The first tome or vo­lume of the Paraphrase of Erasmus vpon the newe testamente.

Enpriented at London in Flete­strete at the signe of the sunne by Edwarde Whitchurche, the last daie of Ianuarie.

Anno. Domini. 1548.

Cum priuilegio Regali ad imprimen­dum solum.

EW

To the moste puissaunt prince, and our moste redoubted soueraigne Lord Edward the sixthe, by the Grace of God King of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande, defendour of the faith, and on yearth next and immediatly vnder God, of the Churches of Englande and Irelande the supreme head, your moste humble, louyng, and obedient subiecte, Nicolas Udal wisheth al grace and peace from God, with long and thesame moste prosperous Reigne ouer vs, in all honour, health, and condigne felicitie.
MOste noble and moste worthie Soueraigne,

it myght in me so basse and simple a persone, appeare no small presumpcion to write vnto your Emperiall Maiestie, were not the cause of our publique gratulacions so iust and so greate, that no manne, what euer he bee, hauyng occasion to wryte, maye thynke hymselfe voyde of cryme; if he shoulde omytte to de­clare and testifie the vnestimable comforte and ioye, whiche your vniuersall moste louyng and obedient subiectes, daily more and more doe take of your Maiesties singuler good procedinges and most excellent toward­nesse. For where, by ye space of many yeres vntil it pleased the goodnesse of God to sende you vnto vs, the earneste prayers of all Englande was that we might haue a Prynce: and after the tyme of your natiuitie, whan God had so gracy­ously heard our peticions, we eftsons prayed that ye myght haue grace to fo­lowe the godly steppes and proceadynges of your moste noble father: euerye man seeth nowe in your Maiestee suche towardenes of vertue and godly zele, that we haue conceyued no lesse then an vndoubted hope yt ye wyll (by Goddes gouernaunce) ferre passe your saied father, to whom our daily wysshinges and prayers thought it enough to haue you eguall. We all see in your highnesse suche liuely sparkes of vertue and Christian regiment toward, that we cannot but thynke Englande the moste fortunate Royalme that euer was, to whome God hath geuen suche a Kyng, as in his minoritye of tendre babehood, lear­neth to haue mynde on his funccion, and to considre whose mynistre he is. If Royalmes (after the saiyng of Plato) are than and neuer els in blissed state, whan eyther Philosophiers, that is to saye, suche as knowe and loue God, doe reigne ouer thesame, or els the Kynges geue themselues to philosophie, that is to saye, to the due knowledge of God, to the disciplyne of vertue, and to the vp­ryght execucion of their office towardes all people: howe happye are we En­glishmen of suche a Kyng, in whose chyldehood appereth as perfeict grace, ver­tue, godly zele, desire of literature, grauitie, prudence, iustice, & magnaniraitie, as hath heretofore been found in Kinges of most mature age, of ful discrecion, of auncient reigne, and of passing high estimacion? But suche is the goodnesse, of God, that to a people eagerly hongreyng and thrysting his iustice, earnest­ly sekyng the wayes of his trueth, tendrely enbracyng his moste holy woorde, readily acceptyng the grace of his ghospel, wyllyngly conformyng themselfes to the sincere doctryne of his commaundementes, he forgeateth not to geue a sapient Kyng and gouernour. And that God hath of a singuler fauoure and mercye towardes this Royalme of Englande sente youre grace to reigne ouer [Page] vs, ye thyng selfe by the whole processe doeth declare: the summe whereof I shal in a short discourse no more but briefly touche & passe ouer, leste I might seme rather to haue sought an occasiō in the waye of flatery to extolle you and your progenie, then as this present cause enforceth me, to geue due testimonie of the trueth. In dede your singular excellēcie in al kindes of princely towardenesse is such, yt no place, no tyme, no cause, no booke, no person either in publique audi­ence or els in priuate coūpaignie maketh any mencion of your Maistie, but he thynketh hymself euen of a veray conscience boūd to powdre thesame wt many­fold praises of your incōparable vertues & giftes of grace. Al which prayses & magnifying though they bee in dede muche inferiour to your moste woorthye desertes hytherto, yet your maiestie muste take and repute, not as a matter of insolencie by your moste louyng and faithful subiectes ministred vnto you, but rather as a thyng wrought in them by the instincte of god, to admonishe you of the Regal estate that he hath called you vnto: not as a prouocaciō of wordelye gloriyng in your self, but as an instrumente of admonicion to continue you in remembraunce of thankes geuing, and of discharging youre office: not as the baites of flatery meaning to fede your Maiestie in any conceipte of pryde, but rather as a glasse wherein to beholde your self what ye are, and how ye ought to continue: not as the pleasaunt ticleing or clawyng of adulacion but rather as a caucion that ye dooe nothing in all your life whereby ye maye bee founde or thought vnwoorthie the laude that is geuē you: and finally, not as a nourish­mente of any humam vanitie, but rather as a spur of exhortacion, not onely to beware [...]hat ye goe not backe, ne degenerate, or decline from the godly trade of religiō, of vertue, of litterature, of prudēce of benig [...]itie, of iustice, of prince­ly regiment that ye are nowe entred into: but also that ye procede as ye haue begoonne, and still goe forwarde encreasyng in all godlinesse, that your proce­dynges and consummacion maie bee aunswerable to your moste princely and Christian begynnynges. Neyther is there any subiect of yours worthie life. whiche woulde to any other ende or purpose, attempt to magnifye you in thys tendre age, but in hope, that if ye bee not alreadye come to the perfeccion pro­pouned vnto you, ye wyll labour and contende (as age maye suffre,) to growe and reache vnto it. For if Philip of Macedonie, being an ethnike and a pagane Kyng, whan he was railed at and muche euil spoken of by the Atheniens, toke therof an occasiō well to reigne & gouerne his people, alleagyng himself to bee enforced and cōstreigned therūto, yt he might proue his enemyes vntrue men of their reportes: howe muche more necessitie of well doyng is incumbent to your highnesse, that ye maye in tyme comyng, verifie the praises and cōmendacions, whiche the publyque consent of the worlde dooeth nowe attribute vnto you? Howebeeit we your moste feythfull louyng subiectes dooe nothyng doubte, but that God beeyng the geuer of all good gyftes, the father of all mercie, and the God of all coumforte, who of his infinite goodnesse hath prouided you to reigne ouer vs, wyll also in suche wyse directe all your wayes, that he wyll e­uydentely declare hymself by his eternall wysedome, and by his counsayll in­scrutable, to haue purposely ordeyned and appoynted you to dooe high thyn­ges, whome he hath by his myghtifull arme so woondrefully sent. For where your moste noble father of famous memorie Kyng Henry the eyght beeyng [Page iii] otherwyse by al tokens of natural constitucion, a man hable and also likely to haue chyldren, had alreadye by the twoo most faire blossomes and most freshe floures of the world, the lady Maries Grace, & the lady Elizabethes Grace, your Maiesties moste noble and moste dere sistur [...] yet liuyng, declared him­selfe apte to be veray fruicteful of procreacion: yet had he continued eight and twentie yeres Kyng of this Royalme, ere he had any soonne in lawfull ma­trimonie begotten, to whome he myght leaue the succession of this his Empe­riall croune and sceptre. In the meane tyme Kyng Henry as a moste vigilaunt pastour ceaseth not with perpetuall trauayll to procure for the commodities and wealth of Englande, he ceaseth not by moste politique and moste holsome lawes to prouide for the establishyng of Englande in peace and tranquilitie. And because by the diligent readyng and meditacion yf holy Scriptures, he founde and obserued the true blissynges of God, and the fountayne of al grace and prosperitie to procede of the knowleage of God, and the due obseruacion of his lawes, lyke a moste christian Prince and a true defendour of the fayth, he conuerted and emploied al his studie and cogitacions to the redresse of such abuses in relygion, as by the moste corupte doctrine of the Romishe papacye had by degrees crepte into Christes churche, and preuailyng throughe conti­nuaunce of yeres, were nowe so confirmed and established throughout all par­ties of Christendome, that the Romishe Nabugodonozor held vs in forer sub­ieccion, then euer was Israell holden in the captiuitie of olde Babilon, and so should we haue stil continued, had it not pleased almightie God of his botom­lesse mercie, to reise vp a Christian Cyrus your moste puissaunt father, to re­store vs agayne to our freedome in Christes bloud. For the Romishe Nabugo­donozor had by wrestyng and peruertyng the holy scriptures of God to the establyshing and maintenaunce of his vsurped supremitie clymed so high: that he was not nowe content to sitte in the chaire of Moses, but had moste blasphe­mously exalted hymselfe aboue all that is called God, that is to say, had made Goddes woorde frustrate, that his moste corrupte and moste pestilente doc­trine myght take place. He had by his deiulishe inuencions caste such a foggie miste of ignoraunce ouer Goddes moste holy Bible, he had with his Phari­saicall interpretacions in suche wyse polluted the sinceritie of Christes doc­trine, he had so infeeted the clere fountayne of Goddes woorde with the suddes of humayne tradicions, and the dregges of vayn ceremonies, he had by meane of papisticall troumperie so peruerted the vnderstanding of holy scriptures, he had so defaced the puritie of the faith with the beggerly patched cloke of super­sticious weorkes not commaunded by Goddes lawe, he had so perplexed the grace of the ghospell with the false feigned merites and weorkes of superero­gacion, he had so mangled the Christian profession with mo then an hundred soondry sectes of counterfaicte cloystreers of Antichristes owne generacion, li­uing like idle loitreers and vera [...]dranes, and vnder the pretence of religion de­uouryng the common weales that woulde maynteyn theim, he had so oppressed the true religion and wurshyppyng of God wyth pilgremages to dead stockes and stones of mannes handie weorke, with transferryng the honoure whiche was due to God alone, vnto Sainctes and to feigned miracles, wyth other kyndes of idolatry innumerable, and wyth a purgatorye of materiall fyer, and (to make some ende of speakyng in a matter of it selfe infinite,) he had so clene subuerted al good and godly conuersacion and doctrine: that Satan had [Page] no more power of the worlde whan Christe came downe to yearth for to redeme mankynde, then religion was nowe broughte oute of frame by the tyrannye of the Romyshe Babilon, nor God and hys soonne Iesus Christe any where lesse founde, than whan he was moste buisily named and spoken of in pulpites. Beeyng vnder the title and name of Christe, the moste eagre aduersarye of Christe and his ghospell, he ioyned hymselfe to the Philistines, and beyng their Goliah more nere sixtene then sixe cubites high, neither feared▪ ne shamed to shewe hymselfe in playne battayl of defiaunce, ne spared to open hys blas­phemous mouthe, ne to drawe hys tyrannous sweorde, ne to shake his huige murderyng speare, agaynst the true Israelites of Christes litle selie flocke, and moste presumpteously to braggue agaynst all that euer woulde professe the syncere and vpryght doctrine of Gods woorde, tyll it pleased God to reyse vp vnto vs an Englishe Dauyd your moste noble father, who without anye ar­moure or weapon of yron and stele, without any harnesse of mannes makyng, without displeighing any banners in araye of humaine battaile, shoulde out of the slyng of his Regall auctoritie, cast the corner stone of Goddes woorde, whiche lyghtyng vpon the forhead of the sayd Goliah, felled his papacie stone dead, & crushed it to poudre, neuer to be hable any more to noye or to face Eng­lyshe Israel. Our sayd Dauid kyng Henry the eyght had learned by the boke of Deuteronomie (in whiche booke the feithfull seruaūt of God Moyses char­ged that whomsoeuer Israel shoulde make Kyng ouer them, thesame from the tyme that he wer sette in his Regall throne, should all the dayes of his lyfe haue continuall meditacion, and should styll reade therin, to the entente he myght learne to feare the Lorde his God, for to kepe all the woordes of hys lawe, and his ordinaunces for to dooe theim, and that he should not turne from the commaundementes eyther to the ryght hand or to the left, that bothe he and his children myght prolong their dayes in his Kyngdome:) he hadde (I saie) learned in the same booke, on the one syde the blessynges of god promysed to all suche prynces as on theyr owne parties woulde for the loue and feare of god walke vpryghtly in the execucion of the sayde commaunde­mentes, and woulde partly by theyr good exaumple prouoke theyr subiectes to dooe the same, and partly by due execucion of iustice make them ashamed and also afeard to swerue or declyne from the lorde their god: and on the other syde the terrible malediccions and plagues of gods wrathe, threatned to all suche as neglected the vpryght obseruyng of all his preceptes and wayes. He loued the goodnesse of God, and feared his stroke, he sawe religion to bee ferre out of frame, he sawe some parte of his moste earnest trauailes and ende­uour to sette Englande in moste quiet and blissefull state, to fayl of condigne effecte through defaulte of reformacion in matters of religion. He saw & found by experience of his owne manyfolde moste princely enterpryses, the onely cause why Christian Royalmes are plagued wyth warres, derthes, famyns, pestilences, & other mortall extremyties, to come of Gods indignacion, because the worlde was so ferre gone astraigh from Christe, that nothyng was nowe weaxed so odious or detestable as his holy woorde, nothyng reputed so blas­phemous, as Christes holy ghospell, nothyng so lyght estemed as Christes blood and passion. He sawe the onely waye to Goddes fauour to bee the en­bracyng of his holy Scriptures, the drounyng wherof had enforced God to power his indignacion vpon the Christian worlde. He sawe and well per­ceyued [Page iiii] that God of his mercie was wylling to ceasse his wrath and ven­geaunce, if the Christian people woulde returne to hym. He perceyued God to offre his grace vnto the worlde by openyng their iyes, if leauyng theyr errour and ignoraunce thei woulde enbrace the clere lyght of the ghospell. He sawe moreouer that his moste louyng subiectes of Englande, (whome his godly exaumple had prouoked to tendre and seke the glorye of God) dyd nowe houngre and thirste the righteousnesse of God, and the knowleage of his woorde. He playnly sawe that no waye there was to a reformacion, but by this onely meane, yf the autoritie and vsurped supremitie of the See of Rome wer extirped, abolished, and clene extincte. For he sawe his countreimen the Englishe Israelites to bee holden in suche extreme bondage wythin the Romishe Egypte, that there was no hope of deliueraunce, but by the onely power and myghtifull arme of God reysyng vp some Moses that woulde in the face of that same moste cruell Pharao require that Israell myght bee freely leat goe. The huige seuenfold headed draguon was to the simple in­feriour people, suche an obstacle, that they myght not come to Christe, and to all Christen princes suche a terrour, that they durste not. This draguon besydes the monstreous hissing of his curses and excommunicacions, and besides the contagious infeccion of idolatry and superstition, wherewith he had by his whelpes the cancarde papistes so adblasted the worlde, that he had enwrapped and drowned all Christendome in blindnesse and errour: he hadde also a mortall styng in his taill, wherewyth he ceassed not by all kyndes of deathes and tormentes, to destruye and mourdre as manye as woulde once open theyr lyppes agaynste his moste detestable and moste blasphemous abominacions. This draguon ceassed not continually to persecute the wo­man clothed in the sunne, that is to saye, Christes dere spouse the churche of England, but as a rampyng and roryng lyon, he stoode euer ready watchyng that he mighte deuoure her chyldren the Christian flocke, whiche she nowe groned to bryng foorth to Christe, had not the Englishe Michael kyng Henry the eight taken in hande to fight agaynst the sayde draguon, and been streng­thened of God wyth hys Aungelles the lordes, and godlye prelates, to caste the sayde draguon that olde serpente and his Aungels oute of Englande. This was the great harlotte that sitteth vpon manye waters, wyth whome the kynges of the yearthe haue committed fornicacion, and the inhabiters of the yearthe been made drounken wyth the wyne of her fornicacion: the woman sittyng vpon the rosecouloured and tenhorned beaste full of names of blasphemye, she sitting araied in purple and rosecolour, and decked with golde, precious stones, perles, and in her hande a cuppe of golde full of abhominacions and filthines of her fornicacion, and in her forehead a name of great misterie written, great Babylon the mother of whoredome and abhominacions of the yearth: and the same whore drounken with the bloude of Saynctes, and with the bloude of wytnesses of Iesus. Thys was the huyge monstre Hydra, (to whome the poetes attribute seuen heades, some eyghte, and some an hun­dred heades) whome aswell king Iohn of Englande, as also soondrie other Cstristen princes had attempted to vanquishe, but as soone as they had cutte of one heade, three other heades grewe vp for it, so that euerye wounde that was geuen him was a more confirmacion and encrease of his strength, vntyll our Hercules Kyng Henrye the eyghte perceyuyng that no power, no [Page] puissaunce, no weapon was hable to confounde hym sauyng onelye the consu­myng fyer of Goddes woorde, prouided the Byble to bee sette forth in the Eng­lishe tounge, and to bee sette vp in euerye churche, where it myght bee read of of his people. Long time endured this conflycte betwene our Englyshe Hercu­les and the Romishe Hydra ere he could bee destruied, so fast grewe vp a more numbre of serpentine heades, whan any one was cut of. For besydes the many­folde moste monstruous heades, of Idolatrye, Pylgremages, supersticions, countrefaicte religions, and innumerable abuses mo, whiche kyng Henry had to cutte of, his whelpes the indurate generacion of papistes deuised all meanes possible to kepe hys auctoritie styll in Englande, ne lefte any engin vnattemp­ted to staigh and lette the abolishyng of hys vsurped power, abusyng the sim­ple people wyth all kyndes of delusion and iuggleyng of countrefaicte myra­cles, of feigned visions, of liyng in traunces, of rapcions euen vnto the thyrde heauen, of sophistycall learning, of holy contestacions, of subtily inuented pro­phecies, of bolde comminacions and threateninges, of voices auouched to haue come from heauen, of peruertyng the sence of scripture to mainteine his power, of wrytyng bookes in derogacyon of the kynges procedynges.

And to the ende there shoulde not lacke any kinde of wickedenesse that the saied Hydra and his adherentes, moonkes, fryers., and other cloystreers were hable to weorke, he founde meanes besydes many other stormes of forrayne warres and conspiracies, so ferre to abuse the credulitie of the simple ignoraunte peo­ple, that he brought theim halfe in a detestacion and hatered of Gods woorde, and seduced theim to aduenture with a lytle blaste of sedicion, to distourbe the cogitacions of suche a noble and a good kyng, beeyng than moste ea [...]nestelye yea (I maye saye) onely sette in studiyng for the establishemente and continua­cion of peace and tranquilitie in this Royalme for euer. All whiche terrours coulde not appalle kyng Henryes moste stoute courage, but that he wente tho­rough with the reformacion, whiche the spirite of God so wrought in hys harte and conscience, that he sawe it to bee necessarie, and hymselfe to bee chosen of God, to bee the instrumente therof.

All this whyle Englande thoughe not yet veray wyllyngly ne vniuersally re­ceyuyng the grace of the ghospell offreed vnto vs, together wyth the moste heauenly iewell and treasure of Goddes holy scripture, in the mother lan­guage: ye [...] neuerthelesse (as oure partyes and moste bounden dueties were) tenderlye consideryng the moste vigilaunte care and studie, and moste earneste trauayle of oure moste gracious soueraigne employed for our behoufe, and daily bestowed in fortifiyng all parties of the Royalme agaynst the malicious assaultes and conspiracies of the said Romishe Hydra, or any other enemies by his procuremente: Englande (I saye) ceassed not with continuall prayer to be­seche the goodnesse of almyghtye God, to rewarde the godlye mynde and doo­ynge of our kyng nowe wearyng oute hys bodye in trauayllyng for vs, and spendyng his lyfe in procuryng for our wealth and safegarde, wyth a soonne, to whome, whan he shoulde departe hence to heauen, he myght safely committe and leaue his croune, with the gouernaunce of vs his moste dere beloued sub­iectes: Thus did all Englande by the space of many yeres persiste in continu­all prayer: but almyghtie God wyllyng to shewe for what persones he reser­ueth hys blyssynges, as soone as we had throughe better instruccyons con­formed our selues to the expulsyng of the Romyshe Antichriste, to the gladde [Page v] enbracyng of hys woorde, and to the receyuyng of his ghospell in all partyes: immediately heard our lamentable peticions, and sent your most noble mother Quene Iane of famous memorie, whom (as it maie be thoughte) hys prouy­dence and consailles vnscrutable had purposely ordeyned, prepaired, & caused to be borne for none other office, but that she myght bee moste dere wife to suche a kyng, and mother to suche a Prynce. For as soone as she had in moste lawful matrymonye brought foorth your grace, she departed this worlde: as thoughe she should haue saied: I haue dooen the offyce yt I was borne for nowe fare ye well. The freashe floure of my pure virginitie, I haue moste safely committed to my moste dere spouse kyng Henry for to kepe, and to you his moste feithfull louyng subiectes, I leaue behynde me my onely soonne, the iewell that ye haue so long desired, so sore longed for, and so often craued of God. As lōg as ye shal tendre his welfare, ye shall satisfye my desyre, whome I broughte foorthe for that purpose. If it maye please God to sende hym longe lyfe, I haue the full fruicte of my trauaylle, I haue my deathe abundauntely recomp [...]nsed, and my roume emong you euen to my mynde supplyed. I haue nowe no more to dooe on yearth. If I haue demerited any loue or thanke at your handes, bestowe it wholly on my soonne, whan I am gone from you. Thus departed the moste vertuous ladye Quene Iane, whose deathe we haue the lesse cause to lamente, because that by hope we are assured, that she is gone from peyne to ioye, from care to reste, frō sorowe to blisse, frō this trāsitorie world to immortalitie. We haue cause to suppose that God for the exceadyng great loue and fauoure that he beareth towardes Englande, whan she had broughte foorthe to the worlde suche a soonne, tooke her awaye immediately of purpose to rewarde her wyth a croune eternall, for whome all temporall and worldely rewardes were incom­parably ouer basse, ne any yearthly croune sufficient: so that to lamente her, is rather to enuye her felicitie and blisse. And she beeyng nowe in heauen with her moste desired ioye Christe, inuiteth and requireth vs that our beneuolente loue and affeccion, whiche muste haue been deuided betwene you and her, maye bee wholy transferred and bestowed on your highnesse, whome to bryng foorthe she was not onely well contented, but also muche desyrous to dye. So that we are all double bounde to loue youre Maiestie, fyrste because youre moste dere mother was taken from vs ere she myght receyue any fruicte of our grate and thankfull hertes for bryngyng foorth to her coūtrey suche a soonne, and than muche more, because that in your moste Royall persone is reposed al the world­ly ioye, coumforte, hope, and expectacion bothe of vs that are nowe liuyng (whom I truste your Grace shall surutue,) and also of our posteritie. Neyther can Iiustely affyrme her to be dead, that hath leafte behynde her suche fruicte of her bodye, whome to bryng foorth (I dare auouche) she though her death so well bestowed, that in case she myght returne to lyfe again, and be in her former state of mayde & Quene, she woulde readily paryshe & couenaūt with God, on thesame pryce to bryng foorth your Grace vnto her countrey. And so greate was the ioye and gladnesse of Englande in the natiuitie of your highnesse, that the veray prouidence of God thought it necessarie to temper our immoderate mirth & reioysing with the death of your most vertuous mother (for neuer was ye deceasse of any Quene in England more lamēted) lest we myght haue ben so inebriate with our vnestimable felicitie, yt thesame might haue made vs proud, and percase haue brought vs in suche flaterye of our selues, yt we woulde haue [Page] forgotten, or perchaunce not acknowelaged no nor espied you to bee sente vnto vs aswell by the most mightie and most woondrefull power of Goddes hand, as also of his exceadyng mercie, and fauoure towardes Englande. He myghte haue taken her away ere she had cum to the bearing or conceiuing of you in her wombe, if he had not specially loued and tendred our good king Henry and vs. It was in his hande and pleasure to haue taken you bothe (whiche thynge god forbydde) if he had n [...]t by leauing the better of the twoo with vs, been willing bothe many festelye to declare his almyghtifull power ioyned wyth hys moste gracious mercie and tendre compassion towardes England, and also to bridle the insolencie, which by hauyng you both still wyth vs (suche is mannes frailte, and readinesse to swerue) he paraduenture foresawe, would haue growen in vs. God in takyng awaye her at your birthe did plainlye ministre vnto vs, both an earnest warning, and also a iust prouocacion of vncessaunt praying for the life and prosperous continuaunce of your Grace being of nature and by the condi­cion of your birth, mortal as your mother was. The birth of your Maiestie was the more swete, because it was so long wished for, so long loked for, and so long craued ere it came. A great benefite is muche the sweter that it is not obteyned without great and long suit. The pleasure of a good turne is much diminished whan it is at the fyrst obteyned. The desirefulnesse of our myndes muche aug­menteth and encreseth our pleasure. The admixtion also and (as who shoulde saye) the sawcyng of pleasures with some kind of misfortune either afore going or in the middes adtempered, graceth altogether, and maketh it the more accep­table. Honey is waloweish and ouercasteth the stomake, if it be plenteously ta­ken by it selfe alone: but if wyth vinegre it be made eagredoulce, than is it not onely delectable and plesaunt of relice, but also comfortatiue and holsome too. The deathe of the moste vertuous lady and moste woorthie Quene Iane your mother, beyng ioyned with your birth, made such a [...]mperature of sorowe and ioye together, that bothe our mournyng whiche otherwyse shoulde scaree haue founde anye ende, was soone mitigated: and also our moste tendre desire of enioying your Maiestie, much the more encreased. We had so long groned, we hadde so long cryed to God for a Prynce: that excepte he hadde in the moste desi [...]ed birthe of the same, aspersed the deathe of your mooste [...]ere Mother: we shoulde by our immoderate felicitee haue tempted, and prouoked hym to take you bothe from vs. It was hys goodness [...] that woulde not suffre vs to fall. For muche sooner and sorer doeth immoderate ioye drounde mannes rea­son, then immoderate doloure. Thus than (as I haue sayd) as soone as we willingly applyed our selfes aswell to ye exiling of al pap [...]strie, as also to then­bracing of the woorde of God, he immediately fulfylled and satisfyed our [...] de­syres by sending your Grace vnto vs after a woondreful sorte: as if he shoulde in playn wordes haue saide: Now that ye haue gladly receiued my word, ye shal haue that whiche ye cannot but of my gyfte obteyne, that is to wete, a Prynce, and wyth him al worldely coumforte, ioye and secu [...]itie that ye maye wel per­ceiue both yt nothyng is vnpossible to God, & also that if ye abyde in me, and my woordes abyde in you, aske what ye wyll, and it shalbee dooen for you. Whan I saye, the woorde of God, ye law, the preceptes, or ye cōmaundemētes of God, I mene not fantastical dreames of mānes inuenciō (for these thinges are nothing lesse thē ye worde of God) but I mene the true & liuely worde of God conteyned in holy scriptures: I mene his holy gospel & testament, purely & sinc [...]rely taken [Page vi] without the venomous corrupcion of the fylthie dregges, or of the soure lea­uen of any the aboue rehersed pestilencies, accordyng as your moste noble fa­ther our late soueraigne lorde kyng Henry the eight with vnestimable care, studye, and trauayll, mynded and laboured to haue it sette foorth, & to be daily preached and taught to hys people without any declynyng eyther to the ryght hande or to the left. Whiche thyng if he could not so throughly accomplishe as his moste earneste hertes desyre was, I truste ye almyght [...]e god, who hath pro­uided and sent vs your highnesse a moste woorthye soonne to succede suche a woorthye father, wyl by his especial grace illumine your herte to procede in the way of trueth whiche your father hath opened vnto you, & wyl geue you grace al thinges to perfe [...]cte whiche your father moste godly begāne to your handes. And although to maynteine, vpholde, & conserue yt kyng Henry prepayred and hath nowe lefte to your gouernaunce, is of it self so muche matter of immortall honour & renoume, yt it wer enough for any kyng to doo [...]: yet hath God proui­ded yt ye shall not haue cause to [...]aie as Alexāder the great conque [...]our, whan he considered the great & manyfold actes of his father Phylip kyng of Macedo­nie, said: My father wil leaue nothing for me to doe. For god of a veraie pietye that he had on kyng Henries vncomparable & the same vncea [...]aūt trauaylles for the publique behouf & welth of Englande long yeres susteined, tooke hym awaie from this troubleous worlde as soone as he had prepaired your Grace in a readinesse by due successiō of inheritaūce to receyue at his hādes ye sceptre & croune of his royalmes & dominions. God by a special dispēsaciō breake of ye course of his life ere al thinges wer brought to a ful perfecciō, because he would declare hymselfe to haue appoynted your Maiestie, not to lyue altogether in a carelesse supmitie, but in a perpetual exercise of al princely vertues, yt ye might consūmate & finishe suche regall enterpryses as he begoonne, partely in other worldly affaires, & especially cōcernyng ye redresse of abuses in matters of re­ligiō. Kyng Hēry was the Moses whō God elected stoutly to deliuer vs out of the hādes of ye Romishe Pharao, & to conueigh vs through the read sea of the waueryng iudgemētes of mē, & the troubleous sourges of ye popishe generaciō swelling & rageyng agaynst him, and through the wildrenesse of beyng lefte a­lone destitute of ye assistēce or coumforte of other Christē princes, whiche in this so noble and so godly an enterprise might laudably haue sette in foote wt him, & through this wildrenes to cōducte vs as ferre as ye lāde of Moab: but ye are the Iosue, whom god hath appoynted to bryng vs into the lande of promissiō, flowyng and rēnyng wyth milke and honey, & to sette vs Englishe men in the lande of Canaan which is the sincere knoweleage & the free exercise of Goddes moste holy woorde. He was the Moses, who by goddes ordeinaunce & dispen­sacion wrote the booke of Deuteronomie, whā he caused the holy Byble to bee turned into Englishe, & laied it in the tabernacle, whā he cōmaūded thesame to bee [...]aied in al & singular the churches throughout his Royalmes & dominiōs: chargeyng the Leuites, yt is, the Byshops, Pastours, & Curates, in the time of the free yere, yt is, at al due & conuenient seasons, to read and declare it vnto al ye people gathered together, both mē, women & chyldren, yea & the straungiers yt were in any his cities, yt they might heare, learne, and feare their lorde God. But where some of the priestes y sōnes of Leui, had now in these last yeres through their iugleyng, theyr false packyng, and their playn sorcerie bewitched kyng Henry with a wrong persuasion, & had so craftily coūpaced and conueighed the [Page] matier, yt vnder the pretence & coulour of religion, they kept the worde of God frō the iyes and eares of the people, beatyng his moste faythfull louyng subiec­tes frō the knowleage therof, wyth a mortal whyppe made of sixe deadly knot­ted chordes, & in the meane tyme kept the booke of the lawe hiddē, vntyll they had so ferre obscured, derkened, & oppressed ye worde, yt all thynges were [...]eplete with errour and insinceritie: it now euidently appereth your Maiestie to be the faythfull Iosias, in whose tyme the booke of ye law is found out in the house of the Lorde, & by your moste godly iniunccions read in the hearyng of all your people, and a couenaunt made with the Lord yt they shal walke after the Lord, & shal kepe his commaūdementes wt al their hertes & al their soules, wherunto all your people moste willyngly dooeth consent by glad receyuyng of all suche good ordre & reformacion as by your Maiesties moste godly direccion is my­nistred vnto them. Your most noble father was the Dauid, who of a good hert & zele entended, yea & made mociō to build an house for the Lordes name: but we all trust y [...]ur highnes to be the Salomon, whō god hath appointed and by special dispensacion elected to build & finishe an house for him for euer, by resto­ryng & establishyng the true Christian religion. Which thyng yt your Maiestie maye haue the grace & spirite to doe, ye lacke not the perpetual wyshinges and prayers of al your most louyng and obedient subiectes. The world seyng these your moste princely begynnynges in this your tendre yeres of chyldehood, is confirmed in a sure hop [...] and expectacion yt your Maiestie wil in proces of time growe to bee in this behalfe a veray Phenix emong Christian princes, & a mir­rour and spectacle vnto them all. And certes your Maiestie is in muche other case thē other kinges of England before your tyme haue been. For where (the frowardnes o [...] fortune beyng suche, that moste parte of thynges lyke as they are through her aide and fauoure easie to bee achiued, so the same through her malignaunt wi [...]kedenes are more easie to be lost again) it deserueth no lesse but rather more glorie wel to kepe and maintein thynges wel gottē, thē to acquyre more to it: some of your moste woorthie progenitours haue had a [...]eadye path­way to renoume, and haue had but an easie trauail to succede & folow ye prince nexte afore goyng in the laudable exaūple of politique regimente, of woorthye enterpryses, of Marciall prowesse, of noble but yet common actes of chi [...]faltie, of notable and famous enterprises, but yet enclosed within the coumpace of mannes reache. But your grace succeadyng Henry the eight, shall not be hable to satisfie nor aunswere the earneste expectacion of the worlde, onlesse ye doe ex­cell. Nothing maie serue your grace but singularitie. Ye haue in his exaumple suche a marke set vp vnto you, as without the sweat and laboures of Hercules (of whō the Poetes feigne, yt he bore vp and stayghed heauen self wt his shoul­ders) ye shall not be hable to clyme vnto. Ye must surmount and passe a kyng whiche was in his tyme pierlesse, & a matter of publique admiracion to the vni­uersall world. And suche are your begynnynges alreadye, aswell in Marciall chiefalrye, as also in politi [...]ue ordinaunce of ciuile lawes at home, aswell in de­struiyng the image of Baall, and rootyng vp of al Idolatry, as also in settyng a ferther good ordre for matters of religion: that it wil not suffice if ye bee but egual to him. King Hēry the eight besides his felicitie & luckie fortune in al his most Regal ētreprises aswel by marcial chiefalrie as also ī politike gouernaūce, besides his manyfold cōquestes and victories in Fraūce, Scotlande, Irelande, & els where, besides his vnestimable high trioūphes, voiages, and actes dooen [Page vii] bothe at home and beyonde the seas, besydes his exceadyng great and manye buyldinges of palacies, Honours, Mainours, castels, fortresses, holdes, block­houses, hauens, aswel for the strength & safegarde of his royalmes and domi­niōs as also for ye cōmoditie of frēdes arryuing, & ye annoiaunce of the enemies, besydes the defence and maynteinaunce of al hys portes and narowe seas with Carikes, barkes, hulkes, shyppes, galies, and many other high and sumptuous deuises of shypwright, besydes the aboundaunt furnishing of all and singuler the premisses with al kyndes of ordinaunce, artillerie, & other requisite prouy­siō, besydes ye foūdyng, edifing & erecting of an vncredible noumbre of bishops Sees, cathedral Colleges, lectures, scholes, and other Colleges for studentes in bothe vniuersitees, and so sumptuous endowyng of euerye of them with landes, possessions, Iewels ornamentes and all requisite furniture so muche and so large, as euerye one of the premysses particularly myght bee iudged an acte sufficient in a kynges tyme to bee dooen, besydes his moste vigilaunt and careful studie about the enactyng of a great volume of ryght holsome statutes and lawes for the commoditie and behoufe, of the publique weale of England and his other dominions, and emong these, hys vnceassaunte endeuoure a­bout a reformacion in religion, and therin (as a thyng moste necessarie for all common weales tendreing Christes glorie,) the extirpyng and abolishynge of the detestable vsurpacion of the papacie of Rome, the rootyng vp of all sectes of cloisterers, of all countrefaicte religyon, and of Idolatrie, together with the setting forth of the holy Scripture in the vulgare Englyshe tounge, besydes all these premysses and other his actes mo then a long tyme maye suffyse to re­herse, king Henry was a Prince of singuler prudence, of passing stout courage, of magnanimitee incomparable, of inuincible fortitude, of notable actiuitee of dexteritee woondreful. He was a continual wellyng fountayne of eloquence, a veray rare spectacle of humanitie, of ciuilytie or good nourture an absolute presidente, a speciall paterne of clemencie and moderacion, a worthie exaumple of regal iustice, a botomlesse spring of largesse and benignitie. He was in al the honest artes and faculties profoūdely seen, in al liberal disciplines egual with ye chiefest, in no kynd of litterature vnexpert. He was to y world an ornamente, to his countrey a treasoure, to his frendes a coumforte, to his foes a terroure, to his faithful and louing subiectes a tendre father, to innocentes a sure protec­tour, to wylfull malefactours a sharp scourge, to his common weale and good people a quiet hauen and ancore of safegarde, to the distourbers of the same a rocke of exterminion, in hainous and intolerable crymes agaynst the publique weale a seuere iudge, in the lyke offences committed agaynst hymself a readye porte & refuge of mercie, except to suche as woulde persiste vncorrigible. A man he was in al giftes of nature, of fortune, & of grace, piereles, & (shortly to breake of in a matter of it selfe infinite,) a man aboue al praises. Suche a king hath God sette vp before your Maiestie for an exaumple, a spectacle, & a paterne of al princely vertues whome egually to matche, wil bee with the veray leste that is looked for of these your moste Regall & Christiā begynnynges in thys youre tendre age. For mete it is that lyke as your highnesse is heire and successour of your most noble fathers croune & treasures, euen so much more bee ye heyre of his moste princely vertues: and like as ye would employ al possible industrie, & diligence to maynteine and ampliate the external possessions of your empier, euen so to augmente the vertues of the mynde, beeyng the more precious pos­session [Page] of the twayn. Neither is there in this behalfe on our parties, your Ma­testees moste beneuolent & faithful louing subiectes, any lesse hope to be con­ceyued of you for that yt is to come, then we doe already fele ioye and coumforte of that we see present. For suche excellent begynnynges beyng ferthered by the publique and daily praiers of al your faythful & true herted subiectes, cannot but haue stil better and better degrees of continuaunce and encreace, especially hauyng suche noble and sapient Counsaillours as it hath pleased God to pro­uide for you, and to geue you in this your tendre babehood. For that all suche well dooynges in young kynges, and by reason therof prosperous successe in all thynges, procedeth of faithfull and godly Counsaillours: it maie euidently appeare by the notable exaumples of the twoo younge kinges of Israell Ma­nasses and Iosias. Whoso wyll peruse the bookes of the kynges, shall fynde that from the begynnyng of Achabs reygne vntill the tyme of good kyng E­zechias, true holinesse, religion, ryght knowleage of God, yea and the veraye mynde to weorke or seke Goddes glorye, lay as a thyng oppressed, reiected, bu­ryed, and vttrely extyncte, and in stede of Godlinesse reigned al iniquitie: in lieu of true knowlage, all was possessed with ignoraunce and errour: in place of true wurshyppyng of God, so ferre preuayled Idolatrye and contempte of Goddes lawes, that Israell passed the Gentyles not onely in theyr owne gentylitie of wurshypping Baal and many false Goddes, but also in al other kyndes of theyr moste detestable abhominacions. The crafty and subtile iugleyng of Baals priestes, and of the false prophetes for the aduauncyng of their owne lucre and estimacion, had vnder the coulour and pretence of holy­nesse, and of religion, by litle and litle so allured, enueigled, coniured, and bewit­ched the prynces: yt they were vtterly blynded and seduced to condescende to the wicked and couetous inuencions of the priestes. They perswaded the Princes to theyr waies by policies, they bestowed all theyr cūning clergie, & weorkemā ­shyp of peincted eloquence, vntyll they had peruerted them and drawen them clene a straygh from all the wayes of the Lorde theyr true God, well knowyng that the people, some for loue, some for feare, and some through exaūple, woulde without any buisinesse folowe the trace and ledyng of theyr king & gouernour. They made the kynges & rewlers sure on theyr syde, well wetyng that the sub­iectes, some for obedience sake of theyr owne accorde would, and the rest by their cruell diuises myght by tyranny be enforced to drawe after theyr Princes line. Whereof the auncient prouerbe sayeth, that euery kyng is to his royalme and subiectes eyther a singuler precious benefite, orels a very pernicious destruc­cion, because yt suche as euery kyng is, suche wil his people bee. Wherfore lyke as a werte or a molle standyng in a bodyes face is a more blemyshe, a greatter deformitee, & a wurse disgracing, then if it stode in some priuie place of the body, where eyther the prouidēce of nature hideth it, or mānes own reuerēce and good prouision doeth kepe it secrete: so is a vyce or any eiuil qualytie a more fault & a greatter dishonour in a Prince, then in an other priuate persone, because that euery his saying; doyng, yea & euery his looke & gesture, is taken vp as a pub­lique exaumple and paterne for all hys subiectes to folowe: so that the kynges of Israel coulde not be ciuill, but to the veraie pernycious ensaumple and cor­rupcion of al theyr sely people. But at length came good kyng. Ezechias, of whom the Scripture in his due commendacion testifieth, that he did that plea­sed the Lorde in al thyng, lyke to his forefather and progenitour Dauyd. [Page viii] His well doynges he begoonne with the redresse of religion, and the extirpyng of idolatry vp by the rote. For whyle idolatry reigned, nothing could he doe ye myght be pleasyng to God. Fyrst of all therefore he put awaye the hil alters, & brake the images & cutte downe y groues, and all to brake the brasen serpente that Moyses had made. (For vnto those dayes ye chyldren of Israel dyd burne sacrifice vnto it.Nume▪ xxi.) He trusted in the Lorde God of Israel, he claue to the Lorde and departed not from hym, but kepte his commaundementes, and the Lorde was with hym, so that he prospered in all thynges whiche he tooke in hande. &c. Thus, duryng ye time of his reygne by ye space of twēty nine yeres, he renewed religion & restored the lawe of God to his perfeccion: he reduced his people to the trade of holy and vpryght conuersacion in the syght of God, of walkyng in the commaundementes of the Lorde, detesting al Idolatrye & abhorryng al suche abomynacions as myght iustely prouoke his wrathe & vengeaunce. All this whyle the subtyl & crafty false prophetes and priestes of Baall dissembled & played mum, they folowed the necessitee of the time, and for feare of the iron rodde, did as the worlde vnder suche a kyng required. But as soone as good kyng Ezechias was once dead, leauyng behynde hyme his soonne Manasse, a chylde of twelue yeres olde to reygne by succession ouer Israel in his stede, than the false prophetes and priestes of Baall thought it a fitte and propyes tyme to shewe themselues in theyr owne colours. As soone as by his death a gappe was opened to theyr false iugleyng, to theyr crafty practyse, to their wyly dryf­tes, and theyr subtyle conueyghaunce, they a [...]o [...] shewed theyr affeccions as they were. They leat not slyppe theyr occasion [...]o reduce Israell to the former trade of dooyng sacrifice to the Idolles whiche they had learned in the tyme of wieked Achab, wherby theyr lucre and aduauntage hadde a long season come in thicke, and vnder Ezechias vtterlye decaied, in whose dayes they we [...] of force compelled to haue the lawe of God in honour, and the same onely to vse and to [...]eache to the people. In herte priuely they styll cōtinued most detestable & most pernicyous fauourers, maynteyners and weorkers of Idolatrye, though they had for the tyme through hypocrisy and for feare of punishemente intermytted thesame. But ye youth of Manasse beyng a babe easye to be inticed allured and trayned to the lustes of sensualitie, through flatreyng persuasions, and beeyng destitute of faythfull and godly counsayllours that might and woulde protect his tendre chyldehood, and bryng hym vp in the knowledge of God, in the way of his preceptes, was for the sayde false Prophetes, and couetous priestes of Baall a mete praye. Hym therefore they enueygled wt many swete woordes of flaterye (doubte ye not) with many woordes of coumforte, with muche circum­staunce of glorious peincted eloquence, with allegeyng of many politique con­sideracions, with many ciuyll respectes of ye state of the world yt than was, with many ga [...]e and solemne promises of innumerable and thesame right high com­modities that shoulde thereby ensue to him and his common weale, with many assured warauntises of welth, peace and tranquilitie, if he would vse their coun­sayl in folowyng the wayes of wyse Achab, beyng (as they alleaged) a noble Prynce, and a polityque wise man in folowing ye trade of his forefathers, & not of such a newefound t [...]ade of learnyng and religion as Ezechias had lately in­uented & brought vp in Israel, to the great troublyng & disquieting of himself, the grieuous annoiaūce and vexacion of his subiectes, and the extreme perill of his cōmon weale. For Almanazar king of Assyria had in the daies of Ezechias [Page] come vp agaynst Samaria, and besieged it, and woonne it, and had carried a­waye Israel into Assyria: and after him Sennacheryb kyng of Assyria had cōe vp agaynst all ye strong cities of Iuda, & had takē them: albeit God by his po­wer deliuered Ezechias & his people & Cities, & the Aūgel of the Lorde slewe of the proud blasphemous bragguīg Assiriās, an hūdred fowre score & fiue thou­sand at a clappe. By these meanes ye salse prophetes & wicked priestes of Baall coūpace and weigh young Manasse though he succeded his owne father beyng so good & so godly a kyng as y expresse testimonie of holy scripture cōmendeth wt these woordes, that after hym was none lyke hym emong all the kynges of Iuda, neyther were there any suche before him: yet ye not wtstāding by ye suger-mouthed false prophetes, & by the couetous priestes of Baall through defaulte of good & godly Counsayllours, whome (doubte ye not but this wieked rable founde meanes to wring out of fauour, & to remoue awaye from the Kynges presence) he was so coumpaced,iiii. kyng. xxi. weyghed, persuaded, woonne, be wytched, per­uerted & so fo [...]re seduced: yt (as the scripture recordeth), he did eiuil in the syght of the Lorde euen after the abominacyons of the heathen. For he went & buylt the hill altares, whiche Ezechias his father had destruied, & he reared vp alters for Baall, & made groues (as dyd Achab Kyng of Israell) and wurshipped all the hoste of heauē and serued them. And he builte alters in the house of the Lorde, of whiche the Lorde had sayd: In Hierusalem will I putte my name. And he buylte alters for all the hoste of heauen: euen in twoo Courtes of the Lorde. And he offered his soonnes in fyre, and gaue hede vnto witchecrafte and sorcery, and mayntayned weorkers with spirites, and tellers of fortunes: and wroughte much wickednesse in y syght of the Lorde to angre hym. And he put an ymage of a groue that he had made, euen in the Temple, of whyche the Lord had saide to Dauid & Salomon his sonne: in this house and in Hierusalem, whiche I haue chose out of all the tribes of Israell, will I putte my name for euer. And Manasse led them out of the waye, to dooe more wickedlye then dyd the hethen people, whome the Lorde destroyed from before the chyldren of Israell, and he wrought more wyekedly then all the Amorytes, whiche were before hym, did: and made Iuda also to synne with his Idolles and dyd shed innocent bloude excedyng muche euen tyl he replenished Hierusalem from corner to corner wyth the bloude of the true Prophetes, and of as many as myght be founde to be the true worshyppers of God and sincere kepers of ye lawe. After so wicked a father, (who reigned fiftye fyue yeres in Hierusalem) succeded as wicked a sonne Amon, beyng twēty twoo yeres old whan he begoōne to reigne.iiii. kyng. xxi. And he lykewyse dyd euill in ye syght of ye Lord, as his father Manasse had doen, and walked in all the waye yt his father walked in, & serued ye Idolles that hys father serued, & wurshypped them. And he forsooke the Lorde God of his fathers, and walked not in the waye of the Lord. &c. Whan Amō was deceassed, his soōne Iosias was in his stede made Kyng,iiii. kyng, xxi. and was but eight yeres olde whan he was enoyncted Kyng. And where he reigned thyrtie one yeres, and begonne to reigne so young: yet (as the scrip­ture plainelye mency oneth) he did that whiche is right in the sight of the Lorde, and walked in all the wayes of Dauid his forefather, and boughed neither to the ryghte hande ne to the selfe, vn­doubtedlye throughe the speciall grace of God, and the helpe of good Go­uernours, who well consyderynge and ponderynge the vngodlye lyfe and dooynges of Manasse, coulde not of theyr fydelytye fynde in theyr hertes to suffre suche an innocent babe in lyke sort to be seduced and abused as Manasse [Page ix] had been,iiii. king. xxi. both to his owne perdicion, and also to the vtter desolacion of Ie­rusalem and Iuda: For beholde (sayd the Lorde) because Manasse King of Iuda, hath done suche abhominacyons. &c. I will bryng suche eiuyls vpon Hierusalem and Iuda, that whoso heareth of it, bothe his eares shall tinkle: and I wil wipe out Hierusalem,iiii king. xxii. as a man wipeth a dish and whan, he hath wiped it, turneth it vpsyde downe. &c. And to Iosias thus aunswereth the Lorde by the prophetisse in the fowerth of the Kynges: Because thine herte did melte, and because thou hast humbled thy selfe before me the lorde whan thou heardest what I spake against this place. &c. Beholde therfore I wil re­ceiue thee vnto thy fathers, and thou shalt be put into thy graue in peace, and thine iyes shal not see al the eiuils whiche I will bring vpon this place. They were both of them young Kinges, and immediate successours, the one to Eze­chias who had extirped idolatrie by the roote, and the other to a wurshipper of false Gods, & otherwise also a very wicked man: And yet Manasse through peruerse enticers fel from God to all naughtines, and Iosias beeyng younger of age then he, did by the helpe of faythefull and godly Counsaylours, apply himselfe to all goodnes, and thereby prospered. These twoo very notable ex­aumples, moste gracious Soueraygne, I haue some what the more at large propouned and set foorthe to your Maiestie: partely that ye may marke and [...] shall of your godly dooynges redounde to youreselfe, youre people, [...] Royalmes and dominyons, yea and to youre posteritie also for your sake: and partely to declare vnto youre hyghnesse, that nexte to the speciall gifte of Gods grace, to be of your owne good disposicion plyanne, flexible, and much enclined to vertue: the chiefe and principall porcion of all suche good happe is to bee ascribed to the discrete gouernaunce, the sa­pient direccion, the vertuous trayning, the vpright guydyng, the godly aduer­tisementes, the holesome admonicions, and the vncorrupt educacion in vertue and litterature ministred vnto a yong king by feithful and woorthy Counsayl­lours. Which thing forasmuch as it so is, how happy & blyssed is your Ma­iestie of gods owne hande, who hath prouyded your Grace of suche noble and woorthy Counsaylours in this time of your minoritie: and how much are we your most feithful louing subiectes bound to laude, praise and mag­nifie his moste holy name, for that in this so daungerous a tyme he hathe so mercifully & graciously prouided for vs, whose welth and safegard in this worlde must wholly and onely depende of your godly educacion & vertuous trainyng, or our extreme confusion of the contrarye? And certes this your innocent babehood and tendre minoritie, is the veraie time, in which it may euidently be tried what persons dooe feithfully tendre your welth, your ho­nour, and your godly procedinges. They are aboue all precious Iewelles and aboue all worldely treasoures to bee estemed, loued, regarded, thanked, and folowed of your Maiestie, whiche in thys your mynoritie shewe them­selues feithfull, earnest, diligent and careful▪ not onely as touching the safe­garde and preseruacion of your most Royall persone, but also concernyng your minde in this your tēdre youngth to be furnished with literature, with the due knowlege of God, & with such disciplines as many confirme you in all Princely vertues for your honour, welth and renoume, whan God shall make you a manne of yetes and stature, as your moste noble and moste ho­nourable Counsaylours doe their true and diligent endeuour to make you [Page] a manne in maniers and learning. Wherein like as Philip King of Mace­donie at the birth of his sonne Alexandre the great, alleged himselfe for two causes principally to reioyce, the one because he had now a sōne borne to suc­cede him in his croune & sceptre, & the other because the same was borne in the time of so noble a Clerke as Aristotle was, to whome the tuicyon, gouer­naunce, and instruction of Alexandre, might be committed, so did your most noble father, and so doe al we your most beneuolent subiectes yet stil reioice, that your hap was to be borne hauing two such worthy vncles to serue and assist you, and especially such an one as your most dere vncle Edward Duke of Somerset is, to whome aswel the gouernaunce and vertuous institucion and training of your most Royal person as also the proteccyon of all your Roialmes and dominions and of al vs your most feithfull louing subiectes during the time of this your minority, might be safly committed. Of whose fidelitie now a long season aswel in King Henries time as sence the begin­ning of your Maiesties most noble and victorious Reigne throughly tried, and the same aswel in peace as also in soondry warres approued, neither at home only, but also both in fraunce & Scotland more then once or twise de­clared: of whose dexterity aswell in marcial feactes as also in ciuile affaires, and in ordring of the common weale: of whose fortunate and luckie spede in al his worthy enterpryses: of whose happye and prosperous successe in all thinges that he taketh in hande: of whose passyng great clemencye & mode­racy on towardes all people in euerye behalf: of whose prudence in all ciuill matiers: of whose feithful and vigilaunte administracion vnder your Ma­iestie in your common weale: of whose indifferencie in al causes of iustice to be ministred to your people: of whose most vpright integrity not onely in ci­uil counsayles, but also in matiers of religion for the worde of God purely & sincerely to be set forth to Gods glory, and to the welth and honour of your Emperial croune and dignitie, though no manne is hable to say ouermuch: yet wil I rather absteyne to say that I coulde and iustly might doe, then I will fill his eares with the troumpe of his owne particular prayses, whiche I knowe hym to bee nothyng desirous ne willing to heare. Onely I shall pray almyghtie God (as al Englande and your other dominions with pub­lique and the same vnceassaunt prayers doe) to preserue and kepe him, vntil such time as your Maiestie being growen to full manstate and absolute dis­crecion, may rewarde him with condigne thankes for his long and the same most feithful and diligent seruice, and the same thing also to doe vnto al the other your moste noble and godly Counsaylours. For the blisfull state that your Maiestie endeuoureth and daily trauayleth with their assent & consent to set this your Empiere in, enforceth as many as loue either you or God, daily to breake out into this acclamacion: O happy King, of suche woorthy Counsailours, and o happy Counsailours of such a toward King. Neither doe we your most beneuolent subiectes any thing doubte, but that your Ma­iesties godly beginninges so prosperously and earnestly to set foorth Gods worde and glory, shal dayly more and more occasyon al Christian kinges & princes not onely to spoyle the Romishe Egipt by resuming euery one his owne most due & tightful title of supreme head within his own Royalmes & dominions, & by abolishing ye vsurped primacie of the papacie of Rome with al the Antichristian tradicions issuing from the same, but also in publishing [Page x] the pure and sincere worde of God to theyr peoples and subiectes euery one. And than is it not to be doubted, but that Christian loue, peace, vnitie, and concorde, whiche hath long and many yeres through the malicious practi­sing of the See of Rome been exiled & banished from al parttes of Christen­dome, shall vniuersally in a momente returne agayne to the great glory of God, to the quieting of the worlde, to the benefite of all Christen common weales, and to the confusion & discoumfeightyng aswell of the Turkes, as also of al other the enemies of God and good people. And within your Ma­iesties Royalmes and dominions it is in the meane time nothing to be mis­trusted, but that by your most gracious prouision, such knowlage of Gods worde shal grow, that your people shal be to al others a perfeict ensaumple of all godly conuersacyon and behaueour. And where Ezechias and Iosias mayntayned true religion and the vpright wurshipping of God, but either for his owne time & no lenger, I trust your Grace shal confirme & establish it for euer in the hertes and bowels of all youre most tendre louing subiectes. Wherūto certes there cannot be any so ready or sure a way, as by publishing the holy scripture & gospel of Christ & by establishing the vse therof through most holesome ordeinaūces, statutes, lawes, iniunccions, sincere preachers, most godly omelies, and exposicions, in the vulgare toung. And in this be­halfe, if common writers in trifling profane matiers do with much high suit make meanes to obteine and vse the fauourable acceptacion of Princes, vnder whose name, title, & proteccion any such weorke may be the more com­mended and the better habled vnto the readers: how much are we al bound to your highnes, who of your own mere good zele and of your own accorde, doe willingly set forth in the English toung suche fruictfull bookes wherby all your people may bee edified in religion. Emong which verely I knowe not any one booke, whome for this purpose of briefly, pithily, sincerely, and familiarely expouning the new testament, I may iustly compare, or at leste wise preferre to thys presente Paraphrase of Erasmus, whiche lyke as the moste vertuous ladie Quene Katerine late wife of your moste noble father, and now of your ryghte derebeloued vnkle Syr thomas Seimour knight, Lorde Seimour of Sudley, and high admyrall of your Seaes, did ryght graciously procure to be translated into our vulgare toung, so your Ma­iestie more graciously hath by your most godly iniuncciōs willed to be read, vsed, and studied by euery curate and pryeste to the vndoubted edifying as­well of them, as of all other that with a desyre to knowe God, shall eyther reade or heare the same. For as a wynnower powereth the chaffe from the corne, and the boulter tryeth out the branne from the mele: so hath Erasmus scoured out of all the Doctours and commentaries vpon Scrypture, the dregges which through the faute of the times or places, in whiche those wri­ters liued, had settled it selfe amonge the pure & fine substaunce: he hath tri­ed out the refuse that cleued in any the weorkes of suche as wrote whan the doctrine began by patchyng & clokyng to decline to insynceritie: the trashe and bagguage stuffe that through papistical tradicions had founde a waye to crepe in, this man hath sifted out frō the right doctrine: so that aswel in al other his most clerkely wrytinges, as also most specyally in these his Para­phrases vpon the newe testament so auncientely wryten as cannot be emen­ded he bringeth in and briefly compriseth the pith of a [...]l the myndes and me­ninges [Page] of all the good Doctours of ye churche, that euer wrote. In iustifica­cion of feith, in honouring God onely, in repentaunce & puritie of a Christen mans life, in detesting of imagery and corrupte honouring of Sainctes, in opening and defacing the tiranny, the blasphemie, Hipocrisie, the ambicion, the vsurpacion of the See of Rome, in noting the abuses of al the abhomi­nable sectes and rables of counterfei [...]te religions & idle cloisters, in bewrai­ing the iugling sleightes and fine practise of poperie, in choice of meates, in esteming the differēce of daies, in manifesting of vaine ceremonies vnder the coulour and pretence of holynesse crept into Christes churche, in reprehen­ding pilgrimages with al circūstances of ydolatrie and supersticion, in de­scribing of a Princes office, in teachyng obedyence of the people towardes their rulers and Gouernours, in declaring of a pastours duetie, in shewing the parte of an Euāgelical preacher, and what or how his doctrine ought to be out of the Scriptures, in blasing the Antichristiā decrees of poperie vn­der the name of tradicions & constituciōs of our mother church, in decising the right difference betwene the spirite and the lettre, and finally in al other poinctes or articles of our religion, hauing now of late yeres ben in contro­uersie, Erasmus like as he is no where ouer vehement, so is he euery where both sincere and ful. Neither doeth any wryter more wittily, more earnestly, more ap [...]ly, more finely, more substauncially, more piththily, or more playne­ly describe & peyncte out the vsurped estate, preeminence, and pompe of the bishope of Rome, then he doth: aswel in all other places where iust occasion offereth it selfe, as also directely (though vnder a preaty couloure) in the eleuenth chapitur of the Euangelist Marke. Erasmus ferthermore is won­dreful in comparing of fygures of the olde testamente, in applying of alle­gories, in declaring of parables, in discussing of doubtful questions, in ser­ching and explicating of profound misteries, wherin he euidently declareth himselfe, that he was a man of an excellent witte, of much study, of exquisite learning, of profounde knowelage, of an exact iudgemente, of notable dili­gence, of woorthy & famous industrie, of singular peinefulnes, of an encom­parable memorie, & of an vnestimable zele towardes yt setting furth of Chri­stes most holy gospel. And yet doth he with such prudence and semely circū ­speccion so tēper his stile, that his very enemies (as he cannot lacke enemies enough whosoeuer wil be an opener & teller of ye trueth in matiers of religiō, he cānot lacke enuie of Satans brode, whosoeuer wil endeuour himselfe to ferther the knowlage of Gods word, he cannot lacke neither priuie backebi­ting nor yet open reproche to slaundre him, to bring him out of credit, to de­face him, to trede him vnder foote, whosoeuer wil be diligent to help bring the gospel to light▪ he shal not auoide to be opēly burdened with false crimes whereby he may be vttrely diffamed, whosoeuer wil trauaile to manifest the glory of Christes bloud: he shal haue enough to write & speake against him, whosoeuer wil attempt to discouer the iugling castes & practise of poperie:) his very enemies (I say that hated him because they hated the veritie, could neuer yet finde how to geue him any foile, or how to take thaduantage of a­ny such holde against him, whereby to confound his doctrine. Neuertheles whan I do in my mind make a comparison of you three together, Erasmus in writing this Paraphrase, Quene Katerine in procuring ye same to be tur­ned into English, and your highnes in publishing the same by your godly [Page xi] iniunccions to bee had in vse throughout all parties of thys Royalme, me semeth I do wel note Erasmus to haue doen the lest act of the three. For E­rasmus fact did helpe onely such as are sene in latin: the Quenes goodnesse extendeth to the help of the vnlearned also which haue more nede of helping foreward: and your Maiesties benefit it is▪ that maketh so precious a trea­sour cōmon to as many as may take profit or fruict thereby. And in dede no Christian Prince there is, to whome the tuicion, proteccion, & stablishing of any such bookes or weorkes, as concerne the pure setting forth of Christ and his gospel, doeth so aptely or so duely apperteine, as to your most excellent Maiestie, to whome by a most iust and right deuolucion, and discente of in­heritaunce of the crounes of England, Fraunce, and Ireland, the title also of Defēdour of the feith, doth most nerely, most peculiarely, most specially, and most directly belong. Now as touching the translatours of such bookes as this, although I haue at this present the lesse to say, because I my selfe haue in a small porcion of this weorke filled one roume of some other man that might haue ben hable to do it better then I haue doen: yet can I not but wish that emong so many your Maiesties moste [...]umple & bount [...]ous exhi­bicions, & so many other godly actes to be doen as are daily brought & offred to the gracious direcciō of your highnes, of your most dere▪ vncle being Go­uernour of your Royal person during thys time of your minoritie, & vnder your Maiestie our protectour, and of the other your most honourable Coū ­saillours this thing also might be peferred to your consideracions, how ne­cessarie a thing it were, that some hable, worthy and mete persons for doing such publique benefite to the cōmon weale as translating of good weorkes, and writing of Cronicles, might by some good prouision and meanes haue some condigne sustentacion in the same. For what Royalme almost (Englād excepted) hath not al ye good authours that euer wrote trāslated into the mo­ther tong, whereby the people are made prudent and expert men in the tract of all affaire [...], either touching any discipline or els any ciuile matiers? And in Germany, what good weorke of diuinitie is there, which they haue not in their own lāguage to the vnestimable edifying of the people in ye due know­lage of God? For what hath ben or is in any common weale the foundacion of spreading abrode the knowlage of Goddes woorde, but onely the setting forth of the Bible with other good and godly tractises for the declaracion of the same? What thing hath ye whelpes of ye Romish Antichrist so fiercely al­waies backed against, as at the translating of Scripture and other bookes cōcerning matiers of religion into the vulgare tong for the vse of ye people? What any one thing is there, against the whiche there hath in all Christen Royalmes (as long as it might preuayle) been eyther sorer decrees, lawes, or inhibicions ordeined, or more terrible execucion of all kindes of tormen­tes and deathes inuented, deuised and put in vre, then againste the setters foorthe of bookes concernyng religyon? What one thing hath papistry in all countreyes more eagrely conspired, more subtelly coumpaced, or more earnestly practised to oppresse: then the coming foorth of Scripture and o­ther diuine weorkes in the vulgare tong, whereof the rude multitude might gather knowlage? Against what thing hath there in these laste yeres, vntill Christ (like fier being hidden vnder wood) would nedes mounte vp and ap­pere abrode maugre ye head of the Romish Pharao & al his tiranny, against [Page] what thing (I say) hath there been eyther more sorer thundreboltes shot, of deprauing, of accursing, of slaundreing, of defacing, of condemning, and of burning: then against bookes of scripture matiers, trāslated or writen in the mother lāguage, & against the autours of the same? Until the Bible & other good traitises for ye explanaciō of ye same wer in Christian regions turned & set forth in the vulgare languages: what kind of idolatry, supersticiō, pope­rie, errour, ignorance, or counterfeict religion, did not reigne? As long as the candel light of the gospel was kepte hidden vnder the bushell: what King, what Prince, what countrey, what people did not the blind popish guides lede (as one that is blindfolde may be led) till both fel in the pit? But whan and whersoeuer it hath pleased God by his special mercy, grace, & prouidēce to shew open the light of the gospel and true doctrine: there hath at once all popish troumperie euen of it selfe vanished away, as a mist is dispersed with the heate of the sonne, as smoke is consumed in the aier, as duste is blowen and scattered abrode with a puffe of winde, as the nyght geueth place to the bright day, and as darkenes vanisheth at the clere light of the sūne. Contra­riewise where the worde of God can not yet geat any entrie to take place, ne the bookes of holy Scripture obtein to be published to the people, what iye doth not see, and what Christian hert doth not lament and blede, to consider in what blindnes, supersticion, errour, vnquietnes of consciēce and trouble of minde, the sely people doe liue? It is therfore no smal benefite that suche persons do to a common weale, which are willingly trauaillers in this kind of writing. For as for newe bookes of trifleing vanities and profane argu­mentes we nede none, there are daily so many writen: but to haue such weor­kes made common to the publique vse of ye vnlearned multitude, as are the principal best, & haue ben written by noble Clerkes of vndoudted learning, knowlage, and godlines, therin consisteth such a publique benefite, as (if I should not now be suspected & demed to hunt for my selfe) is in mine estima­cion, worthy publique thankes and regarde. For (as Erasmus in his third booke of Apothegmes, aswel by a sapient aunswer of Socrates, as also by two other preatie stories, the one of Leonicenus and thother of William Warham late Archbishop of Cantorbury doeth declare) muche more good, and a much greater benefit to a common weale doeth such an one, as trans­lateth or composeth any frui [...]tful booke or traictise, which by going abrode throughout a whole Royalme may profit all pastours, curates studentes, & al people vniuersally: then any man is hable to do by preaching teaching, or geuing instruccions to one cōpany alone, or in one place or countrey & no mo, though he should neuer so rightly, neuer so diligētly, or neuer so cūning­ly doe the same. Now besides that such a translatour trauaileth not to hys own priuate commoditie, but to the behoufe & publique vse of his countrey: besides that the thing is such as must so throughly occupie and possesse the dooer, and must haue him so attent to apply that same exercise onely, that he may not during that season take in hande any other trade of busines where­by to purchase his liuing: besides that the thing cannot be doen without be­stowing of long time, great watchyng, muche peines, diligente studye, no small charges aswell of meate, drinke, and bookes, as also of other necessa­ [...]ies, the labour selfe is of it selfe a more peinful and a more tedyous thyng, then for a manne to wryte or prosecute any argumente of hys owne inuen­cion. [Page xii] A man hath hys owne inuencion readie at his owne pleasure without lettes or stoppes to make suche discourse as his argument requireth: but a translatour must of force in manier at euery other worde staigh, and suspend both his cogitaciō and his penne to looke vpon his autour, so that he might in egual time make thrise so muche, as he cā be hable to translate. But whe­ther of both a man shal apply hymself to doe, he can in the meane while dooe nothing els, he cannot-duryng the season bestow himselfe on any other occu­paciō for his liuing, & his necessities & also charges in the meane time neuer­thelesse dooe growe aswel as other mennes. Wherof it cometh to passe, that a noumbre of suche as would be right willing and diligent to dooe good in the commō weale with this kinde of seruice: yet through defaulte of necessa­rie maintenaunce, cannot: and certain that hath both liuing & vacaunt time enough, for as muche as they see the paines of this trauile so great, the hyre nothing at al, and the capciousnes of some maligners against the trueth, so readie to depraue the diligent laboure of studious writers: are for the moste parte of thē better contented (according to the accustomed prouerbe) to plaie for naught then to weorke for naught. And by this meanes lye almoste all good bookes hidden from the people, & al disciplines vnknowen. But thus hauing vnder the gracious sufferaunce & correction of your Maiestie shew­ed my poore opinion, I su [...]cesse any ferther to traict of this mater, leste I myght seme to speake as myne owne frende, whiche in dede I doo not, in so muche that hauyng your Maiesties benigne fauoure therunto, I mind and entende no lesse, then al my life enduring either in wryting or translating, to employe my simple talente, according to the porcion whiche it hathe pleased almightie god to measure vnto me: Albeit in this present weorke, nothing it is that I doo or iustely maye take vnto me as mine acte, sauing the transla­cion of the paraphrase vpon Luke, and the digesting and placing of the text throughout all the ghospelles, and the actes (except the ghospel of Marke) to thentent the vnlearned readers maye perceyue where & how the processe & circūstaunce of the paraphrase aunswereth to ye texte, & how it ioineth ther­with. Which my rude & grosse doyng if it may please your highnesse for the respecte of my good wil and honest zele to pardone (for as for thanke I con­fesse my selfe to haue worthily deserued none for so rude a thing:) your Ma­iestyes benigne & gracious fauour shall be vnto me suche an encouraging & spurre towardes ferther industrie: that emōg the riche iewelles of other bet­ter learned mennes studies, who haue aboūdaunce of treasoures to cōferre & bestowe to the publ [...]que edifiyng of the ignoraunt people, I shall at no time be [...]lacke euen of my penurie and scarcitie to bring my poore ferthing also, & to cast it into the cōmon boxe of helpyng the ignoraūt multytude towardes more knowelage of god. For truly there is none so good, so sure, ne so ready a waye to plante the knowelage of God in mennes hertes, to engraue in mē true loue & obedience towardes their Princes and rewlers, to rote vp idola­trie & supersticiō out of mēnes stomakes, to bring the people in ye good mind to detest & abhorre al kinde of naughtines, to bring al folkes to a perfeict se­curitie of cōsciēce in Christes bloud, to reduce the people to an vpright trade of Christian religion: as to fede their gredie houngre and thirst of Christes righteousnes, with the Bible, with suche godly omilies, and with this pa­raphrase and other like bokes of wholsom doctrine, as your Maiesties zele [Page] and deuociō towardes god hath alreadie moued you to do. For of this yong and grene foundacion being yet very newly laied, thus much good edifying hath already growen in all persons consciences: that blasphemie, periurie, mourdre, thefte, whoordome, making of affraies, and other abhominacions are more detested, then they were in the blinde worlde very late yeres gone: which is a token, that Christ beginneth to dwel emōg vs. For as Christ gro­weth, so shal vice weare away. And by egual degrees shal the loue of vertue and the hatered of vice grow in our hertes. A great mayny that haue hated matrimony, and yet haue not hated fornicacion, inceste, and aduoutry, begin now to abhorre and manifestly to flee these and other like pestilences, and to exercise the contraries. Which thing if some persones shal percase deny, and affirme to be otherwise, truely in mine opinion it is not so, but because it is in so great a numbre emended, looke where suche corrupcion stil remayneth, there doeth it better and more notably appere, as straunge thinges are com­monly more wondred at. For al good and godly folke doe now wondre, that, Gods worde being spred abrode & being now almoste in euery bodies hand and mouth so common, there should be any creature in whome any of the e­normities afore mencioned shoulde reigne. But by Goddes grace and your Maiesties most holsome prouision it is to be hoped, that through this salue of Goddes woorde, and other deuoute weorkes for declaracion of the same sette foorthe to the people, if any shepe eyther be scabby, or els doe yet ren a­straygh: the same shall by the right ledyng of the head belle weather theire Prince, and by the whystle and voyce of their good Pastours, be reduced to suche a concorde & vniformitie, that they wil full and whole goe the streight pathway of Christes doctrine, vntil (according to his promisse) there shal of vs al be but one folde, and one shepeheard, as your most excellent Maiestie by setting forth suche bookes as may edify your people of all states and de­grees in the knowlage of goddes woorde & in innocencie of life doth labour to haue it. Whiche your godly purpose and desire (if I may with your gra­cious pardone saye myne opinyon) I verayly suppose that no creature is of suche wicked herte to hindre, except if any such there be, (whiche thing God of his great mercy and grace forbid) that would not with his good wil haue your highnesse so wel to prosper, flourish, and growe, as to the honoure and glory of God, to the coumfort and reioysing of all your wel willers, to the terrour and drede of all your foes, and to the welth and honoure of all your Royalmes and dominions (God be thanked) ye nowe dooe. And doubt you not moste excellent Soueraygne, but that so long as your Maiestie by the aduise and assistence of your sayde most dere vncle and the other your moste honourable Counsailours, shall tendrely seke and setforth Gods glory, fra­ming and trayning your people to walke in his preceptes: so long wil God prosper you in all affaires, who can no more be false of his promisse, then he can ceasse to bee God. If ye reade the fifth chapitur of Iosue, and the fifth chapitur of Iudith, (besydes many places moe aswell in the bookes of the kinges, as also in other bookes of the Scriptures) ye shal plainly finde how merueilously God protected, saued, prospered, and preserued the people of Israel, so long as they walked in his preceptes truely & sincerely wurship­ping him and keping his lawes, againste all the force and vyolence of all their enemies, were they neuer so innumerable, neuer so puissaunt, neuer so [Page xiii] well appoynted for battayl, nor neuer so fierce. In the fifth chapitur of Iu­dith emong other notable testimonies of Gods tendrenes ouer Israel, and by their example ouer al such as truely serue him, it is conteined, that whan worde came to Holofernes, Prince and Captain general of the warre of the Assirians vnder the king Nabugodonozor, how the children of Israel pre­pared themselfes, to make resistence against him and his armie Royal, and he demaunded many questions of the Princes of Moab & of the Captaines of Ammon concerning the power of the Israelites: Achior the Captaine of all the Ammonites, whan he had in a long processe declared vnto Holofer­nes how wōdrefully Israel, whan they truly serued god, had euermore from tyme to tyme been preserued, and had preuayled againste all their enemies, and contrarie wyse howe God had alwayes plagued them whansoeuer they fell from hym to wurshippe false Goddes: thus doeth he conclude and knitte vp his oracion. Therefore my lorde (sayth he) make diligent inquisici­on: If this people haue doen wiekednes in the sight of their God, than lette vs goe vppe against them. For doubtlesse their God will deliuer them into thy handes, and subdue them vnto thy power. But yf this people haue not displeased their God, we shall not be hable to withstand them. For their God will defend them, and so shal we be a shame to al the worlde. &c. I ther­fore with all tendrenes of herte, beseche almighty God that this your godly purpose of setting forth the worde & glory of god, (wherunto his moste holy spirite, first moued your most noble father, and hath now more strongly and effectually wrought thesame in your Maiestie,) may neuer slacke. And than I nothing doubt, but that, according to the most earnest and the same vn­ceassaunt prayers, not onely of all vs your most feithful louing subiectes, but also of all other good and godly people, he shal in al thinges most pros­perously continue your most noble and most gracious Reigne ouer vs, pou­ring and heaping into you, as into a vessel of singular prerogatiue peculi­arely chosen, the right & true administracion of his lawes and of your com­mon weale, which by hys special grace he gaue vnto Moses and vnto Io­sue: the like testimony of feithfulnes,Exod xviii Deu. xxxi. & Iosua. iii & iiii. &c. i. king. xvii iii. king xiii iii. king. iii i. Par xiii. iii kyng. x [...] &, ii Parall xiiii, &, xv, and of being a manne chosen after his owne hert, which he gaue vnto king Dauid: the singular gift of wisedome richesse, magnificence, and renoume, wherwith he notably aboue al others endewed king Salomon: the fortunate and prosperous successe in battayl (if necessitie of war must come vnto you) that he sente vnto Abia: no lesse in­tegritie and purenes of liuing ioyned with effectual taking a way of super­sticion, then the scripture reporteth of good king Asa: the same grace to set your people in good ordre, and to constytute echewhere within youre Roy­almes and dominions, prudent, vpright, and discrete Magistrates to mi­nister iustice, and to haue God with you in al affaires therfore, as we reade of noble king Iosophat: the like prosperitie and continuaunce of most vic­torious reigning that God sent vnto Ioathan king of Israel: the like addici­on of yeres to your natural tyme,ii. Parali [...], x [...]i, &, xviii iii [...], king xx &. ii parali. xxvii.iiii. king. xx. that Ezechias had: and finally the luckie and prosperous olde age, which God gaue vnto Abraham, with semblable happe for propagacion of sede for your succession by suche a noble Sara as may be a condigne spouse to be coupled with so noble a King. Wherunto al true Englishe heartes that shall fortune to reade or heare these presentes I doubte not wil with one voyce saye. Amen.

To the Ientle christian reader Nicolas Udal wisheth health, grace, and peace in God the father, and in hys sonne Iesus Christ our salueour

THou hast here, good Christiā reader, the paraphrase of Eras­mus vpon ye gospel, that is to say, a treasour & in manier a ful library of all good diuinitie bookes. For whatsoeuer thing any of the auncient doctours of the church left behind him, whatsoeuer in any catholike writer is conteined, whatsoeuer any notable good exposytoure hath sette foorthe for the sincere & playne de­claracion of the new testament: the pith and substance therof hath this man with a clerkely iudgment compendiously and briefly, as it were in a summe, couched together in this one weorke. Neither was there euer any weorke so easy to be vnderstāded of the reader, which hath more cunning shewed in it, as by his owne annotacions vpon his trāslacion of the new testament it may euidently appere, in which annotacions he approueth & declareth himselfe with such diligent obseruacion and marking to haue perused al libraries, al writers, al bookes: as very few studentes dooe vse to reade and labour any one autour in any one particuler facultie or discipline. Accepte this autour therfore, deuout reader, and with glad wil enbrace so profitable a meane & in­strumēt, wherby thou maist (without any ferther trauail then onely reading marking, & bearing it away,) so easily attain to the clere vnderstanding of ye gospel. Reade it with a pure & a charitable hert & with a single iye void of al maner parcialitie of affeccion or of enuy: & thou shalt espy therin such edify­ing, as may be mete for thy state of knowlage & aptitude or capacitie, what euel it be. For like as in ye most holy & blissed testamēt there is both pappe for yoūg [...]inges in the feith & in the knowlage of Gods worde, and also sounde meate for such as are wel entred & hable to broke higher thinges: euen so in this auctour, are al thinges aptly tempered to enduce & traine the grosse & the rude multitude aswel of Curates & teachers▪ as also of other priuate rea­ders: to fede ye weake with such doctrine as they are hable to receiue: to shar­pen and make eagre such as are hungrie of ferther knowlage: & to minister vnto the learned or eloquēt teachers, matier sufficiēt wheron to groūd much profoūd & the same right Christiā doctrine. Accept it willingly & rendre thā ­kes first to God, who of his infinite mercy & grace hath in these our daies sēt such a numbre of suche good writers (and emong them Erasmus as one of the chiefe and principal) not onely to geue clere light, but also to open a way vnto the pure & perfeict knowlage of Gods worde: and than to your moste excellent Soueraine good king Edward the sixte, who emong the other his most princely and most Christian actes, doeth so soone and so effectually be­gyn first with the promoting of Gods worde and glory, being the fountain and ground of al good successe, welth, and prosperitie: and thirdly to Quene Katerine by whose good meanes and procurement this present weorke hath been by soondry mennes labours turned into our vulgare toung, wherby the kinges Maiestie, (whose principal desire & trauail is to doe all thinges [Page xiiii] possible, wherby his most tēdrely beloued subiectes knowlage may be ferthe­red, their conscience slaighed in a sincere doctrine of Christ, with a perfeict framing & confirming of the same in a good conuersacion of life,) might by hauing so notable a good matier in redinesse be the better occasioned to put forth so fruitful an exposicion of the gospel. For a paraphrase is a plain set­ting forth of a text or sentence more at large, with such circumstaunce of moe and other wordes, as may make the sentence open, cleare, plaine, & familiar, whiche otherwise should perchaunce seme bare, vnfruitful harde, straunge [...]ough, obscure, & derke to be vnderstanded of any that were either vnlear­ned or but meanly entred. And what is this, but a kinde of exposiciō, yea and that of the most p [...]hthie and effectual sorte? How muche therefore art thou bound deuout christian reader, (and especially ye priestes, and Curates that either haue not ben brought vp in studie of letters & of diuinitie, or els haue not such store of bookes, as may be sufficiēt for mainteining of your studies) how much are al ye bound (I say) vnto the kinges moste exellent Maiestie and his most honorable & worthy Counsaillours, who of a speciall regarde and cōsideracion of the ignoraūce & defaute of litterature (which hath reig­ned in most part of ye Clergie of England aswel to ye great detriment, harme and decay of religion in the christian flockes to their spiritual charge cōmit­ted, as also to their owne intolerable peril and daungier, whan at the gene­ral day of accoumpt and audite to be made at the throne of God, it shall bee required at their handes how and what they haue taught to the ignoraunt multitude, for whose solles (as touching their institucion in the feith & in the lawes of God) they must answer before a rightful iudge, whome no mā shal be hable to corrupt, beguile deceiue, or escape) haue by their most good poli­cie founde a meanes, howe both ye and all the people may with a great dele lesse time, study, labour, yea & also charges, then were won [...]e to be bestowed in playing at tables, boules, cardes, & other vnlawful games, haue in a few leaues a whole library of good doctrine, both for the priuate edifying of eue­ry one particularely, and also for the enstruccion & teaching of eche other in common. Whatsoeuer ignoraunt person is desirous of knowlage, & can be contēted to learn: whosoeuer is not of an hert so indurate but yt he can abide such good bookes, as may further Christes doctrine, whosoeuer is not of an extreme malignaunt stomake against the due setting foorth of Gods worde: whosoeuer is not such an enemie to ye glory of God, that he enuieth the bene­fit of Christes bloud vnto England: whosoeuer is not eyther of such blind­nesse that he cannot see the trueth, or of such peruerse & froward malice that he wil not, or of such cancard obstinacie that he wil against the spirite and a­gainst his conscience wilfully withstand & resist al good thinges which may induce men to the knowlage of God: whosoeuer doth not hate the light of ye gospel: whosoeuer is in his herte a fauourer of the trueth, and of the kinges Maiesties most godly procedinges, hath no lesse cause but to enbrace Eras­mus, whose doctrine the most & best parte of al Christiā Royalmes & vniuer­sities hath euermore allowed & iudged to be consonaūt to the truth, & also is boūd with immortal thankes to pray for the kinges most excellēt Maiestie, for this his most gracious setting forth & publishing this present weorke to the vse of such as haue nede therof. And where the sayd Erasmus fer other­wise then a great nūbre of ye scholastical sorte, & other vnlettred expositours [Page] of these last blind seasons, hath written these his paraphrases in as ornate a stile as he hath the most parte of hys other volumes: is not (as some barba­rous bloundreers haue for safegard & defence of their owne poore honesties alleged) a thing vnseming for bookes of holy scripture matiers. For diuini­tie like as it loueth no cloking, but loueth to be simple and playn, so doth it not refuse eloquēce, if the same come without iniurie or violacion of ye truth. For who writeth more ornately then the Greke diuines, Basilius, Gregorie Nazianzene, Theophilactus, Chrisostome? or who in laten more elegauntly than Lactancius▪ Hierome, and diuers others? Albeit in this English para­phrase the translatours haue of purpose studied rather to write a plain stile, then to vse their elegācie of speche, partely because there cānot in al pointes be expressed in the English tong the grace that is in the laten, much lesse (of my self I speake) the plesauntnesse that is in the stile of Erasmus, a man of moste excell [...]nt learnyng and exquisite eloquence in this kinde (thoughe in dede not altogether a Ciceronian, but yet feact, pleasaunt, swete, elegaunt, & sensible) & partely because there was a special regarde to be had to the rude and vnlettred people, who perchaunce through default of atteigning to the high stile, should also thereby haue been defrauded of the profit and fruict [...] of vnderstanding the sence, which thing that they might doe, was the onely pourpose why it was first translated, and now by the kinges most excellent Maiestie willed to be read. For as for the learned are hable enough to helpe themselfes without any translacions at al. Neither are these translacions to be depraued, because some reader would perhaps otherwise haue turned sōe thinges then he shal here rede it. For no two enterpreters there bee, that in translating out of any one tong into an other, would agree in al pointes of stile or enditing, as (best for this purpose) it may appere by the auncient fa­thers of the Churche, whose allegacions of places of holy Scripture, moste commonly varie in wordes, & agree not but in sense. And the same interpre­ter that would haue translated some part hereof better thē it now is, would in some other poinctes perchaunce haue doen i [...] wurse. Therefore euerie mā ientilly take and interprete an others labours, & beare with his infirmitie, if not in consideracion of his studie & trauail, yet at lestewise for respect of his good zele & godly entente to ferther knowlage. If it come to the handes of suche as can and wil without disdeigne or arrogancie take his penne and e­mend any thing that his good and vncorrupt iudgement shal see mete to be corrected: I suppose that besydes the rewarde of God, & the publique than­kes of his countrey, he shal also priuatly deserue and receiue immortal thā ­kes of the translatours, whose desire is to haue it wel. Neither do I suppose any to be of such mind that he would disdeigne or be greued to see his thing bettered, as in this great weorke some thinges are in dede here & there other wise penned, then the firste translatours wrote it. For thys is a common weorke of building, to the which are hired many sondry men of occupacion: and in case some man be making a doore, a windoore, or a frame: though an other of the same occupacion put his hande to the bettering and perfeicting of it, yet is not the so dooyng any displeasure, nor cause of grutche to the o­ther: but rather a beautifiyng of his dooing▪ & a cause of rendreing thankes to the partie that of good wille and zele without presumpcion, did put hys helping hande to a good purpose. And sembleably in this commō weorke of [Page xv] the gospels vineyarde (for asmuch as euery labourer hath his iye directed to the onely marke of setting foorthe the glory of God, and hys moste holy worde,) no man meaneth any rebuke or derogacion to his felow, whan he e­mendeth something that was to be refourmed or altered: but rather semeth to craue the like help of the other agayn in his owne doinges, because it is euident that any man can ferther see, and can be a more indifferent iudge in an other mannes doinges, then he can be in his owne. Geuing ther­fore firste laude, prayse, and thankes to God for all his giftes, and than to our moste excellent king Edwarde the sixth for so gracious accepting, fauouring, and maintei­ning honest and godly studies: leat euery man employ his good talentes that God hath geuen him, to the publique vse of seruing and prof [...]ting his countrey, & to the common edifying eche of other in Iesus Christe our Lorde: to whom together with the father and with the holy ghoste, be all honour laude, and glorye worlde without ende.

Amen

To the moste vertuous Ladie Quene Katerine, late wife to the moste noble, and moste victorious king, Henry the eight of most famous memorie, Nicolas Udal your moste humble seruaunt wisheth health, grace, and conso­lacion in our Lorde Iesus Christe euerlastyng.

WHere your excellent highnesse, moste gracious Quene Ka­terine, sen [...]e the time of your firste calling to the estate and dignitie of espousal & mariage with the moste noble prince that euer reigned, King Henry the eight, hath neuer ceassed by all possible meanes that in you might lie, to minde, to a­uaun [...]e, and to encrease the publique commoditie and be­nefit of this common weale of Englande: I finde on euery side so great▪ and the same so worthy matier of gratulacion, and thankes ge­uyng vnto God, that I cannot tell on whose parte fyrste to commence and begynne the same: whether on your owne behalfe, whome God of his good­nesse did for your singuler and thesame most notable vertues, without any your expectacion or hope, soodainly putte in Kyng Henries mynde to chose, call, and auaunce to the dignitie and estate of a Quene: or on kyng Henries partie, whose good happe it was, so aptly to choose suche an one as shoulde afterwarde bee a feithfull and continuall coadiutrice vnto hym, in all hys moste deuoute and godly procedinges concerning the knoweleage of God and his woorde to bee sette foorth to the people: or els for Englandes cause, to whose publique benefite and edifying in true religyo [...], all these your vn­c [...]assaunte peynes and trauayles doe finally redounde. Leauyng therefore the prosecucion of so large a mattier as neither my slendre witte can wel con­tryue, nor my rude penne is hable to wielde: I shall at thys presente onely thanke God in you, & you in God, for causing these Paraphrases of Desi­derius Erasmus of Roterodame vpon the newe testament to be translated into Engilshe, for the vse and commoditie of such people, as with an earnest zeale, and with deuout study, doe houngre and thirst the simple and playne knowlage of Goddes worde: not for contencious bableing, but for innocent liuing: not to be curious searchers of the high misteries, but to be feithfull executours and doers of Goddes biddinges: not to bee troubleous talkers of the Byble, but syncere folowers of Goddes preceptes therein conteined: not to bee vnreuerent reason [...]rs in holy scriptue, for vain setting out of the [...]r peincted sheathe: but to bee humble and lowly weorkers of Goddes glorie: not to bee curyous dysputers in the ghospell for the defence and maynte­naunce of theyr inordinate lustes and carnall lybertie, but to bee vpryghte walkers in holy conuersacyon of lyfe in the rule of the ghospell prescrybed. Which kinde of doctrine, forasmuch as no one wryter hath laboured in all poynctes and behalfes more vncorruptely or more playnely to ministre vnto the symple reader, then thys authour by a perpetuall dyscourse and conti­nuacion of the texte doeth: your highnes vndoubtedly in procuring the same [Page xvi] to be turned into English, hath not onely after a most godly sorte bestowed your charges: but also hath in the thingselfe doen vnto the commen weale a benefit by so many degrees surmounting and passing any other act of your great largesse and benignitie, as the soule is better then the body, as spiritu­all edifying is aboue temporal supportacion, as gostly foode and coumforte excedeth corporall reliefe or cherishing, and as heauenly treasours excell all worldely giftes or richesse. And in that your highnesse for the more spedy ex­pedicion of your moste godly purpose to bring Goddes woorde to the more light, and to the more clere vnderstanding, distributed this weorke by porci­ons to sondry translatours, to thentent it might al at once be finished, ife the deuout English readers any long time defrauded of so fruitful and so pro­fitable a weorke: ye haue therein, moste gracious Ladie, right well declared both how much ye tendre Goddes honour, and also how earnestly ye minde the benefit of your countrey. Whiche your countrey, what they are not able in facte with condigne thankes to requite, dooe and euer will, (as they are moste bounden) supply with perpetuall commending your highnes to God in prayer, wh [...]che I thinke to be the onely rewarde ye looke for or desire. As touching the translacions (because they are of soondry personés dooinges) though there appeare in them some dyuersitie of style and endicting: yet is there in the whole weorke no contrarietie of doctrine. Though euery trans­latour folow his owne veyne in turning the Laten into Englishe: yet doeth none willingly swerue or dissente from the minde and sence of his autoure. Albeit some goe more nere to the wordes of the lettre, and some vse the liber­tie of translating at large, not so precisely binding themselues to the streight interpretacion of euery woorde and sillable, (so the sence be kept:) yet dooe they all agree (euery one as his veyne serueth him) in feithfully rendreing the sence of their booke. So that if any persones there be either of such high conceipte and opinion of themselues that they can like no mannes doinges but their owne, or els of such vinentlenesse that they wil not well interprete simple mennes doynges, whiche themselues can for the moste parte sooner finde faulte withal then emende, or els of such morositie and way wardnes that their stomakes cannot beare with any other mannes labours, be they neuer so honestly entended or bestowed: such are in this behalfe rather to be contemned and left to their insolent dis [...]eignefulnes, then either to be paci­fied or aunswered vnto. The partes of deuout readers are, with immortall thankes to receiue and take the fruicion of honest and godly studies: the of­fice of learned men is, without deprauing or derogacyon of other mens di­ligence, & without any arrogancie on their owne behalfes, to employ their good talentes to the pu [...]lique behoufe of their countrey, and to the furthe­raunce of godly knowleage: the office of euery studious and diligent writer is, to haue his iye directed so the oublique vtiliti [...] onely, and than to thinke his vpright wel doinges a sufficiente price & rewarde of themselues, and so without respect of any worldely rewarde or thanke, so referre the fruite and successe of his labours to God the mocioner, the authour, and the weorker of all goodnes. As touching Erasmus and the doctrine that his bookes dooe sowe, although I haue before this time somewhat sayd aswel in my preface vnto your highnes before the paraphrase vpon the ghospel of Luke, as els­where: yet can I not omitte thus muche to say in hys defence, that in case a­nye [Page] persons bee enemies to Erasmus wryting▪ it procedeth more of their en­uie, of their vnquietnes of minde, and of their hatered against the light and grace of the ghospel clerely now arisyng and plenteously spreading it selfe abrode, then of any faute or iust deserte in Erasmus. Whoso wincheth and kiketh at the gospel, in dede cannot but spurne at Erasmus, who hath with incomparable study & trauail shewed himselfe a diligent labourer in Chri­stes vineyard. And truely whomesoeuer I perceiue to be an eagre aduersa­rie to Erasmus writinges, I (as my poore iudgemente leadeth me) cannot but suppose the same to be an indurate enemy to the gospel, which Erasmus doeth according to the measure and porcion of his talente feithfully labour to sette foorth and promote. But lyke as whan manne is in a feure, or with any other greuous infirmitie distempered, the better that the drynke is, the wurse it ta [...]teth in his mouth: so whan the herte is corrupt with malice and hatred of Gods trueth, the better that the doctrine is, the more it offendeth. Sore iyes cannot abide the bryghtenesse of the sunne, nor a corrupte hearte the clere veritie of Gods woorde. Persons indurate are the woorse for rea­ding of holy scripture: neyther dooe they of any thing take more occasion of slaundre and offence of conscience, then they dooe of holy scrypture, whereby their conscience shoulde be edified. Some there be of suche malicious hard­nesse of herte, that they can abide neither booke, ne teaching, ne reading, ne any thing els, that may helpe or emende the ignoraunt peoples knowlege. And suche, because they woulde lette and stoppe Goddes glory, depraue all good thinges, and pronounce them to be naught. But suche are in this be­halfe not to bee passed on, ne to be hearde. For as a body corrupted with yll humours or diseases, the more and better that it is nourished with good me­ates and drinkes, the wurse it is: so a cankarde stomake and a wieked hert, the more holesome doctrine that is ministred vnto it, the more it is indurate, the more doeth it enuie the publique vtilitie vnto men▪ and the more dooeth it striue, and wrastle against the veritie. Pharao was neuer more eagre in persecuting the people of God, thē whan he was by dayly plagues and mi­racles most of all prouoked te conuerte. The Pharisees neuer more furious­ly, swelled, ensourged, or raged against Christ, then whan he alleaged holy scripture vnto them, or brought againste them the testimony of theyr owne lawe which they coulde not deny. The scripture of God is all good and god­ly, yet like as the same to the good spirite is a sure porte of tranquillitie and peace, so is it to the wieked conscience a stumbling blocke, and a stone of of­fence. Out of one and the same floure the Bee gathereth honey, and the spi­der sucketh venome: so great diuersitie of operacion there is in good and ci­uill natures. And the common faulte that malignaunt persones doe allege against the publishing of Goddes worde in the mother tongue, and against the setting foorth of holesome and godly exposicions vpon the same, is, that suche bookes cause sedicion against the doctrine, and than lay their facte to the doctrines charge. This hath euermore hitherto ben the practise and con­ueighaunce not only of the Romish Pharisaical sorte, but also of the aunci­ent enemies of Goddes trueth, euen from the beginning. Neither haue this malicious generacyon euer as yet vsed any other way or coulour to deface the trueth, to let the good proceding of Gods worde, or to sliere and prouoke the indygnacyon of Princes and Magistrates agaynste the publishyng, or [Page xvii] agaynst the true preachers and teachers therof: but onely by allegeyng that it wyll mooue sedicion and teache errour: where in dede Goddes woorde is (as ye would saye (a perfeicte touchestone whereby to fynde out and to trye suche cancard stomakes, as would fain rebelle & moue sedicion, and would gladly haue it so to bee. For otherwyse a great wonder it were, and a veraie straunge thing, if the woord of God, or this paraphrase, or any other lyke godly expo­sicion of the ghospell (whiche is in sense none other but the doctrine of Christ and of his Apostles) should corrupt the readers or teache errour, or moue se­dicion. God and his moste holy woorde is altogether peace, vnitie, concorde, and perfec [...]e charitie. Goddes woorde teacheth none other doctrine but peace humilitie, subiection, and so muche obedience to the Princes and Magistra­tes, as the Romishe Babylonians would not by their good willes haue to be put in the heades and hertes of the ignoraunt people. But this colour haue the enemies of Goddes woorde euermore vsed to suppresse the ghospell. So did they by all the Martirs, so haue they doen by the true preachers, so did the olde Iewes by the auncient prophetes of God, and so did ye old Pharisees by Christ himselfe, whose moste grieuous crymes were, that he drew al the worlde after hym, that he taught and sowed erroneous doctrine, that he seduced the people, and that he made hymselfe a kyng. And the malicious Iewes layed to Paules charge, that he begoonne to be a sedicious moouer of rebellion a­gainst Ceasar: not that the thyng was so in dede, but because thesame was a cockesure waie to make al obedient people hate the ghospell, and to prouoke the rew [...]ers & Magistrates to suppresse it. But the lorde, who of his mercifull goodnesse hath of late sent out the clere radiaunt sunnebeames of his holye woorde and veritie to shyne ouer all christen regions, will (I trust) so conti­nue the light of the same, that the simple flocke shall bee hable to discerne the spirites of men, & liuely to know the vngodly maligners, whiche by cauiling and deprauyng all good thinges, dooe wrastie and strougle (as muche as in them lieth) to kepe the ignoraunte multitude in blidnesse. In the meane time all the simple Englishe congregacion, is bound continually to praye for your highnes, that haue for theyr vse and behoufe procured the translacion of this present paraphrase vpon the ghospell of Mathew, and vpon the residue of the newe testament, wherby they may with a more coumfortable and pleasaunt readyng in theyr owne mother tounge, bothe encreace from daye to daye in [...]nowelage, and also continually bee edified in true religion, nouzeled in right opinions, trayned in sincere doctrine, and confirmed to walke in perferct innocencie and inte­gritie of a true Christen lyfe accordyngly.

¶The preface of Erasmus vnto his paraphrase vpon the Gospell of the Euangelist Matthew.

To the moste victorious Emperour Charles, the fift of that name Erasmus of Roterodame, gretyng.

BEyng not ignoraunt, Charles Emperour most victo­rious, howe muche godly feare and reuerence also, is of due congruence to be geuen, partely vnto all holye scriptures, whiche the holy fathers throughe the inspi­racion of God, haue left vnto vs, and especially vnto that part of scripture, whiche maketh an vpright and faythful relacion of suche thinges as the heauenly fa­ther eyther wrought in facte, or spake in woordes, for the health and saluacion of the whole world, through his soone Iesus: and being ferther priuie to myne owne vnwurthynes, where not many yeares gone, I first attempted to set hand to making a parahrase vpon Paules Epistles, for the playner vnderstandyng of them (which thing to doe came vpon me at that time of a sodain pangue, euen of mine own mind) I did no lesse, then think myself to enterprise a veral bolde and presumpteous acte, and an acte (as the prouerbe sayeth) of a right daungerous hazarde, in so muche that after I had in one or twoo or three chapiters, taken a prouf, and assaye of the worke, how well it woulde doe, I was vttirly mynded to pulle downe my sayles againe, and to surcease from the course that I had afore a­pointed to take, vnlesse a wunderful consent of my frendes beyng men of ler­nyng, had perforce constrayned me to procede with that I had begon. Ney­ther coulde I for their most earnest desires▪ be at any rest or quiet, vntil I had fully ended and finished all that euer there was of the Epistles Apostolical, whereas I had not taken in hand to medle, but only wt those epistles whiche without all controuersie or doubte were wryten of thapostle Paule. It hath not at al tymes framed wel with me, ne come to good ende, when I haue ben ruled to doe thynges at the mocions & instaunt pricking forward of frendes. But yet in this thing neuerthelesse I was not a litle proude of my selfe, that this my bolde auenturyng had come muche more happily to passe, then was loked for, as well for myne owne parte that was the maker, to whome it pur­chased least enuie and grutche of men, of al the wurkes that euer I wrote: as also on the behalfe of all suche, as are studentes and suters to atteigne to the philosophye of the gospell, who doe euery man more then other, geue me thā ­kes for that by meanes of myne industrious labour, they haue to the better knowlage of thapostolicall wisedome, eyther been moued and stirred vp, or els furthered. But whā I had cleane dispatched myself of this great charge and taske, I loked not that I shoulde at any tyme afterwarde, haue any more to doe with this kynde of writing, & beholde the right reuerende father Ma­thew, Cardinall of Sedune (by whose aduise and instigacion I had afore made vp all thepistles canonical) at what time I spake with him at Brurels, to welcome hym into the countrey, according to my duetie, after his returne from the counsell, whiche had than been holden at the citie of Wourmes, euē by and by at the first entring in talke with me, euen lyke a man that had deui­sed vpon it afore, begynneth to exhorte me, that what I had afore doen vpon thapostolicall Epistles, the same I shoulde also doe vpon the gospel of Ma­thew. [Page xviii] I on my partie anon made myne excuse by many thynges, firste that it was alreadye an acte bolde and ouerbolde, that I had attempted the same v­pon the writinges of thapostles: secondly that the Apostles in dede wer god­ly men, yet neuerthelesse men they were, but the maiestie of Christ to be more great, then that it myght be lefull to auenture the doynge of suche a thynge in his wordes. And though the maiestie of the worke did not put of & dryue one awaye, yet the nature of the argument or matter of the gospels to refuse the thyng, & not to suffre one that should go about to make a Paraphrase: and not onely for that there are in the gospell persons of diuers and sundry sortes, vn­to whome while the wordes and talke is so applied as to euery of them for his rate or degree maye best accorde, it commeth to passe that the wryters penne is kept shut within the enclosure of an excedyng streyght grate, because it is debarred from that libertie, whiche all other sortes of commentaries doe suf­fer and receiue (for a paraphrase also is to be reputed as a kynde of commen­tarie.) Furthermore where as a good porcion of the gospell consisteth in ma­kyng report of this and that acte doynge, and that of a simple and a plain re­port without any curiositie, one that shoulde in thys parte make a paraphrase shall seme nothyng els to doe, but at noontyde to light a candell, as the pro­uerbe of the Grekes doeth call it. Nowe ferther, wheras the aunciente doc­toures and wryters doe in expoundyng the allegories, partly varie, not decla­ryng it all after one waye: and partely so handle themselues, that to me they seme oft tymes to playe and dallie with it, nor myght expresse or bryng in the same allegories, but vnder the persones, eyther of Christ, orels of the euange­list, it is euidente and well to be knowen in what narow streyghtes I should trauayle. I let passe and saye nothyng, that Christ in suche wyse spake cer­tayne thynges, as he woulde not haue the same to be vnderstanded at the time of the speakyng of them: of whiche sort this here ensuyng is one: Destroy ye this temple, and within thre dayes space I wyll buyld it vp agayne. And all­so of bying a swearde: of the Phariseis leuen to be eschued. And truly in that same his talke, where he foresheweth the distruccion of the citie of Hierusalē and prophecieth of the ende of the world, and of affliccions long after to en­sue vnto the Apostles, Iesus doeth so intermedle and temper his talke, that me semeth his will and pleasure was to be darke and not vnderstanded, not onely to the Apostles, but also vnto vs all. There be also certayne places (as I thinke) almoste vnpossible to be expouned, of whiche sort one is, concernyng that sinne against the holy goste shall neuer be remitted: an other, concerning the day of iudgement, reserued to the knowlage of the father onely, and vn­knowen euen to the very sonne selfe. In these places and suche lyke, yf one wryte commentaries, he maye at his pleasure without daunger reporte the sundrye opinions of sundrye expositours, he hath libertie frankly to confesse and acknowlege that he dothe not vnderstand the mening of the place. But one that maketh a paraphrase hath not ye lyke libertie nor power. Moreouer certayne thinges there be in suche sorte spoken, that they touche and concerne euen these verai times that now are, in which our tymes right many thinges there be, ferre disagreyng from the institucions & ordinaunces of the Apost­les. And suche thynges although the Euangelistes foreknew them by ye spi­rite of prophecie, yet certes vnder the persones & names of the Apostles, they can not be reported, but both coldely & also cuttedly: There was yet also an [Page] other point that moued my minde, which was, that in case I should take and bestow this labour vpon Mathew only, there would by and by be some that would make instaunte & earnest request for to haue the lyke doen vpon all the residue of the Euangelistes: whose wyl & desire if I should folow, than muste it cum to passe, yt I must many tymes more then once make repeticion of one manier mattiers, that is to were, of all and euery matter in whiche the Euan­gelistes did amonge themselues accorde. Or, if on the othersyde I shoulde tye and linke together a certayne continuall processe of tellyng the thynges, & so to make but one whole tale of them all together: than (forasmuche as to de­clare and to open all the places which in the Euangelistes seeme to disagre, is nothyng els but to be coumbreously entangled as it wer in a certayne mase) could I neuer haue been hable to do that is to be doen, for the clerenesse and light that a Paraphrase ought to haue. Whan with these & verai many mo argumentes and reasons, I desired to be ridde of the charge that was layed vnto me to go in hande withall, wheras I thought my selfe to haue a good cause, and an excuse that might haue preuailed: yet did the sayed Matthewe vanquish me by his eloquence, he got the ouer hande of me by reason of hys autoritie wherby he might commaunde me, takyng on hymself the daungier and hasard of all the whole matier. Neyther durste I bee so bolde as any lon­ger to striue or strougle agaynst the aduise and councell of hym, whose coun­sailes your Maiestie customablie vseth in moste high and weighty affayres, not vnwyllyngly to folowe. And yet where as I had not euen plainly taken the matier vpon me, but had onely promysed that I woulde one daye assay yf happily the thyng would frame & go forward: he than iourneiyng towardes Millayn, had made assured warantise vnto ye Germaines in my behalf, that the worke should this instant winter season cum foorth: Wherupon I cum­myng backe my self againe vnto Basile, was in suche wise on eche side conti­nually called vpon of my maisters the Germaines, being crauers not of the lest importune sort, that because I would in any wise discharge both his promyse, & myne own honestie to, I finished vp the weorke with litle more then a monethes labour. And God he graunte that bothe the cōmaundement of hym and the obedience of me, may be to all persons luckie and fortunate, and I trust it wyll so be if your maiestie will fauourablie acknowlage and accepte this slender gifte & presente, to the same dedicated. But here perchaunce some man that knoweth you by none other title sauing onely by the name of Em­perour, wyl saye: What is a booke of suche an argumente or matier as thys for a prince secular, whiche it had been more mete and conuenient to haue de­dicated vnto abbottes or bishops? for aunswer wherof, first me thinketh it a thyng aptlye geuen, whatsoeuer thyng beyng honest, is put vp to a Christen prince. And besides this, where as no prince is so secular, but that he hath a doe with the profession of the gospell, the Emperours are anoynted & sacred for this very purpose, that they may eyther maynteyne or restore, or elles en­large and sprede abrode the religion of the gospell. Ergo than (wil some man saye) the Emperour is not a teacher of the gospell, but the defendour of it. I graunte that: but in the meanwhyle mete it is, not to be ignoraunt what ma­ner thyng it is, for whiche one taketh armour to defende it. And forsoth whā I consider that herte and mynde of yours in suche wise to bee geuen vnto re­ligion and to godly deuocion, that to Bishops & Abbottes it may towardes [Page xix] the studie of godlinesse, bee aswell a rule, as also a spurre, me seemeth, I can not dedicate this gifte vnto any man, more conuenientlye, then to youre ma­iestie. So that the thyng whiche I myght aptly haue dedicated to any Chri­sten prince, and more aptlye to a Christen Emperoure: I doe moste aptly of all dedicate vnto you Charles. Muche lesse apte thynges doe they bringe vn­to you, that geue you great gyftes of precious stones, that are gayson to bee found, of lustie fierce horses, of houndes, & of riche hanginges, that come oute of farre straunge countreyes. And moreouer forasmuche as the Euangelistes haue writen the gospel vnto all folkes, no persone excepted: I do not see why it shoulde not of euery man bee read. And I haue so handled it, that it maye bee vnderstanded, euen of suche also, as are vnlettered. And surely it shall withe excellent good fruite be read, if euery bodye shall take it in his handes of the only mynde and entent, to bee made thereby a better man then he was afore: and not apply scripture of the gospell to his owne affeccions, but contrary­wyse refourme and correct his lyfe and his desyres, according to the rule and prescripcion therof. I haue in this present worke chiefly folowed Origenes, beyng singularly aboue others experte in diuinitie, and Chrisostome and Hie­rome, of the catholique writers most best allowed. That Lorde and Prince of heauen giue and graunte vnto you Charles, Emperour most emperiall, suche thinges to minde and to go about, as are of the principall beste sort, & the same lord well prosper your endeuours in that behalf, to the ende that the moste noble Empier, whiche ye haue hitherto had without bloudshed of mā, ye maye semblably aswell enlarge and amplifie, as defende and maintayne. And this poinct in the meane while it maye please your merciful graciousnes frō tyme to tyme to haue in your remembraunce, that no warre there is vpon so iust & lawfull causes taken in hande, nor with so good moderacion executed, that dra­weth not after it an huige heape both of abominacions, and also of miseries: yea, and remembre also the greatest porcion of all the harmes, to light in fine, vpon persones bothe giltles and also vnworthy thesame.

