A HARMONIE VPON THE THREE Euangelists, Matthew, Mark and Luke, with the Com­mentarie of M. Iohn Caluine: Faithfullie translated out of Latine into English, by E. P.

Whereunto is also added a Commentarie vpon the Euange­list S. Iohn, by the same au­thour.

LONDINI impensis Geor. Bishop. 1584.

TO THE RENOWMED Pieres and noble Lordes, the Consuls, and the whole senate of the famous Citie of Frank [...]ford.

I. Caluine.

IF euer it seemed expedient that the pageants of vertues should be shewed openly to the imitation of others (which might bee a spurre as well to the lasie lingerers, as to the restie runners): surely the slouthfull dealing and sluggish behauiour whiche is vsed in these our corrupt dayes maketh it seeme necessarie: that the greater part of men which ra­ther start back, then willingly step forward, shold bee constrained at the least with shame of negli­gence to doe their dutie. For we see euery man busilie bent to a certaine contention who shall excell in wicked practises, and that both in pri­uate and publike affaires: that no Monarche doth seeme to be inferiour to the nations that border vpon him either in policie, or vigilancie, or power, or bolde attempt, whereby he may enlarge the boundes of his empire: that no citie or common weale doth giue place to any in crafti­nesse and all captious dealing: that no man is the second in subtletie a­mong the proud and ambitious: finally there is no man which hath not conspired with his companie, and that in the way of contention, slilie to incite the rest as it were with a becke to all vitious vanitie, and he that is ringleader in all naughtinesse sonest stirreth vp other to his lewdnesse, whereas in the rankest route of ribalds is scarce one found out that fa­uoureth honestie: which maketh me thinke it very profitable that such rare vertues as sometime raigne in noble personages, should bee aduaun­ced to the loftie theater or stage of due commendation, to the intent that they being spied a farre of might allure the greater number to like them and liue accordingly. And this I confesse (right honorable) was the chie­fest cause that moued me to publish this my labour abroad, vnder the ti­tle of your names. For although I shall persuade my selfe to haue pro­fited very wel, if any that beginne of their owne accorde to creepe for­ward, shalbe incouraged by me to runne faster: yet did not I so muche respect this, as that I might persuade other to ioyn hands with you, or at the least to tread the same path that you do. Notwithstāding I haue not purposed to recite as out of a rolle all the godly qualities wherewith you are throughly furnished: only it shall suffice at this time to set forth that one vertue wherewith you haue bound to your honours as with a more holy bond, aswell mee, as diuers other faithfull seruants of Iesus Christ. This one thing is worthie highly to be prayed that fiue yeeres since when as an horrible feare had affrighted the mindes of all men in euery place: whenas the ouerthrowe that our enemies had giuen vs did threaten a miserable ruine to the churches throughout Germany, & al­most an vtter extinguishing of the Gospel, you euen at that time beeing placed in the fore front of the battaile stood stoutly to the free confessi­on of your faith, which was hated to death, and retained with all con­stancie [Page] that sincere doctrine of pietie which before you receiued: which is a manifest argument that when you were tossed with greuous cares and dangerous turmoyles, you desired nothing more then to fight man­fully vnder Christes banner▪ But that which followeth will surely make your names immortall; that you doe not only set out amongest your selues the true worship of God, and imploy your faithfull labour, to cōteine your citizens within the sheepfold of Christ: but also gather to­geather the dispersed relikes of his church, thrust out of other nations, which are as it were, members of the same, all rent and pulled in peeces. Doubtles, it did greatly reioice my hart (cōsidering the troublesome time) to heare that the true worshipers of God, which fled in exile from Eng­land and other countries, were gently receiued and entertained among you▪ and that you did not only releeue and ease their heauie banishment but that you had also a due consideration of the glory of the sonne of God, insomuch that you made his Gospel to be sounded in your citie e­uen by the tongues of aliants, and that in a straunge language. The like curtesie was shewed of late by the Magistrates of Tigurine to the af­flicted citizens of Lo▪ whom they did not only receiue & [...]oster within the walles of their Citie, when at home they coulde not worship God as they woulde: but also erected a Temple for them wherein they might celebrate Gods holy seruice: neither were they diswaded by the diuersitie of tongues from suffering Christ to speake Italian, euen in the middest of Tigurine: but I let them passe and come againe to that I was about to say of you. As soone as I vnderstoode that your curtesie stretched so farre, as to suffer my countrimen to haue a holy congrega­tion in your citie: perceiuing my selfe bound vnto you by a priuate be­nefit: I thought good to testifie my thākful hart by this gift which now I present vnto you. For as the condition of our countrie men is rightly to be lamented, who dwelling in their natiue soyle, seeme by the tyran­nous sacriledge of the Pope to be cleane banished from Christs king­dome: so on the contrary part, it is not a little to bee reioyced at, that they haue a resting place graunted them in a straunge countrie, where they may render due honour vnto the liuing God. And surely this ho­ly hospitalitie which you haue vsed, not so much towardes men as to-Christ himselfe, shall bee a meanes as I trust, to moue God to powre his rare benefites vpon you, and still to continue his liberalitie towarde you, which do alredie slorish in all prosperitie. Doubtlesse it constrained mee (as I signified before) to dedicate this my booke vnto you, which is a Commentarie vpon the Harmonie made of the three Euangelists: in making wherof, I haue takē some paines with no lesse fidelitie thē in­dustry. But as it is to smal purp [...]e to declare how seriously I haue traue­led herein: so do I submit my self to other mens iudgmēts: for ye learned, wise, and discreete Readers, who as they take great delight in the com­mon vtilitie, so they be not ashamed like rude & barbarous caytifes, to learne & augment their knowledge by reading and studie. But as for peruers and ouerthwart wranglers, I little esteeme, I meane not cowled Monkes, who for the maintenance of the Popes tyrannie fight in open place against vs: but also those vnnaturall drones which being mingled amōg vs, desire nothing more, then clean to extinguish al sight of lear­ning, to this intent that they may cloke and couer their own ignorance. [Page] For although like dogges they despitefully bark at me, yet wil I vse this exception alwaies, that I neede not submitte my selfe to their censure or iudgement, either by the law of God or of men, which are not onely to be kept vnder like children for their blamefull and infamous vnskilful­nes: but also most seuerely to be punished for their malitious obstinacie, & to stubbern impudēcie. But whatsoeuer they say, I trust the better sort wil graunt, that it is lawfull for me to acknowledge without arrogan­cie, that faithfull labour, which I haue imploied to the profit of Gods Church. There came forth two yeeres since the gospel of Iohn, with my interpretation, which I trust hath not beene fruitelesse. And thus like an apparitor, I haue endeuoured to my power, to set forth Christe, ryding princelike in his foure wheeled chariot, very gloriously: By reading of which worke, when the gentle readers haue profited them selues, they wil not be loath to confesse, that they haue not studied it in vaine: which Euangelicall history being described and sette forth by foure witnesses, appointed by God himselfe, I do not without cause compare vnto a cha­riot: for of this sweete and pleasaunt consent God seemeth purposelye to haue made as it were, a triumphant chariot for his son, out of which he might plainly appeare to be seene of al his faithful people, and by the swiftnes whereof he might lightly passe, and as it were, raunge ouer the whole world. Neither doth Augustine vnfitly compare the foure Euan­gelistes to trumpets, the noyse whereof doth sound in al coastes, that the Churche of Christe beeing summoned out of the foure quarters of the world, might flock and gather together from the East and the VVeste, from the South and the North, vnto an holy consent of faith. VVhere­fore their absurd curiositie is the lesse to be borne withal, who being not content with these Gospels (which be as it were proclamations procee­ding from heauen) thrust out their own toyes, and corrupt imaginatiōs, which do nothing but defile the puritie of faith, & cause Christes name to be scorned and had in derision of the vngodly. As for you, which do [...] farre excel the common sort, since you detest in minde al that corrupt le­uen, wherewith the true sinceritie of the Gospell is infected, and shewe your selues to delight in nothing more then in maintaining and allow­ing the plaine and simple doctrine, as it is set forth by Christ himselfe: I am not only perswaded that you wil very wel like of this my watchful worke, which expoundeth the treasure of glad tiding: but also I haue a good hope, that this signe or token of my good will and loue to you ward, will be aswel acceptable, in that I haue dedicated the same vnto you. Thus I bid you farewel, right honourable Lordes, and wishe that Christ may direct you with his holy spirit, strengthen you with his po­wer, preserue you vnder his protection, and enrich your Citie and com­mon weale with his plenteous benediction. At Geneua, the first of Aug. The yeere of our Lordes natiuitie, 1555.

A Table shewing the Chapter, Verse and Fol. of all the principall matters contained in this Harmonie. The first number sheweth the Chapter, the second, the Verse, the third the fol.

1. 57
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The end of the Table.

¶TO THE RIGHT HO­norable, Fraunces Earle of Bedford, of the noble order of the Garter Knight, one of the Lordes of her▪ Maiesties most honorable priuie Counsel, grace and peace from God, with the encrease of that true honour which is from God and lasteth for euer.

THe choice (right honorable) whiche Luke the Euangelist made, in dedicating this hi­storie of the gospel, which he wrote to that noble mā The­ophilus, & which that man of worthie memory. M. Iohn Caluine tooke in dedicating these his labours to the lords of Frankeford, driueth mee to dedicate this my small labour of translating this booke into the English tongue, and though it is but little that I haue done, in comparison of the labors of the other two, and not woorth the offering to men of great estate: yet least that I should seeme singuler in dissenting from these two singuler instruments in the Churche of God, & that in one and the self same booke, I haue presumed to make bolde of your Lordships name, hoping that your H. will not mislike to haue it witten in the forehead of this boke with noble Theophilus & the Lords of Frankeford, spe­cially sith that I doe it, in testimonie of my dutifull loue to you, for the manifolde graces of God in you, and be­nefites which I haue receiued from you. Men doe com­monly in their Epistles write either in the commendati­on [Page] of the worke or in the prayse of their patrone, or in discharging of themselues of the discredite which their enemies woulde lay vppon them: but I craue par­don of your honour, if in studying to bee short, I o­mit these thinges. For first the verye name of the go­spell of Iesu Christe, and then the names of Mat­thew, Marke, and Luke the Euangelists, and of M. Caluine the gatherer of the Harmonie, & the writer of the Com­mentarie, do yeeld more credite and commendation to the matter, then all that I can say of it all the dayes of my life. Only this I say of M. Caluines labours here, that in my simple iudgement it is one of the profitablest workes for the church that euer he did write. Next for your praises, as you like not to heare them, so I will not offend you in setting thē down, nor giue others occasiō to cōdemne me of flatterie. They which haue best knowen you, say, that you began a good course in your youth, that you witnessed a good confession in the late time of persecu­tion, that your constancie hath beene testified by your troubles at home, and trauels in forraine countries: you haue continued your profession in the midst of your dig­nitie, Lordships, and liuing left by your parents, and in the seat of gouernment, wherein our Soueraigne & most gracious Queene hath placed you, not falling a sleepe in securitie in this so peaceable a time. My good L. continue to the end, so shall you bee safe. I speake not this as if it were your owne strength that hath holden you vp all this while. But meditate somtimes, I pray you, vpon the 71. Psalme, and pray that Lorde as Dauid did, who kept you in your youth, that he will keepe you in your old age, now that your head is hoare and hayres gray. And I beseech the mighty Lord to thrust them forward which are drawen back by their youthly affections, and to raise vp them that fell away for feare of troubles, & to waken those which in this quiet and calme time do sleepe in se­curitie, or waxe wanton with the wealth of the worlde, [Page] that we may meete the Lord with true humilitie and ear­nest repentaunce, to see if hee will bee intreated to continue his mercies towards vs, least he turn his correc­ting rod, which he hath so ofte shaken ouer vs, into a de­uouring swoord to consume vs. Of my selfe I will say nothing, the mouthes of the wicked cānot be stopt, their false tongues I hope shall teach me to Walke warilie, & I haue learned, I thanke my God, to passe through good report and through euill and to commit my selfe and my cause to him that iudgeth right. The Lord of Lords pre­serue your honour in safetie, and multiply all spirituall blessings vpon you and yours:

The Lords most vnworthie minister, lame Eusebius Paget.

A TABLE OF THOSE THINGES which are expounded in the Harmonie. The first num­ber sheweth the page, the other, the verse of the Chapiters. But if the number be one alone, it signifieth that whych thou doest seeke for, to be had in the Commentary, which next of all followeth the woordes of the Euangelists, before which no number of verses is set.

