¶A consolacyon for chrysten people to repayre agayn the lor­des temple, with cer­tayne places of scryp­ture truely applyed to satysfye theyr myndes for ye expellyng of ydo­latry, & to instruct thē, of loue and obedience.

Compyled By nycholas wyse

¶A preface of the prophetes.

The prophet Esay made an exclamacyon
That heuen and erthe shulde herken to the lorde
whiche for the peoples great abhomynacyon
Prouokyng hym to angre dyspleasure and dyscorde
Theyr fastynges / theyr prayers / & offrynges he abhor [...]
yet mercyfully exhortyng them to mende & to lyue well
He promysed them pardon theyr synnes for to expell.
¶The prophet Ieremy elected was of god
And sanctefyed before that he was borne
Commaunded to threten the people with his rod
And fearfull plages on cattell, grasse, and corne
With other punysshmentes to cause them for to morne
Declaryng theyr captyuyte theyr paynes & cruell bandes
To come for theyr synne and ydols made with handes
¶The prophet Oseas lykewyse dyd prophecy
Agaynst the preestes that people do dysceyue
And also rebuked Israell and Samary
For theyr ydolatry / but they wolde not receyue
Goddes grace & promyses / nor his swete wordes conceyue
They were vnthankfull, wherfore he dyd them blame
Recytyng theyr synne and punysshment for the same.
¶The prophet Aggeus, came to zorobabell
The prynce of Iuda declaryng hym the wyll
Of god the lorde, whose goodnesse dothe excell
Exortyng the people his pleasure to fulfyll
Rebukyng theyr slacknesse as it was ryght and skyll
For that they applyed not theyr bodyes to some payne
Theyr temple dystroyed for to buylde vp agayne.
¶The prophet Mycheas reproued the wyckednesse
Of them that inclyned vnto ydolatry
Expressyng the payne for theyr vngodlynesse
Rehersyng theyr synne, and yf I shulde not lye
The cause he expounded of theyr mysery
Aledgyng it to rulers whiche trouthe dyd not regarde
And vnto preestes that preache for profyte and rewarde
¶The prophet zachary spake by the spyryte of grace
Comfortyng the people to tourne vnto the lorde
whiche for theyr offences dyspersed were longe space
Among the hethen the scrypture to recorde
But god purposyng that they shulde be restored
Out of thraldome as storyes do me tell
Delyuered the people of Iude and Israell.
¶The prophet Malachy spake of the ioyfull day
Of Chrystes comyng the people for to saue
And also of hym that shulde prepare his way
Expressyng the pleasure that godly men shulde haue
As for the vngodly he greatly dothe depraue
Declaryng theyr dyuersytes through god omnipotent
And theyr vnlyke rewardes whē he shall gyue iudgement.
¶Chryst the true prophet and lorde of prophetes all
Of whom the prophetes before dyd prohcey
Beyng the only sonne of god celestyall
Approued the prophetes, theyr prophecyes he dyd verefy
For he of whom they prophecyed the worlde to iustify
Performed theyr prophecyes, from heuen he dyscended
His fathers wyll fulfylled, and vp agayne ascended.

¶In regnum dei.

¶The prologue.

COnsidering in my mynd the great decay of Chri­stes churche that hathe contynewed of a longe season (beynge the faythful congregacyon, [...] Cor vi which Paule cal­leth his temple.) It hath impelled me of a true & vnfayned herte to take payne (as the cōmon sayeng is) wher at mought more truely be counted a pleasure, to wryte this litel volume. But for as moche as I stode in stay and doubted the iudgementes of the vnlearned multitude lackynge yet knowledge to deserne the spirituall lyght from darkenesse, ye & not that onely, but also doubted the iudgmentes of suche as haue lernyng, which in tyme past feared not to peruerte ye scriptures. Truely it troubled so my mynde, ye I was in .xx. wyttes whe­ther [Page] I mought set forthe this worke acordyng to my fyrst purpose, eyther els let fall my labours, kepyng it se­cret to my selfe and takyng onely to my rewarde my payne for my trauel. Thus stageryng as a man beyng in an open, large, and wylde forest kno­wyng not whiche waye to resorte or ryde to his lodgyng, sometyme fea­ryng the vncertaynty of ye way, som­tyme doubtyng whether ye ende of ye way dyd lede vnto a wood or couert full of busshes and bryers, somtyme fearynge robbers, theues, and cruell beastes to spoyle and deuoure hym. And last of all fearyng lest the nyght shulde come vpō him before he came to his iourneys ende. So I beynge in this opē forest of ye worlde though I knowe the way of the scrypture to be certayne, and ye ende therof to lede to quietnes and rest, and that it is ye onely rule for all men to frame theyr workes thervnto. By the which rule [Page] I haue facyoned & framed this wor­ke (as nere as God hathe gyuen me grace. yet I doubted the vncertayne Iudgementes of other men, the one sorte that knowe not the waye, & the other sorte knowyng it hauynge no pleasure to walke therin, taking vpō them to be guydes vnto the symple & vnlerned. Where in very dede many of them haue rather played the part of cruyll spoylers and deuourers as it may appere to all thē whō it hathe pleased god, eyther to preserue from spoylyng or els of his infinyte good­nesse, to call & conducte from false & fayned pathes, vnto ye true & perfyte way which Christ hath apoynted vs to walke in. Vnto the whiche way to conforte, counsell, & courage all men. I haue applyed this my labour, fyrst to conforte them in the trueth, to courage them to stycke vnto the trueth, & to counsel them to folowe the samei. cor vi. ii. cor. vi that the lordes temple may be resto­red [Page] and repayred agayne. But after my labours ended, ye thynge yt hathe incouraged me to set forth my good wyll vnto all men (beyng in this many doubtes & troubles of mynde) I wyll shewe you. I counsayled wt my selfe and yf it were best for me to de­dicate it vnto some noble man, as ye may se in dyuers prefaces & prolo­ges of bokes, some are dedycated vnto one man, and some vnto an other, whiche thyng truely I wolde that al men dyd no lesse prayse & alowe then my selfe, for it is an occasion to al thē which vnfaynedly bere louyng myndes vnto the person whom the thyng is dedicated to haue yt more fauoure and loue vnto it, and to be the more desyrous to rede & peruse it for his sake. But as there is in this worlde no pleasure without payne, no conforte without care, no ioy without sorowe and to be short nothyng without his contrary. So in this I was not so [Page] moch incouraged forwarde one way but I was more dyscouraged back­warde an other way. For when I called to my remembraunce ye frowarde ymagynacyons and vntrewe repor­tes of suche as be euyll whiche also haue cedused the poore and vnlerned to thynke all thyng to be as true as ye gospell yt they speake my herte was quyte discouraged to dedycate it vn­to any noble man. The lacke of elo­quence to set forth this worke and to make it more mete and conuenyent to be presented vnto suche an estate or person (for as moche as I haue cō pared and framed it to the infallible truthe of goddes blessed worde) dyd lytell or nothyng dyscomforte me. But because I wolde not haue the truthe to be sclaundered by the ma­lycyous tonges of those that wolde saye. This felowe hath taken payne to set forth a worke to please suche a mā withal. I was at a playne poynt [Page] with my selfe to kepe it vndefamed that waye, and not onely to saue the truthe from false suspicion, but suche persons also from offendyng yt wold vntruely reporte it. For it is vn­doubted that many whiche haue not feared to speake euyll of the gospell, (sayeng it wold make mē heretykes) wold not passe vpon the sclaundryng of ony good purpose or p̄tence of mā. Thus wayeng the matter as it were in a ballaunce, I perceyued yet in all thynges that the truthe ouer­cometh at length, and then consyde­ryng the ioyful and acceptable tyme that is nowe,ii. cor. vi. so that the euangelycal lyght shyneth ouer vs,Ro. xiii. the nyght be­yng past and the daye come to gyue lyght vnto al men that lyst to labour in ye lordes worke, it entred in to my herte (thoughe I mystrusted not the comyng of ye nyght agayne) yet that I ought not to be neglygent in the lordes worke accordyng to the gyfte [Page] which is gyuē me. But whē I coulde fynde nothyng to quyet my mynde for the settyng forth therof, without the daunger of some euyll reporte, ye worde of god (beynge the true salue for all maner of sores, and the perfyt medesyne for all maner spiritual dis­eases) gaue me comforte prouokyng me to stay no longer therin by the parable of certayne men whiche recey­ued of their lord and mayster sundry talentes to be put in vse for his ad­uauntage vntyll his retourne out of a straunge countre, in to the whiche he toke his iourney. And after a long season the lorde of those seruauntes came and rekened with them. Then he that had receyued .v. talentes said mayster thou delyueredest vnto me v.mat. xxv talentes, beholde I haue gayned with them .v. talentes mo. Then his mayster sayd vnto hym, well good seruaunt and faythful, thou hast ben faythfull in lytell, I wyl constitute ye [Page] ouer moche, entre in to thy maysters ioy. And he that had receyued .ii. ta­lentes had gottē other .ii. vnto whō lyke answere was made. But the ser­uaunt whiche had receyued but one talent and applyed it to no profyte, but hyd it in ye erthe came and sayd. Mayster I cōsydered that thou wast an harde man, whiche repest where thou sowest not, and gathered where thou strowest not, wherfore I was afrayde beholde, yu hast thyne awne. But for his slouthfull and euyll ser­uyce he was rebuked, his talent ta­ken from hym and gyuen to hym yt had many, and the vnprofytable ser­uaunt cast in to vtter darknes. Whē I remembred this sayeng of the lord which haue receyued but one symple talent in comparyson of other which haue applyed their wyttes and ler­nyng to fulfyl the lordes pleasure as it appereth by their excellent workes and bokes that they haue wrytten, [Page] yet feryng lest this smal talent shuld be taken from me, and so to receyue the dyspleasure of my lorde, whiche ought more to be feared then the dis­pleasures and dysprayses of all men, and his fauour and loue more to be extemed desyred and sought for, then ye fauour of all creatures. I thought it more conuenyent to folow his wyl then to regarde the false iudgemen­tes and the vntrue reportes of suche as knowe not the trouthe. And also of them whiche knowe it abusynge theyr knowledge to theyr great daū ­ger and parell. Wherfore as one in­tendyng to saue al thyng as vpright as maye be, I haue attempted to set forth this my rude worke, beyng as the cōmon terme gothe as playne as a packe staffe. And for it shall appere that I seke not the fauour of man, I haue not dedycate it vnto one man. But because I wolde that all men shuld seke the fauour of god I haue [Page] dedycate it vnto all men, ye I wolde that the poorest begget whiche can rede or here it red shulde haue it. But whether they be poore or ryche, to whose handes this lytell boke shall happen to come I her [...]ely desyre thē not to stycke to any thyng whiche is here wrytten ferther then they shall thynke it approued by ye scrypture & word of god, & as I haue wryttē in ye boke folowing so I admonysshe you in this prologue before to take this worke for an exortacyō to cōfort and counsell all men to rede and here the scrypture,ephe. v. that they may vnderstand what the wyll of god is. And after yt they are ones called that they may labour also to be chosen,mat. xx. & xxii. for many are called and fewe be chosen. But sure­ly who soeuer be chosen wyll put to his helpynge handes for to repayre agayne the lordes temple whiche is not made wt mennes handes.act. xvii I trust in God to se this temple in his per­feccyon [Page] that I maye reioyce as the people of Ierusalem dyd at the reparyng of the temple and cyte agayne.i. [...]d. iii. wherof ye shal perceyue more in this worke folowynge, vnto the whiche worke I haue caused my name to be set, not for any prayse that I entende to seke therin, but for certayne consy­racyons mouynge me therunto. The one is that I haue herde by reporte of other men that diuers be offended with sundry bokes, whiche beynge withoute name or aucthor haue ra­ther troubled theyr conscyence then set it in a quyetnesse, and that many haue ben suspected to be doers therof whiche were neuer of counsell nor knowledge therin. And I maye be­leue the thyng to be ye more true, for in a small peice of worke or twayne whiche I haue set forth my selfe ge­uynge it no certayne name, dyuers persones of dyuers men haue had ye fame & reporte to be doers of it. And [Page] though I passe not who haue the prayse, so yt ye glory of god & his truth may be roted & take place in ye hertes of men. yet as there is nothyng so ꝑ­fyt, but yt of some men it is dispraised & no meruayll seyng the very truthe (which is the worde of god) hath ben euyll reported of many. Therfore I thynke not ye any worke of man can content al men. And for these consy­deracyons wt other necessari that I omyt I haue put vnto this my name as one being cōtent to take disprayse wt prayse, payne wt pleasure & to be redy yf any faute shulde be to bere ye burden therof my selfe as he yt knoweth ye secretes of mennes hertes be a wytnes & iudge vnto me to whō be honour praise & glory for euer & euer.Sapi. i. Amen.

¶Finis.

