An Apologie, or Defence of our dayes, against the vaine murmurings & complaints of manie: Wherein is plainly proued, that our dayes are more happie & blessed than the dayes of our forefathers.

In the latter dayes, I will powre out my spirite on all flesh. Ioel. 2.

In the Euening, it shalbe light. Zachar.

The Gospell shal be preached through all the world, for a witnesse vnto all Nations: and then shall the ende come. Math. 24.

LONDON Printed by Iohn Wolfe. 1589.

To the right worshipfull, Sir Anthonie Thorrold Knight, and to the vertuous Ladie Anne Thorrold his wife: Francis Trigge wisheth this yeare with manie others, prosperous & ioyfull in this world, & in the world to come, life euerlasting.

BEeing prouoked (right worshipfull) by your manifold curtesies at all times she­wed to my mother & mee. Lest I should seeme ingratefull (which of all sinnes, both towardes God and amongest men, I accompt the greatest) I was euen en­forced to shewe my selfe thankfull vnto your worships. And whereas at this time, euerie one, doe not onely in wordes but also in deedes, with their presents & gifts, shewe some signe and token of this their thankefulnes: Euen so I also, out of my simple garden, haue chosen a handfull of Flowers, as it were a Nosegay (the best present I could get) to offer vnto you: In the which, although some of the flowers perchaunce shal seeme rough, and to haue some prickes, yet I trust (as the Gilliflower and the Rose) they smell sweete, that is, taste of trueth: being grounded on the vndoubted trueth of Gods worde.

The which I haue intituled, A defence of our daies, against the murmurings and complaints of manie: Then the which murmuring and complaining, we haue no one sinne amongst vs more common: nor anie one more odious to the Maiestie of God, which stoppes his blessings from vs, & yearely, in my iudgement pulles his heauie wrath and plagues vpon vs: For amongst the old Israelites, after their departure out of Egypt,Exod. 16. this sinne was almost continuall, and daily among them: they were neuer content: they still found fault with somthing. They either lacked water, or victuals, or Quailes: or their enimies were too mightie for them, or Moses & Aaron tooke too much vpon them. And by this meanes, those 40 yeares they angred the Lord, and prouoked the holie one of Israel (as saieth the Psalmist.) And S. Paul by their examples giues vs a lesson:1. Cor. 10. Be not murmurers (saith he) as some of them were, and were de­stroyed of the destroyer. Thus to murmure or complaine, we [Page] accompt but a small thing, & almost no sin at all. But behold, it is a deadlie sinne, it bringeth death, vnnaturall & vntimelie euen of the destroyer. And surelie I feare mee, this one thing hath caused the vntimelie deathes of manie of our riche men this last yeare: When as God had sent them plentie of corne, yet they were not content, they would hurd vp their old. They would saie, it wil be deare still: nay they would deuise how to make it deare. They would complaine of much strawe & little corne, and so no doubt they angred the Lorde God with these hurdings vp & murmurings: and euen shortened their owne daies. For we are all taught this generall lesson by our doctor & master S. Paul:1. Thess. 5. Phil. 2. In all things giue thanks: And againe, do al things without murmurings & reasonings. And Dauid shewes vs the talke & speaches of Gods seruants: They saie alwaies, the Lord be praised. And S. Paul himselfe, not onlie by word of mouth, but by his own example teacheth vs this lesson, who going vp to Ierusalem, and as he went by the waie, certaine Prophets tolde him, that of a trueth he would be hardlie wel­comed thither, & that he should be bound & imprisoned, who neuer grudged at such hard tydings, but ioyfullie aunswered: The Lords wil be done.Ecclesiasti­cus. 39. ver. 13. I am not readie to be bound, but to die for the Lord Iesus. And Ecclesiasticus giueth vs this counsel: Hearken vnto me O ye holie children, & bring foorth fruite as the Rose that is planted by the brookes of the field, and giue you a sweet smel, as incense, & brings forth flowers as the Ly­lie, & giue a smell, & sing a song of praise Blesse the Lord in al his works. This is a sweet rose vnto the Lord, euen at Christyd. This is the sweete frankinsence that the Lord delightes in. This is the pure white Lyllye flower. And none may saye, what is this? wherefore is that? At all times conuenient, they shall al be sought out. We shall one day perceiue that all the workes of God, euen our great fluddes, our yll seede forrowes, our great windes, our weete haruestes, shall tende to the saluation of our soules, though they diminish the gaine of our purses. Therefore let vs not saie: Oh what a weather is this? Oh what a haruest is this? But rather, the Lord be praised, who sendeth this. The booke of the wisedom of Salomon, in the first Chap­ter teacheth vs the same lesson, as a chiefe and principall point of wisedome. The eare of Ielousie heareth all thinges, and the noise of the grudgings, shall not be hidden. Therefore beware of murmuring which profiteth or auaileth nothing. [Page] See what great reasons Salomon alledgeth, that wee should be­ware of this murmuring. He compares God to an earnest louer, which cannot abide his giftes, his tokens to be founde fault withall. The Lord markes our words & gestures, when he sends vs raine, windes, faire weather, how we take these his tokens. He tryes vs whether we loue him or not. If we frowne when we re­ceiue them, it is a signe wee loue him not perfectly in deede. A true and a faithfull louer will receiue anie thing, and that cheerefully at his louers handes: So ought wee to doe at Gods handes. Secondly, all our murmurings and complainings a­uaile nothing, they make the weather neuer the better, there­fore they are in vaine. Beware therefore of vaine murmuring and complaining. The Lorde, when as wee our selues deserue to be drowned with the olde worlde, for despising not Noah the eight preacher of righteousnes, but euē eight score: He drownes our Haye & our pastures, when as we our selues deserued to be destroyed with those same couetous Gergesites: For despising his Gospel, & making light account of it. He killes & destroyes but our swine. He rottes our sheepe. When as the Axe being laid long agoe to the roote of the tree by manie Iohn Baptists: who preach vnto vs euen his verie commission & preaching (Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.) And we waxing euery yere worse and worse, deserue quite to be cut downe: he doth by his sharpe windes, of warres & taxes, but pluck of our leaues, pinch our purses. And shal we complaine? or not rather commend, & extoll this great goodnes of our God: and finde fault with our selues, and say with Dauid, in the like case being plagued for numbring the people: Loe, it is I that haue sinned, & that haue done wickedly, but those sheepe, what haue they done: Let thy hand I pray thee, be against mee and against my fathers house. Thus we ought in all these externall plagues & punishments of the Lord, to find fault with our selues, and to saye, that wee haue deserued euen the same plagues, & not to find fault with those iudgements of God, which are far lesse then we haue deserued. And yet surelie amongst vs in these daies, no sin more cōmon. We shal come in no place, we shal talke with no man, but we shal finde him complaining, or grieued with somewhat. The gentle­man, he complaines, all things are deare, & money skant, & his charge great: which dearth in trueth, him selfe in some parte, is the cause of: For if hee let his pastures & fermes deare, he must needes buy deare againe. The husbandman he complaines, that [Page] corne is too cheape: he is not able to paie his rents & seruants wages of his crop. The Artificer, he saith, there are so manie of an occupacion, that one cannot liue by another: and that he can not get his debtes paid, whose prices, without all conscience, the Lord sometimes plagues with euil paiments. The seruants some times lack masters, (men wil do their worke them selues) some lack wages, some victuals. So that from the top to the toe, no part is free: euerie one is grieued, euerie one complaineth. So that this plaister is verie necessarie, the disease being so general, & dangerous. Therefore I conclude with our last weekes lesson out of S. Paules Epistle to the Philippians fit for our times:Phil. 4. The Lord being euen now at hand in deede: Reioice in the Lord al­waie, & againe I saie reioyce: Let your curtesie or gentlenes be knowen or manifest to all men. The Lorde is euen at hand. Be careful for nothing, but in all things, let your petitions be ma­nifest vnto God in prayer & supplication with giuing of thanks. Let vs reioyce in the Lord, who is now our aduocate, our lawyer that pleadeth al our causes, shal be our Iudge. Let our curtesie & mercifulnes be knowen to al men, that we may find mercie & curtesie at the Lords hand at that daie: For with what measure we measure to others now, in the chaffe and pelfe of this world, shal then no doubt be measured vnto vs againe. The Lorde is euen at hand: let vs be careful for nothing, but in al our needs & necessities, let vs praie vnto him, and we shal receiue. What is more easie then to aske and haue? But aboue al things let vs giue thankes. Let vs beware of murmuring & complaining. So shal the Lord, not only this yeare, but euerie yeare, powre down his blessings vpon vs. Thus desiring your worships to accept this my simple gift, praying the Lorde to blesse you both with his holie spirite this yeare & manie others, to his glorie, & the benefit of this our countrey, and in the world to come, of his great mercie, to crowne you with euerlasting glorie: I moste humblie take my leaue.

¶An Apologye, or defence of our dayes, against the vaine murmurings and complaints of manie, wherein is plainlie proued, that our daies are more happie and blessed, than the daies of our forefathers.

WHereas there are manie things in my opini­on, (right worshipfull) in this our age out of counse: manie things complained without a cause: manie things and that of them which would be counted wise men) verie iniurious­lie, and vnaduisedly giuen foorth, & common­lie vttered, then as mee seemeth amongst all the rest, that complaint is verie iniust, vneqaull, and against all reason: That these our dayes are worse than the former, that our times are vnhappie & miserable: and that the former daies, the dayes of our fathers were happie & verie blessed, verie calme, and prosperous. When as this opinion of the common people too too common amongst vs. Salomon the wisest that euer was,Ecclesiastes ver. 12. c. 7. in that one Sermon of his, of the excellencie and vanitie, and com­parison of things together, wherein he nameth himselfe a prea­cher to all ages and countries: hath with his verdit (as it were) plainly condemned. Saye not saith he: what is the matter, or howe chaunceth it, that the former dayes are better then these: for if thou saye so, thou hast not asked wisdome counsaile concer­ning this matter. As though he should saye: Wisdome would teach thee another lesson, that is to saye: That things present seeme alwayes grieuous to men, and strange things pleasant, & that our owne things, although they be better in deede, to be of none account with vs: and that other mens things do please vs most of all. Thus is the nature of man euer lothing things pre­sent, and longing for things absent: despising her owne things, & greedie of other mens things: bragging of things past, and slacke in things present: verie fruitfull of vnthankfulnes.

And not onely Salomon, but Iesus Christ, being the wisedom of God the father, teacheth vs the same in his Gospell. He hath said: manie that are first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first. Our heauenly father will haue his noble Kings, his Mece­nasses, and gentlemen his Constantines, his Theophilus, his doctors, his confessours, his Martyres: not onely in the infancie of his Church, but also in her olde age: not in her cradels, but in [Page 2] her graye haires: not in her time of increasing and flourishing, & shining, as at the first sending downe of the holie Spirit, but also in her groning & decreasing, and as it were now labouring time of trauell vnder Antichrist.

And these are no lesse notable, no lesse famous, no lesse vali­ant, no lesse inflamed with the zeale of Gods house than the for­mer. And these at the last day shalbe without doubt in maiestie, euen to be reckoned vp amongest those first. Because his mercie is for euer,Ioel. 2. euen the same towards his Church. And also our Pro­phet Ioel doth teach vs the same doctrine which did prophecie of our times, vpon whom truely those ends of the world haue come more fully than vpon those first Christians which do not liue in the last hour of the day, as they did, but truely in his last moment and minute. I will powre out, saith the Lord by that Prophet, in those dayes, my spirite vpon all flesh, and your children and your daughters shall prophecie, & your old men shall dreame dreames, and your yong men shall see visions. And also I will powre out my spirite in those dayes vpon your seruants and maydens. And I will shewe wonders in heauen aboue, and tokens in the earth beneath, bloud & fire, and the vapour of smoake. The Sunne shal be turned into darkenes, and the Moone into bloud before that great and notable day of the Lorde come. And it shal be, that who soeuer calleth vpon the name of the Lorde shalbe saued. Who is he which will denye these things to concerne our dayes. The ful­filling of this prophesie doth plainly proue the same in our eyes: For from whence commeth those great streames of knowledge, of light, of learning, of wisedom in euery arte, in euery science, in comparison of the former times, but from this powring out of the Holie Ghost. Then seeing in all other artes, also in diuinitie, in the knowledge of tongues, and in expounding of Scriptures, this wisedome, this light, this knowledge of the Scriptures, this gift of tongues, this great blessing of expounding the Scriptures, and prophesieng, (the which al the Church of God now enioyeth) cannot be denyed but to be of the Holie Ghost. Wherefore this prophesie doeth stretch out it selfe euen vnto vs. This floud and powring out of the Holie Ghost being begunne in the Apostles time, and being dryed vp with that feruent heate of worldlye troubles, & of warres in the Popes tyrannie, nowe at the length in the euentyde, in this twilight, is burst foorth againe, and flow­eth to vs most plenteously, and also with great aboundance. This we see, this let vs confesse, this we must acknowledge.