  • ABia the sonne of Eleazar the priest, 5. 5.
  • Abhomination of desolation what it is 643. 15.
  • Abrahams sonnes be of two sortes, 36. 49. and 40. 55. and 223. 12. & 341. 39. 400. 23. & 550. 9.
  • Abrahams bosome, 398. 22.
  • Abrahams laughter differeth from the laughter of Sara, 15. 18.
  • Admonitions are necessary, 498. 15.
  • Adoption, the keye of the kingdome of heauen, 339. 27.
  • A token of adoption, to deserue wel of al, 185. 45.
  • Adulterie before god, 175. 28.
  • Humane affections are not to be layed a­way, 287. 37.
  • Afflictions, common to the godlye and godlesse, 637. 9.
  • Afflictions, very profitable to the godlye, 322. 17.
  • the faithful ar subiect to afflictiōs, 287. 38
  • Almes, the sacrifice of a sweete sauoure, 173. 23.
  • Ambition, howe daungerous it is, 162. 24. and 434. 1.
  • Ambition immoderate, 37. 51.
  • Ambition in the glorye and solemnities of a funerall, 398. 22.
  • Ambition alwayes in vertues to bee fea­red, 186. 1.
  • Ambition is condemned. 126. 24. & 186 1. & 384. 7. & 398. 22. & 433. 1. and 404. 1. and 486. 5. and 539. 22. and 541. 24.
  • The true way or maner of correctinge ambition, 539. 22.
  • The Anabaptistes doe wickedly keepe li­tle children from baptisme, 521. 14.
  • they do condemne othes vnlearned­ly, 178. 34. They do wickedly banish kinges & magistrates frō the church. 542. 25. They keepe wrongfully the vse of the sworde from the Church, 714. 52. they ouerthrow pollitike or­der and estate, 508. 24.
  • The Anabaptistes denye that it is lawfull for a Christian manne to deuide his goodes, 373. 13.
  • The error of the Anabaptists, concerning cōmunity of goods, 118. 11. & 373. 13.
  • The vaine boastinge of the Anabaptistes. 161. 12.
  • The particle and put for because, 32. 42. & 493. 16.
  • The Angels know not the last day, 655. 36.
  • The Angels are the kepers or watchmen of the faithful, 131. 6. & 488. 10. & 714. 53.
  • One Angell, captaine or leader of the whole people, 264. 9.
  • The Angels are ministers of the elect or chosen, 398, 22
  • The papists foolishlye imitate the Angel, 22. 28.
  • How Angels are the sons of god, 24. 32
  • Of Angels, Christe is the head, 474. 5.
  • Anger▪ for the iudgement of god. 115. 7.
  • Holy and iust Anger, 320. 8.
  • Anna the prophetesse, 89. 36.
  • The scripture hath foretold the destru­ction of Antichrist, 633. 2.
  • Antichrists furnished with myracles, 647 23.
  • The Apostles were sollicited or mooued of the Scribes vnto falling away, 244 11. their calling, 266.
  • [Page] Apostles, whye twelue in number cho­sen of Christ, 267. 1. & 530. 28.
  • the libertie of the Apostles, in citing the places of the olde testament, 82. 6. & 324. 20. & 730. 9.
  • VVherein Aristotle placeth the chiefest good, 371. 38.
  • Arrogancie is to be auoided, 78. 21.
  • Holy Assemblies are not to be neglected, 502. 20.
  • the place of Augustine, 162. 24. & 180. 39. & 262. 28. & 278. 23. and 390. 23. & 400. 25. & 415. 58.
  • Answeares put for any word or speache, 103. 46.
  • BAalim, were in times past called les­ser gods, 280. 25.
  • Baptisme is not to bee denied to in­fants, 521. 14. & 801. 19.
  • Baptisme followeth doctrine, 801. 19.
  • the ende of Baptisme, 540. 22.
  • the veritie of Baptisme, is in Christ alone, 119.
  • the Anabaptists, as much as in them ly­eth, doe blot out Baptisme. 436. 2.
  • the Baptisme of Iohn, for his whole mi­nisterie, 572. 25.
  • the Baptisme of Iohn and of Christe, is the same, 110. 3. & 120.
  • Barabbas is preferred before Christe, 736. 15.
  • Barennesse counted as a reproche, 20. 25.
  • Barennesse excludeth none out of the kingdome of heauen, ibidem.
  • Beelyebub, what it is, 276. 25. and 320. 24.
  • to Beleeue, what it is, 33. 45. looke faith.
  • Two Bethlems. 83. 6.
  • why a Bil of diuorcement in times past was permitted, 176. 31.
  • the Bishops of poperie, are not pastours, 138. 18. & 800. 19.
  • the Bishops of poperie glorye in value in the succession of the Apostles, 164. 13. and 581. 42. and 606. 2. and 803. 20.
  • the Bishops of poperie are dumme Dogs, 256. 36.
  • Blasphemie against the spirite, what it is, 331. 31.
  • Blessing is diuersly taken, 805. 19.
  • Blessing put for happinesse, 22. 28.
  • Blessing, for giuing of thankes, 426. 19.
  • the Blessing of the papistes god, is magi­call. 692. 26.
  • Blessed, putte for chosen or beloued of God, 671. 34.
  • Blessednesse towarde vs, is from the free loue of god, 22. 28.
  • two Blinde menne receiue theyr sighte of Christ, 254. 27.
  • Boanerges for Bena reges, vel Ragas, 156. 16.
  • the Body must be reserued for the woor­ship of God, 133. 10.
  • Booke for Catalogue. 57. 1.
  • The carelesnesse of wryters of Bookes, 58. 6.
  • Bountifulnesse is commended, 117, 11. & 183. 35. and 200. 19. & 382. 41. and 385. 12. & 679. 11.
  • Breal put for all kinde of nourishment, 195. 11.
  • daily Bread, how it is ours, 196. 11.
  • how the Bread of the holy supper, is cal­led the body of Christ, 124. 16.
  • Burial, a signe of the last Resurrection, 237. 22. & 423. 29.
  • the Burial of Iohn Baptist, 423. 29.
  • the Burial of Christ, 768. 59.
  • CAtaphas, who also was called Iose­phus. 718. 59.
  • to be Called, put for, to be accounted and openly knowen, 48. 76.
  • Calling is free. 341. 11.
  • Calling is effectuall in the electe, 13. 16.
  • Calling sufficeth not, vnlesse there bee faithfulnesse also, 222. 16. and 580. 42.
  • the Calling of the Gentiles, loke the Gen­tiles calling.
  • the signe of Christes Calling. 103. 46.
  • the ende of our Calling, 48. 75. and 185. 45. and 246. 13. and 322. 18. and 373. 13.
  • the worde Camel, for a great roape per­taining to a ship, 528. 23.
  • [Page] Capernaum, what maner of citie, 230. 5.
  • the Care of this world choketh the seed of the woord, 354. 22.
  • Care for foode and raiment, is to be ta­ken away, 204.
  • Naughtie Care is reprooued, 130. 4.
  • all Care is not to be condemned, 204.
  • Excessiue Care is from infidelitie, 205. 26. and 130. 4.
  • the humilitie of the Centurian, 231. 8. hys faith, ibidem.
  • VVhye the Centurions faith is preferred before the faith of the Iewes, 232. 10
  • the signification of Ceremonies, is eternal. 169. 19.
  • the external vse of Ceremonies, ibidem.
  • VVee must not attribute too muche to Ceremonies, 445. 25.
  • Two C [...]sareaes. 458. 13.
  • Charitie is distinguished from common frendship, 182. 42. & 390. 12.
  • Charitie Actiue and Passiue, 216. 12.
  • Charitie towardes our neighbour, flow­eth from the loue of God, 596. 39.
  • Charitie is commended, 382. 41. and 497. 15. and 598. 40. and 616. and 640. 12. and 672. 34.
  • VVhether our sinnes bee redeemed by Charitie. 370. 50.
  • the Chaunging of persons. 107.
  • the name of Childe is diuersly taken, 39. 54.
  • Children were receiued of Christe, 521. 14.
  • Christe is God, 13. 17. and 66. 23. and 240. 4. and 327. 25. and 368. 40. and 507. 23. and 557. 2. and 585. 18. and 601. 42. and 625. 37. and 660. 42. & 795. 45.
  • Christ is Lord, 32. 43.
  • Christ by nature the sonne of God, 24. 32. and 124. 17. and 431. 33. hee is true God and man, 106.
  • Christe in bothe natures is the sonne of God, 28. 35.
  • Christ the sonne of Dauid, 57. 1. & 254. 27. and 443. 22. and 600. 42.
  • VVhy Christe is called the first begotten of euery creature, 124. 17.
  • Christ, the first begotten amongest many brethren, 100. 23.
  • Christ, the first begotten of Mary, 68. 25
  • Christ the holy seede, 29. 35.
  • VVhy Christ is named Iesus. 23. 31.
  • VVhy Christ is called Emanuel. 64. 22.
  • Christe must not be esteemed accordinge to the sence of the flesh, 520. 13. and 552. 11.
  • Christ is the mediatour, 29. 35. and 67. 33. and 101. 40. and 124. 17. and 191. 9. and 428. 23. and 490. 18. and 473. 5. and 520. 13. and 568. 5. and 761. 51.
  • Christ is the ladder by which men climbe vp vnto God the father, 265. 38.
  • Christ is not to be ioyned with the com­mon Sainctes, 475. 6.
  • Christe is the heade and Prince of pa­stours, 71. 8.
  • Christ is the true priest, 67. 23.
  • Christe onely is the foundation of hys church, 461. 19.
  • Christe is the head of the churche, 131. 6. and 150. 33. and 279. 25. and 320. 24. and 609. 9. and 649. 28.
  • Christe is the onely teacher of his church, 291. 2. and 473. 5.
  • Christe is the sauiour of the church, 62. 21. and 73. 11. and 256. 36.
  • Christe is the onely signe of concorde and peace, 458. 10.
  • Christ by excellencie is called a seruaunt, 322. 18.
  • Christe is the minister of Circumcision, 26. 33. and 53. and 89. 32. and 268. 5.
  • Christe is the Sonne of righteousnesse, 49. 79. and 89. 32. and 107. 7. and 135. 12. and 143. 13. and 398. 22. and 473. 5. and 634. 4. and 663. 36.
  • VVhy Christe is called the corner stone, 579. 42.
  • Christe the rocke of offence, 293. 6. and 639. 10.
  • [Page] Christe onelye endued with the fulnesse of the spiri [...]e, 138. 17.
  • Christ free from al sinne, 28. 35. & 86. 23 and 101. 40. and 126. 1.
  • Christ is the authour of our saluation, 44. 69.
  • Christe the authour of perfecte blessed­nesse, 50. 79.
  • Christ is the onelye preseruer of our lyfe, 158. 5.
  • Christ an example of the faithfull, 314. 29. and 543. 28.
  • Christ an example of temperance, 243. 29. and 299. 34.
  • Christ is iudge of the whole world, 263. 29. and 500. 18. and 671. 32. and 799. 18.
  • Christ is a seuere iudge against vnbelee­uers. 121. 12.
  • Christ from his infancie was subiecte to the crosse, 97. 16. and 99. 19.
  • To what ende Christ was sent of the Fa­ther, 269. 8. Looke the office of Christ.
  • Why Christ was circumcised, 78. 21.
  • Christ by the secreat counsel of god, was appoynted vnto the deathe of the crosse, 571. 47. and 710. 47. and 714. 53.
  • VVhy Christ was not baptised before the thirtieth yeare of hys age, 123. 16.
  • VVhy Christ would be baptised, 122. 13.
  • Christe, as touchinge his soule for oure sake, would profite, 101. 40.
  • Why Christe went into the wildernesse, 125. 1.
  • why christ was tempted of sathā, 127. 1
  • Christe was tempted 3. maner of waies, 131. 5.
  • VVhy Christ fasted in the VVildernesse, 125. 1.
  • VVhy Christ vntill the thirtieth yeare of his age, kept himselfe in a priuate life, 415. 55.
  • Christ hadde no quiet abidinge in any one place, 507. 24.
  • Christ was more in Galile, than other where, 380. 31.
  • Christ without sinne, was subiecte to the infirmitie of the flesh, 95. 13. and 128 [...]. & 569. 18.
  • Christe was subiect to humane passions, 569. 18. and 703. 37.
  • Christe willingly submitted hymselfe to death, 470. & 472. 3. & 536. 18.
  • Christ of his owne accord became pore, 568. 5.
  • VVhy Christ chiefly chose grosse idiotes for his Apostles, 147. 10. and 242. 9. and 297.
  • Why Christ escapeth by flight, 321. 14.
  • Why Christ would not make an ende of the strife betweene two brethren, 373. 13.
  • Christ was wont to pay tribute, 507. 24.
  • To what purpose Christ sent Peter vnto the sea for paying of tribute, 508. 27.
  • VVhye Christ reiected the confession of diuels, 153. 34.
  • Christ sought a secreat place for to praye in, 189. 5.
  • Christe for diuers endes spake vnto the people, 383. 35.
  • Christe discloseth the hypocrisie of men by the gospel. 92. 35.
  • Christ not idle, while the apostles labor, 291. 1.
  • Christe accordinge to the maner of the time, vsed outwarde signes, 152. 29. and 448. 32.
  • Why Christ for a time would haue hys myracles concealed, 321. 16. & 449. 36. and 457. 26.
  • How Christ is made manifest vnto vs by the gospel, 784. 27.
  • Christ is to be soght for in heauē, 787. 31
  • christ did twise cast out of the temple, the sellers and biers, 565. 12.
  • Christ was contemptuouslye receiued of the Nazarites, 140. 23.
  • VVhen Christ kepte the passeouer with his disciples, 683. 17.
  • christe verye reprochefullye handled of the reprobate, 280. 25.
  • why christ accused of false witnesses, held his peace, 720. 62.
  • why Christ trembled at death, 510. 51.
  • what Christ feared in death, 707. 39.
  • Christ therefore suffered, that he myght reconcile the worlde vnto god, 536. [...]7.
  • [Page] Christ moued with true sorow, 702. 37.
  • VVhye Christe after a solemne rite, was condemned of an earthly iudge, 727. 1. & 740. 26.
  • christ raised from the death, 771.
  • Christ honourably buried, 768. 59.
  • Christe, howe ignoraunt of the daye of iudgement, 655. 36.
  • when christ is sayd to come, 279.
  • Christes body verily humane, 23. 31.
  • Christ is subiect to ignoraunce, 102. 40. of Christe two natures, 33. 43.
  • the knowledge of christe is from God 312. 12.
  • Christes office, 59. 16. and 83. 6. and 92. 34. and 104. 49. & 244. 12. & 322. 18. and 340. 48. and 371. 38. and 373. 13. and 432. 34. & 550. 9. and 635. 5. 21.
  • Christes humblinge, 58. 3. and 70. 7. and 73. 12. and 101. 40. & 105. 51. and 237. 3. & 321. 14. and 531. 29. and 543. 28.
  • Christes modestie, 103. 46.
  • Christes mekenesse, 124. 16. and 323. 19.
  • the condition of Christes life, 236. 20.
  • christes grace and vertue eternall, 46. 72. and 34. 29.
  • Christes Fastinge, a seale of the Gospell, 126. 1.
  • christes temptations: what, 530. 28.
  • Christes pouertie, 564. 5.
  • the difference of Christ & the Ministers. 120.
  • the beholding of Christ, double, 88. 30. and 340. 48. and 351. 16.
  • Christes kingdome spirituall, 75. 71. and 79. 1. and 84. 11. and 143. 13. and 506. 24. and 539. 22. and 559. 9. and 579. 42. and 582. 43. and 732.
  • Christes kingdom eternal, 26. 33. & 45 9. 16. and 579. 42. 603. 44.
  • The perfection of Christes kingdome, in the ende of the worlde, 670.
  • Christes Priesthoode euerlastynge, 459. 16.
  • Christes Lordshippe ouer the dumbe ele­ments, 260. 26.
  • the cōfession of Christ, an especial wor­ship of God, 284. 32.
  • Christes first sermon vnto hys Disciples, 158. 3.
  • christes people: who, 63. 21. and 221. 16. and 236. 20.
  • christes woordes are not sophistically to bee vrged, 182. 30. and 221. 16. and 236. 20.
  • christes voyce to the reprobate, deadlye, 430.
  • The force of christes voyce, 148. 22. 242. 9. and 253. 41. & 260. 26. and 264. 9.
  • The afflictions of christ and the faithful common, 540. 22.
  • christes obedience, 702. 30.
  • christes desire to profite all, 371. 38.
  • The contempt of christe, from whence, 322. 17. and 4 [...]5. 55.
  • the contempt of christes grace, 313. 28.
  • christes sorrowe for the vnthankfulnesse of menne, 452. 2.
  • christes anger, 320. 8.
  • VVho is to bee accounted a Martyr of christe, 161. 12.
  • christes zeale, 452. 2. and 565. 12.
  • christes will, whether one and the same, 706. 39.
  • The ende of christes myracles, 152. 17.
  • christes sittinge at the right hande of the father, 603. 44. & 721. 64.
  • christes care for the church, 154. 13.
  • christes Transfiguringe, of what maner, 471. 2.
  • christes death, the renuing of the world. 666. 50.
  • christes death, why called a taking away 510. 51.
  • christes death, why [...] to baptis [...]e, 666. 50.
  • christes ascension into [...], the fulfil­ling of the new [...].
  • christes [...] 26. 1. and 203. 6. and [...]67. 2. [...] 14.
  • christes second comming, 55 [...].
  • christe onely must be obeyed, 60 [...]. 6.
  • to deny christ, how hurtful, 284. 31.
  • what maner of Church [...] of Christ, 186. 1. & 345.
  • [Page] the church consistinge of the simple com­mon people, 570. 47.
  • the church not grounded vppon Peter, 156. 16.
  • the church the spirituall house of Iacob, 26. 33.
  • the church, the field of the Lord, 357.
  • the church, why compared to a floore, 121. 12.
  • the church, subiecte to painfull temptati­ons, 641. 14. and 651.
  • the church layd open vnto diuers deceits, 220. 15.
  • the church bounde to the worde of God, 581. 42.
  • the church, as yet troubled with manye faultes, 356.
  • the church, for Elders of the church, 499. 17.
  • the state of the olde church, 12. 16. and 13. 17. and 39. 54. and 111. 3. and 565. 12.
  • the churches plentifull encrease, 267. 1.
  • the churches condition, of what sort. 45. 71. and 154. 13. and 369. 47.
  • the churches warfare with sathan, 45. 71. and 460. 18.
  • papists abuse tho, churches title, 116. 9.
  • the churches perfection, of what maner, 121. 12.
  • the churches iudgement not in vayne, 500. 18.
  • God wonderfully preserueth his church from the wicked, 84. 7.
  • Cicero his place, 73. 11.
  • circumcision sometimes was done at home, 41. 58.
  • the popishe cleargies arrogancie, 116. 9.
  • the popishe cleargies immunitie, 508. 24.
  • to come in the name of the Lord: what, 559. 9.
  • commandements differ from iustifications, 6. 6.
  • VVhich is the least commaundement, 168. 19.
  • common for prophane, 442. 19.
  • compssion is commended. 397. 21.
  • Mutual concord is commended, 173. 23. Looke charitie.
  • cencupiscence a sinne, 175. 28.
  • consession of Christ, an especiall woorship of God, 284. 32.
  • consession of sinnes profitable and neces­sary, 112. 6. and 494. 21.
  • From whence the papistes fetche auri­cular consession, 113. 6. and 228. 4. and 4. 13. 14. and 494. 21.
  • vprightnesse of conscience necessarye, 6. 6. and 187. 3.
  • quietnes of conscience, necessary in the ser­uice of God, 47. 73.
  • quietnesse of conscience, the frute of faith, 370. 50.
  • an euill conscience neuer quiet, 83. 7. and 417. 2. and 421. 24.
  • The force of an euill conscience, 263. 29. and 417. 2. and 687. 25.
  • The blockishnesse, of an euill conscience, 687. 25.
  • consciences are not to be caught in a snare, 435. 2. & 519. 12. & 586. 21.
  • contempt of the Gospell, from whence. 305. 16. and 309. 25.
  • contentions are to be auoided, 131. 5. and 173. 25.
  • continencie, the speciall gifte of GOD, 518.
  • continuance in faith and prayer necessary, 99. 19. and 278. 22. and 526. 22. and 666. 49.
  • conuersion of fathers vnto the sonnes, 13. 17.
  • God is the authour of conuersion, 12. 16. looke repentaunce.
  • Corbana, what. 729. 6.
  • the contempte of corrections in the world very great, 135. 19. and 160. 10.
  • Of brotherlye correction, three degrees, 497. 15.
  • to refuse corrections, an extreeme euill, 135. 19.
  • Couetousnesse, is greatlye to be taken heede of, 200. 19. and 203. 24. and 354. 22. and 374. 15. 16. and 395. 14. and 524. 20.
  • the hurre of Couetousnesse, 526. 22. and 5 [...]7. 23. and 681.
  • [Page] the best waye of correcting Couetousnesse, 203. 24.
  • whether Counsels may erre. 804. 20.
  • Courtiers are entrapped in many sinnes, 423. 28.
  • Crates the Thebane, folishly cast his goods into the sea, 525. 19.
  • the Crosse without Christ accursed, 287. 38.
  • Crueltie detested of God, 397. 21.
  • by the woorde Cupp [...], Gods prouidence is noted, 705. 39.
  • Curiositie is to be auoided, 3. 1. and 124. 16. and 139. 19. 205. 26. and 207. 29. and 209. 1. and 217. 23. & 344. 41. and 399. 23. & 401. 27. & 485. 1. and 553. 12. and 540. 23. & 648. 26. and 751. 43. and 793. 41.
  • Of Cursses, which the Scripture contai­neth, a two folde vse, 162. 24.
  • Custome not rightly counted for a law, 42. 59.
  • Custome not more to bee esteemed then truthe, 171. 22.
  • to a Custome receiued, not too muche is to be giuen, 248. 19.
  • Cyrus his place, 493. 16.
  • HOw the Day in times past was deui­ded, 534. 1. and 746. 25.
  • the Day of iudgement euerye mo­ment to be loked for, 655. 36. 657. 37.
  • the yearely solemnising of a birth Day. not of it selfe euill, 421. 6.
  • wherof vtter Darknesse is so called, 233. 12. and 555. 24.
  • Dauid a figure of Christe, 58. 6. & 579. 42. and 746. 35.
  • Dauids name translated vnto the Mes­sias, 25. 32.
  • Dauids purpose in appoyntinge the or­ders of the priests, 5. 5. and 8. 9.
  • the Dead haue no care of the liuing, 401. 27.
  • Death not to bee feared, 281. 28. and 287. 39.
  • Demosthenes his place. 3. 3.
  • Denial of Christ, howe hurtful, 284. 32. and 723. 70.
  • Denial of oure selues is commaunded, 136. 14. and 193. 10. and 216. 13. and 225. 24. and 269. 33. and 467. 24. and 524. 20. and 540. 22. & 575. 32. and 631. 43.
  • Desart, for a roughe and hillie countrie. 109. 2.
  • Destinie of the Stoikes confuted, 283. 29.
  • the Disciples called of Christ, 145. 18.
  • why Christ sent the seuentie Disciples by two & two, 302. 1.
  • the Disciples striue for superioritie, 484. 1. and 541. 24.
  • the disciples ignorāce, 441. 15. & 455. 8.
  • the blockishnesse and slouthfulnesse of the Disciples, 429. 24. and 450. 33. and 552. 12.
  • the slouthfulnesse of Iohns Disciples. 292. 3.
  • the diuels confesse christ to be the sonne of God, 321. 16.
  • why the Diuels wished to enter into the swine, and whye Christe suffered it, 264. 31.
  • Diuels, essentiall spirites, 265. 31.
  • Diuinitie of the Papists speculatiue, vaine and colde, 150. 22.
  • Diuorcement, why in times past permit­ted, 177. 31. and 5. 13.
  • the cause of lawfull diuorcement, 516. 9.
  • what it is to Doe the will of the father: 223. 21. and 340. 48.
  • the Doctrine of the Prophets, comprehē ­ded vnder the name of the law, 106.
  • the Doctrine of saluation published vnto men, for diuers endes, 346. 11.
  • Howe the Doctrine of the Gospel, is the cause of blindenesse, 350. 12.
  • generall Doctrine necessary, 142. 25.
  • Generall Doctrine from the particular, 104. 49. and 142. 25. and 164. 13. and 186. 1. and 234. 13. & 245. 13.
  • the true vse of generall Doctrine, 30. 37.
  • particular Doctrine necessarye, 114. 7.
  • Doctrine to bee applied to the persons, 114. 7. and 118. 12.
  • diuersitie of Doctrine, breedeth hatred, 511. 52.
  • [Page] contempt of Doctrine extinguisheth the light of the spirite, 43. 67.
  • contempt of Doctrine in the worlde very great, 402. 30.
  • All Doctrines are to bee examined by the woorde of God, 221. 76.
  • Dogges and swine: who, 211. 6.
  • the Donatises vaine glorying, 161. 2.
  • Dreames diuine, whereby discerned from humane, 62. 20.
  • Drunkennesse is to bee taken heede of, 421. 6.
  • The friuolous distinction of Dulia and Latria, 133. 10.
  • A Simple Eye for not faultie, 202. 22. Election free, 347. 11.
  • Election from the will of GOD, 311. 26.
  • Election onely the headspring and cause of our saluation, 440. 13.
  • Election the fountain of al good things, 308. 20.
  • the force of Election, 310. 25.
  • Few Elected or chosen, 391. 11.
  • the Elect, why compared to wheat, 121. 12.
  • the Elect out of daunger; 45. 71. & 440. 13. & 647. 23. 24.
  • the Elect onely lightened, 349. 14.
  • the elect onely vnderstand the mysteries of God, 347. 11.
  • the Elect onely are ledde by the spirit of God, 350. 14.
  • the Elect onely perseuer, 354. 20.
  • the Electes perseuerance, 300. 35.
  • The difference of the Elect & reprobate, 9. 12. 13. & 17. 20. & 40. 38. & 44. 68. & 72. 10. & 121. 12. and 158. 5. & 197. 12. and 205. & 235. 26. and 287. 39. & 297. 15. and 310. 25. and 337. 44. and 399. 23. & 436. 27. and 467. 24. and 501. 18. & 528. 25. & 531. 29.
  • Elias, whether verilye appeared in the transfiguration of Christ, 471. 3.
  • Elias and Enoch, looked for of the Pa­pistes before the comming of Christ, 476. 10.
  • VVhy Iohn was called Elias, 296. 14. & 417. 2.
  • Why Luke rehearseth Elizabeth [...] stocke, 6. 5.
  • Elizabeth, howe iust and without re­proofe, 7. 6.
  • why Elizabeth, after Iohn was conceiued, hid her selfe, 19. 24.
  • Elizabeth, howe the cousin of Marye, 5. 5. and 29. 36.
  • Enemies are to be loued, 184. 44.
  • Enuie is to be auoided, 32. 43. 162. 24. and 496. 28.
  • Epic [...]es contemners of gods glory, 162. 24.
  • Eremites superstition, 112. 4.
  • Errours howe to be corrected, 614. 18.
  • VVhye the Euangelises would passe from Christes in fancie vnto the thirtie the yeare of his age: 106.
  • the Euangelises not curious in obseruing [...] the course of times, 131. 5. and 145. 18. & 339. 19. & 378. & 383. 41. & 541. 24. & 545. 29. and 552. 12. and 564. & 630. 53.
  • the certainty of the Euangelistes doctrine, 79. 1.
  • Of Eun [...]ches, or chaste personnes, three kindes, 518. 12.
  • the Examples of the fathers, how farre to be followed, 11. 15. and 511. 54. and 512. 55.
  • Excommunication in Christes church very profitable, 499. 17.
  • Excommunication of the Pope, no whit at all to be feared, 161. 11.
  • Exhortations necessary, 76. 15.
  • the vse of Exhortations in the Churche, 390. 23.
  • Exorcistes common amongest the Iewes, 328. 27.
  • VVhat maner of Exorcistes be created or made in Poperie, ibidem.
  • FAith is by hearing, 13. 16. and 338. 27. 443. 22.
  • Faith is voluntarie, 390. 23.
  • [Page] Faith the gifte of God, 147. 10. & 310. 25. & 325. & 402. 30. & 490. 17. & 481. 22.
  • Fayth general and perticular, 16. 18.
  • Faith perticular necessary, 73. 11. & 147 10. & 445. 25. & 463. 19.
  • Temporall faith, 353. 20. & 411. 13.
  • Faith aloane iustifieth, 335. 37. & 547. 52.
  • Faith obtaineth any thing of GOD, 255 29. & 446. 28. & 481. 123. & 570. 21.
  • Faith cannot bee separated from good workes, 390. 11.
  • Faith vnperfect, euen of God is not reie­cted, 250. 18. 20. & 355. 23. & 481. 24.
  • Faith is not alwaies repugnant to feare, 259. 25.
  • Faith, the cause of our saluation, 353. 19.
  • Our faith grounded in heauen, 24. 31.
  • Faith ioyned with Gods eternall prede­stination, 312. 27.
  • Faith alone sanctifieth in vs the giftes of God, 413. 19.
  • An other mans faith, howe far profiteth other, 239. 2.
  • The faith of the fathers and ours alone, 11.
  • The Faith of the godly exercised by tēp­tations, 128. 1.
  • The faith of the righteous is their wis­dome, 14. 17.
  • The faith of the Papists is implicite, 484.
  • The faith of the Centurion, 231. 8.
  • The faith of the woman of Chanaan is commended of Christ, 446. 28.
  • The nature of faith, 15. 18. & 292. 3. & 296. 12. & 570. 21. of fayth the chiefest foundation, 480. 22.
  • The examination of faith contained in our prayers, 570. 21. the analogie of faith ought to beare rule in iudging false Prophets, 221. 16.
  • Faithes obedience, 30. 38.
  • Faithes degrees, 298. 29. & 355. 23. & 548.
  • Faithes infirmitie in the Saintes, 16. 18.
  • Faithes confirmation necessary, 90. 33.
  • The difference of faith and opiniō, 251. 20.
  • The relation of Faith and the word. 33. 45.
  • The fruit of fayth is tranquilitie of cō ­science, 370. 50.
  • No man obteineth faith by his own wis­dome, 311. 25.
  • The Papistes mixe faith with doubting, 570. 21.
  • The faith of God, what, ibid.
  • By faith we obteine remission of sinnes, 252. 23.
  • the faithful are the temples of God, 490 18.
  • the faithful planted by the hand of God, 440. 13.
  • The faithful, how the sonnes of God, 25 32.
  • The faithful, the brethren of Christ, 340 48.
  • The faithful, the sonnes of light, 265. 14 & 393. 8.
  • The faithful ought to bee salt to others, 165. 50.
  • The faithful, how heires of the worlde, 159. 5.
  • VVhy the faithful are called litle ones, 290. 41. & 292, 3.
  • The faithful, why laide open to the false accusations of the reprobate, 167. 17.
  • The faithful, how righteous before God 49. 77.
  • The faithfuls condition in the worlde, contemptible and miserable, 134. 11 & 61. 10. & 236. 19. & 467. 23. & 637. 9. & 4. 671. 32. 34. & 734. 12.
  • The ioy of the faithful, 35. 46. & 72. 10. & 652. 28.
  • The glory of the faithful after this lyfe, 399. 22.
  • The faithfuls good and godly glorying, 679. 10.
  • The faithfuls felicitie, 161. 10. & 201. 21.
  • The warfare of the faithfull, 160, [...]0. & 336. 43. & 696. 31.
  • The obedience of the faithful vnperfect, 204. 24.
  • [Page] The small number of the faythful, 216, 13. & 257. 13. & 313. 28. & 391. 11.
  • The small number of the faythful, whye compared to a plentifull harueste, 257. 37.
  • the faythfuls perfectiō in this life, of what sort, 186. 48. & 333. 33.
  • The faythfuls cōbat with Sathan, 160. 10 & 696. 31.
  • The faythfuls certein victory, 378. 22. & 287. 38.
  • The faithfuls life lik gaining by occupy­inge, 554. 20.
  • The faithfuls scope or end of life, 372. 42
  • The zeal of the faithful, 452. 2.
  • Beetwixt faithful and vnfaythfull what difference, looke the difference of the elect and reprobate.
  • Fasting, when approued of God. 93. 37 & 199.
  • Fasting of three daies how to bee vnder­standed, 450.
  • The difference of Christes fasting and the Papistes, 126. 1.
  • The ende of fasting 482. 21.
  • Concerning fasting, Iohns disciples qua­rel with Christ, 247. 14.
  • The Fasting of Lent, 126. 1.
  • the fathers called not vppon God, but by trusting in Christ the mediatour, 25. 32. freed from the yoke of sinne by Christes onely grace, 44. 68.
  • How the fathers differ from vs, 351. 24. & 399. 22.
  • the faith of the fathers and ours al one, 233. 11. & 351. 24.
  • The foolishe immitation of the fathers, 11. 15. & 511. 54.
  • Faultes vnder defence of lawes are not to be couered, 290.
  • Faining, howe it may agree with Christ, 786. 28.
  • the feare of the godly differeth from the feare of the wicked, 235. 16.
  • Feare not alwaies repugnant to faith. 96 13. & 259. 25. & 431. 31.
  • the feare of the Lord comprehendeth all godlynes and religion, 37. 49.
  • Fearefulnes commeth of an euill consci­ence, 64. 7.
  • Felicitie proceedeth from the loue of God, 22. 28.
  • True felicitie commeth of fayth. 33. 45.
  • True felicitie dependeth of Christe, 148. 23.
  • the chiefest felicitie doth consist in Christ alone, 50. 79.
  • the greatest felicitie is in heauen, 201. 21.
  • The difference beetwixte the felicitie of the faithful & the Stoiks, 201. 21.
  • Fygtree, whye cursed of Christe, 569. 18.
  • To finde fauour, what it is, 23. 30.
  • Fynger of GOD, for his spirite, 328. 28.
  • why the spirit is called Fyre, 121. 11.
  • Fyre eternall, of what maner, 122. 12. & 359. 41. & 675. 41. to bee seasoned with fire, what, 164. 49.
  • Fleshe for menne, without the note of sin 112. 6.
  • Flesh prone to slouth, 709. 43.
  • All the affections of the flesh ought to be suspected, 104. 48.
  • The bolde confidence of our flesh, 540. 22.
  • the flock of Christ, a litle one, 208. 32.
  • Whither it bee lawful to resist force with force, 184. 44.
  • Fortune ruleth not the woorlde, 283. 29.
  • Freewyll ouerthrowne, 333. 33.
  • Freewilles defenders and patrons, 202. 22. & 333. 33. & 598. 30. & 627. 37.
  • Frowardnes condemned, 505. 21.
  • Fruitfulnesse of the wombe commeth frō the blessing of God.
  • GAbryel, what it signifieth, 16. 19.
  • Gadarenes couetous and vnthanke­full, 265. 15.
  • [Page] Galyle of the Gentiles, which, 144. 13.
  • Gates of hell. 461. 18.
  • Gehenna, from whence deryued, 172. 22.
  • The woorde Gehenna translated to the hels. 280. 25.
  • the Genealogie of Christ is described, 52. 53.
  • The fourefold difference of the narra­tion of Christes genealogie, 54.
  • the Gentiles calling, 40. 55. & 73. 10. & 79. 1. & 89. 31. 32. & 219. 29. & 232 10. & 323. 18. & 324. 20. & 442. & 566. 13. & 688. 13. & 796. 47. & 800. 19.
  • Gentlenesse is commended, 173. 25. & 497. 15.
  • Gl [...]h properly what, 66. 22.
  • Glorye of GOD, looke Gods glo­rie.
  • The Glorye of the faithful, 400. 25.
  • God hath care ouer his, 61. 20. & 8. 4. 7 95. 13. & 134. 11. & 142. 28. & 189 8. 195. 11. & 205. 26. & 276. 19 282. 29. 406. 7. & 645. 22. & 648. 24 & 672. 34.
  • One God, 591. 37.
  • God onelye good, 523. 17.
  • God, whye called an heauēly father, 191 9.
  • God our father wil be knowne, 124. 17. & 292. 9.
  • How God is in heauen, 191. 9.
  • God onely to be worshipped and serued, 133. 10. & 594. 26.
  • VVhye God swore, 46. 37.
  • to whom God is mercifull and fauoura­ble, 159. 7.
  • GOD alwayes true, 33. 45. & 64. 22.
  • GOD, the authour of marriage, 515. 7.
  • God after two manner of waies appear­red to the fathers, 62. 20.
  • God alwayes lyke him selfe, 36. 49.
  • God alone is the law maker for the souls 586. 21.
  • God especiallye beholdeth the mind, 6. 6 & 15. 18. & 48. 75. & 172. 22. & 245. 13. & 395. 15. & 569. 38. & 630. 43.
  • VVhy God is called the god of Israel, 44 68.
  • VVhye God somtimes deferreth his help 62. 20. & 379. 15. & 405. & 406. 7. & 430. 27.
  • whye God forthwith punisheth not the wicked, 377. 6.
  • How God is said to loue al, 526. 21
  • how God is said to tempt, 128. 2. & 259 13.
  • How God leadeth into temptation, 198 13.
  • God, not the authour of euill, ibid.
  • God Vseth the trauaile of wicked men, 69.
  • God onelye forgiueth sinnes, 240. 3.
  • God onelye the iudge of the whole world, 185. 45.
  • God inuiteth men vnto repētaunce, 493. 17.
  • God is said to reigne two maner of waies 193. 10.
  • God may bee called vppon in all places, 567. 13.
  • God not bounde to the lawes of nature, 15. 18. & 27. 34.
  • God by diuerse meanes saueth his, 95. 13.
  • God sometimes giueth ouer his honor to men, 498. 15.
  • God a sharpe reuenger and defender of the trueth, 334. 34.
  • The loue of God the beginning of god­lines, 595. 38.
  • Gods goodnesse to bee imitated of vs, 505. 21.
  • Gods arme for his strength or power, 37. 51.
  • Gods right hande, what, 721. 64.
  • The knowledge of GOD is onely from Christ, 312. 27.
  • Gods counsell secrete, 349. 13. & 540. 23 & 580. 42.
  • Gods counsell for the doctrine of the gospel, 298. 30.
  • Two sortes of the contemners of God, 212. 6.
  • Gods worshippe to be framed according to his word, 86. 23. & 437.
  • [Page] Gods worship spirituall, 85. 11. & 245. 13. & 437. 7. & 566. 13. & 5. 99. 32▪
  • Gods giftes not to bee neglected, 338. 27.
  • The communication of the gifts of God, 260. 8.
  • Gods giftes not to be abused, 394. 10. & 553. 13. & 664. 48.
  • Faith alone sanctifieth Gods giftes in vs, 413. 19.
  • Gods example, how farre to be folowed, 185. 45.
  • what it is to haue the faith of GOD, 570 21.
  • GODS couenaunt with the fathers of hys free grace, 40. & 46. 7 [...]. & 65. 22.
  • Gods glorye, how much to be esteemed, 104. 48. & 191.
  • Gods glorye, the fruite of miracles, 260. 27.
  • Gods grace free, 534. 8.
  • Gods grace striueth with the malyce of men, 416. 58.
  • Gods grace in Aungelles and men to bee praised, 39. 48.
  • Gods grace preuenteth vs, 37. 49. & 211 6. & 390. 11. & 493. 20. & 506. 25. & 548. 5.
  • Gods fauour towarde his, 17. 20. & 29. 36. & 47. 73. & 194. 11. 250. 18. & 333. 33. & 376. 2. & 377. 6. & 494 20. 22. & 506. 25.
  • Gods iudgement secrete. 480. 81.
  • Gods prayses are to be sette forth, 74. 13. 14. & 94. 38.
  • Gods mercy eternal, 36. 49.
  • Gods mercy the foundation of repētance, 109. 2.
  • The knowledge of Gods mercy, the bee­ginng of repentaunce. 493. 17.
  • Gods mysteries with reuerence to be re­ceiued, 104. 49. & 304. 21. & 305. 33.
  • The reprobate vnderstand not Gods mi­steries, 347. 11.
  • Gods name, why called holy, 39. 49.
  • The hallowing of Gods name, what it is, 192. 9.
  • Gods workes not sleightly to bee consi­dered, 23. 29. & 42. 65. & 77. 19. & 254. 43. & 256. 34. & 450. 33.
  • Gods power not tirannical, 38. 52.
  • Gods power not bounde to meanes and helpes, 448. 32.
  • Gods power, howe to be considered, 30. 37. & 116. 9. & 304. 21.
  • Gods foreknowledge howe to be consi­dered, 686. 24.
  • with Gods presence the godly are moued after one sort, the vngodly after ano­ther sort, 9. 12. & 23. 30. & 72. 10. & 147. 8. & 135. 16.
  • Gods promises somtimes admit an excep­tion, 210. 11.
  • that which is proper to God, is somtimes attributed to men, 498. 15.
  • Gods prouidence toward euery perticu­lar creature, 205. 26. & 282. 29.
  • Gods prouidence how to be weighed, 38 52. & 69. & 191. 9. & 205. 26. & 259. 23. & 277. 19. & 282. 29. & 374. 15. & 406. 7. & 686. 4. & 700. 36. & 719. 5. & 730. 10.
  • Gods kingdom, what it is, 193. 10.
  • Gods kingdom, the ouerthrow of Satan 329. 29.
  • Gods woord annexed to the sacramente, 110. 3.
  • Gods word subiect to taunts and scornes 395. 14.
  • Gods word cannot be contemned with­out punishment, 141. 24.
  • VVherefore GOD woulde haue hys word preached to the reprobat, 621. 34.
  • The efficacy of Gods word, 422. 24, look the force of Christ his voice,
  • Gods trueth hath the vpper hande of the vnfaythfulnes of men, 64. 22.
  • Gods will, the chiefest rule of righteous­nes, 311. 26. & 648. 25.
  • Gods will one and simple in respect of it selfe, 193. 10. & 628. 37.
  • Gods will two manner of wayes propo­sed vnto vs in the scripture, ibid.
  • To do the will of God, what it is, 223. 21. & 340. 48.
  • To liue to God, what it is, 591. 38.
  • [Page] Sometimes affections bee attributed to God, 626. 37.
  • For God no lawe is to bee prescribed in bestowing of his benefites, 142. 25.
  • VVho are said to iustifie God, 298. 29.
  • To tempt God, what it is, 132. 7. & 451 1. & 534. 1. & 746. 25.
  • the exercises of godlines, 93. 37 & 245. 13
  • The dueties of godlines are not contra­rie one to another, 316. 5.
  • Good mingled with the bad, 365. 47. & 671. 32.
  • The Gospel is the scepter of Christs king­dome, 272. 14.
  • The gospel, a ful perfectiō of the law, 166 17.
  • The Gospel was not written of Math. in the Hebrew togue, 82. 6.
  • why the gospel is compared vnto fire, 666 49.
  • The gospel ouerthroweth not pollitik e­state 119. 12.
  • How the gospel is cause of dissention, 285 51.
  • The gospel giueth not libertie to sin, 314 29.
  • Why the Gospel at this day bringeth not forth fruit in many, 346. 2.
  • The gospel, according to the flesh contēp­tible. 71. 8.
  • It is called the Gospel of the kingdom frō the effect, 148. 23.
  • why the Gospel is preached in the world, 640. 14.
  • The Gospel of Nicodemus a fable, 2. 1.
  • Foure sortes of hearers of the Gospel. 353.
  • the difference of the hearers of the gospel, from whence, 346. 9.
  • The cōmendation of the Gospel, 139. 18
  • From whēce the contempt of the Gospel crepeth into many, 82. 4. & 91. 34. & 265. 15. & 292. 3. & 313. 28. & 345
  • The contempt of the gospel not without punishment, 272. & 343. 41.
  • The dignitie of the gospel very great, 212 6. & 272. 14. & 295. 11.
  • The doctrine of the gospel not new, 167. 17.
  • how the doctrin of the gospel is the cause of blindnes, 350. 12.
  • VVhy the most parte wish the doctrine of the gospel buried, 265. 15.
  • The end of the Gospel, 269. 8. & 245. 51. 35.
  • The enemies of the Gospel like wolues, 274. 16.
  • The beginning of the Gospel is properly sette in the preaching of Iohn, 106.
  • The light of the Gospel discloseth hypo­crisie, 92. 35.
  • The maiestie of the Gospel is aboue the law, 295. 11.
  • The hatred of the Gospel, from whence 91. 34.
  • Of the Gospel two partes, 135. 14.
  • The persecutors of the Gospel shall not escape the iudgment of God, 273. 15.
  • why the preaching of the Gospel is com­pared to a fanne, 121. 12.
  • The preaching of the gospel is like to so­wing, 634. 4.
  • The scope or ende of the preaching of the Gospel, 138. 18, the summe of the Gospel, 135. 14.
  • The victorie of the Gospel, 221. 26.
  • Spiritual gouernment, whereby discerned frō politik regiment, 373. 13. & 542 25. & 586. 21.
  • Grace put for the fauour of God, 22. 28.
  • TOo muche hastinesse is to bee taken heede of, 430. 28.
  • Heart put for the mind or vnsterstā ­ding, 430. 24. & 595. 38.
  • The cleannes of the hart is the mother of al vertues. 160. 8.
  • VVhye heauen is called Gods throane or seate, 179. 44.
  • The opening of the heauens, what it is, 123 16.
  • Heluidus his error confuted, 68. 25. & 415. 15.
  • The nature of the Heretiks, 589.
  • Herod builded the temple very sumptu­ously, 632
  • Herod, the sonne of Antipater, 4. 5.
  • Herod Antipas, 380. 32. & 733. 4.
  • Herod taken with the spirite of giddi­nesse, [Page] striketh God, 84. 7.
  • Herod, a counterfeite professour of the law, 454. 5.
  • The subtiltie of Herod, 83. 7. & 455. 6.
  • Herods crueltie, 97. 16.
  • Herods ambition, 422, 26.
  • What Herods leauen is, 455. 6.
  • Who are Herodians, 584.
  • why Herodias desired the death of Iohn, 421. 24.
  • The banishment of Herodias, 422. 28.
  • Hirelings corrupt the holy office of teach­ing, 269. 8.
  • Hieroms saying, touching the impossibili­tie of the law, 528. 26.
  • How Hierusalem is called holy, 179. 35. & 763. 52.
  • Hierusalem, a den of theeues, 381. 32.
  • Honour due to parentes: look duetie to­wardes parentes.
  • The place of Horace, 395. 14.
  • Hospitalitie of Martha, in what poynte faultie, 372. 42
  • What humilitie is, 486. 2.
  • Humilitie is commended, 409. 13.
  • Humilitie put for a vile and abiecte con­dition, 35. 48.
  • Humilitie of Christ: look Christes hum­bling.
  • Hukim, for ceremonies, 6. 6.
  • Hipocrisie by the second table is reuealed. 596. 29.
  • Hipocrisie is laid open by the light of the Gospel, 92. 35.
  • Hipocrisie alwaies ambitious, 188. 5.
  • Hipocrisie of deceiuers doth not alwaies lye hidden, 221. 16.
  • Hipocrisie put for a feigned and counter­feit shew of wisdom, 454. 6.
  • Hipocrisie is condemned, 48. 75. & 114. 7 & 121. 12. & 204. 24. & 211. 3. & 437. 7. & 524. 19. & 617. 24. 25. 27
  • The vaine boasting of hipocrites, 36. 49. & 569. 18.
  • The securitie of hipocrites, 114. 7. & 230 5.
  • The punishment and destruction of hy­pocrits, 336. 43. & 569. 18.
  • Hipocrites, stage plaiers, 187. 2.
  • Hipocrites are to be cited before the iudg­ment seate of Christ, 223. 22.
  • why hipocrites refuse Christ, 313. 28.
  • Hipocrites are great obseruers of ceremo­nies, 6. 6. & 117. 11. & 382. 39. & 437. 7.
  • Hipocrits do extenuate or make lesse their own sinnes, 211. 3.
  • Hipocrits doe glory in vaine, that God is their father, 36. 49.
  • Hipocrites are saucye and proud, 377. 36. & 370. 49. & 415. 57. & 374.
  • Hipocrites despise al others, 367. 36.
  • Hipocrits are addicted to external things, 315. 1.
  • Hipocrites are mixed with the good, 501 18. 533.
  • How hipocrites are to be handled, 114. 7. & 299. 31. & 334. 34. & 342. 39. & 395. 15. & 480. 17. & 507. 13. & 621. 33.
  • Hipocrits are to be cast out of the church 223. 22. & 359. 41. & 365. 47. & 439. 13.
  • Diuerse kindes of hypocrites, 187. 1.
  • The disease of hipocrites, 211. 3. & 214▪ 12. & 615. & 617. 24.
  • The secure conscience of hipocrites, 452▪ 57.
  • The nature and disposition of hipocrites, 315. 1. & 318. 9. & 379. 14. & 45. 2. & 567. 13. & 729. 6.
  • THe prophesie of Iacob the Patriarche is expounded, 5. 5.
  • An idle worde, put for vnprofitable, 334. 36.
  • Idlenes is to be shunned, 362. 26.
  • How outragious Ielousie is, 61. 19.
  • Godly ielousie, 219. 29.
  • Iesus, whye so named, 24. 31. & 62. 20. & 70. 21.
  • The Iewes, the firste beegotten in the Church, 268. 6.
  • why the Iewes vnderstand not the scrip­ture, 45. 70.
  • why the Iewes malitiouslye depraue the scripture, 64. 22.
  • The Iewes being vnbeleeuers, are caste out of the Church, 219, 30.
  • The Iewes vnexcusable, 299. 33.
  • [Page] The equalitie of ye Iewes & gentiles, 89. 32
