A Godly, zealous and learned Sermon, vpon the verses of the 10. Chap. to the Romaines.

Wherein is set foorth vnto vs the greate mercy of God in the calling of the Gentiles, and his iust iudgement in the reiecting of the vnbeleeuing Iewes, & vs also, if we with like obstinacie contemne his profered mercies.

By Frauncis Tayler Preacher of Gods word.

Jmprinted at London by T.D. for Tho­mas Woodcocke. 1583.

Rom. 10.

ver. 18. BVt I demaund, haue they not hearde? No doubte their sounde went out through all the earth, and their words into the endes of the world.

19 But I demand, did not Israel know God? First, Moses saith, I will prouoke you to enuy by a natiō that is not my nation, and by a foolishe nation will I anger you.

20 And Esaias is bold and saith, I was found of them that sought me not, & haue byn made manifest to them that asked not after me.

21 And vnto Israel he saith, all the day long, haue I stretched foorth my hand vnto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

FRom the beginning of this Epistle, but chiefly from the beginning of the 9. Chapter, where ye Apostle began to hā ­dle Gods eternal prede­stination, [Page]which is the first cause of our sal­uation, we haue heard, howe many wayes Paules aduersaries (but chiefly ye Iewes) haue set themselues against him: but aboue the rest the Iewes are greeued with that which Paule had written of the reieccing of the Iewes and calling of the Gentiles, and to shewe that his doctrine heerein can not stande, they examyne his last argu­ment, and thereout they gather (as they thinke) sufficient matter for them selues, to prooue that they are not cast off from GOD, nor the Gentiles chosen to bee Gods Church.

The last argument or reason which the Apostle hath vsed, is from the beginning of the 13. verse, it doth stand vpon certaine degrees, and may bee layde foorth thus: To serue God rightly is a testimonye of true faith, to beleeue truly is a deelaration of an effectuall calling, to bee called ef­fectually doth well proue a certayne elec­tion: but the Gentiles doe serue GOD aright and therefore they beleeue, they beleeue, and therefore are called, they are called, and therfore elected vnto sal­uation.

Now vppon this argument of Paule, the Iewes do thinke to proue their owne elec­tion more certaine then the election of the Gētiles, & one thing they lay for thēselues, whereupon all these degrees see downe by Paule in part, doe stand, and which aboue the rest doth seame to be very manifest on their side, and that is this that they haue had the woorde: as if they shoulde saye vn­to Paule: Thou wilt proue the election of the Gentiles by that they haue faith, the seruice of God, & calling to the knowledge and grace of GOD, and thou doest tell vs that all those doe come by bearing the woorde preached: and why then do­est thou saye that the Iewes are reiet­ted? Haue they not hearde? Yes Sir the Iewes had the lawe and the vse thereof aboue fifteene hundred yeeres before it was published to the Gentiles: the Iewes had Prophetes to expounde the lawe vnto them, and to plant in their heartes fayth in that Sauiour which was to come, the Gē ­tiles had no prophets vnles at a time some one were sent vnto them extraordinarily. [Page]The Iewes had the sauiour of the worlde borue not onely among them, but of their owne flesh, he did preach among thē much more then among the Gentiles: yea, & the disciples themselues did first preach vnto ye Iewes, & were much more careful to make Christ knowē vnto them, then they were to make him knowen vnto the Gentiles.

For Christ himselfe being a minister of the circumcision,Rom. 15.8. did at the first forbid his disciples to goe vnto the Gentiles,Mat. 10.5. & com­manded them to goe to the lost sheepe of ye house of Israel, which were the Iewes, which cōmandement they did wel obserue and keepe?Act. 13.46. as may appeare as well by that that Paule and Barnabas do confesse they were first sent vnto the Iewes, and for that cause had first preached vnto them, as also by that all the Apostlee at Ierusalē were grieuously offended with Peter for that he went and preached the word to Cornelius and his family which were Gentiles:Act. 11.2. thin­king indeede that Peter had done a thing vnlawfull, and which might not possiblye stand with Gods will and lyking.

To bring now yt which the Iewes do ob­iect [Page]against Paule into few wordes, thus they say in effect: Where God doth send his word to be preached, there God hath a Church and people whom he will call to the knowledge of his will, to faith in him, and to his true seruice and obedience: but God hath sent his worde to be preached to the Iewes, more then to the Gentiles, as is proued, and therefore God hath his a­mong the Iewes, rather then among the Gentiles: yea and wil be knowen, beleeued on, serued, & obeyed of the Iewes rather then of the Gentiles. And this argument the Iewes thinke that Paule can by no meanes auoyd, but either he must deny his owne words going before, to be true, or els he must needes saye the Iewes haue not heard, and because they suppose he wil not deny his owne woordes, therefore this is the only question they aske, as the Apostle himselfe in their person doth set it downe? Haue they not heard?

Thus then we see the occasion of this ob­iection of the Iewes against Paul, & wher upon it is grounded: now let vs see Pauls auswere. No doubt their sosid wēt through [Page]all the earth, and their wordes into ye ends of the world. These words are truely eited out of the Prophet Dauid. Psal. 19. ver. 3. The wordes are two wayes to be conside­red. First, in what sense ye Prophet Dauid did speake them, and secondly to what end the Apostle Paule doth cite them.

