¶ A short Treatise, very comfortable for all those Christians that be trou­bled and disquieted in theyr consciences with the sight of their owne infir­mities:

Wherein is shevved hovv such may in their owne selues finde whereby to assure them of their free election, effectuall vo­cation, and iustifi­cation.

Math. 7. verse 17.

Euery good tree bringeth foorth good fruite, and a corrupt tree bringeth foorth euill fruite.

Math. 4. verse 18.

A good tree can not bring foorth euill fruite, neither can a corrupt tree bring foorth good fruite.

Printed at London by Ralph Newbery. Anno Domini. 1580.

To the Christian Rea­der, saluation in Christ IESVS.

WHen these few leaues were writ at the first (Christian Reader) it was not my meaning thus by print to haue made them common, for they were writte vpō the request of a perticular man, for the comfort and con­solation of his troubled soule, but since one writ­ten coppy hath begot so many, and made me haue so many suters for moe, the number of afflicted cōsciences being in these dayes so many as I know they be, and they that haue had the reading heere­of already, reporting and confessing vnto me that thereby they haue bin much comforted, though I know that it was not nor is not penned so exactly, nor yet the matter dealt in so substātially as things in these dayes to be published had neede to be, yet I haue suffered my selfe by the importunitie of the godly that haue requested euen this at my hands to be ouerread, and so to publish it I hope for the benefite of all those that shall reade it: for this I am sure of. I haue so layd downe comforts for the hea­ling of the broken hearted Christian, that withall I haue I hope taken all occasion from the pro­phane and godlesse, of taking cause to be sure by any thing heere set downe, which I take to bee very necessary to be regarded in such preatises and [Page]discourses: wherefore be the Reader hereof a right and true Christian, or a carnall and counterfeyte Gospeller, he may in this short and briefe tracte find that which may be profitable for him: if he be of the later sort, then here shal he learne that where true iustification in deede is, there is also sanctifi­cation, and that therefore he deceyues himselfe in presuming of the former, hauing neuer had any a­quayntance with the later: and if he be of the first sort, be he weake, or strong in faith, heere shall he find both matter to leade him on in his strēgth, and to rayse him vp in his weakenesse, and there­fore take it vnto thee Christian Reader, and learne to make thy profite of it according to thy hearte, and a salue of it according to thy sore. That thou mayest thus do, I beseech the Lord to direct thee in reading of it with his spirit, and hauing done I pray thee recompence my good will in commending me vnto God in thy heartie Prayers agayne. Farewell.

Thine in Christ Iesus Thomas Sparke Archdeacon.

How a man shall be assu­red in his ovvne conscience of his election, effectuall vocation, and iustification.

THis is certayne, he that is desirous to knowe whether he be one whome God hath elected, and according to the same his election effectually called and iustifyed, he is to consider whether he be yet sanctified or no, and thereby to iudge of his election, vocation, and iu­stification: for where this sanctification is founde, there the partye that hath it in possession, is assured that he is the chosen childe of God effectuallie cal­led vnto that estate, and in Christ Ie­sus iustified, and so in the ende sure to bée glorifyed, as it maye well and euidentelye appeare bothe by the iudgemente of Peter, and also of Paule, whereof, the firste exhor­tyng to the particular braunches of [Page]sanctificatiō, as namely to knowledge, temperance, patience, godlynesse, bro­therly kindnesse, and loue, addeth thys as a reason to adde force vnto his exhor­tation, Bréethren giue diligēce to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, ye shal neuer fal. 2. Pet. 1. verse 5. and the other Rom. 8. as he as­sureth those that be in Christ of their e­lection, vocation, and iustification, yea and in the end, of their assured glorifica­tion, saying, there is no condemnation to those that be in Christ Iesus, so he in the words immediatly following, tea­cheth how to know those yt be in Christ, and so consequently those that be ele­cted, called, iustified, and in the end to be glorifyed, saying Which walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, which same lesson Christ our sauiour hathe taught vs, Math. 7. verse. 18. saying: A good trée cannot bring forth had fruite, nor yet a had trée can bring forth good fruite, and also Ioh. 15. verse. 4. & 5. where he saith, as the branch can not beare fruite of it selfe except it abide in the vine, no more [Page]can yée, except yée abide in me, I am the vine, yée are the branches, he that abi­deth in me, and I in him, the same brin­geth forth much fruite. Héereby I say then it is euident, as séeking the cause why we are elected, called, iustified, and finally shall be glorified, we find the on­ly cause to be Christ Iesus, and therfore are enforced to acknowledge hym the only dore into the shéepefold Ioh. 10. the way, the truth, and the life Iohn. 14. and his name to be the only name whereby commeth saluatiō Act. 4. so we are com­pelled being asked who be elected, cal­led, iustified, and to be glorified, to an­swere, they onely that ioyne vertue to their faith, that walke not after fleshe, but after the spirite, and so being good trées of the Lordes planting in Christ Iesus Esa. 61. and Iohn. 13. bring foorth the fruites of righteousnesse, that is, those only that be sanctified, for those ye word accompteth sanctified, in whome the sanctifying spirit sheweth it selfe to dwell by the right fruites of the spirit, wrought in them, which all consist in [Page]sacrificing, crucifying, [...]cising, mortifying, killing, and burying of the old man, and in putting on, [...]ing, renuing, and strengthning of the new man, which representeth the ymage of God in holynesse and righteousnesse, Ephesi. 4. If therefore to our eternall comfort we would be certifyed of thys poynte, whether we be of the number of those that shall be saued, let vs not séeke to be resolued thereof by [...]urious en­tring into consideration of Gods secret purpose, but let vs in the reuelation of Iesus Christ vnto vs, and in the as­sured tokens and mar [...]es of those whome God in him hath purposed to saue, learne to know and vnderstande what Gods purpose is towardes vs. For as it is written by Paule in the firste Chapter vnto the Ephesians, and the thirde verse, In hym it is, in whome the heauenlye father hathe blessed vs in all manner of spi­rituall blessings in heauenly things, according as he had chosen vs in him before the soundations of the worlde [Page]were [...]ayde, that we shoulde be holy and withoute blame before him tho­rough Loue. In déede God in descen­ding downe to vs, and in bringing vs to full possession of hys blessings, pro­céedeth by these steppes, béeyng of nature good and louyng towardes mankinde, thoughe in mutable manne there was found cause why hée should altogither bée shuffe from taking any benefite by thys loue of God towards him, yée, God being of nature immuta­ble, [...]erseuered in his loue towards mā, and [...]ō fréely of his own good wil purpo­seth the saluation of vs men in his son Christ Iesus, and electeth and predecti­nateth vs to be saued through and for hym, béefore the foundations of the worlde, and therefore in time by pro­misse reuealeth thys hys purpose, and when the fulnesse of Tyme was come, sente hym, in whome, by whome, thoroughe whome, and for whose sake hys purpose shoulde stande ra­tified and those, whose saluati­on in Christe thus promised and per­forme [Page]from euerlastyng hée purposed those by his worde and spirite, in hys good time he maketh effectuallye to vn­derstand how able and willing he is on­ly in hys sonne Christe Iesus to iustify: and there stayeth not, but by the same meanes he worketh faith in theyr hear­tes, whereby they catch holde of Christ, and so in hym of full iustification. Thus when hée hath made them trées of righ­teousnes of his own planting in Christ, then he so purgeth and trimmeth them, that they may bring forthe muche fruite to his glorie in this life, that in ye world to come he may make thē partakers of his owne glorie: so that God of his own good will purposeth to sane, or electeth whome he liste, and those he calleth whē he listeth, and them iustifieth and san­ctifieth here, that hée maye in hys good time glorifie elsewhere. Rom. 8.

