OF THE Conscience.

A DISCOVRSE wherein is playnely declared, the vnspeakeable ioye, and comfort of a good Conscience, and the intollerable griefe and discomfort of an euill Consci­ence.

MADE BY IOHN Woolton, Minister of the Gospell.

ANNO. 1576.

Imprinted by H. Iackson, for Hum­fery Toye.

TO THE RIGHT worshipfull, Sir Iohn Jylbert, knight, Iohn Woolton wisheth prospe­rous successe in all worldly affaires: and in the life to come, im­mortall felicity.

AMONG MA­ny worthy and de­uine lessons, which Seneca gaue vnto Lucilius, touching the leadyng of an honest and godlye lyfe: he borroweth one of the Epicure, in mine opinion not to be accounted the meanest, which he would haue his friende to imprint diligently and deepely in the bottome of his brest. Let vs Senecca lib. 10. epist. 11. so lyue (sayth he) as if the eyes of all men were bent toward vs: let vs so studie and de­uise with our selues when we are alone, as if straungers did viewe our secret cogitations. Cur actions and deeds alwayes vic [...]d. Manye faultes and mischiefes shalt thou a­uoyd: if thou imagine that thou hast a witnes of thy doings alway at thy elbowe. Which lesson euery christian ought to learne, not [Page] imagining (as Seneca would haue vs) that Cato Lelius, or some such graue man; dy [...] alwayes with open eyes looke vppon vs: but perswading our solues as the truth is in deede, that we haue with vs alwayes present, waking & watching vs, a sage and graue Censor of lyfe & maners (our consci­ence The Con­science in steede of a thousande witnesses. I say) which according to the como [...] proue [...] be is in steede of a thousand witnes­ses, This conscience so wonderfully frami [...] and fashioned in man by ahnighty God, to be a witnesse & an informer of mankinde [...]lans con­science is a scoolemester vuto him. and of the law of Nature, which comman deth things that be honest, & forbiddeth th [...] contrary. Sommone [...] vs as it were before the tribunall feate of God, some­time accusing, sometime excusing, nowe punishing and now absoluing vs; for God did of his good will and vpright iustice or­deyne this watchman in our Nature, that ioy should follow lawdable and honest ac­tions: and contrariwise Sorrow, abhomi­nable and desperate deedes: that anguishe and dolour might be a continuall torme [...] ­ter of vngodlinesse, and a destroyer of re­bellious natures. There can nothing happē The ve [...]nti­on to a cor­rupt Con­sc [...]ence. to a mortail man more gréeuous, heaup, or miserable thē a guilty Consciēce, which all [Page] those yt are delighted with the filthinesse of sin, are compelled to carry about with thē, as a booke of notes wherein they write all Chrisost in psal. 50. their offences. Wherof Bernhard speaketh after this manner. An euill Conscience is a witnesse of our debtes, a Iudge, a tormen­ter, Bernhar­dus. she accuseth vs, she iudgeth vs, she puni­sheth vs, and she condemneth vs, which if it lie hid for a time yet it breaketh out at the last, especially at the hower of death, and gi­ueth The despe­rate ende of [...] wilful­ly agaynst their Con­science. a thousande euidences againste men▪ Whereof Iulian the Apostata, Henrie king of Fraunce, Iames Latomus of Louayne, and dyuers others, are euident & knowne examples, who felt these fearefull angui­shes Pantalion chron. re­rum me­morabili­um. Iho. Fox­ius et alii. of the Conscience, and the sence of Gods wrath for theire wilfull obstinacie, and cruell tirrany against Christ and hys church, and at their departure out of this worlde; with dolefull voyces, and fearefull ex [...]clamacions vttered in their griefe, to such as had accesse vnto them.

The good conscience on the other side as it were a brasen wall, against vntrue re­portes, Herat. lib. 1. epist. perill and daungers, and maketh the gool [...], when they are persecuted, beaten and tyed in yron chaynes, voyde of dolor and payne: and when they come before the [Page] mightie men of this worlde, they shrinke not, they faynte not, they waxe not pale, neyther chaunge their countenance. Paule being a prisoner and brought before Felix: was not abashed hymselfe, but with hys aunsweres, which were full of diuine po­wer and might, he made the gouernour to tremble and quake: which cannot be ascri­bed to any thing, but to ye sincere good con­science of his wherof himself speaketh thus. Act. 24. Herein I endeuored my selfe to haue alway a cleare Conscience toward God, and toward men. Let vs then beware that we wounde not our Conscience, and whether we be a­lone at home, or in company abroad, let vs accoumpt that the principall witnes. For as S. Ambrose sayth: Euery man hath of Ambrosi­us in epist ad Con­stant. his own minde & Conscience a seuere iudge, either punishing the guilty, or acquiting the guiltles and innocent: And Sencca writeth to Lucillius diuinely after this manner. To what end doe we hide our selues, and decline the eyes, & eares of mē: A good cōscience cal­leth the company vnto hym, but an euel con­science Seneca epist. 96. is in doubt and feare, euen, when we are alone. If those thinges that we doe be ho­nest, what need we to care if the whole world looke vpon vs: but if they be vnhoneste, wee [Page] must needes knowe them our selues, O mise­rable men that we are, if we contemne this witnesse. Seing then that so great ioye and comfort issueth out of a good conscience, & so great heuines and discomfort cōmeth from an euell Conscience, I haue thought good to write somewhat briefly and shortly, as wel of the one as of ye other. Neither was it my purpose to prosecute all things, that belong vnto this matter (which to doe would re­quire more leisure thē I yet haue, & a lōger worck then this treatise) and who so list to reade more hereof, I referre him to Saynt Bernhard, Melancthon, Hemingius, and es­pecially to Ioh. Riuius, who wil plentifully satisfie the greedy Reader, desirous to vn­derstand more of this matter: but I haue collected out of all these, so much as séemed vnto me most conuenient and necessary for the Christian reader in this behalf. Which if I haue not accomplished so pithely and eloquently as perhaps some of our English [...]hilosophers or Retoricians would haue done, I wil not contend in rendring a rea­son of my doings: but do giue them leaue to amend that which is amisse, for as Cinicall taracion is detestable, so is charitable ani­maduersion in my iudgement cc̄mendable, [Page] not misdoubting but that the godly reader will rather accept hereof with like affecti­on as it is deliuered: then dis [...]ain my want of ability to offer it so per [...]tc in all poynts, eyther as the matter deserueth, or I my selfe desired.

These my Laboures (such as they be) I offer vnto your worship, as a taken of [...]ny good will, and obseruancy toward the same, for your great loue and intire affection to­ward me: which you haue diuers and sun­day ways, in benefites be [...]owed vpon [...] and mine, effectually declared. And bicause I certaynly know that in your life & dayly actions, you doe not any [...]ing willingly a­gaynst the testiniony of a good Conscience, which you only ground vpon Gods word, the surest foundation in all your building, and clearest lighte and lanterne to directe your paths to euerlasting life. This treaty of the same matter cannot be vnmeete to be presented vnto you: which your whorship according to your good nature, will I trust accept in good part: the liuing God blesseand preserue you, and that verteous Land your wife, long in al prosperity. From Ex­ceter the 20. of Mirche.

Your Worships humbly to com­ [...]und. Iohn Woolton.

¶ OF THE CONSCIENCE, a Treatise collected by Iohn Woolten.

THERE ARE TWO principall partes of mans After what forte there are two partes of manners Souls. Soule (as I haue plainely declared in my Treatise of of the immortalitie thereof) which of necessitie muste con [...] in all exerutions and actions of vertue. For although the naturs of the Soule be simple and without composition and deuision, yet they vse to attribute vn­to him certaine partes: to witte according to hys sundry and dyuers operations. As for example take, we acknowledge in the fyre two powers or qualities: the one [...] ­ming or heating, the other shewing or dis­couering from darkenesse all thi [...]: euen so when men speake of the partes of the Soule, they [...]urpe that name for the functi­ons and effectes of the same. These [...] partes are called Reason [...]and Wyll [...] wher­of the [...] sheweth what is seemely and Reason. Will. conue [...]ent to be [...], or to be lest vndone: and the seconde eyther coueteth and pursu­ith as good, that which was proposed by [Page] reason, eyther else declineth and auoydeth the same as euell. Hereof came that apte and fine sentence. All mortal actions, are as [...] were ingendred and conceiue by Reason, but are broughte foorth, and [...] by Wyll.

Now as brute beastes haue no sparke of reason, (whereby man both diffe [...]th most far from them, and resembleth very neere an expresse Image of the diuine nature) so haue they no Will but Sense and Appetite, and with the one, they are le [...]de to their Brute be [...]s haue [...]y­th [...] Reasō ner Wyll but sense & Appetite. naturall foode, with the other they di [...] ­cerne thinges holsome, from hurtfull. Some there are, that terme this Appetite in beute beastes Will without Reason; for that domine creatures bo [...]d of minde, and vidnerstanding, are ledde toward thinges with a certain secrete motion, and in stinct of nature, rather shen with any free will, choyse, or vnderstanding. For they in shee [...]e of Reason, haue giuen vnto them by Gods a certaine naturall [...]kill, to defend and to serue them selues. This Will or Appetite which perseweth thinges, conceiued by Sence, is common to man with beastes: euen as the Sences, as well externall as [Page] internall, (from whence this Appetite ysseweth) is unparted equally to man and beast sauing to the sence of all bruse beasts commonly is more quick and persite, then that which is in man, and in beastes this fence is the supreme and most excellent fa­cultie. In man it is but a seruaunte, or handmayde to Intelligence, or vnderstan­ding.

And Reason was geuen vnto man, not The effecte of Reason. onely to fearche after vertue, that the Will should embrace the same, but to [...]oderate carnall motions, and to bridle their rage, and furnes, Albeit Reason very often, as it were shadowed and ouerralle with darck­nesse, iudgeth peruersly and corruptly: and not that alone, but also is so infirme and weake, that it cannot restrayne euill de­termined any thinge, Will is either so o­uerth The off [...]. wa [...], or else so weake, that she doeth not excute the same. Whereof may ryse no small question, seeing that the very ob­iect of will is vertue her selfe, shewed and opened vnto her by Reason, howe it com­meth to pa [...]e that we are [...]ed headlong, [Page] as it were violently to mischiefe, so that pernitious and deuilishe affections, doe o­uerrule that excelent faculty guien by God to couet that which is good & honest, where­of the Apostle himselfe complayneth. That good thing which I woulde doe, that I doe not: and that euill which I would not, that I doe.

And Medea burning in madde loue with Iason: hauing wrastled with hir self much and long, yet coulde she not ouercome that furor with Reason, for thus shee talketh with hir selfe.

Video meliora probo (que), deteriora sequor.

But the scripture resolueth this doubt, and telleth vs that through the fall of our why will is [...]ysobydi [...]t [...]o Reason first parentes, and by originall sinne des­cending into all mankind from that route: these diseases of the minde, these swarmes of perturbations, and these continuall con­flictes betwene reason and luste doe budde out and spring. Therfore great néede haue we to craue Gods ayde & helpe: by whose grace we maye vanquishe and ouercome that rebellion of desires and affections: for without that neyther Reason nor. Will is of power eyther to doe good, or else to resist [Page] the crooked and frowarde mocions of man.

In the chiefe and principall parte of the The Con­sience in respect of Indgement is placed i [...] the minde but in re­spect of af­fections & motions it is in the hart. Soule which we call Reason, they com­monly place the Conscience, that wonder­full workmanship of God, being according to the prouerbe in steede of a thousand wit­nesses, not onely commaunding things ho­nest and diswading the contrary, but more ouer asciting vs as it were before the Tri­bunall seate of the diuine Maiestie, some­time accusing and someting excusing. In The opeta­tion of the Conscience this matter punishing and another acquy­ting. Whereof as I minde to write some­what at this time: so will I not follow the subtyle and thornye maner of the Schoole­men, who with great curiositie of definiti­ons and deuisions, haue altogether darke­ned rather then lightened this matter: but so farre forth as my abiliti [...] will extende, doe purpose with breuitie and perspicute, to prosecute this matter. Wherevnto if I cannot reach, according to my earnest de­sire, yet I trust at the least hereby to moue some happy witte to polish this enterprise, for it were greate pitty that comfortable Conscience should be any longer mute and domme as a straunger: but that shée might [Page] franckly and freely speake vnto our conn­try men in our English tongue.

And that I maye keepe some certayne The [...] [...]odot this [...]ca and [...] deu [...] [...]ruf. niethode in the translation hereof, which they call Analysis seemeth most concienient for me to follow. First I will put downe the definition, comprehending and infol­ding as it were in one bundell, the whole matter generally. Then I will open and resolue into partes, euerye porciorr of the same. In the which Analysis, besides fun­dry and diuers things, a man may easely see the principles and groundes of the Con­science, howe she is placed in the minde: hir force and power in examining all mo­rall actions. This done I will speake of the difference betwene a sounde, and a corrupt Conscience, and of the effects of them both: to wyt, of the solace & comfort of the one in aducrsitie, and of the priuie woundes of the other euen in worldly felicitie. Lastly, I will discourse certaine questions incicent to this matter: which being finished, I trust that the knowledge of Conscience, which hath bene secret and obscure, shall shewe hir selfe somewhat plainely to the eyes, and shall stirre vp in men a maruey­lous [Page] loue and desire of a sineere conscience.

