgiuing. The feasts of Passeo­uer, Pentecost,Deut. 16. Tabernacles, and such other were commaunded to be kept holie in remembraunce of great benefites receiued at the Lords hands. The people of Israel with thankefull hearts re­membring what a great benefite they had receiued, when hee chose and annointed Dauid to be their king, gathered together in a solemne assemblie to celebrate that happie daie and to giue God thankes, sang with ioyfull acclamation vnto the Lord,Psal. 118. This is the daie which the Lord hath made, let vs reioice and be glad in it.

2 Greater cause to assemble together,As great cause of the like as­semblies pre­sently in Eng­land as euer any where. and to giue God thankes for blessings and benefites receiued, had neuer nation or people than we presently haue. For as this day now twentie yeres fully finished, the Lorde in his mercie remembring vs, when wee litle hoped and lesse deserued, deliuered vs from the state of mise­rable seruitude, and gaue vs our gratious Soueraigne, his owne elect, Elizabeth by his grace our prince and gouernour, the re­storer of our religion and libertie. Lorde shewe vs the light of thy fauourable countenance, multiplie these good daies, graunt vs many of these happie yeres: O Lord I praie thee saue nowe, O Lord I pray thee now giue prosperitie, Lord preserue whō thou hast giuen, giue her O Lord good successe and prosperitie. Euse­bius the Bishop of Cesarea thought himselfe much honoured, that he was appointed to celebrate with a Sermon the Inaugu­ration of Constantinus the Emperour. Euen so I take it for my great good happe, that it falleth to my lot at this present to put you in remembraunce of the great happinesse which hath befal­len vs as on this day, that we may reioice and be thankefull for it.

3 And for the better performance hereof, as the publike mi­nister [Page 46] of the Church,Three things contained in this parcell of scripture a­boue written. I bring vnto you the voice of the Church, a part of the most excellent song of Solomon. Which at the first sight although it may seeme a strange peece of scripture, and skantly fit for this time; yet, when it shall be throughly conside­red of, it wil appeare very pertinent to our time and purpose. For herein is contained a doctrine touching the mercies of God to­wards vs: the malitious frowardnesse of his and our enemies, and our duetie towards him concerning them. Our vineyard hath flou­rished; behold the meere grace and fauour of God towardes his Church: Litle foxes deuoure it; behold the ingratitude of the peo­ple resisting the grace of God and abusing his mercie: Take vs these litle foxes; behold the commaundement of God and the due­tie of his seruaunts. Of these three things in order as they lie my purpose is, by Gods assistance, to speake.

1 4 The Church of God by a metaphor is many times in the scriptures termed a vineyard: neither can there bee a better re­semblance in any thing,Our vineyard hath florished The Church of God like a vineyarde, which must first be clean­sed; then plan­ted; and third­ly fensed, to the ende it may flourish, and that in diuerse respects. But be­cause it were more curious than profitable particularly to follow the comparison, I wil onely remember vnto you the chiefe parts. The vineyard that shall fructifie must fall into the hands of a skil­ful and laboursome husbandman, who first must weede it, stone it and prepare it, then he must in season, and with cunning, plant a good vine that will beare a pleasaunt grape in it, water, vnder­prop and prune it, and lastly compasse it about with a ditche, a strong wall, or a sure hedge for defence. Such a vineyard must needes bring foorth good fruite. God of his goodnesse hath pro­uided for this vineyard his church of England all these helpes a­boundantly, he hath beautified it and furnished it most plentiful­ly with rare and woonderfull blessings.

5 He hath giuen it a skilfull ouerseer,The Church of England blest with an ouerseer wise; and learned; religious; iust; peaceful; per­forming the aforesaid due­ties therein. one indued with al gifts and qualities fit for gouernement. An vnwise King destroyeth his people: but where they that be in authoritie are men of vnderstan­ding, there the Citie prospereth. Be wise therefore O ye Kings, be learned ye Iudges of the earth, saith the Prophet. It pleased the Lord greatlie that Solomon asked rather wisedome than riches, know­ledge than honour: Giue vnto thy seruaunt, O Lord, an vnderstanding heart, Eccles. 10. to iudge thy people, that I may discerne betweene good and bad. Psal. 1. If learning and wisedome be so necessarily required in a gouernor,1. Reg. 3. [Page 47] how great is the goodnesse of almightie God to vs ward, which hath so plentifully bestowed this gift of knowledge and wisdome vpon our Soueraigne, not farre inferior to Mithridates for diuer­sitie of languages, but farre surmounting al former English prin­ces in learning, knowledge and vnderstanding? which rare and excellent gift dwelleth not in her royall brest alone, but is beauti­fied and accompanyed with sundrie other most singuler graces. She is the verie patronesse of true religion, rightly termed The de­fender of the Faith: one that before all other things seeketh the kingdome of God. If the threatenings of men could haue terrifi­ed her, or their allurements entised her, or any craftie perswasions haue preuailed, she had reuolted long ere this: so fiercely by great Potentates her constancie hath beene assaulted. But God hath strengthened his royall handmaide; the feare of God hath put to flight the feare of men; her religious heart is accepted of the Lord, and glorious it is also in the eyes of the worlde. A Prince so zealous for Gods house, so firmely setled in his trueth; that she hath constantly determined, and oftentimes vowed rather to suf­fer all torments, than one iot to relent in matter of religion. She is not fraudulent and treacherous; but dealeth iustly and truely in woord and deede with all men, promiseth and performeth. Herein her Maiestie passeth all princes; and therefore in credite she is farre before others. And her great desire is, that all men placed in authoritie vnder her should deale truely, iudge rightly, and giue to euery man his owne, according to iustice, matching alwaies with iustice mercie: which two are so linked and coupled together that they may not be seuered. Iustice without mercie is too sharpe and rigorous: and mercie without iustice, is not mer­cie, but follie. That no Prince of this Realme, inclining so much to mercie, did euer lesse hinder the course of Iustice than her Highnesse hath doone, such as are placed in Iudiciall roumes must needes confesse. So truely it may be saide,Psal. 44. The scepter of thy kingdome is a righteous scepter, thou louest iustice and hatest sinne. Of na­ture a prince most mercifull, in iudgement vpright and iust. A prince voide of all corruption, an hater of bribes, free in bestow­ing, in taking close handed, one that hath learned and doeth pra­ctise our Sauiours lesson,Acts 20. It is a more blessed thing to giue than to re­ceiue. A right Samuel, that cannot bee charged with indirect [Page 48] dealing. A prince milde as Moses, iust as Samuel, peacefull as Solomon, zealous as Dauid. Neither speake I this in flatterie, which thing be farre from me, but in an vpright conscience; not of gesse, but of knowledge; not seeking my selfe, but the glorie of God, that being put in minde of your happinesse, yee may praise God for his mercie, and glorifie him in his gratious gifts. Thus hath God blessed this vineyard his Church with a learned, wise, religious, iust, vncorrupt, milde, mercifull, peacefull, and zealous Prince to gouerne it. A great blessing, the Lord conti­nue it, and make vs thankefull for it.

6 This skilfull manurer of the vineyard must first ridde the ground,The vineyard of England purged of Ido­latrie and su­perstition. purge the Church. The barnefloore must be cleansed, before the haruest be brought in. Ieremie commaundeth the thornes first to be rooted out, and then the seede to bee cast into the ground. Moses gaue charge to cast out all leauen, before the people might celebrate the passeouer. Iosua willed the Cananites to be expelled, ere he would establish his common wealth of Is­rael. Iacob would not sacrifice vnto God, till he had purged his house of Idols. The like might bee shewed in Dauid, Ezechias, Nehemias, Mattathias. But one example may serue for all, be­ing of our Sauiour, who is aboue all, and Lord of all. Christ at his first entrie into the temple, purged it by casting out buyers and sellers. Our gratious Gouernor following Christs example hath laboured most earnestly first to cleanse this ground and to purge this church of England, hath caused the stones to bee pic­ked out; brambles and breers to be pulled vp; all rubbidge, and whatsoeuer was hurtfull to be remooued; the denne of theeues to be dispersed, buyers and sellers of popish trash, Monkes, Fryers, Massemongers with like miscreants to bee hurled and whipped out; the stumbling stones of superstition, the baggage of mans traditions, with all monuments of Idolatrie, vanitie, and poperie to be cast out of the house of God and vineyard of the Lord: So that the field of God is cleared, the vineyard cleansed, the church purged, readie for the seede to be sowen, and the vine to be plan­ted. And all this without resistance or tumult. It was the worke of God, it is maruellous to as many as duely consider it.

7 Nowe it behooueth the vinitor to take great heede what vine he planteth in this vineyard.Christ planted in ye vineyard of England. Thornes will not bring foorth [Page 49] grapes, nor thistles figges. If thou sowe the giddie darnell of hu­mane traditions, looke for like fruite: for he that conceiueth va­nitie, shall bring foorth winde. But our skilfull housholder, our wise gouernor hath planted in this our vineyard neither thornes, nor thistles; but the true vine Christ, growing in the heartes of his elect. This vine hath beene diligently watered with the dewe of Gods trueth syncerely preached; it hath beene cherished with his sacraments, reuerently administred, according to his will; it hath beene vnderpropped with the continuaunce of authoritie, and defence of zealous Christian magistrates; pruned with the two edged sword of Gods spirit, working by the ministerie of his seruaunts, who with the sweete promises of the gospel haue rea­red vp the drooping braunches ouerburthened with sinne, and with the sharpe threatenings of the Lawe haue cut off the lasci­uious wilde boughes of wickednesse. No flocke better fed, no people more instructed, no vineyard in the world more beautiful or goodly to behold.

8 This vineyard so prepared,The vineyard fensed with Lawes of dis­cipline. this vine so planted, watered, and vnderset, hath also beene strongly hedged, and fensed with godlie Lawes of good discipline, to put backe all enemies, to pu­nish all transgresiors, to bridle the vnrulie, and to keepe men in order, that the church of God may liue in all peace and tranquil­litie, with all pietie and honestie. This is the flourishing vine­yard of the Lord; the beautifull arke of couenaunt, wherein are reposed the treasures of God, the golden pot with Manna, the rod of Aaron, and the tables of Moses. No church vnder hea­uen more inriched with treasures and gifts of God; so that wee may truely say,1. Cor. 1. We are inriched by him in all knowledge and in all speeche, in so much that we are not destitute of any gift. The Lorde may iustly say to vs, as to his people of olde,Esay 5. What might I doe for my vine which I haue not doone? and wee may well sing the song which the spirite hath indited, euen of purpose as it seemeth for vs, Vinea nostra flo­ruit, Our vine hath flourished.

9 And although the ground where this vine is planted,The fruits of this vineyard many; one speciall, which is peace both spirituall and ciuill. hath beene very barren: yet hath it brought foorth many goodly and pleasaunt grapes. The gospel hath chased away walking spirites, it hath cast out diuels, banished much ignorance and blindnesse, put horrible blasphemie in maner to flight, vtterly cleansed that [Page 50] sinke the stewes, made vaine and filthie songs lesse currant than they haue beene in former times, and caused sinne to bee more shunned, although it be, God knoweth, too much stil frequented. But one pleasaunt grape, especially the gospel, the worde of re­conciliation hath brought foorth, and that is the sweete fruite of peace; peace towards God, and peace amongest our selues. The gospel preacheth Christ. Christ is our peace, and peacemaker. He that hath Christ, hath peace with God: and hee that belee­ueth in him hath him. By this meanes we haue peace of consci­ence peace with God. The other peace is ciuill peace among men. This is a pleasaunt fruite and a great blessing. Hee that knoweth the hurt of warre can best iudge of the worth of this be­nefite. The God of peace hath doone this for vs, to our singular commoditie and comfort he hath giuen peace in our daies, Eng­land neuer so long tasted the like. Warre heretofore hath torne this Realme in peeces: all Nations round about vs starue in the field, tumble in warre, wallow in bloud expecting no end of their troubles but vtter ruine and desolation. In the meane while we sit safe vnder our vine, euerie man in peace may quietly followe his vocation. God hath not dealt thus with all nations as hee hath dealt with vs the least nation of all. It must be graunted, some stormes haue beene stirred vp to disturbe this our happie rest. But the prince of peace, and Lorde of our tranquillitie hath cea­sed the waues of the sea, stilled the rage of the people, maruel­lously preuented their wicked deuises, and confounded the deui­sers of them. There is neither power nor counsell against the Lord. God taketh away the hearts of the enemies, and then as fearefull Hares they flee at the wagging of euerie leafe: yea they feare where there is nothing to be feared. For this great calme, for this miraculous peace we haue to praise our God.

10 This peace hath fructified and brought foorth his natural fruite which is plentie.The fruite of ciuil peace, plentie. Warre is a locust deuouring all fruites; peace as a sweete and pleasaunt dewe maketh all things fruitfull. Peace hath made this Land flow like Canaan, with milke and ho­nie. God hath opened his mercifull hande, and replenished vs with all his blessings; the Lord hath shewed vs his louing kinde­nesse, and our Land hath brought foorth her encrease.The end why God sendeth these tempo­ral blessings.

11 These earthly blessings God hath giuen to trie vs whether [Page 51] prouoked by his gratious benignitie we will walke in his Lawe or no. I will raine downe bread out of heauen that I may trie you whether ye wil walk in my Law or no. Exod. 16. After this sort he proued Adam, giuing him all dominion ouer his creatures, with all the fruite and plen­tie of the earth. So prooued he the Sodomites with a Countrie for pleasure and plentie termed The Lords Garden. Gen. 13. So prooued he Israel when he gaue them Canaan; but they were forgetfull of the giuer, and abused his gifts both their peace and plentie; they pro­uoked GOD vnto wrath, and they felt his heauie hande; their peace was turned into warre; their plentie into distresse; their pleasure into paine; their ioie into sorowe.

12 These things are written to warne vs;The plagues which follow temporal bles­sings when they are abu­sed. that we should be­ware of the like sinnes, least we feele the like plagues. For if wee regard not the fauour of God; if wee contemne his woorde, the worde of saluation; if we refuse to heare it, reade it, followe it; if the seede of God doe not fructifie in our hearts; if the peace wee haue with God bring not foorth pietie; if our ciuill peace bring foorth no better fruite than beastly securitie; if plentie worke no­thing in vs but pride; if with Adam in our presumption wee diso­bey the Lorde; if with Sodome, when we are ful, our care be one­ly to satisfie our lust; if we neglect the poore, and deride the iust; if, with Israel, we lust after flesh, and despise Angels foode; if we hunger after poperie, and thirst not after the water of life; if wee fall away from God, and fall downe to creatures; if wee runne a whoring, and defile the flesh, and prophane the temple of God; if we tempt God being wearie of our profession, hauing wauering mindes and backesliding hearts; if we despise gouernement, and speake euil of them that be in authoritie; if wee mutter and mur­mure against the principalitie of Moses and Aaron; if wee loath the present state, and seeke after alterations: then shall all these godlie blessings of God turne into cursings; the message of life shall be vnto vs a fauour of death; the words of the sonne of God spoken vnto vs for our saluation shall beare witnesse against vs, and condemne vs; our vineyard shall be laide wast; wee shall be made a byword, and a woonder to the world; and, for a iust re­ward of this our wickednesse, our former benefites shall but adde a greater waight vnto our woe. But this be farre from vs and from our children, for euermore. Wherefore to returne and to con­clude [Page 52] this part, when we shall behold the great mercies of God so plentifully powred vpon vs; howe hee hath regarded his vine­yard, blessed and inriched this his Church with so great gifts, and so maruellous treasures, you see how truely we may say, Vinea no­stra floruit, Our vine hath flourished. This is the goodnes of God towards vs.

2 13 Let vs nowe cast our eyes another way and see how men haue dealt with the Lords vineyard. Great hath beene the fauor of God towards it:The vineyard deuoured by litle foxes. Why the Church ene­mies are ter­med foxes, & why litle. and great also hath beene the malice of Sa­tan, and the ingratitude of man, in labouring by all meanes to lay it wast. These enemies of the vineyard are termed foxes; vnder which name be comprised all heretikes, all Schismatikes, all hy­pocrites, Atheists, Epicures, Conspirators, Persecutors with all the rable of the wicked. They are termed litle foxes, either for that they are more rash, more wilfull, and more hurtfull to the vineyard than the olde foxes because they shunne no peril; or else they are so called, in contempt. For although they seeme migh­tie, strong, and fierce; yet, when God shal arme himselfe against them, then they wil appeare sillie weake cubbes, not able to kicke against the pricke. There is no wilinesse, no force, no power, no counsell against our God.Iohn 18. If Christ say It is I, all his enemies doe stagger and fall flat to the ground. The litle cubbes perhaps are animated by reason of their wilinesse, and because they know they are many in number. It is true, The children of this worlde are wise in their generation, subtile they are as serpents. But God confoun­deth the counsels of all craftie Achitophels, and taketh foxes in the snares they set for others. The number is great, and as the maner is of euil weedes, it groweth apace; they are tenne for one. But one Dauid is worth not onely tenne but tenne thousand Phi­listines, because he commeth in the name of the Lord. He that fighteth vnder Christs banner, and is protected vnder the sha­dowe of the wings of the almightie, he is safe, be he in neuer so great perils. Gedeon with three hundred crying, The sworde of the Lorde and Gedeon, Iud. 7. slewe and put to flight an infinite number, the huge armie of the Madianites. It is all one with God to ouer­come with fewe, or many. So the enemies then of God, the ene­mies of the Church, they are but sillie weake cubbes; be they ne­uer so wilie, neuer so many.

[Page 53] 14 But the enemies of Gods vineyard are therefore chiefly called foxes,The Church enemies re­semble foxes in foure pro­perties. In rauening. because they are of like condition vnto foxes, whom they singularly resemble in foure peculiar properties. The foxe is rauenous, greedie on his pray. And these cubbes, enemies to the crosse of Christ, haue vnder pretense of long praier deuou­red widowes houses; spared no estate or conditon of men; be­guiled Princes of their possessions; gotten to themselues the ri­ches and wealth of the whole worlde, with false merchaundise, selling that for bread which is no bread, making their gaine of masses, merites, pardons, and such like stuffe. Vnsatiable dogges they are, euer barking and neuer satisfied. The olde gray foxe is become the Lord of the whole earth, the king of kings; his Car­dinals, Abbots and Bishops great Princes, and Lordes of whole Countries; the litle foxes, as Monkes, Fryers, & Massing priests, what with singing, and what with begging haue raked no small heapes together.

15 Foxes doe feede on bloud,In crueltie. in desire whereof they kil more than they can deuoure. Christ calleth Herod Foxe, partly for his sauage and cruel murthering of Infants. What thousands of the children and lambes of God these Herodians, these Romanists, these rauening wolues, and bloudie foxes haue deuoured, looke into the histories of all times, you shall woonder at it and abhorre them. Doubtlesse the righteous bloud which they haue shed vp­on the earth shall come vpon them, the bloud of the Saintes whom they haue cruelly butchered crieth vnto the Lord against them for reuenge, and the Lord wil heare it. Whomsoeuer thou shalt see take delight in the bloud of persecution he is a Foxe.

16 As they liuely resemble foxes in greedinesse and crueltie;In wilinesse. so in wilinesse also they are like vnto them, craftie they are & sub­tile, as false as a foxe. The foxe will not woorry neere his bele, but raungeth farre abroade, least he be espied. So these subtile decei­uers goe farre off; they compasse sea and land to make a proselite of their owne profession; they shut themselues vp in their beles in the day time; they dare not abide the light, but seeke lurking holes and corners, disguising themselues in strange apparell, least their woonted attire should bewray them; wilie foxes, deepe dissemblers, double hearted, double tongued, double faced; spea­king them full faire whom they hate full deadly; promising, and [Page 54] not performing; shifting off, and seeking time; nowe humble as sheepe, but when time serueth as fierce as Lyons. By subtile slightes, and breache of faith, they brought Iohn Hus to the Councel at Constance, and there cruelly murthered him; they promised him a Safe-conduct to come and to goe, but those ho­lie Fathers agreed vpon a newe point of religion, that Promise is not to be kept with heretikes, and so cruelly and treacherously consu­med with fire the Saint of God. These faithbreakers be no more to be trusted than foxes.

17 The last propertie that I note in the foxe is,In casting an euil sauour. that hee ca­steth an euil sauour. I will not remember vnto you, for offending your chast eares, the horrible filthinesse wherewith those learned Scribes, those holie fathers, those maiden priests, those foxes were infected: the smell whereof ascended vp into heauen, and cryed out for vengeaunce against them. Spirituall and corporall whoredome for the most part go together. Who was more hoat in the seruice of Baal than Iesabel that deuoute hypocrite? and yet she was but a painted harlot. When Israel gaue themselues to Idolatrie, they foorthwith fel vnto whoredome. Mens life and religion are for the most part like; a sound faith, a sweete behaui­our; men gather not figges of thornes; neither can their out­ward conuersation be pure, whose inward perswasion is not good. These are they that destroy the vines. Whereunto euen nowe they haue prepared themselues; For this ende and purpose they gather themselues together, they boldly haue their conuenticles, they contriue treacherie, and deuise how to destroy the vineyard and church of God. In the late euill times the professors of the Gospel found no such libertie. But the saying of Christ is verifi­ed,Matth. 8. Foxes haue holes, but the sonne of man hath not where to hide his head.

18 Two especiall meanes they vse in seeking to destroie the vineyard:The meanes which they vse to destroy the Church, force & fraud; force open, & secret; open, by fier and sword. force, and perswasion. Force of two sorts; open and secret. Open force of persecution that cruell beast hath alwaies practised from time to time. What prince hath hee not stirred vp? what nation hath he not armed to persecute the professors of true religion with fire and sword? The red bloudie dragon doeth still vexe the woman with her childe,Apoc. 12. Christ with his church. The practise hereof all Nations haue felt, and Englande cannot [Page 55] forget. The late rebellion in this Realme raised for no other cause but by force to subuert religion, by no other man than the father of these foxes, is fresh in memorie.

19 When by open force this beast cannot quench his thirst with the bloud of his Saints,Secret force; by trecheries, sorceries, poi­sonings. then he practiseth by secret deuises. Sometimes vnder pretense of mariage and faithfull affinitie, he leadeth Princes blindefold to the house of slaughter; sometimes, vnder colour of giuing aide to possesse kingdomes, he disposses­seth them both of their state and of their life; sometimes he offe­reth league and confederacie with such as in heart he deadly ha­teth, thereby to stay their force, till he may fitly practise his pur­posed mischiefe. When these practises will not serue, then they sell themselues to satan as did Pope Syluester; they enter into an execrable league with the diuell, and labour by incantation, con­iuration, magicke, sorcerie, and witchcraft to consume kill and destroie the Lords annointed by picturing, &c. When inchant­ments wil not serue, that no poysoned deuise be left vnattemp­ted, they flie to poysonings, which practise of theirs hath taken effect in diuers. Henrie the Emperour receiued poyson in sacra­mentall bread, Victor the Pope in sacramentall wine. Wherein it is to bee noted by the way, that if they did offer the bodie and bloud of Christ indeede, as they pretend to doe, they could not mingle that sacred and glorified substance with poison. Of late noble Dandelot with others, haue drunke of the like cuppe. So these foxes conceiue mischiefe and bring foorth most monstrous and cruel wickednesse; both by open violence and by secret trea­cherie.

20 The other meane,Their fraud, in perswading by arguments drawne from antiquitie. whereby they labour to hinder the course of the Gospel and to subuert religion is fraude, the natu­rall propertie of a foxe. This fraude is practised after sundrie sorts. First they labour to seduce the simple by perswasion. Of persuasion they haue sundrie kindes. As first the Antiquitie of their religion, their fathers olde faith. But they should remember that their religion is as newe as false; sixe hundred yeeres after Christ vnknowne. The substance of our religion is most ancient, & shalbe most permanent, it was from the beginning, it shal re­maine to the end, no iot nor title therof shal perish. In matter of religion we may not followe our fathers, further than they haue [Page 56] followed our Master Christ. We must thinke, not what others haue said or doone before; but what he which is before all others hath saide and doone. Heare him. The scripture hath giuen vs warning to be warie in this point. God fed Israel with worme­wood, and gaue them waters of gall to drinke,Ier. 9. because they wal­ked after Baalims which their fathers taught them.

21 Another ground whereupon they builde their perswasi­on,From the au­thoritie of their Church and Pope. is the Authoritie of the Church, and of the Pope, which cannot erre. There is a church of God, and a synagogue of Satan. The Church of God is builded vpon the doctrine of the Apostles and Prophets. The true church hath her markes whereby she is knowne: The Gospel truely preached, The sacraments syncerely ministred, discipline duely executed. The popish church hath neither the true foundation nor yet the right marks of the church of God;Col. 1. her foundation is Man, her markes are blasphemie, Ido­latrie, superstition. Christ is the head of his bodie the Church. This head cannot erre: the head of the church Antichristian, is the Pope that man of sinne, a lier, yea a verie father of lies.

22 From these general perswasions they traine the people to particulars,Frō the excel­lencie of their sacrifice. teaching many other shamefull things; but this a­boue all other, as most needefull to be held of all, that the masse is a sacrifice auaileable for quicke and dead, strong and effectuall to take away sinne, forcible in ridding soules out of Purgatorie paines. But S. Paul teacheth that Christ was offered vp once to take away all sinne; and by that one oblation, because it was per­fect, obteined the full deliuerie and redemption of his Church. The bloud of Christ doeth cleanse vs from all sinne. Therefore we neede not their aftercleansings, which in trueth are defilings. With these and other like false and subtile perswasions they leade the simple people to the pit of destruction.

23 Or if they cannot preuaile by such perswasions,From fained Prophecies. they finde out Prophecies and therewith fil the peoples eares: they haue the bookes of Merlin and other phantasticall spirits, full of doubtfull sayings, and deceitful dreames: of these they make such constru­ctions and expositions, as may serue their purpose, all tending to this ende that alteration is neere, that the state will not continue, that religion cannot endure long: such and such times when this chaunge should be they haue presumed more than once to ap­point. [Page 57] But their times-master hath deceiued them, they haue found him a lying spirite in the mouth of his Prophets. This practise of Satan and of his impes hath brought sundrie great persons and noble houses to confusion. Let their posteritie take example and warning by them.

24 They haue left no meanes vnattempted whereby the hearts of the people might any way be seduced.Their fraude in perswading by promises of reconcili­ation. Wherefore vnto other their deceitfull practises they haue ioyned the offer of reconcili­ation. The Pope hath sent his proctors abroad to pardon what­soeuer is alreadie past; so that men will nowe forsake the church of Christ, and ioyne themselues vnto that harlot inseparablie henceforward; which to doe they must take a solemne oath, and in token thereof weare some marke of the beast, as a Crosse, an Agnus Dei, a medall, or some such badge of recognisance. These popish proctors haue poisoned many, and the obseruing of this most wicked oth hath made many sillie soules, especially women breake their faith to Christ, their loyaltie to their Prince, and their promised obedience to their husbands. A wicked promise is best vnmade, but being made is better broken than performed. It had beene a lesse offence for Herod to breake his oath, than to behead an Innocent. Wee may neither make, nor keepe any promise,2. Cor. 5. oath, or vowe against the Lorde. As for reconcilia­tion, Be reconciled vnto God. He it is which alone remitteth sinne: and they onely which are reconciled to him, shalbe saued.

25 But these destroiers and subuerters of the Lords vineyard cease not thus.Their strata­geme of rai­sing vp slande­rous reports. Some credite they thinke to winne to their owne cause if they can worke the discredit of such as are maintainers of the contrarie. To this end they raise vp slanderous reports against our magistrates & ministers, that the people first misliking them may afterwards be brought with more ease to mislike of that reli­gion wherof they are. This is an old practise of the anciēt enemie. Daniel was charged to contemne the decree of Nabuchadnetzar; Micheas to be a lier; Ieremie to be an enemie to the common wealth; Elias to be a disturber of the state; Christ to be an enemie vnto Cesar; Paul to be factious, & seditious; the Christians in the daies of Traian the Emperor to haue their women cōmon in their night assemblies, to worship an Asses head in stead of God, with many such like shamelesse reports. How these foxes haue falsely [Page 58] slaundered both magistrates and ministers of God in these our daies, it shalbe needelesse here to recite. Their bookes are ex­tant as full of lies as lines. Thus you see howe they labour by all meanes to hinder the passage of the Gospel, and vtterly to sub­uert true religion. We see also how the Lorde of hostes fighteth for vs; how the almightie is our defence; how he that keepeth vs slumbereth not; how strangely and miraculously hee preserueth his annointed Dauid, both from the bloudy hands of Saul abroad and Absolon at home, in the midst of so many conspiracies, trea­cheries, snares and traps which these foxes haue deuised and laid. We see how God preserueth his vineyard, how hee maintaineth his church so many waies assaulted, maugre all his and all our e­nemies. It is his onely worke maruellous in our eyes; it is the Lord, let vs praise his name.

3 26 But although God hitherto hath preserued his vineyard from the spoile of these foxes;The foxes must be takē, To whom; by whom; Howe. yet his wil, and commaundement is, that we should not liue in securitie, but beware of them; watch them, and catch them, if we can: Take vs the litle foxes. This last and most necessarie part for order sake may be thus diuided. First we learne, that foxes are to be taken; secondly, to whom; thirdly, by whom; and lastly, how they are to be taken.

27 These foxes are to be taken.Why foxes must be takē. For so the spouse of Christ, or rather Christ himselfe commandeth. And why? Because they are hurtfull to his vineyard. God commaundeth false prophets not onely to be taken, but also to die the death: Let the false Prophet die. Deut. 13. Paul wisheth that the disturbers of the peace of the church were cut off.Gal. 5. He laide an heauie hand vpon Elymas the sorcerer, when he stroke him starke blinde.Acts 13. Moses at the commaundement of God made a speedie dispatch of Idolaters.Exod. 32. The Apostle would that dogges,Phil. 3. euil workemen,Tit. 3. sectmakers should be shunned, that all heretikes not recalling themselues by admonition should be a­uoided. The scabbed sheepe must be remooued out of the flock, the leper should be seuered, the adulterer cast out, the leauen put away, foxes taken and tyed short. This is the wil of God, the re­quest of the spouse, the commaundement of Christ. The Lawe of nature, God, and man crieth, Take these foxes.

28 But vnto whom?They must be taken, if it may be, to the Church; if not, then from the Church. Nobis. Catche them vnto vs, saith the spouse of Christ. Christ came into the world to saue sinners; he [Page 59] willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should cōuert and liue. He came to recall the lost sheepe of the house of Isra­el; his wil is that stonie hearts be turned into fleshie; that foxes be chaunged into sheepe; that enemies bee reconciled, and made friends; that strangers be made citizens with his Saints, that all come vnto him, that all may find rest for their soules. He created man for himselfe, for himselfe he redeemed him, his will is that foxes be taken and brought to him, that he himselfe may be glo­rified in them.

29 But who should take them?They must be taken by the friends of the bridegroome, ministers and magistrates. The friendes of the spouse, the seruaunts and officers of the bridegroome Christ. There be two especiall seruaunts, whom the Lord hath appointed to hunt for these cubbes; the magistrate, and the minister. These are to ioyne their force together; to be as brethren Moses and Aaron, knit in loue and liking, to giue all diligence and mutual endeuour for the apprehension of these foxes. For why? the vineyard of the Lord is set ouer to their ouersight, and gouernement. Kings and Queenes should bee as Nurces, to tender and cherishe the church of Christ, to keepe euerie noysome and hurtfull thing from it. Ministers are they, whom God hath set to sweate and labour in the vineyard; to gouerne and feede the flocke, which he hath purchased with his owne bloud. These are the Lords two hands; to both these he speaketh when hee saith, Take the foxes. But all the craft is in the catching. Wee must therefore learne how they are to be taken.

30 The minister hath his nets to take withall,The minister taketh them by doctrine. the magistrate hath his traps. The first is the net of Gods word to cast into the sea for fishes, or to set vpon the land for foxes. Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season.Luke 3. The Lawe of the Lord con­uerteth soules. With this net Iohn Baptist caught at one time a great number of foxes, Scribes, Pharisies, Publicanes, souldiers and sinners: they came confessing their sinnes, and asking, What shall we doe? Acts 2. Peter cast out this net and in one Sermon brought three thousand vnto Christ.Acts 10. With this net at Cesarea hee tooke Cornelius the captaine with a great multitude. Paul by spreading this net gate huge numbers in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in all parts and quarters of the world. Christ himselfe with this nette tooke so many that they saide,Iohn 12. Behold the whole worlde goeth after [Page 60] him. Philip tooke the Eunuche in this net; in the same net Lidya, Dionysius, Paulus Sergius was caught. Ambrose set this net for Augustine & tooke him in it. Verily if this net were diligently set, it would catche these cubbes apace. For they erre, because they knowe not the scriptures; and they cannot knowe, because they are not taught. Woe therefore to the idle and Idol pastor, to the dumme dogge, to the vnpreaching minister. For the bloud of all these that perish for lacke of taking through his negligence shall be required at his hands.

31 The second net is godlie conuersation,By example of life. good example of life. This net holdeth hard. Examples are a great deale stronger than words, and the voice doeth not so fully instruct as the life. Therefore Peter saith,1. Pet. 5. Be a platforme for the flocke to followe. He that liueth otherwise than he speaketh, teacheth God to punish him saith S. Chrysostome.1. Cor. 13. Paul termeth such teachers as are fertile in speeche and barren in life tinckling cimbals. They send foorth a sound and inwardly are hollowe. Christ did what hee taught. His innocencie and patience chaunged the hearts of the verie souldiers that put him to death. And as the godlie example of a good life draweth many to Christ; so an euill life giueth great of­fence. The bad demeanor of Helies sonnes caused men to loath the offering of the Lorde. And you, saith Iacob to his two sonnes Simeon and Leui,Gen. 34. haue made me to bee abhorred among the inhabitants of the Land. Let vs therefore haue our conuersation honest among these men, that as now they speake euil of vs as euil doers, so here­after they may by our good workes which they shall see glorifie God in the day of visitation.1. Pet 3.

32 The third net to take these foxes in is discipline.By Ecclesia­sticall disci­pline. Where the former nets faile, this will take hold; it helde that incestuous Corinthian whom no other way could haue taken.1. Cor. 5. Hereby Am­brose brought the Emperor Theodosius himselfe to vnfained hu­militie, and heartie repentance. Doeth it not appertaine vnto pastorall diligence, Aug. de cor. ca. 8. saith S. Augustine, with feare, yea, if they resist, with feeling of stripes to recall to the fold of the Lord those sheepe when wee finde them, which haue not beene violently caried away, but by faire and soft vsage be­ing seduced haue gone astray and began to be held in possession of straungers? Those wilfull cubbes which neither by teaching nor by example will be reformed must feele the smart of the rod. We haue, saith [Page 61] Paul,2. Cor. 10. in a readinesse punishment against all disobedience. Such as will not come to feede with Christ willingly must bee compelled a­gainst their wils. Constraine them to come in. Luke 14. Thus the minister should take these litle foxes and winne them vnto the Lord with the net of Gods word of good example and of discipline. Now if they cannot be so recalled that themselues perish not: they are to be cut off or tyed vp that they destroie not others.

33 The magistrate therefore must also set traps to catch these foxes withall.The magi­strate taketh foxes by ciuil punishments. The chiefe trap the magistrate hath is the Lawe. Artaxerxes writeth his letter vnto Esdras whom hee sent to Ie­rusalem to see the people gouerned, and requireth him hoth to place Magistrates and Iudges ouer the people, and to see that they might liue according to the Lawes of God and the king, ad­ding thereunto a sharpe commination against transgressors,1. Esd. 8. Who­soeuer will not doe the Lawe of thy God and the kings Lawe, let him haue iudgement without delay; whether it be vnto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. The kindes of punishment here set downe are foure, Death, Exile, Confiscation, Incarce­ration. These lawfull meanes are wisely to be vsed of Christian Magistrates; as traps to take these litle foxes.

34 The first is death.By death. It is the Lords commaundement, Let the false Prophet die, Let the adulterer and the adulteresse be put to death, Let the blasphemer be stoned. Moses obserued this in destroying Ido­laters and hanging vp them that committed whoredome. The Magistrate beareth not the sword in vaine. Asa the good king of Iuda gaue commaundement, that if any would not seeke the Lord God of Israel he should die, 2. Par. 15. from the least to the greatest, from the man to the woman. Thus zealous Magistrates haue indeuoured to take rebel­lious foxes.

35 Exile is also a punishment fit for foxes.By exile. Zerubabel and Ie­shua together with the rest of the fathers of Israel agreed,Ezra 4. not to suffer the enemies of their religion those wilie foxes to ioyne with them, but banished them out of their companie. It is not for vs and you to builde a house to our God. The Emperor Theodosius likewise being mooued thereunto by that zealous Bishop Am­philochius, draue all the Arrians out of his dominion. These foxes must be remooued, the further the better. And it were wel with Christs Church, if they were all, as farre as Rome hence [Page 62] from whence many of them came who now wander and raunge amongst vs. God spared not to expel Angels out of heauen, men out of paradise.2. Sam. 14. And when Absolon had put off the duetifull minde of a naturall sonne, then Dauid laying aside the tender af­fection of a louing father banished him his countrie.

36 The third trappe to take withall is confiscation of goods,By confis­cation. which way is the easiest and not the woorst. For the most men loue Mammon better than God, their riches more than their re­ligion. When the riche man heard that hee and his wealth must part he went away very sorowfull: If he from Christ, it is to bee hoped these wil from Antichrist. There can bee no sharper pu­nishment to a worldlie minded man, than to be taken in this trap. God therefore commaunded the Egyptians to be spoiled, than which there could be no plague more grieuous vnto them, being so greedily set vpon their gaine.1. Sam. 13. When the Philistims would keepe the Iewes in good order, and disable them to rebell, they tooke their weapons and instruments of warre from them. It is no euill or vnlawfull policie to weaken these enemies which are readie to vse the strength of their wealth to the ouerthrow of the Church, if occasion did serue. Touche them by the purse; It is the most easie and readie way, whereby to take and tame these foxes.

37 The last way set downe by wise Artaxerxes is Incarcera­tion.By incarce­ration. When Ioseph had cast his brethren in prison, then they re­membred their fault and repented; then they thought, Wee suffer these things deseruedly for the hardnesse of our heartes against our brother. Manasses was neuer reclaimed vntil he was inclosed in prison.2. Par. 33. He was miserable in his kingdome, and blessed in his captiuitie. Thus it is the duetie aswel of the Magistrate as the Minister to obey the commaundement of the almightie, and by all meanes to preuent wicked enterprises; to roote out euill, and to seeke the safetie of Gods vineyard his beloued Church. Which God graunt them once effectually to doe for their owne discharge, and benefite of the people so deerely redeemed by the bloud of Christ. To whom, &c.

A Sermon preached in the same place, and vpon the same occasion with the former.

1. TIM. 2.

1 I exhort therefore before all things, that requests, supplications, in­tercessions, and giuings of thankes be made for all men.

2 For Kings, and for all that are in authoritie, that wee may leade a quiet, and a peaceable life in all godlinesse, and honestie.

MOSES speaking to the people of God,The cause of the assemblie & the matters which this scripture offe­reth to be spo­ken of. concerning the institutiō of the Passe­ouer to be kept at the appointed sea­son, from yere to yere, saith, When thy Sonne shall aske thee, What is this? thou shalt say vnto him, Exod. 13. With a mightie hand the Lord brought vs out of Egypt out of the house of bondage, and in remembraunce hereof wee celebrate this feast. In like sort when your children shall aske you what this our assemblie meaneth, you shall aunswere, that it is to giue God thankes for that great benefite which we receiued at his hands as this day, when in his mercie he gaue vs our gratious elect Elizabeth, whom hee hath vsed as his mightie arme, to worke our deliuerance, to bring vs out of Egypt the house of Romish seruitude.Psal. 117. This is the day which the Lord hath made, this is that our happie day, the Lorde in his mercie hath made it, let vs be thankefull for it, let vs reioice and be glad in it. This is the acceptable time, the day of saluation, the happie time of our deliuerance. This day God shewed vs the light of his gratious countenance, and had mercie on vs in be­stowing vpon vs so great a treasure, so good a gouernour, so wor­thie a Prince. The Lord graunt vs many of these daies, and long continuance of these happie yeres. And, as our Apostle doeth exhort vs, let vs both praise the Lorde and praie vnto him, that vnder so good a gouernement we may liue a quiet, a godlie, and an honest life, as the Lords goodnesse towards vs and our duetie [Page 64] towardes him and profession of his name require. I exhort you therefore before all things, &c. Here are two things offered to our consideration, first an exhortation Pray for all men, especially for prin­ces and rulers; secondly a reason of this exhortation, that by their good gouernement we may liue a quiet a godly and an honest life.

1 2 In exhorting vs to praie, he sheweth the benefite and fruit of our praier.An exhorta­tion vnto praier. We must praie to God to giue vs good Princes and rulers; vnder a good prince we ought to leade a good life; a good prince should procure peace, pietie, and honestie to the people; a good people should liue peaceably godlily and honest­ly vnder their prince. The exhortation is, Pray for all men, especially Princes and rulers. In this part we haue to consider what praier is; To whom we should pray; What be the parts of praier; When, where, and how we should pray; For whom we should pray.

3 Praier is a lifting vp of the minde vnto God,What praier is, and what parts it hath. or a friendely talking with the Lord, from an high and a kindled affection of the heart. In the word God speaketh vnto vs, in praier we speake vn­to him. Praier is the powring out of a contrite heart, with a sure perswasion that God wil graunt our requests and giue eare to the suites which we make vnto him. This praier must be onely vnto God. It is praier vnto God that onely hath promise, that onely hath example in the scriptures.Psal. 49. Call vpon me, saith God; Aske the father in my name, Iohn 16. saith our Sauiour. Aske and ye shall haue. When yee shall pray; Matth. 6. saith Christ, pray thus, Our Father which art in heauen. So and none otherwise praied all the Patriarches, Prophets, Apo­stles, and Christ himselfe and all true Christians in all ages. In praier no creature may be ioyned with God. God and our Ladie help vs, is no allowable praier.

4 This praier which must be made onely to God,Petitions, or requests. our Apo­stle diuideth into his partes, Requests, Supplications, Intercessions, Thankesgiuings. Requests or petitions are when wee praie for the increase of Gods good gifts in vs, and that of his mercie and fa­uour he would giue vs whatsoeuer is necessarie for bodie or soule; and, for as much as we cannot obteine any thing for our owne merites, that he would graunt vs all things for his sonne our Sa­uiours sake.

5 Supplications, when we praie to be deliuered from euill; as when we pray that the wrath of God,Supplications. which we haue deserued, [Page 65] may through his mercie be remooued from vs as farre as the East is from the West, that our sinne may be remitted and blotted out of Gods bookes.

6 Intercessions are,Intercessions. when we praie for such as doe afflict and wrong vs; for our enemies which persecute vs; that God would forgiue them, turne their hearts, and better them. Or when wee praie for others; either for remoouing of euill from them, or for Gods fauour and blessing towards them.

7 Thankesgiuings are when we praise,Thankesgi­uings. and thanke God, for the great mercies, graces, and gifts which wee haue receiued at his hands.Iacob. 1. For we must acknowledge, that euery good and per­fect gift commeth downe from aboue, from the father of lights, and is by his mercie freely giuen. Praier generally may be diuided into two parts; Petition, and Thankesgiuing: in the one we aske of God, in the other wee offer vnto God; both are accepted as sweete smelling sacrifices; pure, and through the merite of his sonne, pleasaunt in his sight. I shall not neede to put you in re­membrance, that we must praie both for our selues and others; that there is a priuate, and a publike praier; that we must pray for things perteining to saluation absolutely, and for things that per­taine to this life conditionally. These are matters wherewith yee are throughly acquainted.

8 The next thing to be considered in praier is when,When, where, and how to praie. where, and how to praie. When? Alwaies, without ceasing. Where? In all places,1. Thess. 5. especially that place which being sanctified to this vse is therefore called the house of praier.1. Tim. 2. How? from the heart, lif­ting vp pure and cleane hands; that is to say in faith, and in loue. Our praier fethered with these two wings flyeth straight into heauen.

9 Thus we are by the Apostle willed to pray before all things according to the commaundement of our Sauiour.Praier before all things. Seeke first the kingdome of God. Let vs begin all our workes, our enterpri­ses, our actions, our iourneies, our lying downe, our rising vp, our eating, our drinking, and all our studies with praier. So our bread shalbe multiplyed, our oyle encreased, our meate sanctifi­ed, all our endeuours and actions blessed. If the very Ethnicks in the beginning of their bookes first prayed vnto their gods, to prosper and giue good successe to their labours; it were a shame [Page 66] for vs not to praie to our God before all things, knowing that the praier of the iust is greatly auaileable before him. Praier is a suc­cour vnto vs, a sacrifice to God and a scourge to Satan. Exam­ples are infinite.Exod 3. Israel in praier groned vnto God, and was de­liuered out of Egypt.Exod. 32. Moses by praier so held God, that he could not destroie his idolatrous people.Ios. 6. The blast of praier ouerthrew the walles of Ierico.Ios. 10. At the praier of Iosua the Sunne stoode stil. The young men prayed in the burning fornace,Dan. 3. and their prayer tooke away the force of the fire. The scriptures are full of exam­ples of all sorts: Kings, Prophets, Apostles, faithfull Christians haue called vpon the Lord in the time of their troubles; hee hath heard them▪ graunted their requests, and deliuered them from their distresses. Wherefore before all things the Apostle heere exhorteth vs vnto praier.

10 But for whom? First generally for all men;For whom we must pray, and for whom not. then specially for kings, and them that are placed in authoritie. It seemeth some were of opinion that praiers should be made onely for the faithfull, for the brethren, for Christians, and not for Infidels. Paul to meete with this vncharitable error saith, Let supplications be made for all men. S Iohn in his Canonicall Epistle seemeth to make exception against this generall doctrine,1. Iohn 5. There is a sinne vnto death I say not that thou shouldest praie for it. This is that sinne, which Christ calleth sinne against the holy Ghost, which neuer shall be remitted, and therefore is not to be praied for. But because it is hard for vs to discerne who sinne vnto eternall death, Christian charitie wil that we hope wel of all, and obserue the generall rule to praie for all. There were secrets reuealed to the Apostles of Christ, which are hidden from vs; they had the gift of prophecy­ing and discerning of spirits, to foresee and knowe, which gifts these times haue not.2. Cor. 12. Paul rapt into the third heauen learned se­crets not to be reuealed;1. Tim. 1. hee knewe that Himenaeus and Alex­ander were reprobates.Rom. 14. We may not so iudge of others. Who art thou that iudgest an other mans seruaunt? In outward shewe after the iudgement of man Paul being a violent persecuter of Christ sin­ned vnto death, yet was hee the elect vessell and glorious instru­ment of God. Christ is the propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world, he wil haue all men to be saued and to come to the knowledge of the trueth. We must therefore haue a charitable [Page 67] meaning towards all and pray for all as he hath died for all. Praie euen for your enemies, for them that persecute and slander you; Blesse them that curse you. Wish well to them that doe ill to you. For God suffereth his raine to fall, and his light to shine both vpon good and bad. Abraham praied for Abimeleck, Moses for Idola­ters, Samuel for Saul, Stephen for them that stoned him, and Christ for them that cruelly put him to shamefull death. Let vs imitate these holie paternes.

11 As we should praie for all men;Praier to be made especi­ally for kings & such as are in authoritie. so chiefely for kings, and such as are in authoritie, because they chiefly neede it. In Pauls time the kings and rulers of the people were Ethnickes, tyrants, enemies to Christ and cruel persecuters of the Gospel: where­vpon some thought it not conuenient for the Church to pray for them who sought to destroie it. S. Paul abateth this opinion, teaching them that they should chiefly praie for such as for men in greatest daunger and most needing the helpe of their praier. Praie for him that praieth not for himselfe. The prophet Ieremie requireth the Israelites to praie for the cruel persecutor of Gods people Nabuchadnetzar.Ier. 29. For God in his mercie giueth good princes,Esay 3. and in his ire he giueth wantons, as Esay saith; and hypo­crites, Iob. 34. as Iob writeth. Both euill and good are the ordinaunce of God. We must praie for ill princes, because the kings heart is in Gods hand; that he may turne their mindes, and staie their perse­cutions, of euil make them good, and of strangers from the com­mon wealth of his Saints make them pillers and staies vnto the Church. For good princes we ought heartily to praise the Lord, for them especially to pray as the prophet did for Salomon,Psal. 72. Giue thy iudgements to the King O God, and thy righteousnesse to the Kings Sonne. For it is the singular gift of God not onely to set vp right­full gouernement in the world, but also to cherishe and preserue the same. Euen they whom he hath furnished with the spirite of righteousnesse and of iudgement, are vnable furtherfoorth to ex­ecute their charge than they be specially directed by the hande of God, and assisted from heauen with all helpes necessary for their calling. If the Christians did praie for the wealth and prosperitie of those princes which bent all their force and power against the kingdome of Christ, surely for such as are defenders of the faith and zealous patrones of Gods people,Tertul in apo­loget. wee ought daily, and [Page 68] hourely to powre out supplications, that God would grant them a long life, a safe gouernementt, a sure dwelling, valiant souldi­ers, faithfull counsellers, a good people, a quiet world, and what­soeuer the hearts of men or kings doe desire. And let all such, as wil not say Amen to those praiers, assure themselues that they are neither duetifull Christians, nor faithfull subiects; but disloyall contemners of Gods ordinance, and rebellious despisers of his commaundement, who spake by the mouth of his Apostle, say­ing, Praie for Kings and all such as be in authoritie.

12 If any Church,No nation more occasio­ned than the English to praise the Lord for their prince. any people, any nation in the world haue cause to praise the Lord for their prince; this Lande hath more than any, in respect of the wonderfull blessings wherewith God, by the ministerie of his handmaide, hath enriched vs far beyond all that we are possibly able to conceiue. Israell was well apaide with the good gouernement of Debora, Iudith, and Hester. But they thought themselues twise happie when God gaue them Moses, Samuel, Dauid, Salomon, Iehosaphat, Ezechias, Iosias, to gouerne them. England liked well and tooke it for no small blessing of God when Henrie the first, H. the second, Edward the first, Edward the third, Edward the fourth; H. the fift, H. the sixt, H. the seuenth, H. the eight, Edward the sixt bare rule ouer it. But did God euer blesse the throne of any man as hee hath doone the royall seate of his annointed at this day? Hath the like euer beene heard of in any nation to that which in ours is seene? Our Debora hath mightily repressed the rebel Iaben; our Iudith hath beheaded Holophernes, the sworne enemie of Christiani­tie; our Hester hath hanged vp that Haman, which sought to bring both vs and our children into miserable seruitude. And if we may compare with the ancients of Israel Moses was not more milde, nor Samuel more iust, nor Dauid more faithful, nor Salo­mon more peacefull, nor Iehosaphat more readie to assist his neighbours, nor Ezechias more carefull for Gods cause, nor Io­zias more zealous to restore syncere religion: If, yee make the comparison betweene her owne predecessors, neither was Hen­rie the first better learned, nor Henrie the second more easie to forgiue and put vp iniuries, nor Ed. the first more chast, nor Ed. the third more loath to accept of forrein dominion being offred, nor Ed. the fourth more iust in yeelding all men their owne, nor [Page 67] H. the fift more happie, nor H. the sixt more holie, nor H. the seuenth more prudent, nor H. the eight more valiant in quelling the Pope, nor Ed. the sixt more syncerely affected towardes the Gospel of Christ. Looke vpon other princes at this day; some are drunken with the poisoned cup of that harlot, whose venome her Highnesse doeth abhorre; some haue imbrued themselues in bloud, wherewith her Maiestie did neuer yet staine the tip of her finger; when they tumble in warre, shee sitteth in peace; when they breake othes and couenaunts, she keepeth promise: there­fore God hath blessed the worke of her handes; shee found this Realme in warre, she hath established it in peace; she found it in debt, which she hath discharged; she hath chaunged drosse into siluer and golde; she hath, by liuing within compasse, and sparing wastfull expences, without pressing the people, or seeking more than ordinarie and vsuall tribute, furnished this Lande with so great a Nauie, with such store of armour and warlike munition both for defence and offence, as Englande neuer had in former times. This I speake not of flatterie (it was neuer my fault) but rather in synceritie testifying the trueth, that seeing your happi­nesse you may be thankefull; and considering the wonderful mer­cies of God, ye may fall into that meditation of the Prophet, What shall I render vnto the Lord? Psal. 117. All his benefites are vpon me. I will receiue the cup of saluation, and call vpon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vowes vnto the Lord euen now in the presence of all his people. God hath loden vs with all his benefites. Farre be it from vs that our vnthankeful­nesse should bereaue vs of this felicitie. That we heare the sound of bels, and not the thundering of gunnes; that our goods are not spoiled, our houses rased, our landes extended, our bodies imprisoned, our wiues and children murthered before our eies; that mercie and trueth are met together; that righteousnesse and peace haue kissed eche other; that in libertie of bodie, and free­dome of conscience we may assemble thus together in the house of God, to make our praiers, to heare his word, to receiue these holie and heauenlie mysteries, doe we thinke it a small or a light or a common benefite? How should we requite the Lord? We haue nothing in vs woorthie the name of recompence. All that we can render or repaie for that which we haue receiued is before we craue more to be mindefull and thankeful of that we haue ob­teined [Page 70] alreadie, to take vp the cuppe of saluation, call vpon the name of the Lord in the presence of all the people: let supplicati­ons, praiers, intercessions, and giuing of thankes bee made for Kings; this one paiment doeth aboundantly satisfie God for all graces, benefites, and blessings, which by the meanes of good Kings haue beene powred vpon vs.

13 Neither let vs praie for our prince only, but also for al such as God hath placed in authoritie vnder her.All that are in authoritie vn­der the prince must also be praied for; be they good or bad; be their authoritie Ec­clesiasticall or Ciuill. For euerie power is of God, whether it be Ecclesiastical or Ciuil power. We must praie for all those that be in authoritie be they good or bad; for the continuance of the one, and the amendement of the other. Our praier for Ecclesiasticall powers must bee, that GOD would place ouer his people good guides, louing and wise sheep­heards, such as may carefully gouerne the flocke ouer which the holie Ghost doeth make them ouerseers; such as Peter, that will feede as much as in them lyeth; such as Paul, that will preache in season and out of season, that wil soundly instruct, sharpely im­prooue, seuerely correct, and diligently guide; such as Iohn, that feare not to reprooue kings to their faces; as Elias, which wil not spare to punish transgressors; that the Church may bee deliuered from such as Iudas, and Magus buyers and sellers; from false pro­phets, from sacrificing Balamites, from deuouring wolues, wilie foxes, insatiable dogges, dumme curres, deceitfull workemen, makers of diuision, Idol pastors, vnsauourie salt, such as make their bellie their God, their preferrement their religion, lewdely and worldly minded men. Our praier for them in whose handes Ciuil gouernement lyeth must be, that, for as much as one is vn­able to beare the burthen of a commonwealth alone; such, ac­cording to the counsel of Iethro, may be chosen, as be Salomons not Nabals; men of wisedome, and not dotterels; men of expe­rience that can, and of courage that wil both wisely, and boldly discharge their duetie; men like to Gedeon, and not to Pilate; such as wil not feare the face of Caesar, when they should doe right; men able mightily to put downe sinne, men that feare God syncerely, being louers of the trueth, not secret fosterers of su­perstition; men that hate couetousnesse, and are not takers of bribes to peruert iudgement; men like to Samuel, not the sonnes of Samuel. Woe be to that people which is led with blinde [Page 71] guides, and woe be to that common wealth, which is ruled with base, bad, and euil gouernours.

14 Let vs therefore blesse God, if we haue good rulers, and 2 praie that we may reape the good fruite of them;The reason why we pray for al men and for princes, putteth both princes and al other men in mind of their duties. Prin­ces that they should studie to make the people liue in peace. that is to say, that we may leade a peaceable, and quiet life vnder them, with all godlinesse and honestie. Herein we haue two things to be consi­dered; the duetie of rulers, and the duetie of them which liue vn­der rulers. Kings, and such as are in authoritie must seeke the peace, pietie, and honestie of the people: the people thus gouer­ned must leade a peaceable, a godlie, and honest life vnder them. It was saide to the Iewes, which liued in captiuitie, but may serue as a profitable lesson for all that haue soueraigntie ouer others, Seeke the prosperitie of the Citie: In the peace thereof you shall haue peace. Salomon hath this commendation especially giuen him in scrip­ture,Ier. 29. as a notable effect of his wonderfull wisedome, He had peace on all sides, 1. Reg 4. Iuda and Israel dwelt without feare, euerie man sate quiet vnder his vine and vnder his figgetree all the daies of Salomon. Our Sauiour Christ is called the Prince of Peace; Esay 9. hee brought peace into the world;Luke 2. at his Natiuitie the Angels sung Peace on earth; at what time he was borne, there was peace amongst all people. Eze­chias likewise sought the peace of his Countrie by earnest and heartie praier,Esay 39. Let there be peace and trueth in my daies.

15 The long and honourable peace which wee haue enioied and doe enioie is in the eies of all that doe beholde it woonderful,In pietie. the more because the procurer of our peace hath beene carefull therewithal to haue pietie and true religion planted and continu­ed amongest vs. Doubtlesse they that so watche ouer the people committed vnto their charge, shewe that they are neither coldly affected towards God, nor vncharitably towards their people. Dauid, Salomon, Iehosaphat, Asa, Ezechias, Iosias are commen­ded of God for good rulers: because they were religious & feared God. These louing the Lawe of the Lord themselues, laboured by all meanes to make the people partakers also of the like loue. These were in deede the Nurces of the Church, hauing the same affection and kindehearted inclination, which the blessed Apo­stle had towardes them of Thessalonica,1. Thess. 2. vnto whom he was not onely content to giue the milke of the gospel of Christ, but wil­ling that they might sucke euen bloud out of his brest, so it were [Page 72] for their benefite. So deare and precious they were vnto him. Such a nurce was Moses, which fed the people with the Lawe of God, the foode of life, meate sweeter than honie or the honie combe. Such a one Iehosaphat, in sending abroade preachers to feede the people. Such a one Ezechias, in washing and cleansing the Church from Idolatrie, Iosias in reforming the house of God, Salomon in deposing euil priests and placing better, in labouring by all meanes to inlarge the glorious kingdome of God. These did the parts of good and faithfull nurces, and God did highly re­quite their seruice.

16 After pietie,In honestie. honestie and order must be sought. This is attained vnto by seeing good Lawes both made and put in exe­cution. For the execution of the Lawe is the life of the Lawe, and a Lawe not executed is but a dead Lawe. And here let rulers first learne to obserue Lawes themselues, and so with greater cou­rage and better countenance they may punish by Lawe the trans­gressors of the Lawe. For this cause S. Paul would haue a Bi­shop, whose office it is to reprooue others, himselfe to bee vnre­prooueable. Iudah gaue sentence against Thamar for her incon­tinencie,Gen. 38. Bring her foorth and let her be burnt. But when he once vn­derstoode it was his owne offence, the case was altered. The Pro­phet Dauid was driuen to the like. Those magistrates doe both wickedly and shamefully which prescribe a Lawe of honest life vnto others, and keepe it not themselues. It is fowle thing when he that punisheth is more woorthie punishment than the partie punished. Paul himselfe being blamelesse executed discipline with great authoritie vpon that lewde incestuous person. Samuel a faultlesse magistrate was not afraide to cut off the head of Agag the king with his owne handes.1. Sam. 15. Moses could not with that cou­rage haue hanged vp those Gentlemen-fornicators, had not his owne life that way beene without staine or blemish. When ma­gistrates themselues be cleare, they may boldely punish others, and see diligently to the straite execution of Lawes. For want whereof it commeth to passe, that for the most part Lawes are accounted like to cobwebs, which take small flies and hold them fast, but suffer hornets to breake through. In execution of lawes we may not respect the person of the riche or of the poore; nei­ther feare nor pitie must remooue vs; that which is iust must take [Page 73] place in both. For if Lawes be not executed without respect of person, if sinne be not seuerely repressed, if the people bee not kept in order; it wil shake the state, all wil be in an vprore, no man shall be master of his owne or in any safetie of his life, al iniquitie will abound, all honestie will be exiled, and the magistrate shall beare the sword in vaine. To neglect it, is to neglect that thing for which this ordinance of God was first appointed. For if men without these meanes might be kept in order, surely God would neuer haue established gouernement to keepe them in order by these meanes. Barbarous therefore, and wicked is the opinion of the Anabaptists, which condemne all superioritie, authoritie, and gouernement in the Church. For what is this else, but vtter­ly to expell both out of Church and common wealth all god­linesse, all peace, all honestie?

17 Nowe as magistrates and rulers should by good gouern­ment procure peace,The duetie of the people vnder their Princes is to leade a peace­able, a godly, and an honest life. promote religion, and preserue honestie amongst men: so our Apostle requireth at the peoples handes, that they vnder gouernement leade a peaceable, quiet, and ho­nest life. There is a double peace, the one outward; the other in­ward: peace with men, and peace with God. With God there is no peace, but in Christ. Through faith in him wee haue peace with God, and not otherwise. He hath peace with God, whose sinnes are remitted;Rom. 5. for, Blessed are they whose iniquities are pardoned. But our sinnes are remitted onely in the bloud of Christ Iesus, his bloud doeth purge vs from all sinne. 1. Iohn 1. Christ therefore is our onely peacemaker with God. This is that peace which passeth all vn­derstanding: He that wil enioie it must be careful to keepe a good conscience.1. Pet. 3. Haue a good conscience; that when men speake euill of you, as of ill doers, they may be ashamed. For if our owne heart condemne vs, God is greater and wil more syncerely iudge vs. A good con­science maketh a strong faith. Many by loosing their hold of the one haue made shipwracke of the other.

18 The peaceable and quiet life,What it is to liue peaceably which S. Paul in this place doeth chiefly require, is to haue outward peace with men. If it be possible and as much as in you lies haue peace with all men. Rom 12. Yet not peace with all men so, but that we may be alwaies readie for Gods cause to sustaine the hatred of all men in the world. We may not for peace sake flatter men in their sinne; for that is to be partakers of [Page 74] euill. We must haue peace with all, if it may be, and so farre as in vs lyeth, euer preferring a good conscience and a Christian minde. For it may not be which may not be honestly. Followe those things that belong vnto peace, but vnto godlie peace. For our God is the God of true & of good peace. He detesteth them that sowe discord, yea the soule of the Lorde abhorreth them. Doeg was hated of God for setting dissension betweene Saul and Dauid; Achitophel likewise for stirring vp Absolon to striue a­gainst his father. For as peacemakers are blessed; so cursed are all disturbers of peace, all breeders and maintainers of sedition. Vn­to peace we must ioine holinesse, true and religious worshipping of God.Heb. 12. So saith the Apostle, Followe peace and holinesse, without which no man shall see the Lorde. Matth. 4. Thou shalt worship the Lorde thy God, and him onely shalt thou serue. He is a spirite, and will be woorship­ped in spirit and trueth, in inward holinesse, not in outward shew of holinesse onely; in synceritie, and not in ceremonie alone; ac­cording to his owne will and commaundement, not according to the fancie or inuention of man.Aug. de consen. Euang. lib. 1. cap 18. Euerie God, saith Socrates, is so to be worshipped as himselfe hath appointed.

19 This our seruing of God in the Church of God in true holinesse consisteth chiefly in true and earnest praier vnto God;The princi­pall publike duties of god­linesse are praier, hea­ring of the word, and re­ceiuing of the sacraments. in diligent and duetifull hearing of his word; in faithfull and reue­rent receiuing of his Sacraments. In praier we beg of God those things which we wish and hope to receiue, and wee praise him for things alreadie receiued. This is a sweete and an acceptable sacrifice. The hearing of his word is also a seruice wherewith he is pleased.

20 And as praying and hearing;Two sacra­ments, Bap­tisme and the supper of the Lord. so the woorthie receiuing of his sacraments, is not onely a sealing of his grace vnto vs, but al­so a testifying of our godlinesse towards him. His sacrameuts are two in number, instituted by Christ to be receiued of Christians: By the one, which is Baptisme, we are receiued and incorporated into the Church of Christ; by the other, which is the Eucharist or Lords supper, wee are nourished and fed vnto life euerlasting. These are pledges, and assurances of remission of sinnes and sal­uation purchased by the death of Christ. These are Gods seales, added vnto his most certaine promises, for the confirmation of our weake faith, weake by reason of the infirmitie of our fleshe. [Page 75] For if we were spirituall, Hom. 80. sup [...] Matth. saith Chrysostome, wee should not neede these corporall signes. We being now prepared, and purposed to be par­takers of this holie mysterie, the sacrament of the bodie and bloud of Christ; it standeth vs vpon to haue that due considera­tion which the waight of a matter so neerely concerning our sal­uation doeth require, to the end that we may to our comfort and profite receiue the same. Deepely to enter into this matter the shortnesse of this time wil not permit: yet somewhat I will say, and giue you a tast of things needefull.

21 In this sacrament there are two things,Of the out­ward signes in y Eucharist; and how the inward grace therof is rea­ped, not by carnall and grosse deuou­ring; but by spirituall and heauenly fee­ding vpon the bodie and bloud of Christ Iesus. a visible signe, and an inuisible grace: there is a visible sacramentall signe of breade and wine; and there is the thing and matter signified, namely the bodie and bloud of Christ: there is an earthly matter, and an hea­uenly matter. The outward sacramentall signe is common to all; as well the bad, as the good. Iudas receiued the Lords bread; but not that bread, which is the Lord to the faithfull receiuer. The spirituall part, that which feedeth the soule onely the faithful doe receiue. For he cannot be partaker of the bodie of Christ, which is no member of Christs bodie. This foode offred vs at the Lords table is to feede our soules withall; it is meate for the minde, and not for the bellie. Our soules being spiritual can neither receiue, nor digest that which is corporall, they feede only vpon spirituall foode.Iohn 6. It is the spirituall eating that giueth life. The flesh saith Christ, doeth nothing profite. We must lift vp our selues from these externall and earthly signes, and like Eagles flie vp and sore aloft; there to feede on Christ, which sitteth on the right hande of his father, whom the heauens shall keepe vntill the latter day. From thence and from no other Altar shall he come, in his natural bo­die to iudge both quicke and dead. His naturall bodie is locall, for else it were not a naturall bodie; his bodie is there, therefore not here: for a naturall bodie doth not occupie sundrie places at once. Here we haue a sacrament, a signe, a memoriall, a com­memoration, a representation, a figure effectuall of the bodie and bloud of Christ. These termes the auncient Fathers, Ire­neus, Tertullian, S. Augustine, S. Ierome, S. Chrysostome doe vse. Seeing then that Christ in his naturall bodie is absent from hence; seeing he is risen, and is not here; seeing hee hath left the worlde and is gone to his father; howe shall I, saith S. Augustine, [Page 76] laie holde on him which is absent? how shall I put my hand into heauen? Send vp thy faith and thou hast taken hold. Why preparest thou thy teeth? Beleeue and thou hast eaten. Thy teeth shall not doe him violence, neither thy stomacke conteine his glorious bodie. Thy faith must reache vp into heauen. By faith he is seene, by faith he is touched, by faith he is digested. Spiritually by faith wee feede vpon Christ, when wee stedfastly beleeue that his bodie was broken, and his bloud shed for vs vpon the crosse; by which sacrifice, offered once for all, as sufficient for all, our sinnes were freely remitted, blotted out, and washed away. This is our heauenly bread, our spirituall foode. This doth strengthen our soules, and cheere our hearts. Sweeter it is vnto vs than honie, when we are certified by this outward sacrament of the inward grace giuen vnto vs tho­rough his death; when in him we are assured of remission of sins, and eternall life. Better foode than this thy soule can neuer feede vpon. This is the bread of euerlasting life. They which truely eate it shall liue by it.

32 Thus I haue briefly,The visible e­lements of bread & wine are neither chaunged in substance by vertue of con­secration; and they should in administrati­on be giuen both vnto all; not one with­out the other vnto priest or people. simply, and plainely vnfolded vnto you the meaning of this most holy mysterie. Time wil not suffer me to let you see the absurdities of the popish vnsauourie opini­ons in this matter; neither to confute their vaine allegations, and false collections, abusing the scriptures, dreaming euermore with the grosse Capernaites of a carnall and a fleshly eating. Beholde the one part of this sacrament consecrated is termed bread; the other a cup by the Apostle himselfe, Because what they were accor­ding to the substance of their natures before consecration the same they re­maine after, saith Bertram. The like hath Theodoret, Those mysticall tokens after they be sanctified doe not leaue their proper nature: for they a­bide in their former substance, Bert. l. 4. de corp. & sang. chr. figure, and shape. This sacrament was deliuered to the Corinthians in both kindes. As Christ saith, so saith Paul, Bibite ex hoc omnes, Drinke ye all of this. That the whole sacrament should be receiued of the people, and no mutilation permitted, the auncient writers are most cleare, as Ambrose, Ie­rom, Chrysostom, Gelasius, Cyprian, &c. This sacrament is to be receiued in remembrance of Christ crucified. As oft as yee shall eate this bread, and drinke of this cup, ye shewe the Lords death vntill his comming. Of preparati­on required to the worthy re­ceiuing of this blessed Sacra­ment.

23 In what maner we ought to prepare our selues thereunto [Page 77] Paul teacheth saying, Let a man prooue himselfe, and so eate of that bread and drinke of that cuppe. This condemneth Anabaptists, which thinking themselues to be without sin communicate with none but such as they thinke like to themselues.1. Cor. 11. Euerie man shal beare his owne burthen; It behooueth therefore euerie man to trie him selfe and not other men.2. Cor. 13. Trie whether ye be in the faith or no. Faith hath his fruites: It worketh repentaunce, it causeth sorowe for sinnes committed, feare of sinning againe and hope of pardon. It breedeth loue towards God, and loue towardes our brethren. If incredulitie, if impenitencie, if hatred and malice haue possessed thine heart, then abstaine from the Lords table; least with Iudas thou receiue the Lords bread against the Lord, the foode of sal­uation to thy condemnation. But if thou beleeue, repent thee of thy sinne, purpose to liue a charitable and godlie life, if thou be cloathed with the sweete garment of the sonne of God; then sit thee downe at the table of the Lorde, and at the feast of the lambe. For this is his feast, this is doone onely in remembraunce of him this is the blessed Eucharist, a sacrament of praise and thankesgiuing; as for al other godly benefites, so particularly and principally for the death and passion of Iesus Christ Gods onelie sonne and our onelie Sauiour.

24 These dueties being thus performed vnto God,Honest life & conuersation amongst men. wee must also endeuour to liue and leade an honest life. Peace is a great meane to procure pietie, and pietie should breede honestie in vs. The one cannot be where the other is not. Walke honestly be­cause the daies are euil; denie impietie, and worldely lustes; liue soberly, iustly, godlily in this present world; looking for that bles­sed hope, and appearing of the glorie of the mightie God, & our Sauiour Iesus Christ. If we wil be Christs Disciples, let vs treade in his footsteps. If we follow him here in peace, pietie, and hone­stie, we shall receiue in his kingdome that crowne of eternal glo­rie, which God the father for his sonnes sake grant vs, to whom with the holie Ghost three persons and one God be all honour and glorie now and for euer. Amen.

The fifth Sermoni. A Sermon preached before the Queene.

PHILIPPIANS 2.

2 Be like minded, hauing the same loue, being of one accord and of one iudgement;

3 That nothing be doone through contention or vaine glorie, but that in meekenesse of minde euerie man esteeme other better than himselfe.

4 Looke not euerie man on his owne things, but euerie man also on the things of other men.

5 Let the same minde be in you that was in Christ Iesus.

THE Apostle of our Lorde and Saui­our Iesus Christ,The Apostles vehemencie in exhorting to brotherly concord. with a most vehe­ment spirit, and most earnest obtesta­tion, doeth here exhort the Philippi­ans if there were any consolation in Christ, any comfort of charitie, any communion of the spirite, any bowels of tender affections, or any compassi­on in them, they would to the fulfil­ling of his ioie followe peace, vnitie, loue and brotherly concord; remoouing withall the lets thereof; and shewing the meanes how vnitie, loue and concord may be continued, and preserued. And that his exhortation might be of greater authoritie, and so take better effect; he setteth downe our Sauiour Christ as an example: who is the God of vnitie and peace, the Lorde of loue, and the liueliest patterne of all pietie, and sweetenesse of maners; requi­ring of vs; as we professe Christ in name and worde, so in minde and in deede to be so affected as Iesus Christ himselfe was.

2 Be like minded hauing the same &c. Three things performed in the words of S. Paul: he moueth vnto vnitie; taketh away lets which hinder vnitie; shew­eth y meanes whereby vni­tie is main­tained. We haue here an exhorta­tion; and an example, so linked and tied together, the one depen­ding vpon the other, that they cannot well be sundred. My pur­pose therefore is iointly to laie them both before you: and in ex­plicating the one to propose the other. The exhortation is this, Bee like minded, hauing the same loue, being of one accorde, [Page 79] and of one iudgement. That nothing be doone through contention or vaine glorie, but in meekenesse of minde euerie man esteeme other better than him selfe. Looke not euerie man on his owne things, but euerie man also on the things of other men. Vpon this exhortation followeth the example, Let the same minde be in you that was in Christ Iesus. The exhortation standeth vpon three parts. First he mooueth vnto vnitie saying, Be ye like minded hauing the same loue, and this vnitie by way of inter­pretation he diuideth into two members, Be of one accord and of one iudgement. Of one iudgement, in matters of religion; and of one accord in brotherly loue. In the second part he remooueth the lets of this vnitie and concord saying, Let nothing be doone through contention and vaine glorie. These are great hinderances to vnitie and concord. Lastly he telleth the meanes whereby agreement and loue may be vpholden & maintained, saying, In meekenesse of minde let euery man esteeme other better than himselfe: Looke not euery man to his owne things, but euerie man also to the things of other men. Here hee set­teth downe two preseruatiues and defences of vnitie and loue: the one, in humblenesse of minde to thinke better of others than of our selues; the other, not to looke vpon our owne things onely, but euerie man also on the things of other men.

3 The Apostle requireth of vs a double vnitie in Religion and 1 in brotherly concord. Both are so necessarie,The Apostle requireth v­nitie both in religion and affection. that the one cannot stand long if the other fall. Vnitie in religion is a thing most to be desired. What is the woorst thing of all others? Dissention. What the best? Greg. Nazian. Act [...] 4. Vnitie, peace, and agreement: Thus thought Gregorie. And we reade that the Gospel had his beginning in vnitie, The multitude of them which beleeued had one heart and one soule. Schisme had his be­ginning of dissention: I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas; this was that which rent the church of God in peeces.1. Cor. 1. The Church is called the kingdome of God; the Arke of Noah, the bodie of Christ: to teache vs that it should be at vnitie in it selfe. For a house, a ship, a bodie diuided cannot continue. By themselues they are brought to ruine. Wherefore together with the blessed Apostle,1. Cor. 1. I beseech you brethrē by the name of our Lord Iesus Christ that ye all speake one thing, and that there be no dissentions among you: but bee yee knit together in one minde and in one iudgement.

