❧ Most lear­ned and fruitfull Com­mentaries of D. Peter Martir Vermilius Florentine, Professor of Diuinitie in the Schole of Ti­gure, vpon the Epistle of S. Paul to the Romanes: wherin are diligent­ly & most profitably entreated all such matters and chiefe common places of religion touched in the same Epistle.

¶ With a table of all the common places and expositions vpon diuers places of the scriptures, and also an Index to finde all the principall matters con­teyned in the same. Lately trā ­slated out of Latine into Englishe, by H. B.

¶ IMPRINTED AT LON­don by Iohn Daye.

¶ Cum Gratia & Priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis per decennium.

❧ These bookes are to be solde at the shop vnder the gate.

‘DIEV ET MON DRIO [...]‘ARISE FOR IT IS DAY’

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND VVORTHY SIR ANTHONY COOKE KNIGHT, PETER MARTIR VERMILIVS OF FLORENCE, PROFESSER OF DIVINITIE IN THE SCHOLE OF TIGVRE, VVISHETH HEALTH.

WHen I oftentimes consider with my selfe (right honourable Sir, whome for godlines and learning I reuerence) all those things which happened all that whole time that I dwelt in En­gland, it driueth into me a great and manifolde griefe. And in es­peciall it is a grief vnto me, that so great an hope of the gospell of Iesus Christe, and of pure doc­trine in that Realme, geuen by the most mighty and most mer­cifull God, and confirmed by the great laboure, industry, and study of godly men, hath now in a maner vtterly pearished. It is a griefe vnto me, to thinke that that most noble wit, most sacred brest, and incredible piety of that famous king Edwarde the .vj. of that name your most deare pupill, is so sodainely taken from vs. It is a griefe vnto me that so many English men, being of great fame & renoum, as well for theyr piety as for theyr knowledge and nobility, are by voluntary exile for religion sake, dispersed throughout externe and straunge countreys: and they which at home were counted moste noble, and heroicall, doe now wander abrode as men obscure, ab­iect, and in a manner vnknowne to all men. But it is well in that this happeneth not vnto them for any wicked actes by them com­mitted, or for filthy life, but only for the name and doctrine of oure Lord Iesus Christ. It is also a griefe vnto me, that so great a mul­titude of godly brethren are (as doubtles it is to often from euerye where signified vnto vs) moste cruelly for theyr holy profession put to the sworde, fire, and tormentes: whome, for as much as they are our brethren, and haue to theyr head together with vs one and the selfe same Christ, and are members of one and the selfe same body, and finally are euen oure owne bowels, when we heare to be en­treated with so great cruelty and tyrāny, it is not possible, but that we also should in minde be shaken with horror, and set on fire, euen as they are in body tormented and murthered. These and a greate many moe things being vnto me a great griefe, so that I am nowe in a maner hardened to any newe griefe, yet cease I not to haue an eye hither and thither, to see if I might by any meanes gette some healthfull and profitable remedy bothe for my selfe and for such like as I am: but now I haue long time had experience of, that it is in vaine to hope for mannes helpe, or for ayd at the worlds hand. And [Page] therefore I persuade both my selfe & also others to withdraw their mindes from the aides of the flesh, and to implore the heauenly and diuine helpe: which doubtles I see is offred vnto vs two wayes. One is, that we with prayers turning our selues vnto Christ, shold say: ‘How long Lord shall the wickednes and fury of Idolatry, of supersticions, and of the ignorance of the scriptures range abroade on the earth? How long Lord shall thy holy Gospell be troden vn­der foote? We in dede haue sinned, we haue ben rebellious against thee, and haue not harkened vnto thy wordes, for which cause we are iustly, and for our euill deserte, thus daily put [...]o confusion and shame. But thou O Lord our God are most iust in all thy workes. But on the other side Lord, for as much as it belongeth to thy cle­mency and constancy, to haue mercye, to spare, and most faithfully to kepe thy couenauntes and promises, how long Lord? how long wilt thou be angry vnto the end? Remember not our iniquities of olde. Wherefore we beseeche thee, that for as much as in these laste times, thou hast by pouring abrode thy plenteous light, (and that being most mighty,) vouchsafed to make manifest vnto men which lay in darknes, yea more then palpable darknes, the secretes of thy truth: thou woldest once at the length turne away thy wrath and fury from our ingrate mindes, and from the most greuous sinnes, whereby we haue laid forth thy most holy name, and the pure doc­trine which we professe, to euil speakings and to blasphemies. And deliuer thy congregation from the contumelies and oppressions of the wicked, which doubtles light not only vpon vs, but also vppon the maiesty of thy name. Although thou of thyne owne nature be [...], that is, vntouchable, and not able to be hurt. Illu­minate O most louing Christ, thy face vpon the Church redeamed with thy bloud, which is now in a manner vtterly lefte desolate. Thy name only, and not any other mannes name, we call vpon, not vndoubtedly trusting to any our own righteousnes, but to thy goodnes only and mercy, that thou woldest either appoynt an end or measure of those euils, and lenify the vexation wherwith we to­gether with our brethren are afflicted, or that thou wouldest at the least vouchsafe to geue vnto the hearts of thine, such faith and con­stancy, that they fall not away from the profession of true piety, yea rather that they may so nobly and valiantly behaue them selues, that by their exile, emprisonment, pouertye, ignominy, sworde, fire, and how cruell so euer kinde of death it be, the liuely knowledge of thy gospell may more and more shine forth, and be made more ma­nifest to the whole world.’ This kinde of ayde and remeady, (right honorable sir,) is the first, which I see is to be sought for at Gods hands against our euils, and which the holy Fathers, prophets, A­postles, and blessed cōfessors of the Christian faith, with great fruit vsed in their afflictions. Wherfore seing that God heard them praying after this maner, or muche like therevnto, let vs in no wise di­strust, but that he will also heare vs when as we haue cōmon with them, one and the selfe same cause, and one and the selfe same God. Vndoubtedly if he heard them, he will not despise our prayers: but [Page] forasmuch as he is alwayes like vnto himselfe, if he most louingly and with incredible facilitie receaued theyr prayers, he will also fil vs making supplicatiō vnto him, not with a small but with a most ample consolation. The second helpe which is also brought vs from God, and is euery where offred vnto vs, are the holy scriptures, which we ought alwais to haue in our hands as a present remedy. For if we be enfected wt ignorāce, there shal we finde light to shake the same of: if we be disturbed with sundry perturbations, and lan­guishing affectes of the mind, and if also we be vexed with the con­science of most greuous sinnes, in them are offred vnto vs remedies both easy & redy: if we be oppressed and in a maner ouerwhelmed with the troubles and greues of outward thinges, there shall we find sound and firme consolation: if we be sometymes in a perplex­itye, not knowinge in thinges doubtfull whiche way to turne our selues, we can in no other place better then there, finde good and faithfull counsell: if we be tempted, and be in daunger (as it often­times happeneth) of our saluation, there we haue a most strong & most sure place of refuge. And doubtles our latter Dauid, drue out from no els where, but out of this scrippe, most small stones of the word of God, wherewith he smote the forehead of Goliah, and fel­led to the ground Sathan, by whome he was tempted in y desert. Wherfore the first Dauid, not without iust cause wrote that he con­sidered wonderfull things touching the lawe, that is touching the scriptures of God, and that he had hidden in his hart the worde of God, to the ende he might not sinne against him, and this word he confessed to be his consolation in affliction, for that the wordes of GOD quickened him. What should a man seke farther: here out doe flow the fountaines of our Sauiour, and we are all inuited, freelye to drawe water out of them, whereby our intollerable thirste is quenched and satisfied with a singular desire to obtaine blessednes. Here haue we a storehouse of GOD full stuffed with the plenty of all good things, and set abrod wyde open for vs, ther­out may euery man prouide for his owne want. Here is layde for vs a table most plentifullye furnished, where the wisedome of God hath mingled for vs most pleasant wyne, wherewith euery man may most penltifully refreshe him. Here is set forth for euery man a garden and paradise more pleasant then the garden of Alci­noes & Salomon. Wherfore let vs gather out of it things profita­ble & not hurtful. Let vs rather imitate y bees then y spiders, in suc­king out the most sweete iuyce, and not the deadly poyson. We vse commonly with an incredible study to embrace bookes set forth by any industry of man, whereout yet we attayne nothing els, but a meane how either to defend or to recouer health, or a way to en­crease thinges domesticall, or rules to gouern a commonwealth, or institutions of husbandry or of other artes, or some entisements to pleasures: how much more is it profitable for vs with our whole hart to apply our selues to the reading of the holy scriptures? For­asmuch as in them speaketh not vnto vs humane wisedom, but God himselfe, vnto whome vndoubtedly if we harken & geue hede [Page] we shall receaue a singular alacrity and chearfulnes of mynd, we shall driue away heauy cogitacions, we shalbe eased and lightened with a most sweete consolation, and shall put on strength aboue mans reach, we shall now thinke nothing hard or difficill, we shall thinke the yoke of the Lord and his crosse to be thinges most light, and shall offer our selues most redy for his name sake to suffer any thing, yea and being instructed with heauenly eloquence, we shall talke vnto men not with the wordes of men, but with the wordes of God himselfe. Doubtles I know that there are many, which be­leue not these thinges, and that there are not a few which deride them and thinke that we are out of our wits, but I would gladly desire these men to vouchesafe once to make a profe, & besech them not to disdayne to reade. I dare sweare, and that vpon my greate perill, that they shall at one tyme or other be taken. They shal at the length feale how much these thinges diuine differ from humane thinges. They shall feale I say, if they reade attentiuely & diligent­ly, that at the length thorough the mercy of God these scourges of feare and shame are encreased in their sences: they shall feale them selues to be effectually perswaded, once at the length to dye vnto death, that they may liue to life: they shall feele also themselues smitten with an horror of their sinnes and pleasures past, when as before in them they thought themselues blessed, & happy. They shal feele that the whole misery of this carnall life, is heaped vp before their eyes, and they being tormented with the bitter feeling ther­of, it will cause to burst forth out of their eyes greate showers, and mighty floods of teares, for the oracles and words of GOD, when they are earnestly read, and deapely cōsidered, do not slightly nippe the mind, but do most deapely digge into the hart with most sharpe prickes, and therout after a sort plucking vp by the rootes vices, & wicked actes, do in their place plant peace of conscience and spiri­tuall ioye: they shal also at the length fele kindled in them the won­derfull and most pleasant loue of the swetenes & goodnes of God. Wherefore they being thus vtterly changed, shalbe compelled to say that which Dauid excellently well recordeth: ‘How swete are thy words made to my iawes, they were sweter vnto my mouth then hony.’ But of such an helpe, then which can nothing be found more diuine and more heathfull, are those men depriued, whiche o­ther will not read Gods bokes at all, or els reade them with a cer­tayne disdayne, lothesommes and contempt, so that they haue no zeale to the wordes of God, but thorough theyr owne proper deui­ses, their mind is vtterly caried to other matters. Of which impiety and wickednes God in y Prophet Osea the 8. chapiter greauously accuseth Israell saying, I haue written to them the greate things of my law, but they were coūted as a strange thing. Doubtles those children are to much degenerated, which count that voyce where­with theyr most louing parent calleth vpon them to liue godly and vertuously; for a strange voyce: and contrariwise do folow as theyr owne and proper voyce that which is in very dede a strang voyce: and so it commeth to passe, that after the maner of betels they re­fuse [Page] swete sauors, and go to stinking donghils. Wherefore it is not to be meruailed at, if they waxe rottē in the filthy puddle of world­ly pleasures, if they be burnt vp wyth vnwoorthy and filthy cares, If they dispayre in aduersities, and if at the laste they perishe in sinnes, and in a lyfe altogether corrupted. In summe as tou­ching the holy scriptures, I may iustly pronounce (although some­what inuerted) that which Demostenes affirmed of money, name­ly, that with the word of God ought al things to be done, and with out the same can be done nothing that is good. But what go I a­bout? Do I take vpon me to set forth the commendacions and prayses of ye holy scripture? This doubtles is not my purpose, but hauing mencioned a part many thinges, which both engender & encrease my sorow & griefe, I thought good to adde remedies which I saw were geuē of God agaynst the same griefe: namely, holy prayers, & reading of ye holy scriptueres. These things, as they are the weapōs of Christians, especially in those troublesome times of theyrs, so (right honorable & worthy sir) there was no nede that you should with many wordes be by me admonished of them: when as I am not ignorant, what your piety and learning is, and how redy and well in vre you are in either kind of those actions. Wherfore it may seme that I ought rather to haue shewed this, how you thorough these most excellent aydes, haue bene holpen euen to this time hy­therto, and that not only thereby you susteyne your selfe, but also become euery day better, wiser, and stronger. Howbeit this feared me away from doing so, for that I thought it not good to molest your eares, for I know that it is much agaynst your will to heare your owne prayses. Neither doubtles is it nedefull to set forth your vertues chiefely of this kind, when as it is well knowen and vn­derstanded of all men, that with out such aydes you had neuer ben able to reach to yt excellency of Christian vertue, of the knowledge of things diuine and humane, of holy conuersation and of notable valiantnes and perseuerance in the confession of the true fayth. To what purpose then haue I written these thinges. To this end vn­doubtedly, that writing vnto you touching thē, I might instruct, teach, and comfort others which should read them, and ther withall set forth vnto them a man, which continually vsing the aydes be­fore set forth, doth both offer vnto God most acceptable sacrifices, and also comforteth and strengthneth himselfe in the Lord, and moreouer geueth a singular example to others for the wel ordering of thinges in the pure and sincere religion of Christ. I for my part doubtles haue euen since the time that I dwelt in England, borne a singular loue, and no smal or vulgar affection towards you, both for your singular piety and learning, and also for the worthy office, which you faythfully & with great renoune executed in the christiā publike wealth, in instructing Edward, that most holy king and most worthy to be beloued, whose wit, goodnes, religion, and ey­ther vertues heroical, yea rather Christian, may indede be touched, but can neuer be praysed according to theyr desert. Wherefore whē in that realme, and in that office I began to loue you (right hono­rable [Page] sit) and afterward God by his singuler prouidence which he vseth in the gouernment and administration of things pertayning to his, so wrought, that I saw you againe in Germanie, and knew you to be euen the selfe same man you were before, I was so affec­ted y where as before I did indede loue you, yet now I do most feruently loue. Wherfore I oftentimes thought with my selfe, how I might once in some thing if it were possible, signifie and testifie, both how much I esteeme your vertues, and how gratefull I am towardes you, for the benefites which you somtymes haue bestowed vpon me: but to accōplish this I had for a long ceason no occasi­on offred vnto me. I happened afterward to come to Tigure, but since my departure from you, that selfe same cogitatiō neuer went out of my minde. Yea rather I always thought it my part once at the length to pay vnto your honour, that whiche vnwitting vnto you I had in my minde with a good will promised vnto it. Wher­fore mynding now to put abroade my commentaries vpon the E­pistle of Paul to the Romanes, I thought it good to set them forth vnder the protection of your name: and fully persuade my self that you will take it in good part. Although at the first you can not but wonder, and peraduenture take it ill, for thinges which are not lo­ked for, and which happen besides expectation, do commonly cause admiration. And we see that a light gift, and such a gift which tur­neth rather to a burthen, then to honour, is many tymes not so wel accepted. Wherfore I hartely beseche your honour to pardon my boldnes, which I cannot tel whether others wil call rashnes. And I thynke that that thyng which I haue besides your knowledge thought vpon, came from the spirite of God, which gouerneth our hartes: and receiue this booke dedicated of me vnto you with the same fauour, wherewith that your most worthy and deare pupill Edward king of England not long since receiued my other Com­mentaries vpon the first epistle to the Corinthians: and conceaue that my minde was by this dedication (how meane soeuer it be) to ioyne you a scholemaister of much renowne, wt ascholer of most ex­cellency. Doubtles by the authoritie of the king I taught at Ox­ford in his last tyme, those thinges which you shall here read, and when it was not onely required, but also vrged at my handes to put abroade this worke, I yelded thereto. But considering that it was due to some man of the Englishe nation, I thought you a mā most mete, to whom it might be geuen in the stede of the king now dead. Wherfore I earnestly desire you to take that which I haue done not in ill part, but in good, neither thinke that I ment to bur­then or to charge you, but rather after asort to couple you together with my king and yours, and in some part to answere vnto your deserts both towardes religion, and towardes my selfe. I know doubtles that the thinges which are here taught of me, will not make you either much ler neder, or much better: for you both know them alredy, and also as much as the state of this flesh will suffer do expresse them in your maners and life. But forasmuch as all are not come so farre, I desire and besech God the father of our Lord [Page] Iesus, that the thinges white are put abrode vnder your name, may at the least be profitable vnto others, though you your selfe litle nede them, and that they may enioy the fruite hoped for. For my earnest desire is that these my writinges may serue to the vse of the Church of Christ: My desire is to confirme, to amplifie and to illustrate ye Gospel of the sonne of God: My desire is to establish the weake in fayth, and playnly to enstruct the vnlerned. And that I may attayne to these thinges, I most earnestly require of you, by your most faythfull supplications and prayers at Gods hand to obteyne them: but I am aferd lest you or some other, should aske me: what neded you at this time to take such great paynes in the interpreting of this epistle? Did you thinke that we wāted exposi­tors either old or new? Doubtles you were not ignorāt of thē; whē as you so often in your commentary alledge both Greke and latine Fathers: neither can you dissemble that you haue not sene the lat­ter writers for insome places you so follow and treade theyr steps, that it playnly appeareth that they are after a sort red in your wri­tinges. To these thinges first I answere, that I did not at the first take in hand this charge to write an exposition vpon this epistle, for I knew right well that the Fathers both Grekes and lattines haue with great labour and fruite exercised themselues herein. Neither was I ignorāt that there are of the latter writers, which haue done the same. First Phillip Melancthon, a notable man, who elegantly and with an exquisite methode hath more then once ex­planed this epistle. Afterward Martin Bucer, a man not onely en­dued with singular pietie and incomparable learning, but also so long as he liued coupled with me in most deare frendship, set forth vpon the selfe same epistle a large and learned commentary. And I had red also two other most shining lightes of the church, Bul­linger, I say, and Caluine, both most faithfull pastors, the one of the church of Tigure, the other of the church of Genena, ether of which men hath with great trauaile to the great profite of the flocke of Christ set forth most excellent and most learned commentaries v­pon all the epistles of the apostle: but it is not my entent in thys place to collect and celebrate the prayses and vertues of all these men. And I knew that there haue bene others and that not a few whose learned trauailes vpon this epistle of Paul haue bene set a­brode, and therfore there was no cause (as I said) why I shoulde take vpon me the trauaile to frame a new interpretation, when as other men had in this kind of speaking sufficiently and aboundantly trauayled. But thus stoode the case, when in England, during the time of the Gospell I was appointed to teach at Oxford: I publikely enterpreted the first epistle to the Corinthians, and also this epistle to the Romanes, & as the maner is, I priuately collected those interpretacions yt I dayly vsed, which afterward, by the ear­nest sute of others I was compelled to put abrode, and to make common to all men those thinges which I had noted for my selfe alone or a few of my frendes: wherefore that whiche I tooke not in hand to any such purpose rather to the contrary, first God, and [Page] then y instant desires of men, haue brought to this point: namely, y those things which were at the beginning destinied to be famili­ar and priuate schrolles, shouldbe turned into commentaries. Nei­ther do I professe my selfe to haue bene y only author & finder out of all those things which I haue vpō this epistle written. For I haue ben in many things excellētly wel holpē by the old writers in espe­cial, and also no lesse by the new, such as I haue before mencioned, vnto whome yet though I haue not bene euery way and in all thinges agreeable, yet haue I not done that either of a corrupt af­fect of the mind, or of a desire to gaynesay, or of a lust to reproue a­ny man: but for that I iudged otherwise of some certayne thinges then they did: which I doubt not seing it was done with a good mind, shall also be taken in good part, when as by this meanes is not broken the vnity of the Church, neither is any part of my good will & reuerence towardes thē thereby empayred or diminished. Secondly this I thinke to helpe to the defence of this my edition, for that the fruitfulnes of the holy scriptures is so great, that it can not all whole be drawen out of any man, thoughe he be neuer so wise, learned, wittie, and industrious. Wherefore this is earnestly to be wished for, that all men might prophesie, to the end that those vnmeasurable riches which still lye hidden in the mines of y word God, and in the hidden vaines of the holy booke, may with great study be digged out. Which thing as I to my power haue taken vpon me to do, so I besech the sonne of God, that others may sur­cede, which may pricke out gold and siluer much more pure then mine, that vppon Christe the only foundation of our fayth may be built most perfect doctrine to the commoditie of the Church. Now should rest for me somewhat to speake of the worthines, commodi­ties, and entent of this epistle: but I thinke it good at this time to leue the matter vntouched, partly for that these thinges are in a maner knowen to all men: and partly for that in the pre­face we haue spoke so much as we thought sufficient touching this matter, and touching a few other thynges pertayning to the same. Wherefore omitting them at this present, this agayne I desire and require at your handes (right honorable and worthy sir) that you would vouchsafe to accept my small gift, as a moste certaine pledge of my loue and affection towardes you, neither take it in ill part, that with my bolde offer, I presume to trouble your honour.

¶ Fare you well, and God send you as you haue beg [...]n long to liue to our Lord Iesus Christ the sonne of God and redemer of manking.

The Preface, wherein is set forth the dignitie, vtili­tie, and summe of the Epistle to the Romanes, and consequently of the whole doctrine of Paul.

IF the dignity of a booke should depend of the prayse of the writer, then Chrisostome, then a great many others had bestowed a necessary tra­uayle, which haue set forth Paul with wonderfull prayses. But bycause that the holy ghost is the au­thor of this epistle to the Romanes, and Paul is on­ly the writer thereof, therefore I will the more spa­ringly touch his prayses. The Lord called him aPaul a vessel elec [...]d to pr [...]ache the name of our lord Iesus Christ. Paul is to be harkned vnto of the Gentles es­pecially. vessell, which in the Hebrew phrase is an organ or instrument, elected whereby his name should be spred abrod thoroughout the whole world. And the name of the Lord we know is Iesus Christ. Nether did Paul preach amongst ye Bētiles these letters only or words or soūdes, but also those things whiche are by them signified: namely that Iesus Christ is the sauiour of mankind, also our wisedome, righteousnes, and sanctificati­on, and finally whatsoeuer good thing we haue. And forasmuch as we come of the stocke of the Gentiles, we right chiefely to harken vnto him, which aboue others was appoynted the maister and Apostle of the Gentiles, and was thereunto sepe­rated from his mothers wombe. And as valiant souldiers, and couragious horses, when they heare theyr trumpet blow, do erect themselues do make redy theyr wea­pons, neyther can theyr force be restrayned: so ought we, when Paul is recited, or whē we rede him by our selues, to erect our minds, and all our motiōs, endeuors & appetites to the obedience of God, as men which fele our selues stirred vp by our owne trūpet. And to what office this Apostle was appointed, he declared in ye Acts of the apostles when he made his oration to Agrippa the king: when he sayd, yt the lord had said vnto him, For to this end haue I appeared to thee, to appoint thee a mini­ster What was the ministery of Paul and a witnes, both of those things which thou hast sene, and of those thinges in which I will appeare vnto thee, deliuering thee from the people and nations, to whome I now send thee: that thou mayst open theyr eyes, that they may be conuerted from darkenes to light, and frō the power of Sathan to God: that they may receaue forgeuenes of sinnes, and inheritance amongest them which are sanctified by fayth in me. And with how great diligence Paul executed this office, it is manifest, when as towards the end of this epistle he writeth, that from Ierusalem to Illiricum, he had filled all the pla­ces rounde about, with the Gospell. which thing he with so feruent a minde per­formed, that in the 20. chapiter of the Actes he in effect spake these wordes to the E­phesians, I haue by the space of three yeares preached the Lord, and that night and day, How Paul behoued himselfe in the mini­stery. with many teares, and haue opened vnto you all the counsel of God: I haue not coueted any mans gold or siluer amongst you, these handes haue ministred to my necessities, and to thē that were with me. These wordes haue a wonderful emphasis: He sayth that he had preached vnto them not one day or twayn, but whole 3. yeres: not by turnes & times, but night & day: not with a cold affection, but with many teares: not guile fully or disceitfully, for he opened vnto thē all ye coūsel of God: not in a quiet & peace able state, when as the Hebrues sought sundry and manifold ways to destroy him: neither had he a regard to his owne thinges, when as he desired nothing that per­tayned to any man: neyther finally tooke he small paynes in this office, when asIn what sort all men ought to i­mitate Paul. with his owne handes he gott thinges necessary both for himselfe and his. These thinges can not we without shame heare, which so leue destitute our wiues, chil­dren, famely, frendes, kinsfolkes, and cosins, and finally all those with whome we are conuersant, that we neuer at any time preach either Christ or his doctrine vnto thē: vnto whō yet we ought most feruently to preach. For we are no lesse Apostles to these, then Paul was appointed for yt Gentiles. And whē as he sayth yt he had opened vnto thē all ye counsels of God, it is to be wondred at, how that many will so with tooth and nayle hold fast things as necessary to saluation, which we know of what Bishoppes of Rome, and of what counsels, & of what decrees of men they were brought in, and are not prescribed vnto vs of Paul, nor of any part of the holy scripture. Paul for the better executing of his office, contēned wonderful great dan­gers: and where he saw the gate open thither he slacked not to go, although he had many aduersaries which sought to withstand him. He was made all thinges to all men, to the Iewes a Iew, and to those that were without the law, as one that [Page] wanted the law: Yea and to the Ethnikes; whē as they had no skill in the prophetsWhy Paul some times in his sermōs vsed verses of Poets. Paul came to Ierusa­lem to con­ferre hys gospel with the apo­stles. What fruit is to be lo­ked for of counsels. That Paule at the begin­ning perse­cuted the church. wāted not fruite. Paul was not of the meane sort. Paul was most studi­ous in the law. Of those thinges which are sayd to be done of a good entēt. From whence the epistle to the Gala­thians was written. Why Paul spake more gently touching the obseruyng of the law to the Ro­manes, thē to the Ga­lathians. Pauls se­cretary was named Tertius. From whence these let­ters were geuen. Argumēts whereby the Iewes thought that the Gentles were to be excluded from the Gospell. neither had any knowledge in the scriptures, he cited verses out of theyr Poets, as out of Aratus, Menander, and Epinemides. And the same Paul was not aferd to go vn­to Ierusalem to conferre the Gospell with the chiefe Apostles, not as though he had small confidence in his doctrine, which he had receaued from the Lord out of heauen: for he had an assured persuasion, and as the Greaciās say such a [...], that he pronounced him to be Anathema or accursed, which preached any other Gospel: neither as touching this thing spared he the angels. Neither is it any meruail, for such a certaintie fayth requireth. Wherefore we learne, that Counsells are not to this end to be called, as though our fayth ought to depend of theyr determinati­ons: but that there we should make manifest, that those thinges which we beleue exactly agree with the holy scriptures, and playnly to proue the same to our aduer­saries. Neither is there any more fruite or commodity therehence to be looked for. The louing mercy also of God prouided, that that also turned to good to ye Church that Paul had at the beginning so vebemently persecuted it. For they which after­ward saw him sodenly cōuerted vnto Christ, could not beleue, that this could haue happened with out the mighty power of God. For as a man doth not vpon the so­dayn [...] become most vile, so also is not a man of a wicked man straight way made most holy, vnles the Spirite of God worke the same. Paul was none of the commō and meane sort, he was not an obstinate Iewe, which wanted learning and know­ledge, but he was most studious in the law: neither had he bent his study to it only, but also applied himselfe to the traditions of the fathers. And thereof it came, that he persecuted the Church of Christ. For if he had geuen himselfe to the law of God only, without adding vnto it the leuen of humane traditions, he should the easelier haue acknowledged Christ. But whosoeuer haue addicted themselues to humane traditions, they must nedes be persecuters of the Church of Christ. They say that Paul did these thinges of a good pretence, and not of an euill purpose, but of an ho­ly entent (as they vse to speake) For my part as I confesse, that this somewhat di­minisheth the greauousnes of the sinne both before God and before man (for I do not make all sinnes a like) so also affirme I that the case is thereby the more dangerous. For they which sinne vnder the shew of holines, and vnder a godly pretence, and not of an euill purpose, do with the more difficulty returne agayne into the right way, for that they are farre of to vnderstand that they sinne. Wherfore in that case there nedeth the wonderfull great mercy and helpe of God. But this is all yt I mind at this time to write touching Paul.

Now in what order his epistles were written, Chrysostome as I thinke hath sufficiently shewed. From whome herein only I dissagree, that I thinke that the E­pistle to the Galathians was written at Rome. For that in it he vehemently repro­ueth the obseruers of the rites of the old law: touching which matter he spake more gently in those epistles which he had before written, and in those which were the last he wrote when he was at Rome. For that at the beginning he thought it good somewhat a while to beare with their infirmity, whom he thought mought be won vnto Christ, vntill they were better instructed. But when he afterward vnderstode that the deuil abused this gentlenes, so that by his fals apostles he obtruded yt obseruation which was then but permitted, as a thing necessary to saluation, as though Christ with out it were not sufficient, he began more vehemently to resist, so that he sayd: If ye be circumcised, Christ is nothing profitable vnto you: & other thinges which were more sharply written to the Galathians thē here in this Epistle. The Scribe which wrote this epistle as Paul endited it, was named Tertius: and he sent these let­ters frō the port Cenchries, which is not farre distant from Corinthe, & they were caried to Rome by a Christian woman called Phebe. The occasion that moued him to write this epistle was this: The nation of the Iewes as they had a great pride in themselues, so also they alwayes enuied other nations. Wherefore at the begin­ning many of them would not haue had the grace of the Gospell of Iesus Christ communicated but only to the Iewes. And they thought, although fasly, that the promises were dew only to the seede of Abraham as touching the fleshe. Moreouer forasmuch as they iudged that the Gospell was to be distributed according to the dignity of the receauers, and they saw that the Gentiles were prophane and won­derfully addicted to idolatry, they thought them to be vnworthy one whom shoulde be bestowed so great a benefit. Yea and the Apostles stayed long, before they went to the Gentiles: although they had heard that Christ gaue them in charge to go to al nations, and to preach the Gospell to euery creature. Neither as I suppose wan­ted there some which went about to auoyde these commaundemēts, thinking that the Apostles should go to diuers nations, to the end to preach Christ to the Iewes [Page] which were dispersed thorough out the whole world, and not to the Ethnikes and that which was spoken to all creatures they contracted to theyr Iewes: for that al the [...]arth is sometimes called that part only which pertayned to yt Iews. But the Apostls being illustrated with the holy ghost were neuer infected with this error. Howbeit they differred theyr going to the gētiles, for that they knew that the gospel should fyrst be preached in Iewry, and they knew not how long they should abide there. Wherefore they wayted to haue geuen vnto them from God an assured signe when they should goe: which theyr expectation was sa­tisfied.By what signe God first shew­ed that thes shold prea­che to the Gentiles. For the lord by a vision shewed vnto Peter that the nations were sancti­fied when he sayd vnto him: Say not thou that that is common, which God hath san­ctified: and he impelled him to goe to Cornelius the Centurion: vnto whome, when he had heard the word of the Gospell, God by a visible signe communica­ted the holy ghost. These were manifest tokens, that the calling of the Gentiles shold no lenger be differed. Of this, which I haue spokē, the Acts of the Apostles beare witnes: in which also we read, that the Apostles & the disciples, that were at Ierusalem, wondred, that the Gentiles had receaued the holy ghost, And Pe­ter was accused by reason of Cornelius the Centurion, for that he hadde gone to the Gentiles. But he defended himselfe both in declaring vnto them the vision whereby he was admonished, and also shewing vnto them, that the holy ghost had visibly fallen vpon those Ethnikes. We read also that after the death of Ste­phan many of the beleuers went to Antioch, and to Ciprus, and to other places of the Gentiles, but yet taught not Christ but only to the Iewes. But whē they now by Peters oration manifestly vnderstoode that they should no lenger stay from admitting the Gentiles, they thought that though they were put downeThe Iew­es sought to lay vpon y Gentiles the yoke of the law. from the first steppe yet they would stay in the second, namely, to lay vpon the neck of the Gētiles conuerted, the yoke of the law. There were doubtles Iews dispersed thorough out the whole world, to whome the pharisies and prests sēt letters not to admitte the doctrine of Christ. But they which were now Christi­ans, but yet not thoroughly instructed, wrote, that Christ indede is to be recca­ued, but yet together with him it behoued them to receaue the ceremonies of theWhereof sprang the trouble in the church. law of Moses. Hereof sprang no smal trouble, and the state of the Church was at that time very vnquiet: this was the cause why Paul reproued Peter. And the same Paul consented, to circumcise Timothe, to polle his hed in Cenchries, and to offer in the temple at Ierusalem a gift, as though he had made a vow. This therforeThe fault of the Ro­mains, and of the Galathiās, was partly like, and partly vnlike. was the occasion that moued the Apostle to write this epistle to the Ro­maines: which were sicke of the same dissease, that the Galathians were after­ward infected with. Howbeit the condition and state of ech of these natiōs was not a like. For the Balathians were first well instructed of Paul, whome after­ward the false Apostles and lieng preachers corrupted. But contrariwise the Romanes were not at the beginning well taught: and as it should seme, they receaued together with Christ much of the leuen of Moses: but when they knew the falshode, they repented: wherefore theyr fayth is much commended. But byThat Pe­ter was flayne at Rome, it can not be denyed. whome they were first brought to the fayth, many put great doubt. That Peter went thither and was there slayne for Christs sake, I will not deny, when as in a maner all the Fathers and the ecclesiasticall histories testifie the same. How be it it is not very likely that the Romanes were by him first brought to the fayth. But paraduenture they by this meanes came to the fayth, for that now a great multitude of the Hebrewes were come to Rome, partly being brought thyther by Pompey, and partly by reason Iewry was now in subiectiō: to the Romanes and was brought into the forme of a prouince. And amongst others many of the faythfull remoued thither. Touching Priscilla and Aquilla it is very manifestWhat they were as it is most likely, which preached y gospel fyrst to the Ro­maines. Their rea­son which neglect this Epistle. Commen­dation of this Epi­stle to the Romanes. by the last chapiter of this epistle. By these and such other like of the faythfull, the Gospell mought there haue hys beginning, but not without controuersye touching the ceremonies of the law. Some haue by reason of these thinges takē occasion to withdraw men from studieng of this epistle: and haue said, that from the .xii. chapiter to the end it is worthy to be red, for that there is set forth an ex­cellent institucion touching maners. But vnto that chapiter, forasmuche as (say they) there is nothing entreted of, but only striues and contencions concerning the ceremonies of the law, it serueth litle to our vse to know them, for that they of conduce not to our times, wherein are vtterly remoued away the ceremonies of the Iewes. But these men are farre deceaned themselues, and seke also to de­ceaue others. For the whole epistle doubtles is a golden epistle, and most wor­thy to be red: It contayneth places touching naturall knowledge, and ciuill of­fices, touching the law of Moses, and touching the Gospell: it expliraceth iustification and original sinne: it setteth forth grace, it entreateth of election, predestination, [Page] the execution of the Iewes, and of the restoring of them agayne. From the twelfth chapites it contayneth what kind of sacrifice we ought to offer, and en­treateth touching the magestrate, and touching bearing with the weake, and remouing away offence. And who seeth not that these are great matters and mostThe question being moued tou­ching cere­monies, is reduced to the genera­litie. profitable to be knowen? But whereas they obiect vnto vs, that as touching the first part is entreated of ceremonies I graunt indede, that by the meanes of them the question began first, which Paul seking to dissolue reduced it to the ge­nus or generall word. And to declare that we can not be iustified by the ceremo­nies of the law, he proueth generally that iustification can not come of any our workes. And so when he had taken away the genus, the species or parts could by no meanes consist. For it followeth. We are iustified by no workes, therefore, neyther by ceremoniall workes, nor by morall workes, nor by iudiciall workes. And that the reasons of Paul extend so farre I will proue by these argumentsArgumēts to proue yt here are en­treated of works ge­nerally, and not of cere­monyall workes on­ly. following. First he teacheth that we are iustified by sayth, and by the mercy of God, that the promise might be firme. But that promise is not firme if it depend eyther of the execution of ceremonies, or of the obseruation of the ten commaun­dements: for that we are as touching ech part a like weake. Moreouer he sayth, that we are iustified freely, which word, Freely, is of no effect vnles we exclude morall workes. For he which worketh, vnto him reward is rendred according to debt and not according to grace. Afterward he entreateth of the obseruation of that law, by which we haue the knowledge of sinne, which thing belongeth rather to morall precepts, then to ceremonies. This is the law whirh worketh anger: neyther doubt we, but that God is more prouoked to anger, if we trans­gresse the ten commaundements, then if we offend in certayne rites and ceremonies. And more ouer Paul putteth our iustification to consist of the grace and mercy of God, to the end our boasting should be excluded. But if thou remoue away ceremonies only, and say that we are iustified by morall works, boasting is not taken away: for we may at the least boast of them. Farther it is certayne, that the ceremonies of Moses pertayned to the first table where the worshipping of God is commaunded. Neyther were the elders any lesse bound to these ceremonies, then we are at this daye bounde to receaue baptisme and the Eucharist. And if Paul proue that we are not iustified by those thinges which pertayn to yt first cable: much more then is it proued that we can not attayne vnto righteousnes by the workes of the latter table. Paul, when he had declared that we are now by the benefit of Christ free from the law, obiecteth vnto himselfe, Let vs sinne more freely, and abide in sinne, that grace may the more abound. If the question had bene moued touching ceremonies only, he mought haue answered: ye are not deliue­red but only from ceremonies, ye are still bound to the morall law. But he ma­keth no such answere, but sayth, that we ought to sinne no more for that we are now dead vnto sin, and grafted into Christ, and buried together with him. And the same Paul when he wrote, that by the fauor of Christ we are deliuered and absolued from those thinges, which in our flesh resist the law of God, expressed­ly declared of what law he entreated. For he made mencion of that commaun­dement, Thou shalt not lust. Lastly in the epistle to the Galathians, where he en­treateth of the selfe same matter, be pronounceth him accursed which abideth not in all the thinges which are written in the booke of the law. When he saith, all, doubtles he excludeth not morall workes. Wherefore this disputacion of the Apostle is not superfluous. Yea rather vnles he had taken it in hand, the liber­ty of the Church had bene put in great danger, which the deuill sought to bring vnder the law, as though Christ of himselfe were not sufficient to iustifye men. And the reasons which are perticularly brought in touching ceremonies areA sure rea­son wherby is proued y no man is iustified by the ceremo­nies of mē. not superfluous. For by the selfe same reasons we may proue that mens tradi­cions, and the rites which men haue appoynted vnto vs, are not such worship­pinges of God, as can not be changed, nor omitted, if they shall seme not to conduce to saluation. For these thinges much les pertayne to the obteyning of righteousnes, then do the ceremonies instituted by God himselfe. Wherefore if these auayle not to righteousnes then can not those of necessity be required vnto it. Thou wilt demaund paraduenture, whether bicause of these reasons of the Apostle, we ought to thinke our selues losed from all maner of law. Not so vndoubtedly,Whether we be free from the law. neyther doth this follow of his sayinges: vnles thou vnderstand that we are free and loosed from the law in respect that we can not be iustified by it. O­therwise we ought to obey it, and to the vttermost of our power to labour to execute it, but yet not with this purpose to seke thereby to be iustifyed. And as touching the ceremonies of the old law, two extreme errors are to be takē hede of, [Page] the one is of the Ebionites and others, which Iewishly sought to ioyne of necessityTwo er­rors to be taken hed▪ of▪ as tou­ching the olde law. the ceremonies of Moses to Christ. Contrariwise the other extreme error is of the Marcionites, which affirmed that the old law was not geuen of a good God, but of an euil gouerner, the maker of this world. We saile in yt middest betwene these extremities, and affirme, that now after Christ, the ceremonies of the law are not still to be kept, when as theyr time is now expired. Howbeit we com­mend them, as thinges which in the time of the fathers before Christ came, were good: and we beleue that they were instituted by the selfe same God, which is the father of our lord Iesus Christ. But to make the discourse of the first part moreAbrief con­tent of the whole E­pistle. playne, and vniuersally the vtility of the whole epistle, we will briefely touch the summe thereof, that it being in that maner layd before our eyes, the whole epistle may haue the more light.

In the first chapiter is set forth vnto vs, how that neyther naturall know­ledgeThe first chapiter. nor ciuill offices could by any meanes iustifie men: for that it is euidently shewed that men endewed with them, liued drowned in most horrible sinnes: whiche thing shoulde not haue happened, if by these thinges they had bene iustyfied.

In the second chapiter the Iewes are made equall with the Gentiles, whoseThe second chapiter. life accused as most corrupt: for that they preached that a man should not steale, and yet stole, that a man should not commit adultery, and yet committed adul­tery, that a man should not committe sacriledge, and yet committed it thēselues. By which it is manifest, that the law which they had receaued brought them not to iustification.

In the third chapiter lest he might seme to deface the law, he confesseth that yt The third chapiter. it was an excellent gift of God: but yet not of that kind, that it could iustifye. He attributeth vnto it other offices, namely, to bring forth the knowledge of sinne. And so he reduceth both the Iewes and the Gentiles to one Christ, as to the fountayne and author of all righteousnes. And yet notwithstanding he doth not by thys meanes he sayth violate or ouerthrowe the law, but most of all establishe it.

In the fourth chapiter, he proueth the selfe same thing which he had beforeThe fourth chapiter. put forth, by the example of Abraham, who before workes, and before he had re­ceaued circumcision, was for this cause pronounced iust, for that he beleued the promise of God. This doubtles was imputed to him to righteousnes. And to confirm yt same he bringeth a testimony of Dauid who saith, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgeuen and whose sinnes are couered. Blessed is the man to whome the Lord hath not imputed sinne. Which chapiter if be diligently peysed, we shall find, that in it the Apostle in a maner tē times vseth this word of Imputacion. Wher­fore it ought not to seme so strange, if we also vse it, when we affirme that con­cupiscence lest in vs after baptisme is sinne, although it be not imputed vnto sinne: and although we are not able to get vnto our selues that righteousnes, which is the true righteousnes before God, yet if we beleue in him, the righ­teousnes of Christ is imputed vnto vs.

In the fift chapiter, after that this righteousnes of Christ is apprehended byThe fifth chapiter. fayth, many thinges are declared touching it: that is, that it is firme, and em­braseth Christ, who died for the weake, for enemies, wicked men, and sinners. And in it is set forth a comparison of Christ with Adam. For euen as by him all our kind was vitiated and corrupted, so by Christ are all the elect renewed: yea rather Christ is sayd to ouer passe Adam. For he by one sinne infected al men: but infinite sins were not able to resist Christ, but that he performed that redemp­tion which his will was to performe. Yea he so vsed this euill, that he gaue the plentifuller grace, where the greater plenty of sinnes raigned.

In the sixt chapiter he ouerthroweth the importunate obiection of diuersThe sixth chapiter. which hereof inferred that we should sinne freely, and liue loosely, if, as the A­postle had sayd, greater grace should there be rendred, where were found more sinnes. The Apostle answereth, that theyr collection was not good, forasmuche as we are dead vnto sinne and grafted into Christ, we ought vndoubtedly to liue vnto him and not to iniquity.

In the seuenth chapiter he declareth the maner how we are exempted fromThe seuēth chapiter. the law. And that is, that forasmuch as in vs whilest we liue here is not a full & perfect regeneration, and corrupt affections do continually resist the lawes of God, by the grace of Christ is brought to passe, that we are deliuered from sin, although it perpetually inhabite in our members, and in our flesh.

Whereof he concludeth in the eight chapiter, that there is no condemnationThe eight chapiter. [Page] to those whih are in Christ Iesus, neyther walke they according to the flesh. For they haue the spirite of Christ, whereby they both liue and also are made pertakers of the resurrection to come: they mortifye the deedes of the flesh, and in themselues they haue witnes of the selfe same spirite, that they are the children of God, and by the selfe same spirite they are confirmed in aduersities, to suffer them with a constāt and valiant mind: and they haue this spirite making intercession for them, & which draweth them to expresse the similitude of the image of the sonne of God: and at the last bringeth to passe that they can neyther be accused nor condemned before God.

In the ninth chapiter he answereth vnto the Iewes, which contēded that theseThe ninth chapiter. promises were bestowed vpon theyr nation only, and were not powred vpon the Gentiles. Vnto whome he sayth that touching this matter all thinges are done by the election of God, whereby he hath mercy on whome he will, and whome he will he hardneth. And he compareth God to a potter, who of one and the selfe same clay maketh some vessells to honour, and some to contumely.

In the tenth chapiter he entreateth of the effectes of thys election, namely, thatThe tenth chapiter. some embrace fayth: and other some reiect it. And he also declareth that Christ is the end of the law, and that the law requireth this, that we should beleue in Christ. And hereby he proueth that the Iewes attayned not to righteousnes, for that they went about to obtayne it by their owne merites, and by their owne workes: but the Gentles attayned vnto it, for that they claue vnto fayth: And all those thinges he confirmeth by the oracles of God, that the Iewes (I say) were made blynde, and that the Gentiles were receaued.

In the eleuēth chapiter he mitigateth that hard reprobation of the Iewes whichThe ele­uenth cha­piter. he had set forth, and declareth, that not all vtterly were reiected, but putteth them in good hope, that for asmuch as their roote is holy, many also of that nation shal be holy: howbeit they are in the meane tyme excluded as touching vs, which were wilde Oliue trees, that we might be grafted into the good Oliue tree. And after that this is accomplished, they shall agayne be receaued. And so he knitteth vp this discourse, that God hath shut vp all vnder sinne: and he is compelled at the lengh to cry out. O the depth of the wisedome of the riches. &c. The twellth cha­piter.

Thys controuersy being thus taken vp, he beginneth hys twelueth chapiter wyth an obsecration, wherein he requireth vs to offer our bodyes a sacrifice most acceptable to God, and to approue the wyll of God, and to haue a care that we a­gree on with an other, forasmuch as we are one body, and one an others members He commendeth also vnto vs the loue of our enemyes.

In the thirtenth chapiter he willeth vs to be subiect vnto the Magiestrates, toThe thir­tenth chap. The four­tene chap. loue our neighbours, to liue iustly, and to put on Christ.

In the fourtenth chapiter he commendeth vnto vs those that are weake in fayth that we should louingly beare wyth them: and that we should as much as is possi­ble see that concord be kept euen towards those which haue but small knowledge, that we should beare with them, and to take hede, that through our default they be not offended. And on the other syde he commaundeth the weake ones not rashly to iudge the stronger sort.

In the fiuetenth chapiter he exhorteth to this selfe same thing by an example ofThe fiftene chapiter. Christ who bare vpon hym our contumelies and punishments, and communicated hymselfe not only to the Iewes but also to the Gentiles. He wisheth vnto the Ro­manes the holyghost, and rendreth vnto them a reason, why he wrote those letters vnto thē, he promiseth vnto them hys commyng, & desireth them to pray for hym that he myght be deliuered from the vnbeleuers amongst the Iewes which sought hys destruction.

In the sixtenth chapiter being also the last, he commendeth vnto the RomanesThe sixtene chapter. Phebe an holy woman, by whome he had sent vnto them these letters. He most cur­teously saluteth a great many, and admonisheth them to beware of those which vse doctrine for the commodity of their belly, and for filthy gayne sake. This is a briefeThe rea­ders ought not to be of­fēded with Pauls ma­ner of spea­kyng. Augustine in his boke de doctrina Christiana, attributethē vnto Paul a certayne eloquence, and manifest summe of this whole epistle, which being set forth vnto vs, we shall the more redely interprete euery thing particularly. But still there are many which therfore abhorre from the reading of Pauls epistles, for that he semeth to speake so rudely and barbarously, that he filleth the readers with tediousnes, neither can men easely come to the sence of them. Vnto these men we answere that Pauls phrase of speach, if we beleue Augustine in hys fourth booke de doctrina Christiana is not vt­terly wythout iust order of speaking. Not that he sought after eloquence, but for that eloquence followed his wisedome. For he is iudged to speake aptly, which ta­keth vpon hym to entreat of thynges most excellent, and speaketh all those thinges which are necessary, neither entreateth of them otherwise then behoueth. Chriso­stome [Page] in hys tourth booke de Sacerdotio is of the same myde with Augustine: where he maketh a distinction of eloquence, that one is deceatfull, whereat menChris [...]. are amased, when they see that thinges of no force are extolled, and things high are plucked downe. This eloquence vseth coloures and deceat. Thys eloquence finde we not in Paul. There is an other eloquence which is of much force to esta­blishe doctrines, and most constantly to defend the truth: and with this chiefly was the Apostle endewed. Wherefore let vs not in him require the pleasant spech of Isocrates, the high stile of Demostenes, the excellent dignity of Plato, or the reuerēd maiesty of Theucidides, but a bare and simple oration, which cōtayneth the knowledge of thinges most chiefe, and most strongly confirmeth that which it taketh in hand. They which are slouthful and sluggish, pretend at theyr pleasure the vn skilfullnes of Paul: namely, lest doctrine should be required at theyr hands, whē as Paul, as they thinke without it gouerned the Church. But let these men takePaul [...] able to [...] his audi [...] ry a lon [...] reason. hede and consider how they deny that Paul was endewed with sharpnes of wit and vehemency of speach, when as in the Actes of the Apostles the 9. chapiter it is written, that in the Sinagoges he confounded the Iewes, and vtterly van­quished them in his disputacions. And in the 17. chapiter it is written, that he so taught, that he cōtinued his preaching euen beyond midnight, as when Eutichus The elo­quence or Paul brau [...] a [...] ad [...] to men. a young man being ouercome with slepe fel out of a window into a parler. How was it possible, that he should so long time retayne his auditory, if he spake so barbarously or vnaptly as these men imagine he did? It is manifest by the selfe same chapiter, that he delt at Athenes with the Stoykes and Epicures: & there is none which is in his right wittes which will not wonder at his preaching which is described that he had there. He was also of the men of Licaouia taken for Mercury, by reason of his eloquence of speach. And if thou say, these thinges indede are true, for that such giftes were brethed into him by the holy ghost: let it be so as thou sayst: therefore his phrase of speach is not to be reproued, as a thing euery way vnapt and barbarons, And yet doth it not thereof follow, that therto he added no endeuor at al to speake aptly. He was very diligēt in reding and writing: which is hereby proued for that being at Rome and being there aHe did [...] to some [...] ­du [...]try in speakyng & writyng. prisoner, he desired Timothe to cause to be sent vnto him a sachell with bookes and parchment. For although he were a captiue, yet he would not want the benefit of studieng. And the same Paul writeth to Timothe, to gene himselfe to rea­ding: Which thing if thou doo (sayth he) thou shalt saue thy selfe, and those also which heare thee. Doubtles he would not haue exhorted his scholler to those thinges which he himselfe would not do. By all these thinges it is manifest that Paul wrote not without diligence and vigilant studie. Yea he not without greate fruite attained vnto thre principal poynts pertayning to eloquence: namely, toThre prin­cipal point [...] of true elo­quence. deliuer good and holy doctrine, and to confirme the same honestly and holily: to engender delectacion by aclene and pure kind of speach: and lastly to how the harts of the hearers which way he will.

Agaynst these thinges Origen continually complayneth, that Paul hath oftenOrigene. darke and vnorderly speaches, and imperfect and mained sentences and other such like kindes of defects. Ierome is diuers, for somtimes he taketh away fromIerome. him the strength and art of Rethoricke and sometime he attributeth it vnto him and especially vpon the sixth chapiter to the Balathians, he writeth that Paul in dede in his owne toung was very skillful, but in a strange toung he was not a­ble to bring forth depe senses. Which sentence of Ierome I wish to be mitigated. For I thinke that the holy ghost so gouerned the tonges and also the pennes of the Apostles, that they most aptly and expressedly haue set forth those thinges which are necessary to saluation. And if at any time they seme to stagger in spea­king, that came of the greatnes and deapth of the thinges which they entreatedWhy the Apostles speach som­times fully satisfied [...] the [...]lders. A simili­tude o [...] O­rigene. of: which thinges to expresse are very hardly found amongest men mete words and apt phrases. Farther forasmuch as they spake to men as yet very carnall & weake, and of the common sort, they framed themselues to theyr capacitie. Tou­ching eche part of thys difficulty Origen semeth to bring an apt similitude: That Paul dealt like hym that leadeth a straunger to se the house of some great noble prince. He goeth thorough many parlers, many turninges, many haules, and in a maner infinite chambers: many precious thinges are shewed hym, some at hand and some a farre of: some thinges are hidden, or are shewed only as they passe by: and whilest the stranger is so often brought in at one dore, and led forth at an other dore, he with great admiration beholdeth thinges present only, and is ignoraunt which way he came thither, or which way to go out. Ierome attri­buteth vnto the same Paul not the pure Greke toung, but that toung of the Cili­cians, [Page] and that which hath mixed with it the properties of the Hebrewe tonge. YeaIerome at­tributeth vnto Paul t [...]e speach of the C [...] ­cians. Peter. The obiec­tions are o­ne thrown. Paul was seruent in writing and in speakyng and the Apostle himselfe seemeth to finde fault with his vnskilfulnes of speache, al­though he claime vnto himself, knowledge of thinges. And Peter the Apostle in his latter Epistle, confesseth that Paul hath in his Epistles, many things hard to be vn­derstanded, which men not very well learned, nor throughly strong, wold peruert to theyr destruction. These things seme to be repugnāt to that which Augustine and Chrysostome haue written: but they are easely dissolued. For wheras Origen complai­neth of the darke, vnorderly, & imperfect sentēces, it may by this be excused, for that the Apostle went to worke coldly, but wrote with so feruent a mind, that somtimes he may seme to be rauished beyond himself, and he leauing all other study and care, only hereto endeuored himself, to drawe the hearers vnto Christe, being not very carefull for the fine ioyning together of wordes, but vsing most mighty engines to stirre vp, and throughly to moue our hearts. And as streames when they swel andA simili­tude. rage, cary with them what so euer things are in theyr way, not obseruing the dis­position of things: So in this Apostle the spirite of the Lorde sometimes stirred vp the force of wryting and of speaking: in whom these things which seme to be faults in wryting and in speaking, were most singular vertues. Touching that which Ie­rome bringeth, I haue already declared my iudgement. But if thou wilt still conti­nue to proue that the Apostle was not able in a straunge tonge to expresse depe sen­tēces, for that his wrytings, as Peter said, sometime haue in thē great obscuritie: to this we say, that the diuine things wherof he entreateth, can not but be hard to our senses. But this ought not to driue vs away from reading of him. For this diffi­cultyChriso­stome. The diffi­culty and obscurenes a [...]e lenified by continu­al reading. as Chrysostome teacheth in those things which he wryteth in his Preface before the Epistle to the Romanes, is lenified by daily studying, and continuall reading: and is so lenified, that he was not afcard to say, that we by our selues without a ma­ster, shall be able to vnderstande the things which are there entreated of, so that we occu­py our selues in these Epistles day and night. For we do not, (sayth he) by the sharpnes of vnderstanding, perse vnto all those things which we vnderstand. For euen they also which are of more dull wits, doe by continuall study, attaine to hard thinges. And he bringeth a very apt similitude: The cogitatious and senses of a man are most hard to be knowne: yet notwithstanding our friends whome we feruently loue, and with whome we are cō ­tinually conuersant, doe oftentimes euen by a becke, open vnto vs the cogitations and senses of their minde, without any token of words and speache, by them spoken. So (saithChrisostom st [...]rreth vp the people to the study of the holy scriptures. [...]here wer very many heresies in Chriso­stoms time. An man [...]r of euils spring of the ignoraunce of the scrip­tures. A simili­tude. he,) shall it come to passe in these Epistles, so that a man loue them, and be continuallye conuersant in them. He which asketh, receiueth, he which seketh, findeth: vnto him that knocketh, it shall be opened. This spake he to the people, exhorting them to the stuoy of the holy scriptures, which scriptures yet our men at this day seke as much as li­eth in them to pluck out of the hands of the common people: pretending that there are now many heresies, and therefore it is not very safe nor good for the people to read the holy scriptures. As though Chrysostomes time wanted heresies, and those in dede most pestilent heresies: in whose time the Arrians, the Maniches, the No­uatians, the Origenistes and innumerable suche li [...]e kinde of pestilences troubled the Church. And the same father in the selfe same place addeth. That of the ignorance of the scriptures spring all maner of eulls: and espetially he maketh mētion of heresies, dissolute life, and vnfrutefull labours. Wherfore we must not thinke that this dili­gence to attayne to vnderstand the scriptures, is in the people vaine curiositye, but a profitable study. For the profe wherof, he bryngeth an other similitude, Euen as if a man walke without this visible light, he must nedes stumble in the dark, and so oftētimes fall, so he which turneth not the eyes of his minde to the light of the scriptures must ne­des of [...]orce sinne. By these things maist thou gather, that the difficulty in the wry­tings of Paul ought not to feare away Christians from reading of him.

Touchyng the Cilicians tounge, which is sometimes obiected agaynst the Apo­stle,Why Paul is sayd som­tymes to haue vsed the Cilici­ans tonge. thus we may answere. That the holyghost decreed to write those thinges both for the learned and vnlearned. Wherefore it was requisite to vse the common and vulgare speach. For it oftentymes happeneth, that the vnlearned are through too much exquisitnes and fines of speach so hindred, that they are not able to vnderstand the sense or meaning. For remedy agaynst the same, it behoueth that there should be vsed a playne and accustomed kynd of speach. And as touching the learneder sort it oftentimes happeneth, that they more esteme thynges beside the purpose and not necessary, neglecting in the meane tyme those thynges which are the principall: and they are so sometymes rauished wyth the admiration of that art, that they litle geue hede to the matter and wisedome, which is set forth vnder the ornaments of Retho­ricke. Moreouer thys is to be added, that Paul was the Apostle of hym that was crucified, and preached Christ crucified, vnto whom were not meat the ornaments and goodly shewes of words, least the power of the crosse should be abolished. For [Page] thys was to be taken hede of, that it should not be ascribed to humane wisedome, that men were drawen vnto Christ. Neyther wil I casely graunt that Paul had no care at all in the placing of hys words and sentences, when as hys words are eue­ry where sharpe, neyther can there lightly be found more vehement wordes: so that Ierome, who sometymes accuseth the negligent speach of the Apostle confesseth that when he readeth hym, he heareth not wordes but thunders: and Paul had withoutIerome. Why he v­seth He­brue phra­ses. doubt vsed thys way greater diligence, if he had knowen that the same should more haue conduced to saluation. And whereas it was obiected, that the Apostle so spake Greke, that a man might casely know that he was an Hebrew, it is not to be won­dred at: for as much as the Church at that tyme consisted both of the Hebrewes and of the Ethnikes: which church for that it dayly vsed the scriptures turned into the Greke tonge, it had learned so to speake of thynges diuine, that it did not much di­sagree from the Hebrew maner and phrases of speach. wherefore Paul is not to be reproued for vsing towards the Church of Christ such a kynd of speach, which was both Greke, and also sauored somewhat of the naturall tonge, wherein the oracles of God were set forth. The Apostle (say they) findeth fault wyth hys vnskilfulnes of speach, he semeth indeed to do so, but if a man more diligently weigh the thyng,Whether Paul foun [...] fault wyth his vnskil­fulnes. he shall see that Paul when he sayd, Although vnskifull in speach, yet not vnskilfull in knowledge, spake thus by way of graunting: not that he acknowledgeth great faults in the speach breathed into hym by the holy ghost, but he defendeth hymselfe from false Apostles which sayd, that hys epistles were of great wayght and strong, but hys phrase of speach when he was present was but weake. Amitte (sayth he) that I am but of small force as touching my phrase of speach, wyll they also take away frō me the knowledge of things? doubtles although he semed to those which were strangers frō Christ to speake foolishnes: yet notwithstāding they which belonged to Christ, indged those things which he spake to be most high wisedome, as they were in very deede. And when we affirme that the writings of Paul want not elo­quence, which yet he sought not after, but it folowed hym in speaking, yet meaneGood arres are not to be contem­ned of those which pre­pare them­selues to the mini­stery. we in no wyse to feare away men from y study of good artes. Yea rather we geue thē counsell, yt they most diligently apply thēselues vnto them, that afterward whē they come to teach Christ earnestly, they may help them euen when they thinke not of them. For thys is not to be suffred in a preacher of the Gospel, that when he wri­teth or speaketh, he should addict hys mynde to the preceptes of these artes: but if he be instructed wyth them, it shall be free for the holyghost to vse them when he shall thynke good. This only ought to be the worke of the preacher, to set forth Christ and hys word. And if he be well learned, the force of good artes wyll follow hym whether he wyll or no. But if preachers shall eyther in wryting or speaking labour for finesse & ornaments of Rhetoricke, they shall waxe colde as touchyng matter. For the mynde of man is not able at one tyme with a singular sharpenes to applye it selfe to two thinges. Therefore we sometymes see preachers well learned in arts deale very coldly: & contrary wyse such as are not so well learned handle theyr mat­ters wyth greater vehemency. But if that measure be kept which I haue set forth, an vntruth though it be garnished and fensed wyth good artes shall take no place, and the truth though it be vnarmed and weake and without any ornament shalbe made manifest. These artes are placed in the midst, & therefore we may make them to do Christ seruice and to loose them from the bondage of the deuill: so that as Ori­gen sayd: The heathen woman haue her nailes payred, her heare cutte, and her gar­ment chaunged. By all those thynges we gather, that the phrase of speach of Paul is not of that nature, that it ought to feare vs away from the reading of these epi­stles. But let vs on the other side consider what pricketh vs forward wyth singular diligence to read thys epistle to the Romaynes. In it is set forth the controuersy of iustification, a matter of great wayght, and such as not only at that tyme very muchWhy this epistle is most dili­gently to be red. vexed the Church of Christ, but also in our tyme vexeth it, and doubtles it is of that sort, that there is nothyng more mete whereby to impell men vnto Christ. And besides that, the thinges which are here written are dedicated to the people of Rome, whose empire extended farre euen throughout the whole world, wher­fore it much made to the saluation of the whole world, what kind of religion they should receaue. For the nations vnder them commonly wyth great endeuor imita­tedIn tea­ching the Romanes he instruc­ted the whole worlds, the orders, rules, maners, and religion of their Princes. Wherefore when he taught the Romanes, he in a maner instructed the whole world: of which thyng the deuill was not ignorant. For he left no stone vnturned, to infect that citie with corrupt doctrine. To the accomplishing of this he instigated false Apostles and wic­ked preachers, which with the preposterous ceremonies of Moses obscured the glo­ry of Christ. Neyther is it of small force to the setting forth of the worthines of thys epistle, that Paul himselfe both was, and was borne a citizen of Rome. Wherefore he [Page] was bound and that by no small bond of loue to fauor these men best next to the Hebrews.Paul loued the Ro­manes best next to the Hebrues. In what thyng al mē agre, and in what they disagree. How the excellenter sort of men thought they should attayne to blessednes. What was the opinion of the com­mon people. The people of the He­brues as a meane be­twene both. Paul ouer­throweth all those thinges. Now let vs come nerer to the matter. It is certayne that all men desire the extreame and chiefe good thing: but they are deceaued, for that they somtimes place it in the riches, plesures and good things of this world. But agaynst these mē there nedeth no long disputacion, for they are sufficiently confuted euen of y philosophers and of them that are but meanely learned. But others thought, that they might at­tayne to perfect righteousnes and felicitie, if they gaue them selues to ciuill offices, to mortall vertues, and to the contemplation of things most excellent. But others when they saw that euen the most excellent men also fell oftentimes into horrible vices, thought that by religious expiations yea rather by supersticions and wor­shippinges, of them selues inuented, they might make God fauorable vnto them of whome afterward they might be able to obtayne all good thinges. This in a ma­ner was the opinion of the common people: whiche iudgement was after a sorte not so ill as the iudgement of the philosophers. For they were so puffed vp with the pride of vertues, and of ciuill offices, and by reason of theyr knowledge in thinges naturall, that they thought that these thinges were sufficient for them to attayne fe­licitie. But the common people were not ignorant both of the filthines of theyr sins and of theyr dayly offending of God: wherefore they thought it requisite to flye vn­to religion. And forasmuch as they had no pure nor chast religion they fell into ido­latry. The people of the Hebrews were as a meane betwene these and embrased ei­ther part. By reason of the decaloge or ten commaundements they boasted that they had the summe of all vertues: and if they should chance to transgresse in them, they had ceremonies prepared for them, to make satisfactiō for them. Paul striueth against these thinges, and proueth that it is not possible for vs to obteyne righteousnes by morall or naturall offices. For neyther the Iewes nor the Gentiles do in any wise expresse in life and in maners, so much as they aknowledge the law either of nature or of Moses requireth at theyr handes. Neyther is it to be graunted that we can ful­ly and perfectly obserue the law, for then should we obteyne perfect righteousnes by workes, which were vtterly absurd: for out iustification herein consisteth, that our sinnes should not be imputed vnto vs, but that the righteousnes of Christ should be imputed to them that beleue. There commeth indede some instauration, when we being iustified do worke vpright workes, but that is not perfect. Grace also is geuen to the regenerate, but not such a grace which remoueth away all impedimēts which are a let to the most perfect obseruation of the law of God. Neyther when we speake this do we set forth paradoxes, or ascribe vnto Paul strange thinges, but we defend those thinges which most of all agree with th the doctrine of the Apostle. And as touching ceremonies and rites, of which on the other side the Iewes boa­sted, when they are without Christ and without fayth, they are counted detestable before God, as Ieremy, Esay, and other prophets which were interpreters of the law haue most manifestly taught. wherefore it followeth, that although the Hebrewes boasted that they were endewed with eche part of righteousnes, yet were they not iustified. Howbeit I speake of them, which embrased these partes of the lawe wyth out Christe.

Ye haue now the scope of the Apostle. And in this whole disputacion, forasmuch as it is a long discourse, it shalbe very good oftentimes to call to memory this sum of it now set forth.

But let vs now come to exposition of the first chapiter. what is there entreatedOf the first chapter spe­cially. The proposition and the confir­mation. of I haue alredy declared: namely that the Gentiles were not able by the strengths of nature to be iustified. This he proueth, for that they liued most wickedly, and ouerwhelmed them selues with most filthy sinnes, when yet notwithstanding they were not ignorant what they ought to haue done. But first is set forth a salutacion, which I will expound, and afterward will deuide the rest of the chap. into his partes. The things that are hard I will the more largely explane: and the things y are easy I will but briefely touch: and in such questions which shall chance by the way I will somewhat the longer tary.

¶ Places out of the olde and nevve Testament, expounded in this Commentary, by Peter Martir.

Genesis.
  • THis is nowe bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. 4
  • I will goe downe and se whether it be so. 55. a
  • In thy sede shall all nations be blessed. 68. a
  • And thou shalt be the father of many nations. 72. b
  • Abraham beleued in God, and he imputed vnto him righte­ousnes. 73. a
  • Because thou haste done this thyng, thy seede shall be en­creased. 174. a
  • I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Iacob. 68. a
  • The soul which is not circum­cised, the 8. day shalbe cut of from my people. 86. b
  • Because thou haste done these things, I haue sworn by my selfe. 104. b
  • The imagination of mannes heart, is euill euen from his childehode. 121. b
  • God made man after his owne image and similitude. 124. b
  • All the dayes of the earth shall be sowing, and haruest, cold and heate. 218. a
  • It repenteth me that I made man. 363. b
  • And her seede shall breake the Serpentes head. 401. b
  • Now I know that thou fearest God. 402. a
Exodus.
  • BE mindful of Abraham, I­saac, and Israell thy ser­uaunts. 41. b
  • Shewing mercy to thousands of them that loue me. 41. b
  • I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Iacob. 68. a
  • Thou shalt not lust. 125. a
  • I wil visite the iniquitie of the fathers, vnto the thirde and fourth generation of thē that hate me. 132. b
  • Blot my name out of the booke which thou hast written. 241. a
  • If any sin, I wil wipe out hys name out of my booke. 256. a
Deutronomy.
  • THou shalt loue the lord thy God with all thy hart. 23. a
  • Ye shall destroye the aultares, groues, and images. 32. a
  • God shall circumcise thy harte that thou maist loue him. 82. b
  • Thou shalt circumcise the fore­skin of thy hart. 85. a
Iosua.
  • YE are not able to serue god. 2
  • God hardened the hartes of the vnbeleuing Gentles. 27.
Regum. 1.
  • THis is not he whome I haue elected. 299. a
Regum. 2.
  • ANd he moued Dauid that he should say to Ioab: go and number the people. 27. a
Regum. 3.
  • BEhold the lord sent a lying spirite. 27. a
  • Ther is no mā but sinneth. 159
  • The Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire came a still and softe voyce. 332. b
  • Hast thou not sene Achab humbled before me. 380. b
Paralipomenon. 1.
  • HE prepared not his hart to seke the Lord. 28. a
Paralipomenon. 2.
  • BEcause God had so wrou­ght, to deliuer him into his handes. 27. b
Psalmes.
  • THey made a calf in Horeb. 24
  • I haue deliuered him ouer to the lust of his own hart. 27. a
  • If they shal prophane my Te­stament. 41. b
  • To thee only haue I sinned. 51
  • In my haste I say euery man is a lyer. 51. a
  • Against thee only haue I sin­ned, that thou mightest be iu­stified in thy word, and ouercome whē thou are iudged. 51
  • That thou mightst be iustified in thy sayinges. 54. a
  • Their throte is an open sepul­chre. 55. a
  • The poison of Aspes, is vnder theyr lippes. 55. b
  • The folish mā hath said in his heart, there is no God. 22. a
  • The Lorde hathe heard the de­sire of the poore. 381. a
  • Loke vpon my labor, and my vtility, and forgeue me al my sinnes. 382. a
  • Blessed are they, whose synnes are couered. 75. a
  • And in his heart there is no guile. 75. b
  • Blessed are ye immaculat which walk in the law of the Lord. 75.
  • Hoping in his mercy. 102. a. b
  • Beholde I was conceiued in iniquitie. 130. b
  • The heauens declare the glory of God. 327. b
  • Let their table be turned into a snare. 342. b
  • Returne O my soule, again in­to thy rest. 386. a
  • Deliuer me in thy righteous­nes. 385
  • The mercy of the Lord, is from generation to generation, on them that feare him. 397. b
  • I as a grene Oliue tree in the house of the Lorde, haue put my trust in my God. 353. b
Prouerbes.
  • I Do loue them yt loue me. 297
  • I also wil laugh in your de­struction.
  • [Page]It pertaineth to a man to pre­pare the heart: but thanswer of y tonge, is of the Lord. 381
Wisedome.
  • GOd reioyseth not in the de­struction of the wicked. 307.
Ecclesiasticus.
  • THe fornace tryeth ye vessels of the potter, and so doth temptation the iust men. 273.
  • All mercye shall make place to euery one according to the me­rite of his worke. 159. b
  • God hath mercy vpon al men, and winketh at the sinnes of al men, because of repentance. 307
Esay.
  • ANd if he geue his soul for sin he shal se his sede a far of. 118
  • Why hast yu made vs to erre. 27
  • Iudg thou house of Israel, be­twene me, and my vineyard. 47
  • And euery day my name is euil spoken of. 46. b
  • Thou arte oure father, but we are clay. 276. a
  • Make grose ye heart of this pe­ple, that they vnderstād not. 270
  • Beholde I say in Syon a stone of triall. 284. b
  • All the day long I stretched a­broade my hāds, to a people that beleued not. 307. a
  • He hath borne our infirmities. 323. a
  • Behold I go to a nation which called not vpō my name. 330
  • Howe long Lord? euen to de­struction. 338. a
  • In hearing heare ye, and vn­derstand not. 338. a
  • My seruaunt shall iustifye ma­ny, and shall beare their ini­quities. 392. b
  • Vnto wdome shall I loke, but vnto the pore contrite. &c. 399. a
  • Heauen is my seat, and earth is my footestole. 399. a
Jeremy.
  • BE ye conuerted vnto me, (sayth the Lord) and I wil be conuerted. 388. a 381. b
  • If I shall speake of a nation or kingdome. &c. 273. b
  • They haue forsaken me the foū ­tain of the water of life. 23. a
  • The way of man is not in his owne power. 177. a
  • Thoughe a mother can forget hir childe, yet will I not for­get thee. 307. a
  • Not according to the couenaūt which I made with your fa­thers. 362. b
  • If a nation shall repent him of his wickednes, I wil repent me of that which I spake a­gainst him. 309. b
Ezechiell.
  • THe sonne shall not bear the iniquity of the father. 131
  • As truely as I liue sayth the Lord: I will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be conuerted and liue. 300. a
  • Walke in my wayes, and make you a new heart. 381. b
  • If the wicked men shall repent him of al his sinnes &c. 402. a
  • If a prophet be seduced, I haue seduced him. 27. a
  • Noe, Daniel, and Iob, shal de­liuer their owne soules only. 42. a
Daniell.
  • REdeme thy sinnes with al­mes. 382. a
Osea.
  • TAke a wife to thee of forni­cation. &c. 290. b
  • Ye are not my people, that ther shalbe called the children of the liuing God. 290. b
  • Thou shalt call me, my man, and not my husband. 334. b
Joel.
  • EVery one that calleth vpon the name of the Lord, shal be saued. 68. a. 321. b
Amos
  • OVer .iii. euils, and ouer .iiii. I wil not conuert him. 133 a
Nahum.
  • VVHat doe ye think against the Lord: he wil make an ende, neither shall tribulation arise the secōd time. 37. a. 118. 131
Abacucke.
  • THe iust manne shall liue by faith. 17. b
Zacharie.
  • BE ye conuerted vnto me, & I wil be cōuerted to you.
Malachie.
  • IAcob haue I loued, but E­sau haue I huted.
Mathew.
  • IVdge not, and ye shall not be iudged. 36. b
  • When ye haue done all theese things, say we are vnprofi­table seruaunts. 39. a
  • An euil tree can not bring forth good fruit. 185. a
  • He which seketh, finedeth, and vnto him whych knocketh, shall be opened. 284. b
  • Aske and ye shall receiue, seeke and ye shall finde. 383. b
  • Many sinnes are forgiuen her, because she hath loued much. 383. b
  • Lord haue we not in thy name prophesied? &c. 394. a
  • Saue me, otherwise I pearish. 11. b
  • I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Iacob. 68. a
  • Vnto the bloud of Zacharias, the sonne of Barachias. 96. a
  • Blessed art thou Simon Ba­riona, for fleshe and bloud hath not reueled this vnto thee. 126.
  • Come ye blessed of my father, receiue the kingdome. 192. b
  • Heauen and earth shal passe a­way, but my words shal not passe away. 218. a
  • What so euer ye wold mē shold do vnto you, do ye the same to them. 240. a
  • No man knoweth the father, but the sonne, and he to whō he wil reuele him. 303. b
  • He hath borne our infirmities. 323. a
  • Vnto him that hath, it shall be geuen, but he which hath not euen that which he hath, shal be taken away. 339. b
  • Why speakest thou in parables to them. ibidem
  • Forgeue vs our trespasses, as we forgeue them that tres­passe against vs. 382. a
  • How often would I haue ga­thered thy children, as the hen hir chickens. 306. b
  • What so euer ye shal aske bele­uing, it shalbe geuen you 383
  • Come vnto me all ye that la­boure. 398. b
Marke.
  • [Page]HE which beleueth, and is baptised shalbe saued. 68. a
  • Goe ye and preache the gospel. 383. b
Luke.
  • THat you may eat and drinke vpon my table. &c. 88. b
  • For he hath loked vpō the hu­mility of his handmaidē. 298
  • Geue almes, & all things shall be cleane vnto you. 383. b
  • Lead vs not into temptatiō. 27
  • When you haue done all these things, say we are vnprofi­table seruaunts. 39. a
  • Many sinnes are forgiuen her, because she hath loued much. 339. b
  • Goe out into the hie ways and stretes, and compell them to enter. 361. a
  • Blessed is that seruaunt, which when his Lord cometh, shall finde him thus doing. 348. b
Ihon.
  • NOwe I will not call you seruaunts, but frends. 1
  • The true worshyppers, shall worship in spirit & truth. 8. a
  • He which amōgst you is with­out sinne, let him cast ye first stone at hir. 36. a
  • Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents. 133. a
  • He which is borne of God, sin­neth not. 149. a
  • If any man loue me, he wyll kepe my commaundements. 397. a
  • If ye had God to your father, doubtles you shold loue me. 397. a
  • True worshippers; worship in spirite and truth. 8. a
  • He which beleueth not in the sonne, hath euerlasting life 19, a
  • Now you are cleane because of my word. 80. b
  • That we haue obtained grace for grace. 145. a
  • The pore ye shal haue alwaies with you, 200. a
  • Beholde I am with you to the end of the world. eodem
  • The bread which I will geue, is my flesh. 201. b
  • To as many as receiued him, he gaue them power to be made the sonnes of God. 205
  • That that might be fulfilled, which was spoken. 325. b
  • I geue you a newe commaun­dement. 283. a
  • Who so euer the father hath ge­uen me, no man can take a­way. 308. b
  • The world cā not hate you. 341
  • All things were made by it. 360
  • This is eternall life; that they acknowledge thee the onely true God, and whome thou hast sent Iesus Christ. 392. a
  • This is the work of God, that ye beleue in him whome he hath sent. 406 a
  • Howe can ye beleue when ye seke glory at mens hāds. 394
  • Receiue ye ye holy ghost. &c. 361
  • Are there not .xij. houres in the day. 420. b
Actes.
  • YE men of Athens, I shewe vnto you, that God whom ye ignorantly worship. 181
  • Beholde, God hathe geuen to thee, all that sail with thee. 41
  • That the scriptures should be fulfilled. 308. a
  • Repent and be baptized euery one of you. 364. b
  • By faith purifying their hearts 392. a
1. Corinthians.
  • IF I haue all fayth, so that I can remoue mountains. 393
  • The temple of God is holy. 5
  • They did all eat the same spiri­tuall meat. 81. b
  • They were all baptised in the cloud, and in the sea. eodem
  • They dranke of the spirituall rocke following them. 81. b
  • Your children are holy. 133. b
  • The dart of sinne is death. 139
  • The rocke was Christ. 199. b
  • I chasten my body, and bryng it into bondage. 309. b
  • To them that are called bothe Iewes and gentiles, Christ the sonne &c. 297. b
  • That the beleuers stād by faith 355. a
  • He that standeth, let him take take hede that he fal not. [...]d.
  • Diuiding to euery one particu­larly, as pleaseth him. [...]. a
2. Corinthians.
  • EVen whom the God of this world hath blineded. 28. b
  • Ye are the Epistle of Christe, wrote by our ministery, and written not with ink. &c. 49. b
  • I know none as touching the fleshe. 241. b
  • Not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables. 43. b
  • What great care it hath wrou­ght in you, yea what clearing of your selues. 166. a
  • Therefore we after this, know none according to the flesh. 241
  • The God of this worlde, hath blinded the heartes of the vn­beleuers. 28. b
  • Thou standest by faith. 390. b
Galathians.
  • HOw are ye againe turned to the weake and begger­ly elements of the world? 82. b
  • He which is circūcised, is deb­ter to obserue the whole law. 86. a
  • The lawe was put because of transgressors. 90. a
  • As it pleased him which sepe­rated me. &c. 2. b
  • Although it be but a testament of a man, yet when it is con­firmed, no man reiecteth it, or addeth any thing to it. 62.
  • Curssed is he that abideth not in all ye things that are writ­ten in the boke of the law. 89
  • I would to God, they whych trouble you, were cut of. 345. a
  • Considering thy self, least thou also be tempted. 356. b
  • The scripture hath shut vp all things vnder sinne 365. b
  • The ende of the law is Christ. 385. b
  • The lawe is our scholemaister vnto Christ. 391. a
  • By the law no man is iustified before God. 410. a
Ephesians.
  • BY grace ye are made safe throughe faith, and not of our selues. 391. a
  • We also were by nature ye chil­dren of wrath. &c 102. b
  • Who hath predestinated vs ac­cording to purpose. 225. a
  • Not of workes leaste any man should glory. 376. b
  • By whome we haue accesse by fayth. 269. a
Phillippians.
  • CHriste was in the similitude of men. 194. b
  • Taking vpon him the shape of a seruaunt. 1. b
  • We are the circumcision. 49. b
  • Yea I think al things but losse [Page] for the excellent knowledge of Iesus Christ. 158. b
  • With fear and trembling, work your saluation. 384. a
Colossians.
  • WE are circūcised in Christ, by the washing away the synnes of the flesh. 81. b
  • In whome ye are circumcysed with circumcision, not made with hands. 85. a
  • Mortify your members which are vpon the earth. 411. b
Thessalonians.
  • THis is the wil of God your sanctification. 269. a
1. Timothe.
  • I Obtayned mercy, for that I did it ignorantly, and of in­fidelitie. 2. b
  • Saue that which is geuen thee to kepe. 3. b
  • Vnto the iust man the lawe is not geuen. 59. b
  • God wil haue all men to be sa­ued. 269. a
  • Adam was not deceiued. 100. a
  • Which is the sauior of all men. 306. b
  • They that minister well, gette vnto them selues a good de­gree. 350. a
  • The elders are worthy double honor. 428. b
2. Timothe.
  • I Haue from my progenitors worshipped God with a pure conscience. 8. a
  • All scripture inspired by God, is profitable to teache and to reproue. &c. 96. b
  • I know whome I haue bele­ued, and I am assured. 101. a
  • In my first defence no mā was on my side, all men forsooke me. God graūt it be not im­puted. &c. 103. a
  • I haue fought a good battaile, I haue finished my course. &c 158. b
  • He which shall purge him selfe, shall be a vessel to honor. 255.
  • Of whome is Himeneus and Alexander, which haue made shipwracke as concernynge faith. 404. b
Titus.
  • THey cōfesse that they know God, but in dedees they deny him. 396. b
Hebrues.
  • IN that he sayth now, he hath abolished that whiche was before. But that which is a­bolished and waxen olde, is euen at hand to vanishe a­way. 82. a
  • Be not wanting to the grace of God. 141. a
  • With such sacrifices is god won as by merite. 159. b
  • The saints by fayth haue ouer­come kingdomes. 391. b
  • It is impossible for those which haue once bene illuminated. 266
  • Faith is a substance of thinges to be hoped for. 368. b
S. Iames.
  • MAn is iustified by works, and not of faith only. 69. a
  • God tempteth not vnto euil. 28
  • Patiēce hath a perfect work. 100
  • Let no man when he is temp­ted, say that he is tempted of God. 269. a
  • Abraham, was he not iustifyed by his workes. 74. b
  • He that cometh to God, ought to beleue. &c. 399. b
1. Peter.
  • CHaritie couereth the multi­tude of sinnes.
  • In the power of God, are ye kept to saluation by faith. 291
  • When once the long suffring of God abode in the dayes of Noe. 401. 1
  • Be ye subiecte for the Lordes sake. 427. a
S. Ihons epistle.
  • HE which is borne of God, sinneth not. 149. a
  • Perfect loue driueth forth fear. 280. b. 383. a
  • God gaue them power to be made the sonnes of God. 382. b
  • He that loueth not, abydeth in death. 397. a
  • Euery one which beleueth that Iesus Christ is born of god. 391. b
  • This is the victory that ouer­cometh the world our fayth. eodem
  • We haue an aduocate with the father Iesus Christ. 65. a
  • Ther are .iii. things which bear witnes, bloude, water, and the spirite. 79. b
  • Herein is charity perfect in vs that in the day of iudgment we haue confidence. 383. a
Iude.
  • ANd Enoch the seuenthe frō Adam, prophesied of such: saying, beholde the Lorde commeth. &c. 403. a
Apocalips.
  • CHrist shal raigne a thousand yeares with his saints. 88
  • Behold I stand at the dore and knock. And if any man open vnto me, I will enter in and sup with him. 384. a
  • Take vengaunce vpon ye earth for our bloud. 345. b
  • Vntill he put his enemies vn­der his feete. 360. b
  • Holde faste that thou hast, least an other receiue thy crowne. 347. b
❧ Common places,
  • Of Iustification. 367
  • Of Predestination. 285

❧ The first Chapter.

PAule the seruaunt of Iesus Christ, called to the office of an Apostle, put aparte to preach the Gospell of God, which he before had promised by his Prophets in the holy Scriptures, of hys son which was begotten of the seede of Dauid as touching the fleshe, and declared to bee the sonne of God with power, according to the spirite of sanctification, in that Iesus Christ our Lord rose agayne frō the dead, by whō we haue receaued grace, and the office of an Apostle, to be obedyent to fayth amonge all nations in hys name, of the number of whome ye also are, the called of Iesus Christ. To all you which are at Rome the beloued of God called Sainctes: grace and peace to you from God the father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

As touchynge the saluation, fyrste we muste note, who it is that wrytethThree things to be conside­red in this salutation. it: secondlye, to whome it is written: lastly, what maner of good thinges hee which saluteth wisheth vnto them. It is Paule which saluteth: the Romanes are they whom he saluteth: and the good things which he wisheth thē, are grace and peace: indeede, the chiefest thinges which of men can bee attayned vnto.Rhethorici­ās precepts concernyng Prohemes are here ob­serued. Rhetoricians vse in theyr Prohemes to gette vnto them selues authoritie, dili­gent hearing, and beneuolence: which thinge the holy Ghoste here fullye per­formeth. For whilest that Paule doth adorne him selfe with these titles, he win­neth vnto him selfe authoritie, and he also when he maketh mencion what are the thynges that hee will entreate of, maketh the mindes of the readers atten­tiue. And in wyshing vnto them such excellent good thinges, and opening hys great loue towardes them, he obteyneth theyr good will. For by that meanes are they drawen to loue agayne such a man, which so well wisheth vnto them.Why he is so lōg in his salutation. If any man thinke that thys salutation is more full of wordes then nedeth, they must remember that Paul was greuously accused of false Apostles, that he had fallen from the lawe, and agreed not with the other Disciples of the Lorde: and that hee was not to be counted for an Apostle, which had not bene conuersant with the Lorde in the fleshe, as the other Apostles were. To all these false accu­sations it was necessary to aunswere euen in hys Proheme, that he might haue the better eare geuen vnto hym. As touching hys name I will nothing speake, for I know that the elders dyd not rashlye geue names. But because the holy Scripture testifieth not, for what cause he was eyther called Saule in ye Iewishe religion, or Paule after hys conuersion, I will omitte coniectures, neither willPaule clai­meth vnto himself thre titles. The pro­priety of a seruaunt. I stand about thys thing. In hys superscription hee setteth forth three titles wherby he beautifieth hys name: the fyrst is, The seruaunt of Iesus Christ,] and that name is common vnto all the faythfull. And the propertie of a seruant is thys, not to bee hys owne man, but to doe the busines of hys maister. Wher­fore if we be the seruauntes of Christ, thys is required of vs, that what soeuer we liue, breath, and thinke, be directed vnto Christ. And in these wordes are false Apostles reproued, which sought their owne thinges, to satisfie the bellye, and to increase their gaine: and they wanne not men to Christ, but rather to Moyses, [Page] or to them selues. For as much as to be the seruauntes of Christ, is (as we haue sayde) a thing cōmon vnto vs all, let vs diligently consider ye Metaphore, wher­by we are so called: namely because we ought so to obey God, as seruauntes do their maisters. But we are farre of, frō performing it. For seruaūtes do spēd theNote wherein the most part of men differeth from the seruice of God. least parte of the daye about theyr own busines: and all the rest of the tyme they are occupyed about their maisters affayres. But we do farre otherwise. We are a very short space, or an houre of our time, occupied about things pertaining to God, but al the rest of ye time that is graūted vs, we spēd about thinges humaine and earthly. A seruaunt hath nothyng of hys owne nor proper vnto hym selfe: but we doo priuatly possesse many thynges, whiche we will neither bestowe for Gods sake, nor for Christes sake. Seruauntes when they are beaten, and strikē, do humbly desire pardō and forgeuenes of their masters: but we in aduersities resiste God, murmure agaynst hym, and blaspheme hys name. Seruauntes do receaue onely meate and drinke and apparell, and therewith are content: but we neuer come to any ende or measure of heapyng vp of wealth and riches. Ser­uaunts when they heare the threatnynges of their maisters, do tremble frō top to toe: but we are nothyng moued with the threatnynges of the Prophetes, Apostles and holy Scriptures. Seruauntes wil neither haue talke, nor familia­rity, nor yet shewe any signes of amitye vnto their maisters enemyes: but we are continually in fellowshyp with the deuill, the fleshe, and the world. Wher­foreWe ought to serue God more then ser­uauntes ought to serue their maisters. we are farre from that seruice whiche we owe vnto God, whom yet we ought much more both to obey and to serue, then our seruauntes ought to obey and serue vs. For God besides that hē both fedeth and nourisheth vs, hath also brought vs forth, & hath geuē vs euē our being. Farther what soeuer seruaunts do towardes vs, all that is to our commoditie, and nothyng helpeth them: but we contrarywise, when we serue God, do bryng no profite or commoditie vn­to him. For thoughe we lyue iustly, he is therby made neuer a whit the better or more blessed thē he was before. Also we geue litle or nothyng vnto our seruaūts: but God hath for vs geuen forth his onely sonne, and together with hym hath geuen vs all thinges: We promise vnto our seruantes a very small rewarde: but God hath promised vnto vs the same felicity, whiche Christ him selfe hath the fruition of. Whereby appeareth how much more we are bounde to serue hym, then are our seruauntes bounde vnto vs.