¶These be the fautes escaped in the pryntynge. In the fyrst page of B the .ix. lyne these for theyr. In the first page of E the xiiii. lyne lyberte for ly­beralyte. In the .iiii. page of F the .xii. lyne of Christ In the .xiii. page .xvii. lyne of G the for theyr. And in the last page of the same say for lye,

WHat christiā hert way lyth not, whiche doth cogytate and remem­bre how vncharitably ye people of god haue bene dysceaued & that of no lytle tyme, through crafty scole maisters. And false prechers.Coll. ii. which more regardynge the satysfyenge of these detestable apetytes thē the sal­uacion of the precyous soules of mē, haue kept thē from the trewe know­ledge of his holy gospell, that shulde instructe them the perfyte and redye way vnto hym, whiche sayde.Mat. xi Eccl. vi Come vnto me all ye that laboure and are ladyn and I shall refresshe you.i. Pe. ii. Esa. liii So that the people haue bene as shepe strayeng in wildernes knowing not whyther to go.Iohn̄. x Pro. xxxvii. And yf ony hearyng the voyce of theyr trewe shepeherde, begā to take ye streyght pathe or way towardes hym,mat. vii there were a sorte of rauenyng wolues alwayes wayting [Page] redye to rent and deuoure them, but oure mercyfull Chryste beynge the good shepherde of his flocke.Iohn̄. x Ezech. xxxiiii. Miche. v. Nowe hauyng compassyon vpon the great dystruccyon of hys shepe. Sendes abrode his seruauntes and faythful mynysters to seke and gather them whiche were scattered abrode, togy­thers agayne / whō the wolffes and papystycall foxys dare not abyde to trye withall. But yet alas for pytye / ther is a great noumbre of Chrystes flocke, whiche haue bene kepte so long from heryng the voyce of their shepherde, that scarsly they knowe hym,Ioh. iiii nowe callynge them vnto him. They stand in a stay dowtyng whe­ther it be he and his mynysters that calles them or not. And some wyll harkē nothyng at al vnto his voyce, so that many ronne hedlynge styl into suche snares as were inuented to take thē in. Whose myserable estate I know not what to say vnto. What [Page] wold you that Christ shuld do more for you then he hathe done,Ioh. iii. Rom. v i. Pe. iii he hathe gyuen his lyfe for the redempcion of your soules, & hath left vnto you his holy Testament that therin ye maye beholde and vnderstande what hys godlye wyll is. And though it haue bene longe kept frome you. yet nowe of hys mercyfull goodnes ye haue fre lybertye to pervse it. Also he hath apoynted vnto you true & faythfull mynystres of his worde / with sure & strong defenders / agaynst suche as were wonte to be deuourers of his shepe. What thing els do you lacke / these thinges are the excellent giftes of the grace of god, and yf ye lacke grace & strength to come vnto hym / why call ye not for it. And aske it of hym ī whō ye haue a ꝓmyse by christ that what so euer ye desyre of the fa­ther in his name / it shalbe gyuen you I meruayll ye consyder and remem­bre not howe suche as toke on themIohn̄. [...] Mat. xxi. Mat. xi [Page] to be youre pastours in tyme paste haue pylled you. If ye wyll styll fo­low them / ye may well be resembled to a frowarde or folysshe shepe yt wyl ronne among the breres and rent ye woll from his awne backe / or in to a dyke & drowne hym selfe / your wyt­tes in this dothe appere to be no better then a shepes wyt / god hathe gy­uen you the vse of reason / & to none other creature but vnto man onely. And for as moche as ye wyll obsty­natly abuse that noble and excellent gyfte / wherby onely ye excell yt bruyt beastes. I can not se but your foly is inexcusable. Thynke you it shall be a suffycyent excuse for you to say / the bysshops / the preestes / and suche as were our gostly fathers taught vs this to do / & our fathers this many yeres before vs haue folowed this way. Truely what way so euer your fathers folowed / yf it were not the same way / that christ apoynted them [Page] by his gospell to walke in / without the great mercye of god be reserued vnto them,ma [...]. [...]v the blynd folowers with the blynde guydes are fallen both in the pyt. Howbeit I suppose verely yf the gospel of god had ben so prea­chid vnto your fathers as it is vnto you, they wolde haue repented there yngnoraunces and iniquites moche more thē many do now at this tyme / ye and yf the gospel myght haue had fre passage adn to be preached vnto all creatures as Cryst cōmaunded his dyscyples to do,Ma [...] xvi. i Mat [...] xxviii. Ioh. xi I thynke verely that Idolatrye shulde neuer haue crepte in to the churche of Cryst as it hath done. For it is to be supposed that when the bisshop of Rome / with suche as pretended to be the succes­sours of Christ & his appostles / delyted not in pouerte / but toke pleasure in pryde, and coulde no longer away with the rule yt theyr mayster Chryst had prescrybed vnto thē / supposyng [Page] they shulde neuer attayne to be lor­des and maysters by that scyence. Then they layde theyr heddes togy­ther howe they myght peruerte and suppresse the gospell, and to oppresse all those ye contrary to theyr myndes wolde stycke ther vnto, then made they decreys and lawes to serue for theyr awne purpose, & vnder a holy pretence set them forth to begyle the people withall. And when they had begyled kynges and prynces / & such as had theyr auctoryte by the worde of god. Then they sone perswaded yt moost parte of the people therunto. And suche as wolde cleue to goddes gospell / and not to theyr constytucy­ons / were taken as heretykes and constrayned to adiure or to be brent. And when they had brought theyr purpose to passe somwhat according to theyr awne myndes / that the prynces and theyr people obeyed them. Then that antichryst the bysshop of [Page] Rome was not ashamed to exempt hym selfe from all prynces lawes / & to put the lawe and testament of the lorde god vnder his fote / as though god and man / heuen and earth had ben at his cōmaundement. But as for purgatory it was a palace of his awne / euery man knewe he mought do there what hym lyst. And after he had (with the helpe of his louynge frendes) attayned to the glory of his vsurped papystycall power / yf any prynce began to wtstand his wycked pleasure out came the thonder bolte of excōmunicacion to interdicte both hym & his realme / as the cronycles of Englande and Fraunce can spe­cyfy. It is no meruayle though our fore fathers haue ben disceyued / and wandered in darkenes, seynge they were taught with blynd tradicions, & the lyght of goddes word were ta­ken from thē. Wherfore theyr foly is not so great in the syght of god, as [Page] ours,Ephe. v to whom the lyght is offered, & do refuse it. And as I sayd before, I thynke that dyuers of our fathers wolde haue repented moche more, then many of vs do yf goddes word had ben so preached to them as it is vnto vs. I haue herde some aske this questyon. We meruayle say they yt this knowledge hath ben so longe kept frō vs, & frō our fathers ī tyme past this many yeres, and that it is now come to passe more then in an other tyme. This is a very dyffuse questyon, howbeit ye shall here my mynde in it. ¶It is .v. or .vi. thou­sande yeres past syns our fyrst father Adam,Ge [...]. iii transgressed the cōmaunde­ment of the Lorde for eatynge of the apple. And it is nowe but a. M D. xxxviii. yeres syns our sauiour christ the seconde person in Trynyte suffe­red his passyon for the redempcyon of the synnes of all the world.i. Pe. iii Rom̄ v Math. xxvii. There were a great many of yeres from the [Page] tyme that Adam synned, vntyl christ payde the raunsome therof with his bloude, and many thousandes com­mytted synne in the meane season before Chryst came. Nowe yf any man coulde tell me why that Christ came no rather to redeme ye worlde, eyther why that he suffred more than, then at another tyme, me thynke I could answere thē dyrectly to their q̄styon. ¶I can say no more but as ye wyl of God the father was that his sonne shulde then come to saue the people,Luc. xix Ioh. iiii whome Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, nor any of all the holy fathers coulde saue (yet were they as holy as al the bysshoppes of Rome that euer was) So is it his godly wyl that his holy gospell whiche hath ben long kepte from vs, shulde nowe be preached a­gayne vnto vs. But to answere you why rather nowe then at an other tyme, or wherfore it hath ben so long kepte from vs.Ro. xii. Esa. xl. I wyl say with saynt [Page] Paule (Quis enim cognouit sensum domini,Rom xi. Esa. xi. i. Co. ii. aut quis consiliatius eius fuit.) Who hath knowen the mynde of the lorde, or who was his counsel­lers. Christ answered his disciples that demaunded of hym, yf he wolde at that tyme set vp the kyngdom of Israel agayn, sayeng.Act. i. Mat. xxii i. It belongeth not vnto you to know the tymes or seasons which the father hath kepte in his awne power. It is not mete for men to serche out the secretes of god nor to be of his counsel. Perad­uenture I coulde gesse wherfore this knowledge hath ben taken awaye from the people, by other examples that I haue red in the hystoryes of the byble, of the chyldren of Israell, whiche often tymes forsoke the lawe of the lorde and fell to Idolatry, for the which they were punysshed with dyuers plages, and as long as their myndes were corrupted with Idolatry so long were theyr hertes & theyr [Page] eyes blynded, yt they had no power to herken nor loke on the law of the lorde. Idolatry lykewyse I suppose hath ben the pryncypall cause that his gospell and his holy worde hath ben taken away from vs.i. Re. iii. ¶Kynge Salomon yt was kyng ouer Israell and had suche wysdome gyuen hym as neuer none had before hym, nor neuer shall haue after hym,iii. re. vi whiche buylded the tēple of god in Ierusalē, as long as he walked in ye wayes of the lorde al thynges dyd prospere wt hym. In riches he dyd for his tyme excell all men. He had all the pleasu­res that his herte lyked. But at last he abused the giftes of god, his wys­dome, his ryches,iii. re. xi. and fell to Idola­trye. He buylded hye houses vnto Idolles, and folowed not the Lorde vnto the ende as his father Dauyd dyd. And then though the lorde spa­red hym for his fathers sake, yet frō his sonne was there taken .x. trybes. [Page] And at lengthe from his posteryte, whiche also fell vnto Idolatry, was taken the trybe of Iuda by the kyng of Babylon, [...]ii. Re. xxv. the Cyte of Ierusalem destroyed & the temple of god beaten downe to the ground. And the kyng with the chefest of his people and all his riches led captyue in to babylon. But when it pleased god to haue cō ­passyon vpon his people, he delyue­red them agayne from they capty­uyte, and brought them to the lande whiche he before had gyuen them to possesse, where they buylded agayne the temple and the Cyte of Ierusa­lem that was dystroyed.i. Esd. iii. And when they layde the foundacyon of the lordes house they reioysed with all me­lody, they consydered the great mer­cy that God had done vnto them, & gaue hym thankes. But alas the people now adayes cōsyder not how they are delyuered out of Babylon, out of captyuyte and bondage from [Page] the bysshop of Romes heuy trady­cyons, & brought agayne to the per­fyte lawe of lybertye, to the Gospell of God that heuenly Ierusalem. Where is the Ioy and melody that ye shuld make for your delyueraūce. Where is the thankes and prayses that ye shulde gyue to God for his great mercy shewed vnto you. I thinke ye haue more feared ye bisshop of Romes curses, thē ye now regard the blessyng of god fallen vpon you. With what blessynge wolde you ex­pecte, to be blessyd with all yt a christē herte ought more to desyre, then a redy way vnto the kyngdom of heuen to be opened vnto you.Ge. xv iii. Ro. iiii. The Lorde made a couenaunt with Abrahā that his seede shulde possesse a temporall kyngdome and regyment. Remem­bre what a kyngdome it is that is promysed vnto you, it is not a kyng­dome that floweth with mylke and hony as theyrs dyd.Exo. ii [...]xo. xiii It is a celestyal [Page] kyngdō ye floweth wt ye grate & p̄sēce of god. The confort, ioy, & cōmodyte, wherof no tonge can expresse, neither herte can thynke. It is not a kyng­dome yt shal haue an ende, or where ye īhabitours may be distroyed as they were by nabuchodonosor,iiii. Re. x [...]v. it is a kingdome yt shal contynewe for euer. And ye celestyal cytezens shal lyue in suche rest, that nothyng shall haue power to inquiet them. I merualye that ye are so vnthankful for this blessyng. Remembre ye not frome what bon­dage ye are delyuered? Why hast ye no better to repayre agayne the tem­ple of the Lorde, which oure enne­myes of Babylon sought for to dy­stroye. And through theyr fayned holynes begyled the rulers of ye world, causynge them to commyt ydolatry, and to buylde vp hye houses for to honour & worshyp theyr Idols in. I do not so moche couet & desyre the excellent knowledge of lernyng & elo­quence [Page] whiche ye famous doctours, oratours, & poetes haue had) wrytīg not onely in the latyn tonge, but also in our awne vulgar speche, wherby I mought excyte you to take plesure ī redyng of this worke, as I ernestly desyre to moue you to take conforte and cōsolacyon in redyng & heryng of the worde of god, wherby ye mou­ght perceyue and perfytely vnder­stande yt his lyuyng temple (whiche is euen your selues) hath ben longe tyme in decay, & now of his mercyful goodnes (wtout our awn deseruyng) brought agayn to his first foūdaciō, wherupō we haue fre liberte to bild. Is it not a shame & great rebuke to vs yt we (which haue receiued ye name of christ, to be called cristiens) shulde appere to be lesse thankful, & to take any lesse ioy & cōfort in repayryng of our tēple, then ye Iewes had (whiche lyued onely vnder Mosyes lawe, to bylde agayn their tēple of stone. whē ye peple were delyuered frō their cap­tyuyte, [Page] which Nabuchodonosor had led vnto Babylon, It was he that mought put to his handes for the buyldyng of the temple agayne. And when the buylders were layenge the foundacyon therof, the people gaue thankes and prayses vnto the lorde, And lauded hym with Symballes & trompettes. [...]d. iii. And many of the aun­cyent fathers & preestes whiche had sene the house in his foundacyon be­fore, wepte and cryed for Ioy so that the noyes gaue a great sounde.

