THE ORDOVR AND DOCTRINE OF THE GENERALL FASTE, APPOINTED be the Generall As­semblie of the Kirkes of Scotland, halden at Edinburgh the 25. day of December. 1565.

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Ioel. 2. Therefore also now the Lord sayeth, Turne yow vnto me with all your heart, and with Fasting, & with weaping, and with murning.


❧THE SVPER­INTENDENTES, MI­NISTERS AND COMMISSI­oners of Kirkes Reformed with­in the Realme of Scotland, con­uened in the Generall Assemblie at Edinburgh the 25. day of D [...] ­cember. 1565. To all that trew­ly profess [...] the Lord Iesus within the same Realme, or els where, wishe grace and mercy from God the Father, and from his onely Sone our Lord Iesus Christ, with the perpetuall con [...]ort of the holie Spirite.

THE Present troub­les being somewhat cōsiddered (but grea­ter feared shortly to follow) it wes tho­ght expedient (dearelie beloued in the Lord Iesus) that the whole [Page] Faithfull Within this Realme, shuld together, and at one time prostrat them selues before their God, crauing of him pardone and mercy for the great abuse of his former benefites, and the assistance of his holy Spirite, by whose mightie operation we may yet so conuert to our God, that we prouoke him not to take from vs the lyght of his Euangle, which he of his mer­cie hath caused so clearly of laite dayes to shine within this realme. But because that suche publicte Supplicationes requyre alwayes Fasting to be ioyned therewith, And publict Fastynge craueth a certane time and certane exercises of godlynes then to be vsed with greater streatnes then at vther ty­mes. The whole Assemblie after deliberation hath appointed y last Sonday of February, and the first Sonday of Marche nixt following the date of the said assemblie, to that moste necessare exercise (as [Page] tyme now standeth) of publict Fasting. And further, did require the same to be signified be all Mi­nisters to their people the Sonday preceading the said last Sonday of Februarie. But lest that the Pa­pistes shall think that now we be­gine to authorise and praise that which some tymes we haue repro­ued and dampned in them. Or els that the ignorant who knowe not the commoditie of this moste godlie exercise shall contempne ye same. We haue thoght expedient somewhat to speak to the one and to the vther. And vnto the Papistes first we say, that as in puritie of conscience, we haue refused their whole abhominationes, and amongest the rest, that their supersticious and Pharisaicall maner of Fasting: So euen vnto this day do we continew in the same purpose, boldely affirming that their Fa­sting is no Fasting that euer God approued, but that it is a deceauing [Page] of the people, and a meare mock­ing of God, which moste euident­lie will appeare. If in the Scrip­tures we searche what is the ryght end of Fasting, what Fasting plea­sed God, and which is it that his soule abhoreth. Of Fasting in the Scriptures we finde two sortes, the one priuate, the vther publicte. The priuate is that which man or woman doeth in secrete, & before their God, for such causes as their owen conscience beareth record vnto them. As Dauid during the time that his Sone which wes begotten in adulterie, wes struken with mortall seicknes, fasted, weap [...], and lay vpon the ground, because that in the seicknes of the Chylde he did considder Godes displeasure aga­ins him self for the remouing, whereof he fasted, murned, & prayed, vnto suche tyme as he saw Godes wil fulfilled by the awaytaking of the Chylde Priuatlie fasted Anna, wyse to Alcana, euen in the ver­ray [Page] Solempne Feastes, during the tyme of hir barrennes. For she weapt and eat nothing,1. Sam. [...]. but in the bitternes of hir heart she prayed vnto the Lord, nether ceased she from sorow and murning, vnto suche tyme as Eli the hie Preist concurred with her in prayers, by whose mouth after that he had hard her petifull complaint, she receaued conforte. Of this Fa­sting speaketh oure M [...]ister Iesus Christ in these wordes, when ye Fast, be not sowr as the Hypo­cretes, for they disfigure their fa­ces,Math. 6. that they may some vnto men to Fast. But thow when thow Fastest, anoynt thy heade, and washe thy face, that thow seame not vnto men to Fast, but vnto thy Father which seeth in secrete, and will rewarde the opinly. Of the same no dout speaketh y Apostle when that he sayeth, defraude not one another,1. Cor. 7. except it be with cō ­sent for a tyme, that ye may giue [Page] your selues to Fasting and prayer. To this priuate Fasting which stā ­deth chiefly in a temperat, dyet, & in powring furthe of our secrete thoughtes and necessities before God, can be prescriued no certane rule, certane tyme, nor certane ce­remonies, but as the causes and occasiones why that exercise is vsed are diuers (yea so diuers that sel­dome it is that many at ones are moued with one cause) so are diet, tyme, together with all vther cir­cumstances requyred to suche Fa­sting, put in the libertie of them that vse it. To this Fasting we haue bene faithfully and earnestly exhorted by oure Preachers, as oft as the Scriptures which they entreated offered vnto them occasion. And we dout not but the godlie within this Realme haue vsed the same as necessitie craued, albeit with the Papistes we blew no Trumpetes, to appoynt thereto certane dayes.

[Page] The vther kynde of Fasting is publict so called, because that it is openlie awowed, some tymes of a Realme, some tymes of a multi­tude, some tymes of a cietie, and some tymes of a meaner compa­ny, yea, some tymes of particulare persones, and yet publictlie vsed, and that for the wealth of a multi­tude. The causes thereof are also diuers,Causes that ought to moue men to publict [...] Fasting. for sometymes the feare of ennimies, sometymes the angrie face of God punishing, somety­mes his threatning to distroy, some tymes iniquitie deprehended that ryghtlie before wes not conside­red, and sometymes the earnest zeale that some beare for preser­uation of Godes people, for aduā ­cing of his glorie, & performing of his worke, according to his pro­mes, moue men to publict Fa­sting, confession of their sinnes, & solempned prayers, for defence against their ennimies, recouering of Godes fauoures, remouing of [Page] his plagues, preseruatiō of his peo­ple, & setting fordwarde of that work [...], which he hath of his merce promised to finishe, as in the sub­sequent probationes euidētly shall appeare. ¶When Messingers came to Iosaphat saying, there cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea, out of Aram (that is Syria) &c. Iosaphat feared,2. Parali. 20 and set him self to seke the Lord, and proclamed a Faste thro­ughout all Iuda. And Iuda gather­ed them selues together, to aske counsall of the Lord, they come euen out of all the cieties of Iuda to inquire of the Lord. And Io­saphat stoode in the Congregariō of Iuda, and Ierusalem in the hou; of the Lord, before the new court, And all Iuda stoode before the Lord with their yonge ones, their wyfes and their Chyldrene. And Iosaphat said, ô Lord God of our Fathers, are not thow God in hea­uen, and reignest not thow in all [Page] Kingdomes of the Heathen? And in thy hand is power and myght,The prayer of Iosaphat and none is able to withstād thee. Haste not thow our God cast out the inhabitantes of this Land, be­fore thy people Israell, and haste giuen it to the s [...]d of Abraham thy freand for euer. &c. But now the Ammorytes, and Moabytes, & the Mont Seir ar come to castvs out of thy possession? O Lord our God shall thow not iudge them? In vs there is no strengh to stand against this great multitude that commeth against vs, nether knowe we what to do, but vnto thee are our eyes bent. &c. Of this Histo­rie we haue the first cause of pub­lict Fasting, and the solempnitie thereof sufficiently prowen. For the feare of ennimies cōpelled Io­saphat to seik the Lord, he know­ing him selfe burdened with the care of the people, exhorted them to do the same. They fra all cie­ties and quarters repared to Ieru­salem, [Page] whereupone a statute day the King and the people, yea, wy­ues and Childrene presented them selues before the Lord in his holy Temple,The ceremo [...]i [...] of pub­lict [...] fasting exponed their necessitie, implored his h [...]lpe against that enraged multitude, that alwayes wes ennimie to Godes people, & gaue open confession of their owē weaknes, leaning onely to the promes and protection of the omni­potent. Which exemple, we & euerie people likewyse assaulted, may and ought to follow in euerie poynt. This onely excepted, that we are not bound to conuen [...] at any one appoynted place, as they did at Ierusalem. For to no one certane and seuerall place is that pro­mes made, that then wes made to the Temple of Ierusalem,The pro­meis made to the tem­ple of Ieru­salē is now to be soght in Christe lesus. which wes that whatsoeuer men in their extremitie shuld ask of God in it, God shuld grant it from his holie habitation in the heauen. Iesus the Messias then looked for,Hebr. 7. whose [Page] presence wes sought in the merci [...] seat, and betuix the Cherubinnes, is now entered within the vale, that is in the heauen, and there a­bydeth onely Mediator for vs, vnto whome from all the coastes of the earth, we may lift vp pure handes, direct our prayers, [...] Time. [...] supplica­tiones, and complaintes, and be assured that they shalbe receaued, in whatsoeuer place we conuene. And yet in tyme of suche publict exercyses, we wold wishe that all men and wemen shuld repare to suche places as their conscience may be best instructed, their Faith moste edified, repentance moste liuely sturred vp in them, and they by Godes worde may be moste as­sured that their iust peticions shall not be repelled. Which thinges cā not be done so liuely in secrete and priuate meditatī, as that they are in publict Assemblie, where Christ Iesus is trewly preached, & this muche shortlie for the firste [Page] head. Of the second, to wit, that the angrie face of God punishing, aught to dryue vs to publicte Fa­sting, & humiliation of our soules before our God, we haue two notable exemples, the one written in Iosua, who hearing and vnderstan­ding, that Israell had turned the back before the Cananite▪ and the Elders of Israell rent their clothes,Iosua. 7. fell vpone their faces before the Arke of the Lord vnto the nyght, and caste dust vpone their heades, in signe of their humiliation and deiection. The vther is expres­sed in the booke of the Iudges, where Israell being commanded by God to fight against Beniamin,Iudi. 20. because that they menteaned wic­ked men that deserued death, loste the first day twentie two thousand of their armie, and the second day eightene thousand. At the firste lose they were [...]ghtlie touched, and asked counsall if they shulde rene [...], the battell, but at the secōd [Page] ouerthrow, the whole people re­pared vnto the hous of the Lord, sat there, weapt before the Lord, & Fasted that day vnto the night, for then began they to considder Godes angrie face against them.