But in that we haue sayd, that this vocation is common to all, to be the ser­uauntes of Christ, it semeth not very well to agree with that whiche is written in the Gospell: Now I will not call you seruauntes, but frendes. Paul also semethIohn. 15. Rom. 8. to be against it, whiche sayde: Ye haue not receaued agayne the spirite of serui­tude in feare: but the spirite of children, whereby we cry: Abba, Father. And con­trarily we can not deny but that we are the seruauntes of God. Christ hath payd the price for vs, wherefore beyng redemed of hym, we are hys seruauntes. God hath created vs: and it is the rule of the workes of euery artificer, to serueThere are two maner of serui­tudes. hym that made them. Wherefore there must be had a distinction, namely of the inward man, and of the outward, of the spirite and of the flesh. As touchyng the outward man, and workes of the body, we are called seruauntes: bycause we execute offices in seruing God, and our neighbours as much as lieth in vs. Fur­ther,In what part we are seruaūtes. as concerning aduersities and the crosse which we dayly suffer, we are pu­nished of God, no otherwise then seruauntes are striken and beaten: not in ded [...] alwayes for punishement sake, as they are, but for the most part, to try our faith, and that the fleshe and the lustes therof should be repressed, and that repen­taunce of our faultes and sinnes, whiche cōtinually breake forth should be stir­red vp. Also the forme and humble behauiour, whiche the faythfull vse, hath a shew of a certayne seruitude. After whiche maner Christ also to the Philippiās is sayd to haue taken vpon him the shape of a seruaunt. But our spirite because,In what part we are free. it is not moued with the hope of reward chiefly, or with the feare of punish­mentes, but frely and of hys owne accord executeth the commaundementes of [Page 2] God, therefore we are sayd to haue the spirite of children. Also bycause we are kyndled with loue and not compelled of necessitie, we are frendes, neither are we dishonored with a seruile condition. Paul hath manifestly said: when I was free from all men I was made the seruaunt of all men, and in that maner to serue God is a thing of no smal weight. For in the last chapter of the booke of Iosuah wee reade, that that Captayne preached vnto the people of Israel: Ye are Iosu 24. Augu­stine. not able to serue God. Of which place Augustine entreatyng in his questions, whiche he made vpon that booke, sayth: If we will serue God accordyng to hys dignitie and maiesty, and as the law requireth, it is impossible for vs. Where­fore that people should haue aunswered the Prophet, we will go about and en­deuour our selues to performe that: and when we fayle, we will desire pardon, and by prayers we will obteyne strength, dayly to behaue our selues better. But they with great stoutnes and much pride aūswered: we will serue our God, and will do all those thynges, whiche thou hast spoken. What could be more arro­gantly spoken then this? Yet experiēce taught that the Prophet spake the truth. And for as much as it is a thing so hard vnto our fleshe, hereof it commeth, that commonly we finde that men are sayd so to serue God, as Nabucadnezar in the 45. chap. of Ieremy, is called the seruant of ye Lord: namely bycause he fulfilledHow the wicked serue God. hys will in ouerthrowyng of Ierusalem, although he ment farre otherwise. So many in dede do the will of God, but not with that minde to serue hym: but the godly onely haue a regard to that, wherefore they may truly be called the ser­uauntes of God. And Dauid to amplifie that sayde: Because I am thy seruaunte Psal. 116. and the sonne of thy handmayden. For hee whiche is borne of a handmayden is not onely a sernaunt: but also is borne a seruaunt, for the child foloweth the condition of the mother. But to serue is sometymes all on with that whiche o­therwiseTo serue is religiously to worship▪ we say to worshyp, & seruitude is a worshyppyng or Religion whiche is geuen vnto God. The Hebrues call it Abad and Aboda, neither displeaseth it me so to vnderstand Paul, as if he had said: I was once a persecutor, but now I am a worshipper of Iesus Christ. And in this phrase of speache is to be sene the Hebrue phrase, wherby Abraham, Moyses, Dauid and Iob, and many other are commēded, for that chiefly, bycause they were ye seruauntes of God. But that in other tongues is not counted an honor or praise, but the Hebrues do after such maner commēd the most excellēt men. Wherfore in Esay the 49. chap. it is sayd vnto the people of Israell, that it is not a thyng of small wayght, to be the ser­uaunt of the Lord. And vndoubtedly to acknowledge the true God and to wor­shyp him, is the head and chief poynt of wisedome. In that that he sayth he is the seruaunt of Iesus Christ, that is, of our saluation, of our kyng and Priest, it foloweth, that they to whom he writeth, should gladly and willyngly receaue & heare hym. He claymeth also vnto hym selfe an other title, namely that he was called to be an Apostle. For there are manye kyndes of seruices: for some are Prophetes, some Apostles some Euangelistes. &c. He declareth now presently by what kynde of seruice he pertained vnto Christ: namely bycause he was his Apostle: whiche degree is the chiefest in the Churche, and he doth not arrogantly clayme the same vnto hym selfe, as thoughe he hym selfe vsurped it. For he affirmeth that he was called: wherby he sheweth the great power and strength of the word of God, by which God most mightely bryngeth to passe what soeuer plea­seth hym. Neither, to call is any thyng els as touchyng God, then to bring toHow God is sayd to call any thing. passe or els to appoint any thyng. Wherfore by creation it is sayd that he called those thynges, whiche were not, as if they had bene. And the Prophetes write, that he sometymes called pestilence, famine, and the sword, that is he brought to passe that they should bee, and raunge abroade among men. They amonge vs are sayd to be of excedyng great power, whiche bryng to passe great thyngs onely by their commaundement. Therfore we attribute the same thyng vnto God, bycause by hys worde and callyng he maketh to consiste what thynges so euer he will. Apostles, in the Greke are called, sent, yea and Christ also in the [Page] Epistle to the Hebrues is called an Apostle, that is, sent of the father: and this hisChrist hath communi­cated his Apostleship vnto his disciples. dignitie he hath cōmunicated vnto his Disciples, for he sayd: As my father hath sent me so send I you. And in that Paul sayth that he was called he sheweth that he was called when he thought nothing of it, but was occupyed otherwise, for he was persecutyng the Churche, and was taken in the very crime it selfe, and as the Grecians say, [...], that is, in ye very acte. By which place they whiche defend workes of preparation may see, that Paul had none such: vnles a man will say that to persecute the Church was a good worke. They are wont to obiect that God had a regard to hys zeale, purpose, and hys good entent: and therfore had mercy vpō hym. For it is written vnto Tim: that he obteyned mer­cy,1. Tim. 1. Paule ac­knowledgeth that merites were not the cause of his calling. A place to Timothe expounded. bycause he did it ignorantly and of infidelitie. But Paul acknowledgeth no merite to be the cause of his callyng, when he sayth vnto the Galathiās: When it pleased hym, whiche is in Greke [...]. And to Timothe: and I haue obtey­ned mercy that God should in me first show hys long sufferyng, & that I should be an example of those whiche should beleue. So he vtterly ascribeth his callyng vnto the mercy of God and not to his merites. But where they alledge, bycause I did it ignorauntly and of infidelitie that is therfore sayd, to declare that there neded mercy, where so perillously reigned ignoraunce and infidelity: not that in­fidelity and ignoraunce whiche are sinnes, should deserue pardon. And by thys prerogatiue, that he is an Apostle by callyng, he stoppeth the mouth of hys ad­uersaries, which sayd he was not an Apostle, bycause he was not cōuersāt with Christ: he aunswereth them that notwithstādyng yet was he called of hym. And agaynst those whiche sayd, that he had fallen from the Iewishe Religion, he ex­cuseth hym selfe, bycause he obeyed God whiche called hym. But althoughe it here appeare not by whom he was called, yet vnto the Galathians it is expres­sed. For there it is written, not of men, neither by men. For that whiche the Grecians call, Apostles, the Hebrues call Scheluthtls, Ierome interpreteth thatHierome maketh three ma­ner of sen­dinges. some are sent of God and not by men, as Moses, Esay, and Paul: other are sent of God, but yet by men as Elizeus by Elias, Dauid by Samuel, and as there were also many other: other are sent by men onely & not by God, as they which are set ouer Churches not by iust election, but by affection of the fleshe, or by fa­uour or giftes. And these can not be deposed, for as much as they haue the ordi­nary maner of institution although they can not be counted chosen of God: last­ly there be other whiche thrust in them selues, neither are they sent of God nor yet of men: as at this day do many Anabaptistes, whiche beyng moued onely of their owne will, breake into the ministery. This was the office of Paul, & of the other Apostles to execute this functiō in Christes stede, which thing in Paul god dyd illustrate by many miracles, to the end there should be no doubt therof, for as much as it was not knowen vnto men, for they had not sene him conuersant with Christ. There is also added an other title, whereby Paul adorneth hysWhat was the putting a part of Paule. name: namely that he was put apart for the Gospels sake, to declare that hys vo­cation, whiche hee hath now made mencion of, had hys begynnyng euen of the predestinacion and election of God. And in the Epistle whiche hee writeth to the Galathians he manifestly openeth the nature of such a puttyng a part when he sayth, that hee was segregated from hys mothers wombe, that is elected, not rashlye, but with great wisedome and obseruation. Hereby we learne that that is false which some men thinke, namely that some men are borne good, and o­ther some euill: Vndoubtedly we are all borne the children of wrath, neyther isWe are all borne in sinne. there any inequalitie, as touchyng byrth, but it is the predestination and electi­on of God, wherby we are vnited and grafted into the members of Christ: al­though some of the fathers sometymes sayd, that therefore some are predesti­nate of God, or separated from other, because he foresawe that they would vp­rightly vse both grace and also frée will: howbeit they speake not that out of the wordes of God. Neyther did Paule at any tyme vse thys reason, yea rather he sayd of Iacob and Esau: before they were borne, or before they had done any [Page 3] good or euill. &c. Which reason, had sclenderlye commended the grace of electi­on, which then chieflye hee entended to doe, if it should be vnderstand accordyng to these mens interpretation. For a man myght haue sayd: although these being little ones had as yet done nothing in acte and in very deede, yet as tou­ching the prouidence and sight of God, vnto whom all thynges are present, they had done both good and euill: accordyng vnto the which they were eyther pre­destinate or reprobate. And by thys obiection, the argument of Paule should haue bene very much weakened. Farther, to rēder this cause of ye electiō of God, it was not so hard a thing, ye the Apostle should haue needed to stoppe the mouth of man, complayning of the iustice of God. Which thyng yet hee doth, when hee sayth: But who art thou O man which aunswerest vnto God? Hath not the potter po­wer ouer the claye, of one ond the selfe same lumpe, to make one vessell to honour, and an other to contumely? And he cryeth out, Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdome and knowledge of God: how vnsearchable are hys iudgementes, how inuestigable are hys wayes? which thyng vndoubtedly neded not to haue bene spoken, if the questi­on might so easily haue bene dissolued. Adde thys also which he saith in an other place. It is not of him which willeth, nor of hym which runneth, but of God which hath compassion. And agayne, he hath mercy vpon whom he wil, and hardeneth whō he wil. Wherby is manifest, that we are chosen to saluation, not by our workes fore­seene, but of meare goodnes. But the knowledge of election and predestina­tion hath a double vtilitie: fyrst that we shoulde not dispayre in aduersitie, butThe knowledge of predisti­nation is profitable. rather remembryng that we were deare vnto God, before the foundations of the worlde were layde, and that he hath not onely elected vs, but also called vs and iustified vs, we shoulde not doubt, but that he hath a care ouer vs, so that he euen now also will not forsake vs. It is of force also to represse our pryde, that we shoulde not bee puffed vp for our workes or holynes of our life, know­ing that we haue these thynges onely of the election of God. And hereby al­so it manifestly appeareth that God chooseth vs not for our good workes which hee foreseeth: for as much as they are comprehended in predestination. For whom God hath predestinated to saluation, vnto those same also hath he appoin­ted to geue both grace and meanes, whereby they should come vnto saluation. These are the two principall vtilities which the knowledge of predestination bryngeth vnto the electe. Wherefore they which haue such cogitations of it, thatWho abuse the know­ledge of predestina­tion. they are driuen to desperation, as though they coulde finde no remedye wherby to auoyde reprobation: or ells doe put so much confidence therin to liue losely and at pleasure, saying that it maketh no matter, for that, seing they are prede­stinate they can not be condemned: what doe they els, but most wicked­ly abuse a good thing? Euery thing ought to be taken by that part wherby it may be holden. For a sworde is not drawē by the edge or by the blade, but by theEuery thing must be taken by that part wherby it may be hol­den. hafte: neyther is a vessell taken by the middest of the bellye, but by the handle or eare. So predestination ought to be referred to the commodities now de­clared, and not to those thinges which may engender destruction. These notes and these titles hath Paule affixed vnto hys name, that we shoulde not thinke hym to be a wandryng man, which rashlye sowed contentions concernyng re­ligion, and that we shoulde vnderstand that there is a great difference betwene Apostles and other common ministers: although there be some which dare teach, that we must no lesse beleue the Byshop of Rome, then Paule ye Apostle. I graūt in deede that eyther of them do both thunder and lighten, but yet after a farre diuers and sundrye manner. The Pope thundreth and lightneth with bulles, belles, gunnes, and weapons of warre: but Paule hath by the worde of God,The Pope and Paule do diuersly thunder and lightē. by admonitions, rebukinges, wholesome doctrine, & by miracles thundred and lightned in the Church. But let vs see by what reason these men defend theyr opinion. They say: the byshops succeded the Apostles, wherefore both haue one and the selfe same authoritie, and to both ought we to obey a lyke. But [Page] we aunswere them thus. It is true that the Apostles departyng out of thys world, left Byshops to be gouernours ouer Churches: but we vtterly deny thatApostles & Byshops are not of lyke autho­ritie. Byshops succeding the Apostles, are endued with the selfe same or lyke authori­tie: and that thyng we proue after thys sorte: Fyrst, because we see that the A­postles were to thys end chosen, to constitute the religion and dignitie of the Gospell, and to publishe vnto the beleuers, the thynges which they had heard ofThe diffe­rence be­twene the Apostles & Byshops. Christ. But byshops are to this ende instituted, to defend those thynges which are conteyned in the Gospell, and in the holy Scriptures: which they must so take in hand to defend, that they adde no newe thynges vnto them, nor fayne a­ny new traditions at theyr owne will and pleasure. Farther, the holy fathers which were Byshops, when they gaue them selues to wryting, do confesse, that they are onely intreaters or interpreters of the holy Scriptures, and will not that those thinges which they write, should be had in so great authoritie as we attribute vnto the Canonicall Scriptures: yea rather they forbidde that any credite should be geuen vnto them, if they speake any thyng agaynst the holy Scriptures. Thyrdly to the Apostolicall doctrine were adioyned many mira­cles, wherby theyr authoritie is confyrmed: which thyng we see is not done in these traditions of the elders. Farther, we are sure that the Apostles wrote by the inspiration of the holy ghost: which thing vndoubtedly we dare not af­firme of our Byshops. Wherefore we conclude, that the Apostles could not erre in those thynges which they wrote. But we see that the Byshoppes very often tymes made vngodly decrees as touchyng rules of religiō, as it appeareth in ye Counsell of Ariminum, and also in the seconde Synode of Ephesus, and also in many other, yea and they also erred very much in their actes. At Chalcedon andChryso­stome deposed. Constantinople were Synodes gathered together, in which Chrysostome was condempned and deposed: which thyng also was done in the name of those By­shoppes which were of a ryght and perfect fayth. And there myght be alleaged many examples of the lyke sorte. Paule also writing vnto Timothe, prayeth hym to saue that which is geuen hym to keepe, declaryng, that he ought neither to adde nor to diminishe any thyng of the doctrine of the Gospell receaued: that is, to keepe iustly the thyng committed vnto hym. Let thys also be added, that the Apostles be so vnto the Bishops and Ordinarye pastours, as in the olde time were the Prophetes vnto the high priestes and priestes. For they myght write bookes, and adioyne them vnto the Canonicall Scripture. For Samuell added hys bookes vnto the Scripture. Esaie, Ieremie, and the other Prophets, added theyr Monuments vnto the Scripture: which thyng the Scribes, Priestes, and high Priestes could not doe. The Apostles called the Gentiles, and abrogated the ceremonies of the lawe: which thing was aboue ye power of the high priestes and priestes. The Apostle doth therefore set forth hym selfe by these titles, thatWhy Paul ascribed vnto hym selfe these titles. when we read hym, or heare hym, we should thinke that we heare not ye wordes of a man, but oracles from heauen. Here is also put in the prayse of the Gospell, which must bee read by a parenthesis, and the same extendeth euen vnto thys place, where he sayth:

To all which are at Rome. &c.] The Gospell to speake brieflye, is the prea­chyngThe grosse definitiō of the Gospell takē of the matter. of Christ offred vnto vs to saluation, accordyng to the promises made in the olde tyme. Thys commendation is taken of the matter, which is entrea­ted of in the Gospell: because euery science and facultie hath hys dignitie of the thyng, that it intreateth of. Afterward is geuen an other definition, and that isAn other definitiō of the Gospell takē of the efficient cause. taken of the strength of working, namely that the Gospell is the power of God vnto saluation: that is, the instrument wherby Christ would haue vs saued. De­finitions takē of these causes ought to be ioyned together, to the end to haue the more full knowledge of the Gospell. In that it is sayd:

VVhich he had before promysed. &c.] It is a preuenting, where­by hee declineth the enuious name of newnes. For the Gospell was coun­ted a new doctrine. For they which heard Paule, thus reasoned with them [Page 4] selues: The olde Patriarches and the Prophets had saluation, and a Church, and yet they wanted your Gospell: therefore thys doctrine is not necessary, yea rather more then needeth. Here Paule confesseth that the elders were saued, butThe doc­trine of the Gospell is not newe. not without the Gospell. For in as much as God had before promised it, by the fayth of thys promise they were all made safe. But now it appeareth new doc­trine vnto you, because ye haue ouerwhelmed thys promise with humane tra­ditions, and haue made it obscure with your owne inuentions. Thys selfe same argumēt may we at this day make against our aduersaries, which cry out that we bryng in new doctrine. Vndoubtedly we go about no new thyng: but they haue vtterly brought in straunge and new thynges, of which there is no menti­on at all made in the holy Scriptures: yea we know that very many thinges which they defend, were receaued long after ye Apostles tyme, out of the decrees or Synodes of Byshops. And if there be any, whose originall is not certainly knowen, yet doe not the holy Scriptures make any mention of them. But here the Apostle doth for thys cause commend hys Gospel, because it was before pro­mised by the Prophets in the holy Scriptures. All these thynges haue a wonder­fullWhen the promise of the Gos­pell beg [...]n. emphasis. For that which was so long tyme before promised of God, can not be but excellent and wonderfull. And thys promise beganne frō that, which Adam, inspyred with the holy ghost spake: Thys is nowe bone of my bones, and fleshe of my fleshe: which the Apostle to the Ephesians, taketh to be spoken of ChristGen. 2. and of the Church: and from that also, which was sayd vnto Eue: Thy seede shall Gen. 3. breake hys head in peeces. Afterward it was extended with continuall oracles by the Patriarckes, & holy Prophets, euen vnto the end. Prophets are here taken for excellent men, namely interpreters of the worde of God: and by thys worde are signified all the writers of the Canonicall Scripture, of what degree soeuer they were of. And that which is added: in the holy Scriptures,] pertayneth to this end, to shew that they are not vayne oracles which he citeth, for as much as they are extant in the holy Scriptures. For they are sealed with publicke writings, and ratified and firme by an instrument. And in speakyng of these thynges, he commendeth hym self, which was the minister of so great a Gospell. And by the selfe same meanes he calleth them backe, both from ceremonyes, and also from Philosophie: vnto which thynges they were wonderfully bent. It followeth:

VVhich was made of the seede of Dauid.] The incarnation of the SonneHowe the sonne of God was made. of God is here touched: and in consideration of the person, he is sayd to haue bene made, although thys agreeth not with hym, but as touching hys humani­tie. But it is sayd: of the seede of Dauid, because vnto Dauid was made a no­table promise, so that Messias was commonly called the sonne of Dauid: as we read in the Gospell, that the Scribes & the Phariseis testified, vnto whom Christ obiecteth, How doth Dauid call hym hys Lorde? By thys place are the wickedMath. 22. heretickes ouerthrowen, which affirme that Christ had a body not of the nature and substaunce of the Virgin, but brought from heauen. They faine vnto themChrist had a true body and flesh of the Virgin Mary. selues this argument. Because our fleshe is subiecte vnto damnation & the curse, therfore it is not very likely (say they) that the sonne of God would take it vp­on hym. Which argument may easily be confuted. For curse and damnation are accidences: wherefore God was able easilye remoue them, and yet keepe whole the nature and substaunce of man. Wherefore he could no lesse geue vn­to Christ a holy and cleane body of the Virgin, then he could out of the vyle clay bring forth a noble and most cleane body vnto Adam. And in that we heare that the sonne of God so abased hym selfe, to take vpon hym humane fleshe, it ought to be vnto vs no small spurre, that nothing be offered vnto vs so hard which for Christes sake we will not suffer. Many demaunde why Christ the sonne of GodWhy Christ tok [...] vpon hym humane fleshe. tooke vpon hym humane fleshe. And although many reasons might be brought, yet will I bryng that which Ambrose hath rendred vpon this place: namely that punishment myght be taken in that fleshe which sinned, euen as men that are malefactours are there accustomed to suffer punishmentes, where they haue cō ­mittedAmbrose. [Page] great wicked crimes.

VVhich was declared to be the Sonne of God.] Here I can not tell howe the Latine translation had: Qui praedestinatus est: that is, which was predestinate.] By meanes whereof the interpreters had much adoe to declare it aptlye. They myght in deede saye, that Christ was to thys end predestinate, to be the Media­tour and redemer of mankinde. But the thynges which followe agree not ther­with: for the cause of thys predestination, could not be eyther the resurrec­tion from the dead, or effusion of the holy ghost. Therefore we must read it as the Greke bookes haue it, [...], which signifieth, as Chrysostome interpreteth it, [...], that is, shewed, declared, and iudged. The Apostle first entreateth of the veritie of the humane nature: which is hereby she­wed, because he was made & borne of the seede of Dauid. Now he setteth forth the deuine nature. For he sayth, that Christ was by sure argumentes publi­shed, declared, and shewed, to bee the sonne of God. And although here is no mention of predestination, yet is not ye Latine translatiō new. For Origene ma­kethOrigene eiteth the Latine translatiō. mention of it: who yet followeth it not. For he interpreteth it as it is in the Greke [...]. But how he shoulde cite the Latine translation, there are sondrye opinions. Some attribute thys to hys diligent and painfull studye, which had a care to search out all translations. Neyther is it to be thought that he was ignoraunt of the Latine tongue, for as much as he was called to Rome by Mammaea the mother of Alexander the Emperour. Some thinke that these thynges were not written by the author, but put in by the interpreter. And there are some which thinke that that booke is none of Origenes: among whom is Erasmus. Hierome expounding the first chap. to the Ephesians, playnlye shew­ethHierome. that we shoulde here reade [...], neyther addeth he the preposition [...]. And vndoubtedly thys worde is vsed, when Magistrates elected, are published and declared. Therefore thys is the sense: Christ which was man in very dede,The signi­fication of this word [...]. The resur­rections is the only signe of the deuine na­ture of Christ. and of the seede of Dauid, was declared, appoynted, and published to be ye sonne of God, by the reasons following.

In power, according to the spirite of sanctification, & resurrection of the dead.] Thys kinde of speache being very darcke, hath sondrye expositions. Some thus expounde it, as though it were one onely argument to proue the diuinitie of Christ, namely hys resurrection, which they say was done by power and by the holy ghost. And to proue thys argument to be of great force, they alleage that Christ gaue no other signe, but the signe of Ionas the Prophete, & that also which hee sayd: Lose thys Temple, and on the thyrd daye I will rayse it vppe agayne. Iohn. 2. And it seemeth that some of the Apostles dyd therfore dispayre of the diuine na­ture, because they saw the resurrection to be differred, as Cleophas sayd vnto the straunger vpō ye way: We had well hoped that he should haue rysē againe the third day. Luke. 24. An other opinion is, which thinketh that it is one onely argument taken of the sendyng of the holy ghost. For none but onely God can geue the holy ghost:The sen­ding also of the holy ghost is no small token of the de­uine nature of Christ. for by it we are made companions of the diuine nature, and partakers of the minde of God. And thus they frame the wordes: that Christ was declared to be the sonne of God in power, that is to say, to be therby mighty, because he sent vpon hys, the spirite of sanctification, and that from the resurrection of the dead, that is, after he was raysed vp from the helles. For although before also he had geuen the spirit vnto such as beleued, yet because it was not done so largely and so aboundātly, therefore (as Iohn also testifieth) the spirit was not yet geuē. AndIohn. 7. so this argument is taken of the effusion of the holy ghost: which effusion, al­though as touching miracles it be not at this day extant, yet it so indureth, that without it the Church can not consist. For regeneration hath no place without the holy ghost. I leue to speake of this, that some take ye resurrectiō of the dead, as touching those which were raysed vp at the death & resurrectiō of Christ, whē the graues were opened: because this agréeth not well with those thinges which afterward shalbe spoken. But me thinketh that here are touched three princi­pall [Page 5] argumentes, wherby Christ is proued to be the sonne of God: One is of theThree ar­guments of the deuini­ty of Christ. miracles, and that is signified by this particle, [...], that is, in power. For [...] with Paule signifieth the working of miracles. An other argument is of the resurrection, whereby he was raysed from the dead, and liueth for euer, and wherby we also shall ryse agayne with hym. The third argument is of the sending of the holy ghost, and these thrée thinges were done, according to the order and course of tyme. For Christ whilest he liued wrought very many mi­racles: after his death he was raysed agayne from the dead, and after his re­surrection sent the holy ghost.

By whom we haue receaued grace and Apostleship.] He had before saydPaule cal­led by Christ vn­to the Apo­stleship, what grace is. What is the diffe­rence be­tweene the loue of God and the loue of mē. that he was called: but he added not by whom. Here he expressedly sayth, he re­ceaued this of Christ. Grace signifieth in the holy scripture cheifely that be [...]e­nolence & fauor, wherwith God loueth vs. Wherefore we are wont to call those gracious which are loued of many, & are also acceptable vnto many. But this is the difference: they whom we call gracious, haue some thing in them whereby they allure men to loue them: whether the same be beauty or vertue or any such like thing. For men are not moued to loue a man, who hath not in him some thing that is worthy to be loued. But we can not so say of God: because he be­fore all thinges loueth vs, and whē he hath loued he geueth vnto vs his gyftes, whereby he maketh vs both acceptable, and worthy of loue. And if we should af­firme otherwise, God should not be counted the author of all thinges. For by that meanes we should put some thing to be in vs before we were loued of him, which should allure him to loue vs, and so of a creature we should make a crea­tor,The defi­nition of grace. in affirming that we haue something, which depēdeth not of God. Where­fore grace signifieth the liberall fauour and good will of God, which he fréely beareth vnto vs for Christes sake. And this may be taken eyther generally so that it is afterward contracted by adding thys, namely the office of an Apostle: or els it signifieth in this place a gift and faculty fréely geuē vnto Paule: which faculty is straytway expressed, when he addeth.

And Apostleship to the obedience of fayth.] He addeth the ende where­untoThe ende of the Apo­stleship. the faculty of the Apostleship pertayneth, namely to obey fayth. And this may be done two maner of wayes: either in receauing faith, for it; forasmuch as it is a firme assent which is geuen vnto the wordes of god, may be called obedi­ence: as Paule wrote vnto the Corrinthyans: that he had spirituall armors,Obedience of sayth. wherewith he would make captiue all vnderstāding vnto the obedience of god. Or els it may be vnderstand of a good life, and holynes of maners, which follow fayth, whyles we expresse the might of our fayth by honest actions.

For his name.] We execute not the office of an Apostle for our owne gayne or glory, but for the name, that is, for the glory and prayse of Christ Iesu. in al nacions. And in that he addeth in all nacions, he sheweth that the office of the A­postles was not contract to certayne limites, but that they should throughout the whole world preach the word committed vnto them, and found Churches and bringe disciples vnto Christ.

In which ye also are the called of Iesus Christ.] Although ye be Lordes ouer all, yet neuertheles ye are in the number of other nacions. He calleth them the called of Christ: because without calling they had not come vnto him. NeytherCalled is not here a participle but a now [...]e vsed he the participle which hath the signification of tyme, and that to the ende he would wish them constancye, and stability in the purpose which they had ta­ken in hand, as though they had not a temporall calling, but a firme & constant. And in that he so often vseth the name of calling he sufficiently declareth, what maner of thing our conuersation is when we embrace Christ. It is vndoubtedly voluntary, and not compelled nor violent. We are perswaded, when we are with efficacy called by the inward word of God. Here is the ende of the parēthe­sis, which began at these words, which he had before promised by his prophetes.

Now commeth the second part of the salutation of the epistle, wherein [Page] are expressed the men whom he saluteth, when he sayth.Whome he seluteth. The Church of Rome con­sisted of many naci­ons.

To all which are at Rome, the beloued of God, Sainctes by calling, He saluteth all the Romaines, because at Rome the church consisted not only of towne borne men: but also of an innumerable company of straungers which were partlye Iewes, and partly Grecians. Therfore Paul maketh the salutacion common vnto thē all, so ye they beleue in Christ, To the beloued of God, he sayth, which worde ought to admonish yt beleuers, to loue one an other: for how can I not loue him, whome I beleue is loued of God? He rightly calleth them the beloued of God, & not those which loue God, because it is he which loueth vs first. And therfore he geueth vs charity and other most noble vertues. He addeth, Called Sainctes. by which worde he admonisheth them of their state past. If they be called to holynes, for as much as there cā be no motiō, but where limites are apointed, therfore they mought well conclude, that they were called from vncleanes andWhy the Romanes were called holy. vnpurenes to holynes. Neither say thou: All they which were at Rome, ought not to be called holy, for that there were many there whiche were not absolute, and not yet perfecte: for these thynges let not. For Paule first had a regarde vnto the better sort, and in theyr name and prayse beautified the whole church. For certayne preregatiues of singular members do redounde vnto the other members. Further the Apostle had a consideracion, wherevnto they were cal­led, namely, to be made holy. He sawe, that they were called to the communionAugu­stine. of Sainctes: whereof they also tooke theyr name. And Augustine in his 6. booke against Iulianus, admonisheth vs not to thinke that this woord holynes, signifi­ethThis word holy­nes signifi­eth not perfection. perfection. And he citeth a place of Paul in the first epistle to the Cor. where he sayeth: The Temple of God is holy, which Temple ye be: And no man is ignorant but that the Corinthians were infected with many vices. And if we wil serche out the strenght of the significacion of the worde Sancti, that is Sainctes or holy, as the same Augustine teacheth in his booke, de Symbolo & fide, it cometh of thisWhence this word holynes is deriued. worde Sanctio, that is, to constitute. For that is called holy, whiche is constant and firme, and appoynted to abyde: but nothing more letteth vs, to abyde for euer then doth sinne: for it is sayd, that the reward of sinne is death. Therfore it cometh to passe, that holynes consisteth chiefely in the forgeuenes & remissi­on of sinnes. Frō which sētence that disagreeth not which Paul hath in the first to the Cor. when he sayeth, after he had rehearsed a cathaloge of enormious sinnes: And these thinges were yee sometymes, but nowe yee are washed, yee are sanctified. But the forgeuenes of sinnes is had by the holy ghost. If that we shal call any thynge holy by reason of preparatiō, they mought truly be called holy, which haue beleued in Christ, because that by the grace and spirite of Christe, they are prepared to glory, and highe purenes of lyfe to come. Ambrose semethAmbrose. to searche out, who are they which are called, the beloued of God and called Sainctes. And he aunswereth, that these are they, which thinke well of Christ. If thou wilt agayne demaund, what those are, he aunswereth: That those thinkeWhat those be that thinke well of Christ. well of Christ, which thinke that we ought to put our confidence in hym only, and that in hym is perfect saluation. And of it may be concluded as of contra­ries, that they thynke not well of Christ, which trust in theyr owne strengthes or workes: which thinge such as doo, are not to be nombred amonge the called Sainctes, and beloued of God, as Ambrose now speaketh of them. The called, he nameth Sainctes, because men of theyr owne nature are not able to attayneHolynes is not the cause of calling. vnto holynes, vnles they be led by the celestiall might of the holy Ghost. And this is not to be left vnspokē of, that men are not therfore called of god, because they are holy, but that they are therefore holy because they are called. Paul doth not rashely vse this kind of speach, because ye Iewes, for that they had theyr originalThe Iewes claymed holynes vnto them­selues on­ly. frō the holy Patriarches & Prophetes, boasted that all holynes consisted in theyr stocke only: as thoughe other nacions were so wicked, that it shoulde be counted an vnlawfull thing to communicate with them this proprietye of ho­lynes. But now yt is manifest, that through the grace of Christ it is brought to [Page 6] passe, that as well the Gentiles as the Iewes haue obtained the prerogatiue of ho­lynes in an equall balance, so that they haue the fayth of Christ. Here we see also, that Paule in placing of these two wordes, obserued a iust order. For fyrst he setteth, to the beloued of God, before, called Saintes: because that holynesA t [...]im [...] placing of wordes. breaketh forth of no other thing, then of that charity and loue wherewith God loueth vs. And he might haue set forth the Romanes with other most ample ti­tles: namely that they had the dominion ouer the whole world, & ruled ouer all. But passing ouer these things, he speaketh only of y things that are of more va­lue, & chiefly, because it was not expediēt to flatter y Gentiles more then y Iewes: and especially because there was risen no smale discord betwene both nacions: Wherefore he ouerskippeth those titles, which were proper vnto ye Romanes, & he toucheth the cōmon prayses of all such as beleue, that they which were of the Gentiles, and they which were of ye circumcisiō might in that church be the bet­ter vnited together betweene them selues. But we may not therfore be afrayd,It is law­full to call Princes by their titles. both to salute, and also to call Princes by their proper titles. For in so doing, we both admonishe our selues what we owe vnto thē, and also we put thē in minde of theyr duety. For Paule also when in the actes of the Apostles he made an o­ration to Agryppa, was not afraid to call him by the title of a king. Hetherto we haue expounded the second parte of the salutation, that is, what they were whom Paule saluteth. Now let vs see what good thinges he wisheth vnto them.

Grace saith he to you and peace. &c.] By ye name of peace, he vnderstandethWhat peace sig­nifieth with the Hebreues. after the maner of the Hebrues, the increase of all good thinges. For as the Eth­nikes say [...], that is, grace, & salutem, that is, health: so the Hebrues say. Schalom, that is, peace. And in the olde testament this salutatiō is oftē vsed. Yea and Christ also comming vnto the Apostles sayd: Peace be with you. And he com­maundedLuke. 24. the Apostles that into what house soeuer they entred, they should say: Peace be vnto this house. To this salutacion commōly vsed among the Hebrues,Math. 10. Paule addeth this word grace, which word is not often found in the olde testa­mentGrace is ioyned with peace. added vnto salutations. But Paule herein nothing offendeth: For it aunswereth vnto his vocation, for he was a preacher of grace, and in the meane tyme admonisheth them to whom he writeth, that peace is not to be looked for, that is, the heape of all good thinges, from our owne strengthe and merites, but from the grace of God. He sheweth the roote, and putteth it fyrst, from whence other good thinges are powred vppon vs, that we may haue the childe together with the mother. Yet let vs not perswade our selues, that whilest wePerfect peace is not had whilest we lyue here. lyue here, we can haue absolute and perfect peace: how beit it shalbe encreased dayly, and Paule wisheth that they might now haue it begon, and when tyme shal come, to haue it at full. And yet neuertheles we obtaine it presetly by Christ if we haue God pacifyed towardes vs. For afterward it is written: Now ther­fore Rom. 5. being iustified by fayth we haue peace towardes God: out of whiche flow­eth tranquilltty of conscience, and somuch of the spirite and deuine comfort, that what soeuer happeneth, we take it in good parte. Wherefore in the middest of tribulations & tormentes, this fyrme peace was not taken away frō holy men. For they gaue thankes vnto God, and they iudged that all thinges in these theirPeace which pas­seth all sence. afflictions were done for the best. And this is that peace, which passeth all sense and humane reason. When he sayth:

From God the father & from our lord Iesus Christ.] He sheweth ye fountaine and beginning, from whence these good thinges should be hoped for. For theyAn argu­ment of de­siring and hoping for the thinges which we pray for. come not of our owne strengthe and workes, but of the mercy of God. And hereby we are encoraged to desire and to hope for these good thinges, which Paule wisheth for. For seing that God, of whome these thinges are desired, is both good and also our father, he will without all doubt geue vs them. And Christ for asmuch as he is our mediator and redemer, will not vndoubtedly de­ny vs them. He is called Lorde, which name is very agreeable vnto him. ForWhy Christ is called lord, all thinges are geuen him of the father, and he hath paid the price for our salua­tion, [Page] therfore he is iustly called Lord which name we may suppose that he hereby obtayned, because the Hebrues neuer pronounce the holy name Tetra­grammaton, whiche is Iehouah, but pronounce it by other wordes, that is by Elohim, or Adonay, which signify might and dominion. Whereby it semeth it came to passe that the 70. interpreters, whē they red this name Tetragramma­ton, turned it by this word [...], which is Lord, as it appeareth in many pla­ces, of the which we will bring one: The Lord sayd vnto my Lord. Where in the fyrst place is written Iehouah, which they turned, Lord. Wherefore when Christ is called Lord, it is as much as if he had bene called God. Although Ter­tullian agaynst Praxea sayth, that Christ is called Lord when he is ioyned withTertullian the father. For then the father is called God. If the sonne being ioyned wyth him should also be called God, the Ethnikes might thinke we put more Gods then one. Wherfore to withstād their supersticiō, we make this word Lord an Epitheton of the sonne. But if we name Iesus Christ by himselfe and alone he is playnely called God, as it appeareth in many places of the scriptures. And he vseth a certayne similitude: as a beame of the sunne when we make mencionA simili­tude. of it by it selfe, we cal it the sun, and we say that the sun entreth in at our win­dowes. But when it happneth that the sunne is also to be named together with the beame, we do not call the beame by the name of the sun, but we say it is the beame of the sun. But the fyrst reason is more fyrme: and by that that Paule de­clareth,The equa­lity of the father and of the sonne The salutacions of Paul are not vayne. The office of saluting is to be re­tayned a­mong Christians. that peace is to be looked for of vs as wel frō the son as from the father, is shewed the equality of eyther of them betweene themselues. And the saluta­tion which Paule euery where putteth before his epistles, is of no small force. For if the blessinges of the fathers were of much force, that is, the blessinges of Nohe, Isaac, Iacob, Moses, and of other, vndoubtedly the prayers of Paule also are not to be counted vnprofitable. And for as much as we sée that both nature and the holy ghost abhorred not from this kinde of office to salute one an other, the same maner and vsage is still to be retayned. But we must onely take hede that we salute not any man dissemblingly, and thinking an other thing in the hart, do it onely in outward voyce or writinge. Otherwise saluting is an in­strument not a little apte to admonish vs of loue towardes our neighbours, and that our neighboure may vnderstande what loue we beare vnto him. And thus much touchinge the salutation. Now let vs come to the Exordium, that is, the beginning: wherein Paule very much laboreth to winne vnto him the Romanes, and chiefely for that, that he exceedinglye reioyceth that they are come to Christ.

First, verely I geue thankes vnto God, through Iesus Christ, for you al, because your faith is published, through out al the world. For God is my witnesse, whom I worship wyth my spirite, in the Gospell of his sonne, that without ceasing, I make mencion of you alwayes in my prayers: beseechynge that at one tyme or other, a prosperous iorney might happen vnto me by the wyll of God, that I may come vnto you. For I am desyrous to see you, that I might bestow among you, some spirituall gift, to strengthen you withall: that is, that I might haue consolation together with you, through the mutuall fayth, whiche both ye and I haue. And I woulde not that ye should be ignorant brethren, how that I haue oftentimes, purposed to come vnto you (but haue bene let hetherto) to haue some frute among you, as I haue among other of the nacions. For I am debter both to the Greekes, and also to the Barbarous, vn­to the learned, and also vnto the vn learned: so that as muche as in me is, I am redy to preach the Gospell, to you of Rome also.

All writtinges in the beginning are wont to tend to this ende, to get theThe ende whereunto the begin­ning of hys talke tendeth. good will of the hearers, as much as is possible: which thinge Paule here doth, and first in that he sheweth them how he geueth thankes vnto God for them. He declareth the cause thereof, namely, for that their fayth was now published throughout the whole world. And he affirmeth, that he cōtinually maketh pray­ers for them, that they might goe forward as they had begonne. Farther he sheweth that he is exceding desirous to see them present. And thereof he sheweth causes, namely, both to comfort them, and also to confirme both himselfe and them. And he addeth this also, that he desireth to do these things euen of duety. For by reason of his Apostleship which he executed, he acknowledged himselfe debytour vnto all nacions. And he thereunto addeth, that for that cause he is not ashamed of the Gospell. And so concludeth he his Exordium. Here let vs first marke, that it is the duety of a Christian mind, to geue thanks vnto God,What thing is most con­trary vnto enuy. as well for the good thinges of other men, as for his owne: which thinge is cleane contrary vnto enuy, whose nature, when it is of great force, is to be sory for an other mans welfare: or when it is not of great force but somewhat remisse, yet at the least it little regardeth, or reioyceth in ye prosperity of others. He sayth that he geueth thankes vnto his God. It is not to be doubted but that God of his owne nature is common to all, and yet the Sainctes do makeThe saints call God theyr God. him proper vnto themselues, not to this entent to exclude their fellowes and partners, but they are prouoked thereunto by a certayne priuate feeling of the goodnes of God, which stirreth them vp to vse this kind of speach. Besides this they perceyue that certayne thinges are singularly graunted vnto them, which vnto other are not geuen. In which consideration we reade that God named himselfe the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob: when as yet he was the God of all men. Paule geueth thankes for the fayth of the Romanes: for which thing contrarily other men were angry and offended. Wherefore we see that in the Christians and in the vngodly there is a farre sundry mynde.

Through Iesus Christ.] He geueth thankes throughe him: because by theThankes are to be geuen through Christ. selse same all good thinges are deryued vnto vs. And it is meete, that by thys selfe same mean, they return vnto the author again. For we with our infirmi­ty and weakenes wherewith we are infected, do pollute the good and frce giftes of God, when they are bestowed vpon vs. Wherefore if they should be refer­red vnto God, as we haue them in vs, they should easely waxe vile: but tho­rough Christ they are purged, and being through him offred vnto God, they are made a sweete sauour. Paule is in a maner in all his epistles stirred vp, to geue thankes vnto God for theyr giftes vnto whom he writteth: because he de­sired nothing more, then that the name of God shoulde be sanctified and hys kingdome enlarged, which thinge when he saw to haue successe, straight way he brake forth into geuing of thankes.

Your fayth (sayth he) is published throughout the whole world.] As though he should haue sayd: I do not in vayne geue thankes vnto God, neyther do I alone perceaue the benefite of God towardes you: but the whole world doth now vnderstand, how deare you are vnto God. Wherefore it must nedes be that the fayth of the Romanes was feruent and liuely, and which wrought by charity: otherwise it coulde not so easily be published throughout the whole world. Neyther was this a smale worke of God, that the Gospell was spredThe Gos­pell was wonderful­ly spread a­broade in the tyme of Paule. The excee­ding great idolatry of the Ro­manes. abroad so quickly, that in Paules tyme (as he here testefieth vnto the Romanes, and also vnto the Collossians) it was amply sowed throughout the whole world. But by this word VVhole we must vnderstand the principal and chiefe partes of the world, and without doubt it was wonderful meruellous, how the Romanes being ouerwhelmed with supersticions (for when they had ouercome the world, they called vnto themselues deuelishe Gods out of all partes of the world) at the length should repent, and geue their mindes to the true religion. Further in that Paule sayth, he geueth thankes & prayeth for them, he admoni­sheth [Page] them what they should do, namely that they also should geue thankes andThe childrē of God do fynd in eue­ry creature occasion of geuinge thankes. pray for him. Let vs in this place behold, that it is the nature of the children of God, to fynd in euery creature occasion to geue thankes vnto God, for this is their endeuour, continually to seeke God, but he is euery where. Wherefore forasmuch as they perceaue him to be euery where, they geue him thankes for all thinges: for that there is nothing so discommodious but that some way it turneth them, to good. On the contrary part we may sée, that the vngodly andThe vngodly do neuer truly geue thanks vn­to God. the children of the deuill are neuer at rest, neyther haue they any thing so com­modious or quiet, which troubleth them not. And whilest they alwayes fixe their eyes vpon molestious and greuous thinges, they neuer from their hart geue thankes vnto God, yea they alwayes both blaspheme him, & are vnquiet. He commendeth vnto them the fayth which they had receaued to the ende they should not lightly regard or esteme it. And the alteracions of the Church of Rome are much to be lamented, which being here so highly praysed for the re­ligionThe church of Rome hath degee generated. The church hath not al­wayes the selfe same abiding places. which it receaued, hath afterward so degenerated, that it is now made the seate of Antichrist, whereby we are admonished that the Church abideth not alwayes in one and the selfe same state and place. It dayly chaungeth his abiding places, and wandreth from nation to nacion. There were not long agoe in the East, most noble Churches, namely, at Hierusalem, Antioche, A­lexandria, and Constantinople, where at this day reigneth the filthines of Ma­humet, and those Christians which liue there, are addicted vnto infinite super­sticions, and do by litle and litle degenerate into a straunge religion. Where­fore the sentence of our sauior is most true, wherein he pronounced, that the last should be first, and the first last.

Neither is thys to be lefte vnspoken of, that the Apostle myndyng to com­mend the Romanes, which had receaued the Religiō of Christ, calleth the sameReligion is called fayth. Religiō fayth: to the end we should vnderstād, that therof depēdeth our holines. Thou shalt find yt same kinde of prayse ascribed vnto y Thessalonians in the formerA praise ge­uen vnto the Thessa­lonians. Epistle the. 1. Chap, where Paul writeth that they were a paterne & an exā ­ple to all them whiche beleued, both in Macedonia, and also in Achaia: so that their fayth was now euery where published. But of the Romanes the admira­tion is y greater, as Chrisostome testifieth: for as much as they had most largeChriso­stome. What things might feare away the Romanes from bele­uyng. dominions, abounded in riches, and ouerflowed on euery side with pleasures: all which thinges make men to shrinke from sound religion. Farther it was meruellous, that they gaue credite vnto the Iewes, men otherwise hated of all nacions, being also fisher men and vnlearned, and as touching the world men most abiect: & especially whē they had heard preached vnto thē a man that was crucified, conuersante in Iewrye, whome they had neuer seene, and were taughte to hope, that all good thinges shoulde come vnto thē from him, which had bene so cruelly put to death: neither was there any felicity promised thē in this life: but the crosse, persecutions, and all aduersities: moreouer they were commaunded to leade a straite lyfe, to put away pleasures, to dispise the world, and to mortefy wicked affections. All which thinges do rather withdraw men from any religion, then allure them vnto it.

For God is my vvitnes.] After that he hath shewed how he gaue thankes unto God for them, he addeth the perpetuall memory that he maketh of them in his dayly prayers. And all these thinges tend to this ende, that they should perceaue that Paule loued them. For these thinges neither are found, nor can be found without beneuolence and a singular charity. Neither affirmeth he these thinges simply, but ioyneth vnto them an othe. For his chiefe care was that they should geue credite vnto him.

whom I serue in my sprite.] By spirite he vnderstandeth a mynde inspiredWhat the spirite sig­nifieth. with the holy ghost. And Ambrose when he interpreteth this place, sayth, that the spirit is the minde, wherewith we ought chiefly to worship God. For he is a spirite: and therefore it is meete that he be serued inspirite. The false Apo­stles [Page 8] accused Paule as a forsaker of the law, & an Apostata from Moses. Wher­fore the crime of impiety was layd to his charge, which should excedingly haue alienated the mindes of the Romanes from him, if they coulde haue bene so perswaded. Therefore he purgeth himselfe, that althoughe he worshipped notWhy Paul so often putgeth him­selfe. A place to Timothe expounded. God with the ceremonyes of Moses and rites of the law, yet neuertheles he ser­ued him in spirite. Which thing he testified also vnto Timothe, when he wrote that he had from his progenitors worshipped God with a pure conscience. By which words we must not thinke, that he excuseth his sinne and persecution agaynst the Sainctes: but only sheweth this, that it was not agaynst his conscience, as some, which by reason of weakenes suffer not those things to take place, which by a sound iudgement of the conscience they know to be vpright. Paule fell of ignoraunce, which without doubt was sinne: but not of that kinde, that it should be sayd, that he did agaynst that which he thought in his mynde. But that which he sayth here, that he serueh God in spirite, Christ expressed, when he spake vnto the woman of Samaria, sayinge of the true worshippers, that they should worship in spirite and in truth. And that was spoken to this ende, toThe true worship­pers wor­ship in spi­rite and in truth. expres that one day it should come to passe, that the describing of any certayne place wherein God should be worshipped, should be taken awaye, and the cere­monies of the Iewes should be abolished: so that, to worship in spirite, may be referred vnto the place and ceremonies of the lawe: and that which is added, and in truth, declareth the thinge it selfe, excluding shadowes whiche were set­forth in the olde Testament. These did in deede helpe the fathers in theyr tyme, because they had the worde of God ioyned with them, which might be cōpre­hended in them by fayth. Wherefore God blessed them: so that (if fayth were present) they were in their tyme very profitable: but when Christ came they ought to geue place. But as touching rites inuented by men, we can not in like maner say that they much profited, bycause they had not the worde of God. Therfore they are worthely to be extingueshed and put away: excepte some of them, as touching outward pollicy, may be iudged profitable. We serue in spi­rite, when no part of our flesh is any more circumcised, but the mynde and vi­ces: beastes are not slayne, but we crucify our owne fleshe with the lustes there of. Which selfe same worshipping in spirite Paul in an other place expressed, when he sayde: I desyre you throughe the mercye of God that ye geue your bo­dyes a lyuely sacryfyce holy and acceptable vnto God, and that your woorshyppynge be reasonable. He vseth this verbe [...], from whence they saye is deriued this word [...], which signifieth that worshipping which is dew vnto God [...] Augustin [...] only, whereby we vtterly addicte our selues vnto him: neither can it (as Au­gustine testefieth in his 5. booke De ciuitate Dei the first chapter:) be expressed, by one word of the Lattins. For pietas, that is, piety or godlines, is not only to­wardes God, but also towards our parents and country. Also Religio, that is religion, is not drawen onelye to holye thinges, but also belongeth to that due­ty which we owe vnto kinsefolkes, and humane affinityes. But in the meaneAugustines distinction betwene [...] & [...]. while he iudgeth that, by the Greke wordes, diuers thinges are in thys thyng distincted: so that this worde [...], signifieth the worshipping which is geuen vnto God, and [...]. the worship whiche is geuen vnto Princes and magi­strates. As touchinge the thing we easely graunt, that there is a difference. For we worship God after one sorte, and we honour Princes after an other man­ner. Chrisostome in hys. 33. homelye vpon Iohn sayth: that it longeth vnto theChryso­stome, The body of Christ created. A similitude The reason why the worship of Christ depē deth of his deuinity. creature to worshippe, and vnto the creator to be worshipped. And he obiecteth vnto him selfe, why doo we woorship Christe a man, when as he hath in verye deede a body created? He answereth: No man when he would reuerence a king sayth vnto hym, Put of thy purple garments, and laye away the crowne and other ornamēts: for I wil worship thee naked, he dareth not speake these words but honoreth hym beinge both clothed which purple, & adorned wyth a crown. So we, when we worship Christ, do not put away his humanity from hys deuyne [Page] nature, but worship it together with it: But the reason whereon adoraci­on dependeth is hys deuinity. But as touching the Greeke wordes, [...] is al [...] & [...] as touching the Greeke words sig­nity one and the selfe same thing. [...] to to serue for a re­ward. Augustine one with [...]. For as Suidas testifieth [...] is [...]. But afterward it was vsed to signifye [...], y is, godly to worship. And he addeth, [...]: that is, a hired bondage. And this signification is manifestly had in xeniphon in his. 3. booke of the education of Cirus: where the husband speaketh thus: [...]: that is, Vndoubtedly O Cirus I will spende euen my life, rather then she should be brought to bondage. Then the wife answered, [...]. Yea and we reade in the holy scriptures that in Leui­ticus it is sayd: you shall not do any seruile worke, [...]. And [...] in Iob is called an handemayden. And Augustine also himselfe in his booke Locutionum Deut: acknowledgeth that [...] is not alwayes referred vnto thinges deuine. For where as it is sayde in Deut. the 28. chapter. Thou shalt serue thine enemyes, in Greke it is sayd [...]. And Paule likewise when he affirmeth himselfe to be a worshipper of Iesus Christ writeth [...], where­fore thou seest that this difference of wordes is not obserued among the Greci­cians. Howbeit they haue a worde whiche is proper vnto the worshipping of God called [...]. but whether it be a woord vsed among good and olde au­thors, [...] Augustine [...] I know not. Augustine in the place already alledged Deciuitate Dei, maketh mencion of an other word called [...]. But that properly belongeth vnto rites and misteries. For it is sayd that Orpheus fyrst taught the Thraci­ans misteryes. Wherefore that woord was deriued of the Thracians, turningWhereof [...] is deriued. this letter [...]. into [...]. But to returne to [...]. it is deriued of [...], which parti­cle signifyeth vehememcy, and [...], which is to tremble. For seruauntes do excedingly tremble at the commaundementes of theyr Lordes. The same am­bignitye is there in thys hebrue worde Schaah, which signifyeth to prostrate himselfe and to bowe downe. Wherefore we reade oftentymes Hiskaim, that is, they worshipped, and Histauh, that is, a bowing downe: and in the plurallWe pro­strate our bodies both before God and before creatures. number it is sayd Histauidoth, that is, prostracions. And that honour of pro­strating the body, and bowing the knees is not done before God onely, but al­so before kinges and Aungels. For it is a simbole or token whereby we repre­sent our submission and lowlynes. The elders vsed other signes also in wor­shipping. Wherefore Chrisostome, in an homely which he hath when he expoun­dethChriso­stome. Simboles or tokens of the el­ders in worship­pyng. Augustine what we signifye whilest we prostrate our selues before God. these wordes of Iohn, the true worshippers shall worship in spirite and in truth, sayth: When thou shewest thy handes, openest thy harte, liftest vp thy face vnto heauen, and openest thyne eyes, what other thing els doost thou, then shew the whole man vnto God. Augustine De ciuitate Dei, in the place now al­leaged, sayth that this [...] is a religious and humble submission: which I vnderstand so to be obserued, that when we prostrate our selues before God we signify that we wholy submit our selues vnto him, and that as touching al things without any exception. But if we fal down before an Emperor or king, we signifye that we submitts our selues vnto him, as it pertaineth to his go­uernment: but yet not wholy, because we wil euermore haue god and his word excepted. And in these outward signes which are to be geuen vnto Princes, a Christian must obserue the maners of the countrye, makyng a difference in his mynde betweene ether subiection: and let hym chiefelye beware that herein heHow bow­inge or pro­strating is to be geuen vnto men. This honor is not to be geuen neyther vnto images nei­ther vnto the bodies of the dead. do nothyng conterfeately: farther let him not geue these signes, but vnto them whome he by the precept of God is commaunded to reuerence: that is, vnto all those which are put in any high authoritye, whether the same be spirituall or temporall. But let him not in any case prostrate himselfe before Images: forasmuch as that is expressedly prohibited. Yea he must not also shew any such honor of bowing the knees, or inuocation, vnto the sainctes that are dead. For there is no word of God concerning that thyng: neyther can we when we do thys, leane vnto fayth: neyther know we whether they heare vs, or vnderstand [Page 9] what thinges are done among vs. And we must take bede, that when we ho­nour. Princes and fall downe before them, we desire not any thing of them through flattery, which lieth not in their power to geue vs: as is to aske eter­nall life, spirituall giftes, conseruacion of life and such like. But of a king let vs desire the helpe belonging to a king: of learned and wise men, to communi­cate theyr doctryne: of rich mē, to deale somwhat of their goods. These ar the cir­cumstances which we must vse. And to speke briefely, this worshipping of god, which is to serue in spirite, is reduced vnto fower principal points: which are a­doracion,To what principall poynt the worship­ping and adoracion of god must be reduced. trust, inuocation, and geuinge of thankes. Adoracion is an humble and religious submission, whereby we vtterly submitte our selues vnto God, and that in al thinges: Trust is, wherby we rest in him, considering the power, wisedome and high goodnes, wherewith he is adorned: For whiche thinges we cleane vnto him, neither do we thinke, that he will forsake, or frustrate vs. In­uocation is: whereby we flye vnto God, in al perils, and aduersytyes: as which know that he is euery where at hande, and that, accordinge to his promises, he both can and will succor vs with his defence. Geuing of thankes is, wherebye we referre all good thinges vnto him, as vnto the firste author. These fower things, are due vnto God onely, neyther can they, as we haue defined them, beBy what meanes the deuill hath darckened this wor­shipping of god. ascribed to other creatures. The Deuil hath with much deceat, diligently tra­ueled to obscure this kynd of worshipping, when he perswaded the worlde, that men might in deede principally, worship one chief God, and in the meane time, adioyne vnto him a number of lesser Gods. Whereby came to passe, that that was deuided, which God would haue most of all vnited and ioyned together, & so the Ethnikes were deceaued. Farther in our times, such certayne distributi­ons and proper offices, are so distributed vnto those which are numbred among the saintes, that very oftentimes, inuocation is made vnto them: This moreo­uerGod is worshipped with reue­tence of the childe to the father. is to be considered, that that which Paule sayth: To serue in spirite compre­hendeth a fatherly reuerence, that is, of the children, towarde the father, and not a seruile feare: wherewith the Ethnikes being perswaded, hated the iudge­ment of God, and would haue no God to be at al. Wherfore they haue alwayes applied theyr cogitations vnto fayned religions, and they performed certayne outward woorkes, whereby they thought themselues, ful of all pietie: and yet in the meane time they absteyned not frō witked actes. But godly mē, foras­much as they serue him in spirit, are careful that they faine not vnto thēselues a God, after theyr owne fansy: but do embrace him, euen as it hath pleased him to declare himselfe, in the woorde of the scriptures. And when they see that he isGod must be wor­shipped as he hath de­clared in the word of the scripture. set forth vnto vs in the holy scriptures, as a Lord and father, they worship him, obey him, and study to aduaunce his honour, as muche as they are able. And agayne, when they see hym declared as a iudge, they set his iudgement seate be­fore theyr eyes in all theyr actions, lest they shoulde transgresse in any thinge, and incurre the anger of theyr mighty iudge. But they doe not so feare hym, that they hate hym, or that they woulde flye from hym: yea and thoughe there were graunted them a place to flye vnto, they woulde chose rather to em­brace him punishing and chasteninge them. And amonge these thinges whiche oughte to haue the principall place, as touchinge this spirituall worshipping,God is worshipped by obedi­ence. is obedience: wherof we rede, that it is better then sacrifices. Neyther had God a regard in a manner to any other thinge in the whole lawe, and rites of cere­monies, than to haue men truly subiect and obedient vnto him. But we foras­muche as we haue contracted a corrupte and viciate nature by the sinne of Adam, are in nothyng more diligent and exquisite, then to obtrude our own in­nēcions, and fayned rytes, for the worshipping of God: and greater seueritye is vsed agaynst the transgressors of the Commaundements of men, then there is agaynst those which publikely violate the Commaundementes of God. A man shall euery where see blasphemers, whoremongers, adulterers, and periured persons laughed at by the magistrates, so farre are they of, from punishynge [Page] them. But agaynste hym whiche will vse the sacramentes of the Euchariste in both kinds they rage euen vnto the fyre. And to be brief, men are condemned to death for neglecting of humayne traditions: but for violatinge of the lawe of God, they are not so muche as once accused, Wherefore God did not without a cause in Deut. commaund Moyses: Onely the thynges whyche I haue commaunded shalte thou keepe: neyther shalte thou adde nor diminyshe any thynge. And we haueA remedye agaynst hu­mane tradi­tions. no pr [...]sēter remedy against this pestilence, then dayly to be occupied in the holy scriptures, and to gather out of them, by what meanes God would declare him selfe vnto vs, and to picke out such wayes whereby he hath chieflye commaun­ded vs to worship him: & in thus doyng we may wtout any great difficulty serue god in spirite. And contrary to this spiritual worshiping is, to serue god in fleshTo serue God in flesh. that is, onely wyth fayned rytes, and outward ceremonies, laying away faith and inward piety. This Antithesis or contrarye posicion Paul touched, when he sayd vnto the Galathians. Yee which began in the spirite, beware ye end not in the flesh. Those Galathians were rightly instructed: but by the deceates of false Apostles, they declined vnto the Iewishe ceremonies, and outward rites: which thyng was to fynish in the flesh, that whych was with holynes and vpright [...] begonne. Vnto the Philippians also he sayth: We are the circumcision, whiche serue God in sprite, hauing confidence in God, and not in the flesh. Then he manifestlye de­clarethWhat it is to trust in the flesh. what it is to trust in the flesh, saying: Although I, if any other, may put con­fidence in flesh: as whych am of the kindred of Israel, of the tribe of Beniamin, an Hebrew borne of the Hebrewes and of the secte of the Pharisies, by feruentnes persec [...]tinge the church of Christe, and as touchinge iustifications of the lawe I was conuersante without blame. &c. Thou seest nowe that carnall woorshippynge consisteth of all these thynges. But spirituall worshippyng consisteth altogether of fayth and chari­ty. Paule addeth:

In the gospell of his sonne:] By which wordes he declareth, that thys spi­rituallNowe God is serued in the Gospell of hys son. worshipping, if it be expressed in outward workes, consisteth principal­ly in this, ye we should preach Christ, & that we should allure vnto him, as much as lyeth in vs, as many of our neyghbours as we can. He hath alreadye decla­red what God he called to witnes: now he goeth to the thyng which he woulde haue signifyed vnto the Romanes. And that is, that he contynually made men­cion of them in his prayers. Neyther can it hereby be gathered, that Paule did alwayes so praye, that he neglected other duetyes. He preached, he iorneyed, be laboured with hys handes: and fynallye he executed all such thinges as per­tayned vnto hys office. Wherefore we must not expound those thynges, which are here spoken, accordyng to the word, but according to the sense: and we must vnderstand them no otherwise thē that, as often as the Apostle prayed, he made mencion of them. And the prayers of the Saincts are deuided into two kyndes.Two kindes of prayer. For there are certayn which are appoynted, as whē they are had in a publique congregation at appoynted and prescribed dayes, the Lordes day (I say) and if there be any other oppoynted by the Church for publike prayers. Farther it is ye duety of a Christian man, to haue euery day also appoynted haures, wher­in to pray vnto God, and that three times in a day or fyue tymes or seuen times as hys busines wyll suffer him. There is an other kynd of those prayers, which are called vncertayne, for we vse them so often as any present daunger vrgeth vs. But Paule sayth now, that he alwayes maketh mencion of these men in his prayers: and in some bookes is added this aduerbe [...], which signifyeth euery where: althoughe some exemplars haue put it out. There were heretikes which were called Messaliani: and of them Tripartita Historia maketh mention.An heresye of the Mes­salianits or Euchites. They attributed all things vnto prayers, and that so much, that they vtterly de­rogated both the word of God, and also the sacraments: affirming that al these things do nothing profyte: but what commodity soeuer we haue, the same cō ­meth by prayers: and they could not abyde to labour wyth theyr handes, or to do any other thing. If a man had vrged them to worke they would haue said [Page 10] that that nothing profyted, for as much as we oughte to do nothinge but pray: when as yet the Apostle expressedly admonisheth, that he whiche laboureth not, ought not also to eate. He also wryteth, that a man must not neglecte to haue a care ouer his owne, especially his houshold: which fault if any man commit, he should be counted euen as an infidell. But omitting this superstition, we oughtThe chil­dren or God ought to pray often. to attribute much vnto prayers, forasmuohe as this is the nature of the chil­dren of God to geue themseltes oftentimes to prayers: for that is to ac­knowledge the prouidence of God. For whilest we beleue, that a man can ob­tayne nothyng, whych is not geuen him of God, we are oftentimes prouoked to emplore hys ayde for such necessities as happen. And whilest we pray, we doo no lesse submitte our selues vnto God, then is the clay subiecte vnto the potter: for this thing we chiefly desire, that whatsoeuer we require, we maye haue the same through his wyll. And forasmuch as when we pray, the mind is led away from cares, and worldly prouisions, and is wholye caryed vp vnto God, there ought nothing to be more pleasaunte vnto vs, then to occupye our selues wyth thys kinde of study. And it is much to be lamented, that the manner of praying is so worne out of vre at this day amonge Christians, that it is a thynge ve­ry rarely vsed: and especially in so great a light of the Gospell and scriptures: wherfore it is no meruaile though all things waxe so cold. Vndoubtedlye heateA Simili­tude. there encreaseth, where the light cannot easely go through, but is beaten backe againe, and as they say reflected backwarde. Wherefore this lower part of the ayre, which compasseth the earth, is most hot, because the beames of the sonne which strike vpon the earth, forasmuch as they cannot pearse it being so thick, are reflected, & in a manner doubled: whereby is stirred vp heat. In like manner ought it to be in our harts, when the light of gods woorde shyneth vpon them. For when we haue receaued it, we oughte to reflect it vnto God, in makynge prayers vnto hym, to performe those thinges in vs which he hath commaun­ded, and which he hath vouchsafed to reuele vnto vs. For when we reade the scriptures, God speaketh vnto vs. But when we pray, we speake vnto God.A profita­ble dialoge betwene God and vs. And we ought to vse this dialogue very often, that when we heare in the holy scriptures that God eyther reuealeth himselfe, or commaundeth any thinges, we agayne may desire of hym, that those thynges be not spoken in vayne vnto vs, but maye be executed wyth profyte and fruite. Paul teacheth vs here so to order our prayers, that we pray not onely for our selues, but also for our neigh­bours. Farther, when he prayeth that he myght haue a prosperous iorney vnto the Romanes, he signifyeth that our workes should beginne with prayers, if we wyll haue them to haue good successe. But some are feared away from cal­ling vpon God because they say he heareth them not. Howbeit they ought here­byThough God seme not to hea [...]e yet we must not leaue of from prayer. to be strengthned, for that they heare that Paul was oftentymes letted from goyng vnto Rome, and yet contynued he still in the same desire, and vsed to re­peate the selfe same prayers. Yea and in the latter epistle to the Corrinthyans he writeth, that he desired as good as three tymes, to be delyuered from the pricke of the flesh, vnto whom yet at the last aunswere was made, that it suffi­sed that he had the fruicion of the grace of God. Wherefore eyther God hea­reth vs at the length, or if he geueth not vs that which we desire, yet geueth he somewhat in steede thereof, which is farre better and more profitable vnto our saluation. And God oftentymes differreth our requestes, to the ende that (asWhy the Lord dif­ferreth our requestes. Augustine sayth in a certayne homely) we should learne to desire great thinges with much feruentnes. Others are called away from prayers, because they thus determine with themselues: although I desire not these thinges, yet God wyll do that which shall seeme good vnto hym: neyther shall hys wyll be alte­redWhy God will haue vs to aske that which o­therwise he is redy to geue. by my prayers. But these men vnderstand not that God, before he graun­teth any good thinge vnto hys elect, is wont excedingly to kindle their mynde wyth a desire to obtayne those thynges. Farther when he will do any thynge, he stirreth vp those that are hys to desire the same whereby he myght for ho­nours [Page] sake attribute that vnto theyr prayers, which otherwise he would haue done. Thys is an other cause also, for that benefytes are then the more accep­table, when they are required and desired. Farther when we pray, our myndsA simili­tude. are the more ioyned wyth God. Yea these vowes and holy defires seeme to be nothyng els, then ladders and degrées, whereby we ascend vp vnto God. But let vs returne vnto Paule, and sée for what he now prayed.

That I may haue (sayth he) a prosperous iorney, to come vnto you, by the vvill of God] He desired to come vnto the Romanes: wherefore hys prayer was that impedimentes myght be remoued, whiche were partly obiected by Sathan, and partly had theyr begynnyng of sondry necessityes of Churches, which impedimentes, as they dayly hapened a fresh, so they with held Paule, that he could not go whether he would. A prosperous iorney he calleth not only as touchyng commoditye of the lyfe, but also a fruitfull iorney, that hys laubourWhat ma­ner of pros­perous ior­ney Paule desired. might not be spent in vayne. He remembred also, that he was by the oracle of God prohibyted some tymes to speake, or to go, whether he had appoynted. As we may sée in the Actes the. 16. chapter: where he was forbiddē to speake in Asia: and when he would haue gone into Mysia, and Bythynia, he was letted, and by night admonishrd in a dreame, to get him vnto Macedonia. For there stoode before him a man of Macedonia, which sayd: Come and succour vs. This thyng therefore he desired as touchyng the Romanes: namely, that he might not haue any such impediment. And though we heare, that he desired a prosperous ior­ney yet we must not perswade our selues, that he referred these thynges to his owne commodity or to gayne. The prosperous iorneys which God grauntedWhat prosperous ior­neyes God gaue vnto Paule. him to Macedonia, serued to the increase of the Gospell. For otherwise he was both beaten there, and also cast into prison. And when at the last he shoulde go, vnto Rome, God, which heard hys prayers, brought to passe, that he was com­pelled to appeale vnto Cesar. And when he was in a shippe wracke, he bad hym to be of good chere, for that he should be, a witnes of Christ at Rome also, as he had bene at Ierusalem, whereby appeareth what prosperity or successe is to beWhat prosperity Christians ought to looke for. looked for in the workes of the elect. Vndoubtedly that kynde of prospe [...]cy is to be looked for, not wherein the fleshe may rest, but whereby may come aboun­dant fruite of the Gospell. And whereas the Apostle sayth, by the will of God, it is not so to be vnderstād, as though he thought that any thing could be done be sides the will of God: but he desireth such a will, which should fauor and pros­per hys enterprise that his labour myght not be in vayne. And he addeth:

For I desire to see you.] Thys myght sufficiently haue bene vnderstand by hys prayers. And yet is it not superfluously added. For he woulde not haue them thinke that hys prayers were slyght and common prayers, but such as procéeded from a perfect and iust desire. For we must not coldely desire those thynges whiche we implore of God in our prayers. This was Paules care to­wardesPaule had a care ouer the Chur­ches of God. the churches. Eyther he went thether hymselfe, when néede required: or when he could not goo, he wrote, or sent some that were very deare and nigh vnto hym. Hys charity did alwayes burst forth into acts, which myght profite hys neighbours. He sawe that the saluation of the Romanes was now at hand: therefore he would aduaūce it also by his labour. And in that he prayeth in his prayers for a prosperous iorney, it is nothyng els, but to desire to be sent, euen as Esay offred hymselfe, saying: Behold Lord I am redy, send me. And the same Paule sayd: He which desireth a bishoppricke desireth a good worke. Furthermore itHoly men desire to be coupled & ioyned to­gether. is a perpetuall affection of good men to desire to be ioyned together, forasmuch as they haue hym to be their God, which is euery where in the holy scriptures called the God of vnity & peace. Moreouer their meetinges together are not without profyte. For alwayes there is some increase of the spirite and grace of God and it séemeth that God geueth strength vnto the members of Christ, then chiefly, when they are ioyned together. Which sentence some abuse, when they cry, that we must geue credite vnto Synodes and counsels, as though god can [Page 11] not permitte so holy fathers which haue assembled together, to be deceaued.The assem­bly of By­shops vnto Synods why it is not vnpro­fitable. That holy assembly (say they) of holy men coulde not be had without fruite: but they (as Paul sayth) ought to haue bene such, as had serued God in spirite, had geuen them selues to aduaunce the gospell of God, had powred out pray­ers wyth most feruent fayth, and attempted nothyng of the flesh, or of humane affection, but suffred all thynges to be done by the will of God. But that they performed not these thynges, the euent sufficiently declareth. For they haue brought in many supersticions, and sometymes haue most seuerly decreed things that are apertly against the word of God. I wyl not deny but that those which assemble rightly and orderly, namely, after that maner that I haue now expressed, may bring forth farre greater fruites, then when they deale seperatly and apart. Of thys thyng Chrisostome bringeth a very apt similitude. BurningA similitude firebrandes (sayth he) when they are seperated a sonder, do conceaue and re­tayne within them some heate and light: but yet not very much. But if they be put all into one place, eyther into a chimney or into a fornace, they wyll stirre vp both a very greate, and also a most feruent flambe. In lyke maner must we thinke of holy men, being eyther assembled together, or seperated a sunder.

To bestovv among you some spiritual gifte.] He declareth, why he so much de­sired, to come vnto them: namely, to make them partakers of the giftes of God. The Apostle was a vessell filled with deuyne gyfts: Wherfore, whether soeuer he went, he bestowed and destributed them vnto the beleuers. But forasmuche as God is, both the author, and geuer of all spirituall giftes, why doth Paule here seme to chalenge, or clayme them vnto hymselfe? Forsoth, bycause he wasThe work [...] of God and of the mini­sters of the Church is ioyned together. a minister of the Church: and God hath so much honored the ministerye, that he also cōmunicateth euen his own proper worke vnto the ministers. For as tou­chyng theyr functions, they are not seperated from God, whych is the authour of them, but rather are so to be ioyned with him, as though one, & the selfe same woorke proceeded from them both. And after thys manner are ministers sayd to forgeue or to retayne sinnes, to beget men vnto Christe, and to saue them. But if thou looke vpon God, and the minister a parte eche by hym selfe, then heare what Paule sayth: I haue planted, Apollo hath watred, but God hath ge­uen the increase. Also, who is hee, whyche planteth? And who is he, whyche watreth? And in an other place he sayth, that the holye Ghost distributeth his giftesBy the mi­nisters of the church the faythful are more strayghtly bound to­gether. vnto euery man, as it pleaseth him, and according to his will. But as we haue sayd the ministers must not be seperated from God: who by this dignity which he geueth vnto them, prouideth chiefely for thys, that the faythfull should more streyghtly be bound together in the church. For euen as a citye is counted one because men helpe one an other, when as some are able to geue counsell, other excell in strength, and other in handycrafts and industrye: so would God haue it to be in the church, namely, that some should teach, and other som be taught, some helpe theyr brethren through prayers, some dispense the sacraments, and other some receaue them: to the ende that by these mutuall offices, Christians shoulde bee so bounde together, that the spirite and grace of God shoulde spreade from one member to an other, by ioyntes and cloysures together, as it is wrytten vnto the Collossians and vnto the Ephesians. All these woords are here set as much conducinge to wynne the hartes of the Romaykes: that they should looke for hym chearefullye, and wyth greate loue receaue hym when he should come, as though therewythall they should receaue some excellente gyfte of the spiryte accordynge to hys promise. These thynges serne also to stirre vp theyr mindes to reade hys Epystle. For vndoubtedlye he wrote it for no other cause, but that that whych by presence of hys body he coulde not performe, he myght yet at the least expresse by hys Epistle. Whych self thynge is a cause al­so, why we ought in lyke manner wyth exquisite diligence to reade and heareHorrible blasphe­mies of cer­taine in our tyme. that whych is here written. Neyther must we harken vnto those blasphemers, whiche beyng enemies vnto pietie, and vnto the true doctrine of iustification [Page] and predestination, are not ashamed to crye out and say: I would to God Paul had neuer writtē this epistle. Which saying though they go about to mitigate, affirming that they spake it because of these daungerous tymes, yet bring they not any sufficient excuse. For what is this els, but to reprehende the counselsAssemblies together of Christians ought not to be vnpro­fitable. of God, and of the holy ghost? Further let vs marke that it is not conuenient, that assemblyes together of Christians should be vnprofytable and idle, as pro­phake assemblyes are: but they ought to haue in them some spirituall commo­dity. And thys Greake word [...], contayneth in it a vehement signifycation. For thereby the Apostle declareth, that he will geue nothyng vnto them, but that which he had first receaued of God. For he sayth he wyll make them per­takers of those giftes which he himselfe had now obtained. And in such sort we ought to visite our neighbours, namely, to haue alwayes some spirituall gifts redy to communicate vnto them. And on the other side, we ought to be prompt,With what mind Chri­stiās ought to assemble together. What pere­grinations and what writings are had in the p [...]pacy. easely to receaue, if any spirituall profyte or commodity be offred vnto vs by their commyng vnto vs. But now a dayes they vse peregrinacions or pilgri­mages to images and to worshippe reliques of the dead: and not to succor the liuely temples of Christ. The bishop of Rome writeth sometymes, but yet on­ly pardons, bulles, and curses. He sendeth men to compound and dispence for sondry kinds of sinnes, and to release vowes. But none of these doth he fréely: but they are altogether instituted for gayne, and to scrape mony together.

To strengthen you.] Here is added the cause, why he so much desired to come vnto the Romanes: namely, to strengthen them. This is it which ChristThe office of an Apo­stle is to cō ­firme the brethren. commaunded Peter: And thou at the length when thou art conuerted confyrme thy brethren. By these woordes is signifyed, that the Romanes were not con­stante: for they semed now redy to receaue the religion of the Iewes. And yet because he would not offend their mindes, that which he had before spoken of their confirmation, he straight way lenefleth, and mitigateth wyth these words which follow:

That I may receaue exhortation together with you.] Here he knitteth him­selfe also with their infyrmity, as though he also had neede of instruction. And assuredly there is none in the Church placed so high, that he can not receau [...] None so hygh in the Church but that he may be holpen by inferiours. some confyrmacion and edifycation of the weaker. Neyther doth God vse to geue all thynges vnto all men, but that the weake ones haue oftentymes some singular and priuate gifte of God, whereby to helpe the stronger. Wherefore if Paule, which was a piller of the Church, stronger then any yron, harder then the diamond, confesseth that he myght profyte himselfe through these mens ex­hortacion, why shoulde we then doubt of our selues? But if the fayth of the Romanes were so great, that it was now euery where published, what neded they of any confyrmation? We answere, that fayth is in deede of hys own [...] Our fayth needeth al­wayes to be increased nature sure and constant, and if it be such which iustefyeth, it ought vtterly to differ from opinion, that we doubt not of the verity of the other part, but foras­much as we are weake, and do on euery side slippe, being assaulted of our fleshe, the deuill and the world, we haue neede continually of the increase of faith. Peter beleued truly in Christ, when he sayd: Saue me: otherwise I perish. But the Lord sayd vnto him, O thou of little fayth, why doubtedst thou. By whiche wordes Peter was tought, that the daunger hong not ouer him, eyther by reason of the waters, or of the tempest: but through the want of faith. Where­fore these thinges do nothing disagree betweene themselues, that the fayth of the Romanes was to be magnifyed, and that yet neuertheles they had neede of confyrmacion. We might reade that which we haue here interpreted con­cerninge exhortacion, as if there had bene mencion made of consolacion, as though Paule shoulde haue sayde: therefore I will come vnto you, not only to strengthen you, but also to stirre vp a mutuall consolaciyn, and that through the fayth which is found as well in me as in you. For they which mete together when they perceaue themselues not to be of a sundry opinion, but of one and [Page 12] the selfe same opinion, vse excedinglye to reioyce. Wherefore Chrisostome and the Greke annotacions do admonishe vs, that consolacion in this place may be taken for ioy. Neyther ought we to doubt whether this consolacion should be betweene the Romanes themselues, or betwéene them and Paule: Because the wordes which follow, séeme to dispatch that doubt, in that it is sayd.

Through the mutuall fayth, which both ye, and I haue.] Neyther did he rashely make mencion of faith. Forasmuch as the property thereof is, to powreFayth is compared vnto leuen. it selfe into an other euen lyke leuen: which when it hath leuened one part of the dow, goeth forward into the next part. But they are to be counted as colde beleuers, which to theyr power labour not to make other of the same mynde, that they are now of, which thyng if it myght be brought to passe, vndoubtedly so many should be amended as are drawen by theyr admonishment. For what soeuer sinne we committe, the same commeth of the imbecillity of fayth. And by these wordes, Paul bringeth to an equality those thinges which he hath spo­ken: affirming that there should come a common gayne both vnto himselfe and vnto the Romanes by their mutuall metyng together. And fayth is required on ether party: as touching Paule, that he might be able to obtaine the gifts which he wished vnto the Romanes: agayne as touching them, that they might re­ceaue those thinges, which were to be ministred vnto them by Paule.

I would not that ye should be ignorant brethern.] Ambrose readeth thys text otherwise: after this maner: I know ye are not ignorant brethern, & he expoun­deth it, that the Romanes were certified of the minde of Paule by such as bele­ued in Christ, which continually went to Rome, as by Aquila, Priscilla, and o­thers, who knew right well Paules purpose and determination. But we will follow the common reading, according vnto which the Apostle séemeth to pre­uent them, as though they should haue sayd: why then hast thou differred thy comming vnto vs, seing thou so much desirest it? Paule answereth, that he of­tentymes assayed to come vnto them: but it would not be, because he was al­wayes letted. To the Thessalonians he sayth that Sathan was the let that he could not come to Thessalonica. And in the latter to the Corrinthyans, he ma­keth mencion of a grenous persecution which he suffred in Asia, and that he was tempted aboue his strength, so that he almost dispayred of his life: and therefore hys comming to Corinth was prolonged longer then he had appoyn­ted. But here he expresseth not of whom he was letted. But there might be thrée kindes of lettes. First God, which by manifest oracles sometymes called hymLettes which might hin­der Paul from going to Rome The Ro­manes seme to be lesse esteemed of Paule then the other nacions. It is not for the ser­uant to en­quire out the counsels of his ma­ster. backe from his appoynted enterprises: as it appeareth in the 16. chapter of the Actes: an other kinde is the necessity of Churches, which euery day increa­sed new and new: lastly aduersities and persecutions, whiche were stirred vp by Sathan. Chrisostome hath noted, that because Paule hath not expressed the cause why so great a city which ruled then ouer all, should be lesse estemed then many other obscurer cities and prouinces, humaine sence and reason myght therefore be offended. But he represseth thys inquision as curious, and which becommeth not godly myndes. It is sufficient (sayth he) that we know that all thynges are done by the prouidence of God. Neyther ought we to thynke, that any mortall man can better prouide for hys creatures, then God himselfe can. Neyther let vs thinke that the Romanes were therefore the worse estemed and prouided for, because Paule came so late vnto them. And he may be an ex­ample vnto vs, not to be much curious in enquiring after such thinges. He hath left the cause vnspoken of, and paraduenture he enquired not for it. As seene as he sawe that he was letted, strayght way he obayed, without enquiring theChrysostōe was not of thys opiniō that the Romanes w [...]r first conuerted vnto Christ by Peter. causes: for as much as it is not for seruauntes to search out the counsels of theyr Lord. And when I consider these thynges, I thinke I may thereby ga­ther that Chrisostome was not fully perswaded that the Romanes were fyrst by Peter the Apostle conuerted vnto Christe, before Paule came thether. For then answeare might easely haue bene made. The city of Rome was not vtterly [Page] forsaken of God, whilest Paule was occupied otherwhere: for Peter preachedGod per­formeth things that are forspo­ken, that is predesti­nate after an other manner & at an other tyme then the sayntes thynke for. the Gospell there. This is further to be noted, that God oftentymes vseth to accomplish those thynges which are alredy appointed, and desired of the saincts to be done, but yet at a farre other tyme, and after an other maner and way, then they decreed wyth themselues to doo it. Iacob when he heard that Ioseph hys sonne should be worshipped of hys brethren and also euen of hys parents, began to thinke that to be a thyng odious, and which coulde not be brought to passe without excéeding great troubles. And therefore he did not gladly geue eare vnto it. And yet did God performe the same: but yet by a far other meanes then he thought. So that Paule should go to Rome, it was both decréed by the prouidence of God, and also he excedingly desired it: but it came to passe farre otherwise, then euer Paule thought. For he when he came to Ierusalem, and was so euill handled there, that he was in daunger of hys lyfe, was compelled to appeale vnto Cesar: and God vsed that occasion to sende hym to Rome, which he afterward shewed vnto hym by a vision, when he suffred shipwracke. For he sayd vnto hym: Euen as thou hast borne witnes vnto me at Ierusalem, so also shalt thou doo at Rome. Wherefore we ought alwayes to be mindefull of that place in Ieremy, the 10. chapter: a mans way is not in hys owne hand, neyther is it in man, to walke, and to direct hys steppes. It is God which boweth vs, whethersoeuer he will. And though he sendeth not forth his angels, which should expressedly teach vs what he will haue vs to do, yet he is wont to vrge vs by aGod vseth necessities and occasi­ons in stead of Aungels Why Paul came so late to Rome. certayne necessity, and to bring in occasions, whereby to driue vs to do that which he hath alredy before decreed and appoynted wyth hymselfe. And yet of the cause of thys delay there semeth somewhat to be written in the last chapter saue one of this epistle. For he signifyeth that necessities of other Churches letted hym, and occasions of preaching the Gospell, which were more commo­dious and more necessary, which were offred him in other places. For there when he had written, that he had nowe filled all places with the Gospell, tho­roughout all those regions, & was very desirous to see them, neyther had any more to do in those regions, he promised shortly to take his iorney toward thē.

To haue some fruite among you also.] Origene complayneth here of the darke construction, or confused readinge, which he very obscurely goeth aboutOrigene. Hyperba­ton. to restore. But in my iudgement it is playne and easy inough if all this. (And I was letted euen to this day) be written by interposition or a parenthesis. For then shall the sentence be, that he was oftentymes redy to come, to haue some fruite among them, as he had among other nacions. He sayth not arrogantly that he will bring them fruite: but rather that he will receaue and take fruite of them. Which fruite was, to be strengthened and stablished in Christ. AndWhereby faythfull scoolema­sters are knowne Our de­sires should not preuent the iudge­ment of God. this is a certayne token of faythfull scholemasters, if they count the profyte of theyr disciples, their fruite and aduantage. Although there are some enterpre­ters, which expound this sentence of the reward which should be geuen vnto Paule for preaching the Gospell among the Romanes. But the fyrst interpre­tacion is more playne, and more agreeable vnto the wordes of Christ, wherein he sayth: Ye haue not chosen me, but I haue chosen you that ye should go forth and bring fruite. But Paule semeth by hys desire to preuent the will of God: which thing profitable seruauntes ought not to do. For they must wayte for the commaundement of their Lord, neyther must they resist when he commaundeth any thing. For God was almost angry wyth Moses, for that he refused to go vnto Pharao: and so was he with Ionas the Prophet, because he detractedGod some­tymes suf­freth the godly to be deceaued concerning his will, but he streyght­way cor­recteth thē. to go vnto Niniuie. Betweene these two daungers the meane ought to be ob­serued. Paule whatsoeuer he saw that he thought would aduaunce the glory of God, the same did he straight way excedingly desire: which is also the nature of other holy men. In the meane tyme God suffreth them to be deceaued: howebeit he forsaketh them not. For strayght way he boweth theyr willes, whe­ther it pleaseth hym, that is, to those thinges, which do in very deede illustrate [Page 13] hys name. And godly men must beware, that they put not lettes agaynst theWe must not put im­pediments agaynst the vocation of God. The Apo­stles desire to go to Rome: was besides hys determina­tion. calling of God. They must bow themselues before God like drawing beastes to be gouerned with the bridell of hys will. Neyther is this to be omitted, that thys desire of the Apostle was besides his determinacion. For he had determi­ned (as it is written in the 15. chapter of this epistle) not to build vpon an other mans foundacion: but there rather to preach Christ, where his name had not before bene heard of.

For I am debtter both to the Greekes, and to the Barbarous, to the learned and to the vnlearned.] Now he addeth an other cause of his will. The fyrst was to bestow vpon them some spirituall gift, to strengthen them, and to take some fruit of thē. But now he sheweth, that necessity vrged him hereunto, least he might haue seemed to haue bene a busy fellow. This necessity is taken of the vocation of God: which vocation was of so great force that he wrote in his first epistle vnto the Corrint: Woo vnto me, if I preach not the Gospel. For now was that office cōmitted vnto him. And by this saying he reproueth the Iewes, which cauelled that he did not well, in communicating the preaching of the Gospell vnto the Gentils. But that ought not to be counted as a fault in him, forasmuch as he was compelled thereunto, by the office cōmitted to his charge. And God had geuen him excellent giftes: and among other, to preach vnto all men. He spake all maner of tonges. These thinges ought they to weigh, whichWhy God geueth gifts vnto men. haue receaued any giftes at Gods hand. For by them they are made debtters to helpe others. For God will haue them to pay that which he hath decreed to geue. And they are to be meruayled at, which will be counted the successors of Peter and Paule, as the bishoppes of Rome and other bishoppes, how they see not, that they are detters to preach Christ. For euen from Gregory the great, no man hath in a manner euer seene that a bishoppe of Rome did preach. In Spayne, in Italy, and in Fraunce they are altogether dumme. Here in Eng­land bishoppes do in deede preach sometime, but yet not so often as they ought.Domme bishops. But let vs returne vnto Paule. In that he sayth, that he is debtour, he meaneth not that he will bring any thing of his owne: but will bestow those thinges which God had committed vnto him to participate vnto others. And it is as if he should haue sayd. What maner of men soeuer ye be, whether ye be wise men, princes, mighty men, or men obscure, base or vnlearned, God hath made me debtour vnto you. And although I seeme abiect, or vnworthy so great a vo­cation, yet that which I will bring vnto you is not vnworthy to be receaued of you. By these woordes he reproueth the Iewes, which thought, that the prea­ching of the Gospell was due to their nacion only. But Paule sheweth here that same is due also vnto other nacions.

To the Greekes and Barbarous.] All they which were not Iewes were cal­led by thys common word [...], that is Gentles. But now they are deuided intoWho were Greekes. Who were Barbarous Greekes and Barbarous. By the Greekes he vnderstandeth men that were more ciuil [...], which were gouerned with good and ciuile lawes, and therefore it was an easy matter to be conuersant with them. But the Barbarous are the wilder sort, which were saluage and fierce, so that a man could not so easely deale with them. Neyther were they excluded from the number of the Greekes, which were not inhabiters of Grecia: so that they vsed their lawes and institu­cions. For there were many straunge nacions whiche vsed the lawes of the Greekes. For the Romanes as we reade in Titus Liuius, sent ten men into Grecia, to bring vnto them the lawes of the Athenians: out of which after­wardThre [...] kindes of men with Paule. they wrote ten tables. Paule therefore seemeth in this place to make three kindes of men, so that after the Iewes he putteth the Grekes, and last of all the Barbarous, wherefore the Grekes were in the middest betwene the Iewes and the Barbarous. But in other places, when he deuideth men into Iewes and Grekes, by the Grekes he vnderstandeth all kinde of men, besides the He­brues: so that vnder that word he comprehendeth the barbarous also. And if [Page] the Gospell extend so amply, that none are excluded from it, then it manifestly appeareth, that it farre excelleth philosophy: for all men are not made for it. ItThe Gos­ple more common then Phi­losophy, and the law of Moses. excelleth also the law of Moses, which was obserued of one nacion onely. But the Gospell was published euery where. Hereby Chrisostome gathereth, that for the admitting of the Gospel, there is no neede neyther of sillogissimes of pholoso­phers, nor preparacion of humane sciences. And vndoubtedly we see, that olde women, rude men, and old men, are as apt thereunto, as noble men, rich men and Philosophers. And in sum, there is none so noble or excellente, and agayne none so abiect and vnlearned, but that by the Gospell he may attayne to salua­tion. And Chrisostome also in this place to confirme the dignity of the Gospell,Chryso­stome, An example of Plato. bringeth Plato for an example: who being a notable and most excellent philoso­pher, came thrise into Sicilia, to cure thinges that were then troubled, and to perswade the tyranne, to vse equal and iust lawes. Which his perswasions had no successe at all. For Dionisius became euery day worse and worse, so that at the last he was depriued of his kingdome, neyther was that kingdome any thing the better for Plato, although Plato for that cause put his life in danger and being taken of Pirates was brought into bondage. By whiche example appeareth how weake philosophie is to amend things.

So that as much as lyeth in me, I am redy to preach the Gospell to you of Rome also.] when he sayth, as much as is in me, he signifieth vndoubtedly, that there was some thing, which letted him from comming to Rome. And that is the calling of God, which called him away to an other place. Neyther enten­deth he by this kinde of speach to exclude ether grace, or free giftes, or powers geuen him by the holy ghost: as though he would preach the Gospell vnto the Romanes according to that onely which was in himself: euen as some say, that if men before grace or regeneration do that which lieth in them, God will ne­uer forsake them. But Paule speaketh not so: but sayth: In that I differ my comming vnto you, it cōmeth not of myne owne purpose, but of God, which hath otherwise decreed. For if I were left to myne owne iudgement, I had bene with you long ere this, neyther should any dangers haue stayed me. He is happy vndoubtedly, whiche with so chearefull and prompt mynde is redy toHe is hap­py, which promptly followeth the callinge of God. follow the calling of God: as Paule here affirmeth that he is. The thyng which he had in hand made hym prompt: namely, the Gospell: farther the noblenes of the city, through which, if they were once conuerted vnto Christ, he saw that it would easely come to passe, that other partes of the world would be the better wonne. Among those thinges which commonly discourage men fromWhat things are wont to feare men from any enterprise. taking any enterprise in hand, is the ignorance of the euent, also daungers which oppose themselues, paynes that are to be taken therein, and because we haue not power and ability inough to execute that which is taken in hand. But Paule, agaynst the ignorance of the euent, obiected the certenty of the promise, whereby he knew that the heathen should be conuerted vnto Christ: agaynst the dangers, which honge ouer him, he obiected the great aboundance of the gayne: for that he should winne vnto Christ infinite numbers of men. And of what force this is to shake of sluggishenes and slouthfulnes, marchantes do de­clare, who setting gayne before their eyes, passe nothing for the dangers of tempestes, difficulties of iorneyes, and inuasions of theeues. Loue and chari­ty wherewith hys hart was kindled and inflamed, mitigated the paynes that he should take. And as for hys ability and strēgth he was nothing carefull: for that he did put no confidence in those thinges: but depended wholy of Christ, who sufficiently adorned him with free and gracious giftes of the holy ghost, as time and place should require. We may adde the fift cause wherby men ar ac­customed to be called away, ether from the profession of Christ, or from prea­ching: and that is shame: because our flesh iudgeth the Gospell a thing to be ashamed of. And this impediment the Apostle putteth away, when he sayth:

For I am not ashamed of the Gospell of Christ: because it is the power of God to saluation vnto all that beleue, namely to the Iewe first and also to the Greke. For the righteousnes of God is reuealed in it from fayth to fayth, as it is written: The iust shall liue by fayth.