  • The difference of the Iewes and Gentiles, 58. 6.
  • The vaine glorying of the Iewes, 116. 9. & 219. 28. & 379. 15.
  • The arrogancie of the Iewes beatē down 622. 34.
  • The sluggishnesse of the Iewes. 84. 9.
  • The vnthankfulnesse of the Iewes. 81. 3. & 84. 9. & 96. 15. & 141. 25. & 342. 39. & 388. 2. 443. & 446. 26. & 478.
  • The obstinacie of the Iewes. 622. 34.
  • The obstinate stubbornnes of the Iewes is as it were by inheritance. 341. 39.
  • The prerogatiue of the Iewes. 89. 32. & 268. 5. 6. & 388. & 445. 26.
  • The blockishnesse of the Iewes. 757. 45. & 769. 63.
  • The miserable bondage of the Iewes. 767 24.
  • The pretence of ignorance excuseth not, 665. 47.
  • VVhat manner of ignoraunce is attri­buted to Christ, 102. 40. & 569. 18. & 656. 36.
  • The immortalitie of the soule, 588. 23.
  • The perfect glory of immortalitie is de­ferred vnto the daye of redemption, 399. 22.
  • An other mannes faith profiteth infantes, 239. 2.
  • Infidelitie, the mother of excessiue care, 205. 26.
  • The Anabaptistes deny that Inheritaunce is to be deuided among brethren, 373. 13.
  • How Ieas was the sonne of Ochozias, 56.
  • whye Iohn was so named, 9. 12.
  • Iohn was appointed to a great and vn­accustomed thing, 10. 15.
  • Why Iohn was commended of Christe, 10. 15, & 294. 7.
  • why Iohn was abstinent, 11. 15.
  • Iohn was a forerunner of Christ, 48. 76
  • what age Iohn was of, when he came a­broad, 107. 1.
  • To what end Iohn was sent, 572. 25.
  • Iohn counted a man possessed with a de­uil, 299. 33.
  • why Iohn was preferred before the olde Prophets, 295. 11.
  • Howe Iohn sawe the holye Ghoste, 124. 16.
  • How Iohn taught his disciples to praye, 190. 1.
  • How Iohn is inferour to the leaste in the kingdome of God, 169. 19.
  • whye Iohn was called Elias, 297. 14. & 417.
  • why Iohn was cast into bandes, 4. 19.
  • For what purpose Iohn sente his disciples vnto Christ, 291. 2.
  • Iohn did not long execute the office of a teacher, 107. 3.
  • The calling of Iohn, 106. & 108. 2.
  • The office of Iohn, 13. 17.
  • The baptisme of Iohn put for his whole ministerie, 573. 25.
  • The difference of Iohn & Christ, 24. 32. & 299. 33.
  • The discipline of Iohn more austere thē Christes, 247. 14.
  • The disciples of Iohn froward, ibid.
  • The constancie of Iohn, 114. 7. & 135. 19.
  • The modestie of Iohn, 723. 14.
  • The death of Iohn, 422. 28.
  • The burial of Iohn, 423. 29.
  • why Iohn was commended of Christ to the people, 10. 15. & 294. 7.
  • The signe of Ionas, 342. 39.
  • Ioseph, the son of Iacob, a figure of Christ 100. 23.
  • Ioseph, Maries husband, vnproperly called the father of Christ. 103. 41.
  • Ioseph his pouertie, 70. 7. & 86. 24.
  • The place of Iosephus, 97. 16. 107. 1. 2. & 343. 42. & 418. & 422. 26. & 511▪ 52, & 632. 1.
  • The ioy of the faithfull, 35. 46. & 73. 16.
  • Perfecte ioy is from the fauour of God, 35. 46. & 72. 10.
  • The place of Irenaus, 102. 40.
  • why Iudas was chosen of Christ to be an Apostle, 155. 13.
  • The falling away of Iudas did rather cō ­firme then shake the sayth of the Church, ibid.
  • [Page] Of what sorte the repentaunce of Iudas was, 72 73.
  • Iudaa in Christes time filled with ma­ny corruptions, 253. 52.
  • To Iudge, for to enquire curiouslye into an other mans deedes, 209, 1.
  • It is lawefull to iudge accordinge to the word of God, ibid.
  • The word, to iudge is diuersly vsed, 343. 42.
  • The rashnesse of iudgeing condemned, 209. 1. & 376. 2. & 678. 8.
  • Iudgement lawfull by looking vppon the skie, as touching the weather, 453. 2
  • Iulian his craftie cauils against the gospel 180. 39.
  • Iurisdiction twofolde, 701. 38.
  • The woorde, to iustifie, is diuerslye vsed, 335. 37.
  • what it is to bee iustified properlye, 410. 14.
  • Iustifyinges differ from precepts, 6. 6.
  • KEyes of the kingdome of heauen, 461. 19. & 613. 13.
  • Kinges and princes, wherfore called gra­tious, 543. 25.
  • In what sense kinges are called the sons of God, 24. 32.
  • VVhen the kingdome of Iuda did ende, 5. 5.
  • What the kingdome of heauen is, 109. 2.
  • Kingdome of heauen, for the new state of the Church, 169. 19. & 295. 11. & 596. 23. & 767. 43.
  • The key of the kingdom of heauē is the free adoption of God, 339. 27.
  • what the kingdome of God is, 193. 10. It reacheth farre, 296. 12. It is first to be sought for, 208. 33.
  • The kingdome of GOD consisteth of righteousnes, ibid.
  • The knitting together of the commande­ments of God, 617. 23.
  • OF Latria and Dulia, a friuolous di­stinction, 133. 10.
  • The vse of laying on of hands, 448. 32 & 520.
  • why the Law is deuided into two tables, 598. 40.
  • The Law containeth perfecte righteous­nes, 170. 21. & 176. 31.
  • The Lawe comprehendeth a rule to liue wel, 594. 26.
  • The Law comprehendeth the doctrin of the Prophets, 106.
  • The Law to man is impossible, 528. 26.
  • why the Law is called an heauy burden, 607. 4.
  • The Law and Prophetes put for the old Testament, 402. 27.
  • The Law and Prophets put for the pre­cepts of the second table, 2. 16. 12
  • The righteousnes, of the Law, 523. 17.
  • The abrogation of the Law is set in the preaching of Iohn, 106.
  • The summe of the law, 6. 6.
  • The ende of the Law is the deniall of man, 524. 19.
  • The consent of the Law and the Gospel 166. 17.
  • The difference of the Law and the Go­spell, 19. 23. & 126. 1. & 106. & 296. 16.
  • The weakenesse of the Law is from our fleshe, 171. 21.
  • Nothing in the world is more sure then the trueth of the Law, 168. 18.
  • The least in the kingdome of heauē in what sense greater then Iohn. 169. 19.
  • The worde leauen is diuersly taken, 362 & 454. 6. & 456. 12.
  • The fasting of Leut, 126. 1.
  • Whether Leprosie bee a iust cause of di­uorcement. 516. 9.
  • Libertie to sinne is not to bee taken out of the Gospel. 298. 29.
  • Liberalitie is commended, 182. 42. and 183. 35. & 200. 19. & 525. 19.
  • What the Monks think of the actiue & contemplatiue life, 371. 38.
  • The life of the godly is cōpared to gay­ning by occupying, 554. 20.
  • Life eternal is of Gods free mercie. 208. 32.
  • The vprightnes of life consisteth of god­lynes [Page] and righteousnes, 87. 25.
  • The vncertein shortnes of mans life, 374 16, & 393. 9. & 659. 40.
  • The perpetuitie of a blessed life, 400. 26.
  • what it is to finde life, 287. 39.
  • the tyrannous law of the vnmarried lyfe 28. 23.
  • Howe farre sole life is acceptable vnto God, 519, 12.
  • The Papistes imagine sole life to be an Angelicall estate, ibid.
  • Light put for reason, 202. 22.
  • Liturgia putte for the executinge of the Priestes office, 18. 23.
  • what it is, to looke backe, 327. 61.
  • Loue of our selues, looke selfe loue,
  • Loue is not the cause of forgiuenes, 369. 47.
  • why Luke beginneth the history of the Gospel with Iohn Baptist, 4.
  • why Luke fetcheth the petegree of christ from Nathan, 54.
  • Whoe are Lunatike, 148. 23. & 479. 17.
  • THe place of Macrobius, 97. 16.
  • The Anabaptistes doe banishe the magistrate from the Church, 542. 25.
  • The duetie of a godly magistrate, 390. 23
  • Christ is the onely maister, 291. 2.
  • Malachy, the last of the lawful prophets, 106.
  • Man destitute of Gods protection, is a miserable creature, 264. 9.
  • The condition of man without Christ is miserable, 45. 71. & 63. 21. & 72. 10 & 89. 32. & 136. 14. & 138. 18. & 144. 13. & 266. 38. & 313. 28. & 336. 43. 345. 25. & 459. 17. & 521. 14.
  • The conuersion of man is the worke of God. 12. 16.
  • The passions of man in respect of them selues not sinfull, 320. 8.
  • To man sometimes is giuen that, which is proper to God, 12. 16. & 119. & 438. 9. & 498. 15.
  • Man necessarilye is either good or euill, 333. 33.
  • Howe the infirmitie of man is to be re­medied, 528. 26.
  • The witlesse fancie of Manicheus, cōcer­ning the body of Christ, 23. 31.
  • The Maniches haue feigned two begin­ninges, 34.
  • Many put for diuer [...]e, 544. 28.
  • The witlesse fancie of Marcieou, touching the body of Christ, 23. 31.
  • Mariage pure and holy, 86. 22.
  • Mariage lawfull for the ministers of the word, 18, 23.
  • The enemie of mariage is Sathan, 518.
  • The troubles of mariage, ibid.
  • The duetie of the maried, ibid.
  • How Mary the Virgin is cosen to Eliza­beth, 29. 36.
  • whye Mary came vnto Elizabeth, 31. 39.
  • How Mary is the mother of the Lorde, 33. 43.
  • why Mary is blessed, 33. 45.
  • Mary wel exercised in the doctrin of the scripture, 40. 54.
  • the stocke of Mary is from Dauid, 53.
  • the thankfulnes of Mary, 34. 46.
  • The perpetuall virginitie of Mary, 68. 25.
  • the pouertie of Mary. 86. 24.
  • the exceeding great felicitie of Mary, 338 27.
  • the godlines and modestie of Mary, 339 19.
  • the importunitie of Mary, 340. 48.
  • what praise the Papistes giue to Marye, 339. 27.
  • why God would haue Mary to be mari­ed, 61. 19.
  • the hospitalitie of Martha, in what point faultie, 371. 38.
  • the canstancie of Christes martires, 276. 19.
  • the difference of Christes martyrs and of wicked men, 160. 10.
  • how merueiling may agree to Christ, 232 10.
  • The detestable abhomination of the masse, 689. 26.
  • [Page] Mathew did not write the Gospell in the Hebrew tongue, 82. 6.
  • Mathew didde write the Gospell in the Greeke tongue, ibid.
  • Mathew was called from the receite of custome vnto the apostleshippe, 242 9.
  • the purpose of Mathew, in describing the genealogie of Christ, 57.
  • Mercy is promised to the faythfull, 159. 7.
  • Mercy is commended, 159. 7. & 245. 13 & 317. 7. & 504. 21.
  • Merit de congrue, 526. 21.
  • Merit de condigno, is a deuillishe deuise, 404.
  • Merite of manne is taken away, 49. 77. & 58. 6. & 142. 25. & 185. 45. & 197. 13. & 208. 32. & 269. 8. & 347 11. & 368. 41. & 403. & 404. 10. & 469. 27.
  • The defenders of merit, 335. 37. & 393 9. & 554. 15. & 672. 34.
  • The Rabbines imagine the comming of the Messias to be after two maners, 476 10.
  • How the pastours must vse mildnes, 324 19.
  • The Minister of the worde, looke pa­stour.
  • The commendation of the ministerie of the worde, 12. 16. & 26. 19. & 34. 45. & 76. 15. & 77. 17. & 306. 16. & 309. 25. & 339. 27.
  • Miracles are not to be separated frō the word, 268. 1.
  • The myracles of the Papistes, 647. 23.
  • The greedye desire of Myracles, 228. 45.
  • The ende of Christes myracles, 152. 17.
  • The glory of God is the fruite of mira­cles, 260. 27.
  • The fruit of miracles, 325. 23. & 379. 12 & 449. 37. & 647. 23.
  • the lawful vse of miracles, 268. 1. & 803 17. & 806. 20.
  • modestie is necessary for christiās, 535. 16
  • The Monks, of the precepts of God haue made counsailes, 185. 44.
  • What manner state of perfection the Monkes deuise to themselues, 525. 19. the Monkes make of wicked men, deuils, 613. 15.
  • After what sorte the life of Monkes is, 371. 38. & 613. 15.
  • The vaine boasting of Monkes, 529.
  • The superstition of Monkes, 112. 4.
  • Monothelites are heretikes, 706. 39.
  • how Moses appeared in the trasfigurati­on of Christ, 471. 3.
  • whether it were lawful for Moses to per­mit diuorcementes, 515. 7.
  • The multitude is not to be followed, 636 5.
  • Murther is forbydden of GOD, 714. 52.
  • NAim, what manner citie, 234. 11. the name of lesu honorable, 24. 31. why the name of God is holy, 36. 49.
  • What the hallowinge of Gods name is, 192. 9.
  • Names to be written in heauen, what it is 308. 20.
  • Names in the daye of circumcision, were giuen to infantes, 78. 21.
  • Howe names are to bee giuen to little children, 41. 59.
  • the corruption and wickednes of mans nature, 86. 22.
  • Two natures in Christ, 656. 36.
  • The vnthankfulnes of the Nazarits, 141 24. & 414. 54.
  • The malice of the Nazarites, 414. 53.
  • the Etymologie or true exposition of a Nazarite, 100. 23.
  • From whence Necromancie sprange, 402. 30.
  • Who is our neyghbour, 184. 43. & 597▪ 30.
  • The loue of our neighbour proceedeth frō the loue of God, 596. 39.
  • The Gospell of Nicedemus is fabulous, 2. 1.
  • [Page] The note vniuersal is not alwaies vniuer­sally taken, 148. 23.
  • The number of seauen is indefinitely ta­ken, 337. 45.
  • the plurall number for the singular, 375. 20.
  • OBedience is the beeginning and chie­fest point of Gods worship, 227 4. & 434. 1.
  • Obedience is better then sacrifices, 524. 17 & 438. 9.
  • The obedience of the godly is vnperfecte 204. 24.
  • The obedience of the Papistes is corrupte, 456. 12.
  • Obedience is commended, 76. 15. & 78. 21. & 86. 23. & 95. 13. & 105. 51. & 123. 14. & 148. 22. & 243. 9. & 260. 26. & 426. 16. & 428. 22. & 549. 5. & 608. 6. & 684. 19.
  • Occasion is to be taken while it is offered, 218. 25. 401. 27. & 669. 9.
  • Two kindes of essences, 440. 14.
  • Offēces are to be auoided, 155. 13. & 263 6. & 507. 24.
  • Men malitiously take vnto themselues offences, that they maye not receyue Christ, 140. 22.
  • we must valiantly resist offences, 293. 6.
  • the desire of hauing ofspring is godly and holy, 9. 12.
  • to what purpose the Apostles ministred vile to the sick, 290. 12.
  • Oyle of the Papistes filthye and rotten, ibid.
  • VVherein opinion differeth from fayth, 251. 20.
  • Opinion taken beefore, darkeneth, 483. 22.
  • Order is not alwaies obserued in the scriptures, 14. 17. & 34. 46. & 145. 18. & 194. 11. & 196. 12. & 524. 18.
  • what order is to bee obserued in prayer, 240. 2.
  • Politike order by the scripture is not o­uerthrowne, 118. 11. & 508. 208. 24 & 586. 21.
  • the religion of an eath, 422. 26.
  • Origens imagination touching the virgi­nitie of Mary, 21. 26.
  • THe Papistes mixe faith with doub­ting, 570. 21.
  • the Papistes do wickedly separate the word from miracles, 268. 1.
  • the Papistes are corrupters of the scrip­tures, 174. 25.
  • The apishe imitators of the popish apes, 328. 27.
  • The Papists require signes, 451. 1.
  • The Papistes dony concupiscence to be a sinne, 175. 28.
  • The Papistes abuse this worde peace, 14. 17.
  • the Papists, from when they gather their auricular confession, 228. 4. & 512. 14
  • whereof the Papists haue deuised purga­torie, 174. 25. & 332. 32. & 506. 31.
  • From whence the Papists gather the in­tercession of the dead, 393. 9. & 401 27. & 444. 23.
  • From whence the papists confirme their merites, 554. 15.
  • From whence the Papists gather Peters supremacie, 508. 24.
  • From whence the Papistes gather the Church to be founded on Peter, 156. 16.
  • the Papists, are bold contēners of Christ, 629. 39.
  • The Papists faine sole life to be the state of Angels, 519. 12.
  • The Papistes abuse the birth day of Iohn, 10. 14.
  • the Papists denye that counsels can erre, 503. 20.
  • The papists would bind God vnto them, 523. 17.
  • Why the papists haue feigned that three wise men came vnto Christ. 80. 1.
  • the papists deny that the church can erre, 12. 16.
  • the papists rob christ of his honor, 521. 13
  • the papists abuse ye angels salutatio. 22. 28
  • the papists giue power to the virgin Ma­ry ouer christ, 35. 48, they are reproach­ful against her, ibid.
  • [Page] VVhat honour the papists giue vnto the virgin Mary, 339. 27.
  • the papists doe in vaine looke for Elias and Enoch before the commynge of Christ, 476. 10.
  • the false accusations of papists againste the true ministers of God, 221. 16.
  • their shamefull follie, 508. 24.
  • the ignorance of the papists in the sacra­ment of extreme vnction, 270. 12.
  • the papists count much babbling, the che­fest vertue in their praier, 189. 7.
  • the obedience of papists accursed, 456. 12
  • the vaine satisfactions of papists. 382. 41. and 444. 28.
  • the cruel tyrannie of papists. 314. 29.
  • Howe farre our duety toward our pa­rents is to bee regarded, 237. 21. and 277. 37. and 340. 48. & 436. 2.
  • the particle Vniuersal, is not alwayes vni­uersally taken, 148. 43.
  • how the pastour is sayd to conuert men, 13. 16.
  • pastours are the light of the worlde, 165. 14.
  • VVho is a sincere and faithfull pastour. 296. 8. and 474. 5. and 313. 28.
  • how the pastours be fathers of the faith­full, 609. 9.
  • the pastours are subiect to slaunders, 549. 7.
  • how the pastours forgiue sinnes, 241. 6.
  • the pastours ought to send al vnto christ, 291. 2.
  • how the pastours are the fellow workers with God, 803. 20.
  • how the pastours of the gospel are grea­ter then Iohn Baptist, 295. 11.
  • the pastours that be wicked, are sharply to be reprooued, 604. 1.
  • the popishe pastours are dumbe dogges, 256. 36.
  • the ambition of the pastours, a verye great plague to the Church, 162. 24. and 607. 5.
  • the constancie of the pastours, 114. 7. and 135. 19. and 528. 26.
  • the dignitie of the pastours, 306. 16.
  • their warfare, 288. 28.
  • The charge or office of the pastour, 114 7. & 135. 19. & 148. 22. & 153. 18 & 163. 13. & 165. 14. & 168. 19. & 211. 6. & 286. 35. & 291. 2. & 324. 19. & 350. 14. & 358. 39. & 362. 26 & 395. 15. & 419. & 474. 5. & 490 12. & 528. 26. & 577. 33. & 611. & 664. 45. & 665. 47. & 666. 49.
  • the vexation of the pastor is from the cō ­tempt of the word, 272. 14.
  • the couetousness of the pastour is condē ­ned, 613. 16.
  • the labour of the pastour is not in vaine, although manye remaine in their vn­beliefe, 276. 17. & 307. 18. & 350. 14. & 440. 13.
  • the wisdome of the pastours, 366. 51.
  • the lawful calling of the pastours, 108. 2. & 257. 37.
  • the zeale of the pastours, 452. 2. regard of them ought to be had, 269. 8. & 289. 40. & 302. 2.
  • How far the pastours ought to be obey­ed, 606. 2.
  • what the patience of the faythfull is, 468 24.
  • Patience commeth of faith and the feare of God, 400. 25.
  • Patience is necessary for the godlye, 158. 3. & 181. 40. & 182. 30. & 188. 4. & 539. 22. & 639. 19. & 643. 15. & 667. & 671. 34.
  • Peace, for a prosperous state, 272. 12.
  • Peace with GOD is to be sought for. 9. 12.
  • Peace without GOD is accursed, 14. 17.
  • Peace is offred to the godly by the meere grace of God, 75. 14.
  • Peace is giuen to the faithful by Christ, ibid.
  • Peace is to be imbraced, 160. 9.
  • The name of Peace vsed diuersly, 561. 42.
  • [Page] VVe must not abuse the word peace, 14. 17.
  • Penney, how much in value, 534. 1.
  • Who are the people of God, 73. 10.
  • The importunitie of the people, in desi­ring miracles, 228. 45.
  • The vnconstancie of the people, 737. 20.
  • What manner perfection the godlye haue in this world, 333. 33. & 348. & 356. 30. & 404. 10.
  • The state of the perfection of Monkes, 525. 19.
  • The perpetuitie of a blessed lyfe, 400. 26.
  • How farre persecution is to bee shunned, 278. 23.
  • Acception of persons is faultie, 135. 19.
  • Vnitie of person in the two natures of Christ, 33. 43.
  • The distinction of persons in God, 474. 5. & 802. 19.
  • Peter is called a rock, and not contrarie, 462. 19.
  • whether Peter was the chiefest of the A­postles, [...].
  • Peter is not the foundation of the church 462. 19.
  • Peter adorned of Christ with a double honour, 490. 18.
  • Peter sinned not against the holy ghost, 725. 74.
  • Peters faith vnperfecte, 430. 28. & 431 31.
  • Peter his rashnes, 430. 28. & 723.
  • whence the Papists gather Peters supre­macie, 508. 24.
  • Peter his fall, 723.
  • Peters true repentance, 726. 75.
  • Pharises, whence so tearmed, 170. 20. & 434. 1. & 605. 2.
  • The Pharises prophaners of the law, 170 20.
  • Philo his place. 302. 1.
  • Pilate, the successor of Valerius Gratus, 70. 1. & 107. 1.
  • Howe much ought to be attributed to places, 625. 37.
  • Plato his place, 48. 75.
  • Plerophoria an assured perswasion, pro­ceeding from faith, 2. 1.
  • Polygamie, or hauinge of many wiues at one time condemned, 514. 5.
  • Who are poore in spirite, 158. & 293 3.
  • The Pope securely contemneth the com­mandementes of God, 437. 3.
  • The Pope is not head of the church, 649 28.
  • The Pope with fire and sword withhol­deth the reading of the scriptures frō the Church, 137. 16.
  • The Pope is not Peters successour, 800. 19, & 803. 20.
  • The Pope and his cleargie are sharply to be rebuked, 115. 7.
  • The Popes seate, of what sorte, 626. 37.
  • The Popes fictiōs cannot agree with the gospel, 455. 6.
  • The Popes auricular confession, 494. 21.
  • The Popes hyred flatterers, 626. 37.
  • The thefte of the Pope and his, 373. 13.
  • The Popes tyrannie verye great, 18. 23. & 161. 11. & 373. 13. & 434. 1. & 462. 19. & 501. 18. & 612. 13. & 694. 27.
  • The Popes sacrificers are butchers, 19. 23.
  • How the Popes cleargie is to be handled, 606. 2. & 621. 33.
  • VVhye prayer is necessarye for vs, 189. 8.
  • To pray is lawfull in euery place, 567. 13.
  • The right and true way of praying, 188. 5. & 190. 9. & 214. 11. & 326. 2. & 546. 32.
  • The praier of the Lorde comprehended in six petitions, 191. 9.
  • Praier without fayth vnprofitable, 213. 7.
  • Prayer requireth a sure confidence, 192. 9. & 213. 7.
  • The similytude and likenesse of the partes of the Lordes prayer, 192. 9.
  • [Page] The end of the praier of the faithful, 189 8.
  • Publike praiers are acceptable to Christ, 502. 19.
  • Long praiers are not simplye to bee con­demned, 612. 14.
  • The madnesse of the popish preachers, 22 28.
  • Preceptes differ from iustifyinges, 6. 6.
  • The aduersaries of the doctrine of pre­destination, 627. 37.
  • Faith is ioyned to predestination, 312. 27.
  • Preiudice beewitcheth a manne, 537. 34.
  • Pride, the mother of reproache, 488. 10.
  • Pride is to bee auoyded, 38. 51. & 206. 27.
  • The ingratitude of the Priestes, 228 44.
  • The sluggishnesse of the Priestes, 256. 36.
  • Priesthood torne in sunder through am­bition and tyrannicall power, 108. 2.
  • The miserie and wante of the prodigall, 493. 16.
  • Promises pertaining to this presente lyfe are not perpetuall, 210. 1.
  • why the Prophets are called holye, 145. 70.
  • All the Prophets beare witnesse of Christ, ibid.
  • The doctrine of the prophetes sometimes comprehended vnder the name of the law, 106.
  • Which is the lawefull receiuing of the Prophets, 371. 38.
  • The prophecie of Iacob is expounded, 5. 5
  • The name of prophecie is diuersly taken, 104. 22.
  • We may not abuse prosperitie, 38. 52. & 162. 24. & 248. 15. & 397.
  • Prouerbial sentences are not alwaies to be drawn to a generall rule, 222. 16. & 327. 25. & 334. 34. & 394. 10. & 510. 39.
  • The name of Publican odious, 500. 17. & 548. 5.
  • why Publicans were conuersant with sin­ners, 243. 29.
  • The Publicans were a couetous, cruell, & greedy kind of people, 118. 12. & 186 46. their office, 186. 46.
  • Punishment is remitted, the fault beeing pardoned, 196. 12.
  • Purgatory was deuised by the Papistes, 174. 25. & 332. 32.
  • Purgatory is ouerthrowne, 402. 27.
  • The end of the purification of the law, 86 22.
  • Pythagoras his fonde opinion concerning the migracion of the soules, 13. 17.
  • QVartern taken for a farthing or some other peece of money, 174. 25.
  • Curious questions are to bee o­mitted, 68. 25.
  • VVHoe in time paste were called Rabbines, 608. 6.
  • The Rabbines imagine two cō ­minges of the Messias, 476. 10.
  • Their iudgement concerning Iesu the sonne of Marie, 24. 31.
  • How rathnesse is hurtfull, 740. 25.
  • Redemption could not be wrought, but onely by the sonne of God, 107.
  • what the redemption of the faithful is, 653 28.
  • The force & effect of redemption pur­chased by Christ, was common to all ages of the world, 44. 68.
  • Regeneration greater then creation, 12. 16 wherein politike regimente is discerned from spiritual gouernment, 373. 13. & 542. 25. & 586. 21.
  • what is true religion, 103. 41.
  • Diuersitie of religion, is a cause of hatred, 517. 52.
  • Remission of sinnes is obtained by fayth, 252. 22.
  • It is proper to god alone to remit sins, 24
  • VVhat it is to renounce all, 289. 33. 365.
  • what is repentaunce, 727. 3.
  • [Page] Repentance the gifte of God, 109. 2. and 136. 14. and 323. 18. and 494. 20. & 505. 21. and 752. 40.
  • Repentaunce ioyned with remission of sinnes, 109. 2.
  • Repentaunce in the faithfull, continuall. 304. 21.
  • Repentaunce is not the cause of healinge, 351. 12.
  • Repentaunce described by the outwarde signes, 304. 21. & 549. 8.
  • the beginning of Repentance is the gift of the holy Ghost, 313. 28.
  • the foundation of Repentaunce, is the ac­knowledging of Gods mercy, 109. 2 and 493. 17.
  • the abuse of Repentance in Popery, 116. 8
  • there goeth a disliking before Repentance 494. 21.
  • Shame is a companion of Repentaunce, 409. 13.
  • Reprehensions are necessary, 498. 15.
  • Reprobation is of Gods will, 311. 26.
  • the signe of Reprobation, 332. 31.
  • Reprobates before they bee borne, are or­dained to death, 675. 41. & appoyn­ted to destruction, 687. 24.
  • Reprobates are depriued of the lyghte of life, 349. 14.
  • Reprobates perceiue not the mysteries of God, 347. 11.
  • why the Reprobates beleeue not the Gos­pell, 310. 25.
  • the Reprobates also cary their crosse, 287. 38.
  • the Reprobates obstinately resist GOD, 321. 14.
  • the Reprobates doe neuer truely repent, 350. 12.
  • the Reprobates compared to chaffe, 221. 12.
  • the Reprobates somtimes are called shepe, 268. 6. and 444. 24.
  • the Reprobates are sometimes called the sonnes of the kingdome, 269. 9.
  • the Reprobates heape sinnes vpon sinnes, 779. 11.
  • the reprobates are willingly blinded, 350. 350. 14. they are inexcusable, 362. 34
  • the diuell is the heade of the Reprobates, 675. 41.
  • the punishments of the Reprobate horri­ble, 122. 12. and 359. 41. and 398. 22. and 399. 23. their blockishnesse, 762. 51.
  • VVhy God would haue his word prea­ched to the Reprobates, 445. 24. and 795. 46.
  • VVhy the doctrine of saluation is dead­ly vnto them, 439. 13.
  • the church is burthened with Reprobates, vntill the end of the world, 358. 39.
  • Resurrection farre exceedeth manne [...] ca­pacitie, 590. 29.
  • Reuelations are not to be looked for, 401. 27.
  • Reward is not promised but of the meere good wil of God, 403.
  • Howe rewarde is promised vnto good works, 469. 27. & 672. 34.
  • in what sense Rewarde is promised to fa­stings, 199.
  • Reward is freely offered, 534. 1.
  • How the woord Reward is to be vnder­stoode, 189. 5.
  • why the scripture vseth the name of Re­ward, 403. 469. 27.
  • the papistes abuse the name of Reward, 161. 12. & 672. 34.
  • what it is to receiue the rewarde of the iust, 290. 41.
  • who are Rich in God, 375. 21.
  • Richmen not shutte out of the kingdome of god, 162. 24. and 203. 24. & 400. 25. and 526. 21. and 550. 8.
  • Richesse of themselues not euil, 394. 9.
  • Richesse make not a man happy, 162. 24.
  • Righteousnesse put for the obseruation of the lawe, 122. 13.
  • Righteousnesse of faith, ibidem.
  • Righteousnesse of the lawe, 523. 17.
  • Righteousnesse is taught in the lawe, 6. 6.
  • Righteousnesse in the obseruation of the lawe, 523. 17.
  • Righteousnesse putte in the forgiuenesse of sinnes, 49. 77.
  • [Page] Righteousnes not established in the world, but with great adoe, 324. 20.
  • Righteousnes for spirituall newnes of life, 208. 33.
  • Who is to bee accounted righteous, 7. 6.
  • The wisdom of the righteous is their faith 14. 17.
  • From whence the Romanes gather theyr supremacy, 268. 2.
  • The rule to liue godly and iustly, 6. 6. & 48. 75. & 216. 12.
  • The rule of equitie, 216. 12.
  • A rule for praising Angels and men, 36. 48.
  • SAbboth put for a weeke, 409. 10.
  • The lawfull manner of keeping the Sabboth, 13. 7. 16. & 318. 27. & 319 10. & 379. 14. 15. & 384. 5.
  • The Sacraments that are feigned, 573. 25.
  • The nature of the Sacraments, 689. 26.
  • How farre Sacrifices are acceptable vnto God. 599. 32.
  • the Sacrificers of the Pope are dumb dogs 256. 36.
  • The Saduces setre vpon Christ craftilye, 588.
  • The errour of the Saduces, 588. 23.
  • [...]he imitation of the saintes is foolish, 126 1. & 251. 20.
  • From whence the Papists gather the pa­tronage and help of saints, which are dead, 393. 9. & 401. 27. & 444. 23.
  • Salt taken for the wisdom of the spirit, 165. 50.
  • the Apostles and al the faithfull are the salt of the earth, 163. 13.
  • What it is to haue salte in himselfe, 165. 50.
  • saluation proceedeth of the onely electiō of God, 440. 13.
  • saluation grounded vpon the meere good­nes of God, 304. 21.
  • Al the partes of our saluatiō are in christ, 88. 30.
  • the Summe of our saluation, 88. 30.
  • what it is to salute in the way, 302. 2.
  • the superstition of the Samaritanes. 511. 52.
  • Sampson a figure of Christ. 106. 23.
  • VVhye Sara [...]s laughter was reprooued, 15. 18.
  • Howe Sathan is the prince of this world, 45. 71. and 329. 29.
  • sathan is the head of the reprobate, 320. 24. and 675. 41.
  • sathan is the deuiser of all euils, 198. 13.
  • sathan is a most fierce enimie of mannes saluation, 127. 1. and 128. 1. & 198. 13. and 262. 28. and 264. 31. and 353. 19.
  • sathan directlye assaulteth the Faithe of Christ, 128. 3.
  • sathan an aduersarye of righteousnesse, 324. 20.
  • sathan an ennemie to mariage, 518.
  • sathan most greedie to doe harme, 262. 28. and 264. 10. and 479. 17. hee can doe nothing against Gods will, 329. 29.
  • sathan rageth not at his pleasure againste the sonnes of God, 725. 71.
  • sathan a corrupter of the holy scriptures, 131. 6.
  • sathan trembleth at the sight of GOD. 263. 29.
  • sathan endeuoureth to bring the Gospell in suspition, 149.
  • sathan is sayde to goe out of men when Christ commeth, 336. 43.
  • sathan is not vanquished, but with excee­ding great striuing, 482. 21.
  • sathan can not be cast out but by the son of God only, 336. 43.
  • the subteltie of sathan, 16. 18. and 220. 15. and 247. 14. and 546. 31. and 601. 42. and 647. 23. and 696. 31.
  • the pollicie of sathan, 336. 43.
  • sathans purpose in temptynge Christe, 128. 3.
  • the tyrannie of sathan fensed wyth sun­dry stronge defences on euerye side, 329. 29.
  • [Page] Howe miserable it is to bee subiecte to the tyrannie of Sathan, 262. 28.
  • the desire of sathan, is to hurte menne, 264. 10.
  • sathans desire to ouerthrow the glory of Christ, 379. 15.
  • sathans cunning in oppressing the truth, 12. 16. and 455. 6. and 459. 15.
  • sathans cunninge in ouerthrowinge the ministery of the word. 12. 16. his do­minion or rule ouer men, 307. 18. and 336. 43.
  • sathans kingdome is vnder the Empire of Christ, 263. 6.
  • the destruction of Sathans kingdome, 206. 18.
  • the satisfactions of the papistes are ouer­throwne, 544. 28.
  • How much the Scribes and high priests, hated Christ, 82. 4.
  • the vnthankfulnesse of the Scribes, 328. 28.
  • the pride of the Scribes, 244. 12.
  • the scripture is the spiritual armor, 129. 4.
  • the scripture is reuerently to be handled, 137. 16.
  • the diuision of the scripture. 794. 44.
  • the corruption of the scripture, is from ambition, 162. 24.
  • the reading of the scripture is grown out of vse vnder the Pope, 137. 16.
  • the ignorance of the scriptures, is the foū ­taine of all errours, 590. 29.
  • Scurrilitie is condemned, 335. 36.
  • securitie from the small number of the godly, 216. 13.
  • selfeloue bred in men by nature, 287. 39.
  • Howe hurtful selfeloue is, 173. 25. and 214. 9. & 327. 27. & 596. 39.
  • Seruetus denied the diuinitie of Christe, 25. 32.
  • Seruetus his error touching confuse faith. 44. 3.
  • S [...]ed put for euery kinde of made wine. 21. 15.
  • Sh [...]t a doubtfull woord, 271. 9.
  • the word signe vnproperly vsed, 342. 39.
  • the papists require signes, 451. 1.
  • VVhether it be yll to demaunde a signe, 341. 39. and 453. 1.
  • VVhy Christe vsed an outwarde signe, 379. 12.
  • Simeon knewe Christ from his infancie, 87. 25.
  • How Simeon blessed Christ, 90. 34.
  • why similitudes are often obscure, 346. 10. & 349. 13. not exactly to be sif­ted, 485. 2. and 554. 20.
  • Christian simplicitie, 274. 16.
  • Sinners, put for wicked men, 186. 46. & 243. 29. & 368. 37.
  • what sinne is vnpardonable, 331. 31.
  • the confession of sinne is profitable, 494. 21.
  • Sinnes are not to bee wayed by present punishments, 377. 2.
  • sinnes after death, are not forgiuen, 332, 32.
  • sinnes two wayes forgiuen. 505. 21.
  • Remission of sinnes is a part of the gos­pel. 109. 2.
  • remission of sinnes is first of all to be de­sired, 7. 6. and 240. 2.
  • remission of sinnes contrary to satisfacti­on, 197.
  • the libertie to sinne, not taken out of the gospel, 298. 29.
  • the condition of Slaues, 403.
  • This worde to Sleepe, is diuersly taken. 253. 39.
  • Slouth is to be auoided: looke sluggish­nesse, is to be shaken off.
  • Sluggi [...]hnesse to man voluntarie, 452. 2.
  • Sluggishnesse is to be shaken off, 78. 20. & 81. 2. and 121. 12. & 132. 6. & 164. 49. & 202. 22. & 216. 13. and 220. 15. & 264. 9. and 297. 14. and 330. 30. & 337. 43. & 350. 14. and 393. 8. & 427. 20. and 452. 2. & 458. 14. and 531. 30. & 553. 13. & 660. 42. & 783. 25.
  • Sobrietie of minde is commended, 473. 5. and 482. 19. & 540. 23. looke cu­riositie.
  • Solomon a type of Christ, 56.
  • sonnes of the kingdome taken for the Iewes, 233. 12.
  • the sons of Abraham be of two sorts, 36. 49. & 40. 55. and 233. 12. and 341. 39. and 400. 23. and 550. 9.
  • [Page] the sonnes of the bridegrom, for the guests bidden to the mariage, 248. 15.
  • the subtile disputation of Sophisters, con­cerning the fire of hel, 359. 41.
  • Soter signifieth more with the Greekes then the Latins, 34. & 73. 11.
  • soule for the seat of affections, 34. 46.
  • the word soul is diuersly taken. 375. 20.
  • soules after this life remaine aliue, 46. 72. and 751. 43. and 760. 50.
  • the goinge or passing of soules from one body into diuers bodies beleeued of the Iewes, 458. 14.
  • the spirite is called water: it is also called fire, 121. 11.
  • Howe the holy spirit was seene of Iohn Baptist, 124. 16.
  • the free operation or woorking of the holy spirit in men, 11. 15.
  • the spirit is the teacher of the Faithfull, 639. 11.
  • the spirit of discretion necessarye for the church, 221. 16.
  • the spirit of vprightnesse, is giuen onely to the members of Christ, 526. 21.
  • spirit put for vnderstanding, 34. 46.
  • sprinkeling of holye water, deuised of the papists, 435. 2.
  • the Starre whiche appeared to the wise men, was extraordinarie, 801.
  • Stater & [...]ickle are of one valew, 508. 27
  • Steuen was slaine seditiously, 727. 1.
  • the fatum of the Stoicks, 283. 29.
  • what it is to suffer for righteousnes, 160. 10.
  • the Sunnes Eclipse at Christes death, was not general, 758. 45.
  • superstition malitious & obstinat, 316. 24
  • superstition is froward. 511. 52.
  • superstition in meat and drinke, must bee auoided, 299. 34.
  • the Anabaptistes keepe the vse of the sword from the church, 714. 5.
  • the Synedrion of the Iewes, 5. 5. & 97. 16. & 302. 1. & 499. 17.
  • THe second Table subiecte to the first, 104. 49. it discouereth the hypo­crisie of men, 596. 29.
  • Temperance is commended, 397.
  • Christ is an example of temperance, 243. 29. and 299. 34.
  • Temple is taken for the holy place, 8. 9. and 18. 21.
  • Temple is taken for the court or porche, 566. 12. and 625. 35.
  • the sumptuous buildinge of the Temple, 632. 1.
  • the destruction of the Temple foretolde, 628. 38. & why it was ouerthrowne, 633. 2.
  • VVhat it is to Tempt God, 451. 2.
  • the woorde tempting is diuerslye taken, 451. 1. and 453. 4.
  • to what ende the Temptations whiche are sent of God, doe belong, 128. 1.
  • the Temptations whiche prouoke vnto e­uil, proceede only from sathan, ibid.
  • the Temptations of christ, for the troubles which he sustained, 530. 28.
  • the preter Tence for the present Tence. 17. 19.
  • the name of Tetrarch is vnproperly vsed, 108. 1.
  • Thankesgiuing is necessary for al the god­ly, 20. 25. & 34. 46. & 42. 64. & 74. 14. & 227. 4. & 426. 19. & 689. 26.
  • an exāple of Thankfulnesse, 243. 9. & 345.
  • the worde That, sometimes noteth onely a clause following, 92. 35.
  • the word Then, doth not alwayes signi­fie a continuance of time. 98. 16.
  • Therefore is a particle sometimes super­fluous, 215.
  • the faith of the thiefe was great, 752. 40
  • the prescription of longe Time, is maliti­ously pretended for the defence of errours, 171. 22.
  • the Tongue is the character or figure of the minde, 222. 16. & 334. 34.
  • Howe hurtfull a malicious Tongue is, 678. 8.
  • there are diuers kindes of mannes Tra­ditions, 435. 2.
  • the Transubstantiation of the papistes is cō ­futed, 691. 26. & 791. 39.
  • Howe we are sayde to lay vp Treasure in heauen, 200. 19.
  • Truth is more to bee esteemed then cu­stome, 171. 22.
  • [Page] God is a sharpe defender and reuenger of the truth, 334. 34.
  • howe the enemies of the Truth, are to be driuen away, 591. 37.
  • there is nothing more sure in the whole worlde, than the Truth of the lawe, 168. 28.
  • VVhye Christe chose twelue Apostles, 267. 1. and 530. 28.
  • VVhat the Vail of the temple rent in sunder, signifieth, 761. 51.
  • to counterfait vertue, is a very harde thing, 221. 16.
  • the name vessel is diuersly vsed, 567. 13.
  • VVhether it be lawfull to repell violence wyth violence, 713. 52.
  • Visitati [...] taken for the whole restoringe, 235. 16.
  • how detestable vnbeliefe is, 74. 13.
  • Vnbeliefe is blasphemous against GOD, 298. 29.
  • Vnbeliefe after a sort hindereth Gods li­beralitie, 233. 13. & 253. 36.
  • the sacrament of extreeme Vnction is fai­ned, 290. 12.
  • By what meanes holye Vnitye is to bee maintained, 649. 28.
  • Vngodlines is blinde. 256. 34.
  • Vnthank [...]fulnes is condemned, 3. 1. & 38. 52. & 40. 55. & 46. 73. and 50. 79. 73. 10. and 74. 13. & 78. 20. and 81. 2. & 88. 30. & 146. 5. & 159. 7. and 210. 1. & 227. 4. & 328. 28. & 340. 48. & 404. & 427. 20. & 494. 22.
  • Vnthankefulnes of the Iewes: looke the Ie­wes vnthankefulnes.
  • how this word Vntil is taken, 629. 39.
  • the Vowe of continencie is daungerous, 519. 12.
  • Vowes accordinge to our owne lustes, are not to be conceiued, 88. 29.
  • the Vowes of the monkes, binde not the consciences, 422. 26.
  • HOw farre VVarfare is permitted vnto christians. 118. 12.
  • the warfare of the faithfull, 161. 10. & 336. 43. & 461. 18. & 696. 31.
  • the weake are to be regarded▪ 488. 10. & 496. 15.
  • the difference of the weake and obsti­nate, 324. 19. and 440. 14.
  • why the wicked are called offences, 359. 41.
  • the wicked take vnto themselues offences, that they may not followe Christe, 415. 54.
  • the wicked are to be cited vnto the iudge­ment seat of God, 223. 22. & 604. 1.
  • the wicked tremble at the sighte of God, 263. 29.
  • the wicked would gladly shunne the sight of God, 265. 15.
  • the wicked are inexcuseable, 77. 17. and 276. 17. & 299. 33. and 342. 39. and 362. 34. & 87. 25.
  • what the wicked profit by excuse, 687. 25
  • the wicked are made woorse by the do­ctrine of the gospel, 381. 32.
  • the wicked abuse prosperitie, 162. 24.
  • the wicked, albeit against their will, obey Gods prouidence, 686. 24. 716. 56.
  • the wicked agree amongst themselues, to oppresse Gods truth, 91. 34. & 321. 14. & 584. & 734. 12.
  • the nature of the wicked is obstinate, 388 4. 583. 45.
  • the multitude of the wicked, 216. 13.
  • companies of the wicked are to be shun­ned, 500. 17.
  • the naughtye conscience of the wicked, 573. 25.
  • the counsailes of the wicked ouerthrowns by the Lord, 84. 7.
  • the enterprises of the wicked are tourned oftentimes to a cōtrary end, 587. 22.
  • the punishment of the VVycked is horri­ble, 664. 48. 687. 24.
  • whye the punishment of the VVicked is deferd. 377. 6.
  • whye the punishments of the wicked are foretolde. 633. 2.
  • the destruction of the wicked, 116. 9. and 121. 12. 343. 41. 389. 7. 400. 26. and 439. 13. and 441. 14.
  • The tormentes of the wicked perpetuall, 400. 26.
  • the causes whye a wi [...]e is to be put away, 516. 9. VVil, looke frewill.
  • [Page] VVhat it is to doe the wil of the father, 223. 21. and 340. 48.
  • wise menne for Astrologers and Philoso­phers, 79. 1.
  • how the wise men were directed to come vnto Christ, 80. 1.
  • what the wise mennes giftes doe signifie. 84. 11.
  • the papistes haue imagined that three wise men came vnto Christ. 80. 1.
  • what true wisdome is, 466. 22.
  • how wisdome is iustified of her children. 300. 35.
  • the fountaine of wisdome from the spirite of God, 102. 40.
  • the wisdom of the righteous is their faith, 14. 17.
  • Howe farre wisdome is condemned of Christ, 275. 16.
  • from whence the faith of the woman of Chanaan was conceiued, 443. 22.
  • women bent to superstition, 612. 14.
  • The thankefulnesse of the women that followed Christ, 345.
  • word takē for a thing or substance, 29. 37
  • the worde taken for the will and decree of God, 129. 4.
  • the worlde is giuen to the deceits of Sa­than, 329. 29.
  • the worlde subiecte to the will of God, 283. 29.
  • the worlde alwayes ready to stirre vp hys owne faultes, 253. 52.
  • the world frameth to it selfe offences, that it may not follow Christ, 293. 6.
  • the world takē for the vnbeleuers, 487. 7
  • the world somtimes taken for the church, 341.
  • the prince of the world is sathan, 329. 29.
  • the corrupt wisdome of the world, ibid.
  • the wisdome of the worlde, is accursed before God, 14. 17.
  • the peruerse iudgement of the VVorlde, concerning Gods workes, 19. 24.
  • the vnthankefulnesse of the VVorlde is noted, 3. 1. and 73. 10. and 159. 7. & 210. 1. and 383. 3. & 400. 19.
  • the conuersion of the worlde is not to be looked for, 652. 30.
  • the contempt of the worlde is necessarye for the godly, 201. 21. and 365. and 389. 4. and 468. 26.
  • workes of supererogation of the papists, 409. 10.
  • how good woorkes are to be done, 187. 2.
  • good woorkes are of God, 166. 16.
  • good woorkes are not separated frō faith, 390. 11.
  • good woorkes are frutes of repentaunce, 116. 8.
  • the defenders of the woorkes of righte­ousnesse, 7. 6.
  • the ende of good woorkes is the glorye of God, 165. 16.
  • woorthipping, for the bowing of the knee, 250. 18.
  • wrath for the iudgement of God, 115. 7.
  • ZAcharie of the stocke of the priestes, 5. 5.
  • Zacharie, how iust and vnrepr [...]uea­ble, 7. 6.
  • VVhy Zacharie was so seuerely reproo­ued, 15. 18.
  • Zacharies punishment of vnbelief, 17. 20.
  • Zacharies thankfulnesse, 142. 64.
  • Zacheus his repentance, 550. 8.
  • Zacheus his faith, 548.
  • the Zeale of hypocrites is fained, 436. 3.
  • euery kinde of Zeale is not to bee ap­prooued, 115. 7. and 227. 4. & 255. 30. and 466. 22. and 511. 54. & 512. 55. and 565. 12. and 699. 33. & 713. 51.
  • Preposterous Zeale▪ 466. 22. 23.
  • Vnder pretence of Zeale, charitie is not to be broken, 497. 15.
  • the moderation of true Zeale, 320. 8.
Heere endeth the Table of the Harmonie.

