A compendi­ous introduccion / prologe or preface vn to the pïstle off Paul to the Ro­mayns.

By William Tindall.

To the Romayns.

FOr as moche as this pistle ys the principal and most excellent part off the newe testa­ment / and most pure evangelion / that is to saye gladde tydinges and that we call gospel / and al­so a lyghte and a waye in vn to the whole scripture / I thinke it mete / that every christen man not only knowe it by roote ād with oute the boke / but also exercice hym sylfe therein evermore cōtinu­ally / as with the dayly bredde of the soule. No­man verely can reede it to ofte or studie it to well for the moar it ys studied the easier it is / the mo­are it is cheued the pleasander it is / and the mo­are grundely it is sherched the precioser thynges ar found in it / so greate treasure of spiritual thīges lyeth hyd therein.

I will theirfore bestowe my laboure and dili­gence / thorowe this lytyll preface or prologe / to prepare a waye ī their vn to / so ferforth as God shall geve me grace / that it maye be the better vnderstonde of every man / for it hath bene het­herto evyll darkened with glooses and wonder­full dreames off sophisters / that noman cowde spye oute the entente and meaning off it / which neverthelesse of it sylfe / is a bryghte lyghte / and sufficient to geve lyghte vn to all the scripture.

Fyrst we must marke diligently the maner off speakynge of the Apostel / and above all thynge knowe what Paul meaneth by thes wordes / the Lawe / Synne / Grace / Fayth / Ryghtewesnes Fleshe / Sprite / and soche lyke / or else rede thou it never so ofte / thou shalt but loose thy laboure. This word Lawe maye not be vnderstonde he­re after the commune maner / and to vse Pauls terme / after the maner of men or after mās wa­yes / that thou woldest saye the lawe here in this [Page] place were nothinge butt lernynge which teach­eth what oughte to be done ād what oughte not to be done / as it goeth with mans lawe / where the lawe is fulfylled with outewarde workes only / though the hert be never so ferre off. But god iudgeth after the grounde of the herte / ye ād the thoughtes and the secret movīges of the mynde / therefore hys lawe requireth the grounde off the hert and love from the botome there of / ād is not content with the outeward werke only / but rebuketh thos workes most off all which springe not of love from the ground and lowe botome of the herte / though they appere outwarde never so honest and good / as Christ in the gospell rebuketh the Phareses above all wodyr thatt were open synners / and calleth them Yprocites / that is to saye Simulars / and paynted Sepulchres / wh­ich Phareses yet lyved no men so pure / as perte­ynyng to the outewarde dedes ād workes off the lawe / ye and Paul in the thrid chapter of his Pi­stell vn to the Philippians confesseth of hym syl­fe / thatt as twytchynge the lawe he was soche a wone as noman cowde complayne on / and nott withstondynge was yet a murderar of the Christen / persecuted them / and tormented them / so soore / that he compelled them to blaspheme Ch­riste / and was all to gedyr mercylesse / as many which nowe fayne outward good werkes are.

For this cause the cxv. psalme calleth all mē ly­ars / because that noman kepeth the lawe from the grounde off the herte / nether canne kepe it. For all men ar naturally enclyned vn to evyll / ād hate the lawe / we fynde in oure silves vnlust and tediousnes to do good / but lust and delecta­ciō to doo evill. Nowe where no fre lust ys to doo [Page] good / there the botome of the hert fulfylleth not the lawe / ād there no doute ys also synne ād wrath deserved before god / though their be never so many oute warde good workes / or never so glo­rious an outewarde shewe and apperāce off ho­nestely vynge.

For this cause cōcludeth sencte Paul in the se­cunde Chapter that the iewes all ar synners and transgressors of the lawe / though they make mē beleve / thorowe ypocrisi off outward workes / how that they fulfyll the lawe / and saith that he only which doeth the lawe ys ryghtewes before God / meanynge therby that noman with oute­warde workes fulfylleth the lawe. Thou (saieth he to the Iewe) teachest a man sulde not breake wedelocke / and yet breakest wedelocke thy sylfe. Wherin thou iudgest another man / therin con­demnest thou thy sylfe / for thou thy sylfe doeste­vyn the very same thynges whych thou iudgest. As though he wolde saye / thou lyvest outewar­dly well in the werkes off the lawe / and iudgest them that lyve not so / thou teachest wother mē / and seest a moote in a nother mans eye / but art not ware of the beame that is in thyn awne eye. For though thou kepe the lawe outewardly wy­th werkes / for feare of rebuke / shame / ād puny­shement / other for love off rewarde / vantage / and vayne glory / yet doest thou all wyth out lust and love to the lawe warde / and haddest levyr a greate deale wodyr wyse doo / yf thou feared­dest not the lawe / ye inwardly in thyne hert / th­ou woldest thatt their were no lawe / no nor yett God / the auctor and vangear of the lawe / yff it were possible / so paynefull it ys vnto the to have thyne apperytes refrayned ād to be kepte doune.

[Page]Wherfore then it is a playne conclusiō / that thou from the grounde and botome of thyne her te arte an ennimye to the lawe. Whatt prevay­leth it nowe / that thou teachest another mā not to steale / when thou thyne awne sylfe arte a the­se in thyne hert / and outwardly woldest fayne steale yff thou durst? though that the outwarde dedes abyde not allwaye be hynde with sochey­pocrites and dissimulars / but breake forth am­onge / evyn as an evyll stabbe or a pocke can not all wayes be kepe in with violence off medicine. Thou teachest another mā / but teachest not thy sylfe / ye thou wotest not what thou teachest / for thou vnderstōdest not the lawe a right / how th­at it can not be fulfylled and satisfied / but with in warde love and affecciō / so greately it can not be fulfilled with outeward dedes and werkes only. More ovyr the lawe encreaseth synne / as he sayth in the fyfte chapter / because that mā ys an enymy to the lawe / for as moch as it requireth so many thynges clene contrarie to hys nature / w­here off he ys not able to fulfill one poynte or ti­tle / as the lawe requireth it. And therfore ar we moare provokede / and have greatter lust to breake it.

For which causes sake he sayeth in the sevēth Chapter / that the lawe ys spirituall / as though he wold saye / yff the lawe were flesshely and but mans doctrine / it myght be fulfylled / satisfied / and stilled with outwarde dedes. Butt nowe is the lawe gostely / and noman fulfylleth it / exce­pte that all that he doeth springe off love frō the botome of the hert. Soche a newe hert and lusty corage vn to the lawe warde / canst thou nevyr cumby of thyne awne strenght and enforcemen­te / but [Page] by the operacion and workynge of the sp­rite. For the sprite off God only maketh a man spirituall and lyke vnto the lawe / so thatt nowe henceforth he doeth nothīge of feare or for lucre or vantages sake or of vayne glorie / but of a fre hert and off inward lust. The lawe ys spiri­tuall ād wylbe bothe loved ād fulfylled of a spi­rituall hert / ād therfore of necessite requireth ys the sprete that maketh a mans herte fre / and geveth hym lust and corage vn to the lawe warde. Where soche a sprite ys not there remayneth synne grudgynge / ād hatered agēft the lawe / which lawe neverthelesse is good / ryghtewes ād holy.