¶ The lyfe of sainct Matthew writen by Hierome one of the aunci­ent doctours of the Churche.

MAtthew whiche was other wyse also called Leui, beyng of a Puplican made an Apostle, first of all others composed and wrote in Iewrye, the ghospell of Christe in the Hebrue tounge, for theyr behoufe and cause, whyche beyng of the circumcision had beleued: whyche ghospell what person did afterwarde translate into Greke, it is not verai certaynly knowen. But truely the verye Hebrue selfe is had euen vntill this presente daye in the librarye of Lesarea, whyche librarye Pamphilus the martyr did with all possible studiousnes set vp and make: And I my selfe also had the same ghospell of Matthew in Hebrue, lente me to copye it out, of the Nazarites, whyche in Beroea a citie of Syria, doe vse thesame booke. Wher­in is to be noted and obserued, that whersoeuer this Euangeliste, eyther in his owne per­son, orels in the person of our sauiour, doethe vse any allegacions of the olde Testamente, he doeth not folowe the auctorite of Septuaginta, that is to saye, of the thre score and ten translatours: but of the Hebrue. Of whyche sorte are set these two citacions here ensuyng. Out of Egypt haue I called my soonne: and For a Nazarite shall he be called.

The Paraphrase of Erasmus vpon the Gospell of saincte Matthew.

¶The firste Chapter.

IF men so gredely embrace a booke, which is set foorth by the industrie of man, concernyng the preseruacion or restoryng of health, or the waye to increace worldely substaunce, or touchyng any other facultie whiche ma­keth only for worldly commodities, with howe muche more feruent loue and desyer ought this boke to bee re­ceyued of all men? whose profyt and cōmoditie belon­geth indifferently to all men. This boke promiseth not worldly commodities, whiche laste but a whyle: but it teacheth all heauenly wysedome, delyuered vnto mankynde from the heauen­ly doctour Christe Iesus: And it promiseth al [...]o a wonderfull rewarde, not ryches, nor kyngdome, nor pleasures, but true and euerlastynge felicitie: vnto the whiche felicitie this booke sheweth the moste ready and easye way for all men. It shewethe also the author & meane, through whome euery man hath health and saluacion, and without whome no man maye hope for healthe and saluacion. What man woulde not be moued and prouoked with a sure hope of suche a good thynge, be he neuer so barbarous or vnlettred? And thys wun­drefull saluacion (whiche neyther mannes indeuour, nor the paynfull labour of the Philosophers, nor the supersticious religion of the Gentiles, nor the diligent obseruacion of Moyses lawe, coulde fully perfourme or geue) God the maker, the preseruer, the ruler, and restorer of all thynges visible and in­uisible, dyd shewe and declare in tymes paste, by the sayinges of all his Pro­phetes, beyng replenished with his heauenly spirite, vnto all the worlde, but moste specially to the people of the Iewes (whyche at that tyme wer a figure of Christes churche, whiche shortly after shoulde be enlarged throughout all the world) signifiyng & shewyng before by dyuers dark figures & shadowes, whatsoeuer he hath now plainly made open vnto the world, by his sonne Ie­sus Christe, who was the messinger of this free felicitie, beyng ambassadour in yearth of God his father, in suche wyse, that he was also the teacher of the holsome philosophy, he was ye example, he was both the pledge, the promiser, and the author of the euerlastyng rewarde. For God by his secrete counsell whiche mannes wit is vtterly vnhable to serche oute, hath suffered mankind, beyng of disposicion lyke his first parent, and pro [...]e to all vice, to be entangled with false religions, with sondry vices of life, and naughtie desyres, to the in­tent that in this time of al times most to bee desired and wished for, the whiche Goddes wisdome the orderer of all thinges had appoynted to it selfe, al men shoulde with the more desyrous & agreable myndes enbrace this philosophie, beyng bothe very holsome and of marueylous efficacie, after that they haue once perceyued, that neyther by those commodities and healpes whyche the worlde promyseth here to be chyefe, nor by so many fine & exquisite preceptes [Page xx] of the phylosophers, nor by so many sortes of religions, nor by the scrupu­lous obseruacion of Moses lawe, they coulde actayne vnto true godlynes and true felicite: Naye rather the more earnestly they laboured to cum vn­to innocencie and felicitie, as long as they trusted to mannes help & strength, the more they wer intangled with vice and filthy desyres. Therfore yf the Ie­wes, whom it behoued chiefly to accept and imbrace the thing that is offered vnto them, beyng so often promysed, and so longe loked for, yf they alone ne­glect so greate godnes, whiche is frely offered to all men, and yf they had ra­ther alone to lacke it, than to haue it common wt others, they can impute their destruccion to nothyng but to theyr owne incredulitie and vnbelefe. The say­inges and prophecies of the holy Prophetes, prophecied these thynges chiefe­ly for them. They sawe Christe with their iyes workyng miracles, they heard with theyr eares the doctrine of the gospell. The kyngdome of heauen was preached first to them. But trulye whosoeuer are wearye of theyr former lyfe, as many as loue true innocencie and godly lyuyng, whosoeuer desyreth true, perfect, and euerlastyng felicitie, let them receyue this gospel, this pleasaunte and mery tydinges, with mery and cherefull hertes, whether they be Grekes, or Iewes, or Romains, or Scithians, or Gallians, or Britans. Lyke as God is not only God of the Iewes, but indifferently God ouer all, and common to all, lyke as there is one sunne whiche is common to the whole worlde: so Ie­sus Christe the sonne of God came to saue all menne, dyed for all, arose agayne for all, ascended into heauen for all, and sente his holy spirite to all, refusyng none, neyther for diuersitie of stocke, or of age, or of kinde, or of state, or of lyfe. Al the sinnes of the former life be drowned once by his death in holy baptisme. And those sinnes be not imputed, be they neuer so greuous, for the cleansyng of whiche, that blessed innocent once dyed: so that the reste of the life be passed ouer after the rule of Christ, that is to saye, after the doctrine of the ghospell: from the tyme of baptisme, a man is iudged or taken to be a christian, to the perfourmaunce of the whiche so high a profession, he will graunt his fre suc­cour and ayde, and will graunte also plentifull rewarde to them that do per­seuer vnto thende. He requireth of no man the burden of Moses lawe, onelye he requyreth lyuely fayth, the whiche maye redily beleue whatsoeuer is she­wed, and with a sure truste looke for that whiche is promysed. The eternall veritie doethe not deceyue: God the promiser disapointeth not. Further, mans lawe shall not nowe prescribe what is to be doen, but Christian charitie shall playnly tell.

The texte. The booke of the generacion of Iesus Christe, the sonne of Dauid, the sonne of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac. Isaac begat Iacob. Iacob begat Iudas, and hys brethren.

And hytherto we haue trulye delyuered vnto you the ghospell by mouthe, and haue made all men partetakers of those thynges whiche we haue seene with our iyes, and hearde with our eares. Nowe because there is daunger, this thyng beyng spred abrode daylye more and more, leste the tellyng of it, passyng by many mennes mouthes, maye varye, or elles leste the tale tolde by mouthe, be not so well beleued as whan it is written in a booke, and further­more to thintent that the thyng that is written maye the more easily cum vn­to all men, than the voyce of the mouthe: we shall comprise in this booke, the summe of the whole matter, so muche as shall be sufficient to the obteynynge [Page] of saluacion, as the natiuite, the doctrine, the miracles, the deathe, and the resurreccion. And fyrste of all we shall recite the geneologie and pe [...]igree of Iesus Christe, takyng oure begynnyng not from the highe heade, but from Dauid and Abraham, eyther for because the memorye of these twoo is verye ryfe and common, and verye acceptable among the Iewes, for theyr glorye is chiefly of Ahraham, as of the autour and beginner of theyr nacion, and Da­uid the kynge beeynge so muche praysed by the commendacion of God, stye­keth the more in theyr myndes, because the memorie of hym is yet but freshe and newe: or elles because Christe whiche was looked for so many yeares, was promysed chyefly vnto these twoo, and that in the bookes and oracles of the Hebrues, to whome euen those that be directly agaynste Christe, gaue great credyt. For in the boke of Genesis God speakethe vnto Abraham, promysyng that in tyme to come, there shoulde sprynge one out of hys stocke, through whose free benefit, not onely the nacion of the Iewes, but also all the people of the whole worlde beyng receyued into the ryght, and title, and loue of chyl­dren, shoulde obteine wyth Christe, the felowshyppe of the kyngdome of hea­uen, not by circumcision, whych was not as than setforth, but by ye faythe of the gospel. For thus saythe God vnto Abraham: In thy seed, that is to saye, in Iesus Christe all nacions shall be blessed. Further Dauid in the misticall psalmes speaketh thus: Of the fruite of thy wombe shall I set vpon thy seat. And this shall we doe, chiefly because of the Iewes, leste they beyng a rebel­lious nacion, and harde of beliefe (knowyng by the authoritie of prophecies whiche they sufficiently beleue, that Messias whiche shoulde come, was pro­mysed) maye make cauillacions, and saye that there is an other sauioure to be loked for, and that this is not he, whome the scriptures promysed. For ma­ny of them because their mindes be blinded wyth desires of worldly thynges, not takyng aryght the sayinges of the Prophetes, (suche was theyr carnall and grosse affeccion) loked for some myghtye and glorious kynge, who being valiaunt with armes or hostes, weapon, riches, and suche other defences of this worlde, shoulde promote hys people to ryches, honour and emperie, and shoulde subdue the whole worlde to the dominion of the Hebrues. But Christ althoughe he be lorde ouer all, came not into the worlde, to the entent to enryche wyth worldlye gooddes one nacion, of the whyche he was borne as touchyng hys body yt he toke, but to the intente to auaunce all the nacions of the whole worlde vnto true ryches, that neuer shoulde decay: and to make them blessed euerlastingly wyth heauenly ryches, to ouercum the tyranny of deathe by sufferyng and diyng, to subdue enemies by gentill deseruinges, to kill the monsters of vice, and the rebellious prouocacions of concupiscence by the sweard of the spirite, and they beyng once ouercum that fighte agaynst the spirite of God, to geue vs of his own righteousnesse & innocencie: Finally by spiritual weapons to winne vnto vs a spirituall kingdome. But these Ie­wes cannot haue hereafter anything to saye, whan they shall see all thynges to consent and agre vnto hym, whome we knowe to be come, and constauntly preache thesame: whyche thynges the holy prophetes inspired with the hea­uenly spirite, had prophecied with a full consent and agremente, so long before in holye bookes, that is to saye, the stocke, the familie, the manner of byrthe, the lyfe, the doctrine, the myracles, the affliccions, the rebukes, the kynde of death, the buriall, the resurreccion, thascendyng into heauen, the holy ghoste [Page xxi] sente downe from heauen, the wounderfull toungues of the Apostles, the con­uersion of the Gentiles, and other thynges whiche we sawe and dayly see doen by them that professe the name of Christe. Finally the tyme also doeth agree, in ye which he was prophecied for to come. And all these thynges were prophecied, not only by the sayinges of the Prophetes, but also wer signified by the actes and dedes of ye Patriarches. Nowe seing thei know these thinges, if thei cōpare thē with these whiche we shewe to haue been doen, they shall vn­derstande that they loke in vayne for any other Messias, th [...]n this whom we speake of, he came once humble and abiccte concernyng the fourme of mannes bodye (for so Esai prophecied he should come) to delyuer all men by his deathe from the tyranny of deathe. And he shall cum againe in thende of the worlde, not as now, a sauiour, but a iudge of all, bothe lyuing and deade. Now no man is excluded frō his benefite. Than no man shal escape his iudgement. But than shal they ioyfully see ye iudge dealyng euerlasting rewardes, whiche now doe not despise hym a meke sauiour & easy to be entr [...]ted. This therfore is that on­ly and very Messias, whose geneologie and petigre shal forthwith be shewed, touching the body whiche he toke for our cause: for by hym shoulde spring and cum furth a new nacion not carnall but spiritual, which should rather reple­nish heauen than yearth, the which also shoulde be encreaced or multiplied, not by the seed of man, but by the euangelical fayth, whiche is the heauenly seed of Goddes worde. Of this faith the autour and father in a misticall fygure was represented by Abraham, who (the law of circumsicion not yet publyshed,) de­serued the prayse of rightuousnes, not before men, but before God, not by the kepyng of the law, but by the sinceritie of faith, wherby he doubted nothing of Goddes promises, although they wer farre passing the power of nature. And for this trust and confidence, he was called the father of many nacions, which after the example of hym should beleue the gospel of Iesus Christe. He nowe, his body beyng decaied for age, his wife also beyng weake and barain, begate Isaac whiche was promised vnto hym, who also was a figure of Christe, vea­ryng wood to the sacrifice, whereunto he was apoynted. Isaac begat Iacob, which though he wer the younger brother, yet he set his elder brother besyde, & purchased the inheritaunce to hymself, wherin he was a figure of the churche that should be congregated and gathered together of the Gentiles, the which, the Iewes being excluded, encreaseth daily more and more, receiuing the grace of the gospell by faythe, of the which the Iewes through vnbelefe haue made themselfes vnworthy. For thus sayeth God: I haue loued Iacob and hated Esau. And in the Prophetes ofte mencion is made of this name. Iacob begate Iudas, of whome the tribe had his name, of the whiche Christ was propheci­ed to cum of, and by whose name, as by inheritaunce, was promised the newe lawe of the gospel, for thus speaketh Hieremie: Beholde the dayes do come, sayeth the Lorde, and I wyll dispose a newe testament to the house of Iudas & the house of Iacob. And he did not beget him onely, albeit he deserued chiefly to be recited in ye geneologie, but also he begate the other eleuen brothers of Iu­das, which seuerally gaue names to ye seuerall trybes of the nacion of Israell.

The texte. Iudas begat Phares and zaram of Thamar, Phares begat Esrom: And Esrom begat Atam. And Atam begat Aminadab, Aminadab begat Naasson: Naasson begate Salmon, Salmon begat Boos of Rahab. Boos begat Obed of Ruth. Obed begat Iesse, Iesse begat Dauid the kyng. Dauid the kyng begat Salomon of her that was the wyfe of Uri.

[Page]Further Iudas had two chyldren at a burden: named Phares and zaram, not of his lawfull wyfe, but of Thamat hys daughter in lawe, whyche was maryed to Her, the eldest soonne of Iudas, vnto whome when Iudas did not perfourme hys promyse, that is to saye, that she myghte be maryed to Sela, brother vnto her housbande that was dead, accordyng to the order of the law, the woman passyng all measure desirous to haue a chylde, tooke the habite of a common woman, and coueryng her face by crafte and deceyte, laye with Iu­das her father in lawe, and afterwarde by shewyng of the token whyche she had receyued of hym before that she woulde suffer hym to lye wyth her, auou­ched and proued hym to be father of bothe the chyldren, when he otherwyse earnestlye woulde haue brente her accordyng to the lawe. The thyng thus doen is not without offence and blame, but yet the mysterie hyd vnder thys vnhonest couerture maketh muche for the matter of the Ghospell. Lyke as al­so Phares was a figure and significacion of the churche and Synagogue, whiche Phares preuented his brother when he endeuored to goe furthe of his mothers wombe, puttyng foorth his hande fyrste.

Of this Phares Esrom was borne, of Esrom Aram, of Aram Aminadab, of Aminadab Naasson, and of hym Salmon. Salmon begat Boos of Ra­hab, whiche though she were not of the nacion of Iewes, but of the Canani­tes, yet because she preserued the spyalles sent from Iesu the captain & guyde of the Iewes, and because she betrayed the citie of Hierico, she deserued her place in the geneologie of theym, whiche throughe faythe were made prayse worthie of God, and she exempted out of the sorte and order of common wo­men, was chosen and admitted emong the people of God, and maryed to an housbande of the nacion of Iewes: signifying euen at that tyme, that synners & heathen people beyng alienate from the religion of God, shoulde be coupled vnto Christe throughe the merite of faythe. Boos also hade a soonne named Obeth, by Ruth a Moabite, the whiche also renouncyng her countreye, and her bodily affeccions, had rather to be planted emong the people of the Iewes, that is to say, suche as professe the doctrine of Christe. Thus at that tyme fy­gures and shadowes signified before, that no kynde of men shoulde be dryuen and kept of from the felowshyp of the gospell, so that he bryng with hym faith and a desirous minde of true godlynes. Of Obed came Iesse, whiche was cal­led also Isai, of whose name Esay propheciyng of Christe, maketh mencion saying: A rod shall cum out of the roote of Iesse. Of hym was borne Dauid derely beloued of God, bothe kynge and Prophete, buylder of the citie of Hie­rusalem, noble, through the slaughter of Goliad: and after that the wicked kyng Saul was deposed by the cōmaundemente of God, from a pore shepeherd he was consecrate kyng ouer the Israelites. Oute of whose stocke the whole nacion of the Hebrues did loke that Christe shoulde cum, as it was propheci­ed before of men that wer inspired with God. And he also did represente by ma­ny wayes the fygure of Christe, his ofspring. Dauid begat Salomon that king of peace, and the buylder of the Lordes temple: and he begate hym of Bethsa­bee whome he loued: whome he coupled vnto hym in maryage, after that Uri­as her former housbande was stayne by his fraude & gyle: and that was doen not wythout great sinne yf a man consydre nothyng besydes the outwarde parte of the historie: but agayne not without significacion of thynges to cum, yf a man serche the misterie.

The texte. [Page xxii]Salomon begat Roboham, Roboham begat Abia, Abia begat Asa, Asa begat Iosaphat, Iosaphat begat Ioram, Ioram begat Ozias, Ozias begat Ioatham, Ioatham begat Achas, Achas begat Ezechias, Ezechias begat Manasses, Manasses begat Amon, Amon begate Iozias, Iozias begat Iechonias and his brethren about the tyme of the captiuitie of Ba­bylon. And after the captiuitie of Babylon, Iechonias begat Salathiel, Salathiel begate Zorobabel, Zorobabel begat Abiud, Abiud begat Eliachī, Eliachim begat Azor, Azor begat Sadoc, Sadoc begat Achin, Achin begat Eliud, Eliud begat Eleazar, Eleazar begat Mat­than, Matthan begat Iacob, Iacob begat Ioseph the husbande of Marie, of whome was borne that Iesus which is called Christ.

Of Salomon was borne Roboham: and of Robohā Abias: of Abias came Asa: of Asa Iosaphat, from whence came Ioram, & of him Ozias: of Ozias was borne Ioatham: of Ioatham Achas: of Achas Ezechias, and of him Ma­nasses: of Manasses was born Amon: of Amon Iozias: of Iozias, Iechonias and the other brothers of Iechonias, about the tyme whan king Nabugodo­nozor burned the temple of Hierusalem, and caryed the king and the people of the Hebrues, captiue into Babilon, which wer figures, signifiyng the tyranny of the deuill toward mankynde, and against libertie restored thoroughe the be­nefit of Christ. In this nere and narowe poynt betwene seru [...]tude and libertie whan the people of God wer about to be restored to theyr religion and dwel­ling places, Iechonias begat Salathiel: Salathiel zorobabel: zorobabel Abiud: of Abiud came Eliachim: of Eliachim Azor: of Azor Sadoc: of him A­chim: of Achim Eliud: of Eliud Eleazar: of Eleazar Matthan: of Matthā Iacob. And this Iacob was the father of Ioseph, vnto whome was maried Mary the mother of Iesus, who was promised to be the sauiour of all men, whome the Hebrues call Messias, that is to saye Christ, or anoynted: because he onely beyng kyng ouer all, and high priest, with ye sacrifice of his owne bo­dye, hath pacified God the father beyng displeased and grieued with the sin­nes of mankinde. And the tiranny of death vtterly put awaye, he hath opened the kingdome of heauen vnto all men. The cleane was marryed to the clean, the moste chaste to the chaste, of thesame trybe and familie, that is of Dauid, accordyng to the order of Goddes lawe, leste any man should thinke that this ordre and geneologie of kinred were of litle profit concernyng the declaracion of Christes stocke, wherof he came as touching his humanitie.

The texte. All the generacions from Abraham to Dauid, are, xiiii, generacions. From Dauid vnto the captiuitie of Babilon are fouretene generacions. From the captiuitie of Babilon vn­to Christ, are fowertene generacions.

And if any man list to herken the tyme that Daniel described many yeares past by certaine orders and degres of weekes, he shall fynde the sayinges of ye Prophetes very agreable to ye thyng that is now cū to passe. The sūme of ye wholle geneologie resteth in three fowertenes. For if ye counte frō Abraham ye patriarche vnto Dauid ye author of ye storishing kingdōe, ye shall fynde, xiiii generacions. Agayne yf ye counte from Dauid, vnto the decaye of the kynge­dome, yt is vnto the exile into Babilon, ye shal finde .xiiii. generacions. Agayne if ye counte from ye time vnto Christe, the beginner & the finisher of the newe euangelicall generacion & newe kyngdome: ye shall fynde fowertene genera­tiōs. Hitherto we haue shewed you truly ye geneologie of Christ, to ye intent it may appeare to al men, yt this is he, whō ye true sayīges of ye Prophetesī tymes paste promissed to ye world. And so many argumētes agre in one, that it cannot [Page] seme to be done by chaunce, and that withall it maye be euident, that he was verye man whiche came as touchyng the fleshe of suche auncestoures as wer notablie knowen.

The texte. The byrth of Christ is on this wise. For whan his mother Mary was espoused vnto Ioseph, before they came together, she was found with child, by the holy ghost.

But, althoughe he were man borne of man, whiche came to redeme man­kynde by his death: yet he was not borne after the common and vulgare sorte of them that be borne. For it was seemely, that he whiche came from heauen, whiche called vnto heauen, whiche taughte a promysed nothing but hea­uenlye thynges, finallye whiche after so many Prophetes and doctours was made ambassadour, to thintent that once and for altogether he should make al thynges newe, and cum forth into the worlde with a very bodye in dede, but yet after a newe maner, and that the true natiuitie of man should bee declared in suche [...]orte, that it shoulde not be thought vnsemely for God: and Esaie pro­phecied this thing to cum to passe, that because men dyd in maner slepe at these common myracles of nature, by reason of custome, God shoulde shewe a newe myracle and that in the yearthe, to the intente it should be more euident to all mennes sight and vnderstanding. He is borne verye man and mortall, and yet the same very God and immortall. He is borne a man of man and yet of a vir­gin. He is borne of the stocke of Adā whiche was the first of mākynde, and yet without the spot of sinne. He is borne in matrimonye, but so, that the woorke of his concepcion was not of man, but of the holy gost: who by a wōderfull meane, fourmed and fashyoned the straunge and maruailous fruite, of ye sub­staunce of the vndefiled virgin, as in an heauenly temple consecrated to God. And he ordered this matter wyth suche a maruailous wysedome, that he co­uered and hyd it from the wicked, as a thyng incredible: and persuaded it vnto godly myndes with moste certain & sure argumentes, the whiche no eloquēce of man was vtterly able to proue and perswade. Wherefore whan the ho­ly virgin eternally appoynted to this great misterie, to be the mother of Iesus, by the aduise of her parentes, whose heartes were ordered and directed by the power of God, beyng spoused to an honest man of her tribe, named Ioseph, kepte company with him in house, she was founde greate with chylde before they came and coupled together as manne and wyfe, eyther because true hone­stie, is not hastie to the luste of pleasure, or because God dyd so ordre thys mat­ter. For the maidens wombe waxyng daylye greater and greater, declared it vnto Ioseph to be so, beyng her housbande, whiche both loued her well, and was not insencible in suche thynges. And the fledde not from the sighte of her housbande, as though she had in her conscience yelded her self culpable, neyther disclosed she the secret, whiche she had learned of the Angel: eyether be­cause she was in despayre, ye the thyng might as yet bee beleued or perswaded, or because she reserued this vnto god to be declared in tyme cōueniēt. Therfore the cōcepcion was certayne & true declaryng it selfe by manifest & accustomed tokens, especially vnto Ioseph, who by reason of conuersacion in householde, marked, more easily in his spouse, the habyte and fourme of her body. But this young thyng came not furthe by the imbracing of man, as other women by the common lawe of nature be wonte to conceyue, but by the holy ghoste: whiche by the angell Gabriell than messinger from heauen, enteryng into the moste holy temple of the virgines wombe (the inuisible power of the fatherlye [Page xxiii] god hed imbracyng and owershadoynge the whole body and mynde of the moste holy virgin) without any hurt or detriment of chastitie, made her great with chylde.

¶But Ioseph her husband beyng a righteous man, would not put her to shame, but was mynded to departe from her secretly.

Furthermore Ioseph beeyng yet ignoraūt of so great a mistery, whā he sawe euident argumentes and tokens of concepcion in his wyfe, and knewe well that he had neuer to do with ye mayde, whereby she myght becum great wyth chylde, and yet had founde the maners of her to be suche, that there coulde be no suspicion of aduoutry in her, and besydes that true honesty is neyther ready to misdeme, nor hasty to reuenge: he began to cast in his minde, by what mea­nes he myghte both see for the good name, and the life of his wyfe: and also cō ­mit the matier vnto god, whereof he himselfe coulde fynde no ende nor yssue. By the reason of great familiaritie, he founde the maners of the mayde vtter­ly without blame. For that godly spirite, whiche dwelled wholy in her harte, dyd appere in her iyes, and in her countenaunce, and dyd declare it selfe euerye where in her goyng, in her gesture, and in her communicacion. He had espied in her a certayne heauenly thing & aboue the common rate of other mortall crea­tures. And yet he sawe her great with chylde, & she was awaye frō home cer­tayne monethes, whyle she went to see her cosyn Elizabeth. Furthermore he considered howe greate the weakenes of that age and kynde was in other maydens. What busines would sum other husbande haue made here, chiefely if loue had styred vp gelowsy whiche is a very sore disease of the mynde? But to proue this matter to be true. Ioseph was chosen out to be a witnes, leste any man myght saye, the chylde of Marye was eyther another womans, or els vnlawfully gotten. He was a man well estemed of all menne, a manne of knowen and tried honestie and wisedome, so that no man might suspect him, eyther to be so notably naughtye that he woulde be his wyues bawde, or of so foolish pacience, that he would nourysh & bryng vp with the child her whom he knew to be an aduoutresse. There be none more cruell against their wyues that do amisse, than they whiche bee defiled with many aduoutryes thēselues. Ioseph himself being very innocent, was so far from al desyre of vengeaunce that he dyd not so muche as once in woordes fynde faulte with her, leste he should discourage the virgins harte with any sorowfulnes. He is troubled with himself with secrete cares of the mynde, and doth deuise a gentle kinde of diuorce, that he might be delyuered from her company whiche was wt chylde, in suche wise, that she myght beare no blame, nor be in any ieopardie or perill.

The texte. ¶But while he thus thought, beholde the Angell of the Lorde appeared vnto him in a slepe, saying: Ioseph thou sonne of Dauid feare not to take vnto the Mary thy wyfe. For that whiche is conceyued in her, is of the holy ghost. She shall bring furthe a soonne, & thou shalt call his name Iesus. For he shall saue his people from theyr synnes.

And thus farre God hath suffered this innocent man to be troubled and distracte with doubtefull deuises. For this was expediente for the certentie of his fayth. But nowe it was tyme for him to be deliuered out of these griefes of his minde, being worthy doubtles to be made partaker of this mistery, for the greate honour that he dyd to the virgyn thus consecrated to God. And for the approued grauitie and sobrenesse in suppressyng the cares of hys mynde, he was thought mere to conteyne and kepe trustely this secret mistery, whiche [Page] was not yet to be published, because of the peruerse and frowarde suspicion of the Iewes. Beholde the angell Gabriel, (whiche signified vnto the virgin the maruelouse concepcion, apperyng with great lyght vnto her waking, because of her purenes whiche was more than angelical, beyng wel acquaynted with suche kinde of visions,) presenteth himselfe vnto Ioseph in his sleepe: & as he was musing in his sleepe of suche like matter, the messinger of the heauenlye oracle, spake vnto him in this wyse: Ioseph the sonne of Dauid, what carnall suspicion troubleth thy mynde? why art thou vexed? why doest thou wauer in and out? or why doest thou muse vpon diuorcement? or why wilt thou be di­missed from her, whiche is cowpled vnto the with so great loue, and also by the kinred both of tribe and familie? There is none other spouse worthy for that virgin, and she is appointed to none other by the ordynaunce of God, bu [...] to the. Thou must know, that Dauid is the author of thy stocke, vnto whom was promised in tymes past the thyng that nowe begynneth to be perfour­med. All that is done, is godly. Thou nedest not to feare that thy wyues wombe rising without thy doyng shal steyne thy matrimony with any spot of dishonestie. Thou doest suppose that she is greate with chylde, and doest sup­pose aright. But thou must not therfore remoue her from thy companye and conuersacion, but rather take her and adioyne her vnto the, because thou seest her great, vnto whom by goddes ordinaunce thou art geuē to be an husbāde, to the intent that hereafter thou maiest be a witnes of the frui [...]tfull virginitie founde in thy wyfe, and that she in the meane tyme by that that she is maryed vnto the, may be in safetie agaynste the suspiciouse crueltie of the Iewes, vn­to whome this misterie is not yet to bee opened, especially vnto them that bee not yet worthye, neither of capacitie to receiue it. This matter shalbe commu­nicated and opened vnto the, to the intente thy wyues innocencie shall suffer none vnworthye thyng. For this newe fruite, wherwith thou seest thy wyues wombe dayly to encreace, lyke as it is not of the, so it is of none other mortall man. The Angel brought the message beyng as a goer betwene God and her, in makyng this godly coniunccion, the father hath ouershadowed her: the ho­ly ghoste hath prepared her wombe, the sonne of god hath replenished it. All is newe for that a newe chylde shall be borne. It procedeth from heauen that thy wyfe shall bryng forth, who shalbe more chaste also after that she hath brought furth chylde. And she shall beare a sonne: not for the, but for the worlde. In the meane season, thou shalt be called his father, and thou shalt be the keper of the mayde, rather than the housbande. When the chylde is borne, thou as the father shalt geue it a name, not a name after thine owne fantasie, but that name that God, agreably vnto the thyng, dyd destinate and appoynt vnto hym, before the creacion of the worlde. And thou shalte call his name Ie­sus, that is to say, sauioure, for this is that same Messias desired & loked for so many yeres, who accordyng to the sayinges of the Prophetes, shall deliuer all his people from theyr synnes: not by the sacrifice of beastes, but through [...] his owne bloude. And he wil not onely be content to geue freely this so great a benefyt, but whan we are purged frō the synnes of our former lyfe, he will geue vs also very perfect, and eternall saluacion.

The texte. All this was doen that the thyng myght be fullfylled whiche was spoken of the Lorde by the Prophet, saying thus: Beholde a mayde shalbe with chylde, and shall bring furth [...] sonne, and they shall call his name Emanuel, whiche is by interpretacion: God with vs.

[Page xxiiii]And surely none of all this matter is brought to passe by chaunce or fortune, but by the decree and prouidence of god. For the thyng that we shewe to bee doen, the same in tymes past the lorde himselfe promised that he woulde do it, speakyng by the mouthe of his prophete Esay, and setting furth in fewe wor­des bothe the straunge, newnes and ye greate fruite and profit, of this concep­cion. Beholde, sayeth he, a virgin shall conceyue and bryng furthe. And this is the straungenes of it: for when was it euer hearde, a mayden to haue borne a chyld without blemish of hir virginitie? Nowe herken what is the fruite & profite: And his name shal be called (sayeth he) Emanuel, which soundeth in Hebrue, God with vs. For this only one shal reconcile his prople vnto god, and where as he was offended and displeased, he shall make hym fauourable and mercifull, and beyng conuersaunt emong men, he shall powre the moste aboundant goodnes of god in them, and at last they hauyng knowledge and experience of his effectuall doctrine, of the might of his miracles, of his pre­sent efficacy and strength, and of the vehemencie of his diuine spirite, showyng it selfe after a new sorte in them that shall beleue, they shall crie and not with­out a cause: God is with vs. If thou acknowledge the prophecy (as truely thou doest acknowledge) geue attendaunce and honour to this mystery, and kepe close this secrete priuitie.

The texte. Now whan Ioseph awoke out of slepe, he dyd as the Angell of the lorde [...]ad him and toke his wife vnto him, and knewe her not tyl she had brought furth hir first borne soonne, and called his name Iesus.

Whan the messinger of the hygh God had spoken these thynges, Ioseph waking from slepe both merely and cherefully, dyd obey the oracle. He set­teth aparte al his purpose of discorde, and taketh his wife more nerely vn­to hym, yt no man might suspecte any discorde or disagrement to be betwene thē. And now he perceyuing yt she was wholly dedicated vnto god of heauen, doeth honoure in hir the godlye mistery, nor dareth not touche hir, whome god had taken onely to hymselfe. He is diligent in seruice, but he forbeareth to company with hir as hir husbande. In the meane reason that heauē ­lye fruite waxeth ripe in the holy woumbe of the virgin, whiche cum­myng furthe at his time of his mother the virgin, toke not away the integritie of his parente, but did consecrate and sanctifye the same. Further Ioseph (as he was commaunded of the angell) bearing the countenaunce of a father hitherto, gaue a name to the chylde, Iesus, whan after the fashion of the countrey, he was circumcised the [...]yght daye.

The .ii. Chapter.

The texte Whan Iesus was borne at Bethleem a towne is Iewrye, in the tyme of Herode the Kyng: beholde there came Magians from the Easte to Hierusalem saying. Where is [...]e whiche is borne the kyng of the Iewes? For we sawe his starre in the Easte, and are cum to wurship him.’

HItherto ye see howe many thynges do accorde and agree with the godly sayinges of the prophetes. He is borne of the same auncetours and of the same tribe and familie, that the prophecy promised he should be borne. Also the suppu­tacion and counte of the wekes, when Daniel prophecied that he shoulde cum, dothe consente and agree.Whan Ie­sus was borne. &c. Also the strange Natiuitie dothe agree, in that that he was borne of a virgin without helpe of man. And the name doth agree. A Sauiour was promysed, a Sauiour was loked for, & Iesus signifieth a Sauiour. Further­more the name of the countrey, and of the towne, doth answere to the fayth of the Prophetes, for he was borne not farre from Hierusalem in a litle towne called Bethleem, and that in the countrey of Iewry, (for there is a towne in Galile also of this name, in the tribe of zabulon,) and he was borne in the time when Herode an Idumean by birthe and not a Iewe, obteyned the Kyngdom ouer the Iewes, that no man neded for to doubte but that now was the time that Messias should be borne, the whiche Iacob the Patriarche many yeres before prophecied should cum to passe, saying: The scepter shall not be taken from Iuda, nor a ruler from his thighe, till that he cum which should be sent. Truely this is he, the holyest of all, at whose entring all the anoynting of the Iewes ought to haue ceased, and geue place. Nowe ye shall vnderstande by what wonderfull meanes he began by litle and litle to be knowe to the world. For he would be manifest & open vnto all, whiche came to saue all, that bothe he might be knowen vnto good men to theyr saluacion, & that he myght take awaye from the wicked all excuse of ignoraunce. He was promised chiefely to the Iewes, he was borne of them, he was firste preached vnto thē of the An­gels, syngyng glory on high vnto God, and in the yearth peace emong men of good will. The shepherdes beyng taught by the voyce of the same Angels, & told of the childe yt was borne, offered the first fruites of fayth at the maunger where the babe was borne. By the secrete inspiracion of the spirite he was knowen of Elizabeth, of Simeon & Ann [...] the prophetisse. Firste of all he she­wed himself vnto poore & humble persones, whom he knew to be most pres [...] & redy to receaue fayth. For the proud woulde not lightly receyue him beeyng hūble, nor the riche, him being poore, nor the stoute him beyng meke: nor they that wer intangled with the desyres of this worlde, woulde receyue him that was heauenly. And because he was promised not to the Iewes only, but also to the Gentiles, yea to al the nacions of the world, he would euen at the very entery of his begynnyng, be knowen of them also, to thin [...]ent he might declare and showe, that saluaciō was also offered vnto them, and that he might styrre and prouoke the Iewes by their example, to cum to fayth and to beleue.

And he did not drawe all men by one meane to the knowledge of himselfe, but he allured euerye mane by lytle and litle by suche thynges as they alreadye [Page xxv] knewe and were well acquainted with. The Iewes gaue fayth vnto the Pro­phetes, they were moued with signes and woonders, therefore he entised thē by the allurement of these thynges.Beholde there came &c. The Persians and the Caldeans dyd at­tribute muche to the starres, as menne muche geuen to this kynde of Philoso­phie, throughe the knowledge whereof they had perswaded themselues, that there should be a certayne wonderfull restorer of the worlde. Therfore they had knowledge of the birthe of the chylde, not by any Prophete or Angell, but by a certayne straunge and a woonderfull apperyng of a starre, trulye of that starre, the whiche the prophecie of Balaam dyd shewe before to rise out of the house of Iacob. And now they had knowledge by the common fame that this king was chiefly promised vnto the nacion of the Iewes, and that he was not a meane kyng, and of the common sorte, but very notable, and without com­parison: of whose power, of whose wisedome and of whose goodnes, far ex­cedyng the power, wisedome, and goodnes of man, the whole worlde shoulde haue experience. Further (as the yll man when he hath occasiō is made wurse, and a wyse man as he hath occasion is made wiser,) certayne Magians (for by this name the Persians called them that be notable in the science of Philo­sophie) to thintent they might come nere and learne more exactlye the thyng that the starre shewed vnto them as in a dreame, beyng nothing afearde at the great iourney, they come vnto Hierusalem, the star guydyng them the waye: eyther because there dwelled the Scribes and Phariseis whiche were verye expert in the law and the Prophetes, or because they vnderstode that the king should be borne not farre from Hierusalem. For now knowyng certaynly that he was borne, only they inquired what place it was yt was made happy with so noble a birthe. For they thoughte that the natiuitie of so great a prince could not be hid emong them, whiche loked for his byrthe so many hundred yeares, especially seing he should be borne not onely emong them, but also of them. But Christ is no where later or with more difficultie knowen, than in riche▪ ci­ties, and in princes courtes, and emong them that be arrogant in the professi­on of wisedome.For we saw his starre in the East. &c But they, ignoraunt of these thynges, inquire simplye and o­penly. Where is he (ꝙ they) whiche is lately borne the kyng of Iewes? For we knowe by a sure token that he is borne. For when we were farre hence in the Easte, we sawe his starre of a meruelous bryghtnesse and bewty. We sawe the starre and felte the inspiracion. Therfore because we know that he is borne to the commoditie and profite of all men, though we be straungers, yet be we come hither to honour and wurship him, and to geue the first fruites of honour due vnto the newe kyng. Knowing well that they shall be happy and blessed, that shall haue his power and might mercifull vnto them.

The texte. ¶Whan Herode the kyng heard these thynges be was troubled: and all the citie of Hie­rusalem with him. And Calling together all bishops and Scribes of the people, asked them where Christ should be borne: And they sayed to hym. At Bethleem in Iewrye. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethleem in the land of Iuda, acte not the least emong the princes of Iuda. For out of the, I shall haue a captayne come, that shall gouerne my people Israell.

What tyme they had suche communicacion simply with all men, by and by the rumoure and tidynges was brought to Herode the King, whiche a good while had feared & trembled at the name of him that should be borne, fearyng [Page] lest he shoulde be set besyde the kyngdome, whiche he beyng a stra [...]gier than held, if so great a prynce had been borne of the stocke of ye Iewes. For Herode dreamed of nothing els, but of an earthly kingdome, litle knowing that Christ brought in another kynde of kyngdom, whiche shoulde perteyne vniuersallye to all men. Therfore after that he hearde that he was borne, whom he feared to be borne, and hearde it of the Magians, men both of learnyng, and (as con­cerning worldly port) not to be despised, truely he was troubled in his minde, and with him also the whole citie of Hierusalem: diuers men diuerslye, either fearyng or hopyng. But the wisedome of God so ordered the affections & en­deuours of men, that both the simplicitie of the godly, and also the rage of the vngodly set furth the glory of Christ on euery syde, and made the thynges that were incredible the more to vse beleued. And this was the cause that the loode sterre of the waye, left the Magians for a tyme entering into Hierusalem: that theyr enquirie might showe abrode the fame of the childe that was borne, and yet the place where the chylde was borne, should be kept secret from the cruell king.And they said to him: At we [...]hi [...] in Iury. &c. Therfore king Herode blynded with enuy and anger, beyng wholly bent to destroye the chylde that was borne, pretended a cloke of Godlines vnto his wicked crueltie. He calleth vnto him all the chiefe of the order of priestes, and the Scribes of the people of Iewry, whose speciall profession was this, that if there were any newe matter that dyd aryse, they should make answere out of the sayinges of the Prophetes, and theyr godly bookes, because they profes­sed the exacte knowledge of them, to thintent that both the nu [...]ber and the au­thoritie should make the thyng of more credite. Therfore when these were cal­led together, the king so muche the more wicked, because he counterfeited god­lynes, demaunded of them in what place the orasies or sayi [...]ges of God, did promise that Christe should be borne. And they not yet rageing with haired agaynste Christe, whome they had not seen, answered simplye and withoute delaye: In Bethleem of Iuda. And lest theyr authoritie should haue but lit­tle weyght, beholde they, haue in a redines the prophecie of the Prophete Mi­theas: And thou Bethleem in the lande of Iuda, art no [...] the least among the Prynces of Iuda, for out of the shall spryng a ruler whiche shall rule my peo­ple of Israel.

The texte. Than Herode priuily calling the Magians, diligently inquired of them what tyme the [...]lette app [...]ted. And sendyng them to Bethleem, sayde: G [...]thither and searche diligent­ly for the chylde. And whan ye haue founde him, bryng me woorde agayne, that I maye come and wurship him also.

And these thynges then answered the priestes and the Scribes, who after­warde procured hym to be slayne, bryght and notable with miracles, & doing good vnto all men. The king fyrste of all greatly moued with the saying of the Magians, was vtterly amased with this so ripe and ready an answere▪ chiefe­ly that the prophecie promised manifestlye a ruler of Bethleem whiche should rule the people, of whom he was borne. Wherfore the priestes & the Scribes beyng sent awaye, because he was in despeyre for to deceyue them, he calleth ye Magians priuily vnto him, leste the Iewes might suspect any crafte or guile, and so opening the matter on eche syde as though he and they both purposed one thing, inquired of thē diligently how long it was synce the sterre appered fyrst vnto them, by whose showing & poynting they had passed ouer so great [Page xxvi] a iourney, and came to Hierusalem: meaning and purposing this, the more certeinly to vse and exercyse his crueltie to the distruccion of that one new borne childe. The Magiās (for godlines is not suspictouse) kepe nor hide nothyng from him, not thinking him to be so cruell & fierce that he would shewe crueltie vpon an infante yet skante borne, neither so furiouse that he would suppose to suppresse by mannes deuise, the thyng that was doen by goddes might: When they had shewed the tyme, he of the other syde shewed the place whiche he had learned of the Scribes. And now he con­ceiuing a sure hope that the childe might be takē by these two shewinges, geueth commaundement in his owne name to the Magians, which of thē ­selues were willyng to go, that they should go to Bethleem, and seke out the childe with great diligence: and when they had found him, to returne eftfones vnto Hierusalem, and geue him knowledge of all the matter: (he pretended a verye godly cause, and nothyng displeasaunte to the myndes of the Magians) that I also (ꝙ he) maye folowe you and wurshyp hym. He himselfe woulde firste haue knowledge of the childe, to the inten [...]e he mighte destroye hym before that the people of the Iewes had cleare vn­derstandyng that he was borne. God in the meane tyme made this proui­sion, that the Magians returned safely to preache Christe in their owne countreyes. Otherwyse yf this vngraciouse man had not bene deceyued of his hope, he would haue vsed extremely the Magians themselues, which brought him so vnlucky tydynges.

The texte. ¶Whan they had heard the king, they went forward: and lot, the starre which they saw in the East went before them, tyll it came and stode ouer the place where the childe was. And when they sawe the sterre, they were merueilously glad, and went into the house, and found the childe with Mary his mother, and fell downe and wurshipped him, and opened their treasures and offered vnto him gyftes: gold incense, and myrre. And beyng warned of God in their sleape that they shoulde not go agayne to Herode, they turned into their owne countrey another waye.

The godly simple Magians, after that they had hearde the king, made haste vnto Bethleem, whom the sterre which called them furth, for a time did forsake, to the intente, that the barbarouse people should fyrst shew vnto the Iewes that Christ was borne, whome they lokyng for so many yeres, afterward did put to death. But when they had passed ouer this parte of Goddes ordinaunce, agayne appered that wonderfull starre, whiche serued their Godly purpose in suche wyse,And whan thei sawe y starre. &c. that it shewed vnto thē not onely Bethleem, but also the cotage it selfe, beyng very lowe, poore, and bafe, and therfore verye harde to fynde, yea and hangyng very nere o­uer the chyldes head, it did shewe and pointe, as it were with a finger to the infant, whom they so feruently desyred. Therfore when the starre be­gan to appeare agayne, it shooke of and put a waye all carefulnes frō their myndes: and nowe replenyshed with sure hope and ioye, and passyng litle vpon mennes tellynges, but folowing the heauenly guyde, they espye the palace of the newe kyng: a filthy and a vile cotage or stable. Sincere Godlynes is nothyng troubled with these thynges. They enter in: they fynde the infante not differyng in apparaunce from others: they fynde the mother nothyng gaye or gorgious to loke to. All theyr stuffe shewed and testified pouertie and simplicitie. The Magians whiche did not worship nor fall downe before Herode, magnifying hymselfe in his seate with a [Page] kingly pompe, fall downe at the cradle of the crying babe: they adoure and honour grouelyng on the grounde,And fell downe flat & worshyp­ped hym. hym that could not yet speake. And theī were not content with this godlynes, but they take out of theyr boxes, giftes purposely apoynted of those thinges with increase of the whiche, the nacion of the Persians was chiefly enriched, that is, golde, incense, & myrre▪ lest that he which shortly after should be compelled to flee, should lacke in his vyage. And with these fyrst fruites of fayth, the Gentiles that were farre of preuenting the Iewes, which were thought to be next vnto God, do constitute Christe to be theyr kyng: and of the other side do de­dicate themselues vnto hym, offeryng a new sacrifice in three kyndes of thinges. And now as by a ryddell or a darke figure, they professed that in­effable Trinitie of the father, and the sonne, and the holy goste, acknowle­gyng also in [...]ne man mortalitie, priesthode, and kingdome. For golde is for a kyng, incense for a prieste, myrre for hym that shall dye. He was borne mortall,And beyng warned of god. &c he did sacrifice on the crosse, he conquered rising frō death, he reygneth in heauen. The Iewes sawe so many wonders, and when they knewe hym, they kylled hym. The Magians sawe no notable thyng as cō ­cernyng theyr bodely iyes, and they reioyce that they had so fortunate a iourney. But what tyme they deuysed with themselues whether they shoulde returne vnto Herode to satisfy his mynde and desyre, they were admonished in theyr slepe, by the diuine oracle, not to returne agayne to Herode. For that was neyther suertie vnto them, neither to the childe, nei­ther expedient for such a weightie matter, whiche in tyme and by parsell meale, should be promulgated and published vnto the world. They spede­ly did obey thoracle, and returned into theyr countrey another waye, to be newe preachers of the newe kyng among theyr countrey men.

The texte. And when they were departed, behold the Aungell of the Lorde appered to Ioseph in his slepe, saying: Aryse and take the chylde and his mother and flye into Egypte, and abyde there, tyll I bryng thee worde. For He [...]ode wyll seke the chylde to destroye it. So whan he awoke, he toke the chylde and his mother by night, and went asyde into Egipte, and was there vnto the death of Herode, that it might be fulfilled, whiche was spoken of the Lorde by the prophete, saying: oute of Egipte haue I called my sonne.

Now the helth and safetie of the Magians was prouided for, and that the tranquillitie both of the mother and of the chylde might forthwith be seen for,Aryse and take with thee ye child and that also the vngodlines of Herode accordyng vnto his deser­tes, might more and more be exasperated & greued to the glory of Christe: thesame heauenlye messinger whiche sente awaye the Magians, appered vnto Ioseph in his slepe, exhortyng hym that now beyng priuye vnto the mistery, he would conueye awaye secretely the mother and the chylde into Egypt: whereby the diuine counsel intended this, that that region also be­yng wholy geuen to the monstreous worshippyng of goddes, whiles it is become the hoste and re [...]eyuer of him that is fled from his countrey: by the touching and hauing to do with him, it might be prepared and made re­dy to some entry and beginning of true godlines. Therfore the angel spake vnto Ioseph with these wordes: Aryse, and take with thee the chylde and his mother, and flee priuily into Egypte, and tary there vntyll I returne vnto thee, and shewe thee the tyme to come hither agayne. For it will come [Page xxvii] to passe, that Herode shall seke by all meanes to destroye the chylde. Not that it is harde vnto God sodenly to extinct and kyll Herode, and to preserue the childe, yf it please him, but this ordre of the matter is more profitable for the confyrmacion and establyshment of faythe. For it is goddes wyll that the fury and the rage of the tyranne shall set forthe his glory. Ioseph not tarying, toke the mother a mayde, and the chylde, and flying in the night seasō conueyed them into Egypte, there remaynyng tyll that Herode was deade. Truely this thyng chaunced not by the feare of man or by fortune, it was the will of God to prepare and to establyshe the kyngdome of his sōne by these aduersities, by the whiche, worldly thynges be worst to be decayed and brought to naught, leste that the world should take vpon it any thyng in diuine matters. And that thou mayest the better beleue it, God who would this thyng to come to passe, prophecied many yeares past by the mouthe of his prophete Osee, saying: out of Egypt I called my sonne.

The texte. Than Herode whan he sawe that he was mocked of the Magians, he was greatly greued, and sent furth men of warre, and kylled and slewe all the chyldren that were in Bethleem, and in all the coastes therof, as many as were two yeare olde or vnder, accordyng to the tyme, whiche he had diligently knowen of the Magians.

In the meane season kyng Herode, after that he perceyued in dede that the Magians had deceyued hym, now rageing in anger, caste away the cloke of godlynes and bruste out into manifest rage, and sendyng furth ministers of his madnes, kylled all thinfantes as many as were in Bethleem, and as many as were in the coastes and the compasse of the same towne, which were of the age of two yeare or yoūger, folowyng the supputacion of the tyme, in the whiche the Magians tolde him, that they sawe fyrste the starre of the chylde. Crueltie enlarged the tyme and the place, compassing in al the young chyldren, supposing that by this wycked counsell, he had prouided surely y­nough, that he should escape by no meanes, whom onely he desyred to be ex­tincte and slayne. But in vayne trauayleth the crafte of menne againste the counsels of God. By these thynges was shewed a manifest example, what they should suffer of wycked prynces, that would beleue the gospel, & what they should preuayle that by crueltie traueyled to extinguishe the faythe of the gospell, beyng yet tender and springing vp in the hartes of the godlye. To be killed for Christ, is to be saued. Herode had an occasion to repente, and not to rage, yf gredines to reygne and to beare rule had not blynded his mynde. But while he through his owne default turneth al thinges into mat­ter of greater madnes, by his maliciousnes he did set foorth the iustice of god. For it is manifest to al men, that the innocent children were slayne, with great crueltie, and that he is worthy an horrible distruccion, wherewith af­terwarde he was surely payde.

The texte, ¶Than was that fulfylled whiche was spoken by the Prophet Hieremy, where as he sayeth. A voyce was heard in Rhama: lamentacion, wepyng and greate mournyng: Rachell wepyng for her chyldren, and would not be comforted because they were not.

But lest any manne might doubte, that this thing came to passe by the or­dinaunce of God: harke to the prophecie of the Prophete Hiermy, seeyng through Goddes inspiracion this thyng, as though it had than been doen al­ready, whiche many yeres after should come to passe. I voyce (ꝙ he) was heard in Rhama, a voyce sore wepyng, sorowfull and lamentable. Rachel [Page] dyd bewayle hir children and would receyue no comforte because they wer all slayne. Rachel bearing Beniamin, that is to saye, the sonne of sorowe, by and by vpon hir deliuery dyed, and was buryed not farre from Bethleem, wherof the Prophet dyd expresse in her persone the sorowe and waylyng of the mothers, lamentyng theyr children whiche Herode kylled.

The texte. But whan Herode was deade, beholde the Angell of the Lorde appered in a slepe to Ioseph in Egypt, saying: aryse and take the chylde and his mother, and go into the lande of Israel, for they are deade whiche sought the childes lyfe. And he arose and toke the childe and his mother, and came into the lande of Israel.

In the meane season after that Herode was taken out of the worlde by punishment and vengeaunce moste worthy for hym, the angell agayne which gaue counsell to flye awaye, apperyng to Ioseph in his slepe, moueth hym to leaue Egypte, and to bryng agayne the childe and his mother into the lande of Israell. For he sayed that they were dead that woulde haue the chylde destroyed. And he redely obeying in all thynges the will of God, con­ueyed Mary beyng mayde and mother together with her swete babe, into the countrey of Israell. For it behoued him firste to be knowen vnto them, vnto whome chiefely he was sente, to thintente the people of harde belefe, should haue nothyng why they might make any reasonable pretence of their vngodlynes, denying hym to be theyr Messias, but to be some other apoyn­ted vnto the Gentiles.

The texte. ¶But whan he heard that Archelaus reygned in Iewry, in the roume of his father He­rode, he was afrayde to go thither, but beyng warned of God in a slepe, wente asyde into the coastes of Galile, and wente and dwelte in a citie called Nazareth, that it mighte be fulfilled whiche was spoken by the Prophetes: he shalbe called a Nazarite.

And as soone as Ioseph entred into the coastes of his countrey, and had knowledge there by a constante fame that Archelaus the soonne of Herode that was deade, hauyng the one halfe of his fathers kyngdome reygned in Iewrye in his fathers place, fearyng leste the soonne had succeded hys fa­ther in cruelues, lyke as he dyd in his kyngdome, durste not go thither: and agayne beyng establyshed by the aunswere of the Aungell, whereof nowe he wholy did depende, wente aparte into the coastes of Galile, whiche parte had than chaunced vnto Herode the Tetrarche brother to the king that was deade. Here the Aungell promised all thing to be safe, also the loue of the countrey was an inuitacion, and the counsell of God wrought withall, that Christ by many occasions should be made common to many, whose cumming was to euery manne. Bethleem doeth glorye of his byrth, at Hierusalem he was circumcised and purified, Egypt was happy of so noble a geast, Naza­reth maye well glory of his brynging vp. For this was the countrey of his mother, in the whiche she conceyued her sonne, a base and a poore vyllage of Galile, a countrey not regarded but dyspised of the Iewes, but it was a se­crete corner, so muche more meete for the child against the crueltie of Arche­laus. And this pointe herein god doth teache vs, that there is no nede of hel­pes, riches, power, partetaking, or nobilitie of birth, in those thinges which are doen by the wyll of god. Nay these thinges annexed and put vnto, rather [Page xxviii] obscure and darken the glory of God among men.That it myghte bee fulfilled. &c For that this thyng came not to passe by fortune it maye appere, in that the prophecie long before decla­red, that the Messias should be called a Nazarene, the whiche to be doen, euen the tytle doeth declare, which Pilate ignoraunt of the prophecie, commaunded to be set vpon the crosse. Iesus of Nazareth the kyng of Iewes. And at this daye they that professe Christ be therfore of many called Nazarenes. And the worde it self hath his mistery. Nazareth among the Hebrewes hath his name of a floure, because that that godly and swete floure the sanctifier of all virgi­nitie was borne of a virgin, lyke as Bethleem signifieth vnto the Hebrewes the house of breade, out of the whiche came that heauenly breade, which who­so eateth, shall lyue euerlastingly. He therfore [...]yued certaine yeares as one vn­knowen, with his mother and his foster father Ioseph, whose sonne he was thought of all menne, vntyll the tyme he came vnto mannes state, and then he shewed hymselfe vnto the worlde by doctryne, miracles, death, and resurrec­cion, beyng knowen or notable in nothing, nor exc [...]lyng other menne, but that he went forwarde dayly and encreased in all kynde of honestie, and heauenlye giftes, that euery man loked for some great and notable thyng in the chylde. He was also in the meane season a diligent obseruer of the lawe, because he would geue none occasion vnto the euyll wyllers, of euyll saying or backe by­tyng, but satisfye all men in all thynges. He had rather for a tyme by kepyng of the lawe, to bring the Iewes to more perfeccion, than by despysyng it, to alienate and withdraw theyr myndes cleane from hym. Onely once he shewed himselfe at Hierusalem, beyng twelue yeres of age, at what tyme he priuely leauyng his parentes, was founde in the temple sitting emong the doctours, hearing them, and by course questioning with them, insomuche that he was a won­der to them all. Euen than his godly disposicion had a desire vnto those thinges for whiche he was sent into the worlde: but as this was a praise of a redy mynde, so it was the example of moderation and obedience to tarry the tyme prescribed of his fa­ther.

The .iii. Chapter.

The texte. ¶In those dayes came Iohn the Baptiste, preachyng in the wylhernes of Iewry, and saying: Repent ye of your former lyfe. For the kyngdome of heauen is at hande. For this is he, of whome the Prophete Esay spake, whiche saieth: The voyce of a crier in the wilder­nes: prepare the waye of the Lorde, and make his pathes strayght. And this Iohn had his garment of Camels heere▪ and a gyr [...]cii of a sky [...] about his loynes. Further his meate was Locustes and wylde houye. Than went out to hym Hierusalem and all Iewrye, and all the countrey round about nere to Iordane, and were baptised of hym in Iordane, con­fessyng theyr spunes,’

NOwe is it worthy the hearyng, to know how our Lord Ie­sus Christ begā and entred with the matier, that he came for. He thrust not in sodēly to men vnawares, when they thought not vpon it. First he woulde that all mennes myndes shoulde be prepared,In those dayes came Iohn the Baptiste. and made in a redines by his vssher and messen­ger Iohn the sonne of zacharie, a man knowen and allowed of the Iewes themselues: to thentent that the thyng whiche euer should be beleued, might by lytle and lytle be stilled and put into the hartes of men. Therfore whan the tyme drewe nere, in the which it was decreed by the e­ternall ordeynaunce of God that the whole worlde shoulde be renewed through the doctrine of Christ: Iohn came furth, the sonne of a priest, and of a prophetisse, whiche Iohn was iudged afterward to be more than a Prophet by the testimonie of Christ, who also euen in his byrthe and be­ginning, had made men to conceyue great hope of hym. And he came not out of kinges courtes,Preachyng in the wyl­drenes of Iewry. or out of commō resortes of mē, but out of wilder­nes, where from his chyldhode he led an aungels lyfe, beyng contente wt a most simple & common diet, clad with a garmēt wouē of Camels heres, girded with a letheren girdell. His dyet was agreable vnto his apparell. For he lyued with course meate, and easy to be gotten, which he found in the wildernes, that is to saie, with locustes and wilde hony. Suche dyet, suche apparell, suche a place, was moste mete for a preacher of penaunce: Whose wonderfull holynes so amased all mens myndes, that many sup­posed that he was Christ: chiefly when many were perswaded the other which was thought to be Messias, to haue perished in the number of the infantes of Bethleem. But he did not chalenge vnto him the glory of o­thers, insomuche that he shewed Christ openly to al men, and sayed that he was not worthy to leu [...]e the latchet of his shooes. And yet he rushed not furth of his owne swinge to preache: but whan he was admonished from heauen, that now was the tyme to playe the preacher. For he came not by chaunce to his office of preaching, or by the sendyng of man, but this was he,For this is he, of whō the prophet Esay spake of whom Esaye prophecied so many yeres before, both that he should vtter openly in wyldernes the voyce of his preachyng, and also that he should be sēt before to prepare the hartes of men to receyue the doctrine of Christ, & because he perswading repentaunce of the former lyfe, should make them able to receyue the grace of Christe, who by baptisme shoulde [Page xxix] pardon all men of theyr sinnes. And that (the course of thynges beyng sodeynly chaunged) they that were puffed vp before by the vayne iustice of Moyses lawe, and by the folysh wisedom of this worlde, should haue their combes cut, and be brought lowe. And finally that thei which before semed vyle, abiect, and vnprofitable because of theyr ignoraunce and hū ­blenes, should nowe be made liuely and strong through the doctrine of the ghospell, and ryche with heauenly ryches: and those thynges whiche by the rigoure of the lawe semed hard and intricate, throughe faythe & grace of the gospel, should be made right and easy: and that this health and sal­uacion, should be opened and publyshed not onely to the Iewes, but also to all nacions of the worlde. All these thynges prophecied Esay, the most assured Prophet of the Lord. And this is the prophecie: A voyce of the cryer in deserte, prepare ye the waye of the lorde, make his pathes plaine and euen. Euery valey shall be fylled, and euery mountayne & hyll shalbe brought lowe. And the croked shalbe made strayght, and the rough shalbe turned into plaine wayes, and all mankinde shall see the saluacion of God. And nowe a certeyne rumor and fame of the cumming of Christ, secretly spred abroade by many, and farther the conscience of theyr naughty lyues (for there was no tyme more sinfull and fylthy than that was) and finally a certaine secrete inspiracion dyd cause and brought to passe, that many of them were wery of theyr life, beyng very desyrous of him, of whom they had a certeyne sauour and vnderstandyng (simple though it wer:) who so­denly should renewe all kynde of men, and theyr synnes clerely abolyshed, bryng them vnto the kyngdō of righteousnesse. Wherfore whan they came flockyng vnto Iohn not onely out of the citie of Hierusalem, but also out of whole Iewry, chiefly out of those coūtreis that be nere vnto Iordane: Iohn himselfe cummeth and approcheth to satisfie theyr redy wyll & de­syre. And the thyng that he preached in wyldernes, thesame he doth beate into the people, beyng now more thycke assembled and gathered together nere vnto the water of Iordane, that through repentaūce of theyr former lyfe, they might prepare themselues to Messias now at hande, and offer themselues to be healed of hym,And were baptised of hym in Iordane▪ &c who should bryng helthe and saluacion. He is in the waye of helth, that knowlegeth his disease, and hateth it. For now (sayeth he) the kyngdome of heauen, and that same moste fortunate & moste to be desyred kingdō is at hand: yea and that very nere, but there is no entrie into it, but to suche as be pure and cleane, from this worldly fil­thines. At this preaching, in figure & tokē that the filthynes of the mindes should shortely be clensed awaye, many wer baptised in the water of Ior­dane condemning theyr former lyfe, and acknowlegyng theyr offences o­penly. For so it was thought good vnto the wysedome of god, that Iohn which was the bound and border of Moses lawe, being nowe at an ende, and of the grace of the gospell nowe cumming on, with this sygne and to­ken, should go before, not to abolishe synne, whiche thyng Christe proper­ly reserued vnto himselfe, but to prepare mennes myndes, that they might be the more able to receyue the benefite that should furthwith ensue.

The texte. But whan he sawe many of ye Phariseis & Saduce [...]s cummyng to his baptisme, he sayd vnto thē: O gene [...]aciō of vipers: who hath taught you to flee from the vengeaunce that is to some? Bring furth therfore the fruites that becummeth penaunce. And be not of this minde, to saye within your selues: we haue Abraham to out father. For I saye to you, that God is [Page] able to bryng to passe, that of these stones, children shall ryse vp to Abraham. Euen nowe is the axe also put to the roote of the trees. Therfore euery tree, whiche bringeth not [...]urthe good fruite, is he wen downe and cast into the fyer.

And this was doen in the .xv. yeare of Tiberius Cesar, beyng Emperour of Rome, and Poncius Pilate hauyng rule ouer Iewry vnder hym, & Herode the brother of hym that dyed, beyng Tetrarche of Galile, where Christ made his abode: and his brother Philip Tetrarche of Iturea, and the countrie Tra­chonisis: and Lisanya the Tetrarche of Abiline: and Anne, and Cayphas, be­yng the chiefe of the priestes. And thus the realme of Iewry beyng deuyded vnto so many rulers, furthe came he whiche should call thynges to the power and rule of one prynce. And fyrste of all, a great numbre of people flockyng vn­to him, whā Iohn sawe a great multitude of Phariseis and Saduceis come to baptisme, and was not ignoraunt how this kynde of people was arrogāt, fierce, and standyng in theyr owne conceyte, for the notable obseruacion of Moyses lawe as it semed to themselues, & for the merites of the patriarches, of whome they craked and gloryed muche, for that they came of them. For they enuying and laying wayte to hynder the baptisme of Iohn, beeyng in vse and reputacion, sent a craftye message vnto hym into Bethabaram, (for Iohn at that time did baptise there) demaūdyng whether that he were Christ. If he had been, forthwith they would haue obiected, that Christe had been promised of the tribe of Iuda, wheras it was manifest that Iohn was of the Tribe of Leuy. Further when Iohn protested plainly that he was not Christ, no nor no Prophete, especially of those olde and aunciente Prophetes, whom they thought woulde returne agayne the worlde▪ they demaunde of hym fur­ther, howe he durst promyse remission of sinnes by baptysme, whiche proper­ly was reserued vnto Christ. He answered, that there was muche difference betwene his baptisme, wherby he dyd stirre and moue mē to repentaunce and forthynkyng of the former lyfe: and the baptisme of Christ whiche forthwith should folow, wherby all sinnes should be forgeuen. Therfore whan he sawe many of this kynde of men come runnyng to baptisme with others:He sayd vnto them: O generacion of vipers. he biteth theyr conscience with bitter wordes wherby he might the rather moue them to penaunce. O crafty (ꝙ he) and malicious kynde of men, nay no menne, but rather the ofspring of vypers, the murderers of your auncetours, subtyll and yll mynded towarde all men: Seyng that hytherto ye haue vaunted your selues emong men, vnder the tytle and name of fathers, whiche for their holi­nes be muche praise wurthy with them, and vnder the false pretence of righte­ousnes, haue reigned so negligently and idelly, as though Messias should ne­uer haue come, who tolde you, and put you in remembraunce, that the ineui­table punishmente was at hande, vnles ye had runne with others to the reme­dy of penaunce? And how is it, that now ye desyre to be baptised as sinners, among whome ye appered as men of great holynes? Ye haue perceyued that your trust should be but vayne, vnles ye should escape from the vengeaunce of God now beyng at hande▪ by the refuge of penaunce. For neyther the merites of the fathers, nor the obseruacion of the law, deliuereth from euerlasting pu­nyshment, but euery mannes owne purenes of lyfe maketh hym commenda­ble vnto God. Seyng therfore yt ye repent your former lyfe, hereafter so bryng forth fruite wt godly affeccions and dedes, that they may testifie, that ye haue truely repented. Hytherto for the grossenes of menne, fygures and shadowes [Page xxx] hath been sumwhat made of, that mens pronitie to naughtines, being com­passed in with these stayes, might be refrayned from fallyng into farther in­conuenience. Hitherto with enlarged Phylacteries, with long prayers, with washinges, with often mencioning of father Abraham the holy Patriarche, with buildyng of the prophetes shrynes, of whose posteritie ye desire to ap­pere and to be counted, ye haue obteyned vnto you a certayne coloure and appearaunce of holynes emong men. Hereafter because that shadowes shal vanyshe away at the light of the gospel, ye must go truely and sincerelye to woorke, if ye will obteyne euerlastyng health. Neyther brent sacrifice, ne bloud of beastes, is requyred of you for your olde sinnes: onely [...]e that there be penaunce without counterfaytyng, and god wyl frely pardon the offence: further Messias himselfe wyl teache you, yf he fynde you apte and willing to learne, what be the fruites of true penaunce. In the meane season set ye a­side vaine trust, and flatter not your selues thus: we be holy, we come of the holy father Abraham. The iuste Abraham shall auayle nothyng them that come of him, vnlesse thei folow his faith and obedience, which wer so muche commended. The blessyng that is now at hand was promised vnto Abrahā: but cosinage and kynred be it neuer so nere, is not sufficiente to obteyne this blessyng. Whosoeuer distrustyng God doeth leane vnto the soucoures of this world, they be fallen from the kinred of Abraham. And hereafter the posteritie of Abrahā shall not be counted by the kynred of bloud, but by the sinceritie of feyth. And yet god shall not therfore lacke the posteritie of A­braham, to whom he may perfourme and paye the blessing that he promised, though ye swarue from the maners of Abraham. Nay be ye ascertayned, yf ye dispyse the grace offered vnto you, that god is of power, yea out of these stones to rayse vp chyldren farre better than ye bee, to his frende Abraham. And there is no cause why that ye should be the more negligente for that the cummyng of Messias hath been differred hytherto. For nowe the extreme parell cummeth vpon you, and nowe all the matter is euen vpon the edge of the raser, eyther ye muste come vnto the kyngdome of heauen withe cleane and syncere myndes, or elles ye muste receyue eternall punishement. Salua­cion is present at hande to them that wyll enbrace it, and to them that wyll refuse it, presente payne and vtter destruccion is readye at hande. For nowe the axe is sette to the tree, not to the boughes or to the body, but to the roo­tes, whiche shal vtterly cut it downe with a deadly wounde, that cannot be recouered, vnlesse it bryng furth fruite meete for god. There muste be no lin­gering, the daungier is so nere at hande. Haste muste be made, all impedi­mētes and lettes quite cut of. Yet ye may chose which ye wyll take. The axe wyll not stryke yf ye wyll sodenly chaunge your mynde. In the naturall tree it is long and hard to chaunge the iuyce wherof the fruite taketh his taste. Here the matter is brought to passe by the onely wil. But as they that make haste are partakers of health, so they that linger are al partakers of peryll. None shall be deliuered hereafter neither by riches, neither by noble birthe, neyther by wisedome, as many hitherto haue supposed. Euery tree that beareth not fruite, and that no meane fruite but excellent good and worthye the kyngdome of heauen, is cut downe and caste into the fyer.

The texte. ¶I baptyse you with water vnto penaunce: but he that shall come after me is mightyer than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to beare. He shal baptise you with the holye ghoste and fyer, whose fanne is in his hande, and he wyl purge his floore, and gather his where into the barne, but he wyl burne the chaffe with fyer that cannot be quenched.

[Page]Hitherto god hath suffered and wynked at mens sluggishnesse. Erroure and ignoraunce deserued some pardon. Mankynde was in a maner deaffe at the law of nature. Small profit came by ye law of Moses. The thretninges of the prophetes were set at naughte, theyr dreames and visions were not hearde. Now is he come after whome none other shalbe sent. Whose cūming leste it should be sodeine and vnwares, I (sayeth Iohn) am the messenger sēt before. If ye be penitēt, yf ye knowledge your diseases, yf ye receiue ye Phi­sicion with feruent desire, he wil be with you, profitable & healthfull to all: For I am not he▪ whom ye loke for. Truth it is I baptise you, but to this in­tent only, y ye being penitent may be meere to learne of him, & redy to receyue health whā he shal come. For forthwith he wil come, yea euē now he is cum, & as he is behinde me in ye ordre of preaching, so he is aboue me & passeth me by all meanes, so yt I whom ye thinke to be of sum estimaciō, am not worthy to be his drudge & slaue,I baptyse you with water. &c that is either to cary his shoes, or to leuse yt latchet of his shoes. I am none other thīg but a preacher, neuertheles both trusty & doing mine office, which god hath enioined me by ye prophecy of his prophet. He is the autor, he brīgeth wt him al might & power both to forgeue sīnes, & to cōfer & geue al kinde of vertues. Let euery mā approche to his doctrine & to his baptisme, for he shal baptise you wt effectual & liuely baptisme, not wt water only but wt ye spirit & fier. With ye spirit he shal alter & trāsforme you, wt fier he shal pluck you vp vnto heauēly thinges. He wil require nothing of you but sincere penaūce, wtout coūterfeyting. He wil geue you his good thī ­ges frely, if your yl thinges displease you hartily. Onely he willeth yt there be no colouringes, which shall preuail nothing wt him. There is nothing hid from him, he feareth no mā. The thing shalbe doen with seuere iudgemente, whiche can not be voided. Hereafter there shalbe no meane, either ye muste throughly be good, or throughly euil. He will passe nothing vpō cloked [...] ho­lines▪ He hath a fāne in his hād, he seeth also y inward secretes of the hartes. Before him either ye must be chaffe or fyne wheate.Whose fāne is in his hand. But in the meane season whether of both ye wyl be, he hath partly put in your choyce. It shalbe but vayne for the chaffe mingled among the clean corne to lucke and to be hiddē. He shall vtterly cleanse his floore, and lay vp the wheat in his granard, but he shall burne the chaffe with fier that neuer shall be quenched. Wherfore ei­ther ye must endeuour with all your herte to the high prycke of vertue, that ye maye worthely be receiued into the euerlastyng kyngdome: or elles yf ye despise the goodnes of God nowe offered vnto you, ye must nedes thereby be extremely naught, because ye refuse so great helthe offered to you, with­out your seking, and through your owne merite (forasmuche as ye reiect the heauenly rewarde,) ye must be appoynted to the euerlasting fier of hell. The mindes of the common sorte were so moued with the sayinges of this holy man, that a great numbre whiche hitherto had put theyr trust in the obserua­cion of the lawe, came vnto hym tremblyng for feare, and sayd: If thus stā ­deth the case, what than thinke ye best for vs to do? but he dyd not exhort thē to the ceremonies of the lawe, and the constitucions of men, as the phariseis wer wont to do, but vnto the workes of charitie, saying: The first way to pacifie God is the free weldoyng vnto your neighbour. He that hath plenty of garmentes, let him geue vnto the naked: he that hath plenty of meates, let hym geue vnto the hungry. There came vnto hym also the Publicanes, the [Page xxxi] which kynde of mē ye Iewes abhorre, because cōmēly either for to please the princes, or to satisfy their auarice thei are wōt to poul ye people. They demaūde of him fearfully, what he thīketh best for thē to do. And he doth not reiect them from baptisme, & agayne he appoynteth them not to geue their goodes, who now of long time wer wont violently to take away o­ther mennes: but to thintent they might come nere by some degre vnto the perfect doctrine of Christ, he cōmaundeth them that they should exact no­thing of the people, beside that, that was prescribed of the prince. Finally there came also souldiours, a violent & a diffamed kynde of people. Ney­ther put he them awaye from him, declaring manifestlye vnto the Iewes by that dede, that Christ would despise no kinde of men. They confesse no­thing: for, to professe a souldiour is of it selfe to confesse the puddle & sinke of all mischiefe. They demaunde also what counsayle he would geue thē. And he teacheth them beyng so rude, rather what oughte to be auoyded & shunned, that they might be lesse yll, then what was to be doen, whereby thei might be perfectly good. Abuse not (ꝙ he) your weapōs which ought not to be styrred but agaynst your enemies, at the commaundement of the captayn: beate no man nor stryke no man violentlye, syth you be hyred for this purpose, that through your diligence the countrey should be quiet. Nor abuse not you familiaritie with great rulers, falsly blamyng and ac­cusyng any man, wherby any filthy lucre or gayne might come vnto you. Finally be content with your wages, and defraude and spoile no man. For prynces geue wages to thintente no man by necessitie shoulde be forced to take other mennes goodes. So he through easye preceptes accordyng to euery mannes capacitie, made al men in a redines for Christ to come, fore­seyng Christ in spirite, whom he had not yet seen with his bodily iyes.

The texte. ¶Then cummeth Iesus from Galile to Iordane vnto Iohn, to be baptised of him. But Iohn forbade him, saying: I haue nede to be baptised of the: and cummest thou to me? Iesus answered and sayth vnto hym: Let it be so nowe. For thus it becummeth vs to fulfyll all righteousnesse. Then he suffred hym.

Therfore the rumour & fame beyng now spred abrode, and dayly more & more encreasing, & that by diuers meanes, by the angels, by the sheperdes by the Magyans, by the cruel carefulnes of Herode, by the prophecye of zachary, by Simeon, by Anne, by litle and litle secretely: but most of al by Iohns open & manifeste setting furth beeyng ioyned with a great aucto­ritie, inso muche that yll mē also being now amased with feare did frame themselfe to the cumming of Christ, thus declared & set furth. For truly it was time for him to cū furth into the sight of the world to declare himself not by ye testimonies of others, but by his own vertues, yt it might appere what maner of one & how mighty he was, & that he might obscure & dar­ken al men, by whose testimonie he was heretofore set forth & commēded. Therfore Iesus left Galile where he had been in secrete hitherto, & nowe goīg about his fathers busines he leueth his mothers cūtrey Nazareth, & maketh spede vnto Iordan, where he should haue a great cōpany gathered together out of diuers coastes of Iewry,Then cum­meth Iesꝰ, to be a witnes of the thinges yt should be there spokē & doen. He who alone was defiled wt no spot of sin, yea who alone should take away ye sinnes of the world, through ye middes of the sinful cōpanies, euen lyke a sinner goeth vnto Iohn, & requireth to [Page] be baptised of hym, who alone doth sāctifie euery baptisme. Iohn not yet ascerteyned yt Iesus was that high Messias, the sonne of god, but yet ob­seruing & marking a meruaylouse semelynes and honesty apperyng in his iyes,But Iohn forbad him in all his coūtenaunce, & in his maner of going, he doth excuse his dis­ordered office & ministracion, honoring his dignitie and worthines as yet with no certayne commendacion. Onely he saieth, it were mete & conueniēt that I which am far beneth & vnder thy vertues, should require baptisme of the: And how cummeth it to passe that thou doest humble & adbase thy selfe so lowe, to require baptisme of me, sith no man is more pure & cleane frō al sinne than thou? These thynges wer thus doen by the ordinaunce of god, to thintēt both that we should haue an exāple of the merueilous mo­destie & humilitie of Christ, and also that it might appere vnto all men by the testimonie of Iohn, that Christ being without cōscience of any sinne or euil, required to be baptised. For he was baptised like as he was circūci­sed, as he was purified in the tēple wt his mother, as he was scourged, & as he was crucified. He suffered all these thinges for vs, & not for himself. Wherfore whē Iohn declaring constātly his own vnworthines, & setting forth ye worthines of Christ,Iesus an­swereth▪ &c did refuse ye office of a baptiser, Christ by no sinister suspicion did steine his own innocencie, which it behoued to be kno­wen & beleued of al men. Euery parte (ꝙ he) of this busines hath his time. Be thou content in the meane season that I be baptised of the, thynke not vn [...]ūly for the, if thou baptise him, who (as thou saiest) is better thē thou. Certainly it shal becū me, which desireth to bring al vnto me, to fulfill all iustice. For he that teacheth al, & teacheth perfecciō, must see that no likely­hode or apparaūce of vnrighteousnes (be it neuer so litle) be founde in his life and maners. I must become all thinges to al men, that I maye winne and bring al vnto my father. When Iohn heard these wordes, he descen­ded into Iordane with Christ, and baptised him. And here appereth an hol­some example of humilitie in Christe, and of obedience in Iohn, but the thyng, & the effecte is of contrary order. For baptisme doth consecrate vs, but he through the holy touchyng with his body did consecrate baptisme.

The texte. And Iesus whan he was baptised, came straight waye out of the water: and lo, heauen was open vnto hym: And he sawe the spirite of God descendyng lyke a doue, and lyghting vpon hym. And lo, there came a voyce from heauen saying: This is my beloued sonne in whome I am well pleased.

And to thintent he might declare vnto vs what we ought to do after bap­tisme, & what felicitie was geuen vs by baptisme, Iesus going out of the water cherefully & spedely as though he had cast of a great burdē of sines (teaching vs that we should not tarry nor linger in washinges, nor oftēty­mes returne vnto thē by sinning again, but to make haste to the dueties of a spiritual life, the sinnes of the former life once cast of, and buried in bap­tisme:) kneled downe vpon his knees, and lifted his hādes vnto heauē, be­seching his father yt he would vouchesafe that this matter of sauing man­kinde, which he toke in hande, might be happy and fortunate to all men, & that he would commend and set forth his sonne vnto the world with his fatherly auctoritie: and lest Iohns auctoritie should be of smal estimaciō, albeit this for ye time was profitable for the grosse & rude people. And be­hold the father did manyfestly auctorise his sōne in the presence of suche a [Page xxxi] multitude of people. The heauens opened and shewed furthe a certayne won­derful light. Iohn also sawe the heauenly spirite in the visible lykenes of a doue,And lo hea­uen was o­pē vnto him to descende out of heauen, and to sytte vpon his holy head: from thence came the voyce of the father soundyng to all mennes eares, saying: this is my derely beloued sonne, the delight of my mynde, in whō I haue a singuler plea­sure, heare hym the expoūder of my mynde, and the distributer of my goodnes towardes you. And because at that time Iesus was vnknowen to the multi­tude which had a great opinion of Iohn, lest the voyce, whiche cūming frō a­boue poynted no man certaynely to theyr vnderstandyng, should be thoughte to perteine vnto Iohn: therefore there was added a visible signe of the heauē ­ly doue, whiche sitting vpon Christes head, showed nowe playnely vnto al mē (as a man would poynte with his fynger) to whome that voyce dyd perteine. With the whiche signe also Iohn hymselfe was playnely and certaynly mo­nished, that he was the sonne of God. And after he did openly testifye that this sygne and token was promysed him before of the father, to the intente that in suche a multitude of people, he might certeynlye knowe him that afterwarde should baptyse all men in the spirite and fyer. And with these ceremonyes the Lorde Iesus was declared and consecrated oure mayster, whose diuinitie, and heauenly doctrine who so wyll followe, he shall be truly blessed.

The .iiii. Chapter.

The texte. ¶Then was Iesus led of the spirite into wyldernes, to be tempted of the Deuyll. And whan he had fasted forty dayes and forty nyghtes, he was at the last an hungred. And whā the [...]emptoure came to hym, he sayd: If thou he the sonne of God, commaunde that these stones be made bread: But he aunswered and sayde: It is written: Mā shal not lyue by bread onely, but by euery worde that procedeth out of the mouth of God.’

ANd yet these entries & beginninges made, he lepeth not furth by­anby to preache, although auctoritie wer giuē him from heauen, but sodenly he withdraweth himself frō the sight of the people in­to wildernes, because yt, departure frō the cōpany, of people both increaseth auctoritie, and prouoketh a desyre. Now ye spirite (that is the prouoker of the yll) doeth specyally assaulte them which leauyng the de­syres of the world, do fall into meditacion of the pure and heauenly life. Ther­fore Iesus secretly teachyng vs thesame, goeth into wyldernes. And this he doeth not by ye mocion or instigacion of any mā, but moued of his own spirite. For he that is baptised, hath now cast of carnall affeccions, & being made spi­ritual by regeneracion, is led and moued by the coūsell of the holy ghost: he re­membreth not Bethleem, he retourneth not to Nazareth, he goeth not again to his mother or to his foster father, but by the vehemēcy and rauishing of ye spi­rite, he goeth into deserte, folowyng the exaūple of the olde prophetes. Soly­tarines doeth quicken & make lusty the mynde of a Christian souldier, & some tyme it is more sure for a man to commit himself to the wylde beastes, than to men. Baptisme taketh awaye all synnes of the former lyfe, but for all that, no man is sure from the assaultes of Sathan whiche lyueth sluggyshly. But yet the naughty desyres endeuour to spryng agayne, chiefely in them that be rude and young, and lately entered and cummen to Christ. And that frowarde Satan enuying as muche mannes saluacion, as Christe is desyrouse of the same, styrreth and prouoketh him with merueylouse engins and sleyghtes, to [Page] fall awaye and departe: insomuche that he possesseth and vseth him that is re­lapsed with more tyranny, then he dyd possesse and vse hym whan he had him before. Agaynste these perilles and daungers Christe sheweth chiefelye three remedies, often and harty prayers, forsakyng of company, auoyding of excesse, and kepyng abstinence, not without diligent meditacion of holye scriptures: for otherwyse there maye be daunger in ydle solytarines. And because the de­uill goeth about to deceyue them chiefly, whiche do endeuour to attaine vnto this streyght and Angelicall lyfe: Christe hymselfe lyke a good captayne en­counteryng with him, hath taught his champions, by what meanes that ma­liciouse and crafty olde syre maye be ouercome, & howe lytle he can do against them that be sober and vigilant, and with all their harte do leane to the godly scriptures. And this also the Lorde Iesus in the meane tyme wente aboute, that this misterie mighte, by litle and litle appere vnto the worlde after suche sorte, that Sathan (whiche desyred for none other purpose to knowe cer­taynly whether he were the sonne of God, whome he heard that the father did honour with this tytle and name, but to lette the redempcion of mankynde) might bee holden in suche doubte, that he might not certeynlye knowe this to be Messias, before he sawe his owne tyranny vtterly subuerted & ouerthrow­en. Christ also putteth vs in remembraunce of this, that no manne is mete to preache the gospell, but he that hath tryed hymselfe, and is fyrme and strong agaynst worldly desyres, agaynst excesse and her companions, that is, bodily luste, ambicion, auarice, and suche lyke diseases of the minde, wherewith oure enemye beateth and shaketh the myndes of the symple and weake as it were with most violent engyns of warre. Therefore whan Christ had fasted fortye dayes, folowyng Hely, and Moyses, whiche thing was in suche wyse aboue mannes power, that yet the Iewes beleued, that it was doen of men: at laste to shewe a manifeste token of mannes imbecillitie in himselfe,And whā he had fasted forty dayes he made no coū ­sayle, but shewed playne signes that he felte the tediousnes of hungre. For after the common nature of mannes bodye, the lacke of humour greued and payned the stomacke.

The temp­tour came.Whiche thyng whan the crafty temptoure perceyued▪ thynkyng hym to be nothyng but a man, (althoughe in dede a notable and a wonderfull man,) he casteth his hooke bayted with ye enticement of vayne glory, for therwith chief­ly they be taken, whiche seme to endeuour to the hyest perfeccion. If thou bee the sonne of God (ꝙ he) what nedest thou to be greued and piened for hungre? Commaund rather these stones to be turned into bread for thy behoufe. Thou canste perfourme thy desyre with a becke.But he an­swered. Ye maie well know of olde that this is thesame lyer in wayte, or teptour whiche did entice that firste Adam into the snares of death, by the vayte or trayne of gluttony: But Christ the latter Adam beyng in spirite heauenly, so auoided with his wordes, this craftie and deceitfull waiter, that neither he refused the name of the sonne of God, nor yet hymselfe to be ouercome with hungre after the common sorte of men. And be­cause he woulde not take vpon hym to aunswere of his owne authoritie: he layeth vnto hym a manifest scripture, saying: It is written in the Deutero­nomi: Man shall not lyue onely of bread, but of euery worde, that cummeth out of the mouthe of God.

The texte. Than the deuyll taketh hym into the holy citie, and setteth hym vpon a Pynnacle of the temple, and sayeth vnto hym: if thou be the sonne of god, caste thy selfe do downe backewarde. [Page xxxiii] For it is wryten: he shall geue his aungels charge ouer the, and with theyr handes they shall holde the vp, leste at any tyme thou dashe t [...]y foote agaynst a stone. And Iesus saide to hym: Agayne it is wrytten: Thou shalte not tempte the Lorde thy God.

Than Satan beeyng eluded and shaken of with this doubtful answere, doeth euen of his partye also abuse the woordes of scripture to dooe hurte and mys­chiefe: And as he deceyued the fyrste parente of mankinde with the baite of am­bicion, promysyng hym eguall honor and immortalitie wyth God: by a lyke guyle assaylyng the lorde, he toke hym vp into the holy citie, and whan he had sette hym vpon the hygh Pinnacle of the temple, he exhorted him if he were the very sonne of God, that he woulde fal doune hedlong, alleagyng that he could take no harme by so dooyng. For God hymself had thus promysed in the misti­cal psalme. He wil geue his aungels cōmaundement and charge ouer the, and they shal take the in theyr hādes, lest thou shouldest hurt thy foote at any stone. But the lord Iesus laiyng scripture against him again, geueth a secrete vnder­standyng, howe peruers [...]y he wrested the sence of the holy scripture. Contrarye­wyse (ꝙ he) it is wryten in the Deuteronomie: Thou shalt not tempt the lorde thy God. For scripture doeth exhorte vs to this poyncte, that whan aduersitye and daunger is at hande, we should haue a good hope trustyng vpō the helpe of god, and not put our selues rashely in daunger. The miracles of godlye men be not tryed by sekyng of perylles, but by auoydyng daungers whan they chaunce. For it is no godly poyncte for to caste a man headlong into the ryuer, that by deliuering of hym thou mayest seme to be a man of great feates, but it is a godly thing to plucke out him yt by chaunce is fallē in. Nor miracles be not to be donne for euery thing, nor emongest all men. Iesus would not once vouch­safe to speake before Herode▪ who was desirouse of suche thynges, muche lesse would he showe any signe or token of hys godly power, at the requeste of Sa­tan. So often as charitie inspired with the holy gost, desyreth it, so often as the glory of God requireth it, the power of God is to be shewed abrode.

The texte. Agayne, the deiuil taketh him vp into a very high hil, & showeth him al the kingdomes of the world, and the glory of them, & sayeth vnto hym: all these wil I geue the yf thou wylte fall downe and worshyp me. Than sayeth Iesus vnto hym: auoid Satan. For it is writen: Thou shalt worshyp the lorde thy God, and hym only serue. Than the deiuill leaueth hym. And beholde the aungels came and ministred vnto hym.

Nowe to thintente that Christe myght teache suche as be his not to geue themselues to a careles securitie, after they hadde the hygher hande once or twyse, but alwayes to kepe watche, and to be in a redinesse for all assaultes of Sathan, he suffred also the thirde tyme, thinportune assailing of the temptour who as he deceyued the fyrst Adam, with the bayte of curiositie and auaryce, promising hym the knowlege of good and euyll, so in likewyse he setteth vpon the latter Adam, and toke him from the pinacle of the temple, and ledde hym in­to a verye hygh hyll, where he might loke at libertye farre and wyde, and see all the kyngdomes of the worlde, and the woondrefull glorye and pompe of eche of them. Surely he knewe by experience of other menne, that there was nothing so wicked and sinful, but they woulde take it in hande to obtayne rule and dominion. But albeit God is ye authour & maker of al thynges in heauen and yearth, & the deuil hath no title nor interest in them, vnlesse he hath viciated & defiled any thing: yet as though he were lorde ouer all, he is not affrayed thus to speake vnto Chryste: I will geue the al these kyngdomes, if thou wylte [Page] fall downe and honour me. O blynde impietie. The vngracious spirite pro­myseth an other mans gooddes, and asketh honour due vnto god onely. But Iesus who hitherto tooke the reproche of hymselfe wel in worth,Thā sayeth Iesus vnto hym. cannot beare his fathers ignomynie. Hence Sathan (ꝙ he:) Thy counsel is farre from the doctryne of holy scripture. The scripture sayeth: Thou shalte adoure the lorde thy God and him onely shalt thou serue. After that the deiuil had tempted hym by these and lyke other wayes, finding hym alwayes to be valiaunte and an inuincible chāpion, agaynst all inuencions & ingins, he left hym at last, beyng disapoyncted of his purpose two wayes.Then the deuil lea­ueth hym. Fyrst in that he perceyued that Christ was inuincible. Secondly, where as he came to searche, whether he was the sonne of God or no, he departed more vncertayne then he came. Thys conflicte was made in the syght of God and hys Aungelles, the whiche the lorde Iesus woulde not haue vnknowen vnto his, to thyntent we myght knowe with what a cumberous enemy we should haue to doe, & with what wages and rewardes, he would styrre and prouoke ignoraunt & vnware myndes. And this did he not that we should dispayre, but that we should diligētly watch & take good hede. Christe ouercame hym to shewe vnto vs that he was vincible & taught vs how we also myght geat victorye of hym. Finally he ouercame for vs and not for hymselfe, purposyng by vs to ouercome thesame, if we deserue to haue hym pre­sente with vs. And by vs he shall heare Christe saye: Hence Sathan, and he shall feare the seruauntes of him of whome he was ouercumme. Further-like as in worldly warre,And behold the angelles came, thinges haue theyr course and ordre, and labours bee eased with rest, & sorofull thynges with pleasaunt, and after fore conflictes triumphes be made: so in the warre of Christe sore stormes of tentacion be mitigated with myrthe and ioyfulnes. After the cumberouse frowardenes of the filthye spirite, by and by the Aungelles be ready to serue & wait vpon Christ the conquerour. Surelye this exaumple teacheth vs, howe in aduersitie we shoulde staye oure mynde with hope of better, trustyng vpon ye goodnesse of god, whiche so doethe ordre al thinges, that nowe & than he doeth exercise and proue the valiauntnes of his warriers, with trouble and aduersitie: and agayne wyth sum solace dothe prouoke them to reioysyng and thankes geuyng, whiche is the tryumphe of Christen men. And in affliccions thorowe the helpe of God, they be inuincible: and if any prosperitie come vnto them, thei ascribe it wholly to the goodnes and bountifulnes of god. And so it cummeth to passe that neyther they be discoura­ged in aduersitie, nor insolente or proude in prosperitie.

The texte. And whan Iesus had heard that Iohn was taken, he wente aparte into Galile: and left Nazareth: and wente and dwelte in Capernaum, which is a cytie vpon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Neptalim: that it myght be fulfilled whiche was spoken by Esai the prophete, saiyng. The lande of Zabulon and Neptalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Iordayne, Galile of the Gentyles. The people whiche sate in darkenes, and in the shadow of deathe, sawe great lyght, and to them whiche sate in the region, and shadowe of deathe, the lyght is sprong vp.

Therfore whan Christe began to be of auctoritie and estimacion, chiefly after that Iohn had in manier deliuered hym and commended hym to his disciples poynctyng with his fynger, and saiyng: Beholde the lambe of god, behold him that taketh awaye the synnes of the worlde: and after that he hadde ouercum the deuil and was fully inspired with the holy gost, nothing nowe remayned, but to take a tyme and place, to begynne and enter his preachyng.

[Page xxxiiii]Iohn had wrought no miracle, being content only to preache penaūce. Christ kepte silence so long as he preached, leste any discorde myght ryse emong theyr discyples,Whan Ie­sus hadde hearde▪ &c. beyng yet rude, carnal, & geuen to worldly affeccions. Surely it is ye parte of a good teacher, to conforme hymselfe to the capacitie of hys audience. But than and not afore entrethe he the office of teachynge, whan the rumoure was blowen abrode, that Iohn was caste into prison of Herode the Tetrarche, enioying the rewarde that they be wont to haue, which dare boldly speake be­fore the Princes of this world, & wil rather speake holsum thinges than plea­saunt. For he tolde the Tetrarche of his vnlawfull mariage, because he mary­ed his brother Philippes wyfe. And sumtyme euill princes desyre to haue in housholde with them, men of greate and notable honestie, not that they woulde obeye the counsell of suche, but because they ma [...]e seme to the ignoraunte peo­ple, to dooe by theyr aduise and counsell, whatsoeuer they dooe after theyr owne lust & appetite. And in other thynges of lyght importaunce, he had oftentymes ben obedient to his monicions, but here, where he oughte moste to haue been o­bedient, at the foule request of a filthie daunling damsel, and at the desyre of her filthye mother, he had cast that very good man into pryson, and afterward with the cruell deathe of suche a greate man, he defyled the feaste of hys Natiuitie, and the iyes of hys nobles. Iesus therfore whan he hearde of this, not because he was in feare hymselfe, but to teache his not wyllingly to put themselues in daunger, yf they maye conuenientlye auoyde it, but whan it cummeth stoutely to neglecte it, leauyng Nazareth wente a syde into Galile of the Gentyles, (in the whiche Salomon gaue vnto Hira kyng of the Tyrians .xxv. cytyes,He went a­parte into Galile.) and went into the citie of Capernaum, therfore taken to be borderyng vpon the sea, because it is nere the standyng water of Genezareth, in the coastes of zabulon and Neptalim, whiche were two trybes, and in the fyrste is Galile, in the se­conde is that, that is called Galile of the Gentiles: whereby Christe than as by a figure, in manier thretned, that whan the Iewes dyd refuse and persecute the preachers of the gospell, than the gospel should be brought vnto the Gentyles. And leste that a man myght thynke that thys thyng was doen by chaunce, E­sai beyng inspyred with the spirite of prophecie, prophecied long before that it should so be,That it myght bee fulfilled. &c. saiyng: in the land of zabulon and the land of Neptalim, whiche bordereth vpon the sea, in Galile of the Gentyles, the people whiche heretofore dwelled in darkenes, hath seen a great and a merueylouse light, and vnto them which heretofore were in a thicke darkenesse suche as is in hel, lyghte is sprong vp. Therfore, as cōcernyng the tyme, where Iohn left, there Christ beginneth. For at the clere lyght of the gospel, the shadowes of Moyses lawe do vanishe awaye. And thys is spoken directely concernyng the misticall figures of the lawe, and to expresse the trueth of the gospell. But as touchyng the place, at the fyrst affliccion and trouble of the holy preacher, the name of the Gentyles is goen vnto, and the lyghte whiche the Iewes blynded wyth filthye desyres, coulde not suffer, is as it were in a picture declared to passe ouer from them to the Gentyles, beeyng very Idolaters: but after suche sorte that the coastes of neyther is forsaken, so that of both sydes the trumpe of the voyce of the gospell maye be hearde. And yet furthermore that countrey was no vnprofitable au­ditorie, by reason of the commoditie of hauens, and certen notable cities stan­dyng vpon the sea syde, which by the reason of the course of marchaundise, wer frequented and vsed also of farre cummers, out of other straunge countreyes.

The texte. [Page]¶From that tyme Iesus began to preache and saye: Repent, for the kyngdome of heauen is at hande.

Nowe let vs heare the begynnyng of his preachyng. As he succeded after Iohn, so he begynneth with his doctrine, whiche was wel knowen, and famili­ar, lest he shoulde haue driuen them awaye from him, which had Iohn nowe in so greate venecacyon. And he fedeth the weake with mylke, that afterwarde he might bryng foorth strong meate to them whan they wer of more strength. And truely this is [...]horder of teachers, which desire rather to profite the heares, than to set foorth, and magnifie themselues before other. The preachyng of Christe is not onely more milde and gentle than Iohn his preaching (for he maketh no mencion neither of axe, nor of fanne, nor of fyer that neuer shalbe quenched) but also more [...]o be commended, for many benefites bestowed vpon all men indyf­ferently. Iesus therfore folowyng Iohn, crieth and sayeth: Chaūge your myn­des and repent your former lyfe. For nowe the kyngdome of heauen is at hand, the whiche as it shall be shut vnto no man, so it shall be open onely vnto them that be pure & cleane, and seke after heauenly thynges, and cut away al world­ly desyres. What can be more playne and symple than this Philosophy? Lette euery man be displeased and grieued with his owne naughtynes, and heauen­ly thynges be redy for hym at hand, and that frely.

The texte. As Iesus walked by the sea of Galile, he sawe two brethren▪ Simon whiche was called Peter, and Andrewe his brother, castyng a nette into the sea, (for they wer fyshers) and he sayeth vnto them: Folowe me, and I wyl make you fyshers of men: And they straight way lefte they [...] nettes, and folowed hym.

And nowe the tyme was come, that Iesus shoulde gather together a com­panie of disciples, whiche should be famyliar witnesses of all his doynges and saiynges, and by whome he myghte teache other afterwarde. But marke what manier of men he chose, not Philosophers, not Phariseis, not Priestes not ryche men. For he woulde not that the glorie of the gospel should be defiled' with any worldlye ayde and succour. But as he walked neere the water whiche (as we sayed before) was in the border of bothe Galilees, he espied twoo bro­thers germaine, the name of the one was Symon, and he was called also Pe­ter, the other was named Andrewe, whose fathers name was Iohn. These be­fore that tyme heard Iohn, through whose prouocacion they began to folowe Iesus. But they lefte them both, and turned agayn to theyr facultie and crafte, whereby they were wont to get theyr lyuyng. And nowe they were bustlye oc­cupied castyng theyr nettes into the sea. It was a sygne of good lucke. Fyrste youth more ready to receyue the newe doctryne: further the agreablenes of bre­thren one readye to helpe another: Agayn a craft and facultie in whiche was no hurt: wherby they got a poore liuyng out of the common mere or poole: Fy­nally the fishyng put them in remembraunce of the newe fisshyng, whiche ser­ued not to take fishes with nettes to feade the belly, but wyth the nette of the gospell to catche men drouned wyth worldly cares, vnto desyre of the heauenly lyfe. Therfore as they were occupied about necessaries for theyr bodye, Christ speaketh vnto them, saiyng: Folowe me, & ye shall learne a science of me, bet­ter than euer ye learned of your father. And yet ye shall not leaue your science, but ye shall chaunge it to a better fashyon. For I will make you hereafter fys­shers of men, that ye whiche wayte for fishes to destroye them, maye catche and take men into euerlasting saluacion. They knewe the voyce of hym, whome before they did beleue, and whose gentilnes they hadde proued before wyth fa­miliar [Page xxxv] communicacion. But through the strength and efficacie of his voyce, he brought to passe, that foorthwith at the word of the caller, thei forgat not one­ly theyr fishe, but also theyr nettes as they were they lefte them there, and not byddyng theyr acquayntaunce once fare well they folowed Iesus euen as he walked. They sawe no greate thyng yet in Iesus, notwithstandyng they stay­ed not nor lingered nothyng, nor were not careful howe they should gette theyr liuing hereafter, but ioyned themselues to hym, callyng them with hys onelye woorde, and folowed him, and would not awaie to dye therfore.