The argument of the Gospell of Iesus Christ, according as it is sette foorth by MATHEVVE, MARKE, and LVKE.

THAT we may read this Euangelicall hystorie to our profite a [...]d commoditie, it shall not be litle auaileable to vnderstand the sence of this word EVAN­GELIVM, which we call in English the GOSPEL: for thereby we shall easily discerne what mooued these heauenly witnesses to c [...]mmit these things to wryting, and to what ende all things that they haue wrytten, are to be referred. For these hystories were not so named by other men, but that the authours them­selues did so intitle them, it is manifest by Marke: which sayeth in plaine woordes, that he declareth the beginning of the Gospel of Iesus Christ. Moreouer, the perfecte and plaine definition of the Gospell is gathered specially out of a certaine place in Paule, where he sayeth that it was promised of GOD in the scriptures by the Prophets as concerning his sonne which was borne of the seede of Dauid,Rom. 1. 2 and declared mightely to be the sonne of God, through the spirit of sanctification, by the rising againe of the deade. First, he shew­ [...]th that it is a testimonie of saluation offered, which was promised long agoe to the fa­thers by continuall successe of ages, wherein doeth appeare a plaine difference betweene those promises which did hold in doubt the mindes of the faithfull, and those glad tidinges whereby God witnesseth that he hath now throughly perfourmed all things which before he woulde haue them to hope for. Like a [...] a little after the same Paule sayeth that the iu­stice of God is sette foorth in the same Gospel, which before was signified by the lawe and the prophets.2. Cor. 5. 20▪ And therefore in another place, the Apostle calleth it an ambassage, wher­in is daily declared vnto men a reconciliation which is once for all concluded betweene God & the world, by the death of Christ. He signifieth also that Christ is not only a pledge of all good things that euer were graunted vnto vs by God, but also that in him they are fully and wholely offred vnto vs, according as he sayeth elsewhere, that all the promises of God are fulfilled in Christ, euen so, and Amen. And doubtlesse, that free adoption whereby [...]e are made the children of God, as it proceedeth from the euerlasting good wil of the fa­ther: so is it opened vnto vs in that, that Christe (who is the onely natural sonne of God) taking our flesh vpon him, did chuse vs to be his brethren. Neither ought we to seeke any where else, but onely in the sacrifice of his death, for that exp [...]ation or blessing, wherewith our sinnes are blotted out: so that the cursse or sentence of death cannot fall vpon vs. Righ­teousnesse, saluation, and perfect felicity haue a sure foundation in his resurrection. VVher­fore the Gospel may be defined to be a solemne publishinge or proclamation, wherein the sonne of God is declared to haue beene offred vppe in the flesh, to the intent that be might renew the wicked worlde, and restore menne that were dead, to life. Neither is it without cause called good and glad tidings, since in it is comprehended the summe of our felicitye: for the ende thereof i [...], that it, hauing beg [...] in vs the kingdome of God, and hauing aboli­shed the corruption of our flesh, might bring vs, being renewed through the spirite, vnto the celestial and heauenly glory. In which sense it is oft times called the kingdome of heauen, and a reparation of a blisseful life, atchieued by Christ: and sometime it is called the king­dome of God.Mar. 1. 534. As when Marke sayeth that Ioseph looked for the kingdom of God, doubt­lesse [Page] it is to be vnderstoode of the comminge of Messias: whereby it is manifest that the name of the Gospel doeth properly pertaine to the Nowe Testament: and that those wry­ters speake very c [...]susely, which thinke it to be like common to all ages, and that the pro­phets may at aptly be called [...]asters of the Gospel, at the Apostles. Christes woordes [...]unde farre otherwise,Lu. 16. 16. who making mention that the lawe and the Prophets were of [...] till the comminge of Iohn, declareth that then the kingdome of God began to be preached. And Marke (as before was mentioned) signifieth that the Gospell [...] b [...]ginne with the preachinge of Iohn▪ but this name and [...] was not without good aduisement giuen to these [...] hystories, wherin is declared, that Christ toke vpon him the office & function of ame­diator. For since that in the birth, death, & resurrection of Christ, is comp [...]sed the sum of our saluation, and they are the very matter whereof it doeth consiste, they may very well and fitly be called Euangelists: that is to say, bringers of merrye newes, whiche portraite out before our eyes Christ sent of his father, so that by faith we may ack [...]wledge him to be the only authour of our felicitie. The force and effecte of his comming is m [...]re plainely put downe in other bookes of the Newe Testament. And Iohn in this respect differeth farre from the other three, who is wholely occupied in expressing the vertue of Christe, and the frute that we reape thereby, where as the rest stand more vppon this poynt, that our Christe is the sonne of God which was promised to be the redeemer of the world. In deede they doe teache heere and there the doctrine of Christes office: that we may be certified of his fa­uour towarde vs, and to what ende he was giuen vnto vs: but this (as I sayde) is the chiefest matter they handle, that Christe Iesus did fully finish all things in his owne person, what­soeuer was promised by God euer since the beginning of the worlde. For their purpose and intent was not by their wrytings to abolishe and destroy the lawe and the Prephets, as di­uers brainsicke persons doe vainly dreame, that the Olde Testament hath beene to none ef­fecte, euer since the veritie of the heauenly wisedome hath been reuealed vnto vs by Christ and his Apostles: Nay, they rather pointing out Christe vnto vs, as it were with a [...]inger, put vs in minde to seeke at his handes what soeuer the law and the Prophets haue ascribed vnto him. VVherfore then we shall frutefully and effectually read the Gospel, when we shal lea [...]e to conferre it with the promises of the olde Testament. As concerning the three E­uangelists which nowe I take in hand to interpreat, Mathewe is sufficiently knowen, and some thinke Marke to haue liued familiarly with Peter as his scholler, and to haue recei­ued the Gospel, which he wrote woorde by woorde out of Peters mouth, so that he supplied only the ro [...]me of a Scribe or Nota [...]te. But this matter needeth no curious disputation, for it little appertaineth vnto vs to know more, then that he is a lawfull witnesse ordained of God, and that he publisheth nothing in wryting, but that which was reuealed vnto him, and putte into his head by the holy Ghost. But Ieromes opinion seemeth to haue smal grounde, who thinketh his Gospel to be a briefe summe, drawne out of the Gospel of Mathewe. For he differeth from him in handling his matter euen in the entrance: neither doeth he obserue the same Methode that Mathew doeth, and he reck [...]neth vppe liuers things, lefte vntou­ched of the other: and some things mentioned in Mathewe, he declareth more at large. I thinke it more probable, and so may I gather by the woorke it selfe, that he had neuer seene Mathewes booke, when he wrote his owne, much lesse did he of purpose make an Epitome or Abridgement of it. And the very same doe I iudge of Luke. For, as concerning the clauses wherein they seeme to differ, I thinke not that they brought them in of sette purpose, but when they all determined truely and faithfully to set foorth those thinges which they had thorowly knowen and approoued, euery one of them followed what order hee thought best him self. And like as this came to passe, not by blinde chance & fortune, but by the diuine prouidece of God: euen so, the holy ghost ministred vnto them a marueil [...]us consent, vnder a contrary stile and fourme of wryting. The which Harmonie it selfe, were sufficient to confirme their credite, had they not elsewhere receiued greater, and more stedfast authoritie. [Page] Nowe, as for Luke, he credibly witnesseth of himselfe, that hee was a companion of Paule, continually conuersant with him. But that which Eusebius reporteth, is very childish, that Paule was the true authour of Luk [...]s Gospel, because in a certaine place, he maketh men­tion of his owne Gospel. As though it were not manifest, by that whiche ensueth in the text,2. Tim. 2. 8. that Paule speaketh of his common preaching, and not of any one booke wrytten. For he sayeth: For the which Gospell I suffer affliction, as an euill doer, euen vnto bondes. And who knoweth n [...]t, that Paule was accused, not for any Booke he had Compiled, but for that he was a Minister of the woorde, and preached openly the Gospel of Christ: wherby it appeareth that Eusebius was a man very painful, but of small iudgement, since without diligent hede, he heapeth vp togither so many senceles notes, wherof I thought good to admonish the readers, least they chaunce to stumble at such like blockes, which lye heere and there, scattered throughout all his woorkes. Moreeuer, because I haue chosen a kinde of Interpretation, which may perhaps displease diuers at the first blush. I meane to yeelde a reason of my doing, trusting thereby to satisfie the vnpartial and godly readers. This first is without controuersie, that none of the three Euangelists, can be truely and rightly in­terpreated, vnlesse he be conferred with the t [...]o other. VVherefore faithful and skilful in­terpreaters, heerein take moste paines, that all things may be reconciled, which are spoken by the three Euangelists. But since that meane wittes cannot easily conferre the Euange­lists togither, whilest still they turne and returne from the one to the other, I thought this briefe Methode would seeme pleasant and profitable, if by a continual processe or discours, like as it were in one table, the three hystories were ioyned togither: wherein the readers may see and discerne at once, what is dissonant and agreeable to them all. So I will ouer­slip nothing which is wrytten by any one of the three: and I will declare in one discourse what soeuer is handled by diuers. Nowe, whether my paines be wel bestowed (as I hope) or no, let euery manne iudge according to the profite he taketh in reading. Truely it was so farre from my thought to catche after praise and commendation by my newe inuention, that I freely con [...]esse (as becommeth euery good nature) that in this manner of interpre­tation I haue imitated other men. And most of all I followed Bucer, a man of holy me­morie, and a famous teacher in the churche of God, who (in my iudgement) hath trauailed heerein to no smal purpose. And like as he hath had great furtherance by the disigelce of ancient wryters, which haue taken paines in the same studie before him: so I pro [...]esse my selfe to haue beene as much eased by his labour and industrie. But whereas I differ from him in some places (the which libertye I graunted my selfe so ofte as seemed necessarye.) I thinke that he himselfe, if he now liued on earth, would not be offended with is.