Accoynte thy silfe therfore with the maner of speakynge of the Apostell / and let this nowe ste­ke faste in thyne hert / that yt is not bothe one / to doo to dedes and workꝭ of the lawe / and to full­fill the lawe. The worke off the lawe ys / whatsoevyr a man doeth or can doo off his awne fre­will / off his awne propyr strengthe / and enfor­synge. Not with stondynge though there be ne­vyr so greate workynge / yet as longe as their remayneth in the herte vnlust / tediousnes / grud­gynge / gryffe / payne / lothsumnes and compul­cion to the lawe ward / so longe ar all the workes vnprofitable / lost / ye and damnable in the syg­ht of God. This meaneth Paul in the threde ch­apter / where he sayeth / by the dedes of the lawe shall no flesshe be iustified in the syghte off God. Here by perceavest thou / that thoose sophisters ar but disceavers / which teache that a man may and must prepare hym sylfe to grace and to the favoure of God / with good workes. Howe can they prepare themsylves vn to the favoure off God / and to that which is good / which themsil­ves [Page] can doo no good / no cā not once thike a good thoughte or consent to doo good / the devyll possessinge their hertes / myndes / and thoughtes ca­ptyve at hys pleasure? Can thoose werkes plea­se God / thynkest thou / which ar done with gry­fe / payne / ād tediousnes / with an evyl will / wi­th a contrarie and grudgynge minde? O holy sancte Prosperus / howe myghtely / with the sc­ripture of Paule confoundedest thou this here­sy / aboute (I trowe) a twelve hundred yeares agoo or there apon.

To fulfyll the lawe is / to doo the workes there of / and whatsumever the lawe commaundeth myth love / lust / and inward affeccion and dele­ctacion / and to lyve godly and well / frely / wil­lingly / and with oute compulcion of the lawe / evē as though there were no lawe at all. Soche luste and frelyberte to love the lawe / cometh only by the workynge off the sprite in the herte / as he sayth in the fystte chapter.

Nowe is the sprite no nodyr wyse geven / then by fayth only in that we beleve the promyses of God / with oute waverynge / howe that God ys trewe / and will fulfyll all his good promises to vsward for the bloude of Christes sake / as yt is playne in the fyrst chapter / I am not asshamed (sayeth Paul) of Christes gladde tydynges / for it is the power of God / vn to salvacion to as many as beleve / for attonce and to gedder even as we beleve the gladtydinges preached to vs / the holy gost entreth in to oure hertes ād looseth the bondes of the Devill / which before possessed ou­re hertes in captivite and held them / that we co­ulde have no lust to the wyll of god in the lawe. And as the sprite cometh by fayth only / even so [Page] sayth cometh by hearynge the worde or glad ty­dinges of God / when Christ is preached / how that he is Godꝭ sonne and man also / deede and rysen agayne for oure sakes / as he sayeth in the thred / fourth / and tenthe chapters. All oure iu­stifyinge then cometh of fayth / and fayth ād the sprite come of God and not of vs.

Herof cometh it / that fayth only iustifyeth / maketh ryghtewes / and fulfylleth the lawe / for it bringeth the sprete thorowe Christes deservy­ngs / the sprite bringeth lust / looseth the hert / maketh hym fre / setteth hym at lyberte / and ge­veth hym strengthe to worke the dedes of the la­we with love / even as the lawe requireth / then at the last out off the same fayth so workynge in the herth / springe all good workes by there aw­ne acorde. That meaneth he in the threde chap­ter / for after he hath cast awaye the workes off the lawe / so that he soundeth as though he wold breake and disanulle the lawe thorowe fayth / he answereth to that myghte be layde a genst / sa­yinge / we destroye not the lawe thorowe fayth / but maynetene / furder or stableshe the lawe thorowe faythe / that ys to saye / we fulfyll the lawe thorowe fayth.

Synne in the scripture ys not called that outewarde werke onli committed by the body / but all the whole busynes and whatsumever accomp­anieth / moveth or stereth vn to the oute ward dede / and that whence the workes springe / as vn­helefe / prones and redynes vn to the dede in the grounde of the herte / with all the powers / affeccions and appetytes where with we can but syn­ne / so that we saye / that a mā then synneth / whē heys caryed awaye hedelonge in to synne / all to­gedyr [Page] as moche as heys / of that poyson inclina­cion and corrupte nature where in he was concevyd and borne. For there ys no outward synne committed / excepte a mā be caried a waye all togedyr / wyth lyfe / soule / herte / bodie / luste and mynde there vnto. The scripture loketh singul­arly vn to the hert / and vn to the rote and origi­nall fountayne of all sinne / which is vnbelefe in the botome of the hert. For as fayth only iustifyeth and bringeth the sprite and lust vn to the vt­tewarde good workes. Even so vnbelefe only damneth and kepeth oute the sprite / provoketh the flesshe / ād stereth vppe luste vnto the evyll vtteward workes as it fortuned to Adam and Eve in paradise / Genesis iij.

For this cause Christe calleth synne vnbelefe ād that notably in the xvj. chapter of Ihon / the sprete (sayth he) shall rebuke the world of sinne because they beleve not in me. Wherfore then before all good workes as good frutes / there must nedes be fayth in the herth whence they springe and before all bad dedes / as bad frutes / there must neades be vnbelefe in the hert / as the rote fountayne / pyth / ād strengthe off all sinne / wh­ich vnbelefe is called the heed of the serpent and of the olde dragon / which the womās seed Chri­ste must treade vnderfote / as it was promysed vn to Adam.

Grace and gyfte have this difference / Grace propyrly is Godes favoure / benivolēce or kynd mynd / which of his awne silfe / with oute deser­vyng of vs / he beareth to vs / where by he was moved and enclyned to geve Christe vn to vs / with all his mother gyftes of grace. Gyfte is the wholy goste and his workynge / whom he pou­reth [Page] in to the hertes off them / on whom he hath mercy and whom he favereth. Though the gy­ftes and the sprite encreace in vs dayly / and ha­ve not yet there full perfeccion / ye ād though th­ere remayne in vs yet evyll lustes ād sinne / whi­ch fyghte a gēst the sprite / as he sayth here in the vij. chapter / and in the fyfte to the Galathians / and as it was spoke before Genesis iij. of the de­bate betwene the womans seed / and the seed off the serpent: yet neverthelesse / Godꝭ favoure ys so grette and so stronge over vs for Christes sa­fe / that we ar counted for full whole and perfe­cte before God. For Godꝭ favoure to vs ward devydeth not hyrsilfe / encreasynge a lytell and a lytell / as doo the gyftes / but receaveth vs wh­ole and altogedder in full love for Christes sake oure intercessor and mediator / ād because thatt the gyftes off the sprite and batayle betwene the sprite and evyll lustes ar begonne in vs all rea­dy.

Off this nowe vnderstondest thou the vij. cha­pter where Paul accuseth hym sylfe as a synner and yet in the viij. sayeth there ys no damnaciō to them that are in Christe / and that be cause of the sprite / and because the gyftes of the sprite a­re begonne in vs. Synners we are be cause the flesshe ys not full kylled and mortifyed. Never­thelesse in as moche as we beleve in Christe / ād have the erneste and begynninge off the sprite / God is so lovynge and favoureable vnto vs / that he wyll not loke on soche synne / nether will counte it as synne / but wyll deale with vs accor­dynge / to oure belefe in Christe / and accordynge to his promises which he hath sworne to vs / vn­tyll the synne be full slayne ād mortified by deth.

[Page]Fayth is not mans opinion and dreame / as some imagion and fayne when they heare the st­orie of the Gospell / butt when they se that there folowe no good workes ner mendement off lyv­ynge / though they heare / ye and can babyll ma­ny thinges of fayth / then they faule from the ri­ghte waye and saye / fayth only iustifieth not / a­man must have good workes also / yf he will be rightewes and safe. The cause ys when they he­are the Gospell or glade tydinges / they fayne of there awne strengthe certayne ymaginaciōs ād thoughtes in their hertes sayinge: I have herd the Gospel / I remember the storie / lo I beleve and that they counte ryghte fayth / which neve­rthelesse as it is but mans ymaginaciō ād fayn­ynge / even so profyteth it not nether folowe the­re any good workes or mendement of livinge.