The Apostle in that golden and excel­lent Epistle to the Romaines speaketh of the Gentils in this wise. For when the a to scrip expressing Conscience Gentils which haue no lawe, doe by nature the things conteyned in the lawe, they hauing not the lawe, are a lawe vnto themselues. Rom. 2. Which shewe the effect of the lawe, written in their hartes, their conscience also bearing witnesse, and their thoughtes accusing one another or excusing. In this sentence of saint Pause I obserue foure thinges, firste he sayth that the worck of the law is writ­ten in their hartes: this worck of the lawe, is the discelning betweene thinges honest, and vnhonest: Secondly he sayth ye they shew it. For in mainteyning of Religion, they acknowledge that there is a God to be worshipped: and in that they punish crimes and heynous offences, they professe them­selues defendors of honesty, and Iustice. Thirdly he maketh metion of the inward testimony of the conscience. Fourthly he [...]howeth what manner of Testes the Con­science is euen by [...]uident Arguments ac­cusing or exeusing, out of the which this de­finitio is deduced. The Conscience is a cer­taine [Page] naturall intelligence of the law, ingraf­ted The [...]efyni­tion of the Conscience. in the minde or power vnderstanding, whereby we allow good actions and disalow euill actions. Which iudgement planted in the internall man by God, breedeth in the execution of vertue, a quietnesse and reste of minde, and in vice a wonderfull verati­on of the same, punishing and afflicting the Thre thigs in ye minde to be obserued. man guilty: but there are thrée, thinges in the minde, which are to be obserued for the better vnderstanding of this matter.

The firste is the vnderstanding whiche Ondirsta [...] ding con­ [...]emplatyre. they call contemplaty [...]e, busied alwayes in the study and searching out of thinges, and this is that better part of the minde which alway (as the Philosophers saye) aspireth to the beste. In this they place Syn [...]res [...] which is the kéeper and conseruer of noti­ces, Aristo. li. 1. ethick. or vnderstandinges, which are bredde with vs by nature, examining what is, and what is not expedient. And therefore it is fayde that she ministreth propositions to reasons and argumentes, which are called Sillogismes practical, Such propisition are these that follow, honest thinges are to bee done, vnhonest thinges are not to be done: Out of which two groundes or principles [Page] infinite singuler propositions are deriued, seruing in arguments, or as I called them Sinterisis est habitus innatus cō seruans principia moralia et practica sicut Sine­sis conser­uat princi­pia specu labilia. Sillogismes practicall. And it is so called for that it examineth and inquireth a reason out of the law of nature, of the quality of all humaine accions.

In the second place of the minde is In­telligence practicall, which consisteth in ac­cion. And therin is the Conscience proper­ly placed, for that of the difference of Acci­ons, she putteth down and as it were deli­uereth the lesse proposition or assumtion in the Sillogisme or Argument in this wise, Sinterisis or Vnderstanding minisereth this proposition in Hector. Honest thinges are to be done. Then Conscience apprehendeth this assumtion. To defend a mans countrie and to die therefore is honest. Agayne Sinte­risis or Vnderstanding deliuereth this pro­position in Oedipus. Fil [...]hy and detostable deedes are to be eschewed. Then the Conscience assumeth. But Inceste with my mother and paricide, are moste detestable deedes. And so vnderstanding and Conscience rea­soneth in all other accions.

Thirdly in the minde there is Iudge­ment, Iudgement or decerm [...] ­nation. pronouncing of all accions, whether [Page] they be worthy of prayse or disprayse. And as she serued in generality in the Maior or first proposition, so as a witty Iudge, shee descendeth vnto the special case in the con­clusion and geueth sentence. For examples sake, Intelligence contemplat [...]ue in Hector, deliuereth this proposition. Honest deedes are praise worthy. Thē the Conscience sub­sumeth: To defend my countrie and to dye in defence of it, is an honest dede, lastly iudg­ment geueth sentence, Therfore to defend Examples plainely ex­pressing this matter. my country, and to die in defence of it, is prayse worthy. Agayne Intelligence deli­uereth this proposition to Oedipus. Moste vile and filthy actes deserue moste greucuse punishmentes. Conscience addeth: Inceste with my Mother and paricide, are most vile and filthy actes. Finally Iudgement geueth sentence: Therefore inceste with my Mo­ther and paricide, deserue most greeuous pu­nishmentes. The former argument bredde in Hectors brest vnspeakeable courage, in so much that he vtterly contemned death. For Polidamas, did aduise him not to goe out among the Erecians that day: because the fliyng of Birdes did portend some hea­uy euent. Hector aunswered stoutely, [Page] whether the byrdes flye on the right hande towarde the East, or on the left hande to­warde the Weste, I am resolued to obey great Iupiter his counsayle: meaning that valyant mocion of his minde to be Iupiters counsayle, whereby he was excyted to doe uoble and valyant deedes. Neyther coulde supersticious obseruacion of tymes, with­holde him from doing his duetie, especially in the common perill of his naturall coun­trye. Contrariwise the latter Sillogisme kyndled such tormenting & burning fyres, that through impaciencie & inwarde griefe for wickednesse by him committed, he rent out his owne eyes. Oedipus verily was a Oedipus. Noble fellowe and king of the Thebanes, who albeit he contenmed Tiresias the Pro­phet, casting in his teethe incestious mari­age, yet in ye end he was so cōuerted with one testimonie of his owne conscience, that he confessed himselfe guyltie and a cast a­way, not worthie to beholde any longer the light of Heauen, and euen so Iocasta hys mother with an halter strangled hir selfe.

There are infinite such examples of Syl­logismes, or argumentes practicall in ho­ly scripture. Ezechias knoweth that there [Page] is but one true God, whoe onely is to be called vpon and worshipped, which thing Synteresis or Intelligence telleth him out of the first cōmaundement: Then Conscience The ground of Ezechias his consci­ [...]net. aduoucheth the same: & last of all iudge­ment concludeth in this maner. The true & lyuing God, euē the God of Israell is only to be worshiped: But Idolatrie maintayneth manye Gods, euen in despite of the lyuing God, therefore Idolatrie is to be abolished, Ezechias armed wyth thys iudgement of Conscience, cutteth downe the Groues, taketh downe the brasen Serpent, ouer­throweth Idols, and abolisheth Idolatry, and committeth the euent to God. And sayth: For these are no Gods but woode and stone, euen the worke of mens hande. And in lyke maner Dauid stayeth his hande from Dauid. 1. Sa. 24. slaying of Saule, euen offered vnto hym in the Caue, bicause he knoweth that he is Gods annoynted, and a magistrate by his ordinance, reasoning thus with himselfe. No violence is to bee vsed towarde Gods magistrate: But Saule is Gods magistrate, therfore I must doe him no violence. Ex­amples also are worthy consideration, as Regulus led euē wtth ciuill honesty kéepeth [Page] promise made vnto his enimy, reasoning thus with himselfe: There is nothing more seemely for a noble hart, then to consider the end of his accions, and his owne honesty: But to keepe my oath made vnto my ennemie is the end of my accions, and apperteineth to my honestie, therefore I will keepe my oth made vnto my ennemie, euen in the perrill of my life. Such like examples are in delibera­tions, counsayles and examples in all hi­stories of the actes and deedes of mortall men.

I am not ignoraunt that some handle this matter otherwise, deuiding Reason into Riuiu [...]. lib. 1. de conscien­tia: & hausit ex Augusti­no. two partes. The Superiour and the infe­rioure Reason. And that would haue that light of mans minde prescribing thinges deuine and eternall, to be the higher Rea­son: and that which is busied about tempo­rall and profitable thinges to be the infe­riour. Moreouer some there be also that af­firme that the Conscience, putteth downe the Minor proposition, and cōclusion. And touching the diuision of Reason, they vse Riuius lib. de consc. dis­sentit ab such examples as follow. Imagin Caesar deliberating with himselfe, whether hée shoulde take Armoure agaynste his natiue [Page] country. Conscience aunswereth that hée omnibus aijt enim conscien­tiam po­nere com­plectionē in Syllo­gismo practico. ought not to doe it. Reason Superiour con­firmeth it, because it is contrary to Godly­nesse, and to the law of nature, being in it selfe vile and vnhonest: Reason Inferioure, alloweth the same because it is in y world a thing infantous and reprochful, and ther­withall very perillous. Out of these Sinte­risis or Iudgement inferreth: that it is ab­hominable & by no meanes to be attemp­ted. In lyke maner miagine Popilius dely­berating with himselfe whether he might execute Antonies commaūndement & mur­der Cicero. Conscience telleth that he ought not to murder Cicero by any meanes. Rea­son Superior sayth, that he shall be noted of great ingratitude, if he murder that man who sometime defended him in a matter of lyfe and death, & procured his delyuerance. Reason Inferior addeth that he shal procure common hatred & mallice of all good men, if he murder a man that hath most notably preserued the liberty of his country, wher­of Sinteresis or Iudgement gathereth, that Ingratitude as a most odious & detestable thing is to be auoyded. And thus you sée all the partes of a Sillogisme which they call [Page] practick: wherin reason probable examine morall actions by the law of Nature & by principles deryued out of the same. I call Principles those Notices or knowledge which are planted & graued in our minds by good sentences cōmon & knowne vnto al men, wherevnto we without gainesaying. doe wyllingly and naturally assent. Such are these. Thankes are to be yeelded to those which deserue them. Euerie man ought to haue his owne. Wee ought to imitate no man. And these principles which apper­teyne to our duetie and vocation in a cyuill lyfe are named practicke, & their naturall habite Sinterisis. But those Theorick prin­ciples which properly belong to contem­plation & knowledge, they terme the In­telligence of principles, as for example. The whole is greater then a part. Of nothing can nothing be made, & such lyke. I thought it requisite to interlace this short admoni­tion of the termes or wordes, which wry­ters in these cases vse: whereof many cu­rious questions are of many moued, which may be the better discerned, these things knowne for my part, I thinke the first di­uision to be most commodious and playne [Page] for knowledge and vnderstanding sake, otherwise most certayne it is that these thinges differ not in mans minde, if you respect their substance and essence: being in déede mingled & confused one with ano­ther: onely for instruction sake, they are se­perate in thought and cogination. For the heauenly Philosopher S. Paule nameth the whole Sillogisme, whereof I haue spo­ken before, mans conscience.

It is euidence by the premisses that the Causes why diuers men be of d [...]uerse Cōsciences. quality of Conscience varieth, according to the condition of mens factes. For in mē that feare and loue GOD, there is a good Conscience, whiche procéedeth of vertues and sincere deliberations, and déedes brin­ging vnto man an incredible ioye & plea­sure of thinges well done: And an euell Conscience, in wicked and euell persons which by reason of vile and abhomiuable facts, of shame and discredite receiued, doth fret & knaw the minde with great vntolle­rable greefes and fraunces.

Wherein it is to be no [...]ed, that Consci­ence taketh not these differences of ye facul­tye Iudicatiue which is a naturall gifte, & therefore to be nombred among good things [Page] and is sometime named the lighte of the minde, sometime the naturall [...] time the instruction of Reason: But the The things which Con­science chife in respec­teth. Conscience taketh such qualities of these thrée thinges: Of the facte paste, of the pre­sent affection of the hart, and of the euēr fo­lowing. For if the minde be throughly per­swaded of his Innocency, it reioyceth, and cherisheth good hope, and is called a good Conscience the difynition whereof is as fo­loweth.

A good Conscience is ā ioyfull remem­braunce Defynyty­ons of the good Con­science. of our former life, well paste and spente, hauing a sure hope and expectation of some happy euent: Or thus, a good Con­science is a gladsome motion of the harte conioyned with a perfite knowledge of a fact well done, where it is called not Sci­ence but Conscience. Which good Consci­ence is aswell the cause of chearefulnesse in the face and countinaunce, being but an outward token of the inward affection: as also the breder and conseruer of the solace and ioye in the minde conceaued of good factes and happy euents. For better decla­ration hereof I will examine certayne ca­ses particulerly. [Page] And for examples sake let vs looke vppon these rich men of the world, hauing at their own will abundantly thinges necessary to a swéete and pleasaunt life, and therefore are generally almoste reputed blessed and happy. If a man with more insight examin their estate, he shall not finde any men ey­ther more miserable, or more trembling & fearing Gods wrath and vengeaunce, then they if at any time they happen to call an accompt of them selues, by what meanes they haue heaped these thinges together. I doe not nowe speake of such as haue gotten riches and increased their substance with­out any mans iniurie, if any such be (for in déede such byrdes are rarely séene:) But I note those that wythout respect of right or wrong, doe onely or chiefely séeke for gaine, neglecting in the meane season those things which principally doe adorne and bewtifie man. Whiles such men doe recorde their couen and frawde in gathe­ring gayne: what agonies and passions of minde? what gna wings and woundes of Conscience doe they abide? wherwith they bring as it were scourged and whi [...]te, doe susteyne inwardly vnspeakeable misery [Page] in their externall shewe of felicitie. On the other side they that with honest and lawful meane growe to be ritche, and haue vsed no cellusion nor hurtful guile in their trade of lyfe, must néedes inwardly reioyce, and giue endelesse praise and thankes to the al­mightie for his goodnesse mercie towarde them. Moreouer, those meli that excell in Of bewty and strength bewtie, strength, health, or other giftes of the body, must néedes be sayde to haue re­receyued great benfites of God, but those that abuse their bewtie to vnchaste loue, their strength to hurt their neighbor, their health to filthie and vnlawfull pleasures, what miseries and sorrowes shall they af­terwarde Of Nobility susteyne. We maye iudge the fame of Nobilitie, of power, of glorie, of honor and such lyke. For if onely vertuo be the true and perfite Nobilitie (as the Poet sayeth:) Then surely they may not rightly be called Noble, that onely descend of a famous house, and haue gotten Armes and Nobilitie by their renowmed Aunces­tors, that is with other mens vertues: or else (as often it happeneth) by our notori­ous Pyraries, robbres, or murders: but those onely that with their owne worthye [Page] and excellent deeds haue aduaunced them­selues, or being sprong of Noble paren­tage by imitation, doe withall their ende­uour, study to resemble them from whence they came Such the as are Noble in déede, doe conceiue of their excellent and worthy déedes towarde their countrie an vnspeak­able ioy in their Conscience: whereas the Noble vnnoble with his guyltie conscience (howsoeuer men fawne vpon him or flat­ter him) is inwardly vexed & tormented.