In this last historie their appeareth iust cause why the people shulde haue rune to the onely refuge of God, because that there first army of fourtie thousand men wes vt­terlie distroyed. But what iust occasion had Iosua so lamentablie to complaine,Let his cō ­plaint be noted. yea, so boldely as it were to accuse God, that he had deceaued him in that, that against his promeis he had suffered Israell to fall before their ennimies. Wes the lose of thrette men (no mo sel that day in the edge of the sword) so great a mater that he shuld dis­pare of any better successe, that he shulde accuse God that he had brought them ouer Iordane, and that he shuld feare that the whole army of the Lord shuld be inuero­ned [Page] aboute, and consumed in the rage of their ennimies, yea, if Is­raell had onely looked no further then to the lose of the fourty thousand men, they had bene but fea­ble Soldioures, for they had suf­ficient strenth remaning behinde, for what were fourtie thousand, in respect of all the trybes of Israel? Nay, nay (deare brethren) it wes an vther thing then the present lose that terrified & effrayed their consciences, and made them so effeminatlie (so wold fleshe iudge) to complaine, weap, and owle be­fore God, to wit, they saw his an­grie face against them, they saw his hand fortifie their ennimies, and to fight against them, whome both he had commanded to fight, and had promised to giue them victo­rie.Eue [...]ie commandement of god to do any thing, hes the sc­crete pro­mes of his assistance. For euerie commandement of God to do any thing against his ennimies, hath included within it a secrete promes of his godly assi­stance, which they fand not in the [Page] beginning of their interpryses, and therefore they did considder the fearcenes of his displeasure, & did tremble before his angrie Face, whose myghtie hand they fand to fight against them, and that wes the cause of their dolorous com­plaintes and fearfull crying before their God. What wes the cause that God delt so framedly with the one, and with the vther? we may perchance somewhat speak, when that we shall entreat of the frutes of Fasting, and of those thinges that may holde back from vs the assistance of God, euen when we prepare vs to put his comman­dement in execution. The thride cause of publict Fasting, is Godes threatninges pronounced, ether against a multitude, or against a persone in particulare. Of the for­mer the exemple is Niuiue, vnto the which Ionas cryed, yet four­tie dayes, & Niniue shalbe distroyed, which vnpleasing tydinges cū ­ming [Page] to the eares of the King, he proclamed a Faste, he humbled his owen soule, yea, euē to Sackcloth, and sitting in the duste, he straitlie commanded reformatiō of maners in all estates, yea, and that signes of repentance, of terrours, and feare shuld appeare, not onely in men & wemen, but also in the brute bea­stes,what shall become of the hardnes of our hear­ [...] in those dayes. from whome wes all kynde of nurishement commanded to be withdrowen, to witnes that they feared aswell Godes iudgementes to fall vpone the creatures that serued them in their impietie, as vpōe them selues that had prouoked God to that hote displeasure. Of the vther the exemple is moste no­table (moste notable we say) be­cause that it fell in a wicked man, to wit, in Achab, who by instiga­tion of his wicked wyfe lesebell, saulde him self to do all iniquitie. And yet when that he hard the fearefull threatninges of God pro­nounced by the Prophet Elias a­gainst him, [...]. R [...]g. 21. against his wyf [...] and [Page] hous, he rent his royall garmentes, put on Sackcloth, sleipt therein, fasted and yead baire footed, what ensewed the one and the vther, of these we shall after heare.

The fourt cause of publict Fa­sting and murning (for they two muste euer be ioyned) is iniquitio deprehended, that before wes not ryghtly considdered. The testimony whereof we haue in Esdras, after the reduction of the captiui­tie, & that the temple & the work of the Lordes hous wes stayed. It wes shawen vnto Esdras that the people of Israell,1. Esdr. [...]. the Preistes and the Leuites were not seperat from the people of the Nation [...], but that they did according to their abhominations, for they maryed vnto them selues, and vnto their Sonnes, the doughters of the Cananites, the Pherisites, Hithetes, Ie­busites, Ammorites, Moabites, and Egiptiens, so that the holy sead wes mixt with Prophane Idolateris, [Page] which thing being vnderstand, & more deaply considdered, then it wes before, for then Esdras sawe iust cause why the worke of the Lord prospered not in their hādes. This considdered, we say Esdras taking vpone him the sinne and offence of the whole people, rent his clothes, and pulled furth the heares of his head and beard, sat as a man desolate of all conforte, till the euening Sacrifice, and then ry­sing he bowed his kneis, and strea­ched furth his hande, before the Lord, and made a moste semple & humble confession of all the enor­mities that were committed be the people, as well before the captiuitie as after their returning, and ceased not his lamentable cōplaint, vnto suche tyme as a great multitude o [...] men, wemen and childrene moued by his exemple,O that Scot­land wolde follow this obedience. weapt vehement­lie, and promised redres of that present disordour and impietie.

Of the last cause of publict Fa­sting▪ [Page] to wit, the zeale that certane persones beare for preseruation of Godes people, for adu [...]cing of his glorie, and performing of his worke according to his promes.

We haue exemples in Mardocho­us,Ester. 4. Daniell,Dani [...]. 9. and in the faithfull as­sembled at Antioche,Actes. 13. for when that Mardocheus hard of that cru­ell sentence, which by the procurement of Human, wes pronounced against his Nation. To wit, that vpone a day statute and affixed, shuld the Iewes in all the prouin­ces of the King Artaxarses be de­stroyed,So intend the Papistes this day. oulde and yong, men and wemen, and that their substance shuld be exp [...]ned in pray. This bloody sentēce we say being hard, Mardoche [...]s rent his clothes, put on Sackcloth and Ashes, past [...]urth in the middest of the cietie, and cryed with a great and bitter crye, & coming to the Kinges gate, gaue knoweledge to Ester what cruel­tie wes decreed against the Nation [Page] of the I [...]wes, willing her to make intercession to the King, in the cō ­trare, who efter certane excuses said. Go and gather all the Iewes that are in Susan,Esdr. 4. and faste for me, [...]at not, nor drinke not, thre dayes and thre nyghtes, and I also, and my hādmades shall likewyse faste, & then shall I enter vnto the King, although that I shuld perishe.

In this we may clearely se that the zeale that Mardocheus had to preserue the people of God, mo­ued not onely him self to publict Fasting, but also Ester the Quene, her maides and the whole Iewes that hard of the murther intēded, and moued Ester also to hasart her lyfe in going vnto the King with­out his commandement.

Of the uther, to wit, that the earnest desyre that Godes seruan­des haue that God will performe his promes, & manteane the worke that he hath begune. Exemple we haue in Daniell, [...] and in the Actes [Page] of the Apostles. For Daniell vnderstanding the nomber of the yeares forespoken by the Prophet Ieremie, that Ierusalem shuld ly waist, to haue bene completit in the first yeare of the Reigne of D [...] rius, turned him self vnto God, fa­sted, hūbled him self in Sackcloth and Ashes, and with vnf [...]aned confession of his owen sinnes, and of the sinnes of the people, he vehe­mentlie prayed. That according to the promises sometymes made be Moyses, and after rehearsed by the Prophet I say & Ieremie,D [...]ut. 10. he wolde suddingly send them deliuerance,Ier [...]m. 11. and that he wolde not delay it for his owen Names sake.

When the Gentiles began to be illuminated,A [...]tes. 11. and that Anteochia had so boldely receaued the Euangle of Iesus Christ, that the Dis­ciples in it first of all tooke vpone them the name of Christianes.

The principall men of the same Church, thrusting no dout that the [Page] Kingdome of Iesus Christ shulde further be enlarged, and that the multitude of the gentiles shuld be instructed in the ryght way of Sal­uation,Act. 1 [...]. Fasted and prayed, & whill that they wer so exercised, charge wes giuen, that Paule and Barna­bas shuld be seperated frome the rest, to the worke whereunto God had called them. &c. Of these former Histories and Scriptures, we may clearly se for what causes publict Fasting, and generall sup­plicationes haue bene made in the Church of God, and ought to be made when that euer the lyke ne­cessities appeare, or occasions are offered. Now let vs shortly heare what conforte and frute ensewed the same. For the ennimie, yea, the murtherer of all godly exercise is disperation, for with what co­rage can any man with continuāce call vpone God? If he shall dis­peratly dout: whether God shall accept his prayer or not? How [Page] shall he humble him self before his Throne? Or to what end shall he confesse his offence? If he be not perswaded, that there is mercy and good will in God to pardone his sinnes, to accept him in fauour, & to grant vnto him more then his owen heart, in the middest of his dolour can requyre or ymagine.

Trew it is, that this vennome of disperation, is neuer throughlie purged from our heartes, so long as we cary this mortall Carcasse.

But yet the constant promises of our God, and the many folde docu mentes of his mercy & help, show en vnto men in their greatest ex­tremitie, ought to animat vs to sollow their exemple, and to hope for the same successe that they haue gotten abufe mannes expectation. Iosaphat after his humiliation and prayer,The [...] of trew Fa­stiug, and vn feaned inuo catiō of god obtened the victorie, with out the lose of any of his Soldiou­res, for the Lord reased Ammon & Moab, against the inhabitantes of [Page] Mont Seir, who being vtterly de­stroyed, [...] so thy [...]nnimies perishe o lord. euerie one of the ennimies of Godes people lift his sworde against another, till that, of that godles mul [...]itude, there wes not one left aliue, Iosua and the Israe­lites after their deiection, wer co [...] forted againe. Niniue wes preser­ued, albeit that Ionas had cryed destruction, yea, Achab not with­standing all his vngodlynes, [...] humiliation temporally profiteth the verrary repro [...]. loste not the frute of his humiliation, but wes r [...]compensed with delay of the vttermoste of the plagues, during his lyfetyme. The murnīg of Esdras wes turned in ioy, when that he saw the people willing to obey God, and the worke of the hous of the Lord to go fordwart.

The bitter crying of Mardocheus, and the painefull Fasting of Ester were aboundantly rewarded, whē not onely wes the people of God preserued, but Haman their mor­tall ennimie, wes hanged vpon the same gallous that he had prepared [Page] For Mardocheus.

Daniell after his Fasting, con­fession and prayer, gat moste notable reuelationes & assurance, that his people shuld be deliuered, yea, that in all extremities, they shuld be preserued, till that the Messias promysed vnto them shuld come, and manifestly showe him self.

And the godly of Anteochea wer not frustrate of their conforte, whē that they hard how potently God had wrought amōgest the Gentiles by the ministerie, of Barnabas & Paule, so that we may boldely cō ­clude, that as God hath neuer dis­pysed the petitions of such as with vnfeaned heartes haue soght his cō fort in their necessities, so will he not sēd vs away emptie & voyd, if with trew repētāce we seak his face

If any wolde aske in what ex­tremitie we finde our selues now to be, that hertosore we haue not sene. And what are the occa­siones that shuld moue vs now to [Page] humble our selues before our Go by publict Fasting, more then tha we did in the beginning? When this Euangile wes now last offered vnto vs, for then by all apperance, we and it in our persones stoode in greater danger, then we do yet,.

We answer, that the causes are mo then for greif of haert we can ex­presse. First, because that in the beginning we had not refused godes graces, but contrariwyse with such feruencie we receaued them,Causes that now moue vs to faste that moued vs not befor that we could beare with no kinde of impietie: but for the suppressing of the same, we nether had respect to frende, possession, land or lyfe, but all we put in hasard, that gode; treuth myght be aduansed, and I­dolatrie myght be suppressed.

And therefore did our God by the mouth of his Messingers, in all our aduersities, assure vs that our enni­mies shuld not preuale against vs,Let the fath full call to mynde. but that they shuld be subdewed vnder vs, that our God shuld be [Page] glorified in our semple & vpryght dealing. But now sence that car­nall wisdome hath perswaded vs to beare with manifest Idolatrie, & to suffer this realme that God had ones purged, to be polluted againe with that abhominatiō, yea, allace, sence yt some of vs that God made sōe tymes instrumētes to suppresse that impietie, haue bene the cheif mē to cōduct & conuoy that Idole throughout all the quarters of this Realme, yea, to the houses of them that sometymes detested the masse as the Deuill & his seruice. Sence that tyme we say, haue we funde the face of our God, angrie against vs, his threatninges haue bene sha­rpe in the mouthes of his Messin­gers, which albeit for the tyme, we dispysed & mocked, yet the iust ex­perience conuicteth vs, that we were wicked, & that they in threatning vs,God grant that mē may yet consider did nothing but the dew­tie of Godes trew Messingers.