But nowe, if wée would know Gods purpose of vs, wée haue to beginne at the lowest or laste effecte of hys good purpose towardes vs, and thereby by degrées to ascende to fynde oute what [Page]hys absolute decrée is to doe wyth vs: that is, lette vs consider whether we be sanctified or no, if not, it is in vaine ey­ther to bragge of Iustification, Vocati­on or Election, or to presume of Glori­fication: vntil this be founde in vs, wée can haue no assurance of anye of these: but when this is once sounde in vs, then forasmuch as none be sanctified, whom hée hath not iustified, and none iustified, whome he hath not both effectually cal­led in tyme, and elected before al times, and none euer was partaker of all these but in the ende also there was glorified, we may thereby assure our selues, that we are alreadye iustified and therefore called, called and therefore elected, and consequently suche as shall bée glorify­ed.

Howbeit, as all is not gold that gli­sters: so all is not Sanctification or true holinesse that séemeth so to be. For, we reade in the 29. Chapiter of Esay of such as drewe nigh to God with their lippes, and yet were farre from hym in their hearts: and Esay 28. God in des­cribing [Page]a people, in whome he founde nothing but sin and transgression to bée cryed out of, yet saith thus of them, yet they séeke me dayly, and woulde knowe my wayes, euen as a nation that dydde righteously, and hadde not forsaken the statutes of their God: in these then ther séemed to be holines, and yet was none: So in the Scribes & Pharisies in Chri­stes tyme in the eyes and iudgementes of men, there séemed to be notable san­ctification or holinesse of life, insomuch, that in that respecte Christe compareth them to suche as made cleane the vtter syde of the Cuppe, and of the Platter, and to painted tombes whyche appeare beautiful outward. And yet there he de­nounceth manye he any woes againste them, & pronounceth them Hypocrites, Serpents, and generation of Vipers, Math. 23. And therefore Christe hathe tolde vs, Math. 5. verse 20. Excepte our righteousnesse excéede the righteousnes of the Scribes & Pharisies, we shal not enter into the kingdome of Heauen: & hath also warned vs, that we be not like thē, neither in giuing of almes, praying, [Page]nor fasting, Math. 6. The Aungell of the Church of Sardis had a name yt he liued & yet was dead, Reuel. 3. describing the wickednes of ye last times, he saith, that thē they shal haue a shew of godlinesse, out haue denyed ye power therof. These places thē euidently do teach vs to take héed that we do not flatter our selues, & think, yt therfore al is wel wt vs, bicause outwardly we appere to men sanctified & righteous, for we sée here, yt it is not yt séeming but yt being righteous yt is pro­ued of God as a marke & true token of those yt shal enter into Heuē. O thē how voide are they of any true hope of salua­tiō, in whō there is neither foūd holines in déed, neither yet so muche as an out­ward shew therof, being men which liue so wickedly, that al men yt haue any ac­quaintance & familiarity with them, sée and beholde their prophane and wicked liues. But nowe let these alone, let vs take this profite by this lesson, yt it stan­deth vs vpon to be righteous in déede, if we be desirous hereby to reape any assu­raunce of our election and iustification. [Page]And hereby let vs take occasion to consi­der (least we be deceiued in accompting our selues truely righteous, when wée are not) what thynges be necessarye to true righteousnesse.