¶A Harmonie composed and made of three Euangelistes, Matthew, Marke and Luke, with the Commentaries of Iohn Caluine.

  Luke 1.

1 FOrasmuch as many haue taken in hande, to sette forth the storie of those thinges, whereof we are fully perswaded,

2. As they haue de­liuered them vnto vs, which from the begin­ning saw them their selues, and were Ministers of the word:

3. If seemed good also to me (most noble The­ophilus) as soone as I had searched out perfectly all thinges from the beeginning, to write vnto the ther­of from poynt to poynt;

4. That thou mightest acknowledge the certen­tie of those things, wherof thou hast beene instructed.

ONely Luke doth make a preface to his Gospell, that briefly he may shew the cause wherby he was moued to write. That he speaketh to one man, it seemeth to be absurd: when that rather it was his duetie by open sound of trumpet to call all men together to the fayth. Therefore it seemeth not to be conuenient, that he should dedicate to his Theophi­lus onely, that doctrine which is not proper to one or other, but common for all. Hereof it came to passe, that diuers thought it to be a name ap­pellatiue, and all godly men to be called Theophilos, of louing God: but the Epitheton that is ioyned with it differeth from that opinion. Neyther yet is that absurdity to be feared, which cōstrained them to seeke such re­fuge. Neither doth the doctrine of Paule lesse belong to all men, because that of his Epistles, he directed some to certaine Cities, and some to cer­taine men. And truly if we considered the estate of their times, we should confesse that Luke herein did godly and wisely. There were tyrants rea­dy on euery side, which with feare and terrors would hinder the course of wholsome doctrine. This gaue an occasion or libertie to Sathan and his ministers, to scatter cloudes of errors, which might dimme the pure light. And because that in keeping the puritie of the Gospell, the cōmon sorte were little carefull, and fewe did diligently consider what sathan would deuise, and how much daunger lay hidde in such deceitet. There­fore as euery one did excell other with rare fayth and singular giftes of the holy Ghost, so with greater studie and diligence hee ought to apply himselfe, that he might as much as in him lyeth preserue the doctrine of godlines pure and free from all corruption. Such (as holy layers vppe of bookes, wherein lawes are written) were chosen of GOD, faythfully to [Page 2] deliuer to their posteritie the heauenly doctrine cōmitted to them. Wher­fore Luke doth dedicate his Gospel to Theophilus, that he should faith­fully keepe the same, which things Paule also dooth enioyne and charge his Timothy with 2. Ep. 1. 14. & ca. 3. 14.

1. For as much as many. Hee seemeth to alleage that, as a cause of his writing, which rather should haue withdrawne him from writing. For, it were but a needelesse labour, to writ againe a historie already entreated of by many, if they had done their duetie; Neither doth he charge them with any word, either of deceite, or of negligence, or of any other faulte: Therefore it is as much, as if he should say, he would doe a thing alrea­die done. I answere, although he spareth them that had written bee­fore, yet doth he not throughly allow the labours of all of them. He doth not plainely say, that they haue written of thinges slenderly proo­ued▪ but challenging the certaine knowledge of these thinges vnto him selfe, modestly dooth disable some of them of certaine and vndoubted knowledge. If any do obiect, that if they had erred, hee shoulde haue sharply inueied against them; I answere againe, it may be, that they did a litle offende, and that of an vnaduised zeale, rather then of malice: and therefore, that there was no cause why he should more vehemently haue enforced him selfe against them. And it is credible, that there were cer­taine pamphlets, which were not then so hurtefull: but if they had not beene speedily preuented, they might afterwardes haue more grieuously annoied the faith. But it is worth the labour to note, how GOD, by Luke hath applyed a remedie against those superfluous writinges, and that by his meruailous counsell, he hath brought to passe, that by com­mon consent, all other being reiected, these onely doe keepe their credit, in which his reuerent maiestie most manifestly doth shine. And so much lesse to be borne with is the doting folly of them, which thrust into the world fond and filthy fables, vnder the name of Nichodemus, or any o­ther.

VVee are fully perswaded: The participle, which Luke doth vse, doth signi­fie thinges very well approued and voide of doubt: in the which the old interpreter hath beene ofte deceiued. And by this vnskilfulnesse hee hath left vs diuers excellent places corrupted. Amongst the which is that place of Paule, Rom. 14. 5: VVhere hee commaundeth, that euery man be fully perswaded in his minde: Lest the conscience being tossed with doubtfull opinions, should wauer, and neuer stand sure. Thereof also cō ­meth the nowne Plerophorias, which he corruptly hath translated plenitu­dínem, i. a fulnes, when that it is a certaine and strong perswasion groun­ded of faith, in the which godly mindes doe safely take their rest. And there is, as I sayde, a secrete contrarietie: For he challenging vnto himself the credit of a faithfull witnesse, doth take away the credit from others, that deliuer contraries. This phrase (Inter nos) amongst vs, signifieth as much as apud nos, with vs. But he buildeth faith, as it seemeth, very slender­lie, that buildeth vpon the report of men, which ought to be built vpon the onely word of God, and the ful perswasion and assuraunce of fayth is wrought and sealed by the holy ghost. I answere, that fayth is not sa­tis [...]ied with any testimonies of men; except the auctoritie of God doe hold the chiefest places. Yet, where the inward confirmation of the spirit doth goe before, there may some place be giuen them in the historicall [Page 3] knowledge of thinges. I call that historicall knowledge, which we haue cōceaued either by our own beholding of things don, or by the speach of others. For we may not giue lesse eare to them that are eye witnesses of the manifest workes of God, then wee are to giue credit to experience. Adde this also, that Luke followeth not priuate aucthours, but them that were also ministers of the word: By which commendation he extolleth them aboue the degree of mans auctoritie. For he sheweth, that they vt­tered the Gospell to him, to whom the Lord had committed the offyce of preaching the s [...]me. From hence also ryseth that assured safetie, wher­of he speaketh a litle after, which vnlesse it leane vpon God, may easily by distrubed. It is of great waight and force, that he calleth them mini­sters of the word, of whom he receiued his Gospell. For the faythfull do gather hereof, that against witnesses no exception can be taken (as the Lawyers say) and which it is not lawfull to refuse. Erasmus (who out of Virgill borowed that which he translated to haue beene some part) did not sufficiently weigh, how much the calling of God is to be esteemed, or of what auctoritie the same is. For Luke doth not speake prophanely: but he biddeth vs in the person of his Theophilus to looke vppon the commaundement of Christ, that we may with reuerence heare the sonne of God, speaking vnto vs by his Apostles. If any man had rather take and vse this phrase VVord, for the thing or substaunce, which is Christ, let him vse his own sense. That some doe vnderstand by it Christ, it should please me very well, but that it were forced against the sense of the text, and too farre stretched. It is much, that he saith, they were beholders or eye witnesses. But in that he calleth them ministers, he exempteth them from the common order of men, to that end that our fayth might haue his stay in heauen, and not on earth.

This in summe is Lukes minde, that hauing faythfully engraued in let­ters that which thou hadst learned before with liuely voice, thou migh­test the more safely repose thy selfe in the doctrine which thou haste re­ceiued: whereby it dooth appeare, that God doth euery where prouide, least we depending vpon the doubtfull wordes of men, our faith should fayle, or wauer. VVhereby the vnthankefulnes of the world is so much the lesse excusable, which as it were of purpose rashly desireth strayed and dispearsed rumors: whereby it might be vnconstant, and dooth wilfully forsake so great a benefit of GOD. But let vs hold that excellent diffe­rence, which the Lord hath put betweene them, lest foolish light beliefe doe vaunt it selfe for fayth. In the meane while let vs suffer the world, as it is worthy to be deceiued with the baightes of foolish curiousnes, so to commit and giue ouer it selfe willingly to the deceites and iuglings of Sathan.

3. Assoone as I had searched out perfectly. The olde translation hath (om­nia assecuto) I hauing followed all thinges. The Greeke word is meta­phoricallye deduced from them, whiche treade in others steppes, least ought should escape them. For Luke would declare vnto vs a diligent studie and manner of learning. Euen as Demosthenes vseth the same word, when as he boasteth himselfe to haue bin so diligent in examining the embassage, which he accuseth: saying that he saw al things that were done, as if he him selfe had beene a beholder of them.

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5. In the time of Herod, king of Iudea, there was a certaine prieste, named Zacharyas, of the course of Abia, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

6. Both were iust before God, and walked in al the commaundementes and ordinaunces of the Lord without reproofe.

7. And they had no childe, because that Eli­zabeth was barren, and both were well stricken in age.

8. And it came to passe, as hee executed the priestes office before God, as his course came in order.

9. According to the custome of the priestes of­fice, his lot was to burne incense when he went into the temple of the Lorde.

10. And the whole multitude of the people were without in prayer, while the incense was bur­ning.

11. Then appeared vnto him an Angell of the Lord, standing on the right side of the Altar of in­cense.

12. And when Zacharias saw him, he was trou­bled, and feare fell vppon him.

13. But the Angell saide vnto him: feare not Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Eli­zabeth shall beare a sonne, and thou shall call his name Iohn.

Luke very aptly doth begin his Gospell with Iohn Baptist, euen as if hee that should speake of the light of the daye, should beginne with the morning: For like vnto the morning he did goe before the sonne of righ­teousnes, which now was about to rise. Other also make mētion of him, but they describe him executing of his office. But Luke doth purchase authoritie to him not yet borne, when that he declareth the wonders of diuine power euen in his infancie, and sheweth him to bee appoynted of God to be a Prophet, before that men could know what manner of man he should be: And for this purpose he doth it, that with greater reuerence he might be heard, when that he should take vpon him that publike of­fice, to goe forth for the aduauncement of the glory of Christ.

5. In the time of Herod. He was the sonne of Antipater, whō his father did promote euen to the kingdō, for the augmentation of the which, he had so great care, & did with so great diligēce labour, that therfore there was giuē vnto him the surname of Great Certaine do think that he was named heire of Luke, because he was the first forreine king that re [...]gned there, and therefore to be a fitte time for their deliueraunce, beecause that their scepter was now transposed to a straunge nation. But they that so say, doe not very wel vnderstand the prophesie of Iacob: whereas the comming of the, Messias is not simply promised after that the Iewes shalbe depriued of their empyre: But after that the same shoulde be ta­ken [Page 5] away from the tribe of Iuda: neither yet is this the holy Patriarkes minde, that the tribe of Iuda should be depriued of their princely gouer­naunce, before the comming of Christ: But that the rule of the people should be established in that stocke, vntill Christes comming: in whole person, the sure euerlasting continuaunce of the same should be. And although that what time the Machabeyes florished, the tribe of Iuda was brought into a narrow streight, and shortly after Duke Iohn, the last of that stocke was slaine: yet notwithstanding was not that rule altoge­ther extinguished: For yet there remayned the Synedrion, as it were a cho­sen counsell of the stocke and posteritie of Dauid, whose auctoritie was great: And did continue to Herod, who with most horrible slaugh­ter of Iudges, reuenged punishment layde vppon him before: because that he being condemned of murder, was constrained to goe into voluntarie exile, that he might escape the losse of his head. The reigne therefore of Herod, because he was a straunger brake not the scepter of the trybe of Iuda, but because that what residue of renoume soeuer there remai­ned in that stocke, by his theeuish dealing was abolyshed: That the king­ly dignitie fayled long before, and that the rule by litle & litle fel almost downe: that discontinuaunce dooth not repugne with the prophesie of Iacob. For to the outwarde shewe GOD hath promised two diuerse thinges, the throane of Dauid to last for euer: that after it were ouer­throwne, he would repayre the ruines of the same: the power of that kingdome to be euerlasting: and yet notwithstanding a young slyppe should ryse out of the stock of lesse: both the which things ought to be fulfilled.

God did suffer the rule which he had erected in the trybe of Iuda to be kept downe for a season, that the greater might be the diligence of the people, to hope for the kingdome of Christ. VVhen the hope of the faythfull was as it were cutte off by the destruction of that chosen counsell, sodenly the Lorde clearely shone forth. And now this belon­geth to the course of the historie, whilst that the time of this thing be­ing done, was noted. But not rashlye, vnder the name of the king was also noted the miserable state of the tyme, that the Iewes might knowe, that they should turne their eyes vnto the Messyas, if that they assuredly had in estimation the league of God.

Zacharias of the course of Abia. It is knowne by sacred hystorie, that the familyes of the Priestes were deuided by Dauid into certaine orders. In the which thing Dauid attempted nothing against the commaunde­ment of the lawe, GOD did appoynt the priesthoode to Aaron and his Sonnes, the rest of the Leuites he appoynted to lesser offices: In that thing nothing was altered of Dauid: but his deuice was partely to be­ware least any thing should be doone tumultuously among the people: And partely to preuent ambition, and also to bring to passe, that a few should not take all the charge vnto them selues, and the greater parte sitte ydle at home. And in that distribution Abia, the Sonne of Elia­zar possessed the eight place. Zachary therefore was of the priestly stocke, and also of the posteritie of Eleazar, who succeeded his father in the hygh Priestes office. But how Elizabeth, when that she was of the daughters of Aaron could be cosine to Mary, I will shewe in his place. [Page 6] And Luke dooth mention the stocke of Elizabeth for honours sake: for it was lawefull for Zachary, according to the lawe, to take vnto him to wife, a daughter of a Leuite, of the common sort: Of this equall wed­lock therfore it doth appeare, that this man was not despisedin his degree.

6. Both were iust before God. A right and good testimonie doth he giue vnto them, not onely that they behaued them selues holily and vprightly before men, but they were accounted iuste before GOD. And also Luke doth briefly define that iustice. That they walked in the commaunde­mentes of the Lorde, both are diligently to be noted. For although that to this end Zachary and Elizabeth are praised, that we might knowe that the lantern, which bare light before the Sonne of God was not cho­sen out of an vnknowne stocke, but out of a most famous holy place: yet notwithstanding vnder their examples there is shewed to vs a rule of lyuing godly and righteously. Therefore in framing of a mans lyfe well, this is chiefest: that we should endeuour our selues to be approued, before god. And we know a sincere heart & pure conscience, chiefly to be required of him. Therfore an ouerthwart order it is, if any man litle estee­ming the vprightnesse of his heart, should only frame his outward life in obedience of the lawe. For it is to be kept in memorie, that God, (to whome we are commaunded to haue regarde) looketh not vpon the out­ward visor of workes, but especially the heart. Furthermore, in the se­conde place let obedience be added: that is, let not any man frame vnto him selfe, without the word of GOD, a newe kinde of righteousnesse, which shall please him: but let vs suffer our selues to be ruled by the po­wer of God. For neither is this definition to be neglected, those to bee righteous, which frame their life after the preceptes of the lawe, in the which it is agreed; all faigned worshippings to bee nothing regarded with God; and the course of mans life to bee wandring and erronious, assoone as it shall departe from his lawe. Betweene preceptes and iu­stifyinges there is this difference, that the latter name is properlye refer­red to the exercises of godlynesse, and diuine worshippinges: the first is more vniuersall; and it dooth aswell pertaine to the woorshippe of God, as to the duetie of charitie. For hukim which with the Hebrewes doth signifie statutes or decrees, the Greeke interpreter hath translated in­stifications. hukim commonly in holye scripture dooth signifie ceremo­nies, in the which the people exercised them selues in, worshipping of God, and confession of fayth. And although that hypocrites in that poynt are meruailous curious and exquisite; yet they haue nothing like with Zacharyas and Elizabeth.

For sincore woorshippers of GOD, as those two were, doe not gree­dily snatch vnto them naked and vaine ceremonies, but being bente vppon the trueth▪ they spirituallye obserue them. But leawde and coun­terfeite menne, although they dayly wearle them selues in outwarde ceremonies: yet beecause they doe not obserue them, as they were commaunded of the Lorde, they doe nothing but lose their labour. Chiefely in these two woordes Luke dooth comprehende the whole law. But if Zachary and Elizabeth were vnblamable, as concerning the keeping of the law, they had no neede of Christ: For the ful obseruing of the law doth bring with it life, and where there is no transgression▪ the [Page 7] arrained state doth cease. I answere, that these reportes of praise, where­withall these children of God royally are adorned, are to be taken with some exception. For it is expedient to cōsider diligently, how God should deale with them, euen according to his couenaunt, which he made with them, whereof the chiefest poynt is free reconciliation▪ and dayly forgiue­nes, whereby he pardoneth them their offences▪ [...]ust and vnreprouable therefore are they thought, because that all their life doth witnesse them to be auowed to righteousnesse, the feare of GOD to reigne in them, while there is a certaine example of godlynes. But when their godly en­deuour did farre differ from perfection, it could not please God, without forgiuenes and mercy: VVherefore the iustice which is praysed in them, dependeth vppon the free mercie of God. VVhereby it commeth to passe, that he accounteth not what unrighteousnes sooner remaineth in them. So it is necessary to vnderstand what soeuer is found in scripture of the righteousnes of men, that it ouerthrow not forgiuenes of sinnes, to the which it leaneth no otherwise, then the building to the foundati­on. They that say that Zachary and Elizabeth were simply iust by faith, because that they freely pleased God by the mediatour, doe wrieth Luk [...] wordes into a contrary sense. As concerning the matter it selfe, they nei­ther say nothing, nor yet all. I graunt the righteousnes which is ascribed to them, ought not to be imputed to the desert of woorkes, but to the loue of Christ. The Lord yet notwithstanding, because he imputed not sinne vnto them, hath thought their holy life, although vnperfect, to bee worthy the title of iust. The foolishnes of the Papistes will easily be re­felled: For they lay this, which is attributed to Zachary against the iu­stice of faith: the which, as it is certaine to proceede from the same: so ought it to be made subiect and brought vnder to the same: or as they commonly say, to be brought into a ranke vnder, to auoyde contention between them. And that which they so paint in respect of that one word is fryuolous. They say the commaundementes of the lawe are iustifi­cations, therefore that they iustifie vs. As though we denied true iustice to be taught in the lawe, or that we should say, the fault to be in the do­ctrine, because it doth not iustifie: and that rather the cause is not in our weake flesh. Therefore that a hundred times I may graunt lyfe to bee contained in the precepts of the law: yet notwithstanding nothing ther­by shal come vnto men, which by nature are altogether turned away frō the same. And now being borne againe by the spirit of GOD, yet not­withstanding they are farre from the pure obseruation of the same: Al­beit, as I shewed of late, it is a faint and a vaine cauillation about the word, whē it signifieth nothing els, thē statutes & appointed ceremonies.

7. And they had no childe. It was appoynted by the singular prouidence of God,Gen. 18. 10 that Iohn should be borne contrary to the common and accusto­med order of nature. The same thing also was done in Isaac, in the which God determined to shew a token of his loue, not often seene, and worthy of remēbraunce. Elizabeth was barren, euē in the flower of her age. And old age doth finish childbearing, euen in fruitful womē: therefore in these two lettes a duble miracle of diuine power doth appear, and that to this ende, that the Lorde woulde witnesse that prophet to be sent of him, as it w [...]re, with stretched hande from heauen. And a mortall man was he borne of earthlye parents: but a meane aboue nature, (if I maye [Page 8] so saye) no otherwise commended him, then if he had fallen from hea­uen.

9. According to the custome of the Priestes office. The law did commaund to burne incense twise daylye: that is to witte, in the morning, and in the euening. That the Priestes had their order disposed amonge them, that Dauid did appoynt euen as we haue saide before. There­fore the lawe of GOD dooth especially commaunde that, which here is sayde of incense. The other thinges came from Dauid, that euerie family shoulde haue their course: notwithstanding Dauid did appoynt nothing, but out of the commaundement of the lawe. For he onely did shewe the way, whereby they all might fulfill their charge enioyned them of God.

The name of the Temple here is taken for the holy place, that therefore is to be noted, because that sometyme it signifieth the Poarch. It is saide that Zachary went into the Temple, into the which it is not lawefull for any to goe, but for the Priestes. Therefore Luke dooth saye, the people stoode a farre off, betweene whom and the Altar of incense was a great distaunce. For betweene them was the altar, where-vppon the sacrifice of beastes were offered. And it is to be noted, that Luke dooth saye, before God. For as ofte as the Prieste did enter into the holy place, he did goe as it were into the sight of God, that he might be a mediatour betweene him and the people. For the Lorde woulde haue this thing testified vnto his people, that the entraunce into heauen was not open to any mortall men, except the priest did goe before. Nay, how long soeuer men liue here vppon earth, they cannot come to the heauenly throane, that they may finde fauour there, but in the per­son of the mediatour. Therefore when there were manye Priestes, it was not lawfull for two of them together to execute the solemne of­fice of intercession for the people: but therefore were they doulded in­to companies, that one onely should enter into the sanctuarie: and ther­fore there was but one Priest at once.

Furthermore hyther belonged that sweete perfume, that the fayth­full might bee admonished, that the odor of their prayers ascended not into heauen, but by the sacrifice of the mediatour. And it is to bee sought out of the Epistle to the Hebrewes, how these figures shall agree to vs.