And this is the second cause that [Page] moue vs to this publict humiliatiō, rather now then in the beginning, to wit, that then we followed god, and not carnall wisdome, & there­fore made he few in nomber, feare full to many, fooles before the worlde to confound the wyse, and suche as before neuer had experi­ence in armes, made God so bolde and so prosperous in all their interpryses, that the expertest Souldi­oures feared the poore plowmen, yea, our God faught for vs by sea, and by land, he moued the heartes of strangers to supporte vs, and to spend their liues for our releif.

But now allace we se no signe of his former fauour, for wisdome & māhead, strength and freindes, ho­nour and blood ioyned with god­lynes, are fallen before our eyes, to let vs vnderstand what shall be our distruction, if in time we turne not to our God, before that his wrathe be further kindled. But this is not the end. For esperance, [Page] (or at least some opinion) had men before, that God shulde moue th [...] Quenis Maiesties heart, to heare y blissed euangle of Iesus Christ tre­wlie preached, and so cōsequentlie that she shuld abandone all Idola­trie and fals Religion. But now she hath giuen answer in plaine wor­des, that that Religion in whiche she hath bene nourished (and that is meare abhomination) she will manteane and defend. And in de­claration thereof, of laite dayes there is erected a displayed baner against Iesus Christ, for corrupted Hypocrites, & suche as haue bene knowen deceauers of the people, are now authorised, to spew out their vennome against Iesus Christ his eternall trueth, and trew Mes­singers of the same. That Idole th [...] Masse is now againe in diuers pla­ces erected. And what hereof may ensew, yea, or what we may looke, shalbe the end of suche vn­happy beginninges, we desyre the [Page] godly deaply to considder. But let it be granted, that we had not fallen back from our former feruē cie, that we saw not Godes angrie face, threatning vs with more fear full plagues to follow, that the best parte of our nobilitie wer not ex­iled this Realme, nether yet that our Souerane were ennimie to our Religion, and that she bare no greater fauour to flattering freres, and to corrupted Papistes, thē that she doeth to our poore Preachers.

Supponing we say that none of these foresaid causes we had to moue vs (as that we haue them all, and mo, if that we list to recompt them) yet is there one which if it moue vs not to humiliation, we showe our selues more then insen­sible. For now is Sathan so enra­ged against Iesus Christ,The suppressing of chri­stes holy E­uangle wes dec [...]ied in the last coūsall of Trent and so o­dius is the light of his Euangile vnto that Romaine Antichrist, that to suppresse it in one prouince, Realme or Nation, he thinketh it no­thing, [Page] vnles that in all Europe the godlie, and suche as abhorre the Papisticall impietie, be therewith also vtterly distroyed, and so ra­sed from the face of the earth, that no memorie of them shal after re­maine.

If any think that suche crueltie can not fall in the heartes of men, we send them to be resolued of those Fathers of the last counsall of Trent, who in one of their Ses­sions haue thus concluded. All Lutheriens,The Coun­sall of trent. Caluenistes and suche as are of the new Religion, shall vtterlie be exterminate, the begin­ning shalbe in France, by conduc­ting of the Catholik Kinge, Philip of Spaine, and by some of the No­bilitie of France, which mater (say they) put to some stay the whole force of bothe, together with the Popes Army, and force of the Du­kes of Sauoy, & farrar shall assault Geneua, and shall not leaue it, till that they haue put it to sack, sa­uing [Page] in it no leuing creature. And with the same mercy shal so many of France, [...] as haue t [...]isted of the new Religion be [...]. Fr [...]me thēce expednion shalbe made aga­inst the Ge [...]maine, to reduce them to the obedi [...]nce of the [...] seat. And so shal they proce [...]d to vther Realmes & Nationes, neuer ceasing till that all be ext [...]minate, that will not make homag [...] to that Romaine Idole. Ho [...] fearefull a beginning this conclusion and de­termination had, France [...] rem­ember mo ages then one. For how many abuse a hundreth thousand men, wemen, babes Virgines, Ma­trones, and aged Fathers suffered, some by s [...] orde some by water, some by fyre, & vther tormentes. The verray ennimies them felues are compelled to acknogeledge. And albeit that God of his mercie in a part; disapoynted there cruell interpryses, yet let vs not thinke that their will is changed, or their [Page] malice asswaged. No let vs be as­sured that they abyde but oportu­nitie to sinishe the worke that cr [...] ­ellie against God, against his treu­th, and the trew prosessoures of the same, they haue begune. The whisperinges whereof are not se­crete, nether yet the tokenes ob­scure. For the trafique of that dragone, now with the princes of the earth, his promyses and flattering entysementes tend to none vther end, but to inflambe them against Iesus Christ, and against the trew professoures of his Euangle. For who can think that the Pope, Cardinalles, and horned Bishopes, will offer the greatest portion of their Rentes for susteaning of a warre, whereof no commoditie shuld re­dound (as they suppose) to them selues. If any think that we accuse them without cause, let them heare their owen wordes,The wor [...]ies of the counsall of trent. for this they wrate neare the end of the same decre.

[Page] And to the end that the holy fa­thers on their parte, appeare not [...]o be negligent, or vnwilling to giue their ayde and supporte vnto so holy a warre, or to spaire their ow­en rentes and money, haue added that the Cardinalles shall content them selues of the yearely Rent of 5. or 6. thousand Ducates,These are the s [...]cces soures of the Apostles. and the rychest Bishope of 2. or 3. thou­sand at the moste. And to giue frāckly y rest of their Reueneues to the intertenement of the warre,No man ne­deth to dout of the [...] of those [...]athers, so that Christ [...] may [...], [...]cified, and his Euā gle exiled. which is made for the extirpation of the Lutheriens and Caluinistes sect. And for reestablishing of the Romaine Churche, till suche tyme as the mater be conducted to a good & happy end. If these be not open declarationes, in what danger all faithfull stand, if they can bring their crueltie to passe, let verray Idiotes iudge, but let vs heare their conclusion. France and Germanie (say they) being by these meanes so chastised, abased & [Page] conducted to the obedience of the holy Romaine Churche, the Fa­thers dout not, but tyme shall pro­uide bothe counsal and commodi­tie, that the rest of the Realmes about may be reduced to one flok,Let Scotlād adu [...]rt. and one Apostolick gouernour & Pastour. &c. By this conclusion we thinke that the verray blinde may see what is purposed against the Saintes of God, in all Realmes and Nationes, to wit, distruction with crueltie, or els to make them to worship that blasphemous beast who being an Idole, vsurpeth to him selfe the Name of vniuersall Pastoure, and being knowen to be the man of sinne and perdition, will be holden for an Apostolick Gouernour. But some shall say they are yet fare from the end of their purpose, and therefore we neid not to be so fearefull, nor so sollist. We answer, the danger may be nerar, then we beleaue, yea, perchance a parte of it hath bene [Page] neirar to our neckes then we haue considdered. But how so euer it be, seing that God of his mercie hath brought furth to lyght their cruell and bloody counsall, in the which we nead not to dout, but still they continew. It becōmeth vs not to be negligent nor sleuth­full, but we ought to follow the exemple of Ezechias, the King of Iuda, who receauing not onely the dispytefull answer,Isa. 36. & 27 but also the blasphemus and threatning letter of Sennaherib, first send vnto the Prophet Isayas, and pietifully com pleaned of the instant troubles, willing him to make intercession vnto God, for the remanent that were left. Vnto whome albei [...] that the Prophet answered, conforta­blie ass [...]ring the King that the en­ni [...]ie shuld not cume so neir as to shoote D [...]rte or Arrow within Ie­rusalem. Yet ce [...]sed not the god­lie King to present him self in the Temple of the Lord. And as a mā [Page] dispared of all worldely conforte, sored abrod the letters that proud Sennah [...]rib had sent vnto him and made vnto God his moste fe [...]ent prayer, as in the [...]. Chapter of the Prophet I say as we may read.

The ennimie had turned back,Isay. 37. and God had put a Br [...]die in his nose­thirles, and so men m [...]ght haue thought that the King neded not to haue bene so sollicte. But the Spirite of God instructed the heart of his seru [...]nd, to seak helpe where it wes onely to be found, and from the, handes of God, who only wes able to put [...] end to that tyrā ­nie. The exemple (we say) of this approued seruand of God, we ought to follow now whē the like d [...]truction is intended against vs, yea, not against one Realme only, but against all that professe the Lo­rd Iesus, as before we haue heard. Albei [...] that God of his mercy hath stayed the furie of the Papistes for a tyme, we ought not to think that [Page] their malice is chāged, nether that suche as trewly professe the Lord Iesus, can be in securitie, so long as that Babiloniane hoore hath pow­er to enchant the Princes of the earth. Let vs therefore vnderstā ­ding that she being dronken with the blood of the Saintes, can neuer repent of crueltie & murther, vse against her the spiritual weapones, to wit,what veap­ons weshall vse against the crueltie of the papi­stes. earnest inuocation of Gods Name, by the which we finde the proude tyrannes of the earth, in tymes past, to haue bene ouerthro­wen. Abuse all these causes foresaid, we haue yet one that ought not to be omitted, to wit, the bo­dy of this Realme hath long enioyed quietnes, whill that vther nati­ons about vs haue bene seueirly plagued. What thousādes dyed in the east cuntreyes, and in England of the pest [...]anno 1563. 1564. Their owen confessions beare record.

What crueltie hath bene execu­ted in France? what townes spoy­led, [Page] and murther committed, some­what before we haue declared, & more we myght if that we had not respect to brSuitie and tyme. And what trouble is presently, and long hath bene betuix Denmarke and Swaden, the posteritie of that eun­trie will after vnderstand. And in all this tyme now sex yeares, and more hath God spared vs, so that the publict estate hath alwayes re­maned quyet, except within these few monethes. Ought not the deap consideration of this moue vs now to stoupe before our God?

For haue we bene spared because that our Rebellion to God is les, then is the Rebellion of those nations that we haue sene punished? If so we think, we are far deceaued. For in so great lyght of the Euan­gle, we think that greater inobe­dience wes neuer showen vnto God, nor greater ingratitude vnto his Messingers, sence the dayes of the Apostles, then of laite yeares [Page] hath bene (and yet is) within this Realme. Idolatrie is obstinatly menteaned, Huredome and adul­terie are but pastyme of the flesh, slaugther and murther is esteamed small sinne, if any man haue freind in court, craftie dealing with the semple, disceat and oppression is cōpted gude conques, (yea allace almoste vniuersally) Parcialitie in iudgement, is but interpretation of Lawes▪ yea, del [...]ying of Iustice, what mater is that? what reuerence is had to Go [...]es Messingers, and what r [...]spe [...]t [...] the poore that now so multiplies within this Re­alme (that the lyke hath seldome b [...]ne sene) thought we will cease, the stones will crye, & condempn [...] vs, and yet what supe [...]luitie? wha [...] vanitie? what [...]easting? Ryotous [...]? hath bene (& yet is) vse [...] in court, cuntrey and townes, alth [...]ought the tounges of men [...] speak, yet we think the p [...]r [...]es [...] [...]ome do feal, and in their man [...] [Page] plaine. If these be not sinnes that craue plagues from God, we hum­blie desyre men to considder what are the sinnes that were layed to the charge of Sodome and Gomorha, by the Prophet Ezechiell.Ezechi. [...]