For the vnderstandyng whereof, if we resorte vnto the Scriptures of God, thereby shall wée learne, that true righ­teousnesse and perfect, is a ceasing from all the sinnes condemned in the lawe in heart, worde, déede, and countenaunce, and an embracing all the vertues com­mended in the same, in hearte, worde, déede, and countenaunce. And further, thereby shall wée plainely learne, that he that woulde walke in holinesse and righteousnesse before the Lorde, he hath to regard two principal things, the mat­ter namelye, that hée exercise hym selfe in, and the maner howe to doe it: For, if either bothe of these, or one of these be neglected, the labor is lost. The matter of a good worke is that onely which is warranted lawfull to be done, eyther expressely or by sound collection out of the Canonicall Scriptures, for it [Page]is written yée shall put nothing vnto the word that I command you, neyther shall you take aught therefrō Deu. 4.2. and good reason is there why we should obey this precept, for the holy Scripture is giuen by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to reproue, to cor­rect, and to instruct in righteousnesse, that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect vnto al good works, 2. Tim. 3. verse. 16.17. and therfore wor­thily Christ reiecteth all such workes or poyntes of his worship which haue no ground out of she word, saying, Mat. 15. in vayne they worship me, teaching for doctrines mens preceptes, thereby telling the Pharistes though they were neuer so paynefull and deuoute in ob­seruing their owne traditions, yet hée would make no accompt of their so do­ing, but as of vayne and lost laboure. Vpon this ground Paule Coloss. 2. con­demneth al works that haue no better warrant than the commaundementes and doctrines of men, thoughe there bée in them neuer so muche shewe of wise­dome, [Page]& humblenesse of mind as vaine & foolish, verse, 20. &c. By this rule all the wil worshipping & wil-workes in Po­pery, lacking allowance from the word, are proued such as neuer coulde be mat­ter of godlinesse. But when thou hast & suche regarde to the matter thou takest in hand, be it tending to the [...] frō sin, or practise of vertue, that thou arte assured out of the word, yt thou oughtest to be occupied therein, yet then hast thou not done: for vnlesse yu do the same thing in right maner, it léeseth the power of a good work. It cānot be denyed, but that almes and prayer to God, [...]e things cō ­manded, & therfore good matter of godli­nesse: but yet as it is euident, Math. 6. though ye Scribes & Pharistes did bothe these, yet were they not accompted good works then, bicause they were not done in right maner. The Lord in the first of Esay [...]elleth ye people, that he regarded not their sacrifices & burnt off [...]ings [...]yes he signifieth vnto thē, yt he lothed them, & counted their labor therein bestowed vaine, & their incense abhomination, & [Page]yet it is well knowen, that then sh [...]s [...] [...] were matters allowed and com­ [...]ded of God, yet bicause when they were done, they were not done as they oughte to haue béene, therefore the Lorde thus despyseth the doyng therof. Wherfore it is not ynough, as the dol­tishe practise vnder Antichriste caused [...]les to beléeue, to giue almes, to faste, to pray, to vse the Sacraments, & neuer to care howe and in what sorte to doe these thinges: for we sée, that thoughe these things be done neuer so much and neuer so ost, yet, if they be not done in right maner, they are reiected of ye Lord as vain & as abhominatiōs in his sight. Now in their maner of doing these thi­ges are to be regarded. First, that they pro [...]éede (I mean al our actions) from a heart puristed by faith. For as 1. Tim. 2. verse 5. we be taught, yt the end, sum, or perfection of ye whole law, is Loue: so are we told, yt it commeth out of a pure hart, & of a good cōscience, saying, ye true christil loue indéed is not foūd growing where ther is no pure hearte, neyther [Page]can there be a pure heart where is not a good conscience, neither yet can this g [...]od conscience be where there is absent an vnsayned Faith: but where this vnsai­ned faith is, that is, where a ful and set­led persuasion or assuraunce of saluatiō is throughe Jesu Christ alone wrought in the heart by the holy Ghoste, thereis a good conscience, bicause, being iustified by Faith, we haue peace with God tho­rough our Lord Jesus Christ Rom. 5. & so ther is also a pure hart, for it is faiths propertie to purify ye hart, Act. 15. verse. 9. And therfore is it writtē, that by saith Abel offred a better sacrifice than Caine Heb. 11. verse 4. For if there hadde bin faith in Caine as in Abell, his sacrifice had bin as well accepted as Abels, but euen for lack of this, it was not. If ther­fore we lacke faith in God, when we go about a good matter, we léese our labor, for it is impossible to please God wtout faith, Heb. 2. vers. 6. & therfore euē here­by al ye gay & glorious works of Turks, Iewes, Atheists, Heretikes, & Papists, are proued to be no good works at all in [Page]the sight of god, bicause they proc [...]d frō such as are destitute of ye true Christian faith. Secondly, we must take héed, that our workes be done in humilitie and lowlinesse of mind, taking our selues to be bound, as indéed we are, to doe more than we do or can do, yea▪ being ready to say & think indéed, as Christ hath taught vs, that whē we haue done al yt is com­maunded vs to do (whiche is impossible for vs to do, Act. 15. Rom. 8.) that we bée but unprofitable seruants. Luk. 17. Fur­ther, that this Humilitie muste be of measure in vs, that it cause vs alwayes to suspect our own weaknesse & infirmi­tie, yt so there may be founde in vs a ho­ly trembling & feare to offend oure good God, in omitting the least necessary cir­cumstance of a good work, as we be tau­ghte Phil. 2. verse. 12. in these wordes: Make an end of your saluation in seare & trēbling. That this humilitie & lowli­nesse of mind is necessarily to be ioyned wt exercizing our selues in good matters, Christ hath plainly taught vs Luk. 18 in the parable of the Pharisie & Publican: [Page]there it appeares, ye the Pharisie had ex­ercised himselfe in good matters, both in abstayning from outwarde fins, and in doing of good and lawfull things, & yet bicause, when he had done, he lackte hu­militie, & therwith was puft vp to think that God was therfore indebted to him, he mard al, & lost al his labor. And ther­fore al merit-mongers, yt perswade thē ­selues that by their works they haue de­serued Heauen, for al their bragging of works more thā ynough to iuf [...]i [...]e thē ­selues withal, are by Christe sent home vniustified, yea not so much as once rec­koned & accompted amongst ye workers of any iust & holy work. Thirdly, least a­ny shold think that in teaching vs to be thus lowly minded when we goe about a good work, we be taught therein vtter­ly to distrust or dispaire, that god wil at any time regard our good workes, & ac­cept thē, we must learne of the worde, to ioyne hope with our humilitie, yt as the one preserueth vs frō truste in our wor­kes, so the other may kéep vs from vtter dispairing that God wil reward them: [Page]But yt this hope may be found in vs, we must not séek to groūd any kind of wor­th [...]nesse in our selues, for when we looke into our selues, & consider our works, as they come from vs in great imperfecti­on, we find & see our selues to tremble & [...]ar, being ready al of vs to say wt Esay c 4. at our righteousnes is but as [...]thye clouts, but we must resorte to Christe, yt as in him we our selues are iustified, so for his sake these pore fruites of oures might be accepted. To teach vs thus to doe, Peter hath saide vnto vs, 1. Epistle Chap. 2. to whom [...]e come as vnto a li­uing stone dis [...] lowed of men, but chosen of God and pretidus, and be made a spi­rituall house, a holy priesthoode to offer vppe spirituall sacrifices acceptable to God by Iesus Christ. He knew sul wel, that to encourage Christians to exercise thēselues in godlines, which he termes here the offering [...] of spiritual sacri [...] ­te [...], it was nece [...]ry to teach th [...]us, that though when they had done, they should find no cause in their own works wor­thinesse why they shoulde be accepted of God, that yet acceptable they should [Page]be in Christ Iesus, yt thus yet he mighte teache them to doe good workes in hope that their labour shoulde be acceptable in Christe, and for his sake, the infirmi­ties