The Holie Ghost is compared to the winde by our Sauiour: It loueth the coolenes of the ayre: It flyeth from the scortching heate of the Sunne: Morning and euening, the pleasant and wholesome blastes of it is felt and perceiued. And at noone time for the most parte it is quiet, calme, and not discerned. What? that same coopling together that followeth, of miracles, of won­ders of the Sunne, of the Earth, of the Moone, of lightning, (the which our times do beholde, do plainly testifie, that the same pro­phesie going before, doth concerne vs, that that same streame of the Holie Ghost doth reach vnto vs, that it doth water also our Church. (Hereof thanks be to God for this his vnspeakable gyft) the states of our Realme, our Noble men, our Counsellours, are more wise: as Dauid in the lawe of the Lord, and by his lawe then their Elders, Seniors, Priests: yea, what do I say Priests or elders, then their doctours, yea then their Bishops in time of Popish religion. Our children are able to speake to the praise & glorie of God, farre beyond their olde men. And when as their Pharisies, their Scribes and doctours of the Lawe, are in deede dombe, our infants and sucklings in age, in comparison of them crye Osanna: And that in Greeke, Hebrewe, and all kinde of tongues: When as in that blinde and darke kingdome, this pro­uerbe no lesse olde then true was commonly vsed: It is Greeke, it cannot be read. Timothie the young man, Apollo the Iewe, Aquila the artificer, euen nowe in the Church of God, are more mightie in the Scripture, can expound the worde of God more perfectly: can reprehend sinne more boldly: can comfort the afflicted soule more forceablye, then those whome they called Cler­gie men, as though they alone had beene the Lordes: then the Schoole-men, whome they so termed, much like the Scribes a­mongest the Iewes: then those greye haires, & reuerend fathers, of their Hermits, Abbots, Monkes, in all their Cloisters. Such Timothies haue we had verie manie. Some such Iewes:Tremelius. Some such artificers in the beginning of the Gospell. Although they do depraue and maliciously scoffe at, such young men, and such workemen. But in the ende such which are young in yeares, & haue beene trayned vp in some occupacion in the beginning of their life, (that with S. Paul counselleth Timothie to doe) shall shewe them selues workemen without reproofe, rightly deuiding the worde of trueth, against that great daye of the haruest, to the shame and confusion of their so manie Priestes, Elders & fathers.

Of whome, if I helde my peace, their workes & monuments [Page 4] in the Church of God would testifie the same. Wherefore this prophesie doth belong vnto vs: those holie streames flowe vnto vs, and also they are ours. Hereof are those dreames, meditati­ons, and reuelations by night of the lawe of the Lord to his faith­full seruants, to them which loue it, to them which chewe, & as it were eate it, to them that muse in it daye and night. Therefore this is an vniust complaint. That selfe same thing and these our dayes, nature her selfe also hath as it were shadowed vnto vs, and liuely expressed in the Sunne. What? do we not see in our Sunne before his rising a certaine brightnesse to goe before by certaine degrees through our whole Hemispherie:An Hemis­pherie is the compas of the heauens as farre as we can see. and the beames of his light, as it were sent before, before the appearing and see­ing of the bodye of the Sunne it selfe: So truely, before the rising and returning againe of Iesus Christ, of that true Sunne, before his moste glorious appearing in the Hemispherie, or compasse of his Church, wee see it come to passe, and doe nowe plainly feele. Wee see the beames of his brightnesse sent be­fore, through the whole worlde, through all thinges, through all Artes, through all countries: this light, this brightnes en­creaseth euery yeare more and more, wee our selues doe plainly perceiue this.

When Wyckliffe and Hus preached, this light beganne, in the middest of most thicke Popish darkenesse. When Erasmus and Luther preached, this light was increased, as in the dawning, or in the daye breake. When Caluin, Bucer, and Bullinger prea­ched, it was spread farre and wyde. But nowe truely, all darke­nes being dispersed, it hath filled all the worlde, it hath entred in­to euery thinke, it hath lightned all the ayre. And it encreaseth euery daye, and is more brighter and clearer. This is a moste certaine signe, (as also in that materiall Sunne) euen nowe of Christes drawing neare, of appearing in his maiestie, and stan­ding as it were in the last degree. And as S. Iames sayeth, stan­ding at the dore: yea, nowe at the verye thresholde. And is not this the verie true Image of our time?

O howe happie were were wee, if wee knewe our owne good things, but wee are like Israell, plainly vnder the gouernement of Moses, both for Gods blessings, and for our owne blindnesse, vnthankefulnes, and murmurings. Pharaoes Egypt, was not better than the Wildernes: his meates not better than Manna: His Leekes not better than the Lawe of the Lorde: The wa­ters of Nilu [...], then that, which flowed out of the Rocke: the har­bours [Page 5] of their houses, than the ouershadowing of the darke cloude: the Torches and lightes of the Egyptians, than the Piller of fire which coulde not be put out. But yet, the blinde, vnthankefull and wicked Israelites, doe not accompt these thinges so? Howe often woulde they haue gone backe to E­gypt againe. Howe often did they wish for it againe? Howe of­ten in their mouthes did they highly commende it. Wee plainlye are in the same case? What good thinges they had in the sha­dowe, wee haue them in the trueth: What things they had pain­ted vnto them, as it were, wee haue the thinges them selues, liuely giuen vnto vs: What thinges they had in their bodyes, wee haue them in our soules. And yet wee complaine, we mur­mure: wee are not thankefull: wee wish for the former E­gypt againe: Wee commende thicke darkenesse: Wee would haue foure and twentie Egges for a pennye: Wee haue that true Mannah, the breade which came downe from Heauen, the Gospell of Iesus Christ: But wee had rather haue the fleshe pottes of Egypt, their Egges, and Onyons: Oh it was a good worlde then wee saye.

Wee haue the armourie of Gods wordē, the whole armour of God, but wee woulde rather haue Python, and Raamses, of Egypt Pharaoes armories. Wee haue the Lorde our tower, our Castell, our defence: but wee woulde rather haue the to­wer of Babell, and the strong castels of Babylon. These are nowe ouerthrowen amongste vs, and wee liue without wall, without Bulwarke: and yet (the Lorde be thanked) peace is established amongest vs: the enimie is vanquished: Mars is vanished. The Lorde him selfe (as hee did the Arke of Noah) hath made fast the barres of our gates. Noah may buylde the Arke, hee may enter into the Arke, but the Lorde alone must shut it vp, must make fast the doore thereof. Wee haue Christian sufficiencie, as much as wee stande in neede of, of all thinges, of Corne, of Wyne, and Oyle: although not that greate superfluitie, and great plentie of Egypt, or of So­dome.

But to let this plentie passe, they had taske Masters, ouer­seers, Bishops, which compelled them to make Bricke, which layde great burthens vppon them: Wee haue sheepeheardes, which doe not compell vs, but exhort vs, not to make Tyles, to buylde and mayntayne the Popes Babilon: but Pearles of the Gospell, to buyld the Church of Christ, which do not burthen [Page 6] our consciences as they did, but vnburthen them and settle them in most sure peace of saluation, of health. Without all doubt, all the workes they did in Poperie, they were but bricke, so painful, so hard, so costly, fit for the fire: not for the praise of God, because they were not commaunded of him. Who will praise that worke of his seruants which he commaundes not: and so although they laboured and swet much in those dayes, they did but make bricke and wash bricke (as it is in the prouerb) that is, they lost their la­bour: I feare they lost their reward. Wee haue not Pharaoes, Princes, maiestrates, which do burthen their subiects aboue their power, not only with rents, but with labours and toylings with their bodies: but Moses, gentle Magistrates and curteous, which like sheepe by the hand lead the people of God, and for the neede of the common wealth, lay tributes and taxes vpon them, as they are able to beare. Which do not laye that tribute vpon our hus­bandmen, as I haue hearde by custome the kings of the Scottes doe, that are bound to beare armour with the King a certaine number of dayes in the warres, of their owne proper costes and charges at his pleasure: which do not laye that tribute of victu­als of the French men vpon their subiects, which without a pen­sion or payment cannot eate the fatlings which they haue fedd: Which do not enioy that Turkish slauerie, where none, no not their Noble men can giue their landes to their children without their Princes pleasure: and that vnder charge of Souldiours, euer readie to serue in the warres at an houres warning. What should I reckon vp here the tributes and taxes of the Romanes. Octauianus tooke the eighth part of al free men, of al their goods. When Cesar was slaine, euery one of the Senatours were com­maunded to paye for euery tyle of their house, sixe farthings: and euery one of the citizens, the foure and twentieth part of all their goods. Our subsidies and taxes are light & easie, and to be borne withall in comparison of these ancient payments and other later exactions in other countries. We haue not nowe Toll gatherers which sit at the receipt of custome, who as in times past, amongst the Iewes, so amongest our auncestours gathered and scraped to­gether our siluer, our gold, their Peter pence, as they called them, the first fruits of our Bishops, that they might carrie them out of the Realme: But which do long before giue warning of our pai­ments, and gather them by small portions, nor do not transport them any where else, but lay them vp in the Princes treasurie.

I would to God we did not complaine without cause. These be [Page 7] our good things and we see them not, and yet men do complaine and find fault, and are not content. The greatest parte of men were neuer so rich, neuer so gentlemanlike prepared and furni­shed with all things, both within and without. I would to God we did not impouerish our selues by vnlawful buying and wea­ring of silkes and veluets, against all reason and lawes, onely to satisfie our owne fond pleasures: and of verie many persons, for no other cause but to follow the vaine fashion of the world. They must do as other do, & they must be in the fashion, although they be beggers for their labours, and greatly offende the maiestie of God, who commaunds vs most straitely obedience to our Prin­ces, and willes vs not to be carefull for our apparel, and to be con­tent with couerings, or happings, as we call them, to couer our nakednes, and not so earnestly to seeke after euery vaine fashion of apparell that shalbe deuised. This maketh vs poore:1. Tim. 6. v. 8. this trans­porteth our treasure out of the Realme, although some there be, which are pinched of cruell landlords. And yet all men do com­plaine of great penurie, of great pouertie, of want of all things. But this want, and this complaint amongest verie manie in my opinion, is couetousnes, which will neuer haue ynough, which florisheth amongest all men, and not truth, to whom that wants aswell that which he hath, as that which he hath not, as the Phi­losopher said truely.

But many do lament the pulling downe of Abbayes, they say it was neuer merie world since: They highly commend their li­beralitie to the poore: their curtesie to their tenants, their com­moditie to the common wealth: their planting of woodes, their setting of trees. I doe not here excuse our cruell landlordes, our oppressors of their tenaunts, our pullers downe of townes, of whome as euery age hath had some, so our age hath too manie: and from which faultes the Abbayes themselues are not free, as I suppose, as their granges doe testifie.I do beleue wee haue more stran­gers nowe in England then here­tofore som of oure shires haue had people. But I speake gene­rally of the state and condition of our dayes. In such great scarsi­tie of all things, in such a great multitude of people, in such a great price of all things: they are not able to shewe I beleeue in our age, so great liberalitie towarde so manye, as wee haue tryed these many yeares next going before, and especially this deare yeare last past here in England. The which deare yeare truely, I thinke the Lorde sent to this our Englande, one amongest so many, to the tryall of our riche men, & to the glorie of his name. And here in deede, was proofe and tryall made of all men. The [Page 8] Lorde be praised for that his excellent gift, which so well dispo­sed the heartes of a great manye) our countrie, townes, and vil­lages, sent their contributions and collections to our Cities. Our gentlemen, some of them sent waynes loaden with corne of their owne to the markets to be solde onely to the poore: and that by a smaller price than the common rate was. Others which had not so good store of their owne, bought corne in the market, that they might helpe to supplye the wantes of their poore neighbours at home which stoode in need, and that also by an indifferent price.

Such buyers and sellers, our Lincolne shire, and other shires adioyning, famous gentlemen, worthie of eternall memorie, had in that harde time. Then it was woorth God haue mer­cie, to helpe the poore. Then it was acceptable to the Lorde: Then it was thanke worthie, when all thinges were deare, scarce and harde to be gotten. Here was tryall of mercie: here was commendation of liberalitie. Here the poore widdowes myte in the Gospell: and the little barrell of Oyle and flower of the widdowe of Sarepta shined and came againe into the world. These men gaue more in this penurie, and euen of their owne scarcitie and want, than all these Monkes of their aboundance and great superfluitie: neither of that yeare onely, but of eue­rye yeare, the same nowe may truely be pronounced.