Now say we, God before our eyes hath punished vthers, and can he spaire vs? Being more cryminall then they were? Nay he can not. And therfore there restes nothing vnto vs but vtter exterminion,O that we sh [...]ld hear [...] before God plages more if we vnfeanedly turne not vnto our God before that his wraithe be further kindled against vs. Iudge­ment is begune in his owen hous, for if within Scotland amonges mē of their estate, there w [...]s to be fūd equetie, iustice, temperance, com­passion vpone the poore and vp­ryght conscience, they did moste clearely shyne in them, whome God before oure eyes hath firste deiected. Therefore (yet agane) we say that onely repentance can saue vs from plagues more greuous [Page] then they haue felt, or that we haue sene of many yeares within this Realme.

But now we knowe, that suche as nether lufe God, nor trewly feare his Iudgementes (for mò A­theistes we haue,That is men without god nor consumate Papistes within this Realme) shall grudge and crye, what new cere­mone is this that now we here of? Wherefore shall we Faste? and who hath power to command vs so to do? A Feg for their Fasting, we will fill & farse our bellies vpōe the oulde fassion. &c. Let not the godly be offended at the bro­cardes and lardons of such godles people, but let vs tremble be­fore our God, and considder that suche hath bene the proude con­tempt of the wicked in all ages be­fore vs, as in the Prophetes we may read. For I say compleaneth, saying,I say. [...]. when the Lord calleth to Sackclothe and ashes, there is no­thing heard, but let vs eat & drink [Page] kill the fat, and make Banket, let vs bring wyne in aboundance,I say. 5 [...]. and more, and if we must dye, let vs de parte in ioy, for so they ment, when that they said, let vs eat and drink, the morrow we shall dye.

But let vs considder, what answer they receaue. As I liue sayeth the Lord,I say. 22. this your iniquitie shall not be forgiuen vnto the death, I shall take from yow the myrth of wyne and oyle,I say. 5. 6. 9. your yong men shall fall by the sworde,I say. 20. your aged men shal be led captiues, your delicate Dā ­mes shall trote vpone their fete o­uer the riuer (meaning Euphrates) their buttockes shalbe naked,Ierem. 13. and their shame shall not be hid. &c.

Ieremie the Prophet preached and cryed euen to the King,Ierem. 13. and to the Quene, and commanded them to walk in lowlynes, to do iustice. to represse impietie, and so he promi­sed that they shoulde sit still vpone their Throne in ioy and quyetnes. But if they wolde not, he boldelie [Page] pronounced that their Carcasses shalbe cast to the heit of the Son [...] and to the frost, [...]. 16 & 19. and colde of the nyght.Ezech. 21. Ezechiel in his age vseth the same ordour, and in his owen bodie showeth vnto them signes of humiliation, and of the plagues that shuld apprehend thē for their Rebellion.

All their admonitions were dis­pysed we conf [...]sse, but thereto we shulde not looke, but vnto that which ensewed suche proude con­tempt.

Yf we wolde that our Palices shuld be so distroyed, that they shuld remaine desolate, and be dē ­nes to Dragones.

Yf we wolde that our land shuld be laide waist and be a pray to our ennimies, [...]euit. 26. and if we wolde that the rest of the plagues, threatned by the Prophetes, and which haue apprehended the disobedient before vs, shuld come vpone vs in full perfection. Then we nede nether [Page] to faste nor pray, repent nor turne to God. But and if we desyre e­ther to finde mercy in this lyfe, or ioy & consort in the lyfe to come, we muste showe our selues [...]nf [...] ­nedly, sory for the abhominations that now vniuersally Reigne,If we will not perishe with the wor [...]de, we must be vn­like vnto it. we muste be lyke Lothe in Sod [...]me & Noha, in that Catholick def [...]ction from God, which wes into the first age. And by their exemples, and notable deliuerances,Gen. 6. & [...] 9 ought we to be encoraged, to showe our selues sory for this present corruption, & to oppone our selues thereto, to the vttermoste of our powers, vn­les that we wolde haue portion [...]ith the wicked. N [...]ther ought w [...] to be discoraged, because that the contemners, godles people, and mockers of all godlyn [...]s, shall pre­uale vs in multitude. Their nōber (deare brethren) shal not hurt our innocencie, if that we with vnfea­ned heartes turne vnto our God, for the promes of his mercy is not [Page] bound vnto the multitude, so that he will not heare but where the greatest parte is godly.The pro [...]es of gods mercy, and deli­uerance, is not bounde to the multi­tude. No deare brethrene, where soeuer two or thre be gathered in his name, there is he in the middest of them,Math. 18. and againe, whosoeuer incalleth the name of the Lord, he shalbe saued, yea,Ioel. 2. euen when in Godes displea­sure the whole worlde shalbe pla­gued. And therefore let vs not follow the multitude in euil doing,Ex [...]d. 23. but let vs declyne from the wayes of their vanitie, and by vnfeaned humiliation of our selues. Let vs purches fauoure before that Gods vengeance brust out lyke a fyre.

THE power that we haue to proclame this Fasting, is not of man, but of God, who by the mouth of his Prophet Ezechiell, pronounceth this sentence.Ezech. [...]. If the watcheman se the sworde, or any vther plague comming vpone the land, if he blowe not the trumpet, [Page] and plainely warne them to turne to God: and if the sword come & take any away,The power that the Church h [...]th to co [...] mand p [...] ­lict Fast [...] ng. the wicked shal pe­rishe in their iniquitie: but their blood shalbe requyred from the handes of the watcheman. Now so it is, that God of his mercy hath rased vp amonges vs mo wathemē then one or two, of whose mou­thes we can not deny, but we haue hard fearefull threatninges of pla­gues, to follow vpone this proude contempt of all Godes graces.

And therefore we in the feare of our God. willing to avoyd the vt­termoste of the Plague [...], h [...]ue with one consent concluded this godly exercise to be vsed amonges vs, in signe of our vnfeane [...] h [...]miliation, which albeit the godles shall mock yet are we assured, th [...]t he who ones pronounced this sentence.

The soule that shall not be as­flicted that same day, [...]. 21. to wit, the day appointed to publict humili­ [...]tion, shall perishe from amonges [Page] his people, yea, euerie soule that shall do any worke that day I shall distroye suche a soule frome the middest of his people. The cere­monie and the certane statute day we knowe to be abolished, at the comming of Christ Iesus, together with the rest of the figurall cere­monies, but the effect thereof shall abyde so long as their abydeth an trew Church vpon the face of the earth, into the which repentance and remission of sinnes are publi­ctly preached. And therefore al­beit we haue no corporall punish­ment, to inflict vpone the conte­mners of that Godly exercise, yet haue we the spiritual sword, which ones will stricke sorer then any materiall sword can or may.

The Iudgementes and iustice of our God are immutable,Malach. 3. he aby­deth the s [...]me and one God that drowned the world by water,Gene. 7. that consumed Sodome and Gomorha,Gene. 19. with syre from heauē,Exod. s. 9. 10. & [...] 14. that plagued [Page] Pharo, distroyed Ierusalem, and hath executed his fearce iudgemē ­tes in all ages, yea, and euen before our eyes. It is the same God (we say) that this day by his faithfull seruandes calleth vs to repētance, whose voces if we contompne, we declare our selues P. ebellious to our God, mockers of his threat­ninges,Isay. 2 [...]. and suche as sometymes in dispyte cryed,Iere. 2. 5. 5. we will walk accor­ding to the lust of our owen hear­tes, and let the counsal of the holy one of Israell cum as it list. &c.

And if so we do, then wo, yea, wo and double damnation vnto vs for then euen as assuredly as God liueth,L [...] Scutla [...]l yet be [...] so assuredly shall the plag­ues that oure eares haue of heard, be poured surth vpone vs, euen in the eyes of this same peruerst g [...]ne [...]itiō, with whome we contempne God, and before whome we are [...]ether feared nor eshamed, stub­ [...]arnlye to procead from sinne to contempt. Our hope is better [Page] of yow (deare brethrene) that haue professed the Lord Iesus with vs, within this Realme, [...] that this we speake to let yow vnderstand, what Rebellion hath bene in flesh before vs, and how it hath ben [...] punished, that we may learne to stoupe before our God, by vnfea­ned repentance, and then we shall be assured, that according to the promes made by the mouth of Ie­c [...]. Our God shall leaue vnto vs [...] benediction, albeit that the vehe­ment fyre of his [...] shall con­sume the inobedient.

But now least that we shoulde thinke that the obseruation of the ceremonie is yneugh to please god [...]e must vnderstand what thinges m [...]t be ioyned with fruetfull Fa­sting, and what thinges they are th [...]t may m [...]ke our Fasting odi [...]us to our God. And first we haue to [...]ndersta [...]d, that Fasting by it sel [...] considdered, i [...] no suche thing [...] the [...] [Page] gined, to wit, that it is a worke me [...] ­ritorious,The opini [...] of [...] lasting. and a satisfaction for the sinnes before committed, no all they that Faste with that intent, renounceth the merites of Christs death and passion, in so farre as they ascriue to Fasting (whiche is but an exercise vsed by man) that whiche is onely proper to les [...]s Christ, which is, that he by offe­ring vp him self ones for all, hath m [...]de perfyte for euer,Hebr [...] & 10. those that shalbe sancti [...]ied, we m [...]st f [...]rther vnderstand, that as the Kingdome of God is nether [...]eat n [...]r drink, so is nether Fasting by it self s [...] ­plie considdered.Rom. 14. The cause why that Kingdome is granted to the chosen, nether yet eating (moderat we meane) any ca [...]se why the re­probate are frustr [...]t thereof. But vnto Fasting there must be some­what ioyned, [...]sting by ie self is but a dead and impro [...]i [...]able ceremonie if that God shall looke vpone it at any tyme in his fauour. The Prophet [...]oel is wit­nes hereof, who in the persone of [Page] God, said vnto suche as he had se­ueirly threatned, Turne vnto me in your whole heart,Toel. 2. in Fasting & murning, in which wordes the ho­lie Ghoste first requyreth the conuersion of the heart vnto God, & thereto io [...]eth Fasting & murning [...]s witnesses of the sorow that we haue for our former offences, and feare that we haue of his seueir iu­dgementes, the releif whereof we publictly professe, we can obteane by no vther meanes, but by Gods fre mercie, from whome we haue before declyned. So that the ver ray exercise of Fasting & the mur­ning, [...] and prayer therewith annex­ed, do solempnedly protest, that by our Fasting we merite not, for he that still confesseth his offence, and in bitternes of heart cryeth for mercy, doeth not brage of his me­rites, if the Papistes▪ [...]ply, yet god looketh to the Fasting, and heareth the prayers of suche as ryghtly hū ble them selues before him, we de­ny [Page] not,Tre [...] humiliation depedeth vpone mercy, & now vpone wor­kes. but thereto we adde, that rightly did nouer man humble him self before God, that trusted or glorified in the merites of his owē works, for without Faith it is vnpos sible to please God, and faith de­pendeth vpone the promes of gods fre mercy through lesus Christ, & not vpone the merites of any wor­kes. The Pharise in braging wes reiected, but the Publican in denying him self,Luc. 18. and calling for mer­cie, wes iustified, not by his wor­kes which he had not, but by grace and mercy, for the which he sob­bed. Daniel Fasted, confessed his sinnes, and the sinnes of the pe­ople, and thereto he added moste earnest and feruent prayers. But doeth he allege any of them as a cause why God shuld ather be mercyfull to him, or to the people, nay we finde no suche thing, but the plaine contrarie, for thus he con­cludeth.Dani [...]. 8. Now therefore our god [...]eare the supplication and prayer [Page] of thy seruand, & showe thy plea­sing visage vnto thy Sanctuary, that lyeth waiste for the Lordes saik. O my God giue thy eare that thow mais [...]e heare, and open thy­en eyes, that thow maiste see the waist places of the cietie which be­areth thy name, for we alledge not our ryghteousnes in our prayers, that we poure furthe before thee: but thy moste abounding mercy. Lord heare, Lord be mercyfull, Lord take head, & helpe, & delay not for thy owen self my God.