1 For the Prophet Dauid, he going a­bout to moue the people to a deep conside­ration of Gods benefits, that thereby they might the better promote gods glory, doth set before them the workmanship of yt hea­uens and the world, and doth cell them that the line, square, or proportion thereof doth set foorth vnto them the woorthines of the Creator, & for as much as this proportion & frame is seene of all men, therefore it ought to stirre vp all men to a greater set­ting forwarde of Gods glory: this frame & proportion the Grecians call a sound, be­cause the excellencie of so greate a woorke doeth preach, and as it were, speake in the eares of all men, the knowledge of God to the better setting foorth of Gods prayse and glory: So then the woordes of Dauid tell vs thus much: that GOD hath set [Page]foorth the certayne gouernment, preser­uation, and order of all the worlde to all men, Iewes and Gentiles & whatsoeuer, to the end that in these thinges God may be knowen and glorified according to his will: as for example. The erection of these thinges doth teache vs that GOD is omnipotent, and therefore must be obei­ed. The disposition, order, and gouernment of these thinges doe tel vs that God is wi­sest, and therefore wee must be content to be ruled by his lawes and statutes.

The woonderfull preseruing and defen­ding of them doth let vs see that he is mer­ciful, and therefore we must trust in him. The manie and straunge punishmentes which God doeth send among men, whe­ther it bee vppon their owne bodies and myndes, vpon their goodes and cattayles, or otherwise howsoeuer, doth preach vnto vs the iustice of God, and tell vs that hee must be feared. And generally, the inuist­ble things of him, that is,Rom. 1.20. his eternal pow­er and godhead are seene by the creation of the world, being cōsidered in his works. And this it is that GOD will ceache vs [Page]when telling vs how we shal put differēce betweene the true God and false gods he [...]aith: Lift vp your eyes on hye,Esay 40.26. & behold who hath made these things, and bringeth forth their armies by number & calleth thē al by their names: as if he should say, if you wil discerne betwixt the true God & your coūterfet gods, & if you wil learn to know the true God indeed, look vpon his works, the heauens, the earth, and al the world, see in them his power, wisedome, mercy and iustice, and learne by th [...]se to performe vn­to him that seruice and obedience which is due. But it may be said, what if the Gētiles wil not? Or what if any other wil not learn to confesse and feare the true God by these things, what is the danger? Verily the dan­ger is this, It doth make their condemna­tion without excuse, so that nowe if they would say, we could not serue ye true God, because we did not know him, their owne conscience shall tell them that the inuisible things of god are manifested in his works, for their sound went out into al ye earth &c. I say not that this knowledge of God by his creatures is sufficient vnto saluation, [Page]for to saluation there is required suche a knowledge as doth bring faith in Christ, & teach vs obedience to his will, and this knowledge is only by his worde: but this I say, that we haue by Gods creatures so much knowledge of God as is fufficient to condemne vs by very iustice if it be a­bused, so that if the wicked would presume & seeke to reuerse Gods iudgementes as vniust,Psal. 51.4. yet euen by this shold God be found iust in his sayinges, and pure in his iudge­ments. And least I shoulde barely affirme this as mine own opinion without proofe: the Apostle Paul doth teache vs the same vse and end of this doctrine: for when hee sayth that his power and godhead are kno­wen by the exeation of the world, he addeth that it is to this intent that they shoulde be without exeuse.Rom. 1.20.

And to this doth agree that whiche is written in the booke of wisedome:Sap. 13.8, 9. They are not to be excused, for if they can dis­cerne the worlde, why doe they not ra­ther finde out the Lorde thereof? I might bring this from the heathen and suche as haue no knowledge of GOD but by his [Page]creatures to our selues which haue the vse of his worde, and it would very well meet with the opinion of the wieked, whiche thinke to pleade ignoraunce against Gods iudgementes, for when they haue no taste of gods mercies, no feeling of Christ, none assuraunce of their saluation by fayth: thē they seeke to goe to heauen by bywayes, and they will be saued (forsooch) by pray­ers to Saintes, by pardons from men, by treneales, and such like things as insideliry hach deuised for inan vainly to flatter him selfe in: and when these things are founde to be deuices of men, then they must be iu­stified by their good works, & whē al other shifees faile, yet at woorst they will not bee punished, for they say ignorance shal excuse them, but see how herein they are decey­ued. For if ignorance cannot ercuse those which haue none other knowledge of God then by his creatures, but that their condē ­nation shal be without excuse, muche lesse may it be an excuse to those which haue not only yt sight of his creatures, but also ye vse of his word. And yt sins cōmitted of igno­rance, are not therefore excusable, because [Page]they are done ignorantly, it may thus ap­peare.Leuit. 5.17. Num. 15.22.There were in the lawe sacrifices appointed to be offered for those sins whi­che were committed of ignorance. Haba­cuck doth pray for such sinnes.Haba. [...].1. And Christ himselfe doth tel vs, yt as well those which are blind in the knowledge of his word,Mat. 15.14. as those which see shal fal into the ditch of de­structiō, (if they continue in sinne.) When Paul had preached at Corinth a yeere and a halfe, and had written vnto them one E­pistle, he sent them word in the next epistle, that they shoulde not thinke it a sufficient excuse, that they could say we are ignorāt, but he doth tel them that if now they be ig­noraunt, it is a manifest proofe that Sa­than doeth rule in them,2. Cor. 4.2. but for as muche (saith he) as we now handle the worde of God truely, and for proofe thereof wee ap­peale to euery mans conscience in ye sight of God, therfore, if our Gospel be now hid, it is hid in them that are lost, in whom the God of this world hath blinded the mynds of the Infidel [...]es that the light of the glori­ous gospell of Christ whiche is the image of God shoulde not shyne vnto them.