4 But we must consider which is true vnitie:Euerie agree­ment is not that vnitie whereunto we are exhor­ted. For euerie a­greement is not that concord whereunto we are in this place ex­horted. [Page 80] Lucifer with other Angels consented together; Eue and Adam and the serpent were all of one minde; so were the builders of the tower of Babel; so were they of Sodome a puero vsque ad se­nem, Gen 3. from the childe to the man of graie haires; so were Dathan and Abiram with their complices;Gen. 11. so were the woorshippers of the golden calfe;Gen. 19. so were the sacrificers in Dan and Bethel;Num. 16. so were Pilate and Herode;Exod. 32. so were the Iewes that cried with one voice, Let him be crucified; and so are they which haue ioined themselues in holie league with no other intent than those wic­ked confederates had of whom the Prophet saith, They assembled themselues together against the Lord and against his Christ. Psal. 2. But it is vni­tie of the spirit, vnitie in the truth, vnitie in Christ and in his gos­pell, whereunto our Apostle here exhorteth vs. The name of peace is goodly, Hilar contra Auxent. and the opinion of consent, saith Hilarie, is a faire and a beautiful thing; but who doubteth that the linked peace of the Church and of the Gos­pell is that peace only which is of Christ, which he spake of to his Apostles af­ter his glorious passion, which he commended at his departure as the pawne of his euerlasting commaundement? All other peace is no peace in­deede. Nor is he ioined to the Church, saith Cyprian, who is seuered and sundered from the Gospell. Rom. 15. S. Paul moouing men to vnitie in re­ligion saith, This is all one thing; but he addeth further, according to Iesus Christ. The citie whereof the Prophet speaketh, which is at vnitie within it selfe, must be builded vpon the foundation of the Apostles, and of the Prophets. For what a concord is that which is at strife with Christ?Iohn 17. Vnitie must be in veritie, Thy word is veri­tie, Augustine. in this we must agree. Let vs not heare, This I say, This thou saiest, but This saith the Lorde. For vnitie in religion not grounded vpon Christ and his Gospel is not concord but conspiracie.

5 And here wee haue to praise our God,The vnitie which is in ye Church of England at this day tou­ching religiō; the disagree­ment about some smaller things out­wardly ap­perteining to religion. that in publike do­ctrine touching the substance of religion wee all agree in one truth; we all builde vpon one foundation, Christ Iesus slaine and offered vp for our full redemption according to the doctrine of the scriptures. So much the greater pitie it is that there should be such dissent in matters of small importance, in rites and cir­cumstances, that by contention in such things the course of the Gospel should be hindered, Christs aduersaries strengthened, and his church offended. The ministerie cannot bee well executed without her rites, which rites are left indifferent to euerie policie, [Page 81] so that they be not disagreeing from the word, so that they tend vnto edification, so that they be seemely and according to decent order. Bee it graunted that some rites vpon some consideration might be bettered or omitted: yet can I not say neither any man, I suppose, can prooue that any thing is set downe to be obserued in the Church, wicked or contrarie to the woord. And it were scarse wisedome when as in many yeres a beautifull and a costlie house is builded, if a windowe be set a litle awrie, or some small like eye sore doe appeare, in respect thereof to disturbe the whole house, to put it downe, and laie it flat with the ground. For euerie change being so full of perill, surely these great alterations vpon so light aduise, these newe common wealthes, howsoeuer they be shadowed with the plausible name of reformation, yet in seeking (for vndoubtedly this is sought and that by many) to haue the patrimonie of the Church diuided, mangled, and im­paired, they threaten the vtter ouerthrowe of learning and reli­gion. For take away liuing at which roote this axe especially striketh, and ye take away learning; take away learning, and yee ouerthrowe teaching; take away teaching, and what shall be­come of the church of Christ?Prou. 29. Where there is no vision there the people cannot choose but come to decaie. There is no state (no not the state of a prince excepted to whom feare, honour, obe­dience, and tribute is due) that may more rightly chalenge a com­petent and sufficient liuing than the minister of the word of God. They seeme to haue put out the verie light of nature in them­selues, which repine at the reasonable maintenance of them that minister before the Lorde in these sanctified labours. For who doeth plant a vineyard and doeth not eate of the fruite thereof? or who feedeth a flocke and eateth not of the milke of the flock? Marke how the scriptures both in the Lawe and in the Gospell doe beate vpon this point. In the Lawe it is saide, Thou shalt not mussle the mouth of the Oxe. 1. Cor. 9. Doeth God take care for Oxen? No his care is for vs. For our cause it is that he hath saide, The labou­rer is worthie of his hire. 1. Tim. 5. For our cause he hath ordeined, that they which preache the Gospell, should liue of the Gospell. Hee had a care of his church,Gal. 6. and therefore gaue charge, Let him that is taught in the word make him that taught him partaker of al his goods. This is large yet but reasonable. For if we haue sowen vnto you spiritual things, [Page 82] is it a great matter if wee reape your carnall things? is it much to make vs partakers of all your goods?1. Tim. 5. The Elders that rule well are worthie of double honour, specially they which labour in the woord and do­ctrine. 1. Thess. 5. They which labour amongst you, and are ouer you in the Lorde, and admonish you, haue them, saith the Apostle, we beseeche you in singular loue, for their works sake. It was foreseene no doubt by the spirite, how Gods portion should be pinched; howe the ministers of the word should be contemned; howe iniuriously men in these last vncharitable daies would seeke for the hauocke and spoile of the Church: this mooued him in so large and ample sort to speake of maintenance, and honour due to his ministers. If any man bee slowe and rechelesse in dooing his office, if there bee any Idol-sheepeheard that feedeth himselfe onely and not his flocke; let him be reformed or remooued: But for the fault of a fewe, that the whole state should be subuerted, and the patrimonie of the church of Christ spoiled and deuoured, it were verie hard. No prince, nor people, Christian or Heathen, could euer consent to such a thing without sacrilege. Wel, as we are at vnitie in sub­stance of religion; so God graunt that at length in these things also we may agree and be as one; euen as becommeth the congre­gation of Christ, which is a societie linked and knit together, not sundered by diuision, and rent in peeces by varietie of opinions and iudgements. To this vnitie Paul exhorteth, Be of one mea­ning. This vnitie Christ commendeth to his Disciples saying, Be one.

6 Of this vnitie and coniunction of men agreeing in the trueth,Of vnitie in religion com­meth that v­nitie which linketh mens minds in mu­tuall aff [...]ction eche towards other. ariseth that brotherly concord, whereof. S. Paul in the woordes that followe saith, Be like minded, hauing the same charitie. Where dissent in religion is, there can hardly be consent in loue. Diuersitie of religion sundered the Iewe and Gentile, caused the one to be an abhomination to the other. Wherefore hee that came to bring religion into the world, came not to bring with it peace, but a sword; a sworde to diuide asunder not onely king­domes and cities, but euen the man and the wife; the father and the childe; a sword to cut off one brother from another. For there can be no agreement betweene Christ and Beliall, the light of the one and the others darkenesse: such as are not of one true religion with vs, their profession may be friendshippe, but their [Page 83] practise is deceit; they may with speeche and countenaunce flat­ter and fawne, but they carie for the most part a malitious heart set vpon mischiefe. Caine spake Abel faire ynough:Gen. 4. but for the diuersitie of his sacrifice he hated him, and spying opportunitie shed his bloud.Matth. 2. Herod pretended to worship Christ, whose death he fully purposed in his malitious mind. There was neuer therfore wise Israelite that would trust an Amorite. It is and will bee true for euer that Constantine saide,Sozom. l. 1. ca. 6. Qui perfidi sunt in Deum, in Princi­pem fideles esse non possunt. They cannot be sure to their Prince, who to God-ward are not syncere. They count trueth heresie; and, No PROMISE TO BE KEPT WITH HERETIKES is their posie. Children they are like to their father which is a murtherer and lier from the beginning. But when we speake of loue and charitie, we speake of the badge of Christianitie, of the vertues of true Christians: who consenting in faith, bring foorth the fruite of faith which is loue; without which, howe neere soeuer we approche vnto Christ in word and in outward profession, we are in deede none of his. He cannot agree with Christ that is at discord with a Christian. God is so delighted with this affection, that he professeth himselfe to hate them that are enemies of it, yea the soule of the Lord abhorreth him that raiseth vp cōtentions amongst brethren. Prou. 6. Loue is the Liuerie-coate of Christ; whosoeuer wil be numbred with his seruaunts must put it on. By this men shall know you to be my Disciples,Iohn 13. If ye loue one another. In those verie creatures which God hath left emptie and voide of vnderstan­ding there is a kinde of loue: a consent we see there is in the stars, in the elements, in times and seasons, amongst the beasts of the field, the fowles of the aire, the fishes of the sea, and fruites of the earth; euerie beast doth loue his like; to our shame and re­proche, if hauing so many schoolemasters to teach vs one thing we learne it not, especially being so necessarie as it is. For in loue and concord our praiers are accepted in the sight of God, and without them abhorred;Matth. 8. Verilie I saie vnto you that if two of you shall agree in earth vpon any thing, whatsoeuer they shall desire, it shall be giuen them of my father which is in heauen.

7 S. Paul therefore to perswade men to this concord,The loue and vnitie which should be in the mysticall bodie of Christ which is the compa­nie of men professing the Christiā faith, shewed by comparison of that vnitie which is seene in the parts & members of a natural body. vseth a similitude drawne from the members of a naturall bodie: where­in he noteth that the bodie by nature is a thing whole and per­fect, [Page 84] consisting of all his members; if any part be wanting or cut off, it is maimed: Euen so in this mysticall bodie of Christ, in this spirituall societie of the faithfull, if any part bee cut off the whole is defaced and deformed. All the members and euery one of them labour not for themselues onely, but for the vse and pre­seruation of the whole bodie. So are we borne not for our selues alone, but for others also, for whom we should trauell as for our selues. The members striue not, but are content with their pla­cing, be it honourable, be it base: Euen so should not wee striue for equalitie or superioritie,1. Cor. 14. but euerie man content himselfe with his owne calling. The members reioice and suffer together: E­uen so should wee bee kindely affected eche to other, mourning with them that mourne, and being glad with them that doe re­ioice. That member which hath not this sympathie, this mutu­all suffering, this feeling of other mens hurts is dead and rotten. Remember them saith the Apostle,Heb. 13. that are in bonds, as though yee your selues were bound with them, and them that are in affliction as if yee your selues were afflicted in their bodies. The members are sundrie and haue sundrie offices. For if all were an eye where were the hea­ring? If all did commaund which should obeie? Euen so in this resembled bodie, and ciuil societie there must be diuersitie as of members so of functions. The prince is as the head, without whose discreete and wise gouernement the Lawes would cease, and the people being not ruled by order of Lawes, ruine and con­fusion would soone followe, eche contending and striuing a­gainst other the end would be the vtter subuersion of all. The mi­nisters of the word are as the eyes to watche, and not to winke or sleepe, and as the mouth to speake, and not be dumme. For then they performe not their allotted function. They are placed as watchemen ouer the Church for the good and godlie direction thereof to take heede both to themselues, and to all the flocke whereof the holie Ghost hath made them ouerseers, to feede the Church of God which he hath purchased with his owne bloud, to warne the people of the enemie euer at hand alwaies readie to assault, to teache and instruct the people of God in the waie of their saluation, to tell them of their sinnes, to crie vnto them and not to cease. The Iudges are as eares who should sit in open pla­ces to heare the causes and complaints of the people, opening [Page 85] the one eare to the plaintife, and reseruing the other to the defen­dants answere. The nobilitie are as the shoulders and armes to beare the burthen of the common wealth, to holde vp the head and defend the bodie with might and force, with wise counsel and good aduise. Men of lower degrees are set as inferior parts in the bodie, painefully to trauel for the necessarie sustentation both of themselues and others. All these members are so necessarie that none can want without the ruine of the whole. For euerie one hath need of other & by the help of the other is maintained. This necessary cōiunction should cause the Prince to loue the people, as Moses, which wished rather to be blotted out of the booke of life than that they should perish; and as Dauid, which besought the Lord to turne his wrathfull hand against him, and to spare the people. It should cause such loue in the people towards the Prince, as was both in the people of Israel towardes their Prince and gouernour Iosua,Iosua 1. when they said, All that thou hast commanded vs we will doe, and whithersoeuer thou sendest vs we will goe; and in Da­uids subiects towards him, when they stoode fast by him at such time as he fled from his rebellious and vnnaturall sonne; not suf­fering that he should aduenture himselfe in the field, but they ra­ther for him to beare the brunt and burthen of the battell, Thou shalt not goe, 2. Sam. 18. thou art woorth tenne thousand of vs. This should cause the pastor to loue his flocke as Paul did loue his brethren, I would wish my selfe separated from Christ for my brethren; Rom. 9. and againe, Our good will was to haue dealt vnto you not the Gospell of GOD onely but euen our owne soules too because ye were deere vnto vs. 1. Thess. 2. This should cause the people to loue their pastor deerely, as the Galathians loued Paul, to whom he giueth this testimonie,Gal. 4. I beare you record that if it had beene possible; you would haue plucked out your owne eies and haue giuen them to me. Finally this should cause all men to walke in loue euen as Christ our example hath loued vs.

8 It followeth, Let nothing be doone through contention or vainglorie. The first hin­derance of v­nitie is con­tention. 2 After that S. Paul hath exhorted vs to loue and vnitie, now he remooueth the lets and enemies of them. The breache of all concord is contention, and the daughter of contention is dissipation. Wherefore our God is not the God of contention, but of peace; not of confusion, but of order: his Apostles are not breeders of stirs and mutinies, they are messengers sent to make [Page 86] peace; to this they prouoke and exhort eueriewhere, I beseech you let there be no contentions amongst you, Heb. 12. Followe peace, Let no roote of bit­ternesse spring vp and trouble you. Where the man and the wife, the parents and the children striue one against another, that house needeth no forreine enemie to bring it to nought, it will bee de­uoured of it selfe. A kingdome, a citie diuided by contention, how should it stand? All times and examples are our witnesses. Contention betweene Roboam and Ieroboam brought the king­dome of Israel first to a diuision, and then to confusion. The con­tention betweene Simon, Iohn, and Eleazar, chiefe men in the citie of Ierusalem, was the last and vtter destruction of that citie. If counsellers emulate and contend amongst themselues, [...]t must needes teare the state of the common wealth in pieces. It was great wisedome therefore in M. Aemilius and Fuluius Flaccus, that being at enmitie, yet when they were chosen Censors of Rome together, they ioined handes and buried all iniuries; least through their contention, the state should come to ruine. Abra­ham knowing the hurt of contention gaue place to his nephewe Lot,Gen. 13. Let there be no strife I praie thee betweene thee and me, neither be­tweene mine heardmen and thine, for we are brethren. The scripture ter­meth vs sheepe, meeke and patient. Let vs not therefore be cur­rish like vnto dogges, contending, barking and biting at our brethren.Gal. 5. If yee bite one another beware least ye be consumed one of an other.

9 And as the bane of vnitie is contention,Another hin­derance is vaineglorie the mother and breeder of contention. so the breeder of contention is vaineglorie. What else caused Iohn Bishop of Constantinople to contend to be called The vniuersall Bishop? Su­perbum nomen hoc est: This is a proude name saith Gregorie. What else made the Angel to contend to aduance himselfe aboue mea­sure? Adam to seeke to be wise as God? Absolon to striue for his fathers kingdome? Caesar to brooke no man to bee his better? Pompey no man to be his peere? Wherefore let vs not bee desi­rous of vaineglorie, prouoking one another, enuying one ano­ther. The proude and vaine glorious are compared to the Cedar trees of Libanus, which are higher than others, not of them­selues, but by reason of the high mountaine whereupon they growe.There is no­thing in vs whereof wee may boast.

10 It is madnesse for men to glorie in that which is not their [Page 87] owne. What hast thou that thon hast not receiued? And if thou hast re­ceiued, why doest thou glorie?1. Cor. 4. Doest thou glorie in thy good workes and righteousnesse?Esay 64. They are as the cloathes of a woman in her bloud. Doest thou glorie in thy nobilitie, and great autho­ritie?Prou. 8. By me Kings doe raigne, neither is there any power but from God. Rule is giuen you of the Lorde, and power by him that is most high. Glorie not but feare, knowing that hee which hath receiued much hath much to recken for.Sap. 6. And, A hard iudgement shall they haue that beare rule. Doest thou glorie in thy riches? Foole, this night thy life is taken from thee, and then whose are they? They are as grasse vnto all, but vnto most men as thornes; many haue beene pearced to the heart by them, they spare neither pro­phet,Num. 22. nor Apostle, as we see by the examples of Balaam and Iu­das,Matth. 26. they are euerywhere vnquiet gests. Sigismundus the Empe­ror could not sleepe so long as a chest full of golde remained in his bed-chamber. Doest thou glorie in forme and fashion? in fa­uour?Esay 40. in beautie? All flesh is grasse, and the glorie of it is as the flower of the field. To daie it flourisheth, to morowe it vanisheth. Doest thou glorie in thy worldly wisedome and policie? The wisedome of the world is but foolishnesse before the Lorde. Let not the wise man glorie in his wisedome: Ier. 9. Let him that glorieth glorie in this, that he vn­derstandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which shew mercie, iudge­ment, Hest. 5. and righteousnesse in the earth. Doest thou glorie with insolent Haman that thou art in exceeding grace and fauour with Assue­rus the king, and canst haue whatsoeuer thy heart doeth wish at his hands? Doest thou in this thy loftinesse enuie vnto death god­lie Mardocheus, because he honoureth not thee which art in thy selfe altogether vnworthie of honour? His pride had a fall, his insolencie ended in ignominie and shame. Let such as are lifted vp into such fauour feare, let them learne to bee so much lowlier as they are higher than others, remembring that the wrath of a prince is death, and what is more easily kindled than wrath?

11 It is hard to bridle the hawtie affections of vaineglorious men.Vainglorie hardly bridled. This vanitie staineth our best and purest actions; Our prai­er, when we praie that we may be seene and thought holie; our almes, when we giue that we may haue a praise; our fasting, when we vse it, either to merite vnto our selues, or thereby to seeme de­uout vnto others; our preaching, when we seeke our owne com­mendation, [Page 88] when we studie not so much to please God as men, when much learning puffeth vs vp, when we take a pride in our picked words & pleasant vtterance, when we reioice with Herod to heare the people showte and crie The voice of a God. Acts 12. Thus as the goodliest trees in a garden are soonest blasted with red windes; so men indued with the rarest qualities and best gifts are soonest in­fected with this poison. That great and blessed Apostle himselfe was in some danger of this disease. Wherefore thus he speaketh, Least I should be exalted aboue measure through abundance of reuelations, 2. Cor. 12. there was giuen vnto me a sting in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I might not be exalted aboue measure. He onely was quite and cleane voide of this sinne, who is our example, who saith in the Gospel, I doe not seeke mine owne glorie.

3 12 Now the lets of vnitie, which are Contention and Vain­glorie,The first meane to pre­serue vnitie is humblenes of minde. being remooued, S. Paul teacheth in the last place by what meanes vnitie and concord may be preserued. Wherein he setteth downe two strong preseruatiues. The first is, In humblenesse of minde euerie man to esteeme others better than himselfe. To esteeme o­thers better than our selues, is a lesson hard to be learned, a lesson which neuer can enter into the braine of a proude hearted man. And therefore S. Paul requireth humblenesse of minde in him that shall thus frame and fashion his iudgement: according to that whereunto he exhorteth in an other place, Walke woorthie of the vocation whereunto yee are called; Ephes. 4. with all humblenesse of minde and meekenesse, with long suffering, supporting one another through loue, ende­uouring to keepe the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace. For vpon whom shall the spirit of the Lord rest, but onely vpon them that are humble and lowlie? To whom should he giue grace, but vnto men of a meeke and gentle spirite? But there are sundrie sorts of humilitie.

13 There is an humilitie which is constrained,Diuers kindes of humilitie. an humilitie perforce, such as that whereof the Prophet saith, The Lorde relee­ueth the meeke and humbleth the wicked to the ground. Psal. 147. Such are then humble onely when God hath humbled them by afflicting them. There is a counterfeite humilitie, such as was in Absolon, when he stole away the peoples hearts from the king. For it is the vsu­all maner of some to bowe downe themselues,Eccle. 19. and to looke most demurely, when their inward parts are full of deceit, and their [Page 89] heads most occupied about wicked purposes. Againe there is a superstitious humilitie,Col 2. such as that was, Touch not, Tast not, Handle not, touch not the chalice, tast not an egge in Lent, handle not the bread that by consecration is made holie; which things had a shewe of religious holinesse, but were in deede meere daliances deuised by Satan to no other end but onely to noozle the decei­ued in their blindenesse. But true humilitie is the lowlinesse of a pensiue and contrite heart.Luke 18. This humilitie was in the Publicane, which thought so basely of himselfe that he durst not lift vp his eyes towards heauen: this humilitie was in Paul when hee con­fessed himselfe the least amongst the Apostles,1. Tim. 1. and the chiefest a­mongst sinners. A man of this disposition which thinkes so basely of himselfe will easily esteeme others better than himselfe. But what? Should a king then in dignitie, place and authoritie prefer a meane artificer or a daylabourer before himselfe? or should a wise man esteeme a naturall foole wiser than himselfe? No. Saint Paul is no author of confusion, neither will hee in any wise haue Gods good gifts debased. He descendeth not to these extremi­ties, but onely perswadeth vs not to thinke so arrogantly of our selues, as in respect of our selues to condemne others. Euery man hath the minde of a king in himselfe. Goliah thought bigly of himselfe, but of Dauid how basely? This selfeliking hath infected and possessed all [...]flesh.

14 The way to redresse it is to looke vpon our selues and vp­on others,The way to redresse that ouerweening which we haue of our selues. but not vpon both with the same eyes; vpon our selues with the eyes of straite iudgement, vpon our neighbours with a fauourable and a charitable eye. Whosoeuer therefore thou art that despisest another, consider in thy selfe these two things. First whatsoeuer thou hast that good is, it is of God the author of al goodnes: & as al that thou hast is from him, so to him thou dost stand accountable for it. Thou art but a steward of his goods, which will call thee to a strict & a hard reckoning for euery mite. If thou consider this thou shalt find small cause to boast and glo­rie of thy selfe, but shalt giue all glorie to the king of glorie. But open thine other eye and looke downe to thy sinnes, there shalt thou see an ouglie sight; thou shalt be forced to leaue off glorying and to crie with the Prophet Dauid,Psal. 38. Mine iniquities are gone ouer my head, and as a waightie burthen they are too heauie for me. Yea if thou [Page 90] rightly looke vpon thy sinnes, thou shalt see in that glasse Gods face turned away from thee & his eares shut vp against thy prai­ers.Esay 59. Your iniquities, saith God, haue made a diuision betweene you & me. If thou truely enter into thy selfe and consider of thy sinne, thou shalt say with the prodigall childe,Luc. 15. Lord I am not woorthie to be called thy sonne; Luc. 5. and with Peter, Depart from me, for I am a sinner; and with Dauid,2. Sam. 24. It is I that haue sinned, as for these sheepe what haue they doone? Thou wilt thinke of others as Saul did say of Dauid,1. Sam. 24. Thou art more righteous than I. But the prince of darkenesse hath dimmed, or ra­ther put out both these eyes; we can neither see our gifts that be good to be of God, nor our sinne as we should to be of ourselues, and therefore we esteeme most highly of our selues & most vilely of others. Which we would not doe if we did louingly and cha­ritably beholde with reuerence the graces & gifts of God which are in them. For who is there in whom some commendable thing doeth not appeare? Lazarus seemed a contemptible thing in the eyes of that riche glutton; yet was his patience to bee pre­ferred before the others riches. The Publicane seemed ougly and odious to the Pharisee; yet his humblenesse was much more wor­thie praise than the others supposed puritie and holinesse of life. There is no man so base but a charitable eye may finde out in him some good and pretious thing. And no man may be despised in whom there is any appearance at all of that which is good. At the least this we may see in all men, that they shewe the worke­manship of him which made them, they carie the image of him by whom they were created; and in them which are our brethren, how high soeuer we beare our heads, yet thus much wee may consider more, that they are as dearely bought as wee, the preti­ous bloud of the sonne of God was shed for them as well as for vs, we haue not a foot more than they in that eternal inheritance which God hath prouided for his humble-minded children. If these considerations doe not make vs to esteeme others better than our selues, yet somewhat they will abate and take downe that proude humor which causeth vs to lift vp our selues so much aboue others. And as in looking vpon our brethren we must haue one eye open to behold the graces of God which are in them, so the other must be shut and closed vp that those things wherein they are weake may bee hidden.1. Pet. 4. For Charitie doeth couer sinnes. [Page 91] There can be no charitie in that mans heart whose eies are fedde with beholding the infirmities of his brethren. Sem and Iaphet turned away their faces when they went to couer their fathers nakednesse, for which charitable deede they receiued a blessing: but Cham for looking vpon his fathers fall brought a curse vpon himselfe and his posteritie. To teache vs that hee which looketh vpon other mens faults with pleasure and delight, doeth well de­serue that other men should looke vpon his plagues without compassion. S. Paul therefore would haue vs to bee fauourable censurers of our brethren, readie to pardon scapes, Considering saith he,Gal 6. thy selfe least thou also be tempted. And it is a good meditati­on which Augustine prescribeth in these cases,Augustine. Such wee were or may be. Wherefore as Christ doth not onely couer our manifold sinnes, but also forgiue as it were and quite forget them: So let vs, like good and pitifull Surgions, hide the sores of our wounded brethren from the winde. This the Lawe of charitie and loue re­quireth, and this neither taketh away the sword from the magi­strate nor yet the rod from the minister, but that eche of them seuerally according to the order of his vocation may punish sinne as he must pitie sinners.

15 The other preseruatiue of vnitie is,The second meane to maintaine concord is care not onely for our selues but for others also. Not to looke vpon our owne things onely, but euerie man vpon the things of others. These words doe suffer a double exposition. They may bee referred to the words before by way of preoccupation, as if he should say, You thinke it hard to preferre others before your selues, but you may make it ea­sie. Looke not vpon your owne things, such as minister occasion of ouerwee­ning, but looke vpon the vertues, qualities and graces, that bee in others. Another exposition is to make this a proper meane to keepe and conserue vnitie, rather than a waie onely to diminish loftinesse and pride: so that the words are to this effect, Without vnitie there can be no Christianitie, and a chiefe meane to liue in vnitie is that men bee not euerie one for himselfe, but eche carefull to doe good to other, that wee seeke not greedily our owne commoditie and neglect the commoditie of our brethren. Loue seeketh not her owne. But in these euill daies chari­tie is growen so colde that euerie mans song is, I am neerest to my selfe. Men scrape and scratch, they heape together and laie vp for them and theirs, but the bowels of tender mercie towardes o­thers are withered and dryed vp. Of these selfeseekers wee haue [Page 92] too many examples.Gen. 34. Of this crue were the Sichemites: for to obtaine substance, wealth and cattel, and friendes, they sticked not to alter their religiō. But whilest they thus sought themselues they lost themselues.1. Sam. 25. Nabal was one of the same note, and the riche man whose heart was set onely vpon the enlarging of his barnes was another.

16 There bee that seeme to bee farre from this fault and are not,Many seeme to haue a care of others whose care in deede is for themselues. that seeme to looke vpon others but doe it not with a single eye. And of this kinde I note foure sorts. There bee that giue to others for a Ne noceat, which although it be not simple, yet is it more sufferable than the rest.2. Chron. 28. Achaz spoiled the temple of God to giue rewards to the king of Assyria, and so bought his owne quietnesse with a stolen price.Gen. 3 [...]. Yea Iacob is faine and glad to send his brother Esau great gifts, that hee may passe quietly by him without hurt. The needier sort are forced to consider of the ri­cher for their better safetie. The poore seruaunt in the Comedie complaineth of it, It is a hard case, saith he, that the poore must still offer to the rich mans boxe. There be others that sometime looke vp­on others with some part of liberalitie. But either they doe it to auoide an euill name, and least they should bee noted for nig­gards, or else they doe it when it is wrung out from them by cla­mor and importunitie. The poore widowe by weerying the wic­ked Iudge brought him at length to shewe her Iustice. The Dis­ciples may seeme to haue had a spice of this fault by that speeche of theirs concerning the Cananite,Matth. 15. Send her away, she crieth after vs. Another sort giue, not because they are but because they would seeme to be bountifull and liberall, as the Pharisees which made a trumpet to be blowne that men might knowe when they gaue almes. The last and woorst sort giue, but they giue to gaine. Ia­son gaue Antiochus the king a graund summe of money. But he knewe the office of the high Priest to be well woorth it.

17 Our Apostles meaning is not that we should in this wise consider one another,Our care for others must be heartie & syncere, as Christs is for vs. but he exhorteth vs syncerely, hartily, & in deede, to seeke the commoditie and safetie of others, euen as Christ hath sought ours. He sought not himselfe, but beeing e­quall with God became man for vs; and being Lord of all, for vs became a seruaunt, to exalt vs, hee humbled himselfe; hee made himselfe a curse, to take away the curse which was due vnto vs. [Page 93] Let that affection therefore be in vs which was in him. He is our example. Him we must followe in the path of his vertues if wee wil followe him in at the gate of his kingdome. Euerie Christian ought so to be affected towards others that hee may say with S. Paul in synceritie and trueth, I seeke you, not yours.

18 Princes are not exempted from this rule of Christian du­tie.This care of caring for o­thers doeth principally concerne Princes. Loue thy neighbour as thy selfe is spoken vnto them. All Christi­ans are our neighbours which doe neede our helpe. To suffer such to perish for want of helpe is to bee guiltie of their bloud. Moses in consideration hereof, when he sawe an Israelite in dan­ger to be murthered of an Egyptian,Exod. 2. in defence of his brother slewe the enemie of God.Gen. 14. Abraham sate not still when Lot was in daunger.Sozom. lib. 2. cap. 15. When the Christians were persecuted by the Persi­an, Constantinus wrote letters in their behalfe that they might peaceably enioie the freedome of their conscience and the liber­tie of the Gospel. The same Emperor waged warre against Li­cinius his owne sisters husband in the quarell of the poore affli­cted Christians.Euseb. lib. 10. cap. vlt. Constans likewise wrote a menacing letter to Constantius his brother,Theod. l. 2. ca 9. wherein hee proclaimed open warre a­gainst him,Socr. l. 2. c. 22. vnlesse he did presētly surcease his enterprises against the Christians. These zealous and woorthie Princes being neere­ly touched with those afflictions which others suffered for Gods cause, studied for their safetie as for their owne. This they did for strangers: what would they haue doone if their subiects had clai­med succour at their handes? would they haue put their owne sheepe in the mouthes of bloudie and rauening woolues, which were so careful to deliuer a strange flock from the butchers knife? As it is treason for the subiects to forsake their Prince, so for the Prince to forsake his subiects it is a fault not sufferable. If Christ made himselfe poore to inriche vs, if he humbled himselfe to the death of the crosse for our deliuerance, when wee were his ene­mies held in captiuitie vnder sinne and death, shall wee spare our paines, our purses, or our liues for the releeuing of our brethren the afflicted members of Christ Iesus? It was a plaine lesson which Mardocheus gaue Queene Hester, If she neglected the people of God, God would finde a way to deliuer his people, but shee and her fathers house should perish. Kings and Princes should consider that they are Gods ministers, furnished with power and might from aboue [Page 94] to stand with him against his enemies, to serue him both with scepter and with sword, to bee patrones and defenders of all his seruaunts. It is a glorious thing for a prince to fight as Dauid did the Lords warres against the Philistims, to be in the fielde vnder Christs banner. But to drawe in one yoke with Infidels, to bee in league with Antichrist, it is both an impious and a base thing.2. Reg. 8. By ioining with Achaz Iehosaphat gained nothing, and Ochozias as litle by ioyning with Ioram.2. Reg. 9. Ioas and Iehu woorthy princes regarded Gods cause, and had singular care of the safetie of their people:2. Reg. 11. the one tooke away that cruel murtherer of the kings bloud,2. Reg. 9. the conspiring and traiterous Queene Athalia, the other brake the necke of that idolatrous, proude, and lasciuious Queene Iesabel. Moses and Dauid most woorthie princes loo­ked not onely on themselues, but prouided for their posteritie, when the one appointed Iosua and the other Salomon to raigne after them. The prince that hath not a speciall and singular care ouer his people, hath denied the faith, and is woorse than an Infidell.

19 Neither doeth this concerne the duetie of Princes onely,It concerneth also counsel­lers, ministers, and generally all men. but of Counsellers also. Their care should bee greater for the Prince and common wealth than for their owne commoditie. I wil not remember vnto you Codrus and Decius, Curtius, Bru­tus, with such like who loued their countrie more than them­selues. I wil not put you in minde of those two precepts set down by Tullie out of Plato, the one of not seeking for priuate cōmodi­tie, the other of not leaning to one part and neglecting another of the common wealth. I like not so wel to deale with prophane things in this place; the word of God beeing so plentifull and of great power to mooue the hearts of such as beleeue. In the scrip­tures of God Counsellers haue examples laide before them of both sorts; as well such as haue referred all their counsels to their owne priuate gaine, as also such as haue faithfully employed their trauels to the benefite of others.2. Sam. 17. Achitophel beeing a man of a traiterous heart gaue trecherous aduise tending to the kings con­fusion. But Chusa the Archite directed faithfully his counsell to the safetie of his Lord and Master the King. Let him be followed who is most to be commended and was best rewarded. This les­son must be deliuered vnto them also, which haue charge to deli­uer [Page 95] it vnto others. For woe be to those pastors that feede them­selues and not their flocke. Paul had care of all Churches. Christ preferred the safetie of his flocke before his owne soule, hee gaue his pretious life for his beloued sheepe. To bee short this must teache euerie member to trauell for the benefite of the whole bo­die, that the glorie of God may be sought of all; Which that all may seeke syncerely and heartily, God the Father graunt for his Sonne our Sauiours sake, to whom, &c.

The sixth Sermon. A Sermon preached before the Queene.

PSALME 86.‘11 Teache me thy way O Lord, and I will walke in thy trueth.’

I Will not meddle with the argument of this Psalme,A petition to be taught the way of God, and a promise to walke in his trueth. nor make any generall discourse of the whole: this one verse shall suffice, being plentifull and riche in matter, most fit for these our times, and not vnfit for this most honourable audience: they are the words of a most woorthie prince, pertinent to all prin­ces, and conuenient for all Christians. This short sentence consisteth partly of a petition, and partly of a promise. For first he praieth to be taught of God, secondly hee promiseth to walke in his trueth. In the former part are these things chiefly to be considered, first a request to be taught, Teach me; secondly to be taught of God, Teache me O Lord; thirdly what he would be taught, Teache me thy waies.

2 The king in praying to be taught confesseth his ignorance; 1 and if the great prophet of God pleade ignoraunce,In praying to be taught hee confesseth his ignorance. who is hee that dare boast of knowledge? If S. Paul after so long studie, and after so many heauenly reuelations did confesse, We knowe in part; then the best learned of all may learne.1. Cor. 13. Yea when a man hath doone his best, he must then begin againe, as if all which hath [Page 96] beene doone alreadie were in comparison of perfection nothing. It is too much arrogancie in that proude man who thinketh him­selfe to haue all knowledge hid in the chest of his bosome, and all trueth cheined to his tongue, so that hee can neither deceiue nor be deceiued. No man hath attained to the knowledge of any thing which will not confesse with Socrates, This one thing I knowe that I knowe nothing. 1. Cor. 10. Brethren, saith the Apostle, I would not haue you ignoraunt. Ignorance is the mother not of deuotion, but of super­stition; not of trueth, but of error and sinne. If wee desire therefore rather to walke in light than to dwell in blindenesse, we must learne of this princely prophet to become scholers in Gods schoole;1. Reg. 3. we must with Salomon prefer knowledge and wisedome before riches, honour and long life.

3 God hath appointed good meanes to leade men to know­ledge:The meanes whereby God doth leade men to know­ledge. hee hath caused the scriptures to bee written for our lear­ning. Without the knowledge whereof, neither can kings beare rule,Ios. 1. neither subiects obey and liue in order as they should. Wherefore Iosua was commaunded not to laie aside the volume of the Law at any time,Psal. 119. night nor day. The prophet Dauid made it his continuall studie. The wisest gouernours of Israel would not enterprise any matter of weight til they had turned the leaues of this booke, thence to take aduice for their better direction. This most pretious iewel is to be preferred before all treasure. If thou be hungrie, it is meate to satisfie thee; if thou be thirstie, it is drinke to refresh thee; if thou be sicke, it is a present remedie; if thou bee weake, it is a staffe to leane vnto; if thine enemie assault thee, it is a swoord to fight withall; if thou be in darkenesse, it is a lanterne to guide thy feete; if thou be doubtfull of the way, it is a bright shining starre to direct thee; if thou be in displeasure with God, it is the message of reconciliation; if thou studie to saue thy soule, receiue the word ingrafted, for that is able to doe it: It is the word of life. Whoso loueth saluation will loue this woord, loue to reade it, loue to heare it; and such as wil neither reade nor heare it; Christ saith plainely they are not of God. For the spouse gladly heareth the voice of the bridegroome,Iohn 10. and my sheepe heare my voice, saith the prince of pastors.

4 But the world seemeth to be glutted with the word,The con­tempt of the meanes wher­by knowledge is attained. there be many stomackes that cannot digest it, and many that loath it. I [Page 97] stand in feare that God in his iustice wil giue vs instead of plentie of this bread a famine;Luke 11. and for wholesome foode, meate that shal rot betweene our teeth. There is not that desire in vs to knowe the wisedome of Christ, which was in the Queene of Saba to heare the wisedome of Salomon. There were of the Iewes no small numbers that heard Christ three daies together in the wil­dernesse, and that fasting: but he hath fed vs so full that wee care not for him. The seruaunts of Salomon were thought happy that they might stand daily to heare his wisedome. Happie it were both for the seruants of Salomon & for Salomon too: if but eue­rie Sabaoth they would heare him which is farre both greater and wiser than Salomon. There is no want except it be of willingnes onely: for both we haue leisure ynough to heare, and there are store of them whom God hath verie well enabled to speake. No time can be better spent, nothing more necessarie for a Christian Court. What more princelike than to honour the prince of all princes with that seruice, wherein he is so highly delighted? The bellie is daily and daintily fed: O suffer not the soule to want that foode which abideth for euer. They are not blessed that feede and pamper the flesh,Luke 11. they are that heare the word and keepe it. This word attentiuely and carefully heard would conuert our soules, correct our liues, soften our hearts, inflame our mindes with the loue of God; it would roote out vice and ingraft vertue; banish vaine and cherish good desires in vs; it would lay our sins before our faces, humble our proude and hawtie lookes, bring vs vnto true and heartie repentaunce, throwe vs downe with godlie so­rowe, and raise vs vp againe with heauenly comfort in the me­rites and mercies of Christ Iesus;2. Tim. 3. it would perfectly perfect vs vn­to euerie good worke.

5 The Prophet,Vnto know­ledge praier is as needefull as meditatiō. beeing inflamed with a desire of knowledge and vnderstanding, sawe no other waie to attaine thereunto, but by ioyning with continuall meditation earnest prayer, Teache me thy waies O Lord, Giue me vnderstanding, Shewe me thy Law. He knewe that praying was as needefull altogether as reading; that if there be any difference at all, it is this, By praying we profite more than by reading.

6 As he desireth to be taught, so it is especially to bee noted that his desire is to be taught of God. Teache thou me, O Lorde. [Page 98] There is none that can open the sealed booke of God but onely the Lion of the tribe of Iuda,No man lear­neth wisdome except God be his teacher. the roote of Dauid, the Lambe of God. For Thou art woorthie to take the booke and to open the seuen seales thereof, Apoc. 5. because thou wast slaine and hast redeemed vs to God by thy bloud. It is he that hath the keie of Dauid, which openeth and no man shutteth, shutteth and no man openeth. For the outward rea­ding of the word without the inward working of his spirite is no­thing. The precise Pharisees, the learned Scribes red the Scrip­tures ouer and ouer againe; they not onely red them in bookes, but woore them on their garments; they were not onely taught, but were able themselues to teache others. But because this hea­uenly teacher had not instructed them, their vnderstanding was darkened, their knowledge was but vanitie, they were ignoraunt altogether in that sauing trueth which the Prophet Dauid is so desirous to learne. The mysteries of saluation were so hard to be conceiued of the verie Apostles of Christ Iesus, that he is forced many times sharpely to rebuke them for their dulnesse: which vnlesse he himselfe had remooued by opening the eyes of their mindes,Luc. 24. they could neuer haue attained to the knowledge of sal­uation in Christ Iesus.Acts 16. The eares of that woman Lydia would haue beene as close shut against the preaching of Paul as any o­thers, if the finger of God had not touched and opened her heart. As many as learne they are taught of God,Iohn 6. and no man knoweth the father but he to whom it, pleaseth the sonne to reueale him. There is but one teacher in the schoole of Christ:Iohn 16. hee it is that leadeth vnto all trueth.

7 Nowe although Christ onely openeth the booke of know­ledge,Dangerous to looke for in­struction by reuelations. giueth vnderstanding, and reuealeth vnto vs the wil of his father; although the spirite onely bee the schoolemaster that in­wardly guideth the heart in the way of trueth: yet may wee not gape for reuelations as the Anabaptists doe, or thinke that God hath reuealed vnto vs whatsoeuer wee doe vainely imagine and conceiue in our braines. For as there is a spirite of truth: so there is also a lying spirit. S. Iohn therefore giueth vs a caueat not to credit euerie spirit,1. Iohn 4. but to trie spirits whether they be of God or no. We are to bee taught of God, yet by such meanes as God hath ap­pointed. The riche man beeing in torments craued reuelations for his brethren,Luc. 16. to whom it was aunswered, They haue Moses and [Page 99] the Prophets. God doth teache inwardly, but by outward meanes. He spake in old time by Angels, by dreames, by visions, by reue­lations. But now in these latter daies he hath spoken by his sonne,Acts 8. and he by his ministers.Acts 10. He taught the Eunuch, but it was by Phi­lip; he taught Cornelius,Acts 9. but it was by Peter; he taught Paul, but it was by Ananias.

8 But howsoeuer,The thing which the prophet desi­reth to learne is the way of the Lord. or by whomsoeuer we taught, the thing which we must learne is the woord of God, not the decrees and decretals of Popes, not the quiddities of too curious schoole­men, not lying legends, not amorous arts, not the daungerous discourses of Politikes voide of the feare of God, denying & de­facing Christian religion. This is not our schoole, these are not our studies. What we should desire to learne the Prophet shew­eth by the words following, Thy waies.

9 This word WAIE by a translation or metaphor in the scrip­ture hath sundrie significations.The woord WAIE taken diuersly in scripture. Sometime it is taken for do­ctrine, as thou teachest the WAIE of God truely; sometimes for reli­gion, as when S. Paul saith,Matth. 22. I persecuted this WAIE; and againe, According to this WAIE which they call heresie, Acts 24. I woorship the God of my Fathers; sometimes it is taken for the course and order of a mans life,Esay 8. as in the words of the Prophet Esay, The Lord taught mee that I should not walk in the WAIE of this people; sometimes for the coun­sels and purposes of men,Iob. 34. so Elihu meant it, saying, His eyes are vpon the WAIES of man, and he seeth all his goings. The waie which the Prophet heere would learne of God is true religion, the do­ctrine of his holie wil in his word reuealed, but chieflie the do­ctrine of the true Messias promised, the waie of trueth it selfe, hee onely being the waie, the trueth, and the life, hauing giuen vs an example that we should followe his steps who did no sinne. Now as God hath his waie,Esay 55. so man hath his. My waies are not your waies. The waies of Christ, and Antichrist; of the Church of God, and the Synagogue of Satan; of religion, and superstition; these are contrarie eche to other. Christ saith of himselfe, I am the waie. In the knowledge of this waie S. Paul glorieth,1. Cor. 2. I esteemed to knowe nothing but Christ Iesus and him crucified; and in the knowledge of this waie the Prophet desireth to be taught of God, Teach me thy waie O Lord.

10 To this petition he addeth a promise, first to walke, and se­condly 2 [Page 100] to walke in trueth. The promise of the prophet to walke. We may not be idle; We are created vnto good workes which God hath prepared that we might walke in them. Wee are redeemed and bought with a price, Eph [...]s. 2. not to doe nothing or to liue as we list,1. Cor. 6. but to serue him which hath redeemed vs. Our Saui­our could in no wise abide idlenesse,Matth. 20. Why stand ye still? Saint Paul would haue all men to be stirring,1. Cor. 7. Let euerie man walke. Not one is excepted, not one can be dispensed withall, Whosoeuer hee bee that will not labour let him not eate. 2. Thess. 3. For it is good that euerie man should eate his bread in the sweate of his browes. And worke in the wise mans iudgement is euen as needefull for men as meate. There is no such bane to a common wealth or kingdome, no such poison to the maners of euerie particular man as idlenesse is. Examples we haue too many in all ages. Idlenesse in Dauid was a cause of lewdenesse: so that it is not good no not for Princes to bee idle. Idlenesse was the roote of all that filth in Sodoma. Israel in the absence of Moses being idle, fell to feasting, dauncing, and idola­trie. And therefore seeing that such as bee idle are subiect to so many noysome temptations: S. Ieroms counsell is this, See thou be alwaies dooing somewhat that the diuell may finde thee occupied: he that is out of good exercise is easilie snared of the diuell. And idlenesse, saith S. Bernard, is the mother of toyes (he might haue saide of vices) and the stepdame of vertues. Amasis king of Egypt made prouision by Lawe against idlenesse, once a yere calling euerie man to a recko­ning what he had gotten, and what he had spent. In this recko­ning was neither the gaine of carding, dicing, vsurie, briberie, cousinage nor extortion allowed. Let euerie man walke in that voca­tion wherewith God hath called him. [...]. Cor. 7. God hath called no man with these vocations. Yet dare I not say, neither will I, that for anie man, at any time, in any sort, to recreate himselfe with cardes or dise is sinne. I am not of that opinion. Yet it falleth out too of­ten that these exercises are occasions of much sinne. And when they are so, it were no doubt much better to bee altogether idle than so ill occupied. Wee must not plaie, but walke.

11 And least in walking wee should wander out of the waie,Our walking must be in trueth. the Prophet now teacheth vs wherein we should walke. In trueth. We must beware of crooked bywalkes, the waie of the Lorde is the straite path of trueth. Therefore the Prophet maketh this pro­mise, I will walke in thy trueth. Truth comprehendeth both sound­nesse [Page 101] of doctrine, and integritie of life. Salomon declareth that Dauid walked after this sort,1 Reg. 3. My father walked in trueth and iustice before thee. In trueth of doctrine, and in iustice of life. He faithful­ly performed his promise vnto the Lord.

12 S. Paul complaineth grieuously of some walkers.Walking in heresie. Many there are, saith he, that walke, of whom I haue told you often, and now tell you weeping. Phil. 3. They are enemies of the crosse of Christ. The crosse of Christ is taken here for the passion of Christ, which suffered on the crosse. Whoso offereth vp Christ againe once offered and sacrificed for our sinnes, he is an enemie to the crosse of Christ. To seeke remission of sinnes, redemption, iustification, satisfa­ction or saluation elsewhere than in Christ crucified, is to bee an enemie to the crosse of Christ, and to walke not in the high way of trueth, but in the bypathes of wicked men.

13 S. Paul noteth other bywalkers,Walking af­ter the flesh. which walk according to the flesh. In this byway walked the Sodomites, the Beniamites, yea and Dauid sometimes himselfe.Gal. 5. This was the bypath of the riche glutton, which fed daintily day by day, whose God was his bellie, he serued no other Lord. In this byway walke all wantons, flatterers, lyers, enuious persons, stirrers of strife, makers of di­uision, sectaries and such like. The ende also of this way is per­dition.

14 Ezechiel complaineth of walkers,Walking af­ter couetous­nesse. which walke after co­uetousnesse. This path is haunted of all sortes of men, priests, prophets themselues,Ezech. 33. and prophets children, yea kings haue beene subiect to this fault. They are most miserable which take this way. They enioie no quietnesse, they tire out themselues with foolish cares, they entangle their hearts with noysome lusts, they grieue the spirit, their toile and vexation hath neither ende nor measure. The prophet therefore beggeth at the handes of God,Psal. 119. Encline mine heart to thy testimonies, and not to couetousnesse.

15 Ieremie complaineth of walkers in the hardnesse of their hearts.Walking in obstinacie. They haue hearts trampled on with the feete of men, and made as hard as a beaten waie.Ierem. 13. They are become as obstinate a­gainst the word and message of God as euer was Pharao. There is planted a preiudice in them from which they cannot goe back. No enchauntment bee it neuer so wise can haue any force vpon them, their eares are so cunningly and so closely stopped.

[Page 102] 16 Dauid complaineth of such walkers as are led by the counsell of the wicked,Walking in the counsel of the wicked. as Eue by the serpent, Absolon by Achi­tophel, Saul by Doeg,Psal. 1. Roboam by a traine of lewde companions rash heads. The waie of all these vngodlie ones shall perish.

17 There is also another kinde of inordinate walkers com­plained of by the Apostle,Walking with the tongue. which worke not at all, but vnder pre­tense of zeale and religion,2. Thess. 3. forsake all labour, and occupie their heads wholy with searching and sifting other mens dooings, their tongues onely with barking against such as God hath placed in authoritie, their eares, with nothing but listening after straunge and newe reports. These are spreaders of brutes, brochers of newes, informers of men how the world shall wagge. They are still beating and forging out newe plots of common wealths, and vndermining the olde. They are one of the woorst kinds of men that liue. The vnbridled malapertnesse of such men the prophet Dauid seemeth to touch when he saith,Psal 73. The tongue of them walketh throughout the earth. They make no difference of any person high or lowe, they stay no where. Dauid though a king, Paul though an Apostle, Christ though the sonne of the liuing God, escaped not the reach of these venimous creatures. Such walking tongues would be tyed short. If men cannot bridle them, yet of this wee are sure, that Slaundering and lying lippes the Lord will destroie.

18 Ieremie complaineth also of certaine walkers,Walking in trecherie. whom he termeth rebellious traitors walking craftily: flattering them whom they purpose to vndermine.Ier. 6. These bee cunning courtlike men, whose countenance wil neuer bewraie that which lieth secretly hid within their hearts.2. Sam. 16. Of this crue was Siba, who pretended great good to his master Mephiboseth, but spying a time begged his whole inheritance of the king; And Herod that foxe, which made a shewe of religious worshipping him whom his meaning was cruelly to destroie;2. Sam. 3. And Ioab which fraudulētly bare Abner in hand that he came to talke with him as a friend, but getting op­portunitie stabd him to the heart;Gen. 34. And the sonnes of Iacob who vnder pretense of friendship, mariage, and ioining in religion with the Sichemites, caused them to be circumcised, and when they were sore fell vpon them and murthered them without com­passion or pitie. Let no man defraude or circumuent: for the Lord is the auenger of all such things. 1. Thess. 4. But, as S. Paul faith, What should I say [Page 103] more? Time would be too short if I should remember vnto you all the bywaies wherein the wicked doe walke.

19 The prophet Dauid seemeth to bee much grieued at the great swarmes of bad walkers in his daies.The prefer­ment of euill men ye cause why euill wal­kers doe a­bound in the Clergie. The wicked, saith hee, doe walke on euerie side. And he yeeldeth the reason, Because they are exalted. When bad men are placed in great roumes, when the base are exalted and lifted vp into places of authoritie, then the bounds of wickednesse are inlarged,Psal. 12. and sinne going on without controlement gathereth strength. Christ therefore requireth carefull choise of ministers in his church, his desire is to haue them faithfull and wise. Paul would place none but such as were well testified to be blamelesse in life, and apt to teach with whole­some doctrine. The admitters of ministers are too lauish in our daies, they haue litle regard or care whom they take; S. Pauls les­son, Lay not hands on any man rashly, 1. Tim. 5. is forgotten. The preferrers vnto liuings are no lesse faultie, they choose of the woorst, they respect no abilitie but of the purse. What numbers are there pla­ced this day in the church,2. Mac. 4. as Iason and Menelaus were placed by Antiochus in the priests office, not for learning, but for monie; not for desert, but for reward? It goeth ful hardly with the church of God when Balam is the Bishop, Iudas the Patrone, and Ma­gus the Minister. This merchaundise wil make the house of God a denne of theeues. No one thing this day more necessarie to be reformed in the church of God.

20 It were happie if the temporall policie were faultlesse in this behalfe,In the tempo­raltie the rea­son why wic­ked men a­bound is be­cause wicked men beare rule. and in choise respected onely the woorthinesse of such men as are chosen to beare office in the common wealth, The Prince, as Iethro saide truely, cannot beare the burthen of the common wealth alone. The prince must needes haue inferi­or officers as eyes to see withall, eares to heare withall, tongues to speake withall, hands to worke withall, shoulders to beare vp the burthen withall, and legges also to walke withall. If the eies bee blinded or looke asquint, if the eares be deafe or hard of hea­ring, if the tongue cannot speake or else doe stammer, if the hands be nummed, the shoulders weakened, and the legges lamed, it must needes make a lamentable bodie and a monstrous common wealth. For such guides, such people. If officers bee ill chosen, men of small wit and lesse wisedome, weake hearted and feeble [Page 104] handed, men not religious but popish, not fauourers but haters of the Gospell, louers not of truth but of themselues, partially af­fected, corruptly minded, such as bee mates with theeues, parta­kers of spoiles with extortioners, maintainers of euil men and of euill matters, hauing their share with malefactors, pretending iustice and dooing manifest wrong, not haters of couetousnesse but takers of bribes, lingering out causes that are brought before them in hope of commoditie, dispatching no matter but for mo­nie, such as are not ashamed to suck profite with Vespasian from the homeliest things, such as would sell their verie soules for mo­nie, such as will not sticke if nothing else may be had to cut off e­uen the coates of men by the skirtes, if such bee exalted is it maruell if the wicked doe walke on euerie side? King Dauid was so carefull of this that hee would not suffer a wicked person, a backebiter, an hawtie hearted man, a subtile deceiuer, a flatterer or a lyer to remaine in his Court. Constantius would not suffer a dissembler in religion, a seruer of times, a nullifidian, an Atheist, an Idolater to be about him. For so it hath beene alwaies and so it will be, when the vile are in credite wicked men will holde vp their heads, they will band themselues in companies, all corners will be pestered with them.

21 Wherefore it greatly behooueth them that are in highest authoritie to beare a watchefull eye ouer those which deale in causes of importance vnder them,Church-rob­bers vnder the name of Church-visi­ters. that such bywalkers bee not countenanced with authoritie as they are that trot from one Di­ocesse to another prying into Churches. The pretense is refor­mation, but the practise is deformation. They reforme not of­fences, but for monie graunt licences still to offend. These Sur­ueyers are spoilers of the patrimonie of Christ.Exod. 36. When Moses tooke vpon him to builde the arke of God, the princes and the people so plentifully of their owne accord gaue gifts thereunto, golde, siluer, pretious stones, skarlet, silke and Cedar, that Mo­ses was forced to make proclamation and crie, Sufficit. It is y­nough. I shall most humbly beseeche our most milde Moses the Queenes Maiestie, and that in the bloud and bowels of Iesus Christ, as her Highnesse tendereth the glorie of God and the continuance of learning and religion, and her owne saluation, to make proclamation not to the arke-builders, but vnto these [Page 105] church-robbers to staie their hands. Truely Sufficit. It is ynough. For there is no more to be had, except, as the prophet speaketh, they wil put their verie skinnes off their-backes. Woe be to that com­mon wealth where they are made ouerseers and examiners of o­ther mens waies, whose owne footsteps are vneuen. May not the wicked be bold to walke on euerie side when so vile persons doe beare such sway?

22 But the way wherein the prophet promiseth to walke is trueth. It is not suffi­cient to talke of trueth; we must walke in it. I will walke in thy trueth: I will embrace it with my heart, I will frame my life after it, I will professe it syncerely and be zea­lous for it. I will not be a knower but a doer of thy Lawe. They which know it and doe it not, deserue not praise but stripes. For Christianitie doeth not consist in lowde and shrill crying, Lord Lord, but in dooing the wil of our heauenly father. This toucheth vs very neere, which content our selues with the bare profession of the name of Christ, as if it were sufficient to make a flouri­shing shewe as trees doe which are faire to the eye but fruitelesse. The Gospel of Christ hath beene long taught amongst vs, wee haue long heard it, the sound hath filled our eares, but whose heart hath it pierced? whose life hath it bettered? Sinne is sharp­ly reprooued; yet iniquitie doth still abound. Wee haue often promised with the prophet saying, We will walke in trueth, but wee neuer set forward. Towards God we are hypocrites, towards men deceitfull, double faced, double tongued, double hearted. Where should one finde a faithfull man? It is to vs that the prophet Esay speaketh,Esay 48. Heare this O house of Iacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come out of the waters of Iuda, which sweare by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in trueth, not in righteousnesse. We are verie counterfeites, we vse religion but for a policie and for a cloake; we talke, we heare, wee pray, wee fast; but what trueth, what synceritie is there in our dooings? Wee would seeme to seeke reformation in religion; the pretense is good, many things may be bettered, and we ought to striue vnto better things; but God graunt that we haue not a meaning rather to part the garments of Christ amongst vs. We will seeme to be carefull of ciuill reformation, and to desire that all abuses in the common wealth may bee redrest. But our intent is in deede to make our gaine by corrupt and partiall execution of penall sta­tutes, [Page 106] our purpose is onely to benefite our selues by pinching o­thers, and by impouerishing many to inriche a fewe. Thus the world is full of bywayes; and they are many that walke corruptly. Yea we haue all declined, euerie one hath stept aside; from the sole of the foote to the crowne of the head there is no soundnes. Prince and people, and priest and prophet, all haue straied from the way of trueth, though not all alike.

23 Let vs therefore returne from the pathes of iniquitie,This dutie be­longeth vnto all, but princi­pally to such as are in au­thoritie, be­cause what way they take in the same o­thers will treade after them. let vs inquire after the good waie that wee may walke in it. Let vs not make courtesie who shall begin, but striue rather euerie man to be first; the pastor, because he hath the greatest skil; the prince, because he hath the highest roume, the people, because they are most in number. If the pastor goe before, the sheepe will be the readier to followe after; if the fountaines bee sweete, the riuers that flowe from them will not be sowre; if there be darkenesse in the hils, there will bee more in the valleies, if those that should giue light vnto others be turned into darkenesse, how great shall the darkenesse of others be? Examples haue a meruelous force to leade men. The whole world is led as they haue others especially their superiors for examples. And therefore you that be chiefest in authoritie should by reason be foremost in the waie of trueth. Walke in what way you wil, you are sure to haue followers. Iosi­as walked in the straite waie to heauen, and the people followed; Ieroboam in the broade waie, and the people were caried after in heapes. If you liue in securitie carelesse for Gods matters, care­lesse for the causes of the common wealth, carefull to feede vpon pleasures and fancies, carefull to passe ouer your owne times in ease and quietnesse, the people will easily take after your, your townes and cities will soone be made like to that secure and care­lesse citie of Lais. If ye will haue the people of the Land watch­full, you your selues must not slumber. If you make light of the word of God, the people will learne by your example to despise it; if you embrace the truth, they also wil loue it. You my Lords, you whom God hath placed before, you must goe before: for Gods loue striue no longer, take your places and goe on that the people of God being guided by you as by lights may follow after in the way of trueth. It is a monstrous thing to see the basest liues in the highest roumes. Your conuersation must be a glasse for o­thers [Page 107] to looke into. Others shall aunswere for their owne faults, but you for your owne faults, and for others, who through your example are faultie. To conclude, let vs all so walke as becom­meth the children of the light; let it suffice that in times past wee haue walked according to the vanitie of the Gentiles; let vs now returne vnto the Lord; let vs cast away impietie and worldly con­cupiscence, and liue a sober, a righteous, and a godlie life; let vs with true repentance craue pardon and mercie at the handes of God, and hereafter walke humbly before him, not for a day, or for a moneth, or a Lent season, but continually all the daies of our pilgrimage vpon earth. He onely shall be saued that continu­eth walking in trueth to the ende. God for his mercie sake let fall plentifully the drops and dewe of his heauenly grace vpon the hil of Hermon, and the mountaines of Sion, to the fruitefull wate­ring of the whole Land of Israel. Teach vs, O Lorde, euen our princes, our prophets, and our people thy waies, direct all our goings, that we may walke for euer in thy trueth. This that wee may doe all and euerie of vs in our seuerall callings, God the fa­ther graunt for his Sonne Christs sake, to whom, &c.

The seuenth Sermon. A Sermon preached before the Queene.

IAC. 4.

8 Drawe neere to God, and he will drawe neere to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners, and purge your hearts ye double minded.

9 Suffer affliction, and be sorie, Weepe. Let your laughter be turned in­to mourning: and your iote into heauinesse.

10 Cast downe your selues before the Lord: and he will lift you vp.

GOD requireth in his houshold steward the minister of his blessed word fidelitie and discretion:The wisdome that should be in teachers to apply rightly the words of doctrine and exhortation. In th [...]s exhor­tation of [...]. fidelitie, to deliuer to Gods familie such meat without ming­ling as he hath receiued at his Lords hands; discreti­on, to giue it fitly in due season, by respecting the time, place, au­ditorie, & like circumstances. Al men are not of one kind of con­stitution. [Page 108] Some are able to receiue and digest strong meate,Iames three things con­tained. high mysteries, deepe secrets of God: Others must be fed with milke, simple and plaine lessons,Heb. 5. yet auaileable to their saluation. These differences are in the foode it selfe. The maner of diuiding it stan­deth in doctrine, and exhortation. Doctrine is for the ignoraunt to instruct them: exhortation for the learned, to monishe and strengthen them: both may most profitably be ioined together. Paul hauing to doe with the ignorant Gentiles (learned in pro­fane arts; but barbarous in true religion) is ful of doctrine. Iames dealing with the learned Iewes traueileth more in exhortation. Our times are learned times;1. Cor. 1. God hath blessed our daies with vn­derstanding; Wee are inriched by him in all speeche and in all knowledge. But we knowe, and doe not, and that deserueth stripes. Miserable is it to be ignorant of Christ, not to knowe the path which lea­deth to heauen. Yet better it were not to knowe the way of truth than not to walke in it being knowne. I will therefore followe the wisedome of S. Iames, and with his owne woordes exhort you, Drawe neere to God and he will drawe neere to you, &c. In which woords first hee ex­horteth vs to drawe neere vnto God; secondly he sheweth vs the meanes how we may so doe; lastly hee telleth what commoditie we shall reape thereby.

1 2 He exhorteth sinners & double hearted men to draw neere vnto God.Sinners are exhorted to drawe neere to God. Sinners are such as be notable & open offenders: who make all the world witnesses of their wickednesse. Marie Magda­lene is called a sinner because she was knowne to be a great offen­der, Behold a woman that was in the Citie a sinner. Luc. 7. The Sodomites, and the Amalechites,Gen. 18. are likewise termed sinners for the excessiue­nesse of their sinne,1. Sam. 15. because their sinnes were notorious and ma­nifest. Double hearted men are hypocrites resembling painted sepulchers, beautifull without, and within full of rottennesse; such as say, and doe not; pretending holinesse for aduantage, and working mischiefe in their hearts.

3 This exhortation is generall,All are sinners, though not all notorious. it reacheth to all: for wee are al offenders euen against the maiestie of almighty God; although not all in the same degree.Rom. 3. All haue sinned and do need the glorie of God. Euerie mans waies are corrupt.Gen. 8. The imagination of mans heart is euill euen from his youth. What man liuing can say My heart is pure? Be­tweene an open sinner and an hypocrite there is a difference in [Page 109] their sight which take them as they seeme; there is no diffe­rence before God, who beholdeth them as they are. As God wil not heare the praier of the open obstinate sinner: so doeth hee powre his grieuous curse vpon all hypocrites and counterfeite Christians,Matth. 23. Woe be to you ye hypocrites.

4 Dauid when hee committed that great follie was an open sinner and gaue great offence.Dauid an o­pen sinner in committing adulterie. It was told him by Nathan, Thou hast made the Lords enemies to blaspheme. Mariage is honourable in the sight of all men,2. Sam. 12. but fornication and adulterie the Lord doth abhorre, and the offenders therein the Lorde shall iudge. This one sinne drowned the whole world,Gen. 6. it called fire out of heauen to burne vp cities,Gen 19. it destroied the Tribe of Beniamin.Ephe. 5. Let it not be once named amongst you. They that are such shall not inherite the kingdome of God. These fowle offenders are here termed Sinners.

5 The Iewes were grieuous sinners which slewe their Pro­phets,The Iewes, in cruell dealing with the Pro­phets of God. and stoned such as were sent vnto them. But they escaped not his heauie hand whose seruaunts they did so cruelly entreate. God plagued this their sinne with strange desolation. Hee made their house like Shilo, and their citie a curse to all the nations of the earth. The Lord hath also sent wise men Scribes and Embas­sadors vnto vs: of them in these our daies we haue killed and cru­cified none; we haue scourged none of them in our Synagogues; we haue persecuted none from citie to citie; we haue not beaten one, and stoned another; wee haue not dealt thus cruelly with any one of them; but wee haue dealt hardly and vnkindely with moe than one. No mans life hath beene touched: many mens li­uings are. They haue not beene murthered and slaine; they are defaced, reuiled, and made contemptible to the whole worlde. These messengers ought to be better esteemed for their masters, and for their message sake. But the sonne of God whose seruants they are, wil in his good time reuenge it: he will not beare this in­iurious ignominie doone to himselfe. He that despiseth you despiseth me. Such contemners of Christ and of his ministers may most iustly be called Sinners.

6 Achab gaue great and open offence in robbing Naboth of his vineyard:Achab, in rob­bing Naboth. 1. Reg. 22. And God did reuenge this open sinne with an open plague; punishing the deuourer, with deuourers; bloud, with bloud. The vineyard of the Lorde is set ouer to the spoile, it is [Page 110] the onely pray that is left for greedie cormorants to rauen vpon: The hedge is broken, wilde boares are entred in for to destroie it. If God had not set his elect ouer it, no doubt ere this day it had beene vtterly laide wast. You could haue looked for no grapes of pietie, of learning or of religion of it: but beeing rooted vp by these violent boares it would haue brought out nothing but sow­thistles, ignorance,Esay 33. superstition, and grosse Idolatrie. But, Woe be to thee that spoilest: shalt not thou be spoiled? How both the Church and common wealth are spoiled, all men see it, but fewe wil tell it, and no man goeth about to redresse it. These greedie gleaners are also in the number of them whom our Apostle here nameth Sinners.

7 The sinne of king Saul was heinous,Soul, in con­sulting with a witch. in consulting with a witch that had a familiar spirite, inquiring of her what chaunce should befall him.1. Sam. 28. This grieuous sinne God grieuously, and with­out delay plagued. On the next morowe he and his sonnes were slaine; all Israel discomfited, murthered, and put to flight. If e­uerie good gift come from God: shall wee seeke helpe at diuels hands? If onely God knoweth the heart of man and things to come; shall we inquire of secrets at the mouth of Satan? The di­uell is a lyer: Iohn 8. and shall we beleeue him? Hee is our aduersarie: and shall we seeke aide of him?1. Cor. 26. Hee is a deceiuer: and shall wee trust in him? There is no fellowship betweene Christ and Beliall: neither ought the seruaunts of Christ to communicate with such ser­uaunts of Satan.Leuit. 20. Let witches, sorcerers, and sowthsaiers die the death saith the Lorde. Such as communicate with them com­municate with diuels, and such also are Sinners.

8 Doeg sinned greatly in accusing faithfull Dauid,Doeg, in ac­cusing Dauid & Abimelech vniustly. and the good high Priest A [...]imelech to king Saul, who being light of be­leefe persecuted the one, and murthered the other. Haman dea­ling so with godlie Mardocheus brought him almost to the gal­lowes,1 Sam 22. and his people to great confusion.Hest. 3. The Arrians accused the right Christian Bishop Athanasius of incontinencie before the Emperor Constantinus: but his innocencie, through the prouidence of God cleared him.Mat [...]h. 11. Christ was charged to bee a drunkard, a companion of sinners, a destroier of the Lawe and of the Temple, an enemie to Caesar. Such false accusations are more current in these our euill times and latter daies than euer. [Page 111] If the Heathen accounted it a discredite to be termed an accuser, may we not iustly call false accusers sinners? By whose meanes, if false accusations may get credite, innocencie shall be condem­ned, Christ shall be crucified as a malefactor, and Barrabas as an innocent shall be let loose. Wherefore the Ciuill Lawe hath wel prouided that the false accuser receiue as much dammage as hee seeketh to bring vpon an other. And this Law hath beene some­times executed.Eus. lib. 5. ca. 21. He that falsely accused Appollonius was so ser­ued. For failing in his proofe, sentence was giuen that both his thighes should be broken. This is another kinde of Sinners.

9 Now as our Apostle remembreth vnto vs open sinners:Double min­ded men. so doth he also couert sinners, whom he calleth double minded. The Sichemites were double minded in matters of religion,Gen 34. who in re­spect of gaine and profite were content outwardly to yeeld to Ia­cob and his sonnes, to receiue the Iewes religion, and to bee cir­cumcised. Men for commoditie can transforme themselues into all colours and conditions, and in open shewe professe any reli­gion, inwardly keeping their false hearts to themselues.

10 Which practise the Familie of loue hath lately drawne to a precept,Such are they of the familie of loue. and hath newlie broached it as saleable doctrine, that men neede not openly be of any religion whereby they may endanger themselues: that it is good Christiandome to lie, sweare & forsweare, to say and vnsay to any sauing such as be of the same Familie, with whom they must only vse al plainnes & keep their mysteries secret from all others to themselues. These men may doe any thing to auoide affliction, and they haue scripture for that purpose:1. Cor. 6. Your bodies are the temples of the holie Ghost: you may not suffer Gods temples to be touched. As fitly alleaged as Scrip­tum est by the diuell.

11 In a paper which of late came from the Pope as a token to his deare children,Such they which terme themselues the onely Catholikes. there were printed the fiue woundes of Christ with this poesie, Fili da mihi cor tuum & sufficit; Sonne, giue me thy heart and it sufficeth. Whether his Holinesse did meane thereby to allowe dissimulation or no, I will not define. His pra­ctises are mysticall, and his broode is so throughly framed in this way, that they seeme to take the Popes embleme in no other meaning. They halt on both sides, they serue all times, and turne with all windes. By professing all religions, they shew themselues [Page 112] plainly to be of none. They haue double hearts, one heart for the Prince, another for the Pope; one for Christ, and an other for Baal; one for a Communion, and an other for a Masse. These dis­sembling wolues put vpon themselues sheepes skins, to deceiue withall. Now are they milde and gentle, flattering and promising all loyaltie to the prince, conformitie to gouernement, and con­sent to religion. But if the times should turne, they would turne off the sheepes coate and play the wolfe in his right kinde. They would shewe their rauenous nature by their cruell deedes; then would they fil their bellies with that, after which they now thirst; they would finde swift feete to shed the bloud of innocents. From the mouth of the Lyon O Lord deliuer vs. This sort of people our Apostle calleth double hearted.

12 Herode was a double hearted man,Such a one Herod, Caine, Ioab, Absolon, Matth. 2. who calling the wise men to him, bad them goe and searche out Christ, returne and bring him word, that he also might goe and worship him. He in­tended to kill whom he pretended to worship. Iudas was like af­fected,Matth. 26. he kissed and betraied.Gen. 4. Cains minde was as double, when he spake faire vnto his brother, entised him into the fielde, and there villanously murthered him. Ioab dealt euen so with Amasa and Abner,2. Sam. 2. whom vnder pretense of friendship traiterously hee slewe. Absolon inuited his brother Ammon to a feast, and in the midst thereof sodainely bereaued him of his life.2. Sam. 13.

13 These double hearts died not with these men;Such are all they towards God who pro­fesse the truth in word and in life denie the power of it; to­wardes men, they which fawne vpon them whom in heart they abhorre. they liue stil in their posteritie. With Herode all men pretend to woorship Christ, but most part also with Herode in trueth, in heart, in life kill him, and trample vnder their feete the pretious bloud of his Testament. Whom wee professe in woord wee denie in deede, whō in doctrine we follow him in life we forsake. Thus in double­nesse with Iudas we flatter, we dissemble, we courtesie, we kisse: but the inward heart is full of malice and treason. Faithful friend­ship hath taken his flight away, There is no trueth in the earth. We speake them full faire whom we hate full deadly. Whom we kisse we can sell to death for a peece of monie. Iudges can talke of iu­stice, and for monie peruert iudgement. For monie the vineyard of the Lorde is laide wast by them who professe themselues the keeepers of it. By them for monie the flocke of Christ is scatte­red and left to the wolfe to bee deuoured. For monie an Idoll is [Page 113] made a pastor: Iudas selleth, Magus buyeth, & a thiefe by a thiefe is placed. Beware of these double harted men. Cain is a murtherer speake he neuer so faire. If Absolon feast thee, yet feare least thou finde sowre sawce to thy sweete meate. The bond of brother­hoode is not of strength sufficient to retaine these double hearts. Take heede of Ioab howsoeuer hee fawne: for hee carieth in­wardly a bigge and hawtie minde. It is death to him that any should be in credite or direct Dauid besides himselfe. Hee must doe all alone. His outward speech is faire, but his inward thought is ful of hatred, enuie and wrath.

14 Such as the fountaine is such is the riuer that runneth from it.Double min­ded men are also common­ly double tongued. A double heart maketh a double tongue. They which thinke deceitfully speake deceitfully, and flatter with their lippes. The Disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians as they had double hearts,Psal. 12. so had they double tongues. Before Christs face they could say,Matth 22. Master we knowe that thou art true, and teachest the waie of God truely, neither carest for any man, nor respectest the person of men. Luc. 7. But behinde his backe they termed him a seducer, a companion of Publicanes and sinners, a wine bibber, and most spitefully railed a­gainst the righteous Lord of glorie. All flatterers are double ton­gued. Whom they praise excessiuely being present, of him their maner is being out of sight to speake most slanderously and vile­ly. So vnlike they are to our Sauiour Christ, who would not praise Iohn to Iohns Disciples, but after their departure com­mended him to the people. It is Saint Augustines iudgement, that the hand of no persecuter is more grieuous than is the tongue of a flat­terer.

15 These sinners and double hearts our Apostle doeth here reprooue:All these are exhorted to drawe neere vnto God. vsing withal and earnest exhortation vnto them to draw neere vnto God, from whom they haue so farre straied. All sin­ners are straiers: for sinne maketh a diuision betweene God and man.Esay 59. Your iniquities haue made a separation betweene me and you. To sinne is to depart and fall away from God: The more wee sinne, the faster and farther we flie from him. Iudas sinned deepely and deadly: hauing sinned he could not abide the presence of that in­nocent whom he had betraied: but went out and vnrecouerably fell away. The prodigall childe being loosely giuen, waxed wearie of his fathers vertuous house, raunged abroade, fell to follie, fed [Page 114] on filthinesse, and bathed himselfe in all loathsome sinne: yet be­ing touched with Gods hand, he repented and drew neere. What should I name this or that man which hath gone astray? It is most true that the Prophet saith, We haue all erred & gone astray like sheepe. Not one hath remained within the sheepefold. Euerie one hath either skipt ouer the hurdles, or crept through the hedge. All haue sinned, Rom. 3. there is not one innocent. He that saith hee is no sinner is a sinner because he is a lyer. Our sinne therefore hath separated vs from God, who hateth and abhorreth sinne. Our doubtfull dou­ble hearts haue caried vs into many crooked & dangerous waies. Our Apostle doth call vs home againe, as sheepe that haue stray­ed, saying, Drawe neere vnto God.