The texte. And whan he was gone foorth from thence, he saw other two brethren, Iames the sonne of Zebede, and Iohn hys brother, in the shyp with theyr father Zebede, mending theyr [...]ettes and he called them, and they furthwyth lefte the shyp and their father, and folowed hym.

Iesus going a litell further espyed other two brothers, Iames and Iohn the sonnes of zebedeus: he was the better please [...] for that the brethren and the father agreed so well together. They wer al in one bot [...], endeuoryng one thing euen the fame that Peter and Andrewe were aboute. But these went not spede­ly forwarde with theyr businesse, because theyr nettes were broken with longe wearyng, whiche was a token of pouertye: Iesus therfore passing by as they were earnestly occupyed in mendyng of theyr nettes, spake vnto them, and bad them folowe hym. The young men of a playne confidence and truste, without any tariyng, furthwith leauyng theyr nettes, and forgetting theyr father also, bend themselues to folowe Iesus: so the preaching of Iohn hadde framed and fashioned them, so deserued the towardenesse and redinesse of theyr hartes, so had the inspiracion of Christe drawen them, who wholly breathed and sauou­red of the heauenly spirite, wherwith he was replenished.

The texte And Iesus wente about al Galile, teachyng in theyr Sinagoges, and preachyng the ghos­pel of ye kyngdome, and healyng al maner of sickenes, and al manier of diseases emong the people. And his fame spred abrode throughoute all Siria. And they brought vnto hym all sycke people that were taken with diuerse diseases and grypynges, and them that were possessed wyth deuils, and those that were lunatike, and those that had the palsey: and he healed them. And there folowed hym great multitudes of people from Galile, and from Decapolis, and Ierusalem, and Iewry, and frō the countreyes that lye beyond Iordane.

Ye see the entrynges of our Philosophye, whereby it was thoughte good vnto god to saue all mankynde. Ye se the pompe and ruffling of the euangely­call schole. Poore Iesus beyng accumpanyed with these few fishers, vnlerned, of the common sorte, and poore men, walked ouer all Galile, not nowe in cor­ners nor in deserte, but in theyr Synagoges, where was moste resorte: prea­chyng and shewyng that the kyngdome of heauen whiche had heretofore been promysed was nowe at hande: not puttyng them in feare of helle fyer lyke as Iohn dyd, but inuiting and allurynge all men with free benefites. For where­soeuer he wente he healed all mennes diseases indifferently, and freely, refusing no man, were he neuer so vile, and of the meanest sorte, and with lyke easynesse he chased a waye all diseases, were they neuer so incurable: to thintent bothe to set furth and declare by miracles, his power to be greater than mannes, and al­so through free benefites, to purchase and winne the loue of all menne. For hym we gladly truste and beleue, whome we loue.

Yea euen the wylde beastes also bee wunne with benefits. Surelye there is no benefite more godly, than freelye to restore health. By these meanes it came to passe, that the fame of hym spredde abrode throughout all Syria, and manye brought from a farre theyr diseased folke incumbred with diuerse dys­eases [Page] and griefes, and besydes these suche as were possessed with diuels, and Lunatikes, and diseased with the palsey, whome Phisicyons commonly eyther take not vpon them to cure, or els be wonte to cure in vayne, because the dys­ease passeth theyr arte and cunnyng. But Iesus healed all easily, not with mannes medicynes,And those that had the palsey▪ &c. but wyth heauenly vertue, wherwyth he was hable also to rayse the dead. It was a small matter to hym to take awaye the diseases of the bodyes, whiche toke awaye the diseases of the myndes. It was a smalle matter for hym to prolong the lyfe of the bodye, whiche came to geue euerlas­tyng lyfe vnto all men. There came therfore from thys parte and that parte, a wonderfull numbre of people, not onely from Galile of the Gentiles where he was,And there folowed hym▪ &c. but also out of the other Galile, whiche was beyonde the water, and oute of the countrey that was called Decapolis, because of the tenne cities whiche were in it, also out of Hierusalem and the residew of Iewry, and out of the pla­ces whyche were beyonde Iordane. All men as they haue nede runne to a be­nefit. Many be moued wyth nouelties. Sum came for malice with a mynde to wayte displeasure. Iesus (for his parte) draweth all vnto hym, but fewe bee mete for the heau [...]nly Philosophye, for the teachyng and deliuery of the which, he chiefly came into the worlde. The people is moued wyth care of the bodye, and is desyrouse and deliteth muche in newe syghtes and gasinges. But he de­liteth not greatlye in suche sightes, that seketh after thinges of perfeccion, and thynges farre a sondre, from the affeccions of the common sorte.

¶The .v. Chapter.

The texte. And whan he sawe the multitude, he went vp into a mountayne, and behan he was sette, hys discyples came to hym. And after that he had opened his mouthe, he taught them, sai­yng: blessed are the poore in spirite, for theyrs is the kyngdome of heauen.’

THerefore, Iesus seeyng the people flockyng aboute hym more and more, and that of all sortes, he conueyeth him­self from the lowe place whither euery man myghte haue accesse, and goeth vp vnto the hyll, and beganne nowe to preache and teache the heauēly Philosophy, declaryng by the highnes of the place, that he woulde shewe furthe and teache no common nor meane thyng, but all hygh and hea­uenly thynges, folowyng also the exaumple of Moyses, who publyshing the lawe vnto the people (as we reade) wente vp to the hill. His disciples whome he had chosen specially vnto hym, folowed hym goynge vp, in suche wyse yet that the common people were not lette to folowe hym, if a­ny had so muche desyre and strength. Therfore Iesus whan he came to the top of the hyll, sate downe, not as beeyng weary, but purposyng to teache serious and weyghtye thynges, whiche required a diligent hearer. Whan his disciples perceyued that, they compassed him nere aboute that none of his holye doctryne shoulde escape them. Iesus therfore entryng and begynnyng hys godlye and holsome Philosophye, not oute of a tower or tabernacle with a golden seate (suche an one as Iarcas the greate Philosopher of India had beyng garnys­shed with precious stones,) not out of the proude pulpet of the Philosophers, not out of the arrogant chayre of the Phariseis, but oute of a seate of grasse he casteth his iyes, not vpon the commen people, but vpon his disciples: and o­penyng [Page xxxvi] hys holye mouthe, he began to shewe furthe the lessons of the gospell, whiche hytherto had not been heard, and whiche bee farre from the opinion of all men, that appeared to the very wyse vnto the worlde. All men promyse bles­sednes, whyche take vpon them to be teachers of wysdome. All menne of what estate or condicion soeuer they bee, desyre blessednes. But muche controuersye hath been emong Philosop [...]rs, and muche errour in the lyfe of men▪ in what thynges the felicitie of man doth consiste: And forasmuche as this is the marke and foundacion of all wisdome, Iesus fyrste doth open and set furthe straunge sentences, but yet very true. And therefore throughe myracles he obtayned cre­dite to bee geuen to hys saiyng, thoughe it semed sumwhat incredible, soe that they that founde his power to bee effectual in healyng of diseases of the bodye, myght truste also his doctryne to bee true, whereby he healed the diseases of the mynde. Yet fewe disciples there were, that did both heare and enbrace this bles­sednes: Let all men heare, for he spake to all, and all shall bee made blessed and happy.Blessed [...] the poore [...] spirite Of false opinions spryng all synnes in liuyng. Therfore aboue al thin­ges, we muste endeuour to plucke them awaye. And for because that fiercenesse and arrogancie is the moste daungerouse disease of the mynde, whiche suffereth not manne to receiue the true doctryne (yea it is the verye fountayne from whence in manier spryng all deadly offences) Iesus fyrste of all healeth this, saiyng: Blessed bee the poore in spirite, for theyrs is the kyngdome of heauen: whose eares coulde haue abiden so incredyble a saiyng, but after so manye testi­monies of Iohn, of the father, and of the doue, and finally vnlesse hys autho­ritye had been set furth, and credite obteyned through euident signes and myra­cles? Manye be made vile, abiect, and humble, and be broughte in discourage of themselues, by the reason of pouertye, of basenes of byrthe, of lowenesse of estate, or of aduersitye. Truely these bee nere to the blessednes of the ghospell, yf they folowe with theyr harte, as they be called by their state. But thys humili­tie of spirite, resteth in the inwarde affeccion, not in outwarde thynges. But howe shal he haue a kyngdome, whiche taketh nothyng vpon hym, whiche ge­ueth place to all, which is offended with hymselfe, which thrusteth out no man, whiche hurteth no man? For he semeth more nye the seruitude of an asse, than a kyngdome. This kinde of men is trode vnder the feete euerye where, is hurte and harmed withoute redresse, liueth lyke an abiecte withoute regarde, poore and comfortles. But it is true, that trueth sayeth. To these only appertaynethe the kyngdome, but it is the kyngdome of heauen. Thinkest thou that these fierce and violente men doe reigne? They bee verye slaues, they bee vnder manye tyrannes, they bee vexed with auarice, angre, hatred, desyre of vengeaūce, with [...]eare, with hope. They vnnethes lyue, muche lesse they reygne. But he that is free from all these vexacions and troubles, and betaketh hymselfe to innocencie and cleane lyfe, puttyng hys truste in God, lookyng for the rewarde of the worlde to cumme, and is verye quiete and regardeth not the thynges of thys worlde, but seketh after heauenlye thynges: hath not he a goodlye kyng­dome, farre passyng the kyngdomes of worldlye kynges? Neyther filthye luste, nor auaryce, nor hatred, nor anger, nor other worldlye infeccions of the mynde, reigne ouer hym: And armed with fayth so often as the case requireth he geueth commaundement to diseases, and thei flee away the geueth commaun­dement vnto the waters, and they be styl: he geueth commaundemente to deuils, [Page] and they departe. So myghty is the kyngdome of the mynde, whiche dystrus­tyng hymselfe, putteth hys truste in God, and distrustyng the succoure of man, doethe depende wholye of heauen. It is not the dyademe, it is not the oynt­mente, it is not the garde, that maketh a kyngdome: But the other afore menci­oned be the thynges that make a kyng in dede, and bryng hym finally to the heauenly and euerlastyng kyngdome, where there shall be no disobedience nor rebellion. A worldly kyngdome is gotten by violence, and defended by fierce­nesse. This kyngdome is gotten by modesty and sobernesse, and defended and established, by humilitie and mekenes. The worlde iudgeth none meete to go­uerne a kyngdome, but suche as bee of notable spirite, and of a st [...]ute courage. But God auaunceth vnto hys kyngdome those chiefly, whiche do moste hum­ble themselues.

The texte. ¶Blessed be they that are meke: For they shall receyue the inherytaunce of the yearthe.

Iesus goeth on and ioyneth vnto this an other sentence as harde to be beleued and taken. Blessed be the meke, for they shall inherite the yearth. And who bee the meke? they that vse no man violently nor extremely, and whan they haue a­ny harme, they be redy to forgeue the iniuryes done vnto them: they also that had rather lese theyr thyng, than to contende or striue for it, and that regard [...] more concorde and quietnes of mynde, than large possessions, and suche as ra­ther desyre quiet pouerty, than troublesome ryches. But this kynde of men is oftentymes set beside and put from theyr goodes and landes, and he goeth not aboute gredely to get other mennes, but is rather driuen out from the possessi­ons of hys auncetry. But this is a newe fashyon of enlargyng of possessions, for mekenesse obteyneth more of them that geue wyllyngly and of theyr owne accord, than violence and rauenye can purchase or obtaine by right or wrong. The stout and fierce lord doth not possesse the thing that he hath. But the meke and quiete man wil rather geue place and leaue hys goodes, than contende or striue for them, therfore is his possession in all places whereas he fyndethe lo­uers of the euangelicall mekenesse. Stoutnes and stifnes is hated of all men, softenes and mekenes is fauoured of the heathen. Finally, yf the meke lese hys possession, it is no losse vnto hym, but greate gayne and lucre. He hath loste hys lande, but he reserueth quietnes of mynde. He hath wel solde hys lande, whiche hath auoyded trouble and busines, and hath kept styll quietnesse of mynde. Fi­nally, if the meke man be put from all that he hath, the more sure and certayne is he to possesse the lande of heauen, out of the whych he can not be thrust. The worlde lamenteth and counteth them vnhappie which be banyshed and driuen out of theyr countreye, but Christe pronounceth them blessed, whiche be banis­shed for the gospell sake. For they be made denisens in heauen. They bee driuen out of the libertie of one cytie, and caste out of theyr house, and chased oute of one countrey, but the gospell man hath the whole worlde for his countrey. And the godly men be sure of heauen for theyr house and theyr countreye.

The texte. Blessed be they that mourne, for they shall receyue comforte:

Lacke of chyldren or parentes, and suche other as we entierly loue, common­ly is counted a miserable thing, insomuche that sum lacking theyr desyres, and depriued of theyr affeccions, as of wife, parentes, brothers, or chyldren, do sum­tyme kyll themselues for sorow. And for that cause frendes vse to repayre vnto them in suche cases, to comforte them, and to mitigate the bitternesse of theyr sorow. But blessed be they that mourne for the loue of the gospel, which be pluc­ked awaye from theyr wyfe, chyldren, and other that they loue, and see them [Page xxxvii] that they loue moste derely, to be punished and slayne for the reghteousnes of the gospell whyche also despyse the pleasures of thys worlde, and leade theyr lyfe in wepyng, watching, and fastyng. With these, the heauenly spirite wyll be present, he wyll be theyr secrete comforter. He wyll recompence theyr tempo­rall waylyng with inestimable hartes ioye, and afterwarde they shal bee tran­slated vnto euerlastyng blisse. Mannes comforte entending to heale the griefe, doeth oftentymes make it worse. But the spirite whiche is the true comforter doeth so inwardly refreshe the mynde beyng cleare in conscience and ascertay­ned of the rewardes of the lyfe to cum, that in moste grieuous affliccions of theyr bodyes, they thynke not themselues infortunate, but rather do most ioy­fully reioyce.

The texte ¶Blessed be they whyche hungar and thyrste for ryght [...]usnes, for they shall be satisfied.

Famyn and hungar by the opinion of al men, is a grieuouse thing, and po­uertie is a thyng with all endeuour to be auoyded, and euery man calleth them fortunate and blessed, whiche do notably encrease and establishe theyr house­holde and substaunce, and haue abundantly to vse and occupye, but it is not the ryches whorded and heaped vp that satisfieth the mynde: and the felicitye of man is not to be measured by the fulnce of the belly. What be they than in thys kynde of men whom Christe calleth blessed? Blessed (sayeth he) bee they whiche hungar and thyrst for ryghteousnes. The thynges wherewith the bo­dy is nouryshed and fostred vp, oughte to bee desyred but lyghtly; and yet the common sorte are sore turmoiled with care for them. And sumtime the saturitie doeth more vexe them that bee full, than the hunger dyd trouble them before: and by and by after theyr saturitie, thurste and hunger retourne agayne, and must oftentymes be repayred. And these thynges be present euerye where to the godly, whiche be contente wyth a litle, and desyre nothyng but necessaries, and are without al carefulnes, for he doeth geue and mynistre vnto them, which fe­deth the sparowes, and doeth clothe the lillies. Happy be they whiche doe take thys hunger and thurst from bodilye and casuall thynges, and applie them to the desyre of the euangelicall iustice, where there is euermore that is to be hun­gred for, euermore that is to be thyrsted for, and blessed sacietie and fulnes. And this is one parte of blessednes, to hunger for that breade of the mynde, wherof whoso eateth he shal liue euerlastingly, and to thurst for that liuely water wher­of who so drynketh, in hym there shall spring a well of water, runnyng into e­uerlastyng lyfe.

The texte. Blessed be the mercifull, for they shall obteyne mercy.

The common sorte supposeth them to be blessed, whiche be holpen wyth other mennes aide, and they reioyce and be glad rather for their sakes that bee hol­pen, than for their cause that helpe them. But I saye: Blessed be the merciful, who for brotherly charitie counte an other mannes miserye to bee theyr owne, and bee sory for theyr neyghboures hurte, and doe bewayle theyr miseries: and of theyr owne do feede the nedy, and clothe the naked, and monyshe them that do amysse, and teache the ignoraunt, and pardon the offender: Fynallye what soeuer gifte or good thyng they haue, they bestowe it in helpyng and refreshyng others. And they leese nothyng by it, but they gayne. For the mercifull and be­neficiall man▪ towarde his neyghboure, shall fynde God much more mercifull and beneficial toward hym. Thou hast pardoned thy neyghbour of sum lyght offence, God wil forgeue thee all thy synnes. Thou haste passed ouer for thy [Page] neyghboures sake a temporall vengeaunce, God wyll pardon thee of euerla­styng punishement. Thou haste socoured wyth thy substaunce thy brothers po­uertye, God wyll restore vnto the hys heauenlye ryches. They that be mercifull waxe poore as concernyng worldlye thynges, for by geuyng theyr rychesse are consumed, but towardes God they wexe ryche: for theyr worldly store beeyng consumed, theyr harte is heaped vp wyth the fruites of godlines.

The texte. ¶Blessed are the cleane of harte, for they shal see God.

The common sorte of men calleth them vnhappye that bee blynde, and be­cause they haue loste theyr moste pleasaunte sense, they saye they bee no longer aliue, but that they abyde in darknes lyke deade men. So pleasaunte a thyng it semeth to the iyes to loke vpon the lyght, and to beholde this goodlye specta­cle and syght of the worlde. That if it bee a thyng so muche to bee wisshed for to beholde the sunne with the bodilye [...]yes▪ how muche more pleasaunt and bles­sed a thyng is it with the iyes of the mynde to beholde God, the maker of the sunne, and of all thynges? Ye see howe they leape for ioye, whiche haue beene blynd [...], and nowe do see the sunne agayne. Yea they reioyce as muche as if they had [...]en deliuered from hell. Howe muche more blessed be they, who beyng de­strusted from blindnes of the mynde, haue the gift inwardly to see god, the foun­tayne of all ioyē, whom to beholde, is high felicitie and blessednes. As the sunne is to cleare iyes so is God to pure and cleane myndes? As matter of skumme or a webbe is to the iyes, so are sinnes to the mindes. Therfore blessed be thei whose harte is pure and cleane from all filthines. For they shal haue thys gyfte, which is more to be desyred than al the pleasures of the worlde. They shall see God.

The texte Blessed be the peace makers, for they shall be called the chyldren of God.

The common sorte of men iudgeth them to be blessed whiche hauyng theyr thynges in good frame and staye, liue in reste and quie [...]nes, and haue no manne to trouble them. But after my iudgemente they bee blessed, whiche after they haue, repressed in theyr hartes the rebellion and rage of all theyr fowle lustes, d [...] studye and endeuour to make vnitie and concorde emong suche as bee at strife and variaunce, not only not reuenging themselues yf they haue bene hurt of any bodye, but wyllynglye on theyr owne accorde, prouokyng them to peace, of whome they haue suffered harme. And if any manne thynke it harde to bee doen, let hym harken to the rewarde. For they shall be called the sonnes of God. What is more honorable than this title and prayse? Yea what is more bles­sed? For it is no vayne title. He that is the sonne, must nedes be heyre also. But the vnlykenes of manners declareth and argueth a bastarde. The folowyng of the fathers steppes, declareth a true and a naturall chylde. God forgeuyng freely all offences, doeth stirre and prouoke all men whiche hath offended hym, to peace and amitie. He offereth hymself of his owne accorde verye mercifull to all them that do repent. He wyll not knoweledge them for hys children, whiche do not shewe themselfe to theyr brethren, as he hath shewed hymselfe towardes all. Carnall fathers disherit theyr sonnes, whiche do not agree with theyr other brethren. So the heauenly father wil abdicate and put away the haters of peace and causers of discorde, from thinheritaunce of heauen.

The texte. Blessed be thei that suffer persecution for ryghteousnes [...]ake, for theyrs is the kyngdome of heauen. Blessed be ye when men te [...]yle you, and persecute you, and speake falsly all manes of euyll against you for my sake. Reioyce and be glad, for great is your rewarde in heauen, for so persecuted they the Prophetes whiche were before you,

[Page xxxviii]And because there be many frowarde & euill men in euery place, peace cannot be stayed & continue wyth al men, but thorow sufferaunce of displeasures: It is the part of g [...]dly men vtterly to endeuour themselues, that thei be at debate with no man, whether thei be good or euill, they muste moue and allure all men with curtesy, gentilnes and pleasures, as much as maie be, to loue and concord. But the frowardnes of sum is such that they wil bee stirred to anger, yea with benefites also, and wyll vexe them that do for them, and vse cruelnes agaynst wel doers, and count them for theyr enemyes that studye to preserue them. If in this case peace cannot be conserued on bothe sydes, yet blessed be th [...] [...]r the loue they beare to peace: whom the wicked do persecute for none other cause, but for the ryghteousnes of the gospell, which hurteth none but profiteth all. For the selfe same thing prouoketh theyr hatred, for the whiche they oughte to loue, and they do iniury for none other thyng, but for the whiche they ought to render thankes. Sum wil saye: who can loue such that for gentylnes requireth hatred and ill doynges? It is a greate matter I graunte, but greate is the re­warde. And what rewarde? not a crowne of oke or laurell, not a bullocke or a goate, or any suche lyke rewarde, whiche worldly men vse to geue to suche as get the ouerhand in worldly mastryes, but the kyngdome of heauen. Ye that be my dysciples muste make you ready to this wrastling, if ye esteme the rewardes of the gospell. Ye muste not feare the cruelnes of men. No man can hurte you, yf ye sticke stifly to ryghteousnes. The persecucion of euil men shall not take away your innocencye, but shal increase your blessednes. In the midde stormes of aduersytye ye shall be blessed, yea whan they curse you moste bitterlye, whan they shall assaulte you with all kyndes of hurtes, whan they shall rebuke you, and laye at offences agaynste you, and that falsely, not for your faulte, but for the hatred and displeasure of me, for the summe of the crymes whiche they shall laye agaynst you shal be, that ye are christen men. Do not lament and bewaile your selues, as men thrust out, afflicted and beaten, misreported and infamed, but rather for these thynges be glad and reioyce, because the more fierfe they be in persecutyng, so muche the more your rewarde is increased and heaped vp for you in heauen of the heauenly father. God will tourne theyr naughtynes to your good. He wyll tourne the hurtes that they do, to your aduauntage and luc [...]e. He will tourne the ignominie, rebuke, and reproche that they put you to, into euerlastyng and true glory. He wyll tourne the crymes and reprofe whiche they falslye laye to youre charges, into the titles and commendacions of true godlynes. He wil tourne theyr malediccions and curses, into prayse and reioy­syng on your parties, not onely before God (and yet to please him it is sufficiēt­ly enough, yea though ye displease the whole world) but also before men. For, to be rebuked of wicked men for godlynes, is a prayse: to be tormented of the ha­ters of God, is to be crowned. Glory is not to be sought for of men, but glory of her owne accorde customably doeth folowe true vertue. Wil ye haue a redy and playne example? It this daie what is more holy and honourable than the memorye of the Prophetes? And yet whan they were aliue, did the wicked sorte persecute them with all kyndes of affliccions, as they shall dooe you.

They persecuted the Prophetes for the hatred of my father: ye shall be persecuted for the hatred that menne beare towarde me. These bee vehemente thynges I graunte, and passyng mannes weakenes. But it muste nedes bee an excellent and a notable thyng, whiche by his myghte shoulde moue and drawe the whole worlde, beeyng ouerwhelmed with weryshe opinions, and vayne [Page] desyres. For whiche of all these worldly men doeth not abhorre the tormenting of the bodye? who is not afrayed at the daunger of lyfe? Who is not styrred with desyre of auengyng, whan he is prouoked with sore checkes and rebukes? who can quietelye suffer his name to bee spotted and hindred withoute any de­serte? But to the intente ye maye be blessed, I require more of you, that is, to thynke youre selues blessed for suche euill affliccions: and rather to haue pytye of youre blynde persecutours, than to bee agreued with them: to saye well by them that saye euyll▪ by you: to offer them euerlastyng healthe, whiche goe a­bout [...]ou [...] destruccion. This high and excellente vertue ye cannot perfourme, vnlesse ye cum vnto it by the degrees whiche I shewed you before. If ye caste away vtterlye the swelling and pride of the mynde, if ye put from you the desire of reuengyng, yf ye dispise all the pleasures of this world, & embrace the sharpe way, yf ye extinguishe the desyre of worldly thynges, and thyrste for nothyng greatly, but for ryghteousnes and godlynes, yf ye be full mynded to succoure and helpe the greefes of al men, and desyre to furder the commodities of al mē, if ye haue a minde sincere and cleane from all vices and filthye desyres, not re­gardyng any thyng, nor delityng in any thing but in God alone: finally, yf ye study and deuise with quiet hartes to nouryshe and to make cōcord and peace then shall ye perfourme these thynges, the whiche other menne cannot yet at­tayne vnto nor once dreame vpon. But yet they that be curable and not vtter­ly of a desperate mynde, musyng muche at youre sufferaunce and godlynesse, they shall well vnderstande that it is no counterfeyt thing, they shall well per­ceyue that it is not a thyng of mannes power, and beyng moued thorowe your exaumple, shall be turned to better thrifte.

The texte Ye be the salte of the earth: but if the salte be vnsauery, wherwith shall it be seasoned: It is hencefoorth good for nothyng, but to be caste out, and to be troden of men.

For I haue chose you fewe, not to the entent I woulde allure and bryng to the knowledge of the euangelicall wysedome, one or twoo cytyes, but the wholle worlde. It muste nedes bee a liuelye and a pithye thyng that can be sufficient to saw [...]e and sauour the lyfe of all mankynde,Ye be the salte of the yearth. beeing so weryshe and vnsauerye thorowe the desyres and fond opinions of vayne thynges. For I haue chosen you, not to the intent ye shoulde bee of the meane and tollerable sorte, but that ye shoulde be the salte of the yearth: it nedeth not to haue muche salte, but such as is good and strong, that whatsoeuer it doethe touche it maye season, and of weryshe make sauoury. The yerth is greate and yet the saltnes that it hath, it hath of a litle salte mixte with it. And ye see that a greate deale of meate vn­sauoury and werishe, with a litell salte sprynkeled vpon it, is made sauourye. It must nedes be that in great noumbres of men, many be founde but meane, and vneath tollerable.But if the salte be vn­sau [...]ry. &c, But in Apostles, in bishoppes, in doctoures, & teachers, that quicke and perfect liuelines of the euangelicall charitie, muste nedes per­seuer and abyde. Otherwyse if your maners be made vnsauoury with the loue of prayse, with desire of ryches, with the luste of pleasures, with the gredin [...] of reuengyng, with the feare of infamye, harmes, or death, what remayneth than, wherby the vnsauoury lyfe of the multitude maye bee seasoned? so it shall cum to passe, that ye shall not onelye bee vnmete to season others, but also ye youre­selues not perfourming the thing that ye teache, shal cum into extreme contempt of al men. For what is lesse to bee regarded than vnsauoury salte, whiche ser­ueth not for so muche as to doung the lande, for somuche as yf it be cast on the grounde it causeth barraines.

[Page xxxix]By that meanes men shall haue you in veneracion, yea they also whiche enuy­ously and hatefully backed agaynste you, yf they once perceyue that your doc­tryne doeth sauour of the liuelynes of the gospell, yf they see all your lyfe to bee agreable to your doctryne. Whan ye haue once taken vpon you this professiō, eyther ye muste be verye profitable vnto all menne, or veraye vnprofytable, eyther ye muste haue greate prayse emong men, or greate disprayse. Dispraise and rebuke ought to bee shunned more than deathe, for it doeth redounde to the infamye and slaunder of the gospell. Wherfore se that ye be on euerye syde sin­cere pure, and verye perfect, to thende that the impuritie of the multit [...]d [...]ye be corrected thorowe your puritie.

The texte Ye be the lyght of the worlde. A citie that is set on a hyll can not be hyd. Neyther do men lyght a candell, and put it vnder a bushell, but on a candelstycke, and it geueth lyght to al that be in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that thei maie se your good workes, and glorifye your father whiche is in heauen.

Let your life and your doctryne be suche, that it maye be a guyde and a rule of good life to all men that doeth behold and loke vpon it.Ye be the lyght of the worlde. There is but one sunne of this worlde, but thesame is so myghtye and plentifull of lyghte that from a farre, it shyneth vpon all them that dwell vpon the yearth. So I haue set you in an high place, that whatsoeuer ye speake, whatsoeuer ye doe, muste nedes bee spred abrode thorowout the whole worlde. If the cloudes couer the [...]unne, howe shall men haue lyght? If your doctryne be darkened with errours, yf the lyght of your lyfe be dimmed with worldly desires, what thyng shal driue awaye the darkenes of the multitude? Wherfore ye muste beware, that there be no darkenesse nor folishnes in you. Ye cannot be hyd though ye endeuour ne­uer so muche.A citye that is set on a hyll can not be hyd. Consider wel that ye haue a parte to playe in the stage of the whole worlde, to thintente that carefulnes should sharpen you to bee circum­spect and diligent. A small offence in you, is as muche as a great crime. Ye be as a citye set vpon an high hyll, which may be seene of the waye goets farre and wyde. It can not be hid thoughe it woulde, for the hyll with his highe to [...]ne that beareth it, wylleth it, [...]illeth it, maketh it seene of al men that it may shewe the waye to them that erte and be out of the waye. Thys is the nature of the euangelicall doctryne, it suffereth not the professoures of it, to be hyd and vn­knowen, althoughe they fleing the fame of men seke dennes to hide them in. And why shoulde ye be hid, which is ordeyned for this purpose, to do good to al men indifferently? Salt is geuen to season wt, the sunne is geuen to the world to geue lyght, the citie is buylt in the toppe of the hyll, to be sene of all men. In the nyght men lyght a candele in the house, to geue lyght to al them that be in the house: And therfore they hide it not vnder a bushel, but set it vpon a candel­sticke that the lyght therof maye the better cum to all, and the vse of one lyght maye extende and reache to manye: So ye ought not to seke, howe to purchase a fame and opinion amonge men: but onely bee ye rarefull that ye darken not the lyght, whiche I haue lyghtned in you, and that ye perseuer and continue vpon the candlesticke, where I haue set you. The salt cannot but season. The lyghte cannot but shyne.

Therfore let your lyght shyne,Let your lyghte so shine before men. yea rather my lyghte and the light of my father, vnto all men, that they considering your lyfe to be vtterly pure & blameles, and very heauenlye, maye glorifye youre heauenlye father, to whome is due al ho­nour and glorye. For all youre good workes and miracles be they neuer so [Page] woonderfull, ye shall chalenge nothing vnto your selfe, but ye shall referre all glory and prayse vnto hym, from whome cummeth whatsoeuer men doe wor­thy praise. It shal be your part, to haue none other care, but manfully and faith­fully to perfourme the office committed vnto you. He shall geue the rewarde in tyme conuenient, and that a great rewarde, to whose glorye ye doe seruice.

The texte, Thynke ye not that I am come to destroye the lawe or the Prophetes: no I am not come to destroye, but to fulfyll. For truly I saye vnto you, tyll heauen and yearth passe, one rote or tytle of the lawe shall not passe, tyll all be fulfylled.

Whan ye heare the newe preceptes, which neither Moyses dyd deliuer nor the Prophetes taughte, suppose not that I bryng lyke matter as the pha­risees were wonte with theyr addicions and mannes constytucions makynge the lawe heauy and sore, and the very pyth and chiefe of the lawe vtterly neglec­ting and abolishyng. I came not to diminishe and abate the lawe or abolishe it with newe preceptes: But I came rather to fulfyl and make perfect the lawe. For it doeth commaunde nothyng that any man can complayne that I haue not obserued and kepte. And yf the shadowes geue place whan the lyghte cum­meth foorth, yf I perfourme in dedes, that whiche the Prophetes saide before shoulde cum to passe, the lawe is nothing hindered, but rather made perfecte. The lawe had his time, it hadde his honour, it dyd shadowe wyth certayne fi­gures, that whiche nowe is represented and open to the worlde: the lawe dydde in manner hedge aboute the desires of men, with ceremonies and carnall pre­ceptes, as it were with certayne barres, that they shoulde not fall without anye staye into euery sinne, to thintente they might be the more apte to take the doc­tryne of the gospell: but nowe that that is perfect, is shewed furth. The carnall and grosse lawe was profitable to this entent, that men myght acknowledge theyr synnes, but nowe grace whiche washeth awaye synne, is geuen vnto vs without ceremonyes. Therfore the lawe is no more offended, than if the kyng hymselfe beyng alyue, shoulde cum in place where is image was paynted, and allure all men rather to loke vpon hym than vpon his image: or elles yf a a weake chylde in processe of time shoulde growe to be a manne, or yf the rype fruite should succede after buddes and leaues, or yf the sunne springyng vp shoulde darken the moone and the starres. What the lawe promysed is nowe perfourmed, what it did shewe before, is nowe done. What it dyd shadowe is nowe made open to al mennes iyes, what it endeuoured to perfourme and coulde not, is nowe broughte to passe at full. This lyght is promysed vnto al men, but yet so that the Iewes haue no cause to complayne of vs. The grace of the gospel is fyrste offered to them, neither shal thei haue the lesse therfore, if that they haue be common to many wyth them. This is certayn, that we breake not the lawe wherein the Phariseis do glorye, in so muche that not the leaste iote, no not one pricke of the whole lawe shal perishe, for there is nothyng wri­ten in it, but it shalbe fulfilled. It were a folishe thing to loke for that hereafter whiche is nowe present, it were a mad thyng so to delyght in shadowes, that ye should dispise the true thinges, so to sticke to imperfect thinges, that ye should dispise perfecte thynges, so to embrace carnal thynges, that ye should looth spi­rituall thynges, so to bee geuen to worldlye thynges, that ye shoulde neglecte heauenly thynges.

The texte [Page xl]Whosoeuer therfore breaketh one of these least commaundementes: and teacheth men so, he shal be called the least in the kyngdome of heauen. But whoso doeth, and teacheth thesame, shall be called great in the kyngdome of heauen. For I say vnto you, vnles your righteous­nes excede the ryhgteousnes of ye Phariseis, and Scribes, ye can not enter into the kingdom of heauen

Among the Iewes he is not regarded ne counted a good keper of the law that doeth omitte or lette passe any of those thinges whyche the Phariseis haue added of theyr owne prescribing, as washynges of handes, of pottes & vessels, and yet these addicions and patches profit so litle towardes the perfeccion of the lawe, that thei oftetymes withdraw men from the obseruacion of thesame. But in ye kyngdome of heauen whiche is muche more perfect, he that breaketh but one of these small preceptes whiche I nowe adde vnto the prescripte lawe of Moyses, althoughe he teache the thyng to be [...]bserued whiche he hymselfe thorough weakenes and frayltye doeth not perfourme, he shall be counted the leaste and moste d [...]spised, in so much that vnlesse he profit and goe forwarde vn­to better thynges, he shall be vtterly excluded from the felowshyppe of the gos­pell. But whosoeuer teacheth these smalle thinges not to be despised, whiche dryue men farre from those thynges whiche the lawe doeth forbyd, and doethe perfourme that whiche he teacheth, he is to be hadde in veneracion, and shal be counted greate in the kyngdome of heauen. And yet they that be the chiefe and the highest in the Sinagoge despising suche thynges, thinke it enough yf they dooe committe none of those thynges whiche be punishable by the lawe, and yet in the meane season they fauour, and flatter, and perdone themselues in the naughtye desyres of the mynde. Truely this is the iustice of them whiche by the feare of pain be refrained from il doing. But thei that be moued to thinges of more perfeccion by chariti [...], and by that heauenly spirite, they wyllynglye withdrawe themselues from the approchyng to ill doynges, and they doe not onely forbeare to hurte any man, but they will no hurt to no man. And that ye maye perceyue what difference there is betwene a Iewe and a true Christian man, betwene Moyses disciple and myne, this I do ascertayne you, yf ye dooe perfourme whatsoeuer the lawe doethe prescrybe, whatsoeuer the Phariseis yt be nowe doe perfourme, whiche nowe be accoumpted and thynke them selues very ryghteous, and yf ye adde nothyng of more perfeccion, ye shall be so farre of from being great in this profession, that an entry shal not once be geuen you into the kyngdome of heauen. For this profession doeth so farre excel, that thei that be the chiefe there, haue not so muche as the least place here.

The texte. Ye haue heard that it was sayd vnto them of the olde tyme: Thou shalt not kyl: whoso­euer kylleth, shall be in daunger of iudgement. But I saye vnto you, that whoso is angry wt his brother vnaduisedly, shal be in daunger of iudgement. And whosoeuer sayeth vnto his brother Racha, shall be in daunger of a counsell. But whosoeuer saieth thou foole, shal be in daunger of hell fyre. Therfore yf thou offer thy gyfte at the aulter and there remem­brest that thy brother hath ought against the, leaue there thine offering before the aulter, and go thy way fyrst, and be reconsiled to thy brother, and than cum and offer thy gyfte.

And yet that it maye be more euident how muche we adde vnto the Pharisay­call iustice, and that our commaundementes be not repugnaunt againste the preceptes of the lawe, but rather aide them: we shall make the matter manyfest by certayne exaumples. Ye haue heard that a commaundemente was geuen in times paste vnto the elders: Thou shalte not kyll. And if a man doe kyll, once conuicted and iudged, he shal be punished.

Therfore hitherto he thinketh himselfe to haue fulfilled the lawe, whiche hathe [Page] slayne no man, and so hath escaped the threatenynges of the lawe, thys manne as a iuste and an innocent manne shal be receiued into the Sinagogue. Nowe harken howe muche I adde hereunto.Who so is angry with hys brother &c. Truely this I ascertayne you, who­soeuer is angrye wyth hys brother shall be in daunger of iudgemente. For the dignitie of the profession doeth encrese the faulte, in so muche that what ho­mycide is in the olde lawe, the same in the newe lawe is the vehement mocion of the mynde to be reuenged. For the firste degre to homycide is to be angrye. For suche an one hath not yet actually committed homicide, but now he begin­neth [...] go towardes homicide.

Therefore he that willeth yll to hys brother, euen nowe hath committed a greuous offence before God his iudge. And if he dooe not furthwith represse his fearce mynde, but beyng ouercome with anger, dooe burste out with summe woorde whiche toucheth not his brother in dede, wyth any euydent, and plaine reproche, but maketh hym sad with a manyfeste token of contempte, as yf he shoulde saye Racha, or some otherlyke thyng, whiche declareth the yll wyll of the mind: now is he (as one nere vnto homicide), not onely in daūgier to iudge­mente, and shall suffre lyghter punishemente, and yet as great as the homicide mencioned in the olde lawe deserueth, but also he is in daunger to a counsell, where he shal be the more greuously condemned. Furthermore if the disobediēt mocion of the minde: doeth burst out so farre that a man strike his brother with a manyfest and a certayne rebuke, and calleth hym foole, or suche other lyke, nowe shall he be in daunger to that moste greuous payne, that is to saye, to the payne of hell fyer. So many wayes is he punished whiche is not yet cum vnto homicide & murdre. But he is nere vnto homicide, whosoeuer is fallē from bro­therly charitie. Whosoeuer wylleth yl to his brother in anger, thoughe he hath not plucked out his swerde, yet he hath strikē in minde. Whosoeuer hath rebu­ked in anger,But whosoeuer sayeth thou foole. &c. hath striken with the tounge, & peraduenture woulde haue slayne but that he feared punishement. Therfore the lawe of the ghospel which puni­sheth the angry man, is not agaynste the precepte of ye lawe: Thou shalt not kyl: but it driueth & putteth of a man further from that, that ye lawe commaundeth to be punished. He is more safe and farther from murther, that vtterlye pluc­keth out from his harte all anger and hatred, oute of the whiche roote spring­eth homycide and murther.Therfore if thou offer thy gyfte at the aulter, &c. Therfore whosoeuer hath gotten to hymselfe the charitie of the gospel, whiche wylleth wel to them that wylleth yl, whiche re­compenseth iniurye wyth wel dooyng, he hath litle nede of the thretenynges of Moses lawe, for the auoiding of murther. The vttermoste degree of hatred is to kyl and sleye, and the vttermoste degre of charitie is to wil well to the kil­ler and sleyer. Among the Iewes he is counted godlye and deuoute whyche veryng ill will to his brother, bryngeth hys offeryng to the aulter, where as no sacrifice is accepted vnto God, without brotherly charitie, and concord: wher­fore chyefly ye must regarde peace and mutual concord. And if any displeasure chaunce among brethren, as by ye weakenesse of mans nature it doeth happen, al thynges layd aparte, se that attonement and concorde be made, in so muche as yf by chaunce thou makest in a redines any gyfte to offer vnto God, and beyng nowe nere at the aulter doest remember that thy brother and thou be at square eyther because he hath offended the, or els because amitie is broken through the griefe of both parties, deferre not, linger not, but leaue thy gyfte at the aulter, make hast home, and bryng to passe, that before al thynges swe [...]e [Page xli] amitie may bee restored, and made vp betweene thee and thy brother. That done, returne vnto the aulter and doe thy sacrifice. So no gift is more accep­table to God,And than come, & offer thy gifte. than consent and agrement of men. God suffereth no dammage if his gift be differred, but much peril and daunger hangeth ouer both partes by the breache of concorde. For displeasures prolonged and deferred, ingendre hatred: of hatred spryngeth homycide and murther. And no seruyce is accep­table vnto god which is not furnished with charitie. And if thou wilt say vn­to me: I haue offended nothing, let hym bowe firste and make suite that hath offended, thou arte not to be heard. He that is commaunded to loue his enemy, wil not sticke to restore and make vp loue and concorde, though it were broken through another mans defaulte. Forgeue the trespasse of thine owne accorde, and ease thy brother of his heauines, which did suppose that thou were angry with hym: Thou shalt not finde God mercifull vnto the, vnlesse thy neiboure fynde the mercifull vnto hym. Thy gyft shall obtaine no thanke ne fauoure at al before God, except thou beare perfect fauour & loue towardes thy brother.

The texte. Agree with thine aduersarie quickely, whiles thou n [...]te in the way with hym, les [...]e at any time the aduersary delyuer thee to the iudge, and the iudge deliuer thee to the minister, and then thou be caste into prison. Uerely I lay vnto thee: thou shalt not come out thence, tyl thou haue payd the vtmoste farthing.

If the concorde and agrement of men is so highlye estemed of God, that he will suffre hymselfe to be defrauded of hys, gifte nowe in a redines for hym, so that concorde and agremente may bee restored and made vp, howe muche more meete and conuenient is it for man, whome this matter specially dooeth touche,Agre with thyne ad­uersarie. to redeme peace and amitie with the losse of hys substaunce▪ But per­chaunce some may be founde so vniust, that wrongfully of his owne accorde doeth drawe men into the lawe, ready to make ru [...]elmg and businesse vnlesse he haue his wil and pray of them. And now they being bent of bo [...]h sides, with burnyng hartes, they prepare their accusementes, they runne to the iudges. You would knowe of me: what shoulde I doe in this case? Shal I purs [...]e my right by the lawe?

If thou wilt folowe my counsel, in the way as thou goest with thy aduer­sary, thou shalte spedely finishe and make an ende of the mattier, eyther with equal and indifferent condicions, or els with vnequal and vniust condicions. Ende the matter with hym, the condicyons beeyng neuer so vniuste, yet thou shalte haue auauntage and gaine. There shall be some losse of money: but the thyng is conserued whiche is moste precyouse, that is peace and amytie. The quietnes and tranquilitie of the mynde is conserued, the whiche if thou had­dest bought with all thy whole goodes, yet thou haddest payde but litle for it. Thou shouldest haue wayted vpon the aturneys and the clerkes thou shoul­deste haue runne busily vp and downe, thou muste haue sued for the fauour of the iudges. Thou shouldeste haue done and suffered many thinges vnseme­ly and vnmee [...]e for thee. And where as nothyng is more precyous than time, considre howe muche thereof thou shouldest haue spent and loste. Wherefore marke well what greate gayne and auauntage thou shalte haue, if thou fy­nishe thy suite spedely, seeyng the issue of the lawe is vncertayne. For he that hath the better matter hath not alway the higher hande, and there is daunger leste thy aduersary hauing the vpper hande, deliuer thee to the iudge, and the [Page] iudge deliuer the to the common officer who shal leade the into prison, where if thou bee once layde, it is not nowe in thy power to fynyshe the matter with thy aduersary, and so thou shalte purchace not onely affliccion and punyshe­ment of the body with shame,Thou shalt not cum out thence, &c but also thou shalte not escape vntill thou haste payed the whole some euery farthyng whiche thy aduersary did demaunde, where as thou mighteste haue compouned with hym for lesse, whan he was yet more gentel and lesse angrie. So in makyng of concorde and amitie, way not sowrely nor extremely whiche is more in faulte. Let thys onely bee thy en­deauour, yea though thou geue ouer parte of thy right, that concorde and ami­tie suffer no dammage.

The texte. Ye haue hearde that it was [...]ayde to them of the olde time, thou shalte not commit ad­uoutry. But I say vnto you: that whosoeuer looketh on an other mannes wyfe to luste after her, hath nowe committed aduoutry with her in his herte. And if thy ryghte iye hinder the, plucke it out and cast it from the. For better it is vnto the, that one of thy membres peryshe, than that thy whole body should be caste into hell. And if thy right hande hynder thee, cut it of and caste it from the. For better it is vnto the that one of thy membres perish, than that al thy body should be cast into hell.

Hytherto we haue treated of loue and hatred, of the whiche one is the roote of al euangelical godlynesse, the other is the pestilence and poyson of the same. But next vnto murther is aduoutry, and there is no loue more tender & streight than the loue of matrimony.Thou shalt not commit aduoutry. Let vs therefore treate of this matter al­so, what the law hath commaunded to your elders, and howe muche we dooe adde the [...]eunto. There was nothyng more sayde vnto them in the lawe, then: Thou shalt not commit aduoutry, if thou dooeste, thou shalt bee stoned of the people. Therfore hitherto among the Iewes he hath ben coūted holy and per­fecte, who being content with his owne, hath absteyned from an other mans wyfe. But after the lawe of the ghospell, whiche I bryng, he dooeth not onely commit aduoutry whiche dooeth defyle another mannes wife, and embraceth her body with his, but also he whiche with vnchaste iyes dooeth beholde an other mannes wyfe. For as he that is angrie with hys brother is nygh vnto mu [...]her,Who soeuer loketh on an other mans wyfe. &c. so he bendeth toward aduoutry, whose minde is now vnchaste, and whose iyes be aduoutrous. The husband hath not to punish the for aduoutry, but God hath for to condemne thee for aduoutry, before whome he that hath willed, hath committed the offēce. Therefore as it is in murther to bee angrie, so is it in aduoutry to luste: As it is there to say Racha or foole, so is it here to delighte the iyes, and through the wantonnes of them, to intice the mynde of another mannes wife to vnclennes. But here a carnal man will say, no man can forbeare to lust and desire in his harte the thyng that he loueth. But who can loue an other mannes wife with his owne daunger, and with the iniurie of her husbande, whiche is so bent in his mynde not onely to forbeare to hurte or to harme hym, that is innocent, but also to require pleasure for displeasure, to them whiche hath hurte hym? perchaunce he will say, I cannot shut myne iyes. Yea it were better to plucke out thyne iye, than through it to take losse of godlynes. For there is no parte of the body that oughte to be so deare vnto man, but that it is better to cut it awaye, than by the occasion thereof to loose any of the vertues of the minde. So we muste make spede vnto the high per­feccion of the ghospel, that whatsoeuer dooeth let our iourney thitherwarde, we muste vtterly cast it away, bee it neuer so swete, be it neuer so wel beloued. [Page xlii] It is a great lucre and gaine to purchase the preciouse margarite of the euan­gelical charitie by the losse of any thyng whatsoeuer it be. Wherefore if thy right iye be a let vnto the in this behalfe, consider not how dere a thing the iye is, but consider from what a more precyouse thyng it dooeth hynder thee: and without any delay dygge out thyne iye that hindred thee, and [...]aste it awaye, and so make spede as thou dyddest begyn.Then that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Where the whole man is in daunger of his life, it is beste to saue the reste of the whole body, by the losse of one parte thereof. Thou wilt say: I shall lyue hereafter, an one iyed manne. And what of that? Is it not rather to be wished to liue with one iye, than to dye with both▪ There is no member more deare or more necessarie for many pur­poses, than the righte hande. Who can thys deny▪ And yet if it b [...] a lette vnto him that maketh spede vnto the high perfeccion▪ wherof depēdeth the helth & the saluacion of the whole man, cut of thy right hand that hindreth thee and cast away the burden that thou mayest make spede and expedicion thither as thou didste purpose. In this peril and daungier, it is farre better to haue the losse of one membre, though it be very dere, than with the whole body to fall into the distruccion of hel fyer.And if thy right hand hinder the. If men alowe this pollicie, when there is none other daungier but of the bodye, howe muche more is this to be doone, when both the body and solle be in peril? But these thinges I haue spoken to teache you by a similitude. For I meane not this that any man shoulde cutte of any membre of hys body. For the nature of the membres is not yll, but the abuse of them is to be reproued, but I meane of the membres of the mynde: for the minde hath her noysome membres, and it is a godly thing spedely to cut them of. If a membre of the body bee cut of, besyde the payne, this harme cummeth of it, that the parte once cutte of can neuer bee restored agayne. But when the noysome membres of the minde be cut of, as hatred, angre, fleshly lust am­bicion, and auarice, the minde is not maymed, but made more perfect, by rea­son that the monstruouse and noysome partes be cut away. And after a short griefe of cutting of, foloweth a continual pleasure. I wil speake more playn­ly to thentent ye may vnderstande what I meane. Thaffeccions be the mem­bres of the minde. There be some affeccions which of their owne nature leade vnto vngodlines, as yre, hatred, enuy, desire of other mennes goodes. Yf a­ny of these begin to spring to the minde, furthwith it must be cutte vp, for so the yll that beginneth to spryng▪ shall bee the more easely and safely taken a­way. Againe there be affeccions of themselfe not vttrely yll, but yet by occasi­on they withdraw somtime from that that is good, as the loue towarde oure countrey, thaffeccyon to wife, chyldren, and parentes, or elles to kynsfolkes and frendes, the care for a good name. There is no cause why to cutte of these membres so long as they serue and make for the perfeccion of the gospell. For my doctrine is not against naturall affeccions, but doeth restore nature to her puritie. But in case thaffeccion towarde thy parent▪ or wife or children▪ by oc­casion doeth withdrawe thee from the loue of the euangelicall godlynes, and plucketh thee to worldlines, cut of that noysome natural affeccion. Like as he that cutteth of noysome thoughtes cutteth not out the hart where they grow but onely the naughty desyres: so he that nowe beholdeth an other mannes wife chastely, like as he looketh vpon his sister, or daughter, he hath well cast out his noysome iye, and taken for it the iye of a doue, a cleane and a single iye. And he that was woonte to exercyse hys hande in robbyng of other, and [Page] nowe doeth labooure to helpe the nedines of other, he hath well cutte of hys rauening right hande: that in stede thereof he myght haue a beneficial and a liberall hande.

The texte. It was sayde: whosoeuer putteth awaye hys wyfe, lette hym geue her a lettre of dy­uorcemente. But I say vnto you: that whosoeuer doeth put away hys wife, except it be for fornicacion, causeth her to bee all aduoutresse, and whosoeuer marryeth her that is diuorced, commit [...]eth aduoutyre.

Nowe goe to and let vs shewe an other exaumple. The lawe of Moyses doeth suffe [...] the husband if he bee offended with any faulte of his wyfe, to put her away after his owne deuise, so that he geue her a writing of diuorce, wher­by shee may bee marryed to an other, and whereby her former husbande may not lawfully require her agayne, whome he hath cast of.

Wherefore that man hath satisfied the lawe, the whiche hath caste of hys wife for any cause, so that he hath geuen her a wrytyng of dyuorcemente: ney­ther shal he be taken as an aduouterer, nor no man shal note her as an aduou­tresse. And though the law wisheth & desireth perpetuall amitie and concorde among married persones: yet notwithstanding, the same lawe, knowing the hardnes of the heartes of the Iewes, suffered diuorce to be vsed, lest any worse thing might chaunce,But I saye vnto you, y whosoe­uer putteth away hys wyfe. &c. that no poysonyng nor murtheryng, should be commit­ted and done. But I wil haue Matrimony obserued more holily & vndefiled­ly among them that professe the newe lawe. For whosoeuer leaueth hys wyfe, but for aduoutry, for than she is his wife no lenger, because she hath intermed­led with an other man, he compelleth her and dryueth her violently to aduou­try. For if she marrieth another she marrieth not an husband, but an aduoute­rer. And whoso taketh her so cast of, into marryage, he taketh not a wyfe, but an aduoutresse. The lawe of Moses punysheth none of these, but the lawe of the ghospel doth condemne them. And yet this is not contrary to that. For the lawe of Moses hath geuen the husbandes libertie to diuorce, leste they should be more fierce and cruell to their wyues that they hated, and yet it restrayned this libertie by the booke of diuorce, both that they should not doe it priuely, & that they shoulde not requyre agayne, so often as they fantaysed, the wyues whome they had cast of vnaduisedly. And the lawe durst not require more in matrimony because it durst not commaunde those thinges that we taught be­fore. For a man indued with the mekenes of the Gospel, either will soone cor­recte and amende the maners of his wife, or elles he will pacientely beare the same: for whan wil he seke debate with his wife, whiche with his enemies is at peace? Whan will he seke the distruccyon of hys wife, whiche is not angrie whan he is harmed? and when he is offended, he willeth no man yll: Or howe shall not he abyde hys wyfe, whiche is in daylye company with hym, whiche suffereth his enemy kyllyng hym? And if the purpose of the lawe bee thus, that Matrimony shoulde bee holye, and diuorces not commonlye graunted, we breake not the lawe, but helpe and susteyne it, whiche woulde haue no dy­uorce except in case of aduoutry, whiche is contrary to the nature of Matry­mony. For Matrimony was made for thys intente that the woman once ap­poynted to the husbande, shoulde bryng forth children to hym onely, and hym onely obey. Further shee nowe turneth awaye from her husbande, whiche [Page xliii] hath geuen another man the vse of her body. Therfore emong Christiā spou­ses let there not be greuous displeasures and offēces, neither let him nor her seke any diuorce or separacion for light displeasures, but the one muste be re­concyled vnto the other yf any thing chaunce through the weakenes of men.

The texte. Agayne ye haue hearde howe it was sayde to them of olde tyme: Thou shalte not for­sweare thy selfe, but shalt perfourme vnto the lorde, those thin [...]es that thou sweatest? but I say vnto you. Sweare not at all, neither by heauen, for it is goddes seate: nor by the earthe, for it is his footestolem eyther by Hierusalem, for it is the citie of the greate kyng▪ neyther shalte thou sweare by thy head, because thou canste nor make one heate white or blacke. But your communicaty [...]n shalbe yea, yea, and nay, nay: Further whatsoeuer is added more than these, it cummeth of euill.

Now ye shall heare another thing. Commaundement was geuen vnto youre elders none otherwyse, but if they had made an othe, they shoulde per­fourme it, and not be forsworne, for nowe they are bounde to god and not to man onely. Wherfore emong the Iewes, onely periurie is punishable. But he that deceiueth his neyghboure without any othe made, he is vnpunyshed: but yet the law of the gospel condemneth him, the which, that ye should be the more sure from periury, doeth vttrely condemne al maner of othes, that it is not le­ful to sweare neither by god, nor by those thinges which seme to the common sorte to be thinges of lesse religion, that is, neither by heauen, because it is the seate of god, nor by the yearth because it is his footestole, nor by Hierusalem, because it is the citie of the great king, that is to say, of him which hath made al thinges. Neither as the Heathen sweare by the head of another man, wher­of thou hast no authoritie, but it is consecrate to God whiche hathe made all thinges as he woulde, for thou canste not make one blacke heare whyte, nor one white heare blacke. And because all thinges be consecrate to God the ma­ker, thou oughtest to be feareful to sweare by any thing. And what nedeth any othe emong them, where no man, because of theyr symplicitie can distruste, nor no man can desire to deceiue though they might doe it freely, such is their sin­ceritie and perfectenes, specyally in those thynges, of the whiche they declare themselues to bee despisers. Therefore among you, playne and simple speche oughte to be more holy and more sure, than the deuoute and solempne othe e­mong the Iewes. For emong you, whose hartes and lippes ought to agree, there is no other vse of speche, but to expresse youre mindes eche to other. In your bargaynes ye nede none othe ye nede no execracion or cursing, or suche like to binde the promiser, or to assure him to whome the promise is made.But youre communicacion shall be yea, yea, nai nay. Two woordes be sufficient: Nay, and yea, whereby thou denyest that whiche thou doest not promise, and whereby thou doeste perfourme that whiche thou diddest promise by playn woorde, that thou wouldest doe. For there is no man lesse bounde with his simple and bare woorde, than the Iewe swearing by all holy thinges: and he whome thou makest thy promise vnto, doth trust thee as wel as if thou haddest made a solemne othe. Yf there be any moe besides these, it must nedes come of euil and sinne. For he that sweareth, eyther he thynketh yll of hym to whome he sweareth, or els he that requireth the othe dothe dys­truste. But none of these ought to be in you, whome I would haue perfect in all poyntes. Therefore when I vttrely forbid swearing, I doe not abolish the lawe, whiche doeth prohibite periurie, but I make the lawe more full, and I [Page] withdrawe men farther from that, that the lawe doeth punishe.

The texte. Ye haue heard how that it was sayd: iye for iye, and toeth for toeth. But I say vnto you: Resist not against eui [...]l. But whosoeuer geueth the a blowe on the righte cheke, turne to hym the other also. And if a man will sue thee at the lawe and take away thy coate let hym haue thy cloke also. And if any compell the to goe a mile, goe with him twaine. Geue to hym that asketh thee, and turne not from hym that is desyrous to borowe.

Ye haue heard what the law hath graunted vnto our forefathers in reuen­ging of wrong doinges. It sayeth, iye for iye, and toeth for toeth. For it knew tha [...] [...] myndes were full of reuenging. Therefore hytherto it hath bryde­led the desire of reuenging, that the faulte myghte bee recompensed with the like punishement after the deuice and discrecion of Iudges: and he that had put out an other mannes iye, shoulde loose an iye, and he that had strieken out another mannes toeth, shoulde be punished with the losse of a toeth. For if the reuenging of the iniurie had ben left to the mynde of him that was hurte, of­tentimes he shoulde haue chaunced to haue loste his life for stryking out of a toeth. Therefore the intent of the law was, that vengeaunce should not goe to farre. And I doe not abolishe this lawe, but establishe it. For my doctrine is, that ye shall in no case reuenge iniuries, [...]e they neuer so sore, that ye shall not geue taunt for taunt, nor hurte for hurte, nor wrong for wrong: yea if a man geue you a blowe vpon the cheke, whiche is counted commonly an vntolle­rable rebuke, ye shall not requyte it with a blowe, but rather offer the other cheke to be beaten to, and desire rather to suffer a double displeasure, than to requite the lyke. And if any man will goe to lawe with thee, to take away thy coate, stryue not with hym, but rather euen of thy selfe geue hym thy gowne to. Agayne, if any froward person wil force thee to goe with him the space of a myle, walke with hym two myles, rather then to fall at contencion with hym. By this gentilenes and sufferaunce it shal come to passe, that he which is redy to hurte, shall not be further prouoked, and that thou shalt the soner be deliue­red from griefe, than if one eiuil shoulde spring of another, and a great thing made of a smal, and many matters of one: And further thou shouldest not be disquieted in thy minde, and perchaunce through thy gentilnes, of an enemye thou shouldest make thee a frende. It is a great matter that ye do enterprise. Ye must apply your whole study to these thinges, and litle regarde those try­fling thinges, in getting, and increasing, or in auoyding of the whiche, other men doe bestowe theyr whole life, vnto whome it chaunceth oftentimes that whiles they hunte for these thinges, they lese the heauenly goodes: And yet they liue not pleasantly here, for they heape vp griefes vpon griefes vnto thē selues, intangling themselues with sūdry striefes and hatreds. Through the despising of these thinges, whiche, when you haue them, make you not godly, and whan you haue them not, they make you not vngodly, you shall bothe a­uoide hatred, and also obteyne you loue and good will, and cause youre doc­trine to be of more authoritie and better beleued. Therefore if any man doeth molest t [...]ee for a garmente or a vessel,Geue to hī that asketh thee. or for any other like thing, wherof he is gredy, and would fayne haue it from thee, rather than he should goe about to doe the a displeasure other wayes, graunt him his request, and so thou shalte bynde him vnto thee through thy good turne, & deliuer thy selfe from molesta­cion & griefe. Agayne if any man requireth to borow money of thee, let it not greue the to geue it him, yea though it be so that nothing of it shal returne vn­to [Page xliiii] thee agayn, neither of the vsurie, nor of the stocke it selfe: for he that lendeth money to vsurie doth rather hunt for other mennes, than geue his owne. And why shoulde it greue the to lende hym though thou shouldeste neuer haue it againe, vnto whome thou oughtest to geue freely where thou haddest plentie and he lacked▪ So through your example men shall learne vttrely to neglect these thinges, for whose sake they suffer and doe al thinges.

The texte. ¶Ye haue hearde how it was sayde: Thou shalte loue thy neighbour and hate thine ene­mie. But I say vnto you: loue your enemies. Blesse them that curse you. Dooe [...]ood to them that hate you, pray for them which hurte you, and persecute you, that ye may [...]e the children of your father: whiche is in heauen? for he maketh his sunne to arise on the eiuill and on the good, and sendeth tayne on the iust, and on the vniust. For yf ye loue them whiche loue you, what rewarde haue ye? Doe not the Publycans euen the same? And if ye make much of your brethren onely, what great thing doe ye? doe not also the Publicanes likewise? Ye shal ther­fore be perfect, euen as your father whiche is in heauen is perfecte.

Nowe herken you to that commaundement whiche is counted chiefe in the law. Thou shalte loue thy neighbour & hate thyne enemie. It requireth good will towarde well willers, and them that haue deserued well, but it suffereth to wil them yll that doe hurt vs.But I saye vnto you. &c. Considre how I doe not hinder this precept, but how I adde vnto it. For I am not content with mutuall beneuolence e­mong frēdes, but this I require of you that be ye folowers of my doctrine, that ye loue your enemies, and that ye do not only not hate them that hate you, but prouoke thē with good turnes to loue you. And if they be so farre out of frame that they will not vse your good turne, but continually trouble you and pro­uoke you with yll sayinges and yll doinges,Do good to them yt hate you. yet see that ye in the middeste of your troubles, turne not your good minde from them, but pray vnto god for them that they may chaunge their mindes and repente. Yf ye vse thys gentil­nes towardes all men both good and eiuil, ye shall declare your selues to be the kindely children of the heauenly father, who desiryng all men to be saued, geueth so many folde benefites vnto the woorthy and the vnworthy. For he suffereth his sunne indifferently to shyne vpon them that wurshyp him, and vpon them that despise him, and he suffereth his rayne to profit both the iust and the vniust, prouoking the yll through his benefit to repent, & styrring the good to rendre thankes. The likenes of maners shal bring you to the heauen­ly father,For he ma­keth his sunne. &c and men will beleue that your doctrine cummeth from hym, if they espie in you his notable goodnes. For yf ye loue them that loue you, if ye doe for them that dooe for you, yf ye wil wel to them whiche beare you good will, ye haue escaped blame: but ye haue not deserued prayse. Not to requyte one good tourne for another, is counted a detestable vnkindenes euen emong the heathen and the Publicanes, whose fashion is euil spoken of, euen of the com­mon sorte. To loue him that loueth thee, doeth perteine vnto nature, and not to the vertue of the ghospel. And if ye shewe your selues curteyse and gentle in speche towarde your kinsfolkes, or countrey men onely, and disdayne to sa­lute others,Yf ye loue them which loue you. as though they were straungers, what great thing doe ye? Doth not the heathen men the same? These be common thinges which doe not shew men to be good but that they bee men onely. And those thinges cannot seme excellent, whiche doe chaunce also vnto yll men. Wherfore, I woulde that ye should be perfect and resemble your heauenly father with woondreful lighte [Page] of goodnes, who being omnipotent, yet of his goodnes doeth good to al men, loking for rewarde of no man. He is meke and gentle towardes all men and yet he is hable if he will, out of hande to punishe all men.

¶ The .vi. Chapter.

The texte [...]ake hede that ye geue not almes in the sight of men, to the intent that ye woulde be seene of them, or els ye haue no rewarde with your father which is in heauen. Ther [...]ore whā thou geuest thine a [...]es, let not teumpettes blow before thee, as Hipocrites doe in the Syna­goges and in [...]he stretes, for to be praysed of menne. Uerely I saye vnto you: they haue rec [...]y­ued theyr rewarde. But when thou wilte geue almes, let not thy lefthande knowe what thy ryghthande doeth, that thyne almes may be in secrete, and thy father whiche seeth thee in secrete, shall rewarde thee openly.’

I Haue declared vnto you in what thynges ye ought to passe and exeel the righteousnes of the Scribes and the Phariseis, yf ye will bee my disciples. Nowe shall I shewe you what ought to be auoyded in those thynges whiche seme common, and belonging vnto you bothe. For there is a certayne priuie poyson, whiche doeth in­fecte all the good dedes of the Phariseis, that they de­serue vtterly no prayse of God. It is an holy thyng to releue the nedy. It is a godly thing to talke with god by pure praier. Fasting is a deuout thing: And the phariseis through the setting: furth & bosting of these thinges, doe clayme & obteyne an opinion of high holy­nes before men, wheras they displease god, who doth beholde, not ye outward face, but the inward harte. And they doe worthely displease him, because their hart is fouly infected with vaine glory. They hunt for vaine praise of ye people rather than for a good conscience before god, and whyleste they catche after a vayne rewarde here, they be disapoynted of that, whiche onely ought to be desired. This poyson creping in by secrete vndermining, lyeth in waite priue­ly also for them, whiche be sumwhat entred in the rase of vertue. Wherfore I wil in this be [...]alfe,Take hede that ye geue not almes in y sight. &c. that ye beware and circumspect, that when ye goe about to doe any godly worke, ye desire not rather to doe it openly, than in secrete, to thintent ye might be sene of men, and so hūt after prayse and glory of men. Ye ought alwaies to do wel, whether men se you or se you not. For god doth euer beholde you, of whome you loke for reward. But if ye go about to get ye praise of man for your good dedes, ye lese the rewarde of your heauēly father. Your good worke must not alwaies be kept priuie, but ye muste not play your pa­geaunt in the sight of men, like as players in the stage doe play theyr playe, whose desire is nothing els, but to please the iyes and the eares of the people. But he can not alwaies folow the beste, whiche dooeth apply hymselfe to the iudgement of the common sorte: For ye must please men in suche sorte, that ye may allure thē to your maners and fashions, and not you to goe out of kinde and fal to them. Though praise be fled and shunned, yet it foloweth vertue, of her owne accorde. And that sikerly is true prayse, whiche doeth chaunce with­out ambiciouse seking for. And the whole glory that ryseth of wel doing, must be wholly geuen to god. Ye shall displease him as sone as ye stande in youre own conceite and please your selues, chalenging vnto your selues that which is wholly of his bounteousnes.

[Page xlv]Therefore whosoeuer thou arte that wil folow the lawe of the ghospell, when thou entendest through thy liberalitie, to releue the nedines of the pore: do not as Hipocrites be wont to doe, whiche be men lyke players counterfeted & dis­guised, whiche when they appeare liberall and mercifull, in harte they be both couetous and cruel. For the misery of theyr neighboures moueth thē nothing, but being desirous of glory & renoume, they bye with a litle money, the praise of the people, and would geue vttrely nothing if they wer alone, and saw their brother welnere dead for hunger. Therefore as oft as they geue any thing to the poore, they seke not to be secrete & alone, but they come abrode in the stretes and where as men resorte.Let not test pets blowe before thee And like as players shoulde play the [...] pageaūte, they call furth a numbre of the people with the sounde of the trumpe to toote and to gase, both casting the poor [...] and miserable in the teeth with their mise­rye, and hunting for themselues a vayne and a folish prayse of men. Wyll ye heare what they gayne? Let the people prayse them neuer so much, they haue lost their rewarde of their good dede at goddes hande, whiche doeth measure the godly worke of the sincere affeccion of the minde. He that geueth for praise & glory, he selleth his good turne, he geueth it not. Truely thou must be so far from the affeccion of these men, that when thou geueste any almes, thy lefte­hande must not know what thy righthande doeth, and thou must not desyre to be loked vpon of man, yea and if it wer possible, thou thy selfe shouldest not know that whiche thou doest arighte, and shouldest forget thyne owne dede, and not impate it to any man, that thou hast done wel, nor stande not in thine owne conceite,And thy fa­ther which seeth in se­crete. because thou hast geuen thyne almes, but only reioyce inward­ly, that the poore and nedy is refreshed. What if men knowe not, yea what if he that is succoured knoweth not hym that succoureth hym? It is ynoughe for thee to haue a witnes of the father, from whose iyes nothing can be hid. He wil rewarde thee although thou haue no thanke at all of man.

The texte. And whan thou prayeste thou shalte not be as Hypocrites are. For they vse to stande praying in the synagoges, and in the corners of the siretes, that they may bee [...] men. Uerely I, saye vnto you: they haue theyr rewarde. But whan thou prayest, entre into thy chambre, and whan thou hast [...] thy doore, pray to thy father, which is in secrete: And thy father whiche seeth in secrete, shall rewarde the openly.

Semblablie whan ye make your prayers to god, doe not folow the guise and vsage of Hipocrites, whose special delite is to stande in company of men, and in the corners of the stretes, so often as they pray, for none other entēt but to be sene of men, at whose handes they hunt and loke for the prayse of deuout and holy conuersacion. Let them please themselfe and others also with suche gloryous prayers. This I assure you, nowe they haue their rewarde, whiche they loked for. And what is more vayne then thys rewarde? and for a counter­feit and a false glory they frustrate & set thēselues beside that blessed rewarde,They haue theyr re­warde. which god would haue geuen, if they had offred in his sight, the pure and sin­cere oblacion of theyr prayers. Doe thou therefore contrary wise. When thou prayest, forsake the multitude, enter into thy secrete chamber, & shut the dores, and in secrete vttre thy sincere prayers before thy father. It is ynough that he doeth beholde & see thy godlynes, from whome nothing can be hid. He wil rēder vnto thee ye euerlasting rewarde. These thinges haue I setfurth, to teache you by playne and homely exaumples. For it is not yll to geue almes sumtime before men, or to pray in a multitude, and where as men resort, but than know­eth not the left hand what the right hande doth, when the worke of charitie is [Page] not defiled with any affeccion of worldly vanitie. Then thou art secrete in thy chaumbre▪ when thou speakeste vnto god with such perfecte clerenes of minde, as though no man did beholde thee. He that prayeth in a multitude of menne as earnestely, yea peraduenture more vehementely than if he were alone, he prayeth in his secrete chaumbre. For the ryghte hande and the lefte, or the se­crete chambre, standeth not in the thynges, but in the affeccions and desyres of the har [...]e.

The texte. But whan ye pray, ba [...]le not muche as the heathen doe▪ for they thinke it will come to passe that they shalbe hearde for theyr muche bablinges sake. Be not ye therefore lyke vnto them. For your father knoweth what thinges ye haue nede of, before ye aske of him.

This also must be considered in prayer. It is the affeccion and the harty de­syre that moueth god, not the noyse of the lippes. And it skilleth not how long and how loude the prayer be, but howe feruent and syncere the affeccion and desire is. Wherfore let the example of the heathē men, be farre from you, which do recite, and say long prayers, and ful of many wordes, redy framed, and pre­scribed vnto them, as who woulde say, they shoulde obteine nothyng excepte they weried God with bablyng of many woordes, repetyng one thyng often­times, and prescribing and appoynting with recitall of many wordes, what, when, and howe they woulde haue the thyng perfourmed, whiche they pray for. And yet oftentimes they pray for thynges noysome and hurtefull. We ought to aske of God the best thinges, and not all thynges: and we ought to pray often, rather than much, and vehemently rather than long: finally with the harte rather then with voyce: Neyther alwayes with prescrybed and pur­posed woordes after the custome of the heathen, but so much as the feruencie of the minde, and rauishment towards god, doeth styrre and prouoke. Truely your father loueth to be called vpon, but not to be taught with long prayer what your necessitie doeth require, but to be prouoked through youre godlines to geue the thing, whiche the slothfull and sluggishe deserueth not to [...] for he knoweth what your necessitie doeth require, yea before that he be called vpon.

The texte. After this maner therfore pray ye. Our father whiche arte in heauen, halowed be thy name. Thy kingdome come, thy wil be done in yearth as it is in heauen. Geue us this day oure dayly bread. And forgeue vs our trespasses as we forgeue them that trespasse againste vs. And leade vs not into temptacion, but deliuer vs from euell. For thine is the kyngdome, and the power, and the glory for euer. Amen.

Therefore be ye vnlike to the heathen men, bothe in life and also in maner of praying. And if ye will haue a fourme and maner of the euangelicall pray­er prescrybed and set forthe vnto you, thys is the worthy prayer, wherewith the true and naturall children ioyned with brotherly charitie, may speake vn­to the heauenly father: father vnto all men indifferently: of whome although ye haue all thinges yet those chiefely oughte to be requyred whiche make for the attaynemente of the euerlastyng lyfe. For all the other thynges he will caste vnto you, euen of hys owne accorde, as an encrease and aduauntage, ac­cording to the desires of his children, as he is a most bounteful father.

Whose glory ye ought to regarde aboue al thinges, to whome al glory is due in heauen and in yearth. To perteine vnto his kyngdome is to conquere the tyranny of the diuell. To be subiecte vnto hys will is to rule and reygne. Of whose free liberalitie it cummeth, whatsoeuer doeth norishe and reuiue mens hartes to the perfeccion of the ghospell.

[Page xlvi]But he will not heare you vnlesse ye accorde and agree in one: and concorde and agreement cannot lightly be, vnles ye forgeue [...]che others offences, with­out whiche men do not liue in this wo [...]lde, although they endeuour towarde that taynement of perfeccion. And through this concorde ye shal be safe by the ayde of your father aga [...]nste the frowarde temptoure, yf ye watche well, and busily call for the helpe of your good father, against that naughty one. Wherfore in vaine calleth he vpon the father with this fourme of prayer that I teache, whiche is not of thys sorte, whiche neither feareth, nor lou [...] God, which liueth to himselfe, which foloweth hys owne glory more than goddes, whiche gape [...]h for worldely goodes and authorytie, whiche had rather haue thinges pleasaunte to his owne appetite, than thinges pleasaunte vnto God, whiche sueth after earthely thinges more than heauenly, whiche setteth lesse by the qualities of the minde, than bodely commodities, whiche is at va­ryaunce with his brother, whiche through ryot and dyspleasures vseth hym­selfe sluggishe against the assaultes of the deiuil. And the maner of prayer is after this sorte. Our father whiche haste regenerate vs to heauen, who were once vnluckiely borne of Adā,Our father which arte in heauē, &c & prepared for vs (forsaking earthely thinges) a kingdom & inheritaunce euerlasting, which art sayd to be in heauen because thou doest replenish all, & hast no manner of drosse or earthly infirmitie: graūt that thy name may be honourable and gloryouse emong menne through vs, which by thy benefite, be perfect and pure For it is not our glory but thy gift, whatsoeuer is well done of vs. Let the tyranny of Satan be abolished, that thy kyngdome dayly may preuayle more and more, whiche dooeth not stande in riches or worldely strength, but in mildenes, chastitie, softenes, sufferance fayth, and charitie: that vices and yll desires once chased away, thy heauen­ly vertues may florysh, and shewe themselues emongest men, and that it may come to passe at lengthe, that lyke as in heauen all thynges bee pec [...]able and quiet, and all creatures there doe obey most humbly thy commaundementes: so lykewise there be none in yearth whiche be not obedyent to thy moste [...]ly will,Geue vs this day. &c euery man as farre fur [...]h as the weakenes of nature doth suffer, diligēt­ly recording now that which shal come to passe perfectly in the life to come. O father nourish that thou hast brought furth, see vnto vs, that the bread of thy heauenly doctrine doe not fayle vs, that we may bee dayly stayed, growe vp, and made luslie by the taking thereof, to the obseruacion and kepyng of thy commaundementes. And alienate not thy minde away from vs being offen­ded with our trespasses, but for thy clemencie and mekenes pardon our offen­ces whiche we commit through infirmitie and weakenes, that we may haue peace with thee, like as we emong our selues forgeuing eche other, if one hath offended an other, conserue mutuall concorde and amitie.

Thou being merciful, we feare nothing, and being vnderset with concorde, we be made stronger againste our common enemy. Unto whome we beseche thee (if it be possible) deliuer vs not to be tempted. For we knowe his malice, we know his frowardnes and craftines. And if thou suffer vs to fall into tēp­tacion, to thintent to trie the constancie of our mynde, o thou merciful father, deliuer vs from that naughtie ciuil. Uouchesafe of thy goodnes, to graunt & make sure these our desires. See therfore how many thinges this short pray­er doeth comprise, that nedes he must be perfect whosoeuer doeth rightly pro­nounce this praier, that is, who so doeth pronoūce it with mouth that the hart [Page] and affeccion agree vnto the same. First it teacheth you to depend wholly vpō none other but the heauenly father, to whom ye owe that ye be made, to whom ye owe that ye be redemed from sinne, to whome ye owe whatsoeuer vertues ye haue▪ He is called father, that ye may vnderstande he is full of mercye and bounteousnes: he is sayde to dwel in heauen, that ye shoulde lift vp your har­tes thither, despising yearthly goodes. Ye cal him youres, that no man should v [...]dicate any thing propre vnto himselfe, seeyng that whatsoeuer they haue cummeth vnto all men of his onely liberalitie. And in this behalfe there is an equalitie of kinges and seruauntes. Ye wishe onely his glory, that no man in the earth a [...]ribe vnto himselfe, prayse of any thing, whereof ariseth insolency and stoutnes of minde. Ye wishe that he should reigne, that he should be obey­ed and not you. For the vertues be his which doe worke by you. It is his doc­trine whiche ye shall deliuer vnto men from me. And it is not ynough to per­sist and abide in hys vertues, but ye must dayly encrease and goe forewarde in goodnes, and for this ye aske of hym, that woondrefull bread whiche his will is that it shoulde be dayly asked, because he doeth daily geue it, and he willeth it to be asked of him, to put you in remembraunce that all good thinges come from him. Finally that ye shoulde bee the more ware to fall from the charitie of so bounteouse a father, he dooeth monyshe you of that frowarde Sathan, whiche neuer ceasseth to lye in watche for the godly, to plucke them backe into hys tyranny.

The texte. Therefore if ye forgeue men their trespasses, your heauenly father will forgeue you. But if ye will not forgeue men their trespasses, neither wil[?] your father forgeue you your trespasses.

Wherefore, before ye speake vnto your father with this prayer, considre with your selues, whether ye desire truely the thing that ye aske, and whether ye be mete persones to be hearde of youre father in suche thinges as ye pray for. But chiefly this ye must duely searche with your selues, whether ye haue ami­ [...] and concorde with your neyghboures. Euen suche a father shall ye fynde hym towardes you, as your neighboure findeth you towardes hym. He wyll not knowe hym for hys sonne, whiche doeth not agree with his brother. If ye forgeue them that offende you, your heauenly father wyll forgeue all that ye trespasse against hym. But yf ye will be harde and sore againste other menne, your father will not forgeue you youre offences. Wilte thou not forgeue thy felow seruaunt, whome on thy behalfe at one tyme or at other thou hast offen­ded again, and requirest thou of God forgeuenes of thy trespasse, whome thou arte hable by no meanes to recompence with forgeuyng agayne hys offence made to thee?

The texte. Further, whan ye false, bee not sory as hipocrites bee. For they disfigure their faces, that it may appere vnto men that they fast. Uerely I say vnto you, they haue theyr reward. But whan thou dooeste faste, anoynte thyne head, and washe thy face, that it appere not vnto men, that thou dooest faste but vnto thy father, who is in secrete: and thy father that seeth thee in secrete, shall rewarde thee openly.

Nowe ye perceiue what difference ought to be betwene your almesse and the almesse of the phariseis, and betwene your prayers & their prayers. Now harken what difference ought to be betwene youre fastes and theyrs, if ye will haue them acceptable to the father, and profitable to your selues. It is not the forbearing of the meate that commendeth fastyng vnto god, but the pure and cleane affeccion of the minde, feruently desiring to please god onely. [Page xlvii] Wherefore as often as godlynes shal prouoke you to fast, folow not certeine menne whiche be not fasters, but counterfeyters of fasting, setting foorthe the colour and cloke of fasting with a sower countenaunce, not intending that in dede, wherefore fasting shoulde be vsed, that is to say, eyther to pacyfie god, or to chastice the body, wherby the minde might be the more free and redy to ap­ply and ensue holy thinges: but by this coulour they hunt for vaine prayse of men, for whose sake despising god, they play this pagent. For to this purpose they disfigure theyr faces with palenes and sowernes, that by the behauiour of their body, menne may see that they doe fast. This is certayne: There is no cause why they should looke after any rewarde of God for these good dedes: For now they haue their rewarde: attayning that which they hunted for with theyr fasting. But so often as thou doest fast, appeare rather not to faste, and appeare to be mery, annointing thy head and washing thy face, leste men per­ceiue that thou doest fast. And thinke not that fast to be vnprofitable, whiche is hid from men. It suffiseth to thee, that thy father seeth it, from whome no­thing is hid. And he that seeth in secrete, in the stede of vaine praise of mē, wil rewarde thee with the perfect rewarde. Againe, I say not this that it should be wicked that men shoulde know of thy fasting, but that thy minde shoulde abhorre from the desire of vayne praise. Than no man seeth thy fasting, when thou doest fast not to thintent to be scene of any man. Than onely god doth see thy fasting, when thou dost fast with this entent, that thou wouldest as glad­ly fast though no man should see thee when thou doest faste.

The texte ¶Lay not vp for your selues treasures vpon yearthe, where the rust and mothe doeth cor­rupte, and where theues breake through and steale. But lay vp youre treasures in heauen, where neither rust nor mothe doeth corrupte, and where theues doe not breake through nor steale. For where your treasure is, there wil your hearte be also.

The common sorte of men not considering these thinges, whiles they hunt for smal and visible rewardes of men, be disapoincted of the inuisible and true rewarde, which for wel doing God doeth geue aboundauntly. In li [...] ease be they whiche with much thought and care, doe gather together and heape vp riches, and hide them in the ground for losing, albeit this is euen to lose them in dede. He that dealeth and bestoweth his riches rightly, it is he that layeth them vp surely. For that that thou hidest in the grounde, is not profitable vn­to thee, but is in daungier of mothes, rust, & theues, so that thou hast nothing of them, but a miserable carefulnes to get them & to kepe them. These thinges must be gotten neither carefully nor vnmeasurably. And when they be gotten or come by chaunce, they must be redily distributed if any haue nede, or els so bestowed, that necessitie of nature may be holpen, and not ryot maynteyned, nor any disease of the minde be serued and satisfied. And yet all menne for the moste parte vnto this thing apply theyr whole studie and care, as though po­uertie made men miserable, and ryches indued them with felicitie. And why­les they folow after these false goodes, which will shortely forsake theyr mai­sters, they forake the eternall goodes, whiche indue them with true felicitie, and can not be taken away. But ye of the other side, hasting with all endeuour to the best and most perfect thynges, whereby ye shall be riche in dede, lay vp your treasures in heauen, the keping of the whiche, can not trouble you with cumberous carefulnes.

[Page]For neyther ruste nor mothe dooeth destroy suche maner of riches, nor theues doeth not digge it vp nor steale it, of whiche chaunces, worldely goodes be in daunger. If ye lay vp these goodes with your father, he will kepe them safe­ly for you, and your minde shall not sticke grouelyng on the grounde beeyng oppressed with these filthy cares, but it shall despise these vile and fading thin­ges, and be rauished vp vnto heauenly thynges, for where as a mannes trea­sour is, which he loueth entierely, there is his harte also. Therfore they haue no high nor heauenly thought, which hath gathered riches and hid thē in the ground. They walke and wander hither and thither, but their harte is in the hole where the money is hid. And if the minde be corrupt, either by the disease of vayne glory or auarice, whatsoeuer is done, must nedes be vicyouse.

The texte. The light of the body is the [...]. Wherefore if thine [...]ye be single, all thy body shal be ful of light But if thine iye be n [...]ught, all thy body shal be full of darkenes. Wherefore yf the light that is in thee be darkenes, how great is the darkenes?

For first it is to be considered, what is chiefely to be desired, and whereby we may obteine that which we doe aske: furthermore as the candel is in the house as the iye is in the body, so is the minde in man. If the light of the minde bee not faultie through the darkenes of false opinions, and yll desires, if the iye of the minde deeth looke none other way, than to the true marke, whatsoeuer is done throughout all the life is acceptable vnto God, and euery thing helpeth towardes the heape of felicitie. Like as if there be a great candel in the house, there is no stumbling nor falling: so if thine iye be cleare and whole, it geueth sight to al the membres, and no parte stumbleth or wandreth, the iye being the captaine and guide. Againe if the iye of the body be faultie, no membre doeth his duetie well. For there is no right iudgement whan that parte of oures is faultie by ye which only we do iudge. Therfore if that part of thee which is ge­uen thee for light, be turned into darkenes, how great shal the darkenes of the other partes be, whiche haue no lighte of themselues? If reason be blynded with desires, and iudgeth that to be good which is miserable▪ & iudgeth that chie [...] [...] bee desyred, which is to be despised or not to be regarded, into what darkenes shal men be drawen through ambicion, filthy luste auarice, folishe­nes, angre, enuy, hatred, and other perturbacions and troubles of the minde, whiche of theyr owne nature be full of darkenes? Therefore let youre iye bee cleane and sincere, that it may beholde the beste, and let it beholde and looke vpon the best thinges, either onely or chiefely.

The texte. No manne can serue two maisters. For either he shall hate the one and loue the other, or els leaue to the one and dispyse the other. Ye cannot serue god and Mammon. Therefore I saye vnto you: bee not careful for your lyfe▪ what ye shall eate or drinke, nor yet for your bo­dy what garment ye shall put on. Is not the life more worth than meate? and the body more woorth than [...]ayment? Beholde the fowles of the ayer, for they sowe not, nor reape not, nor cary into the barnes: and your heauenly father fedeth them. Are ye not muche better than they?

Thinke not those men woorthy to bee hearde, whiche deuide themselues betwene God and men, betwene yerthe and heauen, and so folowe thinges e­ternal, that they wil not dispise thinges temporall. For they doe nothing els, but where as they woulde catche bothe, they obteine neyther of bothe. Thys heauenly Philosophie like as it doeth promise great rewardes: so it doeth re­quire the whole man.

[Page xlviii]And emong men a man shal not find two of such gētil cōdicions yt one seruaūt can be hable to please both. So it cūmeth to passe, that thone must be forsaken or els neither can be satisfied. And if the maisters be of contrary appetites and do square within thēselues by some greuous debate, it must nedes be that the seruaunt if he wil please the one, must not onely forsake thother, but also sticke vnto the one, & hate the other, whome he hath forsaken. And if he wil go from this againe vnto thother, he must nedes translate and tourne his loue and ser­uice vnto him onely, and dispise thother whome he hath forsaken. And who be so contrary one to an other,Ye can not serue God and māmō. as God and Mammon? how can one [...] two, whan they commaunde so diuers thinges? God commaundeth thee to geue of that thou hast to the neady. Mammon cōmaundeth the to take away other mens by right and by wrong. God commaundeth the to prouide for thy bro­ther which is in danger. Mammon cōmaūdeth the to liue to thyself. God com­maundeth sobrenes, Mammon teacheth excesse and ryot. Wherefore ye flat­ter your selues in vayne, if ye beleue that that thing may be doone, whiche is vnpossible, that is, to serue both God and Mammon. His seruaūt is eche man to whome he is wholly geuen. Ye see howe riches do [...]e possesse them full and whole, which do trauaile for it with so great tumult & busines, which defende them and kepe them with so great carefulnes, whiche forgoe thē with so great griefe: for these they suffer all thinges, for these they dooe all thinges. Whoso hath bound himselfe to this seruice, can not be the seruaūt of god: he requireth the whole manne and cannot abide the feloweship of so fowle and filthy a mai­ster, nor can not abide a dimy seruant, which is partaker with his aduersary. But the common sorte of ryche men are wont to excuse the sore of auarice, by the pretence of mans necessitie. They say by these thynges men prouyde for a­gainst hunger and nakedness▪ So speake they which doe not depend wholy of god, but put their trust in their owne defence and ayde. My wil is ye should be voide from this carefulnes, leste it withdrawe you from the desire of better thinges. The necessitie of nature is content with very litle, & euery where it is to be had, that may suffice for such, as I wil my seruantes to be. For either [...] liberalitie of good menne alwaies ready shal suffice, or elles diligence and la­boure shall prouyde that thyng whiche may ease necessitie.What ye shall eate or drinke, &c. Fynally yf none of these helpe, the father wil not, forsake those that be his: for he that geueth the greater thynges, will caste the smaller thynges to them, whiche with all theyr hartes desyre after heauenly thinges, although they be not carefull for the worlde. Therefore lay not vp nor hoorde not for a long tyme, bee not vexed with carefulnes of meate without whiche ye cannot liue, neyther with carefulnes of apparell that couereth youre body, and kepeth you from colde. Is not the lyfe more precyous than meate? Is not the body more precyous than the garment? He that hath geuen these better thynges, and hath geuen them to suche as were not careful, shall it greue him to nourishe and preserue that which he hath geuen with these thinges of lesse valewe and estimacion? If ye desire an exaumple, looke vpon other lyuyng thynges, whiche the ma­ker of all thinges hath made for youre sake. Hath he not prouyded a lyuyng for al thinges that he hath made? Consider the birdes of the ayer: they sow not, they reape not, they lay not vp in barnes, carefull for tyme to come, they liue from day to day without all carefulnes: whatsoeuer they get, they take it ioy­fully, & yet the heauenly father geueth meate vnto them all. And wil he disa­poynte [Page] you whome he estemeth farre aboue the byrdes? And if he be carefull ouer you (as he is in dede) is not your carefulnes in vayne? If he forsake you, what shall youre carefulnes preuayle? As he hath geuen a body after his owne deuise, so will he geue a liuing after his owne deuise.

The texte. ¶ Whiche of you by carefull thoughte, can adde one cubit [...] vnto his stature? And why care ye so: taymente? Co [...]syder the [...]llies of the fyelde howe they growe. They labour not, they spinne not. And yet I say vnto you: No not Salomon in all his royaltie was apparay­led lyke one of these. Wherefore yf god so appa [...]ayleth the grasse of the fielde whiche stan­ding this day, to morow is cast into the furnace, shall he not much more doe the same for you, oye o [...] [...] sayth?

Wil ye se how vnprofitable ye carefulnes of the minde is about such thinges? What man is there (be he neuer so carefull) that can adde one cubite to the sta­ture of his body? But euery mannes body though he thynke nothyng vpon it groweth with certayne increase vnto a quantitie appoynted of god. If thou cast away all care, thy body shal be nothing the shorter. If thou be vexed with care thy body shall bee nothyng the hygher. Therefore he that maketh the bo­dy bigge and strong without thy carefulnesse, he will prouyde liuyng for thee without thy carefulnes, who doeth withdraw thee from care of those thinges whiche be not gotten without our diligence. It is great folishnes therfore to feare leste ye should lacke foode, for as much as ye see that birdes be prouided for sufficiently. And now leste ye should be careful for prouision of apparel for the body, consider the lil [...]es whiche doe spring and growe in the fieldes with­out the care of any man. They labour not, nor spinne not, and who doeth pro­uyde them of apparell,No not Sa­lomon in all his royaltie &c. as semeth good to hym, who but the heauenly father? And he doth so prouide, that neyther Salomon the notable ryche & gay king was euer so apparelled, whan he chiefely did [...]et foorth the glory of his riches, as one of these poore lilies, smally regarded and set by, which grow not onely in gardens, wher man bestoweth some labour and diligence, but grow also in medowes of their own accorde. For the labour & care of mā can make nothing so elegant and fit as the prouidence of nature. And if the heauenly father doth ga [...] and clothe so freshely the vile gras [...]e, which shortely shall perishe, and to day is freshe in the fieldes, and to morowe cut downe, and dryed and caste into the furnes: why haue ye so litle trust in him, sith he hath geuē you thinges of greater excellencie, and sith he hath made you to be immortal, and sith also he hath specially prepared you for the glory of hys name, that ye will thinke that ye shall lacke apparell, which ye ought to seke for and prepare, not for ad­ourning and gaynesse, but for necessitie and nedefulnes?

The texte. Therefore take no thought, saying: what shall we eate, or what shal we drinke, or wher­with shal we be clothed? After all these thinges the Gentiles seke. For your heauenly father knoweth that ye haue nede of all these thinges. But rather seke first the kingdome of God and the righteousnes therof▪ and al these thinges shalbe cast vnto you. Be ye not careful for to morowe, for to morowe shall care for it se [...]fe: sufficient is vnto the day, his owne trauayle.

Therefore ye that haue god to your father so benignely prouiding for the bir­des, prouiding for floures and grasse, of the whiche the one lacketh reason, the other hath no feling: sith ye se and perceiue that he tendreth & maketh so much of you, enduing your body, which is made with merueylous prouidence, with a soule reasonable, and like vnto the angelical mindes, not disdaining that ye shoulde be called his children: chosing you out from emong all men through [Page xlix] his free charitie, by whose pure lyfe and sincere doctrine he might be knowen & glorified through out all mankinde, whō he hath appoynted to thinheritaūce of the euerlastyng lyfe: Cast away this carefulnes of vile and filthy thynges, & saye not doubtfully and fearefully, what shall we eate? what shal we drinke? or what shall we put on? These be the sayinges of ye heathen and not of Chri­sten men, for they either beleue not that god is, or els beleue not that he is care­full ouer men. Neither haue they learned that there is any other better life, to set their mynde and care vpon. Therfore distrustyng goddes helpe & [...] mannes felicitie in thynges of the bodye, they prepare with muche carefulnes those thinges, that do perteyne to their liuing & apparel, or other commoditie of the body. They leape for ioy when these thynges chaunce vnto them, they sounde for feare, when these thynges be in daunger: They be vexed with sorowfulnes, and sumtyme hang themselfes, when these thynges bee taken awaye. And thus through carefulnes cleauyng vnto these corruptible thinges, they neither liue pleasauntly here, nor can lift vp their hartes vnto the study and desire of heauenly thynges. Emong men, who is so wicked a father, that wil not prouide for his children thinges necessary for the sustentacion of theyr life? Ye haue a father so riche, so bountefull, so circumspecte, that he is sufficient for all, to enriche all, and leue nothyng vnprouided for, be it neuer so litle or vile. And feare ye that he will not prouide for his children these thynges, with­out the whiche they cannot lyue? Laye this carefulnes vpon him, he knoweth well that ye haue nede of all these thynges. And he is not so harde that he wyl withdraw thinges necessary from such as be occupied in his busines. But sum wyll saye: what then? Shall we not gette vs with oure handye worke where­by we maye norishe our selues, our wyfe and our children? where by we maye ease the pouertie of the poore? Yes truely, but wythout all carefullnes.

For truely the common people dothe double their misery, bothe laborynge with the body, and beyng also carefull in the mynde. They sowe, beyng care­full leste that whiche they sowe shoulde not cum vp, they mo [...]e beyng care [...] leste the warrier or the these should take awaye that whiche is cut downe be­for it be laied vp in the ba [...]e, they lay vp in theyr graner, beeyng carefull leste any infeccion shoulde hurte their corne, or lest any fyer shoulde rise and destroy it. Finally because they haue aniye to plenty, and not to the present necessitie, they heape vppe for a long time, and they neuer haue ynough as thought they were sure to lyue longe. Wherfore if the matter so requireth, ye muste labour, but without al carefulnes. Yf ye chaunce to haue money without fraude, and muche busynes, take it▪ but in suche wyse, that the carefulnes thereof, wyth­drawe you nothyng frō the busynes of the gospel.S [...]he ye firste the kyngdom of god. &c For your matters are grea­ter than that the carefulnes of lighte, triefleyng, & corruptible thynges should withdrawe you from them. Let your chefe care be aboute that▪ good thyng▪ in comparison of the whiche, these worldly thynges be of no value nor reputaci­on. The kyngdome of God must be set vppe, that is to saye, the doctrine of the gospell, by the which we attayne vnto the heauenly inheritaunce. Whereof I haue chosen you to be the preachers and setters furth, and haue showed you what excellent vertues be nedeful to the doyng of this thyng▪ that is bothe to loue your enemyes, and to wyshe well vnto them, who seketh your destrucciō. These thynges because they be chiefe and highest, whiche come not vnto you from youre father without your diligence and carefulnes, ye must first & chief­ly [Page] seke for them. The other smaller thinges whiche pertayne vnto the necessi­tie of this life, the good & gracious father wyll cas [...]e vnto you as an augmen­tacion, and that of his owne accorde, without any carefulnes on your behalfe, that for bothe causes ye shoulde render thankes vnto his bountifulnes, bothe because he hath geuen you those high and these thinges, you endeuoryng vnto the same: and also because he hath caste vnto you these thynges, withoute any carefulnes on your behalfe. He wyll not haue you greued with cares, whiche [...] more troubled, but not the better. And this busines that ye take in hande,Be ye not carefull for to morowe. is so great and weighty, that it requireth ye whole mynde, ry [...] and voy­ded from all cares. Wherfore as men that liueth from daye, to daye, beynge contente with thynges presente & at hande, be not greued nor vexed wyth care­fulnes of thynges to cum, lyke as the common sorte of men dothe, doublyng theyr affliccion, both doyng what they can to prouide for the present necessitie, and troubling themselues with feare of thinges to cum. Whatsoeuer this daie offereth vnto you, receyue it we thankes geuing. Let the morow care for it self whatsoeuer it bryngeth. Yf it bryng any good, ye shall not hange in hope: Yf it bryng any yll, ye shall not preuent your trouble, with feare of yll to cum. This life hath his affliccions, whiche it nedeth not to double with feare. For it is ynoughe to suffer them, when they cum: so that it is not nedeful for feare to make them presente before they cumme. Tyme doth alter and bryng these thinges in mannes lyfe, mynglyng ioye with sorowe, and yet all shall tourne you vnto good, yf ye take well in worthe whatsoeuer shall chaunce, and sette your care wholy vpon the heauenly kyngdome.

¶ The .vii. Chapiter.

The texte. Iudge not, that ye be not iudged. For as ye iudge so shall ye be iudged. And with what [...] ye meete, with the same shall other men measure to you.’

THere is an other thyng also, wherin I woulde ye shoulde be farre from the manners of the Scrybes and Phariseis. For they pardon themselues in great and greuouse synnes, but agaynst [...] theyr brother beyng an offender, they be moste vnmercyfull iud­ges, yea falsely reprouyng thynges that be well, sinistrally ex­poundyng thynges that be doutfull, makyng very muche of thynges that be light and small: Finally if they see a manne fall into any greuouse cryme, they endeuour more to destroye hym, than to heale and saue hym. And yet hereof they seke for a name of ryghteousnes, because they be very [...]lowt and sore a­gaynst other mennes faultes, whereas they do it neyther for the lo [...]e of their neighboures, (whome they desyre rather to be destroied than corrected, and to be slanndered openly,Iudge not that ye be not iudged. rather than amended,) neyther for the hatred of vice, whereas they maintayne and pardon theyr owne vices farre greater than the others. But the iudgementes that ye haue, must sauour of the euāgelicall cha­ritie, whyche redily dothe forgeue, which misdeme [...]he no man rashely wythout caus [...], which dothe expounde euery doubtefull thyng to the best, whiche doth [Page l] gently tolerate and suffer many thynges, whiche desyreth rather to heale than to punishe whiche consyderyng her owne infirmitie and weakenes, so iud­geth other mennes offences, as she woulde be iudged offendyng her selfe. Finally she taketh not vpon her an high countenaunce in chiding and checking other mennes faultes, if she finde her selfe gyltye in lyke or in greater. Fyrst she becummeth her owne iudge, before she blameth or monishe [...]h other. And in the meane season it chaunceth to those high minded menne, that the example of an vntusi iudgement, lighteth vpon the iudges themselues, and they finde other like iudges ouer theyr life, as they were ouer others. Iudge not ye therfore af­ter suche forte, leste ye be iudged in like maner of others. For els it shall cumme to passe, that as ye iudge other men, so other men shall iudge you. And as ye measure to other men, so other men shall measure to you. For like as a good turne prouoketh a good turne, and mercifulnes prouoketh mercifulnes, so re­profe prouoketh reprofe, and cruelnes prouoketh cruelnes. He that speaketh yll by his neyghboure, shall be as yll spoken by.

The texte Why seest thou a mote in thy brothers [...]ye, and markest not the beame in th [...]ne owne iye [...] or howe sayeste thou to thy brother: suffer me to plucke oute a mote oute of thyne iye, & be­holde a beame is in thyne owne iye? & hou hipocryte, firste ca [...]e out the beame oute of thyne owne iye, and thou shalte thou clerely see to plucke oute a more out of thy brothers iye.

For no men be so sore agaynste the light offenses of theyr neyghboure, as they that swarme with much greater vices. One slādereth his brother because he weareth a looce garmente, where he hymselfe is full of enuy. An other spea­keth euell of his brother, because being ouercome with weakens of the fleshe he vsethe a concubyne, where as he himselfe is wholly the seruaunt of auarice and ambicion. An other abhorreth his brother because he is a greate bibber, whereas he hymselfe hath in his harte a numbre of murders and sorceries, be­yng so blynde that he can not see his own bunches, and yette can spye a lytell warte in his neyghboure. What a wrong and waiwarde iudgemente is this? Euery mā ought to be a sharpe iudge in his owne faultes, and more milde in other mennes. Euery man ought to loke narrowly to his owne faultes and not to be ouer busy in other mennes. And euery man ought fyrst to be hys owne physician, before he laye handes on an other man.

Why doeste thou see a mote in thy brothers iye, and canste not see a blocke in thyne owne iye? or with what face doeste thou saye to thy brother: Lette me take a mote out of thyne iye,Thou hipo­crite firste cast oute, & [...] where as thou carrieste a blocke in thyne owne iyes? Thou hypocryte whiche doeste hunte for prayse of holynes emong menne, not of thyne owne goodnes, but of other mennes [...]uylies, fyrste caste the blocke out of thyne owne iye, and than loke with thy pure and cleane iye, whether there by anymore whiche thou mayest caste out of thy brothers iye. Like as with the iye we iudge the thynges of the body: so with the mynde, we iudge the thinges of the mynde. Therfore that must be fault [...]es, wherewith we iudge another mannes faulte. And he must fyrst teache himselfe, whiche taketh vpon hym to teache others: and he must be his owne iudge, whiche entendeth to gyue sentence of other: and he muste mo [...]yshe hym selfe, whiche goethe a­bout to monishe others.

The texte. Geue not ye that which is holy vnto [...]ogges, and caste not your, pearels before swine, les [...]e they tread them v [...]der theyr feete: and the other turne agaynst you and all to rente you.

[Page]And these thynges perteyne chiefly vnto them, whiche take cure and charge of the people. And althoughe I woulde ye shoulde be prompte and redy to do all men good, and to suffer them that do you wronge, and to be mylde, gentyll, and indifferent towardes them that fall by mannes infirmity and weakenes: Finally to be suche towardes theim whiche be peruerse and frowarde, that ye had rather to amende them▪ then to distroye them: yet I woulde not that the mysteries of the euangelicall wysdome, shoulde be vttered and declared in­differently to the worthy and vnworthy.

And cast not your pearles be­fore swine.For if the Iewes dooe so esteme theyr mysteries and holy thynges, that they kepe them from the dogges, whiche is a fylthy cattel: Yf ryche menne so regarde theyr preciouse pearles, that they wyll not caste them to the hogges lyke madde menne: ye whiche haue in possession the holy thynges in dede, whiche do passe all preciouse pearles, be they neuer so hyghe of pryce, beware that ye caste not the ryches and treasure of the ghospell vnto suche as be vn­worthye. For they be dogges, whiche beynge wholy geuen to prophane and worldly thynges, abhorre those thynges that sauoure of holynes. They be swyne, whyche beyng wholy drowned in fylthy pleasures, do deteste the pure and chaste doctrine of the ghospell. Rotten karcases and fylthye vometynge is more pleasaunte vnto dogges, than all sawse and swete spices.