¶This temple was but a temple of stone made by mennes handes to ye honoure of god. And where the arke of promyse and couenaunt that the Lorde made with their fathers was put in, yet note howe they reioyced to se it set vp agayne. Nowe ye that be of Chryst,ii. co. vi. ye are as saynt Paule sayth the temple of god. Why reioyce ye not in the repayryng of your tem­ple agayne, ye haue a sure & substan­cyall [Page] foundacyon to buylde vpon, whiche is layde alredy vnto youre handes.i. Cor. ii [...] Chryst hym selfe is youre foundacyon, and though your ad­uersaryes haue attempted to plucke downe some small stones therof. yet is ther a corner stone,mat. exi. i. Eph. ii which ioyneth the walles togyther, agaynst whom they had no power.i. Pe. ii. It is a stōblyng stone for all them ye stryue agaynst it. They haue stryued so long agaynst this stone that they haue hurte them selues. your foundacyon and corner stone is bothe one thyng. It is christ which wolde haue his temple resto­red to his prestyne dignite. And now through his mercyful goodnes hath euery man fre lybertye to put ther­vnto his helpyng hande, accordyng to the gyfte and knowledge that is gyuen hym. But there hath ben a frowarde and crafty sorte of people that haue hyndered the buyldyng of the lordes temple a great whyle, as [Page] ther were some that hyndered ye buyldyng of the Cyte and tēple of Ieru­salem Ther were a certayn of the hethen people whiche wrote theyr let­ters vnto the kyng of persia (named artaxerses) whiche ar that tyme had the Empyre in his dominion,i. [...]d. iiii. sayeng yf this Cytye be buylded, and the walles made vp agayne. Then shall not they gyue trybute, toll, and yere­ly costome. And it shal apere in Cro­nycles that this Cytye is sedycyous and noysome vnto kynges & regyōs. And yt they caused other also to rebel of old, wt these & suche other thynges they mouyd the kyng to sende his cō maūdement that the worke shuld go no further forth, and then seaced the worke of the house of god at Ierusalem, and contynued so vnto ye .ii. yere of Darius kyng of persia. And hathe not likewyse the bysshops of Rome & theyr adherentes (long tyme fearing the decaye of theyr kyngedome) per­swadyd [Page] kynges and prynces, to be­leue that suche a lyke matter shulde happen vnto them, and that it shuld be a cause of sedycyon, yf the temple of god shulde be renued and exalted agayne whiche is, yf that the people shuld haue the worde of god in theyr maternall tonge, they sayde it is to hye a matter for them to medle with all, they muste receaue it at our han­des. And as we do expounde it vnto them. For well they knewe yf that matter came to passe, that then theyr crafte and falsehode wolde be spyed, they knewe that many of theyr con­stitucions and the true worde of god coulde not agre in one mynd togy­thers. And nowe when some of our holy prelates perceyued, that God wolde no longer suffre his Gospell to gyue place to theyr wycked pur­poses, but that it shulde come forthe in spyte of theyr beardes. Then beganne they to cloke the matter [Page] and as though they were innocent of all maner of harmes, when they sawe no remedy sayd, they were con­tented that it shulde come forthe in Englysshe, so that it mought be tru­ly translated. They put great dow­tes in the true translacyon therof. But howe many of them dyd there put to theyr helpyng handes for the translatyng of it. I thynke verely yf other men had not taken more payn therin then they dyd, it wold not yet haue come to that poynt yt it is nowe come vnto. And how they wrested & peruerted the scryptures when they had them in theyr awne handes, and that all mē were forbydden to medle therwith but them selues. It is euy­dent ynough to euery man that hath ony zele vnto the trueth. He is very symply lerned that doth not ꝑceyue how wrongfully they haue applyed this sayeng of Christe to Peter. Tu es Petrꝰ et dabo tibi claues.mat. xvi luce. vii. &c. And [Page] of ye lepers that were clensed whome Christ bad to go and shew thē selues to the preestes,leui. [...] whiche that famous clerke and doctour Erasmus in his paraphrases vpon the gospell dothe otherwyse expounde it, than I haue herde dyuers bothe preestes & freres whiche with that texte wolde bolster vp theyr auriculer confessyon. And an hūdred suche places wrested they in scrypture, to make for theyr pur­pose. I wyll not moche treate of that matter, for suche as be well lerned, whō god hath raysed vp to set forth ye trueth of his glory & to repayre agayne, his tēple haue both wrytten & spoken of theyr false peruertyng of the scryptures moche better then I can do. But truely I thynke in my con­science that they shal rendre a strayte rekenyng for the people of god whō they haue dysceyued with the scryp­tures so vntruely applyed & taught vnto them, I pray god to graunt thē [Page] his mercye, for the thynge is not so lyght as euery man thynkes it to be▪ It dothe appere in the fyrst boke of Esdras,i. Esd. i after that god had styred vp the spyryte of Cyrus kynge of persia to haue the house of god buylded a­gayn at Ierusalē in Iuda, and that he had gyuen fre lyberty to all them that were of his people,ii. Para. xxxvi. and had byn captyue long tyme in babylon to go home into theyr owne lande agayne to buylde the house of the lorde, ther were a certayne of the hethen people as ye haue red before that letted the goynge forthe of the worke after it was begon, so that it stode in a stay, vntyll kynge Daryus tyme whiche afterward reygned ouer the persiās. Thys Darius founde out in the ly­brary house of kyng Cyrus his pre­dycessour that he had gyuen in com­maundement to buylde the house of the lord at Ierusalē. [...]. [...]. vi. Wherfore he mouyd wt ye same zele & mynde reneweth [Page] the comaundement of Cirus, and [...]yueth thē lycence to buyld ye temple wt all thynges necessary ther vnto be­longynge. Who wyl not thynke but that this was an exydynge consola­cyon and com [...]orte to all the people, whiche couetyd the goynge forth of the lordes worke, and a great dyscō ­fort vnto all them, that desyred the hynderaunce of the same. And as it is to be thought of them, so is it lykewyse to be supposed of vs in this present tyme. Almyghty god the father hath moued the herte of our moost gracyous kyng to loke in the library In the holy wyll and testamēt of his son Iesus christ our only sauiour, beyng the foūdacion of his tēple vpō ye which Peter Paule, Iames,i. Cor. iii Iohn̄ & al ye apostles wt diuers other holy mē bylded, & receiued a cōmaūdemēt of ye lord to bild vpō none other foūdaciō thē ye which he had laid. Bbut thē cāe ther such a so [...]t as I haue wryttē of ye [Page] enuyed the goyng forthe of the lor­des worke. And though it were out of their powers to distroy it, yet haue they hyndred the same a long season. But as the wyll of god is (with whō there is no reason to be made, wher­fore he dothe it more now then at an other tyme) our godly kyng beynge inspired with the spirite of grace, re­nueth the cōmaundemente of our sauyour Christ, geuyng fre lybertye to buylde vp ye lordes temples agayne. He feareth not the aduersaryes ther­of, but expulseth them, and wypeth awaye Idolatry.iiii. Reg xviii. Num. xxi Euen as the good kynge Esechias dyd, whiche brake downe the brasen serpent yt Moyses had made for a remembraunce of the power and goodnesse of god, yet for cōmyttyng Idolatry and worshyp­ynge of it he feared not to breake it downe, neyther theyr hye houses in whom they worshypped their ydols. And lyke vnto ye good kyng Iosias,iiii. Reg xxii. [Page] when the boke of the law was found in the house of the lorde, after he had mourned because his Fathers had not herkened vnto that boke to do al that was wrytten therin. He caused it to be red vnto all his people, and made a couenaunt with them, that they shulde walke after the lord, and kepe his commaundementes, wyt­nesses and ordynaūces, with al theyr herte, and with all theyr soule.iiii. Reg xxiii. And that they shulde set vp the wordes of the couenaunt whiche were wrytten in that boke. And all the people en­tred in to the couenaunt. And hathe not our most godly kyng done euen in lyke maner. Hath he not sent a­brode through all his realme, that ye couenaunt of the Lorde (whiche is his holy gospel) shulde be truely and and syncerly preached vnto all his people. And because they shulde the better obserue and kepe the Lordes cōmaundementes and walke in his [Page] his wayis hath he not gyuen his pe­ple fre lybertye to haue the lawe of the lorde in theyr maternall tonge? who wyll thynke thys to be a smale benefyte? truely in my opynyon it is of suche valure that Englyshe men had neuer greater cause to thanke god for and to praye for the gracy­ous prosperytye of theyr kynge then for this matter, it is a thyng hyely to be extemed for a kynge to haue Ius­tyce mynystred wtin his realme, that as the sayenge is. The Lambe maye dwel by the Wolfe, the pore man by the rycher and one quyetly to lyue by another. It is a thynge of great cō ­fort vnto that realme, which hath a wyse poletyke & valyaunt prynce to defēd his domynyon agaynst forren nacyons, & rebellyons yf nede do re­quyre, it is a greate benefyte of god vnto that countrey that hath a kynd louynge and mercyfull prynce vnto his people. Now yf these thynges wt [Page] many mo then I can recyte be occa­cyons, vnto subiectes to beare fayth­full hertes and true obedyence vn­to theyr souerayne lorde and kynge. As I sayde before Englysshe men were neuer more bounde to it then they be nowe. But yet amonge all thynges yf I could recyte a thousād more then I can do, yet coulde I not reken one thynge wherin we ought to receyue so great consolacyon. And hertely to reioyse in / as in ye god hath sent vs a kynge which so gracyous­lye settyth forthe his glory & causeth his people to be fed wt yt ghostly fode whiche christ spake of.Mat. iiii Deu viii s [...]. x [...]i. Man lyueth not only by brede, but by euery word that procedyth out of the mouthe of god. The holy Gospels are the wor­des that procedith out of his mouth.

¶And yf the people had bene so long kepte frome bodelye sustyna­unce as they haue bene frome theyr ghostlye foode.