For I am not ashamed of the Gospell.] And hereof he geueth a reason, namely: Because it is the power of God to saluation to euery one that beleueth. In that he writeth, that he is not ashamed of the Gospell, although he spake that vnder his owne person, yet meaneth he thereby to admonish the Romanes, vnto whome he writeth, that they also (though they were highly exalted) ought not to be ashamed of the Gospell. And he vseth the figure Liptote. For he spea­keth not so much as he meaneth. Not to be ashamed, is in this place as much as if he had sayd, I very much glory. And this spake he playnly and without any figure to the Galathyans, saying: God forbid that I should glory in any thing, but in the crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ. But there are many at this day, whichWe may [...] glory of the Gospell if we receaue it truly and from the harte. boast that they ar Christians & haue receaued the Gospel, which thing I would to God they did truely and frō the hart. For there are to many of them, which if they were well examined as touching maners, are most farre from Christ, and as touchinge rules of religion, if a man beginne to examine them but euen in the Cathechisme, he shall fynde that they neuer vnderstoode any thyng of Christ. That commonly is counted a thing to be ashamed of, which is had in contempt of the world: and that is counted honorable, which the world hath in estimacion, but in triall of the Gospell, our flesh is excedingly deceaued. ForHow our flesh is de­ceaued whō it iudgeth of the Gos­pel. it thinketh it a thing to be ashamed of as touching vnderstanding, as touching good thinges of the mynde, as touching good thinges of fortune, and also as touching the good thinges of the body. For as touching the minde and vnder­standing it counteth it a thing foolishe, to perswade it selfe of those thinges, whereof it can not render a reason. As touching the good thinges of the mynde, because we can not be iustified by our owne vertues, and excellent déedes. And it thinketh it a very foolishe thyng to cast away the goodes of the body, and so to crucifye our fleshe withall the lustes thereof: and concerning the goodes of for­tune, to take vp our crosse, and by contumelyes and reproches to followe Christ. All these seeme vnto the fleshe thinges to be ashamed of: agaynst which we must continually set this which Paule here sayth: We are not ashamed of the Gospell. This doctrine hath with out doubt many enemyes. And fyrst areWho they are that are ashamed of the Gospel. the Epicures, or rather [...], that is men without God, who thinke that thys Gospell is vtterly a trifle and a fayned thing: and do much meruayle at vs, and deride vs for that we are so carefull and diligent touching it. There are other ciuile men which are gouerners ouer the publike wealth. And these men thinke this doctrine to be vtterly sedicious: and they count it a thyng vnmeete, that preachers, vnder the pretence of publishing of repentance and preaching, should be permitted to reproue the vices of magistrates and princes, and after a sort to accuse them vnto the people. And thys say they is nothyng els then to rent in sonder publike welthes. There are also hipocrites, monkes, and other religious persons which cry out that by our Gospell the lawes of God are ouerthrowen, holy ceremonies are contemned, good workes despised, holy Images taken a­way, and (as they say) all deuocions vtterly abolished. With these selfe same aduersaryes was Paule troubled, for the scribes, phariseyes and high priestes, cried out that by thys Gospell whiche the Apostles preached, the lawe of God was abrogated: ceremonies, which the Patriarches and Prophetes had kept, were set at nought: the tribe of Leui spoyled of hys honour: the dignitye of the priesthode made equall wyth the prophane estate: and the publike welth of the Iewes vtterly extinguished. Agaynst whiche sharpe saying thys remedy was to be vsed, namely these wordes: I am not ashamed of the Gospell, whatsoeuer ye [Page] say, or imagine agaynst it. It happened also in the tyme of Augustine and Chri­sostome What manner of things hap­pened in the time of Augustine & Chriso­stome. The Eth­nikes vp­brayde the Gospell vnto those that are cō ­uerted vn­to Christ. Heretikes vpbrayde the Gospell vnto the Catholikes (when that whole cities had not as yet receaued Christ, but that there were in one and the selfe same city both Christians and also idolatrers) that if at any time a noble or welthy man had taken vpon him the name of a Christian, his affinity, kinsefolkes and frendes would come vnto hym and say: doost thou beleue in one that was crucified? Art thou not ashamed to commite thy salua­tion to hym which was afflicted with extreme punishement? neyther was he a­ble to saue himselfe? What madnes is this of thee? doost thou beleue in one that was nayled vnto a crosse? Vnto whom he should haue answered (as they say) I beleue in hym that was crucifyed: and not in a whoremonger, in an adulte­rer, an vnchast person, a parrycide, or slayer of his owne children, such as is your Iupiter, Saturne, and other Gods whome ye worshippe. Wherefore I am not ashamed neyther of Christ, nor yet of the Gospell. So also must we auns­were the heretikes, when they say, that it is a thyng foolishe and to be ashamed of, to beleue that the sonne of God suffred in very deede, or that he tooke vpon him very humane flesh of the wombe of the virgine: forasmuch as these things are found in the Gospel, we do wholy beleue them: neyther are we ashamed of the Gospell of Christ. At thys day also, the auncient men do vpbrayde godlyThe Pa­pistes ob­iecte vnto vs the Go­spell. younge menne, whyche are studious of the Gospel, yea euen theyr own senses and humane reason cryeth agaynst them saying: are ye not ashamed of thys new doctrine? Are ye so blynde, that ye see not that by thys meanes good workes are condemned, the worshipping of God perisheth, the minstery of the church is troden vnder foote, the dignity of priesthode is abiected, ecclesiasti­call riches are vtterly spoyled? what patrones or supporters of learned men, shall ye haue hereafter? Did your elders, which went before you both in thysMecoena­te [...]. vniuersity and in others, being both doctors & notable men, follow these steps? Vnto these men also ought we to aunswere: we are not ashamed of the Gospell, howsoeuer you speake ill of it. If so be they wil say: we haue the Gospell: yoursA collatio [...] of the doc­trine of the Papistes & of the Gos­pell. is a new doctrine. Let vs answere them agayne: In such sort is that the Gospel which ye haue, as that is the Gospell, to set forth fayned worshippinges of god casting away and dispising the sincere worshipping, described vnto vs of God: as it is to worshippe stockes and images: as is to obtrude vowes, whereby such men are drawen away from matrimony, which aboue others haue most neede therof: as is to go on pilgrimages vnto Images, to worshippe the bones of Saynctes, to inuocate the dead: and an infinite number of such other like Wherefore ye ought to be ashamed of your doctrine, and not we of the Gospell of Christ. Let it be diligētly examined, what we by the same gospel iudge of theWhat ma­ner of doc­trine ours is. honour of god. We attribute all thinges vnto hym only: we wil in all thinges depend of hym only. Farther see what our iudgement is concerning the wor­shippyng of hym. We desire to retayne the same pure and holy, as it is delyue­red vs in the holy scriptures. What do we thinke of good works? we vrge them continually, and requyre to haue them done of vs so perfectly, that we thinke alwayes that something remayneth not perfectly done of vs, vnto whiche we should leuel, and whereunto we ought to direct all our endeuors. What iudge we as concerning the holy ministery? we trauayle to haue it to be in great esti­mation, as by which God worketh our saluacion. What of Sacraments? That they should be kept pure and vndefyled, and be reduced vnto that vse, where­unto Christ instituted them. What iudge we of magistrates? that they should be obeyed, and that we should be subiecte vnto them in all thinges: so that they commaund nothing agaynst the word of God. What of poore and miserable men? that we should helpe, and relieue them. What of publike peace and tran­quillity? That it be kept, yea euen with the los of our goods. What of sciences, and good learning? That they should be mayntained and aduaunced. Why do ye obiect auncientnes vnto vs? There is nothing that we more desire then to haue thynges brought to their olde estate. Ye haue brought in new thinges: [Page 15] we require againe the estate of the primitiue Church, and desire to haue againe the institucions of the Apostles. Wherefore there is no cause why we should be ashamed of the gospel: of which such as complain, do rather lament the losse of theyr commodities, then that they can accuse our doctrine. And if anyeTroubles and discom­modities are not to be ascribe [...] vnto the Gospel. troubles or discommodities happen, they are not to be ascribed vnto the doc­trine, but vnto those which vnder the pretence of Christ and of the gospell doo seeke those thinges which are their owne, and not the thinges which are Iesus Christes. But now let vs see Paules reason, why he is not ashamed of the gospell of Christ.

Because it is the power of God to saluacion to euery on that beleueth.] It is the power, that is, the organe and instrument, wherby God sheweth forth hys power to saluation. For together with the woord of God and the gospell, are instilled grace and the holy ghost, and especially remission of sinnes: by whiche we are renewed and made safe. And yet this knittinge together of mans sal­uation, wyth the gospell is not naturall, that is of necessitye, so that the gospellThe Gos­pell is not a naturall in­strument, but at the pleasure of God. This diffi­nicion hath the cause efficient, end, and in­strument of receauinge the Gospel. A simili­tube of the Sacra­ments. The sum of the whol controuersy concerning iustificatiō. Why in iu­stification mencion is made chief­ly of the po­wer of god. The diffe­rence be­twene the righteous­nes of the law and of the Gospel. This phrase of speach, to take holde by fayth is not strange nor rare in in the holye scriptures. beyng geuen and set forth, saluation should streight way follow of necessitye. For it is needefull that God doo also inwardly moue the harts of the hearers: as in the Actes of the Apostles we reade it was doone vnto the woman that sold silke. Wherfore the gospel is to be counted an instrument arbitrary, which God vseth according to hys will. Many thynke, that thys definition is taken of the cause efficient. For in it is expressed the power of God, whiche maketh vs safe. Then is added the fynall cause, namely that thys power of God is to saluation: neyther is that lest vnspoken of, whereby we are made able to take hold of so greate a benefyte: and the same is fayth. For it is added to euery be­leuer. For they which come to heare the Gospell, and wante fayth, receaue no­thyng but wordes: and the Gospell to them is no Gospell. Euen as in the Sa­craments, they which are without fayth do in deede receaue the simboles or signes, but they haue not the fruyte and thing of the sacraments. Here is now touched the chief poynt of all the controuersy. For in that it is sayd, that salua­cion cometh of the Gospell vnto euery one that beleueth, is sufficientlye decla­red that we are iustifyed by fayth: and not by works nor by our owne strength nor by philosophy, nor by ceremonies of the law. Neither did he without cause make mencion of the power of God. For that before we can be saued, our ene­myes ought to be vanquished: that is, the deuill, death, hell and in especiall sinne. Hereby playnly appeareth also the difference betweene the righteousnes of the lawe and the righteousnes of the gospell. The righteousnes of the lawe is, to do and to worke. He that shall do these thinges, shall liue in them, sayd Moyses, as it is alleaged to the Galathyans: and shall in this Epistle be after­ward intreated of in hys place. But contrarywyse the ryghteousnes and sal­uation of the Gospell is by fayth vnto all thē that beleue. For it is fayth which taketh hold of the mercye and promes of God: although there haue bene some, which durst affirme, that this kind of speach, to take hold by fayth, is straung, that is, not vsed in the holy scriptures. But they are excedingly deceaued: It is in deede not vsed among the sophisters, but it is read in the scriptures. For to to the Galathians it is wrytten, That we myghte receaue the promyse of the spy­rite through fayth. And he vseth the verbe [...], whiche signifyeth nothynge els then to apprehend, take hold, and to receaue. Also in the Actes of the Apostles Paul speeketh vnto Agrippa the kynge, that he was sente for thys cause, that menne shoulde receaue remission of sinnes, and lotte amonge the Sayntes throughe fayth. Where he also vseth the same verbe. And vnto the Romaynes the 9. chap.

The Gentyles whyche followed not righteousnesse tooke holde of ryghteousnesse: euen that righteousnesse whiche is of fayth. The greeke woord in this place is [...]. Wherfore it followeth, that we speake after the maner of the Scriptures. Neyther is thys to be left vnspoken of, that there are some whiche thinke that this definition of the Gospell is takē of the matter: as though it should be thus [Page] expounded, that the Gospell is the power of God to saluacion, for that in it is set forth and intreated of the power of God, wherby he saueth mankind. And that power is Christ the sonne of God, which was made of the seed of Dauid, ac­cording to the flesh, euen as it is before sayd. So the first definiciō and this lat­ter differ nothing as touching the kynd of the cause. And in deede I dislyke not thys interpretacion, for Paul in the fyrst to the Corinth. calleth Christ the pow­er of God, and the wysedome of God: howbeyt I do more willyngly allow the fyrst interpretacion. Paraduenture some will say, for asmuch as the Gospell is preached vnto many vnto iudgement and condemnacion, and we are (as Paul sayde) vnto manye the sauor of death vnto death, howe then is it called saluacion, or power vnto saluacion? And to the Corint. it is writen, We preache Christe cru­cyfyed, Why the gospel is sometymes vnto con­demnation. vnto the Iewes, in deede an offence: and to the Greekes foolishnes. Hereto we aunswere, that the Gospell is hurtfull vnto them, which trust in theyr owne strengthes, theyr proper workes, and theyr owne reason. But in the same place to the Cor. Paul wryteth: Vnto the called of God is Christe preached, the power of God, and the wysedome of God. Whiche place serueth verye muche vnto the in­terpretation of this sentence. For things ought to haue their name geuen themThinges must be na­med bi their wne na­ture and not by that which chanseth by hap vnto them. Christ is rightly cal­led a sauior althoughe to many he turne to of­fence and ruine. of that thynge, whyche they haue obteyned of theyr owne disposicion and na­ture, and not of that, which is otherwyse annected vnto them by happe, and (as they speake) per accidens, that is by chaunce. The Gospell hath of hys owne in­stitucion, and by the counsell of God, the propriety to saue. But in that it hur­teth, the same happeneth from without, that is of the infidelity of the receauers: otherwyse Christ hymself could not be called a Sauiour: because he was put for the fall and offence of many. Wherefore when he spake of the Scribes & Pha­riseis, he sayde: If I had not come and spoken vnto them, they shoulde haue had no sinne. But for that he was not to this ende sent, but these euils happened of an other cause, therfore he is called a Sauiour. Notwithstanding many by oc­casion of hys comming perished. For as touchyng hymselfe, he had the wordes of eternall lyfe. And he hymself sayth: The wordes which I speake vnto you, are spi­ryte and lyfe. But manye of them whyche stande here beleue not. Wherefore those thinges disagree not, but aptly agree which these whiche Paul nowe wryteth.What kind of saluatiō we haue by the gospell. Further we must diligently examine, what maner of saluation this is, whiche is brought vnto vs by the Gospell. For politicall or ciuill men do also promise health or sauety by good lawes, and seuerity of discipline. But that is singular, and very contract: for it is only that safety, wherby we are made safe from the iniuryes of men. Phisicions also promise health: but that pertaineth only to the body, that it may be in good case. Souldiers boast also, that they are appointed to the sauetye of men: but that safety belongeth only agaynst the inuasions of enemyes. Yea and handycraftes men say that theyr workmanships are health­full vnto men: but these men also bryng only porcions of sauety. They whiche build houses, do defend vs from the iuiuries of the aire and wether: they which make clothes and garments, do after a sort defend our bodys from colde: but this sauety which is of the gospell comprehendeth all: and contayneth in it the vniuersal summe and head of our conuersation, that is, felicity it selfe and bles­sednes.Felicitye & blessednes come vnto vs of the gospell. By Christe and the gospell we are deliuered from sinne from whēce come all euils, What is the vulgare definition of felicity. This is that saluacion, whiche was shadowed in the old Testament, as often as the publike wealth of the Israelites was defended from oppressers by Iephthe, Samson, Gedeon, and Debora. And that this saluacion, which is now intre­ted of oughte to be taken generally, is proued by a sure reason: for that all these defectes, vnto which the porcions of sauety which we haue now rehersed, were a helpe, happened vnto vs by reason of synne. But by Christ and hys gospell, we ar deliuered from synne: which thyng the Aungell testifyeth, when he sayd vnto Ioseph. For he shall saue hys people from theyr synnes: and thys is to restore vs to true felicity. For felicity (as it is commonly sayd) is to lyue agreably vnto nature. And oure nature is instituted of God, that we shoulde be according to hys Image. And thys particle, to saluation, is necessarily added, because other­wise [Page 16] the power of God is also to take vengeance, to reuenge and to condemne.The power of God is both to sal­uation and to ven­geaunce. A simili­tude But the Gospell is not properly instituted to that ende, but to saluacion. Now if we were once fully perswaded of thys, that in Christ and in the gospell we should haue perfect saluation, we would not so much fixe our mynde on tem­porall thynges, but would alwayes contende thither, where we hope we should haue felicity and blessednes. Euen as princes and noble men do seldome go a­brode into the market place, streates or lanes, neyther do they much passe for the spectacles of the common sort of men: for that they haue at home theyr de­lightes, pleasures, paradises and passing good thinges: therefore they willing­ly tary at home, and if they be abrode, they quickely get them home. So ought we also to vse the good thinges of this world only for the necessities of the body: but we ought contynually to be conuersant in Christ, and in hys gospell, as in our saluation and felicity.

To the Iewe first and to the Greeke.] Here is declared that the Gospell isThe Gos­ple is set­forth to all men indifferently. How the Iewes are preferred before the Gentils. set forth vnto all in generall: neyther doth the preaching thereof exempt any kinde of men. The Grecians he taketh here generally, and vnder that worde comprehendeth all nacions besides the Iewes. And in that he sayth, First, he signifieth order, but not greater aboundance of fruite: as though the Iewes should haue more commodity or vtility by the Gospell then the Ethnikes. Of which thyng Chrisostome hath a trimme similitude, when they of full age which were conuerted vnto Christ were baptised at the tyme of Easter or Whitson­tyde, they could not be baptised all together: yet they which were fyrst washed did not more put on Christ, neyther receaued they more grace then they which wer last. Wherfore there is here signified an Analogy or proportion of order: &An analogy of order as touchyng tyme be­twene the Iewes and the Grekes The cal­ling of the Iewes was first. Paule pre­ched first vnto the Iewes be­fore he pre­ched vnto y Gentila. The defini­cion geuen is proued by the effecte. The effect of the Gos­ple is that we shoulde be iustefied The end of the Exor­dium and of the entent of hys treatise The propositiō which shalbe pro­ued euen to the 12. chap. A soft tran­sition. the Iewes, are put in the first place. For Christ was the Apostle of the Iewes, and minister of Circumcision. For he sayd that he was not sent, but vnto the lost sheepe of the house of Israell. And when he fyrst sent hys Apostles, he com­maunded them ye they should not go vnto the Gentils, nor enter into the cityes of the Samarytans. But in hys last ambassadge, when he was redy to ascend vp into heauen, he commaunded that they should be witnesses vnto hym in Ierusalem, in all Iewry and Samarya, and then he added euen vnto the vt­termost borders of the earth. Yea and Paule also obserued this order. For first when he entred into any cities, he preached in the Synagoges. And together with Sylas and Barnabas he sayde vnto the Iewes, vnto you oughte Christ first to be preached, whome because ye haue refufed, beholde we turne vnto the Gentiles. The Iewes oughte to haue beene the fyrste whiche shoulde be called, because they had the prophesyes, and Prophetes, and tables in a manner sealed wyth the promise of Christ. Wherefore fayth was fyrst required of them. He proueth thys defynicion now set, not indeede by things before or by the cause (for that is vnpossible) but by the effect, and (as they say) by the latter, when he sayth:

For the righteousnes of God is reuealed in it from fayth to fayth.] That is, the effect of the Gospell and of fayth is, that we should be iustified. Now the A­postle endeth hys Exordium, and commeth to the entreatyng of hys disputaci­on, and thys is the principall proposition, which in sum containeth that which he goeth about to proue through eleuen chapters, that is, that a man is iustifi­ed by fayth. Wherefore this proposition serueth for two thinges, for first it is broughte in as a reason of the difinicion set: And agayne, as the principall proposition of the whole disputacion. And so the Apostle by a soft, pleasant and couert transition leadeth the attentyue hearer from the exordium, vnto the confirmacions and confutacions which follow.

When we heare the righteousnes of God named in this place, let vs not thinke that he entendeth here to speake of the seuerity of Gods iugdements, for that seuerity is not called of the Hebrues Nedech, but rather Tischpat, that is, iudgement: and Tsedtreth, which our men turne, righteousnes, signifyeth goodnes, clemency and mercy, whereby God declareth hymselfe good vnto vs. [Page] And because he doth this chiefely in geuing vs righteousnes: therefore I thinkeHow this word righ­teousnes is to be vn­derstand. that that word was so commonly turned, and that word in this place (if a man marke it wel) aunswereth vnto saluation, which he sayd before commeth vnto vs by the gospell. And the Prophetes many tymes craue the righteousnes of god: which can not easely be taken euery where of the seuerity of hys iudge­ment. For there is none that is wyse, woulde haue god to deale wyth hym ac­cording to that. Ye rather the saynctes crye. Enter not into iudgement with thy seruaunt. And god declareth thys his righteousnes or goodnes towardes vs, byThe mea­nes where­by God de­clareth hys goodnes to wards vs. three thinges chiefely. First he receaueth vs into fauour, forgeueth vs our sins imputeth not vnto death those sins which we commit: but contrarily imputeth rather vnto vs the obedience and holynes of Christ. Secondly he kindleth in our myndes an endeuor to lyue vprightly, reneweth our will, illustrateth our rea­son, and maketh vs all whole prone to lyue vertuously, when as before we abhorred from that which is iust and honest. Thyrdly he geueth vs pure and chast maners, good actions, and a sincere lyfe. All these thinges doth that righ­teousnes comprehend, which is reueled in the Gospell. But the first of these thrée is the head and chiefe, because it comprehendeth the other, and it is sayd to be the righteousnes of God, because it commeth from him to vs. For we attayne not vnto it by humane strengthes. Wherefore Chrisostome here calleth it righte­ousnes [...], that is from aboue, because it is geuen vnto vs (as he speaketh) without our sweate and labours. Howbeit he addeth one thyng whiche must be warely red: namely that we ought to bring [...]. that is, from home, and from our selues, fayth, whereby to receaue thys righteousnes. In which sen­tence, if he vnderstande, that fayth hath hys ofspring of our owne strengthes and nature, we ought not to geue eare vnto hym, forasmuch as the holy scrip­tures apertly testifye, that it is the gift of God, and commeth not of vs, which thinge is expressedly read in the epistle to the Ephesians. But I thinke not that this father was so farre out of the way: wherefore I interprete hym after thisThe inter­pretation of Chrysostōe [...]nefied. maner: when he saw that this imputacion of god is after a sort set without vs, hys mynde was to declare, that if we will apply the same vnto vs, it behoueth that we haue fayth in vs, whereby we may drawe it vnto vs. But he conten­deth not by that sayinge, that fayth springeth of our selues as of the first roote.

Is reuealed in it.] Some haue vnderstanded, that these giftes of the good­nes of god which we haue rehearsed are reuealed in the gospell, because they are reade and contayned in it: which thyng I deny not: but I thinke that there ought to be added after the Hebrew maner, that (In it) is all one with Paule, as if he had sayd (by it). So that the sense is, in that the participation of thys righ­teousnes and goodnes of god is exhibited or geuen vnto vs, the same commeth by the gospell, so that we receaue it with fayth. Wherefore in this word Re­uealed: let vs marke two maner of comparisons: one is as touching the godly,Twokinds of reuelaciō of the Gos­ple. which receaue these thinges of god, that they myght by that meanes acknow­ledge, feele, and by suxe experience vnderstand those thynges as touching all the three partes of righteousnes, of which before we spake distinctly. For they are not so moued of God, as though they felt not, nor knew by experience, such thinges as are done. But they which are only lookers one, and not doers of the matter, neyther see the fyrst part of righteousnes, nor yet the second: for that they are but naturall men, and the god of this world, hath blynded their myndes, that they shoulde not be able to attayne to these spirituall thynges. But the third portion of righteousnes, which bursteth forth into act, and is set in outwarde woorkes, will them or nill them, is seene of them and they are euen agaynste theyr will compelled to beare witnesse vnto it: as we reade that Pline the yonger wrote vnto Traiane of the innocent life of the Christians.Pliny wrote vnto Trayane in the chri­stians be­halfe. For holy men shewed examples inough, whereby the vngodly, if they had bene wyse, mought haue considered that they were altogether renewed in mynd, and that this kinde of menne is more acceptable vnto god, then other men are. But in these thynges humane wisedome is wonderfully blynded, whiche can [Page 17] geue no iudgement of spirituall thinges: and yet these partes of righteousnes are of their owne nature so ioyned together, that the one depēdeth of the other. In thys sense Paule writeth afterward of the righteousnes of God: If our vn­righteousnesse commendeth the ryghteousnesse of God: where we manifestlye see that the righteousnes of God signifyeth his goodnes and clemency. But now let vs consider thys addition:

From fayth to fayth.] There be so many expositions vpon these words, that if I should rehearse them all, time would not serue me. I will touch only a few of them, and wyll iudge whyche of them seemeth to me more probable, and nyer vnto the truth. Some vnderstand, from the fayth of the elders to the faith of their posterity. Others, frō a weaker faith, to a strōger fayth: Others, from the fayth of one article to the fayth of an other. And to make an end of rehear­sing opinions, I wil come to that which in my iudgement is best to be allowed.A double significati [...] of fayth. It appeareth that Paule taketh fayth two maner of wayes. One waye for that assent which we geue vnto God, when he promiseth vs any thing: an other way for the constancy of wordes and promises. And after that maner the fayth of God is commended, as we reade afterward in the 3. chapter: What if some of them haue not beleued? Shall their incredulytie make frustrate the fayth of God? By which woordes he signifyeth, that God faythfully performed that which he had promised. According to this distinction we may say, that this reuelation or exhibition of the righteousnes of God towardes vs, is brought to passe by faith, namely, our fayth, whereby we geue credite vnto God making promise to vs: and that our fayth is both strenghthened, and also confyrmed by the fayth of god: namely, because we see that he hath cōstantly performed the things which he had promised. And this interpretacion Ambrose toucheth in this commenta­ryes: and in my iudgement it semeth very agreeable. It followeth:

As it is written: The iust shall lyue by fayth.] Paule laboreth to proue that weChrisostom sayth that we are iu­stefied by faith onely. are iustified by fayth: and Chrisostome when he interpreteth this place, testefyeth, that by it only we obtayne remission of sinnes. For he sayth, we way not hope for it [...]. that is, from any other where. If thou aske, why scripture is in thys place cited of the Apostle, the same Chrisostome aunswereth: for that vnto humane reason it seemeth a thing vnlikely to be true, that he whiche was euen now an adulterer, a murtherer, and a committer of sacriledge, should straight way be counted iust, so that he beleue and receaue the Gospell of Christ. TheseAn history of Consta [...] tine. seeme to be thinges passing cōmon capacity, neither can they easely be beleued. For we reade in the Tripartite historie the first booke & 6. chapter, that Constan­tyne the great, which was the fyrst emperour that publikely receaued the Gos­pell, slew many that were of his affinity and kinred, and was the author and procurer, that his owne sonne whiche was called Chrispus, was murthered. Of which wicked actes when he began to repent to hym, he asked aduise of So­pater, the philosopher, who in teching succeded Plotynus, whether there might be any expiacion or satisfaction made for these greate haynous crimes? Vnto whom the Philosopher aunswered, that there could be none. Afterward he as­ked counsell of Christian Bishops: and they aunswered, that all those sinnes might be expiated, so that he would beleue in Christ, and with a syncere fayth receaue his Gospel. Hereby it came to passe, that that Emperour embraced our religion. The author of this history reiecteth this narration as a thyng fayned: and by diuerse argumentes proueth that it was inuented of malicious men, which fauoured not Christian religion. But what soeuer it were, this thynge onely haue I a respect vnto, that they tooke thys occasion to fayne this lye, for that both Philosophers, and also ciuile men iudged it absurde, that a man be­ing vnpure and laden with sinnes, should streight way be counted pure & iust before God, so soone as he receaueth the fayth of Christ. Paul therfore, lest he should seme to be the author of this wonderfull doctrine, from which humayne reason so much abhorreth, citeth a place out of the holy Scriptures, and by it [Page] plainly proueth, that it is euē so. The testimony which he bringeth is taken outChriso­stome & Ambrose sayling in memory. of Abacuk the prophet the 2. chapter: althoughe Chrisostomes interpretation, as it is in the Greke, citeth the name of Sophonias. But that is not to be merueyled at: because paraduenture his memory failed him. For the fathers as they were men, might sometymes erre. For Ambrose also, when he entreated of this place a little before put (To the Iew first and to the Greeke) sayth that the Iewes were so first named of Iudas Machabeus, which did set at liberty his nacion, when they were by the Grecians brought into bondage. Which saying how vntrue it is, the second booke of kinges testefyeth in the 25. chapter: and also Ieremy in hys 40. chapter: and Hester in the 3. chapter: and Esdras, Nehemias, Daniell, Zachary and other such like places, wherein the surnames of the Iewes is most mani­festly rede, long tyme before Iudas Machabeus was ruler ouer them. Neyther do I therefore speake this, that I would malepartly contemne the authority of theWe must not attri­bute to much vnto the fathers fathers. But that we should vnderstand, that forasmuch as they do often fall, we should not atttribute so much credite vnto their writinges, but that we may examine them by the rule of the scriptures. But as touching this place of Abacuk, we must vnderstand, that this prophet in the first chapter of his boke, with ouer much boldnes prouoked God to reason of thinges which are done in this world: so that in a maner he reproued him, as though he had little proui­dence ouer them. For he complayneth, that iust men are miserably oppressed of the vngodly, and that wicked men haue wonderfull and happy successes in all thinges. But after many complayntes at the length in the 2. chapter: he com­meth to hymselfe and sayth: I will stand vpon my watch: that is, I will pro­nounce nothing rashely concerning thys matter: But will wayte to see what God speaketh in me. Thys do the Sainctes, sometymes to put forth in theyr writyng humayne tentacions and affections, and diligently to expresse those thynges wherewith we are sometymes tossed. For they were menne, andThe Pro­phets do sometymes expresse the cogitations wherewith they are tossed. were oftentymes subiect vnto these troublesome cogitations. At the length the Lord aunswereth hym: and in sōme thus he sayth: That men ought not streightway to geue sentēce of hys iudgemēts, but to wait farther. By which words, humane rashnes is reproued, whyche wil streight way geue sentence as sone as it seeth, that God hath done any thyng: when yet notwithstandyng we are admonished, not to iudge of Comedies, vntyl we haue sene the last Acte. If we could wayt lon­ger, we should see that the iudgemēts of God haue good successe, & that al those thyngs which he doth, are most wysely ordred. In the meane tyme whylest the ende is in comming, we must patiently wayte. And it behoueth that in waiting we vphold our selues by faith: by which fayth the iust shal lyue: and the vngod­ly forasmuch as he is destitute of it, wanteth all righteousnes and vprighmes. The wordes of the Prophet as they are in the Hebrew, are these: Lohinah ceg­peluh iesohah nibbaschoh boh vetsaddim beemunatho ijmiah. The latine translation hath it thus, He that beleeueth not, hys soule shall not be vprighte in hymselfe. The seuenty thus turne it: If he wythdrawe hymselfe, my soule shall not delyghte in hym. But as touchyng the propriety of the Hebrewe: Thys woord Apelah is deryued of Aophel, which signifyeth defense. Whereof is afterward deryued a derbe which signifyeth to defend himself. Hereof is gathered a double expositi­on. The first is, that by defence we vnderstand those which defend theyr mynde, and harden theyr hart not to beleue. These haue neyther vpryghtnes nor righ­teousnes. Or agayne, it signifyeth those, whiche beynge puffed vp with pryde thinke themselues to haue abundante strength and power: and, as though they neded not the helpe and ayde of God, beleue not. Wherfore theyr soule also wā ­teth vprightenes, & righteousnes. This exposition of the proud and hygh mynd is gathered out of Rabbi Dauid Chimhi. And this defēce, in either of these two interpretations is taken metaphorically. But if we take that worde properly, Rabbi Moses teacheth, that they whiche are not of an vpright mynde and doo want fayth, flye vnto defences: and there they defend them selues, and thinks [Page 18] that they are very safe. But he which is iust, and endewed with a sincere fayth, and of a modeste and lowly mynde, the same man shall lyue by fayth, neither will he depend either vpon armor, or vpon mans power, or vpon fenced castles. And it had ben sufficient for the Prophet, to haue rehearsed this first part of the oracle. For when he had affirmed, that a man wantyng fayth hath not righte­ousnes and vprightnes: it foloweth of contraryes, that a faythfull man by fayth obteyneth both righteousnes and lyfe. But bycause we should not labour or stagger in gatheryng of it, the Prophet hym selfe concludeth: But the iust man shall lyue by fayth. Neither is this to be left vnspoken of, that Paul in this place, hath omitted the pronowne possessiue. For in the Hebrue it is written, He shall lyue by hys fayth. And the Seuenty haue, By my fayth. And Symmachus manifest­ly agreeth with the Hebrue veritie: for he writeth [...]. that is, by hys owne fayth. But the variety of these translations commeth of a certayne simi­litude, which these two letters Vau and Iod haue one with the other. For they differ but in length and shortnes. Some reade Emunatho, and other some Emu­nathi. But eyther reading agreeth with the truth. For fayth may as well beFayth is ours and also Gods. The Apo­stle vseth oftentymes this testi­mony of Abacuck. Paule abuseth not this testi­mony. called our fayth, as the fayth of God. It hath indeede his ofspring of God, but it sticketh in our myndes, otherwise we could not vse it to receaue the Gospell. I thought it good the larglier thus to entreate of the testemony of thys Pro­phete, for that the Apostle vseth it oftentymes: namely, to the Hebrues the 10. chapter: and to the Galathyans, and also in this place. Wherfore it is very ne­cessary and profitable, to vnderstand these wordes a right. But in this place we haue to aunswere vnto a cauillation, wherewyth the vngodly vse to accuse the Apostle, as though he peruersly abused the testemonyes of the olde scripture. And they accuse him especially in thys place, for that Paule dareth drawe this Prophet, which promiseth the returne from the captiuity of Babylon, to thys purpose: as though his sentence should pertayne vnto iustification, and absolu­tion from sinnes. Vnto them we aunswere, that in all the promises of the oldeVnderstā [...]e also by pro­mises, yea of temporall things, to be of Christ. lawe were namely for the most part expressed temporall good thinges: which yet were the wrappers, and foundacions, and heade of this promise chiefely, whereof we now intreat: of the deliuery (I say) through Christ. To the vnwrapping of which promise out of these olde promises, this reason is of no smale force, to search out, how God would graunt vnto the fathers those temporall good thinges, which at that tyme he promised: whether being wel pleased and mercifull, or being yet angry and displeased with them. Vndoubtedly we can not say, that he would geue these thinges being angry and displeased. For they would not in such maner haue accepted them. For those things which are ge­uen to that purpose, do at the length dryue to damnation and destruction. But if he promised, that he would geue these thinges, because he was pacefyed and reconciled towardes them, then let vs search out, by what thynges he was pa­cefyed towards them. Which thyng without doubt could not be brought toChrist is the heade & foundatiō of the pro­mises of God in the olde Testa­ment. The finall cause of Gods benefites to­wards the people of God, was Christe. passe, but by Iesus Christ only, who is the only mediator of mankind, where­fore whatsoeuer thing was promised, though it were neuer so much abiect and of no reputacion, yet was it taken to be geuen for Christes sake. And therefore in all the promises of the olde Testament, the myndes of the godly ranne vnto this foundation and ground. Then let vs consider the finall cause. Wherefore would God haue the publike wealth of the Iewes preserued to the ende, but only, that Christ should be born therehence? Why prouided he that the stock of Dauid should contynue safe euen to the ende, but onely, that the sonne of God should of it take humane fleshe? Why brought he agayne hys people from cap­tiuity, but only, that the Messias should at length be borne at the tyme promi­sed, in the place appointed and of a stocke assigned? This vndoubtedly was the cause of all those promises vpon this cause did all the fathers bend their minds, as many as vnderstood a right. Wherfore Paule wresteth not the testemonyes of the prophetes, neyther doth he rashely abuse them. And let this be vnto vs a [Page] sure and faythfull rule for the perfect vnderstanding of the promises of the oldeWhat it is to lyue by fayth. testament, whereas he sayth that the iust man shall lyue by fayth, he meaneth, that he shalbe able to moue hymselfe to all good thynges, as to beleue, to hope, to contynue in hope, and to loue of charity: vnto which thynges by the power and strength of our owne nature we canne by no meanes attayne. And that by faith we obtaine eternall life, it very well agreeth with those thinges, whichThe know­ledge whiche commeth by fayth, and the eternall lyfe which shalbe in heauen are one and the selfe same thyng as touching the matter. Wherein the righte­ousnes which is receaued by fayth consi­steth. We are not firste iuste and then af­terward lyue by fayth. Differen­ces betwen the righte­ousnes of the Gospel, and of the lawe. Christ spake. This is the life eternall, that they should acknowledge thee to be the only true God, and him whome thou hast sent Iesus Christ. These thinges shall we playnly and openly knowe in heauen our countrey, and that with a cleare and manifest sight. But now haue we these selfe same thinges with a ve­ry obscure knowledge, that is, through fayth. This is not an other lyfe from that. But then shall that be made perfecte, which we haue now but only begon. And the righteousnes which by this fayth maketh it selfe open consisteth here­in especially, that from the tyme we are reconciled vnto God, we leade our life in such sorte that both we render vnto hym his due worshipe, and also vnto our neighbour our bounden due offices or dueties. And whereas the Prophete wri­teth, that the iust man lyueth by fayth, his wordes must not so be taken, as though he should affirme that we are fyrst iust, and that then afterward we liue by fayth. But this thyng he teacheth, that by fayth do come vnto vs two commodityes, both that we should be iust, and also that we should obtayne life, we see here also set forth vnto vs the difference betweene the righteousnes of the law and of the Gospell. The righteousnes of the law: is a perfecte obedience of the commaundementes of God. But the righteousnes of the Gospell is an imputacion thereof. The righteousnes of gospell, God geueth vnto vs, but the righteousnes of the law we geue vnto God. The righteousnes of the law lea­neth vnto workes. For it is written. The man which doth these thinges shall liue in them: and cursed be he, whiche abideth not in all the thinges whiche are written in the booke of the lawe: also, If thou wilte enter into lyfe keepe the Commaundementes. Also, doo thys and thou shalte lyue. But here it is sayd, The iuste manne shall lyue by fayth. Wherfore looke what difference there is betwene, to do, and to beleue, so much seeme these places to be repugnaunt one to the other. But these thingesA conciliation of places repugnant. shall easely be made to agree, by making a distinction of righteousnes. For forasmuch as the righteousnes of the Gospell is one, and the righteousnes of the lawe is an other, some testimonyes speake of the one righteousnes, and some teach of the other.

Now by that which hath bene spoken, the Apostle setteth forth three goodBy fayth we obtayne saluation, righteous­nes, and life. thinges, and those most principall, which by fayth we obtayne, namely, salua­tion, righteousnes, and life. For thē Gospell is the power of God, to saluation to euery one that beleueth: agayne, the righteousnes of God is reuealed by it from fayth: also, the iust man shall liue by fayth. If there be anye, that requyre more then these good thinges, then is he ouer curious. Further euen in the very first entrance into the cause, we see how strongly he affirmeth by these three sentences now reher­sed, that by fayth these good thinges happen vnto vs.

Here also maye be noted, in what estimation Paul hath the holy scripture, for vnto it he ascribeth the chiefest authority to proue the question takē in hand: namely, that the righteousnes of god is reuealed by fayth. And if both the A­postle and also the Prophet do so manifestlye pronounce, that we are iustified by fayth, then is it not meete, that our aduersaryes should so crye out agaynst vs, for that we affirme the very selfe same. Wherefore if they be herewith of­fended, then let them grudge agaynst the scriptures, agaynst Paule, and a­gaynstWhat re­medy we must vse when it is sayd that we reiect good woorkes. the Prophet, and not agaynste vs. And agaynst them, which crye out, that we spoyle good workes of theyr dignity and honour, there is no presenter remedy, then to lyue vprightly and holyly, that thereby we may aboundantly haue testemonyes of good workes, and say to our aduersaries: if any confy­dence [Page 19] were to be put in good workes, then should we in no case geue place vn­to you, forasmuch as in them we farre excell you. And all that whiche we say and teach of iustification, which commeth through fayth, tendeth only to this: that the truth should by the word of God: be defended. This was Paules mea­ning, when he sayde vnto the Phillippians: If any man may put confidence in the fleshe, I also may much more: and by many thinges he declareth, how much in this kinde of glory he excelled others. But he afterward addeth, that all these things he counted as dongue and losse, that he might wyn Christ: and that he mought be found in him, not hauing his own righteousnes, namely, which is of works, but that which is by the fayth of Iesus Christ. This excellent example of the Apostle ought we to imitate: that although we attribute not iustification vnto workes, yet ought we plentifully to abound in them aboue other men. For if we leade an vnpure lyfe, and on the other syde boaste of iustification through fayth, then shall we be laughed to scorne of our aduersaryes, as though we for that cause professed this doctrine, to lyue without punishement, [...]ly, and without all order.

For the wrath of God appeareth from heauen agaynst an vn­godlines and vnrighteousnes of men, whiche withhold t [...]e truth in vnrighteousnes, seing that it, which maye be knowen of God is manifest among them, because God hath shewed it vnto them. For hys inuisible thinges, that is to say, his eternall power and godhed, are seene: forasmuch as they are vnderstand by the workes from the creation of the world. For the wrath of God is reuealed from heauen.] To the ende he would cōfirmeThe first reason whereby is proued that we are iu­stified by the sayth of the Gospel. Take away the Gospel [...] and then re­mayneth the wrath of God, and most vn­pure sinnes do raunge abroad. the proposition nowe proposed, namely, that by the fayth of the Gospell we are iustefied, he bringeth many reasons: The firste is when the Gospell is receaued by fayth, there springeth forth righteousnes. But take away the Gospell, and fayth, and then the wrath of God waxeth hotte, and men are defiled with most vnpure vices and sinnes. Wherefore it is manifest, that the cause of our righte­ousnes is the Gospel, taken hold of by fayth. The minor or second proposition, that where the Gospell is away, there are both wicked actes, and the wrath of God, he proueth by a diuision, as well towardes the Iewes as towardes the Gentiles. Of the Iewes he will speake in the next chapiter now he entreateth of the Gentiles. And that the wrath of God is powred vpon them he proueth by the horrible and filthy vices, which he numbreth: and declareth that those men deserued so to be forsaken of God, and hedlonge to be thrust into those sinnes: because when they knew him, they dishonoured hym, and gaue his honour vn­to creatures. And that they knew God, he proueth: for that his creatures en­structed them thereof. And he maketh mencion of so grosse and filthy vices, that they were not able to deny theyr owne peruersenes.

For if he had spoken of those enormious sinnes whiche pertayne vnto the mynde, for that in them there is not so much shame, it would not so much haue moued the readers. But after this maner may the reason of the Apostle be re­solued.A resolutiō of the Apo­stle his rea­son. They were thus filthyly contamynated, therefore were they not refor­med within, neyther renewed through the spirite and grace. Wherefore they were neyther acceptable vnto god, nor yet reconciled vnto him. And we sée that Paule by this reason hath not only confirmed that which he entended, but also by the selfe same, laboreth & instituteth a most holesome exhortation, whichThis is a good exhor­taciō where is preached repentance. he began of repentance. For he setteth before their eyes their most haynous wicked actes, and sheweth them that eternall punishementes are at hand vnto them, and that they suffer these thinges through the anger of god towardes them. And to the ende he would make them the more afrayd, he taketh away from them all maner of excuse, affirming that they knew right well, afterA place of Iohn declared. what sorte they should leade theyr life. And the summe of this reason is red in the gospell of Iohn the 3. chapter: He which beleueth in the sonne, hath eternall life: [Page] but he which beleueth not, shall not see eternall life: and the wrath of God abideth ouer him. There it manifestly appeareth that by fayth which is geuen vs in Christ we do obtayne righteousnes and life: and contrariwise, it being taken away, righteousnes is also taken away, and the wrath of god remaynteh kindled. Take away the gospell and fayth from philosophy and good artes, and whatTake a­waye fayth and the gos­pell from Philosophy and then in it shalbe left nothynge that is found. Why god in such manner forsooke the Ethnikes. sound thing shalt thou sée then in those mē, which so chalenge them vnto them­selues. Vndoubtedly all things shalbe contamynated, as Paule paynteth them out in colours. Here paraduenture a man will aske, why god so forsooke men, that they should be wrapped in so greate wicked actes. Hereto may be answe­red, he did it both for that they deserued this thing by reason of the idolatrye which they committed, when as they had the knowledge of the true god: and also chiefely, to the ende we should vnderstand the necessary helpe had of the comming of Christ. For if men had bene but in a tollerable case, they woulde scarfely haue iudged, that they had any neede of the Mediator Christ. But where sinne aboue measure abounded, there also was grace made more illu­strous, of so greate force I say, that it was able to breake in sonder the most greuous yoke of sinne.

The wrath of God from heauen.] By wrath he fyguratiuely vnderstan­deth vengeance. Augustine writeth to Optatus in his 157. Epistle, that wrathWhat is wrath in God. is not in god a perturbation of the mynde, as it is in men: but only a iust and fyxed vengeance. Which selfe same thing he writeth in his booke de Trinitate. Wherefore it is a fygure much vsed in the holy scriptures, that for the ven­geance of God we rede, anger, or wrath. And Aristotle in his Rethorikes, defi­neth it to be an appetite of vengeaunce for negligence or contempt. For when aThe defy­nition of wrath ac­cording to Aristotle. man seeth himselfe to be contēned, his desire is straight way inflamed, to seeke to auenge. Wherefore the Apostles meaning is, that these most wicked vices, were a reuenge proceding from god being angry.

From heauen.] These wordes haue a greate Emphasis or force. For they signify, that this vengeance is manifest, largely spred abroad, and most migh­ty: as are showers of rayne and tempestes, which fall from heauen vpon the earth. And it is as much, as if he should say, that this wrath or vengeance of God was inflicted, by his deuine might or power. For we are sayd to receaue those thinges from heauen, which seeme to be sent by the power of God, as in Satyra the Poete sayd: Tertius è coelo cecidit Cato, et tanquam Sacculus è coe­lo discendit: [...]. Which is in English: The third Cato discended from heauen, and as a sacke fell this sentence from heauen, Knowe thy selfe. And Cicero also sayth of Pompey, that the prouince saw him, not as one sent from a city: but as one fallen from heauen. So Paule fayth, that this vengeance may in no case be counted as a thing naturall, but as a plague inflicted of God. For as it shall afterward be declared, God deliuered them into a reprobate mynde. And although the corporall calamityes, wherewith God striketh vs, are gre­uous, yet far more greuous is this, when we are deliuered into a reprobate mynde. For in that case men seeke destrucion vnto themselues, and are euen their owne slaughtermen. Neyther contrarywise can we obtayne any good thyng more to be wished for, then to attayn vnto an holy mynd and a right vn­derstanding. For euen as this is a singular gifte: so is the other a most seuere vengeaunce.

Agaynst all vngodlynes and vnrighteousnes of men.] He sayth not against men: because God hateth not them, but taketh vengeaunce on their wicked actes. And those comprehendeth he vnder the name of impietie and vnrighte­ousnes: for wicked actes are partlye committed agaynst God, and partly a­gaynst men.

VVhich vvithholde the truth in vnrighteousnes.] They attayned vnto so much truth, that therby they vnderstode, how they ought to behaue them selues towardes God, and towardes their neighbours. And yet withhelde they the truth in vnrighteousnes. Which selfe same thyng dyd the Hebrewes committe [Page 20] concerning the truth which God had reueled vnto them by the law. Seing ther­fore both these Hebrues and those Gentiles were so greuously punished, what ought men which professe themselues to be Christians to hope for, which wyth holde to themselues so great a lyght of the Gospell without fruite. Vndoubted­ly, they shall at the length become most wicked, and euen experiēce teacheth, that those whych boast of Christ, and do liue filthely, do at the length in naughtynes and filthinesse passe all men, though they be neuer so wicked. The truth is afterWho they be that withholde the truth captiue. With what bondes the truth is bound. The truth suffreth no­thing in it selfe. Aristotle in hys Ethikes. a sorte with hold captine in them, whych vnderstand it, and yet expresse it not in workes & life. And it is ouercome & restrayned with the chaynes of euell lustes: which breathing vp out of the inferior parts of our mind, do obfuscate the vnderstanding, and as it were in a darke prison close in the truth knowen. God kind­leth the truthe in our myndes, but by our lustes it is wonderfully darkened. There is no cause why we should thinke (as Chrisostome admonisheth vs) ye the truth of hys owne nature can suffer any thyng. For it of hys owne nature is vn­changeable. But what soeuer euill happeneth, the same is hurtefull to our mynd and soule. Paul toucheth in two wordes those thynges, whiche Arist [...] in hys Ethikes (when hee disputeth of the incontinent person) prosecuteth [...] many woordes. For he demaundeth, by what meanes the incontinente person declineth to vices, sithen that he hath in hys mynde a right opinion. And hée aun­swereth, that that thing happeneth, by reason he is to much puffed vp wit [...]me singular profite, which presētly is offred vnto this senses: by the wayght wherof the better part also is oppressed, so that it geueth place to the lusts, neither exce­cuteth it hys office, with efficacie to consider and peyse the truth, whiche before it knew. Whiche thyng also the Poete affirmeth of Medea: Video meliora, pro­bó (que), Ouide of Medea. deteriora sequor, whiche is in Englishe, I sée what thynges are best, and I al­low them, but I folow the worst. All this doth Paul teache vs, when hee sayth, That the vngodly wythholde the truth in vnrighteousnesse, That truth laboureth as muche as is possible to burst forth into acte: but it is letted of concupiscence or luste. And this is that, whiche is written in the first of the Ethikes. That the moreThe noblest part of the soule exhor­teth to the best things. The power of the con­science. excellent part of the mynde alwayes exhorteth and prouoketh to thynges which are of the best sorte. For so hath God and nature framed vs, that the thyng which we know, we desire to expresse in Acte, which thyng when we do not, we are re­proued euen by our own iudgement. And hereof come those wonderfull forces of the conscience, whiche in sinnes of great wayght can neuer be perfectly quieted To with holde the truth in vnrighteousnes, is properly to refuse the callyng of God, which continually by hys truth calleth vs vnto hym self. Wherfore it shall be very profitable for vs, if whē soeuer we haue attained to any thing that is true either by our owne study or els by the obseruation of thinges, we streighte way weigh with our selues, where vnto God calleth vs through that truth, which he layth before our myndes. By vnrighteousnes the Apostle vnderstandeth gene­rally, what soeuer we sinne either agaynst God, or agaynste men. Wherefore Paul speaketh of that truth which is naturally grafted in vs: and also of it which we attayne vnto by our own study. For either of thē instructeth vs of most excel­lent thynges touchyng God: so that the vnrighteousnes whiche we commit, is not able to blot it out of our hartes. Whiche thing yet the Accademians attemp­tedAn error of the Accade­mians. to teache when as they contended, that nothing can certainely be knowne of vs. And so they can not abyde, that we should embrace any thyng, as beyng sure that it is true: but they will haue vs to count all thinges as vncertayne & doubt­full.An error of the Epi­cures. And in lyke maner do the Epicures goe about to blot out of mens myndes those thinges which by naturall anticipation are imprinted into our myndes concerning God. And yet notwithstanding neither of these were able to brynge to passe that which they endeuoured themselues to doo. For will they, or nill they,Whither truth be stronger when it is receaued by fayth then being natu­rally graf­ted in vs. these truthes continue still in the myndes of men. But (which is muche to be la­mented) they are withholden in vnrighteousnes. Peraduenture thou wilte aske how it commeth that the truth which we haue by faythe, is of more strengthe to burst forth into acte, then is the truth which is naturally attayned vnto? Vndou­tedly, this commeth not therof, for that one truthe beyng taken by it selfe and set [Page] aparte is stronger then an other. For eyther truth hath one and the selfe sameThe diuer­sity is not in the truth but in the meane whereby it is taken hold of. nature, but the difference commeth of the meane and instrument, whereby it is receiued: The strengthes of nature are corrupt, weake, and vitiate throughe sin. And therfore the truth which they take hold of, is of no gret force. But faith hath ioyned with it the inspiration of God, and the power of the holy ghost. And therfore it doth with great force take holde of the truth. Wherfore, the diuersi­tie is not in the truth it selfe, but in the meane and instrument, whereby weem­brace it. This is the cause why there we are changed, but here we remayne the selfe same men which we were before: Of which thyng we haue a manifest te­stimony in the Gospell. Christ did set forth vnto the yong man, what he should do to obteyne saluation, which when he had heard, yet was he not moued to geue place, but went away with heauines. He trusted vnto naturall strengthes, and therfore he demaunded of the Lord, what he mightes to attayne vnto eternallExample of diuers apprehen­sions of the truth. lyfe. But contrariwise, Mathew, as soone as euer he heard his vocation, did with so great fayth take hold of it, that forsakyng money and hys office, he streyghte way followed Christ. And Zachens, who otherwyse was most couetous of gaine; when he had heard of the Lord, that he woulde turne into hym, dyd not onely wyth a cherefull mynd receiue hym into hys house, but also straight way offred himselfe to distribute vnto the poore the halfe of his goodes, and to render foure folde vnto those whom before he had defrauded. Wherfore, the whole differenceA great ma­ny mothynges are reueled vn­to vs by the scriptures, than we knowe by nature. cōnsisteth in the power, wherby the truth is taken holde of: which thyng yet we ought not so to take, as though we affirme that many moe thynges are not re­ueled vnto vs by the scriptures, as well the new as the olde, then we knowe by nature. Onely we make a certayne comparison betwene one and the selfe same truth, when it is naturally knowen, and when it is receiued by fayth.

For that which is knowen of God is manifest among them.] In the Greke is red, [...], as if a man should say: That which may be knowen of God. Which is therefore spoken, for ye there are many deuine misteryes, vnto which we can not by nature attayne: as is this, that God would fréely instifye vs: and through Christ crucifyed pardon our sinnes: and restore these selfe same bodies of ours vnto eternal felicity. These & other such like, the nature of thingsWe cannot by nature vnderstande the miste­ries of God teacheth vs not. Therefore Paul sayth, that which may be knowen of God, was made manifest vnto them. In this place he declareth, what maner of truth it was which they withheld in vnrighteousnes. It was the knowldege of things pertayning vnto God, which they attayned vnto by the light of nature. And Paule reduceth all that which they knew vnto two chiefe poyntes: namely, vntoThere are two princi­pall things which may naturally be knowne of God. The maie­sty of God wherein it consisteth A similitude the euerlasting power of God, and vnto hys diuinity. For by the composition of this world, they know God to be most mighty: Farther, it could not be hidden from them, but that they knewe by the beautifulnes, forme, and distinction of naturall thinges, so great a power is gouerned by a prouidence and singuler wisedome. And the commodity & vtility of things created taught thē the ma­iesty of God, which in this thing principally consisteth, to do good vnto al men. These are the thinges which God bestowed vpon the Ethnikes: but they abused the giftes of God. Wherefore right wel agreeth with them the similitude which Chrisostome vseth. For thus he sayth: If a king should geue vnto vnto one of his seruauntes a summe of money, with it to adorne his famely, and to encrease his honour, in such maner, that his dignity and maiestye might be the more fa­mous: and the noughty leude seruaunt should go and bestow it all vpon baudes and harlottes: doth not (sayth he) this seruaunt seeme worthyly and iustly to haue deserued punishment? In such sorte did the Ethnike wise men behaue thē ­selues: they receaued of God a most excellent knowledge of thinges: wherewith when as they ought to haue worshipped and adorned him, they transferred it to the worshipping of images made of stockes and stones. Wherefore not vn­worthely waxed the wrath of God whotte agaynst them. And when it is writ­ten, It was made man if este vnto them: He sayth not: vnto them all, for the [Page 21] scripture putteth a difference betweene the wise men and Philosophers, and be­tweene the Barbarous and vnlearned common people. For thinges were not to all men a like knowen: which yet happened through the default of these phi­losophers. For they ought to haue preached and beaten into the eares of theThe Phi­losophers preached not to the common people these thynges whych they knew of God. Aristotle to Alexā ­der. The Phi­losophers with their reasonings contamina­ted those things which by the benefite of nature they knewe purely. common people these thinges which they knew. But so did they not, as did the Prophetes, and the Apostles, but, being puffed vp in their mindes, they kept these thinges to themselues: yea rather they after a sort hid them, that all men should not come to the knowledge of them. As there is abroade a certayne Epi­stle of Aristotle to Alexander the king, wherein he sayth that hys bookes of na­tural philosophy were so set forth of hym, as though they had not bene set forth at all. For those thinges which they wrote, they seemed of purpose to darken, that other mē should not vnderstand thē. Farther through their disputaciōs they blotted those pure and good thinges which they knew. When they vnder­stood that there was but one God, and iudged that he only ought to be wor­shipped, afterward of themselues they thus gathered: forasmuch as the com­mon people are not apt to worship the highe and principall diuinity diffused a­broade in all thinges (for they can not in such sort attayne to the vnderstanding of it) it shalbe good, that it were deuided, and annexed vnto Images, celestiall signes, and other creatures. And the selfe same men, when they knew that the nature of God is a thing seperate from all corporall matter, that is, that he is a spirite, and therefore ought to be worshipped in spirite and mynd, they I say thinking that the people were in comparison of them so rude that they coulde not attayne to this, brought in outward rites and ceremonyes, which of their owne head they had inuented: which when men had done, they should thinke, that they had fully done their duety as touching the honour of God. And so by their deepe disputacions and reasonings, they defyled that pure thinge whiche they attained vnto by the creatures, neyther beleued they the truth which they knew, which yet they ought to haue done. Otherwise they would haue submit­tedThe Philosophers suf­fred not themselues to be goue [...] ned by the prouidence of God. them selues vnto that chiefe power which they knew: and haue suffred thē ­selues to be gouerned by the prouidēce of God, & would haue put their trust in it in all aduersityes, which yet they did not: yea rather they filthyly fell into desperation. Cicero crieth out in his latter tyme in his Epistle to Octauius: Oh vnto me who neuer was wise. And he bringeth in Cotta in his booke of the na­ture of the Gods, who, although he were a highe prieste, yet desired he that it might be proued vnto hym for truth, that there were any Gods at all. And for­asmuch as they beleued not those thinges which they naturally knew of God, they were not only vngodly towardes hym, but also iniurious towardes theyrThe filthye lyfe of Phi­losophers. neighbours. And oftentymes, the excellenter philosophers they were the more filthylife they liued. As the Poete reproued thē, Qui Curios simulāt, & Bachinalia viuunt, that is, which fayne themselues sad and sober, as though they were Cu­ry, A similitude but lyue most ryotously, because the wrath of God waxed hote agaynst thē. For euen as a scholemaister, if he should continually instructe hys scholer, and yet he in the meane tyme should be in hand wyth other matters, and haue hys mynde runnyng vpon other thyngs, could not suffer so great negligence: so dea­leth God wyth vs. For he continually setteth before our eyes an open booke of the thynges created, he alwayes illustrateth and calleth vs, but we euermore turne away our mynde from his doctrine, and are in hand with other matters. Therfore wyll God cast vs away as naughty scholexs, neither wyll he suffer so great iniury vnreuenged.

For God hath shewed it vnto them.] Hereby is gathered, that all truth is of God. For it springeth not of our selues. But how it is of God, there are two opi­nions.How all truth is of God. Some say ye it is therfore of God, because God hath created those things by which we may vnderstande these truthes. But others say (whome I best al­lowe) that God hath grafted in our myndes [...], that is, anticipations, and fore instructions, by which we are driuen to conceaue excelent and wonderfull [Page] thinges of the nature of God. And these knowledges of God naturally grafted in vs, are, by the obseruation of thinges that are created, daily more and more confirmed and polished. Some folishly and also no lesse vngodly say, that they haue learned these truthes of Aristotle, or of Plato, so that they geue no thankesSchole masters are the instru­ments of God. A simili­tude. at all vnto God for them. These men in dede were Organes and instrumentes, but yet not authors. And these mens sayinges are, as if an Israelite should say, that he knew the truthes of the law, not by God, but by Moyses: whē yet he was but onely the mediator and messenger of God, and which declared these things vnto the people, God beyng the author of them. And it is to be noted, that wher as God, of his nature, is so separated from all matter, that he cannot be percei­ued by our sences, he is therfore wont to declare himself by signes, and certaine wordes subiect vnto our sences. And these signes, whiche doe at the beginnyngCreatures are signes which set forth God. set forth God vnto vs, are creatures: whiche when naturall Philosophers dili­gently weighed, as touching the proprieties and wonderful qualities of nature, they were brought vnto the knowledge of God. For they knewe the order of causes, and the coniunction of them wyth theyr effectes: and when as they ea­sely perceaued, yt there could be nothyng founde infinite, they concluded at the length, that theyr reasonyng must nedes come to some one first thing, that was before al other, and so concluded they, that there is a God.

These thinges both Plato, Aristotle, and Galene, haue most learnedly taught. But lest we should neglect the holy Scriptures, they also haue shewed vnto vsThe holy scriptures do send vs to learne of creatures. this selfe same way to learne by. Christ sendeth vs to the birdes of heauen, and lillies of the field, and to the grasse, therby to know the singuler prouidence of God in the preseruation of those thinges, which he hath brought forth. And Sa­lomon setteth before vs the Ante to imitate for his prudēcy, wherby in the Sommer he prepareth for himselfe those things, which shall bee nedefull for hym in the Winter. Esay sayth, that the Asse knewe the manger of hys Lorde, and the Oxe hys maister, but Israell knewe not his Lorde. Hereby appeareth, that we may be taught many thinges by creatures. Dauid wrote a Psalme wherein is declared this selfe same thing: The heauens set forth the glory of God. But amongst other bookes of the holy scripture, which most excellently set forth this thyng, isThe booke of Iob dis­puteth many thyngs of God by creatures. the dialogue of the booke of Iob. For the interlocutors whiche he bringeth in, were Ethnikes: and therfore the matter is there handled onely by naturall rea­sons. There, are reasoned many thinges of the reuolutions of heauen, of stars, of the earth, sea, lyghtes, wyndes, raynes, thunders, lyghtnyngs, snow, yse, also of beastes, as of Lyons, Goates, Hartes, Horses, and Behemoth, which manye thinke to be an Elephant, and lastly of Leuiathan the most huge beast of the sea All these thinges are there in such maner entreated of, that they set forthe vnto vs the eternall power and diuinitie of God. But amongst other thynges, whichThe nature of man most of all resembleth the deuinity of God. do chiefely set forth God vnto vs, is euen our owne nature, for we are made af­ter the image and lykenes of hym. Wherfore, we most of all resemble him, and chiefely as touchynge the soule. Wherein, shyneth the prouidence of thynges to come, also iustice, wisedome, and manye other most noble habites, or quali­ties: and also the knowledge of vprightnes, honestye, noughtines, and filthines. And forasmuch as man and hys soule is not sprong of himselfe, but dependeth of God: then followeth it that we ought not in any case to deny these selfe same thynges vnto God, but ought to attribute them vnto hym, as to the principall and chiefe author: so that hereby we may gather, that God hath his prouidence ouer those thinges whiche are done, and that he is yt iudge of our actions, vnto whome, as honest thyngs are pleasaunt, so are filthye thinges displeasaunt. I knowe that Cicero in hys booke De Natura Deorum, laboureth to ouerthrowe thys reason, whereby we affirme, that those thyngs which in vs are most noble ought to bee ascribed vnto god. But let hym alone, howe so euer he reasoneth, vnto vs it sufficeth, that we are by the holy Scriptures confirmed in thys mat­ter. In the 94. Psalme it is written: He which planted the eare, shall he not heare? [Page 22] He which made the eye, shall hee not see? Wherby we are taught, that those things which are perfecte and absolute in vs, ought not to bee taken away from the na­tureThe perfections which are in vs cannot be taken away from God. of God. Moreouer, we sée that our consciences do naturally abhorre from wicked actes, which we haue committed: and contrariwyse doe reioyce and are glad in good déedes. Which thyng, forasmuche as it is naturally grafted in vs, teacheth vs, that the iudgement of God remayneth, whose condemnation our mindes aboue all thynges are afrayde of, so that sometymes they séeme to bée tossed with suryes: and contrariwyse they reioyce, when they hope that from that iudgement seate they shall carye away cōmendation and rewardes. I could rehearse a great many other such lyke thynges: but they may easilye be gathe­red both out of the holy Scriptures, and also out of the bookes of Philosophers. Wherefore I will cease to adde any moe, and counte it sufficient to haue sayd,There is nothinge so vile in the world which bea­teth not a testimony of god. that there is nothyng in the worlde so abiecte and vile, which beareth not wit­nes of God. All thynges (sayd the Poete) are full of Jupiter: For what so euer is in the world, so long as it is preserued, so long hath it the power of God hidden vnder it: which, if by searching out, and naturall knowledge it bee vncouered, then will it resemble God vnto vs. To this sentence of the Apostle, other places of the Scripture appeare to be repugnaunt, in which from the wicked is taken away the knowledge of God. We read in the Psalmes: The foolishe man sayd in hys hart, there is no God: And agayne it is written: In earth there is none that vn­derstandeth, or that seeketh after God. And not to rehearse many places, in Esaie the first chap. it is written: But Israell hath not knowen me. But thys contrarie­tie is after thys sorte conciliated: The vngodly doe in déede confesse (as Paule sayth) being conuinced by creatures, that there is a God: but afterward, they soHow the knowledge of god is attributed vnto the vngodlye, and how it is taken away from them. define of hys nature and proprietie, that therby a man may well conclude, that there is no God. For Epicurus sayd, that there were Gods in déede: but he tooke from thē al maner of doing, care, & prouidēce, so that he ascribed a felicity vtterly idle. Also for that they say, that there is a God, but yet such a one as hath not pro­uidence ouer humane thynges, neither punisheth, nor heareth such as call vpon hym, and such other like: therby is concluded, that they were of thys opinion, that they thought there was a God, but onely in name. And therfore the Scrip­ture denyeth that they knewe God. For the true God is not such, as they fay­ned hym to bee: and as touching them selues, and their life, as to be holpen, or to haue the fruition of Gods ayde, it was all one as if there had bene no God at all: forasmuch as they fledde not vnto hym, to call vpon hym, neither dyd they at hysSome haue gone aboute to perswade themselues that there is no god. The knowledge of god two maner of wayes. handes looke for either helpe or ayde. And besides that, there haue bene some so vngodly, that they haue gone about to perswade thē selues, that there is no God in déede: and although they were not able to bring thys to passe, their owne minde resisting it, and their conscience striuing agaynst it, yet doth the Scripture pronounce of them, according to their endeuours: and after this sorte sayth, that they knewe not God. Lastly, this is to be knowen, that the knowledge of God is in two sortes: one is of efficacie, wherby we are chaunged, so that we labour to expresse in workes, those thinges which we knowe, and this knowledge of God the holy Scriptures ascribe onely vnto the godly: but the other is a colde know­ledge, wherby we are made nothing the better: for we shewe not forth in déedes, that we knowe those thinges, which in very déede we knowe. And of thys kinde of knowledge Paule afterward speaketh, when he sayth: And as they regarded not to knowe God. &c. Christ also shall say vnto many which boasted of hys giftes and knowledge, I knowe you not. But so to knowe God, forasmuch as it nothyng profiteth, the holy Scripture oftentimes so reiecteth, that it vouchsafeth not to call it by the name of the knowledge of God, and saith, that the vngodlye, foras­much as there were such, know not God.

So that they are without excuse: Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thāk­ful, but waxed ful of vanities in their imaginations, and their foo­lishe hart was blinded. And when they counted them selues wise [Page] they became fooles, & turned the glorye of the immortall God vnto an image: made not only after the similitude of a mortall man, but also of byrdes, and foure footed beastes, and of creeping beastes.

So that they are inexcusable.] In ye Greke it is, [...].God reuea­leth not himself, that we should be inexcusable, but that fo­loweth through eur default. If by our strengths we cannot performe the law thē are we vn­excusable. Here is en­treated of the excuse which is of ignorance. The Eth­nikes sayde not for an excuse the want of strength. If the Ethnikes had pretended ignorance at had bene an easy mat to haue brought them to Christ. The excuse also of weaknes is not to be admitted. God reuealed not those naturall knowledges to thys end: but the same happened through our defaulte. Howbeit, that which Paule sayth in thys place, séemeth to be repugnaunte vnto those thynges which are often spoken, where mencion is made of workes & grace. For if it be true, that by our own strēgthes, and frée will, we can not performe the lawe of God, which we knowe, howe can these men be sayd to be inexcusable? For if that which we say, be true, they might easilie be excused, that they in déede by the light of nature knew this law: but yet they wanted strength wherby to performe so much as they knewe. And there­fore they séeme not to be inexcusable. But here Paule entreateth of that excuse onely, which might be alleaged of ignoraunce. For, that which is now sayd as touching infirmitie, the Ethnickes layde not for an excuse: for they attributed all thinges to frée will. Therefore they would not haue sayd, that they wanted strength to performe it: onely this remained, to excuse thē selues by ignoraunce. Which Apologie or refuge, seing Paule hath cutte of from them, there resteth onely, that euen by their owne iudgement, they should bée sayd to be without ex­cuse. If they had sayd, that they were weake, although they knewe, what they ought to doe: that was it which Paule traueileth to bring them vnto: namely, that therefore the knowledge of the lawe of nature, could not make them better, be­cause the lawe, although they knewe it, yet coulde it not alter them, nor geue strength vnto them to liue vprightly: wherefore it was necessarye for them to flye vnto Christ. But because he knew, that the Gentiles fledde not to that excuse, therefore he repelleth that which he saw might easilie haue bene obiected: which thyng was ignoraunce. Although the other excuse also of the infirmitie of strengthes, was not worthye to bee admitted. For the same debilitie happeneth through our owne default, that is, through sinne. Further, they were without excuse, because that litle which was in their power, namely, as touching out­ward actions, they performed not according to their knowledge. For we are not so destitute of strength by reason of sinne, but that in outward workes we are a­ble to performe many thinges: in whiche they declared them selues to be moste wicked. Wherefore it followeth, that they were vtterly without excuse. Neither could they alleage thys for a cause, namely, that those thynges wherin they sin­ned, were done agaynst their will. Wherfore, seing wittingly and willingly they dyd euill, they had no excuse at all. Neyther is it to be thought, that God graun­ted vnto them this excellent knowledge, to the end they should be without excuse. For, that happened through their owne default: when as otherwyse the proui­dence of God vsed theyr wickednes to hys glorye, and to set forth hys iustice.God vsed theyr wic­kednes to hys glory. We must not desist frō teching though men seeme not to pro­fyte therby. The true doctrine is herein pro­fytable in the vngod­ly, namely, they should be condem­ned them­selues. Thus much they profited through their sinnes: that the doctrine and knowledge which they obtayned, furthered them to iudgement and condemnation. Wher­fore we ought not to be feared away from teaching, though we sée that men be­come nothing the better: forasmuch as the selfe same thyng happeneth vnto that doctrine, which God hym selfe ministreth vnto vs. At the least way, thys commo­ditie shall therby aryse: if men bee not of God conuerted, yet shall they by theyr owne iudgement and testimonie be condemned. And thys thyng chieflye sée­meth God to will, namely, then to appeare righteous, when he punisheth or con­demneth. The profite that Iudas the betrayer receaued by the doctrine of Christ, was at the length to condemne hym selfe, saying: I haue sinned, in deliuering the iuste bloude. For to that poynt are the vngodly driuen, at the length by their own iudgement to be condemned. And such which ought to haue taken profite by the doctrine, are by the same greuously hurt: which thyng we read in Esaie the Pro­phet, when it is sayd: Make blinde the harte of thys people: Stoppe their eares, and shutte their eyes: Least peraduenture they shoulde see, heare, and vnderstand, and bee conuerted, and I shoulde heale them. So also by the wordes of Moyses was ye hart [Page 23] of Pharao alwayes more and more hardened.

Because when they knew God, they glorisied him not as God, neither were they thankefull.] Here is added a reason, why they were without excuse. AndThe Me­thode of Paule. not to go confusedly to worke, this is the methode which Paule vseth. He made mencion of the naturall knowledge, which ought to haue bene to the Ethnikes a most profitable lawe, how to leade their life: namely, to expresse in maners, that which by knowledge they vnderstoode. Now he accuseth thē of the trans­gression of this lawe. And his accusation contayneth two principall poyntes. First he layeth to their charge the contempt of the worshipping of God, andThe princi­pall poynts of the accu­sation. ingratitude towardes hym: which thynges pertayne vnto the mynde: then he accuseth them, for that they attributed vnto Images (which they themselues had made) and vnto creatures, that honour whiche was due vnto God only. And to the ende he would exaggerate or amplyfye these sinnes, he sheweth howSinnes are aggrauated by the gre­uousnes of punish­ments. they escaped not vnreuenged. For fyrst God tooke vengeance vpon their wic­kednes with thys punishment, that he blynded theyr hart, and theyr mynde waxed foolishe: so that they which aboue other professed learning and wisdom, appeared most fooles of all: and theyr reasones whiche they counted wittye, were made frustrate and became vtterly vayne. The punishement of the other sinne, namely, of the inuention of Idoles was, that they should contaminate themselues with most fylthy vices. By this order of accusation is gathered,Idolatry springeth not but frō a corrupted minde. A place of Ieremy. that idolatry taketh not place, vnles error, or (to speake more playnly) sinne first haue place in the mind. And those things which are here spokē of these two principall vices, are bewayled of Ieremy in the 2. chap. when he sayth: Be astoni­shed O ye heauens, be afrayde and excedingly abashed: For my people hath committed two greuous thinges: They haue forsaken me the fountayne of the water of life, and haue digged for themselues cesternes, which are not able to hold water. To forsake God is, to take away the worshipping due vnto him, and true geuing of thankes. And to make and worship Images, is to make cesternes, out of whiche can not beThe Me­thode of the two fyrst commaundements. drawen the waters of helpe and grace. The selfe same order we fynde in the first table of the tenne commaundementes. For God first commaundeth, that he be worshipped alone: then in the second precept he commaundeth, that we take not vnto our selues any other Gods. And vndoubtedly if we depart from the true God, it is not possible, but that straight waye shoulde spring forth idolatrye. Because, will we or nyll we, we can not be without a God. Where­fore take away him, which is the true God, out of our hartes, and of necessityeWe cannot be without some God. an other fayned God must be substituted in his place. And Chrisostome hath pro­fitably noted, that euen as they which walke or sayle by night without light, do oftentymes hit agaynst some rocke or stumblyng blocke and miserablye pe­rishe, fo farre is it of that that they come to the place they determined to come vnto: so they, which depart from the light of the doctrine set forth vnto vs byThe naturall knowlege whych we haue of God is weake. God, must needes of necessitie fall into most greuous euils. By these thinges which the Apostle now speaketh, is easely perceaued, that this was a weake knowledge, which the Ethnikes had naturally touching God: for asmuch as it altered thē not, but rather was ouercome with lustes, which darkened yt minde.

They glorified him not as God, neyther vvere they thankfull.] By these wordes he describeth the worshipping, which they ought to haue performed inFoure principal points of the true worshipping of God. mynde, and in spirite: whereof we haue before written at large, and haue re­duced the whole matter vnto fower principall poyntes: namely, vnto prayers, hope, thankes geuing, and the feare or obeysance, which good children haue towardes their parentes. For then we worshippe God truly, when we wholy submitte our selues vnto him, so that we embrace him aboue all thinges, and aboue our selues also. And all this is expressed in that commaundement: Thou shalte loue thy Lorde thy God wythall thy harte, wyth all thy soule, and wyth all What is to glorify God thy strengthes. And this word [...], which Paule here vseth, which is transla­ted, to gloryfye, signifyeth chiefely, to iudge very well and honorably of a man. [Page] But how sclenderly the Philosophers iudged of the prouidence of god, & of hys iudgements of his rewards I say & punishements, their opinions: which are e­uery where abroade, do sufficiently declare. If a man should demaunde what it is, that doth chiefely gloryfye god, I would answere that it is fayth. WhichFayth doth most of all glorify god. thyng I affirme not of my selfe: but the scripture teacheth it, for afterward it is sayd of Abraham, that when god had promised vnto him an heyre by Sara his wife, he considered not hys body being in a maner dead, nor the wombe of Sara now past childe bearing, but gaue glory vnto God. For he iudged so honora­bly of hym, that although he saw that by mans power that could not be perfor­medWho they be that do truly geue thankes vn to god. which was promised, yet neuertheles, he beleued. This is to geue glory vnto God: to thinke that he both is able and knoweth, and also will performe all those thinges which he promiseth.

Neyther gaue they thankes.] They do pecfectly geue thankes, which when they vnderstand that they haue receaued of God all the good thinges which they haue, do geue thākes vnto him for the same. But this did not the Philosophers forasmuch as they did not thinke that all thinges depended of God. For theyThe Philosophers did not perfect­ly geue thankes vnto god. referred many thinges to chance and to fortune, that is, to the concourse of causes, which they supposed to be most frequēt, in this our lower region which is vnder the Moone. Further they affirmed, that many things happened vnto vs through the necessity of the matter. And so, forasmuch as they excluded very many thinges from the prouidence of God, they became very colde in geuing him thankes.

But waxed vayne in their imaginations.] In Gréeke it is, [...], Erasmus sayth: they were frustrated: For when by theyr i­magination they thought to haue obteyned the name of excellent learning and wisedome, they wonderfully vttred their owne foolishnes. And to be frustrate,What it is to be frustrated. what called vayne. is nothing els, then when we hope for some good thyng to come vnto vs, and the same falleth far otherwise then we thought for. Although we myght say as A­ristotle writeth, ye that is vayn which is not brought to the ende appoynted. And experience teacheth by these men, that so it happened vnto naturall wisdome.

For therfore was it reueled, that when they knew God, they shoulde haue had hym in reuerence and honour: But forasmuch as they bended not that way, it became vayne. [...], which is turned into English, imaginatiōs, or cogi­tations, are reasonynges or disputations, which are done wyth great pesing, and depe iudgement. Wherfore the Philosophers are reproued. bicause they a­bode not in those thinges which they naturally knew of God: but declined from it through their disputations and witty collections. For on the one side the creatures taught thē that the one God which they knew, ought to be honored of thē wyth a singuler feruentnes and purenes. And on the other syde fleshly lustes & entising pleasures vrged them, whiche oughte vtterly to haue bene excluded in that true and lawfull worshipping of God. But these witty men inuented, howThe Philosophers sought two thinges in the worshippyng of god to knit them both together. For they brought in a worshippyng of God, but yet such as consisted of gold & siluer, gorgeous sacrifices, dainty banquets, playes, spectacles or goodly straunge sightes, and such lyke thynges, whiche ministred vnto their flesh the pleasures therof: so that wyth one and the selfe same worke, they both worshipped God, and also delighted the sences. And in summe, they fayned that goodnes, which Augustine agaynst Iulianus, calleth Scylleum bonum, Scylleum bonum. because it consisted partly of a man, and partly of a beast. Wherfore, we ought diligently to watch agaynst these fond imaginations, for that they engender so great daunger. For in the latter epistle to the Corrinthians. Paule writeth. For the weapons of our warfare, are not carnall, but mighty through God to cast downe stronge holdes. Wherfore we ouerthrowyng such depe reasonings, and euery high thingwe must ligentlye watche against our imagina­tions. that exalteth it selfe agaynst the knowledge of God, oughte to be content wyth that manifestation, wherby God declareth himselfe vnto vs. For as often as we patche any thing of our owne reason to the worde of God, so often we bring [Page 24] forth errors. Neyther do these thynges whiche Paule now reproueth, serue any lesse for these our tymes, then did they for ye idolatry of those tymes. For ChristThis is applied to our tyme. Of the a­buse of the supper of the Lord. instituted the Lordes supper, that the death of the Lorde should there be had in remembraunce, and the communicantes should be pertakers of the fruite ther­of, and be ioyned vnto Christ, and be alwayes coupled together among them­selues wyth a greater amitie, and mortefie the wycked lustes, and through that heauenly meate more and more practise a new lyfe. This is the worshipping, which in thys sacrament God requireth of his. Wherewyth men not beyng content, eyther because it was a thyng hard to be done, or els because they would euermore adde theyr owne inuentions to thynges pertaynyng vnto God, haue inuented outward ornaments, vestmentes, golde, siluer, precious stones, waxe, tapers, belles, and infinite ceremonies, therby to set forth thys sacrament: And would haue men to stand by at theyr Masse, and to be onely gasers on & harke­ners, which should in the meane tyme mumble vp theyr prayers: and after thys sorte they would be counted very vprightly to haue done their dueties in these deuyne mysteries: so that by such humane deuises the true and lawfull vse of the institution of Christ is in a maner abolished. This is the profite that commeth of humaine inuentions. So madde and foolishe becommeth the hart, that it pre­ferreth lyght and friuolous thynges, before thynges necessary and sound▪

And when they counted themselues vvise, they became fooles.] They had a wonderfull pleasure in themselues by reason of theyr owne inuentions. And they which aboue others professed wisedome, by the iust iudgement of God be­came fooles. They disdayned to contayne themselues wythin the bondes of that wisedome and knowledge which God had reueled vnto them by his crea­tures, whereby they were called to worship God: and did rather geue place to theyr owne imaginations, then to the doctrine which they had receyued. They delighted in their owne sharpe wittes, & counted it for a great prayse that they had found out the reason, how to set forthe before the eyes of the common peo­ple, the worshippyng of God by images, & glorious idols. Which could neuer haue bene brought to passe wythout such reasons, whiche had great lykelihoodeAn excuse of idola­trers. of truth. When they were reproued, they excused theyr acte wyth this pretence, that they counted not those thinges to be gods which they worshipped, but that they vsed such helpes, wherby they might the easelier come to the true God.

And they obiected a similitude taken of a ciuile custome: for that men haue not free accesse vnto Kynges and Emperours, but by Erles, and vnder officers. But of how much force thys reason is, Ambrose vpon thys place declareth. For thus he writeth: Men throughe shame vse accustomably euery where thys miserable excuse, why they neglect to come vnto God, saying: that by them we go vnto God, as by noble men we come vnto a kinge. Well saide, is there any man so madde, or so vnmindfull of his health, to geue vnto a noble mā the honor due vnto the king only? For that if any in such sorte behaue themselues, they are iustly condemned as gilty of treason. And shall these men not thinke themselues gilty, which geue the honor of the name of God vnto a creature? and forsaking their Lord do worship theyr fellow seruauntes? as though there were anye thing greater then God, to whom a man might do seruice. For therfore also do we goe vnto a king by Tribunes, and noble men, because the kinge is also a man and knoweth not to whome to commit the publique wealth. But to come vnto God from whome vndoub­tedly We neede no aduo­cates to come vnto God. nothinge is hidden (for he knoweth the merites of all men) we haue no neede of an aduocate, but of a deuout minde. For wheresoeuer such a one shall speake vnto hym, he will aunswere hym. These wordes of Ambrose, if they be of value to confounde thys similitude of these Idolatrers, they are able also to confute our men: for­asmuch as they by the self same fayned deuise, defend the inuocation of saints.

They became fooles.] For that in steade of the true and perfect-worshippyng of God, they embraced but a shadow thereof: which thyng Paule in moe placesThe folishenes of idol [...] trers, then in one reproueth. In the 2. to Tim. the 3. chap. he sayth: Hauyng in deede the forme of piety, but vtterly denying the power therof. And to the Colossians the 2. chap. [Page] he writeth that The commaundementes and traditions of men, haue in deede a shew of wisedome, when as in very deede they are nothyng els but superstitious.

And they turned the glory of the immortall God into an image.] Made not onely after the similitude of a mortall man, but also of birdes, and foure footedAn ampli­fication of sinne. and creepyng beastes. After that they began to esteeme their owne inuentions aboue the doctrine which was reueled vnto them, straight way followed idola­try, which springeth of the errour of the mynde. And whereas it is sayde, thatGod cannot be robbed of his glory. they transferred the glory of God vnto creatures, they are reproued, for that they knew that that glory was in deede in God. But when it was offered them they turned it by sacriledge from him an other way. Which sinne is here won­derfully aggrauated. It was an hainous acte to robbe God of his due honour: it was haynous also to transferre the same vnto a corruptible man: but it was more haynous to transferre it vnto brute beastes, and moste haynous of all was it to transferre it vnto the images of all these thinges. Neyther is thys thyng spoken, as Chrisostome noteth, as though they could in very deede depriue. God of hys glorye or honour: for that lyeth not in the power of any creature: But they are accused of rashe boldenes, in that they presumed, as muche as laye in them, to assaye to bryng the same to passe. GOD is in this place called [...], which signifieth not onely immortalitye, but also the takyng awaye of all kynde of griefe, or spotte of anye manner of corruption. And contrary wyse, in that man is called [...], it declareth hym not onelye to be mor­tal, but also to be subiecte vnto manye discommodities and corruptions.A place of the. 106. Psalme.

Thys phrase of speach, Paule transferreth out of the 106. Psalme, where it is written: That the Israelites made a calfe in Horeb, worshipped a molten Image, and chaunged theyr glorye into the similitude of one that eateth haye. Herein onely sée­meth the difference to be, in that here it is sayd, that the glorye of God was chaū ­ged: but ther is sayd, that theyr glory was chaunged. Howbeit in eyther of ye pla­ces is contayned one and the selfe same sense. For their glory was God: in himThe glory of God con­sisteth in all things. gloried the Hebrewes: And Dauid euery where in hys Psalmes, calleth him hys glorye. And if a man should peraduenture demaunde, in what thinges this glo­rye of God consisteth, to aunswere brieflye, herein it is contayned: to acknow­ledge him for the author and distributer of all good thinges: the iudge of all mens doinges: and so amplye to bée spread abroad, that he filleth all thynges. These thynges if they be beleued, do engender adoration, a trust or confidence, inuoca­tion, geuing of thankes, feare, and other such lyke poyntes of religion. But the wicked inuentions of men doe ascribe these thynges vnto Idoles, and doe binds God vnto certayne places, signes, and images. And whom we know to be eue­ry where, hym do they make to dwell in some one place onely. And as mennes mindes are presumptuous and bolde, contrarywyse now in our dayes, whilest with tooth and naile they maintaine theyr transubstantiations, or (if I may so call them) theyr impanations, they in such sorte diffuse the body of Christ, which oc­cupieth in déede one certaine place, that it is really, not onely in so many places,The begin­ning of images. in how many the Supper of the Lorde amonge Christian men is celebrated: but also now they contend by expresse wordes, that it is euery where. The endeuour of Idolatrers at that tyme was, to teach the common people to honour God (which is but onely one) by sundrye proprieties, which they adioyned to certaine Images of their owne inuention. And it is a wonder to sée, how much those mē pleased them selues in these thynges. Plato in Cratilus bringeth in Socrates dis­puting of the right imposition of names: and chieflye he diligently examineth the names of the Gods, and sheweth, that by them are very aptlye signified the pro­prieties of thinges deuine. Which place Cicero also séemeth to haue imitated in hys booke of the nature of Gods: whē vnder the person of the Stoyke, he sheweth, what the names of the Gods signifie, and in what maner they ought to be refer­red vnto one God, onely. These men vndoubtedly woulde make them selues wyser then God, which hath declared hym selfe by the framing of the whole world. For, as though that were not sufficient, these men inuented Images, and [Page 25] many kindes of Idoles. But thys is a wyse saying of Athanasius: When a li­uing man moueth thee not to knowe God, how can a man of woode cause thee to doe it? They first inuented Images, as they alleaged, for representation sake. But from thence they were afterward ledde to worship thē. And that they also worshipped the Images of brute beastes, many historyes do manifestly declare. Vnto Bell T [...]e woor­shipping of brutebeasts among the Babilonians was first erected an Image, by whō was alwayes a Dra­gon present, if we credite to the Apochriphas of Daniell. The Aegyptians had A­nubis, an Oxe, which they worshipped. And Ambrose testifieth, that there were holy seruices done to Rauens. Furthermore, for that the Poetes fayned, that Iupiter for the fulfilling of hys filthye lustes, was sometymes turned into a bull, sometymes into a Swanne, and sometymes into an Egle, those kinde of beastes they consecrated vnto God, and honoured them as Gods. But they néeded not thus to haue set forth the power of God, by so many fayned inuentions: foras­much as all creatures doe beare witnes of hym. Wherfore to inuent Images, was nothyng ells, then to light vp Candles and Torches in the Sunne. ThysThe deuise of the deuill concerning idolatry. thyng the deuill chieflye laboured for, that the power of God might be bound vn­to certayne places: that men myghte there onely praye vnto God: and there receaue great holynes: and lastly, there to make an end of theyr godlines: as though out of those places, they might liue as they luste them selues: as we sée now the vse is, in receauing of the Supper of the Lorde. There onely mē thinke that all good thynges are to bée poured out towardes God: vnto it they prostrate them selues, there they knocke their brestes, there they make inuocation, there shewe they forth what soeuer pietie they haue. All other thynges in comparison of it, are a playe and of no waight. Thys is worthye to bée noted, that Paule doth here so sharply reproue these men, which yet sayd that they worshipped not those Images, but by them honoured the one onely God: and the Scriptures do eue­ry where reprehend them, for that they worshipped the workes of theyr owne handes. By which wordes an vpright iudgement may gather, that these vulgare and common excuses, are not to bee admitted. Yea, and Augustine also in hys 6. Sermon in the 10. tome, after thys sorte conuinceth the Ethnickes, that they tooke theyr Idole for a God, because vnto it they builded altars: For (saith he) that A vaine ex­cuse or de­fence of the Ethnikes for Images they haue a God, and doe worship that Idole for a God, the altar doth testifie. What ma­keth the altar there, if that it bee not counted for a God? Let no man say vnto me, it is not a God. I haue already answered, that matter I would to God they knew this thyng so well as we know it. But both what they haue, and also for what thing they haue it, the altar doth testifie. Thys place of Paule taketh away all excuse from Idolatrers. TheyThese thinges pertayne vnto them which wor­ship ima­ges, in the Papacy. An oration of Sym­machus. wer no lesse wittie to defend their Idolatries, then are our men at this day to de­fend the worshipping of Sainctes. Which thyng he that beleueth not, let hym read the 30. Epistle of Ambrose, which contayneth the oration of Symmachus: wherin in the name of the people of Rome, and of the Senate, he desired of the Emperours Ʋalentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius, that the worshipping of the Gods myghte bée restored. Symmachus denyeth not in that place, but that God is euery wherebut yet he sayth, that it is much better, to haue some certain places appoynted for religion. And he would haue the secretes of the deuine na­ture to bée secluded from the people, vnto which diuerse nations aspyre not by one and the selfe same meanes, for that all are not of one disposition. Hée boa­steth muche of miracles: namelye, that by these Gods, Rome was defended from Hannihall, and from the Senons, and lastly, that it had subdued the whole worlde vnder her gouernment: but since they were neglected, greuous calami­ties haue happened vnto the publicke wealth. He contendeth, that there is but one God onely, vnto whom all men haue a regarde, and doe come vnto hym by sundrye wayes. Wherfore in the conclusion, he requireth that the Emperours would bée so good, to suffer euery nation to haue hys owne religion. But what Ambrose aūswereth to these thinges, here is now no méete place to declare. They whiche are desirous thereof, may easilie read it in hys 31. Epistle.

Wherefore God gaue them vp to vncleanes, through the lustes [Page] of their owne harts, to defile their owne bodies amōg themselues which chaunged his truth for a lye, and worshipped and serued the thinges that be made, more then him that made them, which is to be praysed for euer. Amen.

