The ready Path to the pleasant Pasture of delitesome, and e­ternall Paradyse, so called, bicause herein is declared how, and by what meanes, we shall easily obtayne the surpassing pleasures of hea­uenly feli­citie.

Scene and allowed according to the order appointed.

Ioel. 2.

Omnis qui inuocauerit nomen Do­mini, saluus erit.

Euery one that shall call vppon the name of the Lorde, shall be safe.

¶Imprinted at London by Henry Denham, for Iohn Iudson.

To the Reader.

ALBEIT THE WHOLE worlde be miserably plunged, and daungerously drowned in the terrible seas of Gods hea­uie wrath, and sore displea­sure, yet (most deare christi­ans) such are the vnspeakeable riches, and in­comparable treasures of his heauenly mercy, that be wyll not disdaine to relieue vs, to saue vs, to helpe vs, to holde vs, to heale vs, and to har­bour vs, in the most pleasaunt, and comfortable rest of his most gracious, and eternall fauour, if with humble mindes, with sorowfull, and repen­taunt heartes, wyth a constaunt, and liuely fayth, we will prostrate our selues before the euer­lasting throne of his immortall Maiestie, hoping to be mercyfullye, paciently, and graciouslye re­ceyued, onely for the merites of Christ Iesus, our onely triumphant, and mightie Sauiour. But bi­cause men nowe in these our dayes are in hart hardened, in lyfe lycentious, in loue lasciuious, in maners miserable, in wordes wylfull, in sense vnsauerie, in doings disordered, in talke vntem­perate, in wyt wylde, in reason retchlesse, in rage vnreasonable, in foly forwarde, in fansie fro­warde, [Page] in vice venimous, in vylanie vaunting, in soule sinfull, in charitie colde, in furie fla­ming, in faith fruitlesse, and to conclude, in go­uerning themselues gracelesse, and godlesse: it is necessarie before they can haue accesse to God in mercie through Christ Iesus, before they can passe to the most pleasaunt habitation of Gods euerla­sting, and immortall kingdome, before they can be enfraunchised CytiZens in heauenly Ierusalem, that they expell pride, banishe arrogancie, expell hypocrisie, detest all impietie, clense awaye the dregges of stinking Poperie, washe out the spottes of disobedient adulterie, and wype out the blemish of all blasphemous ydolatrie, which by none other meanes can more conueniently bee brought to passe, then by consideration of the terrible threates of God against obstinate, harde hearted, and rebellious aduersaries, against stifnecked, vngra­cious, and disobedient seruaunts, against vnna­turall, vnthankefull, and gracelesse children, a­gainst them, which contemptuouslye dispise his commaundements, which spitefully neglect his fatherly counsell, which wylfully transgresse his holye lawes, which disobediently refuse to giue eare to his aduise and censure, which voluntarily cast themselues headlong, into the perillous pud­dle, [Page] and gaping goulfe of all abhominable vn­cleanesse, vnlawfull wickednesse, and extreme miserie. I haue therefore (deare christian) in this my short treatise, wherein my principall, and especiall purpose is to bring men to the most ne­cessarie, profitable, and holesome exercise of godly prayer, first declared the horrible estate, and se­cond death of such, who doe not, and will not prac­tise earnest, and hartie prayer, nowe whilest God doth lende them leasure, and giue them oportu­nitie, to reforme their loosenesse of lyfe, to returne vnto him with hope of mercie, to escape the ven­geaunce ready to be poured out vpon stifneckned sinners. I haue (I say) first declared, and mani­festly proued, that such, vnlesse they repent, shall haue none other ende, but eternall condemnation in the bottomlesse pit of hell fire in most bitter [...]nguish & immortal miserie. Secondarily I haue plainely set foorth with certaine proofe, the most happie ende, the blisfull estate, the good condition of those, who with hartie minde, and earnest af­fection, and pure Zeale imbrace the godlye prac­tise of perfite prayer. By the first part, the terror of Gods intollerable vengeaunce maye batter downe the strong walles of prowde, and vnbroken hartes, by the seconde, the brused consciences of [Page] the sorowfull christians, may be happily repaired, and raised vp againe. By the first, sleepy security may holesomely be banished, by the second, godly certainetie of saluation maye easily be procured, through the first, mans hart maye be wounded, through the second, it may be salued, by the first mans mind is, as it were, launched, by the second, healed, by the first, roughly scoured, by the se­cond freshely bewtified, by the first, opened, by the second clensed, by the first, cut out, and fra­med, by the second, polished, by the first, halfe de­liuered from the bondes of cruell Sathan, by the second, safely brought into the gracious fauour of our immortall Sauiour. Thirdly, least something should seeme to bee wanting, for the better in­struction of the simple Christians, I haue brief­lye giuen certaine rules, and precepts, wherewith if alwayes our prayers be well ordered, we shall vndoubtedly obtaine our good requestes at the handes of God, which thing assuredly as it is profitable at all times, so in these our most my­serable, and wofull dayes, it is most necessarie. For when our enimies doe inuade vs, it is then tyme to prepare to battaile. When vice raigneth, then it is necessarie to see, that vertue be succou­red. When Sathan triumpheth, then it is highe [Page] time to pray, that he may be displaced. When true humilitie once is defaced, then it is time for hy­pocrysie to be suppressed, and nowe when rebels rage, sometime in inward cogitations, sometimes in outward irruptiōs, it is necessary for the helth, and safegarde of good christians with earnest and hartie mindes, to desire God, that all their enimious wicked enterprises maye bee confoun­ded, their endeuours ouerturned, their deuillish purposes altogither disappointed, and that the princely estate of our most gracious, and godly so­ueraigne Lady, Queene EliZabeth, may for euer bee mightily preserued, worthily maintained, and most prosperously confirmed, which I beseech God in the bowels of Christ Iesus mercyfullye to graunt. For prayer in what estate soeuer we be, is eyther our onely stay, comfort, refuge, and conso­lation, or else our principall defence, and safe­garde. There withall the subtile assaultes of craf­tie Sathan are easily escaped, his sleightes auoy­ded, his rage refrayned, his furie brideled, and all his endeuours vtterly disturbed. And con­trariwise, by prayer especially the mercies of God are liberally graunted, his grace obtayned, his fa­uour founde, his loue allured, and his gracious goodnesse bountyfully bestowed. Wherefore let vs [Page] imbrace the godly practise of hartie prayer, as the sure seale of our eternall saluation, as the pledge of our redemption, as the certaine token of our blessed election, and so vndoubtedly wee shall at the last raigne for euer, and euer with Christ in all felicitie in his glorious, and immortall king­dome, which he graunt for the merites of his most precious passion, to whome with the father, and the holy ghost, be all honor, praise, and glory, world without ende. Amen.

God saue our Noble Queene ElyZabeth, and sende continuall peace a­mongst hir louing subiectes.

I. T.

¶ The readie path to the pleasaunt pasture of de­litesome, and eternall Paradise. &c.

How gracious, fauourable, and merci­full God is to his creature man, and of his first fall, and the decay of his successors or posteritie. The first Chapter.

ALthough the grieuous ab­homination of our poyso­ned, and spitefull heartes, the most execrable endes of our malicious, and deui­lishe endeuours, the blas­phemous villanies of our disdainefull, deadly, and desperate impietie, doe deserue most terrible tormentes, most heauie pla­gues, most bitter, and eternall anguishe, in the bottomlesse pit of perdition, without redemption: yet the mercifull goodnesse, and vnspeakeable kindnesse of God, our tender father, our carefull kéeper, our ho­ly [Page] sauiour, doth not onelye cast vs head-long (which we deserue) into that daunge­rous darkenesse, and gaping goulfe, which burneth with fire and brimstone, where is continuall wéeping and gnashing of téeth: but also most gently calleth vs againe vn­to him, that we may taste of his mercies, most pitifully bewayleth our wickednesse, most heartilye forgetteth our iniquities, most carefully cutteth off our corruption, most readily repayreth our empaired and depraued nature, most willingly wincketh at our detected enormities, most graciously couereth our shamefull nakednesse, most mightily maintayneth our cause agaynst our open aduersarie the Deuill, most ear­nestly desireth our health and saluation, most attentiuely wayteth for our godly re­formation, most largely promiseth vs a glorious crowne and eternall kingdome, with frée deliueraunce, and present par­don, if with pure heart and true zeale wée shall cal vpon his holy name, and séeke suc­cour in Iesus Christ, of his immortal ma­iestie. For when he of his infinite good­nesse, and excéeding mercy, did first frame [Page 2] and forme our father Adam, and raysed him vppe oute of the slimie bowels of the fruitfull earth, when he had breathed into him the spirite of life, when he had endued his reasonable soule with the bright bea­mes of most perfite knowledge, and had bestowed vpon him the blasing lightes of most excellent & approued vertues, when he had giuen him the soueraigne science both of celestial, earthly, heauenly, mortal, and immortall things, when he had giuen him power ouer all the creatures, which were vnder the cope of heauen, and had for this onely cause builded the wyde worlde, that man his moste noble and surpassing creature, might with all maner of delite, enioy the commodities of the same, and at the last, when he had placed him in Para­dise, being a place of pleasure, a pasture of delites, a most swéete, pleasaunt, and fruitfull garden, and licenced him to taste of all the fruits and pleasures of the same, wherein he might for euer haue led a most happie life, and neuer haue felt the bitter pangues of extreeme dolor, wherwith now he is compassed and beset of euery side (on­ly [Page] charging him to abstaine from the trée of knowledge of good and euill, enioyning therevnto a seuere punishment the more to restraine him: than this wilfull, stub­burne, and vnthankefull man, not con­tented with this heauenly state, but aspi­ring against the iust and expresse com­maundement of his louing father, and im­mortall creator to suche daungerous and deuilish knowledge, wherby was wrought his vtter destruction and miserable confu­sion; gaue eare to the contagious councell and pestilent perswasion of enchaunted and bewitched Eua, who by the sugred tu­nes of the cursed Sathan, receyued the impoysoned bayt which was couered with false, faire, and fayned promises, whereby they were both so fowlye spotted, and so miserablye deformed, that where before they had the similitude of God engraffed in their heartes, nowe they were plaine patternes and expresse images of the hel­lish serpent: where before they were shi­ning starres illuminate with the whole­some light of the heauenly spirit, now they were darke and mistie clowdes, destitute [Page 3] of all clerenesse, and clad with most horri­ble impietie: where before they were dec­ked and adorned with singular integritie, iustice, and puritie, nowe they were beast­ly blemished with the filthie spots of wret­ched villanie, pride, and impuritie: where before they were chiefe inhabitaunts, and principall possessors of perelesse and plea­saunt Paradise, nowe they were become exiled straungers, expelled vagaboundes, and beggars banished from all felicitie: where before they were obedient seruants nowe they were rebellious enimies: be­fore friendes of God, nowe [...]endes of hell: before in blessefull estate, nowe in damna­ble and extréeme miserie: before almost e­quall with Aungels, now worse than De­uils: before better than all earthly crea­tures, now more abhominable than brute beastes: before the louing sonnes of a ten­der father, now the open aduersaries of a seuere Iudge: before cherished and belo­ued children, now false and forsworne fel­lons: before blessed and immortall crea­tures, now cursed and mortall mysers: be­fore without trouble and anguishe, nowe [Page] oppressed with calamitie, griefe, and sor­row: before without contagion, now sub­iect to sicknesse: before euer ioyfull, nowe for euer sorrowfull: before neuer comfort­lesse, nowe alwayes in themselues hope­lesse and helpelesse: before puyssant Prin­ces, nowe pelting peasants: before polli­shed & precious paragons of vertue, nowe péeuish and polluted Pagans: before par­takers of eternall happinesse, nowe méete firebrandes of terrible tormentes: before sacred Temples of the holy ghost, now de­filed and stinking chanels of all sinfull vi­lanie, retchlesse, crooked, crabbed, and blas­phemous impietie. And, alas, into this so pitious a plight, so miserable a case, so gre­uous a daunger, and so present perdition, we poore wretches, which be their vnhap­pie sonnes, their damned ofspring, their wicked progenie, are by their heynous of­fence, and our owne corruption fallen and entrapped, from the which we through our owne selues, or our owne strength, can neuer be deliuered, but do dayly more and more by vaine cogitations, by disdain­full dealings, by cursed hypocrisie, by ab­hominable [Page 4] obstinacie, by swelling pride, by lothsome hate, by cankerd contempt, by deuilishe enuie, by sléepie securitie, by neg­ligence in prayer, by diligence in euill doo­ing, by outragious oppression of the poore, by defrauding of the simple, by spoyling widowes, by deceyuing orphanes, by tray­terously neglecting and nothing regarding our bounden duties, doe prouoke to wrath the almighty God, and cōpell him to poure downe his heauie plagues and grieuous indignation vpon vs, to our vtter ruine and confusion.

The promise of Christ the Redemer of man, and his conquest to deliuer him out of thraldome, and our dutie contrary. The second Chapter.