I thynke there wold haue ben but a slender company remaynyng at this tyme to inhabyte this lande. And yet it is a straunge rekenyng to here the vnwyse sayenges of many of the people, say they not, why shulde we not lyue as our fathers hath done before vs, they beleued this, and they bele­ued that. And we thynke there were as good men in those dayes as there be nowe. And why shulde we not do as they dyd. This is their opinions, wherunto me thynke I coulde make them a reasonable answere (yf reason wolde suffyse to satysfy them.) This is true yt the worde of god was kepte from our fathers, & they were made to beleue that yf they shulde exercyse thē selues therin it wolde make thē heretykes. And in stede therof they were fed with the bysshop of Romes constytucyons, so that in contynu­aunce the lyuely fayth that was due vnto the worde of god was chaūged [Page] and gyuē vnto deed Ceremonyes. I pray you take me not now at ye fyrst, that by this sayeng I entende to dis­alowe all good Ceremonyes. Do not as the sayeng is of the nunne, when she had red (Omnia probate) because it serued her intente red no ferther, where the nexte wordes folowynge were (quod bonum est tenete.) Whē ye haue sene my worke thorowly ye shall perceyue what my conscyence doth alowe and dysalowe. But to re­tourne to my matter. I sayd it was gyuen vnto Ceremonyes that which apperteyned vnto the worde of god. And the worde of god was kepte frō our fathers, whiche is now declared vnto vs, they coulde not here it for it was not taught vnto thē, they could not se it for it was kepte from them. Wherfore seyng we here that which they herd not, se that they sawe not, & know that they knew not, merueyll not though we do the thinges which [Page] they dyd not, there were moche more foly to be imputed vnto vs for fo­lowynge of theyr wayes. Then vn­to one that wolde take on hym to ryde a farre iourney by nyght which knewe neuer a fote of his way. And were also certayne that no man wold tel hym the streyght way. The lyght is gyuen vnto vs, what madnesse were it to walke then in darkenesse. The redye waye that we ought to walke in is manyfested vnto vs. Is it not then of a frowarde mynde that many do refuse it. Perchaunce there be dyuers that stande in dowte whether the wayes that theyr Fa­thers walked were perfyte, eyther els the wa [...]es that men are nowe taught to walke in. To them that be of that mynde I saye, yf there re­mayne any wrytynges what faythe youre Fathers were of. And what wayes they walked then compare [Page] them to the scrypture and wyll of God, And yf they agre therwithall, dowte ye not but they be good, and yf not then thynke not the contrary but they be euyll. For it is the true twytche stone to trye out the good frome the bad. And truely yf ye wyll folowe them whose wayes and doc­trynes agreed not with the scripture of God / bycause they had it not / nor coulde not be suffered to haue it. And ye haue it dayly preached vnto you, and maye rede it and here it in your mother tonge yf you lyste, I can not le the contrarye, but where as they offended of ygnorancy, your offence is of obstynacye. And ye may be counted madder then they whiche wyll wyllyngely ronne into the fyre and burne them selues. ¶For when the booke of the lawe of God, was founde in the Temple, whiche had not bene sene longe tyme before [Page] and brought to Iosyas the kyng, [...]ii. Reg xxii. he wepte and rent his clothes fearynge leest the wrathe of god shulde come vpon hym & his people, because their fathers had not herkened vnto the wordes of that boke, to do all yt was wrytten vnto them therin. He mourned for his fathers iniquites & sayd not as men saye nowe adayes. Why shulde we not lyue as our Fathers haue lyued, or why shulde we not do as our fathers haue done before vs, for yf our fathers had sene the dayes that we se, many of them wolde haue reioysed therof moche more then we do. And I thynke not the contrary but they dyd also couete & desyre wt all theyr hertes & were full sory that they coulde not se it. Wherfore I mystrust no more the mercy of God to be vpon them, then it was vpon dyuers holy men that were in this worlde before Chryst came to suffre his passyō, which faythfully beleued [Page] in his comyng to redeme the worlde for synne,Luce. x [...] and many coueted to se the dayes of the lorde, whiche sawe it not (but in faythe) Symeon desyred de­syred it and opteyned his desyre. And when he had sene Christ, beyng but a chylde and he an olde mā,Luc [...]. [...] his sayeng was (Nunc dimittis seruum tuum domine. &c.) Nowe lorde suffre thou thy seruaunte to departe in peace, for myne eyes haue sene thy sauyour wherfore all ye in whom there is any sparke of fayth to be redemed by the merytes of Christ. By the which the holy fathers that were here before Christ came, and haue ben syns that tyme, & euer shall be vnto the worl­des ende are saued. I exhorte and desyre to receyue this holy doctryne yt is now offred vnto you. And not ob­stynatly to refuse it. For there is mo­che more to be requyred at your handes then at your fathers, which had not that lyght opened and lyghted [Page] vnto them that you haue. And as I hope to be sauyd my selfe, so do I couyt the saluacyon of your soules. Wherfore I instantly desyre you to haue a perfyte fayth in Iesus christ. so that ye workes therof may testefye your fayth to be good, euen as good fruyt doth testefy the tre to be good. But beware that in no condycyon ye attrybute onye saluacyon to be due vnto your dedes but vnto fayth on­ly. For when ye haue done all that euer ye can do, yet say ye be vnprofytable seruauntes. And yet yf ye do not good workes your faythe is but a ded fayth, & no more extemed to be good,Luce. vi [...]t, vii then a tre is ye bryngeth forthe euyl fruyt, for it is the good tre that causeth the fruit to be good, and not the fruyt yt maketh the tre good, so lykewyse it is fayth yt bringeth forth good workes, & not workes good faith. I had not thought to haue spokē so moche of faith & workes, had I [Page] not herde wt myne eares notwtstan­dyng yt the scrypture is in Englysshe & that it is preached vnto them yt many men yet can not frame theyr fayth in the merytes of Chryst to be onely a suffycyent saluacyon for them, but wolde patche it vp wt their awne me­rytes. Where as concernyng yt, they are greatly disceyued, for good wor­kes is but a testymony that ye faythe is good, by the whiche onely all our saluacyon cometh. And yet is there an other thyng wherwith ye chrysten cōgregacyon haue ben pyteously dis­ceyued, besyde ye confydence in their awne good workes in trustyng to ye merites of sayntes euery man as his affeccyon lay, some vnto one saynt & some vnto an other, & yet ye sayntes merytes were insufficient to saue thē selues, for al they wer saued by christ as we are bound to trust for to be. And thoughe some wolde obiecte a­gaynst me, yt they put no confydence in the sayntes merytes, but onely [Page] in the sayntes merytes, but onely prayed the sayntes to pray for them. I meruayle thē wherof it came that men had more affeccyon to one saynt then to another, in one place then in an other. This ye can not deny me, ye thyng is to apparent. Thoughe ye deny me the fyrst whiche is as trewe as that. What is he that hathe bene one of these pope holy pylgrymes, yt can excuse hym selfe for puttyng dy­uersyte not onely betwyxte saynt and saynt, but also betwyxte ymage and ymage. Who thought that saynt Ia­mes was so good in any place as at Cōpostella, or saynt Peter at Rome. And here within this realme did ony of the holy pylgrymes thynke oure lady of Ipswytch, Worcestre, Wyls­don, or any of them all to be so boun­tefull as our lady of Walsyngham. No our lady of Penryce in Wales was not lyke vnto her. was not this a goodly honour gyuen to our Lady [Page] & to the sayntes, to thynke thē to be more hooly in one place then in an other, or that any holynesse, grace or vertue at all shulde persyst in a paynted stocke or stone cloke the matter who that lyst. And ye that thynke to be wyse with the best that can make for your excuse. An hōdred thousand poore people within this realme yet lyuyng haue ben and be disceyued wt suche affeccyonate and peuysshe ho­lynes. And I am sure that god suffe­red as wel for them as for those that were theyr furred hodes, and beleue verely that they haue bene ceduced therunto by suche as nowe wynke at the matter, which were not ashamed to bely the sayntes and to mocke the people with theyr fayned myracles. I thynke there can be no greater dishonoure done vnto the sayntes then with suche vyce and vnthryftynesse, as in dyuers places folowed of ye in­uented worshypyng of them. There [Page] is a custome vsed specyally in ye west parte of England to haue watches kept at churches & chapels vpon the saintes euēs. And if eating, drinking kissyng, pipyng, syngyng, & daūsyng be a mete thyng to honour ye saynt & to be vsed in ye temple, then is ye saynt as wel honoured & the church as wel vsed as can be thought or deuysed. They haue a terme theris called boustenyng, which is to make the blynd to se, ye dombe to speke, ye defe to here, ye halt & lame to go. True it is yt they which neuer saw nor had hering nor felte any thyng at all haue opteyned this grace there (but not īmedyatly) for it was euer .xl. wekes aft. Before ye benefite of this boustenīg toke his ꝑfeccyon ye know what I meane. if I shuld recyte ye abhomynaciōs (which I ashame to put ī writyng or remembraūce) it wold cōteyne a large volu­me of it self.mat. xxi Re. viii Esa. v. Ier. vii Christ draue out ye byers & sellers of ye tēple sayng my house is a hous of prayer, which ye haue made [Page] a den of theues, vpō this ye church hath bē cōuerted to a very good vse, for vnder a p̄tence of prayer aperyng to folow ye wyl of christ ye prestes haue ꝑmytted his house to be chaūged frō a den of theues to a den of rybaldes & harlottes. And though they wold say yt no acte of syn was cōmytted in the church, yet true it is yt ye occasyō of syn arose oftymes onely of theyr metyng ther, & the bargens of vyce was oftē made & apoynted there, & the thyng which elswher could not be brought to passe at their comyng to such holy places toke effect there as it oftē apered before ye yere came about. O merciful god yt ye pictures of his sayntes shuld not only be set vp to cause his people to cōmit ydolatry, but for ye couetousnes of their offring pence suf­fred to be a cloke of vice, syn & ribaudry, but what meruayl is it that they haue so abused the pyctures of his sayntes which feare not to abuse the pycture of hym selfe & his precyous [Page] blood so belyeng it that it may cause any chrysten herte to lament & wepe to thynke theron, & though ye thyng haue ben wrytten and preached of al redy, yet can it not be to often put in remembraunce to cause both the do­ers and permytters therof to repent and be ashamed of theyr foly, yf ther be any grace in them. I omyt many thynges to wryte of because that all mē can not yet abide to here ye truth. But I trust the tyme is come that ye truthe shal declare it selfe as concer­nyng ye sayntes, I wolde men shulde iudge none otherwise of me, but that I loue them as well and better then they whiche lycke & kysse theyr yma­ges. For I wolde that all honoure yt is due vnto them shulde be gyuen them. But in no condycyon that any thyng whiche dothe apperteyne vn­to Chryst shulde be taken from hym. For it doth appere by the great pay­nes yt ye haue takē to seke these holy [Page] places, weryeng of your bodyes, spē dyng of your substaunce, & many le­uyng theyr chyldren and housholde at home in penury, and by knelynge, kyssyng & prayēg before ye ymages, yt ye haue a certayne fayth & cōfydence in thē wherin ye rob god of his due honour and glory, but there be a sort of crafty scole maysters whiche haue taught you to saye, when any suche thynges is imputed vnto you that it is all for goddes sake yt ye do it, & yt ye do it for to please god withall. Alas that ye wyl styl be so dysceyued to suppose that ye please hym, with that thyng whiche hyghly dothe dysplease hym. Why wyll ye not loke in his testament, or herkē vnto his pre­chers that ye maye knowe what his godly wyll is,rom. iii. Ephe. v tess. iiii. & what ye shulde do to please hym. And yf ye thynke ye are not bounde to knowe his wyll, but to folow your awne wylles, & fantastycall appetytes, & the wylles of thē [Page] whiche sought not the glory of God, but their awne fylthy lucre & aduaū tage. Then doth the lawe of god no­thyng at all aperteyne vnto you. It is to be thought yt ye haue a cer­tayne zele vnto Christ, but it is not accordyng to truthe. Wherfore be­ware that zele wyll disceyue you, for as it shal be no good ple for a man yt hath commytted felony, murdre, or otherwyse transgressed the kynges lawes, to say that he knew them not. No more it shall be for you yt offende the lawes and wyll of God to make suche a lyke answere, specyally to thē whiche maye knowe it yf they lyst. There be certeyne persones whiche say it is better not to know ye lawes of God then to knowe them and fo­lowe them not. In dede to some men I thynke it is better but not vnto all men. It is better to oure Fa­thers whiche coulde not be suffered to knowe it, then vnto suche as at ye tyme attayned the knowledge therof [Page] and folowed it not.Luce. xii For Christ sayth to whom moche is gyuen, there is moche to be requyred of hym. But nowe at this tyme, the gospell & wyll of god is offered vnto all men. It is preached & taught vnto them, who so euer do refuse to receyue and here it. There is as moch or more to be layd vnto his charge, thē vnto thē which knoweth it and foloweth it not, there is no excuse to be made in this mat­ter. why do they refuse it but because they wolde not folowe it. And there be some yt haue an other reason. Be­holde say they these newe gospellers how vnthryftely many of them lyue, who are more couetous then they be, where regneth enuy, rancour, & ma­lyce more then in their hertes. They speke of loue, concorde and charyte, yet no men showe lesse charyte, nor lesse loue thē they do, they be proude, they be lecherus, & al ī vices as euyl or wors thē they which haue not the [Page] gospell. Truely I say euery man is bound to know it & folowe the same to ye vtterest of his power, and they yt be suche as ye haue herde reported of, reken them to be sclaunderers of the worde of god in theyr dedes as other men are in wordes, that spe­ke euyll of it.Luce. xii Iac. iiii And theyr knoweledge shalbe euyll vnto them. For the ser­uaunte that knewe his lordes wyll, and dyd it not, shalbe beaten with many strypes. Let not the noughty conuersacyon of the euyl, plucke backe your hertes from the knoweledge of gods word, for it is not the scryp­ture that maketh them euyll.Psal. xxxvi. But it byddethe them to abstayne frome euyll and do good, and suche as be euyl knowyng goddes worde, with­oute fayle wolde be wars yf they knewe it not. But throughe theyr noughty lyuyng they cause ye worde of god to be euyll spoken of, so that they offende not onelye them selues, [Page] but are an occasyon to other men to offende also, therfore the more synne is in them. Beware howe ye speake euyll of the worde of god, for it is a synne greater then al your good workes can satysfye agayne for it. Thynke not, nor saye not, bycause suche men, and suche men be nothynge the better for the Gospell. Therfore I wyll not medle with it. What canst thou tell what god wolde worke in thy herte yf thou dydest rede it, the thyng is so good of it selfe, that thou art far from grace to thinke it wold worke any euyll in the. Doyst thou thinke because thou seest some lewde persons that knowe it & abuse theyr knowlege that thou shuldest do lyke wyse. O folysshe man that so doest mystrust the mercye and goodnesse of God towardes the, His good­nesse and mercye is layde forth for al men and though euery man haue not grace to attayne vnto it. yet dy­uers [Page] men whiche haue it not at one tyme maye haue it at an other. And so they whome thou seyst to be euyll and knowe the scrypture yet beware dispyse not nor resuse not ye scripture therfore for it may worke in their hertes at some other tyme when it shall please god, to whom yu mayst apoynt no tyme. Ther is yet an other opiniō of thē, sayeng they wyl here no prea­chyng, because the preachers agre no better. Truely it is an vnwyse rea­son, and in my mynde but a fayned excuse, for yf all ye clergy of England agreed in one and preached one true way and doctryne yet many, I sup­pose wolde be no more dylygent in heryng but as slowe to come to ye ser­mons as they be now, for thankes be to god ye thing is merely wel brought to passe, there are very fewe sermons made (specyally in the Cyte and a­boute the Cyte of London) whiche is in the herte of the realme, that the [Page] one is repugnaunt vnto the other. Perchaunce there be some curres yt wolde fayne barke were it not that they more feared ye temporal scourge then the sworde and punysshment of God. And what be these that say they wyll here no preachynge, but euen they whiche also wyll not rede the scrypture neyther here it redde vnto them, wherfore they are to be repro­ued of frowarde and obstynat ygno­rancy. Who is so blynde as they that wyll not se. And who are more deffer then they that wyll not here. For tru­ly of this effycacy is the word of god that who soeuer wyll come to rede it, or to the preachynge therof, with a pure true and vnfayned mynde, wyllynge to learne, and not to be a bra­bler, and a busy dysputer thereof. He shall not all onely receyue great conforte and consolacyon therein. But also the very fruyte and know­ledge to deserne the trewe preacher [Page] of god, from hym yt falsly peruerteth the scryptures to mayntayne ther with hys awne wycked intent and purpose. Nowe seyng that the word of god is so excellent a thynge that no condygne prayse maye be gyuen therunto. Wo maye they be that are sclaunderers therof.zacha. Wherfore returne with a contryte mynde vn­to god that he may turne vnto you, trust vnto his promys and he wyll not dysceaue you. And saye not with your selues, I am old, I haue lyued this many yeres after this forte, It is to late for me to chaunge nowe. Remembre the parable of certayne men that were hyred to worke in the housholders vyneyarde,M [...] some came in the mornyng, some at noone, and some in the euenynge, and they that came last had lyke rewarde wt them that came fyrst, & they whiche came fyrst, and at none, grudged at them that came laste, bycause they had [Page] lyke rewarde with them. Then sayd the lord of ye vyneyarde, why grudge ye, haue I not gyuen you your pro­myse, why shuld I not gyue to euery man as it pleaseth me. So men are called to repentaūce, some in youthe some in mydle age, and some in olde age. And the lorde may rewarde hym as well that came last as he yt came fyrst, and no man may say vnto hym why do you so. So it appereth that heuen is not due vnto mennes good workes and dedes, but it is gyuen of the fre lyberte and goodnesse of God vnto al them that trusteth in his promyse, hauyng a perfyte fayth in Iesꝰ Christ. And howe that fayth may be knowen, I haue wrytten you before. And yf ye meruayll why the preestes in tyme past tolde you not this tale, and what ye cause was that they for­bade you the scrypture. Truely they knew wel that theyr lyuyng dyd not accorde therwithall, and that it was [Page] the thyng that wolde manyfest their pryde, theyr couetousnesse, and all theyr synfull lyuyng. Wherfore they bare men in hand that it was to hye matters for thē to meddle with, but that they must receaue it of them. And how truly they gaue it vnto the peple. He yt hath eares to here let him heare, and he that hath eies to se let him se.Luc. x. Beholde for the kyngedome of god is come nye vnto you, whiche ye desire daylt in your Pater noster, when ye saye (adueniat regnum tu­um) the Gospel is preached and laid before you, yt ye may therin seke oute what his wyl is,Luce. xi Mat. vii he byddes you seke and ye shal fynd, knocke and it shal be opened vnto you, where wyll ye seke but in his holy testament. Wyll ye seke it in the bysshops of romes decretals and in Legenda aurea as your fathers dyd, truly ye may knocke then vntyll your heades ake and seke vntyll your eies be blynde, and [Page] yet not fynde the way to ye kyngdōe of god, ye shall as sone fynd it in Beuys of Hamptō, & Guy of warwycke as amonge the holy bokes that ye & your fathers in tyme past haue ben permytted to loke on, but shulde I saye that all oure fathers are losse whiche were not taught nor coulde not be suffered to knowe the perfyte waye god forbyde, for when Chryste sayd to his disciples.Math. xix. mar. x. It is as harde for a Camell to go throughe the eye of a nedle as for a ryche man to en­tre into the kyngedome of heauen they aunsweryd Lorde who then shal be sauyd? He sayd that which is impossyble vnto men is possyble ynough vnto god now seynge ye no­thyng is impossyble vnto God.Luce. xiii. I dout not but manye of oure fathers which walked not ye streight path vnto christ, because they could not be sufferid to know it (yet hauing a zele & louīg mīd vnto hī optained his mercye [Page] But vnto vs whiche haue the open way declared frowardly to refuse it there is non excuse wyll serue.