The swyne had rather haue myre, than preciouse stones. Therfore whoso­euer doeth openly despise holsome doctrine, beeynge without all hope of anye good fruite: ye ought not to put into them the secretes of the heuenly doctrine, leste by occasion they maye be prouoked to be worse than euer they were be­fore: and leste the same chaunce by them, whiche should happē yf a man should caste margarites to swyne, or holy thynges to dogges. For dogges wyll not onely vn [...]euerently vse the holy thyng, but also beyng prouoked, if they be cast at, will run vpō you, and teare you with their teeth. And the swyne will treade with theyr feete the preciouse stones like rubbell and rubbishe. So the dogge is not the holyer for the holy thynge, but doth prophane and defyle the holy thyng: and the swyne is not the trymmer for the preciouse stones, but dothe de­fyle the purenes of them. Lykewise men of desperate malice, do skorne the holy doctrine as a folishe thyng, when they knowe it, and do falsely reproue it as a wicked thynge: and dooe trouble and putte thē to busynes, whiche dooe teache it. Wherfore the wisdome of the ghospell must be communicated & deliuered vnto thē, that be desyrous of it, or at the leaste to such as be curable. All thinges must not furthwith be cōmitted to all men, but as euery man weweth a profe of his towardnes and profiting: so certaine secretes must be opened vnto him.

The texte. Aske and it shall be geuen you: seke and ye shall fynde: Knocke and it shall be opened vnto you. For whosoeuer asketh, receiueth: and whosoeuer seketh, findeth: and to him th [...] knocketh it shall be opened. Is there any man emong you, which if his sonne askethe breade, will geue him a stone? or if he asketh fyshe, wyll he offer hym a serpente? If ye [...]han beey [...], [...]uyll canne geue youre children good gyftes, howe muche more shall your father geue good thynges, if ye aske of him.

Aske and it shal be geuē you, &c▪These excellente iewelles lyke as ye ought not to cōmunicate thē to all men: [...] they cum not from God the father to suche as be sluggishe & ydell. He geueth these thinges, but vnto suche as gredely craue thē: he denieth not these thynges to them that seke them diligently: he restreigneth not from this treasure, them that knocke importunatly. Aske therfore of the father not gēmes or golde, but [Page li] these true and inestimable riches of the mynde: aske I saye, and ye shal haue your asking. Seeke and ye shall finde, knocke and it shalbe opened vnto you. Your father is riche & bountifull, he denieth none, he enuieth none his ryches, but he wyll haue theyr pryce and value knowen. But he dothe not knowe the pryce of thē, whiche desireth fayntly. Therfore whoso dothe aske as he ought, he receyueth: whoso seketh gredely, he fyndeth: whoso knocketh at the doore instantly, to him it shall be opened. It is he that asketh well, which asketh hol­some thinges, and whiche asketh with a sure trust: he seketh well which seketh with contynuall desyre: he knocketh well, whiche doth prouoke and moue goddes goodnes wyth good workes.

And in case ye receyue not forthwith that ye aske, yet distruste nor the boun­tifulnes and liberalitie of your father. For he wil [...]eue whan nede shal require, and asmuche as shalbe nedeful, yf ye perseuer and continue. For god is as sone entreated of his children,If ye then being yll, cā geue your childrē good gyftes. &c. as manne being a father is intreated of his chil­dren. For what father is there emong you so vnkynde, that yf his sonne require a profitable thyng, as is bread, wil he not geue him that he requireth, but for bread wyll he geue him stones? Or if he aske hym fyshe for to eate, wil he geue hym a serpent in stede of fishe? Truely he woulde denye it, yf his sonne shoulde aske hym a stone, or serpente, or some other noysome thyng. Ye therfore whiche be naturally geuen to yll, and also in other thynges yll for the moste parte, yet in this behalfe, not by vertue but throughe the instigacion of nature, ye kepe this honest and naturall affection, that ye can geue profytable thynges vnto your children: Howe muche more than will your heauenly father beyng natu­rally good, do the same? Wyll not he geue vnto you his chyldren, his good thynges, yf ye styrre and call vpon, with feruent and contynuall desyres, his bountefull goodnes?

The texte. ¶Therefore whatsoeuer ye will that men should do to you, do ye the lyke to them also: For this is the lawe and the prophetes.

And as touchyng the lyfe of manne, whiche is hurte or holpen with mut [...] ­all gentylnes and iniuries of bothe sydes, because it were to long to g [...]e pre­ceptes and lessons of them seuerally, I wyll geue you a generall rule, whiche is naturally planted and graued in all men. Euery man well aduised, wylleth well to himselfe: but the common sorte of menne so loue themselfes that they wyll prouyde for their owne commoditie, to other mennes hurte and hynde­raunce. But ye muste not do the lyke: but as ye woulde wyshe others to be to­wardes you, euen suche be ye towardes others. Euery man that is in igno­raunce desyreth to be taughte: euery man that dothe amisse, desireth louingly and secretly to be monished, rather than to be openly blamed: euery mā that is [...]edy, woulde gladly haue ayde and souccoure: no man woulde be backebyted nor slaundered, nor hindred of his good name. Therfore of this common witte and vnderstandyng, whiche is geuen to all men, let euery man take counsell of hymself, how he should vse hym selfe towardes his neyghboure. Let hym not do to another that which he would not should be doen to himselfe: and that he desyreth to be done to hymselfe, let hym doe to another. This is the very brief and sum of all thinges, whiche are taught by the lawe and prophetes: The whiche yf a man for lacke of leysure or for lacke of skylfulnes can not turne o­uer and reade, t [...]ulye euery man hath a rule at home in hym selfe, by the which [Page] he maye directe and ordre his actes and dedes, so that he desyre rather to fo­lowe ryght reason, than lustes and desyres.

The texte. ¶ Enter in at the Oreyght gate: For wyde is the gate, and brode is the waye, that lead [...] the to destruccion: And manye there be whiche go in thereat. But streyghte is the gate, and nar­rowe is the waye, whiche leadeth vnto lyfe, and fewe there be that [...]ynde it.

If these thynges s [...]me harde vnto them that loue thys worlde, yf ye see the moste parte of men folowe the contrary, yet let nothyng trouble your mindes. The better the thynges be, the harder is the waye to them. Consyder ye rather wh [...]ther this waye dothe leade, than the easy entrye in to it. Let it be, there be two gates: the one a narrowe gate, where no man can enter but by a straite and a narrowe waye, but this gate leadeth byanby to euerlasting life: And a­nother gate large and brode, where all men may enter by a brode and a playne waye, but it leadeth byanby to euerlasting destruccion.

Enter ye therfore by the narrowe gate, and desyre rather to goe to euerlasting lyfe with a fewe, than to euerlastyng perdiciō with many. For the large waye restraineth no man with the lawes of godlynes: & fawneth vpon men wt those thynges whiche delyght the senses of the body and doe please the lustes of the mynde:And fewe there be that fynde it. and therfore it doth allure many vnto it, and within short tyme it sen­deth them so intised, throughe the large gate into miseryes, that cānot be told, and delyuereth them being deceyued with false goodnes, vnto extreme and ve­ry ylles. Howe narrowe is the gate, howe streyght is the waye, that leadeth to lyfe? For it sheweth furth nothyng that is pleasaunt to the fleshe: it is roughe and displeasaunt to many, and furth with it doth offer vnto them, thinges that be paynful to nature: as pouertye, fastyng, watching, sufferyng of wronges, chastitie, sobernes. This gate receyueth not thē that swell with glorye of this worlde, this gate receiueth not thē, that be puf [...] vp with pryde, this gate recei­ueth not them that be bollē with excesse and ryo [...]: this gate receiueth not them that drawe with them aboundaunce of worldly thynges. It receiueth none, but suche as be naked and vnburdened of all the desyres of this worlde, and as a man wolde say, theyr bodyes beyng put of, extenuated and fined into the spirite. Wherby it cummeth to passe, that this gate is found but of a fewe, because it is not spyed but with cleare iyes, which do clearly see those thynges that be spirituall.

The texte. Beware of false prophetes, whiche cum vnto you in shepes clothynge: but inwardly they be rauening wolues. Ye shall knowe them by theyr frutes. Doe men gather grapes of thor­nes, or fygges of thistles? so euery good tree beareth good fruites, but a rotten tree beareth yll fruites: a good tree can not beare yll fruites, neither can a rotten tree beare good fruites. Euery tree that beareth not good fruites, is [...]ewen downe and cast into the fyer. Therefore by theyr fruites ye shall knowe them.

Beware of false pro­phetes.But as touchyng suche men as doe dayly, with lust, excesse, pryde, auaryce, & with suche other fylthy desyres, and laughing lyke mad menne, goe hedlynge into theyr owne destruccion, ye be in no perill: (for in folowynge of them it is rather madnes, than errour.) Ye muste rather beware of them which compa­nie with you hauynge a cloke of godlynes, where as they be enemyes of godlynes. They be alwayes talkyng of God the father, of the euangelycall doctryne, of the kyngdome of heauen, theyr apparell is course and symple, theyr chekes be leane with fasting, theyr body is worne awaye with leanesse, they praye long, they geue to the poore, they teache the people, and expound [Page lii] the holy scriptures: and being disguised with the cloke of these thynges they cum vnto you apparelled as though it were with shepe skinnes, whereas in­wardly they be rauenyng wolues, and deuourers of the euangelycall flocke. It can not be harde to knowe the wolfe from the shepe, yf eche of them vtter his owne voyce, and yf eche of them be couered with his owne skynne. But what shal a man doe where as the wolfe counterfeytyng the shepe bothe with the shepes skynne, and the shepes voyce, crepeth into the shepe folde, not to be­cumme a shepe, but more cruelly to rent and teare the shepe? The wolfe chāu­geth his voice and professeth the name of Christe, he professeth the doctrine of the gospell, but to the the intent he maye poison with his heresye, them that be vnwares and negligent. He counterfeyteth godly workes, to thinten [...] he may the rather abuse the simplicitie of other to hys desyres. Therfore ye whome I haue chosen to be the kepers and feders of my flocke, muste diligently take heede of these. Ye shall easely fynde out this counterfeyted iugglyng, yf ye loke narrowly vpon,Ye shall know them by their fru­tes. not the tytle and vesture, but the verye deedes whiche doe dis­close the corrupte mynde. For albeit they teache well, yet they dooe not in dede the thynge that they teache. Euery tree hath hys peculyar and proper fruit, whiche by the taste dothe declare the flocke. If ye obserue and marke di­lygently theyr lyfe and manners, ye shall fynde that they stande in theyr owne conceyte: they loke for theyr owne profyte, proude, reuengers, enuiouse, backe­viters, desyryng of glorye, geuen to the belly, and alwayes more diligente in theyr owne matters, thā in the matters of theyr flocke, or the ghospel. I haue shewed you which be the frutes of the euangelycal tree, that is to say, a minde farre from all pryde, full of gentylnes, & not desyrous of vengeaunce, a minde despisynge all pleasures of this worlde, a mynde despisynge riches, and grede­lye desyryng the godlynes of the ghospell, a mynde prompt and ready to dooe good to all menne, a mynde pure and cleane from all lustes and desyres, nor hauing no nother iye but to God onely, a minde refusing no affliccion or trou­ble, so that he maye promote and sette forward the doctrine of the ghospell, a mynde lokyng after no rewarde in this world for his well doynges, neither glorye, nor pleasure, nor ryches, a mynde that wyllethe well euen vnto his yll wyllers and doeth good to them whiche doe him hurte. Whosoeuer trulye in dede bryngeth forth these fruites, he is the euangelicall tree. Therefore they that shewe themselfes to be prophetes, and boaste thēselfes of this tytle, they that feyne themselfes by religiouse apparell to be shepe, where as in harte and affecciō they be wolues, they must be estemed and iudged of these fruites. Regarde not the boughes and the barke. These oftentymes be common to thē that growe in the fielde and them that growe at home, to the holsome and vn­holsome: the fruite once tasted dothe declare the iuyce of the tree. And yf ye see in these, auarice, arrogancy, enuy, desyre of vengeaunce, dissemblyng, and such other, whiche are cleane contrary to the fruites of the euangelicall myndes: thynke not that any good fruite wyll spryng of the same trees. For what man is so mad to gather grapes of thornes, or fygges of brambles? that is to saye, of roughe and wylde shrubbes, moste plesaunte fruite? Lykewyse it is emonge menne. A very good tree, and bearyng gentyll iuyce in the roote of the mynde, bringeth furth good fruite. On the other syde, a very yll tree, what leaues and barke so euer it hath,A good tre cā not beare yll fruites, yet it bryngeth furth yll fruites. And these can not be tur­ned nor chaunged: seyng their nature is vtterly repugnaūt. For he that hath a [Page] cleane and a syncere mynde, muste nedes expresse in deedes, the syncerenes of his heart and affecciō: and againe, he that hath a faulty and an infected minde, can not expresse in deedes, those thinges whiche declare a very good man. Although by the iuglynges and colour of holynes, sumtyme he deceyueth vn­ware men, truely he can not deceyue God: Therefore they that be colourablie good, let them leaue of theyr coloure, and become good in dede.

For emonge men, of an yll tree, maye be made a good. But yf he continue in his frowarde counterfeytyng let hym feare,Therfore by their frui [...]tes ye shall knowe thē. lesse he suffer the lyke of god, that will reuenge it, that the vnfruitful tree suffreth of the tyllman. And what dothe it suffer? It is cut down and caste in the fyer. So, whosoeuer beyng in the kingdome of God bryngethe furthe no fruite, or suche fruite as is vncum­lye for his profession, vnlesse he repent, he shall be caste into the euerlastynge fyer. Therfore by this token ye shall knowe them, that is to saye, of the fruites, which yf ye fynde in them to be euyl, ye shall remoue them from the cure of the flocke: and shall not receyue them into the kingdome of heauen, nor coūte them for Christians, but for enemyes: not to thintent to hurte them, but to beware leste they hurte the flocke, beyng myngled among them. For there is nothinge more daungerouse than vngodlynes, if it getteth faythe and authoritie, tho­roughe the false coloure of holynes.

The texte. ¶Not euery one that sayethe vnto me, Lorde, lorde, shall enter into the kyngdome of hea­uen, but he that doeth the wyll of my father whiche is in heauen. Many wyll saye to me on that [...]aye: Lorde, Lorde, haue we not prophecied in thy name? and haue we not cast out de­uils in thy name? and doen many miracles in thy name? And than wil I confesse vnto them: I neuer knewe you, departe from me ye that worke iniquitie.

All they that professe me onely with woordes, shall not be counted worthie the kingdom of heauen: for it is not the tytle that maketh a Christian man, but the lyfe. And I will not furthwith knowledge them for my disciples, whiche saye vnto me religiousely, Lord, Lord, when in dede they serue diuerse other lordes: that is to saye, Mammon and ryches, the belly and ambicion. Whom therfore shall I thinke worthy the kingdom of heauen? Them that haue vtterly refused worldly desyres, and hartily do obey the will of the father which is in heauen, whose will I preach vnto you. For whatsoeuer I teache you, it cummeth from him. And truly my name shal nothing profite them which lacke my spirite and workes, specially in that daye whan rewardes shall be appointed accordyng vnto euery mannes desertes, not by mans iudgement, whiche oftentymes dothe fayle, but by the iudgement of god: and the shepe shalbe secluded from the goates: so that those thynges shal not profite them, whiche nowe seme a­mongest menne, a certaine godly thing, and passing the doinges of manne. For than when they shall see euerlastyng life prepared for them, whiche folowyng the doctryne of the ghospell haue declared themselfes to be my true disciples:Many wyll say vnto me &c. and agayne when they shall see euerlasting punishmente prepared for them that shall be remoued from the companie of the godlye, many beeyng sore aferde shall come and desire nowe to be knowen of God, where as they haue counterfeited before menne the chiefe and moste excellent disciples of Christe, and preachers of the ghospell, and they shall saye vnto me: Lorde knoweste thou not vs thy seruauntes? Haue not we prophecied in thy name? haue not we chased a waye diuels in they name? haue we not reised vppe dead menne in thy name? haue we not put awaye poysons and diseases in thy name? haue we not wrought other wonders in thy name? and by these dedes glorified thy [Page liii] name? we haue declared vs to be thyne by so many argumentes and tokens, & nowe doeste thou not knowe vs? Than shall they heare this answere of me. Truely I neuer knew you,Depart frō me ye that woorke ini [...]quitie. no not than when ye dyd these thinges. I hearde you say, lorde, lorde, but I neuer perceiued in you ye harte of faithfull seruaūtes. I heare muche speakyng of my name, but I neuer felt my spirite in you: I heare of myracles whiche wer doen in my name, but I heare not of those spe­ciall fruites, by the whiche the true disciple of Christ is knowen. Wherefore se­yng that than, when ye did set furth your selues amongest menne in my name, ye were not myne in dede, but vnder the coloure of my professyon ye serued the▪ dyuell, departe nowe awaye from me, and goe vnto hym whose spirite ye haue receiued, and whose wyll ye dyd obey. What title or name soeuer they have, yf they weorke vnrighteousnes, they shall not be partakers of my kyngdome.

The texte. ¶Euerye one therefore that heareth these wordes of me, and doeth thesame, I wyll lyken hym to a wyse man, whiche buylt his house vpon a rocke: and a shower of rayne fell, and the floudes came, and the windes blewe, and berie vpon the house, and it was no: ouerthrowen, because it was grounded vpō the rocke. And euerye one that heareth of me these wordes, and doth them not, shall be likened vnto a folyshe man, whiche builte his house vpon sande: and a shower of rayne fel, and the floudes came, and the windes blewe, and bette vpon the house, and it was hurled downe, and the fall of it was great.

But lyke as the fruyte of the tree can haue no good taste, vnlesse the roote haue good iuyce: So the buyldyng, be it neuer so gorgiouse, high, and galaunte outwardelye, shall not be sure, vnlesse it be stayed vpon a sute and sounde foundacion. He that hath my spirite, that is to saye, a sincere affec­cion, regarding nought elles but the glorie of God, he is a tree of a good roote: So he that stayethe not vpon the vayne thynges of this worlde, but vpon the true good thynges of the mynde, and doeth continue constantly in the same: he verye polytikely buildeth the buyldyng that neuer shall falle. Therefore whosoeuer heareth my woordes, & not heareth onely, but reposeth them inwardly in his harte, to thintente he maye expresse in his deedes that, that he hath learned: I saye that he is lyke a manne both wyse and politike, who to thintente he maye buylde a sounde and sure buyldyng, firste of all he deuiseth and loketh for a sounde and a sure foundacion, whereupon he maye sette his buyldyng to endure agaynst all tempestes of wethers. For in a calme wether euery buyldyng standeth safely, but the winter proueth the soundnes of the buyldyng. Some tyme aboundaunce of rayne falleth downe and bea­teth vpon it: Sometyme the fluddes increased with rayne, all to shake it with greate violence:Because [...] was groun­ded vpō the rocke. Sometyme the burlyng of the wyndes beateth a­gaynste it, and beeyng beaten and layed at by so many wayes, it standeth styll and moueth not. Why so? Because it standeth vpon a sure foundacion.

The buylder dyd foresee all these thynges, and therfore he sette it vpon a sounde rocke, throughe whose ayde it neded nothynge to feare all those assaultes. Agayne whosoeuer hearethe my woordes, and hearethe them onelye, and dothe not repose them in his hearte, nor expresse them in his dedes, is lyke vnto the rechellesse buyld, whoe not foreseynge the stormes and tempestes, settethe hys buyldynge vpon the sande, whyche is a foundacion euer fletyng and fayling, and nothyng trusty. Afterwardes falleth aboun­daunce [Page] of rayne, the violence of ryuers runneth vpon it, the storme of windes runneth agaynste it, and the house is leused and plucked vp from the founda­cion, and fallethe downe with a great crashe. Why so? Because the buyldynge was goodly and gaye to see to, but it stode vpon an vnprofitable foundacion. Therefore your principall chiefe care and consideracion must be of your foun­dacion: fasting, almesse, prayer, simple apparell, finally myracles, be lyke a gay building. But if the minde of hym that dothe them, loke after vaine praise of men, after lucre, or after pleasure, all shal fall when the sore storme of temp­tacion draweth nere. But whose affeccion and desire is surely fastened in the doctrine and promyses of the ghospel, lokyng for the rewarde of his well doinges of God onely, he shall be able to stande agaynst all displeasures and iniuries, against the cruel persecuciōs of the wicked, against the craftye assaul­tes of heritikes: Fynally agaynst al the engyns of Sathan, and against death it selfe, shall he be hable to stande styffely, without discouragement, vntill that day when that Perseueraunce, the conquerour of all euels, shall receyue her crowne.

The texte. ¶And it came to passe, that whan Iesus had ended these sayinges, the people were astonied at his doctryne. For he taught them as hauyng power, and not as the Scribes.

Whan Iesus had ended these sayinges, the multitude mused muche at this newe trade of doctrine. For they heard no suche thyng of the Scribes or Phariseis, whiche yf they added any thyng vnto Moyses lawe to bryng them self in estimacion with the people, they vsed to brynge furthe certaine werishe constitucions, of wasshyng their handes before meate, of washyng the bodye yf any came home from markete, of washinge of cuppes, of paying of tythes, that came of mintes and of rue. Iesus taughte no suche thing, but where as he set furth by miracles what he could do in dedes, he declared himselfe to be the same in doctrine,For he taught thē as hauyng power. forbydding wyth authoritie, that whiche the lawe fauou­rably did suffer, and requiryng that whiche the lawe did not require. The lawe suffered diuorce for euery cause: Iesus forbade all diuorces vnlesse it were for aduoutry. The lawe forbade nothyng but to kill: Iesus required, that we shoulde not be angry with our brethren, and declared euidently that he was not onely the interpreter, but the lorde of the lawe also: not the minister, but the author. Finally a certaine lyuelines, of his perfecte doctrine, and a certaine naturall strength of trueth,And not as the scribes. touched and enspired the simple multitude whiche was desirouse to learne, and neuer had experience of the lyke in their Scribes and Phariseis.

¶The .viii. Chapiter.

The texte. ¶And whan he was cum downe from the mountayne, muche people folowed hym. And be­holde, there came a lepre, and worshypped hym, saying: Lorde yf thou wilte, thou mayeste make me cleane. And Iesus put furth his hande, and touched him, saynge: I wyl, be ye cleane. And furthwith his leprosye, was clensed. And Iesus sayethe vnto him: See thou tell no man but goe and shewe thy selfe to the priest, and offer the gifte, that Moyses commaunded to be offered for a wyttnes vnto them.’

[Page liiii] THerefore whan Iesus had spoken these weyghtye and highe thynges in the mounte, not to euerye man, but chieflye to hys disciples, and to suche as were able to folowe them with cherefulnes of the spirite: he dothe abase hymselfe agayne to the humylytie and lownes of the common sorte, whiche had many vnweldy, weake, lame, and sycke, whom he thought to allure to the desire of heauenly thynges, throughe corporall benefytes. And in healyng of them he dyd the same by significacion, whiche he did by his doc­trine in healyng the diseases of the mynde.

Eyther of these thynges gaue credite and autoritie to other. We beleue hym the more willingly whom we loue, and loue is wunne by benefites. And his sayinge weyeth well with vs, whom we see and perceyue to be so mightye in dedes. Therefore when Iesus left the hill and came into the playne, diuerse companies of men drew vnto him on euery side, to thintent that many might beare witnes of the miracles that he shoulde do.

Wherfore a greate numbre being gathered together, beholde, there cummeth furth a certayne man geuyng occasion of a miracle, and teachyng them withal, as by a figure, from whence and by what faythe, they that wer diseased wyth the leprye of the soule, should seke remedy. For there came forth a certayne man hauyng his body infected with the lepry. This disease emong the Iewes was counted muche abhominable, and is thought to be suche, that no phisi­cion can heale it. The iudgement of this disease, as of a sacrate thyng, was appoyncted vnto the priestes, whiche searched out by meruaylouse and diuers obseruacions, whether the bodye of anye man wer infected wyth the veraye leprye or not. It was not leful for them that wer iudged to haue this disease, to cum in the companye of men, neyther was it lefull to touche the body which was defyled with this disease. This man therfore iudged of the pristes, and beyng fowle with the very lepry, durst yet cum to Iesus, which is the purifier and clenser of all. The desyre of health toke awaye shame fastnes, the approued goodnes of Iesus towardes all men made him bolde.Lord if thou will ye may­est make me cleane. So many examples of other, which returned home beyng made whole, made him to trust well: Ther­fore when he fel downe before Iesus and worshypped hym, he sayed: Lorde yf thou wilte thou mayste clense me. What woulde a proude pharise or one of Moyses priestes haue done in this case? he woulde haue abhorred the vn­cleane and fylthy man, and woulde haue disdayned to haue talked wyth hym. But Iesus playing the parte of a good shepeherde, hauing delight in the mans fayth,And Iesus put forthe has hāde. &c▪ whiche was ioyned with so greate modesty and coldenes, whiche also durst nor desire to be clensed, vnlesse it myght stand with the pleasure of him, who knowethe what is meete for euerye man, (but yet he doubted not but that he was able yf he woulde) Iesus (I saye) refused not the vncleane manne, but reched out his hande and touched hym. And here he dyd neglecte the lawe, as touching the letter. And spake suche wordes wherby he declared bothe the goodnes of his will, and the greatnes of his power. Because (ꝙ he) thou doest beleue that I can yf I wyll, I will: Be thou whole. And as soone as he had spoken, the skynne was chaunged, and the disease left hym, the people beeyng witnes of the same.

After this, to thintente the myracle myghte the better be beleued, and [Page] also the priestes haue no occasion of reprofe to reproue or misconstrue that he should take vpon him auctoritie to iudge of the leprye, and to plucke vnto him the lucre and gaine which was wunt to cum vnto them of suche as were clen­sed of leprye,But go & [...] thy selfe to the prieste. &c. he sayeth vnto hym: See thou tel no manne that thou arte purged of the lepry. For it is not thy parte to iudge of thy selfe, and I take not vpon me the office of the priestes.

Therfore firste of all go vnto the priest and shewe thy selfe vnto him, and if he declare the to be cleane, whiche heretofore hath declared the to be leprose, then shalt thou offer the gifte whiche Moyses commaunded to be offered of them, who chaunced to be clensed of the leprye: leste afterward they lay vnto thy charge▪ and blame the which camest among the multitude: and me also which coulde not geue perfect health. For the gift whiche they receiue of thee as pure and cleane, shall reproue theim yf hereafter for hatred of me, they begyn falsely to blame that that is done. For yf thou were not leprouse before, why dyd they remoue the from the congregacion? If thou be not nowe cleane, why haue thei receiued of thee thy gyft, as of hym that was pourged & clensed? Iesus would that the people should testify how muche profyte the Leaper had by his faith, and howe lyghtly with a woorde he toke awaye all his disease, to thintente they myght geue eare vnto his doctrine with the same faythe, whereby they myght be healed of the diseases of the minde.

The texte. ¶And whan Iesus was entred into Capernaum, there came vnto hym a Captaynt and besought hym, saying: Lorde my seruaunte lyeth at home sicke of the Palseye, and is sore vexed. And Iesus sayethe vnto hym: whan I come I wyll heale hym. And the cap­tayn aunswered, and saied: lord I am not worthy that thou shouldest cum into my house, but onely speake the worde, and my seruaunt shalbe healed. For I also my selfe, am a man vn­der the aucthoritie of another, and haue soldiers vnder me, and I say vnto this man, go, and he goeth, and to another cum, and he commeth, and to my seruaunte do this, and he doth it. Whan Iesus hearde these wordes, be meruayled, and sayed to them that followed hym; Uerely I say vnto you, I haue not found so great fayth in Israell. And I saye vnto you that many shal come from the Easte and weste, and shal sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob in the kyngdome of heauen. But the chyldren of the kyngdome shalbe caste out into the [...] darkenes: there shalbe wepyng and gnasshyng of teethe. And Iesus sayed vnto the Cap­tayne: go thy waye, and as thou beleuest so be it vnto the. And his seruaunte was healed in the same houre.

Therfore after that he had taught the Iewes by thys facte and dede, that the waye vnto ealth was easie by the sincerenes of fayth: So forth­with he teacheth in the captayne of an hundred menne, that the waye vnto health, was not stopped from the Gentiles, so that they haue fayth mete and worthy for the ghospell. For whan he was entred into Capernaum, whiche is a towne not farre from the poole of Genesareth in the borders of zabulou and Neptalim, there came vnto hym a certayne captayne, the whiche kynde of men, the Iewes abhorred for two causes. First because they be vncircum­cysed for the moste parte, and alienes from Moyses lawe: secondlye because that kynd of lyfe is defamed commonly.Lorde my seruaunte li­eth at home sicke of the palsey, &c. But the good Iesus whiche came to heale all men, turneth not hym awaye neyther. The captayne maketh a requeste vnto hym, saying: Lorde I haue a seruaunt at home, whom I loue intierly, for that he is faythfull and profitable in seruice: He nowe wholy vnprofitable, lyeth vpon his bedde, diseased with the palseye: and he is not [Page lv] onelye vnprofitable vnto me,And is sore vexed, &c. but also he is sore vexed with the rage of his dis­ease, being now at deathes dore. And this kynde of disease, lyke as it is daun­gerouse and greuous: so is it not lyghtlye cured by the arte of Phisicians.

Iesus delightyng in the fayth of the man (whiche doubted not but that with a worde he was hable to heale his seruaunte beyng absent) to thintente he might declare vnto all menne, the fayth and truste of the man ioyned wyth greate humilitie of harte, aunswered: I wyll come, and I wyll heale hym.

Whereunto (quod the Capitayne) Lorde? I am no Iewe, I am a cap­tayne to be abhorred of the Iewes, for twoe causes, and therefor [...] muche vnworthye, that thou shouldeste enter into my house and be defyled wyth my companye. There is no nede of thy bodelye presence: Onelye saye the worde, and (suche is thy power and myght) furthwith my seruaunte shall be healed. Thou haste aungels and messengers to whome thou mayeste commit suche busines. I knowe by my selfe, I haue a ruler to whome I am subiecte, I am obediente to his commaundementes, neyther is it nedefull for him to do all thynges. It is sufficiente for hym to committe his matters wyth authoritie. Agayne I haue souldiers vnder my rule, by whome I dooe those thynges whyche be not meete for me. Onelye I geue my commaundemente, and they obey thesame: I commaund one to goe some whither, and he goeth. I commaund another to cum, and he cummeth. Agayne vnto myne owne priuate seruaunte I saye, do this or do that, and he spedely doeth what he is commaunded. If my seruauntes obeye me beeyng a sinner and an ab [...]ecte: howe muche more oughte youres to be obediente vnto youre commaunde­mentes? Iesus hearynge these thynges merueyled, not for that he was ig­norante of the mannes faythe, but because he woulde cause all men to mer­uayle at it, and turnynge vnto the Iewes whiche folowed hym, and as it were castyng theym in the teeth with their vnbelefe, sayed: This I assure you, hitherto haue I not founde so greate faythe in my people of Israell, as I haue founde in this straunger: whiche neyther knowethe the Prophetes, neyther hath receyued my doctryne, nor hath [...]een my miracles.

Ye stande in your owne conceyte, because ye be the children of the patriar­ches, whome god loueth▪ because ye are the peculiare people of god to whome this healthe and saluacion is promysed. But this I assure you: the tyme shalbe, that many shall come on euery syde from the vttermoste partes of the worlde, whom ye do lothe and abhorre as straungers and alyens, whiche shall enter in by fayth, and sytte in the kyngdome of heauen wyth Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob: and your fathers shall acknowledge them for theyr euangelicall faythe, as theyr lefull chyldren, and shall take them to theyr table to be partakers of the euerlastynge felicitie. Contrarye wyse the chyl­dren of the kyngdome, whiche touchynge the fleshly kynrede, cummeth of the stocke of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, for theyr vnbelefe, shall not onelye not be receyued to that goodlye and happye feaste, but they shall bee thruste out into the outwarde darkenes,There shal­be weping & gnasshynge of teeth. because they woulde not see before, the lighte that was offered them. There shall they be punished for theyr vnbelefe, wepyng and gnasshyng with teeth: hauyng intelligence nowe to late from what grea [...]e felicitie they be fallen by theyr malyce: and enuye shall make theyr sorowe the more, what tyme they shall se straungers & aliens to be receyued to the felicitie and honoure, whyche was promysed vnto them.

[Page]When Iesus had spoken these thynges vnto the Iewes, to the intente they should geue the more credite vnto his saying through the miracle, he tur­nyng vnto the captayne, sayeth: Go thy waye, and as thou haste beleued, so be it done vnto the. Clerelye declaryng that helth is not geuen, neyther to the stocke and kinred, neyther to the other merites, but to fayth onely whiche he required, and founde lacke of, in moste parte of the Iewes. And as he sayed, so the thyng folowed. For it was tried that the selfe same time the Ca­pitaynes seruaunte was sodeynlye delyuered from his disease, that no manne shoulde suspecte that it was done by chaunce, or by the helpe of Phisicians. For as no man is sodeinly delyuered from the lepry after the course of nature: so the palsey forsaketh no man sodenly.

The texte. ¶And when Iesus was cum into Peters house, he sawe his wyues mother lyinge in bed, and sycke of a feuer. And he touched her hande, and the feuer lefte her: and she arose and ministred vnto them. Whan the euen drewe nere, they brought him many that were possessed with diuels. And he caste out the spirites with a worde, and healed all that were sicke, that that might be fulfilled, whiche was spoken by Esai the prophete, when he say­eth: he toke on him our infirmities, and bare our sycknes.

And he touched her hande & the feuer lefte her▪When he had shewed furth these and certayne other myracles, he with­drewe himselfe for a tyme from the multitude, and wente into a house that was common to Symon Peter and Andrewe his brother. There folowed on Iames and Iohn. There he knewe that Peters mother in lawe haddess greate a feuer, that she kepte her bed: and he beyng desyred to heale her taryed not but toke her by the hande and lyfte her vp, and forthe with her whole feuer wente awaye, lyuelines and cherefulnes returned, in somuche as she mini­stred and serued theim of meate: so clerelye was she delyuered from all grud­gyng of the Ague. Truely no parte of the feuer remained, where as they whiche be healed by the arte of phisicians bee troubled longe tyme after theyr disease with feblenes and lothsumnes. Nowe whan night drewe on, a greate multitude cummethe thycke and swarmethe at the doores: lokyng that after his meate, he woulde retourne agayne vnto hys well doynge. As he came furthe, they offered vnto hym a meruaylouse number that were vexed wyth diuerse diseases, and also demontakes whyche were possessed wyth deuylies, he castynge oute the spirites, and puttinge awaye the diseases, healed them all: wherein also he did agreablye vnto his name. There was none so fow [...]e and so horrible kynde of diseases, whyche Iesus woulde lothe and turne away from. There was none so vehemente or incurable, whyche furthewyth at his commaundemente dyd not forsake the man.

Wyth a worde he healed all, frely he healed all, doyng nowe the selfe same thyng in takyng a way indifferently the diseases of the bodye,And healed all that wer sicke. whiche he went aboute to doe in takynge awaye synnes, whiche be the more fyerce diseases of the myndes. Truely for this he came into the worlde: and this was it, that Esay prophecied of him many yeres paste: he toke our infirmities wyllyngly vpon himselfe, and he dyd beare our diseases.

The texte. ¶ Whan Iesus sawe muche people aboute him, he commaunded them to go vnto the o­ther syde of the water. And a certayne Scribe came, and sayed vnto him: Maister I wyll folowe the whithersoeuer thou goeste. And Iesus sayethe vnto him: the foxes haue holes, and the byrdes of the ayer haue nestes: but the soonne of man ha [...]h not where to teste hys [Page lvi] head. And another of the number of his disciples sayed vnto him: Mayster, suffer me first to go and b [...]ry my father. But Iesus sayed vnto hym. Folowe me, and lette the dead bury theyr dead.

And when Iesus sawe that the multitude woulde not departe, thoughe he had healed all the sycke and diseased, and thoughe nyght were at hande, for nowe the sunne was gone to glade, but that they came thicke aboute hym on euery syde more and more: he commaunded his disciples to prepare him a ship to goe ouer the water, that by that meanes he myght bee delyuered from the multitude. This once heard, certayne of them departed home. But a certayne importunate Scribe folowed Iesus vnto the water syde, desyryng to bee re­ceyued into the numbre of his disciples: whom he had seen so magnified of the people for his power in shewyng of miracles: not to thintent he would folowe his doctrine and lyfe, but that he might get him renoune and lucre of his mira­cles. He therfore cumming vnto Iesus, sayde: Master I will folowe the whi­ther soeuer thou goest. It was a woorde mete for him that should haue been a disciple, yf the woorde and the harte had agreed. He put forth himselfe of his owne accorde, and offered hymselfe vnto all thynges, nor made no pretence of [...]ariyng. But Iesus neyther repelled the mannes importunitie, neyther layed [...]nto his charge his corrupte mynde, but secretely monyshed hym that he was vp mete disciple for hym, nor himselfe lykewyse no mete mayster: for whoso­euer loketh after the commodities of this worlde, ioyneth himselfe vnto hym but folyshly, whiche neyther had nor soughte for, neyther riches, nor glory, nor kyngdome in this worlde: but imbraced extreme pouertie, ignominy and af­fliccion: in so muche as he had not those thynges whyche the byrdes and bea­stes lacketh not.The fore [...] haue holes The foxes (ꝙ he) although they haue no houses, yet haue they holowe dennes to hyde them in. The byrdes fliyng and wauoring in the ayer, in the stede of houses haue nestes to rest them in.But the sonne of mā hath, not wher to rest his head. But the sonne of man so is de­stitute of all succours of this worlde, that he hath no place to laye his head in. Yf any manne desyre suche a Mayster, yf he wyll, let him folowe me: but with harte and affecciō, and not onely with the steppes of the feete. So the Scri [...]e knowyng his owne conscience, dyd forbeare to folowe hym.

Agayne one of them whiche began to be in the noumbre of his disciples moued by tray [...]tie and weakenes, when he heard of the extreme pouertie of Christe, [...]kyng an occasion by sum coloare to slippe awaye from the disciples of Ie­sus: Lorde (ꝙ he) before I folowe the wholly, whither soeuer thou goest, suf­fer me first to retourne home and burye my father. The cause to the apperaūce semed godly, but Iesus willing to teache that all thinges should be set a part in the matter of euerlasting healthe, and that herein all tariyng and lingeryng is daūgerouse: suffered not the yonge man beyng of a good mynde, but yet fe­ble and wea [...]e to [...]e intangled with busynes of testamentes of the dead, vn­der the pretence of godlynes, and whites he prouideth for the vile inheritaunce of the worlde,Let ye dead bury [...] they [...] dead. to fall from the inheritaunce of heauen. Nay (ꝙ he) thou shalte [...]ow nothing haue to doe with thy dead father, whiche haste profest thy selfe to the heauenly lyfe, there will be ynow to burye thy father. Suffer the dead to bury theyr dead, and lette them put them in the yearthe, whiche loue yearthe­ly thinges, let them burye him whiche is dead in the yearth, whiche beeyng a­lyue [Page] be both dead and also buried. They be alyue to men, they be dead to God. Be thou carefull to lyue, and departe from the companye of the dead, yf thou wilt lyue in dede.

The texte. And whan he entred into a shippe, his disciples folowed him. And beholde there arose a great tempests in the sea, in so muche that the ship was couered with waues, and he was a slept, and his disciples came vnto him, and waked him, saying: Lorde saue vs, we perished and [...]e sayethe vnto them: why are ye fearefull, ye of litle fayth? Than be arose, and re­bucked the myndes, and the sea, and there folowed a great caulme. And the mē meruayled, saying: What maner of man is this, that bothe wyndes and se [...] obey hym?

Therefore when Iesus had sent awaye the multitude, and was entred in­to the ship, his disciples wayting vpon him, as he rowed, sodainly there ro [...] atempeste, and the water was so moued, that the waues ouerwhelmed the ship. Iesus in the meane season slept vpon a pillowe, signifiyng as it were by a figure, what perill there is in thynges here in the worlde, as often as they slepe beyng delighted with cōmodities and pleasures of this worlde, whiche haue taken vpon them to be in stede of Christ. But in these tempestes [...]amp; trou­bles the disciples do shewe where we shoulde seke for succour. For they beyng amased we feare, plucke at Christe, and wake him out of his slepe. Lord (ꝙ they Loue us, we be loste. For yet they beleued he was but only man, and that they coulde not be safe,Lorde saue vs vnlesse that he were awake. Therefore Iesus inyodyng to make them holde and without feare, and conquerours against al assaultes of the most sore and vehement troubles, rebukyng theyr great feare: Why feare ye (ꝙ he) ye men of li [...]le fayth. Ye whiche haue seen so manye miracles, [...]amp; haue hearde my doctryne, ought to be put in feare with nothyng, as though the helpe of God woulde fayle you in any place, if so bee that fayth and trust neuer fayle you, whiche as yet I se not in you so muche as ought to bee. After that Iesus had thus manis [...]ed his disciples, he rose, and to thintent to shewe hym fel [...]e the Lorde of all the elementes, he rebuked the wyndes, and the sea, and furthwith the tempest seased, and there folowed a meruelous caulme, because it myght the more appere, that it was doen, not by the strength of manne, [...]at by the power of God, for there is nothyng more disobedient or vnruly, than the sea once troubled, and yet at the Lordes commaūdement, it was sodainly turned into a great calme. Further the disciples and other whiche were in the shippe, muche musyng at so merueylouses matter, sayde: what might ye man is this▪ for vtterly he semeth to be more than man, for not onely diseases and deuils, but also windes and the sea obey his commaundementes. And by this [...]aumple, Iesus our very good Lorde hath taughte vs, that as often as the [...]ormes of tēptacions and persecucions rage againste vs, that we shoulde se [...] for helpe no nother where but of hym. Euery tumult and trouble shalbe made caulme and quiete, if that he awake in vs.

The texte. ¶And whan he was cum to the other side of the water, into the countrey of the Bergess­trs, there met him two possessed with deuils, cummyng out of the graues, and they were out of measure sperce, so that no man might go by that waye. [...] they [...] Tryng: O Iesu the sonne of God, what haue we to doe with [...] by ther [...] tormente vs belaze our tyme? And there was a good waye of [...] them an hearde of mass swyne [...]ecding. And the deuils besought him, saying: it thou cast vs out, suffer vs to go [...] so the hearde of swyne. And he [...] to them go your waye, and they [...] the hearde of swyne, and the whole hearde of swyne, was [...] into the sea [...] perished in the waters. Than they that kept thē [...], and wence thei [...] waye [...] [...] the [...] and tolde all thinges, and wha [...] had happened vnto ye demoniac [...]es. And beholde the wo [...]k [Page lvii] title came furth to meete Iesus. And whan they sawe hym, they besought him to departe oute of theyr coa [...]es.

Therfore when Iesus had passed ouer the water, he came into the coun­trey of the Gergesites, and beholde there was offered a matter and an occa­sion of a greater wonder. There met him two men, which of long time had been possessed with the wurst kynde of deuilles, which eyther wandered in the wildernesse, or els hid themselues in dead mennes graues, whiche were wont to be made and set vp by the highe waye. Theyr rage was so great, that no cheynes coulde holde them, but breakyng all theyr bondes rani [...]e v­pon the waye goers, so that no man could safely passe that waye. No man durste bring them vnto Iesus, as I haue tolde you how they did with dy­uers other, but the secret might of Iesus drewe them against their wylles. The wicked spirites wer sore [...]ered, and could not abide the diuine power, in so muche that beyng giltie in themselues, they felte a certayne newe and a secrete tormente, yea before that Iesus spake vnto them, they feared lest the daye were no we at hande in the whiche they should be sent into the dungeon of hel, there to be punished eternally, and not to be suffered hereafter to mo­lest and trouble men. Therfore torment and feare forced them agaynst their willes,O Iesu the sone of god what haue we to dooe with the? to speake and to beare witnes of the diuine power in Christ. They cryed out therfore by the mouthes of the miserable men. Iesu the sonne of God (ꝙ they) what hast thou to do with vs? Arte thou come hither to tor­ment vs before our tyme? we know what misery and wretchednes a [...]ydeth for vs accordyng to our merites, but suffer vs for a tyme. That daye shall come to vs to soone. We desyre delaye and not to be deliuered. Not farre frō the place where these thynges were doen, there was an heard of hogges feding, than the deuils feling themselues to be sore vered by the power of God, lest they shoulde departe without any hurte doing (so great was their malice) they made this peticion vnto Iesus: If in no case thou wilt suffer vs to dwell and abyde in this house, suffer vs at the lest, that we maye departe hence and enter into the hogges, a beast bothe filthye and abhomynable.

As soone as Iesus had geuen them this libertie, which thought it suffi­cient to prouide for the helth and saluacion of man, the multitude of diyels went furth with into the heard of hogges. And behold furth with the whole heard, driuen into a fury, ranne downe hedlong from the hill into the water, and there perished in the water. This suffered Iesus both to shewe the no­table malice of the deuils, and to geue occasion that this myracle mighte be bruted abrode. For the swyneheardes seyng this horrible sight, ranne away for feare, and went into the citie of Gadera, and tolde the citezens what they had seen, and what had happened to the Demoniakes, now commonly know­en, to whom it chaunced to be healed, and what had happened to the hearde of hogges. The whole citie of ye Gaderenes being amased at this tidinges, went foorth to meete Iesus, fearing lest he should come to them. They saw theyr hogges kylled. They saw the two men that were naked, now appare­led, they sawe them healed of theyr frenesy and quiet out of theyr rage, inso much that they sat at Iesus feete knowlegyng hym to be the autor and cause of theyr helth. But because the [...]e Gaderenes were grosse and euill, they fea­red more the mighte of Iesus, than they loued his goodnes, and they re­garded more the losse of theyr swyne, than the health of men.

[Page]They went vnto Iesus and desyred him to depart from theyr coastes: who if they had throughly knowen him, they would haue desyred him instantly that he would haue vouched safe to come into the coastes of theyr countrey, to do thesame thyng in theyr hartes, which he did in the two Demoniakes. for the hogges declare what was theyr lyfe, the which ye deuilles desyred to possesse in the stede of men. Therfore Iesus taughte them nothyng, con­tent onely to put them in feare: notwithstandyng he hath taught vs by this exaumple, that there is no pestilence, nor poyson of the mynde so sore, that we should despayre of health, yf we chaunce to come to Iesus. For there be [...]ertayne desyres so vnbrydeled, so vehement, and so wilde, that they driue and force hym that hath them, vnto withecraft, manslaughter, to slaughter of his dearest frendes, and to other wicked dedes not to be named, and sum­tyme they dryue hym vnto suche madnes, that he killeth hymselfe. No meaues of man can heale and helpe these thynges, onelye Iesus can geue healthe if he wyll vouchesafe to come vnto them. There is no despayre, he wyll vouchesafe yf they agayne wyll come to hym.

The .ix. Chapiter.

The texte. And entering into a shippe he passed ouer, and came into his owne citie. And beholde they broughte to by in a man sicke of the palsey, lying in a bed. And whan Iesus sawe the faythe of them, he sayd vnto the sicke of the palsey: sonne be of good cherr, the synnes be forgeuen thee. And beholde certayne of the scribes sayde within themselues: This man blasphemeth. And whan Iesus sawe their thought he sayde: wherfore thynke ye cuyll in your hartes. For whe­ther is it easyer to saye: thy synnes be forgeuen the, or to saye, aryse and walke? But that ye maye knowe that the sonne of man hath power to forgeue sinnes in yearth: than sayeth be to the sicke of the palsey: arise, take vp thy bed and go home: and he arose and went home. But the people that same it, marueyled and glorified God, who had geuen suche power vnto men.’

IEsus therfore not minding to geue that that is holye vnto dogges, nor to cast preciouse stones vnto swine, entred into the shyp, and went ouer the water agayne, returnyng into his citie called Capernaū, for there he had a house at that tyme. And when he was entred in­to the house, many gathered about hym, emong whom wer also doctours of the lawe, that came from Galile, Iewry, and Hierusalem, and as he sat, (the Scribes and the doctours sitting by him) he taught them. And when there came a­bout hym so great a number of men, that the house was nowe to litle, nor the entrye was not hable to receyue so greate a multitude, certayne there were whiche broughte vnto hym a certayne man greued and vexed with so vehement a palseye, that he was carried of foure men bed and all, whiche was rather a karkas of a man, then a man. Who when they knewe that Ie­sus was within,They brought vn­to him a mā sicke of the palsey. and that they coulde not entre for the multitude, they cly­med vp vpon the house top, and remouyng the tiles of the house, let down by ropes through a hole the bed with the sicke man, before the feete of Ie­sus. Iesus not offended, nor greued with this importunitie of the seruaun­tes, but rather allowing the feruencie of their faith, and albeit the faithe of the sicke man ought to be no lesse, which eyther commaunded that he should be let down, or els wiilyngly suffred it: turning vnto the manne bedred, to [Page lviii] thintēt that he might cōmēde his fayth very muche to thē that stode about: be of good courage my sonne (ꝙ he) thy synnes be forgeuen the: first deliuering that parte of the man from disease, frō whence the disease of the body came: and yet meruelouse gently he calleth hym sonne, beyng a man wretched and miserable both in body and soule, priuely casting the phariseis and Scribes in the teeth with theyr pryde and arrogancie.This man blasphe­meth. The multitude keping silence and marueling, certayne of the Scribes whiche remembred that God sayth in the holy scripture: It is I that put awaye the sinnes of men, wheras in suche a great resort of the fauourers of Iesus they durst not openlye mur­mur agaynst hym, they spake secretely with themselues: this is a blasphe­mer of God, whiche beyng but man, taketh vpon him the power of God. But Iesus whiche had somewhat declared his godly power vnto the pha­riseis in forgeuing of sinnes, declareth the same also by a speciall signe, ope­nyng and shewyng that it is not hyd from him, what euery man doth thinke.

Therfore makyng aunswere vnto those thynges, whiche they spake with themselues in their secret thought, sayeth: Why do ye enuy at well doynges thinking ill in your hartes? Suppose ye because the disease of the minde is not seen with bodely iyes, lyke as the health also, that I take vpon me vntruly, and promise vnto other that I cannot perf [...]urme? But whether thinke ye more easy to saye to hym that is in sinne, as I sayed euen now, thy sinnes be forgeuen thee: or els to saye vnto the man diseased with the palse [...], whom ye see wholy bound with diseases, aryse and walke? Therfore to thintent that by the reason of thinges that ye see, ye may also beleue the thin­ges true that ye see not, and that bothe are indi [...]erently easye to the sonne of manne, with a worde to take awaye the disease, and to pardon the sinnes, I wyll geue you a signe and a token manifeste and open to euery mannes sense & vnderstanding. And in case ye shall see these wordes whiche I shall speake nowe not to be vayne, but to haue theyr present efficacie and strength, doubt not but that the sonne of man hath power in yearth to forgeue sinnes, and that not by sacrifices, or by holocaustes, but by simple and plaine woorde. And therewith turnyng to the diseased of the palsey, sayed: Aryse, take vp thy couche and departe into thy house, that they whiche haue knowen the sicke,Arise take vp thy bed & go home▪ and despayred of thy health, maye see and perceyue that thou art sodē ­ly made whole and strong, insomuche that thou art not onely hable to go v­pon thy feete, whiche a litle before wast borne of .iiii. portes, but also, the course of thynges now chaunged, thou art hable to beare the bed, which hi­therto hath borne thee. And furthwith as he spake, the thyng came to passe, the diseased of the palsey ryseth vp, and laying the bed vpon his shoulders, departeth into his house after an other manner of fashyon and pompe, than he was caryed a litle before. Whan the multitude sawe this euident and ma­nifest myracle, and playnly perceyued that it was a thyng not of the power of man, but of God, they glorifyed God whiche gaue suche power vnto men in yearth, saying that they neuer sawe suche a thyng doen of them, whiche are counted the chiefe and the moste excellent men emong the Iewes. But the Scribes were so put to silence, that they were the more styrred and ex­asperate with enuye, because they sought more theyr owne glorye then the glorye of God: by the whiche increasyng and shynyng furth dayly through Iesus, they sawe themselues to bee diminished and darkened. For like as [Page] the sunne darkeneth the candle: so the glory of God darkeneth, and causeth to vanishe awaye the vayne glory of men. But the enuy of these men profy­ted to none other ende, but through resistaunce, to make the glory of Christ more manifest and notable. For god can vse the malice of men, vnto his glo­ry and renoume. Therfore Iesus to geue place to the enuy of the Scribes, departed thence, and returned vnto the meere and poole, where he taughte the multitude gathering about on euery syde.

The texte. ¶And as Iesus passed furth from thence, he sawe a man named Matthewe, sitting [...] the receyte of custome, and he sayeth vnto him: Folowe me, And he arose and folowed him. And it came to passe as Iesus sate at meate in his house, behold many Publicanes also, & sinners that came, sate down with Iesus and his disciples. And whan the Phariseis sawe it, they sayd vn­to his disciples: Why eateth your Maister with publicanes and sinners? But whan Iesus heard that, he sayed vnto them: They that be strong, nede not the phisicion, but they that are sicke. Bo ye rather and learne what that meaneth: I wyll haue mercie, and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentaunce.

Further as he passed by the custome house, he espyed sitting there a cer­tayne Publicane called Matthewe, whiche also was named Leuy the sōne of Alpheus. And this kynde of men because of their filthy gayne and great extorcion, be defamed and slaundered many wayes, especiallye emong the Iewes. But Iesus whiche heretofore called vnto him Simon & Andrewe, Iohn and Iames, from an homely & a meane kinde of gayne, but yet honest and lawfull, now to declare openly that he despiseth vtterlye no kynde of men, so that they repent and turne them to the better: called vnto him Mat­thewe, and commaunded him to folowe. He without any [...]arrying, leauyng his accomptes vnperfecte, leauying his lucre and gayne, beganne to folowe Iesus: and sodenly became of a Publicane, a disciple. For the voyce of Ie­sus, had a certayne wonderfull efficacie and strength, and a certayne secrete power & maiestie shining in his countenaunce, whereby whom he would, he allured & drewe vnto him, euen lyke as the stone called Magnes, draweth yron. After that, Matthewe desyred Iesus, that he would vouchesafe to feast in his house.And it came to passe. &c. Which thing Iesus did without any griefe, to teache his disciples that they shoulde not forsake the cumpanye of wicked men, if there be any hope that they wyll be the better by theyr cumpany. Matthewe of suche thynges as he had than, made a bounti [...]ull and a great feast, vnto the whiche he brought many of his sorte of men, both Publicanes and sinners, whom by his example and communicacion,Beholde manye Pu­blicanes. &c. he allured vnto admiracion, and loue of Iesus. Therfore whē the Phariseis sawe Iesus and his disciples sitting at meat with them, seking for matter on euery syde of blame and re­profe, they dare not speake vnto him leste they might heare that whiche they would not, but indeuoure to withdrawe his disciples from him. Why (ꝙ they) doth your maister (whome ye folowe as one notably holye) feast with Publicanes and sinners,And wh [...]n the Phari­seis saw it &c. whome we forbeare as filthye and abhominable? But lyke do soone flocke with the like: and commonly we become suche as they be, with whome we lyue. When that Iesus heard his communicaciō, he taketh vpon hym to defende his disciples, beyng yet but weake: teaching that the preachers of the gospel be not defiled with the cumpany of sinners, with whom they cumpany for no nother intent, but to allure them to good­nes. But the Phariseis do shunne and flee from the Publicanes, whiche cō ­monly be counted sinners, not because they would not be defiled with their sinfulnes, but to thintent that they themselues beyng wurse than the Publi­canes, [Page lix] may be counted holy among men: but they that be [...]udued with the holines of the ghospell, do not desire the cumpany of sinners, to the entent that they would take any lucre or vauntage from them, but to enrich them with godlines, and they enter into their houses for no nother purpose, than the good physicions enter into the houses of sicke men. For it becūmeth a faithfull physicion, to bee more often in no place, than among them which haue nede of the helpe of physicions. Therfore he turnyng vnto the Pha­riseis, whiche thought themselues iuste men, whereas indede they were infected with muche wurse vice, sayeth vnto them: I cumpanye with the Publicanes and sinners, because I am the physicion of the soules, & thyrste for the helth of men. To what purpose is it to cumpany with the iust, as ye suppose your selues to be, sith they nede no physicion? They nede a physiciō that be ill at ease, and the phisicion is profitable vnto thē, which knowlage their disease, and be willing to be healed. Therfore to lothe and despise thē it is no holines but pride: and to succoure them, it is a sacrifice muche more acceptable to god, then any kind of sacrifice whiche is offered in the temple. Ye which know the scriptures,Bo ye ra­ther & learn what that meaneth. ought not to be ignorant in this, where god speaketh thus: I wyll mercye rather than sacrifice. Agayn in Esai, he refu­seth your offeringes, but the worke of mercy, he neuer refuseth. If ye haue not yet marked this thing, go and learne what this worde of god meaneth, and than if ye thinke good, reproue my doyng, which is not cōtrary to your lawe, but agreable to the wil of god. And why should I refuse the cumpany of sinners, whiche came purposely to stirre and prouoke suche maner of men to repentaunce of their former life? Many thinke themselues iust: if I with drawe my self from them, they ought not to be greued, for they haue no nede of my helpe. And it were a vayn thing, and but a rebuke to cal them to repē ­tance, whiche haue nothyng to repēt. With this talking Iesus touched and in maner skorned the arrogant pride of the Phariseis, whiche thought them selues to be iust, and were not.

The texte. Than came the disciples of Iohn vnto him saying: why dooe we and the Phariseis fas [...]e for the moste par [...]e, but thy disciples faste not? And Iesus sayed vnto them: Can the bryde­gromes chyldren moutnt as long as the brydegrome is with them? but the dayes wyll cum, whan the bridegrome shalbe taken from them, and then shal they faste. No man putteth a piece of newe clothe in an olde garmente▪ For than taketh he away a piece from the garment, and the tent is made wurse. Neyther do men put newe wyne into olde bottels, for then the bottels breake, and the wyne tunneth out, and the bottels perishe. But they put newe wyue into newe bottels, and both are saued together.

After these thynges, certain disciples of Iohn, which by the reasō of a cer­tain carnall affeccion, dyd enuye Iesus, magnifiyng Iohn their maister, as one more excellent than Iesus, ioynyng them selues with the Phariseis, go vnto Iesus, and feare not falsely to blame him to his face, because he vsed his disciples ouer delicately, and brought thē not vp so hardly as Iohn did his, whiche semed to promise a more hard and straite disciplyne. The Pha­riseis sought for a fame & an opinyon of holynesse among the people by two waies chiefly: that is by fasting and praier. Wherfore they demaund of Ie­sus, why do we the disciples of Iohn and the Phariseis fast so often, & pray after the ordinance of our aunceters, whiche haue taught that prayer should be commended and set forthe by fastyng, and thy disciples vse not like faste? Unto this manifest and false reprose, because it touched hym, & not his dys­ciples, [Page] Iesus answered very gentely,And Iesus sayed vnto them: Can the bryde­gromes. &c so that he neither reproued the ordi­naunce of Iohn, neither plainly condemned the fastynges of other men. But only shewed that the gentlenes, which he vsed towardes his disciples, was not of negligence, but of policie, whereby he brought them by lytle and litle to greater thinges, euen as when a wyse and skylful teacher of youth doeth not furthwith feare the tender age with harde thynges, but with inticemen­tes allureth it to thynges of difficultie, and taketh occasion to answere, by yt reason of the witnes that Iohn bare. For hetestifiyng of Iesus before thē that thought that Iohn was Christ: he that hath a spouse (ꝙ he) is a spouse, and his frende standeth by and reioyseth muche because he heareth the voice of the spouse, meanyng Iesus to bee the spouse whom the prophecye in the psalme did promise should cum lyke a bridegrome out of his chaumbre: and he hymselfe nothing els but the frend of the spouse. Iesus therfore putting them in remembraunce of the saiyng of Iohn, saieth: Can the childrē whiche be in the chambre of the new spouse, whereas al thinges ought to be ioyfull be troubled and greued with the Iewish and lowryng fast, chiefly seing the spouse is present? Enuy them not for this ioye whiche wyl not long indure. Suffer them to be led with this tēdernes gentely and swetely vnto thinges of more perfecciō. Now they haue their spouse, and they be holy set on him, they haue no leysure now to faste: and they be so tendre, that they cannot a­waye with it. In the meane season they shall growe and were, and the tyme shall cum, when their spouse shalbe taken from them, than they beyng stron­ger, shal not onely fast of their owne accord, but also they shalbe able to suf­fer sharper showres. The Iewes put the chiefest point of their religiō in of ten fastinges, and lōg praiers: These thinges as they be not to be reproued. yf they be not doen for vaynglory but for godlines: so the doctrine of ye gos­pel hath an iye and regarde vnto strōger thinges, & matter of more weight, vnto the whiche thynges I frame and fashion my scholers by litle and litle. Therfore my manner of teachyng agreeth not with Iohn. It is newe that I teach, and my doctrine is new, and a new maner of teaching is most semely for a newe kynde of doctrine. It behoueth not a schole mayster to bee ouer hasty: the thing shal declare it self in time, whose scholers be better brought vp and taught. Old thynges must not be mengled with newe. For no manne soweth a patche of new and rawe cloth in an old garment. For by this way, the hole of the olde garmente is not onelye not mended, but also the hole is made greater and more ill fauored, because the newe cloth agreeth not with the olde.Neither do mē put new wyne into olde bottel­les. And they that be wyse and polytike menne, put not newe wyne into olde vesselles. For than a double inconuenience foloweth, whilest both the wyne runneth out, and the vessels be broken and vtterly lost. But rather put newe wyne into newe vesselles, whiche maye beare the strength of the wyne, nor start a sūder with the boiling and working of the wyne. So both the vesselles be saued, and also the wine. I wil my disciples to be al newe, and so I fashion them for me by lyttell and lyttell, that in tyme to cum they maye bee strong and styffe to beare the myghte of the doctrine euangelycall. Iohn durst put no nother than olde wyne in olde vesselles, as fastyng & such other, which be far frō those thinges that men of the gospel must perfourm. I doe not commit the swete wyne of my doctrine but vnto newe vesselles.

The texte. Whyle he thus spake vnto them, beholde there came a certayne rule [...], and wurshypped [Page lx] him, saiyng: my doughter is euen now deceassed, but cum, and laye thy hande vpon her, and she shall liue: and Iesus arose and folowed hym, and his disciples also. And behold a woman dis­eased with an [...]ssue of bloud twelue yeres, came behynde hym, and touched the hem of his gar­ment. For she said within her self, if I may touche but his vesture onely, I shalbe whole. But Iesus turned him, and whan he sawe her, said: doughter be of good cōfort, thy faith hath made the safe: And the woman was made whole euen the same tyme. And whan Iesus came into the rulers house, and sawe the minstrels and the people makyng a noyse, he said vnto them: get ye hence, for the maide is not deade, but sleapeth: and they laughed him to skorne. But whan the people were put forth, he went in and toke her by the hande, and the damosell arose. And this rumor went abrode into all the lande.

Iesus speaking these thinges, there came vnto him a certain wardē of the Synagoge called Iairus, & falling hūbly vpō his knees wurshipped hym, and with behement praier & besechyng, said: my only daughter twelue yere of age, was at the poynt of death, whan I came frō home, and I am afeard leste that she be nowe deade.And Iesꝰ a­rose & folo­wed him. &c Cum I pray you, and lay your hande vpon her, that she may recouer and liue. Iesus (as he was ready to do good to al men whiche asked with plaine trust and confidence, whether they were pore or rich, Iewes or strāgers) forthwith arose vp & folowed Iairus, whiche made haste home if perhappes he myght fynde his daughter yet alyue. The disciples & the thicke multitude folowed Iesus. And behold as he was go­yng, there befell an occasion of an other miracle. There was amōg the great multytude, of people a certayne woman, whiche had been diseased with the bluddy flixe for the space of twelue yeres, and had spent her whole substāce vpon phisicions, and yet founde she none that coulde heale her disease. Ther­fore was she in double miserie, for that pouertie was ioyned with her sicke­nesse. This woman when she had conceyued in her hart a great truste and cōfidēce in Iesus, because of the filthines of her disease, she durst not speake vnto Iesꝰ before so many witnesses. Therfore as though she would steal a benefite secretely, she came priuely behynd his backe, and touched the hem of his garment.For she said within hee selfe: yf I may. &c. For thus she perswaded her self: if I touche but the vttermost part of his garmente I shall he whole, and by and by his garment once tou­ched the flyxe stayed, & the woman perceiued that the helth of her body was restored. But Iesus willyng suche a notable exaumple of faythe not to bee hid, and teachyng withall that the glory of God ought not to be conceled: to then tent he would haue the benefite to be confessed, he turneth vnto ye mul­titude saying, who touched me? Whan all denied it: Yet sum body touched me (ꝙ he:) For I feele a power goyng out from me. Here Peter and the other disciples, not knowyng what Iesus mente, saye: Lord thou seest the thicke multitude thrusting the on euery side, & doest thou aske who touched the, sith so many touche the? But whan Iesus, as ignorant who had touched him, loked about hym as seking for the priuie toucher, the womā being one­ly priuy of the thing, perceiuing that she could not be hid frō Iesus, al shame fastnes set apart, fearing and trembling, fell downe at Iesus feete, and con­fessed al the matter as it was, & what disease she had, & how many yeres she had been sicke, and how she had spent al her substance in vain vpon phisiciōs and how that she perswaded her selfe, that by the onely touching of the skirt of his garment,And whā he saw her, &c. she myght be healed, and howe by and by after the touchyng she felt perfit health of her body. It was the wil of Christ that these thīges should be declared before the multitude, not to put the womā to shame, nei­ther to purchase himself prayse of men: but by this example to teach all mē, [Page] what sure confidence and trust is hable to do, and by the example of the wo­man to establishe the faith of the warden of the Synagogue, which he per­ceyued sumwhat waueryng, and withall to reproue the Phariseis for their vnbelefe. Therfore Iesus, lest he should seme to be angry, and to take away his benefite againe, comforted the woman trembling for feare, and said: my d [...]ughter be of good comfort. Thy faith hath obtained thee health. Depart in peace with a quiet and a careles mynde.Thy faithe hath saued the. My wil is that this benefite shal continue with the, though thou hast stollen it from me.

As Iesus was speaking these thynges, certayne came from the wardens of the Sinagoges house, and tolde him that his doughter was dead, & that there was no cause why to trouble Iesus. For they toke Iesꝰ to be nothing els, but sum notable phisicion, whiche was hable by his facultie to restore health to them that were alyue, but not to restore the dead to lyfe. And ther­fore they thoughte it but vayne to call a phisicion, bee he neuer so excellente, to a dead mā. Iesus perceiuyng that the father of the maide was muche a­mased with this tidinges, comforted him, saying: Feare not, only haue faith and trust that the maide shalbe whole, and she shall be whole. It is in thee, that thy doughter may be whole. And now whan they wer cum to the war­den of the Synagoges house, Iesus suffered not the multitude to enter in, nor the other disciples, besyde Peter, Iames, and Iohn, and the father and mother of the mayden. But al her kinsemen and frendes did wepe, and after the countrey maner, they beate their bodies, bewailing her, and criyng out, and such other thinges as men be wente to do very folishely in the funerals of riche men and greate men.For the mayde is not deade but slepeth. Iesus bad them cease from theyr wailing, for the mayden was not deade, but a slepe. Meanyng thereby that the mayden was dead, to them whiche coulde not rayse her, but vnto him she slept only, to whō it was more easy to raise her from death, than to other to rayse her from slepe. Whan the familiars and frendes of the warden perceyued not these thinges, they laughed Iesus to skorne, because they knew certaily that she was dead, seing her whā she died: Therfore after that he had thrust forth from the funerals the mourning multitude, he taking the father and the mo­ther of the maiden, entred into the parler, where as the corps of the mayden dyd lye. And Iesus takyng the virgin by the hande, said: Maidē aryse. And furthwith whan at the word the mayden rose, she walked also, that ye fayth of the miracle might be the more certain. For he did not onely restore lyfe so­dainly, but also strength and cherefulnes. And whē the parentes of the mai­den were greatly amased, he gaue thē in commaūdement, and desyred them instantly to tell no body what was doen: both that he myght auoid the sus­picion of vayne glory, (for this chiefly ought to be doen with the heades of the S [...]nagoge, which did al thinges possible to obtaine the praise of men:) and also that they myght shew furth with greater faith, and credite ye thyng that was doen, if they commaunded to kepe silence, yet would nedes tel the thinges that they had seen doen, to the Phariseis and to the Prelates of the Synagoge. For he knewe the disposicion of man, which he minded to vse to the profite of others. And whan he departed, he badde them geue the maidē meate, vsing the part of a phisiciō, making as though it had been no myra­cle, whiche thyng established the fayth of the miracle the more.

The texte. And whan Iesus departed thence, two blynde men folowed him criyng, and saying: O [Page lxi] thou sonne of Dauid haue mercy on vs. And whan he was cum into the house, the blynde came to hym, and Iesus sayeth vnto thē: beleue ye that I am hable to do this? They said vnto hym: Lord, we beleue. Then touched he their [...]yes, saiyng: accordyng to your faithe, be it vnto you. And their iyes were opened. And Iesus charged them, saiyng: see that no manne knowe of it. But they when they were departed, spred abrode his name in al that lande.

Now whan Iesus left the house of the warden of the Sinagoge and re­turned to his owne house: two blinde men folowed hym, whiche had heard the fame of his miracles, and therof conceyued an hope to obtain health, es­pecially hearing of his goodnes towardes al men, wer they neuer so meane. But when they coulde neither see Iesus, nor cum vnto him, yet with a loud crie for loue of health, and for feruentnes of faith, farre of they crie vpō Ie­sus, with gentle praier, saiyng: O sōne of Dauid haue mercie vpon vs. Iesꝰ in the way aunswered them nothing, differring his benefite, that the miracle might be the more manifest: endeuouring alway to allure y Iewes to faith, and by the very thynges many wayes to reproue ye Phariseis vnbelefe. The captain had faith & trust, the woman had faith and trust, they that caried the man sicke of the palsey, did beleue and trust, the Iewes and Phariseys dyd distrust, and wer also full of malice & enuy. But whā Iesus was cum home, the blynde men were receiued into his house, who with stiffe hope folowed hym. Than Iesus geuyng exaumple vnto others, firste demaunded them of theyr faith: Beleue ye (ꝙ he) that I am hable to perfourme your requestes? And they without any delay,Beleue ye that I am hable to do this▪ sayde: Lord we beleue. Than Iesus touching their iyes with his hande, sayed: As ye beleue so be it to you, not chalēging to hym self the restoryng of the sight, but imputyng it to theyr fayth & trust, declaryng that chiefely vnbelefe made vs vnmeete for the bountyfulnesse of God, whiche is prest and readye for all men. Assoue as Iesus had spoken, the iyes of the blynd wer open, so that they saw clerely. Here Iesus willing to warne vs couertly, that although glory of it self foloweth the good dede yet we muste flee it rather then desire it: he charged the blynde menne verye earnestly, that no man should knowe this dede. But the ioying of their newe felicitie, spred the fame of Iesus the more through out the whole countrey: emong all them that knewe of their olde blindnes.

The texte. As they went oute, behold they brought to hym a dumme man possessed of a deuill, and whan the de [...]uill was caste out, the [...]umme spake: and the people maruelled, saiyng: It was neuer so seene in Israel. But the Phariseis said: He casteth out deuils through the prince of de­uils. And Iesus went about all cities and townes teachyng in their Syngogues, & preachynge the glad tidynges of the kyngdome, and healyng euery sickenes & euery disease among the peo­ple.

Whan the blynde were departed, there was an other miserable manne offered vnto hym, who was vexed with a deuill, whiche toke awaye the vse of his tonge, that the man neither was wel in his wit to wishe for helth, nor had no tonge to aske for it. He therfore because he had neede of an other mannes fayth, was offered vnto Iesus. Whiche withoute any tarriyng cast out the deuil, and furthwith the dumme spake. The multitude marueiling at so great spedines of miracles,He casteth oute deuels through the prince of deuils. ready in all kynde of diseases, beyng neuer so incurable, sayed among them selues. There was neuer manne emong the Israelites, that wrought so many miracles to easily. Cōtrariwise ye Pha­riseis blynded daylye with malyce more and more, where as the thynges that were doen in the sight of all menne could not be denyed, yet to the entēte they myght withdrawe from hym the mindes of the people that had him in [Page] veneracion, they falsely slaūder him, that he casteth out deuils not by the po­wer of god, but by the myght of Belzebub the prince of deuils. Thā which vntrue slaūder, what could be a more mad thing? As who should say one deuill driueth out an other, or as who should say, Belzebub the enemy of man­kynd, gaue lyfe to the dead, health to the sicke, sight to the blynde, speche to the dum. These illes cum from them oftentimes, which Iesus of his good­nes hauing cōpassion vpon mē toke away, with suche corporall benefites, as might sēsibly be perceiued, preparing them for the capacitie of spiritual be­nefites. But most meke Iesus was not offēded wt suche malicious reproch, but deuised more for the health of all men, because he sawe the Phariseis, (to whome it apperteyned to see for the healthe of the people) so lyttell to helpe and succour, that also they enuyed the commodities of others. Iesus therfore as a good shepeherde walked thorough al cities and stretes, labo­ring to heale both the soules and bodies of all men, teachyng in their cōgre­gacions, and preaching the kingdome of heauen (into the whiche none bee re­ceyued, but suche as be voyd of all diseases of the soule) and healing also al kyndes of diseases and sickenesses.

The texte. But whan he sawe the people, he was moued with compassion on them, because they were destitute and scattered abrode as shepe hauyng no shepeherd. Then saieth he vnto his disciples: the haruest is plenteous, but the laborers are fewe. Pray ye therfore the lorde of the harueste, that he wyll send labourers into his haruest.

Further whan Iesus sawe the multitude swarming on euery syde, and e­uery day more thicke, and now gredy of health and sincere doctrine, and cō ­nsidered withall, that the Priestes, Phariseis, and Scribes, vpon whō the people hitherto did hang, to do any thing rather then to preserue the people, and that they were whole geuen not to the g [...]ory of God, but to their owne glory, to their owne lucre, to theyr own bely, and to their own pleasures, in whō if there wer any religiō it was but coloured and counterfaited, so that it was very noysome vnto true religion: and considered also that the people was but rude and grosse, and yet in the way of amendment, for they lokyng to be healed in their bodies, folowed with a simple and plaine faithe, & glo­rified god: and although yet they vnderstode not the doctrine of the gospel, yet they did not reiect the same. Contrariwise whan he cōsidered the Phari­seis and the Scribes, where as they had the Prophetes and the law, yet to be blinded with worldly desires, and also to resist the doctrine of ye gospel: the good shepeherde was moued with pitie and compassion,He was moued with cō passion on them. because he saw them lyke vnto wanderyng shepe, skatered a sunder and destitute of a shep­herd, and running vnaduisedly hither and thither. Iesus therfore cōsideryng that in the Phariseis, whiche played the wolues rather than the shepherds, the flocke had no hope, & that the people through miracles was nowe sum­what prepared to receiue the doctrine of the gospell, he sayd vnto his disci­ples, whom he had now well gathered together:The haruest is plenteoꝰ but the laborers ar few. I see a great harueste, but very few laborers. The fame of ye gospel is spred abrode euerywhere. The feruencie of many is stirred vp, whiche seme ripe and redy to heare the wise­dome of the gospel. But where be they that wil take vpon them to preache & teache? Where be they that will teache purely and sincerely, neyther sekyng after glory of man nor after gayne and lucre, but teachyng so sincerely as ye see me teache?

[Page lxii]Truly suche a cumpany of men must not be neglected, beyng kindeled with the desire of the heauenly doctrine. What is than to be done, but to desyre and require the lord of the haruest, to thruste into his harueste the ydle and vnwilling laborers. For the occasiō is now, and lingeryng is daungerous. I knowe that it is more pleasaunt for you to be with me, but the tyme is at hand, that ye must shewe some profe of your selues, and that ye must begin to shew forth for the saluacion of other, that whiche ye haue receiued of me.

The .x. Chapter.

The texte. ¶And when his twelue disciples were called vnto hym, he gaue them power against vn­cleane spirites, and to caste them oute, and to heale all ma [...]er of sickenesse, and all manner of disease. The names of the twelue Apostles, are these. The first Simon, whiche is called Peter, and Andrewe his brother, Iames the sonne of Zebedee, and Iohn his brother, Philip and Bar­tholomew, and Thomas and Matthew, which had ben a Publican, Iames the sōne of Alphe, and Lebbeus, whose syrname was Taddeus, Simon of Canaan, and Iudas Ischarioth, which also betrayed him.’

THerfore Iesus going vp vpon the hill, commaunded his disciples which specially folowed him, to cum vnto him. Of these he ordeyned twelue to be chiefe, vnto whom as to the better learned and more strōg, he committeth with anthoritie, the office of teachyng, that accordyng to thex­aumple that they sawe in theyr maister, they should teach the people, eche in so [...]dry places. And leste the doctrine of fishers, vnlearned and abiecte men, should foorthwith be dispised, he gaue them also power against all vncleane spirites, to cast them out with the worde, and to heale all kyndes of diseases, and all faultes of the bodye,He gaue them power against vn­cleane spy­rites. that whatsoeuer Christ did before them in the fathers name and his owne, that they should do in the name of Iesus Christ, in whose roume they were. For so Iesus entred, that through healing of greuous and incu­rable diseases, (whiche benefite semeth vnto men most godly) he myght al­lute the rude and the simple to the thynges of the soule. But leste any manne should take false Apostles for the true, these be the names of the twelue whom Christ himselfe dyd ordein. First Simon the sonne of Iohn, whiche also was called Peter, and his brother Andrewe: For these were the fyrste that Christ called. Secōdly Iames the sonne of zebedei with Iohn his bro­ther: Thirdly Philip and Bartilmew. Fourthly Thomas whose sirname was Didimus, and Matthew the Publicane. Fifthlye Iames the sonne of Alphe, with Iudas the sonne of Iames, whiche also was called Lebbeus or Thaddeus. Sixtly Simon the Carianite, whiche was also called zelo­tes, and Iudas Iscarioth, whiche afterward betraied his maister. By such maner ambassadoures beyng poore men, rude, abiect, fishers, sinners and men not knowen, and of no reputacion, Christ went about to tourn and re­nue the whole worlde vnto the wisedome of the gospell: lest in this prayse the worlde myghte attribute any thyng vnto it selfe, yf he had begonne this heauenlye pourpose by menne of learnyng, of power, of tyches, or of nobilitie.

The texte. ¶Iesus sente forth these twelue in numbre, whom he commaunded, saying: Bee not into the waye of the Gentyles, and into the citie of the Samaritanes, enter ye not: but go [...]ather [Page] to the lost shepe of the house of Israell. Go [...] and preache, saiyng: the kingdome of heauen is at hande. Deale the sicke, clense the leapres, rayse the deade, caste out deuils. Freely ye haue receiued, geue freely: Possesse not golde, nor siluer, nor brasse in your purses, nor yet scrippe to­wardes your iourney, neyther two coates, neyther shooes, nor yet a todde: For the workman is worthy of his meate.

Now it is worthy the hearyng, to heare what he commaunded them, and how he furnished these ambassadours in theyr iourney. And firste of all he appointeth them the coastes and limittes of preachyng, & forbiddeth thē to go out of Iewry, and forbiddeth them to go eyther to the people that were next, or vnto the cities of the Samaritanes, whom the Iewes did abhorre, not that Iesus did count any kynd of men to be abhorred, but leste he should seme to be offended with the iniuries of the Phariseis, and for reuēging of him selfe, to send his disciples vnto straungers: or leste he might geue occa­sion vnto the Iewes, to excuse themselfes, and saye that they wer despised, and that the Gentiles and Samaritanes were preferred before thē.But go ra­ther to the loste sheepe of the house of Israel, Againe because he knew that the Iewes chiefly would rebell against the gospel, he would leaue them no maner of excuse, but that it should appeare vnto al mē that they were put from the kingdome of god, by their owne frowardnesse, and that the Gentiles were receyued by their own plain and simple faythe. Therfore (ꝙ he) forbeare them for a tyme, and go rather to the lost shepe of the nacion of Israel, that they may repent to be saued. For they be not all of the Phariseis malice, there be shepe emong them, erryng by simplicitie and ignoraunce, whiche being monished and taught will fone repent, & heare the voyce of the good shepeheard. And ye shall beginne your preachyng thus, lyke as ye saw me do. For it is not mete nor expedient forth with to disclose the secret misteries vnto ye rude people:Goe and preach say­ing: the kingdōe of heauē is at hande. they muste be made in a readines be­fore, that they may be hable to receiue the heauēly doctrine. First of al ther­fore preache nothyng els, but that the kingdome of heauen is at hande, that they retournyng from their olde life, may prepare themselues to a new lyfe. For the first degree of righteousnes, is to abstayne from sinne. And the first degree to health, is to knowledge the disease. Furthermore lest the teachers being men of no reputacion, and teaching newe thinges, should not bee bele­ued, make them beleue your doctrine by mi [...]cles, lyke as ye sawe me doe, Heale the sicke, rayse the dead, cleanse the leprose, caste oute deuils. These thinges though they be very great, yet ye shall haue them of me, & they shall get you fauour and authoritie withall men. For first the weake muste be al­lured. Take you hede onely tha [...] ye do not abuse these thynges eyther to vayne glorye,Freely ye haue recey­ued, geue freely. or to lucre. Lyke as ye haue freely receyued of me, so freely geue. Defyle not the euangelical funccion, no not with the least suspicion of glory or lucre. Thus men shall esteme you greate in dede, yf they shall see you of so great might and power, and yet not to be haut nor proude, nor de­sirous of lucre, but stoutly to dispise those thynges, for the which the cōmō sort of men, do & suffre all that they may. I will haue you light and ready to do this message, and to be laded with no burdens, to be encombred with no carefulnesse, that ye may whollye apply the offyce committed vnto you. Ye teache heauenly thynges, set not your care vpon worldly thynges, ye haue preparaciō mete for your preaching, which teacheth no meane thing. Wher­fore when you take your iourney burdeyn not your purses with golde nor syluer. No carrye not so muche as a bagge abou [...]e with you to put your [Page lxiii] vitayles in, neyther .ii. coates, nor shooes nor staffe. He is wel armed which is gyrded with the sweard of the worde of the gospell. Nor ye shall not nede to be carefull,For the worke man. &c. how ye beyng naked shall come by necessaryes. Onely be carefull in your office committed vnto you, and all these shalbe geuen you from your heauenly father. It is his matter that ye haue in hande. He wyll not suffer his workemen to be defrauded of theyr hyer. For them that lyue from daye to daye, and according to nature, necessaries be soone prepa­red. And there wyll be ynowe whiche of themselues wyll geue to you, do­yng and teachyng suche thynges. So shall it come to passe, that neyther ye shall be troubled with suche cares whiche maye diminishe youre auctoritie, and make you to be suspected, nor they whome ye teache, shall be vnkynde towarde you, of whome they receyue farre greater thynges.

The texte. ¶But to whatsoeuer citie or towne ye shall come, enquire who is worthy in it, and there abyde tyll ye go thence. And whan ye come into the house, salute thesame: and if the house be worthy, let your peace come vpon it: but if it be not worthy let your peace returne to you again. And whosoeuer shall not receyue you, nor wil heare your preachyng, whan ye departe oute of that house or citie, [...]ake of the dust of your feet. Ue [...]ely I saye vnto you: It shall be easyer for the lande of Zodoma and Gomortha in the daye of iudgement, than for that Citie.

And ye shall be grieuouse to no man with begging, nor no man shall caste you in the teeth with his benefit, because he hath made a chaunge for better thinges rather than geuen any thing. For it shall not be nedefull for you to tourne into common innes, but into what citie or strete you entre into, firste enquyre yf there be any honest man there, desyrouse of the heauenlye kyng­dome, and wery of the worlde, whiche with godlye desyres sygheth nowe and than after Messias that was promysed, whiche sheweth a greate hope of greater increase, by simplicitie and innocencie of lyfe, by liberalitie to­warde the poore. For suche one will be a very mete hoste for you, and again ye shall be meete gestes for him. Whan ye haue founde suche an one, turne into his house, and chaunge not your inne, vntyll youre busines aboute the gospell,And there abide tyl ye go thence▪ causeth you to remoue into another citie. For it shall not be nedeful neyther comely for you, oftentimes to chaunge your host, as light persons, or persons desyrouse of more deynty fare. Euery house, euery fare, oughte to suffyse for men of the gospell. Be ye curteous & gentill of manners, that ye appere neither proude, nor [...]atterers. Whan ye enter into the house, speake fyrste and saye: Peace be in this house. Youre prayer shall not bee in vayne. For yf the house be worthy this prayer, by and by withoute delaye it wyll receyue it: but yf it refuse it, your salutacion shall not be loste. For that whiche they despise shall returne vnto you. And truely I woulde not haue you bowyng, and becking, or flatteryng any man for your necessities, that yf any house thinke muche to receyue you, or yf anye citie thinke muche to haue you as geastes, and wyll not of theyr owne accorde receyue the sal­uacion of the ghospell offred vnto them, I will that ye shall leaue the house whiche ye saluted, and leaue the citie whereunto ye entred, and go into the stretes and shake of the dust from your feete, declaryng openly that ye hunt for none of theyr worldly commodities, who caste of the ghospell of God, insomuche that ye shall not be caste in the teeth with the vile duste that stic­keth vpon your feete. Here haue in remembraunce, that an holy thyng must not be geuen to dogges, nor precious margarites caste vnto hogges.

Onely see that ye laye this to the vnkynde, wyll they, nyll they, that the [Page] kyngdom of god is at hande to the greate commoditie of them that receiue it, and to the great hurte of them that refuse it. Auyse them whiche receyue the worde of the gospell. Wo be to that citie, wherein none shalbe founde, that doeth repent him of his yll lyfe, and desyreth not to be amended. This I assure you, that the countrey of Sodom and Gormorre shal be more gen­tly handled in the daye of iudgement, than that citie, though it be a citie of Israel. The more that the clemency of god is to prouoke them to penaunce, by so many myracles, and so many benefites, the more grieuously shall they be punished, yf they reiect it.

The texte. ¶Beholde I sende you furth as shepe among wolues, be ye therfore wyse as serpentes, and innocent as doues. But beware of those men, for they shall delyuer you vp to the counsels, and shall scourge you in their Syn [...]goges. And ye shall be brought to the head rulers & kynges [...] my sake, in witnes to them and to the Gentyles. But whan they deliuer you vp, take you no thought how or what ye shall speake, for it shall be geuen you euen in that same boure what ye shall speake. For it is not ye that speake, but the spirite of your father which speaketh in you. The brother shall delyuer the brother to death: and the father the sonne, and the children shall acyse against theyr fathers and mothers, and shall put them to death: and ye shalbe hated of al men for my names sake: But he that endureth to the ende shall be saued.

But leue ye the punishment of them to god, be ye meke and pacient against all iniuries, and so endeuour to profite all good men, that whan ye be pro­uoked of yll men, ye requi [...]e not iniuries. It is sufficient for you to bee gar­nished with those thinges, wherewith ye maye do good to all men. Against the iniuries of men I wyll haue you vtterly without weapon, and to ouer­come with none other defence but with sufferaunce. Otherwise I coulde make you terrible and to be feared, but it is not expedient for the gospell. For violence doeth not extinguishe violence,Beholde I sende you furth. nor iniury iniury, nor pryde pryde, but rather couldnes, gentilnes, and quietnes. I know that the phari­seis, and men that [...]e stoute with the succoure of this world, will go about to do you sore displeasures. But against all these there is none other bucke­ler but pacience. Nor there is no cause to feare, ye be sent lyke shepe without weapon, simple, innocent, in the middes of wolues, but ye be sent of me. I would not that ye beyng prouoked by their naughtines, shoulde he turned into wolues, but to go about this by all meanes, that the wolues asswaged by your gentylnes, maye be turned into shepe. It is no great matter to re­uenge yll men, but to turne their hertes to good, is a veray great & an harde matter. Therfore ye must couple two certayne thinges together, the policy of the serpente, and the simplicitie of the doue. The simplicitie of the doue shall cause you to desire to do good to al men, and to hurt no man, no though ye be prouoked. The policy of the serpente, shall cause you to geue none occasion, wherby your doctrine might be reproued. This is the chiefe point of your ambassade, that the gospell maye entre into all mennes hartes. Therfore ye must do vtterly nothyng,but beware of those mē. which by any probable colour might withdrawe any mans harte from the doctrine of the gospell. Your doctrine shall make great stirres and tumultes in the worlde, the more therfore ye must beware, leste any busynesse aryse through your defaulte. Whiche can not be, yf ye communicate your benefites freely vnto all men, and kepe pa­cience also towardes the yll men, and desyre to do them good.

Therfore with suche maner of men, yea wolues rather, ye muste worke [Page lxiiii] warelye, and nowe prepare your mynde agaynst all kyndes of yll, that no­thyng may trouble you, whan it shall happen. For the tyme shall come that they will plucke you as ill doers into theyr counsels and conuentycles, and beate you with whippes like vngracious men, and subuerters of publique weale, ye shall be brought before rulers and kinges, not for your desertes, but for my sake, & though I may let them, yet wil I suffer all these thynges to be doen, that it maye be witnessed and open to all men, that they peryshe through theyr owne default, which beyng moued and prouoked by so many myracles, by so many benefites, by so ready doctrine, by youre simplenes & gentilnes, so spitefully reiect saluacion offered vnto them. Therefore whan so fewe shal be brought furthe to so many, so weake & vnarmed to so migh­ty, so vnlettered to so learned, be not carefull howe ye shall pleade your cause, though ye be rude, and not skilfull of iudgementes, of lawes, and of the lawe place. Also I would not ye should run to suche ayde and succour, by the whiche the common sorte of men be wont to haue the higher hand in iudgementes. They take vnto them a cunning and a well tonged aduocate, they flatter the iudges, they fall downe humblye vpon theyr knees, they get fauour with money.For it shall be geuē you &c. Medle ye with none of these. Do ye this onely, go furth whan ye be called, aunswere whan ye be commaunded, that they haue no iust cause of cōtumacy and stubbernes against you: but aunswere playn­ly and boldly, not with a deuised and a prepared oracion, but with suche one as hath boldnes ioyned with wisedome and mildnes. Like as vitayle shall be ready for you in euery place: so speche shalbe geuen vnto you, vpō which carefully to muse, appertayneth not to hym that dependeth wholly vpon the helpe of god. Yea speche shalbe geuen vnto them in season whiche muse nothyng vpon it, not garnished nor gaye, but wyse and effectuall, and meete for the gospel. It is not mannes matters that ye haue in hand, but goddes, wherof ye be not authours, but instrumentes. For it is not ye that shall speake there, but the spirite of your father speaketh by your mouthes.

Trusting therfore vpon his helpe, ye must be moued by no stormes of ad­uersitie. For the worlde will aryse against my doctrine with suche tumulte and busines,But he that endureth to the ende shall be sa­ued. that the brother forgetting his brotherly loue, will bryng his brother to death: yt the father forgetting his naturall loue, wyl putte his sonne in daungier of death: that the sonne all honoure and dutie set aparte, will ryse against the father, and mother, and put them to death, of whome he had the beginning of his lyfe. Briefly ye shall be hated of all men, for the hatred they beare to my name. For this world beyng so corrupte on euerye side with ambicion, pryde, auarice, lechery and other worldly desyres, wyl not beare the heauenly doctrine contrarie to his appetite and desyre. And it shall be a greater offence to be a Christian man, than to be a murtherer of a sorcerer. These hurly burlyes the deuill shall rayse agaynste the gospel, but distrust not, godly wysdome shall ouercome the wyles of the deuil, and the malice of man: do ye the busines cōmitted vnto you with a bolde and chere­full courage. For whoso among these ylles doeth perseuer and continue vnto the ende, he shall be saued. For ye must not beyng discouraged with feare, leaue of the busines of the gospell.

¶But whan they persecute you in this citie flye into another.
The te [...]te.
For verelye I saye vnto you: ye shall not go through all the cities of Israel, vntyll the sonne of man be come. The disciple is not aboue his teacher, nor the seruaunt aboue his maister: It is ynough for the dis­ciple [Page] to be as his teacher, and the seruaunt to be as his mayster: If they haue called the good: man of the house Belzebub, how muche more his householde seruauntes? Feare them not ther­fore. For there is nothing kept close, that shall not be opened, and nothyng hid that shal not be knowen. What I tell you in darkenes, that speake ye in light. And what ye heare in the eare, that preache ye on the house toppes.

There is no peryll vnles a stomacke meete and worthy for the ghospell fayle you. But lyke as ye ought not to prouoke the crueltie of yll menne, nor to stirre vp persecucion, nor resist it with might and power, so whilest the preachyng of the gospell is but newe and young, I graunt you libertie to a­uoyde daunger and peryll by flying and running awaye, not onelye that ye maye be in safetie youre selfe, but also that by this occasion the fame of the ghospell maye be spred the further abrode. Therfore yf they persecute you in one citie, geue place to their madnes and flee into another, so that in no wise at a litle iniurie of persecucion, ye cease from your labour in the ghospell. This onely is to be doen now, that the fame of the ghospell maye be spred throughout all Palestine. And in this the persecutor shall do you good, be­cause he shall not suffre you to tarry long in one place.The disci­ple is not a­boue his maister. &c The tyme shall come whan ye shall not auoyde persecucion with flight. Nowe the tyme is shorte, and haste muste be made. For the kyndome of god is at hande. This I assure you, before that ye haue goen ouer all the cities of Iewry, the sonne of man will shewe himselfe, and will helpe you beyng in daunger. An exaumple shal be shewed you in hym how great aduersities the preachers of the ghospell muste suffre. The whiche all ought to seme vnto you the more tollerable for this, that ye se that I haue suffred al maner of reprofes and affliccions. The scholer is not better than his maister, nor the seruaunt better than his lorde. This suffiseth to the scholer yf he bee equall with his mayster: This ought to suffice the seruaunte, yf he be equall with his lorde. If they haue so vn­worthely checked me the father of the house, insomuche that in moste vile re­proche they called me Belzebub, and named the sonne of God by the name of an vncleane deuill:Feare them not therfore what meruaile is it, if they be bolde vpon the seruauntes of the house? I knowe that infamy semeth a great ill, and almoste more greuous than death: but it is a prayse and no infamye, whiche cummeth of wicked men for the gospell sake. They will saye that ye be witches, yll doers, and sedicious, but this ignominy and shame afterwarde shalbe tur­ned into glory. Your sinceritie and innocencie at length shall appere vnto the worlde, whiche sinceritie all men shall prayse, cursing them whiche haue dis­honested you with false reporte. Prayse long suppressed, breaketh out com­monly with greater light. There is nothyng couered but time will vncouer it,For there is nothyng. &c and nothing is hid, but it once will come to light. Endeuoure this onely, that ye do thynges worthy prayse, and not seke after prayse. There is no­thing therfore, why ye should be troubled with feare of infamy, and not fre­ly preache the gospel of the kyngdome. It hath no dishonest thyng, nor no­thyng to be kept close. Yea yf ye heare any thyng of me in darkenes, preache ye it in the cleare light. And if I haue tolde any thing secretely, preache it o­penly. Our doctrine is without any colouring. It desireth to come furth be­fore all men; and it is afrayde to be knowen of no man

The texte. ¶And feare ye not them that kyll the bodye, but are not able to kyll the soule. But feare rather hym whiche is able to destroye both soule and body in hell. Are not two litle sparowes solde for a minute? one of them shall not fall to the grounde without youre father. Ye [...] [Page lxv] and all the heares of your head be nūbred: Feare ye not therfore: ye be of more value than many sparowes Euery one therfore that shal confesse me before men▪ him will I confesse a [...]so before my father which is in heauen. But whosoeuer deui [...] me before men, him wil I also deny before my father whiche is in heauen.

But there shall be some perchaunce, whiche will lytle passe vpon infamye, and other ylles, but who can despise and set lytle by death? It were mete you should feare them, yf they could kyll the whole man: but ye that knowe that the body is the vilest parte of man, and that the soule which is the chiefe parte of man cannot be hurte of them, be they neuer so sauage and cruell: Ye (I say) nede not to feare them. They should hurte you more yf they dyd not sley you folowyng theyr myndes, than yf they kill you not regardyng them. I wyll shewe you who is more to be feared. Feare him who like as he made ye whole man, so he is able to condemne him to euerlastyng death, and to deliuer hym into hell fyre.

Yet the body whiche the tiranne doeth kyll for a tyme, doth not vtterly pe­ryshe. For the selfe fame at the resurreccion shall be restored in far better wise. Hitherto therfore onely the body is in daunger, yf in case ye be killed constant­ly obeying my commaundementes. But yf ye obey theyr commaundementes, and leaue the bus [...]s of the ghospell, nowe not onely the body doth peryshe, whiche yf no man kill it, yet by the common lawe of nature it must nedes dye, but also the soule shall be deliuered to euerlastyng fier. And what matter is it, whether the persecutor, or disease, or any other chaunce take awaye the lyfe? Truely more gloryous it is to die for the ghospell sake, whiche death though it be violent and sore, yet it shall not come before the daye, whansoeuer it cum­meth it shall not come without the prouidēce of God. And by this it cummeth to passe, that yf ye endeuour to auoyde it, ye cannot. God will not suffer you to be slayne but when it shall be very expedient for you to die. Wherfore put out of your myndes all this feare. God also will prouide for this, to whome it were not hard to geue you immortalitie, but that it is a greater thyng to de­spise death, than to escape it. What is of lesse value than sparrowes? of the whiche two be bought for a farthing, a very litle coyne? And the numbre of sparrowes is great in euery place, and yet not so much as one of them is loste in the yearth, but by the wyll and sufferaunce of your father. Doe ye feare than leste he will suffre you, whom emong all he hath chosen to this busines, to perishe before your tyme, whom he doeth not neglecte, insomuche that he kepeth the numbre of all the heares of your head? Seyng that ye be of more estimacion to the father than innumerable sparrowes, there is no cause why ye should feare, leste men be able to do any thyng against you, otherwise than shall be thought to hym, who hath continuall care ouer you. Wherfore leaue the care of your lyfe and death vnto hym, and be not ye driuen from the open profession of my name, be it neuer so hated of the worlde, by any feare of dis­pleasures that men can doe vnto men. For whosoeuer litle regarding the re­bukes of men, doe professe me in this lyfe to bee his Lorde and maister, hym wyll I acknowlege to bee my seruaunt and disciple, before my heauenly fa­ther. Contrarywyse whosoeuer wyll be ashamed of me before men and deny me, hym will I deny before my father whiche is in heauen. And this is no daynteouse and delicate profession, for he doeth not professe, me vnles he doeth declare by his lyfe that he doth beleue my sayinges.

[Page]And he hath denied me whiche so lyueth that he setteth by any sayng more than by me. What winning therfore can it bee, yf a maune lese that noble and euerlastyng prayse with the father and his angels, for feare of a false slaunder hece, which neither lasteth long, nor is no slaunder in dede but with ignoraunt and folyshe menne, and before God very true glory? It is a great gayne lytle to passe vpon these thynges, and to make haste to the euerlastyng rewarde: whiche shalbe geuen in due tyme to them that haue deserued it: in the meane season a good conscience is a great piece of the rewarde.

The texte. Thynke not that I am come to sende peace into the yearth. I came not to sende peace but a swearde, for I am come to set a man at variaūce with his father, and the doughter with her mother, & the doughter in lawe with the mother in lawe. And a mans [...]es shall be they that art of his household [...]. He that loueth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me, and he that loueth sonne or doughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his crosse and foloweth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his lyfe, shall loose it, and he that looseth his lyfe for my sake, shall fynde it.

The profession of the ghospell is no weriche nor lyght thyng. Truely the rewardes be great, but ye must come vnto them with vehement and continu­all desyres of the mynde: they chaunce not vnto yll menne and lingerers: they must be obteyned by strength and violence. Thinke ye that I am cumme to so we peace in the yearth emong men? It is farre otherwyse. Nay I am not come to sowe peace and concorde, but swearde and war [...]e, and that inwarde and domesticall warre, and not ciuile warre onely.

For where as the doctryne of the ghospell shall be hated of the moste parte, and sith it requireth so feruente a desyre towarde it, that all the affeccions of men be they neuer so great and vnruly, must geue place: it cannot be but great stryfe and dissencion must aryse emong thē that be most nere & frendely: why­les they that do [...]e vpon the worlde wyll rage rather agaynst theyr derest belo­ued, than forsake theyr vices, whereunto they be accustomed: and whoso is once touched with the great feruencye of the euangelicall charitie, he wyll not suffre hymselfe by no maner of affeccions to be plucte awaye from the thing, whiche he hath begoonne to embrace and make muche of. But happy is that stryfe and dissencion whiche doeth auaunce sincere and good thynges, and cutteth awaye rotten thynges: Happy is that swearde whiche pareth awaye from the soule all noysome lustes and desyres. Lette this tumulte and hurly-burly be layed vnto me, and not to you, whiche haue geuen a medicine & trou­bled all the body: but so, that they that stryue against theyr beloued, that is to saye theyr nerest kinsfolkes, for the hatred of my name, ought to impute it to themselues and not to me. For they myght folowe them whome they per­secute. I offer helth and saluation to all men, whyche yf all men do embrace, there shall be no stryfe nor dissencion. Truly the ghospell of it selfe is a thyng of peace, and of quietnes, but sedicion is raysed by the faulte of others: Lyke as the medicine is a holsome thyng of it selfe, but in the body it maketh a rum­blyng and trouble, whiles it prouideth that all the membres may be in quiet.For I am come. &c. But it is expediente that the noysome thynges be pared away, that true and holy concorde may be established the more emong the pure & cleane. This sweard therfore I bring into the earth to breake concorde betwixt the sonne and the father, to deuide the sure and streight bande of nature betwene the [Page lxvi] doughter and the mother, to disceuer the loue and concorde betwene the mo­ther and daughter in lawe. There is no knot of nature or amitie so sure, which this swerde is not able to breake.He that lo­ueth father or mother. &c. Whom domesticall acquaintaunce hath made louers and very nere frendes, them the swerde of the gospell shall set in sundre. But so ferre and no ferther shall this batrayle extende, and so farre shall this warre go, that they whiche be of our syde shall onely despise their enemi­es, but not hurte them, and asmuche as in them lyeth, saue them also yf they can▪ And thus farre shall this despising goe, not to disgayne them and abhor [...]e them, but soberly to make them an aunswere, and not to obey theyr wicked commaundementes. Ye must take hede by all meanes that the common state of the publique weale be not troubled by you. Be not slacke in the duty which by the law of nature the sonne oweth to the father, the daughter to the mother the brother to the brother, the husbande to the wyfe, the cosen to the cosen, the frende to the frende, and the familiar to his familiar, and acquaintaunce. For I do not abrogate and put awaye the lawe of nature, but make it perfecte. Ye must be obediente in all thynges vnto the publique magistrates and mini­sters, vnlesse they prescribe and commaunde wicked thinges. They call you to the lawe, ye must go they require an accompte, ye must make it: but yf they commaunde you to do honour and sacrifice to ymages and pictures, yf they commaunde you to cease from preachyng of my name, ye ought not to obey them. And yet they must not be stirred with checkes & railinges, but they must be aunswered soberly; why it is more mete to obey God the prynce ouer all, than the power of man. For it is reason that the commaundementes of God should be preferred before the cōmaūdementes of men. And yf they prescribe vniust thinges which yet do not make menne wicked yf they obey them, they must be suffered, leste they beyng stirred they fall into a rage. As for an exaum­ple, if they take away vniustly thy garment or money: if they cast thee into pry­son: if they scourge thee with whippes. For these thynges do not take awaye godlines, but rather by occasion, increase & set furth the vertue of the gospell. Lykewyse the duetie of the naturall loue must be perfourmed to the parent yf he haue nede, though he be an heathen, and alienate from the ghospell. But yf the authoritie of the parent withdrawe from the ghospell, the heauenly father ought more to be obeyed, than the yerthly father. And yet the father must not be churlishly despised, but gently & reuerently monished, not to repung against God. In lyke maner also we must do with other, vnto whom we owe the du­tie of humanitie, either of nature or els of curtesy. Some wil say, it is heard to master suche affeccions, which nature hath inwardly graffed in vs. But suche stronge and manly menne, the profession of the ghospel doth require, and such as wyll be moued from the heauenly busynes by none affeccions. Ye shall see me go this waye: he must nedes folowe in the same which will be taken in the numbre of my disciples. The sonne that loueth the father or the mother more than me, is not mete for me. Agayne the father whiche loueth the sonne or the doughter more than me is not mete for me. And he loueth him more than me, yf in doyng hym pleasures, he neglecteth my commaūdementes. It is wicked loue so to tendre thy parentes being but men, that thou offende thy parent be­ing God. And leste it should seme to be muche to set more by the wyll of God than all mennes affeccions, whereas nothing is more deare to man than life, except he despise this also for the ghospell sake, and be alwaies in a redines to [Page] all kyndes of death and punishmente, and take vp his crosse and folowe me dayly,He that findeth his life. &c. he is no mete disciple to haue me to his maister. For lyke as the disor­dered loue of the parent or childe, is hatred rather than loue, sith it is noysome vnto both: so the disordered care to preserue the lyfe, is a verye destruccion of the life. He hath preserued his life, that loste it well, he hath loste it, which hath kept it naughtily. He that by forsakyng the ghospel, and denying me, hath pa­cified the iudge, hath escaped prison, hath escaped hāging, hath escaped death, whereas he semeth to men to haue wonne his life,And he that loseth his lyfe. &c. he hath loste his life in dede. Agayne he that constauntly stickyng vnto the ghospell putteth furth hymselfe boldely to all daungers & deathes, he semeth vnto men to loose his lyfe, where in dede he winneth his lyfe. The lyfe doth not perishe when it is taken awaye for professing of the ghospell but is preserued euerlastyngly: It doth perishe in dede, if it bargayne to haue a short tarrying in the bodye with vngodlines: and yet it liueth not than in the body, whiche liueth in the hatred of God.