BUt in this our damnable estate and condition, when we could sée nothing but deadlye desperation, and the monstruous mouth of the burning pitte of hell readie to receyue vs, then oure excéeding good, gracious, and [Page] gentle God, whome before we had so vn­thankefully forsaken, so daungerously dis­pised, so villainously contemned, so lewdly displeased, so maliciously prouoked, so wil­fully cast off and reiected, that we had ra­ther to follow the song of Sathan, the lure of the Deuill, than the sage aduise, and wholsome councell of so mercifull a ma­ker, he (I say) than did open the déepe and hid treasures of his manifold mercies, and did yet once againe shewe vs the gracious fauour of his louing countenance, promi­sing euen then at the fall of our olde father Adam, that his onely sonne Christ Iesus shoulde descende from his celestiall throne and seate of maiestie, and take the nature of a man vpon him, and should breake the heade of the Serpent, that is, he shoulde daunt the power of the Deuill, valiauntly vanquishe the host of Sathan, puyssantly conquere the campe and companie of our enimies, ouerthrow the kingdome of bloo­die Belzebub, breake downe the gates of the nethermost hell, and beate downe the walles of the Deuill his defensed Castle, and deliuer vs poore afflicted people from [Page 5] the cruell rage, and violent clause and tearing téeth of oure deuouring enimye. This was perfourmed at the fulnesse of tyme, in the latter dayes, when God sent his Aungell to the most happie, holye, sa­cred, and pure Virgin, who being ouer­shadowed with the spirit of the most high­est, brought forth Christ Iesus, our onely Sauiour, our onely redéemer, our onely succour, safegarde, and defence, our sure and stedfast rocke, our stable and constant hope, the rampire and castle of our helth, the soueraigne salue of our heauie and so­rowfull heartes, the sole and singular, and moste holsome remedie for all our diseases. In this case therefore, we must doe our diligent indeuour, that we maye applye this playster to oure gréeuous wounde, and so fruitfully enioy the com­modities of the same. For lyke as a great and infinite treasure, lying hydde in the earth, will not enrich vs, vnlesse with labour, care, and diligence we digge vp the same, and like as a great, swift, and couragious courser, will nothing profite vs in flying from our enimies, vnlesse we [Page] learne how to sit fast vpon him, and so to escape, and as the surpassing knowledge, cunning, and science of a learned, and well experienced phisitian, will not helpe to cure our maladie and sicknesse, or pro­cure our health and safetie, vnlesse we o­pen our disease vnto him, and desire hys ayde, comfort, and assistaunce: euen so the meruellous mercies, the manifolde me­rites, and incomparable desertes, the euer­lasting goodnesse, and bountious liberali­tie, the riches and excellent greatnesse of the inestimable grace of God, through our swéete Sauiour graunted vnto vs, wyll not cure our disease, will not inlarge the boundes of our libertie, will not deliuer vs from the bondes and chaines of Sa­than, wherewith we are clogged, wyll not enrich vs with the glorious giftes, and precious pearles of iustice, holinesse, eter­nall life, and purity, vnlesse we with hum­ble hearts, with thankefull mindes, with heauie chéere, with hart oppressed, wyth greeuous grones, lamenting our former iniquities, confessing our manifolde mis­deedes, detesting all impietie, crauing par­don [Page 6] for our committed blasphemie, and hartily sorowing for our accustomed ido­latrye, stubburnesse, and wilfull disobedi­ence, doe display our miserie, and open be­fore him our shamefull nakednesse, and in the bowelles of Iesus Christ, in whome he is well pleased, desire him with constaunt faith, with certaine hope, with earnest and continuall prayer, to haue mercy vpon vs, to illuminate our hartes with the spirite of knowledge, to scoure away the clowdes of ignoraunce, to wash away the spottes of sinfull disobedience, to kindle in vs a feruent, heauenly, true, burning, and god­ly charitie, and to worke in our hartes a continuall desire alwayes to fulfill hys most blessed will, and therewith all to giue vs the power of his holye spirite to per­forme the same, to the glorie of his eter­nall maiestie, the comfort of the godly, the fruitfull edification of our brethren, and the saluation of our owne selues, & soules for euer and euer, in his glorious and im­mortall kingdome.

The meane, and way how to come to our heauenly father, with a pro­mise of the Authour to in­treate of prayer, and a diuision of hys worke. The thirde Chapter.

IF we will therefore be the sonnes of God, if we will be pertakers of those infinite and celestiall com­modities, which were gotten and purchased by the most pure bloude of the immaculate Lambe, if we will be healed by the swéete salue of his bloudy wounds, we must not slacke to runne vnto God our heauenly father, with continuall and heartie prayer. Which prayer bicause it is a thing so necessarie for christians, that without ye same we cannot attaine to the grace of God, and merites of our sauiour Christ, and seing that daylye experience doth apparauntly, but pitifully teach vs, that in these oure dayes it is an exercise that is nothing at all, or verie lightly vsed [Page 7] of many which beare the name of Christ, but in déede are not christians. I meane and minde by the assistance of almightie God, and ayde of his holy spirit,The pur­pose of the Author. to intreate something of the same, I saye, of prayer: that the prowd contempt of the disdainfull Epicures, which passe not for prayer, may be something abated and diminished, that the licentious life of beastly belly Gods, which take al their delite in worldly filthi­nesse, may by the terrour of Gods iudge­ment, be corrected and amended, that the rarelesse concupisence of worldly wicked men, which wallow in welth and worldly banities, maye by the knowledge of the bounden dueties be cut off, and contem­ned, that such as be deceiued by simplicitie may be reformed, that such as knowe not how to praye so, that they may mercifully be hearde, may charitably be instructed, that such as are alreadie forwarde in the same, may thervnto be the more incensed.Tomo. 5. lib. De preca­tione. For Saint Chrysostome saith that pray­er is as the roote and foundation of al ver­tues. For as the foundation doth make a shippe or house to be strong, and holdeth [Page] it, that it may not be dissolued: so the exer­cise of prayer doth holde our lyfe, and ma­keth it strong on all partes, and so, that without this no good can happen vnto vs, nor anye thing, which belongeth to our health. I will therefore that I may the more orderly procéede, diuide my whole talke into thrée principall partes, and first 1 by the grace of God, I will declare that if we doe reiect, or nothing regarde earnest, and hartie prayer, that we be in present daunger of eternall damnation. Second­ly, 2 that if with pure prayer, we doe as we ought, call vpon God in Iesus Christ our blessed sauiour, for the assistaunce of hys holy spirite, we shall be sure of most hap­pie, blissefull, & immortall saluation, and 3 thirdlye, God guiding me, I will shewe plainely how we may praye so, that assu­redly we shall obtaine our request. For although, the singular goodnesse, and in­credible mercies of almightie God, our lo­uing father, cannot allure vs, the terrible vengeaunce, which he poureth downe vp­on stifnecked sinners, maye perchaunce constraine vs, to accomplish that, which of [Page 8] dutye we shoulde performe. Then when by continuall feare, of grieuous plagues and punishmentes, we are driuen from former negligence, to néedefull and health­full diligence, when by terrour of seuere iustice, the rayne of our lose libertie is drawen in more straightlye, so that we may not runne lyke roysting rouers at randome, to the heauie displeasure of our almightie iudge, as willingly we woulde, and vnwisely were wont, it may he, that the constaunt hope of so bountifull a re­warde, so princely pearles, and surpassing a benifite, as is eternall saluation, maye prouoke and entise our appetite to shewe some earnest zeale, and heartie desire to please and serue our maker. Afterwards least some simple, rude, & ignoraunt peo­ple, as many there be (the more it is to be lamented) shoulde perswade themselues, that they serue God well by prayer, when they deface his glory by some of their own superstitious inuentions, or popishe Ipo­crisie, it will not be farre from our pur­pose, briefly to prosecute the nature of true prayer.

That such as neglect prayer, be in daū ­ger of hell fire, the first part of the Authors diuision, which is continued vnto the .18. Chapter. The fourth Chapter.

BVt first I haue to proue, that such, as neglect the exercise of praier, are in daunger of hell fire. And that plainely appeareth, bicause they flatly breake the commaundement of god, and wickedlye contemne the councell of Christ our sauiour. They depriue God of his honour, and worship, they are trées, which beare no fruite, they are voyde of faith, hope, and trust in Gods mercy. That they contemptuously dispise the commaū ­dement of God and Christ our sauiour, it is euident. For the princely Prophet in the person of God saith, and flatlye com­maundeth on this sorte: Inuoca me in die tribulationis, & eruam te, & glori­ficabis me, that is, call vpon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliuer thée, and [Page 9] thou shalt glorifie me, And Christ our sa­uiour chargeth vs on this maner: O rate ne intretis in tentationem. And sainct Paule replenished with the holye ghost, writeth thus. Instate deprecatione, vi­gilantes in ea cum gratiarum actione. Pray earnestly, and continually watch­ing there with all, and giuing thankes. And againe, Christ sayth. Petite, & acci­pietis, quaerite, & inuenietis, pulsate, & aperietur vobis. Aske, and you shall re­ceyue, seeke, and you shall finde, knocke, and it shall be opened vnto you. And I will destroy (sayth the Lorde in the first of Sophonie) the men that haue not sought after the Lorde of Iacob. Such infinite places there are to be founde in the scrip­tures, which plainely testifie vnto vs, that God straightlye commaundeth vs to call vpon him, and threatneth destruction to such as séeke him not. Nowe therefore such as doe not take this meanes, which God hath prouided to come vnto him, must needs incurre the displeasure of him. And alas howe are we able to withstande the seuere iudgement of so mightie a god? [Page] why doe we not tremble and quake to see our selues in so great a grieuous daūger▪ for as Paule sayth, it is a terrible thing, to fall into the handes of the lyuing Lord. Who shall deliuer vs from the torments, that he shall cruciate, and torment vs withal? Who shal saue vs, if he condemn vs? Who shall blesse vs, if he curse vs? Who shall restore vs to any life, if he doe lay vpon vs most bitter death? Desperate is the estate of such, as will not call vpon him, and they vndoubtedly can looke for nothing else, but extréeme, and cruell pu­nishment. For euen as a Prince here vp­on earth, if he take a fellone, which hath transgressed the lawes, disturbed the com­mon welth, disquieted good and godlye subiectes, violated his faith, dispised ma­gistrates, and vilanously committed trea­son against his liedge, & soueraigne Lord, if to such a one, he of his frée goodnesse, gentle moderation, and mercy, do graunt so much fauour, that if he giue vp a sup­plication vnto his maiestie, he will graunt him pardon, for his committed crimes, & hainous offences, and then the rebellious [Page 10] transgressour of the lawes, eyther thorow negligence or contempt, doe refuse so gen­tle an offer, will neuer let him escape without greeuous, horrible, and dreadfull tormentes: so God, prince of all princes, and Lorde of Lordes, whose mightie ma­iestie we vnthankefull creatures haue not duely reuerenced, whose name wor­thily we haue not glorified, whose glori­ous prayse we haue not magnified, whose iustice, we haue not feared, whose fatherly mercies we haue not imbraced, whose commaundementes we haue contemned, whose fearefull iudgementes we haue not regarded, whose decrées, and ordinan­ces, we haue neglected, whose counsels we haue cast off, and vngratfully refused, whose burning wrath, and hote indigna­tion, we haue deserued, if we doe reiect his fatherly goodnesse, and tender care where­with he doth call vs vnto him againe by prayer, and supplication, through his dere­ly beloued sonne, Christ Iesus, our saui­our, and still continue wilfull, and obsti­nate in our olde cankred, and hatefull dis­obedience, will vndoubtedly cast vs head­long [Page] into vtter darckenesse, and painefull pangues and bitter anguish, with the De­uill and his cursed Aungels. For as he is gentle, so is he iust, as he is amiable, so is he terrible, as he is mercifull, so is hée wrathfull, to the humble, and penitente, he is a milde, and fauourable comforter, to the stifnecked, and disobedient, he is an yrefull reuenger, to the true christians, a present reliefe in daunger, to disdainefull hypocrites, a consuming fire, to poore af­flicted, and oppressed Abels, a chéerfull, and faithfull friende, to persecuting Cainites, an open enimy, to his séely shéepe, a care­full shephearde, to rauening Wolues, a ramping Lion, to simple soules, a coura­gious capitaine, to disceitfull Deuils, a perpetuall torment, to faithfull people, a sure defence, to tering Tigres, a deuou­ring aduersarie. For in his wrath, he will consume his enimies, and in his fury, will confounde all his rebellious aduersaries. Therefore Dauid sayth,Psalm. 2. serue the Lorde with feare, and reioyce vnto him with re­uerence. Kisse the sonne, least he be an­grye, and so ye perish from the right way. [Page 11] If his wrath be kindled, yea, but a litle, blessed are al they, yt put their trust in him.

The dreadfull ende of them, against whome Gods wrath is kindled, and the daunger of the contempt of gods grace. The fift Chapter.

THe Prophet here knewe the dreadfull ende of those against whome the wrath of God is in­censed, and theyre of God infla­med, he, I say, knewe to what pitious es­tate, what lamentable, & miserable ende, what horrible condition they should come to at the last. Therefore, he accounteth them blessed, holy, heauenly, happie, that put their trust in the Lord, that serue him with feare, that worshippe him, that obey the commaundementes of his diuine ma­iestie, with iust reuerence.Num. 16. For in the sixtene of numbers, we may some thing perceiue how God will punishe contemp­tuous persons, and rebellious despisers of [Page] his will and commaundement, where he maketh the earth to open hir mouth, and to swallowe vp Core, Dathan, and Abi­ram, with their tentes, wiues, & children, in the sight of all the people of Israel, by­cause they refused to come at the call of Moyses, being a man as we are. What therefore shall he doe vnto vs, if we despise the commaundement giuen vs of hym­selfe, so often repeated in the scriptures of purpose by the holy ghost, so constantlye confirmed by godly Prophetes, so mani­festly declared by Christ himselfe, hys dearely beloued sonne, perfite God and man, which came downe from heauen to teach vs this lesson: Quisquis inuoca­uerit nomen domini, saluus erit: who­soeuer shall call vpon the name of ye Lord, he shall be safe. What shall he, I say, doe vnto vs in this case, if in that case, he com­maunded the earth to swallowe them vp quicke, and cary them to hell? We may assuredly, vnlesse with repentaunt hartes we call vpon him, looke for nothing else but vtter ruine, and confusion, but eternall damnation, and immortall miserie, but for [Page 12] the terrible troubles, of tormented deuils, and most cruell stroakes of most heauie plagues. Let the desperate estate of cruell and cursed Cain make vs beware, who woulde not after his hainous and bloudy fact, come to the throne of Gods mercye with teares, and lamentation, to bewayle his wickednesse, but mistrusting the infi­nite goodnesse, and marueylous riches of the grace, and fauour of our mightie ma­ker, and tender father, became abhomi­nable before the face of God, and a terri­ble example to all such, as contemne the great mercies of God, layde open to all them, that with humble, and ready minds, will thankfullye by prayer receiue them. Let the consideration of vniust Iudas, who after he had betrayed Christ, the holy one of Israel, and vnspotted lambe, which taketh away the sinnes of the worlde, did hunge himselfe, and woulde not take holde of the promises of God, but desperatly dis­paired of the goodnesse of him, among the companie of whose Apostles before he was numbred, stirre vs more feruently to runne to God in Christ our sauiour with­all [Page] diligence, with all continuaunce, with­all certayne hope, and pure faith, in sup­plication, in prayer, and thankes gyuing. For if we doe, as did these miserable men, not looke to be profred mercy, but refuse the same, we shall be accounted breakers of the commaundements of God, dispisers of his worde, wicked workers of iniquity, and consequentlye, worthy of the same most vnhappy reuengement, & iust iudge­ment, which they were afflicted withall.