And whereas that is a right power and The abuse of power & auttoryty. good deminion, to haue many whose welth and prosperity a man may tender and con­sider, whose liberties & lawes a man maye defende and conserue: they that doe other­wise, must néedes haue déepe griefes, and perillous woundes in their mindes. The example of auncient Tyrauntes in all hy­stories verifie the same: as Dionisius, Pha­laris, Nero, and manye moe innumerable. Whose great and manyfolde miseries that I may omitte, which haue vered them day and night, by meanes of their monstrous déedes, yet I note this one thing very wor­thy obseruation, that such excellent & wor­thy wightes as haue deserued the loue of [Page] all men: these Tyrauntes haue not onely alwayes feared and hated: but also haue vanished or expelled out of their compa­nyes, yea and sometime haue put them to drath, and the stowte & valyant men they hate, lest they should attempt with force to brydle their crueltie: the wise men: least they should moderate their rashnesse and impotencie: the tust men, lest the multi­tude shoulde be ledde away through admi­ration of their vertues. Well sayd Salust, Kings & Tyrants doe alwayes more suspect good men then badde, and other mens ver­tues are terrible vnto them. Remouing ther­fore from them such men, whose vertues their naughtie mindes detest and abhorre, they conioyne with Cutthrctes and Ruf­fynes, and commit bothe themselues and their subiectes to their Regimentes, And yet hereby can they not exclude feare, for they alwayes mistrust their garde and o­ther kéepers of their bodye, and thinke that the edge of the sworde is alwayes euen at their necks. Dionisius doing is often men­tioned, who hangyng a sharpe poynted sworde by the heire of a horsetaile ouer his friends heade: playnely paynteth out the [Page] inwarde conscience and outwarde lyfe of Tyrantes.

The same Denys as Tully writeth shon­ned the company and societie of men: and ledde his lyfe with Fugitiues, Ruffyans, and Barbarous people, and reputed al such for his enimies, in whome there appeared any shewe of vertue and honestie. But cō ­trariwise those Princes that séeke to main­taine the welth of their subiects, that yéelde vnto them lawfull and néedefull liberties: that thinke with themselues the proper du­tye and part of a Prince, not to consist in precious garments, nor delicious banquets and vayne pleasures, not in great heapes of Gold and Siluer: But in pietic, vertue, and prudencie: Such Princes I saye will not haue neyther of their counsayle, ney­ther of their Court, ryotous Bankeruptes and Ruffyans, but will be assisted with such who bend all their studies for the pros­peritie of their countrie: and will content himselfe onely wyth the friendshyp and fa­miliaritie of good men.

True glorie is much accounted of, and True glory not without cause. It is a Renowmed fame for some notable and excellent deede done: [Page] hauing annexed vnto it the loue and reue­rence of good men. But I praye you what pleasure can those conceyue hereof, who being altogether voide of vertue & honesty, haue eyther by some mischicfe gotten them fame amongst the multitude: eyther by Userie, Extorcion & oppression of the poore, are become notable? assuredly such men do heare their owne conscience tell them ano­ther tale: and in continuance of tyme that vayne perswasion lyke smoke vanisheth a­waye. Contrariwise, these that by their owne domerits are magnified and aduan­ced to true honor and glorie by good men: must néeds enioy vnspeakable solaces and pleasures in their myndes: and do account the same a sufficient rewarde for all their trauayles and aduentures.

So Pompeius Magnus, When the people did salute hym, calling hym the father of their countrie, acknowledged that he had receyued that daye a most ample & worthy reward for all those laboures which hée had susteyned for his country. Therfore welth, Riches, Powre, Glory, Honour, strength, helth, and such like, whe [...] by the madd mul­titude measureth mannes felicity cannot [Page] bring vnto man any stable or firm comfort vnlesse they haue anexed vnto them the te­stimony of a sincere Conscience, for that pleasure is not durable, which ariseth of in continency, of ambition, of auarice, of in­temperancy, and of others of that Rable.

All these certeynlye are deceiue able and spotted repastes. Moste truely is it sayde, The feare of the Lorde delighteth the harte, and giueth ioy and gladnesse continualy. But the vngodly haue no ioy at all. Thus they that leade a godly and honest life, albeit they contemne or haue not these sēsuall de­lectations, and doe not follow Venus court neither haunt delicate fare, nor estéeme dauncing, wanton playing, and other va­nities, yet no doubte they liue in greater myrth, and ioye then those carnall men: Who what with the furors of theyr Con­science, the remembraunce of Gods wrath and malediction hanging ouer theyr head, and the continuall feare of the greate daye of doome, doe leade a wretched and misera­ble life.

Aduersity and misery so gréeuous to this our nature is it not mitigated and made more easy by reason of a good Conscience: [Page] That saying is no more cōmon then true. It is the greatest solace to wante Guylt. A­gayne: It is no finale thing to be innocent in aduersitie.

And euen so it fareth in matters of Re­giment, wherein if happily at anye tyme there happen ouerthwart euentes to mens good consultations or when good actions are sinisterly interpreted by [...]ll men: what other consplation doth so effectuallye diminish griefes & sorrowes of the minde, as an vpright Conscience. Which thing you maye euidently sée by reading the Ro­mayne hystories in Furnis Camillus, Scipio. A [...]icanus and many others, who salued the déede woundes of exyle and banishment, and the ingratitude of their Citizens, with the certaine knowledge and remembrance of their valyaunt actes in defence of their Countrie! Socrates vmustlye condemned, spake so deuinely (as Cicero recordeth) euē when he shoulde suppe vp the deadly poy­son: that he séemed not to descend into hell, but to ascende into heauen. Aepaminōdas striken into the brest with an arrowe figh­ting in defence of his countrie, & throughe faintnesse inforced to lye downe in his Pa­nilion, [Page] woulde not suffer the arrowe to be plucked out, before he might knowe the e­uent of the battayle: And at last when ty­dinges was brought him of the flight and conquest ouer his enimies, he then at the last wylled the arrowe to be drawne out: and pouring out his heart bloude, he dye [...] myldely, gratulating so happy successe vn his countrie: The holy scripture proposeth vnto vs store of such examples: and speci­ally Iob pressed with so great calamity; and almost swallowed vp with miseries: when his childrē were gone: his wife raging and rayling, and his friends in stéede of honye, gaue vnto hym talke as bitter as Gaull, what lenitiue had he but a good conscience, borne vp with a strong fayth, whereby hée cried saying. Though he kill me, yet will I Iob. 19. trust in him still; and albeit his frendes tould him that he was forsaken of God, yet he held faste by the Ancker of Gods prouy­dence.

I know (sayth he) that my redeemer liueth, and that I shall rise agayne at the last day, and shalbe compassed agayn wish my skinne, and shall see god in my flesh. Ioseph that Godly and chaste young man, being chayned in [Page] she stockes, what solace had hee in the déepe dungeon, but his sincere mind and vnspot­ted Conscience: And euen so it was with Eliazarus, with Paule, and with all the A­postles in their distresse, for Eliazarus sayth O lord I am piteously tormented in my bo­dy, but I willingly suffer all these thinges for thy names sake, Paule being certified by A­gabus, of the afflictions which he should suf­fer at Ierusalem. I ( [...] he) am ready not only to be bound, but also to suffer death for the name of the Lord Iesus. The Apostles like­wise being scorged for preaching the Gos­pel, Went away with Ioy, that they were found worthy to beare infamy for the name of the Lord Iesus.

The principal cause of these thinges was doubtlesse a good conscience, which writeth sorrowe into ioy, calamity to felici­ty, and to conclude, death into lyfe it selfe.

OF THE EVELL AND COR­rupt Conscience.

AS THERE IS IN GOD that supreme and nigh maiest is of God, a wisedome descerning be­twene good & euil things: and also a will wishing goodnesse, with a deuine delectation & plea­sure: & contrariwise nylling that which is naught, and with great indignation and anger reiecting and punishing the same. Euen so hath he created the lyfe of man: that there shoulde be certaine lawes as it were notices or admonitions of the mind, commaunding thinges honest, and forbid­ding the contrary, besides these he hath ap­pointed magistrats that they should defend the good, and punishe the euill. And to this ende were thinges thus ordered and dispo­sed in the creation: that men might learne that there is both a God, being a wise and iust Iudge: and there withall that manne should knowe and perceyde himselfe to be the ymage of God: whome he ought to i­mitate and followe. For God is neyther knowne of heauen nor of earth: of plants: [Page] neyther yet of beastes, although they obey him in theire kinde, but Aungelles and men onely hath he so created, that he might he obeyed, knowne & worshipped of them, and that they being fashioned lyke vnto God: might not pyne away and dye wyth impietie and vexation of minde: but ha­uing their hartes agréeable to right reason and iudgement, might reioyce in good acti­ons as well before as after the facte.

But in this corrupt and wounded na­ture, mans hart burneth as it were wyth flames, méere contrary to right iudgement and at the first trembleth not to runne in­to mischiefe. Nowe for that it concerneth Gods iustice to punishe and route out ob­stinate and rebellious natures: therefore hath he conioyned the dolor and anguishe of the Conscience, following wicked and mischeuous deedes, that might (as it were an hangman) punishe and execute offen­ders. And although this sorrowe he some­what dull nowe and then in persons, yet at the last, God doth so kindle it in the wic­ked, that they tremble and quake, and are oppressed (as it were) with the noyse of the thunder as it is sayde in the Psalme. In [Page] thy anger thou shalt vexe and trouble them. Whereof Plato wryteth excellently in this Plato pri­mo de re­pub. wise. When an euill man draweth towarde his ende, he is sodainely striken with a foure and care of such thinges, as he once thought not of before: and those talke of Deuils of Hell and of paynes which the wicked suffer there where of he made a scoffe and stale iest, doe then miserablye encoumber his minde, wherby he faleth into an examination of his former life. And recording his vile and filthy actes: hee is quyet neyther waking not slee­ping: & often times he sturteth in his sleepe, as it were a fearefull childe out of his dreame, and so lyuing awhyle, he droupeth away, in euill hope.

Sophocles wryteth, that Oedipus beyng olde and blynde, was ledde to Athens by Sopho­cles. Oedipus. his daughter Antigona. Who dying there, was buried in the Temple of Erinnyus. By the which fable he signifieth the vnqui­et Conscience at the hower of death of all such as haue ledde an vnhonest lyfe. For Erinnius. Erinnyus by interpretatiō are nothing else then contentious perturbations of the minde, by reason of an euill Conscience, which alwayes wayte vpon vnhonest actes [Page] and déeds. And they are sayd to be minde­still, for that condigne punishment, for sin­full actes are neuer forgotten, whiche al­though they be for a time prolonged, yet this is the very property and effect of E­riunius that when mischiefe and payne is least looked for, then it falleth moste grée­uously. Thus much I thought: good to note touching the occasions of doloures, and gréefe in the euell conscience, now lette vs consider the difinition of the same.