16 But what,To drawe neere vnto God is not in our power without his grace. is it in our owne wil and power to returne? or doeth God commaund that which is impossible for vs to per­forme? Trueth it is, All our sufficiencie is of God. Of our selues wee are not able to thinke a good thought. It is God that giueth both to will and to performe. 2. Cor. 3. Without me, saith Christ, you are able to doe nothing. No doubt we haue power and free will to runne from God,Phil. 2. but to drawe neere vnto him is his grace and gift.Ang. de can. no. cap. 8. Ad malum sufficit sibi li­berum arbitrium; ad bonum, non. Freewill hath in it selfe abilitie y­nough to euill but not to good. Hee commaundeth vs therefore to doe that, which of our selues we are not able to doe; that see­ing our want, we may craue his grace and helpe, which will ina­ble vs to drawe neere vnto him. This grace is not in vaine: by it we are, that we are; when we be, as we should be, neere vnto him. If he that commandeth vs do not reach vs his hand, when we are bidden to drawe neere we goe farther off. But let God giue that which he commaundeth, and then commaund whatsoeuer hee will. Conuert vs O Lord, Psal. 19. and we shall be conuerted. If he conuert vs not, we shal remaine as we are,Iohn 6. or rather proceede to woorse. No man commeth vnto me, saith Christ, except the father drawe him. The spirit & grace of God of vntoward and vnwilling maketh forward and readie; and so by the efficacie of the spirit being changed, we which were farre off are drawne neere.

2 17 The way to drawe neere vnto God our Apostle setteth downe at large, The way how to draw neere vnto God. Cleanse your handes, purge your hearts, bee afflicted, mourne, weepe, let your laughter bee turned into sorowe, and your tote into griefe. Humble your selues in the sight of the Lorde: Esay the Prophet [Page 115] teacheth the selfesame in few words, Esay 55. Let the wicked forsake his waies, and the vnrighteous his owne imaginations, and returne vnto the Lord: S. Paul meaneth the same thing, Tit. 2. when he speaketh of denying vngod­linesse and worldly lusts, and liuing soberly, righteously, and godlily in this present worlde.Marke 1. But our Sauiour Christ shutteth vp the whole in one word Repent.

18 The order of our repentance set downe by the blessed A­postle is this.Our hands must be clean­sed. First of all we must remooue euill from vs. Cleanse your hands, purge your hearts; wash and scowre both bodie and soule; make you selues cleane, both from outward and inward sinnes. For it is not sufficient to abstaine from euill in our externall acti­ons, but we must also chase from our hearts euil cogitations.Luc. 18. The proude Pharisee seemed to haue a pure life, but he had a polluted heart. If the fountaine and spring bee not pure and sweete: the riuers that issue from it must needes be vnsauourie.Matth. 15. From the heart there proceede euill cogitations, murthers, adulteries, fornications, false wit­nessings, reuilings. These are the fruites of an impure heart: and these are the workes of vncleane fingers. The hand is but the ser­uaunt to execute that which the heart hath deuised. It was follie in Pilate to wash his hands in token of his puritie, when his heart had consented to shed the bloud of that Innocent.

19 The hand hath sundrie significations in the scriptures.Hand taken for counsell. Sometime it is taken for counsell,2. Sam. 14. as, Is not the hande of Ioab with thee in all these things? Acts 4. And againe, They met together to doe whatsoeuer thy hand, and thy counsell had before decreed to be doone. Euill hands are the breeders of al mischieuous practises: but such counsel is com­monly woorst to the giuer. Dauid praied to God, to confound the traiterous counsell of Achitophel,2. Sam. 17. who conspired against his master and king. And it came to passe that his fingers did knit a roape about his own traiterous throate to strangle himselfe with­all. It is written of Dauid, that he fed his people in the singlenes of his heart, and led them foorth in the discretion of his handes. The swoord of gouernement is an edged toole: it requireth the hand of wise counsell discreetely to weeld it.1. Reg. 12. Roboam being gui­ded by the vnwise hands of those lustie young Counsellers, who aduised him to oppresse his people with heauy burthens, to bring them into bondage, and to giue them short and sharpe answeres, wrought in the people discontented minds, alienated their hearts [Page 116] from their Prince, which in the ende was the tearing of his king­dome into peeces. Of twelue parts he lost tenne and better.

20 The word Hand is also taken for crueltie and oppression,Handesfull of bloud. because the hand is the instrument to worke these things. Your hands, Esay 1. saith the Prophet, are full of bloud. Such hands had Herod. And such haue they not onely which kil, but which hate, malice, and slaunder their brethren. For hee which hateth his brother is a manslaier.

21 Finally because the hand worketh most of al the members of the bodie in the necessarie actions of mans life:All pollutions vnder the name of vn­cleane hands. therefore all pollutions in our outward deedes are conteined in the name of vncleane hands.

22 The slanderer and libeller hath bloudie hands,Slander. his tongue cutteth like a sharpe rasor: his penne writeth in bloud. For he kil­leth whom he defameth.

23 The oppresser with his bloudie fingers pulleth the skinne off the peoples backes.Oppression. Aemilius being placed by Tyberius Cae­sar ouer Egypt, oppressed the Egyptians with great & vnwoon­ted exactions. The Emperor hearing of it was wroth, and wrote vnto him, That he would haue his sheepe to be shorne, but not flaied. Such oppressers of the people greatly wrong the Prince, who beeing faultlesse yet is forced to beare the burthen of that blame. Such gleaners of other mens goods and pillers and purloiners, al­though they ioine house to house, yet the foundation of them be­ing laide in bloud, that building shall not continue. That which commeth ill shal goe woorse away: They loose as much in their consciences as they gaine in their cofers.

24 Rewards likewise doe not onely blinde the eies,Bribes. and per­uert the woords, but they also defile the handes of the wise and righteous.

25 All such as enter into the Church of GOD by corrupt meanes,S [...]monie. defile their hands and destroie their soules. That saith S. Ambrose, which the man gaue when he was ordeined Bishop, was but gold, and that which he lost, was his soule.

26 The vsurer doth so mire his fingers in monie,Vsurie. that with his fowle filthie fists he can neuer take hold vpon the tabernacle of God.

27 It were infinite to goe through all particulars.Our hands fowle eue [...] We defile [Page 117] our hands,when they are cleanest. whensoeuer our actions are corrupted, infected, and polluted with sinne; seeme they vnto vs neuer so perfect, holie, and good. Things highly esteemed before men are found to be as vanitie before God.Esay 64. Our verie righteousnesse in his sight is pol­luted. Yea many times, euen when we doe good, then we doe ill: In our praier, by coldnesse; in our almes deedes, by vaineglorie; wee defile the hands which we lift vp vnto God, and put foorth vnto men. These fowle hands our Apostle biddeth vs wash, Mun­date manus vestras O peccatores.

28 And as we must wash our fowle hands,The heart must be pur­ged. so must we purge our infected hearts. The heart of man is not searched by man. Who know­eth it? Ier. 17. Onely God is the searcher of hearts. The hypocrite seemeth ho­lie in the face of the world: but his inward man is poisoned with sinne. Of men hee is commended and reuerenced: but his false impure heart the Lord doth abhorre. Thy heart must bee purged before thy hands can be washed to any purpose. For as all impu­ritie riseth from the heart, and so pulluteth the hands: so must first thy heart be purified and that will make all cleane. If thine eye bee right all thy bodie will be cleare, Luc. 11. saith our Sauiour. The stomacke well confirmed, all the bodie will be in good estate. But our hearts are impure,Prou. 10. neither can any man say, My heart is cleane. The Pharisee saide that he was righteous; but he looked onely vpon his hands, and did not see into his prowde and malitious heart. The penitent Publicane wisely knocked vpon his heart; for there laie the dis­ease. Euerie sinne breedeth in the heart, from thence it hath his originall, and euerie heart is possessed with sundrie sinnes, and hath neede carefully to be purged.

29 Pride polluteth mans heart.It must be purged of pride. This venome poisoned the heart of the great Angell of God; of Adam the most perfect man of God; of Nabuchodonozar the great and mightie Emperor; of Ozias the king. Their hearts were lifted vp, and therefore GOD threwe them downe. Pride is the first and greatest sinne: and there­fore with chiefest care to bee shunned. This hidden poison can­not bee smothered, it will burst foorth into the outward parts. It will appeare in thy countenance, in thy pace, and in thy apparel. Monstrous attire doeth shewe a monstrous minde. A minsing tripping pace,Esay 3. as the prophet doth note, argueth a prowde and an vnstable heart. A loftie countenance, a stretched out necke, [Page 118] and a wandering eye are the pictures of an hawtie and a wanton minde. Vnchast lookes are tokens of vnchast thoughts.

30 S. Paul hath made mention of three great and pestilent infections of the hart.It must be kept from be­ing ouer­charged with surfets. The first is banquetting and drunkennesse. Beware your hearts bee not ouercharged with surfetting and drunkennesse. Meate and drinke are ordained for man, and not man for them: wee should eate to liue, and not liue to eate.Luc. 21. Nature is content with litle, and by much the health is empaired. A full bellie dul­leth the senses: and the more wine the lesse wit. The iudgement of Plato is, that he which filleth his bellie twise a day shall neuer prooue but a sot. Too much drinke laide Noa naked, and made him ridiculous to his owne sonne.Gen. 9. Drunkennesse is a fawning diuell, a sweete poison, a pleasaunt sinne: which whosoeuer hath, wanteth himselfe; and whosoeuer committeth, doeth not commit sinne; but is altogether very sinne it selfe. Let not your hearts therefore be oppressed and defi­led with surfetting nor with drunkennesse.

31 Another poison of the heart is chambering and wanton­nesse.From cham­bering and wantonnesse. The former breedeth the latter. And, Where fulnesse is there filth raigneth. Hieron. sup. ep. ad Tim. These are commonly linked together; and where the one is neere, the other is not farre off. Ezechiel the prophet addeth an other cause of this vice, and that is idlenesse. A ful bel­lie and an idle bodie make an vnchast heart. Dauid taking an af­ternoones vacation, and walking idle in his gallerie, fell shame­fully away from his former puritie and dangerously from GOD. Idlenesse and riotousnesse are the fewell of vncleannesse, which S. Ierome considering breaketh out into these words, O infernall furie; the matter whereof, is gluttonie; pride, the flame; the sparkes, lewde words; the smoke, infamie; the ashes, impuritie; the last ende, hell miserie. Our bodies are made vnto sanctification and not to fornication: let vs vse them to that end to which they were created, that wee may bring them to that ioiefull ende of eternall blessednesse.

32 The third bane of the heart is emulation and contention.From emula­tion and con­tention. Let nothing be doone through contention and vaineglorie. Pride causeth emulation, and of emulation commeth strife: so that the cursed generation of vice is fruitfull. Pride made the diuelish Angel en­uie that his Lord and God should be aboue him: it made Adam desire to be as full of knowledge as his creator: Absolon to emu­late his father and to thirst after his kingdome. Caesar was so [Page 119] prowde that hee could not abide a superior: Pompey could not beare an equall.Num. 16. Corah, Dathan and Abiram in the pride of their hearts sought to displace Moses and Aaron, the chiefe magistrate and the chiefe minister. They set downe a handsome platforme of equalitie, and many of the multitude allowed of it as well pleased with a popular estate; where the worst of them might be as good as the best. But GOD brought their deuise and themselues to nought. This emulation is euer contentious, and contention bringeth dissipation.1. Cor. 14. A kingdome diuided will not endure. Our God is the God of peace and not of contention. In peace then wee shall haue safetie, and be followers of our God. Wee ought therefore to bee milde and quiet like sheepe: and not contentious and bi­ting like dogges.Gal. 5. Whilest one of you doth bite another, take heede ye bee not deuoured one of another. Therefore let euerie man bee content with his owne estate. For God hath ordeined distinct estates, and by his prouidence men are placed in them. Pride, surfetting and drunkennesse, chambering and wantonnesse, emulation and contention are infections of the heart and dangerously defile the same: we must purge our hearts of them.

33 Thus if we with a simple eie behold our hands,Our harts and hands are not purged but by Christ. and take a viewe of our soules, we shall easilie espie fowle fingers and pollu­ted hearts. We are bid by our Apostle to wash the one and purge the other: but this is not in the abilitie of sinnefull man, it is the worke of our gratious God. Christ is the onely Phisitian to heale this our disease. Onely God remitteth and easeth vs of our sinne. Therefore our defiled hands and depraued heartes can not other­wise be washed and made cleane but onely with the bloud of that immaculate Lambe.1. Iohn 1. For so the scripture witnesseth, The bloud of Iesus Christ doth make vs cleane from all sinne. Psal. 51. If hee wash vs wee shall bee whiter than snowe. Otherwise our filthie sinne will sticke to vs for euer. And thus we see that euil must be taken away from al parts, both inward and outward; our hands must bee cleansed, and our hearts purged. This is the first part of our repentaunce.

34 But this will neuer be doone,Christ doeth not ease vs of the burthen of sinne vnlesse he see vs mourne vn­der it. vnlesse wee conceiue vnfei­ned and heartie sorowe for sinne. Wherefore it followeth in the woords of the Apostle, Be afflicted, be sorie and weepe, let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your ioie into heauinesse. It is heard, saith the Apostle to the Corinthians,1. Cor. 5. and that for certaintie, that there is forni­cation [Page 120] among you and such fornication as is not once named among the Gen­tiles. And ye are puffed vp and haue not rather sorowed. They shewed as he thought litle token of antent to cleanse themselues who sawe such filth and laughed at it. If wee haue purpose indeede to drawe neere vnto the Lorde, our hearts must bee resolued into teares, and our hands washt in the water of our eyes. Haue wee sinned with Dauid? Let vs crie Peccaui with as grieued an heart as Dauid did.2. Sam. 12. Haue we denied Christ with Peter, not with our lips, but in our liues?Matth. 26. Let vs then weepe for it with Peter bitterly. Haue we in transgressing followed the wanton steps of Marie Magda­lene?Luc. 7. Let vs followe her steps also in powring out teares plenti­fully for our offences. Haue wee wandered, and gone astray with the prodigall childe? Let vs with him likewise turne into our selues, and behold our defiled soules; let vs with him returne home at the length with a contrite heart, bursting out into that confession full of sorowe,Luc. 15. Father I haue sinned against heauen and a­gainst thee. Psal 51. A bruised and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Repent you therefore of your sinnes, Acts 3. saith Peter, that your sinnes may bee doone away. Let your teares shewe that ye doe repent, and let your liues declare that ye are conuerted. When euils past are bewailed, and things bewailed are not committed againe, this, saith Ambrose, is to repent. It is a vaine repentance which is by and by sullied againe by trans­gressing. Teares auaile nothing if we fall afresh into our sinnes. It is boote­lesse to aske pardon for euill deedes, and when we haue doone to doe them a­gaine. This is plaine, The dogge to his vomite, and the swine to his mire. Let vs therefore wholy cast away all impietie and worldly concu­piscence: let vs change this idle, vaine, wanton, and prophane life, with sober, righteous, and godlie behauiour. Let your laugh­ter be turned into mourning, and your ioie into heauinesse. For our God seeth all our thoughts, he heareth all our words, he be­holdeth all our workes. There is no wantonnesse nor wickednesse but our God, who doth hate it, seeth it (the Lorde bee mercifull vnto vs) yea our iust God, who will iudge vs according vnto our deedes seeth it. O Lord be mercifull vnto vs. O Lorde who shall stand in that most dreadful daie? Lord graunt vs true repentance, that forsaking our selues and detesting our sinnes, we may flie so vnto thy mercie that we may tast of thy tender compassions, and not receiue according to thy iustice and our most sinnefull de­serts. [Page 121] Enter not Lord into iudgement with thy seruants. O let vs at the length wash our hands and purge our hearts. Let vs mourne and bewaile our sins: that so being cleane we may approch and come neere vnto our God.

35 The onely thing which hindereth and keepeth vs backe from this,We must be humbled and thrown down. is that ouerweening which wee haue of our selues. Whereby it commeth to passe, that when we should be sorowful we are puft vp. The Apostle therefore to meete with this fault, and remooue this let addeth, Cast downe your selues: Humble your selues in the sight of God. The countrie which we seeke for is on high, but the way is belowe that leadeth vnto it. He that seeketh the one must not re­fuse the other. The Publicane humbling himselfe before GOD, drewe neere vnto him and was receiued. To whom hath God re­gard? on whom doth he looke?Esay 66. to whom is he neere? Euen vnto him that is poore and of a contrite spirit, add that trembleth at my woordes, saith the Lord. Manasses notwithstanding his idolatrous sinne­fulnesse, yet by humilitie drewe neere vnto God and found his sa­uing mercie. And all that are, or shall be his, must learne of him to be milde, as he is milde: to humble themselues vnto Christes mercie, who humbled himselfe vnto mans crueltie.

36 What hath man wherein of right he can boast himselfe,There is no­thing in vs why we shold not cary hum­ble and lowlie mindes. or whereof he may be prowde? It is God who hath giuen vs those good gifts which we haue, wee haue them not of our selues, and he hath giuen them vs not to pride our selues in them, and so to make them ill; but humbly to be thankefull for them, and to dis­pose of them well to his glorie, knowing and remembring that we must straitely reckon for them. Render an account will one daie be a fearefull speeche. For why? doth thy nobilitie, power and authoritie lift vp thy minde? These are giuen thee from aboue. By me kings raigne, Prou 8. by me Princes beare rule. There is no power but of God. He that setteth vp can likewise cast downe. Nay, Hee hath cast downe the mightie from their seate, Luc. 1. and hath exalted the humble and meeke. And what he hath doone once, he can doe againe. The highest place is not the sweetest nor the safest place: much authoritie is cōbred with many cares. Such as haue entred into a great charge must enter into a great account. And greater cause haue they to feare their reckoning; than to bee prowde of their ruling. The more that God hath lift thee vp the more thou oughtest to humble thy [Page 122] selfe before him least hee eternally cast thee downe.

37 A Christian heart must be an humble heart:The cause of our loftinesse is the want of looking into our selues. and the way to humble our selues is to knowe our selues. For if wee did looke vpon our blacke feete, our faire Peacocke fethers no doubt would soone fall downe. If we did cast our eyes vpon our fowle handes and polluted hearts; if we did sift our selues, and search our soules, and see how ouglie we had made our selues in the sight of God; hauing blotted out his gratious image in vs, and cloathed our selues with the maculate coate of sinne, the rewarde whereof is that eternall death of hell: this sight would terrifie vs; this con­sideration would pull downe our hawtinesse, and cause vs to mis­like and vtterly denie our selues, and flie onely vnto Gods mer­cie. Our cheerefull countenance would be changed into an hea­uie; our mirth, into sighing; our pastime into praier. It would make our sorowfull heartes to water our wanton eies with bitter teares. It would cast downe our bigge and high lookes flat vpon the earth; and turne our curled frisled writhen haire into a baser vse, euen into a towell to wipe the feete of Christ withall. In the steade of monstrous apparell we would put on sackecloth and a­shes: and crie with S. Paul,Rom. 7. Miserable man that I am who shall deliuer me? This sight of our selues would humble vs in the sight of God. This humilitie would cause vs to drawe neere vnto him; If wee drewe neere vnto him, he would drawe neere vnto vs; If wee did cast our selues downe, he would mercifully lift vs vp.

3 38 For so it followeth in the last part. This commoditie re­maineth to such as in such humble sort drawe neere vnto him.What com­meth vnto vs by drawing neere vnto God. He will drawe neere vnto you, he will lift you vp. If we sinners and double hearted men wash and purge our hands and hearts; if by faith and vnfeined repentance we drawe neere vnto him: hee will meete vs in the way, embrace vs with his armes of mercie, kisse vs with the kisse of peace and reconciliation, put on our spowsall ring vpon our finger, as fully restored vnto our gratious and blessed spowse in that perfect spirituall mariage. Hee is as readie to forgiue our sinnes, as we are to aske forgiuenesse. If we turne vnto him by re­pentance, he doubtlesse wil turne vnto vs in mercie. He will refresh vs, Matth. 11. and we shall finde eternall rest for our wearied soules. Be our sinnes as bloudie as skarlet is red, hee will make them as white as snowe. Though they now presse sore vpon vs, yet he will remooue them [Page 123] as farre from vs as the East is from the West,Mich. 7. yea he will drowne them in the verie bottome of the sea,Ezech. 18. he wil wholy blot them out of his booke, forgiue them and forget them for euer. This our gratious God hath promised: this our true God who cannot de­ceiue will performe.1. Cor. 11. Lastly if with penitent and humbled hearts for our sinnes, wee cast our selues downe before God, our God will lift vs vp. If we condemne our selues with trust in his mercie, our God will iustifie vs. If we die vnto sinne, wee shall bee raised vp vnto happie righteousnesse. The more we humble our selues, the more he wil exalt vs, not for our owne deserts but for his pro­mise sake, of free mercie, and his sons complete merites. To con­clude, if here we be humbled with Christ, hereafter wee shall bee exalted with Christ, euen into the high heauens, and there bee placed in the ioyfull presence of God our father, to whom with his Sonne Christ Iesus our Sauiour, and the holie Ghost our Sanctifier and Comforter be all honour and praise nowe and for euer. Amen.

The eighth Sermon. A Sermon preached before the Queene.

ESAY 55.

6 Seeke ye the Lord while he may be founde, call vpon him while he is neere.

7 Let the wicked forsake his waies, and the vnrighteous his owne ima­ginations and returne vnto the Lord, and he wil haue mercie vpon him: and to our God, for he is verie readie to forgiue.

HERE we learne by the Prophet,Why, howe, and with what fruite God is sought. that saluation is not sold, but freely giuen of God to as many as hunger and thirst after it; that they which seeke the Lorde shall finde him, so that they seeke him in due and seasonable time; and that the time of seeking the Lord is nowe. Seeke the Lord, &c. In this exhortation of the Prophet, let vs first consider why, secondly how God is to be sought, and thirdly what gaine [Page 124] doth growe to the seeker. If I should particularly prosecute this distribution, and followe it at large as euerie part shall minister occasion of speeche, I should bee too long for this place. But I minde breuitie, because I knowe before whom I speake. Fewe woords will be sufficient for the wise, and to a minde well instru­cted alreadie, a short putting in minde will serue. If I chaunce to say what other men haue saide before me (for what can bee saide which hath not beene saide before?) I must beseeche you to re­member the words of the blessed Apostle S. Paul which was not ashamed to tell euen his owne tale twise. To write vnto you the same things to me it is not tedious, Phil. 3. and to you it is necessarie.

1 2 God preferreth obedience before sacrifice. He accounteth it better to obey than to offer. For as all vice is contaiued in the name of disobedience,God com­maundeth vs to seeke him. because that onely is naught which God misliketh, and that which he misliketh hee hath forbidden: So I may be bold to say with S. Augustine, that There is no vertue but o­bedience onely. Luc. 7. If therefore the Centurions souldiers obediently went, came, and did what he commaunded; if the Israelites were so duetiful vnto Iosua that they saide, All things which thou hast com­maunded vs we will doe, Ios. 1. he that shall not obey let him die the death; if mortall men for conscience sake must be obeyed, shall we despise the voice of him that saith from heauen, Seeke ye the Lord? When God doth bid vs goe we may not stand still. And that which his Prophets in his name commaund vs, hee commaundeth him­selfe.

3 But least that the maiestie of him which commaundeth should rather astonish men than set them forwarde to seeke the Lord,God allureth vs by bene­fites to seeke him. Vs as Israel by three especial blessings. with rough commandements he ioineth oftentimes sweete allurements, Come vnto me; Come, and ye shall finde rest for your soules; Not entising men with faire and sweete words only, but powring his benefites also plentifully vpon them. So he dealt with his old and auncient people whom by his Prophet Micheas hee putteth in remembraunce of three especiall blessings whereby they were prouoked to serue the Lord, Surely I haue brought thee vp out of the Land of Egypt and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, Mich. 6. and I haue sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Myriam. O my people remember nowe what Balak king of Moab had deuised, and what Balam the sonne of Peor aunswered him, from Shittim vnto Gilgal, that ye may knowe the righteous­nesse [Page 125] of the Lord.

4 The chiefest benefite which the Lorde powred vpon his people,Deliuerance out of thral­dome. and the first whereby hee allured them to seeke him was this, With an outstretched arme hee brought them foorth from the Land of Egypt, the house of bondage, where their dwelling place was a prison, and a long life long miserie. No doubt a mightie and a mercifull worke of God to deliuer his people out of such thraldome, and to set them at such libertie as they after­wards enioyed. Bondage is an heauie yoke, an exceeding plague; freedome and libertie a great benefite, a sweete blessing. The like benefite in as great a measure of loue, fauour and power, we haue receiued at the hands of our mercifull God. Hee hath doone that for vs a reiected nation which hee did for his owne inheritaunce. Hee hath deliuered vs from the tyrannie and thraldome of that great Pharao; from Satan, sinne, hell, death and condemnation by the mightie hand of our Moses, our graund captaine, Christ Iesus: who on the crosse gate the victorie, spoiled our enemie, cancelled the writing of our bondage and seruitude, brought vs through the red sea, and by his bloudshed wrought our perfect and full deliuerance. Againe, when we groaned vnder the heauy burthens of a second, the childe of the former Pharao, when the tyrannie of Antichrist lay grieuous vpon our soules, constrai­ning vs by force vnto those things, in comparison whereof the gathering of stubble, or making of bricke, the sustaining of bur­thens farre heauier than the Egyptian laid any vpon Israel would haue seemed tollerable, light and easie; in the midst of these insuf­ferable griefes, euen then when these Egyptians were most fierce­ly and eagerly bent, when they thought their kingdome most strongly established, and vs past looking for any deliuerance (and what else could the reason of man suppose?) euen then our migh­tie and mercifull God (to whose workes mans thoughts aspire not) by the hand of his milde and faithfull seruaunt deliuered his people out of that thraldome, of bond made vs free, discharged vs from the intollerable tyrannie of Antichrist, deliuered vs from the vsurped power of poperie, from the Romish yoke of seruile superstition, that we might serue no longer that man of sinne, but our God, not with a slauish minde, but in perfect freedome of conscience; according to his most holie woorde, and not mans [Page 126] blasphemous doctrine. If wee did not passe ouer this blessing of God with blinde or closed eyes, surely the consideration thereof would mooue vs, it would force vs to breake into woordes of wonderment,Psal. [...]1. and to crie out with the Prophet, How great is thy goodnesse? It would stirre vp in vs an earnest desire to seeke our gra­tious Lord, and when hee is found, for euer to cleaue fast vnto him.

5 God further prouoking his people Israel to seeke him,The benefite of giuing Mo­ses, Aaron, and Marie. put­teth them in mind of a second benefite, of sending Moses, Aaron, and Marie before them. Moses to be their Magistrate, and Aaron to be their Priest, the one to iudge, and the other to teache; the one to punish sinners, the other to praie and to offer for them. These two were brethren that the bond of nature might vnite their mindes in gouernement: and that their vnitie might more aduaunce Gods glorie, and procure the tranquillitie and safetie of their countrie.2. Reg. 12. So Ioas the king, and Iehoiada the Bishop ioi­ning hands, and drawing in one line, mans policie giuing place to the word of God, the onely fountaine of true honourable po­licie, Israel had a prosperous and happie state.

6 Moses was a woorthie magistrate. And his greatest com­mendation is that he was no lesse sharp and seuere in Gods cause,Moses seuere in punishing publike offen­ders, easie in pardoning in­juries doone to himselfe. than milde and gentle in his owne. His mildenesse caused him many times to put vp other priuate iniuries; it neuer caused him to spare such as attempted the ouerthrowe of true religion, or made the people to bowe themselues vnto strange gods. In such cases the verie heads and princes of the people escaped not his iust hands.Num. 25. Hee did wisely consider that as it is a point of mercie to pardon priuate wrongs, so not to punish publike transgressors against God and the state were great iniustice, it beeing in doubt whether their deedes were more pestilent, or their example if it were strengthened by impunitie would be more pernicious. The scepter of thy kingdome, Psal. 45. saith the Prophet, is a scepter of righteousnesse. And he prooueth it thus, For thou louest righteousnesse and hatest ini­quitie. Wilt thou knowe what is good, and what the Lord requi­reth of thee?Mich. 6. Surely, saith the Prophet, to doe iustice and to loue mer­cie. Psal. 101. The song of Dauid had these two parts, Mercie and Iudgement. Princes are Gods lieuetenants, his person they beare and his i­mage they must resemble. In him both these are ioined together, [Page 127] I am the Lord which shewe mercie, Ier. 9. iudgement, and righteousnesse on earth. Mercie without iustice is not mercie but follie, saith S. Chrysostome. And againe, Mercie is then rightly termed mercie if it be shewed so, that iustice be not thereby brought into contempt. Aug. ep. 54. And S. Augustine saith, that As it is mercie sometimes to punish, so sometimes to spare is crueltie. Concerning our selues, thus much I can say that if care bee not had thereof in time to keepe backe the rage of sinne by repressing sinners, it wil be too late when the Land doth flowe with bloud to thinke vpon it. Moses so loued the safetie of his people that hee cried,Exod. 32. Lord spare them or wipe me out of the booke of life. To haue a go­uernour like to Moses, milde and mercifull; yet not carelesse to be zealous in Gods cause, nor vnmindefull in iustice to punish great transgressors, is a great & a rare blessing. Which if our God haue bestowed vpon vs (for vnto him wee must acknowledge it, al­though in this place I passe it ouer, because my desire is not to please but to teache, neither did I euer vse flattering woords as ye know) but if God haue beene mercifull to vs heerein, the Lorde make vs thankefull for it.

7 Together with Moses God gaue his people Aaron the Priest:Aaron, and Marie. which gift he accounteth also as a great blessing. Yet Aa­ron was a man though of great vertue not altogether without blemish. We see how for feare of the people more than of God, in the absence of Moses he plaied the milkesop, erected an Idol, and with his bodie wheresoeuer his heart was become, either committed Idolatrie or at least permitted it, perswaded hereunto as some suppose, by Marie the sister of Moses. We haue too ma­ny followers of the steps of Aaron in this weakenesse. Howbeit vnto some God hath giuen a greater measure of strength & cou­rage, some there are more bold and constant in Gods cause and their duetie, some that will not bowe their knees to Baal, that wil not displease God for the pleasuring of man, some whose libertie and liues are not so deere vnto them, but that they can be conten­ted not onely to bee bound but also to die for the testimonie of Christ. Of this better sort although in comparison of the woorse the number be not so great as good, yet I suppose that fewe Na­tions vnder heauen haue moe faithfull and able ministers than this Land hath. Beg we at the hands of the Lord of the haruest to send moe pastors and fewer hyrelings, moe labourers and few­er [Page 128] loyterers. For in respect of the greatnesse of the haruest these workemen though they be many yet are but fewe. When God doth giue his people good gouernours and wise teachers; when he maketh their men to excell in wisedome, their princes to be as Moses, and their Priests as Aaron; and besides all this raiseth vp women like to Marie amongst them powring out his spirite not onely vpon their sonnes but vpon their daughters also, choosing out of them, notwithstanding their weakenesse, mightie instru­ments of his power, surely a benefite so rare and pretious should winne mens hearts vnto God for euer.

8 But the Prophet goeth forward and maketh mention of a third thing,The enemies curse turned into blessing. which is that God did turne the cursings of Balaam into blessings. Remember what Balak King of Moab had deuised, and what Balaam the sonne of Peor aunswered him, Num. 23. from Shittim to Gilgall, that ye may knowe the righteousnesse of the Lord. It fretted the heart of that prophane king Balak to beholde the flourishing prosperitie of Gods people, to see Og the king of Bashan and Sihon king of the Amorites conquered and slaine by them. This multitude, saith he, will licke vp all that are about vs as an oxe licketh vp the grasse of the fielde. Wherefore mistrusting his owne strength, & hauing feene trial of theirs, he deuised to hire Balaam the wisard to curse them, and thought by that meane without all peraduenture to preuaile ouer them. But ye knowe Balaams answeres, the first, How shall I curse where God hath not cursed? the second, God hath blessed, and I can­not alter it; the third, How goodly are thy tents O Iacob, and thine habita­tions O Israel? As the valleies are they stretched foorth, as gardens by the riuers side, as the Aloe trees which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedars beside the waters. When hee sawe that God would not suffer his tongue to curse Israel though it were hyred, hee gaue Balak this aduise,Apoc. 3. to cause the daughters of Moab to steale away their hearts by carnall pleasure, and so to allure them vnto the sacrifice of their gods, that they forsaking the true God he might also for­sake them. This practise was a stumbling block in their way, whi­lest they abode in Shittim they committed fornication,Num. 25. & 31. they cou­pled themselues vnto Baal Peor, and ate of things sacrificed vn­to Idols and diuels. Wherefore God plagued them, and laid his heauie hand vpon them. Howbeit he withdrewe not his mercie and kindenesse wholly from them,Iosua. 5. but in Gilgal tooke away this [Page 129] their shame, and sealed againe the couenant of reconciled loue. So that as there was no curse which could take away his blessing, so there was no counsell that could hinder his good purpose to­wards his people. Yee are not ignoraunt how the Balamite of Rome hath cursed vs, our prince, our prophets, and our people, euen as the Philistim cursed Dauid by his gods. 1. Sam. 17. But we haue found the promise of Christ most true,Matth. 5. Blessed are yee when they shall reuile you. Our God hath turned all his curses into blessings, his name be blessed for it. The Pope that Balaam hath bitterly cursed the ground whereon we goe, and the whole Land wherein wee liue. But hath there growen a brier or a thorne the more vpon it for all that mans curse? Hee that shall surueie it and viewe it well, and marke the plentifulnesse of these latter yeeres, must needes confesse that God hath bestowed vpon it more than ordinarie or vsuall blessings. As the blessings of that man are by God accur­sed, so where he curseth there the Lord blesseth; and to the eter­nall reproofe of that our enemies vniust and vncharitable execra­tion, he hath in these our daies opened his bountifull hand farre wider than in former times, when those Antichristian blessings came posting yerely from Rome, and embraced our Lande so kindely that they sucked the sappe of wealth both from braunche and roote. The Land of Canaan was a pleasaunt and a fruitefull Land, flowing with milke, and abounding with honie: truely it was barren and almost beggerly in respect of our aboundance and store. God may iustly say to vs,Esay 5. What could I haue doone more vnto my vineyard which I haue not doone vnto it? He hath miraculously giuen and continued with vs that grand blessing of his glorious Gos­pell, he hath wonderfully preserued our Soueraigne his seruant, he hath kept her safe as Moses and Dauid from Pharao, from Da­than and from Amalek; from Goliah, from Saul, from Absolon, from the hands of her open enemies and treasons of her deceit­full friends: he hath not onely giuen her a circumspect heart to foresee and to preuent, and, I trust, to cut off all intended destru­ction, but also hath more than miraculously abated the pride and confounded the manifold counsels of her and our enemies, and contrarie to all expectation kept vs in peace and safetie. GOD make vs thankefull and giue vs hearts syncerely bent to seeke him which so mercifully by his benefites and graces hath sought vs. [Page 130] How great is thy goodnesse, Psal. 31. O Lord, which thou hast laide vp in store for them that feare thee? For this shall euerie one that is godlie make his praier vnto thee in a time when thou maist be found, Psal. 32. and call vpon thee while thou art neere.

9 If this way will not serue to bring vs vnto God,Them whom benefites wil not winne, plagues must constraine to seeke y Lord. another must be assayed; if we wil not be led by faire meanes, we shall be drawne by fowle: God hath blessings for them which are of a pli­able minde; but for the froward, rods. Them he first threateneth, as hauing no delight or pleasure to punish; hee punisheth as one vnwilling to destroie. Gods corrections is for our reformation, but if it will not reforme vs, for our confusion. This selfe loue of ours, this senselesse securitie, this contempt of Gods woord, this want of godlie zeale, these contriuings of treason and conspira­cie are tokens that God hath bent his dreadfull bowe, and is pre­paring to make his arrowes drunke with our bloud. If hee spared neither Israelites nor Angels, doubtlesse neither will he spare vs, except vnfeinedly we seeke him, and seeke him nowe.

10 For now is the acceptable time,Now is the time to seeke the Lord. now is grace offered, the Lord now stretcheth out his handes of mercie, this is the daie, wherein the Lorde may be found of them that seeke him. But some stop their eares at this and will not heare, they are too wise to be enchaunted with these times. If ye tell them of seeking the Lord, their answere is, Who is the Lord? They say plainely in their foolish hearts,Luc. 14. There is no God. But the iust God will one day shew himselfe to their confusion. Others haue their excuses of world­ly hinderaunces and lets, Fermes or Oxen or Wiues haue tied them by the legge when they should goe and seeke the Lord. O­thers haue a minde not vtterly vnwilling to seeke after him; but they would faine staie a while & seeke him hereafter. Youth they say must haue his swinge, let olde age waxe holie. Such nouices there were of whom Chrysostome writeth, that they would not be baptised vntill they were in their death beddes, least baptisme should be as a bridle to hold them in. They were desirous to haue their foorth in their carnall desires, and at the end of their daies by baptisme to wash away all at once. But God shall mocke such craft, and they who wil not come when he calleth, when they call shal not be heard. Beware of these delaies. Let vs not differre and put off till to morowe, but while it is called to day, euen whilest [Page 131] this acceptable day is, let vs seeke the Lorde that wee may finde him. Nowe he is readie to meete vs by the way, and louingly to embrace vs with the armes of his eternall mercie.

11 The second thing to be cōsidered is how we may seeke the 2 Lord,The Lord is sought and found by faith & in seking him be sure to find him. I wil omit to shew how vainly the Gentiles in their Idols, the Iewes in their ceremonies & traditions, the Papists in their superstitions do seeke the Lord. They seeke him and finde him not, because they seeke him where he is not, not where he is; as themselues haue imagined, and not as he hath prescribed.Ambr in Luc. The first entrance into the waie where God will be found is faith,Lib. 6. cap. 8. Fide tangitur Christus, fide videtur, saith S. Am­brose. By faith Christ is handled, by faith he is seene. By faith he is found. All our trauell in seeking without faith is but a fruitlesse wearying of our deceiued soules. For he that commeth vnto God must beleeue.

12 And the way to beleeue is hearing;Faith cōmeth by hearing the word of God. for by hearing com­meth faith: The word is that starre which guideth and directeth vs vnto Christ. Search the Scriptures: For to this end they are writ­ten,Iohn 5. That ye might beleeue that Iesus is Christ the sonne of God, and that beleeuing ye might haue eternall life. Iohn 17. They were written to be red: and therefore S. Paul chargeth Timothie straitlie,1. Tim. 4. Giue attendance to reading. They were written to bee red not of him onely, but of vs also, in what condition or estate soeuer God hath placed vs. Princes are not exempted more than others, no they aboue o­thers are especially charged to trauell heerein. What charge can be deuised more effectuall than that which is giuen vnto Io­sua,Iosua 1. Let not this booke of the Lawe depart out of thy mouth, but meditate thou therein day and night, that thou maist obserue and doe according to all that is written therein, for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou haue good successe? Good reason it is, that as Kings doe raigne and hold their power by him; so his will reuealed in his word should be the rule and direction of their gouernement. If they thinke to establish their thrones better by their owne wise and politike deuises, they are greatly deceiued. There is no poli­cie, no wisedome like the wisedome of GOD. The common wealths which Aristotle and Plato haue framed in their Bookes, otherwise full of wisdome, yet compared with diuine policies, with that citie for whose sake and benefite the Lord doth watch, [Page 132] what are they but fancies of foolish men? As for Machiauels in­uentions they are but the dreames of a brainesicke person, foun­ded vpon the craft of man and not vpon godlie wisedome which onely hath good effect. Godlie Princes haue no neede to seeke for counsell at these mens hands, the mouth of the Lord is suffici­ent for them.Psal. 119. Thy testimonies, saith Dauid, are my counsellers. Their counsell was to him sufficient. Hee red not the scriptures at idle times or at leisure; they were his meditation continually; Rea­ding was not irkesome and tedious vnto him, his eies did preuent the night watches to meditate in the word. The time was not lost which was so bestowed. For by thy commaundements, saith he, thou hast made me wiser than mine enemies. Acts 8. The diligence of that noble Eunuch chiefe officer to the Queene of Ethiopia is greatly com­mended, as a woorthie president for Christian Courtiers to be­hold and followe. Many cannot reade, yet al ought to heare; I will hearken, Psal. 95. saith Dauid, what the Lord God will say. Who doth not re­ioyce to heare a prince speake gracious and fauorable wordes? But I wil heare the lord speake, saith the prophet, For he wil speake peace vnto his people. A bad seruaunt, an euill wife, a cursed childe, a damnable creature that will not gladly heare the voice of the Lord, the husband, the father, the creator. Christ taught dailie in the temple, and doubtlesse he was daily heard. But hearing of the woord may not daily be attended, least it hinder more weigh­tie affaires. Is there any thing more weightie than the matter of saluation? Is the earth of more account than heauen? a short mi­serable life than a blessed and immortall? Philip of Macedonia ca­sting off the suite of a poore woman with a short answere that he had no leisure to heare her cause, she aunswered boldly, Why then hast thou leisure to be a king? I may as boldly aske of them which say they haue no leisure to heare Gods word,Iac. 1. how they will finde the leisure to be saued. This word only saueth, Receiue ye therfore the word ingrafted which is able to saue your soules.

13 If there bee no saluation but by faith,The want of teachers at whose mouths the woord should be heard. no faith but by hea­ring the woord of God, how should the people be saued without teachers? The mother Citie of the Realme is reasonably furni­shed with faithfull preachers, certaine other Cities not many in number are blessed too, though not in like sort. But the sillie peo­ple of the Land otherwhere especially in the North parts pine a­way [Page 133] way and perish for want of this sauing foode, they are much de­cayed for want of prophecie. Many there are that heare not a ser­mon in seuen yeres, I might say safely in seuenteene. Their bloud will be required at some bodies hands. The Lord deliuer vs from that hard account, and graunt redresse with speede.

14 But why doth the countrie want preachers?The cause why there are so fewe s [...]ffici­ent men to teache the people. The people pay tithes of that they haue, therefore there must needes be suf­ficient to maintaine them. If things were well ordered, this se­quele were good. But the chiefest benefices were by the Pope long since impropriated vnto a Monkes which deuoured the fruits and gaue a sillie stipend vnto a poore Sir Iohn to say Masse. And as they left it so we finde it still. Where liuings were not impro­priated by the Pope, there they are for the most part so handled, that patrons maintaine themselues with those tithes which the people giue: and ministers haue that which the patrons leaue. The worlde dealeth with Gods Clergie as Dionysius the tyrant with Iupiters Idoll. They make themselues as merie with spoy­ling Christs patrimonie as he with robbing Iupiter of his golden cloake: which, being too heauie for Sommer, and too colde for Winter, he tooke away, and left in stead of it a cotten coate light for the one time, and warme for the other. To take from them which liue idly and superstitiously in the Church they pleade it to be lawfull, because those vnprofitable members were vnwoor­thie to enioie the fat of the earth. Abbeies being eaten vp and o­ther profites gone, now as greedie cormorants they sease also vp­on the Church of Christ. It is not fit forsooth that men sancti­fied vnto heauenly things should be ouermuch encombred with these earthly commodities; and therefore euen of great deuotion and zeale they will ease the Church of these her burthens. Thus by men that cannot stand without the fall of the Church of God all meanes are inuented to begger the ministerie. A deuise no doubt of Satan and a practise of his impes to cause a famine of the bread of life, by staruing the Oxe that should treade out the come; and to withdrawe Gods people from seeking the Lord, by weakening and discouraging such as should guide them in the waie of life. Thus you see how God must be sought in his word, which woord because all men must heare and learne, therefore many must be sent to teache it.

[Page 134] 15 But because the seede which is cast into the earth grow­eth not vp vnlesse it be watered with the dewe of heauen,The Lord must besought by praier also and not by hearing only. neither doth the sound of the woord bring any man vnto Christ except the grace of the spirite be with it, which grace God offereth so freely vnto men that there needeth no more but Aske and Haue, for this cause it followeth in the Prophet, Call vpon him while he is neere. We may reade and heare of God as of one farre off. But when we praie vnto God, we acknowledge that he is as it were within sight; when we cal vpon him we speake to him as vnto one which is present. He is neuer so clearely and plainely found, his presence is neuer so familiarly enioied as by heartie praier. Prai­er consisterh of two parts: Thankesgiuing for that which we haue receiued, and requesting of that whereof our soules or bodies haue neede.

16 The good king Dauid falling into consideration of the in­finite mercies of God,Thankesgi­uing for bene­fites alreadie receiued. bursteth out into these carefull woordes, What shall I render to the Lord? Finding no way to requite hee resol­ueth thus,Psal. 116. I will take the cup of saluation and call vpon the name of the Lord. Perhaps the Prophet had the more care to shewe himselfe thankefull towards God, by reason of the griefe which himselfe sustained through mens ingratitude towards him. He maketh pi­tifull complaint that his familiar friends who ate bread at his ta­ble, who tooke sweete counsell with him, whom hee had many waies benefited were vnthankefull and requited him with treche­rous dealing. An honest hearted man is neuer so grieued as when his friendlinesse is requited with ingratitude. If it be, saith S. Am­brose, a fault to bee matched euen with murther not to requite man with thankefulnesse, what a crime is it to deale vnthankefully with God? Dixeris maledicta cuncta cum ingratum hominem dixeris. Wee haue na­med all the naughtinesse that can bee obiected when wee haue termed a man vnthankefull, saieth another. Lycurgus beeing asked why in his Lawes he had set downe no punishment for in­gratitude answered, I haue left it to the gods to punish. All the punish­ment which man could deuise he though too easie for a fault so heinous. The ingratitude of Ierusalem did more wound the heart of the sonne of God Christ Iesus than the speare that pierced him through the heart vpon the crosse. Hee hath dealt as mercifully with vs as with them; if we deale as vnkindely as they with him, [Page 135] we which knowe what befell them for it, cannot be ignorant what is likely to befall vs, except we take the cup of saluation betimes, and call vpon the name of the Lord while he is neere.

17 And as his benefites doe require thankes,Crauing of helpe in pre­sent necessity. so our owne e­state doth need succour. Our necessities therfore should make vs earnest suters vnto God that he would be our relieuer. Our ship is in peril of tempest, the ragings of the sea doe threaten it: yet who crieth,Matth 8. Help Lord? What man is there that weepeth bitterly with Peter,Matth. 26. or nightly watereth his cowch with teares as Dauid? Yet al haue sinned & offended the Lord of glorie. It is high time there­fore to call vpon God & that earnestly. The superstitious praied without vnderstanding. Wherein are we better, if our praiers be without feeling? The fountaine of praier is the feeling of the heart Powre out that before the Lord, cal vpon him from thence, crie from the depth,Esay 58. and he shall answere, Here I am thy readie hel­per in time of neede.

18 But withall take this,Praier is fruit­lesse where repentance is not. Let the wicked forsake his waies, and the vnrighteous his owne imaginations, and returne vnto the Lord, that is to say Repent, Paul to Titus vseth the like description of repētance, saying,Tit. 2. The grace of God teacheth vs that we should denie vngodlinesse & worldly lusts, and liue soberly, and righteously, and godlily in this present world. Peter out of the Psalme in fewer words saith the same, De­cline from euill and doe good. 1. Pet. 3. The Papists set repentance vpon three feete, Confession, Contrition, and Satisfaction. But two of them are of wood, without life. Their confession is to a priest, where­as the scripture maketh God and not the priest our Confessor. Confitemini Domino, saieth the Psalmist, Make confession to the Lord.1. Pet. 1. Their satisfaction is but monie matter, and God is satisfied not by gold but by bloud: & with vs he is pleased when our liues are amended. Deus morum emendatione placatur, & qui peccare desinit iram Dei mortalem facit. God is pacified by the mending of our maners, and he that ceaseth from sin bringeth the wrath of God to an end saith Lactantius. We must forsake therefore our owne waies, our owne cogitations; they are wicked & vngodly. There is nothing ours but imbecillitie and naughtinesse, which with our selues we must vtterly renounce and forsake, and flie to Gods mercie, that in mercie he may accept vs. No doubt wee haue all wandered out of the waie, all haue started aside, euerie man hath [Page 136] wandered his owne fond and sinnefull way, wee haue prouoked Gods wrath, our ingratitude hath grieued him, we haue wicked­ly profaned his sacred Gospell, his word we haue contemned and abused, vsing it as a cloake to couer our deepe hypocrisie, Christ was neuer more professed & neuer lesse obeied. It is truly verified in our times which the Prophet Oseas complained of in his, There is no trueth, there is no mercifulnesse, Osce 4. there is no knowledge of God in the Land; cursing and lying and murther and theft and whoredome haue ouer­flowed, bloud hath touched bloud. Ezech. 16. Ezechiel teacheth that the sinnes of Sodome that sinke of sinne were Idlenesse, of fulnesse of bread, pride and vnmercifulnesse towards the poore. Are not these the sinnes of this Land, of this Citie, of this Court at this day? Are not these bad waies our waies? Halfe Englande liueth idly or woorse occupied, we are fed to the full, and who is not puffed vp with pride? or who relieueth his neighbours want? No man is contented with his owne estate, but euerie one striueth to clime higher to sit aloft. There is want of the true feare of God in all sorts, estates, and ages. Yet we please our selues and walke on, as if God either sawe not our sinne, or else in his iustice could not punish it. Are the eyes of the Lord shut vp? or hath God for­gotten to be iust? Surely our sinnes will not suffer his plagues to stay long from vs. What plagues I dare not presume to prophe­cie. For God hath kept that secrete to himselfe. But I stande in feare that we are the men to whom Christ saith, The kingdome of God shall be taken from Yov; that wee are they whose sinnes will bring the scepter of this kingdome into the handes of an hypo­crite. If God in his iustice doe this, woe worth vs most wretched men. The losse of the Gospell is the losse of our soules, and the losse of our Soueraigne the losse of our liues. Truely when I fall into consideration of the wickednesse of this worlde, that all sorts of men fall to sinning with greedinesse, that there is skant one left as Elias complaineth, that truly seeketh after God, that in all conditions iniquitie doeth abound and charitie waxe colde, that the zeale of God is vtterly dryed vp in the hearts of men, that God is serued for fashions sake and not in trueth, what should I thinke but that God hath gathered his lap ful of plagues and is readie to powre them downe vpon vs? There is but one way to staie him for which he himselfe doth staie and waite. Doe ye not knowe that the lenitie of God inuiteth you to repentance? [Page 137] If we wil saue our Nineuie, we must repent and turne to our God; we must seeke him both prince and people.

19 The benefite which commeth vnto those that seeke him 3 is this, He will haue mercie on them. The fruit that commeth by seeking the Lord. Although the house of Israel re­belled against the Lord as a froward woman rebelleth against her husband, yet he ceased not to call vpon them still by the voice of his Prophets,Ier 3. O ye disobedient children returne, returne and I will heale your rebellions. Iob. 34. Surely it perteineth vnto God to say I haue pardoned I will not destroie. Iob. 33. He looketh vpon men and if one say I haue sinned and peruer­ted righteousnesse and it did not profite mee, hee will deliuer his soule from going into the pit and his life shall see light. Loe all these things will GOD worke twise or thrise with a man. He desireth not our destruction but our conuersion be we neuer so great sinners. For hee is verie readie to forgiue. Aske pardon and thou shalt haue it. Returne to the Lord vnfeinedly and he will mercifully accept thee.

20 And if he be readie to forgiue vs,Our thankful­nesse towards God whom we seeke must be shewed by our merciful­nesse to the poore. let not vs bee loath to giue vnto him. We neede not aske where he is, or what he wan­teth, that we may giue vnto him. He is neere at hand straying & staruing in the streetes; naked, hungrie, cold, harborlesse, sicke and diseased, ruthfully moning and crying for reliefe. Let the pi­tifull crie of our Christ mooue our hearts to mercie.Prou. 21. He that shut­teth his eares at the crie of the poore shall crie himselfe and not be heard. Let that mercilesse Moguntine terrifie men of hard and stonie hearts, who was deuoured of rats the vilest vermin for his cruell heart voide of all compassion vpon the poore. Let vs seeke vp Christ and prouide for him. He sought vs and found vs, when we were robbed, spoiled and deadly wounded: let not vs turne away our faces from him seeking & crauing so small help at our hands. He became poore to make vs riche, let vs out of the aboundance of our riches spare somewhat nowe to the reliefe of his pouertie. He will well requite it. It is not lost which is bestowed vpon him in his poore afflicted members; that which wee put in the handes of the poore we lay it vp in the Lords bosome, where neither dice nor cards, hawkes nor hounds, horses nor harlots can consume it, rust and canker can not eate it, theeues can not robbe and be­reaue vs of it. Vnwoorthie we are to be called Christians, if wee suffer our head Christ Iesus to be naked and cloath him not, if we see him hungrie and giue him no bread. Woorse wee are than [Page 138] Iewes if we suffer this ignominie to bee doone vnto Christ, this ingratitude to be shewed to so gratious a God. O let vs be mer­cifull, that as children we may resemble our heauenly father, for he is mercifull. Vnto this mercifull God the Father the Sonne and the holie Ghost be honour, glorie and praise nowe and euer. Amen.

The ninth Sermon. A Sermon made in Pauls at the solem­nization of CHARLES the 9. the French Kings funerall.

IOB 14.‘14 All the daies of this my warrefare doe I waite, till my changing come.’

THE custome of funerals as it is aun­cient,The custome of funerals ancient and cōmendable. so is it commendable. Abra­ham the father of our faith purchased a peece of ground to burie his dead in.Gen. 23. & 25. & 50. And in that place he himselfe, Sara, I­saak, Iacob and Ioseph were buried with great solemnitie, & much mour­ning.Tob. 2. Tobias is commended for bury­ing the dead.Iohn 12. So is Marie Magdalene for preparing of ointment for the burying of our Sauiour.Iohn 19. So is Ioseph, and also Nicodemus for the care that they had about Christs funerall.

2 Causes of funerals S. Augustine giueth three.Three causes of solemni­zing funerals. First it is the office of humanitie, the duetie of charitie decently to com­mit the dead corps to the earth, out of which they came. This charitable dutie is commended in Toby and others, whose names I mentioned before, and was of the verie Heathen religiously obserued. Secondly it is a thing verie seemely and conuenient, with reuerence to laie the corps in graue, because our bodies are the temples of the holie Ghost, wherein & by which as by liuely [Page 139] instruments both God hath beene glorified, and his people haue receiued good.1. Cor. 6. Knowe yee not that your bodie is the temple of the holie Ghost which is in you? That which hath beene so notable an instru­ment would not be vnreuerently entreated though dead. Thirdly our faith is hereby confirmed touching the article of our resurre­ction. For we laie downe the bodie in the earth, vnder hope that This mortall must put on immortalitie: 1. Cor. 15. as confessing with Iob, I beleeue that my redeemer liueth, Iob. 19. and that I shall see God in my fleshe, mine eyes shall behold him and none other. But the Christian Church doeth not, neither ought to vse funerals thereby to relieue or benefite the dead.Aug. de Ciuit. De. lib. 1. cap. 12. All these things, saith S. Augustine, furniture of funerals, order of burying, and the pompe of exequies are rather comforts to the liuing than helps to the dead. Luc. 16. The glutton of whom S. Luke speaketh in the Gospell, was buried no doubt with pompe ynough; yet his wic­ked soule was plunged into hell. There commeth therefore no part of blessednesse to the dead by funerals: but Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. Apoc. 14. Lazarus wanted (as it is to be thought) his fu­nerall, but the want thereof bereaued him not of his happie e­state: he died in the Lord and so was blessed.

3 Sith therefore death bringeth with it our particular iudge­ment;Our state is not changed after death; but as we fall so we lie. sith he that beleeueth on the sonne hath euerlasting life; but he that beleeueth not on the sonne shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him: Let vs liue as we will die, and die as they that hope to rise a­gaine and liue with Christ hereafter.Iohn 3. As euerie man departeth hence, so shall he be iudged at the last daie. Aug. ad Hes [...]. And, Euerie man shall sleepe with his owne cause and with his owne cause rise againe. At our particular death is our particular iudgement: at the glorious comming of Christ shall bee the generall reuelation of the iudgement of the whole world. After this life there is no helpe remaining to the dead: to the liuing there is mercie offered, to the deade there remaineth onely iudgement. He that is not purged heere, shall be iudged as filthie there.

4 Vaine therefore and dangerous is the opinion of Purgato­rie.The opinion of Purgatorie vaine and dangerous. Vaine, because it hath no foundation at all in Gods woord. Moses prescribing all kindes of sacrifices in the old Lawe maketh no mention either of sacrificing or praying for the dead.1. Thess. 4. Paul in­structing the Thessalonians what they ought to doe in funerals, neither doeth remember vnto them sacrifice nor praier. Iust Si­meon [Page 140] neuer dreamed of Purgatorie when as he saide, Lorde now lettest thou thy seruant depart in peace according to thy word. Luc. 2. Small peace is there in Purgatorie, as Papists report. It neuer came into Saint Pauls minde when he said,Phil. 1. I desire to depart hence and to be with Christ. It was not reuealed to the Angell when he said, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, Apoc. 14. they rest from their labours. There is no rest but intollerable paine imagined in Purgatorie, euen to them which die in the Lord.Luc. 16. Neither Lazarus not the rich man were acquain­ted with it, the one was immediately caried into heauen, the o­ther cast into hel.Luc. 23. He which said to theefe, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise, knewe onely two waies, the straite way to hea­uen,Matth. 7. the broade way to hell: hee who knewe all things was igno­rant of this third way: For there is no such waie to knowe. This opinion is perilous. The hope of helpe in Purgatorie hath sent many deceiued soules into hell. This opinion is iniurious to the bloud of Christ. For if any sinne remaine to bee purged by these after paines,1. Iohn 1. then The bloud of Christ doth not cleanse vs from all sinne, and then [...]e make God a lyer. It destroieth repentance, without which there is no remission of sinnes here, and with which satis­faction for sins afterward cannot stand. For faith and repentance cease with this life. He that hath not his pardon heere, deceiueth himselfe if he hope to haue it hereafter elsewhere. Euery man af­ter life shal beare his owne burthen, as euerie man hath wrought in his bodie. There commeth nothing to the spirits of them that bee dead, but that which they wrought while they were aliue. Worke thou righteousnesse before thy death: Eccles. 14. for in the graue it is too late. And thus it doth appeare that although the vse of funerals be auncient, and that for good causes they are to bee celebrated; yet neither purgatorie nor praier, neither any other after helps can be auaileable for the partie departed; and therefore wee must nowe sowe, as hereafter we will reape. Cast away impietie and worldly con­cupiscence, Tit. 2. and liue a sober, a iust, and a godlie life; looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glorie of the great God, and of our Sauiour Iesus Christ. Here we are as Christs souldiers appointed to fight a good fight, [...]. Tim. 4. to fulfill our course, to keepe the faith: and so to looke for the promised crowne of glorie, which God will giue to such as looke for and loue his comming.

5 Whereof Iob is a good remembrance vnto vs.Three things conteined in the words of Iob. All the daies [Page 141] of this my warfare doe I waite till my chaunging shall come. In which words we haue three things chiefly to bee considered. First, that our whole life is a warfare, Secondly, that this warre will haue an ende; Thirdly, that this end is daily to be looked for.

6 He which saith here, I waite all the daies of this my warrefare: 1 saith otherwhere also,Mans life a warfare. Mans life is a warrefare vpon earth. In this Christian warre some be generals, some captaines, some trum­petors, the rest be common and ordinarie souldiers. Euerie one must keepe his standing, answere his calling, fight and manfully striue for the victorie.

7 Kings and princes are generals,Kings and Princes Gods generals. Gods lieuetenaunts vpon earth; to defend Gods people, to set them in order, to see them well gouerned, to fight in Gods quarell, to preferre and promote Gods cause. They should serue the Lorde the king of kings in feare, Psal. 2. Imbrace the sonne, aduaunce true religion, Seeke the kingdome of heauen, Matth. 6. wherein doth consist their victorie and glorie. This they will doe, if they be zealous in Gods cause, if they be in deede the Nurces of his Church, Esay 49. they will hate his enemies with perfect hatred, they will punish transgressors,Psal. 138. protect the innocent, execute iu­stice and iudgement without respect of persons. So shal they mi­litare Christo doe the office of a good general in Gods warre. Such generals were Dauid, Iehosaphat, Ezechias and Iosias. These generals are placed of God, and therefore of dutie to be obeyed. Let euerie soule be subiect to the higher power: Rom. 13. for there is no power but of God. God giueth good princes as a blessing; and the same God giueth euill princes as a curse. He gaue Samuel in his fauour, and in his wrath the gaue Saul. He maketh an hypocrite to raigne for the sins of the people. These generals haue authority frō the Lord of Hosts to draw the sword against transgressors,Iob. 34. and to execute martial law according to such limitatiō as God hath prescribed.

8 The captaines are the Nobilitie,The Nobles Captaines. put in their seueral autho­rities our seuerall bands. They must valiantly goe before, striue and stand for Gods cause, giue good example to their souldiers in honest behauiour, in painefull trauell, according to their cal­lings: So vpright in all their dooings, that the people may be en­forced to iustifie them as the Israelites did their Samuel.1. Sam. 12. Good captaines make good souldiers.

9 The trumpetors are the ministers of Gods woord,The ministers trumpetors. by the [Page 142] blast of the trumpe both to giue warning of the enemie, and also to order the going forward of the armie. To these men God saith, Crie out alowde,Esay 58. leaue not off, lift vp thy voice like a trumpet, and shewe my people their offences. If these men be dumme dogges and sound not the trumpet as well to forewarne as to guide Gods armie,Ezech. 33. The perishing bloud shall bee required at their handes by whom it hath beene betraied. Paul was faithfull and skilfull to sound this trumpe and to sound it in season, to striue for the truth and to powre out his bloud in Gods quarell. He ended his daies like a man full of valour,2. Tim. 4. I haue fought a good fight, I haue fulfilled my course, I haue kept the faith. His faithfull heart was carefull for the whole armie of God;2. Cor. 11. I haue care of all the Churches.

10 The common souldiers must keepe their stand and station in all obedience and readinesse;The rest common souldiers. stowtly they must fight vnder Christs victorious banner. They are not trifles for which they striue. Therefore let them not shrinke nor cowardly runne away, but with an inuincible courage in an assured hope of the victorie abide all warrelike miseries sustained with the comfort of that re­ward which no man shall receiue,2. Tim 2. except he striue lawfully. No man that laieth his hand to the plough and looketh backeward is woorthie of the kingdome of heauen.Matt. 10. But hee that endureth to the ende shall be saued.

11 Now we must striue for Christ and not for Antichrist:They which warre vnder Christ must striue for the truth and not against it. for the truth and not against it, I can doe nothing against the trueth but for the truth saith S. Paul; For the gospel, and not for the doctrine of man; for true religion, and not for superstition must wee striue. But our striuing for the most part is all awrie and wicked.2. Cor. 1. 3. Wee striue who may be the prowdest, pretending equalitie wee striue in deede for superioritie. Neither equall nor superior can wee a­bide; wee striue how to supplant and ouerthrowe one another. Enuie hath made men impudent striuing to vndermine and cast downe the wals of innocencie, striuing how to place and how to displace, how to disgrace and how to bring into fauour, howe to set vp and how to throwe downe. And in so dooing wee striue a­gainst our selues, and for the aduauntage of our deadly foes. This warre is not Christian: this is not to striue lawfully. 2. Tim. 4. This is not to fight a good fight. This victorie shall not be crowned.

12 Our principall and common enemies against whom wee [Page 143] must all iointly fight,The enemies against whom wee must striue; the di­uell, ye worlde, & the flesh▪ are the diuell, the world, and the flesh. The diuell is strong and subtile, a roaring Lion, and an olde Serpent, of long and great experience. So soone as we professe to be Christs souldiers,1. Pet. 5. as a malitious and fierce enemie hee inuadeth vs. My sonne if thou wilt come into the seruice of God, Apoc. 1 [...]. stand fast in righteousnesse, and feare: Eccles. 2. and arme thy soule to temptation. Christ himselfe was temp­ted immediatly after that he was baptized.Matth 4. His waies of assault are these. He perswadeth to euill, he either hindereth or infecteth that which is good, that no action which we doe may be pleasant in the sight of God. Hee tempteth and ouercommeth euen the perfectest,Gen. 3. as he did Adam;Iud. 16. the strongest, as he did Sampson; the wisest,2 R [...]g. 1 [...]. as he did Solomon. Hee therefore that standeth, let him take heede that he doe not fall. 1. Cor. 10. No perfection, no strength, no wisedome ought to free vs of this care. But we neede to praie continually, Leade vs not into temptation. And yet we beeing in the midst of the battle with such an enemie, still sleepe in securitie. But the diuell sleepeth not. And this malitious aduersarie hath spials in our ar­mie, he laboureth by corruption to make a mutinie amongst vs, that whilest we striue amongst our selues, he may more easily eate vs vp. He setteth the generals together by the eares. The cap­taines they enuie one another. The souldiers take parties and are diuided. The generals, captaines, souldiers and all contemne the watcheman and will not giue eare or regarde the sound of the trumpe.Mar. 3. The kingdome, the citie, the house thus diuided can it thinke you stand long? The diuell plaieth his part, and plieth it busilie; but we like cowards yeeld, and doe not resist; are at vari­ance amongst our selues and thereby at agreement with that ad­uersarie; whom, who so hateth his brother, serueth. Our second enemie is the world: the world which is altogether set on al wic­kednesse. The third our flesh:Gal. 5. our flesh which rebelleth, and lu­steth contrarie to the spirite. 1. Pet. 2. Fleshly lusts fight against the soule. And thus we haue enemies on euerie side, yea and that which is most dangerous of all within vs, which daily giue vs fore assaults. For loue of the victorie and shame of this cowardlinesse,Ephes. [...]. and feare of that dreadfull and eternall captiuitie, let vs put on our armour, the girdle of trueth, the brest plate of righteousnesse, the helmet of saluation, and the buckler of faith, a sure defence against all the fierie darts of Satan: and let vs take in our hand the sword of [Page 144] the spirite the woord of God, the dint whereof he dare not abide. Resist the diuell, Iac 4. and he will flee from you, Resist him in faith, in prayer, and in the word.Gal. 6. Be crucified vnto the world, euen as strangers which are not of the world.Heb. 13. For we haue here no abiding Citie. Chastise the bodie with watchings, with labour, with fastings. It is a great vi­ctorie to ouercome the diuell; a greater to ouercome the worlde; and the greatest of al to ouercome thy selfe, euen thine own flesh. To him that ouercommeth shal be giuen a crowne. But he that is ouercome shall be the continuall bondman of Satan our vile and cruell enemie. Let vs so striue that we may ouercome. He onely that striueth lawfully shall be crowned.2. Tim. 2.

2 13 This warre at length will haue an end, a change. Man is mutable:Our warfare shall haue a change. subiect to change, and desirous of change. No man is long contented with his owne estate be it neuer so excellent. The Angel would change, to be like vnto God. Adam would change, to be as wise as hee that made him.Change desi­red of al men. Absolon would change, and sit in his Fathers seate.2. Sam. 15. Salomon would haue chaunge of wiues.1. Reg. 11. The Israelites woulde chaunge Moses and Aaron both magistrate and minister.Num. 16. They would needes chaunge their Iudge for a King,1. Sam. 8. their Samuel for Saul. The Sichemites would change their religion.Gen. 34. The Israelites would change Man­na the foode of Angels for the flesh pots of Egypt.Exod. 16. The waue­ring Iewes changed Christ for Barrabas, their Sauiour for a mur­therer. We are like affected to them, in liking and louing change: change of meate, change of apparell, change of maners. Wee change simple dealing into craftie vndermining faithfulnesse in­to trecherie, truth into falshood; liberalitie into couetousnesse; humilitie into pride, chastitie into lewdenesse; mercie into ma­lice; light into darkenesse; day into night; all vertue into all vice. And that which is more monstrous, sheepe are chaunged into goates; sheepeheardes into wolues; and as Bernard saith, Pre­lates into Pilates; Nurces of the Church into robbers of the Church. The hearts and tongues of men are changed, and of sin­gle both made double. Our times breede men of the nature of the fish Polypus, which can chaunge it selfe into all colours to de­ceiue. And as he saith in the Comedie, There is a change of all things.

14 But while wee are thus occupied about these choppings and changings,The change which Iob looked for, we seeme neuer to remember that great change [Page 145] whereof Iob here speaketh: which hee daily looked and longed for. And that is the change of this mortall life, looking for that great and glorious resurrection. Death is here termed a change. This change is certaine: all fleshe must die. The time till this change doth come not long: the daies of man are short and mi­serable. The time when this change will come vncertaine.

15 We all must die.Vnto this chaunge all are subiect. God gaue a Lawe to our father Adam forbidding him to eate of the fruite, adding the penaltie of death if he did. Adam transgressed, the penaltie was inflicted. The sentence of death was this, Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt. In our fathers fall wee fell, and of his punishment his chil­dren are partakers.Hebr. 9. This is a statute made by the three states. It is appointed to all men once to die. Thou hast appointed man his bonds which he cannot passe.Iob. 13. This is the waie of all flesh: what man is he that liueth and shal not see death?1. Reg. 2. Neither king nor kesar could euer be dispensed withall from this statute.Psal. 89. The good king Eze­chias sought and sued vnto God for a dispensation,2. Reg. 20. but it would not be graunted; only he obteined the prolonging of his daies for a fewe yeres. This Lawe standeth fast, this debt is due vnto all flesh. And the time that wee haue before the daie of paiment is not long.

16 The daies of man are short:No man farre from y time of his change. the number of his moneths is knowen onely to the Lord. All creatures now waxe olde with the aged world. This is euen the last houre: the worlde cannot continue long.Gen. 5. Mathusela liued 969. yeres. If in our age wee reache to 80.Psal. 89. it is with sorowe and labour. Thou hast made my daies as it were a spanne long, Psal. 39. saith Dauid. All flesh is grasse, saieth the Prophet,Esay 40. and all the glorie thereof as the flower of the fielde: both the grasse and the flower quickely fade and fall away, and the flower sooner than the grasse.

17 The people are the grasse and wil abide the withering.The mighti­est soonest changed. The flower is the Nobilitie set aloft in great beautie: yet euerie frost causeth the flowre to fade, and euerie blast of winde ruffleth the leaues and euen shaketh them off. This all times doe teache: and the action we haue in hand doth presently put vs in mind therof. This mightie king, this great Prince CHARLES THE FRENCH KING whose funerall we now celebrate, in his young yeeres, in his flourishing age, in the perfect strength of his bodie, when he [Page 146] minded weightie matters and great attempts, euen then was hee stopped in the midst of his race, and the line of his life cut off. This glorious flower is faded and falne away. How soone? how sodainely? It falleth out in experience true which is written by Ecclesiasticus,Eccles. 10. The life of Potentates endureth not long. Some though fewe are consumed with the cares of the common wealth. The good king Dauid complaineth that his bones were euen dried vp with the cares he tooke for his countrie.Psal. 101. Some are wasted away by wantonnesse, as Commodus, Claudius, Nero, Alexander the great. Some are shortened by ambition; they wil neuer leaue climing till they catche a fall.2. Sim. 18. That cut off the daies of Absolon, that brought Haman to the tree.Hest. 7. Some God taketh away because the world is not worthie of them: and some because they are not worthie of it.2. Reg 23. He cut off Iofias; for his sou [...]e pleased God, therefore he made hast to take him away from the midst of iniquities. He cut off Achab,2. Reg. 22. Agag, and Herode: because they were bloudie and wilie men,Psal. 54. therefore they did not liue out halfe their daies.

18 So true it is,Wee are daily and hourely put in minde of our change by the vsuall accidents of common life. Man that is borne of a woman hath but a short time to liue: & it is euen as true that followeth in the same sentence, that his fewe daies are full of miserie. He commeth vp and is cut downe like a flower, he fleeth as it were a shadowe, and continueth not. Mans life is as vnlasting as a flower. Hee com­meth vp and is cut downe as a flower. He vanisheth away like a shadowe of a flower. And while he liueth he is full of miserie. He commeth into the world with sorowe and weeping: whilest hee liueth in the worlde hee is hated of the worlde, or else (which is woorse) of God; assaulted of Satan in continuall warre: subiect to the manifold diseases both of the bodie & of the soule, the one truely miserable but the other most intolerable. He neuer conti­nueth in one state. To day in his princely throne, to morowe in his dustie graue; to day placed in great authoritie, to morow cast out of countenance; to day in high fauour, to morow in high dis­pleasure; now rich, now poore; now in wealth, now in woe; now sound, now sicke; now ioiefull, now ful of sorowe; to day a man, to morowe nothing. O how short, how changeable, and howe miserable is the state of mortall man? which we neglect, but Ia­cob well considered, when he aunswered Pharao of his age, The daies of my peregrination are pauci & mali: Gen. 47. fewe and euill, Walke there­fore [Page 147] circumspectly, Ephes. 5. saith S. Paul, for the daies are euill. Wee are fallen into those euill daies and perillous times, of the which both Paul and Peter forewarned vs. These may bee rightly called dismall daies. The God of this world hath blinded the eyes of men. Let him therefore that standeth (I say it againe) take heede that hee fall not. Let vs expect our change, and pray the Lord to increase our faith, that wee may bee able to stand before him in that day, that dreadfull day of his iust iudgement.

19 As our daies here are short and euill:Our change certaine, the time vncer­taine. so is the time of our change either to better or woorse vncertaine. What is most cer­taine? Death. What most vncertaine? the time of death saieth Bernard. We are all tenants at will, vncertaine how long to re­maine in this our earthly tabernacle. Of this we are put in minde in the Lords praier. Giue vs this day our daily bread. We say this day as vncertaine of to morowe. It is written of one that beeing inuited to a dinner on the morowe by his friend, hee aunswered, These many daies I neuer had to morowe. Therefore saith S. Iames, let vs not appoint for to morowe but with conditions,Iac. [...]. If the Lorde will, and if we liue. The Egyptians considering the vncertaintie of mans daies were accustomed at their great feasts in the midst of their iollitie to haue one sodainely come foorth with an image of death, and shewing it to the gests to pronounce this speeche: Eate, drinke, be merie, within a while thou shalt be such as this. And the Israelites dwelt in tents, vncertaine of their abode euer readie to shift: whereby they represent vnto vs our peregrination in this mortalitie; wherein because we are vncertaine to stay long, wee ought at all times to be readie to depart so, that we may enter in­to that celestiall Canaan. This time of mans life and death God hath made vncertaine for two causes: the one that his minde might not be troubled; the other this present text giueth, and it is the last member of our diuision.