and imperfections of their workes being conered through his good meanes. Fourthelye, bée the matter neuer so godly, that we doe, that yet it is neces­sary to take it in hande, and to procéede therein of loue, and by loue, Paule hath notably taughte vs 1. Cor. 13. saying: Thoughe I speake wyth the tongues of men and Aungels, and haue not Loue, I am as a sounding brasse or a tin­kling Cimball, and thoughe I had the gifte of Prophecie, and knew all secrets and all knowledge: yea, if I hadde all Faith, so that I coulde remoue Moun­taines, and hadde not Loue, I were nothyng: and thoughe I séede the p [...]re with all my goodes, and thoughe I gyue my body that I be br [...]ned, and haue not Loue, it profiteth me nothing: By loue, I meane that two solde loue towardes God and man, it muste not be the loue of our selues, loue of the worlde, or loue [Page]of aduantage that must set vs on work, but loue in déede vnfained by to wardes God, bicause he hathe loued vs so fréely and effectually in Christe. And this loue we can no way shewe towards him bet­ter than in giuing of oure selues fréely and wholy, hartily and continually to obey his laws and commaundements: For, he that saith he loueth him, and he­peth not his commaundements, dissem­ [...]leth with him: The hyr [...]l [...]ng not wor­king of loue workes [...]oy [...]eringly and soone is weary, but where loue setteth a worke, there the worke is done dili­gently, care [...]u [...]ly, and faithfully, & that not for a [...] but ce [...]tin [...] yea [...] [...]ther­fore, that it [...]ye appeare, that we giue our selues is g [...]iuesse, [...]uen of loue to [...]un that is go [...]sse it selfe, let vs bus­set oure selues ab [...]use it their fully with­our grudging for God lo [...]h a thée [...] ­full giuer, diligently, and no [...] [...]gligent­ly or [...]lly, for [...]ursed is he that doeth the worke of the Lord negligent­lye, and let vs perseuer and continue in [...]ell [...], without fai [...]ing or giuing [Page]ouer, for blessed is he that perseuereth to the end, & he that putteth his hend is the plough & looketh backe, is not méete for the kingdome of Heauen. Finally, & last of al, that nothing be lacking, learn we out of the 6. of Math. to take héeds, yt we séeke not vain glorie, yt is, the praise and glory at mans hand for our wel do­ing, but let our principal end be the glo­rie of God, as Christe hathe taught vs, Math. 5. saying: Let your light so shine before men, that they may sée youre good works, and glorifie your heuenly father which is in heauen: and aming thus at this marke by the way, we shal there by edifie our neighbors by our good exāple, and assure our selues to our great com­forte of our election, which [...]e two excel­lent ends, vses, & comu [...]dities ye rise to vs by our good works. Thus exercising our selues, and wras [...]iug according to the measure of oure faith, euery day to be lesse sinfull & more righteous, though that perfect righteousnesse that the law requyreth, be not founde in vs by rea­son of oure weakenesse, yet wée age [Page]counted in the sighte of GOD san­ctified holy, & acceptable in Christ Ie­sus, and so sealed vp to the day of re­demption. Paul without al doubt was in state of Iustification, and a man re­generate or newe borne, and therefore suche a one as had put off the olde man, and putte on the newe, when he wrote his Epistle to the Romaynes: and yet there in the [...]eauenth Chapiter it ap­peareth, that hée sounde in hymselfe when hée hadde done what he could, sin dwelling, insomuch that he confesseth, that he didde not the good thing that hée would, but the euil thing that he wolde not, that did he, and that he felt a lawe in his members rebelling e [...]ayust the law of his minde, leading him captiue vnto the lawe of [...]ue, and therefore he cryeth out of himselfe ô wretched man that I am, who shall deliner me from thys body of sinne, and death. And [...] Corinthians. 12. hée confesseth, that he hadde a pricke in his fleshe whyche hée calleth the Messenger of Sathan that bu [...]itted him▪ [...]or the whych his faith he [Page]prayed thrice that it might depart from him, but he sayeth answere was made him that Gods grace was sufficient for him, and that his power was made per­fect through weakenesse, whereby God taught him that so it is, and will be euē with the holyest of vs all, that there wil remayne in vs alwayes whiles we liue some reli [...]es of old Adain is humble vs to wrestle and fight against: this is ne­cessary to be obserued, least that any vpō occasion of the former do [...]rine shoulde gather against himselfe, that forasmuch as he séeth [...]n & infirmities in himself, that therefore he is not sanctified and so void of any assurance of his election and iustificatiō, for though Paul [...]oūd it thus with himselfe, yet bycause in the inner man he [...]ound a wrestling & a striu [...]g against these sinnes in his flesh, he ass [...] ­teth himselfe that he is one whom God had so certainly purposed to saue for his Christes sake, that in his owne person, & in the persons of all other in the same case ye he was, he saith, I [...] pers [...]ded that neyther death nor life, nor Angels, [Page]nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor deapth, nor any other crea­ture is abte to separate vs from the loue of God which is in Christ Iesus oure Lord Rom. 8. so that let not Peccatum [...]i [...]abitans sinne dwelling in the flesh, in the which we know with Paule that no good thing dwelleth Rom. 7. discou­rage vs, so that we be able to say truly with the same Paule, we delite in the Lawe of God concerning the inner man. In déede we must accompt that Paule hath sayd vnto the regeuerate, Let not [...] raigue in your mortall bodyes, that yée shoulde obey it in the lustes thereof. Rom. 6.12. and thereby gather that i [...] we be sa [...]fied and rege­uerate in déede, that then sinne is put from his reigne or kingdome in vs: but their the must vnderstand, that there is greate disterene betw [...]te Peccatum regu [...]s an [...] E [...]catum [...], that is, betwéet sh [...]e reiguing in vs, and dwel­ling in vs [...] then is in his reigne and king [...] [...] when he hath the mem­bers [Page]of man redy to yéeld him their vo­luntary or willing obediēce, taking de­light in doing of him seruice, in whiche estate sin is in vs till we be regenerate & haue put on Christ, wheby his spirita dispossesseth sin of his kingdom: howbe­it then til death come, in some measure it will be founde in man, but yet farre vnlike that it was before, for now it is resisted by the spirite, & so, either cannot get the members is doe it seruice at al, or else, if it doe so farre prenayle, as to too often it doeth, yet by theforce of the spirite they are so checked and taken vp for their so doing, that neither is there such delighte taken in sin, as before, nei­ther can sin after get his will obeyed so easily again, insomuch, that thoughe it get his wil now & then done, yet it get­teth ye but with grudging & misliking of ye spirit, & so hath neuer ful obedience yéelded it as before, & euery day it obtai­neth lesse obedience & lesse. So ye I may wel compare the obediēce that sin hath, being in his kingdome, to the obediēce y a lawfull & welbeloued King getteth [Page]of hys subiectes, and the obedience, that sin only dwelling in man obtaineth, to ye obedience ye a tyrant & vsurper getteth of his subiectes that loue him not. Both of these get their things that they com­maund done, but in great dinersitie, for the one is obeyed in all, & that willing­ly, hartily, & faithfully: the other in as little as they can, & in that repyningly with inwarde griefe & misliking, ye they shoulde obey such a one at al: & euen the like difference betwixt obedience, yéel­ded to him before regeneration and af­ter is there. Take we héed therfore, that sin raigne not in vs, & wrestle wée and striue we by the spirite euery day more and more to withdrawe our bodies and soules from yéelding any obedience to sin dwelling in vs, and in thus doing, though with Paule we fynd some tyme this tyrant letting vs from doing the good we would, and drawing vs on to do the euil that we mislike, yet with the same Paule as wée do take occasion to crye oute of oure owne wretched­nesse, and of the tyranny of sinne in vs, [Page]so let vs comfort our selues, assuring our selues that this wrestling against sinne in the inner man is a sure argu­ment of our most assured purposed sal­uation in the bloud of Iesus Christ.