An euell Conscience is a heauy and vex­ing The difini­on of an e [...] ­uel Consci­ence. motion of the hart, conioyned with per­fect knowlege of a detestable fact. For assu­redly furies doe alwayes pursue and chase the wicked, not with burning torches and fire brandes, as inter Iudes and playes sette out, but with hor [...]res of Conscience, and anguish of minde, wayting alwayes vpon mischieuous men, euen as the shade we fo­loweth the body, not suffering them to beeath and as it were to pause one [...] ­iuente from trembling and feare. And for this cause onely Seneca commendeth that saying of the [...]pienre: The gilty man may happily hide himselfe sometime, but he hath no assured confidence to escape. Whiche [Page] thinges as they are true, so are they con­firmed with Histories through [...]ute all tymes and ages. Tacitus reporteth that Tiberius vex [...]d with such torment [...]a, [...] vnto the Senat [...] in this wise: What should: I write vnto you my Lordes, or how should I write, or rather what shoulde. I not wryte, I at this instant All the Gods of heauen at ons rather distroy the then to pine awaye dayly thus as I doe. Such plagues and tormentes had Tiberi [...]s inwardly, by his monstrous [...]dings; Neyther is that [...]odn [...] the purpose [...] which a certayne man vt [...]ered. If the wic­ket of Titaunts minds might be vnlocked [...] ­midsi shōld [...] see their mangled wound [...], for as it fareth with the body by reason of [...] stripes, and blowes, euen so it the minde at [...]oil resite and torne with cruelty, filthy lust, f [...]udo malice, Tiberius. and such like. For [...] Tiberius had [...]o wante of any [...] worldly thinges, [...] that might serue to solace and comford [...] afflicted mind, yet was he hot able by any of meanes to ease or cons [...]ate the tormentes [...] and paynes of his Conscience. Suetonitis Caligula. wryteth of Caligula, who seemed neyther to care for God nor man, yet at ye least roum­bling and glauneing of thundering and [Page] lightning, he would winke and couer hys face: & when with greater terror heauen and earth seemed both to shake, & to burne with f [...]e, he woulde runne into corners and hyde himselfe. The same Author also noteth home Nero, after he had murdered Nero. his naturall mother, was so greeuouslye ve [...]ed in conscience, that he could not be cō ­forted, neyther with ioyfull show [...]es and acclamations of the people, nor with the gratulacions of the Senate, but alwayes confessing his crime: and declaring howe his mothers Ghoast appeared vnto hym, vnished his speedie destruction. And more­ouer offering his heathenishe sacrifice by the han [...]s of his Southsayers, he wylled them to call vp his mothers soule, and to make attonement betweene hir and hym, that he might liue in [...]eace & rest, Richarde the thirde king of Englande of that name, who with great tyranny came to the king­dome, murdering not onely his enimyes, Richard the third. but suche as had beene hys faythfull assis­tants: neyther sparing his Nephews king Edwarde sonnes nor his owne wife, but imbruing himselfe in bloud on euery side, that hee mighte sette hym selfe sure in hys [Page] Throne. When he came to a vilage cales Bosworth not far from Leycester, where he ment to encounter his enemies. The same wente that the mghte before the fielde was sought, he had a dreadfull & terrible dreme. For it séemed to him being a sléepe, that [...] saw diuers Images like terrible deuilles, which pulled and haled him, not sufferinge him to take any quiet or rest. The whithe straunge vision not so stroke his harte wish a suddayne feare, as it stuffed his head and troubled his minde with many busie infa­ginations. For incontinent after, his harte being almost damped, he pregnosticated be­fore the doubtfull chaunce of the battalle to come, not vsing such chearefulnesse and [...]o­rage of mind and countenaunce as he was accustomed to doe before he came towarde the battayle. Wherevnto Polidore addeth Polido­rus virg. angli. hist. lib. 25. thys fitte and excellent Sen­tence, I verily thinke this was no dreme, but a punction and sting of of his sinfull Consci­ence, which being so much more wounded, as the offence is more heynous in degree, which surely if at any other time, yet princi­pally at the hower of death, it calleth freshly to our rememberaunce mischiefes con [...]icted [Page] and paynted forth before our eyes, punishe­mentes imminent, so that in the momente of death we are pricked in spirite for oure euell life and euen then we depart this world with intollerable vexation and griefe. Moyses ve­raly doth most liuely expresse the misery of a guity Conscience after this maner. And thy life shall hang before thee, and thou shalt feare both night and day, and shalt haue no a­surance of thy life. In the morning thou shalt say, would God it were euening, and at the E­ueuing thou shalt say would Got it were morninge, for the feare of thine harte which thou shalte feare, Deut. 28. Howe breefe­ly and playnely doeth Moyses paynte oute the dayly, and continuall straites and ago­nies of a troubled Conscience. Semblably speaketh Salust of Cateline, For that impure minde of his, detested of God and man, could not be quieted night nor day. Therefore his couloure was pale and wanne, his eyes were foule and his pace sometime swift, sometime slow, in his face and countenaunce there ap­peared Tiranny. To this ende serueth y out of the booke of the Origin of y world, where Adam & Eue. Moyses wryteth that our first parentes af­ter their transgression, did hide them selues [Page] and shonne the sighte of God, theire feare­full conscience without all doubte condein­ning them, therevnto accordeth that in the same booke, of Iosephes bretheren fearing Ioseph [...]s bretheren. leste now theire Father being deade, he would remember [...] [...]ruell dealing with him and reuehge the [...]ct [...]id euen so was it with the traytor Iudas who weary of his life: by meanes of a wounded Conscience, Iudas. strangled himselfe. But I cease from ga­thering any moe examples, for it is moste euidente that as the sincere Conscience a­monge the greatest sorrowes and miseries of this world, ministreth an incredible ple­sure, and as it were taste of the heauenly blisse, so the impure and corrupte Consci­ence; recordeth his guiltes and transgressi­ons, tormenteth man in this worlde: and in some maner representeth vnto him the furies sorrowes and cruell tormentes of Hell. And as we see it come to passe in those that haue bene incombred with a long con­sumption, albeit they dye at their appoin­ted tyme, yet lyuing they séeme to dye ley­surely, rather then to lyue, so it fareth with the gaulled minde, and scared conscience, albeit they shall perishe euerlastingly, vn­lesse [Page] they repent, yet they cannot vpon this earth go skotfree, but receiue a taste of their appointed fayre in the worlde to come.

Nowe if a merie and contented minde (according to the wise mans saying) pro­cureth Pro. 17. An vnquiet Con [...]tience hasheneth old age, & sycknesse. a florishing age, and if a sorrowfull spirite dryeth the bones, it cannot other­wise be, but the inward agony of the mind, breaketh out into the body, as well impay­ring the health, as the strength thereof. The Philosophers and Phisitions, holde this opinion, that through auxitie & griefe of minde man pyneth awaye, waxeth olde quickly, and is taken away with vntimely death. And therfore they prescribe in their dyets and ordery vsuals, that all men desi­rous of manye yeares and long lyfe, ought to auoyde great pensiuenesse and gréeuous cares as cause thereof. Whereby it maye easely appeare, howe pestelent and consu­ming a plague it is, which weakeneth and in the ende vtterly destroyeth bodye and minde, whereof Fabius speaketh excellent­ly, if I can Iudge anye thing in this wyse. There is nothing so busied and variable, no­ching so rent and torne with dyuers affecti­ons, as is the euill and vncleane minde. For [Page] when it attempteth anye thing, it is wonder­fully distract with hope care and labor, and atchiuing his desire, it is wrong and racked with carefulnes, fearefulnes, and an expectati­on An euell Conscience [...]ayde of [...]ery bla [...] ­ [...] [...]. of al mischief. The same is confirmed by the holy Father S. Ambrose, The corrupte Conscience, starteth at euery cracke, and the raw woundes cannot be corrected, with any playster, whatsoeuer it heareth red or spoken, it accounteth as spoken againste it selfe. If a man eate, if he studye, if he praye, his crime is straighte waye before him, the Conscience witnesseth agaynst him, pleadeth against him condemneth him. Which thing considered by the Prophete, caused him to speake in The horcor of an euell Conscience this sort. The wicked are lyke the raging of the Sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast vp mire and dyrte, there is no peace sayth the Lorde to the wicked.

The heathen wryting of [...]he manifolde tormentes of Hell, spake of the rauening byrde called a Gryffon, which should gnaw vpon mans lyuer, by the which they signi­ [...]e nothing else but the gnawing of the con­science, mangling as it were manne wyth dreadfull remembrances of euill, commit­ted in this lyfe. Of a verie lyke opinion are [Page] some Deuynes, who thinke that men shall abyde the greeuous tormēts of Hel, in their Conscience which our Sauiour calleth the worme, gnawing the conscience of the wic­ked, neuer dying.

But as that opinion of theirs is not true, that the paynes of Hell are tollerated in the All yartes shalbe [...]e [...] ­cd and tor­mented in Apell. conscience onely. For out of doubt, al parts of man, internall and externall, shall per­ticulerly abide vntollerable payne: so I will not denie but that to other tormentes, thys of the conscience is added, as a princi­pall weight or heape: whereby with great bytternesse of minde the wicked recognise, and set as it were present before their eics, their foule facts and detestable deedes done in their lyfe.

And to shutte vp this matter, whereas [...]ayth is the vnely Instrument, whereby An exhor­tationte beware of an euell Conscience man obteyneth iustification and immorta­litie, which can not be liuely in anye man, hauing a guplly conscience: hereby we may cafely gather, how detcstable and horrible a mischiefe that is. Therefore whosoeuer séeketh saluation by faith: it standeth them vpon to brydle their affonions and conco­piscences: and to commyt nothing against [Page] the commaundements of God. For he that transgresseth his conscience accusing hym, howe can he perswade himselfe, that God will be mercyfull vnto him. The faythfull in déede nowe and then stumble and stag­ger, it cannot be denied, but oute of all doubt, a true and lyuely fayth, hath no fel­lowship with the workes of darkenesse. Moreouer seing that death in it selfe of all terrible thinges is most terrible: it must néedes be much more horrible in those who through the accusation of their owne con­science: looke for a spéedie passage into hell tormentes. For nathelesse doath it selfe is not so terrible as the [...]ugsome opiniō ther­of: for euen thereafter as the conscience is good or badde, so doth shee wyllingly em­brace or dreadfully eschewe the same. The godly receyue death wyllingly and gladly, which they knowe to be sent vnto thē from God as a delyuerance and passage, out of the miseries of this troublesome worlde, into the porte of eternall rest, but the wic­ked declyne the same as the perillous rocks and sandes, where they must needes make shypwracke of eternall lyfe. Therefore it was truely and comfortably uttered by a [Page] certaine writte. We haue no cause to feare any thing in death, if our life haue not com­mitted any thing procuring cause of feare. For it is not possible that he should dye im­penitently that hath lyued well.

That a pure Conscience is to be respec­ted in all humane actions, where­with a man may content hymselfe.

WHERE AS there are manye thinges The So [...]ace and comfor [...] of a good Conscience. notably written by Cicero, which argue his great wisedome and knowledge, yet amongest them all hath he left no saying more excellent and deuine then that in his booke intituled Of olde age: to wyt. That a conscience of a lyfe well spent, and a remembrance of many good deedes is a thing most comfortable. Which worthie and memorable sentence, is not onely agréeable with the secret iudgement of anye good man: but is also consonant to the opinions of auncient Sages and good [Page] Deuines, who with one mouth doe wich their voyces confirme the same. And it is worthy to be obserued, that Tully maketh not a common person to vtter that sentēcc, but Cato surnamed yt Sensor, a vcric graue Cato. and wise father. Whose vprightnesse in cyuill Regimc̄t, long experience in world­ly affayres, worthie vertues, and singuler wisedome, all the Romayne hystories doc at large proposse and expresse: Cato with­out al controucrsie spake so of his owne ex­perience, contenting himselfe with that in­warde testimonie, when he susteyncd the checkes of his superiors, the enuye of hys equalles, and the obloque of his inferiors, an vnthankfull rewarde for that hys vi­gelant and fatherly care for the prosperous and happie estate of his Citizens and coun­trie men. And it were to be wished that all men, whether they liue priuately or pub­likely, woulde in all their doinges set that paterne before their eyes, wherein they be­holding themselues daylie, as it were in a cléere glasse, might euidently sée what [...]eu­tefieth or blemisheth their vocation or con­dition of lyfe.

And that these things may be the better [Page] considered: it shall not be amisse perticu­lerly to open & vnfolde the duetyes of some functions in the common weale, whereby men maye passe from the partes to the whole, and by a fewe to vnderstande what is conuenient for all.

Thou art called to be a Iudge, or cho­sen an Arbyter to composse controuersies, The part of a iudge. sée that therein thou doe nothing against law and conscience respecting any person: Let neyther threttes, neyther flatterie draw thée one heare breadth from vpright­nesse. Remēber in that matter thou ought neyther to haue friend nor enimie, Coosen nor straunger. For all these thinges ought to be set a side in iudgement. Yeelde noth­ing to fauour nor consanguinitie: nothing to hatred or displeasure, nothing to hope or feare, which things commonly stricke men starke blinde in iudgement: & to be short, suffer not anye affection to be of thy coun­sayle, but consider the lawe, and moderate the same, if it be extréeme with a good con­science. So did good Aristides, who appoin­ted a daies man betwéene two men, wher­of the one to the ende he might drawe him into displeasure with his aduersarie, pro­duced [Page] many impertinent thinges: as that his aduersarie had also much accused Aris­tides. Well sayth the Arbiter, omyt at thys tyme these matters, and alleage onely those thinges wherein he hath abused thee. Cato also as Valerius reporteth, sitting in iudge­ment vpon a wicked and infamous Sena­tor, receyuing Pompeius Magnus his let­ters commendatorie in the behalfe of the malefactor: would not suffer thē to be ope­ned. The good Iusticer would rather folow his owne internal iudgement, then obteyn thankes of that mightie man: teaching by his example that a Iudge ought not by any request, rewarde or fauour, to be led from the true execution of Iustice.

Those that are called in anye state to be The part of a Counsel­ler and Captayne. of the priuie counsayle, ought to direct all their consultations to the helth and wealth of their countriemen: And albeit he sée be­fore his eyes present daunger with floudes of enuy and malyce, together with false ru­moures, & vniust suspitions of his doinges, yet let him not follow vayne fame, which neyther profiteth the euill, neyther hurteth the good: but the iudgemente of his conscience as it were a guide and [Page] Lodesman in all his actiōs. Neyther would I haue any man to mistake me, as though I ment that we should altogether neglect what the worlde thinketh and speaketh of vs (which minde ought to be farre from a christian for we ought not onely to avoyde euell, but to be far from all suspicions of e­uell, but I saye principally and chiefly our Conscience is to be respectted. Yet we sée the contrary in these dayes to vsuall, & that saying euery where verified, Multi famam pauci conscientiā verent, verentur. Many tē ­der their owne fame and credite but very few theire Conscience. So Callicratides, a Cap­tayne of the Lacedemonians, hauing grea­ter respect of his priuate glory, then of hys Conscience, in preseruing of his Nauy re­ceiued a great ouerthrowe of the enemy. Cleombrotus also fearing enuy onely, en­countered rashly with Epaminondas and became almoste an vtter ruine to the La­redemonians.

Richard plantaginate duke of yorck because he would not séeme to be inclosed and kept in his Castle of Sandale by a woman, and resting only vpon his credite and fame, hee hauing not aboue fiue thousand men, rashly [Page] ioyned battayle with the Quéene, hauing xviij. M. good souldyers, contrary to coun­sayle, wisedome and al pollicy, and so rash­ly ronne into his destruction. Q. Fabius Maximus after warde of his dooinges sur­named the Delair, more discretely handled the matter who in that tottering time of his country, abstayned for a season from fight with Hannibale, nothing accoump­ting of the peoples obloquies, who called him a timerous man and a towarde, being in déede a right valiaunt man, and a stoute warriour, but contented himselfe with the [...]mer consideration of his own counsailes, of whome Ennius writeth thus.

Vnus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem Non ponebatenim rumores ante Salutem. And assuredly if Fabius: had not so done, the state of Rome had then vtterly ben sub­uerted. And therefore hee rested vpon his owu Conscience, and not vpon populare rumoures, & liked rather that men should spèake euell of his wise regimente, then with their fauourable acclamations, to, cast away himselfe and indanger his coun­try.