The texte. ¶He that receyueth you receyueth me, and he that receyueth me receyueth hym that sent me. He that receyueth a Prophete in the name of a Prophete, shall receyue a Pro­phetes reward. And he that receiueth a iust mā in the name of a iust mā, shall receiue a iust mans reward. And whosoeuer shall geue to one of these litle ones to drinke, a cup of cold water, only in the name of a disciple, verely I say vnto you, he shall not loose his reward.

Neyther is there any daunger leste if it chaunce you to be forsaken of your parentes, kynnesfolkes, aliaunce, and frendes, that there shoulde bee none to geue you houserowme and vittayle. The gyftes wherewith I doe adorne you, and your innocencye, shall purchase you euery where, houses, parentes, chyldren, kinnesfolkes, and frendes. For ye shall haue so many chyldren, as ye shall haue disciples. Lyke as there shall be euer some which wil despise you and persecute you: so there shalbe euer some which will comforte you with an entiere and pure affeccion. And as, albeit ye reuenge them not, but wishe them well, God in time to come wil greuously punishe them, because he taketh him selfe to be despised when ye be despised:He that re­ceiueth you receyueth me. so to the others he will rendre a great reward for your sake, albeit ye requyte them not. For God willeth not that it shoulde be imputed to you, but vnto hymselfe, yf any Gentilnes hathe been bestowed vpon you for the gospels sake. For whosoeuer receiueth you, recey­ueth me, in whose name ye be ambassadoures: and he that receyueth me, re­ceyueth my father, from whom I am sent, and whose matter I haue in hāde.

He therfore like as he is riche and liberall, so will he rendre a very great re­ward for euery litle benefite whiche is bestowed vpon you, that menne shall not loose theyr benefite vpon you, but haue a great auantage therby: yt muche more ought he to rendre thankes whiche gaue the benefite, than he that recey­ued it. For truely it is a great gayne to exchaunge a corporall benefite indu­ryng but a whyle, for spirituall and euerlastyng ryches. Whoso receyueth the Prophete or the preacher for no nother cōsideracion but that he is a Pro­phete or a preacher, and that he beyng sent from me preacheth the will & pro­mises of God, he shall receyue the rewarde of a Prophete, and become a Pro­phete himselfe. And whoso receyueth the iust man not because he is his kinnes­man, or for any other worldely affeccion, but for this cause onely that he is a iust and a good man, liuing after the rule of the ghospell, he shall receyue the rewarde of the iust, & become a iust man himselfe. Hath not he made an happy [Page lxvii] chaunge, whiche hath vsed hospitalitie, and wonne innocencye? Pouertie can withdrawe no manne from this gayne. For here the good wyll of the geuer is counted the gyfte, and not the value of the gyfte. In somuche that whoso ge­ueth but a cup of colde water, I saye not vnto me, but vnto any of the leaste of these, onely because he is my disciple, I saye vnto you, certenly he shall not leese his rewarde: for he also shall become my disciple. And who is so poore and bare whiche is not hable to geue a cuppe of colde water to the thirstye? And as it skilleth not howe great the thyng is that is geuen, but with what affeccion and in whose name it is geuen: so it skilleth not howe great he be, v­pon whom this gentilnes is bestowed: this is sufficient that he is my disciple, that I may excepte and take it for a great benefite.

¶ The .xi. Chapiter.

The texte. ¶And it came to passe that whan Iesus had made an ende of commaunding his twelue disciples, he departed thence to teache and preache in theyr cities.’

AFter that Iesus had instructed & furnyshed his disciples with these commaundementes, and commissions to preache the gos­pell, he lefte them: that they beeyng aparte from theyr maister, myght make a triall of themselues, and proue what they could doe: and went from the hill, that he for his part might preache the ghospell in the cities of the Iewes.

The texte. Whan Iohn beyng in pryson hearde the workes of Christe, he sent two of his disciples, and saied vnto him: Art thou he that shall come, or do we loke for an other? Iesus answe­red and sayed vnto them: go and shewe Iohn agayne what ye haue heard and se [...]e. The blind receyue theyr sight, the lame walke, the leprose are clensed, the deafe heare, the dead are raysed vp, and the poore receyue the glad tydinges of the ghospell. And happy is he that is not offended by me.

And at what tyme the fame of Iesus, by the reason of his miracles which he wrought in many places, and by the reason of his wonderfull doctrine, did increase daylye more and more throughout all Iewry, and in the countreyes nere vnto Iordane, where Iohn before had preached and baptised Iesus: the disciples of Iohn somewhat nowe enuying the glory of Iesus, of whom as yet they had no great opinion, whereas of Iohn they thought that he was somewhat more than manne: they tolde vnto Iohn beeyng in pryson, what good successe and fortune came of all thinges which were doen by him, whom a lytle before he had baptised in Iordane, and with whom he dyd beare wit­nesse vnto the people.

Further Iohn a man of perfecte holynes, reioysing that it nowe came to passe whiche he spake before, that the name and opinion of hymselfe, whiche was greater than it was in dede, did decrease and diminishe, and the fame and opinion of Iesus did dayly increase and sprede abrode, perceyuing also the en­uious affecciōs of his disciples, to the intent that he might heale theyr weake­nes [Page] and abandone them from hym and deliuer them to Iesus: he chose out two of them & sent them to Iesus, to say vnto him in his name these wordes: Arte thou that Messias, whiche was sayed should come, or arte thou not he whom I spake of before, and do we yet loke for an other? Thus dyd Iohn, not that he was in doubt, but to confirme and establyshe the myndes of hys disciples, and throughly to abolyshe and put awaye the ouer great suspicion that they had of hymselfe, supposing him to be Christe. For yf he should haue denied that he was Christe and should haue repeted that whiche he had often spoken before that Iesus is Messias, his disciples woulde haue imputed it vnto humilitie: and the more he should haue humbled hymselfe, the greater o­pinion would they haue had of hym. But he knewe that Iesus hymselfe coulde best heale and cure this theyr weakenes.Go & shewe Iohn a­gaine what ye haue hearde and seen. They go vnto Iesus and tell hym what Iohn commaunded them. Iesus knowyng that the testimonye whiche is gathered of dedes, is more certayne than that whiche spryngeth of woordes, chiefly yf a man testifieth with himselfe, made none aunswere at the first, but euen before theyr face working many wonders, both newe, & which haue not been heard of, healyng the sicke, chasing awaye the vncleane spirites, restoryng the lame, geuing sight to the blinde, sayeth vnto them: It nedeth not for me to shewe what I am. Onely goe and shewe vnto Iohn what ye haue seen with your iyes, and what ye haue heard with your eares. The blynde receyueth syght, the lame walketh, the lepers bee clensed, the deafe heareth, the demoniackes whiche be troubled with deuils, be deliuered, the dead ryse againe: Finally according to the prophecy of Esay, the poore and humble doth embrace the ioyfull tidinges of euerlastyng lyfe, whiche the stoute and arro­gant do despise. These workes do declare sufficiently what I am. And bles­sed is he, vnto whose mynde suche great successe of the ghospell geueth not oc­casion of yll. Iesus spake this also, notyng modestly the enuy of Iohn hys disciples, but in suche wyse that they should not be putte to shame before the multitude, but should knowe theyr faute secretely with themselues: tempe­ryng his answere by all meanes, both that he myght auoyde suspicion of ar­rogancy, and that the disciples myght beleue hym the better, and also that he myght rather heale theyr affeccion, than openly to reproue them.

The texte. And as they departed, Iesus began to speake vnto the people concerning Iohn. What went ye out into the wildernes to see? a reede that is shaken with the winde? go to, what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft rayment? beholde they that weare soft clothyng, are in kinges houses. But what went ye out to see? a Prophete? verely I say vnto you, and more than a Prophete. For this is be of whom it is written: Beholde I sende my mes­senger before thy face, who shall prepare thy waye before thee. Uerely I say vnto you: e­mong them that be borne of women arose not a greater than Iohn the baptist. Yet he that is lesse in the kingdom of heauen, is greater than he. From the dayes of Iohn Baptist vn­till this day, the kingdom of heauen suffereth violence, and the violent plucke it vnto thē. For all the Prophetes, and the lawe it selfe prophecied vnto Iohn. And yf ye will receyue it, this is Del [...]es, whiche was for to come. He that hath eares to heare, let him heare.

Then when they were departed, Iesus turnyng vnto the multitude, leste they shoulde surmyse anythyng of Iohn otherwyse than were conue­nyent, supposyng that he demaunded these thynges as though he had been in doubt himselfe, and not rather to heale the weakenes of his disciples: he be­ganne to setfurth the prayses of Iohn very largely, but yet in suche wyse that he woulde not geue hym the prayse of Messias, but the nexte prayse onely, [Page lxviii] and yet he woulde that Iohn his testimony concernyng hym, shoulde be of weyght. For it is expedient that the people shoulde haue a very good opinion of Iohn, whiche had testified so notably of Iesus, that he was the sonne of God, that he was the lambe whiche shoulde take awaye the synnes of the worlde, that it was he that shoulde baptise in fier and spirite. For neither va­nitie nor lying coulde be suspected in suche a manne, as though he had falsely so praysed Christe before: nor waueryng or inconstancye, as though beeyng chaunged afterwarde he shoulde haue begonne to doubte of Christe. Letter, o man (ꝙ he) suspecte Iohn of inconstancie.

For yf ye thynke hym suche a one that he wyll chaunge his minde after the maner of mutable men,What wēt ye out into wyldernes to see? &c. and doubte of that thyng whiche he before affirmed, for what cause dyd ye lately flocke together in wildernes to gase and loke on? To see a reede shaken with the windes? For suche maner of manne should he be, yf he would nowe swarue and dissente from hymselfe, and should become much vnlike vnto himselfe. But the continuall hardnes of his whole lyfe, doth lightly deliuer him from this suspicion. What I saye, ranne ye together in to wildernes for to see?Beholde they that we are softe clothing. &c A manne gayly appareled with silkes? This was a sight nothyng mete for wildernes. For they that be clothed with fine lynnen and silkes, be in kynges palaces, vnto whom doth agree excesse and riot, and delicate liuyng. And emong them inconstancye and flattery hath place.

He that liueth with locustes and wylde honye, he that is clothed with Camels heare, he that is gyrded with a letheren gyrdle, is not thus suspected nor misdemed: And the familiaritie of the kynges courte coulde not alter his or­dre. The pryson doeth declare and shewe that he coulde not flatter. But it must nedes he some great specta [...]le and sight whiche drewe you so thicke into the deserte. Therfore what came ye to beholde? Any Prophete? for they be com­monly wunte to leade theyr lyues in deserte.

Here truly ye be not frustrate of your hope: For ye haue not seen onely a Prophete, but a more excellent thing than a Prophete. For it is he of whom Malachias once prophecied, that he should come before Messias as beeyng nowe at hande, that he should not onely by his oracle and tent saying, promise him to come long after, bu [...] also poynte hym with his finger to be at hande. Thus is the prophecie: Lo sayeth he, I sende my Aungell before thy face to prepare thy waye for thy cummyng at hande.I s [...]ye vn­to you. &c. This I assure you, so great is the excellencie of Iohn, that none is greater than he, emong them all that hath been borne of a woman: Yet he whiche is at this present estemed lesse of many in preaching of the ghospell, onely is greater than he: for he promised not with doubtfull prophecies, that Messias once should come, but he shewed him, & appoynted him nowe cumming, and preached that the kyngdome of heauen was nowe at hande. Hitherto the heauenly doctryne was looked for, whiche the figures of the Patryarkes, whiche also the oracles of the Prophetes, had darkely promised. Nowe Iohn so excited and stirred the hartes of many to the desire of euangelicall doctryne,From the daies of. &c that from the begynnyng of his prea­chyng vnto this daye, they breake in vnto it through the violence of faythe, both sinners and heathen people, and wyll we, nill we, they plucke it, and rauishe it violently. They wyll no longer be excluded, they wyll no longer be detayned in shadowes & darke riddles of the olde lawe, perceiuing that the light of the euangelicall trueth is at hand, and that the thyng is nowe present, [Page] whiche was shewed and signified in the former bokes, perceyuyng also that none other prophecie ought to be loked for, touchyng Messias that shoulde come.For all the Prophetes &c. For all fygures, by the whiche the lawe poynted Messias to come, and all prophecies of the Prophetes, which promysed that Messias should come, as soone as Ihon came, left of to promyse the thyng to come. For it is folish­nes to loke for the thing that is presente, as though it were to come.

There is no more to do, but feruently and gredely to teache, and take that which agreablyte the true sayinges of the Prophetes is nowe presently offe­red. And to the intente that ye maye playnly see that hereafter there is none other Prophete which shall shewe you of Messias to come, this is that Iohn, whome Malachias vnder Helias name (whome he folowed in austeritie and hardenes of lyuyng, and apparell, whome he folowed also in franke reprouing [...]f kinges) prophecied before should come before that Christe did come. Wher­fore yf ye receyue hym, beleue ye that Messias so long loked for, is nowe at hande: ye haue seen his lyfe, ye haue hearde his testimony, ye heare also what I will saye vnto you. Yf any haue eares to receyue the trueth, let hym heare: yf any wyll stop his eares, let hym thanke hymselfe of his owne vndoyng. There is nothyng omitted of vs that may moue the hartes of all menne.

The texte. ¶But wherunto shall I lyken this generacion: It is lyke vnto children whiche sitte in the market places, and call vnto theyr felowes, and saye: We haue pyped vnto you, and ye haue not daunsed, we haue mourned vnto you, & ye haue not sorowed. For Iohn came neyther eating nor drinkyng, and they saye he hath a deuyll. The sonne of manne came ea­tyng and drynkyng, and they saye: beholde the glutton, and the wyue, bibbet a frende to the publicants, and to the synners. And wysedome is iustified of her children;

And yet I see many so obstinatly vnbeleuyng, that neyther afrayed by the austeritie of Iohn, nor allured by my curtesye and well doyng, wyll receyue the thyng whiche they haue loked for nowe so long tyme, by the promyse of the Prophetes. What maner of generacion shall I call this? Or by what comparison may I set it furth? It is lyke vnto children sytting in the market place, whiche with a common song crye thus to theyr felowes a farre of: we haue song you plesaunt thinges vpon our pypes, and ye haue not daunced: we haue song you sorowfull thinges, and ye haue not wayled. We haue prou­ed & assayed one thing, but diuers waies. Neither waie hath been profitable vnto the vnbeleuers, sower and vntractable. Iohn minding to styrre vp this nacion vnto penaunce, (as it were with a sorowfull [...] song) came furth with great austeritie & hardnes of lyfe, fasting, abstayning from all delicate meates, forbearyng wyne, and drynkyng water. And some lette not to saye that he is possessed with the deuill,The sonne of man. &c. so farre they be from folowyng of him. The sonne of man came furth minding to styrre vp this nacion to the loue of the heauenly doctryne, as it were with a more merye song of the pypes▪ and that he myg [...]t allure them the more with his gentilnes, he hideth not himselfe in deserte pla­ces, nor weareth no notable rough garment, nor vseth no notable sower mea­tes, but framing hymselfe to all men, and despising the cumpanye of no man, eateth all maner of meates, and drinketh whatsoeuer is set before hym: and [...] ­gayne they picke quarels, falsely to reproue hym, saying: Beholde the great eater, the wyne bibber, the frende of the publicanes and synners. They that be not moued with austeritie and roughnes, he wont to be wonne by fayre spea­king [Page lxix] and gentilnes. But this nacion by euery occasion is made wurse, & tur­neth euery remedy and medicine into a matter of greater disease and sickenes. But by the moe wayes they be prouoked to health and saluacion, the more euident it shall be to all men, that they perishe through theyr owne malice: and the wysedome of God, by whose councell all these thynges be doen, shall haue the prayse of righteousenesse emong her children, when they shall see them that appered great menne and iust menne before the world, to be repelled from the kyngdome of heauen for theyr vnbelefe: contrarywyse when they shall see sin­ners, Publycans, harlottes, heathen people, humble and abiect, to be receiued into euerlastyng saluacion for the redines of theyr fayth.

The texte. Than began he to vpbrayde the cities, in whiche most [...] of his miracles were doen: be­cause they repented not of their sinnes. Woe vnto thee Chorazin. Woe vnto thee Bethsai­da. For yf the miracles whiche were showed to you had been doen in the citie of Tyre or Sydon, they had repented of theyr synnes long agene in sacke clothe and asshes. But I say vnto you: it shalbe better with Tyre and Sydon in the daye of iudgement, than with you. And thou Capernaum whiche ar [...] lift vp vnto heauen, shalt be brought downe to hell. For yf the miracles whiche haue been doen in thee, had been shewed in Sodome, they had remayned vntyll this daye. But I saye vnto you, that it shall better with Sodome in the daye of iudgement, than with thee.

Here Iesus musyng in maner at the inuincible malyce of certayne people,Wo be to the Chora­zin. for the feare and example of others, began to rebuke the cities, whiche where as he had shewed many miracles, and healed men, & taught so many thynges: yet they were not styrred to repentaunce of theyr former lyfe, saying: Woe be to the Chorazin: woe be to the Bethsaida: for yf the wonders which haue been shewed in you, had been seen in Tyre & Sydon, whiche cities ye abhorre as heathen and wycked, long ago they beeyng contryte would haue doen pe­naunce in heerclothes and ashes. And in the meane time ye stand in your owne conceyte, because ye be of the flocke of Israel,Wo be to thee Beth­saida. because ye sacrifyce not vnto I­dolles, because ye be not geuen to riot and excesse so opēly and loocely, because ye wurship one God, because ye be the chyldren of Abraham, because ye haue the lawe and the Prophetes: but vnlesse ye repente you, all these thynges shall turne into the heape of your damnacion. For this I assure you, in the daye of goddes iudgement when euery man shalbe iudged of God, not after opinion and hearesaye, but accordyng to his diserte: Tyrus and Sydon shall be more gentely handled than you. They shalbe the more easely punyshed, because they were not styrred to repentaūce as ye be. And thou, o Capernaum, which nowe standyng in thyne owne conceyte, art in courage as high as heauen: shalt than be pl [...]cked downe to hell.But I say [...] vnto you. &c. Thou reioysest with thy selfe as though thou were ryghteous and doest abhorre the dwellers of Sodome whiche in tyme paste were horriblye punished for theyr synnes: but in the daye of iudgement theyr dānacion shal be more easy than thine. For if those miracles had been wrought in Sodome whiche haue been shewed in thee, they would haue satisfied by pe­naunce, God that was offended with them, and theyr cities had stande vnto this daye.

The texte. At that tyme Iesus answered, and sayed: I thanke the o father, o Lorde of heauen and yearth, because thou hast hyd these thynges from the wise and prudent, and hast she­wed them vnto ba [...]es. Uerely father so it was thy good will▪ [...]dinges are deli [...]ered vnto me of my father. And no man knoweth the sonne, but the father: nor no man know­eth the father, but the sonne, and to whomsoeuer the sonne will reuele hym.

[Page]And when the disciples were returned vnto Iesus from theyr preachyng, and told him cherfully that the matter came well to passe, he teaching vs that whatsoeuer we do prayse worthy ought to be ascribed vnto God, lifting hys iyes vp to heauen, saide: I thanke thee, o father, which art Lord of heauen and yerth, and by whose wysedome all thynges be gouerned, because thou haste hyd this heauenly philosophie from them that be high mynded and puffed vp with pryde, through an opinion of theyr worldely wysedome and polycie: and haste opened it to the litle ones, & to the meke, and to fooles after the worldes iudgemente. Truly so it is father, for so it is thought best vnto thy gentilnes: to teache that thou art not pleased with the stout, and such as trust vnto their owne iustice and wisedome: and that they be great with the, for the simplicitie of fayth, whom the worlde taketh for fooles and abiectes. So it pleased thy godly wysedome,Uerely fa­ther so it was. &c. to condemne the wisedome of man, and to drawe vnto thee good menne by the humilitie of the doctryne euangelicall. And by and by tur­nyng to them that stoode aboute him, sayed: My father is the author and the cause of all these good thynges, who hath deliuered all vnto me. To knowe hym and me, is the very true felicitie. And he doeth not bowe hymselfe but to quiet and meke myndes. This is a certayne secrete Philosophie and not kno­wen vnto the worlde. No manne knoweth the sonne but the father: no manne knoweth the father but the sonne, and to whom the sonne wyll manifest hym: and he doth not manifest him to the proude and high minded. The doctryne a­uayleth nothyng, the miracles auayleth nothyng, without the secrete inspira­cion. But none be worthy of this, but they whiche distrusting theyr owne hel­pes commit themselfe wholy to the goodnes of God. They that thynke them­selues wyse, be not worthy for this wysedome. They that thynke themselfes ryche, be not receyued to these ryches. They that thynke themselfes noble and myghtie, be not receyued to these priuities. They that thynke themselfes iuste, be not mete to receyue the iustice of God.

The texte. ¶Come vnto me all ye that labour, and are laden, and I will ease you. Take my yoke vpon you, and learne of me. For I am [...]eke and lowely in hearte, and ye shall finde rest vnto your soules. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is lyght:

Here Iesus consideryng in his mynde the great miserye and calamitie of mankynde, some to be opressed with pouertie, againe some more greuously to be tormēted with care for riches, some to be greued with diseases, some with olde age, some to be vexed with loue, and some more greuously troubled with hatred, many to wander and wauer in sundry mazes of false opinions, many to be afflicted and greued inwardly with the conscience of theyr synnes, and that there was none, whiche played the parte of a faythfull and effectuall pa­stour, whereas there were innumerable whiche t [...]ke vpon them to be priestes in countenaunce and hawtie behauioure, whiche magnified themselfes by the name of maister & Rabby, and whiche dyd exacte theyr tithes: moued with pitie and compassion doeth inuite and call vnto hym all men, promisyng of his owne accorde vnto all menne, comforte and remedy, so that with a syngle and syncere harte, they cumme vnto hym, and shakyng of the moste miserable and moste greuous yoke of the worlde, take vpon them the yoke of the doctryne e­uangelicall.

[Page lxx]Cumme vnto me (sayeth he) as many of you as bee greued with affliccions, cares, or with conscience of your synnes, and as many as be oppressed with the burden of aduersitie, I will refreshe you, I will geue you solace and com­forte agaynste all kyndes of displeasures.And I will ease you. Neyther ryches, nor honours, nor pleasures of this worlde, bryngeth the true tranquillitie & quietnes of mynde: nor the wysedome of this wordle, nor the religion of the Phariseis deliuereth from greuouse carefulnes. The worlde hath his yoke, at the firste apperaunce pleasaunte, but in dede greuouse and sharpe. Firste of all shake it of, and runne vnto me gladly, and bowe your neckes cherefully vnder my yoke. Learne of me what thyng onely and truly doeth pacifye and ease the mynde, and of what fountayne this whole cumulie and trouble of menne doeth spryng. Truely this is the hawte and fyerce mynde trusting to it selfe, and trustyng lytle to God. Out of this spryngeth Ambicion, desyre of money, luste to reuenge, de­bate, enuy, warre, sedicion, wickednes agaynste God: than the whiche thynges what canne be more tinmultuous or troublesome? So that yf ye will be once deliuered from all illes, take awaye the fountayne of these euyls, receyue my doctryne, and folowe my lyfe. Learne of me howe that I am meke and of no hawte herte.For I am meke & lowly of herte. I haue declared by miracles what I canne doe, and yet I desyre neyther ryches, nor honour, and I am ambicouse and gredy vtterly vp­on nothyng whiche semeth to the worlde great and goodly. I disdayne none be he neuer so vile or sinfull. I geue not taunte for taunte: I curse not them that wyshe me yll: I stryke not hym agayne, that stryketh me: I depende wholy of the commaundemente of my father. He wyll punishe the yll doers: he wyll rewarde the good dedes: to hym I render the whole glorye: to hym I committe all my care. I obey simply and playnly in all thynges his will: and as muche as in me is, I study to do for all men, and to hurte no manne. Yf ye learne onely this of me, ye shall fele and perceyue these miserable tumul­tes and troubles to be assuaged, wherwith nowe ye be tossed and turmoyled without any ende, and ye shall gette rest and quietnes to your myndes: whiche shall folowe you and be with you in the mid tempestes of aduersities which trouble you on euery syde. A meke and a colde mynde is the fountayne of all mannes tranquillitie and quietnes. Onely hauyng confidence howe downe your neckes. There is no cause why ye should feare my yoke. It semeth harde and heuy vnto the vnbeleuers, but vnto them which with all theyr harte trust vnto the goodnes of God, whiche haue receyued the fyer of the euangeli­call charitie, my yoke is softe and easye, and my burden is lyght. For the certen and sure hope of rewardes, maketh the yoke pleasaūt: and the inessable loue towardes God, maketh the burden light. For what is not swete and pleasaunte to him that hath a loue to it? Yf the mynde haue a good conscience and be voyde of all care, yf it haue a certayne trust of the rewardes of euerlastyng lyfe, what shall spryng or ryse whiche canne trouble or moue suche a mynde?

¶ The .xii. Chapter.

The texte. At that tyme, Iesus went on the Sabboth dayes through the corne, and his disciples were an hungred, and began to plucke the cares of the corne, and to eate. But whan the Phariseis sawe it, they sayed vnto hym: beholde thy disciples do that whiche is not law­full to do vpō the Sabboth day. But he sayd vnto them: haue ye not red what Dauid did whan he was an hungred, and they that were with hym? howe he entred into the house of God, and dyd eate the shewe breaddes, which were not lawfull for him to eate, neither for them whiche were with him, but onely for the priestes? Or haue ye not red in the lawe howe that on the Sabboth dayes the priestes in the temple breake the Sabboth, and are blamelesse? But I saye vnto you: that in this place is one greater than the temple. Wher­fore yf ye wist what this meaneth, & will mercye, and not sacrifice: ye would not haue condemned innocentes. For the sonne of man is Lorde also of the Sabboth daye.’

ANd vpon a certayne daye as Iesus went by the corne, and his Disciples stirred with hunger and goyng be­fore hym, plucked the eares of the corne, and rubbyng them with theyr handes, eate the corne: the Phariseis takyng occasion on euery syde falsely to blame them, sayed vnto him: Seest thou not what thy disciples do breaking the Sabboth day? Why than doest thou not forbid them sith they do vpon the Sabboth daye, that whiche is not lawfull? Here Iesus so defended his dis­ciples, that they coulde not blame hym, as the aucthour or breakyng of the Sabboth day, & teacheth them withall, that suche maner ordinaunces ought to cease as often as necessitie or some notable profite chaunceth. For the Sabboth daye, fastinges, and suche lyke constitucions were not ordeyned for mans hurte and vndoyng, but for his preseruacion and health. Therfore he doth obiect against the Phariseis beyng skilfull in the lawe, an exaumple out of the lawe, and that of a man not of the common sorte, but of him whom they counted chiefly to be an honest man and blamelesse. Why (ꝙ he) doe ye falsely blame my disciples for that they asswage theyr hunger with a smale thing, and easie to be gotten? Haue ye not red how that holy Dauid cōstrained by necessitie,Haue ye not redde what Da­uid did? &c. enterprised a greater thyng. Who fleyng from Saule, when he came to the citie of Nobe, dyd eate the loaues, whiche they called the leaues set furth to be shewed, and not only he, but also his folowers and seruauntes? It is vnlawfull for any man sauing only priestes and Leuites, to eate of these loaues: but when he was in daunger for hunger, neyther the priestes feared to shewe hym these loues, nor Dauid feared not to touched and eate them, as though they had been prophane and not holy. Yf ye alowe the doyng of the priest Albimalech: if ye disalow not the doyng of the Prophete Dauid: why do ye reproue my disciples for a thing muche lesse to be regarded? For what a finale worke is this to plucke vp the eares of corne being at hand, & to eate the corne rubbed out with your hādes?Or haue ye not [...]ed in the lawe? &c. Besides this the lawe it selfe cōmaundeth the Sabboth to be broken. For the priestes in the temple killing ye beastes on the Sabboth day, & exercising the bucherly office, gathering together a pile of wood and setting it a fier, plucking of the skinne, cuttyng them in pieces, and sethyng them, breake not they the Sabboth day? the lawe suffereth no worke [Page lxxi] to be doen, and yet the sacrate priestes doe exercise & vse these fowle workes in any holy place vpon the sabboth day. Ye knowe that these thinges be doen, and ye doe allowe them for this,But I saye vnto you. &c. because they make for the vse of the temple. If the authoritie of the temple be so great, that the worke which is bestowed vpon it doeth not breake the Sabboth daye, this I saye vnto you: Heare is one of greater authoritie than the temple. They that doe seruice vnto hym, ought more to be excused from the blame of breakyng of the Sabboth daye. If they breake not the Sabboth day which labour in the sacrifices of Moy­ses: muche more ought they to bee excused that serue and wayte vpon the ghospell, whiche is a sacrifice moste acceptable to God. He that did ordayne the Sabboth daye may also take awaye the Sabboth: and he that ordeyned the Sabboth daye, dyd ordayne it for mans sake, and contrarywise he made not man because of the Sabboth daye. It is mete therfore that the kepyng of the Sabboth daye geue place to the profite and commoditie of man, and not man to perishe because of the Sabboth daye. If sacrifice be made so muche of, that whoso attendeth vpon it, may blamelesse breake the Sabboth daye, why holde ye not hym excused, whiche by a necessari [...] benefyte helpeth his neyghbour vpon the Sabboth daye? For God confesseth that he estemeth more this kinde of sacrifice, than yf a man offer vp to him a beast. For he say­eth by his Prophete Osee.Wherfore yf ye w [...]ste what this meaneth. &c. I desyre mercye and not sacryfice: And the know­ledge of God, more than brente sacrifice. Ye take vpon you to be learned in the lawe, and yet this is wrytten in the lawe, which yf ye truely vnderstoode, ye would neuer haue blamed them that be blamelesse, for a lyght matter, & noy­some to no manne. For there be certayne ordinaunces, not that they be good or yll of themselfes, but that by some meanes they be profitable towardes god­lines, and do rather signifie, than bring or geue holines: as be kindes of meate, the colour or fashion or garmentes, or the stuffe that they muste be made of, fasting, and holy dayes. These thinges we must not so supersticiously obserue and kepe, that for them we omitte and let passe thinges that be of themselues and euer good, or doe those thynges whiche be of themselues and euer yll.

Aduoutrye, homicide, back bytyng and enuye, bee euer yll and wicked: And yet they that bee of the pharisaicall religion, doe lesse abhorre from these thynges, than from the b [...]akyng of the Sabboth daye. To helpe thy nedye neghbour is euer godlye and holy, and yet the Phariseis vnder the colour of kepyng of the Sabboth daye, suffre theyr neyghbour to be gre­ued and vexed.

The texte. But he departed thence, and went into theyr Synagogue. And beholde there was a man hauyng a withered hand. And they ashed him, saying: Is it lawfull to heale vpon the Sabboth dayes? That they myght accuse him. And he sayed vnto them: who emong you shall haue a shepe, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabboth daies, will he not take it and lift it out? Than howe muche better is a man than a shepe? Wherfore it is lefull to do a good dede on the Sabboth dayes. Than sayeth he to the man: stretch furth thy hande. And he stretched it furth. And it was restored vnto health lyke as the other.

This daungerous supersticion, Iesus Christe studied clerely to plucke out of the myndes of his disciples. Therfore to the intent he myght beate thesame into the myndes of all men by a more manifest example, departing from this place, he returned into theyr Synagogue, mynding to take them to witnesse, whom he knew to be chiefly infected with this disease. And behold, furthwith [Page] there was geuen hym occasion of a miracle. For there was one in the multi­tude whiche had a lame and a wichered ryght hande.And behold there was a māne ha­uyng a wi­thered hād Nowe the Phariseis le­kyng after an honest quarell to accuse Iesus, marked him whether he would heale the man vpon the sabboth day, which a litle before defended thapostles where as they were blamed for breakyng of the sabboth daye. But Iesus myndyng to declare vnto all men that their accusemente came not of religion but of enuy, commaunded the man with the lame hande to come furth before them, that the faulte myght appere vnto them all, to the intent they myght be moued with pitie towarde the miserable man, whiche had that membre dead and vnprofitable,And they asked him. &c. that is moste necessary for a poore manne. But before he healed the man not ignoraunte what the Phariseis thought, he demaunded of them this question. Is it lefull to heale a manne on the sabboth daye? And whether is it more tollerable emong you to doe good to a man or to do yll, to saue a manne or to destroy hym? For he destroyeth hym, who whan he maye saue hym, doth not saue hym. But they all helde theyr peace leste the peo­ple should thynke them cruell, yf they should saye, it were not lawfull to helpe and succour a miserable manne on the sabboth daye, or leste they should lese theyr occasion to blame Iesus, yf they had answered it had been lawfull. They therfore saying nothyng,Who e­mong you shall haue a shepe. Iesus hymselfe bryngyng furth an example leused the knot of the question. Whiche emong you (ꝙ he) shall be founde so religious and deuoute a keper of the sabboth day, that yf it chaunce one of his shepe to be in daunger, by fallyng into the dyke on the sabboth daye, wyll he not put to his hande furthwith to plucke her out? If auarice can do so muche with you, that ye had rather breake the sabboth daye, than to diminyshe your substaunce by one shepe: howe muche more ought charitie to preuayle, and obtayne of you, to helpe your neyghbour on the sabboth day, whiche is farre better than a shepe? It is manifest therfore (I reporte me to you) to be law­full to helpe your neyghbour with a good turne vpon the sabboth daye. But whan Iesus perceyued that theyr enuy woulde not be mitigated ney­ther by these woordes,Than saieth he to the manue. nor by the syght of the miserable man, and that they would not be moued by so euident and playne reason, casting his iyes about, taking it greuously, and beyng sory for suche great blindnes of theyr heartes, he turned vnto hym that had the drye and withered hande, and sayed: Put furth thyne hande: and at that woorde he put furth his hande as plyaunt and nimble, as the other was.

The texte. Than the Phariseis went out, and helde a counsayle agaynst hym, howe they myght destroye him. But Iesus whan he knewe it, departed thence, and muche people folowe [...] hym, and he healed them all, and charged them that they shoulde not vtter hym: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esay the Prophete, who sayeth. Behold my sonne whome I haue chosen: my beloued in whome my soule hath muche delyght. I will put my spirite in him, and he shall shewe iudgement vnto the Gentyles: He shall not stryue nor crye, neither shall any man heare his voyce in the stretes. He shall not breake the broused [...]eede, and he shall not quenche the smokyng flaxe, tyll he sende furth iudgement vnto vic­tory, and the Gentyles shall trust in his name.

The Phariseis driuen into a rage by this so notable an acte, when they per­ceyued that they had loste an occasion to accuse Iesus, departyng out of the Synagoge, & leauyng the multitude whom they perceyued to beare a good mynde vnto Iesus, consulted secretly with the Herodians, whiche also had [Page lxxii] to do with Iohn his disciples, which enuyed yr glory of Iesus, by what mea­nes they myght rydde Iesus out of the waye. They had nowe a will toward murder, and nothyng lacked but a meete occasion. But Iesus not ignoraunte what they intended, withdrewe himselfe from that place, lesse he myght seme to haue geuen some occasion of extreme delyng to the rageyng and furyous men. He myght haue spytefully represte them, he myght haue ouerwhelmed them with miracles,And the people folowed hym he healed them all. he might haue destroyed thē also, but mynding to shewe the euangelicall mekenes, he gaue place to theyr rage & fury, yf perhaps they would relent and repent: and thus farre he gaue place vnto them, that▪ neuer­theles in other places he distributed his heauēly doctrine vnto the multitude, which folowed him thicke and threfold, and as many sicke men, or otherwise myserable, as were brought vnto hym, he healed them. For his tyme was not yet come: the ghospell was not yet sufficiently spred abrode. Wherfore he gaue place to them,And char­ged thē. &c. not to prouyde for hymselfe, but to take from them the oc­casion of a wicked dede, & to teache withall, that the wysdome of the ghospell ought not to be defended against the disobedient with threatnynges, wyth checkes or contencions, but with mildenes & mekenes. Therfore he cōmaun­ded the multitude yt folowed hym, that they should not disclose hym, leste the rumour spreadyng abrode,That it myght bee fulfilled which was spoken by [...]say. &c. the Phariseis myght bee stirred more and more. Neyther was this thyng doen by chaunce, but it was prophecied nowe long before by the Prophete Esay that it should so come to passe: In ye wrytinges of the whiche Prophete the father doeth descrybe and set furth the victorye of his sonne obteyned thorowe mekenes, and the saluacion of the ghospell, tran­slated to the Gentyles, for the pertinacye and stubbernesse of the Iewes, suffi­ciently knowen to all men. Behold (sayeth he) my sonne whom I haue chosen before other: behold my dere beloued, in whom my soule is delited. I will geue vnto hym my meke and gentle spirite, by thinspiracion wherof, he shall shewe iudgement, not onely to the people of Israel, but also to all nacions. He shall not doe this tumultuously or violently. For he shall not chyde nor shall not crye out against them that be con [...]enciouse. No man shall heare his voyce in the stretes, as they be wonte that warre with the tong. He shall geue place to the inuincible malice, but he shall endeuour to bryng all vnto saluacion. He shall geue none occasion to the yll of theyr incurable destruccion, but he shall sane all, yf by any meanes they can turne themselues vnto the better. He wyll not despise the weake, he wyll not despyse the feble, in whome there shall re­mayne any good hope: he wyll cheryshe them, rather than oppresse them. He wyll not breake the browsed reede, and he wyll not quenche out the smokyng flaxe, vntyll the trueth of it selfe, by the processe of time, haue the hygher hand and vntyll the madnesse of the wicked through theyr owne default breake out so farre, that all men maye perceyue, that they be worthely repelled and cast a­waye. Than the Gentyles shall enbrace his doctryne, whiche the Iewes de­spised, and put theyr trust in hym, whome the Iewes refused to trust.

The texte. ¶Than was brought vnto hym, a blynde and dumme man, vexed with a deuyll: and he healed hym, insomuche that the blynde and dumme, both spake and sawe. And all the peo­ple were amased, & fayed: Is not this that sonne of Dauid? But whā the Phariseis heard it, they sayed: This felowe dryueth not out deuils but by the help of Belzebub the prynce of deuils. But whan Iesus knew their thoughtes, he sayed vnto thē: Euery kyngdom de­uided against it selfe shalbe brought to naught. And euery citie or house deuided against it­selfe [Page] shall not stand. And if Sathan cast out Sathā, he is deuided against himselfe. [...] than shal his kingdom endure? And if I cast out deuils by the help of Belzebub, [...]y whose help do your children cast them out? Therfore they shall be your iudges. But yf I cast out deuils by the spirite of God, shall is the kingdom of God come vnto you. Or els how can one enter into a strong mans house and spoyle his iewels except [...] he first binde the strong man, and than spoyle his house?

It chaunced in the meane tyme that emong many whome he healed, they offered vnto Iesus one that was possessed with a deuyll, whiche had taken from the wretched man both his iyes and his toung. Iesus commaunded the deuill to departe: he departed, and forthwith the moste miserable manne was wholy restored in such wyse that both he sawe and spake. The multitude was amased at that so great a master, and nowe suspectyng hym to bee Messias, they [...]pake among themselues. Is this that sonne of Dauid, whom the Pro­phetes dyd promyse?This fe­lowe dri­ueth out deuils, &c. Whan the Phariseis heard this voyce of the people, they set not vpon Iesus hymselfe, of whom alwayes they had the wurse, but they endeuour to withdr [...] the hartes of the multitude from the honoryng and veneracion of him [...] cannot be (ꝙ they) that this is that sonne of Dauid as ye suppose. For he shall come borne vp and mayntayned by the power of God.But whan Iesus knew their thoughtes &c. He casteth not out deuils by the helpe of God, sith he is wicked and a breake [...] of the Sabboth daye, a glotton, and a drunkard, and a companion of the Publican [...]s, but by the helpe of Belzebub the prynce of deuils. Now Ie­sus although he heard not their voyce, yet knowing both what they thought, and what they spake to others, turnyng vnto the Phariseis, so ordered hys answer, that by manifest reason he reproneth theyr madde raising and rebuke, and yet he rayseth not on them agayne, but rather prouoketh them louingly to embrace theyr health and saluacion. Euery kyngdome (ꝙ he) deuided with in­warde deuision and discorde, muste nedes come to naught. And euery house stryuyng with it selfe, with inwarde disagreing must nedes fall. And yf Sa­than driueth out Sathan,And yf I cast out de­uils. &c. and yf one deuyll dryueth out an other, howe shall his kyngdome endure? And howe is it lykely and greable, all deuilles beyng enemyes of menne, desiryng nothyng but the hurte and destruccion of them, whose health miserably they doe enuy, that nowe they fauour so greatly their health, that for this cause one deuyll stryue [...] [...] fighteth with an other? Nowe yf I cast out deuils by the power and helpe of Belzebub, these me disciples your chyldren,Therfore they shalbe your iud­ges. whom ye knowe, by whose helpe cast they out deuils? for they also cast out deuils, and yet ye reproue not them, but only me ye falsely blame: and yet they haue might of me to cast them out. Therfore it cānot be that they should chase awaye deuils in the power of God, and I in the might of Belze­bub, sith they doe it in my name. And therfore men vnlettered and vnlearned be able to doe so great thynges, because they beleue simply that by the power of God I chase awaye deuils. Therfore theyr godly belefe shall condēne your vnbelefe, because you desyre rather vniustly to reproue, wheras ye might be godly folowers. And if the thyng it selfe declare that I doe cast out deuils not by the helpe of ye deuill, but by the might of God, ye ought not to doubte any more, but that the sōne of Dauid is come, and the kyngdom of God, sith ye see that the strength of the aduersaryes deeth vanyshe awaye, whan they whiche professe the ghospell call vpon my name. Therfore lyke as there is a concorde and agrement emong the deuils themselues to destroye all men: so I whiche [Page lxxiii] am cum to saue all men, haue no concorde nor agrement with them, but deadl [...] dissencion and disagremente. Hitherto Beelzebub hath exercised hys tyrannye vpon sinfull men geuen vnto fylthie desyres: I takyng a way the synnes of men doe confounde and destroy Beelzebub the Prynce wyth hys whole garde, and I doe restore vnto god through innocencye, whom he did possesse throughe vn­ryghteousnes. The thyng is done by force, not by any agremente betwene me and the deuils. They feele, and confesse that there is a present power wherunto they be forced to geue place. Or els howe maye it be that any man myght enter into the tower of a myghty man, and take away his stuffe, vnlesse fyrst he ouer­cum the myghty man, and lay him in bandes? Than he once kept vnder which was hable to resyste, he wyl spoyle the whole house, and as it were carye awaye hys pray. The worlde is the house of Beelzebub. In thys he claimed to hym a­certeyne kyngdome, because the whole worlde was geuen to ambicion, excesse, fylthy lustes, auaryce, anger, enuy, and other noysom desyres, by the whiche he is made myghty. I as a man of more power and valiantnes, haue entred into his kyngdome, and ouercūming him haue wunne againe to the true prince, that whiche he vniustly did possesse. Therfore there is no agrement betwene vs: the prynces be diuers, the kingdomes be diuerse, by no bande or leage to be reconci­led and made at one.

The texte. He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scatereth abrode. Wherfore I saye vnto you, all maner of synne and blasphemy shalbe forgeuen men, but the blasphemye agaynst the spirite, shall not be forgeuen men. And whosoeuer speaketh a woord against the sonne of man, it shalbe forgeuen him. But whosoeuer speaketh against ye holy gost, it shal not be forgeuen hym, neyther in thys worlde, nor in the worlde to cumme. Eyther make the tree good, and hys fruite good, or els make the tree euyll, and hys fruite [...]uyl. For the tree is knowen by hys fruite. O generacyou of vypers, home canne ye speake good thinges, whā ye your selues are euil? for out of the aboūdaunce of the hart, the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the harte, bryngeth furth good thynges. And an euill man out of the ill treasure bryngeth furth euil thynges. But I saye vnto you, that of euery ydle worde that men shall haue spoken, they shall geue account in the day of iudgement. For of thy woordes thou shalte be iustyfyed, and of thy woordes thou shalt [...]ee condemned.

He that wyl be grafte in the kyngdome of god, muste withdrawe hymselfe from the kyngdome of Beelzebub, and muste fight agaynst hym in my tentes. No man can be at peace wyth god, vnlesse he be at war with the deuyll. I take goddes parte, and not Beelzebubs. Therfore whoso is not in my tentes, is my enemye, and aduersarye. And whoso healpeth not me in gatheryng together, is agaynst me in scateryng abrode. See that ye ioyne youre selfe to the better parte. It is better to obteyne health in the kyngdome of God, than euerlasting deathe in the kyngdome of the deuil. Ceasse from seruyng of synne, and the deuil shall haue no power ouer you. God wyll receiue them to hys kyngdome that run from hym, and wyll not impute the synnes of the former lyfe, bee they neuer so outragiouse, vnto such as be penitent. Thys onely is to bee obserued, that no manne blynded with enuye, and peruetted wyth malice, withstande the glorye of god agaynste hys owne conscience: and where as he seeth with hys lyes the diuyne power by manifeste sygnes and wonders, to be opened to the worlde, that he attribute it not to the spirite of Beelzebub. Wherfore thys I assure you, whatsoeuer is done by woorde or dede, shall be remitted vnto men, so that they repente them. God doeth easyly forgeue that whiche by anye meanes is veniall and pardonable by the reason of frayltye of mannes nature. [Page] But yf any man speake blasphemye against the spirite of God, whose manifest power he seeth of hys playne weorkes, he shall scarcely fynde pardonne and forgeuenes. And whoso speaketh blasphemy agaynst the sonne of man, whom he despyseth for the weakenesse of hys fleshe, he shall bee pardoned, because errour and ignoraunce mixte wyth hys dooyng, dothe exclude peruerse and set malice. But whoso speaketh blasphemy agaynst the holye ghost, shal vneth obteyne pardonne and forgeuenes eyther in this worlde, or in the worlde to come. This thyng spake Iesus to thyntente he woulde feare the Phariseis from theyr obstinate frowardnes, because whan they sawe and perceyued that those thynges whiche he dydde, coulde not bee doene but by the spirite and the myght of God, yet they moued with enuy resisted the glory of god, and ascry­bed his miracles vnto Beelzebub, whose spirite they saide wroughte in Christe. Whan after common reason (saieth he) the free is knowen of the fruite,Eyther make the [...]re good & hys fruite good &c. why do ye blame the tree, sythe ye cannot but allowe and commende the fruite▪ The miracles whyche I worke, ease and releue the miseries of menne: they hurt no man, they be not done for vayne ostentacion and glory, or for gaine and lucre, but to do good and to healpe. No man can deny but thys is good, freely to doe for them that be in affliccion. Why therfore saye ye that that which is good of it selfe, cummeth from Beelzebub, who by your owne iudgement is al naught? If ye wyll hyde the blindenesse of your myndes, ye muste speake thynges that may stande together, nowe the thynges whiche ye speake, agree not toge­ther after the common iudgemente of menne. Therfore eyther make the tree good and his fruite good, or els make the tree ill and his fruite ill. Either graūt that I am moued wyth a good spirite, wheras ye graunte that my workes bee good, or els saye that my workes be ill, that your▪ saiyng may appere probable, where ye saye that I haue the spirite of wicked Beelzebub. And yf my doynges be suche that ye muste nedes cōfesse that they be good, ascrybe not good thinges to an ill authour. Ye kinred of vipers, yll men springyng of yll pa [...]entes, con­iecture and iudge ye by your selues: Do ye not speake euen as ye be? and dooe not your weorkes declare what spirite ye haue? Ye enuy the glorye of god, and falsely blame his spirite. From whence cummeth so pestilente fruyte, but of an euill tree? For as it can not bee that a wylde tree shoulde bryng furth genti [...] fruite, and that a tree of poysoned iuyce shoulde bryng furth holsom appulles: euen so how can ye speake well syth ye be yll? For as the fruite taketh hys taste and verdoure of the iuyce of the roote: so communycacion ryseth of that whiche is hyd in the harte, lyke as a good manne bryngeth furthe good thynges oute of the good tresure of his harte: so the yll man bryngeth furthe yll thynges out of the euyll tresure of hys harte. Whose harte is replenished with godlines and charitie, they speake wordes whiche sauour of that that is in the harte. Whose harte is replenished wyth enuy, pryde, and auarice, they vse suche communyca­cion, whyche by the mouthe doeth vtter the affeccion of the harte. Menne shall be esteined before god not onely of theyr dedes, but also of theyr woordes. An ill thought is pestiferouse and noysome onely vnto the thynker, but yl talking doeth powre out the poyson of the harte emongest many. The tonge therfore muste bee rescayned, not onely from outragiouse blasphemies, from [...]aolding, rhiding, and backbityng, and vncleanly communicacion, but vtterly from all thinges wherof cummeth none honeste profite or commoditie. Yea I saye vnto you, that man shall render a count in the day of iudgement not onely for filthy [Page lxxiiii] talkyng, but also for euery vayne, idle, and vnprofitable worde, that they shall speake. For theyr wordes also, shalbe taken and accounted for dedes. Of thy wordes eyther thou shalte be iudged good, yf good woordes issue out of a good harte, or thou shalte be condemned as vniuste, yf yll woordes issue out of an yll harte. And here vnderstande ye the perfecte iustyce of the kyngdome of heauen, far passyng the iustice of Moyses lawe. For that lawe punysheth onely the ma­nifest blasphemye agaynste god: here shall be punyshed also anye reuylyng or taunte agaynste thy neyghhour, and not only the noysome and perilouse say­ing, but also the idle and vaine woorde. For that whiche is vnprofitable on the tree, is the burden of the tree and not the fruyte: and therfore it is noisome, be­cause it occupieth the time and the eares of the hearer, without any fruite or pro­fite, whereas the tounge is geuen for this intent, that therwith we should profite our selues and our neyghboure, and that with this member we should celebrate and magnifye the glory of God.

The texte. Than certayne of the Scribes and Phariseis asked hym saiyng: mayster we will see a sygne of the: but he aunswered and sayde vnto them: The euyll and aduoutrous genera­cion seketh a sygne, and there shall no sygne be geuen to them, but the signe of the prophete Ionas. For as Ionas was three dayes and three nyghtes in the whales belly: so shall the sonne of man be three dayes and three nyghtes in the harte of the yearth. The men of Ni­nyue shall arise in the iudgement with this nacion, and condemne it, because they amended at the preachyng of Ionas: Beholde here is one greatter than Ionas. The quene of the south shall ryse in the iudgement with this generacion, and shal condemne it. For she came from the vtmoste partes of the worlde, to heare the wisedome of Salomon. And behold in thys place is one greater than Salomon.

Certayne of the scrybes and phariseys whan they had hearde these thinges, dissemblyng the rage of theyr myndes, go vnto Iesus with more gentyl woor­des, as though they woulde nowe beleue him, yf for theyr sake he woulde shewe sum miracle worthye and meete for them and also for hym, who chalenged to hym the spirite of god, and had alwayes in his mouthe the heauenlye father. Maister (ꝙ they) we whiche bee not of the common sorte, but learned men, de­syre of you to see sum notable sygne from heauen, whiche maye declare that ye be derely beloued of god, and that ye doe that thyng whiche ye do by his power and myght. But Iesus knowyng theyr subtill thoughte and obstinate malice, whiche required a sygne for none other intent, but to take a newe occasion thereby falsely to accuse hym, chiefly sithe it is more easye to pycke a quarell at those thynges whiche bee shewed from heauen, than at those thynges whiche appeare before the iyes,The euyll and aduous­tetous &c. bee hearde wyth cares, and touched wyth handes: not bearyng so greate frowardnes, but in maner turning from them, and taking it angrely (as it were) wyth hymselfe, made answere, saiyng: O naughtye and counterfeit nacion, whiche doethe glorye that they haue god to theyr father, whiche doeth crake of her progenitoure Abraham, where as it foloweth rather them whiche forsakynge God, wurshypped the golden calfe: whyche styr­red sedicion agaynste Moyses: whyche murmured in the deserte: whyche kyl­led the Prophetes: whereas it declareth that it hathe Beelzebub to her father, with whose spirite beyng replenyshed, it doeth rebell agaynste the spirite of God.

But it shall haue no synge geuen from heauen, whiche it maye calum­niate and reproue, and whiche it is vnworthye to haue, for as muche as it is [Page] wholly sette and geuen to the yearthe, but once there shalbe a sygne geuen to it out of the yearth, whereby it maye be ouercum and vtterly peryshe, yf it wyll not conuerte. This nacion meruayled at the miracle of the Prophete Ionas, whyche swallowed vp of a beaste in the sea, was restored againe aliue after thre dayes. Thys shalbe a sufficient sygne for them, yf they maye see hym reuyue a­gayne by the deuine power,For as Io­nas was thre dayes▪ &c. whome by theyr malice they haue slayne. Thys myracle shortly shalbe shewed vnto them, whiche they wyll falsly slaunder. For lyke as Ionas wyllyngly deliuered hymselfe to deathe, and was receyued of the beast of the sea, and was in her belly three dayes, and three nyghtes, and beyng paste hope of all menne, by and by through the healpe of God was re­stored alyue: so the sonne of manne shall bee deade in the harte of the yearthe three dayes and three nyghtes. By thys fygure and darke exaumple, Iesus syginfieth hys deathe and buriall, and furthwith hys rysyng from death. And he added. As Ionas was to the Niniuites, so am I to you. He tolde them that the vengeaunce of god,The men of Niniue shal aryse, &c. and the destruccion of theyr citye was at hande, vnlesse they would repent: I declare the same vnto you all. But the Niniuites whome ye despyse as heathen and idolaters in comparison of you, shall ryse in the iudgemente of God, and shall declare you worthelye to be damned in com­parison of them. For they although they were synfull, yet beyng a fearde at the threatenynges of the Prophete, humbled themselues vnto penaunce. And be­holde: here is one greatter than Ionas, whyche preacheth to you in vayne.

The Niniuites were people farre from the wurshyppynge of God, Ionas vnknowen, and symple, and meke came vnto them. No man commended hym, or tolde before of hys cummyng, he shewed no miracles, he allured vnto hym no bodye with benefite, he promysed no great thyng. Onely he threatned vndo­yng and destruccion, and he preached no lenger than three dayes. I being pro­mysed by thoracles of the Prophetes, so often commended by the testimonye of Iohn, by the testimonie of the father, beyng your countreman, beyng cumme also of the same parentes of whome ye glorye and crake: haue taught you nowe so long tyme, testifyng by so manye miracles, that my doctryne is not vayne: haue holpe so manye wyth my free benefites, and doe not thunder sore threate­nynges, but of myne owne accorde promyse forgeuenes of all synnes: I offer euerlastyng felicitie of the heauenly kyngdome: yet it is sayed that I haue the spirite of Beelzebub:The quene of the south shal rise▪ &c, I am layed at with deadlye deceytes, so farre ye bee from bendyng and bowyng to true penaunce. Furthermore, the quene of Saba shall ryse in the iudgement, to the reproche and condemnacion of this generaci­on, because that she by the reason of tidynges brought far of, leuing her king­dome and her countreye, toke a longe iourneye vnto Salomon, not moued by any feare, but only for the desyre of wisedome. And she did not only cum to Sa­lomon, but also she brought with her great gyftes. And beholde, there is one in thys place greater than Salomon. For what lyke thyng dyd Salomon to the thynges whiche ye see me do? or what lyke thyng taught Salomon? And yet ye put me to al kynde of rebukes, whyche of myne owne accorde bryng vn­to you the doctryne of the gospell, wherby ye maye be saued: furthermore also, ye go about to do me more grieuouse displeasures whych am beneficiall vnto you. But the greatter the wonders and benifites be whereby ye bee prouoked vnto penaunce: the greuouser shall your punyshemente bee, vnlesse ye repent in tyme.

The texte [Page lxxv]¶Whan the vncleane spiryte is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seking t [...]st, and findeth none. Than he saieth: I wyl returne into my house, from whence I came, And whan he is cum, he fyndeth it empty, and swept and garnyshed. Than [...]e goeth and taketh vnto hym seuen other spirites worse than hymselfe, and so entereth in, and dwel­leth there▪ [...]nd the ende of that man is worse than the begynnyng. So shall it bee also vnto this frowarde generacion:

Further what thyng shoulde chaunce vnto them, and into what blyndnesse the people of Israell shoulde cum, and howe miserably it should be handled of the prynces of Rome, and how it should be banished throughout the worlde, reiected and despised of all nacions, Iesus had rather to signifie by a certayne darcke exaumple, than to declare it manifestlye. And he taketh a similitude of a man whyche was possessed of a deuyll, who whereas he was once deliuered and restored to hys ryght mynde, afterwardes by his owne defaulte receyuyng the deuill agayne, was more grieuously vexed, than he was before. Whan an vn­cleane spirite (ꝙ he) goeth out from a man, beyng banyshed from his olde hos­pitall, he walketh in dry and baren places, seking rest and fyndeth none. Than sayeth he wyth himselfe. I will returne into the hou [...]e from whence I wente, where when he cummeth, he fyndethe it decked and clensed, but withoute anye geast. Than he s [...]yng that there is a place and not occupied of anye other, not beyng contente to returne thyther hymselfe alone, he taketh vnto hym seuen o­ther spirites worse than hymselfe, whych entryng into the house together, make theyr dwellyng there. And it cummeth to passe, that the man is more greuously vexed than he was before. So shall it happen to this vngracious nacion. By thys similitude Iesus noted the obstinate and wylfull malice of the pople of Israell, falling backe oftentimes to theyr olde maners. In tymes paste they serued and folowed the deuilish vices and desyres. It was sumwhat deliuered by the lawe and the Prophetes, but returned often agayne to her own manner and disposicion. It retourned to Idolles, it did sacrifice in the woodes, it kyl­led the Prophetes. It was redressed and amended through affliccions by Pha­rao in Egypte, by Nabuchodonoser in Babilon, and by diuerse other calami­ties and miseries. Finally prouoked of the sonne of god so many waies, hathe not onely renewed, but also farre exceded al the wickednesse of her forefathers, not only araiyng the harmelesse and the well doer wyth al kynde of spitefulnes, but also driuyng him vnto the crosse and passion with false accusementes. Whereof a certayne monstruous blyndenes, and seuen tymes more miserable than the blindnes of theyr fathers, hath possessed theyr hartes, and therfore they shall be more cruelly handled and destroyed than they haue been hytherto.

The texte. ¶And when he yet talked to the people, beholde hys mother and brethren stoode withoute desyryng to speake wyth him. And one saied vnto him. Behold thy mother and thy brethrē stande without desyring to speake with the. But he answered and saied vnto him that had tolde him. Who is my mother, or who be my brethren? and he put furth hys hand towarde hys disciples, saying: Beholde my mother and my brethren. For whoso doeth the wyll of my father whyche is in heauen, thesame is my brother, and sister, and mother.

As Iesus spake these thynges to the people, there came the mother of Iesus, wyth certayne of hys cosens whyche desyred to speake wyth hym. But when they coulde not cumme vnto hym for the multitude beyng so thycke, and standyng aboute the doores of the house, a voyce passyng ouer from [Page] one to another, a certayne man interrupted the communicacion of Iesus, and tolde hym that hys mother and hys brethren were at the doore whiche desyred to speake with hym. But Iesus offended wyth this importunitie and trouble­sumnes, and wyllyng also to teache that such affeccions should be passed litle v­pon, as often as the matter of the gospel is in hande, and that the kinred of the myndes oughte more to be regarded than the kynred of the bodies, whyche is gotten by vertue and not by the nerenes of bloud, the whych also is more large than the other, he aunswereth him whych interrupted him. Who is my mother and who are my brethren? I being occupied about the heauenly busines know­ledge no mother nor brethren, ioyned by carnall affinitie: wherof sum bee far of perchaunce in hartes. And holdyng out his hand towardes his disciples, which syttyng nere receyued gredely in silence his wholsome doctryne, if ye wil know (ꝙ he) my very true kinsfolkes which be moste dere vnto me, these be my mother my sisters, and my brethren. Here is no difference of kinde or age, no respecte of kinred. Whosoeuer doth obey the wyl of my father whyche is in heauen, he is my mother, he is my sister, he is my brother. I esteme hyghely the spiritual and not the bodily affinitie. This affinitie euery man may come by. Euery mā like as he is moste obedient vnto my fathers wyl, so he is moste nere and moste dere vnto me.

The .xiii. Chapter.

The texte. The same day Iesus went out of the house, and sate by the sea syde, and much people were gathered vnto hym, insomuche that he went and sate in a shyp, and the people stood on the shoore. And he spake many thynges to them by simylitudes, saiyng: Behold the sowyer went furth to sowe. And as he sowed, some sedes fel by the way syde, and the foules came and deuoured them vp. And some fel vpon stony places where they had not much yearthe, and anon they sprong vp, because they had no depenes of yearth. And when the sunne was vp, they caught heate, and because they had no roote, they wythered away. Agayne some fell emong the thornes and the thornes sprong vp and choked them. But some fel into good ground and brought furth fruite, some an hundred folde, some six [...]y folde, & some thyrty folde: Whosoeuer hath eares to heare, let hym heare.’

AT the same tyme whan Iesus sawe that the place was not able to receiue suche a multitude, he went oute of the house to the water syde. And whan he came thy­ther, he satte vpon [...] banke, teachyng the people whiche gaped after his doctryne insaciablye. Further when he sawe the multitude so great and thicke, that they thruste hym, and pressed hym: and to thintente he myght bee at more libertye from the people, he entred into a shyp, and spake out of that as out of a pulpit, to the people standyng vpon the banke. For so he myght be both better seene and better heard of manye,And he spake to thē many thyn­ges in simi­litudes, because the sande of the bancke and the brincke of the bancke, made as though it were a rounde auditory.

And because in that multitude euery man had not one mynde, he shewed and sette furthe manye thynges vnto them by darke similitudes, eyther because thys maner of speakyng is familiar and commonlye vsed of the prophetes, or because it is moste meete and conuenient for to teache and to moue the myndes of the people, because that comparison taken of thynges that bee well knowen and perceyued also of them that be vnlearned, by and by toucheth and moueth euery one: or because by this feare and pleasaunte manner of speakyng, thynges that bee spoken bothe crepeth into mennes myndes more pleasaunt­lye, [Page lxxvi] and sticketh more surely: or els because that thys manner of monicion slaū ­deryng no manne, but secretly by similitude touchyng euery mannes consciēce, is wont commonly lesse to offende. And fyrste of all he letteth furthe a parable, signifiyng that many on euery side come runnyng to the preachyng of the gos­pell, and yet fruite springeth not in them all: whiche chaunceth not by the faulte of the teacher, but by the faulte of the hearers. Nor lyke fruite springeth not in all the hearers, but accordyng as euery manne bryngeth a mynde voyde from worldlye cares and desyres: so is the fruite of the woorde that is heard of hym greatest. Therfore exhortyng to geue audience, he putteth furth thys parable, saiyng: The sowyet went furth to sowe his sede, and as he casted his sede [...] certayne cornes fell by the waye syde, and because they were ba [...]e and vncoue­red, the birdes came fliyng and eate them vp. Agayne other summe fe [...] to the rough and stony places, which when they were not depely couered with yea [...]th [...], because of stones that [...]etted them, nor coulde not take roote depely ynoughe, they sprang vp shortelye and before theyr tyme▪ throughe the warmnes of the sunne, because there was not muche yearthe to kepe them couered vnto theyr tyme, nor no deepe roote to minister hun [...]oure and moysture. Agayne other sum fell into the thorny grounde, and by the reason of increase of thornes, they were kepte downe and choked, and coulde not ryfe nor spryng vp at theyr libertye. Further other sum fel vpon a good and fruitful grounde, and springyng vp luckely brought furth fruite, yet not al alyke but accordyng to the goodnesse of the grounde: sum an hundred folde, sum three score folde, some thyrtye folde as muche: so that of one sede sprang an eare that bare an hundred cornes: of ano­ther that bare three score, of another that bare thyrty. Iesus speakyng these thynges did not as than explicate and declare the darke riddel and similitude, but leaueth it to euery manne to coniecture and thinke vpon in hys mynde. Onely he made an exhortacion that thei that had meete eares shoulde heare the parable diligently.

The texte And the disciples came and saide vnto him: Why speakest thou to them by parables? he aun­sweryng sayed vnto them. It is geuen vnto you to knowe the misteries of the kyngdome of heauen▪ but vnto them it is not geuen. For whosoeuer hath, to him shalbe geuen, and he shalbe made more aboundaunt. But whosoeuer hathe not, from hym shalbe taken, that also whiche he hath.

But another tyme when the disciples hadde Iesus alone, they wente vnto him and asked hym why he spake vnto the people by darke and obscure simili­tudes. Unto whome Iesus aunswered on thys wyse: because as yet they yelde not themselues mete to haue the truethe opened vnto them, by the wyiche cer­tayne of them emonge the multitude bee not onely not the better, but also bee pricked and stirred to be the worse. Wherfore I vtter vnto them lyke manner of preachyng as they bryng hartes to heare. They wil not vnderstand thinges that be moste manifeste, I doe inuolue and wrappe my language wyth darke­nes, that by suche meanes I maye prouoke them to the desyre of learnyng and searchyng. But ye whiche receyue symplye and delicouslye the thyng that is geuen, ye are worthye to bee partakers of the more secrete thynges concernyng the wisedome of the gospell. For vnto hym that hath, it shall bee geuen, that he maye haue aboundantlye, but vnto hym that hath nothyng, nothyng shall bee added, insomuche that he shall bee also spoyled of that whyche he semed for to haue. In other thynges it is a cruell thyng to spoyle hym that is nedy: Here be­cause pouerty cummeth through the defaulte of the nedy, it is mete and rygh [...] [Page] to take from the vnkinde manne. We bring and offer freely certaine principles of heauenly Philosophy, and that accordyng to the capacitie and simplicitie of the myndes, as castyng certaine seedes, whyche whoso receyueth desirously, truly he prouoketh vs to commit mo thynges vnto hym. Contrarywise, whoso despiseth and reiecteth that whiche is geuen frely, and turneth it to occasion of more yll, is he not worthy to be spoyled of that whiche he had vnworthely?

The texte. Therfore speake I to them by similitudes, because they seyng, se not, and thei hearing, heare not: and vnderstande not▪ And [...] Prophecie of Esay is fulfilled in them, whiche sayeth: Ye shal heare wyth your eares, and shal not vnderstand: and seyng ye shal se, & shal [...] or se. For the harte of thys people is wexed grosse, and theyr eares be dul of hearyng, and thei haue shut theyr iyes, leste at any tyme they should see with theyr iyes, and heare with their ea­res, and vnderstand with theyr harte, and be conuerted, and I heale them.

For thys cause I speake to them in darke parables because they will heare the manifest trueth eyther with no profit, or els to theyr owne hurt. For it cūmethe to passe through their frowardnes, that where as thei haue iyes and se manifest tokens, yet beyng blynded with enuye, they see not that whyche they see. And where as they haue eares and heare the trueth that cannot be confuted, yet thei heare not that they heare, nor vnderstande not ye which they heare although they vnderstande. Truely the saiyng of Esaie is fulfylled in these men: Ye shal heare wyth your eares and not vnderstande, and ye shall see with your iyes, & yet not se. For the harte of thys people is hardened, and they be dul of hearyng, and they haue closed theyr iyes, leste they myght se with theyr iyes, and heare with their eares, and vnderstande with theyr harte, and at laste tourne vnto me, and I make them whole. Truely these men therfore be infortunate, but not to be pitied though they be very miserable, whyche witingly and willinglye secke theyr owne destruccion, and reiect their owne health.

The texte. But blessed be your iyes, for thy see, and your eares, for they heare▪ For verily I say vnto you, that many Prophetes, & righteouse men desy [...]ed [...]o se those thynges whiche ye se, and they haue not sene: and to heare those thynges which [...] ye heare▪ and they haue not hearde.

Contrariwise youre iyes are blessed, because they see the thinges that we doe: your eares are blessed, because they heare the thinges yt we speake: Your hartes are blessed, because they vnderstande the wil of my father. This is no meane nor common felicitie, truely many prophetes, and many iust and holy men, haue de­syred to see ye thinges which ye se, and happened not to see them: and to heare the thynges which ye heare, and they had not the gifte to heare them. And they truly as in a dreame, gessed at the thyng that should cum, which ye se before you, and also heare.

The texte. Heare ye therfore the similytude of the sowi [...]t. Whan one heareth the worde of the king­dome, and vnderstandeth it not, than cummeth that euyl one and taketh away that whiche was so yea in his harte: this is he which was sowen by the wayes syde, But he that recei­ued the sede whyche was cast in stony places, thesame is he that heareth the worde, and a­no [...] with ioye receiueth it, yet hath he no roote in hymself, but dureth for a season: for whē tribulacion or persecucion hapneth because of the woorde, by and by he falleth. He also that receyueth sede into thornes, is he that heareth the worde, and the cate of this worlde, and deceitfulnes of ryches choke vp the worde, and so is he made vnfruitful. But he that recei­ueth sede into ye good ground, is he that heareth the worde and vnderstandeth it, which also beareth fruite, and bringeth furth sum an hundreth folde, sum sixty folde, sum thyrty folde.

Therfore because your simplicitie and desyre of knowledge, deserueth thys, harkē ye what the parable doth meane, which I put furth of the sowier sowing his sede. There be thre sortes of men, in whom sede of the woord of the gospel [Page lxxvii] eyther bringeth furth no fruite, or els bryngeth not to perfeccion, the fruit that is sprong vp. And the fyrste moste baren of all. These be they whiche lighte­ly and negligently heare the wordes of the heauenlye doctryne, and [...]uffer them not to entre into theyr myndes, nor fasten them in their remembraunce, to thin­tente they maye be rooted there: but theyr mindes beyng compassed and fensed with no desyre nor care, beyng armed with no purposes agaynst the assaultes of vaine thoughtes, at euery lyghte occasion they suffer that that is sowen, to be spurned at and troden downe. That perceiuing the yll and naughtye one, whiche lieth in waite and enuieth good begynnynges, by and by sendeth into the mynde, certayne fleyng and waueryng cares, whiche maye destroye the seede before that it spryng vp in grasse, or haue any roote, that they be no better than yf they had not hearde at all. These be signified by the seede that fel by the hye waye where go bothe menne and beastes, that is to saye, all maner of cares, af­feccions of kynred and of affinitie, care for common offices, loue, hatred, suspi­cion, and suche other. These thinges chase awaye the woorde of the gospell oute of the mynde,But he that receiued the seede▪ &c. wel [...]e [...]e before it bee receyued. Agayne there is an other, whiche receyueth (as it were seede) the woorde of the gospel with hys eares, and grede­lye putteth it into hys harte, recordyng and deuising wyth hymselfe to frame hys life after the rewle therof: but because he prynteth it not vtterlye in the in­wardes of hys mynde, but after the fashion of men, he doth that he doth lightly with a certayne affeccion for a tyme, he nourysheth the seede that he hathe ta­ken, vntil it be growen vp to a grasse, and sheweth a certayne hope of euan­gelicall godlines, absteynyng from greate sinnes, and florishyng with meane vertues. But if any storme of persecucion begyn to ryse, and yf for the gospell sake banishment be offered, or prison, punishement, deathe, & such other whiche require a stedfast strength of the mynde, than, as at the vehemente heate of the sunne, they wyther a waye, and vtterly fainte and decaye. A figure of this was the stonie ground, whiche receyued the sede, and brought it foorth into grasse,He also that receyued, &c. but it was not able to succour and defend it with humour agaynst the heate of the sunne, for throughe the stones it can haue no depe nor sure roote. Agayne there is an other whiche gredely heareth the woorde of the gospell, and setteth it depe ynoughe in his mynde, and kepeth it long, but his mynde being intan­gled and choked with trouble [...] in cares of this worlde, and especiall of ryches. as it were with certayne thicke thornes, he can not frely folowe that he loueth. Because he wyl not suffer these thornes, whiche cleaue together and be intāgled one with another emong themselues, to be cut away, the fruite of the seede that is sowen dothe vtterly perishe. This was signified by the similitude of the sede whiche was receiued in the grounde full of thornes and briers. Further the seede that was receiued in the good ground, signifieth them whiche bothe heare the woorde of the gospell and recorde it wyth themselues, and fasten it surelye in theyr remembraunce, and so doe powre it into thaffeccions of theyr mynde, that they will not swarue from it to dye therefore, who also do rydde and dely­uer themselues from affeccions and filthye cares of ryches, whiche suffer not the mynde to be free and at liberty, but geue themselues wholy to the heauenlye inspiracion.Whiche al­so beare [...]; &c. The seede of the doctryne of the gospell is not vnprofitable to suche myndes. But lyke as one kynde of wheate bringeth not furthe lyke fruit in all groundes, but it springeth with lesse or more increase accordinge to the goodnes of the grounde: So after the godly desyre and capacitie of them that [Page] heare the worde, the fruite of godlines cummeth forthe more aboundauntlye. By thys parable Iesus taught vs, with what studye and desyre the heauenlye doctryne ought to be receyued, yf we desyre that fruit should spring of it. These thynges Iesus dyd interprete and declare vnto hys disciples aparte.

The texte. Another similitude put he furth vnto them, saying: The kyngdom of heauen is likened vn­to a manne, whyche sowed good seede in hys field. But whyle men slepte, hys enemye came and sowed rares emong the wheate, and went hys way. But whan the blade was sprong vp and had brought furth fruit, than appeared the taxes also. And the seruauntes of the hous­holder came and sayed vnto hym: Sir diddest not thou sowe good seede in thy field? From whence than hath it ta [...]es? he said vnto them: The enuiouse man hath done thys. The ser­uauntes sayed vnto hym: Wilt thou than that we go and wede them vp? but he said. naye, leste whyle ye gather vp the rares, ye plucke vp also the wheat with them: Let both grow together vntil the haruest, and in tyme of haruest, I wyl saye to the trapets: gather ye first the ta [...]es: and bind them together in sheues to be brēt: but gather the wheat into my baru [...].

But let vs retourne vnto the order of our former communicacion. The lorde Iesus proposed vnto them another parable, to shewe them also that there was another poyson and mischiefe to be taken hede of, if a man wil laie vp pure and fine corne in hys barne. For the other ylles do onely hurt ye sede latelye sowen, or spryngyng into grasse. This doeth corrupte the corne now sprong vp and well growen. Thys poyson is, whan Sathan, whiche coulde not choke and de­stroy the seede of the euangelicall doctrine with flying, waueryng, and ydle thoughtes, nor with troublesome persecucions, nor with carefulnes of riches, honours and lyke thinges, wherewith mannes lyfe is entangled, goeth about to infecte it by false Apostles and wicked Byshopes and Heritikes, whiche wresteth and wriethe by subtyl interpretacion, the heauenlye doctryne after theyr lustes and desyres, and myngle true thynges with false, and sincere and pure thynges wyth vicious and fawty. The parable is after this sorte. The kingdome of heauen (ꝙ he) is like vnto an housbandman, which being a good husband, sowed good seede in hys field. But his seruauntes being aslepe, there came priuely a certayne aduersarye, whiche bare the husbande manne no good wyl, and because he could not in the night take away the seede which was now layed safely in the ground: he vseth crafte and deceyte to hurt it. He scatereth and mengeleth with the wheate that was sowen, the vnprofitable seede of coc­kelles, and thys doen he wente awaye. Fyrste no man perceyued thys deceite. But whan the seede was nowe sprong vp into grasse, and the stalkes were la­den and burdened with eares, than at lengthe the cockels growyng vp toge­ther, (their vnlykenes vtteryng or shewyng them,) began to appere. Than the seruauntes merueylyng howe this shoulde cum to passe, go vnto the husbande man. Maister (ꝙ they) dyddeste not thou sowe good seede in the fielde, howe is it than that cokelles be mengled with them? But the mayster suspectyng who was authour of the shreude turne, sayeth: Myne aduersary dydde thys whyche beareth me so euyl wyll, that he hathe a plasure to hurte me, thoughe he haue no profite hymselfe therby. Than spake the seruauntes: wyl ye than that we go and gather the cockelles and cleanse the corne? The maister sayeth: In no case, leste peraduenture as ye plucke vp the cockelles vnaduisedly, ye plucke vp al­so therwith the wheate that groweth nere by. Suffer the wheate to growe toge­ther with the cockelles vnto haruest tyme. Than wyll I committe thys mat­ter to the haruest folkes, that before they mowe and cut downe, they shall fyrste gather the cockelles and bynde them together a parte in bundels for to feede the fyer, and afterwarde laye vp and couche the cleane wheat in my barne.

The texte [Page lxxviii]Another parable put he furth vnto them saiyng: The kyngdome of heauen is lyke to a grayne of mustarde seade, whiche a man toke and sowed in hys fielde, whiche is the leaste of al seades. But whan it is growen, it is the greatest emong [...] herbes, and is a tree, so yt the birdes of the ayer cum and make their nestes in the braunches therof.

Agayne Iesus mindyng to shewe by a similitude howe that the philoso­phy of the gospell fyrste in apperaunce abiecte and homely through the ignomi­ny, and slaunder of the crosse, being as it were planted by a fewe vnlearned men should by litle and litle through the strength of the trueth, grow to such myghte and power, that it shoulde go ouer all the worlde, and shoulde embrac [...] al kinde of men, proposed this redell and similitude. The kyngdome of heauen (ꝙ he) is lyke vnto a musterde seede, whiche a certayne man toke and sowed in hys field, which of it selfe is leaste among al pulse. But whan it is growne vp, it is grea­ter than al kyndes of herbes and risethe vp as bigge as a tree, insomuche that the birdes make their nestes in the bowes therof.

The texte An other similitude spake he vnto them: The kingdom of heauen is like vnto leauen, which a woman taketh, and hideth in three peekes of meale til al bee l [...]auened. Al these thynges spake Iesus vnto the people by similitudes, and without a parable spake he nothing vnto them: that it myght be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophete, that sayeth: I wil open my mouth in parables, I wyl speake furth thinges hidden frō the begynning of the world.

Agayne Iesus dyd inculcate and beate in the selfe fame thyng, doyng them to vnderstande by what meanes the strength and myght of the doctryne of the gos­pell secretly crepyng in, and dispersed and set abrode by a fewe apostles, should al [...]te and transforme al the worlde into her nature: and whan it shall seme most to be consumed and extinct, than chiefly it shall set forth and shewe strength. The kyngdome of heauen (ꝙ he) is lyke vnto leauen, whych beyng but a litle quan­titie, the woman put in three measures of meale, and three lefte it vntill the litle piece of leauen had changed by litle and litle the whole quantitie of the meale, & turned it into her owne nature. All these thynges Iesus declared vnto the peo­ple in riddelles, and cloudes of parables, and spake nothyng vnto them than without a parable: to thyntent that he might both excite and stirre their mindes with darke speakyng, and make them desirouse to learne, and yet geue them no holde, though they sought occasion busilye, vniustly to reproue hym. And the soothe saiyng of the Prophete tolde of this before in time paste. I wyl open my mouthe in parables, I wyl shewe furth thynges which hath been hyd hytherto sith the worlde was made.

The texte ¶Whan the people were sent away, Iesus came into the house, & his disciples came vn­to hym saiyng. Expound vnto vs the parable of the tares of the field. He aunswered and said vnto them: He that soweth the good seed, is the sonne of man. The fielde is the world. And the children of the kyngdom, they are y good seede. The tares are the children of that naughty one: The enemy y soweth them is the Deuel. The haruest is the ende of the world. The reapers be the Aungels. As the tares therfore are gathered and brent in the fyer, so shal it be in the ende of thys world. The sonne of man shal send forthe hys Aungels, and they shal gather out of hys kyngdome al thynges that offende, and them whiche do miqui­ [...]ye, and shal cast them into a fornace of fyer: There shalbe wallyng and gnashyng of teeth. Than shal the ryghteouse shyne as the sonne in the kyngdome of their father. Whosoeuer hath eares to heare, let hym heare.

Than Iesus departyng from the multitude went home, and they folowed not, for that they vnderstoode not what he mente, and that none occasion was geuen of false reprofe. Further whan he was at home alone, hys familiar disci­ples came vnto hym requiryng hym to expounde them the parable of the coc­kels mengled with wheate. For the parable of the seed diuerslye sowen once [Page] declared, they gessed well of themselues what he mente by the musterd seede, and the leuen put in the meale. Iesus without any griefe declared it plainely. The good husband (ꝙ he) whiche sowed the good seede, is the heauenly father: the felde in whyche he sowed, is the whole worlde and not onely Iewry. Fur­ther, the good wheat that sprang vp of the good seede bee they, whyche by the doctryne of the gospell behaue themselfe worthily for the kyngdom of heauen, agreing to their profession in lyfe and dedes. The naughty cockels springyng of the yll seede mengled wyth these, bee yll men whyche professe not purely nor sincerely the doctryne of the gospell, And the aduersarye whiche mengled hys seede priuely in the nyghte, whereof spryngeth peructse and yll doctryne, is the deuill. The seruauntes whiche would gather the cockel before the tyme, be they whyche thynke that the false apostelles and chiefe heretikes shoulde bee rydde out of the waye with sweorde and deathe, where as the good man of the house willeth not that they shoulde bee killed, but suffered, yf happe bee that they re­pente, and be turned from cockelles into wheate. And that yf they repente not, they shoulde be kepte and preserued to their iudge, of whome once they shall be punished. The time of harueste is the ende of the worlde. The harueste folkes be the angels. In the meane season therfore the yll mengled with the good, must be suffered, when they be suffered with lesse daunger and peril, than they bee ta­ken away. Further whan the last tyme shal cum, whan the good shal be seuered from the ill, when rewardes shall be geuen to euery manne for hys dedes: than the sonne of man the iudge ouer all, shall sende furthe hys angels to clense hys kyngdome, and they shall suffer none offence to remaine there, for than neither the good can profite the yll, nor the yll shall be suffered any more to trouble the good: but whosoeuer liuyng emong the good had rather moleste and trouble them, than to be made better by theyr cumpany, he shall gather them together and shedde them from the others, and deliuer them to the fyer of hell. There shall they punyshed worlde withoute ende: for their shorte and false lustes and pleasures remoued from the floore of the churche, and caste into a darke den of hel, that is to say, into the kyngdome of theyr father, where as nowe ouer late & vnprofitable penaunce, shall force those myserable people to wepe and to waile and to gnashe with theyr teeth. Further they that cum and spryng furthe of the good seede and perseuer and continue vnto thende, although in the meane tyme they appere here vyle and abiecte, and be afflicted of the yll sorte: than all vyle­nes of mortalitie set aparte, they shall shyne lyke the bryght sunne in their fa­thers kyngdome. These thinges because they be great and weighty thinges, of both partes ought not to be heard nigligently. Thei perteine either to the euer­lasting felicitie, or to the euerlasting destruccion of al men. Wherfore whosoe­uer hath an eare, neyther deafe nor stopped with the desyres of the world, let him heare, yt he may auoide euerlastyng punishemētes, & obteine the life euerlasting.

The texte. ¶Agayne the kyngdome of heauen is lyke vnto a treasure hyd in the fielde, whych a man hath found and hyd, and for ioys therof goeth & selleth al that he hath, and b [...]eth the f [...]eld.

Besyde these, to thyntent he myght the more kyndle and stirre the myndes of them that were hys, to the desyre of theuangelicall godlines, he added twoo other similitudes, whereby he teacheth that the professyon of the gospell is a thyng not to bee desired lyghtly, or after the common maner, but that this one­ly thyng ought to be laboured for with great studye, all other thynges sette a­parte and that thys excellent good thyng must he purchased and obteyned by [Page lxxix] the losse of all your goodes. Whiche thyng thoughe it chaunce not easilye to euery man, yet whan it is once found it hath high felicitie. And althoughe in the meane season be hyd emong men, and setteth not furth it selfe, yet he that hath it, reioiseth secretly wyth hymselfe, lokyng safely for that daye, in the whiche the felicitie that is nowe obscure and darcke shall after bee made mani­feste and open. The kyngdome of heauen (ꝙ he) is lyke to a treasure hyd in the fielde, which if a man perchaunce do get, he blabbeth it not abrode to others, lest any take if from hym, but ioying secretly & reioysyng to hymselfe, he goeth to the lorde of the ground, and sellyng al that he hath and making asmuch mo­nye, as he can, byeth the fyelde, in the whiche he knoweth the greate or precious treasure is hyd, and thynketh hymselfe happye, to loose all hys meane possessi­ons, for to be enryched wyth one notable grounde, although he know it not.

The texte, Agayne, the kyngdome of heauen is lyke vnto a marchaunte man sekyng good pearles, which (when he had found one precious pearle) went and solde al that he had, & bought it.

Agayne the kyngdome of heauen (ꝙ ye) is lyke vnto a marchaunte manne, whiche deliteth in goodly Margarites. And when he hadde got a notable good one, byanby he solde all that he had, and bought it. And he thoughte not hym selfe the poorer, because he had now lefte him nothyng of hys olde ryches. Naye than at the length he thought hymselfe ryche, because he was priuie to hymself, that he had in secrete possession, a precious Margaritie, whiche though it were but litle, yet it passed the price and value of all the other possessions.

The texte Agayne, the kyngdome of heauen is lyke vnto a nette that is cas [...]e into the sea, and gathe­reth of al kynde of fishes, whych whan it was ful, men drue it to lande, and sate downe and gathered the good into vessels, but caste the bad awaye. So shall it be at the ende of the worlde. The an [...]els shall cum and seuer the bad from among the good, and shall cast them into a fornace of fyer, there shalbe waylyng and gnashyng of teeth.

Unto these he added also an other parable, not vnlyke vn to the parable of the wheate and cockels, exortyng hys disciples, whome of fyshers he made a­postles, that is to saye, fyshers of men, that they shoulde studye and endeuor to allure and drawe manye to the professyon of the gospell, and that they shoulde not byanby caste awaye and destroye the yll mengled with the good, but saue them and kepe them to be punished of theyr iudge, yf after that al thinges were proued, they woulde not repente▪ Againe the kingdome of heauen (ꝙ he) is like a net caste into the sea, whiche beyng spred abrode, dothe take and embrace all kynde of fyshe. Whyche when they nowe perceyue to be full, than they drawe it to the banke, and nowe syttyng vpon the drye lande choose the good fysshes and put them in theyr vesselles, the yll and vnprofitable fishes they caste a­waye. So shall it bee in thende of the worlde. The angels shall go furthe and loke aboute what the net of the gospell dothe take and drawe. They shall not suffer the good to be mengled with the yll any more in one net, but they shall esteme euerye man by his merites, not by hys professyon. They shall seperate the yll from the cumpany of the good and shall lay vp the one safely for theyr maister, the other they shall caste into a burnyng fornace: there shalbe intolle­rable tormente whiche shalbe testified vp wepyng and gnashyng of teeth:

The texte Iesus sayeth vnto them, haue ye vnderstande all these thynges? They saye vnto hym, yea lorde. Then sayde he vnto them▪ therfore euery Scribe whiche is taught vnto the kyng­dome of heauen, is lyke vnto a man that is an householder: Whiche bryngeth furth out of hys treasure thynges newe and olde.

Iesus to thyntente he myght the more surely fasten these saiynges in the myn­des of his disciples: he asked of them whether they vnderstode these thynges [Page] well. When they made aunswere that they vnderstode them, he added yet an o­ther parable, wherby he monished them that these and manye suche oughte to be learned, and surely remembred, to the intent that by and by vpon euery oc­casion, they myght redily take them furth: whether the hearer should be allured with rewardes, or ells put in feare, by the feare of punishemente. For the breste of the euangelicall preacher ought to be (as it were) a certayne store house and a ryche, and a plentiful treasure, from whence they maye easely take out diuers thynges, sumtyme out of the bookes of the olde testament, sumtime oute of the euangelicall Philosophy, as shalbe moste expedient for theyr hearers. For one thyng muste not be spoken at all tymes, nor after one fashyon, nor all men be not moued with all thinges. Therefore they haue nede of a certayne ryche trea­sure furnished with all kynde of learnyng. The parable is thus. The Scribes of the Iewes (ꝙ he) when thei bee consul [...]ed, make aunswer out of their bookes. But whosoeuer wil be a cunnyng Scribe in the kyngdome of heauen,Therfore e­uery scribe. &c▪ it is not sufficient for hym to bryng furth olde thynges, vnles he bryng furth newe al­so, lyke a certayne riche householder whiche hath all thynges in hys treasure: whether a man desyre [...]ewe thynges, or whether he woulde haue olde thynges, to satisfie and contente all men.

The texte. And it came to passe that when Iesus had finished these simylitudes, he departed thence. And when he came into his owne countrey, he taught them in theyr sinagogues, insomuch that they were astonied, and sayde: whence cummeth this wisedome and power vnto hym? Is not this the carpenters sonne? Is not his mother called Marie? & his brethren, Iames and Ioseph, and Simon, and Iudas? and are not all hys sisters with vs? Whence hath he all these thynges? And they were offended at hym? Iesus sayd vnto them: A prophete is not wythout honor, saue in hys owne countrey, and in hys owne house. And he dyd not manye myracles there, because of theyr vnbelefe.

When that Iesus had taught sufficiently with these diuers parables, bothe the people and hys disciples, he wente into his countrey, that is, to Nazareth: that by often chaungeing of the place, the doctrine of the gospel myght be the farther spred abrode. In the whiche countrey of hys, he beganne not hys prea­chyng, leste he shoulde seme any thyng to folowe mannes affeccion, and yet he woulde not passe it ouer, to teache that we ought to do good vnto all. Iesus therfore enteryng into theyr congregacion, began to teache them as he hadde taught other. Here that thyng hindred the matter of the gospel, whyche oughte to haue furdered it, because the cōmon sorte of men had rather to enuy thinges that be knowen and familiar, than fauour them, whereas they make muche of straunge thynges, fondely and foleshely, esteming a thing therfore to be good­ly because it cummeth farre of. Therfore whan Iesus was knowen here of certayne whyche knewe the lowenesse and symplenesse of hys stocke, and the pouertye of hys parentes, and also the arte whereby Ioseph (commonlye thought to be hys father) founde and nourished his wife and her sonne, know­yng also that Iesus was of the same arte, and where as they neuer hearde saye that he was brought vp in learnyng, thus they mutter and murmoure a­mong themselues: howe hathe he thys notable wisedome? or fro whence hathe he power to shewe myracles? Is not thys Iesus the carpenter, Ioseph the carpenters sonne? Is not hys mother poore and a meanne womanne amonge vs, whiche is called Marie? Be not hys cosens with vs, Iames, Ioseph, Simon, and Iudas? Do not as many as be hys nexte kinsfolkes dwell here with vs? Howe is it than that he sodaynly beyng made an other manne, retur­neth [Page] vnto vs preachyng, & myghty in myracles? Doth he thinke that he is vn­knowen vnto vs? So the kinred and the poore estate of Iesus, dyd offend thē, and made them to stumble, thynkyng as yet nothyng of hym but as of a man, and one of the common sorte of people, and for the olde poorenes and lownes of hys lyfe, enuying the newe renoune and honour. But Iesus rebukyng theyr grosse and ouer rude iudgement, esteming a man not for his vertues, but for fortune and nobilitie of birthe,A Prophete is not with­out fauoure sau [...] in hys owne coun­trey. sayeth vnto them: A prophete is no where lesse set by than in his owne countrey and in his owne familye, and among his own kynsfolkes. And where in other places he was redely beleued, and shewed ma­ny miracles, here he dyd weorke none, but that with laiyng on his handes, he healed a fewe that were sycke. Not because hys power was straighted or dimi­nished, or hys will chaunged, but because theyr vnbelefe did let it. For like as a phisicion cannot profite the sicke yf he reiecte his medicine: not because the arte of the phisician is not effectuall, but because the sicke man is in fault: so be­cause it is the fayth vnto the which miracles be geuen, vnbelefe is a let to him to shewe them furth, whiche lacketh neyther power nor might, but that he was [...]etted by the defaulte of others. Therfore Iesus reprouyng them for so greate malice, saied: This is no newe thyng ye now do vnto me. The same chaun­ced in times past to the holy prophetes Hely and Helisee, whose tumbes ye haue nowe in veneracyon. For whan it rayned not three yeares and a halfe, and ther­fore a greate famyne was throughoute all that countreye: Helias beeyng in daunger for hunger, was commaunded to go to no [...]other wedow, wheras [...]here were many in Iewry, but vnto the straunger in Sarepta, in the countrey of the Sidonians. Of this womā onely was he receiued, and found faith, & wrought a miracle. Further in the tyme of Helisee, there were manye lazares in the na­cion of Israell, and yet for all thys there was none healed but onely Naaman a Sirian, whose fayth in a maner forced the Prophete to shewe a miracle.

The .xiiii. Chapter.

The texte. ¶At that tyme Herode the te [...]rarche heaed of the fame of Iesu, and saide vnto hys ser­uauntes: This is Iohn: the baptys [...]e, [...] is rysen from the dead, and therfore are miracles wrought by hym. For Herode had taken Iohn and bounde him, and put them in prison because of Herodias his brother Philips wife. For Iohn sayd vnto him: It is not lawful for the to haue her. And when he would haue put him to death, he feared the people, because they counted him as prophecie. But when Herodes birth day was kepte, the daughter of Herodias daunsed before hym, and pleased Herode. Wherfore he promysed wyth an othe, that he woulde geue her what she woulde aske. And she being instruct of her mother before, sayd: geue me here Iohn Baptist head in a platter. And the kyng was sory, neuertheles for the othes sake, and them which sate also at the table, he commaunded it to be geuen he [...], and sent tormentours, and beheaded Iohn in the prison, and hys head was brought in a platter, and geuen to the damsell, and she brought it ot her mother.’

IN the meane tyme Herode the Tetrarche of Galile, the sonne of hym whyche hadde slayne the children of Bethleem, hearde the rumour and fame of the doctryne and myracles and wonders of Iesus: of whom when the multitude hadde diuerse opinions, sum saiyng that he was Helpe, sum that he was Hieremye, and sum that he was one of thold prophetes, and there were that said [Page] that he was Iohn, who restored agayn to lyfe, was becum nowe more myghty. Herode laughing them to skorne, sayd: I dyd cut of Iohns head, & how thynke ye that he is aliue, and not only aliue, but also to bee myghtye wyth miracles? Furthwith when he was certifyed by diuers, of so manye and so notable won­ders, that the rumour nowe coulde not appeare false, he said vnto his seruaun­tes. He of whome they tell suche greate wonders is not Iesus, whiche of la [...]e was kylled of my father in the noumbre of the chyldren of Bethleem, but it is Iohn whiche is risen from deathe: and therfore he is nowe becum more diuine and godly, and is notable by myracles. For Herode had layed hādes vpō Iohn Baptist,For Herode had taken Iohn. &c. and cast hym into prison: although he had the man in estimacion, and did many thynges after hys aduyse and counsell. But this fauour of the tiraūt was turned into hatred, for the vnchaste woman, whose fauoure and loue ob­teyned by fylthy seruyce, coulde doe more wyth the kyng, than the auctoritie of Iohn. For he hadde taken vnto hym for displeasure of hys brother that was a­lyue, Herodias his brother Philippes wyfe: by whome also Philippe hadde a doughter. Iohn monished the kyng frankly and freely, and tolde hym that the mariage was vnlawfull, bothe because hys brother was alyue, and there was a doughter alyue also whiche his brother had by her. Further, Moyses lawe bade that the brother shoulde mary ye wyfe of the brother departed,And whē he would haue put hym to deathe▪ &c, if it chaun­ced hym to dye withoute children. Herode, louyng the woman the more outra­giouslye, the lesse it was lawefull for hym to loue her, was greatelye offended with this lyberty, insomuche that he woulde haue slayne hym but that he fea­red the styrring of the people, with whom he knewe that Iohn was greatly in fauour, because bothe he baptised manye, and had manye disciples, and was thought of many to be Messias. Truly euery man thought hym to be a man indued with the spirite of prophecy, and of greate holynes. But afterwardes excesse and ryote, and vnresonable loue towarde the mayde hys neece, shaked of this feare. For whan, after the manner of the heathens, he dyd solempnisate the daye of his byrth, vpon the which there was al maner of voluptuous plea­sures vsed, Herodias doughter daunsed at the kinges table, wyth wanton ges­ture, and so pleased Herode, which was nowe warme wyth wyne, that he swore that he woulde geue vnto the mayden whatsoeuer she asked, yea yf she woulde aske halfe of hys kyngdome. The wenche, leste she shoulde leefe so greate o­portunitie, and by and by to abuse this filthy lust of the kynges hart, she coun­selled with her mother what was to bee asked. She fearyng leste the kynges mynde beyng reconciled agayne to Iohn, myght breake of the incest mariage, counselled her doughter to aske nothing, but that furthwith she myghte haue the head of Iohn Baptiste geuen vnto her in a dishe. The wenche by the coun­sell of her vngracious mother came into the feaste, and euery man loking what she woulde wishe and desyre: she asked forthwyth that she myght haue geuen vnto her the heade of Iohn in a dyshe, as thoughe her mother woulde esteme and make more of thys dyshe, than of halfe the kyngdome. Whan they heard thys, otherwyse than they loked for, the kyng counterfeyteth heuynesse in hys countenaunce, and alleageth for a cloke of hys crueltie, the feare he hadde to breake his othe; chiefly because he made it before so many geastes, and leste he shoulde seeme lyghte or periured, he commaunded that the thyng whyche the wenche desired, shoulde be doen. By and by the executours of death were sente into the prison, and the head of the innocent man was cut of, and was brought [Page lxxxi] in a dishe, and geuen to the wenche, the wenche gaue it to her mother whiche was the chiefe deuiser and doer of all this matter. And thus luckely was the birth day of Herode celebrated. This rewarde was geuen vnto him that mo­ued and called to honest thinges. With this sight were the iyes of the geastes fed whome the king did vouchsafe to set at his table. Therefore the vnchaste woman had Iohns head.

The texte. ¶And his disciples came & toke vp the body, and buried it, & went and tolde Iesus. Whan Iesus hearde of it, he departed thence in a [...]ippe vnto a deserte place, out of the way. And when the people had hearde thereof, they folowed hym on foote, and lefte the cities. And Iesus went furth and sawe muche people, and was moued with mercy towarde them, and he healed of them those that were sicke. And when euen drew on, hys disciples came to hym, saying: This is a deserte place, and the houre is nowe pas [...]e, let the people departe, that they maye goe into the townes, and bye them vitailes. But Iesus sayde vnto them: they haue no nede to goe away. Geue ye them to eate. They sayde vnto hym: we haue here but fyue loaues and two fishes. He sayde: Bryng them hither to me. And he commaunded the people to sit downe on the grasse, and he tooke the fi [...]e loaues and twoo fishes, and lift vp hys iyes towarde heauen, and blessed. And when he had broken them he gaue the loaues to the discy­ples and the disciples gaue to the people, and they did all eate [...]nd were filled. And they ga­thered vp the fragmentes that remayned, twelue basket [...]es full. And they that did eate were about fiue thousande men beside women and children.

But the disciples of Iohn caried away his body and buried it. Whan Iesus by the telling of Iohns disciples, knewe of this so cruel a dede (for as man he suffered it to be tolde vnto hym as though he knew it not, wheras he knew it before it was doen) he departed into a ship, that being separate from the multitude, he might go into some desert & secrete place, shewing a certain apperaunce of manly feare, but in dede cutting of occasion from the wicked king, that he shoulde not heape murder vpon murder: Chiefely sith the tyme of Iesus was not yet come, and therwith also teaching vs to geue place sum­time to the furies of prynces, leste they beyng prouoked and cha [...]ed with well doinges, both hurte the innocentes, and they themselues bee made the wurse. It is lawful to shunne the wicked, ready to dooe vngraciously, that we maye profitte and helpe the good men. And this going aside declareth the notable faith of certaine. For assoone as it was hearde that Iesus had left the cityes, and was abidyng in desert, for feare of Herode as they thought, they went out of the cities into wildernes to him, whiche hid himselfe in secrete places: and because they coulde not goe to him by bote or by wagon and suche like, for the [...]ombrouse places, they folowed him on foote: neyther feared nor discouraged by the hardnesse of the way, nor by the daungier of lacke of foode. So grede­ly now they began to hunger for the doctrine of the gospel. Iesus perceiuing that, cummeth out of the darke corners, and came to mete them that were de­sirouse of hym, like as he withdrewe himselfe from the wicked. And whan he sawe a great multitude of men flockyng thither, whiche broughte with them many encoumbred with dyuers dyseases, he moued with pitye, and consyde­ryng and perceiuyng their faythe by the dyfficultie and hardnes of the waye, of hys owne accorde he healed all that were dyseased. And so greate was the feruencye of the multytude, that where as they broughte with them into wil­dernes sicke folkes, children, and many womē, yet they brought no vitail with them. Therefore when the nyghte nowe drewe nere, and theyr stomakes were pricked with hunger, the disciples whiche had sene so many myracles, hauing [Page] not yet throughly a perfect opinion of Iesus (for so it was thought good vn­to the diuine wisdome to frame them by little and little vnto perfeccion, to the entent the faith of thinges that were done, might be the more firme and sure, & to teache them withal, by what meanes they should heale & helpe the infirmitie of others) put their maister in remēbrance that night was at hande, & the mul­titude was great, and that it was high time than to take meate & to send them away, that they might goe into the nexte villages, and euery man to prouyde him of vitailes.Geue ye thē to eate. &c. But Iesus, to the intent the myracle mighte be the more eui­dent and open, aunswered: They nede not to goe any whither, rather geue ye them to eate. But the disciples as though they had forgotten all that they had seene, nothing awaked at this saying, aunswerd very grosly, but so that theyr wekenes set furth the grea [...]nes of the miracle: shall we (ꝙ they) geue a supper to so many, where as we be but thirtene [...]th noumber? we haue very littel vy­taile, truely nothing els, but fiue barely loaues, & two fishes. In case they de­spyse not and lothe not this supper, how shall it suffice them whiche will scarce suffice vs few? Than Iesus commaunded whatsoeuer they had to be brought vnto him.And he cō ­maūded ye people to sit downe. &c. The disciples obeying simply, not disputing ye matter thus: than ye kill vs with hunger if ye geue them thys lyttle that we haue, they broughte their whole vitailes. Here Iesus exhibiting an euangelicall feaste, where lyke as it behoueth to be none excesse, so it is mete there shoulde be an equalitie of al thinges: He commaunded them all to sitte downe vpon the grasse, so that fyf­ties shoulde sitte together, that the noumber of geastes might better appeare. And also he folowed the maner of them, whiche making a feaste or geuyng a dole to many, deuide the multitude into companies, that no man should lacke and no man haue to muche. This doen, Iesus than at lengthe takyng vpon him to be a feaster and a feder of the bodies also, whiche came to feede the sou­les, & to teache in dede his disciples that they should neuer lacke foode, whiche being geuen vnto the gospell, regarded litle their vitaile: tooke in hys handes the fiue barly loaues, & two fishes: first declaring vnto al men with what ma­ner of vitaile [...]he Apostolical ambassadoures ought to be contēt: furthermore shewing plainly before the iye, the sincere faith of the multitude, which seeing howe litle vitayle there was, and was not ignoraunte howe many thousande men there were, commaunded to sit downe, sa [...]e downe. Therefore Iesus the feastemaker, holding in his handes the bread and the meate, lifted vp his iyes into heauen, shewyng that whatsoeuer is nedefull to the vse of man, it cum­meth from the heauenly father, and whan he had praysed his bountifulnes & liberalitie, he brake the bread and fishes, and so deliuered them vnto his disci­ples, that they should set thē before the people, putting them in remembraūce, as it were by a darke figure, of what sorte ye doctoures ought to be, which fede with the worde, the mindes of the simple. For as Christ loking vp into heauē, declared that he taught nothing, but that came from the heauenly father, so the Apostolical men as often as they see the people to depende of their mouth, with a playne and a simple faythe, they shoulde delyuer nothyng vnto them, which they had not receiued of Christ, nor should not propose vnto thē sundry deinties out of the shops of worldly philosophie: neither bring out vnto them humaine doctrine after their owne affeccions, but shoulde distribute vnto thē, the simple and playne euangelicall doctryne, as they had receyued it of theyr maister: nor shoulde not otherwise cut it & mince it than he had broken it with [Page lxxxii] his handes, for by suche manner of preparacion both many bee refreshed, and the glory redoundeth to Christe, and not to the dystributour. Wouldeste thou know the ende of this feaste? The disciples doubtyng nothing made distribu­cion: and they doubting nothing fel to their meate on al handes, not to excesse, but to sufficiency. And the feast of such a numbre lacked nothing, in so muche, that whā supper was done, the scrappes furthermore that were gathered vp, filled twelue baskettes. And the noumber of menne was fiue thousande beside women, and children.