Let vs not then thinke to pleade igno­rance, it will not serue: if the Corinthians were so farre from being excused by igno­rance, that it was a testimony yt they were vnder the gouernment of Sathan when yt Gospel had byn published among them but a small time, much more shal it testifie the same vnto vs whiche haue had the Go­spel preached amongst vs a great deale lō ­ger time: well then take these words as ye Prophet Dauid did speak and meane thē, and they teach vs thus much: That the be­holding of Gods creatures doth preach vn­to vs the power, wisedome, mercy, & iustice of him that made them, & therfore nowe if we doe not acknowledge him to be God & worship & obey him as God, we are with­out excuse: but much more inexcusable we are if we doe not ye same when we haue the word preached, yea, & the more the word is preached amōg vs, ye greater & more iust is our condēnation, if we doe not beleeue & followe the same word. And thus much of these wordes vs they are to hee vnderstood in the Psalme.

2 The second thing whiche I sayde [Page]was to be considered in these wordes is, to what end the Apostle doth cite them. And when I make difference betwixt the mea­ning of Dauid & Paul in these wordes, I meane not that there is any contradiction or contrary meaning in them: but only that Paule taking the wordes of Dauid, doth cite them as it were to a larger sense then Dauid did speake them, as very well he might. And the difference is but this, that Dauid doth say that the creatures of God, haue preached God vnto al men, and Paul doth affirme in the same words, that God hath been manifested by his worde to the Iewes, and to very many other coun­tries beside: as if hee shoulde say, euen as Dauid in his time did affirme, that God had beene then preached to all people by his creatures: So I say of this time (saith Paule) that God hath been published and taught in all places by the preaching of ye Gospel. And therfore where ye aske me this question: Haue they not heard? I easily graunt that they haue heard, for no doubt their sounde went out through al the earth, &c. This thē is the end where­vnto [Page]Paule doth cite this testimonie of Dauid, to shew that the Iewes haue hard the woorde: and hee doeth proue it thus, the gospel hath beene preached to all nati­ons, ergo to the Iewes: or thus, The Gospel hath beene preached vnto the gen­tiles, I cannot denie it, but much more must I needes confesse, it hath been prea­ched to the Iewes. This then is Pauls answere if we take it largely as hee doth speake it: The gospell hath nowe had suche good successe, that it hath beene preached in all Countries: and the sound of the Apostles hath ben heard almost eue­ry where.