The earth nowe waxeth olde and barren: it doeth not giue his increase, as vnder that blacke horse in the sixth Chapter of the Reuelation of Saint Iohn, When all things were plenti­full:Apoc. 6. when it was in his flourishing youth: his vertue, his strength, his force, nowe decayeth. And as the decaying, va­ding, and death of olde men is sudden: euen so is it of the worlde it selfe, of the earth, and of the Heauens: nowe they all waxe olde as doeth a garment, and are chaunged suddenly from their olde glorie, fruitfulnesse and fertilitie. Wherefore these yeares next going before, our husband-men haue not reaped so great plentie of corne as they were wont to doe. And yet we all must needes confesse the number of poore to increase. Wherefore our liberalitie is of a morsell with Iob, not of a Barne stuffed full for many yeares:Iob. 31, 17. of the Widowes myte, not of thousand thousandes of Munkish reuenues: of the little Oyle of the Wi­dowe of Sareptha, not of the superfluitie of the Pharistes. And in this great scarcitie and dearth of all thinges, in the fro­sen charitie of a great manye, no man perished for hunger. No [Page 9] man dyed for want, as wee haue read in their Histories, ma­nye haue done, in that bountifull and liberall kingdome, which they commende so highly.

In Englande, here in the dayes of king Henry the sixth, there was such a dearth, that some were compelled to make bread of Beanes, and bracking or Fearne rootes, which cast manye their liues. In the latter ende of Queene Marie her raigne, in that great dearth which was then, as I haue heard, manye of the poore had perished for hunger, if the funeralles of the riche had not reléeued them better than their almes or giftes. And as I haue hearde, the Acornes that they did eate then, killed manye for all that. But amongest vs, this I can truely report, that I heard saye, verie many were not ashamed to confesse, that they coulde gett more by begging from dore to dore weekely, than they coulde yearne by working for wages continually. The Lorde doeth so open the heartes of his secrete ones, that his poore shoulde be releeued, that his Gospell shoulde be fruite­full, euen nowe also, as in the dayes of the Apostles. And that his name should be glorified. But in the former cheapenesse of all thinges, in their great plentie, and in not so great number of pouertie: What was it to giue their bread and cheese, (for they seldome gaue money) and such like. And such were those dayes, they themselues being witnesses.

But to returne to our Monasteries againe. It is pittie saith one that the houses were pulled downe, the houses might haue stande, the abuses might haue beene taken awaye. But who­soeuer speaketh thus, they speake vnaduisedly: for they open their mouth against the Lorde. The pulling downe: the defa­cing: the sacking of these houses was the Lords doing. It was not the power of anye Prince, of any mortall man. These men were famous sinners against the Lorde (as were the men of So­domah) and their sinnes, as it were heaped one vppon another, reached euen vp to Heauen: although they were perchaunce to them selues and their neighbours bountifull and beneficiall. The sinnes of Sodomah raigned amongest them: Such sinnes Ezechiell describeth vnto vs, (that is to saye) Pryde, Idlenesse,Ezech. 16. fulnesse of breade, and vnmercifulnesse. In so much that the fatnesse and haughtinesse, and idlenesse of Monkes, came into a Prouerbe amongest all men: In so much, that idle persons were called Abbey lubbers: fatt men were saide to haue Ab­bots faces.

But there was greater sinnes than these amongest them: Idola­trie the first sinne in the tenth commaundement: Blasphemie of the name of God, the next sinne also, by their vaine & rash othes, by things of no value, as by the Mouse foote, and such like (which they counted no sinne:) yea, & the thirde sinne also was amongst them, the breaking and prophaning of the Lords Sabaoth: whose obseruation and keeping, is chiefely in preaching and hearing the worde of God. As our Lorde Iesus himselfe, being here on earth taught vs to keepe it. Hee preached euery Sabaoth daye, Luke 4.Luke 4. v. 16. For so he spent his Sabaothes: In doing good to our neighbours, not in idlenesse of the bodie, as the Pharisies taught? not in singing Odes, & Himnes, without vnderstanding, as they were wont. What shal we recken vp here their other sinnes be­side these. There was one amongest them, notable, and deadly sinne, as they terme it, and chiefe of all other, both against God, and against man, which truely they shall neuer wash away with any sacrifice. And that is this: that vnder shewe of holines, & for couetousnes of gaine, they seduced the people, & teaching a false way of saluation, they threwe headlong (as much as in them lay) into hell, euen thousands of soules, without the great mercie of God. Through couetousnes, making merchandise of men, as S. Peter sayeth,2. Pet. 7. and selling soules, as saith S. Iohn. This selling of saluation, of Masses, of pardons, shall condemne the couetous deceiuers, before the Lorde. If they had giuen these freely, per­chaunce their simplicitie might haue made a place of pardon for them, but now their couetousnes, must needes be condemned.

Should God haue let these remaine? Nay, should he suffer their houses to stand? Their crye now, euen as of Sodome was great and had ascended into the eares of the Lord of hostes. They were sinners against him, though they seemed simple, and beneficiall to others. Although, what liberalitie I pray you call you this? To fill the bellie and to kill the soule. Such surely was their hospita­litie, euen as Sathans Apple: all their curtesies, as Iudas kisse, an vnhappie present to mankinde: a cruell curtesie, and a pesti­lent liberalitie.

But yet for all this, saith one: some of the houses might haue stande, it pittieth many to see their ruines: he might say the same of Sodome. Sodome was a pleasant place profitable to men, as it were a Paradise of God. But the Lord for their sinnes, did ouerthrowe this pleasant Sodome, and their possessors for euer. And the same hath the Lord pronounced by his Prophet Ieremie [Page 11] in his 50 Chapter, of our Babylon, and spirituall Sodome, which is also called by the same name by S. Iohn in his Reuelation. As the Lorde hath destroyed Sodome and her Cities adioyning, so shall he surely destroy our Rome and spiritual Sodome. Nowe the destruction of Sodome was terrible, wonderfull & suddaine: In the compasse of viii. myles to this daye, as witnesseth Strabo: Strabo. The earth yeeldeth nothing where it stoode but fierie smoakes of brimstone and such like. And euen so suddeinly & forcibly shall Rome one day be destroyed. The Lord hath begun her destructi­on alreadie, by pulling down these her high walles:Apoc. 18. ver. 21. Her plagues shal come in one houre as S. Iohn saith, and shee shalbe as a Mil­stone cast into hell, neuer to rise vp againe. Therefore ceasse to maruell at her desolation, or to lament her fall, but with speede rather flye out of her euerye one, lest you be partakers of her plagues.

But the Abbeys were good to their tenants, they were good land lords. Well, suppose they were so: It is no curtesie which is by compulsion. It is no beneuolence, which is violent, when one can neither will nor choose. They were in these dayes compel­led almost to this curtesie: for by continuall warres, which these Popes many times raysed, and by grieuous plagues which the Lorde layd vpon them for the contempt of his word, men were so consumed, and so fewe left aliue, so fewe honest substanciall men, and good husbands remaining, which would paye their rentes, & till their grounds, that manye houses stoode without a tenaunt: many fermes without husbandmen: yea many lordships without any to dwell in them. The landlords in those dayes were glad to seek their tenants: yea, as I haue heard to hyre them that should till their grounds and be their tenants. A good tenant was then hard to be found. Euery man then kept that his father occupyed, and desired no more. Then there was such plentie of all things, and so fewe men, that they were scant able to paye verie easie rents of verie good fermes. This wee haue heard of our aunce­stours, in so much that for this cause manie Fermes haue lyne vntilled.

And I praye you then, what curtesie was this. They sold then as deare as they coulde all things, they woulde loose nothing of their price. They sold all things cheape in deede, but there was good cause why: because they could get no more for it. They let their lands for easie rents: but such, as often times they were glad to put the keye vnder the dore and departe, not being able to [Page 12] paye them. And who would not then let a Ferme for a coople of Capons, rather then haue it stand without a tenant. Who would not sell 24 Egges a pennie, then keepe them till they be rotten. Surely such was the beneuolence of those days: rather of the time it selfe, than of the men: of necessitie, then of free wil, among the best sort: Although I do not deny in that blinde age, there were some which with the Pagans & heathen Philosophers, in those morall vertues of liberalitie and charitie, were famous. But because they did that without faith, without the light of Gods worde in the darkenesse, they did not please God no more then did those Heathens. But what do they commende their libe­ralitie to their tenaunt. Pharaoh the Egyptian, their paterne & patron in this point farre excelled them: who comming by his lands, not by frée gift, as they did commonly, but buying them with his corne, let them it againe for the fifth parte a great deale easier then they did. Surely a good bountifull landlords. For so Ioseph his steward declared his pleasure vnto the people.Gen. 47. ver. 23.24. Then Ioseph said to the people: Behold I haue bought you this daye, & your land for Pharaoh. Lo here is seede for you: sowe therefore the ground: and of the increase yee shall giue the fifth parte vnto Pharaoh, and foure partes shalbe yours for the séede of the field & for your meate, and for them of your houshold, and for your chil­dren to eate. Behold the goodnes of this Pharaoh to his tenants, he was content that they should occupy his land, & he would finde them séede, and they should pay but the fifth parte of their profits and no more to him whether it were great or smalle for his rent. He had care of their families and children, which a great sorte of our landlords in letting of their lands at this day haue not. The foure partes saith he, shalbe for your wiues and children. Wee nowe a dayes will scantly let our land to halfe part, with many reseruations and bonds. Ioseph did not decree this without Pha­raohs mind, else he had béene an vnfaithfull Steward. But this Pharaoh so good to his subiects, which did not change the rentes of his auncestours, onely he changed his minde towarde the peo­ple of God, which put from him Moses and Aaron the Lords mi­nisters, which neglected and set lightly by the Lordes lawe & his commaundements, is afflicted with manye plagues, is counted the Lords open enimie, and at length is drowned in the red Sea, Our Byshops and Abbots were not so curteous as this Pharaoh was to their tenants: neither were they good to so manye as he was: he was good to all his whole realme. But to heare the word [Page 13] of God, to receiue curteously his Embassadours, to obey only his commandements, is the onelye worke and chiefe worke of all o­ther. And this is a work of the eares to heare, not of the earerings to make an Image: of Gods word, not of our will. And without the worke of hearing and obeying Gods worde: Pharaoes good­nes to his tenants: Saules sacrifices to God himselfe: Dauids readie and willing mind to buyld Gods house: the straite lawes and ceremonies of fasting and liuing of the Pharisies, receiued by tradition from their fathers, are vaine worshippings, are as the sinne of witchcraft, are abhominations vnto the Lorde. And be­cause they lacked this worke, so were all their workes, so were all their goodnes to their tenaunts, so were al their straite rules of fasting, and of their rough apparell, and scourging of them­selues.

What shall I repeat or rippe vp here, the cutting downe of woods, the spoyling of vestments & coapes, the breaking of Ima­ges, the expulsion of Monkes & Nunnes, the ransaking of those rich goodly houses, which things many complaine of, grieue very many to remember at the hearts. We shal find in the books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel farre greater spoyles & expul­sions, & breakings & hewing downe, and ransacking of those good kings Ezechiah & Iosiah then these were. Wherefore these things now should not séeme strange or wonderful vnto vs. And these Kings of Ecclesiasticus, in the greater number of other Kings which builded those high places, which plāted those groues, which ordeined these Priests: these Kings I saye, which pulled downe their buildings, & cut downe their plantings, and expelled their Priests, are counted only famous not infamous, onely religions not impious, not spoylers but reformers of Gods house.Eccl. 49. ver. 4. These be his word: All kings, except Dauid, Ezechias, and Iosias, haue done wickedly. For the kings of Iudah forsaking the lawe of the Lord, haue forsaken God himselfe. These three kings did laye wast groues, aulters, high places, but they forsooke not the lawe of the Lord: and therefore their horne is exalted with glorye: and their remembrances is for euer. So truely with the Lord & with al godly & faithful men, which dare ground their faith on Gods word. Our kings which haue pulled downe the Abbeyes, & expel­led their Munkes, are also famous and in great estimation. Wee may saye: O thrise happie and faire Sunneshine dayes of ours, the which all the cloudes of ignorance being dispersed, all the vailes of superstition being rent in peeces, all the monumentes, [Page 14] and pillers of Idolatrie being pulled downe, haue Iesus Christ the true Sonne of righteousnes, of saluation and trueth, moste clearely shining, and with his beames most plainly glistering in them.