The Sages of the Lawe beinge called to­giue [Page] out their opinions and spéeth, nyther The office of good Lawyers. touching the righte iudgement of cases, or of factes and déedes done, maye not séeke to speake pleasantly but sincerely, they ought not to disprayse thinges commendable, nor commend thinges blameable, no not if hée be allured to the one with hope of great fa­uour and gayne, or drawen from the other with greate terrors and daungers. Suche Papinia­nus. a Lawyer was Papinianus of the Empe­roure Antonius his counsayle, who being desired; & afterward with terrible threats commaunded to defend the Emperours ty­ranous facte, in murdering his yong bro­ther Geta euen in his mothers lappe, was willing rather to abide death, thē to speake thinges contrarie to the law of nature and of al nations, answering Antonius franck­ly. O Emperoure it is more easie to commit paricide then to defend it: Suche another Sir Iames Hales. Lawyer was sir Iames Hales knight one of the iustices of the common place, who be­ing called by men of great power & might, to subscribe vnto a deuice for yt dissenheri­ting of the then Lady Mary, & Lady Eliza­beth, would in no wise neither by curteous nor seuere spéeches be broughte vnto it.

And afterwarde in the dayes of bloude, when all his fellowes changed their coates he at a quarter sessions holden in Kente fol­lowed the lawe, and gaue charge vpon the statutes of King Henry the eyght and Ed­ward the sixt, in derogation of the primacy of the Church of Rome. For whiche cause his former fidelity forgotten, he was com­mitted to pryson, and there so terrifyed by the bloudy Priestes, that he also at the last would shew himselfe a conformable man, whereby he was brought into the Quéenes presence, and receiued wordes of grace and comfort, but alack whiles he obteyned this he loseth gods grace and his guiding spirit: and the Diuell that capitall and auncient enimy of man, leadeth him vnto a shallowe brooke within halfe a mile of his own dwel­ling, where he hauing no doubte a gauled Conscience, for the shipwracke of his fayth lay downe groueling and with muche la­boure drowned him selfe. His laste fal and punishment succéeding the same, doeth py­thily enough perswade men to auoyde such declinations from Iustice, and to contend with al their powers and might to imitate the former notable and worthy déede of his [Page] in pronouncing what law and equitie re­quired, euen to those that then were mighty and malicious enemies of the same.

Those that be in authority and vse the same, to hale and pull from the ministerye, Spotlers o [...] the church. landes and possessions giuen and left to the Church, by the liberality of our forefathers cannot but haue an vnquiet Conscience, which albeit for a time it seeme to sleepe, yet it will wake at the laste, and to their great vexation will sette before their eyes their rapine and spoyle, in degree nothing behinde detestable Sacrilege. Their Con­science will one day tell them that where­of now they cannot be ignorant: that these thinges were geuen of old toward the con­seruing of religion, and to the needeful vses of the Church, to mainteyne Pastors, Preachers, Doctors, and interpreters of Gods law, to bréede and bring vp yong Plantes that may in time, become fruite­full trees, in Gods orcharde, as well in pre­ching pure doctrine, as in confounding he­resis.

And to conuerte suche thinges to satisfie priuate auarice, rape, greedines, & vanity, what other thing can it be then moste hor­rible [Page] impiety and wickednes. It auayleth them very litle to say that those goods haue béene abused, or that in the beginning they were dedicate to idolatrous vses, it is an old and good saying, propter abusum, res non tollenda, that thinges necessary and prof [...]ta­ble are not to be taken away for the abuse sake only. And if we haue thought it hereto fore vnlawful & vngodly to abuse the goods of the Church in pompe and pleasure (as in déede they haue béene, which all good men lament) let vs think it more intollerable & impius, to make those things priuat which before were publique: and to transferre them from deuine, to prophane vses. Tou­ching the exchange of the possessors, Luther that worthy man was wont fynely to say, that these goods, were sometime geuen to Asses and Swine, meaning rude monkes and Godlesse Epicures, and now at the last they returne to like persons agayne, surely he spake rightly: for excepte a fewe, such goods haue ben a pray to hunters, foulers, and such like. But God (such is his righte­ous and iust dealings, although secrete) suf­fereth not these breakers of deade mens wils and testamentes, to haue theirs per­formed.

For commonly suche fathers doe deliuer like children, who being Coggers, foysters, and at the last banckeroute: inioy not com­monly in the third dissente, goods so racked and drawn together. As for their dedica­tion to prophane vses, it is no new obiecti­on. And the aunswere shapen of olde maye yet serue to wit that idolatry ceassing those goods ought to bee imployed to the vse of Christes church, euen as Constantine the Emperour tooke the ecclesiasticall gooddes of the Donatistes and bestowed them vpon the Catholick church, wherof when the Do­natistes complained as of great wrong and iniury offred by the catholiques. S. August. afterward defended the fact, and aunswe­red them. That those goods in déede, were the churches, and might well by the superi­our maiestrate, bee taken from those that were no members of the same, and resto­red to the right owners, to wit the Church onely.

These possessions and donacions then do In whome the proper­ty of church goods doth teste. appertaine neither to the Prince, nor to the Priest, nor to the people perticulerly, but to the whole church and their property can­not [Page] by any meanes be chaunged. Ioseph bought all the substaunce of the Egiptions to the house of Pharao, but the landes and fieldes of the Priestes he touched not. Gen. 47. The reason is giuen in another place, That amongs other priuileges of ye clergy their goods should neuer be allienated from them, for that their groundes are a perpe­tuall possession. Num. 25. Therefore the blessed martir Laurence led by y holy ghost, would not deliuer Decius the Emperoure Backbiters and sclaun­derers of the ministe­tye. the treasure of the Church. These gréedye worldlinges when the matter will not support then, turne to the persons, and they saye that ministers are idle and liue with­out laboure, that they are couetous and am­bicious: therfore the lesse portions will serue them, and thereby their mindes will not be so busied about worldly affaires, and therewithall they ought to be contente, for humility and pouerty say they, is the prea­chers profession and such doth our sauioure pronounce blessed and happy.

What idlencsse and wante of laboure ho­nest ministers liue in, God knoweth, but it may truely be sayd of moste of them that their study which Epicures call idlenesse, [Page] consumeth the strength of the body, and weareth the very soule, as all that put the same in vre can testify. And as for the A­uarice and couetousenesse of the Preachers let that fault touch some, but it cannot bée verifyed of the moste part: For dayly expe­rience, in the country abrode, letteth them see ministers, widdowes, and orphaynes, to haue scarce sufficient to pay their credi­tors, and to hire them a cotage to hide them in, from storms and tempestes: be it that a few of the clergy in place of honor prouide better. But not onely the poore country minister, but also the doctor in the Cathe­drall Churches, haue lefte those whome God willed them to care for, in no better e­state then I haue sayde, power and habili­ty not seruing them any better. Is this thē that great gréedinesse which so much gree­ueth these contemners of Gods worde and of his ministers?

Now in that they will haue ministers, and preachers, to follow with Friers wil­full pouerty: besides that they do violence to the holy scripture, which speaking of a Christian and Godly life, generally these good men forsoth maye not abide that those [Page] precepts should be extended to their bellies but to the pore ministers only, they also fo­low Iulian the Apostate, who taking from pore Christians their goods and liuinges, told them that it was theire profession if a man tooke their coates, to giue him their cloakes also, with suche prety conceites, doe these Hypocrites sporte them selues, and spoyle the pore ministery of their dew and lawfull liuelehode.

But some forsooth can not abyde suche extremity, they will haue the tēporalities only as they cal them, that is they wil haue the Royaltie, & the ministers shall haue ne­cessaries: And would god they would leaue Christes church, but to serue euen necessi­ties, but according to the commō proueth. They giue a flee, and take a Cammell, they leaue a louse and take an horse. It were good for them to haue in remembraunce the old saying: It is a destruction for a man to de­nour that which is sanctified, and after the vowes to inquire. Pro. 20. Of the which you may réede further in Moyses and Ma­la. Leuit. 22. Mala. 11.

Those that haue the Tutell or wardship The office and duty of yong Gentlemen, oughte to vse their [Page] landes and liuinges, and chiefely their Pu­pils of Patron [...] toward their wards in good education, as they may with a sincere Conscience, giue a reckening there­of another day, both before God and man. But nowe a dayes the number is greate of those that more respect their owne gayne, then the good guyding of their pupilles, so that simple and weake infancy, wanteth not her vnderminers, Demostenes compla­neth muche of his Tutors, that they sup­pressed his parentes goods guilefully, and respected nothing his good education. Such a Tutor was Richard duke of Gloucester, of whose life and death I haue spoken som­what & therefore wil be the shorter in this matter.

It is much to be lamented, that wardes in England are as commenly bought and solde, as are brute beastes and Cattell, and vngodly mariages often times made, be­tweene eyther infantes, or such as be of tē ­der yeares, who before they come to theire Of the ma­riages of wardes. mature time of discertion, are led by other mens eyes and hartes, to that, will they nill they, which liketh not them but their Guerdons & Tutors. Whereby it fauleth out most commonly, that those that are lin­ked [Page] together in such wise with formal ma­trimomes, and ceremoinall, rather then materiall, doe not loue, but mortally hate, and detest ech other, whome neuer liking loue of lawful matrimony, but greedy gain forcibly coupled and comoyned. Dayly deuorces and often murders iusuing suche supposed mariages in this our country, sheweth forthy incommodity of the same: but especially is most lamentable that our law is nere repugnaunt to the dinne law, which in semblable cases permitteth to ech party frée election, but there is good hope, that such as be in authority wil also reform this thing so farre out of all good forme.

Their diuers and sundry good prouisions in all other matters, biddeth vs lóoke for the li [...]e in this, which God graunt.

To descend to lesse matters, let men in Of by [...]ts & scllers. bying and selling, respect their Conscience, and not follow peruerse custome, let them thinck that there is no good gayne, where playne dealing hath no place. And to omit those that sell not their wares, according to their valure, but for as muche as they can: doe we thinck that those men respect theire Conscience, that mingle their wares and [Page] corrupt the same. For example y W [...]ther selling wine with-water for pure wine & cousloring, els mingle his wines, cannot haue herein a good and honeste meaning. Anacharsis sayd truely, the Market to be a set place for Fraude and Rapine, meaning that men in buying and selling had no re­specte of a good Conscience. It were neede­ful in contractes for men, not onely speak to nothing sauing truth, but also that they cō ­ceile not from the byer any faultes, of such thinges as they sell.

We must no doubt decline from al things that agree not with the internal iudgemēt of the conscience, & therefore V [...]p [...]an in the Digestes writeth grauely. That euen the lawe of nature commaundeth vs not to in­crease our substance, with other mens losses.

But those men are much worse; who in Agaynst rash and bayn swea­ring. their othes vse against al right iudgement, a kinde of peruerse subtilty, and wilynesse, not onely abusing their Conscience, but scorming Gods holy name. Such fraude was practised by one of those ten captiues, whom after the fiew foughten at Canmas, Anniball sent to Rome for the exchange of Prisoners: taking their oath only, for their [Page] returne, who whē they had taken their loue of Anniball and departed the Campe, one of The God­les sleights and [...]iftes of many to illude the it othes. them by and by retourneth back saying that hée had forgotten somthing behind him and supposing by that sleight his oth to bée satisfied, hée spéedeth him self in his iorney, and ouertaketh his fellowes before night. Now when these ten could not draw to a­ny Conclusion in the Senate house, they al retourned to Anniball sauing that one who thought that by such guilful meanes, he had discharged himself.

Which thing when the Senate had kno­ledge of, they caused him to be apprchended and sent vnto Anniball. Cicero sayth that this was an illusion, and no good interpre­tation of his oth, for fraud and Guile doth bynde and not disolue penurye. It was then nothing else but a péeuish wilinesse peruersly imitating Prudence and Wise­dome.

Anniball himselfe at what time hée had taken Anniball. truce with the Romaynes, for forty dayes: in the night time hée spoyled the fieldes, and when the league was aleaged he aunswered that he had not broken the same, which extended only to the day and [Page] not to the night. The like we may reade in Plutarch of Cleomenes, in Strabo of y Thra­cians. Cleome­nes. Such practises are red euen of Popish Prelates, who with fraudulent interpre­tations of their othes haue sucked the bloud of those that reposed all fayth in their pro­mises, and cōmitted their liues vnto their protection.

At what time Lewis king of Fraunce be­séegēd Adelbartus an Exle in the Castle of Bamberge, which by meanes of the commo­dius cituacion, and good furniture of Ar­tillery, could by no meanes be gotten: wh [...] he saw the lions skinne would not auayle, he put vppon a Woulues skinne, leauing manhoode, & practising subtilty. The king then sent a Bishop vnto the Earle, to moue him to come to some Parle with the King: giuing him his faith that he would reduce A popishe Prelates feaude. him safe and sound into his Castle againe. The Earle was soone perswaded and ad­uentured to goe with the bishop. And whē they had not passed many paces out of the Castle gate. Were it not good said the Pre­late for vs to eate a morsel of meate before we go vnto the king, with a good will quod the Earle, and so retourned vnto ye Castle [Page] to duiner agayn, After meate they arose and came to the King, who immediately [...] caused the Earle to be apprehēded and ex­ecuted.

Now when ye Earle saw he must néedes dye, he complayned of breach of fayth and trothe: vnto whom the Bishop made this aunswere. That he performed his promise in that hée brought him safe and sound into his Casile to eate meat, and for that hee re­newed not his promise afterward, he could not hée charged with violating of his oth. Ottho Phringen sis. The recorder of this matter putteth down his own iudgement of the deede, in this wise. Let other men iudge of this Prelate, what they list, as though it were done for the peace, and quietnesse of the whole Lande. But for my own part I thus thinck, that no Christian ought once to conceaue any suche thought, especially in so great a matter of life and death.