The texte. ¶And streight way Iesus made his disciples to get vp into a shippe, and to goe before hym vnto the other side, while he sent the people away. And when the people were sente awaye, he went vp into a mountayne to pray alone, and whan nyght was come, he was there alone. But the shippe was nowe in the middes [...]e of the sea, and was [...]oste of the waues, for it was a contrary winde. And in the fourth watche of the nighte, Iesus wente vnto them walkyng on the sea. And whan the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying: It is some spirite, and they cryed out for feare. But streighte way Iesus spake vnto them, saying: be of good chere, it is I, be not afrayde. Peter aunswered, and sayde: Lorde yf it bee thou, bidde me come vnto thee on the water. And he sayde, come. And whan Peter was come downe out of the ship, he walked on the water to come to Iesus. But whan he sawe a mighty winde, he was afrayde: And whan he beganne to sinke, he cryed, saying: Lorde, saue me. And immediately Iesus stretched furth his hande, and caughte him, and sayd vnto hym: O thou of litel fayth wherefore diddest no doubte?

These thinges done, Iesus desyring to teache, that after that the necessi­tie of the body was satisfyed, we oughte not to goe vnto wantonnes, or slepe, but vnto prayer: vnto whiche prayer solitarynes is moste mete: he forced hys disciples (for it greued them to departe from their dere Lord) to go to the mere and to row ouer the water before, and he woulde come after, whan he had sent away the people. But they although they departed from hym againste theyr will, yet they murmoure not, they make not theyr excuse that the nyghte was at hande, they aske not whan he woulde folowe, but they obey symply hys commaundementes. Therefore whan they were gon, Iesus sendyng awaye the multytude, whome he had satysfyed by all meanes, wente vp to a hyll to pray there alone. For so he taughte hys disciples to pray. Therefore in the top of the hyll, Iesus was alone a good parte of the nighte. And the disciples in the meane tyme, theyr lorde beeing absent, as they rowed in the water were in peryll. For as they entred vpon the water, by and by there arose a contrary wynde, and the ship was tossed, not without perill of the swellyng waues of the water. The night made theyr feare double. What shoulde they doe? They were in daungier, and he was not there whose helpe they mighte call vpon. Iesus lefte his disciples in this peryll, almost all the whole nighte, to harden them by little and little agaynste all feares, and to teache them that the helpe of God shall neuer lacke to them that be in perill, although it come somewhat late. Therefore at lengthe aboute the fourthe watche of the nyghte, they al­moste beeyng in despayre, and nowe sore amased in theyr mynde, and ready to geue ouer oute of hande: Iesus came, not in a bote, but walkyng vpon the waters. They when they sawe one walkyng in the darke, and knewe not Iesus well, they were more a fearde and sayde among themselues, it is a goste that we see, and not a man. And the common sorte of shippemen thinketh that suche manner of syghtes, dooe sygnyfye vtter destruccyon to them that rowe on the water. Therefore they were so sore afearde, that beeing almoste [Page] beside themselues they cryed out for feare. But Iesus suffered them not to be in daungier any longer, but by and by spake vnto them that they might know him by hys speche,Peter aun­swered and sayed. &c. whome in the darke they coulde not see. Be of good chere (ꝙhe) it is I, feare not. At thys woorde by and by theyr mynde was com­forted. But Peter whiche alway had a synguler loue towarde Iesus, thyn­king nothing at all harde that he woulde commaunde, sayed: Lorde yf thou be he commaunde me to come vnto thee vpon the water. For he meruelled not that Iesus walked vpon the water, but he thought that he hymselfe myghte do so likewise, yf Iesus would. But Iesus framyng & fashioning his weake­nes by all meanes vnto the strengthe of perfecte faith, bad hym come. At the whiche woorde Peter nothyng lyngeryng, leaped downe out of the bote, and began to haste to Iesus, walkyng vpon the water. And as long as hys fayth nothing wauered, the moyst [...] element serued him. But whan he caste hys iyes a little from Iesus, and began to looke about him, and to considre the boyste­ousnes of the winde, the hurling of the waues, and his owne feblenes, he was afrayed agayn, and began to sinke downe & be in danger of drowning. Feare came of the boysteousnes of the windes, peril came of feare, & feare of distruste. And agayne the greatenes of peril raysed vp the sparke of faythe, and nowe being almost ouerwhelmed with waues, he cryed out: Lord saue me, I perish. But Iesus putting hys disciple in remembraunce, that the perill whiche he feared came not of the waues or windes,O thou of little fayth &c. whiche before serued his tourne, but of the weakenes of fayth, reaching out his hande catched him and lift him vp, saying: O thou that yet hast little trusted me, why diddest thou wauer? For it is not inough to haue a strong faith for the time, but it must be continual and constaunt, nor thou must not loke how great the peril is, or what thy strength is hable to beare, but what I am hable to do to him that doth trust and beleue in me. Therefore furthwith as he entred into the shippe, the winde ceased. And they that were in the shippe, seying suche a merueylouse wunder, percey­uyng that there was somewhat in him, more than man, fel downe at his feete and wurshipped him, saying: Thou art the very sonne of God. And when they came to the banke, he went into the countrey of Genezareth, where he had she­wed many miracles before. They after that they had knowlege that he whom they had seene before, was come agayne, they sent throughout al the countrey to tel that Iesus was presēt that if they had any sicke folke, they should bring them. For now theyr fayth began to increase, by the myracles that were done before. Therefore flockyng together on euery syde, they offer vnto Iesus as many as were diseased, desyring him that at the leaste they myght touche the hem of hys garmente, if it were to paynful for him to touche them one by one, or to speake vnto them. So strong was theyr fayth, and theyr fayth deceiued them not: For as many as touched him, were healed.

¶ The .xv. Chapiter.

The texte. Than came to Iesus Scribes and Phariseis, whiche were come from Hierusalem, saying: Wherefore doe thy disciples transgresse the tradicion of the elders? for they washe not their handes whan they eate bread. But he aunswered, and sayde vnto them: Why doe ye trans­gresse also the commaundemente of god, because of your owne tradicion?’

[Page lxxxiii] TO the more glory of God these thynges were done, the more the Phariseis were fret with enuie, seyng theyr glory to bee darke­ned thereby, by the which glory hitherto they had magnifyed thē ­selues among men. They hūted in euery corner for a quarel, but the more they go agaynst Iesus, the more they blase abrode their owne blindenes, being so manifest and open, that the people also spyed it. Therefore certayn Phariseis of Hierusalem (for there were they most arrogant and proude) goe together vnto Iesus, that the numbre might make their false accusacyon to bee beleued. And where as Moyses forbade that any thyng shoulde bee taken away or put to the wordes of the lawe, the Phariseis, that they might seme to bee not onely thexpounders of the lawes, but also the ma­kers, they added certayn tryflyng thinges, as be those: That no man shoulde take meate with vnpure handes, whiche they called vnwashed, as who should say, the handes did defyle the meate or the man, or as who shoulde say, the li­cour of the water shoulde washe away the filthynesse of the minde. Agayne, that no man retournyng from the market and had been amongeste the com­mon people, shoulde eate meate, but he had firste washed hys body: as who shoulde saye, the touchyng of men filed man, or as who shoulde say, he is pure and cleane whiche is washed. Agayne, that theyr flagons, pottes, brasse, stoles beddes, and other stuffe which was dayly occupyed▪ shoulde be often washed. With these and many lyke superfluouse and tryfling thinges, they burdened the simple people, which thynges they woulde haue so much made of and ho­noured, that for these preceptes, they neglected oftentimes the cōmaundemen­tes of God. Therfore whē they could no waies leye to the disciples charge, the transgression of Moses lawe, they fynde faulte with their mayster, because he suffered his disciples to neglect mannes constitucions: not that they despised them, although they were worthy to bee despised, but that being geuen to seri­ouse and earnest matters, sometimes they passed little vpon them. Therefore they spake vnto Iesus and sayde: Why doe not thy disciples kepe the consty­tucions of their forefathers? For they washe not theyr handes whan they goe to meate. Christ not suffering so maliciouse rebuking, for a thing of nothing: payeth them home with a more sharpe rebuke. Nay with what face dooe ye, which picke quarels for these [...]fles, make so muche of mannes constitucyons, whiche can bring nothing elles but paynfull supersticion, and yet for them, ye sticke not to breake the greatest commaundement of God?

The texte. For God commaundeth, saying: Honour father and mother. And he that shall curse father or mother, let him dye the deathe. But ye say euery one shall say to his father and mo­ther: What [...]ifte soeuer shoulde haue come from me, the same is tourned vnto thy profit. And so shal he not honour his father or hys mother. And thus haue ye made the commaundement of God of none effecte, because of your owne tradicion.

For God confirmyng the law of nature, commaunded earnestly that eue­ry man shoulde honoure and succoure his father and mother, promising long life and felicitie of this life vnto the doer hereof: threatning death to him that doeth the contrary. But you folowing your auarice, that ye may tourne that to your owne gayne and aduauntage, which shoulde haue bene bestowed in helping of youre parentes: doe teache that it is holyer and better for men to enryche the temple with gyftes▪ than to helpe theyr nedye parentes: and ye haue shewed a caste, how the children may mocke their parentes asking helpe [Page] and succour of them, that is, to say thus to the father or mother: the gifte that I offer to the temple, thinke it bestowed vpon you. For that, that is offered [...] God the high parent, is rightely bestowed, and the godlines of the sonne shal profite the parentes: and by this crafte, vnder the coulour of false godlines, a­gainst the commaundemente of God, the father is forsaken, that the priestes may bee better at ease. The thyng cummeth to you, to the helpe and succoure of the parentes, nothing cummeth but wordes. And ye coulour a wicked dede vnder the pretence of godlines. What can be more arrogant than to preferre your constitucions before the commaundementes of God, and vnder the pre­tence of them, to hyndre a [...]d breake the holy commaundemente of God? It is a wi [...]ked dede to burden the people with such maner of constitucions, which is ouer burdened with the burdē of the law. But it is intollerable wickednes vtterly to abolishe goddes law, agreable vnto the law of nature, through your owne inuencions.

The texte. ¶ O Hypocrites: full well dyd Esay prophecie of you, saying: Thys people draweth nygh vnto me with their mouthe, and honoureth me with lyppes, but theyr harte is farre from me: in vayn do they worship me, teaching the doctrines, mans preceptes. But he calleth the people vnto hym, and sayde vnto them: heare and vnderstande. That whiche goeth into the mouth de [...]leth not the man, but that which cummeth out of the mouth defyleth man.

This is your counterfeite religion, whiche is nothing lesse than as it ap­pereth. O Hipocrites, Esay worthely prophecied of you, saying: This people honoureth me with their lippes, but their harte is far from me. And they wur­ship m [...] in vayne, teaching doctrines, which be ye preceptes of men. Iesus whē he had spoken these, as though he had turned away frō the phariseis, whiche hunted for nothing, but for occasion of false accusing: commaunded the multi­tude to come nere, saying: Heare and vnderstāde how trifling thinges they be, whiche the phariseis prescribe vnto you, careful in little thinges, and neglec­ting great thinges. They with aukewarde iudgement, put the chiefe poynte of godlynes in outwarde thynges, as in choyce of meates and neglecte those thinges that be of the soule. They abhorre vnwashed cuppes, and neglecte vn­cleane soules: they washe their handes and their skinnes oftentimes, but they suffer theyr minde to be defiled with all maner of vices. That whiche entreth into the mouthe maketh not man vncleane, but that whiche goeth out of the mouth maketh man vncleane. For it is no matter what meate a man eateth, but with what minde he eateth it.

The texte Than came his disciples, and sayde vnto hym: Knoweste thou not that the Phariseis were offended at this saying? But he aunswered and sayde: Euery plante which my heauē ­ly father hath not planted, shalbe plucked vp by the rootes. Let them alone, they bee blynde guides of the blinde. If the blinde leade the blinde both shall fall into the diche.

Iesus semed by these wordes to haue geuen vnto the phariseis a iust oc­casion to reproue him, because he toke away the choyce of meates, which gods lawe prescribed. In whiche thing also his disciples did not disagree from the phariseis, thinking it a wieked thyng to eate common and vncleane meates, which truely Christ did not yet condemne, but declared that they of their own nature were neither good nor yl, but of incident causes, and therfore lesse to be estemed than those thinges, which alway and of their own nature be godly or vngodly, & declareth also that such maner of preceptes of the law, which were [Page lxxxiiii] ordeined for a time, and do not so much bring holines as signify it, begin now to be obscured & darkened, & shortly shal vanysh away & perish at ye clere light of the ghospel. The disciples not yet vnderstanding this thing, goe vnto their lord, & monish him secretly of the daunger, saying: know ye not that the phari­seis although they dissemble the matter, be offended with this cōmunicacion of yours, yt meate defileth no man? But Iesus minding to teache that th offēce of yll men, which riseth of thinges of nothing, and the doers of it also, oughte manfully to be despised: chiefly whan in obeying of thē, none other good riseth of it, but increasing & nourishing of their malice: not without the vndoyng of the simple people,Euery pla [...] whiche my heauēly fa­ther hath not planted &c. whiche trusting to such maner of obseruacions, neglecte the deuocion of true godlines, answered thus vnto his disciples which were sum­what offēded also. Euery graffe that my heauēly father hath not graffed, shall be plucked vp by the rootes euery ordinaūce yt men haue inuēted of thēselues for theyr owne glory, & not for true godlines, shall perish and come to naught. These thinges sauour of the earth, & be carnal, made & geuen for a time, to re­presse & kepe vnder the excesse & outrage of grosse folke. The law of the gospell is spiritual & heauenly, nor resteth in these visible thinges, but in thaffeccions of the minde. These therfore ought chiefely to be regarded: For without these thother profit nothing but to vayne ostentacion. Seing therfore ye haue begū to professe this heuēly philosophy, ye haue nothing to doe with ye coūterfeiting and dissemblyng Phariseis, who promise perfect holynes through suche ob­seruacions, in which is no godlynes, or surely very litle. They shewe and boast themselues to be doctours and captaines to true religion, wheras they knowe not in what thinges true religion standeth. Therfore they be blinde, and lea­ders of the blynde. And if the blynde leade the blynde on the way, what shall happen? bothe together shall fall in the dyke. They knowe not what they teache, and they take vnto them folishe and grosse disciples. Therfore let the folishe Phariseis goe, with theyr folyshe and vnprofitable constitucions. Regarde and care for those thynges whiche make man cleane or vncleane: that is to say, for those thynges whiche do defile or cleanse the mynde, rather than the bodye.

The texte. ¶Then answered Peter, and sayd vnto him: declare vnto vs this parable. And Iesus sayd: Are ye also yet without vnderstanding? Do not ye yet vnderstande that whatsoeuer entreth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the priuie? But those thinges which goe out of the mouth, come furth from the harte, and they defile the man. For out of the harte come yll thoughtes, murders, aduoutries, whordomes, theftes, false witnesses, and skol­dinges. These be the thinges whiche defyle man. But to take meate with vnwashen handes doeth not defile man.

To these Peter made answere, not yet persuaded, because of the supersti­cion whiche he had depely receiued of hys forefathers, that these constituciōs could not be neglected without daunger: wheras he durst not resiste any more the sayinges of Iesus, required him gentilly that he would vouchesafe to de­clare plainly the thyng whiche he had spoken darkely to the people, concer­nyng thynges that goeth in and cummeth out of the mouth. Iesus minding to sharpen the desyre of his disciples with a litle chidyng, whiche should haue bene now more cunnyng in vnderstādyng of parables, and out of one to haue diuined and gessed another, sayde: Be ye also yet without vnderstandyng? vn­derstande [Page] ye not that meate whiche receiued and taken with handes washed or vnwashed, entreth into the mouthe, goeth downe into the stomake and af­terwarde the grosser parte of it is caste out by the belly into the pryuye? These be bodely thinges, and affect and touche nothing but the body. As for the solle they neyther helpe nor hurt, vnlesse a man misuse them. And to misuse them is not the faulte of the meates, but of the misuser. But the thinges which goe out of the mouth bee the thinges whiche men doe speake. Talking cummeth not from the belly but from the harte. And that is in mannes harte, that in dede is pure and cleane, or els vnpure and vncleane. For from that fountaine doe spring noysom thoughtes, wherwith mē go about to lye in wayte to hurt their brother, from thence do spring murder, adultry, rape, theft, fraude, deceite, en­uie, arrogancie, strife, false witnes & blasphemie. These thynges though they go not out by the mouth, yet they make men vncleane and abhominable in the sight of God. If they burste out in maner of a pestilente breath out of a filthy siege, lyke as they declare man to be vncleane, so with theyr infeccion and bla­sting they do defile others also. But whether thou take thy meate with handes washed or vnwashed, so thou take it to the vse of nature, maketh not man vn­cleane. Neither drinke taken out of an vncleane cup, defileth not man, so thou take it mesurably for the vse & not for the excesse. Likewyse to syt vpon an vn­washed seate, doeth not defile the minde of man, like as the washed seate doth not make pure and cleane hym that sitteth in it. Therefore whereas the Pha­riseis teache and obserue supersticiously these folishe trifles, yet they dooe not abhorre those thinges, wherby the minde is defiled in dede. They lye in wayte for him that doeth them good, they do subornate and prepare false witnes, they do backbite the fame of their neighbour, and so seke for theyr owne glory, that they enuy the glory of god, falsely reprouing the workes which be done by his spirite and ascribing them to Beelzebub. They should abhorre these thinges, if they woulde seme cleane in dede. But what aukewarde kinde of holynes is this, to haue washed and cleane handes, and to haue both minde and tongue defiled with so many mischeuous vices?

The texte. ¶ And Iesus goyng thence, departed into the coaste of Tyre and Sydon. And beholde a woman of Canaan whiche came from the same coaste, cryed vnto hym saying: Haue mercye vpon me lorde the sonne of Dauyd, my daughter is myserably vexed with a deuyll. But he aunswered her nothing at all. And his dysciples came and besoughte hym, saying: sende her away, for she crieth after vs: But he answered and sayde: I am not sente but vnto the lo [...]e shepe of the house of Israell. Than came she and wurshipped him, saying: Lorde helpe me. But he aunswered and sayde: It is not mere to take the childrens bread, and to cast it to dog­ges. She aunswered and sayde: Trueth lorde, for the dogges eate of the crummes, which fal from their maisters table. Than Iesus aunswered, and sayde vnto her: O woman greate is thy fayth, be it vnto thee as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that tyme.

After that Iesus had spoken these thinges, he left that countrey, and went in­to the coastes of Cyrus & Sydon, in maner prophecying with that dede, that the Iewes through the supersticion of their lawe, should expell the doctrine of the gospel, which the Gētiles through sinceritie of fayth should take vnto thē. For Cyrus and Sidon were inhabited of Idolaters. Iesus went thither, not to preache as he did in Iewry, for the time was not yet come, but to be secret & hid there, for he entred into a house desiring to be secret, but the fame did vtter him. This was done for the inuincible malice of the Iewes, leste they mighte [Page lxxxv] complaine that the wicked and prophane Gētiles were preferred before them. Therfore he would that ye miracle that he shewed there, should not seme to be sought after or done of purpose, but offered by chaunce, & in maner extorted & obteyned of him by force. Therfore when the rumour was spred abrode, that Iesus was present, whose fame increasing by litle and litle went beyond the coastes of the Iewes: a certayne woman of Canaan cūming out of her coastes durst not come nere to Iesus,And behold a woman of Canaan lest she beyng vnclean might seme to defile him which was clean, but a far of called vpon him wt a miserable crie: haue mercy vpon me the sonne of Dauid, telling him that she had a daughter at home mi­serably vexed with a deuil. This Iesus so merciful and easy to be intreated, which was wont to be prompt and ready vnto al men, to thintent both that he might make open vnto al men the very constāt fayth of the woman, & also leye vnto the Iewes charge, theyr very styffe & obstynate vnbelefe, & to teache vs with all, of what efficacy and power importune and earneste prayers powred out of an humble harte, be with god: he despiseth the peticyoner whiche cryed out for sorow of her harte, insomuche that he woulde not vouchesafe to make her aunswere: shewing therby a certayn fashion of the Iewes arrogancie, be­cause the Iewes coūted the Cananees their olde enemies, and wurshippers of Idolles, to be abhominable, and that they be defyled if they do but talke with them. And the apostles at that time were yet of the same affeccion and minde. But the woman ceased not, although she were repelled. Sorowe and faythe made her importune, she foloweth at hys backe, and cryeth lamentably: haue mercy vpon me lorde, the sonne of Dauid. The disciples not yet vnderstan­ding what was in dooyng, moued with shame rather than with pitie, because of the importune crying of the woman, of a straunge countrey, speake vnto Iesus, not desyring hym to haue mercye of the wretched woman, but because of her importunitie to sende her away with some aunswere. Therefore Iesus made an answere more sore and harde, than the former repulse & shaking of, to the intent he might make the constancie and coldenes of the straunge woman more marueilouse: & also by the example of her to charge the Iewes with their pride and arrogancie.But he aū ­s [...]ered and sayde. I am not sent (ꝙ he) but vnto the lost shepe of the house of Israell. For the Iewes stode merueilously in theyr owne conceyte, because of this title, that they were the stocke of Israell. The woman was not weryed with so many repulses and denials, insomuche that she durste yet drawe nere vnto Iesus, and falling downe at his knees, sayde: Lorde succoure me.

She did not confute the saying of Iesus, but with often repeting of her pray­ers she went about to wery him. She layed not for her, righte and iustice, she requireth nothyng but mercy. Iesus not contente with this, goeth on still, to trye the sobre importunitie of the woman. It is not mete (ꝙ he) to take the childrens bread, and cast it to the dogges: calling the fruite of the gospel which is by fayth, bread: callyng the children, the Iewes, which did glory that they had god to their father: calling the dogges, straungers, & aliens frō the religiō and wurshipping of God. Which of the Iewes would not haue bene stirred & angred with suche a rebuke? but the woman not refusyng the name of a dog, enuieth not the Iewes the honourable title of the children, but calleth them also lordes whome Iesus called childrē. She embraceth the aūswere, rebuke­ful in apperaunce, and taketh occasion of it not to be repelled, wherwith it ap­pered that she was vtterly repelled. I deny not (ꝙ she) that the Israelites bee [Page] the children, and we the dogges, and therfore I am not vttrely to be repelled. I take not away from them theyr fyne and delycate breade, whiche they eate sitting at theyr fathers table: This onely I require, whiche maisters are not wont to deny to theyr dogges. The table is riche and plentiful of such thinges it sufficeth me if I chaunce to haue the crummes whiche fal from theyr tables. Than Iesus maruaylyng at the insatygable and greate constancye of the straunge woman,O woman great is thy [...]yth. in maner ouercome, sayde: O woman, I can no longer resist thy prayers, great is thy fayth, wherwith thou constraynest me. Wherfore be­it vnto thee after thy desire. And by and by euen at the same tyme it was pro­ued, that her daughter was deliuered from the deuil.

The texte. And Iesus goyng from thence, came nigh vnto the sea of Galile, and wente vp into a mountayne and saie down [...] there. And muche people came vnto hym bryngyng with them those that were lame, blynde, deaffe, maymed, and other many, and caste them downe at Ie­sus feete. And he healed thē, insomuch that the people maruayled whan they saw the dūme speake, the maymed to be whole, the lame to walke, and the blinde to see. And they glorified the god of Israell.

Whan Iesus in maner constrayned had wrought this one miracle in the borders of ye Sidonians & the Sirians, to prouoke & stirre vp his owne peo­ple, he went agayne into Iewry, to declare how more ready he was towardes his owne countrey menne, then to straungers: if they might haue bene ouer­come & wunne with benefites. And he came vnto a meere whiche is called the sea of Galile, and there goyng vp vpon an hill, sate downe, that by goyng a­syde and by the difficultye of the place, he might a litle and a litle plucke vp the fayth of hys disciples, and make it firme and stable. Anon there flocked a­bout him many flockes of men, bringing with thē dūme, blinde, lame, weake, and diuerse other vexed with diuerse diseases, of whome there was so great a multitude, that they cast them at the feete of Iesus. He well perceyuing theyr fayth by the harde and cumbrouse iourney, healed them al: and so spedely hea­led so many, that the multitude whiche came vnto him was much amased, se­yng howe sodeinly the blinde receyued their sighte, the dūme spake, the lame walked, the feeble was whole of lymmes. And they gloryfyed the god of the people of Israell, whiche did vouchesafe to bestowe so greate benefites vpon his people.

The texte. ¶ Than Iesus called hys discyples vnto hym, and sayde: I haue compassion on the people, because they continue with me nowe three dayes, and haue nothyng to eate: and I will not let them departe fasting, leste they faynte in the way. And hys disciples saye vn­to him: whence shoulde we get vs so muche bread in wildernes wherewith we might suffyce so great a multitude? And Iesus sayth vnto them: Now many loaues haue ye? and they sayd vnto him: seauen, and a fewe litle fyshes. And he commaunded the people to sit downe on the grounde, and tooke the seauen loaues and the fyshes. And after that he had geuen thankes, he brake them, and gaue to his discyples, and the dyscyples gaue them to the people. And they all did eate, and were suffysed. And they tooke vp of the broken meate that was lefte se­uen baskettes full. And yet they that dyd eate, were fower thousande men, beside women & children. And he sent away the people and tooke ship, and came into the coastes of Magdala.

This kindenes of the people caused him to heape benefit vpon benefite of his owne accorde. For whan Iesus knewe that the multitude taryed and byd by him three dayes (such was theyr feruency towardes Iesus) and knew also if they had brought any vitayle with them, it was consumed and spent a good whyle before: and that many were in ieopardy for hunger. Furthermore that [Page lxxxvi] the iorney was long, and that there were no villages nor townes nere: he cal­led his disciples vnto hym and sayd: I haue pitie on thys multitude. For now it is thre dayes, that they haue [...]aried with me in desert, nor they haue nothing to eate, and I will not sende them away fasting, leste they faynte in the way, being longer than they be hable to goe fasting.

With these sayinges he put his disciples in remembraunce of the former miracle, when he fed certayne thousandes of men. But they yet rude and for­getting those former thynges, beyng carefull and doubtefull as though they had ben commaunded to fede suche a greate multitude of men, doe make aun­swere: Where than can we get suche a deale of bread that may suffice suche a great multitude? This simplicitie and forgetfulnes of the disciples, dyd sette [...]urth the greatnes of the miracle. They therefore beyng in dispayre. Chryste taketh in hande, the mater of the miracle. He asketh thē how many loaues they had.And he cō ­maunded ye people to sit down on ye grounde. They answered, seuen, and a few fishes. And furth with he commaunded them to sit downe vpon the grounde. And taking the seauen loaues and the meate in his handes, after that he had lifted vp his iyes vnto heauen and ge­uen thankes vnto his father, he brake them and delyuered them to hys discy­ples, and they distributed them to the people. Euery man did eate his fill, and there was nothing lacking: insomuch that seauen baskettes were filled of the gatherynges of scrappes, whiche remayned. And there were of them that dyd eate, in numbre fower thousande, besyde chyldren and wemen. But Iesus, so many miracles shewed in the mounte, leste he shoulde styrte the people ouer­much to haue him in veneracion and honoure▪ chiefly when these bodely bene­fites be applied and geuen for none other intent▪ but to obtayne authoritie to the doctrine of the ghospel, whereby the soules be healed and fed▪ after that he had sent away the multitude, he went by boate into the lande of Magedon.

¶The .xvi. Chapiter

The texte. ¶And the Phariseis with the Saduce is came and tempted hym, and required of him to shewe them a signe from heauen. Bu [...] he aunswered and sayde vnto them: whan the euen­ [...]de beginneth to draw nere▪ ye say: It will be fayre weather, for the skie is red. And in the morning: It will bee troublesome weather: for the skye is glowmyng red. O ye Hypocrites, ye can discerne the face of heauen, but can ye not dyscerne the sygnes of the tymes? The fro­warde and aduouterouse nacion requireth a signe, and there shall no signe be geuen vnto it but the signe of the Prophete Ionas.’

IEsus being here, there came vnto him agayne certaine Phariseis and Saduceis being of a contrary sect, not­withstanding of one consente and agreemente to lye in wayte for Iesus. And craftely they require him to shew some token from heauen, as thoughe hereafter yf he woulde haue so done, they woulde haue beleued in him, where as they wente about nothing els, but to seke oc­casyon to reproue hym. But Iesus when he perceyued that after so many miracles, they remained yet in their malice, mourned in the spirite and sayde: Ye hypocrites vtteryng one thyng [Page] with your mouth, and cloking another in your hart, in lesse thinges when ye marke heauen, ye can tel before what weather shal folow the day after.

O ye Hypo­crites. &c.For whan ye see the sunne go to glade, ye say: to morowe shall be fayre wether, for the ayer is cleare and bright. Againe when ye see the sunne rise in the mor­ning, by and by ye geue sentence, that that shal be a foule and a boystiouse day because the lowring ayre is red. Whan ye see the fashion and countenaunce of heauen, ye can gesse whether the time will be mete for iourneing, rowing, sow­ing, or mowing, or for any other thinges apperteyning to the vse of the body: And are ye so dul and negligēt in knowlege of the time, that maketh for your soules helth▪ Ye haue the scriptures, ye see what thynges be done, ye see howe the worlde is renewed, and vnderstande ye not yet, that the tyme spoken of be­ [...]ore by the Prophetes, and looked for so long tyme, is nowe at hande? Of one signe ye geue sentence, of fayre or foule weather, of so many signes, whiche ye see dayly, doe ye not perceiue the thing that is present? If ye would haue bene made better by wonders and myracles, ye would haue beleued me long agon. Now ye require a signe and a token to be the worse thereby. O naughtie and adulterous generacion, which goeth farre out of kinde from her forefathers, of whose tytles, she magnifieth her selfe. She seketh craftely for a wondre out of heauen, to pycke a quarell and to reproue it: But in tyme to come she shall haue a signe that she shall feare and not reproue. In the meane time she shall haue no signe nor wondre but out of the earth, whiche shal frustrate and dis­apoynte all theyr endeuoures, when they shall see hym alyue agayne, whome they thoughte to bee dead and buryed. It seemeth a monstruouse thyng vnto them whiche chaunced to the Prophete Ionas: they shall haue a lyke mon­ster, but more wondrefull. By this riddell and darke fygure, the Lorde Iesus signified that he should be first slayne, & buried of them, whome they thoughte to be nothyng elles but man, and furth with shoulde ryse agayne, through the power of God.

The texte. ¶ And he left them and departed. And whan his disciples were come to the other syde of the water, they had forgotten to take bread with them. Than Iesus sayd vnto thē: Take hede and beware of the leauen of the Phariseis, & the Saduceis. But they thought in thēsel­ues saying, we haue taken no bread with vs. Whiche when Iesus vnderstode, he sayde vnto them: O ye of litle fayth, why take ye thought within your selues because ye haue broughte no bread? Do ye not perceiue nor remēbre the .v. loaues, when there were fiue thousand men, and how many baskettes toke ye away? Neyther the .vii. loaues when there were .iiii. thou­sande men, and how many baskettes toke ye away? How happeneth it that ye doe not vnder­stande that I spake it not to you concernyng breade that ye shoulde beware of the leauen of the Phariseis and Saduceis. Than vnderstoode they [...]owe that he had them not beware of the leauen of bread, but of the doctrine of the Phariseis, and of the Saduceis.

Iesus therfore leauing them with their blindnes, went ouer the water by ship & the disciples had forgotten to prouyde thēselues of bread before they en­tred into the shippe. For they had but one lofe in the shippe. Iesus therefore to put them in remembraunce, saide: take diligent hede and beware of the leauen of the Phariseis and the Saduceis: noting and touching darkely their Iew­ishe supersticiō, because they thought it a great matter to eate these meates or those meates, whereas they were taughte beefore, that man was not defyled with the thynges that entred into the mouthe. The dysciples althoughe they vnderstoode not what it mente, were yet monished with thys saying, that they [Page lxxxvii] had forgotten to put vitayle in their shippe. Iesus therefore chideth them be­yng carefull for thys thyng, blamyng theyr dulnesse, whiche taughte so often both with sayinges and dooinges, vtterly to cast out of theyr mynde careful­nesse for vitayle, yet were incumbred with carke and care for suche manner of thynges: O (ꝙ he) ye that so litell truste to me, why dooe ye vexe youre mynde with thys carefullnesse, that ye haue forgotten breade, as who sayeth, we shall lacke any thyng,O ye of ly­tel faith▪ &c althoughe ye prouyde not for it? Dydde not I teache you that firste of all the kyngdome of God muste bee soughte for, and that these thynges shall be cast vnto you? Haue ye not seene now twyse that such a great multytude lacked not meate? So many wayes taughte and monyshed, vn­derstande ye not yet? remembre ye not yet? Is youre herte yet blynded with suche manier of cares? and see ye not after the Phariseys fashyon, that whiche ye see with youre iyes? and that whiche ye heare with youre cares, ys yt as though ye hearde it not? haue ye forgot that, whiche was lately done, your sel­ues being not onely witnesses but also ministers? When that fiue thousande men were fully fed with .v. barely loaues & two fyshes, the numbre of geastes being so greate, the preparacion so small, howe many baskettes dyd ye fyll of the scrappes whiche remayned of the feaste? They aunswere hym, twelue. And agayne when fower thousande men were fylled with seuen loaues and a fewe fishes, ye beeyng the dystrybutoures, howe many baskettes filled ye with the scrappes? they aunswere seuen: Why, doe ye not yet vnderstande the maner of my speaking, whiche ye tourne to the care of bodely thinges, whereas my tal­king studieth and prouideth for the mindes, rather then the bodies?

Now ye shoulde of your selues haue coniectured what my riddel ment when I sayde: beware of the leauen of the Phariseis and Saduceis. I had nowe taught you, that it little skilled what kynde of meate we eate. I had nowe di­uersly declared and beaten vpon it, that they whiche haue in hande the matter of the ghospel, shoulde vtterly cast away suche vile cares.

The disciples beyng more attent and diligent by this litle chyding, vnder­stode that Iesus ment that they should take hede diligently, and baware of the doctryne of the Phariseis, whiche had nothyng that was syncere and clean, but was corrupte with ambicyon, auaryce enuie, and other vyces: Whereas the doctrine of the ghospell tasted of no suche thyng. For theyr doctrine doeth rather infecte man, than fede hym, and therefore it must be taken hede of dily­gently, because they bee woonte for to deceiue vnware and symple men by the false cloke of godlynes, whiche is the very poyson of true godlines.

The texte. ¶Whan Iesus came into the coastes of the citie which is called Cesa [...]ea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying: Whome doe men say that I the sonne of manne am? they sayde: some say that thou arte Iohn the Baptiste, some Helias, some Hieremias, or one of the noumbre of the Prophetes. He sayeth vnto them: But whome say ye that I am? Symon Peter answe­red: Thou arte Christe the sonne of the liuing God. And Iesus aunswered and sayde vnto hym: happie arte thou Symon the sonne of Ionas, for fleshe and bloude hath not opened that vnto thee, but my father whiche is in heauen. And I saye vnto thee, that thou arte Pe­ter, and vpon thys rocke▪ I will buylde my churche, and the gates of hell shall not preuayle against it. And I will geue vnto the, the keyes of the kyngdome of heauen: and whatsoeuer thou byndest in earth shall be bounde in heauen, and whatsoeuer thou looceste in earthe shal be looced in heauen.

Here when Iesus came into the coastes of the citie called Cesarea, whiche [Page] Philippe the Tetrarche so named in the honour of Ceasar, folowing his bro­ther Herode, whiche chaunged the name, and called that Cesarea, whiche beefore was named the tower of Straton, he thoughte to proue howe muche his schollers had profited by hearing so muche communicacion, and by seeing so many miracles: and whether they had any higher or better opinion of him, than the vulgare sorte. Therefore he demaundeth of them saying: whome doe men talke that the sonne of man is? They say: some say that he is Iohn the baptist. For so the Herodians suspecte. Some say that he is Helias, be­cause he was taken vp: & they suspect that he doeth appere now according to the prophecie of Malachy. Some say that he is Hieremie, because he was a figure of Christ, and that it was sayde of hym: Beholde I haue set thee thys day ouer nacions and kinges, to plucke vp and to distroy and to plant: which in dede should be fulfilled in Christ. Iesus hearing these, to thentent he would gette out some more certayne and hygher profession, sayeth: ye (ꝙ he) whiche shoulde knowe me better, who say ye that I am? Here Symon Peter as he lo­ued Iesus best, as the chiefe of the Apostolicall ordre, aunswered for them all. Thou arte very Christe, the sonne of God aliue: not speaking of suspicion, but professing certainely and vndoubtedly that he was Messias pronused of the Prophetes, and the sonne of god after a certayne singuler manner. Iesus de­lighted with this chereful and substaunciall profession, sayde: blessed art thou Symon the sonne of Iohn. The affeccion of man taught thee not this word, but the heauenly father put it in thy minde, by a secret inspiracion. For no man hath a worthy opinion of the sonne, but by the inspiracion of the father▪ which only knoweth the sonne. And I agayn, lest thou shouldest adourne me thanke­lesse with suche a noble testimony, assure thee of this, that thou arte very Pe­ter that is to say, a sound and a sure stone, not wauering hither or thither with sundrie opinions of the vulgare sort [...]: & vpon this stone of thy professyon, wil I builde my churche, that is to saye, my house and my palace: whiche beyng sette vpon a sure foundacion, I will so fortifie, that no power or strengthe of the kingdome of hell shalbe hable to beate it downe.And I will geue vnto thee. &c. Sathan will come vpon you with many engines, he will rayse a coumpany of wicked spirites against you, but through my defence my buyldyng shall stande imprennable, onely lette thys sure and sounde profession abyde. The kyngdome of heauen is the churche, the kingdome of the deuil is the worlde. Of thys no man nede to bee afearde, so that he bee Peter, that is to saye, lyke vnto thee. And the keyes of this heauenly kyngdome I will deliuer vnto thee. For it is meete that there he bee firste in auctoritie, whiche is firste in the professyon of the faithe, and in charitie. And truely this kingdom of heauen is in earth, but it hath to do with heauen, wherof it doeth depende. Wherfore he that is entangled with sinnes, doeth belong to the kingdome of hell, nor can not enter into the kyngdome of heauen. But he shall enter yf he professe that whiche thou doeste professe, and be losed from his sinnes by baptisme, and so through thy leading and thy ope­ning of the gates, he shall enter into the kingdome of heauen. This is my pe­culiar and proper power, to forgeue sinnes: but thys power I will geue vn­to thee after a maner, that that whiche thou shalte lose, with my keyes recey­ued of me, vpon earth before men, shal be losed also in heauen before God. On the other side, that which thou shalte binde in earth, shall be bounde also in heauen, for God will allowe thy iudgemente cummyng from hys spiryte.

The texte. [Page lxxxviii]¶ Than charged he dis disciples that they shoulde tell no man that he was Iesus Christe. From that tyme forthe began Iesus to shewe vnto his disciples howe that he muste goe vnto Hierusalem, and suffer many thinges of the elders, and hye priestes, and Scribes, and muste be killed and raysed vp agayne the thyrde daye: And whan Peter had taken hym asyde, he began to rebuke him saying: Maister fauour thy selfe, thys shall not happen vnto thee. But he turneth him aboute, and sayed vnto Peter: goe after me Sathan, thou [...]ynde [...]e [...]eme, for thou sauerest not the thinges that be of God, but those that be of men.

Whan Iesus had spoken these thynges, he commaunded his disciples that they should as yet kepe this godly opinion of him, secret with themselues: nor open it to others that he was Messias. For first the sacrifice of the cro [...]se must be accomplished, and the veritie of his manly nature declared, and further by his resurreccion, and the holy ghoste, his diuinitie muste bee declared. For al­though the voyce and sentence of Peter, was praysed of Christ, as the sētence of them whiche nowe began to profi [...]e and spring vp by little and little, vnto thinges of more perfeccion, yet they dreamed of a certayne kyngdome▪ not vt­terly vnlyke a worldely kingdome. And therefore Iesus darkely, and as in a riddle, promised vnto Peter the ryght of the keyes, but he delyuered them not by and by. For as yet he was not mete to vse them, as yet he was not suffycy­ently taught with the instruccion of the holy spirite. And therefore Iesus cal­leth them backe to the mystery of the crosse and of hys deathe, by the whiche misterie that kingdome must be prepared, the deuil once ouercome, and sinnes abolished, that they mighte bee the lesse troubled in their myndes whan they should se thinges chaunce which they knew should come to passe a litle after. They desyred rather to glory in the mightie and high sonne of the liuing God, but no man can truely glory in hym, but he whiche is not offended with hys humilitie and lownes. Iesus therefore began to prepare his disciples to thys storme which was at hand, shewing them that he must first goe to Ierusalem, and that he shoulde haue many griefes and displeasures of the Scrybes and Phariseis, and also of the chiefe priestes, and finally that he shoulde be killed, but on the thyrde day ryse agayne. Whan the disciples being yet carnal vnder­stoode not fully this communicacion, because they iudged these thynges vn­mete and vnworthy for him, who thorough so many myracles declared hym­selfe to be the sonne of God, yet they durst not demaunde of their maister what it ment to dye and ryse agayne. Therefore Peter who for the special loue that he had to his mayster, was bolder then the other, taketh hym asyde from the other of the Apostles, as though he woulde tell hym a thyng more familiarly: and chyding hym, and abhorring the speaking of death and afliccions, sayd: Lorde be good to your selfe. These thinges shall not happen vnto you. For it is in you that they come not to passe: For although Peter pronounced hym to be the sonne of God alyue, rather by the instigacion of the father, then by hys owne reason or wit: yet he was farre from the vnderstandyng of that mistery, that Iesus by hys death shoulde redeme mankynde, and by his resurreccyon declare vnto the worlde the might of his diuine power. Therfore Iesus to re­fourme this affeccion in his disciples, turned vnto them, & behelde thē whome he knewe to haue like mynde and affeccyon (albeit onely Peter durste blame the Lord,) and said vnto Peter: Come behind me Sathan. Be not against the will of my father: it is thy parte to folowe me, not to goe beefore. Nowe thou dooeste withstande, and endeuour to leat that thyng whiche bothe my father willeth to be doen, and also it behoueth me to doe, for the health and saluacion [Page] of mankinde. Thou desireste to bee a felowe of the kyngdome, and thou arte againste me making spede vnto the crosse of myne owne accorde, to thentente I may winne and get thys kyngdome to my father: what way ye see me goe the same ye must goe also to the kyngdome of heauen. But thou sauereste not yet the thynges whiche be of God: but led by mannes affeccyons▪ repyneste a­gaynst the will of God. Resiste not therefore, thou vnprofitable counsaylour, but folow after me, becum rather a scholler then a maister.

The texte. ¶ Than sayde Iesus vnto hys disciples: yf any man will folowe me, let hym forsake hym­selfe, & take vp his crosse & folowe me. For whoso wil saue his life shal loose it. Againe, whoso loseth his life for my sake, shall finde it. For what doeth it profit a man if he win al ye whole world, & loose his owne soule? For what shal a man geue to redeme his soule agayne withal? For the sōne of man shal come in the glory of his father with his angels, and then shal he re­warde euery man according to his dedes. Uerely I say vnto you, there bee some standyng here, whiche shall not taste of deathe, tyll they see the sonne of manne come in hys kingdome.

When that with these sayinges Iesus had cut the combe of Peter for his importune frowardnes, turning to all his disciples began to declare at large what it was that he sayde to Peter: come behinde me. Whosoeuer (ꝙ he) will bee my disciple and partaker of the kyngdome of heauen, let hym folowe my steppes. And lyke as he seeth me despysyng all the goodes of thys worlde, to bestowe my lyfe also willingly for the saluacyon of menne and glory of my fa­ther: so muste he also refuse and caste of all humayne affeccions, ready to all kindes of death, for the gospels sake, and take his crosse and folow me, which am goyng to the crosse. So to suffer is a blessed thyng: so to bee rebuked is a gloryouse thyng: so to be killed is a winnyng of lyfe. I know there is nothing more dere then life: but so euery man must lose hys lyfe, if he will saue it: and except he lose it, he shall lose it in dede. He loseth it for aduauntage that loseth it for the gospels sake. He loseth it in dede whiche forsaking the ghospell, pro­uideth for thys temporal lyfe, and loseth the life euerlasting. There is no man so foolish that woulde winne this whole worlde with the losse of this corporal and shorte lyfe.For what doth it pro­fit a man if he wiue all ye world. &c To what purpose serue rychesse yf the owner perishe? So it is a mad mannes parte to make so muche of hys affeccions, of rychesse, or els of his body, whiche within shorte time shoulde perishe, yea though no man kil it: that for mennes pleasure he will lese the lyfe euerlasting, whiche whoso hath not, hath all the other in vayne. Therefore nothing ought to be so deare vnto any man, the gain whereof he woulde chaunge with the losse of his soule. For the losse of other thinges may some wayes be recompēced, the losse of the soule cannot be recouered. He that loseth his life for my sake, dooeth not lose it, but commytteth it to me for auauntage, and shall receyue it agayne with lucre, whan the Maiestie of the kingdome of God shall appeare.

Nor ye ought not to be dyscouraged in youre mynde because I haue shewed you that ye must suffer muche aduersitie for the ghospel. They shall haue an ende shortely, and euerlasting glory, shall folow the temporal ignomyny and rebuke. For the sonne of man whome ye shall see oppressed and troden downe of all men and counted for a wurme:For ye sonne of man shal come. &c. shall come once in an other lykenes, and shall shewe vnto all men the Maiestie and glory of hys father, beeyng garded and accompanied with his aungels. Than he that was iudged here and con­demned with a shameful deathe, shall bee the iudge of all menne bothe quicke and dead, and shall yelde a rewarde vnto euery man accordyng to hys dedes. Than shall they bee appoynted to euerlastyng deathe, whiche here regarded [Page lxxxix] more their lyfe thā me: and they shalbe rewarded with immortal life which for my sake despised ye life of the body for a time. Now is the tyme of strife and trauayle, hereafter shalbe the time of rewardes. And truly this felicitie shall than be made absolute and perfecte, when it shall bee seene good vnto the father. For it belongeth not vnto you to knowe the tyme. And yet in the mean seasō there shalbe geuen to you, a certain taste of this glory. For be ye assured of this: there be sum here stādyng whiche shall not taste of death, be­fore that they see the sonne of man shewyng the maiestie of his kingdome, as it may be seene with bodily iyes. Surely before death they shal see the king­dome of God shewe furth his power: and now by litle and litle, vanquyshe and ouercum the whole power of this worlde.

¶ The .xvii. Chapter.

The texte. ¶And after sixe dayes Iesus taketh Peter and Iames and Iohn his brother, and bryngeth them vp into a high mountain out of the way, and he was transfigured before them▪ & his face did shine as the sunne, and his clothes wer as white as the ligh [...] And beholde there appeared vnto them Moses and Helias talkyng with him. Than answered Peter and said vnto Iesus: Lord here is good being for vs, if thou w [...]lt, let vs make here thre tabernacles, one for the, & one for Moses, and one for Helias. As he yet was speaking, behold a bright cloude shadowed thē. And behold there came a voice out of the cloud, saiyng: this is my welbeloued sonne in whom I delight muche, heare him And whan the disciples had heard these thynges, they fell on their faces, and were [...]ore afrayed. And Iesus came and touched them, and sayd: Arise, and be not a­frayed. And when they had lyft vp their [...]yes, they sawe no man saue Iesus onely.’

AFter sixe daies, Iesus willyng by sum meanes as it were by a dreame, to shew vnto his disciples, that sighte and apperaunce in the whiche once he shall cum to be iudge of the worlde: he chose out three of the numbre of his disciples, Peter, Iames, and Iohn his brother: and whan he had brought them vp into a very hye hyll, farre from the sight of men, he was transfigu­red before them. And his face shyned lyke the sunne, and his garmentes wer bryght with whytenesse as whyte as snow, and as no fuller can make vpon the earth, and there appered also to them, Moses and Helias talkyng with hym of the glory of his death, whiche he should suffer at Ierusalem. This was thought good to Christ, that ye Apostles should be confyrmed by those auctours, whom all the Iewes magnified moste, and that they shoulde not suspect that he would abolish the law, sith Moses stoode with hym: nor the prophetes, sith Helias was present: neither y they should abhorre his death as a shameful thing, whiche so great men set forth, and shewed it to bee glo­rious. These thinges wer seen to the apostles as to men newely waked frō slepe: for their iyes wer heauy & grieued. For mortall feblenesse was not of capacitie to receiue the greatnesse of the vision. The disciples therfore being afearde and amased with suche a wōderful and incredible sighte, Peter not yet fully wel aduised, but rauished wholly with the pleasure and maiesty of the sight, which semed to be farre from mencion of death, said: Lord let vs buylde here three tentes or pauilyons, one for thee, another for Moses, and the third for Helias. This was thought vnto Peter more wisedom than to be slain at Ierusalem. Peter had not yet ended his cōmunicaciō, but beholde a bryght and pleasaūt cloude ouershadowed thapostles, lest they should be [Page] absorpte and ouercummed with the highnesse of the sighte. And behold the voice of the father sounded out of the cloude, witnessyng of his sonne, with the same wordes with the which he witnessed of hym, whē he was baptised in Iordane: This is my onely beloued sonne in whom my mynde hath de­light, heare him. Whan the disciples heard this voice ful of diuine maiestie, and not to be borne of mannes eares, they fell doune grouelyng vpon theyr faces, and wer more afeard. For they wer afeard of theyr lyfe, because they had learned that God sayed thus: man shall not see me and liue. But Iesus receiuyng agayn his former shape, touched them with his handes, lest they shoulde suppose that he were a goste, and with his accustomed and knowen voyce he comforted them, saying: Aryse and feare nothyng. Further when they wer cum to themselues, and lifted vp their iyes, they sawe no mā there but Iesus alone, euen lyke as he came vnto the hill.

The texte. And whan they came doune from the mountay [...]e, Iesus charged them, saiyng: Shewe the vision to no manne vntill the sonne of man be rysen agayn from the dead. And his discy­ples asked him, saiyng: why than say the Scribes that Helias must fi [...]st cum? And Iesus aun­swered, and said: Truely Helias shall first cum and restore all thynges. But I saye vnto you, that Helias is cum already, & they knewe hym not, but haue doen vnto hym whatsoeuer they lusted. In likewyse shal the sonne of man also suf [...]re of them. Thē the disciples vnderstode that he spake vnto them of Iohn Baptiste.

And whan they came doune from the hill, before they came to the cumpany of the other disciples, he cōmaūded them to tel no man of these thinges that they had sene, vntil the sonne of man wer risen frō death. For vntil that time the tale should be vnprofitable, and not beleued. And the disciples kept it to themselues, and conferred betwene themselues what it myght meane, that Iesus said: after that he be risen again frō death. Their hart was so wrapt & entangled, that that worde so often hearde, [...]ould not enter into their hart. But a certain doubt rose in their myndes of that that they saw Helias stan­dyng with Iesus, this doubt they propose vnto hym in the way. What me­neth it than (ꝙ they) that the Scribes teachyng and tellyng of the cumming of Messias, be wonte to saye out of the authoritie of Malachie, that before the cummyng of Messias, Helias Thesbites shal cum. And he went not be­fore thy cummyng, but this daye was seene in the hyll. Unto whome Iesus makyng aunswer, saied: Truly Helias shall c [...]m lyke as Malachias sayed: and accordyng to his prophecie shall goe before my cummyng, and shall re­store al thynges, the residewe of the people of Iewes being conuerted vnto the gospell, leste the whole nacion should be condemned. But this cumming shall be in tyme to cum, when I shall be here againe with the maiestie of my father, renderyng rewarde vnto euery man accordyng vnto his dedes. And yet a certayn Helias went before this my cummyng also,Helias is cum alredy. whom the Iewes despised, euen as they dyd me, and dyd vnto him not after his desertes, but whatsoeuer it pleased them. And the sonne of man shall be handeled of them with like mekenes. Than the disciples vnderstode that he called Iohn Bap­tiste Helias, for the lykenes of lyfe, and freenesse in reprouyng of kynges.

The texte. And whan they wer cum to the people, there came to hym a certaine man knelyng downe and sayed: Lorde haue mercy on my sonne, for he is lunatyke, and soore vexed, for oftymes he falleth into the fyer, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, & they could not heale him. Iesus answered, and said: O feithles & croked nacion, how long shal I be with you, how long shall I suffre you: bryng hym hither. And Iesus rebuked the deuil, and he went out of hym. And the childe was healed from that tyme.

[Page xc]But nowe when Iesus went vnto his disciples, he sawe a great multitude of men about thē, and the Scribes disputyng with them. The people mer­uelyng whither Iesus was gone, ran vnto him and saluted him. He demaū ­ded of them what the matter was that they disputed amonge themselues. Than one of the multitude made aunswer: Maister I brought my sonne to thee, which is miserably vexed of an vnclean spirit: which as often as he ta­keth him, the childe is beaten against the ground, sumtime he is dryuen into the fier, sumtime into the water, he fometh, he gnasheth with his teeth, & cō ­sumeth awaye. And because I could not haue you, I desired your disciples to cast out the deuil, & they could not. But Iesus to heale the vnbelefe of all men, crieth out in maner angerly: O nacion vnbeleuing and without faythe, how long shall I be among you in vayne,O faythles and croked nacion, &c. howe long shall I suffre your vn­tractable and froward maners? I haue doen so many miracles and profitte nothyng: and therwith cōmaunded the chylde to be brought, because the mi­racle might be the more euident and [...]otable to all men. Which when he was brought and seen of Iesꝰ, furthwith euen there before thē al, the spirite toke hym, and the chylde was hurled vpon the ground, and tumbled and fomed: a miserable sight to see. Thā Iesꝰ the more to declare ye greatnes of the dis­ease, asked the father how long it was sith the chyld began to be vexed with this disease. The father made aunswer and sayed: from his infancy, and not without daunger of his life. For oftentimes he droue him into the fier, sum­tyme into the water to destroy him. I know that it is a soore disease, yet yf thou cāst do any thing haue mercy vpō vs & help vs. Iesꝰ hearyng (yf thou canst) sumwhat reprouyng the weakenes of his faith, as who saieth any dis­ease wer of greater might than the power of God, sayth vnto him: Aske not what I am able to do, but loke what thou art able to beleue. For if thou trust fully, nothing is so hard but it may cum to passe to him yt doth beleue & trust. At this word the father conceiuyng a trust, and a more sure hope, with plentifull teares criyng out, made aunswer: Lord I beleue, and if any thing wāt in my trust and belefe, supply thou it of thy goodnes, and help my vnbelefe. In the meane time when Iesus espied the multitude of people runnyng to gase, desyrous to see whether the thyng that came not to passe to ye discy­ples should cum to passe to Iesus: he threatened the vncleane spirit, saiyng: thou deaf and dumme spirit,And Iesus rebuked the deuill. &c. I commaund the go out from him, and teturne not a gain vnto him hereafter. But the spirite went frō the chylde with how­lyng, yet first he tore him and vexed him so vehemently that he lay for dead, and many warranted that he was dead. So strong and tough was the vio­lence of the disease. But Iesus taking the child by the hand, lifted hym vp: & he arose. Like as the father did hardly beleue: so his sōne was hardly heled.

The texte. ¶Than came the disciples a part to Iesus, and said: why could not we cast hym out? Iesus said vnto them: because of your vnbelefe. For verily I say vnto you: yf ye haue fayth as a grain of musterde seede, ye shall say vnto this mountayne: Remoue from hence to yonder place, and it shall remoue: and nothing shalbe vnpossible vnto you. Albeit this kynde goeth not oute, but by prayer and fastyng.

In the meane season the disciples wer heauy in their mindes, fearing leste thorough their default they had lost the power of doyng miracles, wheras before they had gloryed that deuilles also were obedient vnto their worde: before the multitude they kepe sylence for shame. But whan Iesus was cū [Page] into the house,Why could not we cast hym out. &c they goe vnto their maister and demaund of hym: why could not we cast out this deuill, sith this power was once deliuered vnto vs frō thee? Iesus to confyrme the faythe and trust of his disciples, which oughte to be so great that sumtyme it myghte helpe the distruste of others, sayeth: The weakenesse of your fayth partely was the cause. For the violēce of the disease was vehement, and the fathers fayth weake and waueryng, & your faythe was not so mightie, that it was equall and hable against both these difficulties. For it is sumwhat werish with mannes affeccions, and faultye by the reason of the leauen of vaynglorye. And ye had faythe lyke the seede of mustarde, which beyng vile and litle, yet when it is broosed, it sheweth a sharpe quicknes of her nature, and sowed in the grounde springeth vp into a large tree nothing should be so harde, but with a word it should be brought to passe out of hande. Yea if ye should say to the hil, remoue from hence, and goe into an other place,If ye haue faythe as a grayne of musterd. &c it would doe it forthwith as it was commaunded. But this kynde of deuylles wherewith the chylde was possessed, is not cast out, vnlesse fayth be confirmed and strengthned by prayer and fastyng. The violence of the disease was strong and tough, and by continuaunce of time, it was tourned into nature. Agaynste suche maner of faultes we must fyght with fastynges, which do subdue the body being brought lowe, vnto ye spi­rite, and also with praier, whiche obteyneth the help of god. By this cōmu­nicacion Iesus taught that greuous, vehement, and muche accustomed dys­eases of the mind, must be driuen away with strong & vehemente remedies.

The texte. And whan they were in Galile, Iesus sayd vnto them: It will cum to passe that the sōne of man shalbe deliuered into the handes of men, and they shall kyll hym, and the third daye he shall rise againe. And they were exceadyng sory.

But now Iesus whan he was in Galile, to the entent he might fortify, & make strong the mindes of his disciples, lest they should be ouer much trou­bled with his death, again he doth iterate & beate it into thē, that the sonne of man must be delyuered into the handes of men, and killed of them, & that the thyrde day he should rise agayn from death. This saiyng did grieue the mindes of ye disciples aboue measure, which so loued their lord (albeit theyr affeccion and loue was yet carnal) that their eares could not suffre any men­cion of death. For they coulde not vnderstande that Moses and Helyas cal­led the death of Iesus a glory & renoume, and that that death should bryng health and saluacion to the whole worlde. And although, like as they were heuy and fadde at the mencion of death, so they ought to haue bene chereful & glad at the mencion of the resurreccion: yet their mynd abhorred so muche from the remembraunce of deathe, that surelye they vnderstode not what it ment to dye, and the thyrde day to rise agayn. For they thought it better vt­terly not to dye, seeyng that he was hable to doe that, whiche was hable to reuiue again from death.

The texte. And whan they were cum to the citie of Capernaum▪ they that vse to receiue tribute money called a didrāme, came to Peter, and said: Doth your maister pay a didrāme? He saith, yea. And whan he was cum into the house. Iesus preuented him, saying: What thinkest thou Simō? Of whom doeth the kynges of the earth take tribute or toll, of their children or of straungers? Pe­ter sayeth vnto him, of straungers. Iesus sayd vnto hym: than the chyldren be free. Notwith­standing, leste we shoulde offende them, goe to the sea and cast an hooke, and take the fyshe that cummeth first vp, and whan thou hast opened his mouthe, thou shalt fynde a state [...]: take it, and geue it vnto them for the and me.

[Page xci]After that he came to the citie of Capernaum, they that demaunded tribute in Cesars name, being afraied to speake to Iesus because of his authoritie, whiche he had gotten hym now by miracles: they went to Peter whom they sawe in maner next about him: Doth your maister (ꝙ they) pay a didram for tribute? Peter wheras he had no money, and would not offende ye gatherers of tribute, made aunswer that he payeth. For Iesus hitherto had paied such maner tributes. And whan they were nowe entred into the house (for Iesus had an house there) Peter being perplexed, thought in his mind to speake to Iesus, as touching paimēt of the tribute. For he had promised, and had not to pay. Thē Iesus not ignorant what Peter had in his harte, preuented his question. Symon (ꝙ he) what thynkest thou? Of whom be kynges wonte to take tribute or subsidie, of their childrē or of strangers? Of strāgers ꝙ Pe­ter. Then (ꝙ Iesus) the children be free: signifiyng therby though sumwhat darkly, that he being lorde of the land and the sea, and of all thynges, oweth tribute or subsidie to no mortal prince, and that his disciples, as the childrē of the kingdome, be not bounde: but yet minding to teache that in such thyn­ges whiche make nothing against godlines, obedience oughte to be geuen to this kynd of men, lest being prouoked they offend more greuously, he added: yet (ꝙ he) lest we offend them, go to the sea and take the fish which cummeth out first, open his mouth, and thou shalt fynd a piece of coyne called a Sta­tere whiche is fower drāmes. Take it, and geue it for me and the. With this dede Iesus both shewed his power, wherby he was subiect to no mā, & his modestie, wherby he would geue place vnto thē, whō it is not mete to stirre or prouoke for a thing of litle value, & to be set nothyng by. For he that can geue after that sorte, is greater than he that ought to geue: and yet when he geueth that he ought not, he teacheth that it is better sumtime for to geue o­uer thy right then to striue for thy right with them that be froward, chiefly in those thinges whiche diminishe thy substaunce, but hurt nothyng godly­nes. The worlde hath his ordre which must not be troubled in no case, by oc­casion of libertie of the ghospell.

¶The .xviii. Chapter.

The texte ¶At the same tyme came the disciples vnto Iesus, saiyng: Who is the greatteste in the kyngdome of heauen? Iesus called a chylde vnto hym▪ and set hym in the middest of them, sai­yng. Uerelye I saye vnto you, excepte ye tourne and becum as chyldren, ye shall not entre in­to the kyngdome of heauen. Whosoeuer therefore humbleth hymselfe as this chylde, thesame is greatest in the kyngdome of heauen. And whoso receyueth suche a childe in my name, recey­ueth me. But whoso offendeth one of these litlennes whiche beleue on me, it wer better for him that a milstone wee hanged about his necke, and that he wer drowned in the depe of the sea. Woe to the world because of offences. Necessary it is that offences cum, but woe vnto the man by whome the offence cummeth.’

AFter that these thynges were thus doen, there entered into the myndes of thapostles, a certain worldlye affeccion, and a prycke of enuy and ambicion. They hearde of the kingdome of heauen, they sawe three Apostles led a parte into the mountayne, they heard that the keyes of the kingdome of heauen were delyuered vnto Peter, and that it was sayde vnto hym: blessed art thou Symon Bar­iona, and vpon this stone I wyll buylde my churche, they saw him talkyng [Page] with their maister of certain thynges bothe familiarely and boldely, and e­uen now they sawe hym preferred before thother Apostles in paimēt of tri­bute, and in maner made equall vnto Christe, therfore they sumwhat enuied Peter, vnto whome the principalitie of the kyngdom of heauen semed to be appoynted, where as he was yonger in yeares. Therefore they go vnto Ie­sus, and demaunde who shoulde be chyefe in the kyngdome of heauen. For yet they dreamed vpon such certaine dignities, as we see in princes courtes. But Iesus to plucke this affeccion vtterlye out of theyr myndes, called to hym a certayn child, and sette hym in the middes of his disciples, a litle one, and yet farre from all affeccions of ambicion and enuie,Excepte ye turne & be­cum as children. &c. simple, pure, and li­uyng after the onely course of nature. Be ye sure of this (ꝙ he) vnles a man be wholy chaunged, and cast away vtterly all suche affeccions, and be trans­formed into ye fashion & simplicitie of this chyld, he shal not once be receiued into the kyngdom of heauen. So that in no wyse preeminence and souerain­tie ought ambiciously to be desyred. Wherfore whoso doth submit himself and becum lyke vnto this babe, in that he humbleth himself to be as the least of all, he shalbe greatest in the kingdome of heauen. For whoso through mo­destie and sobrenes, maketh hymselfe as leaste, thesame is greatest in ver­tue. Princes loue them that be lyke vnto them, and amonge them is he most estemed, that preferreth hīself before others. I delight in my lyke. In cour­tes of this world the prince thinketh it to redound vnto his rebuke, if a man vse any of his nobles cōtumeliously: & he taketh the gentilnes to be bestow­ed vpon hymself whiche is bestowed vpō them. But the fauour of true, sim­ple and humble mē is so great with me, that whosoeuer receiueth any one of these for my sake, I would it should be counted as done to my self, euen as though he receiued me. Contrariwise, whoso hurreth or offēdeth any one of these litle ones which trust in me, and depend wholy vpō me, he shalbe more greuously punyshed, than if he should be drouned in the depe sea with a mil­stone at his necke. For what is more wicked than to offend thē, which beare to no man yll wyll, whiche enuie no man, which prefer themselues aboue no man,Woe vnto the worlde because of offices. &c. whiche loue all men indifferently? But alas, woe be to the worlde for offendyng and greuyng of like litle ones. The frowardnes of menne is cause that offences must nedes chaunce. There shalbe men, whiche stirred vp with ennie and hatred, wil persecute them that doe for them, wyll say yll by them that wysh them well, will kill them that bring euerlastyng health. And truly these offences and griefes shal profit them that shal suffer them, yea they shal be profitable to all the world. But yet it shall turne hym to displeasure, tho­rough whose defaulte this offence shall rise.

The texte. Wherfore if thy hand or thy foote hinder the, cut it of, and cast it from the. It is better for the to enter into lyfe halt or maymed▪ rather then thou shouldest hauing two handes or two feete, be cast into euerlastyng fyer. And if thyne iye offend the, plucke it out, and cast it from the. It is better for thee to enter into life with one iye, rather than hauing two iyes to be cast into hel [...]yer. Take hede yt ye dispise not one of these litle ones. For I say vnto you that in heauē theyr aungels do alwayes behold the face of my father whiche is in heauen.

Therfore they that desire to enter into the kingdom of heauen, let them dili­gently auoid the offences & griefes of litle ones, but rather let thē helpe one an other. And it is not ynough to beware that a man offend not another, but also to take hede that he offend not himself. For then they be offēces in dede, whan a man is an offence vnto himself. Therfore let not affeccion be so dere [Page xcii] vnto any man but that forthwith it be cut of, yf it be an offence and a lette to hym that hasteth to the kingdom of heauen. In so muche that if thy hande or thy foote, that is to say a membre most necessary, be offēsiue vnto the, it must be cut of and cast away. For it is better for thee to be receiued into the life e­uerlasting maimed or lame, than with perfit handes and feete to be cast into euerlasting fier.And if thine iye hyndre the pluck it out. &c. The iye is not onely a necessary membre to be vsed, but also very pleasaunt vnto man. And yet in case it offend the, plucke it out, and cast it away. It is better for the to be receiued into euerlasting life with one iye, than to be cast hedlong into hell fyer with both iyes perfect and whole. But Iesus speakyng thus, meant not that any membre of the body should be cut of, but that all affeccions should be cut of, whiche withdraw vs frō the care of euerlastyng saluacion. For a frend whom thou canst vneth forbeare, is as it wer a mans hand. Thy father vpō whom thou staiest, is thy fote: thy wife or thy child whom thou louest tēderly, is thine iye. Therfore as there is no­thing that ought to be so precious, and nothing that ought so highly to be e­stemed of man, wherby he ought to be withdrawen frō the kingdom of hea­uē: so no man be he neuer so poore, so base, and humble, ought to be despised but holpen rather to cum forward to better and better. Ye haue an example, see therefore that ye despise none of these litle ones. Although with ye world they be abiectes, yet with God they be greatly regarded. For this I tel you certainly, angels which as their ministers haue charge of them, do continu­ally behold the face of the father whiche is in heauen. Hereof ye may esteme how muche they be regarded with God, sith he hath appoynted them suche kepers and guides. They be yet rude and rawe, they may fall, they maye be deceyued, but their simplicitie is worthy helpe, and not punishement.

The texte ¶For the sonne of man is cum to sa [...]e that whiche was loste, what thinke ye if a man hathe a hundred shepe, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leaue .xcix. in the mountaines & go­eth and seketh it that was gone astray? And if he chaunce to find it, verely I say vnto you: he reioyceth more of that shepe, than of nintie and nine which wēt not astray. Euē so it is not the will of your father in heauen, that one of these litle ones should perish.

For the sonne of man came not into the erth to destroy any man, but what in him is to saue al mē. But many wil not be saued, and persecute him which is willing to saue. These be they whom the worlde hath in great veneraciō. They be hygh in autoritie, they be mighty with ryches, they seme to excel in learnyng, they be commended and set forth with a certaine marueylous coū ­terfeityng and colour of false holynes. Truely suche must not be prouoked willynglye, but muste be despised stoutely, yf they fearyng lest their owne power decay, oppresse the power of god: if they sekyng their own glory, en­uye the glory of the ghospell: yf they folowyng theyr lucre, be agaynst the profytes of all men: yf they boastyng theyr vayne learnyng, do corrupt the doctrine of the ghospel: if vnder the pretence of false religion, they go about to extinct true religion: yf they wexe fyerce and cruel by benefites and good turnes: These maner of men must thanke themselfes for their owne destruc­cion. But this ought to be our study and endeuour that we suffer none to pe­rish of these litle and weake ones, which so do erre that they be in the way of recouery, beyng more lyke to shepe than woulfes. Coniecture by your selfes what great care the father (whiche is naturally good) doeth take, leste anye man should peryshe, whom he made to the entente they shoulde bee blessed. For yf there be a true and faythfull sheapherd, lorde ouer an hundred shepe, [Page] and one should be lost of so great a noumbre, would he not leaue the nintie, & nine in the hylles, and seke her which is wandered from the flocke? and is so greued with the lack of one lost shepe, that he would put the whole flock be­syde in daunger. And if he should chaunce to finde her, certainly I saye vnto you, that he wil reioyce more for that one gotten again, than for al the other whiche wer not lost. Wherfore if a man beyng a shepherd beare such affecci­on toward his flock which he doth possesse only, but created not, how much more is it my fathers wyl whiche is in heauen, that none of these litle ones, whom he hath created, should perishe? whom he regardeth so that he hathe apoynted his aungels to the kepyng of them, and hath bestowed his onelye sonne to call them to saluacion.

The texte. ¶ Moreouer yf thy brother trespasse against the, goe and tell hym his faulte betwene hym and thee alone. If he heare thee thou hast wonne thy brother, if he heare thee not, take with thee one or two, that in the mouthe of two or thre witnesses euery matter may be establyshed. If he heare not them, tell it vnto the congregacion. If he heare not the congregacion, let hym be vnto thee as in Heathen man, and as a Publican. Uerely I sayt vnto you: whatsoeuer ye bynd in earth, shalbe bound in heauen, and whatsoeuer ye loce on earth, shalbe loced in heauē. Agayn I say vnto you, that if two of you agree in earth vpon any maner of thyng, whatsoeuer they desyre, they shall haue i [...] of my father whiche is in heauen. For where two or thre are ga­thered together in my name, there am I in the middest of them.

Therfore away with offences from your cōpany, which breake brother­ly peace, but let there be mutual charitie, wherby ye may louingly helpe and heale others faultes if any chaunce: and the way to heale shalbe this. If thy brother do any thing against the which is worthy to be loked vpon, lepe not out forthwith to vengeaunce, neyther agayn suffer hym not by thy silence to be lost, whiles that he sinneth frely and at large, drunken with his own af­fecciōs: but first try him with a very gētle remedy whiche shall not so muche as put him to any shame. Go vnto him alone, & debate ye matter betwixt you, none other beyng by. If he do not acknowlage his fault, reproue hym & laye it before his iyes,If he heare the, thou hast wunne thy brother. how muche he hath erred frō the dutie of brotherly chari­tie. And let thy moniciō be such yt it may declare the to seke nothing els but his health, & the restoryng of olde amitie. And if he be so curable that he cum to himself at this secret moniciō, there is no cause why thou shouldest reuēge or put him to open blame: it is inough for the, that thou hast wun thy brother. And in ye meane season thou hast gained [...]y it. For thou shouldest haue lost a frende, and God should haue lost a soule. But yf the disease be so grieuouse that it cannot be healed with this light medicine, yet thou muste not vtterly dispayre, nor forthwith run to the extreme remedies. But yf that he wil not heare the alone, go to hym again, takyng with the .i. or .ii. eyther that he may be amēded with sum litle shame which shalbe no infamy vnto him, or els that he may be confuted & ouercum by the testimonie of two or thre. But yf he be so vntractable that he wyll be moued neyther with shame, nor with feare of iudgement, bring the matter to the congregaciō, yt he may be reformed either by the cōsent of the multitude, or by thauctoritie of them which be rulers o­uer the multitude. But if he be so far past cure yt he wil not be corrected ney­ther by secret & brotherly monicion,If he heare not the con­gregacion. neither by the knowlage & cōsent of two or thre, neither by the shame of his fault vttered and disclosed, nether by the auctoritie of the chief rulers, leaue him to his disease. Let hym be cut of frō the congregacion, & takē in none other wise but as an Heathē or Publicane. [Page xciii] Let this be the greuousest punishment emong you, whiche notwithstādyng is vsed for none other purpose, but that the brother eyther should cum vnto hymself by shame, consideryng that he is shunned and fled of all men, or els le [...]t he beyng mingled in the flocke, should hurt other with his infeccion. No man ought to say vnto me, the iudgementes of thy kyngdome be but werish and weake, nay they be very seuere and sore, yf a man wyll contemne thē ob­stinately. For mans lawes, when they punish a greuous offence with death, they do nothyng but kill the body, & sumtime they kill hym whom god doth not condēne, and they kil onely and amend him not, for he is not alyue to be amended. But this condēnacion although it procedeth leysurely to punysh­mēt, yet for this cause it is very seuere and sore, that he that is cōdēned, vn­lesse he do repente, is punyshed with euerlastyng payn, which by no meanes he can escape. Whom Cesar doth condemne, god sumtime doeth assoyle: and whom the prince doth assoyle, god sūtyme doeth condemne. The prince whō he doth assoyle, he leaueth in the cumpany of mē, to make other like himself: whom he killeth, he taketh from the cumpany of men, not onely not healyng him, but making him in case that he cannot be healed. These [...]e mans iudge­mentes, rather necessary than praise worthie. But your sentēce so remoueth a man that is vncurable, that he cannot infecte them that be good: and yet he is in case that he may repent: because that ye haue power to saue, and not to destroy. And yet they shal not sinne vnpunished, whō ye suffre to haue theyr lyfe. He shalbe punyshed eternally, god beyng his iudge, whose sentēce shal approue and confirme your sentence, vnlesse the condemned person repente. For he that seketh not reuēging, but the amendment of his brother, he that is ready to forgeue the iniurie doē against him, he that willingly cūmeth vn­to the sicke to heale him, being offended himself, he that once or twise repel­led, yet ceaseth not to help & heale, he that trusteth not to his own iudgemēt, but taketh one or two vnto hym, not to reuenge, but to heale: this mans sen­tence because it cummeth from an euangelicall minde, god wyll allowe and neuer wil breake it, vnles the condemned person will condemne that that he hath doen. Although therfore your iudgement hath not in apperāce such se­ueritie and sharpnes as the iudgemētes of princes haue, yet it is more to be feared than their sentence, wherewith oftentimes the best be condēned & the most sinful assoiled. It is a terrible thing to be condemned of god: and he is condemned of hym, whosoeuer is condemned of you, agreing together with a sincere mind. For that that ye iudge by the spirit of god, is not your iudge­ment, but his by you: but if ye cōdemne a man by the spirit of man, than it is mans iudgemēt & not gods: & he that by your iudgemēt is caste out of your c [...] ̄pany, is not forthwith banished frō the cumpany of heauen. Therefore the strength of your auctoritie resteth in affeccions, which only god doth behold & see. Truly these be the keyes whiche I wil geue vnto Peter professing me: wherwith that that shalbe bound in earth shall be bound al [...] in heauen: and that yt shalbe losed in earth shalbe losed also in heauen. This power though it be specially mete for the heades and chief, yet I wil geue it to al men, if so that they haue a consente and agremente among them, not of man, but in my name. Yea and moreouer I wil say vnto you, your consent shal not haue auc­toritie only in pardoning and condemnyng offences, if ye with me and among your selues do agree: but also yf any two bee found in earth which do truly [Page] agree in my spirite, that is to saye, not moued with the affeccion of man, but ioyntly louyng the thynges that be of god: whatsoeuer they aske they shall obteyne it of my father, whiche is in heauen. Suche loue hath the father to­warde the euangelicall and holye concorde. Therfore forasmuch as ye may doe so muche with the prince that is almightye, ye nede not to repent you of your power and authoritie: although before men ye appeare feble & weake. That whiche is asked of Ceasar, is not forthwith obteyned, nor he is not a­ble to perfourme whatsoeuer is asked of hym. For he cannot put away the agewe, or make the dumme to speake again. But there is nothyng so hard or incredible whiche my father will not geue you, yf ye aske of hym with one consent and agrement.

The texte. ¶ Then came Peter vnto hym, and sayde: Lorde howe ofte shall I forgeue my brother yf he sinne against me, tyll seuen tymes? Iesus sayeth vnto hym: I saye vnto thee vntyl seuen tymes, but seuenty times seuen tymes. Therfore the kingdom of heauen is lykened vnto a cer­tain man that was a king, whiche would take accoumpte of his seruauntes. And whan he had begun to recken, one was brought vnto hym whiche ought hym ten thousand talenies, but for­asmuche as he was not able to pay, his lord commaunded him to be sold, and al that he had, and payment to [...]e made. The seruaunt fell doune and besought hym, saiyng: Sir haue pac [...]ce with me, and I will pay the all. T [...]an had the Lord pitie on the seruaunt, and loo [...]e him, & forgaue hym the det.

After that Peter had hearde these thynges diligentlye, supposyng that all that Iesus had reasoned of condemnyng and assoylyng, pertayned chieflye vnto hym: he conceyued in his mynde a certayne doubte, because that Iesus saying (after the thyrde reprouyng, let hym be vnto thee as an Heathen, or a Publican) semed to appoint a certain nūbre: which who so passed, although he that had offended did repente, yet he should not bee receyued vnto grace. Therfore to be more exactly taught in this thyng, he went vnto Iesus: lord (ꝙ he) how often shall I pardon my brother if he offend me, and after what numbre of faultes shal he be repulsed from pardon? After the seuenth fault? This noumbre Peter dyd propose as greate ynoughe, wheras Iesus made mencion, but onely of the thyrde reprofe. Than Iesus shewyng that in these thynges whiche be doen against vs, we must be very gentill and easie in for­geuenes: I doe not saye (ꝙ he) that ye must forgeue vnto the seuenth faulte, but vnto the seuenty times seuen: shewing that no noumbre ought to be pre­scribed to a christian forgeuyng: but as often as he that hath offended doeth repent, so often euen with the hart his offence is to be forgeuen: vtterly pluc­kyng out from a christen mynde all desyre to reuenge. And leste that any mā should thynke it hard and vniust, Iesus teacheth it to be very equall and iust by a similitude. For this is not so muche a clemēcy as a recōpence. For whā we offende sumtyme agaynst our neybour, but muche more both oftner and more greuously against God: whō as often as we offend, the more greuou­sly we sinne, the greater that he is against whom we sinne. And ye greater be­nefites that we receyue of hym, the more vnworthy we be to obteyn pardone either of our neybour, or of God (who doth pardon him that sinneth a thou­sand tymes yf that he repent) if we thinke it muche to pardon our brother of­fendyng much lesse, chiefly sith god doeth forgeue vs our trespasses on this condiciō, that we moued by his example, should be gentle and easie to be in­treated towardes our neybour. Therfore (ꝙ he) the kyngdome of heauen is lyke a riche and a myghtye man: who hauyng a great familie, thoughte to take a count of his seruauntes.

[Page xciiii]And whan he began to counte, he founde one that ought hym ten thousande talentes. And whan the sum was greater then the detter was able to pay, ye lord commaunded both him and his wyfe and children, and al that he had to be sold, that the creditour might be cōtented with the money that was made. But the seruaunt falling doune with meke suite at the lordes knees: I pray the (ꝙ he) to graunt me sum respite, and in processe of tyme I wil pay the al. And the lord hauyng compassion of the seruaunte whiche humbled himselfe before hym, graunted more than he desyred. For he did not onely not bringe hym into the lawe, but forgaue hym the whole summe.

The texte. The same seruaunt wente out▪ and founde one of his felowes, whiche ought him an hun­dreth denaries, and he layed hande on hym, and wrythyng his necke, drew him, and sayde: paye that thou owest. And his felowe fell doune, and besoughte hym, saying: haue pacyence with me, and I will pay the all. And he would not, but went [...]nd caste him into prison, tyll he shoulde paye the dette. So when his felowes sawe what was doen, they were sor [...]e, and came and tolde vnto theyr Lorde euery thyng that was doen. Than his lorde called hym, and sayd vnto hym: O thou vngracious seruaunte. I forgaue the all that det whan thou de [...]redst me, shouldest not thou also haue had compassion of thy felowe, as I had pitie on the? And his lorde was wrothe, and deliuered him to the tormentoures till he payed all that was due vnto hym. So lykewyse shall my heauenly father doe also vnto you: yf ye from your hartes forgeue not eueryone his brother their trespasses.

But that seruaunt beyng now free and at libertie, whan he was goen out of his maisters sight, by chaūce met with one of his felow seruaūtes which oughte hym a lyttle money, that is an hundreth denaries: he forgettyng his maisters clemency toward hym, forthwith layed hand vpon hym, and [...]egā to plucke the miserable man, saying▪ pay thy det. This felow seruāt fallyng doune at ye knees of his felow seruaūt, beseched hym, with as many wordes as the other besought his lord & maister: deale paciently with me, and I wil pay you al. But the creditour would not be intreated, but repelled the hum­ble sutour, and plucked him into prison, tyll he had payed his det. Now the other felow seruauntes whiche had seene the meruaylous clemency of their maister toward the seruaunt, whan they saw so great crueltie of their felow seruaunt, moued with great grief and sorow, declared vnto their maister all the matter toward his felow. Thā the maister stirred with anger called vn­to him his seruaunt, whom he had pardoned al. Thou naughty seruaunt (ꝙ he) dyd not I beyng thy maister forgeue the suche a great summe, for none o­ther cause but that thou madest humble suite vnto me? was it not mete ther­fore that thou beyng a seruaunt, shouldest forgeue thy felow seruaūt a litle moneye, and haue compassion vpon the humble sutoure, lyke as I had com­passion on the? Surely so great gentlenes of mine towarde thee, oughte to teache the gentlenes toward thy felow seruaunt. And now the maister being sore angrye, deliuered him to the tormentours to be kept in prison vntyll he repayed the whole sum that was forgeuen before. After this example your heauenly father wyll deale with you. Euery of you is in det vnto him much more, whom euery man often doeth offende. Men also do trespasse agaynst men, but yet farre lesse. But vnlesse euery man forgeue his brother, and that with all his harte, lighter offences doen against hym, the father wyll not on­ly not forgeue you the greater trespasses doen against him, but also wyll re­uoke and call backe those whiche he had forgeuen.

The .xix. Chapter.

‘¶And it came to passe that when Iesus had finished these saiynges, he departed from Gali­le, and came vnto the coastes of Iewry beyonde Iordan, and muche people folowed hym: and he healed them there.’

AFter that Iesus with this communicacion had instructed & fra­med his disciples vnto well doing towardes the simple, and vn­to gentlenes toward the offenders, he lefte Galile and went ouer Iordane, into the coastes of Iewrye, as goynge towardes his death to cum, which the Phariseis secretly went about. And thi­ther also folowed many flockes of people, bearyng with them diuerse sicke and diseased: and he healed them there.

The texte. And the Phariseis came vnto him, and tempted him, and said vnto him: Is it lawful for a man to make a diuorcement with his wyfe for any maner of cause? He answered and said vn­to them: haue ye not red how that he whiche made man at the beginnyng, made them mā and woman? and sayde: For this cause shall a man leaue father and mother, and shall cleaue vnto his wife, and they twayne shalbe one fleshe. Wherfore now they are not twayne, but one flesh. Let no man therfore separate, that god hath coupled together. They saied vnto him: why dyd Moses then commaund to geue a testimoniall of diuorcement, and to put her away? He sayed vnto them: Moses because of the hardnes of your hertes, suffered you to put away your wiues, but from the beginnyng it was not so. I saye vnto you: whosoeuer putteth away his wife (ex­cept it [...]e for fornicaciō) & maryeth another, he cōmitteth aduoutrie. And who so marieth hee whiche is diuorced, doeth committe aduoutrye.

And agayne the Phariseis seyng so many wonders, and the loue of the multitude towarde Iesus, beganne to renewe theyr enuye agayne. Who craftilye and subtillye came vnto hym, takyng occasion of the communica­cion wherewith he taughte before that the wyfe ought not to bee repudiate and cast of. Therfore they propose a question with two pykes: whether it wer lawful for a mā to cast of his wife for euery cause. And if he had answe­red: It is lawefull, he should seme contrary to hymselfe, wheras he taught that diuorce is not lawfull: yf he had denyed it, he should seme to haue bene agaynst Moses lawe, whiche doeth permitte for euery cause to geue a boke of diuorce, and to sende her away. But Iesus so doeth tempre and ordre the answere, that he hurteth not the authoritie of Moses, nor recanteth not his doctrine, and stoppeth the mouthe of the Phariseis, whiche were skilful in the law, by the authoritie of the lawe. Haue ye not red (ꝙ he) that whan god made mankynde, he ordered the fyrste matrimonie so, that one was coupled vnto one with a knot that could not be broken? For he made bothe man and woman of one piece, that by the imbracyng of these, mankind should spryng further, and by and by expressyng the indissoluble knotte of the man and of the wyfe, not Moses, but God himself the maker of the mariage, said: For this mutuall charitie, man shall forsake father and mother, and bee fastened and coupled vnto his wyfe. And this couplyng shalbe so strayt and fast, that of two, in maner, shalbe made one person, which before wer two. Therfore once ioyned in matrimonie, they be not now two, but one bodie: in so muche, that it is as farre agaynst nature to separate the wife from the manne, as to cut awaye a membre from the bodye. Therfore that whiche God hath knyt once together with so strayte a bonde, let no man separate.

[Page xcv]Here the Phariseis,Why dyd Moses thē cōmaūd. &c. thinkyng that they had caughte nowe an occasion to catche Iesus: yf god (ꝙ they) meant this that thou doest say, why than dyd Moses geue husbandes leaue to caste of theyr wyfe for euery cause, so that they geue her a boke of diuorce? how durst he permit that which god would not to be doen? Iesus answered: He dyd not permit you this because it was ryght and good of nature, but knowyng the hardnes of your hart, he suffe­red the lesser ill, that ye shoulde not commit the greater. For he doeth not al­low diuorce whiche had rather suffer that than murdre. And the boke of di­uorce doeth not make that the diuorce is right & good: but it witnesseth thy hardnes, whiche wil [...]e cast of thy wyfe for euery light cause, and prouydeth her of a new husband, takyng away libertie from the, that thou shalt not cal her agayn once cast of. But from the beginnyng whereas the malice of man was not yet increaced, nor the nature of manne was not yet infected with so many vices: because there was not so cruell hatred, that poysonyng or mur­dre should be feared, there was no lycence of diuorce: and the same law shall not nowe be loced and set at libertie, after that the doctrine of the Ghospell doeth renewe and make perfecte the synceritie of nature. Moses wisshed the same that I doe teache, but your maners bent ouer muche vnto murdre, put hym in feare, that he durste not require this of you. I who doe not abolishe the lawe, but make it more perfecte, playnely saye vnto you, that it is vn­lawfull and agaynste the mynde of God, and agaynste the wyll of Moses, whiche ye doe commonlye: refusyng your wyues for euery cause. And it is not therefore ryghte that ye doe, because ye doe it withoute punyshemente: There be many myscheuous thynges before God, whiche be not punyshed by mannes lawes. Therefore ye shall vnderstande that whosoeuer casteth of his wyfe for euery cause, and maryeth an other, both committeth aduou­trye hym selfe, and geueth also a cause of aduoutrye to his wyfe, vnlesse she whom he doeth leaue of, hath deserued diuorcemente by aduoutrye. For she that hath geuen an other manne lybertie ouer her, ceasseth nowe to be wife, and hath taken awaye from her selfe the ryghte of matrimonye, the fleshe be­yng deuided, whiche God woulde haue to be one and vndeuided. But he that for suche causes leaueth his wyfe, for whiche ye oftentymes doe caste her of, yf he couple hymselfe to an other, it is not matrimonie, but aduou­trye. And who so maryeth her so caste of, he maryeth not his owne wyfe, but an other mannes, and therfore he doeth not marye, but committeth ad­uoutrye. But the whole of all these mischiefes doeth redounde to hym that is the refuser and caster of. For first he is stubburne and cruell, whiche ney­ther could beare his wyues faulte, nor would goe about to amend it. Fur­thermore he geueth her that is driuen out of his house, whiche cannot lyue without a husband, an occasion to commit aduoutrye.

The texte. His disciples said vnto him: if the matter be so betwene man and wife, than it is not good to mary. He said vnto them: All men cannot comprehende this saiyng, saue they to whom it is geuen. For there are sum chaste which are so borne out of their mothers wombe. And there are sum chaste whiche be made chaste of men. And there be chaste whiche hath made themselfes chaste for the kyngdome of heauens sake. He that can take it, let hym take it.

The disciples hearyng these thynges, say vnto Iesus: If maryed menne be in this case that they cannot be dispatched from theyr wyfe, yf she dys­please [Page] them, it is better to forbeare matrimonie. For it is an harde bondage to suffer at home a waywarde, a brawlyng, and a dronken woman, or elles paynful [...] and greuous with sum other lyke fault. Iesus did not reproue the answer of his disciples, whom he desired to be free from the bondage of matrimonie, because of preachyng of the ghospell: but he doeth them to vn­derstand, that it is no sa [...]e and sure thyng to flee from matrimonie, vnlesse a man be of so fyrme and stable mynde, that he is able vtterly to abstayn from the acte of matrimonie. But there be very fewe that can doe so because that this affeccion of the body is so common to all men, that there is none affecci­on more violente, or more inuincible. Therfore though it be a greater fre­dome not to be tyed in matrimonie, yet is it more sure to be kepte within the bondes of matrimonie, than to be defyled with liyng here and there. There­fore Iesus shewyng what was best, and prouokyng this waye with the re­ward of libertie,Al men can not compre­hende this saiyng. dareth not yet exactely require that, whiche in maner exce­deth mannes power. All men (ꝙ he) be not able to receiue this woorde, but they onely vnto whome it is geuen of God: who haue so great a feruencye toward the holynes of the gospell, that of theyr own accorde and willyng­ly can neglecte this affeccion. For chaste synglenesse hath no prayse vnlesse it be taken for loue of the euangelicall godlynes. For there be three kyndes of Eunuches. One of them whiche be so borne, and abhorre from wyues thorough the defaulte of a colde nature, or sum other secrete affeccion of na­ture. Another kynde of them, whom men hath gelded. The chastitie of these men deserueth no prayse, because it cummeth of necessitie, not of the loue of vertue. But the gospell also hath his Eunuches very blessed, whiche be not geldynges of nature, nor gelded of men, but they gelded themselfes, for the kyngdome of heauen: not cutting of the membre of the body, but for loue of the ghospell, ouercummyng the desire of matrimonie. Ye see victorie set out before you, let hym trye that wyl, and knoweth his owne strength: Let him beare awaye the game that can: They that contend valyauntlye and willing­ly, shal not want the fauour of the maister of the game. Because cōmunicaci­on was of the puritie of virgins, and of the highnesse of that noble vertue, whiche chaunceth to fewe: as by occasion there is brought in also an exaum­ple of perfecte cleannes, and great modestie: without the whiche, virginitie deserueth no prayse.

The texte. Than wer there brought vnto him yong chyldren that he should put his handes on theym and pray, and the disciples rebuked them. But Iesus said vnto them: Suffre the children & for­bid them not to cum to me: for the kyngdome of heauen belongeth to such. And whan he had lai­ed his handes on them, he departed thence.

There wer present fathers and mothers, whiche desired to offer their ba­bes vnto Iesus, that he might lay his handes vpon them, and pray for thē: thinking that lykewyse as they saw diseases driuen away through his tou­chyng, so the touchyng of Iesus should preserue them from diseases, from fallyng of houses or walles, or other lyke thynges vpon them, from euyll spirites, and from other hurtes, whereby that age oftentymes miscarieth. But the disciples, (who though they had oft tymes heard many a good les­son of great modestie and coldnes, yet had not vtterly shaken of from them mans affeccions) thinkyng it not mete that the greatnes or dignitie of theyr master should be letted or weried with the importunitie of babes, & of their mothers, kept them of, whan they desired to cum nere. Iesus marking this, [Page xcvi] to the intent that he might the better imprinte euangelicall moderaciō in the myndes of his disciples, whiche doeth loth no manne, be he neuer so lowe, suffre (ꝙ he) the children to be brought vnto me: nor let them not, to cum to me.Suffre the children. For they that be lyke vnto these, bee moste acceptable vnto me: whome though the world doth hate and despise, yet I vouchsafe to haue none other in the kingdome of heauen. What nature doth geue vnto these, thesame must godlines geue vnto you, if ye will be receiued into the kingdome of heauen. Therfore the litle babes wer brought vnto Iesus, and he put his handes vpon them,And whē he had laid his handes. &c inspiring into the litle babes (for ye simple faythes sake of theyr parētes) a secret power through the touching of his holy body. Which doē, Iesus departed from thence, geuyng a lesson by the same facte of his, that the litle babes must be satisfied, but yet that we ought not to tary lōg with them, but to make spede to thynges of more perfeccion.

The texte. ¶And beholde one came, and sayed vnto hym: Good maister what good thyng shall I doe, that I maye haue eternall life? he sayed vnto hym: why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, and that is God. But if thou wylt enter into lyfe, kepe the commaunde­mentes. He sayeth vnto hym, whiche? Iesus sayed. Thou shal [...]e not commit manslaughter. Thou shalt not commit aduenitie. Thou shalt not steale. Thou shalt not bear false witnes. Ho­nour father and mother. And thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy self The yong mā saith vnto hym. Al these thinges haue I kept from my youth vp: what lacke I yet? Iesus said vnto him: if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell al that thou hast, and geue it to the poore, and thou shalt haue treasure in heauen, and cum and folowe me. But whan the yonge man heard that saiyng, he went away sorye. For he had great possessions.

And loe, as soone as he had doen with the children, there cummeth nexte after them a yong man which talketh of perfeccion. But Iesus, like as in the litle babes he shewed his disciples an exaumple of simplicitie and modestie: so in the yong man being in dede desirous of perfect godlines, but ouer sore burdened with riches, he setteth before their iyes, how harde it is for them that be geuē to riches, to cum forward to ye perfecciō of the euangelical god­lines: and how muche more ready they be to the cause of the gospell, whiche possesse nothyng, or els very littell of the goodes of this world: and yet po­uertie and riches stande not so muche in possessions, as in the affecciōs of the mynde. The yong man had a deuout mynde: but because he heard of Christ certayne newe and straunge preceptes, he went vnto him, and fallyng doune at his knees asketh him, saying good maister what good shal I do to obtayn euerlastyng lyfe? The yong man called Iesus good to obteyn his good wil by fayre speakyng: whereas yet he toke him to be nothing els but a very mā, although of more excellencie than other men were. Afterward whereas he demaūded of good, he meaneth not of euery good thyng, but of a certain no­table good thyng, whiche may deserue euerlastyng lyfe. But no mortal man is absolutely good: and there is no worke of men which can be so good, that it maye deserue the reward of euerlastyng lyfe. Iesus therfore pricking for­warde the yonge manne, to haue a better opinion of him, and to call hym frō the trust of his workes, and to cause him to put the trust of life rather in the free gifte and benefite of God, who is naturally good, and freely beneficial towardes al menne, aunswered in this maner: why callest thou me good, or why doest thou aske me of good?Why cal­lest thou me good. But yet if thou desirest to be receiued vnto the eternall lyfe, kepe the commaundementes. And whan the yong mā asked what the commaundementes were, (for he had heard hym teache that the [Page] preceptes of Moses lawe bee not enough to obteyne the kyngdome of hea­uen) Iesus to plucke awaye from all men the truste of the lawe, aunswered: Thou shalt not kyll, thou shalt not commit aduoutrye: Thou shalte not steale: Thou shalt not beare false witnesse: Honoure thy father and mother: and loue thy neyghbour as thy selfe.Al these thī ges haue I kept frō my youthe. &c, Than the yong manne beyng sumwhat chered, sayd: All these haue I kept from my chyldehode: what lacke I be­syde? He loked that Iesus should haue aunswered him: Thou lackeste no­thyng. But the Lord shewyng what difference there was betwene the Ie­wishe righteousnesse, and the righteousnesse of the ghospel: betwene a good Iewe, and a good Christian manne, sayed: If thou wylte be perfecte, goe and sell all that thou haste, and geue the money to the poore: thou shalt not lese thy money, though it be dispersed among many. So to disperse it, is to laye it vp: For in the stede of worldly riches, thou shalte haue a better trea­sure in heauen. When thou hast doen this beyng now at libertie, and dispat­ched of all heauy cariage, bare and pore, cum and folow me beyng also bare and poore. When Iesus sayth: yf thou wylt, he shewed that it was a great matter: but he added [...]he rewarde. Thou shalte haue a treasure in hea­uen. Anon he moued hym to the loue of perfecte godlinesse: Cum, folow me. Whan the yong man heard this communicacion, he wente awaye with a dis­couraged and heauye mynde, because he was a Lorde of muche possessions, and he thought it hard to leaue thē all at once. He desired to get euerlasting lyfe, he desired the honour of perfeccion: but the thornes of richesse ouer­whelmed & choked this affeccion whiche was a good seede. Therfore he de­parted home heuily, not vnderstanding that Iesus did not condemne riches, but the affeccion, and loue, and carefulnes of riches: to which they cā scarce­ly be any lesse then bonde, that haue them. And he woulde not that alwaies they shoulde be forsaken: but yet alwayes set lyttell by: yea and forsaken al­so, yf they at any tyme withdrawe vs from the loue of the ghospell.

The texte. ¶ Than Iesus sayth vnto his disciples: verelye I saye vnto you, it shall bee harde for the ryche to enter into the kingdome of heauen. And agayne, I saye vnto you: it is easier for a Camell to go thorough the iye of a nedle, than for the ryche to enter into the kyngdome of God. Whan the disciples heard this, they were excedyngly amased, saiyng: who than can bee saued? But Iesus beheld them and sayed vnto them: with men this is vnpossible, but with god all thynges are possible.

It shall bee hard for the ryche. &c.Whan the yong man was gone, Iesus tournyng to his disciples (for he shewed this sight for them, because they shoulde at no tyme repente them of their pouertie, nor bee entangled with the loue of moneye:) howe harde a thyng it is (ꝙ he) for a ryche manne to enter into the kyngdome of heauen. Signifiyng, that the desyre of moneye, and the desyre of the Euangelicall phylosophye, hardely agree together: because the one requireth the whole man, the other taketh vnto it almost the greatest part of mā. And to make the difficultie of the thing the greater, his disciples musing muche, he said more: Yea (ꝙ he) I say more vnto you: It is more easy for a Camel to go through the iye of a nedle, than for a riche man to enter into the kyngdome of heauen. For the gate is lowe and straight, & it receiueth no Camels laden with bur­dens of rychesse. For so he reproued the couetous riche men, vnto whom ri­ches, be rather a burden, than profit, which they beare for others, rather thā for themselfes. This saying because it was not well vnderstande of the [Page xcvii] Apostels, put in their myndes a certayne heauynesse, because they were sory yt so many men for riches sake should be shut out from the kyngdome of heauen. Therfore whan the disciples maruayled muche what it shoulde meane that Iesus spake of the Camell, and the iye of the nedle, they aske him: If it be so, who than can be saued? For howe many men are there, whiche can cast awaye the ryches that they haue, or not wysh for them yf they haue none? But Iesus beholdyng them, to thintent he would asswage the heauines that they had conceyued in their mynde, declareth that there is sum hope for ryche menne al­so to cumme to the kingdome of heauen. To men (ꝙ he) this is impossible, no­lesse than for a Camell to goe through the iye of a nedle:With men this is vn­possible, &c but to God nothinge is impossible. Onely he chaungeth the myndes of ryche men, that they wyll cherefully eyther cast awaye that whiche they do possesse, or els possesse thē as cōmon and not proper, euen ready to [...]aue them, yf the matter of the ghospell at any tyme require the same. For why should it greue them to despise ryches, whom it greueth not to bestowe theyr lyfe.

The texte. ¶Than aunswered Peter, and sayed vnto him▪ Beholde, we haue forsaken all, & folowed the▪ what shall we haue therfore? Iesus sayed vnto them: Uerely I saye vnto you, that whan the sonne of manne shall sitte in the seate of his maiestie, ye that haue folowed me in there generacion, shal sit also vpon twelue seates, and iudge the twelue tribes of Israel. And euery one that forsaketh house, or brethren, or systers, or father, or mother, or wyfe, or children, or landes, for my name sake, shall receyue an hundred folde, and shall [...]nheri [...]e e­uerlastyng life: but many that are firste, shall be last, and the last shalbe firste.

This communicacion whiche Iesus had with the yonge man (sell that thou hast and folow me,) made Peter to haue sum good hope, whiche although he wer not riche,Behold we haue forsa­ken all, &c. yet that that he had, he left it cherefullye, bothe his shyppe and his nettes, and folowed the Lorde. Lorde (ꝙ he) beholde we haue doen that that thou requyredst of the yonge man: we haue lefte all thynges and folowe the, what rewarde shall we haue therfore? But Iesus willing to shewe that this highe prayse was not offered to riche men onelye, but also to poore men: whiche gladly forsake whatsoeuer they haue for the gospell sake, for as much as this vertue is more estemed of thaffeccion of the leauer, than of the greate­nes of the thyng that is left: did not reiecte the saying of Peter although it was to high and stoute for so symple a matter: but teachyng that no small re­warde shall be rendered for such small thinges, lefte of and forsaken with a good will,Ye yt haue folowed me. &c. sayethe. This I warraunte you, that ye whiche haue forsaken no­thyng for my sake, but your boates and your nettes, but yet with suche a will that ye would haue forsaken very greate richesse for my sake, and hither to you beeynge bare and poore haue folowed me lykewyse bare and poore, if ye per­seuer and continue, in the worlde to cum when the dead shall ryse, and euerye man shall receyue rewarde after his desertes, and whan that the sonne of mā, (his humilite that ye nowe see, set aparte) shal sitte in the seate of his maiestie, ye fysshers than beyng partakers of honor, whiche are nowe partakers of af­ [...]iccions, shall sit in twelue seates, and shall iudge the twelue trybes of Isra­el: because they cumming of the same stocke, hauyng knowledge of the same lawe, prouoked with the same miracles, and benefytes, yet by no meanes coulde be brought to beleue: whereas ye meane persones, and vnlerned, by and by at my simple bidding, haue lefte, yea those thinges whereby ye sustey­ned your life. And this rewarde shal not be yours onelye, but whosoeuer for [Page] the profession of my name, forsaketh his house, his brothers or sisters, his fa­ther or mother, his wyfe or chyldren, his landes, or anye other possession: he shall not lose that whiche he lefte for my sake, insomuche, that he shall haue a greate gayne therby.Euery one that forsa­keth house, [...] [...]rethren &c. For in this worlde he shall receyue an hundred folde for the thinges that he hath lefte, and in the tyme of resurreccion, he shall possesse euerlastyng life. For in the stede of the thinges that he hath left, the whiche bee casuall and vyle possessions, he shall possesse here in the meane tyme that preci­ous Margaryte of the euangelicall mynde, whiche is to be estemed and com­pared with no marchandise of this worlde: In the stede of one house that ye haue left, the doctrine of the ghospell shall make open vnto you a numbre of houses thorough out the worlde. For one piece of grounde manye groundes shall serue your necessities: for one father or mother ye shall haue so manye as there shalbe olde men and olde women, whiche ye shall conuert vnto the ghos­pell. Ye shall haue so many brothers, systers, sonnes and daughters, as your equals or yongers shalbe, whiche by your prechyng ye shall bryng to euerla­sting life. These shall geue vnto you euery where of theyr owne accorde, yf ye shall neede anye thyng, and theyr affections shall far passe thaffeccions of thē, whom onely kinred of bloud hath ioyned vnto vs. For the kinred of the fe­lowship of the ghospell, is more nere than fleshly affinitie, and they loue more vehementlie, whom godlines hath coupled together, than they whom carnall byrth hath ioyned together. Unto this great rewarde, that shalbe added also, whiche is the greatest of all, that for thynges whiche shortely shall perishe, ye shall possesse euerlastyng life. I say not this that the profession of the ghospell doth teach vs to despyse them, whom nature hath ioyned vnto vs: but suche maner of affeccions muste be neglected as often as they withdrawe vs from euerlasting saluacion. This great felicitie is set furth indifferently to all men. There is no difference of fortune, condicion, age, or person. But in this estima­cion and iudgement which shalbe made of God the equall iudge, many shalbe last,But manye that are first shalbe last, &c whiche seme nowe to be first. Contrariwise many whiche seme now vile, and of no reputacion with men, shal there be counted chiefe. There shalbe pre­ferred a common woman before a Scribe, a Publican before a Pharisie, an heathen before a Iewe, a poore manne before a ryche, a plough manne before a king: and they that semed nexte to the kyngdome of heauen shall enter in last and they that semed farre of, shall enter in firste. The heathen men throughe fayth shall goe before, the Sinagoge through vnbelefe, shalbe set besyde.