Neither doe I here iustifie or allowe the wickednes of the world, which dayly increaseth: the charitie of many, which is waxed colde, nay plainly frosen. Neither do I commend all the ground which we the Lordes husbandmen do till, but the fourth parte onely which receiueth the seede and keepeth it. We must needes confesse wee haue much thornie grounde, much stonie ground, manie high wayes, wherein we are some time compel­led to throwe the Lords seede. Therefore I doe not allowe here or commend that olde beaten waye of Papistrie, which many do followe when they come to the Church to heare the word of God thinking thus with themselues: what seede soeuer shalbe sowen in their hearts, they will not receiue it. They will beleeue as they haue beleeued. Neither the stonie grounde of time seruers, which ground their religion vpon the Prince and not vpon God: and will turne which way the Prince turneth. Neither the thor­nie ground of couetous men, which in the Church receiue the worde of God gladly: but when they come home, or into the field, their chestes and their hedges choake it. All these groundes I al­lowe not. And these are too too common in euery fielde, in euery towne. That same beaten waye, moste olde men followe: that same stonie waye, hypocrites treade: that same thornie waye, couetous misers trace. And these being put altogether, they will make a great shewe. But there shall be such alwayes. Our Sa­uiour hath tolde vs before. Therefore the faithfull marueil not, when they meete withall, and see many such. But yet for al this, their barrainnesse and vnfruitfulnes cannot, nor ought not to de­fraud or depriue the fourth ground, the good grounde, the Lordes field, of his iust praise and commendation, which of one seede yeeldes vnto the Lord, some thirtie, some sixtie, some an hundred folde of fruite. This land is worthie of praise, and such lande, the Lorde be thanked, we haue amongst vs. I may iustly pronounce our dayes happie, and our selues vnhappie, of whome nowe verie many of vs stumble at noone daye, and slyde in the light, & runne headlong into the pittes of sinne in the Sunneshine, who woulde not praise the clearenes of our time, our Sunneshine, our great light and knowledge. And againe, who would not wonder at the foolishnes and sottishnes of manye men: the blindnes of their [Page 15] eyes, the stumbling of their feete, their falling downe (euen gro­ueling) for all this light. Who would beléeue that charitie should waxe colde in such daily kindling of the Lordes fire amongest vs: that couetousnes should once appeare amongest vs, being so daily and diligently wed out and plucked vp by the rootes: that vsurie durst once shewe her face, being arraigned and condemned so of­ten in all courtes, by all lawes, in all languages both in Lattine and English. That oppression of any landlordes to their tenants should be once named, thought on, or felt amongest vs, in such great knowledge of brotherly loue. These are the blockishnes of men. These are the blindnes of their eyes, whose mindes (as the Apostle saith) the Prince of this world hath blinded, lest the glo­rious light of the Gospel should shine vnto them. This is no iust complaint, or condemnation of the dayes, then the which daies the Lorde gaue to the worlde neuer any more cleare, more bles­sed, more laden with all blessings, the lanterne of his worde, the sunne of his Gospell, so many cleare and innumerable starres of his ministers, shining, glistering and flourishing amongest vs.

They therefore that stumble in such great light, maye condeme themselues, not the times: the men, not the dayes: their wilfull negligence, not our wonderfull Sunshine.

But the greatest and most grieuous and dangerous complaint (of all) followeth. Manye vrge the discentions of our time, and the sectes, that like Tares are sprung vp with the Gospell, and the bitter speaches and sharpe contentions of the professors of the Gospell amongst thēselues. They remember not, that amongst the Parables of his kingdome, our Sauiour also intermingled this, of the Tares, sowen by the enuious man, euen in the midst of his wheat: & to haue stopped the mouthes of his disciples, which maruelled at this, and were greatly troubled at this matter, by his commaundement and authoritie: And also in his doctrine to haue many times taught this principall point to strengthen their faith, and to auoide the offences of the wicked chiefe of all other.

Do ye thinke that I am come to set peace vppon the earth? No, but rather diuision: and this diuision is the ouerthrowe of Sa­than: the breache of his peace, the ouerthrowe of his kingdome: For Sathan the diuel himselfe hath a peace in his kingdome: as in another place our Sauiour doth teach vs, or else his kingdome could not stand: and the world loues her owne. This peace, the doctrine of our Sauiour Iesus Christ breakes, and quite takes away. The boundes of Lawes shalbe broken for my name, saith [Page 16] our Sauiour, nay the bonds of Nature, and that into two partes, nay into twentie partes: from henceforth, there shall be fiue in one house deuyded, three against two, and two against thrée. A small number was wont to be the mother of loue, and a greate many the mother of sedition and quarels: but here, neither frwnes of number, nor nighnes of kinred shal make peace: for the fa­ther shal be at variance against the sonne, and the sonne against his father. And the mother against her daughter, and the daugh­ter against her mother: the daughter in lawe against her mother in lawe, and the mother in lawe against her daughter in lawe. And euen nowe the world marueiles, slaunders, and complay­neth at these discentions of sonnes and fathers against the Gos­pell and name of Iesus. This thing in my opinion that Sathan goeth about, is that he might quite abolish and take away credite from the Gospell. Our Sauiour Iesus hath foretold vs the same thing so often that we should not be offended thereat. The Lorde by this meanes tryeth some, whether they will rather sticke to their olde father Zebebe mending his nettes, or with Iames and Iohn, forsake al and following Iesus Christ calling them. Whe­ther at the Lordes commaundement they woulde forsake So­dome with Lot and his daughters, or for their owne pleasure with his wife, they would looke backe, and be turned into a pil­ler of salt. Other some, by this meanes, the Lorde quite refuseth and casteth of, who being well brought vp of their parentes, and in true religion, yet they had rather quite cast off the feare of God and obedience to their parents, & to shake hands with the Prince of darkenesse, Gods vtter enimie, then to tread the trace of Gods holy commaundements, and of their fathers holesome instructi­ons. And are not such children, both of God their father & of man their father, iustly to be forsaken. Neither the agreemēt & concord of al men in the darkenesse and ignorance of the Popes religion, whereof they bragge so greatly doeth auaile anye thing to the confirmation and trueth of that blinde and superstitious reli­gion. For in the night season, if wee marke wel as thinges are quiet and peaceable. Naye, the quietnes and peace of the night is farre greater then the quietnes of the daye: But who woulde then therefore commende the night before the daye. Such was their blinde and darke peace, concorde, and agréement which they had.

Againe, Sathan himselfe hath a certaine kinde of vnitie in his kingdome, as our Sauiour witnesseth in the Gospell. If Sa­than [Page 17] should rise against Sathan, and be deuided, saith he, he could not continue but should haue an ende. Sathan therefore in his kingdome hath a peace, and surely to our outwarde senses a farre greater peace then the Church of God hath, which outwardly in this worlde like a shippe is tossed hither and thither, and is neuer at rest. But he lacketh that inwarde peace, that peace of consci­ence which the Church and housholde of God onely enioyeth. Though Sathan & his members do make a faire shewe of peace and quietnes outwardly: yet they are tormented and vexed in­wardly. So that outward peace, is no argument of trueth, but rather that other inward peace. For that craftie serpent créepeth softly, and goeth stilye, and bringeth in vnder hande like a craftie iuggler without any noyse, without any wordes, all his trishe trashe: But this peace ouerthrowes the workes of God, de­nounceth warre to his worde: this creeping stealeth the worde of God from the heartes, naye from the eares, from the eyes, and knowledge of all Christians. Hitherto tendeth all his stealing steppes to this end, his quiet times. Such was the vnitie, or securitie, or drowsines, rather of the former times.

And here by the waye, because they finde fault with our a­greement, I praye you note the consent and agreement of the di­uell and of the Pope together, most manifest, that no man of in­different iudgement can denye. The diuell (sayeth our Saui­our) When the worde is sowen in the heart of man, he comes priuily and stealeth it awaye lest it shoulde take roote there.

The Pope, he stealeth and plainly conueyeth the worde out of the Churche, so that it shall neither come into the eares, nor in­to the heart. And is not this manifest? Doeth not the Pope forbid the worde of God to be read in the Church, but in Latine, in a tongue vnknowen to the hearers. So that it were as good not redde to them at all: they are neuer a whit the better for the reading of it. And shall wée not saye then? that the Pope and diuell in stealing Gods worde from our heartes doe agrée. Is not this too too manifest? Such is their peace and agréement they haue, quite contrarye to Iesus Christe. But the house of Iesus Christe is buylt vppon an hill, it hath manye cold blastes, and sharpe stormes. His shippe sayling in the Sea of this world, hath manye stormes, quicke sands and rockes.

That same Whirlewinde whereof Saint Marke speaketh in his fourth Chapter, which from out of the earth is suddenly car­ryed vpwarde to Heauen, woulde as it were, blowe the shippe [Page 18] out of the worlde. All Gods children, all his seruauntes are of the daye, and of the light, they sustaine troubles, cares, they are vexed they are pinched. They carrie their crosse with their Master Ie­sus Christ. They are neuer as long as they continue in this wil­dernesse, frée from the pinchings of hunger, thirst, and scarsitie: from the perils of enimies, both at home, as of Corah, Dathan, & Abiram: and abroad, as Amalech, Balacke and such like. They are stil in the field, their life is a warfare, and this is their tryall, this is their crowne, this is their victory. This is the wisedome of the serpent, which the Gospel commaundeth, who stop their eares to all the voyces of the charmers, charme they neuer so wisely, that they may heare their Iesus alone, which beléeue not the doctrines of these false Prophets, for al their miracles, which wil nat depart from the word of the Lord:Deut. 13. For the Lord suffreth some time false Prophets to do myracles, as Moses doeth teach vs, to trye vs whether wée will sticke to his worde alone or no.

Hereby their Egles eyes are tryed whether they can beholde Ie­sus Christ the true Sunne without twinckling of their eyes or no? Onely the Eagles can do so: The eyes of other birdes can­not endure it: these turne their eyes aside to flyes and mottes in the Sunne, to fat prayes, which the tempter castes in their way. The Christian Eagles respect onely the glorie of Iesus Christe. Therefore Dauid prayed: O Lorde, turne away mine eyes, lest they behold vanitie, and quicken mée in thy way. These vanities, these flyes, these motes in the Sunne are left in the ayre, to trye the zeale of true Christians.Deut. 33. The which Moses taught before his death, all the Leuites of Israell, and our Sauiour Iesus, all his disciples, which saye to their father and mother, wee knowe you not: aus to their brethren, we care not for you, no not for their owne children: But they kéepe the word of the Lord, and his co­uenant. These faithfull Leuites preferre Iesus Christ and his Gospell to all Counsails, Fathers, yea, to their owne natural fa­thers, to their beloued wiues, to their deare children: yea, to their owne soule and life. This great courage of theirs could not so clearly appeare without some light skirmishing at home a­mongest their brethren. And without open warre abroad against Heretikes, from whence that tryall of spirites which Saint Iohn commaundeth to all his children is had. From hence that spirice of discretion and iudgement,1. Cor. 3. whereof all the seruaunts of God in some measure are partakers appeareth. He that is spiritual, saith the Apostle, iudgeth all things, and now all Christians are spiri­tuall. [Page 19] For they which haue not the spirite of Christ, are none of his. And all the sonnes of God, are led with the spirite of God. And they all by this holy bonde, are knitte to their heade Iesus Christ. And therefore the holy Ghost is called the bonde of peace. They all can discerne light from darkenesse, Christ from Bely­all: They are not without sence, without spirite, fleshly, not hauing the spirit as are those false Prophets, whereof S. Iude prophesieth, as are those Idolaters, of whom Dauid sayth, Their Idols and grauen Images are without sence & vnderstanding, and so are they that made them, and so are all they that put their trust in them. And surely such was the insensiblenesse of many Idolaters in times past, they were as voyde of true sence of God, euen as the Image which they worshipped. But the true Chri­stians all haue hereof a féeling and vnderstanding: and they must vse their sences, they must trie their féeling, they must vse their discretion. The Lorde hath not giuen them these his graces in vaine.

What? this varietie of iudgements and opinions doth onely beautifie the Church of God. Hereof was the great glorie and beautie of Moyses Tabernacle, of the diuersitie of oblations, of the variety which euery one offred. If they had all brought things of one kinde, it had not béene so glorious and pleasant to the eyes. Hereof when as they all agréed in the manner of their offering, in this one thing, that they offered willingly, and fréely, as for the matter, not onely golde and siluer, but also brasse, not onely blew and purple, but also scarlet, not onely linnen and fine silke, but also Goates haire, were accepted and receiued. All these be­ing aptly ioyned together, according to that forme which Moises sawe in the Mount, did giue great glorie and beautie to this Ta­bernacle. Salomons temple also contayned in it diuerse furni­tures of nature, diuerse functions, and helpes of arte. And hereof was the glorie of it contayned,Ephes. 4. what also meaneth that méeting of all men in vnitie of faith, in the Church of Christ, but the di­uerse wayes, and diuerse iudgements of many. What meaneth this prophesyings of two or thrée in the Church, and congregati­on, and the iudgement of the rest, but diuerse senses, and senten­ces of holy Scripture, what meaneth that prophesying or inter­pretation of scripture, according to the Analogie of faith which Saint Paule maketh mention of 12. Rom. But that there is a certaine compasse of discenting & varying in the Church of God, so that it be within the boundes. What meaneth that mariage [Page 20] garmentes of the Church her selfe. 45. Psalme, which Salo­mons wife no doubt did shadowe out vnto vs. The Quéene stoode on the right hande in a vesture of golde wrought about with diuerse colours: and what meaneth that néedle worke that followeth, all the glorie of the kinges daughter is within: In a vesture of golde wrought with néedle worke, shall shee be brought vnto the king. What I say, meane all these varieties, all these diuersities, all these néedle workes, but wholely a di­uersitie of iudgementes, and as it were the soft stinginges of Bées one towardes an other, which make the Lordes honny.

And yet al this without death, without destruction, without dam­nation.