VVherefore God deliuered them vp.] Now is described the punishement,The pu­nishment wherewith Eod tooke vengeance vpon ido­latry. wherewith God tooke vengeance vpon the haynous sinne of idolatry. Whiche he therefore so greuously punished, for yt he will haue his owne glory alwayes reserued vnto himselfe. By Esay the prophete he sayth: My glory will I not geue vnto an other. And forasmuch as he hath spoused vnto himselfe the faythful, as a spouse and chast virgin, he can not abide, that they should be defiled with the adulterous worshipping of Idols. In the law he calleth himself a gelious God, for that he will not suffer this dishonour. Further greate was the anger, wher­with he was incensed: because these wicked actes were done by thē, of whom they were least of all to be looked for, that is, of the learneder sort, which farre excelled others in wisdome, as it is reported the Egiptians did. For as this nation was counted the mother of sciences, so also was it a most aboundantAs the E­giptians were moste excellent in lerning so were they the greatest idolatrers. Chrisostom of Plato. Socrates. Astrono­mers. fountayne of idolatry. There, not only men were worshipped, but also Oxen, Crocodiles, Leekes, Oynions, Cattes, and many more such like thinges. And as Chrisostome thinketh, Plato for that by much traueling, he had attayned vn­to their doctrine, had a great pleasure in himselfe. And Chrisostome reproueth So­crates the scholemaster of Plato, because when he was at the poynt of death, he desired his friendes, to pay vnto Aesculapius a Cocke, which he remembred he owed him. Astronomers, which aboue others boast themselues as touching the knowledge of celestiall thinges, haue transferred into heauen a Beare, two twynes, a Bull, a Crowne, an Egle, a Scorpion, a Snake and such like mon­strous thinges: and to the starres which are the excellent workes of God, they faynedly adioyne these theyr madde dreames, and do after a sort attribute vnto them the gouernment of the world. This thing hath the deuill procured, that men should become subiect vnto those thinges, ouer whiche they ought to be Lordes and rulers. So man which was made, to be lifted vp into heauen, neg­lecting himselfe, hath to his power lifted vp to the same place brutishe and vn­reasonable beastes. Further the Poetes, which aboue other men were had in admiration, did they not fayne what they lusted themselues of the Gods? OfThe sondry iudgemente of Plato touching Poets. their deuise and opinion Plato (which is counted the most graue amongst the Philosophers) speaketh doubtfully. In his bookes De Repub: he iudgeth them worthy vtterly to be banished out of the city, because they spake so vnreuerent­ly of the Gods. And yet in an other place, he commaundeth, that when they en­treate of thinges deuine, we shoulde geue credite vnto them: because they de­clare such thinges not of themselues, but by heauenly inspiration. If a manWhy Ido­latrers worshipped Crocodiles and Ser­pentes. would demaund of them why so wise mē worshipped eyther Crocodles or ser­pentes, paraduenture they would haue aunswered, that they in them wondred at the most mighty power, whereby they do hurt men: and that in them is ex­pressed the auenging wrath of God, which by those worshippinges they desired to be turned away from them, in worshipping God as [...], that is, as an expeller away of those euill thinges. And this sinne was so spred abroade, that it infected the Iewes also. For in Ezechiell it is written, that when he was of theThe Iewes also woor­shipped cre­ping beasts spirite caried by the heares of the head into Ierusalem, he saw in it not onlye that Idole, whereby the wrath of God was prouoked, but also in the Temple he perceaued, that on the walles were paynted, beastes, liuing creatures, and all maner of creeping beastes, vnto which the chiefe elders of the people with much reuerence offred incense: which was to geue vnto them deuine honours. The selfe same thing is at this day openly vsed in the Papacy vnto signes, I­mages,In the Pa­pacy they burne in­cense to I­mages. and stockes: and yet they say, they are free from the crime of idolatry. Further the Prophet saw on the other side women bewayling Tamuz, that is, Adouides. Lastly he beheld men in the sanctuary, whiche turning their shoul­ders [Page 26] to the most holy place, and their face towardes the dores of the Tempell, worshipped the Sunne as it rose in the Easte. And it is there sayd, that by rea­son of all these thinges, the wrath of God was wonderfully prouoked. Paule al­so in this place declareth, with what punishementes God punished the Gentles for these sinnes. For he saw that his doctrine was contemned: in that whereas he had reuealed himselfe through the beuty and hugenes of the whole worlde which he had made, so excellent a gift was vtterly had in no reputatiō amongst men. And they chose vnto themselues so many Images and peculiar inuenci­ons, as there were kingdomes, prouinces, cityes, families, and in a maner men. The punishement which they suffred, was, that God deliuered them vp to their owne lustes to be tormented. This was that punishement which is called Paena talionis, like for like. For euen as they spoyled God, as much as in them lay, of his glory, so agayne on the other side, God deliuered them, to be vexedPoena ta­lionis. with most filthy lustes: so that they degenerated, not only into brute beastes, but also became farre vnderneath them. This is the greatest infelicity that can hap­pen vnto man, when the spirite and the mynde, which ought to gouerne, are by the iust iudgement of God made su [...]iect to cruell and most filthy lustes, weWe haue domesticall tormenters Many Actcons. A place of the Psalms haue no neede of any outward tormenters: we haue auēgers inough at home. For that which the Poetes fable of Acteon, that he was torne in pieces of hys dogges, hath place in these men, which are inflamed and rent in sonder of the lustes of their owne mynde. And this phrase, which Paule here vseth, is taken out of the 81. Psalme, wherein is reade: My people hath not harkened, neyther hath Israell geuen hede vnto me. And I haue deliuered them vp into the frowardnes of theyr hart: and they haue walked in their owne deuises. Let those which defend the powersThat free will is no­thing with out grace. and strengthes of man, and which attribute in a maner all thinges vnto free will, yea and that without the grace of Christ, consider by these thinges, howe farre they erre from the truth. Here is described the horriblest punishement that can be: when a man is forsaken of God and delyuered vp to be gouerned of himselfe. Neither helpeth it any thing at all to say, that here is now entrea­ted onely of lustes, and of the brutish, or inferior partes of our mynde: foras­much as Paule hath togeth [...]r with lustes made mencion of the hart, whereby is noted the nobler part of the mynde. And Dauid sayth playnly, That God for­sooke them, that they should go on according to their owne hart, and counsels. But how is this kinde of speach to be expounded, God deliuered vp them to their owne lustes? Whether to deliuer vp be al one with God to permitte. The rea­sons of thē that say to deliuer vp is to per­mitte. All the fathers in a maner teach, that To deliuer, is all one, as if it should haue bene sayde, to suffer, to permitte, or to forsake. For they seme to abhorre to say, that God is the cause of sinne. And these are the reasons as farre as I ga­ther, that moue them thereunto: Because the holy scriptures do testefye, that God willeth no sinne, forasmuch as it is written: Thou art the God that wilt no iniquity. Further this thing they labour for, to take away all maner of excuse from the wicked actes of men: vnto which wicked actes if God shoulde driue them, it shoulde seeme, that they might lay for an excuse the will of God. Fur­ther they endeuor themselues to aduance the glory of God, that he should not be accused of iniustice, for that he driueth men into sinnes, and then afterward reproueth them for the same. Lastly they labour to mayntayne free will, least if it should be thought, that God driueth men to sinne, it should either be taken away, or els be diminished. Vnto these reasōs Chrisostom vpon this place addeth two similitudes. One of a captayne, which in the fight or battayle forsaketh his host. For he is sayd, to betray his souldiers to hys enemyes, when as in ve­ry deede he only withdraweth from them his helpe and presence. So God is said to deliuer vp these men, because he taketh away from them his helpe and grace. The other similitude, is of a Prince or king: which when he seeth his sonne to be past all goodnes, and perceaueth, that he can not make him good, depriueth him of all his goodes, and forsaketh him. So (sayth he) dealeth God with these men. But these reasons seeme not of necessitie to driue vs to this kynde of in­terpretation. [Page] For as touching sinne, we graunt ye God willeth no sin, if we loke vpō his wil, which is declared vnto vs in ye lawes of God & in ye holy scriptures.He answe­reth to the reasons al­leaged. But y he vtterly and absolutely willeth no sinne, we may in no case graunt, for asmuch as we know, that he made all thinges whatsoeuer he would: & agaynst his will no man can resist, wherefore if by all maner of wayes he would it not, then could it by no meanes be done. Further we affirme, that all excuse is taken away from sinners: forasmuch as their conscience reproueth them, nether sinne they against their will or by compulsion. And that litle which lay in them to do, as touchyng outward discipline they performed not. Neyther ought God to be accused of vnrighteousnes, although he will and incline or dryue the wils of the wicked into greuous sinnes. For these synnes as they proceede from hym, are punishments, and those most iust, and whatsoeuer God appoynteth or decreeth, it is streight way iust and holy: neither ought hys iustice to be weighed accor­dyng to the consideration of our iustice. For God oughte not to be accused of blame or iniquity, because he suffreth many to sinne before hys face, whome he could holde backe, and helpe with his grace that they should not fall, vnder thys pretence, because we should iustly be acc [...]sed if we shuld permit any such thing. We may not thinke that these thinges are repugnaunte the one to the other: Namely, that we are iustly accused, and that we vtterly wante all excuse if we sinne: and yet notwithstandyng can not abstayne from sinne, neyther can we as we ought, obey the commaundements of God, vnles we be holpen by grace. And lastly, that it is God which worketh all in all: Forasmuch as in him we lyue, and are moued, and haue our beyng: And he beareth vp all thynges wyth the worde of hys power. These thinges ought we to beleue, for that they are O­racles of the holy scriptures. Wherfore, if by our reason they seme not to agree together, yet must we be content: for we can not perse the secretes of God, nei­ther hath God any nede of our excuses. Which excuses yet, if a man would na­rowly examine, he shal fynd ye they do not in any thyng satisfy our iudgement. If there be a maister of a householde which hath seruantes in hys house, which continually commit most greuous sinnes, and would make hys excuse and say that he driueth them not therunto, neither prouokee them to do naughtely, but onely suffreth them, wincketh at them, and permitteth them, what an excuse I pray you should this be. Neyther is free will, by thys thinge in daunger, so far forth as we must graunt ye free will is. For we ought not to beleue ye god doth so deliuer men, that he compelleth them or dryueth thē agaynst theyr will. They willingly, gladly, and of theyr owne accord serue their owne lustes. The simili­tudes which Chrisostome, bringeth are verye weake. For howe can a Captayne which forsaketh hys host, not be counted the cause of theyr destruction? And al­though, when the house toppe falleth, the wayght thereof draweth it vnto the earth, yet how shall not he which remoued the beame or piller, whiche stayed it vp, be sayd to be the cause of the fall therof? So that whether soeuer they turne themselues, when they say that God forsaketh and withdraweth his helpe, they must nedes be compelled to say, that God after a sort willeth sinne. And the fa­ther which disinheriteth hys sonne when he can not amend hym, what compa­rison hath he with GOD, whiche can if he wyll, amende men? Wherefore, we see not why we should be iustly perswaded by these reasons to interprete these wordes. To deliuer, to harden, to blinden, by these wordes. To suffer, to permit, and to forsake. But as touchyng this matter, let vs briefely examine Augustines opini­on:Augustine de praede­stinatione & gratia. Augustine de gratia & libero arbitrio. whether God be sayd to deliuer the vngodly vnto their lustes, onely in for­sakyng them, or also after some maner forcyng them. He semeth in this matter to be diuersly mynded. For in hys booke of predestination and grace the 4. chap. he hath this interpretation, of suffryng & permittyng. And he addeth that to harden is nothing els, then ye he wil not make soft. To blinden is nothyng els then ye he wil not illuminate: to put backe, is nothing els then y he wil not call. But in his boke of grace & frée wil ye 21. chap. he writeth manifestly inough as I thinke. That God worketh in the hartes of men, to incline their willes, whether so euer it pleaseth [Page 27] hym: eyther to good thynges according to hys mercy, or ells to euill thinges according to theyr desertes: and that by his iudgement, being sometimes open, and sometimes hidden, but alwayes iuste. These wordes declare, that our willes are sometimes styrred vppe of God, not onely in forsaking or permitting vs, but also by some inclinati­on to euill thynges. Julianus Pelagianus also (as the same Augustine agaynst himAugustine agaynst Iulianus. in hys 5. booke and 3. chap. sayth) reproueth Augustine, because he had read, that the same Augustine affirmed, that God is wonte to punishe: sinnes by sinnes. And he sayth: If the matter were thus, then ought we to prayse and commende concu­piscense and sinnes, as good thynges, which thou affirmest to bee inflicted vpon vs as pu­nishmentes. But there, agaynst hym are brought forth many notable places of yt Scripture, by which is proued, that God bryngeth in sinnes, as punishmentes,Many no­table places of the scrip­ture. and paynes deserued. We can not denie, but that the deuill in tempting, poureth in to vs wicked cogitations: and that he receaueth power of God so to do. God styred vp Dauid to number the people, as it is written in the 2. booke of Samuell the 24. chapter. But in the booke of Chronicles, Sathan is sayd to haue moued Dauid vnto it. And it skilleth not, whether God dyd it by hym selfe, or by the de­uill: for it is all one. In the 1. booke of Kinges, God would haue Achab the king deceaued by a lying spirite, that hee shoulde geue credite vnto false Prophetes: which without doubt was sinne. And in Esaie the 63. chap. it is written: Wher­fore haste thou made vs to erre, and haste hardened our hartes that we should not feare thee? And in the 11. chap. of Iosua: God hardened the hartes of the vnbeleuing Gen­tiles. And in that Roboam harkened not vnto the elders, which gaue him good admonition, that was therefore, because the conuersion was of the Lorde, to performe hys worde, which hee spake of hym by the hand of the Prophet. And in the 2. Para­lip. the 25. chapter: Amasias king of Iudah harkened not vnto Ioas king of Israell, because God had so wrought in hym, to deliuer hym into hys handes. And in Ezechiell the 14. chap: If a Prophet bee deceaued, I haue deceaued hym. Also, in the Lordes prayer we praye: Lead vs not into temptation. These thynges in a maner allea­geth Augustine: wherby appeareth, that God deliuereth the wicked vnto theyr owne lustes, not onely by permission, but also by a certayne incitation. But a­gaynst these sentences, Iulianus séemed to obiecte thrée thinges: Fyrst, that lustesThre ob­iections of Iulianus. are (as I sayd at the beginning) to be praysed, for that they are said to be punish­mentes inflicted of God. Further, as touching thys place, it is manifest inough (sayd he) what Paules meaning is. For in that he sayth, that they were deliuered vp vnto their lustes, it appeareth, that they were before infected with them, and that they had them before within them selues: and that God to deliuer vp, is no­thyng ells then to permitte. Thyrdly he sayth, that God is sayd to deliuer, rather by a certayne pacience, or suffering, then by power, God in déede suffreth these thinges to bée done: but he doth not by hys power and myght driue them to doe them. To these thynges, Augustine in the same chapter maketh aunswere, and sayth, that it is a very weake argument, that sinnes should therefore be prayse worthy, because God by them doth sometimes punishe vs. Otherwyse we should commend the deuill also, whose bondslaues we are made through sinne, and of hym are greuouslye afflicted. For he is the tormentour of God, and the execu­tour of the deuine vengeaunce. Moreouer we read, that Saule was geuen of God to be kyng, in Gods furye and wrath, to auenge the wantonnes and rebellion of the people, by the tyrannie of a wicked kyng. And yet is not an vngodly kyng therefore to be commended or praysed. These thynges and such lyke, do plainly declare the weakenes of that argument. And as touching that which was sayd in the second place, that the wordes of the Apostle, which we are here in hand with, carye with them theyr exposition (for they are sayd to be deliuered vp vnto the lustes of theyr owne hart. Wherfore they had them within them before, and God wrought them not within them: but for that they were before extant, he de­liuered them vp vnto them, to be set a fire of them) we graunt in déede, that the powers and faculties of lusting, are naturally grafted in man. And God was the author of them, when he created man. But God made them moderate, and such which should be subiecte vnto reason, and obedient vnto the worde of God: [Page] and not be rebellious, eyther agaynst hym or agaynst reason. But after sinne, they became stubborne, violent, and rebellious. Wherefore it is plaine, that that is false which thys man sayth, that suche lustes as we are now deliuered vp vnto for to be punished withall, were extant in vs before sinne. They are vndoubted­lye Iatsar harang, that is, an euill workmanship or imagination, wherwith our hart is perpetually enfected. But this euil imagination was not geuen of God in the creation, but followed after sinne. And agaynst that whiche was lastly alleaged, namely, that these things are done rather by the patience or suffrance of God, then by his power, Augustine declareth by the words of Paul that either of them is true: for to the Romanes it is written: Euen so God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power knowen, suffred with long patience the vessels of wrath Rom. 9. ordeyned to damnation. In these wordes is expresse mencion, as well of power as of pacience. And although in that 3. chapter of the 5. booke agaynst Iulianus, Augustine sayth, that he greatly passeth not, whether of these wayes these kinde of speaches be expounded, yet enclineth he more to my sentence, to thinke, that God worketh something els, when he delyuereth, hardeneth, or blyndeth, then that he suffreth, permiteth or forsaketh. Yea, he manifestly writeth that it is not likely, but that, euē as God whē he punisheth, worketh something in our bodies: so also should we thinke that he worketh something in the mindes, although af­ter a secrete maner. And thus much hitherto of the Fathers. If my iudgement therein should be demaunded, I would say, that these kyndes of speache, To de­liuer vp, to blinden, to harden, and to seduce, do signify somethyng more then to be forsakē of God, or withdrawing of grace, which hapneth through sin, and which all men confesse. For we can not deny, but that of God are offred many occasions, which in men that are destitute of grace and of the holy ghost, séeme to stirre vp euill lusts: & to be vnto thē occasion of fallyng, as it is manifest of ye vngodly king Achab, vnto whō the words of the false prophetes wer as a snare. And the words of God pronounced vnto Pharao by Moses, wer instrumēts of his greater hardening. And the aduersities, whiche happened vnto the Israelites in the desert, were occasions both of blasphemye, and also of infidelity. And that God ministred such occasions, it is out of controuersye. Whiche occasions, when they light vpon a godly mynd, and one that is adorned with the grace of God, they turne vnto good, and are profitable for theyr saluation. But whenOccasions inward and outward. they happen vpon those, which are forsaken of God, they cause a greater fall, and a greater turning away from God. And such occasions happen both out­wardly, and also inwardly. For not only persecutions, aduersities, pleasures, and entismentes do outwardly offer themselues vnto vs, but also cogitacions, and inward motions are suggested vnto the mynde, which to the godly are pro­fytable to saluation: but the wicked they do more and more confyrme in impie­ty. Besides these occasions, such as are alredy alienated from God seme not to nede any other preparation to sinne. For by reason of our corrupt nature we are prone inough vnto it of our selues. Wherefore Paule, in this Epistle to the Romanes, sayth, that these vessels of wrath are prepared and apt to destruction. And in the booke of Genesis, Our cogitations and counsels are prone vnto euill euen from Sinne comprehendeth two things our childehode. But to make the thing more playne, being otherwise somewhat darke, it shalbe good to marke, that sinne comprehendeth two thinges, Action, and a defect or want. For, that action is called sinne, which wanteth of the law and of such conditions and circumstances, which should make it vpright and commendable. If we speake of the action, in that it is extant, and is counted a­mong naturall creatures, it is not to be doubted but that it is done of God. But the defect or want (forasmuch as it pertayneth to priuation, neyther is in very deede extant) hath no neede of any efficient cause: but it sufficeth, that the graceIt is God which with draweth his grace from sin­ners. of the holy ghost be remoued, and our strengthes taken away, by whiche that action myght haue bene brought to a iust perfection. And who can deny, but that this withdrawing of strengthes and grace is done of God? For he is the mode­rator [Page 28] of hys owne giftes. But we must alwayes adde this, that God doth iust­ly and for our euill desertes withdraw hys ayde. And as Anselmus writeth, in his booke, of the fall of the deuill: Euen as we are not afrayd to confesse, that that creature is made of God, which yet is brought forth through the wicked will of man (for we say that God is the Creator of an infant borne of adultery) why also shall we deny, but that he is the author of that action, whiche is brought forth through an euill will? And this must we without all controuersy graunt, that whatsoeuer is extant in the nature of thinges, the same must of necessitie haue God for hys author. Wherefore it followeth, that these thinges are done of God, not only by per­mission, but also his might and power thereunto helpeth, and (as they say) wor­kethGod per­mitteth not against his will, but willingly. with all. Otherwise that thing should be nothing. For whereas they talke of permission, I would fayne know of them, whether God permitteth willing­ly, or not willingly? If thou say not willingly, then shall it followe, that God permitteth it agaynst hys will, and by compulsion. But if thou say, that he doth it willingly, because he made all thinges, whatsoeuer he would, it can not be auoyded, but that the will of God after some maner concurreth to the pro­ducing of sinne. But this thing ought we alwayes to haue before our eyes, that one & the selfe same thinge, as it proceedeth from vs, is sinne: but, as it is of God, it is no sinne. Therefore if in thys question we should aunswere simplye, we ought to say, that God is not the cause of sinne, in that it is sinne. Because he (as we haue alredy often sayde) inflicteth those thinges, whiche in vs are sinnes, as punishementes, and wythdraweth his grace from such as haue de­seruedWhether a man endu­ed with the grace of God, can fall into sin. The grace of God is not alwaies of one and the selfe same effica­cye. euill, and oftentymes ministreth vnto them occasions of falling, to the ende they should iustly be punished. And if thou wilt demaund, whether a man endued with grace, and not forsaken of God, can fall, I would answere, that the grace of God is not alwayes after one and the self same maner. For some­tymes, by the iust iudgement of God, it is more remisse, and by it our hart and mynde are not so strongly, and with such efficacy chaunged. And then a man may fall, and often tymes committe greuous sinnes. But when it is of effica­cy, and mighty, and when it fully beareth dominion in our hartes, it preserueth vs from the greuouser sort of sinnes, so much as in this life is possible. But to returne to that which we were in hand with, we can not deny but that God af­ter a sort is the cause of sinne, whether we consider the action, whiche is natu­rall, or the taking away of strengthes and grace: although that happen not but through our fault. For so sayd Oseas: Thy perdition or destruction commeth of thee O Israell, but thy saluation commeth from me. Wherfore, when it is sayd that God is the cause of sinne, we must graunt, that not to be spoken properly: forasmuch, as we haue in our selues sufficient cause of sinne. And although we cauel neuer so much of other sinnes, yet what shall we say of Originall sinne? Vndoubted­ly, there is none which doubteth, but that it is inflicted to vs of God for the a­uengement and punishment of the first fall. And we are so borne with it, that it can not be sayd, that we draw it by any other proper sinne before committed of vs. But in these thynges we must deale moderately, and in a Christian assem­bly we must speake warely. For if a man streight way shall absolutely and simply say, that God is the cause of sinne, he shall not say true: and the thyng not beyng well vnderstoode, will cause many to be offended, and men wyll excuseIt must be aunswered by partes. theyr wycked actes, and go about to lay the cause of them vpon God. The mat­ter may be declared by partes, and the truth may in such maner be spoken, that all maner of offence may be auoyded. But, which is the best way thus to deale,The Ma­neches. we haue alredy shewed. A great many heretofore haue erred in thys matter. The Maneches, for that they woulde not make the almighty God the author of sinne, because they perceiued the Scriptures to be repugnaunt vnto theyr sen­tence, appoynted two beginninges, and framed vnto themselues two Gods, one good, and an other euil: one of the old Testament, and an other of the new, one the Creator of thys visible worlde, an other the father of our Lorde Iesus [Page] Christ. They thoughte that by this meanes they could conciliate those thynges which are euery where written in the holy scriptures. The good God, they vt­terly denied to be the cause of sin. But the author of it they made the god of this world, whome they pronounced to be euill. They abused a place of the latter e­pistleA place of the latter Epistle to the Cor: to the Corinthians, where it is sayd: In whome the God of this world hath blin­ded the hartes of the vnbeleuers. Behold, sayd they, to make blynde pertayneth not not in any case vnto the good God, but vnto the God of this worlde. But thys place nothinge helpeth them. For we may thus vnderstande it, that God hath blynded the hartes of the vnbeleuers, which are sayd to be of this worlde. And after this maner doth Augustine read it. Farther peraduenture by it, is signi­fied the Deuill, whome Christ, and also Paule calleth the prince of thys worlde, with his fellowes, powers, aduersaries vnto vs, & the gouerners of this worlde and of darkenes. Neyther is it any meruayle, if he be called a God: for so was he counted and worshipped of the infidels. For the Scripture vseth sometymes to name thinges, not as they are, but as they are counted. Moreouer, there is no cause why, but that we may vnderstande by the God of thys worlde, the true God, which hath created this world, that is, thys visible world: and the self same God is the father of our Lorde Iesus Christ. Neither is it a thyng vnsemely for hym, to blinden the hartes of the vnbeleuers: when as Paule in this place saith: that he deliuered them vp both vnto theyr owne lustes, and also into a reprobate mynde. Yea and Christ also sayth of hymself, that he came into iudgement: that they which saw, should be made blynde: and they which were blynde, should see. But vnto those thinges which we haue now spoken of, as touchyng occasions,A place of Iames. Whither God temp­teth men. namely, that God sometimes ministreth suche occasions, by whiche men desti­tute of grace and the holye Ghoste, are stirred vppe to sinne, a place of Iames seemeth to be repugnaunte, who in hys 1. chapter writeth thus: God tempteth not to euill. And yet we cannot deny, but that the scriptures sometymes testefye, that God tempted the Israelites, Abraham, and others. Augustine de consensu Euan­gelistarum, deuideth temptations into two kyndes. Namely, that some are toTwo kinds of tempta­cion. proue, and other some to deceaue. And he graunteth, that God somtimes temp­teth to proue, but neuer to deceiue. But this distinction semeth not to be suffici­ent. For one and the selfe same temptation, when it ighteth vppon a godlye man, profiteth to trye hym wyth all. But if it happen to an vngodlye person, and one that is destitute of grace, it serueth to seduce him. As in the de­sert the temptacions, as touching Moses, Aaron, Iosua, and Chaleb, were proba­tions and trials: but vnto others, they were prouokementes vnto sinne. And yet it sufficiently appeareth, that God was the author of them. Wherefore,An other distinction of tempta­cions. The Greeke schooles. Howe God is not the author of inward tem­tations. laying a part Augustines distinction, there is an other which is more allowable, which is read in the Greeke Scholies: namely, that there are certayne tempta­tions vtterly outward: whose beginning or cause we haue not in our selues: as aduersities and persecutions: but there are other temptations, which seeme to burst forth out of the lustes of our mynde. And of thys kinde of temptation, say they the Apostle Iames admonisheth vs, that we should not make God the au­thor of them. Which must so be vnderstanded, that we ought not in such maner to appoynt God the author of them, therby to excuse our selues. And that thys is the Apostles meaning, those thynges which go before do well declare. Let no man (sayth he) when he is tempted, say, that he is tempted of God, as though he woulde excuse hys sinne. For euery man is tempted of his owne lustes. Wherfore he willeth vs to acknowledge in our selues the originall beginning of euill: and not to lay the fault vpon God. But yet he nothing prohibiteth, but that God may be sayd by hys iust iudgement sometimes to minister vnto these lustes which are graf­ted in our corrupt nature, occasions and prouokementes, as well inwardly in our myndes, as outwardlye. But we oughte to accuse the grounde, whiche wee haue in our selues: and not to laye that for an excuse, whyche is mi­nistred by God. Further, this is to be added, that we can not deny, but that the [Page 29] of originall sinne are inflicted vpon vs, to auenge the fall of the first pa­rentes,Two kinds of lustes. with which lustes euery one of vs is tempted. These lustes, vnto which those that are idolaters are deliuered vp to be punished, maye be deuided into two kindes: so that some lustes couet that which semeth good, and other some, driue away that, which is thought to be euill. And although it may séeme, that these affections were grafted in man by nature, yet were they not such at the beginning, when man was created, as now they are. But (as I haue alredy sayd) they were grafted moderate, and su [...]h as shoulde obey reason: but nowWhat manner of affec­tions were grafted in man, when he was cre­ated. Stoikes without affections. A medio­crity of the Peripate­tikes. they are vnbrideled, and they resist reason and the worde of God. Wherefore when the Stoikes saw this corruption of them, they gaue iudgement, that their wise man should be vtterly free from all affections and passions, because, as the matter goeth now, they thought that wisedome could neuer agree with af­fections. For affections alwayes appeared vnto them to be subiect vnto vice and sinne. But the Peripatecians iudgement was, that the wise man ought not to be vtterly without affections: but they allowed those that were moderate. And be­ing demaunded, how these lustes should be kept in a meane, they sayd, that there is a mediocrity prescribed of reason. And they added moreouer, that this right reason, which should be iudge of this mediocrity, longeth to a wise man. But they were not able to shew who this wyse man was, which should perfectly de­fyne of thys meane, Wherefore the Christians, which deferre thys iudgement vnto the word of God, do nothyng at all erre: sithen they haue most sure rules taken out of the holy scriptures, by which are most manifestly defined, what thinges are to be desired, and what to be refused. There are two thinges vn­doubtedlyTwo rules to amend lustes with all. which amend, vitiate, and corrupt lustes. One is, that whether we eate or drinke or do any thinge els, we do all thinges vnto the glory of God. Which thing neither Aristotle nor Plato, nor any of the wise men of this world had taught, as Paule hath done. Further, forasmuch as it is agreed of the end, we must beware, that our woorke be not defiled other with defect or wante of affections, or els with excesse of them. And in summe, these appetites, so farforth as God hath grafted them in our nature, oughte not to be accused: but as we now haue them they are not without fault.

To vnclennes, with ignominye to defyle their owne bodies amonge them­selues.] The commentaries whiche are ascribed vnto Hierome, affirme that this ignominy or dishonor is to be referred, vnto the filthines, and vnpurenes whiche the Ethnikes committed in their sacrifices. And they expound the ignominye or dishonour of the bodyes to be burninges and markes, with which the bodies of those whiche were initiated and dedicated to Images, were defyled. But these thinges are farre wide from the truth: and the Apostle by those thinges which follow, doth manifestly declare, what his meaning is. For he referreth all thinges to vnnaturall carnall pleasure. Those thinges are cal­ledWhat thinges are vncleane. vncleane, whose sight we can not abide, as in naturall thinges, is matter or corruption that commeth out of a sore, and dongue, and such like: and as is, as touching humane workes, glotony, dronkennes, especially when vomiting followeth, also lechery, especially that which is agaynst nature. Hereof he wri­teth vnto the Romanes, that that nacion, and all other nations, when they were without Christ, were wonderfull enfected wyth this pestilent vice. Neyther is this obscure, that he addeth. To defile their owne bodies with ignominy. For if he which committeth fornication, sinneth agaynst hys owne body, much more he which is defiled with this kynde of wickednes. Our bodies are the temple of the holy ghost, organes of God, and instrumentes sanctified.

Wherfore they which contaminate or defile them, do excedingly stray from theThat they sin, which defile their bodies with luste. institution of God. And this happeneth vnto them, which departe from the true worshippyng of God. Vnto the Ephesians it is written of the Gentiles that be straungers from Christ. Howe that they walke in the vanitye of the mynde, hauyng their mynde darkened, and that they are alienated from the lyfe of God by reason of the [Page] ignoraunce which is in thē, & blyndenes of hart. Who, after that they came once to this pointe, that they ceased to be sory: gaue themselues to wantonnes, with a greedy desire to commit all maner of vncleannes. It might at the first sighte seme, that Paule speaketh vnreuerent and filthy thinges. But we must remem­ber,Paule ought not to be accu­sed of filthi­nes. that Vnto the cleane, all thinges are cleane: & the holy Ghost vseth, when he spea­keth of the elect, very freely to reproue wicked and most filthy actes. In ye Pro­phetes, and especially in Ezechiell, is mencion made of the Synagog, as of an harlot, which openeth her knees to all that come, and whose filthye lust was so great, that with reward she hired louers, which had the fleshe of asses, and the fluxe of horses. The holy ghost abhorred not from these kindes of speach. And yet thys letteth not, but that ye wordes of God, are wordes most chaste. For wordes otherwyse of theyr owne nature are indifferente: it is our luste that maketh them vyle and filthy. Howbeit Paule semeth somtymes somwhat to fauour the eares of the hearers, when vnto the Ephesians, by one world only he noteth these filthines of the Ethnikes, saying: It is filthy to declare the things which are committed of them in secrete. But Chrisostome sayth, ye the Apostle in thys place tēpereth hys speache betwene two great daungers. For on the one syde, forasmuch as it be­houed that these men should in such sort be reproued, that they should not be a­ble to deny their filthines (which thyng peraduenture had bene hard to be done if he had layd before them faultes not very greuous) it was necessarye, that he should most openly reproue those crimes, which euery man cōfessed to be most filthy. On the other syde some reuerence was to be had vnto the readers & hea­rers. Wherfore, he did with a wonderful prudence order his wordes. For in makyng mention of nature, he reproueth them, for that they were not content wt the vse of nature, but by their filthy lust, cōmitted violēce against their own na­ture. He vseth also some sharpenes of wordes, when he sayth: that they burnt, & defiled theyr bodies wyth contumelies dishonour, & that they fell into vn­cleannes and vnpurenes. All these thinges haue a wonderfull strength to moue the hartes of the readers. Ambrose demaundeth, howe these thynges shoulde be counted a punishment, which were vnto them great pleasures: when as contrariwise this semeth to be the nature of punishmentes, to be displeasaunt, and to be vrged vpon men euen by compulsion and against theyr willes. He answereth that this is to be ascribed vnto the goodnes of God, whiche woulde not punishe these men more greuously. But this semeth not to make much to Paules pur­pose. For that he by the bitternes of the punishment ment to increase the gre­uousnes of the sinne. Wherfore Chrisostomes iudgement herein fitteth better: for he sayth: that it is the greatest euill that can be, when a man reioyceth in hys owne hurtes, For if a man when he is sick [...], fele great griefe and payne, ye phi­sitions dispayre not of hym. But when he commeth once to that poynte, that heIt is a most gree­uous euill, for a man to reioyce in his owne hurtes. feleth no payne nor griefe, then is he in a maner past all hope of recouerye. And madde folkes whē they teare themselues, and fare full ill wyth themselnes, are glad in so doyng, & miserably reioyce, when they eate dongue, stones, or coales, or beray themselues with dirt or filthy thinges. And yet doth not theyr myrthe make the calamity any thing the easier. So lykewyse are these men no lesse pu­nished wyth thys deformity of sinne: notwythstandyng, they seme to delyght themselues therin. Paule coulde vndoubtedly haue vpbrayded vnto them othervices. But those had not bene so full of shame, nor so apte to declare the calami­ty of the vnbeleuers.

Which haue chaunged his truth for a lye, and worshipped and serued the thinges that be created aboue the Creator, whiche is to be praysed for euer. Amen.

VVhiche haue chaunged his truth for a lye.] He agayne repeteth, that theWhy I­dols are called a lye. cause of so greate a punishmente was idolatrye. By truth he meaneth the [Page 30] selfe same thynge whiche before he noted by glorye. And he calleth idols a lye. Because they wente aboute to take awaye from woode and stones that whiche they were: for that they no more counted them woode nor stones: And attributed vnto them that which they were not: deuine powers (I say) and the nature of God. And whē he sayth of God, which is to be praysed for euer.] He endeth his sentence with an excellent acclamation, which selfe thing he doth al­so when he writeth of Christ in the 9. chap. that he is God aboue all thinges to be praysed for euer, Amen. Wherefore seyng he pronounceth one and the selfe same thing both of the father, and also of the sonne, he manifestly declareth, that the sonne is equall wyth the father. And Chrisostome affirmeth, that this particle was therfore added, to the end we should vnderstand, that the enterprise of these men had no good successe. For although they assaied to robbe God of his glory, and to change hys truth, yet would they, or would they not, he remayneth God to be praysed for euer, Amen. Neyther did he therfore in suche sort take venge­aunce vpon them, to deliuer them vp into a reprobate sence, as though he could not otherwise cast them from hym. Their impiety was no let or hurt vnto him: they were their owne destruction: But because the Ethenikes are accused for the worshippyng of images, it shall not be from the purpose, somewhat to speake briefely as touchyng images. First we will speake of them whiche go about to resemble God by images: afterward we will touche somewhat of the Images of thinges which are corporall: and then whither they may be had in temples & in holy places: lastly whether there may be any good vse of them at all. And asGod ought not to be expressed by any I­mages. touchyng the first, there is an expresse commaūdement in Deut. that God should not be portured by any images. And hereof he geueth a reason, because when he spake vnto them in Horeb, the people sawe there no image. The Prophetes al­so haue very often inculcated thys thyng: and especially Esay from the 40. cha. vnto the 45. entreateth in a maner of nothyng els. And Paule in the actes of ye Apostles, when he preached to the men of Athenes, sayde that men are of the ge­neration of God: but the nature of God hath no similitude, with stones, golde, or siluer. Farther, seyng no man hath sene God at any tyme, how shall any mā attempt to make his lykenes? He is infinite and can be comprehended in mynd, and much lesse in sence. Wherfore they which either painte or make his picture, do dishonour hys nature: as though it can be limited with lynes & cou­lors. And in the olde law the mercy seat in the middle part, which resembled the seat of God, was empty, to the ende occasion should not be geuen of making the nature of God in formes and images. For the representing of him by an image sprang first of infidelitie, because the reason of men could not perswade it selfe.The Ima­ges of God sprange of infidelitie. An example of the He­brewes. An obiecti­on touching the discrip­tions of the Prophets. that God was present, vnlesse it were manifest by some signe or image. Which thinge the Hebrewes plainly declared, when in the wildernes they sayde vnto Aaron: Make vnto vs Gods, which may go before vs.

But they obiect agaynst vs, That forasmuch as God is oftentymes diuersly described in the Prophetes, why in such sort may he not also be paynted? Espe­cially seyng scripture or writyng differeth very little from paintyng. Esay saith that he saw the Lord sittyng vpon an hygh seat, and exalted &c. How commeth it then to passe that the paynter may not set forth God in forme of a iudge or king. He is described in Daniell the 7. chap: like an olde aged man of person, vn­to whome the sonne of man was brought. What offence then shall it be for the paynter, if he only by loues and colours shadowe that, which the Prophete ex­presseth by woordes and writinges? In dede this argument semeth to haue a goodly shew: but it concludeth not that which it intendeth. For where the pre­cept of God vrgeth, there reasonynges and such like can not persuade, nor con­uince to cause vs to do otherwise. And though there seme to be some compari­son betwene those thynges which are prohibited, and those thynges whiche are permitted, yet oughte we neuer to take vppon vs to make those thynges a lyke, betwene which the worde of God hath put a difference. These are those [...] [Page] or vayne disputations and reasonings, which haue ingendred supersticions, [...] brought in idolatry. And though there were none other thyng to aunswere, yetThose things be­twene which the woord of God hath put a diffe­rence ought not to made a like. A differēce betwene writing and painting. Painting expoundeth not it selfe. were this sufficient. Howbeit, we coulde put a difference betwene writyng and payntyng: that although in the holy Scriptures there are set forthe one or two similitudes of GOD, there is yet in the same place expounded and decla­red what is the meanyng of them. And yf a man reade farther, he shall at the length fynde that God is a spirite, infinite, and whiche filleth heauen and earth. Which thing paynting teacheth not, neyther doth it declare it self: wher­fore it should easely at the length bring men into errors, and make them to be of that minde, to thinke that God is like a man. Augustine also in his little booke De fide & Simbolo, the 7. chap: And yet (sayth he) must we not therfore thinke, that God the father is circumscribed, as it were with the forme or shape of a man: that when we thinke of him, we should couceaue in our minds that he hath a right or left side, o [...] for that the Father is sayd to sitte, we should therfore thinke, that he doth it with bowing of his knees: least we fall into that sacriledge, for which the Apostle execrateth those which changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likenes of a corruptible man. For, all Christian to erect vnto God such an image & to place it in a temple, it is wicked: & much Of the pic­tures of Christ of the Apo­stles and of holy histo­ries. God forbad not gra­uing, car­uing, mol­ding nor painting. The begin­ninge of I­mages. more wicked is it to place such a one in the hart. Now resteth to consider touching I­mages which represent corporall things: as Christ, the Apostles & holy histories. Vndoubtedly, as touching the nature of these things, ther is no cause, but that they may be resembled by signs and pictures. Neither are the arts of grauing, caruing or molting, or painting at any time forbiddē by the commanndement of God. Augustine affirmeth, that the beginninge of Images, came of the desire whiche men bare towardes the deade. For when men tooke it vnpaciently, by death to be bereft of them whom they dearely loued, they desired at the least to solace themselues with the images of them. Which pretence (as shall after­ward be declared) the deuill abused to idolatry. And by thys meanes the Ima­ges of the elders were kept: and that was counted an honour vnto the dead, and brought some solace or comfort vnto theyr friendes. It is written of Alexander Emperour of Rome the sonne of Mamnea, that he had in hys Temple the Ima­gesAlexander the sonne of Mame­nia had I­mages in his temple. Images out of tem­ples are not to be con­demned so that they be not woor­shipped nor filthye. Marcellina a fellow cō ­panion of Carpocra­tes. A copper image of Christ. of Christ, of Moses, and of Abraham. The Turkes haue no Images at all, neyther publikely, nor priuately: In carpets they weue knots & small flowers, and certayne other thinges: but neuer any perfect Images. Which Images yet if they be had without worshipping: and that out of Churches, can not be condemned: so that they be rightly vsed and not worshipped. Wherfore Marcel­lina, is iustly condemned: which woman Augustine, in hys booke de haeresibus, ad Quoduult Deum, sayth, was a fellowe companion of Carpocrates, and had the Images of Christ, of Paul, of Homere, and of Pithagoras, which she both wor­shipped, & also offred incense vnto: which thing only was to be condēned. Other­wise to haue images, was not among the elders counted worthy of reproofe. Eusebius Cesariensis affirmeth, that he saw the Images of Peter and Paule, which certayne of the faythfull kept by them. And he telleth, that in Cesarea Phillippi, which was called Paneas, was a Image of Christ made of copper, at whose feete lay prostrate an other Image of that woman, whiche by touching the hem of hys garment was healed of her flux of bloud. And he sayth moreouer, that vn­derneath it sprang vp a certayne herbe, whiche when it grewe so high, that it came to the hem of the garment of the image of Christe, gate thereby such po­wer that it healed all maner of diseases. And Socrates in his 7. booke of the Tripartite history writeth, that Iulianus the Apostate remoued thys Image, and commaunded his owne Image to be put in the place thereof: whiche was so strikē with lightning, that it was vtterly destroyed. And although that Image of Christ was by the Ethnikes drawen throughout the whole world, yet it wasAn appo­cripha history of king Abagarus by the Christians after a sort gathered together again, & reserued. Eusebius wri­teth also of our Lord Iesus Christ: that he sent his owne Image by hys disci­ple vnto king Abagarus: but forasmuch as thys is Apochriphall, I can not ease­ly [Page 31] be perswaded, that it is true. But let vs see whether these Images of Christ and of Saintes may be had in holy places, where the faythfull assemble toge­ther, or whether rather they be forbidden. There were certaine of the Ethnikes which as touching this thing had no very ill iudgement. Numa Pompilius (as Plutarch declareth in his lyfe,) erected no kynde of Images in holy Temples. And so continued it at Rome for the space of 150. yeares. That king had learnedThe opini­on of Py­thagoras touching God. Pithagoras sentence. Who taught, that God is a mynde and a spirite, and vtter­ly tooke from him the nature of a body. Wherefore these mē were of this minde, that they thought it a thing most vnworthy, to represent a more noble nature by viler thinges. Although by the verity of the history, it is certayne, that Nu­ma was before Pithagoras, neyther could he learne thys of hym. But how soeuer it be, we may inferre, that that thing which they repelled out of their Tem­ples,We ought not to haue Images in our Tem­ples. ought we much more to banishe from ours. For those thinges which are there set forth, may withdraw the mynde from the wordes of God. For our mynde is of such condition, that it is so vehemētly withdrawen by those things which are offred vnto the senses, that it can not attentiuely applye it selfe vnto other thinges. Wherefore the Lacedemonians gaue straight charge that in theThe ma­ner of the Lacedemo­nians. court, wherein the Senate was kept, there shoulde stand no signes or Images: for that it behoueth: that they which decide affaires concerning a publike welth, should not be plucked away to other matters by any occasion. And Virgill in his first booke of Eneas writeth, that when Eneas entred into the Temple where Dido was, and beheld the pictures on the walles, he gaue his mynde wholy to the contemplacion of them. Furthermore it commeth to passe (as sayth Augu­stine vpon the 113. Psalme, in his 2. Sermon) that much honor and maiesty is gotten vnto Images, when they are placed in Temples. Because partly tho­rough the worthynes of the place, and partly by reason of the authority of such as dedicate them, men beginne to conceaue, that there lieth hidden in them some deuine vertue. And although this be of some force to enstruct them, name­ly, that they see, that they with theyr eares can not heare, neyther can they with the mouth speake, nor with the eyes sée, nor vse any office at all pertaining to life: yet are they deceaued by reason of the holy seruices which they sée done vnto them, and also because of the honours which they perceaue to be geuē vn­to them: so that now they beleue, that in steede of life, there is grafted in them a deuine power. And that they so thinke, it is by this manifest, for that they in such maner humble themselues vnto Images. But for that they are afraydeAn excuse of them which worship Images. to confesse, that some deuine power lieth hidden in the Images, they say that they worship that which is represented by those Images, that is, the sea, the earth, or the heauen.

And if a man goe on, and still reproue them, saying: that these bodyes also are not of that worthynes, eyther to be worshipped, or to be honored, they will answere, that in their mynde they haue a respect vnto hym, which hath the do­minion ouer all these thinges: that is, vnto God only, by whome al these things are gouerned. Wherefore we ought in any wyse to beware, that a holy place do not so much encrease the estimation of Images, that it become a most cer­tayneThe deuin will ad­ioyne him­selfe vnto Idols and Images set vp in the temple. An history of the I­mage of our Sauiour in Latera­num. occasion of idolatry. The deuill will easely adioyne himselfe vnto them. For he is proud & deceitfull. Wherefore he will soone deceaue men, & draw vn­to himselfe those worshippinges which are due vnto God only, whē he includeth himselfe in these erected Images in steade of a soule, or a deuine power. And according to the desertes of the sinnes of men, he deludeth our sightes. There is a saying, that at Rome in the Church of Laterane, appeared an Image of our Sauiour paynted vpon a wall. Of the verity of which history I am not so cer­tayne, that I dare fully affirme it to be true. But graunt that thys kynde of miracle happened, and other miracles paraduenture more notable: yet ought we not for them to be pulled backe from the true worshipping of God. But a­gaynst them we must fence our selues with the oracles of God. It is true in­déede, [Page] that Gregory the great (as we reade in his epistles) reproued the bishop ofGregory reproueth the bishop of Massilia for brea­king of an Image. Missilia for that he had broken to peeces an Image in hys Temple. But in this case the authoritie of the reprouer ought not to blynde our eyes: but rather we must marke, whether he did by iust authority cōfirme that which he reproueth. Vndoubtedly, we are so proue vnto idolatry, that the faythfull thought it ne­cessary, that Images should vtterly be abolished out of Temples. For who is he, that perceauing himselfe to be geuen vnto filthy lust, will willingly keepe company with a harlot. In doing so, shall not he be thought to tempte God? Euen so to haue Images, where holy seruices are done, where there is adora­tion vnto God, and where the faythfull assemble together about gods affaires,Of the Cherubins that stoode by the mer­cy seate. can not be but a thing most perillous. They alleadge agaynst vs, that God had by the sides of the arke of the couenaut two Cherubines. But they should ther­unto haue added, that those were not open vnto the sightes of the people. For they were put into the entrance, which was called Sācta sāctorum, into whiche the high priest only entred, and that only once in a whole yeare. Further, they had the word of God, which commaunded such things to be made: whiche selfe same word is agaynst other Images. Neyther is it lawfull for vs to vse those things, which were lawful in the ceremonies of Moses. Otherwise let vs appoint in thys realm, or in this prouince, but one Temple only, as it was among the Hebrues: and let vs take agayne all those thinges, which at that tyme pertay­ned vnto offeringes, and to the furniture of sacrifices.

What the vsage of the olde church was as touchyng images, Epiphanius deAn example of Epipha­nius. clareth, who dyd rent in sonder the image of a man, which honge in the place of prayer: And wrote an epistle vnto the bishop of Ierusalem, in whose dioces he dyd this thyng, that from that tyme forward he should not permit any such thyngs to be done in hys church; forasmuch, as they were not agreable with Christiā religion and discipline. And this epistle of Epiphanius, as a thyng very worthy to be knowne, Ierome turned into Latine. By the translation wherof, it appeareth, that he was of Epiphanius opinion. Yea and in the councel of Eliberinum it was decreed in the 36. article, that no pictures shoulde be painted on the walles ofA counsell at Constanstinople vnder Leo I­sauricus. Churches. And vnder Leo Isauricus, which was an Emperour of Rome, there was a Counsell had at Constantinople, wherein images were condemned, & bro­ken to pieces, and consumed with fire: although Irene which afterward raigned wyth her sonne Constantine, thorough the suggestion of Tharasius Patriarche ofIrene restored images in the councell of Nice Constantinople, called the second Councell of Nice, whiche is commonly named the 7. Councell, in whiche images were restored, and also the worshippyng of them. But by what friuolous & fond reasons they did thys, I am ashamed now to declare. It is true that Charles the great about ye same time called a CounsellThe coun­cell of Charles the great a­gaynst the second counsell of Nice in Germany, vnto which assembled also two legates of the bishop of Rome: where the decrees of Nice touchyng images were abrogated. And yet notwithstāding, I know not by what meanes, that toke place which was decreed by Irene and Constantine in the seuenth Synode.

I know that Iohannes Damascenus, in the tyme of Leo Isauricus, fought harde for Images, and had much trouble about them. And he telleth a miracle, wher­byDamasce­nus fought for images. to confirme images. But he bringeth no reasons out of the scriptures. And as for myracles, they ought not to moue vs, to resist the worde of God. The brasen serpent was ouerthrown of kyng Ezechias, which yet was erected by ye com­maūdement of God, and approued by wonderful great miracles. For as many as loked vpon it were healed. Our temples are not therefore built, that we shuld in them behold pictures. But in them is ministred the worde of God, the sacra­mentes are geuen, and deuyne prayses are celebrated. All which thinges far ex­cellChurches ought to be shut when▪ there is no congrega­tion. all maner of images. And he which is not perswaded by this kynde of doc­trine, shall nothyng at all profite by pictures. A man wil say peraduenture, that in Churches these thinges are not alwayes had which we now speake of: for sometymes there is no teaching, neyther are the sacramentes ministred, ney­ther [Page 32] are the sacramentes ministred, neither is there had any holy assembly. I graunt this to be true: but yet the temples ought to be shut, when these christian exercises are not in doyng. Otherwyse, they are open for men to walke vp and downe and to be occupied about trifles. And of how small force their excuses be,Against thē which say that images are the bookes of idiotes or of the vnlerned. which they bryng for images, hereby appeareth, in that they alwayes say: that these images are the bokes of idiotes and of the laitie. But how chaunceth it then, that the images of highest estimation, vnto which were instituted pilgri­mages, and which were had in greatest reuerence and honour, were kept close? so that none could sée them, but for money? Why should the boke be kept shut, by which they would haue men to be taught? Farther, a man may sée certayne images euen of one and the selfe same kynde and person, neglected and contem­ned: and other of them, contrariwyse laden aboue measure with honours. They haue peraduenture, the image of the Virgin at home, or in the streate, or els in the market place, which yet they forsake, and go on pilgrimage into Boleyne, or into Italy, an other image of the selfe same. Vndoubtedlye, if they desire by them to be taught, the image at home could haue taught them euen as well asWhen the vse of ima­ges began first in tem­ples. the image in a straunge place. We see moreouer, that then the vse of images chiefly flourished, when pastors of Churches ceased from feedyng their flocke with holye sermons: as thoughe they ment to deliuer the people committed to theyr charge, to be instructed by domme images. Wherefore, my opinion is, that images oughte vtterly to be remoued out of holy temples. But in otherOut of the temple and where no holy assem­bly is, ima­ges are lawfull. places there may be some vse of them. At the least, they may bryng an honest pleasure, which may haue some vtilitie ioyned with it, yf they represent those thinges whiche are monumentes and examples of pietie. But they are in no case to be suffered, no not in other places also, if they shoulde become occasions of Idolatrye. For then must we alwayes imitate Ezechias. Neither ought we at any tyme to attribute more vnto them, then vnto the holye scriptures. ForWe must neuer knel [...] before ima­ges. The vse of images came from the Etho­nikes. who falleth downe vppon hys knees, and worshyppeth the booke eyther of the new Testament or of the olde? None vndoubtedly, which is godly wise. And yet in them both, Christ and also the workes of God are more truely and expressed­ly set forth vnto vs to contemplate, then they are in all the images of the world. Neither is this to be passed ouer, that the maner of hauing of images came vn­to vs rather from the Ethnikes, then from the practise of holy men. And also if we haue images priuately, two other thinges also ought diligently to be taken hede of. First, that they be not lying images, so that vnder the title and nameLying ima­ges are condemned. of sayntes, they represent not those which neuer were extant. Suche as are the signes of George, of Christopher, of Barbara, & of such lyke, which are by images & pictures obtruded as sayntes, when as there is nothyng found, of certainty tou­chyng them. Howbeit, I deny not, but that some things may somtimes be painted, which may by an allegoricall signification profitably enstructe the behol­ders. Farther, we must beware that the pictures or tables be not filthy or wan­ton,Wanton i­mages are not allowed wherwyth to delyght our selues, lest by the syght of them, should be prouo­ked filthy lustes. Now resteth that we speake somewhat of the breakyng of I­mages. In which thyng I will content my selfe wyth the testimony of Augu­stine: Whether it be lawfull to breake i­mages. who in his sermons, and especially in his sixt sermon, hath these wordes: So God performe, and geue all thynges into thy power: as he hath geuen that which is broken. This we say to you good brethren, that ye do not these thynges, when they are not in your power to do them. It is the maner of wycked men, and of tauerne haunters, there to rage where they haue no power, and without cause to thrust themselues hedlong into danger of death. Ye haue heard the thinges which we red vnto you all, when ye of late lyued Deut. 7. in cotages and losely. When the land was geuen into your power. First, Moses sayth: that the land shall be geuen into their power: and so he tolde them, what they should then doo: Namely, ye shal destroy theyr altars, groues, images, &c. When ye haue receaued power, then do ye these thynges. Where power is not geuen vs, there we do not these thynges, but where it is geuen, we omitte them not. Many Paganes or infidels haue these abhomina­tions [Page] in their fieldes, do we come and breake them? No doubtles, for first we labour to breake the idoles in their hartes, when they also are become Christians, or do inuite vs to so good a worke, or do preuent vs. Now then we must praye for them, and not be angry with them. And thus much as touching images.

Wherfore God deliuered them vp vnto shamefull affections. For euen the women did chaunge the naturall vse into that whiche is against nature. And likewise also the men lefte the naturall vse of the woman, and brent in their lustes one with an other: men with men wrought filthines, and receiued vnto themselues the reward of their errour, as was meete.

Wherfore God deliuered them vp vnto shamefull affections.] For that he had repeted the crime of idolatry, he also more largely beginneth againe to de­clare the punishmentes therof. And sayth: that the men lefte the naturall vse of women, and were inflamed against nature: which selfe thing he mencioneth of y women, whom reason, iudgement, and shamefastnes, ought to haue conteined in honest life, as they ought also to haue caused the men to haue done: which thingHe dispu­teth of na­ture with the Ethe­nikes. came not to passe: because as God threatned in Deut. y 38. chap. The vngodly are striken with madnes and fury. And the Apo. vseth this word Nature, because he disputed against the Ethnikes, which had no skill or knowledge in the scriptures, but onely in nature. And against them he taketh tohse things, which by the light of nature are by themselues manifest. And he sheweth, that they were altogether so foolish, that casting away the institution of nature, they followed those thynges which were repugnaunt against it: when as otherwise thinges that are done ac­cordyng to nature, are honest, profitable, and pleasant. But it iustly came to passe, that these men were in this maner blynded. For euen as they were not content with the doctrine of God, when as they thought it not sufficient, that he shoulde be represented by the fabrication of the world, but would nedes bring in idoles & images, so also as touching thinges that were to be done, they were not content with the institution of God, which was accordyng to nature, but more allowed their owne inuentions, although they were most filthy. And herein they did the selfe same thing which our first parentes did when they fell. For their desire wasThe sinne of the fyrst Parentes. to haue the knowledge of good and euill: that is, at their pleasure, and as they lu­sted to determine of good and euill, iust and vniust: whiche thing is proper vnto God onely: vnto whose determinations creatures ought to stand. So these men attempted in the coniunctions of bodies to doe according to their owne pleasure and filthy lust, and not accordyng to the decrées of God and of nature. And these affections are after the Hebrew phrase called the affections of dishonour, whiche in the Latine tongue is spoken by the adiectiue. For euen as that which the He­brewes say, The sonne of perdition, in Latine is turned filius perditus, that is, The lost sonne: So that which in this place is written, Affections of dishonour, in Latin is, Affectus ignominiosi, that is, Shamefull affections. Paule hath this worde [...]. which signifieth not vulgare motions, or the lighter sort of affections, but perturbations, and violent diseases, by which we are by a mightye impulsion stirred vp and prouoked. Neyther are these shamefull affections any thing els, then that which he before sayd: namely, lustes of the hart. By these thinges which are now written, is easely confuted that which Iulianus the Pelagian, obiected vnto Augu­stine. For he said, that lustes are extant in vs: and, God to deliuer vs vp vnto thē, is nothing els, then to leaue vs vnto them. But Iulianus cannot proue, that these shamefull affections were in the nature of man before his fall. And it semeth that the Pelagians abused this place, as Augustine, writeth in his 2. boke de nuptiis & concupiscentia ad Valerium, in the 19. & 20. cha. For they laboured to proue y concupiscence or lust is a thing laudable, by an argumēt taken of cōtraries. ForA false Ar­gument of the Pelagi­ans. sithē (said they) Paule condēneth ye coniunction which is against nature, it cōsequētly foloweth, that y lust which is according to nature, is both vpright, and also wor­thy of praise. Wherfore (said thei) although some do in it excede ye meane, yet ought [Page 33] it not to be reproued: vnles we wyll also accuse both bread and wyne, because ther are some which abuse them. Neither is that of any force which thou saiest. The goodnes of generation excuseth not y crime of adultery: neither doth original sin which is drawē frō y natiuity, cōdemne y goodnes of wedlocke. Because, this is to speake darkly, and thou seemest to labor not to be vnderstād. The na­turall copulation of men with women, oughte at the length to be expressed by some certayne note, that we may know whether it be good or euill. That it is good, hereby appeareth, because Paule condemneth the contrary. But if it be good, & the birth is good, which springeth thereof, by what chinkes or holes thē doth originall sinne creepe in? These thinges they obiected vnto Augustine. ButAugustine aunswereth the Pela­gians. in this sort did he aunswere them. We must make a distinction (sayth he) betweene those thinges which God instituted, and betweene those thinges, which were by Adam brought in after sinne. We say that the naturall copulation of man with the woman was instituted of God, and therefore it is good, neyther of it cōmeth any euill. But lust, which The natu­rall copula­tion of man with wo­man as it was instituted of God is good. Concupis­cēce which was adioy­ned vnto it after the fa [...] of Adam is euill. is thereto adioyned, as we now haue it, is rebellious agaynst reason, vnbrideled, & stub­burne, also the disobedience of the partes of the body, which is not kept downe by our will, procedeth from vice and sinne. And such a lust, ought to be counted shamefull and euill. Which thing the sense of nature testefieth: for that we see that when man and wife will haue fellowship together they do hide themselues: which declareth that in it there is some thing which hath shame annexed vnto it. Further Paule writeth: I know that there dwelleth no good in me, that is, in my fleshe whome we ought rather to beleue then you, which set forth lust as a good thing. And he addeth: If our nature be to be made saue, then ought it to be good: otherwise it ought not to be made saue. And if it bad no euill in it, then ought it not to be made saue, because of it selfe it shoulde be saue. But as touching Paule, whereas he condemneth the vnchast, for that they left the naturall vse of the wo­man, he speaketh not a word there, of matrimony: but only sheweth, that these idolaters, were horriblye punished, in that they forsooke the naturall vse: whiche naturall vse yet may be obserued among whoremongers and harlotes, wherefore those thinges whiche ye alleadge of concupiscence are farre from Paules meaning. But how originall sinne is traduced by procreation, I will not in this place expresse.

And they receaued vnto themselues the reward of their errour as was mete.] By the name of error he here in this place vnderstandeth manifest sinne, and that which is committed of men, wittingly. And these filthy thinges whiche he hath spoken of (he sayth) were an hire and reward. In the Greke it is written [...], which may be turned, a compensation. And thys kinde of speach se­meth not to be much vnlike that, which is spoken in the Gospell, touching hipo­crites, that they haue receaued their reward. And forasmuch as sinnes proper­ly deserue not a bire or a rewarde, but a punishemēt: by this place is most manifestly perceaued, that that is true which Augustine oftētimes affirmeth, namely, that God auengeth sinnes by sinnes. And y greuousnes of the wickednes cōmit­tedHere is proued that God puni­sheth sinnes by sinnes. agaynst nature appeareth, by that that it is answerable and is compared to the most greuous sinne of idolatry. Augustine in his first booke and 24. chap: against ye aduersary of the law & of the prophetes, sayeth, that that place which is written in the 38. of Deut: is vniustly reproued of the Maniches: where it is written that God wil inflict this punishement vpon the wicked, that sometimes they shall kill theyr owne children and eate them: whiche thing without doubt is sinne, neyther (as they say) ought it to be thought to proceede from the righ­teousnes of God. And hereby the Maniches endeuored thēselues to cōclude, that the God of the olde Testament is euill, because he inflicteth euill thinges, that is, sinnes. But Augustine aunswereth: The same thing might also be sayd of the God of the new Testament. forasmuch as Paule writeth in this place, that he deliuered vp men into these shamefull affections. But it is farre otherwise. Because the true God in­flicteth this kinde of punishement vpon the wicked, which punishementes are not tor­mentes of such as sinne, but encreasings of sinnes. And after this maner doth Paul reason. They whiche are without Christ and his Gospell, haue experience that such wrath of God, lighteth vpon thē: Therefore at Christes handes must be sought [Page] both remedy and also righteousnes. Wherefore it appeareth, how wickedly some do in such maner defend free will, that they are not ashamed to say, that by the strengthes thereof, and by that which is in vs, we may auoyde all sinnes. Which thing if it were true, then should Paule weakly conclude, that we ought to come vnto Christ, and vnto the Gospell. For a man myghte saye, I can a­uoyd these synnes euen without Christ, by my selfe, and by myne owne free wil. And this is worthy of noting, that the Apostle in this chapiter vseth thysPaule v­seth this word to de­liuer men three times kinde of speach, God deliuered vp men, three tymes. For which thinge if there be any man ye will accuse the iustice of God, as though he committeth iniqui­ty, the same man seketh now to be God ouer God. So far is it of, that he coun­teth him for God. Hetherto Paule hath entreated of the most filthy crime which is committed against nature, and that agaynste nature being vitiate and cor­rupted. As though he should haue sayd: Ye would not retayne: no not that litle vprightnes, and honesty, and institution of God, whiche remayned in nature. Now he goeth to the rehearsall of other vices, which he doth not so largely en­treate of, but onely rehearseth theyr kyndes in number. And before he commeth to the rehearsall of them, he sayth:

And as they regarded not to know God: euen so God deliue­red them into a reprobrate mynde, that they should do those things that are not conuenient:

And as they regarded not to acknowledge God, euen so God deliured them vnto a reprobate mynde.] He now diligently openeth, how the punishmente was correspondente vnto ye sin. That which we haue here turned, regarded not, is in the Latten probare, & in the Greke [...]. Where this word, probare, signifi­eth not, to tempt, or by argumentes to confyrme: but rather firmely, perfectly, and constantly to appoynt. And this is the meaning of his reprehension: They knew God by his creatures but they would not acknowledge him: that is, they would not haue the knowledge of him perpetually before theyr eyes, wherebye mought haue followed some chaunge of life, and lustes moughte after a sorte, haue bene brideled. And this thing do the cōmentaries which be ascribed vnto Hierome meane: wher we reade, that these men woulde not haue God before theyr eyes, For where that is, there men fall not so easly in sinne. Vndoubtedlye there are many, which being endued with an excellente wyt, do know a greate many of thinges righte well, and can handesomely deliberate vpon them: but when they know and haue determined vpon them, they lay them a side, so that when they to come to actes and doinges, they seeme in vaine both to haue kno­wen them, and to haue deliberated vpon them. Wherefore righte well see­methThey knew God but they acknowled­ged him not Erasmus in this place to haue noted the difference betwene, cognoscere & agnoscere, that is, to knowe, and to acknowledge: and he graunteth, that these menne knewe God: but hee denieth that they acknowledged him, because when they knewe hym, they gaue not vnto hym, that whyche they oughte to haue done. And in sum, that whiche is here sayde, is all one with that whiche is before written: When they knew God, they glorifyed him not as God, neyther were thankefull, and all one with this, which he reproued, namely, that they withhelde the truth in a lye. Although Ambrose semeth to expound this, as though these mē, althoughe they knew God by his creatures, yet seemed not to allowe, that God hath intelligence of those thinges which we do. For they thought him not to be curious ouer our actions. And therfore they did put themselues in good hope to escape vnpunished. This exposition is not amisse: but may right wel be appli­ed vnto the woords of Paule. But that which Chrisostome writeth in this place, is worthy to be noted. The minde of man (saith he) is compared with the driuer of a carte. Wherfore in the course there is no error, vnles the mind be troubled. And therehence come all manner of euils. Neyther is theyr flesh to be counted the chiefest fountayne of them. They are therfore deliuered into a reprobate minde, because they did not after a iust manner embrace the knowledge of God, whiche they had attayned vnto.

That they should do those things that are not conuenient.] That is, those thinges which vtterly shake of al honesty and comelines.

Being full of all vnrighteousnes, fornication, wickednes, coue­tousnes, maliciousnes, ful of enuy, of murther, of debate, and of dis­ceate, euill condicioned, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, do­ers of wrong, proude boasters, inuenters of euill, disobediente to parentes, without vnderstandinge, couenaunte breakers, without naturall affection, such as can neuer be appeased, vnmercifull.Sinnes are the tormen­ters of God

Being full of all vnrighteousnes.] Here is setfoorth a cataloge of sinnes, as it were of y tormenters & auengers of God. And this hath a wonderful Emphasis, that these mē are said to be filled with al vnrighteousnes: Neither saith he abso­lutely, with vnrighteousnes, but addeth thys word, all, by [...], y is a strēgth or an increase. Because it is possible, y godly men also may somtimes somwhat slip, & feele in thēselues the grounds of these vices. But these mē are sayd both to be ful, & also to be stuffed wt the whole nature of these euils. First is put vnrigh­teousnes, namely, wherby we do iniury vnto our neighbour. Thē is added forni­cation. He speaketh not of adultry: because (as sayth Ambrose) of the condēnatiō of the lesser sinne, is the grieuouser sinne condemned. For if fornicatiō be sinne, then much more is adultery sinne. And if he had ouerhipped fornication, and had made mencion onelye of adultery, then peraduenture they woulde haue thought fornication to haue bene no sinne at all. Whiche thinge (sayth he) the Romane lawes did, for they leuing fornication vnpunished, punished adultery. [...], whiche is englished, wickednes, signifieth that endeuor, whereby we la­bor to do hurt vnto an other. [...], that is, couetousnes, is deriued of these wordes [...], which signifieth, hauing to much: and those men are called [...], which seeke by all meanes possible in all manner of commodities to haue more then other men: and with the hurte and losse of theyr neighbour v­surpe more then is meete, whether it be as touching riches, or as touching pleasures or honors. [...], which is englished maliciousnes, if it be generally ta­ken, signifieth vice, and is contrary [...] that is, to vertue. Sometimes it signifieth sluggishnes: from whence commeth this prouerbe [...], that is, to speake negligently. And so [...] signifieth that vice whereby we are strayghte way wery of well doing. It signifieth also trouble and affliction, wherunto we bring our neighbors. [...], that is full of enuy, murther, and debate. Again he sheweth that they wer not in a meane sort infected with euils, but wer ouerwhelmed with thē. Very wel ioyneth he enuy & murther together. For first the murther of Cayne sprange of a certayne enuy. Agayne contenci­ons or debate follow straight way after the committing of murthers. [...], that is, deceate: by it are signified guiles: for whome they cannot kill and oppresse by violence, those they encounter with guiles and disceate. [...], that is, euill conditioned. Here are reproued those that are bytter, sharpe, and hard to be plea­sed. And such ar they which can almost be contented with no mans condicions. [...], that is, whisperers. These are they whiche priuely cary tales to and froo of whatsoeuer they ether heare or see, and chiefely they seeke by all meanes possible to breake and dissolue frendshippes betweene party and party. [...], that is, backbyters: who herein differ from whisperers, for that backe­byters detract openly: but whisperers do it secretly. [...], that is, suche as bate God, as of whom they delight neuer either to heare, to thinke, or to speake, And Iulius Pollux in his dictionary, sayth, that it is an Epitheton of the vngod­ly, and that also it is a tragicall word. For it signifieth those whiche saye vnto God, depart from vs, we will not haue the knowlege of thy wayes. [...], These are cōtumelious persons, which ouerburdē theyr neighbours with reproches infa­mies and filthy iniuries. [...], that is, proude, these men in al places that they come shew themselues disdainful, proud, and high mynded. [...], that [Page] is boasters, he meaneth such Thrasos and glorious fellowes, which attribute vnto themselues those thinges, that were neuer ether seene, or written, or pictured. [...], that is, inuenters of euill, These men are so wicked, that a man can set before them no good, sound, or fyrme thing, but they will gather some euell thereof. Or els it signifyeth those, which not being content with the formes and kindes of vices, which are alredy in vse, do inuent new kindes of wickednes. [...], that is, disobediente vnto their parentes. By parentes he vnderstandeth, not only father and mother, but also magistrates, schole­masters, and pastors, [...], that is, without vnderstanding. They are such, which do thinges without iudgement or reason, & order all thinges foolishly & furiously, [...], that is, couenaunt breakers. These men will abide by no con­ditions, couenauntes, nor leagues. They are vnfaythfull, and breakers of all couenauntes. [...], that is, without naturall affection: which are moued with no affection, toward those which are ioyned vnto them by any kind of kinred, They neyther care for parentes, nor children, nor bretherne, nor countrey, nor friendes, and at the length for no man. [...], this signifieth those, whiche will neuer be reconciled or pacefied, when they are once moued, or haue taken any quarell in hand. [...], that is, vnmercifull. So last of all he maketh mencion of those which are so cruell, that they are touched with no kinde of mercy. But these fower vices last spoken of, Chrisostome doth after this maner order, that by [...], which we haue turned couenaunt breakers, he vnder­standeth those which can agree with no man, no not with those, whose nature is like vnto theyr owne. An horse, acquainteth himselfe with an horse, and an Oxe, with an Oxe: but these will agree with no man. By [...], whiche we haue turned, without naturall affection, he vnderstandeth those, which are not touched with their next & most friendes. By [...], whiche is englished, to be those that can neuer be appeased, he vnderstandeth those that breake all ma­ner of leagues and felloshippes. By [...], whiche is in the Englishe, vn­mercifull, he vnderstandeth, those which shew mercy or compassion to no man. These vices are therefore so diligently rehearsed, that by them, as by certayneNotes or markes of vngodli­nes. notes, impiety mought the better be knowen. And they are for this cause also set forth vnto vs, partly that we should behold y miserable estate of those which lyue without Christ and hys Gospell: and partly, that we shoulde haue before our eyes the enemyes, agaynst which we must fyght.

Who when they knew y righteousnes of God, that they which commit such thinges are worthy of death, yet not only do the same, but also haue pleasure in them that do them.

By amplification he still depresseth them, when he sayth, that both they themselues are wicked, and also they excedingly delight in those that are wic­ked: when yet notwithstanding they knew the righteousnes of God. For both knowing & willingly, they commit sinne. How the lawes of God were knowen vnto men, he teacheth not: for that it is well knowen vnto all mē, that the sameThe law of nature is the law of God. It is kno­wen by the light of na­ture that▪ sinnes ought to be punished with death. Draco pu­nished all sinnes with death. commeth by the light of nature. And this righteousnes which men by nature attayne vnto, he calleth the righteousnes of God: so that we must remember, that the law of nature, is also the law of God. They were not ignorant, that they which do these and such like thinges, are worthy of death, because the light of nature, sheweth (whiche thing also Paule teacheth) that the reward of sinne is death. Draco the lawgeuer punished all maner of sinnes with death. And when he was admonished, that all sinnes were not alyke, he aunswered, that he knew that to be true: but he had no punishement more greuous nor crueller then death: and therefore he could adde no greuouser punishementes vnto the haynouser sort of offences. And yet was it not therefore to be suffred, that ligh­ter offences which deserued death, should not be punished with it. To consent [Page 35] vnto them that do euill, is to fauor, and embrace thē, & not to reproue thē: yea rather to prayse thē. And whē a mā hath cōmitted vnto him y office either of teaching or of preaching or els of admonishing, to winke at these things: or (as the maner is in the court of Rome) to dispēce with thē, to take money, to bargayne, and (as they terme it) to cōpoūd for those things, which they count for manifest hainous crimes. The Apostle (as Chrisostome noteth) endeuoureth himself vtter­ly to stop the mouth of this kind of men. For if they had layd ignoraunce for an excuse, therto he answereth, when they knew the righteousnes of God: but if they had excused thēselues by weakenes: yet neuertheles, were they gilty, because they cō sented and reioyced at others, which committed the selfe same thinges. But forWhether al the Ethenikes were guilty of so many and so great crimes. as much as Paule inueigheth here against them, which when they knew God, glorified him not as God, neither were thankeful, but addicted themselues vn­to idolatry: whether shall we condemne all these Ethnikes, as guilty of so many and so great crymes, as we haue now heard recited, or no? Vndoubtedly, there were in the publike wealth of Rome many excellent and good men: as the Vale­rians, the Catos, and the Scipios: and also there were suche among the Grecians, as Aristides, Phocio, and Socrates, whome we reade not to haue bene defiled wyth so many shamefull and filthy lustes. There are some whiche to this question thus aunswer, that although these men were not polluted with all these sinnes, yet there was not one of them, but that at the lest he was spotted with a great ma­ny of them. Vndoubtedly they were proude, and ouermuch desirous of glory & fame. Farther, without all doubt their iudgement was very ill touchyng God. But this it should seme is an easier exposition to say, that these excellent men as touching the hart and mynde, were vnpure and contaminated: as such which had not Christ both for a mediator, and for a propitiator, through whome theyr natural lustes, mought not haue bene imputed vnto them for sinne. Nether had they the holy ghost or grace of Christ, whereby they should haue bene restray­ned from committyng of sinne, and also haue wrought suche workes, whiche mought haue aduaunced the glory of God. Wherfore, this their vncleannes of hart, and naturall enmitie agaynst God, as touching it selfe, coulde haue burst forthe into all these wycked actes, if God had not prouided (lest publike wealths should haue bene turned vpside downe, and least all politicall discipline shoulde haue perished) that euermore some excellent men should florish, by whose lawes and pure lyfe after a sort, other men should be conteyned in doyng of ciuile due­ties. And although the actions and doynges euen of these men were sinnes, as touchyng God, yet in outwarde appearance they were not so polluted, but that they might be vnto others an example, and also a certain rule of ciuile honesty. But there were so few of these men, that amongst a great number of Philoso­phers a man could scarsely fynde one or two of them: and in an infinite multi­tude of ciuile men, a man could (as we see) scantly be able to finde a few exam­ples of morall vertues. And Paule speaketh of men, as they are for the most part Wherfore, that which he here sayth: abideth firme, neither doth thys obiection any thyng weaken it.

The second Chapter.

WHerfore O man thou art inexcusable, whosoeuer thou arte that iudgest, for in that that thou iudgest an o­ther, thou condemnest thy selfe: for thou that iudgest doost euen the selfe same thyng. But we knowe that the iudgement of God is accordyng to truth, agaynst them which commit such thinges. And thinkest thou O man, that iudgest them which do such thynges, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the iudgement of God?

Knowledge generally is deuided into two partes: wherof, the one pertay­nethTwo kindes of knowledge onely vnto contemplation: of whiche he hathe hetherto from the begyn­nyng at large written: when he declared that these men by the obseruation of thinges created, mought haue come to the knowledge of the most high God, the authour of the world: from whome when they had thorough idolatry filthilye fallen, they were deliuered vp to be punished with most shamefull lust. There is on other knowledge, which is called practike, for that it is occupied aboute the doyng of things. Now in this place doth Paule teach, ye they abused thys knowledge also: for that when as they knewe what was equitie, and right as tou­chyng the doyng of thyngs, yet notwithstandyng, partly they maintained and supported others, when they transgressed these bondes: and partlye if they dyd punishe sinnes in other men, yet wincked they at the selfe same sinnes in them­selues. And he in such sort reproueth them, that he declareth vnto them that they shall not escape the iudgement of God, although in the meane tyme they auoid the iudgement of men. So that his entent is, to take away from thē, al manner of excuse. Such great loue and affection beare we vnto our selues, that often­tymes we can geue vpright iudgement vppon other men, but can easely ouer­skip our selues offending in the like, or rather in things more haynous. Where­fore he sayth, Thou art inexcusable. This sentence he inferreth of those thinges which he had before spokē: because that as touchinge eyther of these two know­ledges they are conuinced both wittingly & willingly to haue sinned. Origen sup­poseth, that this is not a verye apte distinction of the chapiter, when as those thinges which are here spoken, do so plainely depend of the things going before. Ambrose also supposeth, that in this place is a preuention against them, whych peraduenture would excuse themselues, for that although they fal themselues, yet consent they not vnto such as worke wickedly, which men he willeth to call to minde, that forasmuche as they are seuere in punishinge of others, the selfe same iudgement shall at the length lighte vpon themselues. But why the Apo­stle seemeth, to cut of onely the excuse of ignorance, we haue alredy before decla­red the cause: namely, for that the Ethnikes, whiche attributed all thinges vnto free will, neuer pretended the other excuse of infirmitie: Therfore was it nede­full to vrge them on this behalfe, that they should vnderstand, that theyr know­ledge was not sufficient for them. Moreouer, the entent of the Apostle is, to call them backe from the lawe, and from Philosophye: of whiche two thinges, the principallest office is, to teach. Wherefore when he had declared, that knowlege by it selfe was not sufficient to iustefy them, he moste manifestly inferreth, that iustification cannot be obtayned, neyther by Philosophy nor by the lawe. And that these men by the lighte of nature, knew what thinges were to be doone, he proueth manifestlye by this token, namely, for that they coulde iudge of them. But there is no man, which can geue iudgemente of those thinges whereof heThe Eth­nikes excel­led in sharpnes of iuge­mente. is vtterly ignoraunt. But how muche the wise menne of the Ethnikes exelled in sharpenes of iudgemente, the goodly lawes and excellente bookes, whiche they haue setfoorth, do declare, and also the determinations whiche were decreed at theyr places of iudgemente, when matters were decided. Chrisostome suppo­seth, that these thynges are therefore written vnto the Romanes, because at that time they were the chiefe Lordes ouer all, and the iudgementes in a man­ner of all prouinces were drawen thither. But vndoubtedlye those thynges whereof the Apostle here writeth, pertayne vnto all menne. For there is none, whyche hath hys righte wyttes, whiche eyther wyth himselfe or els with other menne discusseth not of those thinges, whyche he eyther publikely or priuately seeth done: and either prayseth or disprayseth the same, as they eyther disa­gree from naturall iustice, or agree therewith. But forasmuche as they can geue iudgemente of other menne, they oughte in especiall to geue iudgemente of themselues: for y vnto them it is most plaine, not onely what they do, but also with what mind they do it: which they cannot so easely see in other menne. But [Page 36] they spare themselues, and do the selfe same thinges, whiche they geue iudge­ment of. Paule therfore to strike into them a terror sayth:Eueryman may better iudge of himselfe thē of other men.

But we know that the iudgement of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou o man, which iudgest them which do such thinges, and doost the selfe same, that thou shalt escape the iudgemente of God?] They dissembled theyr owne sinnes, eyther because they thought that God little regarded the thinges which are done of men, against whiche errour the Apostle sayth, that it is moste certaine that God wil iudge these thinges,Reasons why God will iudge men. and that accordynge to truth. Otherwyse as sayth Ambrose he shoulde be counted an euell woorkeman, as one whyche shoulde neglecte hys woorke. And forasmuche as those thinges whiche he hath made are most good, and the same (as the continuance and order of thinges declareth) hath he not cast of frō his care, how dare they thinke, that man, which is the most excellent of al crea­tures should continue without the prouidence and presence of God? Others peraduenture were therefore perswaded to sinne against their owne iudgemēt, and to thinke that they should not be punished for it, because they saw and per­ceaued, that God deferreth punishmentes. Which erronious opinion, he after­ward confuteth, when he sayth: Doost thou despise the riches of his goodnes, patience, and long suffringe? But because such seeme there to be reproued whiche iudge o­thers (& that not a misse) when as yet they thēselues liue in the self same wicked actes: let vs see, whether theyr opinion be vpright, which thinke that suche Iud­ges cannot nor oughte not to geue sentence against others whiche are accused vnto thē, they thēselues being guilty of the selfe same fault. But this were to o­uerthrow all publike wealths, and vtterly to take away iudgements. Neyther doth Paule here any thing serue for the maintenaunce of this opinion. But one­lyeWhither a iudge being guilty of a­ny crime, may iudge an other ac­cused of the selfe same crime. A place of Iohn tou­ching the adulteresse. sheweth, that they most grieuously sinne, which with a greate securitie pu­nish others, and ouerpasse themselues. They ought vndoubtedly first to correct and amend themselues. But yet Paule biddeth them not, to forsake the office cō mitted vnto them. They vse also for this purpose to cite the sayinge of Christe vnto them, which accused the adulterous woman: He which amongst you is with out sinne, let him cast the first stone at her. But this sentence of Christ is not against iust punishmentes, and lawfull iudgementes. Neyther commaunded he them, that they should not go forward in accusing the woman, whome they had ta­ken in adultery. He himselfe was no magistrate, but the most high preacher of God. Therfore, that which was his office to do, he executed, in perswading those hipocrites to repentaunce. And he woulde haue them first hereunto to haue a regarde, by a liuely fayth and repentaunce, to deliuer themselues from the sinnes whereof they were guilty. Neyther forbad he, but that they shoulde exe­cute that which the law of Moyses commaunded. He saw that these wicked men in these punishments wer infected with two manner of faults. For first the pu­nishment and payne, which theyr neighbour was put vnto, was pleasaunt vn­to them: for by accusinge him before the Magistrates and iudges, they priuely wreckt vpon him their hatred and enmities. An other fault was their hipocrisy: for that when as they themselues otherwise abstained not from the selfe same wicked actes, yet by accusynge of offenders they made a show, as though they had bene zelous of the law. These thynges Christ wente aboute to correcte: He condemned not the woman, for that he was not a polleticall magistrate. He ac­cused her not to the Magistrates, because he tooke her not in adultery. Where­fore farasmuch as he was not a sufficiēt witnes, he was not bound by the law, to prosecute such an accusation. But that which pertayned to hys function, he left not vndone: for he admonished her, that she should afterward absteyn from sinne. Likewise when we see any wicked acte done by our neyghbour, God re­quirethWhat is to be done when we see the fauts of our neighbour. not, that we shoulde not iudge of it accordinge to the nature thereof. For woe be vnto vs (as sayth the Prophete) if wee shall call euill good. That whiche is euill oughte to be iudged, accordinge as it is. Neyther oughte we [Page] ether to suspende our iudgemente, or to turne away our eyes frō those things,How thys is to be vn­derstand, iudge not. whiche are in very deede euill. If that we shall feele our selues also, to be infec­ted with the selfe same fault, let vs discend into our selues, and with a due cha­stisement reproue our selues. And therebye shall it come to passe, that we our selues being by repentance corrected, may both, more vprightly, and also, wyth more fruyte, admonishe our brother, when he offendeth. Neyther againste this, is that sentence in the. 7. of Mathew: Iudge not, and ye shall not be iudged. Because in that place is not entreated of the taking away of brotherly admonicion: but onely the curiosity of the vngodly is there reproued, whiche aboundinge them­selues, in all manner of synnes, do most diligently search out the sinnes of other men: not to the entent to amend them, but to delighte themselues in the multi­tude of sinners, and because they thinke, that hauing company, theyr case is the better. The godly are not infected with this curiositie, as they which haue con­tinually their eyes fixed vpon theyr owne sinnes, and dayly falles: so that they haue no leysure (vnles they offer themselues vnto them) to consider the faults of other men. Moreouer, they reioyce not, neyther delighte themselues in the con­demnation of theyr neighbours, especiallye that condemnation whiche is done rashely. For they know that theyr brother, forasmuch as he is of God, eyther stā deth to his Lord, or falleth. But we intreate now of priuate menne, and not of Magistrates or Pastors, whose parte is by office to be inquisitiue touching the life and manners of those, which be committed to theyr charge. Wherefore all men, as well subiectes, as magistrates, ought to iudge sinnes which are layde before them, by admonishing and punishinge, euery manne accordinge to hys office, leaste vices shoulde spreade to farre abroade. But thys thinge aboue others is diligentlye to be taken heede of, as Paule nowe teacheth, that wee winke not at those thynges whyche we our selues wickedlye committe. For as he sayth, In that we iudge an other, we condemne our selues. The selfe same sen­tence, whereby we punishe other men, striketh also our selues. And seing we can not escape our owne iudgement, how shal we escape the iudgement of God, which is according to truth? For then shall not that thinge happen whiche we see now doth, that in one and the selfe same kinde of crime one is condemned, and an other escapeth. Euen as our deedes are, so shall they be iudged. Now men spare themselues, and are seuere agaynst others. But so shall it not be in the iudgement of God. It resteth therefore, that we execute the selfe same seue­rity vpon our selues, which we vse in iudging of other men. Which thing how little the aduersaries of religion do performe, hereby it is manifest, in that theyPapistes in what things they con­demne vs and flatter thēselues. euery where crye out agaynst the mariages of priestes, because they seeme vn­to them vnpure: but in the meane tyme while they ouerpasse themselues, being ouerwhelmed with all kynde of filthy lustes. They make exclamation, that vowes are not performed: and they consider not what they haue promised vnto God in Baptisme. They complayne, that fastes, which men haue commaun­ded, are not kept: and they neuer make an ende of their bankettinges and deli­cious feastinges. They make lamentacion, that the sacramentes are vnwor­thely neglected of our men: when as they themselues with their lyes of transub­stāciation haue hitherto sold them, mangled them, and filthyly deformed them.

The summe of Paules doctrine is, that we iudging others, shoulde discend into ourselues: for that it is most certayne, that the iudgement of God shalbe according to truth. Therefore we must to our power endeuour our selues, to make our life and maners acceptable before so great a iudge.

But this sentence to sinne, and to consent vnto sinners.] which before he obiected to the vngodly, semeth to be repugnant vnto that, which he afterwardThe selfe same mē are both seuete agaynst o­thers▪ and towardes their owne they are most fauorable. speaketh, namely, that they punished others, but spared themselues. For how do they consent vnto others which do euill, if by their iudgemente they con­demne them? but the apostle speaketh not generally. And the selfe same disease of selfe loue stirreth them vp, both to spare themselues, and also to supporte [Page 37] and mayntayne them, which are by any aliance knit vnto thē, whē as they are infected with the same vices, that they themselues are: but strangers and such as they beare no affectiō vnto, by their iudgemēt they most seuerely cōdemne, if at any tyme they commit any fault. Which thing is most playne in the history of Dauid. For when Nathan the prophet had accused before him, the cruell act ofAn example of Dauid the riche man, the kinge burst forth strayght way into these wordes, he is the sonne of death, which hath committed this acte. Vnto whome the prophet declared, that he himselfe was the man, which had committed this so haynous an act. He was seuere against an other mā, and had yet, neuertheles so lōg time wincked at himselfe, hauing committed the like fault.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodnes, patience and leni­ty, not knowing that the goodnes of God leadeth thee to repen­tance? But thou after thyne hardnes, and hart that cannot repent, heapest vnto thy selfe wrath agaynst the day of wrath, and of the declaration of the iust iudgement of God, who will render vnto euery man according to his workes.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodnes, patience, and lenity?] In ampli­fiingHow the scripture vseth thys word riches. and setting forth the wonderfull and excellent proprieties of God, the scripture very oftentymes vseth this word riches, notwithstanding that the goodnes of God is not limited or bound in, with any endes, but much excedeth copia cornu as Latine men vse to speake, that is, all kinde of plentifulnes. Neither is goodnes in this place all one with vprightnes, iustice, and temperance: but is a redines, and an endeuour to helpe our neighbour. For thys Greke word, [...], is deriued of profite and commoditye. This bountifulnes of God, Christ partly touched, when he sayd, that God our Father maketh his sunne to arise vpon the good and the euill, and the rayne, to rayne vpō the iust and the vniust. Paule also partly here expresseth it, when he sayth, that God with long suffering beareth with the wickednes of men. For in this place Paule ouerthro­weth an other foundacion, whereunto the vngodly lening, perswaded them­selues,The ground of the vngod­ly, whereby they pro­mise vnto themselues to escape vnpunished that they should escape vnpunished, for that God differreth to inflict hys punishementes. This commeth not hereof sayth he, because God neglecteth these thinges: or that he will haue them to go vnpunished: but with lenity and pacience he suffreth for a tyme: otherwise, whē he seeth hys tyme he will seuere­ly auenge them. And this word, long suffering, is of great efficacy to moue our myndes: as though it were paynfull vnto God to suffer our iniquityes. For we are not sayd to beare and tolerate, but only such thinges, which of their own nature are both odious and troublesome. Which kindes of speach we haue first in Esay the Prophete, when he sayd vnto the vngodly king Achab: Is it a small matter vnto you of the house of Dauid, that ye are greuous vnto men, but ye must be greuous also vnto God? And the same Prophet bringeth in God speaking of the sacrifices and obseruations of the vngodly, that he could no longer suffer thē, but that it was a payne for hym to suffer them. For they being voyde of fayth and piety gaue themselues whole vnto ceremonies. And Dauid, in his Psalme, writeth that God complayneth, that by the space of 40. yeares the generation of Israell was greuous vnto him in the wildernes: because they alwayes erred in their hart. And the patience of God, which should haue wrought in them re­pentaunce, through their owne default profited them not a whit. Which he now vpbraydeth, saying:

Knowest thou not that these thinges leade thee to repentance?] Augustine The long suffering of God is pro­fitable vn­to the elect and predes­tinate. noteth, that this taketh place as touching the elect and predestinate: whiche by this long suffring of God do at the length obtayne saluation, although, so long as they sinne, and do not spedely repent, as touching their owne part, they heape vnto themselues the wrath of God. But he forsaketh them not: without whose [Page] impulsion, spirite, and grace, his lenity and patience shoulde be in vayne. And that the repentance of them that fall, is to be ascribed vnto God, the E­pistleThe repē ­tance of thē that fall is of God. written vnto Timothe very euidently teacheth. For there he instructeth a Bishop, to obserue such a trade of teaching, that without contention he en­struct them, with whome he hath to do, if paraduēture God geue them grace to repēt.

Howbeit the differring of punishementes semeth of his owne nature to drawe men to returne vnto God: although in all men it hath not like efficacye. Wherefore, when we see some punished, and we our selues in the meane time spared, it is expedient that we shoulde diligently waye thys goodnes of God whereby he beareth with vs, to the ende we should correct our selues. Whiche thing Christ admonished vs of, when he sayde, when worde (was brought him of some which were killed with the fall of the tower of Syloa) Do ye thinke that Why God punisheth some and not all. they alone haue sinned? As though he woulde haue sayd. Not they alone haue de­serued that punishement, but many others ought to haue suffred the like: but God will shew forth certayne particular examples of hys iudgement, whiche one day shalbe generall. In deede, the punishement of the vngodly is differred: but it shall most certaynely come to passe at the tyme appoynted. The parable of the figge tree, which the goodman of the houshold commaunded to be cut downe, when it bare no fruite, admonisheth vs of this selfe same thing. The husbandman obtayned, that the cutting downe thereof, should be a litle while differred, or that he would donge it, and pruine it, if so paraduenture it would bring forth fruite. Whi [...]h thing if it did not, then should it not only be digged vp by the rootes, but also be throwen into the fyre. Here are we taught, notWhat is to be done to­ward our brethren when they sinne. strayght way to forsake our bretherne, when they offend, but patiently for a tyme to abyde: and that euen as God himselfe doth, so should we by benefytes prouoke them vnto repentance, not omitting in the meane tyme brotherly ad­monitions.