But ryghte fayth is a thīge wroughte by the holy goste ī vs / which chaungeth vs / turneth vs in to a newe nature / and begeateth vs a newe in God / and maketh vs the sonnes of God / as th­ou redest in the fyrste off Ihon / and kylleth the olde Adam / and maketh vs all togedyr newe in the hert / mynd / will / lust / and in all oure affec­cions and powers of the soule / and bringeth the holy gost with hyr. Fayth is a lyvely thīge / my­ghty in workinge / valiaunte and stronge / evyr doynge / evyrfrutefull / so that it is vnpossible / that he which is endued there with / shulde not worke all wayes good workes with oute ceasing heareth nott whether good workes ar to be do­ne or not / but hath done them allredy / yer men­cion be made off them / and is all waye doynge / for soche is his nature nowe / quicke fayth in hys herte ād lyvely movinge of the sprite dryve hym [Page] and stere hym their vnto. Whosoever doeth not good workes / is an vnbelevynge person and faythlesse / and loketh rounde a boute hym gro­pynge aftir fayth and good workes / ād woteth not what fayth or good workes meane / though he babyll never so many thynges off fayth and good workes.

Fayth is then a lyvely and a stedfaste trustei the favoure off God / where with we committe oureselves all togedyr vn to God / and that truste is so surely grounded and steketh so fast in oure hertes / that a man wolde not once doute of it / though he shulde dye a thousand tymes therfore And soche truste wrought by the holy gooste th­rough fayth / maketh a man glad / lusty / chere­full / and true herted vn to God / and vn to all creatures. By the meanes whereof / willyngly ād with oute compulcion he is glad and redy to do good to everyman / to do servyce to everyman / to sofre all thynges / that God maye be loved ād praysed / which hath geven hym soche grace / so that it is impossible to separat good workes frō fayth / even as it is impossible to separat heete / and burninge from fyre. Therefore take hede to thy silfe / and beware of thyne awne phantasies and ymaginacions / which to iudge of fayth ād good workes will seme wyse / when in deade they are sterke blind and of all thinges most folyshe. Praye God that he will wyte safe to worke fayth ī thyne herte / or else shalt thou remayne ever more faythelesse / fayne thou / ymagin thou / enforce thou / wrastill with thy silfe / and doo what thou wilte or canst.

Rightewesnes is even soche fayth / and is called Godes rightewesnes / or rightewesnes that [Page] is off valoure before God. For it is Godes gi­fte / and it altereth a man and chaungeth hym in to a new spirituall nature / and maketh hym fre and liberall to paye every man his dutie. For thorowe farth in a man purged off his synnes / and obteyneth luste vn to the lawe off God / wh­ere by he geveth God his honoure and payeth him that he oweth hym / and vnto men he doeth serves willingly where with soever he can / and payeth every man his dutie. Soche rightewes­nes can nature / frewill / and oure awne streng­the never bringe to passe / for as noman can ge­ve him silfe fayth / so can he not take awaye vn­belefe / how thē can he take awaye any synne at all? Wherefore is all false / ypocrisy and synne / whatsoever ys done with outte fayth or in un­beleve / as it is evydent in the xiiij. vn to the Ro­mayns / though hit appere never so glorious or beautifull outwardes.

Flesshe and spirite mayste thou not here vnd­stond / as though flesshe were ōly that which perteyneth vn to vnchastyte / ād the spirite that w­hich inwardly perteyneth to the herte / but Pau­le calleth flesshe here / as Christe doth Ihon. iij. all that ys borne off flesshe / that ys to wete / the whole man / wyth lyfe / soule / body / wytte / wyll reason / and whatsoever he is both wyth in and with oute / because that these all / and all that ys in man study aftir the worlde ād the flesshe. Call flesshe therefore whatsoever (as longe as we are wyth oute the sprite of God) we thynke or spke of God / of fayth / of good workes ād off spiri­tuall maters, Call flesshe also all workes which are done wyth oute grace and wyth oute the wor­kyng of the sprite / howe soever good / holy / and [Page] spiritual they seme to be / as thou maist prove by the v. chapter vn to the galathiās / where Paul numbreth worshepynge of ydols / witchecra­fte / envy and hate amonge the dedes of the flessh and by the viij. vn to the romayns / where he sa­yeth / that the lawe be the reason of the flesshe ys weake / which ys not vnderstond off vnchastite only / but of all synnes / ād most specially / of un­belefe / which ys a vice most spirituall / ād grounde off all sinnes.

And as thou callest hym / which ys not rene­wed wyth the sprite and borne agayne in Christ flesshe and all hys dedes / even the very mocions of hys hert and mynd / hys lernynge doctrine ād contemplacion off hie rhynges / hys preachynge teachynge ād study in the scripture / byldynge of churches / foundinge of abbeyes / gevynge of al­mes / masse / matence / ād whatsoever he doeth / though it seme spirituall and aftyr the lawes of god. So cōtrary wyse call hym spirituall which ys renewed in Christe / and all hys deades why­ch springe of fayth / seme they nevyr so grose / as the wasshynge of the disciples fete done by christ and Peters fysshynge aftyr the resurreccion / ye and all the dedes of matrimony ar pure spiritu­all / yf they procede of faith / and whatsoever ys done wythin the lawes of God / though it be wr­oughte by the body / as the very wypynge off sh­wes and soche lyke / howsoever grosse they appere outewarde. Wyth oute soche vnderstondyg of these wordes / canst thou never vnderstond this pistyl off Paull / nether any wother place in the holy scripture. Take hede therefore / for whosoe­ver vnderstondeth these wordes wodwyse / the same vndstondeth not Paul / whatsoever he be. [Page] Nowe wyll we prepare oure sylves vnto the pi­stell.

For as moche as yt becōmeth the preacher of Christes glade tydinges / fyrst thorowe opining of the lawe / to rebuke all thynges / and to prove all thynges synne / that procede not off the sprite and off fayth in Christe / ād to prove all men sy­nners and chylderen off wrath by enherytance / and how that to synne ys there nature / ād that by nature they can no nodyr wyse do than to synne / and therewyth to abate the pryde of man ād to brynge hym vn to the knowlege of hym sylfe / ād of hys myserie and wretchednes / that he my­ght desyre helpe. Evyn so doeth sancte Paul and begynneth in the fyrst chapter to rebuke vn belefe and grosse synnes which all men se / as the ydolatrie and as the grosse synnes of the hethen were / and as the synnes now ar of all them wh­ich lyve in ignorāce / wyth oute fayth / and wyth oute the favoure of God / and sayth. The wrath of God of heven appereth thorowe the Gospell apon all men / for their vngodly and vnholy ly­vynge. For though it be knowen and dayly vnd­erstond by the creatures / that their ys but one God / yet ys nature of hyr sylfe / wyth oute the sprite and grace / so corrupte and so poysoned / that men nether can thanke hym / nether worsh­epe hym / nether geve hym hys due honore / but blynde them silves and faule wyth oute ceasyn­ge in to worse case / even vntyll they come vn to worshepinge of images and workinge of shame full sinnes which are abhominable and agenst nature / ād moreover sofre the same vnrebuked in wother / havinge delectacion and pleasure therein.

[Page]In the secunde chapter he proceadeth fart­her / and rebuketh all thoose wholy people also which withoute luste and love to the lawe live well outwardly in the face of the world / and cō ­dem wother gladly / as the nature off all yprocri­tes ys / to thinke them selves pure in respecte of open synners / and yet hate the lawe inwardly ād ar full of coveteousnes ād envy and of all vncle­nes mathe, xxiij. These ar they which despice the goodnes of God / and accordynge to the harden­es of their hertes / heepe togeder for them sylves the wrath of God. Furthermore sancte Paule / as a true expounder of the lawe / sofreth noman to be wyth oute synne / but declareth that all th­ey ar vnder synne whych of frewyll and off nature wyll lyue well / and sofreth them not to be bet­ter then the open synners / ye he calleth them harde herted and soche as can not repente.