In the general wordes of this answere we haue first to note, the great increase of the gospell in the time of the Apostles, when although it was not receiued by [...] like authoritie of the Romane Empyre, yet although it was almost euery where (not only spoken against, but also perse­cuted) yet Paule doth confesse of himselfe.Rom. 15.19.that hee hath preached the gospell plenti­fully from Ierusalem to Illyricum, and the storie of the Acces of the Apostles [Page]doth deelare that in that time the gospeli was preached as farre as from Italie to the Medes and Persians one way, and as farre as from Egypt to Pontus, an other way. And this was nothing els, but that which Christe himselfe had tolde them be­fore, when speaking of the signes that shoulde goe before the destruction of Ie­rusalem, he saith:Mat. 24.14. And this gospell of the kingdome shall bee preached in the whole worlde for a testimonie to all nations, and then shall the ende come. There be some which gather vpon this place, that the worlde shall not haue an ende vntyll the Gospell bee preached in all Countries: But they deceiue themselues in putting no difference betwixt those things which are spoken of the end of the world, & those which are spoken of the ouerthrow of the Citie and temple of Ierusalem: as for this place it is euident, it is ment not of the end of the world, but of theend and destruction of the Citie, and chiefly, of the Temple. For of those the question was chiefly mo­tied, as may appeare. Mat. 24. ver. 3. Mat. [...]4. [...]. Ther fore when it is said that the gospel shall be [Page]preached in all the world, and then the end shall come. It is as much as if he should haue saide, it shall be preached not only to the Iewes, but also to the Gentiles, yea, & to a great part of the Gentiles, and then shall come the end and destruction of this Temple. And this it is which Paul doth tell the Collossians:Collos. 1.6 That the Gospel is come vnto them, euen as it is vnto all the worlde. And vnto Timothie, God is manifested in the flesh,1. Tim. 3.16. iustified [...] the spirite, seene of angels, preached vnto the Gentiles, beleeued on in the worlde. All these thinges were done in the Apo­stles time, and so it is both fulfilled which Christe dyd foretell, that the Gospel shold bee preached both to the Iewes and Gen­tyles, and to a great part of the worlde, before the destruction of Ierusalem: and also found true which the Apostle Paule here doth tel vs, that in his time the sound of the Gospell by the preaching of the Apostles, was gone out through the most part of the worlde. Beholde heere one of the greatest myracles that God hath wrought: namely, that (in the space of [Page]twentie two yeeres or there aboute) the Gospel should bee so farre published, that Paule might truely say, the sound thereof went through out all the earth, &c. And that by men of no great account in their owne countrie, but fisher men, or of some handie craft: such as were generally (& as it were) naturally hated in all other coun­tries, because they were Iewes: And for the better manifesting of this myracle, let it bee added, they did preach nothing but Christe crucified, which before was not hearde of, and (as the Apostle himself doth testifie) was an offence to the Iewes and meere madnesse to the Gentyles. Let vs heere learne for our instruction and com­fort: that the planting or continuing of the Gospel in any country is not in the au­thoritie of man, but in the wyll of God: and though wee see the Pope, the Turke, the Diuel, and all his friendes bente a­gainste the Gospell, and laying theyr heades togeather to stoppe the course thereof in all places, yet let vs not thinke that it is in the power of these to doe it. It is the onely woorke of God [Page]to prosper or to staye it: and therefore in this case let vs not feare mā whose breath is in his nose thrils; and in whō there is no strength (in comparison of God.) But let vs pray vnto God for the continuaunce of his woorde, and nowe that wee haue it, let vs receiue it thankfully, heare it diligently, and obey it duetifully. Al­wayes knowing this, that the continuing of the gospell is the worke of God, and not of man: the staying and taking a­way of the same, is the worke of GOD, and not of man, and God will continue it vntyll hee bee compelled to the con­trarie by our vnthankfulnesse, and then hee must and wyll take it awaye. And if the Pope and his holy conspiracie wyll vowe the banishing of the Gospell out of all Realmes and Countries, where it is nowe preached, and the planting of Ido­latrie in the same Countries, this vni­uersall publishyng of the Gospell in Paules time, will tell them that in row­lyng of this stone they labour invayne: For though they make accounte that they bee Princes, and great Peeres [Page]of the worlde, yet in as muche as they consulte agaynst the Lorde and his an­noynted:Psal. 2.4.Hee that dwelleth in heauen will laugh them to scorne, yet the Lord hym selfe wyll haue them in derision: yea, and in despite of them the gospell must storysh where, and as long as God shall thinke good.

The doctrine of gods worde is com­pared to a storme or to rayne,Deut. 32.2. Esay. 55.10. Heb. 6.7. not onelie because it doth water and make fruitfull the heartes of men, as rayne doth the earth, but also because as it is not in man to forbyd a showre to fall where GOD hath appoynted it. no more is it in man to stoppe the course of the gospel, where God hath appointed that it shall bee prea­ched: It may goe for an olde wiues Fable, and (as it is) for an vnwritten vntrueth, that they tell vs: that Thomas Becket stoode so farre in our Ladyes fauour, that if he had lyued but a litle longer, hee had obtayned that it neuer shoulde rayne in the hyghe wayes in Englande. Thomas coulde not doe it, it is a lye, no if all the worlde [Page]woulde take this matter in hand to stoppe raine yt it should not fall in any place, they can not doe it: and euen as vnpossible it is that by the authoritie or pollicie of man, the course of Gods worde shal be stopped, but that it shall goe foorth and prosper in that where to it is sent: to the great com­fort of vs and all others, where the go­spell nowe is preached, and to the mani­fest bewraying of theyr great folly, and wickednesse, which set themselues against God in this point.

But from the generall woordes, let vs come a little neerer to the very purpose of Paule. His aduersaries aske of hym, Why doest thou say, that the Iewes are reiected? Where haue they not hearde the worde preached? Yes in deede (saith Paule) they haue hearde, it cannot bee de­nyed, for the sounde went foorth through all the earth &c. The Gentiles haue hearde muche more, the Iewes amon­gest whome the worde beganne first, and was continued vntill the Iewes liued in such contempt of the woorde that the Dis­ciples were in a maner cōpelled to go to [Page]the Gentiles, as they them selues confesse.Act. 13.46.The Apostle then doth confesse, that the Iewes haue hearde the worde, but yet it must stande that they are reiected? And so his very purpose is to giue them secret­ly to vnderstande, that the cause why the Iewes were reiected, was, not because they had not the vse of the worde, but bee­cause they contēned the same word which they had, as if he should haue sayde: the Iewes in deede had the word, it was prea­ched among them, but yet God hath in iu­stice cutte them off, because they despised the word. And here the Apostle will haue vs to learne not onelye what was the cause of the cutting off of the Iewes, but also he will lay before vs a great cause of gods anger, and of many plagues which in all ages fall vpon men, and that is the contempt of his worde. There is no­thing doth more argue a childe to be diso­bedient and carelesse to doe his Fathers will, then when hee hath no minde to knowe what his Fathers will is, nor to heare his admonitions: And there is nothing doth more euidentlye proue a re­bellious [Page]and disobedient minde in mast, then when hee hath no care to heare Gods will reuealed in his word, nor to knowe what it is. There is nothing that God hath more care of, then that his worde shall not be despysed, neyther any sinne which god hath more seuerely punished at all tymes, then the contempt of his worde, as the sto­ryes of all ages will tell vs: This nee­deth no great proofe, this present exam­ple, which the Apostle here hath in hande will make it plaine enough.