We may plainely se whereupō this excellent seruād of God groū ­ded him self to purches Godes fa­uour, to wit, vpone the Lord, that is vpone the Sauiour and Media­tor promised, vpone the moste a­bound [...] mercie of God, and v­pone God him selfe, for he vn­derstoode what God had promi­sed, aswell by the mouth of Moy­ses as by the Prophet Isaias saying Beholde [...], yea, euen I am [Page] the Lord, & there is no God but I. I kill and I giue lyfe againe. I giue the wound, and I shall heale.Deut. [...] For my owen names saike will I do it, sayeth the Eternall.

Apone these and the lyke pro­mises we say, did all the Sainctes of God in all there extremities, de­pend and did looke to receōue c [...] ­ferte, without all respect to their owen workes, they dampned the best of their owen workes, & cal­led them nothing but [...]ilthynes before God. [...] And therefore yet as of before, we boldely affirme, that the papisticall Fasting wes not on­lie vaine (for what Fasting is it? to [...]bsteane from fleshe, and to fill the [...]ellie with [...]ishe, wyne, spyce, and ther delicates) but also it wes odi­ [...]as vnto God, [...] and blasphemous [...] the death of Iesus Christ, for the causes forewritten. And this [...]uche shortely for those thinges [...]at must be ioyned with fr [...]tefull [...]sting.

[Page] Now we haue to consider, what thinges may make our Fasting odious, besydes this proude opinion of merite, whereof we haue spokē. It is no dout but that infidelitie maketh all the workes of the reprob [...] odious before God,Infideliti [...] [...]uaketh all the workes of the reprobate odious before God. yea, euen when that they do the verray workes that God hath commanded, as we may read in Math. 5. 6. and 7. Isai. [...]. and 66. &c. And diuers v­ther places, but because that inside liti [...] lurketh oft in the heart, and can not well be espyed, but by the bitter and rotten frutes that spring thereof. The Spirite of God hath painted furthe vnto vs in plaine wordes, what vices may make vs and all our workes odious before our God, so that nether will he heare our prayers, nor regarde our Fasting. Salomon sayeth, he that ditteth his e [...]re from the crye of the poore, [...] his prayer shal be abho­minable before God. And Isai in the persone of God sayeth. Albeit [Page] that ye shall str [...]tche out your hā ­des, and multiplie your prayers, yet will I not heare yow,I say. 1. for your handes are full of blood. But most plainely to our purpose speaketh the same Prophet, saying. The hous of Iacob daylie seaketh me,I say. 58. & they wolde knowe my wayes as a Nation that wrought iustice, and that had not left the iudgement of their God. They ask me iudge­mentes of iustice (that is they querrell with me) and they desyre that God shall drowe neare. Why haue we fasted (say they) and thou beholdest not? We haue afflic­ted our soules, and thow [...]n if knowest it. The Prophet answereth in the persone of God, and sayeth. Beholde in the day of your Faste, ye will seak your will, and require [...]ll your d [...]ttes, beholde ye Faste: [...]o strife, and debaite, and to smyte [...]ith the [...]ist of wickednes, Ye shall [...]ot Faste as they do to daye, to [...]ake your voice be heard aboue, [Page] that is to oppresse vthers, so that they are compelled to crye vnto God. Is it suche a Fas [...]e that I haue chosen? That a man shuld afflict his soule for a day, and to bow downe his head, as a bul ra [...]h, and to ly downe in S [...]ckcloth and ashes. Wilt thow [...] call this a Fa­sting, or an acceptable day vnto the Lord? Is not this the Fasting that I haue chosen, to louse the b [...] ­des of wickednes,O that S [...]t [...]and shul [...]e vnderstād & follow. to take of the heauie burdinges, and to let the oppressed go fre, and th [...]t ye break [...]ueri [...] Yock? Is it not to deale thy bread vnto the hongrie? And that thow bring the poore that wand­reth vnto thy hous? When thow [...]eest the Nacked, th [...]t thow couer him? And hyde not thy self from thy owen [...]leshe. Then shall thy light break furth as the morning, and thy health shall growe spede­lie, thy righteousnes shall go be­fore thee, and the glorie of the Lord shall embrase thee. &c.

[Page] In these moste notable sentences, and in suche as follow in the s [...]me place, we haue to marck, what thī ­ges may make our Fasting to be re [...]i [...]ted of God, what he crau [...]th of s [...]che as Faste frute [...]ullie, and what promes he maketh to such as obey him. This people externallie pro­fessed God, they daylie sought his face, by reparing to the Temple, hearing of the Law, and exercising of the Sacrifices, yet did God pla­gue them in mo sortes then one, as in the bookis of the Kinges & Cornickles we may read. In their ex­tremitie they ran (as to them appeared) to the vttermoste ref [...]ge, they Fasted, and vnfeanedly humbled their bodies, for that the Prophet meaneth, when that he sayeth, that they Fasted till that their neckes were weakned and made faint as a bull rashe, for verray lack of corporall [...]oode. They layed of their gorgious garmentes, and put on S [...]ckcloth. &c. And yet wer [Page] their troubles nothing releued.

And that wes the cause why they querrelled with God, and said.

Why haue we Fasted, and tho [...] hast not sene? &c. And in ver­ray dead to the natural man it wes strange, for god had promised that he wolde conforte his people, whē soeuer they shuld humble them selues before him,Deut. 3. 1. Reg. 8. notwithstāding their former iniquitie.

In the externall ceremonies, nor in the corporall exercises, there could no fault be espyed. Why then doeth not God heare them? complaine they. God answereth that their outwarde profession wes but Hipocrisie, their Fasting wes but mocking of God, and their prayers could do nothing but prouoke him to further displeasure. Because that albeit they reteaned the Name of God, and albeit that they appeared in his Temple, yet had they forsaken bothe his iudgementes, statutes, and holie ordinā ­ces. [Page] Albeit the bodie stouped, & wes afflicted by Fasting, yet rema­ned the heart proude and rebelli­ous against God,Let euerie man examin his owen cō ­science. for they follow­ed their owen corrupted wayes, they oppressed suche as were sub­iect vnto them, their heauie Yo [...]k lay vpone the neckes of suche as could not ridde them selues from their bondage. Amonges them were stryfe, debaite, whisperinges of malice, yea, open contention, and manifest violence, which all were euident declaratiōs of proud heartes, and impenitent Soulles.

And therefore God giueth vnto them open defyance, in the tyme whē they think that they seak his peace moste earnestly. And here to ought we this day that professe the Lord Iesus, & haue renounced abhominations of Papistrie with­in the Realme of Scotland, giue deligent head. For it is not the semple knoweledge of the trueth onelie, nor yet the externall pro­fession [Page] of the same, that is accep­table before God. Nay nay deare brethrene,1 salm. 34. he requireth the frutes of repentance, and they are▪ to de­clyne from euill,1. Pet. and to do good, as we may read in many places of the Scripture, Thing we it a thing aggreable with the nature of the Eternall our God, that he shal receaue vs in fauour, after that we haue offended? And we will not for his saike remit the iniuries that are done to vs. Can we thinke to be at peace with him? When that we stubburnelie will conti­new in strife amonges our selues. Shal he releiue our greif, bondage, or Yock? And we will not relei [...]e the burdinges that vniustly we lay vpone our brethrene. Shall [...]e bestowe his vndeserued mercie v­pone vs? And we can showe no bowels of mercie, to such as we se in miserie before our eyes. [...] vs not be deceaued, God can not deny him self, murther, malice, [...] [Page] trent, crueltie, oppression, stryfe, thift,The workes that may make oure fasting odi­ou [...]. deceat, iniust dealing, coue­tousnes, auaritiousnes, and vnmer­cifulnes vnto the poore, besydes pryde, horedome, adulterie, v [...]tones, and the rest of the workes of the flesh, are so odious before god, that whill that any of them reig­neth in the heart of man, he and his whole workes are detestable before God. And therefore if we desyre that Gods fearefull iudge­mentes shalbe stayed, let vs (that knowe the trueth and say that we professe the same) vn [...]eanedlie re­turne vnto our God. Let vs not be inferioures to the King of Ni­ [...]iue, who commanded euerie [...] to turne from his wicked [...], and from the iniquitie that wes in his handes. Let vs considder what our God craueth of vs, but espec [...] ­ [...] let Earles, Lordes, Barrons, Burgesses, and Artificers considder by what meanes their substances are increassed.

[Page] It is not yneugh to iustisie vs be­fore God,Christiane [...] era [...] more th [...]n [...]iuile [...]. that ciuile [...]awes can not accuse vs. Nay brethrene, the eyes of our God pearseth deaper, then mannes Law can streache.

The Law of man can not conui [...]t the Earle, the Lord, the Barrone, or Gentilman, for oppressing of the poore labourers of the groūd, for his defence is ready.

I may do with my owen as best pleaseth me. The Merchand is iust yneugh in his owen conceat. If before men he can not be con­uict of thist and deceat. The Ar­ [...]ificer and Craftisman, thinketh him self fre before God, albeit that he nether worke sufficient stuffe, nor yet sell for reasonable price.

The worlde is euil (sayeth he) and how can men liue, if they do not as vther do. And thus doeth e­ueri [...] mā leane vpone the iniquitie of another, and thinketh him self sufficientlie excused, when that he meitteth Craft with Craft, & repul [Page] seth back violence, ether with de­ceat, or els with open iniurie. Let vs be assured deare brethrene, that these be the sinnes which hereto­fore haue prouoked God, not on­lie to plague,Consult [...] with the 22. Chapter of the Prophet Ezech [...]ell. but also to distroy, and vtterlie ouerthrowe stronge Realmes, and flourishing common wealthes.

Now seing that the iustice, and Iudgementes of our God abyde for euer, and that he hath solemp­nedlie pronounced▪ that eue [...]ri [...] Realme, Nation or Ci [...]tie, that sinneth as did Iuda and Ierasalem,Iere. 7. shalbe like wise punished. [...]et that fearefull distruction, th [...]t came v­pone them, into the whiche aster honger and pest, the sworde deuo red without discretion,2. Paral. 26. the ryche and poore, [...]. Reg. 25. the Noble, and those, that were of basse degre, the yong, and olde, the Preistes, and Prophetes, yea, the Matrones, & Virgines, eschaped not the day of that sharp visitation. Let their punishment [Page] (we say) prouoke vs to repentāce, and so no dout, we shall finde fa­uour in the eyes of our God, albe­it that he hath begune to showe v [...]to vs [...]uident signes of his dis­pleasure,2. Paral. 36 iustlie conceaued against vs. But (as God forbide) if we mocke his Messingers, and dispyse his wordes, till that th [...]r be no re­meadie as they did. Then can we (whome God hath rased vp to in­struct and forewarne yow) do no­thing but take witnesse of heauen and earth, yea, and of your owen conscience, that we haue faithful­lie instructed yow in the ryght way of God, as well as concerning his trew worshipping, as in doing of your dewties one to another.

And also that we haue fore warned yow of the plague [...] to come, [...]irste by our tounges, and now by our pen, for a perpetuall memoriall to the posteritie th [...]t shall follow.