The ende of this Prelate was fearefull & straunge afterward, when the Elements most terribly seemed with fyre to burne, and with noyse to be confounded together the mighty. God strack him with his Thun­derbolt and so hée miserably dyed: who so­euer [Page] examineth his own Conscience and secret iudgement, shall soone sée that such fleightes procéede of an vnhonest and ma­licious pollicy, méere contrary to nature, beeing most shamefull and vile for any li­berall man but once to thincke vpon, much lesse to put the same in any execution. For Nature her selfe desireth thinges that bée right and iust, and despiseth the contrary: neyther will she hermit commodity with­out honesty, to haue any place with her. So Iosua kept the league and truce taken with the Sabonites, notwithstanding their fraud and circumuention, neither would hée by a­ny meanes breake his fayth and trouth gi­uen vnto them.

Albeit there is some diuersity of iudge­ment Of the G [...] bouites. among the learned, whether Iosua did wel or not, in sparing those people both whome God commannded him to destroy, and also of whome hée was circumuented, and deceiued in making of the league. For hée séemed not to hée bounde by anye Re­ligion to kéepe that fayth which he gaue, de­ceyued with their Guile, & that vnto Gods enemies. These things séeme somedeale hard to be discussed. First of all Iosua could [Page] not be ignoraunt, that all those people, that dwelled in the Land of Promise ought by Gods commaundement, vtterly to be rou­ted out. But that the Gabaonites did inha­bit any part of that land he wist not. Ther­fore albeit in some respect for ignoraunce, Iosua might séeme to pretend excuse: for that the Gabaonites comming with their olde shoes, and torne Garments, abused him, feyning them selues to be people that came from far: yet he cannot auoyd blame both for his ouermuch security and creduli­ty, and also for his negligence, in that ac­cording to the manner, he inquired not at Gods mouth what was conueniēt for him to doe.

There be some that goe about to lose this knot after this maner. That Iosua did both execute Gods commaundement, and also that he well performed his promise. For whiles he suffereth them to liue he offereth the better, and in that he maketh them ser­uill Ambroci us in offi. men, he executeth the first, for Vlpian in the Digests compareth perpetuall serui­tude with death. S. Ambrose sayth, Iosua asked not the Lords will, by meane of to moch credulty, which commonly al playn [Page] and good natures haue in them, & hée addeth this fine and golden sentence. So holy and reuerend was fayth in those dayes, that collu­sion and fraude was rarely sounde amongste men.

This is then the cause why Iosua tooke peace and truce with the Cabaonites. Now that he killed them not deprehending their Euile, but brought them in seruitude: was because he woulde not breake his worde bound with an oth: lesse in blaming other mens vnfaythfulnesse, hée should séeme to incurre the same fault himselfe. Hée saued their liues therefore; but [...]ee made them slaues: his sentence conteyned mercy, but she long punishment had in it seuerity, and thus far S. Ambrose.

Others write hereof in this wise. Wée gather that god accepted and ratified Iosua, his oth giuen to the Gabaonites, not in y he liked fraud and Guile, but that their stu­dy desire, and submission pleased him. For Lauaterus in Ios. 9. P. Martir in 2. Sam. 21. first God promised Iosua to be with him in reskewing and defending of the Citie Ga­baon. Secondly, when Saule had caused cer­taine of these Gabaonyttes to be murdered, contrarie to this promise of Iosua, made [Page] vnto their auncestors, God was angrle and sent a famine among the Israelites, which continued by the space of three yeres, neyther coulde his wrath be mitigated, vn­tyll such tyme as seauen of Saules sonnes, or neerest kinsmen were hanged: It is cre­dible that Gods speciall pleasure was to haue the Gabaonyttes preserued. And it is lykely that Iosua being a Prophete, vnder­stoode so much: Mine owne iudgement is this, That whereas the chiefe cause whye the Lord God would haue the inhabitants of that country destroyed was: leste they might afterward draw the Israelites from the true worshipping of the lyuing God, as Moses declareth in Deutero. & Num. 22. These Gabaonyttes whom the second booke of kings, accounteth among the Amdrits, were both humble and lowly, and also wil­ling to imbrace the Religion of the He­brewes, moued there vnto with the fame of Gods great miracles, and wunders which he shewed in defending and preseruing the Israelites in Egipt, in the wildernes and about Iordayn, for so them selues confessed, Iosua therefore spared their liues, but tooke from them their liberty: whereby he suppo­sed [Page] all occasions of auerting the Israelites from the liuing God to be remooued away: and so hée imbasing them and weakning them with seruitude, kept him selfe pure frō the spot of infamous periury, and wic­ked Atheisme, wherewithall the Godlesse people with opē mouthes would haue most shamefully blotted him.

The fact of Iosua therefore is very com­mendable, and letteth vs see what regard men ought to haue of Leagues, and truces confirmed with othes betwéene them and their enemies, contrary to the vnconstante dealinges of the Romaines in times past, and the french Catholiks, in this our time. For the Senate of Rome did violate and break the League taken with the Samllites and confirmed with solemne othes of their Consulles. T. Veturius, Caluirius, and Sp. Postumius Albinus. Supposing that their othe was discharged, when they had delyuered the sayde Consulles backe into the Samnyttes handes, to be handled at their pleasures: so that it is sayde of one no lesse finely then truely. If the Romaines had The peritt­ry of the [...] kept like faith with the Samnites, which they exacted of other: eyther they had not remay­ned [Page] at al, eyther else they had serued the Sam­nyttes. And not much vnlyke was their dealings, with the Numantynes. Whereby it is most euident that the Romaines dyd August dei viu ita te dei lib. cap. 22. not alwayes so precisely keepe their fayth holye and vnbroken, as some would séeme to importe. Although I sée what may be an­swered in their behalfe: to wyt, that con­clusions or articles takē betwéene the cap­pitaines are so far forth to be obserued on both partes, as the superioure magistrate (which was the Senate among the Ro­maines) assenteth ther vnto. So say they the conclusiō of peace made by Mancinus the Consull, with the Numantines was of no moment, the whole Senate mislyking the same. And so Camillus would not stand to Camillus. the conditions of peace, which the Senate made with the french men, without his cō ­sent being dictator or chiefe officer. Which aunsweres or rather fryuolous excuses, I will not now examine: only I [...] ke that saying of Mithridates, worthy remembrāce. Romulus and the Romayne stock haue suc­ked Iustinius. liber. 38. with wolues milke, wolues condicions.

And touching the Tragicall doings of the Catholiques of late in the realme of [Page] Fraunce, what tonge or pen can sufficient­ly The late tragical de­linges in [...]aunce. set forth the same. Surely all posterities wil abhor and detest such infidelity, ioyned with barbarouse cruelty, when they shall réede in histories of Edicts, & decrées, made in Parlaments, of leagues & truces, taken and confirmed betwéene party and party, with solemne contestation of Gods most reuerende maiestie: of most assured and intéere frendship, peace, amity, and Con­cord, with an vtter obliuion of all former quarels, and displeasures. Where vpon in­sued Ambassages Gratulatory, from great and mighty Princes round about: and ma­riages betwéene great estates on eyther party, most strongly to vnite and knit this knot of frendship: and not withstanding all these in ye midle of pastimes and triumphes to murder so many graue fathers and Ma­trons, such séemely and comly gentlemen and gentlewomen in their beds; that had reposed them selues in the fayth and troth of their Prince, so many sucking babes in their cradels, ye were not able to discern be­tweene the right & wrong, is such an exāple as vnto ye day hath not ben heard of. Surely it is expressely agaynst that law of warre, [Page] appoynted by God. Deut. 20. Which is af­ter this manner. If thou shalt come to be­secge any cittie, thou shalte firste offer them peace, and if they accepte it, and open theire gates vnto thee, then shalte thou saue all the people of that Citty, and they shall serue thee and pay thee tribute.

But here the subiects yeld their goodes, their townes, yea their bodies into the hand of their Lord: & yet we sée what immanity was executed vpon them. Secondly al mē ought to graunt to forreyn ennemies, the The law dem to sup­plyantes & to such as yeld them selues in war. law of Suppliaunts, if they demaund it, Deut. 20. and therewithall not to touch the vnarmed multitude, as infants, yong folks auncient and aged personnes, Deut. 20. And so the Ethnucks did soundly kéepe the law of Suppliantes, and thought Iupiter to be the Patron of them, and reuenger of their ennemies, as the morall of that fable of Aesope of the Eagle and Scarabaes doeth declare: but in Fraunce we see no considera­tion of this law, but a general hauock or bouchery to haue bene made of al ages, ser­es, and degrees, withoute anye difference at all.

Pausanias cyteth a worthy example of a [Page] plage that fel vpon yt Acheans because they Pausanias in Acha. broke the law of Suppliants. When (sayth he) the Achayans drewe the suppliantes out of the Temple, Gods reuenging wrath was not sloe nor prolonged against thē, for there happened a vehement and suddayne earth­quake, which turned vp not onely the wales, but also the whole Citie, in such sort, that no signes thereof appeared. And the Lacedemo­nians are much spoken against in histories, because they murdered the inhabitauntes, after they had yelded their Citty, and great miseries and calamities came vpon them for such vnmercifull dealinges.

Out of al doubte Conquestes and victo­ries ought not to be insolente and bloudy, Conquestes ought to haue mode­tation as a companion. but modest and mercifull, as well for the establishing of peace as for the conseruati­on of those which be vanquished and ouer­come, it is a good saying. He that cōque­reth Mimus. himselfe in victory, is twise a Conque­rour: Neyther may the victor repute him­self out al peril. Agamemnō is admonished in Seneca: that he should not vse victories crewelly, vseth this arrogant spéech: Wher of should the conquerour be afrayd, Cassan­dra aunswereth. Of that whiche he feareth [Page] not. That is to say, the victor ought to doute many suddayne chaunses. And the same Author in Troade. When Pirrhus sayde, No lawe commaundeth to spare captiues, A­gamemnon aunswereth, That which lawe forbiddeth not, shamefastnesse forbiddeth, Pirrhus. The victor may doe what him li­steth: Agamemnon: That man ought to doe leste, that he may do most. Wherfore Age­selaus is much commēded for his clemency, Ageselaus for that in his orations he accustomed to admonish his souldyers, that they shoulde not handle their captiues cruelly, but al­wayes to remember them to be men which were fallen into calamity: wherevnto men as long as they liue vpon earth are subiect. God hath purtured in the Lion a Picture The property of the Lyon. of valiaunt warriers, for in the Lion there is not onely a stoute courage, conioyned with the strength of body, but also an heroi­cal clemency, toward such as fal down be­fore him, according to that vearse.

Percere prostratis seit nobilis ira Leonis.

A good warriour ought therefore to expres both their vertues, as Hirgil writeth most grauely.

Percere subiectis & debellare superbos.

When one of Sigismundes counsayle, ex­postulated Sigismūd. with him, for that he did not on­ly pardon his ennimies liues and goods, whome he had taken, but receiued them a­mong the number of frendes, the Empe­rour aunswered after this maner. Thou thinkest it good to kill thy ennemy, because a dead man cannot bite, according to the pro­uerb: But I do kil mine enemy whilst I spare him crauing pardon: and doe make him my frende, in that I aduaunce him to credite. A notable wise saying no doubt of an Em­perour. Lyke examples are founde in the auncient hystories of the Romaynes, who for that they did religiously kepe the lawe of Suppliants: written amongst the alwes of Heralds: they adiorned vnto them ma­ny Princes and people in amitie & friend­shippe.

But peraduenture some will aunswere that the french Catholiques did not breake S. Augu­stine. any law of armes in vsing pollicie against their enmmies, for saint Augustine in hys questions vpon Iosua sayth. When warre is iust & lawfull: he swerueth not from iustice that pursueth his enimies, either by strength or pollicy. And euen so Antigonus, when [Page] one asked him howe he shoulde deale with Antigo­nus. hys enimies, answered: Eyther with fraude or dinte of sworde: eyther openly or secret­ly. And Virgil. Dolus an virtus quis in hoste requirat. Saint Hierome alleageth that Hier. in 17. Ezeh. verse as seculer, but liketh very well ther­of: so farre forth as no fayth & troth geuē be byolate. But I thinke the word Dolus in ye verse to be taken of honest and lawfull pol­licies in war: And that all subtill cauiláti­ons, fraudes and periuries, are excepted. For the word no doubt signifieth Prudens Stratagema.

The king of Denmarck vsing fraud and The king of denmark his pollicy. periury agaynst his subiectes is much dis­commended, for that when hee coulde not bring in by maine might, certaine perni­cious outlawes and pirates, hée brought it to passe by pollicy: for he pretending open war agaynst forreyn enimies, sommoned his men os war to come and serue him, and among the rest sent also vnto those theeues both graunting them pardon for all theire offences committed agaynst him, and also promised them for their seruice large and liberall wages, And when they were com­men, he straight way put them to death. [Page] Such pollicyes hauing periury anexed vn­to them ought to be detested of al good men and chiefly of Princes, whome verity and constancy in words of promises, haue al­wayes singulerly commended.

The french Stratagemes are not much vn­like the danish dealings, sauing ye their per­tury was more heynous in Fraunce: for that the aduerse part were already come in and had layd down their arniour and wea­pon, and had on their part giuen out infal­lible and euident signes, of their loue and fidelity to their Prince.