Therefore in vaine crie our aduersaries, and vrge this as Hercules dart. Luther and Caluine, do dissent concerning the Lordes Supper. Therefore if Luther bee saued, Caluine is damned. Therefore in vaine doe many whisper this into the eares of the simple people, they striue amongest them selues and that very bitterly, of certaine rites and ceremonies of the Church, of abuses of Ecclesiasticall matters, of the garment of this Quéene. Therefore their religion is nought, and no credite is to be giuen to their Sermons, therefore there is no trueth amongest them. For say they, there is but one trueth, and that simple and peaceable. In déede to confesse the trueth, they striue of the vesture of the Quéene, (that is to saye) of Sacrifices and Ceremonies, but not of the life of faith, they quarrell amongest them selues in déede, of the building vppon of golde and siluer and precious stones, but not of the founda­tion of Iesus Christ. For truely besides faith in Iesus Christ all the other pointes of our religion are but the garmentes, or­namentes, exercises, iewelles, badges, fruites, companions, waiting maydes of this our mother of true religion. Not her substance, not her life, not her saluation. And therefore first of all as concerning faith, onely sayeth our Prophet Habakuck. The iust shall liue by faith, and the same saying the Apostle Saint Paule repeateth often after him. The first to the Ro­maines the seuentéenth verse: and the third Chapter to the Ga­lathians, and the tenth to the Hebrewes: as an vndoubted trueth without any addition of workes, or any thing else. And our Sauiour Christ him selfe teacheth vs the same thing. Hée that beléeueth in me, though he were dead shall liue. And hee that beléeueth not shall bée damned. And also the Apostle Saint [Page 21] Iohn. Hee that hath the sonne hath life. But as concerning Sacramentes, the Apostle Paule to the Galathians sayth: as manie as are Baptised haue put on Iesus Christ. And of good workes the same Apostle sayeth to the Collossians, Put vpon you as the elect of GOD, bowelles of mercie, &c. And to the Hebrewes of the same he sayth: But wee hope better of you, and thinges accompanying saluation. Therefore workes ac­companie saluation, they are not saluation it selfe. And godlinesse hee calleth the beste exercise: and circumcision, a seale of righteousnesse: These names doe declare the nature of all these.

Then truth in déede is but one, but as long as shée is here on earth, shee is not without a veale, without a mufler. If truth were so easie to be mette withall, then all labour of sée­king, of searching, of studying, was but in vaine. If eyther the Church it selfe, at anie time could embrace trueth in her perfect age, absolute in all respectes, then there should bee no increase of knowledge, as long as we liue here in this worlde. The which growing in knowledge, that it should be in vs all, the Apostles Peter and Paule, doo verie earnestly exhort and commande. If the millitant Church heere on earth coulde clyme vp to the highest degrée of knowledge, then in vaine were that perfection in knowledge, and not proper to the triumphant Church in heauen. But as yet the Scriptures are to be sear­ched of vs day and night, besides the light which the fathers haue left vs, They are written for our further learning and instruction. As the Church of the Israelites had many man­sions, and going forwardes, euen till it came to the boundes of the lande of Canaan to that lande of the Lordes rest, so no doubt the Churche of God shall haue as long as it is in this wildernesse, vntill it come to the verye limitres of that spiri­tuall lande of promise: I meane the kingdome of heauen, in this wildernesse though it haue some abode, some stoppes, some stayes, as yet no continuall reste, no continuall stoppe pre­fixed, no not of knowledge: In this vaile of darkenesse wee haue onely shadowes, Images, darke spéeches, parables, de­grées, gresings, as it were of knowledge of thinges. But on the toppe of a hill, whether wee shall ascende there is a per­fection of all thinges, the absolute knowledge of the thinges them selues, the verie naked face of trueth, the highest degrée, the verie crowne of vnderstanding and knowlenge her selfe. [Page 22] Why therefore do we maruaile here, the diuerse searchings of men after the diuerse degrées of knowledge and vnderstanding, the diuerse leuelinges and roauings of many, although at the marke, ye sometimes beside the marke. But as long as they shoote at one marke, that is to say Iesus Christ, as long as they tread his way of truth, as long as they séeke for Iesus Christ, and preach him, as long as they beare no weapons against him, and the saluation which he purchased with his owne bloud, they are to be borne withall, they are not to be condemned, they are not to be forbiddē, they are to be admitted as souldiers into his campe: but besides all these things how vnequally they weigh all things here, and how smally do they consider in all artes the Lordes di­uerse wayes and iudgements: Of Phisitions, in diseases of the bodie diuerse medicines are prescribed in one disease. Shall wee therefore condemne Phisicke. Also of lawyers in the selfe same cause there are diuerse allegations, diuerse proceedinges, some­times diuerse sentences: shall we therefore abrogate lawes, shall we not vse the helpes and counsailes of both these in our necessi­ties and causes. This varietie is mans frailtie: from whence commeth that olde Prouerbe. As many heads, as many deuises: as many men, so many mindes. Nay in my opinion this varie­tie is a certaine print or footesteppe of the Image of God left, and is yet remayning in the minde of man. That of the same matter, of the same cause, of the same theame, two excellent wise & well learned men shall neuer write thinke or speake the same things. But diuerse, and yet truth: sondrie, and yet excellent: Of such sentences in the same causes, of such diuerse handling of the same matter, verie excellently of diuerse men, wee haue many exam­ples. But to let this passe in this thing me thinkes the great wis­dome of our heauenly Father most clearely appeareth, who as in the faces of so many men, being such a small part, in so many countries, thorough so many ages, hath put a beautifull kinde of difference, so that of countriemen, of kinsmen, of twinnes: there is no two, one like another in euerie respect. And yet all their countenances very comely and beautifull: euen so likewise in the minde of man, he hath put a certaine comely and deuine difference that they shall thinke and speake and deuise diuersely, and yet all to the purpose, and yet cunningly, and yet wisely. Neither this thing onely clearely appeareth in all artes, and in the workemanshippe of God the Father: but also in the diuine inspiration, and wonderfull framing of the holy scriptures, by [Page 23] the holy spirite. As in the writinges of the Prophets and Euan­gelistes, there is a most beautifull harmonie: So there is also a pleasant varietie, and a wise diuersitie intermingled. The fathers also had among themselues this varietie of opinions and diuerse interpretations of places of scripture, as wee may see in their workes: yet for all this those fathers which were at discention a­mongest themselues were not by and by Heretikes and damned and iudged to hell fire.

Our Sauiour Iesus Christ called himselfe a vine, and all his branches. And the Apostle S. Paule calleth him an Olife, and vs all wilde Olifes, which should be grafted in him. Now wee see in the vine, and in the Olife, that all branches do not growe out straight, nor of one side, nor are all of like height: but some are crooked, some are straight, some are heigh, some are lowe, some are stretched foorth, some are bowed in: yet all are fast in the roote, all are fixed in the bodie, all are partakers of the sappe, and this diuersitie of the bowghes, is the beautie of the trée. So tru­ly in the vine Iesus Christ, in the true Olife, although all his branches be not plaine, although all his bowes be not straight, although all his grafts be not lowe: yet as long as they remaine in the vine, as long as they are partakers of that sappe, which commeth from the roote, and as long as the wordes of Iesus re­maine in them, and by faith they are grafted in him: yet they liue all, both crooked and straight, both stretched out, & drawen in, both high and lowe, and they flourish without doubt, neither do they wither, neither as they which hate the Gospell would gladly haue them, are they cast out into the fire. This crooked­nesse of the boughes, as it is manifest in euery mans eies and ap­parant, so they are not ashamed to confesse it with their owne mouthes, but the roote is as certaine, and the grafting in as sure, and the vnitie or ioyning with the stocke no lesse manifest. The faith of the Gospell is that thing by the which alone we are graf­ted into the truth. As the Apostle teacheth vs plainely in the 10. of the Romaines. An incredulitie or vnbeliefe is that thing, by the which the Iewes although they were olde men and fathers, and kinne to Christ Iesus according to the flesh were broken off. Hereof then is the life of the bowghes, wherefore although some of them be so farre stretched out a sunder, that they cannot bee brought together, although other some do growe a loft, and will bowe to none, being wise in their owne eyes, although other some be crooked, being made crooked of the craftie serpent, and [Page 24] being turned out of the straight way, of the lawe of the Lorde: yet as long as they haue this grafting in of fayth, as long as they drawe that liuely sappe from the roote, as long as the wordes of Iesus remaine in them, as long as they beléeue them, loue them, reade them, muse on them day and night, so long they are branches, so long the children of Abraham, so long boughes of the true Olife. Let our aduersaries take héede here which doe of­fende at the very knotte of the grafting, which deuide and part in sunder their fayth, which do not sucke onely the sappe of Iesus Christ, that is, his words, as necessary to their saluation: but al­so the Popes colde water, and the vaine doctrines of men, and the vncertaine traditions of their fathers. Let them take héede I say least they waxe rotten, least the barke of the stocke do not couer them, least they be not safe and sound: and so as rotten & corrupt branches be hewne off and quite throwne away, of the heauenly husbandman God the Father himselfe: for not to beléeue the gos­pell is a marke of the reprobate, a badge of those that shalbe dam­ned, a certaine signe of the bowghes broken off. As both the Apo­stles Peter and Paule, may teach vs. If iudgement begin of the house of God saith S. Peter,Pet. 1. Epist. 4. cap. v. 17. 2. Ep. Thes. 1. cap. vers. 8.9. what shall be the end of those which will not beléeue the Gospell of God. And S. Paul saith, the Lord Iesus shalbe reuealed from heauen, with the Angels of his power in a flame of fire, giuing vengance to those which know not God, & which do not harken to, and obey the Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ. All such are not of the Lordes familie, all such are withe­red boughes, throwne foorth to euerlasting fire. And here let our recusants take héede they be not such.

Now followeth the common complaint, but not so bitter as the former, nor so properly a complaint, as of wéeping & bewai­ling of the simple sort, and especially of women. Who going into the Churches, & séeing the bare walles, and lacking their golden Images, their costly coapes, their pleasant Orgaines, their swéet frankinsence, their gilded chalices, their goodly streamers, they lament in themselues, & fetch many déepe sighes, & bewayle this spoyling and laying waste of the Church as they thinke. The like bewayling of the people of the Iewes, and of those old men which now returning frō Babylon, had séene the glorie of the first tem­ple with their eyes is repeated vnto vs, in the 2. chap. of the Pro­phet Aggey. They missed Salomons gold, his marble, his Cedars his c [...]ruings, they accounted ye house which Zorobabel builded as nothing to it. But what did the Lord teach them by the Prophet, [Page 25] what glorie did he promise to the second building, what kinde of ornaments did he prepare for it. It followeth in the Prophet.