But to the end that this doctrine now thus generally layde downe may be to the more comfort of thée Christian Rea­der particularly, let vs sée now how it can be applyed to thy fore, to salue it: to thy sicknesse: to cure it: to thy afflicted conscience, to solace and comfort it: thou mournest, and thy soule is troubled, desquieted, and sore vered within thée, yea, thou thinkest thy selfe euen com­passed about with the paynes of hell, and therfore in bitternesse of heart com­playnest as one cast off, forgotten and forsaken of God, fearing greatly that thy ende and portion shall be with the wicked: and why is all this? bycause sayest thou I find in my selfe such doub­ting whether I shall be saued for Chri­stes sake or no, and many other sinnes and infirmities in my selfe beside, for the which I deserue vtterly to be reie­cted. [Page]But tell me also and dissemble not with me, doest thou not greatly mislike this thy doubting? art thou not gréeued with thy selfe for it? findest thou not in thy selfe an earnest desire to be ridde of it, that thou mightest fully beléeue that thou shalt be saued for Christes sake? and further concerning the other infir­mities, doest thou not mislike them and condemne them in thy selfe, and wrestle and striue to lessen them in thy selfe? and yet to go one step further with theée: doest thou not vnfeynedly finde in thy selfe loue towards Gods truth, and the professors thereof, euen for that they do professe it and embrace it, and a loue af­ter godlinesse, euen for godlinesse sake? And that in answering of me in these two last poyntes, you be not deceyued, consider whether you take any com­fort, pleasure, and delight in reading of Gods booke, in studying of his truth, in hearing it preached and commoned on, and whether it be a gréefe vnto you to heare it withstoode or misliked, or the professors and preachers thereof abused, [Page]if these things be in you, it is certayne you haue loue towardes God and his truth, and to ye bréethren that professe it: and as for loue after godlynesse vniuer­sally euen for godlynesse sake, then it is in you, if you be at this poynt, that you could finde in your heart to absteyne frō sinne, though it might aduantage you, & not hurt you in procuring you here a­ny shame or punishment, & to embrace vertue, though it purchase you mockes, scoffes, and tauntes, and any other dis­pleasure, and gayne you nothing wyth menne, euen bycause your God hathe condemned the one and cōmended the other. And whether your abstaynyng from sinne and embracing of vertue be such as this, you may be able to iudge, if you consider whither you be as care­full to absteyne from those sinnes that man punisheth not or accounteth not of, as from other: and if you way whether you be not as well willing to embrace those poyntes of godlynesse whiche are most dispised amongst mē, as those that he highliest estéemed, you can not deny [Page]but that to these questions you must néedes answer that it is thus with your selfe, notwithstanding your complay­ning of lacke of faith and doubting, that sometime you haue good comforte in hearing Gods truth in Christ Iesus, and great consolation in powring forth your Prayers vnto God in the bitte [...] ­nes of your soule: this is it that discom­forts you, that this comfort of yours la­steth but for a short time, your doubting being renued, and yet you can not I am sure say to the contrarye, but that you hope of the renuing of your com­fort in Christ, and of saluation through him in the ende. Be it then that this is thy state (Christian Reader) let vs sée nowe what comfortes the worde of God ministreth vnto thée, to binde vp thy broken heart, and to heale thy woū ­ded conscience.