12. Zacharyas was troubled. Although that therefore GOD doth not appeare vnto his seruauntes, that he should feare them: yet it is profita­ble, yea and necessarie for them to be mooued with feare, that they being dismayed with them selues, might learne to yeelde iust honour to GOD. Neyther dooth Luke onely shew Zacharias to haue beene troubled: But he addeth, a feare fell vpon him. VVherby he declareth him to haue bin so dismayed, that hee was subdued to feare. Neyther dooth feare of the presence of God so much strike men, that it should instruct them to re­uerence, but that it might humble the pride of the fleshe, the which is so hautie, that they will neuer submitte them selues to GOD, vnlesse they be violently driuen to it. VVherof also we doe gather, that men one­ly in the absence of GOD, (that is, when they hide them selues from his sight) are proude, and slatter them selues. For if they had God as a [Page 9] iudge before their eyes, it should be necessarie for them to fall down [...] flatte.

And if that this did befall to Zacharyas (to whom the praise of righ­teousnesse was giuen) at the beholding of an Angell, which is but a sparke of diuine light: what shall become of vs wretches, if that the ma­iestie of God should bring vs to his shining brightnes? And now by the example of holy fathers we are taught, that no other are moued with the liuely feeling of the diuine presence, but they that quake and trem­ble at his sight, and also that they are foolish and dull, which doe heare him without feare.

Feare not Zacharias. It is to be noted, that the glory of GOD is so fear­full to the godlye, that they are not altogether deuoured of feare: but onelye they are throwne downe from their vaine boldenesse, that they might humbly looke vppon him. Assoone therefore as GOD hath vanquished the pride of the flesh in his faythfull, with his outstretched hande, he rayseth them vppe againe. Hee dealeth otherwise with the reprobate. For às oft as they are drawen to the iudgement seate of God meere desperation ouerwhelmeth them. And God doth giue againe this, as a iust rewarde vnto their vaine pleasures, in the which they haue made them selues dronken to wantonnes of sinning. VVherefore this comfort is to bee imbraced of vs, in that the Angell dooth vppholde Zachary, that it is not to be feared, where God is present with vs. For they deceyue them selues much, who, that they might enioy peace, doe hyde them from the face of GOD, seeing wee shoulde seeke peace at him.

Thy prayer is hearde. Zachary might seeme to haue doone amysse, and contrary to the trade of his office, if he entring into the holy place in the name of all the people, as a priuate man shoulde pray for the obtay­ning of ofspring. For the prieste taking vppon him to bee a common person, should be as it were forgetfull of him selfe, and should praye for the common safegarde of the congregation. If wee shall saye, that it was not inconuenient, that Zacharias hauing perfourmed his chiefest parte of prayer, should then secondly haue some priuate consideration of him selfe, it were not an vnapt answere. But it is scarse probable, that Zachary shoulde then haue prayed for the obtayning of a Sonne, whereof he was past hope by the olde age of his wife. Neither is there any certaine moment of tyme gathered of the woordes of the Angell. VVherefore simply I interpreet, that his desire was nowe heard, which long beefore he had powred out before GOD. Furthermore, the de­sire of hauing ofspring (so there be no excesse) is godly and holy, as may be gathered out of scripture, which esteemeth this not in the last place [...] ­mong the blessings of God.

Thou shalt call his name.. The name of Baptist I thinke was giuen vn­to him, to declare the effecte of his office: [...], For the whiche the Greekes say Iohn, with the Hebrewes doth signifie the grace of God. But manye thinke the Sonne of Zachary so to bee called, as beelo­ued of God. I doe not thinke that fauour here to bee commended, which god thought him priuatly to be worthy of: but that which his mes­sage was about to bring to al men. The time doth encrease the authoritie [Page 10] and estimation of his name: because that before he was borne, God im­printed in him a signe of his loue.

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14. And thou shalt haue ioye and glad­nesse, and manye shall reioyce at his byrth.

15. For hee shall be great in the sight of the Lorde, and shall nether drinke wine, nor strong drink, and hee shal be filled with the holy Ghost, euen from his mothers wombe.

16. And many of the children of Israel shall he turne to their Lord God.

17. For hee shall goe beefore him in the spi­rite and power of Elyas, to turne the heartes of the fathers to the children, and the dis [...]bedient, to the wisdom of the iust men, to make ready a people pre­pared for the Lord.

14. Thou shalt haue ioye. The Angell dooth signifie greater ioy, then that Zachary as could comprehende, of his new ofspring: For he decla­red, that hee shoulde haue such a sonne, as he durst not wish for: And streight wayes hee goeth further, that that ioye shoulde not be priuate, whereof the onelye parentes shoulde take their delectation, or that it might keepe it selfe in priuate houses, but shoulde bee common also to straungers, to whome the profitte of his natiuitie shoulde bee declared. Therefore it is like, as if the Angell had sayde; not a sonne to haue beene borne alone to Zacharias, but a teacher and a prophet to all people.

The Papistes abused this place, that they might bring in a prophane custome, in celebrating the birth day of Iohn. I let passe this, that they woorshippe this day too much contrary to all good order, with daun­singes, leapings, and all kinde of lasciuiousnesse, with libertie of banket­ting, which order they faigne to bee sacred vnto them: and that they suffer them selues in that celebration to bee deluded with magicall artes, and deuylish deuises, no otherwise then as in the ceremonies of Ce­res.

At this present it shall be sufficient for mee briefly to declare the An­gelles woordes to haue beene wrested of them vnwisely, to the annuall celebrating of his byrth day: when the Angell simplye did commende the ioy which should come to all godly men, by the fruit of his doctrine: For they reioyced for a prophet to be borne vnto them, by whose mini­sterie they were brought in hope of saluation.

15. For he shall be great. Hee confirmeth that which he sayde of ioy: because that Iohn was appoynted to a thing great, and vnaccustomed: Neither yet are the vertues wherein hee did excell so much, here pray­sed, as the greatnesse and excellencie of his office is extolled. Lyke as Christe, when he affirmeth him to bee the chiefest among the children of women, he hath not respect so much to the holynesse of his life, as to his ministerie.Mat. 11. 11. That which streight wayes after followeth: Hee shall [Page 11] neither drinke wine nor strong drinke, is not so to bee vnderstoode, as though it were an especial vertue of Iohn, to be a refrayner frō wine: but because that by that especiall marke, God would note his seruaunt, whereby the worlde might know an euerlasting Nazarite. The priests also refrayned from wine and strong drinke, when they supplyed their courses in the temple. The same abstinence was prescribed to the Naza­rites,Num. 6. 3 vntill their vow were fulfilled. And GOD would shewe by a no­table token, that Iohn in all his life was a Nazarite, dedicate vnto him, as we read also the same of Sampson. But vnder this colour there is not to be faigned a woorshipping of GOD, in abstinence from wine, as Apes,Iud. 13. 5 that with ambition will followe whatsoeuer they may perceiue of their fathers deedes. Onely let all men haue temperaunce in estima­tion: they that finde hurte in drinking of wine, let them willinglye ab­staine: they that lacke, let them take the want of it in good parte. For that which pertayneth to the name of Sicera, I willingly agree to their iudgement, which shed with the Hebrewes doe thinke to be called euery kind of made wine.

Hee shall be filled with the holy Ghost. This more inwarde note, where­withall the Angell saieth Iohn shall be signed, was farre excellenter, then the outwarde and visible signe. In these woordes I thinke nothing els to be noted, then his apparaunt towardnesse, which might shew a hope of his excellencie to come. Further, I saye not such towardnesse, as is also in prophane men, but such as might accorde to the greatnes of his office.

The sense therefore is that the power and grace of the spirite shoulde not then onely shewe it selfe in him, when that hee should aspyre to his office: but that euen from his mothers wombe hee shoulde excell in the giftes of the spirite, which as certaine signes shoulde testifie what hee should be; For from his mothers wombe▪ is as much to say, as from his first infancie. I graunt truely the power of the spirite to haue wrought in Iohn, when he was yet included in his mothers wombe. But in my iudgement the Angell here meant an other thing, that Iohn being yet an infant, should be brought as it were into the theatre with a singular commendation of the grace of God: of the fulnesse it is not meete, that we should more subtilly dispute, or rather triffle with sophisters.

For the scripture doth by this name signifie no other thing,Ioh. 1. 6. then the excellent,1. Cor. 12▪ 11. and not common aboundaunce of the giftes of the spirite. To Christ alone we knowe the spirite to haue beene giuen without mea­sure, that wee might all drawe of his fulnesse:Eph. 4. 7. and to be giuen to other by a certaine measure. But they that aboue our common capacitie are endued with more plentifull grace, are sayde to beefull of the holye Ghoste.

But as the larger power of the spirite was an extraordinarie gyfte of GOD in Iohn: so it is to bee noted the spirite not to bee beesto­wed vppon all menne by and by in theyr▪ infancle, but when it shall please GOD.

Iohn from the wombe did beare the token of his dignitie to come, Saule beeing yet but a Sheaphearde, did beere no kingely shewe, yet [Page 12] at length hee beeing chosen king, was sodainely chaunged into a newe man.

By this example therefore let vs learne, that the free woorking of the spirite is free in menne from the firste infancie, to the laste poynte of age.

16. And manye of the children of Israell. In these wordes he declareth a detestable de [...]ision, which then was in the Church. For it was ne­cessarye to haue such Apostles, in whome conuersion to GOD might haue some place.

And truelye there was so much corruption of doctrine, so much de­prauing of manners, such a confuse gouernment, that it myght bee accounted a myracle, to finde a fewe to persiste in godlynesse. If such exceeding dissention was in the olde Church, there is no cause, that the Papistes shoulde with a vayne cloake defende theyr superstions, as if it were impossyble the Church should erre: For because that vnder this name they doe vnderstande not the true and electe Sonnes of GOD, but the companye of the wicked.

But wee see more heere to bee attrybuted to Iohn, then shoulde a­gree to manne. For when conuersion vnto GOD doth renewe in menne a spirituall lyfe, it is not onelye the proper woorke of God, but it dooth excell euen the creation of menne. Therefore by this meanes the ministers maye seeme to bee equall with God, yea, and to bee preferred in as much as hee is creator, seeing it is more to bee borne agayne into a heauenlye lyfe, then to be borne mortall men vp­on the earth.

The answere is easie: For the Lorde, when hee attributeth such praise to his outwarde doctrine, he doth not seperate the same from the secret po­wer of his spirite. For, because God chuseth men vnto him for ministers, whose ayde hee vseth in buylding of his Church, together by them hee worketh with the secret power of his spirite, that their labour might be effectuall and fruitfull, as oft as the scripture commendeth this efficacie in the ministerie of men, let vs learne to yeelde the thing receiued to the grace of the spirite, [...]. Cor. 3. 6. without the which mans voyce to no effecte should be spread abroad in the ayre. So Paule, while hee reioyseth himselfe to bee the minister of the spirite, challengeth nothing aparte vnto him­selfe, as though with his voyce he should pierce the heartes of men, but he declareth in his ministerie the power and grace of the spirite. These sayinges are worthy to be noted: For Sathan very artificially worketh to diminishe the effect of doctrine, that hee might weaken the grace of the spirite ioyned to it. I graunt that externall preaching separately by it selfe can doe nothing, but because it is an instrument of diuine power for our saluation, and an effectuall instrument by grace of the spirite: let not vs seperate those thinges which GOD hath ioyned. But that the glo­ry of conuersion and of fayth, may remaine whole towardes one GOD. The scripture doth admonish vs oftentimes, ministers through themselues to be nothing, but then he compareth them with God, least any man ta­king the honour from God, should bestow it amisse on them.

In summe, the minister is sayd to turne them, whom God doth con­uert, through the work of his minister. For he is nothing but the hand of [Page 13] God, and in this place both are expressed very well, now of the effect of doctrine there is enough spoken. That the same is not in the appoint­ment or hand of the minister to conuert men vnto God, of this we ga­ther because that Iohn did not conuert al commonly to God: (the which thing without doubt he would haue done, if all thinges had beene giuen him that he desired) but he turned them onely, whom it pleased God ef­fectually to call. In conclusion, [...]he same is taught here of the Angell, which Paule taught to the Romanes:Rom. 10. 17. Fayth commeth of hearing, but by fayth none are lightned, but they to whome the Lorde hath inwardly reuealed his arme.

17. Hee shall goe before him. In these wordes he defineth what the of­fice of Iohn should be, & by this note he distinguisheth him from the rest of the Prophetes, to whom a peculyar and proper message was comman­ded, when that Iohn for this thing onely was sent, that he might goe be­fore Christ, as an offycer before a king. So the Lord speaketh by Ma­lachy. Behold, I send my Angell, which shall prepare my way before me. In summe,Mal. 3. 1. to no other poynt belonged the calling of Iohn, but to prepare an audience for Christ, and to get him disciples. And in that no expresse mention is here made of Christ, but that the Angell maketh Iohn a fore­walker or standert bearer of the eternall God: hereof the eternall diui­nitie of Christ is gathered.

VVith the spirite and power of Elyas. The spirite and power I take for the power or excellency of the spirite, wherewithall Elyas was endued. For neither must we inuent the dreame of Pythagoras; that the soule of the Prophet should goe into the body of Iohn: But that spirit of God, which wrought mightily in Elyas, should after exercise like power and effect in the Baptist: But the latter name is added expositiuely, to expresse the kinde of grace, wherein Elyas most did excell: namely, that he being fur­nished with heauenly power, might merueilously restore the decaied wor­shippe of God: For such repairing passed the power of man. Now that which is begunne of Iohn was no lesse meruellous, wherfore it is no mer­uell, if it behooued him to be adorned with the same gift.

That he may turne the hearts of the fathers. Here the Angell doth note what especiall similitude Iohn had with Elyas. Therefore he saith he was sent that he might gather people dispearsed into vnitie of fayth: for the tur­ning of fathers to sonnes, is a reduction from discord to loue. Whereof it followeth that there was a certaine breach, the which might cutte, or as it were rend the people. VVe know in the time of Ellas what a horryble defection of the people there was, how shamefully they were degenerate from their fathers, they were so deuided, that they could be nothing lesse thought, then the sonnes of Abraham. Elyas brought them againe into a holy consent. Such a gathering together of fathers with children there beganne to be by Iohn▪ the which Christ at length finished: wherefore Malachy when he speaketh of bringing againe, dooth signifie that the state of the Church should be so deuided (when the other Elyas should come) as it is suffyciently knowne by histor [...]es, [...]o ha [...]e beene then, and shall more apparantly be seene in their places. The doctrine of the scrip­ture was polluted by innumerable lyes, the worshipping of God was cor­rupt with more then grosse superstitions, religiō was deuided into diuers sectes. The priestes openly wicked and Epicures, the common people [Page 14] it selfe was drowned in wickednesse. Furthermore nothing was sounde. That is sayde here, the heartes of fathers to children, it is vnproper. For it behooueth rather to conuert the sonnes, which were truce breakers, and had gone from the right faith of fathers. But although the Euan­geliste dooth not so warily expresse the order, yet the sense is not ob­scure, that GOD to bring to passe, by the worke of Iohn, that they a­gaine should growe together into holy concorde, which first were de­uided amongst them selues: Eyther part is had of the Prophet, which notwithstanding meant nothing else then to signifie mutuall agreement. But because that oftentimes men so conspire among themselues, that some shoulde more alienate some from GOD: the Angell doth there­withall define, what manner of conuersion it shoulde bee, which hee doth promise: yea such as should call the disobedient to the wisdome of the righteous. That therefore is to be noted, that wee knitte not our selues fast with the wicked, vnder the false cloake of concord. Because the name of peace is goodly▪ and pleasaunt as ofte as it commeth in the scriptures it is greedily snatched of the Papistes, to procure vs enuie: as though that we (which endeuour to call the world from disloyall reuolting to Christ) were the aucthours of discorde. But by this text, their foolishnes is very well refelled: because the Angell doth shew the manner of true and lawfull conuersion, he maketh the stay and bande of it to be the wisdome of the righteous. Accursed therefore be that peace and vnitie, wherein men agree amongst themselues against GOD. Furthermore, it is not to be doubted, but that fayth is vnderstoode by the wisdome of righteous men, as of the contrary, the vnfaythful are cal­led disobedient.

Truelye an excellent testimonie of fayth, whereby wee learne, that we then are wise to saluation, when wee are obedient to the woord of God. The worlde also hath his wisdome, but corrupt, and therefore deadlye: and which is condemned of vanitie. Although the Angell signifieth ouerthwartly shadowed wisdome, wicked and accursed before God, wherein the sonnes of this world please them selues. Nowe wee vnderstand men so to be reconciled amongst them selues, that chieflye they might come againe in fauour with god. That which streight waies followeth of making ready a people, prepared for the Lord, doth agree with that parte, that Iohn should be the tryer of Christe, that he might walke before his face, for the end of his preaching was to make the peo­ple diligent to heare the doctrine of Christe. Although the participle Ka­teske [...]smenon doth not so much signifie perfection with the Greekes, as the fourme and aptnesse, whereby thinges are made fitte for their vse. The which signification shall not ill agree with this place, that Iohn was sent to prepare and frame that people for Christe, which otherwise being rude and vnpolyshed, woulde neuer shew it self easie to be taught.

  Luke. 1.

18. Then Zacharias sayde vnto the Angell, whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is of a great age.

19. And the Angell answered, and sayde vn­to him: I am Gabryell▪ that stand in the presence [Page 15] of God, and am sent to speake vnto thee, and to shew thee these good tidings.

20. And behold thou shalt be dumb, and not be able to speak, vntil the day that these things be done, because thou beleeuedst not my woords, which shalbe fulfilled in their season.

18. Then Zacharias sayde vnto the Angell. Here foloweth the infidelitie of Zacharyas, and the punishment which the Lord layde vppon his vnfaith­fulnes. He prayed for the obtaining of ofspring: now, when it is promi­sed, as forgetfull of his vowes and fayth, he distrusteth: Albeit at the first blush it might seeme a harde thing, that with his answere God shoulde so grieuously be offended. He obiecteth his olde age: euen so did Abra­ham,Rom. 4. 19. whose fayth yet is so much praised, that Paule should say, his body which now was dead, was not considered. Nor the vnfruitefull wombe of Sara: but simply that he reposed himselfe in the trueth and the power of God. Zachary doth aske how, or by what argument he may bee the more assured. And Gedeon was not reprehended, though that twise hee required a signe: And also a litle after there is the like exception giuen of Mary:Iud. 6. 17 How shall this thing be, when I know not man? The which notwithstanding the Angell dooth dissemble as if there were no faulte in her: how commeth it then, that the Lord shoulde so seuerely chasten Zacharyas, as guiltie of most grieuous sinne? Verily I graunt, if the wordes onely should be looked on, eyther that they did all offend a like or Zachary not to haue offended at all. But when it is conueniēt to iudge the dooinges and sayings of men, according to the affection of the heart, it is rather to be stoode to the iudgement of God, to whome the priuye secrete places of the heart are open. The Lord without doubt dooth see something worse in Zachary, then his wordes doe shew: And therefore the Lord waxed angry with him, that by distrust he should put away his promised fauour to him. It is not our dutie to prescribe a law for God, but let it be free for him to punish that in one, which offence he doth pardon in others. But it doth easily appeare, that the cause of Zacharye differed from the cause of Abraham,Gen. 1.7. 17. & 18. 10. Gedeon, or Mary. That in words is not di­scerned. The knowledge therfore is to be left to god, whose eies do pearse euen to the fountaine of the hart. So God discerned betweene the saugh­ter of Sara & of Abraham when notwithst [...]ding▪ the one differed not in likenes from the other. Furthermore, the cause of distrust in Zacharyas, was, that he staying in the order of nature, did attribute lesse to the power of God, then was meete. For ouer straightly & sparingly do they think of the works of God, which beleeue not him to be able to do more, thē ac­cording to nature is credible, as though his hand were subiect to our sēce, or included in earthly meanes; but it is the propertie of fayth much more to beleeue, then the reason of the flesh could say might come to passe. Zacharias doubted not, whether it were the voyce of God, or no: But when he was ouermuch bent vpō the world, an ouerthwart doubting crept in­to his mind, whether that should come to passe, that he heard or no. And in that thing he did no smal iniury to god: for it were as much, as if he should dispute whether god might be accounted true or no, whō he surely knew had spokē it, which was sufficient▪ although it is to be known Zacharias [Page 16] not to haue beene so vnbeleeuing, that altogether hee shoulde shrinke from faith. For there is a generall faith, which dooth take hold of the promise of eternall saluation, and the testimonie of free adoption. And euen as after God hath once receiued vs into fauour, he specially promi­seth many thinges that he will feede, that he will take vs out of perilles, he will be a defender of our innocencie, and preserue our life: so there is a perticular fayth, which answereth to euery such promises. Therefore sometime it may be, that some man trusting in God of forgiuenes of sins, and of saluation, yet in some point should wauer: for either he shoulde feare too much in the daunger of death, or be too much carefull for dai­ly sustenaunce, or ouer doubtfull in his counsailes. Such was the incredu­litie of Zachary, because that he hauing the roote and foundatiō of faith, did onely stick in this one poynt, whether God would giue him a sonne. VVherefore let vs know, that they doe not by and by fall and departe from the fayth, when their infirmities in some particular affaires doe di­sturbe or moue thē, nor faith to faile at the roote, as oft as the boughes doe shake at diuerse inuasions or blastes. Graunt that Zachary meant no­thing lesse then to call to triall the assurance of the diuine promise. But when that generally he was perswaded God to be true, he was drawen by stelth into a shrewd estate, by the crafte and deceites of Sathan. So much the rather it becommeth vs to be ready bent to watching day and night. For which of vs shall be sure from the deceites of Sathan, into the which we see a man of singular holynes to haue fallen, who diligently in al his life tooke heede to himself?

19. In am Gabryell. I these words the Angell doth shew, that the cre­dit was taken not from him, but from God, of whome he was sent, and whose message he brought: and therefore he reproueth Zachary, that he was disobedient against God. To stand before God, signifieth as much us to be readie at commaundement: as if he shoulde say, that he was no mortal man, but a heauēly spirit, neither rashly to haue come, but as it bec [...] the minister of God, faithfully to fulfill his office: whereof it followeth, that God, the authour of the promise is vnworthily hurt, and despised in the person of his messenger.Luke. 10. 16. To that purpose tēdeth the saying of Christ, He that doth despise you, despiseth me. For although the preaching of the Gospell is not by Angels, brought vnto vs from heauen: yet because GOD dooth, witnesse by so many miracles the same to proceede from him, and Christ the prince and chiefe of Angels publyshed the same once with his own mouth, that he might sanctifie and establish the same for euer, no lesse maiestie ought to persist in it, then if al the Angelles open­ly crying from heauen should witnesse the same. Nay, the Apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrewes, not being satisfied to say, that the voyce of the Gospell, which is sounded out by the voyce of men, is equall to the lawe giuen by Angelles: but dooth gather his argument from the lesser to the [...]r [...]ater:Heb. 10. 28 & 12. 25. If the word (saith he) brought by Angelles being reiected, was not without punishment, much lesse shal they escape reuenge, which this day despise the voyce of Christ, who can strike the heauen and earth. Let vs therefore learne to perfourme obedience of fayth to GOD, the which he doth more account then all sacrifices.

Gabryell doth signifie might or strength, or the gouernaunce of God, and this name was giuen to the Angel for our sake, that we might learne [Page 17] to attribute nothing as proper to Angels, when that what vertue soeuer they haue is diuine, and of God. The Participle Paresteces is of the pre­ter tence: but in such wordes it is very well knowne, the preter tence to be put in the place of the present tence, especially where continual ac­tion is signified.

Furthermore, the Angell, as it was lately saide, doth affirme in those wordes, him selfe to be the perpetuall messenger of God. That phrase of shewing good tidinges dooth amplifie the fault of Zachary, that he should be vngratefull to God, promising him gently a thing ioyfull, and to be wished for of all.

20. And beholde, thou shalt be dumbe. This kinde of punishment was like to be layde on Zachary, that hee being dumbe might loke for the comming of the promise, the which when hee ought to haue hearde it with silence, he as it were brake it off with grieuous repyning murmu­ring. Fayth keepeth silence, that it may be attentiue to the woorde of GOD. Furthermore, it hath also the courses of speaking: That it may answere Amen, according to that of Osee. 2. 23. I will say to them, you are my people: And they shall saye to mee, thou art our GOD. And because that Zachary answered rashly to the word of God; this fauour was not graunted to him, that streightwayes he should breake forth in­to giuing of thankes: but the vse of his tongue, which was ouer hastie was taken from him, for a time: Yet notwithstanding God doth gent­lye mittigate his paine. First, because hee dooth ende the same in tenne monethes: then that he suffered Zachary not to be depriued of that benefit, whereof he was vnworthy. He vseth the same gentlenesse dayly towardes vs. For as our fayth is small, and we obiect many im­pedimentes, it is needefull that the trueth of GOD, by some meanes shoulde breake out, that it might continue his course towardes vs. That is the meaning of the Angell, when accusing Zachary of vnbeleefe, he doth yet pronounce, that thing should be finished, which Zachary did not beleeue: Therefore Zachary is not a litle cheered, when he heareth that his fayth is not ouerthrowne of God, by reason of his faulte: but that at length it should appeare victorious. And sometime it commeth to passe, that the Lord doth perfourme and fulfill that, which was pro­mised to vnbeleeuers, how much soeuer they resist: of the which thing we haue an example worthy of remembraunce, in king Achaz: who when he forsooke his promised safegarde,Isai 7. 11 was yet deliuered from his e­nimies. But that tended not to his profit, but for the saluation of the chosen people. There is an other thing in Zachery to be considered, to whom the Lord doth so forgiue the lacke of fayth, that therewithall hee yet correcteth it.

  Luke. 1.

21. Nowe the people wayled for Zacharyas▪ and meruailed that hee taryed so long in the tem­ple.

22. And when hee came out, hee coulde not speake vnto them: then they perceiued, that he had seene a vision in the Temple, for he made signes vn­to them, and remained dumbe.

[Page 18] 23. And it came to passe, when the dayes of his office were fulfilled, that hee departed to his owne house.

24. And after those dayes his wife Elizabeth conceaued, and hidde her selfe fiue moneth [...]s, saying:

25. Thus hath the Lorde dealt with me in the dayes wherein hee looked on mee, to take from mee my rebuke among men.

21. And the people waited. Luke declareth that the people also was a Witnesse of this visiō. Zachary, taryed longer in the temple then the wont was: Hereon suspition grewe, some vnaccustomed thing to haue be­falne to him: he being come out, by gestures and signes dooth shew, that hee is become dumbe. And it is credible, that some tokens of feare re­mayned in his countenaunce, whereby they gather that God had appea­red to him. And there were in that age few or no visions: but the people did remember that they had beene common before in their fathers time. VVherefore not without cause did they iudge of these manifest signes. For it was not cōmon, that sodenly without sicknes he should be dumb: And that after longer delay then neede was, he should come so amased out of the temple. Furthermore, the name of the temple, as we now said, i [...] vsed for the holy place, where the altar of inconse was: from thence the Sacrifice being finished, the priests were woont to goe into their porche, and thence they blessed the people.