An aunswere to a captious cauil­lation, that might be layed to the Author. The sixt Chapter.

BUt some perchaunce will say, that these two last examples doe not so much belong to negligence in prayer, as to an horrible terrour in their owne conscience, conceyued for the cruell factes, they had committed. I aunswere, that herein both may plainelye be perceyued. For that which in this place is most for my purpose, in these examples, [Page 13] we sée the iustice of God executed against them, that did violate his commaunde­ment, by treason, murder, and falshoode. Therefore death, and hell fire, is the guar­don, and rewarde of such as despise the will of God, and the will of God is, that we shoulde glorifie his name by pouring out our prayers vnto him. Againe, wée may easily sée, that not onely desperation, but also a will to committe these horrible crimes came through lacke of feruent­nesse, and by a colde negligence in pray­er, wherein they shoulde haue desired in all there doings, the direction of Gods ho­ly spirite, which if they had done, they had assuredly béene frée, both from the terrour of desperation, and also from the guilti­nesse of so mischieuous vilanies. For saint Chrysostome sayth: Siue quis virgini­tatis amore tenetur, siue quis studet amplecti honorabilem coniugij casti­moniam, siue quis meditatur inijcere fraenum iracundiae, & cum mansuetu­dine familiaritatem habere, siue quis putet ab inuidentiae lue purus esse, de­ni (que) si quis aliud quippiam facere stu­det, [Page] quod ad rectè vniendum pertinet, duce precatione commodum, & faci­lem habiturus est pietatis cursum. Whether a man be in loue with virgini­ty, whether he indeuour to imbrace hono­rable, and chaste matrimonie, whether he couite to bridle anger, and to be gentle or courtious, whether he wish to be cleane and pure from the pestilent, and foule spot of enuie, or to conclude, if he desire to doe any thing, whatsoeuer it be, that pertay­neth to good and godly life, by prayer hée shall easily, and commodiously attaine vn­to it. The lacke therefore of feruentnesse, and the daungerous negligence in praier, doth bring all wickednesse, vncleanesse, desperation, murther, and all impietie. This therefore is the cause vndoubtedly, why in these most miserable dayes of ours, both here, in the Realme of Eng­lande, and almost throughout all the pla­ces of the whole worlde, men runne hed­long into the pit of ignorance, and error, that they swarme togither to stirre vppe wilfull, and witlesse warfare, that they swarne awaye from the straight path of [Page 14] christian righteousnesse, that they ryfle in rancor, hatred, & abhominable enmity, that they swel wt the venimous poyson of pride & presumption, that they with all endeuor plucke downe the golden pillers of godly peace, & vnitie, that violently they breake the bands of heauenly concord, yt they roote out the stampe of true religion, that they impugne the state of holesome veritie, that they darcken the bright, and shyning beames of christian knowledge, & clogge themselues with the filthie fetters, of all abhominable outrage and iniquitie. But what? Doe we thinke, that the God of Iacob, and Lorde of Israel nowe at the last sléepeth? Or do we think that he which neyther slumbreth, nor sléepeth, now win­keth at our wickednesse and wil not sée it? Or do we thinke, that he, which destroyed afore time the people, that wrought wyc­kednesse before his face, hath now chaun­ged his nature, and is no more displeased with blasphemous behauiour? Or doe we thinke, that we are of habilitie to with­stande his furie, when he shall rise vp to take vengeaunce vppon vs for our horri­ble [Page] vices daylie more and more increasing amongst vs? Or doe we thinke that we haue a speciall priuiledge, and prerogatiue to doe what séemeth good in our foolishe fantasies, and ydle braynes, without cor­rection more than other haue had before? Or doe we thinke that the power is eyther daūted, or his arme abridged, or his might impaired? Or doe we think, that he loueth vs more than he did his chosen charge, and peculiar people of Israell? Or can wée thinke so blasphemously, that nowe he ta­keth delite in our filthie doings, in wan­ton wils, and prowde pranckes, and cur­sed hypocrisie? No no. Let vs not flatter our selues, nor dally with God, but let vs wisely consider, & iustly ponder our loose, and lewde liues, wherby we deserue most sharpe plagues, and punishmentes, most heauy, & hasty reuengement, most seuere, and rigorous iudgement, & let vs knowe, that the passing pacience, and gentle suf­feraunce of God, our heauenly Father, doth allure vs to spéedie repentaunce, to continuall care, yea to hearecloth, and ashe [...], that so we may yéelde vnto his ma­iestie [Page 15] for a pleasaunt, and swéete sacrifice, the bewtifull buddes of dutiful obedience. And let vs well consider the mighty wrath of God nowe long ago set on fire against vs, and therewithall knowe that he slée­peth not, although he sustaine vs, that he wincketh not, although he woontedly doe warne vs, and that he is not pleased, al­though to proue vs by gentlenesse, hys plagues be something ceased, nor that we can abide his displeasure bursting out, like a deuouring tempest, although he for hys mercie sake doe abide paciently for our returne, nor that we be priuiledged, or au­thorised to vse the workes of darkenesse, which onely belong to the sonnes of eter­nall darkenesse, although we by long suf­feraunce be mercifully borne withall, nor that the stretched out arme of God is any thing abridged, although the violent force of his valyaunt power be nothing in pu­nishing as yet extended, or exercised, nor that he deliteth in our disordred appe­tites, although as yet he doe not poure present destruction vpon our heades, nor that he holdeth vs more deare, than he did [Page] his chosen people, & proper possession, the house of Israel, although he more seuere­ly did execute iudgement vpon them than vpon vs.

That if God spared not the Iewes, his peculiar people, he will not spare vs, bastardely engraffed in hym. The seuenth Chapter.

FOr howe is it possible that wée which are but the braunches of wylde Oliues, shoulde receyue more fauour, force, or nourishe­ment, of the true, and natural Olyue trée, than the naturall sprowtes, buddes, and braunches of ye same? the Israelites were, as though it were engraffed in the swéete graces, and tender mercies of almightie God, watred with the holesome showres of heauenly clemencie, nourished with the fruitful fatnesse of the soyle, wherein they were planted, yt is, of Christ Iesus. They were a nation euen by the choyse of God himselfe, seperated from all foreine, and [Page 16] straunge people, for whose sake he shewed manye wonderfull, and mightie miracles in the lande of Egypt, and afterwardes they were fedde miraculouslye with the foode of Aungels, they receyued to their comfort the cleare streames of most fresh and holesome waters, flowing from the flintie stones, and craggy rockes in the daungerous desert, with many such like things, which did argue most manifestly the riches of Gods mercie towarde them. Yet for all this, when they rebelliously did murmure against God in the wildernesse, when they dispised his seruaunt Moyses, and grudged at his commaundements, he ouerthrewe them in the desert, he plagued them most horriblye, sending firie Ser­pents amongst them, he persecuted them vnto the death, and pyttifully destroyed them. How much more therefore shall he put vs out of the booke of lyfe, and cut vs from the stocke, vpon the which we were contrarie to nature, as wylde Oliues, set, and planted, if we doe not preuent his fu­rie with hartie, sincere, and humble con­trition, if we doe not appeale to his mercy [Page] seate by constant, certaine, and trustie faith, if we doe not spéedily returne vnto him with a faythfull endeuour, neuer a­gayne to reuolt from him by lewde con­uersation, or vnchristian cogitation? How can it be, that he which is the Fountayne of all iustice, shoulde anye longer protect the deuillish impes of Antichrist, spotted, and defiled wyth all iniustice, yt he, which cannot be pleased with any thing, which sauoureth of any corruption, shoulde any longer couer our cursed abhomination, and execrable impietie? O the deepe daun­gers, wherewith we are compassed. O the piteous, estate through which we are en­daungered. O the profounde pitte of per­dition, whervnto we are plunged. If thus we most miserable, and wofull wretches, wickedly continue without remorse of conscience, if we thus ragingly doe runne forwarde into vice, and vilanie wythout recourse, if we thus obstinately doe persist in our péeuishe purposes, and pestiferous inuentions, without remembraunce of our estate and calling, death shall deuour vs, horror shall holde vs, terror shall con­founde [Page 17] vs, confusion shall ouerwhelme vs, bitter anguishe shall oppresse vs, sinne shall subuert vs, sorow shall shake vs, the iustice, and iudgement of God shall con­sume vs, cruell enimies shall inuade vs, shame shall shadowe vs, terrible torments shall entrap vs, ye fyre of Gods vengeance shall burne vs vp in the twinckling of an eye, and the paynes of hell shall plunge vs into most desperate, and deadly dolors. In time therfore dearely beloued Christi­ans, and naturall Countrie men, consi­der that the long suffering of God calleth vs vnto repentaunce. For God would not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turne from his wickednesse & lyue. He is a God, that deliteth in mercie, that dealeth friendly with the friendlesse, that succoureth the simple, that wisheth the welth of the wounded, that comforteth the clogged conscience, that breaketh ye bonds of the imprisoned soule, and heauie minde a sunder, that fauoureth the fettred féete of his chosen seruants, that plucketh out the poore out of the pit of penurie, and pla­ceth them in the pleasaunt pasture of de­litesome [Page] Paradise.

A repeating of the purpose of the fourth Chapter, that is, of the daunger of them that neglect prayer. The eyght Chapter.

BVt let vs returne to our former purpose, and proue that they be in daunger of eternall damnation, that despise and neglect the godlye exercise of prayer, which hereby is proo­ued, that thereby they depriue God of his due honor and worship. For the worship of God, is nothing else, but a religious worke commaunded of God, and offered of vs by fayth to him to the setting forth, and celebration of his glorious, & renowmed maiestie. And as it appeareth by my for­mer discourse, God hath commaunded this kinde of adoration, when he sayth. Inuoca me in die tribulationis: call vp­on me in the daye of trouble. And againe, when Christ sayth: petite, pulsate, quae­rite, aske, knock, séeke, and, orate ne in­tretis [Page 18] in tentationem: praye least you fall into temptation. And oftentimes we heare the like spoken to the same purpose. It is a worke therfore by him commaun­ded. And moreouer, we may well perceiue that nothing can more pertaine to the glo­rious praise of God almightie, than to looke downe from the throne of his hea­uenly maiestie vpon poore afflicted people, hanging onely vppon the hope of his infi­nite goodnesse, and accustomed mercy, and to relieue them, that haue nothing else to stick vnto, as ayde, and comfort, but hys gracious, good, and gentle fauour, wherby they may be deliuered from the tirannous rage, and more than beastly crueltie, of their sauage, and sworne enimies. For what made the glorious name of the God of Iacob so much to be redoubted amongst all nations, as did his vnspeakable mercy, wherwith he visited the children of Israel, whan they were oppressed of the tyran­nous Egyptians. He heard their grones, their heartie prayers pierced the mistie clowdes, and came before his presence, they ascended into the eares of his migh­tie [Page] maiestie, their heauie griefes, and bit­ter sorrowes were not hid from his know­ledge, but obtayned most iust reuenge­ment against the blinde, and obstinate E­gyptians, whereby his name was most manifestly glorified. For many times he plagued with most sharpe punishment the whole lande of Egypt for their sakes, with Frogs, Grashoppers, Caterpillers, death, and destruction of the first borne, and such like, and at the last ouerwhelmed all their chiualrie with the blustring stormes, and roring rage of the red Sea. The due con­sideration, and circumspect animaduersion of thys onely hystorie will doubtlesse to euerie christian man, ledde with the spirite of God, and numbred amongst the elect vessels of saluation, sufficiently expresse the notable efficacie of prayer, on both partes, first both to vnderstande the force in preuayling with God, and also the glo­rious renoume of the Lorde his eternall maiestie, through graunting the request of his poore people. For when his people, the children of Israel, were after much affliction, trouble, and torment, delyue­red [Page 19] out of the lande of Egypt, and was going into the wyldernesse to serue the Lord their God, Pharao, and all his hoste, persecuted them in all haste, to bring them againe into bondage, which would haue bene more grieuous, and sorrowfull, than present death vnto them. And when they were in such case that presently before their faces was the red foming, and ro­ring Seas, vpon their right handes high, steepe, and craggie mountaynes, vpon the which they could not ascend, and escape, vpon their left hande no refuge, but daun­gerous, and deadly perilles, behinde their backes, their cruell, disdainefull, wicked, and horrible enimies, threatning death, tormentes, and perpetuall miserie: then they cried vnto the Lorde in their miserie, & he deliuered them out of their distresse,Exod. 14. they poured out their complaintes before him, and he glorified himselfe by their de­liueraunce, they humbly sought for his gracious assistaunce, and he mercifullye graunted the request of their earnest pray­ers, they feared bondage, he gaue them libertie, they were compassed with grie­uous [Page] daungers, he gaue them sure, are safe passage, they were ready to be deuou­red of the sworde, he ouerthrew their eni­mies, they were almost persecuted vnto death, he brought to passe that they sawe the death, and destruction of there perse­cuting tyrannes. But how did he deliuer them? Certes he commaunded the wylde waters to staye their course, to lose their swiftnesse, to chaunge their nature. He made the waltring waues to be turned into strong walles, the surging seas into the vse of sturdy stones, the flickring floods into a steady bridge, so that his people pas­sed ouer with ease, & safetie. But when the Egyptians were so bolde, to enter into the same passage, they were ouerwhelmed in the waters, the walles turning, and chaunging themselues into their woonted nature. Thus was his glorie magnified, his name glorified, his power knowne, his mercie specified, his terror taught, his loue enlarged, his might multiplied, his good­nesse graffed in the heartes of his people, that afterwards they loued him as a care­full father, they feared him as a mightie [Page 20] reuenger, they honored him, as a péerelesse Prince, they reuerenced him, as a seuere iudge, they glorified him, as their onely de­liuerer, they sanctified him as their holye profectour, they folowed him, as a well ex­perienced Capitaine, they obeyed his will, as their only guide, and defender. For his name to them was fauourable, to other nations, and people terrible, to them com­fortable, to gentiles fearefull, to them peaceable, to others dreadfull, to them it brought quietnesse and safetie, to others confusion, to them tranquilitie, to others miserie, to them plenteousnesse of all thinges, to other penurie of things neces­sarie, to them solace, to forrein kingdomes ruine, and ouerthrowe, to them pleasure, to other plagues, to them a ioyfull expec­tation of mercie, to others an horrible ter­rour of extreme iudgement.