But this is worthy of noting, that in thys place is mencion made, thatGod puni­sheth the vngodly no [...] once but with a double pu­nishement. the selfe same men, which before he sayd were punished (when they were dely­uered vp to the lustes of their owne hart, and vnto shamefull affections, and also vnto a reprobate mynde) shall agayne be punished. Whiche therefore is done for that that fyrst kinde of punishement drew them vnto voluptuousnes, and pleasures. For he sheweth that it shall one day happen, that vengeaunce shall be taken vpon them, and that both great, and also most paynefull. ButA place of Nahum declared. how agreeth this with that, which Nahum the Prophet writeth in his first chap­ter? That iudgement is not geuen or punishement taken twise vpon one and the selfe same thing. Seing these men were punished once, why are they agayne punished? Vndoubtly, that sentence whiche is so common, that God punisheth not twise, is not so written in the Prophet: although it be so reade in the 70. Interpreters. The wordes are thus: what do ye thinke against the Lord? He will make an ende, neyther shall tribulatiō arise vp the second tyme? Which words some of the Hebrues (as Hierome telleth) interpret of the Assiriās: who whē they had it the first tyme gotten the victory against the kingdome of the tenne tribes, thought, that they could in like maner preuaile against the kingdome of Iuda. But that it should so come to passe, the Prophet denieth, and sayth, that after the first tribu­lation the secōd should not follow. This expositiō may in dede be borne withall. But there is an other which is more playne: namely, to say that these thinges are spoken agaynst Sinnecharib, which besieged Ierusalem: vnto whome God threatened a fall and through ouerthrow: I will (sayth he) so blot thee out, that I shall not neede to rise vp the second tyme agaynst thee. One plague shalbe sufficient: thou Vnto God is not prescri­bed a mea­sure of pu­nishemēts as though it were not lawfull for him to punishe but once. shalt be so vehemently afflicted with it. Neither dreamed the Prophet (as many mē fayne) that vnto God is prescribed a measure in punishmēts: as though it were not lawfull for him to punishe one and the selfe same man, any more then once. Which thing if we should graūt, we should say that ye Egiptiās, forasmuch as they were punished in the red sea, are now free frō hell fire. And that they which [Page 38] wickedly perished in Sodome & in the floud, are now at the length at rest. WhichThe punishmentes of the vngod­ly begin of­tentimes in this life, & they shallbe more gre­uously afflicted in the world to come. The saints are afflicted with the punishmentes of this lyfe onely. thinges without doubt are most absurd. For, as certein, in this life receaue the holy ghost and grace as an earnest peny of the felicity to come, as which shall re­ceiue reward both here & in the world to come, so may it be contrariwise, that the punishments of some, begin in this life, which shalbe increased in an other world, as it is to be thought that Herode, Nero, and Saule do now fele punishmentes far more greuous, then those which they here tasted of.

And yet in the meane tyme I deny not, but that God as touching his elect, is content with these paynes and punishmentes, which he inflicteth vppon them in this life. As Paule sayd vnto the Corinthians, that one among them shoulde be deli­uered vp vnto Sathan, that his spirit might be saued in the day of the Lord. And agayne he saith, that some are here corrected of the Lord, lest they should be con­demned with this worlde. But when God will deale after this sorte, or when he wil vse that seuerity to punish both here & afterward, it lyeth not in vs to know. Wherfore, according to the commaundement of Christ, he is alwayes to be fea­red: forasmuch, as he hath power both to kill the body, and also to cast the soule into hell fire. Howbeit this we may assuredly affirme, that they which beyng af­flicted do perish and repent not, shal be againe more greuously tormented, & those on the other side, which being admonished with afflictiōs, do returne vnto Christ shall, being sufficiently chastised with the punishmentes of this life, obteyne eternall saluation.

Wherfore, accordyng to that whiche we haue sayde, Paule admonisheth theseThe pati­ence of god portendeth not vnto the vngodly that they shall escape vnpunished men, that although after a sort they were punished, yet, vnles they repented, they should in the day of iudgement, be more greuously punished. And his meaning is that the patience of God, whereby he suffereth them, doth not portende that they should escape vnpunished, but geueth them occasion to begin truly to repent.

God is set forth to be both mercifull and good, but yet in such sort, that his long sufferyng and patience haue endes & limites. And by reason of this differryng of punishmentes which happeneth in thys lyfe, the Apostle is compelled to make mē tion of the last iudgement. Otherwyse, forasmuch as in this lyfe many are passed ouer vnpunished, & others are most seuerely delt with all. God might be thought to deale vniustly. Wherfore he vrgeth them wyth the feare of the last iudgement and affirmeth that the differryng of vengeaunce bryngeth more greuous punish­mentes. Which thyng Ʋalerius Maximus, an Ethenike writer speaketh of, that God by the greuousnes of the punishment, recompenceth the long delaying ther­of. Wherby it is playne, that Paule, disputing against the Ethenikes, which knewThe knowledge of the iudgement to come, is naturally grafted in men. not the holy scriptures, reproued them by those thynges, which might be known by the lyght of nature. Wherfore there is a certayne naturall knowledge grafted in the hartes of men, touchyng the iudgement of GOD to come after thys lyfe: which thyng the fables also of the Poetes declare, whiche haue placed Minoes, Radamanthus, and Eacus as iudges in hel. Wherfore they shall be more greuous­ly punished, which haue bene the longer borne withall: because the contempt of God addeth no small waight vnto theyr sinnes: which contempt semeth to haue crept into them, whilest they so long tyme despised his lenitie and patience.A hard hart

But thou after thyne hardnes, and hart that can not repent, heapest vnto thy selfe wrath in the day of wrath.] An hard hart is that, which is not softenedWherof re­bellion a­gainst God springeth. by the benefites of God, nor broken by hys threateninges nor feare of punish­mentes. And this rebellion agaynst God we draw vnto vs, partely by originall sinne, and partly by custome of sinnyng: so that now we are in a manner without any kynde of felyng. To beleue vprightly, forasmuch as it is a vertue, hath two extremities. On the one side, there is so great facility, that some wyll beleue euery thing, whether it be an inuention of mā, or superstitiō, or the word of God: whichIn bele­uing, the meane is to be kept, and two extre­mities are to be taken hede of. vndoubtedly is a vyce. On the other side there is so great difficulty to beleue, that they will not admit, no not euen that which is playne by the worde of God, vnles theyr owne reason be satisfied therein. Betwene these two daungerous extremities there is a certayne meane, that we should heasely beleue those thinges which are to be beleued, whē they are godly offred vnto vs, vsing therin a diligēt trial of [Page] the holy scriptures. For all thinges are to be examined by that rule. Paule vseth this Greke worde, [...], which signifieth to lay aside, or to lay vp in store. For we commonly vse to lay vp in our treasures those thinges whiche we will not vse presently, but will afterward vse them at some other conuenient tyme. And this very well fitteth with these vngodly ones. For then they felte not the anger of God, which yet afterward they shall feele: and that so muche the more aboundantly, as riches are more plentifull, whiche are continually euery day heaped vp together. He prudently & warely sayth, that these men heaped vp vn­to themselues, wrath: that they should not impute these punishmentes vnto the cruelty of God. By this kinde of speach he teacheth, that it was they themselues which brought this mischiefe vpon themselues. And this woord of heapinge vp treasure, is oftentimes vsed in the holye scriptures. In Deut: the 32. chap: God sayth touchinge the transgressions of the Israelites, that they were sealed vp in This Me­taphore of heaping vp treasure is oftentymes vsed in the holy scrip­tures. What the day of wrath is. hys treasures. Ieremy also in the 50. chap: threateneth, that God wyll poure out the treasure of his wrath, and indignation. And that which is added:

In the day of wrath.] And y happeneth somtimes in this life, when God semeth, that he will not suffer any longer, and sheweth foorth some tokens of his seue­rity: which thing we see happened in the captiuitie of Babilon, in the euersion of Sodome, and destruction of the Egiptians. And the Prophets euery where describe the most bitter punishments of God by this title, that they be layd vp in store a­gainst the day of wrath. And wrath is here taken for vengeaunce, by that kinde of figure, wherby that which followeth, is expressed by that which goeth before. But it fitteth beste, to referre those thinges, whiche are here described, vnto the last day of iudgement: which he expresseth by three notes. Firste by wrath, se­condly by reuelation, and lastly by iustice. Vengeaunce he ascribeth vnto God:Three notes of the laste iudge­ment. least it should be thought a thing of smal waight: He addeth also reuelation, be­cause here thinges are hidden: but there all thinges shalbe made manifeste. He putteth thereunto also this word [...], that is, iustice: least (as Chrisostome noteth) some should perswade themselues, that the iudgemente of God shoulde proceede from an angry minde. Vndoubtedly there shalbe shewed a most grie­uous vengeaunce: but yet such a one as shal haue ioined with it iustice. Wher­fore we ought to haue that iudgemēt cōtinually before our eies: neither at any time to take vpon vs, any dueties or actions, but that our mind be euer turned vnto it. And this is to walke before God: whiche thinge as Abraham was com­maunded to do, so is the same most oftentimes required at our handes. And to walke before God is nothing els, then to thinke, that he doth moste intentiuelye behold whatsoeuer thinges we do. But alas, it is wonderfull to see, howe thisTo walke before the Lord. thinkinge vpon the iudgemente to come, is taken awaye from the sighte of the vngodlye.

VVho shall render vnto euery man according to his woorkes.] When he sayth, that vnto euery manne shalbe rendred, it plainelye signifieth, that none shall escape this iudgemente. In the iudgementes of men, it oftentimes happe­neth, that one is punished, and an other, is not so muche as accused. He addeth: According to their workes, to geue vs to vnderstād, that there shalbe no accep­tion of persons. There shalbe consideration had of the causes onelye, and not ofGod hath a considera­tion vnto the cause and not vn­to men. Moses vn­derstoode that the mercy of God is tempered wyth iustice. men. Of what state or condicion so euer they be, they shalbe iudged accordinge to theyr woorkes and deedes. In deede the mercy of God is now large: but yet in such sort, that the seueritie of iustice is not wantinge. Moses, although he had heard manye proprieties of God whiche serued to expresse his goodnes and cle­mency, that is, that he is mercifull, gentle, slow vnto anger, riche in mercy and truth, whiche reserueth goodnes or mercye for a thousande generacions, yet at the end added, that God wil not pronounce the wicked man an innocent: & that he visiteth the sinnes of the fathers vpon the children vnto the third and fourth generacion. But because they whiche attribute ouermuche vnto woorkes, and trust that by them to obteyne eternall life, are wont very often to alledge thys [Page 39] place. I haue thought it good briefely to declare, what is to be thoughte concer­ningOf works. workes. But we shal afterward, more at large set foorth and declare this thing, when we shall haue occasion to entreat of iustification. And those things whiche shall now be briefely spoken, we will afterward more largely discourse by partes seuerally. First, this is to be knowen, that we deny not that whych isBetwene our good workes & eternall fe­licitye there is no iust proportion. There are no good woorkes without fayth. Those thinges which are promised vnto works we obteyne by fayth. The causes of our saluation. Why God attributeth honor vnto woorkes. The words of the last iudgement are diligently examined here written, that vnto euery man shalbe rendred accordinge to hys woorkes: But there is not so muche good in good woorkes, as eternall felicitie is good. Yea, ther is betwene these, a greater difference, then betwene heauē and earth. Moreouer, there are no woorkes to be counted good, which lene not vnto faith, and haue not it for the roote, from whence they should spring foorth. Therfore that which seemeth to be promised vnto workes, the same in very deede we ob­taine by fayth, which is garnished with those workes. And because fayth taketh hold of the mercy of God, and promises in Christ, therfore throughe mercy and Christ, whiche are the obiectes of faith, shall we be made blessed. These are the true and chiefest causes of eternall life: the clemency (I say) of God, election, pre­destinacion and the merites of Christe. But God in the holye scriptures often­times addeth woorkes, thereby to stirre vs vp, beinge otherwise sluggishe and slouthfull, to lyue vprightly. And he adorneth woorkes with this kinde of honor, that he promiseth vnto them excellent rewardes. Whiche thing if we will more narrowly consider, let vs wyth diligence weigh, what the most high iudge shal in the last iudgemente, saye. For he will make examination of good workes, & will say that he was fed with meate and drinke, and visited &c. But after thys commendation of woorkes, when he iudgeth vnto the sayntes the kingdome and eternall life, he expresseth the principallest cause, that maketh vs happy & blessed. For he sayth, Come ye blessed of my Father, and possesse the kingdome whiche was prepared for you before the beginning of the worlde. These he pronounceth to be the causes of our blessednes; namely, that we are deare vnto God, and haue ge­uen vnto vs the blessinge of predestination and election. And therfore sayth he, that the kyngdome was prepared for vs, from the beginninge of the worlde. Woorkes in deede are to be had, but not as causes. Therefore Christ admoni­shedWorks are not the cau­ses of our felicity. A place of Luke. How we are called vnprofita­ble seruāts. vs, saying, When ye haue done all these thinges, say, we are vnprofitable seruants, we haue done but those thinges, which we ought to do. Neither passe wee any thynge vpon theyr caueling which say, that therfore we are vnprofitable seruantes, be­cause out good woorkes do bringe no commoditie vnto God: Forasmuche as God needeth none of our good workes. But say they, it ought not to be denied but that we are by good workes profitable vnto our selues. We graunt indede that it is profitable vnto vs, that we liue well. But that vtility is not to be at­tributed vnto our workes, that they should be causes of our blessednes to come. For we haue nothing in vs, whereby we can make God obstricte and bounde vnto vs. For whatsoeuer we do, the same do we wholy owe vnto God, and aWe cannot by workes binde God vnto vs. great deale more then we are able to performe. Wherefore as Christ admoni­sheth, The Lord geueth not thankes vnto his seruant, when he hath done his duety. And if the seruaunt by well doing cannot binde his Lord to geue him thankes, how shall he binde him to render vnto him great rewardes? Therefore the name ofThe name of merits ought to be abolished. merite, if we will speake properlye, oughte vtterlye to be banished out of our mouthes. I know that the Fathers sometimes vsed that word, but yet not pro­perly. But that woord is not found at al in the holy scriptures. For the nature of merite is, that there be a iust proportion and equall consideration betweeneThe nature of merite that which is geuen, and that which is taken. But betwene the good thinges, which we looke for, and those thinges which we eyther suffer or do, there is no proportion or agreemente. For Paule sayth: That the passions, of thys time are not woorthy the glory to come whiche shalbe reueled in vs. Farther, merite hath ioyned vnto it debt, whych thynge Paule testifyeth, when he sayth, That vnto hym whych woorketh rewarde is rendred accordinge to debte, and is not imputed accordyng to grace. Which selfe same Paul yet writeth expressedly, that the grace of God is eternall life. [Page] Lastlye vnto the nature of merite there is required, that that whiche is geuen pertayne vnto the geuer, and be not due vnto hym whyche receaueth it. But woorkes are not of our selues, for they are called the giftes of God, whiche he woorketh in vs. Wherefore Augustine very wisely sayth: That God doth crowne his giftes in vs. Now if our woorkes be due vnto him (whiche thinge we cannot deny) then vndoubtedly the nature of merite is vtterly taken awaye. Eternall life is sometimes in the holy scriptures called a reward: But then is it not thatHow eter­nall lyfe is sometymes called a re­ward. How bles­sednes fol­loweth good woorkes. reward, which Paule writeth to be geuen according to debte: but is all one as if it shoulde be called a recompensation. Gods will and pleasure was, that there shoulde be this connexion, that after good woorkes shoulde follow blessednes: but yet not as the effecte followeth the cause, but as a thinge ioyned with them by the appointmente of God. Therefore we may not truste vnto woorkes, for they are feeble and weake, and do alwayes wauer and stagger. Wherfore the promises of God depende not of them: neither haue they in themselues, as they come from vs, that they can moue God to make vs blessed. We say therefore, that God iudgeth according to woorkes, because accordinge as they are eyther good or euill, we shall obtayne eyther eternall life or eternall damnation. But thereby it followeth not, that woorkes are the causes of our saluation. Our sense iudgeth, that these two thinges are repugnant the one to the other: that a thinge shoulde be geuen freely, and yet neuertheles workes should be required.These thinges are not repug­nant, that blessednes is geuen frely, and yet goodworks required. But yet is not this iudgement true. For they most aptlye agree together, as it shall afterward in hys place be declared. We haue nowe sufficiently spoken as touchyng this kynde of speache vsed of Paule and of the Scripture. And those thinges which we haue nowe alleaged, shall in their places be more diligently examined euery one by themselues.

Vnto them which by patience in well doyng seke glory and ho­nour, and immortality: eternall lyfe. But vnto them that are con­tentious, and disobey the truth, and obey vnrighteousnes: indigna­tion and wrath. Tribulation and anguish vppon the soule of euery man that doth euill, of the Iewe first and also of the Grecian. But vnto euery one that doth good: glory, honour, and peace, vnto the Iewe first and also vnto the Grecian. For there is no respect of persons before God.

Vnto those which by patiēce in wel doing, seke glory, & honor, & immortality: lyfe eternall.] Ambrose readeth, that glory & honour, & immortality, shalbe ren­dered vnto them which seke for eternall lyfe. Which thyng wycked men do not, who rather labour by all meanes to aduaunce themselues vnto the honours, ri­ches and pleasures of this world, which is to liue wickedly. But godly and holy men do seke eternall lyfe, that they may redely moue themselues to knowe and to loue God, to worship hym, and to deserne well of their neighboures. Whiche selfe thing is eternall lyfe, but yet as now begon: and shal be accomplished in an other world. The scripture vseth by eternall life to signify the blessednes whichLife is a thing excel­lent. we loke for. For among other thinges, life (as Aristotle writeth in hys Politikes) hath in it selfe many commodities. And therfore men suffer many and greuous thinges to retayne it still: vnlesse peraduenture beyng ouercome with the bur­then of miseries, they wishe for death. But this is the playner readyng, to say, that God geueth eternall lyfe vnto those, whiche by patience in well doyng doo seke glory, honour, and immortality. Vndoubtedly the saintes in liuyng well, do seke to be renewed vnto the image of God, after which followeth glory, ho­nour and immortality. And immortality is set in the last place, lest they should be thought to seke the glory and honor of this world. For those things do quick­ly perish: and are offred by those men, which are easely chaunged: and we which [Page 40] receaue them here, haue but a short tyme to lyue here. But those thinges which we seke for, are euerlastyng and immortall.

By patience in well doyng.] This he therefore saith, because as he writeth in an other place, They which will liue godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution. And notWhy pati­ence is re­quired in wel doyng. only the deuill & our flesh, but also wicked men do withstand good workes. And forasmuch as among good workes these are the principallest, wherby we helpe our neighbours to the obteynement of true, sound, and firme good thinges, by teachyng, admonishing and correctyng them, therfore vnto them aboue other thinges we apply our selues. But they on the other side doe sometimes take it greuously, and do stirre vp persecutions agaynst vs, as it happened vnto yt Prophetes, Apostles, and Martyrs. But we ought not for all that to cease. Augustine in his 50. epistle willed that the Donatistes, although they wickedly and cruelly raged against the Catholikes, should yet not be forsaken. And he bringeth a si­militudeA similitut [...] of horses and mules, which kicke and bite, when their sores are in cu­ring, and yet men cease not from healyng them. Which duety if it be performed vnto beastes, vndoubtedly much more ought it to be performed vnto men. It is assuredly a thing very hard, with a valiaunt mynde to suffer lettes and impedi­ments, which hinder good workes. But all thynges whiche are excellent are harde. And forasmuch as we all in a maner desire eternall lyfe, we ought to take vpō vs this patience in well doyng. And it is not from the purpose to consider, howeWhat is suffering. the saintes may clayme vnto themselues this patience, forasmuch as we dayly sinne: and if we shall say that we haue no sinne, we deceaue our selues. We aunswere,Two kinds of fallinge. that there are two kinds of fallings. There are certain which are in a manner dayly, comming from a wicked lust, which is grafted in vs by reasō of original sinne: which also therfore is yet of force in the regenerate, because they are not yet fully restored, neyther do they alwayes behaue themselues according to the principle and ground of regeneration. They are by reason of infirmity and vn­discretenes rapt and violently drawen by the enticements of this worlde: but it alwayes greeueth them, they resiste, and desire to be rid therof. Therefore they say together with Paul: Now not I woorke it, but sinne which dwelleth in me. Wherfore so longe as they be so affected, and that they cease not of from endeuouring themselues to fullfyll the will of God, they are sayde to perseuer, and to excer­cise pacience in well doynge. But when they fall into more heynouser sinnes, as did Dauid and Peter, then thys longe sufferynge is somewhat interrupted: but because (forasmuch as they pertayne vnto the elect) they are called backe to repentance, they are forgeuen that which they haue committed, and God no more imputeth it vnto them. Therefore they are iudged according to the good workes which they haue done before the fall, and do after the fall: so that that cutting of of the perseuerance, which is now blotted out by repentance, remay­neth no more. Now we will also entreate of those, whiche in the last tyme ofWhether they which when they dye do re­pent shalbe iudged ac­cording to their workes. The thife wanted not good workes their life repent: which as it should seeme cannot be iudged according to their good workes, whereof before they had none: neyther vnto them can be attri­buted patience, and long suffering in well doing.

But it is to be noted, that fayth can neuer be without good workes. Ther­fore these men, if they beleue, although they repent in the last houre, yet vn­doubtedly shall they not be without good workes. Which thinge the example of the thiefe declareth, who repented in a maner at the very poynt of death, and was saued. For he, being conuerted vnto God, confessed Christ, acknowledged hys sinnes, exhorted his neighbour, and ernestly prayed for the obteynement of hys owne saluation. By all which thinges we may see, how diligently & ernest­ly if he had had space to liue, he would haue applied himselfe vnto good works. What shall we say to infantes, which dye in Christ. They, forasmuch as by reason of age they are as yet not able to do any thing, are to be exempted out of the number of them, vnto whome shalbe rendred according to their workes. For Paule speaketh of them whiche be of full age, who mought haue brought [Page] forth good workes. And that which Chrisostome writeth, that this place teacheth vs, not in any wise to put our trust in fayth only, forasmuch as before ye iudge­ment seate of God, workes also shalbe examined, this his saying (I say) must be warely taken. For true fayth neuer wanteth iust workes. But Chrisostome in that place taketh fayth, for that credulity whiche wicked men oftentymes boast of: which is rather an opinion and vayne perswasion, then that it can be called fayth: which selfe same, Iames calleth a dead fayth. And forasmuch as itA deade sayth is no fayth. is sayd to be deade, it can in no case be true fayth. As that man which certayn­ly is dead, is no more sayd to be a man. Wherefore Ambrose vpon thys place hath made the thing playne, saying: That we haue neede not only of profession, but also of good life. Wherefore where men do worke wickedly, and yet in the meane tyme boast of fayth, it is rather a vayne profession, then a Christian fayth.

But vnto those that are contentious, and which obey not the truth, but o­bey vnrighteousnes.] Here is expressed the other part of iustice, namely, that whereby sinners are most worthely punished. And by two signes he expressethTwo notes whereby the vngod­ly are ex­pressed. A wicked kinde of contēcion. such as are wicked, in that as touching rules of doctrine: they are contentious: and as touching maners, they obey not the truth, but vnrighteousnes. Con­tention which is here ment, is when a thing without iust cause, and with a more vehement strife then is nedefull is taken in hand to be defended. And of­tentymes it happeneth, that contentions men labour to defend that, which in their mynde and conscience they beleue not to be true: but only study to get the victory. Wherefore they do nothing with any mediocritye, but altogether with most vehemency and they are so tossed with the perturbation of the mynde that they alwayes farther and farther depart frō the truth. Howbeit there is someA certayne contention laudable. kynde of contention, which is pardonable, namely that which is taken in hād for the defence of the truth. And such contention is without obstinacy, whiche thing we may behold in Paule. For he, as soone as he knew himselfe to be de­ceaued, abode not still stubburnely in hys purpose: but strayght waye sayde, Lord, what wilt thou that I shall do? But these men whom God will thus punishe, are in prosecuting their matters not a whit better then they were in rules of doctrine, because they obey not the truth which they know: yea rather they hold it captiue with themselues, as we haue before hard: and are obedient vnto vn­righteousnes. For truth and lust are euer present with men, to geue counsell andTwo per­petuall counsellers of men. perswade them in intreating of matters. In the wicked the worser counseller namely lust, prenayleth: and so they are miserably deceaued. Which thing the Apostle expresseth in hys latter Epistle to the Thessalonians the second chapiter: where he writeth, that Antichrist shall come with power, with signes, and lying waytes, and with all maner of deceite of vnrighteousnes in those which perishe: because that they receaued not the loue of the truth, to the ende they mought haue bene saued. Therefore shall God send vpon them the efficacy of illusion, to beleue lyes. But this vn­righteousnes, which they obey, is afterward in the 7. chapiter called The law of the members, namely, because wicked luste is, from the fall of the first pa­rentes, ingenerate in men, and is obiected to our mynd by the ministery of Sathan who vseth it as a most apte instrument for his purpose.

Vnto these mē (I say) shalbe indignatiō, & anger, & afflictiō, & anguish against euery soule of man that committeth euill, of the Iew first, and also of the Grecian. Betwene [...], that is, indignation, and [...], that is, anger, semeth to be a dif­ference, for that [...], it is a more vehementer impulsion or motion, and [...], a more easier: which differences yet haue no place in the high iudge. For God is not troubled with these affections. But the scripture vseth thys trope or fy­gure, to set forth the vengeance whiche followeth these thinges: whiche after­ward is expressed, in that he addeth, Affliction and anguishe. And as touching anguishe, which in Greke is called [...], we must vnderstand, that the minde of man delighteth in liberty. Wherefore whē we are brought to such a straight, that we can not by any meanes, eyther moue our selues or els fynde a way out, [Page 41] thinke we to be most greuous vnto vs. And by these wordes is described the great punishement, and a desperation of the felicity to come.The soule signifieth man.

Agaynst euery soule] There are some which by this place argue, that ther­fore is mencion made of the soule, because the affliction thereof shalbe a greate deale more greuous then the affliction of the body. But me thinketh it is more playne to say, that after the Hebrewe maner by the soule is signified, the whole man, or to speake more vprightly, all the powers and partes of man. Neyther doth this any thing let, that here in the texte man is put in the genetiue case, and because the Iew and the Grecian is here expressed. For, that tendeth to thys ende, to comprehend all mankinde: whiche Paule deuideth into two partes, so that some he calleth Iewes, and other some Grecians, namely the Gentiles, as ma­nyHe begin­neth to re­prehend the Iewes. as were not subiect vnto the law of Moses. And here the Apostle beginneth to ioyne the Iewes to the selfe same reprehension, which he vsed agaynst the Gen­tiles, because he entendeth to reproue them also. And easely by litle and litle he turneth his speach vnto thē, vnto whom hereafter by name he speaketh, whē not much afterwarde he saith, Behold thou art called a Iew, and restest in the law &c. HeWhy the first place is assigned vnto the Iewes. therefore geueth the fyrst place vnto the Iewes, because in the knowledge and vnderstanding of God and of righteousnes they had the principalitye, if they be compared with other nations. Further forasmuch as Paule came of their kin­red, here hearseth them in the first place, least he should seeme to spare his owne, when as he had sharpely reproued the Ethnikes. It was meete also that they shoulde be named before Gentiles, to the ende they mought the more gree­uously be accused, and more sharpely punished, for that they were not ignorant both of the true God, and of the religion due vnto hym.

But glory, honour and peace to euery one that worketh good, to the Iewe first and also to the Grecian.] These wordes are so playne, that they neede no exposition. Onely thys thynge let vs note, that thys repeticion of felicity which abideth the godly, tendeth to thys ende, that they being allured with the hope thereof, might the more earnestly repent.

For there is no respect of persons before God.] As touching Paules methodeThe met­hode of the reprehensi­on past. in this reprehension of the Ethnikes, it is after this maner: As concerning the the fyrst part of knowledge, which is called contemplation, he hath proued that they knew God by the creatures, but when they knew him they worshipped hym not as they ought to haue done. Therefore when they had geuen the glory of God vnto Idols, they were delyuered vp by him vnto the lustes of their owne hart, vnto shamefull affections, and into a reprobate mynde. Moreouer as touching the other knowledge which consisteth in the doing of workes, he sheweth, that they knew right well the iustice of God. And that he thereby proueth in that they iudged vprightly, in geuing sentence vpon other men. But that which they so well knew, they performed not at all. For both they themselues lyued wickedly, and partly they consented vnto them which sinned and partly in seuerely punishing of others, they ouerhipped themselues. Which men he terrefied, in declaryng vnto them, that they should not escape the iudgement of God. And because they beleued not that the iudgement of God shoulde euer come, and that the prouidence of God had no care of thinges humane, because they saw by experience, that God ceassed from punishing wickednes: against the first reason he layeth, that we knowe assuredly that the iudgement of God shalbe without doubt agaynst those which do such thinges: as touching the other reason, he sayd, that this long tarying of God shalbe recompensed with sharpenes of the punishement. Whiche yet in the meane tyme is to thys ende proftiable vnto them, that they might haue space to repent. Whiche thing if they do not they shall fall into the horrible iudgement of God. Of whiche iudgement he sayth, that he shall render vnto euery man according to their workes. And he deui­ded it into partes, namely, what the godly and what the vngodly shall looke for, and added moreouer, that neyther affection nor fauour shall there be of any [Page] force: and made equal the Iewes with the Gētiles, & the Gētiles with the Iewes wherof he now bringeth a reason, for that before God, there is no respect of persons. Whether God haue a respect vn­to persons. This I thought good the more largely to repeat, that the methode of those things which are spoken, might be throughly vnderstanded. But now let vs sée whether this be altogether true, that God accepteth not persons, which is to deale in the cause according to the worthines or vnworthines thereof, not hauing regarde to the conditions or states of them which are to be iudged. It semeth vndoubtedly that God hath a respect vnto persons, bicause he gaue vnto the Iewes many good thinges, and that for this cause, namely, for that they pertained vnto Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, and because they were of their séede & stocke. Yea when the peo­ple had made a calfe, and deserued worthely all of them to be destroyed, Moses An exāple of Moses. prayed vnto the Lord, and although he confesseth that the cause deserued destruction, yet he desireth pardon for them, for Abraham, Isaac, & Iacobs sake, of whose stocke they came. And so he layd before God, not the cause, but the person. Yea, and in the 89. Psalme we reade of the séede of Dauid, that although they had pro­phanedA place of Dauid. the testament of God, and had forsaken his wayes, he would in déede vi­site them with the rod: Howbeit for hys seruaunt Dauid sake, he would not take from them his mercy, Is not this to accept persons? and not to weigh the causes? And inA place of the ten commaunde­mentes. An exāple of the So­domites. the ten commaundementes we reade, that he will do good vnto a thousand generati­ons of them that feare hym and kepe hys commaundement. And God was contente to spare the Sodomites, if there had bene but ten iust men amongest them. And he gaue vnto Paule all them that were in shippe, when they were in daunger of ship wracke. Neither spared he them for the iustnes of the cause, but because they say­led in the fame ship together with Paule. To the ende these thinges may be moreWhat a person is. throughly vnderstanded, we must first declare what is in this place vnderstan­ded by the name of a person. And that is nothyng els, as we now speake of it, then the condition or state, or a certaine quality geuen vnto vs, either of God through nature, or receiued by election. Of the first kinde are these, to be a man, or a wo­man: a father or a sonne: of this nation or of that: to be borne a prince or a subiect, a frée man or a bondeman, and suche other lyke, taken. But these are taken of our owne will and accord, to be a minister of the church, to be a souldier or a handicraftes man, and such other lyke. In summe, a person consisteth by comparyng of a man, either vnto an other man, or els vnto certaine thinges or faculties. For if Abraham be referred vnto Isaac, he is his father: if Salomon be referred vnto the Israelites, he is their kyng, if Aristotle be compared, vnto sciences, he is bothe learned, and also a Philosopher: if Cresus vnto riches, he is riche: vnto which selfe same riches, if Irus be referred, he is a begger. So haue we what a person signifi­eth. Now let vs sée the differences of persons. There are certayne persons whichCertayne persōs may want good workes but some o­ther cannot may vtterly be wythout good workes, as the person of a father, or of a brother, of a riche man, or of a poore man. But certayne cannot alwayes want good workes: as are the elect, the predestinate, the members of Christ, the faithfull, the partes of the church, and such other lyke. For it is not possible, that such men, althoughe they sometymes fall, should vtterly be without good workes.

Thirdly, there are some persons so ioyned vnto the causes, that the cause can not be iudged, vnles there be a respect had vnto the person. As when one striketh a man whiles he executeth the office of a magistrate: or if he which liueth wickedly be a minister of the church, and such lyke. As touching those persons which are not vtterly without good workes, and which are necessary for our saluation, God hath so a respect vnto them, that if without thē we shall appeare before hys iudgement seat, we cannot be saued. But of this kynd of persons, this sentence of Paul is not to be vnderstand. But as touching those persons, whiche haue not eyther good or euill workes of necessity ioyned with them, we answer, that if the causes be so annected, that in iudgement they either aggrauate or extenuate the person, then of necessity there must be a respect had vnto the person. Because accordyng to the saying of the Gospell, That seruaunt shall be more greuously punished whiche knoweth the wyll of his Lord and transgresseth it, then he which sinneth ignorauntly. Wherfore there remaineth, that this place of the Apostle be vnderstanded of such [Page 24] persons as are seioyned from causes. Farther there is to be put great differencePersons free from causes. Besides iudgemente somethinge may be ge­uen vnto one man freely, and an other of the same state and condition omitted. betwene, to accept a person in iudgemēt, & besides iudgement to geue vnto som one man any thing freely, and not geuing to an other. For this latter parte, no man can iustlye accuse. As if a man hauyng two debters, shoulde requyre his debte of the one, and forgeue the other, he of whome the debte is required, hath no cause iustly to complaine of his creditour: So likewise God, althoughe he cal one, and calleth not an other, because no merites went before in neyther of them, cannot be called an accepter of persons. Neither, if in rewarding those which labored but one houre in the vineyard, he would geue as great a reward vnto those, and to them which had labored in it all the whole day, ought he to be reproued? Because he defrauded not these men of the hire, for whiche he agreed with them. And vnto the other he would geue freely, that whiche they deserue not. But then should there be iust cause to complayne, if a thing should be geuē vnto one man, and an other vnto whome the selfe same thing is due, should be defrauded. And after the selfe same manner, forasmuch as God is bounde vntoGod is bound to no man. no man, when he destributeth sondry giftes, it is lawfull for him to do with his owne what pleaseth him. For that in geuinge vnto some freely, he defraudeth not them of any thing due, whome he omitteth. These thinges hath Augustine against the two Epistles of the Pelagians, in his seconde booke and. 7. chap: vnto Bonifacius, where he thus writeth: Acception of persons is there rightlye sayde to be, where he which iudgeth, leauinge the deserte of the cause, whereof he iudgeth, geeueth iudgemente with the one, against the other: because he findeth some thinge in the person, which is woorthy either of honor or of compassion. And straight way, he bringeth the similitude of the two debters, and the parable of the vineyard, whereof we haue alredy spoken, and addeth: Euen as therfore here is no acception of persons, because one is in such manner freely honored, that an other is not defrauded of that his due: so also whē according to the purpose of God one is called, and an other is not called, vnto him that is called a good gift is frely geuē, of which good gift the calling is the cause, vnto him that is not called is rendred euill, because all men are guilty, for that by one man, sinne entred into the world. These are Augustines woordes, vnto which, to the ende we may ouer­throw the argumentes, which we haue before recited, this is to be added: That,Those thinges which God geueth vnto men he ge­ueth of hys mercy. whatsoeuer good thing God of his liberality geueth vnto menne, the same vn­doubtedly proceedeth of his mercy and clemencye. And althoughe sometimes he pronounceth, that he will do good vnto some, eyther for theyr progenitors sake, or els for theyr prayers, these thinges he therfore speaketh, to stirre vs vp to liue well. Neither are these promises to be vnderstanded of the whole kinred of the posterity, or vniuersally. For God accordinge to his secret predestination, hath his choyce in he seede of the saintes, and in hearing of prayers which are made out of other men: Which thing may be sufficiently confirmed by examples. For althoughe the seede of Abraham were blessed: yet that blessing had place in Isaac, and not in Ismael. The same promise was made vnto Isaac, but it was performed in Iacob, and not in Esau. The common wealth of the Iewes had a promes, that it shoulde be preserued: but that promes was performed in the kingdome of the house of Dauid, and not in the kingdome of the ten tribes. Wherfore, forasmuch as this choice, which is according to predestination, is vtterly vnknowne vntoThe choyce which con­sisteth in pred [...]stina­tion is both vnknowne vnto vs, & also leaneth not vnto persons. Two kinds of the bene­fites of God. vs, we oughte not to lene vnto the person. And it commeth to passe perpetually, that they which are so chosen of God, are also adorned with good works. Wher­fore God hath not a respect vnto the person: but as we haue sayd, iudgeth accor­ding to the woorkes. And how little a respect of persons he sometimes hath: the place in the. 14. chap: of Ezechiell declareth: where it is saide: That the earth shalbe destroyed, forasmuch as it hath bene altogether viciate and corrupte. And thoughe there stoode vp in it, Noah, Iob, & Daniell, vndoubtedly they shall not deliuer it, but shall de­liuer theyr owne soules onely. Farther the benefites of God are eyther but for a time, whiche pertaine vnto this life: or els they are eternall, whiche belong vnto the chief felicity, of which Paule now intreateth. Who affirmeth that without [Page] respecte of persōs it shal by the iust iudgemēt of God be either rendred or denied. But as touchinge commodities, whiche dure but for a time, we doubt not but that God vseth sometimes, either to hasten or to slacken them, at the prayers of holy men: which selfe thinge he attributeth also vnto the seede of the saints. But in this doing, he eyther prouoketh men to repentaunce, or els by his lenitye they bringe vnto thēselues greater punishment. But as touching the eternal & chief felicitie, we haue now declared, y God hath made no promise generally for the sauing of any posteritie. Therefore the Iewes deserued woorthely to be repro­ued, for that they promised vnto themselues onely so greate a thinge as thoughe for that they were of the seede of Abraham, they coulde not perishe: paule in thysThere is no generall promes for the sauinge of any posterity as tou­ching eter­nall life. selfe same Epistle the. 9. chap: most manifestly declareth, That not all they whyche are of Israell are Israelites, neyther because they were the sede of Abraham, therfore they were straight way all sons. But by Isaac (sayth he) shall thy seede be called, That is, Not they whiche are the children of the fleshe are the children of God: but the children of the promes, are counted for the seede. This sentence of the Apostle testefieth that whiche we haue sayd, namely, that the promises of God in this kinde were singuler, and not vniuersal. And it is for certaine, that in those which are chosen to saluacion, are vndoubtedly found good workes, if they come vnto ful age. Wherfore theseThe elect if they come to full age, shall vn­doubtedly haue good woorkes. What Moses and the Pro­phets had a regarde vnto, when in theyr prayers they made mencion of the names of certain of the electe. thinges nothing let this sentence, which was alleaged, namely, that before God there is no acception of persons. And as often as we read in the prayers of Mo­ses, or of the Prophets, that mention is made of the Patriarkes, whereby they endeuoured themselues to prouoke God vnto mercy, we muste thinke that they had a regarde to two thinges. First, forasmuch as in that nation God had some appointed vnto himselfe, they desired that for theyr sakes he woulde spare the whole multitude. Secondlye, they attributed not these thinges vnto the merites of the saintes: which, as we haue sayd, are none: but they made mencion of the promises made vnto those Fathers. Hereby therefore it is manifeste by what meanes those thinges which were obiected may be aunswered. But nowe let vs retourne to the exposition of the woordes of Paule.

For as many as haue sinned without the law, shall perishe also without the law: and as many as haue sinned in the law, shalbe iudged by the law. For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God: but the doers of the law shalbe iustified.

For as many as haue sinned &c.] Paule here teacheth that God in very dede hath no respect of persons, neyther in iudgement doth iniury vnto any man. He maketh the Iewes equall with the Gentles: forasmuch as of ech nation, they which haue liued wickedly, shall perishe. And as touching the maner of iudge­ment, the Iewes which shalbe condemned, shalbe iudged by the law of Moses, because they shall haue it, both to accuse them and to condemne them. But the Gentiles being wicked, shall neither be accused nor condemned by that law, but by the light of nature and euen by their own cogitations. By the law in thys place we must vnderstand the law of Moses. For it only is perfect, and for it be­gan all the contencion: otherwise there were none, or very fewe nations, which were not gouerned by some institutions or lawes. Here are added two preuentions. The first is, that it mought haue semed wonderfull vnto the Iewes, that theyr cause should not be a whit better, forasmuch as they were adorned by God with the benefite of the law. Vnto whome, Paule answereth, that ther­by they were rather the more greuously to be accused, because before God, not they which heare the law shalbe iustefied, but they which do it. The other pre­uention is, for that it semed a hard thing vnto the Ethnikes, that they should pe­rishe, when as they wanted the law of God. Vnto whome he sayth, ye were not vtterly without a law. And two maner of wayes he proueth, that they had a law: fyrst in that by nature they did those thinges which are prescribed by the law: secondly, because they had within themselues their owne cogitations, mu­tually [Page 43] accusing them, or excusing them. As touching the Iewes, he sharpely re­proueth them, as which were of so small sound iudgement, that they iudged themselues to be therefore iustefyed, because they had receaued the lawe. And now he beginneth by litle and litle to come vnto them: which a litle afterward he doth more openly.

For (saith he) the hearers of the law shall not be iustified before God, but the doers]. He therefore saith before God, because they before mē wōderfully much boasted of the law, which they had receaued. God (sayth he) nothing regardeth this. For there shall not be required of you, that ye receaue the law, but that ye execute ye law. The discourse which now is in hād, is touching the righteousnesThe righ­teousnes of the law re­quireth deedes and workes. of the law, which alone they allowed. For touching the righteousnes of fayth he will afterward plainly entreate. Now he cutteth their throtes with theyr owne sword, in defining the righteousnes of the law, namely, that it vrgeth dedes, and requireth works to the fulfilling thereof. Whereby he calleth thē backe to consi­der their owne life. Neither saith he in the meane time, that mē cā not be other­wise iustified: but only sheweth vnto thē, that they haue fallē away frō the righ­teousnes of the law, wherof they so much boasted. That therfore which he now saith, hath this sence: If any man should by the righteousnes of the law be iusti­fied before God, it behoueth, that the same should fulfil ye law according to that saying: Cursed be he which abideth not in all the things which are writē in the booke of the lawe. This is an easy & plaine expositiō. But Augustine in his booke de Spiri­tu & litera ad Marcellinum, is of this minde: that the doers of the law are iusti­fied, but yet in such sort, that righteousnes goeth before the good works which the saintes do. For they are fyrst iust, before they do iust workes. But because he seeth that this word of iustifying is in the future tence, and by that meanes is signifyed that men shall not be iustefyed, vnles they fyrst haue good workes, therefore he addeth: that to be iustefied in this place, is not first to receaue righ­teousnes, but to be counted righteous: so that the sense is, they shalbe counted for righteous, which shalbe doers of the law, but they ought first by fayth to haue receaued righteousnes, whereby they were made iust: but afterward they shalbe made knowen by the effectes, & as they were before iust, so now shal they be counted for iust. And the like kinde of speach (sayth he) is in this sentence whenHalowed be thy name, how it is to be expounded, we pray, Thy name be sanctified. Where we desire not that the name of God should be made holy, as though before it were not holy: but we desire that it may be of men counted holy. This is Augustines exposition.

For when the Gentiles which haue not the law, do by nature the thinges contayned in the law, they hauing not the lawe, are a lawe vnto themselues, whiche shewe the effect of the law in theyr hartes, their conscience also bearing witnes, and their thoughtes accusing one an other or excusing, at the day when God shall iudge the secretes of men by Iesus Christ, according to my Gospell.

For when the Gentles &c.] Now commeth he vnto the Gentles: whiche ought not to complayne, thoughe they perished, seing they had not the lawe of Moses. For hee declareth that they were not vtterly without a lawe, because they did by nature those thinges whiche were contayned in the law. And when hee sayth, by Nature, he doth not vtterly exclude the helpe of God. For all truth that men knowe, is of God, and of the holy ghost. And nature here signifieth that knowledge, whiche is grafted in the myndes of men. Euen as in the eyes of the body, God hath plāted the power of seinge. Neither doth Paul in this place entreate of ye strēgthes, by which ye Gētiles being holpē performed these things: For, that shall afterward bée declared, how by the spirite and grace of Christ the power to lyue vprightly is ministred vnto the regenerate. But now he speaketh onely of certayne outwarde honest and vpright actions, whiche as touchyng ci­uill righteousnes, might by nature be performed of me. Neither sayth hee, that [Page] the Ethnikes fully performed the lawe, so that they kept it all whole, or that by­cause of it they were iustified: but onely hee vnderstandeth that they performed some certaine pointes thereof. Whereof hee inferreth, that they by the light of nature could discerne betwene honesty and dishonesty, betwene right andSome E­thenikes in ciuil righ­teousnes far excell very many Christians. wrong. Yea if we looke vpon the lyfe and maners of Cato, Atticus, Socrates, and Aristides, we shall sée that in iustice & ciuill comelynes they farre excelled a great many Christians, yea and also Iewes. Therfore they can not excuse them selues, that they had not a law. Ambrose vpon this place, for asmuch as by this sentence, to do those thinges whiche are of the law, he vnderstandeth the full and absolute accomplishement of the law, and séeth not how it is possible, that any man should performe it, whiche beleueth not in Christe (for asmuch as Christe is the ende of the lawe) affirmeth, that Paul here speaketh of such Gentiles, as were now con­uerted vnto the Gospell, and beleued in Christ. This kynd of men, without the helpe of the law of Moses did those thynges which are contayned in the law. Au­gustine in this booke De Spiritu & litera ad Marcellinum, is of the same opiniō, that by the Gentiles, are vnderstāded the Christiās whiche were conuerted frō y The diffe­rence be­twene the olde Testa­ment and the new. Ethnikes: for y he herein putteth the difference betwene the old Testament and the new, namely, that in the old Testament the law was described in outwarde tables: but in the new Testament it should be written in the hartes and bowels of men, accordyng to the Prophesie of Ieremy in hys 31. chap. Wherfore, seyng Paul here sayth, that the Gentles, whiche by nature fulfilled the law, shewed the worke of the law writen in their hartes: it could not (sayth he) but pertayne vnto the new Testament. And bycause he saw that this was agaynst hym, where it is sayd, by nature, he sayth, that by that worde is excluded the law of Moses: but not the grace and spirite of Christ, by which, nature is not ouerthrowen, but restored to hys old estate, wherfore hys mynde is that the Gentles fulfill the lawe by na­ture, beyng reformed by the spirite and grace. But nowe let vs sée, how those thinges which Augustine & Ambrose alleage agrée with the sentēce of the Apostle. Vndoubtedly that whiche moued Ambrose to this exposition is very weake: forMany E­thenikes before the comming of Christ ob­teyned sal­uation by faith in him asmuch as there mought haue bene many before the commyng of Christ, whiche beleued in hym, and were iustified, and obserued the thynges contayned in the law, so much as the infirmitie of man will suffer. Iob was an Ethnike, who yet was not ignoraunt of Christ: and also at the preachyng of Daniell, the kyng of Babilon, and (as it is easie to bée beleued) together with hym, many of the Chal­deans were conuerted vnto God: & as it is written in Ionas the Niniuites retur­ned into the right way. And seyng all these attayned vnto saluation, vndoubtedly they looked for the Mediator to come, and by that meanes endeuored to performe those thynges whiche pertayned vnto the law. Neither hath the reason of Augustine The holy patriarkes & prophets had the law written in their [...]arts because they pertai­ned vnto the gospell. much force. For although it be a promise of the new Testament, that by the benefite of the holy Ghost the lawes of God should bee written in the hartes of men, yet is not that so to be vnderstand, as though before the comming of Christ the same happened vnto none. For the good fathers, and holy Prophetes, whiche were both endued with the fayth of Christ, and had also geuen vnto them the holy Ghost, had the law grauen not onely in stones, but also in theyr bowels. And although they liued, before the sonne of God tooke fleshe vpō him, yet for asmuch as they beleued in him, they pertayned vnto the Gospell. Whiche is not therfore called a new Testament, bycause the thyng is new: but onely bycause it was pu­blishedThe Gos­pell is not called the new Testamēt because the thing is new. abroad in the latter tymes, and was then publickely receaued. Wherfore although before the preachyng of the Apostles, it was not publikely professed a­mong the Gentles, yet florished it among many of the Ethnikes, in whose harts the law of God was sealed: so that although they wanted the doctrine of Moses yet were they so much rightly instructed, that they could frame theyr actions vn­to the preceptes of God. And yet the same Augustine in the booke before cited, the 7. chap. bryngeth the selfe same exposition, whiche we before brought: namely, y these thinges may be vnderstanded of certeine excellent actions of the Ethnikes, whiche were notwithstandyng vngodly. Their excellēt workes, although as tou­chinge [Page 44] them they were sinnes, yet of their owne nature or kynde, for asmuch as they agréed with those thynges whiche God commaunded in the law, could notThe workes of the Eth­nikes al­though theiwere goodly to the outward shew: yet were they sinnes be condemned by the iudgement of mā. But that they were wicked before God, therfore it is not to be doubted, bycause they were not referred to the right end. Augustine noteth the same and addeth, that therfore the worke of the law is sayd to be written in the hartes of the infidels, bycause the lineamentes of the first estate still abode. Hereof we gather, that the writing of the lawe of God in the hartes of men, is after two sortes: one is, which serueth only to knowledge and iudgement: the other is, which besides that addeth both a readines, and also strength to doe that which is iudged to bée iuste and honest. And the Image ofThe law may be writea in the hartes of men not vp the holy gost geuen vnto the faithful, but by the naturall know­ledge graf­ted into mē God, vnto which man is created, is not, as touching this, by hys fall vtterly blot­ted out, but obfuscated, and for that cause hath néede to be renued by hym. So naturall knowledges are not fully quenched in our mindes, but much of them do still remaine: which thyng Paule now toucheth. Wherefore, the difference be­twene the olde Testament and the newe, abydeth whole: although Paule so speaketh of the vngodly Ethnickes, that they had the worke of the lawe written in their hartes. Neither is it sayd, that because of these thinges which they did or knewe, they attayned vnto the true righteousnes. Yea rather when Paule had shewed, that they wanted it, he styreth them vp vnto Christ. Chrysostome in déede vppon thys place, writeth: that God made man [...], that is, sufficient of himselfe to eschewe vices, and to embrace vertue. Whiche if he vnderstande of man as he was first created, is true. But after hys fall it is not to be graunted, for­asmuch as without Christ we can doe nothyng of our selues: yea, by our owne strengthes we can not so much as thinke any good thyng, much lesse to doe any thyng. Vnlesse peraduenture he vnderstand this as touchyng the knowledge of iustice and vprightnes in generall, wherof we doe now speake. For the self same father in an other place more then once auoucheth, that we haue altogether néede of the grace of Christ. That which the Apostle now maketh mencion of, touching the knowledge of the Gentiles, is very apte to repell the sclaunderousAgainst the complaint of the late comming of Christ. talke of the vngodly, which vse to say: Why came not Christ before? How was mankinde prouided for before hys comming? What wrought hys prouidence then? By these thinges which are now spoken, thou now perceauest, that man­kinde was then also prouided for. For as touching knowledge they had inough, whether we vnderstand that, which pertayneth vnto contemplation: or that which is directed to workyng and doing. Wherfore, before the cōming of Christ they dyd vniustly complaine, that they were forsaken, when as they had know­ledge, and thought not them selues to want sufficient strengthes.

Theyr thoughtes accusing one an other or excusing.] Now bryngeth he an other reason, wherby he proueth that the Ethnickes had a law, because they were not without accusations & excusations of the conscience: which were most manifest testimonies of the knowledge grafted in vs by nature. And by this selfA manifest profe of the iudgement to come, same argument may probablie be inferred, that the iudgement of God shall at y length come. For if our minde do iudge with it self touching those thyngs which we doe, what will God at the length doe, which hath ingrafted these iudgemētes in the mindes of men?

Accordyng to my Gospell.] He calleth it hys Gospell, partly because hée tooke much labour in preachyng of it, and partly for the excéeding great affection that he had towardes it, & for that he was appointed to ye publishing of it abroad.

In the daye of the Lorde.] Then shall our cogitations be both accusers, and also witnesses of all our doinges: and by them shall the Ethnickes be iudged. Now for that we are drawen away by the entisementes and lustes of thys lyfe, we doe consider them not: but then shall the Lorde bryng them forth to light: Who (as it is written in the first Epistle to the Corinthians) shall illuminate the hid­den workes of darkenes. By thys place we sée, that the iudgement of God is a part of the Gospell: forasmuch as it is profitable to styrre vp to repentaunce. More­ouerThe iudgemēt of God is a part of the gospell▪ as touchyng the godly it is a glad tidinges: For Christ sayd: When these thynges shall beginne to come to passe, then lift vp your heades: for your redemptiō draw­eth [Page] nye. And although God will render vnto euery man according to his workes,In iudge­ment God rendereth not lyke to our works. yet will he not render like for lyke. For we shall receaue farre much more, then our workes haue deserued. And they which shall be condemned, shall be lesse pu­nished, then the greatnes of their sinnes requireth. And as touchyng these excu­sing cogitations, Augustine in hys booke which we haue now cited, writeth, that they shall not obteine forgeuenes. Howbeit they may obtaine a more easter pu­nishment.The pai­nes of the damned shall not be a like. For the paynes of the damned shall not be a like. And he vseth thys similitude: that euen as there are certaine veniall sinnes, which can not let but that the godly may obtaine felicitie: so are there certaine excellent workes be­ing of their own kind good, which yet shall not deliuer the damned. And as ye lyfe of euery one, be he neuer so holy, can not wante small sinnes: so the life of no mā though he be most wicked, can be so filthye, but that it may in y meane time haue some excellent worke annexed vnto it. And after thys maner doth the Apostle close vp the accusation of the Gentiles, making mencion againe of the last iudge­ment. And when he sayth: Beholde thou arte called a Iewe, he beginneth hisThe accu­sa [...]iō of the Iewes. accusation agaynst the Iewes: which consisteth of these principall pointes. Fyrst, he setteth forth the excellent giftes wherwith God had adorned them: afterward he addeth how they had abused them: thirdly, he expoūdeth what it is to be true­lyThe principall pointes of the accu­sation of the Iewes. a Iewe, & what true Circumcision is. Afterward he declareth, that those giftes of God bestowed vpon the Iewes, could not by thē be so contaminated, that they should not be estéemed and praysed. But yet by them the Iewes had no matter wherby to preferre them selues before the Gentiles, when as they liued wic­kedly. For theyr filthye life made them equall to the Gentiles: which thing inWhy he fyrst repro­ued the Gentiles. the laste place he maketh playne by testimonie of the Scriptures. He repro­ued the Gentiles before the Iewes, that by the former reprehension, hée myght prepare hys waye to the latter. For the Iewes were hautye, neyther coulde they easilie abide one to reproue them. Farther, if the Apostle hadde fyrste accused them, he might haue semed more extreme against his owne nation then was mete: especially forasmuch as he was accused of the false Apostles, that he was an Apostata from the law, and that he had filthily fallen from the IewishThe sum of the reprehension of the Iewes. religion. The summe of the reprehension of the Iewes, is, that they by professiō and not by life measured their righteousnes. First of all, he maketh mention of the giftes which were geuen vnto the Iewes, and reduceth them in a maner toThe giftes bestowed vpon the Iewes are reduced to three principal pointes three principall poyntes. The first is the dignity of the name, which came vnto them by the kinrede and holy sede of the fathers. The second is, that they knews the will of God by the law geuen vnto their elders. The third, that they were a­pointed to teach other nations. These were in dede excellent things, but yet they nothing helped them: because they both degenerated from their fathers, as tou­ching honesty and iustice: and also by their sinnes they repugned the law, which they had receaued: and moreouer, because they neglected themselues, and much lesse did they teach other people. But herein the Apostle chiefly maketh mention of those thinges which they had frely receiued. For they were not bestowed v­pon them for any merite of theirs.

Beholde thou art called a Iew, and restest in the law, and glo­riest in God, and knowest hys wyll, and allowest the thynges that are excellent, in that thou art instructed by the lawe: and perswa­dest thy selfe that thou art a guide of the blynde, a lyghte of them which are in darkenes. An instructer of them whiche lacke discre­tion, a teacher of the vnlerned: which hast the forme of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

Behold thou art called a Iew.] In this place there is two maner of readyngs. The Latines seme to haue read, [...], that is, and if. But in the Greke copies it is written by Iota simple, [...], that is, Behold or see. But whether of them thou readest, it skilleth not much: saue onely that to the purpose of the Apostle, & con­nexion [Page 45] together of his speaches, that which is in the Greke semeth to be more apte. The name of a Iew was no lesse set by at that tyme, then the name of a Christian is at this time. Vndoubtedly, it was an honourable stocke: But Paule saith wisely, cognominaris, which signified, thou art so called: for he wil not graūt vnto them, that they were in dede Iewes. Neither could he: when as afterward he sayth: That he is truely a Iew, whiche is a Iew in secret: and that that is the true Cir­cumcision, which is marked, not in the flesh, but in the hart.

And restest in the lavv.] This is nothing els, but wt a certayne vayne bostyng to delight himselfe by reasō of the law: wherunto perauenture, they wer moued by reason of those things which are written in Deut. the 4. chapter. Namely, That other nations should wonder at the publike wealth of the Israelites, which [...] had so noble and excellent lawes. Dauid also sayd, That it was not so done vnto other nations

And boastest in God.] Because as it is written in the 17. chap. of the boke of Genesis, God had made a league with Abraham and with all his posterity. These thinges vndoubtedly, had bene vnto them great honour and estimation, if they had broght forth fruit accordingly. For to come of godly elders, is a gift of God not to be despised. Moreouer, to rest in the law, so that thou wholy quietest thy selfe in it, and art so content with the commaundementes of God, that thou fai­nest not vnto thy selfe any other, is a thyng worthy of prayse. And lykewyse to count the true God for God, may be ascribed vnto glory, and that to sound glo­rye. But they onely boasted in these thinges, glorying in themselues of these vayne titles.

And knowest his will, and allovvest the things that are excellent beyng instructed by the law.] To know the will of God, is a great benefite of his. But that commeth by the instruction of the scripture. For no where els is the knowledge of the wil of God to be sought for. Out of it we learn to alow most best things, so ye therby we are able to discerne them from things filthy & vile. In Greeke is red [...], which is turned, things excellent. Augustine in his boke de spiritu & Litera readeth Distantia. that is, thinges different: because those things which are excellent, are different from meane thynges. The Latin interpreter turneth it Vtilia, that is, thinges profitable, because peraduenture (as Erasmus admoni­sheth) [...], in Greke is to profite. Farther this verbe [...], which is, to allow, is here taken otherwise, then it was in the first chapiter. Forasmuch as here it is referred onely vnto iudgement: but there it is referred to that allow­yng, whereby we do in very deede and actes declare that which we iudge.

And persuadest thy selfe that thou art a guide of the blynde, a lyghte of them whiche are in darkenesse. An instructer of them whiche lacke dis­cretion, a teacher of the vnlearned.] He saythe not that these men perfor­med those thynges, but that they went about arrogantly to clayme them vnto themselues. For they both iudged and also spake most contemptuously of o­ther nations: whome in comparison of themselues they counted to bee blynde and lyuers in darkenes, vndiscrete, and vnlearned. And also they so vsurped vnto themselues the office of teaching others, that Christ saide they went about sea and land, to adioyne vnto themselues proselites, whome they made not the children of God, but the children of hell fyre. And whiche was worst of all, as Christ vpbraydeth thē, they had takē away the kay of knowledge by clayming it vnto themselues: when as neyther they thēselues would enter into the king­dome of heauen, nor yet would they suffer others to enter therein. They shewed themselues to be masters, when as yet they were blynde. Vnto whom the Lord sayd: If the blynde leade the blynde, they shall both fall into the ditch. And in Esay the 42. chapter we reade, who is blynde but my seruaunt? Also in the 9. of Iohn: If ye were blynde ye should haue no sinne. But now because ye saye, we see, your sinne abideth.

Hauing the forme of knowldege.] Chrisostome thinketh, that [...], that is a forme, signifieth not here, the true maner of knowing whiche hath in it no­thing that is filthy, but only a shew thereof.

Hauing the forme of knowledge, and of the truth in the lawe.] We should vn­doubtedly haue the forme of our doctrine in our selues, and not in the law, or inWhere the forme of doctrine should be had. bookes, as Chrisostome here noteth. For as they are not very well learned, which are wise only by reading commentaries: so they are not to be counted iust, which put theyr righteousnes in lawes or in decrees. For Iohn sayth, Hereby we know, that we loue God, if we obserue his commaundementes.

Thou therefore which teachest an other, teachest thou not thy selfe? thou that preachest, a man should not steale, doost thou steale? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, doost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest Idols, committest thou sa­criledge? Thou that gloriest in the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

Thou therefore vvhich teachest an other, teachest thou not thy selfe?] ThisThe figure of interro­gation. How Paule here speaketh of the Iewes. figure of interrogation is of great efficacy in reprouing. But were all the He­brewes such? No vndoubtedly but Paule here speaketh of them, Christ being ex­cluded: as the Gospel is set agaynst the lawe. There were some of the fathers very holy, which so liued in the Iewishe religion, that yet neuertheles they most perfectly beleued in Christ. But they were not such as Paule here describeth. They were blessed vndoubtedly, not because they had receaued the law, but be­cause they were occupied in it both day & night. But these mē, of whom is now intreated, knew the law in deede, but they knew it not as they ought to haue done. The summe of Paules reason is this, that to receaue the law, iustifyethAn expli­cation of Paules reason a­gaynst the Iewes. not. For if it should iustefye, then vndoubtedly all the Iewes should be both iust and holy: when as they all had receaued the law, and professed the same. And that they were not holy and iust, it is partly alredy declared, and partly shall now more largely be shewed: wherefore to haue receaued the lawe iusti­fyeth not.

Thou vvhich teachest an other, teachest thou not thy selfe.] They coulde not abyde to be taught of others, as it appeareth by the words which they spakeThe Iewes could not abide to be taught of others. to hym that was borne blynd: Art thou altogether borne in sinne: and teachest thou vs? They ought at the least to haue taught them selues: which thing forasmuch as they did not, but regarded only how to instruct other men what they should do, they were like the figge tree, which had leaues without fruite, and by the curse of Christ withered away. That which he before spake of the Gentiles: Thou condemnest an other, and doost the selfe same thinges whiche thou condemnest: now he pronounceth of the Iewes, that they taught others, and ouerhipped themselues. Without doubt in thinges pertayning vnto this world, we are not of that disposition. For you shall not see one, that will so distribute almes, but that he will first prouide of his goodes for himselfe. How commeth it then, that we inculcate our doctrine to others, whiche we our selues receaue not? Chriso­stome A simili­tude. compareth this kinde of men with a paynter, whiche hath before his eyes an excellent table, whiche hee perpetually beholdeth, and yet neuer taketh any thyng out of it. Paul had sayd before, that not the hearers of the lawe but the doers shalbe iustified. But now hee reproueth the preachers, whiche performe not the thynges that they teache. Wherefore we may conclude, that it is notIt is not inough to heare or to preach the word of God. inough either to preache, or to heare sounde doctrine, vnles the same bee put in execution.

Thou that preachest, A man should not steale, doost thou steale?] Hee obie­cteth vnto the Iewes those thynges, whiche were commonly cōmitted of them. And to reproue them he vseth that parte of the law, wherof none was ignoraūt,What theft is. namely, the x. cōmaundemētes. And as touching theft, theft is, when we with­hold [Page 46] that which is an other mās agaynst the owners will: or whē we by iniury draw vnto vs other mens goodes: or whē we distribute not that whiche is oursThe forme of the doc­trine of the Decaloge. whē nede requireth. And there are also many other kindes of theft. But in ye Decaloge, or x. cōmaūdemēts, the chief purpose is onely to setforth y chiefe somme, & that but rudely & grossely, vnder which we ought to vnderstand all the partes therof. The groūd & somme of all theft is couetousnes: euē as in filthy pleasures is expressed onely adultery: vnder which are comprehended all kindes of vnclea­nes. And as touching idolatry, there is forbidden al kinde of false woorshipping: when yet onely is expressed, that which is most grosse. For there is forbidden vs any straunge God, and there are forbidden also grauen images, and sondrye formes. Wherefore it is our part, when anye of the ten commaundementes of God forbiddeth vs any thinge, well to consider, what things are comprehendedWhat is to be had a re­garde vnto in euery commaun­dement of the Deca­loge. vnder that vice. And afterward to secke out the roote, agaynst which we muste to our power resiste. Couetousnes, or thefte herehence springeth, for that we di­strust in God, and are alwayes afrayde, least we should wante. But adultery & all vncleanes of the fleshe springeth of the desire of voluptuous pleasures: as Christ expressed, when he sayd, If any man shall see a woman to lust after her, he hath already committed adultery in his harte. And agaynste thys concupiscence or luste ought we to striue. And as touching murther, Christ hath likewise admonished vs, that we should cutte of anger, as the roote therof. Now resteth as touching sacriledge to see what the Apostle complaineth therof. Sacriledge is rashely toWhat sa­criledge is. touch or to vsurpe vnto himselfe holy thinges whiche are dedicated vnto God, due either by the name of a vow, or els of a curse. The Iewes had a commaun­dement geuen them, that they should not spare idols. For theyr duety was to o­uerthrow and destroy all thinges pertayning vnto them. But they being led byA law ge­uen vnto the Iewes for the de­strong of Idols. couetousnes, reserued those thinges vnto themselues, and turned them to theyr owne proper commodities. So sinned Acham, and also Saule, when he had ouer­come Amalech. Contrariwise Moses gaue an excellent example of vertue, when he not onely brake the golden calfe, but also did beate it into pouder, and threwe it into the riuer. For if the reliques of the idole had remained stil, peraduenture the Israelites, as they were outragious, would haue woorshipped them. Indede the pub: wealth, and our magistrates may take away those thinges whiche areWhat our Magi­strates may do touching superstici­ous giftes. supersticious, and conuert the prices of them to good and godlye vses. But this thing is not permitted vnto priuate men. But the Hebrues were generally for­biddē, that they should not saue such things, especially as wer vowed by a curse.

Thou abhorrest idols, and committest sacriledge.] He noteth them to be in­fected with so great couetousnes, that they tooke away and vsurped vnto them­selues euen those thinges that pertained vnto the woorshipping of idols, so that they were any thing precious. Although this may also be vnderstāded of things consecrated vnto the true God. Of the sons of Hely we reade, y they toke away from the offrers raw flesh dedicated vnto God, before they were made a sweete smell before the Lorde. Yea and the matter came to that point also, that the de­grees of the ministry and of the high priest were boughte and sold for money. I know that Origene and Ambrose do interprete these things allegorically: that the Iewes steale Christ out of the holy scriptures, do counterfaite the old testamēt, and with greate sacriledge do deny Christe. But the playner sentence delighteth me beste.

Thou boastest in the lavv, and by the transgression of the lavve dishonourest God. This vndoubtedly is repugnaunte to the ende of our condicion. For we are created, to sanctify the name of God. And Paule affirmeth, that we are ther­foreThe end of the condiciō of men. created, to liue to the prayse of his glory & grace. Christe also sayde: Let your light so shine before men, that they maye see your good woorkes, and glorifye your Father which is in heauen. They mocke with God, which boast of him & in theyr workes continually resist his will.

The name of God through you is euell spoken of amonge the Gentles. As it is [Page] vvritten. Men vse to measure doctrine by the manners and life of the teacher: and by the meanes of the euill life of the Christians, the Iewes and Turkes curse Christ. And for the selfe same cause the Papistes at this daye are enemies to the Gospell. For if they see vs no lesse apply our selues vnto filthy lusts, then they do, to be greedy of lucre, to seeke auengemente, to be fearefull to dye, to be desirous of life, to contend and striue to muche earnestly amonge our selues for the commodities of the flesh, straightway they say, that our doctrine is woorse thē that which they professe. And without doubt those things which are here spo­ken,These things fitte with the Christians and espei­ally with those that professe the Gospell. fitte rather with the Christians then with the Iewes: when as we are en­dued with more excellente giftes then they were. Christe sayde, Beholde a greater then Salomon here, and a greater then Ionas. We boaste of the knowledge of Christe, we reste in the Gospell, and we haue the forme of doctrine out of the articles of fayth, and we contende that all thynges are more perfecte in the Gospell, then they were in the Iewysh religion: we haue y fruiciō of ye liberty of the spirite, when as they were greuously oppressed with the yoke of ceremonies: yet though we be indued with so many and so excellent gifts, we leade our liues in such sorte, that the Gospell of Christ is euill spoken of through vs. But if any man will say, that the truth and dignitie of the doctrine dependeth not of the dig­nitie, maners, and life of the teacher, because Christ sayd of them which satte vp­on the chaire of Moyses: The thinges which they say, doe ye: but the thinges which they doe, doe ye not: This I know to be true. But in the meane time, let vs marke,Whether doctrine ought to be iudged by the maners & life of the teachers. that Christ sayd of the false prophetes and deceauers: By their fruites ye shall know them. Wherefore we must put a difference, that of men there are some already instructed in religion, and other some are to be instructed. Wherfore, they which are instructed in sound doctrine, do acknowledge it to be true, and do count it for the worde of God, though he which teacheth it and deliuereth it, be not so pure. But they which are to be instructed, and are not yet come to the vnderstandyng of it, doe iudge of it accordyng to the maners and life of the teachers. Not that in very déede the doctrine is by the maners of the ministers made eyther true or false: but because the vnlearned sorte are wont so to iudge. And in summe, God will not be honoured with outward titles and ceremonies. Thys is the wilie subtiltie of the deuill, that the giftes of God, which ought to be fruitfull, shoulde be made both of no force, and also should more aggrauate our cause. It is a great infelicitie, to deforme those thinges, wherby we ought to be honoured. And it is no small ingratitude to dishonour God, which hath so honoured vs. Paule accu­seth these men, that they dyd not onely them selues transgresse the lawes, but al­so allured others to the same, and caused them to blaspheme ye name of the Lord. And by an antithesis or cōtrary position, he exagerateth or amplifieth that which he before sayd: Thou that teachest an other, teachest thou not thy selfe? But ye place which he citeth, is in Esaie the 52. Chapter. And in the Greke edition the place is thus written: [...]: That is: Through you my name is euery where euill spoken of among the Gentiles. But in He­brewe it is written: Ve tamid col haiom schemi meuoats: That is: And al­wayes euery daye my name is ill spoken of. Wherby appeareth, that betwene the Hebrewe veritie and the Greke edition, there is not much differēce. But Paule vsed the Greke edition, partlye because it was in their handes vnto whom hée wrote, and partly because it serued well for hys purpose. For the Greke hath, among the Gentiles, which the Hebrewe hath not. But here is no small doubt ob­iected vnto vs, for that the Prophet séemeth to laye the whole cause of the blas­phemie vpon the straungers: namely, for that when they had lead away the Is­raelites captiues, they railed vpon their God, as though he had not bene able to deliuer thē. Which thing is more expressedly read in Ezechiell the 36. chap. from whence it may séeme that these thynges were taken: for there it is apertly writ­ten, that they in mockage sayd: Beholde the people of thys God. But we must con­sider, what was the cause and occasion of the captiuitie of ye Hebrewes: and we shal finde, that it was nothyng ells, but theyr wicked actes, and transgressions of [Page 47] the lawe: by which they in a maner compelled God, to deliuer them into those calamities: wherof followed the blasphemies of the Ethnickes. God was vrgedThe cause of the blas­phemie was not in the Gē [...]les but in the Iewes. two wayes: for on the one side vnlesse he had chastised them, when they liued wickedly, other nations would haue spoken euill of hym, for that he so much bare with wicked men. On the other side, if he should correcte them in forsaking and deliuering thē to outward nations, he should be euill spoken of, as a weake and féeble God. And the fountaine and originall of these euills, was the wicked lyfeNote that the glory of God is two maner of wayes en­daungered. of the Hebrewes. Wherefore in Ezechiell there is added, that he being touched with the compassion of hys name, had decréed to deliuer them at the length: both that he himselfe myght afterward bee set forth as a mightie God, and that they, by amendment of lyfe, myght behaue them selues the better. By thys place we may gather, that the Iewes greuously fell. For the greater their dignitie was, the more greuouser were those thinges which they cōmitted: so that by euery mans iudgement, they could no way be defended. Therefore in Esaie the Lorde sayd, when he had reckened vp all the ornamentes which he had bestowed vppon hys vineyarde: Iudge thou house of Israell betwene me and my vineyarde. Which para­ble Christ also vsed in the Gospell.

For Circumcision verily is profitable, if thou doe the lawe: but if thou be a transgressour of the lawe, thy circumcision is made vn­circumcsion. Therefore if the vncircumcision keepe the iustifica­tions of the lawe, shall not hys vncircumcision bee counted for cir­cumcision? And shall not vncircumcision which is by nature (if it keepe the lawe) iudge thee, which by the letter and circumcision arte a transgressour of the lawe?

For circumcision in deede is profitable.] When he had hetherto recke­ned vp the benefites bestowed vpon the Iewes, and had shewed how they had a­bused them: now by the way he setteth forth a manifest exposition of the true circumcision, and of the true Iewishnes. By reason of circumcision, they arro­gantlye puffed vp them selues. Vpon whiche occasion Paule sheweth by preuen­tion, that it made them not a whitte better then the Gentiles, when as they liued so filthilye. It was a great thyng in déede to be circumcised: so that the vncir­cumcision were cutte of in the hart also. Otherwise, how litle the circumcision of the body, profited them vnto righteousnes, their vices sufficiently declare, which a litle before he hath expressed. They often alleaged, that Moyses through theA commen­datiō of cir­cumcision. helpe of circumcision, was deliuered from the daunger of death. For the An­gell woulde haue killed hym, if hys wife had not circumcised hys sonne. And after the generall Circumcision celebrated by Iosua, the people were brought into the promised land, and that not without a wonderfull miracle. For the wa­ters of Iordane were compelled to go backe to their spryng. And in the booke of Genesis the 17. chap. it is manifest, with what waight and seriousnes this Sacrament was instituted of God. Wherunto as he added excellent promises, so also added he horrible threatnynges: that the soule of hym which was not the eightIf circumci­sion being cō ­temned de­struyeth a man▪ then being added it saueth a man. day Circumcised should be destroyed. Whereupon it semeth that the Iewes rea­soned a contrariis, that is, from contraries: If Circumcision being intermitted, destroyeth a man, then contrarywise where it is had, it saueth a man. But thys kynd of argument is not of necessitie. It is in dede probable, but it doth not al­wayes conclude well: as many instancies teache vs, and Augustine oftentymes affirmeth. And those thynges whiche are here spoken, are not so to be vnderstanded,The dignitie of the sacra­mentes de­pend not of our faith and vprightnes. The fruite of the Sacra­mentes de­pendeth of our fayth. as though the dignitie of the Sacramentes should depende of our fayth or goodnes. For as much as here is not entreated of the nature or excellency of the Sacrament, but of the fruite and vtilitie therof. Whiche we must nedes graunt dependeth both of the fayth and godlines of the receauers. And by this place we learne, that outward thynges of them selues nothing profite vnto saluation, vn­lesse there be a mutation or chaunge made by the holy Ghost in our hartes, ei­ther before, or els whilest they are put in vse. Neither is this to be obiected, that [Page] the Baptisme of children is an outward thyng, and yet bryngeth saluation vn­to infantes. For the infantes haue no commoditie by the force of the outwardeWhat fruite chil­drē haue by Baptisme. washyng, vnles there come with all some spiritual thyng, and such as pertaineth to the soule. Augustine thinketh that saluation commeth vnto them; by the fayth of them whiche offer them (whom we call Godfathers and Godmothers) or by the fayth of the Churche. I know in déede, that the fayth of godly men may vnto some obtaine grace, conuersion, and excellent spirituall giftes. But saluation hap­neth not vnto them that are of full age, but only by their owne faith, and vnto in fantes by the spirit, and grace, which secretly worketh in them regeneration: of which regeneration baptisme is the outward sealyng. Wherfore it is apparant, how miserably the Iewes erred in attributyng so much to their circumcision.

And there were some (if we will geue credite vnto Augustine in hys booke De ciuitate Dei.) which affirmed as much of Baptisme. Namely, that a man being once baptised, although he liued wickedly, should not vtterly perishe. He shall inThey which are baptised, may perish. dede (said they) suffer many thinges, but at the last he shall be saued, peraduen­ture by fire. But this error both Augustine hath confuted, & we haue subscribed vnto hym in our exposition of the first epistle to the Corinthians. The purpose of the Apostle in this place is, to shew, that God will haue no regard to the outward circumcision, if there want piety and holines: and agayne on the other side, that vncircumcision shall not be a let vnto the Gentiles, so that they meane wel, andOutwarde thinges by themselues profite litle, yea rather they are hurtfull, if the spirite & faith be wā tyng. If the receiuers haue faith, then the sacra­ments haue some vtility liue godly. Let vs note, as I began to say, how little is to be attributed vnto out­ward things, if they be taken by themselues. And yet so great is the error in our dayes, that men make prayers recited in a strange & vnknowen tonge, pilgrimages, & certaine fastes rashly taken in hand, as the chief anker holde of their salua­tion. Yea they are now at the length come to this point, that sometimes they at­tribute remission of sinnes vnto these trifles. The prophets cry out euery where, that God despiseth, hateth, and detesteth worshippinges without fayth and god­lines. Howbeit we must vnderstand (as we may gather by the wordes of the A­postle) that if they which receiue the sacramentes, haue faith and pietie, then out ward things haue theyr certain vtilities. For forasmuch as they are instituted by God, we must nedes graunt that they are good, vnles it happen that through our fault they be made hurtfull. But they are good and profitable vnto the iust, in whō through faith, iustification goeth before. For sacramentes (to speake in general)What cir­cumcision is. are visible signes: which signifie, & by which the holy ghost exhibiteth vnto those, which beleuyng receaue them, both grace and coniunction with Christ, and also seale vnto vs the promises of saluation. And to tooch somwhat of circumcision, it was a signe, or to speake more apertly, a sealyng of the promise & league made wt God through Christ. And they were marked in the partes apointed to generatiō & to geue vs to vnderstand, that Christ as touching his manhode, should be borne of the séede of man. And by that signe they were continually put in minde of the league made with God: and thereby they professed the obseruation of the law.

Wherfore to the Galathians it is sayd, that he which is circumcised is debter to kepe the whole law. It was also in stede of a marke or cognisance, wherby that people was discerned from other nations. Wherfore, whilst they iorneyed in the desert, they were not circumcised, because there were no other nations there, from whō they might by that signe be discerned: as the commentaries which are ascribed vnto Ierome alledge: although of that thyng there may an other cause more pro­bable be assigned. By this sacrament also was noted the mortifieng of ye flesh andCircumci­sion in stede of baptisme Children ought to be baptised. filthy lustes, and that all superfluous things should be cut of from the godly. And superfluous things are whatsoeuer displease God. This rite was to the old men in stede of baptisme, & was counted for ye sacrament of regeneration. Whereby it appeareth that our infantes ought to be baptised, forasmuch as their lotte is no worse then the lotte of the chyldren of the Hebrewes: yea rather it is in many partes more happy. For our baptisme (somewhat to speake thereof now) is not bound to the eight day, as was the circumcision of the Iewes in the olde time: for we are by Christ deliuered from circumstaunces of tyme and place. And sacred rites are certayne outward professions of piety. And such not onely the Iewes [Page 48] had, but also those which in the first state of nature, liued godly. Therfore the sim­bolesThe godly had holy rites also before the law. or outwad signes of rites, are in dede by reason of the diuersity of tymes oftentymes chaunged: but the thinges remayne the selfe same. Moreouer by the wordes of Paule is gathered, that Circumcision profit [...]th, so that the law be ob­serued. For it is very profitable, to obteyne regeneration, to haue the signe of the couenaunt, and a perpetuall admonition of the mortification of the flesh, and an obsignation or seale of the promise of God, and of the heauenly gifte bestowed vpon vs.

If thou be a transgressor of the law.] Here he vnderstandeth none but those which of purpose transgresse: and not those which fal of infirmitie, and are drawē either vnawares or vnwillingly, and do sighe and grone, saying together wyth Paule, who shall deliuer me from the body of this death?

Thy circumcision is made vncircumcision.] To be made vncircumcision in this place, is to be counted vncircumcision, as it shall afterward be declared, whē he sayth, Shall not his circumcision be counted vncircumcision? And to kepe the law, is to be taken in the same sence that we before declared. Ambrose vppon this place sayth. He then kepeth the law, which beleueth in Christ. But if he beleue not, he is a transgressor of the law. Which wordes although they serue not much to the exposi­tiō of this place, yet are they very profitable. Bicause therby we perceiue that he which beleueth in Christ kepeth the lawe: for that by fayth is geuen vnto vs the power and facultie of the spirite, wherby to obey the law. And if there want any thing to the obseruation therof, as in very dede there alway wanteth, the same isHe that be­leueth not is accor­ding to the sentence of Ambrose a transgressor of the law. The Iewes gloried in cir­cumcision. holpen by the imputation of the righteousnes of Christ. Moreouer in that he af­firmeth, that he which beleueth not in Christ, is a transgressor of the law, he ma­nifestly sheweth, that the workes of them which beleue not in Christ, are sinnes and transgressions of the law. The Iewes bosted excedyng much of circumcision as though it had bene geuen them for their merites, and as though it had ben an assured testimony of a iust and holye lyfe: whiche thyng is declared to be vntrue. Chrisostome vpō this place vseth a very trim order, both as touching the law & also as touchyng circumcision. There is (sayth he) an outward law, there is also a law in the hart, and in the middle place are set good workes which procede from the law of the hart & are agreable with the outward law. Likewise, there is circumcision in the flesh, & cir­cumcision in the harte. In the middest is placed a iust and holy life. For it proceedeth from the circumcision of the harte, and agreeth with the circumcision of the flesh. Paule put­tethA double comparison of circumci­sion. a double comparison of circumcision. The first is, whereby it is contrarye vnto vncircumcision, y is, vnto the condiciō of the Ethnickes. And of this he spea­keth now presently: and sheweth, that it was nothinge preiudiciall vnto men as touchign saluation. The other is whereby circumcision is compared with faith and thereof shall afterward be entreated, when the Apostle sheweth, that Abrahā first beleued, and therefore obteyned righteousnes: and afterwarde that righte­ousnes was sealed with circumcision. Wherfore the circumcision of the flrsh is of lesse dignity then fayth, and commeth after it.

Therefore if vncircumcision do kepe the iustifications of the law, shal not his vncircumcision be counted for circumcision.] In ciuile iudgementes when any is to be condemned, which is in any dignity or Magistrateship, he isThe ciuile manner in condem­ning of no­ble men. first depriued of his dignity or office, and then afterward condemned. So the A­postle first depriueth the Iewes of the true Iewishnes, and of the true circumci­sion, and then afterward condemneth them, because they liued filthely. This si­militude in a manner vseth Chrisostome. Wherunto we may moreouer adde, that like as in a publike wealth they which shalbe preferred to honour, if they be of a base and obscure stocke, are fyrste adorned with some noble Magistrateship, or publike dignity: so Paule minding to bring to honour the Gentles, which seemed abiecte, attributeth vnto them the true circumcision, and true religion of the Iewes, when he sayth, that theyr vncircumcision is counted for circumcision, which they haue in theyr hart. And in these wordes, circumcision (I say) and vn­circūcisiō, [Page] is vsed the figure called Metonymia, which is a trāspositiō of names.The figure called Me­tonymia vsed in cir­cumcision & vncircumcision. For by those signes is signifyed the state and condicion of the Iewes and Gentils.

The iustifications of the lavv.] In Greeke is red [...], which many take to be ceremonies called of the Hebrues Chocoth. But I do not easly se, how the Ethnikes kept the ceremonies of the law: vnles we wil say that the Hebrues in theyr captiuities taught the Gentils the ceremonies of Moses: which is not ca­sy to be beleued: especially, forasmuch as they were not to be obserued, but in the land of promise. Peraduēture they meane ye these iustifications do signify those rites, which the Ethnikes counted in the law of nature godlye and good. For we speake not of idolatrous rites: but of those whiche some obserued by the tradici­onsThe holy Ethnikes had certain good and godly rites in the law of nature. of theyr Fathers, which hoped in the Mediator to come. For by suche cere­monies they both professed God, & also accused thēselues as sinners: after which folowed ye practise of vpright liuyng. And we deny not, but ther were many such mē. Yet can we not therfore affirme, that either Socrates, or Phocion, or Aristides, were of the number of these men: when as we haue nothyng that is certayne of theyr pietie and fayth, but rather by historyes they appeare Idolatrers. Neuer­thelesse, the Scriptures commend Iob, vnto whom (no doubt) there were many like. But by our iudgement (as we haue sayd) they can not be declared or defi­ned. But the Apostle speaketh not of those rites of the lawe of nature: when as by the lawe, he here vnderstandeth the lawe of Moses. For he hath to do against the Iewes. And that the Ethnickes obserued not the rites of Moses, hereby it isBy the iu­stifications of the lawe he vnder­standeth the morall partes of the lawe. manifest, because they were vncircumcised, & are called vncircumcision. Wher­fore, it is more truely sayd, that the iustifications of the law, signifie here the mo­rall part of the lawe, of which the Gentiles by the light of nature, were not igno­raunt. The scope of the Apostle is, to shewe, that righteousnes is not of necessi­tie ioyned with the rites and ceremonies of the lawe: and that it was no let vn­to the Gentiles touching saluation, that they wer not circumcised, so that they had pietie. And contrarywise, that the Iewes, being destitute of fayth and holy lyfe, are not holpen by circumcision, to bee therby preferred before the Gentiles. And where as we haue in our reading, [...], that is, shall be counted, or im­puted: Chrysostome readeth [...], or [...], that is, shall be turned. Neither doth hée onely read it so, but also interpreteth it so: so that he sayth, that the Apostle sayd not [...]. And he sayth plainly, that Paule here so speaketh as before, when he sayd: Thy circumcision is made vncircūcision. He would (sayth he) speake that which is of more waight and greater, to the end to speake with more efficacie. Thys diuersitie of readyng, Erasmus weighed not: neyther will we contende therefore, for that the sense eyther way remay­neth sounde.

And vncircumcision which is by nature (if it kepe the lawe) shall iudge thee, which by the letter and circumcision, art a transgressour of the lawe.] To iudge. is taken iij. maner of wayes. To iudge, may be taken thrée maner of wayes: eyther that the Ethnickes shall pronounce sentence agaynst the Iewes: as Paule sayd to the Corinthians: Knowe ye not, that we shall iudge the Aungells also: or by comparison, as the Lorde sayd of the Sodomites, and of the Niniuites, and of the Quéene of Saba, that they should iudge the Israelites: or to iudge, is to reproue, to accuse, and to beare witnes a­gaynst a man. For euen as before were alleaged the cogitations, which shall ac­cuse one an other: (for the good shall accuse the euill, for that they corrupted the man: and agayne, the euill shall accuse the good, because they helped not:) so the holy and iuste Ethnickes shall accuse the wicked Iewes, for that they being ador­ned with so many giftes and spirituall graces, serued not God. He calleth it vn­circumcision by nature, because we are naturally so borne. And they whiche areVncircumcision by nature. Ethnickes, purpose not in their minde to circumcise them selues. Or to speake more rightly, as I thinke, vncircumcision by nature, is an Ethnicke man, which is led onely by the light of nature. By the letter hee vnderstandeth what soeuer isWhat the letter signi­fi [...]th. outward, and is not grafted in the hart, to moue hym to doe well. Augustine in hys 3. booke and 5. chap. De Doctrina Christiana, writeth: that they sticke in [Page 49] the letter, which take the signes for the thynges, and that which is figuratiuelye spoken in the holye Scriptures, they take it so, as if it were spoken proper­ly: and so lowe créepe they on the grounde, that when they heare the name of the Sabboth, they remember nothyng but the seuenth day, which was obserued of the Iewes. Also, when they heare of a Sacrifice, they thinke vpon nothyng but vpon the sacrifices which were killed. And though there be some seruitude tolle­rable, yet he calleth that a miserable seruitude, when we take the signes for theIt is a ser­uitude most miserable to count the signes for the things. An errour concernyng the Eucha­rist. thinges. Wherin there is great offence committed in these dayes, in the Sacra­crament of the Eucharist. For how many shall a man finde, which, beholdyng the outward signes of thys Sacrament, calleth to memorye the death and passi­on of Christ, wherof it is most certayne that they are signes? or which thincketh with him selfe, that the body and bloud of Christ is a spirituall meate of the soule through faith, euen as bread and wine are nourishmentes of the body? Or which weigheth with hym self the coniunction of the members of Christ betwene themselues, and with the head? These thinges are not regarded, and they cleane on­ly to the sight of the signes. And men thinke it is inough, if they haue looked vp­on, bowed their knée, and worshipped. Thys is to embrace the letter, and not to geue eare vnto the sayd Augustine, who in the place which we haue now cited, and a litle afterward most apertly affyrmeth, that to eate the body of Christ, & toTo eate the body of Christe and to drinke his blo ud are figura­tiue spea­ches. drinke hys bloud, are figuratiue kinds of speaches. So are the Iewes accused, be­cause they cleauing only to the letter & circumcisiō, wer trāsgressours of the law.

For he is not a Iewe, which is one outward: neyther is that circumcision which is outward in the fleshe. But he is a Iewe, which is one within, and the circumcision is of the hart in the spi­rite, not in the letter, whose prayse is not of men, but of God.

For he is not a Iewe, which is one outward.] Here he more apertly sheweth, what is ye true Iewishnes, & what the true circumcisiō. And he vseth iiij. antithesis or contrary positions: Outward & inward: the fleshe & the hart: the spirite & the letter: the prayse of men, and the prayse of God. But thys is to be marked, that where as he sayth, That he is not a Iew, which is a Iewe outwardly: neyther is that cir­cumcision, whyche is in the fleshe, these thynges oughte to be vnderstanded by exclusion (as they call it) so that, this woorde, onely, or alone be added. For that circumcision whyche is onelye in the fleshe, is not circumsion. And he whiche is a Iewe onelye outwardlye, is not a Iewe. But Paule see­meth to deny that simply, which should be denied but partly: because to exagg [...] ­rateThat sometimes is simply de­nied, which is denied onely partly. What the Fathers ment when they sayd that the Eucharist is not bread Against the Anabap­tistes. or amplify his matter he speaketh Hyperbolically. Such as is that saying, whē he sayth, that he was not sent to baptise. Neyther ought we any otherwise to vnderstand the Fathers, when they say that the Eucharist is not bread. They speake hiperbolically, and vnderstand that it is not breade onely, or alone, or cō ­mon breade: because vnto the bread, is added, the woorde of God, whereby it re­ceaueth the nature of a sacrament. And this is a stronge reason againste the A­nabaptistes. which haue euer in theyr mouth that saying of Paule vnto the Corrin­thians: Circumcision and vncircumcision are nothing: but the obseruation of the cōmaun­dements of God. So they saye that Baptisme, and the Eucharist, and the Ecclesi­asticall ministery are nothing, but pretend onely the obseruing of the cōmaun­dementes of God. But we aunswere them, as we haue now sayde of Paule, that other thinges are nothyng, if they be alone without fayth, and piety, and a holy life. But what it is to consist of the spirite and not of the letter, is thus declared, that by the spirite we vnderstand the renuing of the minde: whereby it willing­lyWhat is ment by the spirite and the letter. embraceth, and desyreth that whiche is contained in the outward commaun­dement of the law. For the spirite sometimes is taken for the excellenter part of the minde, and sometimes for the power and faculty, whereby God chaungeth and regenerateth a man. But we here by the spirite vnderstand the mynd of mā compacte of them both, being renued by the holy Ghost. But the letter signify­eth, whatsoeuer is outwardlye set before vs, be it neuer so spirituall, when it cleaueth not to our minde, or vrgeth not.