The cruell deede of Peter Arrogon is much detested, who slew eyght thousande Peter Ar­rogon. french men in Cicil, for that they had sur­prised that Ile in his abscnce, and yet he ex­cercised his cruelty vpon forreyners and straungers, but these vpon their own na­tion and nere kinsnien, They seemed to haue set before their eyes the dissimulation A. Com­modus. of Antonius Cōmodus whose maners they haue exactly expressed: For when he was wearyed with filthy pleasures, where [...] he was exceedingly geuen, lest he mighte séem [...] to spend tune in dooing nothing, hee [Page] deuysed with him selfe how he might mur­der the Nobles of his Empire: especially he caused one Iulianus to be slayn sudden­ly and horribly in his bedde, and yet in the sight of men he woulde kisse and embrace him, calling him his sweete hart, and wel­beloued father. Or hapely they looked nerer home, and bchelde the pollicies of some of Carolus septimus Gal rex. their Auncestors. We reade of Charles the vy. king of Fraunce, that after long and greeuous troubles in that country, he ente­red into league and affinity with the duke of Burgondy: and promised most constant­ly to bury all auncient quarrels and grud­ges: & ther vpon they both receiued at the priestes handes the host consecrated, as the manner was in those dayes, in confyrma­tion of their othes and promyses, yet not­withstanding, when as the sayd king hadde inuited the duke to come to Montrell, pre­tending to entertayne him most frendely, and to exhibit vnto him spectacles and tri­umphes, he suffered the duke to be murde­red vppon the bridge there, as they werein communication together.

Some may aunswere that how these Nothing is protitable rule vnlest it be honest. men kept their fayth they wil not examin, [Page] but by these doinges there followed tran­quility and quietnesse vnto those Regions, and country: I answere let it be so accoun­ted for y presēt time, but if we cōsider, the consequence of such truce breakings, & im­mayne cruelties, we shall finde in the ende vtter subuersion to haue ensewed greate houses, and families therefore. Surely all good men imbrace that saying, There is no­thing Aristidea. profitable vnlesse it be also honest. And therefore Aristides did openly in the Themi­stocles. audience of the people reiecte the polliticke counsell of Themistocles concerning the burning of the Lacedemonians Nauy: be­cause being profitable it was not thoughte honest, Furius Camillus receiued not the F. Camil­lus. children of the Lords of Phalice, betrayed to him by their Schoolemaster, but stripped him naked and deliuered him to be whip­ped home wyth roddes by the same Chyl­dren.

Kingly vertues in times past haue bene [...]r [...]otes vertues. reported to be these, Iustice, gentlenesse, and clemencie: but crueltie, and outrage haue bene misliked. Scipio hath in all ages bene praysed, who was wonte to say, that he had rather saue one citezen, then sley a [Page] thousand enimies, which sentence the Em­perour Antonius surnamed Pius did often repeate. Contrariwise it was a shamefull byworde vsed against yong Tiberius, to be called Clay tempered with bloud. It is no sufficient allegation to say, that kings haue absolute power of lyfe and death ouer their subiectes. There cannot be alleaged anye greater authoritie, then that the Dictators hadde at Rome, in whome was the soue­raigne power of peace and warre, and of lyfe and death, and that without appeale. Yet might they not execute a Citisen, hys cause vnheard, and without condemnati­on by order of law. Onely murderers and théeues doe take awaye mens lyues, with­out order of law, without hearing the par­tie pleade his cause, and to speake for hym­selfe, but what neede many wordes. It is cléerer The proper and especial notes and signes of Papistes. then the noone day, that cruelty, per­iurie, and filthie adulterie, are the verie proper noates and badges of Papistes in these our dayes.

It is much to be lamented that the noble and famous Nacion of Fraūce, shold learn of Pope and Turck, vnto whom they linck themselues in legue to care for no promise, [Page] fayth, or oth: and I pray God in the ende they be not scourged by Antichrist, whom they trust, and distrust God, with whome whiles they seeke to concerue peace, and concorde, they cānot chuse but be at discord and open warre with God. The old Poets doe feine that the proud Giauntes waged battaile agaynste heauen, whereby they ment vndoubtedly, those that despise laws and breake their oaths, most blasphemous­ly abusing Gods name. And those that ea­sily commit such offences, the Deuel doth wholy possesse their harts by litle and litle, and bréedeth in thē a deadly hatred against God, wherby they ronne into foule and heynous facts, and so at the laste fall into tragicall paynes, both in this world and in the world to come. Which the Poets ment also to expresse in Iupiter his conquests, o­uer the sayd Giauntes called Philegians, who were caried quick to Hel, with a floud sent out by Neptune, of whom Uirgil wri­teth thus.

Phlegias (que) miserrimus omnes, Admonet et magna testater voce per vmbras, Discite insticiā moniti et nō temnere diuos.

How gréeuously and odiously men doe [Page] prophane Gods name by periury, it will Periury a [...] deyu [...]us of­ [...]uce. playnely appeare by the difinition of the same.

An oath is an asueration, of a thing possi­ble and lawfull, made with the inuocation of The defini­on of an oth Gods name, wherein we pray God to caste downe vpō vs his malidiction & vengeance, if in swearing we say vntruth, or wittingly & willingly break our oth, In bare and naked promises; wherein we promise to doe true­ly, it is sayd: Let your communication bee yea, yea, and nay, nay, but of oathes there are seuere preceptes, Thou shalt not forsweare thy selfe, but shalt performe thine oath to God: Wherevnto he aodeth a fearefull Communication, For the lord wil not hold him guiltles that taketh his name in vayne: There is no doubt but Gods maiestie and name, is wonderfully abused, when men ronne into wilfull periury. For in that we cal vpon him to be our witnes and Iudge. Our wilfull periury denieth him to be a true witnes, argueth him of falsehode, pro­cureth his plagues, and bindeth vs by our owne mouthes to abide the same. There can then no greater contumely be done a­gaynst God, nor no more gréeuous crime [Page] committed by man then wilfully: to make a mock and by word of Gods name: where vnto if men adde wilful murder, and shed­ding of innocent bloude: they must néedes fill vp euen to the brimme, the measure of iniquitie.

Such men are vngraciouslye ledde and Of synners iudutate & past grace. drawne to punishment and vengeance: so that among such transgressors, you shall skarce finde one that hath in this worlde escape the reuenging hande of almightie God: as we may plainly sée by Caine, Saule, Richarde king of Englande; the thirde of that name, and infinite other examples. Hereof the Poets haue written thus. [...] Ah miser & si quis primum periuria celat, Sera tamen tacitas pena venit pedibus.

The former examples are speciall, but Examples of Princes and people punished for their periu­ry. when we beholde things more publike, and generall, we sée a more sorowfull Trage­die. For we may reade of them est noble and floorishing Famelies of Princes, to haue beue vtterlye rooted vp, for wicked murders and periurie. And so God doth shewe himselfe to be a defender and con­seruer of iustice and pull it ike order: and that his pleasure is, that the inteynall mo­cions [Page] of mannes mynde, shoulde conforme themselues to the working of Gods spirit, and also that the external members should be kept within the compasse of good lawes and regiment. Which whosoeuer haue broken, they haue alwayes bene accounted factious, seditious, periured, and men no­ted otherwise, with vile reproches and in­fames. Such men were the Carthaginenses Carthage. reputed, who vnconstant and slypping in in all their wordes and promises, sought still by guylefull and craftie interpretati­ons to illude their othes, who at the last be­ing vtterly subdued, and their citie sticke and stone consumed, euen to the grounde with fyre: doe bidde vs beholde the ende of leuitie and periurie. Philyp of Macedonia Philip. was wont to playe with his fayth, as chil­dren doe with stickes: which was the cause as the wise Ethnickes thought of the sud­dayne and straunge ruine of all his posteri­ty: for within twelue yeares after his son Alexander in the floure of his time, died ei­ther with poysō or with immoderate drink whose mother, wife, and two sonnes, were murdered of his Nobles, neither was ther found anye Patrons of so royall a famely. [Page] And in our fathers dayes Lewis, king of Engenius Pope of Rome and Lewis king of Hungaria. Hungaria, induced by Eugenius bishop of Rome, brake the league which hee hadde made with Amaruthes the great Turcke: and drew that Tirant to bend all his po­wer agaynst Christendome, being at that time otherwise busied in the east, in which warre, Lewis the king with the greater part of his army, miserably perished, the smart whereof not onely Hungaria feeteth, but all Christendome lamēteth at this day. And to omit those thinges that histories re­corde, many examples as well priuate as publique, daily experience in mans life, do verify the same: whereof it came to passe that the old writers, appoynted certayne Gods, to be reuengers of periury, and Ho­mecide: For they beholding such dayly ex­amples, not without greate admiration, iudged that those thinges came not to passe by chaunce, and at aduēture, but that some diuine power was especially appoynted to be the punisher of Periury & wilful mur­ther.

And hitherto, I thought in some priuate callings and condicions of mans life, to poynt out as it were with the finger, the [Page] ioy and solace of a pure and sinerre Con­science, and the endlesse vexation and sor­row of the contrary: now I will discend to certein questions, which men commonly moue, about mans Conscience.

It is demaunded commonly, whether an Whether is be enough for men to rest vppon their Con­science. erring Conscience deeth condemne man: That is to say, whether mans will swer­uing and discenting from reason dceriued, condemneth a man: we must obserue that it is the part of Reason, to giue light vnto Will wandring in darrknesse, and grosse ignorannce: and therefore Wil discenting from Reason disceiued, must néedes offend and doe wickedly. Hée doth euill I say, not in his own nature, but because the Consci­ence so iudgeth of it self, albeit it be perfite and good.

And therfore the diuines playnly affirm, that Will discenting from Conscience and Reason, whether she be sincere or corrupt, in what kind of action soeuer she be busied, whether they be good, euell, or indifferent, shée offendeth and committeth sinne.

And from hence is derided the solucion of that question: Whether the Conscience erring excuseth: That is, whether the Wil [Page] consenting with Reason, swaruing from truthe offendeth: for if Will discenting from Reason deceaued transgresse, surely it must néedes folow, that the same consen­ting with Reason doth not offend: For of thinges contrary, there follow contrary se­quelles, as not onely Cicero but the Logiti­ans generally, and experience prooueth. We must herein obserue that as a séemely and comly body is so called, when there is right shape and composition of all the reste of the members of mans body: and it is the named euell fauoured if in any one hmme or ioint, there be nay thing vncomly, croo­ked, or lawe: euen so that is only accounted good, which is absolute and consumate in al partes, and so it is named euell when any litle thing wanteth, to the perferfection thereof, or to speake playnly and briefely: Euell proceedeth of special vices and defects, but goodnesse of that which is on euery side without fault or blemishe. So y in this mat­ter it is enough if either ye Will be corrup­ted, or Reason which is the guide and ru­ler of Will.

But this thing wilbe playn by the appo­sityon of an example. Those that did both [Page] curse the Apostles of Christ, & committed thē to prysō, minding to execute them, with most paynfull deathes, thought that they offered a most acceptable sacrifice to God, euen as Christ himselfe beareth witnesse. The time shall come sayth he, that whoso­euer killeth you, shal thinck he doth GOD good seruice.

These mens reasons and vnderstanding was merueylously shadowed with darck­nes and error, and yet their will and intel­ligence did concurre together. And Paule himselfe when he persecuted the Church of Christ, and cast his seruaunts into bondes: had a Will obedient to Reason, wandring in great darcknes. And yet that Apostle af­terward confesseth, that albeit, he did that ignorauntly through vnbeliefe: yet that hee gréeuously offended God, albeit through re­pentaunce, he afterward obteyned Gods mercy. For God doth easily and soone for­giue simply ignorance repenting the fault, and where mallice and wilfull will wan­teth, the faulte is reputed lesse in Gods sight.

I will not haue any man mistake, me as though I thought that any kinde of igno­raunce [Page] should eyther excuse a man, or be accounted tollerable in Gods sight. For without doubt all kinds of ignoraunce are blame worthy, Else the law in Moyses shold seeme to bee in vayne, appoynting a sacrifice to be offered vnto God for ignorance. Nu. 15. but my meaning is, that ignorantia facti, as they terme it wanting negligence and se­curity, may seeme to haue some probable ex­cuse.

And touching Paules error, it had a show of probability and likelihoode. It was writ­ten by Moyses that if any Prophete did a­rise teaching thinges contrary to the lawe, he should out of hand be stoned to death: that Iesus was such a one, Paule herd by the reports almost of all men, and that hee was for that cause, by the Priests, Scribes Pharisies, Seniours, and by consent of all the people apprehended, accused, founde gylty, condemned and finally crucified: for he neuer herd nor sawe personally Christ, neyther any of his Apostles, teaching or worcking of myracles. Paules error there­fore did arise as wel in respect of the mat­ter, as of the person: Wherein his minde and Reason drowned in ignoraunce, hadd [...] [Page] an agréeable wil, whereby as hee offended, yet that came not to passe by wilfull igno­raunce, but by a zealous study of the law, couered with simplicity, as him selfe to Ti­mothy witnesseth.

The scolasticall diuines doe also moue a­nother The true ground and foundation of a good Conscience. question, whether the Conscience bindeth: That is whether a man ought to doe al thinges that his Conscience mooueth him vnto: Moreouer if it happen Consci­ence, and the superiour maiestrate to pre­scribe things mere cōtrary, they ask which of them a man ought to obey and followe. Wherein this is commonly theire iudge­ment, that the Conscience is alwayes to be moderated and directed by Gods word: wherevnto if it bee agreeable and conso­uant, yet it bindeth a man no more then it was before bound by the eternall word of God. And therefore such Conscience is al­wayes to be followed and obeyed. But if it doe prescribe any thing, meere contrary vnto the same word, then it is to be correc­ted and amended. For if the least Scruple remaine in the minde, whether a man doe according to the mocion of his Conscience, or against it, bee sinneth gréeuously: For [Page] in dooing the one, a man sinneth agaynste Gods law, and in dooing the othēr, thou al­so offendest. For although the deede in it selfe be good in Gods sight, yet man doth it Doubtful­nes of the conscience [...]angerous. doubtingly, whether it be good or no: which doubt and staggaring of the mind is offen­siue & condemneth a man, Hereof the Apo­stle pronounceth him blessed that doth not cōdemn himselfe in that he aloweth. Ro. 14. In which sentence he telleth vs y s [...]ée may not dee any thing, which leaueth behind it a doubt or remorse of Conscience, for hée that doubteth, and yet goeth through wyth the matter, doe most playnely centrinne God.