¶And nowe to retourne agayne to a parte of my purpose, I ernestly ex­horte all you whiche are not alonely my natyue countrey men, but also redemed with the same precyous blood that I am,Rom. v. [...]. ix. i Pet. i i Ioh. i. yt ye wyll put away your cōfydence in pilgrymages vnto deed sayntes and ymages. And to thynke as the truthe is, yt it was but a thyng inuented to rob from you your tem­porall substaunce, which the insacya­ble bely beastes dyd so moche couet and desyre, that they nothyng regar­ded, what became of ye precious soule of man, which golde nor syluer, man nor woman, saynt nor aungel coulde redeme, but onely Iesus Christe, the immaculate lambe, whiche was re­uelated vnto saynt Iohn̄,Apo. v. that was founde worthy to open the boke with the .vii. seales and none but he nor to [Page] loke theron, in heuen in erthe nor vnder ye erthe. Thynke ye yf any thyng coulde haue redemed mannes soule, but onely the sonne of God, that he shulde haue ben sent in to this world to suffre hungre, colde, anguysshe, payn and cruel deth, no surely. Why are ye not thē ashamed to seke vnto any other but vnto hym. Why ronne you [...]o this ymage & that ymage, and put dyfference among thē and theyr holy places as though one were bet­ter then an other, where there is ne­uer a good as ye do vse them. And to thynke that ye please god and ho­nour hym in sekyng of suche places. I say playnly yo dysplease hym, for ye do contrary to his cōmaūdement, wherin ye dyshonour hym as moche as may be. The workes that ought to be done pleasyng and acceptable in the syght of god are conteyned in the holy scryptures,Deu. v by the whiche ye are playnly prohibited both to make [Page] any ymage, & to worshyp them. And what greater worshyp can ye do vn­to them thē to knele vnto them kysse them, set vp candels before them, & offre your mony vnto thē. I thynke I mought also say (and lye not) pray vnto them. For wherof shulde this inanne and vayne speche aryse with out a sertayne trust in them. When the people wold saye, our vlessyd la­dy of Walsynghā helpe me, the holy rode of North dore, and the crosse of Chaldon be my comforte, the trewe remembraunce of the crosse of christ wherin they ought only to seke their consolacyon, ioy & tonforte, was for­gotten or at lest abused vnto a great nombre of crosses & rodes within this realme. For the which (as reason is) myny are pulled downe, but ther re­mayne some yet, for all thynges can not be done at one tyme. I knewe a holy rode standyng in Englande in a house of freres ye which haue made [Page] the people to beleue & thynke yt the heare of his heed & berde dyd grow. What chrysten herre can suffre this iniury & mockyng of the people with the picture of christ to be vnrebuked wrytten & spoken agaynst. One of ye freres reported to a frende of myne, that yf it were not for that rode, they wyst not howe to lyue, were not they worthy to haue a good lyuyng yt py­ked it out wt ye pycture of christ so execrably vsed. wer not yu prayers of thes holy men suppose you of great effect before god. wer not these perfyte relygyous mē, & all thīges wel bestowed yt was gyuē to thē. Iudge ye yt haue any reason or iudgemēt, for in my cō ceyte ye can not displease god more then wt yt mayntenaūce of such ydle & abhomynable beggers, & I thynke ther can be no greter dishonour done vnto god thē ye honouring of his picture so abused, & it is certayn yt ye cō ­mytted ydolatry wt knelīg, prayēg & offring to it, & seīg ye cōmit ydolatry [Page] in the veneracyon of his awne pyc­ture. It is vndowted playne ydola­try to worshyp or pray to any pyctu­res or ymages of sayntes, whiche in their lyfe tyme refused all honoure refarryng it vnto God, whome they sought out in ye scryptures and prea­ched, taught & exhorted all men vnto hym they sent them vnto no stockes nor stones to offre nor to worshyp them. Nor they requyred no worship to be gyuen to them selues, nor sayd not we shall saue you, but sent men vnto Christ, and sayd folowe vs vn­to Chryst. Dyd not saynt Paule re­proue the people because they contended amonge them selues sayenge I holde of Paule,1. Cor. i. I holde of Appolo. And at an other tyme whē they wold haue done sacrifice vnto hym & Bar­nabas.Act. xiiii Dyd not they rent their clo­thes, sayeng why do ye this, we are mortall men as ye be & preache vnto you the gospell, yt ye shulde tourne [Page] from these vayne thynges vnto the lyuyng god. They wold yt al honour shulde be gyuen to god, & not to thē selues, & yet yf sayntes ought to be honoured for their vertuous & holy lyfe. And for conuertynge of the people vnto the true fayth of Christ. I am sure that saint Paule deserued it as well as any of them all. Thomas of Cauntorbury (whiche byed for many proper poyntes, yf all thynges were truely perspected and loked vpō) deserued not to haue lyke honour vnto hym, whiche I am sure is to be nombred among thē yt sayd. (Nō nobis dn̄e nō nobis,Psal. Cxiii. sed nomini tuo da gloriā) Not vnto vs lord, not vnto vs, but vnto thy name gyue ye glory. Nowe seyng yt the sayntes do refuse such honour, which cometh of a supersticious holynes, & that their honour & glory persysteth onely in ye true honourynge of god, me thynke there is more foly in ye people (which [Page] after suche a sorte wyl honour them) thē ther is to be imputed vnto those whiche seke to serue suche maysters that wyl non of their seruyce, but vt­terlye refuse it. Consyder who it is which aboue al thynges ought to be honored & serued, it is he yt wyl refuse none which faythfully wyl come vnto him, it is he yt is of power to kepe all men, & gyueth fode to al lyuynge creatures, it is he yt helpeth all them which cal vpō him, purposyng to obserue his cōmaundmētes me thynke this maister is mete to be serued, but let no mā thynke himselfe mete to do him seruyce, whiche whē he seyth or heryth what his maysters wyl & ple­sure is to be done, wyl do a thing cō ­trarye to ye same, as thoughe he were wyser thē his mayster. I graūt ther be fewe or non of his seruaūtes that haue not offendyd him, onlesse they were preseruyd by his grace. But he is suche a maister ye wyl not caste of [Page] his seruaunt for euery tryfle & sclen­dre faute, no though he haue hyghly trespased agaynst hym & trāsgressed his cōmaūdementes so he do not vt­terly refuse hym. But when he remē ­bres his foly, & returnes with a con­tryte mynde, knowledgyng his of­fence, & requy [...]yng pardon, he is al­wayes redy to forgyue & to receyue hym agayn,Luc. xv euē as ye father was yt receyued his sonne, which had ben in a straūge cuntrey, & cōsumed ye porcyō of his substance which his father gaue hym, whē he came home naked he clothed hym & feasted him wt a fatted calfe, sayng to his frēdes, let vs be mery. Beholde my son which was lost & is foūd agayn. So ye yt p̄tende to be ye people of god, remēbre ī your myn­des how ye haue bestowed ye porcyon of your substaūce, I meane not only of your tēporal substaūce, but of the true & ꝓfyte fayth yt you promysed at your baptym to bere vnto Iesꝰ christ [Page] as concernynge youre transsytorye goodes, you can not denye but ye haue bestowed it on deed Images, wher his wyl is, ye shuld relyue ther with his awne quycke and lyuynge Image.Luce. xxv. The poore people whiche be sycke, lame and blynd, and the impo­tent and agyd which can not labour and suche as be in prysō. ye haue not folowed his pleasure, but done con­trary vnto it. Wherfore truly ye are not mete seruauntes for him, oneles ye repent your folly and folysshe yg­noraunce, yf ye allege that your gostly fathers taught you this to do. I say vnto you that they be your gost­ly dystroyers, that so counselled you to commyt ydolatrye, whiche for the mayntenaunce of their naughty sin­full lyfe, shut you out of the kynge­dome of god,Mat. xxiii. and wolde not suffre you to come therunto, neyther they them selues wolde entre into it. The kyngdome of god is taken in some [Page] places for his lyuely worde,Luce. x. his gos­pell, hys glad tydynges whiche he brought to saue the worlde withall, through faythe in his passyon. For true it is that ye haue ben commaū ­dyd not to rede nor medle therwith­all, and they haue byn reputed and suffered as heretykes whiche haue presumed to do contrarye to that cō ­maundement. But nowe I praye you returne home agayn as the pro­dygall sonne dyd vnto his father.Luc. xv Behold what a feast is prepared for you, couet no longer to be fed with the dregges of theyr tradycyons, whiche maye be resymbled vnto the coddes that he wolde fayne haue ea­ten of, amonge the swyne. Nowe do as he dyd returne home agayne, the table is layd, the gospel of Chryst is opened vnto you, come and ye shall here the cōfortable wordes of christ. what ioye ther is in heuen for a syn­ner that commyth to repentaunce.Luc x [...] [Page] Consydre within youre selues whe­ther ye haue not ben lost in synne or not, when the fayth whiche ye ought to haue in Christ onely & to be saued by the merytes of his passyon was deuyded and attributed parte vnto one saynt & parte vnto an other as it appereth by sekyng vnto the Ima­ges. Peraduenture ye wyl say we be­leued in god, and we sought ye ymage for goddes sake. Whether ye pleased god therwt or not ye shall here what he sayd vnto Moyses,Deu. v. Exo. xx. and to ye chyl­dren of Israell. I am the Lorde thy god, which hath brought the out of ye lande of Egypte out of the house of bondage.Deu. viii. Thou shalte haue none o­ther goddes in my syght, thou shalte make yt no grauen ymage of any ma­ner of lykenesse of the thynges that are aboue in heuen and beneth vpon the erthe, nor in the water vnder the erthe. Thou shalte not honour them nor serue them, for I yt lorde thy god [Page] am a ielouse god vysytyng the synne of the fathers vpon the chyldren to ye thyrde and fourth generacyon of thē that hate me,Deu. xxxiiii. and shewe mercy vpon many thousandes of them that loue me and kepe my cōmaundementes. I stedfastly beleue that this cōmaū ­dement dyd not alone perteyne vnto the chyldren of Israell, but vnto all men, and is to be obserued of al those whiche to the worldes ende beleueth Iesus Chryst the sonne of god to be ye sauyour of the world. Now ye that haue made these ymages honoured and worshypped them consydre with your selues whether ye haue not commytted the thyng which the chyldren of Israel were cōmaūded by ye mouth of god not to do. For I am sure they are like to some thīg yt is ī heuē aboue in ye erth beneth or in ye water vnder the erth. O lord yt ye haue turned you frō ye lyuyng god vnto deed ymages which haue eyes & se not, eares & here not, [Page] noses and smell not, handes and fele not, feyt and goo not, mouthes and speake not, they are lyke vnto them whome the prophet Ieremy admo­nysshed the people of Ierusalem of,Bar. vi when they were led captyue into ba­bylon, whether it be good or euyll that any man do vnto them. They are not able to recompēce it,Eccle. v though a man make a vowe vnto them and kepe it not they wyll not requyre it. They can not delyuer a man frome deth, neyther are they able to defend the weake from the myghtye, they can not restore a blynde man to hys sight, nor helpe any man at his nede, they can not shewe no mercye to the wydowe nor do good to the father­les,Cap. xiiii They must be borne vpon men­nes shulders, as those that haue no feyt, wherby they declare vnto men that they be nothynge worth. Con­foundyd be they that worshyp them for yf they fall to the grounde, they [Page] they can not ryse vp agayne of them selues, when they be set vp in the tē ­ple theyr eies be ful of dust through the feyt of them that come in, theyr faces wax blacke through the smoke that is in the temple. The owles, the swalowes and byrdes fle vpon thē, and the cattes ronne ouer theyr heades. They can not defende them selues frome the robbers and theues, the verye wycked are stron­ger then they, they strepe them oute of theyr apparell that they be clo­thyd withall, they take theyr golde and syluer from them and get them awaye. yet can they not helpe them selues, they can gyue no sentence of a matter nother defende the loude from wrong, to be short they can not do so moche as a crowe that fleyth betwyxe heauen and earth. He con­cludyth sayenge blyssed is the god­ly man that hath no ymage and worshyppeth none,Bar vi. for he shalde far frō [Page] reproue. Many thynges haue I o­myttyd to wryte of, cōtayned in this Epystle to the intente, that the myn­des of those whiche thynke I haue not wrytten truly. And ye cōscyence of them whiche haue ben and be yet combred with the execrable zele to venerate and worshyp them may be mouyd to rede the same. Whome I instauntly desyre also to pervse the xiii. .xiiii. and .xv. Chapters of Sa­pience, called the boke of wysdome. And to resorte vnto suche psalmes & places of scripture, as the cotacyons in the margent therof shall induse you vnto, and I doute not but your cōscyence shalbe quyeted and satys­fyed in that matter, onles it be suche that obstynatly wyl repugne agaīst the sryptures & wyl of god. Whiche I coūt vnworthy to be called christi­ans it shall also testefye vnto you, howe shamefullye ye haue ben moc­ked withal & dysceyued, & what hath [Page] byn done wt the offryng money and other thynges offeryd vnto oure I­mages. Thynke you it may not be verifyed, as Ieremy wrote vnto thē that the preestes dyd adorne & trime theyr harlottes, & theyr chyldren wt al. I suppose verely there was but a smale porcyō therof gyuen vnto the syke and poore people. A lorde that thy people shuld so be [...]dyd, that theyr offerynge vnto dee Images shuld be amayntenaūce vnto quicke and detestable harlottes. This is the goodnesse that comyth of youre pope holynesse. This is the profyte that commythe of youre payne and pope holye pylgrymage, whordome & aduoutry is maynteyned through your Idolatrye. I thynke there is no faythful chrystē hert to whō god hath gyuen a mouth to speake other a hand to wryte ye can suffre this in iury against his lord god & his peo­ple to be vnrebuked. Wherfore saye not [Page] that I rayle. For I suppose it is my parte and all chrysten mennes par­tes not onlye to speake and wryte a­gaynst it, but hertelye to praye god to put in the rulers myndes to re­forme and route vp the occacyon of suche myscheue. The lorde god be praysed, the thyng is alredy gracy­ouslye begon, whiche I hope shall haue lyke successe & endynge. Wher­for loke vp ye that haue profest to be Christ. Let bales prophetes no lon­ger dysceaue you. I mean these wic­ked scole maysters whiche throughe couetousnesse made you to beleue yt youre pylgrymage goynge and of­frynge vnto Images was pleasyng and acceptable vnto god. Where in verye dede it was playne Idolatrye and a mere madnes, to speke vnto it that hathe no soule, and to make Sapien xiiii.petycyō vnto it for helth or lyfe that is deed to pray vnto it for helpe that is not able to helpe it selfe and for a [Page] good Iournye to hym that can not go. And when a man is on the ra­gynge see or purposeth to sayle ouer it to call for helpe vnto a stocke yt is far weaker then the tre that beryth him.Sapien xiiii. gene. vi. God causyd an arke to be made and therfore do men commy. theyr lyues to a smale pece of woode and are sauyd.Deu. iiii Deu. v. But god commaūded as ye haue rede before and as ye shall rede folowynge that Images shuld not be made. What meruayle is it then that the people often perysshe, whiche put more confydence in the thynge that the lord hath forbyden, then in the worke whiche the Lorde deuised and caused to be made. ye I maye saye (and lye not (then in the lorde hym selfe, as it often aperythe when through the mercye and onlye goodnesse of god dyuers haue esca­ped the daungers perryles, and ra­gynge tempest of the see. Go bare fo­tyd, bare legged, and in theyr shyrtes [Page] wt cādels and tapers to sondry Images, whiche me thynke is a pytyfull syght amonges chrysten people ha­uyng one god, the lord and creatour of all thynges, whom all creatures ought to honour and obey, put their truste and confydence in, seke theyr helth and comforte at,Deu. vi. Bar. v. and that one­ly ought to be seruyd and worshyp­ped. It is not moch to be meruayled at, and yf ther be many yet that murmour at the puttyng downe of ydo­latrye, specyally in them that are not learned in goddes worde. For it is harde sodenly to roote out supersty­cyous holynesse from the vnlearnyd peoples myndes, & many of ye prestes are very lothe to lese theyr offerynge pence. For dyuers thynges can not be so wel mayntayned nowe as they were before. It was no lytle sūmes of money that came yerelye to the prestes hādes for offrīges ī Englād. To my Iudgement yf it had bene [Page] equally deuyded it wolde haue suf­fysed to haue found al the poore and nedye beggers within thys realme. But yf I were a begger my selfe, truly, I wolde be very lothe to be foūde and kepte with that money offeryd vnto Idols. I had rather begge my brede in froffe and snowe, then to be kepte in a warme hospytall with it. Parauenture it wyl be obiected vn­to me y our ymages ought not to be called ydols. And that the scrypture meaneth it not of them, but of suche as were in the olde tyme amonges the gentyls and hethen people what and yf I name them not Idols as theirs were called, but affyrme them to be Images and pyctures of sayn­tes. Whiche is the best name that can be gyuen them. yet yf ye knele and praye vnto them. I saye playnly that you cōmyt ydolatry, chuse whe­ther ye wyll call them Idols or not [Page] For what soeuer it be ye robbeth christ from his due honour & glory I count it to be an ydol though it be an yma­ge of the best saynt that is in heuen. Saynt Paule sayth that no fornycatour, [...]. Cor. v. Ephe. vi or vnclene persone, or couetous persone (whiche is a worshypper of ydols) hath inherytaunce in ye kyng­dom of Christ. And in an other place he saythe howe agreeth the temple of god with ydols, ye are the temple of the lyuyng god,ii. cor. vi as sayth god. These are the admonicions of saynt Paule written in his epistles, also in dyuers other places, cōstruct thē as ye lyst & chuse whether ye wyll apply them to olde ydols eyther to newe ymages. And yf ther were no ymages in saynt Paules tyme, then muste ye nedes graunt me that they were made syns And thē I pray you what place haue you in scrypture, that wyll stande wt you for the veneracyon and settyng [Page] vp of them. Remembre this sayeng of Moyses vnto the chyldren of Is­raell,deu. iiii. kepe wel your soules for ye saw no maner of ymage in the day when the lord spake vnto you out of ye fyre vpon mount Horeb, that ye dystroy not your selues, and make you any ymage that is lyke a man or woman or beast vpon the erthe,Deu. v. or fethered foule vnder ye heuen, or worme vpon the ground, or fysshe in the water vnder the erthe. &c. Now truely this cō ­maūdement doth nothyng aperteyn vnto you, onles ye take the god of A­brahā, Isaac, Iacob, Moyses, ye pro­phetes, and of the chyldren of Israel to be your god yf you saye and beleue that he is your god, then do his pre­ceptes belonge vnto you, and not to you onely but vnto all that beleue in hym,rom. iii. for he is not a god vnto ye Iues onely, but to the gentyls also.