In the threde chapter he myngleth both to geder / both the Iewes ād the gentyles / and sayeth that the one ys as the other / both synners / and no differēce betwene them / save in this only / that the Iewes had the worde off God committed vn to them. And though many of them beleved not thereon / yet is godꝭ truth and promyse ther by nether hustener minushed. Ande he taketh in his waye and alegeth the saying of the .l. psalme that god might abyde true in hys wordes and o­vercome when he is iudged. After that he retur­neth to hys purpose agayne / and proveth by the scripture / that all men with out difference or ex­cepcion are synners / ande that by the workes off the lawe noman ys iustified / butt that the lawe was geven to vttur ande to declare synne only. Then he beginneth and sheweth the right waye [Page] vn to ryghtewesnes / by what meanes men must be made ryghtewes and safe / and sayeth. They ar all synners and with oute prayse before god / ād must with oute there awne deservynge be made ryghtewes thorowe faythe in Christe / which hath deserved soche ryghtewesnes for vs / ād ys become vnto vs gods mercistole / for the remissi­on of sinnens that are paste / thereby provinge / that Christes rightewesnes / which commeth on vs thorowe fayth / helpeth vs only / which righ­tewesnes (saith he) ys nowe declared thorowe the gospell / and was testified of before by the lawe and the prophetes. Furthermore (saith he) the lawe ys holpe and furdered thorowe fayth / though that the workꝭ there of wyth all their boste ar broughte to nought.

In the .iiij chapter (after that nowe by the iij. fyrst chapters / the sinnes are opened / ād the waye of fayth vn to ryghtewesnes layde) he begynneth to answere vn to certayne obiectiōs and ca­villacions. And firste putteth forth those blynd reasons / which commuly they that wylbe iusti­fied by their awne werkes ar wont to make / whē they heare that faith only wyth out werkes iusti­fieth / sayīge / shall mē do no good workes / ye ād yf fayth only iustifieth / what nedeth a mā to study for to doo good workes? He putteth forth th­erefore Abrahā for an ensample / sayinge / what ded Abrahā with his workꝭ? was all in vayne? were hys werkes to no profett? And so conclu­deth that Abraham wyth oute ād before all werkes was iustified and made ryghtewes / In so mooche that before the werke of circumcision he was praysed off the scripture and called / ryght­eous by hys fayth only / genesis. xv. So that he [Page] ded nott the worke off circumcision for to be hol­pe there by vn to ryghtewesnes / which yet God commaunded hym to doo / and was a good wer­ke off obedience. So yn lyke wyse no dowte no o­ther workes helpe any thynge ar all vn to ryght­wesnes and vn to a mans iustifiynge / but as A­brahams circuncision was an outeward sygne whereby he declared hys ryghtewesnes which he had by fayth / and hys obedience and redines vn to the wyll of god / even so ar all wother good workes outeward sygnes and outeward frutes off fayth and off the sprite / which iustifie a man not / but that a man ys iustified allredy before God inwardly in the hert / thorowe fayth and thorowe the sprite purchesed by christes bloude.

Herewyth nowe stablissheth sancte Paule hys doctrine off fayth afore rehersed in the thred chapter / and bringeth also testimony off David in the .xiij. psalme / which calleth amā blessed / not off workes / but in that hys synne ys not rekened and in that fayth ys imputed for ryghtwesnes / though he abide not afterwarde with oute good workes / when he ys once iustified. For we ar iustified and receve the sprite for to do good work­es / nether were it wotherwyse possible to do go­od workes / excepte we had first the sprite.

For howe ys it possible to do any thynge well in the syghte off God / whyll we are yet in capti­vike and bondage vnder the devyll / and the devyll possesseth ys alltogeder and holdeth oure hertes / so that we can not once consent vn to the will off God. No man therefore can prevent the sprite in doynge good / the sprite must first co­me and wake hym out off hys slepe wyth the [Page] thunder off the lawe and feare hym / and shewe hym hys miserable estate and wretchednes / ād make hym abhorre and hate hym sylfe and to desyre helpe / ād then conforte hym agyne wyth the pleasant rayne off the Gospell / that ys to saye / wyth the swete promyses of God in Christe / ād stere vppe fayth in hym to beleve the promises / thē when he beleveth the promyses / as god was mercifull to promyse / soys he true to fulfill them ād wyll geve hym the sprite and streyngth both to love the will of Gog and to worke theraster. So se we that god only (whych acordynge to the scripture worketh all in all thynges) worketh a mans iustifiynge salvaciō and healthe / ye and poureth fayth to beleve / luste to love gods wyll and strēgth to fulfill the same in to vs / even as water is poured ito a vesell ād that of hys good wyll and purpose ād not of oure deservinges ād merites / Godꝭ mercy in promysyng and trueth in fulfyllyng hys promyses save vs and not we oure selves / and theirfore ys all laude prayse ād glory to be geven vn to God for hys mercy and trueth and not vn to vs for oure merites and de­servinges. Aftyr that he stretcheth hys ensamp­le oute agenst all wother good workes off the la­we / and concludeth that the Iewes can not be Abrahams heyres because of bloud ād kynred only / ād moche lesse by the workes of the lawe / but must ēheret Abrahams fayth / yf they wylbe the ryght heyrs of Abrahā / for as moch as Abrahā before the lawe / both of Moses and also of circ­umcision / was thorowe fayth made rightewes and called the father of all them that beleve / ād not of them that worke. Moreover the lawe causeth wrath / in as moch as no man can fulfyll it [Page] wyth love ād luste / ād aslōg as soch grudgīge / hate / ād īdignaciō agēste the lawe remayneth ī the herte and ys not taken away by the sprite th­at commeth by fayth / so longe no doute the wor­kes of the lawe declare evydently that the wrath of God ys apon vs and not hys favoure / wher­efore doeth fayth ōly receve the grace promysed vn to Abraham. And these ensamples were not writtē for Abrahās sake ōly (sayth he) but for oures also / to whom / yf we beleve / fayth shalbe rekened lykewyse for rygthewesnes / as he sayth in the ende of the chapter.

In the .v. chapter he commendeth the frutes and workes of fayth as ar peace / reioysynge in the conscience / inwarde love to god ād man mo­reover boldnes / trust / confidence / and a strong and a lusty mynd and a stedfaste hope in tribu­laciō and soferynge. For all soche folowe / whe­re the ryghte fayth ys / for the aboundāte graces sake and gystes off the sprite / whych God hath geven vs in Christe / in that he sofred hym to dye for vs yet hys enymyes. Nowe have we thē th­at fayth only before all workes iustyfieth / and that it foloweth not yet therfore that a man shu­lde doo no good workes / but that the ryghte sha­pen workes abyde not behynd / but accompanye fayth evyn as bryghtenes doth the sunne / ād ar called of. S. Paule the frutes of the sprite. Wh­ere the sprite ys / there ys all waye somere ād th­ere are all wayes good frutes / that is to saye go­od workes. This ys Pauls ordyr / that good w­orhes springe off the sprite / the sprite cometh by fayth / and faith cometh by hearynge the worde of God / whē the Gladtydynges and promyses whych God hath made vnto vs in Christe are [Page] preached truly and receavyd in the grounde off the herte wyth oure waveryng or dowrynge / af­ter that the lawe hath passed apō vs ād hath damned oure consciences. Where the word of god is preached purely and receaved ī the herte / the­reys fayth / the sprite of God / and there are al­so good workes off necessite / whensoever occasiō ys gevyn. Where godes worde ys not purely preached / but mens dreames / tradīcions / ymagi­nasion / invencions / ceremonies and supersticiō there ys no fayth and consequētly no sprite that cometh off God / and where Godꝭ sprite ys not / there can be no good wortes / evyn as where an appeltre ys not / there can growe no appell / but there is vnbelefe / the devels sprite / ād evill workes. Off this godꝭ sprite / and hys frutes / have oure holy ypocrites not once knowen / nether yet tasted home swete they are / though they fayne many good workes off there awne ymaginaciō to be instified with all / in which ys not one cro­ine off true fayth / or spirituall love / or of inwa­rd ioye peace and quietnes of conscience / for as moch as they have not the word of God for thē / that soche werkes please God / but they are even the roten frutes of a roten tre.