The same word which I couenanted with your fathers, when I brought them out of the lande of Egypt, & my spirite shall stand in the middest of you, feare you not now saith the Lord of hoasts. Yet once againe (seemeth it but a small thing vnto you?Agge. 2. ver. 5.6.7) And I will moue the heauens with the power of my holy spirite, & with the preaching of my word, & the earth, & the sea, & the dry land. And I will mooue & make quake for feare all Nations, and the desire of all Nations shall come, and he shall fill this house with glorie sayth the Lord of hostes. What do ye wish for gold? Golds & siluer are mine sayth the Lord of hoostes. If it please me I could employ these to beautifie this house, but I wil giue it greater glo­rie. The glorie of this latter house hauing nothing but bare wals, is greater then of the former, so gylted, so carued, sayth the Lorde of hoosts: and in this place I will giue peace sayth the Lorde of hoosts. This is the glory of the second temple, this is the glory of our Churches, although the walles be not painted, although their vestures be not silke, although their roode lofts be broken downe, although they want their frankinsence & Orgaines, yet the word of the Lord and his spirite shall stand stedfastly in the middest of them. The Gospell of Iesus Christ ringeth in thē, although their Orgaines cease, that swéete sauour of life to life is felt, although that earthly frankinsence be put out, that pearle of the Gospell, which our Sauiour counsailleth all wise marchantes to buy, though they solde all that they had, is present, is set foorth to, & of­fered to all men fréely. Although the pearles of this worlde, and iewels, which are but clay & myre are absent, these things alone decke and adorne our Churches, delight the soules of the faithful, aboue all harmony and musicke in the world: please the eares bet­ter then all Orgaines, are swéeter in their noses, than all fran­kinsence, & do refresh all their senses wt a heauenly kind of cheare­fulnes & liuelines. Their Images do not so liuely picture out Ie­sus Christ vnto vs as his Gospell doth. Their Images were all false, their roodes were lyes, their pictures painted out a false Christ vnto vs: for they painted him like a goodly young man, comely, beautifull & well fauoured in all respects, as fine as the Painter, or caruer could deuise: but ye Prophet Esay, who indéede painteth out Christ vnto vs truly, & his true countenance & shape of bodie, describeth him far otherwise, as we may read in his 53. chap. For he did growe before the Lord like as a branch, and as [Page 26] a roote in a drye grounde, he hath neither beautie, nor fauour when we looke vppon him, there shall be no fairenesse, wee shall haue no lust vnto him. He is despised and abhorred of men, he is such a man as hath good experience of sorrowes and infir­mities. We haue reckoned him so vile, that wee hidd our faces from him, such a one in déede was Iesus Christ: this was his true picture, and what beautie can there be of a trée that grow­eth in a drie grounde, what comelinesse in a monster of men and the outcast of the people. For so Dauid also calleth him in the Psalmes.Psal. 22. vers. 6. Esay. 40. Their Orgaines of brasse doe not so much delight the eares, as the trumpets of his preachers doeth. Their gol­den coapes as they termed them, put vpon their Priestes backes did not so much adorne the Church, as the booke of Gods word in their handes. We bring foorth this pearle of the Gospell more precious then all their Vestmentes, Chalices, Censours, Images, broken, rent, solde (the losses whereof they doe com­plaine) and we put it against all their complaintes. And they which are wise will cease to complaine or murmure any more, and will say we haue made a happie exchange. What shall I rec­ken vp here the mouing of all Nations, the desire of all Nati­ons, Iesus Christ the peace of conscience, the fulnesse of hea­uenly glorie, which all that worde of the Lorde and his spirite as in time past to the Iewes temple, euen so nowe haue brought vnto vs. This word hath rowsed vp the Nations which before was a sléepe, this voice of the Lorde hath called them vp euen from the dead sléepe of blindnesse and bondage. Now that which Dauid sayde of Israell comming out of Egypt, the same may we say of the people of Christ, comming out of the spirituall E­gypt. When Israell came out of Egypt and the house of Iacob from amongest the straunge people: Iuda was his sanctuarie and Israell his Dominion: the sea sawe that and fledde, Ior­daine was driuen backe. The mountaines skipped like Rammes, and the little hilles like young shéepe. So truely euen nowe in our dayes the Lorde béeing present in Iuda his Sanctua­rie, which confesseth his name alone: and in Israell his do­minion, which wrastleth with prayers and supplications, and not with his owne strength, and merites. The sea of all peo­ple and Nations almost haue fledde backe from our Pharao, the Pope: and Iordaine that most commodious ryuer of say­ling to Rome for pardons, and dispensations, is driuen backe. And these same great mountaines of kinges and noble men, haue [Page 27] skipped like Rammes, and reuolted from him At the presence of the Lord & his holy spirit, which is in the middest of our churches: & the little hilles of the people like yong sheepe. This desire of all nations Iesus Christ hath so inflamed the hearts of all men, hath so set them on fire, & kindle in them an vnspeakable zeale. For what other cause can be giuē of the sudden forsaking of the Popes yoke & obedience, almost now of the best in euery countrey in his so great power & crueltie: in theirs so great perils and dangers, which doe forsake him that they should hazarde and venture, not only their goods and possessions, but also their own liues. Surely it must néedes be some great matter that should thus moue themselues to venture their liues to this extremitie, and that volun­tarily and not by compulsion. Besides this mouing of all Nati­ons, the worde of God hath giuen to all men peace of conscience, which beléeue it and receiue it. That nowe they feare not to dye merily and ioyfully without any [...] or pardons, or Diriges, to be song yearely for them after their death. That nowe with their captaine Iesus Christ they dare boldly commit their soules into the hands of God their father, without any singing or ring­ing, or massing of Popish Fréers. This is the peace of the gospel: this is the peace in death: this of all other peace is the greatest.

And are not our churches adorned and decked? are not they verye glorious: are not they very famous. Are not these strange things and wonderful, which in our church the Lord worketh? Doe we account this mouing of all Nations, this knowledge of Iesus Christ: this presence of his holye spirite: this preaching of his worde: this greatest peace of all other: peace of conscience to be matters of nothing, to be matters of no weight?

Many there be that make many other complaintes, but these are the most grieuous and most common. Some do find fault at our euil liues. They doe not followe saye they the worde of God which they professe, and they commend to the skyes the holinesse and good workes of our forefathers. Some other doe accuse the basenes of our birthes, the obscuritie of our stocke. They are vp­startes, strangers, of base parentage, youthes not of the auncient Nobilitie. Some other do feare and blase abroad the sturres and stormes of our times, the inuasions of our enimies. See, say they [...] what dangers they haue brought vs in: howe many and howe mightie enimies they haue plucked on our backs. Some mislike with our often marriages, and that maketh so many beggets, say they: Some other do condemne especially the marriages of Mi­nisters, [Page 29] and they cannot abyde that they shoulde purchase anye lande for their children. Others which woulde seeme more de­uout stande onely on this point. They condemne all our fore­fathers, saye they, and therefore they will neuer be on our opi­nion. So that there is almost no man but he hath something to complaine of, some thing grieueth him. To which all, he that woulde fully satisfie, should neuer make an ende. Yet, lost by our scilence they shoulde seeme to haue gotten the victorie. I wil saye some thing to euery one of these. And first of all, these which talke so much of their forefathers, doe little consider with Dauid the dayes of their forefathers in déede.Psal. 75. ver. 3. These did not goe into the Tabernacle of God: they doe not receiue the con­gregation with Dauid: for then they woulde iudge rightly: they pronounce like blinde men of colours without light of vertue.

But that I maye aunswere briefelye to this great Chaos, and heape of quarrels, this is my opinion. First, concerning oure liues, that they so greatly fynde fault withall, and our workes. Wée haue one worke almost dayly amongest vs in manye pla­ces, which doeth surmount and surpasse all their workes of the whole yeare, naye of their whole liues. The which only worke God the Father commaundeth from heauen (that is to saye) the hearing of the worde of Iesus Christ.Mat. 17. ver. 5. This is my beloued sonne (sayeth God the Father) heare him.

God the Father was neuer heard to speake to any man be­fore in this worlde, so properly in his owne person: as in Mat­thew 3.17. and in the 17. Chapter, and fifth verse, teaching this doctrine. Therefore his voyce is worthie to be marked diligent­ly. And he commaundeth nothing but this: Heare him. And our Sauiour Christ hath pronounced of his ministers to the end of the worlde: lest our Recusants shoulde saye, they refuse not to heare Iesus Christ:) Hée that heareth you, heareth mée: Hée that heareth mée, heareth him that sent mée. And I am with you to the end of the worlde. This worke wée haue: This one­ly wée doe: This is our glorie.

But they had one sinne in those dayes, which surpesseth all the sinnes of the whole worlde, which like that leuen of the Pha­risies, corrupted all their workes, so manye in number, so cost­ly, so stricte, and so seuere: and that was, Incredulitie. They belieued not the Gospell of Iesus Christ. They durst not ground their faith, and venture their liues vpon it.

The Holie Ghoste, when hee shall come into the worlde, (sayeth [...] Sauiour Christe) shall rebuke the worlde of sinne.Iohn. 16. ver. 9. But of what sinne? of that greate sinne of all other because they beléeued not in mee (sayeth oure Sauiour.) Because they haue not beléeued in the onely begotten sonne of God.

Because they haue not beléeued his Ghospell, his ioyfull ty­dings of saluation. This sinne was common to them, with the Pharisies: and therefore all their workes were vnsauourie. Naye, they were sinnes before the Lorde: For without faith, it is vnpossible to please God. And what so euer is not of faith is sinne.

And as conseruing the small fruite of hearing the worde of God, which they finde faulte withall, because it is not fruite­full in all, or in the moste parte. Let them remember, our Sauiour Christe himselfe hath tolde them: that not all his seede but the fourth parte onely, shoulde bring foorth good fruite.

Let them remember, the Apostle Saint Paule, rebuking them which so curiousely prye into other mennes lyues, and for the moste parte neglect their owne.Rom. 14. ver. [...]. 1. Cor. 4. ver. 3. Who art thou that doest iudge another mannes seruauntes? Euery man standes or falles to his master. The prayses or disprayses of men, hée himselfe no­thing regardes. Hée runneth his race by good reportes, and euill reportes, as hée teacheth the Corinthians. And so sure­ly, must all his companions, and fellowe seruauntes. That seruaunt is happye whome the master commendeth.

Sathan is readye to pinche the héele of the womans séede, of the seruaunts of God; as of [...] Iob. The sinnes of all the other Idolatrers in that countrey, hée not so much as touched them: hée hidde them, hée couered them: hée accused the electe of God. His owne children hée rockes in the cradell of secu­ritie. It is to be feared, lest bée so concealed heretofore their woorkes of darkenesse. And they which nowe finde faulte at strawes, and m [...]ates, in our eyes, at that great daye of ac­count, let them take héede, lest there be great Beames founde in their owne eyes, and in those, whome they so highly com­mende.

Then besydes this, almost all their woorkes which they so greatly bragge of, and commende to the ignorant: they were of the will of man, not of the Lawe of God: They were de­uised of them selues, not commanded of their master.

They were voluntarily done, not inioyned them in Gods word, they were supplyes of Christes [...]rites, as though he had not payde our raunsome sufficiently:) Not testimonies of his grace, signes of our duetie, and argumentes of our thankefulnes. And what worshipping of God is this I praye you? what obedi­ence of his seruants? what reward of his grace and mercie can be looked for at his hands, for such workes? All their workes were done for the saluation of their soules. This they haue put downe in their Authentical instruments, and writings, to all posterities: not for the loue of Iesus, which marke he set downe to vs for all our workes. If any loue me, saith he (his perfect Sauiour and re­déemer) let him keepe my commandements. He doth not saye: if any one will be saued, let him kéepe my commaundements. Be­sides this, their workes were not done for the glory of God, the which he maketh the chiefe and of them all: as in the seuenth of Matthew: Let your light so shine before men, that they may sée your good workes, and glorifie your father which is in heauen.

These two ends we finde principally set downe in the Gospell to all our works, and none other, not for the saluation of our soules. Wherefore,Cha [...]o [...]. when as in the Hebrue tongue, to sinne, is nothing else but to misse the marke. Surely, all their workes, though they were verie glorious and costly, and praise worthie in the eyes of man,Markes. yet indeede, they were but sinnes, because they mis­sed these two markes: because they were not done to the glory of God, and for the loue of Iesus Christe. Our Sauiour in the Gospell sayeth: He that heareth my wordes and doeth them, is like vnto a wise man that buylt his house vpon a Rocke, and the [...] r [...]se, and the windes blewe, and they could not moue it, because it was buylded vpon a Rocke. Surely, they builded all their workes, all their Nonries, all their Abbeyes like foolish men, vpon the sandes of the Sea, according to the doctrine and deuices of men: not vppon the Rocke of Iesus Christ, and vpon his worde. Therefore they could not stande for euer, nor endure the forces and stormes of windes and floodes. The Abbeyes had no commaundement in the Gospell: no plat forme amonge the Saintes of God. Moses neuer sawe them in the Mount. They were the buildings of mannes braine. They were mannes deuises. Wherefore they were not founded vpon that sure foun­dation Iesus Christ.

As conserning the basenesse of our Parentages, and newnesse of our Nobilitie, which they obiect: this hath beene an auncient [Page 31] complaint of wicked and desperate men, against the elect ser­uants of God and followers of vertue, alwayes both in the church and in the common wealth. So Catiline amongest the Ro­manes bragged that he and his adherents were Senatours and auncient Citizens, but Cicers was an vpstart gentleman: one that come but yesterdaye: a newe founde Citizen. So the So­domites taunted Lot drawing them to vertue: Will this stran­ger be a Iudge amongest vs? So Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, the eldest sonnes of Ruben and Leuie, the chiefe of the Ciuill and Ecclesiasticall companye, rose vp against Aaron and Moses. These men in byrth in deede, were the chiefe amongest all the Israelites. So Ismaell mocked Isaack, and Caine the elder brother, disdained Abell and slewe him. So the Athenians saide to Saint Paul, when he preached Iesus Christe. What newe doctrine is this? To morrowe wee will heare thee againe of this matter. But worship, honour, authoritie, nobilitie, as Dauid telleth vs, commeth neither from the East, nor from the West, nor yet from the South. (Neither the Northerne men, nor Southerne men, can make a king, though they bee stoute, valiant and expert Souldiours) But from the Lorde. And he is tyed to no mannes kinred, to no mannes stocke. Hee exalteth and bringeth downe whome please him, and whensoe­uer it shall please him.

The hundred and thirteenth Psalme, doeth giue vnto vs two notable argumentes and causes to praise the Lorde, in all landes, from the Sunne rising till the Sunne setting. Praise the Lorde yee seruaunts: O praise the name of the Lorde. Blessed he the name of the Lorde from this time foorth for euermore. And that not onely amongest vs: but the Lordes name is praised from the rysing vp of the Sunne, vnto the going downe of the same.

And what is the cause of this so great and vniuersall and euer­lasting praise? because the Lorde humbleth himselfe, to beholde the things that are in heauen and in earth. He taketh the sim­ple out of the dust, and lifteth the poore out of the myre. That he may set him with the Princes, euen with the Princes of the people. He maketh the barren woman to keepe house and to be a ioyfull mother of children.

These two things are as it were spurres, and prouokements, to pricke men forwarde to praise the Lorde in all ages, amongst all Nations. Here is the well head of true Nobilitie, euen the Lorde God himselfe.