20 This ende or chaunge is daily to bee looked for. Seeing 3 that death is certaine,The change of this life cō ­tinually to be looked for: the first change by death. our daies short, and the time of our disso­lution vnknowen: wisedome would haue vs to put our selues in readinesse looking for our change the end of this bad life, that it may be to vs the beginning of a better. It is good counsell which S. Augustine giueth, Death looketh for thee eueriewhere; if thou bee wise looke thou eueriewhere for him. The remembraunce of this our [Page 148] end would bridle sinne well in vs.Eccles. 7. Remember thy ende and thou shalt neuer doe amisse. Mar. 13. Christ saith, Watch, for you knowe not at what houre he will come.Luc. 12. He commeth sodainely as a theefe in the night. The Lorde will come when thou lookest not for him, and in an houre that thou knowest not.Matth. 25. Let vs watche therefore with the wise virgins, hauing our lampes continually burning, waiting for the comming of the bridegroome, that wee may enter with him in­to his ioie.

21 And as mans life is short,The second by the second comming of Christ. so is the comming of Christ at hand. Waite, for it will surely come, and will not stay. The time is short. This we knowe, though it be not in vs to knowe the defi­nite point of time:Abac. 2. which to the Angels of heauen is vnreuealed. But Christ hath set downe certaine tokens of the ende which all are fulfilled,1. Cor 7. and amongst others he saith, Iniquitte shall abound; cha­ritie shall waxe colde; [...]. Iohn 2. the Gospell shall be preached in all the world, and then shall come the end. Matth. 24. Neuer more iniquitie, neuer lesse charitie; the Gospel neuer so liberally taught: behold the ende. Peter saieth, The end of all things is at hand. 1. Pet 4. If then at hande, howe much neerer now? If those were the latter times, surely these are the last times, the verie ende of the ende. Heare the counsell of a wise man. Make no tarying to turne vnto the Lord, Eccles. 5. and put not off from day to day, for sodainely shall the wrath of the Lord breake foorth, and in thy securitie thou shalt be destroied, and thou shalt perish in the time of vengeaunce.

22 By procrastination,The first dan­ger of not ex­pecting con­tinually our change. driuing off, & forslowing our turning to the Lord and looking for our change, three great dangers doe ensue. First if we slumber and sleepe in securitie, if we accustome our selues with sinning, not looking for our chaunge neither re­membring the fearefull comming of our Lord; our custome will waxe to be our nature, and hard will it be for vs to rise from sinne in which we haue beene so long and so deepely buried. After that Lazarus had laine foure daies in the graue,Iohn 12. Christ vsed many cir­cumstances for the raising of him againe, who raised others with a woord.

23 Secondly it is daungerous in respect of the sodaine taking away which happeneth to many,The second [...]. in so much that they haue not time sufficiently to think vpon God, or once to crie Lord help. The first age in all their iollitie not thinking on death were sodainely drowned; [...] 7. The Sodomites sodainely by fire consumed; Pharao [Page 149] with his armie swallowed vp in the sea;Gen. 19. The Israelites gnawne of deadly serpents;Exod. 14. Dathan with his complices eatē vp of the earth; Herode sodainely deuoured with lice;Num. 21. The riche man after all his prouision sodainely smitten with death;Num. 16. Lying Ananias sodainely fel downe dead,Acts 12▪ Eglon the Moabite,Luc. 12. Abner the captaine sodaine­ly murthered by the swoord of Aod and Ioab.Acts 5. All histories, all ages are full of like examples.Iud. 3.

24 The third danger is,The third. that in driuing off to the lest day we shall finde hard time then to turne vnto our God. Sickenesse wil sore disquiet vs; Satan wil extremely tempt vs; Our friends with talking and crauing will molest vs; the terror of our ouglie con­science will astonish vs; so that hard it will be for vs then to bee rightly mindful of our end, & so in this extremitie to turn to God that hee in our extreme case may turne his mercie towardes vs. And as S. Augustine saith, The remedies come too late when perill of death is neere. Remember that which hee also saith elsewhere, Hee that hath liued well cannot die ill: Aug de doct. Christ. and hee can hardlie die well that hath li­ued ill. Hee saith hardly; not vnpossibly, but questionlesseverie hardly.

25 Put thine houshold in an order, Motiues to wishing and looking for our change. for thou shalt die and not liue, saith Esay to Ezechias. Giue thy goods whilest they be thine, for af­ter death thou hast no interest in them. Stand with your loines girded, and your shoes on your feete, 2 Reg. 20. and your staffe in your hande, that you may bee readie. Exod. 12. Wee haue slept too long in sinne to our great danger. Let vs now awake to our speedie deliueraunce. It is sufficient for vs that we haue spent the time that is past of our life after the will of the Gentiles.1. Pet 4. Let vs now imitate that woorthie souldier who af­ter long warring vnder Adrian the Emperor, returned home and liued as Christs souldier a most godlie life, and after 7 [...] yeeres di­ed, and caused to be written on his tombe, Here lyeth Similis a man, that was many yeres, and liued but seuen. Let vs these fewe yeres that we haue liue them to God. For that onely is woorthie to be cal­led a life which bringeth vs from a transitorie life to an eternall, from a miserable to a most blessed and glorious. Let the trumpe euer sound in our eares, Rise you dead come vnto iudgement. Let vs daily remember that we must die; and so shall we contemne these things present, and make hast to things to come. Truly if we shal rightly consider the vanitie of the worlde, the miserable estate of [Page 150] man,Heb. 13. that we are here but pilgrims and haue no permanent citie, that whilest we liue in this rotten tabernacle wee are meere straungers and men from home,2. Cor. 5. that wee daily slide yea and fall into sinne, that our righteous God hateth it, and that the stipend therof is e­ternall death; and withall propose before our eyes the celestiall kingdome, the crowne of glorie, the eternall felicites which the Lord hath prepared in heauen for such as loue his comming,2. Tim. 4. we wil not onely watchefully looke for but most greedily desire the same; In our heart wee wil daily crie with S. Iohn, Come quickely Lord Iesu; Apoc. 22. wee wil bee like affected to S. Paul desiring to depart hence and to be with Christ; we wil sigh and mourne as hee did, O wretched man that I am, Rom. 7. who shall deliuer me frō the bodie of this death? We wil with Iob euen be wearie of our liues, and crie with Elias, It is ynough O Lord, 1. Reg. 19. take my soule; it wil be with vs as it was with al the blessed Patriarches, and Prophets, and Apostles, and holie men, now glorious Saints in heauen, who continually beeing heere, thirsted after God, and now most blessedly haue enioied him; we will vtterly contemne this earthly trash, worldely vanities, and transitorie things, and desire and seeke those things which are a­boue where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; Col. 3. we will whilest wee haue our beeing heere which is but a while humble our selues to walke with our God; and although wee tread this earth, yet our conuersation wil be in heauen,Ph [...]l. 3. from whence also we looke for the Saui­our the Lord Iesus Christ, who will change our vile bodie that it may bee fa­shioned like to his glorious bodie according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things vnto himselfe.

26 Thus wee see that funerals are Christian,A repetition of that which h [...]h beene spoken. auncient, and commendable; that the causes are sundry good & godly, yet nei­ther our preaching nor praier neither any other ceremonie nor circumstance can profite the dead, but are helping comforts to such as liue, that onely in this life mercie remaineth for man and after this life onely iudgement. As we now sowe so we shall then reape. Here we are Christs souldiers to fight a good fight, so wee may hope for the crowne of glorie. Which thing Iob doeth wel declare vnto vs, First telling vs that wee are in continuall warre; wherein both the generals, the captaines, the trumpetors and common souldiers, that is the prince, the nobilitie, the ministers and the people must take to them a good courage, be faithful, du­tiful [Page 151] and manfull in fighting the battle of the Lorde, euerie man keepe his standing and answere his office. But we must all striue for Gods truth and not struggle against it, not ambitiously con­tending for superioritie, or malitiously howe to vndermine and wrong one another. This is no lawfull combat, no Christian warre; this is not to fight a good fight. But wee must wage warre against our common and our deadly enemies, the diuell, the world and the flesh. The diuel is a roaring lyon, a subtile serpent, who hath ouercome the perfectest, the strongest, the wisest. The world is all wrapped in wickednesse. The flesh wrestleth against the spirite. We must put on the armour of God, resist the diuell and he will flie from vs, crucifie the world, chasten our flesh and bring it into subiection vnto the more noble part, our spirit. At length this our warrefare will come to an ende, wee may looke for a change. All the world is mutable, and of all thinges in the world man most mutable. We would change our condition, our magistrates, our ministers, our religion, all things. But the change that Iob speaketh of we least remember, wee litle thinke vpon the change of this mortall life. Wee may assure our selues that we all shall die. It is an act of Parliament that shall neuer be repealed, it is the way of all flesh. The daies of man are short and wretched: short, a spanne long: wretched, full of miseries. All flesh is as grasse and as a flowre; both do fade, but the flowre soo­ner. Cares, wantonnesse, ambition, yea God in sundrie respects cutteth off both the good and the bad, good flowers & bad flow­ers but all as flowers. The time of our change is vncertaine, and often sodaine; that our minde be not troubled, that we alwaies be in readinesse. Iobs example admonisheth vs of this, I looke still when my changing shall come. Let vs after his example daily looke for our change. Let vs expect the comming of Christ. Hee com­meth in post, the forewarnings are fulfilled; Iniquitie aboundeth, Christian charitie is frosen, the Gospell is preached: Then is the ende. Let vs not slumber in securitie or driue off to returne vnto our God. For it is hard for the buried in sinne to rise. Man often is sodainely smitten, that he hath no time to repent. In his last daie he is disquieted by sickenesse, by Satan, yea by his friendes, yea by his owne conscience. Let vs liue in reuerent expectation of the Lord with our loines girt, and with our lampes light, and [Page 152] let the trumpet of iudgement euer sound in our eares: it will wel stirre vp our hearts. Let vs liue these fewe daies that remaine vn­to the Lord, whom we ought to haue serued all our daies. And lastly recounting the vanitie of the worlde, the miserable state of this life, and the inestimable blessednesse of the life to come, let vs with Iohn, Paul, Elias, the blessed seruants and Saints of God looke for the appearance of the comming of Christ Iesus: who will place vs vpon the right hand of his father, and giue vs posses­sion of our inheritance, that we may haue the perfect fruition of all the treasures prepared for vs by our God in heauen. To him euen the Father, the Sonne, and the holie Ghost, three persons and one God of eternall maiestie be all honour, &c.

The tenth Sermon. A Sermon preached at his first comming to Yorke.

Lvc. 1.

74 That being deliuered out of the hands of our enemies we may serue him without feare,

75 In holinesse and righteousnesse before him all the daies of our life.

THE greater and better part of holie Scripture either setteth foorth Gods goodnesse towards vs,As we haue redemption at the hands of God, so he at ours should haue the duty of continuall holinesse and righteousnes of life. or our duetie towards him. In these fewe but most pithie woords of Zacharie both are comprehended. The great benefite we receiue from God is our redemp­tion in Christ. The dutie which wee owe to him againe, is in holinesse and righteousnesse of life continually to serue him. He toucheth our redemption in one word, but in many words explicateth the du­tie which we owe for it vnto our redeemer: giuing vs hereby se­cretly to vnderstand, that men are easilie taught to knowe; but hardly brought to doe their masters wil. We are rich in al speech [Page 153] and vnderstanding,1. Cor. 1. but in deedes ful poore and barren. We know much but litle doe we, although amongst other things knowne this be one;Luc. 11. that, He which knoweth his masters will and doth it not shall be beaten with many stripes: Matth. 23. and this another; that, Not euerie one that saith Lord Lord, but he which doth the will of the father shall enter into the kingdome of heauen. Wee are for all this such as those Pharisees were whom Christ reprooueth because they saide and did not.Matth. 7. Euen such we are become, as Iude doth describe: Wels without wa­ter, Clowdes without raine, Ep. Iud. Trees without fruite, dead; though not as yet pulled vp by the rootes. Wee are hearers of the woord, and yet skantly that: but workers of the woord we are not. God graunt that the woord wherein wee nowe glorie bee not one day to our shame: that the Gospel of saluation beare not witnesse against vs and condemne vs: that the words which Christ hath spoken vn­to vs heape not iudgement vpon our heads: that this be not our condemnation also,Iohn 3. that light beeing come into the worlde wee loue darkenesse more than light. Surely if wee continue to professe in woords,Heb. 6. and denie in deedes; to crucifie to our selues our Saui­our Christ afresh; to feede vpon our vomit, and to welter in the lothsome myre of our filthie sinne:2. Pet. 2. wee shall make our selues vn­woorthie of the kingdome of God,Acts 13. wee cannot claime the bene­fite of Christs merits, neither bee partakers of that glorious re­demption which Zacharie heere remembreth vnto vs: but the bloud of Christ shall be vpon our heads, and wee shall perish in our sinne as being guiltie of our owne damnation.Osee. 13. Thy destruction O Israel is of thy selfe.

2 Wherefore to auoide Gods perpetual indignation and our perpetuall confusion,Our redemp­tion; the ende thereof, to serue him; the maner of ser­uice, in ho­linesse, &c. let vs followe the counsel of Zacharie; who instructed by the spirit of wisedome teacheth vs: First, that wee are redeemed; secondly, that the ende of our redemption is that we may serue him that hath redeemed vs; thirdly, after what sort we should serue him. Where he saith that wee are deliuered out of the hands of our enemies, it argueth that we once were in their hands. We are freed; therefore we were bond. And in this point we haue to consider: First our bondage: then the meane of our deliuerance: and lastly the cause, by which we were deliuered.

3 Adam through his rebellion lost his freedome and became 1 a bondman: and all we through him and in him are bond:All men by nature bond­men. concei­ued [Page 154] and borne in sinne; Psal. 51. the children of wrath; bond vnto Satan, and seruaunts vnto wickednesse,Rom. 6. the deserued reward whereof is death, euen double death, this our present mortalitie, and euerlasting damnation.Rom. 5. As by one man sinne entred into the world, and by sinne death: so death went ouer all men, in asmuch as all men sinned. With Adam we lost Gods first fauour and protection; with him the gratious i­mage of God was blotted out in vs also; with him we were expel­led out of paradise, cast vpon the face of the cursed earth, throw­en into the hands of our cruell enemie whose liuerie wee did put on, and vnder whose miserable thraldome wee liued. In this fall from God we lost our immortalitie, we lost our freewill, wee lost our wisedome, our vertue, our light, our glorie, our ioie, our hea­uen, our God. Our peruerse heart became prone to all euill and full of all sinnefulnesse, we became vnwise in our iudgement, dis­obedient to our God, deceiued and deceiuing, seruing lusts and deadly pleasures, liuing in malitiousnesse and enuie, hatefull and hating one another.Ephes 2. We were without hope, and without God in this present world; all blinded in ignorance, and wrapped in all sinne. For as we changed our master, so changed we our mindes and maners also, and for Christ we serued Antichrist; we threwe away the loue of Gods eternall truth, and according to the igno­rance of our blinded hearts hungerly fed vpon all poisoned error, and plunged our selues into all wickednesse. This was our most miserable estate, thus we were & thus we are by nature. This was the pitifull condition of all humane flesh.

4 Let vs now see the meane of this our deliuerance from this deadly captiuitie.By Christ we are redeemed out of bon­dage. Wee are ransomed out of the handes of our enemies, pulled out of the iawes of Satan, freed from the serui­tude of Antichrist, of ignorance, and of sinne onely by the me­diation of our redeemer Iesus Christ. He is the Lyon of the tribe of Iuda, which alone hath trodden the winepresse, alone hath fought the battell, in fighting atchieued the victorie, and by van­quishing brought our enemie Satan vnder our feete for euer. On the crosse with his bloud hee blotted out the handewriting that was against vs;Col. 2. he spoiled our foes of their prai [...];Ephes. 4. hee tooke euen captiuitie it selfe captiue, in a word he wrought our ful and com­plete deliuerance. The price of our redemption was not gold but bloud; the pretious bloud of our blessed Sauiour. The bloud of [Page 155] Iesus Christ doth deliuer vs from all sinne. And as he died to re­deeme vs so rose he againe to iustifie vs. In rising againe hee tri­umphed ouer death now conquered; he burst the gates & cheines of hell, and set our feete in a place of great libertie, hee cloathed vs with his righteousnesse, reconciled vs to his father, of enemies made vs friends, of no people the people of God, of straungers citizens with Angels and inhabitants of heauen, free denisons with the children of God, and heires of his euerlasting kingdome. This deliuerance out of bondage, this redemptiō, this kingdome of God & euerlasting inheritance our Christ hath purchased, & God hath granted to all such as thankfully will receiue him. As many as receiued him, Iohn 1. to them he gaue power to bee made the sonnes of God: and to receiue him is to beleeue in him: for so it followeth, To them which beleeue in his name. Faith therefore is the meane to make vs partakers of that great redemption in Christ Iesus. Heereunto all the Prophets beare witnesse, Acts 10. that whosoeuer shall beleeue in him, by his name he shall receiue remission of sinnes, and withall eternall life.

5 And as Christ hath deliuered all his out of the captiuitie of Satan and sinne,Vs he hath deliuered af­ter a more pe­culiar & speci­all maner so hath he also vs after a more speciall and pecu­liar maner out of that denne of theeues, out of that prison of Ro­mish seruitude, out of the bloudie clawes of that cruel and proud Antichrist. Our God hath vsed our Moses to deliuer vs from E­gyptiacal seruitude, that we may serue him henceforward in free­dome of conscience, he hath led vs out of a maruellous darknesse into a maruellous light, hee hath giuen vs (for his gift it is) an vnderstanding heart to knowe God the father and him whom he hath sent Iesus Christ, vnto whom by this starre his shining Gos­pell he hath conducted vs. This trueth of God hath discouered yea and discomfited also grosse error. For the want of this light was the cause of all our blindenesse, which is the mother of all su­perstition which is the enemie to all religion. That now we haue eyes to see and heartes to vnderstande there is no other cause be­sides the mercie of our redeemer.

6 For of the cause of our gratious deliuerance thus Zacharie recordeth.The cause of our deliue­rance is the mercie of hi [...] who hath de­liuered vs. It was, saith he, that he might shewe mercie towards our fa­thers. God made a couenaunt with our father Abraham▪ confir­med it with an othe, not that it might be surer, but that we might be more assured of it: the couenaunt was that hee would shewe [Page 156] mercie and in mercie worke our deliueraunce. To performe this couenant of grace and mercie made vnto our fathers, and com­prehending also vs, he gaue vp his only begotten sonne in the ful­nesse of time to death. There was no other motiue why he should worke our deliuerance but onely this; his mercie. God therefore which is rich in mercie, for the great loue wherewith hee loued vs euen when we were dead by sinne reuiued vs with Christ. The cause of our redemption was his good will onely.Ephes. 2. For, By grace we are deliuered. He did it according to the good pleasure of his owne will, according to the riches of his grace. So that all the steps to this our redemption are built vpon mercie only. God in mercie made couenant of our deliuerance, in mercie confirmed it with an othe, in mercie through the merits of Christ perfor­med his promise to vs, so that our whole redemption is free, not due; of mercie, and not of merits; Not by workes which we haue wrought, Tit. 3. but according to his great mercie he hath saued vs. Man ne­uer brought one stone to this building; man neuer laide one finger to this woorke; it is the onely building and woorke of GOD who in tender compassion hath both begun and fini­shed it. Wee may well wonder that God with so mercifull eies looked vpon so miserable and so sinfull creatures, that the sonne of God would die for the redemption of his enemies. This doth in deede commend his loue, seeing that all which he hath doone is of meere mercie in himselfe, without any shadowe of merite in vs.

2 7 Nowe that Christ hath deliuered vs from Satan, and that with so deare a prise, let vs fall no more into the clawes of that roaring Lyon,We were re­deemed to the end we might serue him. least he vtterly deuoure vs. Hee is cast out of our house; let him enter in no more, least hee bring seuen with him woorse than himselfe, and then our euill ende bee farre woorse than our bad beginning. Now that Christ hath cleansed vs from our sinne, let vs not swinelike returne to wallowe in that slime a­gaine. Thou art made whole, saith Christ, I haue washed away thy sinne with my bloud:Iohn 4. Goe and sinne no more, least a woorse thing hap­pen vnto thee. Nowe that Christ in a mightie arme hath freed vs from Pharao, from the house of bondage; let vs returne no more to the flesh pots of Egypt, let vs not lust after quailes: for if wee feede vpon them, we shall surfet of them to our destruction. Let [Page 157] vs serue no more him that serueth Satan; that vndoubted man of sinne. And lastly nowe that Christ hath opened our blinded eies, and hath powred vnderstanding into our hearts: nowe that hee hath giuen vs a lanterne to guide our feete, let vs tumble no more in darkenesse, but as the children of light walke in the light ho­nestly as becommeth men in so cleare noone day. For the ende of our redemption is that wee may serue him without feare, that hath so dearely redeemed vs.

8 First we must serue.Man borne vnto labour and seruice. Secondly we must serue no other but him. Thirdly him we must serue without feare. We were crea­ted, man is borne vnto seruice and labour, as birdes vnto flight. We were not redeemed and bought with a price to bee idle and doe nothing, but to glorifie him in bodie and spirite that hath bought vs.Matth. 8. We are not called to stand or sit still, but to walke e­uerie one in that vocation wherewith he is called.I [...]hn 12. The scriptures are full of such speeches as these,2. Tim. 2. Goe, walke, worke, sweate, why stand yee idle? Gen. 3. To teache vs that seruice is required at our handes.Matth. 20.

9 God deliuered vs to the end that being deliuered we might now serue him as heretofore we serued Satan.We must serue him and no other. We are not nowe our own men to serue whō or how we lift,Matth. 6. but we are his to serue him as he prescribeth. No man can serue two masters: wee haue yeelded and promised our seruice to him, therefore besides him we may serue no other.

10 We may not serue Mammon;Not Mammō, as couetous men and vsu­rers doe. for that is made to serue vs. The couetous man which serueth his monie is iustly called of Paul an Idolater. For he is our God not whom we professe, but in whom we repose our trust,Ephes. 5. and whom we serue and obey. When the Lord commaundeth one thing and his monie perswades an other: will not his obedience declare whom he maketh his God? God saith,Luc. 6. Lend freely and looke for no gaine. But wil the vsurer whose monie is his God, remit his interest because of this, because the Lord hath so charged him? No he will not so let goe his tenne or twentie or thirtie in the hundred. To him the glorie of God yea and his owne soule is vile, nothing is pretious but onely money. What the Prophet speaketh of putting foorth monie to vsurie he full litle regardeth, but feedeth still vpon his mast, and blesseth himselfe when hee waxeth fat, not perceiuing that God hath al­readie plagued him with a plague of all plagues the obduration [Page 158] of his heart. And although that God hath giuen him ouer into a dull and senselesse minde, his eares beeing so dammed vp that nothing can haue entraunce to mooue or touche his hard heart: yet he still blesseth himselfe and his accursed soule. Thou vsurer thou idolater that doest glorie in thy shame, in thy euill gotten golde: doest thou not knowe that thy wealth shall melt like snow before the sunne? thinkest thou still to holde it? O foole this night shall they t [...]ke away thy soule, Luc. 12. perhaps this instant,Luc. 8. and then whose is all this? After that Zacheus fell to the seruice of Christ, and that Christ entred into his house, hee presently forsooke the ser­uice of Mammon, made a large restitution of that which he had gained by such vnlawfull meanes, and then began to bee liberall, not onely to lend freely but to giue for nothing: he gaue the one halfe of all his goods to the poore. If God would at this day work thus in the heart of one Zacheus, a rich vsurer: how many poore might be relieued by such a restitution? He might mainteine ma­ny a needie man and saue his owne soule. Well this one thing we knowe. This woord that proceedeth out of Gods mouth a­gainst vsurie shall not returne in vaine: Esay 55. if it cannot worke reformati­on; it wil worke confusion.

11 As these serue their monie so there are some Domino non seruientes sed suo ventri, Not the belly as time ser­uers. seruaunts to the bellie and not to the Lord. He serueth the bellie who frameth himselfe to be of any religion so that in this world he may liue by it: when poperie hath the vp­per hand, then a papist; when the Gospell is in due estimation, a protestant; all things to all men that somewhat may be gained or saued to himselfe. Hee maketh no difference betweene the Masse and the Communion, Christ and Beliall; but for his bellie sake wil halt on both sides, serue all times and turnes. Such a one was Le­ontius Bishop of Antioch,Theod. lib. 2. cap. 24. who being in heart an Arrian, coue­red his religion and ioined with the counsell of Nice in outward profession of the trueth. So his soule was led by the diuel, and his bodie by the world.

12 Some and those many are seruauntes of men,Not men as the popish faction, &c. as those which in matters of religion wholly hang their soules vpon hu­mane authorities and iudgements. So did the Corinthians; I hold of Paul,1. Cor. 1. I of Cephas, and I of Apollos. So doe al the Popes fauorites. And so doe those that choose to themselues newe ma­sters, [Page 159] newe teachers,2. Tim 4. according to their itching and wandering [...]ares, esteeming such and despising others. So doe they which praise and flatter men in their follie, thereby to winne themselues estimation with them which haue mens persons in admiration for gaines sake. Finally so doe they which repose their trust in the merits of men, that seeke iustification or remission of sinnes ey­ther by their owne woorkes or by the desertes of others. For to knowe that hee is our redemption, sanctification, and iu­stice, is no small part of Gods seruice: to giue this to any other is to take it from him: which who so doeth is not woorthie to bee named his seruaunt. He that serueth him must serue him alone.

13 Not him and the worlde:Not ye world, sinne and Satan. For the worlde is wholly set on vanitie and mischiefe, it hate [...]h him and therefore wee must hate it.Rom. 6. If ye be his seruaunts let not sinne beare rule in your bodies or haue dominion ouer you. We must die vnto sinne, that we may liue vnto God through Iesus Christ our Lord. He that doth sinne is the seruaunt of the diuell: the diuel is but a bad master to serue: he is a lier, a theefe and a murtherer. And hee entertaineth no seruants but such as be like himselfe, whose wages are fire, cheines, brimstone, darkenesse, wailing, howling and gnashing of teeth, in a word euerlasting death and damnation. Wee are nor ranso­med out of the hands of our enemies to serue these masters, mam­mon, the bellie, men, sinne, the world, or the diuell. But wee are redeemed to serue him onely, to serue our Christ, our redeemer that hath full deerely bought vs. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, Deut. 6. and him onely shalt thou serue.

14 Him we must serue without feare. In the Psalme it is saide,We must serue with feare, chi [...] ­like not slauish. Serue the Lord with feare, and reioice vnto him with reuerence. And here wee are taught to serue him without feare. As there is but one God, so the scripture is alwaies one. There is a feare which chil­dren haue towards their parents,P [...]al. 2. and a feare of seruants towards their masters. God will be feared of vs as children, but not as ser­uaunts, or if as seruaunts, not as slaues. The beleeuing Christi­an, the regenerate childe of God, who through faith in Christ is certaine of his deliuerance from the diuell and from hell, assured of remission of sinnes and of life euerlasting in the death and re­surrection of Iesus Christ our Sauiour, he serueth in the reuerent feare of loue, and not in that dreadfull feare of death and euerla­sting [Page 160] damnation wherewith the reprobate minde is daunted. He feareth not death, for hee is sure of life; hee feareth not damna­tion, for he is assured of saluation; he beleeueth that which Christ hath promised, and doubteth nothing of the obteining of that which Christ hath procured for him. He is surely perswaded with S. Paul,Rom. 8. that neither death, nor life, nor tribulation, nor afflicti­on, nor any thing present or to come shall separate him from the loue of God which is in Christ Iesus.1. Cor. 15. Hee feareth therefore nei­ther the sting of death, nor the power of Satan. But this certain­tie of Gods loue towards him in Christ and the testimonie of his loue towards God againe casteth out all feare of eternall punish­ment.Rom. 8. For ye haue not saith the Apostle, receiued againe the spi­rite of bondage vnto feare, but ye haue receiued the spirit of ad­option by which wee crie Abba father. This spirit testifieth with our spirit that God is our gratious father, and if he our father, wee his children; and if his children, heires of his glorious kingdome. The preaching of the Lawe letteth vs see our sinne, but no remedie against the sting therof, so that it maketh vs feare and with trembling looke for the reward of sinne which is euerla­sting death. But the spirite of adoption by the preaching of the Gospel telleth vs that in Christ we haue remission of sinnes, we are reconciled vnto God and adopted by him, we are his chosen children and may boldly and ioyfully call him father. And this certainetie of our saluation the spirit of God testifieth to our spi­rit, whereby we put away all seruile feare of punishment beeing assured of Gods constant fauour and eternall loue towardes vs: who neuer leaueth vnfinished that which he hath begun, nor for­saketh him whom he hath chosen.

15 Therefore daungerous and desperate is that doctrine of the Papists which doth teache vs euer to be doubtfull and in sus­pence of our saluation.Poperie tea­cheth in stead of feare, di­strust. A lamentable, discomfortable, and mi­serable estate. Here it is in one woord confounded. For Zacha­rie saith we are redeemed to serue him without feare or doubtful­nesse. For where doubt is there is feare, and what greater feare than of a thing so fearefull? Hee that will serue God must serue him in a quiet and ioiefull conscience with a sure and vndoubted confidence of mercie and saluation in Christ the Lord of mercy. With thee is mercie, Psal▪ 131. saith the Prophet, that thou maist be feared. As if [Page 161] hee should say, Thou art full of clemencie and compassion, and therfore we serue thee with a reuerent and without a seruile feare, being perswaded of thy great mercie.

16 Feare is euer of the inferior to the superior.Inferiors must feare superiors. It is not re­quired in the prince to feare the subiect; the master the seruaunt, the father the childe, or the husband the wife, but contrarie in all. God feareth not man his creature, man ought to feare God who hath created him: to feare him as a louing father and not as men doe feare a fierce tyrant.

17 The true feare which is required of vs is euer ioined with loue.Our feare must be ioi­ned with loue. The good childe feareth to offende his father for that loue and reuerence he beareth to him, and not in respect or for feare of punishment. The honest and well natured wife that truely lo­ueth her husband, for the same cause feareth and taketh great heede least in any thing she should offend him. Euen with such feare ought we to serue our God, who is our father; our Christ, who is our spouse.Psal. 2. Of this godlie feare the Prophet Dauid saith, Serue the Lord in feare. And againe, Feare the Lorde all yee his Saints. Psal. 34. Of this Christ speaketh,Matth. 10. Feare him which can destroie both bodie and soule. This feare great goodnesse and happinesse doe accompany. It is the beginning of true wisedome. For all wisedome without the feare of God is but earthly, fleshly and diuelish. They that haue it shall be satisfied with all good things:Psal. 34. There is no want to them that feare him. It causeth men to decline from euill; it ba­nisheth sinne, woorketh repentance in mans heart; and happie are all they that feare the Lorde, as they cursed which feare him not. If the Angell had feared the Lord, he had still kept his place and glorious estate, and not beene made of an Angell a diuel, cast out of heauen into hell.Gen. 3. If Adam had loued and feared God, hee had not beene banished out of paradise, and throwne vpon the face of this cursed earth.Gen 7. If the feare of God had not of old wan­ted,Gen. 19. the whole world had not beene drowned. If the citie of So­doma had feared God, they might haue remained in prosperitie vntill this day.Gen. 4. If Cain had feared God, he had not so trecherous­ly murthered his brother.Gen. 9. If Cham, he had not so shamefully dis­couered his father. If Laban,Gen. 29. he had not so deceitfully dealt with Iacob.Num. 11. If Pharao, he would haue let Israel depart when GOD commaunded. If Israell had loued and truely feared God, they [Page 162] would not haue loathed Manna, despised magistrates, followed fleshly lusts, murthered the Prophets, crucified Christ and per­secuted his Apostles. If the Corinthians had feared God, they would not haue beene so contentious,1. Cor. 11. so proude, so adulterous, neither would they so vncharitably haue iudged their brethren in things indifferent: they would not haue condemned mariage the institutiō of God, neither in such sort prophaned the holy Sacra­mēts of Christ. The feare of God wold haue brought forth better fruit in all these, and the want therof brought forth this bad fruit.

18 If the feare of God dwelt in our hearts,The prea­ching of the Gospell with so litle fruite is a token that the true feare of God is wanting. the Gospel so tru­ly and plentifully preached among vs would no doubt bring forth far more fruite, after so many monitions, perswasions, and entreaties we would leade a better life. When there are amongst vs many that breede contention and make diuision, that lend out their monie vpon vsurie, that pollute their neighbours bed with adulterie, that shut vp the bowels of mercie and compassion, and suffer Christ to begge, crie and starue in the streetes, that neither regard the heauenly message of their saluation nor esteeme the messenger by whom it is brought, that shewe no reuerence to the woord of God, but manifestly hate, loath and despise it, is it not too cleare and manifest that we feare not the Lord?

19 If the feare of God were in vs would wee deale with the seruaunts of God as wee nowe doe?The cruel en­tr [...]ating of Gods mes­sengers. The dealing of Hanun the sonne of Nahash towards Dauids seruaunts was not more villa­nous than the dealings of the world are with the honorable Em­bassadors of the most high God at this day.2. Sam. 10. Dauid sent his ser­uauntes to the king of the children of Ammon to comfort him straight vpon the death of his father. The malitious Ammonites misconstruing their intent, whispered in the eare of their Lord: Thinkest thou that Dauid doth honour thy father▪ or that he hath sent com­forters vnto thee? Are they not rather sent as spies to searche the citie and so to ouerthrowe it? He had no sooner heard the name of a spie, but hands were laide vpon Dauids seruants, they were sent away with their beards halfe shauen and their coates cut off in the vnseeme­liest place, to his owne euerlasting ignominie and shame which so despitefully vsed men sent vnto him of meere loue and heartie meaning. For the good king had no other drift or purpose in his heart but this: I will shewe kindenesse to Hanun as his father shewed kind­nesse [Page 163] vnto me. The true Dauid, the most mightie Prince, the king of all kings hath in fauour, mercie and reconciled loue sent his embassadors his ministers vnto you; to comfort you in your griefes, and to bring you ioiefull tidings of a kingdome which it hath pleased his father to bestowe vpon you. These messengers ought of right to be honourably receiued. Entreate such with honour saith the Apostle.Phil. 2. Nay, such messengers are woorthie of double honour. 1. Tim. 1. But behold they are taken as if they were spies, they are accounted as the offscourings refuse & baggage of the world;1. Cor. 4. not as the embassadors of the great king, but as contemptible pe­sants and base outcasts of men. Away they are sent loaden with spitefull words, with slanderous reproches, iniurious dealings, all kindes of contumelie and disgrace. But note of whome: of the Ammonites which feare not God, of the prophanely minded Atheist, of the carnal gospeller, of the zealous hypocrite, of such in whom the feare of God or the care of their soules remaineth not; of such as also spoile the patrimonie of Christ, such as would not sticke I thinke to sell Christ himselfe if they might for monie as Iudas did, and to cast lots for his coate with Pilates souldiers. This robberie and spoile, this despitefulnesse and ignominie done vnto Dauids messengers he tooke in such sort as doone vnto him selfe. For the wrong or ignominie done to the messenger is done to the master who sent him, and on whose businesse hee goeth. Dauid would not put it vp so but reuenged it. Hee comforted his faithfull messengers, sent them newe apparell, and caused them to remaine at an appointed place Iericho vntill their beardes were growne againe, for it was ignominious to the Iewes to be beardlesse. Afterward he addresseth forth an armie of strong soul­diers, who set vpon the Ammonites, put them to flight & made great mortalitie. And doeth not Christ our king esteeme the ig­nominie doone to his messengers as if it were doone to himselfe? Hath he not saide, He that despiseth you despiseth me? No doubt hee shall comfort his afflicted and despised messengers. As they suf­fer for him,2. Thess. 1. so shall they raigne and shine in glorie: It is a righteous thing with him to render vnto them that are despised rest, but vnto despisers tribulation and vengeance in the day when he shal shew himselfe from heauen with armies of Angels in flaming fire to the confusion of his enemies. And if in this world also hee take [Page 164] from such vnthankefull Ammonites the Gospell, religion, all knowledge and learning, if for the light he giue them darknesse, for truth lies, for knowledge blindenes, for learning barbarisme, for Christ Beliall; they haue the iust rewarde which is due vnto them that truely feare not the Lord. Wee must serue, wee must serue him, we must serue him without seruile feare.

3 20 But after what sort? In holinesse and righteousnesse before him all the daies of our life. It belongeth to God to prescribe how he will be serued. Here we are to note first that God himselfe prescribeth how men shal serue him, then what seruice it is which he prescribeth. God accepteth of no seruice but such as he com­mandeth.Deut. 12. Ye shall not doe euerie one that which seemeth right vnto you, but ye shall doe what soeuer I inioine you, saith the Lord. Our seruice is limited to that which God liketh. Their worshipping and ser­uing of God is in vaine which teache doctrines the precepts of men. Marc. 7. That which men thinke highly of, that doth God abhor. Saul thought that sacrifice had beene seruice:1. Sam 15. God had liked better of his obe­dience.2. Sam. 6. Oza supposed hee had doone God verie good seruice in holding vp the arke which was like to fall. But God taught him that it was farre otherwise. The Scribes and Pharisees thought themselues the onely men that serued God because of their long and often praying, their much fastings, their washings, their ti­things, their giuing of almes: but who required these thinges at their hands? Where hath God prescribed these kinds of outward seruice and worship to be done as being acceptable to him with­out inward holinesse and true righteousnesse? In the same ranke with these Pharisaicall deuises we may place those papall inuen­tions of Masses, Pilgrimages, Vowes, auricular confessions, and whatsoeuer man hath inuented without the warrant of Gods word, seeme it neuer so godlie and holie vnto them. For the word of God is the onely rule of our religion, our onely direction in the seruice of God.

21 The seruice which God hath heere prescribed vs is this,He will be ser­ued in holines and righte­ousnesse syn­cerely and continually. To serue him, in holinesse and righteousnesse before him, all the daies of our life. Heerein is conteined whatsoeuer God commaundeth in his Lawe. This is the briefe of both the Tables. Holinesse hath re­lation to the former table, and righteousnesse to the latter: In holinesse is set foorth our dutie towardes God, in righteousnesse towards man. Wee must serue God in holinesse in respect of [Page 165] himselfe, we must serue man in righteousnesse in respect of God. For that which we doe to men, if he commaund it, we doe it vn­to him. In as much as ye haue doone this, Matth. 25. saith Christ, to one of these li­tle ones ye haue doone it to me.

22 Holinesse is the end of our election:Our election; his will, com­mandement, example, cal­ling requireth holinesse at our h [...]nds. He chose vs before the foundations of the world that we might be holie. Our holinesse is a thing which God doth greatly desire: This is the will of God euen your holi­nesse. Vnto holinesse wee are not onely constrained by his com­mandement, but allured also by his example: Be holie because I am holie. Ephes. 1. Vnto this wee are called: For God did not call vs vnto vnclean­nesse but vnto holinesse. 1. Thes. 4. So that vnlesse we esteeme vilely of our own election, vnlesse wee refuse to satisfie the will, to obey the com­maundement, to followe the example, and to answere the voca­tion in which God hath called vs, we must be holie.

23 And this our holinesse in seruing of him must not bee smothered in our minde,Our holiness [...] must appeare. or concealed in our chamber, but bee shewed in open place. As his benefites towardes vs are more cleare than the noone day: so our confession of him and praise of his name must be openly in the face and eies of the worlde, es­pecially in the congregation of his Saints. For whosoeuer saith Christ is ashamed of me before men, I will bee ashamed of him before my father.1. Tim. 6. Christ hath giuen vs example, he made a good and an open confession vnto Pontius Pilate. Daniel being forbid by the king praied openly thrise a day to the God of Israel. God commaunded Salomon to build him a temple wherein publikely he would be serued and worshipped of al his people. Al the peo­ple ascended vp to Sion to the house of the Lorde of hosts there publikely to serue and praise their God. Such as will be members of Christ must bee knit together in one bodie: and in one place with one minde and one mouth glorifie the Lord.

24 It is true that when the Church is infected and polluted with idolatrie and superstition,When Chri­stian assem­blies to the seruing of God may be secret, and when not. when the house of praier is made a denne of theeues, the temple of God a synagogue of Satan, when the truth of God is persecuted with the professors thereof; then we are to serue him as wee conueniently may. When pub­like seruice is publike idolatrie,1. Cor. 10. then wee are to listen vnto those admonitions,2. Cor. 6. Auoide the worshipping of Idols: Beare no yoke with Infi­dels, Esay 52. Depart, Goe out, Touch not that which is polluted. Rather [Page 166] celebrate the Passeouer in the wildernesse with Christ than in a temple prophaned and defiled with Idolatrie. When the gospell is persecuted,Acts 2. secret congregations are allowed. When Christ was crucified the Disciples kept themselues secretly together in a parlour at Ierusalem for feare of the Iewes, and there serued God. Such priuate congregations the Ecclesiasticall histories plenti­fully set foorth and commend.Heb. 11. In such tempests to serue our God in deserts, in hils, in dennes and holes of the earth wee must bee content. But conuenticles or priuate meetings, when the gos­pell of God being strengthened with the ciuill hand, hath his free and safe passage, is publikely and syncerely preached, when al per­secution and feare therof is wholy vanished, haue beene euer sus­pitious, and they are the nurces of all errors. It is the propertie of froward sectaries whose inuentions cannot abide the light, to make obscure conuenticles when the doctrine of truth is set at libertie. The Donatists, the Arrians, the Anabaptists, the Fami­lie of loue with all others of the like sort, fostered vp their errors in secret and darke corners. But such as bee of the flocke of the great sheepeheard Christ ought to assemble themselues in one sheepefold. Peruersitie neuer wants excuses, neither is satisfied with any reason: but no man can in right refuse to communicate with vs in our Church. It is the sanctuarie of the Lord, the house of God, the arke of God; wherein the treasures of heauen are laide open for our vse, no other than such as God hath comman­ded. The golden pot with Manna, the flourishing rod of Aaron and the tables of Moses: these are no bugges to fray away Gods children. They haue nothing offered them but the heauenly foode whereupon the elect of GOD should feede, euen that bread which Christ hath sanctified and broken vnto vs for our comfort.

25 Such stray sheepe therefore as will not of their owne ac­cord assemble themselues to serue the Lorde in the midst of this holie congregation may lawfully and in reason ought to be con­strained thereunto.Christian magistrates may con­straine their subiects vnto open assemblies where God is serued. For though religion cannot bee driuen into men by force, yet men by force may be driuen to those ordinarie meanes whereby they are woont to be brought to the knowledge of the truth. Parents cannot constraine their children to be lear­ned: But parents may constraine them to repaire thither where [Page 167] they may be taught. Thus you see that God must be serued of vs in holinesse: holinesse openly declared and professed, not secret­ly kept and laide vp onely in our hearts and bosomes.

26 It followeth in the words of Zacharie,With holines righteousnes must be ioi­ned. And in righteousnesse. This righteousnesse hath chiefly respect to the second table, and putteth vs in minde how we ought to vse our neighbour. In doo­ing right vnto him we serue the Lord Iesus (whose commaunde­ment this is) in righteousnesse. One lesson well obserued were sufficient for this matter. If we could loue our neighbours with that kindenesse which we doe our selues, which is the precept of the Lawe, we would not want in any part of righteous duetie to­wards men.Rom. 13. Render vnto euerie one that which is due, this is righte­ousnesse.

27 They which are in authoritie are called Iustices, Righteous magistrates. to the end that their name might put them in minde of that duetie which they owe to the common wealth: If they doe not see that Lawes be put in practise and execution; if in iudgement they doe not iustly punish transgressors and deale in deciding matters of con­trouersie betweene man and man with an euen hand; if for feare they cruelly cast away the innocent (for cowards beene euer cru­ell) or for fauour spare the rich; if they be men of corrupt minds, patrones of euill men and of euill causes for their owne commo­ditie; if they be not wise, with Salomon; if they feare not GOD, with Moses; if they loue not the truth, as Dauid; if they hate not couetousnesse, as did Samuel: surely they doe not serue God in righteousnesse and iustice, because they are iniurious towardes their neighbours.

28 The minister of Gods woord is also a seruaunt.Righteous ministers. Wee are your seruaunts brethren for Christes sake whose embassage wee bring. If we bee fraudulent or negligent in performing the parts of this duetie, we are most vnrighteous.

29 To serue in iustice is the duetie of euerie man:Righteous [...]ich men. The riche man is a seruaunt to the poore to releeue and comfort him as he is able. For that is right and to that end God hath made him rich, that he as a faithful steward might bestowe those riche blessings vpon the familie and houshold of God. Iohn the Bishop of Con­stantinople who for his liberal releeuing of the needie was surna­med the Almner was woont to prouide daily meate for the poore [Page 168] and when it was made readie, to come foorth and himselfe see it serued. This seruice is of vs very slenderly and slackely doone: Christs impotent & miserable members are sent away not relee­ued. To suffer him in his members so to begge who hath giuen thee all that thou hast is horrible ingratitude, it is not the part of a Christianly afdicted heart of one that serueth his Lord in righ­teousnesse.

30 The counseller at the Law is a seruant to his client whom he ought to serue in righteousnesse.Righteous Lawyers. Take not excessiuely of the poore, for that is not right and equall. Of right you should euen without monie pleade his cause: so God commaundeth who wil no doubt in that respect pay you your fees with a bountiful hand. Take not of both parties, for that is trechery and not iustice. Thou takest not those fees but stealest them. Neglect not thy clients cause, if thou promise performe, neither take vpon thee more than thou canst well answere. If with words and subtile handling thou winnest an euil cause to another mans wrong, thou art guil­tie of that wrong: if thou doest by negligence loose a good cause, thou art guiltie of that losse and seruest not thy client nor thy God in righteousnesse.

31 To conclude and knit vp all in a woord:Righteous men of what estate soeuer. of what trade or vocation soeuer we be, this we must knowe, that hee onely ser­ueth God in holinesse and righteousnesse,Tit. 2. who denying impietie and worldly concupiscence liueth soberly, iustly and holily in this pre­sent world; soberly as touching himselfe, iustly towards his neigh­bour, and holily as concerning God; he that casteth off the olde Adam and putteth on Iesus Christ; he that truely repenteth, that leadeth a newe life; who heareth the word and worketh it, who knoweth the will of God and doth it.

32 And this we must doe coramipso, Our holinesse and righte­ousnesse must be in zeale. before him. The seruice which we doe before him must bee zealous, heartie and syncere. We may not serue God with lukewarme seruice as the Laodice­ans did.Apoc. 2. For then God no doubt will vomit out vs as he threate­ned to doe them. Vehement therefore and zealous must we bee for the house of God, for the glorie of God, and in Gods seruice.

33 But euerie zeale God doth not accept or like of.With what kind of zeale we must serue For as there is a zeale according to knowledge, so there is a blinde hea­die [Page 169] zeale voide of true knowledge, and therefore of true faith. S. Paul in his blinde zeale persecuted the Church of God.1. Tim. 1. The Iewes in their blinde zeale crucified their Lord Christ.Rom. 10. They haue a zeale, saith the Apostle, but not according to knowledge. If they had knowne the Lord of glorie, they would neuer haue crucified him. This blinde zeale causeth poore deceiued soules to thinke them­selues zealously affected towardes Christ, when they are stub­bornely set for Antichrist. Zeale without knowledge is not zeale but stomacke. It is not true zeale but rather a brainsick giddinesse which causeth many to forsake their naturall home and to wan­der to Ierusalem there to woorship God; as if they thought with Benadab king of Syria that God were the God of the hils and not of the valleies.1. Reg. 10. It is another thing to be eager, and another thing to be zealous. They deceiue themselues which thinke they doe the dutie of seruants zealously bent in their masters cause, when they are sharpe without all sober and staied consideration, reproouing them openly whom they ought priuately to admo­nish, rashly condemning them whom they ought charitably to iudge as brethren.

34 We must bee zealous in Gods cause.Examples of [...]ue zeale in Gods seruice. For Angels them­selues without zeale are nothing. But our zeale must be as I saide with iudgement.Exod. 33. Ye are not ignorant what heroicall zeale there was in Moses,1. Reg. 18. in Elias, in Iehu, in Phinees, in Matt [...]thias, in Christ.2. Reg. 10. This zeale,Num. 25. this loue, this true holinesse and heartie feare of God is abated in the best & vtterly banished out of most men.1. Mac. 2. Where nowe in what corner of this earth shall we finde a man in zeale comparable vnto Dauid,Iohn 2. whom when the woord of God was contemned and his ministers despised the griefe the of had like to haue wasted away?Luc. 19. My zeale Psal. 119. saith he, hath euen melted me, because mine enemies haue forgotten thy words. What a crosse, what atorment was the sinne of Sodom to the heart of iust Lot? The small remorse which we haue for sinne sheweth our zeale is not verie great. Let vs pray therefore to God as to increase our faith, so to kindle true zeale in vs: that wee may as Phinees with the sword of the holie ghost the wo [...]d of God run through, cut a­sunder and destroie all the filth and vncleannesse which lieth lur­king in our hearts; that wee cut off all our lewde affections, our carnall lusts, our lasciuious thoughts; that wee may so mortifie [Page 170] the members of the bodie and rectifie the affections of the mind, that with a chast life in bodie and soule we may glorifie our God. Let vs pray for the zeale that was in Christ Iesus, that wee may with the sharpe whippe of vnfained repentance driue out of our bodies which are the temples of Gods holie spirit all buying and selling, all couetousnesse, vsurie, enuie, lying, deceite; that wee giue not our bodies and soules to any such prophane vse, but to be kept vncorrupt and pure as beseemeth the temples of his ho­lie spirit; that we may offer vp vnto God in the midst of these tem­ples the sacrifice of an humble and of a contrite heart,Psal. 51. the sacri­fice of righteousnesse, the sacrifice of praise. Let vs beseech him I say to inflame our hearts with true zeale, that earnestly seeking our owne saluation and the safetie of others, we may be zealous as the blessed Apostle was with the zeale of God:2. Cor. 11. euen holy and zealous before the Lord.

35 For as our zeale must bee coupled with iudgement and knowledge,Our zeale must be as in knowledge, so in synceritie. so with truth and synceritie. God will not bee serued with fained holinesse and with counterfaite religion, with out­ward shewes and with the lippes, but with the heart. In our prai­ers we must powre out our hearts before him: in repentance our hearts must be rent asunder: in our almes we must keepe a single heart: when the word is preached we must open our hearts to re­ceiue it: whatsoeuer we doe in his seruice we must doe it heartily as to the Lord. For all our seruing of him is in vaine, nay it is damnable if we seeke onely which way we may appeare holie and righteous vnto men. Such as we would seeme to be we must bee in deede, such we must appeare in truth before that Lorde who seeth our verie hearts and examineth our in most reines. Let vs e­uer remember that God looketh vpon vs with open eyes, he be­holdeth in greatest darkenesse, hee seeth the vnsearchable heart and thought of man: no secret can be kept secret from him. This would bridle in vs all inward wicked cogitations, all outward wic­ked workes, if we could well and as we should consider it. For if we be ashamed and afraid to offend in the sight of man who hath onely power ouer our mortall bodie; how much more should we be ouercome with shame and feare to sinne in the sight of that e­ternall God, who hath power ouer bodie and soule to cast them both into eternall fire?

[Page 171] 36 Thus we are to serue our redeemer,Our seruing of God must continue all the daies of our life. we are ransomed and bought to serue not for a day, but for al our daies, we are redeemed for euer to serue him for euer. He that runneth is not crowned til he haue ended his race, and then beginneth his glorie. Iudas and Demas began to serue the Lorde: but they were soone wearie: their seruice was vnrewarded because it was vncontinued. Onely he that continueth to the end shall be saued, which saluation of our soules and bodies the Lord of his infinite mercies grant, that wee may aspire vnto him in this life, and attaine vnto him in the life to come through the merits of Iesus Christ, to whom with the father and the holie ghost, &c.

The eleuenth Sermon. A Sermon made at Yorke.

ROM. 13.

8 Owe nothing to any man but this to loue one another: for he that lo­ueth another hath fulfilled the Lawe.

9 For this, thou shalt not commit adulterie, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steale, thou shalt not beare false witnesse, thou shalt not couet, and if there be any other commandement, it is brieflie comprehended in this say­ing, euen in this, thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe.

10 Loue doth not euill to his neighbour: therefore is loue the fulfilling of the Lawe.

11 And that considering the season, that it is nowe time that we should arise from sleepe: for nowe is our saluation neerer than when we beleeued it.

12 The night is past, and the daie is at hand: let vs therfore cast away the works of darkenesse, and let vs put on the armour of light.

13 So that we walke honestly as in the day.

OVR Apostle in the former part of this Chapter hath diligently set downe as well the office and authoritie of a magistrate,Magistrates ought to be o­beyed whe­ther they be Heathen or Christian. as also what dutie and obedience the subiects doe owe vnto him. Hee was occasioned hereunto for that the Iewes the elect nation of God (who there­fore claimed to be a free people) could not abide so to subiect thē ­selues [Page 172] as to liue obediently vnder forrein Princes. The Gentiles which nowe were become Christians thought it not agreeable to their holie profession to yeelde obedience vnto wicked magi­strates persecuters of true religion, who by euill meanes had at­tained vnto that authoritie and behaued themselues as ill in it. Paul in this treatie of a magistrate meeteth with both these er­rors. He laieth downe this foundation for an absolute and a ge­nerall rule: Let euerie soule be subiect to the higher powers. This obedi­ence he requireth both of Iewe and Gentile; of Prophet & Priest, in summe of euerie Christian: and this position he prooueth by sundrie forcible reasons.

2 First there is no power but of God.Why obedi­ence should be yeelded vnto Magi­strates. The powers that are bee ordeined of him. Be the magistrate Iewe or Gentile, Christi­an or Heathen, good or bad, hee hath his authoritie from God the magistrate of all magistrates. God hath placed him and or­deined him to bee thy gouernour, in respect whereof thou art bound for thy conscience sake towardes God for to obey him. Another reason why euerie soule should liue in subiection to the higher power is, because whosoeuer resisteth the ordinaunce of God prouoketh the iudgement of God against himselfe. If God for thy sinne set a wanton, an hypocrite, yea or an Infidell ouer thee, thou must obey that wanton, that hypocrite, and that Infi­dell, and not rebell against him. GOD hath ordeined him; to resist that power is to resist the ordinaunce of GOD, to conspire against him is to conspire against GOD, to re­iect him is to reiect God. Christ submitted himselfe to the authoritie of Caesar, and to Pilates iudgement. Resisters and re­bels receiue to themselues condemnation; they neuer haue nei­ther euer shall escape the heauie hand of Gods wrath; they feele it often in this life, but in the life to come, if they escape it heere, they are sure to feele it. A third reason why we should liue obe­diently is, because there is no reason why wee should doe other­wise. For why should any man desire not to be subiect? Because he is afraide of the power of kings and rulers? Princes are a ter­ror not to them that doe well, but to euill doers. Wilt thou then be without feare of the power? Withdrawe not thy selfe from o­bedience, but doe well; so shalt thou haue praise and be without feare. For this ende magistrates are appointed of God to main­taine [Page 173] the good and represse the euill. And the magistrate is so necessarie in respect hereof, that no common wealth can be safe or long stand without him. For if the bad were not bridled more by the authoritie of the magistrate than by any moderation in themselues, they would eate vp the good, and a woonderful con­fusion would soone followe. A fourth reason may be this. God hath put a sword in the magistrates hands, to shewe that he hath appointed him as his vicegerent to take vengeaunce on them which doe euill. So that the very sight of the sword ought to put vs in minde of his power and our obedience. For God hath not deliuered him a swoord for nothing: hee is the minister of Gods wrath, he hath not receiued the swoord in vaine, it is giuen him to smite the wicked withall.

3 Wherefore ye must be subiect not because of wrath onely,Magistrates to be obeyed in the Lorde for consci­ence sake and not for feare onely. but also for conscience sake. The Apostle concludeth vpon the former reasons that wee must submit our selues obediently vnto the magistrate, and attempt nothing against him: not onely for feare of punishment, he being the minister of Gods displeasure; but also for conscience sake, in that God requireth this obedience at our handes. All this notwithstanding if magistrates should commaund that which is impious and which God forbiddeth, in such cases we haue our answere well warranted,Acts 5. Melius est obedire Deo quàm hominibus. It is better to obey God than men.

4 In token of this obedience wee pay them tribute:Tribute due to Princes. as ac­knowledging them to be Gods ministers. It is not a strange or a newe custome to pay custome to princes: All nations, all people haue euer vsed it and yeelded it, and magistrates well deserue it. For their office is both painefull and chargeable; they euer ca­ring for the benefite of the common wealth, to represse the euill, to strengthen the good, to set vp vertue, to cast downe vice, to defend their people and countrie, and in well gouerning as the good ministers of God to spend both their goods & liues. These magistrates must bee supported and may lawfully receiue the re­ward of their labours: nay they must receiue it. Wherefore vn­lesse ye wil be iniurious and withhold back from them that which is theirs euen by debt and not by courtesie, giue to all men their duetie: tribute to whom tribute, custome to whom custome, feare to whom feare, and honour to whom honour is due. Wee [Page 174] must haue magistrates in great estimation and reuerence; wee must feare them as the ministers of Gods wrath; we must honour them, for that they occupie Gods place for our benefite; wee must readily and willingly pay vnto them tribute and custome, for God hath so appointed and they haue so deserued. And therfore the Apostle saith, Reddite, Paie it. Whereupon S. Chrysostome fitly noteth, We doe not giue it vnto magistrates, but we paie it vnto them. It is as due as debt.

5 Vpon this particular touching our duetie towardes ma­gistrates our Apostle inferreth a generall exhortation.What we owe to men, and what to God. Owe no­thing to any man but this to loue one another, &c. This exhor­tation compriseth two things, our duetie to our neighbour, our duetie to God. Our duetie to our neighbour consisteth in paying him what we owe him and in louing him as wee loue our selues.

1 6 Owe nothing to any man, pay thy debt: pay vnto the ma­gistrate obedience,Examples of them which haue wel or ill discharged y debt they owe to magistrates Iosua 1. feare, honour, tribute, custome: all this is due vnto him, all this is thy debt. The people of Israel bound themselues with solemne promise to pay this debt to their magi­strate Iosua, whom the Lorde had giuen to bee their gouernour. All things which thou hast commaunded vs we will doe, and whither so euer thou wilt send vs we will goe, as we obeyed Moses, so will we also obey thee. Onely let thy Lord thy God be with thee as hee was with Moses. Whosoeuer shall rebell against thy commaundement and will not obey thy words in al that thou commaundest him, let him be put to death. This is the debt we owe to magistrates. Myriam would not pay this debt to her brother Moses; and God plagued her with a fowle leprosie, so that shee which had separated her selfe from common obedience was se­parated from all companie. Dathan and Abiram with their com­plices rebelliously murmured against their magistrate; and God made the earth open and swallowe them vp, and a number of that conspiracie he consumed with fire. Absolon rebelled and would not pay this debt of obedience to his father. But God quickely paide him that which was due to his rebellious and disloyall at­tempts. God is stil the same God▪ he hateth iniquitie and wil not suffer conspiracie, rebellion or treason against lawfull magi­strates either vnreuealed or vnreuenged. And therefore let all subiects, as wel to auoide the wrath of God, as also for conscience sake, pay this debt of true obedience in all lawfull causes to their [Page 175] lawfull magistrate.

7 Let the magistrate pay vnto the people the debt which he oweth them.The magi­strate is a debtor to the people as they are deb­tors vnto him: he of iustice as they of o­bedience. The debt of the magistrate is the iust execution of lawfull punishment against transgressors. The sword is deliuered vnto him for that purpose; neither is any open transgression of a­ny kinde, whether it concerne the first or second table of the lawe of God, or any man of any calling bee hee Prophet or Priest ex­empted from this iudgement. Salomon deposed Abiathar the high Priest. Iehu slewe the false Prophets. Elias the Baalites. This sword is giuen of God to magistrates, to execute iust iudge­ment against all sinnes and all sinners: and this part of debt is to be paide. It is also a part of the magistrates debt to giue vpright sentence in matters of controuersie betweene parties. For which cause the Poets faine Iustice to carie a sword in the one hand and a balance in the other: to kill sinne with the one, and with the o­ther to weie litigious and controuersed causes.

8 Such as are magistrates to whom the deciding of causes & punishing offences is committed,Qualities re­quired in a gistrate. should be chosen out of al the people the best and fittest men for their wisedome and courage;Exod. 18. their religion and heartie affection to the truth, and for the ha­tred which they beare to couetousnesse. For this is no office for a foole: and he that feareth not God will shewe partialitie; he that loueth not the truth will iustifie the wicked, and condemne the innocent; he that hateth not couetousnesse will take rewards, and be corrupted with bribes as the sonnes of Ely which receiued gifts with the one hand, and with the other peruerted iudgement. The eyes euen of the wise are blinded herewithall. Feare also, af­fection and commiseration, with desire to please men, are great hurts vnto iustice. Pilate for feare of Caesar gaue sentence a­gainst Christ: For feare of displeasing a man on earth hee mur­thered the king and God of heauen. Whom monie cannot cor­rupt affection will carie away, it is the cutthroate of al iustice, the people daily both feele it and rue it. Pitie or commiseration made Iosua spare the miserable Gabionites, contrarie to the expresse commaundement of God.Luc. 23. Desire to please caused Pilate to send Iesus ouer vnto Herod, who together with his band despised and mocked him. It caused Herode to imbrue his hands in the Bap­tists bloud. It causeth many euen against the light of their owne [Page 176] consciences to iustifie the wicked and condemne the man whom they finde innocent. Such doe very ill discharge the debt which they owe vnto their brethren.

9 The minister is also a debtor to the people committed to his charge.The debt of the minister to his flocke. I am a debtor saith the Apostle both to Greekes and Barbarians,1. Pet. 5. to learned & vnlearned. The pastor is a debtor vnto his flock to feed it so much as in him lyeth, to feed it both spiritu­ally & corporally: spiritually by life and doctrine, corporally with hospitality according to his abilitie. Woe be to that pastor yt pai­eth not this debt. For if the flocke perish for want of food, al yt pe­rishing bloud shal be required at his hands. A hard reckoning for him to answere, & a sharp punishmēt to sustain for not answering.

10 The flocke is indebted to their pastor,Theires to him. to honour and to reuerence him as their father; to heare him as their schoolema­ster; to obey and submit themselues vnto him, as to one whom God hath set ouer them for to rule them; to obserue his whole­some precepts, to followe him in life as hee followeth Christ; to loue him and to minister necessaries vnto him for his conuenient sustentation. All this debt is set downe in the scriptures and God requireth paiment of it.

11 The husband doeth owe vnto his wife due beneuolence,The debt of husbands, wiues; ma­sters, seruants tender and faithfull loue, prouision for things needefull and ho­nest, wise gouernement, good instruction, protection, custodie and honour: The wife is indebted vnto her husband to honour him, to loue him, to obey him, to learne of him, to be gouerned by him, to liue vnder him in silence with all subiection, to ease him in the orderly nurturing of his children and the wise gouerning of his house; to be not onely an helpe, but a credit vnto him by her keeping home, by her industrie and painefulnesse, by her so­ber, holie and discreete behauiour. The master oweth to his ser­uaunt meate, wages, correction, instruction. The seruant to his master honour, obedience, faithfull seruice and whatsoeuer he is able by labour to performe.

12 Euerie man is to his neighbour a debtor not onely of that which himselfe boroweth,Vsurers bad paymasters of that which they owe. but of whatsoeuer his neighbour nee­deth, a debtor not onely to pay that he oweth, but also to lende that he hath and may conueniently spare;Luc. 6. to lend I say according to the rule of Christ, Lend, looking for nothing thereby. And your re­ward [Page 177] shall be much, you shall be the sonnes of the most high. So that these ouerpaiments, the vsurie which hath spoiled and eaten vp many, the canker of the common wealth is vtterly both forbidden to man and abhorred of God. To bargaine for leade, graine or lea­ses with such as haue neither leade, graine nor lease to pay, nei­ther any such matter meant but onely vnlawfull gaine of monie, the partie to forfeit his obligation because hee neither can nor meaneth such paiment, and the lender not content to receiue lesse aduantage than thirtie at the hundred: this is but a patched cloake to couer this vile sinne withall. Whatsoeuer thou recei­uest vpon condition, or by what meanes soeuer thou receiuest more than was lent, thou art an vsurer towards thy brother, and God will be a reuenger against thee. Hee whom thou shouldest obey if thou wilt be saued doth in expresse words command thee not to lend thy monie for vsurie.Exod. 22. If thou lend monie to my people, to the poore with thee, Leuit. 25. thou shalt not be as an vsurer vnto him. If thy brother be impouerished and fallen into decaie, Deut. 23. thou shalt relieue him; and as a stran­ger or soiournour, so shall he liue with thee. And againe, Thou shalt not giue to vsurie to thy brother, vsurie of monie, vsurie of meate, vsurie of a­ny thing that is put to vsurie. This woord of God man cannot dis­pence withall, and it shall not returne in vaine. If it cannot be a conuerting commaundement it shall bee a confounding iudge­ment. The reasons of men for vsurie must giue place to the pre­cept of God against it. What man art thou that wilt bee wiser than thy maker? Hath God condemned it, and darest thou de­fend it? Is it in his iudgement iniurious, and doeth thy censure thinke it equall? Hath he seene reason to prohibite it, and doest thou see reason why thou maist vse it? Such reasons with the ma­kers and vsers of them the Lords iustice shal destroie. And yet in truth all reason and the verie Lawe of nature is against it, all Na­tions at all times haue condemned it as the verie bane and pesti­lence of a common wealth: whereof the olde Romane both hi­storie and practise is an often witnesse. These secret shifts are seene of God and abhorred and will be reuenged. Well maiest thou escape the hands of man by thy colored delusions, yet canst thou not escape the sharpe and swift iudgement of God: who, ac­cordingly as hee hath threatened, will exclude thee out of his kingdome, interdict thee his tabernacle, and hurle thee into hel [Page 178] where thy euill gotten monie can neither redeeme nor help thee. A iust reward for thy vniust vsurie. Our Apostle requireth that we paie vnto euerie man the thing that we owe. And wee are as much debtors to lend freely as others faithfully to pay the thing which is lent.

13 The merchaunt is indebted to his neighbour,Falshoode in merchants paiments. the feller to the buyer to deale truely with him; not to defraude him by false weights, false measures, false lights, false words; by swearing and forswearing, or by any such vsuall but vnlawfull meane. One les­son obserued serueth this matter: lend, as thou wouldst borrowe; sell, as thou wouldst buie; doe, as thou wouldst bee doone vnto. This is duetie; this is debt. Pay it and owe nothing vnto any man but this that ye loue one another.

14 The debt of loue is naturall and continuall.The debt of loue is gene­ral and conti­nuall. Al men owe it, and no man paieth it so, but that stil he oweth it. We all owe it and we owe it vnto all. And vnto whom we owe it we neuer pay it except we acknowledge that we owe it stil. In this debt of loue we must consider why we must loue, whom wee must loue, and lastly how we must loue.

15 To omit the reasons drawne from nature this one taken from the God of nature shal suffice.Reasons why-loue is due debt. We must loue because God hath so commanded, and because it is the fulfilling of all his com­mandements. I giue you a newe commandement, saith Christ, that yee loue one another. In our newe birth or regeneration, wee are made brethren and fellowe heires with Christ of Gods kingdome. As God therefore for euer loueth vs in Christ; so wee ought to loue our brethren for God and in Christ for euer. If ye wil be knowne to be his seruaunts, by this men shall knowe you. If yee will bee counted not hearers onely but also doers of the Lawe, the Lawe is loue. He that loueth another fulfilleth the Lawe. Which the Apostle prooueth thus. The Lawe saith, Thou shalt not kil, thou shalt not steale, thou shalt not beare false witnesse, thou shalt not couet: that is to say, thou shalt no way harme thy brother. Loue doth no euill or hurt to any, hee that loueth his neighbour will not take away his life, will not defile his bed, will not steale or rob him of his goods, will not witnesse vntruely against him, wil not in his heart couet any thing that is his: And he that doth any of these things against him beareth not in deed hearty and true loue towards him. Therefore is loue the fulfilling of the Lawe. So that you [Page 179] see great cause why we should enter into this holie and Christian band of loue.

16 But whom must we loue?Loue is due to our neigh­bours; & who they be. Thou shalt loue thy neighbour. And who is our neighbour? Not hee onely to whom wee are ioi­ned by familiar acquaintance, by alliance or neerenesse of dwel­ling, but whosoeuer doth neede our helpe he is our neighbour, be he Iewe or Gentile, Christian or Infidell, yea friend or enemie, he is our neighbour. To him wee ought to bee neere to doe him good. It is friuolous for thee to obiect, hee is mine enemie, hee hath many waies wronged me, he hath raised slanderous reports of me, he hath practised against me, spoiled and robbed me: how can I loue him? If Christ had loued his friends onely, he had ne­uer loued thee whosoeuer thou art. Loke vpon him whose hands were stretched out vpon the crosse for his enemies, and for thee when thou wast his foe. No man proposeth him as a paterne to be followed whom in his heart he doth mislike. Thou mislikest thine enemie because he hateth thee; if thou hate him then doest thou imitate the very thing which thou hatest. Loue thy neigh­bour therefore without exception; and loue him as thy selfe.

17 For after this maner wee ought to loue.Howe we ought to loue others; name­ly as our selues. No man hateth his owne fleshe, no man is enuious of his owne commoditie or preferment. Nature breedeth a selfeloue in euerie man. And as this Lawe of nature doth woorke in vs a very feruent and carefull desire both to procure vnto our selues whatsoeuer wee are per­swaded is good, and to auoide whatsoeuer seemeth hurtfull or noysome: So the Lawe of charitie requireth at our handes like readinesse and cheerefulnesse to benefite others. Of loue towards our selues we hide and very warily couer all such faults as might any way worke our discredit or disgrace. If we loue our brethren as our selues, we will no more blase their offences than our own. Charitie doth hide the multitude of sinnes. But when we inlarge the sins of other men, that they may seeme great; or recken them vp by one and one, to make them appeare as if they were many; how fulfill we the Lawe of charitie? would wee doe this in our owne transgressions? we are neuer wearie in dooing good to our selues, but to doe good to others wee haue no sooner begun but we are euen tired. Our selues we loue not in woord and shew but in truth and in deede. If wee speake deceitfully euerie one to his [Page 180] neighbour, if we flatter with our lippes, if we carie in our heads a double tongue, and in our bodies a double heart, and say wee loue: we lie. Which of vs beeing in his right minde doth lift vp his fist to strike himselfe? If any part of our bodies be out of frame, any bone out of ioint, we seeke by and by all the helpe we can to set it in. The name of strife and contention would neuer he heard of, if we were thus affected towards others. The onely breache of peace is the want of loue, he that loueth al men wil haue peace with all men.

18 Yet this doth suffer a kind of exception. Haue peace with all men, A caution to be obserued in louing one another. saith the Apostle, but he addeth: if it may be, and as much as in you lieth. It may not be which may not be lawfully. Wee may not so yeeld vnto loue, that wee yeeld vnto sinne withall; not so haue peace with our neighbors,Rom. 12. that to continue loue with them we depart from the faith and loue of God; or that for peace sake we flatter and followe our neighbour in his euill. That were to fall out with Christ, that we may keepe in with men. If thy hand or eye offend thee, cut the one off, plucke the other out: Loue Gods creation, but hate all sinnefulnesse: the Lorde also doth ab­horre it. And therfore we must be well content to loose the loue and beare the enmitie of the whole world, for the loue we beare to God and his trueth. With that strife to keepe this peace the Lord is pleased.

19 But we are fallen into these euill times wherein iniquitie aboundeth and charitie waxeth colde.The great want of loue in these our times. Heartie loue is turned in­to heartie hatred, our handes are bloudie, and our hearts maliti­ous. Hee liueth not that loueth his neighbour as himselfe. If we did loue our neighbours as our selues, we would not oppresse them with extortion and vsurie; we would not vndermine them, and wring them in bargaining; we would not so proudely con­temne them, so spitefully enuie them, so impudently slander them, or so greedily practise for their infamie and discredit; wee would not speake them faire, and mind them euil; fawne on them, and betraie them; seeke our credit by their reproche, our gaine by their losse; when we see their necessities, we would releeue and succour them, binde vp their wounds with the good Samaritan, and charitably prouide for them. When wee suffer them for want to perish in our streetes, this is an euident token and ma­nifest [Page 181] argument that wee neither loue God neither them that are of God: neither him, nor his. If the vertues which are in loue be not found in vs, but if contrariwise we abound in those vices from which loue is free; if we be voide of patience and courtesie, full of enuie and froward dealing; if we swell in pride, and care not what we do to aduance our selues aboue others; if euerie mans care be only for himselfe; if our wrath be kindled with euerie light occasi­on, & any thing suffice to make vs alwaies thinke the worst that can be surmised, and doe the woorst that can be inuented; if wee rather be glad at the fall of our brethren, than reioice when they constantly abide in the truth; if we be come to that passe, that we can in a maner suffer nothing, beleeue nothing, hope nothing, beare and endure nothing: what should we say but acknowledge the arrearages in which we are cast, and confesse that wee haue left that debt of loue which wee owe to our brethren vndischar­ged. God graunt vs grace to amend this bad paiment, least hee paie vs our due punishment. Thus much of our duetie towardes our neighbour set downe in these words Owe nothing, &c.

20 Nowe followeth the duetie which we owe vnto God. And 2 that considering the season, Our dutie to God, repen­tance & new­nesse of life. that it is nowe time wee should arise from sleepe. For nowe is our saluation neerer than when we beleeued. The night is past, and the day is at hand. Let vs therefore cast away the workes of darknesse, and let vs put on the armour of light, so that wee walke honestly as in the day. Two things are here required at our hands: to cast off the workes of darkenesse, to put on the armour of light, to put off the olde man Adam, and to put on the new man Christ; to shake off the ragged coate of sin, & to cloath our selues with the come­ly vesture of innocencie; to absteine from euill, and to doe good; in a word, to repent and amend. Why wee should thus doe our Apostle giueth reasons: The time doeth require that nowe wee should arise from sleepe, our saluation is neere, the night is past, and the day hath dawned.

21 This time requireth a newe life.The time re­quireth the paiments of this debt. For this is the last houre; the acceptable time; the day of saluation; the day when as God doeth visite vs in his mercie, calling vs to the knowledge of him and of his sonne Christ, by the preaching of the gospell to the sauing of our soules. O that we could knowe the day of our visi­tation, and would take hold of this gratious time of mercie. Arise [Page 182] at length, arise from sinne, and redeeme the time past and lost. We haue long yea too too long slumbered: it is now more than high time to arise, to arise from slepe of error, of sin & of securitie.