After that he breaketh forth / and runneth at large / and sheweth whence both synne and ryg­htewesnes / deth and lyfe come. And he compar­eth Adam and Chrisre together / thus wyse rea­soninge and disputynge / that Christe must nea­des come as a secōde Adam / to make vs heyres of his rightewesnes / thorowe a newe spirituall birth / with oute oure deservīges / Evyn as the fyrst Adā made vs heyres of sinne / thorowe the bodily generacion / with oute oure deservynge. [Page] Whereby it is evidently knowen and proved to the vttemoste / that no man can bringe him silfe oute of sinne vn to rightewesnes / no more thē he coude have with stōde that he was borne bodily And that is proved here with / for as moche as the very lawe of God / which of righte shulde have holpe / if any thīge could have holp / not only came and browghte no helpe with hyr / but also encreased sinne / because that the evyll and poy­soned nature is offended ād vtterly displesed with the lawe / and the more she is forbed by the lawe / the more is she provoked and sett a fyre to fulfyll and satisfie hir lustes. By the lawe then we se clerely that we muste neades have Christe to iustifie vs with his grace ād to helpe nature.

In the vi. he setteth forth the chefe and pricip­all worke of fayth / the batayl of the sprit agenst the flesshe / howe the sprite laboureth and enfor­ceth to kill the remnaunte of sinne ād luste which / remayne in the flesshe / after oure iustifīge. And this chapter teacheth vs / thatt we are not so fre frō sinne thorowe fayth / that we shuld henceforth goo vppe ād doune ydle / carlesse / and sure of oure selves / as though there were nowe no more sinne in vs. Yes there is sinne remayning in vs / but it is not rekened / be cause of feyth and of the sprite / which fighte agenste it. Wherefore we have ynowe to doo all oure lyves longe / to tame oure bodies / and to cōpell the members to obeye the sprite / and not the appetites / that therby we mighte be life vnto christs deeth ād resurrecciō / ād mighte fulfill oure baptim / which signifieth the mortifyinge of sinnes and the newe life of grace. For this batayle ceaseth not in vs vntill the laste breth / ād vntill that sinne be vtterly slayne by the deeth of the bodie.

[Page]This thyng (I meane to tame the body ād so forth) we are able to doo (sayth he) seynge we a­re vnder grace and not vnder the lawe / whych thynge he hym srife erpoundeth. For to be wyth oute the lawe / ys not so to be vnderstond / that a mā shall have no lawe and that every man may doo what hym lusteth / but to be vnder the lawe is / to deale with the werkes off the lawe / ande to worke with oute the sprit ād grace / for so lōge no dowte synne rayneth in vs thorowe the lawe / that ys to saye / the lawe declareth that we are vn­der synne / and that synne hath power and dominion over vs / seinge we cā not fulfyll the lawe / namely wythin in the herte / for as moche as no­man of nature favereth the lawe / consenteth there vnto / and delyteth therein / which same ys exceadynge greate synne / that we can not consent to the lawe / which lawe ys nothynge else save the wyll of god. And not to be vnder the lawe ys / to have a fre herte renewed wyth the sprite / so that thou haste luste inwardly of thyne awne acorde to doo that which the lawe commaundeth / wyth oure compulcion / ye though there were no lawe. For grace / that ys to saye / Godꝭ favoure bringeth vs the sprite / and maketh vs love the lawe / soys there nowe no moare sinne / nether ys the lawe nowe any moare agenste vs / but at one wyth vs and we wyth it.

This ys the ryght fredome ād liberte from sinne and from the lawe / where of he wryteth vn to the ende off this chapter / that yt ys a fredome to doo good ōly with lyste / ād to lyve well with ou­te compulcion of the lawe. Wherefore this fred­ome ys a spiritual fredom / which destroyeth not the lawe but ministreth that which the lawe requireth / and [Page] where wyth the lawe ys fulfylled / that ys to vnderstond / luste and love / where with the laweys stylled / and accuseth vs no moare compelleth vs no moare / nether hath oughte to crave off vs any moare. Evyn as though thou were in dette to a nother man / and were not able to paye / two maner wayes mighteste thou beloosed. One waye / yf he wold require nothynge off the and breke thine obligacion. An othe waye / yf some wother good man wold paye for the / and geve the as moche as thou mightest satisfie thy­ne obligacion wyth all. Of this wise hath Chri­ste made vs fre from the lawe / therefore ys this no wilde flesshely liberte / that shuld doo nough­te / but that doeth all thinges / ād ys fre from the cravinge and dette of the lawe.

In the .vii. he confirmeth the same wyth a si­militude of the state of marrimony. As whē the husbond dyeth / the wife ys at hyr liberte / ād the one loosed ād departed from the wother / not that the woman shulde not have power to marie vnto a nother man / but rather nowe firste of all ys she fre and hath power to marie vnto a nother mā which she coulde not do before / till she was loosed frō hyr fyrst husbōd. Evē so are oure cōsefēces bound ād in daunger to the lawe vnder olde Adā / as lōge as he lyveth in vs / for the lawe de­clareth thatt oure hertes are bounde / and that we cannot disconsent from hym / but whē he ys mortified and filled by the sprite / then ys the cō ­science fre and at liberte / not so that the conscie­nce shall nowe noughte doo / but nowe first of all clevyth vn to a nother / that ys to wette Christe / and bringeth forth the frutes of lyfe. So nowe to be vnder the laweys not to be able to fulfyll [Page] the lawe / but to be detter to it / ād not able to pa­ye that which the lawe requireth. And to be loose from the laweys / to fullfyll it / and to paye that which the lawe demaundeth / so that yt can no­we henceforth are the noughte.

Consequently Paule declareth more largely the nature of synne and off the lawe / howe that thorowe the lawe synne reviveth / moveth hyr silfe / and gadereth strength. For the old man ād corrupte nature / the moare he ys forbedden ād kepte vnder off the lawe / ys the moare offended and displeased threwyth / for as moche as he cā ­not paye that whych ys required of the lawe. For synne ys hys nature and of hym sylfe he can not but synne. Therefore ys the lawe deeth to hym / tormente ād marterdome. Not that the lawe ys evyll / but because that the evyll nature can not so fre that which ys good / can not abyde that the lawe shulde require of hym any good thynge. Like as a sicke man can not so fre that a man shulde desyre of hym to runne / to leppe / and to doo wo­ther dedes off an whole man.

For which cause sancte Paule concludeth / th­at where the lawe ys vnderstonde ād perceaved of the beste wyse / there it doeth no moare but vt­ter synne / and bringe vs vnto the knowlege off oure sylves / and there by kylle vs and make vs bonde vn to eternall damnacion and detters of the everlastynge wrath of god / even as he well fealeth and vnderstondeth whos conscience ys truely twitched of the lawe. In soch daunger were we yer the lawe came / but we knew not what synne meante / nether yet knewe we the wrath of God a pon synners / tyll the lawe had vttered it. So seest thou that a man must have some wother [Page] thyng / ye and a gretter ād a moare myghty thynge thē the lawe / to make hym ryghtewes ād safe. They that vnderstōde not the lawe on this wyse / are blynd / and goo to werke presumptuously / supposynge to satisfie the lawe wyth work­es. For they knowe not that the lawe requireth a fre / a myllynge / a lusty ād a lovynge herte. Therefore they se not moses ryghti the face / the wayle hangeth betwene / ād hydeth hys face / so th­at they can not behold the glorie of hys counten­aunce / howe that the lawe ys spirituall / ād req­uireth the herte. I maye off myne awne strength refrayne thatt I doo myne enymye no hurte / but to love hym wyth all myne herte / and to put a waye wrath clene oute of my mind can I not of myne awne strengthe. I maye refuse money off myne awne strength / but to put a waye love vn to ryches oute of myne herte can I not do off my­ne awne strength. To abstayne frō advltery as concernynge the vttewarde dede can I do of myne awne strength / but not to desyre in myne her­te ys as vnpossyble vn to me as is to chose whether I wyll hongyr or thrist / and yet so the lawe requireth. Wherefore of a mans awne strength is the lawe never fullfilled / we must have there vn to Godꝭ favoure and hys sprite / purchesed by Christes bloude.