23. VVhen the dayes were fulfilled. Luke doth put the word Liturgian for the executing of the office, which did goe by course in order to euery one, euen as we haue said. That it is said, that Zachary returned to his house, the time of his charg being past: hereout we gather the priests so long as they were in their courses did refrain frō their houses,1. Reg. 6. 5 that they might al­together be giuen and fixed to the seruice of God. For this purpose there were Galeries made in the sides of the temple in the which they had chā ­bers. The law did not forbid the priest from his own house: but that it restrained them from touching of their wiues,1. Sam. 21. 4 when they should eat the holy bread:Leui. 10. 9 It is probable, that when Many with smal reuerence did han­dle the holy things, this remedie was inuented, that they being remoued from all allurements, might keepe them selues cleane & free from all pol­lution: Neyther was the lying with their wiues onely forbidden then, but also the drinking of wine and strong drink. Therefore when the order of their diet was chaunged, it was profitable not to depart from the tē ­ple, that the sight of the place might teach them to seeke and esteeme of puritie, euen as it was appointed of the lord. It was also profitable that al occasion of wantonnesse should therby be taken away, that with more diligence they might apply their charge. The Papistes this day vnder this pretence doe defend their tyrranous law of vnmarried life: For thus they reason, seeing the priests in times past were commanded to abstain from their wiues, when they were busied in holy affaires: now worthily may perpetuall continence be required of our priestes, which not by course of times, but daily, doe sacrifice: Chiefly, for that the dignitie of holy rites is farre more excellent, then vnder the law. But I would knowe, why they [Page 19] doe not also abstaine from wine and strong drinke. For neyther, is it lawfull to separate those commaundements, which God hath ioyned that onely halfe should be obserued, and the other part neglected. The com­p [...]nie with their wiues is not so expressly forbidden,Eze [...]. 24. 20 as the drinking of wine. If vnder the colour of the law, the Pope doth inioyne to his priests single life, why doth he permit them wine?. Nay, by this reason he ought to shutte vp his priestes in some innermost roomes of his Temples, that they being shutte in prisons, might passe all their life without the fellow­ship of women and people. Now we see plainely they wickedly pretende the law of God, from which they depart: But notwithstanding a ful an­swere dependeth of the difference of the law and the Gospell. The priest did place him selfe before God, to purge awaye the sinnes of the people, that he might be as it were a mediatour of God and men: it behooued him, vpon whom that office was layd, to haue some note, whereby he be­ing exempted from the common order of men, might be knowne as the figure of the true mediatour. For this purpose were appointed the holye garments and annoynting: Now in the publike ministers and pastors of the Church there is no such like thing, I speake of the ministers, which Christ instituted to feede his flock, not of those which the Pope maketh, rather butchers to sacrifice Christ, then priestes. VVherefore let vs repose our selues in that sentence of the holy Ghoste,Heb. 13. 4 which pronounceth that matrimonie is honourable in all men.

24. Shee hidde herselfe. This seemeth to bee absurd, as though that shee should be ashamed of diuine blessing. Some thinke, that the thing bee­ing yet doubtfull, shee durst not come abroad, least that shee should make her selfe a laughingstocke, if her opinion should be made frustrate, which shee had conceaued. And I doe so accompt of the promise made, that shee was assured it should come to passe. For when shee perceaued such grieuous punishment to be layde vppon her husband, for the vnadui­sed fall of his tongue, howe could shee fiue monethes space nourish such doubt in her heart: and her woordes doe plainely declare that her hope was not wauering, or doubtfull: For when shee saieth, the Lorde hath doone it, shee wisely and without feare declareth the Lordes known fa­uour.

There might be two causes of her hiding. First, that the miracle of God should not be layde open to the diuers speaches of men, beefore it should apparauntly be knowne. For it is the custome of the worlde to speake oftentimes rashly and verie vnreuerentlye of the workes of God.

The other cause was, that when men of a sodaine shoulde see her great with childe, they should the more be stirred to praise the Lorde. For those workes of GOD, which by litle and litle rise vppe amongst vs, in processe of time are naught sette by. Therefore Elizabeth hydde and absented her selfe not for her owne sake, but for the cause of o­thers.

25. Thus hath the Lorde dealt with mee. Shee setteth forth the good­nesse of God priuately, vntill the appoynted time should come of publi­shing the same vnto the worlde. It is to bee supposed that her husbande by writing had enformed her of the promised childe, in that the more certainely and with the cheerefuller minde shee sheweth that GOD is the aucthour of this benefitte. And that shee approoueth in her nexte [Page 20] woordes. In the dayes wherein he looked on me, to take from me my rebuke among men. Shee declareth, that the cause of barrennesse was, for that the fa­uour of God was turned from her.

Amongst the earthly blessinges, which God doth giue, the scripture ac­counteth this as chiefe, that he vochsafeth to giue vs children. For if the increase of bruit beastes is a blessing of God: then how much more ex­cellent man is then beastes, so much more to be esteemed and accounted of, is the increase of men then of beastes. Neither is it a slight or common honour, that when God alone deserueth to be accounted a father, hee yet admitteth earthly men into the fellowshippe of this name with him. Therefore that doctrine is diligently to be considered, that children are the inheritaunce of the Lord. Psalm. 127. 3. and the fruite of the womb his rewarde. But Elizabeth had a further regarde: because that beyonde the common order of nature, she being barren and olde, had now con­ceaued by a wonderfull miracle of God.

To take from me my rebuke among men. Barrennesse was not without cause esteemed as a reproach, seeing that the blessing of the wombe was ac­counted amongst the especial testimonies of gods fauour & loue. Some thinke that this did specially appertaine to the people of the old lawe, because that Christe was to come of the seede of Abraham. But that belonged onely to the tribe of Iuda. Others more rightly affirme, that the encrease of the people of GOD was prosperous and happye, for that it was sayde to Abraham, Gene. 13. 15. Thy seede shall bee as the sande of the sea, and as the starres of the heauen: But the generall bles­sing which reacheth vnto all mankinde, and the promise made vnto A­braham, which is peculiar to the Church of God, ought to be ioyned to­gether.

Let parentes learne to be thankfull to God for their children, but let them that want, learne by the same to humble them selues. Elizabeth accounteth that this reproach is but before men, because that it is but a temporall chastisement, by which we are nothing the further from the kingdome of heauen.

Matthew.Marke.Luke. 1.

26. And in the sixt moneth the Angell Ga­briell was sent from God vnto a citie of Galile, na­med Nazareth.

27. To a virgin affianced to a man, whose name was Ioseph, of the house of Dauid: and the virgins name was Mary.

28. And the Angell went in vnto her, and sayde, Hayle, thou art freely beloued, the Lorde is with thee: Blessed art thou among women.

29. And when shee saw him, shee was troub­led at his saying, and thought what manner of saluta­tion that should be.

30. Then the Angell sayde vnto her, Feare not Marye: for thou haste founde fauour with God.

[Page 21] 31. For loe, thou shalt conceaue in thy wombe, and beare a sonne, and call his name Iesus.

32. Hee shall be great, and shall bee called the Sonne of the moste heigh: and the Lorde God shall giue him the thr [...]ane of Dauid his fa­ther.

33. And hee shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kingdome shall be no ende.

26. In the sixt moneth. The order of Gods counsell is wonderful, and much differeth from the common iudgement of men. In that he woulde that the beginning of the generation should be more famous in his fore­runner, or cryer, then in his owne sonne. The prophecie of Iohn Baptist vttered in the temple, is knowne in euery place. But Christ is promised to a virgin, in an vnknowne towne of Iuda, and this prophecie remay­neth buried in the bosome of one maide. But so it was requisite to bee, that euen in Christes birth that might be fulfilled. That God by foolish­nesse might saue them that beleeue. 1. Cor. 1. 21. But so was this trea­sure of this secrete misterie layde vp with the virgin, that at the length in his time it might come forth to all the godly. This secrete reposing of it is (I graunt) contemptible: but such as was most meete both for the triall of the humilitie of our faith, and also for the beating downe of the pride of the wicked.

And let vs (although the reason doe not at the first appeare) learne with modestie to submit our selues to GOD: neyther in this let it grieue vs to learne of her, that bore Christ the eternal wisdome of God, in her wombe. Nothing is more to be taken heede of, then that we through our proud contempt bereaue not our selues of the knowledge of the in­comparable misterie, which God wil should be hidde in his litle ones, and such as seeke for knowledge. This seemeth to me to be the cause, why he chose a virgin espoused to a man. The imagination of Origen, that he so wrought it, that hee might keepe secrete from Sathan the sal­uation, which he prepared to giue to men, hath no lykelyhoode with it. The veile of matrimonie was therefore spread beefore the eyes of the worlde: that he whom they commonly supposed to be the sonne of Io­seph, the godly at length by fayth should knowe to be the sonne of God. And yet Christ came not forth in such base and meane sorte, but that the heauenly father shewed forth in him euen at the beginning, the glo­rye of his Godhead. For the Angelles declared, that the Sauiour was borne. But their voice being heard only of the Shepheards was not spread farre.

There was one wonder famous amongst the rest, that the wise men which came from the East, did euery where reporte, that a starre appea­red vnto them, as a testimonie of the birth of the great king: yet we see howe GOD kept his soone, as it were in secrete, vntill the time came, that he shoulde fully be shewed. Then he erected, as one should saye, a theatre, from whence he might plainly be beholden. The participle, Mem­nesteumenen, which the Euangeliste doth vse, doth signifie, that shee then was a virgin, promised to a husbande, but not deliuered as a wife to a [Page 22] husbande. For it was a custome amongst the Iewes, that the parentes should keepe their daughters at home with them, for a time, after that they were espoused vnto men: or else that law for the slaundered wife, which is in Deut. 22. 13. were in vaine. Luke saith, that Ioseph was of the stock of Dauid: because that the familyes were woont to be accounted by the names of men: of the which matter we will speake more in an o­ther place.

28. Hayle thou that art freely beloued. Because that the message was won­derfull, and almost incredible: therefore the Angell beganne with a commendation of the fauour and grace of GOD: And seeing that by reason of our dull vnderstanding, our mindes are driuen to such a straight, that they cannot cōprehend the wonderful greatnes of God his works. This is the best remedie, that we stir vp our mindes to meditate and consider the infinitenesse of his grace. Therefore since that the vn­derstanding of GOD his goodnesse is the gate of fayth: The An­gell tooke this (and not without cause) as the best order, that by occu­pying the minde of the virgin in meditating of the fauour of GOD, the might be the better prepared to receiue and vnderstand that incom­prehensible misterie. For the participle Kecharitomene, which Luke dooth vse, signifieth the free fauour of God, as appeareth more plainely in the Epistle to the Ephesians. 1. 6. where Paule intreating of our recon­ciliation with GOD, saieth the God, by his beloued Sonne Echarito­sen, that is, receiued vs into his grace, and through his fauour he embra­ced vs, which beefore were his enemies. Afterwardes the Angell saieth, that God was with her. For vppon whom GOD vouchsafeth once to be­stow his loue, vnto them he declareth him selfe to bee mercifull and bountifull, and to them hee giueth and bestoweth his giftes, and there­fore is the thirde parte of the sentence added, Blessed, art thou amonge women: For hee vseth this woorde Blessing as the effecte and proofe of the fauour of GOD. For in myne opinion, it is not heere vsed for a praysing of her, but it dooth rather signifie a happynesse or blessed­nesse.

So Paule vseth to praye, that the faythfull might haue first grace, then peace: that is, all kind of good things, signifying thereby that we are then becōe blessed & rich; when we are beloued of God, the aucthour of al good things. Then if the blessednesse, righteousnes and lyfe of Ma­ry doe come of the free loue of God, and that her vertues and all her excellencie is the meere liberalitie of God: Then deale they very pre­posterously, that teach vs to aske those things of her, which shee with vs recieueth from an other.

But very grosse is the folly of the Papistes, which as it were by a magicall coniuring, haue turned this salutation into a prayer. And by want of reason they haue beene this farre drawne, that their Preachers might not praye in the pulpitte for the assistaunce and grace of God his spirite, but by their Hayle Mary. And besides that, this is to be ac­compted as a salutation onely, they rashlye take vnto them selues the office of an other, which God inioyned not to any but to the Angell: but twise more foolish is that imitation, that they salute one that is ab­sent.

[Page 23] 29. VVhen shee sawe him, shee was troubled. Luke doth not say that shee was troubled at the sight of the Angell, but at his saying: why then dooth he also make mention of the sight? This, (as I interprete it) was the cause: Marye seeing some portion of heauenly glory in the Angell, through the reuerence of GOD, she conceaued a sodaine feare. Therefore shee was troubled, for that shee perceiued, that it was not a mortall manne that did salute her, but an Angell of GOD. But Luke dooth not say, that shee was so troubled, that shee was thereby amased: but rather sheweth the signe of an attentiue and verye readye minde, when that he presently addeth, that shee thought with her self what manner of salutation this should bee: that is, whereto it tended, and what it meant. For presently shee thought, that the Angell was not sent to her for nothing.

And by this example wee are admonished: First, that the woorkes of GOD are not sleightly to be passed ouer: Then likewise wee ought so to weighe and consider them, that reuerence and feare may goe be­fore.

30. Feare not Marye. In that he willeth her not to be afrayde, let vs alwayes remember howe weake our fleshe is, and that it cannot be, but that we shoulde be afrayde, so oft as but the least sparke of God his glorye doth appeare. For when we earnestly consider the presence of God, wee cannot imagine a vaine or ydle presence. Therefore when wee are all in daunger of his iudgement, out of feare there ri­seth a trembling, vntill hee shewe him selfe as a father. The holye Virginne sawe amongst her people such a vile heape of sinnes, that there was good cause why shee should be afrayd of the greater venge­aunce.

VVherefore, that the Angell might put this feare awaye, hee saieth, that hee is a witnesse and tydinges bringer of that, which is wonderful good. Luke vsed this Hebrewe phrase, to finde fauour, for to haue God mercifull. For it cannot be sayde, that hee found fauour, that sought the same: but hee to whom it was offered, and seeing that examples of the same are sufficiently knowne, it were but vaine heere to alleage them.

31. For loe, thou shalt conceaue in thy wombe. The Angell frameth his woordes, firste to the prophesie of Esaye, and then to other places of the Prophetes, that it might thereby the better sincke into the Vir­gins minde. For such Prophesies were knowne and common, euerye where among the godly: yet with all it is to be noted, that the An­gell did not whisper that onely in the eare of the Virgin, but he brought that gladde tidinges of saluation, which not long after was to be spread throughout the whole world.

VVherefore it is not doone without the counsell of God, that hee so plainely expresseth the consent betweene the olde prophesies and the present message of the comming of Christe. The woord Conceauing, is sufficient to confute the witlesse fancie, aswell of Marcyon, as of Ma­nicheus. For thereby may be easily gathered, that Mary did not bring for than aiery body or Ghost, but such frui as she before had conceaued in her wombe.

[Page 24] And thou shalt call his name Iesus. Mat. 1. 21. rendreth the cause why this name was giuen him. For that he should saue his people frō their sinnes: so that in the verye name saluation is promised, and the cause is she­wed to what end Christ was sent of his father into the worlde. As he saieth him selfe, that he came not to destroy, but to saue the worlde. Ioh. 12. 47. Let vs also remēber that this name was not giuen him by the will of man, but by the Angell, at the commaundement of God, that our faith might be fastened in heauen, and not vppon earth. It is dery­ued of ithg which with the Hebrewes is saluation: and from thence commeth that word, which signifieth to saue. Furthermore, they doe but fondlye reason, which endeuour to deriue it of that Hebrewe nowne i [...]ushug.

It appeareth that the Rabbynes did deale very malitiously, in that they neuer giue him that honourable title of Christ, but in euery place write Iesu: or rather imagine him to haue beene some base or degenerate Iew. Therfore their writing deserueth as much credit and aucthoritie, as doth the barking of a dogge. That they obiect that he should be farre infe­rior to the dignitie of the sonne of GOD, if hee shoulde haue a name common with others, may also be pretended of Christe. But the an­swere to them both is very easie. For that which before was shadowed vnder the lawe, is fully and wholye perfourmed in the Sonne of God: or that he had the substaunce of that in him, which was before but figu­red. The other obiection is of no greater force. They denie that the name of Iesu is holy and reuerent, before whom euery knee Philip. 2. 9. ought to bowe, vnlesse it did onely belong to the sonne of God. Paule dooth not attribute vnto him a magicall name, in whose sillables the maiestie were included: but his wordes were to this purpose, as if he should haue said; great power was giuen vnto Christ of his father, vnder the which al the worlde should bowe. Therefore let vs bid such faigned inuentions farewell, and let vs know that the name of Iesu was giuen vnto Christ, that the faythfull might learne to seeke in him that, which beefore was shadowed vnder the law.

32. Hee shall be great. The Angell sayde the same of Iohn Baptist, whom yet hee would not make equall with Christ. But the Baptist was great in his order: And presently after he declareth that the greatnes of Christ extolled him farre aboue all creatures. For this hath he alone pro­per and peculyar to him selfe, that he should be called the sonne of God, as the Apostle proueth Heb. 1. 5.

I graunt, that sometimes in the scripture the Angelles and kinges are adorned with this title: but these are in common called the sonnes of God, for the excellencie which God hath giuen them. And it is cleare, and not to be doubted, but that God exempteth his sonne from all the rest, when that he peculiarly saieth vnto him, Psalme. 1. 7. Thou art my Sonne: Therefore Christ is accounted here neither among Angels nor men, that he might be accounted one of common sort or company of the children of God: for that which is giuen vnto him, it is lawful for none other to take to them selues.

It is true that Kings are the children of God, but not by right of na­ture, but because the Lord hath bestowed that honour vpon them. Nei­ther doth this title belong vnto Angels, but as they vnder their chief head [Page 25] excell amongst the creatures. And we also are children but by adoption which we obtaine by faith, for wee haue it not of nature. But Christ is the onely, and the onely-begotten sonne. That interpretation is very false and deceitfull, which that filthie dogge Seruetus wresteth, the woorde of the future tence, that he mighte prooue that Christ was not the eternall sonne of God: But that he began then so to be accompted when that hee tooke vpon him our flesh. Hee argueth that Christ was not the sonne of God, before that he being clothed with flesh, did appeare in the worlde, because that the Angell sayd: He shall be called: I except against this, and affirme that the wordes of the Angell doe signifie nothing else, but that such a sonne of God should be made manifest in the flesh, as was eter­nall: For to be called is referred to the apparaunt knowledge. But there is great difference here betweene these two enterpretations, whether he beganne now to be the sonne of God, which was not before, or that he was made knowne vnto men, that they might know him to be the same which was promised in times past. And truely, sith that God in all ages was called a Father of his people, it may thereby be gathered, that the Sonne was in heauen: from whom and through whom this fatherhood came to men. For men should arrogate too much vnto themselues, if they durst be so bold as bragge, that they were the sonnes of God: but as they are the members of the onely begotten sonne. VVherefore it is certaine that the holy fathers had not the assuraunce of that so honourable a cal­ling: But as they had their confidence in the Sonne, the mediatour. But what profit we haue by this more perfect knowledge, whereof we now speake, Paule doth teach vs in an other place. For that nowe wee may freely not onely call, but cry out that God is our father. Rom. 8. 15. and Gal. 4. 5.

God shall giue vnto him the throane of Dauid. VVe haue sayde that the Angel tooke out of the Prophetes these titles, which he giueth vnto Christ, that the holy virgin might thereby know the better, that he should be the Re­deemer, which was in times past promised vnto the fathers. VVhen as the Prophetes doe speak of the restitution of the Church, they cal the whole hope of the faithfull to the kingdome of Dauid: So that it was a com­mon rule amongst the Iewes, that the sauegard of the Church was re­posed in the prosperitie of Dauids kingdome. Neither did there any thing more aptly or fitly agree to the office of the Messias, then that hee should againe restore the kingdome of Dauid. And therefore the Mes­sias is sometimes called by the name of Dauid: as in Ier. 30. 9. They shall serue the Lord their God, and Dauid their king: Also in Ezechel 34. 24. and 37. 24. My seruaunt Dauid shall be prince amongst them: And in Ose. 3. 5. They shall seeke the Lord their God, and Dauid their king.

The places also wheras he is called the Sonne of Dauid, are sufficiently knowne and vnderstoode. In summe, the Angell declareth that the pro­phecie of Amos. 9. 11. of raysing the tabernacle of Dauid, which was fallen downe and ouerthrowne, was fulfilled in the person of Christ.

33. He shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob. Seeing that saluation was pe­culiarly promised vnto the Iewes, euen as the couenaunt was made with Abraham their father, and Christ, as Paule witnesseth, Rom. 15. 8. was a minister of circumcision: the Angell doth not without cause appoynt his kingdome in that nation, as if it were the proper seate and abiding [Page 26] place of the same. But this differeth not from other prophesies, which do enlarge and stretche the kingdome of Christ to the vttermoste partes of the earth. For God by a newe and wonderfull adoption did plante the Gentiles (which before were straungers) into the house of Iacob, so yet that the Iewes as the first borne shoulde holde the principall degree, as it is set downe in the Psal. 110. 2. The Lord shall sende the rod of thy po­wer out of Syon. Therefore the throne of Christ was placed amongest the children of Israel, from whēce he made the whole world subiect vn­to him. But as many as are gathered by faith to the sonnes of Abraham, are accompted as the true Israel. And although the Iewes through their defection separated them selues from the church of God, yet the Lordes will was, that certaine remnants of them shoulde remaine euen vnto the end, because that his calling is beyonde the power of man. The body of the people in shewe is vtterly cut off. But we must remember the myste­rie whereof Paule speaketh to the Rom. 11. 25. That at length it should come to passe that God woulde gather some of the Iewes from the dis­pearsing and scattering abroade. In the meane season the church which is scattered through the whole worlde, is the spirituall house of Iacob, be­cause she fetched her beginning out of Sion. For e [...]er. The angel declareth in what sense the perpetuitie was so oft promised by the Prophets to the kingdom of Dauid. It florished only in the times of Dauid and Salomon in power & riches. Roboam the third successor, skarse held a tribe and a halfe. From that time it ceased not to be shaken with diuers miseries, vn­til at length it was broken downe. Now the Angel declareth that when in the person of Christ it shall be established, that shall not againe be de­stroied: and to proue the same, he vseth the wordes of Daniel, which are set downe 7. 14. And of his kingdom shalbe no ende. Although the sense of the words is, that God is the euerlasting gouernor of the kingdom of Christ and of the Churche, so that it shall neuer pearish from off the earth, so long as the Sunne and Moone shall shine in the heauen, yet the true per­petuitie belongeth vnto the glory that is to come. Therefore the faith­full doe so by continual course some of them succeede others in this life, vntill at the lengthe they be gathered together into heauen, where they shall raigne without ende.

  Luke. 1.

34. Then sayde Marie to the Angell: howe shall this be, seeing I know not man?

35. And the Angel answeared, and saide vn­to her: the holy Ghost shall come vpon thee, & the power of the moste highe shall ouershadowe thee: therfore also that holy thing which shal be borne of thee, shall be called the sonne of God.

36. And beholde thy cousin Elizabeth, shee hath also conceiued a sonne in her olde age, & this is her sixte moneth, which was called barren.

37. For with God nothinge shall bee vnpossi­ble.

38. Then Marie sayd, Behold the seruaunt of [Page 27] the Lorde, [...]ee is done vnto mee accordinge to thy woorde: So the Angell departed from her.

34. Howe can this be. The holy virgin seemeth as hardly to restraine the power of God, as Zacharie did before: For that doeth shee accompte to be vnpossible, which is beyond the comm [...]n order of nature, for thus she reasoneth. I knowe no man, how then should I beleeue that this shoulde come to passe which thou tellest me? It is not needefull that we shoulde greatly labor to cleare her of all fault, for by faith shee ought to haue ri­sen to the omnipotēt power of God, which is not tied to natural means, but surmounteth the whole world, & yet shee now staieth in the com­mon course of generation: yet it is to be knowen that shee doeth not so doubt or demand, as if shee would haue the power of God made subiect or equal to her senses, but being stricken with a sodaine admiration, shee is only moued to aske this question. And that she obediently and gladly receiueth this promise, may be gathered by this: That, wheras there were many doubts on the contrary part, shee yet did stay but at this one. Shee might easily haue obiected: where is that throne of Dauid become, seeing that al the dignity of that Empire had now a long time ben abolished, & all the glorious beautye of the kingly stocke was extinguished: So that if she had weighed the matter with the iudgement of flesh, she should haue takē al that she heard of the Angel but for a fable. VVherfore it is not to be doubted, but that shee easily gaue place, & was throughly perswaded of the restitution of the church, a thing according to the flesh incredible. And it is probable that the prophesie of Esay 11. 1. was cōmonly spoken of euery where, whereas God promiseth to raise a graffe to grow out of the contempned stocke of Isay. Faith therefore being through the grace of God conceiued in the virgins minde, caused her without doubt to be­leue the message that was brought her of erecting of the throne of Da­uid. If any except and say that there was also an other Prophesie, that a virgin should beare a sonne, I answer that the knowledge of that myste­rie was as then very darke. The fathers hoped that they shoulde haue a king borne, vnder whom the people of God should be blessed & happy. But the meane lay hidden from them, as if a veile had bene put betwene them and it. Therfore it is no maruell that the holy virgin asketh a que­stion of that shee knoweth not▪ But that some do imagine of her words, that shee had made a vow of perpetuall virginitie, it is ouer weake & al­together absurde: For then very vnfaithfully had shee done in that shee suffred her selfe to be bestowed on a husband, and so making a mocke of God, had despised his holy ordinance of matrimonie. Although that in Poperie there had crept in a barbarous tyrannie in this matter of matri­mony, yet they neuer durst go so farre, as to permit the wife without the consent of the husband to vow [...] continencie. Furthermore, it is a childish inuention to imagine a kinde of Monkerie amongst the Iewes. Yet that obiection is to be answered, that the virgine had respect vnto the time to come, & therefore should signifie that she should not dwel together with her husband. But this cōiecture is probable & plaine, that the greatnes, or rather the maiestie of the matter did so strike the virgin, that shee had all her senses tied & bound with admiration. VVhē she heareth that the Son of God shalbe borne, she considereth a matter not common, & this is the [Page 28] reason why shee excludeth the knowledge of man. Thus being amased, shee crieth out, how can this be? Therefore doth God so gentlely pardon her, and so louingly and fauourablie answere her: because that hauing Gods workes in admiration, shee did reuerently and soberly demaunde how that could come to passe, which she was perswaded to be far aboue the common and accustomed course of nature. Furthermore, this questi­on was not against faith. Because that it arose rather of an admiration, then of distrust. The holy Ghost shall come vpon thee. The Angell doth not so set the maner, as it had bene nedefull he should haue done, that woulde satisfie the curiositie of many: But he calleth the Virgin simplie to consi­der the power of the holy Ghost, that with silence and quietly, she might resigne her selfe wholely ouer vnto him. The worde To come vppon, doeth signifie that this is an extraordinarie worke, where the meanes of nature do want. And the next parte of the sentence is added to expounde the former. The power of the most highe shall ouershadowe thee. For the spirite is as it were the essentiall power of God, through whose worke he sheweth and exerciseth himselfe, as well in the gouernance of the worlde as in myra­cles. There is an apt Metaphore in the worde ouershadowe. For the Scrip­ture doth oft compare the power of God (wherewith he preserueth and defendeth his) vnto a shadow. But there seemeth to be an other more pe­culier sense and vnderstanding of this place: namely that the worke of the spirite shoulde be secrete, euen as a cloude set before shoulde stay the eyes of men from seeing. And as in woorking myracles, God doth kepe secrete from vs the counsell of his workes: So it is our partes with mo­destie to reuerence that which hee woulde haue kepte hidden from vs. Therefore that holy thing that shall be borne. This is a confirmation of the for­mer sentence, for the Angell teacheth vs, that it behooueth Christ to be borne without the companie of man and woman, that he might be holy and the sonne of God, that is, that he should not be in a commō estate amongst men, but that in holinesse and glory hee shoulde excell all crea­tures. The heretikes which faine, that when he was borne man, and was after made the Sonne of God, do wrest that causall coniunction, that he should therfore be called the Sonne of God, because that he was woon­derfully conceiued by the power of the holy Ghost, but they reason very wickedly. For althoughe that hee was manifested the sonne of God in flesh, it followeth not but that the worde was begotten of the father be­fore all worldes: Or rather, he the same that was the Sonne of God in his eternal Deitie, appeared also the Sonne of God in his humaine flesh. But this place doth not only teache vs the vnitie of the person in Christ, but also sheweth that Christ, euen in that he had put on the humane na­ture, was also the Sonne of God. Therefore as the name of the Sonne of God was from the beginning proper to the diuine essence of Christe, so now the Deitie and humanitie ioyned, it agreeth to both the natures to­gether, because that the secrete and celestiall woorking of his generation exempteth him from the common order of men. Oftē also other where as he affirmeth himselfe to be very man, he calleth himselfe the sonne of man. But the veritie of the humane nature is no let but that his diuine generation mighte procure him a peculiar honoure aboue all others: namely in that he was conceiued by the holy Ghost beyōd the ordinarie maner of nature. Of this there groweth a good cause of the assurance of [Page 29] our faith, that wee might [...] more boldly call God, Father. For his onely sonne woulde needes become oure brother, that hee mighte in common make his father to be also ours. It is also to be noted, that Christe as hee was conceiued by a spirituall power, is called a holy seede. And euen as it was behoouefull that he should be very man, that he might wash awaye our sinnes, and in our flesh that he might ouercome death and Sathan, and that he might so be a perfecte mediatour: so it was necessarie, that he that should purge others from sinne, should be free from all vncleannesse and spottes. Although yet that Christ was borne of the seede of Abra­ham, yet broughte hee no infection out of that corrupte nature, because that the holy Ghost kept him pure and cleane euen from the beginning. Neither that he himselfe alone should excell in holinesse, but also that he should sanctifie his. Therefore the maner of conception doth testifie that we haue a mediator separate from sinners.