22 Many are fallen asleepe in the blinde errors of mans do­ctrine;The blindnes in which the world slee­peth, althogh the night be past. many are yet drowned in the dregges of poperie, prefer­ring dreames, fancies, lies and fables before the heauenly do­ctrine of Gods euerlasting trueth. The cause of this their blinde­nesse is ignorance of the scriptures; the cause of their ignorance is the hardnesse of their hearts. They neither knowe, they are so ignorant; nor will knowe, they are so stubborne. When they are exhorted to reade, they close their eies; when to heare, they shut their eares; when to come, they drawe backe their feete. If the sunne shine neuer so bright, they see it not; if the trumpe sound neuer so lowde, it will not waken them. Christ compareth them very aptly to the hard stonie way, whereon what good seede soe­uer is cast, is lost; it can take no roote: for either it is eaten vp by birds, or trodden downe by men. The stubborne-hearted and stiffe-necked Iewes were cast into this dead sleepe, establishing their owne righteousnesse, and reiecting the righteousnesse that is in Christ Iesu, reposing saluation in their externall sacrifices & ceremonies, not seeking it there where it was onely to bee found, in Christ which was the sacrificed Lambe from the beginning of the worlde, that onely taketh away the sinnes of the worlde. As those were then; so nowe these are: who with the proude Pharisees iustifie themselues by their owne defiled woorkes, not regarding the true iustification which we haue in Christ tho­rough faith, preferring the sacrifice of the blasphemous masse the meere inuention of man or of Satan before the sweet and accep­table sacrifice which Christ made for vs vpon the crosse once, not to be renued; and sufficient not needing helpe. Men they are of dull eares and of hard hearts, a rebellious and froward genera­tion, to whom whatsoeuer we speake, this account we may make before hand,Ezech. 2. Surely they will not heare, neither will they arise from the error wherein Satan hath rockt them asleepe, crie the Pro­phets neuer so lowde & so often,Esay 60. Rise O Ierusalem, be inlightened, for thy light is come, Iohn 3. and the glorie of the Lord is risen vpon thee. The light is come into the world. Therefore considering the season it is time we should awake, least we bee vnseasonably taken asleepe and so [Page 183] iudged as we are taken.

23 Arise thou that sleepest,As many sleepe in er­ror, so the most in sinne. whether it bee in error or in sinne. This sleepe is so pleasant that all the world lieth in it, and hardly can shake it off. King Dauid fell into it, and continued in it, slee­ping very soundly, neuer lifting vp his head for two yeres space, till at the length Nathan the Prophet at the commaundement of God awakened him. Zacheus slept a long time pleasauntly in his vsurie with heapes of euill gotten goods vnder his heade, till the sonne of God himselfe called vpon him and lifted him vp, by whose voice hee was effectually and throughly wakened: inso­much that his eyes beeing nowe opened to see the ouglinesse of his sinne wherein he had so long time before slumbered, hee not onely made restitution but also gaue the one halfe of al his goods to the poore. This man awaked in an happie time. It is most dangerous to slumber long in sinne. Custome of sinne maketh sinne familiar, so that at the length we learne not to feare it at all, but rather to take delight and pleasure in it, to commit it as the Apostle saith with a kinde of greedinesse, to count sinne no sinne, to swallowe it down without any remorse or contradiction. Their case is lamentable which are thus fallen asleepe, and for the most part their end miserable.Luc. 12. Such was the sleepe of that riche man, who hauing filled his barnes and prouided store for many yeeres incouraged himselfe to sensualitie, Soule take thy rest. You that loue the rest of your soules in deede, keepe your soules waking, and doe not suffer them to take rest.Ephes. 5. Awake thou that sleepest, and takest thy rest; stand vp from the dead and Christ shall giue thee light. It is time to awake, we haue slept too long. God would not haue vs to sleepe vnto death, but to awake vnto life: for he wil not the death of a sinner, his desire is rather that we should repent. Now is the time, nowe Christ calleth thee, nowe he stretcheth out his armes, nowe he offereth mercie: come vnto him and thou shalt finde true rest for thy wearied soule. Long hath beene thy sleepe, great hath beene thy sinne: but God is full of compassion, prest and readie not onely to graunt but to offer pardon. If nowe wee refuse it offering it selfe to vs, it will refuse vs hereafter when wee offer our selues to it.

24 Of this we are not afraide,Sleeping in securitie. because we sleepe as well in se­curitie as in sinne. We must therefore be raised out of this sleepe [Page 184] also. Mans life is a warfare, and men are souldiers: we must keepe our standing and watche, least we be vnawares both assaulted and surprised. We haue both many and mightie and fierce aduersa­ries: The diuell, who is violently and greedily set as an hungrie Lyon, that roareth for his pray; The worlde, which hath infinite slights to deceiue vs; The flesh, which mightily striueth & wrast­leth against the spirite. There is no place of securitie left for a Christian souldiers there being so many great dangers. There is no where any place wherein it is safe to be secure. Not in heauen, saith Bernard,Bernard. nor in Paradise: much lesse in the world. In heauen the An­gels fel from the verie presence of the Godhead; Adam fel in Pa­radise from the place of pleasure, and Iudas in the world from the schoole of our Sauiour. In the time of Noe they liued in great securitie and the floud sodainely ouerwhelmed them. In the time of Lot the Sodomites liued in as great securitie and were as sou­dainely consumed with fire. Thus with fire and water securitie hath beene plagued. God hath armed the verie elements a­gainst that thing, wherein notwithstanding we continue, as if we would trie whether hee which wakened them by sending water vpon the one and fire vpon the other, would waken vs by causing the earth to swallowe vs vp. What we should looke for, GOD doth best knowe; our securitie being the same with theirs can de­nounce no lesse to vs than it brought to them. Wee crie peace peace: what more euident token can there bee that our sodaine destruction is at hand? Men are commonly neerest vnto perill both corporall and spirituall, when their mindes are furthest from thinking of preuenting it. It is written of the people which were in Laish that because they had no businesse with any bodie nor any bodie with them, no man raised any tumult or vsurped a­ny dominion in their Land, and the place which they inhabited was good and lacked nothing, therefore they dwelt carelesse, quiet and sure. Which when the spials sent foorth from the chil­dren of Dan had once perceiued, they made no doubt of con­quering the Land, but encouraged their brethren and set them forward: Be not slouthfull to goe and enter, to possesse the Land. If yee will goe ye shall come vnto a carelesse people, the countrie is large: surely GOD hath giuen it into your hands. They went vp being onely sixe hun­dred men, came to Laish, found the people without all mistrust [Page 185] of danger, put them to the sword, and burnt vp their citie. Their peace bred plentie; their plentie, securitie; their securitie, their destruction. And as in daungers of the bodie, so likewise or ra­ther much more in perils which beset the soule we shal find those temptations most grieuous which assault vs at vnawares. For this cause we are in scriptures so often called vpon to be watche­full.Matth. 26. Watche and praie, saith our Sauiour, that ye fall not into temptati­on. Hee that falleth into temptation asleepe hardly riseth out of temptation aliue. For if they that watch continually be not con­querors but with much adoe: what shall become of them, vpon whom Satan then laieth hands, when beeing lustie and strong hauing whatsoeuer their hearts can wish, they are at peace, take their rest, and because they haue no change, therefore feare not GOD? Surely their destruction is as the swelling of an high wall, it commeth sodainely downe and they are fearefully con­sumed. Watch therefore and sleepe not in securitie. Blessed is he that watcheth.

25 Our saluation is neerer than when we beleeued. Because our saluation is neerer, there­fore we ought not to sl [...]epe still in darke­nesse. This is the se­cond reason why we should cast away the workes of darkenesse and put on the armour of light. We haue entred our names in­to the profession of Christianitie in our Baptisme, we haue recei­ued the trueth by it, wee seeke saluation, wee haue beene long scholers, we ought nowe to growe to some good perfection: we draw now neere vnto the end, therfore we shold amend our pace in this our course. The neerer we come to the end of our race, the faster we should run, if we desired to get the reward we runne for. Let vs doe so. And seeing the race that we haue to run is euen in a maner finished, and the crowne we run for is immortall, let vs be earnest in the cause, let vs cast off all hinderaunces and striue industriously vnto that saluation which is set before vs. Nowe that wee are almost as it were within the reache of the crowne of glorie, let vs take strength vnto vs, let vs double our courage▪ en­crease our zeale, adde more and more vnto euerie good and per­fect gift which wee haue receined from the father of light. This the neerenesse of our saluation doth now especially require.

26 Let them that sit in darkenesse and in the shadowe of death sleepe on.The night is past. But vnto vs the night is past. Night in the scriptures is taken for ignorance, the times whereof are now past. [Page 186] The day starre is risen and hath appeared vnto vs. Christ the true light is come into the world; he that nowe will walke in darknesse is not blinde but wilfull, and runneth with open eyes to his owne damnation. If the light had not come into the world, if I had not spoken vnto them, saith Christ, they might haue pleaded ignorance; but I haue tolde them the trueth, therefore they are left without excuse. Christ that light of the worlde hath appeared, his crosse is painted out before our eyes. If our Gospell bee hid it is from them that perish, whom the God or rather the diuel of this world hath blinded. We are in the light, the way of truth lyeth plaine and open before our faces. Let not vs walke nowe as the children of darkenesse. For darkenesse and the night are past.

27 The day draweth neere. The last day draweth nere. The day of euerie mans particular dissolution, and the day of that generall iudgement of all men. Although the day of our death be vncertaine; yet because all our daies are fewe, our first day is no sooner come but we are sure and certaine that the last draweth neere. Wherefore it behooueth vs continually to watch, to looke for our ende, and to put our selues in a readinesse for it. For as we are found in that day, so shall we finde in the day after that; the day of the glorious appearing of Christ, when all secrets shall be vnsealed, al faults made manifest, and euerie man receiue a blessing or a curse as he hath wrought in his bodie good or bad. Many daies are past since Christ and his Apostles did count it neere: therefore nowe it must needs drawe much neerer and be euen at the doore. We may nowe say iustly, It is time to rise from sleepe. Our saluation is neerer than when wee beleeued. The night is past, the day draweth on.

28 Let vs walke honestly therefore as in the day.We must therfore walk honestly as in the day. We are cre­ated and redeemed to walke and serue God, in whose seruice if we goe not forward we goe backeward; we may neither lie down nor stand still, but take paines and walke. And that honestly, ha­uing our conuersation according to our good profession. Wee are set as it were vpon a stage: the worlde, Angels and men fixe their eies vpon vs. And if the eies of all these were closed, yet he to whom the night and the light are all one in clearenesse, our e­ternall God hee seeth our cogitations, and searcheth our heart: he vnderstandeth all our waies. All things lie open and vncoue­red [Page 187] vnto him, hee beholdeth all practises, all deuises, all treche­ries, all treasons, all sinne. Let vs walke vprightly and liue ho­nestly as in his sight.

29 This we shall doe if we followe the counsell and exhorta­tion of S. Paul;We must cast off the work [...]s of darkenesse. that is, if we first cast away the workes of darke­nesse. Sinnefull actions are called woorkes of darkenesse. First because much sinne springeth out of ignorance which is blinde­nesse and darkenesse; wherefore S. Paul alledgeth ignorance to be the cause why hee persecuted the Church of Christ: Secondly for that sinners, because their workes are euil, hate the light which discouereth them, and loue darkenesse wherein they may con­ceale them. Thirdly because the workes of sinne are to bee cast into that perpetuall and vtter darkenesse of hell, and bound in e­uerlasting cheines of darkenesse vnto the iudgement of that great day.

30 Howbeit for that it sufficeth not to abstaine from euil but it is required that we should doe good,We must put on the ar­mour of light. therefore the Apostle ex­horteth vs not onely to cast away the woorkes of darkenesse, but to put vpon vs the armour of light. Wherein looke what was saide why sinne should be called by the name of darknesse the like may on the contrarie side be saide why righteousnesse should bee ter­med by the name of light.Phil. 1. First for that good woorkes are the fruits of the light of knowledge, wherein if we encrease more and more in loue and in all spirituall vnderstanding we shall not onely put a difference betwene those things that are more excellēt, but bee pure also and without offence vnto the day of Christ filled with the fruites of righteousnesse which commeth by Iesu Christ vnto the glorie and praise of God; Secondly because they that walke honestly as in the day time,Iohn 1. 1. Iohn 1. delight in the light: For he that doth the trueth commeth to the light that his deedes may be made manifest, that they are done in God who is light and in him is no darknesse at all: And therefore insomuch as they well vnderstande that the night will come, wherein no bodie shall be able to worke, while they haue the light they giue themselues to walk in the light, that they may be the sonnes of the light; And thirdly because as Bernard saith, Bona opera non sunt causae regni sed via regnandi: Good workes are not the causes of but the way vnto the kingdome, so they leade vs the way to the inheritance of Saints in light, and to the fruition [Page 188] of that God who as hee is the father of lights in whom there is no variablenesse nor shadowe of change, so he dwelleth in a light that cannot as yet be commen vnto, we shall come to it heereaf­ter when we shall drinke of the well of life, when in his light wee shall see light. To the which euerlasting life and light hee bring vs, who is not onely the way, the trueth and the life, but God of God, light of light, euen Iesus our Sauiour, to whom with the Father and the holie Ghost three persons and one God, &c.

The twelfth Sermon. A Sermon preached at an Assises.

MICH. 6.‘8 He hath shewed thee O man what is good, and what the Lord requi­reth of thee: Surely to doe iudgement and to loue mercie, to humble thy selfe and to walke carefully with thy God.’

FOR the better vnderstanding of the Prophet in these fewe words recited,The occasion of the aboue written words of the Prophet. it shall bee requisite to open vnto you a fewe circumstances concerning them wherein I will be short. We learne in the text that goeth before in this chap­ter that God was displeased with his people the Israelites. And that it might appeare how iust cause hee had of offence giuen him, hee challengeth them, that his gratious­nesse towardes them, and their vnthankefulnesse towardes him might be examined and tried in iust iudgement. And God ap­pointeth the mountaines to be Iudges heerein, that is, as Ierome expoundeth it, the Angels of heauen, whom God often vseth as ministers for his glorie, and for the benefite of man. God de­clareth therefore here by his Prophet first that hee neuer wron­ged them, and therfore they had no cause to complaine; second­ly that he hath bestowed his manifold benefites vpon them, that he deliuered them out of the house of bondage, from the tyranni­call [Page 189] hands of cruell Pharao, whose slaues their fathers were; that he had giuen them woorthie magistrates, and good Priestes to rule, direct and instruct them, Moses, Aaron, Myriam, and last­ly that hee had turned Balaams cursings against them into bles­sings towards them. Nowe after that God had thus set forth his great goodnesse towardes them, hee chargeth them with their great vnkindenesse towards him: howe they fell from the seruing of him to the woorshipping of false gods by running a whoring after Idols, and sacrificing on their hill altars, committing most grosse Idolatrie and foolish superstition: howe altogether they contemned the woord of the almightie, the preaching of the Prophets were drowned in sinnefull securitie, and fed themselues with their owne phantasies the inuentions and vaine conceits of man. These and such like were their faults, as may appeare in the life of king Achas in whose time and raigne the prophecie was written. The people vnable to gainesay so manifest a truth, were forced to pleade guiltie, and to acknowledge their offences, and therefore went about to seeke out meanes, howe to pacifie Gods wrath and to satisfie for their sinnes, and being doubtful by what meanes, or with what sacrifice, to please God, and appease his anger, enquireth, Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? The Pro­phet Micheas directeth the doubtfull minds of the people in this behalfe, and saith, He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, & what the Lord requireth of thee. Thus in fewe ye see the occasion of these wordes, which I haue taken in hand to expound vnto you.

2 And it shall not be vnprofitable with like breuitie to applie the circumstances to vs and to our times.The likenesse betweene the occasion offe­red to the prophet of those words then, & of the like nowe. If God should in like case contend in iudgement with vs, the Lawe would accuse vs, heauen and earth would beare witnesse against vs, and our owne consciences would condemne vs. For great and manifolde are Gods mercies towardes vs, and wee render nothing againe but meere and extreme ingratitude. What haue I doone to thee, or wherein haue I greeued thee, saith the Lord?

3 God hath not enuied vs,The mercies of God to­wards the Church of England. he oweth vs nothing, but hee gi­ueth vs much, he hath not beene greeuous vnto vs, but merciful­ly considered of vs. He hath kept promise with vs and perfor­med his woord, though wee haue neglected our faith towardes him. We haue often tasted of his bountifull goodnesse of vs al­together [Page 190] vndeserued.Euseb. li. 4. c. 15. Policarpus beeing required by an Infidell Iudge to blaspheme Christ, made this answere: Fourescore and sixe yeres haue I serued him, neither did he once harme mee in any thing, howe then can I blaspheme my king, that hath saued me? We cannot charge our iust God, with any wrong; our gra­tious Lorde, with any vnkindenesse towardes vs; but must with Policarpus euer acknowledge his vnspeakeable mercie and ex­ceeding goodnesse. For as he bestowed vpon his people the Is­raelites sundrie great benefites, so hath he blessed vs with the like or greater. God with a mightie arme hath deliuered vs out of E­gypt from the tyrannie of Pharao, not onely out of the cheines and deadly thraldome of Satan and sinne by the death and bloud of Iesus Christ our redeemer, but also out of the seruile bondage of the great Pharao, though lesser than the former, the Romish Antichrist, who villanously bereaued vs of our spirituall libertie, robbed vs of that inestimable treasure the woorde of God, and oppressed vs with the intollerable burthen of vnprofitable la­bours, trained vs vp in ignorance, forced vs in Idolatrie and su­perstition the waies to hel to seeke our safetie and euerlasting life: But God in his mercie hath remembred vs to doe vs good and to worke our deliuerance, of bondslaues to make vs freemen, of the children of darkenesse to make vs the sonnes of light in him, and to restore vs to the comfortable freedome of conscience by the gratious libertie of the Gospell. God hath also blessed vs with good magistrates, hee hath not onely giuen vs his sonne Christ the Prince of his people who by offering vp himselfe a sacrifice for our sinnes procured vnto vs free remission of them, but hath also blessed vs with worthie rulers vnder him, which gouerne in equitie and syncerely seeke the glorie of God. He hath giuen vs Moses our Soueraigne, a prudent and a gentle magistrate, who seeketh not reuenge, but beareth with the muttering of the peo­ple: yea with the rebellious Dathan and Abiron choosing rather to put vp any tollerable wrong, than to see the ruine and subuer­sion of men though they seeke it themselues. He hath also giuen vs Aaron and Miriam, Priests and Prophets to minister vnto vs the heauenly bread the foode of our soules, the woord of God, the Sacraments of Christ, and that most faithfully and syncerely without changing or mingling. And as I said of late in this place, [Page 191] so I say againe, England hath at no time heretofore beene blessed with so many and so faithfull preachers of Gods woord. Surely God mindeth your saluation in that he so plentifully offereth vn­to you the woord of saluation: Nor that onely, but therewithall peace, plentie, and rest such as our fathers neuer tasted of in their ages.

4 Which mercies and blessinges powred vpon vs in so great measure should in reason enforce vs to praise him our God and to serue him in true holinesse all the daies of our life,Our euil re­quiting of the Lord for his goodnesse. from the foun­taine of whose vnspeakeable goodnesse we haue receiued them. The Israelites (their strange deliuerance out of Egypt, their good Magistrates, their manifold blessings, benefites and graces not­withstanding) were found vnthankefull. And if God shall en­ter into iudgement with vs, and throughly examine vs (as one day he will) may we not be accused and shall wee not bee found guiltie of the like ingratefull crime? Haue wee not a longing as they had vnto that from which the Lorde hath deliuered vs in great mercie? God hath blessed vs with both magistrates and ministers of great valewe, but so thankefull are we to him and to them his seruauntes that wee can easilie abuse both, mutter a­gainst the one, and despise the other; neither is obeyed, nei­ther reuerenced according to the woorde and will of GOD. But such as cannot away with Samuell, God in his wrath shall giue them a Saul; and such as mislike of the true preacher, shalbe rewarded with a false Prophet. The word is loathed; men are full of the Gospell; and of many it is professed without all fruite, wee shall therefore hunger for this bread, seeke it and not finde it; in the stead heereof wee shall surfet vpon the fruite of our owne de­sires, yea God in his iustice shall take his word from vs, and giue it to a people that will bring foorth better fruites and more woor­thie of so pretious a blessing. Thus truely considering our case, & entring into iudgement with God, we must with the Israelites pleade guiltie and as professe his mercies so confesse our faults.

5 The guiltie Israelites sought meanes howe to satisfie for their sinnes.The way which men haue deuised for remedie of this. Their meanes were to sacrifice to God and to offer vp calues, rammes and goates: yea some haue not shrunke to powre the bloud of their owne children vpon the altar, as Mo­ab who offered vp his eldest sonne to pacifie the wrath of God, [Page 192] when in battell he was beseeged and brought into straights. Euen by like meanes, when our conscience hath accused vs of sin ma­ny haue sought to make satisfaction to God for it: some haue sought remission of sinnes in a great number of praiers vttered in a strange tongue without either sense or zeale, neither made in faith nor charitie, procuring hatred in Gods sight, while they looked to be heard by their much babling: Some haue sought to pacifie God by hearing and buying of many Masses, wherin God was blasphemed and fowle Idolatrie committed: Some by kil­ling of Christ the first begotten sonne againe, sacrificing him a­fresh as they thought vpon their hill altars for the dead and the quicke: But they were deceiued. Some by the mediation of Saints departed, robbing Christ of his office, who is the onely mediator and intercessor betweene God and man: Some haue thought to make amendes for their sinnes by buying popish par­dons, by taking their walkes in long pilgrimages to dumme and senselesse idols, & in such like not only vaine but impious deuises of mans foolish braine. Thus sundrie haue sought out sundrie ways some blasphemous and some of them ridiculous to appease the wrath of God prouoked by their sinne. The Israelites doub­ted by what meane to satisfie for their sinne, what God would ac­cept they could not tell, they were altogether vncertaine which way to please him. And truely it is lamentable that there bee so many euen nowe in the cleare light of the sauing Gospell, which doubt by what meanes they may bee saued, and in this doubtful­nesse many still followe their owne fantasies, and through igno­rance are led into the high way of damnation. Wherefore such as are doubtful our Prophet Micheas clearely resolueth, such as are out of the way he calleth into the right path, such as are igno­rant he instructeth, and such as will learne hee offereth to teache what the good will and pleasure of the Lord is.

6 He hath shewed thee,The way which God hath prescri­bed by his Prophet. O man, what is good and accepta­ble to him: surely not to take vpon thee to satisfie for sin thy selfe, for that passeth thy power, all thy righteousnesse being but filthi­nesse in the pure sight of God; not to offer vp any sacrifice, as being in it selfe propitiatorie for sinne, for that Christ onely hath doone on the crosse and that but once and that for all: hee is the onely sacrifice, the onely priest, the onely mediator, the only re­deemer. [Page 193] The price of our saluation is neither golde nor siluer, but the pretious bloud of the innocent lambe of God Christ Ie­sus,Acts 4. shed for the sinnes of the worlde: there is no other name vn­der heauen, whereby we can be saued. God requireth therefore no satisfaction for sinnes at thy hands, but at his he hath required it to the vttermost:Rom 8. Christ is thine; God hath freely giuen thee both him and with him all things that are his. If thou receiue him through a true faith, thy saluation is sealed, and thou art safe. For as many as haue receiued him to them hee hath giuen power to bee the sonnes of God euen to them that beleeue in his name. Iohn 1. If thou confesse with thy mouth, and beleeue in thy heart, that thou art deliuered from thy sinne, by that one oblation of Christ offered vpon the crosse, that his merite hath made thee the childe of his father, and the inhe­ritor of that kingdome which he hath prepared for as many as are his, then applie thy selfe to liue after the will and commaunde­ment of him that hath doone so great thinges for thee: shew thy faith by thy life: let it appeare and be seene in thy works that thou art in deede, the louing and the iustified childe of God, readie & desirous to obeie and doe his will. And least in thy working thou shouldest followe thine owne phantasie, and doe that which is not acceptable in the sight of God, hee hath laide out thy way before thee.

7 He hath shewed thee,No seruice pleaseth God but such as God prescri­beth. O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: Surely to do iudgement and to loue mer­cie, to humble thy selfe, to walke carefully with thy God. Where­in we first learne this lesson: that no seruice wee doe to God can please him, but such as himselfe in his woord hath prescribed; he will be serued as he hath commanded in his lawe, and not as thou hast deuised with thy selfe. That seruice which God in his word doth not require at thy hands, if thou offer it him, it is in vaine thou offerest. The Lord hath not asked it, and he wil not accept it of thee. In vaine they worship me teaching doctrines the precepts of men. It is not for nothing that God was so curious in platting foorth the Tabernacle, and so precise in commaunding that all thinges without exception should be doone according to that patterne. Was God so careful ouer an earthly & a corruptible house think you? No; His meaning was to teache vs that in the spirituall Ta­bernacle in matters of religion, perteining to the seruice & wor­ship [Page 194] of God all things should be doone according to the rule of his owne will which is set downe in his written woord. For hath he not saide in the Lawe,Deut. 12. What I commmaund thee, that onely shalt thou doe, Apoc. 22. thou shalt neither adde nor diminish? He that addeth God shal adde vnto him all the plagues, he that taketh away God shal take from him all the blessings conteined in that booke. The doctrine of Christ, saith Clemens Alexandrinus,Clem. Alexand. is most absolute, neither wanteth it any thing. God is well pleased when men are so religiously affected, that they dare not swarue a haires bredth from his word. S. Cy­prian saith,Cyprian. The foundation of all religion and faith is laide in the woord of God. Hieron. And S. Ierome, That which hath not authoritie out of the woord of God, is altogether as easilie refused as prooued. Which rule of religion if the Latine Church had as wel obserued as it is both in the scrip­tures often giuen, and often commended by the godlie fathers: the Church of Christ had neuer beene burthened with so many vnprofitable traditions, and newe inuentions of men: so many superstitions, so great idolatrie, so ouglie pollutions had neuer found entrance into the house of God. In the scriptures where­in is conteined all that is good and all that which God requireth or accepteth of, we finde no mention either of the name or of the thing of the Masse, the Pope, Purgatorie, praying on beades, hallowing of bels, either any such like popish trashe: In summe fewe parts of their religion haue any one stone from thence to be founded or built vpon. For where doth God require any one of these or the like at our or their hands? That which is required in his name is this, To doe iudgement and to loue mercie, &c. Wherein is fully comprised our whole duetie both to God and man.

8 To doe iudgement.God prescri­beth doing of iudgement, & what it is to doe iudge­ment. This sentence receiueth sundrie expo­sitions, and each of them yeeldeth vs sundrie good lessons. Ie­rome vnderstandeth by dooing of iudgement dooing all things with reason and ripe consideration. God himselfe giueth an ex­ample hereof and applieth himselfe to our senses that he may in­struct our mindes herein. For minding to powre his plagues v­pon Sodoma and Gomorra those sinfull cities hee saith first with himselfe,Gen. 18. I wil goe downe nowe and see whether they haue doone altogether according vnto that crie which is come vnto me or not, that I may knowe. It was rashnesse in Iephthe to promise without exception whatsoe­uer should meete him first, and hee paide ful dearely for it. He­rode [Page 195] without all reason and iudgement promised to his daunsing daughter whatsoeuer shee should demaund, and his keeping of promise was euen as vnaduised. They want iudgement that for­sake the freshe liuing springes, and drinke of a puddell, that con­temne the sauing woord of God, and bee altogether addicted to mans vaine and deceitfull doctrine, that forsake Christs merits by sticking to their owne. They want iudgement that call vpon dead Saints, when they may and should call only vpon the liuing God; who hath promised when we crie both to heare and to helpe vs. They are destitute both of reason and iudgement who vowe that which lieth not in their power to performe. The world is not ig­norant howe these holie ones performed their vowes of chastitie and of single life.Matth. Paris [...]n Henr. prim. How vnable to beare this yoke the Popes owne legate was which forced this thing here in England vpon others, they well knewe which tooke him in the midst of his filth, to his owne euerlasting infamie and the great dishonour of Honorius the second from whom he was sent. Res notissima, negari non potuit: the thing was famously knowen, and could not be denied. Doest thou teache another and doest not teache thy selfe? Doest thou forbid mariage and thy selfe commit adulterie? Doest thou force that yoke vpon others which thy selfe so shamefully shakest off? What is emptinesse of reason and iudgement if this be not? The murther which Theodosius rashly committed without aduise or iudgement put him to great penance and wrought him much so­rowe: whereupon he gaue his royall assent vnto a Lawe, that af­terwards he should do nothing without deliberation before hand taken. The man that is hastie and rash as hee doeth others much woe, so wants no woe himselfe. S. Paul would haue our seruing of God for to be reasonable, that is to be such as that a good and a iust reason may be rendered of it: not such reasons as Durandus gi­ueth of popish rites and ceremonies in a booke written purposely of this matter, but written in such sort that a man vnacquainted with the strange blindenesse of their darkened mindes would cer­tainely thinke that such a worke was rather published to mooue laughter amongst companions than to breede knowledge in the mindes of religious Christians. So voide they are in al their do­ings euen of common sense and reason, not onely of true pietie and obedience to Gods woord.

[Page 196] 9 Another interpretation of dooing iudgement may bee gi­uen,Iudgement must be done by such as haue the ad­ministration of iustice committed vnto them. and that is if we take iudgement for the administration of iustice, and so it hath a speciall respect to such as are set in place of deciding causes and repressing sinnes, who are required by our Prophet to giue righteous and iust iudgement. Giue thy iudgements to the King O God, saith the Prophet, and thy righteousnesse to the kings sonne. Psal. 72. Then shall he iudge the people in righteousnesse and the poore in iu­stice. Iustice and iudgement are commonly in the scriptures ioi­ned together because if there be a diuorce at any time betweene these two, Gods familie and the common wealth goe to wracke and ruine. The Psalmist seemeth to note a separation to haue beene betweene these two in his time, when hee saith, Iudgement shall returne to iustice. Psal. 94. But these may also bee so distinguished that iudgement haue his especiall respect to the execution of the sword, to the punishing of transgressors; iustice to the righeous deciding of matters which are in controuersie. I neede not tra­uell much heerein, I speake to wise and learned men which well knowe their duetie, and I trust that the feare of God will direct them Christianly to discharge the same: Yee doe not forget that ye are called in the scripture God: not onely because yee are set in Gods seate, but because ye are the mouth & the hand of God; the mouth to speake in awarding true sentence, the hand to strike in executing iudgement without respect-of mens persons. Wherein it behooueth you to take good heede, and to beware what ye doe. For yee exercise the iudgement not of man, but of God. If the seate be his, if ye be his mouth and hand, if sen­tence be his, if his be the iudgement: then see to it that ye iudge vprightly as the ministers of that vpright iudge. For there sit­teth a iudge also vpon you: what measure you giue you shall re­ceiue, when the great iudge shall proceede to his last and euer­lasting sentence. Hee that truely feareth God and considereth these things will not swarue from iustice for feare or fauour of a­ny man or thing.

10 I will briefly touche certaine properties which should be in such as are placed in Gods iudiciall seate and leaue the rest to your wise considerations.Iudges free from taking of bri [...]es. The first thing that iudges are especi­ally to take heede of is that they be not receiuers of bribes. Be­ware of rewards; they are the verie bane of vpright iudgement.

[Page 197] 11 In God whose seate ye sit in there is no iniquitie.They that iudge others, must them­selues be faultlesse. Such therefore as correct faults ought themselues to bee faultlesse. In condemning others we condemne our selues, if wee our selues doe that for which we condemne others. A certaine pirate bee­ing charged with his fault by Alexander the great conquerour made him this answere, I robbe in deede with one litle shippe, but thou robbest with a whole Nauie. It is not for him to reprooue that is reprooueable.

12 God is no accepter of persons:Acceptation of persons. neither must you in iudge­ment either fauour the riche, because of his wealth; or spare the poore, for his miseries sake: but weie their causes in the balance of equitie with an euen and steddie hand.

13 The iudge may not giue place to commiseration:Foolish pitie. his place is a place of equitie and not of foolish pitie.Ios. 19. The pitifull and de­ceitfull crie of the Gabionites, the appearance of their miserable estate and condition made the wise and woorthie iudge Iosua to swarue from iustice and to breake the commaundement of the almightie. The exclaming of the people hath many times as much cause as had the harlots complaint made vnto Salomon that her childe was taken from her which her selfe had smothe­red.

14 In proceeding in iudgement beware of swiftnesse and much speede.Iudgement neither too hastie nor too slowe. It is good for a iudge commonly to haue leaden feete. Yet as a iudge may be too swift so hee may bee too slowe. Delatories and shiftings off weare out many a iust cause, & beg­ger many a poore man. The cause standing cleare further plea­ding should cease, sentence shold not be delaied. Salomon set not ouer the harlots to the next terme,1, Reg. 3. but seeing by his wisdome the truth of the cause proceeded foorthwith to iudgement. Paul was set ouer from place to place,Acts 24. from terme to terme, and could not receiue iustice; the cause is declared, Felix hoped for a fee. But this fault of delaying iustice is laide vpon the Attorneies and Pro­ctors, the Counsellers and Aduocates in the Lawe, who seeke their greater gaine and wealth through the greater trouble and losse of the people. If they would learne two short lessons of S. Paul and learne withall to followe them, the matter easilie might be amended. The one is to loue men & not their monie. Non quae­ro quae vestra sunt, 2▪ Cor. 12. saith S. Paul, I seeke not yours but you. This les­son [Page 198] is hard,2. Cor. 13. but good: and the other is like it. I can doe nothing a­gainst the trueth, but for the trueth, saith the Apostle. Nothing in a bad cause, but in a good cause all things. These lessons well lear­ned would quickely cut off many euil pleas, and driue back cause­lesse controuersies.

15 You to whom the sword of iustice and iudgement is com­mitted take heede vnto it.Partialitie. Let it not spare mightie men: for their sinnes are mightie sinnes. If such offend, their fall draweth down others with them. God therefore commaunded Moses to hang vp the princes of the people vpon gibbets that they might be ex­amples of punishment who had beene examples in sinning. The good Consul Iunius Brutus spared not his owne sonnes but cut off their conspiring heads. And Aulus Fuluius in the like case did the like thing. Pilate abused his office, when vpon sute hee spared Captaine Barrabas the murtherer, and killed Christ our sauiour. Spare not traitors, murtherers or theeues, least you bee partakers of their sinnes. Your lenitie towardes them is crueltie towards the common weale, the enemies of whose peace they are. Serue God in feare, loue his trueth, promote his Gospell. The seate, the iudgement, the sword is the Lordes, defend there­fore his cause, see to the keeping of his statutes, enlarge his king­dome, aduaunce his glorie: for he hath promised to glorifie them that honour him, but they that despise him shall be full base: hee shall make them vile and contemptible.

16 Doing of iudgement may also generally be taken for iust dealing.Iudgement & iustice must be in all the dealings ge­nerally of all men. Iustice is a vertue which giueth euery man his own. Ren­der vnto euerie man y which is his. Let euerie man performe his office & fulfil his dutie, let euerie man do right one to another: do as you would be done vnto. If this Law were obserued the people shold be eased of great expenses, iudges & iustices of great trauel. Christ saith, if a man take thy coat frō thee rather than striue giue him also thy cloake.1. Cor. [...]. There is verily a fault amongst you, because ye goe to Lawe one with another: why doe you not rather suffer wrong? Why doe yee not rather sustaine any kinde of tollerable harme? Abraham gaue place to Lot and would not contend: his onely reason was, wee are brethren. Gen. 13. But brotherhoode is nowe adaies no argument of agreement, our times are so vnlike their times, and we so vnlike them. There were no better meane in my opinion to bridle these [Page 199] quarelling and contentious mindes of wranglers than to burthen such as faile in their cause with great expenses & amerciaments. It would make them beware of quarels and vniust contending if they were sure to paie well for it. Doe iudgement, deale iustly one with another, paie vnto al men that which is due, that which is not due seeke not to haue at any mans hands.

17 The second duetie to our neighbour is mercie:As we must doe iudge­ment, so we must also loue mercie: which he that loueth doth not rashly iudge others. Hee hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: surely to doe iudgement, and to loue mercie. Bee mercifull saith our Sauiour as your father is also mercifull. This mercie as Christ there teacheth wil shewe forth it selfe in three properties. First it will bridle that vncharitable rashnesse of iudging and con­demning others. Nolite iudicare, Iudge not. Mercie will not bee hastie to iudge.Luc. 6. There be iudgements ciuill, and iudgements Ec­clesiasticall; iudgements publike, and priuate iudgements. Christ neither forbiddeth the magistrate neither the publike minister to iudge according to the Lawe, neither the parent or master to iudge and correct their offending children or seruaunts. It is vn­charitable priuate iudgement which God forbiddeth when men vnaduisedly take vpon them to giue sentence of others, as if God had resigned his owne right into their handes: they condemne whom they list, and say what they list, euen as they fancie so they iudge. This man is a Saint and that man a sinner; he the seruant of God, and hee the childe of death. Who art thou that so iud­gest anothers seruaunt? Is it not to his own master only to whom he stands or fals? Who art thou that takest such seueritie vpon thee? that dealest so vnmercifully with thy brother? He is a sin­ner: so thou either art, or hast beene, or maist be: iudge therfore thy selfe, trie and examine thine owne woorkes. Iudge I say thy selfe and iudge not him least thou be condemned of the Lord, for both not iudging and iudging.Gal. 6. If a brother be ouertaken with a fault, ye that are spirituall shew mercie, restore him with the spi­rit of meekenesse: considering thy selfe, least thou also be temp­ted. Verily this mercilesse iudging of others is the cause why wee fall into many perils and secret temptations. Loue mercie there­fore and iudge not. Hee that iudgeth with the Pharisee, with the Pharisee shall be iudged.

18 Another fruite of mercie is forgiuenesse. They who [Page 200] are hastie to iudge are for the most part in forgiuing slowe. Louers of mercie are readie to par­don and put vp iniuries. But forgiue and yee shall bee forgiuen. Howbeit such as sit in iudge­ment ought to correct and not to remit, because they deale not with iniuries doone to themselues but to the lawes and common wealth or church: But in priuate iniuries wee must all remember the words and followe the example of our Sauiour. Be mercifull and forgiue. Christ forgaue them that put him to death, Stephen them that stoned him, Ioseph them that solde him, the king his vnthriftie seruaunt 1000. talents. If wee forgiue not others, it is in vaine to praie that which wee dailie praie, Forgiue vs. For so doth Ecclesiasticus wel teache vs. Ecclesiast. 28. He that seeketh vengeance, shall finde vengeance of the Lord: and he will surely keepe his sinnes. Forgiue they neighbour, the hurt that he hath doone to thee: so shall thy sinnes be forgiuen thee also, when thou praiest. Should a man beare hatred against man: and desire forgiuenesse of the Lord? Hee will shewe no mercie to a man, that is like himselfe: and will he aske forgiuenesse of his owne sinnes? If hee that is but flesh, nourish hatred, and aske pardon of God: who will intreate for his sinnes?Matth. 5. And our Sauiours commaundement is, If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remembrest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leaue there thine offering before the altar, and goe thy waie: first bee recon­ciled to thy brother; and then come, and offer thy gift. Whereunto S. Chrysostome alluding, saith, That God had rather want thy sacrifice due to him: than reconciliation should not be made, betweene thee, and thy brother.

19 The next and third fruite of mercie mentioned by our sa­uiour is,Merciful men are bountiful. Giue and it shall be giuen vnto you, He that loueth mercie gi­ueth almes, but the couetous man is cruell. God is so carefull to haue the poore releeued that he hath bound himselfe by promise to make almes most gainefull to the giuer: so that it is not in this as in other common expenses, but whatsoeuer we laie out that we laie vp. He that giueth to the poore lendeth to the Lorde, a sure dis­charger of his debts to the vttermost. For hee leaueth not a cup of colde water giuen in his name vnrewarded. The occasions which we haue to shewe foorth this fruite of mercie are very ma­ny and great: we haue the poore with vs, and we haue them with vs in great numbers. Are we not woorse than Iewes, if we suffer our Christ, at whose hands we haue receiued all our riches, in his naked and hungrie members to beg his bread at our dores, & [Page 201] pitifully to die euen in the midst of our streetes for distresse, for colde and hunger? If our gospell bring foorth in steade of mercie this crueltie, in stead of kindenesse this hardnesse of heart, doubt­lesse God will take his pretious gospell from vs, and giue it to a people that will bring foorth better and sweeter fruite. Nowe if the loue of God and mercie towards our brother can not pierce our flintie heartes, yet let shame of the worlde compell vs, and our owne commoditie induce vs well to consider of this lamenta­ble case. If that which is giuen were giuen in good order it would ease this common griefe. By good order and wise prouision the impotent might be so releeued, that they should not need to beg, and such as are able might be forced in the sweate of their browes to eate their owne bread. And if the matter were taken in hande by them by whom it should, I doe not doubt but GOD would touche the hearts of many a man with tender mercie that they would both cheerefully and liberally contribute to this worke of mercie, which God doth more esteeme than any other sacrifice, nay he refuseth sacrifice and craueth this. The Lorde loueth a cheerefull and a bountifull giuer and will plentifully reward him. Let euerie good man set forward this worke: it is the worke of the Lord, the fruite of mercie, good and gainfull not onely to others but also to our selues. For behold howe the works of mercie doe returne backe againe vnto them from whom they proceed. Iudge not and you your selues shall not bee iudged, Forgiue and yee shall bee forgiuen your selues, giue and it shall bee giuen vnto you.

20 All which notwithstanding,Vsurers ar [...] altogether mercilesse [...] men. the bowels of compassion are in some men so maruellously dried and closed vp, that they turne away their faces from all men that desire any thing at their hands, though they aske it not of gift but of loane; vnlesse they aske to buie the loane with vsurie. The Iewes euen till this day will not lend vpon vsurie among themselues, but lende freely to their brethren and without gaine. Iudas himselfe that solde his master for monie was not more cruel harted I suppose than these men are who for monie deuoure their brethren. Their hearts are yron hearts. They haue no sparke of pitie or compassion left in them. Let them not thinke but that one day their gaine shall be their exceeding losse. If Chrysostome thought that one euill [Page 202] gotten groate laide vp amongest a chestful of monie would be as a canker to fret out and eate vp the rest, what shall become then of so much gotten by so vnmerciful & vngodlie meanes? Where is loue, where is mercie, when lending of monie is become mer­chandise? Inough hath beene saide in this place of this matter: which if it be not amended be yee assured that the Lorde God in his iust wrath will plague you both in your selues and in your po­steritie for it.

21 Nowe that we haue seene what duetie we owe to men,The dutie to­wards God which the prophet re­quireth at our hands. let vs see what God requireth to be performed vnto himselfe. Hee hath shewed thee, O man, what is good. Our dutie towards him is to humble our selues and to walke carefully with our God. He that will walke with God must be of an humble heart. It is the milde-hearted, and not the proude-minded; the Publican, and not the Pharisee that walketh with him.

22 To walke with him is to be syncerely and heartily carefull to set forward his cause,What it is to walke with God. to promote his gospell, to defende his trueth, to amplifie his kingdome to the vttermost of our powers. Princes and they that iudge the earth whome God hath blessed with so high an honour especially should in feare and reuerence serue their God, loue his woord and gospell, earnestly & cheere­fully aduaunce, maintaine and defend true religion. They are a­ble to doe most good, and therefore most is required of them. Bi­shops and ministers the dispensers of Gods blessed mysteries should carefully trauell in their Lords cause and glorie, in season and out of season to preache the gospell, euen so much as in vs lieth: or else the Vae of God which hangeth ouer our heads shall be powred downe vpon vs. But the saying of S. Paul is verified in these our daies vpon al sorts of people, All men seeke their owne. The preferring of true religion, the seeking of Gods glorie is the least part of mens care or thought. It was otherwise with Moses who both loued Gods seruice with perfect loue, & hated superstition with perfect hatred. Theodosius for want of this warmenesse & zeale in Gods quarell suffered by his too much lenitie the Arri­ans who denied Christ to be God quietly to spreade abroad their heresies in his dominions without checke or controlling. The good Bishop Amphilochius vpon this occasion repaired to the Emperor who had at that time with him his sonne and heire Ar­cadius. [Page 203] The Bishop did his obeysance and dutie to the Emperor, but saluted not his sonne; wherewith the Emperor finding fault saide, Why salute ye not our sonne who shall sit on our seate? No Emperor; for somuch as thou doest not care for the sonne of God, but sufferest him to loose his honour and place, neither shal thy sonne be regarded or sit on thy seate. Here at his owne cause called into question hee waxed warme, and foorthwith expelled the Arrians out of his dominions. Many of them who are hoat in their owne matters are colde in Gods cause. Yet our Prophet biddeth vs carefully to walke with our God and to bee earnest in seeking of his kingdome and glorie.

23 Be carefull ouer your conuersation,He which walketh with God must walk careful­ly, especially if God haue made him as it were a God amongst men. giue no cause of slan­der, to them which are without; or of offence, to the litle ones: Let not the gospell be discredited by your behauiours. Be careful that the light of your life so shine before the worlde, that there­in your heauenly father may be glorified. Yee ought to shine as lights: Take heede that your light be not turned into darkenesse. Be bright starres, and not mistie cloudes. If an Eclipse fall a­mongst you, the rest of England will be darkened with it. Ye are seene and marked of men and Angels. The world hath many eies, eares, and tongues. London, Westminster, the Innes of Court and Chancerie, from whence the best and most of you doe flow, are as a fountaine from whence should spring all true religion, all pietie, vertue and godlie conuersation. If this spring bee corrup­ted, the riuers that flowe from it must needes bee polluted. If blasphemous poperie full of idolatrie and superstition, if vaine and puffed vp pride, if wicked auarice and intollerable vsurie the great canker of the common wealth, if bellie cheere and filthie whoredome, if subtile and false dealing, if counterfaite and fai­ned friendship, if flatterie and dissimulation bee the water of this your well: doubt you not but that all England wil drink thereof, and they being poisoned by your ill example: their bloud shall be required at your hands.

24 Walke therefore,They which walke with God must still walke on. and walke on; goe forward. For if yee be in the way of life, not to goe forward is to goe backward. If ye be entr [...]d into this happie path, steppe not aside, giue not backe. A dogge returning to his vomit is a fowle and an ougly thing to behold. Take heede I say of backesliding. It is a dreadfull thing [Page 204] to forsake Christ, and to be ashamed of the gospell. Hee that ta­steth of this sweete gift of God the gospell of Christ and falleth backe from it, he is a tormenter as much as in him lieth and a crucifier of the Lord of glorie. Walke therefore, goe on from strength to strength, from vertue to vertue. Ye haue beene here­tofore often mooued: but what effect hath it taken? God graunt that there bee not a retyring from strength to weakenesse, from vertue to sinnefulnesse. It is to be feared that many mens woon­ted zeale is transformed into colde securitie, their liberalitie into greedinesse and biting vsurie, charitie into enuie, sobrietie into wantonnesse, humilitie into pride and hawtinesse. This is the common walking of men, for whom it were farre better if they stoode still. The Apostle could not mention them but with teares. There are many which walke, saith he, of whom I haue tolde you often and now tell you weeping, they are enemies of the crosse of Christ, their bellie is their God, their glorie is in their shame, their end is damnation.

25 Walke not as these doe in darkenesse but in light.We all walke before God, but not all with God. God is light, walke therefore with God. And then ye doe that which hee requireth at your hands. Walke with him: for howsoeuer wee walke we are sure to walke before him. We cannot shun his eie: if we flie vp into heauen, he is there, if wee goe downe into hell, there he is also. Hee seeth things doone in light and beholdeth that which is couered with darkenesse: hee is priuie vnto mens thoughts: he knewe the spitefull and malitious purposes of the Scribes and Pharisees: hee espied Adam biting the forbidden fruite: he looked vpon Cain shedding his brothers bloud: hee perceiued the secrete sinnes of Sodome: he vnderstood the cor­ruption of Giezi and made it manifest: he sawe the double heart of Iudas who kissed his master and betraied him: he beheld Siba when hee falsly and traiterously accused Mephiboseth vnto Da­uid. The cloaked adulterie and murther which Dauid had coue­red with cloudes of policie could not be hidden from his eie: The lie of Ananias was written in capitall letters before him plaine to be red: The sleights and conueiances of the vsurer cannot be co­uered with figgetree leaues from the sight of the almightie: there is neither bribe giuen nor taken but God looketh vpon it: there is no trecherie nor treason that can be hid from him. Dominus videt is a short but a good lesson. I beseeche you learne it and remem­ber [Page 205] it, that it may teache you to walke alwaies as in the sight of the Lord, who will be a swift witnesse and a fierce iudge against euill doers who walke with Satan. Which thing rightly and du­ly considered and weied would bridle these vntamed affections of ours, and terrifie men from these heinous and wilfull sinnes. Our Lorde graunt this good effect for his great mercies sake. Thus haue you heard the occasion, explication and application of these the prophets woords: what way we may please God and pacifie his wrath, what wee owe to our neighbours, name­ly to deale iustly and mercifully with them, not rashly to iudge of them, easily to forgiue them, and liberally to giue vnto them: what wee owe likewise to our gratious GOD, to wit to humble our selues lowlie before his maiestie; and carefully, zea­lously, and continually to walke in his presence. To this God, e­uen our good and mercifull father, with his sonne our sauiour & the holy ghost our sanctifier, three persons and one God bee all honour and glorie world without end. Amen.

The thirteenth Sermon. A Sermon made in Yorke at a visitation.

MATTH. 21.

12 And Iesus went into the temple of God and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and ouerthrewe the tables of the monie chan­gers, and the seates of them that sold Doues,

13 And said to them, It is written, Mine house shall be called the house of praier: but ye haue made it a denne of theeues.

THE Church and spouse of God hath beene euer most deare to the children of God.The care which the godly haue alwaies had o [...] the Church. Godly Princes haue alwaies carefully trauelled for the good pre­seruation and gouernement thereof. Dauid that princely prophet; Salo­mon that wise and mightie king, Ieho­saphat, Ezechias, Iosias, Zorobabel, with others most religious and woor­thie [Page 206] men which bare excellent rule in their dominions haue pain­fully trauelled not onely to builde, to amplifie and to inlarge the kingdome of God by setting forwarde true religion, but also to purge and reforme his temple by taking away such defilementes and corruptions as grewe by meanes of carelesse gouernement. The Apostles of Christ both among the Iewes and Gentiles did first plant Churches by the diligent preaching of the gospel, and afterward with like care and diligence visite them to see in what state they stood, that if any thing were gone to decaie it might in time be repaired.Acts 15. This is recorded vnto vs in the historie of their acts and deedes, and namely in the fifteenth chapter. Christ the annointed king and priest, the great sheepeheard of the sheepe, the perfect example giuen vs to followe did not onely goe about through all Galilee and the costs of Iurie preaching the glad ti­dings of the gospell and confirming his heauenly doctrine with woonderfull miracles, but as it is in this present historie declared perceiuing that through the subtiltie of Satan and couetousnesse of the priests the temple of God was prophaned, in his pastorall care he visited it and in the zeale of God voided them out which did defile it. Howe the fathers of the Church and chiefe pastors haue with great care and diligence euerie where at all times in al ages doone the like I neede not declare vnto you, the histories are plaine and plentifull. And thus considering my calling and the charge committed vnto me, I thought my selfe by these former examples in dutie forced and in conscience bound, not onely as much as in me lieth to feede the flocke of Christ, but also to view and see in what state the Church of God committed to my ouer­sight and gouernement standeth. And as Christ began with the most magnificent temple of Ierusalem which hee found propha­ned and polluted through the practise of the priests: so thought I it conuenient and meete first to visite this most auncient and fa­mous church, the head and example to all the rest, wel hoping to finde it in better order.

2 That we may learne by the doctrine and example of Christ howe we ought to vse our selues in the house of God,The Church purged, & the vse thereof shewed by Christ. as well for the establishing of true religion & of the syncere seruing of God, as also for the expelling of that which is vaine, corrupt and coun­terfeit, there are in this action of Christ two thinges especially to [Page 207] be considered of: first he commeth to Ierusalem, entreth into the temple, findeth it full of corruption and doeth purge it, secondly he teacheth the true vse of it, and sheweth them their fault who did abuse it.

3 Christ comming towards Ierusalem was at the first highly magnified and receiued with applause of the people crying,The enter­tainement of Christ and his ministers in the world when they goe about to doe the worke of the Lord. Ho­sanna, Blessed is he that commeth king in the name of the Lorde, peace in heauen and glorie on high. But this faire wether did not long conti­nue. So soone as hee entred into the citie and taught, the chiefe priests, the Scribes & the Princes of the people sought to destroy him:Luc. 19. yea the people which before gaue so great applause crying, Hosanna, soone after cried with a lowde voice, Crucifige. The gos­pell in prosperitie hath many pretensed friends and fauourers: but when it is persecuted by the wise and mightie men of the worlde, then these counterfeits shewe themselues in their owne colours, the hollownesse of their hearts is then descried. Let the minister therefore which mindeth indeede the glorie of God beware that he neuer depend vpon men whose mindes are changeable and al­waies wauering; but let him rest vpon GOD and relie himselfe wholly vpon his prouidence. Let vs all faithfully and painefully trauell in our function, making our selues readie for the crosse pa­tiently to suffer with Christ Iesus.

4 Being come to the citie hee streight way entered into the temple,Christs en­tring into the temple. either as Gregorie noteth, to declare quòd ex culpa Sacerdo­tum ruina populi, that the fault of the priestes is the ruine of the people, and therefore his principall care was to correct and re­forme them; or else to giue all men an example of diligence in re­pairing to the house of God.

5 Hauing entred the temple he findeth there in steade of pa­stors teaching the woord of God,The state wherein he found the temple of Ierusalem. drouers and brokers making sale; in stead of pues for praier tables for exchange; in steade of righteous men brute beasts; theeues in steade of a sanctified con­gregation. Thus hee found the Church of Ierusalem disfigured and forlorne: this was the state of that Synagogue at what time he came to visite it.

6 Howe to proceede in reforming a Church so greatly disor­dered our Sauiour hath taught vs by his owne practise amongst the Iewes.He [...] He entred into the temple, threwe out the men that [Page 208] bought and solde, whipped out the beasts, powred out the chan­gers monie, turned their tables vpside downe, ouerthrewe the seates of them that sold doues, and withall told them, Scriptum est, It is written.

7 In that wee reade howe Christ did all these things,By whom the Church shold be reformed when things are found to be amisse. wee are thereby giuen to vnderstand at whose hands wee must expect re­formation of things amisse in the Church of God. Christ had authoritie to cast out of the temple whatsoeuer displeased him because he was supreme Lord ouer it. The persons therefore to whom this worke of reformation belongeth are not al men indif­ferently but they onely to whom hee hath graunted the seate of speciall authoritie in his Church. If they whom he hath set ouer his house as principall seruaunts, guides and stewardes either ci­uilly or spiritually, as Moses or as Aaron to rule and gouerne it vntill his comming shal in such maner as agreeth with their seue­ral places and callings performe his dutie in the church of Christ, whosoeuer in such proceedings withstandeth them the same vn­doubtedly rebelleth against God. Yea I say further when GOD hath giuen his people kings which are as nurcing fathers,Esay 49. and Queenes which are as nurcing mothers to his church, when princes are not enemies but professors of the faith and protectors of the faithfull, their hands ought to be chiefe in this worke: nei­ther is it lawfull for subiects of what degree and order soeuer by themselues to attempt alteration and chaunge in the church of God though it be from woorse to better. In the daies of Iosias Helchiah although he were the Lords high priest & knew things to be very much out of order,2 Reg. 22. did not thereupon according to the custome of the turbulent and seditious, by woord or writing alie­nate and estrange the mindes of the people from the present kind of gouernment either of the Church or publike weale, but peace­ably and orderly hee sent Shaphan the Chauncelor to the king: who perceiuing the things which were amisse, went immediatly vp to the house of the Lord with all the men of Iuda and the in­habitants of Ierusalem with him, and the priests and prophets & al the people, where the faults and abuses being cleerely set down that euerie one might see them, he gaue commandement to Hel­chiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the doore to bring out of the temple of the Lorde all [Page 209] the vessels that were made for Baal. Thus the prince did his due­tie, and the priests theirs, he by iniunction, and they by execution; they instructing him, and he strengthening them in the worke of the Lord. Seeing therefore we haue on the one side (the name of the Lord be blessed for it) the highest power zealous for the glo­rie of God as theirs was, let not vs whom this care ought especi­ally to touche, shewe our selues lesse readie than they were to bring out of the temple of the Lord all such filthie corruptions as are crept into it by the wicked dealings of those vngodlie men which care not howe shamefully they pollute and defile it, let not vs whom the Lord hath made the ouerseers of his house be sloth­full in proceeding to sweepe, cleanse and purge it according as Lawes and statutes haue wisely prouided in this behalfe; let vs consider that we are the Lords labourers,Ier. 1. that the worke we haue in hand is his husbandrie, that our duetie is as well to destroie as to build, to roote out as to plant.

8 But what is that which we must labour to destroie?What was re­formed by Christ in the temple. what weedes be those which we must indeuour to root out? We reade here that our Sauiour did cast buyers and sellers out of the temple terming them Theeues. For although to buy and sell be actions in themselues lawfull and honest: yet the time and place with other circumstances may so change their qualitie, that he which buieth shall be as one that robbeth, and hee that selleth as one that stea­leth. They bought and solde in the temple, this Christ condem­neth. Yet beholde what a beautifull colour they had set vpon their wicked practises to make them seeme allowable before mē. For of the iudgement of God they made no account. It is written in the Law, Thou shalt eate before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, Deut. 14. the tithe of thy corne, of thy wine and of thine oyle, and the first borne of thy kine, and of thy sheepe, that thou maist learne to feare the Lord thy God alway. And if the way bee too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carie it because the place is farre from thee where the Lorde thy God shall choose to set his name, when the Lord thy God shall blesse thee, then shalt thou make it in monie, and take the monie in thine hand and goe vnto the place which the Lorde thy God shall choose, and thou shalt bestowe the monie for whatsoeuer thine heart desireth, & shalt eat it there before the Lord thy God, and reioice both thou and thine housholde. Vnder pretense of prouiding that according to this lawe [Page 210] men which dwelt farre off might alwaies at their comming to the temple haue sacrifices there and offerings in a readinesse to pre­sent before the Lord, their couetous humor fed it selfe vpon the people without all feare of God, without any reuerence at all of his sanctuarie. May they not iustly be termed Theeues, who pre­tending thus to serue the Lord in his sacrifices, robbed and spoi­led him in his Saintes? No doubt Ierusalem had shee knowen the things which belonged to her peace would haue blest the houre wherein the Lorde of the house came to ease that holy place of so intollerable burthens, to rid his temple of so noisome filth.

9 Now because the roote from whence these abuses and cor­ruptions grewe,What wee should re­forme in the Church ac­cording to Christs ex­ample. was the setled wickednesse wherewith the hearts both of the priests and people were possest, therefore wee may without swaruing from the true intent of this historie, take occa­sion heere to note some speciall pollutions of the mysticall Tem­ple of GOD which is his Church, and to shewe the great ne­cessitie of remoouing them. Wherein (as the present occasion of our assemblie at this time requireth) I will especially touche such as properly belong to that part of the Church which hath the spirituall regiment of the other. This therefore is the princi­pall matter which now we haue to obserue in the fact of our Lord and master Christ, that if in visiting our temples wee finde them possessed with wicked pastors, they are not there to bee suffered, the rodde of seueritie must whippe them out. Who bee good sheepeheardes and who be theeues it is soone discerned, yee shall knowe them by their fruites.

10 Vnto good pastors our Sauiour opposeth hirelings,The vnkinde affection of e­uil pastors. theeues and robbers, shewing also the difference betweene the one and the other.Iohn 10. The good sheepeheard loueth his flocke in­tirely, it grieueth him not to powre out his verie soule for their sakes, he gathereth them as Lambes into his armes, carieth them in his bosome, and kindely intreateth them. Contrarywise the hireling careth not for the sheepe, he beareth a sterne and a sto­nie heart towards them. And as their inward affections are farre different, so their outward actions are much vnlike, whether we looke vpon their entring into their function or their dealing after they are entred.

[Page 211] 11 The true sheepeheard goeth in by the dore, Their vnor­derly entring vpon the flock [...] by Si­monie. to him the porter o­peneth: He taketh not this honour vnto himselfe, but expecteth a calling from God as Aaron did; hee breaketh not in by violence but waiteth till the porter open vnto him, till they giue him en­trance to whom Christ hath giuen power and authoritie to or­deine.2. Mat. 4. But theeues and robbers clime vp another way, they winde in themselues by vnlawful meanes, with monie they purchase the roomes which they occupie in the Church of Christ. Thus did Menelaus get the priesthoode from Iason at the handes of the king by giuing three hundred talents of siluer more than the o­ther, albeit hee had nothing in himselfe woorthie of the high priesthood, but bare the stomacke of a cruel tyrant and the wrath of a wilde beast. Thus Leo the tenth, Innocentius the eighth, Siluester the third, two Gregories, the sixt and the twelfth, yea the most part of the Bishops of Rome for many yeeres haue ob­teined their popedomes. Thus doe their Cardinals, Bishops and Prelates; thus doe their clergie euen to this day. And I would to God this were onely their fault. A thing both condemned by the commendable Lawes, decrees, and constitutions of sundrie Councels, and also by the blessed Apostle S. Peter so grieuously accursed in him whose heart was first therewith infected, that in the whole bodie of the sacred Scripture a note of the like indig­nation conceiued against any other sinne (as I am perswaded) can scarcely be found. For why? If they which bought and solde but the beasts of the field and birds of the aire, doues, sheepe and ox­en in the place which God had sanctified to himselfe, were there­fore termed by a name that declareth their dealings to haue beene as much abhorred in his sight as if they had spent all the daies of their life in theft & robberie, how can we think any bitternesse of speeche or sharpnesse of punishment too great for so extreme li­cētiousnes as theirs that make sale of the cure of soules, that bar­gain for the gifts of the holie Ghost? For so they are. The making of Bishops, the bestowing of benefices, the presēting, instituting and inducting of pastors, the placing of teachers, guides and o­uerseers in the Church, is and should be accounted the very work of the holie Ghost. Attend, saith S. Paul, take heed to your selues and to the whole flocke,Acts. 20. wherein the holie Ghost hath placed you Bishops to rule the Church of God which hee hath purchased [Page 212] with his owne bloud. Whosoeuer therfore be the man that pre­sumeth to staine a thing so holie with the execrable filth of indi­rect dealing, of buying, selling, couenanting, bargaining ei­ther for monie or monie worth, may it not as iustly bee saide to him as to Magus,Acts 8. Thy monie perish with thee because thou thinkest that the gift of God may be obteined with monie: Thou hast neither part nor fel­lowship in this buisinesse: for thine heart is not right in the sight of GOD? I counsel them with S. Peter that are in the gall of this bitternesse, and in the bonds of this iniquitie, betime to repent them of their wickednesse, and to praie vnto God that if it bee possible the thoughts of their hearts may be forgiuen them.

12 It is a true saying,Their euill dealing after they are en­tred. Vix bono peraguntur exitu quae malo sunt in­choata principio, Thinges ill begun are not commonly well ended, neither are their proceedings likely to be good whose beginnings are so greatly out of order. They which enter not into the tem­ple as did Aaron wil hardly behaue themselues in the house of the Lord as Aaron did.2. Mac. 4. Iason obteined a superioritie in the Church by monie: But howe behaued he himselfe in this his purchased function? Began he not immediatly to drawe his brethren to the customes of the Gentiles? Did hee not by and by change their Lawes and policies, and bring vp newe statutes contrarie to their Lawe? As the good sheepeheard entring in at the doore when he is entred, guideth his sheepe as Dauid in the discretion of his hands, feedeth them carefully with wholesome doctrine, & wal­keth in all vprightnesse of holie and vndefiled conuersation be­fore them: so he that climeth vp an other way after hee hath got­ten himselfe in, seeketh nothing but to steale, kil and destroie. The theefe commeth not but to steale, Iohn 10. to kill, and to destroie: Hee hath no o­ther ende or purpose.

13 The onely thing that should be desired by the pastor is the weale and benefite of his flocke.They steale. For if the marke whereat wee shoote be but to make our commoditie by the Gospell of Iesus Christ: wherein doe we differ from theeues and robbers? Is not our intent and purpose the very selfesame with theirs? Where­fore S. Peters exhortation is,1. Pet. 5. Feede the flocke of God caring for it not for filthie lucre but of a readie minde. If a man haue al know­ledge, in so much that he be able to speake with tongues, yea and to prophecie, yet if the thing for which he laboureth be his owne [Page 213] gaine, if he vse this vocation than which nothing is more preti­ous and holie onely as a way or trade to liue by, whatsoeuer hee receiueth with such a minde he stealeth rather than receiueth it. This is that whereof the Lorde complaineth so grieuously by his Prophets,Mich. 3. The priests teache for hire, the prophets prophecie for monie: yet will they leane vpon the Lord and say, Is not the Lord among vs?Eay 56. And againe, These sheepeheards cannot vnderstand, they all looke to their owne way, euerie one for his aduantage and for his owne purpose. Moses blessing Leuie before his death saith first, They shall teache Iacob thy iudgements and Israel thy Lawe, they shall put incense before thy face, Deut. 33. and then addeth, Blesse O Lord his substance, accept the worke of his hands. As if he should haue saide, So long as Leuie and his sonnes doe not seeke their owne com­moditie but thy glorie, thou art righteous and canst not forget to prouide in large maner both for them and theirs. As indeede till the men of that sacred order tooke fleshhookes in their hands and sought to better their estate by force,1. Sam. 2. til they became like to gree­die mastiues, rauening curres, who euer sawe the Leuite of the Lord forsaken, or the sonne of the Leuite begging his bread? So likewise the Church of GOD was neuer spoiled till her pastors were ouercarefull to be inriched. In the prime and first appearing of Christian religion as long as that heroicall contempt of earth­ly things continued in the guides and leaders of the people, what heapes of worldly treasure were brought and laide downe euen at their feete? Men thought themselues to performe nothing wor­thie of that profession into which they were entred, vnlesse they sold away their lands, goods and possessions, and gaue al to make thē rich by whose meanes thēselues were become righteous. The contrarie to which affection as in other parts of the Christian world, so in this also hath taken such roote and is growen nowe so strong, that God may iustly charge vs as sometime he did his owne people saying,Malach. [...]. Ye haue spoiled me, euen this whole Nation. If therefore we be grieued (as who is not grieued?) to see the ha­uocke that is made of the Church of GOD, let vs change our earthly and worldly affection that he may change the condition of his Church. God is no puruey or for theeues and robbers. Let vs in synceritie and in truth, heartily and in deede despise our own gaine for his glorie, and prooue him if hee will not rebuke these [Page 214] deuourers for our sakes.

14 The next thing which Christ obserueth in theeues is this,They kill when they teach not the truth which saueth: This some doe be­cause they cannot teach, some because they wil not. they destroie the flocke and make as litle conscience to kill as to steale. They kill not the bodies but the soules of men. The life of the soule is the word of truth, wherein whosoeuer hath taken vpon him to instruct the flocke of Christ, and either cannot or wil not doe it, what doth he else but kil and destroie? Moses spea­king of the obedience of Israel to the Lawes and statutes of their God, This is, saith he, your wisedome. But howe came Israel by that wisedome? Did they naturally knowe the Lord as beasts doe na­turally knowe their dammes? No, The Lord said vnto me, saith Mo­ses, Gather the people together and I wil cause them to heare my woordes, that they may learne to feare me all the daies that they shall liue vpon the earth, and that they may teache their children. So they came neere and stoode vnder the mountaine, and were taught of God which spake vnto them out of the midst of the fire. Thus God taught Is­rael then. Afterward he raised vp prophets among them of their owne brethren, and they were taught by men like vnto them­selues. Neither hath God at any time ceased and left off, but from the beginning of the world to this verie houre he hath giuen men knowledge by instruction and saued his elect by teaching. Can not God then giue wisedome from aboue without a teacher? Yes God is able to mainteine the life of man without bread. But why doe we talke of his absolute power when his wil is that Cornelius be taught by Peter, Lydia by Paul, Paul by Ananias, the Eunuch by Philip, euerie soule that is wise in the doctrine of saluation by Apostles, Prophets, Euangelists, teachers appointed for the ga­thering together of the Saints for the worke of the ministerie and for the edification of the bodie of Christ. As therefore he that wil liue must eate, so he that will bee saued must haue a teacher. Wherefore when the Lorde meant a blessing to his people hee made them this promise, I will giue you pastors according to my heart which shall feede you with knowledge and vnderstanding. When their pastors were voide of knowledge and vnderstanding this was e­uer a token that their ruine and destruction was at hande. Come nowe,Esay 56. saith the prophet, all ye beasts of the field, come to deuoure euen all the beasts of the forrest, this people cannot continue nowe, they must needes perish: for their watchemen are all blinde, they haue no [Page 215] knowledge, they are all dumme dogges and cannot barke, they lie asleepe and delight in sleeping. We are vnworthie of our liues if we doe not ac­knowledge the woonderfull blessing of God in our ministerie at this day. For howsoeuer it bee debased by some, yet is it so farre off God be thanked from the state of the Iewish Clergie in those daies, that I am perswaded there neither is nor euer was a more learned ministerie in any nation vnder heauen. Neuerthelesse I acknowledge, It is much to be lamented that the glorious Gos­pel of Christ nowe shining with so perfect beautie as it doth, in the midst of so great light so many should still remaine in darke­nesse, liuing as men without God in this present world, and peri­shing through the ignorance of his sauing truth. In the meane while they which are the chiefe and principal causes hereof think they haue very wel discharged themselues by accusing others, as if when they against all both religion and reason haue drawne vn­to themselues those possessions which ought to maintaine such as labour in the Gospel, a Bishop by striking the earth with one foote might raise vp learned pastors sufficient to furnish a whole prouince. But whosoeuer bee the principall cause of this disor­der, they vndoubtedly cannot wash their hands of it that presume to take vpon them the charge of soules for which they knowe themselues vnfit and altogether vnsufficient. In these which de­stroie because they cannot saue there is onely a defect, which al­though it woorthily deserue punishment doeth neuerthelesse mooue some pitie and compassion if there be a willingnesse to do that which there wanteth abilitie to performe. But against such as wittingly and wilfully suffer the sheepe for which Christ died to die for want of instruction, the soules of them that perish doe crie as the bloud of Abel against Cain for vengeaunce and wrath. Giue attendaunce therefore to reading, 1. Tim. 4. to exhortation, to doctrine, exer­cise these things and giue your selues vnto them that al may see how you profite and howe the Church doth profite by you. Ye are fed by the sweate of other mens browes, ye receiue things temporall without any corporall labour of your owne. But with what con­science doe ye this, if they which minister vnto your necessities reape not that at your hands for which they minister? You can perhaps alleage many colourable excuses for your selues. But wil you alleage the same in that day when a strict account of your [Page 216] stewardship shalbe required by him, that cōmeth to iudge both quicke and dead? Consider these things and be ye stedfast, vnmoue­able, 1. Cor. 15. abounding alwaies in the worke of the Lord, knowing that your labour in the Lord is not in vaine. Is it not better for you to saue both your selues and others than by not sauing others not to saue your selues?

15 They which are saued must bee sanctified in truth: They kil by teaching which teache pernicious doctrine of heresie or schisme. they which are of the truth must be consummate and made perfect in one. They are no better therefore than soule-murtherers be they neuer so paineful in their teaching that teache such doctrines as doe either poison the Church with heresie or dismember & rent it asunder with schisme.Iohn 17. Of heretikes S. Paul forewarning the Church of Ephesus saith,Act. 20. I knowe that after my departure there will rauening woolues enter in among you not sparing the flocke. Of Schismatikes hee writeth in most earnest manner as well to the Church of Corinth as of Rome. To the one, I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Iesus Christ that ye all say one thing, 1. Cor. 1. and that there be no schismes amongst you. To the other, Marke them diligently which cause diuision. Rom. 16. These serue not the sauiour, they serue the destroier of the world. They haue ouer them a king, to wit the Angel of the bottomlesse pit whose name in Hebrue is called Abaddon, that is to say a destroier. Apoc. 9. Their pestilent properties S. Iohn sheweth by comparing the harme which they doe in the Church to the tor­ments which they suffer that are stung with scorpions.

16 Now as these destroie by ill teaching,They kill by example who teaching soundly liue disorderly. so likewise there are others who teaching well but liuing ill, doe more harme by their life in one houre than good by their doctrine in many yeres. So­zomene writeth that when barbarous nations saw how the Chri­stian priests which were captiues,Sozom li. 2. ca. 5. did by their sober and reuerend behauiour damme vp the mouthes of euil speakers, they thought them to be men full of wisedome and vnderstanding, and hoped to finde fauour at the hands of God if they should woorship him after the maner of those woorthie and graue sages. Could the auncient Prophets, the blessed Apostles, the holie Fathers in for­mer times haue inlarged the bounds of the Church in so strange wise as they did had they not conuerted moe by the rare integrity of their maners than by the force aud power of their words? Not without cause therefore doth the Prophet make request in the [Page 217] Psalme that the priests of the Lord may put on righteousnesse as a garment. For if their shame be seene who shall hide the naked­nesse of the people? Thus we see what should especially be refor­med in the principall part of the house of God.

17 It remaineth nowe that somewhat be spoken of the maner of reformation.The maner of reforming▪ Christ refor­med the tem­ple orderly. Christ in reforming the Church proceeded or­derly, knowing that disorderly remedies of euils are as dangerous as the euils for which they are sought. His orderly proceeding appeareth in this, that he first visited and then reformed. Visita­tions if they bee vsed according to the true intent and prupose whereunto they were ordeined are needefull and profitable in the Church. For howsoeuer they b [...] nowe abused by men of corrupt mindes, the cause for which they were first established was the maintenance of truth, the rooting out of heresie, the confirming of good orders, the redressing of things amisse, the continuing of religion, peace & innocencie amongst men. If we reape not this fruite and commoditie by them the fault is in our selues: in the parties visited, when they hide and conceale that which should bee reformed; in the visitors when they are carelesse in admoni­shing, and if that doe not serue in punishing offenders detected and lawfully conuicted before them. Let the one sort therefore remember the sinne of Achan, howe close it was kept, and howe God plagued Israel till it was reuealed: and let the other consider the example of Christ which proceeded no lesse seuerely in pu­nishing than orderly in searching out the faults and abuses of the Temple.

18 The rod in the hande of the pastor is as necessarie as the staffe,Seuerely. yea perhaps more, because they are moe whom feare doth constraine than whom loue doth allure to become vertuous. It is noted that in the daies of Iason a dissolute and carelesse high priest, the inferior sort of priests being let alone were no more di­ligent about the seruice of the altar, but despised the temple and regarded not the sacrifices, they became frequenters of games & heathenish exercises, not without great disgrace to their calling. When Nehemias returning from captiuitie found that Eliashab the high priest had chambered his kinsman Tobia in the court of the house of God,Nehem. 13. where aforetime the offerings, the incense, the tithes of corne, of wine and of oyle appointed for the Leuites had [Page 218] beene laide, by which meanes it came to passe that they receiuing not their portions were fled, and so the temple was left destitute, this, saith Nehemias, grieued me sore. But whence grewe this fault? Where did Nehemias laie the blame but in the gouer­nours? I reprooued, saith he, the rulers, and saide vnto them, Why is the house of God forsaken? If iniquitie doe abound for want of pu­nishment, they which haue authoritie bee it Ciuil or Ecclesiasti­call to represse sinne must answere it.