Nothing apperteyneth more to the glorie of God than prayer. The ninth Chapter.

[Page]WHat therefore can more belong to the establishing of his prayse, to his royall pompe, to the blast of his magnificence, through all the earth, to the publishing of his glorious name, than with humble, and hartie pray­ers continually to be called vpon, of hys afflicted people, that he may stretche out his arme, and declare his power, & bende his bowe, and valiauntly ouerthrow his enimies? Verily nothing. For thus he loo­seth the simple captyues, and bindeth the bloudy Balaamites, he saueth his siely souldiours, & spoyleth the boasting bloud­suckers, he protecteth his poore people, and racketh vnruly ribaldes, he mightilye be­yonde all hope helpeth the miserable, and contrariwise, debaseth, subuerteth, & con­foundeth the bragging boldnes of ye proude disdainefull, and swelling tirannes. Se­ing therefore that it is a religious worke commaunded by God himself, enioyned to vs by Christ our onely sauiour, taught by the Apostles, and Prophets, tending to the celebration, & propagation of his eternall glorie, renowme, and reuerence, as no­thing [Page 21] more by subduyng the stubborne, sinfull, & malicious people, and by relee­uing, helping, and succouring, his afflic­ted, humble, and sily flocke, it must néedes folowe, that they which dispise the vse of prayer, and negligently, nay rather, obsti­nately, and deuilishly contemne the com­maundements, and promises of God, our heauenly father, and nothing regarde his gentle admonition, calling them by paci­ence to hartie repentaunce, and amend­ment of wicked life, that they, I saye, de­priue God of his due honour, spoyle him of his worship, rob him of his reuerence, and consequently, fall into the daunger of eternall damnation. For 4. Iohan. Pa­ter tales quaerit, qui adorant illum. The father séeketh such, as worship hym, not such as renounce his lawes, and reiect his commaundementes. And his not sée­king is nothing else, but misery, griefe, an­guish, and condemnation. Againe, they are trées which beare no fruit. For they which are not possessed with the spirite of God, which are not directed with his holy hand, which are not illuminate with the light of [Page] heauen, which are not assisted with the helpe of the highest, nor stirred vp with the motion of the holy ghost, nor plentifullye enriched with the graces of Christ our sauiour, cannot bycause of their weake­nesse, will not bycause of their wilfull wic­kednesse, neyther doe couite bycause of their fraile, and cursed corruption, eyther to deliuer themselues from the chaine of Sathan, wherewith they are bounde and tyed, or to replenish themselues wyth the swéete, and well sauering flowers of ver­tues, that they maye be purified, to the proofe wherof, Christ sayth. Iohn. 15. Qui­a sine me nihil potestis facere, bycause without me ye can doe nothing. And Math. 15. Omnis plantatio, quam non plantauit pater meus caelestis, eradica­bitur, euery planting, which my heauenly father hath not planted, shal be rooted out. And Iohn. 15. Si quis in me non manse­rit, eiectus est foras, sicut palmes. &c. If anye man doth not abide in me, he is cast out, as a braunche, and withereth, and they gather it, and cast it into the fyre, and burne it. Here we maye perceyue [Page 22] that [...] are not directed with the spirit of God, are not the sonnes of God, but impes of Antichrist, not the friendes of God, but the limmes of the Deuill, not swallowers of saluation, but heires of e­ternall condemnation. And saint Paule sayth. Filij dei sunt, qui spirit u [...]de [...] ­guntur. They are the sonnes of God, which are driuen by the spirite of God. And Christ sayth in the, 15. of Iohn. Ques meae vocem meam audiunt. My shéepe heare my voyce, and his voyce is. Luc. 15 Quod oportet semper orare, nec defa­tigari. That we must alway praye, and neuer be wearie. And in ye sirt of Mathew he prescribeth forme of prayer, saying. Ad hunc ergo modum orate vos. Pator noster. &c. Praye ye after this maner. Our father, and so forth. But they which contemne prayer, will neyther alwayes pray, which Christ commaundeth, nor vse the forme of prayer, which Christ prescri­beth, nor leaue the lewdenesse, which God abhorreth. How therefore can they be any thing else but trées without fruite, clouds without water, rotten rootes without life, [Page] barren grounde without corne, [...]les without curnels, and vnprofitable barke without sappe, or sauour. For like as the vine braunch can bring forth no fruite, vn­lesse it remaine still in the vine, euen so we can bring forth no goodnesse, vnlesse we a­bide in Christ. And how is it possible, that they which heare Christ commaunde, and will not obey, that heare the shepchearde of their soules cal, and will not follow, that heare the sauiour of the worlde counsell them for there safetie, helth, and welfeare, and will not attende, that they shoulde re­ceyue any commoditie, ioy, solace, or com­forte, to refreshe their lingring, and lan­guishing soules, almost, or else altogither pined awaye for lacke of good nourishe­ment?

That God respecteth them, that call vpon him, and reiecteth the con­trarie, wyth the discommo­dities thereof. The tenth Chapter.

[Page 23]EVerye good, and perfite gift, com­meth from aboue from the father of light, who bestoweth his hea­uenly treasure wythout sparing restraint, vpon all them, that with conti­nuall, and humble, and hartie request shall desire in the name of Iesus Christ, hys grace, fauour, and euerlasting goodnesse. But from such, as before Gods goodnesse preferre there foolishe fantasies, and séeke rather to please themselues in worldly de­lites, then to pleasure themselues with the worde of lyfe, he worthily taketh away his grace, forsaketh them vtterlye, leaueth them destitute, wil no more sée vnto them, in so much, that through his absence, and departure, there miserable minde is ouer­whelmed with pernicious errours, their senses darkned, their vnderstanding ob­scured, their reason oppressed, their wyll imprisoned, their hartes encombred, their heades enraged, their deuises ouerturned, their purposes disapoynted, their ende­uors hindred, their intentes disordred, their trouble augmented, their anguish exaspe­rate, their sorrowe doubled, their griefe [Page] more bitterly sharpned, their strength ba­nished, their life almost deuoured, then spirites scattered, their dolours ro [...]ewed, their wyt wasted, their wisdome confoun­ded, their learning subuerted, their policy disturbed, their counselles abolished, their bodies weakened; their soules endaunge­red, their thoughts defiled, their fayth po­luted, their pietie defaced, their rage vn­brideled, their furie enflamed, their wrath incensed, and all vicious, and detestable impietie, slaunder, and vylanie beyonde measure encreased. For the corruption of our mortall, fraile, and inconstaunt na­ture, is readie without reason to reuenge iniurie, vnlesse religion doe restraine it. The raging stormes of our fleshly mindes are woont to burst out into daungerous attempts, vnlesse the holesome counsell of the sacred scriptures be receiued. The wa­ton will of a waywarde vessell of iniquitie maye lightly be tossed into the perilous floudes of yrefull indignation, and day­lie displeasure, vnlesse it sayle in the safe ship, and vnbroken Barcke of Gods infi­nite grace, and mercy. The olde, and feste­ring [Page 24] wounde of cruell hate, and horrible easie, will, as it is woonted, eate vp, and consume the sounde partes of pacience, vnlesse it be salued with the swéete Oyle of Gods holy spirite, ye filthie rust of popish ignoraunce will disgrace, and deface the truth of sincere religion, vnlesse it be scou­red awaye with the light of the gracious gospell, the deadly dregges of humane traditions will daungerously corrupt the vertuous medicine of ecclesiasticall doc­trine, vnlesse by the good aduise of some carefull, and skilfull Phisitian they be re­moued, and cast out, the contagious infec­tion of noysome, and vnhelthfull humore will in the minde of many men be causes of most grieuous, and bitter sicknesse, vnlesse they by the circumspect considera­tion, and diligent aduise of some godlye, learned, and well instructed christian be auoyded, purged, and wisely displaced, the pestilent inuasion of the créeping can­cer of humane confidence, wyll malici­ously infect the whole bodye of ye apparent, and visible church of Christ, vnlesse the playster of Gods direction be fitly applied, [Page] to the contynuall motions of mans [...] ­nesse, and briefly, godlynesse, and all good­nesse will suffer most lamentable ship­wrack in the troublesome waues, and sur­ging seas of vayne fantasies through the blustring windes, and terrible tempestes of deuilishe desires, and raging appetites, vnlesse Christ rise vp, and commaunde the waters to be still, the tempestes to cease, the windes to be calme, the weather to be cléere, and the ship to be safe. Seing there­fore that such is the estate of men, which estéeme not, neyther regarde the goodnesse of God, that of themselues they can not helpe themselues, nor by other meanes be preserued in safetie, bicause nothyng can succour him, whome God forsaketh, seing that nothing procéedeth out of the hart of man, vnlesse it be sauced with his mercy, grace, and bountie, but it is abhominable, and wicked before the face of almightie God, seing that the ffincking wéedes, and noysome darnell of vices, wickednesse, and vngodlynesse, doe burst out sodainely, and in a moment when the séede of Gods holye worde is not sowed in the hart of [Page 25] man, and watred with the swéete showres of heauenly mercie, seing that when God doth not extende his power, grace, and fa­uour, nothing is pleasaunt, fruitfull, or acceptable, but al things are ordered with vnruly rage, with bloudy beastlynesse, with disordered confusion, and horrible tempest of wicked, and witlesse abhomi­nation, and againe, seing that they, which resist ye faithful exercise of prayer, can not [...]e directed by the finger, hand, or spirite of God, bicause they are not Gods children, because they despise his cōmaundements, & counsell, bicause they refuse to heare his voyce, when he calleth them to continuall prayer, and earnest repentaunce of their former liues, it must néedes folowe, that they are vnfruitefull trées, that is, rotten stockes, that bring forth no good, and plea­saunt fruite, but withered, and infectious leaues, impoysoned with venimous, and filthie contagion, and therfore shall be cast into hell fyre, and condemned to eternall, bitter, and most horrible plagues, and pu­nishmentes. For nowe the axe is layde to the roote of the trée, and euerye trée that [Page] bringeth not forth good fruite, shall be cut downe, and cast into the fyre.

What vertues they be voyde of, that pray not The .xi. Chapter.

MOreouer they lacke fayth, hope, and constant trust, in the most precious bloude of our sauioure Iesus Christ, and therefore are in desperate estate. For Christ saith: No man commeth to my father but by me, meaning that vnlesse they put off their owne corruption, and shake off their sin­ful hypocrisie, cut away cleane from them the confidence in themselues, or of other Idols, vnlesse they confesse themselues to be of themselues wicked, disceitful, weake, vnable, mischieuous, and damnable crea­tures, and surely beléeue that Christ came from his throne in heauen, and tooke the nature of man vpon him, to worke their righteousnesse, to appease his fathers wrath, which was enflamed against all [Page 26] sinful, vngodly people, to deliuer them from the seruitude, and bondage of the Deuill, vnder whome they were subiect, and to set them at libertie with the raun­some, and price of his most sacred, and blessed bloud, which was poured out vp­pon the Crosse, by cruell, and vnthankfull Iewes, meaning, I say, that vnlesse hée beléeue this with stedfast faith, and in con­sideration of the same present himselfe be­fore the face of God, firmely trusting that for Christes sake he shall be accepted, and mercifullye receyued, no man can come vnto the father of heauen, or enioy the gracious aspect of the mightie God of Ia­cob, but is vtterly destitute of the glory of God, and is a firebrande of hell, and heire of eternal misery. And Paule saith: With­out fayth it is vnpossible to please God. And againe: Whatsoeuer commeth not of fayth, is sinne, and it is fayth that maketh a man to be saued. For Christ sayth to a woman, that came vnto him. Fides tua te saluam fecit. Thy fayth hath made thée hole, which is to be vnderstanded, not one­ly of bodily helth, but also of heauenly safe­tie. [Page] And againe, qui non credit [...] di­catus est. He that doth not beleeue, is al­readie iudged, or condemned. Therefore they, which doe dispise, reiect, or contemne prayer, if they be vnfaythfull, are in most certaine peril, and danger of hell fire. But that they are vnfaithfull, it shall, by the assistance of almightie God, be declared by the force, fruits, and effectes of fayth. which bicause they are innumerable, and infinite, it is requisite, that we speake of a few only, which wil sufficiently shew vnto vs, howe farre they abhorre from ye excel­lent gifte, wherewith the dartes of the de­uils be quenched, the host of Antichrist o­uercommed, and the firie flames of Hell extinguished.