¶O what pyte was it, when that [Page] poyson was fyrst shed in to the chur­che of Chryst, when that papystycall honour was vsurped of the bysshop of Rome to be aboue Emperoures, kynges and prynces. And when he fell from pouertye vnto pryde, falsly peruertynge the scryptures sayenge that he mought bynde and lose at his pleasure. For then the ydolatry whiche Peter, Paule, and all the a­postles had wyped away with prea­chynge of the worde of God, began to renewe agayne, [...]. xvi Peters keyes wer chaunged, he began to playe checke mate with his mayster, and set vp lawes and cōstitucyons of his awne makynge. He graunted large indul­gences for vysytynge saynt Peters see at Rome, and then other percey­uynge the profyte thereof opteyned pardons, for vysytyng of syndry and dyuers other places. Then vp rose, ydols, what ymages I shulde saye [Page] and Christ was deuyded. For where as the people helde hooly of hym,i. Cor. i. then began they to holde some of one saynt and some of an other, and soe haue contynued many yeres. But call to your remembraunce in whose name ye were baptysed. Were ye baptysed in Peters name, Paules name or Iohn̄s name, yf ye were, holde of them. If ye were chrystened in chry­stes name, then holde of Chryst and take hym for your sauyoure, and his scrypture to wytnesse for youre me­diatoure.i. timo. ii Heb. ix. Gyl iii [...] Wherfore attrybute and gyue not vnto his sayntes, that whi­che onely is due to hym selfe. For yf ye do as I haue wrytten so wryte I agayne, theyr ymages so abused are but ydolles, and youre knelynge and prayenge before them is ydo­latry. But I dowte not thoughe Chryste haue suffered longe this in­iury vnto hym selfe, and hys holy [Page] gospell to be troden vnder fote,ii cor. vi. that nowe the acceptable tyme is come, so that his worde shall florysshe agayne in spyte of all the enemyes therof, & that they shall not be able to abyde ye tryall of the great wronge that they haue done vnto the people of god in kepyng away of the swete fruyt that they shuld haue had in his scrypture and to fede them with rotten apples & foure crabbes of theyr awne trees. A straw for your false fayned persuasyons and lyes that haue taught the people to say, we honour not the ymage but the saynt whome the ymage dothe represent. Why then do ye ex­teme the ymage of our lady not in al places to be lyke, and dyuers yma­ges of one saynt to be lyke good. I mought more truely saye, to be lyke euyll. For as ye haue abused them, there was neuer a good, And to be more playne I can not se how ye can make them good, they that make thē [Page] are lyke vnto them, and so are all suche as put theyr trust in them.Psalm C.xiiii. [...]a [...]ie [...] xiiii.

Happy or blessed is the tree where through ryghtuousnesse cometh, but cursed is the ymage that is made wt handes. For though it be not called god, yet is it a stale to robbe mennes hertes from God, and the honoure whiche alone dothe perteyne vnto God. O crafty catchpolles that soo haue inuented a name vnto them to be laye mennes bokes, whiche God hath prohybyted to be made, and to kepe from his people the boke of his lawe and his holy testament, the bo­kes of the prophetes and appostles, and all the bokes of the holy fathers agreynge in one. (as I began this worke.) To instructe men the pertyt and true way vnto hym, whiche sayd come vnto me all ye that labour and are laden and I shall refresshe you,math. [...] whiche he commaunded to be prea­ched and taught to his people, but [Page] be it now that I graūt you a ley that they were bokes to instructe the lay people.mar xvi Math. xxviii I am sure theyr instruccy­on extendyd no farder but to put mē in remembraunce of them whome they do represent. What knowledge haue you by theyr deed and domme pycturs of theyr vertuous lyuyng. Suppose you they were so appare­led in purple & gold and so set with owchys, bedes, rynges, money, and other Iewels as theyr Images be, no truelye they regarded no suche peltrye. Theyr affeccyons were moued to other more noble & p̄cyousser thynges, for the pycture of hym yt ye nowe garnysshe with golde, by his lyfe tyme was coueryd with a gar­ment made of Camels heare,Mat. iii iiii. Re. i and it is to be supposed (that as Chryst re­prouyd them whiche buylded and Lu [...]. xi. Mat. xxiiigarnysshed the Sepulcres of deed Prophettes whome theyr fathers [Page] had slayne) that ye lykewyse whiche garnisshe, gyld and spare for no cost nowe vpon deed Images. Wolde scarslye bestowe one peny vpon the very sayntes, yf they were lyuyng. For truelye theyr doctryne was the thynge whiche ye can not abyde to heare. Euen the Gospell of Chryste, that is nowe preachyd and taught vnto you. I wyll not faye that ye wold kyll them whiche haue suffred alredy for Chryst and his doctryne. Whom ye accounte now to be sayn­tes, but yf they were lyuyng, with­out fayle ye wolde repute and call them arrant herytykes. And then I thynke it shulde be a sklendre chari­te that ye wold bystowe vpon them. But wherof happenyth this blynd­nesse amonges you, but that in stede of ye true bokes cōtained in scripture bothe of god and his sayntes that preached taught & folowed hym. ye haue set vp vnto you a blynde boke, [Page] a dome Idoll and a deed Image, whiche can instructe you to no goodnesse, nor induce you to no vertue. Perchaunce there hanges some olde wrytten table by it, contaynyng ther in an abhomynable lye, and a false fayned myracle or twayne. But note one thynge I pray you, that wher so euer suche tables be, ye box to receyue offrynge monye is not or was not farre of, and yf that the box and of­frynges be taken awaye, and none permytted to be any more ther, they that made and caused to be made youre blynde bokes, and lyenge ta­bles, wold be more glad to pul them downe thē your selues, ye they wold not pas yf ther were not one within christendome. But I meruayle that they trusted not the ymage with the offrynge monye, what nede they to make so strong boxys of yron or war dyd with plates of yron to kepe it. Me thynke yf the monye had byne [Page] layd but euen before the ymage, ther could no man haue taken it a waye but that his hande shulde haue cle­ued to the aulter or to the place wher the money lay, yf they were so holye as they made them, but men maye perceaue they had but smale confy­dence in thē themselues. yet taught they the people to seke helth at their handes whiche can do no good, nor say none euyll. For euery sundry dysease there was an ymage inuented and set vp. One for heed atche, an other for tothe atche. One for cho­kyng, an other for burnyng. One for the palsay, an other for the plage. It were to longe a worke to reherce thē all. But yet me thynke it was great pyte that saynt Vncombre in poules was pulled down, for she was a gret comforte and helper vnto all good wyues whiche were troubled with shrewde husbandes. But I meruell for what purpose they offered otes [Page] vnto her me thynke that offerynge was more mete to be gyuē vnto saint Loy. For in some partes of England the horse cutters haue .v. pence for cuttyng of euery horse a grote to thē selfe & a peny for saint Loye. It is to be thought he was some horse keper or horse corser, wherfore otes were more mete to fede his horsses withall then to be offered to saynt vncumbre it is no meat conuenient for a womā to fede of. I praye you good women be not dyspleased with me for my playne wrytynge. And if ony of you be troubled with an euyll husbande, the best counsel that I can gyue you is to shewe your selfe so kynde, lo­uynge, and meke vnto him, that he maye be ashamed (onelesse he be past all shame) But to be good and gen­tyl vnto you. It doth not belonge vnto my matter to treate betwyxte men and theyr wyues. And also for lacke of experiēce because I was [Page] neuer maryed) It mought chaunce wher as I purpose to please one that I shuld displease .ii. Wherfore I wyl resorte to my purpose. desyryng both men and women to thynke as the trueth is, that any thynge whiche is wrytten in thys lytle volume concernynge sayntes that it is not wrytten in their dispraise, nother yet in the disprayses of suche persons which haue ben blinded (through false ypocrites) with superstycyous holynesse. Nowe knowledgynge in their hertes their folly and blindnesse, receauynge the trueth that is declared vnto thē. For ther were very fewe whiche haue not wādered in darkenesse. But to thē in whō gods holy doctrine can take no place whose stomakes are so ful stuf­fed vp with syn & abominable Idolatry that their eares can not here ney­ther theyr eies behold ye word of god. But obstinatly refuse it, repugne agaynst it, & speake euyll of it, callyng [Page] it newe doctryne) I can not se but they are to be dyspraysed and lamented as people frowardly refusynge the grace of the holy ghost offered vnto them, but ye that are the people of god and haue receyued the lyght of his gospel, remembre that ye haue ben deceyued. Let it neuer fall from youre myndes yt ye haue walked in darkenesse,Iohn̄. ii & nowe that the lyght is come whiche hath bene longe kepte frō you. Worke whyle ye haue light some haue lost their lyues for sotting forth of it. And many haue auentu­red their lyues (scapyng very narowly) before they could bring it to passe. Be ye busy therfore in ye lordes har­uest,Luce. x. the haruest is great and the la­bourers are fewe, for there be many ydle bely beastes that couyt to haue the nyght come agayne, whiche lyste not to laboure but slepe in synne as they and other haue done before, but because I haue yet made no full and [Page] perfyte answere to them which haue cedused the people from the true ho­nourynge of God vnto ymages (for theyr fylthy lucre) sayenge and tea­chyng them to say. We went not in pilgrymage vnto the ymage nor we prayed not vnto the ymage, but we went for the sayntes sake whom the ymage dothe represent, & we prayed vnto the saynt whiche is in heuen. ye thynke that this is so stronge a reason that no man can avoyde it. But sure ther is nothynge that can be cloked agaynst the worde of God whiche wyll not be espyed, and is ea­sye ynoughe to be auoydyd. I praye you aunswere me fyrst for what pur­pose ye prayed vnto the saynte, the saynt can not saue you. ye are not of god onlesse ye beleue to be sauyd by the merytes and passyon of Chryste only. The best of al the sayntes could not saue him selfe by his owne mery­tes, no yf ony of them were lesse syn­ners [Page] then you are, it was by grace gyuen them of god and not of theyr awne powers. And I am sure they are no saintes onlesse they do attry­bute the gyfte to come of god onely, ye wyll saye because they are in suche fauoure with god, therfore wyll we praye vnto them that they maye be mediatours vnto god for vs. Nowe here aperyth a lacke of knoweledge of you in ye scrypture. And if ye know it a lacke of sure faythe and truste to beleue it.Timo. ii For saynt Paule sayeth ther is one god and one mediatoure be­twyxte god and man, whiche is the man Christ Iesus. What mistruste haue you in him, thynke ye that he is not a sufficyent mediatour for vs al. He hathe made vs a promys yt whatsoeuer we axe of the father in hys name it shall be gyuen vs.Ioh xv. All the saintes that be in heuen neuer made vs suche a promys for it is oute of theyr powers to perfourme it, they [Page] they them selues stacke to that pro­mise. they had neuer come in heuen els. I neuer redde of any of the sayntes when they were here lyuyng that made ony praiers to the sayntes whiche were deed before them, but alwaies vnto god, is god of lesse pow­er or goodnesse then he was in olde tyme. It is euen the same god, it is he that brought the children of Isra­ell oute of bondage frome the cruell Pharao kynge of Egypte throughe the greate see,Ex. iiii. Iosu. ii. Iudi [...]. Psalm. lxxvii. Ge. x [...]ii. i. Cor. x. whiche he deuyded lyke a wall on euery syde, soo that they walked throughe as on the dry lande, it is he that gaue them water oute of the harde stone it is he that fedde them with Manna in wyl­dernesse,Exo. xx. it is he that brought them vnto the fruyteful and goodly londe that he promysed them,Deu. vi. Iosue. xxiiii. it is the same God that perfourmed all his pro­myses to all those that faythfullye­trusted in him, & obserued his cōmaū dementes. [Page] And yf ye thynke hys power be as good now as it was thē and euer hath bene, why seke ye not to him, why seke ye for helthe at other mennes hādes. What can ye sayntes do more for you now, thē they coulde do for thē whiche in tyme paste put the irtrust holli in God. Perchaūce ye thynke youre selues vnworthy by­cause of your synn to pray vnto god, and therfore ye wyll desyre the sayn­tes to pray for you. And yf ye be of that mynde it doth apere ye haue a dystruste in the promys and mercye of god. If ye turne vnto me saythe Chryst I wyll turne vnto you.Zacha. i. Ier. xxx [...] Psalm. xxiiii. The prophet sayth what soeuer he be that feareth the Lorde he shall shewe him the way that he hath chosen.Ps. xxvi Delyte thou in the lorde & he shall gyue the thy hertes desyre.Pro. xvi Salomon saythe commyt thy workes vnto the Lorde and loke what thou deuysites it shal prosper, and yf ye turne not vnto the [Page] Lord, feare hym & delyte in hym wt a repentaunt mynd for youre naugh­tye synfull lyfe. In vayne is youre prayer and all youre deuyses, for ye ought to commyte your workes vnto the Lorde, in whom onlye ye haue not one promyse, but manye promy­ses agreyng in one (contayned in the scriptures) to prosper and to be hard. And to optayn your requestes of god the father for Chrystes sake,Ioh. xv. and not for ony of the deed sayntes sakes, But yet trwe it is that God spared the punnyshement of synners, and hylde his hande frome plagynge of them often tymes for the iuste men­nes sakes as ye may rede how Moyses pacyefyed the dyspleasure of god agaynst the people with his prayer.Exod. xxxii. Which was made frō such a faithful hert vnto god. And for suche a true louynge mynd vnto his people, that he desyred (rather then they shuld be dystroyed) to be stryken oute of the [Page] boke of lyfe himselfe. Paule wysshed also to be cursed frome Christ for his brethrens sake.Rom. i [...]. These praiers were of another maner effect thē ye prayers of our popeholy pykepurses, prayng for ye soules in ye bitter paynes of purgatory. Agayne ye maye rede ye god wolde haue spared ye dystrucciō of ye eyties which were dystroyed for syn,Gene. xviii. for ye sakes of tē good persōs, yf they mought haue ben founde in them, at the request of Abraham. Remembre the exortaciō of saynt Iames,I [...]. v. for one man to praye for an other declaryng what efficacy is in ye ryghtuous mā ­nes praier if it be feruēt. By example of Helyas that was a man mortall euen as we are,iiiii Reg xvii. whiche tolde kynge Achab yt it shulde not rayne, & it ray­ned not on the earthe by the space of iii. yeres and .vi. monethes, and he prayed agayne,iiii. Reg xviii. and the heuen gaue raine, & the erth brought forth fruyt. I wold ye people wolde be exercysed [Page] in redyng & heryng such lyke stories whiche mought put them in remem­braūce of the great mercy & goodnes of god alwayes shewed vnto them which did feare & loue him, & what effecte their prayers were of. Wherin they mought also take exāple what punisshmēt god toke vpō obstinate synners & ydolatres, whiche though god oftē spared to punysshe thē for ye ryghtuous mēnes sakes, & at theyr hūble & feruēt prayers yet is ther to be notyd in thē all after what sorte & maner god sparyd them. Salomon whiche had commytted Idolatrye & displeased ye lorde, agaynst whō god raysed vp sundry aduersaries to trouble him & his kyngdome. yet ye lorde spared him & made him a promyse yt he shulde possesse styll his lande du­ringe his lyfe,iiii. Reg xi. for his father dauids sake which had walked in ye wayes of the lorde, but there was no promise made vnto him yt he shulde inheryte [Page] the kyngedome of heauen for his fa­thers sake. I am sure he neuer came ther but yf it were for Chrystes sake only. Nother the best saynt that euer dyed, so where ye fynde that god she­wed his mercy vpon synners for the ryghtuous mēnes sakes. Consyder alwayes the diuersyte of the benefite gyuen only for Chrystes sake (which is the kyngdome of heauen) and that whiche was gyuen at the petycyons and for the loue of holye men, beynge but a temporall rewarde, it is but a temporall rewarde for a man to haue his lyfe prolonged. Neyther to in­ioy landes, ryches, honoure, helth, or suche other thynges.mar. xvi Act. v. The apostles by theyr lyfe tyme receaued power of the lorde to gyue helthe to them that were sycke. And to caste out deuyls and vnclen spyrytes.iiii. Be. xvii. yee and ye shal rede of holy men that by theyr pray­ers haue reuyuyd the deed to lyfe. yet al these were but temporal benefites [Page] gyuen also of hym by his sayntes to confyrme theyr faythe in his name that they dyd it (whiche is Christe) to whome belongeth only the remission of synnes and the kyngdome of god.Rom. v. Now seyng it belōgeth onlye to him to gyue ye one, & to forgyue the other they ought onely to be requyred and desyred of him. And if ye purpose to praye vnto the deed saintes for any thing belongynge either to your bo­dyes or soules vpon the grounde of this argument, sayeng for as moche as they were holye men and women in theyr tyme, and that god spared the punysshment of synners often for their sakes, and at the feruente and humble prayers, moche rather it is to be thought that they now hauing receauid a glorified body, and be in ioye with Christ shalbe herde of the lord. And the sinners sparyd at their request and prayers. To that I an­swere yf ye were certayne that the [Page] sayntes whiche are deed (whose bo­dyes remayne in the earthe to the re­surruccyon of all flesshe) do aswell heare your voyces nowe, as they did the voyces of the people beinge here and spekyng vnto them by their lyfe tyme. That then it were conuenyent ye shulde praye vnto them to praye with you and for you to god. But for as moche as I neuer yet could be certefied by ony man throughe scrip­ture that they do heare oure prayers, for my parte I thinke it but a vayne thinge to truste in the vncertayne thinge, and to leue the certayne, to leue Christ and praye to his saintes. To all those that knowe the saintes heres them I saye it is well done, but to al them that beleue it and know it not, I saye it is not well done. For as moche as they haue not the scrypture to certefy thē of their wel doing. The vnlearned multytude exceptyd in whome I thynke it is nother wel [Page] nor euyll done, whiche knowe no­thing more thē is preached & taught by their curates vnto them. So they refuse not the truth (aproued by scripture) when it is taught them, whiche I refer vnto the bisshoppes and wel learned men in the scriptures wherin is contayned al thynges necessary belongynge to faith and saluacion. But admyt that ye were certayne yt the sayntes do heare you (whiche I thynke trulye wolde trouble the mooste parte of the clergye within Englande to approue) suppose you that they wold pray either with you or for you if ye thynke euyll in youre harte, not beyng pourged with con­tricion for syn, and to praye for good thynges with your mouthe, no tru­ly onles they do only heare the voyce and knowe not the harte. But God whiche hearethe the voyce and kno­weth the secretes of the mynde,Ro. viii. re­gardeth neither the honoure whiche [Page] ye gyue him, neither the prayer of your mouth onles your hertes agre withall and if you praye for grace with your mouth, and couyt it with all your hertes, it shalbe gyuen you yf you pray forgyuenesse of your synnes & are penytent for them in youre hertes they shalbe forgyuē you. Axe what soeuer ye wyll (in faithe) and it shalbe graunted vnto you.Ioh. xv But in whose name ye shulde aske, I haue shewed you and for his sake ther is a promis made vnto you yt ye shall obtayn it. It is not for saynt fraūcis sake that ye shall posses the celestial heritage nother yet his holye cowle that can preserue you frome hell (for your sinnes) let the frers say as they list. It is a vayne reasō that I haue harde dyuers men make, which by a similitude apply ye fauour of world­ly princes vnto the fauour of the ce­lestial god sayeng if a man haue any thing to do with the kinge, he must [Page] fyrste sue vnto the noble men of the courte, and suche as be of the kyn­ges preuy chambre, yf he thynke to opteyne his purpose, & not to prease to the kyng hym selfe. And so lykewyse vnto God a man shulde fyrste pray and be a sueter vnto his sayn­tes & not presume to go to hym selfe. Is not this an vnwyse thynge that men pondre no better the dyuersyte betwyxte the creator of all thynges and his creatures. The kynges gra­ce is the ministre of god, and yet but a man as an other man is, his knowledge maye not be compared to the knowledge of god.Ro viii Hiere. x [...]vii. psal. vi [...] God knoweth ye secretes of ye herte, the kyng knowes it not before it be vttered and tolde hym. And he that is the kynge of a realme hath many thinges to thinke on so yt a man hath nede to make his frendes aboute hym yf he thynke for to spede, and euery man maye not at al tymes come to ye kynges presence. [Page] But to come vnto God is an other maner of thynge, so that thou come with an vmble, a meke, & a contryte herte, for god is neuer troubled with busynesse, all thynges are vnto him but as one thyng. And though he be kynge of all kynges, yet is he well pleased that thou shalte come to hym at all tymes, there is no porter nor dore keper shall kepe the oute. If y loue him he wyll be alwayes where as yu arte. Thou canst not speake so softly but he shal heare yu. [...]. viii. Thou cāst thynke nothynge, but he knoweth thy thought, and if yu aske any thyng in faythe thou arte sure to haue it, [...]. [...] he byddeth the come to hym, he sendeth the to none other. Wherfore shul­dest thou be afrayde to do as he byd­deth the. And seyng that people haue founde oute so stronge a reason to stande on, I wyll assaye to stoppe their mouthes with an other reason.