19 It is not sufficient for them to mislike sinne, but they must proceede against it,Throughly. and that so farre till they haue throughly re­dressed things amisse. Christ did not cease pursuing theeues till their catell were gone, their tables ouerthrowne, their monie scattered, themselues expelled and driuen out. Which exam­ple Constantine well following hath made himselfe a president woorthie by other Christian gouernours to be followed. He did not content himselfe with misliking or reproouing or lightly pu­nishing heretikes, but quite and cleane disburthened the Church of them.Euseb. de vita Constant. lib. 3. cap. 62. Shall wee suffer, saith he, the contagious infection of so great euils to creepe further; knowing that long delaie may cause euen the sounde and the strong to be infected with it, as with a plague? Why doe wee not speedily with rigor of publike punishment cut vp the verie rootes of such in­iquitie? The Angel of the Church of Thyatira did not performe his dutie in this behalfe so long as Iesabel was permitted to teach; nor of Pergamus, so long as any one Nicolaitane was there suffe­red; nor of Corinth, so long as there was any iot of their corrupt leuen kept. I would to God, saith the Apostle, they were cut off which trouble you: not rased on the skinne, or launced in the flesh, but cut off.

20 This can neuer bee doone where there lacketh zeale,That which moued Christ to reforme the Church was his zeale. for want wherof in the Church of Ierusalem their corruptions grewe so fast that there was no place left free and cleare, the leprosie of their sinne cleaued euen to the wals of the house of God, till hee came whom the zeale of that house did as it were consume and deuoure. If there were any sparke of the like zeale remaining in any Pope or Prelate of the Church of Rome, could they choose but bewaile the vnhallowing of their temple? could they patient­ly abide to see it possessed by heathenish despisers of Gods Law, to see it made a denne of theeues, a kenel for dogs and vncleane [Page 219] beasts?Petrus de Ali­aco, H [...]rue [...]ue, Anton. Paga­nus, &c. There haue not wanted euen of their owne which haue put them in minde of things to be reformed in the bodie of their Church, in their Pope and Court of Rome, in their Bishops and Prelates, in their seuerall orders of religious men, in their Cler­gie and in their Laitie; there haue not wanted from time to time such as haue clearely conuicted them of spoiling, murthering & destroying. But the answere of the Church of Rome hath beene alwaies,Apoc. 3. I cannot erre, I am riche and increased with goods, and haue neede of nothing. Thus she refuseth, yea she hateth to bee refor­med, not knowing or at least wise not acknowledging that she is wretched and miserable, and poore, and blinde, and naked. To let them goe and to come to our selues. If God haue vouchsafed to choose himselfe an holie dwelling place amongst vs, ought not we to doe the best we can to cast out all that steineth and marreth the perfect beautie of his Church?

21 What to amend both in our selues particularly and gene­rally in the bodie of the whole Church,The rule of reformation which Christ followed was the written woord. together with the right and orderly meanes of woorking this amendement, it is not hu­mane policie that can teache vs. But Scriptum est, It is written what God requireth. This is the onely rule as of building so like­wise of repairing the Church.2. Reg. 23. Iosias heard the woords of the booke of the Lawe and then reformed his Realme, binding him­selfe and all the people by couenant to walke after the Lorde, to keepe his commaundements and his testimonies, and his statutes with all their heart and with all their soule. So in the daies of Ne­hemias when it was found written in the booke that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not enter into the congregation of God, Nehem. 13. when they had heard the lawe, they separated from Israel all those that were mingled with them. The same booke was opened and red vnto vs. It was found that our fathers had not obeyed the woords of that booke, to doe according vnto all which is written therein for vs. Hereupon our gratious Soueraigne wel following the bles­sed example of Christ Iesus did that in her dominions for which shee hath as woorthily as euer any Prince deserued that praise whereof the Prophet speaketh,Esay 58. saying, Thou shalt be called the repai­rer of the breach, and the restorer of the pathes to dwell in. She hath cau­sed the vessels that were made for Baal and for the host of heauen to be defaced, she hath broken downe the losts that were builded [Page 220] for idolatrie, shee hath turned out the priestes that burnt incense vnto false gods, she hath ouerthrowne all polluted and defiled al­tars, she hath abolished darkenesse and caused the light of Gods eternall truth gloriously to shine as we see it doth in the Church of England at this day. Remember her O Lorde for this and wipe not out the kindenesse that she hath shewed on the house of her God and on the offices thereof.Nehem. 13.

22 Our Sauiour alleaging the words of Scripture before men­tioned doth not onely hereby warrant his owne deede and lay o­pen the grosnesse of their fault,The vse whereunto Christ requi­reth the tem­ple to be re­stored. but also instruct them in the right vse of that which hitherto they had so greatly abused. My house shall be called the house of praier for all nations. In which woords wee learne first that the Church is consecrated to the seruice of God, in respect whereof it is called his house; secondly what ser­uice it is which he requireth, My house shal bee called the house of praier; thirdly of whom this seruice is required, namely of all Nations.

23 It addeth much to the wickednesse of the sonnes of Hely and prooueth the sinne of the young men to haue beene verie great in the sight of the Lorde,The temple sanctified to the seruice of God. that they shewed their rauening nature vpon the purest and holiest things, that they made no dif­ference betweene the offerings of the Lorde and common flesh, that they shamefully abused themselues with women euen in the dore of the tabernacle of God.Dan 5. The Prophet Daniel hath set it downe as a note of extreme impietie in Balthazar that hee with his Princes wiues and concubines drunke wine in the golden and siluer vessels which were taken out of the temple at Ierusalem. When the men of Tyrus brought fish and other wares and solde them on the Sabaoth to the children of Iuda,Nehem. 13. Nehemias reproo­ued the rulers of Iuda and saide vnto them, What euill thing is this that ye doe, breaking the Sabaoth day? Did not your fathers thus, and our God brought all this plague vpon vs and vpon this Citie? Yet yee increase wrath vpon Israel breaking the Sabaoth. Such traficke is as bad in the house as on the daie which God hath sanctified. Wherefore in the Lawe these two are iointly coupled together, Yee shall keepe my Sabaoths and reuerence my Sanctuarie. Leuit. 19. The prophaning therfore of the temple, the house of God, the place of praier, is an eui­dent token that amongst the Iewes all religion was now trodden [Page 221] vnder feete, all reuerence of God abolished. This sheweth that there was nowe no difference at all, holie and common, pure and prophane, cleane and vncleane, all was one. When they which ought not to die but without the citie were suffered to liue within the temple, yea of and at the altar, when Gods owne house was made a denne of theeues, we cannot easily imagine a degree of prophanesse beyond this. At this the Lord himselfe doth seeme to woonder.Ier. 7. Is this house become a denne of theeues whereupon my name is called before your eyes? What reuerence or seruice is it likely that they would shewe other-where vnto the Lorde, who liued as theeues in that glorious sanctuarie where all the earth should tremble before him?

24 In the house of God they had the Lawe both red and ex­pounded,The publike seruing of God in the Church con­sisteth in hea­ring the word they offered sacrifice, and they praied. But because the seruice for which the temple was ordeined, though not only, yet principally is praier, therefore he hath saide, My house shalbe called the house of praier. In Deuteronomie it is called the place which God chose to cause his name to dwel there.Deut. 12. It is true in­deede, 1. Reg. 8. saith Salomon, that God will dwell on the earth? No doubt where his truth is syncerely professed, where his sacraments are rightly and duely ministred, where his name is called vpon by heartie praier, where two or three are gathered together in his name, that is to say to serue him in these things, there the woor­king of his spirite is so forcible and effectuall, his mercie is so ob­iect euen vnto sense, his grace is in such sort felt, seene and tasted, that he seemeth as it were to stand before mens eyes, to walke, to inhabite, & to dwel amongst them when they are thus occupied. The dore of the Church is the gate of the Lorde, and the righ­teous wil surely enter into it: They reioice when they heare men say,Psal. 12 [...]. We wil goe into the house of the Lord, the house of praier, where as many as call vpon the name of the Lord shall vndoubtedly bee saued. But because no man can call on him in whom he doeth not beleeue, nor beleeue without hearing the word of God, re­quisite therefore it is that the house of publike praier should also be the house of publike preaching. For this cause the Iewes heard the Lawe euery Sabaoth day in their Synagogues.

25 And as they did not onely heare the word but also offer sa­crifice in the house of God:In receiuing the Sacra­ments. so we in our Churches haue both the [Page 222] Gospell preached, and the Sacramentes which are seales of the Gospel administred, knowing that Christ hath commanded both alike. Hee which sent his Disciples to teache sent them also to baptize; he which inioined them to preache gaue them also an o­ther charge, Hoc facite; Doe this in remembrance of me. There­fore as often as we speake vnto you out of these places, as often as here we minister the Sacrament of baptisme to your children in token of their new spirituall birth, as often as we doe here pre­sent our selues at the Lords table to eat of his bread and to drinke of the wine which he hath prepared for the comfortable nourish­ment of our soules, wee keepe the Lordes institution and not our owne, wee doe as he hath commaunded, not as we haue deuised, we vse the house of God not as theeues but as Saints.

26 For these things the Sanctuarie was erected;In praier. for these the house of God was sanctified and for praier. Therefore the twelue told the rest of the Disciples (as it is in the historie of their Acts) We will giue our selues continually vnto praier and ministration of the word. Acts 6. Aaron was appointed vnder the law as to offer so also to pray for himselfe and for the people. Be this sinne against the Lord, saith Sa­muel,1. Sam. 12. farre from me, that I should cease to praie for you. The request which Salomon made vnto GOD in the first dedication of the temple,1. Reg 8. was, that if his people Israel should at any time for their sinnes be ouerthrowen before the enemie, or heauen bee so shut vp that they should bee in distresse for want of raine, or if there should be famine in the land or pestilence, or blasting, or mildew, or grassehopper, or caterpiller, if the enemie should beseege thē, if they should fall into any aduersitie whether it were of bodie or of minde, his eares might alwaies bee open to the praiers which they should make before the Lord in the house of praier. Heare the supplications of thy people Israel which pray in this place.

27 Nor only their supplications,Thus God will be serued of all nations. but moreouer Salomon ad­deth, As touching the straunger that is not of thy people Israel, who shall come out of a farre countrie for thy names sake, and shall come and praie in this house, heare thou in heauen thy dwelling place, and doe according to all that the stranger calleth for vnto thee, that all the people of the earth may knowe thy name and feare thee as thy people Israel doe. Agreeable where­vnto are the words of the prophet Esay,Esay 2. It shal be in the last daies that the mountaine of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in [Page 223] the top of the mountaines, and shalbe exalted aboue the hils, and all nations shall flowe vnto it.Esay 56. And againe, The strangers that cleaue vnto the Lord to serue him, and to loue the name of the Lord, and to be his seruaunts, euery one that keepeth the Sabaoth and pol­luteth it not, and embraceth my couenaunt, them will I bring al­so to mine holie mountaine, and make them ioyful in mine house of praier: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall bee accep­ted vpon myne alter. For myne house shall be called an house of prayer for all nations. This prooueth that article of our Christian faith to be most certain wherein we acknowledge the Church of Christ to be Catholike & vniuersal. For we must vnderstand that there was a time when the Lord gaue expresse charge & coman­dement,Ezech. 44. No vncircumcised in the flesh shall enter into my Sanctuarie. The adoption & the glory of the sons of God,Rom. 9. ye couenants, the law, the seruice of God, the promises & al the riches wherwith the church of Christ is adorned did belong vnto Israel, & vnto none else; they were the only people that obteined mercie, al ye world besides was Loammi; amongst them God was knowne, but as for the nations they heard not of him; Iudea was the onely garden of the Lord, the rest of the earth was a meere wildernesse; they were the vine­yard, and we the forrest; they within the wals of the citie of God, and we without; they citizens and we strangers. But nowe the bounds of the Church are inlarged, her elders as it is in the booke of reuelation do now sing a new song, Thou hast redeemed vs to God by thy bloud out of euerie kindred, Reuel 5. & tongue, & people, and nation. Wherfore remember, saith the Apostle, that ye being in time past Gen­tiles in the flesh, Eph, 2. called vncircumcision of them which are called circumcision in the flesh made with hands, were at that time without Christ, and were a­liants from the common wealth of Israel, and were strangers from the co­uenaunts of promise, and had no hope, and were without God in the worlde. But nowe in Christ Iesus ye which once were farre off are made neere by the bloud of Christ. For he is our peace which hath made of both one, and hath broken the stoppe of the partition wall. This wee are willed to remem­ber. For is it not a thing verie memorable, that in vs GOD should nowe accomplish the promise which hee made to his sonne so long before,Psal. 2. Aske of me and I will giue thee the heathen for thine inheritaunce and the vttermost coasts of the earth for thy possessions? Is it not memorable that the furious rage of the [Page 224] whole world mightily opposing it selfe against the kingdome of Iesus Christ, it should notwithstanding growe so soone to this so exceeding greatnesse, and that by so weake meanes, from so small beginnings? Nowe sith God hath brought this so strangely to passe for our sakes, sith the Lord hath doone it for no other cause but onely to open the doore of saluation vnto vs, with how great ioie of heart ought wee to heare his voice when hee saith of the Gentiles, Let them ascend to mount Sion, when hee saith of his house, It shall be called the house of praier for all Nations? Hee that will not shrowde himselfe vnder this vine, hee that entreth not into this arke, hee that will not be partaker of these celestiall treasures, these heauenly mysteries, this true bread of life so large­ly offered vnto all nations, if his soule die the death who wil haue pitie or compassion of him? Wherefore to conclude let vs bee followers of Christ as becommeth his deare children, let vs learne by his example to be carefull and zealous for the house of God, to purge and cleanse it as much as in vs lyeth from al defilements, that as oft as we doe reuerently & religiously frequent it to heare the word of saluation, to receiue the blessed Sacraments of the Lord, to powre out our praiers and supplications before him, his spirite groaning with our spirits, and our requests ascending tho­rough the forcible intercession of that only mediator which is to bee heard for his reuerence sake, wee may reioice in our saluation and he be glorified by our reioysing. Which GOD the Father graunt for his Sonnes sake. To whom, &c.

The fourteenth Sermon. A Sermon made at the Spittle in London.

ACTES 10.‘34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and saide, Of a truth I perceiue that God is no accepter of persons, &c.’

THE doctrine of the Prophets and A­postles doth wholly tend to this ende,The fulnesse of the Gospel most clearely opened in the Sermon of Peter by oc­casion of Cornelius. to declare vnto vs, that Iesus Christ crucified is the promised Messias, the redeemer and Sauiour of all that doe beleeue in him. Neither is this matter cleared more perfectly by any Pro­phet or Apostle, than by the Apostle S. Peter in this Sermon which nowe we haue in hand. For therein is comprised briefly but most effe­ctually the fulnesse of the gospell, the perfect doctrine of saluati­on. Nowe because the occasion of hauing it preached was Cor­nelius the captaine, and the preacher of it was Peter the Apostle; I will note somewhat in either of them seuerally for the better vn­derstanding of that which the Sermon it selfe shall laie before vs. In Cornelius therefore first, what maner of man he was, on what occasion he sent for Peter, & in what sort he receiued him at his comming.

2 The curious description which S. Luke maketh of Corne­lius here,The person of Cornelius. declareth him to haue beene a notable and rare man, both by other circumstances of his person, and by his manners. The other circumstances which I meane are his countrie, his calling, and the place of his abode.His countrie▪ Touching his countrie he was an Italian, an Ethnike, bred of Ethnike parents, trained vp amongst a people drowned in idolatrie and superstition, worship­ping false gods,His calling. being ignorant of the true God. By calling hee was a souldier, a captaine of the Italian band, a captaine ouer one hundred souldiers. The Romans had soldiers out of al prouinces: but their chiefe force was of the Italians, whom they trusted best [Page 226] as naturall subiects.His dwelling place. This Italian captaine made his abode in Ce­sarea a famous citie inhabited by the Iewes. The whole lande of Iurie was brought in subiection to the Romane Empire: and least the inhabitants thereof should reuolt, certaine garrisons of soul­diers were placed in sundrie of the greater cities, to see them kept in obedience, and to represse tumults, Cornelius the captaine with the souldiers of his retinue were bestowed in Cesarea. If we looke on this mans countrie, if we consider his calling and vo­cation, if we call to remembrance in what place he liued, and with whom he was conuersant: we shall finde nothing but idolatrie & superstition, wee shall behold nothing but rape, robberie, mur­ther, mischiefe, spoile, bloud-spilling, we shall see nothing but lewdenesse, prophanenesse, wicked maners, and cursed com­panie.

3 All the which occasions of corruption notwithstanding,His godlines, so many oc­casions of the contrary not­withstanding. he was deuoute, he feared God with his whole familie, hee gaue much almes to the people, and praied God continually. The mightie and merciful God did gather pearles out of this dunghil. God can raise vp children vnto Abraham out of stones.Matth. 3. Faith, pietie,Eph. 2. holinesse, and religion come not by nature, but of grace; of Gods free gift,1 Cor. 12. not of our deseruing; of mercie, not of merite; Faith is the gift of God.Phil. 2. He worketh all in all. He giueth to will and to doe.Tit. 3. Not by the workes of righteousnesse, which we had wrought, but according to his mercie hath hee saued vs: that we may acknowledge our wretchednesse and vnworthinesse, and giue all glorie vnto him.

4 Here we learne that neither parentage,What we haue to learn by the for­mer circum­stances. nor vocation, nor corruption of place doeth shut vs out of the kingdome of God. Ethnikes, euen wilde oliues by nature, are graffed by grace in the true oliue.Rom. 11. Souldiers that liue in order are allowed of by Iohn Baptist.Luc. 3. Neither filthie Sodome, nor superstitious Egypt, nor idolatrous Babylon,Gen. 19. nor corrupt Cesarea was able to infect Lot, or Ioseph,Gen. 45. or Daniel, or Cornelius whom the Lorde had chosen according to his good pleasure,Dan. 1. and of his mercie had preserued. The foundation of God remaineth sure, and hath this seale, The Lord knoweth who are his. 2. Tim. 2. I will haue mercie on whom I wil haue mercie. It is not in him that willeth,Rom 9. nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth mercie.

[Page 227] 5 Cornelius the Ethnike-captaine,The estate of the Iewes o­uer whom Cornelius was placed. being placed in Cesarea ouer the Iewes, putteth vs in minde howe the kingdome of Israel was taken from the Israelites, and giuen to others. Israel was the elect and welbeloued people of God,Rom 9. the happie seede of Abra­ham, to whom pertained the adoption, and the glorie, and the couenant, and the Lawe that was giuen, and the seruices of God, and the promises. A most free people as themselues boasted. We are Abrahams seede,Iohn 8. and were neuer bound to any man. A plentifull land flowing with milke and honie, a most flourishing kingdome, a mightie and victorious people; for the Lord of hosts did fight for them. Yet this elect, beloued, free and mightie people was ouerthrowen, wasted, translated, brought into most miserable bondage and slauerie, first by the Caldeis, then by the Meedes, afterward by the Grecians, and last of al by the Romans. And this was the Lords dooing.Ier. 27. I haue made the earth (saith he) the men, and beasts that are vpon the ground, by my great power, and by my out-stretched arme; and haue giuen it vnto whom it pleased me. The name of God bee praised for euer, and euer:Dan. 2. for wisedome and strength are his, and he changeth the times and seasons; hee ta­keth away kings,Dan. 4. and setteth vp kings. The most high beareth rule ouer the kingdome of men, and giueth it to them whomsoe­uer he will.

6 Iesus the sonne of Syrach shewing the causes why GOD translateth kingdomes,What broght the Iewes in subiection vn­der others. A kingdome is translated (saith he) from one people vnto another, because of vnrighteous dealings, and wrongs, and ri­ches gotten by deceit, Eccles. 10. and couetousnesse and pride. The things that de­stroied Sodome were pride, fulnesse of breade, aboundance of idlenesse, and that she strengthened not the hand of the poore & needie. The sinnes that consumed Gods people in the wilder­nesse, and of sixe hundred thousand left but two aliue, was loa­thing of the heauenly Manna,1. Cor. 10. and lusting after the flesh-pots of Egypt, worshipping of idols, fleshly fornication, tempting of God, and muttering against magistrates. The cause why Iurie was laide wast and Israel caried away captiue was the contempt of Gods woord preached by Ieremie three and twentie yeres:Ier. 25. and that there was no trueth,Osee 4. no mercie, no knowledge of GOD a­mongst them. Swearing, lying, murther, theft, and adulterie had gotten the vpper hand: and one bloud guiltinesse followed [Page 228] an other. Therefore did the Land mourne, and euery one that dwelt therein was rooted out. God is alwaies a iust God, one that hateth all iniquitie, hauing no respect to countrie or calling. If our faults be like we may looke for like punishment. Let vs recount with our selues, and compare our selues with others. Are we not as guiltie of vnrighteous dealing, of oppression, of extortion, are we not as couetous, are we not as proude, as euer any people was? Is there not as much pride, belly-cheere, idle­nesse, vnmercifulnesse in the citie of London as was in the citie of Sodome? Doe wee not as much loath the true bread of hea­uen? Cleaue we not as fast vnto idolatrie and superstition? Com­mit we not adulterie, and filthie fornication? Tempt we not God? Doe wee not mutter against the magistrates, as the Israelites did in the wildernesse? Is there more trueth, mercie and knowledge of God, lesse swearing, lying, murther, theft, adulterie and bloud­shed in England, than was in the Lande of Iurie? If kingdomes then be translated for wrongfull dealing, for couetousnesse and pride: howe can vnrighteous, couetous & proude England stand long? If God spared not the flourishing citie of Sodome, can he in his iustice spare the sinnefull citie of London? If God ouer­threwe the mightie people of Israel in the wildernesse for their sinnes: can he winke at our fowle and manifold offences? If the Land of Iurie was laid wast, and the elect Israel caried away cap­tiue for their ingratitude: will not God punish and plague our shamefull contempt, our wilfull disobedience? For these exam­ples are written for vs,1. Cor. 10. that we should not offend as they did, least the like fall vpon vs as fell vpon them:Rom. 9. knowing that if God spa­red not the braunches of the true oliue, hee wil not spare the twigges of the wilde oliue. If hee spared not the transgressing Angels, the offending Iewes, neither will hee spare vs most vile and sinnefull Gentiles: Our sinne no doubt hath iustly prouoked our God to anger. Let our sighing, and groning, our earnest praier and true repentance remooue his wrath least our Niniuie sinke, and perish in her sinne. Yet remaine there a fewe daies of repentance for the safetie of our citie.

7 Nowe to the former circumstances of Cornelius S. Luke addeth also the description of his maners:The maners of Cornelius. testifying therein that he was deuoute, that he feared God with all his familie, that hee [Page 229] gaue much almes, that he praied God continually. Here is he set forth as a perfect paterne of true Christianitie, an obseruer & keeper of the Lawe of the almightie. And because the Lawe is conteined in two tables, his pietie towardes God is commended first: secondly his loue and duetie towards men. So that it is shewed howe he liued towards God, how he ordered his familie, and howe he behaued himselfe towards his neighbours.

8 Towards God he was deuoute;His deuou [...] & religious affe­ction towards God. he feared God, hee praied continually. The foundation of deuotion is faith; the fruits are the feare of God, and praier. Faith commeth by hearing of the word;His faith. he heard (by reason that he remained amongst the Iewes) that there was one true God, who was onely to be honoured. He had heard of the promised seede in whom all people should bee blessed, of the Messias which should bee the Sauiour of the peo­ple. He beleeued in this promised Messias, and thereupon hee is called deuoute, for without this faith there is no deuotion, no pietie, no religion. That feare, that praier, that commeth not of faith is but vaine, it is reiected as sinful in Gods sight. What­soeuer is not of faith is sinne.Rom. 14. The tree must be good before it bring foorth good fruite.Iohn 15. As the braunche cannot beare fruite of it selfe except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me, saith Christ. Cornelius brought foorth good fruite, and therefore by faith he abode in Christ, that is he beleeued. The fruites of his faith were the feare of God, and praier vnto God: for neither can we feare God as we ought, nor call vpon him rightly except wee beleeue in him.Rom. 10. Howe shall they call on him in whom they haue not be­leeued? His [...]earing of God. And they beleeue not in God that doe not feare him, that doe not call vpon him. For true faith will exercise the faithfull herein. This feare of God hath euer respect to religion. Come ye children, and hearken vnto me: I will teache you the feare of the Lord, saith the Prophet. That is, I will instruct you in true religion, I will teache you the true worshipping of God. This is the first lesson that a Christian should learne. And as all Chri­stians: so especially such as haue dominion and rule ouer others. Whereupon the princely Prophet doth exhort them:Psal. 2. Ye kings, ye iudges of the earth, serue the Lorde with feare: as iudging them happie whose common-wealth is ruled by such as are professors and fauourers of true religion, such as feare the Lord. Which is [Page 230] most true. For happie was Israel while Dauid, Iehosaphat, Eze­chias, and Iosias ruled: because they were religious men & fea­red God. But vnhappie when as Ieroboam, Achab, Amon, and Manasses ruled, because the feare of God was farre from their hearts: they went a whooring after idols, and made Israel to sin. Howe much the greater care should Christian Princes haue to place none in authoritie but such as Cornelius, men that are tru­ly religious and feare God: such as Constantius the woorthie christian Emperour retained in his Court,Sozomen. lib. 1. cap. 6. when hee cast out them who forsooke Christ, saying that they could not be faithful to their Prince, who were vnfaithfull to God. Neither onely princes but the people also, to whom the election of magistrates appertaineth should haue the like care: remembring the exhor­tation that Iethro made to Moses, Prouide thou men fearing God.

9 And Cornelius praied God continually.His continu­ing in praier both publike and priuate. Faith and feare of GOD doe breake out into his praises, and calling vpon him by praier. Praier is an acceptable seruice of GOD, pre­scribed by himselfe, and practised by his seruaunts, to the glorie of his name.Psal. 50. Call (saith he) vpon me in the day of trouble: and I will deliuer thee, and thou shalt glorifie me. Of praier there are two sorts, priuate and publike: both which Cornelius vsed. Publike with his familie, which he brought vp in the feare of God; priuate in secrete place hauing his appointed houres to praie. When the Angel appeared he was in priuate praier, at the ninth houre, that is at three of the clocke in the afternoone. Nowe as Cornelius vsed them both: so by his example should euerie christian doe. For touching publike praier the Disciples of Christ continued altogether with one accord in it.Acts 1. When Peter was cast into pri­son:Acts 12. the church made earnest praier vnto God for him. Wee reade of the Pharisee,Luc. 18. and Publicane both, that they went vp in­to the temple to praie. Whereby we may learne, that they who refuse to ioine themselues in publike place the church of God to praie with other men, they are woorse than either Pharisees, or Publicanes. Cornelius made his house such a publike place for his whole familie therein to serue God. For as hee feared God with his whole familie: so is it to be thought that he serued God with his whole familie too. Insomuch that there was a church [Page 231] in his house, as in the house of Philemon. A lesson for all them who haue families: that they be religious and feare God indeede, they should vse priuate praier in their houses, and cause their fa­milies to frequent it. So shall they make their houses to be chur­ches. And Christ will be in those assemblies: according to his promise, I will be in the midst of them. As for priuate praier it is also fruitefull and effectuous. For therein without suspition of Pharisaicall hypocrisie we powre out heart before God. Anna in the temple so behaued her selfe in her priuate praier,1. Sam. 1. that Ely the high Priest esteemed her as drunke and sharpely reprooued her for it. To whom she aunswered mildely, I am not drunke, but in my praier I doe powre out my heart before God. Christ appointed him­selfe certaine times of priuate praier as in the garden, where hee praied in such earnest & vehement sort that there dropped from him both water and bloud.Matth. 26. Dauid had his priuate night prai­ers,Psal. 6. wherein such was the earnestnesse of his affection that with his teares night by night he watered his couch. It appeareth that Cornelius praied earnestly and heartily: for his praier pierced in­to the heauens, and was acceptable vnto the Lord. But God ab­horreth praier that falleth out of the lippes, and proceedeth not from the heart.Matth. 15. He detesteth the Pharisees, who woorship him with their lippes, but their heart is farre from him. The Israelites powred out many teares when they praied in Babylon.2. Chron. 33. The ve­rie Ethnikes would not dallie in their praier with their false gods. It is written euen of the Heathenish Romans that when they ho­noured their idols with solemne praiers and procession,In vita Numae. Plut. the cry­ers saide to euerie one whom they met, Hoc age, Set thy mind on this thing wholly. Be attentiue to this and to nothing else. Praier is the lifting vp of the minde to God. He requireth the heart. But alas our praiers are for the most part onely for a fashion that men may behold vs.Matth. 6. Furthermore the praier of Cornelius was conti­nuall.1. Thess. 5. Praie ye continually without intermission. We must pray stil, and not waxe faint.Luc. 18. Which yet is not meant, as though we shold cease from all other trauell and giue our selues onely to praier. That is the error of the Euchites: whose Disciples were the super­stitious Monkes that made the house of God a denne of theeues by their hypocrisie. But we are taught hereby to praie often: for we haue alwaies occasion of praier giuen vs.Dan. 6. Daniel praied thrise [Page 232] daily in his house with his windowes open towardes Ierusalem, yea though the king forbad it. For hee would not bee restrai­ned from praying to his God.Psal. 118. Dauid testifieth that he praied vn­to the Lord seuen times euerie day. Satan ceaseth not to assault our faith:Luke 17. Let not vs therefore cease to crie vnto God, O Lorde increase our faith. Our tottering boate is tossed in the stormie seas:Matth. 8. let vs lift vp our voice to Christ and say, Saue vs we perish. We are in danger of greedie roaring lions; the world, the diuell, and the flesh:Psal. 18. Let vs pray, O deliuer vs from the mouth of the ly­on. Let vs crie, and the Lord will heare vs. Praier is an helpe vn­to him that praieth;August. a sacrifice to GOD; a scourge to the diuels, saith Austin. And thus much of Cornelius his deuotion, feare of God, and continuall praier: the points whereby is shewed, howe he liued towards God.

10 It followeth to be noted,The ordering of his familie. how he ordered his familie: hee feared God with all his houshold. He plaied not Nicodemus that came to Christ by night: hee openlie professed his religion and faith, yea and instructed his whole familie therein. Neither did he feare to send for Peter to teache him the religion and faith of Christ. First the open profession of his religion is commenda­ble. The Romans had forbid by Lawe that any subiect shold pro­fesse or receiue peregrinam religionem a straunge religion. They considered that it was dangerous to their state to suffer diuersitie of religion. They seuerely punished the transgressors of this law. Yet Cornelius had learned that it is better to obeie God than man, that we must obeie princes vsque ad Aras as the prouerbe is: so farre as we may without disobeying God. Although the Iew­ish religion was hatefull to the Gentiles: yet he followed the ex­ample of Daniel, of the three young men, of the blessed Apostles, who did boldly preach and professe Christ when they were char­ged not to doe it. We may not be ashamed of our religion, we may not halt on both sides.Rom. 10. With the heart man beleeueth vn­to righteousnesse:Luc. 19. and with the mouth man confesseth vnto sal­uation. Whosoeuer shalbe ashamed of me and my woords: of him shall the sonne of man be ashamed when he shal come in his glorie, and in the glorie of the father, and of the Angels. More­ouer Cornelius instructed his familie and brought them vp in the feare of God. A rare example in an Ethnike captaine, nay [Page 233] a rare example in such as be christians, and professe most pietie, and by calling should be most religious, yea and are placed as ex­amples not onely to families, but to cities, to countries, to nati­ons. He remembred well that he that hath a charge must aun­swere for his charge.Luc. 16. He could not forget Redde rationem giue an account of thy stewardship. Hee was afraide of the saying of the wise man:Wisd. 6. An hard iudgement shall they haue that beare rule. The sinnes of the subiects, of the people, of the familie, will bee punished in the magistrates, in the masters, in the housholders. For to euery one of these saith the Lord,Ezech. 33. I will require the bloud of them that perish, if through thy negligence, euill example, or want of correction any of them shall fall from God. Not onely they,Rom. 1. saith Paul, who commit such things, are worthie of death, but also they who consent to such as doe them. And he consen­teth doubtlesse which by office should correct sinne, and by neg­ligence or corrupt affection suffereth sinne. The scripture char­geth Elie the priest with the sinnes of his vnruly sonnes,1. Sam. 2. at the which he winked, and he was punished for it. The sinne that the people of Israel committed in woorshipping idols is laide to the charge of the kings of Israel, which either instituted them, defended them, or did not pull them downe. The Queene of Saba commendeth Salomon greatly for the good ordering of his house.1. Kings 10. Happie are thy men, happie are these thy seruaunts, which stand euer before thee, Psal. [...]10. and heare thy wisedome. King Dauid was so careful, that he would not suffer as much as a lyer to remaine within his court.Gen. 18. Abraham is commended of God for the good nurturing, and godly bringing vp of his sonnes and his houshold. That ma­gistrate that feareth God will not suffer sinne in the citie vnpuni­shed, the swoord is giuen him to cut it off, and beate it downe. That pastor that feareth GOD will vse all meanes to bring his sheepe to the sheepefold if they goe astray.Ezech. 33. That housholder that feareth God will by good order, and due correction keepe it in the feare of God. And so shall both the magistrate, the pastor and the housholder deliuer their owne soules.

11 Againe as Cornelius declared the fruites of his faith to­wards his familie,His liberalitie in giuing almes, and that to stran­gers. so was he louing & friendly towards his neigh­bours. He gaue much almes to the people. This is that sacrifice which God doth require chiefly of a christian: I will haue mercie [Page 234] mercie and not sacrifice. This is a sacrifice of a sweete smelling sauour,Philip. 4. a sacrifice acceptable to God, and well pleasing him. He that releeueth not his needie brother beeing of abilitie to re­leeue him doeth neither feare nor loue God. Giue almes of thy substance and turne not away thy face from any poore man, least the Lord turne away his face from thee.Luc. 6. Giue, and it shall be giuen vnto you, saith the sonne of God. Hee that sheweth mercie shall finde mercie, and iudgement without mercie to the mercilesse. No treasure so wel bestowed as that which is giuen to the poore, That is laide vp in heauen. God doth binde himselfe to recom­pense that which is giuen to the poore: for it is giuen to him­selfe.Matth. 25. The mercifull shall receiue euerlasting life, the mercilesse euerlasting death.Deut. 15. God gaue a Lawe to Israel: Let there bee no begger among you. This Lawe the Iewes keepe inuiolate to this day. A great reproche and slander it is to vs christians, that the Lord of Iewes and Gentiles, the sonne of God our sauiour Christ, who became poore to make vs riche, at whose mercifull hands of his free gift we haue receiued whatsoeuer we haue, to vs a great shame and confusion it is that we should fall so farre from all hū ­manitie, so vtterly forget our christianitie to shewe our selues so hard and stonie hearted, so vnthankefull and without all naturall affection, to suffer our God, our Sauiour, our Christ whom wee professe, not onely to goe on begging, but to lie hungrie, colde, naked, sicke, diseased, pining and perishing in the streetes, and at our doores. This mercilesse minde, this great ingratitude wil no doubt be requited with Ite, Goe your waies ye cursed into e­uerlasting fier. If it bee not reformed in time: God no doubt will come downe and reuenge it. Cornelius gaue liberal almes vnto them which were strangers to him. God is careful for stran­gers.Exod. 22. He putteth the Israelites in minde not to afflict but to com­fort the strangers that dwell among them.Zach. 7. Foryee your selues were strangers too. By the prophet Zacharias he biddeth vs be­ware least we grieue them. Oppresse not the widowe, nor the fa­therlesse; the stranger, nor the poore. God ioineth the widowes, the fatherlesse, and strangers most commonly euer together as persons most destitute, and such as haue most neede of helpe. Egypt was blessed for the straungers that dwelt there, but when the king of Egypt Pharao oppressed them, they groned and cal­led [Page 235] vpon God, hee deliuered them and powred his manifolde plagues vpon Egypt. The sinnefull citie of Sodome was of long time spared for Lot and his familie strangers there. Such as are strangers for the gospels sake, for the cause which we professe and maintaine are ioyfully to be receiued, cheerefully and liberally to be releeued. For in receiuing them wee doe not onely receiue Angels as Abraham and Lot did, but we receiue & releeue Christ Iesus whom they professe and whose members they are.Marke 9. And whatsoeuer we giue to them we giue it him and he will reward it. But whosoeuer shall vexe, wrong, or offend any of them, better it were that a milstone were tied about his necke, and hee hurled into the bottome of the sea. I speake of godlie strangers that are strangers for the truths sake; not of such as are of no religion, of no church, godlesse and faithlesse people, some Papists, some A­nabaptists, some Arrians, some Libertines: these are to bee ex­pelled and cast out of the countrie, least for their wickednes God plague the whole Realme. God is woont euer to blesse the coun­trie, for reteining and releeuing godlie religious strangers: so is he woont to powre his plagues on them that nourish Cananites among them. And thus much touching Cornelius the Italian by parentage, by vocation a souldier: placed in Cesarea, who was deuoute, feared God and praied to God, who brought vp his fa­milie in the feare of God, who was pitifull to the poore, and li­berally gaue almes euen vnto strangers.

12 The next point we haue to consider of is vpon what oc­casion hee did send for Peter.His sending for Peter ac­cording to the direction of the Angell sent from God to him. In his praier at the ninth houre, (which is our three of the clocke at afternoone) an Angell of God appeared vnto him, and tolde him that his praiers and almes were come vp in remembraunce before God, and bad him send men to Ioppe and call for Simon Peter who lodged at a tanners house neere the sea, and he should tell him what he ought to doe. After the Angel was departed he sent two of his seruaunts and a souldier that feared God to Ioppe for Peter. Heere is the cause expressed why hee sent for Peter. God by his Angel commaun­ded and he obeied. In the Angels Oration I note two things, in Cornelius other two. The Angell comforteth Cornelius, and telleth him what hee shall doe. Cornelius is afraide at the mes­sage: and doeth that which the Angel willeth him.

[Page 236] 13 Angels are ministring spirites,Th [...] office of Angels good and bad. sent foorth to minister for their sakes which shall be heires of saluation. God sendeth his good Angels to comfort,Heb. 1. nourish, gouerne, guide and defende his elect. The euill Angels are sent either to trie the godly, or to punish, plague and destroie the wicked. This Angel was a good Angel of God sent to comfort and instruct Cornelius the deuout and righteous man. He doth comfort him declaring vnto him that his praiers and almes are ascended vp in remembraunce be­fore God: which is as much to say, as that God doth accept and allowe of them.

14 The papists abuse much these woords of the Angell,Popish errors concerning preparation to grace and iustification by workes rising by false collection out of the Angels words. stri­uing thereby to set foorth their owne righteousnesse, to the ouer­throw of the merit and righteousnesse which we haue by Christ. For they inferre thereof that our owne woorkes before wee haue faith are preparations to grace. Secondly they attribute our iu­stification to our woorkes. Things more absurd than that they neede confutation. For what preparation can there be in vs of our selues to grace,2 Cor. 3. when S. Paul saith plainely, that wee are not able of our selues,1. Cor. 2. as of our selues, to thinke any good? The na­turall man perceiueth not the things of the spirit of God. And howe can our praiers or almes which are not done in faith please God,Heb. 11. when without faith it is impossible to please him?Eph. 2. And if Cornelius had faith as it must needes be graunted he had that al­so was the gift of God as S. Paul teacheth vs. Nowe to attri­bute iustification to our merits or workes,Rom. 4. is to make of none ef­fect the merite of Christ,Rom 3. to make grace, no grace. For remissi­on of sins is iustification: as the scripture sheweth, saying, Bles­sed are they whose sinnes are forgiuen. But we obteine remission of sinnes not by our workes, but through faith in Christ: wee are iustified freely, by the grace of God, through the redemption that is in Christ Iesus, whom God hath set foorth to be a recon­ciliation through faith in his bloud, to declare his righteousnesse by the forgiuenesse of the sinnes passed. And our woorkes are such,Luc. 17. euen the workes of the best men, that when we haue doone all,Psal. 143. we are vnprofitable seruants. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruaunts O Lord: for in thy sight shall no man liuing bee iu­stified. The Angel therefore meant not that Cornelius was ei­ther prepared to grace, or iustified, by his workes: but that God [Page 237] considered his pietie, praiers and almes, and would encrease his good gifts in him. For God both accepteth good woorkes and will reward them.Gen. 4. He accepteth them for the mans sake, in that the man is faithfull and therefore accepted.Num. 1 [...]. In which sort the sa­crifice of Abel was accepted through the faith of Abel. Hee re­wardeth our workes, not for their woorthinesse, but for his owne sake, for his loue and promise. And he promiseth reward, to pro­uoke vs to worke: for to that end are wee created, and redeemed euen to serue him in holinesse and righteousnesse all the daies of our life.Luc. 1. So doth the Angel comfort Cornelius, in mentioning his workes, and Gods remembrance of them.

15 As for that he willeth him to sende for Simon Peter,Cornelius willed by the Angel to send for Peter, and to learne of him. and learne of him what he should doe: this speeche doth import that Cornelius in his praier had desired to knowe howe, and by what meanes he should be saued. Whereupon the Angel Gods mes­senger telleth him that he must send for Peter by whom he shal be taught the way of saluation. God euer prouideth teachers to such as are desirous to learne: and sendeth the woord of truth to such as loue the truth.Act 8. He sent Philip to instruct the Eunuch the Queene of the Ethiopians chiefe gouernour,Act. 9. as hee was reading the prophet Esaias touching Christ. Hee prouided Ananias for Paul, and Peter for Cornelius. The Angel setteth ouer Corneli­us to Peter to instruct him. To commend the ministerie God will haue his Gospel preached by men and not by Angels. Hee will not haue vs looke for reuelations from heauen but to giue eare and credit to the voice of his messengers to whom hee hath committed the word of reconciliation, whom he would haue e­steemed for their office sake; to contemne such is to contemne him that hath sent them.Matt. 10. He that despiseth you, despiseth me, saith Christ.

16 At his message Cornelius was afraide.He feareth. The presence of the Angel and the strangenesse of the message abashed him. Now if he heard the voice of the Angel with trembling and feare: with what awe & reuerence should we giue eare to the voice of the son of God Christ Iesus? Whensoeuer the gospel is preached, Christ is present, Christ speaketh to vs. The godly tremble at his word as we reade in Esay,Esay 66. To whom wil I looke? To him saith the Lord, to him that is poore, and of contrite spirit, and trembleth at my words. They who [Page 238] despise or disobey the word of God, doe not feare him. For hee that feareth God doth reuerence his woord.

17 And he that doth reuerence the word of God truly,He obeieth. wil no doubt obey it. Example whereof we haue in Cornelius. Hee o­beyed the Angel and straight way sent two of his seruants, and a godlie souldier that waited vpon him to Ioppe for Peter. Euen so likewise must we giue eare when God speaketh, as it is written, I will hearken what the Lord God will say. Psal. 85. Neither may we consult with flesh and bloud when God commaundeth,Gal. 2. but we must obey, we must not deliberate in his causes. Reason and experience would haue told Cornelius howe dangerons it was publikely to professe a strange and hated religion, it might not only tend to the losse of his office, but of his life too. He might haue disputed also with himselfe, What is Peter? Some odde sectarie fled from Ierusa­lem, who for feare least he with his errors should be condemned, hideth himselfe in a tanners house. What learning, what pietie can I looke for to come out of such a schoole, and from such a schoolemaster? This would worldly wisedome and flesh & bloud haue said vnto him: but faith putteth no such perill but readily o­beyeth whatsoeuer God commaundeth. It doubteth not, it stac­kereth not: but if God saith goe it goeth; if GOD say cōme, it commeth;1. Sam. 15. if God say doe this it doth it. Beholde to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken is better than the fat of rammes.

18 He sendeth two of his seruaunts and a godlie souldier that attende [...] vpon him.He sendeth his seruants, and findeth them willing to be sent to Peter. Here was the reward of his labour in brin­ging vp his houshold in the feare of God. He had taught his ser­uaunts truely and syncerely to feare God, and God had taught his seruaunts faithfully and willingly to serue him. For he, (saith the Scripture) that doeth serue his master faithfully and heartily, Col. 3. serueth Christ Iesu; Gen. 24. who rewardeth all faithfull seruice. Abraham brought vp his familie in the feare of God, and he reaped the fruite of it. He had a most faithfull seruaunt whom hee sent to procure a wife to his sonne Isaak: whosoeuer therefore will be trustily serued, let him traine vp his houshold in the feare of God, and expell out thence all that be not godlie,Psal. 101. as godly Dauid did. It is dangerous for any man to nourish serpents in his bosome: they will at one time or other sting him. Faithlesse seruaunts haue beene the con­fusion of many good masters. And godlesse children the destru­ction [Page 239] of many good fathers.1. Sam. 3. Oph [...]ni, and Phinees were the death of their father Ely the high priest.Matt. 26. And Iudas conspired against his master Christ the innocent sonne of God.

19 But to come to that which I set downe for the last.He receiueth Peter with all reuerence, & assembleth many to heare him preache. Note in Cornelius with what humanitie and reuerence hee receiued Peter the preacher of Gods word: he called to him his kinsemen and friends and expected him; he fel downe prostrate to doe him honour, he thanked him for his comming, declaring how readie he was to heare him. And because faith doth labour for Gods glorie and breake foorth into loue towards our neighbour: hee called his friends and kinsemen to be partakers of that great trea­sure of God with him.Gen. 4. Hee was not Caine-like who had no care for his brother. Cornelius teacheth vs howe desirous we ought to be of Gods word, howe glad and readie to heare it, and howe that in duetifull loue wee should prouoke others to the hearing and imbracing of it. For it is the woord of trueth and saluation. Which S. Iames considering exhorteth his brethren to receiue the word that is able to saue their soules.Iames 1. And let vs consider one an­other, Heb. 10. (saith S. Paul) to prouoke vnto loue, and to good woorkes, not for­saking the fellowship that we haue among our selues, as the maner of some is, but exhorting one another. The arrogant Iewes puffed vp with selfe­loue would not ioine themselues in the congregation with Gen­tiles. Which thing the Apostle reprooueth exhorting them not to contemne their brethren, but rather one prouoke another cha­ritably to ioine together in pietie, in hearing of the woord, and receiuing of the Sacraments.Esay 2. As Esay did foreshewe that the faithfull in Christs time should say one to another, Come and let vs goe vp to the mountaines of the Lord, to the house of the God of Iacob: and he will teache vs his waies, and we will walke in his pathes. But alas this zeale of the glorie of God, this loue towardes our brethren is worne away in vs, I feare me wee will neither goe our selues to heare the word, neither suffer others, but dehort them so much as we may: pretending I knowe not what to couer our arrogant malitious heart withall. Such a man is an vsurper, I cannot heare him with safe conscience, hee weareth a surplisse; I will neither heare him, nor trust him. Another is a shrinker, another halfe a papist: leaue them, heare them not. This is the common crie, I will not vse their owne speeche, it is too proude and too bitter. [Page 240] I trust we all preache Christ crucified. Howsoeuer it be, saith S. Paul,Phil. 1. so that Christ be taught I reioice in it. If we mislike the mi­nister, shall we mislike the message also? If we cannot brooke the messenger, shal we be at defiance with him that sent him? God graunt vs such hearts as Cornelius had, that in liking and loue we may prouoke one another to pietie and godlinesse: that wee may hunger after Gods truth, heare the word without respect of the messenger, and so heare it that we may liue by it. Cornelius fell downe prostrate before Peter. Hee considered of him as of the embassador of God; hee reuerenced him as his spirituall fa­ther; he gaue vnto him that double honour which S. Paul saith is due vnto him.1. Tim. 5. The Elders that rule well are woorthie of double ho­nour: 1. Thess. 1. specially they who labour in the woord and doctrine. He looked not on the man but regarded his office. Wee beseeche you bre­thren that you knowe them which labour among you, and are o­uer you in the Lorde, and admonish you: that you haue them in singular loue for their workes sake.Gal. 4. S. Paul doeth greatly com­mend the Galathians in this behalfe that they loued him as an Angell of God, yea as Christ Iesus, yea if it had beene possible, they would haue plucked out their owne eyes, and giuen them him. But our times are altered: men are otherwise affected. They enuie and mutter against Moses, and Aaron. They are become such of whom God complaineth by his prophet Hosea: Thy peo­ple are as they that rebuke the Priest. Hosec 4. I would to God they would re­member Christ saying, He that despiseth you, despiseth me.

20 But the honour which Cornelius gaue vnto Peter was more than was fit to be giuen to a man.Luc. 10. For Peter refused it with th [...] reason,Cornelius in honouring Peter ouer­reacheth, and is controlled. I my selfe am a man too. The zeale and reuerence that he had to the woord made him ouerreach in honouring the minister of it.Act. 14. So did the men of Lystra honour Paul and Barna­bas,R [...]u. 22. but they saide in like sort; O men why doe ye these things? We are men subiect to the like passions that ye be. Iohn would haue woorship­ped the Angel likewise, but the Angel refused, See thou doe it not; I am thy fellowe seruaunt: Worship God. Here we learne howe dange­rously religious honour is giuen to any creature. It cannot be thought that either Cornelius or Iohn would robbe God of his glorie, and giue it to Angel or man. But yet they were forbid­den to doe that which they did, least they should attribute more [Page 241] to the messenger of God than they ought through preposterous zeale. It is not so great a daunger to honour a prince with al hu­militie, therein men cannot so easilie exceed because the honour is ciuill. But the danger is in a spirituall person, least in respect of his holie office they honour him too much. And here is the in­solent pride of the pope reproued who vaunteth himselfe for Pe­ters successor. Peter tooke vp Cornelius and would not suffer him to worship him. His successor compelleth princes to cast themselues downe before him and to kisse his filthie feete. This beastly pride declareth him neither to be Christs vicar nor Peters successor, but rather his childe who saide to Christ in the mount, All these will I giue thee, Matt 4. if thou wilt fall downe and worship me. If man who is the liuely image of God may not haue this worship, how much lesse stockes and stones, the dead images of men? For is it not more reasonable that the image-maker should be woorship­ped than the workes of his hands?

21 Finally Cornelius thanked Peter for his comming,His thankful­nesse & good acc [...]ptation of S. Peters labour in comming. and declared withall howe readie he was to heare him. For in that he saide thou hast doone well to come: he shewed a thankefull minde for his paines taken. So all should bee thankefull to such as bring them glad tidings, the word of saluation. He sendeth his woord and healeth them, Psal. 107. saith the prophet. Let them confesse therefore before the Lord his louing kindenesse, and his wonderfull woorkes before the sonnes of men. The philosophers write euen by the Law, and rules of na­ture that the children can neuer yeeld woorthie thanks vnto their parents for their birth and breeding. Such as beget and breede vs spiritually deserue more thankes: euen so much more as the soule is better than the bodie▪ spirituall regeneration better than naturall procreation. Such as will not be thankefull for the mi­nisters of the trueth shall be requited with deceitful teachers. For God will send them strong delusion that they should beleeue lies, 2. Thess. 2. that all they may be damned that beleeue not the truth.

22 Nowe howe readie himselfe and his companie were to heare Peter preache it appeareth by the woords following:His readinesse to heare and learne what­soeuer God commanded Peter to preach. We are all present here before God, to heare all things that are commanded thee of God. Wherein both the dueties of the hearer and the preacher are plainely set downe. The dutie of the hearer first to be present before God. To remember that he standeth in the sight of God, [Page 242] the seer and searcher of hearts, from whom nothing is hid. To stand before the preacher is to stand before God. The presence of God requireth feare and reuerence. Feare and reuerence should occupie the hearts of them who stand so. Secondly to heare and learne. There is none so well learned but hee may learne more. For while we liue we knowe in part, saith S. Paul, and therefore we must giue diligent care, and applie our mindes to that which is spoken. We must not be as a beaten way, where the seede can take no roote. We must not suffer preiudice to treade downe and destroie the seede, nor the birds of the ayre, Satan to pull it out at the one eare, so fast as it entereth in at the other▪ We may not let our mindes wander but comming of purpose to heare to our profite, we must beseeche God to giue vs memorie, and vnderstanding, to print into our hearts that which wee heare with our eares. Thirdly to heare all things, euen all the doctrine of God: not things that doe please, but things that displease our flesh; not other mens faults but our owne; not onely profession but also conuersation; not onely faith, but also workes; not one­ly to heare,Matt. 6. but also to doe. Herod heard Iohn gladly while hee carped others, but hee could not abide to bee rubbed on the gall himselfe. Hee heard Iohn in many things: but not in all. The Iewes at Rome heard Paul vntill hee applied the woords of Esay vnto them:Esay 6. The heart of this people is waxed fat, and their eares are dull of hearing, Act. 28. and with their eyes haue they winked: least they should see with their eies, and heare with their eares, and vnderstand with their hearts, and returne that I might heale them. Then they shrunke from him and would no more heare him. The preacher is gladly heard of the people that can carpe the magistrates, cut vp the ministers, crie out against all order, and set all at libertie. But if hee shall re­prooue their insolencie, pride and vanitie, their monstrous appa­rell, their excessiue feasting, their greedie couetousnesse, their biting vsurie, their halting hearts, their muttering mindes, their friendly words, & malitious deedes, they will fall from him then. He is a railer, he doteth, he wanteth discretion. Not so Corne­lius and his companie: but they were readie to heare all and so fa­shioned and framed according to all that which God by his word should require at their hands.

23 The duetie of the preacher is expressed in these woords,The dutie of teachers to teache that which God cōmaunde [...]. [Page 243] That are commaunded thee of God. The preacher may teache no other than he hath commission to speake, than is commaun­ded him of God. He may not adde to the written word neither take from it. Gods Lawe is perfect, it doth perfectly instruct and teache all things necessarie to saluation. The Disciples must on­ly breake those loaues vnto the people which they haue receiued at Christs hands. They may not teache their owne dreames, in­uentions, or doctrines. For God will not haue them woorship him so,Ezech. 3. but thou shalt heare the word (saith he) at my mouth, and giue them warning from me. And thus much of Cornelius what he was, on what occasion he sent for Peter, and howe he receiued him at his comming to him.

24 Likewise in Peter three things we haue noted.The messen­gers sent from Corne­lius find Peter praying. Howe he was occupied when the messengers came to him, howe readilie he went with them, and what the sermon was that hee preached to them. The messengers found him at the sixth houre (which is twelue as wee count) fasting and praying on the house toppe, where he sawe a vision in his traunce, a sheete let out of heauen knit at foure corners, wherein were all fowre footed beasts of the earth, and wilde beasts, and creeping things, and fowles of hea­uen. And a voice saide, arise Peter, kill and eate. First wee see that Peter had his appointed houres of praier. Praier is an accep­table sacrifice to God, and a Christian exercise: for the vse wher­of the godlie will prescribe themselues certaine times. For mans corrupt nature is easily caried away to worldely affaires. Hee matcheth fasting with praier, as needefull to stirre vp our sloth­full drowsie spirits to pray the more feruently. For a full bellie maketh a faint praier. And he sought also a priuate place to pray in: because in priuate places we may powre out our hearts more freely vnto God. But of this I haue spoken before.

25 The vision that appeared was to teache him that Christ was borne a Sauiour to the whole world:The vision of Peter. that the Gospel was to be preached to all, that he would all should be saued and come to the knowledge of the trueth. And so was declared the calling of the Gentiles. For Peter was commaunded to make no diffe­rence betweene Iewe and Gentile, although the Gentiles were e­steemed as vncleane in the eyes of the Iewes. Peter being com­maunded to kill and eate, abstained in respect of the Lawe. God [Page 244] told him that he should not take as polluted that which hee had made cleane. All meates are sanctified by the word and praier. So are the Gentils as cleane as the Iewes, whose hearts God hath purified.Act. 15. To forbid meates or mariage as vncleane seeing that the Lorde hath purified them by his woord is the doctrine of di­uels.1. Tim. 4. For all things are cleane to them that be cleane, and the be­leeuing Gentile is accepted of God as wel as the beleeuing Iewe.T [...]t. 1. While Peter mused at this vision: Cornelius his messengers as­ked for him at the doore; and God spake vnto him and saide, Goe with them, and doubt nothing for I haue sent them.

26 Peter hauing the woord of God for his calling,His cheerefull obed [...]ence be­ing sent to preache. went chere­fully forward on his iourney readie to preache to them to whom God did send him. He alleaged not howe dangerous it was to preache the Gospel in Cesarea; howe long and tedious a way thi­ther; howe odious to be conuersant with the Gentiles; he inden­ted not what reward he should haue; hee asked not who should beare his costs; he alleaged not his worne bodie; his olde age; he was voide of all such put-offs, he knewe that, Woe be vnto him if he preached not he remembred his lesson giuen to others, Feed the flocke of God: 1. Pet. 5. he forgat not Christs lesson giuen vnto him, If thou loue me, Iohn 21. feede my sheepe: he knewe that the minister of the word ought to preache in season, and out of season. And he tooke the thing in hand the more gladly, hauing hope that he should winne vnto Christ by the word a Captaine, a man of might, and autho­ritie, in getting of whom he should also get a great sort, he should get an hundred souldiers who easily would be drawne to bee like affected with their Captaine: he should win a great familie with the rest of Cornelius friends & kinsemen, and euen so it came to passe. It is a great gain vnto the Church of Christ when as a man in authoritie is woon by the word. Therefore S. Paul vsed all per­swasion to drawe king Agrippa to be a Christian,Act. 26. knowing what great aduantage would come thereby to Christs Church. To winne a prince is to winne a multitude; yea a nation. The Church of Christ encreaseth and thriueth apace when Kings & Queenes become nurces to it.

27 Peter being come now to Cornelius,His entraunce into his ser­mon. and perceiuing how God had touched his heart with the rest of his companie, and made them most readie and greedie of the word of God, opened [Page 245] his mouth and saide; Of a trueth I perceiue, that God is no accepter of persons, and so foorth. Now Peter entereth into his sermon see­ing so wide a doore opened vnto him, so great an occasion offe­red, so large and apt a field to sowe Gods seede in. In which Ser­mon there is ynough for a Christian to learne; all matter needful to saluation is comprised in it. He that hath taken out this lesson needeth not to learne another. And a great occasion of it as of other excellent sermons was in the people. For the holie Ghost soweth seede plentifully where he findeth a good ground to cast it in, and giueth great vtterance lightly to the minister, when he giueth good will to the auditorie to heare. If the field be barren the seede is spared least it should be spilt. Hee will not haue his seede cast in an vnfruitefull ground. Surely when the people are woorthie of the woord: God will sende preachers with aboun­dance of it.

28 Of a trueth I perceiue that God is no accepter of persons. Being taught of God he teacheth o­thers that whereof him­selfe before was ignorant. This is S. Peters entrance to his matter: wherein he declareth that hee hath nowe learned that the Gospel of Christ, the doctrine of sal­uation doth as well pertaine to the Gentiles as to the Iewes. For although there was a partition-wall which diuided them, now it is taken away.Eph. 2. The Gentiles were aliants from the common wealth of Israel, strangers from the couenant of promise, and had no hope, and were without God in the world: but now in Christ Iesu they which were farre off, are made neere. For he is our peace, which made of both one, and hath broken down the par­tition-wall to make of twaine one newe man in himselfe so ma­king peace. Through him both Iewe and Gentile hath an en­trance vnto the father by one spirit. And Peter hauing had this reuealed to him before in his vision doth now affirme to the Gen­tiles in the beginning of his speeche: partly to winne fauourable hearing in that he enuied not their saluation as other Iewes did, but carefully sought it: partly to make them attentiue to heare those things which pertained to their saluation. Of a truth I per­ceiue. Peter confesseth his former ignorance touching the cal­ling of the Gentiles and that he hath learned that which he knew not before. A token of his great humilitie. His successor the pope is led by an other spirite, hee cannot abide to graunt igno­rance, or that he can erre: all knowledge is shut vp in scrinio pecto­ris, [Page 246] (as they terme it) in the hutch of his brest. Paul would not arrogate all knowledge,1. Cor. 13. though he were taken vp into the third heauen, and sawe mysteries not to be reuealed vnto men, for he saith, We knowe in part. These Romish Rabbies will be no Disciples but masters. They will aunswere him that shall take in hande to teache them:Iohn 9. Thou art borne wholly in sinnes, and doest thou teache vs?

29 But what hath Peter learned?God is no ac­cepter of per­sons. That God is no accepter of persons. I regard not that which man doth regard, saith God to Samuel.1. Sam. 16. For man regardeth that which is before his eyes; but God regardeth the heart. The person heere is taken for the outward apparance, and qualities as you would say, or circum­stances of persons: as circumcision, vncircumcision; man, wo­man; magistrate, subiect; Iewe, Gentile; English-man, French-man; master, seruaunt; riche, poore; faire, euill fauoured; a tall man, a dwarfe; a citizen, a countrie man; a wise man, a foole; a learned, an vnlearned. These & such other things are here meant by the persons of men. GOD is no accepter of these outward shewes, he iudgeth not as man iudgeth. There is neither Iewe, nor Gretian, Gal. 3. there is neither bond, nor free; there is neither male, nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Iesus. There is no respect of persons with God, neither ought we to be caried away with externall shewes of magnifical pompe, of glorious titles, of great authority, much learning: nor in matter of religion to respect the messenger but the message. Paul reprooueth the Corinthians for respecting of persons in matter of religion; some would heare none but Paul,1. Cor. 3. some liked none but Apollos, others followed after Peter, & would only be his disciples. Is Christ diuided saith S. Paul? The preacher is to be heard for the woords sake and not for his owne sake. If Scribes and Pharisees teache out of the chaire of Moses, if Iudas teache the Gospell of Christ, they are to be heard. To heare or not to heare in respect of the person, is to iustifie or con­demne the woord for the person. Respect not persons, but reue­rence the matter; when thou hearest the minister preaching the truth thou hearest not him but the sonne of God the teacher of al truth Christ Iesus. Plato was as honest a man, and as good a phi­losopher as was Diogenes for all his pretense of simplicitie and contemning of the world. Haue no respect to outward pretenses. [Page 247] Iudge not according to the sight: least in opinion you condemne the good and iustifie the euill. In matter of saluation neither ought the childe to respect his parent, nor the seruaunt his ma­ster, nor the subiect his prince, nor posteritie the predecessors: for we may not hang vpon man but vpon God.Ier. 17. Cursed is hee that maketh flesh his arme. We must herein onely giue eare and respect what the sonne of God shall say vnto vs who is the wisedome of his father: whom our heauenly father hath commaunded vs to heare,Matth. 3. saying, Heare you him.

30 In euerie nation he that feareth him,God accep­teth them which feare him in euerie nation. and woorketh righ­teousnesse is accepted of him. God respecteth not the outward person but the inward man. He regardeth not the shape but his owne image that is in man. Hee is not partiall to the Iewe more than to the Gentile: Riche and poore, learned and vnlear­ned are all one in his sight. He accepteth of such as feare him and worke righteousnesse. Herein is comprised perfect religion: our duetie towards God, and our dutie towards man, the former, and the latter table, to beleene in God, and to doe right to our neighbour, to loue God aboue all, and to loue our neighbour as our selfe. To feare God is in true holinesse to serue GOD: to worke righteousnesse is not to hurt but to help our neighbour, to doe to others, as we would be doone vnto our selues. Hee that will be a wise man in deede must learne to feare God. The begin­ning of wisedome,Eccles. 1. is the feare of the Lord. All other wisedome wherein the feare of God wanteth is but earthly,Iam. 3. sensuall, and di­uelish. Such as feare God shall be strengthened to stand against all assaults of Satan; yea they shal continue and stand stedfast vn­to the end, euen to the last gasp. Canst thou not away with want? Wouldst thou haue plentie?Psal. 34. There is nothing wanting to them that feare him. Canst thou not away with infamie? Wouldest thou be praised? The greatest praise that can come to any man is that he feareth God.Eccles. 10. It is the glorie of the riche, the noble and the poore. Wouldest thou haue all vertues, and the rewards of them? Wouldest thou be free from sinnes, and the punishments ensuing them? Followe the example of Cornelius, and feare God.Eccles. 3. For they who feare God, will honour and obey their pa­rents;Psal. 27. they who feare God will diligently exercise themselues in praier; they who feare God wil search their owne hearts, see their [Page 248] offences, and with the prodigall child be sorie for them, confesse them and forsake them.Eccles. 21. They who feare God will abstaine from sinne:Eccles. 1. remembring that the Lord doth hate it, and will punish it; and knowing that their dooings cannot bee hid from him. If the feare of God were planted in our hearts: wee would learne after so many admonitions to leade a better life; wee would practise such lessons as we haue beene so long in learning; wee would not liue in such carelesse securitie as we doe, the Gospel would take better effect in vs and bring foorth more plentifull fruite, wee would at the length cast away impietie, and worldely concupis­cence, and liue a sober, iust and godlie life, we would repent and forsake sinne least sinne procure Gods speedie wrath; the mini­sters would be more diligent in feeding of the flocke; the people more readie to heare the voice of the sheepeheard; the magi­strates more carefull ouer the common-wealth; the subiectes more obedient to frame themselues to liue vnder Law: the riche would not suffer the giuer of their riches to goe on begging: the poore would endeuour to get spirituall treasures, and to be riche in Christ: finally we would not feede our bellies so daintily; nor so vainly and superfluously cloath our bodies: but vse temperance in diet, and sobrietie in apparell, hauing what to eate and where­with to be cloathed we would bee content. Verily to conclude, such as feare God abstaine from euill and doe good:Eccles 15. and as our Apostle S. Peter saith, they doe worke righteousnesse.

31 Righteousnesse compriseth in it all such duetie as we doe owe vnto our neighbour.And them which worke righteousnes. Whatsoeuer is contained in the second table is comprehended in this word Righteousnesse. But how can we worke righteousnesse, who are as vncleane things, and al our righteousnesse as a filthie clowte?Esay 64. Of whom the prophet saieth, There is not one that doth good, Psal 14. no not one? In deede we are not able to worke perfect righteousnesse. For if wee could then Christ had died in vaine, with whose perfect righteousnesse we must be cloa­thed by imputation, that wee may bee accepted as righteous in Gods sight.2. Cor. 5. For God hath made him which knewe no sinne to be sinne for vs, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him. But when we are iustified so by the perfect righteousnesse of Christ: wee must endeuour to serue God in righteousnesse, and bring foorth good fruites though they be vnperfect, such as in this frailtie of [Page 249] the flesh we may. And these are accepted of God for Christes sake, their weakenesse and imperfection being pardoned in him. Wherefore in this sort we must worke righteousnesse, and follow sanctification. Hitherto howe all estates must apply themselues to worke righteousnesse.

32 Omitting therfore others whom generally this toucheth,Children put in minde of a worke of righ­teousnesse to­wards their parents with­out whose consent to bestow them­selues in ma­riage is a thing vnrigh­teous. I will at this present remember children onely of a point of righ­teousnesse which they must worke in giuing due honour to their parents. For there is a great fault in many at this day, that wher­as they are specially bound to their parents both by the linkes of nature and by the bonds of Gods word: they burst those bondes asunder, & dispose of themselues in mariage as they list without consent of their parents. A fault as most heinous in the sight of God, and condemned by his law: so condemned too by the law of nature, the Lawe Ciuil, the Lawe Canon, and the opinion of the best writers. For the Lawe of God doeth not onely charge chil­dren generally to obey their parents in all thinges,Col. 3. but also parti­cularly doth shewe by sundrie examples, that children ought to be giuen by their parents in mariage, and not to bee left to their owne fantasies. And among the Ethnikes euen by the Lawe of nature as their Poets shew, mariages for children were not made by themselues but by their parents. It is written in the Lawe Ci­uil;In [...]ss, de statu hominis l. Paul. If a sonne marie a wife against his fathers will: the child that shall be borne of that mariage shall not be counted lawfull. In the Canon Lawe it is saide,30. q. 5. c. Aliter. Mariages are then lawfull when mai­dens are asked to wiues of their parents, and are giuen by them openly to their husbandes: otherwise they are not mariages but whoredomes. The best writers both olde and newe subscribe hereunto: Tertullian, Ambrose, Chrysostome, Augustine, with all the learnedst of latter times: whose particular sentences I o­mit to recite for breuities sake. But if youthfull children haue so litle reuerence both of God and men that such admonition wil not make them leaue such disordered mariages, it behooueth magistrates who are the common parentes of the weale publike, to bridle their lusts with seuere Lawes, for the redresse of this e­uill, and the mischiefes ensuing of it. And thus much of S. Peters entraunce into his sermon: the sermon doeth fol­lowe.

[Page 250] 33 Ye knowe the word which God hath sent to the children of Israel,The summe & substance of S. Peters Sermon is peace by Christ Iesus. preaching peace by Iesus Christ, and so foorth. The summe of the sermon is this. Iesus Christ which is Lord of all, the preacher and author of peace, did faithfully performe the of­fice for the which he was sent, preaching to the people the glad tidings of the Gospell, and healing all their diseases, for God was with him, and hee was slaine and hanged on tree; the thirde day he arose again from death, he ascended into heauen, from thence shall he come to iudge the quicke and the dead: to whom all the prophets beare witnesse that through his name all that beleeue in him shall haue remission of their sinnes. Such as this is, were the sermons of the Apostles. Here is all things necessarie to sal­uation expressed. This is that which God commanded his great Apostle S. Peter to preache. In this doctrine would hee haue his people trained vp. The people receiued it as a sufficient do­ctrine.1. Cor. 2. Peter and Paul were directed by one spirite: they nei­ther esteemed to knowe any thing but Iesus Christ, and him cru­cified, neither could they testifie or preache ought but him. This sermon is diuided into three parts:The parts of his sermon. the first that Iesus Christ the Lord of all was sent vnto the people of Israel to preache peace; the next, that he died & rose againe from death to procure vs this peace; the last, that we are made partakers of this peace by faith in his name. Iesus Christ the Lord of all was sent vnto the people of Israel to preache peace. Let vs weie the words seuerally: they are most effectuous, fully setting foorth the mysterie of our sal­uation.

1 34 Iesus by the interpretation of the Angel is a sauiour: Thou shalt call his name Iesus; Iesus Christ Lord of all sent from God to preach peace for he shall saue his people from their sinnes. The Angel appearing to the sheepeheards saide: Behold I bring you ti­dings of great ioie, that shall be to al the people; that is, that vnto you is born this day a Sauiour. Matth. 1. The Ethnikes doe seeke their safetie in their idols;Luc. 2. the Iewes in the obseruances of the Lawe, and traditions; the Papistes in their pardons, purgatorie, masses, merites; the true Christians seeke it in Iesus Christ the Sauiour, and in none but him.Act. 4. He will not be matched therein with any other: but he is a full,Iohn 1. perfect and onely Sauiour. He is the Lambe of God that taketh away the sin of the world. There is neither water, nor fier, buls, nor bels, masses, nor merites, pope, nor pardon that [Page 251] can saue vs.Rom 8. There is neither diuel, or flesh, nor world, if he saue vs, that can condemne vs. For who can condemn whom he doth iustifie? And whom he iustifieth not,Psal. 45. who can saue? Christ is an­nointed. And Iesus is called so, because hee was annointed of God aboue his fellowes. Whereupon Esay the prophet writeth of him:Esay 61. The spirit of the Lord is vpon me; for he hath annointed me. An­nointed he was to be a king and priest: for they among the Iewes were woont to be annointed.Rom. 17. Hee is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.Matth. 2. The wise men of the East did acknowledge him a king: Where is he that is borne king of the Iewes? Zacharie sheweth further what maner of king:Zach. 9. Behold, thy king commeth to thee, meeke, and riding vpon an asse, and vpon a colt the foale of an asse. This our king doth gouerne vs with a right scepter.Psal. 45. The scepter of thy kingdome is a scepter of righteousnesse. He doth defend vs with a mightie and stretched out arme, against whose power no power can stand. He is that triumphant prince which hath most victoriously vanqui­shed and throwen vnder foote our enemies. They labour in vaine that kicke against the prickes, that striue against his Gospel. For he is a prince of might that doeth defend it:Act. 19. and the gates of hell shall not preuaile against it.Matth 16. The sunne wil runne his course: the passage of the Gospel cannot bee stopped.2. Tim. 2. The Gospel is not bound.Tertul. While it is persecuted it is inlarged. The bloud that is spilt for it is the very seede of it. Nowe as he is our king, so our priest and prophet too:Deut. 18. at whose mouth wee should require the Lawe of God. That prophet like vnto Moses, the searcher of truth. That very sonne of God of whom the father hath saide, Ip­sum audite. Matth. 3. Heare ye him. He is the priest, which once for all, hath sufficiently sacrificed for our sins;Heb. 9. by himselfe, and by none other; once, and not often; vpon the crosse, and not vpon the al­tar; sufficient for all such as shall be saued. He is the priest, the high bishop that maketh intercession for vs: the onely mediator betweene God, and man; to teach man the wil of God, to recon­cile God to man; to make intercession betweene God and man. These are the peculiar duties of Christ, as wee are taught in the Epistle to the Hebrues.

35 Which is Lord of all. Christ the Lord of all. Least the Gentiles should conceiue that Iesus Christ was promised, and sent to be a Sauiour onely to the Iewes, hee answereth that obiection by a preuention (so to [Page 252] terme it) calling him Lord of all:1. Tim. 2. the Lord of the Gentile as wel as of the Iewe.Matt. 28. Christ wil that all men shall be saued, that is, men of all sorts.1. Cor. 6. He was sent to preache peace to all, both Iewes and Gentiles.Luc. 1. He is the Lord ouer all, euen the Lord of glorie to whō all power is giuen both in heauen and in earth. He hath bought vs al with a great price, that we should serue him in holinesse and righteousnesse. Let vs remember therefore that of the prophet: If I be a Lord, Mal. 1. where is my feare, saith the Lord of Hosts? Feare not them which kil the bodie,Matt. 10. but be not able to kill the soule: but ra­ther feare ye him, which is able to destroie both bodie and soule in hell.

36 Which God hath sent. Christ sent from God to preache peace. When the fulnesse of time was come, God sent forth his sonne, made of a woman, and made vnder the Lawe, that he might redeeme them which were vnder the Lawe. He was made man for vs,Gal 4. that in our nature he might suffer for vs. He was sent of his father being equall with his father,Phil. 2. and beeing in the forme of God he made himselfe of no reputation. All to lift vs vp, that were cast downe to hel, and to rid vs from the bon­dage of Satan and his Angels to whom we were enthralled. For that is imported by the peace mentioned in the woords that fol­lowe.Esay 61. God preached by him, He sent me to preache the Gospell to the poore, saith Christ himselfe in Esay. To preache the Gospel, euen the Gospel of peace; not to preache warre betweene GOD and man but to preach peace. For the word of the Gospel is the word of reconciliation.

37 And here by Christ example all messengers of God and ministers of his woord are taught by the way,Such as preach must be sent to preache. that before they meddle with dooing this office they must be lawfully sent there­to.2. Cor. 5. Such as denie their lawfull sending, doe also denie their law­full preaching.Rom. 10. For howe shall they preache, vnlesse they be sent, saith S. Paul?Ier. 23. The prophet complaineth of such runners as bee not sent: I haue not sent these prophets, saith the Lord, yet they run. Such are sent as are framed thereunto by the holie Ghost: whom the holie Ghost hath furnished with gifts fit for that office, which doe not vsurpe it,Heb 5. but stay till they be lawfully called as was Aa­ron.