Wherefore the circumcision of the flesh, is the signe of the circumcision ofThe circū ­cision of the flesh, is the signe of the circumcisiō of the harte. The circū ­cision of the hart in the bookes of the law. Both God woorketh in vs good things, and we also woorke. The spirite and the let­ter are dis­cerned by the affect of the mind. the harte and of the mind. Therfore great care was to be had, that it should not be vayn or superfluous. This phrase touching the circumcision of the hart, Paul borowed out of the olde Testamente. In the. 10. chap: of Deut: commaundement was geuen, that they should circumcise the foreskins of theyr hartes: and in the selfe same booke the. 30. chapter. Moses promiseth, that God will one day circum­cise the foreskin of theyr hartes: to declare that either is true, namely, that God woorketh in vs the things that are good, and that we also worke the selfe same: forasmuch as God vseth our ministery to bring forth good woorkes. Wherfore so longe as our minde resisteth the woorde of God whiche is set foorth vnto vs, althoughe outwardlye it make a shewe of somewhat, yet is it occupied in the letter. But when it is made prone vnto the commaundementes of God, then is it gouerned by the spirite. Wherefore as touching the thinge whiche is set foorth and red, there is no difference betwene the spirite and the letter, but as touching the affect of the minde. Which thinge Paule hath declared in his latter Epistle to the Corinthians the 3. cap: whē he saith: Ye are the Epistle of Christ wrought by our ministery and written not wyth inke, but with the spirite of the liuing God, not in tables of stone, but in tables of flesh. Where he manifestlye teacheth, that this is the ministery of the spirite, whē in the tables of our hart are imprinted those things which God commaundeth, and will haue to be of vs beleued and done. Neyther let vs meruaile, that Paule sayth, that such an Epistle was written by him, whē as it is the worke of God: for he meaneth that he wrote it, onely as an instrumēt ioyned with the woorking of God. Wherefore they are to be counted ministers of the spirite, which do not onely expounde the woordes of God, but also do im­printeWho are ministers of the spi­rite. thē into the hartes of the hearers. Which thing such as do not, althoughe they speake good and healthfull thinges, yet are they but ministers of the letter: neither of theyr woorke followeth any thinge els, then the death of the hearers. For they which vnderstand the will of the Lord, and do it not, shalbe punished with ma­ny stripes. And therefore Paule sayde, that the letter killeth, but the spirite quickeneth. Wherefore it is the duety of pastors, and of them that teache, to pray vnto GodFor what thing pas­tors ought to pray. What is the true circumcision. moste ernestly, to make them ministers not of the letter, but of the spirite. Paule also vnto the Philippians declared what is the true circumcision, when he sayth: We are the circumcision, which serue God in the spirite, we glory in Christ, and haue not confidence in flesh. By these thre notes he expressed the spirituall circumcision. And vnto the Colossians after he had said, that we are circumcised in Christ, but yet with a circumcision not made by handes, he declareth by very many circumstances, what that circumcision is: namely, that we haue put of the body of the sins of the fleshe: that through Baptism we are buried together with Christ: that we haue forgeuenes of synnes: that the hand writing is put out, which was agaynst vs by reason of ordinances: and the principalityes & powers which were agaynst vs, are by Christ vanquished & ouercome. In which place this is not to be passed ouer, that baptisme is called the true cir­cumcision, so that it be in the spirite and the hart, and not in the letter and theBaptisme when it is in the spirite is the true circumcisiō. fleshe. Wherefore these sentences a Iewe inward and outward, the circumcision in the flesh and in the hart, are to be taken in respect as they are opposite one to the other: that is, a part, and disseuered one from the other. For ioyne them toge­ther, and then the sentence of Paule pertayneth not vnto them. For it is not to be doubted, but that there were very many Iewes in the olde tyme, which were Iewes both outward and inward: and were circumcised not only in the fleshe, but also in the harte. These thinges may be taken three maner of wayes: so that there is one circumcision of the fleshe, an other of the spirite, and the thyrd ioyned together of them both. For it is not to be thought, that the olde Testa­mentMany liued vnder the law which there­withall liued also vnder th [...] Gospell. An [...]or of the Mani­ches. was so seperated from the Gospell, that they which liued in it, could not also therewithall haue the Gospell. These two thinges are indeede seperated the one from the other: but yet in such sorte, that they may be ioyned together in one and the selfe same man. Manicheus so reiected the olde Testament, as [Page 50] though it were vtterly vnprofytable vnto vs. And vsed this kynde of reason: Forasmuch as that inheritance of the land of Chanaan pertayneth not vnto me, I do re­iect also both the Testament and the writinge whereby the bequest was made. Yea also though it should bring vnto me the possession of that land, yet Christ hath so ex­alted vs to better thinges, that I regard not these thinges. These wordes obiected Fau­stus, and they are red in the 4. booke of that worke whiche Augustine wrote a­gainst him. In which place he thus answereth him: Those thinges which are writ­ten The olde Testaraent pertayneth vnto vs also. in the olde Testament are types of our thinges. Forasmuch as Paule in his latter E­pistle to the Corrinthians sayth: These thinges happened vnto them in a figure: but they are written for our correction, vpon whome are come the endes of the world. And vnto the Romanes we reade whatsoeuer thinges are written, are written for our erudition and learning. And in the oracles of the olde Testament is promise made of Christ. Wher­fore he being raysed from the dead, and disputing with his two disciples of himselfe, cited testimonyes out of Moses, and out of the whole scripture. And the same Christ sayd, that the good father of the houshold brought forth of his treasure both new thinges and olde. Wherefore the olde Testament is not so contrary vnto the new, as the Mani­chies fayned it was. And therefore Paule when he semeth to speake any thingePaule whē he semeth to diminish any thing frō the law, condēneth not the olde testament. How we shall iudge rightly of the sacra­mentes. So much let euery man esteme himselfe, how much he seeth himselfe to be in the sight of God. ill of the law, that doth he not, but in respecte as it is taken by it selfe, a parte from Christ.

VVhose prayse is not of men, but of God.] Paule reiecteth not the prayse which commeth of men, but so farforth as it is seperated from the praise which commeth of God. In summe, although the sacramentes were not only profes­sions of faith, but also outward seales of the promises, and of the giftes of God: yet was not perfect righteousnes, to be put in their outward simboles. Hereby we gather that no man ought to boast of his outward thinges. So much let e­uery man esteme of himselfe, how much he seeth himselfe to be in the sight of God, who marketh not only the thinges whiche are seene, but is also the sear­cher of the hartes. Hereby we learne also, that both the wordes of God, and the sacramentes, if they be receaued only as thinges outward, do pertayne vnto the letter, which quickneth not, but killeth. And by these thinges, hath the A­postle made the Gentiles equall with the Iewes. For that they also mought no les then the Iewes, be Iewes inwardly, and haue circumcision in the hart: which God chiefely regardeth.

The third Chapter.

WHat is then the preferment of the Iewe? or what is the profite of circumcision? Much euery maner of way: For first, because vnto them were committed the wordes of God. For what though some did not beleue, shall their vnbeliefe make the fayth of God without effect? God forbid. Let God be true, and euery man a ly­ar, as it is written: That thou mightest be iustefied in thy words, and ouercome when thou art iudged.

The Apostle continueth still in that which he entended, namely, to accuse the Iewes. And now entreateth he of the fourth thing, which we tooke in hand to make declaration of: that is, that their noughty liuing was no let, but that the giftes which were geuen vnto them, were both excellent, and also to be had in great estimation. He had before much deiected thē for their corrupt life. ButA distinc­tion. because it could not be denyed, but that God excedingly loued their nation (when as we reade in the Psalme, He hath not done thus vnto euery nation) he se­meth to put a distinction: wherein, if we haue a respect vnto God, he graunteth, that he was very louing vnto them, when as he gaue vnto them these thinges, which he gaue not vnto other nacions: but if we consider them by themselues, [Page] then those excellent giftes, nothing profited them, vnles peraduenture to theyr farther iudgement, and condemnation, and that through theyr owne default, and not through any faulte of the giftes. And whē he setteth forth the dignity ofThe digni­ty of the Hebrues herein con­sisted, in that God committed vnto them both his words, and sacramēts. the Hebrues, he declareth that it chiefely consisteth in this, for that vnto them were committed the wordes of God. Which wordes, although they comprehē ­ded in them many thinges, yet aboue all thinges they offred vnto them the pro­mise of Christ, and of saluation. Which thinges the Iewes neglecting, wholy endeuored thēselues to the setting forth and extolling of circumcision, and out­ward rites. Euen as do our men also now in our dayes: who, when the sacra­mentes are set before them, and especially the supper of the Lord, haue a regard only vnto the outward simbols and signes, which are but the seales of the pro­mises and giftes of God: but the things themselues they consider not, and much les haue they them in estimation.

Much eu [...]ry maner of way.] This is not to be referred vnto this wordeMultum per omnem modum, not, mul­tam. profite, which went next before. For then he shoulde haue sayd, multam in the feminine gender. Therefore it is to be referred vnto that, which he put fyrst, when he sayd: VVhat preferment hath the Iew aboue the Gentile? He attribu­teth both vnto the Iewishe religion, and also vnto the sacramentes thereof, so much dignity, as he myght do by the word of God. And this hath a great em­phasis or force, that he answereth, Much euery maner of vvay.

For vvhat though some did not beleue, shall their vnbeliefe make the faith of God vvithout effect? God forbid.] These thinges he putteth by the figure An­tipophora, as though there were Gentiles, which went about to deface this dig­nity of the Iewes, for that they beleued not the wordes of God committed vnto them. But against them Paule writeth, that their noughtines was no hindrance at all vnto the truth of God. For, forasmuch as he is truth it selfe, whiche gaue them his word, and promised them that he would be their God, and that they should be hys people, their sinnes could nothing let, but that that whiche was promised, should take successe: because among that people there were alwayes some good men, which both beleued the promises of God, and also lyued vncor­ruptly. Wherefore in them, although not in all, was performed that which was promised. And so far is it of, that their noughtines of life was any derogati­on vnto the truth of the wordes of God, that by it rather it was illustrated, and appeared more bright. Which thing he proueth by a sentence of Dauid, as it shal afterward appeare. And as touching the words, where as the Apostle saith, First, he hath not a respect vnto order, as though he ment to rehearse a greate many other benefytes of God geuen vnto the Iewes: But it is in a maner an entrance or beginning of that which he entendeth to speake. Or els it signifyethThe words of God are a most riche treasure. the chiefest or principallest of those things which were geuen. Vndoubtedly the wordes of God were as a most rich treasure, which was long tyme hidden and layd vp among the Hebrues only, and not communicated vnto the Gentiles, vn­till the Apostles tyme. For this was the function committed vnto them, name­ly, to sow abrode this treasure among the Gentiles. It is certayne, that Ptolo­meus Philadelphus was desirous to haue the lawes of the Hebrues conuerted by the 70. interpreters into the Greke tonge. But yet for all that, knew not he, that those thinges which were therein contayned, pertayned vnto the Gentiles also. The Apostles only began to make manifest vnto the whole world, that the promises of Christ, & eternall saluatiō, were common also vnto the Gētiles. And marke in this place, that those prerogatiues only are mencioned of, which were geuen freely, and depended not of any vertue of the receauers. And this particle God forbid, which he most oftentymes vseth, is euery where ioyned vnto those thinges in a maner, of which it is not lawfull for vs once to thinke: forasmuch as whosoeuer is a professor of godly religion, ought to abhorre them.

Let God be true and euery man a lyer.] Man is many wayes a lyar: part­ly,Man many wayes a lyar. because by reason of inconstancy he doth not alwayes abyde still in one and [Page 51] the selfe same purpose: partly, because he performeth not those thinges which he promiseth: and partly, because he oftentymes bringeth forth a lye, and that ether of infirmity, whilest he is not able to attayne vnto the truth, or els of an euill purpose to vse deceite. This sentence is read in the 116. Psalme In my hast A place of Dauid out of the 116. Psalme. I sayd, euery man it a lyar. And certayne interpreters of the Hebrues affirme, that Dauid had then a respect vnto Samuell. For when he was on euery side enclosed in by the host of Saule, & was in a maner past all hope to escape, such cogitacions were offred vnto him through the infirmity of the fleshe: as though the Prophet had made a lye touching those thinges, which he had promised him concerning the kingdome. Or els, he mought speake these thinges against himselfe: for that when according to mans reason he had cast awaye all hope of escaping, and thought himselfe to be in a maner forsaken of God, as soone as he came agayne into the right way, he brake into this sentence, Euery man is a lyer, because he also had deceaued himselfe touching the goodnes of God. And by the antithe­sis or contrary position it is playne, that a liar here signifieth an vnconstant person. For before he sayde, Let God be true. Wherefore we maye con­cludeThe word of God and the sacra­mentes de­pend not of our fayth. that the dignity of the scripture or of the sacramentes, dependeth not of our fayth or misbeliefe. For whether we beleue God or mistrust him, they are to be estéemed according to their dignitie: because they depend of the institution of God, who is most true: neither is hys truth chaunged through our defaultes: as Dauid writeth:

That thou mightest be iustified in thy wordes, and ouercome when thou arte iudged. Thus the 70. interp [...]eters haue turned it, whom Paule now fol­loweth: when as in the Hebrewe it is thus written: Lemaan titsdek be dhob recha tizkeh beschoatecha. And that which the 70. haue turned, That thou mightest be iustified, may accordyng to the Hebrewe be: Therfore shalt thou be iu­stified. And where as it is written, agaynst thee onely haue I sinned, Rabbi Da­uid Chimchi expoundeth it thus: I haue priuilie and in secret, transgressed: and therefore agaynst thée onely. But thou art iustified, and in iudgement ouercom­mest: which hast by Nathan the Prophet shewed ye thou knowest these thinges. But thys exposition fitteth not very well with the wordes of Paule: Wherfore we omitte it. Others interprete it: Although Dauid sinned agaynst Ʋrias, and agaynst Bersabe, and agaynst the hoste of Israell: yet these were not sinnes, but in respecte that they were prohibited by God in the lawe. For there hence depen­deth the iuste consideration of sinne. But it is better to say, that Dauid was so much gréeued, because he sawe, that God, by reason of hys sinne was blasphe­med, and had in derision, which bare fauour vnto such a kyng, who to satisfie hys owne filthye luste, permitted hys enemyes to haue the vpperhand. These things (I say) so much vexed hym, that in that feruencie of minde, he had a regarde vnto these thynges onely. And therfore by the figure Hyperbole, he sayth: Against thee onely haue I sinned. As we, when we are oppressed with many troubles at one tyme, are accustomed to say of the chiefest and greatest trouble which afflicteth vs most: Thys one thyng greueth me very much. But afterward he comforteth hym selfe, hauing conceaued a firme hope, and sayth: That thou mightest be iusti­fied in thy wordes, as if he shoulde say: Vndoubtedly I haue greuouslye sinned: but such is thy goodnes, that hereby I sée it to bee more poured out: so that al­waies, when thou contendest in iudgement, thou wilt in the cause, haue the vp­perhand. Neyther is it to be thought, that Dauid when he sinned, had thys con­sideration in hys minde, to illustrate the goodnes of God. For there he sought onely to satisfie hys owne desire and luste. Wherefore, thys particle, That, hathGood haps are not to be ascribed vnto sinnes but vnto the mercy of God. a respecte, not vnto Dauid, but vnto God, by whose benefite it commeth to passe, that of that which is euill, shoulde come some good vnto them which loue hym. Forasmuch as vnto them, all thynges turne to good. Wherfore, the good things, which followe after sinnes cōmitted, are to be ascribed, not vnto our sinnes, but to the mercy of God. Neyther let vs maruaile, that God is iudged as Paul saith. For oftentymes it happeneth, that men when they thinke them selues to be euillGod is iudged of men. handled of hym, they reason concerning hys iudgementes, and although not in [Page] wordes, yet in thoughtes they striue agaynst hym. But then if they shoulde call to memorye, how many & how greuous sinnes they haue committed, they should alwayes p [...]rceaue, that God is in hys cause iustified, and ouercommeth. Thys worde, wordes, which in Hebrewe is bedhobrecha, may signifie iudiciall acti­ons: and in that sense haue I interpreted it. Although other take that worde for the wordes of the promises, and especially touchyng Christ. For Dauid when he considered, that he had greuouslye fallen, desired God to make him cleane, and that he woulde not, by reason of the wicked acte which he had committed, cease to accomplishe the promise, which was, that of hys séede shoulde Christ be borne. Which interpretation Ambrose hath. But besides the expositions now allea­ged of these wordes, there are two other expositions also: Of which, the one is thys: For that Dauid was a kyng, and was the chiefest in authoritie amongest the people of God, he had no iudges ouer hym, whose tribunall seate, or iudge­ment, or sentence, he shoulde néede to be afrayde of. But he saw, that onely the wrath of God dyd hange ouer hys head. Therefore he sayd: Ʋnto thee onely am I giltie, although men can not punishe me. The other exposition is: Ʋrias, Bersabe, and part of the hoste haue bene ill delte withall through my meanes: but they vn­doubtedly, as they were men, had sinnes, for which they deserued those thynges which they suffred: yea, and thynges farre more greuous then them. But thou O God, hast nothing in thée for which I ought so to offend thée, whom thou hast adorned with so many great benefites, and exalted to so high a dignitie. There were some also which thought, that thys addition, That thou myghtest be iustifi­ed in thy sayinges, is to be referred vnto that, which went before: Haue mercy vppon me O God: Washe me, and clense me: that being receaued into grace, I may obtayne those thynges which thou hast promised me: and so thou mayest be iusti­fied and ouercome, euen by the iudgement of men. Here we sée, that thys wordeOf the woord iusti­fieng. It is the part of per­fect men when they are afflicted to acknow­ledge God to be good. iustifying, signifieth not to obtayne any newe righteousnes, which thyng we can not ascribe vnto God, but to be counted or pronounced iuste. For euery man doth not, when he is afflicted, acknowledge God to be good. Of that minde was Daniell, when he sayd: Ʋnto thee belongeth righteousnes, but vnto vs confusion of face. God suffred Peter the Apostle, Dauid the kyng, and Moses to sinne: that calling them backe agayne vnto hym, and geuing vnto them the thynges which hee had promised them, he might the more declare hys goodnes. But because some men myght thinke, that by those wordes may be gathered, that men which pro­fesse pietie, although they liue wickedly, yet shall notwithstanding obtayne the promises of God, if thys be generally true, that our incredulitie or noughtines, are no hinderaunce vnto the promises of God: we must therfore make a distinc­tionA distincti­on of the promise of God. betwene the promises of God. For there are some onely touching outward thynges, and tend onely to temporall good thinges: as that their publicke wealth should be preserued: that the kingdome shoulde continue in the stocke of Dauid: and that Christ should take fleshe of hys séede. The sinnes and vnbeliefe of mē, could nothyng hinder the bringing to passe of these thynges. In déede in y meane tyme, came captiuities and afflictions, howbeit at the length the promise of God, as touchyng all these thynges, tooke place. There is an other kinde of promises touching those thinges, which pertayne vnto our saluation. And vnto these in déede, the vngodly do not attayne. And yet can we not therefore inferre, that by our wicked doinges, the promises of God are frustrated. For they pertayne not generally vnto all men, but onely vnto those which be called by the predestinati­onVnto whome pertaine the promises of God. of God, according to election: as it is writtē in this Epistle the 9. chap. where it is sayd: Not as though the worde of God hath fallen awaye: And straight way is added: Are the children of the fleshe the children of God? And aunswere is made: They which are the children of promise are counted for the seede. Wherfore they vnto whome the promises pertayne, if they haue fallen, shalbe called backe agayne to repentance. And so theyr synnes which they haue before committed, shall not make voyd the promises of God. Indede as touching thē, they deserued to haue them made frustrate. For they hauing once broken couenaunt, it wer conueni­ent, [Page 52] that God toward them, should not stande to his promises accordinge to this common sentence, Qui fraugit fidem, fides fraugitur eidem. That is, He whiche breaketh promise, let promise againe be broken vnto hym. But God so dealeth not to the end his goodnes might be the better declared. And those things whichVnto vs also pertayne those thin­ges which Paule now teacheth. Paule now speaketh of the Iewes pertaine vnto vs also. For, most excellent are these benefites of God towardes vs: namely, that the Gospell is committed vnto vs: that we haue baptisme, the holy Eucharist, and such other like: which thinges vndoubtedly the Turkes and infidels haue not. But a man might obiect, what do these thinges profite, when as in the meane tyme very many are a great deale the worse, and the most part abuse them. We aunswer with Paule, that by this is the goodnes of God to be gathered, that he will suffer many noughty men and hi­pocrites for a few good mens sakes, whiche vse these giftes well: and will rather very long beare with many wicked men, then that his church should come to ru­me. Thou wilt say peraduenture, then he willeth their sinnes if he suffer them.We ought not after the example of God to suffer sins when we may amend them. What els, after a certaine maner he willeth them? Otherwise he would not suf­fer them, vnles he willed them, for God suffereth nothyng against his will. But hereby canst thou not gather any excuse for mē, or y we also must alwayes beare with sinnes. For God hath no law prescribed vnto him. Therfore when he of hys goodnes doth whatsoeuer thinges he will, he is not to be accused. But vnto vs is a law geuen, wherin we are commaunded to admonish our neighbor, whom we sée to offend: and that not once, or alone, but twise, and the third tyme, & to take witnesses with vs: so that if at the length he will not heare vs, let him be brought before the congregation, which if he also neglect, let him be counted for a Publi­cane and an Ethenike. These thinges are prescribed vnto vs, and therfore ought to be done of vs, so that the sinnes be manifest, and that it may be done without a schisme. Otherwyse, if by plucking vp the tares, shoulde also be rooted vp the wheat, it must be differred vntill the end, as Augustines iudgement is. But in the meane time, some wicked men vse to say, I woulde to God, we had neuer had ei­ther the woord of God, or Baptisme, or the Eucharist. For, forasmuche as these thinges profite vs not, they are to our greater and more bitter iudgemente. But these m [...]nne ought to consider, that this euell commeth not of God, but of them­selues. Those thinges whiche are geuen by God, are good: let them ascribe vnto themselues, whatsoeuer euell commeth of them: and let them knowe that those thinges are alwayes profitable vnto some: although very oftentimes to the grea­ter parte they serue vnto condemnation. Wherefore a good pastor ought not toPastors al­though the [...] se that they profite not much, yet ought they not to for­sake theyr ministery. An example of the Pro­phets. forsake his ministery to cease of, either from preachyng, or from ministryng the sacraments, vnder this pretence, because he séeth his labour to profite but a litle, yea rather that men become a great deale worse. Forasmuch as the truth of thys place abideth vnshaken: namely, that these thinges haue great profite. Neither is there any cause why he should feare that he is not sent of God, so that his calling be as touchyng other circumstances iust and lawfull. For the Prophets without doubt were sent by the Lord, when the captiuity of Babilon was at hand. And when of theyr sermons they had none, or at the le [...]t, very litle fruit, & their words as touchyng the greater parte, were both to iudgement & condemnation: yet ceased they not from the charge committed vnto them. The Lord hath assigned oneWhen it is lauful to depart from the mini­stery. cause onely, for which it is lawfull for the ministers of the worde, to holde theyr peace: namely, when men wil no more geue eare, and openly deride and mocke at those thynges which are spoken. Then vndoubtedly, must they shake of the dust of theyr féete and go theyr wayes. But so long as they wyl abyde to heare, al though they striue agaynst it, yet are they to be borne wyth all. Neyther doth the worde of God by and by bryng forth hys fruites: as the féede cast into y grounde doth not streight way spring vp. And there are many tymes some, which whē theyThe sede of the word of God doth not streight way bryng forth his fruite. haue heard the word of the Lord, do not at that tyme bryng forth fruit. But after ward beyng both chastised by God, and more [...]ehemently stirred vp, with fruite they repete with themselues those things which otherwise they hard without profite. Which selfe thyng happeneth in the sacrament of Baptisme. For a man shall fynde an infinite number, which haue had it by them a long tyme wyth out any fruite. [Page] But afterward beyng conuerted vnto God, they do not onely much esteeme it,Baptisme sometymes is had a long tyme without fruite. Whether the papistes haue the promise of the holy ghost. but also therby they profite much. Here also the Papistes obiect an other doubt vnto vs. The promises of God (say they) are not made voyde (as Paule sayeth) thorough our sinnes and vnbeliefe. Therfore seing we haue the promise of God, that by the holy ghost he wil alwayes be present with vs to gouerne his church: he fully performeth the same. Wherfore ye do ill in departing frō our rules and our communion. But these men are excedingly deceiued: when as the promise of the holy ghost was made vnto the disciples of the Lord and not vnto them.

First, let them proue that they are the disciples of Christ, and then will we be­leue thē. They which are the disciples of Christ, adde nothing vnto his wordes, neither appoint any thing contrary to the holy scriptures: which thing these mē vndoubtedly do. They cry out that the holy ghost is geuen vnto the church. WeThe church hath the holy gost, but not the con­gregation of the aduersaries of the Gospell. graunt that. But what maner of church is that church? A counsell of bishops? or a sinode of mitred prelates? The holy ghost hath alwayes bene in the church, and hath inspired some good men to cry out against these men, when as they or deined their decrees contrary to the worde of God. In summe, the Apostles meaning is, that the performing of the promises of God, dependeth not of our me­rites, but of the goodnes of God. And, as it is manifest by the wordes of Dauid when he sayth, Agaynst thee onely haue I sinned, We, when we praye vnto God,We bryng nothing of our owne vnto God but sinnes. doe bryng nothyng vnto hym but sinnes. Therefore we desire hym to heare vs, that he might be iustefied in his sayings. Hypocrites wyll be heard for theyr merites & good workes sake: for they acknowledge not their sinnes. But they which vnderstād them, do therby take great consolation, because their trust is, that they shalbe heard euē through the goodnes of God. For forasmuch as they see that in themselues all thinges are full of vncleanes, they woulde neuer pre­sume to lifte vp eyther theyr eyes or prayers vnto God. Farther let vs marke,We must speake well of the giftes of God and inueigh a­gainst the abuses. that the Apostle reuerenceth the gifts of God, and onely inueigheth against thē which abuse them. For he saw that it followeth not, that if men beinge by God aduaunced vnto great honors, and they in the meane time are ingrate towards him, that therefore those honors should not be had in estimation. The husbande men of the Lords vyneyard were vndoubtedly noughty men. But theyr nough­tines caused not, that the ornamentes of the vineyarde, whyche Christ and Esay make mencion of, were not wonderfull excellent and profytable.

Now if our vnrighteousnes commendeth the righteousnes of God, what shall we saye: Is God vnrighteous whiche bringeth in wrath? (I speake as a man) God forbid. Els howe shall God iudge the world? For if the verity of God hath more abounded throughe my lie vnto his glorye, why am I yet condemned as a sinner? And (as we are blamed, and as some affirme that we saye) why do we not euell, that good may come thereof? whose damnation is iust.

Novv if our vnrighteousnes commendeth the rightousnes of God, what shal vve say.] Here Paule turneth somewhat from his purpose, but it is not a di­gression strange from the cause, which is entreated of. He before very much ex­tolled the mercy of God: and declared, that the promises of God were not made of none effect through the vnbeliefe of menne: yea rather that by our sinnes the goodnes of God is more illustrated. Hereby he saw, there mighte be obiected vnto him (as the wisdome of the flesh, is alwaies redy to speake ill of the words of God, and to wrest them to a corrupt sence) both that God is vniust, which pu­nisheth our sinnes, when as by them he is made more illustrious: and also, that we, without hauing any regarde, oughte to committe synne, seing God, by our wicked actes, is more iustefyed, and so, hath alway the victory, and his cause is thereby made the better. Commendeth, sayth he: which in the Greeke is [...], which signifyeth also, to confyrme, and to establish. Which thinge very well a­gree [Page 53] with commendatiō. Which forme of speaking the Apostle afterward vseth,Paral [...]gis­mus acci­dentis. when he fayth, that God hath commended vnto vs, his loue, for that when we were yet sinners, he gaue his owne sonne for vs. But in this kinde of obiection is committed a false argument taken of the accident. For that it is not the office of sinnes pro­perly and of themselues, to illustrate the glory of God. Which selfe thinge may also be sayd of that which is writtē in this selfe same epistle, That of the fall of the Iewes, followed the saluation of the Gentiles: For we must not thinke, that theyr fall was the true and proper cause of the saluation of the Gentiles. For it came of the determination of God. For God had appoynted, that the preachinge of the Gospell, beinge reiected of the Iewes, shoulde be transferred vnto the Ethnickes. And they whiche let loose the bridle vnto sinne vnder this pretence, for that they would thereby make God to haue the victory, & iustefy him, are muche like vn­to them, which hauing bene payned with a most greuous sicknes, and then be­ing restored to health by the Phisition, haue made his arte more famous, will a­gayne endeuour them selues, to fall againe into the selfe same kinde of disease, that thereby the Phisition maye be the more renowmed: or if poore men & beg­gers should determine, that therfore they would eyther wante or begge, thereby more and more to shew foorth the liberality of riche men. That which of it selfe conduceth to the setting forth of the glory of God, oughte not to be blame woor­thy, or filthy. Vertues whiche are ioyned with true prayse, do of themselues ad­uaunce the glory of God. We ought not to meruayle, that our doctrine is sometimesThe doc­trine of the Apostles was sub­iect vnto sclaunders. oppressed with sclaunders, when as we see, that this selfe same thing happened vnto the Apostles. They preached true things, & yet the vngodly through theyr sophisticall subtelties, inferred of theyr woordes most pernicious conclu­sions. Paule preached those thinges which we now read, and had oftentimes in­cultated, that grace is ther aboundant, where sinne hath abounded: and taught, that the law therfore entred in, that sinne shoulde be increased. Of these thinges the vngodly sayd it followeth, that men should sinne freely, because to the attay­nemente of grace and the promises of God, we haue neede of synnes. All menneAll men are greeued when they heare that they are e­uill spoken of, and espe­cially mini­sters. doubtles are sory when they heare theyr name or fame to be euell spoken of. For they vnderstande, that the prayse of a good name, and of a good fame, is an ex­cellente good gifte of God. But aboue other, the pastors and ministers of the word of God, are most greeuously troubled with this kind of discommodity. Be­cause they rightwell perceaue that theyr infamye, and especially as touchinge doctrine, redoundeth not onely against the truth of God, but also bringeth no small hurt vnto the people committed vnto theyr charge. Therfore the Apostles did euermore put away suche slaunders from themselues. And that the fathers also did the like, theyr writinges do testefye. But Paule in thys place doth not playnely absolue that which he obiected vnto himselfe, but afterward in the 6. chapter the matter shalbe more at large discussed. Onely at this presente he de­pelleth from his doctrine false slaunders. And those things the vngodly are ther­fore wont to obiect, because when they are accused, they are alwayes ready to lay vpon God the cause and blame of theyr sinnes, not in deede manifestly, but by circumstances. Some whē they are accused, say, that they are driuen by the starres to commit those things, which they do. But who made the stars? God. Why, then God is accused? So came it to passe in our fyrste parente, when God reproued hym. The woman (sayde he) whiche thou gauest me, she hath deceaued me. The wic­ked de lay vnto God the cause of theyr sins. And by these woordes he wrested the cause of his sinne vnto God. After the selfe same manner do these men deale, whome Paule now speaketh of. We sinne, say they, but the doctrine of the Apostle hath declared vnto vs, that our sinnes are no let vnto the glory of God, but rather pertayne vnto the settinge foorth of his truth, fayth, and constancy of promises. And what other thinge els is this, then to accuse the word of God? As touching the first obiection Paule sayth.

Is God vnrighteous, vvhich bringeth in anger?] As though he shoulde haue sayd: that which ye fayne vnto your selues, that synnes are vniustlye punished, [Page] if by their occasion the goodnes of God be set foorth, is absurde. For then God should iudge vniustlye. But no good vpryght reason can once imagine, that he which is iudge of all men, should be vniust. Therfore he addeth.

I speake as a man.] That is, these thinges I spake, not that I thinke so in very déede: but I speake those thinges, which men both oftentymes thinke, and do also not very seldome obiect vnto vs. But as touching the wordes, it shalbe good to note, that whereas it is sayde: If our vnrighteousnes commende the righte­ousnes of God, by the righteousnes of God is vnderstanded his goodnes and mer­cy. For that word which is in the Hebrue Tsedek, our men haue turned iustice or righteousnes: when as in very deede it signifieth mercy. He also vseth thys word the truth of God, which signifieth nothing els then his fayth or fidelity. For before he sayde, Shall our vnbeliefe make the fayth of God, without effect? Fayth, in that place, and truth, in this place is nothing els then a constancy in promises and couenantes. And when we reade, I speake as a man, we are taught, what maner of thinges those are which we thinke vpon, so long as we are not rege­nerate but are strangers from God. Origen in this place followeth an other rea­ding. For he hath, [...]. And this particle he ioyneth with those things which went before, so that thereof this sentence he gathereth. Is God vniust, which bringeth in anger agaynst man? God forbid. But the common reading, is both playne, and also serueth well to the purpose. The maner which the A­postle vseth in aunswering, when he sayth, God forbid, teacheth vs, how redyGod forbid, what it sig­nifieth with the Apostle. we ought to be to repell from our thoughtes and cogitations, whatsoeuer ab­surd thing, reasō inferreth out of the scriptures against God. We ought straight way to answere. These thinges are after the maner of men, and therefore are they not to be harkened vnto. It oftentymes happeneth that our sense thinketh, that God is cruell, and forgetfull of his, an accepter of persons, and such lyke. But then must we call to memory, that the doinges of God, are not to be mea­suredThe do­ings of God, are not to be measured by the law of man. according to the law of man, for he is aboue all lawes, neyther ought to be iudged of any other. This thinges haue the flatterers attributed vnto the bishop of Rome, bearing him in hand, that he hath the fulnes of power, where­by he can dispence both with the lawes of man, and also with the lawes of God: so that he himselfe can be iudged of no man. Which fulnes of power, one Baldus a lawyer not the worst of his time, writeth to be the fulnes of time, as which in­uerteth and turneth vpside downe all rightes and lawes. These thinges are a­gréeable vnto God only. Wherefore it is blasphemy to attribute them vnto a­ny man. Only touching thinges of God, it is wickednes to search out the cau­ses and reasons: but whatsoeuer Philosophers or any other kinde of men do set forth vnto vs, it must be exactly examined by the word of God.

And (as we are blamed, and as some affirme that we say) why do we not e­uill thinges that good may ensue? whose damnation is iust.] Now withstandeth he the other obiection, wherein the aduersaryes sayde, that we shoulde sinne, that thereof myght follow some excellent good thing, namely, the iustifi­cation of God, and commendation of his mercy. Whereunto with one words he answereth this, when he sayth, that the damnation of these men is iust. For by that meanes he confesseth, that that so greuous an error is farre strange frō his doctrine, when as he cōdemneth it together with thē, although some expound it, in the passiue signification, as though the condemnation, whereby they are con­demned, were for that they had so euill an opinion of the Gospell. Their obiec­tions are answered, when they are brought to these absurdities which couldeSinnes are not the true cause that God should be made iuste. Against good en­tentes. not be concluded of these thinges which are spoken of Paule, but of the false sur­mising of these men: whereby they thought that sinnes were the true cause that God should be made iust. For the Apostle also sayth together with them, that euil things are not to be committed, that good should come thereof. Wher­fore let no man pretende for their sinne a good entent as they vse to say. There is of God a law set forth vnto vs, it is our part to be obedient vnto it. Let vs [Page 54] not followe the reasoninges of man, thinking with our selues, if I shall obey the commaundements of the Lord, this discomodity or that inconuenience will fol­low. This were for a man to preferre himselfe before God: as though he had not foreseene what might happen vnto vs by the obseruing of his commaundemēts. Augustine oftentimes citeth this place, when he writeth to Consentius against lieng. And assuredly we also at this time haue much contentiō with them, which defend many euill things vnder the pretence of a good ende. They haue presumed to maime and to dismember the Sacramente of the Eucharist, because they suspected, that the wine might he spilled out of the cuppe, if it should be distribu­ted vnto the laye men. They will haue the people also to praye in an vnknowne tongue, whiche is forbidden by the woorde of God: and they say, that a laudable entente and good ende is sufficient. And so presume they vpon infinite moe other thinges, not weighing, what the holy Ghost sayth in this place. Yea, and they lay the selfe same thinges vnto our charge, which are now obiected vnto Paule. For when we preache iustification freely, and without woorkes, they saye, that we o­pen an entrance, and way vnto losenes of life, & that we condemne good works:Iustificati­on freely geuen is not against good workes. The fam [...] ­lies of the Papists do debilitate good workes. when as yet we teach not these thinges. God indeede forgeueth sinnes freelye: but he doth not therefore geue vnto his, licence to sinne: but together with iusti­fication, is geuen the holy Ghost, and an innouation of life: whereof springeth no small endeuour to good workes. But if agaynst them we would vrge such kinde of cauillations, peraduenture they shoulde be founde to geue farre more greater occasion to loosenes of life: forasmuch as they teach, that if a manne confesse his sinnes, and receaue the Ecclesiasticall absolution, althoughe he haue in his mind no good and holy motions, yet is iustificatiō offred, so that he lay not a let against it, as they vse to speake. But this is a very easy matter to do, and openeth a way vnto sinnes, which thing also no lesse doth theyr purgatory. But we promise not iustification, but where as is a true and perfect fayth, after which continually do followe good woorkes. Wherefore seinge vnto vs are obiected the selfe same thinges, that were obiected vnto Paule, it is manifest, that both he and we haue one and the selfe same cause. But we muste not geue place to these humane rea­soninges.The Ori­ginall cause of the fall of the Nona­tians. So fell the Nouatians: who pretending that they would not minister a­ny occasions to sinne, at length denied repentance. And other many suche exam­ples might be brought foorth.

What thē, are we more excellent then they? No, in no wise: for we haue alredy proued, that all, both Iewes and Gentiles, are vnder sinne. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that vnderstādeth: there is none yt seeketh after God. They haue al gone out of ye way: they haue ben made altogether vnprofi­table: there is none that doth good, no not one. Their throte is an open sepulchre: they haue vsed theyr tongues to deceite: the poyson of aspes is vnder theyr lippes. Whose mouth is full of cursinge and bitternes. Theyr feete are swifte to shead bloude. Destruction and calamitie, arc in theyr wayes, And the way of peace haue they not knowne. The feare of God, is not before theyr eyes.

What then, do we excell them? No by no meanes.] Now returneth he to his purpose, from whence he had before somewhat diuerted. And although he seeme to ascribe many great thinges vnto the Iewes at this present, yet meaneth he not, that therby should be concluded, that they excel the Ethnikes. But this ra­ther is his entente to make them equall with the Ethnikes. Neyther doth that which he now writeth repugne with that which he before spake: although at the first sight there seemeth to be in woords some contradiction. For before he wrote that the state of the Iewes was very excellent, and that circumcision brought vn­to them great vtility. But here he seemeth to deny those thinges, whiche he then spake. But the distinction which we before made mencion of, doth easly concili­ate [Page] these thinges. For if we looke vpon God, vndoubtedly he hath bestowed vpon the Iewes a greate many thinges, which he hath not geuen vnto other na­tiōs. But if we haue a respect vnto the Iewes, they so abused those good thinges that they had nothing wherein they excelled other nations. Whereby commeth to passe, that either sentence is true. The Greeke Scholies do admonishe vs, that this sentence may be red two manner of wayes. For the Ethnikes, hearinge those things, which the Hebrewes had peculiarly obteined of God to be so much extolled, demaund, What then? Are we ouercome, or haue they the victory ouer vs? So that this woord [...], which we haue englished, do vve excell? may be taken passiuely. The other reading is, to take this verbe in the actiue significa­tion, as though these thinges shoulde be spoken vnder the person of the Iewes. For when as they had now hearde, theyr giftes to be so extolled, they inferre. What then, do we not in dignity excell the Gentils? Vnto whome Paule by negation aunswereth: No by no meanes. And this aunswere hath a great Emphasis, or force: as though he should haue sayd. The thinges which I haue before made menci­on of, pertayne vnto the person geuen you of God: and they are none of yours. And in that he putteth in himselfe amongst them, in saying: do vve excel? he ma­keth his reprehension more gentle, and more tollerable. Neyther yet in the meane time maketh he a lye, forasmuche as he himselfe also was a parte of the people of Israell as touchinge the fleshe. There is in the Church so greate a con­nexionA connexiō betwene the good and the euill. of those which are in it conuersant together, that euen as the euill, which are amongest the good are in certaine thinges pertakers of theyr prayses and benefites (for, for the good sake doth God the longer beare with them, and they haue the vse of good thinges aswell spirituall as temporall.) So contrarilye for the euell sake no small discommodityes redounde vnto the sayntes: forasmuche as they haue a feeling of theyr punishments, and are oftentimes wrapped in the same miseryes that they are: neyther haue they anye thinge whereof iustlye toThe sinnes of the wic­ked pertain after a sorte vnto the good. complaine, when as vnto them pertaine after a sort the offences of others. For they haue not eyther admonished, or reproued, or blamed them so much as they ought to haue done. Neyther haue they alwayes shewed them selues an exam­ple of good life as it became thē: neyther praid they for thē so much as they oght to haue done. Wherefore the holy prophets acknowledging in themselues such a communion of sinnes, sayd with others: We haue sinned, we haue done iniquity. Vnto thee belongeth righteousnes, vnto vs confusion of face. Now he rēdreth a reason, why the Iewes haue nothing wherein they excell the Gentils.

Because, sayth he, vve haue alredy proued, and shevved causes, that asvvell the Ievves as the Gentils are vnder sinne.] And now besides his accusations, he al­ledgeth testimonies also of the scriptures, in which were most manifestlye com­prehended the Iewes. For it is not likely, that the prophets and the scriptures, would reproue the sinnes of other nacions, and speake nothing of theyr sinnes vnto whome they chiefely pertayned. Whensoeuer the Gentils are reproued in the scriptures, thou shalte see them expressed by name. The burthen of Damascu [...] (sayth Esay) The burthen of Egipt, the burthen of Tyrus, and such like.

There is none iust, no not one.] This testemony is written in the. 14. psal. and in the Hebrew is redde, En esah tob, non faciēs bonum, not doinge good. The Greeke interpreters haue turned it [...]. which is to do a good dede, or a thinge profitable to our neyghbour. Therin he playnely sheweth, that they were without loue and charitie. It followeth:

There is none that vnderstādeth, ther is none that seketh after God] These words are red in the. 53. psal. And it is a generall oracle, as well against y Gentils as a­gainst the Iewes. For before these wordes it is there writtē: The Lord looked down from heauen vpon the sonnes of Adam, to see whether there were any that hadde vnder­standing, and sought after God. Which thinges are spoken per Anthro popathian: as though God were affected with the selfe same proprieties as men are wonte to be. And this serueth to driue an efficacy into those thinges, which are spoken: [Page 55] otherwise God seeth all thinges, neyther needeth he ether to beholde, or to s [...]rcheHow God is sayd to looke vpon men. out any thinge. By this kinde of figure in the booke of Genesis, he is sayd to haue descended vnto the Tower, when it was in buildinge: and in the same booke he sayth, that he woulde go to Sodome, to se whither the thinge were so, as the cry & fame had declared vnto him. Althoughe Augustine entreatinge vpon this place writeth that God beholdeth and looketh vpon menne, when he stirreth vp those whom he hath inspired with his holy spirite to do any thinge: according to those phrases of speache whereby he is sayd to tempte or txye, to knowe whither he be beloued or no. For he knoweth also with out any trials: but yet by them he brin­geth to passe that we are admonished, and do know that which before we knew not. So Paule sayth, that the spirite searcheth out the profound thinges of God. For, forasmuch as the holy Ghost is God, he nedeth no searching out for the knowledgeHow the spirite sear­cheth out the pro­founde thinges of God. of any thing. But y Apostle so speaketh, because by his impulsion we are stirred vp to serch out those things which pertaine to God. But because there is added.

From heauen, least that should be a let, Augustine affirmeth, that no man can vnderstand this corruption of men, vnlesse his mind be conuersaunte in heauen, and inspired with the spirite of God. But the first interpretacion is both easier & redier. And in that men are said, not to vnderstād God, it is not ment of the sim­pleWhether men are truly said not to vn­derstande God. If God be euerye where, why is it sayd that he must be sought for. Faith is not natural in men. and vulgare knowledge, but of the mighty knowledge and whiche is of effi­cacy: so that to vnderstād is as much to say as to feele and to sauour God.

Nor seking after God.] Although all thinges are full of God, yet is he to be sought for of godly men, by reason of the darkenes which cōpasseth our mynds through originall sinne. For both the fleshe, and the senses, and earthly affecti­ons, do let vs from knowing of hym, yea though he be present. And by this se­cond testimony all men are proued to be without fayth. It followeth.

All haue gone out of the way, and are made altogether vnprofitable. There is none that doth good, no not one.] Those thinges are spoken as it were out of the mouth of God, after that he had beheld from heauen the maners of men. And this vndoubtedly is a consequent, that they which are destitute of fayth and charity, do go backward, and do depart from God. For so soundeth this word in the Hebrue, which is here sayd, They haue gone out of the way. And that which is here written, They are become vnprofitable, is in the Hebrue, they are become rotten, and haue brought forth a stinking sauor: which com­meth to passe when sinnes are publikely, and dayly committed.

There is none, no not one.] Some by this word one, vnderstand Christ: because he alone was free from sinne. Which sentence although it be true, yet is not their interpretation agreable with these woordes, when as in the Hebrue it is En gam eched, that is, no not one. And by that meanes, this sentence is of great force to exaggerate and amplify the customable wickednes of men. Par­aduenture this semeth strange, why the holy prophetes, as Dauid and such other like are not excepted. Some aunswere, that herein is vsed the figure hiperbole, because the greater parte of men was so infected. But in my iudgement this se­meth to be more agreeable with the truth, that the holy ghost speaketh of the nature of men, as it is of it selfe. For they which were comprehended in Christ, were exemted out of this number, which thing yet was geuen thē, not by their owne strengthes, or in respect that they were men, but because they were rege­nerate and renued by Christ.

Their throte is an open sepulchre, They haue vsed their tongues to deceite.] These wordes are read in the v. Psal. Hetherto he hath shewed that they were not profitable to their neighbours, neither sought they after God. But now he declareth, that both in tonge, and also in dedes, they were hurtfull toward their neighbours. He compareth their mouth to a sepulchre, because it spake filthy things, and stanke as a sepulchre doth. A sepulchre also sendeth not agayne theThe Me­taphore of a sepulchre. deade, whome it hath once swallowed vp. So these men, with their tongues and vncleane mouth vexe men without measure & ende. Further a sepulchre is sayd [Page] neuer to be satisfied. So these mē are not content wt the destructiō of one or two: but are redy, if it lay in them, to deuour all men. In sōme, he affirmeth them to be such maner of men, that whosoeuer is once wrapped with the nettes of their words, is as vtterly cast away, as they are which are already layd in the sepul­chre or graue. Neither wanteth this worde, Open, an emphasis. Because sepul­chres being shut receaue not those things which are, brought in: but being open they refuse nothing. To vse their tongues to disceate, is amōg the Hebrues Ieholl kō, which word is deriued of this verbe Halak, which is to part, & to destribute. And that vice is here described, whereby a man speaketh, not as the thing is in dede, but frameth his speach to get fauor, and for his commodities sake. For wt one man they talke farre otherwise, then they did with an other man. A man may call them double tonged folkes. Iames reproueth them, for that out of one and the selfe same mouth, they bring forth both sweete and bitter thinges.

The poyson of aspes is vnder their lippes.] This is written in the 140 Psal. These mens wordes he compareth with the most present poyson of serpents.

Whose mouth is ful of cursing & bitternes.] This word bitternes, is in Greke [...]. This may be applied vnto those which by reason of anger are so impotēt, y they are not able to speke a word, but they must curse & banne & fare like mad men. Their wordes are as sharpe as speares, and they seme to speake swordes.

Their feete are svvift to shed bloud.] This is writtē in Esay ye 59. chap. After cruel wordes folow murthers. And these wordes seme chiefly to be spoken, be­cause of the death of the Prophets, who were miserably slayne of the vngodly.

Contrition and calamity are in their vvayes.] Some by contrition and ca­lamity, vnderstand sinnes. But it semeth rather to be a phrase, wherby by their wayes may be vnderstanded whatsoeuer they go about, take in hand, and at­tempt. And that is nothing els, but the affliction and oppression of other men.

The vvay of peace haue they not knovven.] For they take nothing in hand to do, which may serue for the commodity and health of their neighbours.

The feare of the Lord is not before their eyes.] This is read in the 36. Psal. In these woordes is touched the summe and head of all euils: which is, not to feare God. Paule mought haue brought other most euident testemonyes alsoThe hed of all euels. agaynst the Iewes. As are those which are written in the fyrst chapiter of Esay, where the prophet calleth them a wicked seede, noughty children, their Prin­ces, Princes of Sodom, and their people, the people of Gomorrha. And there are infinite sentences whiche serue for this purpose. But the Apostle thoughte these sentences onely sufficiente. Whereby we learne, what is the state and condition of a man, which liueth without Christ. First he wanteth God, yea ra­ther the wrath of God abideth vpon him: farther he is a bondslaue of Sathan, and an instrument framed to all maner of wicked workes.

But we know that whatsoeuer things the law speaketh, it spea­keth vnto those which are vnder y lawe. That euery mouth might be stopped, and the whole world might be made guilty before God.

But vve knovv. &c.] The Apostle writeth this, to the ende the Hebrues should not cauell, that these scriptures pertayned not vnto them. Neither could the Iewes deny, but that they were vnder the law, when as vnto them chiefly was it geuen, and they in the couenaunt promised, that they would do all thinges which God had commaunded. Farther in their circumsicion they de­clared a profession to obserue the law. Yea and we also are after a sorte vnder the law. For the morall precepts, forasmuch as they are knowen by the lightWe are af­ter a sorte vnder the law. The law vnde [...] which we liue how farre it ex­tendeth it selfe. of nature, do continually hold their strength. In ceremonyes also something is alwayes to be considered as chiefe, which a man may call the kernell, sappe, & sinnow, & that cōtinually abideth: only [...], which they cal circumstāces are oftētimes altered. Also the iudiciall lawes cōtain things honest & lust, which are also obserued of vs: although y maner of punishemēts, & certaine other sin­gular things ar with liberty chaunged. And how far y law vnder which we are subiect extendeth it self, ye epistle vnto ye Phil. declareth, wherin it is writen, That [Page 56] vvhich remaineth brethern, vvhatsoeuer thinges are true, vvhatsoeuer profitable, vvhatsoeuer of good name, if there be any vertue, and if there be any praise, vpon these things thinke ye: the things We must not of pre­ceptes make coun­sels. Workes of supereroga­tion are ex­cluded. vvhich ye haue learned & receiued, & hard, and sene in me, these things (I say) do ye. Hereby is it manifest how they are deceiued, which of preceptes make counsels, & by that meanes do sinne more greuouosly, in that they put works (as they call them) of supererogation. Therfore those things which are here spoken, do touch vs also, if we fall away from Christ. These notes of vniuersality, are diligently to be weighed, which Paule vseth when he saith:

Euery mouth, and the whole world.] For they are of no small force to attayne to the right definiciō of iustificatiō. He would not without a cause y our mouth shouldThe scrip­tures nece­sary for all men. be stopped, forasmuch as we are all to much prone to excuses, & there is none which thinketh not to much of himselfe. Sithē the Apostle hath proued his matter by testimonies of the scriptures, they are much to be reproued, which wil haue the ho­ly scriptures banished out of the hands of the faithfull. Hereby easely appeareth the vtility of thē, when as they both pertaine vnto all mē, and also set before our eyes our sinnes. Chrisostome in his homely of Lazarus & the riche man, exhorteth all mē in general to reade thē, and those men by name, which are geuē to the lawe, which occupie merchaundise, & kepe families. And he affirmeth, that it is impossible, that they should attayne to saluatiō, vnles they occupy thēselues day & night in readyng of the holy scriptures. Yea & he addeth also, that they haue greater nede of readyng the holy scriptures, then haue holier men, for that they are continually in greater daunger. This worde [...], that is, guilty, the same Chrisostome expoundeth of him, which of himselfe hath nothing to bring for his owne defēce, but hath neede of an other. They are guilty before God, which haue nothyng whereof to glory. And the cōfession of our sinnes doth chiefly make vs such. The Apostle hath hitherto to this place laboured much in accusing of sinnes, to the ende he might impell & driue mē vnto Christ. Whom we also to our power ought to imitate, when we haue toPastors oght aboue all thinges to reproue sinnes. A similitude do with our neighbours. There are some which wil not heare of their pastors and preachers, but only treatises of things deuine, and debatemēts of subtle questions. But they are farre deceiued. For first it is expedient, that they haue a thorow con­sideration vnto theyr owne sinnes. As a Phisition vseth in a rottē sore, first to cut of the corrupt flesh, before he wil geue any plasters to heale it withall. And so com­meth it to passe, that the law openeth the way vnto the Gospel. Neither is this toWhat is the proper­ty of the law. be maruelled at, that in this place, by the law, are vnderstanded the Prophets and Psalmes. For what soeuer is found in the whole scrpture, serueth to the instituti­on of lyfe, which is peculiar and proper vnto the law.

Because by the workes of the law shall no flesh be iustefied in his sight. For by the law cōmeth the knowledge of sinne. But now is yt righteousnes of God made manifest wtout the law, hauing witnes of the law & of the Prophets. Namely, the righteousnes of God by the faith of Iesus Christ vnto all, and vppon all that beleue. For there is no difference: for all haue sinned, & are depriued of the glory of God: And are iustefied frely by his grace, thorough the redemp­tion that is in Christ Iesu, whome God hath set forth to be a reconciliation thorough fayth in his bloud, to declare his righteousnesse by the remission of the sinnes that are passed thorough the patience of God, to shew at this present tyme his righteousnes, yt he mighte be iust, and a iustefier of hym which is of the fayth of Iesus Christ.

Because by the vvorkes of the lavv s [...]all no flesh be iustefied in his sight.] Hi­therto Paule hath by good argumentes proued, that iustification is not to belooked for by those thinges, which whē we haue obtayned, yet notwithstanding we lyue wickedly. That philosophy and the law were such, he hath manifestly declared: forasmuch as by them were accused both the Gentles and the Iewes, that they were excedingly contaminated with wicked actes. Wherby is concluded, that ye mouthe as well of the Iewes as of ye Gentiles is stopped, so that the whole world is made [Page] culpable before God. And in that he lastly chiefly inueighed by sundry testimonies of the holy Scripture, it was because he should haue a sharpe conflict agaynst theA sharpet conflict a­gainst the Iewes thē against the Ethnikes. Hebrues. For the Ethnikes were easely ouercome. For they openly liued filthily, neither could they out of philosophy bring any thing but the inuentions and opinions of men. But the Hebrewes pretended the law and the ceremonies, which they had receiued at the handes of God: and therfore it semed, that they might lawfully put confidence in them. And peraduenture they mought haue sayd, y those thinges which were brought against them out of the holy scriptures, pertayned vnto theyr elders, and vnto them which filthily liued in the tyme of the Prophetes, and not to theyr whole kinred. Therfore the Apostle bringeth in a generall sentence, wherby vtterly to represse them, and affirmeth, that no man can be iustified before God by the workes of the law. Where he taketh away the power of iustifieng, not onelyAn vniuer­sall proposi­tion, that by the workes of the law no man can be iustified. from men or persons, but also from the workes of the law, so that it followeth of necessity, that we must not put any confidence in them. For as they were cōmaunded by the law, no man was able to performe them. For forasmuch as two things were required by the law: First, that workes should procede from fayth, grace, and charity: Secondly, that throughout and exactly they should agrée with the law, and sithen the law ministred not strengthes to do these thinges, there remained onely outward obseruations and ceremonies, of which the Apostle sayth, that they had not the power to iustifie. Afterward by a firme reason he concludeth, that we must not thinke that iustification is receiued by the law, bicause by it commeth ye knowledgeForasmuch as the law cōdemneth & accuseth, it absolueth not. Righteous­nes happe­neth with­out the law of sinne. Seyng therfore the law condemneth & accuseth, it absolueth not, nor iustifieth. For these two offices are contrary and repugnaunt the one to the other, And these thyngs beyng thus ordered, he gathereth his chiefe proposition, of which he will in this epistle dispute: namely, that righteousnes commeth wythout the law. Wherby commeth to passe, that it depēdeth not of it. Afterward he affirmeth that the righteousnes of God which hath his testimony out of the law and the pro­phetes, commeth by the fayth of Iesus Christ. And this is all one wyth that which he proposed at the beginnyng: that the Gospell is the power of God to saluation, toRighteous­nes by the faith of Ie­sus Christ. euery one that beleueth: and that in it is reueled the righteousnes of God frō faith to faith, and that the iust man (as Abacuck saith) liueth by faith. Thus much as touching the disposition, now let vs diligently examine euery thing by it selfe. In that he saith, That by the workes of the law no flesh shalbe iustified in the fight of God: It is necessary that we know of what workes of the lawe, the Apostle here intreateth. And here we affirme, that he speaketh vniuersally of all workes: so ye those thinges which are here spoken, ought not perticularly to be drawen vnto ceremonies, whē as they include ye whole law. We graūt in dede y the controuersy sprōg by reasō of ceremonies. For ye false Apostles went about to obtrude thē, as necessary vnto thē They which say that ceremonies are nedelul, af­firm Christ not to be Christ. which beleued in Christ. As though Christ could not wtout thē bring saluation to y beleuers. Which was blasphemous, neither was it any lesse irreligious, then to deny Christ to be Christ: which thing they must néedes graunt, that affirme that he cannot saue men without the workes of the law. But as touching morall com­maundementes they contended not. For as well the Apostles as the deceiuers vr­ged them. Neither was there any controuersie about ciuill or (as they call them) iudiciall lawes, for they pertayned vnto the publike wealth. Which forasmuch as it had maiestrates, the church and the Apostles tooke no care of those thinges. But although the contention sprong by reason of ceremonies, yet by the benefite of theWorkes ar to be taken vniuersally when they are affirmed not to iusti­fy. The questi­on was moued because of ceremo­nies. holy ghost it came to passe, that Paule reuoked the question from the species or partes vnto the vniuersall genus or generall worde. For if the generall worde be by negation ouerthrowen, it followeth that the species also & euery parte be clene destroyed. For if generally the law iustify not, neither vndoubtedly shall ceremo­nies iustify: forasmuch as they are a certaine species and a part of the lawe. And that the discention began by reason of ceremonies, the Actes of the Apostles do te­stiffe in the xv. chapter. And not much afterwarde in this selfe same epistle, the A­postle when he would proue that Abraham was not iustified by the lawe, bryn­geth a reason taken from Circumcision. And also to the Galathians where he re­hearseth [Page 57] hearseth this selfe same sentence, and in a maner with the selfe same wordes that they are here, when he saith: We are by nature Iewes, and not sinners of the Gentiles: Because we know that man is not iustified by the workes of the lawe, but by the fayth of Iesus Christ. Also, we haue beleued in Christ Iesus: that we mighte be iustified by the fayth of Christ, and not by the workes of the lawe. For no fleshe shall be iustified by the workes of the lawe. And vndoubtedly, Paule reproued not Peter, but onely touchyng ceremonies. And in the same place in y third chapiter he writeth. Haue ye receiued the spirite by the workes of the law, or by preaching of fayth? Are ye so foolish, that ha­uing begonne in the spirite, ye should now make an ende in the fleshe? where by ye workes of the law, seing he expoundeth them by the flesh, he manifestly vnderstandeth the ceremonies of Moses. But although therehence sprang the controuersie, yet was it most commodiously done for Paule to reuoke it to the genus or generall worde of workes of the law. Forasmuch, as the tyme should come, that ceremonies being banished, many would in successe of tyme, attribute iustificatiō to moral workes: which is most manifestly confuted by this so pithy a reason of Paule. And this is to be noted, that this is an argument that may be turned. For euen as we may in­ferre that no workes of the law do iustifie: therfore neither do ceremonies iusti­fie: so contrariwise may we conclude: if ceremonies iustifie not, therfore neither a­ny other part of the law: forasmuch, as they were the principall part of the lawe.If ceremo­nies iustefy not neither doth the morall part instefy. For they are the offices of the first and greatest commaundement. I am (sayth the Lord) thy God. Wherfore it is mete, that I be worshipped of thée, bothe in spirite and in outward confession, not only by voyce, but also by rites apointed by me. Neither did those ceremonies any lesse bynde the olde fathers, then do Baptisme and the Eucharist in these dayes binde vs. Wherfore euen as they most greuously sin­ned, when they were not content with the worshipping prescribed them by God, but sought new ceremonies and rites inuented by men (for that was to go aboute to adde vnto the wisedome of God: and that the worshippyng instituted by God was the chiefe wisdome, we rede in Deut. the iiij. chapter) so our men do most greuously sinne, when besides Baptisme and the Eucharist, and those thinges which we haue deliuered vs by Christ, they appoint other thyngs which mē haue inuen­ted, as worshippings of God, and, as necessary vnto saluation. As are the masse, the inuocation of saintes, and such other like. And that by the workes of the lawe are vnderstanded also morall workes, Paule teacheth by that which followeth.

For by the law is the knowledge of sinne.] For although other partes also of the law do after a sort declare sinne, yet is that chiefly the office of the morall part.What groundes or princi­ples the proper workes of the law haue. A distinctiō of the workes of the law. A concilia­tion of pla­ces repug­nant. Which thing is expressedly declared in the vij. chap. where he writeth. For I should not haue knowen what lust had bene, if the law had not sayd, Thou shalte not lust. And this is furthermore to be noted, that the workes, of the law as I before said, when they are taken properly haue ioyned with them fayth and charity, and therfore are they not without iustification. For wheresoeuer is true faith there iustificatiō fol­loweth. But the Apostle by workes of the law vnderstandeth, as they were done of them beyng vnprofitable, and proceding also of hipocrisie. Otherwise the law in dede is spirituall, wherfore the workes therof must nedes be good, if they be consi­dered as they are whole and perfect. And by this meanes may we conciliate those places, which as touching this thing seme in the holy scriptures to be repugnant. Moses said, that he did set before the Iewes, life, when he spake of the lawe. And in the 119. psalme Dauid prayeth oftentimes, that God would quicken him withIf the fa­thers at any tyme attri­bute righteousnes vn­to good works, that is to be vn­derstand by reason of faith which they haue as a roote. his commaundements, and with his law. And in this selfe same epistle, the law is called both good and spirituall, and the commaundement holy and good. But on the contrary side Paule calleth it the ministery of death: & in the next chapter he saith, that it worketh anger: and againe, that it sheweth sinne: and therfore condemneth and accuseth. So must we vnderstand the fathers also, when they ascribe so excel­lent thinges vnto workes. For they take them ioyned with faith, grace, and the holy ghost. And so they ascribe vnto them eternall life, and other suche like things which are vnderstanded to be geuen vnto them by reason of faith and the spirite. And to declare the same this is a very apt similitude. We say that man is reasona­ble, vnto whome yet we ascribe reason, not because of the body, but because of the [Page] soule which is included in the body. So when iustification semeth to be ascribed vnto workes, we must vnderstād y that is done by reason of faith, wherunto workes,By faith a­lone we are iustefied, which yet is neuer a­lone. which are in very dede good, do chiefly lene. But we, when we wil speake of iusti­fication, ought to bring forth our sentence prospicuously & expressedly. Wherefore we say, y iustification cōmeth by faith only: which faith yet we confesse is neuer a­lone. For if it be a true faith, it ought alwais to haue good workes ioyned with it. But the holy fathers spake hyperbollically of workes, to the ende to stirre vpThe fa­thers spake hyperboili­cally of workes. Fayth as it is a worke iustifieth not. men more and more to vse them. But they are so to be vnderstanded as I haue sayd, vnles we will leaue them without Christ. But some obiect, that fayth al­so it selfe is a worke of the lawe. Therefore we answere, that as it is our worke comming out of our will and vnderstanding, it iustifieth not. Because it is feble and weake. For none beleueth so much as he ought, neyther so strongly clea­ueth vnto God, as he should do. But when fayth is sayd to iustifye, it is taken for his obiect, namely, Christ, and the promises of God. Neyther is fayth thatThe power of iustif [...]ing is to be r [...]er­red to his ob­iect. A simili­tude. thing which iustifyeth: but the instrument whereby iustification is receaued. Neyther must we thinke, that by the worthynes thereof it is of it selfe suffici­ent to iustifie a man. A most euident similitude may be brought as touching a begger, which with his weake hand, or peraduenture with his hand enfected with leprosy receaueth almes. And that benefite is not weighed according to the weakenes or disease of the hand which receaueth it, but according to the quantity of the monye which is geuen. Wherefore when we are demaunded, whether the workes of the law iustify, we aunswere: if a man vnderstand thē as they are vnperfect and mayned, they haue no strength to iustify. But if aWorkes iustify not, because they pro­cede of iusti­fication. man vnderstand the workes of the law, as they are whole and perfect, so are they not strange from iustification, because they haue faith ioyned with them: whereunto they cleaue as vnto the roote. Yet will we not graunt that good workes being taken euen after this maner do iustify: for that they proceede of iustification, & do of necessity require iustification to go before them: and there­foreWhy Paule cal­leth those workes the workes of the lawe which are mained and vnperfect. are they not strange from it, because they depend of it. Thou wilt say per­aduenture, why doth Paule by the workes of the law vnderstand those mayned and vnperfecte workes? Because he taketh them as the aduersaries did: which had a respect only vnto them: and were strangers both from Christ and also from fayth in him. And that Paule did not thinke those to be in very deede the workes of the lawe, it manifestly appeareth by that which is before written: He is not a Iew, which is only a Iew outward, neyther is that circumcision which is in the flesh only. Where a man may manifestly see, that he taketh away the nature of the Iewish religion and of circumcision from the obseruation which is only outward. And vndoubtedly the Images of good thinges, if they haue only a shewe, be in themselues vayne, and ought to be counted among thingesA simili­tude. worthy of disprayse. As the art of Sophistry, forasmuch as it hath a shewe of knowledge and wanteth it in very deede, is condemned. Hipocrisy also is to be detested: which although it set forth a shew of holynes, yet is it most farre of from it. Wherefore if a man should, agaynst the proper and true workes of the lawe, vse those testimonies which Paule now alleageth, and which to the like purpose he writeth in an other place, vndoubtedly he should abuse them. As ifAnother similitude. a man should impute vnto true nobility those reproches, which are iustly im­puted vnto them, which hauing had excellent noble pregenitors, haue degene­rated from them into most filthy vices. Or if a man shoulde reproue eloquence after the selfe same maner, that we are wont iustly to reproue those, which on­ly with fine and eloquent wordes do poynt out foolishe matter, when as they are vtterly ignorant of the sound truth. But as touching this matter let thys suffice at this present. Now is this to be expounded, why he addeth this particle.

Before God.] Vndoubtedly therefore, that by the contrary we myght know, that certayne may sometymes be iustified before men by the workes of the law. Because forasmuch as the sight of man can not perce into the inward [Page 58] partes of the hart, men do geue sentence by the workes. But God as Augustine Before men we may be iustified by workes of the law. writeth in his booke De spiritu & litera, beholdeth the hart: and sometymes be­holdeth them, which outwardly kepe the lawe, and inwardly desire rather to do otherwise: were not eyther that punishementes hang ouer theyr heds, or that they thinke that they should thereby lose their estimation: when as in very dede they want both fayth and charity. Neyther is this to be passed ouer, that by theWhat is to be vnder­stand by the name of flesh. name of fleshe is vnderstand the whole man. Which phrase of speach is much vsed in the scriptures. The word was made fleshe. All fleshe had corrupted his way. All fleshe shall see the saluation of God. And a greate many other such lyke. And therefore is man so called, that he might be continually admonished of his mi­serable and weake estate: and that he should vnderstand, that vnles the spirite of God should resist it, he should vtterly be caried away with the appetite of the fleshe. To iustify, as we haue before said, is taken three maner of wayes. Some­tymesTo iustify taken three maner of wayes. it is to obtayne a righteousnes which sticketh and abideth in our minds. But such righteousnes Paule meaneth not in this place. Otherwise we deny not, but that of true workes of the law, by continuall exercise of them, are in­generated good and holy habites or qualities. To be iustified also is to be pro­nounced or to be counted iust. Which thinges also may be gotten by workes. For so one is sayd to iustifye an other, when he beholdeth his good dedes. God also in the last iudgement shall geue sentence according to workes, and shall pronounce good men iust by those thinges, which they vprightly haue done. Thirdly to iustifye, is as much to say as to forgeue sinnes, to absolue a man, and to impute vnto him the righteousnes of Christ, which thing works by their deserte can not obtayne. And in this sense are those thinges to be taken, which the Apostle here writeth. It followeth:

For by the lawe, is the knowledge of sinne.] This is the reason why we are not iustified by the workes of the lawe. Because the office of the lawe is farre other, then to iustifie. There are some which thinke that these wordes are spo­ken by preuention, as though the Iewes should obiect and say: If the law iusti­fye not, why then was it geuen? Haue we in vayne receaued it? We haue notAlthough the lawe iustifie not yet was it not geuen in vayne. The propriety to de­clar sinnes is cōmon to all lawes. in vayne receaued it, sayth Paule: the office thereof is to shew sinnes. If a man demaund of what lawe these thinges are spoken, we aunswere that Paule doth priuately entreate of the law of Moses: but the propriety which he bringeth is common to all lawes, to the law of nature, the lawe of Moses, & to ciuill lawes, which we vse in our publike wealthes. As touching the law of Moses, and ours, there is no doubt to be put. As concerning the lawe of nature, the booke of Genesis, doth most manifestly teach that by it was sinne knowen. Which thing Ambrose vpon this place alleadgeth out of the history of Ioseph. And Paule also wyll afterward declare the same, when he sayth. For euen vnto the law, sinne was in the world: but it was not so counted, namely, because, the law of nature was dayly more and more obfuscated. Wherefore it was necessary that by the law of Moses and other lawes, it should be agayne illustrated, And that syn was before Moses time, he thereby declareth, because death raigned all that time ouer all mankind. And in this place in the Greke is red [...], which in latine a man may call Agnitio, that is, an acknowledging: which is, when a thinge be­ing alreadye knowne, is againe called to knowledge. But after what sorte the lawe is sayd to woorke the acknowledginge of sinnes, he hath before taughte, whē as by many testemonies of the scriptures he accused all mankind. Where­fore seinge by those woordes and such like we are accused of the law, the know­ledge of sinne must needes follow. Whiche thing also happeneth an other waye, namely, when we beholde the law of God. For sythen it commaundeth thinges vpright, and prohibiteth thinges vnhonest, it sufficiently declareth vnto vs, how and when we sinne in our doinges. The scripturs also conteineth the threate­ninges forespoken by the Prophetes: and the punishmentes whiche God hath e­uer more inflicted vpon transgressors. All whiche thinges not a little conduce to [Page] the acknowledging of sinne. But this is to be meruailed at, that seing the laweWhy the law is not said to shew honeste and good thinges. doth set before our eyes not onely our sinnes, but also thinges honeste and iuste (For those thinges also doth it commaunde, and therefore they pertayne to one and the selfe same knowledge: euen as it belongeth to one artificer, as to a Geometrician to declare what is a right line and what is a crooked line) it is to be meruailed at (I say) what moued the Apostle, to make mencion onely of sinne Whereunto may be aunswered, that Paule so wrote, partly because the Iewes whiche had refused Christ and his fayth, had no more any parte with the righte­ousnes and vprightnes of the law: partly also, (which is most likely) because that other parte pertayned not vnto the purpose of Paule. For hys purpose was to proue, that the woorkes of the law iustify not. Because forasmuch as it both ac­cuseth and condemneth, it is not to be looked for, that it should iustefy, when as these thinges are both contrary and also muche repugnaunte one to the other: Neither commeth it to the law by chaunce, to declare sinne: but it is such a pro­priety, so annexed vnto it, which cannot be plucked away frō it. But here arisethWhat law geuers haue a regard vnto, in geuing of lawes. a doubt: for lawgeuers seme not when they geue lawes to haue a regard to thys thing onely to make vs to vnderstand offences, or things well done: but this ra­ther entend they, by theyr lawes to make theyr citezens good. Which thing if it be ascribed vnto men, much more oughte it to be attributed vnto God: But weA difference betwene the lawes of mā and the lawes of God. aunswere that there is a difference betwene the lawes of God and the lawes of man: because mans lawes require nothinge of vs, but that whiche lieth in our power to do. For as touching the affections of the minde, they are not carefull they correct onely outward thinges. But the lawes of God do cōmaunde those thinges also, which we being as we are weake, are not able to performe. Wher­fore the similitude which they bring concludeth nothinge. Farther this is to be considered, that humane lawes also, by declaring what thinges are to be done, by promising, and by threatninge, may inuite and stirre vp men vnto righteous­nes. But to change the mind, they cannot. Wherfore we ought not to attribut [...] more vnto them, then vnto the lawes of God. And that whiche is sayde of the en­tent and purpose of the humane lawgeuer, we graunte of God also, that his en­tente also in geuinge his law was, to saue men by it: namely, as wherein he did not onely shew sinnes, but also Christe whiche is the ende thereof. And thereforeThe law is profitable vnto salua­tion. we deny not, but that the lawe is profitable to men vnto saluatiō. And yet can it not iustefy: because the office thereof is not to poure into our harts either faith or charitye. Wherefore the wonderfull wilines of Sathan is to be taken heede oft whereby he goeth about to plucke away from men the fruites of the lawe. And vndoubtedly besides the knowledge of sinne, it brought two other excellent goodBesides the know­ledge of sinne, two commodi­ties of the lawe. The deuill hath bene an enemy vnto the law of God. The law aggraua­teth sinne. thinges: First it shewed vnto vs our sauiour: farther it prescribed vnto vs what was best to be done. As touching the first the deuell hath obscured the hartes of men, that they should not behold Christ, whiche is the ende of the law puttinge a vayle before theyr hartes. And as touchinge the execution of good woorkes, he hath hindred them by trieflinge questions, genealogies, and vayne bablinges so that they beinge bent vnto them onely, and vnto outwarde ceremonies, had no farther regard. In wordes forsooth they confessed that they knew God, but in deedes they denied him. Farther forasmuch as by the law sinne is known, it followeth that by it sinnes are after a sorte aggrauated: Whiche thing the Apostle declared, when he wrote, that the law is the power of synne. And in this Epistle the vii. chapter it is written. That synne mighte be out of measure synfull throughe the commaundemente.

By the law (sayth he) is the knowledge of sinne.] This is to certaine, thatThe groūd o [...] all lawes is a deuine minde. Vniust lawes are not lawes. the deuine minde is the beginning and ground of all lawes. For in any decree [...] whatsoeuer is found either iust or honest, that altogether there hence proceedeth So that we may rightly say that all lawes are nothing els but the ordinances: of the deuine minde. Whereby is concluded, that such lawes which are not iust ought not to be counted for lawes. The knowledge of sinne which is had by the [Page 59] law, is of two sortes: one, whiche is vtterly of no efficacy, and weake, wherebyThe knowledge of sin two sortes. mens mindes are not made afrayd, nor the consciences deiected: as sometimes we se dronkardes, which euen in the middest of theyr cuppes condemne the vice of dronkennes. The Poets also in theyr verses and meeters most openly repro­ued sinnes: but yet they themselues refrayned not from them, any more then o­thers. But that knowledge of sin which terrefieth, doth not alwayes bringe sal­uation. Because if it be frustrated of hope of remedye, it is hurtefull, as it hap­pened in Iudas, Esau, and Caine: who when they knewe theyr wickendes, fell into dispayre. But as touchinge the electe, vnto the knowledge of sinnes is alwayes ioyned as a companion, hope of obteyning saluation by Christ. The sins whicheHow mani­fold sinne is whiche is knowne by the law. are knowne by the lawe, if we rehearse them by theyr partes, are these, firste the sinne which from our birth cleaueth vnto vs, which is called originall sinne, and it is the vice and corruption of our whole nature: of whiche we are toughte in the psalme: In iniquity was I conceaued, and in sinnes hath my mother conceaued me: secondly, the motions and vehement impulsions which the Grecians call [...] do continuallye flowe out of that corruption, and resiste the lawe of God. Of which Paule writeth, that he felt an other law in his members repugnaunte vnto the law of his minde, and leading hym a way captyue into the law of sinne. Then thirdelye commeth the consent of the will, and by that meanes is sinne made more gree­uous. And of this we reade: Let not sinne raigne in youre mortall body. After that followeth custome: and by the bonds thereof are we more streightly bound vn­der the rule of sinne: so that it is in a maner impossible, to ouercome an vse now inueterated: For as Esay sayth, An Ethiopian can not change his skinne. Last­ly the vngodly are sometymes brought to that poynte, that they sinne agaynst the holy ghost: vnto which sinne forgeuenes is vtterly denied, as Christ hath taught vs in the Gospell. And Ieremy was commaunded, not to pray any more for the people. Sinne also might be deuided into thoughts, words, and deedesWhat sinne is. agaynst the law of God. And of all these the law instructeth vs. And sinne gene­rally is, to stray from the commaundement of the lawe: as archers when they hit not the marke, which way so euer it be, do fayle and misse: wherefore, seingTo depar [...] from the Image of God is sinne. man was made vnto the Image of God, in his life and maners to expresse the nature and disposition of him, whensoeuer he misseth of that, he sinneth. But this benefite, to be admonished, and accused of our wicked actes, bringeth not with it an absolute profite: when as of our selues we are not able to auoide those thinges, whereof we be accused, nor to performe those thinges, whereof we be admonished. Therefore we must see, that we haue a regard vnto Christ, vnto whome we are by the law brought. And this is to be marked, that these thinges are chiefely written of the lawe by an antithesis, or comparison vnto fayth. For if the lawe be taken by it selfe, it is so farre of from geuing vnto vs righteousnes and honour, that it maketh vs naked and layeth open whatso­euer filthynes we haue committed: so that by it we get nothing but confusion. Which thing yet happeneth not through the defaulte of the lawe, but through the default of our mynde: because the lawe lighteth vpon it being corrupt and bent to euill thinges. For we are prone to do all thinges which are repugnant vnto the law of God. For it commaundeth, that we should put our trust in god, but we trust to our selues. It commaundeth, that we should be seruisable vn­to our neighbour: but our desire is, that all men might be our seruantes. And when with vnbrideled lust we rushe vpon these and such like sinnes, the law of God setteth it selfe agaynst vs, as doth a stoppe against a strong streame, a­gainst which when the water commeth, it swelleth, and is made more violent: For as the saying is, Nitimur in vetitum, & cupimus negata, that is, we inde­uour our selues to that which is forbidden vs, and couet the thinges that areAn exc [...]llēt benefite of the law. denyed vs. All which thinges notwithstanding, yet is it an excellent benefite of God, which is geuen vnto vs by it, namely, to know our selues. Neyther must we thinke, that we want that benefite, for that we are sayde in the holy scriptures, [Page] to be by Christ deliuered from the lawe. For, that is not to be vnderstan­ded simplye. For the abrogation of the lawe is two maner of wayes: One isThe abro­gation of the lawe two maner of wayes. whereby we are not bound to performe those thinges which are commaunded: As we see is of iudiciall commaundementes, and ceremonies. Which thing is not to be vnderstanded of the morall commaundementes. Christ sayth, that he came not to breake the lawe, but rather to fulfill it. And Paule sayth: what then, do we by fayth abolishe the lawe? God forbid. Yea rather we establishe the law. There is an other abrogation of the law, whereby the law is letted, that it can not ac­cuse vs as guiltye. And so is the morall part also vnderstanded to be abolished. But if we will speake more vprightly, the law is not abrogated: but the domi­nationIn what sense the law is sayd to be abro­gated. How the lawe is not geuen vnto the iust mā. or power, which followeth it: so that we must thinke, that the stinge ra­ther thereof is plucked out, then that it is all whole taken away. That is true indeede, which is written vnto Timothe, that vnto the iust man the law is not geuē: Because, as Augustine writeth in his booke De spiritu & litera, Who woulde pre­scribe a lawe vnto hym, whiche of hys owne wyll and accorde dothe and executeth those thynges, whiche pertayne vnto ryghteousnesse? Wherefore his iudgement is, that iust men vse the lawe towardes others, whome they instruct, in driuing it into theyr hedes, and diligently setting it before them, to stirre them vp to re­pentance: And forasmuch as the Apostle seameth to haue spoken thinges repug­nant, (for on the one fyde he affirmeth, that the lawe is not set vnto the iust mā: and on the other side, he sayth it is good, so that a man vse it lawfully: But none vseth it lawfully, but only the iust man) Augustine conciliateth them afterA concili­ation. this maner: that a man may haue the good vse of the law being not yet iusti­fied, but by the helpe thereof tendeth to iustification: which thing he laborethTwo simi­litudes. by two similitudes to proue. It happeneth (sayth he) that a man goyng to a place, is caried in a chariot: and when he is once come to the place, he leaueth the chariot. And children that are yong beginners, haue a scholemaister appointed them: but when they are once perfect, the scholemaister is taken away from them. So (sayth he) whilest a man is called backe from sinnes, and goeth forwarde vnto righteousnes, the lawe is profitable vnto hym. But when he hath once attayned vnto righteousnesse, he is deliuered from it, and extendeth the vse thereof towardes others. But yet ought we not to deny, but that they also whiche are conuerted vnto Christ, are by the lawe dayly moreEuen they also that are iustified are instruc­ted by the lawe of God. and more instructed. There still remayneth muche of the fleshe: and ouer­muche darcknes ouer couereth our senses and vnderstandyng, so long as wes lyue here. Wherefore the vse of, the lawe is not superfluous towardes them also, whiche are iustified. And forasmuche as we are not fullye renued, in that there still remayneth so me parte of the olde man, and dayly false do still steale vppon vs, bothe vnwares vnto vs and also agaynst our willes, the lawe fin­deth in vs matter both to reproue and also to accuse: althoughe by the bene­fite of Christe it can not reach to condemnation. Which vndoubtedly it should doo as touching his owne nature, if we were not nowe by fayth iustified. By this place let vs note, what it is with fruite to reade the Scriptures, especiallye those places, wherein the lawe is written. For it is not sufficient diligently andHow we must reade the law of God, A simili­tude. curiously to read them: vnles we do in them as it were in a glasse behold with how many and how great sinnes we are oppressed. Otherwise it shall bee all one to bee occupied in them, as to marke what Liui, Aristotle, Salust, Plutarche, and other writers haue left in writing.