Who shall glorifie God, ether for your conuersion, or els for your [Page] iust condemnation, and seueire punishementes, if ye continew ino­bedient.

To prescriue to euerie man his dewtie in particul [...]re, we can not, because we knowe not whereintill euerie man, and euerie [...]state par­ticularlie offendeth, but we must remit euerie estate, and euerie mā in his vocation, to the examinatiō of his owen conscience. And that according as God commandeth in his hole Law, an I as Christ Iesus requireth, that suche as shall possesse the Kingdome, with him shall do.

Which is, whatsoeuer (sayeth he) that ye wolde men shulde do vnto yow,Math. 7. do ye the lyke vnto them. By this reule whiche the Author of all equitie, iustice, and policie h [...]th established. Send we the Earles, Lordes, Barrons, and gentilmen, to trye their owen cō ­sciences, whether that they wolde be content that they shuld be [...]n­treated (if God had made them [Page] huseband men, and laubowrers of the ground) as they haue entrea­ted, and presentlie [...] entreat, suche as some tymes had a mode­rate and resonable life vnder their pred [...]cessours.

Whether we say that they wolde be content that their stea­dinges and malinges should be ra­sed from male to ferme, from one ferme to two, & so going vpward, till that for pouertie, the Ancient [...]aubourers are compelled to leaue the ground in the handes of the Lord. If with this entreatment they wolde be cōtent, we appeale their owen conscience. And if they thinke that they wolde not, then in Godes Name we require them to begin to reforme them selucs, and to remember that it is not we, but that it is Christ Iesus that so [...]raueth of them. And vnto the same reule we send Iudges, Lawers, Merchandes, Artisicers, and [...]nallie, euen the verray lau­bourers [Page] of the ground them selues That euerie one in his vocation may trye how iustlie, vprightlie, & mercyfullie he dealeth with his Nighboure. And if he [...]inde his conscience accused by the former sentence of our Master, let him cal for grace, that he may not onclic repent for the bypast, but also a­mend in tymes to cume, and so shall their Fasting, and prayers be acceptable vnto God.

If men think that we require the thing that is vn possible. For what were this els? But to reforme the face of the who [...]e earth? Which neuer wes, nor vet shalbe, till that the righteous King and Iudge ap­peare, for the restauration of all thinges. We answer, that we speak not to the godles multitude, ne­ther yet to suche as are mockers of Godes Iudgementes, whose portion is in this life, and for whome the fyre of hell (which now they mock) is assuredli [...] prepared.Math. [...]5. But [Page] we speak to such as haue professed the Lord Iesus with vs, who haue communicated with his blissed Sa­cramentes, haue renounced Ido­latrie, and haue awowed them sel­ues to be new creatures in Iesus Christ, in whome they are ingraf­ted as liuclie brāches, [...]. 15. apt to bringfurth good frute. Now why it shuld be thought vnpossible, that these men (of what vocation that euer they be) shulde begin to ex­presse in their liues, that which in worde they haue publictlie professed. We se no good reasone, vn­les that we wolde say that it is vn­possible that God shall now work in men of this age, as we read that he hath wrought in men before vs, and that were blasphemie.

Seing that the hand of our God is no more shortned towardes vs,I say. 50. th [...]n th [...]t it hath bene towardes those that haue past before vs.

At Godes semple comm [...]ndement Abraham left his Fathers hous & [Page] natiue countrie.C [...]n [...]. 12. Moyses pre [...]er­red the condition of the people of Israell,Exod. 2. euen in their greatest afli­ction, to the ryches and glorie of Pharose Courte. Dauid vpon the vnction of Samuell,1. Samu. [...] did pacientlie abyde the persecution of Saul ma­ny yeares. Zacheus at an dennar with Christ Iesus,Luc. 19. w [...]s not onelie content to restore whatsoeuer he had before defrauded, but also to giue the half of all his substance to the sustentation of the poore. And the faithfull in the dayes of the Apostles, solde their posses­sions, and ministrat vnto the indi­gent.Act. [...]. None of these excellent workes craue we of the faithfull in our age, but onely those, without the which the Spirite of Sanctifi­cation can not be knowen to be in man, to wit, that euerie man speak the trueth with his brother,Ephes. 4. that none oppresse nor defraude ano­ther in any busynes,1. Thess. 4. that the bow­els of mercy may appeare amongs [Page] suche as God hath called to his knoweledge, and finally, that we altogether that professe the Lord Iesus, and do abhorre Idolatrie, abhorre also all kynde of impietie,Colloss. [...]. studying to habound in all good workes, and to shyne as lyghtes in the middest of this wicked gene­ration.

Which if we do not, we declare no dout that Christ Iesus dwelleth not within vs, but that wear they that heare and knowe the will of our Lord but do not the same. And vnto what curse and malidiction suche persones are subiect, the pa­rable of the Fegge tre whiche we [...] thr [...]atned to be cut downe, if it brought not furth [...]rute,Math. 21.& 25. the curse giuen to it, vpon the which Christ Iesus being hongrie fand no frute: and his last sentence against the reprobate, do sufficiently witnes.

In the which we haue to obserue, that the reprobate are adiudged to the fyre, that neuer shalbe quen­ched, [Page] not onely because they committed iniquitie, [...]erie tre that bring­eth [...]ot furth [...]ood frut [...], shalbe cut to downe and cast in the fyre. but also because they were not found frutefull in good workes▪ Let euerie man therefore that will avoyde plagues temporall and perpetuall, vn [...]ea­nedlie studie to accomplishe in worke, that which in worde, and outwarde profession he doeth a­wowe, and vpone suche no dout shall the benediction of God rest, when the manifest contempners, and cloked Hypocrites shalbe ra­sed from the face of the earth, and shalbe cast in vttermoste darknes, where there shalbe weaping and g [...]asheing of teith without end, whiche shalbe the rewarde of all their wicked workes.

Mo thinges we wolde haue written, suche as the notes vpone the disconsiture of Iosua at Hay, and of the Israelites [...]ighting against Ben [...]amin, together with the foo­lishe opinion of the Papistes, who think them selues oblished to fast [Page] fourtie dayes ( [...] whiche they call their Lent) because that Christ Ie­sus fasted fourtie dayes, immediat­lie after his Baptism▪ But these we are compelled for this present to pretermit, be reason that the tyme appoynted to this present exercise of Fasting approcheth so [...]ye.

If God of his mercy shall pleas [...] to continew the light of his Euan­gle amonges vs, this argument will be enlarged and set furth with gr [...] ter circumstances frome tyme to tyme.

Now to the ordour▪ exercise, & abstinence that is to be kept into this publict Fasting. First it is to be obserued, that the two dayes before expressed, to wit, the last Sonday of Februarie instant, and the first Sonday of Marche imme­diatly thereafter following,The reason of the tyme. ar not appoynted for any Religion of tyme, nether yet that those preci­sed dayes shalbe obserued euerie yeare following, but because that [Page] shortly thereafter are the Estates of this Realme appoynted to con­uene in Parliament. Therefore the whole Assemblie thoght those dayes for the present necessitie moste mei [...], leauing in the libertie of the Churche, what tyme they will appoynt to that exercise in all tymes to cum.

The Sondayes are appoynted not of superstition,The reason of the Son­dayes. nether yet to bring in any Schysme wi [...]hin the Church, but because that vpone the Sonday the people (especially that dwell a landwart) may best attend vpone prayer, and the rest of the exercises that ought to be ioyned with publict Fa [...]g.

The abstinence is commanded to be from Setterday at eight houres at nyght, till Sonday after the ex­ercise at after none that is after [...] houres. And then onely bread & drinck to be vsed, [...] and that with great sobrietie, that the body c [...]a­uing necessary food, the soule may [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] be prouoked earnestly to craue of God that which it moste neadeth, that is mercy for our former vn­thanckfulnes, and the assistance of his holy Spirite in tymes to cum.

Men that will obserue this exer­cise, may not any of the two dayes vse any kynde of gammes,No gammes may be vsed vpone the dayes of abstinence. but exercise them selues after the publict Assemblies in preuie medi­tation with their God.

Gorgious apparrell wolde be absteaned fra,Gorgious apparel is to be left. during the whole tyme of our humiliation. Which is frō the one Sonday in the morning, till the nixt Sonday at nyght.

Albeit that the straitnes of absti­stence is to be kept, but the two dayes onely.

We do not bind the conscience of persones that be vnable to the extremitie of the abstinence,The [...]eicke and weake are not boūd to this exercyse. and yet do we exhorte thē to vse their libe [...]tie (if any they tak) in secret, least that vthers ather follow their euill exemple, or els iudge them to [Page] be dispysers of so necessarie an ex­ercyse.

The tyme that shalbe spent, as­well before none as after, must be left to the wisdome of the discrete Ministers, who best cā iudge bothe what the auditore may beare, and what them selues are able to suste­ne. But because that this exercise is extraordinary, the tyme thereof wolde be somewhat longer then it vsed to be in the accustomed As­semblies. And yet we wolde not haue it so tedious,what houres before none & what af­ter none. that it shulde be noysome to the people. And therfore we think that thre houres & les, before noune, and two houres at after noune, shalbe sufficient for the whole exercyse publict. The rest to be spent in preuie medita­tion, euerie familie aparte.

The Sonday preceading the last Sonday of February as before is said, shall euerie minister giue ad­uertisement to his flocke, of such thinges as are to be done the nixt [Page] Sonday following, and of the cau­ses of the same, with suche exhor­tation as God shall put into their mouthes, to make the people to embrase the iust commandement of the Churche with more glaide myndes.

In townes we think expedient that the exercise of the doctrine begine vpone the Setterday at af­ [...]er noune,In townes the do [...]rine shall beg [...]e vpone the Setterday. immediatly p [...]eceading the first Sonday of abstinence, that the people may be the better pre­pared Religiously to vse the obseruations of the nixt day. But in landwart we think good that the doctrine begine the Sonstay be­fore. The argumēt of the Sermon [...] and exhortation to be taken from some proper place of the Prophe­tes,Places pro­per for the [...] sermon of [...]asting. as of Ioel the first, where he sayeth.loel. 1. Sanc [...]ifie a Faste, appoynt the Assemble. &c. Or of Ionas the thride, where Ionas cryed, [...] yet fourtie dayes,Ionas. 3. and Niniue shal be distroyed. &c. Or of Ieremie [Page] the s [...]iu [...]nt. Where that he say­eth, Heare the worde of the Lord all Iuda, and ye that enter in by these gates. &c. Or of the thret­tene of Lucas,Luc. 13. vpone the declara­tion of them that shewe to oure Master the crueltie of Pylate, and vpone his answer. Or vpone any vther proper place within y Scripture, that entreteth of repentance, of publict humiliation, of the cau­ses, and of the frutes of the [...]. This ended, as it were for prepara­tion, the beginning shalbe vpone Sonday, from the Law of God, be­cause that all that offendeth Gods Maiestie▪ proceadeth form the trāsgression thereof, and therefore af­ter a shorte prayer, That God will please to make his holy word to fructifie amonges vs, this confession shalbe made.

¶The Confession that shal go b [...] ­for [...] the reading of the Law, and before euerie exercyse.