That they lacke loue, and obedi­ence, the speciall fruites of fayth, which exercise not prayer. The .xij. Chapter.

[Page 27]FAith, whersoeuer it be, doth bring forth, or ingender repentaunce, doth apprehende the spirit of god, doth worke in mans harte loue, and obedience, which fruites, and effects, if they necessarilye porceede of faith, as here­after it shal appeare, sée that by no meanes they may be seperated, and contrarilye, if they can neuer be founde in any of them, which despise prayer, as it shall be decla­red, it must néedes of necessitie folowe, they haue no fayth, but are dry, deade, vn­fruitfull, and faithlesse people. But first let vs sée whether repentaunce procéede of faith, or no, and then, whither such men can be repentant. Faith when it is giuen from heauen, and placed in the heart of man, then it doth, as it were, rule, and go­uerne all the motions of the minde, it tri­eth, and prooueth, and sercheth all the cor­ners of his cogitations, it séeketh, & swe­peth, scoureth, and clenseth away, the filth, the rust, the drosse, the dregges of all impietie. For God, in the first of Esay sayth, if your sinnes be as red as scarlet, I will make them as white as snowe, [Page] which commeth onely by [...] on, through which we appeare righteous be­fore the throne of our mightie God, and iustification commeth onely through faith in the most precious bloud of our onely sa­uiour Iesus Christ. For Paule saith in the thirde chapter to the Romaines: The righteousnesse, or iustification no boubt, which is good before God, commeth by the fayth of Iesus Christ vnto all, and vppon all, that beléeue. There is no difference. For all haue sinned, and lacke the prayse, that is of valure before God: but are iusti­fied fréelye by his grace, through the re­demption which is in Christ Iesu, whome God hath made a seate of mercy through fayth in his bloud, to shewe the righteous­nesse, which before him is of valure, in that he forgyueth the sinnes, that are pas­sed, which God did suffer, to shewe at this time the righteousnesse, that is allowed of him, that he might be accounted iust, and iustifier of him, that beléeueth in Iesus. Hitherto Paule. But vnlesse the sharpe salue of hartie repentaunce be layde vnto the festred woundes of our sinfull hartes, [Page 28] it is [...]mpossible that they shoulde be purifi­ed, cleansed, or healed. For therefore the scripture calleth vs so often to repentance. Conuertimini ad me & saluieritis. Turne vnto me (sayth the Lorde) and ye shall be safe, and againe: Si conuersus fuerit im­pius. &c. If the wicked shall turne from his euill way, and nolo mortem pecca­toris, I will not the death of a sinner, but that he repent and liue, and resipiscite, & credite euangelio, repent, and beléeue the gospell, and non veni vocare iustos, sed peccatores ad penitentiam, I came not to call the iust, but sinners to repentance. So that here we sée plainely, that first is se [...] conuersion to God, and repentaunce, then helth, or life, or safetie, whereby we may well perceyue, that vnlesse repentaunce doe launch, and cut, and rent our hartes, we can not come to the perfection of obe­dient christians. And againe: An humble, and contrite heart is an acceptable sacri­fice to the Lorde, to whome nothing is ac­ceptable, that procéedeth not of faith. For the Apostle sayth: Whatsoeuer is not of fayth, is sinne, and with sinne howe can [Page] God be pleased? It remayneth the [...]re that repentaunce, whereby the soule is sorrowfully charged, but therewithall af­ter shall chéerefully be discharged, is en­gendred, and brought forth by fayth. For like as in a fielde, or garden, swéete, plea­saunt, or delectable flowers, can not grow freshly, & abundantly, before that wéedes, and stones, and thornes be rased vp, and cast out, euen so the most delitesome fruit of dame vertues grace, can not plentiful­ly replenishe the fielde, or garden of mans hart, vnlesse first the briers of vices, and stones of wicked abhomination be by re­pentaunce cast out, and exiled.

Zachaeus an example of an hartie re­penter, and that repentance is the salue to recure the wounds of wicked lyfe. The .xiij. Chapter.

THerefore Zacheus, the prince of Publicanes in the .19. of Luke, when he had receyued the fayth of Christ, burst out into these [Page 29] wordes and sayde. Ecce Domine, di­midium bonorum meorum do pauperi­bus. &c. Beholde Lorde, the halfe of my goodes I giue to the poore, and if I haue defrauded any man of any thing, I render to him foure folde, which wordes vn­doubtedly doe giue a most certayne token of heartie repentaunce. For he did so much detest his former iniquitie, so much lament his olde enormities, so willinglye condemne his practised prankes, and de­ceitfull dealinges, that he not onelye did purpose in time to come to auoyde the lyke, but also did with most readie minde, recompence them foure folde, whome he had before deceiued, or oppressed. And in the seconde of the Actes, when diuers at the preaching of Peter began to beléeue, they being pricked in conscience, exclamed on this sorte. Yée men and brethren what shall we doe? here they knowing by the sermons of the Apostle, that they hadde a long time erred from the truth, and ser­ued rather their owne inuentions, than the true God, and therefore perceyuing that they were in daunger of the displea­sure, [Page] and terrible hate of the Lord hosts desired earnestlye to knowe by what meanes they myght escape ye vengeance, being readie to fall on their heades, and sorowfully lamented their daūgerous ig­norance. And Peter answereth with these words. Delictorum paenitentiā agite. &c. Repent your offences. Here we sée yt the salue, wherwith their heauy harts, woun­ded with wickednesse, were first refreshed, was hartie repentaunce, after they came to the faith of Christ Iesus. The Nini­uits. 3. Ionae, beleeued God, & commaun­ded a generall fasting, which did well de­clare their remorse of conscience for their former contempt of Gods commaunde­ment, and refusall of his mercies, and tormenting of his Prophetes, whereby they turned away at the last the wrath of the Lord from themselues, and their citie, all which doe proue, that where faith is, there is repentaunce. Nowe let vs con­sider a while whether true repentance may be found in them, that continue the vse of prayer or no.

[...]scription of repentaunce, and the partes therof, and the exam­ple of the saued theefe. The .xiiij. Chapter.

REpentaunc [...] is a true griefe, and sorrow for the offence committed against GOD, wherewith the minde is opprest, the sorrowfull hart most miserably tormented the senses troubled, the vnderstanding ouerwhel­med, the life afflicted, the woonted wanton ioyes altogither banished, but so yt the va­liant force of a liuely faith doth agayne reuiue the languishing spirit, with an ear­nest desire, and constant assurance, hoping for frée pardon for the merites of Christ his passion, whereby is ingendered a full purpose neuer more to haunt the brothell houses of sinne, and iniquitie, but alwaies to liue in pure conuersation, and sincere pietie. Herein be principall, and especiall partes, due contrition, and constant faith. Contrition maketh a man to tremble, and [Page] quake, to consider the violent [...] [...]he o [...] God, incensed against sinne, wherewith he is brought into extreme feare, terror, and anguishe, and for that detesteth the horri­ble filthynesse, and deformitie of the same. And in such case is it possible to stand, and not to desire pardon? To require mercie? To craue deliuerance? To complaine our estate? To lament our miseries? To seeke a salue? To procure an holesome medi­cine, whereby we may be restored to our helth? No no, and especially, seing fayth, instilled into our hartes by the spirite of God, doth perswade vs, that we shall ob­taine, if we call, that we shall be raunso­med, if we require it, that we shall be hea­led, if humbly with hartie prayers we re­paire to the good Phisition of the soule, Christ Iesus our Lord and sauiour. What madnesse were it to thinke, that any man, being sure of most miserable tormentes, if he holde his peace, and is alreadie plun­ged into the desperate consideration of the same, and féeling their extreme bitter­nesse, and cruell sharpnesse, if on the con­trarie part, he were sure to escape so great [Page 31] a daung [...]r, so apparent a perill, so mis­chieuous a miserie, by opening his mouth, and desiring mercie, that he woulde not with readie minde, with chéerefull hart, with all spéedie hast, prostrate himselfe be­fore the iudge, and in most lowly wise, and carefull humilitie beséech him of his graci­ous goodnesse, and desired bountie, to dely­uer him? The théefe which was hanged with Christ on his right hande, when he had receyued the boldnesse of fayth, and therewith was brought to godlye repen­taunce, did desire Christ most humbly to remember him, whan he came to his glo­rious, & euerlasting kingdome. Ye he did not refuse to call vpon him, but by calling was delyuered from the power of Sa­than, from the mouth of hell, from the anguish of the soule, from the death eter­nall, to which he had surely bene con­demned, if he had despised, or not regarded the profite of faith­full pray­er.

The things that hinder the fruiteful exercise of praier, desperation, and the contrarie thereof, that is, securitie. The .xv. Chapter.

WHat is it therefore, that hindreth a man, so that he doth not vse the fruitefull exercise of prayers▪ Surely, eyther desperatiō, or else securitie. Desperation drowneth a man in deadly sorrowes, in bitternesse of soule, in the furious floudes of most déepe and des­pitefull dolours. Therefore wheresoe­uer it is founde, it shutteth out cleane the force of fayth. But securitie maketh a man carelesse, hardneth his heart, indu­reth his stonie spirites, and causeth to cry, peace, peace, when destruction hangeth o­uer his heade. This also, when contrition is absent, hath no parte or porcion in a faythfull heart. Whereof it foloweth, that true repentaunce, whereby the harts of christians are regenerated, their willes chaunged, their mindes framed a newe, [Page 32] their desires reformed, their liues amen­ded, their cogitations clēsed, their though­tes purified, their spirite sanctified, cannot be founde in those, that doe not continual­ly burst out in most hartie prayers, desi­ring grace, goodnesse, pardon, and amend­ment, and consequently, that such are not faithfull, but faithlesse, not fruitfull, but fruitlesse, not gracious, but gracelesse per­sons. Secondly, faith doth apprehend the spirite of God. For Christ saith. Iohn. 7. If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drinke. He that beleueth in me, as the scripture sayth, shall haue floudes of wa­ter of lyfe flowing from his bellye, and this he spake of the spirite, which they, that beleue him, should receyue. And ad Ephe­sios. 1. Paule sayth: In whome (speakyng of Christ) also ye after that, you had heard the worde of truth, I meane the gospell of your saluation, wherein you beleue, were sealed with the holye spirite of promise, which is the earnest pledge of our inheri­taunce, to redéeme the purchased possessi­on, and that vnto the lawde and glory of God. The spirite of God therefore doth [Page] possesse the hartes of the faythfull. But let vs now consequently consider, whither i [...] may be founde in such, that will not feare God, which saint Paule séemeth to de­nye, Romanes. 8. By these wordes. Non enim accepistis spiritū seruitutis in timo­re, sed accepistis spiritū adoptionis filio­rū dei, in quo clamamus, Abba pater. &c. For ye haue not againe receyued ye spirite of bondage in feare, but ye haue receyued the spirit of adoption of the sonnes of god, whereby we cry, Abba father. For that spirite doth testifie to our spirite, that we are the sonnes of God, and in the fourth to the Galathians, bicause you are the sonnes of God, God hath sent the spirite of his sonne into your harts, crying, Abba father. Here in these places, Paule doth manifestly shewe, that the spirite of God, when it resteth in the hartes of the fayth­full, doth so mollifie mans stony minde, so breake downe the brazen walles of sléepie securitie, so confounde the pernitious, and pestilent purposes of negligent impietie, and agayne so comforteth the sorrowfull soule, so refresheth the weary wil, so repai­reth, [Page 33] and healeth the broken hart, that ney­ [...]her by contempt of Gods wrath is proud­ [...]ed, neyther by lacke of trust, and confi­dence, helth is togither banished, but con­tynuall prayer is poured out to God, as to a father, that with naturall, yea more then naturall affection, doth tender his a­dopted children, his chosen vessels, his lo­uing friendes, which appéereth by crying in fayth Abba father. It is therefore proo­ued, that they which crie not with hartie affection vnto God our heauenlye father, haue not the spirite of God, & consequent­ly, that they are reiected from the number of the saints, and sonnes of God. Thirdly fayth worketh in mans hart loue, and obe­dience. For that doth most perfitely paint out the tender mercies, the great good wil, the gracious fauour, the louing kindnesse of God the father to man in creating him, of God the sonne in raunsoming him, of God the holye ghost in directing him, in creating him, by making him of nothing a noble creature, in redéeming him, by making of a bonde seruant to the Deuill an adopted sonne to himselfe, in directing [Page] him, by restrayning him from most abho­minable impietie, whether hée woulde runne, and cast himselfe headlong into pre­sent daunger, and kéeping him in the fa­uour of his tender father, & creator. These with innumerable, and infinite commodi­ties more, will mooue almost a senselesse hart to contend with all endeuour to loue, to please, to folowe, to praise, to obey, to reuerence, to worship, and honour him by whome they are bestowed, and giuen, and vndeseruedly, fréely, bountifully, without respect of the receyuer his worthynesse, and onely for the giuers mercie.

The effects of fayth in Mari of Betha­nia, which is Marie Magdalene, with an enumeration of causes, why they bee condemned, which reiect prayer. The .xvi. Chapter.