The Iewes had the lawe giuen vnto them, they had Prophetes sent to preach and expound the lawe, they had Christ and his Apostles to preache and worke myra­cles, to call them to saluation in the Mes­sias which was come, they despysed the Lawe, they persecuted and killed the prea­chers of their saluation. And therefore the Apostle here saieth: (notwithstanding that they had the word) yet god hath caste them off, because they were contemners of the word, and would not willingly obey it, no not so much as heare it.

But that this may bee prositable to vs, [Page]let vs bring it frō the Iewes to our selues, and let vs not deceiue our selues by promi­sing our selues, that the hearing of his worde is eyther a matter that God doeth make small account of, or else, that in that slacke hearing which we vse, wee doe suf­ficiently answere Gods expectation here­in. For in fewe wordes it is thus with vs and no better: there is nothing that God doeth more esteeme then his worde, there is nothing, which wee more contemne. Say to a man, sir ye ought not to lyue in this or that sinn, it is wicked, it is contrary to Gods word, your vsury, your trauailing on the Sabboth day, your blaspheming of gods name, and such like, they are forbiddē by the scripture, his common aunswer is: can you she we vs any statute against these things? is there any lawe in force, whiche doth forbid them? if there bee a statute that may be some stay, if not,Exod. 5.2. though al his lyfe be directly against gods law, he careth not. And is not this to say with Pharao? What is the Lord that I should heare his voice, and sette Israel goe. I knowe not the Lorde, I will not let Israel goe.

Agayne, tel another of his negligence in hearing the word, it is an ordinary answer, if we had preaching but according to the Queenes Iniunctions, one Sermon in a moneth, or in a quarter of a yeare, then we should be the more diligent to heare, but nowe it is two dayes in a weeke, that ma­keth vs wearie. Is not this to say with I­srael: Our stumack doth loath this lyght meate?Num. 11. But Pharao had his rewarde for contemning of the worde, and so had Israel, and no doubt so shal we, if we con­tinue in the same contempt, wherein wee haue begunne, and of long time haue gone forward. Let vs learne in what state wee stande, by the example of the Iewes, of whome Paule here speaketh: compare our time and manners with theirs, and so it shall best appeare: They were Gods Vineyarde, so be we, they were digged, pruned and dressed by the preaching of the worde, and good gouernment, so bee wee. they were despisers and negligent hearers of the word, so be we: For this cause they had this iudgemente:Math. 21.43. The kingdome of God shall be taken away from you, and [Page]giuen to a nation, which shall bring forth the fruites therof: and I pray GOD the like fall not vpon vs.Act. 13.46 And when Paule and Barnabas had preached to the Iewes, and they had no care to heare, at length they take theyr leaue thus: It was neces­sary that the word of God should firste be spoken vnto you: but seeing you put it from you, and iudge your selues vn­worthy of eternal life, beholde we turne to the Gentiles. Thus it was with the Iewes, this was their contempte of the worde, thus God did threaten them, and thus it came to passe. Let vs learne by their example to auoyd the like contempte of his word, least the like punishment fall vpon vs. God is the same God now that he was then, iustice is the same thing now that it was then, the contempt or neglecte of Gods word is now the same sinne that it was then. And therefore if wee conti­nue in the contempt of God and his word, as they did, no doubt wee shall haue the like punishment as they had: that is, to haue the word taken from vs, and gyuen to a nation, which will bringe forth the [Page]fruite thereof: for myne owne part, I pray God I may not see it, but God knoweth, I looke for it: And I doubte not but (when this time shall come, which God defend) a number of those which now loath the word wil then lacke it: we feede now at the full heape (God be thanked for it) wee haue his word at wil, yeaeuē til we be weary of it, especially in towns hereabout, we haue time giuen vs to assēble our selues in prayer to God, and to receiue the Sacrament of the Lords supper, a great deale more then we will bestow that way: these are the dayes of ioy and happinesse, if we well vse them. But alas how miserable shall our frate be, if that come to passe, which Christe doeth threaten to the contemners of his woord.Luk 17.22The dayes will come, when yee shall de­sire to see one daye of the Sonne of man, and shall not see it: Then one Sermon would be pleasaunt, but you shal not heare it: Then one day to assemble in prayer vnto GOD, and other good exercises of Christianitie shall be wished for,Amos. 8.11. but hard­lye founde: yea, then saith God, I will [Page]sende a famyne in the Lande, not a fa­myne of Bread, nor a thyrste of Water, but a famyne of hearing the worde of the Lorde, and they shall wander from Sea to Sea, and from the North to the Easte, shall they runne to and froe to seeke the worde of the Lorde, and shall not finde it. A wise man (saieth Salomon) doth see the plague comming, and doeth auoyde it.Pro. 22.3.We see the greeuousnesse of this sinne of the contempt of Gods worde, wee knowe the iustice of God in punishing the same sinne. And we can imagine beefore it come to passe how miserable the dayes wil be, if it please GOD to punishe vs with the losse of his woorde: Then if wee bee wyse, let vs take heede, that by our wic­kednesse wee drawe not this plague vn­to vs. Let vs turne vnto GOD nowe whyle hee may bee found, let vs kisse his Sonne before hee be angry, let vs receiue his word thankfully now it is offered, let vs heare it dutifully, and followe it obe­dientlye, yea, and let vs not forget to call vppon God diligentlye and earnestly, that [Page]it would please him to continue & increase his worde amonge vs, and to thrust foorth such labourers into his harnest, as may not seeke their owne wealth and pleasure, but Gods glorye, and the saluation of his peo­ple. Alwayes hauing in minde how mi­serable our dayes will bee, if it please GOD to punishe vs with the losse of his worde, which no doubt is Gods iust iudg­ment for the contempt of the same. But me thinkes I am past doubt, that when Christe, the Prophetes and Apostles doe teach, that the taking away of the worde is a iust punishment for the contempt therof, the worst part of the Iewes, whom chiefly it should touche doe like it well enough: Yea and with vs a number of Papistes and Atheistes are not greeued when they heare of the losse of the worde: no they say this is that which they looke for: for they make account, that then they shall lyue at pleasure and sinne without controlment: But knowe they whatsoeuer they be, that God hath other punishmentes in store for such as contemne his worde, and take it not for a punishment to be depriued of the [Page]the same word, as that which Elihu doeth tell vs: If they will not heare,Iob. 36.12. they shall passe yt sword, & die without knowledge: As if he should say vnto vs, you are contē ­ners of the word, and you care not for the losse thereof: no you account it gaine ra­ther then losse, wel. God hath yet an other punishmēt in store, the Pope hath a sword, Spayne hath a sworde, Fraunce hath a sworde, the wicked euerye where haue a sworde ready prepared for your blood, to that you shall goe, and vpon that you shall die without the knowledge of God. Yea, but you will say we be Catholiks, and if this come to passe, we will take their part: But I say, thinke not to escape the better for that: For there is no people so simple, but they can tell, that those which are not true to their owne natiue Country, nor o­bedient to their own naturall Prince, they wil neuer be true nor obedient vnto stran­gers: And this it is that experience hath taught in al ages: Whensoeuer any coun­trey was by the inhabitants thereof dely­uered by treason or trecherie, into the handes of the enimie, for the moste parte, [Page]those which were the delyuerers were first put to the sword: And I am fully per­swaded, that, if that day should come, which a number of our Papists do looke for, that they them selues shoulde firste taste of the sworde: It doeth stande with Gods Iu­stice, that as they haue moste despised the word, so they should first feele the sworde: It standes with pollicye not to truste the vntrustie: And let them thinke of this, as God shall put in their mindes: for myne owne parte, if I were a Papiste, and an enemy to God and his worde, as they bee, and did beare a traytorous minde towarde my prince and countrey, as they doe, I should surely looke for this reward. Elithu here would tell me, pollicy woulde per­swade, and the consideration of Gods Iu­stice would binde me to confesse, I am one of those which despise the worde of God, I must therefore be one of them which muste taste of that whipp which God doth keepe in store to punish this sinne.