¶The .xx. Chapiter.

The texte. For the kingdome of heauen is like to a man that is an householder, whiche went out earely in the morning to hyre labourers into his vineyarde. And whan the bargayne was made with the laborers for a denary a daie, he sent them into his vineyarde. And he wente out about the thirde houre, and sawe other standyng ydle in the market place, and sayed vnto them: go ye also into the vineyarde. And whatsoeuer is right, I will geue vnto you. And they went theyr waye. Agayne he went out about the sixte and ninthe houre, and did lyke­wyse. And [...]bout the eleuenth houre he went out, and founde other standing ydle, and sayed vnto them: why stande ye here all the daye idle? They say vnto him? because no man hath h [...] ­ted vs. He sayeth vnto them: go ye also into the vineyarde, and whatsoeuer is right that ye shall receyue.’

[Page xcviii] ANd because it semed a darke riddell that he spake concerninge the first and the last, he declareth the thing that he spake with a parable, whereby he sheweth that men were called to the ke­ping or obseruing of righteousnes in diuers ages: and yet al the seruauntes of righteousnes haue one and the same rewarde of euerlasting saluacion, so that they whiche be called, labour di­ligently in the vineyarde of righteousnes. For they haue no lesse, whiche be called in the time of Christ, than they whiche be called in the time of Abraham, or Moyses, or Dauid. And they haue no lesse whiche be called and drawen to the seruice of the gospell being aged, than they whith be children or yong men. The one and the same denary and rewarde of euerlasting lyfe, is geuen vnto them al. And yet they y came late, seme to haue greater honour by this that the liberalitie of the lorde maketh them equall to them whyche came before. The Iewes were firste called, but yet the Gentiles called afterwarde, be not onelye made equall vnto them, but also preferred before the vnbeleuing Iewes. The parable is after this sorte: The kingdom of heauē (ꝙ he) is like vnto an house­holder, whyche wente abrode earely in the mornynge to hier workemen into his vineyarde. And getting certayne and bargayning with them that they shoulde haue eche of them a denary a piece for theyr dayes worke, sent them in­to his vineyarde: He wente out agayne aboute three of the clocke, and when [...]e same certayne stande idle in the markete, saide vnto them: go ye also into my vineyard, and I shall geue you that shall be mete: He went oute agayne about sixe of the cloke, and agayne aboute nine, and did likewyse as he did at one, and three of the clocke. Againe going out aboute three of the clocke towarde night, he founde certayne other in the market, to whome he sayed: why stande where all day idle? They saye: because no man hath hired vs. He sayeth to them: go ye also into my vineyard.

The texte. ¶So, whan euen was cum▪ the lorde of the vyneyard sayeth vnto his stewarde: Call the laborers, and geue them theyr [...]yer, beginning at the laste vntill the fyrste. But whan they did cum that came about the eleuenth houre, they receyued euery man a denary. And whan the firste came also, they supposed that they shoulde haue receyued more, and they also re­ceyued euery [...] a denarie. And whan they had receyuyd it, they murmured against the householder, saying▪ These last hath wrought but one houre, and thou hast made thē equall with vs, whiche haue borne the burden and heate of the day. But he answered one of them, sayinge: Frende I dothe no wrong. [...] an thou not co [...]enaunted with me for a denary? Take Ha [...]ts thine, and go thy waye: I will geue vnto this laste, euen as to the. Is it not lawfull for me to do as I will with mine owne goodes? Is thyne iye euil because I am good? So the last shall be firste, and the first last. For many [...]e called, but fewe are chosen.

Further toward night the lorde of the vineyarde geueth commaundement to his bayly: Call all the workemen and pay them theyr hyer: so that thou begin with the last and cum to the firste. Therfore they that came last, that is aboute eleuen of the clocke, and laboured in the vineyarde the leaste parte of the daye, were called firste of all, and a denarye was geuen to eche of them. Whan they that were called earely in the morninge perceyued this, because they came longe before into the vineyarde, they thought that after the ra [...]e of the time, they shoulde receyue greater wages. But a denary was geuen vn­to eche of thē. Therfore when they sawe that they which were not like in space of time, yet were made lyke in wages, they departe murmurynge agaynste the lorde of the vineyarde, and saye. These whiche came at eleuen of the clocke haue laboured but one houre, and yet thou makeste them lyke vnto vs in [Page] wages, who haue continued the whole daye in laboure, and haue suffered the heate of the daye whereas they came a lytle before nyght, when the heate was nowe paste. But the householder made aunswere to one of them for all: Frende, why hast thou enuy that I am liberall vnto others? My fre libera­lytie towardes other, hurteth not the. For I doe the no wrong. Did I not bargayne with the, so that thou shouldeste haue a denarye for thy dayes la­boure? Thou haste done thy laboure, thou haste thy couenaunte: I haue no­thinge more to doe with the. Take that that is owed vnto the, and departe. Thou werte hiered hither for wages to doe thy labour, not to appoynte me what I shall doe. Thus it is thought good vnto me, to geue him that came last as muche wages as I geue the. Thou doest lese none of thyne, if I geue this man any thyng of my liberalitie: Shall I not be at libertie because of the, to do with my own what I will? Is thy iye therefore vexed with enuy, because thou seest me liberal toward whom it pleaseth me? This similitude Iesus brought, willing depely to graffe in theyr mindes that God, naturally beneficiall towardes al men, ceasseth not by diuers wayes and in diuers a­ges, to prouoke and moue al men to the seruice of true godlines: In whiche they that haue exercised themselues diligently, shall haue for rewarde euer­lasting lyfe, from the which none is excluded geuing eare whan he is called. This reward like as it is in no case due vnto our merites but is of ye good­nes of god, yet it cummeth not without our endeuour: yet we be bound to the ca [...]ler for this also, that we cum to the seruice of godlynes, and that we con­tinue in it vnto the euentide of the day. For they that be called and refuse to go into the vineyarde, they disapoynte themselues of theyr wages. And al­though among sayne [...]es there is neyther enuy nor murmuryng against god: yet with these saynges he expressed the high honoure that was shewed to the last, whiche had the first place in rewarde. Whiche dignitie in so noble, that a man might haue cause to enuy. Yet the good Iewes also at the beginning murmured against the Gentiles, because they cumming of idolaters, straun­gers from Moyses law, finally vncircumcised, should sodenly be made equall vnto them in the grace of the gospel, and be admitted to the same saluacion, beeyng incumbred with no burden of the lawe, whereas they long exercised in the ordinaunces of Moyses, were nothyng better than Gentiles, whiche were now admitted to the profession of the gospell, being a litle before of a wicked life. Therfore the Gentiles had more forgeuen them, but the Iewes haue no cause to brawle with God therfore, sithe they also maye attayne to like felicitie. And if they had rather enuy than folowe, let them thanke them­selues that they be cast of for theyr vnbelefe, the Gentiles in the meane tyme obteining for the redines of theyr faith, that thing which the Iewes thought that they onely ought to haue.For many are called but few are chosen. Therfore whoso is called, let him furthwith make haste, or els he shall be called in vayne, excepte he take hede that he be also elected. And all be called, but few deserue to be counted among the elect. Therefore Iesus ended his parable with thesame clause that he began with▪ So shall they be last that were firste, and firste that were laste. For many be called, and fewe chosen.

The texte. And Iesus goyng vp to Hierusalem toke his twelue disciples asyde in the waye, and sayeth vnto them: Beholde, we do goe vp to Hierusalem, and the sonne of man shalbe be­trayed [Page xcix] to the chiefe of the pristes, and to the Scribes, and they shall condemne him to death, and shall deliuer him to the gentiles to be mocked and scourged, and crucified, and the thirde day he shall ryse agayne.

After this Iesus beyng a whyle in Galile, began to drawe nere to the place of his death, going towarde Hierusalem. And now whan he had in­structed and framed his disciples many wayes, as concernyng despysing of ryches, neglecting of parentes and kinsfolkes, of chastitie, of great mo­destie, of the rewardes that they should haue also in this lyfe: he leadeth se­cretly aparte his twelue apostles, whom he had chosen and thoughte mete to commit the mistery of the crosse vnto, whiche the multitude was not yet able to beare: And yet he tolde of his deathe vnto the people, when he spake of Ionas, and of the pulling downe of the temple, and the making vp of it againe in three daies: but so he tolde them of it that they vnderstode not what was sayed, before that they sawe it done. He had opened the mistery of the crosse vn­to his disciples, as to them that were more strong and able, now once or twyse speaking vnto them playnly. But because men forget lightly that, whiche they be not glad to heare of, and doe not lightly let sinke into theyr hartes the thing whiche the mynde abhorrethe: the Lorde Iesus to confyrme hys apostles agaynste the storme that was at hande, openethe vnto them more playnely and distinctly, not onelye that his death was nere, but also telleth them of the mockes and affliccions whiche oftentymes be more greuouse than deathe itselfe. Beholde (ꝙ he) we go to Hierusalem, and the sonne of man shalbe be­trayed to the chiefe priestes and Scribes,Behold we dooe go vp. &c. whiche nowe goe aboute to laye in wayte for him. And they will not rest to blame and accuse him vntill they haue broughte hym to condemnacion of deathe, and they shall deliuer him vnto the Gentiles to mocke him, to scourge him, to spit vpon him, and to nayle him vp­on the crosse, and whan that he is deade and buried, the thyrde daye he shall ryse agayne.

The texte. Than came to hym the mother of Zebedes childeren, with her sonnes, worshippinge and desyring a certayne thinge of him. And he sayethe vnto her: What wil [...] thou? She sayde vn­to him: Graunte that these my two sonnes may sit, the one on thy right hande, and the other [...] lefte hande in thy kingdome. But Iesus aunswered, and sayed. Ye wote not what ye aske. Can ye drinke of the cuppe that I shall drinke of? and be baptised with the baptisme that I shalbe baptised with? They saye vnto him: We can. He sayde vnto them: Truely ye shall drinke of my cuppe, and be baptised with the baptisme, that I am baptised with: But to sit on my right hande and on my left hande is not myne to geue: But it shal chaunce vnto them, for whom it is prepared of my father.

In the meane season Iames and Iohn the sonnes of zebede, because they had heard that the keyes of the kingdome of heauen were geuen to Peter, and had heard also of the honoure of twelue seates, beynge yet rude and dreaming of worldely thinges, and supposinge that this kingdom and these honoures shoulde cum immediatly after the resurreccion, because he sayde, the thyrde day he shall rise: to get thēselues nowe some excellēt dignitie, they sente furthe their mother to be a suiter vnto Iesus for her sonnes. She after that she had done her dutie and worshipped him, requiring him not to deny her suite, be­ing required what she would, sayeth: Geue commaundement that these my two sonnes may sit in thy kingdome, one on thy right hande, the other on thy lefte hande. Iesus turning vnto the children, of whom he knewe that the mo­ther [Page] was sent furth, aunswered them: ye know not what ye aske. Ye delight in the speaking of a kingdom, whiche is far of an other sorte than ye dreame, but at this presente we muste rather talke and debate of affliccion, and of the crosse, which is the way to the kingdome. Ye require the rewarde oute of ordre, whereas first ye muste traueile and stryue. I haue opened vnto you nowe what I muste suffer. Can ye drinke of the cuppe that I shall drinke of: Can ye be baptised with the baptisme that I shall be baptised with? They as yet litle knowing their strengthe, but for the gredines that they had to ob­teyne theyr peticion, they answere rashely rather than valiantly, we can. But Iesus was content that they sayde they wer ready to folow his crosse, but as touching the rewarde, because they vnderstode not what they asked, and be­cause it was not for that tyme to commōne of it, he sayeth that it is not in him to geue them: but that s [...]ch dignitie shoulde not chaunce but vnto them, vnto whom it was geuen of the father, for to deserue the chiefe place through no­table and excellente vertue. Truely to encourage al men to clime vnto the highest, he sayeth: ye shall drinke of my cuppe, but to fit one on my right hand, and the other on my left hand, it is not in me to geue, vnto thone or to the other, but this shall chaunce vnto them to whom it shall be geuen of my father. Euery man as he doeth traueill, so he shall be rewarded.

The texte. And whan the ten hearde this, they disdayned at the two brethren. And Iesus called them vnto him, and sayed: Ye know▪ that the princes of nacions hath dominion ouer them. And they that be great men exercyse power ouer them. It shall not be so among you, but whosoeuer will be greate among you, let him be your minister, and whoso will be chiefe amonge you, let him be your seruaunte: as the sonne of man came not to be ministred vnto, but to ministre, and to geue his lyfe a redempcion for many.

Whan thother ten afterwarde heard these thinges, they were agreued [...] the two brethren, because they [...]eqai [...]ed so great dignitie. They had not yet receyued the holy goste: they were ledde yet with certayne affeccions of men be­ing ambiciouse and enuying one an other. And Iesus suffered his disciples to be troubled longe with these affeccions, to thintent he would plucke them vt­terly out of the mindes of them all, whiche shoulde succede in the roumes of thapostles. And they thought, and were glad, that therfore the lorde did reiect the request of Iohn and Iames, not because they dreamed of carnall thinges, where as the spirituall kingdome was in hande, but because they required honoure aboue theyr merites, whiche other thought that it ought rather to be geuen to them. Therefore Iesus lyke as he dyd represse the ambicion of the folish sutours, because they knew not what it was that they asked: so he repres­sed the enuy and indignacion of the other, which issewed out of thesame foun­tayne of ambicion, opening vnto them that ther was a farre diuerse kinde of the worldely kingdome from the kingdome of the gospell. For there in the worldly kingdom he that is lesse, is oppressed with the tiranny of the migh­tier. Here, the primacie is nothing elles, but the greate desire to do good vn­to all men. There the prouder a man is, the greater he semethe: here [...] is more meke in harte,Ye knowe yt the princes. &c. than he that deseruethe chiefly to be the higheste. Tha [...] he mighte fasten this doctrine in all mennes hartes, he called vnto hym the other of thapostles. Ye knowe (ꝙ he) that they that [...]eare rule amonge the Gentyles, vse lordlynes and tyrannye vpon them, whome they rule: and they that be chiefe, exercyse theyr power vpon theyr subiectes. For with the [Page c] hurt of the people, they prouide for theyr owne authoritie, and care for those thinges, whiche do not profite the multitude, but make for the stoutnes and florishing of theyr welth and glory. But it is not mete to be so emonge you, but whosoeuer will beare rule emong you, let him be the minister of all men, not vsing honour for his owne commoditie, but for the commoditie of the people, whom he ruleth. And he that emong you will haue the first place, let him be the seruaunt and the lowest of all. For he taketh vpon him the chiefe place for no nother intent, but to loke for the commoditie of al men, hunting and seking therof neyther honour nor profit. And if ye thinke it harde, loke vpon me, for wheras I am your Lorde and Maister and the sonne of God, as ye t [...]ulye professe, yet I take not vpō me dignitie and honour, nor I abuse not my power to myne owne commoditie. But for this I am cum, to serue al mennes turnes, and to wayte theyr commodities, insomuche that it g [...]eueth me not to bestowe my life,And to geue his lyfe a redēption for manye. that by the losse of one lyfe, I maye redeme many. Emonge them ther­fore that be thus minded, there is no cause why any man shoulde seke after honour, neyther why any should be enuiouse at an other mannes dignitie: for who can enuye him whiche studieth no nother thynge, but to do an other man good, and that if nede be with the losse of hys lyfe? Also if honour be geuen vnto them, they take it not vnto themselues, but yelde it vnto God.

The texte. And when they departed from Ierico, muche people folowed hym. And beholde two blinde men sitting by the way, whan they heard that Iesus passed by, they cryed sayinge: O lord the sonne of Dauid, haue mercy on vs. And the people rebuked them, that they should holde theyr peace. But they cryed the more, saying: Haue mercy on vs o lorde the sonne of Dauid. And Iesus stoode still and called them, and sayde: What will ye [...] that I shall do vn­to you? They say vnto him: Lorde that our iyes maye be opened. And Iesus had compassion on them, and touched theyr iyes, and immediately theyr iyes receyued sight, and they folo­wed him.

And whan he went with his disciples out of Ierico, a great multitude of men folowed him. And behold two blind men sate by the wayes side, whiche whē they perceyued by the noyse, that it was a great multitude, and askynge what it shoulde be, knew that it was Iesus whiche passed by: whē they could not see him, and if they had sene him, coulde not go vnto hym for the multi­tude, they spake vnto Iesus with a loude voyce, saying: Lord Iesu the sonne of Dauid, haue mercy vpon vs. Iesus made as though he hearde them not, to thintente that theyr faythe and feruentnes might be the more manifeste to all men. The people seyng that Iesus made no aunswere at their crying, and suppossing that it was paynefull to him, that twoe blinde common beggers made such a clamoure at his eares, rebuked them, and bad them holde theyr peace. But they through a constante truste in Iesus, whom they heard saye to be beneficiall towardes all men, cried out louder, and sayde aga [...]ne: Lorde the sonne of Dauid, haue mercy vpon vs. Iesus therfore when he had suf­ficiently declared theyr fayth to them all, & had taught vs by theyr exāple that we should beate at the eares of God feruently and constantly, yf we will ob­tayne anye thynge: stode still (for they could not folow but onely with crying) and commaunded thē to cum to him. At his worde they cum. Iesus askethe them what they would with theyr great crying, and what they woulde that he shoulde do for them. Iesus was not ignoraunte what they desired, but he would that the disease that they were troubled wyth, should be knowen to all [Page] menne by theyr owne confession, that the faythe of the miracle mighte be the more certayne. Lorde (ꝙ they) we desire that oure iyes maye be opened by your helpe. They speakyng these thynges with a great affeccion, declare that blyndnes was a great griefe vnto them. And he is nexte vnto light, whiche is very wery of his blindenes. Than Iesus shewyng his pietifull affeccion both in countenaunce and iyes, with whiche affeccion euery gospeller ought to bee sory for other mens harmes, touched theyr iyes: and forthwith their iyes be­yng opened, they saw, and with others they folowed Iesus. So Iesus with his touching healeth the mynde blinded with worldly desyres, and lighte is geuen to this ende, that we maye folowe his steppes.

The .xxi. Chapiter.

The texte. And when they drewe nye vnto Hierusalem, and came to Bethphage vnto mounte O­liuete: Then sent Iesus two disciples, saying vnto them: Go into the towne that is o [...]ce agaynst you, and anone ye shall fynde an asse bounden, and a colte with her, looce them, and bring them to me. And if any man saye ought vnto you, saye ye: The lord hath nede of them, and streyght waye he wyll let them go. All this was done that it might be fulfilled, whiche was spoken by the Prophete, saying: Speake ye to the dough [...]er of Syon, beholde thy kyng cummeth vnto the, meke, sitting vpon an asse, and a colt, the fole of the asse vsed to the yoke.’

THerfore Iesus goyng forwarde to Hierusalē, laboured about this diligently, with his disciples, to fasten in theyr mindes, that he went to his death wittingly and willyngly, and that no man shoulde hurte him, yf he woulde resiste. Therfore he beate it into them so often, that he must go to Hierusalem and there suffre death. And wheras sumtyme he semed to wyth­drawe himselfe from perill, it was not for feare, but to kepe himselfe vnto the tyme apoynted of the father. The whiche when it was than at hande, he dyd not onely not hyde hymselfe, but willyngly put furthe hymselfe, and so putte furth himself, that with the noueltie of his pompe, he styrred the mindes of the whole cytie againste him: and in the meane season he ceaseth not from myra­cles: he ceaseth not from preachyng of the trueth, also he reproueth the lyfe of the Phariseis more frely or frankely: he casteth the marchauntes out of the temple, by the whiche thinges he knewe that all theyr myndes woulde bee the more vehemently styrred against him. Whome because he had prouoked a­gainst him with well doyng, he made them not vnfaultie, but gaue them ly­bertie that they might do the thing that they would do. Therfore now being nere to the citie of Hierusalem, he came into the mount of Oliues, where he thought good to frame a new maner of pompe of his cumming, by the which in maner he mocked the pryde of this worlde, and by this spectacle he some­what comforted his disciples, beyng yet but weake, that they might the more quietly beare the death of theyr Lorde.

Therfore from this hill he sente two of his disciples, saying: go ye in­to the village that is ouer agaynste you, and as soone as ye enter in there, ye shall fynde a female Asse tyed, and her fole with her, whereon neuer hath any manne yet sitten, looce them bothe, and bring them hither vnto me.

And if any manne saye any thing vnto you, demaundyng why ye looce them, [Page ci] whither or to whom ye leade them, make none other aunswere, but that the Lorde hath nede of them.All thys was done. &c. At this worde they will suffer them furthwith to be brought. These thinges were doen, partlye because they shoulde vnderstande that nothing is to hym vnknowen, and that he hath power to commaunde whom he will, and what he will, if he woulde vse his power: partely that the Iewes might know, at lest wise by this very token, that he was Messias, be­cause they sawe this straūge kinde of entring prophecied in tyme paste by the Prophete Zacharie. For thus he did prophecie: Saye ye doughters of Syon: beholde thy kyng cummeth to thee, meke and humble, sitting vpon a she asse, and vpon a colte the fole of a yoked beaste.

The texte. The disciples went, and did as Iesus commaunded them, and brought the Asse and the [...]olt, and put on them theyr clothes, and set him theron. And many of the people spred theyr garmentes in the waye. And other cut downe [...]oughes from the trees, and strawed them in the waye. Ferther the people that went before, and they that came after cryed, saying: O­sanna to the sonne of Dauid. Blessed is he that commeth in the name of the Lorde: Osan [...]a in the highest.

The disciples departed, they found true whatsoeuer Iesus had tolde them before. By and by at the mencion of the lord, the beastes wer let looce, where as neyther the Lorde was there presente, nor the disciples made any counte­naunce of any autoritie that they had. In dede the owners of the beastes knewe no suche thing: but yet in theyr hertes they perceyued that he whiche was lorde ouer all, commaunded this. The disciples because the Lord should sit the more at ease, cast on theyr clokes, and so set him vpon the coltes backe, whiche colte did beare the figure of the Heathen nacion beyng vncleane, and filthy folowyng all yll desyres: whiche whan it was once couered with ver­tues apostolicall, and Iesus receiued vpon her backe, ceassed any longer to bee vncleane: ceassed to folow her old vices, beyng made the bearer of him who purgeth and sanctifieth all thinges. This she asse is the dame of the fole, (be­cause healthe and redempcion cummeth oute of the Iewes) but the same asse was fast tyed to the lett [...]e of the lawe: Bare she was of euangelicall vertues: but at the lordes biddyng they are both vntied, and couered with the Apostles clothes. The Apostles as yet vnderstoode not these thynges, but yet this it was whiche was signified there [...], and shoulde more playnely be vnderstan­ded afterwarde. When Iesus was now come to the foote of the hill, a great multitude of men came out of Ierusalem to mete hym. Yea and the multitude had suche a fauour vnto him, that the moost parte of them strawed the waye with theyr garmentes, some cut downe boughes from the trees, and strawed them in the waye. Ferther the company that went before, and also that folowed, declaryng themselues to bee glad of his cumming, sang vnto hym this saying out of the prophecie of the psalme. Osanna to the sonne of Dauid, blessed be he that cummeth in the name of the lorde.Osanna to the sonne. &c Osanna on high. Others cryed: blessed be the kyngdome of our father Dauid, the whiche is come. O­thers cryed. Blessed be the kyng of Israell whiche is come: and they praysed God for the myracles whiche they sawe done by Iesus.

This honoure the Lorde Iesus, who hadde euer to fore liued humble and lowe, suffred to be geuen vnto hym, whereby he declared that he shoulde not bee without the glorye of this worlde, in case he were mynded to haue it: but that he had rather to despise it, than to embrace it, to the ende it might bee so muche the more shame that it shoulde be sought for of suche as [Page] professe themselues to be his disciples, where as he despysed it which onelye deserued it. Yet this honor was mere and semely for the cummynge of hym, who by his death shoulde redeme the whole worlde.

The texte. And whan he was cum to Hierusalem, all the citie was moued, saying. Who is this▪ And the people sayd: This is Iesus, that prophete of Nazareth in Galile. And Iesus went into the temple, and cast out all them that solde and bought in the temple, and ouerth [...]ewe the tables of the money chaungers, and the seares of them that solde doues, and sayd vnto them: It is wrytten. My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye haue made it a den of theues. And the blynde and lame came vnto hym into the temple, and he healed them.

Therfore when Iesus entred into Hierusalem with this straunge and vn­woonte pompe, the whole citie was moued with this vncouthe syght, saying: What man is this? The multitude whiche folowed him, aunswered: This is Iesus the Prophete of Nazareth, the citie in Galile. This they thought a goodly prayse, although that it was farre vnder his maiestie. For the peo­ple as yet coulde suppose nothyng of hym aboue man. And Christe dyd pur­posely so ordre his lyfe, that he vttered not openly his godlye nature, whiche he shoulde haue persuaded in vayne, yf they had seene hym afterwarde suffer deathe. Therefore with this rufflyng, Iesus entered into the temple and there furthwith began to vse a certayne kyngdome. When he sawe in the temple a fashion of a market, sum selling, sum biyng, and the changers of money sitting, Iesus moued with the vngoodlines of the thing, accordynge to the sayinge of the Prophete: The zeale of thy house hath eaten me, he made a whip of litle coardes, and droue all the byers and sellers with theyr marchandise out of the temple, he cast downe the tables of the money changers and scatered theyr money vpon the grounde: he cast downe the seates of the doue sellers, alleging furth of Esay a iust cause of his griefe, who sayeth in the person of God: My house shall be called the house of prayer,My house is the house of prayer. but ye haue made it a den of theues. By this act Iesus mente an other thynge. For that the temple was polluted with marchandyse of bullockes, shepe, goates and doues, did not so greatly moue hym, but it was hys mynde to shewe that auaryce and lucre would be a deadly poyson vnto his church in time to cum, whiche was figured by that temple, whose religion should shortlye after be abolished. For at suche tyme is the temple which is consecrate to offer vp to God spirituall sacrifice, turned into a denne of theues, whan vnder the pretense of religion and priest­hode, the people is robbed. For nothing can be sincere and holy, where the loue of money doethe reigne. And this mischiefe is than a thynge vntollerable, when it is vsed vnder the roofe of the temple, when rauine is couered with the shadowe of religion. There was no sorte of men, agaynste whom Iesus at any time shewed any more rigour, then he dyd towardes these, and yet hath he reserued the same vnto himselfe to be cast out,Also the blynde and the lame. &c when himselfe shall thinke best. Then vnto Iesus being in the temple, there came the blynde and lame, whome the lawe barred from entryng into the temple. But the temple of Iesus recey­ueth all whiche make spede vnto healthe. For the blynde came, that hauinge theyr sight they might see Iesus, whome they hearde so spoken of. The lame came, that folowing his steppes, they mighte come into the kyngdome of heauen. As manye therfore as came to hym, he healed them.

The texte. [Page cii]¶Whan the thiefe priestes and Scribes sawe the wonders that he did, and the children crying in the temple▪ and saying: Hosanna to the sonne of Dauid▪ they dis [...]ayned, and sayed vnto him: hearest thou what these saye? But Iesus sayeth vnto them: Why not? Haue ye neuer red? Out of the mouth of infantes and sucklinges thou haste ordeyned prayse? And he lefte them, and went out of the citie vnto Bethallia, and abode there.

The chiefe Priestes and the Scribes thorough those thinges wherby they ought at last to repente, were the more kyndled with burning in enuye, when they sawe the people reioysing so louingly on euery syde, and sawe the greate power in healing of the lame and blinde, and authoritie in casting out of mar­chandise, no manne beeyng so bolde to resist, and the children also crying in the temple, Os Anna to the sonne of Dauid. Thei taking these thinges greuously, monished Iesus to cease that crying, els it would cum to passe that he shoulde seme to acknowleage suche honour, of which they iudged him vnworthy, wher as it shoulde haue been theyr partes rather more gre [...]ely to prayse hym, and to speake well of him, whiche beyng auncient men and skilfull in the law and the prophecies, seeyng so many miracles, myght vnderstande that this is Mes­sias whom they loked for so long tyme. Nowe the children by the instigacion of nature, or rather by the inspiracion of God, spake that thinge, whiche they could not vnderstande for lacke of age. Therfore they blinded with enuy, and drunken with anger, saied vnto him: hearest thou what these children saye? But Iesus stopping their mouth with a testimonye of scripture, dyd ye neuer reade (ꝙ he) of the mauthe of infantes and sucklinges thou haste made perfecte thy prayse? will ye therefore that I should shut their mouthe, whiche God hath opened to prayse his glory? I say vnto you: God will not suffer his prayse to he had in silence through your enuye, in so muche that if these holde theyr peace the stones wil crye, whose hardenes ye excede. Therfore Iesus leuyng them with their enuy, departed, and goyng out of the citie of Ierusalem, went vn­to Bethania, and there tarryed.

The texte. ¶In the morning as he returned into the citie agayne, he was an hungered: and whan he had spied a fig [...]ree in the [...], he came to it, and founde nothing theron but leaues only, and saied vnto it: Neuer fruite growe on the hence forward. And anon the fig [...]ree wythered away. And whan his disciples sawe it, they maruayled, saying: how soone the figgetree is wishered. Iesus answering, sayed vnto them: Ue [...]ely I saye vnto you. If ye haue fayth and doubte not, ye shall not onely do this, that is happened vnto the figgetre, but also if ye shal saie vnto this mountaine, [...] and [...] thy selfe into the sea, it shall be doen. And all thinges whatsoeuer ye aske in prayer (yf ye [...]eleue) ye shall receyue them.

In the mornyng by the waye as he returned vnto the citie, he beganne to wexe hungry. And when he sawe a figtree nere the waye, he came towarde it, as hoping to haue sum foode. And when he c [...]me at it, he founde nothyng on it but leaues. Therefore as beeyng greued that he was deceyued of his hope, he cursed it, saying: Neuer man see fruite of the hereafter. And whan the disciples returned agayne the same way, seing the figgetree whiche Iesus cursed, than to he withered, and the leaues fallen of, maruelled and saied vnto him: behold the figgetree whiche thou diddest curse, is now withered. Iesus suffered this to be doen for this purpose, that he might inculcate diligently faythe vnto his disciples, withoute the whiche he knewe that his death shoulde be vnprofita­ble to menne. For he thyrsted maruelouslye after the healthe and saluacion of mankinde, and now desired and longed for his death. But whereas he founde an apperaūce of religion in the Iewes, he found not the fruite of fayth, which [Page] only he hungered for. Unto his disciples therfore marueiling at the figge tree so sodenly withered, he made answere on this wyse: why maruayle ye at this whiche is no greate matter, a figge tree to wyther? the might of faythe can doe more, whiche yf ye possesse both stronge and constante, ye shall not onelye doe, whiche ye sawe chaunce vnto the figge tree, but also yf ye saye to this hill, re­moue the from thy place, and go into the sea, youre commaundemente shall be doen forthwith. And whatsoeuer ye shall aske in your prayers, so that ye haue a sure trust, ye shall obteyne.

The texte. ¶And when he was cum into the temple, the chiefe priestes and elders of the people came to hym as he was teaching, and sayed: By what auctoritie doest thou these thinges? And who hath geuen the this auctoritie? And Iesus auswering, sayed vnto them: I also will aske you a certayne thyng, whiche yf ye tell me, I will also shewe you with what authoritie I do these thynges. The baptisme of Iohn whence was it▪ from heauen or of men? But they thought with themselfes, saying: If we say, from heauen, he will saye vnto vs: Why th [...]n did ye not beleue hym? But if we say of men, we [...]eare the people. For all men take Iohn as a Prophet. And they answering to Iesus, sayed: we cannot tel. And he sayed vnto them: [...] I do tell you with what aucthoritie I do these thinges.

And when he entred into the temple and taught the people, the chiefe prie­stes and certayne of the Seniours of the people, not suffering him to be there in his kyngdome freely, go vnto him and saye. By what authoritie doest thou these thinges? And who gaue the this authoritie? For sith no manne gaue hym this authoritie, either he must say that it was geuē him of God, or els of Bel­zebub. If he had saied of God, he shoulde haue saied trueth, but he shoulde haue doen nothing but prouoked theim. For they aske not that they will beleue, whiche might appere by the thing it selfe, but falsely to reproue and blame. Iesus therfore not ignorant of this thing, requi [...]ed their question with an o­ther, as though a man shoulde dryue out one nayle with an other. I will aske you (ꝙ he) a certayne thyng, and if ye answer me to that, I will answer to your question. The authoritie whereby Iohn did baptise, from whence came it vn­to him? from heauen or from men? They toke deliberacion with themselfes, what they should answere. For they sawe it was a question with two pikes, and that they must nedes fall vpon the one. They thought in their mindes, yf we say from heauen, he will forthwith say vnto vs: why than did ye not be­leue him? for he preached the kingdome of God, and witnessed with me. But yf we saye, of men, it is to be feared leste the people will make a sedicion, because all menne toke Iohn for a Prophete. Therfore leste they shoulde be reproued they made answere that they coulde not tell. Than spake Iesus: And I wyll not tell you (ꝙ he) from whence I haue this authoritie.

The texte. ¶And what thynke you? A man had two sonnes, and came to the firste, and sayed: Sonne go to day, and worke in my vineyarde. [...]e answering, sayd▪ I will not. But afterwarde, he rep [...]uted and wente. Than came [...]e to the seconde, and sayed likewyse: And he answered and sayed: I will sie, and wente not. Whether of them twayne did the will of the father [...] And they say vnto him, the first. Iesus sayeth vnto them: verely I say vnto you, tha [...] the publicans and harlottes got before you into the kyngdom of God. For Iohn came vnto you by the waye of righteousnes, and ye beleued hym not, and the publicans and harlottes dyd beleue hym. And ye when ye had seen it, were not moued afterwarde with repent [...] to beleue him.

[Page ciii]But because a simple and playne question could not wryng oute the confes­sion of truth, Iesus putteth forth an other question by a riddell, that vnwares they shall geue sentence against themselues: what thynke ye (ꝙ he) of that I will propose now? A certayne man had two sonnes. He came to the one and sayed: Sonne, go and worke this day in my vineyard. He answered froward­ly, I wil not. But strayt afterward repenting himselfe, he went into the vine­yarde. The father likewyse came to the other sonne and sayed: go, and labour in my vineyarde this day. He answereth redily, loe I goe sir, and yet he wente not. Therfore of these two, whether thinke ye fulfilled his fathers wil▪ They not vnderstanding to what ende these went, answered: The firste sōne, whiche repenting forthwith, wente into the vi [...]eyarde. Than Iesus turning the pa­rable vpon them, sayed: certaynlye I tell you truethe, that the publicanes and [...]ommon women shall go before you in the kyngdome of heauen. They beyng rebelles agaynst God before with theyr wicked life, yet by and by touched and moued by penaunce obeyed the doctryne of the ghospell. Ye which be the peo­ple of God by title and profession, and ye whiche sayed in times paste, and this day say, we will do all thinges whatsoeuer the Lorde sayeth vnto vs, whiche also haue euer in your mouthe the preceptes of God, and the Lordes temple, the Lordes temple, the Lordes temple, beyng so many wayes prouoked, can­not be moued to penaunce. For Iohn came shewyng you the waye of ryghte­ousnes, and that the wrathe of God was at hande, and the axe set at the tree rootes, vnlesse furthwith ye would repent. Ye sawe the Publicanes and com­mon women (desperate folkes after your iudgement,) obedient vnto hym. Ye could not be moued vnto penaunce neyther by the great holines of Iohn, ney­ther by his holsom doctrine, neither by his threteninges, neither by the exam­ple of the publicanes and common women. So it cummethe to passe, that they throughe faythe, take from you the kyngdome of God: ye vaynelye pro­fessing God with your mouthe, be shut out for the vnbelefe of your mynde.

The texte. ¶Heathen an other similitude. There was a certayne man an householder, whiche planted a vineyarde, and hedged it rounde aboute, and made a wine presse, and builded a [...]wer, and let it out to husbandmen, and went furth into a straunge countrey. And whan the tyme of fruyte drew nere, he sen [...]e his seruaūtes to the husbande men to receyue the fruites of it. And the husbande men takyng his seruauntes, dyd beare one, kylled another and stoned another. Agayne he sente other seruauntes mo than the firste, and they dyd vnto them lyke wise. But last of all he sente vnto thē his owne sonne▪ saying: They will haue my sonne in reuerence. And the husbande men whan they sawe the sonne, they saied in them selues. This is the heyre, cum let vs kyll him, and let vs enioye his heritage. And they toke him, and caste him out of the vineyarde, and kyled him. Than whan the Lorde of the vineyarde cummeth. what will he doe vnto those husband men? They saye vnto him: Sith they bee ill [...]e will truelly destroy them, and will let out his vineyarde to other housbande menne, whiche shall deliuer him the fruite in due season.

He put them another parable euen as darke, where with he doth recite se­ [...]ely, and leyeth before their iyes, their notable vnkindenes, whiche beeyng prouoked by so manye benefites of God, dyd not onely not amende, but also [...]ruelly killed the Prophetes one after another, which were sente, that at their preachyng they myght once repente. And not content herewith, finallye they would kyll the sonne of God hymselfe, and that after that he was caste out of [Page] the vineyarde, shewyng as it were by the waye the place where he shoulde be crucified. By the whiche communicacion he declareth both yt their inuincible malice is vnworthye pardon (seeyng that nothyng was omitted that myghte call them backe to a better mynde) and that he shoulde suffre nothing of them, whiche he knewe not of before. This was the parable. There was (ꝙ he) a certayne householder, whiche planted a vineyarde, and hedged it aboute and digged in it a cesterne, to receyue the swete wine that was pressed out of the clusters of grapes, and buylt in it a lodge for the kepyng of the vineyarde, and so whan it was well garnished, he set it out to husbande menne: that they should trustely tyll it, and tendre the fruites vnto the lorde. This doen, he wēt far of. Nowe when the tyme of gatheryng the fruite approched nere, he sente his seruauntes to receyue the fruite of them. But the husbande men dyd not onelye not deliuer the fruites that were due, but also layed handes vpon hys seruauntes, and bette sum, killed sum, and stoned sum to death. This knowen the householder did not furth with punishe them, but loking that they shoulde repente and amende, sente vnto theim a greater number of seruauntes than he dyd before: trusting that they beeyng kept vnder and in awe with the multi­tude, they woulde do their duetie. But they handeled theim also no more gen­tely, than they handeled the other before. The householder suffered this dis­pleasure also, and finally to ouercum them with softnes and gentilnesse, he sent vnto them his owne sonne, saying with himselfe: although they haue been cruell toward my seruauntes, yet at the leaste they wil vse my sonne reuerent­ly, whan they see that he is cum. But the husbande menne the more they were prouoked to repentaunce, the more they were styrred vnto cruelties. For whan they sawe the sonne, they did not reuerence him, insomuche that furthwyth they consulted to slea him, saying: this is the heyre, cum let vs kill him, and we shall take his inheritaunce. And by and by they layed handes vpon hym, and plucked him out of the vineyarde and killed him. Therfore (ꝙ he) when the Lorde of the vineyarde shall cum, what shall he do to those husbande menne? The Phariseis answered: those ill men he shall ill intreate and destroy, and set out his vineyarde to others, which [...] may trustely render the fruite in tyme vn­to the Lorde whithe lette it out. So they deceyued by this ryddle, condemne them selues with theyr owne mouth: pronouncing, that they themselues for the inuincible frowardenes of their mynde be wurthy punishmente, and that the gentiles be wurthy to be receyued to the grace of the ghospel, whiche will till the vineyarde more trusttely than they dyd.

The texte. ¶Iesus sayeth vnto them: Dyd ye neuer reade in the scriptures? The [...]oue which the b [...]l­ders refused, the same is made the head of the corner: this is doen of the lorde, and is ma [...] ­uailouse in our [...]yes. Therfore saye I vnto you, the kingdome of God shalbe taken frō you, and geuen to a nacion, whiche shall do the fruytes therof. And whosoeuer falleth on this stone, shalbe broken in pieces▪ But on whomsoeuer it falleth, he shalbe all to brused.

After these thinges, Iesus shewed that through their frowardenes he beeyng condemned and reiected, should dye a spitefull deathe, but by his resur­reccion through the power of the father, he should be made notable thorough­out all the worlde and shoulde be so sounde and strong, that whoso stumbled against him, should be his owne destruccion. And that in declaryng of this he might lesse offend them, he bryngethe a prophecie out of the psalme. Neuer [...] ye in the scriptures (ꝙ he) the stone whiche the builders dyd refuse and caste [Page ciiii] away, the same is made the head of the corner? This is doen of the lorde & it is wonderfull in our iyes: signifying that they builded the Synagoge, but castīg out Christe, without whom no building was sure: but yet ye stone reiected of thē, should be in great estimacion & price in the church of ye Gentiles. And ther­fore Iesus dyd adde: therfore I say vnto you, the kingdō of god shall be taken frō you, which ye despise being offered vnto you, and it shal be geuen to other people, which shal bring furth fruites meete for the gospel. And as this stone shal bring health to them that obey the ghospell, so it shall bryng destruccion vnto them that be disobediente throughe vnbelefe. For whoso stumbleth at thys stone, shalbe broken. Agayne vpō whō this stone falleth, he shalbe brused.

The texte. ¶And whan the chiefe priestes and Phariseis had heard hys parables, they perceyued that he spake of them. And they went about to laye handes on hym, but they feared the peo­ple, because they toke hym as a Prophete. And Iesus aunswered, and spake vnto them again by parables, and sayd.

At lengthe, of the conclusion of thys communicacion, fyrste the chiefe priestes and Scribes vnderstode that he spake the former parables also againste thē, in the whyche they beyng deceyued, gaue sentence agaynst themselues. And therfore theyr madnes was so set a fyer, that they woulde furth with haue layed handes vpon him: But they feared the people, because Iesus was made muche of, of many, and taken for a Prophete.

¶The .xxii. Chapter.

The texte. ¶The kingdome of heauen is lyke vnto a man that was a kyng, whiche made a mariage for his sonne: and sent furth his seruauntes to call theym that were byddē to the weddyng, and they woulde not cum. Agayne he sent furth other seruaūtes, saying: Tell thē whiche are bidden. Beholde I haue prepared my dinner, myne oxen, and my fattewares are kylled, and all thynges are ready, cum vnto the mariage. But they made lyght of it, and went theyr wayes, one to his farme place, another to his marchandise, and the residue toke his seruaū ­tes, and intreated them shamefully. And whan the kyng hearde therof, he was angry, and sent furth his men of warre, and destroyed these murderers, and brent vp theyr citie.’

AGayne Iesus added an other parable, to print the more surely in ye mindes of the Iewes, yt it came to passe by theyr owne obstinate malice, yt they were reiected frō saluacion of the gospel, and yt the Gentiles shal take & enioye, that that they made them selues vnworthy of. There is none excluded frō the kīgdom of God, but this honoure was geuē to the naciō of Iewes, that they were called fyrste of all, & gently called, not vnto sower or vyle thynges, but vnto a mary­age, yt is to honour, delicates, & libertie of ye gos­pel. And they wer not inuited onely by the pro­phete Iohn, & by Christ himselfe, but also after his death, they shoulde be cal­led by the Apostles: and the preachers of the ghospell shoulde not go to the gentyles before that for theyr diligence and well doyng, they had bene arayed long of the Iewes with many mockes, & punishmentes: that they can ascribe it to no man, that afterward they shal be punished with so many miseries, whiche despised Goddes goodnes, so often offered vnto thē. This is the simili­tude. [Page] [...] [Page ciii] [...] [Page] [...] [Page ciiii] [...] [Page] The kingdome of heauen (ꝙ he) is through you made like to a certayne kyng, who makyng a bridale to his sonne, sent out his seruaunte, to inu [...]e and call many to his sonnes mariage. But they once called, would not cumme. Then the kyng sent mo seruauntes to bid them more diligently to make haste vnto the weddyng now in a redines, and to say to them in his name: Beholde the diner is ready, my oxen and my pultrie be killed, and al other thinges be in a readines. Now nothyng lacketh but cumming of the geastes, that the prepa­racion be not made in vaine. But they againe neglected the bidder. And whan the bidders called vpon them, euery man made his excuse: one sayd, he muste gose e his manour or farme place, that he had lately bought: another sayde, he must go loke vpon his oxen, which he had bought: Another saied, he had late maryed a wyfe, from whome he could not departe. And these men were onlye madde to themselues whiche preferred certayne vile and fylthy cares of frail thinges, before a feast of suche felicitie. But other ioyned cruelnes vnto theyr vnkindnes. For the kinges seruauntes, whiche dyd once or twyse inuite them vnto so great honour, they handeled and vsed very sore with many rebukes, and at length killed them also.And whan the kyng, & The whiche doyng when the kinge heard of, he toke it very greuously: and turnyng his gentilnes, whiche they had so despised, into a rage, and sendyng furth men of his garde destroyed these murderers: and not content with that, set theyr citie a fyer also. These thinges spake Ie­sus prophecying vnto them couertly the destruccion of the citie of Ierusalem: and by and by he geueth intelligence that the gentiles shallbe called on euery syde vnto the gospell, as those wiche wer better than the Iewes.

The texte. ¶Than sayed he to his seruauntes: The mariage is prepared, but they that were inuited were not worthy. Go ye therfore to the hygh wayes, & as many as ye fynde, cal to the ma­riage. Thā his seruauntes wente out into the high wayes, and brought together as manye as they coulde fynde, both good and badde, and the weddyng was furnished with geastes. The king came in to see the geastes, and whan he spyed a mā there which had not on a wed­ding garmente, he sayeth vnto him: Frēde how camest thou in hither nor hauing a weddyng garmente? But he helde his peace: Than said the kyng to the ministers. Binde hym handes & feete, and caste him into the vtter darkenes, there shalbe wepyng and gnashing of teethe. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Than he sayed vnto his seruauntes, the bridale is redy: but because they that were called, declared thēselues for to be vnworthy for this feaste, whiche not withstandyng I prepared chiefly for them: runne abrode euery where in stretes and crosse wayes, and call to the bridale indifferently, whomsoeuer ye fynd, worthy, vnworthy, febie, maymed, blind, and lame, till my house be full. The seruauntes went foorth and broughte together a multitude of all sortes gathered together from all places, and the feaste was replenished with gea­stes. After this, Iesus because he had shewed before, that the Iewes shoulde be greuously punished, whiche afflicted the apostles, callyng theim so often, and at length killed them, declareth also that they shalbe sore punished whiche once professing the lyfe of the ghospell, returne againe to the filthines of theyr olde lyfe. The king (ꝙ he) went in to see the geastes sittyng at the table, and a­mong others he sawe one there, which had not on his weddinge garment. Frende (ꝙ he) how camest thou in hither, sith thou hast not thy wedding gar­mente? But he beyng put to shame was dumme, and had nothing to say. Than the king commaunded his seruauntes that they should binde him handes and feete, remoue him far from the feast, and caste him into great darkenes, where [Page cv] is weeping and gnashing of teeth, the honour and the lyght of the feaste beyng chaunged into a vile pryson, & great pleasure beyng chaunged into great tor [...]ment. Further though many be called, yet few be chosen al be called freely, bu [...] none be chosen but they that obey their calling, and they that vnto the [...]ude an­swere vnto the goodnes of God towardes them, continuyng in the study and loue of the euangelicall godlynes.

Than went the Phariseis and toke counsell how they might tangle him in his wordes.
The [...]
And they sente furth to hym theyr disciples with the Herodians, saying: Maister, we knowe that thou art true, and teachest the waye of God truly, neither regarded thou any man, nor thou haste respecte of persones. Tell vs therfore, howe thy likest thou? Is it law­full that tribute be geuen to Ceasar, or not? And Iesus perceyuing their malice, sayed: why tempt ye me, ye Hipocrites? Shewe me the tribute money: and they toke hym a de­narie, and he sayed vnto them: whose ymage is this, and superscripcion? They sayed vnto hym: Ceasars▪ Than sayed he vnto them [...] Geue therfore vnto Ceasar, the thynges whiche are Ceasars, and vnto God those thynges that are goddes. Whan they had heard these wordes, they meruayled, and left hym, and went awaye.

Whan the Iewes perceyued that they were touched with these para­bles, they were not yet moued vnto penaunce, insomuche that nowe they mu­sed in theyr myndes nothing els but howe that Iesus myght be killed. So great a mischiefe is enuy and ambicion. They had a wyll to murdre, but they lacked oportunitie. They feared not God, the reuenger of suche mischifes, but they feared the people. They thought therfore to goe a contrary waye, and to doe the thyng with suche secrete vndermining, that the enuy of the dede should redound and reste vpon Ceasar and his officers.And they sent furthe to him. &c. Therfore for the tyme, they dissembled theyr anger and went awaye. But consulting among themselues, it was thought good, that certayne should be subornated and setforth to pro­pose a question vnto Iesus, and to take hym in his answere, and to bryng hym into the princes daunger, that by them, as beeyng giltie of treason, and the author of sedicion, he myght be putte to death, the Phariseis hauyng no­thyng to doe with the matter. And theyr inuencion was this. Whan Iewry began now to be tributarie to the Romaynes, king Herode the sonne of Anti­pater was made officer of August to gather the tribute: And of this thyng e­uery man had not like opinion: for some thought it not meete that the people dedicate vnto God, should pay tribute to prynces that were Idolatours. And in this opinion were they whiche helde with the Phariseis. Agayne there were sum the fauorers of Ceasar, which saied that tribute ought to be payed: & the mainteners of this opinion were called Herodians, because Herode was the officer to gather the tribute. A lytle before there were two, Theudas and Iudas, which whilest they did defende openly that the Iewes, a people dedi­cate vnto god, ought no tribute to any prophane prince, were put to death like sediciouse persones. Now the Phariseis trusted that Christe fauoring religi­on more than Ceasar, beeyng prophane and wicked, woulde pronounce and iudge according to his accustomed libertie against ye Herodians, that tribute should not be payed to Ceasar: and furthwith by them should be accused vn­to Herode, and should be punished like as The [...]das and Iudas were before. And yf he had pronounced that tribute shoulde be payed, than they woulde haue layed to his charge that he had flattered wycked prynces, and not fa­uoured gods religion. Therfore they doe subornate, and sende furth certayne of theyr disciples, whiche, the Herodians beyng presente with a great numbre [Page] of men, that the thing should not lacke witnesses, colourably with fayre spea­kyng should entise him into theyr net. So great was theyr blyndnes, that the thyng so often attempted in vayne, they would not rest. Neyther be they asha­med of theyr inconstancye, nowe calling him maister, where before they layed to his charge that he was possessed with the spirite of Beelzebub. And they commende his libertie, that he should not feare to offende the Herodians. Maister (ꝙ they) we knowe that thou art true, thou flatterest no manne, thou liest nothing: But thou doest teache with great libertie the pleasure of god, not the phantasye of men. For thou fearest no mortall man, and regardest no per­son. Tell vs therfore what ye thynke: Is it leefull for the people of Iewes whiche is dedicate to the religion of God, to paye tribute vnto Ceasar, or no? And shall we geue it hereafter, or no? But Iesus to shewe that theyr craftye flatteryng could not deceyue him, so ordered his aunswere with woonderfull wysedome, that he endaungered hymselfe to neyther of the faccions: but mo­nished them what dyd moste appertayne vnto their saluacion: that is, to pay vnto God the high Prince,Is it law­ful that tri­bute? &c. the tribute of godlynes. Ye Hypocrites (ꝙ he) why do ye tempte me? Shewe me a coyne of the tribute. For they went about to catche Iesus in his woordes. He agayne catcheth them in theyr answeres. Therfore they shewed hym a Dena [...]ie, whiche had the Image and name of Ceasar. And to declare that he came not for this purpose to make lawes of these thynges, whiche pertayne nothyng vnto Godlynes, and the whiche for the tyme maye be well or yll doen, when he sawe the coyne, as though he knew no suche letters nor Images, who went onely about heauenly thynges: he asked whose title and Image it was. Aunswere was made: Ceasars. Than sayed Iesus: Rendre therfore vnto Ceasar, yf any thing appertaine vnto Cea­sar, but firste of all rendre vnto God,And vnto God. &c. the thynges that appertaine vnto God: meanyng that it is no hurte to godlines, if a man beeyng dedicate to God, doe geue tribute to a prophane prynce, although he owe it not, desiring rather to be obedient, than to prouoke and stirre him: chiefly in that thyng whiche ma­keth a man poorer, but not vngodly. Otherwise yf he doeth exacte that which maketh vs vngodly, it is not nowe the tribute of Ceasar, but of the deuill.

When they had this aunswer they marueyled: Firste because they percei­ued that their suttell deuise was not hid from him: Furthermore for his won­derfull wisedome, whom mannes craftines wente about to deceiue in bayne. They maruailed truely, but they were not chaunged. And forsaking him, they left of to prouoke him, syth thei could not ouercome him: but they did not leaue of to hate hym, whom they ought to loue.

The texte. The same daye came vnto hym the Sadduceis (whiche saye that there is no resurrec­cion) and asked hym, saying: Maister, Moyses sayed: yf a man dye, not hauyng a chylde, that his brother should marry his wyfe, and rayse vp seede to his brother. There were with vs seuen brethren, and the first maried a wyfe, and dyed without issue, and lefte his wyfe to his brother: likewise the seconde, & the thirde, vnto the seuenth. Laste of all dyed the woman also. Therfore in the resurreccion, whose wyfe shall she be of the seuen? For they all had her. Iesus aunswered and sayed vnto them: ye do erre not knowyng the Scripture, nor the power of God: For in the resurrecciō they neyther marry, nor be mar­ryed, but are as the aungels in heauen.

Therfore whan the Phariseis and the Herodians were departed, the Sadduceis came vnto him. That faccion emong the Iewes, is more grosse and lesse learned, disagreing from the Phariseis in this, that they denye the [Page cvi] resurreccion: In somuche that they beleue not the Aungels to bee, nor the soules to bee, after they bee separate from the body, thynkyng nothing to bee but that whiche they see. They whan they heard Christe make often mencion of euerlasting life, and of the world to come, and of the resurrecciō of the iust, they come vnto him to trye whether he agreed with the Phariseis, or taught contrary to them, that they might reproue him if he were against them, orels laugh him to skorne, if he agreed with the Phariseis. Therfore they do obiect vnto him this hard question.There were with [...]s seuen brethren. Maister (ꝙ they) Moyses made this lawe: If a man hauing maried a wyfe, departe without chyldren, that the brother of the dead should marry the widowe lefte of his brother, and couplyng wyth her should rayse vp issue to his brother departed. There were emong vs seuen brethren, of whom the firste married a wyfe, and departed without children. The nexte brother married her, who also died without issue. Lykewyse it chaunced to the thirde, & the fowerth, vnto the seuenth, all dyed without issue. At laste the wyfe dyed also, whiche was married to seuen brethren. Therfore in the resurreccion, whiche of all them shall haue her to his wife▪ For she cānot be a common wyfe for them all, and all married her indifferently. To this question because it was more of ignoraūce than of malyce, Iesus did vouch­safe to make aunswere. For he that erreth by ignoraunce is woorthy to be taught. But they that propose questiōs of mere malice, be not woorthy to be aunswered. Ye erre (ꝙ he) whiche rede the sciptures, but ye vnderstande them not: and imagining nothing aboue bodily thinges which ye see, ye knowe not the power of god, who is more wonderfull in thinges, which be not seen. Here where men by courses be borne to dye, wedlocke is vsed for propagacion and bryngyng furth of mankynde. But where nowe mortalitie shalbe swalowed vp and consumed, and men shalbe spirituall, whiche thyng shall come to passe in the resurreccion, the whiche shall restore vs agayne, beyng thesame in dede that we were, but yet chaunged after another sorte, there shall no man marry, nor no woman shalbe married. For there shall nede no generacion where no death shall be. Further, they that pertayne to the resurreccion of the iust, lyue without matrimony lyke the aungels of God in heauen: recording now here and mynding to theyr power, that they shall come to in the resurreccion. For they had rather get soules to God, than bodyes to the worlde.

The texte. ¶But as touching the resurreccion of the dead, haue ye not red that which was spoken to you of God, who saith? I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Iacob. God is not the God of dead, but of liuyng. And whan the people heard this, they were astonied at his doctryne.

After this, Iesus notyng secretely this so folishe a question to spring of a false perswasion, for that they beleued not the resurreccion: disdayned not to wede this opinion also out of theyr myndes, teachyng them also that this is taken out of the bokes of Moyses, by whose authoritie they apposed Iesus. Why haue ye an yll opinion of the resurreccion of the dead as though Moy­ses taught it not openly, whose wrytinges ye reade grossely, and nothing dili­gently? Haue ye not red in his bokes what god sayth? I am the god of Abra­ham, and the god of Isaac, and the god of Iacob. If they had peryshed who­ly by the deathe of the bodyes, he would not saye that he is theyr god, but that he was their god. But yf he be theyr god, truly theyr soules doe lyue, and they [Page] wholy do lyue in maner by the hope of resurreccion that shall be, God is lyfe, and he is not God of the dead whiche nowe be not, but of the liuyng. So he taught them resurreccion to be, but not to be after suche sorte, as they imagi­ned it to bee, whan they proposed a folyshe question of seuen brethren. The people when they sawe euery mannes mouthe stopped with wyse aunswers, they merueiled at his effectuall and redy doctryne.

The texte. ¶But whan the Phariseis had heard that he had stopped the mouth of the Sadduceis, they came together, and one of them being Doctor of lawe, asked him a questiō, temptyng him, and saying: Maister, whiche is the great commaundement in the lawe? Iesus saied vnto him: Thou shalt loue the lorde thy God with al thy harte, and with al thy soule, and with all thy mynde. This is the first and great commaundemente. And the second is lyke vnto it. Thou shalt loue thy neyghbour as thy selfe. In these two commaundementes hang all the lawe and the Prophetes.

The Phariseis were not displeased that the Sadduceis were put to sy­lence, chiefly in a matter wherin they were cleane cōtrary one against another. Therfore whan the Phariseis sawe them put to sylence, and rebuked also for ignoraūce of scripture, they taking harte of grace againe, gather together, and set forwarde a certayne doctour of lawe, whiche should goe vnto Iesus with a clerkly question, that eyther he myght reproue hym of ignoraunce, orels he hymselfe beare awaye the prayse of learnyng. Maister (ꝙ he) whiche is the chiefe commaundemente in the lawe? Iesus purposyng to shewe that they which crake of the profession of the lawe, be furthest from keping of the grea­test commaundement in the lawe, which wholy flame with enuy and hatred of theyr neyghboure, and with other vices whiche haue none affinitie with Christian charitie: and that no man loueth God, whiche is vniust to his neygh­bour, aunswered: Thou shalt loue the Lorde thy God with all thy harte, and with all thy soule, and all thy mynde: This is the chiefe and greatest com­maundemente. The whiche no manne doeth perfourme and kepe, vnlesse he kepe also the seconde lyke vnto that: For this: Thou shalt loue thy neygh­bour as thy selfe, doeth depende of the other. And whatsoeuer is commaun­ded in the whole lawe, whatsoeuer the Prophetes teache, all that is compry­sed in these two commaundementes. For whosoeuer loueth God with all his hearte, will neglecte nothyng that he hath commaunded: And he that loueth his neyghboure as himselfe, he will not steale, he will not commyt aduoutry, he will not beare false witnesse, he will not desyre his neyghbours substaunce. Finally he will do nothing to an other, which he would not to be doen to him­selfe. Than the Pharisey which was become nowe almoste of a tempter a disciple,In these twoe com­maunde­mentes. &c. sayed: Maister, thou hast spoken truely and rightly, that there is one God, and no nother but he and that he onely ought to be loued aboue all thyn­ges, with all our power, and that we must bende all our affeccions towardes hym onely: and that to loue our neyghbour as our selfe, is more than all the holocaustes and sacrifices. Iesus seyng that he had aunswered wyselye, and went not forwarde to lye in wayte, sayeth vnto him: thou arte not farre from the kyngdome of God. For he perceyued what was best, he lacked onely this, to folowe in affeccion and harte that that he vnderstode. And in the meane tyme he touched secretly the conscyence of certayne Phariseis, whiche layed deadly wayte for Iesus. And therfore whereas they demaunded onely of the chiefe commaundement, the kepyng of the whiche they falsly toke vpō them: he purposely added the seconde, concernyng the loue of their neyghboure, for [Page cvii] as yet they supposed not that Christe was God, but to be theyr neyghbour, and one that had doen muche for them, they could not deny: agaynste whome notwithstandyng they did deuise that, that no man would should haue come vnto hymselfe.

The texte. Whan the Phariseis were gathered together, Iesus asked them, saying: What thinke ye of Christe? whose sonne is he? They sayed vnto him. The sonne of Dauid. He sayed vn­to them: Howe than doth Dauid in spirite call hym Lord? saying: The Lord sayed vnto my Lord: sit thou on my ryghthand, till I make th [...]ie enemies thy footestoole. If Dauid than call him Lord, howe is he his sonne? And no man was able to answer him any thing, neyther durst any man from that daye furth, aske hym any moe questions.

But nowe whereas a greater company of Phariseis were gathered toge­ther, Iesus beyng tempted of them with so many questions, proposed vnto them againe a question, signifying vnto them sumwhat obscurely and darkely that whiche he lefte to be declared afterward by his Apostles in tyme conue­nient: that he had not onely the nature of manne whiche they sawe, and vpon which they would shewe their crueltie, but also that he had the nature of God, the which sum what they myght haue cōiectured of [...]is dedes, vnles enuy, ha­tred, ambicion, auarice and other vices, had blinded their mindes. Therfore he demaūdeth of them being gathered together, what they thought of Messias, whose sōne he should be, that is, of whose stocke he should come. They answer furthwith: of Dauid. Than saied Iesus: what meaneth it that Dauid in the misticall Psalme inspired with the heauenly ghost, calleth him Lord, wheras he is his sonne? For it is wrytten: The Lorde sayed vnto my Lorde, sitte on my ryghthande, vntyll I make thyne enemyes the stoole of thy feete. Howe a­greeth it yf he be the sonne of Dauid, that the father calleth his sonne Lorde? And there was not one of them that coulde looce this knot, because that they coulde as yet thynke nothyng of the godly nature of Iesus. For Christe as he was the sonne of Dauid, touchyng the body of man: so touchyng the diuyne nature, he was Lorde of all, and not of Dauid onely. And after this no manne durst question with hym when they sawe that the baytes and snares whiche were layed for hym, redounded vpon theyr owne head.

¶ The .xxiii. Chapter.

The texte. Than spake Iesus to the people and to his disciples, saying: The Scribes and the Pha­riseis sit in Moyses seate. All therfore whatsoeuer they did you kepe, kepe and do: but do not after their workes, for they saye and do not. For they bynde together heauy burdens, and hard to be borne, and laye them on mennes shoulders, but they themselues wyll not lyfte at them with one of theyr fyngers. And they do all their workes to be seen of men.’

THerefore whan Iesus had put them so often to sylence, in the presence of the multitude, leste their authoritie should vtter­ly decay with the people, ouer whom they were sette to be doc­tours and teachers, he declared that they ought to be hearde, but not to be folowed. For although it is moste agreable, that he that taketh vpon him the office of a teacher, should get cre­dite and autoritie to his doctrine, by vertuouse liuyng: yet it is not expediente vtterly to despise the holsome doctryne for the naughtie lyfe of the doctour. The reuerence whiche their maners doe not deserue, muste be geuen vnto the [Page] author, whose commaundementes they recite, and preache. For the lawe of god is not polluted, though it be vttered by the mouth of a naughty preacher. Truly vnto hym it is vnprofitable, but it is profitable to the taker. Therfore Iesus tournyng awaye from the Phariseis, in whom he sawe no hope of bet­ter lyfe, he speaketh vnto the people, and the disciples on this maner. The Scribes & the Phariseis vtter themselues what corrupte myndes they haue, how enuiouse, how couetouse, how gredy of vayne glory they be. But yet for the authoritie of their office they must be hearde. They occupye the chayre of Moyses, whose lawe they teache. The thinges that they teache are holy: for they reache the doctryne of other and not their owne, but their lyfe is farre and wyde in distaunce from theyr doctryne.Al therfore whatsoe­euer thei hid you kepe, kepe & doe. &c. Wherfore whatsoeuer they prescribe and pointe vnto you by thautoritie of Moyses, kepe it and do it: but beware that ye frame not your maners after theyr lyfe. If they liued as they teache, ye ought wholy to folowe them. Nowe they do not as they teache. They exacte more than the lawe of other men with great seueritie, and they pardon them­selues. They be very rigorouse towarde others, and gentle to themselues. For they bynde together hea [...]y and intolerable bundels of cōmaundementes, and laye them vpon other mennes shoulders, whiche they wyll not vouchesafe to touche with their finger. For they lode the lawe heuy ynough of it selfe, with their constituciōs, to get them a fame of learning and holines. And if they perfourme any thyng accordyng to the commaundement of the lawe, they do it not with their hart, but for prayse and fame of the people. They be players, and as disgised persons they playe their parte, with a counterfayte viser of re­ligion, to be seen of men. But no man kepeth the lawe but he that doeth as the lawemaker would, he requireth chiefly a pure and sincere mynde. But these men whatsoeuer they do, do it to hauke for a vayne opinion of holynes, with the simple people.

The texte. And they set abrode their Philacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garmentes, and loue the vppermoste seates at feastes, and to sit in the chiefe place in counsels, & gritinges in the market, and to be called of men Rabbi. But be ye not called Rabbi. For one is your maister, that is Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father vpō the earth. For one is your father whiche is in heauen: neyther be ye called maisters, for one is your maister, that is Christ. He that is greate [...] among you, shalbe your seruaūt. But whoso ex­alteth himselfe shalbe brought lowe, and he that humbleth hymselfe, shalbe exalted.

For whan God (after that the commaundementes of the lawe were geuen) added: Thou shalt tye them in thy hande, and they shall not bee remoued from thyne iyes: meanyng therby, that we ought neuer to forgette the com­maundemētes of God, but after their rule to frame all the doinges of our life: these men neglectyng vtterly to kepe the commaundementes of God, yet they magnifie themselues among the people with a false apperaunce. They walke vp and doune bearyng about brode Philacteries, they go with brode & gor­giouse imbroderinges, and shewe furth the commaundementes of the lawe written in them, where as in their lyfe they neuer appeare. These should haue been written in theyr hartes, and expressed in theyr lyfe. So they should please the iyes of God, vnto whom onely our lyfe should play her pageaunt. But this beholder and loker on despised, they seke after vile praise of the rude multitude. And whereas it becummeth a teacher euery where to expresse noble vertue in his maners and sayinges, and also in his countenaunce, these men do nothyng [Page cviii] els but that that is very vayne, and also scant worthy and metē for manne. If they be called any where to supper, there they place themselues chyldishly and ambiciously, because the more honorable place is offered vnto them: In Sy­nagoges and common councels, they loue the honour of the high seate. Whan they be in the market,And to be called of mē Rabbi. they reioyce to be saluted honorably. They set vp their combes as often as they heare of the people that honorable title, Rabbi: as who saith, they only be worthy of honour, or be only wyse: where as for this they be least estemed with god, because they seme to themselues greatest: and in this they be most folishe, because they seme to themselues most wise. Honor is due only to God, who only is great in dede, and to be honoured: The praise of wisedome is due onely to God, and authoritie is due only to God. If any of these thynges be in men, it is but a certayne shadowe only, yf it be compared to the greatnes of God, and it cummeth also from the bountefulnesse of God. Therfore yf men yelde any honour vnto menne for the gyftes of God, whiche they suppose to be in them, he to whom it is geuen ought not to chalenge it to hymselfe, but to yelde the whole vnto hym from whom he hath all, yea and that freely, yf he hath any goodnesse. But I would not that ye my disciples should be like vnto them: but rather remembring my exaumple and doctrine, flee the arrogant name of wisedome, nor please not your selues yf any manne call you Rabbies, that is to saye, our maisters. For there is one vnto whom this name truely agreeth, and this is your common maister. But you in com­parison of hym be nothyng els but felowe scholers and brethren together: a­mong whom mutuall charitie maketh all lyke. And it is not cumly that any man prefer himselfe before another: but the contencion is farre contrary, that is to saye, that one geue honour to an other, and one with gentlenes and due­tie preuente an other. Therfore call no man maister in earth, seyng that what­soeuer holsome doctrine ye haue, ye haue it all of God, and be bounde to hym for it. By hym he teacheth, whosoeuer teacheth rightly. By his inspiracion he profiteth, whosoeuer truly profiteth. Nor yelde not heareafter vnto manne in yearth, the honorable name of father, sith ye haue once professed the heauen­ly father, vnto whom ye be bounde both for lyfe, and for whatsoeuer ye haue, and vpon whom ye do wholy depende. Let no manne therfore chalenge vnto hym the honour due vnto God only, let no man geue that to man which is due to God only. To whom only all prayse, honour, and thankes, must be geuen. If any man teache well, let the wisedom of God be praised in him, which doth shewe furth and communicate herselfe by him. If any man doth the parte of a father in diligence and carefulnes, let the goodnes of God be praysed in hym, which doeth prouide for you by him. But the lorde Iesus spake not these thin­ges as though it were a wicked thing to call a maister by the name of maister, or call a parent by the name of a parent: but by this communicacion he ende­uoureth to plucke out vtterly from the mindes of his, their pharisaicall ambi­cion, whiche chalenge vnto them that, that was Gods, & requireth honour of the people for the doctrine, which was not theirs, but Gods: as though they were the authours, and not rather ministers. Furthermore he noted the sim­plicitie and flatterye of the people, whiche praysed them immoderately, as though they were more bound to men than to God.Whoso ex­alteth him­selfe. &c. And because he perceyued that there sprang of suche ambicion, poyson and destruccion of the congrega­cions, therfore he finisheth his communicacion with this clause: he that is [Page] greatest among you, he shalbe your minister. For what he hath, he hath recey­ued it els where, and hath receyued it freely: and hath receyued it for this, that he should geue it to other. Therfore the greater he is by the gyftes of God, he shall not be the more arrogante, but the more carefull to bestowe them, and the more lowly and humble: leste he should lese at once by arrogācy that, that goddes liberalitie hath geuen vnto him. Let him geue all the glory vnto God the authour, chalengeyng nothing vnto himselfe, but the diligence of an humble minister. He is great in dede, whiche is least in his owne conceyte. And he begynneth now to be least with God, which is great in his owne conceyte. And if a mā crake and auaunce himselfe of the free giftes of God, being spoy­led of them whereof he maketh himselfe vnwoorthy, of the greatest, he is be­come the leaste. Contrarywise he that doeth submit & humble himselfe, know­legyng and setting furth his weakenes, and knowlegyng the gyftes of God, wherby he is great, or els shewing and vttering them to the profite and com­moditie of his brethren: he because he prouoketh goddes liberalitie through his modestie, the gyftes beyng increased, of great, he is made greater.

The texte. ¶But woe vnto you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites: For ye shut by the kyngdom of heauē before men, for ye neither go in your selues neither suffer ye them yt come to enter in.

After these, Iesus turnyng to the Scribes and Phariseis, inueyeth, and speaketh against theyr malice openly, and very frankly, thretnyng them with the vengeaunce of God: that eyther they might repent for shame, or els might turne to better for feare of punishment: and the coūterfeityng of holines set a­parte, might beginne to be the seruauntes of the euangelicall godlynes. Woe be to you (ꝙ he) ye Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, who professyng the knowlege of the lawe, and therfore in maner kepe the keyes of the kyngdome of heauen: ye do not onely not enter your selues▪ but ye shut the doores against them that would come in, vnto whom ye ought to open the doores: and ye resiste them that be in a redinesse of themselfe, whom yf they were slacke, ye ought to pricke forwarde. For whereas ye see that the lyght of the ghospell is nowe present, yet for your glory and for your auauntage, ye kepe the people in the shadowes of the lawe, excludyng them from the trueth.

The texte. Woe vnto you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites. For ye deuout widowes houses, and that vnder a pretence of long prayer. Therfore shall ye he the more greuously pu [...]ished.

Woe be to you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, who vnder the colour of religion, deuour wydowes houses, whom ye deceyue with a false cloke of holynes. For ye counterfeyte long prayer openly, wheras your myndes in the meane time loke for naught els, but for a praye of the folyshe women, whiche styll beleue that in the meane season ye talke with God.

The texte. ¶Woe be vnto you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, for ye wander about the sea and lande to make one pros [...]lite, and when he is become one, ye make hym two folde more the chyld [...] of hell, than ye your selues are.

Woe be to you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, because ye walke about the landes, and seas, to intice sum one of the Gentiles to the profession of the lawe, who, whan he is brought in with hope to learne the lawe, is brought in suche case through your supersticiouse doctrine, and peruerse maners, that he is not only not made a pure wurshipper of God, and heyre of the kyngdom of heauen: but also a more wicked Iewe then he was beyng heathen, and more in daunger of hell, than ye be. For it cummeth to passe in maner, that the scho­lers [Page cix] oftentymes passe theyr naughtie masters.

The texte. Woe be to you, ye blynde guides: For ye saye. Whosoeuer swereth by the temple; it is nothyng, but whosoeuer sweareth by the gold of the temple, he is giltie. Ye fooles and blinde. For whither is greater, the golde, or the temple, that sanctifieth the golde? And whosoeuer sweareth by the aulter it is nothyng, but whosoeuer swereth by the gyft that is vpon it, he is giltie. Ye fooles and blinde: For whether is greater, the gyft or the aulter, which sanctifieth the gyft? Whoso therfore swereth by the aulter, swereth by it, and by al thinges that are vpon it. And whosoeuer swereth by the temple swereth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it. And whoso swereth by heauen, swereth by the seate of God, and by hym that sitteth vpon it.

Woe be to you ye blynde guydes, whiche take vpon you to be teachers, and knowe not what ye teache, swaruing from the scope and ende of the lawe: and wresting all thing to no other ende, but to your owne lucre. For ye saye, who­soeuer swereth by the temple of the lorde, is not bounde by his othe: but who­so sweareth by the golde, that is in the temple, he is bounde by his othe, lesse esteming, through a corrupt iudgemēt, those thinges that be holy of themselfe, than those thinges that make for your auarice. Or els ye folyshe and blynde, aunswere me: whiche is holyer the golde that doeth garnyshe the temple, and is turned to your lucre, and into matter of your excesse and riote, or the temple it selfe? whose holynes causeth that the golde being prophane in other places, is there counted holy. Also ye saye: he that swereth by the aulter is not bound by religion: but he that swereth by the gyft that is, sette vpon the aulter, is bound by his othe. O blynde teachers, for whether ought more to be estemed the gyft, or the aulter whiche sanctifieth the gyft? For the gyft is holy by no nother meanes, but because it is set vpō the holy aulter. And here through cor­rupte iudgemente, ye wyll haue the gyftes estemed holyer than the aulter, be­cause they turne to your profite, whereas the temple and the aulter be buylte to the wurship and glory of God, whiche ye lytle regarde. With these your in­uencions what els do ye, but subuerte[?] the lawe of God, whiche forbiddeth all periury? For lyke as by a glosse ye subuerte the commaundement of the hono­ryng of father and mother: so here ye teache periury. It were high perfeccion vtterly not to sweare, but yet whosoeuer swereth by any thyng, whiche is e­stemed holy with him to whom he swereth, he is periured, vnlesse that he doth perfourme his othe. Whosoeuer swereth by the aulter, swereth also by the thinges that be on the aulter. So whosoeuer swereth by the temple, swereth also by God, who dwelleth in the temple. Whosoeuer swereth by heauen, swereth by the seate of God, and so it foloweth that he swereth by hym that sitteth in it: whosoeuer swereth by an other mannes head, swereth by a thyng consecrate vnto God, wherof he that swereth hath no power.

The texte. Woe vnto you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites: For ye byeth[?] mynte, and anyse, and cummyn, and haue left the weyghtier matters of the lawe: Iudgement, mercy, and fayth. These thinges ye ought to haue done, but not to leaue the other vndone. Ye blinde guides whiche streygne out a gnat, and swallowe a camell.

Woe be to you Scrybes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, whiche do exacte the leste thynges that pertayne vnto your gayne, whiche make but lytle vnto true godlynes: ye be so supersticiouse in requiring of tythes, that ye wyll gea­ther your tythes of herbes, of moste vyle[?] pryce in estimacion: as of Mynte, Rue, Anyse, and Cummyne: and in the meane season, ye sette lytle by those thynges that be of moste value, and whereupon dependeth true iustice, that is to say, iudgement, mercy, and faith: iudgement, that ye do iniury to no man: [Page] mercy, that ye helpe the oppressed and nedy: Faith, that ye deceiue no man with periury. These thinges the lawe so requireth, that it would haue them chiefly regarded, where as for the other thynges the lawe added them, as of lesse va­lue, because of the other. Therfore these thinges firste of all ought to be regar­ded ernestly, syth it was thought good that those small thynges should not be omitted. If ye obserued & kept all thinges to the vttermost, it might appeare a religion, nowe for as muche as ye let passe these thinges, without which there is no righteousnesse, and care for those thinges which be light and litle worthe, it is hypocrisie, not religion, yea the destruccion of religion. For before the tenthes were ordeyned, yet vprightnes, well doyng, and fayth were required, and pertayned vnto the prayse of righteousenesse. O blynd guydes, whiche be­yng of an aukwarde religion, do streyne out a g [...]at and swalowe vp a camell, supersticiouse in a litle thyng, and negligent in a great thyng.

The texte. Woe vnto you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites: For ye make cleane the vtter parte of the cup and platter: but within they are full of brybery and excesse. Thou blynde Pha­risey, make cleane first that which is within the cup and platter, that the out sydes of them also may be cleane.

Woe be to you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, because ye be carefull for clenlynes disorderly. For ye clense your cuppes, dishes, and candelstickes, with often washinges, which because they be outwarde thinges, do not defile the mynde of man: and that that is within, ye leaue vnwashed, that is to saye, your mynde. For it defileth not the mynd of man, yf he drynke of an vnwashed cuppe, but if he drynke wine gotten with fraude: yf he drynke wine for excesse and not for necessitie: likewyse ye washe the body, and the thinges whiche ap­perteyne vnto the body: but ye purge not the minde vncleane and defiled with rauine, filthy luste, and with other very fylthy thinges. Thou Pharisey, I speake to the, I say, thou blinde Pharisey, which by thy title and religion doest boast thy selfe to be a maister ouer the people: Thou blynde, fyrst procure for this whiche onely perteyneth vnto the matter: if thou fansy true cleanes, clense first that which is within, & than yf thou thynke good, clense the vtter thinges, the body, the apparell, the pottes, the cuppes, the seates, and the other stuffe: or els to shewe furth cleanesse in these thynges, and to neglecte those whiche onely make vs cleane or vncleane before God, is not cleanes, but Hipocrisye, and the destruccion of true cleanes. For with these your constitucions ye cor­rupte the myndes of the symple, that they trusting vpon this cleanes, despyse those thynges, whiche onely ought to be regarded

The texte. ¶Woe vnto you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites: For ye are like to paynted sepul­chres, which appeare beautifull outwarde, but within are full of dead mennes bones, and all filthines. So ye also outwardly appeare righteous vnto men, but within ye are full of dissimulacion and iniquitie.

Woe be to you Scribes and Phariseis, Hipocrites, which be so farre from true cleanes, that ye be more lyke vnto whyted graues, and a fayre coueryng shewyng outwardly a counterfeyted cleanes, where as inwardly they be full of bones of dead karkases, and all filthynesse. Euen so ye with long prayers, brode Philactaries, large gardes, palenes and fasting, and lyke coulours and coūterfeytinges, seme outwardly religiouse and perfect, where as your minde is full of Hipocrisye on euery syde, berayed with all kynde of vice.

The texte. Woe be vnto you Scribes and Phariseis: for ye builde the tumbes of the Prophetes, [Page cx] and garnishe the sepulchres of the righteous, and say: If we had been in the dayes of our fathers, we would not haue been felowes with them in the bloud of the Prophetes. And so ye be witnesses vnto your selues, that ye are the children of them which hilled the Pro­phetes. Fulfill ye also the measure of your fathers. Ye serpentes, ye generacion of vipers, howe wyll ye escape the damnacion of hell?

Woe be to you Scribes and Phariseis hipocrites, because through false boasting of holines, ye build vp honorably the tumbes of the Prophetes, and garnishe the graues of the iust men, whom your forefathers hath slayne: and making as though ye fauoured the vertue of them that were slaine, and detest the cruelnes of them of whom they were slayne, ye saye: if we had liued in the tyme of our elders, we would not haue consented to the death of innocentes, whereas nowe ye goe about more cruell thynges agaynst hym that excelleth the Prophetes: and in tyme to come, ye will endeuour no lesse agaynst them, whiche shall open you the waye of euerlasting healthe. For as muche as ye be of this minde, truely ye declare that ye be the verye naturall children of them which killed the Prophetes, of whom they were monished frankly and freely: and ye would haue been no better than they, yf it had chaunced you to lyue in theyr time. Go to, be like vnto your elders: & what is lacking to their extreme crueltie, fulfill ye the same that nothyng maye wante. They kylled the Pro­petes, ye kyll him, whom ye Prophetes prophecied. O serpentes, the ofspring of vipers, o murtherers, the children of murtherers. Sith our malice is so in­uincible, sith ye can be amended by no benefites, by no miracles, by no gentle nor rough communicacion, by no promises nor threatninges: in case ye maye escape in the meane season the iudgement of men, howe wyll ye escape the iud­gement of hell? The which ye heape the more vpō you, because ye be not fray­ed from the desire of killyng, by the wicked example of your elders. So many Prophetes were sent, of whom ye haue slayne many. At last I came my selfe, agaynst whom, ye knowe what ye haue endeuored.

The texte. ¶Wherfore behold I sende vnto you Prophetes and wysemen, and Scribes: and sum of them ye shall kill and crucifie, & sum of them ye shall scourge in your Sinagoges, and per­secute them from citie to citie: that vpon you maye come all the righteouse bloud, whiche hath been shed vpon the yearth: from the bloud of righteouse Abell, vnto the bloud of Za­charie the sonne of Barachias, whom ye slewe betwene the temple and the aulter. Uerely I saye vnto you: all these thynges shall come vpon this generacion.

And I not contente with this (that it maye be the more euidente vnto all men, that ye be moste worthy moste cruell condemnacion) behold I will sende againe vnto you other Prophetes, wysemen, and Scribes, which with great gentilnes, maye reuoke you from this crueltie vnto a better mynde: and the murder of the former tymes shall not be layed vnto your charge, yf ye doe penaunce at their preaching. But ye will not fauour them, but some of them ye will kill with the swearde, sum ye wyll beate downe with stones, sum ye wyll crucifie, sum ye will whyppe in your Synagoges: and will receiue them in no case, insomuch that ye will persecute them frō citie to citie, vntill ye compell thē through your vncurable malice, to go to the Gentiles. With the which thyng ye shall so prouoke theyre of God agaynst you, that whatsoeuer manslaugh­ter hath been committed of your elders, from the firste murther where Cain killed his brother Abel, vnto the slaughter of Zachary the sōne of Barachias, whom ye killed betwene the temple and the aulter, beeyng nothyng afrayed from murder, by religion of the place, the punishement of all them beeyng put [Page] of and differed, shalbe powred vpon your head, who haue not onely folowed, but also farre passed the crueltie of all your forefathers. Therfore your misery shalbe so notable, that the whole worlde shal vnderstand what great cruelnes this nacion hath vsed against euery good man: and howe stiffe their rebellion hath been agaynst God, sufferyng them so long with suche gentilnes, and pro­uokyng them so often with suche benefites vnto better thinges.

The texte. O Hierusalem, Hierusalem, thou that killest the Prophetes, and stonest them which are sent vnto thee: how often would I haue gathered thy children together, euen as the hē [...]e gathereth [...]et chickens vnder hir winges, and ye would not? Beholde your house is lefte vnto you desolate. For I saye vnto you: Ye shall not see me hence furth tyll that ye say, blessed is be that cummeth in the name of the lorde.

After that these thynges were spoken, the moste meke Lorde Iesus, who of his goodnes would no manne vtterly to peryshe, consideryng the miserable destruccion nowe at hand of the citie of Hierusalem, (for all thinges were pre­sent vnto his iyes) and therewith also theyr inuincible stubbernes wherwith they should turne goddes gentilnes into fury and rage, doeth bewayle lamen­tably the destruccion of the nacion of the Iewes, geuyng an incklyng of his seconde cumming: when at last the Iewes shall repent them ouer late, and ac­knowlege Christ, whom now they deny: where as it were more for theyr pro­fite, nowe to confesse theyr sauiour sent them from God, and to syng the same hartely vnto him, whiche they disdayne that the children should syng: Blessed be he that cummeth in the name of the Lorde. Hierusalem (ꝙ he) Hierusalem, whiche killest the Prophetes, and stonest to death them that be sent vnto thee, howe often haue I trauayled to gather thy children together lyke as the care­full henne fearing her chickens doth clocke them together, and noryshe thē vn­der her wynges, and thou wouldest not? Nothyng is let passe of my behalfe, wherby thou mightest be saued, but contrary wyse thou haste done what thou canst to bryng destruccion to thee, and to exclude saluacion from thee. But to whom freewill is once geuen, he cannot be saued agaynst his wyll. Your wyll ought to be agreable vnto my wyll. Behold a miserable calamitie is ouer your heades. Your dwelling place shall be left to you de [...]ecte. Ye shall be left to your blyndnes, vntyll that beyng once taught with so great miseries, ye fall to re­pentaunce. For I saye vnto you: hereafter ye shall not see me vntyll the tyme come, wherin ye beholding me with the iyes of your fayth, shall say: blessed be he that cummeth in the name of the lorde, whom now ye falsely accuse, that he cummeth in the name of Beelzebub.

¶ The .xxiiii. Chapter.

The texte. And Iesus went out and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shewe dym the buildinges of the temple. Iesus sayed vnto them: See ye not all these thinges? Uerely I say vnto you: There shall not be here left one stone vpon another, that shall not be destroyed.’

BUt Iesus to represente with a certeyne sygne and token that the temple and all the religion of the Iewes lawe should shortly be abolished, departing out of the churche began to go awaie. And the disciples because they heard sum mencion of destrucciō, they shewe their lorde the hougenes of the temple, being suche a mer­ueylous piece of worke, that it semed pitie it should be destroied, [Page cxi] and further so fyrmely buylte, that it semed not possible to be hurled downe. But Iesus aunswered: see ye (ꝙ he) all these? This be assured of, there is none of all these, so strong, so goodly, or so holy, which shall not be throwen downe, and so hurled in pieces, that one stone shall not stande on an other.

The texte. ¶And as he sate vpon mount Oliuete, his disciples came vnto him secretly, saying: tell vs whan shall these thinges be: and what shalbe the token of thy cumming, and of the end of the worlde. And Iesus aunswered, and sayed vnto them: take hede that no man deceiue you. For many shall come in iny name saying, I am Christe: and shall deceyue many. Ye shall heare of warres, and tidinges of warres, be not troubled. For all must come to passe, but the ende is not yet. Nacion shall rise against nacion, and realme against realme▪ and there shall be pestilence and hunger, and yearthquakes in all places. All these are the be­ginninges of sorowes.

These thinges spoken, Iesus went into the mount of Oliues. Here, as he sate, hauing the temple in his sight, fower of his disciples whome he called first of all, Peter, Iames, Iohn, & Andrew▪ went vnto him seuerally to knowe more certainly of the time whan suche great miseries should fall, for they sup­posed that byan by after the destruccion of the citie of Hierusalem, and the hur­lyng downe of the temple, Christe would come agayne in his maiestie. But Christe to make them the more vigilante and ware, so tempereth his commu­nicacion, that he willeth not that they should know the tyme of the latter cum­myng, and yet thorough the rehersyng of miseries, he maketh them carefull, and in a redines against the cumming of miseries. The disciples therfore saye: Tell vs when these thinges whiche thou speakest of, shall come to passe: and by what signe and token we maye knowe thy cummyng and the ende of this worlde is at hande. But Iesus not aunsweryng to that whiche they demaun­ded: turneth rather to those thynges whiche should prepare theyr myndes to continuall watche in the ghospell I shall come in dede (ꝙ he,Naciō shall arise agaist Nacion, an [...] realme a­gaynste realme. &c.) but beware leste any man making a lye as touchyng my cumming, deceyue you. For many shal come, which shall take vpon them my name, and say that they be Christe, and shall fynde some to deceyue, folishe and lyght of belefe. The tumult and hurly­burly of all thynges shall shewe a certayne apperaunce, that the ende of the worlde is at hande. For ye shall heare of warres, and of sundrye rumours of warres more sore and cruell (as it is wonte to be) than the thinges theyr selfe.

But let not these thinges by an by discourage your myndes, that ye should thinke the latter time is nowe at hande. This troublesome worlde must nedes arise but the ende of illes shall not be furth with. This storme shall sprede far­der abrode. For not onely Hierusalem shall be destroyed, but the whole world shall buckell together with warres and slaughters. Nacion shall rise agaynst nacion, and kyngdom shall skirmishe with kyngdom, and the greatest parte of mischiefe and miserie, men shall suffer of men. Furthermore, God taking ven­geaunce, shall put vnto his scourges, pestilence, famine, and in diuerse places earthquakes. And these thinges be yet no certayne argumente of the worldes ende, but only signes and tokens of the ill and misery, and as it were a breding of that last and greatest storme wherwith the worlde shall peryshe.

The texte. ¶Then shall they put you to trouble and shall kyll you, and ye shall be hated of all na­cions for my names sake. And than shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another. And many false Prophetes shall arise, and deceyue many, and ini­quitie shall haue the vpper hande, and the loue of many shalbe colde. But he that endureth to the ende, thesame shalbe safe. And this ghospell of the kyngdome shalbe preached in all the worlde for a witnesse to all nacions, and th [...]n the ende shall come.

[Page]And ye in the meane season shall not be free from suche maner of illes and miseries.And ye shal be hated of all nacions for my na­mes sake. &c. For in this tumulte & hurly burly of thynges, men shall plucke you into diuerse affliccions, and finally kyll you: and in the meane season ye shall be hated not onely of the Iewes, but of all the Gentiles, not for your ill dedes, but because ye professe my name. In the meane time many being offended and greued with aduersities, and ouercummed with punishmentes, shall swarue from the professing of my name, and one shall betraye an other, one kinesman shall betraye an other, one frende an other, & whom nature hath coupled with the bandes of charitie, they shall hate eche other. There shall be also another kynde of ill more greuouse and intollerable. There shall arise false Prophetes and false teachers, who counterfeiting to preach my ghospell, shall see to and prouide for their owne glory, their owne lucre, and theyr owne belly: and instede of my spirite they shall inspire theyr owne disciples with the spirite of Sathan, and in the stede of the kyngdome of heauen, they shall teache the king­dome of this worlde. They whom punishmentes and tormentes could not o­uercome, shall be caught in the snares of these menne. For there is not a more deadly enemy than a familiar and a fayned frende. In these mischifes and mi­series a man shall not loke for muche comfort of his brothers and frendes. For the multitude of sinnes beyng so great, the charitie of many shall waxe colde. But yet as for you there is no perill, so that ye perseuer and continue vnto the ende with a constant and a valiant courage. No greatnes of aduersitie, can de­stroy any man, but him that lacketh the ryght mynde. And I wyll not suffer you to peryshe, nor the ghospell to be oppressed. Nay, by these tumultes and troubles, the strength of the ghospell shall encrease more and more: and the storme of ylles shall be able to doe no nother thyng agaynst you, but to make your godlynes to be the better tried, and the more to appeare. For the ende of the worlde shall not come before that this ghospell of the kyngdome of hea­uen, be preached throughout al the kyngdomes of the worlde, and hath come to all nacions, leste they that would not obey, myght pretende ignoraunce. When this shall be doen, than shall come the ende of the worlde.

The texte. Whan ye therfore shall see the abhominacion of desolacion, that was spoken of by Da­niell the Prophete, standing in the holy place, whoso readeth it, let hym vnderstande.

Wherof if ye seke a token, this is it. Whan ye shall see the abhominable Idoll whiche shall endeuour vtterly to subuerte the religion of the ghospell, of the whiche Daniell in tymes past prophecied vnto you, saying: and in the middes of the weeke, the sacrifice & offeryng shall be taken a waie: and the abhomina­cion of desolacions shall be in the temple vnto the ende of the worlde: when ye shall see (I saye) this abhominable Idoll set in the temple, that is, in the towre of holynes: he that readeth the prophecie of the Prophete, let him vnderstand. This woorde is misticall, and requireth a spirituall reader.

The texte. Than let them that be in Iewry flee vnto the mountaynes, and let not hym whiche is in to the house toppe come downe to take any thyng out of his house. And let not hym that is in the fieldes, retourne backe to fetche his clothes.

Therfore when this storme shalbe at hand, they that be in the cities of Iew­ry let them forsake the cities, and flee into the mountaynes: and they that be in the toppes of the houses let them leape downe, & not come downe to take any thyng a waie with them, out of their houses: & they that be found in the fielde at that tyme, let them not runne backe to theyr house to fetche theyr apparell. [Page cxii] For than there shall be no leysure to prouyde for theyr goodes. For it is a great matter yf they can saue theyr lyfe with spedy flyght. For thother thinges may be recouered, but the lyfe once loste, cannot be restored.

The texte. ¶Woe shalbe in those dayes to them that are with childe; and to them that geue sucke. But pray ye that your flyght be not ill the wynter, or on the Sabboth day. For than there shalbe great tribulacion, suche as hath not been from the begynnyng of the worlde vntyll this time, nor shalbe. And except those dayes should be shortened, there should haue been no fleshe saued: but for the electes sake, those dayes shalbe shortened.

Therfore women with childe, and women that geue suche shalbe in an yll case in those dayes. For they that be great cannot caste of the burden of theyr belly to flee awaye spedely: nor they that geue sucke cannot caste of theyr chil­dren, whom they loue more tenderly than themselues, lyke as they doe caste of money or apparell. But as for you, who shall not be lette neyther with house, neyther with possessions, nor with children, ye must onely pray that it chaunce not so, that ye be compelled to flee in the wynter, or on the Sabboth day. For ye must flee spedely and farre. But the wynter by the reason of roughnes and shortnes of dayes, is not commodiouse for them that iourney, & on the Sab­both day the religion of your lawe letteth you, that ye cannot flee farre. For at that time, there shalbe so sore and vehement affliction, as was neuer synce the worlde was made vnto this daye, and hereafter neuer shalbe. And yf the cala­mitie should be so continuall as it is vehemente, no man should be lefte alyue. Theyr malyce did deserue vtter destruccion, but for the electe (be they neuer so fewe) those dayes shalbe shortened.

The texte. Than yf any man saye vnto you: Lo here is Christe or there, beleue it not. For there shall aryse false Christes and false prophetes, and shall shewe great signes and woonders insomuche that (yf it were possible) the very electe should be brought into errour. Beholde I haue tolde you before. Wherfore yf they say vnto you: loe, he is in the deserte, goe not ye furth: Beholde he is in the secrete places, beleue it not. For as the lyghtnyng cummeth out of the East, and appeareth vnto the west, so shall the cummyng of the sonne of man be. For wheresoeuer the dead ca [...]ras shall be▪ thyther wyll also the Egles be gathered toge­ther.

In this confusion and hurly burly of thynges, whan my cumming shall be loked for, men must take diligent hede, that they be not deceyued throughe the crafte of deceyuers. For there shall ryse many false Christes, whiche shall boaste themselues to be Christe, and be not: but be rather myne aduersaries: whiche also shall saye that they be Prophetes, and be not, but rather be the teachers of errours. They shall not be only furnished with craftes, and a false cloke of holynes, but also they shall counterfeyte my power with woonders, and magicall meruailes: and they shall take vpon them my person with so ma­ny marueylouse iuglynges, that the electe also (yf it were possible) shoulde be brought into errour. Ye therfore being monished beware, for I haue told you before to the intent ye should beware. Than if they say Christe is in the deserte, goe not out: loe, he is in the inner parlers, goe not in: loe, he is here or there, be­leue it not. The seconde cūming shall not be after such sorte, as ye see this, that is to say, softe, milde, and humble, but sodayne & compassing the whole world with the sodayne light of maiestie. For lyke as the lightnyng shynyng furth flasheth sodaynely from the East to the west: so shall be the cummyng of the sonne of man. And ye nede not to feare, that he shall not be with me in suche a confusion and hurly burly of thinges. Whersoeuer the body shalbe, thyther shal the Egles flocke and gather. The head shall not lacke his membres.

The texte. [Page]¶ Immediatly after the tribulacion of those dayes, the sonne shalbe derkened, and the moone shall not geue her light, and the sterres shall fall frō heauen, and the powers of hea­uen shalbe moued. And than shall appe [...] in heauen the token of the sonne of man, and than shall all the kyneedes of the earth mourne, and shall see the sonne of man cumming in the cloudes of heauen with great power and glory. And he shal sende his angels with a great voyce of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his chosen frō the fower wyndes, from the highest parte of heauen vnto the endes of them.

The heauenly bodyes also shall feele the greatnes of this calamitie. For both the sonne shall be darkened, and the sonne beeyng darkened whereof the moone borowed her lyght, the moone shall shewe no lyght. The starres shall fall from heauen, and the powers of heauen shall shake, beeyng in daunger of fallyng. Than among the great and thycke darkenesse, the signe of the sonne of man shall shyne from heauen, the signe I saye, wherby he ouercame Sathan, and consumed al his tyranny: the signe, wherby Sathan craked in vayne that he had the hygher hande.

The which once seen the nacions of the whole worlde shall strike theyr bres­tes when the Iewes shall see whom they haue offended, when the Gentyles shall see the maiestie of the crosse, whiche they laughed to skorne. For they shall see the sonne of man, whom they nowe despise, humble & simple, cummyng on hygh in the cloudes of the ayer with a great army of aungels, with a wonder­full maiestie and glory. Than he shall sende furthe his aungels, to gather to­gether with a sounding trump, all his elect from the fower wyndes, from the high toppe of heauen to the vttermoste coaste of the same.

The texte. Learne a similitude of the figgetree. Whan his boughes be yet tendre, and the leaues sprong out, ye knowe that Summer is nigh. So lykewyse ye when ye shall see all these thynges, be ye sure that it is nere euen at the doores. Uerely I saye vnto you: this gene­racion shall not passe, vntyll all these thinges be doen. Heauen and yearth shall passe, but my woorde shall not passe. But of that day and houre no man knoweth, no not the angels of heauen, but my father onely.

But at what tyme these thinges shall come to passe, it is not in me exactly to determine. But yet of those aduersities whiche I haue recited, as of certayne preambles and tokens before, ye maye gesse that the tyme is not far of. Lyke as the figgetree doth declare before by certayne tokens that Summer is at hande, as whan at the blowyng of the westerne wynde the boughes begyn to were rēder, and the buddes spryng fu [...]h, & the leaues desire to sprede abrode: so ye also whan ye shall see all these thynges whiche I haue spoken of, knowe ye well that the cummyng of the sonne of God is at hande. I assure you, this generacion shall not passe, but that all thynges whiche be spoken before, shall come to passe. Heauen and yearth shall perishe rather than my woorde shalbe vayne. Therfore it is inough for you to knowe the signes whiche do portende and shewe the daye of my cummyng, leste it come vpon you vnwares. But it is not your parte to searche out exactly the daye or houre whan the sonne of man shall come, forasmuche as the knowledge of these thynges is not geuen to the aungels of heauen, no the sonne of man knoweth them not. The father hath reserued this vnto hymselfe alone. And so it is expedien [...]e for you, to the [...]uente ye may be alwaye in a redines.

The texte. ¶But as the dayes of Noe were, so shall also the cummyng of the sonne of manne be. For as in the dayes that went before the [...]lud, they did eate and drynke, marry, and were maryed, vntyll [...]he daye that Noe entred into the ship, and knewe not tyll the flud came, and toke them a [...] away: so shall also the cumming of the sonne of man be. Than shall two [...]e in the fielde, the one taken, ye other refused. Two women shalbe grynding at the m [...]l, the one receiued, the other refused. Two in a bed, the one shalbe receiued, & the other refused.

[Page cxiii]That day shall cum sodaynly, and vnwares vnto others. Lyke as in the tyme of Noe, whan the fludde was tolde them certayne yeares before, yet they thin­kyng that it should not cum to passe, dyd eate and dryncke, and married furthe theyr doughters, and marryed wyues vntill the last day in the whyche Noe en­tred into the arcke, and beleued not that the fludde shoulde cum to passe, vntill they sawe it nowe at hande: wherewyth all they were destroyed, who by example of Noe, woulde not prepare themselues agaynst that day. Lyke as than a fewe that were taken into the arcke were preserued, the other whyche were leste with­out, peryshed: euen so at that tyme when the sonne of manne shal cum, they that shall peryshe, shall sodainly be deuided from them that shall be saued. There shallbe two labouring in one field, felowes in worke & wages, of whom the one shall be taken, and the other shall be forsaken. There shall be two grynding in one myll, whereof the one shalbe taken, the other shalbe forsaken. Yea and of two that lye in one bed, the one shalbee taken, the other shalbee forsaken. For it is not the woorke, or the place, or the manner of lyfe, but the affeccion and good desyre, shal make man blessed.

The texte Watche therfore, for ye knowe not what houre your Lorde wyll cum. Of thys yet be sure, that if the good man of the house knewe what houre the the [...]e would cum, he would sure­ly watche, and not suffer hys house to be broken vp. Therfore [...], be ye also ready, for in suche an houre as ye thynke not, wyl the sonne of man cum.

Wherfore seing that these thynges vndoubtedly shal cum to passe, and it can­not certainly be knowen vpon what daye they shal cum: wake and watche cō ­tinually, leste that daie cum vpon you vnwares and vnprepared. If menne watche that theyr money peryshe not, muche more oughte you to watche that your soule perishe not. For what householder is so negligent whych yf he knew that the thiefe would breake into hys house in the nyght season woulde sleepe all nyght, and suffer hys house to be broken downe? Therfore ye muste wake all your lyfe, because ye be certayne that the daye wyl cum, whan ye looke not for it. For so ye must liue, that whansoeuer the day dothe cum, it may finde you doing your duty, that furthwyth ye may be receiued vnto your rewarde.

The texte Who is a faythful and a wyse seruaunt, whome hys lorde hath made ruler ouer hys hous­holde, to geue them meate in season? Blessed is that seruaunt, whome his lorde (whan he cummeth) shall fynde so doing: Uerely I saye vnto you, that he shall make him ruler ouer all his goodes. But and yf that euil seruaunt saye in his hert, my lord wyll be long a cum­myng, (and so begyn to smyte his felowes, yea, and to eate and drincke with the dronken) the same seruauntes Lorde shal cum in a daye, whan he loketh not for him, and in an houre that he is not ware of, and shal hewe hym in pieces, and geue hym hys porcion with Hi­procrites: there shall be wepyng and gnashyng of teeth.