Who wolde not thynke hym to be [Page] a fole or an hartlesse person to whom the kynge wolde saye. If thou haue any thynge to demaunde of me speake to me thy selfe, and I wyll gyue the thy request. And yf he wolde not speake vnto the kyng hym selfe, but desyre an other to speake for hym, of the whiche he were vncer­tayne whether the kynge wolde here hym or not, were it not an vnwyse parte. Also yf the kynge wolde saye, there shall none come in to my preuy chambre, But suche as my sonne the prynce shall suffre to come in. (take it that his grace were come to his perfyte yeres of knowledge and perseueraunce. And yf I mou­ghte speake vnto the Prynce and were ryghte certayne to come in▪ when I desyred hym. Were not [...] a foole to desyre an other to speake vnto the prynce for me, which I were vncertayn whether the prynce wold [Page] here hym or not. Now seing we haue none other enteraunce in to ye kyng­dome of God the father, but by his sonne Iesus Christ, & he hath sayd. Come to me, why shuld we go to any other,Mat. xi but to hym selfe onely. I wold haue ben lothe to bryng in these hu­mayne reasons to establisshe goddes worde withall, had I not ben com­pelled (as the sayeng is) to dryue out one nayle with an other, one reason with an other. The worde of God dothe informe you, who is your me­diatour plucke no honour away that is due vnto hym. Haue no lesse con­fidence in hym thē ye ought to haue. All that apperteyneth to hym by the scryptures gyue it hym, and thē your consciencys trulye examined yf ther remayne ony thynge belongynge to the sayntes, gyue it them and spare not. But where ye fynde him to be your onely sauiour and mediatoure, [...]. Thi. ii patche him not vp I pray you with [Page] his sayntes. And if ye lyst to pray vnto them, lerne fyrst to be acerteyned whether they heare you or not, that you labour no longer in vayne. And proue it eyther a thynge inuentyd to rob Christ frō his glory, & you from your money, other els yt it came of a distrust in the promises & mercyfull goodnesse of god. But to saye or thynke that our lady is not in al places lyke good, blessyd, and holye, or ony saint better in one place then in an other. And so to go to theyr Ima­ges, and pictures, settynge vp of candels, knelynge, kissynge, prayenge, & off [...]ryng vnto thē, ye I say playnly is ydolatry, & for ydolatry god hath punisshed ye people often tymes with diuers and sundry plages. For ydo­latry he spared not kynges and princes, but rooted their posterites from their kyngedomes.iii. Reg. xiiii. iii Reg. xv. [...]. [...]vi As ye maye rede of Ieroboam, kynge Achab and dy­uers other. Nowe seynge that the [Page] lorde spared not kynges and rulers of the earth for ydolatry, which were in the tyme that the law of god gyuē vnto Moyses stode onely in effecte, beyng in dyuers thynges but fygu­res & shadowes of the true and very Messias (which is Iesus Christ) and we hauyng his most holy testament, a wytnesse vnto vs that he hathe all redy suffered for the redempcyon of our synnes. [...]. Pet. ii Shall we suppose yt he wyl spare vs for ydolatry if we repēt not & conuert vnto hym (no truely) but let vs wayte for a greter punysh­ment thē they had. For the lord god sayd I came not to breake the lawe,Mat. v. Deu. v. but to fulfyll the lawe. And where as Moyses sayd, thou shalte not kyll. Christ sayd,Exo. xx. thou shalt not be angry. Moyses sayd, thou shalte not cōmyt aduoutry. Christ sayth yt who soeuer eyeth a wyfe lustyng after her hath cōmytted aduoutry wt her alredy in his hert.Leui. ix ye haue herde how it is sayd [Page] thou shalt loue thy neyghbour & ha­te thyne enemy. But christ sayeth vnto you, loue your enemyes,Mat. [...] blesse thē yt curse you, do good to thē that hate you, pray for thē that do you wrong. & persecute you, that you may be the chyldren of your heuenly father, for he maketh his sonne to ryse on the euyll & on the good, and sendeth his rayne on the iust and on the vniust, wherin it apereth what a mercyfull God he is. But beware ye that are nowe past the tyme of the shadowes and figures of Moyses lawe, & haue the very thynge offered vnto you, whiche all those fygures & shadowes dyd represent. For yf ye froward­ly refuse it, and styll folowe youre owne blynde wayes, and the inuen­cyons of those that soughte youre dystruccyon, and wyll not herken vnto hym that sayde.