Euen those same auncient noble men, which bragge so much of the antiquitie of their Petigrees, they were once in the dust, and perchaunce in the myre. Let them remember their firste estate, and from whence they came. Let them acknowledge their creatour and lifter vp, and not despise others, their equals, whome the same God hath exalted also. For there is no po­wer, no worshippe, nor Nobilitie but of the Lorde. And they which doe resist these powers, resist the ordinance of God. And they which raile vppon, and blaspheme, and scoffe at those which be in authoritie, are Heretikes, are children of Sathan, as Saint Iude doeth tell vs.

The Lorde God of Hoastes, and King of Kinges, and Lorde of Lordes, hath euer dealt thus from the beginning. He hath euer exalted from moste base and simple estate.Cirus. He exalted Sy­rus the great Monarche of the Persians, from a sheepeheardes cottage. And Romulus the firste founder of Rome, was glad to haue a Woolfe (or woman strumpet) as some thinke, for his Nursse. He drews Moses the great Captaine of the Israe­lites out of the Water. Hee chose Saule the firste King of the Israelites, a Beniamite, and one of the least Trybes, from see­king his fathers Asses. He made Alexander the great, being the sonne of King Phillip, who was but the thirde sonne of A­mintas, and a pledge amongest the Thebanes: of a verye boye, almost in twelue yeares space, the swiftest, and moste famous conquerour that euer was in the worlde. Euen so also be ex­alted that wicked Mahomet, the Popes king fellowe (as I maye terme him:) For their kingdomes begunne both in one yeare, of a Merchauntes factoure, to bee a greate and mightie Empe­rour.

The Sophye also of the Persians, had for his Father, a lear­ned man, not a Noble man, as his name also doeth signifie.

And all these, amongest all Nations, in all ages, til our times; haue béene the greatest Princes and famous Monarches that euer were in the worlde. Wherefore, whosoeuer doeth carye at, or finde fault withall the base parentage of anye, that be in authoritie: they doe playnly mislike, accuse and condemne, the verie hande of God himselfe. For it is not our Kings, but that King of Kinges, which maketh Noble man, Iudges and Potentates: though some time the Lorde vse these as his in­strumentes in [...] them.

But they obiect the stormes and sturres of oure dayes: the rage of the Anabaptistes: the discention in Fraunce, the warres in Flaunders, our inuasions, prepared, concluded, and vowed, and this laste yeare attempted. They dare be bolde to saye, that all these plagues were layde vppon vs, for the reformati­on of Religion. But here also (which is the chiefest point of Wisedome, they neither looke behinde them, they are car­ryed like bruite beastes headlong, to that which is before their feete. They doe not weye the olde wayes of the Lorde, which grounde much of antiquitie: Measuring their antiquitie, not of the written trueth of God, but of the vayne tryalles and re­portes of men. But such antiquitie is counterfait, is deceiua­ble, is like to that of the men of Gibea: Not true, sincere, and Christian.

They doe not remember Moses, that deliuered the people out of the handes of Pharaoh, but not without great perils and daungers: Pharaoh at his verie heeles, pursuing him with a great armie: The red Sea before his eyes, almoste no waye, lefte of deliuerance, of escaping: and yet hee the Lordes ser­uaunt. This true libertie, his cause good. They doe not re­member, Ezechias purging the Temple: refourming Religi­on: vanishing superstition: yet for all this, inuaded of Sena­cherib: His Cities manye of them sacked: Ierusalem besie­ged: yet Ezechias a good King: his reformation iust: his religi­on pure, and vndefyled before God.

They doe not remember Iehosaphat, which sent his Prin­ces with the Priestes, hauing the booke of the Lawe of God with them, through all his Cities, to teache and instruct them. (A notable parte of a King,2. Chro. 20. thus to countenance the Preachers of the worde of God:) and yet afterwarde, besieged, and in great perill of the Amonytes, and Moabytes, and manie other, which were confederates against him.

Neither did all these inuade his kingdome onelye, but they gote his Hauen townes, and gote his lande, and pitched their campes at Engaddi, a Citie on the Sea coasts, before his know­ledge: And yet Iosophat was a good King: a godly King, and one that feared God.

What shall I here remember Iosias, who had the same de­sire and earnest endeuour of banishing idolatrie, or reforming re­ligion, [Page 34] and of setting foorth of the lawd of God. Who was also in the same case, in the same peril of warre: Nay who lost his life in the warre: and yet all these Kings were most famous amongest the kings of Israel: most religious, best liked of of God himselfe. And yet they all tasted these tumults, these stormes, these strange chaunces and euents in their adyes. Shal we therefore saye their religion was nought: their reformation against the lawe of God, (God forbid:) nay these tumults and troubles, and hard happes (as they terme them) are the continuall companions of true reli­gion, and of true reformation. And as we haue borne the burthen of these stormes: so we haue tasted the pleasant cup of saluation & deliuerance: A cup of saluation and deliuerance I saye, hath our most gratious God both more full and more easie, and more plea­sant offered vnto vs then vnto them. That he might no doubte, sturre vp our thankfulnes, and kindle our obedience toward him: For, who is there I pray you in all the worlde, that will not bee bound with benefits and moued with good turnes, and euen as it were chayned with curtesies? Surely he is sauage and fearce, and euen flintie hearted whome these will not moue. The Lorde did not suffer the enimies to come into our hauens, but being now in great possibilitie to haue taken them, he describe them. He suffe­red them not to pursue vs at the verie héeles, as he did his owne Israelites, but not so much as to come into our fight, not to besige vs, as he did good Ezechias? but he pinched them in their owne shippes, with colde, famine, lacke of water, euen as though they them selues had beene besieged. This was the great goodnes of God to vs warde. This was our deliuerance, more mercifull, more myraculous, then was that of Ezechias: then was that of Moses: then was that of Iehosaphat. And that which was of all other most wonderfull, without the losse and destruction al­most of anye of our men: And not without the losse and captiui­tie of many: yea, almost of the best of our enimies. So the Lorde hath made wonderfull his goodnes towardes vs, aboue the an­cient dayes of those holye Saintes and seruaunts of God. And yet manye here will not acknowledge the Lordes power, that the Lorde fighteth for vs: that the Lorde hath put to fight these our enimies. And although perchaunce with their mouthes they doe confesse it: yet with Pharaoh, they will not leaue off from their set purpose, of persecuting the people of God, and of pursuing, with all their maine and might, the true Israell. So great is the hardnes, blindnes, and obstinacie of their hearts.

But to let these olde examples passe, they which complaine at the strange raines, great flouds and wonderfull ouerflowings of waters & drownings of their pastures, of this last yeare. They doe not remember the shippe of Christ, wherein he himselfe was, how it was tossed in the seas, how it was beaten with waues, how it was hoised with ye whirle­winde, and almost drowned. Insomuch that the Apostles cried out, Oh maister doest thou not care for vs, we perish. And yet in the middest of all these stormes, this was the ship of Christ, this was his Church, here was he himselfe and his beloued, here his Apostles and Disciples were present: Therefore let not vs now in the Church of Christ, in his ship, where he is present onely by his grace, and not in person, as hee was there. Meruaile at the like flouds, the like storms, the like tempests, the like drownings, not of our grounds, but euen of our selues. But rather with these stormes let vs be stirred vp, with his Apostles to call vppon him. These waues try our faith. Let vs not distrust as they did, & thinke that the Lord doth not care for vs, that he doth not regarde vs, that he doth not know our néedes, yea our very s [...]ed furrowes, & our haruests: yea truely, the Lord careth for vs, and doth know that these things are necessarie for vs, & at his good pleasure will giue them vs. But he sends these straunge & stormy & vnseasonable times amongst vs, to shake off our drowsines, and our sléepinesse.

They which will not be awaked with calling & with words, we are wont to raise vp with pinchings: with prickings, and with blowes. So the Lord dealeth with vs. We which are deafe at the preaching of his worde, we which regard not that, we which wil not be awaked from the slumber of our sins, by the voice of his preachers, he beates vs with these his sharp whips of war & plague: he pincheth vs with hunger and famine: he euen thundreth frō heauen vnto vs, with these strange tem­pests & weather, that we should awake, that we should flie vnto him by prayer, that we should turn vnto him by repentance, that wee should learne to trust in him in all our perils. This is the end, this is the mark, this is the good we shal learne by all these storms, as truely as we féele them, so I would to God we would rise spéedely from our former secu­ritie & sluggishnesse, to prayers, repentance, & trust in him. Then as in times past, euen so now also: the Lord Iesus wil command these winds and tempests, that they should be still, and they would forthwith obey his word, and we should haue a great calme, and his Church should en­ioy the blessing of peace.

As concerning marriage which many complaine is too common in these dayes, we lay of no man necessarily the law, or rather the share of virginitie, or the yoke of marriage: they which cannot liue chast may marry: be they rich, be they poore, be they old, be they young, be they [Page 36] seruants, be they maisters, it is better to marry in this world, then to burne in hell fire for euer. The Lord hath ordained marriage a remedie for all men, which can not liue chaste, as well to seruants as maisters, to poore as rich. But the enimies of the Gospel, the Papists, haue or­dained the stewes as a remedie for poore men, for seruants. They may not marry, for feare of filling the world full of beggers & ouercharging them selues in relieuing of them. And so while they respect their owne gaine, and this worldly reason, they send them headlong to the diuel. For the harlots house is the gate of hell, as Salomon saith, and the stewes are the diuels schoolehouse: it is better with Tobias being married to leade a poore life in this worlde, then with Holofernes ha­uing his Concubines to ruffle and flow here in all kinde of pleasures and superfluities, and after to liue in hell for euer. And euen as vniust­ly they doe condemne and complaine of the marriage of ministers, when as the Apostle hath plainely pronounced, marriage is honou­rable amongst all men, and the bed vndefiled. He that names all, ex­cepts none, he that saith it is honourable, saith it is not damnable, fil­thie, detestable, as they are not afraide to auouch. And as in the law, it was lawfull for all to marrie, euen for priestes, euen so no doubt, in the Gospel, this word all, comprehendes them now also, there is no restraint limited to them. he that can comprehend it, let him compre­hend it, saith our Sauiour Christ in the Gospel to his Apostles, hee doth not say, my will is that you should vowe it. The Gospel doth barre no man from that swéete comfort and necessarie helpe of mar­riage no more then the law. Let euery man haue his wife, saith the Apostle, for the auoiding of fornication, euen to those ministers of the Church of Corinth, which wrote to him of the same matter, he doth not exclude those which moued this question vnto him, hee praysing virginitie dare not lay the same as a snare of any, by commanding it, but by commending it as a principall vertue hée perswades it to all men. And is not there vowe a plaine snare? into the which a man may willingly goe in, but he can not willingly get out againe. There­fore the Apostle wisheth all men to be like vnto him selfe, that is vn­married, but he commandeth it to no man, not to ministers and pa­stors of the Church. And if this be true which the Apostle saith, those whom God hath coupled together, who dare seperate a sunder. Then this is as true, that which God hath permitted and made frée to all men, who dare restraine or forbid. The Apostle Paule durst not doe it: and doe we thinke the Bishoppe of Rome may doe it? no truely. They which thinke he may doe it, sée how greatly they are deceiued. And with this restrainte of vowing, sée into what a horrible pitte of sinne and wickednesse hée hath cast headlong all his Clergie. Erasmus [Page 37] reporteth, who was a great traueller, that there was one Bishoppe in Germanie, that found in his visitation,Erasmus in responsione ad Natalem [...]edam. that there was eleuen thousand priests that kept whores and Concubines. This Erasmus auoucheth for a truth. So that wicked Sonne of perdition the Pope, by these his hard lawes, against the law of God, doth establish the kingdom of Sathan, and doth draw men vnto perdition. Was it not better to marry? was not a wife more holy then a woman? as they terme her: is not Gods li­bertie better then the Popes vow? Besides all this, the priestes and mi­nisters of the Gréeke Church, euer haue had wiues. And Saint Ierom reporteth, that the priestes in France had wiues in his dayes. Therefore this popish vow and interdiction of marriage was neuer vniuersally re­ceiued.