But now without the law is the righteousnes of God made manifest, be­yng confirmed by the testimony of the law, and of the prophetes.] Here is expressedly put forth the question, wherof he will afterward entreat. And thereof he putteth two partes. Of which the one is, that the righteousnes of God is with­out the law made manifest. The other is, that it is obtained by the faith of Iesus Christ. And Paule affirmeth, that this righteousnes of God hath the testimonye both of the law and of the prophets. This is it which he proposed at the beginning that by the Gospell is reueled the righteousnes of God from saith to faith. And in [Page 60] that he writeth, that this manifestation is done without the law, he vnderstādeth, without helpe of the law being obserued: but onely by the hearing of faith. WhichThe righteousnes of God threefold. selfe thing he affirmed vnto the Galathians when he said: Haue ye receiued the holy ghost by the workes of the law, or by the hearing of faith? The righteousnes of God (as I haue in an other place declared) is thréefold. The first is, wherby we are through Christ receiued into fauour, and our sinnes are forgeuen vs, and the righteousnes of Christ is imputed vnto vs. And the second kind of righteousnes followeth this, namely, that thorough helpe of the holy ghost our minde is reformed, and we all whole are inwardly renewed by grace. Thirdly, follow holy and godly workes, for they which are once come thus far, are most zelous and desirous of working well. Now then Paule entreateth of the first righteousnes whiche he saith, is declared in vs without the law. And he calleth it the righteousnes of God, because it is got­ten thorough his power and goodnes, and not thorough our owne workes. And if a man do more narowly consider it, it is the mercy of God which he bestoweth vpon vs thorough Christ. And I haue in an other place admonished, that that which the Hebrues call Tsedech, and our men haue turned righteousnes, signifieth rather goodnes and mercy. And therefore to this day the Iewes call almes by that name. And Ambrose vpon this place is of the selfe same mynd. For he sayth: Therefore is Ambrose. Why the mercy of God is cal­led righte­ousnes. that called the righteousnes of God, which semeth to be the mercy of God, because it hath his originall beginning of Gods promise: and when that promise is performed, it is called the righteousnes of God. For therfore is it the righteousnes of God, because that is rende­red which was promised. Also whē he receiueth those which fly vnto him, it is called rightousnes. For, one not to receiue him that flieth vnto him, it is iniquity. Thus much Ambrose. But we must not harken vnto them, which in this place do interprete these wordes, Without the law, for, without the ceremonies of the lawe. For we haue be­fore shewed, that althoughe the question was moued by reason of them, yet hath Paule, entreated of the lawe generally, so that it comprehendeth all the partes of the law. They seme not much to ouershoote themselues, which by the righteousnesChrist the righteous­nes of God of God vnderstande Christ: for whatsoeuer pertayneth to iustification, that same commeth from him vnto vs, when we beleue in hym. Betwene the righteousnes of God and ours, Paule plainly putteth a difference, when he saith in this self sameThe mani­festation of the righte­ousnes of God happened chiefly in the tyme of the Apo­stles. The order and maner of the prea­ching of the Apostles. Epistle: Being ignorant of the righteousnes of God, and seeking to establishe theyr owne, they are not subiecte vnto the righteousnes of God. But that we may the better vnderstand, what this manifestation of the rightousnes of God is, which then happened chieflye when Paule wrote these thinges, it must thus be vnderstanded, that we must haue a regarde what manner of preaching the Apostles vsed. As farre as we can gather out of the sermons of the Apostles, as they are set forth in the Actes of ye Apostles: First, they preached repentaunce, setting before mens eyes their sinnes, and condemnation wherin men were wrapped: then they gathered together the proprieties and conditions of Christ, which should heale these euils, and that out of the holy scriptures: Thirdly, they applied the same proprieties and conditions vnto Iesus of Nazareth, to allure men vnto his fayth. And suche as hearyng these things beleued the same, obteyned of God remission of their sinnes. Inwardly they were made new, and outwardly they liued moste holily, resembling the image of God, to which mankynde was made. With perseuerance they called vppon God, communicating together in prayers, breakyng of bread, & all holye workes. They stedfastly did put their trust in God, as they which were vtterly destitute of all o­ther helpe. They nothing regarded worldly riches, laying the price of their things and money, at the féete of the Apostles. They stoutely bare a good testimonye vntoWhy the righteous­nes of God is said to be made manifest with­out the law Christ, reioycing that they suffred greuous thinges for hys names sake. Lastly, in this quarell they cherefully shed theyr bloud & bestowed theyr life. And the world seyng those thinges, could not but be moued, and acknowledge, that a new kynde of righteousnes appeared on the earth. And because amongest them were Ethe­nikes, which had no knowledge at all of the law, therfore the Apostle sayth With­out the law. Also many of the Hebrewes were called, who although they knew the [Page] law, yet they nothyng at all regarded it. And it was all one, as if they had not had the law. There came some also, which liued very vprightly, and were moste ze­lous in the study of the law: as Nathaniell, whome Christ pronounced to be a true Israelite, in whom there was no guile. And these were iustified without the law: for that obseruation of the law which they performed, was not the cause why they were iustified. The lawe in déede may be a helpe vnto iustification, because it ad­monisheth vs, and accuseth vs, by whiche meanes we are dryuen vnto Christe. But for as muche, as it hathe not the strengthe to forgeue synnes, to geue theThe law helpeth vn­to iustifica­tion but it is not the cause there­of. A concilia­tion. holye Ghoste, to suggest faythe into the hartes of the hearers, therefore Paule saythe righte well, That we are iustified wythout the lawe. Augustine in hys booke de spiritu & litera, saith, that the Apostle seemeth to speake thynges repug­naunt. For he affyrmeth that the righteousnes of God, whereof he nowe speaketh, had his testimonye of the lawe and the Prophetes: and yet be saythe, that it was made ma­nifeste without the lawe. But he aunswereth, that there is here in verye deede no contradiction, if a man rightly distinct those thinges which are here spoken. For therefore Paule excludeth the law, because it poureth not in grace, neither is the cause of iustificati­on: although this righteousnes, whereof he speaketh hath his testimony of it. Wherefore in his first booke and 8. chapt (De gratia Christi, contra Coelestium & Pelagium, he sheweth that this sentence is thus to be pronounced, namely, The righteousnes, of A sondry distinction in this sen­tence. God without the law. and then to adde seuerally by it selfe, is nowe made manifeste. So that this particle, without the law, is referred vnto righteousnes, and not vn­to these woordes, made manifest. But this doth not verye well agree with the woordes of Paule: although that which he sayth be most true. But this is woor­thy of notinge, that Augustine in the same place sayth, that this aduerbe of time now, is not so to be taken, as thoughe the olde fathers in the lawe of nature, andThis ad­uerbe of time, Now howe Au­gustine vn­derstandeth it. An erroure of the Pe­lagians. in the law of Moses, had not saluation by Christ, and obteyned not this righteousnes without the law. The Pelagians vndoubtedly were of this opiniō, that ma­ny had saluation before Moses time by the lawe of nature, whiche shined moste brightly in theyr hartes: which being afterward obscured, the law of Moses suc­céeded, like vnto the Moone: because it brought light, but not altogether absolute. Last of all came Christ, whose light shineth as bright as the sunne. And so they affirmed, that the old fathers wer saued without Christ, and without his grace: because Christ was not as yet come. But they were muche deceaued: for thatThe elders were iuste­fied not without Christ but by hym. they thought, that the fayth of a thinge to come, serueth not to saluation: when as yet we at this day beleue the resurrection of the dead, the last iudgement, and life eternall, which are thinges to come, and by this fayth are we holpen. So the elders by theyr fayth in Christ to come, receaued as much benefite, as touching iustification, as we now do which are born after his comming. For the merites of the crosse of Christ, and of his bloude, are not thinges duringe but for a time. Wherefore Christ sayd of Abraham, that he desyred to see his day, and saw it, and re­ioysed. Farther Paule sayth, As in Adam all men dye, so in Christ all men are made on lyue. And he most plainely writeth vnto Timothe, that Christ is the onelye mediator betwene God and men. Therefore then also before his comminge into the sleshe, he gaue righteousnes without the law vnto men whiche beleued in him. And thys woord, now, which the Apostle here hath, is to be referred vnto the manifestatiō. For indeede this righteousnes was before, but it lay hiddē, and very few had it.In the olde time righ­teousnes was by fayth: but now it is declared more amply and a [...]ertly. Fayth is the instru­ment wher with righ­teousnes is comprehended. But now is it publikely and openly knowne vnto the whole world. And this is it, that at the death of Christ the vaile of the Temple did rente, and was made open, so that those things which before were hidden, were now made manifest. The Apostle, hauing in this place put foorth a question most largely to be entre­ced of, vseth therein great perspicuity. And that whiche he purposeth, is deuided into two partes. For in the one he denieth, that by the lawe commeth our righ­teousnes: And in the other he affirmeth, that it is geuen vs by the fayth of Iesus Christ. Wherefore his meaning is, that fayth is the instrument, whereby thys righteousnes is apprehēded. And he excludeth the law, from which sentence the world excedingly abhorreth: for that the world knoweth of none other righteousnes, [Page 61] but of that which commeth by good woorkes. But men ought to consider,The world is offended bycause the Law is ex­cluded frō iustificatiō. The prin­ciples and groundes of good woorkes in men are corrupt. Christ is vulgarly thought to be the mos [...] excellent lawgeuer. from whence those good woorkes do procéede, which they would so fayne haue to iustify. They will say, from reason, and the will. But if these twayne be viti­ated and corrupted, by whom shall they be corrected? They haue nothing to say, but by God. But before he wil correct it, it is necessary, that he be merciful, and pacefied towards vs. But he is not pacefied, but by the death & bloud of Christe. Of which things, when we through fayth take hold, we are truely said (as Paule affyrmeth) to be iustified by fayth without the law. Commonlye it is thought, y that Christ is a lawgeuer, which hath by his appointed, and decreed thinges of most excellency, and most profitable. And how excellent the things are which he hath commaunded, they gather out of the 5. 6. and 7. chapters of Mathew: where is red, that not onely murther is prohibited, but also wrath, and anger against our neighbour. And commaundement is there geuē, that he which hath any of­fence agaynst an other, should leue his gift at the altar, and go and reconcile himselfe vnto his brother. He commaundeth also, that we should in the way be at agreemēt wyth our aduersary. Neither forbiddeth he periury onely, but also any othe. And although in the law be permitted, An eye, for an eye. A tooth, for a tooth, yet Christ commaundeth that we should not resist euell. Also in the law, adulte­ry is prohibited: but Christ hath also forbidden the lustfull lookinge vpon a wo­mā. And he restrayned those, which would for euery slight cause, put away theyr wynes. Of these thinges they inferre, that Christe in his lawes hath commaun­ded things more perfect, thē the law of Moses commaunded. And that his lawes were more commodious then the lawes of Moses, hereby they proue, because he abrogated ceremonies, which were very hard to be obserued, neither could they easely be obserued of all nations. We graunt indeede, that by the comminge of Christ ceremonies were taken away, because the signification of them is nowe fulfilled, But that Christe gaue new lawes, we vtterly deny. He indéede did in­terprete the law of Moses, and reproued the error of the Scribes and of the Pha­risies: which thought, that none but the grosser kind of sinnes, were repugnante vnto the law: & he teacheth y the commaundemēts of God ar far otherwise to be vnderstāded, thē they ether vnderstood thē thēselues, or expoūded thē vnto others Wherfore he left the law as he found it, and executed that which belongeth vnto hys office, which was, to be made an oblation, and sacrifice for sinnes, and to geueWhat was the office of Christ. remission of sinnes: and righteousnes by imputatiō: and the holy ghost, and grace. Wherfore Iohn Baptist declaring the office of Christ, when he shewed hym with hys fynger, sayed: Behold the lambe of God, which taketh away the sinnes of the world. These things make against the Anabaptistes, whiche make the Gospel to be no­thing but good workes, and a most absolute conuersation. These men know notAn error of the Anabaptistes. the chief and principall benefite of Christ, neyther make they any difference bet­wene the law and the Gospell. The law in deede commaundeth: but the Gospell ministreth strengths to accomplishe those thinges whiche are commaunded. The law accused the: The Gospel absolueth: The law maketh a sound outwardly: TheDifferēces betwene the Law and the Gospel. Gospell is grauen in the bowells: The law worketh anger: The Gospell maketh God pacifyed, and reconciled vnto vs: The lawe by making afeard, deiecteth the mind: The Gospell by comforting, erecteth it: The law is the ministery of death: The gospel, of life: The law, is a, schoolemaster: The gospel, is a perfect instruc­tion: The whole lawe consisteth in this, that we should woork: The Gospel herein chiefly consisteth, that we should beleue: The law bringeth a curse vnto thē which­lyue vnder it: The Gospel bringeth blessing: The law bringeth bondage: The Go­spell, spirituall liberty: The lawe, is the letter: The Gospell, is the spirite: The lawe hath promises, but with this condition, if ye shall doo all those thinges: The promises of the Gospell, are free, and therefore firme. There mought be rehersed also other differences, whereby these two differ very much, a sunder. But at thys tyme we thinke these to be sufficient. Whiche thinges yet are not iudged true by humaine reason. Neither is it any maruayle, for as Plato sayd in his second booke: [Page] De legibus. What soeuer we behold a farre of, we know it not thoroughly. For there co­meth betwene our sight and it, a dissines, and by farre distāce of place, darknes shadoweth The cause why many iudge so ill of the Law and of the Gospell. our sights. But when we come, and behold them more nighly; thē we iudge of euery thing a right. These, things spake he, bycause voluptuous and corrupt men could not be perswaded, that a good and innocent life is pleasauntest. For they iudge of it farre otherwise: for that they are very much distant from it. But if they would drawe nere vnto it, and make a triall therof, they should then iudge vprightly. So do we at this present pronounce of these men. For asmuch as they a far of looke vpon the holy scriptures neither do with any diligent heade taking, consider the Gospel and the lawe, thereof it commeth to passe, that they iudge so ill of them. The Apostle addeth of this righteousnes, which he speaketh of, that it hath the testimony of the law and of the Prophets. Which he therfore addeth, because that doctrine whiche he set forth, mought haue semed new and strange. But in the Gospell, newnes isNewnes must be re­moued a­way from the Gospel. in any wise to be auoyded. Therfore he euery where testifieth of the Gospell, that it is of antiquity, and instituted by God, before all worlds. And in the beginnyng of this Epistle he wrote, that God promised it by hys Prophets in the holy Scrip­tures. At this day also there is a strife betwene vs and the aduersaryes, about doc­trine, whilest they contend, that we bring in new things, but they abyde stil by the old doctrine. But now by the Apostle we learne, how this controuersy may be en­ded.What doc­trine is cal­led new & what olde. The doc­trine of the Papistes is new, foras­muche as it hath no te­stemonye out of the holy scrip­tures. That doctrine vndoubtedly is old and auncient, which hath hys testimony by the lawe and the prophets: that is, by the holy scriptures. And that is to be iudged new, wherof there is no mention made in them. They haue set vp the Masse, wherin one alone doth communicate for others whiche are standers by. This hath no testimony thoroughe al the scriptures. We affirme, that the supper of the Lord ought to be common vnto all the faythfull: which thing is most playnely declared by the institution therof, as it is set forth in the Gospels, and in Paul. They geue vnto the lay men the sacrament of the Eucharist mayned: which is, not only not in the scriptures, but also is playnly agaynst the scriptures. They defend the inuo­cations of the dead: for the confirmacion wherof they haue nothing out of the holy scriptures. They compel the Clergie frō matrimony, they defend purgatory, they maintayne Images, they vse a strange tongue in their holy seruices, they obtrude the choyse of meats, garments, shauings, vnctions, and a thousand such like trum­peryes, as things necessary vnto the worshippinge of God: and that vtterly with­out any testimony of the scriptures. Let them learne of Paul, who endeuouring to teache righteousnes to come by Christ, sayeth, that it hath testimony of the law and of the prophets, and not that he made it of his owne head. But the doctrines of these men do aduaunce impietye. For they obtrude the fayned inuētions of men, as necessary worshippinges of God. And forasmuch as they haue no testimony out of the scriptures, it must follow of necessity, that they are new. But the reason,Why new­nes is to be taken hede of in religi­on. why newnes ought to be auoyded in religion, is because the Lord commaunded in Deutronomy, that from his commaundements and rytes they should nether take away any thing, nor adde therunto. Euen Plato also in his lawes and Pub. welth forbiddeth, that there should be any innouation in thinges pertayning vnto religi­on. In deed mens laws may sometymes be changed, for that the form of the Pub.Humane lawes may be chaun­ged. welth is sometymes altered. Neyther do those lawes which serue for a kingdome, serue for that gouernemente, which is executed by the noble men, or a Pub. welth, that is ruled by the people. Farther the lawgeuers, forasmuch as they are men, can not se all things. And there happen daily many cases, for which they are fayne both to correct, and to change laws. And euē as in artes throughe continuance of tyme, somewhat is found wherby they are made more perfect, so lawes also, in successe of tyme, are oftentymes amended, and brought into a better forme. But none of al these rases taketh place in the lawes of God. For as touching the Church, it chaun­gethThe politi­call gouernment of the church chaungeth not his forme. not his forme, it is alwaies one and the self same Pub. welth: and there is no­thing hidden from the vnderstanding of God, which is the author of those lawes: He fors [...]th all thinges, neyther is his knowledg increased by successe of tyme. [Page 62] Wherfore it is not mete, that men should attempt to alter any thing in his lawes. But now let vs se, what testimonyes there are of this righteousnes in the lawe and the Prophets, which Paul asserteth. And although Christ sayd generally, that Moses wrote of him, and Luke declareth, that Christ beyng apparelled like a stran­ger, and talking by the way with the twoo Disciples, began at Moses, and then tought them by the prophets and psalmes: yet is there no certayne place brought forth, wherin is expressedly made mention of the Messias. And yet neuertheles, if we will speake peculiarly of Christ: we haue in Genesis, that the sede of the woman Peculiar testemonies of Christ & of faith. that iustesi­eth. should treade vnder foote the head of the serpent. And to Abraham it was sayd: In thy seed shall all nations be blessed. And of the same Abraham it is written: He beleued God, and it was imputed vnto him for righteousnes. Moreouer Paul citeth, Say not in thine hart, who shall ascend vp into heauen, or who shall descend downe into hell? The woorde is nighe at hand, in thy mouth, and in thy harte. Paul also addeth: And this is the woord of fayth, which we preach, If thou beleue with thy hart, and confesse with thy mouth, Again: The Scepter shal not be taken away from the tribe of Iuda, neyther a cap­tayne out of his loynes, tyll he be come, whiche shalbe sent: and he shalbe the expectation of the Gentles. Ieremy writeth of Christ: He shalbe called God our righteousnes. And in the same prophet we reade, that God appoynted to geue a new Testament: not ac­cording to that which he made with the Fathers, but in describing his law in their harts & bowells. Abacuk saith: The iust shall liue by fayth. Esai saith: I am found of them, that sought me not. Also, God hath layed vpon hym all our iniquityes. Dauid also: Blessed are they whose iniquityes are forgeuen, and whose sins are couered. Blessed is the man, vnto whome the Lord hath not imputed sinne. An other kind of testimonyes also is had out of the dedes of the old fathers, whiche were certayne forshewinges, that ChristeAn ether kind o [...] te­stemonies are the actes of the Fathers. should come to redeme mankinde. For as he is sayd to lyue in vs (for that we are his membres) so also both was he, and liued he in the old fathers. Wherfore they were no les his members then are we. But how the head suffereth, and is recrea­ted in his members, it is most apertly declared in Paul, whē it was sayd, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And in the last iudgemēt, Christ will pronoūce, that what­soeuer hath bene geuē vnto the least of his, was geuen vnto him: wherfore, so of­ten as we reade, that the elders were ouercome, brought into captiuity, oppressed with calamityes, we must vnderstand, that Christ in them suffred these self same things. And agayne whē we heare, that they got the victorye, & were restored andA shadowe of the death and resur­rection of Christ. delyuered, let vs thinke that Christ also was in like sort affected in them. And in the one we haue a shew of his death begon, and in the other, a shadow and begin­ning of hys resurrection. And that this thing is so, we are tought by that whiche Christ sayd, that he should be in the hart of the earth thre dayes, and thre nights, lyke as was Ionas the prophet. He likened himselfe also vnto the brasen serpente, which Moses set vp, vpon which whosoeuer looked they obteyned health, be inge o­therwise in daunger to dye of the venemous stinginge. And in Oseas the prophet we reade: Out of Egipt haue I called my sonne. Which oracle the Hebrews contend to wreste vnto Pharao, which was destroyed, and vnto the people of Israell deliue­red from his tyrannie. Which thing if we should in the meane time graunt thē, yet would I aske of them, of whence that nation had the preeminence, to be cal­led by the name of the Children of God. That vndoubtedly coulde not be prouedThe [...]lders were not the childrē of God but by Christ. to come by any other meanes, then by Christ, which is the Sonne of God, being the first begotten amongest many brethren. By whom others also, as manye as are nombred to be the children of God, haue aspired to suche a deuine adoption Wherefore the Apostle sayth, that Christ was the first fruites, and pronounceth that he hath the principalitie ouer all thinges. Wherfore not without cause hath our Euangelist cited this place of the Prophet touching the Lord, forsomuch as he al­so was, by the admonishment of the Angell, called backe out of Egipt. Lastly theThe thirde kinde of [...]e­stemonies are sacrifi­ces. sacrifices, oblations, and ceremonies of the Elders, bare witnes of this kinde of righteousnes. For in those beastes which were slayne, the death of Christ was manifested vnto the fayth of the Elders. For euen as the thing sacrificed, which o­therwise had nothing offēded, was slaine for ye sin of an other, which escaped frée, so [Page] was thereby shewed, that Christ should be flayne for vs, which were guiltie of death, that by the pacefieng of the heauenly Father, we might escape the punish­ments which we had deserued. Neither let any man say, that the sacraments ofThe sacra­ments of the elders how they had saluati­on ioyned with them, and how they had not What was Paules meaning to y Hebrues touching the rites of the Iewes. the Elders had not saluation ioyned with them. For, that thing will we also graunt, as touching the outward woorke, which commonly is called the woorke wrought. But the fayth, which in those rites embraced Christ, brought saluation vnto the Elders: euen as at this day also the outward exercises of the sacraments or commaundementes doo nothing profite: but onelye fayth bringeth saluation, which seeth that vnder the infoldinges of sensible signes, are set forth vnto vs hea­uenly giftes. And if at any time the Apostle, vnto the Hebrews, or in anye other place, seeme to affirme otherwyse, wee must thyncke that hee hath to doo a­gaynste the Iewes, which seperated Christe and hys fayth, both from the lawe, and also from ceremonies. Which two things being seperated, he firmely and strongely concludeth, that they haue not saluacion by such rites and sacrifices.

The righteousnes of God by the fayth of Iesus Christ.] Now is it meete to tell what fayth is: Fayth therefore is an assente, and that a firme assente to theWhat is fayth. wordes of God, obteyned not by reason, or by naturall demōstration, but by the authority of the speaker, and by the power of the holy Ghost. And this definicion disagreeth not from that, which Paule putteth in the .xi. to the Hebrues. Hereby we may see, about what thinges faith is occupied, namely, aboute the woordes of God. And it is manifest, what is the chiefest principle & ground, vnto whiche all thinges pertayning to God are referred: and that is, The Lord hath sayd. But the authority of the speaker cannot be of force with vs so much as it ought, vn­lesse the perswasion of ye holy Ghost be therunto adioyned. In Greeke it is calledWhence [...] is deriued. [...]: which word is deriued of [...]: for we ar not accustomed to beleue, but that which we are fully perswaded of. Basilius, as touching fayth, when he ex­poundeth this place of the Psalme, I haue beleued, and therefore haue I spoken, wri­teth, Do not contend to see those thinges which are layd vp a farre of, neither make those thinges doubtfull which are hoped for. In which wordes he sheweth, that two prin­cipall thinges are to be auoyded: The one is, that we be not with to much cu­riositieTwo prin­cipal things to be taken hede of. stirred vp to seeke out the proofe of thinges, which we ought to beleue, which proofe, so long as we lyue here, cannot be had: the other is, that though they be obscure, we shoulde not yet doubte of the truth of them. And the same writer, entreating of the confessiō of fayth, thus writeth: It is manifest a falling a­way Basilius sayth that they erre from the faith which adde any thing to the scriptures. from the fayth, and a poynt of pride, either to refuse anye of those thinges which are written, or to bring in anye thing, that is not written: forasmuche as our Lorde Iesus Christ sayd, My sheepe heare my voyce: and before that he sayde, but a straunger they will not follow, but wyll flee from him, because they haue not knowen his voyce. The A­postle also hath, by an humaine example, straightly forbidden, either to adde, or to dimi­nishe any thing in the holy scriptures, when he sayth: And yet no man disanulleth the Testament of a man, when it is confirmed, neither addeth any thing thereunto. In which place a man may perceiue, how warely this man affirmeth, that as touching fayth, nothing ought either to be added, or diminished in the holy scriptures. Which maketh chiefely against those, which obtrude inuencions and traditi­ons of men, as necessary to be beleued. Farther, the same writer plainlye set­teth forth the certaintie of fayth, when he declareth the propertie thereof in Moralibus the. 80. Summe, and, 22. chapiter. Where he writeth, What is the propertie of fayth? He aunswereth, An vnseperable certaintie of the truth of the wordes of God, which is not attayned to by any kinde of reasoning, nor any naturall necessitye, neyther, being framed to pietie, can euer be shaken. And he addeth, That it is the duty of one that beleueth, to be in such a certaintie affected, according to the power of the woord Basilius sayth that whatsoeuer is with out fayth and the holy scriptures is sinne. spoken, and not to presume, either to dissanull, or to adde any thing. For, if whatsoeuer is not of fayth, is sinne, as sayth the Apostle, and fayth commeth of hearing, and hearing by the word of God: then whatsoeuer is not of fayth, being not contayned in the scripture, inspired by the spirite of God, the same is sinne. This Father confirmeth together with vs, the certaintie of fayth: and sheweth wherehence it dependeth, when [Page 63] he calleth it inseuerable: for that when we beleue, we doo not examine by our own reasons, what is possible, or what is not possible to be done. And he semeth to allude to those wordes which Paul speaketh; of the fayth of Abraham, that he doubted not through incredulitie, where he vsed this verbe [...]. Wher­fore, certaintie, is contrarie to doubting, which commeth of the examination of humane reason. Moreouer, that which in an other sentence he had spoken, he a­gayne playnly repeateth, namely, that those things, which are out of the scrip­tures, are not to be beleued. And this place of Paul: Whatsoeuer is not of fayth, is Note how Basilius vnderstan­deth what­soeuer is not of fayth is sinne. Fayth dif­fereth from opinion and suspicion. sinne, he vseth in his natiue and proper sense, as we also vse it: which thing our aduersaries can not abide. Faith differeth from opiniō: for opinion, although it make vs leane vnto one part, yet it doth that, both wyth reason, and also not without feare of the truth of the other partie. And suspicion doth engender yet a weaker assent, then opinion doth: for that it both wanteth reason, and also leaueth men doubtfull of the truth of the other part. It is true in deede, that science engendreth a firme assent: but that is brought to passe by adding of demonstrations. Seing now we sée playnly, both what fayth is, and also howe it differeth from opinion, science, and suspicion, let vs sée, howe manye wayes fayth is taken. For there is one kinde of fayth which is mightie, perfect, and of efficacie, whereby we are iustified: there is an other which is voyde without fruite, during but for a time, & vayne, which bringeth not iustification. Which thing is manifest by the parable of the Gospell, where the séede, the woorde of God (I say) is written, to fall sometymes vpon good ground: and sometimes vpon stony ground, vpon thornes, and by the high way side, where it is lost, andFayth which ius­tefieth is not in all men equal. bringeth forth no fruite. Agayne, that fayth which is good and profitable, is not in all men a lyke: for according to the greater or lesser infirmitie of the fleshe, it hath degrées. Wherfore Paul saith: Euen as God hath deuided vnto euery man the measure of fayth. And in the selfe same parable, the seede falling on the good ground, bringeth not forth fruite alyke in all partes. For in some place it bringeth forth thirty fold, in other some place, lx. folde, and in other some an hundreth folde. In sūme, the entent of Paule in this place is, to make the righ­teousnes of God (whereof he entreateth in this place) proper vnto fayth, to the ende he myght vtterly take it away as well from our merites, as from our workes. But I meruayle, that forasmuch as this is his scope, how the Greke Scholies affirme, that we are not so iustified, that vnto the obtaynment of righ­teousnes,The Greke Scholies and Chry­sostome are noted. we bring nothing our selues. Fayth (say they) is brought of vs: for that to beleue, it behooueth vs to haue a valiant mynde. And this selfe thinge signifieth Chrisostome. These thinges must be vnderstanded warely, neyther can they be admitted in that sense, as though fayth proceded from vs: when as vn­to the Ephesians it is playnly declared, that it is the gift of God: neyther if it were of our selues could all boasting be excluded. For we should bring much, if out of our selues should come the power to beleue. And this place playnely teacheth, that it is not so to be vnderstanded: for the Apostle addeth: Being iusti­fied freely. But it should not be fréely, if fayth, as it is our worke, should bring righteousnes. I graunt indede, that our vnderstanding and will, do assent vnto the promises of God. But that it doth, or maye do the same, it muste of neces­sity come of God.

Vnto all and vpon all that beleue.] There are three thinges now put in this proposition, which the Apostle entendeth playnly to declare. The first is this. That the righteousnes of God is made manifest: the second, that it is without the law: the third, that it is by fayth. As touching the first he sayth, that thys righteousnes of God is declared vnto all, and vpon all. Which is not so to beRighteous­nes is not in all men but only in the elect and in the beleuers▪ vnderstanded as generally spoken: when as in all men there nether is, nor ap­peareth any such righteousnes. But his wordes are contracted vnto those which beleue, vnto the elect (I say) and sanctified: Which thing the words of the Apo­stle sufficiently declare. If this sentence should be vnderstanded altogether vni­uersally, [Page] then this manifestation could not be referred but vnto the preaching,This vni­uersality may haue a respect vnto the preaching. which is set forth vnto all men, hauing no respect either of persons or estates: for so Christ warned the Apostles to preach the Gospell to all creatures: and ge­nerally addeth whosoeuer beleueth and is baptised shalbe saued. But the first sense, is both true, and also more perspicuous. He afterward addeth a reason, why this righteousnes is made manifest vnto all, & vpon all that beleue. Because sayth he.

All haue sinned, and are destitute of the glory of God.] That forasmuch as they want righteousnes of their owne, they might receaue it at the handes of God. There are none so holy, but that as sayth Ambrose, this place conuinceth them to be sinners: forasmuche as this righteousnes geuen of God hath place in all, and vpon all. But this phrase is to be noted.

Are destitute of the glory of God.] By it, some thinke is to be vnderstāded, theThe glory of god som­times signifieth, his dwelling in vs. dwelling of God in vs: bycause men were seperated from him, nether had they him ioyned vnto them by grace. And that the glory of God expresseth this ma­ner of dwelling, hereby it is manifest, for that the Arke of the couenant is cal­led the glory of God. Wherefore when it was taken by the Philistians, the glorye of God was sayd to be taken away. Others thinke that Paule, by the glorye of God vnderstandeth the perfect and true righteousnes: which comming from God, is iudged glory, or that whereby we glorifye God. And forasmuch as glo­ryWhat glo­ry is. is nothing els, but a prayse most aboundantly published, Paule by a figu­ratiue kinde of speach calleth the most singular giftes of God, the glory of God for which giftes we both prayse and celebrate his name: so that the thing hath (by the figure Metonomia) the name of the propriety which followeth it. But in my iudgement it semeth, that Paule would declare by these wordes, that all men in theyr corrupt nature were reiected: and that he chiefely reproueth rites, sacrifices and workes of the lawe, in which they thought the glory of God chief­ly to consist. For he sheweth, that they in very deede were destitute of the glory of God, although they were altogether full of their ceremonyes.

And are iustified freely by his grace.] Here we haue what that meaneth, the righteousnes of God to be made manifest without the lawe, namely, to be geuen freely. And Paule laboring to shew that in iustification is no considera­tion had of our workes, semeth to shew that he neuer satisfieth hymselfe. So many wordes heapeth he vp which signifieth one, and the selfe same thing. ForWe mea­sure the righteous­nes of God by our own righteous­nes. he saw what a hard thing it is to be beleued of vs, which will our selues do nothing freely, and by our owne measure do measure the righteousnes of God, as though he also would not geue his righteousnes freely. Out of this kinde of speach ought to be gathered this common sentence, that, by fayth only we are iustified. And although this word only be not found in the holy scriptures, yet is it necessarily inferred of those things, which we there reade: as Ambrose mostAmbrose sayth by fayth onely. playnly noteth in this place, writing vōp these words, saying: We do nothyng, we recompēce not, by fayth only are we iustified, which is the gift of God. He was not con­tent to say that we are iustified by fayth only, but he addeth also other clauses whereby he might more playnly declare the same. The selfe same thing writeth Basilius also in his booke De confessione fidei. We (sayth he) haue nothing whereof Basilius was of the same iudgement. we may make our boast concerning righteousnes, forasmuch as we are iustified only hy fayth in Christ. Which wordes are not so to be vnderstanded, as though the fayth wherby we are iustified, were alone, that is not adorned with good & holy works: but because our workes though they be neuer so holy, are not causes of the true righteousnes. The like similitude is shewed in water, wherin moistnes and coldnes are ioyned together but to washe away blots and spots, properly belongeth to moistnes and not to coldnes. Wherefore this is a false argument ab accidente, whē as two things being ioyned together, that which belongeth to the one is ascribed vnto the other. But as touching this word [...], that is, being iustified, being a participle of the nominatiue case, it is to be refer­red vnto that which was a little before spoken. For all haue sinned and are desti­tute [Page 64] of the glory of God: as though he should haue sayd, they which were such, are iustified freely.

By his grace, by the redemption, which is in Christ Iesus, whome God hath set forth a propitiator by fayth.] Here Paule expresseth those thinges, which by fayth we embrace, when we are iustified, and sheweth, that by fayth he vnder­standeth the obiectes, which by it are apprehended. And when he sayth by grace, he sheweth, that he entreateth of a farre other maner of righteousnes, then is that which is gotten by workes: and he most manifestly excludeth the conditi­onsWe are not iustified rashely or by chaunce. of the lawe. And when we heare, that we are iustified fréely, and by grace, we must not thinke that the same is done rashely or by chance: forasmuch as it is tempered by the rule of the election of God. The causes and reasons where­of although they be vnknowen vnto vs, yet are they knowen vnto God. And se­ing that in respect of hym the same is not done by chaunce, we ought not to af­firme, that men are iustified b [...] chance. And euē as chaunce is to be takē away so also ought we to banishe necessitye, least we should seeme to admitte fate or desteny. For God is not compelled, to chuse this man, more thē that man. But whatsoeuer he geueth, he geueth it freely and without compulsion.

By the redemption.] Hereby appeareth, that we are manumitted by Christ and made his free men. For we were bond men cast into the prison of sinne,Who are redemed. death, and the deuill. But Christ hath fully payd the price for vs: and that no small price, for he hath shed his owne bloud for vs, and geuen his life. That is sayd to be redemed, which before was both free, and also pertayned vnto vs. We were the peculiar people of God, and through our owne default we were sold vnder sinne. This phrase here of the Apostle manifestly declareth, how litle we ought to ascribe vnto free will before we be, by the redemption of Christ set at liberty. And forasmuch as so great a price is payd for our saluation, weBy the vse of the sacra­mēts we are put in minde of the benefit receaued. The wayght of sinne is to be waighed by the price of our re­demption. ought not to suffer, so great a benefite lightly to slippe out of our memory. For the auoyding whereof, we are holpen not only by doctrine and the scriptures, but also by sacramentes. For euen as among the elders, the often sacrifices shadowed Christ to come: so now the often vse of the misteries, bringeth to me­mory his death and bloud shed for vs. And by this price of redemption may we perceaue the greeuousnes of sinne: forasmuch as the waight thereof was so great that it kindled agaynst vs the iust wrath of God, and such a wrath as was not rashely conceaued: which wrath being an appetite or desire of ven­geance, by a most iust consideration, required a most excellent sacrifice, vpon which might be transferred all our sinnes. And forasmuch as the same wrath is by no other thing asswaged, but by the bloud and death of Christ, they are to be coūted most greeuous blasphemers, which dare attribute the same either to our workes, or to outward rites.

VVhome God hath set forth a propitiator.] In that Christ is sayd to be set forth vnto vs by God, thereby is shewed, that the doctrine of the Gospell isGod two maner of wayes set­teth forth Christ vn­to vs to be beleued. The me­rite of the death of Christ de­pendeth of the predes­tination of God. no new thing, nor inuented by men. But in what sort Christ is set forth vnto vs, is declared by two principall pointes. First, because God by reuelation set­teth forth vnto vs thinges to be beleued, vnto the knowledge whereof, by the light of nature we could neuer attayne. Secondly in that he causeth vs to haue a pleasure in thinges shewed vnto vs, and to geue our assent vnto them, and moueth and stirreth vp our mynd, inspiring vs with fayth. This may also be referred vnto the good pleasure, and blessed predestination of God, wherehence dependeth the merite of the death of Christ. Otherwise God mought by any o­ther thing haue redemed vs, and deliuered vs from sinnes. Wherefore we must count that by his determination and purpose only, haue we receaued that he would vouchsafe to accept the death of Iesus Christ his sonne, and by it recon­cile vnto him the sayntes. Of this purpose and good pleasure, is mencion made vnto the Ephes. in the first chapiter. Where it is thus writtē. According to his good pleasure, which he had purposed in himselfe, euen vnto the dispensation of the fulnes of [Page] tymes, that he might set vp all thinges perfectly by Christ (both the thinges which are in heauen, and the thinges which are in earth) in whome euen we also are by lot called, be­ing predestinate according to his purpose, which worketh al things according to the coun­sell of his wil, that we (which before hoped in Christ) should be to the prayse of his glory, in whom also we hope, forasmuch as we haue hard the word of truth, euē the Gospell of your saluation. &c. And in an other place oftentymes, and in this selfe same epi­stle is mencion made of the purpose of God. Although this reason of the will andA proba­ble reason of the coun­sel of God. counsell of God is not to be contēned, yet as I thinke this reason may be assig­ned, that by him it was mete the world should be restored to his olde estate, by whome all thinges were created. This word [...], which is here put, may signifye these three thinges, a propitiator, propitiation, and propitiatory. I rather allow the latter signification, because Paule semeth to allude vnto theHow Christ is our propitiatory. oracle of the olde Testament, and couering of the arke, which is there called the propitiatory, or mercy seate. For vpon the arke of the couenaunt, there was layd a board or table for the oracle of the arke, at whose endes stoode two Che­rubins: but the midle place was empty out of which were answeres geuen vn­to them that asked, and God was made fauorable vnto the people, and was sayd to dwel there. It is playne and manifest, and not to be doubted, but that all these things may aptly be referred vnto Christ, as in whom dwelleth the whole fulnes of the godhed corporally (as Paule sayth vnto ye Collossians) and therehence are most certayne oracles geuen of the will of God, as touching our saluation. And that by hym God is pacefied and reconciled vnto vs, there is no doubt: we may also interprete it, a propiciator, as though that word were put in the mas­kuline gender, that euen as we call Christ, [...], that is a sauior, so we may call him [...], that is, a pacefier. Neyther paraduenture is this farre from the true and proper sence, if we vnderstand Christ to be our pacification. For Iohn in his epistle the 2. chapiter calleth Christ [...], that is, our pacification, where he thus writeth, My little children, these thynges I write vnto you, that ye sinne not. But and if any man sinne, we haue an aduocate with the father, Iesus Christ the iust: and he is the propitiatiō for our sinnes: and not for our sinnes only, but also for the sinnes of the whole world. But as I haue sayd the first exposition pleaseth me best, and that for this cause chiefely, because a little afterward is sayd,

By his bloud.] For the maner of the high priest of the Hebrues was, once euery yeare to sprinkle the propitiatory or mercy seat, with bloud, when he en­tred into the place which was called Sancta sanctorū, that is, the holy of holyes. Nether is it without a cause that the Apostle here straightway addeth, By faith: forasmuch as our aduersaries also do graunt y by Christ commeth rightousnes vnto vs, but they will not once declare, by what meanes we apply the same vnto vs,How Christ is sayd of the Papistes to be our re­demer. and make it ours: which thing Paule now plainly expresseth. They seme alwaies to tende this way, that Christ therfore hath redemed vs, because he is to be coun­ted the chiefe and hed of our merites: as though (as their common phrase of speache is) Christ deserued for vs onely the first grace, and afterward leaueth vs wholye to our selues. But this is to muche niggardly and maliciously to vse the benefite of God. Wherefore seing now we vnderstand hym, we wil continually oppose vnto the iustice of God, the death of Christ, as a full satisfaction of our sinnes.

To declare his righteousnes.] Hitherto we haue spoken of the efficient cause of iustification, which is, God, and his mercy. But those whiche are iustified, & per­taine to the materiall cause, are men of all sortes being guilty of sinnes, and desti­tuteThe order of iustifica­tion. of the grace of God. The instrumentes also haue bene declared. The one in­strument is as touching God, and the same is Christ, whome the goodnes of God hath vsed for a sacrifice: the other instrument as touching vs, is faith, whereby we take hold of the mercy of God, and of his promises. Now speaketh he of the ende.The end of iustification God would to no other end in such sort iustifie vs, but to declare his righteousnes: which commeth not to passe, but by communicating it with others. For thē doth a man declare his riches, when he enricheth others: then declareth a man his know­ledge, [Page 65] when he enstructeth others: then also sheweth he his strength, when he strēg­thned others: as Ambrose also saith: That the righteousnes of God is made manifest in iustifieng of vs, because he rendreth according to his promises which he hath made. But there is no smal emphasis in this, that vnto righteousnes he addeth this word, His, Iustificati­on by faith hath t [...]o com­modities. to declare that there is vtterly no righteousnes of ours. Chrisostom vpon this place saith: Be not afearde, for this righteousnes consisteth not of workes, but of fayth, and he addeth, that in it are two excellent commodities: First, for that it is easy: secondly, be­cause God by it declareth his owne proper righteousnes.

By the remission of the sinnes that are passed.] I knowe not what mouedA strang reding and interpreta­tion of Ambrose. Ambrose, not to read, remission, but, purpose. And in his interpretation he saith: be­cause God purposed to deliuer not onely those which dwell in heauen, but also those which were in hell. Whch thinges seme not to serue for this place. Erasmus supposeth y he red not [...], which signifieth, remissiō, but [...], which signifieth purpose, & this reading also doth Augustine follow in his boke de spiritu & litera, ye xiij. cha. But it is best, we rede, as the cōmō readyng hath it. For so is expressed vnto vs, in what thyng chieflye consisteth iustification, namely, in the remission of sinnes. Whiche thyng Dauid setteth forth expressedly when he saith: Blessed are they whose iniqui­ties In what thing chief­ly consisteth iustificatiō. are forgeuen. It commeth in deede by the benefite of the holy ghost, that besides the forgeuenes of sinnes, followeth an instauration or renewing of the whole mā. But in the first principall pointe consisteth the summe of iustification, namelye, the forgeuenes of sinnes. This particle which is added,

Of the sinnes passed.] accordyng to the opinion of some is put, to take away licentiousnes of sinnyng, that men should not thinke, that after they haue obteined righteousnes at Gods hand, they should then liue losely. But it is to be thought ra­ther, that the Apostle would hereby shew the infirmity of the lawe, and of philoso­phy, & of humayne strengthes, as thinges which were not able to put away sinne. Sinne vndoubtedly continueth and abideth, vntill righteousnes be by faith com­municated vnto vs. And that it did still abide, we shall afterwarde heare of Paule, when a little after he sayth: that sinne raigned from Adam euen vnto Moses: and that he therby proueth, for that death did spread abrode into all mē. And yet cānot by this place be proued, that men after iustification can not fall, which falles throughAfter iusti­fication we still fall. An error of the Noua­tians. fayth, must be forgeuen by iustification agayne obteined. Wherfore the Nouatiās did hereof vnaptly gather, that after baptisme, forgeuenes of sinnes should not be geuen vnto them that fell. Althoughe they beyng compelled by the force of argu­ments confessed, that God in dede can geue remission of wicked actes after bap­tisme: but to vs in the church, it is not lawfull to exercise or to promise any suche forgeuenes. But they very ill weighed what was said to Peter, that he should for­geue his penitent brother, not onely seuen tymes, but also seuenty tymes seuen tymes. Paules meanyng in this place is to declare the state of man, before he at­tayneth vnto iustification, namely, that he is altogether in sinne. Iustification em­bracethWhat ma­ner ones we be when the righte­ousnes of God first findeth vs. Against woorkes preparato­r [...]. Christ is perpetually one, and the selfe same medi­ator. vs when we are in that state, that we bring nothyng vnto God from our owne selues, but onely sins to be forgeuē. Which vndoubtedly, whē they are forge­uen, it followeth of necessity that they went before. Wherfore by this place are ra­ther cōfuted workes (as they call thē) of preparatiō, thē that it maketh any thyng on Nouatus side. And without doubt theyr opinion is vtterly to be reiected, which thinke, that the first iustification in dede commeth vnto vs fréely, and ye we should be by baptisme regenerated, are not required good workes to go before. But if we chaunce afterward (say they) to sin, then is it necessary, that we make satisfaction. As though Christ were not the self same mediator at one tyme, ye he is at an other time. Iohn most manifestly cōfuteth those mē, saying, Little children, these thinges I write vnto you, that ye sinne not: but if we sinne, we haue an aduocate wyth the father, Iesus Christ, whom he calleth [...], that is, our propitiation. By which wordes we gather ye after baptisme also, if we chance to fal, Christ is our iustification, and not our workes. Neither is it conuenient to thinke, that the estate of them, whiche by greuous falles haue turned away from Christ, is better then theyrs, which are not as yet cōuerted vnto him, so that though before they could not iustifie themselues, [Page] they are afterward able to do it. Wherfore we must nedes thinke, that by repen­taunce is againe obtained the selfe maner of iustificatiō, ye was before in baptism, or to speake more vprightly, whē we were first regenerate by faith. Wherfore, IThe same maner of iustification after bap­tisme which was before can not inough wonder, what came in their heds of Cullen, those moste great de­fenders of abuses, in that their booke called Antididagma, where they gooe about to put a difference betwene that repentaunce which we preach vnto infidels, and y repentaunce which is to be done of Christiās that haue fallē into greuous crimes. They graunt, ye as touching infidels, we should by ye law of Moses, vpbraide vnto thē those wicked factes, which they haue committed: and then set forth Christ vn­to them, as a remedy and medicine of so great euils. But they affirme, that vnto those which being Christians haue contaminated themselues with sinnes, are to be inculcated the giftes and benefites, from whiche they haue fallen: and to be set forth vnto them the exercises of the spirite, by which they may be agayne holpen. And for this their sentence they cite certaine places of the Scripture. First, that which is written in the Apoc. Remember from whence thou hast fallē, and do the first workes. Otherwise I come vnto thee. And vnto the Galathians, Paule saith: O ye foolish Galathians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, to whome Iesus Christ was before described, and before your eyes crucified. Farther to the Hebrewes we reade, And if any mā shal make voyd the law of Moses, he is vnder the witnes of two or thre without any mercy slain. How much more greuous punishmēts abide those which haue troden vnder foot the bloud of the sonne of God. Lastly, they bring a place out of ye latter Epistle to the Corrint. the 7. chapter, Where Paule seemeth to haue made mencion of satisfaction to be made after crimes committed. They thinke also that Ambrose maketh on theyr side, when he interpreteth these woordes oute of the 11. chap. to the Romanes, The giftes of God are without repentaunce. Because (sayth he) grace in baptisme seeketh not sighinge or mourning or any woorke, but onely profession from the harte. And a little afterwarde he sayth, that in the first entraunce of fayth, is not required repentaunce, for the gift of God freely forgeueth sins in baptisme. And they faine, that they speake these things, that we should not geue our selues to slouthfulnes or sluggishnes, and least some should imagine an idle iustificati­and a repentance without fruite. Repentance (say they) whiche is added after baptisme, is of that kinde, that it hath ioyned with it most feruent prayers, and mourning, and sighing, and almes geuing to our neyghbours, and spiritual ex­cercises,There is but one maner of true repentance. by whiche maye be washed away sinnes committed. But whatsoeuer those men say, there is but one manner of true repentaunce, whiche is, that we shoulde from the hart be sorry for the sinnes whiche we haue commited, whiche haue alienated God frō vs. Vnto which sorrow is added, a desire of forgeuenes, and thereunto also are adioyned prayers to attayne the same, with a full pur­pose not to runne any more into the like sinnes, and wyth a wyll to mortefy the old man, and to put on the new man. And all these thinges oughte to leane vntoVnto Christians repentance is a perpe­tual compa­nion, how be it it is sometimes grea­ter and somtimes lesser In the bap­tisme of them that are of full age is required repen­tance. faith, for without it they cannot consiste. And in a christian man is perpetuallye this kinde of repentance, so long as he liueth here: although we graunte, that it is greater, when we haue committed greuouser sinnes: whiche thinge then vn­doubtedly cōmeth to passe, when after grace once receaued we fal againe. But as the common sayinge is, more and lesse chaunge not the nature and kinde of thinges. But whereas these men fayne, that in baptisme is not required repen­taunce, and especiallye when they that are of full age are baptised, it is both vayne, and also manifestlye repugnaunte vnto the holye scriptures. For in the Actes of the Apostles, when the people had heard the sermon of Peter, they were smitten in the hart, and sayd, Ye men & brethern, what ought we to do? Vnto whom Peter aunswered, that they should repent them. And when the Iewes were bap­tised of Iohn, they were smitten with such a sorrow of repentance, that of theyr owne accord also they confessed theyr sinnes. Which selfe thinge the Ephesians also did, when they brought foorth their wicked bookes to be burnt. And as tou­ching Ambrose, vnles he be vnderstanded of Ecclesiasticall satisfactions, for that [Page 66] the church requireth not them for sinnes before baptisme, that which he writeth, is not true. For in very déede it is not possible, that a man should from the hartBefore baptisme wer not requi­red ecclesi­asticall sa­tisfactions. be conuerted vnto God, and come vnto Christe, to be washed in baptisme, but that he must ernestly repente him of his former life. Neyther can I see, why it is not conueniēt to vse the ministery of the law, to preach it vnto those which haue fallē away frō Christ, as well as vnto those, which are not as yet cōuerted. For it is certayne that Christ entreated with the Apostles touching the lawe in the. 5 and 6. chapters of Mathew, when yet notwithstandinge they had nowe both be­leued in him, and also followed him. Paule also in this self same epistle, which he wrote vnto the faithfull, in the 7. chap. vseth a testimony of the law to the decla­racion of concupiscence. And in the first to Timothy, he pronounceth the law to be good, so that a man lawfully vse it. Neyther do those places of the Apocalipse, & vnto the hebrewes, and vnto the Galathians teach any other thinge. For the vp­brayding of benefites receaued, forasmuch as it reproueth men of ingratitude, layeth before them the transgression of the law. For to sinne is nothinge els, but to violate the commaundementes of God, which are contained in the law. Nei­ther is there anye mencion made of satisfaction in the latter Epistle to the Corrinthians, as these men fayne there is. For, that word which Paule there v­seth,A place in the latter epistle to the Corrin. is in Greeke, [...]. Neither mente the Apostle in that place any thinge els, then to declare, that he was very glad that his first letters had brought forth in the Corrinthians a study, [...], that is, & an indignatiō. For that they had excommunicated the incestuous person, whom Paule had noted vnto them, and had declared that they were not a little sory for that, which Paule had repro­ued in them. So vtterlye far of is it, that that place commendeth vnto vs Eccle­siasticall satisfactions: of which yet there is no suche cause why these men should so much boast of, when as in theyr churches they now are vtterly cleane out ofThe true ecclesiasti­call satisfac­tions ar ba­nished out of the Church of the Pa­pistes. How the fathers as­signed re­mission of sinnes to good woor­kes. God bea­reth with sinnes. vre: neither nowe haue they any other satisfactions, then those whiche they en­ioyne men after auricular confession, and which no manne can fully performe, vnles he be already before absolued of the priest, whiche is vtterly contrarye to the vsage of the elders. And if at any time we reade, that the fathers attributed remission of sins or righteousnes vnto almes geuing or vnto other good works, eyther they are vtterly not to be harkened vnto, or els they are to be vnderstan­ded to speake of woorkes, as they are effectes of fayth. They may also by the name of sinne sometimes vnderstand the paines and punishmentes whiche are due vnto sinnes: which punishmentes oftentimes are either mittigated or takē away, if woorthy fruites follow repentaunce.

Thorough the patience of God.] By these woordes is signified, that God remitteth those sinnes, which he hath long time before borne with: when as o­therwise men as touching themselues, deserue to be punished, euen straightway so soone as they haue sinned. But God is mercifull, and slow to anger: whiche thing he declared when he sent the floude, when he destroyed Sodom, and ouer­threw the publike wealth of the Iewes. And we finde him also to be euen suche a one towardes euery one of vs perticularly. For he wayteth long that we should repent vs. Which thing if we do not, we heape vnto our selues wrath in the day of wrath, & of the reuelation of the iust iudgement of God. And by this pacience of God, we knowe that that is true, whiche Ezechiel sayth, that God will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be cōuerted and liue. Neither here oughtWe must iudge by the will of God reue­led and not by hys se­cret will. we to haue a respect vnto the secret will of God whiche vnto vs is vnknowne & obscure. For we oughte to iudge of it as by the holye scriptures and by daylye experiēce it is setforth vnto vs, and may be known. For he suffreth long, and by scriptures, sermons, scourges, and finally by all manner of meanes and wayes calleth backe sinners vnto him.

At this present time.] Chrisostome interpreteth this of the cōming of Christ in the flesh. For that then was he most chiefly geuen, & the pacience of God was declared to be so muche the greater, for that then all manner of vices were rife: [Page] and when men séemed to haue deserued to be moste gréeuouslye punished, euen then did the mercye of God most chieflye shine vpon them. And it seemeth thatWhen sins semed most worthy to be punished then most of all shined forth the mercy of God. The f [...]lnes of time. Paule, euery where wonderfully extolleth this time, wherein God so singularly declared his beneuolence toward men, that he gaue his onely begotten sonne for our saluation. And that time wherein God came vnto vs, he calleth the fulnes of times.

That he might be iuste and a iustifier of him, vvhiche is of the fayth of Iesus Christ.] Here is touched the reason why God appoynted after thys manner to forgeue sinnes: namelye, that his righteousnes moughte, the more appeare, we vse to say, that in a manne there is a notable qualitye, when as out of the same fountayne others are pertakers thereof. But there is an Emphasis or strength in this forme of speaking, That he might be iust.] Wherby we vnderstād that he is of himselfe iust, neither ought we to presume to chalenge the same to our selues. And he addeth, Of the fayth of Iesus Christ, because by that meanes the righte­ousnes of God doth better appeare, then if we shoulde clayme it vnto our selues by workes.

Where is then thy glorying? It is excluded. By what law? By the lawe of workes? No, but by the lawe of fayth. Therefore we conclude that a man is iustified by fayth, without the workes of the law. God, is he the God of the Iewes only, and not of the Gē ­tiles also? Yes euen of the Gentiles also. For it is one God who shall iustifie circumcision by faith, & vncircumcision through fayth. Do we then make the lawof none effect? God forbid, yea rather we establishe the law.

VVherefore thy glorying is excluded. By what lawe? By the lawe of workes? No, but by the lawe of fayth.] After that he had declared his proposition, nowEpiphone­ma. as it were by a conclusion he geueth a definitiue sentence of that, which he put forth at the beginning of the chapiter, when he sayd, what is then the preferment of the Iewe? or what is the profite of circumcision? In this place he maketh answere, that as touching iustification the Iewes had nothing aboue others, whereof they might glory, for that by those thinges which haue bene now spoken, their glorying is excluded. In the Greke booke is not reade this woord, thy. And Ambrose thinketh that these thinges are spoken against the Iewes. For against thē peculiarly contēded he now. So farre is it of, that the law of works exclu­deth glorying, that rather it ministreth matter to glory of. And by this woorde lawe, the Apostle vnderstandeth doctrine, for it hath the power to moderate andThe Law of woorkes ministreth matter of boasting. What this woord law, signifieth. gouerne our strengthes and willes to the executing of any thing, as touching knowledge & doctrine or instruction. And in other places he applieth this worde lawe to diuers thinges, as, The lawe of the spirite, The law of the fleshe, the lawe of the members, the lawe of the minde, and such other like. The lawe of workes is, that which decreeth that righteousnes oughte to be gotten by workes. But the lawe of fayth teacheth, that it is to be hoped for of the mercy of God. And Chri­sostome sayth, that the lawe of fayth is, that by grace we are saued: and he thin­keth, that the Apostle vseth the name of the lawe, to the ende he would the lesse offend the Iewes, which much delighted in that worde. For by that meanes he semed to attribute some honour vnto the lawe, which had not ill deserued ofWhat glo­rieng is. The contrariety be­twene the law of faith and the law of workes. Where me­rites are there is glorieng. men. Glorying, according to the definition thereof, is a boasting of some good thing. And how repugnāt these two lawes are one to the other, we ar manifest­ly tought in the Gospel, where the Pharisey speaketh thus to God: I geue thankes vnto thee, that I am not as other men: I fast twise in the weake. &c. Here he maketh mencion of workes only: ouerhipping the grace of God, as much as lay in him. But the other, namely the Publicane, prayd with fayth, God be mercifull vnto me a sinner. In which words he maketh no mencion at all of works. And seeing that God will haue all glorying excluded, it is manifest, how they erre, which [Page 68] defend merites. For where they haue place, there wanteth not glorying. They which glory, thinke that both saluation, and righteousnes, and eternall life are dew vnto them. But he which leneth vnto the lawe of fayth, ought not in anyDebte may be taken two maner of wayes. wyse to perswade himselfe of any such thing. Although we mought make such a distinction, that debt may sometymes be taken as it is referred vnto our la­bours, and so it hath a respect vnto reward, as the Apostle will playnly after­ward declare when he sayth, that vnto hym which worketh, are ward is imputed, not according to grace, but according to debt: and debt may be taken an other way, as it hath a respect vnto a promise: when a thing is dew vnto a man, not that he hath deserued it, but because by our promise we haue bound our selues to geue it vnto hym. Of which thing we haue an example in those giftes, which are con­firmed by contractes and hand writinges. And agaynst this kinde of debt, the lawe of fayth is not. But of it springeth no glorying: but our aduersaryes doo not vndoubtedly exclude glorying, when they say, that vnto the repentaunte is graunted remission of sinnes, so that she repentaunce be mete, and (as they call it) sufficient. In this their saying they of purpose resiste the will of God: which vtterly tendeth to this, that all glorying should be excluded from vs. Yea Chri­sostome affirmeth, that Christ for no other cause so long tyme differred his com­ming in the flesh, but to kepe downe mans proude Pecoks tayle. For if he had come straight way at the beginning vnto vs, men would easely haue sayd, thatWhy the sonne of god diffe [...]red his com­ming so long. they had not then so great neede of hym, that without him they could not be sa­ued: wherefore he would, that mankinde should so long tyme be oppressed with the seruitude of sinnes, and burthen of the lawe, vntill they should vnderstand, that they had vtterly nede of a redemer. But why God so much laboreth, to de­stroy our glory, the holy scriptures aboundantly inough declare: namely, thatWhy God will haue our glory to be repressed his glory might the more brightly sinne forth. Wherefore it is manifest, that whatsoeuer glory we claime vnto our selues, all that do we robbe from the glo­ry of God. Neyther nedeth it any greate exposition, what Paule meaneth by the lawe of workes. For by that word he vnderstandeth as well the lawe of na­ture, as the lawe of Moses, and also mans lawe. For that all these lawes do en­gender glory, if a man can vaunt that he can fulfill them.

VVe conclude therefore that man is iustefied by faith without the vvoorkes of the lavve.] Those thinges which he before sayd, he confirmeth with a briefe conclusion: which by a reason thereunto annexed he will afterward proue. And where as he sayth Arbitramur, that is, we think, in Greke it is [...], which signifieth not to thinke or to suppose, but in this place it is to conclude, to in­ferre, and certaynly to demonstrate, namily, of those thinges which before were spoken. In which signification it is taken in the 6. chapter: when the A­postle sayth, So thynke ye also, that ye are dead vnto sinne, but are alyue to God in Ie­sus Christ our Lord. Where this word, thinke ye, is [...], and that which is thereby signified is, to haue for certayne. And as touching this thyng, Ambrose is of our mind, and he vnderstandeth these words, man is iustified without works, of the Gentiles. But Chrisostome contrary wyse thinketh, that by this word, man, is ment nature, to make the sētence of the Apostle more ample and large: whose iudgement I mislike not, for it agreeth as well with the Iewes, as with the Gentiles, not to attayne vnto sound righteousnes by workes, but by fayth. Further seing the Apostle so expressedly sayth, that man is iustified without the workes of the lawe, h [...]reof is inferred that which we before also tought, namely, that it is fayth only which iustifieth: which thing not only Origine, vpon this place, but also Chrisostome acknowledgeth, who fayth, that fayth only Faith only iustifieth as Origē and Chrisostōe vpon thys place con­fesse. is required to obtayne this righteousnes. But I heare our aduersaries say, that whē we reade in the fathers, That fayth only iustifieth, that word, only, is to be vn­derstanded principally, for that it hath in iustification the chiefest partes. And they bringe a place or two, where this word only so signifieth. But vndoubtedly if a mā weigh Pauls words well, they wil not agree with this interpretatiō: For [Page] he putteth righteousnes without ye works of the law: which is not true, if works do so follow fayth, that with it they bring forth iustification in the elect of God.An obiectiō of the aduersaries. Simple men some­times here­in gaue place vnto the papists, but when they vnder­stood theyr guile, they returned. againe into the right­way. Dangers may be a­noyded by an vprighte interpreta­tion. The aduersaries cry out, that if we teach mē after this sorte, we then open a win­dow vnto sluggishnes and flouthfulnes. Vnto which their coloured pretēces, some of our men haue sometimes simply and without guile consented: who when they saw, that true faith whiche iustifieth, hath alwayes ioyned with it good works, ab­steyned in their sermons from that worde Onely. But afterward, when they vnderstoode the fraude of the aduersaries, whiche obtruded this deuise, to the ende they might at the length teach the people according to their owne fayned inuentions, that men are not onely by faith, but also by workes iustified, they returned vnto their olde forme of speaking, that the people should not be any more deceiued. And seyng Paule, most warely alwayes eschued flaunders and offences of the hearers, so much as he might by the truth of the scriptures, and we sée, that he most mani­festly teacheth those things, wherof most plainely followeth, That fayth onely iu­stifieth, we ought not to be afeard of such daungers, which may easily be auoyded, if we aptly adde an vpright interpretation of that which we speake. They agayne obiect vnto vs, that workes of the law in this place signifie ceremonies. Vnto whō we aunswer, as we haue before already said, that the question in dede began about ceremonies: but Paule dissolueth it vniuersally, and answereth in suche sorte, that he concludeth of all kinde of workes. Wherfore the reason which he bringeth in, in the first place, That God is the God not onely of the Iewes, but also of the Gentiles, hath a respecte vnto ceremonies. For the Ethnikes had not receiued the ceremonies ofIt is pro­ued that here is en­treated also of morall workes. the Iewes. But afterward when he addeth, that by faith the lawe is not abolished, but rather established, he declareth that his exposition is chiefly to be vnderstanded touchyng morall workes, which faith abolisheth not, but rather confirmeth. Which thing we cannot affirme of ceremonies, whiche we sée are by Christ, and his fayth taken away. Farther, in that he before sayd, that all men haue sinned, and were desti­tute of the glory of God, and by that meanes euery mouth is stopped, and the whole world made guilty vnto God, it sufficiently declareth, of what law he speaketh. And so doth that also where he sayth: that the law sheweth sinne, and that also which he citeth out of Dauid. No liuing creature shall be iustified in thy sight: and many other thynges which afterward in their places we shall sée, do sufficiently shew, that the wordes of the Apostle comprehend also morall preceptes. Wherfore workes are excluded,Woorkes ar excluded from the cause of iustification, but not frō the effect therof. but they are excluded as from the cause of iustification: but not as from the effect. And Christe to declare this to be true, in Luke sayde, When ye haue done all these thinges, say ye, we are vnprofitable seruantes, vnto whom neither is this in deede due, to haue thankes geuen vnto vs. But if by workes, we should attayne vnto iustificati­on, then should we not be vnprofitable in doyng well, and vnto vs should be farre greater things due, then geuing of thankes.

God, is he the God of the Iewes onely? and not of the Gentles also? Yes, euen of the Gentles also.] He proueth now his proposition: namely, that men are iustified without the workes of the law. For if righteousnes should depende of them, God mought seme to haue bene the God onely of the Hebrewes, and to haue left the Gentles without hope of saluation, as though he were not their God. This reason leadeth to absurditie, as though God were a taker of partes, which thing isThe idols of the Eth­nikes were [...]diuerse partes or sides. God fauo­red the Iewes, but yet he for sooke not other nations. An error of Aben Ezre. by no meanes to be attributed vnto him: as the Ethnikes ascribed vnto their idols, when they fayned y some toke part wyth the Troyans, & some with the Grecians, so that they fought also one against an other, and lamented when things went not with thē as they defired. But with the true God, is no such acceptiō of persōs. It is true in dede, that some singuler giftes were geuen vnto the Iewes, but yet not in such sorte, that other nations were forsaken. Howbeit Aben Esdra durst take vpō him to define, that Gods prouidence reacheth not vnto euery singuler mā, but one­ly as touching the Israelites, vnto the other he faith he looked onely generally, but had ouer the Iewes a peculiar care, as touchyng euery perticuler thing by them done. But Paul [...] here testifieth that God is the God as well of the Gentles, as of [Page 68] the Iewes. And forasmuch as God is (as it is most certayn) the chiefest good thing, he communicateth himselfe vnto others, after the best maner that may be, whiche is most chiefly done, in iustifieng them. Wherfore Dauid fayd: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. But what blessednes can there be, wythout the gyft of iusti­fication? And vndoubtedly, God deliuereth from all euill, those whose God he is. Wherfore he suffreth them not, either to be oppressed wyth sin perpetually, or toBlessednes can not be without iustification From whence is concluded the resur­rection of the dead. be obnoxious vnto eternall punishmentes. By this meanes Christ concludeth the resurrection of the dead, for that in the scriptures is written. I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Iacob. For if he were their God, then is it necessary that he at the length deliuer them from euill, and from the payne of death: which thyng by y resurrection he will performe vnto them, when he shall redeme them from death. And it is manifest, that that ought to be graunted vnto all men, whereby all men are iustified. And forasmuch as this commeth to passe by the benefite of God, ther­by is concluded that God is the God of all those, vnto whome he geueth his righte­ousnes, from which number the Gentles can not be excluded, when as in the time of the Apostles, they both came vnto Christ, and also most manifestly receiued the holy ghost, as did other which beleued in Christ and were of the Iewes. And for as much as God hath created all maner of thinges vniuersally, and by his prouidence gouerneth all thinges, and formed the first one man, from whome is spred abrodePlaces by which is proued that vnto the Gentiles also pertai­neth the true God. all our whole kinde, shall not he be thought to be the God of al men? Which thing also is hereby proued, for that in the holy scripture it is written, That euery one that calleth vpon the name of the Lord shall be saued. And againe it is sayd, They which be­leue and are baptised, shalbe saued. And vnto this tendeth that which is sayde of the prophet, All flesh shall see the sauyng health of God, where by fleshe we vnderstande man. And this thyng also do all those oracles testifie, in whiche is intreated of the callyng of the Gentles: as is that which was said vnto Abraham: In thy sede shall all nations be blessed. And Iacob affirmed, that the scepter should not be taken away frō Iuda, vntill he came which should be sent: and he (sayth he) shall be the expectatiō of the Gentles. In Esay also we reade of the roote or féede of Iesse, that in him the Gentles should hope. And it were an infinite labour to rehearse all the places, which serue to this purpose. The Hebrewes boasted, that the lawe was geuen for them. But yet, that as touchyng thys parte the Gentles were not neglected, hereby is testi­fied,The Gen­tles were not exclu­ded from the Law. in that there moughte come vnto the publike wealthe of the Iewes and vnto theyr lawes as manye Proselites as woulde. And when the Israelites were called oute of Egipte, there followed them no small multitude of the Egiptians, vpon whome God in the deserte bestowed the selfe same bene­fites and giftes, that he gaue vnto the Iewes. And he made a promise in his lawes, that straungers also shoulde be admitted to the eatinge of the paschall Lambe, so that they woulde be circumcised. By all whiche thinges it is manifest that the Gentiles were not neglected of God euen as touchinge the benefite of the lawe. Farther we knowe, that Melohisedech, who hath a singular prayse inEthnikes praised in the scrip­tures. the lawe, was commended as iuste, and the priest of the moste [...]ygh God. Also Iethro, ye father in law of Moses, & Iobe, being Gentiles are notably cōmended in the holy scriptures. It is certayne also, that Queene Saba is commended, be­cause she came to heare the wisedome of Salomon. Nether were the Niniuites o­mitted, who when they had repented, were saued. By these thinges it is mani­fest, that before the comming of Christ amongst the Gētiles, were some, which had the true God, and worshipped him for God. Further after Christ was now come, there is none but playnely seeth, how it was declared, that God had a care ouer the Gentiles. He disdayned not the woman of Samaria, nor the wo­man of Chanaan, which were Ethnikes: and Cornelius the Centurion, before he had receaued baptisme, was accepted of God: and when he had beleeued, he receaued the holy ghost in a visible forme, before he was baptised. Neyther came Peter vnto him without an assured oracle of God, when as vnto him was shewed a vessell let downe from heauē, wherein were contayned both serpents, [Page] and all kind of vncleane beastes: of which it was sayd vnto hym, that he should kyll & eate. This also last of all is cōfirmed by the history of the Eunuch, which longed vnto Candaces Queene of the Ethyopians, who was by a singular mi­racle instructed of Phillip, & baptised. This thing wōderfully yrked the Iewes, that they sawe the Ethnikes admitted vnto grace without the lawe. But they ought to haue remembred, as sayth Tertullian in his booke agaynst the Iewes, that whereas they so much boasted of the lawe, the lawe was not first geuen vnto them. For before them. Adam first receaued it in paradise: and in that which was geuen vnto hym, was contayned, whatsoeuer was afterward by Moses commaunded in the morall preceptes, especially as touching the princi­cipallThe Law was geuen vnto Adā, wherefore not the Iewes onely had the law but all men in Adam. poyntes. For if Adam had loued God with all hys hart, how could he haue transgressed his commaundement? And if he had beleued him, when he threatened death vnto him, he would not haue bene so vnaduised, to comitte that which was the cause of death. And he also, if he had loued his neighbour, as he was bounde to do, woulde not by his transgression haue throwen all his whole posterity into death. And if he would haue delt iustly, he would in no case haue taken away an other mans fruite, which pertayned vnto him. These thinges hath Tertullian excellently well noted, of the law geuen in paradise vn­to the first man and woman. And he also affirmeth, that after this law succe­ded that lawe, which is called the lawe of nature. I will not speake, that Noe The law of nature. The law geuen vnto Noe. receaued some preceptes, which were common vnto all mankind. And if God would afterward by Moses more plainly expresse the lawes, which he had before geuen, there is no cause, why the Iewes should contemne the Gētles, as though they were left without the lawe. For it is most manifest that whē Christ came, he did set forth a most perfect explication of the doctrine, which was then set a­brode amongest all men, & of all lawes: whereby playnly appeareth, how fow­lyThe rash­nes of the Iewes. the Hebrues are deceaued which are so rauished with the loue of theyr owne stocke, that they will rather haue God to want of his glory, that he should not be the God of all mē, nor his prouidēce reach vnto all mē, then they will confesse, that they alone are not the people, whom God hath a care ouer & loueth. In thisWhy God is sayd to be the God of some. place let vs note, that the Apostle bringeth a reasō, why God is chiefly called the God of some, namely, because he iustifieth them. For straightway he addeth:

VVho shall iustify circumcision of fayth, and vncircumcision by fayth.] What is vnderstand by circumcision, and vncircumcision, we haue elswhere declared: they at to be vnderstand by the figure Metonomia, so that by the signeMetono­mia. we must vnderstand those thinges which are by it signified. These prepositions of and by, in this place, signifie one and the selfe same thing. They serue to am­plifie the matter, as in an other place Paule sayd of God, All thinges were made of hym, and by hym. The difference of these prepositions bred sometymes a gree­uous contencion betwene the Grekes and the Lattines. The Lattines sayd that the holy ghost proceded not only of ye father, but also of ye son. On the cōtra­ry,A contenciō of the Grekes & the lattines toching the holy ghost. the Grekes affirmed, that he proceded of the father: but by the sonne, & not of the sonne. But after they had long tyme contended, they saw that their conten­cion was only about wordes. By these thinges which haue now bene spoken, we euidently see, that, as touching iustification, the Gentles are made equall with the Iewes: which is a very great comfort vnto vs. Neyther ought we to be any thyng moued, that Paule here vseth a verbe of the future tense, when he faith, Shall iustifye. For although in the olde time, very many both of the Iewes and of the Gentiles were so iustified, yet because that rarely happened, and a­mongst fewe, it was counted as not done, if we haue a respect vnto the gene­rall benefite, which happened after the comming of Christ. Neyther is the em­phasis or strength of this sentence following to be passed ouer,

For it is one God, vvho shall iustifye, &c.] For thereby is signified, that euen as there is but one God, so also to iustifye men he will vse but one waye, namely, By fayth. Those thinges which are here spoken, ought much to moue [Page 69] vs, not to contemne our neighbours. For whē we shall cōsider with out selues,One God vseth one way to ius­tefy al men. A reason why we [...] ought to loue our neighbors. An error sprong of the wordes of Paule. Woorkes that goe be­fore iustifi­cation are excluded & not those that follow. Why Peter sayd that in Paul are certaine hard thing: s. Iames se­meth tobe agaynst Paule. Conciliati­on. A place of Augustine declared. that our God, is their God also, we cā not but embrace them with a great loue, honor, & beneuolence. Neither ought we to flatter our selues touching singular benefites, which we haue receaued: forasmuch as the holy scriptures do ad­monishe vs, that many are fyrst, which shalbe last: and contrary many last, which thalbe fyrst. And Augustine in hys booke of 83. questions in hys 66. question admonisheth, that this sentence of Paule which is now proued, name­ly, that man is iustified without workes of the lawe, was peruersly vnderstand of many: which thought that men, when they beleued and were iustified, had no more any nede, to liue holily & iustly: not weighing, that Paule here speaketh of works that go before iustificatiō, & not of those which follow it. This indede is true, that there go no works before, which are ye causes why we should be iustified. But after we haue once obteined righteousnes, it is necessary that good works follow. And hereof he saith it came, that Peter said, that in the epistles of Paul, are certaine harde thinges, which men would peruerte accordyng to their owne lust. Iames also semeth to haue bene led so farre, that in a maner he wrote thinges con­trary vnto Paule, namely. That a man is iustified by workes: who also required, ye we should declare our faith by workes. Wherunto also Iohn & Iudas in their epi­stles seme to tend. But all these things are wel inough, neither ar they any thyng repugnant one to ye other. For Paul speaketh of workes that are done before iustificatiō: but Iames speaketh of those workes which ought to follow it. These things haue I brought out of the place of Augustine, before cited, and out of hys booke of faith and workes, the 14. chap. Who yet in the 66. question which we haue nowe alleaged, hath a certain sentence, which must be warely and aptly vnderstanded: otherwise it should not be true. For he sayth: That it is impossible, that we shoulde by workes goyng before obteyne iustification: but afterward (sayth he) it is necessarye that they follow, so that we remayne in life. And if a man beginne to beleue in the last houre of his lyfe, whē he shall streight way die, he hath nether good works going before, nor good workes followyng after, but there followeth him onely a righteousnes of fayth, and by it he is saued. Augustine semeth by those wordes to affirme, that it is possible, that true fayth which iustifieth may be had without works, which in very dede is false. For when a manne at the extremitie of death beleeueth, it is not possible but that he loueth God and his neighbour, and calleth vpon him, and is sory for those thinges, which he hath before wickedly committed. Wherfore these kindes of good workes which at the least haue place in the mynde, follow his faith. But I thinke Augu­stine vnderstoode by good workes, those workes which are done outwardly, & may be sene of men.

Do we then thorough faith make the law of none effect? God forbid. Yea rather we establishe the law.] Here is vsed the figure Occupatio, or a preuen­ting. For a man mought haue said, If the law bring not righteousnes, why then did God geue it? Why may we not then liue losely, and follow our lustes? Not so vndoubtedly, saith Paule. For the law is not abolished by faith, but rather confir­med. He dispatcheth himselfe of this question briefly, but afterward he entreateth of it more largely. These men thought that Paule had made voide the law, seing he had abrogated ceremonies. But in abrogating them, he exercised the liberty which was graunted him in the Gospell. But vnto the lawe, he did no iniury. For God inGod hym­selfe aboli­shed ceremonies and not Paule. Pa [...]alogis­mus accidē tis. Ceremonis are acciden­ces of the Law. very dede would not, that the olde ceremonies should continue any longer. And yet notwithstanding Paule lieth not, when he sayth, that he in no case by fayth maketh the law voyde. And they which reason, that it is abolished, bicause ceremonies are made of none effect, do make a false argument of the Accident. For though the Ac­cidences of any thing be taken away, it doth not follow, that the thing it selfe is al­so streight way abolished. But that is counted accident vnto the law, which hath not his force as touching all places and all tymes, and all men. And that ceremonies are so, it is not to be doubted. For when the people were in captiuitie, they were not obserued. Wherfore the Israelites being among the Chaldeans sayd, That they [Page] could not sing their song in a strange land. And Daniel complained, that in that capti­uity the people wanted both a captayne and sacrifice. Circumcision all the whyle they were in the desert, was not obserued: and they fought on the Sabboth day, as we rede in the bookes of the Machabées. Which bokes if a mā reiect, we haue again in the booke of Iosua, that God commaunded the Israelites, to go about the citie of Iericho by the space of seuen dayes, and to cary aboute the arke with them, and to sound with trompets. Which workes could not be done seuen dayes together, but that the Saboth day must nedes be one. But if a man demaund, if these be the acci­dencesThere was in ceremo­nis some principall thing which should al­wayes a­bide. God is in all thinges to be ac­knowled­ged. of the law, what was then the principall, fyrme, and perfect thing in these ceremonies, which should alwayes abide. To aunswer to euery perticuler thyng, would now require too long a tyme. In summe this I say, God would, that men should not forget him. And therfore by certaine outward signes he prouided, that he might alwayes be set before their eies, and come into their thoughtes, that by that meanes they might euermore both worship him, and call vpon him. If they had lo­ked vpon their body, Circumcision was before their eies: If they beheld their gar­ment, they had their hemmes to consider: If they came to the table, then had they to consider of the choyce of meates: If they entred into their house, their thresholds and postes had the commaundements of God writen in them: If they had brought forth children, they had to consider, that the first borne should be redemed, and that the woman was long tyme vncleane: if they had turned themselues to their flocks or cattaile, then were the first borne to be offred vnto God: if they had gone into the fieldes, the first fruites and tenthes should be gathered and offered: If their fruites gathered should be layd vp, then had they to celebrate the feast of the Tabernacles. The reuolutions of euery wéeke, of euery month, of euery yere, or seuen yeares, or fifty yeares, had certaine rites appointed vnto it. Wherefore that which was the chiefest and principallest thing in the law, was confirmed by faith: and is now al­so retained of godly men: namely, in euery thing to remēber God, & to thinke vpon him: which now ought to be obserued without outward signes, neyther is that a­brogated either by Paule or by faith. But that God would no longer haue these outWherby he gathereth that God would not haue hys ceremonies any lenger obserued. ward ceremonies obserued, may therby be gathered, that he hath ouerthrowen the publike wealth of the Iewes, and hath caused the citie of Ierusalem to be cleane de faced, so that now there is neither temple nor tabernacle standing, neither is the propiciatory or mercy seat to be found, from whence the voice of God was wonte to geue oracles, and the brestplate is lost, where were the precious stones, out of which, aunswere was geuen of thinges to come. The annointyng also is cleane gone, wherby he sometymes chaunged men, when they were consecrated to exe­cute any functions. For Saule prophecied when he was now annointed. Neyther is fire now had from heauen, wherewith the sacrifices were consumed. And Pro­phecies are now cleane out of vse: which thing God would not haue permitted, if his will had bene, that the ceremonies of Moses should haue continued any longer. And this chieflye is a let to the continuing of them, that it was lawfull to exercise them no where, but onely in the land promised vnto the fathers. And when the A­postle affirmeth, that by faith he establisheth ye law, this is chiefly to be vnderstan­ded as touching the morall partes therof. For faith bringeth with it the obedienceThe Law can not be obserued without sayth. of the law. Wherfore of this thing our mindes ought to be setled, ye without faith the law cannot be obserued: & contrariwise that by faith an obedience begon maye bée accōplished which thing also may by reasons be cōfirmed. The law cōmaūdeth y we should loue God & that wt all our hart, wt all our soule, & wyth al our strēgths. But who is able to performe this, vnlesse he know God throughly, whiche thyng can not be done without faith. And if any man shall set God before him as a lawe geuer, as a most seuere iudge, and an auenger, he will rather abhorre him, & flye from him of hatred, as from a cruell slaughterman, then that his minde can ther­by be induced to loue him. But who cā without faith in Christ perswade himself, that God is vnto him as a father, or mercifull, or louing? Farther, the lawe com­maundeth, that we should call vpon him: which without faith we can neuer per­forme. [Page 70] For it is sayde, How shall they call vppon him, in whom they haue not beleued? Moreouer, we are commaunded to loue our neighboures as our selues. Whiche thing, forasmuch as it is a most hard matter to be done, we neuer accomplishe, yea rather we oftentymes therin fayle. From whence therfore shall we haue for­geuenes, that y which wanteth of our righteousnes may be imputed of the righte­ousnes of Christ, vnles we vse the benefite of fayth? Augustine iudgeth, that the law is two maner of wayes cōfirmed by fayth. First, because by it we obtaine the holy ghost: whereby are ministred vnto vs strengthes, to obey the lawe. But a man may paraduenture doubt, how this can be, that by fayth we haue the holy ghost, when as of necessity he alwayes goeth before fayth. For faythThe holy ghost goeth before fayth in vs. Betwene causes and effects are certayne circuites. The holy ghost both goeth before and also fol­loweth fayth. The Law maketh vs vncertaine­of the good will of God The Law with out fayth is weake and can not con­siste. is both his gift, and also commeth from him to vs. But we answere, that be­twene the causes and the effectes seme to be certayne circuites, as it is manifest by cloudes and showers. From cloudes discend raynes, & out of waters which are in the inferior places are taken vp vapors by the heate of the heauēs, which are thickened into cloudes, out of which againe discend showers vpon the earth But in this circute, we must alwayes haue a recourse to the first, according to the order of nature: which is, whē there is supposed an humor, of which cloudes may encrease. So also must we do here. We will graūt that fayth by the bene­fite of the holy ghost springeth in vs. By which fayth, is increased the aboun­dance of the selfe same spirite, whose encrease the former fayth hath preuented: and of a greater fayth is still made a greater encrease of the spirite. But yet notwithstanding we constantly affirme, that there is but one thing chiefely, from whence all these good things flow, namely, the holy ghost. Secondly, saith Augustine the lawe is by the helpe of fayth otherwise confirmed. Because, by fayth we pray, and calling vpon God with prayers, we do not only obtayne remission of sinnes, but also so greate a portion of the spirite and of grace, that we haue strengthes to obey the lawe. Vndoubtedly the lawe if it be taken by it selfe, maketh vs both vncertayne of the good will of God, and after a sort brin­geth desperation, vnles fayth come and helpe, which both maketh vs assured, that God is pacefied and mercifull towards vs, and also by grace obtayneth the renuing of strengthes. And the Apostles phrase, whereby he sayth that by fayth he establisheth the lawe, is to be noted. For thereby he signifieth, that the lawe, if it be left vnto it selfe, and without fayth, is weake, so that it can not consiste. And therefore, vnles it be vpholden by fayth, it shall easely fall. AndThe woon­derful sharpnes of wit in Paule. The Law and sayth helpe one an other. this is the poynte of a singular artificer, not only to depel from him, that which is obiected, but also to declare that the selfe same maketh most of all for hys purpose. The lawe and fayth helpe one an other, and as the common saying is, geue handeseche to other. For the lawe doth as a scholemaster bring men vn­to the fayth of Christ, and on the other side, fayth bringeth this to passe, that it maketh them after a sort able to accomplishe the lawe. For strayght waye, so soone as a man beleueth in Christ, he obtayneth iustification, and is liberally endued with aboundance of the spirite, and with grace. The entent and pur­pose of the lawe, was, that a man should both be made good, and also be saued. But this thing, it was not able to performe. Then succeded fayth, and did helpe it: for through it, is a man renued, so that he is able to obey God, and his com­maundementes. Chrisostome sayth, that Paule here proueth three thinges. First, that a man may be iustified without the lawe. Secondly, that the lawe can not iustify: Thirdly, that fayth and the lawe are not repugnant one to the other. Ambrose teacheth, that therefore by fayth is the lawe established, because that those thinges, which by the lawe are commaunded to be done, are by fayth de­clared to be done. And we haue alredy before heard, that this righteousnes, which Paule here commendeth, hath testemony both of the lawe, and of the Pro­phetes. And if any man obiect, that therefore the lawe is made voyde by fayth, because by it ceremonies are abolished, he answereth that this thing therefore so happeneth, because the lawe it selfe would haue it so, and foretold, that it [Page] should so come to passe. In Daniell we reade, that after the comming of Christ, and after that he was slayne, the dayly sacrifice should be taken away, and theThe Law Would and fortold that ceremonis should be made voide. Testimo­nis witnes­sing that the ceremo­nis of the Hebrues should cease holy anoynting, and such like kinde of ceremonies. Wherefore Christ did not without cause saye, The lawe and the Prophetes endured vnto Iohn baptistes tyme. Ieremy also most manifestly sayd, that an other leage should be made, farre diuers from that which was made in the olde tyme. The epistle vnto the Hebrues thereby concludeth, that that which was the olde leage and was so called, should one day be abolished. Zachary the Prophet in his 2 chapter sayth, that the city of Ie­rusalem should be inhabited without walles. Which signified that the Church of the beleuers should so be spred abroade and dispersed through out the whole world, that it should not be enclosed in by any borders or limites. Which selfe same thing Esay semeth to testefy, when he sayth, That mount Sion and the house of the Lord should be on the toppe of the hilles, so that the Gentiles should come vnto it out of al places. And Malachy the Prophet pronounced, that the name of God should be called vpon, frō the rising of the sunne to the going downe of the same, so that vnto God should euery where be offred Minchah, which many haue transferred vnto y Eucharist, as though it were a sacrifice: when as yet the prophet thereby vnderstādeth pray­ers, and the offring vp euen of our selues: as Tertullian testefieth in his booke a­gaynst the Iewes, and also Ierome when he interpreteth that place. Wherefore when the Prophets seme to affirme, that ceremonyes should be transferred vn­to ye Ethnikes, they are so to be vnderstād, as though by the signes they ment the thinges themselues. The Ethnikes being conuerted vnto Christ, receaued that which was represented by the ceremonies of the elders. But they reiected theHow the Ethnikes receued the ceremonis of the He­brues. outward signes, and thys was by fayth to confirme the lawe. And forasmuch as the Prophetes foretold, that ceremonyes should be abolished, the same is to be taken, as if it had bene spoken of the lawe, for that the Prophetes were inter­preters of the lawe. And that Christ when he should come, should chaunge the ceremonies, euen the Iewes them selues doubted not, whych thing is manifest byIohn Baptist shewed that cere­monis should bee abrogated. the historie of Iohn Baptist, which we reade in the Gospell. For when he would purge menne conuerted vnto God, he sente them not vnto sacrifices, and vnto the ceremonies of Moses. by whiche, sinnes were sayd to be purged: but baptised them into repentaunce, to the forgeuenes of sinnes, adioyning therunto doctrine, wherein he made mention of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Gost. Which thing vndoubtedly the high Priestes, and Scribes, and Phariseys coulde in no case abyde, that he reiecting the ceremonies, which were receaued, shoulde put in their place a new maner of purging. Wherefore they sent a Messenger vnto him, to aske of him, whither he were the Messias, or Elias, or the Prophet: as it were confessing, that vnder the Messias it should come to passe, that the cere­monies of ye law should be abolished: & ye the same was not lawfull for other mē to doo. And if a man demaūd, why God gaue ceremonies, which should afterwarde be abolished, Chrisostome hath thereof a very apt similitude. If a man haue a wyfe very prone to lafciuiousnes, he shutteth her vp in certayne places, in chambers, I say, and parlers, so that shee cannot wander abroade at her pleasure. He appointeth vnto her moreouer Eunuches, wayting maydes, and handmaides, most diligentlye to haue an eye vnto her. So delte God with the Iewes. He tooke them vnto him at the beginnyng as a spouse, as it is said in the Prophet, I haue wedded thee with mercy, and with loue. And by this natiō his wil was at cōueniēt tyme to enstruct the whole world. Which thing he did by the Apostls, when Christ was now departed frō the earth. But that people was ve­ry weake and feble, and aboue measure prone to adulteries of idolatry. Wherfore God se­perated them from other nations, and would haue them to dwell in the land of Chanaan aparte by themselues, and to be kept in on euery side with ceremonies and rites, as it were by scholemaisters, vntill this spouse was so strengthened and confirmed, that her fayth was no more had in suspicion. Which thing when husbandes perceiue in their wyues, they suffer them to go at their pleasure, whither they will, and to be conuersant with menne, neither do they any more, set any kepers to watche them. So God, when he had nowe by Christ geuen vnto the church the holy ghost, he remoued away from it the custodye of [Page 71] ceremonies, and sent forth his faithfull to preach throughout the whole world. The selfe same father proueth in an other place, that the ceremonies and rites of the Iewes were not instituted of God, of a principall entente and purpose. For God woulde haue a people which should worship him in spirite and in truth. But the Israelites, which had bene con­uersant in Egipt, and had contaminated themselues with idolatry, woulde needes in any wise haue both sacrifices and ceremonies, so that if these sacrifices and rites had not bene permitted vnto them, they would haue bene redy to turne to idolatry. Wherefore God so A simili­tude. delt with them, as the maner of a wise phisition is to do, who lighting vpon one sicke of a burnyng agew, whiche by reason of his wonderfull great heate requireth in any wyse to haue some colde water geuen him, and if he haue none geuen him, he is redy to hang him­selfe, or by some other meanes to destroy himselfe, in this case the phisition beyng by ne­cessity cōpelled, commaundeth to be brought a viole full of water, which he himself hath prepared, and geueth the sicke man leaue to drinke, but yet with suche a charge, that he drinke out of nothing els, but out of that viall. So God graunted vnto the Hebrewes, sa­crifices and ceremonies, but yet so, that they should not exercise them otherwise, then he himselfe had commaunded them. And that this is true, he hereby proueth, For that God gaue not ceremo­nies, vntill alter they had made the golden caife. God prescribed not ceremonies, but when he had made open his wrath against the Israe­lites, who hurling in theyr braselets, earinges, and ringes, caused a calfe to be made for them, which they worshipped. And seyng it is so, Paul saith rightly, when he sayth, that the law is not by faith abolished, although those ceremonies be taken away. Which sentence Christ also confirmeth, when he saith: that he came not to take a­way the law, but to fulfill it. The sence of which wordes, may easely be gathered out of those thinges, which we haue before spoken. The reasons which afterward fol­low, are brought to confirme this proposition now alledged, namely, That man is iustified by faith, and that without the workes of the law. Hetherto when as at the beginningHere is re­peated the methode or order which the Apostle hath hether to kept. the Apostles had set forth, that by the Gospell and the faith of Christ commeth saluation, and righteousnes, he vsed this reason, that whersoeuer the Gospel and faith want, there is most great vnrighteousnes and vncleannes of life: but on the contrary side where these haue place, there is both righteousnes and true ho­lines. Therfore by them (saith he) come saluation and iustification. The Minor, or second proposition was proued chiefly as touching the first parte. For first the Gentles liued most filthely, although they knew God by the nature of things. Farther the Iewes were not in their conuersation one whit better then the Gentles. And this done, he declareth, wherehence the true righteousnes should be sought fort namely, of faith without workes. Which thing before he would proue, he thought it good to confute an obiection, namely, that by faith he ouerthroweth not the law, but rather by faith confirmeth it. This selfe same thing is obiected vnto vs in our dayes, that by faith, which with the Apostle we affirme to iustifie, we ouerthrowe all honest and holy workes. Of this thing do they cry out, which defend the worke wrought in the sacramentes, which boast of workes of supererogation, whiche de­fend purgatory, inuocation of saintes, and obtrude vowes and sole life. What shall we answer to these things? Paul sayth, y he by faith abrogateth not the law, but ra­ther confirmed it. In which wordes he geueth a reuerence to the ceremonies insti­tuted of God, & which for their tyme were of necessity obeyed, especially for ye they were founded vpon ye word of God. But we can not so say as touching those things which we are accused to haue ouerthrowen. Bicause they are abuses and mere su­perstitions,In this dis­putacion the conditi­on of Paul and ours is diuerse. which are vtterly repugnaunt vnto the worde of God. Wherfore, we confesse, that these thinges we ouerthrow by the fayth of Christ and doctrine of the Gospell. Now haue we heard the purpose and state of the question which shall be entreated of, which we ought continually to haue before our eyes, so that vnto it must we referre, whatsoeuer is sayd in this whole discourse. And this shal be with fruite to heare those thinges which the Apostle writeth.

The fourth Chapter.

VVHat shal we say then, that Abraham, our Father hath found concerning the flesh? For if Abraham were iu­stified by workes, he hath wherein to reioyce, but not with God. For what sayth the Scripture, Abraham beleeued God, and it was counted to hym for rygh­teousnes.

VVhat shall we say then.] The summe of those things, which are contay­ned in this. 4. Chapter, is deuided into these partes. The first is, that we must be iustifyed after the selfe same manner that Abraham was iustifyed. The seconde, that our iustifycation commeth by the imputacion of God. The third, that it cō ­sistethThe sum of the things that shall be spo­ken of in this chap­ter. in the remisson of sinnes. In the fourth, is set foorth the time, wherein A­braham was iustifyed, and so is declared, that he attayned vnto righteousnes, before he had put in vre, any woorke of the law, namely, the worke of circumci­sion. Farther he plainely sheweth, that righteousnes is therfore had by fayth, that the promise of God mighte be firme and sure. Moreouer there is set foorth the example of Abraham and that with an amplification declarynge, howe that he considered not hys owne infyrmitye, neyther those thinges, whyche by na­ture had bene able to hynder that, which God had promised him, Lastly is she­wed, y these things were not written for his sake only, but also for vs, which by faith do follow ye steps of ye self same father Abrahā Chrisostome bringeth in these things which are here spokē, after this maner: That it might seme peraduenture to It is an honorable thing to be iustified by fayth. The Apo­stle doth very well in vsing an ex­ample. some, not to be very mete & glorious, that we should by fayth be iustified witohut works. But (saith he) the matter is far otherwise: Because partly we may se, how excellent a thing this is, for Paul calleth that thing righteousnes, which we attayne vnto by faith, & here declareth, that God by this means sheweth forth & declareth his goodnes, & righteousnes: and partly bycause Abraham so great a Patriarche was after this maner iustified. It is not with out a cause that Paule placeth an example before his other arguments For the thinge that is here chefely sought for, is that the truth which is layd be­fore vs, might be made manifest, and playne. And this is the proper vse of examples,The digni­ty of Abra­ham. most manifestly to lay a thing before our eyes. And although there were greate plenty of examples, yet Paul did choose this example of Abraham, because he was both a man of God, and also one endued with most excellente vertues, & because the Hebrues continuallye boasted of him, as whome they acknowledge and craked to be the father and prince of theyr kindred. And of suche force was his authority amōgst them, that the place of the blessed was called the bosome ofOf how great a va­lue iustification is. Abraham. Which name Christ would not haue vsed in his Gospell, vnlesse it had bene receaued amongst the commō people. Neither ought we to meruayle, that the Apostle so diligently and exactly bendeth himselfe to dispute of this iustifica­tion. For it is not a slight thing, nor a matter of small weight, but the principall ground of our felicitie: wherin if a mā be throughly instructed, I dare be bold to say, that he shall easely put away all abuses. And bycause our aduersaries, in it, as in the first entry, do fowly stumble and erre, therefore in other partes of religion also, are they most filthily deceaued. But in this example this is chief­ly to be marked, that, for as much as in it, is entreated of Circumsion, and A­braham is sayd to haue bene iustified, before he receaued it, some suppose, that hereby they haue a firme argument, that Paul excludeth not all woorkes from iustification: but onely ceremonies of the law. Vnto whom we answere, that Paul therefore in especial reasoned touching these ceremonies, for that for them the controuersie happened. But yet in the discourse of hys reasoning, he ming­leth many thinges, which cause that the question must of necessitie be taken ge­nerally: which thing we shall in his place note. Wherefore we graunt, that the argumentes chiefly tende to that end: but yet are they so handled, that to­gether he concludeth vniuersally of all workes. Farther, it is to be noted, that in the tyme of Abraham, and of the old law, for as much as these ceremonies [Page 72] were founded vpon the word of God, men were bound no lesse to obey them, then the other commaundementes. And yet the Apostle affirmeth that by that obedience men were not iustified. Wherefore we conclude, that those selfe same men could not be iustified by the obseruing of the other cōmaundemētes. In this place is deiected the dignitie of good works, but not vniuersally. Wherfore those thinges, which are here spoken, ought not to be drawen vnto a loose­nes of life, and to licentiousnes to sinne, but rather are to bee applied vnto the scope and meaning of Paul. Paul onely entendeth this thing, to shewe, that in good workes, is not set the cause of our iustification. Other praises and com­mendacions he aboundantly geueth vnto them. For it is not to bee thought, that by hys doctrine he would bring into contempt the most excellent vertuesPaule con­temneth not the ver­tues and good works of Abraham. The temp­tacions and victories of Abraham. of a man of such estimation. For, as the Iewes make mention, Abraham was very often tempted, and yet neuertheles he continually ouercame. God called him out of his land and kinred, to lyue as a straunger in the land of Chanaan. But there he could not lyue by reason of the famine: wherefore hee was con­strayned to go downe into Egipt, where he was tempted the third tyme, when Pharao tooke away hys wyfe from him. The fourth temptacion hee suffered, when he was compelled to depart from Loth for the auoyding of contencions. Finally he was tempted, when he made warre agaynst so many kinges, and a­gaynst so victorious an host, when as he him selfe had with him but a very few. The sixt temptacion was, when he being now a very old man, was commaun­ded to receiue Circumcision. The seuenth, when king Abimelech in Gerara a­gayne tooke away hys wyfe from him. The eight, when Agar, which had conceaued by him, was constrained to flee from Sara, who afflicted her greuouslye. The ninth, when he was compelled to send away his sonne Ismael, being nowe of good age, together with hys mother. The tenth, when God required of him, to sacrifice vnto him hys onely bogotten sonne Isaack. With these & other such most excellent workes was Abraham adorned: which thinges Paule contemneth not, but only sheweth, that these were not such, that they could be opposed and set agaynst the wrath and iudgement of God, so that for theyr sakes he should haue God fauorable and mercifull. For in this place, is not entreated of the righteousnes, which is obtayned by workes, which is in vs a quality cleaning vnto vs: but only of that righteousnes, whereby we are iustified before God. The reason of the Apostle may thus be knit together: We are iustified afterThe argu­ment of Paule. the same maner, that Abraham was iustified: But he obtayned righteousnes by fayth, without workes: wherefore we also ought to be iustified by faith, with­out workes. The minor, or second proposition is thus proued: For if Abraham shoulde haue bene iustified by woorkes, he had glory, or merite (whiche is all one) before God. But that is not possible, that any man should haue glory be­foreAbraham obteyned righteous­nes, not by works, but by imputa­cion. God. Wherefore neyther is that possible, from whence it is deduced. And that Abraham was not iustified by workes, the seripture declareth vnto vs. For it sayth, that Abraham obtayned righteousnes by imputacion. For it sayth, Abraham beleued God, and it was counted vnto hym for righteousnes. This is the summe of Paules reason. After Chrisostomes mynde this is worthy to be noted. If any man not hauing good works should be iustified, that assuredly might semeWherby the dignity of sayth doth chiefly appeare. The foun­dation of the example is, that all men are iu­stified after one and the selfe same manner. to be a great thinge. But this is a thing farre greater, ye he, which was most rich in good workes, coulde not for all that be iustified by them. Vndoubtedly hereby most manifestly appeareth the worthynes of fayth.

VVhat shall we say, that our father Abraham found.] Forasmuch as he bringeth an argument from an example, to this ground leaneth he, that it be­houeth all men to be iustified after the same maner, that Abraham was iustifi­ed. For it is the selfe same God, which iustifieth, and there is one and the selfe same nature of them which are iustified, and the righteousnes, which both then was geuen, and also is now geuē, is one and the selfe same, & it is the selfe same Christ, by whome both they and we obtayne righteousnes, Wherefore it follo­weth [Page] that all men are iustified after one and the selfe same maner. God in dedeThe out­warde in­strumentes which God vseth to iu­stify by, may be di­uers. may vse to it sundry instrumentes as well the scriptures of the olde testament, as of the new, and the simboles or signes also aswell of the newe sacramentes, as of the olde: when as the thinge whiche is geuen, is vtterlye one and the selfe same. Further it is necessary, that the thinges which followe, haue a similitude with the types and signes which went before. And that the fathers were formes and shadowes of our times, no man doubteth. Here let vs call to remembrance, with what mynde thinke we, toke the scribes and pharisyes, these woordes of Paul, vnto whome it appeared, that he tooke away the power of iustifieng from these excellent workes of Abraham. I doubt not, but that they were therewith all thoroughly offended, and paraduenture they resisted Paul, as though they would put away such iniury from so great a prophet, and defend his excellent good workes. We haue at this day an experiēce of their furious rage in them, which so soone as euer they heare vs speake any thing othewise then the fathers haue written, are set a fire, and counte vs not worthy to be harkened vnto. But Paul nothing passed vpon the euill reportes of the Scribes in his tyme. For they may be answered by an easy and manifest distinction: namely, that there is one righteousnes ciuile, outward, and attayned vnto by workes, and is a quality cleaning in our myndes: but there is an other righteousnes which is imputed vnto vs of God.

Our father (sayth he) peraduenture alluding vnto the name. For Abraham is called the father of many nacions. And although in the booke of Genesis, where these things are written, he was not as then called Abraham, but Abram: yet when the Apostle wrote this, he thought mete to call him by that name, by which he was commonly called.

When he sayth, our, he includeth himselfe, that he mighte not be thought as an vnnaturall sonne, to haue cast of his father.

To finde, in this place signifieth to obtayne, by what meanes soeuer it be, whether it be by gift, or by any other meanes.