But let it be that we haue a way to escape this rod, yet let vs imagine, if wee wyll that Gods worde in this poynt is not true, [Page]and that God eyther can not, or els wyll not punish vs this way: yet let vs knowe that God is iust, and as he did seuerely pu­nishe this sinne in the Iewes, so hee will also surely be reuenged of the same sinn in vs: for eyther God will send strong delusi­ons, that we should beleeue lies to our con­fusion,2. Thes. 2.11.which would not receiue the trueth to our saluation, as Paul doth threaten the Thessalonians: or els hee will giue vs the spirit of slumber, eies yt we shall not see, & eares, that we should not heare, that is, god will take from vs his spirite and grace, and then we shal neither beleeue his word. nor haue any desire to bee obedient to his will, no not if wee woulde desire: But howsoeuer it is, or howesoeuer it please God to punish this sinne: moste assuredly it shall stande, which the holy Ghoste hath spoken by the mouth of Solomon:

Hee that despyseth the worde shall perish for it:Pro. 13.13, but yet we thinke we haue one shifte to escape this punishment, which we per­swade our selues will deliuer vs, when all other helpes faile, and that is this, we will pray vnto GOD, and hee will delyuer vs [Page]out of all aduersitie: he hath promised hee will surely perfourme it:Psal. 50.15. And true it is. God hath promysed to heare and delyuer all those which cal vpon him in their trou­ble: for hee is nygh to all such as call v­pon him,Psal. 145.18 so it be done in trueth. But if wee will haue our prayers hearde, there bee diuers things which we must obserue in prayer, amonge which this is not the least: Wee must take heede that wee be not despisers of his word. For hee that doeth remoue his eare from hearing of the Lawe,Pro. 28.9. his prayer shall be abhommable, saith Solomon.