And moreouer, whiles that hée doth a good thing, doubting with in him selfe whe­ther it be so or nay: he giueth iuste occasion for all men to iudge that hée would also not stick to doe mischiefe if eccasion serur. So it commeth to passe that the thing which is not euell in it selfe, is yet by doubting euel to him shat doth it, and his own Conscience accusing him, will pronounce sentence a­gaynst him. For this cause it is rightly said, that if Reason erring and deceiued, doeth prescribe and appoynt any thing as Gods [Page] hestes, and yet not so in déede: that then if the Will doe neglectt Reasons commaun­dement, it is as great an offēce as if a man should withstand the commaundement of God.

And touching that other question whiche encombreth many men, whether we ought to follow our Conscience, or the magistrate commaunding thinges contrary: in which question if master For had at large put down that which hee briefly and finely tou­ched and shadowed (as it were) in his pre­face, before his titles of common places: or if mayster Mullins would vouchsafe to commit that to writing which hee discour­sed herein profoundly and learnedly at Paules Crosse: then I should not want a­ny thing that might serue to the full disso­lucion of this question, my opinion is thys. If the Prince or magistrate, doe command any thing repuguaunt to Gods Lawe, our Consciences, witnessing the same: then let vs remember that the Apostles and other the faythfull seruauntes of Christ, in the primatiue church would rather abide pain­full imprisonment and susteine most sor­rowfull death, then in any one iotte obey [Page] their wicked ordinances. The blessed mar­tir and Bishop. Policarpus aunswered the Romayne Proconsull: Wee are taught to o­bey princes and Potentates, in those thinges Policar­pus. that be not contrary to sincere Religion. And Chrisostome sayd diuinely to Gaynas: It is not lawfull for the Emperour being the de­fendour Chrisost. of true Godlines, to attempte any thing against the same. The Prince or other supreme Magistrate, is appoynted the kée­per of both the tables: but he may not pre­céede to decrée any thing withoute the com­passe of the Scripture. For Will worship­pinges are not acceptable to God, because they are not agréeable to his eternall wil, neyther can they assure mens Conscience, that they are accepted of God. Wherefore such authority was not geuen to Moyses himselfe, that he might of himselfe deuise and orde [...] Religion, but God did expres­ly and perticulerly by name appoynt these thinges which he would haue proposed to his people to be kept of them. Neyther did be instrua Moyses in a moment, but taking God in [...] ted [...] by degrees. him vp into the mountaine vnto him, by the space of fourty dayes: gaue him instruc­tions, and afterward lest any simple or [Page] doubt should remayne: he solemnely autho­rised his ministery by miracles and won­ders in the eyes of all the Israelites. Neither had the Apostles power at their pleasure, to fashion and forme what Religion they would, but Christ firste taughte them by mouth, and afterwardes added sacraments of true Religion, and confirmed the same with signes and wonders: and finally gaue them commission to teach, and preach those thinges which they had heard, seene, and re­ceaued of him.

And so both the Testaments haue bene geuen, not by humaine, but by diuine tra­dition and power, confirmed moreouer with many nighty signes and wonders: For it is the pleasure of almighty God, that his ministers shall certeynly knowe his wil, which cannot bée, if men might in any resped inuent new religions. Which the Numa Pompi­lius. Ethnicks in elder time knew right well, for Numa Pompilius setting by a religion, perswaded the people of Rome, that in the night season, Aegeria appeared vnto him and reuealed such thinges as he instituted. He knewe right well that all opinions of religion are of no valure without the feare [Page] of God: and therefore his meaning was that the people should receiue those things as deliuered not by man, but by instinction of the powers aboue. And therefore men should excéedingly swarue, if for the title of the office of a Magistrate, they accept al de­crées and edicts of Religion: which in déede were nothing else then of a ecclesiastical, to make a seculer Pope. Whiles then wée touch that the care of religion apperteineth to Magistrates, we meane not that they may at their pleasures dayly Coyne newe articles of the fayth: but that they shoulde follow the examples of Godly Princes, who alwayes in the reformation of Reli­gion, had an especial eye to the word of god, the lantern and light vnto our pathes, and steps.

Nowe as concerning the princes tem­porall lawes. If they be made to the ende to laye vppon men opinion of religion, as though the obseruation of them were neces­sarie: then the conscience is burdened and snared contrary to godlynesse. For in mat­ters of conscience we haue to doe only with God, and not with man. In some places the scripture séemeth to extende the same to [Page] men, as when Paule sayth, he walked be­fore God and man with a pure conscience, but that is bicause the fruites of a good con­science doth issue and flowe amongst good men: but properly as I sayde it appertay­neth to God onely, neyther doth that place of saint Paule to the Romaines proue, that contrarie where a distinction ought to be obserued. For although euerye perticuler lawe reach not to the conscience, by the ge­nerall precept, yet obedience to the magis­trate is commēded, bicause they be of God: but the cyuill lawes of princes, eyther tou­ching common profite, pleasure, vnifor­mitie, and comelynesse, being eyther pro­fitable or pleasant are to obserued & kept. For althoughe in their properties they be indifferēt: yet by meanes of authority they are almost equyualent with Gods lawes: and are not by anye meanes to be violated and broken, onlesse extreme necessitie vrge and as it were inferre violently to y same. Necessitie in déede is pardoned, if wilfull arrogancie and malicious contempt of our superiours be absent. For in such cases, God respecteth the minde and not the fact: and where no wilfulnesse is, there is hys [Page] mercie most readie. And for as much as the lawe of God sometime giueth place to ne­cessitie: as when Dauid against the lawe did eate of the Shewbread, whome Christ defendeth: why should not mannes ordy­nannces a great deale more doe the same, so that Malapartenesse and contumacy of our superioures, and the offence of our bre­thren be farre from vs.

It now resteth only, that neither those Two [...] tyons the first agaynst bayn confi­dēce in one own rygh­teousenesse. that haue good Conscience doe trust in their own merites, neither yet hauing an euel Conscience for his fylthy and abhominable life, should fall inio dispaire: and so finally ronne into desperation. That of saynt Au­gustine is diuiuely spoken. Conscience and Fame are two things, Conscience is needeful to thy selfe, and Fame for thy neighbour: But if thou respect thy good name to the vtter­most, & yet it nothing auaileth thee, be thou quiet in thy selfe, because of a good Consci­ence in the sight of God.

And yet no man ought arrogātly to haue affiaunce in his good worckes, and Phari­saically to please himself, and to contemne others: For the modesty of sinners displea­sing them selues for their offences, is much [Page] acceptable in Gods sight, then the worckes and merites of those who in their own con­ceite accoumpt themselues iust. Whiche thing is clearely séene in the parable of the Pharisie and Publican, whereof the one pust vp with the opinion of his owne good worcks (which affection encombreth euen good men oftē, vnlesse they dilligently take héede) displeaseth God, pleasing himselfe ouer much: not only a flatterer of himself, but contumelious to his neighboure. The other male content with himselfe, for hys guilts and offences, and beating his breste with most humble voyce, craued gods mer­cy: and so the more he was displeased with himselfe, the more he pleased God, accor­ding to that of Saynt August. The iustice as it were of God, looked downe from hea­uen saying: let vs spare this man, because hee spared not himselfe, let vs forgiue him, be­cause hee forgaue not himselfe, he conuerted himself to punish his sinne, let vs conuerte to deliuer him. August. psa. 48.

This selfe loue and good opinion of oure selues ought to be eschewed, and it is beste for vs to thinck simply of our selues, and to say with Danyell. Wée haue offended, we [Page] haue committed iniquity, we haue declined and gone astray from the commaunde­ments. To thée O Lord belongeth glory, and Iustice, but to vs shame & confusion. For he glorifieth God that accounteth him selfe a sinner, and repenting, putteth hys whole trust and confydence in Gods mer­cy: whereas proude Pharises iudge eter­nall life to be the reward of their vertues, and good worcks.

And what is sinfull man able to doe of himselfe: or if he be hable to doe any thing is not that to be attributed to Gods grace, by whose gift we are that we are: so that in all thinges, vnlesse we will be ouer impu­dent, we must néedes graunt our excéeding great imbecility, and Gods infinite mercy. That trust therefore in our own merites, and vayne opinion of our righteousenesse, which will not suffer a man to bee humble and lowly: but stirreth him to pride and ar­rogancy, is by al meanes as a pestelence to be eschewed.

For God highly displeased there with, ta­keth from man the right hande of his pro­tection and suffereth vs to haue the raynes at our will and pleasure: wherewith wée [Page] runne into ruine and destruction. And that I may leaue externall accions, when wee hapely may be blamles in the eyes of man; who dare once open his mouth to saye my heart is cleane, séeing that Iob in admira­tion crieth saying, Can that be cleane which is borne of a woman, not one, albeit hee liue but a day vpon the face of the earth? And S. Iohn, if we say we haue no sinne we deceaue our selues, and the truth is not in vs. But if we confesse our sinnes, he is saythful and iust to forgiue vs the same, and the bloud of Iesus Christ doth purge vs cleane from al iniquity. This sentence of that excelent Apostle and so welbeloued of God, taketh frō Hipocrits al vayne trust and confidence in their me­rites: and ministreth great consolation and vnspekeable comfort, to afflicted consciēces, and such as bée vnquieted for their crimes, and offences, wherewithall they haue e­straunged the countenance of their louing father from them.

S. Paule saith, This is our boasting euen the testimony of our conscience. But he sayeth again: He that reioceth let him reioice in the lord, euery man may reioice then in his good deedes, but not without the Lord. And there­fore [Page] we must alwayes remember these three Cawtelles, first that we acknowledge all our goodnesse to come from God. Se­condly, that we put our trust and confidc̄ce in God alone: Thirdly, that we reste and repose our selues wholy in God the foun­taine and author of all goodnesse. These foundations being layd: then I say it is not only good but also néedeful, that we reioyce in our good déedes, not with vaūting Thra­so, or the glorious hipocrite, but in the ap­probation and comfort of our good Consci­ence.

Neyther may the wounded Conscience, Agaynst sorrow and dispayre of an aff [...]eted Conscience (which is as it were a taste of eternal deth) dispaire of saluation, because of their hey­nous sinnes and offences: for they haue the merites and death of christ for their refuge and sanctuary. For oure heauenly father most tenderly and dearely louing vs, hath giuen his onely sonne to the death of the Crosse for vs, to obtein saluation, he hath giuen him vnto vs by whome he is pleased and reconciled to man, the remembraunce of our sins striken out, so that we certeinly perswade our self therof, and hauing this fayth doe wholy yeld our selues vnto him. [Page] Hereof speaketh y Apostle, if any man sin, we haue an adudcase with ye father, Iesus Christ the righteous, & he is the propitiatiō of our sinnes, not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world, and that saying is very cōfortable: What time soeuer a sin­ner doth repent him of his sinne, I will put all his wickednesse out of my remembrance. And again. As truely as I liue sayth the lord, I would not the death of a sinner, but that he should conuert and liue. These and such like sentences doe comfort vs against despera­tion, into the which Caine, Saule and Iudas, by diffidence fel, and with an oth God doth assure vs of his loue & mercy, which who­soeuer dispaireth of, he accuseth god of per­iury, being most heynous impiety, and do­nieth Christes sacrifyce to be auaileable to put away our sinnes. For our louing God doth principally request this at our hands, that we distrusting our selues, should trust and commit our selues only to him, whose loue and charity toward vs, hath appeared aboundantly, that he hath geuen his only sonne for wicked and sinfull men for hys enemies, whereby he might receiue vs a­gain, into his loue & gracious sauoure, with [Page] this fayth and confidence a sinful man may stay himself, and assure vnto him moste firme consolations and defence, when [...] wrastleth with the pau [...]rs and agonyes of sinne, death, and desperation: where vnto often times a man is drawen, and tormen­ted as it were of an hangman, by his own vnquiet Conscience, or by the malicious and guileful temptatiōs, of his mortal and capitall enemy the Deuill.

And these thinges I thought good to com­mit to writing, touching the good and euell The coucin­sion. Conscience, wherein we see that as there is nothing more horrible and peruicidus then the euel Conscience, doubting, mistrusting and despairing in all things: so there is no­thing better, nor more comfortable then a good Conscience, which maketh a man liue euen a blessed life vpon earth, and procu­reth vnto him sincere and perfite pleasure. Seing then the commodity of a good Con­scic̄ce is so great, and that no man can haue it, vnlesse he liue in his vocation, and doe his duety vprightly. It standeth euery man vpon to endeuour and bende all his power and strēgth euen vnto the vttermost, to sa­tistie and aunswere the same, which that I [Page] may speake bréefely, is to abandon vice and embrace vertue, so shal we be partakers of such an inestimable ioy and treasure. So shall no good man deuise or practise any fraude or guyle: he shall not offer any in­iury to his neighbour, and so to conclude shal vice be banished, and vertues, as Re­ligion, piety, Iustice, peace, concord, and such other like, shal spring and florish a­gaine. God the author and giuer of all good giftes graunt vs al this excellent treasure, that in all our actions we may weigh and consider our Conscience, being a dayly and [...]omestical Iudge, wherby we shalbe stay­ed from committing those thinges whiche offend his high maiestie: that so liuing holyly and sincerely in this world, we may in the other world, come to perfite blisse and immor­tality.

FINIS.

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