According vnto the fleshe.] may be adioyned eyther vnto this word, father, wherby to geue vs to vnderstand, that he was the progenitor of the Iewes, as touching theyr naturall originalli and by that meanes he semeth to reproue the Iewes, for that they boasted of the nobility of the fleshe only, and endeuored not to imitate the piety and religion of Abraham. Wherefore in the Gospell Christ sayd, that they were not the children of Abraham, but the children of the deuill: For if they had hene of Abraham, they would haue done his workes. But they contra­rily wholy applied themselues vnto lying, and murthering, which are most cer­taynly the workes of the deuill. And after this maner he is called father accor­dinge to the fleshe, whereby is gathered (as some say) that only their bodies, and not theyr soules were traduced from him. Or according to the opinion of other men, these words, according to the fleshe, fleshe, are to be ioyned vnto the verbe, found: so that the sence is: By the flesh, that is, by the workes of the flesh: such as are ce­remonies, & circumcision. This interpretation Ambrose followeth, who peculi­arly vnderstādeth circumcisiō. Neither am I much against it, so that we vnder­stād, that although this questiō, & the argumēts that are put forth, be touchingWhat are the princi­pall things that Abra­ham found. Righteous­nes to be imputed & to be iusti­fied by woorks are opposite one agaynst the other. Freely and not freely are repug­naunt. ceremonies, yet by yt spirite of God is brought to passe, that those things should be generally entreated of, as we shall in his due place declare. And the thinges which Abraham found were chiefly, that he was called iust, and the Father of all beleuers. For this is to be the father of many peoples: and lastlye this also, that he was the heyre of the wōrld. But here is chiefly entreated of the obteyning of that righteousnes, which is sayd happened not vnto hym, but by fayth. For righteous­nes to be imputed, and to be iustified by works, are cleane contrary the one vnto the other, which is hereby manifest for that to be iustified by imputation, is to haue righteousnes fréely. And to be iustified by woorkes, is not to haue righteous­nes fréely. But to haue righteousnes fréely, and not to haue it fréely, are manifest­ly repugnaunt one agaynst the other. And in that he sayth,

If Abraham were iustified by workes, he hath whereof to boast, but not before God.] It is as much as if he had sayd, that he shoulde not haue righteous­nes before God, and that all other righteousnes is of no value. For it is God, at whose becke we ought either to stand, or to fall. Wherefore we nothing passe vp­on the righteousnes, which is had of men, especially as touching this present pur­pose. And it were fond, to acknowledge any other righteousnes, for the true per­fect righteousnes, then that which God himselfe, and the holye scripture calleth righteousnes. Wherefore no man can now doubt, but that the Apostle speaketh not of ciuill righteousnes, which we get by workes, and which cleaueth in our mindes as a qualitie: but onely of the righteousnes which is geuen vnto vs fréely, and is imputed vnto the beleuers. Wherefore Paul expressedlye added this par­ticle, Before God. Whereby is manifestly gathered, that the woorkes of men, are not of that nature, that they can be layde agaynst the wrath and seueritye of God, and that they can appease him, and make him mercifull vnto vs. Moreouer,

To haue whereof to boast before God.] Is to obtayne anye thynge as an excellente and noble gifte, whiche we may boaste, that we haue receyued of God: and not to haue obtayned it of our selues, or of our owne strengths. For he which leaneth vnto workes, commendeth hymselfe, and hys owne, But hee which is iustified by fayth, commendeth the liberalitie of God, and setteth foorth hys giftes. Whereupon Chrisostome noteth, that men haue much more to glorye of, when they leane vnto fayth, then when they féeke to glory in their works. The giftes of God which fayth taketh hold of, farre excell all our workes. They which glory of workes, doo magnifie a thing which is séene, and felt: but he which glori­eth in fayth, conceiueth a noble opinion of God, so that he is perswaded, that he wil performe euen those thinges, which can not be done by nature, neither boasteth he of those thinges, which he hath done: but extolleth those thinges, which God hath done: namely, that he loueth him, that he hath forgeuen him his sinnes, and counteth him in the number of the iust. This is in a maner the whole gloriengWhat is the glori­eng of the godly. Glorieng is righteous­nes freely & liberally geuen. What is to beleue. of the godly. By this kinde of speache we sée, that the Apostle, by glorieng, vnder­standeth righteousnes, fréely geuen of God. Whereby is easelye expressed, what Paul ment, when before he sayd, All men haue sinned, and want the glory of God. In which place, by glory, he vnderstode nothing els, then righteousnes freely geuē of God, bycause by that chiefly shineth forth ye glory of God. This oracle is writtē in the 15, chap: of y boke of Genesis. Vehaamin beiehonah veiahashbo lo tfad­dicka. Abraham beleued in God, and he imputed vnto him righteousnes. To beleue in this place is, assuredly to thinke, that God of his mercy loueth vs, which mercy by hys mere promise is set forth vnto vs: and we not to suffer our selues by rea­son of our vnpuritye or vncleanes, to be plucked awaye from this perswasion. Wherefore it wholy consisteth in the embrasing of the grace and promise of God offred vnto vs. In very many places Abraham is highly cōmended and praised. But he was neuer called iust, but then onely, when he beleued. Hereby may weOnely in thys place Abraham is called iuste. How dili­gent & depe a handler of scriptures. Paul was. know, with what great diligence Paul did both handle, search and weigh the holy scriptures. He declineth not to allegories, nor to mens inuentions. He especially weigheth two wordes, which he compareth together: by which the whole reason is knit together, which wordes are, To beleue, and righteousnes to be imputed. But in the historie of the booke of Genesis, which we are now in hand with, it is had after this maner. God appeared vnto Abraham and sayd, that he was his buckler, or protection, and his plenteous reward. Which things when he heard, he begā to complayne, for that he had no children. For the elders▪ had an exceding greate de­sire to haue children: and that for two causes, partlye bycause they desired the in­crease of a people which might worship God, and partly bycause they had heard, that the Messias should take flesh of theyr nacion: Therfore they desired, by hauingWhy the elders wer so desirous of posterity of children, to light at the length vpō that Messias. But God vouchsaued, not onely to geue vnto him posteritie, but commaunded him also to number the starres of heauen: which thinge when he could not do, God promised, that the aboundance of his sede should be as greate. Abraham beleued God, and it was imputed vnto him for [Page] righteousnes. That which the Grecians haue turned in the passiue significatiō [...], that is, was imputed, in the hebrue is written actiuely, he imputed, namely God imputed vnto him righteousnes. But in the sence, there is no difference. And Paul therefore followeth the seuenty interpreters, bycause theyr translation was not vnknowen vnto the heathen: where let vs note, that that which in the hebrew is in Deum, that is, in God, the same both Paul and ye seuenty haue turned [...], that is, to God. wherfore they obserued not that difference of Augustene, of beleuing God, and beleuinge in God. But here ariseth a doubte, how Abraham semeth toHow that the fayth of Abraham was in Christ. haue obtayned righteousnes by fayth. For, that fayth was not of Christ, but one­ly of an infinite yssue and posteritie. But vnto this may answere be made many wayes. First, that Abraham beleued not onely touching issue, but chiefelye tou­ching those thinges, which at the beginning of the chapter were promised vnto him, namely, that God would be vnto him both a shield and a reward. And more­ouer then this, he foresaw Christ in his posterity. Wherefore in the Gospell it is saide of hym, that he saw the day of Christ, and reioyced. And Paul to the Gala­thians referreth all thys vnto one seede, whych is Christ. Farther, hee whyche talked wyth hym, was the sonne of God. For no man hath sene God at anye tyme. Therfore whatsoeuer thinges we haue either seene or knowen of hym, the Sonne, which is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared it vnto vs. Wherfore if he beleued God, he beleued in Christ. We haue oftentimesChrist the roote of all promises. also declared, that in all promises was wrapped and infolden as the roote and foundacion, that promise, which was touching Christ. Neyther seeme they to thinke amisse, which affirme, that alwayes the obiect of faith, is the mercy and goodnes of God, which sheweth forth it selfe in singular giftes, eyther tempo­rall or spirituall. Wherefore when the elders conceaued a hope of victory, of deliuery from enemyes, and from other calamityes, they chiefely did put their confidence in the deuine goodnes, because by it God was moued, mercifully and appeasedly to geue vnto them these singular giftes. And he coulde not be appeased towardes them, but by Christ. Wherefore, in that they beleued any of ye promises of God, they beleued in Christ. Which thing also we ought to be myndfull of, when we aske our dayly bread, & we ought to beleue y we shal not want such thinges as pertayne to our liuing. Some thinke this to be repug­naunt vnto the argument of Paul, which is written in the 106 Psalme of Phi­nees the sonne of Eleazar, who when he had thruste thoroughe the Madianitishe Whither Phinees were iuste­fied by his worke. harlot and the Israelite, not only repressed the plague inflicted by God, but also got this thereby, that euen the selfe same thinges with like number of wordes were written of hym, which Paule here citeth of Abraham out of the booke of Genesis. And it was imputed vnto hym for righteousnes. Which wordes seing they are spoken of him by reason of his worke, it might seme, that iustification is notAfter iusti­fication the saintes do workes which God counteth for iust. Paule en­treateth of the first righteous­nes, and the psalme of that righte­ousnes which follo­weth iusti­fication. Good workes al­so are sayd to be impu­ted for righteous­nes. so proper vnto fayth, that Paule should firmely auouch, that righteousnes com­meth vnto vs by it only. But we answere, that we deny not, but that after fayth and iustification are of good men wrought excellent workes, which are of God counted for iust, especially when they haue their ofspring out of fayth. Wherfore Augustine vpon the 31. Psalme: when he commendeth Abrahams fact, in that he would haue sacrificed his only sonne, sayth, that he commendeth the building, but in the meane tyme he considereth the foundation, which was fayth: he sayth that he alloweth the fruite, but in the meane tyme he hath a regard to the roote. But Paule now entreateth not of those thinges, which follow righteousnes: but of the very roote and hed: what that is, for which we are counted iust. Where­fore the Psalme speaketh of the worke, and Paul of the fyrst righteousnes. Ne­ther ought we to maruayle, that good workes are sayde to be imputed for righ­teousnes: forasmuch as it is necessary it should be so. For they haue not in thē ­selues so much perfection, that they can in all pointes satisfye the lawe of God. Wherefore it is nedefull, that God for his mercy sake receaue them as accep­table, in imputing that part of goodnes and of righteousnes which wanteth in [Page 74] them. They also are not to be harkened vnto, which interprete this sentence so, that they vnderstand, that Paul speaketh of fayth here, as it is a worke: so thatFayth is not here ta­ken as it is a worke. Two man­ner wayes of imputing the sence should be, that God imputed vnto righteousnes that acte of Abraham, whereby he beleued: as though he would count that for iuste. That is not in­treated of at this present, to dispute of a iust worke. But that is sought from whence we are iustified. And to make the matter more playne, to be imputed vnto righteousnes, is taken two maner of wayes. Sometymes it signifieth some acte to be ratified and to be allowed, and to speake briefely, to be accep­ted for iust: and after this maner we graunte, that that acte of Phinees, and the good workes of holy men are imputed of God vnto righteousnes. An other way it signifieth that, by which we our selues are counted in the number of the iust: and that Paul attributeth only vnto fayth, as though he should haue said: Abraham beleued, that he was acceptable vnto God, and that he was counted with him for iust, and lastly, that he should attayne to blessednes: and as he be­leued, so he receaued. For it came to passe vnto hym, according to his fayth. Wherefore by it he receaued that which was offred vnto him of God, as it is written in the beginning of the 15. chapter. For God had sayde vnto hym, I am thy protector, and thy exceding great reward. But that which is sayd of Phinees, and of the workes of goodmen, pertayneth vnto the dutyes, whiche follow them that are iustified. But forasmuch as many promises are made vnto workes, and God in this place calleth himselfe a reward, and eternall life, is oftentimesIf eternall life be sayd to be ren­dred vnto workes why is not also sayd of righteous­nes. Good woorkes may go before eternal life, but not before iusti­fication. Eternall life is cal­led a re­ward by a similitude and not properly. in the holy scriptures called a reward, as though it were rendred vnto workes, why may we not by workes likewise obtayne righteousnes, seying that it is as great a matter to glorifye, as to iustify. But two thinges are here to be consi­dered: first, that good workes may go before glorification, but not before iusti­fication. Because after that we are iustified, we may do such thinges as are acceptable vnto God. But before we are iustified, we are able to do nothinge that is truely good, and which can please God. Moreouer we graunt not, that eternall life is had by workes, as though it were by them merited. But when it is called a reward, it is in this respect, because it is rendred after the worke done: euen as that which we deserue by any ciuile actions, is not wont to be rendred, till the worke be full done. And in such sort, eternall life may indede haue some similitude of a reward: but yet properly and as touching the nature of a reward it is most farre of, and that for thrée causes. First, because those thinges which are geuen, and which are receaued, are not alyke: but that is required to the nature of merite. Secondly, because the workes, which we offer, are not our owne. For God geueth them vnto vs, and woorketh in vs both to will, and to performe. Wherefore if there were any merite, it should not be attributed vnto vs, but vnto God, as to the author of all good workes. Lastly, when a reward or merite is properly taken, it behoueth, ye that which is geuen of vs, be not bound of duety vnto him vnto whom it is geuē. But we, although we shoulde not obtayne felicitye, yet ought we to doo all our thinges vnto the glory of God. Wherefore eternall lyfe can not be called a reward, but by a certaine similitude. But many say, that these sentences of Paul are to be vnder­stand by a figure, as though it were the figure Synecdoche, that faith is therefore said to iustifie, because it in iustifieng obteineth the chiefest place: and so they willSinecdo­che which y aduersaries vse. not that good works, which are ioyned with faith, should vtterly be excluded from y power of iustifieng. They are in dede content, that we should commend faith, but yet in such sort commend it, that we shoulde say that it iustifieth together with o­ther good workes, which workes they say Paul vnderstādeth in it by the figure Sy­necdoche. And by this meanes they thinke may be conciliated very many places in the scriptures. For vndoubtedly in the xx. chap. of Genesis. God for a worke, pro­mised many thinges vnto Abraham. Bicause (saith he) thou hast done this thing, thy seede shall be increased, it shall obteyne the gates of his enemies, and in thy sede shall all nations be blessed: and other such like. And Iames semeth to expound this Synecdoche [Page] when he affirmeth, that Abraham was iustified by workes. Vnto these men we aunswer, that the wordes of Paul will in no case suffer any suche trope or figure: whose wordes are so playne and perspicuous, that they neither can be violated, nor yet ouerthrowen. For he saith not onely, that we are iustified by faith: but also he excludeth workes. For he saith, without workes, and that it mighte the playnlier andHere is no Synecdo­che vsed. easeliar be vnderstand he addeth, freely: and other wordes, which apertly are repugnant with tropicall kindes of speach: And vndoubtedly this is to be considered, that the man, or (if I may so speake) the person it self be first both iust, and also accepta­ble vnto God: and then afterward shal good workes follow. But those things which are written in the xx. chap. of Genesis, are nothing at all repugnaunt vnto this sen­tence.A place of Genesis. For there it can not be shewed, that Abraham for that worke was counted iust before God. For, that, had he before obteined. But he receiued promises of hys posteritie, that God would also geue them many and excellent thinges. And we de­ny not, but that God very oftentimes promiseth vnto good workes diuers rewards as well spirituall as temporall, both as touching the elect themselues, as also tou­ching their posteritie. Neither was Iames meaning, that Abraham was iustifiedA place of Iames. by workes, after that maner that Paul here speaketh of iustification. For he spea­keth of that iustification, which may be known of men, and according to which, we are pronounced iustified. For this spirituall iustification, wherof we now intreat, we can not know in other men, but by those thinges which are done by them out­wardly. And in summe, whatsoeuer places of the scripture do attribute righteous­nes vnto workes, they speake of that righteousnes which followeth iustification.

But to him that worketh, the reward is not imputed according to grace, but accordynge to debte. But to him that woorketh not, but beleueth in him that iustifieth ye vngodly, his faith is coun­ted for righteousnes. Euen as Dauid declareth the blessednes of a man, vnto whome God imputeth righteousnes without workes.

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgeuen, and whose syns are couered, blessed is the mā vnto whom ye Lord imputeth not sin.

But to hym which worketh, &c.] He goeth about now to shew, that Abra­ham could not be iustified by workes, forasmuch as now it is manifest by the holye scriptures, that he had righteousnes by imputation. For these thinges are so con­trary, that both of them cannot consist at one time. And in that Paul saith: To hym that worketh, &, to him that worketh not, we ought not so to vnderstand it, as though they which beleue, worke not. For he speaketh of that working onely, wherby we deserue, or desire to deserue righteousnes. And in this place, this is worthy of no­ting, which among the deuine scholemen is now common: to say that Paul callethA saing of the Scholemen. merite, debt. Wherfore seyng Paul here excludeth debt from iustification, he also of necessity taketh away merite, if we will speake properly and truely of it. But now I do so speake of it, not as it is referred vnto the promises of God, but as it is compared with our workes. In summe, Pauls meaning is, that imputation, and debt are vtterly repugnant the one to the other. By this place we may very mani­festlyImputa­cion and debt are contraries. perceiue, that this is the foundation of the Apostle. But it shal appeare more plainly afterward, where it is said: And if of grace, then not of workes, and contrari­wise, if of workes, then not of grace.

In this place are thrée antitheses or contrary positions. One is, of hym which woorketh, and of hym whyche woorketh not: the seconde, of debte, and of grace:Thre Antitheses. The thirde, of rewarde, and of imputation. Whyche antitheses we oughte by no meanes to lette slippe. And by thys place it manifestlye appeareth that the question put forth concerning ceremonies, is entreated of generally. For here the Apostle without any contraction entreateth of him whiche worketh, and of hym which worketh not: of grace and of debt: of reward, and of imputation of righte­ousnes. Which extend much farther then to ceremonies, For they comprehend all [Page 75] the good workes that may be done.

But beleueth in him, which iustifieth the vngodly.] By the vngodly, he vnderstandethThis rea­son of Paul is vniuer­sall. Vngodli­nes the h [...]d of all wic­ked actes. a sinner which is a straunger from God: for impietie is the head of all wickednes. And where as God is said, to iustifie the vngodly, it is not so to be vn­derstand, so long as he abideth vngodly: or as thoughe God should accepte wicked actes for good, or shoulde pronounce them iuste. For that he forbad in the law: & al­so pronounced y he wil neuer at any tyme so do. But he is sayd to iustify y vngodly, bicause he forgeueth him his sinnes, and of an vngodly person maketh him godlye. Hitherto we haue heard, that Abraham was iustified by faith. And moreouer, thatWhat it is to iustif [...] the vngod­lye. his righteousnes consisted in imputacion. Now followeth,

Euen as Dauid declareth the righteousnesse of a man vnto whome GOD imputeth righteousnesse wythout workes.] By these wordes also it is manifest, that by woorkes are generallye vnderstande all good actes, and notThis also is a gene­rall reason. onelye ceremonies. Whiche thynge the Antithesis dothe well declare. For when he had sayd, that we haue blessednes without works, he opposeth and set­teth vnto them as contrary, sinnes and iniquities, whiche in iustification are for­geuen. But iniquities and sinnes haue not place onely in ceremonies. And that in this place hee allegeth Dauid, it serueth very much to his purpose. For Dauid was endued with many good workes, euē as was Abraham. And yet he thought he could not be iustified by them: but onely for that that hys sinnes were forgeuē hym. And by this testimony of the Scripture, it appeareth, that iustification andWhy he v­seth the testimony of Dauid. Iustificati­on and bles­sednes are taken for one and the selfe same thing. Iustificati­on is felici­ty begon. Basilius affirmeth that the thinges which are done before iustificatiō, are sinnes. blessednes are one and the self same thyng. Otherwise the conclusion should not be strong. And vndoubtedly iustification, if a man rightly consider it, is nothyng els, then a felicitie begon. And Dauid testifieth, that this blessednes or iustifica­tion, doth not onely herein consiste, that sinnes should not be imputed, but also to expresse that thyng more playnly, he sayth it consisteth herein, that sinnes should be forgeuen. And hee whiche is in hym selfe assured, that iustification is the re­mission of sinnes, the same man I say shall easely vnderstand, that we bryng not good works vnto God, that by the workyng and merite of them he should iustify vs, but rather that we bryng sinnes vnto hym, to be pardoned. Basilius expressed­ly sheweth, that the workes, whiche we do, whilest we are straūgers from God, can not please hym. He of purpose demaundeth that question in his second booke De Baptismo, the seuenth question, and bryngeth this sentence of the Prophet: A sinner whiche sacrificeth vnto me a calfe, is like vnto hym whiche killeth a dogge: and whiche offreth fiue swete cakes, like vnto him whiche offreth the bloud of swyne. But no man doubteth, but that the workes, whiche we worke, are in a sorte, sacrifices. Wher­fore if sinners offer them vnto the Lord, they are displeasant vnto hym. He addeth also an other reason: He whiche worketh sinne, is the seruant of sinne, because when we be seruaunts vnto sinne, it suffreth vs not to do any thing that is acceptable vnto God. Last­ly hee maketh thys reason, that Christ said, No man can serue two maisters: neither is it by any meanes possible, that we should serue both Mammon and God. Wherupon hee concludeth: that it is not possible that the wycked shoulde do good woorkes. Wherefore the woorkes of preparation whyche our aduersaries fayne, areWhat sins to be coue­red signi­fieth. are vtterly excluded. Augustine interpretyng the 31. Psalme, sayth: That sinnes to be couered, is nothyng els, then that God will not consider them. And if (sayth he) hee consider them not, then will he not punish them. Wherefore sinnes are sayd to be couered before God, because God will not punishe them: They ought not so to bee vnderstand to be couered, as though they were ouer couered, and yet neuertheles remayne li­ning in vs. Their bonde and guiltines, whereby punishment was due vnto vs, is by forgeuenes taken away. And for this thing the Prophet prayed when hee sayd: Turne away thy face from my sinnes. When Dauid made this Psalme, hee was sicke, and was troubled with a grenous disease. For he maketh mencion that hys bones were withered away, and that he felt the hand of God heauy vpon him, and that the moystnes of hys body was in a maner all dried vp: and manye other such like thinges. Wherefore being by the disease admonished of his sinnes and of the wrath of God, he brast forth into these woordes: by which hee testified [Page] those to be blessed, whose sinnes God had forgeuen. And he taketh blessednes, for instification. For iustification as we haue sayde, is a blessednes begon. ForSins one­ly are a let that we are not blessed. sins are onely a let, that we are not now already blessed: which whē they shall vt­terly be taken away, they shall no more hinder blessednes. But men, though they be neuer so good and holy, yet so long as they lyue here, are not vtterlye without sinne. Therefore they alwayes aspire vnto blessednes, that is, vnto the forgeue­nes of sinnes. Wherefore in that selfe same Psalme it is afterward added. For So longe as we liue here we pray for iu­stification. He which prayeth not for the for­the forgeuenes of sins prayeth ill. this, shall euery one that is holy pray vnto thee. Which thing our Sauiour also hath taught vs. For in the prayer which he made, which euen the best and most holye oughte to saye, he commaunded vs to saye, Forgeue vs our trespasses. And they which pray for other thinges, and make not mention of this, let them take hede, that thyng happen not vnto them, which happened vnto that Pharisey, whom Luke sheweth to haue praid after this maner: I geue thee thankes O God, that I am not as other men are, &c. And for that cause (saith Christ) he departed not home to his house iustified, bicause he rehersed before God his good workes onely. But contrariwise, the Publicane acknowledging his misery, durst scarcely lift vp his eies vnto heauen. And so being vtterly deiected in mynd: he said, Lord be mercifull vn­to me a sinner. And by this confession he acknowledged that he brought nothing vnto God but sinnes, and therfore prayed, that they might be forgeuen him. He (saith Christ) returned home iustified. Where as Dauid here, as the Apostle citeth hym, maketh no mencion of good workes, yet some will obtrude it vnto vs out of these things which follow. And in his spirite is no guile. But vnto these mē August. very well aunswereth, In him (saith he) there is no guile, which as he is a sinner, so acknow­ledgeth himselfe to be: and when he seeth himselfe vitiated with euill workes, dissembleth What it is not to haue guile with­in one. them not, but manifestly confesseth them. Therfore it is added in the selfe same psalme: I haue said, I will confesse mine owne iniquitie agaynst my selfe. But yet againe suche whyche woulde so fayne weaken thys reasonynge of Paule, obiecte vnto vs, that there is vsed the figure Synecdoche, so that wyth those thynges which Da­uid setteth foorth, wee shoulde also ioyne good woorkes to iustifye. And to make their sentence of the more credite, they gather other testimonies out of Da­uid, in which blessednes is also attributed vnto workes: as, Blessed are the immacu­late, which walke in the law of the Lorde: Blessed is the man which feareth the Lorde: Blessed is the man, which hath not gone in the counsels of the vngodly: and many otherWhether blessednes be attribu­ted vnto woorkes. Here is en­treated of the first blessednes and not of the last. such like places, in which they say, that blessednes is as expressedly ascribed vnto workes, as it is in that place, which Paul now citeth, vnto the remission of sinnes. But forasmuch as these men doo recite againe the same argument in a manner, which we haue a little before dissolued, they shall also haue euen the selfe same an­swer: Namely, that here is not intreated of that blessednes or felicitie, whiche fol­low the first iustification, but here is disputed of the very first and principall iusti­fication. And why we can not here admit the figure Synecdoche, we haue before alredy shewed: bicause Paul expressedly affirmeth, that this righteousnes cōmeth without workes. And bicause it should not be said, that he spake these things only of ceremoniall workes of the law, he afterward addeth, that the promise therefore consisteth of grace, that it might be firme, & not wauer: which excludeth not onely ceremonies, but also morall works. And a little before we reade, forasmuch as iu­stification is geuen by imputation, it cannot then be of workes. And that he confirmed by a generall reason of working, and of, not working: which vndoubtedly ex­tend much farther, then to ceremonies. For we worke no lesse in morall workes, then in ceremoniall workes. He said moreouer, that they which are iustified, haue wherof to glory before God, as though they had of him obteined righteousnes, and not of their works. Whiche reason remoueth from iustification eyther kynde of woorkes both ceremoniall and also morall. Wherefore we moste manifestlye sée,Ambrose saith we are iustifyed by faith onely. that the figure Synecdoche canne by no meanes stande wyth the reasons of Paul. Ambrose expounding these wordes oftentimes writeth, that we are iustified by faith onely: and he addeth, without labour, and any obseruation. But that which he [Page 76] afterward addeth, when he interpreteth this sentence of Dauid:

Blessed are they whose iniquityes are forgeuen.] he sayth, Vnto whome ini­quityes are forgeuen without labor, or any worke: and whose sinnes are couered, no worke of repentance being required of them, but only that they should beleue: This his inter­pretation (I say) if we so vnderstand it, as though repentance were not ioy­ned with the first fayth, whereby we are iustified, is most absurd. For howe can any man being endued with a true fayth, whereby he shoulde be iustifiedA place of Ambrose made plain. want repentance, so that he shoulde be nothing sory for his euill life past? But, if Ambrose vnderstand ether that Ecclesiasticall satisfactions are not requi­red, or els that that repentance, which of necessity followeth fayth, ought in­dede to be had, but is not required as a cause of iustification, then sayth he well. Vndoubtedly this sentence pleased him so well that he also wrote it before as we haue mencioned, and also vpon the xi. chapter (as we shall afterward see)The fa­thers must [...] be red war [...] lye. he repeteth the selfe same. Hereby we see, how warely we must reade the fa­thers. For they speake many thinges sometymes, which if they be not well vn­derstand, can in no case be allowable. Yea and sometymes somethinges es­cape them, which a man can scarsely interprete soundly: as that which the selfe same Ambrose writeth vpon this place. Wherfore (sayth he) he setteth forth the blessednes of the tyme, wherein Christ was borne: as the Lord himselfe sayth: Many iust men and prophetes desired to see the thinges which ye see, and to heare the thinges which ye heare: and haue not heard, neyther haue they sene. As though euen before the cō ­ming of Christ also, God iustified not his after the selfe same maner, that he now iustifieth vs. It is manifest, that this diuersity of tyme is vtterly repug­nant vnto the meaning of Paul. For he sayth that Abraham was iustified by sayth. Yea and Dauid also, whose testemony this is, felt that he was after the same maner iustified. And ye same Ambrose before, whē he expoūdeth this place.

But to hym which worketh a reward is not imputed according to grace, but according to debt, thus writeth: It is for certayne, that vnto him which is subiect vn­to the lawe of workes, that is, vnto the lawe of Moses, or vnto the lawe of nature, merite is not counted vnto reward, to haue glory before God. For he is debter to do the lawe, for necessity is layde on hym by the law, so that will he or nill he, he must do the lawe, least he be condemned. As in an other place he sayth: but they which contemne, do get vnto thē ­selues damnation, because presently they are guilty. But to beleue, or not to beleue, pertai­ueth to the will. For a man can not be compelled to a thing, which is not manifest, but is thereto allured, and is thereunto perswaded: for it may not be by violēce vrged vnto him. But this difference betwene the workes which are commaunded by the lawe of nature and the law of Moses and betwene fayth (which Ambrose here putteth) is nothing at all. For by the necessity of the commaundement of God, we are no les bound to beleue, then we are to do good workes. And as to do good works, is not violently vrged of men agaynst their willes, no more is to beleue also. And as vpon the transgression of the lawe of nature, or of the lawe of Moses de­pendeth condemnation, so also dependeth it vpon the transgression of fayth. Thus we sée, what maner of things sometimes we reade in the fathers. I will adde also, how Chrisostome interpreteth this self same place.

But to him which worketh a reward is not imputed according to grace, but according to debt.] Thus he writeth: But this thou wilt say is a greater matter. Not so vndoubtedly. For vnto him that beleueth it is imputed. But it should neuer be imputed, vnles he himselfe also had brought somewhat with him. &c. Here he sayth that he which is iustified by fayth, bringeth something of himselfe. And that is (as we before noted in his sayinges) fayth. And that this is not true he him­selfe vpon this place declareth. For he sayth, that this is the principallest thing, that maketh a faythfull man to be notable, namely, that he is by God endued with so much grace, that he is able to shew forth such so great a fayth. In this place he affirmeth, y faith cōmeth not of our selues, but of the grace of God. So y before he wrote not so soundly, when he sayd, that we do ether geue, or els bring somewhat, to be iustified, and make God our debter. These thinges I therefore rehearse, [Page] that we should not thinke, that the fathers alwayes spake all thinges firmelye and constantly: or that out of them we should at all tymes seke the sure exposi­tionThe Fa­thers do not alwaies speake like to them­selues. By the scriptures ought we to be setled as tou­ching doc­trine. of the scriptures. First we ought out of the very scriptures, soundly to de­fine of doctrines. Then afterward may the fathers be reade with iudgement. But that the scriptures should of necessity be subiect vnto y expositions of thē, it nether can, nor ought to be. For it were absurd, to make subiect the iudge­mentes of God vnto the iudgementes of men. And seing they also are often­tymes obscure, and in their expositions diuers, and manifold, this were to de­part frō the scriptures which are certayne, to things vncertayne. These things I haue spoken by the way, but for our times I hope not vnprofitably. Augustine in the preface of his declaration vpon the 31. Psalme, writeth: Many boast of woorkes, and a man shall finde manye Paganes or infidels, whiche therefore will not be come Christians, because that they suffice thēselues with their vpright life. We must of necessity liue well, saith he: and what shall Christ require of me? To liue well? I lyue well alredy. Wherein then shall Christ be nedefull vnto me? I committe no murther, nor theft, nor rapine: I desire not other mennes goodes, I am not contaminated with any adul­tery. For let there be founde any thynge in me that is worthy to be reproued, and he whiche reproueth me, let him make me a Christian. This man hath glory but not with God. Sée how the ignoraunce of this hidden iustification, whiche is not ofThey which are ignorant of this iusti­fication do abhorre frō Christian religion. That is chiefly cal­led felicity, which com­meth with­out labour. workes, called men backe from Christian religion. Wherefore at this day also, they that are ignoraunt of it, and do iustifie themselues by workes, are both farre from Christ, and also haue no vnderstanding of the benefite that commeth by him And in this sentence of Dauid, let vs this consider also, that there is no mention made of good workes: whiche thing also this worde blessednes geueth vs to vnder­stand. For when we attaine to any thing, wherein we haue spent great labour, we are not for that counted very happy. But if we attayne vnto the selfe same thing without labour, and in a maner without any our trauaile, then are we coū ted happy and blessed.

Came this blessednes then vpon the circumcision, or vpon the vncircumcision? For we say that fayth was imputed vnto Abraham vnto righteousnes. How was it then imputed? when he was Cir­cumcised, or vncircumcised? not when he was circumcised, but whē he was vncircumcised. Afterward he receiued the signe of circum­cision, the seale of the righteousnes of fayth which he had when he was vncircumcised, that he should be the father of all them that beleue, not beyng circumcised, that righteousnes mighte be imputed vnto them also. And the father of circumcision, not vnto them one­ly which are of the circumcision, but to them also that walke in the steppes of the fayth of our father Abraham, which he had when he was vncircumcised.

Came this blessednes then vpon the Circumcision, or vpon the vncircumcision?] The Latine interpretation hath this worde Manet, that is, abideth, ad­ded to this sentence, which is not in the Greke bookes. Neither doth y verbe which the Latines haue, much agrée with the phrase which is by the accusatiue case, and by the Greke preposition [...]. Rather (as Theophilactus admonisheth, we must vn­derstand this verbe [...], which signifieth, lighteth it, or belōgeth it, or some such lyke thinge. Neither do I disalow the coniecture of Erasmus, who thinketh that insteade of this verbe Manet, was first written Manat, whiche signifieth to come or to spread abrode.

And thus muche as touching the woordes. But this is the meanyng. A man might thinke, that although Dauid made no mention of workes, when he set forth the blessednes of those, whose sinnes are forgeuen, yet because he himselfe was both circumcised, & also vsed sacrifices, he thoughte that this forgeuenes of sinnes is ob­teined by these things, although he expressed them not. And for that cause Paul taketh [Page 77] againe the example of Abraham which he at the first vsed. And so returnethWhy Paul returneth againe to Abraham. to the ground and beginning of circumcision, and considereth the very time, wher­in Abraham receiued it: and proueth, that long time before he was circumcised, he was both iustified, and also pronounced the father of many nations, that is, of all them which beleue. Wherof it followeth, that we without ceremonies and o­ther workes shall by faith be counted iust, and be admitted into the people of God, and placed among the mēbers of Christ. This argument may thus be made moreThe forme of the Ar­gument. The order of the cau­ses and the effectes in the iustifi­ca [...]ion of Abraham. Of what greate waight is the diligent marking of the scrip­tures. Circumcisi­on was had in greate e­stimation. euident. That which yet was not, coulde not bring righteousnes vnto Abraham: But when Abraham was pronounced iustified, circumcision was not yet. Wherefore it could not iustifie Abraham. Let vs in this maner set the order betwene the causes and the effectes. First, God did set forth vnto Abraham his promises. Secondly, followed faith: And thirdly, iustification. Lastly, came obedience, which caused him to circumcise himselfe, and to do many other excellent good workes. We may not peruert this order, that by obedience and circumcision whiche are the last ef­fects, we should bring forth iustification which went before. Againe in thys place y Apostle teacheth vs, with how great study and diligence the Scriptures are to be red, and the times and moments in stories are throughly to be considered. He en­treateth of circumcision, bicause all that controuersie sprang first by reason of cere­monies: and bicause also they had circumcision in no lesse estimation, thē we now haue baptisme. For they counted it for a noble worke, and an excellent worship: pyng of God. Wherfore we may inferre or conclude, that if we be not iustified wt that kind of workes, wherin consisted the worshipping of God, vndoubtedly much lesse shall we be iustified by other workes. For these are counted more excellent & more acceptable vnto God, then are other workes.

For we say that faith was imputed vnto Abraham vnto righteousnes.] These wordes serue wonderfully to depresse the pride and hautines of the Iewes: which continually cried, that righteousnes could by no meanes stand without circumci­sion. But Paul contrariwise affirmeth, that it was in Abraham before he was circumcised. For Abraham was as yet vncircumcised, when he was pronounced iustified. Wherfore it is no meruaile, if many mo of the vncircumcised then of ye Iewes were saued after the comming of Christ. Here it semeth that there are set before our eyes two fathers, the one of the vncircumcised, the other of circumcision. And if we more depely consider the matter, we shall see that the father of the vncircumci­sed is set in the first place. For Abraham was not yet circumcised, when he was of God counted iust. What thē is there remayning for the Iewes, that they should so aduance themselues aboue the Gētles. Nothing vndoubtedly but the signe. And euē as Abraham is not ye father of the vncircumcised for y cause only, bicause they haue vncircumcision, but bicause of faith: so also is he not the father of the circum­cised, bicause they are circumcised, but bicause they beleue. By these things it is manifest,Circumcisi­on and vn­circumcisiō are conditi­ons com­ming by chaunce. that both circumcisiō & also vncircumcision are conditions cōming by chance and of thēselues helpe nothing to the obteinment of iustification. Very aptly doth the Apostle bring in these two men Dauid, and Abraham. Of which the one that is, Dauid, being now circumcised, bare testimony of iustification. And Abraham being not yet circumcised, obteined neuertheles iustification. Wherfore it suffici­ently appeareth, that Circumcision is not a meane necessarily required to obtain righteousnes.

And he receaued the signe of circumcision.] He receaued I say circumcision which was a signe.

The seale of the righteousnes of fayth.] This is a preuention, for they which heard these thinges, mought thus haue thought with themselues: If Abraham were iustified before circumcision, then was circumcisiō superfluous, vnto this obiection Paule answereth, saying, that circumcision was not vayne or vnpro­fitable: for it was the seale of the righteousnes of fayth. In this sentence Paule Circumcisi­on was not a thing ge­uen in vain hath two woordes, namely, [...], that is, a signe, and [...], that is, a seale which woordes althoughe they be of very nighe affinitie the one to the other, [Page] yet ar they not both of one & the selfe same significatiō For this woord [...], that is a sign, is more general then his word [...], y is, a seale. An image is a signe, but it can not be a seale. But we vse to put seales vnto such things, as we wyll haue with greate fidelity kept, and remayne vnuiolated. And therefore are letters sealed, & letters patentes of princes are confirmed with seales, y no man should doubt of the authority or truth of thē. So God deliuereth vnto vs sacra­mentesSacra­mentes are not onely signes but sealinges. What cir­cumcision signifyed & what it sealed. as seales of his promises. Wherfore circumcision signified two thinges both that euill lusts should be cut of out of the minde and also that the children of Israell should be seperated from other nations. Farther it was the seale of the will and promise of God, which was offred vnto Abraham concerning righ­teousnes, the remissiō of sinnes thorough Christ, and the league with God, and a greate many mo such like good things. This promise (I say) was sealed with the signe of circumcision. And besides these significations of the sacraments ar two other cōmodityes not to be cōtemned. For the things which ar so marked,Sacra­mentes also are notes whereby we are knowen to pertaine vnto God, as vnto our owner and Lord. By these notes also is shewed how muche God ma­keth of vs. are therby appoynted to be theyrs, who are their owners as in horses, oxen, & other suche like thinges, the markes and notes, which ar burnte in them, declare vnto whome they pertayne. So the Sacraments when they are receaued do beare witnes that we belong vnto God. Farther such outward notes declare, of what value and estimation the thinge that is sealed ought to be counted, as it is manifest in coynes of gold, and also in horses. For the best and excellent horses, are marked with one marke, and dull Iades with an other marke. Far­thermore, the sacramentes which God hath commended vnto vs, declare how much God setteth by vs, For the notes and markes of circumcision and of o­ther sacramentes are as it were admonishers of the will and promises of God. For forasmuch as we are weake, neyther do we easely beleue the promises of God, it was nedefull that his good will towardes vs shoulde not only be signi­fied by wordes, but also shoulde be sealed by thinges which might be offred to our senses. Wherefore Augustine very aptly sayth, that the Sacramentes are visi­ble wordes. And Chrisostome vpon this place writeth, that circumcision preached righ­teousnes. Wherefore God would that we should both haue his wordes in the ho­ly scriptures, which should be set forth vnto vs, whilest the misteryes were in doing, and also that vnto them should outwardly be added visible notes: that we might the more firmely resist, if at any tyme the minde should beginne to doubt. By these thinges it is manifest, how they are deceaued, which thinke that by the power of the action, or (as they vse to speake) by the worke wrought,The worke wrought is excluded. the sacramentes bring saluation. Vndoubtedly, euen as the wordes of the scrip­ture nothing profit without fayth, so also nothing profit the sacramentes, vn­les fayth be present. Nether is that opinion to be allowed (whereof Augustine in his booke De ciuitate dei, maketh mēcion) namely, that they can not be dam­ned,They are deceaued which thinke that no man af­ter he hath once recea­ued the sa­craments can be damned. In this place abone all other is is expressed the nature of Sacra­mentes. Sacra­ments are not onely markes & notes. which haue once receaued the sacramēts of Christ. I thinke there is scarse any place in the holy scriptures, wherein is so briefely and so expressedly set forth the nature of the sacramentes, as in these wordes of Paule, wherein cir­cumcision is called, a seale. And to the ende we should vnderstand, that it is not the seale of euery thinge, there is added, of righteousnes, that is, of the forgeue­nes of sinnes, which pertayneth vnto the will of God. Lastly he addeth, of fayth to geue vs to vnderstand, what maner of thinge that is, whereby we may take hold of that righteousnes. And that is fayth. Wherefore euery man may see how much they are deceaued, whiche thinke the sacramentes to be but onlye markes and notes of religion, whereby men may knowe one an other. For so should they attribute no more vnto sacramentes, then vnto garments, or cou­lors, whereby familyes and sectes are descerned one from an other. Nether is this sufficiente whiche others say, which thinke, that in sacramentes are shew­ed forth the signes only and professions of those thinges and actions which are required of vs, which are initiated into Christ: so that circumcision they make to signifye the mortifying of wicked affection: and baptisme to signifie that we [Page 78] must stoutely and with a valiant courage suffer losses, iniuries & aduersities:What is the chiefest and princi­pallest thing in the Sacra­mentes. Graeca Scolia. Three sig­nifications of circumci­sion. because in it is signified, that we are crucified and buried together with Christ. And that the supper of the Lord is only a signe of Christian beneuolēce, & of du­ties of mutuall charity. We deny not but that all these thinges are in the sacra­mentes. But the hed and summe of theyr signification we say consisteth here­in, that they seale vnto vs the giftes and promises of God, which he offreth vn­to vs to be taken holde of by fayth. The Greeke Scholies haue in this place most expressedly put, that Circumcision was for three causes geuen: that it should be a signe of fayth and of righteousnes: that it should seperate the kyn­dred of Abraham from other nations: and that it should be a note and manifest token of a pure and vndefiled conuersacion. This place most manifestly decla­reth y which Augustine writeth to Bonifacius: namely, that Sacramēts haue the names of those thinges which they signifie. And that thing he proueth by many stmilitudes: amongest which he maketh mencion also of the Eucharist, bicauseCircumci­sion because it was the signe of the couenant, therefore it had the name of the thinge. It is Paul which tea­cheth that sacraments do signify & seale things promised. That we call sacra­mentes are signes, we say it out of the holy scriptures. Sacra­mentes not after iustification vnprofita­bly recea­ued. Sacra­mentes stirre not vp faith, but the ho­ly ghost stirreth it vp. A simili­tude. Our righ­teousnes hath much vn­cleanes mingled with it. The resur­rection shalbe a perfect regene­ration. we call it the body of Christ, when as it is only the sacrament thereof. And wee also teache, that the bread in the holy misteryes is therfore the body of Christ, bycause it is the signe thereof. These things some cānot abide. But they ought to remember, that in the boke of Genesis, Circumcision is called the couenaunt of the Lord: which is nothing ells, then the promise of righteousnes, and of the forgeuenes of sinnes throughe Christ. And this couenaunt the Lord commaunded that the Iewes shoulde carye aboute with them in theyr fleshe. That thing Paule now expoundeth, namely, that it was the signe of that righteousnes and couenaunt. Wherefore it manifestly appeareth, that this kind of interpretatiōs which we vse, was brought in by the Apostle, and that to follow those interpre­tations is nothing els then to follow the steps of the Apostles. If thou demaūd, that for as much as we haue remissiō of sinnes, & haue by fayth obteined righ­teousnes, what commodity then bringe the sacramentes vnto vs, we answere, very much: for that they offer themselues before our eyes, and so doo admonish vs. For our fayth is stirred vp, not indéede by them, but by the power of the holy ghost, who vseth this instrument of the sacraments euen as he doth the instru­ment of the woord which is preached. And faith being stirred vp, more and more embraseth righteousnes and remission of sinnes For these things are not in ato­mo, or in an indiuisible point, but they haue in them some breadth. For if sinne were in this life perfectly remoued from vs, we should neuer sinne any more. But many euilles oftentimes offer them selues vnto vs, which haue nede of for­geuenes and remission. So, although we be regenerated and renewed, yet there neuer wanteth in vs somwhat, which must be regenerated and renued. And to make this the playner, I will bringe this similitude. That which is most perfect white, hath mixed with it no blacknes or darknes at all. But our righteousnes hath mixed wt it much vnpurenes & vnclenes, which must nedes be made clene. wherefore in the resurrection we shall haue a perfect and absolute regeneratiō. And therefore Christ called the resurrection by that name, when he sayd vnto his Apostles, that they should sit in the Regeneration vpon xij. seates, and iudge the twelue tribes of Israell. For that selfe same cause Paul, when he was alredy iuste­fied, was commaunded to be baptised. And Abrahā, of whom we now speake, after that righteousnes was imputed vnto him, was commaunded to be circum­cised, and that not in vayne, but for that cause which we haue alredy declared. Now the matter moueth or rather requireth vs, somewhat to speake of circum­cision. But because we can certaynely affirme nothing touching it vnles we thoroughlye knowe the nature of sacramentes, therefore I thoughte it beste, first to declare what in my iudgement is to be thought of them in generall.

The word which signifieth a sacrament is in Hebrue Sod, & Razi. The fyrst ofA place to [...] ching sacramentes. Of the He­brue and Greeke woorde. these wordes is common vnto all secretes and hid thinges, and is more in vse. And the other Esay vsed in the 24. chapter: whē he sayd, Razi li, Razi li, that is, Asecret vnto me, a secret vnto me. Daniell also in his 2. chapter, when he entrea­teth [Page] of the knowledge of the mistery, vseth the selfe same worde. Such is the na­ture and condition of sacramentes, that they contayne thinges hidde, vnto some indede knowen, but not vnto all. And from this Etimology, the Greeke worde [...], differeth not much, which is deriued of [...]. That is, we ought diligently to kepe thinges close inwardly. Of that ma­ner were the misteries of Ceres of Eleusis in the countrey of Athenes, which wereThe miste­ries of Ce­res of Ele­usis. opened vnto none, but vnto those, that were initiated. And they are called [...], which haue these thinges sealed and shut vp in them. Chrisostome, when he enterpreteth the xi. chapter of this epistle where Paule sayth, that he writeth a mistery of the Israelites partly blynded and partly to be restored, sayth: that a mistery signifieth a thing vnknowen, and vnspeakeable, and which hath in it much admiration, and which is aboue our opinion. The same father, when he enterpre­teth the second chapiter of the first epistle to the Corrinthyans, where we reade, we speake wisedome in a mistery, thus writeth: It should be no diuine or perfect myste­ry, if thou shouldest adde any thing of thy selfe. By which words it is manifest, howNothing ought to be added vnto the miste­ries of god. much they are to be blamed, which at their owne pleasure and iudgement make sacramentes, and from those which Christ himselfe hath ordained plucke away what pleaseth them. These wordes of Chrisostome do manifestly reproue them. Neyther let them thinke, that this any thing helpeth theyr case, to say that he speaketh of that mistery which is found in the holy scriptures, vnto which he sayth nothinge is to be added, neyther any thinge to be taken awaye from it. Forasmuch as the sacramentes, whereof we entreate, are of no lesse wayght,The sacra­ments are equall with the holy scriptures. then the holy scripture it selfe. For they (as Augustine very aptly sayth) are the visible wordes of God. Farther, Chrisostome, expounding the place before allead­ged, sayth, that we in the sacramentes see one thing, beleue an other thing, behold with our sence one thinge, vnderstand in our mynde an other thinge. Whereof it follow­eth, that all are not after one and the selfe same maner affected towardes these misteries. For an infidell when he heareth, that Iesus Christ was crucified, thinketh it to be a thing The fayth­full and the vnfaythfull are diuer­sly affected towardes the sacra­mentes. foolishe, and of no valew. But the faythfull man acknowledgeth in that mistery the exce­ding great power and wisedome of God. If an Ethnike heare, that Christ was raysed vp from the dead, he will thinke it to be a fable. But a Christian will not only beleue, that so, but also will not doubt, but that he himselfe, as a member of Christ, shall one day be raysed vp from the dead. Chrisostome commeth afterward to the visible sacrament, and sayth: If an infidell see baptisme, he will iudge that there is but water onely. But the the faythfull beboldeth the washing of the soule by the bloud of Christ. And in the Eu­charist, by the senses is knowen only the bread and the wine. But the beleuers referre their myndes vnto the body of Christ. Hereunto he applieth a similitude of a booke: For A simili­tude. if an vnlearned & rude man that can not reade a word should light vpō a booke, he can only behold & wōder at the prikes, figures, & colours: but the sense and vnderstanding of them he can not find out: but be which is learned, learneth out of it, ether histories, or other thinges worthy to be knowen and pleasant. Now that we haue declared the interpretecion of the Greke and Hebrue name, there resteth, that we speake somewhat of the lattin word. Among the elders sacramentum, that is, a sacra­mentWhat the Latines signifie by this worde Sacramen­tum. signified a bond which passed by an oth. Wherefore we are accustomed to say, Sacramento cum aliquo contendere, that is, by an othe to contend wyth a man, and Sacramentum militare, that is, an othe which a man taketh, when he goeth to warfare. And paraduenture these our misteryes are therefore cal­led sacramentes, because in them God byndeth himselfe with couenantes and promises being after a sort sealed, and we on the other side binde our selues vn­to him. Wherefore we entreate not of a mistery or sacrament generally, wher­byNow is not entrea­ted vniuer­sally of sa­cramentes. is signified (as Chrisostome sayth) any thing that is vnknowen, and vnspeak­able, which hath in it much admiration, and is aboue our opinion. For after that maner, there are an infinite number of sacramentes. For so may we call sacramentes, the natiuity of Christ, his resurrection, the Gospell, the blinding of the Iewes, the calling of the Gentles, and many other things. But we speake so of sacramentes, as Paule now speaketh of circumcision. Now because we [Page 79] haue sufficiently spokē of the word, we will adde the definition of a sacrament,Definition of a sacra­ment. What a signe is. and this definition is most receaued. A sacrament is a visible forme, or a visible signe of an inuisible grace. And that is called a signe, which besides the forme which it offreth vnto the senses, bringeth some other thing into our knowledge. And a signe (as Augustine writeth, and the master of the sentences affirmeth) is deuided into a naturall signe, and a signe geuen. Smoke is a naturall signe of fyre, and cloudes, a naturall signeDistinction of a signe. Thinges signified haue theyr distinction by diuersi­ties of times. of fyre, and cloudes, a naturall signe of rayne. But a signe geuen, and appoyn­ted of the will, is diuers, as letters, wordes, gestures, beckes, and many such like. And these signes may pertayne to diuers and sondry senses. But the things that are signified, are eyther thinges past, thinges present, or thinges to come. The tables of the lawe, the Manna, & the rodde of Aaron, which were kept, signified thinges past. For God would haue these thinges to remayne as cer­tayne monumentes of thinges past. Other signes betoke thinges to come, as the raynebow in the cloudes, which was geuen in the tyme of Nohe, the flese of Gedeon, and the shadow of the Sunne, which in the tyme of Ezechias the king went backward. Sometimes are signified thinges present, as in the garments of the priestes, in the apparell of the Leuites, in the ornamētes of magistrates, and in the miracles of Christ. For all these signified the present power of God. Our sacramentes are visible signes, not indede of theyr owne nature, but ge­uen vnto vs by the will of God: and they pertayne to many senses. For the wordes which are set forth in the sacramentes, are receaued with the eares: but the notes and outward simboles are perceaued eyther by sight, or féeling, or smelling, or tasting, and they demonstrate both thinges present, thinges past, and thynges to come: for the death of Christ is represented in them, which is now past: and the promise and gift of God, which in the mynde and by fayth is presently embraced: and the purenes of lyfe and mortification, and duties of charity, which are afterward to be performed of vs. By those thinges it is manifest, what maner of signes we put to be sacramentes. But it may séeme to be sufficiēt to take that definition which Paule here vseth, namely, to say, thatDefinition of a Sa­cramentout of this place of Poule. What is the chiefest [...] promise which is sealed in a sacrament. sacramentes are [...], that is, sealinges of the righteousnes of fayth. For they seale the promises, by which, so that fayth be adioyned vnto them, we are iustifyed. If a man demaund, what it is that God promiseth vnto vs, to aun­swere briefely, it is, that he will be our God: which thing where it taketh place, saueth vs, & maketh vs blessed & happy. This is the promise, which is by diuers outward simbols sealed in the sacramentes. Which thing we haue in the boke of Genesis the 17. chapter, where circumcision is geuen, whereby was confir­med the couenant made betwene God and Abraham. The summe of that pro­mise was (as we haue sayd) that God would be his God, and the God of hys séede. Which selfe same thing Ieremy also testefieth of the new couenant of the Gospell: where he sayth, that the lawes shoulde not only be written in the bowelles and hartes of the beleuers: but also that God would be vnto them theyr God, and they agayne on the other side, shoulde be vnto hym, his people. That also we well allowe,Sacra­mentes consist of two thinges. We must haue a con­sideration vnto the a­nalogy of the signe vnto the thing signi­fied. We must also kepe a diuersity betwene the signe and the thinge signified, which is commonly sayd, that the sacramentes consist of two thinges: namely, of outward signes, which the scholemen count for the matter, and of the thing signified. Which is chiefely expressed by the words adioyned vnto the simbols: out of which we may gather the forme. Which is not so to be vnderstand as though those thinges which are signified, are bound to the outward signes, or lye hidden vnder them: otherwise as many as should receaue the outward cle­mentes, should together therewithall receaue the thinges signified. And it is necessary, that betwene the signe and the thing signified there be kept some a­nalogy, that is proportion and conueniency. For if signes had no similitude with those thinges that are signified, then shoulde they not be signes of them. And yet notwythstandyng wyth thys conformity is styll to be kept a diuersity betweene that which is signified, and those thinges whiche signifye. Whiche thinge Augustine moste manifestly teacheth agaynste Maximinus the Arrian [Page] in hys 3 boke, where he sayth, that Sacramēts are one thing, & signify an other thing. Wherby oftentymes it commeth to passe, that these things which are attributed vnto the Oftētimes are thinges spoken of signes, which are not agrea­ble with theyr nature. A place out of the epi­stle of Iohn. signes, agree in no case with the nature of them, but onelye are to bee referred vnto the thinges by them signified. And he citeth a place out of the epistle of Iohn, where thys thing is manifestly shewed. For he saith y there are thrée things which bear wit­nes, bloud, water, and the spirite: and these thrée (saith he) are one. This can by no meanes be true, if we haue a consideration to the nature of bloud, water, and the spirite. For these things are not one (as they vse to speake) in essence, or in kinde. But this verily agréeth with the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost which are the thing signified. And that thing which Augustine here writeth, may we easely per­ceaue in the sacramēts which we now entreate of, in which, the properties of the signes, and of the thing of the sacrament are put one for an other. Now that I haue sufficiently spoken of the name and definition, and also of the matter and forme of the sacraments, there resteth to speake of the finall and efficient cause of them.The end of the sacra­mentes. The ende for which the sacraments were instituted, is, that our mynde being ad­monished by the senses might be stirred vp, and by faith take holde of the promises of God, and so be inflamed with a desire to attaine vnto them. For we sée, y signes tend to no other ende, but to transferre and to imprint those things which we our selues haue in our mindes, into the minde of an other man: that therby he may be made the more certaine of our meaning and will. And this is not cōmonly done, but in matters of great weight. For if they be but light matters, we are not accu­stomed to confirme them with signes. But in things of great importance, they areTo things of greate wayght are added signes. commonly vsed: As when princes are consecrated, whē matrimonies are contrac­ted, when bargainings & gifts, or other such like couenaunts of great waight are made. For we desire to haue them to the vttermost witnessed, and to be knowne not only by reason, but also by the sences. But there can be no other efficient cause of the sacramentes geuen, but either God, or our Lord Iesus Christ, who also is verily God: and of them ought we to haue an euident testimony out of the holy scrip­tures. Which thing is most plainly declared by the definition, which we haue now set forth. For thus we defined them, namelye, that sacramentes are signes, not indede naturall, but appointed, & that by the will of God. And this his will can not be made known vnto vs, but onely out of ye holy scriptures. And therfore it is no hard matter to know how many they are in number in the new Testament. We sée, y How many the sacra­mentes of the new testament are. New found out sacra­mentes ex­cluded. Christ instituted Baptisme, and the Eucharist: but the other sacramentes, which the schole deuines set forth, can not by the worde of GOD be proued to be sacra­ments. We speake not this, as though we deny that matrimony is to be had in re­uerence, or that the ordinations of ministers is to be retained still, or that penance is to be doue: although we reiect auriculer confession, and other the abuses thereof, & deny it to be a sacrament, otherwise euen we also do highly esteme these things, but not as sacraments. Neither dislike we with that confirmation, whereby chil­dren when they come to age should be compelled to confesse their faith in y church, and by outwarde profession to approue that whiche was done in Baptisme when they vnderstoode nothing: but yet in such sort, that of such an action we frame not a sacramēt. But as touching extreme vnctiō, it is manifest, y it nothing pertayneth vnto vs: especially seing it had no lōger any force, then whilest the gifts of healings were extant in the Church. And forasmuch as those giftes are now long since ta­ken away, it were absurde to kepe still the vayne signe thereof. Neither also dydWhy be­sides bap­tisme and the Eucha­rist, the rest are not pro­perly sacra­mentes. Basilius putteth vn­ction a­mongst tra­ditions nei­ther saith he that it is had out of the scrip­tures. Christ commaund that this vnction should perpetually be vsed in the church. But those other things which we before spake of, although they may still be wyth pro­fite retained, yet are they not properly sacramentes, eyther bicause they haue not outward signes: or els bicause they wantmanifest words of promises, which should by a visible signe be sealed: or els bicause there is no commaundemēt of God extant wherby we are bound to obserue these thinges. Basilius in his booke de spiritu sancto, where he reckneth vp the traditions of the church, maketh mencion of ye signe of the crosse, wherwith we ought to defend our selues: and that adorations vppon [Page 80] the Sonday, and from the resurrection vnto the feast of Penticost ought to be done standing vpright. Amongst others also he reckeneth holy vnction. Hereby we sée, y this father held not, that this vnction is had out of the holy scriptures, which thyng our aduersaries rashly do. Farther by his wordes we gather, of how great waighte it is, when as it is put amongst the number of those thinges, which haue now long since growen out of vre. Now let vs sée what be the effectes of the sacraments. TheEffectes of the sacra­mentes. maister of the sentences, in the 4. booke in the first dist. putteth thre effectes of the sacramentes. For he would that as men for pleasure sake haue made themselues subiect vnto thinges sensible and inferiour vnto themselues, so now they should for piety sake do the same, that of a certaine modesty, or (as they speake) humilitie, they should suffer themselues to be made subiect vnto these visible signes of the sacra­ments.By the sa­craments we are not made sub­iect vnto creatures In the sa­cramentes we are in­structed touching thinges di­uine. But herein he far erreth. For by the sacraments we are not made subiect vnto creatures, neither ought we to worship them. Onely the mind is there erec­ted vnto God, that man may be restored vnto his olde dignitie. For he is set to be aboue all things which are sene, and not to be subiect vnto them. The second effect he putteth, to be erudition, that by the outwarde signes we should be instructed of things heauenly. Which thing we also vndoubtedly affirme. Lastly he sayth, that therfore thei were iustituted, that we should not be idle, but be profitably exercised in true ceremonies, rasting away supersticions. But this, vnles it be declared, is not very plaine. For we are sufficiently occupied in beleuing, praying, readyng of the word of God, and doing good to our neighbours. But outward ceremonies al­though they be instituted of God, yet without faith they nothing profit. Wherfore the exercising of them doth not of it selfe please God. Howbeit if faith be presēt, su­persticions can take no place, for that it hath alwayes a regard vnto the worde of God. Wherfore after this maner they may be called exercises of faith and of pietie, and be counted acceptable vnto GOD. But we will after a better sorte set forth these effectes of the sacraments. First, we say that they instruct vs, which thing is alredye said: Secondly, that they kindle in vs fayth, & a desire of ye promises of God: Thirdly, that they knit vs together in a streighter bond of charity, for that we areBy the sa­cramentes the holy ghost kind­leth in vs fayth. Other effectes. What thinges are repugnante vnto the sa­cramentes. Vnto the sacraments are some­times attri­buted those thinges which long vnto the thinge sig­nified. Who be sa­cramenta­ries. They are not bare signes. A sacramēt is not of his owne nature a sacrifice. all initiated with one and the selfe same mysteries. And to these may two other ef­fects also be added. For by the sacraments, we are both seperated from other sects, & also are admonished to lead an holy life. But touching grace, whither it be confer­red by the sacraments or no, we shall afterward sée. These things being thus orde­red, there are two thinges which are contrary and repugnaunt vnto the nature of the sacraments. The first is, if we attribute to much vnto them. For by y meanes is easely brought in idolatry: when as that which belongeth vnto God onely, is as­cribed vnto a creature. And if at any time the sacraments are sayd, either to saue or to remit sinnes, or any such like thing, the same ought to be vnderstand of the thing signified and not of the signes. For these thinges onely procéede of the pro­mise and liberality of God, whiche is sealed vnto vs by visible signes. And often­times it happeneth, that both the scriptures and ye fathers seme to attribute vnto ye signes, those things which only belong vnto the promises. But now they which after this maner attribute more thē is mete vnto ye sacramēts, may be called sacra­mentaries, bicause they put to much affiāce in thē. The other thing which we said is repugaant vnto the nature of the sacraments, is, when we count them to be nothing but bare & naked signes. For by that meanes they shuld nothing differ from Tragicall and Comicall significations, and from colours and garments. Nether are they only signes of our actions, but also of the promise and of the will of God, and are sealinges therof. And the holy ghost doth no les vse these signes to stirre vp our hartes, then he vseth the woords of God which are in the holy scriptures. And hereby also we may se, that they likewise are agaynst the sacraments, which will haue them to be sacrifices. For the nature of a sacrifice is, to be offred of vs vnto God: but the nature of a sacrament is, to be offred of God vnto vs. I confesse indeed, that in the celebracion of the supper of the Lord are contayned thankesgeuing, almes, prayers, and other such like things: which [Page] may haue the consideration of a sacrifice. But we deny, that the very sacramentThe sacri­ficing priestes of­fer not Christ vn­to God the father. The instrument wher­by the thing of the sacramente is receaued is fayth. of the Eucharist may properly be called a sacrifice. And much les is that to bee borne with all, which the sacrificing priests make theyr boast of, that they offer vp vnto God, the body of Christ. Our lord hath offered vp himselfe, nether hath he nede of any other to offer him vp. Now that we haue well considered all these thinges, we nede not manye woordes to expresse the instrument, whereby the thing of the sacrament is receaued. For, Paul hath most manifestly declared it, when he sayd, that Circumcisiō is the seale of the righteousnes of fayth. For it is faith wherby y righteousnes, which is signified in y sacrament, is receaued of vs: for nether can our sense or reason therunto attayne. And Augustine, expoūding these woordes of Iohn, Now ye are cleane bycause of my word. sayth: that in that the sacraments doo make vs cleane, they haue it of the word of God. For if thou take away (sayth he) from the element the word, there will nothing remayne but water only. The woord commeth vnto the element, and it is made a sacrament. For how commeth it (sayth he) that the water toucheth the body, & washeth the hart? He answereth: that the same commeth to passe thorough the force and power of the word, not bycause it is spoken, but bycause it is beleued. By these thinges it is manifest that fayth is it, whereby we receaue clensing and sanctification. which thing also is written in the Actes ofBy the po­wer of the word we a [...]e w [...]hed not because it is spoken but because it is beleued the Apostles: By fayth purifiing theyr harts. And Paul to the Ephesians sayth, that Christ loued the Church, and clensed it with the lauacre of water. But there is added, In the woord, that is, by the word: which (as Augustine sayth) is vnderstand to be done, bycause it is beleued, and not bycause it is spoken. For by the pronuncia­tion of the woords, are neither changed the natures of the signes, nor the bene­fites of God geuen: for so it mought seme an enchantment. Fayth (I say) is the instrument, wherby we receaue the woordes of God, and let them downe intoThe bene­fites of God are not geu [...]n by the pro­nounciatiō of the woordes. The sacra­mēts must be admini­stred as Christ hath instituted them. our mindes. But now touching the maner of administring the sacramēts, there ought none other maner to be brought in, then that which Christ himselfe the author of the sacramentes hath commended vnto vs. For if the Iewes durst not deale otherwise in the ceremonies of the old law, thē was prescribed thē of God: much more ought we to obserue those ceremonies, which christ hath prescribed vnto vs, after the selfe same maner that he hath prescribed them. Farther for­asmuch as those signes came from the wil of God, and of theyr own nature signifie nothing, what is more reasonable then to referre all thinges vnto his wil, which hath geuen them. But his will can by no other wayes be knowen, but by ye holy scriptures, And vndoubtedly no mā will presume to alter the letters pa­tents of kings graunts: much more ought ye same thing to be takē hede of in ye sacramentes of God. And the minister by whome these thinges ought to be ex­ercised and distributed (althoughe it be conuenient, that he be godly and of an honest lyfe, for such a one is to be maintayned and when he behaueth himselfeThe wic­kednes of the minister corrupteth not the sa­cramentes. A similitude otherwise, and is knowen so to be, he ought no longer to be suffred) yet though he be wicked, so long as he kepeth still that funciō, he can not vitiate the sacra­ments, so that he doo those thinges which Christ hath commaunded to be done. Augustine hath a very trime similitude, of a pipe of stone, through which water is brought into a garden. For although the pipe be made nothing the more fer­tile by meanes of the running through of the water, yet is the garden by it wa­tred, and made fruitfull. The dignity of the sacramentes dependeth not of the minister, but of the institution of God: which thing the donatistes not vnder­standing, raysed vp much tumults agaynst the Church. That is true which is commonly sayd of liuing creatures, that by a dried vp member the spirite of life can haue no passage into the other member. For if the arme be dead and withe­redSolucion of the argu­ment ob­iected. vp, the life and spirite can not come vnto the hand. But in the Church, there is no suche greate coniunction betwene menne. For the power of the sacra­ments is to vs as the light of the Sonne: which light although it bee dispersed through vile and filthy places, yet is it not therfore contaminated or infected. But the times of the sacramentes may be deuided into two partes. For some [Page 81] were before the comming of Christ, and some after. And these differ the one frō the other, by outward notes and signes. Nether was that done rashly or with­outOf sacra­ments some were before the com­ming of Christe and some after. The sacra­ments of the elders & our sacra­mentes are aptly distinguished vp signes. Two er­rors to be eschewed in the sacra­mentes. A simili­tude. An other simil [...]ude How the signes of the elders are taken a­way and how they abide. What are the thinges of the sacra­ment. By the se­cond com­ming of Christ shall our signes be taken a way. Our sacramēts more excellenter then the sacramentes of the elders The nature of the thinges signified is one and the same, We and the Iewes in the old time haue one & the same stocke and one and the same roote. The diuer­sity of tyme distingui­sheth them. greate consideration. For we also (as sayth Augustine) do after one sort sig­nifye thinges to be done, and after an other sorte affirme thinges already done. which thing these two woordes now pronounced sufficiently declare. But here are two errors to be taken hede of vs, as the same father agaynst Faustus very well admonisheth vs. Fyrst, that we thinke not, that though the signes be chaū ­ged, therefore the thinges also are diuerse: or that forasmuch as the thing is one and the selfe same, therfore the signes ought not, nor can not be changed. For if an housholder may commaunde streighter thinges vnto those seruauntes, for whome he knoweth it expedient to be more streightly kept vnder: and may laye easier burdens vpon theyr neckes, whome he will count as his children: why then may not God doo the same towardes men. Phisitions also vse according to the diuersity of the disseases of the sicke persons, to minister dyuers and sondry medicines: of all which medicines yet the force is one & the same, namely, to restore health. But whether the signes of the old Testament haue now vtterly ceased or no, Augustine answereth in his boke de vera religione, that they remayne by interpretacion and faith, but are in very dede taken away. But as touching the things thēselues, the things which were set forth vnto the elders in their sa­craments, & which are set forth vnto vs in our sacramēts, were one & the same. And if thou demaund, what were those thinges which were common vnto the fathers and vnto vs, it may in fewe words be answered, God, Christ, reconci­liation, Grace, Remission of sinnes, and such other like thinges. These things were in tymes past signified, and set forth to be beleued in the sacramentes of the elders: and the selfe same, are in our tyme signified in the new Testament, and set forth in our sacramentes. But the signes and simbols, which the fa­thers vsed, were changed by the comming of Christ: at whose second comming also, those likewise which we now haue, shall be taken away. For when we haue once the fruition of that chiefe felicity which we wayte for, we shall then nede no sacramentes. Farther besides the alteration of the signes, are also out of Augustine gathered some other conditions, whereby is declared, that our sa­cramentes are more excellenter then were the sacrrmentes of the elders. For ours (sayth he) are in power greater, in profit better, in acte, easier: in number fewer, in vnderstanding most full of maiesty, in obseruation most pure, and in signification most excellent. Those thinges indeede are greate, but yet they alter not the nature of the thinges signifyed. Neyther cause they, but that our sacramentes and the sacraments of the elders, are as touching the substance one and the same. Paul in his epistle vnto y Romanes, sayth, that the Iewes as vnprofitable branches were cut of frō the holy tree, and we grafted into theyr place. And the roote (sayth he) carieth thee, and not thou the roote. wherby it is manifest, y both we & the fathers, as touching the substaunce of saluation, are in one and the same stocke, and in one and the same roote. Wherefore the better and worthyer part of the sacramēts, is one and the selfe same. And whatsoeuer differēce there is betwene vs & them, the same consisteth wholy in the comming of Christ, past, and to come. Where­fore Augustine agaynst Faustus sayth, that our sacramentes are signes of thinges now fulfilled, but the sacramentes of the elders were signes of thinges which were to be fulfil­led. And vpon the 6. chapter of Iohn he sayth, that in signes, they were diuers from ours, but in signification of thinges, like. I know in deede, and I remember that the fathers are wont sometymes aboue measure to extenuate the sacramentes of the elders. Chrisostome in hys 27. homely vpon Genesis denyeth, that circumci­sionThe fa­thers exte­nuate the sacraments of the elders any thing profited vnto saluation: but that the Israelites caried it about with them, as a token of gratitude and as a signe and a seale, to the ende they should not be contaminated by mingling themselues with other nations. And in his 39. homely he sayth: that it was a bridle and a payer of fetters vnto the Iewes that they shoulde not mingle themselues wyth other nations. And [Page] he affirmeth that God commaunded it vnto Abraham, and vnto his posterity, that by an outward sygne he myght declare, that he was the possessor of hym. And for that cause he changed his name. For so do we also, when we take into our possession a beast or a bondman. For we geue vnto them a name, and we marke them with our signe or marke. And vpon the same booke in the 40. ho­mely, he sayth, that the Iewes by circumcision were knowen. And hereunto may be added Ambrose, expounding this selfe same place which we are now in hand with. For he declareth, that circumcision did only put a difference be­tweeneThe fa­thers speke not after one manner touching this thing. the posterity of Abraham and other nacions. Howbeit they do not eue­ry where speake after one maner. For the same Ambrose when he expoundeth that place in the 10. chapter of the first to the Corrinthyans. That the elders wer baptised in the sea, sayth that theyr sinnes were not imputed, and that they were without doubt purified. These thinges are of much more excellency then to be seperated, or to differ from other nations. And Augustine agaynst Faustus Augustine graunteth the true baptisme vnto the elders. The schole deuines. Circumci­sion was not a bare signe. in hys 12 booke and 29 chapter, expressedly sayth, that the sea and the cloude was baptisme consecrated in the bloud of Christe, and by them the sinnes of the Iewes were forgeuen: all which thinges are common with our sacramentes. Farther all the schole deuines hold, that circumcision was a remedy against original sinne wherby we may perceiue, that they hold not, that circumcision was a bare and vayne signe. There may also for profe hereof be brought places of the scripture, which teach the selfe same thing. For in the 10. chapter of the fyrst epistle vnto the Cor. the elders are sayde to haue bene baptised, and to haue eaten the selfe same spirituall meate, and to haue dronke the selfe same drinke, which we at this day eate and drinke. And agayn in the 2. chapter to the Collossians he sayth, that we are circumcised with circumcision not made with handes: And he addeth, By the washing away of the sinnes of the fleshe: where he declareth, that in the signe of circumcision, was through Christ geuen the washing away of sinnes. And in the booke of Genesis the 17. chapter is most manifestly declared, that circum­cisionWhither the sacra­mentes of the elders and ours be one and the selfe same. was the signe of the couenant, wherein God promised, that he woulde be the God both of Abraham and of hys seede. But agaynst those thinges, whiche haue bene spoken, is obiected vnto vs out of the 10. chapter of the first to the Cor­rinthyans, that Paul there affirmeth not, that the sacramentes of the elders were one and the same with ours: but only writeth thys, that the elders had one and the selfe same sacramentes amongst themselues, and yet many of them shame­fully perished and were destroyed in the desert, although they had in the sacra­mentes communicated with other godly men. Wherefore they say, that Paul of the lesser or of the like would conclude, that we also if we lyue wickedly shall perishe, although we be initiated in Christ, and vse the selfe same sacramentes that the elect of God do. But agaynst this exposition the wordes of the Apostle hymselfe are most playnly repugnant. For he sayth, that the elders had in their sacramentes the selfe same meate that we haue, that is, Christ. For thus heThe elders did eate and drinke Christ, er­go they had the fru [...]cion of the selfe same meate that we haue. writeth, And they dranke of the spirituall rocke following them: and the rocke was Christ, Now, if they had Christ, doubtles they wanted not the meate of our sa­cramentes: which can not be sayd to be any other thing, then Christ. Farther we see, that the Apostle hath by expresse wordes put the names of our sacra­mentes. For he nameth baptisme and spirituall meate and drinke. Farther if we follow the expositions of our aduersaries, we shal make Paules argument of small force. For he ment to reproue the security of the Corrinthyans, which se­med to promise vnto themselues saluatiō for this cause only because they were Christians, and partakers of the holy misteryes, although in the meane tyme they liued losely, and dissolutely. Wherefore he declareth that God would se­uerely punishe them, except they repented, as we reade he punished the fathers of the old testament, when he sondry wayes afflicted them in the desert. And if their sacramentes and ours were not one and the selfe same, Paul concludeth nothing. For the Corrinthyans mought haue sayd: yea but our Testament is [Page 82] a farre other thyng, then was the testamēt of the olde fathers: & our sacramēts are farre excellenter then were their sacramentes. Wherefore God wil not af­flicte vs, neyther oughtest thou to compare vs with them. By this meanes is Paules argument made of no force, if we take away the similitude and propor­tion of the things of our sacramēts with ye things of y sacramēts of the eldersAugustine sayth that the sacra­mentes of the elders and ours at one and the selfe same. Farther also Augustine in his. 26. treatise vpon Iohn most plainlye teacheth, that the Elders as touching the spirituall thing, had in their sacraments the self same thing that we haue. In outward forme (he sayth) one thing was geuen vnto thē, and an other vnto vs: but as touching the thing signified, he acknowledgeth no difference at all. Wherfore the place of the Apostle, which our aduersaries haue by their expositions, gone aboute to wreste from vs, is by these reasons to be defended. They obiect moreouer, that the Fathers in many places say, that the sacramentes of the Elders were shadowes and images of that truth, which is ex­hibited in our sacraments. Vnto them we aunswer, that images may two ma­ner of wayes be taken. For some are outwardly vayne and voyde, and contayne nothing: other images haue in dede the thing it selfe, but yet intricatelye and obscurely, if they be compared with other images that are more open. And thysImages taken two manner of wayes. second way we will easely graunt, that the sacraments of the Elders were ima­ges and shadows of ours, not that the elders had not in their sacramēts y self same things y we receue in ours, but because their sacramēts more intricately and ob­scurely shadowed those thinges. To the better explication hereof, Chrisostome se­meth to bring a verye apt similitude, in his homelye which he made vpon these wordes of Paul, Our fathers were baptised into Moyses, and in his. 17. Homely vp­on the Epistle vnto the Hebrews. Paynters (sayth he) when they entend to paynt a King, firste draw out the proportion vpon a table wyth shadowes and darke colours: but yet in such sort, that a man may by that delineation, althoughe it be somewhat ob­scure, easely perceyue, that the image of a Kyng is there paynted, and horsemen and cha­riots, and such other like thinges, which thinges yet are not straight way knowen of all men. But afterward, when the Paynter hath layd enfresh colours, and hath finished the worke, those thinges which before by those first lines appeared scarce begonne and rude, ar now manyfestly and expressedly perceaued. Such (sayth he) were the Sacramēts of the Elders, if they be compared with ours. By these wordes it is manifest, that Chrisostome was of the opinion, that one and the selfe same thing is representedThe names of the sacra­mentes of the elders and of ours are put one for an other in our Sacraments, and in the Sacramentes of the Elders, although in theyrs more obscurely, and in ours, more manifestly. But how great a nearenes there is betwene both these kindes of Sacraments, Paul séemeth hereby to teach, in that he putteth the names of the one, for the names of the other, and maketh them common to both. For in the. 10. chapter of the firste epistle to the Corrinth. he af­firmeth, that the Elders were baptised, and had one and the same spirituall meate, and one and the same spirituall drinke, which we now haue. And on the other side, to the Colossians, he calleth our Baptisme, Circumcision. For he saith: that we are circum­cised in Christ, but yet with a circumcision not made with handes, by putting of the bo­dy of the sinnes of the flesh. In which place he ascribeth vnto circumcision, ye puttyng of sinnes. But they thinke that this maketh against vs, which is red in the viij. chapter to the Hebrewes, where it is written: In that that he sayth now, he hath abo­lished Whether the old te­stament be vtterly a­bolished. that which was before. But that which is abolished and waxen olde, is euen at hād to vanish away. Of these wordes they conclude, that the olde testament is vtterly a­bolished. Which thing (say they) could not be possible, if the substaunce therof were one, and the same with the substance of the new. But these men ought to haue cō ­sidered, that the substance of the olde Testament is not abolished. In dede ceremo­nies are abolished as touching the outward signes: howbeit the signification of thē abideth the selfe same that it was. Iudiciall preceptes also, although in our dayes they be not all had in vse, yet the summe and principall scope of them, is stil retai­ned, namely, y sinnes should be punished, and iustice preserued in cōmon wealths. But the sence and obseruation of morall preceptes, remaineth stil perfect & whole: although they no more either accuse, or condemne the conscience, to the destructiō [Page] of the elect. But they say, that Augustine, also is against our sentence. For in hys preface vpon the 73. psalme, thus he writeth: That the sacramentes of the elders pro­mised a saulour, but ours geue saluation. But by these wordes Augustine mente one­ly to put a distinction betwene the maner wherby the sacraments of the elders sig­nified Christ in one sort, and ours in an other sort. For they so represented Christ, as which should one day come: ours do so represent him, as now already come. For how could Augustine thinke, that the sacramentes of the elders did by no meanes geue a sauior, when as he most manifestly testifieth that the fathers in the Manna had the selfe same Christ, which we now haue in the Eucharist. And in his booke de nuptijs & concupiscentia ad Valerium, and other places he oftentimes con­fesseth that the Elders were by circumcision deliuered from originall sinne. Bede also vpon Luke affirmeth the selfe same thing, and saith, that circumcision differed nothing from baptisme, as touching remission of sinnes, but onely that it opened not the gates of the kingdome of heauen. For to the performance of that, the death of Christ was looked for. Touching this thing surely, I will not much contend, so that this be graunted, y those fathers being dead in what place so euer they were, were in the presence & sight of God in happy state. For they had without al doubt the fruicion of God, neither is it to be thought, that they could bée forsaken of hym in whom they beleued. But that they were caried vp into heauen, before Christ as­cended vp, I know the fathers do deny, neither do I therein any thing contende a­gainst them. But let vs returne vnto that that these fathers of their owne accords graunt, namely, that Circumcision toke away originall sinne. How then can theyAn error of the master of the sen­tences. say, that Christ by circumcision was not geuen at all? For what remission of sins could there be without Christ? The maister of the sentences very absurdly thin­keth, that circumcision had ye power of remitting of sinnes, but not of conferring of grace: as though forsooth remission of sinnes can be had without grace. He fayneth also, that the sacraments of the Gospell had their force of the death of Christ: andThe death of Christ was of effi­cacy euen before it was payde. forasmuch as this death is now accomplished, therefore are they of more efficacy & more mightier then the sacraments of the elders: as in whose time the price of the death of Christ was not yet paid. But this their sentence wherby they appoint the force and merite of the passion of Christ, to be but for a time, cannot be but absurd. For of what more force to saue is the death of Christe now that is already past, then it was in the old time, when it was looked for to come? Vndoubtedly, on eche side is required faith, whereby assuredly we do no lesse comprehende thinges to come, then we do things past. But if we will say, that GOD hathe a respect vnto the sacrifice of hys sonne offered vppon the crosse, vndoubtedly, this was from all eternitie, and before the foundations of the worlde were layd, ratified and most fully accepted of him. Of Christ also it is written in the Apocalips. That the lambe was slayne from the beginnyng of the worlde. And where as they say, that circumcisiō had the power to take away originall sin, frō whence I pray you had it such so greate power, but from the death of Christ? Doubtles our baptisme so agre­eth with circumcision, that Augustine agaynst the letters of Petilianus in hys 2. booke and 72. chapter and in other places, proueth, that the sacramēt of bap­tisme ought not to repeted, because circumcision in the olde tyme was not re­peted, if a man had receaued it of the Samaritanes, and were afterward con­uertedHow the sacraments of the el­ders were weake, and beggarly elements of the worlde. Why there were more sacraments in the law then in the Gospell. vnto the sincere religion of the Ierosolomites. But amongst other thinges, this semeth not a litle to haue moued our aduersaryes, for that it is written vnto the Galathyans of the ceremonies of the elders, that they were weake and beggerly elementes of the world. But these wordes of Paule are to be vnderstand of those olde sacramentes whiche are now abrogated by Christ. Or if this aunswere like not, then vnderstand Paule so to speake of the sacra­mentes of the elders, as he saw the Iewes at that tyme vsed them, namely, without Christ or hys promise. But the first answere is both truer and play­ner for that place. And if a mā demaund, how it commeth to passe, that the sa­cramentes of the elders were more in number then ours, this question may ea­sely [Page 83] be answered. Namely, that the church was then beginning, neyther did they know so many thinges of Christ, as are made open vnto vs, after that heHow they erre which speake soft­ly to them­selues the woordes of consecrati­on. is now come into the world and hath finished the sacrifice so long looked for. Wherefore it was requisite that God shoulde at that tyme by many ceremo­nyes and images shadow one and the selfe same thynge: but there is no neede now of such paynfull instruction. For (as we haue before sayd) the signes of the sacramentes were therefore geuen, to confirme the promises of God: not as though those promises are not of themselues firm inough, but that our minds, being otherwise hard to beleue, and wauering, should by sēsible signes be stren­thened. Chrisostome in hys 60. homely vnto the people of Antioch, If (sayth he) our nature had bene vtterly spirituall and without body, spirituall thinges shoulde haue bene deliuered vs, without corporall signes. Hereby it is manifest, how absurdely they order the matter which set forth the visible signes of the sacramentes to be sene of all men: but the promise which should be confirmed by those signes, and ought to cleaue vnto our mynds, they both pronounce in a strange tonge, and secretly mumble vp, that it should not be heard of others. But that the sacra­mentesExplicatiō of certaine of the sacramentes of the elders. of the lawe, which were so many in number, were seales of the promi­ses of God, may by induction be easely known. The tabernacle and Arke of the Lord sealed the promise, that God would dwell in that people, & that he would be in the middest of them. The conseccation of the priest, and the ornamentes of the garmentes, shadowed Christ the only priest, and the same perpetuall and eternall, as the author of the epistle to the Hebrues proueth. And of this selfe same promise, Dauid most playnly maketh mencion, when vnder the person of Christ he sayth, Thou art a priest for euer according to the order of Melchisedech. The sacrifices also signified the oblation of Christ vpon the crosse. But here some man will paraduenture say, Ergo, the sacrifices were sacramentes. How then do we say, that there is great difference betwene the nature of a sacrament, and the nature of a sacrifice? So indeede we sayd before, and now agayne constāt­lyTwo thinges are to be consi­dered in sacrifices. affirme: but thereof it followeth not, but that the consideration of ether, may sometymes light vpon one & the same thing. The nature of a sacrifice and of a sacrament may concure in one & the same thing. For there were two things to be considered in sacrifices: fyrst, that there was something offred vnto God: and therein consisted the whole strength of sacrifices: secondly, that the oblati­on which was killed, and burnt, represented Christ, which was to be slayne for vs, by whome we shoulde haue God pacefied and mercifull. And after thys maner we doubt not but that in them was a sacrament. And how all these thinges were seales of most certayne promises, may easely be declared by euery one of them perticularly: as by the obseruation of the Sabboth, by cir­cumcision, by choyce of meates, by washing and sprinklinges of holy water, by the vow of the Nazarites, by the ceremony of the ielious, by the purification of the childwife after her deliuery, and by all such like kynde of misteries. ButWhether the people in the old time vnderstood the promises which were sealed in th­ceremonyes because we would be briefe, we thought it sufficient to expresse those fewe now mēcioned. But there yet remaineth one doubt, whether the people of the Iewes hauing those sensible signes of ceremonies, vnderstoode also the promises of God, whiche were by thē sealed Augustine at large intreateth of this matter in his 4. boke agaynst Faustus, & in his 3. booke de Doctrina Christiana: & sayth, that the patriarches and prophetes, and the excellenter sort of men in the olde testament being illustrate with a mighty spirite, knew very well the significations of the ceremonies and of the sacramentes: so that they tooke not the signes, for the thinges, which (sayth he) is a miserable seruitude: but he thinketh that the people and common sort of men vsed these signes as the thinges themselues, for that they vnderstoode only this, that there is one only God, which ought to be honored with thys kynde of wor­shippinge and seruice. For if there were any, whiche when they knew those to be signes of other thinges, woulde yet notwithstanding enterprete them after their owne lust, ye had bene an error of a wandring mynde. By this doctrine of [Page] Augustine may be put three kindes of men, as touching the vse of signes. ForThree kindes of men which vse signes. some there are, which in very deede vnderstand, what is signified, & therefore sticke not in the signes, but turne their eyes to the thinges signified. Others vse the signes, but to what they are to be referred, they know not: And this Au­gustine thinketh, pertayneth to seruitude. Lastly are those, whiche are not igno­rant, that those thinges which they vse are signes, but yet notwithstanding they peruersly, and as they lust themselues, interprete them. This is an error, & that very hurtfull. As touching the first, and third, I am of the same mynde that Au­gustine is. But in the second as touching the common and vulgare people of the Iewes, I do not so fully assent vnto him, to graunt, that the common people of the Hebrues know nothing els of the sacramentes, & ceremonies of the law, but that by them they shoulde worshippe the onlye and true God. For they were taught continually of the Scribes and of the priestes, and heard dayly the ora­cles of the prophetes. Whereby they mought easely gather, at the least a gene­rall signification of theyr sacramentes, as well touching Christ, as also tou­ching all other thinges pertayning to purenes of lyfe and holynes of maners.The doc­trine of the looking for the Messi­as was common. The doctrine of the looking for the Messias was so common amongst them, that, as I suppose, it was hidden from none o [...] them all. Phillippe, as it is written in the Gospell of Iohn, thus spake vnto Nathaniell: we haue founde the Messias, of whome Moses and the prophetes haue written. And the common people of the Iewes, being ama [...]ed at the miracles of Christ, sayd, we knowe that Messias shall come, and teach vs all these thinges. Hereunto also serueth that the prophetes euer tought, that ceremonies being done onely outwardly and with­out fayth, are most displeasant vnto God. And that fayth, which was required to outward rites, vnles it had had a respect vnto Christ, although not fully, yet some way, and that at the least generally, of what force could it haue bene? AndThe pro­phetes most diligentlye taughte the significati­of the cere­monies. forasmuch as the prophets were so diligent in obtruding, and euery where in­culcating the significations of the ceremonies, doo we thinke, that they taught nothing of Christ? dauid most playnly speaketh of sacrifices, that God delighteth not in them But a sacrifice vnto God (sayth he) is a troubled spirite, and a contrite and humble hart Touching washinges and clensinges, Esay instructeth them saying Be ye washed, and be ye clene. Ieremy also, washe (sayth he) thy harte from iniquitye. And Ezechiell sheweth that by those waters is signified the power of the holy ghost, when he bringeth in God promising, that he would poure cleane water vpon them. Touching Circumsion also they are verye often admonished in the holy scripture to circumcise they neckes and theyr hartes. And that they should not thinke, that they were able to doo this of them selues and by theyr owne strengthes, Moses in the 30 chapter of Deut. sayth, God shall circumcise thyne harte▪ that thou mayst loue him. Touching purifications and washinges of garmentes, and such other like thinges, they were thus admonished in Leuiticus the 11. chapter, I am the [...]ord thy God, which brought the out of the land of Egipt ye shalbe holy vn­to me, bycause I am holy. Touching the Saboth they were oftentimes told, that in it was signified the rest of God, and theyr santification. And if so be all theseThe people of the He­brues vn­derstoode that Messi­as was sig­nified in the sacraments of theyr times. thinges were so manifestly and playnly declared, which no man can doubt, but that vnto them they were good and profitable, and that it was not possible for them to be ignorant, that the attaynment of euerye good thinge came through Christ or the Messias, I can not be perswaded, but that they saw, that in theyr sacramentes was signified Christ. Moreouerr this also is an other reason Esay most manifestly testifieth, that God did lay vpon Christ all our sinnes, and that we were healed only by his stripes and death: wherfore seing in the sacraments mention is made, that God by sacrifices is made mercifull vnto vs, they couldThe people knew generally and not perti­culerly the considerati­of all the misteries. not but cal to remembraunce, the only mediator Christ, by whome only is God made mercifull vnto vs. Howbeit we can not affirme, that the common sort of the Israelites knew all the misteries perticularly. Onely this we say y they had a certayne generall knowledge of Christ in the sacramentes of the law, when [Page 83] as otherwise we our selues can not perticularly render a reason of these ceremonies. The Apostles haue only generally made them playn vnto vs. And though there haue benne some amongst vs, as Origen, and a greate many other like, which haue attēpted to frame for euery perticular ceremony a proper alegory, yet haue they in a manner but lost theyr labour. For theyr inuentions couldWe must not geue our selues to much to Allegories. Error of the schole­men. bring no profite at all vnto vs. For they most plainely want the woord of God. Nether is it to be meruayled at, that they so muche delighted in such inuentiōs, For euen as euery where our owne deuises woonderfully please vs, so in this matter, the curiosity of man excedingly delighted it selfe. Now those things which we haue spoken most playnly declare, how farre the schole men haue missed of the marke, which haue betwen the old sacrementes, and the new, put this difference, that the old sacramentes only signified grace and Christ, but ours largly and aboundantly exhibite both. For the elders (say they) were holpen by the woorke of the worker. For when any man came with fayth and a godlyOf the worke working [...] and the worke, wrought. motion of the hart and of the minde vnto those holy seruices, he had therby me­rite. But the woorke wrought (as they call it) nothing profited them as tou­ching saluation. But in our sacraments they say it is farre otherwise: that not only fayth and the spirituall motion of the minde, which they call the woorke of the worker, helpeth vs, but also euen the outward sacramente it selfe, and the institution of God, which they call the worke wrought, conferreth vnto vs both remission of sinnes and also saluation. But I will demaund of these men, what that is which the outward worke and the visible sacrament exhibiteth vnto vs, that we do not attayne vnto by fayth: if they