[Page] IT IS of thy mercy ô Lord, and not of our merites, that it hath pleased thee to showe thy sel [...] vn­to the worlde, euer from the be­ginning, & vnto vs now in this last and moste [...], yea, Lord we further con [...]esse, that nether Law, nor Euangle, can profite vs to Saluation, except that thow of thy me [...]r [...] grace worke into vs a­bu [...]e all power that is in this oure nature. For albeit thow teache, we shall remaine ignorant, alb [...]it thow threaten,Hebe. 8. we shal cōtempne. And albeit thow promes mercy & grace,Psal. 51. yet shall we dispaire and re­maine i [...] in [...]id [...]litie: Onles that thow creat in vs new heartes, write thy Law into the same,Iere. 31. and [...]eale into vs remission of our sinnes, and the sense and [...]ealing of thy [...]ather­lie mercy, by the power of thy holie Spirite. To the originall [...]orld tho [...] spak by Noha.Gene. [...] To Pharo and his people, by thy [...] Moyses.Exod. 2. 3. 4. To all Israell by the fearfull [Page] Trumpet of thy Law.Exod. 20. To the Cietie of Ierusalem,M [...]t. 20. &c. Ioan. 12. by thy owen wisdome, our Lord Iesus Christ. And to y multitude,Act. 3. 4. 14 & 16. aswel of Iewes as Gentiles, by the preaching of thy holy Apostles. But who gaue obedience? Who trembled, and constantly feared thy hote displeasure? Who did rightly acknowledge the tyme of their visitatiō? And who did embrase and kepe to the end, thy fatherly promises?

Onely they ô Lord, to whome thy Spirite wes the in warde teach­er, whose heartes thow opened▪ & from whome thow remoued Re­bellion and in [...]idelitie,Ioan. 6. the rest were externally called, but obeyed not, they heard aswel mercy offe­red, as threatninges pronounsed, but nether with the one nor with the vther were they aff [...]ctu [...]lly moued. We ackno [...]ledge ô Lord that the same corruption [...]rcketh in vs, that budded [...]urth in them to their distruction, and iust condem­nation. [Page] And therefore we moste humbly be [...]eak th [...]e ô Father of [...], for Ch [...]ist Iesus thy s [...]nes [...], that as thow hast caused the lyght of thy worde clearely to shyne amongs vs, and as thow hast plainely instr [...]cted vs by the ex­ternal ministerie, in the ryght way of Saluation. So it will please thee inwardly to moue our dulle [...]eartes, and by the power of thy holy Spirite, that thow will write and [...] into them that holy fear and [...], which thow crau [...]st of thy chosen child [...]ene, and that faith [...]ull of edi [...]nce to thy holie will, together with the sealing and s [...]nse that our sinnes are fully pur­ged & fr [...]ly r [...]mitted by that only [...] Sacri [...]ice▪ whiche onely by it self is acceptable v [...]to thee, to wit, the [...], death & mediation of [...]hy [...]n [...]ly S [...]ne our Souerane Lord▪ [...] Mediator, and [...], our Lord Iesus Christ.

To whome with thee, and with [Page] the holy Ghoste, be all honour and glore, worlde without end.

¶This Confession ended, the Mi­nister or Re [...]der [...] read the 27. an [...] 28▪ of [...], which e [...]ded▪ the Mi­nister shall wishe [...] m [...]n to discend s [...]cretly into him self, to ex [...]mine his owen co [...]cie [...]ce, whereinto he findeth him selfe giltie before God. The Mini­ster him self with the people sh [...]ll prostrate them selues, & rem [...]i [...]e in priuate medi [...]ation a reason [...] ­ble space, as the quarter of an houre or more. Thereafter shal the Minister e [...]horte the people to confesse with him their sinnes and offences as [...]olloweth.

IVST and r [...]ghteous [...] thow ô Lord God▪ Father e [...]erlasting, holy is thy Law, and moste iu [...]t are thy iudgementes, yea, euen when thow doest punishe in greatest se­ueritie, [Page] we do confesse as the treu­th is, that we haue transgressed thy whole Law, and haue offended thy godly Maiestie, in breaking and violating euerie precept of the same. And so moste iustly m [...]y thow poure [...]urth vpone vs all pla­gues that are threatned: and that we [...]inde powred furth vpone the disobedient at any tyme from the beginning. And so muche the rather ô Lord, because that so lōg we haue bene called, by thy holie worde to vn [...]e [...]ned repentance, & ne [...]nes of lyfe: and yet haue we still remaned in our former Rebelli [...]n▪ and therefore if thow wilt enter in iudgement with vs, we cā [...]ther es [...]ape confusion in this l [...]fe, nor iust condempnatiō in the ly [...]e to cum. But Lord thy mercy is [...]ithout meas [...]re, and the tre [...]th of thy promises abydeth for euer. [...] are we that thow shuld [...] looke vpone vs, but Lord thow hast promised that thow wilt show [Page] mercy to the moste grieuous offē ­d [...]rs, whensoeuer that they repēt, And further, thow by the mouth of thy deare Sone our Lord Iesus Christ, hast promised that thow wilt giue thy holy Spirite to suche as humblie [...] vnto thee. In bol­dnes of the whiche promes, we moste humbly beseak thee ô Fa­ther of mercies▪ that it wold please thy godly Maiestie, to worke into our stubburne hea [...]tes, an vn [...]ea­ne [...] [...] for our former off [...]n­ces, with some se [...]se [...]nd [...]ealing of thy grace and mercy, together with an earnest desyre of Iustice and righteousnes, in the which we are boun [...] continually to walk.

But because that nether we nor our prayers can stand before thee, be reason of that imperfectione which still rem [...]neth in this oure corrupted nature. We [...] to the o [...]edience and per [...]ite Iustice of Iesus Christ, o [...]r onely Me [...]iator, in whome, and by whome, we call [Page] not onely for remission of our sin­nes, and for assistance of thy holy Spirite, but also for all thinges that thy godly wisdome knoweth to be expedient for vs, and for thy Church vniuersall. Praying as he hath taught vs saying.

Our Father that art. &c.

¶This ended, the Minister shall read the Text whereupone he will ground his sermon.

FIRST he shal expone the dignitie and equitie of Gods law. Secondly,The heades of the [...]. the plagues and punish­mentes that ensew the contempt thereof, together with the blessin­ges promised to the obedient ob­seruers of it. Thridly, he [...]all teache Christ Iesus to be the end and perfection of the Law,Rom. 3. who hath per­ [...]itely accomplished that whiche w [...]s impossible to the Law to do.

And so shall he exhorte euerie mā to vn [...]eaned repentance, to stead­fast [Page] faith in Christ Iesus, and to showe frutes of the same.

The Sermone ended, the com­mone prayer shalbe vsed that is conteaned in the Psalme booke, the 46. page thereof, beginning thus. God almyghtie and heauēly Father &c. Which ended, the 51. Psalme shalbe soung whole, & so with the benediction, the As­semble is to be demitted for that exercise.

At after noune.

EFTER inuocation of Godes Name publictly by the Mini­ster, and secretly by euery man for a reasonable space. The Minister may take the argument of his Ser­mone from the beginning of 119. Psalme, where the deligent Rea­der shall obserue the properties & conditions of suche, as in whose heartes God writeth his Law. Or if that be thought ouer hard, then may ye take the Text of Iohne.

[Page] God is lyght, and into him there is no da [...]cknes,1. Io [...]n. 1. if we say we haue fellowshipe with him. &c. The prayer is referred vnto the Mini­ster, the 6. Psalme shalbe soung.

The benediction and exhorta­tion, to call to mynde where [...]ore that exercise is vsed, being ended. The publict e [...]ercise shalbe put to end for that day.

A [...]B [...]IT that to [...] wart the pe [...]ple can not well con [...]ene euerie day betuix the two Sonday [...] ▪ yet in B [...]oug [...]es & [...]ownes we think they ought to conuene, an hour before none, and an houre & more at after none. The houre before none, to be the houre ac­customed to the commone pray­ers. The houre at after none to be at 3. houres or after.

¶The exercise of the whole weke.

[Page] THE beginning euer to be with Confession of our sinnes, and imploring of Godes graces. Then certane Psalmes, and certane Hi­stories to be distinctly re [...], exhor­tation to be conceaued thereupō, and prayers lyke wise, as God shall instruct and inspyre the Minister or Reader.

¶Mononday before none.
  • Psalm. 2. 3. and 10.
  • Historie. 2. of the Iudges.
A [...]ter none.
  • Psalm. the 12. 1 [...]. and 17.
  • Historie the 16. of the Iudges.
¶Teusday before none.
  • Psalm. the 25. and 28.
  • Historie the 7. of the Iudges.
After none.
  • Psalm. the 36. and 40.
  • Historie the 4. of the Iudges.
¶Wednesday before none.
  • Psalm. the 14. and 55.
  • Historie the 19. of the Iudges.
After none.
  • [Page]Psalm. the 44. and 56.
  • Historie the 20. of the Iudges.
¶Thurisday before none.
  • Psalm. the 49. and 57.
  • Historie. Ester the 3. and 4.
After none.
  • Psalm. the 37.
  • Historie. Ester the 5. 6. & 7.
¶Fryday before none.
  • Psalm. the 59. 61. and 64.
  • Historie. the 2. of Paralip. 20.
After none.
  • Psalm. the 69.
  • Histo [...]ie. the 36. of Isai.
¶Setterday before none.
  • Psalm. the 68. and 70.
  • Historie. the 37. of Isai.
After none.
  • Psalm. the 74. and 77.
  • Historie. the 9. & 10. of Esd.

¶Sonday the last day of this pub­ [...]ict exercise for this tyme, be­fore none shalbe vsed in all thinges as the former Sonday, except that the 26. of Leuiticus [Page] may be red for the 28. of Deute ronomie, and for the prayer shal be vsed that which is to be foūd in the Psalme book, the 165. page, beginning. Eternall and euerlasting. &c.

Sonday at after none.
  • Psalm. 78.
  • Historie. the 9. of Daniel.

THE exhortation and pray­ers ended, for the conclusion shalbe distinctly red the 80. Psal. and so with exhortation to euery man to considder to what end the whole exercise tendeth. With benediction the Assemblie shalbe demitted.

THE exhortations and pray­ers of eue [...]i [...] seuerall exe [...]cise, we haue r [...]mitted to be gathe [...]ed by the discrete Ministers, for tyme preassed vs so, that we coulde not [...]ame them in suche ordour as w [...]s [Page] conuenient, nether yet thought we it so expedient to pen, prayers vnto men, as to teache them with what heart, and affection, and for what causes we shulde pray in this great calamitie▪ appearing shortlie to ouerwhelme this whole Rea [...]m, vnles god of his great mercy abuse mannes expect [...]tion finde the re­me [...]dy. Before whome it is that we haue (and presently do) pro­strate our selues, for obteaning of those thinges, without whiche the lyght of his Euangle, can not long cōtinew with vs. And therfore yet ones againe we e [...]horte, & by the power cōmitte [...] vnto us by God, charge all th [...]t professe the Lord Iesus, and the sincer [...]tie of his Euā ­gle, within this Re [...]me, that euen as they loue the q [...]yetnes o [...] their common wealth, the continuance of Christ Iesus his holy Euangle within the same, and their owen Saluation, together with the Salua­tion of their posteritie, that vnfea­nedly [Page] they pr [...]strate them selues before the Throne of Godes Ma­iestie, & in bitternes of heart pray with [...]s.

ARyse ô Lord, and let thyne en [...]imies be confounded. Let them [...] thy presence, that [...] thy godly n [...]me. Let the g [...]ones of thy a [...]icted enter in before thee. And preserue thow by thy owen power s [...]che as be appoyn­ted to death. Let no [...] thy en [...] ­es thus triumph to the end: but let them vnderstand that against thee they [...]ight. Preserue the wyne which thy ryght hand hath plan­ted. Opp [...]ne thy po [...]r to the power of that Romaine Anti­christ, and let the glorie of thyne annoynted [...]esus Christ our Lord shyn [...] before all Nations. So be it.