MArie of Bethania, after shée had receyued fayth, so loued Christ, that she not onely was wylling [Page 34] to doe that which was commaunded in the lawe of God, but also exercised an ex­traordinarie meanes, whereby shée did shewe forth hir burning, and feruent loue towardes Christ. For when he was set at meate in a Pharyseis house, she brought an Alablaster boxe of oyntment, and shée stoode at his féete behind him wéeping, and began to washe his féete with teares, and did wipe them with the heares of hir head, and kissed his féete, and annoynted them with oyntment, and Christ testifieth in the same place, the seuenth of Luke, that she loued much. Christ also sayth in the four­téenth of Iohn. If anye man loue mée, he will kéepe my saying, and againe, qui non diligit me, sermones meos non seruat, he that doth not loue me, kéepeth not my saying, whereby it appeareth that fayth is not without the loue of God. The loue of God is not without obedience, obedience is not, where prayer is not exercised, as it is proued before. Therfore they which con­temne, or neglect, or doe not vse contynuall prayer, are vnfaithful & disobedient rebels against God and his annoynted. Nowe [Page] therefore séeing that for such lacke of due­tie on our partes, the holy, and heauenlye will of our eternall God is nothing regar­ded, the swéete, and holesome counsell of Christ Iesus, our mercifull, and mightie mediatour, wilfully condemned the pro­fered, and promised mercy by the holye ghost, in scripture plentifullye declared, wickedly refused, seing that God is spoy­led of his reuerence, depriued of his ho­nour, robbed of his glorie, prayse, and of our dutifull obedience, seing that they, which doe not exercise continuall prayer, are trées bearing no fruite, which are good for nothing, but to be cut downe, and cast into the fire, seing that they are fayth­lesse, desperate, secure, fruitlesse, and harde hearted hypocrites, trusting more to the fonde illusions of their vaine fantasies, than the riches of Gods eternall mercies, bathing themselues in the sincke of sinne, and foule puddle of blasphemous iniquity, it must néedes of necessitie folow, that they are burning firebrandes of hell, sonnes of the Deuill, and heires of eternall damna­tion. For as the Prophet Nahum saith, ye [Page 35] first Chapter. Deus emulator, & vlcis­cens dominus, vlciscens dominus, & ha­bens furorem, vlciscens dominus in hos­tes suos, & irascens ipse suis inimicis. God is a zelous, and a reuenging Lorde, a reuenging Lorde, and wrathfull, a re­uenging Lorde against his enimies, and angry against his aduersaries. Ante fa­ciem indignationis eius quis stabit, & quis resistet in ira furoris eius? Who shall stande before his face when his in­dignation is hote, and in the daye of hys wrath, who shall be able to resist? For when he is angrye, the heauens shake for feare, the earth quiuereth, the rockes doe breake a sunder, the mountaines shippe, the Lyons rore, the Tygers tremble, and all the inhabitauntes of the worlde are readie to desire the hilles to couer them. Such is the terrour of his maiestie, such is the horrour of his displeasure, such is the burning fire of his hote indignation. He will not therefore spare those which trayterously spoyle him of his glorie, be­reaue him of his due honor & reuerence, depriue him of his worship, who may for [Page] the same cause, loke for nothing else, but e­ternall death, and extreme, horrible, and deadly damnation. For séeing he is ielous, and a reuenging Lorde, séeing he is a most mightie, terrible, and fearefull iudge, sée­ing he is a God that hath all power, domi­nion, and rule at his commaundement, séeing nothing is able to withstande hys will, séeing neyther place in heauen, ney­ther habitation in earth, nor house in Hell is hidden from his presence: and agayne, seing on the otherside, he is so iustly pro­uoked, so yrefully inflamed, so wrathfully mooued, against such as robbe him of hys reuerence, it is most certaine, and so sure as the Lorde liueth, that they shall come to vtter, and extréeme, and most miserable confusion.

The second part of the authors diui­sion, that is, that they be most certaine of the inheritance of heauen which doe exercise prayers compri­sing the .vii. Chap­ters folowing. The .xvij. Chapter.

[Page 36]BVt now let vs leaue to speake of those, and conuert our talke to the state of such, as doe with earnest, humble, and hartie desire, imbrace the most godly exercise of prayer. They asuredlye are most certaine to be enheri­tours of euerlasting, and most blisfull sal­uation, for euer and euer eternally. For Christ saith Iohn. 14. Quicquid petieritis nomine meo, hoc faciam vt glorificetur pater per filium. Si quid petieritis per no­men meum, ego faciam. First whatsoeuer you shall require in my name, that I will bring to passe, that the father may be glo­rified by his sonne. If you shall require any thing in my name I will doe it. Here Christ promiseth vnto vs, that we shall ob­taine whatsoeuer we shall require in his name. If therefore we shall require euer­lasting life in glorie, and all felicitie with him, and his, Aungels he will gladly, wil­lingly, and readily graunt it vnto vs. For here he is not constrayned to promise it. Therefore he is willing to graunt it, and againe, he doth not promise more, then hée [Page] is able to perfourme, bicause he is GOD omnipotent, equall with the father in all power, godhead, and diuinitie. For he saith of him selfe. My father and I are all one, it remaineth then that of his siguler grace, & incredible goodnesse, wherwith he fauoreth imbraceth, loueth, & tendereth vs, he wil for asking bestowe vpon vs such infinite and excéeding commodites, whose great­nesse, & excellency can neither by though of man be conceyued, nor by force of wordes expressed. Moreouer he repeateth the same in one place, and at one time as it appeareth, the more to confirme vs, to incourage vs, to strengthen vs, to encrease our desire, to pray vnto him, that neyther doubtfulnesse in asking, neyther lacke of hope in receyuing, might hinder our ende­uours. In the .15. of Iohn, likewise he saith. Si manseritis in me et verba mea in vobis manserint quicquid volueritis, petetis & fiet vobis. If you abide in me, and my wordes abide in you, whatsoeuer you will haue, you shall aske, and it shall be done, and then he conteyneth these wordes in this, my father is glorified, that you bring [Page 37] forth good fruite plentifully, and be made my disciples, so that by praying vnto him, we shal glorify his name, bicause yt by that meanes we shall be made fresh, and fruit­full gardens, fullye replenished with the flourishing flowers of most excellent ver­tues, which will yéelde so swéete a sauor to God, and Christ our sauiour, that we shall be most acceptable sacrifices, and pleasant offeringes vnto him. He subuerteth al­so these wordes, which containe incredi­ble comfort to the solace of siely soules: Euen as my father hath loued me, so I haue loued you: What more ioye and pleasure? What so much comfort can we conceyue? What earnest loue of Christ Iesus towardes vs maye we gather of this, that he loueth vs, as his father hath loued him? His father to shewe his loue towardes him, spake on this sorte out of a clowde: This is my beloued sonne, in whome I am well pleased. Him he raysed from death to life, from earth to heauen, from cruell crosse, & affliction, to an eter­nall crowne of glorie immortall, and hath set him on his right hande in all power, [Page] and dominion, and hath made his enimies his footestoole, all which doe well declare his loue, he beareth towardes him. Nay he loueth him, as he loueth his owne sub­stance, or his owne selfe. For he is God of the same substance, that his father is. Let vs therefore be sure that if we call vppon him with feruent, and humble, and hear­tye prayer, hée will heare vs, hee wyll sanctifie vs, he will direct vs, he will leade vs in all holynesse, and purenesse of life, and he will preserue our soules, and bo­dies to euerlasting felicitie. For so he lo­ueth vs, as his father hath loued him. And Christ sayth in an other place. Beati pau­peres spiritu, quoniam illorum est reg­num coelorum. Blessed are the poore in spirite, for theirs is the kingdome of hea­uen. And to be poore in spirite, is nothing else, but to humble himselfe before the face of God, to put awaye all confidence in himselfe, to craue mercie for his commit­ted wickednesse, to poure out his com­plaint before his onely redéemer, to ac­knowledge his owne vnworthynesse, to confesse his weakenesse, not to bost of his [Page 38] merites, not to bragge with boldnesse, his owne abilitie, not to trust in his owne de­seruings, but to lye prostrate before the iudgement seate of God, to wayte for the crūmes of mercy, that fall from the Lords table, to cal, and cry for grace, and bounty, through Christ Iesus his death, and passi­on, by whome alone he seeketh for reliefe, health, and comforte in all humylitie. A­gaine, we haue a sure promise of Christ himselfe, saying vnto vs. 16 of. Iohn. Ve­rily, verily, I say vnto you, whatsoeuer you shall require my father in my name, he will giue it you. Aske, and you shall re­ceyue. If then we shall desire God the fa­ther, in the merites of his most dearelye beloued sonne Christ Iesus, to water our harts with the dew of his heauenly grace, and to refresh our hungry soules, with the foode of his holye worde, and still to pre­serue, protect, and gouerne our heauie hartes, wyth the wisedome of his heauen­lye spirite, he will no doubt assist vs, helpe vs, heale vs, direct vs, shadow vs with the wings of his mercy, and at the last, when our soule is dissolued from the pryson of [Page] the body, will place it in eternall paradise. For Christ is the truth, and therefore can­not lye, and he hath promised faithfully to fulfill all our godly desires.

The comparison of God vnto the vn­righteous Iudge, which is ouer­come with continuall, and importune sute. The .xviij. Chapter.

ANd he the more to encourage vs, doth make a comparison. Luke. 18. betwixt his father, and an vnrigh­teous Iudge, on this maner. There was a Iudge in a certaine Citie, sayth he, who neyther feared God, nor estéemed man. There was also a widow in the same citie, and came vnto him, say­ing: Reuenge me of mine aduersary, and for a while he woulde not. But at the last he sayde within himselfe: Although I neyther feare God, nor care for man, yet bycause this widowe still troubleth me, I will reuenge hir of hir enimie, least at the last the come, and reproue me. And the [Page 39] Lorde sayde, heare what the vnrighteous iudge sayth. And shall not God reuenge his elect people, that cry vnto him night and day, although he differre it? I say vn­to you, that he shal reuenge them quickly. Here Christ doth expresse, and paynt out in liuely colours, the force of earnest, and harty prayer. For that Iudge, that was of so rough, and rigorous a nature, of so fierce, and austere conditions, of so vngen­tle, and cruell disposition, that he dispysed the complaints of the poore, regarded not the requests of the miserable, refused to giue eare to the cryes of Orphanes, contemned the lamentations of the op­pressed people, cared not for thretnings, set religion at naught, considered not the ter­rible strokes of Gods vengeaunce, light­ly loked vpon his duetie, gaue himselfe to vayne pleasure, and was in wordes vn­kinde, in witte wilye; in countenaunce terrible, in iesture fearefull, in lyfe tiran­nicall, in manners monstrous, in conuer­sation sauage, in dealings dreadfull, in hart spitefull, in wyll a wolfe, in though­tes outragious, in office cruell, in mena­cing [Page] more than manful, and beyonde measure ful of al iniquity, by the continual cal­ling vpon of this woman, by hir pitious complaintes, was reformed, and brought to mercie, was contented to deliuer hir from hir oppressing enimie, was perswa­ded to leaue of his olde seueritie, or rather carelesse cruelty in that case, and was rea­die to fulfill hir will, to graunt hir request, and to agree to hir desire, and then Christ transferreth it to his father, who is our tender fauourer, to shewe how much more he woulde be glad to haue vs poure foorth our prayers vnto him that he might satis­fie our willes, and shew mercie vnto thou­sandes, that call vpon him. For he doth of his infinite, and excéeding goodnesse with fayre, and faythfull promises allure vs, with bonntiful rewards endeuor to entise vs, with offred, & proffred benifits to binde vs, with mercy to moue vs, with kindnesse to constraine vs, with curtesie to call vs, with pittie to prouoke vs, with giftes to gratifie vs, with ready minde to redresse, with reason to reforme vs, with good wils to winne vs, with loue to leade vs, with [Page 40] care to cure vs, with solace to salute vs, with charitie to chasten vs, with dutie to driue vs, with compassion, as it were, to compell vs to come vnto him. For to­wards vs his affection is earnest, and zea­lous, his loue large, and liuely, his care incomparable, his good will gracious, his beneuolence bountiful, his mercy maruel­lous. If therfore ye iudge, that was sauage, vniust, and terrible, in whome their scarce appeared any sparke of pitie, coulde by a simple woman be intreated, howe much more shall so louing a Lorde, so natural­ly affectioned a father, so mercifull a God, as this the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob is, be readie to receiue vs?

That the deuils impression is not suf­fered of God to preuayle, where prayer is in place, with the remedies of sinnes. The xix. Chapter.

AT the last, our sauiour Christ con­cludeth, that God wil here the prai­ers of his elect, that crye vnto him, day and night, and will reuenge [Page] them quickly. Where we haue to consi­der, that if the Deuill go about, eyther by force to ouerthrow vs, or by pollicye, to plague vs, or by sleightes to conquere vs, or by strength to ouercome vs, by pleasure to allure vs, or by paine to compell vs, by trenchynges to vndermine vs, or by igno­raunce to leade vs, by foly to force vs, or by fondenesse to féede vs, by riches to en­rage vs, or by power to constraine vs, by villanie to wrest vs, or by pleasure to en­trappe vs, or by what meanes so euer he minde to be victor ouer vs, we may by cal­ling for helpe at the mercifull handes of almightie God confounde his deuises, o­uertourne his endeuours, and become valiaunt conquerers in all temptations. For if pride doe prick vs, we may call for humilitie with humble obedience, if sloth, and ydlenesse, doe créepe into our bodyes, mindes, or members, we may praye for agilitie, loue of labour, and diligence, if the insatiable thirst of corruptible treasure doe couetously consume vs, we may re­quest the gracious vertue of louely liber­tie, frée gentlenesse, and bountie, if grace­lesse [Page 41] glottonie doe gréedily deuour vs, we may waite for the assured staye of trustie temperance, if the burning feauer of wic­ked, and wanton lust doe miserably vexe vs, we may desire the colde, and comforta­ble reliefe of right reason, & ruly religion, if the venimous poyson of bitter enuie do daungerouslye infect vs, we may require the holesome medicine of godly charitie, if the loue of licentious libertie doe leade vs, we maye with supplication aske for moderation, and méekenesse, if churlishe, and currishe, and carelishe doggednesse hath odiously affected vs, we maye wishe for gentle, and curteous, and chéerefull hu­manitie, to possesse vs, if contempt of Gods worde hath any time estraunged vs from our bounden dueties, we may be­séeche him to bestowe vpon vs for his mercies sake the loue of his lawes, and regarde of oure office towardes him, and he assuredlye for his promise sake for the merites, and deserts of Christ Iesus, our Sauiour, for his honour, and glorie, for the maintenaunce of our estate, the en­crease of our comfort, for the helth of our [Page] soules, which he greatlye tendereth, wyll giue vs all these vertues with floudes of his grace, & streames of his mercie, to the drowning of sinne & to the confirmation, establishing, & erection of al goodnesse, god­linesse, and true fayth, & perfite charitie.