38 Christ was not onely sent to preache peace,The doctrine [...] Christ is [...] doctrine of [...]ce. but also to be our peace-maker: for through him we haue peace with God; and [Page 253] in him wee should seeke peace with men too, as farre as lyeth in vs.Rom. 5. For the Gospel is the word of peace, not of contention, tu­mult and rebellion,Rom. 12. as our aduersaries terme it: of it owne nature it is the word of peace: it commeth otherwhence that cōtention doth followe it; for as soone as the Gospel beginneth to be prea­ched Satan maketh a sturre and laboureth to suppresse it.Matt. 2. As soone as the wise men asked after Christ;Matt. 21. Herode was troubled. As soone as Christ entred into Ierusalem to preache; all the citie was mooued. The truth hath many enemies. The light is hated of euill doers, the Gospel wil euer be persecuted. And in this sense is that of Christ verified, I came not to sende peace but the swoord. Christ was sent to preache peace.Ephe. 2. He preached peace, and made peace betweene Iewes and Gentiles; or rather betweene them both and the Lord. For hee is peace, which hath made of both one, and hath broken the stoppe of the partition-wall. Other sheepe I haue, (saith Christ to the Iewes) which are not of this folde. Them must I bring also, Iohn 10. and they shall heare my voice; and there shall be one sheepefold and one sheepeheard. He preached peace amongst men, and brought peace into the world. At the time of his natiuitie (as appeareth in histories) there was peace amongst all nations and people throughout all the whole worlde:Oros. lib. 7. ca. [...] to shewe vnto the world that the Lord of peace was come into the world. Peace is the badge that God giueth to discerne his from others. Loue is Christs Liuery-coate.Iohn 14, By this shall all men knowe that ye are my Disci­ples if ye loue one another. He cannot bee at peace with God that is at warre with his neighbour.August. He cannot haue concord with Christ that nourisheth discord with a Christian. God hath made vs one: Let not the diuell sunder vs into many. Pride is a peace­breaker; humble and milde hearts are not contentious but labour to keepe the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace.Eph. 4. God hath giuen vs Christ the prince of peace; he hath giuen vs the gospel the word of peace; he hath giuen vs a peacefull Queene, (the Lord blesse her) and common peace in our countrie, let vs bee thankefull to the Lord for it, and woe to him that shall breake it. Be of one minde,2. Cor. 13. liue in peace: and the Lord of loue and peace shall be with you. He preached peace, peace betweene God and man. Sinne made diuision betweene God and vs as it is written in Esay;Esay 59. Your iniquities haue separated betweene you, and [Page 254] your God. So that Gods fauour descended not to vs, neither could our praiers ascend vnto him. But Christ hath remooued this wall of diuision, he hath taken away this stoppage; hee hath cancelled on the crosse this writing that was against vs; hee hath made vs a free accesse vnto God.2. Cor. 5. By him we are reconciled vnto God the father. Hee hath laide our sinnes vpon his owne shoul­ders, hee hath borne the pese of his fathers heauie wrath and in­dignation, he hath satisfied Gods iustice, and pacified his anger, and made a perfect peace betweene God and vs. Mans consci­ence can neuer rest nor be at peace vntil it be setled in the ful per­swasion of remission of sinnes in the death and resurrection of Christ Iesus, whereby God receiueth vs into his fauour; and is at one with vs through him. This is that ioiefull tidings of peace with God which Christ was sent to preache vnto the world. This is that peace which passeth all vnderstanding.Phil. 4. He that with pa­tience resteth in this peace doth suffer all things: he reioiceth in the midst of troubles and afflictions: he is not ouercome with the feare of mans malice but will cheerefully and boldly say with S. Paul,Rom. 8. If God be with vs, who can be against vs? And with the prophet, I will lay me downe, and sleepe in peace; for thou Lord onely makest me dwell in safetie. Psal. 4. This is that peace which Christ preached, and pro­mised to leaue with his elect: peace I leaue with you, my peace I giue vnto you;Iohn 14. not as the world giueth, giue I vnto you. Let not your heart be troubled,Esay 57. nor feare. This peace is farre from the vngodlie: there is no peace, saith my God to the wicked. They are euer restlesse: the biting worme neuer ceaseth to gnawe and grate in their combred consciences.

39 Christ preached peace,The diligēce of Christ in preaching peace. when the Lord sent him. Hee was not negligent in his office, he aunswered his calling careful­ly. He went about dooing good, and healing all that were op­pressed of the diuell. He was not rechelesse in Gods matters. He was no dumbe dogge, no idle idol. He crept not into a cor­ner, he hid not himselfe. But he walked, he went abroade, he saide to his Disciples,Matt. 28. Goe ye, Preacheye, he gaue the exam­ple himselfe, he lay not out of his Diocese, he was resident vpon his charge, and looked to euery part of it, he made not his con­tinual abode at Ierusalem, nor at Iericho, nor at Capernaum, nor in any one citie, towne or village, but he went through all Iurie [Page 255] and Galilie. Not to poll, and pill; to extort and wring out of the people what he could: but it was to doe good, and to heale such as were oppressed of the diuell, to preache the woord and to worke miracles. Hee preached throughout his whole charge: For I came out (saith he) for that purpose. Mark 1. Nor onely did he glad­ly teache such as came vnto him: but he inuited also and prouo­ked al that were wearie and loaden to come,Matt. 11. promising them that he would refresh their soules. And heerein he did the office of a priest. And againe hee healed all that Satan had afflicted, and herein he did the office of a king.Psal. 72. He shall iudge the poore of the people, saith the prophet: he shall saue the children of the needie, and shal subdue the oppressor. He threwe out his enemie, the oppressor Satan: and deliuered his people out of that enemies hands. An example for the magistrate to defend the innocent, to deliuer the oppressed, to punish the transgressor.Rom. 13. For the swoord is giuen him to this end. An example for the minister to teache the word of God and confirme it with doing what good soeuer he may according to the talents that the Lord hath giuen him. Finally an exam­ple for euerie faithfull Christian, to shewe foorth his beleefe by his conuersation,Iam 2. his faith by workes, to make his vocation and calling sure thereby.2 Pet. 1. For God was with him. Christ wrought his wonderfull workes by the power of God, and not (as the Scribes falsely charged him) by the power of Beelzebub: for God was with him.Luc. 11. He taught the word that he receiued of his father, he cast out diuels by the finger of God. He was no chopper or changer of the woord: he vsed neither witchcraft, sorcerie, nor coniuring. He wrought not by the diuel but by the power of God.

40 The next part was, that he died and rose again to procure 2 vs this peace.Christ died to procure the peace which he preached. They slewe him, hanging him on a tree. God raised him vp the third day. The death and resurrection of Christ is the onely meane of our reconciliation and peace with God. For he died for our sinnes;Rom. 4. and rose for our iustification. By his death and passion he hath cancelled and fastened vpon the crosse the hand-writing that was against vs.Ephe. 3. Hee hath pacified Gods wrath, hee hath procured Gods fauour, of enemies made vs friends, of strangers citizens, of the children of wrath the chil­dren of God, and fellow-heires of his eternall kingdome.

[Page 256] 41 Before this crucified Christ that died and rose againe wee shal appeare to giue an account of our whole life,God hath or­deined him a [...]udge of quick and dead. of our thoghts, our workes and words. For as S▪ Peter saith, He is ordeined of God a iudge of the quicke and the dead. At the latter day hee is appointed to be iudge of all flesh: The father hath deliuered all iudgement vnto him.Iohn 5. And we shall all stand before his iudge­ment seate that euery one may receiue the things doone in his bodie,2. Cor. 5. according to that he hath doone whether it be good or euill. This iudge is both iudge and witnesse.Mal 3. I will come neere vnto you to iudge­ment, and I will be a swift witnesse against the southsayers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that wrongfully keepe back the hyrelings wages, and vexe the widowe and the fatherlesse, & oppresse the stranger, and feare not me saith the Lord of Hosts. Nothing is hid from his eyes, he seeth the secrets of all hearts: he wil not be corrupted but giue vnto euerie one according to his woorkes. Christ is iudge. Wherefore we are taught to leaue reuenge vn­to him.Rom 12. Vengeaunce is mine, I will repay saith the Lord. For priuate men to reuenge wrongs, is to vsurp Christs office, to take iudge­ment out of his handes whom God the father hath appointed iudge of the quicke and the dead. You that bee afflicted and oppressed with miserie and wrong lift vp your heads: for your re­demption draweth neere.Matt. 24. You that oppresse and wrong your brethren, repent: and desire pardon least the sentence of Gods iustice ouertake you. His iustice no man can abide: For in his sight shall none that liueth be iustified. Psal. 143. Christ therefore is giuen as S. Pe­ter teacheth to be our Iesus, that is our Sauiour, our Christ that is annointed, a king, a priest, and prophet; the Lord of all whom we ought to serue in holinesse and righteousnesse; sent of God, and made man; he preached peace betweene God and man, and betweene men among themselues; he died to bee a sacrifice for vs, he rose againe to iustifie vs; hee is made our iudge, and doeth iudge iustly.

42 Nowe wee with PETER,The honour which S. Pe­ter in this ser­mon giueth vnto Christ is by vs also giuen him; but not so by or rather with the holie Ghost, with the Prophets and Apostles, giue heerein to Christ that which is his owne. And here is the controuersie betweene the aduersaries of the Gospel the papists and vs. We giue vnto Christ that which is his right: they rob, and take from him that which is his due. We spoile our selues of all righteousnesse, and [Page 257] seeke to be cloathed with his righteousnesse. They cloath them­selues with their owne righteousnesse, not caring for that righte­ousnesse which is in him. We hope to be saued by him our one­ly priest, our sacrifice, our mediator. They haue shauen priests, and vnbloudie sacrifices, and infinite mediators both of Saints and Angels. To be short we acknowledge Christ our whole Sa­uiour, and all the glorie thereof we giue vnto God. They will be saued by themselues, their merits, their pardons, they impart the glorie of God vnto dead men, to images, to relikes, & to dumme creatures.

43 The third and last part of S. Petets sermon, was that wee 3 are made partakers of peace by faith in Christ name.Of the peace which Christ hath procu­red we are made parta­kers by faith. To him all the prophets giue witnesse that through his name al that beleeue in him shall receiue remission of sins. Wherein three things are remembred vnto vs: that remission of sinnes is free, that we re­ceiue it by faith; and that this doctrine is witnessed by all the prophets.

44 All flesh hath sinned,Remission of sinnes free. and doth neede forgiuenesse. God is the onely forgiuer of our sinnes.Marke 2. Neither doth he forgiue them in respect of mans merits:Tit. 3. but of his mercie, good will and free mercie. The onely meanes that mooued God to bee mercifull freely to sinnefull man was that most acceptable sweete bloudie sacrifice which the innocent sonne of God offred vpon the crosse for our sinnes.Rom 3. All haue sinned and are depriued of the glorie of God: & are iustified freely by his grace, through the redemp­tion that is in Christ Iesus. He tooke our vnrighteousnesse vpon himselfe and cloathed vs with his iustice,2. Cor 5. and He who knewe no sinne was made sinne for vs, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him. In Christ and for Christ we receiue free remission of sins. There is no other name giuen vs vnder heauen whereby we may be saued.Acts 3. I am the way, the truth, and the life: Iohn 8. No man commeth to the father but by me,Iohn 14. saith Christ. No sinne forgiuen but tho­rough him: and through him all sinnes are forgiuen freely.

45 The meane whereby wee are made partakers of this free remission of sinnes,Of remission of sins we are made parta­kers by faith. in the death and resurrection of Christ, is faith in Christ. For all (saith Peter) that beleeue in him shall receiue remission of sinnes through his name. God doeth freely offer vnto vs remission of sinne, and peace in Christ. The meane [Page 258] and instrument to receiue it withall is faith. He that beleeueth is made partaker of it: and not of it onely but of eternall life also. For he that beleeueth in me hath life eternall,Iohn 3. saith our Sauiour Christ.Rom. 3. But this faith, this iustifying faith doth worke through loue,Gal. 5. and sheweth it selfe by workes.Iames 2. The good tree will be fruit­full. The beleeuing iustified childe of God will feare God and worke righteousnesse.

46 This doctrine of iustification by faith in the death and re­surrection of Christ Iesu is witnessed by all the Prophets.Vnto this do­ctrine all the Prophets beare witnes. It is no newe doctrine, but olde: not onely proceeding from the Apo­stles, but also from the Prophets. For Moses and all the Pro­phets beare witnesse of him.Luke 24. And as they: so the Apostles after them. Whose steppes we must followe, and acknowledge that no doctrine is to be established but that which is testified by the Apostles and Prophets.Ephe. 2. The true Church of Christ doth builde her faith on their foundation. God will be worshipped and ser­ued according to his prescript woord, and not according to the braine of man. The Prophets and Apostles with all such as be ministers of the woord are heere and elsewhere called witnesses: Yea Christ himselfe termeth himselfe a witnesse of the truth. For this cause am I borne, and for this cause came into the worlde, that I should beare witnesse to the truth.Iohn 18. And Christ saith to his A­postles,Acts 1. Ye shall be witnesses vnto me, both in Ierusalem and in Samaria; euen to the vttermost endes of the earth.

47 The truth is to bee testified by publike preaching.Bearing wit­nesse to the truth both by teaching and by suffering for it. Paul commendeth the Thessalonians for beleeuing his testimonie. His testimonie was the Gospel which he did preache and testifie vnto them. According to the voice that did speake vnto him when he was cast off his horse:2 Thess 1. I haue appeared to thee for this purpose: to ap­point thee a minister and witnesse both of things which thou hast seene; Act. 26. and of the things in which I will appeare vnto thee. The truth is also testi­fied by writing. By the writings of the Prophets, Apostles and Euangelists the truth of God Iesus Christ was most plainely te­stified. As Iohn (to name one of them among many,) This is that Disciple which testifieth of these things. Iohn 21. The truth is also witnes­sed when as it is testified in bloud, for a martyr is a witnes. Christ told Peter that when he was young hee girded himselfe and wal­ked whither he lusted, but when he waxed old other should gird [Page 259] him and carie him whither hee would not. Nowe this (saith Iohn) he spake signifying by what death he should glorifie God. Many Martyrs haue thus testified the truth with suffering for it. But they ouercame by the bloud of the Lambe, and by the woord of their testimonie,Reue. 12. not louing their life, no not to the death. That minister which will neither testifie it by publike preaching, nor by writing, will hardly testifie it by suffering, but will rather say with Peter, I knowe not the man. But I must here make an end for the time hath ouertaken me:Matth. 26. and without repetition, as you knowe the maner is.2. Pet. 2. To God the father, God the son, & God the holie Ghost, three persons & one almightie & almerciful God, be rendred all thanks & all glorie giuen for euer and for euer. Amen

The fifteenth Sermon. A Sermon preached at Strausborough in the time of Q. Maries reigne.

2. COR. 6.

2 Wee therefore as helpers, beseeche you that ye receiue not the grace of God in vaine.

3 For he saith, I haue heard thee in a time accepted, & in the day of sal­uation haue I succoured thee: behold now the accepted time; beholde now the day of saluation.

THE Prophet to abate the hawtie conceit,God hath created men to serue and honour him. which na­turally wee haue of our selues; in such sort as euery man were his owne God, and had no other whom to praise for the graces and gifts wherewith he is beauti­fied, and set forth as a mirror for al other creatures to beholde and woonder at; indeuoureth to turn away our eyes frō too much ga­zing vpon our owne excellencie, by pointing as it were his finger at him, who is author of euerie good & perfect gift, saying, Hee made vs, Psal. 100. and not we our selues. For what end and purpose Zacha­rie teacheth;Luke 1. namely that we might serue him in holinesse and righteons­nesse before him all the daies of our life. Ephe. 2. For we are his workemanship, created in Christ Iesus vnto good works, which God hath ordei­ned that we should walke in them.1. Cor. 6. Ye are not, saith S. Paul to the [Page 260] Corinthians your owne. Why so? For you are bought with a price. Glorifie therefore God in your bodie, and in your spirite; for they are Gods. Forsomuch then as we are all of the houshold of God; all one in Christ; all members of one, and the same spirituall bodie; woor­shipping one Lord; receiuing one baptisme; professing one faith; & expecting one glorie to be reuealed vpon vs in that great day: it is our duetie in token of our neere coniunction in the spirite, with one heart, one minde, and as it were with one mouth to pre­sent our selues before his mercie seate; to praise him; to heare his word; to receiue the seales of his merciful couenaunt in the Gos­pel; and to offer him our needeful supplications together; that in all things it may appeare that we are one, as hee and the father are one, euen one God to be blessed for euer.

2 With what zeale & desire,With what zeale, ioye & gladnesse the godly do per­forme their seruice to the Lord. Gods people of old were woont to do this, we may gesse by that which we reade of y Prophet Da­uid: who, being persecuted of his wicked & vnnatural son, & dri­uen from ye presence of that glorious tabernacle, which with great triumph & ioye himselfe had placed in the Citie of Dauid, where he was woont with the rest of the people to call vpon the name of the Lord; to heare the Lawe; and to offer sacrifice vpon those beautiful altars: conceiued such a deepe impression of griefe, by the sorowfull meditation of those sweete and heauenly comforts, whereof his soule had tasted in former times; that, forgetting quite the losse of all other royalties whatsoeuer, he maketh mone for nothing, but onely this, that he might not nowe be partaker of those inestimable benefites, and the comforts of minde and conscience, which he was woont to receiue at the hand of God, at such time as with the rest of the Israelites he resorted to the ta­bernacle, where God promised to be present, and fauourably to heare the petitions there made vnto him. Of this his great mi­ferie, he complaineth him lamentably in diuerse of his Psalmes: but especially in the 84, where he breaketh out into these woords of great zeale:Psal. 84. O Lord of hosts, howe amiable are thy Tabernacles? My soule longeth, yea and fainteth for the courts of the Lorde: mine heart and my flesh reioice in the liuing God. He goeth on, and magnifieth the blessed estates of those sillie birds, which might haue their nests, and lay their young euen close by the altars, from the presence of which he was exiled. In the ende, to shewe the happie case [Page 261] wherein they are, to whom continuall and daily accesse to the house of the Lord is graunted; he preferreth one day spent there, before a thousand any other-where; the meanest roome about the house of God, before the highest throne in the pallaces of the wicked. In another Psalme he so speaketh, as if euery daies ab­sence from that holie place were a thousand yeeres.Psal. 42. When shall I come to appeare before the presence of God? As if he should haue said, Shall I neuer?Psal. 137. Neuer shall I be so happie? So the Israelites at such time as they were exiles in Babylon, declared their earnest desires this way, by their bitter teares: Nehemias, by his heauinesse in the presence of the king: Christ, by leauing his mother, to pre­sent himselfe at holie exercises in the temple, being but as yet of greene and tender age. And with what zeale, ioye and gladnesse, the Disciples of Christ, after the death of their master ioyned themselues together in priuate houses, when by reason of the cruell persecution by the Priests, they durst not shewe themselues abroade; it appeareth both in the Euangelists, and in the Acts of the Apostles. Yea, when afterward the spirite of God miracu­lously descending vpon them, had increased both their zeale and courage, they openly professed him, whom before they worship­ped in secrete places. No feare, no prohihition, no threatning of higher powers was able to withholde them: they spake, they en­tred into the temple; they taught daily; and beeing persecuted, were glad that God thought them woorthie to suffer for his sake,Acts 5. who had died for theirs. God, according to his promise, is e­uer present in his congregation.Matt. 18. Wheresoeuer two or three are as­sembled in his name, he is with them: yea what thing soeuer his Saints so assembled shall lawfully aske; his promise is, it shall bee giuen them.

3 With what earnest desire,The like ala­critie in ser­uing God re­quired nowe especially. deare brethren, ought we then, to stand in this place before the Lord, beeing driuen from the ta­bernacle of God, as Dauid; persecuted, as the blessed Apostles of Christ; exiled, as Israel; cast out of the Churches wherein we were nurced and trained vp? Howe thankefull ought we to be to our heauenly father, who hath in so ample manner, in the midst of our manifold distresses & griefes, caused the light of his coun­tenance to shine in the faces of vs his poore afflicted seruaunts? For althogh because we, our princes, our prophets & our people [Page 262] haue grieuously sinned in not esteeming so preciously, nor fol­lowing so religiously his blessed Gospel as we ought to doe; there­fore he hath bereaued vs of our worldly prosperitie, and brought these miseries vpon vs, wherein we nowe are: yet knowing that we are the sheepe of his pasture, howsoeuer wee haue wandered and gone astray; it hath pleased him in great aboundance of mer­cie, so to temper the sharpenesse of his correction, that we finde him still our present helper at hand, and readie most to succour vs in our extreemest neede. Could wee wish for more at the hands of God, than beeing banished, and constreined to forsake all the profites and comforts which we inioied at home in our na­tiue countrie; here amongst aliens and strangers, to finde a citie, so safe to dwell in; maintenance, so competent for our needeful and reasonable sustentation; such grace in the eies of the godly magi­strates, vnder whom we liue; such fauour and respect to our hard estate; such free libertie to come together, to call vpon God in our common praiers, to heare his word syncerely and truly prea­ched in our owne natural tongue, to the great and vnsearchable comfort of our soules; finally all things so strangely and almost miraculously ministred, and brought vnto our handes, as doubt­lesse we could neuer haue found heere, if the Lorde himselfe had not gone before, as it were to make readie, & to prouide for vs? O what tokens of mercie & special fauour, hath our kind & gratious father shewed vs in this our exile and distresse for his Gospell; in these our sorowful and afflicted times; Wee haue lost the sauing truth at home, and found it abroade; Our countrie-men are be­come our enemies, and strangers are made our friends; Being per­secuted by our natiue rulers, foraine magistrates haue shewed vs fauour; In banishment, wee haue a place to dwell in; In anguish, we abound with comfort: And, as the Apostle speaketh, hauing nothing, we are as possessing all things. Therefore, deare bre­thren, hauing receiued these so great and rare graces, at the mer­cifull hands of our good God; I may iustly as one of your poore helpers in these holie labours, vse the words of S. Paul, which in the beginning I recited; exhorting and beseeching you, that yee receiue not this grace of God in vaine. Be not an vnthankeful people: neglect not the great benefite now offered vnto you: ap­proch with all reuerence, and present your selues as humble peti­petitioners [Page 263] before the Lord, and careful seruants before our God. For I say vnto you, as Iacob saide in his iourney towardes Meso­potamia;Gen. 28. Verè Dominus est in loco isto. Truly God is here, euen pre­sent amongst vs. We doe clearely and plainely perceiue, that our fathers and mothers, our friends and familiars hauing forsa­ken vs; he hath receiued vs as his dearest.

4 Let vs nowe take a viewe of S. Pauls words which I haue propounded to intreate of.Eche man should be an­others h [...]lper. In the entrance of which, he pro­fesseth himselfe to bee our helper; furthering vs, and setting vs forwarde in the course of our saluation, not onely by tea­ching the woord of reconcilement, remission of sinnes, free mercie in the death and through the merites of Christ crucified: but also by most earnest and vehement exhortation, beseeching vs woorthily to receiue this so freely offered grace and blessing. Nowe as Paul was an helper, and a moouer vnto godlinesse; so no doubt we ought all to bee helpers euerie one to another, accor­ding to our calling, in distributing and communicating such gifts as we haue receiued at the bountiful hands of God.1. Pet. [...] Euerie one, according to that of S. Peter; as hee hath receiued grace himselfe, so ministring it to another, as good dispensers of the manifold graces of GOD. For he hath not deliuered vs our talents to bee wrapped vp, hid­den, and buried in the earth: We are stewards, so to vse the riches of his grace, as may bee most to the aduantage of his glorie a­mongst men.

5 Vnto this,Three things conteined in S. Pauls ex­hortation. our blessed Apostle exhorting, setteth three es­peciall things before our eyes to be considered. First hee put­teth vs in remembrance of the great mercie of God towards vs, whereof we are mooued, not to shewe our selues vnwoorthie re­ceiuers: Secondly hee sheweth, that this is the acceptable and onely accounted time wherein it must appeare, whether wee re­ceiue that grace in vaine or no: Thirdly he teacheth wherein, and howe wee must declare our selues so to haue receiued it, as be­hooueth.

6 Receiue not the grace of God in vaine. I will not trauell to tel 1 you howe diuersly the name of grace is taken in the sacred scrip­tures:Of receiuing the grace of God in vain [...]. What that grace i [...]. but rather note vnto you in what sense the holie Ghost doth chiefly vse it in this place. Grace is the fauour and mercie of God towards sinnefull men. It is called grace, because it is giuen gra­tis, [Page 264] freely and vndeseruedly on our parts,Aug. in Psal 30. to whom it is giuen. For vs it is purchased, by the onely meane and meere merite of our Sauiour Christ: and to vs it is both offered and exhibited, by the voluntarie and vnprouoked operation of the spirite. This grace in it selfe being large, & more than sufficient for all men; the holy Ghost diuideth and bestoweth vpon eache, breathing where and as he listeth, according to the secrete pleasure of his will. Tho­rough it we haue saluation; whereas through sinne wee deserue death. For out iniquitie was heinous in the sight of God, first committed by Adam, and since continued in vs: but farre more exceeding was the mercie of our Lord, who when we were his e­nemies, sent foorth his sonne, made of a woman, and made vn­der the Lawe, that he might redeeme them which were vnder the Lawe,Gal. 4. and that we might receiue the adoption of sonnes. No tongue can expresse, neither any minde conceiue this gratious­nesse. Yet let vs ponder it with such consideration as we are a­ble. Great therefore I say was the mercie of our creator, who gaue his sonne; and great the loue of our Sauiour, who gaue e­uen himselfe for vs. Our thraldome was great, that required a ransome of such value: our guiltinesse much, that could no o­therwise be washed away, but with the verie heart bloud of the innocent lambe of God, Christ Iesus our Lord: Yea inestima­ble and vneffable was the loue of our gratious Lord, who to spare vs, spared not himselfe. He was content to become ignomini­ous before men; that we might be glorious with his father; to be condemned, that wee might be absolued; to bee crowned with thornes, to purchase vs a crowne of immortalitie: to loose his life, that we might gaine life; to suffer death, that we might escape it; and to become as hated and accursed of God, that we might find fauour and eternall grace with him. In his death our sinne is pardoned: by his bloud, our filthinesse is washed away: by his re­surrection, we are reconciled to his father, and made at one with God. Let vs not breake this so happie truce betwixt the Lord and vs: let vs not through sinne condemne our selues againe; nowe that we are iustified: let vs not walke toward hell, hee ha­uing made plaine and easie the path to heauen. The image of God in vs, defaced through Adam, is repaired by Christ: Let vs appeare therefore in this pure image before God, that wee may [Page 265] be acceptable in his pure sight. Through Christ we are called to be citizens with the Saints, and Gods houshold-seruaunts: let vs then put on the garments of trueth and innocencie, that so it may appeare whose seruaunts we are by our Lords liuerie. We are made the happie heires of his glorious kingdome, and fellow heires with Iesus Christ: wherefore let vs not seeke so possessions here, that we loose a better inheritance aboue in heauen. If wee doe, it is in vaine that the grace of our Lorde Iesus Christ hath beene so largely offered vnto vs, and plentifully powred on vs. Yea his grace will encrease the wofulnesse of our destruction.

7 Grace is offered and receiued by two especiall outwarde meanes:Grace offered by the word and Sacra­ments. the preaching of the Gospel; and the holie administra­tion of the blessed Sacraments. These two are the instruments, or rather the hands, by the which the holie Ghost doth offer, ex­hibite, seale and deliuer the grace of God vnto vs.

8 And there bee two sorts of men to whom grace is offered by the word in vaine.Grace offered in vaine by the word to such as wil not heare it. The one are they which wil not giue it so much as the hearing; but doe vtterly contemne, and vnkindely refuse that which the Lord doth so kindly and so gratiously offer to them. The other, they that heare it indeede, reade it, but consider it not, receiue it but altogether without fruite, and for fashions sake. Of the former sort are all such as Pharao was, who enioined Moses to come no more in his sight, for hee would not heare him.Acts 7. Such also were the Iewes, to whom when Ste­phen preached, they stopped their eares. Such they of whom the Lorde complaineth by the Prophet;Esay 66. saying, I spake; and they would not heare.

9 Of the latter sort there be three kindes shadowed in the pa­rable of the sower,To such as heare it but reteine it not. which went foorth to sowe his seede: whereof some fell in the high way side;Matth. 13. some in stonie & grauelly ground; some also amongst thornes. That which fell by the high waie side, either the birds of the aire picked vp, or men trod vpon with their feete. Which our sauiour applieth vnto him that heareth the word of the kingdome, and vnderstandeth it not; and by and by the diuell taketh it away, least he should beleeue, and so be sa­ued. For it fareth with the woord preached, as with the seede sowen. Some are so dissolute and rechelesse, that they let it in at the one eare, and out at the other. The hearts of some be so [Page 266] be so hardened, and parched, because they want the watering of Gods spirit; (which doth only mollifie) that his word can take no roote in them. The diuell and his deceitful Angels doe so be­witch them, and fil their harts with vain cogitations, so abalienate their mindes and trouble their memorie; that they cannot tell what is saide; it is forgotten by that it is spoken. Yea the diuell doth so throughly occupie the hearts of many other, with super­stitious opinions and fond perswasions, or with such worldly de­sires, such fleshly lusts, such froward affections; that the hearing of the blessed word is a wearisome worke vnto them; euery houre spent that way, is as tedious as a yere, and thought to bee wholly lost. Many likewise both heare the woord preached, and reade the Scriptures as the Pharisees did heare them: that they may seeme to fauour the Gospel, and so vnder pretence of holinesse blinde the eyes of others, and purloine commoditie to them­selues. Such come in amongst the children of God, as did Sa­tan of old: yet God knowes them to be children of darknesse, not of light; yea and oftentimes he so shaketh them out of their pain­ted rags; that the whole world may espie their ouglie and defor­med nakednesse. Whilest by their hypocrisie they labour to deceiue others; they deceiue, yea and damne themselues. To this sort of men therefore the word is offered: but all in vaine. Ei­ther they receiue it not: or they receiue it to their owne destru­ction.

10 The second sort are resembled to the stonie soile,To such as re­teine it but not still. which receiueth the seede, and it taketh roote for a time: but when the heate of the sunne commeth, it withereth away. Many such there be, which haue gladly heard the Gospel: haue frequented sermons with appearance of great deuotion; and could freshly talke of the holie scriptures of God. But when the heate of the sunne burst out, when persecution & fire followed the professors of it: O Lord howe many haue shrunke, yea and vtterly fallen from it? Howe many persecuters nowe which then were profes­sors? Not one amongst fourtie hath taried the beame and blase of his burning and trying sunne. O Lord God woonderfull is thy mercie, yet their estate is pitifull. These our times (deare bre­thren) haue maruelously tried what ground we bee: what roote Gods word hath taken in vs. Much grauelly ground doth now [Page 267] appeare; which before was thought to be sound, and battle. So it is; the timeliest fruite often commeth to least proofe. The fre­shest Gospeller in appearance, in experience is found not to be the soundest: and the greatest talkers, oftentimes the idlest wor­kers: and such as haue bragged most; when it came to be tried i [...] the field, haue first fled. Such are Gods iudgements; who seeth farre otherwise than man can see, and through a fawning face es­pieth a traitors heart. Howe vainely therefore a great sort haue receiued and gloried in this Gospel, we nowe perceiue, and with mornefull hearts doe rue it. The Lord forgiue them, and streng­then vs with his grace vnto the ende. Heere wee learne, that persecution followeth this seede of God. Christ testifieth, that he came to send the sword amongst vs,Matth. 10. and not peace: signifying that the Gospel would procure many enemies and much perse­cution. Wherefore my sonne, saith the wise man in the booke of Ecclesiasticus,Eccle. 2. when thou commest to the seruice of GOD, stand in iustice and feare, and make readie thy soule to trial. Hap­pie is that ground, which beeing tried is found good and fruite­full.

11 The third sort are compared to ground ouergrowne with thornes.To such as re­ceiue it and reteine it, but vnprofitably. For as thornes choke the seede which is sowne amongst them; so that it cannot bring foorth that fruite which it ought to doe: so the cares of the world, and the pleasures of this life, which bee as thornes to wound; as brambles and briers to entangle the mindes and consciences of men; destroie that spirituall seede, which in a heart well prepared and purged from these weedes, would growe vp vnto euerlasting life. In this number wee may recken those base-minded worldlings mentioned in the parable: who being inuited, came not; because their fermes, their oxen, and their wiues withheld them. The inordinate care that some haue for their children and familie, howe to finde them food and raiment, more than sufficient; the desire that others haue to keepe their worldly substance, their possessions and riches, and also to encrease the same, and get to liue in wealth themselues, and to leaue their children riche; the pleasure that some other haue to liue in honour, and to be in office, finely to feede, and to goe gorgeously, to followe their lusts and the transitorie plea­sures of this vaine world; hath ouergrowne, yea vtterly choked in [Page 268] a great sort of men, a great deale of good seede. Many there be whom the cares, the riches and the pleasures of this sinful world haue so bewitched and drawne into so corrupt a sense; that euen like the Gadarenes,Matth. 8. or Gergesites, rather than loose one of their pigges,Luke 8. tbey will bid adieu to the Gospel of Christ, and beseeche the Lord of saluation to depart out of their costs. Most true ther­fore it is which S. Paul noteth in them, whose hearts are possest with carefulnesse of this worlds good. They that will be riche, fall into temptation and snares,1. Tim. 6. and into many foolish and noy­some lusts, which drowne men in perdition and destruction. Ri­ches are the nurces of all vaine delights and fleshely pleasures. This caused our Sauiour so heauily to threaten; Woe be to the wealthie.Luke 6. Let vs therefore learne, by this warning of our saui­our, when the Gospel of Chiist is preached, to take heede that neither it be deuoured by birds, nor trodden downe with feete, nor withered with heate, nor choked with thornes, and so made vnprofitable: but rather beeing receiued, kept, and cherished in the ground of our heartes, it may growe and encrease so aboun­dantlie; that when the Lord shall see it readie for the sickle, and send his Angels to cut it downe, it may fill the reapers hands, and make riche the barnes of him that looketh for fruite of it.

12 Nowe as the graces of God purchased for vs by Christ,Grace offered by the Sacra­ments. are offered vnto vs by the woord: so are they also most liuely and effectually by the Sacraments. Christ hath instituted and left in his Church for our comfort and the confirmation of our faith two sacraments or seales: Baptisme; and the Lordes supper. In Baptisme, the outward washing of the flesh declareth the inward purging and cleansing of the spirite. In the Eucharist or supper of the Lord, our corporall tasting of the visible elements, bread and wine, sheweth the heauenly nourishing of our soules vnto life, by the mysticall participation of the glorious bodie & bloud of Christ. For in as much as he saith of one of these sacred ele­ments, This is my bodie which is giuen for you; and of the other, This my bloud: hee giueth vs plainely to vnderstand, that all the graces which may flowe from the bodie and bloud of Christ Ie­sus, are in a mysterie heere not represented onely, but presented vnto vs. So then, although we see nothing, feele and tast no­thing but bread and wine: neuerthelesse let vs not doubt at al, but [Page 269] that he spiritually performeth that which he doth declare & pro­mise, by his visible and outward signes: that is to say, that in this sacrament there is offered vnto the Church that verie true and heauenly bread, which feedeth and nourisheth vs vnto life eter­nall; that sacred bloud, which will cleanse vs from sinne, & make vs pure in the day of triall. Againe, in that he saith, Take, eate, drinke ye all of this; he euidently declareth that his bodie and bloud are by this sacrament assured to be no lesse ours, than his; he be­ing incorporate into vs, and as it were made one with vs. That he became man, it was for our sake; for our behoofe and benefite he suffered; for vs he rose againe; for vs he ascended into heauen; and finally for vs he will come againe in iudgement. And thus hath he made himselfe all ours: ours his passions, ours his merits, ours his victorie, ours his glorie, and therefore hee giueth him­selfe and all his in this sacrament wholly vnto vs. The reason and course whereof is this. In his word he hath promised and certi­fied vs of remission of sins, in his death; of righteousnesse, in his merites; of life, in his resurrection; and in his ascension, of hea­uenly and euerlasting glorie. This promise we take holde on by faith, which is the instrument of our saluation: But because our faith is weake and staggering through the frailtie of our mortall flesh: he hath giuen vs this visible sacrament, as a seale and sure pledge of his irreuocable promise, for the more assurance & con­firmation of our feeble faith. If a prince giue out his letters patent of a gift, so long as the seale is not put to; the gift is not fullie ra­tified, and the partie to whom it is giuen, thinketh not him selfe sufficientlie assured of it. Gods gift without sealing, is sure; as hee himselfe is al one, without changing: yet to beare with our infir­mitie, and to make vs more secure of his promise; to his writing & woord he added these outward signes and seales, to establish our faith, and to certifie vs that his promise is most certain. He giueth vs therfore these holie and visible signes of bread & wine & saith, Take and eate this is my bodie and blood: giuing vnto the signes the names which are proper to the things signified by them; as we vse to doe euen in cōmon speach, when the signe is a liuelie repre­sentation and image of the thing.

13 Let vs therefore bee thankefull vnto our redeemer Christ, for these his great benefites, and so vnspeakeable and vndeserued [Page 270] mercies:Howe grace is receiued by the sacramēts & not in vain. and let vs receiue this holie sacrament as a sure pledge, that the vertue of his death and passion is imputed vnto vs for iu­stice, euen as though we had suffered the same which hee did in our owne naturall bodies. Let vs not be so peruerse, as to drawe backe when Iesus Christ calleth vs so louingly to this royall feast: but with good consideration of the woorthinesse of this gift pre­sent we our selues with a feruent zeale, that we may come woor­thily to this holy table.1. Cor. 11. Let eche man trie himselfe, and so eate, saith the Apostle. Let vs enter into our selues therefore, and examine the estate of our hearts and soules: and consider in what case we stand. If we be not of the sanctified houshold of God, not Christs seruaunts and faithfull Disciples; shall we dare presume to presse in, being aliens and strangers, to the Lords, as most comfortable, so also most dreadfull table? No: let no impenitent blasphemer of God, no whoremonger, or vile and vnrepented sinner, pre­sume to touch or tast this foode: for such shall not feede vpon Christ and his merits: but they receiue their owne damnation. But such as wil woorthily feede at this blessed feast, must earnest­ly and truly mourne for their sinnes past; in a setled purpose and resolution, neuer willingly to defile themselues againe. And such as will be partakers of this bread that came from heauen, Ie­sus Christ, our one and onely Sauiour; must also be as one bread or loafe, and as one bodie ioined together in brotherly loue, and all other offices of godlie and Christian charitie. For if thou come to this banket without this vesture of loue, it shall be saide vnto thee;Matt. 22. Friend howe camest thou hither not hauing on thy wedding garment? A wofull speeche and an ende most miserable. Let this suffice for the first point, which is the blessed Apostles exhortati­on, not to receiue the grace of God in vaine.

2 14 Concerning the second member, wherein wee are put in mind that this is the time to shewe our selues woorthie receiuers of grace;The time to receiue grace offered, is when God calleth by the preaching of the Gospel. he applieth to his purpose the words of the Prophet E­say, who speaking vnto Christ, as in the person of his father, saith, In an acceptable time haue I heard thee, and in a day of saluation haue I hel­ped thee. The acceptable time is that, whereof S. Paul speaketh. When the fulnesse of time came, Esay 49. God sent his sonne made of a woman. It was indeede an acceptable time and full of grace,Gal. 4. wherein the sa­crifice of Christ was so gratiously accepted, and his praiers heard [Page 271] of God. And it may well be called a day of saluation, wherein his father gaue him a triumphant victorie ouer those so bitter tor­ments of death. An acceptable time was it, a day of saluation; not so much in respect of him who at all times was accepted; as of vs, who without him and his death had beene refused. For in that day was your redemption wrought by our redeemer: and sin­ners saued by his passion who had no sinne. And as hee died, and rose;Iohn 17. so he praied and was heard for vs. I pray for them, I pray not for the world, I pray for them whom thou hast giuen me, saith our Sauiour. Nowe the acceptable time and day of saluation which Esay spake of, S. Paul doth very aptly and effectually applie to his present occasion; Beholde, nowe is the acceptable time: beholde, nowe is the day of saluation. For the Fathers liued in hope of this acceptable day of grace and fauour to come: but the verie time beginneth from the suffering of Christ Iesus, and continueth euen to the worlds end. And vnto euerie one of vs, so much of this acceptable time is granted, as we haue time granted here to liue. Which being not long (because our life is but as it were a span) it may fitly be cal­led a day, or rather an houre of saluation. This day therefore grace is offered vs of God:Rom. 3. Against whose maiestie, forasmuch as all haue sinned, and by sinne are depriued of his glorie; wee must needes ac­knowledge, that for the recouering of our losse, wee stand all in present neede of his grace. Nowe is the time wherein our soules doe groane to be releeued with grace and mercie. For who can say; My heart is sound: I neede no Physitian? What one man is there amongst vs all, who hath loued God as he ought to doe? or ten­dered his neighbours case as he would his owne? We may dallie with our selues, and thinke that we suffer not for our owne trans­gressions; that we are not cause of that great plague & calamitie, which presently is come vpon our countrie. Beloued; do not de­ceiue your selues. Our God is a righteous iudge; who blesseth the innocent, and heapeth punishment vpon the offending soule. For truly if we searche our selues as we ought to doe with a single eye; if we examine out thoughts, take a reckoning of our words, and peise our deedes and waies in an equall ballance; aske our hearts, and they wil tell vs; enquire of our conscience, & it wil de­clare vnto vs, that euerie one of vs hath wel deserued more than hath happened vnto any of vs: Yea wee shall finde that all haue [Page 272] not suffered halfe so much, as euerie one hath deserued. Our first parents for tasting the fruit that was forbidden them,Gen. 3. were them­selues cast out of their pleasaunt habitation, and punished in all their posteritie to come for euer. Haue wee being terrefied by the horror of their example, withheld our hands and bridled our affections from euerie vnlawful and forbidden thing?Numb. 16. Corah, Da­than and Abiram with their fauourites and confederates, were swallowed vp of the earth for whispering against Moses and a­gainst Aaron. Did we neuer once mutter against our good and lawfull magistrates, against our iudges, and against the Lordes ministers?2. Kings 14. Dauid, for numbring of his people, procured such a plague, that 70. thousand were consumed with it: and are wee so vnspotted, that we haue not in as heinous a matter as this offen­ded God? would to God we were: but the Lorde and our owne consciences doe knowe how farre otherwise the case doth stand. I will not enter into particulars, nor open the sores of any man: but send you home into the closet of your owne heartes to see it. And if we prosecute the comparison in such wise as hath beene touched; I nothing doubt but euerie one of vs may iustly lay the cause of this heauie displeasure of God, and grieuous plague vp­on himselfe: euerie one may say and crie out with the prophet Dauid; It is I that haue sinned, I that haue committed iniquitie and deserued this great vengeaunce. The smart whereof, as wee doe outwardly feele; so if it inwardly pierce vs to the quick of our hearts and soules, if we be truly wounded and humbled in deede with the grieuous remembrance of our former sinnes: this is, of all other, the most acceptable time for vs to receiue the sauing health of God: who as he taketh his time to offer vs grace: so we must also take ours, to receiue it beeing offered. To day, saith the Apostle, if you wil heare his voice, harden not your heartes. It is to day, so long as he speaketh by his Prophet, saying, Returne euerie one from his euill waie, Ierem. 18. make your waies and your workes good. If this nation, against whom I haue pronounced, turne from their wickednesse, I will repent of the plague that I thought to bring vpon them. It is to day, so long as that voice of Iohn the Baptist is heard,Matth. 3. Repent; So long as wisedome vttereth her voice in the streetes,Prouerbs 1. and crieth, Turne; so long as our Lord and Sauiour saith,Matth 11. Come, it is to day. These so often callings and so sweete admonitions, ought to be of force [Page 273] sufficient to set vs forward to repent, to turne and come to our mercifull Sauiour in this day of saluation; and to follow the wor­thie examples of our wise forefathers, who being stirred vp in like sort,2. Kings 12. haue awaked and haue beene saued. That very daie that Na­than the Prophet tolde Dauid of his fault, hee repented and was receiued to mercie.Ionas 3. The Niniuites likewise were a wise and a circumspect people: they tooke their time, euen the acceptable time of their repentance; which else had come too late. So they which repented at the preaching of Iohn,Matt. 3. made speede to retire from their owne by-paths, and ro turne into the waies of God. As many as receiued fruitfully and effectually the grace which the Lord did offer by the hands of Peter,Acts 3. preaching the remission of sins; they also tooke the opportunitie of that selfesame houre, & so were saued.Rom. 15. All these things (as S. Paul witnesseth) are writ­ten for our instruction: that wee might learne wisely to redeeme the time, and to knowe the day of Gods most gratious visita­tion.

15 Especially nowe;The most es­pecial time to receiue grace is when God afflicteth. sith we doe not onely heare the sound of his voice, but also feele the smart of his correction. There is no hope that euer we wil receiue the grace of God: if in the midst of our afflictions we refuse it. His case is desperate whom aduer­sitie cannot cure: whom eternall death hath so possest and be­nummed, that the very sharpest medicines are vnable to woorke vpon him.Prou. 1. Turne you therefore, saith wisdome, at my correction. When men are heauie laden with griefe and sorowe, then are they fittest to call for, and to receiue refreshing. Examples here­of are almost infinite. After Iosephs brethren were brought into comber and into feare of their liues,Gen. 42. they remembred their fact committed against their brother; and it grieued them much, which before had much contented them. Whilest men are at ease and haue rest in the flesh, grace is no grace, the promises of God cannot haue their effectuall and powrefull operations,2. Par. 33. no not in the very elect of God. Looke vpon Manasses in his throne, and in prison: vpon the people of Israel, at home in peace, and abroade in banishment:Psal. 136. vpon Noah, Dauid, Ezechias, all the Saints and seruaunts of God in their flourishing estate, and in their grieuous troubles: and yee shall finde, that the gratious of­fers of God were neuer receiued woorthily in deede but in great [Page 274] extremities. When a man is striken with sorowe vpon his bed, and the griefe of his bones is sore, Iob. 33. saith Elihu in the booke of Iob; so that his life causeth him to abhorre bread, and his soule daintie meate. If in such a case there be a messenger with him, or an interpreter, one of a thousand, to declare vnto man his righteousnesse, how that God wil haue mercie vpon him, and wil say; Deliuer him that he goe not downe into the pit, for I haue receiued a reconciliation: such a message of grace no doubt will then be heartily accepted, or else be in vaine for euer. It is affliction that maketh the kingdome of heauen to suffer violence. When we are in miserie, in trouble, in distresse of bodie & mind, then especially is the acceptable time, thē is the high day of our saluation.Ier. 31. Thou didst chastise me, saith the Prophet Ieremie, and then I came to vnderstanding. So that the most especiall time to shewe our selues woorthie receiuers of the grace of God, is when his chastisements are vpon vs, and his an­ger doth afflict our soules. Wherefore most properly (belo­ued in the Lord) to you it may be spoken; Receiue not the grace of God in vaine. This is the acceptable time, this is the day of your saluation. Although the grace of God haue heeretofore beene offered, and vnkindely refused; yet, nowe that the hande of his heauie displeasure, nowe that the rodde of his correction is laide vpon you: O receiue it not nowe in so acceptable a time in vaine!

3 16 The onely way to shewe our selues woorthie receiuers of grace,The right way of woor­thy receiuing grace is by heartie re­pentance. is by heartie and vnfeined repentaunce to acknowledge that we haue sinned in peruerting righteousnesse, and to amende that which we knowe and acknowledge to bee amisse. If wee thinke to be receiued into his fauour without this; brethren, wee deceiue our selues. He is gratious; but to the penitent: and will haue mercie vpon sinners; but vpon sinners which forsake their sinnefulnesse. It is true that he wil heale whom he hath spoiled; and whom he hath wounded he will builde vp; he wil quicken the dead and raise vp them that are throwne downe: yet so, if they say,Hos. 6. Come, and let vs returne vnto the Lord. The first effect there­fore of grace in the heart of man is vnfeined repentaunce. With the doctrine whereof we are throughly ynough acquainted, We haue no neede to be taught what the name doth signifie: the na­ture, properties, and parts thereof are knowne. Onely the pra­ctise [Page 275] wanteth: whereunto wee are so slowe, and so hardly are drawne; that in this one point we wearie out all our teachers, a­bout this one thing they wast, they spend themselues. And in the end; we are most commonly as wee were at the first; like the Leopard, that chaungeth not his skinne. To bring men to re­pentance, is such a worke of weight, that God himselfe seemeth as it were tired with labouring so long about it. As appeareth by those passionate and grieuous complaints recorded in holy scrip­ture. I haue spoken; they doe not heare: I haue stricken, they are not grieued. How often would I haue gathered them as a hen her chickens vnder her wings; and they would not bee gathered. O Ephraim, Hos. 6. what shall I doe vnto thee? O Iuda, howe shall I intreate thee? Yet neither were they ignoraunt, and we doe very wel know, that there is no other medicine saue repentaunce onely to heale the wounds of our soules: no other way to restore our selues againe to our fathers home,Luke 15. but onely, Father; I haue sinned: no other meane to quenche the wrathfull indignation which our sinnes haue caused to burne and flame as an ouen; but onely our teares. Though our sins be red as skarlet, or as fire; yet being bathed with the water of our eyes, they are scowred & made as white as snow? It is written of Marie (not of that vertuous Marie, but of the dis­solute) that she was Mulier peccatrix; Luke 7. notorious for her light and lewde behauiour. Yet by repenrance, as she died vnto sinne; so the memorie of sinne being dead vnto her, she liueth stil in the glorious remembraunce of that righteousnesse which penitent sinners obteine by faith. She is honourably mentioned where­soeuer the Gospel of Christ is heard: all men speake of her teares; of her sinnes no one is mentioned or knowne. The pretious oyle wherewith shee was woont to annoint her selfe, that shee might be more pleasaunt to the senses of her louers; shee nowe powreth out, and for loue sake bestoweth it vpon her Saui­our. The eyes which were woont to cast wanton lookes vp­on the dissolute; did nowe gush out with water, and serued as conduites at the feete of Christ. The haire which before had beene wrapt in golde, had beene coloured, pleated, and borde­red, laide out, and beset with pearles; was now imployed to a far other vse; that the honour receiued from the feete of Iesus, might put out the shame which before it had taken from the eyes of [Page 276] lewde and amarous beholders. Hauing washed and dried, she could not satisfie her selfe til she had also kissed her Sauiours feet; whose mercie had now eased her heart of that deadly sting, which the lips of wantons had imprinted & left behind them. O blessed paterne of true contrition, howe woorthily art thou left for al po­steritie to talke of; to behold and to follow? Such conuerts shew plainely that they are woorthie receiuers, and that the grace of God hath not appeared vnto them in vaine. For they who in this fort denie vngodlinesse and worldly lusts; will surely accor­ding to the blessed Apostles exhortation which followeth, giue offence to none.

17 For although there must of necessitie offences rise:By walking without of­fence. yet, Woe be to him hy whom they rise. Why? Were not the Pha­risees offended at the scholers and disciples of Christ, for not fa­sting; for eating with vnwasht hands; for plucking the eares of corne on the Sabaoth day; and for such like things of their owne inuention, toyes of no importance? Nay did not the most chari­table deedes of Christ himselfe offend these peeuish hypocrites? It is true; they were offended with him and his: as at this day the Romish Pharisees are offended with vs and ours. But we must marke and obserue, that we are warned onely not to giue offence to any man. If men bee offended with vs, which by vs are not offended; such offences being not giuen of vs, but taken of them; are not our faults, but their follies. Vnto vs therefore at this time S. Pauls exhortation importeth thus much: that sith God hath graunted vs fauour in the eyes of this people with whom we pre­sently conuerse, it were a thing most intollerable for vs, with Ia­cobs children to commit such crimes, or giue such offences as might make vs odious and lothsome in their sight. The Gospel hath nowe gotten honour and renowne by these our sufferings for it: let it not hereafter bee ill spoken of and slandered through our disordered conuersation. Of all others wee had neede to walke most warily. We are set as it were a citie vpon a mountaine, to be gazed at. Our conuersation is marked of all men: and di­ligent searche made of it on euerie hand. Friends, enemies and strangers obserue our steppes: and a litle fault in vs will be taken as a great offence. Let the woord of Christ dwell richely a­mongst you, with all wisedome; that ye may bee blamelesse and [Page 277] pure, as the sonnes of God, without rebuke; that we may bee as shining lights in the world, holding foorth the word of life, that in the day of Christ we may reioice and be glad, as they who haue not receiued the grace of God in vaine. Let vs forsomuch as our heauenly father for the merites of his sonne, and by the mini­stration of his spirite, doth gratiously offer and exhibite vnto vs his manifold mercies and benefites, especially in his holie woord and sacraments; thankefully and woorthily receiue the same: and namely in this acceptable time, the onely time appointed of God for vs to receiue, and for him to offer grace: Finally let vs shewe that his grace hath taken roote and place in our fleshie, not flesh­ly hearts: in bringing foorth the woorkes of the spirite, the fruite of true repentance, of sanctification and good life; giuing offence to no man, no not to those which are without, but walking quiet­ly, honestly and orderly in all things, that men seeing our blame­lesse and inoffensiue conuersation may glorifie God the giuer of all goodnesse, and the eternall father. To whom, with the Sonne, and the holie Ghost, one God of most glorious maiestie, be all honour and praise rendered in the Church for euer. Amen.

The sixteenth Sermon. A Sermon preached at a mariage in Strausborough.

HEB. 13.‘1 Mariage is honourable in all.’

AS God made the worlde and all the creatures therein conteined,Why God blessed plants, beasts & men with power to increase them selues by pro­pagation. to serue for the setting forth of his glorie and great maiestie: so likewise by the forcible & mightie operation of his strength and power, he preserueth still the workes of his hands; least if he should haue onely builded the goodly frame of this world, & afterward suffred the same to de­cay; the praise of his name shold haue lasted but a while, and rea­ched [Page 278] but to a fewe; which nowe passeth through many generati­ons, and continueth to all eternitie. For this he prouided, when hauing finished the creation of trees and herbes, and made them both beautifull and good in their appointed seasons: hee blessed them with secrete vertue, to multiplie by bringing foorth fruite and seede, eche according to his kind; that there might be a con­tinuance & increase of things so behooueful for liuely creatures. Also that the liuely and sensible creatures themselues, the birdes of the aire, the beasts of the fielde, and fishes in the sea, might yeeld in all ages the benefite which the children of men do reape by them: he powred into them also the selfesame blessing of in­crease and fruitfulnesse. And as vnto these, so likewise vnto man, the greatest in honour, though in order the last of all his crea­tures; he gaue the same power, to spread out himselfe by propa­gation, and to replenish the face of the earth.

2 For the seemelier and better ordering whereof,M [...]ns of­spring by ma­riage. to the ende that as God himselfe is most pure, and therefore hateth all vn­cleannesse; so the actions of men, who in nature resemble him, might be framed according to the paterne of his image: hee pre­scribed a way, how man, as beseemeth the excellencie of his cre­ation & nature; might, not after a brutish & beastly maner, but in al honestie & cleanlines bring forth the honorable fruit of his bo­die, that so Gods creation and work might be continued his king­dom inlarged, & his name by reason of the multitude much more praised. And this meane or way appointed by God was matri­monie: a state whereof the chosen vessel of God writeth this, as the iudgement of the holie Ghost; Mariage is honourable. Where­in for your better instruction and learning, my purpose is to shew you the reasons of the honour which it should haue, and also of the great disgrace which it hath amongst men.

1 3 Mariage is honourable; first in respect of the author by whom it was ordeined;Mariage is ho­nourable in respect of the author. Secondly in regard of the causes thereof; Thirdly for the dueties which are required of the parties maried▪ Touching the first, it appeareth in the beginning of the booke of Genesis, howe after that God had perfectly accomplished his creation, and had giuen the Lordeship ouer all liuing creatures vnto Adam;Gen. 2. he saide, It is not good that man be alone: let vs make him an helper that may be before him: let vs make woman. Whereupon [Page 279] our Sauiour in the Gospel inferreth;Matth. 19. That therefore which God hath ioyned together, let no man separate: approouing mariage to bee the institution of God and a naturall order, (proceeding I meane from the God of nature) to bee obserued and vsed for euer. Nei­ther did hee onely confirme this lawe and ordinaunce of God in plaine woords and in his teaching, but he also did honest and ho­nour the same with his presence.Iohn 2. For being called to a mariage, he, his mother and kinsfolke gladly went, there to feast with o­thers, where it pleased him miraculously to increase their cheere and withal their honour. For it is not nothing which this doth adde to the holy and reuerend estimation thereof, that the first miracle which Christ wrought, was wrought at a mariage, and is so by the holie Ghost recorded. Nowe besides this that almigh­tie God himselfe ordeined mariage, and that in Paradise a most heauenly habitation, and that before the innocencie was stained with sinne; besides this that Christ did allow and many waies ap­prooue the same, yea and moreouer vouchsafed to resemble his spirituall coniunction with his Church vnto this estate, we finde that the Patriarkes, the Priests and Prophets, the holiest men of God, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, and the rest of that blessed com­panie haue chosen to liue rather in mariage than otherwise; ac­knowledging thereby the state of mariage to be vndoubtedly no lesse allowable if not more honourable than single life.

4 Concerning the second point, that is to say the honour 2 which riseth from the causes,Mariage is h [...]nourable in respect of the causes for which it was ordained: as comfort, help, and mutuall societie. for which GOD did institute the state of wedlocke, the scripture noteth especially three. The first is mutuall societie, helpe and comfort. And this were a cause suf­ficient to esteeme of mariage highly, if there were no other. For God hath saide, It is not good that man be alone: Let vs make him an helper: and helper, and not an hinderer.

5 The second cause why matrimonie was ordeined,Gen 2. and must be honoured; is increase and propagation.Propagation. For although that this may be; as we see it it is in lewde and shamelesse persons too often, without this estate of mariage: yet this is so much against the dignitie of humane nature, that such broodes haue beene al­waies basely accounted of, by men which haue had but the bare light of naturall vnderstanding. Wherefore the blessed A­postle hath saide,1 Tim. 5. I will that the younger sort marie, and bring [Page 280] foorth children: giuing vs thereby to vnderstand, that there can be no seemely propagation of mankinde, saue onely in mariage. Children begotten in the state of matrimonie, are the blessing of God;Psal. 127. and the fruite of the vndefiled wombe is a reward: as Salo­mon wisely acknowledged in the Psalme. For a man to be ho­noured with the name of a father, to be renued and continued in his posteritie; if it be not a speciall blessing of God, & a very ex­ceeding great reward; why are men & women so desirous to see the fruit of their bodies?1. Sam. 1. Why was Anna so exceeding in crauing children at the hands of God? Why was barrennesse so grieuous vnto Sara?Luke 1. Why did it seeme reprocheful vnto Elizabeth? Is it a small benefit that God hath raised out of the bodie of Abraham, so many Patriarchs, Priests, Prophets, Iudges and Kings; such a multitude not onely of men of reputation on earth, but also of blessed saints and citizens in heauen? If it were an honour vnto Abraham to be a father of many nations: surely mariage, which made him a lawfull and an honourable father, ought very honou­rably to be esteemed.

6 Another cause of honour giuen vnto mariage,Remedie a­gainst concu­piscence. is for that it is a remedie against vncleannesse, Let euerie man haue his wife, and euerie woman her husband, for the auoiding of fornication. Vpon which words of S. Paul Ambrose writeth verie aptly,1 Cor. 7. Ambrose. Qui abstinēt a licitis in illicita prolabuntur: They which forbeare things lawfull to vse, fall many times to vse things which they should forbeare. And he bringeth in the Manichees for example, as we may bring in the Papistes; and namely that ponde of Rome adioyning to a Nunrie, wherein were founde the heads of seuen thousand ba­stards. It is true that all haue not neede of this remedie, be­cause all are not subiect to the daunger and perill of this disease. But if any man be subiect to this disease, let him beware howe he despise this remedie. There bee no doubt that haue the gift of chastitie by birth; and there be that haue made themselues chast by indeuour:Matth. 19. but of all this men are not capable. As it is the gift of God; so it seemeth to be a rare and not a common gift. Such as haue it and so liue sole, they are more fit to labour in Gods Church; it must needes be graunted: for they are combred with fewer cares. But be these cares neuer so many and great: better it is to marie than to burne; and to be burthened with ordinarie and [Page 281] nest cares, than with vnordinarie and dishonest carelesnesse to be destroied. There are many that deceiue themselues, thin­king a single and a chast life to be all one. To bee pure in bodie and in spirite; this is chastitie. Hee that seeth a woman, and in his heart hath a lewde desire towards her, hath defiled his heart, and is in soule vnchast. If euerie man trie himselfe according to this rule exactly; peraduenture hee shall see a disease in himselfe that needeth remedie. Which if he neglect and so perish; whom may he blame? The medicine is commended with a title of ho­nour, that thereby we might be allured to vse it. The daunger of not vsing of it if neede require, is death, For harlots and adulte­rers the Lord shall iudge.

7 Thus much beeing spoken of the causes for which honour 3 is giuen vnto mariage:Mariage honourable in respect of mutual duties betweene par­ties maried. The duties of honour re­quired in the husband to­wards his wife Ephes 5. I wil briefly speake of the duties of honour required betweene parties maried. Howe honourably a man should vse his wife, S. Paul teacheth plainly in many places; but especially in his epistle to the Ephesians. Men: loue your wiues, as Christ hath loued his Church. In which place he instructeth not onely by precept, but also by setting a paterne before our eyes to followe; and that is Christ, the true spouse to his Church, the congregation of the faithfull. The husband ought to loue his wife, euen as Christ did his Church. But Christ suffered death to redeeme his Church. Euen so the truely the husband if necessitie so required, to saue his wife, should ieopard his owne life. His life is wel spent in sauing of her: and by loosing of her ill spared. Christ purged and made his Church beautiful, voide of spot or wrincle, that it might resemble himself, as neere as might be in pu­ritie. Euen so the husband shold labour to reforme his wife; to in­struct & frame her to discretion, sobrietie, al matron-like vertues, & all godlinesse: A wise wife maketh a happy husband and in her goodnes he shal find gladnes. The husband is called ye head of his wife, as Christ is of the congregation. When as the head espieth faults in the members of the bodie; it doth not studie how to cut them off, & make separation; but doth muse vpon a remedie, & labour to procure a medicine to applie vnto the hurt parts, to re­couer the bodie, & to couer the fault if he cannot cure it. A good husband is a good head: his indeuour will be to cure his diseased wife, and not to cut her off from him: especially to winne her vn­to [Page 280] [...] [Page 281] [...] [Page 282] Christ, if she wander out of the right waie. Her faults will make him sorowfull, not furious: and to pitie her infirmities, without hating of her person. Wisedome is required in the head, to rule and gouerne well the bodie which is placed vnder it. He that braggeth and boasteth that hee is the head; and yet wan­teth the prudencie which the head should haue; is vnwoorthy to be named that which indeede he is not. A wise husband must winke at many faults, and beare with many of his wiues infirmi­ties. He that foolishly champeth vpon those griefes, which wise­dome would haue be swallowed; if hee liue in continuall miserie, may say, that hee onely liueth happily, which liueth wisely: no greater wisedome than to deuoure follies. Yet the husbands le­nitie ought not to be such, as to nourish foolishnesse. Vertue is alwaies discreete: and in all things the mediocritie. S. Paul gi­ueth the reason why men should giue this honour to their wiues:Ephes. 5. for he that loueth his wife, loueth himselfe, they two beeing one flesh. No man euer hated his owne flesh. Our owne bodies wee loue, as Christ hath loued his Church. If a mans natural bodie were neuer so mangled, so sicke, so corrupted, so crooked and e­uill fauoured; he would yet loue and feede it, and cherishe it so much the more, by howe much more it needed comfort. Euen so ought a man to nourish, comfort and helpe his wife: bee shee neuer so deformed or out of fashion, whether it bee by nature or by casualtie, in bodie or in minde. Wee haue Christ for our ex­ample. When the Church ran a whoring, and committed loth­some idolatrie, he did not forsake it; neither yet doth our gratious Lord forsake his beloued spouse, wonderfully spotted with sinne; but couereth and forgetteth faults; and vseth all meanes possible to reforme and make vs fit for him. The like should appeare in the husband to his wife; seeing Paul setteth foorth Christ to be a paterne to followe. This is that which S. Peter meaneth, when he exhorteth men to dwell with their wiues according to know­ledge.1. Pet. 3. He would haue husbands to rule according to wisedome, and not to play the tyrants: not to be sowre, cruell, rash & rage­ful: but to gouerne them according to ye order of Gods word, in al sobrietie grauitie, gentlenesse, loue and discretion; prouiding for them by honest meanes, as for thēselues. For if he that prouideth not for his familie, bee woorse than an infidell: there is none so [Page 283] bad as he that is carelesse for his wife. No infidell neglecteth his owne bodie. And as S. Paul in the place aboue mentioned, so S. Peter in this which was last alleaged, sheweth reasons why the husband should giue this honour to the wife.

8 Giue honour vnto her,Reason why the wife shold be honored of her husbande. velut infirmiori, as to the weaker. This may seeme rather to bee a cause to contemne, than to ho­nour. For such is the vse. The rich despise the poore; the lear­ned, the ignorant; the strong, the weake. But this vse is wicked. Hath not God chosen the weake of this worlde to ouercome the strong, the foolish to confound the wise? Are not the ignoraunt as well as the learned Gods? Haue the riche one foote more of possessions in heauen than haue the poore? Despise not therfore the weaker creatures, least thou dishonour the creator of them. But seeing that man and wife are members of one bodie, they es­pecially ought to beare one with anothers infirmities; to couer, to dissemble and to forgiue eche of them others weakenesse. Yea the viler the members of our bodies seeme to bee, the more care­full we are to couer and to honour them, for so S. Paul speaketh. In like maner, the more weake the woman is; the more diligent should her husband be to giue her this honour, to couer her in­firmitie, and not to broache it abroade. For in dishonouring her, he dishonesteth his owne bodie. Wee easily forgiue children when they offend by reason of their age. The want of discretion is for them excuse sufficient. So a man ought to consider the in­firmitie of his wife, and to beare with her for it. The second cause of honouring her, is for that God doth giue her honour. God maketh her partaker with thee of his spirituall graces, and fellow heire of euerlasting life. Dishonour thou not therefore her on earth, whom God hath honoured with a place in heauen. The third cause why the wife should bee well esteemed of, is for vni­ties sake. For contempt doth breede contention, and contenti­on is an hinderance to deuotion. Honour your wiues therefore, Ne preces vestrae interrumpantur, that your praiers through strife bee not interrupted and broken off. Thus much for the duetie of the husband.

9 Touching the duties of honour which the wife doeth owe to the husband;Duties of ho­nour required in the wife. we finde in the beginning of the booke of Gene­sis, that because of her transgression (for Eue seduced Adam; [Page 284] not Adam Eue:) God gaue her a lawe of subiection to her hus­band: that she might euer after be better directed by him, than he had beene at that time by her.Gen. 3. Sub viri potestate eris, & ipse domina­bitur tui. S. Paul also in his Epistle to the Ephesians and Colossi­ans, putteth wiues in remembrance of this subiection. Wiues be subiect to your owne husbands,Ephes. 5. as to the Lorde: because the man is the head of the wife; as Christ is the head of the Church. And therefore as the Church is in subiection to Christ: so ought wiues to be in subiection to their husbands, What should wee seeke more reasons? this one is sufficient. God hath set the hus­band ouer the wife in authoritie: and therefore shee ought wil­lingly & dutifully to obey him, else she disobeyeth that God, who created woman for mans sake, and hath appointed man to bee womans gouernour. Peter also setteth foorth this obedience, and bringeth Sara for an example.1. Pet. 3. Wiues bee obedient to your husbands, euen as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Sir▪ whose daughters ye are made in well dooing. Yea we are taught that wiues should be of so good behauiour, and of such modest con­uersation; that by their chast and milde life, and the sweetenesse of their godlie maners, they might winne their euil husbands vn­to God; and of Atheists make Christians. S. Paul in his Epi­stle to Titus also teacheth a wife her duetie:Tit. 2. that is, that she goe apparelled as becommeth holinesse; that she be no quareller, or false accuser; but studie to be sober, to loue her husband, to loue her children, to be discreete chast, abiding at home, good and o­bedient to her husband. Obey in all things, saith S. Paul; euen as it becommeth you in the Lord.Col. 2. So that except it bee against Gods word, the wife ought in all things to obey her husband. It is the wiues dutie, as Theophilact well teacheth to regard those things that be within the house, not lauishingly to wast or spoile their goods; but to spare with discretion, by such frugalitie as is conuenient; to see things safe and set in good order. God hath appointed her to be an helper, not an hinderer. If shee cannot get, yet let her saue. As he is to followe his affaires abroade: so she is to ease him to care and cost at home. Let her bee milde-worded and milde-manered. For, Melius est habitare in angulo do­mus, Prou. 21. quam cum muliere litigiosa. It is better to dwel in the corner of an house, than with a contentious woman. An honest and a mo­dest [Page 285] woman is an honour to her husband, but the dissolute wife and vndiscreete is a death. She may not bee a gadder abroade, a tatler, or a busie bodie; but sober, quiet and demure; not an open teacher, but readie to learne of her husband at home; obedient in all lawfull things, taking example of Sara and giuing example to the younger women of well demeaning themselues. Thus the man and wife ioyning themselues together in true loue, indeuou­ring to liue in the feare of God, & dutifully behauing themselues the one towards the other, either of them bearing wisely the o­thers infirmities, doubtlesse they shall reape ioye and comfort by their mariage, they shall finde this their estate which is honoura­ble in all, happie and profitable vnto them.

10 Nowe that we see the honour which is due vnto mariage in respect of the author, causes and duties thereunto belonging,Mariage dis­honoured by heretikes that holde it not to be of God. 1 it remaineth that wee consider by what meanes that honour is in eche of these defaced. The honour of wedlocke in respect of the author is diminished, partly by the false perswasions of such as doe not thinke it ordeined of God; and partly through their lewde and corrupt affections, who not denying this ordinance to be from him, enter notwithstanding carelesly into it without such reuerend consideration as is requisite in things which he hath e­stablished. Satan the sworne enemie of all godlinesse, hath euer by all meanes laboured to vndermine, deface and ouerthrow the credite of this kinde of life, vsing the ministerie of many wicked and forsaken heretikes, by whom it hath beene not onely misliked as troublesome, but vtterly condemned as vncleane and beastly. The Manichees condemned mariage as a thing whereof satan was the first author, they denied vtterly that God created male and female, they affirmed as many as like the vse of matrimonie to be impes of satan, not seruaunts of God. Others allowing mariage so it were but once; if happily it were iterated, disallow­ed it: with which error some of the auncient fathers themselues, as it seemeth, were ouertaken. It is, saith one, a Lawe of matri­monie not to iterate matrimonie. A Lawe. But whose Lawe? Sure we are that in the booke of the Lawe of God there is no such law. Againe, there were that approoued wedlock, yea though it were iterated, but if priests did marie they helde them no better than vncleane persons. Finally there are that say mariage is if not [Page 286] honourable, yet tolerable and that in priests, but so, if they en­ter into priesthoode being once maried, not into mariage being once priested. Against these howesoeuer in their sole & single life they pretende great puritie and perfection as it were of Angels (although their glorie most commonly hath beene their shame, and the virginitie of most of them hath beene whoredome and a­dulterie) it sufficeth vs that S. Paul doth terme their lessons the doctrine of diuels; and that the godlie Patriarchs and Prophets whom I named before, liuing in the state of mariage were famili­ar with God, and most deare in his vndefiled sight. In so much that by S. Augustine speaking of this matter, Abraham is compa­red with Iohn Baptist for his holinesse, and by Chrysostome Mo­ses with Elias.

11 This state therefore,Mariage dis­honoured by them that seeke it: & not in him whom they acknow­ledge to be author of it. whatsoeuer heretikes haue taught to the contrarie, being in consideration of the first ordeiner thereof honourable, we ought in no wise vnaduisedly, lightly or wanton­ly to take in hand a matter of such weight and of so graue impor­tance, least we dishonour it by our disordered affections as here­tikes by false perswasions haue doone. In entring therefore into mariage the first caution is that which S. Paul hath to the Corin­thians, whom he teacheth howe their widowes should bestowe themselues. For although the rule be in particularitie applyed to them, yet it serueth not for them alone, but for all, the condi­tion of all being herein like to theirs. Whether it be a widowe therefore that bestoweth her selfe, or a virgin which is bestowed in mariage,1 Cor. 7. the thing she doth is lawfull, Onely in the Lord.

12 They doe not this in the Lorde that marie either whom they shold not,Mariage be­tweene par­ties too neerely lin­ked by nature. or as they shold not. Whō they shold not as per­sons either naturally or spiritually vnfit to ioyne in mariage. Of persons vnfit to be yoked in wedlock by reason of ye natural bonds wherwith they are alreadie coupled,Leuit. 18. ye law hath plainly said, None shall come neere to any of the kindred of his flesh. The vnrulie desires of men which presume to go further in these cases than the shame­fastnes of natural honestie doth permit, must be restrained & re­pressed.Marke 6. For this cause Iohn the Baptist tolde Herode, It is not lawfull that thou shouldst haue thy brothers wife. For this cause S. Paul dealt so sharpely and seuerely in the cause of that lewde Corinthian,1. Cor. 5. with whose foule and vnnaturall fault the whole [Page 287] Church of Corinth was much disgraced.

13 In mariage therefore there ought to bee a reuerend regard of nature,Mariage without care of religion. that this state be not dishonoured by vnseemely copu­lation, as in like sort it is by the vngodlie ioyning of the faithfull with vnbeleeuers. Of this thing holie Abraham in prouiding a wife for his son, had as we see an especiall care. For the eldest & therefore by likelyhoode the discreetest seruaunt of his house, yea and the trustiest as it seemeth, (for he had rule ouer al which Abraham did possesse) was not permitted to deale in this matter without taking a corporal oath before hand. I wil make thee sweare, saith Abraham,Gen. 24. by the Lord God of heauen and God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife vnto my sonne of the daughters of the Cananites amōgst whom I dwell. Abraham would not linke his sonne with the wic­ked. Hee remembred what had come of such mariages in the age before him,Gen. 6. when the sonnes of God tooke them wiues of the daughters of men onely for their beautie, without regard of religion or honestie. Their destruction was a lesson vnto him, he auoided their sinne by fearing their punishment. GOD gaue his people expresse charge concerning this, that they should beware in ioyning mariage with Amorites and Cananites, the indwellers of that prophane Countrie, not onely forbidding this kinde of mariage, but also shewing the rea­son why his people should forbeare it, least idolatrous wiues should make their husbands also to become idolators, least they make thy sonnes goe a whoring after their gods. Exod. 34. Whereof wee haue a notable example in Salomon,1. Reg 11. whose pitifull fall being so wise a prince to so horrible impietie, ought to be admonition sufficient vnto vs, to submit our wisedome to the wisedome of the almigh­tie, and our desires to his commaundement. But had Salomon neuer beene, or had his fall beene vnrecorded, our owne times may teache vs what fruites haue come of such vngodlie con­iunctions. Mans nature is corrupt and fraile, he runneth head­long into wickednesse, but to righteousnesse must be drawen by God, and sooner can the euill peruert the good than the good persuade the euill. This kinde of mariage therefore seemed so wicked vnto Esdras,1. Esd. 14. that hee caused the Israelites after their re­turne out of captiuitie, to put away their strange not women on­ly, but wiues which they had taken to themselues in Babylon. [Page 288] And shall Christians doe wel in receiuing such into mariage, as Iewes being maried vnto, did wel to put from them?