Neverthelesse when I saye a man maye do ma­ny thynges vttewardly clene agenst hys hert / we must vnderstond that a man ys but dreven off dyvers appetites and the greattest appetite overcommeth the lesse and caryeth the man aw­aye violently wyth hyr.

As whē I desyre vengeance ād feare also the īcō venience [Page] that ys lyke to folowe / yf feare be greatter I absteyn / yf the appetite that desyreth vēge aunce be greter / I cā not but prosecute the dede as we se by experience in many murtherars and theves / which though they be broughte ī to ne­ver so great perel of deeth / yet after they have esscaped do even the same agayne. And commune wemen prosecute there lustes because feare and shame are a waye / whē wother which have the same appetites in their hertes abstayne at the leest waye vttewardly or worke secretly beynge o­vercome of feare and of shame / and so lykewyse ys it of all wother appetites.

Further moare he declareth / howe the sprite ād the flesshe fyghte together in one mā / ād ma­keth an ensample of hym sylfe / that we myghte lern to knowe that wercke a ryghte / I meane to kyll synne in oure sylves. He calleth both the sprite and also the flesshe a lawe / because that lyke as the nature of godꝭ lawe ys to dryve / to comp­ell / and to crave / evyn so the flesshe dryveth / co­mpelleth / craveth and rageth agenst the sprite / and will have her lustes satisfied. On the wother syde dryveth the sprite / crieth and fyghteth a­genst the flesshe / and wyll have hys luste satisfied. And this strife dureth in vs / a lōge as we leve / in some moare ād in some lesse / as the sprite or te flesshe ys stonger / and the very man hys awne sylfe ys both the sprite and the flesshe / why­ch fygreth wyth hys awne sylfe / vntyl synne be vtterly slayne and he alltogedyr spirituall.

In the viij. chapter he comforteth soch fyhters / that they dispere not because of soch flesshe / other thynke that they are lesse in favoure wyth god. And he sheweth howe that the sinne remayninge [Page] in vs hurteth not / for there is no daunger to thē that are ī christe which walke not after the flesshe / but fightē agēst it. ād he expoūdeth more largely what the nature of the flesshe and off the sprite is / and howe the sprite commeth by Chri­ste / whiche sprite maketh vs sprituall / tameth / subdueth / and mortifieth the flesshe / and certifyeth vs that we ar never the lesse the sōnes of god and also beloved / though that sinner age never so moche in vs / so longe as we folowe the sprite / and fyghte agenste synne / to kyll and mortify it. And be cause the chastising of the flesshe / the crosse and soferinge are nothing plesant / he comforteth vs in oure passions and affliccions / by the assistens of the sprite whych maketh intercession to God for vs mightely with groninges that passe mās vtteraunce / mans speache can not comprehend them / and the creatures morne also with vs of greate desyre that they have / that we were loosed from synne and corrupcion off the flesshe. So se we that thes thre chapters / the vj. vij viij. doo no other thinge so moch as they doo dryve vs vn to the ryghte werke of fayth / which ys to kill the olde man and mortifie the flesshe.

In the .ix. x. ād .xj chapters he treateth of Godꝭ predestinaciō / whence it springeth all to ged­er / whether we shall beleve or not beleve / be loosed frō sinne or not be loosed. By which predesti­naciō oure instifiynge ād salvaciō are clene takē oute off oure haildes / and put in the handes off god only / which thynge ys most necessary of all. For we are so weke and so vncertayne / that yff it stode in vs / there wolde of a trueth no man be saved / the devell no dowte wolde deceave vs. But now ys god sure / that hys predestinaciō can not [Page] deceave him / nether can any man withstond or lett hym / and there fore have we hope and truste agenste sinne.

But here muste a marke be sett vn to those vnquiett / busie and hye climyng sprites howe ferre they shall goo / which fyrste of all bringe hether there hye reasons and pregnant wittes / and be­ginne fyrst from an hye to sherdse the botomlesse secretes of Godꝭ predestinaciō / whether they be predestinat or not. These must neades other cast themsilves downe hedelonge in to desperacion or else cōmitt them selves to fre chaunce carelesse But folowe thou the ordyr of this pistill / ād noo sell thy silfe with christe / and lerne to vnderstōd what the lawe and the Gospell meane / and the office of both two / that thou mayst in the one knowe thy silfe and how thatt thou hast of the silfe no strength but to sinne / and in the other the grace of christe / and then se thou fighte agenst sinne and the flesshe / as the vij. fyrst chapters teache the. Aftyr that when thou arte come to the viij. chapter / and arte vnder the crosse and soferinge of tribulacion / the necessite of predestinaciō will waxe swete and thou shalt well fele how preciouse a thinge it is. For excepte thou have borne the crosse of adversite and temptacion / and hast felte thy silfe broughte vn to the very bryme of des­peracion / ye and vn to heel gates / thou canst never meadle with the sentance of predestinacion / with oute thine awne harme / and with oute se­crett wrath ād grudgying inwardly agēst God / for other wise it shall not be possible for the to thike that God is rightewes and iuste. Therefore must Adam be well mortified and the flesshely wyte broughte vtterly to noughte / yer that thou [Page] mayst awaye with this thinge / and drinke so st­ronge wyne. Take hede therefore vn to thy silfe / that thou drinke not wyne / wile thou art yet but a sucklinge. For every lernīge hath hyr tyme mesasure and age / and in Christ is there a certayne childhod / in which a man must be content with milke for a reason / vntill he war strong / and g­rowe vppe / vnto a perfecte man ī christe / and be able to eate of moare stronge meate.

In the xij. he gevyth exhortacions. For this maner observeth Paule ī all his pistles / first he teacheth Christe and the fayth / thē exhorteth he to goog workꝭ / and vn to continuall mortifying of the flesshe. So here teacheth he good workes ī deade / and the true servynge of God / and mak­eth all men prestes / to offer vppe / not money ād bestes / as the maner was ī the ryme of the lawe butt there awne bodies with killinge and mortifying the lustes of the flesshe. Aftyr that he desc­ribeth the outewarde conversacion off Christen men / how they oughte to behave them silves in spirituall thinges / how to teache / preache and rule in the congregacion off Christe / to serve one another / to sofre all things pacienly and to cō ­mitte wreke ād vengeaunce to God / in conclusi­on how a Christen man oughte to behave hym silfe vnto all men / to frend / fooe or what soever he be. These are the righte workes of a Christen man which springe oute of faythe. For fayth ke­peth not holydaye / nether sofreth any man to be ydle / whersoever she dwelleth.

In the xij. he reacheth to honoure the wordely ād tēperall swerde. For though that mans lawe and ordinaunce make nott a man good before God / nether iustifie hym in the herte / yet are [Page] they ordeyned for the furderaunce off the communewelth / to maynetene peace / to puneshe the evyll / and to defende the good. Therefore oughte the good to honoure the temperall swerde and to have it in reveraunce / though as concerning themselves they neade it not / butt wolde absteyne from evyll of there owne acord / ye and doo good with oure mans lawe / but by the lawe of the sprite which governeth the herte and grdeth it vn to all that is the will of god. Finaly he comprehendeth and knetteth vppe all in love. Love off her awne nature bestoweth all thatt she hath and e­ven her awne selfe on thatt whych is loved. Th­ou neadeste not to bid a kinde mother to be lovy­nge vn to her only sonne / moche lesse spirituall l­ove / wich hath eyes geven her off god / neadeth mans lawe to teache her to do her dutie. And as in the beginninge he did putt forth Christ as the cause and auctor off oure rightewesnes and sal­vacion / even so here setteth he hym forth as an ē sample to counterfayte / that as he hath done to vs / even so shulde we doo one to another.