This I dare say vnto you by g [...]d and plentiful experience to begin with­all in the wordes of Paule 1. Cor. 10. verse 23. there hath no tēptatiō takē you but such as aperteineth to mā: and God [Page]is faithfull, which will not suffer you to be tempted aboue that you be able, but wil giue the issue with the temptation, that you may be able to beare it: thus hath he before now oftentimes brought downe to Hell, and carryed backe a­gayne: he hath throwne downe that hée might rayse vp: wounded, that he might heale: thus doth he vse to breake vp the fallow landes of the hearts of his chil­dren, to prepare them as méete ground for the immortal séede of his word: thus doth he according to his promise Ezech. [...]6. take from his their stony heartes, and bestowes soft and fleshie hearts vp­pon them: such a broken and contrite heart as this is, is so acceptable a sacri­fice to God, that he will not despise it, Psal. 51. yea to the great consolation of such, it is sayd by God Esay. 66. verse. 2. to him will I looke that is poore, and of a contrite spirite, and trembleth at my wordes, and therefore so farre off is it that you should be perswaded that God hath forgotten you or left you off, by­cause of the trouble and vexation which [Page]you féele in your soule, that euen there­in you haue matter of comfort, assuring you that you are one whome most ten­derly he looketh vpon and regardeth. In déede it can not be denyed, but that where there is no faith in Christ Iesus, there is yet the state of damnation, for as it is written, He that beléeueth in him, shall not be condemned: so it follo­weth writ in the same verse. But hée that beléeueth not, is condemned alrea­dy, bycause he beléeueth not in the only begotten sonne of God Ioh. [...]. verse. 18. But your argumente to proue that you haue not faith, neyther yet the fruites, bycause you find in your selfe the quite contrarie doubting sinnes and infirmi­ties, is not good, for the antecedent may be true, and granted, yt you do so doubt, and that there is such sinnes and infir­mities in you, and yet that therefore you are forsaken and cast off of God, to be denyed: for yt making whereof plaine vnto you, you must vnderstand that the life of a Christian is a continuall war­fare, and that this warre is to be found [Page]euen in such as Paule was (a man that had faith in greate measure, and the fruites thereof) as you haue heard out of the seauenth of the Romanes betwixt the inner man and the outwarde, in so much that he setteth it downe Gala. 5. verse 17. for a certaine point of doctrine, saying, the flesh lusteth against the spi­rit, and the spirit against the fleshe, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye can not do the same things that ye would: whereby we are taught that naturally we are all nothing but the old man, nothing but flesh both bo­dy and soule, and such we remayne by nature the children of wrath Ephes. 2. poore captiues in prison Esa. 61. sold vn­der sinne Rom. 7. blind, not able to dis­cerne the things of God 1. Cor. 2. yea, hauing the best thing that is in vs, our wisedome, a naturall and rebellious e­nemy to the will of God Rom. 8. and in this case the strong enemie Sathan kée­peth vs quietly in his subiection, vntill Christ Iesus a stronger than he come, & dispossesse him, Luke 11. who entring [Page]into possession, first lightneth our darke hearts with vnderstanding, and by hys spirite worketh faith in vs, and be get­teth vs anew, and so we put on the new man, and haue his spirite dwelling in vs, Rom. 8. by which spirit we offer bat­tell to the fleshe, and séeke to put off the old man, and to kill & crucifie him with his lusts. But thus the case stādeth with vs, that we shall neuer quite be ridde of this old man, we shall neuer fully haue kild and crucifyed the flesh, vntill death come, for he striketh the last blow of the battayle, till then we are in the fielde, and haue continually to skirmish. Now the state and condition of the most faith­full man being thus, and euery one ha­uing cause to say with Paule Rom. 7. I know that in my flesh there dwelleth no go [...]d thing, yea, we vnderstanding that the fruites of the fleshe be as the same Paule hath told vs, adulterie, for­nication, vncleannesse, wantōnesse, y­dolatrie, witchcraft, hatered, debate, e­mulations, wrath, contentions, sediti­ons, hereste [...], enui [...], murthers, drun­kennesse, [Page]gluttony, and such like, what maruel is it if looking into the flesh that we carrie vp and downe with vs, we sée and find therin doubting sinnes and in­firmities? and what strange thing is it then if Sathan our old antient enemie, the more to discomforte his aduersarye the spirit but newly come into the field, do cause his Lieutenant and Captayne generall of his battell the flesh, to mu­ster al his power, and to make as great a shew of thē as he can possibly? though many of his army in former skirmishes with the spirit haue bin sore wounded, some in the head, some in the arme, and some one where and some another, yet I warrant you, the better and more to daunt his aduersary and his host, he wil cause them vntil they be quite slayne, to present thēselues in the field: and how is it possible but that this Captaine pit­ching his tentes so nie vs, but that we hauing eyes to sée withal, should descrie & espy his host, & with the greatnes and fiercenesse thereof in our selues he dis­comforted at the sight thereof, especially [Page]as lōg as we are occupyed rather in cō ­sidering the force bent against vs, than the strength of our own Captain Christ Iesus, and his power ready present to help & succour vs. I remember that it is written in the sixt of ye last of the Kings, whē the King of Aram sent horsses and Chareis & a mighty host to take Eliza at Dothan, and therwith had compassed the City where he was by night, his mā in ye morning séeing ye host & their strēgth, and cōsidering only therof, was afraide and said, alas maister what shal we do: but his maister rather cōsidering ye host that was of his side, he answered, feare not, for they that be with vs, are mo thā they that be with them, and the seruāts eyes being opened, he perceyned it was so, and then his feare was gone. Euē so we, as long as we are occupyed in be­holding the army of the flesh & old mā, we can not but be discomforted, but if our eyes were opened, and we woulde be occupyed in beholding & considering the strength & force of the new man, & of the spirit which is o [...] our side, we shuld [Page]be chéered againe, but be it that the one, and that the flesh and his host, s [...]me ne­uer so strōg, and like to foyle the other: and the other, the spirit, neuer [...]o yong & weake, and like to be foyled, yet the spi­rit once hauing entred the field, and be­gon the battell, doubt we not, but that in the end he will ouercome the other & his force, for ye one hath his strength and force but from Sathan a creature, and the other from God the creator, & there­fore sure in the end to be the conqueror. Dauid in offering and entring ye com­bat with great Goliah, was iudged both of Saule and of his aduersarie farre too weake, but yet in the end he slew Go­liah. 1. Sam. 17. for he was the Lordes Champion, and the other but ye Cham­piō of the Lords enimies ye Philistins: and therefore be it that the new man in thée be but comparable to little and yong Dauid, and the olde man to strong and mightie Goliah, yet Dauid offering the Combate, let hym putte thee in hope of certayne victorie by hys for­nier experience of mightyer conquests, [Page]as Dauid did Saule, saying: thy ser­uant hathe already slaine both a Lyon & Beare: my meaning is, in that thou hast heard and séene, that the spirit hath subdued the flesh and his power, in Ma­nasses, Mary Magdalene, and snehe like ones, doubt you not but that he shall ouercome thy fleshe neuer yet so braw­ned and inured to sin, as it was in thē. Yea, but I heare thy flesh redy to teach thée to cast aside al these comfordes, say­ing, that thou hast not nor [...]éel [...]st [...]ot yet this [...]ttel offered or begon in thée, and that therefore these things sal beside the wel. Yet to beginne withal, thus much is obtayned, if this battell be begonne, that then though looking into the flesh & the fruits therof, thereby neuer so much cause be giuen thée to be discoraged and discomfort [...], that yet looking vppon the spirite that resisteth and stri [...]eth with ye flesh, there is sufficient cause of assured comforte againe, vnlesse tho [...] dare sayd o [...] thinke, that the Diuet can putt [...] God to flight, & make him altes his purpose whiche once to surmise is blasphemy [...]. [Page]And this is gotten also, that in the rege­nerate man there being as wel fleshe as spirite, the fruites of the fleshe being as they be, ye it followeth not, there is in me doubting, and sins, and infirmities, that desire. Gods wrath, and therfore I haue no fayth and godlynesse accepted and ap­proued of God in Christ Iesus, for tho­ughe the former be found in the flesh, as they haue bin and be in all fleshe in some measure, the later is found & may be founde in the newe and inner man, whose properties are cōtrarie to the pro­perties of the other, amōgst which faith with diuerse fruites thereof are reckned Gal. 5. verse. 22. & 23. those things obtai­ned already, let vs then nowe consider. whither it be true ye there be in you this battel begun, & that God hath made you a fielde for these two might [...] Captains the spirit and the fleshe to fight a combat togither in. That the one is ther, name­ly the flesh, you graunte: but that the o­ther is yet come, the spirite you meane, you deny. What do you thinke that any man will fight with himselfe wil Sathā [Page]then thinke you striue against himselfe? if you thinke that it maye so be, Christie Luke. [...]. hath taught you ye Sathan is wiser thā so, taking it for a thing ye could not but be granted, ye Sathan would not resist himselfe, or striue with himselfe, & therefore proueth the accusation of bys casting out of Diuels by the power of Sathan, to be rediculous and flāderous, saying. If Sathā be deuided against him self, how shal hys kingdome stād? wher­fore for as much as you féele in your sel­ues a misliking of infidelitie or doubting of your saluation, a grief for it, & an ear­nest desire to be rid of it, and withal féele a grief for your sinnes, ioyned with a lo­thing of them, and an earnest desire to cease from sinning, I woulde aske you from whence you thinke all this cōmes, from the same fountaine trow you from whence the former, that is the matter of your sorrow cōmes? if you thinke so, I reply with Iames wordes Cap. 3. verse 11. & 12. Doth a fountain send forth at one place swéete water and bitter? can the fig trée bring forth ob [...]tes? either a vine figs? [Page]yea, wyth Christ, Math. 7. verse 16. Do men gather Grapes of Thornes, or figs of thistles? Is it possible then that these things shold come from the flesh where there dwels no good thing, Rom. 7. Can the blacke Moore change hys skynne, or the Leoperd hys spottes? Ierem. 