As concerning the purchasing and buying of lands of ministers for their children, what an vnnaturall and an vnreasonable complaint is this?1. Tim. 6. ver. 8. who will forbid a father to prouide for his wife and children. He that will not doe this, is worse then an infidel, as the Apostle saith. And here I doe not allow, the nice bringing vp of many ministers children, who woulde haue all their children gentlemen, nor their immoderate purchasinges, but Christian prouision: Such as is sufficient for euery mans vocation and calling, that they may haue whereof to liue honestly and christianly after the departure of their fathers. Should not they which professe reli­gion practise themselues in this chiefe point of religion? He that can not gouerne his houshold, nor care for his familie, how would hée gouerne or care for the Church of God. Especially this prouision is necessarily, in this wicked and hard world, where the charitie of many is waxed colde. And that prophesie of our Sauiour is plainely fulfilled, you shall be hated of all men for my names sake: now the ministers of the Gospel are hated of all men: and shall they not prouide for their children? I am ashamed (saith Saint Ierom) that the Idolatrous priestes, that strumpets and harlots, should succeede in the inheritance of their fathers. But to onely Priestes and Clarkes, this is not lawfull. And that amongst Christian Empe­rors. Why is not that lawful to vs, which is lawful to all men, yea to the very meanest sort of men. If all other men may purchase land, why may not Ministers purchase. In déede amongst the Iewes, this purcha­sing for Priestes was not lawfull, because their children succéeded their fa­thers in the Priesthood: but now that succession is taken away. The Leuites children were sure of liuing, were they learned, were they vnlearned, were they vnlearned, when their Fathers were deade: but so are not our Ministers children. God hath dealt better with vs, then with the Iewes, wee are not tyed to any one mans suc­cession or stocke, for our priests and Ministers, as the Iewes were. We may choose the best and learnedst where soeuer we finde them, whose [Page 38] sonnes soeuer they be. And shall our ministers children be worse prouided for, then were the children of those Iewish priestes? Séeing then their suc­cession is taken away, which was a sure stay of liuing for them, I do not sée but that our purchases are lawful. God gaue euery one a lot in that land of Chanaan, and I doe not sée, why our ministers children should be without their lot also in our Chanaan.

But they say we condemne our forefathers, if our religion be true, then all our fathers be damned say they. No, we condemne not our fathers, but we condemne all vnbelieuers, which now wil not belieue the word of God. Our forefathers, if they liued now in this great light, they would surely haue condemned the great blindnesse of many of their children, they would haue condemned their obstinacies, in the refusing this great good­nesse of the Lord so mercifully offered them, they would haue condemned the hardnesse of their harts, in not being moued to turne to the Lord from their former superstition and ignorance, in such great knowledge, in such great light, in so many of the Lords wonders shewed amongst vs. As our Sauior Christ taught the Iewes, they should haue had no sinne, if he had not spoken vnto them: so we teach of our forefathers, that their sins was not so grieuous, because they hard not the word of the Lord. But now our sinne is in the highest degrée of comparison, if wee obey it not being so plainely taught vs,1. Tim. 1. cap. ver. 13. that which S. Paule confesseth of himselfe. I being a persecutor, a blasphemer of the name of Iesus, yea the chiefe of all sinners, yet haue obtained mercie, because I did it ignorantly: so we iudge of our forefathers, that without all doubt they haue obtained mercy. And that which Azaria the Lords Prophet,2. Chron. cap. 15. v 34 Mark. 12. ver. 19.20. being sent to Aza, taught him and all Israel, in the like case of their forefathers departed. This same we doe teach and affirme of our forefathers. Israel hath béene a great while (saith he) without the true God, without any priest preaching vnto him, without the law: Surely in the like case was our forefathers, in the same state was the Church of God in those dayes: they knew not God, there was no priest to preach vnto them the word of God. But what then? were they all damned that dyed in those dayes? no, God forbid (saith the Pro­phet:) but whosoeuer in their affliction turned vnto the Lord God, and sought him, was found of him: so truely our forefathers, although in their life they trusted in their workes, and called vpon Saintes, yet when they came to dye once they forgat all these, and were wont to call vpon the Lord, and to séeke after him alone, and to haue him in their mouthes. And we doe not doubt (but according to his promise) they found him: but wée iudge, and plainely affirme, the case and cause of those blinde guides, of those couetous priestes which solde their merits, and their masses to bee farre harder in the day of iudgement. And that they for their wilful blind­nesse and great couetousnesse shall hardly find mercie.

No in truth, if they marke well they shall finde that our religion, doth not condemne our forefathers, but that if euer any of them were saued, we shew how they were saued,Mar. 12. ver. 19.20. for we preach Iesus Christ such a one as he is in déed, a most merciful Sauiour, who will not quench smoaking flaxe, nor breake a bruised réede, haue he faith as a graine of mustard séede, haue he a sparkle of Gods holy spirit, though he be not a stone with Peter, but a réede with Thomas, though he be not all a fire with Paule, but euen smoking with Nicodemus. Our Iesus wil not refuse him, he wil not put him away, he will not breake him: she which toucheth the hem of his gar­ment was healed. This is the saluation of our fathers, thus they were sa­ued, this we belieue, this we teach, this is the Gospel, this is the glad ti­dings of our saluation. But the Popes confessors, bringing in againe the law of Moyses, as in their Iewish robes of Myters and Copes, and Tu­nicles: so also in their doctrine haue taught another lesson. Do this, & thou shalt liue say they, giue thy lands to a chauntrie priest, to a morrow masse, build a Chappel, and so forth. Ouerthrowing the word of faith altogether, which the Apostles preached. And that continuall practise of our Sauiour, to all that euer he cured or saued: who saide not at any time, doe this and thou shalt be saued, but thy faith hath made thée whole, verie like that same naughtie seruant in the Gospel, who hauing but one talent, hid the same: euen so did they that same smal knowledge they had of Iesus Christ. Yea, more then this, belying him, saying he was a hard man, a cruel re­quirer, and exacter of his debts, euen to the vttermost farthing, either in hell, or in their purgatorie: that he was a seuere, not a mercifull Sauior, that he was not affable or easie to be spoken to: that he had his Porters, his intercessors or mediators vnto him: so that poore sinners could haue no accesse vnto him: such a Christ, such a Sauior they made of our Sauior Iesus, when as the Gospel plainly teacheth ye king of Sion our Messias to be most gentle, most méeke, most merciful, most affable, most courteous, most lowly: which wil not striue with sinners, which will not enter into iudgement with them, which wil put none from him: yea which with his owne mouth calleth them which are slow and heauie loden vnto him. Who is so farre off, that he wil not heare our prayers, that to this end and purpose, he is saide to haue ascended into heauen, and there euen now to stand readie to receiue all that shall be offered vnto him, and putting vnto them that swéete incense of his death and passion to present them vnto his father. Such a one is our king, such a one is our Sauior, such a one is our Mediator: but they haue lyingly and falsly taught him vnto the people, they haue limited and set boundes to his infinit mercy, that they might sell their masses, their pardons, and their reliques dearer: that men might trust in them, that they might get and prouide them.

But marke I beséech you, how greatly the world was blinded. The [Page 40] good workes of others which was commanded of God in his law, can profit none but them selues. And doe we thinke that their workes then, which were not commanded of God for the most part, can profit any? When as the Apostle Paule saith plainely, we must all appeare before the iudgement seat of Christ:2. Cor. 5. ver. 10. and euery one, whether he bee monke or masse Priest, or Pope himselfe, or people, shall receiue according to those thinges which he hath done in his owne bodie, and not according to those thinges which other hath done for him, or according to those things which he hath left by his will to be done for him after his death. While life re­maines according to our Sauiours doctrine, there is a day allotted to e­uery man, in the which he may labour, in the which he may worke, and bring forth the signes of faith, merits of mercie, and fruites pleasant to the Lorde. But when death commeth, then it is night, in the which no man can worke any more. Wherefore all their workes done after death, done for them, bought so dearely, prouided for so carefully, done so deuoutly, in truth were nothing worth, were vnprofitable vnto them, did them no good, and were of no force with the Lorde. What profiteth any man that is deade without faith, without repentance, now being in torments, masses, himnes, songes, meat to be deuided yearely in remem­brance of him, or some dayly for his sake. After death there is no place of prayers, no place of repentance, no place of translation or alteration, no place of teares and good workes to any man, as the Story of the rich glutton and Lazarus, doth plainely teach vs: wherefore we must worke our selues, in our owne bodies, the workes that must doe vs good at the day of iudgement. When the trée is once hewed downe, where it falles, there it lyeth, whether it be towards the North, or towards the South, that is, whether it be in the pleasures of heauen, or in the colde stormes of hell,Eccle. 11. ver. 3. as the wise man teacheth vs. After it be cut downe, it can flourish no more, neither can it beare fruit any more. No more, no doubt can we: this trée is a parable of vs. Then besides this, these Huxters, these selles of merits and workes, and Masses, they doe not onely beguile others, but they beguile themselues. For though perchance you will say they are Virgins, and liue straitly, and punish themselues more then other men doe.Math. 25. Yet they are but foolish Virgins as the Gospell doth plainely teach vs. The wise Virgins durst not deminish or lend any of the oyle, of their good workes, no not one droppe. And what fooles are these then, that dare bee so bolde to doe it? They durst not giue any of their oyle, which was a worke of mercy, com­mended and commaunded of God him selfe in his lawe. And these dare sell theirs. They feared least they shoulde want themselues, but these thinke that they haue ouerplus, and to spare for others, and doe make the dearest and gainefull occupation of selling their [Page 41] workes. No occupation euer got or purchased so much lande as they did, by this their trade of selling their Masses and merites. All the Saintes of God crye and sigh with Dauid, euen from their hartes. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruantes O Lorde, for in thy sight shall no man liuing bee iustified. And in another place, If thou Lorde wilt bee extreeme to marke what is done amisse, O Lord who may abide it. And with Iob wee are not able to answere one for a thousand. And hauing learned that good lesson of their mai­ster Iesus Christ, in the Gospell, all his seruantes whether they bee Virgins or married folkes, or Martyres, say, when they haue done all what they can, wee are vnprofitable seruants, wee haue done but our dueties. Wherefore this hope, in trusting to other mens workes is death: this staffe of leaning to other mens merits, is the staffe of Egypt, it woundeth his hande that trusteth vnto it. The other staffe of Iacob, with the which alone hee passed ouer that Iordaine of this life, that is Iesus Christ, and to trust to his merits, to his workes, to his death and passion is a sure staffe,Psal. 3.5. Psal. 3.8. ver. 15. Psal. 3.9. ver. 8. Psal. 18. ver. 29. is the staffe of all the Saintes of God. With this staffe Dauid leaped ouer the wall. Pleade thou my cause O Lorde, saith hee, with them that fight against mee, and thou shalt answere for mee, O Lorde my God. And in another Psalme, And now truely, what is my hope, truely my hope is euen in thée, and with the helpe of the Lorde my GOD, I shall leape ouer the wall.

This staffe our Fathers catching euen at the pitte brinke of death. Wee doe not doubt but they were saued: by this they went ouer Ior­daine with Iacob safely, by this they leaped ouer the wall of their sinnes, and former superstition (which did separate them from God) with Da­uid, by this with the théefe of the crosse, they passed from death to life. All their former sinnes were couered, and they were euen that day with Iesus Christ in Paradise. Thus wee hope of our Fathers, and this was their saluation. Wherefore let vs imbrace the Gospell, and be thankefull to God for the same. Our Fathers, nay many Kings and Princes, nay the auncient Fathers haue not séene the thinges that wee haue séene, this great light shined not in their dayes. Let vs expresse in our liues and conuersations. Let vs doe all the thinges it commandeth. In times past how many thinges woulde they obserue for mens pleasures, now let vs bee obedient for the Lordes sake. Let vs forsake that Romish Babylon, with her Antichrist, and all his trumperie. They haue not one title, nor iot for testimony of thy truth, in the word of God. But as you see, all their doctrine is flatly condemned in the same. Let vs venture our liues for Iesus Christ & his Gospel, not for the pope and his [Page 42] Church, as his Iesuites doe. We haue no such commandement in the word of God. Let not the wickednesse of the worlde, or of some carnall gospellers, which say, and do not, any whit dismaie vs, or make vs stumble. There hath béene such and shalbe such alwaies. The séede is good, but the ground is naught. Let vs be of the small flocke of Iesus Christ, which heare his word and kéepe it. Let vs in all thinges which chaunce vnto vs, either in the weather, or in our wealth and goods, or in our bodies, blesse and praise the Lord with blessed Iob. Let vs possesse our soules with pa­tience. Let vs arme our soules to temptation, for the Lorde will trye all that be his. Wilt thou be a Paule, thou shalt haue an Angel of Sathan to buffet thée. Wilt thou be a Dauid, thou shalt haue Saule to persecute thée. Wilt thou be Peter, thou shalt haue Sathan to sift thée.

And to be short, as many as will liue godly in Christ Iesus, shall suffer persecution. Let vs now waite for the comming of the bridegroome. The Cockes haue crowne a great while, the day dawneth, great know­ledge and light is in the world: surely the Sunne is not farre off, I meane Iesus Christ,Luke. 12. ver. 35. he is euen now in a rising. Let our loines be girded vp, not flaunting with our vaine garments, and our torches of faith and good workes in our handes: and let vs be as seruants euery day and houre, waiting when our maister will come from the marriage: who hath pro­mised he will come quickly. And surely he will kéepe his promise. And the spirit,Apoc. 22. ver. 17. and the Bride saide: Come Lord Iesus. And let him that hea­reth say Come, and let him that is a thirst come. And let whosoeuer will, take of the water of life fréely: Euen so come Lorde Iesus as thou hast promised, and make vs all readie against thy coming, and make vs thirst, and long for the water of life, which is thy holy worde, that we bée not fruitlesse and deade at thy coming. To thée, the Father, and the holy Ghost, be all praise, power, and saluation, for euermore. Amen.


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.