In the xiiij. chapter he teacheth to deale sobe­rly with the consciences of the weke in the fayth / wich yet vnderstōd not the liberte of christ perfectly ynough ād to faver thē of christē love / ād not to vse the liberte of the fayth vnto hinderaunce / butt vn to the furderaunce and edifiynge off the weake. For where soche consyderacion is not / there foloweth debate and despising of the gospell. It is better threfore to forbeare the weake a wh­ile / vntill they waxe stronge / then that the lear­ninge of the gospell shuld come allogedre vnder foote. And soche werke is a singular worke of love / ye and where love is perfecte ther muste nea­des [Page] be soche a respecte vnto the weake / a thynge that Christe commaunded ād charged to be had above all thinges.

In the xv. he setteth forth christ agayne to be counterfeted / that we also by his ensample shul­de sofre wother that are yet weake / as them that are frayle / open synners / vnlerned / vnexperte / and of lothesome maners / and nott to cast them away forthwith / but to sofre them till they wax better and exhorte them in the meane tyme. For so dealte Christ in the gospell and nowe dealeth with vs dayly / soferynge oure vnperfetnes / we­kenes / conversacion and maners not yet fassio­ned after the doctrine of the Gospell / butt smell of the flesshe / ye and sometyme breakeforth into the outeward dedes.

After that to conclude with all he wissheth thē encreace of fayth peace and of ioye of conscience / prayseth them and committeth them to God and magnifieth his office and administracion in the Gospell / and sobirly and with greate dis­crecion desyreth succur and ayde of them for the povre sanctes at hierusalem / and it ys all pure lore that he speketh or dealeth with all. So fyn­de we in this pistell plenteously vnto the vttenio­ste / whatsoever a Christen man or woman oug­hte to knowe / that is to wete / what the lawe / the Gospell / synne / grace / fayth rightewesnes / ch­rist / God / good werkes / love / hope / and the crosse are / and even where in the pythe of all thatt pertayneth to the Christen fayth stondeth / and howe a Christē man oughte to behave hym silfe vnto every man be he perfet or a sinner / good or bad / stronge or weke / frend or fooe / and in cōcl­usion howe to behave oure selves both toward [Page] god and toward oureselves also. And all thyn­ges are profoundely grounded in the scriptures and declared wyth ensamples of him silfe / of the fathers and off the prophetes / that a man can here desyre no moare. Wherefore it apereth evi­dently that pauls mynde was to comprehend brevely in thys pistle all the whole lernynge of Christs Gospell / and to prepare an introduccion vn to all the olde testament. For with out doute w­hosoever hath this pistle perfectly this hert / the same hath the lighte and the effecte of the olde testamemte with hym. Wherefore lett every man with oute excepcion exercice hym selfe therein di­ligently and recorde yt nyghte and daye continu­ally / vntyll he be full acoynted therewith.

The laste chapter is a chapter of recommenda­cion / wherein he yet myngleth a good monicion / that we shuld be ware of the tradicions and do­ctrine of men / which begyle the simple with sop­hestry and lerninge that is not after the gospell / and drawe them from Christ / and noosell them in weke and feble and (as paull calleth them in the pistle to the galathians) in bedgerly cerimonies / for the entent that they wolde lyve in fatte pastures / and be in auctorite / and be taken as Christe / ye and above christe / and sytt in the temple of God / that is to witte in the consciences off men / where god only / his worde / and his christe oughte to sytte. Compare therefore all manner doctrine of men vn to the scripture / and se whet­her they agre or not. And committe thy selfe whole and all togedre vnto Christ / and so shall he with his holy sprite and with all his fulnes dw­ell in thi soule Amen.

[Page]Here foloweth a treates (to fill vpp the leefe with all) of the pater noster / very necessary and profitable / wherein (yff thou marke) thou shalt perceave what prayer is and all that belongeth to prayar. The sinner prayeth the pe­ticions off the pater noster / and God answereth by the lawe / as though he wolde putt hym from hys desyre. The sinner knowlegeth that he is worthy to be put backe / neverthelesse fayth cleveth fast to godꝭ promises / and compelleth hym / for his truethes sake / to heare her peticion. Marke this well and take it for a sure conclusion / when god commaundeth vs ī the lawe to doo any thinge / he commaundeth not therefore / that we are able to do yt / but to bryng vs vn to the knowlege of oure selves / that we might se what we are an­d in what miserable state we are in / and to knowe oure lack / that thereby we shuld torne to god and to knowlege oure wretchednes vn to hym / ād to desyre him that of his mercy he wold make vs that he biddeth vs be / ād to geve vs strength and power to doo that which the lawe requireth of vs. Noote this also / that prayar is nothinge else save a morninge of the sprite / a desyre / and a longyng for that which she lacketh / as the sick morneth and soroweth in his hert longynge aft­er health. And vn to prayar ys requered the la­we ād also the gospell / that is to saye the promy­ses of God. The office off the lawe is only to vtt­er sinne and to declare in what miserable damnacion and captivite we are in. Is it not a miserable / yea fearefull and an horrible damnacion and captivite that we are in / when oure very hertes are so fast bound and locked vnder the po­wer [Page] off the devill / that we can not once as moch as consent vn to the will of allmyghty God / ou­re father / creator / ād maker? ye and yet se not th­is so greate / so sharpe / so cruel / and terrible vē ­geance of God apon vs / vntyll the lawe come. The law then bringeth a man vn to the knowle­ge of him selfe / and compelleth him to morne / to complayne / to sorowe / to confesse and knowled­ge hys synne and miserie / and to seke helpe. The gospell entyseth draweth and sheweth from whence to fetche helpe / and coupleth vs to God th­orowe fayth. Fayth ys the ancre of all health ād kepeth vs fast vn to the promyses of God which are the sure haven or porte of all quietnes of the conscience. Nothyng / nether the lawe nether workes nether yet any other thynge cā quiette a ma­ns conscience save only fayth and trust in the pr­omyses of God. Fayth sofreth no wynde no storme no tempest of adversite or temptaciō / no thr­eatenynges of the lawe / no crasty sotylte off the devyll to seperatt vs from the love of God in Christe Iesu / that ys to saye / to make vs beleve th­at god loveth vs not in Christe and for Christes sake. Prayar ys the effecte and worke off fayth / and the sprite thorowe fayth prayeth cōtinually wyth mornynges passynge all vtterance of speache / confessinge ād knowleginge hir grevous bō dage / hir lacke and wekenes / and desyringe hel­pe and succre. Nowe seiste thou that their is not so greate distaunce betwene heven and erth / as betwene prayar and momblynge a payre of matenses or nūbryng pater nosters and honouryn­ge God wyth the lyppes / I passe over wyth syl­ence / howe wyth oute all frute / ye wyth howe te­reble ignoraunce the laye ād vnlerned people saye [Page] the pater noster and also the crede in the laty­ne tonge. Moreover they never praye which fe­le not the workynge of the lawe in their hertes / and have their consciences shaken and broysed and as it were beaten to pouder wyth the thun­derbolte their of. Consyder and beholde thi sylfe their fore in the lawe diligently as in a glasse / ād then come and confesse thi synne / thi lack ād po­verte vnto god wyth out all maner faynynge ād ypocrisy / morninge and complaynynge over thine horrible damnacion / bondage and captivite and wyth a stronge fayth praye god to have mercy on the for Christs sake / to fulfyll hys promys­es / to geve the hys sprite / to loose the / to strengt­he the / to fullfyll all hys Godely wyll in the / to poure the ryches and treasure off hys spirituall gystes in to the / and to make the soche a wone as hys herte hath pleasure and delectacion in. And above all thynges desyre hym to encrease thy fayth / and praye after the maner and ensample of this treates here folowynge.