1 [...].22. then maye this be. Nay these be fruites quyte contrary to the fruites of the flesh as it is well knowen, and therfore they come from the spirite: for these two and their fruites be contrary the one to the other, Gal. 5. & therfore, as the fyndyng of & doubting of sinnes in your selfe bée sure argumentes, that the fleshe is in the fielde, so be these as certaine argu­ments, ye the spirit is come, & hath ioy­ned battel. Further, your confessed loue to Gods truth and the professors ther­of, your loue to godlines for it own sake & mislike of sin, not in worldly respects, but euen bycause it is sin, youre crying vnto God in your griefe and heauinesse of soule, your comfortes then, and in the o [...]te vse of the worde, your hope of Gods goodnesse in the ende towardes you, [Page]strengthned by the experience of hys goodnesse towardes you hitherto, be e­uen so many moste excellent seales and assurances vnto you euen from God, that you are his chosen, iustified, and sanctified childe, and that therefore you haue his spirite dwelling in you, to war and to ouercom the flesh to your eternal comfort. O but yet in al this I haue yet no faith. Why saist yu so. Is it not writ­ten, Rom. 8. as manye as haue the spi­rite of God be the sonnes of God? and can anye be the soune of God wythoute Faith? therefore, in that thou haste the spirite dwelling in thée, it is certayne thou haste faith in some measure. Yea, but I féele it not, but rather the contra­ry, and that in great measure: yet being deceyued, thou féelest a thing in the stri­uing againste infidelitie & misliking it, & that is Faith, for as vertue is resisted by his contrary vice, so this foule vice of Infidelitie is withstoode by hys contra­ry vertue which is faith: And it is writ­tē: how shal they pray to him, in whom they haue not beléeued, Rom. 10.14. of [Page]then as earnestly you haue called vpon God in Christes name, so manye argu­mentes haue you of faith in hym: And howe coulde you haue had at anye time suche comfort in praying, and consolati­on in the doctrine of the Gospel, without faith? For, if you haue no faith in Christ, then neither hathe hys grace any accesse to you to comforte you, nor you to it, thereby to take comforte, for you know, he that is withoute Faith, is withoute Christe, and he that is without Christe, hath God not his comforter, but his con­founder: and therefore those comfortes and consolations that you haue hadde, muste remaine wyth you as sure euiden­ces, that by Faith you haue Christ dwel­ling in you. And thoughe you féele not these comfortes still, shal you therefore conclude, that you haue no faith? The woman with childe, though she féele not the childe alwayes stirre, yet, bicause she hath sometime felt it, she comforteth hir selfe, that she is with childe: you knowe she is with childe a good while before she can sensibly féele it moue, and at the first [Page]shée féeleth it but weakely, yea, after she hathe felt it strongly, some tune she fée­leth it not againe a great whyle, & when she doeth, in muche weakenesse some­times in comparison of the former, and yet for all this, hathe in the ende a happy trauell: so Faith is not felt to moue strongly as soone as it is bred, and when it beginneth once, it continueth not al­wayes alike motions. It is wyth Faith and withal other the graces of the spirit, as it is with the Sunne, which sometime setteth, sometime ryseth, sometime shy­ueth, sometime is couered with cloudes, or shadowed from vs by thicke and sog­gey mystes arising out of the earth: for euen so sometime these séeme to be sette and gone downe in vs, but when the morning comes, they arise againe, some­tyme they are couered from our eyes, by suche mists and cloudes that arise out of the fleshe, that wée cannot espye them: but yet for all this, as he reasoneth ilfa­uouredly and vntruely, that saith, the Sunne cannot be séene nowe for clouds, therefore it is not in the firmament: so he [Page]that sayeth: I can not sée and perceiue Faith and the spirite in me for the frui­tes of the fleshe, therefore they be not in mée. Be not therefore discouraged thoughe thou synde a Wynter in thy selfe sometime, for if thou haste hadde once these florishing fruites of Sommer in thée heretofore, be thou assured thou shalt haue hereafter a Sommer again, and that the trées and hearbes are not dead, though there appeare and be séene little gréenenesse in them, for the sappe remaines in the roote, which whē Som­mer cōmes, wyll garnishe all agayne. When thou commest into an Orchard, fielde, and Garden, thou canst comforte thy self with these thoughtes: euen doe the like in this: For it is written, that whō he loues he loues to the end, Iohn 13. & in whome he hath begonne thys good worke of Regeneration, in them he wil performe it, Philip. 1. For the gyfts and calling of God be without re­pentance, Rom. 11. And therfore, though they séeme to be so raked vp & couered wyth ashes, that they are not séene nor [Page]perceyued, insomuch, that Dauid (spea­king according to his own sense) be rea­dy to saye, that God hathe tourned his backe vppon him, and forgotten to bée gratious, & shut vp his louing kindnesse in displeasure, yet in truth it is not so, whiche God will make manifest in hys good time, by remouing of the a [...]es that couered hys graces and gi [...]tes, and by blowing the [...]les thereof wyth the Bellows of hys spirite in the ministery of his worde and sacraments. Further, that hope that is in thée, what is it else, but faiths daughter: For when by faith once wée haue learned what [...]ynges be: prepared for vs at Gods hande in Christe Iesus, thi [...] by hope we looke for them in the mid [...] of most grieuous tem­ [...]tious, wherein Hope playeth a g [...]d daughters p [...]i [...], in [...]ourishing and [...]ngthning [...] mother, whyche other­wise then woulde be ready to languish: but to hope [...]or [...]ings, whiche by [...]aie [...] we knowe not before in Christe Iesus to appertayn [...] [...]nto vs, in vaine, and therefore [...] [...]counted in di [...], and [Page]that aptlye and worthily, the daughter of Faith, and therefore, in confessing that you haue Hope, you confesse that you haue Faith also: For graunte once, that there is a daughter: and it is also of necessitie to be graunted, that there was the mother first. And whereas thou complaynest, that thou féelest it not, but rather the contrary, I graunt thou neyther féelest Faith, nor yet euer shall in the fleshe, but in the inner man. By these meanes that I haue shewed, thou mayest fynde Faith, and therewith con­tent thy selfe, and saye as the man sayd to Christe: I beléeue Lorde, Lord help my vnbeléete, I beléeue in the spirite and inner man, and there I fynde no doubtyng, but a wrestling againste the least doubting, and a mi [...]iking of it: but in my fleshe I finde vnbeléefe, whych I beséeche thée O Lorde [...]e and helpe. If you dreame (as it is [...]ely you do) of suche a measure of Faith in the spirite that shoulde [...]yte extinguishe, euen the least doubting in the fleshe, you drea [...] of that whyche yet neuer [...]ll mann [...] [Page]had or shall haue, if it be in the sinner man vnmixte, wyth doubting whych it is: if it mislike of the least doubting, and sight againste it, you haue Faith in his right nature, yea, and the greater your doubting and vnbeléefe in the fleshe hathe bin, the stronger hath your Faith shewed it selfe, in that notwithstanding it continueth striuing against it, condē ­ning it & misliking it: you muste vnder­stand, ye the force of Faith in instifying dependeth not vpon the quantitie ther­of, but vpon ye qualitie, for al yt be iustifi­ed by Faith, haue not Faith in equall measure and quantitie, some haue it in strong measure, some in weak measure, but al that by Faith catch holde of their saluation, must haue like faith in quali­tie, yt is, they muste séeke their saluation at Gods hands in Christ Iesus alone. It is likely you knowe that all those a­mōg ye Isralites that looked vp to ye bra­sen Serpent had not like eyes al in big­nes & clearnes, yet if they had eies, were they neuer so little and so bleared, yet looking directly [...] [...]ppe, they found helpe [Page]as well as the other: Be the beggers hande little or greate, it serueth hym a­like to take a penny wythall. So if thou haue a right faith, that is such a faith as séeketh and looketh for saluatiō through Christ God and man alone, be it that it is but little and weake, yet it serueth thy turne. In déede it is god, that fyn­ding faith in weake measure in vs, we should striue by reading and musing of the word, by diligent [...]oaring it read and preached, that wée maye growe in faith, and procéed from a weak measure of faith to a stronger. But yet in anys case we muste take héede, that, hauyng escaped from the filthinesse of Poperie in this point, in séeking for any parte of our saluation in our owne merites, sut­tle Sathan cause vs not to séeke for our saluation, for the worthinesse of oure faith, which we are very nigh vnto, whē we are ready to saye or thinke, that our [...] weake faith, though it be neuer so right a faith, cannot iustifie vs, vnlesse it were in some worthier measure. For is not thys a lykelihoode, that wée are about to [Page]tye saluation to the worthinesse of faithe Wherefore, to preserue vs from thys [...]eight of Sathan, we must vnderstand, that if we accompte it absurde to séeke [...]luation in worthinesse of [...]ure other workes, it is as absurde to tooke for it for the worth [...] of our saith: For when wée are [...]ghte in the worde, that saith in the bloude of Christe Iesus iusti [...]eth, the meaning thereof is not to teache vs that faith hath this four for the toorthinesse [...] it selfe, but for ye wor­thinesse of Iesus Christe the obiecte and matter that saith findeth out beholdeth and apprehen [...]. So that the proposi­tion so much [...]icked againste of the eui­ [...]ies of Gods s [...] grace, Faith onelye [...]sti [...]eth▪ is that in e [...]te. Amongest al vertues when they are togither, Faith alone hath thy [...] [...]ce, though when shée [...]tes it she be not alone or vnaccom­ [...]auyed of other vertues, to apprehende Christe Iesus, and so in him alone to iustifie vs: But to retourne againe to your complaint of not féeling faith, and therefore you haue not faith: I muste [Page]tell you further, that I feare in these heauenlye thinges you haue folowed to muche sence and féeling. For, if yo [...] woulde iudge aright whether you haue faith or no, and whether you be Gods déere chylde or no, you muste not iudge by sence and féeling, but by the words of Almightie God. So that if your sence and féeling leade you one way to iudge of your selfe, and the word of God [...] and you an other waye, you muste pref [...] the iudgemente and determination, of God in hys worde, who knowes bet­ter these thinge [...] than [...]ée o [...]e selues, who is better to bée beléeued than our owns sence and féeling, before the sen­tence of fleshe and blo [...]. To refuse thus to doe, is to ob [...]se [...]then to beléeue oure selues than GOD, and to presume, that we by oure owne sen [...] & féeling can iudge better in what [...]ta [...]s, we stande, than GOD hymselfe that made vs, whyche is greate blasphemy. Wherefore, to lette goe talking of youre owne sence and féeling, if you [Page]be destrous to know your estate, would you haue a better and surer Iudge than God himselfe to tell you it? In déede says you, if hée woulde come downe from Heauen, and tell me, I should then I hope beléeue hym. Euen so he hathe in hys worde: and if an Aun­gell from Heauen shoulde come and tell you otherwise than in his worde he hathe tolde you, you haue Paules war­ [...], Gal [...] to holde him accursed there­fore, and I hope you wil hold that sēce, that féeling, that reason, that person, & that Diuel accursed, that dare be so bold [...]reafter, as to tell you otherwise of your selfe and your estate than GOD hymselfe hathe pronounced in this hys worde. Hearken therefore wyth a mind readye to yéelde your subscription vnto Gods iudgement in hys worde.