14 But the common sort of men in making their matches this way haue chiefly two outward vntoward respects,The cause of irreligious mariage is the ouergreat res­pecting of beautie or wealth. regarding nothing in their choise except it be either beautie or monie. The sonnes of God of olde bewitched with the beautie of the daugh­ters of men, procured the general flood to ouerflowe them all, & to wash the defiled world. Samson tooke one of the daughters of the Philistims to wife,Iud. 14. because shee pleased his eye: but what came of it? It cost him a polling, wherein stoode his strength, and it lost him both his eyes which before were rauished in the beautie of that deceitful woman. Others there are yet of a ba­ser note whose only care is to match themselues wealthily. Their question is with what monie, not with what honestie the parties whom they seeke are endowed; whether they bee riche, not whe­ther they be godlie; what lands they haue on earth, not what pos­sessions are laide vp in heauen for them. Such as marie for mo­nie, as the monie wasteth, so their loue weareth, neither is there any loue or friendship constant, saue onely that which is groun­ded on constant causes, as vertue and godlinesse, whereof onely neither time nor man can spoile vs. There was a riche man in Athens which had a daughter to marie, and he asked counsell of Themistocles howe to bestowe her, shewing him that there was a verie honest man that would gladly haue her, but he was poore; and there was a riche man which had also desired her, but he was not honest. Themistocles aunswered, that if he were to choose, he would preferre monilesse men before masterlesse monie. It is true that S. Paul saith,1 Tim. 6. Godlinesse is great gaine. Whether it bee man or woman that is godlie, they be rich, and as Salomon saith, He that findeth a good wife, Prou. 18. findeth a good and a pretious thing, the value of golde is not to be matched with her. In mariage therefore it behooueth vs to be carefull, that they whom we choose bee of the houshold of God, professing one true religion with vs, the disparagement wherein is the cause of all dissension, true friende­ship being a louing consent, as in all things so chiefly in Gods true seruice.

15 But this is not ynough. For although the parties mari­ed be such as the lawe of the Lorde alloweth to come together, [Page 289] yet can it not be saide that they marie in the Lord,Mariage with­out consent of pare [...]es or such as are in stead of Pa­rentes. except they al­so marie in such sort as the lawe prescribeth. For mariage may be as much dishonoured by the one as by the other. For orderly entring into the state of matrimonie, it is required that they which be vnder the tuition and gouernement of others haue the ful con­sent of their parents, tutors, or such as haue rule ouer them to di­rect and guide them.Gen. 24. Abraham prouided a wife for his sonne Isaak; Isaak sent Iacob into Mesopotamia to his vncle Laban, and there commaunded him to take a wife, and he did so. In the law of Moses children are commanded to honour their parents.Exod. 20. And what honour is giuen vnto parents, if in this chiefe case beeing the weightiest one of them that can happen in all their life, their aduise, wisedome, authoritie and commaundement be contem­ned?Exod. 22. The lawe saith, If a man finde a maide that is not betrothed, and take her and knowe her, then the man that knewe her shall giue vnto the fa­ther of the virgin fiftie shekels of siluer, and she shall be his wife. What? Although the parents be against it? No. For, If her father refuse to giue her to him, Num. 30. he shall pay the monie and not marie her. Againe the lawe saith, Whosoeuer voweth a vowe vnto the Lorde, or swea­reth an oath to binde himselfe by a bond, hee shall not breake his promise, but shall doe according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Neuerthelesse if a woman vowe a vowe vnto the Lord, and binde her selfe by a bond beeing in her fathers house, in the time of her youth, and her father disallowe her, the same day that he heareth all her vowes and bonds wherewith shee hath bound her selfe, they shall not be of value, and the Lord wil forgiue her, because her father disallowed her. If promises made to GOD without consent of parents are of no effect, can promises made to men be effectuall where the parents consent is not had? Children, saith the Apostle,Col. 3. obey your parents in all things. In all things? and not in this the greatest of all? When S. Augustine was required to helpe to make a mariage in the behalfe of a young man, & the other partie was named,Aug. ep. 133. hee aunswered, I like that matche well, Sed mater adolescentulae non adest, cuius voluntatem, vt nosti, requirere debemus, but the mother of the young damsel is not present, whose good will (as you knowe well ynough) wee must aske. And as the parents or tutors consent is to bee had in all good and lawfull mariages, so it is against the duetie of good parents either to [Page 290] keepe their children longer vnmaried than in conuenient, or tho­rough an ouergreat desire of enriching them (which is the com­mon disease) to marie them against their liking. Such mariages seldom or neuer proue wel, but are for the most part the cause of great sin & much miserie. There can be no lawfull & cōmendable match where there wanteth full consent and agreement of the parties whom it most concerneth. Rebecca was asked whether she would goe with Abrahams seruant and be maried vnto Isaak or no.Gen. 24. Her parents did neither keepe her backe from mariage when she was fit for it, nor conclude it til her owne minde were knowne. Such then as marie not in the feare of God, making a religious and a godlie choise; hauing the full consent of their parents or tutors, doubtlesse God is no author of their mariage, it is not he that coupleth and ioyneth them together, their estate is base and not honourable in his sight.

16 Touching the causes for which God appointed mariage,Dishonour done to ma­riage in res­pect of the first of those causes for which God appointed it. we haue heard that the first is mutuall helpe and comfort. For the man is a couer of defence vnto his wife, and the woman a piller of rest vnto her husband. As a bodie without a heade, so is a wo­man that hath no husbande. And, As where no hedge is, there the pos­session is spoiled, so hee that hath no wife, wandereth to and fro mourning. This is the iudgement of the wise. But the mouths of fooles are alwaies open to aggrauate the incombraunces,Eccle. 36. troubles and so­rowes which the maried are woont to sustaine in the flesh, neuer remembring the helpes and comfortes which notwithstanding men religiously yoked in the Lord, must needes acknowledge far to exceede all those grieuaunces both in number and measure. If any find it otherwise, [...]ith the fault is not in mariage which was instituted for our helpe, but in the maried who make it a hinde­rance to themselues by their owne follie, let the men be blamed, let the thing be honoured.The second

17 But as in this case it fareth, so doeth it also in the next. A vertuous sonne is his mothers glorie, they that see him count the wombe that bare him blessed. Luc. 11. Yea, though his father die yet is he as if he were not dead, Eccle. 30. because he leaueth one behinde him like him. In his life he sawe him and had ioye in him, and was not sorie in his death, nei­ther was he ashamed before his enemies. Thus when our children doe well and prosper,Gen. 34▪ mariage is honoured. But are they dissolute & [Page 291] disobedient? Doe they trouble vs as Simeon and Leuie did their fa­ther? Doe they make vs abhorred amongst the inhabitants of the land? By and by wee grudge, and thinke vnreuerently in our hearts, Behold this is the fruite of mariage. So that which gi­ueth honour to the birth of man receiueth dishonour by his lewde behauiour.The thirde.

18 To come to the last, The Physitian must be honoured be­cause God created him for necessitie. In like sort mariage which God hath giuen as a remedie and not onely as a meane vn­to propagation. If therefore we neede it and doe not vse it, howe doe we honour it? S. Paul was so careful in this respect that euen where he giueth the highest commendation to single life,1. Cor. 7. there he addeth, This I speake for your cōmoditie, not to tangle you in a snare, but that ye follow the thing which is honest. And againe, Hee that hath decreed in his heart to keepe his virgine doeth well, yet so, if he stand firme in his heart that he hath no neede, but hath power ouer his owne will. Otherwise were it not better to vse an ho­nourable remedy, than to nourish and increase an incurable sore? Let vs take heede howe we feede the flesh in her vnlawful desires. For it cannot be in vaine that God should speake so directly and as it were so particularly vnto euerie one that lewdely defileth & prophaneth the temple of the holie spirite, Perdet te Deus, Thee God shall destroie. This the enemie knoweth, & therfore he labo­reth so diligently by all meanes to keepe his sore euer festering within it selfe. For which cause it is strang to cōsider how he hath dulled the hearts of many by setling a strong perswasion in them, that although they frie in the heate of their vile affections, yet their outward continencie of bodie is of it selfe meritorious be­fore God, their single life of it selfe acceptable and holie. What a puddle of vncleannesse, what a sinke of filth, what ouglie ab­hominations haue growne in the worlde vnder this pretense to the great displeasure of almightie God▪ The dishonor of mariage, the slaunder and shame of Christian profession,Mariage in respect of the duties there­unto belong­ing dishonou­red for wāt of discretion in maried folkes. the inlarging of the kingdome of sinne and darkenesse, the sending of soules innumerable downe to hell, time will not suffer mee to discourse.

19 I will therefore adde somewhat concerning the disgrace which commeth vnto mariage, in regard of the duties thereunto belonging, and so end. The companie and felowship of maried [Page 292] folkes, if discreetely, louingly and religiously they performe those needefull dueties eche vnto other which God requireth at the handes of both, then no doubt their estate is blessed of the Lord and deserueth to be honoured amongst men. But if there want discretion in them, wee see what contentions, strifes and heart-burnings are wont to grow betweehe couples, to the great disquieting of their owne mindes inwardly, and, if thinges doe chaunce to breake out as such flames commonly doe, to the discrediting also of their persons openly in the worlde. How vnsweete and vnpleasaunt such a life is, the wise man shew­eth, by comparing a troublesome and contentious wife to a con­tinuall dropping: as contrariwise, If there bee in her tongue gentlenesse, meekenesse and wholesome talke, Pro. 19. then is not her husband like other men.

20 Let heartie loue and affection be lacking betweene them: and what enemie can deuise so great a torment against them as they exercise continually vpon themselues?Want of har­tie affection. Doe they not finde that daily whereof Iob complaineth as of a thing which touched him neerer to the quicke than any other crosse, though he suffe­red both many and heauie crosses besides. My breath, saith he, was strange vnto my wife, though I prayed her for the childrens sake of mine owne bodie.

21 Take away religion: let their hearts bee voide of the feare of God:Want of reli­gion and the feare of God. and what sinne is there so heinous, what iniquitie so huge whereunto they are not alwaies in daunger one to bee per­swaded by the other? When Satan despaireth, of al other meanes he vseth this as the surest to speede in accomplishing wicked pur­poses. He found no such instrument as Iesabel to make Achabwallowe in bloud, as idolatrous women to bewitche Salomon, as the daughters of Moab to steale away the heartes of the children of Israel. It is godlinesse and religion, conscience and feare of sinne that keepeth them within the limits of their duetie. With­out this they are not only carelesse of that comely shamefastnesse and sober temperaunce which beseemeth the honestie of their e­state, but exceeding the bounds of all modestie, they ouerflowe and breake out euen into extreme lasciuiousnesse with others. Heereby the honourable ordinaunce of God is loathed and con­demned of loose wantons as a thing which bringeth infinite mi­series with it, a thing wherin there is nothing but griefe, no quiet­nesse [Page 293] of heart, no repose of minde. Thus I haue shewed you the author of mariage God himselfe, the causes of mariage, mutuall comfort and helpe, procreation, and auoyding of vncleannesse; the dueties that eche partie linked in mariage doeth owe vnto o­ther; the honour which mariage hath by euerie of these; and in these the ground from whence discredite and dishonour groweth vnto mariage. God graunt that whether we bee called to this honourable estate of mariage, or haue receiued the gift to liue o­therwise, we may keepe both our soules and bodies vnstained, & in all things walke as becommeth Saints that haue betrothed themselues vnto Christ Iesus. To whom with the Father, and the holie Ghost, &c.

The seuenteenth Sermon. A Sermon preached at Pauls Crosse at his first comming to the Bishopricke of London.

IOHN 6.

1 After these things, Iesus went his way ouer the sea of Galile of Tibe­rias.

2 And a great multitude followed him because they sawe his miracles which he did on them that were diseased, &c.

OVR Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ the Archpastor and great sheepheard of our soules,The weighti­nesse of a Bi­shoply charge especi [...]lly o­uer a great & a wise people, casting his eyes towarde the Citie of Ierusalem bewailed the la­mentable estate thereof, and that with teares. The like effect, although pro­ceeding from a cause vnlike, I finde in my selfe, beholding this Ierusalem of ours, this famous Citie: the greatnes whereof doth adde not a litle to that exceeding griefe of minde which the deepe consideration of so waightie a thing musts needs worke. This office requireth a perfect man to teache, gouerne [Page 294] and guide this learned and wise people, this great and large Dio­cesse doth wish for one furnished as Samuel, or rather as Salo­mon with all graces and gifts of learning, policie, wisedome and knowledge of things belonging both to God and men. This com­berous charge hath made many a good and godlie man to with­drawe himselfe to shrinke backe, vtterly to refuse the like place and calling. For although it be a faithful saying, If a man desire a Bishops office, 2. Tim. 3. he desireth a good worke: yet such are the difficulties, so many are the perils whereunto they are subiect which labour in it, that the richest in all spirituall graces, the most plentifully in­dued with rare and excellent gifts of God might haue good cause to [...]eare least (the frailtie of flesh and bloud being so great) a bur­then so heauie should make them faint.

2. It is no easie matter to til the Lords ground,The [...] of [...] th [...] office of a Bishop, in res­pect of the paines in tea­ching. to weede his field to bring in his haruest, to trimme his vineyard, to feede his flocke, to builde his house, to watche ouer his citie, to preache his woord, to distribute his sacraments, to execute his discipline, to gouerne his Church, to performe so many partes as are requi­red in him by whome this great and high charge is vndertaken. Where should one finde a seruaunt of that fidelitie and wisdome which the cure of soules doth aske? a seruaunt that knoweth how to minister seasonably vnto euerie soule; to feede infantes, noui­ces, litle ones with rudiments of Christianitie as with milke, them of better growth with stronger meate; to confirme me [...] establi­shed in the truth, and reclaime them that slide from it; to wound and bruise the hearts of the obstinate who bende themselues wil­fully against God, and to comfort such as haue heau [...]e heartes, troubled consciences by reason of sinne?

3 Neither is the pastor pressed onely with these burthens which are peculiar and proper to himselfe,Liuing. but euen those which are common to others with him are also, heauier vnto him than others. To leade a godlie and a righteous life belongeth not to the pastor alone but vnto all. Yet in this which is common vnto all, there is more laide vpon him than any. Others must be so­ber, he a mirror of sobrietie; they vertuous and honest, he such a paterne of vertue and honestie, that he may say with S. Paul, Be ye followers of vs, walke as ye haue vs for an example. S. Chry­sostome compareth the pastor vnto one that wrastleth naked. If [Page 295] there bee any deformitie at all in the bodie of a naked man, it is soone espied and faulted. We are naked to the eyes of the whole world; no one in the world which hath not moe eyes than one; no eye which is not quicke and sharpe sighted to espie a blemish; no blemish be it neuer so great in others halfe so soone found or halfe so much pointed at as the least and lightest thing awry in vs, at whose handes notwithstanding it is required to walke vnre­prooueable.

4. Now if vnto these so many and so weightie considerations,Studying▪ to this endlesse care and thought which a good sheepeheard ta­keth day and night in attending both to himselfe that hee may walke without blame, and to his flocke that it may conueniently be gouerned, wee adioyne those continual labours of studying, meditating, reading and writing, whereunto the depth of the my­steries of God doe necessarily inforce him that must lay them o­pen before others (which if he doe not a woe ineuitable hangeth ouer him; if he doe, the trauell of dooing it is such that the Apo­stle himselfe cryeth out, Who is sufficient for these things?) All this being duely and throughly weyed, wee may well conclude that hee which desireth the roome of a Bishop in the Church, desireth as a good, so also a hard, and vndoubtedly a very trou­blesome office.

5. Secondly it is an office full of peril and daunger.The perill both o [...] [...]s­chargi [...]g an [...] not [...]. For if we preache things pleasaunt vnto men, we discharge not the duetie of the seruaunts of God; if we preache his truth, we are hated as their deadly enemies to whom wee preache: For not speaking a­gainst sinne the Lord threateneth death, If thou doest not speake to admonish the wicked of his wicked waie,Ez [...]ch. [...]. his bloud will I re­quire at thine hand; and for speaking against sinne Elias was per­secuted, Zacharias stoned, Esaias cut in pieces, Ieremias cast into a dungeon, Iohn Baptist, Stephen, Paul, Iames, Peter, Iustine, Athanasius, Cyprian, Polycarp, of our owne Bishops and tea­chers not a fewe, in other nations huge multitudes both heereto­fore and of late in most cruel and sauage maner tormented, with all extremitie that might be deuised to increase the bitternesse of their death.

6 Many auncient Prophets and woorthie Fathers of the pri­mitiue Church casting these accounts in their minds,In these c [...]n­sid [...]ations good me [...] haue rather wished to a­uoide than la­boured to get t [...]e office of a Bishop. haue shun­ned [Page 296] and laboured by what meanes they could to auoide this of­fice. Doubtlesse mans flesh is fraile, we are all weake and ful of infirmitie. If this office require a strong man to beare the bur­then of so great a trauell, certainly it is altogether vnfitly cast vp­on me. I would haue wished rather rest for this my wearysh bodie full of diseases, and as the Prophet speaketh, almost worne away like a clowte. If this office in respect of the hardnesse there­of, of the great daungers incident into it, and in consideration of mans vnablenesse to performe it, haue made so many so loath to enter vpon a charge of such difficultie and daunger before God and the world, what may I then thinke of my selfe? From the bot­tom of my heart I confesse with S. Paul, Minimus sum, I am the least of the Apostles, not woorthie to bee called an Apostle. Wherefore as Moses was contented to take vpon him the charge and keeping of a fewe sheepe in Madian, but beeing called to guide the great and mightie people of Israel; aunswered, Mitte quem missurus es, Send whom thou wilt send: So although consi­dering the great want of labourers in the Church of Christ, I were contented to vndertake the care and charge of a smal flock: yet beeing called to this great, this wise and riche people, re­membring my vnfitnesse thereunto, I sawe no aunswere more conuenient for me than that of Moses before mentioned. But God hath his secrete and vnsearchable working, and I am as clay in the potters hand. Si passeres non cadunt in terram absque prouidentia diuina, Cyprian. fortuito fient Episcopi? If sparrowes fall not on the grounde without the prouidence of the almightie, are Bishops made at all aduenture, saith S. Cyprian? Here I see God hath placed mee by the hand of his chiefe minister, with the aduise of her wise & ho­nourable counsellers, and the choise of them to whom it apper­teineth, not without your great contentation and liking, as I am giuen to vnderstand. I haue therefore submitted my selfe and taken vpon me this heauie yoke (as the searcher of all secrets will beare me record) vnwillingly & willingly. In respect of my many im­perfections, my vnfitnesse to execute this great and weightie of­fice in such sort as it ought to bee performed, I receiue it vnwil­lingly: but in regard of the calling which I am perswaded procee­deth from the determination of almightie God, I willingly sub­mit my selfe hereunto. It is you, it is you dearely beloued that [Page 297] haue drawne me hither. Her Maiestie could spie nothing in me woorthie of this roome, but your too much and on my part al­together vndeserued liking. The Lord bee mercifull vnto mee and graunt mee his grace, that in some measure I may aunswere your expectation.

7 And now to the matter which I haue chosen to speake of at this present.The occasi­ons wherupon Christ for­sooke Ierusalē, and went be­yond the sea of Galilee, Wherein it shall not bee a thing vnnecessarie for your better vnderstanding somewhat to consider of the circum­stances & occasions wherepon the words which I haue red doe depend.Iohn 5. Christ hauing cured a poore sicke man which had beene eight and thirtie yeres diseased, whom he found lying by the pond of Bethsaida, desirous of remedie, but lacking one to helpe him into the water where it was to be had, the blinde Iewes because this was doone vpon the Sabaoth day, found themselues much grieued, and thereupon persecuted Iesus: who after an Apologie made in defence of that holie action, perceiuing their malice to be increased thereby rather than abated, left them and went be­yond the sea of Galilee. Howbeit the multitude left not him, but because they had seene the signes and woonders which hee wrought, miraculously recouering the sicke and restoring them to perfect health, therfore they flocked after him in great troups. When Iesus therefore had lifted vp his eyes, and sawe that a very great multitude came vnto him, hee saith to Philip, Whence shall we buie bread that these may eate?

8 The first reason therefore why Christ forsooke Ierusalem and went beyond the sea of Galilee,To auoid the handes of the wicked. was to the ende hee might conuey himselfe from the tyrannie and persecution of the wic­ked.Matth. 14. So we reade in the Gospel according to S. Matthew, that hearing howe his forerunner was beheaded, he went aside, tooke boate, and retired into a solitarie place apart. Whereby wee are giuen to vnderstand, that if our liues be particularly sought, wee may lawfully flee from the cruell and bloudie hands of our perse­cutors. Christ foretelling his Disciples of the grieuous & hea­uie entertainement which they should finde at the handes of the worlde, giueth them this lesson, Beware of men, and withall this li­cense, When they shall persecute you in this Citie, Matth. [...]0. flie into an other. Here­in I neede not much to perswade, fraile and fearefull flesh is euer readie to flie perill. But what scripture those wen can alleage [Page 298] for themselues that flie not for the Gospel but from the Gospell, that flie before they be persecuted or their bloud sought as yet I cannot learne. Belike they feare least they should bee repayed with their owne measure. No, our Gospel is a doctrine of mer­cie and not of malice; they which syncerely professe it are full of clemencie, and altogether ruled by pietie; our Church consisteth of milde sheepe and not of cruel woolues; the popish Church is the wooluish and bloudie Church; we seeke reformation and not destruction, knowing that Christian hearts are to be perswaded by the Scriptures and not by fire and fagot to be inforced. Yet doe I not meane by this speeche but that the obstinate, the resi­sters and disturbers of religion, the false prophets and deceiuers of the people may be lawfully cut off: the sword may lawfully be drawne against such as are manifest traitors vnto the trueth and to the state. But this is not the matter whereof they stande in feare. It is not outward daunger but inwarde terror for which they flie.Prou. 28. Fugit impius nemine persequente, the wicked man flyeth when no man pursueth him, he trembleth where nothing is to be feared, the wagging of a leafe doeth make him shake because his heart is euill.

9 Another cause why Christ went aside into the wildernesse,To take some rest. may seeme to haue beene a desire of taking some rest after the great and manifold trauels that hee and his Disciples had sustei­ned, as appeareth by the woords which he spake to his disciples, Come apart into the wildernesse and rest a while. Marke 6. This lesson is glad­ly learned and too much practised. Requiescite pleaseth euerie man. The trueth is that the bodie and minde of man must after labour be refreshed with rest. But he which laboureth not is alto­gether as vnwoorthie to rest as to eate. Againe such as will take rest and ease after labours, must learne of Christ as well to mea­sure their ease as their paines. Hee permitteth his Disciples to take their rest: but he limiteth and restraineth his permission say­ing, Rest a while. For by too much rest men are not made the more fit but the lesse willing to take paine. There is no one fault from which the wise man doth so much indeuour to with­drawe men as from sloth. For this cause he putteth vs so often in minde of the great blessings which God doth heape vpon the painefull man.Prou. 28. The hand of the diligent shall beare rule. Hee that til­leth [Page 299] his land shall he satisfied with bread, &c. Againe indeuouring to set out the liuely paterne of a perfect woman, such a one as can hardly be found amongst a thousand, hee noteth this as a chiefe and principall vertue in her,Prou 31. She laboureth cheerefully, her candle go­eth not out, she ouerseeth the waies of her houshold and eateth not the bread of idlenesse. As for the slothfull he did not onely hate them him­selfe, but laboured by all meanes to make them odious: sometime by setting their forlorne estate before mens eyes,Prou. 26. I passed by the field of the slothfull and by the vineyard of the man destitute of vnderstanding, and loe it was all growne ouer with thornes, and nettles had couered the face therof, and the stone wall therof was broken downe; sometimes by shew­ing their excuses and shifts to auoide labour, The slothful man saith, A L [...]on is without, I shall be slaine in the streetes; sometimes by descri­bing their lasie gestures, As the dore turneth vpon his hinges, so doth the slothfull man vpon his bed, he hideth his hand in his bosome and it grie­ueth him to put it to his owne mouth; sometimes by deriding their vn­willingnesse to take their leaue of their rest,Prou. 24. Yet a litle sleepe, a litle slumber, a litle folding of the hands. And what is the ende? Pouertie commeth as one that trauelleth by the way, and necessitie like an armed man. Wherefore though wearinesse, though labour and trauell doe cause thee to desire necessarie rest, yet beware that the sweetnes of rest doe not cause thee to thinke that labour is vnnecessarie. Rest, but rest a litle.

10 The last cause that I gather of Christs going into the wil­dernesse,To auoid the feast of Easter. was as it may be coniectured to auoide the feast of Ea­ster at Ierusalem. For so the Euangelist speaketh, Easter a festiuall daie of the Iewes was nowe at ha [...]de. It seemeth strange that Christ the example of all good order & behauiour should flie from this solemne feast of Easter which he himselfe by his Prophet Moses had straitly commaunded to be obserued and kept. You must therefore consider that the Iewes neglected the commandement of God, and in stead thereof set vp their owne traditions, as S. Paul recordeth, so that the temple was nowe become a denne of theeues. Christ therefore auoyded too much fellowship with this wicked generation.2. Cor. 6. For what societie hath righteousnesse with vnrighteousnesse? what communion hath light with darke­nesse? what concord hath Christ with Belial? what part hath the beleeuer with the infidell? what agreement hath the temple of [Page 300] God with idols. In this we ought all to followe Christ, all to flie as he did from the place where the seruice of God is openly pro­phaned, and his name intolerably blasphemed. Depart, depart, goe out from thence. Esay 52. Choose rather to suffer want in the wildernes with Christ than to enioye the pleasures of the worlde with an e­uil conscience, to be partakers of the word of life in a desert, than to raigne where the aduersarie of Christ and Christianitie bea­reth sway. God be praised for euer, in our Churches of Eng­land to our great comfort, God is serued euen in such sort as him selfe by his holie woord hath prescribed. So that no misconten­ted person can alleage any reason sufficient why to withdraw him selfe from our assemblies. Our Church-praiers are the Psalmes, our lessons the scriptures, our sacraments according to Christes institution. Which thing not many yeeres sithence I alleaging vnto one of no small account nowe in Louain, his aunswere was, I must confesse that is good which you haue in your Churches, but the trueth is you haue not ynough. Indeede wee haue lesse in their eye than y­nough. But if we weie things according vnto that rule, What so­euer I commaund you take heede you doe it; Deut 12. thou shalt put nothing thereto, nor take ought there from: then can it not be denied but that our litle is sufficient, and their more is too much.

11 As these considerations droue Christ into the wildernes,Occasions which moued the multitude to followe Christ. so the Euangelist setteth foorth some motiues which caused so great a multitude to followe him. Some were drawne with the strangenesse of those things which hee wrought and taught a­mongst them.Nouelties. To whom in these our daies wee may compare them which haunt sermons for no other end, but either vainly to hearken for newes, or curiously to note what order & eloquence they may finde in the preacher, or maliciouslie to take holde of things spoken, when they may by froward construction be draw­en to an offensiue meaning. These labour to their owne losse, they are vnprofitable followers.

12 Others followed Christ for bread.Hunger. Such followers our times haue brought out to many. So long as the Gospell can feede, cherish and mainteine them, they are willing and glad to be professors of it: but when persecution commeth they shrink. A great sort of halting and dissembling ministers doe now occu­pie roomes in the Church, which in heart hate the Gospell, yet [Page 301] for bread sake they are contented to goe in the same ranke with the followers of Christ Iesus. But he knoweth their secret cogi­tations and will one day make them knowne vnto others what they are.

13 Sundrie there were which followed for a desire which they had of bodilie health.Health. For Christ went about healing euerie maladie, and euerie infirmitie in the people. Matth. 4. We see by daily experience that the bodie is more cared for than the soule, the flesh than the spi­rite, the carcase than the minde. If the bodie be diseased, we seeke phisicke and are willing to paie well for it; to preserue the bodie from griefe and sickenesse who is not carefull? but where is hee that studieth howe to auoide the diseases of the soule, that morti­fieth the noysome desires of the fleshe, that keepeth his heart in awe and subiection, that dieteth himselfe according to the rules which that blessed Physitian hath prescribed? Chrysostome fin­deth great fault with parents in this behalfe, who if their children fall sicke in bodie, weepe and lament, but if they be neuer so grie­uously vexed and tormented with sinne, they make light or no account of it. These men loue the bodies of their children as it seemeth better than their soules. So this fraile carcase this bo­die of claie is much made of. To procure things good and com­fortable for it, we can be content to trauel sea and lande, to be at any cost, to endure any paines. If health may be had, though it be in a wildernesse it wil be sought.

14 The last and best sort of followers were such as followed Christ to heare his word.The worde of life. This is that trauell that chiefly is re­quired of a Christian.Ioh. 8. Seeke first the kingdome of God. This decla­reth vs to be his children,Ioh. 10. to be his flocke. He that is of God hea­reth Gods woord. My sheepe heare my voice. Thus you see the causes why Christ was followed of the multitude.

15 Christ was quietly set with his Disciples in the mount when this people approched.Christ with his Disciples quiet in the mount when the multitude came vnto him. The hill as S. Chrysostome no­teth may represent the kingdome of God: the inheritors where­of are alwaies delighted to clime vpward, to seeke those thinges that be aboue, to take pleasure in nothing but that which is from heauen. Christ and his Disciples being on the top of the mount were quiet. And the Church of Christ euen in the wildernesse in the midst of affliction doth in him finde rest. In the worlde, [Page 302] saith our Sauiour,Ioh. 16. You shall haue distresse: but haue confidence, I haue ouercome the world: these things haue I spoken vnto you, that in me you may haue peace. Vpon this assurance Peter being in prison and in cheines slept quietly; the Prophet Dauid in the midst of persecution tooke sweete and pleasaunt rest. I lay mee downe, saith he, and sleepe in peace: for thou Lord onely makest mee dwell in safetie.

16 Nowe followeth the miracle which our Sauiour wrought by occasion of the multitude which was there assembled toge­ther with him and his Disciples.The miracle which Christ wrought, and the circumstā ­ces which are to be conside­red in the peo­ple, in his dis­ciples, and in himselfe. The people were the vulgar sort. In this there are many things conteined very woorthie of your good and godlie considerati­ons: which for orders sake we may reduce to the persons of the people, of the Disciples, and of Christ. Concerning the people the words of the Euangelist S. Iohn are these, Sequebatur eum tur­ba multa, A great troupe followed him. But S. Marke more liue­ly expressing the great zeale and desire they had to the Gospel of Christ,Marke 6. saith, They ran flocking thither on foote out of all Cities. In whom we haue first to obserue that they were not of the Princes nor of the priests which came vnto him,Ioh. 7. but turba the common and vulgar sort.1. Cor. 1. Num quis ex principihus? Doth any of the rulers or of the Pharisees beleeue in him? Not many noble, not many wise, saith the Apostle. The noble and mightie loued libertie of life and feared mutations. The wise were circumspect, and sawe that the Gospel would marre their workes. Onely the peo­ple, they which were basely accounted of in the worlde, they which knewe not the Lawe came vnto Christ.

17 The second thing to be obserued in them is their cheere­fulnesse,They came cheerefully. their alacritie, their zeale and courage. They came not dragging their legges after them, they ran vnto Christ. Neither care of things at home, nor feare of daunger abroade; neither the length of the waie thither, nor the lacke of lodging and foode there; neither the feare of the Priests, the Scribes and Pharisees, the knowne and professed enemies of Christ, nor any other by respect in the worlde was able to staie them. Shall not this peo­ple rise vp in iudgement, thinke you, against vs, whom God hath by so many blessings allured and as it were entised to come vnto him, and notwithstanding findeth vs so farre from this cheerefull and gladsome following of him, that when hee doth followe and [Page 303] seeke after vs we turne our backes and flie from him? Could wee doe thus,Iohn. 6. if indeede we did beleeue that he hath the woords of eter­nall life, Matth. 10. and that as many as continue with him to the end, they shall be saued?

18 The thirde thing especially to be noted in this people is,They did obe­diently as they were commā ­ded. that their willingnesse to come was not greater then their ready­nesse to obey him vnto whom they came. For when they were willed to sit downe vpon the grasse, although they were so many and had so little in sight before them (for what were fiue loaues and two fishes to relieue almost fiue thowsand men?) neuerthelesse they made no aunswere, they gainsaide not, but without contra­diction did that which they were commaunded. Elisha prophe­cied in the name of the Lorde and promised plentie to the peo­ple of Samaria being grieuouslie afflicted with extreeme famine. But a Prince in great fauour and authoritie with the king replyed against the man of God,2. Reg. 5. Though the Lorde woulde make windowes in the heauen could this thing come to passe. The same Prophet sent one to Naman the Syrian with this message, Goe and washe thee in Ior­dan seuen times and thy fleshe shall come vnto thee againe and thou shalt bee cleansed. But Naman replied, Are not Abanah & Pharphar riuers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israell? may I not wash me in them and be clensed? This is the manner of the wise ones in the worlde: when they should obey God they reason and dis­pute the matter with him, as if he knewe not what hee did. But the faith of this people did subdue their witte and reason to the sa­cred worde and will of God.

19 This may suffice concerning the people.The disciples cause the peo­ple to sit down Of the Disciples of our Sauiour it is said that They made the people to sit downe. Hence Ministers Pastours and Teachers may learne, that sith God hath ordained them as the meanes whereby the elect must be brought to the obedience of Christ Iesus, they cannot approue their fide­litie vnto him except they bee carefull to fulfill the worke for which he hath appointed them.Matth. 8. I say vnto you that many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit downe with Abraham Isaac and Iacob in the kingdome of heauen. In this sense that wee might also sit downe Christ hath established those high and holie functions before mentioned. Wherefore S. Paule professeth that for this cause he receiued grace and Apostleship, that obedience might be yeelded [Page 304] to the faith amongst all nations. For this he laboured as in other places so in Corinth also, both deliuering them the doctrine which he had receiued, and executing amongest them the disci­pline which their grieuous abuses did deserue.

20 The seconde thing to be noted in the Disciples is that they neither purloyned nor chaunged the peoples foode.They deui­ded the bread which Christ appointed to the people. They recei­ued bread, and they deliuered bread. But there are deceiptfull workmen which haue entred by a postern gate into the Church, which preache and deliuer not what they haue receiued at the handes of Christ, but what Antichrist hath deliuered them. For sweete breade they giue soure leauen, for wheat darnell, for whol­some meate venimous poyson, for the word of God the doctrines of man, for truth fables and vaine fancies, for the holie commu­nion popish priuate blasphemous Masses, for the seruing of God the worshipping of Images, for fishe and loaues stones and ser­pentes.

21 The next thing to bee noted in the Disciples is that when the people had eaten sufficiente they gathered vppe the broaken meate which remained.They gathe­red that which was left. By which frugalitie of theirs we are ad­monished to vse the creatures of God in such sort as they may be most beneficiall vnto manie, after wee haue taken for our owne contentment then to reserue for the vse of others, that nothing be wasted which may profitablie be saued. God loueth a boun­tifull but not a wastfull hande. For although it be true which the Prophet saith that God hath giuen the earth to the sonnes of men: al­though it be graunted that we may rule ouer the fishe of the sea, and ouer the foule of heauen, and ouer euerie beast that moueth vpon the earth, vsing them not onely for our necessitie, but also for our honest delight and conuenient pleasure: yet we must re­member that this power is rather a stewardship than a Lordship, ouer the creatures of God in earth. We stand accountable for them, we may not lauish them out as we list.

22 That which hitherto we haue obserued in these Disciples is both allowed of God and written that it might be followed of vs.They douted how the peo­ple could be fed whē they saw not wher­withall. Another thing there is which we may not let passe although it be a blemish and a staine in them. For when Christ spake vn­to them of feeding the multitude, one aunswered, two hundred peniworth of breade is not sufficient for them that euerie man [Page 305] may take a morsell. Another said, here is a boy that hath fiue loa­ues and two fishes but what are they among so many? The like we reade of the seruaunt of Elisha in the seconde of Kinges. There came a man from Baalshalisha which brought the Prophet twen­tie barely loaues, and certaine corne. The Prophet willed it to be giuen to the people that they might eate. But his seruaunte answered,2. Reg. 4. how should I set this before a hundred men? Wel, giue it, saith the Prophet, that they may eate. For thus saith the Lord, They shall eate and there shall remaine. Then he set it before them & they did eate & left ouer. This mistrust of the power and wonder­full prouidence of Almightie God is the very roote of all euill. It cause [...] the rich man spoken of in the Gospell to hoorde vp corne for many yeares;Luc. 12. it caused Ananias to withdraw a portion of the price of his fearme, it caused Vespasian to lay an vnsauory impo­sition vppon the people to paie monie (be it spoken with good manner) for their very vrine; it caused Iudas to betraie his Mai­ster, it caused the Israelites when their citie was besieged to make ther bellies their cofers, to eate their goulde.

23. But let vs now come from the people and disciples to the person of Christ himselfe:Christ dili­gent in his office. In whom the first thing which we haue to obserue is his diligence in his office. He preached in the cities, in the temple, in the villages, in the ships, on the shoares, in the wildernes: he neither spared any labour nor omitted any oc­casion to doe good.

24 The next thing is his pitifull affection towardes the peo­ple vpon whom when he looked his hart was touched with com­passion:Pitifull to­wardes them which had no Pastour to feede their soules. First because they were as sheepe without a Pastor. The high priestes, the learned Scribes, the holie Pharisies were their appointed Pastors, to gouerne them, to teach them, and to lead them by example of honest life. Neuerthelesse Christ saith, they were sine pastore, without a sheepehard. The glorious, couetous, deceiptfull, ceremoniall, and superstitious rable of popish guides God doth not account amongst the guides of his people, neither are they to be called Pastours but deuourers of the flock. Pastors which cannot or will not teach are no pastours. Because thou hast refused knowledge, saith God by his Prophet Ose,Ose. 4. I will also refuse thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me. Vndoubtedly their heartes are not touched with any pitie or compassion at all ouer Gods peo­ple [Page 306] who for their owne priuate gaine and commoditie thrust such pastours vpon the Church that when the Church hath them it may iustly be saide, it hath no pastours. This is the plague, the poison, the bane of al religiō, it threatneth ruine to christianity.

25 The other cause that moued Christ to compassion was,Towardes them which wanted foode to refreshe their bodies. that the people which had taried long with him were hungrie & in the wildernes coulde get no meate. By this we learne of our maister Christ to beare pytifull heartes towardes our needie na­ked and hungrie breathren.1. Ioh. 3. For whosoeuer hath this worldes good, and seeth his brother haue neede, and shutteth vp his compassion towardes him, how dwelleth the loue of God in such a man? In former times here hath beene prouision for the poore, & some as yet remaineth: but it is for the most part much abused. I shall therefore exhorte you the citizens of London & in Christ Iesus require it at your handes that such order may be taken that the poore may bee prouided for and not suffred to crie in your streetes. If you that be magistrates will take the thing in hande, you shall finde, I doubt not, a great sorte of liberall heartes and helping handes hereunto. The suffring of the people to begge breadeth great inconuenience both in the Church and common wealth. I do therefore in Christ againe require you to take due cō ­sideration hereof that this thing may bee reformed. So shall you well please God, ease and profit your selues, and giue a good ex­ample to the rest of the realme. God cannot bee vnmindfull of so good a worke. It wilbe an hundred times requited both in this life and in the world to come.

26 The last thing which I purpose to note in the person of our Sauiour is that he did not onely conceiue an inwarde pitie and therewith content him selfe:He gaue thankes, de­uided breade, and it increa­sed in deui­ding. but his compassion brake out and declared it selfe in workes of mercie. He sent them not awaie, as the maner is, loaden with wordes and emptie of almes; he fed them largelie, and gaue them till euerie man had enough. But first he gaue thanks to his heauenly father, leauing vs an example thankfully to acknowledge that whatsoeuer wee receiue it com­meth from him as from the principall authour, & whatsoeuer we bestow he is the Lord & owner of it. In deuiding the bread hee vse the ministerie of his disciples, as the stewardes and disposers of his riches. Be it therefore corporall or spirituall sustenaunce [Page 307] which we receiue; although it bee at the handes of men, yet is it vnto vs as if Christ him selfe in his owne person did reach out his hand from heauen to feede vs. They are therefore too nice which refuse their meate, because they like not the man by whom it is brought and set before them. They by whose meanes wee are made partakers of good thinges are vnto vs the Angels of God, and ought accordinglie to be honoured of what qualitie soeuer they be in them selues. The foode which they gaue to the people did miraculouslie growe by diminishing, and by consuming in­crease. So it was with the meale and oyle of that poore widow of Sarephta.3. Reg. 17. It was in sight too little to suffice one; in vse it pro­ued more than sufficient for manie. So it is with all the graces & giftes of God: they grow in the handes of him that spendeth, and in the cofers of him that saueth they wast. Thus I haue brieflie gone ouer such thinges as I thought most conuenient for this time. The Lord blesse the seede of his word sowne amongest vs, and giue it a plentifull and a large in crease, to his owne glorie and our comfort, through the merite of Iesus Christ by the gracious operation of the holie Ghost, to whom &c.

The eighteenth Sermon. A Sermon preached at Pauls Crosse.

LVKE. 21.‘25 Then there shall be signes in the Sunne, and in the Moone and in the Starres, &c.’

GOD bethinking him selfe,The excel­lencie of the Iewish nation and as it were musing vppon the benefites and blessinges, which he had in great abū ­daunce of mercie bestowed from time to time vppon the people of Israell, breaketh out by his prophet into these wordes:Esa. 5. What might I doe for my vine, which I haue not done? The graces, where­with he enriched them were infinite, their prerogatiues aboue all other people of the worlde were ma­nifolde, [Page 308] and for the preciousnesse and rarenesse of them most wonderful:Rom. 9. to them the adoption, the glorie, the couenaunte, the Lawe, the seruice of God, the promises were impropriated: of them were the fathers, and of them, as concerning the fleshe, Christ came, who is God ouer all, blessed for euer: They had the Arke, the Temple, and the Oracles, with a promise that God woulde be their God, and they shoulde be his euen Gods owne elected and beloued people (if they walked in his wayes, and wrought his will) for euer. But this vngracious and vn­thankfull nation was vnworthy of such worthynesse: they wor­shipped God with lippes, and not with heart; outwardly in shew, but not inwardly in harty & sincere truth; according to the letter, but not according to the spirit, after their own conceipts, but not agreeablie to his blessed will reuealed in his holie word. Their crie was still,Ierem. 7. The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lorde, but through their prophanation, they made the temple of the Lord, a den of theeues. They cried Lord Lord, but they did not his wil on whom they cryed, for sweete grapes, they yelded soure, for hartie and sincere seruice, hypocriticall and painted shewes of religion: their glorie was in the externall beautie of their materiall temple: they wondred at the stones, and goodlie buildinges, at the gor­geous furniture and precious guiftes, wherewith it was both out­wardly and inwardly adorned, and enriched.

2 Wherupon our Sauiour to take away the cause of this vaine hope and foolish ioy tooke occasion thus to prophecie of that glorious temple:A prophecie concerning the ouer­throw of their temple, and the perfor­mance therof. Are these the thinges that you looke vpon? The dayes will come, wherein there shall not be left a stone vpon a stone, which shall not be destroyed. This prophesie was as euidently accomplished as it was made. For thirtie eight yeares after that they had crucified Christ, their promised Messias the Lorde of glorie, God raysed vppe the seruauntes of his wrath Vespasian and Titus Empe­rours of Rome, who beseeged conquered and rased their Ieru­salem, made hauocke of the people as of dogges, murdered ele­uen hundred thousande, man woman and childe of that cursed nation. Then was fulfilled the crie of those crucifiers, His bloud be vppon our heades and vppon our children. It hath bene, and shall be for euer. Yea the violence of the Romaines proceeded farther and pulled downe the Temple, and layde flat with the [Page 309] grounde their onely glorie, insomuch that according to the ex­presse wordes of our Sauiours prophecie they left not one stone vpon another. The Iewes sundrie times, hauing licence there­unto, attempted to builde it vp againe, but it woulde not be; for what their hande builded in the day, the hande of the Lord most miraculouslie hurled downe by night. Most true it is, that Christ sayth, there is not one worde, that commeth out of Gods mouth, not one title, or iot written in his word, which shall not in his due and appointed time be accomplished.

3 Hence we may take this instruction that God is not deligh­ted in outward shewes,God deligh­teth not in the outward beautie of any thing. in gorgeous pompes, in beautifull buil­dinges, in painted sepulchers: It is the inward beautie of the kinges daughter, and not the outwarde brauery of the harlot of Babylon, wherewith God is pleased: It is the contrite heart of the postrate Publican, and not the proude ostentation of the Phara­sie, wherein he doth take delight. God aloweth as well of Peter in his mantell, as of Aaron in his miter. All these external shewes; are but as the beautie of a paynted wall, not onely not acceptable but euen lothsome vnto God, when the soule, the minde, the in­ward parte is polluted.

4 The causes,The cause of their ruine, they knewe not the time of their visita­tion. Visitatō in mercie mo­ueth them not. why this house, this costlie building, and temple of God, was so miserablie destroyed, Christ himselfe declareth, saying, Because thou hast not knowne the time of thy visitation. There is a double visitation, the one in mercie, the other in iustice. Our mercifull God first visited this people in great & often mercy: He deliuered them out of the handes of Pharao: He gaue them good guides: He deliuered vnto them his law written in tables of stone: He caused heauen to giue them bread & the hard rocke to yeelde thē drink:Luc. 19. He made them triumphe ouer their enimies & possesse strang cities: He brought them to a land, that flowed with milk & honie, & caused them to reape that which their fooes had sowne: He gaue them Priests & Prophets, & builded them both an Arke by Moses and a temple by the handes of Solomon wherein he woulde be worshipped. All which notwithstanding this stif-necked people was obdurate and vnthankefull: no benefittes coulde euer winne them. They prouoked their gratious Lord vnto most fierce and most iust wrath. After their deliueraunce they lusted to returne to the place from whence they were deli­uered [Page 310] they muttered against Moses, and despysed holy Aaron; They loathed and misliked the verie foode of heauen, euen the meate of Angels; the written lawe of God, they mightely trans­gressed, his messages they contemned, the Prophetes and Mes­sengers they derided, euill entreated, murdered, lastly to adde a crowne to all their former wickednesse, their promised Messias their king, Christ Iesus the Sonne of the liuing God, they most spitefully cruelly and villanouslie crucified.

5 This great vnthankfulnesse of theirs,Visitation in iustice. did greatly prouoke the iust Lord to displeasure & as it were enforce him to visit them in iustice sharpely, and with the rod of more then vsual correctiō. Wherefore he plagued them with mortalitie in the wildernesse, onely two entred the land of promise of all the number that came out of Aegypt: he gaue them ouer into the hands of their enimies and they that hated them were Lordes ouer them, he cast them into exile and miserable bondage, he burnt vp their holie citie, he destroied their glorious temple, he left them to be deuoured with pestilence, with hunger, and with the sworde the accustomed in­strumentes of his wrath. Insomuch that euen to this day the remnant of that elect and chosen people is scattered farre and wide, and doth liue in all contempt hatred and slauerie, marked like Cain to be knowne as a murdering vagabond vpon the earth, to be a byword, & an example of Gods Iustice to all the worlde, throughout all succeeding ages.

6 Now all these thinges came vnto them not onely for their punishment but also for examples vnto others,These thinges recorded for our benefit. & were written to admonish vs, vpon whom the endes of the world are come. They are patterns for vs to looke vpon, that seeing their sinne and the punishment thereof we may eschew the one if we desire to escape the other. And they crie dayly in our eares. Let not your faults be like their faultes, least your destruction also be like to their de­struction, for God is the same, yesterday & to day & for euer, he hateth sinne no lesse now then before, no lesse in vs, than in them.

7 He hath visited vs in mercie as he visited them, yea we haue tasted perhaps more aboundantly of his goodnes than euer they did.Our blessings as great as theirs our vn­thankfulnesse greater. And as the benefittes, we haue receiued, doe at the least equall theirs, so their vnthankfulnesse is much behinde ours, if it be rightly and duelie considered. God hauing so straungly, so [Page 311] farre beyond all hope, so much beside our expectation, and more besides our desert so many times and so many wayes deliuered vs, not out of one Aegypt, from vnder one Pharao, through the middest of one sea, but out of sundrie places, of most grieuous, irkesome, and tedious captiuitie, from vnder the heauie yooke of sundrie cruell tyrants, through the middest of sundrie maine seas of troubles and afflictions: Yet haue we for all this buried the memorie of our deliuerance in forgetfulnesse, yet doe wee for all this, sinne dayly and that with greedinesse, yea and spiritually as farre as in vs lyeth crucifie Christ a freshe, and sheede his most precious bloud againe. We are wearie of the Gospell, the foode of life is reiected as a thing vnsauorie, we haue no liking to feede as the Lordes table, our desire is rather to franke vp our selues with that which we shoulde abhorre and loath: Euerie house and corner is full of idolatrie and superstition, of sinne and fil­thinesse, full of murmuring against God, full of grudging and repyning against the Lords annointed. For of his Prophetes what shoulde I say? was there euer any time, any age, any nation, coun­trie, or kingdome, when and where the Lordes messengers were worsse entreated, more abused, despysed, and slaundered, than they are here at home, in the time of the Gospell, in these our dayes? wee are become in your sight and vsed as if wee were the refuse and paringes of the worlde. Euerie mouth is spitefully opened, euerie tooth is sharpened and whetted against vs. Harde it is to finde one foorth, that will loue and reuerence vs as fathers, obey vs as gouernours, honour vs as Gods embassadours, learne of vs as of schoolemaisters, here and follow vs as sheepeheardes, giue vs worthie wages as workemen that take paines for your sal­uation. But our exspectation is not deceiued, Christ our Sauiour hath told vs long ago that the world should hate vs, & our case is no worse herein thē the blessed Apostles was, our reward is great in heauen. And it were well if this vnkinde affection did reach no further than vnto vs only. But it spreadeth wider, & regardeth as little the throne of Dauid, as the chaire of Moses, the sworde as the booke, the Prince as the Prophet, the ciuill as the eccle­siasticall state. Some desire a chaunge. Others not onely de­sire it but conspire for it too and contriue treacherie, greedelie expecting their looked for time, the daie of their felicitie and of [Page 312] their great ioy. But if God in his wrath graunt such a time, which for his mercie sake I trust he will neuer do, it wilbe, euen to them, who now so earnestlie desire it, a day of death and not of life, of la­mentation and not of ioy. What gayned they who desired the chaunge of Samuell for Saull, of Christ for Barrabas? they pro­cured Gods wrath, their owne confusion, & perpetuall slauerie. So it fareth with miscontented mindes. Their own desires plague them.

8 Thus we cannot but see Gods godnesse,Therefore without re­pentaunce our punish­ment cannot be lesse then theirs. and our vnthanke­fulnesse, his giftes, and our abusing of them, his patience and our continuall frowardnesse. Our sinnes are come to the ful­nesse with the Ammorites, iniquitie hath gotten the vpper hand, and crusheth downe all pietie. Can our God thinke you winke at so manifest or holde his hande at so grieuous sinne? If he spa­red not the braunches of the true oliue, not his first borne Israell, not his elect people, but often punished and at length gaue them quite ouer, for that they neglected his worde, and despysed the Preachers of it; if he spared not his owne onely citie, not the ho­lie temple, wherein he woulde be worshipped, but for that they were both polluted and prophaned, destroyed both for euer; whar can wee, which are but as wilde twigges, whose father was an Ammorite and whose mother an Hittite, who haue not hark­ned to his worde sent from heauen, who haue defiled his sacred temple, and euen crucified his Christ, looke for any other, but Gods great plagues, and dreadfull vengeance to be powred vpon vs to our eternall miserie? doubtlesse we haue deepely prouo­ked him vnto anger. The onely way to pacifie and appease his wrath, to mitigate his indignation, and to remoue his plagues from vs, which euen now hange ouer vs, is our earnest repentāce, to turne vnto our God, with our whole harte, that he may turne to vs;The disciples question con­cerning both the particular destruction of the Iewes and the generall consummatiō of the whole worlde. to lament and forsake our wickednesse, to trust in mercie, and to craue pardon, to promise & performe amendment of this sinnefull life. Thus we must doe, and that speedelie, or else with­out doubt and without delay we perish.

9 The threatned destruction of the temple hath occasioned me thus much to say. Now when Christ had vttered the sentence of ruine & desolation against that holy place, the Disciples, as Mathew reporteth,Mat. 24. cam secretly vnto him, & asked not only of the [Page 313] time when the Tēple should be destroied, but also of the second comming of Christ and of the end of the worlde. They enqui­red as men desirous to learne that whereof they were ignoraunt. And they asked of Christ the wisedome of God, the appointed schoolemaister of whome we should seeke for knowledge. They asked as I sayde three seuerall thinges, of the destruction of Ieru­salem, of the seconde comming of Christ, of the ende of the worlde, which two later are indeede but one. To whom Christ maketh answere, not assigning any certainetie of the times when these thinges should be accomplished, but shewing signes that should goe before as well the destruction of Ierusalem, as also his seconde, comming. It is not for you to knowe the times and seasons, (sayth he) which the father hath put in his owne power. No not the sonne of man as man knewe them.

10 This knowledge is kept from men,The time whē the end of the world shall be is for two cau­ses concealed from men to whō notwith­standing the signes that go before it are reuealed. for two causes as Saint Augustine well noteth. The one, least it should hinder and with­drawe vs from perfourming our necessarie duties, least it should terrifie and amase vs, and make vs carelesse to prouide for our selues and others. An other reason why the time both of our owne particular ende, and of the generall consummation of all thinges is left vncertaine, is that we might at all times make rea­die and prepare for it, seeing it might happen at any time euen at any instant. Watch and pray, because ye know not what hower. God hath therefore kept the time it selfe secrete, but hath reuea­led certaine tokens, and signes going before it: that when we see the messengers and forerunners of him, which commeth swyftly to iudge quicke and dead wee may lift vp our heades, knowing that our redeemer and redemption is neere at hande. Christ fore­sheweth (as I saide) the signes that should happen as well before the ruine of Ierusalem, as also before his second comming in the ende of the worlde. The Euangelistes haue mixed and folded them one within another, so that which do serue for the one, and which for the other, it cannot precisely be discerned. S. Chryso­stome thinketh, that all the signes, simply and literally vnder­stoode haue relation to the destruction of Ierusalem; but mysti­cally or spiritually considered of, they may be applyed to the end of the worlde. Others whom in this I do rather followe, referre the former signes, as false prophets, warre, sedition, earthquakes, [Page 314] famine, pestilence, persecution, hatred of the Disciples of Christ, and beseeging, to the destruction of Ierusalem: And these latter signes in the sunne, moone, & starres, &c. to the latter comming of Christ to iudgement.

11 In this comming of Christ to iudge the quicke and the dead,Fiue thinges to be noted in the comming of Christ to iudgement. we may for our better instruction consider these thinges: First that there shall be a Iudgement, and who shalbe that iudge; Secondly the time when this iudgmēt shalbe; Thirdly the signes which shall goe before it; Fourthly the manner of it; Lastly how we ought to be in perpetuall preparation and readines therunto.

12 A day the Lorde hath set, There shall be a iudgement. in the which he will iudge the worlde in righteousnesse by that man whom he hath appointed, whereof he hath gi­uen an assuraunce to all men, Act. 17. in that he hath raysed him from the deade. Heere we see plainely that there is a day appointed for righteous iudgement of the whole worlde: that there is a man appointed to giue sentence in that day: that there is an assuraunce alrea­die giuen to all men of all thinges that are written concerning both the day the iudgement and the iudge.2. Thess. 2. With God (sayeth the Apostle speaking to the faithfull which suffred tribulation for the name of Christ) with God it is a righteous thing to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you, & to thē which are troubled rest. This righteous thing with God is not perfourmed heere as yet. For this worlde is as an hel vnto the godly, & an heauen vnto them which despise righteousnesse. Therfore it cannot be but that God hath appoin­ted a day heereafter to iudge the worlde with that iustice which shall giue vnto euerie man according to that he hath done, be it good or euil, & which shall render vengaunce vnto them that know not God, but rest vnto such as now are trobled for his sake. Our Lord knoweth to deliuer the godlie from temptation but to reserue the vniust vnto the day of iudgement to be tormented.2. Pet. 3. Wherefore S. Peter threatning false prophetes and lying mai­sters which bring in sectes of perdition and denie him that bought them euen the Lord,2. Pet. 2. sayeth that their iudgement long agoe was not farre off, and their perdition sleepeth not. The day of their eternall condemnation is appointed,2. Cor. 5. the man that shall con­demne them is alreadie assigned and well knowne.Ioh. 5. We must all appeare before the iudgment seate of Christ.Act. 10. The father hath giuen all iudgement to the sonne. He is constituted iudge of [Page 315] quicke and deade.

13 This iudge hath three properties.The proper­ties of him that shal iudge. His know­legde. First he is more priuie to our thoughtes, wordes and deedes, then we our selues are, he seeth in darkenesse as well as in light, at midnight as at noone day; no secrete is hidde from him, neyther can any man conuey himselfe out of his eyesight. He sawe Adam when he ate of the fruite which was forbidden him, he looked vpon Cain when he slewe his onely brother, he behelde Cham when he discouered his fathers nakednesse, he tooke a viewe of Sara when she laught behinde the doore, of the sonnes of Iacob when they solde their brother Ioseph into Egypt. His eye was open vppon Dauids filthie and bloudie actes, vpon Absolons treason, vpon Achito­phels wicked counsell. The oppression of Achab, the crueltie of Iesabell, the pride of Haman, the couetous heart of Balaam and of Geze, the pride and hypocrisie of the Pharisee could not be kept from him. Hee seeth all sleightes in merchaundise, all shiftes in vsurie, all malitious mindes, all flattering tongues, all lying lippes. He looketh downe from heauen and beholdeth all the children of men from the habitation of his dwelling place,Psal. 33. he beholdeth all them that dwell on the earth: he fashioneth their heartes euerie one and vnderstandeth all their workes. Hee shall be both a iudge,Epist. Iud. and a witnesse in that day of all the wicked deedes which the vngodly haue committed and of all the cruell speakinges which wicked sinners haue vttered against him and his, who, as nowe they cannot auoyde his sight, so neither shall they then be able any way to escape his hande. O consider this you that forgette God. He that made the eye shall not he see? Can your deedes be concealed from him that seeth all the children of men, and can call them euerie one by his name?

14 Another propertie of this heauenly iudge is the infinite greatnesse of his power.His power. He doth what pleaseth him,Phil. 2. all thinges are subiect vnto his will, vnto him euerie knee boweth of thinges in heauen, and thinges in earth, and thinges vnder the earth. He hath power to saue and to kill, to lift into heauen and to cast into hell; heauen is his seate, earth is his footestoole. What he wil­leth is as sure as it were alreadie done. We should feare therefore this mightie iudge who hath such power to doe his will, and who will doe that only which is iust.

[Page 316] 15 For his third propertie is his iustice.His iustice. Hee taketh no re­wards, his scepter is streight, his iudgement righteous, his eye simple, he will not be intreated of the wicked, neither shew them any mercie. In that day, euerie one of them shall receiue iustice and iust punishment. These are his properties and hee chaun­geth them not. He seeth all, he hath all power, hee is a righteous iudge of all & ouer all for euer. By this which hath beene spoken we see that we haue to looke for a day wherein the worlde shall be iudged and we see who it is that in that day shall iudge the world.

16 Of this the Lorde hath sufficiently assured vs.The certainty and assurance of these things For when diuerse thinges are spoken of before they come to passe, the per­fourmaunce of the first is the assurance of the rest. He which pro­mised to raise vp Iesus from the dead hath also promised to iudge quicke and dead by the same Iesus so raised. Sith the one is per­fourmed, how can we stande in doubt of the other? We may as­sure our selues that there is a day of iudgement to come, because the resurrection of the iudge is alreadie accomplished past and gone.Rom. 14. So then euerie one of vs shall giue accounts of himselfe to God. There is no prince, no potentate, no prophet, no Apo­stle, no man, no woman, neither rich nor poore, high nor lowe, that can escape this iudgement. We must aunswere for our facts euen as euery man hath wrought. We must aunswere for euerie idle worde, for euerie corrupt and wicked thought. What can the vncleane fornicator, the couetous vsurer, the mightie oppres­sor, the proude contemner, the ambitious climer, the enuious hypocrite, the bloudie murderer, the false deceauer, the cruell prince, the vnfeeding pastor, the vniust iudge, the deceitfull mer­chaunt, what may they aunswere in that day but pleade guiltie; and what can they looke for but, Ite maledicti, Go ye cursed? Once againe I say, O consider this ye that forget God.

17 But when shall this iudgement be?The time of iudgement. As this question is mooued by two sortes of men, so there are in scripture two kinds of answeres made vnto it. There are mockers which walke after their owne lustes,2. Pet. 3. and these aske, Where is the promise of his com­ming? Since the fathers died which were ouerwhelmed by the floude of Noah all thinges continue as they were from their first creation. To whom Saint Peter maketh answere, that they erre of set purpose. Other­wise they that are so wittie in reasoning against the truth of Gods [Page 317] promises might knowe this, that the power of the worde which created the worlde, and kept it till the day appointed for the pu­nishment of the wicked by water, doth also nowe keepe the hea­uens and the earth in store and reserue them to fire against the day of iudgement, and of the destruction of vngodly men. Ha­uing stopped their mouthes with this aunswere he leaueth them without any further instruction, because they were but swine and the doctrine of the iudgement to come is precious. But the Disciples of Christ with an other minde making this demaunde, Tell vs when these thinges shalbe, and what signe of thy comming and of the ende of the worlde, are abundantly instructed by their Lorde and maister which knoweth all thinges, and withholdeth nothing from his which is any way needefull to be knowne. Touching the time they are forbidden to enquire about it. For as in the dayes before the floude, they did eate and drinke, marrie and giue in marriage and knewe nothing till the floude came and tooke them all away:Matth. 24. so shall also the comming of the sonne of man bee. In the howre that ye thinke not will the sonne of man come, in a day and in an howre which no man knoweth, no not the Angels of heauen, but the father onely. It is therefore both vaine and daungerous which some haue attempted in setting this and that yeere beyond which the world cannot endure. But such is the crookednes of our nature. In watching, which is commaunded, howe carelesse are wee? And howe curious in seeking out the time and season,Act. 1. which to do we are so oft and so expressely forbidden?

18 Touching the signes and tokens going before the com­ming of Christ to iudgement,Signes going before the cō ­ming of Christ: to iudgement. they are set downe for our benefit and instruction: And therefore let vs make some stay in the due consideration of them. There shall be, (sayeth the Euangelist) signes in the sunne, and in the moone, and in the starres. &c. These signes shall appeare before the comming of Christ, partly that the worlde may be admonished of the fearefull iudgement that is at hande, and thereby prouoked to repentance; partly that the wicked may in this life be punished by the creatures of GOD, whom they haue abused; partly that it may appeare that the creatures which haue serued sinnefull man against their will, will nowe no longer serue the enemies of their creatour; and partly to declare that the worlde is come to his iust olde age and shall [Page 318] haue an ende. There shall be signes in the sunne. What signes these shall be it is elsewhere in the scriptures declared. The hea­uens shall shake, the sunne and moone shall be darke, and the starres shall withdrawe their shining. Againe,Ioel. 2. the sunne shall be turned into darkenes, and the moone into bloud before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. The like we reade in the booke of Reuelation.Apocal. 6. I behelde, and loe, the sunne was blacke as sackecloth of heare, and the moone was like bloud, and the starres of heauen fell vnto the earth, as a figge tree casteth hir greene figges, when it is shaken of a mightie winde. Matth. 24. Whereunto the wordes of S. Matthew also do agree, The sunne shall be obscured, and the moone shall not yeelde hir light, the stars shall fall from heauen, and the powers of heauen shall be shaken. The simple & literall vnderstanding is that there shalbe wonderfull and terrible Eclipses in the sunne and in the moone: which things in this last age, in this last houre of the worlde since the ascension of Christ haue sundrie times and in most strange sort beene seene. Or else, euen as when Christ was crucified, the sunne lost his light, and darkenes for a time was vpon the face of the whole earth: so shall it be at his seconde comming to iudge the children of darkenesse with eternal death.Beda. Others expound it that whē Christ shal come in his glorie the beames of his brightnesse shall so farre surmount the shining of the sunne, moone, or starres, that in comparison thereof they shall seeme darke & giue no light. Of this his bright­nes he gaue a glimse when he was transfigured in the mount Ta­bor. To seeke out many expositions of these woordes, it shall not neede. This wee may obserue in the writinges of the prophetes that with them it is vsuall, when they foreshewe great plagues, to vse these and the like spheeches. So doth Esayas in his prophecie concerning the plagues of Babylon.Esay. 13. The starres of heauen & the pla­nets thereof shall not giue their light, the sunne shalbe darkened in his going foorth, Esay. 24. and the moone shall not cause her light to shine. Againe, The earth is vtterly broken downe, the earth is cleane dissolued, the earth is moued ex­ceedingly, the moone shall be abashed, & the sunne ashamed when the Lorde of hostes shal raigne in mount Sion. The like we read in Ezechiel threat­ning destruction and desolation to Egypt.Ezech. 32. I will couer the heauen and make the starres thereof darke: I will couer the sunne with a cloude and the moone shall not giue hir light, all the lightes of heauen will I make darke for thee, and bring darkenes vpon thy lande, sayth the Lorde. I might alledge [Page 619] the like out of Ioel, Ieremie, Amos and Micheas▪ but the matter is cleare inough, & needeth rather to be considered thā prooued.

19 The wordes being literally thus vnderstoode,An Allegori­call applicati­on of the fore­saide signes. may be mo­rally applied not without great fruite vnto the vnderstanding and wise hearer, which can discerne betweene interpretation of scrip­ture & application thereof. In the one we giue you the bare sense of the scripture, in the other we teach you the profitable vse of it. For the vse of scripture may be very well shewed not only by such collectiōs as do probably gather or necessarily cōclude one thing out of another, but also by those allegoricall comparisons which shewe how in one thing another is shadowed & a spirituall thing resembled in a corporall. As for example if heere we refer the sun to Christ, that sunne of righteousnes; the moone to the Church, and the starres to the pastors and doctors of the Church.

20 The sunne in this sence is most euidently in this our age darkned,The darkning of the sunne by false do­ctrine. Christ is obscured, by that great enimie Antichrist the man of sinne who hath set himselfe in Christs peculiar place and will be exalted aboue all that is called God.2. Thess. 2. To make any other mediator betwene God and man sauing only Christ Iesus which is not onely man but also God; To seeke else where remission of sinnes, iustification, redemption, sanctification or saluation than only in this Iesus & in him crucified doth darken & make dimme both him and his merites. And of this treason the Romish Anti­christian Church which they terme Catholike is founde guiltie. For the children of this harlot labour by al meanes to obscure the sonne of God, to robbe him of the glorie of his desertes in our saluation. I would neuer haue beleeued that any professing lear­ning or hauing had but a glimse of the course of the woorde of God, could haue beene so grosse in such sort to haue eclipsed the brightnesse of Christ Iesus by giuing his glorie vnto earthly crea­tures, if of late I had not to my great greefe and their great shame heard their owne blasphemous con [...]essions therof. Surely the Ro­mish strumpet hath rubbed hir forehead, hir children are become altogether shamelesse, whatsoeuer shee determineth they make it equiualent with the written word of God. There is no absurdi­tie in poperie (in which there are ful many and full grosse) which they doe not defende to be right good and Catholike. The Popes pardons, purgatorie, masses, merites, praiers both for & to ye dead, [Page 320] pilgrimages, images, reliques, yea holy water and holy bread: All these they will haue some one way and some another to bee forcible remedies against sinne and death. This is their religi­on and seruing of God, thus they honour the Lambe that was slaine for the sinnes of all the worlde. If this doe not derogate from him and stoppe the brightnesse of his glorie, who is the on­ly once offered propitiation for all our sinnes, by whose bloud we are only purged, whose death only hath made vs free from death, if this doe not obscure the glorious beautie of Christ Iesus, if this doe not deface the woorthinesse of his merites, what doeth? or what can do? Hath the glorious sonne of God sacrificed his pre­cious life for our sakes vpon the crosse, that Thomas of Caunter­buries bloud powred out in an earthly quarrell should make pas­sage to heauen for vs? Is there any man in whose heart the light of the glorie of God hath shined, which seeth not how this fogge doth darken this blessed sunne?

21 Againe this sonne is obscured when as we professe that in our woordes,The darkning of the sunne by corrupt life and con­uersation. which in our liues and deedes we doe denie. After that king Dauid had committed adulterie, Nathan the phophet charged him therewith in these words. Thou hast caused the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. 2. Sam. 12. When men professe wel & liue ill, their life is not tolerated for their profession;Rom. 2. but their profession is slande­red by their conuersation. When the Iewes which professed the Law did not practise it, the Law which they professed heard euill thereby. For a bad professor of a good thing, is a staine to that thing which he doth professe. This is the speciall fault of our wicked dayes, these our times are clowdie and full of this darke­nesse, our light doth not shine to glorifie God, but our darkenes, doth abounde to the obscuring of his Christ. The mercilesse rich men which wring and oppresse by deceitfull and iniurious dea­ling, which neglect and despise their afflicted brethren,Iac. 2. the nee­die members of Christ, doe not they blaspheme the woorthie name wherewith both they and we are named? It were a great deale better neuer to haue professed then not to practise, neuer to haue receaued then not to obserue, neuer to haue knowne then not to obey the word of truth. Vnto them which heare the word and keepe it being heard a blessing is promised; but vnto thē of whom it is written, Dicunt & non faciunt, They say & do not, [Page 321] woes againe and againe are denounced. This knowe, (sayth the A­postle) that in the last dayes shall come perillous times. 2. Tim. 3. For men shall be lo­uers of themselues, couetous, boasters, proude, cursed speakers, disobedient to parentes, vnthankefull, vnholy, without naturall affection, truce breakers, false accusers, intemperate, fierce, despisers of them which are good, trai­tours, headie, high minded, louers of pleasure more than louers of God, ha­uing a shewe of godlinesse, but hauing denied the power thereof. Let all the worlde iudge whether these be not the cloudes which haue dark­ned the sunne of our dayes.

22 Now as the sun resēbleth Christ,The moone [...]urned into bloud by cru­eltie of perse­cution. so the moone his Church. For as the moone hath hir light from the sun, so the Church hirs from Christ. And as the sunne being vnchangeable, is at all times exceeding bright and glorious; but the moone doth change, and some times is at the full, sometimes at the wane, hir light to the eye of the worlde, now encreasing, and nowe diminishing, nowe filling the whole globe, and now in no part thereof appearing: so Christ, and his Church. Christs glorie is alwaies great, and al­waies one. His Church vpon earth doth varie; nowe she flowri­sheth, and nowe is blacke; sometimes shee ouer spreadeth the face of the whole earth, at other times she is brought to so nar­rowe streightes that mortall eye is vnable to espie hir. When the Church of Christ is persecuted as it was in the dayes of those cruell Emperours which were of olde, and as it is at this daie vnder Antichrist and Antichristian Princes, this is as it were the chaunging and resoluing of the moone into bloude. Heereby it commeth to passe that shee which looketh as the morning and is faire like the moone, chaungeth hir outwarde shape and figure and appeareth in the eyes of them that be­holde hir like a garment dyed in bloud. By this wee see what the spouse of Christ is to looke for in this worlde. Wilt thou be of the number of them that liue godlie? prepare thy selfe to suffer. All that will liue godlie in Christ must doe it, it is their portion. If he were persecuted, why should we be spa­red; if he despised, why wee well reputed of? Let vs not there­fore be dismayed though we see the Church of God in heauie case. Let hir fooes debace and oppresse hir for a while, hir king shall at length deliuer hir, and crowne hir with eternall glorie. Shee was neuer I thinke in greater distresse, the enemie neuer [Page 322] more cruellie bent, Christ in his members neuer more blou­dilie crucified then euen in these our dayes, as well by ene­mies as by false and bastarde brethren, who pretending the ayde and succour of the Church practise nothing but theft and robberie. Shee is both wounded by hir aduersaries and spoyled euen by hir owne children: the one haue made hir bloudie, and the other beggerly. Howebeit as the Arke of Noe was tossed vppon the waters, but could not be drowned, the Lorde susteyning it with his mightie hande: so the Church in the ende shall haue a glorious triumph ouer all the ene­mies of GOD, hell gates may striue they can not preuaile; in suffering shee shall conquere, and when by persecution she is made most blacke then is shee in trueth most beauti­full.Cant. 1. I am blacke O daughters of Ierusalem, (sayeth the spouse) blacke, but comely. Through ignominie shee commeth vnto glorie, by tribulation to a kingdome, by the crosse to ioye, and by death to immortall and euerlasting life. The death of the saintes of God is precious, their sufferinge [...] [...]re honorable in his sight for whom they suffer, nay they are profitable euen vnto them, it behooueth the moone to be turned into bloud. Hir re­stauration shalbe much more glorious.

23 It followeth that the starres also shall fall from hea­uen.The falling of starres from heauen. Vnto starres wee may verie well compare teachers, pa­stours, and guides, the brightnesse of whose doctrine and conuersation shoulde giue light to such as liue in this worldes mistie darkenesse. Iohn Baptist was called Lucerna lucens & ardens, Dan. 12. a candle which doeth both shine and burne. They which are as starres vnto others heere shall heereafter shine as the brightnesse of the firmament and as the starres of hea­uen for euermore. But these daungerous dayes haue made manie of these starres to fall from the firmament of heauen­lie doctrine to the dregges and dreames of mans learning. And one starre falleth not commonly alone, Lucifer drewe a traine of others after him. The starre which falleth to the earth becommeth earthly, looseth the light which it had and like a brande which is smoothered spendeth and wasteth it selfe to nothing. He that hath beene once illuminated like a starre and receiued the heauenly gift and beene partaker of [Page 323] Gods holie spirite and hath tasted of the good woorde of GOD and of the powers of the worlde to come, if hee fall at anie time away, hardely or neuer doeth hee rise againe. Dreadfull examples heereof there are both auncient and late, as Iudas, Iulian, Arius, Franciscus Spira, Staphilus, Bald­win, and such like. Whose fearefull endes it were to be wished that they which followe their declining steppes did well co