The Synner

O oure father which art in hevē / what a gr­eate space ys betwen the ād vs? Howe the­refore shall we thy children here on erth / baneshed and exiled from the in this vale of misery and wretchednes / come home to the into oure natur­all countre?


The child honoureth hys hys father / and the servaūt hys master. Yf I be youre father wher ys myne honoure. Yf I be youre lorde where ys my feare. Malachias. j. For my name thorowe you and by youre meanes ys blasphemen rayld apon and evyll spoken of Esaias, lij.

The Sinner.

Alas O father that ys trueth / we knowledge oure synne and treaspace / neverthelesse yet be thou a mercifull father / and deale not wyth vs a­cordīg to oure deservynges / nether iudge vs by the rigorousnes off thi lawe / but geve vs grace that we maye so lyve / that thy holy name maye be halowed and sanctified in vs. And kepe ou­re hertes / that we nether do nerspeake / no / that we not once thynke or purpose any thinge / but that which is to thyne honoure and prayse / and a­bove all thinges make thy name and honoure to be soughte of vs and not oure awne name ād vayne glory. And off thi myghty power bringe to passe in vs / that we maye love and feare the as a sonne hys father.


Sowe can myne honoure and name be halowed amonge you / when youre hertes and tho­ughtes are all wayes enclined to evyll / and ye in [Page] bondage and captivite vnder synne / moare ou­er seinge that noman can synge my laude and prayse in a straunge countrepsal. cxxxvj.

The Sinner.

O father that ys trueth / we fele oure mēbres ye ād also the very hertes of vs prone ād ready to sine ād that the world / the flesshe / ād the devyll rule in vs / ād expell the due honoure of thyne holy name. Wherefore we beseche the moost mercy full father / for the love that thou hast vnto thi sonne christe / helpe vs oute of this miserable bō dage / and latt thi kingdome come / to dryve oute the synne / to loose the bondes off satan / to tame the flesshe / to make vs ryghteous and parfecte / and to cleve vnto the / that thou only mayst rai­gne in vs / and that we maye be thi kingdome ād possession / and the obey with all oure power ād strengthe / both with in and with oute.


Whom I helpe them I destroye. And whom I make lyvinge / safe / riche ād good / them I kill cōdēne and cast thē awaye / make them bedgers ād bring them to noughte. But so to be cured off meye wil not sofre psalme .lxxvij. Howe then sh­all I heale you / ye and what can I do moare? Iesaias. v.

The Sinner.

That ys to vs greate sorowe and greffe / that we can nether vnderstonde nor sofre thi wholso­me hande / Wherefore helpe deare father / open oure eyes / ād worke pacience in vs / that we ma­ye vnderstonde thi wholsome honde / ād also paciently sofre thi Godly will to be fulfylled in vs. Furthermore though thi moost wholsome cure [Page] be never so paynfull vnto vs / yet goo forewar­de therewyth / punesh / bete / cutt / burn / destro­ye / brynge to noughte / damne / caste doune vn to hell / and do whatsoever thou wylte / that thi wyll only maye be fulfylled and not oures. For­bydde deare father and in no wyse sofre vs to fo­lowe oure awne good thoughtes and ymaginacions / nether to prosecute oure awne wyll / meanynge and purpose. For thi wyll and oures are clene contrary one to the other / thyne only good / though it other wyse appere vnto oure blynde rea­sō / ād oures evyll / though oure blīdnes se it not.


I am well served and dalte wyth all / that mē love me wyth their lyppes and their hertes are farre from me / and when I take them in hande to make them better and to amende them / then runne they backeward / and in the myddꝭ of the­re curynge / whyle their health ys a workinge / they wythdrawe them selves from me / as thou readeste psalme .lxxvij. conversi sunt in die belli. they are tourned backe in the daye of batayle / that ys to saye / they whych began well and cōmit­ted them selves vn to me / that I shulde take thē ī hāde ād cure thē ar gōne backe frō me ī tyme of tēptacion ād kyllīg of the flesshe / ād ar retourn­ed to sinne ād vn to dishonourīg of me agayne.

The synner

O father it is true / no man can be stronge in his awne strengthe / in the seconde chapter of the fyrst off the kinges. Ye and who is able to sofre and abyde before thyne hande / yff thou the silfe strengthe ād comforte vs not. Wherefore moost mercifull father thake vs vn to thi cure / fulfyll [Page] thi wyll in vs / that we may be thi kyngdome ād enheritaunce / vn to thi lande ād praysyng. Also deare father strengthe and comforte vs in soche busines with thi holy worde / geve vs oure day­ly breed / grave and printe thi deare sonne Iesus in oure hertes / that we strengthed thorowe hym maye cherefully and gladly sofre ād endure the destroyinge and killynge of oure will / ād the fu­lfyllinge off thi will. Ye and sheed oute thi gra­ce apon all christente ād send learned prestes ād preachers / to reache vs thi sonne Iesus purely / and to feade vs with the worde off thi holy Go­spell / and not with the dreeggꝭ and chaffe of fa­belles and mens doctrine.


Hit is not good to caste pearles before swyne / nether to geve holy thinges and the childrens breed vnto the dogges and boundes. Ye synne cō ­tinually with out ceasynge / ād though I lett my word be preached a monge you never so moche / yet ye folowe not / nether obeye / but despice it.

The synner

O father have mercy on vs / and denye vs not that breed of love / it greveth vs sore / even at the very herte rotes of vs / that we can not satisfye thi word and folowe it / we desyre the therefore to have pacience with vs thi poure and wretch­ed cheldren / and to forgeve vs oure treaspace ād gylt / and iudge vs not after thi lawe / for nomā is rightewes in thy presence. Loke on thi promyses / we forgeve oure treaspasers and that wyth all oure hertes / and vn to soche haste thou pro­mysed forgevenes / not that we thorowe soch fo­rgevenes are worthy of thy forgevenes / but th­at [Page] at thou arte true / and of thi grace and mercy haste promysed forgevens vnto all them that for­geve their neghbours / in this thi promyse ther­fore is all oure hope and truste.


I forgeve you ofte and loose you ofte / and ye never abyde stedfaste. Children of lytle fayth a­re ye. Ye can not watche and endure with me a lityll while / but attonce faulle agayne in to temp­tacion / Matthew xxvj.

The synner

Weake ar we o father and feble / and the tem­ptacion greate and many fold / in the flesshe and in the world. Kepe vs father with thi myghty p­ower / and lett vs not faule in to temptacion and synne agayne / butt geve vs grace thatt we maye abyde stondynge / and fighte manfully vnto the ende / for with oute thi grace we can do nothyn­ge.


I am ryghteous and ryghte ys my iudgemēt and therfore sinne maye not be vnpunesshed / ye and ye muste sofre evyll and affliccion / and as wytchinge that ye have temptacion theirby / that is youre sinnes faulte only / which compelleth me their vn to / to kyll it and to heale you / For si­nne can with no nother medicine be drawen out of you / but thorowe adversite and soferynge off evyll.

The synner

For as moche then as adversite tribulacion affliccion and evyll which fyghte agaynste syn­ne geve vs temptacion / delyver vs out of them / finishe [Page] thi cure and make vs thorowe whole / th­at we loosed from synne and evyll maye be vn to the a kyngdome / to lande / to prayse and to san­ctify the / amen. And seinge thou haste taughte vs thus to praye / and hast promysed also to he­are vs / we hope and are sure that thou wylte graciously and mercifully graunte vs oure petici­ons / for thi veritees sake / and to the honouring off thy trueth / Amen.

Finally some man wyll saye happly / what ād yff I can not beleve that my prayer ys heard. I answere. Then do as the father of the possessed dyd in the .ix. of marke / when Christ sayd vnto hym / yff thou couldeste beleve / all thynges are possible vnto hym that beleveth. The father answered I beleve lorde / helpe myne vnbele­fe / that is to saye / heale myne vnbele­fe and geve me perfecte belefe ād strengthe the weaknes off my fayth and encre­ase it.

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