We are tolde, Esay 61. that Christe was annoynted, bycause the spirite of God was vpon him, to preach glad ty­dings vnto the pore, to bind vp ye brokē hearted, to preache libertie to the cap­tiues, and to them that are bound, the [Page]opening of the prison to preache the acceptable yeare of the Lords, and the daye of vengeance of our [...] God to com­forte all that mourne, to appoynt vn­to them that mourne in Syon, and to giue vnto them beautie for ashes, the oyle of ioye for mourning, the [...]a [...] ­ment of gladnesse for the spirite of hea­uinesse, that they myghte bée cal­led Trées of Righteousnesse, the plan­ting of the Lorde, that he myghts [...] glorified: whereby wée learne, that those Christe hathe cured and comfor­ted that bée trées of Ryghteousnesse of the Lordes plantyng, whereby [...] is glorified. Nowe Iohn 15. wée learne that those trées of Ryghteous­nesse that bee of the Lordes planting▪ they bée planted and grafted into Christ Iesus, and there also we are taughte as the branch cannot heare fruit of it selfe, excepte it abide in the Vine, no more can wée excepte wée abyde in Christe.

In these twoo places then this do­ctrine is flatlye taughte vs, that wée can not bee good trées of Ryghteous­nesse, [Page]wherevpon good fruite is found gr [...]ing, vnlesse we be such as be enri­ched, fréed, deli [...]ed, cured, and healed by Christ, yea vntill we be such as both be ingrafted into Christ, and childe in him. Now ye they that be in this case be elected and iustified, hane faith, be the children and sonnes of God in the ende to be glorified, you can not denie; now then, looke vpon your wres [...]ing against infidelitie and other sinnes, your loue towards God and his truth, and to all godlynesse vnseypedly, and you shall sinne that not only the matter of godly­nesse which [...] found in hipocrites, but the matter done in right maner, ac­cording to the rules before set downe, be founde in you, what betteth then, but that according to Saint Peters counsel you should accompt your election sure, and that you shall neuer fall. 1. Peter. 2. These things you know, that doing in­ [...]rie to the spirite of God that hathe wrought them in you, you can not deny but that they are good fruites of fayth; and of one iustified thereby: and then sée­ing [Page]you are enforced to conf [...]sse that these be in you, vnlesse you would [...] cleane contrarie to Christes indgemēt say Math. 7. that an yll trée can bring foorth good fruite, confesse that you are in the sight of God a good trée, as the Lorde hath made it manifest to you to your comfort, by causing these fruites to grow on you. To come to particu­lers, you know Christ hath sayde, Lou [...] one another as I haue loued you, that is, as Iohn expoundes it, in déede an [...] truth. 1. Epistle Chap. 3. and by this shall all men knowe that you are [...] Disciples, whiche less [...]n was of that force with Iohn, that finding in him­selfe loue towardes the bréethren, with­out hypocriste, he set downe this po [...] ­tion of hymselfe, and of all suche. W [...] knowe that we are translated from death vnto life, bycause we loue the bréethren 1. Iohn. 2. verse 14. Marke he sayeth, we know, not we thinke or suppose, thereby teaching vs to accompt thys fruite founde in vs an infallible argumente of oure blessed estate. And [Page]in the nexte Chapter hée teacheth vs to knowe whether we bée ledde by the spirite of truth or errour, by oure willingnesse to heare the faithfull mi­nisters of God, saying: He that kno­weth God heareth vs, he that is not of God heareth vs not, héereby knowe we the spirite of errour and the spirite of truth [...] and a little after he addeth, and héereby knowe we that we dwell [...] hym, and he in vs, bycause he hathe gyuen vs of hys spirit. Thus then you in the iudgement [...] of the word is, that you are a g [...] tree of the Lordes plan­ting and [...]g [...]aning, abiding in Christ Iesus, that you are one of Christes Disciples, translated from deathe to life, and ledde by the spirite of truth, and therefore suche an one as dwelles in the fauour of God; this is Gods sen­tence and iudgement of you, and there­fore thankefully prayse him, and bring once all your thoughtes and imagina­tions that set vp thēselues against this, into obedience herevnto: quench not [Page]the spirit, neyther yet gréeue any longer the spirite of grace,1. Thess. 19. Ephe. 4.30. whereby you are thus comfortably sealed vnto the day of redemption, be no longer vnthankefull vnto God in staying from confessing your selfe to be his childe, and to haue faith. Be of good cheere, the Lorde hath giuen you beautie for ashes, the oyle of ioy for m [...]rning, the garment of glad­nesse for the spirite of heauinesse, and therefore say with the Prophet in the same place Esay. 61. I will greatly re­ioyce in the Lord, and we soule shall be ioyfull in my God, for he hath clothed me with the garments of saluation, and couered me with the robe of righteous­nesse, yea, he hath decked me like a Bridegrome, and as a Bride tireth hirselfe with iewels: and let not yours weakenesse and brusednesse any wore dismay you, for you haue a God that will not quench the smoking s [...]are, not yet breake the brused réede. Neyther yet let the chaunges and alterations that you find in your selfe disco [...]t you, for God is no changeling neyther in him­selfe [Page]nor in his giftes Mal. 3. Iames. 1. [...]om. 11. and though Sathan be bu [...]e in making warre, and in renewing his assaults, yet [...]r [...]st not, if you were not Gods childe, and o [...]e in Gods king­dome, he néeded not, neyther yet would so striue with you, he warreth not a­gainst those that be his, but is at peace with them, and Christ that hath taken in hande the kéeping of you, is a good Shepeheard, and hath triumphed ouer sinne, and ouercome him, and therefore he is bold to say Iohn. 10. My Shéepe shall neuer perish, neyther shall anye plucke them out of my hands Psal. 28. if we by the force of ye enemie be caused to stray sometime, yet he giueth vs not ouer, but séeketh vs till he finde vs, and then he layeth vs on his shoulder, and bringeth vs home againe Luke. 15. and therefore let vs euen boldly trust our selues with him, nothing doubting, but yt if he leade vs at any time into tēpta­tion, he wil stand by vs, and so preserue vs, that we shal happily get out again, to his glory and our comforte, whiche [Page]God the Father graunt vs, euen for this hys sonnes sake, now and euer, A­men. To which God the Father, God the Sonne, and God the holy Ghost, thrée persons and one true and e­uer liuing God, be all prayse, honor and dominion for euermore.


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