I am the waye, the trueth,Ioh xiiii and the lyfe. It is greatly to be feared, that [Page] as the children of Israell vnto whō ther was a terrestiall and temporall kyngedome promised (that goodlye lande of Canaan) whiche was full of all pleasures and comodites for breakynge of the Lorrdes preceptes and chefly for Idolatry,Exo. iii were punisshed with diuers temporall plages and punnisshmentes. So lyke case that ye whiche haue the celestiall kyngedome promised vnto you, where ther are suche thynges prepared for them that loue god, which the eye hath not sene and the eare hath not herde nor hath it entred in to the herte of man.i. Co. ii. Esa. l [...]iiii If ye wyll not obserue the lordes cō ­maūdementes, but prouoke hym styl vnto displeasure with your ydolatry as I sayd, it is to be feared, lest your punysshment be reserued vnto that place,Math. xiiii. where there shall be waylynge and gnasshyng of tethe. Call your iniquites to remembraunce, expell your synne and ydolatry with repen­taunce. [Page] Be not styffe necked agaynst the lorde whiche standeth waytynge that he may haue mercy vpon you, & lifteth hym selfe vp ye he may receyue you to grace.Esa. xxi As the prophet Esaye sayd vnto the people of god whiche were punysshed, for sekyng helpe at other then hym selfe, for the lord god is ryghtuous, happy are al they that wayte for hym. Marke that sayeng of the prophet, he sayd not happy are some, but happy are all yt wayte for hym. And though the wordes were spoken vnto the people of Cyon, and to the Cytesens of Ierusalē, yet doth it serue also vnto vs. For he is our lorde and our God, of whom it was sayd vnto them, shall ye neuer be in heuynesse, for dowtles he wyll haue mercy vpō you.Esa. xxx As sone as he hereth the voyce of thy cry he wyl helpe the. The Lorde gyueth you the breed of aduersyte, and the water of trouble, but thyne instructour flyeth not far [Page] from yt yf thyne eyes loke vnto hym, yf thyne eares herkē vnto his word, that cryeth after yt and sayeth. This is the way, go this, & tourne the ney­ther to the ryght hande nor to ye lyft. ye ought to put nothyng to the word of god nor to take no thyng from it,Deu. iiii ye lord wold haue you kepe ye streight path which is apoynted vnto you by the scrypture. As for the tradycyons of men they be dowtfull & in many thynges not cōsonaunt vnto ye scrip­ture. Haue ye not ben taught to ba­ble vp suche prayers, wherof ye vn­derstode not one word what ye sayd. The apostle sayeth yf I praye with tonges (meanyng a voyce yt he vn­derstode not) my spyryte prayeth but my mynde is without fruyte. I had leuer in the congregacyon to speake. v. wordes with my mynde to the in­formacyon of other,i, Cor. xiiii rather then .x. thousande wordes with the tonges (whiche be not vnderstande.) The [Page] effecte of prayer ꝑsisteth not in many wordes. Christ sayeth,Mat. vi when ye praye bable not moche as the Gentyls do, for they thynke they shal be herde for theyr moche bablyng sake. Be ye not lyke them therfore, for youre father knoweth wherof ye haue nede before ye aske of hym.Ma [...]. [...] The scrybes and pharasyes were reproued of the lorde for teachyng the people to obserue theyr tradycyons in stede of goddes pre­ceptes, sayenge.Ese. xix Well prophecyed Esaye of you, with theyr lyppes they honoure me, but theyr herte is farre fro me. And where the worde of God is truely preached the same word ly­ke wyse shall reproue your false tea­chers whiche haue taught you and youre fathers th [...]s many yeres wyc­ked tradycyons.Mat. vi. The true fastynge and perfyte prayer haue they abu­sed, and taughte the people to doo lykewyse the workes of charyte and almous dede (whiche oughte to be [Page] done and gyuen to the poore) hathe ben dymynysshed and gyuen to sturdy and valyaunt beggers craftely crepte in to ye church of Christ, which haue begyled the people with theyr false ypocrysy and fayned holynesse. Meruayll not though it greue them yt the people haue fre lyberty to rede and serche the scriptures, for it is the onely thyng that vttereth theyr craft theyr falshode, & theyr wyckednesse, for betwyxte them and theyr ydolles which were inuented to pyke mēnes purses (and that vnder an holy pre­tence) what meruayl was it that England was so replenysshed with the­nes, vacabundes and beggees, it is an euydent thing that the most parte of them be offended that ye scrypture is in Englysshe, wherby their subtel­tye is espied, for if a man reproue thē of ypocrysy, or byd them laboure for their lyuynge. Awe say they is this ye charyte that the gospel teacheth you. [Page] Truely it were not to be wondred at yf men were not so moche in charyte with you as they be whiche so haue dysceyued the pore symple soules frō theyr charytable aimous, to whome god dyd apoynt it to be gyuen. I say not this because men shulde breake their pacyence towardes you, but to reduce you the soner to repentaunce and amendement, and to be sory and ashamed of your euyll doynges. Saynt Iohn̄ sayeth in his seconde Epystle who so transgresseth & aby­deth not in ye doctryne of Christ hath not god, he that abydeth in the doc­tryne of Christ hath bothe the father and the sonne. If any man come to you and bryng not this doctryne, re­ceyue hym not in to your house ney­ther salute hym. That text I suppose caused the freres to ronne aboute wt In principio erat verbum, fearynge els they shulde not be saluted of the peple nor receyued ī to theyr houses. [Page] But there is an other place in scryp­ture more conuenyent to be applyed vnto them then yt place agreed and serued to their purpose, beware of false ꝓphetes which come to you in she­pes clothyng, but inwardly they are rauenyng wolues, ye shal know thē by their fruytes, God knoweth my herte I write this for no malice vnto them, but to thentent yt the truthe of gods glory which hath long ben hyd mought appere agayne, & his holy gospel which they & suche other haue falsly belyed, peruerted & kepte in corners may come to his perfyte lyght, so yt the people myght know the true honouryng of God to be in spirite & veryte, & to folow the exhortacyon of saynt Peter to walke after the wyl of god & not after the wyll of ye hethen,i. Pe. iii. in wantonnes, ryotous drynkyng, & abhomynable ydolatry, & the holsom counsell of saynt Paule to be no worshipper of ymages,Collo. i. & to mortefy your membres [Page] of synne vpon ye earth.Iohn. v. Saynt Iohn̄ warneth lytel chyldren to kepe them selues from ymages. O lorde howe hath thy blessed worde & the doctrine of thy holy sayntes ben abused ye old mē now a days cā scarsly be brought to folow ye lesson. Know ye not yt your body is the temple of the holy ghost.i Cor. vi. Remembre vpon what foundacyon ye are buylded,Mat. [...]i. [...] stycke vnto your foū dacyon & cleue fast to your heed cor­ner stone, which can not be remoued. ye are not a temple of stone made wt mennes handes, ye are ye lyuyng temple of god,ii Cor. vi whiche haue ben longe in decay, brused, brokē, & pulled downe of those yt wer enemyes bothe to you & your foundacyon Christ,Mat [...] i. Cor. iii but they haue pulled so long, yt they haue met wt a rocke,1 Pet. ii. ye stomblyng stone whiche hath made them to fall. Now is the tyme to repayre your temple agayne be ye not neclygēt in ye lordes worke, but laboure wt herte & mynde, therin [Page] euery man according to his power & callyng. And agaynst suche as wyll go aboute to hyndre or let the going forth of your worke, prouyde watch men (I meane preachers) to defende you with ye worde of god as ye people dyd at the buyldyng agayn of Ierusalem wt weapons,ii. [...]. iiii & some labouring wt one hand hauyng their weapons in the other hand. So ye that are la­bourers in what scyence so euer it be (to gete your lyuyng wt trouthe, ac­cordyng to the wyll of god) yf ye can handle your weapon, yf ye haue any knowledge in the scriptures, then let the lawe of god, his holy testament & blessed word (beyng the sworde that Christ cōmaunded his dyscyples to by) be alwayes redy at your hande, [...]. [...]xii whether ye eate or drynke, slepe or wake, go or ride, ye whē ye be at your lawfull workes, & in all places haue it in a redynes, to resyst therwith the enemyes of the lordes worke (which [Page] wolde not haue his holy temple re­payred agayne.) Beholde what an ouerseer & mayster of your worke, ye lorde your god hath chosen & apoyn­ted vnto you our most gracious kīg a true defender of the fayth of Christ & his churche, agaynst the wrongful violatours therof. And for because he wolde not take ye name in vayne (craftely giuē to his grace to support & maynteyn a church which is agaīst christ) (depriuyng prynces from their iust tytle & true name.) He hath takē vpon hym (as the law of god permytteth) to be ye supreme heed of ye church vnder god, which was not only fais­ly vsurped from his grace & his pre­dycessours, but also frō al other kyn­ges & prynces. Reioyce & be mery all ye which haue ben as shepe goyng a stray.i. Pet. ii. Luce. xv Esa. liii But now retourned agayne to your bysshop & shepeherde of youre flocke, & they that be not come, let thē come & herken vnto his voyce, & to [Page] theyr voyces whom he hathe sent to call them. Let thē no longer disceyue you which sent you to deed ymages no nor yet to the sayntes to be youre aduocates. Our aduocate [...]s Ihesus Christe.i. Ioh. ii whiche optayneth grace for our synnes, and not for our synnes onely but for ye synnes of all ye world. Serche the scriptures and ye shal se howe wrongfully & falsly they haue belyed it bothe agaynst god and mā. For where they haue borne kynges & prynces in hande that yf the people shulde be suffered to haue it in theyr maternall tonge that it wolde make them heretykes to god, & disobedient vnto theyr gouernours. There is nothyng more true then this is an ab­homynable lye, a very blasphemy to god, and treason to kynges, for it is the onely perfyte thyng, that tea­cheth men theyr true obedyence and duety, bothe to god, to the prynces & to ther gouernours. [...] iii. Saynt Paule [Page] wrote vnto Titus sayeng, warne the people that they submyt them selues vnto prnyces, and to the hyer aucto­rite, to obey ye officers, & to be redy vnto al good workes.Ro. xiii. And vnto the Ro­maynes, let euery soule submyt hym selfe vnto the hyer powers, for there is no power but of god. In the same chapter he sayeth, gyue to euery man therfore his duety trybute to whome tribute belongeth, custome to whom custome is due, feare to whom feare belongeth,i. Pet. ii. honour to whom honour perteyneth. Saynt Peter sayeth sub­myt your selues vnto all maner or­denaunces of men, whether it be vn­to the kynge as vnto the chyef heed, or vnto rulers as vnto them that are sent of hym, for the punysshment of euyll doers. But for the prayse of thē that do wel, honour al men loue bro­therly felowshyp. Feare god, and ho­nour the kyng. And Christ hym selfe sayd vnto the discyples of the phari­ses,mat. xxii [Page] whiche were sent to tangle hym in his wordes, concernynge trybute to be payde vnto ye Emperour. Gyue vnto Cesar that whiche is Cesars, & gyue vnto god that whiche is gods. Many mo places are ther conteyned in the scryptures, to establysshe and confyrme my sayenges to be trewe, teachyng the people the trewe loue & feare of god, and the iust obedience & honour of prynces, and suche as be in auctoryte. But I trust that this shall suffyse at this tyme to be a me­moryall vnto you, for to beware of those which durst presume so to belye the worde of god, and that vnto kynges and rulers of the worlde. And in stede of goddes worde to fede al men with fables, lyes, and false tradycy­ons. For it teacheth them not onely theyr duety to god & to the hye pow­ers, but also of chyldren vnto theyr parentes,Eph. vi seruaūtes vnto their may­sters, wyues vnto theyr husbandes, [Page] and how ye husbandes agayne shuld loue theyr wyues,Ephe. [...] educate theyr chil­drē, prouyde for theyr housholde, vse them selues towardes theyr seuaun­tes, and howe euery degre shulde be­haue hym selfe one towarde an other Now yf these which haue taken vpō them to be preachers in tyme paste, bothe to vs and our fathers, be not approued to be vntrue mynysters of goddes worde, and false lyers therof then beleue not my worke. And yf wt theyr lyeng and false doctryne they had hurted the body onely the thyng mought more easely be suffered. But how can they recompence the iniury done vnto the soule of man whiche coulde neuer haue ben redemed,Ephe. i Col. i. Heb. i. but with the precyous bloode of Chryste onely, whiche also they haue belyed. Who soeuer thynke I wryte truely let them beleue the truthe. But for ye satysfyeng of their myndes, I desyre them to serche the scryptures, which [Page] I doubte not shalbe a wytnesse vnto me that I haue wrytten the trouthe. And ye that haue receyued the name of Chryst and are called christiens, I testefye vnto you that ye are bounde also to receyue his doctryne (whiche is his holy gospell) or els ye haue a name in vayne, as for the decrees de­cretales, constitucions, and tradici­ons of men, and the rules of Bene­dicke Dominicke, Austyn, Fraunces or any of them all ye ought to gyue no ferther credence vnto them then they agre with the scripture and per­fyte word of god, of the which word, I requyre and exhorte all men not to be reders & herers onely but also fo­lowers therof. For yf any man here the worde and do it not, he is lyke vnto a man that beholdeth his bodely face in a glasse,Iaco. i, for as sone as he hath loked on hym selfe he goeth his way, & forgetteth immediatly what his facyon was. But who so loketh in the [Page] perfyte law of lybertye & contynueth therin, yf he be not a forgetfull herer but a doer of ye worke, the same shall be happy in his dede. These are not myne owne wordes, but the godly wordes & counsell of saynt Iames (ye apostle of Chryst.) And for because ye shall not thynke ye I haue attemp­ted in this my worke to entyse your hertes from deuocyon & to set you at lyberty to do what euyll ye lyst. (as ye sclaunderers of goddes worde haue reported of other men.) I praye you to lerne a lesson or .ii. more of saynt Iames & of other holy men yt ye may know what pure deuocyon is, & how ye ought to pray & aske in fayth, and knowe what lyberty ye haue by the gospell & word of god. Pure deuocyō and vndefiled before god ye father is this to visyte ye frēdlesse & wydowes in aduersyte,Iaco. i. and to kepe your selues vnspotted of the worlde.Iaco. i. If any mā lacke wysdome let hym aske it of god [Page] whiche gyueth to all men indyffe­rently, and casteth no man in ye tethe and it shall be gyuen hym. But let hym aske in faythe and wauer not, for he ye wauereth is lyke the wawes of the see tost of ye wynde and caryed with vyolence, neyther let that man thynke he shall receyue any thyng of the lorde. A waueryng mynded man is vnstable in all his wayes. Dauyd sayth put yu thi trust in ye lord & be doyng good,Psal. xxxvi. so shal he gyue ye thy herts desyre. This sayeng of ye ꝓphet agreeth nothīg wt thē which say yt ye scripture & new lernyng (as they cal it) se­tes mē at liberty to do what they lyst but they are enemyes to Christ & his doctrine yt so haue taught the people, & their ygnoraūce is moch to be lamē ted whiche beleued thē, Dauyd byd­deth you to do good, & absteyne from euyl, & so do al ye places of scripture likewyse exhorte you, for where ye haue herd yt it shalbe geuē you of god [Page] the father what soeuer ye aske in his sonnes name. Thynke ye yt this pro­myse dothe perteyne to suche as be euyll doers, and contynewe styll in wyckednesse, no truly.ii. thi. ii Saynt Paule sayeth let him that calleth on the na­me of Chryst departe from iniquite. Wherfore I counsayll you to folowe the exortacyon of Paule, Peter, Ia­mes, and Iohn̄, and suche as were Christes apostles and dyscyples, leauynge vnto vs a memoryall of their lyuyng, whose doctryne accordeth wt theyr maysters, and is approued for holy scrypture, theyr lernynge is no newe lernynge. It is aboue a thou­sande yeres olde, and yf that be not olde ynough, then I pray you to loke vpon the doctryne of Dauyd, Esaye Ieromy, and suche as were the holy prophetes, & compare their documentes, and lyuyng with the apostles, & se howe all they agree togyther in Christ, and if ye passe so moche vpon [Page] the nombre of yeres, because ye saye ye wyll kepe the olde lawe and olde facyons, I am sure they may be your fathers great grauntfathers. Wherfore saye not yt ye wyl do as your fa­thers haue don. For as I haue wrytten before ther were crafty scole maysters that taught thē vntrue lessons, but many perceyued them whiche coueted to se the dayes that we se. Wherfore yf ye deny the doctryne of the apostles and prophetes ye deny Chrystes gospell,Luce. x. yf ye deny his holy gospell ye deny Chryst hym selfe. If ye saye ye deny not Chryst it is not trewe, as longe as ye sclaundre his worde, callyng it newe lernyng, spe­king euyl of the teachers and reders of it. And ye your selues refusynge bothe to rede and here his godly wyl declared vnto you in his scryptures. Wherfore yf ye wyll be membres of his churche, helpe to repayre agayne the lordes temple, inbrace his scryp­ture, [Page] herken vnto his voyce, and vn­to them which calleth you vnto him. And when ye are come folow hym in doynge the workes of charyte which belong vnto fayth, that ye maye here these confortable and ioyful wordes of Chryst. Come hether ye blessed of my father,mat. xxv enheryte ye the kyngdom whiche is prepared for you from the begynnyng of the worlde. Amen.

¶Finis.

¶God saue the kyng.

¶Cum priuilegio.
‘HONY SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE’

¶Imprynted at London by Iohn̄ Waylande with in Temple barre, at the sygne of the blewe garland. Anno. M.D.xxxviii. he. xvi. day of Octobre.

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