Wyll not a wyse and a faythfull seruaunt do thesame, whome his maister go­ing farre from home, hathe made ruler ouer hys familie, to geue them meate in due season? The maister doth not poynte hym when he wyl retourne home, leste he shoulde bee slacke in hys office: but whansoeuer the mayster shall re­turne, shal not the seruaunt be happy yf hys maister finde him doing his duty? Certaynely I saye vnto you, that the maister hauing a triall of his trustinci [...]e, will bee bolde to truste hym with greater thynges, and wyll make hym ruler ouer all hys goodes. Contrary wise yf the ill and vnfaithfull seruaunt wil saye in hys harte: my mayster is longe awaye, and perchaunce he wyll neuer returne: and vpon this hope begynneth to beate hys felowe seruauntes, and neglecting the famylye, eateth and drynketh with dronckardes, howe vnhappy [Page] shall he be, when hys mayster shal cum at the daye when he loketh not for hym, and the houre when he thought that he would not returne? For he shal not one­ly set hym beside his offyce, but he will also cut him a sonder in the myddest, and ioyne hys parte with the Hipocrytes, which hath the title and name of the office of the ghospel, where as in their doinges, they be contrarye to the ghospell. And there for hys sensuall pleasures of wrongshaped swetenesse, wherewith beyng inebriate and drounken he had not awayted for the cummyng of hys mayster, he shall be punished with intollerable torment: his laughyng shalbe turned in­to wepyng, and hys songes into gnashyng of teethe.

¶ The .xxv. Chapter.

The texte. Than shall the kyngdome of heauen be like vnto ten virgins, whiche takyng theyr lampes, wente furthe to meete the spouse. But fyue of them were foolyshe, and fyue were wyse. They that were foolyshe, takynge theyr lampes, tooke no oyle with them, but the wyse tooke oyle with them in theyr vessels with the lampes. Whyle the spouse taryed, they all slumbered and slepte. And at midnight there was a crye made: Beholde the spouse cummeth goe furth to meete hym. Than all the virgins arose, and prepared theyr lampes. And the foolishe sayed vnto the wyse: geue vs of your oyle, for our lampes are out. But the wyse answered, saying: Not so, leste there be not ynoughe for vs and you, but goe ye rather to the sellers, and by your selues. And whyle they wente to bye, the bridegrome came, and they that were ready went in with hym, to the mariage, and the doore was shutte. After­warde cum the other virgins, saiyng: Lorde lorde open vnto vs. But he answeryng, sayeth: Uerely I saye vnto you: I knowe you not. Watche therfore, for ye knowe not the day nor the houre, in the whiche the sonne of man shal cum.’

ANd Iesus to put in the myndes of hys disciples surely, that they shoulde not slacke or sleepe in thys life, but that through the con­tinuall seruyce of godlinesse and duties towarde theyr neygh­boure, they shoulde get and prepare them thynges for the waye to euerlastyng lyfe: (for in the resurreccion, we shoulde seke it to late, vnlesse we shoulde prepare in tyme) he sette furthe a para­ble of tenne virgins, who takyng theyr lampes, wente to meete the spouse. But of these, fyue were fooles, whych prouided them not of oyle agaynste the cummyng of the bridegrome, because they thought he woulde not cumme so so­denly, but that they myghte haue had space to gette them oyle sumwhere. But the wyse virgins knowyng that the tyme was vncertayne whan theyr spouse shoulde cum, leste they myght bee found vnredy, caryed out with them in theyr vesselles, oyle for theyr lampes, whereby they myght refreshe the lampes as they began to fayle. Therefore when the spouse differred hys cumming longe: all the virgines beganne to nappe, and at length fel a slepe. In the dead nighte sodainly rose a clamour and a noyse emong the seruauntes callyng them oute to meete the spouse: beholde the bridegrome is at hande, goe furthe and meete hym. Than al the virgines wakyng from slepe prepared their lampes. But the fooles when they sawe they muste departe sodainely at middenight, and hadde no oyle, theyr lampes nowe faylyng of lyght, they desyred the wyse virgines to geue them parte of theyr oyle. But they made answere: we feare that we haue not inough both for vs and you. Go ye rather to the oyle sellers and by of them. [Page cxiiii] And in the meane tyme as they went to bye, the brydegrome came and they that were ready, entred in with him to the mariage, and furthwith the gate was shut. At last come the foolyshe virgins also, and knocke at the gate, and saye. Lorde, lorde, open the gate for vs. Unto whome the brydegrome made answere: truely I knowe you not. Wherfore after the example of the wyse virgyns, and of the faythful seruaunt, and the politike householder, watche ye, and prepare in time the stoare of good workes, because ye knowe not the daye, nor the houre of hys cummyng, and when he shall sodenly appeare, there shalbe nowe no lenger time of well doyng: but euery manne shall haue rewarde accordyng as he hath done before.

The texte Likewise a certaine man taking his iourney into a straung countrey, called his seruauntes and deliuered vnto them hys gooddes: and vnto one he gaue fyue talentes, and to another two, and to another one, accordyng to hys habilitie, and streyght way departed. And he that had receiued fyue talentes, went and occupyed wyth the same, and gay [...]ed other fiue talentes. Lykewise also he that had receyued two, gayned other two. But he that had re­ceyued one, went and digged in the yearth, and hyd his lordes moneye.

Iesus added also another parable, stirryng hys disciples to the continuall desyre of good woorkes, that they shoulde not suffer the doctrine and gyftes that he gaue them, to bee barren and vnfruitfull through theyr negligence, but through theyr diligence and carefulnesse, shoulde turne them to the profite of theyr neyghboure, and so make themselues mete for greater giftes, because they hadde bestowed that thyng which they hadde receyued after theyr measure and capacitie, for theyr maisters aduauntage, who desireth to be enriched with suche gayne. A certayne man (ꝙ he) goyng farre from home, called his seruaun­tes, and deliuered them hys goodes, not to spende them and lauyshe them oute for their owne pleasure, but to gette sum vauntage therof to theyr mayster, of whome they had receyued the stocke. And to one he gaue one talente, vnto ano­ther two, agayne to another fyue, as he thought euery man meete. Thys done, furthwith he toke hys iourney: He therfore that hadde fyue talentes committed vnto hym, ceased not, but wente furthwith and lente furthe the moneye that he had taken, to vsurye, so often that at laste by vsurye he gayned asmuche as hys stocke came to, and of fyue talentes he made tenne. In lyke maner he that had two talen [...]s committed vnto hym, soe occupied them, that by vsurye, he made his gaine as good as his stocke. Further he that had one talente deliuered him, went hys wayes for slogisshenes, and hyd the talente, that he had receyued, in the grounde, thynkyng it ynoughe, yf he restored agayne the stocke to his mai­ster.

The texte. After a long season, the lorde of those seruauntes came and rekened with them. And he that had receiued fiue talentes came, and brought other fyue talentes, saiyng: Lorde thou deliueredst vnto me fyue talentes: Behold I haue gained with them fyue talentes mo. His lorde sayed vnto hym: O good and faythfull seruaunt, thou haste been faithfull ouer few thynges, I wyll make the ruler ouer many thynges. Enter thou into the ioye of thy lorde. He also that had receyued two talentes, came and sayed: Lord thou deliuerest vnto me two talentes: Lo I haue wonne two other talentes with them. His lord saied vnto him: O good and faythfull seruaunt, thou haste been faithfull ouer fewe thinges, enter into the ioye of thy lorde.

Therfore after long iourneying, the maister returned home and required accoumpte of hys seruauntes, of that he had deliuered them, and of that, that they had layed out. Than came furth he whiche had receiued fyue talentes, and brought other fyue whiche he had gayned by vsury, makyng his accoumpt af­ter this sorte: Ye gaue me a stocke of fiue talentes, lo, I haue gayned as muche [Page] more to them. The maister praisyng the diligence of hys seruaunte, saieth: O good and trusty seruaunt: because I haue founde the trusty in a litle money, I wyll truste the with mo thynges: enter into the ioye of thy maister. After him came he also vnto whome the maister had committed two talentes, and beyng commaunded to make his accoumpt, sayethe: syr ye committed vnto me the stocke of two talentes, lo, I haue gayned as muche agayne by vsury. The maister commendyng the diligence of this seruaunte also, sayeth: O good and trustye seruaunt, because I haue founde the trusty in a litle, hereafter I wyll truste the with greater thynges: enter into thy maysters ioye.

The texte. And he whyche had receyued one talente, came, and sayed: Lorde I knewe the that thou arte a [...]hard man, reapyng where thou haste not sowen, and gatheryng where thou hast not strawed, and therfore I was afrayed and went and hyd thy talent in the yearth: Lo, there thou hast that is thyne. His lorde answered, and saied vnto hym. Thou euil and slouthfull seruaunt, thou knewest that I reape where I sowed not, and gathered where I haue not strawed, thou oughtest therfore to deliuer my moneye to the exchaungers, & than at my cummyng, should I haue receyued my owne wyth gayne. Take therfore the talente from hym, & geue it vnto hym whyche hath ten talentes: For to euery one that hath shal bee geuen, and he shall haue aboundaunce. But he that hath not, from hym shalbe taken away that whyche he hath. And caste the vnprofitable seruaunte into vtter darkenes. There shal be wepyng and gnashyng of teeth.

Finally came he also, whyche hadde hyd in the grounde the talente that he hadde receyued, and beyng commaunded to render accoumpte, doethe not onelye not acknowelege the faulte of slowthefulnesse, but also accusyng hys maister of roughnes, and greate couetousnes, doeth double the faulte of hys duetye neglected. Syr (ꝙ he) I knewe ye were a roughe and a sore manne, ye take haruest there where ye sowed not: and gather gayne there, where ye did no coste: Therefore fearyng leste yf my stocke by anye chaunce shoulde haue been lost, ye woulde haue been cruell and sore agaynste me: I wente and hydde youre talente in the grounde. Thys hadde I rather doe, than to goe aboute to gette gayne by vsury, and in the meane season to be in daunger of the stocke. Lo thou haste that that is thyne owne. If I deserue not prayse for increase of game, yet I haue prouided that the stocke shoulde bee safe and sure. This communication the maister turneth into hys owne heade saiyng: Thou naughty and slouthfull seruaunte, thou knowest as thou sayest, that I am de­sitouse of gayne: and that I take my harueste there, where I haue not sowen: and gather gayne there where I bestowed no coste. The more therefore oughteste thou to haue committed my moneye vnto the exchaungers, and I that hunte for gayne whereas I haue done no coste, shoulde haue cumme and required my moneye with gayne, and haue taken auauntage there, where as I hadde sowen and doone coste. The stocke was myne, not thyne: Thou were bounde to be a diligent seruaunt vnto thy mayster. Than he turnyng vnto the other seruauntes, sayed: take awaye the talente from thys vnprofitable ser­uaunte and geue it to hym that hath tenne talentes. And as they meruayled that he commaunded more to be geuen vnto hym whyche had alreadye aboun­dantlye, the mayster sayeth: so it shall cumme to passe in thys kynde of ryches. Whoso hath, he is worthye to receyue more, that he maye abounde and haue plenty: but he that by slouthefulnes hathe gotte hym no maner of gaine, shall be robbed also of that, that he semeth for to haue, because he is vnworthye to haue it. Furthermore take awaye that vnprofitable seruaunte from my syght, [Page cxv] and caste hym into the outewarde darkenes. There in the stede of the ioye of hys maister, whych he would not deserue, he shall be pained with wepyng and gnashing of teeth. With suche parables the Lorde Iesus pricked forward his disciples bothe with the greatnes of rewardes, and with the feare of punishe­mentes, vnto the desyre of the euangelicall godlines, and also to doe for theyr neyghboures: and to feare them from slouthfulnes and from boldenes of yll doyng.

The texte. Whan the sonne of man cummeth in hys glory, and all hys holy angels with hym, than shall be sit vpon the seate of hys glory, and before hym shall be gathered all nacions. And he shall separate one from another, as the sheperde doeth seperate the shepe from the goates, and shall set the shepe on the ryght hande, but the goates on the lefte hande.

The whyche thyng he dyd also farre more manifestly and clerely in his last narracion, where he layeth before theyr lyes, bothe the maiestye of his cum­myng, and the separacion of the good from the yll, whyche nowe lyue in the churche mixte together: and also the dyuerse desertes and rewardes of bothe partes: shortly he setteth before theyr iyes the whole maner of the latter iud­gemente: knowyng and consyderyng that the day of his deathe was nowe at hande, to the intente his disciples being instructed with so many lessōs, should in no case discourage theyr hartes for the shamefull death of the crosse: but should comforte and solace this present affliccion and shame, with the conside­racion of the felicitie and glory to cum. And also that thei should not go a [...]out or withe any vengeaunce to the yll and wicked men, forasmuche as they knew that according to theyr desertes, in that iudgemente they shoulde bee punished eternally. When the sonne of man (ꝙ he) whome ye shall see shortely most low and abiect, shall cum in his maiestie, the companies of al angels gardyng him, than he shall sit as iudge ouer all in the seate of hys maiestie, and al the nacions of the whole worlde shalbe called before hym. For no man, be he high or low, can escape that iudgemente. Thys shalbe done not by mans coniectures, but by the exact iudgemente of god, vnto whose iyes all thynges be open. And first he shall seperate the good from the yll, lyke as the sheperde when he numbreth hys flocke, dothe shed the shepe from the goates. And he shall sette the shepe, that is, the innocentes and well doers, on the ryght hand: and he shall set the goates, that is, the hurteful and yll doers, on the lefte hand. And so the whole number of men deuided into two rayes or sortes, as a iust iudge he wil shewe vnto bothe a iuste cause of his iudgemente, that the good maie know by what well doynges they haue attained vnto so great felicitie, and the yll may heare with what offences they haue deserued euerlastyng punishemente.

The texte. Then the kyng shall saye vnto those that be on hys ryght hand: Cum ye blessed of my father, possesse ye the kyngdome prepared for you, from the begynnyng of the worlde: for I was an hungred, and ye gaue me meate, I was athyrste, and ye gaue me drinke, I was har­bou [...]lesse, and ye toke me in, I was naked, and ye clothed me, I was sicke, and ye visited me, I was in prison, & ye came to me. Than the iuste shall answere, saiyng: Lorde, when dyd we see the hungry, and fed thee? or athyrst, and gaue the drynke? And whan did we see thee har­bou [...]lesse and tooke thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? or whan dyd we see thee sycke. or in prison, and came vnto thee? And the kyng answeryng, shal saye vnto them: verely I saye vn­to you, in asmuche as ye haue done it vnto one of the leaste of these my brethren, ye haue done it to me.

[Page]And salutyng the sorte on the ryght hande, with a mylde and a merye chere, shall saye: Cum my frendes, whome the worlde tooke for vyle and execrable, but whom my father taketh for honourable and prayse worthye. Now for the illes and displeasures whych ye haue suffered for my sake, take the inheritaūce of the heauenly kyngdome; whiche by the diuine prouision and counsell, was prepared for you of God the foreknower of all thynges, before the world was made. With this so great rewarde it is thought good to recompence the wor­kes of your greate loue towarde me, leste ye myght thynke that they were lost. For in tymes paste when I was hungrye, ye gaue me meate: whan I was thyrsty ye gaue me drynke: whan I was a straunger, and nedye of harboure, ye toke me into your houles: whan I was naked, ye couered me: whan I was sycke, ye dyd visite me: whan I was in prison, ye came to comforte me: ye gaue me youres suche as they were: nowe I on the othersyde do communicate and geue vnto you my whole kyngdome, whiche is common to me and my father. Whan these thynges shalbe hearde of the iust menne, whiche doethe so vse the workes of charitie that in maner they knowe not that they haue dooen them, they shall aunswere hym, saiyng: Lorde when sawe we thee hungrye, and fed thee? thrysty and gaue thee drynke? Whan saw we thee a straunger, & brought the into our house? or whan dyd we couer the beyng naked? Whan dyd we visite thee beyng sicke? Whan dyd we cum vnto thee beyng in prison? Than the kyng shall saye openly, that he would it to be accounted doen to hym, what soeuer is geuen to any one of them, whome the worlde despiseth for theyr po­uertye and lownes: yet he despyseth them not, insomuch that he did vouchsafe to honour them with the name of brethren. Certaynely (shall he saye) I saye vnto you, althoughe I haue no nede of mans helpe, whiche am lorde ouer all, yet whereas ye haue doen these thynges for my sake to anye of these my poore litle brethren, ye haue doen them to me.

The texte. ¶Than shall he saye to those that shalbe on the lefte hand: Depart from me ye cursed, into tye [...] euerlastyng whyche is prepared for the deuill and hys angels. For I haue hun­gered, and ye haue not geuen me meate, I haue thyrsted, and ye haue not geuen me drynke, I haue bene harbourlesse, and ye haue not taken me in, I haue been naked, and he haue not clothed me, I haue bene sicke and in prison, and ye haue no [...] visited me. Than shal the [...] also answere to hym, and saye: Lorde when did we see thee hungrye or thirsty, or harbou [...]les, or naked, or sycke, or in prison, and did not minister vnto thee? Than shall he answere vnto them, saiyng: verely I saye vnto you, in as muche as ye did if not to one of the least of these ye dyd it not to me. And they shal go into euerlastyng punishement, but the iust into life euer­lastyng.

Than with an horrible loke turnyng to them that shall stande on the lefte hand, he shall geue a terrible sentence: Goe awaye from me ye whome the worlde flattered and praysed, but exectable and cursed of my father and me: go into the fyer that neuer shall bee quenched, whiche was prepared from the begynnyng of the worlde, for the deuill and his angelles, vnto whom ye hadde rather sticke then vnto me. For whan I was hungrye, ye gaue me not meate: whan I was thyrsty, ye gaue me not drynke: I wandred and lacked harbour, ye toke me not in: I was naked, ye couered me not: I was sicke and in prison, and ye did not visite me. Than shall they aunswere the iudge with as manye wordes, as the iuste menne answered: Lorde whan sawe we thee hungrye, or thyrsty, or wanderyng, or naked, or sicke, or in prison, and serued the not? Than the kyng shall aunswere them also: Whatsoeuer of these dutyes is denyed to [Page cxvi] any one of these litle ones, litle regarded of the worlde, and yet my brethren, I counte it denyed vnto me. I was nedy in them, I woulde haue been refres­shed in them. This sentence once geuen, from the whiche there shall be none appeale, they that be on the left hande, shall gee into euerlastyng fyer, and the iust men into euerlastyng lyfe.

The .xxvi. Chapter.

The texte. And it came to passe whan Iesus had finished all these sayinges, he sayed vnto hys disciples: ye knowe that after two dayes shall be Paaste daye. and the sonne of man shall be deliuered vp to be crucified.’

THan whan Iesus had ended this communication, where with so many wayes he established the myndes of his dis­ciples agaynst affliccions now beyng at hande, that they should not vtterly be dismayed whan they should shortly after see theyr lorde caryed awaye to a shamefull punish­mente: at laste he was bolde to open vnto them the daye and the manner of hys deathe. The mention whereof▪ he doth inculcate and beate into this disciples myndes, leste whan they should see it, they should be so amased at it, as a thyng vnwares & not loked for, that they should be vtterly discouraged: chiefly whan thei should perceyue that Iesus came vnto hys deathe willynly, whiche he mough [...] haue escaped, nor coulde be kylled before the day came, whiche he had hymselfe apoynted for his death. And that was the Paasse daie, which emong ye Iewes was kepte wyth great deuocion, renewyng the yearely remembraunce of that daye, in the whiche in tyme paste amonge the Egypcians, the postes beyng sprinkeled with the bloude of the lambe, they were deliuered from the kylling aungell, and passed ouer safely the red sea. In remembraunce of thys thyng, they offered yearely a lambe of one yeare withoute spot: and of the passyng by of the angel, and of the lucky passyng ouer the sea, they called it P [...]asse. But this was a figure of Iesus Christe, whiche shoulde redeme the whole worlde with hys most holy bloud, from the tyrannye of synne, who alone was cleane from the spottes of all synne. Iesus putryng his disciples in remembraunce of this thyng, sayth: ye knowe that after two dayes the Paasse shall bee offered, and the same daye the sonne of man shalbe deliuered to be crucified.

The texte. Than assembled together the chiefe priestes and Scribes, and the elders of the people into the palace of the chiefe prieste, which was called Cayphas, and helde a counsell to take Ie­sus by deceyte, and kyll hym. But they sayed, not on the holy daye, leste there be an vprore among the people.

Therfore when that holy and chereful daye was nere, for the keping of which it was mete for menne to prepare themselues with godlye woorkes, the chiefe priestes and seniours of the people wer gathered together, whose authoritie, yf there hadde bene any rage emong the people, oughte furthwith to haue pa­cified it. And they were gathered together in the courte of the chiefe of the priestes, whiche was called Caiphas: For these chiefly conspired agaynst Ie­sus, because they feared leste (yf he shoulde bee preserued) they shoulde leese theyr luere and authoritie. Therfore it was de [...]red there through wicked coun­sell, that they shoulde laye handes vpon Iesus and kyll hym, not openlye and violently, but by deceite and gu [...]le.

[Page]Therfore when these greate men agreed emong themselues vngraciouslye of the murder, they consulted of the tyme. For although they thyrsted sore for the innocent bloud, beyng madde with enuye and hatred, yet they thoughte beste to differ the deathe to an other tyme, because the daye cheeflye holye and festi­ual emonge the Iewes was at hande. For they feated if they shoulde sette vp­on hym on that day, that the people be wonte to resort together, leste any tu­multe or busynesse shoulde ryse, because there were manye emong the people, whiche seing hys miracles, and hearyng hys meruaylouse doctrine, and mar­kyng [...]he great sobernes, and gentilnes of hys manners, had a greate opinion of hym. They feared the people, whyche feared not god: nor feared not to de­fyle the holy daye with murder, whyche durst not eate leauen breade. Sathan gaue them this counsell, desyring to kepe close that sacrifice whiche shoulde bryng health and saluacion to the worlde. But it pleased otherwyse to the de­uyne counsell. For it was not semely that the sacrifice shoulde be priuely caste awaye, whiche the father would to be offered not onely for the saluacion of the Iewes, but for the saluacion also of the whole worlde.

The texte. Whan Iesus was in Bethanie in the house of Simon the lepet, there came to him a woman, hauyng an alabas [...]er bore of precious oyntment, and powred it vpon hys head as he sate at the bourde. But the disciples when they sawe it disdayned at it, saiyng: what nede this waste? For this ointment might haue been wel sold, and geuen is the poore. Whā Iesus knewe thys, he sayed, What trouble ye the woman? For she hathe w [...]ough [...]e a good worke toward me. For ye haue alwaies poore folke with you, but me ye haue not alwaies: and in that she hath [...]a [...]e this oyntmente on my body, she did it to burye me. Uetely I say vnto you: Whersoeuer this gospel shall be preached in all the world, that also that she hath done, shalbe tolde for a memoriall of her.

Therfore whan Iesus was in Bethania, nere vnto Hierusalem, where he should be crucified, and sate at meate in the house of one Simon called Lepet, a certayne woman came vnto hym, hauyng can alabaster of precious oynte­ment, who broke the alabaster, and powred the oyntment vpon hys heade. The disciples seeyng a thing of so great price powred and caste oute at once, they disdayned and murmured at it. For they knewe that Iesus was not wont to vse suche delicacies, and that it shoulde haue bene more for his appe­tite, yf the woman had deliuered her alabaster whole, that the oyntmente be­yng solde, the poore men myght be relieued with the value hereof. To what purpose is it (ꝙ they) to leese suche a precious thyng? For it myghte haue bene solde for muche, and the value therof geuen to the poore? Thus sayde the dis­ciples not vnderstandyng to what purpose Iesus suffered this to be done. For he was not in loue with suche delicacies, but he woulde haue his deathe to be adorned with suche honour, whiche death he would suffer of no necessitie, but of hys owne wyll, for the health of the whole worlde. For whereas in all hys lyfe he behaued hymselfe most lowlye, yet he honoured hys deathe with a cer­tayne magnificence, by the which deathe he should ouercum the deuil. And therefore once he was caryed into Hierusalem with a greate tryumphe: and than, as preuentynge the honoure of hys buryall, he was embaumed with a swete oyntmente: and whan he was deade, he woulde bee buryed in a newe sepulchre grauen in stone: and he woulde bee wynded in a cleane shete: and he would be buried with the busy care of a noble man. The karkases of ryche and honorable men: be wont to be embaumed with precious oyntmentes, eyther for honour, or elles to preserue theyr bodyes from corrupcion. And because he [Page cxvii] shoulde reuiue and ryse agayne, before that hys frendes shoulde do hym thys honoure, he suffered this pompe of buriall to bee bestowed vpon hym before hys death: to the intente he myght imprinte by manye meanes in his disciples myndes the mention of his deathe, and by honoure, to mitigate the horrible­nes therof.

Therfore when his disciples beyng ignoraunt of these thynges murmu­red and grutched at the costes and expenses, Iesus refrayned them saiyng: Why he ye grieued with this woman? She hath done a godlye office and a louyng benefite to me, whiche shall shortly dye. It is not meete that ye should haue enuy at thys my last honoure. Poore men of the common sorte ye haue alwayes with you, to whom ye maie doe good, but ye shall not euer haue me. This oyntment is not lost, but this woman gessing that I should shortely dye, with her offyce and duetye hath preuented my buryall, and hath powred vpon me beyng alyue, that that is wonte to be powred vpon the dead. Therefore de­praue not her godlinesse, whiche is so acceptable vnto God, that whereas the gospell of my deathe shalbe preached throughout all the worlde, this woman also shallbe mencioned: whiche with a godly and an holy duety, hathe preuen­ted my sepulture.

The texte. Than one of the twelue which was called Iudas Iscarioth, went vnto the chiefe priestes, and sayed vnto them: What will ye geue me, and I will deliuer hym vnto you? And they appoynted to hym thiety denaries. And from that tyme furth, he sought oportunitie to, be­traye hym.

Where as this communicacion hadde repressed the disdayne of others, which erred of a simplicitie, not knowyng the misterye: yet it pacified not Iudas Is­carioth, whiche falsely pretended care for the poore, where as [...]ucre and gayn [...] were more pleasaunte vnto him. For he bare the purse, and was wount to steie sumwhat of ye thynges which were geuen of the liberall frendes of Iesus, to be distributed emōg the poore, hereof by litle and litle he encreased his money. Therfore whan he was wholy geuen to the filthy disease of auarice, myndyng to recompense that, whiche he counted lost in the oyntmente, with the pryce of the Lorde, he wente vnto the chyefe pryestes and offycers, whome he knewe with bent myndes had conspired the deathe of Iesus, and that there was no­thyng to lette them, but that he myght be taken withoute tumulte or busines. To bring this to passe there wer done more mete, thā sum of the number thē whiche were familiare with the lord, and nexte aboute hym, who knewe cer­taynely whyther Iesus was wont to go. For he had hys secret places to praie in. And there was one found in that chosen and piked humbre of twelue, whō Christ toke vnto hym to bee the chiefe ouer all: whiche loued better wycked gayne, than so mylde and so beneficiall a lorde. So greate a poyson is auarice, if it possesse wholy the mynde of man. But Iesus woulde signifye by thys ex­ample that there should be mē, which beyng corrupt with the desyre of money, woulde betraye the woorde of the gospell, and this mischiefe shoulde chieflye cum of them, who beyng the chiefe and heades of the religion of the churche, semeth to be priuy of the secretes of theyr lord: with whom they be so familiar that with wrong interpretacion they betray his doctrine to the wicked & pro­phane rulers, whiche seke for nothyng elles, but the destruccion of the truethe of the gospell. Iudas therfore goyng vnto the officers, sayd: what reward wil ye geue me, if I delyuer you hym into your handes? And thei bargayne wyth [Page] hym for thyrty denaryes. With so litle wages could he be [...]yered to so beaste­ly and cruell a dede: so lyghtly and vilelye was that precious bloude estemed, whiche was sufficient to redeme whole mankynde. Therefore Iudas gredye and gapyng for the money that was promysed hym, by and by from that time forwarde sought for occasion to betraye Iesus.

The texte. But the fyrst day of the vnleaueued bread, the disciples came to Iesus, saiyng vnto hym: where wile thou that we prepare for the to eate the Paasse? And he sayde: Go into the citie to suche a man, and saye vnto hym: The mayster sayeth, my tyme is at hande, with the doe I kepe my Easter with my disciples. And the disciples dyd as Iesus had appoynted them, and made ready the Paasse.

Therfore whan the first daye of seuen was at hand, in the whiche the Iewes were accustomed to abstayne from leauen breade, after the eatyng of the pas­ [...]hall lambe, the disciples go vnto Iesus, saying: Lord where wyll ye that we shall prepare you a place to feaste and kepe youre Paasse? so greate was the scartenes, that neyther he, nor his disciples had any house of theyr own to go to. But Iesus to shewe that this whole matter was mistical, and not doen by chaunce or necessitie, but that all thynges were done by the prescience and coū ­sell of God, he answered them: God into the citie, and anon as ye entre in, there shall meete you a certayne manne bearyng a potte of water, folowe hym, and wheresoeuer he goeth in ye shall go in, and saye to the houesholder, the maister sayeth: My tyme is at hande, at thy house I kepe my Paasse with my disci­ples. He shall shewe you a great and a fayre parlet, there prepare my Paasse. The disciples went and founde all thynges, as Iesus had tolde them before, and prepared hym a feaste in the place that he commaunded.

The texte: Whan the euen was cum, he sate downe with the twelue, and as they were eatyng, he said: Uerely I saye vnto you: One of you shall betraye me. And they were exceadyng sorowful, and beganne euery one to saye: Lord is it I? He answered and sayde. He that dippeth hys hand with me in the dyshe, the same shal betraye me. The sonne of man goeth as it is writ­ten of hym. But wo vnto that man, by whom the sonne of man is betrayed. It hadde been good for that man, yf he had not bene borne. Than Iudas whiche betraied hym, answered and sayed. Mayster, is it I? He sayd vnto hym: Thou hast sayed.

And towarde nyght Iesus went thither, and sate downe to suppe with his twelue disciples. And now as they were at supper, Iesus sayeth vnto thē: one of you shall betraye me. This he sayed to declare that nothyng at all was hyd from hym, and also that the conscience of the traytour beyng touched, myght be turned vnto penaunce. At this woord al theyr hartes began to be very he­uy. Euery man suspected and distrusted hymselfe knowyng the weakenes of man. They desyryng therfore to bee deliuered from this heauines, began for to aske seuerally: is it I Lorde? Than Iesus sūwhat to confirme and establyshe the others, almoste dead for feare, and to touche the conscience of Iudas more sharpely, yf perhappes he myght be moued vnto penaūce, pointed the authour of the dede with a more certayne sygne, and withal put hym in remembraunce of the great familiaritye, whiche ought to haue withdrawen him from such a mad mischiefe, faiyng: He that putteth his hand with me in the dishe, and is my felow not onelye of the table, but also of the dishe, shall betraye me, and for the offyce of familiaritye, he shal rendre vnto me the office of extreme enmitie, whereas the communion and felowshypp of breade and salte bee wonte for to ioyne men vnknowen and vnacquaynted, with the bonde of amitie. And that these thynges should chaunce to the sonne of man, it was ordeyned heretofore of the father, and prophecied before of the prophetes. But yet wo be to that man, through whose wickednes, the sonne of man is betrayed.

[Page cxviii]The diuine wisedome dothe vse hys wickednes to the saluacion of mankynde, but yet he is no lesse in fault, which through his owne malice was brought to this dede, whereas I omitted nothyng whereby I myghte heale hys mynd. Wherfore for so wicked a deed, he shall be cruellye punished, vnlesse he repente, that it had bene better for him neuer to haue been borne. This communicacion whiche with shame might haue healed an yll man, or with payne myght haue feared a wicked manne, made Iudas nothyng the better, insomuche that he ioyned impudencie and vnshame fastnes to hys wicked deed, and as thoughe he had knowen himself to be nothing culpable, asked the Lord: Is it I? And here Iesus not forgettyng his wont tentilnes, answered: Thou haste sayde, geuyng an incklyng rather than expressyng playnly that it was he, and maketh as though he had a suspicion, and not knowledge of it.

The texte. Whan they wer eatyng. Iesus toke bread, and when he had geuen thankes, brake it, and gaue it to the disciples, and sayed: Take, eate, this is my body And he toke the cup, and gaue thankes, and deliuered it to them, saiyng: drynke ye all of this, for this is my bloud whiche is of the newe testament, that is shed for many for the remission of sinnes: But I say vnto you: I wyl not drynke hencefurth of this fruit of the vyne tree, vntil the day when I shall drynke it newe with you in my fathers kingdome.

Therfore in this latter supper yt he made with his disciples, before his deathe, he dyd institute that most holye remembraunce of hys death: that beyng often renewed, it should be a perpetuall memorial emong them, of his great chary­tie, whereby he sticked not to bestowe his lyfe to redeme mankinde: that the re­membraunce of that godly sacrifice shoulde neuer out of our myndes, wherein that most pure and immaculate lambe the newe and trewe paasse, offered him selfe in the aulter of the crosse for vs to God the father, whom beyng angrye, he hath made mercifull to vs by hys bloud, sufferyng paynes himselfe for our of­fenses, whiche were due to our sinfulnes: Iesus dyd institute and consecrate this secrete signe and memoriall in two thynges, by the which amitie emong men is wont to be intertayned: that the charitie by the which Christ gaue him­selfe to his, shoulde couple vs together also: who oftentymes eate together of one breade, and drynke of one cuppe. And also shewyng by a certayne spiritual figure, the rites and manners of Moses his lawe, in the whiche was no pur­gacion of sinne, but by bloude of the sacrifice: Furthermore signifiyng that he did consecrate a new league of the euangelicall profession by this misterie. For whan Moses had recited the roll of the lawe, wherin the preceptes of the law were conteyned, and the people had aunswered: We will do al thynges that the lorde hath spoken, and wyll be obediente, wyth parte of the bloude of the sacrifices whiche they had kylled receyued in a vessell, he sprinkeled the people saiyng, this is the bloude of the league, whiche the lorde hath made wyth you touchyng these wordes. And truely all these thynges signifyed with certayne figures and shadowes, this most holye sacrifice, wherin the lorde Iesus dely­ueryng his body willingly vnto death, and sheding his bloud, went aboute to clense the synnes of the whole worlde, reconcilyng vnto God all men freelye, whosoeuer woulde professe this league of the newe testament. And he would that this sacrifice and this league shoulde be commended, and set furth to the myndes of hys disciples with certayne misticall sygnes, before that it was offered, to thyntente that they shoulde vnderstande that his death was not a common or an idle, but an effectuall sacrifice to purge the synnes not onelye of the Iewes, but also of al nacions and of al tymes.

[Page]But (because the deathe of Christe oughte not to bee iterated) leste so greate a­benifite myght go out of mennes mindes, or leste they myghte forget the holye league once entred, and the authour of theyr health also, he did institute and or­dayne, that with often communion of ye holye breade, and the cup, the memo­rie should be renewed among the professours of the euangelicall lawe. And he would that this sygne should be very holy among hys souldiers, and to be had in such veneracion,Whan they were eat in &c. that lyke as much godly grace shoulde bee geuen to them, whiche shoulde receyue the body and bloude of the lorde purely and worthely: so they that should take them vnworthely, should be the cause of their grenous dānacion. Therfore Iesus toke the breade into hys handes, and when he had offered the sacrifice of prayse vnto God, he breake it and distributed it vnto his disciples saiyng:I wyll not dricke hence furth. &c. Take ye, eate ye, thys is my body. Afterwarde he toke the cup into hys handes, & when he had geuen thankes vnto the father, he drancke before, and reched it vnto them, saying: Dryncke all ye of thys cuppe. For thys is my bloud of the newe testament, which shalbe shed for many, for the forgeue­nes of synnes. As often as ye shall do thys, doe it in the remembraunce of me. For as often as ye shall eate of this breade, and dryncke of this cuppe, ye shall declare the lordes death vntil he cum, not now as a sauiour, but as a iudge. In the meane time none other sacrifice for synnes shal be loked after. For this one is sufficient for to take awaye the synnes of the whole world. And I saye vnto you, I wyll not eate of this bread hereafter, vntil I shall eate it with you com­plete and perfect in my fathers kyngdome: and I will drinke no more of this fruite of the vine, vntil I shal drinke it new with you in my fathers kingdom. And the moste meke and gentil lorde did not exclude Iudas the traytour from thys holy memoriall, that by thys so great clemencie and gentilnes, he myght be refourmed. But because he receyued the sygne of the league and testament, hauyng treason in hys harte, he departed more vncleane than he came.

The texte. And whan they had song the hymne, they went out vnto the mount Oliuete: Than sayd Iesus to them. All ye shall be offended because of me this nyght. For it is written: I wyll smite the shepeherde, and the shepe of the flocke [...]al [...]e scatered. But after I am rysen againe, I wil go before you into Galile. Peter answered and sa [...]ed vnto him: Though al mē be offen­ded because of the, yet I wyl not be offended. Iesus sayd vnto hym: Uerely I saye vnto thee, that in this nyght before the cocke crowe, thou shalt deny me thryse. Peter sayed vnto hym: Yea, though I should dye with the, I wyll not deny the. Likewise also saied al the disciples.

And after that they hadde song an hymne in the prayse of god, they arose and went into the mounte of Oliues, whiche place he knewe to bee well knowen vnto the traytoure, lest he should seme to desyre to be hyd, as fearyng deathe: but purposelye he withdrawed hymselfe into a solitarye place, that he myghte bee taken without tumulte of the people, which thyng they went about and lo­ked after. There he telleth his disciples agayne how it should cum to passe, that byanby they should be sore troubled, seing the punishemēt of their lord: but lest they should be vtterly discouraged, he doethe coumfort them with a prophecie, and with the resurreccion that shoulde folowe furthwith, poyntyng also the time and the place nere at hande, where they should see hym agayne: all ye (ꝙ he) shall be troubled thys nyghte for my cause. For so God ye father prophecied by the mouth of hys Prophete zacharye: I wyll strike the sheperde, and the shepe of ye flocke shal be scatered abrode: But ye nede not to despayre. Deathe shall trouble your myndes, but byanby the resurreccion shal comforte you. [Page cxix] For I will rise agayne the thirde daye, and after that I am rysen, I wyll goe before you into Galile. There I will offer my selfe to bee sene of you. Iesus suffered al his disciples to be thus troubled, to thintent he myght teache thē by the very dedes, howe great the weakenes of mans nature was, and how folish a thing it is for a man to trust to himselfe, that hauing experience of themselues, they myght learne to helpe other mennes weakenes. Peter therefore not well knowyng hymselfe, with a certayne manly and worldly boldnes, denieth that it shall cumme to passe, which Christe by the Prophecie sayed shoulde cumme to passe, and (whiche was a poyncte of more rashenesse) he preferreth hym­selfe before all other: If all bee troubled (ꝙ he) in thy cause, yet I wyll not bee troubled. To whome Iesus aunswered: what sayeste thou Peter, wylt thou a­lone not be troubled? Nay this I tell the of a suerty, before that the cocke crowe twyse this nyght, thou shalt denye me thryse, Yet Peter not knowleagyng hys weakenes for all thys, aunswered stoutly: yea yf I shoulde dye with the, I wyl not denye the. And the other of the Apostles folowed the rashenes of Peter, who would haue denied Christ also, yf they had bene brought to a lyke streight as Peter was.

The texte. ¶Then came Iesus with them vnto a village whiche is called Gethsemany, and sayed vnto the disciples: Sit ye here whyle I go and praye yonder: and he toke with hym Pe [...]er, and the two sonnes of zebedee, and began to were sorowfull and [...]euy Than sayde Iesus vnto them: My soule is heuy, euen vnto the death. [...]arry ye [...]ere, & watche with me And he wente a lit [...]e farther, and f [...]ll downe on h [...]s face, and prayed, saiyng [...]y fa [...]her yf it bee possible, let thys cuppe passe from me: Neuerthelesse not as I wyl, [...]ut as thou wilt.

Than Iesus knowyng that the tyme drewe nere, that the laste storme shoulde cum, he led aparte his eleuen disciples (for Iudas was gone oute from supper) into a village called Gethsemany. Here he commaunded eight of them to tary, whiche yet were loth to departe from theyr maister, whom they loued hartelye, but as yet with a worldly affeccion. Tary (ꝙ he) in this place, whiles I goe into my accustomed place, and praye there. For he durst not make them priuye of his conflicte, sith they were yet but weake, l [...]ste they shoulde be discouraged, and taketh with hym but only thre, Peter, and the two sonnes of zebedee, that he myght haue them to be witnesses of hys extreme manly weakenesse, whome he tooke with hym into the mounte to beholde hys maiestie: and to teache with all, that as often as any greater storme of suche troubles than mans strength can abyde, is at hande, that we vtterly distrustyng our selues, commit vs who­ly to the helpe of God. And the feare of deathe, whan it cummeth vpon a man, is more bitter than deathe it selfe: Therfore this horryblenes beganne than to cum vpon Iesus, and he felte great sorow and heuines of mynde. For he would not that hys chosen frendes should be ignoraunt of the griefe of his mind,Tary here and watche with me. that they myght playnly see that he was very man, troubled with affeccions bothe of body and mynde: my soule (ꝙ he) is heuy euen vnto deathe. Ta [...]ry here and watche with me. For this time requireth not slepe, but wakyng and earneste prayer. Therfore Iesus goyng forwarde a litle, from hys three disciples, han­gyng downe his heade,My father if it be possible, &c. bowed his face to the yearth: and so prostrate, prayed vnto his father, saiyng: My father, if it be possible, take away this cup of death from me, for I feele the affeccion of the body much abhorring from death. Not­withstanding let it be, not as I wyl, after the weakenes of the body, but as thou wilt, to the health and saluacion of mankynde.

The texte. [Page]And he came vnto hys disciples, and founde them slepyng, and sayed vnto Peter: could ye not watche with me one houre? Watche and praye, that ye enter not into temptacion. The spirite is ready, but the fleshe is weake.

When he had thus prayed, he returned vnto his disciples, and found them sle­pyng, and sayeth vnto Peter: Thou that diddest crake a litle before that thou wouldest dye with me, couldest thou not wake with me one houre? I wake and praye for you. Wake you with me, and praye to the father that ye fall not into temptacion and be ouercum. The victorye chaunceth not but vnto them that wake. Therfore we must wake, leste the fleshe ouercum the spirite, and the spi­rite m [...]ste be susteyned with the helpe of God.

The texte. Againe he went the second tyme and prayed, saiyng: My father, if this cup can not passe awaye from me, but that I drinke it, thy wyl bee done. And he came and found them again slepyng. For theyr iyes were heuy. And he left them, and went agayn▪ and praied the third time, saiyng the same woordes. Than cummeth he to hys disciples, and sayeth vnto them: Slepe now & take your rest. Behold the houre is at hande, & the sonne of man is betrayed into the hādes of sinners: Arise, let vs be going. Behold he is at hand, that doeth betray me.

So hys disciples beyng raysed, Iesus went agayne, and prayed agayne with as many woordes vnto hys father: My father, yf it bee not possible that thys cup shall passe from me, but that I shall drynk of it, thy wyll bee doone. Afterwarde he returned agayne vnto hys disciples, and found them again sle­pyng. For theyr iyes were very heuy, by the reason of sorowe increasyng theyr slepe. Therfore leauyng them, he wente alone the thyrde tyme to praye for hys disciples, for the weakenes of the fleshe ouercame them. And he prayed likewise the thirde time, to teache vs to praye continually and vehemently, as often as the storme of temptacion is at hande. For than the Angels be present and geue strength to the spirite. Afterwarde he returned vnto hys disciples, and rebuked them for theyr slepyng out of tyme, sith the tyme required great watching. For nowe (sayth he) the tempest is at hande whiche shall fynde you vnreadye, and therfore vnmete and ouermatched: nowe (ꝙ he) slepe and take your rest. Lo the houre is cum, that the innocent sonne of manne shall be deliuered into the han­des of the wicked. Therfore arise, let vs go meete the hurte and displeasure that cummeth agaynst vs. Beholde he is at hande whiche betrayeth me.

The texte. Whyle he yet speake, lo, Iudas one of the numbre of the twelue, came, and with hym a great multitude with swerdes and s [...]aues, sent from the chiefe priestes and elders of the people. But he that betrayed hym, gaue them a token, saiyng: Whomesoeuer I kysse, th [...] ­same is he, laye handes on hym. And furthwyth he cummeth to Iesus, saying: Hayle mai­ster, and kyssed hym. And Iesus sayed vnto hym. Frende, wherefore art thou cum? Than came they and layde handes on Iesu.

Iesus had not ended this communicacion, but lo, Iudas Iscariote one of the numbre of the twelue came, folowyng Iesus his capitayne a lytle before, and now become ouer a wicked cumpany a more wicked captayne. For a great cumpanye of souldiers folowed hym with sweordes and clubbes, whome the chiefe of the priestes, and the seniours of the people, had sent for thys intente, yt Iesus myght be taken without tumult of the people. For althoughe they hadde purposed to differ this matter vnto another tyme, yet hauyng oportuni­tie of the traytour, they chaunged their myndes. And therfore Iudas chose bothe the nyghte and the place, in the whiche Iesus was wonte with a fewe to praye. Finally leste they should fayle of the persone, the traytoure taught them by what token they shoulde knowe Iesus: whomesoeuer (ꝙ he) I shall kysse, he it is: laye handes vpon hym. Therefore Iudas Iscariote went before [Page cxx] and went vnto Iesus as though he woulde salute hym, saiyng: Hayle Rabby, and therwith kissed hym, whiche in tymes paste was vsed in salutacions, be­cause of honour and duty. Now Iesus to geue a perfect exaumple of mekenes in euery place to hys disciples, dyd not repell the wicked disciple from kyssyng, nor dyd rebuke hym for hys madnesse, but wyth gentle speakynge touched hys conscience, saiyng: Frende, for what cause art thou cum? For he came wyth a kysse after suche sorte as though he woulde haue tolde hym sum newes. At this token the multitude came runnyng, and layed handes vpon Iesus, and helde hym fast. The disciples myndes were sore amased at this ruffling, whome Ie­sus suffered to fall into this affeccion, because he woulde vtterlye plucke oute of their myndes, all gredy desyre to reuenge and to defende themselues.

The texte. And beholde, one of them which was with Iesus stretched out his hande, and drewe oute hys swerde, and stroke a seruaunt of the hygh priestes, and smote of hys eare. Than sayed Iesus vnto him: put vp thy swerd in his sheath. For al they that take the swerd shal perishe with the swerd Thinke ye not that I can praye to my father, and he shal geue me more thou twelue legions of angels? Howe than shal the scriptures be fulfylled. For thus muste it be.

And Peter, eyther because he was more feruente euery where than the o­ther, or elles because he hadde made stoute promyses of hymselfe before, leste he shoulde seme not to doe for hys mayster, plucked out his swerde, and stroke Malcus the seruaunte of Caiphas, and cutte of hys ryghte eare, Iesus so or­deryng the stroke, that bothe it was a lyght wounde, and whatsoeuer the hurte was, he healed it, and restored the eare agayne. But Peter erred by the reason of a certayne good loue towarde the Lorde, and this errour he tooke in maner of the wordes of Iesus not well perceyued. For he commaunded them to sell their coate and to by swerdes: and whan thei aunswered, there wer two swerdes, he sayed: it is sufficiente. But they thynkynge that he spake of a swerde of y­ron, whereas Iesus mente a spirituall swerde, after supper they tooke furthe theyr swerdes with them readye to defende theyr Lorde, yf the matter hadde so required, or yf he had commaunded. Therefore to plucke this affeccion vtterly out of the myndes of all hys disciples, he dyd chyde Peter sharpely, saying: put vp thy swerde into his place. They that dooe stryke wyth the swerde, peryshe with the swerde, the recompence of vengeaunce turnyng backe vpon their owne heade. We haue no nede of this tence, whyche doe get the victory better by suf­fering than by killing. Or els thincke you that I coulde lacke helpe if it pleased me to haue this defence? Could not I make suite vnto my father, and could not he send to helpe me in the stede of twelue disciples, twelue legions of angels? But thus it is thoughte good to my father, thus it was spoken before of the Prophetes. And none of these thinges is done by chaunce or fortune.

The texte. In that same houre Iesus sayed to the multitude: ye be cum out as it were to a thefe with swerdes & clubbes for to take me. I sate deyly wyth you teachyng in the temple, & ye toke me not. But al this is doen that the scriptures of the Prophetes might be fulfylled. Than al the disciples forsoke him and fled. And they toke Iesus and led him to Cayphas ye hygh priest, where the Scribes and elders were assembled. And Peter folowed him a far of vn­to the hyghe priestes courte, and went in, and sate with the seruauntes to see the ende.

Than Iesus turnyng to the multitude, sayed: nowe weponed with swerdes and clubbes, ye cum furth to take me. But whan I sate daylye emong you tea­chyng in the temple, and healyng the sicke and diseased, ye layed no handes vp­on me. Nowe in the dead nyght, ye seke me out beyng quiet and styl in a secrete [Page] place. But al these thinges be done not by your violence, but by the ordinaunce of goddes counsell, whereof the scriptures of the Prophetes hathe prophecied long before. The disciples hearyng thys, and seing that there was no hope, for asmuche as Iesus offred him vnto deathe,Thā all the disciples. &c they left theyr maister and ran away. But the mynisters nothyng mitigate with remembraunce of the doctryne and benefite of Iesus, ledde him awaye lyke a prysoner, to the house of Cayphas the chiefe of the priestes, whyther the Scribes and seniours dyd resorte. But Peter alone (for the other disciples beyng afrayed, were fledde euery man hys waye) although hys skirmishe came not well to passe, yet he coulde leaue of vtterly the care of hys maister, whome he loued hartely▪ and yet again he durst not be present with hym, notwithstanding he folowed as it might be a farre of, and at length, in the darke as vnknowen, he entred into the court of Cayphas. Finally entryng in he sate among the ministers warming him at the coles, that whereas he coulde not defende Iesus, yet at the least he myght see what shoulde be the ende of the iudgemente. For as yet Peter had sum hope in hys mynde.

The texte. ¶The chiefe priestes and elders, and al the counsell, sought false witnesse against Iesus for to put hym to deathe, but founde none: yea whan manye false wytnesses came, yet they founde none. At laste cause two false witnesses, & sayed: he sayed, I am able to destroye the temple of God, and builde it agayne in three dayes. And the chiefe prieste arose, and sayed vnto hym: Answerest thou nothyng? why do these beare witnes agaynst thee? But Iesus helde hys peace. And the chiefe priest answered and sayed vnto hym: I charge the by the lyuyng God, that thou tel vs whether thou be Christ the sonne of God. Iesus sayeth vn­to hym: Thou hast sayed: Neuerthelesse I saye vnto you: hereafter ye shall see the sonne of man, sittyng on the ryght hande of power, and cummyng in the cloudes of the skye.

Further the chiefe priestes and the whole counsel, to make sum apperaunce of a lawfull and iust iudgement, went about to suborne, and set furth false wit­nesses agaynst Iesus, whose innocēcie was so greate, that it was very harde so to lye of him, that the lye myght haue any colour of truth. And after that many false witnesses came furth,The chiefe priestes and the elders. &c. but of suche sorte that theyr testimonies & saiynges were so yll framed together, that they confounded themselfes, insomuche that they were not thought meete, neyther of those iudges, neither of that cumpany. At length cummeth furth two false witnesses, whiche sayed: He sayed, I canne destroye the temple of God & after three dayes make it vp. They toke occasion of this lye by the wordes of Christe, who sayed: looce thys temple, and in three dayes I wyll rayse it vp, meanyng thereby that he shoulde be slayne of them, but within three dayes he should lyue agayne. The witnesses to make the thing more odious, dyd depraue and mystake these woordes whiche they vnderstoode not. For he sayed not I can destroye, but looce ye: and he sayed not, I wyll build agayne, but I wyll rayse vp, appliyng it to hys body whiche should be slayne, and lyue againe. Therfore at thys testimonye because it semed to bee of some weyght, and no nother was found more meete and conuenient, the chyefe of the priestes roose vp, and counterfeityng the person of a iuste iudge, as thought he woulde geue Iesus liberty to defende hymselfe, sayed: Doest thou make no answere to these testimonies whiche be brought agaynst thee? But Iesus helde his peace, knowyng that whatsoeuer he sayed, should be reproued & mistaken. Than the chiefe of the priestes desyryng to wreste out sumwhat, wherby Iesus myght be condemned (for nowe hys madnes was such that al tariyng semed to long) sayeth vnto hym: I coniure the by the liuing God, tel vs whether thou be Christ the sonne of God. This was a crafty question of the wicked byshop. [Page cxxi] If he had denied that he was the sonne of God, he would haue cryed out: why than takest thou vpon thee, the thing that thou arte not? If he had affirmed it, he woulde haue falsely accused hym for blasphemy. If he had holde hys peace being required and adiured, he shoulde seme to despise God, and the authori­tie of the highe prieste. And what was he that dyd adiure hym? A wicked bis­shop, whiche had boughte of Herode for money the annuall honoure: and he which did assault the sōne of God, adiured him by God. Yet Iesus, as it were shewing a reuerence to the honour that he did beare, beyng demaunded whe­ther he was Christ the sonne of God,Iesꝰ sayth vnto hym, thou haste sayde. aunswered: Thou hast spoken: so confes­sing himselfe to be that he was, that yet he auoyded the faulte of arrogancie. And he added a thing whiche oughte to haue reuoked the wicked bishop from his purposed wickednes: yet (ꝙ he) thys I say vnto you, hereafter ye shall see the sonne of man sittyng on the ryghte hande of the power of God, and com­ming with maiestie in the cloudes of heauen. He gaue to vnderstande, that he being than lowe and condemned of the wicked, shoulde once come with the power of God to be iudge ouer all the worlde.

The texte. ¶Than the high priest rent his clothes, saying: He hath spoken blasphemie, what nede ye of any moe witnesses? Lo, now ye haue hearde hys blasphemie, what thinke ye? They an­swered and sayde: He is worthy to dye. Than dyd they spitte in hys face, and buffered hym with theyr fystes. And other smote hym on the face with the palme of their handes, saying: Tell vs Christe, who is he that smote thee?

The chiefe prieste beyng the more prouoked with this saying, to thyntente that through the counterfeyted zeale of religion, he myghte make the cryme of Christe the more sore, he rente hys garmentes, and sayde: he speaketh blasphe­mously. He doeth vsurpe and take vpon him diuine honour, wheras he is but man.Lo, now ye haue heard his blasphemie. &c. What nedeth there any more witnesses? Beholde nowe ye haue hearde manifeste blasphemie. What thynke ye? They aunswered: he hath deserued deathe. Than they began to handle hym cruelly with mockes and skornes, as though he had bene lawefully condemned, whiche also Iesus suffered moste mekely, to geue vnto his a perfect example of pacience. They did spette in his face, and coueryng hys face, they gaue hym buffettes and blowes. Agayne, some stroke hym on the face with theyr handes, saying: prophecye and tell vs Christ, who is it that stryketh the? With these skornes and rebukes they caste him in the teeth, because he woulde bee taken for Messias, and because he was honoured of the people, by the name of a Prophete.

The texte. ¶Peter sate without in the courte, and a damsell came vnto hym, saying: Thou also waste with Iesus of Galile: but he denied it before them all, saying: I wot not what thou sayest. Whan he was goen in to the porche, another wenche sawe hym, and sayde vnto them that were there: This felowe also was with Iesus of Nazareth. And he denied it agayne with an othe, saying: I dyd not knowe the man. A whyle after came they that stode by, and sayde vnto Peter: Surely thou art one of them, for thy speche doth bewraye the. Than he began to curse and sweare, that he knewe not the manne, and immediately the cocke cr [...]we. And Peter remembred the saying of Iesus, whiche he spake vnto hym: before the cocke crowe, thou shalt deny me thryse, and he went out, and wept bitterly.

In the meane season Peter sate without in the courte, beholding a farre of the heauie sight, and loking for the ende of the matter, for he durste not come nere, lest he shoulde be knowen of the ministers. And a certayne wenche came vnto hym, whiche partely knewe hym, and sayde: Thou also waste one of the [Page] folowers of this Galilean. Here Peter beyng amased at the wenches woorde, and forgetting that stout woorde that he spake to Christ: (and if I should dye with thee, I wil not deny thee:) denied his lorde before thē al, saying: I cannot tell what thou sayest. And furthwith the cocke did crowe. And as he prepared to goe out, euen in the doore an other wenche spyed him, which vttering hym to the ministers standyng by, sayeth: Thys man also was with Iesus of Na­zareth. And agayne he denyed it, swearing that he knew not the manne. And a little after, certayne of them that stoode by, knowing Peter, sayd: Truely thou arte one of this numbre. For not onely thy face but also thy speche doeth vtter thee to be a Galilean. Than Peter being more afrayde, began not onely to ab­iure and forsake Iesus, but also to execrate and ban himselfe, if euer he knewe the manne. And furthewith the cocke crowed agayne. After these, Iesus dyd beholde him, and speaking (as it were) vnto him with his iyes, monished him. Than at length Peter cumming to himselfe, remembred that Iesus tolde him before, when he craked of hys boldenes and valiantnes: before the cocke crow twise thou shalt denye me thryse. But because he sinned thorough the weake­nes of man, being amased with feare, and not of purposed malice, he deserued mercy. Christe suffered this in hys chosen apostle, that no man, offende he no­uer so sore, shoulde dispayre of pardon so that he repent, and washe the spot of his mynde with teares. For Peter, whiche was as it were besyde hymselfe, at the looke of Iesus, by and by came to hymselfe agayne and repented, and go­yng furth wepte bitterly.

¶The .xxvii. Chapiter.

The texte. ¶Whan the morning was come, all the chiefe priestes, and elders of the people helde a counsel against Iesus to put him to death. And broughte hym bounde, and deliuered hym to Pontius Pilate the devi [...]ie.’

THerfore that night was throughly watched of the heades of religion, with these wicked & cruell deedes. And when day drew nere, againe the chiefe priestes and the seniours of the people, went to counsayl against Iesus, to put hym to death. Therfore they deliuered him bound vnto Pon­tius Pilate president, to take punishment of the condem­ned man. Here Iudas that betrayed hym, seeing that he was now condemned, and that they went to extremities, moued with repentaunce, broughte agayne the thirtie pieces of syluer to the heades of the priestes and senioures of the people, saying: I haue synned be­cause I haue betrayed the innocente bloud. Truely this mannes confessyon should haue moued the prynces mindes. He confesseth that it was doen by the infeccion of auarice, and he confesseth that he hath betrayed an innocent. But they vtterly raging, and thirsting after nothing els but innocent bloud, aun­swered: what is that to vs, whether thou hast betrayed an yll doer or an inno­cente? Looke thou to that.

The texte. [Page cxxii]¶ Than Iudas whiche had betrayed him, seing that he was condemned, repented hym­selfe, and brought againe the thirtie plates of siluer to the chiefe priestes and elders, saying: & haue sinned, betraying the innocente bloude, but they sayde: what is that to vs? See thou to that: and he cast downe the siluer plates in the temple, and departed and hong himselfe.

Iudas now repenting of his gayne, desired to breake of his bargayne, but theyr crueltie coulde by no meanes be mitigated. Iudas therefore casting the pieces of siluer at their feete departed away, heaping and increasing his wic­ked dede with a more wicked dede. He knowledged the greatnes of his sinne, but he knowledged not the greatnes of goddes mercy. Peter wepte bitterly, and obtayned mercy. Iudas wept also, but with a desperate minde, rather thā a conuerted minde, and therfore he went asyde, and hanged himselfe and burst in the middes, and his bowels fell out.

The texte. And the chiefe priestes tooke the pieces of siluer, and sayde: It is not lawfull to put them into [...]or [...]on, because it is the price of bloude. And they tooke coun [...]el, and bought with them a potters fielde to bury straungiers in. Wherefore the fielde is called the fielde of bloude vnto this day. Than was fulfilled that whiche was spoken by the Prophete Hieremye, saying. They tooke thirtie siluer pieces, the price of hym that was valued whome they bought of the children of Israell, and gaue them for the potters fielde, as the lorde appoynted me.

After this the heades of the priestes went to counsayl agayne, and that theyr crueltie mighte be the better knowen to all menne, they dyd nothing without a common counsell. They consulte to what vse the thirtye pieces of syluer shoulde goe, whiche Iudas had cast at theyr feete. And being menne of auke­warde religion hauing no religion nor feare in killing of an innocente, who had doone so muche for them: It is not lawfull (ꝙ they) to put this money in­to Corbon, that is, emong the gyftes of the temple, whiche they woulde haue estemed and regarded religiousely. For it is the price of bloude. But the holines of the temple must not be poluted with bloud. And in the meane sea­son, they dysclose theyr vngraciouse conscyence, confessyng hym to bee inno­cente, whose betraymente they had boughte. Therefore because that they all shoulde bee partakers of the synne, they counselled together, and with that money they bought a grounde of a certayn potter for godly vses, that straun­giers mighte be buried there, as though they woulde haue recompenced the sinfull dede that they had in ha [...]de, with thys good dede. And yet by thys meanes they prouyded very yll for theyr good name. For they coulde not by any other meanes, more blase abrode theyr wickednes. For the thyng is come to suche a common saying, that at this daye that grounde is called of the Si­rians, Acheldema, that is to saye, the grounde of bloude. Neyther was thys thing done by chaunce, for Hieremie prophecied that it shoulde come to passe: and they tooke thirtie pieces of siluer, the price of him that was prised, whome they boughte of the children of Israell, and they gaue them for the grounde of a potter, as the lorde appoynted me.

The texte. Iesus stode before the debitie, and the debitie asked him, saying: Arte thou the king of Iewes? Iesus sayeth vnto him: Thou sayest. And whan he was accused of the chiefe priestes and elders he aunswered nothing. Than sayde Pilate vnto him hearest thou not how many witnesses they laye agaynste thee? And he aunswered hym to neuer a woorde, insomuch that the debitie matuayled greatly.

Therfore whan Iesus stode before the president as giltie, they accused hym [Page] busily of many thinges, speaking nothing in the meane season of blasphemy, of the relygyon of the temple defyled and broken, and of the cummyng of the sonne of man, with the whiche thinges they knew that Pilate, passing litle of suche supersticion, woulde be litle moued: They leye in other fayned faultes whiche mighte stirre the presydentes minde agaynste Iesus, saying: we haue founde this man goyng about to subuert our nacion, and forbidding tributes to be geuen vnto Ceasar, and saying that he is Christe the kyng. Pylate hea­ring mencyon of the kyng, because thys semed to touche Ceasar demaunded of Iesus:Ies [...] stode before ye de­bitie. &c. Arte thou the kyng of Iewes▪ Iesus leste he shoulde seeme proude yf he shoulde make no aunswere, sayeth: Thou sayeste: not vtterlye denying that he was king, but yet adding that hys kingdome is spiritual, & not world­lye, that it pertayneth nothyng to Ceasar or Herode. Agayne whan hys ac­cusers called vpon the matter, Pilate desiryng to get out of hym, wherby he mighte bee delyuered: Heareste thou not (ꝙ he) howe sore faultes they laye a­gaynst thee? But vnto these Iesus aunswered vtterly nothyng, insomuche as the president marueiled greatly, that an innocent man in daungier of deathe, did kepe silence with so greate meekenesse. Pylate perceiuyng by the counte­naunce and behauiour of Iesus, that he was farre from suspicion of desiryng of the kyngdome, sayeth vnto the heades of the priestes and theyr folowers: I fynde no deadly offence in this man. But they were the more hote and ve­hemente, saying: he is a sedicyouse manne, he hath styrred the people with hys doctrine, walkyng ouer all Iewry, begynnyng from Galile vnto thys place. Pilate perceyuyng that Iesus was innocente, but that the priestes and the Scribes went about that theyr purpose of enuie and malice, and therfore see­kyng occasyon to delyuer Iesus, or at the leaste to sende hym from the courte: whan he hearde the name of Galyle, he asked hym what countrey manne he was: and when he knewe that he came oute of the coastes of Galyle, where Herode had rule and imperie, he sente hym agayne vnto Herode, who than, as it happened, was at Hierusalem. Truely Herode seeyng Iesus, was very glad. For of long time he desyred to see Iesus, because the fame wente that he did wonderfull thynges. Therfore he hoped wel that he woulde woorke some miracle before hym also. And whan Herode asked hym questyons of manye thynges, Iesus aunswered hym nothyng, who came not for this purpose to delight the curiositie of princes, but to see and prouyde for the health of men. And wheras he was accused before hym for many causes, and aunswered no­thing, Herode contenmed him, with his garde: and putting vpon him a white garment in skorne, sente hym agayne to Pilate. And by this occasion Pilate and Herode were made frendes wheras before they were at stryfe. Therefore Pylate callyng together the heades of the pryestes, the magystrates, and the people, protested that he had founde none offences in Iesus whiche they ob­iected againste hym: and that Herode also had sente hym away as innocente, whiche he woulde not haue dooen, yf he had iudged him in daunger of a capi­tall crime. And to pacifye the enuie of the Iewes, I will refourme him (ꝙ he) and let him goe.

The texte. At that feaste, the debitie was wont to deliuer vnto the people a prisoner, whome they woulde desire. He had than a notable prisoner, called Barrabas. Therefore whan they were gathered together, Pilate sayde: Whether will ye that I geue looce vnto you Barra­bas, or Iesus whiche is called Christe? For he knewe that for enuie, they had delyuered him.

[Page cxxiii]And whan he could nothing preuayle by these woordes, he seketh an other occasion to delyuer Iesus. There was a custome emong the Iewes that v­pon that holy day, for religions sake, the president shoulde set at libertie some one of them whiche were kept in holde. He had fast in holde at that tyme a cer­tayne notable and famous theefe, named Barrabas, whiche name he knewe was hated of the people. Therfore calling the Iewes vnto him, he asked them whether they woulde haue geuen them, and pardoned, Barrabas, or Iesus: hoping that in comparison of so famouse, and so strong, and violente a theefe, they woulde rather deliuer Iesus.

The texte. ¶Whan he was sette downe to geue iudgement, his wife sente vnto him, saying: Haue thou nothyng to dooe with that iuste man. For I haue suffered manye thynges thys daye in my slepe, because of hym. And the chyefe pr [...]estes and elders perswaded the people, that they shoulde aske Barrabas and destroy Iesus. The presidente sayed, and aunswered vnto them: whiche of the twoo wyll ye that I lette looce vnto you? They sayde, Barrabas. Pilate sayde vnto them: what shall I dooe than with Iesus which is called Christe? They all sayde vnto him: Let him be crucified. The president sayde, what eiuill hath he done? But they cry­ed the more, saying: Let him be crucyfied.

But the president sitting agayne in iudgement, his wife sendeth vnto him one that shoulde saye to hym in her name, that he shoulde not contamynate hymselfe with the bloude of the innocente, saying that she was vexed that nyghte with horryble visyons for Iesus sake. And thys chaunced not with­out cause, but by the ordinaunce of god, that there should yet be some of whome Iesus should haue testimonie of his innocencie. For that was very expedient for all men to knowe, that hys deathe was freely bestowed to redeme vs. And wheras the people were in doub [...]e, whether of both they might desire to be ge­uen vnto them, it came to passe by the counsell of the priestes and the seny­oures, that they asked Barrabas, that Iesus in his place myghte bee kylled. Suche is the iudgemente, and thys is the kyndnes of the people: thys is the counterseyted religyon of the pryestes, and the elders. It was a matter of religion to them to enter into the courte of Pilate that they mighte eate theyr pascall Lambe beeyng pure and cleane, and it was no matter of relygyon with suche ra [...]g madnes to put hym to deathe, whiche was innocente, and throughly tryed with so many vertues and benefites towarde them. Pylate therefore proposed vnto them agayne, whether they woulde haue Barrabas or Iesus sette al libertie. They cryed vnto hym: Barrabas. Pylate agayne sayde: Than what shall I doe with Iesus whiche is called Christe? Trustyng that they woulde bee content with some more gentle punishement. But they cryed with a greate consente of voyces, let hym bee crucifyed. Thys kynde of punishmente, was bothe cruell and very slaunderouse, and shamefull. Agayne (ꝙ Pylate) shall I crucifie an innocente? what hath he deserued? I fynde no­thing in him woorthy death: Therefore I will chastice hym, and let hym goe. With these woordes the madnes of the people was more styrred, crying out: vp with him, vp with him, crucify the man.

The texte. Whan Pilate sawe that he coulde preuayle nothyng, but that more busynes was made, he tooke water and washed his handes, before the people, saying: I am innocent of the bloud of this iust person▪ see you to it. And all the people aunswered and sayde: Hys bloud be vpon vs, and oure children. Than let he Barrabas looce vnto them, and scourged Iesus and deli­uered hym to be crucifyed.

[Page]Pylate perceyuyng that prouyng all wayes and meanes he preuayled no­thyng, but that the tumulte of the people was styred vp more, he assoyled Iesus before that he condemned hym. For in the presence of the people he toke water and washed hys handes, saying: I am innocente from the bloude of this iuste manne, ye be the authours of his deathe, and not I: the vengeaunce of the innocent bloude shall lyght vpon youre head. Yet the vnhappie Iewes were not feared with thys saying, but the whole people cryed out altogether. Let hys bloude lighte vpon vs, and vpon our chyldren. They wished destruc­cyon to them and to theyr successoures. But Chryste more gentile towarde them than they were themselues, hath repelled none from pardone and for­geuenes so that they doe repente. For many afterwardes dyd wurshyppe the Crosse of Chryste, whiche than cryed in the multytude, vp with hym, vp with hym, crucyfie hym. Therefore Pylate ouercome with theyr stiffe madnes, gaue vnto them Barrabas the authour of sedicyon, and a murderer, and condem­ned by all mennes iudgementes, yea, before iudgemente. But after the maner of Rome, whan Iesus was scourged, he deliuered him to be crucifyed.

The texte. ¶ Than the souldiers of the president toke Iesus in the common hall, and gathered to him al the coumpany. And they stripped him, and put on him a purple robe, and platted a crowne of thornes, and put it on his head, and a reede in his ryghte hande, and bowed the knee before him and mocked hym, saying: All hayle the kyng of Iewes. And whan they had spit on hym they tooke the reede, and smote hym on the head. And after they had mocked hym, they tooke of agayne the robe, and put on him his owne garmentes, and toke him away to crucifie him.

Than the souldiers of the presidente, after that they had receiued Iesus in the courte, gathered the whole garde about hym, cruelly to take theyr plea­sure by mocking of the innocent, partely folowyng theyr owne naughtye dis­posicyon, partely prouoked by the Iewes. And because they hearde, that he made himselfe king of the Iewes, they in manner hitting him in the teeth, be­cause being such an abiect he woulde proudely clyme vp to a kyngdome, they spoyled him of hys owne garmentes, and put vpon hym a purple garmente, that is to saye a kyngly robe. After that in the stede of a dyademe, they sette a crowne vpon hys heade made of thornes. In the stede of a scepter they gaue hym a reede in hys right hande. And nowe as salutyng theyr newe kyng, they kneele downe before him and mocke hym, saying: Hayle king of Iewes. Nor beyng contente with these despites, they spit vpon hym and stryke hys heade crowned with thornes with the reede that they gaue hym in stede of a mace. And whan they omytted no manner of despyte, he suffered all thynges with great meekenes, to shewe vnto hys a perfecte exaumple of pacience. Therfore after that the souldiers had satisfyed the myndes and the iyes of the company with all kindes of mockes and skornes, they plucke of his robe agayne and put on hys owne apparell, that he mighte be the better knowen of all menne.

The texte. And as they came out, they founde a man of Cyren named Syman, him they compelled to beare hys Crosse. And they came to the place, whiche is called Golgatha, that is to saye, a place of dead mennes sculles: and gaue him vineger to drinke, mingled with gall. And whan he had tasted ther of, he woulde not drynke.

Than they bring furth Iesus out of the courte, bearing his crosse. And as they wente, they founde one Symon a Cyrenyan, whome they forced to beare the crosse of Iesus, and they came into the place where he shoulde be crucified, whiche of the Syreans is called Golgatha, that is, the place of Caluarie, be­cause it was horrible with bones and sculles of them that were put to death. [Page cxxiiii] Here that no parte of hys body shoulde bee free from tormentyng, or that no mocking or skornyng should be let passe, they offered him a cup of drinke tem­pered with vineger and gall, that it myghte be fulfylled whiche is written in the prophecye: They gaue me gall to eate, and in my thyrste they gaue me vi­neger to drynke. And whan Iesus had tasted, he woulde not drynke.

The texte. Whan they had crucyfyed hym, they parted his garmentes, and caste lottes, that it myghte be fulfilled whiche was spoken by the prophete. They deuyded my garmentes emong them, and vpon my [...]esture dyd chep caste lottes. And they sate and watched hym there, and set vp ouer his deade the cause of hys deathe written. This is Iesus the kyng of the Iewes. Than were there crucified with him two thenes, o [...] on the righte hande and another on the lefte.

But after that they had crucified him, they deuided emong them the gar­mentes of Iesus. As for hys coate whiche was so wouen that it coulde not bee rypped, they cast lottes: that the saying of the Prophet might be fulfilled They deuyded my garmentes emong them, and vpon my coate they caste lot­tes. And fyttyng by the crosse they kepte hym, that no man shoulde take hym awaye. Also a title in mockage was sette vpon the crosse: Thys is Iesus the king of Iewes. The whiche notwithstanding was more honourable than the Iewes coulde suffer. For they were in hande with Pilate that this title might be corrected, and it shoulde not be put, kyng of Iewes, but he made hym selfe kyng of Iewes. And in thys thyng onely they suffered Pylate to haue the higher hande. Also this was procured of the Iewes, that two theues shoulde bee crucifyed with hym, so that Iesus beyng in the myddest, shoulde haue one on the righte hande, and an other on the lefte hande: that he might be taken of all men, both vayne himselfe, and a deceiuer, and lyke vnto them with whome he was matched.

The texte. They that passed by, reuyled hym, waggyng theyr heades, and saying. Thou that de­stroyed [...] the temple of God, and buylded it in three dayes, saue thy selfe. If thou arte the sonne of god, come downe from the crosse. Lykewise also the hyghe priestes and the Scrybes, and elders mocked hym, sayinge He saued other. hymselfe he cannot saue. If he bee the king of Israell, let him come downe nowe from the crosse, and we will beleue hym. He trusted in god, let hym delyuer hym nowe, yf he will haue hym. For he sayde▪ I am the sonne of God. The theues also whiche were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

The crueltie of the Iewes was not yet sacyate and filled with these so greate mischieues. They scorne and reuile him beyng crucifyed, and passing by, they railed on him, and shaking theyr heades, they mocked him, saying: fie on thee, art thou he that hurlest downe the temple of God, and in three dayes makest it vp agayne? Thou didest promise healthe to others, now saue thy selfe. Thou didest boast thee to be the sonne of God, now than come down from the crosse. Likewise also the heades of the priestes, with the Scrybes and the semoures of the people mocked him and reuyled him: he gaue health vnto others, nowe he cannot preserue himselfe. If he be the king of Israel, as he woulde appere, let him declare now what he can doe, let him come downe from the crosse, and we will beleue hym. He trusted in god, whome he craked to be hys father, if he loue him, let him nowe deliuer hym. And that of euery side the most innocente Iesus mighte be arayed with reuylynges, the theues also felowes with hym in punishmente, in lyke manner rebuked hym. The whiche all Iesus suffered with stiffe and strong pacience, to bring to passe and offer for all mē that health­full sacrifice. He kepte still the diuine power, and sette furthe the whole nature humane to al maner of paynes and tormentes. And he did not requited or re­uenge so cruell reuylyng bestowed vpon hym, as he was dying, beeyng more [Page] bitter then the crosse it selfe, insomuche that he prayed vnto hys father, for the souldyers and the Iewes that skorned hym: and one of the theues repentyng himselfe, he receyued into his paradise.

The texte. From the sixt hou [...]e was there darkenes ouer all the lande, vntill the .ix. houre. And aboute the .ix. houre Iesus cryed with a loude voyce, saying: Hely, Hely, Lamazabathanye, that is to saye: my god, my god, why haste thou forsaken me? Some of them that stoode there when they hearde that, sayde: This man calleth for Helias▪ And furthwith one of them ranne, and toke a sponge, and whan he had filled it full of vyne [...]ce, he put it on a reede, and gaue it hym to drinke. But other sayde: let be, let us see whether Helias will come, and delyuer hym. Ie­sus, when he had cryed agayne with a loude voyce, yelded vp the ghost.

The very Sonne felte the punyshment of the innocente, and coulde not a­byde to beholde so wycked a dede. He couered hys face with a blacke cloude, and all that countreye was couered with darkenesse, from syxe of the clocke, vntyll nyne. And yet in the meane season, the darkenesse of the Iewes har­tes coulde not bee shaken of. Further aboute nyne of the clocke, Iesus cryed with a greate voyce, saying thys sentence oute of the psalme. Hely, Hely, La­mazabathany, my God, my God, why haste thou forsaken me? And certayne that stode by, and hearyng afarre of, Hely, and supposyng that he had called to Hely for helpe, sayde: Thys felowe calleth for Hely. Let vs see whether he wyll helpe hym. Than Iesus to shewe that it was a true deathe whiche he suffered for all menne, cryed: I am athirste. For thys is wonte to folowe vpon woundes and sheding of bloude, whiche oftentymes is a punyshemente more sore and paynfull than death. And one runnyng to hym, put vnto his mouth as he hanged, a sponge full of vineger, putte vpon the toppe of a reede. Iesus thirsted sore for the health of menne, but the Iewes offered hym nothyng but vinegar and gall. Therefore he dyd forbeare from it when he had tasted, say­ing: It is consummate and fynyshed, sygnyfying that nothyng was omytted whiche did pertayne to the manner of the sacrifyce. And anone to declare that he lefte his life of hys owne accorde, after that he had commended hys spyryte vnto the father, he cryed with a loude voyce, and bowing down his head, died.

The texte. And beholde the vayle of the temple did rente in two partes, from the top to the bottom, and the earthe quaked, the stones dyd rente, and graues dyd open, and manye bodyes of saynctes whiche slepte, arose and went oute of the graues after hys resurreccyon, and came into the holy citie, and appered to many. Whan the Ce [...]urion, and they that were with him watching Iesus, saw the earthquake, and those thinges whiche happened, they feared great­ly, saying: Truely thys was the sonne of god.

And furthwith all thinges dyd testifye the effectuall death of the lorde Ie­sus. For the vayle of the temple whiche deuyded the holye place from the o­ther parte of the temple, of his owne accorde, was cut in two partes, declaring that the shadowes of Moyses lawe, hereafter shoulde vanyshe awaye at the bryght light of the ghospell. Furthermore the earth did quake, and the stones brake a sunder, reprouing the Iewes for theyr inuyncyble hardnes of hearte. The graues did open, and many bodyes of holy menne whiche were dead, did reuyue and liue agayne, and goyng out of the graues after the resurreccyon of Christe, came into the holye citie of Ierusalem, and appered vnto many, beeyng the preachers and folowers of the resurreccyon of Iesus. Further­more the Captayne and hys seruauntes whiche were there to keepe Iesus, perceyuing the earthquake, the darkenesse, the breakyng of the stones and o­ther wonders, were greatly afeard, saying: Truely this was the sonne of god.

The texte. [Page cxxv]¶And many women were there, beholdyng a farre of, whiche folowed Iesus from Galile, mynystryng vnto hym, among whiche was Marie Magdalene, and Marie the mo­ther of Iames and Ioses, and the mother of the chyldren of Zebedee. When the euen was come, there came a riche man of Aramathia named Ioseph, whiche also was Iesus disciple. He wente vnto Pylate, and begged the holy bodye of Iesus. Than Pylate commaunded the body to be deliuered. And whan Ioseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a cleane clothe and put it in his new toumbe whiche he had hewen out of the rocke, and rolled a great stone to the doore of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Marie Magdalene, and the o­ther Marie sitting ouer againste the Sepulchre.

There were also many women lookyng a farre of, vpon the thynges that were doen, whiche had folowed Iesus from Galile, minystryng vnto hym ne­cessaries, among whome there was Marie Magdalene, and Marie the mo­ther of Iacob and Ioseph, and also the mother of the sonnes of zebedee, and diuers other with them. And when the nyghte drewe nere, a certayne ryche Captayne of Aramathia called Ioseph, who also was the dyscyple of Iesus, wente vnto the presidente, askyng of hym the body of Iesus. Pylate maruey­ling if that he were dead, a man of lustie age, and not hauyng hys legges bro­ken, as soone as he knew certaynely of the captayne that he was dead, he com­maunded the body to be geuen vnto him.

He receyued it, and wrapped it in a cleane shete; and layde it in a newe graue, the whiche he had grauen in an whole stone. And rollyng a greate stone to the doore of the graue, he departed away: And thys was done by the prouidence of God, that they shoulde vse no crueltie vpon the dead karcas, or that no man shoulde dygge vp the graue and steale hym awaye. And when the other were departed, Marie Magdalene, and an other woman contynued there syttyng ouer against the sepulchre, and markyng the place where they layde the body, that at conuenient time they myght doe the dutie of annoynting to it, and the lorde had styrred vp theyr great dilygence to this intente that the beliefe of his resurreccion might be more certayne.

The texte. ¶The nexte daye that foloweth the Parasceue▪ the hyghe priestes and Pharis [...]is came to­gether vnto Pilate, saying: Sir we remember that this deceyuer sayde while he was yet a­liue▪ after three dayes I will rise agayne: commaunde therefore that the sepulchre bee made sure vntyl the thyrd daye, leste his disciples come and steale him away, and say vnto the peo­ple he is risen from the dead. And the last errour shall bee wurse then the firste. Pilate sayde vnto them: Ye haue a watche, goe your waye, make it as sure as ye can. And they wente and made the sepulchre sure with watche men, and sealed the stone.

But the daye after the Parasceue, whiche is the daye of preparacion, agayne the heades of the priestes and the pharis [...]is come vnto Pilate, confirming the trueth of the resurreccion, whiles they goe about to lette it, and they saye vnto the president: Sir we remember that this deceiuer being yet alyue, sayde that he woulde rise agayne after three dayes. Therfore commaunde the sepulchre to be kepte vnto the thyrde day, leste his disciples come, and steale away hys bo­dy, and perswade the people that he is risen agayne. Which if it come to passe, we shall preuayle nothyng, but the latter erroure shalbe wurse then the fyrste. Pylate sayeth vnto them: ye haue a watche, goe and kepe as ye knowe. But they, whiles they goe about to stoppe hym that woulde ryse agayne, they en­crease the miracle, and the faythe of the resurreccyon. They sette kepers and made sure the sepulchre, they sealed the stone also, whiche dyd shut the mouth of the Sepulchre, leste there mighte be any deceyte in the kepers also.

The paraphrase of Erasmus vpon ¶ The .xxviii. Chapter.

The texte. And vpon the euen of the Sabbothes whiche spryngeth in the first day of the Sabbothes Marie Magdalene and the other Marie came for to see the Sepulchre. And beholde there was a greate earthequake. For the Aungell of the Lorde came downe from heauen, and came and rolled downe the stone from the doore, and sat vpon it. And hys countenaunce was like vnto the lightening, and his garment white as snowe. And for feare of him, the kepers were astonied, and were made as dead men.’

ANd when the euen of the firste Sabbothe daye was come, after the ende of the whiche, was the mornyng of the daye folowyng, whiche was the fyrste daye of the weeke next ensuing, Marie Magdalene, and the other Marie, theyr swete spices prepared ouer night, went a­gayne in the mornyng to the Sepulchre, to see what was dooen, and to enbaulme the bodye of Iesus. And there was a great yearthquake. And whan the women deuysed emong themselues, howe they mighte remoue the stone from the doore of the graue (for it was to greate to bee remoued by the strength of women) beholde the aungel of the lorde came downe from hea­uen, and remoued the stone from the doore of the graue, and than sate vpon it. And the countenaunce of the aungell was lyke vnto the lyghtening, and hys garmentes shinyng as white as snowe. The kepers of the Sepulchre loking vpon him, were afrayde and so amased that they laye astonied like dead men.

The texte. And the aungell made aunswere vnto the women, and sayde: Feare ye not: For I knowe that ye seke Iesus whiche was crucified, he is not here, for he is risen as he sayde. Come see the place, where the Lorde was layde. And go quickely, and tell his disciples that he is risen agayne from deathe. And beholde he goeth before you into Galile, there ye shall see hym. Loe I haue tolde you.

But the aungell comforted the women, saying: These men worthyly be a­mased at the glory of the resurreccion, whiche doe perseuer and continue styll in theyr vnbeliefe: But feare not ye, for I know that ye seeke Iesus who was crucifyed. Nowe he hath left hys sepulchre, and hath perfourmed that he pro­mised to do. This is the morning of the third day. Therfore he is risen. Come and see the place, whiche beyng voyde of the bodye, hath yet a sygne where the body laye: It hath also the apparell of the bodye, the lynnen wherein he was wrapped. Lette these thynges make you beleue, yf ye beleue not me. But spe­dely departe hence, and tel these thinges that ye haue sene to the other discy­ples, being sadde for the deathe of the lorde, that he is rysen agayne. Whome if ye desire to see, beholde, he will goe before you into Galile, like as before his death he promised. There ye may see hym alyue, for whome ye mourned when he was dead. Loe I haue tolde you before.

The texte. And they departed quickely from the sepulchre with feare and great ioye, and did runne to bring his disciples worde. And as they went to tel his disciples, beholde. Iesus met them saying: Al hayle. And they came and helde his feete and wurshipped him. Than Iesus sayd vnto them: be not affrayde: goe and tel my brethren, that they goe into Galile, and there they shall see me.

And whan they had looked in the voyde graue, whiche they had founde shut, spedely they returned, partely fearefull for the greatnes of the miracle, parte­ly rauyshed with greate ioye, for the desyre and hope to see theyr Lorde alyue agayne, and they runne to communicate thys ioye to the dyscyples of Iesus. [Page cxxvi] And as they wente, Iesus met them, that they myghte tell the more certayne tidinges. And to encourage them being fearefull, he sayde: All hayle. They se­yng and knowing the lorde, went vnto him, and embracing his feete, wurship­ped him. Agayne Iesus to take from them all feare, that they mighte the better perceiue the thynges that shoulde be spoken, he sayeth: feare not, goe and tell my brethren the thinges that ye haue seene, and bid them go forward into Ga­lile, there they shall see me.

The texte. ¶Whan they were gone, beholde some of the kepers came into the citie, and tolde the chiefe of the priestes all thynges that had happened: And they assembled together with the elders and tooke counsell, and gaue muche money to the souldiers, saying: Saye ye that hys discy­ples came in the nyghte, and stole hym awaye, whan ye were aslepe. And if thys come to the presidentes eares, we wyll perswade him, and saue you harmelesse. But they tooke the mo­ney, and did as they were taught, and this saying is noysed amōg the Iewes vntil this day.

And when they were departed, to thintent the trueth of the resurreccyon myght be confirmed also by the testymonie of the aduersaries, certayne of the kepers, leuing the Sepulchre, went vnto Ierusalem, and tolde the heades of the priestes, what thinges had bene dooen, howe the sepulchre beyng shut and sealed, the body was not founde. And howe the aungel [...] being of merueilouse beautie, remoued the stone, and of the earthequake, and howe they were ama­sed for feare. And how they hearde the aungell talking with the women. Whan the priestes hearde these thinges of the kepers, they went to counsel a­gayne with the Seniours: forasmuche as the thyng was to manyfeste to bee doubted, they bye a lye of the kepers for money, lyke as before they boughte the helpe of the traytour for money: but that they paye more for the laboure of the lyers, than of the traytoure: keepe close (ꝙ they) the thynges that ye haue seene, but make a brute abrode, that hys disciples came in the night & stale him away, whan ye were aslepe. And if thys inuencyon and fleyght be brought vn­to your president, we will perswade hym, and deliuer you from all daunger of this matter. Therefore the souldyers receyuyng money, dyd as they were in­structed, and thys trieflyng and vayne sleight was beleued of the people. For thys rumoure is bruted abrode vnto this day emong the vnbeleuing Iewes.

The texte. ¶Than the eleuen disciples wente away into Galile, into the mountayne where Iesus had appoynted them. And whan they sawe hym, they wurshipped hym. But some doubted. And Iesus came and spake to them, [...]ying: all power is geuen to me in heauen and yearth.

Nowe the eleuen discyples monished of the women, wente forewarde into Galile, and went vp vpon the hyll whiche Iesus had appoynted them. There he shewed hymselfe. They saw and knew hym to be theyr Lord, and honoured him, as now being on high and in heauen. Notwithstandyng, some yet doub­ted, vntil they were made to beleue, with many and very certeyn argumentes. Albeit theyr doubting was profitable for the certaintie of oure belyefe. Ther­fore Iesus drawyng nere vnto them, dyd not onely offer hymselfe to bee seene and touched presently, but also spake vnto thē with hys knowen and accusto­med voyce: declaring that by his death, he had obteyned a kingdome & autho­ritie both in heauen and in earth. In heauē, where euer he reigned with the fa­ther: in earth where hereafter he shoulde reigne, not by tirannical powers and aides, but thorough fayth of beleuers: and that he shoulde dispose the office of this euangelicall kyngdome vnto his disciples, who shoulde folowe his step­pes, committing vnto them the office to preache the Ghospell, not onely to the [Page] Iewes, but also to all nacions: and also authoritie to baptise, and by the holy ghoste, to forgeue synnes to all menne, that wyll professe an euangelycal lyfe with a sincere hearte: and to enstructe and frame them, not after the lawe of Moyses, nor after the constitucions of the Phariseis, but after his preceptes▪ vntyll they wexed and grewe vp vnto the perfeccyon of the wysedome of the ghospell. And that they should nothing dystrust, for that he should not be con­tinually conuersaunt with them, he promiseth that theyr felowship shal neuer fayle, and that he will neuer forsake hys, but be alwayes presente with hys in spirite and power vnto the laste ende of the worlde: All power (ꝙ he) is geuen me in heauen and earth. Ye haue sene me by the reason of the weakenes of the flesh, hungrie, thyrstie, weary, nedy, despised, taken, bounde, spetted vpon, con­demned, beaten, crucifyed, couered with all kyndes of spytefulnes, and in ma­ner deiect vnder the loweste sorte of menne. Because I haue suffered all these thinges willingly and of myne owne accorde for the health of man: my father hath raysed me from deathe, and rewarded me with the glory of immortalitie, and hath lifted me vp to the felowship of hys kyngdome, and hath submytted vnto my power and rule, all thinges that be in heauen and earth. Ye haue an authour whome ye ought not to distrust, ye haue a Lorde, of whome ye ought not to repente.

The texte. Goe ye therefore and teache all nacyons, baptise them in the name of the father and the sonne, and the holye ghoste, teaching them to kepe all thinges whatsoeuer I haue commaun­ded you.

Lyke as I dyed for the healthe of all men: so there is no nacion whiche be­longeth not to my righte. It shall be youre parte to get vnto me, as muche as lyeth in you, all kinde of men. But ye shall not gette them by weapons or war, but by the same meanes that I got vnto me this right, by wholsome doctrine, by a lyfe woorthy and meete for the ghospell, with free well doyng, with pacy­ent suffering of illes. Goe ye therfore as trustie Ambassadoures, & trusting me your authour, teache firste the Iewes, than the nexte neighboures vnto them, afterwardes all the nacions of the whole worlde. Teache what they ought to beleue of me, and what they ought to trust of me. First to knowledge the hea­uēly father, the maker, the orderer, and the restorer of al thinges visible and in­uisible. Whose power no man can resist, because he is almightie, whose know­ledge no man doeth deceiue, because hee seeth all thynges: whose iudgemente no man shall escape: From whome, as from the fountayne, cummeth all good­nes in the worlde. To whome is due all honour, prayse, and thankes geuing. They must knowledge also his sonne Iesus, by whome through hys eternall and vnsearchable counsell, he hath purposed to deliuer mankinde from tiran­ny of sinne and deathe, and by the doctryne of the ghospell, to open the waye vnto euerlasting felicitie. Who for this cause by his will, came downe into the earth, and was borne very manne, of the virgyn Marie, and beyng man long conuersaunt emong menne, taught the heauenly philosophy, which only ma­keth menne blessed.

And being an innocent, was afflicted and punished for the sinnes of the whole worlde, and put to death vpon the crosse. And layde in his graue, the third day he arose agayne according to the prophecies of the Prophetes. After that, be­yng conseruaunt many dayes with his disciples, and the trueth of his resur­reccion delared by sure argumentes, he wente vp agayne into heauen, where­as [Page cxxvii] partaker of the kyngdome and glory of his father, he sitteth on the righte hande of his father almightie. Once he shall come agayne into the worlde, not lowe and abiecte as before, but with the diuine maiestie: not a sauioure, but a iudge, bothe of those whome that day he shall finde aliue, and of those whome nowe being dead, the trumpe of the ghospell shall sodainly call agayne to life: that by his ineuitable iudgemente, euery man may receiue rewarde woorthy and mete for his doinges. They must knowledge also the holy ghoste, whome I haue nowe partely geuen vnto you, and will geue more plentiously, after that I come into heauen, whose secrete inspiracion shal coumforte, teache, and strengthen the mindes of them that trust in me: and being powred into the har­tes of all men, shall glue and confeder them together with mutuall charitie, as many as professe hartely the fayth of the ghospell, of what nacyon soeuer they come of. And if a man doth sinne any thing through the weakenes of mā, he shal obteyne forgeuenes of his sinnes, so that he doth not seuer himselfe frō the league & felowship of the holy cumpany. And whosoeuer ioyneth himselfe vnto this league,Baptising them in the name of the father. &c. all the sinnes of his former life shall be forgeuen him freely. Finally lest any man shoulde thynke the rewardes of good dedes to be desy­red in this life, or shoulde goe aboute vengeaunce agaynst yll doers, let them knowe that this hereafter shall come to passe in them, whiche ye see dooen in me. The dead shall liue agayne, and euery soule shall be restored to her owne body. The whiche as soone as it shall bee doen, whosoeuer shall belong to this holy felowship, and sticke constantly vnto me, shal be translated with me vnto euerlasting life, to be partakers of felicitie, which were felowes and partakers of affliccyons. After they ye haue taughte these thynges, yf they beleue the thinges that ye haue taught, yf they repent them of their former lyfe, if they be ready to embrace the doctrine of the ghospell, then dippe them in water, in the name of the father, the sonne, and the holy gost, that by this wholy signe, they may trust themselues to be deliuered from the filthines of al theyr sinnes, freely through the benefite of my death, and nowe to be chosen to the number of the children of God. Lette no manne be circumcysed, let no manne bee bap­tized in the name of Moyses, or of any manne. Let them all knowe to whome they be bounde for their health, vpon whome they oughte wholy to hang. Let them not bee burdened with the ceremonyes of Moyses, or of manne. Lette this token be sufficient for all menne that cumme to the profession of the ghos­pell, whiche is easye to bee had in euery place. But leste any manne myghte thinke it sufficient to saluacion, once to be baptysed, and to professe the faythe of the ghospell, they must be taughte agayne by what meanes they may kepe theyr innocencie, by what meanes they may goe forwarde to perfeccyon of the euangelicall godlines: I haue omitted nothyng whiche may make to the obteining of euerlasting health. And that heauenly spirite whiche ye shall re­ceiue, will not suffer you to forget that whiche ye haue learned of me. There­fore whatsoeuer I haue commaunded you, deliuer ye the same to be kepte of them. I haue not prescribed vnto you the ceremonies of Moyses law, whiche like shadowes must now vanishe away at the light of the euangelicall trueth. I haue not prescribed vnto you pharisaicall constitucions, but those thinges, whiche onely bringeth true innocencie and godlines, and whiche onely maye make you derely beloued of God, and truely happy.

Therefore teache these thynges to them that professe my name not onely in [Page] woorde but also in life, as I, whatsoeuer I taught, I perfourmed it in ded [...]. Whiles ye be doyng of these thynges, and whyles ye bring mortall menne to heauen, the worlde will ryse agaynste you, lyke as it rose agaynste me. For my spirite agreeth not with the spirite of thys worlde, and my doctryne is wholy agaynst the affeccions of them, whiche loue the thinges that be of this world. They will ryse agaynste you with greate tumultes, but there is no cause why ye nede to distrust, though ye be but lowe and abiecte, vnlearned, weake, and fewe. I haue ouercome the worlde, and ye shall ouercome through my helpe, & by myn [...] exa [...]mple. Ye shal ouercome through my might, and not your owne, whatsoeuer is terrible in this worlde.

The texte. ¶ And loe, I am with you alway, vntill the ende of the worlde.

And although I shall take vp this body into heauen, because it is so expe­diente for you, yet I wil neuer forsake you. For after that I shall ceasse to bee with you in body, than I shall be more effectually with you in my spirite. And I will be with you vnto the worldes ende, but whan the worldes ende shalbe, it profiteth not, nor behoueth not you to know. In the meane season do what is commaunded you, euer ready agaynst that daye. Whiche whansoeuer it shal come, than ye also, your mortalitie layed aparte, shal bee wholy with me, fe­lowes of my fathers kyngdome, whiche shall neuer haue ende.

FINIS.
To the most excellent and ver­tuous princesse quene Catherine, wyfe to our moste gra­cious soueraigne Lorde, Henry the eyght, Kyng of England, Fraunce▪ and Irelande, defendour of the faythe, and of the Churche of Englād, and also of Irelande, in earthe supreme heade, Thomas Key, her dayly Oratoure, wisheth perpetuall felicitie.

AMōge the innumerable benefites whiche we haue receiued of almighty God, most worthye and excellent Princesse, there is none in myne opiniō for the whiche we are more bounden vnto his merciful good­nesse, then for that it hath pleased hym more clearely to illumine vs of this age with the knowledge of his ho­ly woorde, then our forefathers and elders. For who knoweth not how long this realme hath bene misera­bly seduced through ignoraunce of the Scriptures? Who, euen amonge the vplandishe, perceyueth not what intollerable abuses haue bene vnder pretence of true religion, and Godlynesse, mayntayned in this Churche of Englande, tyll suche tyme yt God of his infinite mercy, sent vs a newe Iosias, by whose righteous administracion, and Godly policie, the light of Gods worde that so many yeares before was here extincte, began to shyne agayne: to the vtter extirpacion of false doctrine, the rote and chiefe cause of all such abusiōs? This Iosias is our mooste redoubted soueraigne Lorde Kyng Henry theyght, a Prince garnished with so many excellent gyftes of grace, nature, & Fortune, that he is in very dede, & therfore mooste worthely called, the perfite mirroure, & pearle of all Christen Princes. To wade here in the prayse of his princely qualities, & noble actes atchie [...]ed to Gods honoure, and the publique weale of this realme, is not my purpose, for that I knowe it to be an enterpryse farre exceadyng the compasse of my symple learning, and barrayne eloquence: But onely to declare howe muche we are bounden, chiefly vnto God, and nexte vnto his moste excellent Maiestie, yt we haue the Scriptures in our mother tōgue, & are cured of our olde blindnesse by the medicine of veritie. For nowe hauing our spirituall iyes opened, and daily receyuing into the same the cleare light of Gods worde, we begyn to see, & perfectly to knowe our onely sauiour Iesus Christ: whome to knowe is euerlasting lyfe and saluaciō. But so longe as the saide Scriptures were hyd, and kept from the knowledge of the people, fewe knewe Christ aryght: and none lesse then they, who appeared to be the chiefe professours of christian religion. For what els is it to knowe Christ, but to knowe and confesse that of him onely, and by hym cummeth oure saluacion? that by h [...]moure good dedes are acceptable vnto almyghty God the father? that by him the fathers wrathe is appeased? that by him we be enfraunchised from the captiuitie and thraldome of the deuell? and to be shorte, that by hym [Page] we are adopted and chosen to be the children of God, and enherytours of the kyngdome of heauen? Whoso knoweth Christ aryght, surely beleueth to at­tayne saluaciō by him onely, who saythe: Cum vnto me all ye that do trauaile, and are charged, and I shall refresh you. The very office of Christ is to saue: & therfore he was called by the high wisdome of God (Iesu) that is as muche to say, as a sauiour, because (so saythe the angell in Mathew) he shall saue the people from their sinnes: So that it appeareth hereby how greatly they are deceiued that thinke to be saued by any other waye or meane then by Christ, or that make thēselues quarter sauiours with him, ascribing any parte of their saluaciō vnto their owne workes and deseruinges. Nowe howe could Christ be knowen aright, that is to say, to be our onely sauioure and iustifier so long as the scriptures were shut vp, & kept from the people: And Legenda aurea, with such like trūperye lay open for them to passe the time withall, and reade in stede of the byble? For this cause chiefly, and also for lacke of good preachers, to preache and teache the truthe, it came to passe, that he was almost cleane out of knowledge in this realme, insomuche that (during the tyme of this great ig­noraunce and blyndes) many a thousand putte more confidence of soule he­althe in workes that were but of mennes phantasying, as in pardons, in pil­grymages, in kyssing of relyques, in offeryng to saintes, in halowed beades, in numberyng of prayers, in mumblyng vp of psalmes not vnderstand, in the merytes of those that called them selfes relygious, and in other lyke thyn­ges, disalowed by god, and his holy word, then in Christe thonly auctor, as is aforesayde, of mannes saluacion. But nowe that by the gracious permission of our sayde soueraigne Lorde, the scriptures are open for euery man to read soberly, and reuerently for his owne edifying in vertue and godly lyuing, it is right well knowen that the foresayd abusions were doctrines of Antichristes inuencion, and not of god: and that al such as teache any other waye or meane to attayne saluaciō, then by hym who sayth: I am the waye & veritie, are false teachers, seducers, and liers. Nowe do the commaundementes of God no lenger giue place, as they were wonte to do, vnto mans tradiciōs. Now haue we learned what is our dutie to God, & what obedēice we owe vnto our price, gods chief minister, and supreme head in earth of our churche & cōgregacion. Now is idolatry, hipocrisy, and supersticion, [...]eane plucked vp by the rootes, and true religion euery where planted. Nowe is false doctrine exiled, & Gods worde truely setforthe and preached. Nowe hathe England cleane forsaken Antichrist of Rome, the greatest enemy of gods holy worde, with al his moste vngodly deuices, and diuilyshe inuenciōs. And all this came of the mere mercy and goodnes of almygty god towardes vs, who vndoubtedly for thasserciō of his holy word, and the delyueraūce of vs his people out of captiuitie, igno­raunce, and blydnes, hathe raysed vp in oure tymes thi Christen Iosias, and ioyned vnto the same by most lawful matrimony youre noble grace, a Lady, besydes other speciall gyftes, and singuler qualities, wholy geuen to ye study of vertue and godlynesse. Wherfore all England hathe iuste occasion to reioyce at this youre graces honorable aduauncement, yea rather hyghly to thanke god that our moste gracious soueraigne hathe matched himselfe with so ver­tuous a Lady, in whome is the very expresse resemblance of all his maiesties excellent vertues, but specially of that his graces ardent zele, and deuocion in fauouryng and setting forthe of Gods word, the mother of all ioyful prospe­ritie. [Page ij] A manifest argument wherof besydes many other, is that your grace so muche desyreth to haue the Paraphrases of the renoumed clerke Erasmus of Roterdame vpon the new testament (a worke very fruitefull and necessary for the true vnderstandyng of this parte of holy scripture) tourned into En­glishe: and for the xploiture and spedy accomplishement of this your graces most Godly desyre, hath (as is sayde) commaūded certein well learned persōs to translate the sayde worke, the paraphrase vpon S. Marke excepted, which the right worshypfull maister Owen (a man of muche lerning, & no lesse ho­nestie, and therfore worthyly Phisician to the kynges moste royall person) moued me, your graces pleasure fyrst knowē, to go in hād withall, affirming that I should do a thyng right acceptable vnto your hyghnes, if I would di­ligently trauell therin. The whiche thing, being very desyrous to gratify your highnes, and with my pore seruice and diligence to further, as much as in me lay, ye godly purpose of the same, I right gladly promised him to do, trusting rather vpon the benigne acceptacion of your gracious goddnes, then vpon the slendernesse of my wytte & lerning farre vnable worthely to atchiue so weygh­ty an entreprise. For thauctour hereof was a man of incomparable elo­quēce: and therfore it is not possible for a person scarcely of meane learning (as I am) to set out euery thing specially in our English tongue being very bar­rain of wordes and phrases (I will not saye barbarous withall) so lyuelye, & with like grace as he wrote it fyrst in the Latine. Wherfore I mynded no­thyng lesse then to contend with him in ornate speache, and eloquence: but haue done my diligent endeuour so to interprete the sayde worke, that it shoulde be bothe plaine and pleasaunte vnto the reader: and not onely that, but also to dis­charge the chiefest office of an interpretour, whiche is faythfully to translate, and expresse euery thing according to the true sence & meaning of thauctoure. If I haue, most vertuous Prīcesse, any wh