The applying of the Prodigall sonne vnto the repentaunt sinner by prayer. The .xx. Chapter.

FOr he requireth or desireth no­thing more than our conuersion vnto him, our helth, and safetie, our ioye, solace, and commoditie, our life and libertie, as it appeareth by the lost sonne in the. 15. of Luke, who after he receyued his portion of substance, went into a straunge countrie, & there riotous­ly spent all, insomuch, that at the last, hée by the force of pinching pouertie, hard fortune, and néedefull necessitie, was con­strayned to féede hogges, and desir [...] bée nouryshed wyth such prouendour, as the swine were filled, and fatted withall, [Page 42] but no man gaue any vnto him, at length when he was almost sterued for lacke of necessarie sustinaunce, and in such pity­ous plight, and miserable estate, that lyfe was almost readye to forsake his carefull carkasse, he thought this within himselfe. Manye hyred seruauntes in my fathers house haue plentie of vittayles, and I pe­rishe for hunger. I will rise and go to my father, and will saye vnto him: Father I haue sinned against heauen, and before thée, nowe I am not worthye to be called thy sonne, make me as one of thy hyred seruaunts. And he rose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a farre off, his father saw him, and being moued with mercie came running towardes him, and fell vpon his neck, & kissed him. Sée how his loue is not chaunged, his good affection is not mooued, his tender fauour is not di­minished, yea rather his ioy in him is now encreased, his gracious goodnesse maruel­lously enlarged, his pittie more plentifully prouoked towards his lost sonne, although before he had wilfully disobeyed his father, contemptiously refused to tarie with him, [Page] disobediently wandred into forraine coun­tries, riotously roysted, and raunged in straunge lands, wantonly wasted his pro­per portion of substaunce, letherously la­uished his store vpon strumpets, prodigal­lye poured out his iust inheritaunce a­mongst vagabonds, yea, although he was nowe in suche a case, that his estate was succourlesse, his purse penylesse, his hart hopelesse, his skinne discoloured, his flesh withered, his beautie deformed, his come­lynesse defaced, his body weried, his welth wasted, his strength weakened, his force vanished, his life sorowfull, his minde mournefull, his desperate degrée misera­bly scornefull, his plight pitifull, and his person slaunderouslye spoken off, and ig­nominious, sée for all this howe louingly he entertayneth him, howe graciously he receyueth him, how gently he kisseth him, howe readily he runneth to méete him, to salute him, to welcome him home againe, and then the sonne seing his father so to fauour him, repenteth him of his former disobedience, bewayleth his vngracious dealing, and is hartily sorie for his former [Page 43] behauour, and speaketh on such maner, as he had before determined: Father I haue sinned against heauen, and against thée, and am vnworthie hereafter to hée called thy sonne. But his father said to his seruants. Bring forth the best garment, & put it on him, and put a ring on hys hand, and shoes on his féete, and bring hither the fatte calfe, and kil him, and let vs eate, and be merie. For this my sonne was deade, and is aliue againe, he was lost, and is nowe founde, and they began to be merie. This Father, that the Parable speaketh off, is God our Creator, our heauenly father, our mightie maker, that placed man in Paradyse, who like a lewde, and dissolute sonne went a wan­dring from the swéete fieldes of vertues, into the vnknowne woodes, and daunge­rous marishes of wicked disobedience, and returning vnto his Father, driuen therevnto by necessitie, was ioyfully re­ceyued, opening, and humbly confessing, and therewithall lamenting his former wickednesse, only cleaueth vnto the mer­cies of God, and desertes of our Sauiour [Page] Christ Iesus. Thus therefore he loueth vs so feruently, that he remembreth no our former wickednesse, when once wée shall call vppon him, but will with ioye graunt, and giue vnto vs a wedding gar­ment, that is, constant faith, righteous­nesse, iustification thorowe Christ Iesus, that with the same we being apparelled, may be present at the kings feast wythout shame, or confusion. Thus by prayers poured out vnto God, we shall with the fiue wise Virgines haue Oyle sufficient in our Lampes to maintaine the light, and shall enter into the Palace of the bridegrome with ioy, and gladnesse, and all felicitie. Thus we shall enter into the kingdome, which God hath prepared for himselfe, and his Aungels, there to inioye the crowne of immortall glorie.

The example of the theefe hanging on the right hande of Christ, applied to the effica­cie of prayer. The .xxi. Chapter.

[Page 44]HEre I might with examples, de­clare the force, and effect of prayer, but for breuitie sake, I will onely set before your eyes the example of the théefe, which was hanged vpon the right hand of Christ at his passion. He, af­ter that he had passed his life in such sort, that there appeared no way, but eternall damnation, vnlesse by méere mercy he had béene receyued, called vppon Christ for grace, and mercy, desiring him with hea­uie, penitent, and oppressed hart, with har­tie contrition, with earnest repentaunce, with constaunt, liuely, and stedfast fayth, to remember him when he came to hys kingdome, to deliuer him from the power of the deuill, who was readie to receyue him, to purge him from his vncleannesse, wherwith he before had defaced the simili­tude of God, that was placed in his owne brest, & had, as it were, desperatly throwne himselfe in the most cruell, and horrible bondage of curssed Sathan. But by cal­ling for the louing mercies, and incredible goodnesse of Christ Iesus, then hanging vpon the crosse for the redemption of him [Page] and all mankinde, miserably plunged in [...]o a Sea of miseries, was by the raunsome of his most precious bloud most happily deliuered. For after he had poured out his humble, and hartie prayers, his pityous complaints, his wofull wretchednesse, his sorowfull sighes, his repentaunt teares▪ he heard this comfortable answere. This daye thou shalt be with me in Paradise. Loe the readinesse of Christ Iesus in re­ceyuing our prayers, in graunting ou [...] peticions, in wyping awaye our wofull wéeping, in rewarding them, that turne vnto him, in comforting them, that sorow­fully doe séeke him, and in exalting, crow­ning, and glorifying them, that faythfully doe folowe him in workes, in wyll, in truth, in trust, in obedience, and earnest charitie. This théefe was, as it may be ga­thered in his yong, & tender age, lewdely, losely, and dissolutely brought vp, wicked­ly nurtered, vnaduisedly instructed, light­ly regarded, trayned vp in euill company, fostered in all abhomination, rapine, rob­bing, stealing, spoyling, and such like, ne­uer respecting the seuere iustice, or gentle [Page 45] dealing, the rigorous seueritie, or louing mercies of God almightie, the iudge of all men, vntill his last ende approched, and then being terrified with remorse of con­science, and driuen into extreme agony with the remembrance of his wicked life, knowing that he coulde not escape most terrible vengeaunce, vnlesse he should flie to the present comfort of Gods méere mer­cie, then relented, and charitably rebuked his fellowe théefe for despysing, and reuy­ling Christ Iesus, and then faithfully cal­ling vppon Christ, was paciently, ioy­fullye, and readilye receyued, and as Christe promysed, was that same daye brought vp into the most pleasant region of heauenlye delites euer to enioye an immortall crowne of eternall felicitie. O most blysful estate obtayned by prayer. O the maruellous mercies of Christ our sa­uiour. O the most happie hope of a repen­taunt hart. He is crowned with immor­tall glorie, which hath worthily deserued extréeme miserie. He is accoumpted wor­thy of eternall saluation, which for his de­sertes shoulde rather be condemned wyth [Page] deadly damnation. He is deliuered from the power, bondage, and crueltie of Sa­than, which all his lyfe time for the most part hath vowed, and yelded his seruice to all impietie, going to warfare vnder the banner of the deuill, a tormenting tyrant. This miraculous effect, and incomparable worke was brought to passe by pouring out of his pensiue heart, most wofull com­plaints, with hope in Gods mercies tho­rowe the manifolde merits of Christ Ie­sus, our onely redéemer, to be deliuered from present daunger of his damnable de­serts. If therefore we thinke that Christ is able to perfourme that, which he hath promised, if we think that his arme is not abridged, if we thinke him not to be incon­stant, if we beléeue his faithfull promises, if we giue credite to his reuealed worde, and holy gospel, if we doubt not of his infi­nite mercies, if we think that his most pre­cious bloud, poured out most plentifully vpon the aultar of the crosse, haue still his force for our iustificatiō, we must also ne­cessarily knowe, yt with the poore widowe, we shal obtain our request, thorow earnest [Page] prayer at God his hande, that through him we shall be able to daunt the power of the Deuill, that with the lost sonne we shall of our father be ioyfullye receyued, that with the repentant théefe we shall reigne in Paradise for euer and euer in all felici­tie. For hartie prayer cannot be without stedfast faith. 1. Iacob. Postulet in fide, ni­hil hesitans, let him pray in fayth nothing doubting at all. And Paule sayth. Quo­modo inuocabunt eum, in quem non crediderunt, howe shall they call vppon him, in whome they haue not beléeued? Fayth bringeth a suretie of eternall hap­pinesse. For. 3. Iohn, so God loued the worlde, that he gaue his onely begotten sonne for this purpose, that euerye one, which beléeueth on him, shoulde not pe­rishe, but haue lyfe euerlasting. And a­gayne, in the ende of the same Chapter, it is written. He that beléeueth the wordes, which the sonne of God speaketh, hath life euerlasting. And in the fift Chapter, it is sayde. Verily, verily, I say vnto you, hée that heareth my wordes, and beleueth in him, that sent me, hath eternall lyfe. And [Page] in the sixt Chapter we reade. Haec est vo­luntas patris mei. &c. This is the will of my father, which sent me, that euery one, that séeth the sonne, and beléeueth on him, should haue eternall lyfe. Also in the same place: Verily I say vnto you, he that belée­ueth me, hath euerlasting lyfe. And Iohn also in the .xx. chapter hath these wordes: Haec autē scripta sunt. &c. These things are written, that you may beleue that Ie­sus is Christ, the sonne of God, and that beleuing, you may haue lyfe thorowe his name. And another sayth, laetabuntur om­nes, qui sperant in te, in aeternum exul­tabunt, all shall reioyce, that trust in thée (O Lord) they shall for euer be most glad, and ioyfull. It is therfore euident, that all those, which with constant hope, and sure fayth, and contrite hart, & humble minde, call vpon God in his sonne Iesus Christ, shall be deliuered from the deceites of the Deuill, and shall enioye for euer an incorrup­tible crowne of immortall glory.

The conclusion of the seconde part of the Authors diuision, with nota­ble testimonies thereof out of the scrip­tures. The .xxij. Chapter.

BVt what hath so bewitched oure mindes, or benummed our senses, or bereaued vs of our right vnder­standing, that we so sluggishely, nay vnreasonably doe neglect our dueties to God, not regarding our owne commo­ditie, welth, happie estate, and felicitie, but rather voluntarilie running into wicked­nesse, doe deserue most déepe daungers, and deadly miseries, and dolefull damna­tion? Christ commaundeth vs carefullye, faythfully, continually to call vpon him with hartie prayers, and we refuse to fo­lowe him. That open enimie of mankind, Sathan, chargeth vs to liue in sléepie, sin­full, and slothfull securitie, and we readily conforme our selues to his cursed com­maundement. Christ came downe from [Page] his celestiall throne [...] glorious, and im­mortall maiestie to séeke vs which were lost, and wandring, and wayward shéepe, driuen from the folde, by the craftie con­ueyaunce of the subtile Serpent, and we vngratefully refuse the exceeding gentle­nesse, and meere mercy of him, that séeketh our saluation. Sathan, when we were in the fauour of God, subtilly deceyued vs, and miserably plunged vs into the terrible seas of Gods heauie vengeaunce, and dis­pleasure, yet hym we fréely doe folow in all our attemptes and endeuours. Christ promyseth vs eternall life in heauenly ioy, solace, and all felicitie, if we will kéepe his commaundements, and call vpon him, yet we wilfully despise him. Sathan wil per­forme, that we shall liue, or rather die in terrible flames of hell fire, in all dolour, griefe, and miserable anguish, if we frame our liues according to his deuilishe desire, and yet we delite to liue in his obedience. O straunge maner of outragious mad­nesse. Shall bitter sorrowes, for euer to endure, be preferred before incomparable ioyes, which neuer haue ende? Shall Sa­than [Page 48] be satisfied, and our euer lyuing, and almightie God be wrathfully displeased? Shall we loue a deuouring enimy, & leaue our louing Lord? God forbid. Let vs nowe prostrate our selues before the iudgement seat of God, let vs lament our miserie, let vs crie for grace, and mercy, with continu­all prayer, that we may for all our sinnes obtaine remission, that we may not be a­shamed in the day of the Lorde, when the hidden thoughtes of our secrete mindes, shall openly be declared, and for the same, most iust iudgement seuerely pronounced. Let vs no more lye groueling vppon the grounde wyth the hatefull serpent, but let vs set our thoughtes, and hartes a lofte wyth the chast turtle doue, that is, let vs forsake earthly, fond, and deuilish delites, let vs not set our harts vpon worldly trea­sure, let vs not féede vpon vaine pleasures, and fading fantasies, but let vs lodge with Christ Iesus in heauen, or rather let vs haue him lodging in our brestes, and pos­sessing our harts, & directing our thoughts which we shall easily obtayne, if wyth re­pentaunt hartes we offer vnto him the [Page] sacrifice of prayer, and thankesgiuing. For seing that he did vouchsafe to come downe from heauen, to clense vs, when we were deformed, and depraued with the foule spottes, and blemishes of deadly sinne, he will now much more, if we hum­bly, and hartily request the same, make vs méete vessels to receyue the most hole­some, and comfortable blessing of the holy ghost, that we may continue, in his most gracious fauour. But this is sufficient for the godly minded members of Christ, and to them especiallye doth belong the sure hope of eternall happinesse. Those I call the members of Christ, which haue alwayes a cleare conscience before the face of God, and men, and also those (for of the former sorte there are very fewe) which although they haue béene polluted with the filthinesse of wicked, and abho­minable impietie, yet now at the last, are returned from the same vngodlinesse, and with all diligence, loue, and obedience, doe imbrace the Gospell, abhorre hypocrisie, detest their former vilanie, and sequester themselues from blinde securitie. Such [Page 49] I say, shall be sure by prayer, to obtayne eternall saluation. For before God they are counted iust through the merites of Christ Iesus, and Saint Iames sayth, that the prayer of the iust man preuayleth much.