And this is a greeuous plague, when we are not onely in Gods displeasure, but al­so hee hath depriued vs of those helpes, wherby we should againe be restored into his fauour. Wel, it is but thus much that Paule wil haue vs to learne in this point: The Iewes had the worde preached a­monge them, but this did not prosit them, because they regarded not, to heare or fol­lowe the same: If wee make this our owne case, it is thus with vs: We haue the word preached, God be thanked for it, [Page]and I pray God continue it, as no doubt hee wil, if our wickednesse do not compell him in iustice to take it from vs: But if wee be despisers of his worde, and that ey­ther wee bee not carefull to heare it, or diligent to obey it: This worde God wil take from vs, and giue it to some other nation, which wil bring forth fruite woor­thy of the preaching of this word: And not onely this, but hee will punish vs either by the sworde of our enemies, by hardnesse of heart, by falling into heresies and false o­pinions against God, or some way as shal seeme best vnto him: And then al our shifts shal not helpe: No, if wee will say with the Iewes, wee haue hearde the worde, wee shall haue this answere: It is nothing to heare, vnlesse wee be obedient and fayth­full: Yet if we could saye: Wee haue pro­phecyed in thy name, and in thy name haue wee cast out deuilles, and wrought my­racles: yet if this be not ioyned with fayth and obedience, it hath but this rewarde: Departe from me yee workers of iniqui­tie, I know you not.

It foloweth in the xix. verse, and so forth [Page]to the end of the Chapter (for I muste goe ouer it with speede.) But I demaund, did not Israel know god, &c. Paul hath gran­ted, that Israel had the word, and yet they were reiected, because they contemned the same worde: but this will not satisfie the Iewes, but they wil yet haue an other fling at Paule, and that is this: Thou tellest vs (say they) that notwithstanding we had the word preached, yet are we reiected iustlye, because we heard not with fruite. But tell vs this now: Did not Israel know God? Did not Israel heare profitably? if thou wilt deny it,Psal. 76.1. and say Israel did not know, Dauid wil conuince thee, who saith God is known in Iuda, his name is great in I­srael: but if thou wilt confesse that Israel did know god, then how canst thou saye truely, that we are cast off of God, because hauing the word, we brought not forth the fruites thereof: And here they thinke they haue driuen Paule into a straite: but Paul answereth this very wel, & in many words. The summe of his answere is, that there were a few in Israel which did he are with fruite and knew god, and they were not [Page]reiected, neyther doth ye Apostle here speak of them. But for the most parte the Iewes were wicked and rebellious, despisers of god and his word, and therfore were iustly cast off. So then Paul doth answere thus: the nations of the Iewes is now cut off by gods iustice, that they should not be the vi­sible Church of god as before: but not eue­ry perticular man cut off: for god hath stil reserued vnto him self a number according to ye electiō of grace, which (no doubt) shal be saued: I may not if I woulde, nor I neede not if I myght, to stand vpon the substance of this answere: namely, to shew how it is sayde, that Israel is cut off, and yet god hath his Church in Israel: it hath beene handled at large in this Chapter already, but will fall out more playne in the Chapter folowing, as will well ap­peare in the next Lecture.

For the manner of his aunswere, Paul fearing least by telling ye reieciting of the Iewes, he should growe in misliking and hatred with them, will not answere in his own words, but in the wordes of Moses & Esay: his first place is in Deut. 32. ver. 21. [Page]second and thirde in the beeginning of the 65. Chapter of Esaye. There bee di­uerse thinges heerein to bee considered, which I must but name.

Of the Gentiles hee sayeth, first that they were not a nation, or his nation, doubt lesse they were a great people, and such a people, as had great authoritie, large do­minions, & great wealth: And yet because they had not the knowledge & seruice of God, Moses saith they be not a people. To teach vs what it is that chiefly is to be commended in cities, townes & countries, it is not larg borders, great dominions, ample priuiledges, much wealth, and such like: no these were in the heathen, and yet Moses saith, they were not a people, or not Gods people. Dauid doth cōmend Sion not for ye strēgth therof,Psal. 15.1. or much people, or great pri­uiledges (which things were plētiful in ye citie) but he doth cōmende it, because there was yt tabernacle, there men did assēble thē selues to heare ye law read, & expounded, & to do vnto god such seruice as he required. I deny not but those things be good, & cre­acted for ye great benefit of gods childrē, but [Page]comparable to the hauing and vse of gods worde, and therefore howsoeuer we do for these things, our chiefe care must bee that we may inioy the vse of Gods lawe, for without that wee are not worthie to bee counted the people of God. And let this driue vs to be thankfull vnto God, who hath bestowed vpon vs this benefite moste inestimable, and hath denied it to other na­tions, but I may not prosecute this.

Secondly, hee sayth of the Gentiles, yt they were a foolishe nation, doubtles the Iewes were neuer comparable to them in worldly wisdome, their wit is wondered at euery where, both for finding out what was good and ill in mans life: For loo­king so neerely into the secrete workes of god, for making of very exquisite lawes, & also for many other excellent things wher­in they were very wise: and yet because they had not the knowledge of God by his worde, therefore doth Moses call them a foolish nation. To teach vs not to stande too much vpon our wisdome, if it be but fleshly, for all the wisdome in the worlde if it bee separate from the knowledge of god [Page]in Christe Iesus, it is but foolishnes, as Paule doth affirme.1. Cor. 3.19. Sapi. 9.6. And though a man be neuer so perfect (saith Salomon) among the children of men, yet if the wisdome of God be not with him he shal not be regar­ded.