¶Hasten Lord and [...]ary not.

THE SVPER INTENDENTES, MI­NISTERS, AND COMMISSI­oners of Kirkes, Reformed within the Realme o [...] Scotland, Assemb­led in Edinburgh the 25. day of December. 1565. To the Mi­nisters of Iesus Christ, within the [...]ame Realme, desyre grace and peace from God the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, with the perpe­tuall conforte of the holy Spirite.

THE present miserie, and greater troubles appearing shortly to follow, craue (deare brethrene) that eue­rie one of vs exhorte and admo­nishe another, that we recule not back in the beginning of this bat­tel, which is cum vpon vs, vnlook­ed for of many. And therefore it [Page] is that we your brethrene, partak­ers with yow of the afflictions of Iesus Christ, vnderstanding the extremitie, wherein the whole Mini­sters within this Realme now stād, for lake of reasonable prouision, to them selues and poore families.

Haue thought expedient to com­municate with yow our myndes by this our letter. Which is, that firste we shall deligently marke those wordes of the Apostle say­ing, No man shalbe crouned, onles he striue laughfully,2. Timet. 2. and also that fearefull sentence of our Master Iesus Christ saying. No man put­ting his hand to the plough, and looking backe, [...]. 9. is apt to the King­dome of God. We haue ones professed our selues warriours against Sathan, and laubourers in the hus­bandrie of the Lord our God, who of his mercy hathe opened oure mouthes to exhorte vthers to cō ­tempe this wicked worlde, and to contend to enter into that heauenly [Page] Ierusalē. God hath honored vs so, that men hath iudged vs the Messingers of the euerlasting, by vs hath he disclosed Idolatrie, by vs are the wicked of the worlde rebuked, and by vs hath our God cōforted the consciences of many that were oppressed with ignorāce and impietie. Considder then deare brethrene what sclander & offence shall we giue to the weak? What occasion of reioysing shall the ennimies haue? And to what ignominie shall we expone the glorious Euangle of Iesus Christ? If that we for any occasion shall de­sist and cease from publict preach­ing of the same.

We that admonishe yow are not ignorant, nether yet altoge­ther without experience, how ve­hement a dart pouertie is, & what troublesome cogitations it is able to rase, yea, euen in men of grea­test constancie. But yet dear [...] brethrene, we ought earnestlie to [Page] considder with what conditiones we are entered, into this moste honorable vocation, and what we chiefly seake in the preaching of the Eu [...]ngle. For if we lay before vs vther conditions, then Iesus Christ laide before his Apostles,M [...]th. 10. when he send them fu [...]th firste to preache the glaide tydinges of his Kingdome, & if we seake and ym [...]gine to our s [...]lu [...]s, better entreat­ment of this wicked generation, then we find the derrest seruands of God haue gotten in the worlde, we [...]ther [...] our selues, or els declaire vs not to be trew suc­c [...]ssours of those, whose doctrine we propone to the people. They were [...] as sheape, amongs the [...] Wolfes, to them it wes pronounced. That they shuld be h [...]ted, th [...]y sh [...]l [...] be mocked, men shul [...] [...] and persecute them for the [...]imonie of the treuth,Io [...]n. 16. which threat [...]ings we find not to haue bene vaine, but to [Page] haue fallen vpone the chie [...]est mē ­bers of Iesus Christ, as the Actes of the Apostles beare testimonie. And think we that the same E­uangle which they preached, can haue an [...] vther successe in oure Ministerie, then it had in theires? In giftes we m [...]ste confesse o [...]e selues [...]arre. In [...]erioure to those lyghtes of the [...]o [...]lde, in deli­gence and paine [...]ll trauell we can not be compared▪ and yet we look to be partakers of the Kingdome, which god hath prepared for such as paciently abyde the g [...]com­ming of the Lord Iesus. And shall we in nothing communicate with them?. They were some tymes whipped, some tymes stoned, o [...]t cast in preason, and the blood of m [...]ny [...]e [...]led vp their doctrine.

And shall we for pouerti [...] leaue the [...]lock of Iesus Christ, before that it vtterly refuse vs? God forbid deare brethrene, for wh [...]t shall discerne vs from the Merce­naries [Page] and Hyrelings? If our cō ­stancie in aduersitie shal not do it The Hyrelings in tyme of quiet­ues, teache the treuth as we do, in giftes and vtterance they commō ­lie excead vs, in lyfe and conuer­sation, they may for a season be irreprehensible. What is it then that maketh them Hyrelings?

Our master & Sauiour Iesus Christ answereth saying. The merce­narie se [...]th, the Wolfe comming, and [...]leeth, because he is a Merce­narie. [...]. 10. Then the leauing of the [...]lock, when Wolfes come to in­nade it, proueth suche as were holden Pastours, to be nothing but Hyrelings, we deny not, but if in one Cietie we be persecuted, we may laughfully [...]lee vnto another, yea, if one Realme cast vs furth, we may receaue the benefite of ano­ther. But euer still with this condition, that we cast not from vs the pr [...]fes [...]ion that publictly we haue made, nether yet that we cease to [Page] fead the flock of Iesus Christ, and to gainestand the teachers of fals doctrine, so farre furth as in vs ly­eth. But hereinto standeth th [...] question, whether may we whome God hath called to this honour, that he hath made vs Ambassadou­res of his good will, vnto this vn­thankfull generation, desist frome our vocations? Because that we can not be prouided to Reasona­ble liuinges, as God hath Commā ­ded, and our trauelles deserue.

The Spirite of God vniformlie through the Scriptures wil answer vs. That Helias wes send to be fed by the Rauens.1. Reg. 1 [...]. Elizeus and his Scollers were compelled to gather Herbes to make pottage.2. Reg▪ 4. Paule did o [...]t liue by the worke of his owen handes, but we neuer finde that they receaued dimission from their vocations. Seing then dear brethrene, th [...]t God as yet hath [...] tempted none of vs with the extremitie that w [...] finde vthers before [Page] vs, haue suffered and ouercome, let vs be ashamed so suddenly to faint, euen in the brunt of the bat­tell The price of Christ Iesus his death and passion is committed to our Charge, the eyes of men are bent vpon vs, and we must answer before that Iudge, who will not admit euerie excuse that pleaseth vs, but will Iudge vpryghtly, as in his worde he hath before pronoun­ced. Let vs therefore stand fast, which we can not do, if we cease from our publict vocations. Let vs deare brethren stand fast in the [...]re, & commit our bodies to the care of him who feadeth the sou­les of the aire, and hath promysed that [...] whereof we haue [...]. He preserued vs in the dark­ness of our Mothers bosome, i.e. [...] our foode in [...], and instructed vs to vse the same, when we knew him not he [Page] hath nourished vs in the tyme o [...] blyndnes and of impi [...]tie, and will he now d [...]pyse vs? When we call vpone him, and preache the glorious gospell of his de [...]re Sone our Lord Iesus. Nay deare brethrene, he nether will nor can, vnles that in [...]ide [...]itie cut vs of from his mer­cyfull prouidence. Let vs con­sidder that the whole earth is the Lordes, and all the f [...]lnes of the same, that he is able to moue the heartes of men, as best pleaseth him. He is able to bl [...]ss [...] and mul­tiplie thinges that are nothing in the eyes of carnall men.2. Reg. 4. It is but pouertie that as yet doeth thre [...] ­ten vs,Io [...]n. 6. which if we be not able to contempne:Math. 14. how shall we abyde the [...]urie and terroure of death? Which m [...]ny thousand [...]s before vs haue su [...]ered for the testimonie o [...] the same treuth, which we pro­fesse and te [...]che, an [...] dispysed all worldly rede [...]ption, as the Apo­s [...]le speak [...].H [...]b. 11. This is but gen­till [Page] tryall which our Father taketh of our obedience, which if we wil­lingly offer vnto him, the bowels of his Fatherly compassion, will rather cause the heauens, yea, the Rockes & Riuers to Minister vn­to vs thinges necess [...]rie to the bo­die, then that he shall suffer vs to perishe, if we dedicate our whole liues vnto him. Let vs be frequēt in reading (which allace ouer many dispise e [...]rnest in prayer, deligēt in watcheing ouer the flock, com­mitted to our charge, and l [...]t our [...]obrietie and temperate lyfe, [...] the wicked, and be exemple to the godly. And thē there is no dout, but the Eternall our God shall reme [...]dy this extrem [...]tie, he shall confound our ennimies, and shall shortly conuert our teares & murning, in ioy and myrth, to the glorie of his owen Name, and to t [...]e conforte of the posteriti [...] to cum. Through the merites and [...]tercession of Iesus Christ oure [Page] Lord, whose holy Spirite con­forte yow and vs to the end. Of Edinburgh in our ge­nerall Assemblie, the last Session thereof. ANNO. 1565. ❧ ❀ ❧

¶To the faithfull Reader.

ALbeit that nether suche as did firste command, nether yet those that haue trauelled to set furthe this ordour of publict Fa­sting, and admonitions to the Mi­nisters, haue impyre aboue the bo­dies of suche as vnto whome they wryte: yet haue they no dout po­wer from God to rebuke sinne, & to craue repentance, especially of suche as God hath called to his knowledge, in the middest of this moste obstinate and corrupt gene­ration. [Page] And therefore in the bowels of Iesus Christ, we requyre all men to ponder and wey, what is the estate of this Realme at this present, and if they se not clearely iust causes why that God shoulde punishe in his hote displeas [...]re, thē we can be content that men liue at their owen quyetnes. But if that i [...]stice be vniuersally▪ oppres­sed, & iniquitie so menteaned, that it ouerfloweth this whole realme, then dare we be bol [...]e to cry with the Prophet Ezechiell,Ezech. 9. that suche as murne not for the abhominati­ons that now habound, shall pe­ri [...]he in the iniquitie of this moste stubb [...]rne generation. Whill that suche as semplie obey God, spe [...]king by his moste dispysed Mi [...]isters, shall avoyd [...] ve [...]geance bothe temporall and eternall, we do [...]t not but suche as think them sel [...]es more wyse, then they de­claire them selues godly, shal ask wherefore shall we be subiect to [Page] the ordinances of men? Haue we not the Spirite of God to teache vs in all thinges? We answer, that if we as men command any thing, l [...]t it not be obeyed, but if we in this age command the same things which God in the ages b [...]ore vs hath commanded by his [...]r [...]ands, let them be ware, least that in dif­pysing of vs, they dispyse not also the Eternall God [...] whose holie worde is to vs assurance of euerie pr [...]cept that we haue giuen. And further, we feare not to say that suche as murn [...] not with I [...]cob in his affliction, shal not rejoyse with him in the day of his deliuerance, but they shalbe cōpelled to murne and quaike with Pharo without end.

Many thinges we haue omitted to further oportunitie, and better occasion. God grant that things semplie spoken, & vprightly mēt, may be interpret according to the reule of charitie, and obedientlie [Page] followed as God requyreth.

¶Iohne Knox at the command of the publict Assemblie.

☞ ❀ ☜

Math. 2 [...] ¶Watche and pray, for the dayes are euill,
Hebr. 10.
and the ryghteous Iudge is in readynes to cum.

¶Hasten Lord and tary not.

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