The thirde parte of the Authors diui­sion, that is, the waye how to be hearde in our prayer, with a definition of it, com­prysing two Chapters. The .xxiij. Chapter.

NOw I will (by the fauour of god) speake a worde or two of the last poynt, that is, how we maye so pray, that we may be hearde, and obtayne our request. Here I thinke, that it be most necessarie for me to vse in this matter, such breuitie, as is most méete for those, to whome I direct this my talke. I speake onely of those, which be rude, and ignoraunt in this case, and that haue bene through méere simplicitie blinded by the vaile of cursed poperie, and not to such, as [Page] obstinately harden their harts and shutte their eyes, and stop their eares, that they may not be healed. To such as these, sim­ple, ignoraunt, and séely soules be, bréefe notes, without large discourse, is vndoub­tedly most commodious. I will therfore in a shorte difinition, first shew what pray­er is, and then will adioyne those proper­ties as it were, which are necessarily re­quired to faythfull, and true prayer. For by this meanes they may the soonest learn the maner of true prayer, and beare it in memorie. Subtilly to dispute of ye dyuers kinds of prayer, & such like, rather belong­eth to curious schoolemen in vniuersities, than to ye simple christians in their priuate houses, or cōmon churches. Prayer ther­fore is a religious declaration of ye minde before God, wherin we desire wt earnest affection, either to be preserued from daū ­ger of discōmodity spiritual, or temporall, either to enioy some desired benifit belonging to soule, or body, either else wherin we yelde most hartie thankes for some recey­ued benifite. Bycause here be mentioned diuers kindes of benifites to be desired, as [Page 50] necessitie [...] Gods handes, wée must know tha [...] they are not without dif­ference all to be requested after one sort [...] ▪ For those things, which belong to the bo­die, are alwayes to be requested with a condition, that is, if they be not hurtfull for the soule, if it be Gods good pleasure to graunt them, if it be for the glorie of God to condiscende to our request. But such things, as tende to the safegarde of the soule to heauenly felicitie, to godly chari­tie, with such lyke, are to be desired sym­ply without condition of bodily welth, or worldly safety. These things well conside­red, we must obserue these rules folow­ing, if we will obtayne our request.

The sixe rules, which must bee obser­ued to obtaine our requests wythall. The .xxiiij. Chapter.

FFirst we must direct our prayers to God alone, our heauenly fa­ther, and not to Aungels, deade sainctes, Deuils, stocks, stones, or such lyke. For it is written, thou [Page] shalt worshippe the [...]or [...] [...] God, and him onely shalt yu serne.Deut. 6. Math. 4. A [...]e, God saith in Esay, the .43. Ego sum, ego sum. &c. I am, I am, and without me there is no sauiour. And .45. Chapter. A iust and sa­uing God, there is none but I. And such places there are to be founde a great num­ber, which for breuitie sake I of purpose doe omitte, partly bicause of the rude, and simple peoples sake, that they may the bet­ter remember these rules, and partly by­cause there is a notable treatise, against the worshipping, & inuocation of saintes, now extaunt, wherin this question is ful­lye debated, by Iohn Veron, a worthye member of the Church of Christ.

2 Secondly, we must poure out oure supplications before God, in all humilitie, trusting fauourably to be accepted onely for the merites, & passion of Iesus Christ, who is our onely satisfaction, iustification, and righteousnesse before the Lorde, & not for the worthinesse of our owne workes. For Christ Iesus, when we were accur­sed came downe from heauen to delyuer vs from ye curse whervnto al we were sub­iect, [Page 51] & was [...] [...]crifice for our sinnes. Wherevpo [...] [...] [...]h,Ephe. ye are saued by grace through [...]th, and that not of our selues, for it is the gift of God, and com­meth not of workes, least any man should boast.

3 Thirdely, they which present them­selues before God to request any thing of him, must cast of all cruelty, violence, and oppression towardes other. For in Esay. 1. we read: When you shall stretch out your handes, I will turne mine eies from you, and when you shal multiply your praiers, I will not heare you, sayth the Lorde. For your hands be full of bloud. Washe your selues, and be cleane. They must put all vnmercifulnesse out of their mindes. For in the .xxj. of the Prouerbes, it is written: He that stoppeth his eare at the cry of the poore, shall cry himselfe, and not be heard. This is plaine by the example of Laza­rus, and the riche Glutton. They must plucke out of their hartes all enuye, ha­tred, malice, and dissension,Mar. 11. they must forgiue the faultes of their brethren. For Christ sayth: When ye stande to praye [Page] forgiue your brothe [...] [...] haue any­thing against him [...] sixt of Ma­thew. If you for [...] [...] euen from the bottome of your hart, neyther shall your father which is in heauen forgiue you. They must be humble, and banishe away all pride, or disdaine, oute of the closet of their minde. For Psalme. 51: An humble and contrite heart, God will not despise. And Peter saith: God resisteth ye prowde, & giueth grace to the humble.1. Petr. 5. Examples hereof be the prowde Pharisey, and poore Publicane, in the gospell. They must be sure, stedfast, and constaunt in fayth. For it is said: Let him aske in fayth, doubting nothing. Iacob. 10. They must with harty, sincere, and true repentaunce, bewayle their sinfull wickednesse, and wicked wil­fulnesse, and haue an earnest desire to set forth the glorie of God, to liue in due obe­dience to God, and his gospell, to subuert the raging affections of the corrupt fleshe vnto the heauenly, pure, and angelicall motions of the spirite, they must be en­flamed with a feruencie of spirite, ioyned to continuance in supplication, and not [Page 52] come [...] [...]art, and a babling [...] [...]or chalenge the hart [...], and also [...]ou [...]ard apperance, [...]le [...]se both hast and mouth agrée ze­ [...]ly in one kinde of worship, it cannot he pleasant vnto God nor Christ. Where­ [...] is sayd of some, this people honoreth me with their lips, but their hart is farre from me. Such God will spue out of hys mouth, and vtterly refuse them. Briefly these rules maye be thus concluded. They, which minde to obtayne their re­questes, when they yéelde vp their suppli­cations, must direct the same to God, in the name of Christ Iesus, but so that they themselues be in minde mercyfull, in manners milde, in loue charitable, in af­fection amyable, in fayth constant, in lyfe obedient, in spirite feruent, and in hart re­pentaunt. Nowe moreouer, there be other circumstances, which are to be annexed, as when, where, for whom, for what things, with what iesture, after what manner we ought to pray.

The circumstances, [...]h ought to be obserued in prayer, beside the sixe rules. The .xxv. Chapter.

FOr the first it is written, indesi­nenter orat [...], pray continually, that is, whensoeuer you shall be assaulted with temptation, ey­ther in prosperitie, or in aduersitie, call vp­on God, not that at all times without cea­sing, or intermission we should onely be occupied in prayer, but that we should as godly men haue done before time, appoint certayne tymes to poure out our com­plaintes before God, & also at other times in what thing soeuer we be occupied, in spirite, in truth, in sighes, in thought, in worke, in will, call vpon God for the helpe of his grace, and accesse of his mercie. As the Ploughman at his labour, the Mar­chaunt at his occupying, the Scholer at his studie, and so forth, ought not onely at certaine houres giue himselfe to prayer, but also when he is most occupied, ought [Page] in he [...] with God through prayer in [...]es, but especially in ye church, in the congregation of christians. For when many togither in one spirit yéelde vp their prayers, then are they moste accepta­ble to God, and gracious to Christ, our Sauiour.

3 For the thirde, we ought to praye for the good, and prosperous estate of godlye Princes, and magistrates, and principal­lye, it belongeth to our bounden duties, to beseech God in the bowels of mercye to preserue for the glorye of his holy name our good, and gracious soueraigne, Ladie Quéene Elizabeth, in these troublesome times from all daunger in most happie estate, and felicitie, which I beséech him to doe for Iesus Christ his sake, in whome he is well pleased, to the subuersion of hir enimies, the mayntenaunce of true rely­gion, and confusion of cursed Sathan. Then we ought to pray, for the good estate of Gods holy Ministers, for our selues, for [Page] [...] [...]hey [...] flesh, but [...] [...]e they be [...] out of the prison of the body. For [...] [...] ­ther they raigne with Christ, or dye wy [...]h Deuilles, where there is no redemption.

4 For the fourth, we may praye for things pertayning to the necessitie of the body, and of the soule, and for eternall sal­uation in Iesus Christ, alwayes in all prayers hauing respect to our own selues, and to the will of God, that we aske no­thing, which eyther is not competent for our estate, or not agreable to the glory of God.

5 For the fifte, we may vse any comely iesture, eyther knéeling, or standing, or sitting, as present occasion shall moue vs, so that we haue an humble minde, and contrite hart, in all our prayers.

6 For the sixt, we may vse the forme of prayer, that Christ hath taught vs, or any other, not repugnaunt to the same, or vse such wordes as the present estate wyll gyue occasion vnto, as Christ did in the [Page 54] [...] [...]s, not alwayes ne­ [...] [...] [...]ng [...]recisely that prayer [...] [...]mn [...] only called the lords pray­ [...] [...] or things, as certayne circum­ [...]es considered, let vs now search out the effect of prayer, which may easily be perceyued by examples taken out of scrip­ture. Iosuae. 10. By prayer the Sunne stoode in the middle of heauen, the space of a whole day. Moyses by prayer wrought meruellous effectes. Samson, Samuel, Elias, Dauid, Ezechias, Salamon, Anna, Cornelius, Paule, and Silas, wonderful­lye preuayled by force of prayer, as in scriptures manifestly is declared. But of these things no man meanely conuersant in scriptures can be ignoraunt. Therfore without longer discourse, I will make an ende. And here I beséeche thée (good rea­der (to call to minde the threates of God against obstinate sinners, the plagues of God executed against rebellious persons, the daungerous, and miserable estate of harde harted christians, and so perhaps thou shalt be touched with feare of an­guishe, and extreme misery. Then ponder [Page] in thy minde wha [...] [...] hartie prayer, wh [...] [...] hath prouided for them [...] [...] ble suire to him in I [...] [...] eternall felicitie thou shalt enioy, [...] earnest supplication, thou craue [...] [...]nde his grace, & mercy. And last of all, in consideration of these things, let prayer be thy continuall exercise, and dayly prac­tise. For prayer is the quietnesse of them, which be tormoyled, the rest of them, that are molested, the hauen of them, which suffer shipwracke, the comfort of the so­rowfull, the salue of the sinfull, the shielde of the fearefull, the hope of the helpelesse, the holde of the harbourlesse, the helpe of the hopelesse, the solace of the comfortlesse. Prayer is in welth a safegarde, in health a preseruatiue, in griefe a gracious com­fort, in warre a sword, in peace a garden of delites, in bondage libertie, in sorow swéet­nesse, in death lyfe, in penurie a storehouse of all things necessarie. And to conclude, prayer is the readie path, to the pleasaunt pasture, of eternall Paradise.

[...] great,
[...] [...]pe,
[...] are,
[...] [...]las princely [...]
[...]de what foyzen fertyle springs,
[...] from the learned skill:
[...]f those that trauell earnestly,
to clyme Parnassus hill.
Beholde what youthfull yeres can doe,
through great studie, and paine:
Beholde what knowledge tender age,
by labour can attaine.
This little booke so well compact,
deserueth worthy prayse:
Which the Authour hath published,
a mirror in these dayes.
A mirror? yea, a looking glasse,
for so I may him name:
Bycause by sacred scripture he
his first attempt doth frame.
The stile of some is praysed much,
that fayned stories write:
Collected out of Poets workes,
for that they doe delite,
[Page]And please [...]
who [...]
Some [...]
that [...] some [...]
Then wa [...] doth [...] for due rewarde
deserue, that vertuously
Doth vse his tallent, which he hath
obtayned painefully?
Eternall prayse, as I doe iudge,
and fame that aye shall dure:
For vayne delites doe vanishe all,
when vertue shineth pure.
The worde of God, mans soule doth féede,
the scripture bringeth light:
But fonde, and foolish tales are naught.
Therfore as willeth right,
The Authors enterprise commende,
conceiue his good intent:
Commende his trauell, which he hath
in sacred scripture spent.
Then truly shall you stirre him vp,
as now he hath begonne:
So to procéede, and faythfully,
this kinde of race to runne.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.