Thirdly, of the gentiles it is said by E­say, yt they sought not after god &c. They knew there was a God, and in their wise­dome they were very diligent to seek out yt knowledge of that God, but they sought him not as they ought, they sought him not in his word, where only he was to be foūd, and therfore it is said they sought him not: and in deede whosoeuer will seek the true knowledge of God any other where then in his worde it is but labour lost: and ther­fore it is a necessary lesson, which Christe doth giue to his aduersaries, and to vs all, Search the scriptures,Iohn. 5.39. for in thē ye thinke to haue eternall life, & these are they whi­che testifie of me. These things I passe o­uer lightly, as not directly pertaining to the Apostles purpose, and yet I touch thē, because they lye in my way, and hereafter I shall apply them. And vnto Israel hee [Page]saith, All the day long haue I stretched foorth my hand, &c. ver. 21. Of the gentiles hee hath saide, they were not worthie the name of a people, they were foolishe, and they sought not God. Now for Israel he saith, That God hath stretched foorth his hande vnto them, all the day long, &c.

When hee sayth God stretched foorth his hand, he doth set foorth the great care that God had to bryng them to saluation, whē he saith (all the day long) hee doth tell vs howe great diligence God did vse to bring this to passe. And when hee saith (that Israel was a disobedient, and a gaine say­ing people) hee wyll set before vs the great negligence and backewardnesse whiche was in them. Nowe drawe all these together, and make one doctrine of them all, it is thus: The negligence and dulnesse of man in well doing is great: But such is the mercie of GOD to­wards man, and so careful and diligent is God for man, that all the day, he doeth stretche foorth his hande, that is, conti­nually his mercy doeth stryue and wra­stle with our backewardnesse (if it bee [Page]possible to ouercome it. As we see in Adā, in Cain, and in many others, who when they were fallen from God, they sought not to God to bee reconciled againe, but God sought vnto them: yea, and when they hyd themselues, yet God found them out. But aboue the rest it is notable to this purpose, that is written in the 19. of Ge­nesis, where it is said, that the angell doth charge Lot and his familie to depart spee­dily out of Sodom,Gen. 19.16. and yet they lingered: and the text saith, That as they prolonged the time, the men caught both him and his wife, and his two daughters by the handes (the Lord being mercifull vnto him) and he brought him forth, and set him without the Citie. See here the backwardnesse of mans nature in Lot: but chiefly beholde the forwardnes that is in god to striue and wrastle with man, that by his mercie hee may ouercome mans wickednes. So heere the Iewes are fallen from god, they are rebellious and vnbeleeuing, and yet God doth still offer thē saluation, he stret­cheth foorth his hand vnto them, hee conti­nueth his mercie, he doth it all the day lōg. [Page]Nowe (of all this that the Apostle heere setteth downe, both of the vntowardnes of the Gentiles, & backwardnes of yt Iewes) let vs conclude with that which the Apo­stle doth heere driue vnto, which is the iu­stice of God in reiecting the Iewes, & the mercy of God in calling the Gentiles, & that doth appeare thus. The Gentiles are no nation, or not Gods nation, a foolishe people, and such a people as seek not after God, and yet they are saued by gods mer­cie. To the Iewes God doth streth out his hand, and offer saluation still, and yet they continue vnfaithfull & disobedient, and so are cast of by Gods iustice. So then that which we haue here to conclude, & which Paule would haue the Church of Rome to learne of all this that hee saieth of the Iewes and gentiles is but this: that the gentiles were called to bee partakers of gods graces, not of their merite, but of gods meere mercie: and therefore all the prayse and glory of their saluation is to be giuen to God alone, and nothing to them selues: the reiecting of the Iewes is of gods iustice, for their owne wickednesse. [Page]And therefore all the blame of that to bee laide vpon themselues, and nothing at all vpon God. If I coulde or might make of this a generall doctrine, it would teach vs all thus much, yt the saluation of all Gods people is of Gods only mercy without a­ny deseruing of man: and that the con­demnation of all the wicked is of theyr owne desart onely without any faulte in God: according to that which God sayth by the Prophet:Hose. 13.9. Thy destruction O Isra­el is thine owne, but thy saluation is of me alone. Thus then we see that Israel dyd heare, that is, had the worde, and yet they were iustly reiected of God, because they heard not with fruite, but contemned the worde: and where they thinke they can alledge for themselues that they were pro­fitable hearers, because it is said the knew God, Paule saith, that some of them knew God, and they were not cast off, but the most part knew not, & were reiected: and for the saluation of the gentiles, and who­soeuer els is saued, it is of Gods mercy without mans deseruing, as also the con­demnation of the wicked is of gods iustice [Page]through mans wickednes, without any vniustice or fault in God. God (for his sonne Iesus Christes sake) continue amongst vs the vse of his worde, make vs not idle hearers, but profitable doers of the same, giue vs faith and eternall salua­tion in the death and merites of Christe Iesus the sonne of God: To whom, with God the father, and God the holy ghoste, bee all honour, glory, prayse, and domini­on for euer more.


¶ Imprinted at London at the three Cranes in the Vintree, by Thomas Dawson, for Thomas Wodcock. 1583.

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