36. And beholde Elizabeth. with an example done at home by her, the Angell doth strengthen the faith of Marie in hope of the myracle. For if neither the barennesse, nor the olde age of Elizabeth could hinder God, but that he would make her a mother, when she shall see such a spectacle of Gods power in her owne kinswoman, there is no cause why Marie shoulde still containe her selfe within the accustomed bondes of nature. He expresly noteth the sixth moneth. For seeing that the woman com­monly perceiueth in the fifth moneth, that her childe hath life, in the sixt month she is put out of al doubt: It had bene the part of Marie so to haue creadited the simple worde of God, that there should haue bene no nede by any other meanes to strengthen her faith, but least she should wauer any more, the Lorde vseth this new supportation to staye her in his pro­misse. With the same fauour doth he daily aide and hold vs vp, yea and as our faith is weaker, so with the more fauour doth he aide vs. There­fore least that we shoulde doubt of his truthe, he gathereth diuers testi­monies which may confirme the same vnto vs. It is demaunded howe the kinred came betwene Elizabeth, which was of the daughters of Aa­ron, and Marie which was of the stocke of Dauid. And also it seemeth to be against the lawe Num. 3. 6. which forbiddeth women to marry out of their owne tribes. As concerning the lawe, if the ende be considered, it did forbid onely those mariages whereby enheritances may be mix­ed. But there was no suche daunger, if that a woman of the tribe of Iu­da was maried to a Priest, to whom the enheritance coulde not be tran­slated. The same reason was also, if that a woman of the tribe of Leuie was bestowed out of her kinred. And it may be that the mother of the holy Virgin was of the tribe of Aaron, and that the kinred so came be­twene her daughter and Elizabeth.

37. For with God shall no woorde be vnpossible. If you will vse this phrase worde in his proper & natiue signification, then the meaning is that God will performe what so euer he hath promised, because that there is no let equal with his power. And the argument shal thus be framed: This hath God promised, therefore hee will perfourme it, because that no impossi­bilitie may be obiected against his woorde. But because that woorde accor­ding to the phrase of the Hebrew tounge, is oft vsed for a thing or substāce, we may more plainly expound it thus, nothing is impossible with God, Yet that axiome must be alwaies holden that they doe peuishly wander oute of [Page 30] the way, which dreame of the power of God besides his word, if any be founde. For his omnipotencie is to be considered, so as it may be a foun­dation for the further building of our hope and faith. And now we shall not only doe very rashly and vnprofitably, but also very perillously, if we dispute what God can doe, vnlesse withall we consider what he wil doe. Furthermore, the Angell doth heere in this place, as God doth in diuers places of the scripture, for that vnder a generall doctrine, hee confirmeth one especiall promisse. And this is the true and righte vse of a generall doctrine, if we apply the promises therein set downe, to the present mat­ter, when soeuer we be vexed and troubled: for so long as they be general and inde [...]inite, they are colde. Furthermore it is not to be maruailed at, that the Angell doeth tell Marie of the power of God, for the distrust of his power, doeth make vs not to beleeue his promisses. All men wi [...]h tounge confesse that God is omnipotent: but if he promise any thing be­yonde the reache of our capacitie, we are at a staie. And whereof com­meth this? but for that we will attribute nothing more to his power, then our senses can discerne▪ Therfore Paule to th [...] Rom. 4. 20. commen­ding the faith of Abraham, sayeth that he gaue the glory to God, because he was able to fulfil what soeuer he had promised. And in an other place when he speaketh of the hope of eternall life, he proposeth the power of God before him. In the 2. Tim. 1. 12. he sayeth, I knowe whome I haue beleeued, and I am perswaded that he is able to keepe that which I haue committed vnto him. This seemeth to be but a small portion of faith, & that none, no not the wicked, wil derogate from God the title of omni­potent: But who soeuer hath the power of God surely and deepely fixed in his heart, he shall easily ouercome all other lets and hinderances of his faith. Yet it is to be noted that the effectuall power of God (if I may so speake) is apprehended in a true faith: For God is mighty, and wil be ac­knowledged, that he may declare himselfe to be true in deede.

38. Beholde the seruant of the Lord. The holy virgine will argue and dis­pute the matter no further, and yet it is not to be doubted but that there were many things which might hinder her faith, yea, & altogether turne her minde from the speach of the Angel. But shee taking the aduauntage from the contrary reasons, enforced her selfe to obedience: and this is a right proofe of faith, when we restraine our mindes, & hold them as pri­soners that they dare not oppose this or that against God: so on the o­ther side libertie to contend, is the mother of infidelitie. And these words are not of smal waight. Behold the seruant of the Lord, for shee offereth & de­dicateth her self wholely vnto God, that he may freely vse her according to his owne wil. The vnbeleuers withdrawe themselues from his hand, and as much as they canne, they hinder his worke: But faith dooth present vs before God, that we may be ready to obey. Then if the holy Virgin was the seruant of the Lord, because that she obediently submit­ted her selfe to his gouernement, there is not a worse contempt, then by fleeing to denie him that obedience which he deserueth & doth require. To be short, as faith only maketh obedient seruants to God, and deliue­reth vs into his power: so infidelitie maketh vs rebels and runnagates. Be it done vnto me. This clause may be expounded two waies, either that the holy Virgin passeth into a prayer and request: or els continuing in the same matter, shee proceedeth in resigning and deliuering her selfe vnto [Page 31] God. I simply interprete it, that shee being perswaded of the power of God, and willingly following whether he calleth, she doth also subscribe vnto his promisse, and so doeth not onely wait for the effecte, but al­so doeth earnestly desire the same. And it is to be noted that shee rested vppon the woorde of the Angell, because shee knewe that it came from God, weighing the dignitie of the same, not of the minister, but of the authour.

  Luke. 1.

39. And Marie arose in those daies, & went into the hill countrey with hast, to a citie of Iuda:

40. And entred into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth.

41. And it came to passe, as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Marie, the babe sprang in her bel­lie, and Elizabeth was filled with the holy Ghost.

42. And shee cried with a loude voice, and sayde: Blessed art thou among women, because the fruite of thy wombe is blessed.

43. And whence cōmeth this to me, that the mother of my Lord shoulde come to me?

44. For loe, assoone as the voyce of thy salu­tation sounded in mine eares, the babe sprang in my belly [...] for ioy▪

45. And blessed i [...] [...]hee that beleeued: for those things shall be performed, which were tolde her from the Lorde.

39. And Marie arose. This iourney wherof Luke maketh mention, te­stifieth that Maries faith was not vnfruteful, because that gods promisse was not so soone forgottē as the Angel was out of sight, but that remai­ned fast in her minde. And her haste witnessed her earnest & ardent af­fection. Hereof it may be gathered, that all other businesse being set aside, the Virgin as it was meete did accompt of, and preferre this fauour and grace of God. Yet it may be demaunded for what purpose she toke this iourny. It is certain that she went not thither only to make search & en­quiry, for she nourished the sonne of God as well in her heart by faith, as conceiued in her wōbe: neither can I subscribe to the iudgement of some, which thinke that shee went thether to salute her. For it seemeth more probable to me, that partly to encrease and to confirme her faith, partly that they one with an other might set foorth the glorye of God, was the cause that moued her. And there is no cause why we shoulde accompt it an absurd thing, that she by the sight of a myracle did seke for confirma­tion of her faith, because that it was not in vaine that the Angel did pro­pose the same vnto her. For although that the faithful are cōtent with the bare & only word of the lord, yet in the meane time they despise not any of his works, which they think may any whit preuail for the supporting of their faith. And especially it behoued Mary to accept this aid profered her, vnles she wold haue forsaken that, which the Lord had willingly ge­uen her. Furthermore the seeing one another, might stir vp as wel her as Elizabeth, to a greater thankefulnesse, as by the text it appeareth. For the [Page 32] power of God was more euident and notable, in that at once they see his grace powred vpon them both, because that comparison did adde no small light. But Luke doeth not declare which was that Citie wherein Zacharie dwelt, but onely maketh mention that it pertained to the tribe of Iuda, and also that it was placed in a hill country: whereof is gathered that it was further from the towne of Nazareth, then was Hierusalem.

41. At shee heard the salutation, It is a naturall thing, that the childe in the wombe of a woman great with child, should moue at a sodaine ioy. But Luke would note vnto vs some extraordinary thing. It appertaineth nothing to the matter to entangle our selues in subtile questions, whe­ther the infante knewe that Christe was presente, or whether this was a sense or feeling of godlinesse. Let this one thing rather suffice vs, that the infant leapt by the secrete motion of the spirite. Neither doth Luke at­tribute any proper sense to the infant, but doeth rather signifie that thys was a portion of the worke of God in the mother, that the infant sprang in her wombe. That he sayeth that she was filled with the holy Ghoste, the meaning is, that shee besides the accustomed maner was sodenly en­dued with a spirite of prophesie. For shee was not without the giftes of the spirite before, but then the power appeared farre more plentifull and wonderfull.

42. Blessed art thou. Shee seemeth to place Marie and Christ in like de­gree, which were nothing meere nor conuenient, but I willingly admit their iudgement which thinke that the cause of her blessednesse is ren­dered in the second parte of the sentence For it is oft vsed to put a copu­latiue in steade of a woorde causall, therefore Elizabeth affirmeth that her Cousen is blessed because of the blessednesse of the Sonne. And al­though this was not the chiefe felicitie that Marie had, to beare Christe in her wombe: naye, this dignitie in order came behinde that, that shee was by the spirite of Christe borne againe into a newe life, yet was shee woorthely called blessed, whome God made woorthy this singuler ho­nour, that she should beare vnto the world his sonne, in whom shee was spiritually regenerate. And to this day we cannot make mention of the blessing brought vnto vs through Christe, but also that we must remem­ber how honourably the Lord aduaunced Marie, in that he would that she should be the mother of his only begotten Sonne.

43. VVhence commeth this to me? This modestie is to be noted, that Eliza­beth considering the great graces of God in Marie, doeth geue vnto her that honor that is due, and yet lifteth her no higher (wherby God might be offended) then was conuenient. For there is such wickednesse planted in the world, that there are but fewe that fall not into one of these 2. vi­ces: for some pleasing them selues to much aboue measure doe malici­ously despise the giftes of God in their brethren, that they alone might be aloft. And there are others which doe so superstitiously extoll men, as if they should make idols of them for them to worship. Heereof it came, that they leauing Christe as it were in the lower rowme, did geue the chiefest seat vnto Marie. Contrariwise Elizabeth in praising her, doeth not so obscure the glorye of God, but rather referreth all things to God himselfe. And yet as shee acknowledgeth that God hath geuen his grace vnto her, and to others, shee enuieth not to geue him the highest degree, and modestly sheweth that shee hath receiued more then was due to her. [Page 33] In that she calleth Marie the mother of her Lord, there is noted the vnitie of the person in two natures, as if she should haue sayde: he which is be­gotten a mortall man in the wombe of Mary, is also eternall God: for it must be remembred that the simple womā doth not speake of her owne witte, but shee onely vttereth those things which the holy Ghost doeth teach her. And this name doth properly belong to the sonne of God ma­nifested in the flesh, vnto whome all power is geuen of the father, and which was ordained the chiefe Prince of heauen and earthe, by whose hand God gouerneth al things. Yet he is especially the Lord of the faith­full, who willingly and gladly submit themselues vnder his gouernemēt: for hee is not the heade but of his owne body. Therefore Paule sayeth, 1. Cor. 8. 5. Although that many are called Lordes in the world, yet vn­to vs, that is, to them that are of the housholde of faith, there is but one Lord. Furthermore, when she amplifieth this grace of God whereof shee speaketh, by the sodaine motion of the infante whiche shee bare in her wombe, it is not to be doubted but that shee would declare that shee felt something supernaturall and diuine.

45. Blessed is shee that beleeued. Seeing that it appeareth by that whych Luke hath saide before, that Elizabeth spake by the secreate direction of the spirit: it is the same spirit that affirmeth that Mary is blessed because that she beleeued, and in praising the faith of Mary, he generally teacheth vs wherein the chiefe felicitie of men consisteth. Blessed Mary which be­leeued in her heart the promise of God, conceiued and bare saluation to her self and to all the world. This was special to her. But because that we haue no drop of righteousnes, life, or of any good thing, but as the Lord offereth the same vnto vs in his woorde; there is one faith which pul­leth vs from out of extreeme pouertie and miserie, and maketh vs parta­kers of the true felicitie: and there is great waight in this clause: For those things shall be performed which were tolde her. This is the meaning, that faith ge­ueth place to the promisses of God, that they may take effecte in vs. And it is certaine that the truthe of God doeth not depend vppon the will of menne, but rather that is true. Rom. 3. 4. That God remaineth alwayes true, althoughe all the worlde (whiche is geuen to vnbeliefe and lying) shoulde endeuour to weaken and hinder the same. But because that vn­beleeuers are vnwoorthy to enioy the fruit of the promisses, therfore the scripture teacheth, that the same promisses are onely by faith made effe­ctuall to our saluation, for God offereth his benefites generally to all, & faith openeth her bosome to receiue the same, but vnbeliefe suffereth the same to passe by, that they may not once come neare vs. If Mary had ben vnbeleeuing, yet that coulde not haue hindered the purpose of God, but that he woulde haue perfourmed his woorke, by some other meanes that he would haue liked. But shee is called blessed, because that by faith shee receiuing the blessing offered her, made the way ready to God for the performance of his worke. So againe, vnbeliefe shutteth the gate against him, and staieth his hand from woorking, least that they should taste the comforte of saluation, which disappoynt him of the glory of his power. Also, the relation betweene the woorde and faith is to be noted, & here­of we learne what it is to beleeue: namely, when we subscribe and con­sent to that which God doeth speake, and doe certainly assure our selues, that hee will perfourme that which he hath promised.

[Page 34] The clause From the Lorde, signifieth as muche as the simple doe com­monly say on the behalfe or parte of God, for the promisse was brought by the Aungell, but it came from GOD alone, whereby wee gather, that whether GOD vseth the ministerie of Aungelles or of menne, yet his will is, that there shall no lesse reuerence be geuen to his woorde, then if he him selfe openly should appeare from heauen.

  Luke 1.

46. Then Marie sayde, my soule magnifieth the Lorde.

47. And my spirite reioyceth in God my sa­uioure.

48. For hee hathe looked on the poore degree of his seruaunte: For beholde, from hence foorthe shall all ages call me blessed.

49. Because hee that is mightye, hathe done for me great things, and holy is his name.

50. And his mercye is from generation to generation, on them that feare him.

Nowe doeth hee sette downe and shewe the Songe of the holye Virgine, notable and woorthy to be reported, whereby it plainely ap­peareth howe shee excelled in the gifte of the spirite. And there are three partes of this Songe, for Marie with a solempne thankes geuing, doeth first declare the mercie of God which shee had founde in her selfe. Then in general woordes she commendeth the power & iudgements of God: At the length shee applieth the same to this present matter, where shee speaketh of the redemption promised in times past to the Church, and nowe perfourmed. My soule magnifieth. Here Marie declareth her thank­fulnes, as we sayde euen now. And because that the hypocrites for the most part doe set foorth the praises of God with full mouthes, and no affection of the heart, therefore Marie sayth that she doth praise God, euen from the innermost affection of her minde. And truely, they doe nothing els but prophane the holy name of God, which not from their heart, but with tounge onely doe declare his glory. Furthermore, when as these wordes Soule and Spirite are diuersly taken in the scripture, yet when that they come together, they doe signifie two especiall faculties of the soule: for the spirit is taken for the vnderstanding, and the Soule for the seat of affections. That wee maye the better vnderstande the minde of the holy Virgine, it is to be noted, that that is put heere in the second place, which in order oughte to be first: for that the will of man might be stirred to praise God, it is necessary that the reioycinge of the spirit should go before, as Iames teacheth, chap. 5. 13. Is any mery? lette him sing, for sorow & heauines do restraine the minde, & also they do hinder the tounge from vttering and declaring the goodnesse of God: Therefore when as the minde of Marie was filled with ioy, her heart brake forth into the praise of God, and it is not without cause that she attributeth the epithyte of Sauiour vnto God, when as shee speakes of the ioy of her heart: for vntill that God be knowen as a sauioure, the mindes of men are neuer freely nor truely merye, but doe alwayes re­maine [Page 35] ambiguous and carefull. Therfore it is the only fatherly fauour of God, and the saluation which proceedeth from the same, which fil­leth vs with ioy. In summe, this is first to be learned, that the faithfull may glory and ioy, that their saluation is in God. Then they ought to folow the next, that they hauing found him a louing father, shuld geue him thanks. The word soteros doth signifie more in Greeke, then Seruator doth in the Latine, euen such a one as doth not only once deliuer, but is also the authour of perpetuall saluation.

48. For he hath looked. She sheweth the cause why she had the ioy of her heart grounded vpon God, euen because that he of his fauour and loue looked vpon her for in that she calleth her selfe poore, she resigneth all worthinesse from her selfe, and ascribeth the whole cause of her ioy, to the free grace and goodnesse of God, for humilitie in this place (as some vnlearned and ignorant men haue foolishly thought) doeth not signifie submission or modestie, or a habite of the minde, but signifieth a vile e­state and an abiecto condition, therefore this is the sense: That I was vile and despised, was no hinderance to God, but that he vouchsafed to tourne hie eyes vnto me. Then if the pouertie of Marie be opposed to excellencie, (as the matter it selfe declareth, and it plainely appeareth by the Greeke word) we see that Marie casting downe her selfe, doeth only exalt God. And this was not a shew of fained humilitie, but a simple & plaine confession of her thought, which she had engraued in her mind: for as she was of no accompt in the world, so she did no whit the more esteme of her selfe. From hence foorth shall call me blessed. She sayeth that thys benefite of God shalbe remembred in all ages: And if it were so nota­ble that all men euery where shoulde declare the same, then it was not lawful for Mary, vpon whom the same was bestowed, to bury the same in silence. But obserue that Mary accompteth nothing of her owne feli­citie, but that she acknowledgeth that it were geuen her from aboue, & thankfully accepteth the grace she hath receiued: I shall (sayth she) be ac­compted blessed throughout all ages. Doth she say this, as if she had ob­tained this praise by her owne power or industrie? No, but shee rather doth cōmend the only worke of God: wherby we perceiue how much the papists differ from her, for what good things soeuer she had of God, they made small accompt of, and vnaduisedly they set her foorth wyth their owne vaine inuentions: They aboundantly heape vp together for her magnifical & more then proud titles, as that she shuld be the Quene of heauen, the starre of saluation, the gate of life, the life, the swetenes, the hope and the health: yea sathan also caried them so farre into im­pudencie and madnesse, that they gaue her power ouer Christ, for this is their song: Aske the father, commaund thy sonne. Seeing that it plain­ly appeareth that none of these proceede from the Lord, the holy virgin in one woorde abandoneth them all, while shee esteemeth all her glo­rye to be in God his benefites, for if shee be for this one thing one­lye to bee renowmed, because that GOD hath dealt mightely with her, then there is no place lefte for those fained titles which they else where haue borowed. Furthermore, there is nothing more reproche­full to her, then to haue her sonne spoiled of that, which was due to him, and that shee her selfe shoulde bee clothed with those sacrilegious spoiles. Nowe let the papists go, & let them cry that we are iniurious to [Page 36] Christes mother: because that reiecting the lies of men, we onely set forth the benefits of God in her, and we graūt her that which is most hono­rable for her, but these preposterous worshippers take it from her. For we doe willingly receiue her as a teacher, and we obey her doctrine and her preceptes, and it is not vnknowne what she hath said: which the Pa­pistes not regarding, but treading the same, as it were vnder their feete, doe discredite her wordes as much as they can. But let vs remember that here is a common rule set downe, to be vsed of vs in praysing either An­gels or men: namely, that the grace of God may be set forth in them: so also there is nothing to be praised at al, that proceedeth not from thence. VVhen she saith, that God, that is mightie, hath done great things, shee declareth that God was not holpe with any other ayde, that his onely power might the more appeare. Nowe we must repeate that, which she sayd before, that shee was looked vpon, although shee was an abiect and con­temned. VVhereof it followeth, that those prayses of Mary are prepo­sterous and adulterous, in which the power and free fauour of God is not altogether and wholy extolled.

49. And holy is his name. This is the second part of the song, wherein the holy Virgin in general sentences, commendeth the power, iudgments and mercie of God. And this clause ought not ioyntly in one sentence to be read with the former, but aparte. Mary had extolled the grace of God, which shee had founde in her selfe, and taking occasion of this, shee cryeth out that his name is holy, and that his mercie florisheth in all ages.

Furthermore, the name of God is called holy, because it deserueth great reuerence, that so oft as there is mention made of God, there should ap­peare withall a reuerend maiestie of him. The next sentence (wherein the perpetuity of the mercy of God is praised) is takē out of the accustomed forme of the couenaunt, Gene. 17. 7. I will bee thy God, and the God of thy seede after thee for euer. And in Deut. 7. 9. I am God, that shee mer­cie euen to a thousand generations: In which wordes he doth not onely shewe, that he is alwayes like him selfe, but he declareth his continual fa­uour, which he beareth towardes his: so that euen after their death, hee loueth their children and their childrens children, and their whole of­spring. So with a continuall course of loue hee did shewe him selfe to the posteritie of Abraham, because that he had receiued Abraham into his fauoure, hee made a league with him for euer. But because that all that come of Abraham after the flesh, are not in deede the sonnes of A­braham, therefore Mary restraineth the effect of the promise to the true worshippers of God, as Dauid also doth, Psal. 103. 17. The mercy of the Lord endureth for euer, vpon them that feare him, and his righteousnes vpon childrens children, vnto them that keepe his couenaunt. God there­fore so promiseth, that he wil shew him selfe mercifull to the children of his saints throughout al ages: that so he may yet take away the occasion of all vaine hope from hipocrites: for they that are degenerate children of his saints, and haue fallen from their godlines and faith, doe in vaine and rashly glory that God is their father.

VVherefore by this exception their vanitie and pride is ouerthrowne, which are puffed vp with a false pretence of GOD his grace, without fayth.

[Page 37] God made an vniuersall couenaunt of saluation with the stocke of A­braham: But as the stones watered with the raine, doe not become softe therewith, so the hardnesse of heart is such a hinderaunce to the vnfaith­full, that the promised righteousnesse and saluation can not enter into them. Yet God, that his promisse might be certaine and sure, hath reser­ued vnto himselfe some seede. By the feare of God is vnderstode all god­lineste and religion, which can not be without faith. But heere a question may be demaunded, for what cause is God called merciful, if no man do so finde him, but he that deserueth his fauour? For if the mercy of God be vpon them that feare him, then godlinesse and a good conscience doe procure his fauour to men: and so by this meanes men should by merits preuent his grace. I aunswere that this also is a portion of his mercy, that God planteth a feare and a reuerence of him in the children of the god­ly. For he doth not meane here the beginning of grace, as if they shoulde imagine that God were idle, and should loke downe from heauen to es­pie who they were that were worthy of the same, but he only driueth the hypocrites from their pieuish securitie, least that they should thinke they had God bound to them, because that they according to the flesh, are the children of godly parents, when that the end of God his couenant is far otherwise, and the condition much contrary, namely this: He will haue a people alwaies in the world, of whom he wil be purely worshipped.

  Luke 1.

51. He hath shewed strength with his arme, he hath scattered the proude in the imagination of their hearts.

52. He hath put downe the mighty from their seates and exalted them of lowe degree.

53. He hath filled the hūgrie with good things and sent away the riche emptie.

54. He hath vpholden Israel his seruaunt, be­ing mindefull of his mercie.

55. As he hath spoken to our fathers, to wit, to Abraham and his seede for euer.

51. He hath shewed strength. Is as much as if he should haue said, he hath wroughte mightely, and the arme of God is opposed against all other helpes, as in Es. 59. 16. God looked and there was none to helye. There­fore his arme did saue it, & his righteousnesse it selfe did sustaine it. This then is the meaning of Marie, that God was satisfied with his owne po­wer, and had no felowes in his worke, & called none to helpe him. That which presently is spoken of the proude, seemeth to be added for two causes, partly because that the proude, which endeuour after the maner of Giants to striue against God, do nothing preuaile: and also because that God doth not stretch forth the power of his arme, but for the sauegarde of the lowly, and that he might ouerthrow the proude, which arrogantly take too much to them selues. And to that purpose belōgeth that exhor­tation of Peter, 1. Pet. 5. 6. Humble your selues vnder the mighty hande of God. The manner of speach is also to be noted, Hee scattereth the proude in the imagination of their hearts. For (as their pride and ambition is great, so is their couetousnesse insatiable) in their deuises, they heape together as it [Page 38] were a great mountaine, and that I may speake one woorde, they builde the tower of Babel: for they being not satisfied in that they haue folishly attempted this or that aboue their strength, they foorthwith heape newe consultations of madde presumption to their former deuices: when God for a while hath wyth silence frō heauen laughed at their notable pur­poses, then at a sodaine he dispearseth & ouerthroweth their whole heap, as if a man shoulde pull downe a building, whiche before was strongly and soundly built and compacte together, and should dispearse the same farre off into diuers places.

Hee hath putte downe the mightie. If you translate it Princes, the sense will be the plainer: For althoughe that dynastai, are so called of the Greekes by reason of their power, yet they are interpreated gouernours & chiefe magistrates. But many haue thought this woorde mighty, to be a Parti­ciple. Marie sayeth that they shall be pulled out of their thrones, that the vnknowen and simple may be lifted into their places. So that which pro­phane men doe call the plaie of Fortune, shee doth attribute to the iudge­ments & prouidence of God. Yet we must know that there is not geuen to God an absolute power, as if he should by a tyrannous authority, tosse and turne men hether and thither as balles: but a most right and iust go­uernement, and hath a notable reason for what soeuer he doeth, thoughe it be often hid from vs: for sodaine chaunges doe not please God, as that hee shoulde in a mockerie lift them vp aloft, whome he had determined sodainly to throw downe, but rather the wickednes of men doth tourne and alter the estate of things, because that no man acknowledgeth that the estate of euery man is in the will and hand of God. But they that are placed aboue others, do not only contumeliously & cruelly handle their neighbours, but also most sharply doe they deale against the authour of their saluation. Therefore some are lifted vppe into high degree of ho­nour, and some are slipte downe, or rather cast downe headlong out of their thrones, that we in deede might learne, that what soeuer thing is a­loft and exalted in the world, is subiecte to God, and that all the worlde is vnder his gouernement. Dauid declareth the cause and ende of these chaunges, Psal. 107. 20. and also Dan. 2. 21.

VVe see howe the Princes of the worlde become arrogante wythout measure, howe they runne into luxuriousnesse, howe they swel in pride, and howe the sweetenesse of prosperitie hath mado them dronken. It is not to be wondered at, if God cannot beare with suche vnthankeful­nesse, and this is the cause why for the most part their state is not dure­able, whome God hath lifted vppe on high. And againe, the glorye of Kings and Princes, doeth so amaze the common sorte of menne, that few there be that thinke there is any God aboue them. But if that Princes brought their scepters with them from their mothers wombe, or that the continuaunce of their kingdomes were perpetuall, then all know­ledge of God, and of his prouidence, would presently vanish away. The Lorde therefore placing the low aloft, he leadeth the pride of the world as prisonner in his triumphe, and with all he teacheth his, simplicitie and modestie.

Nowe we knowe why Marye saide, that it is God that throweth the Princes from their thrones, and exalteth the lowly: namely, that he might teache vs that the world is not tourned and rowled by the blind force of [Page 39] Fortune, but what chaunges so euer are seene, they all come to passe by the prouidence of God: and also that God himselfe with great equitie doth gouerne those things which seme to trouble and peruert the whole order of the world. The which thing shee more fully confirmeth in the next verse. He hath filled (sayeth shee) the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich emptie. Heereby we gather that alterations please not God of themselues, but for an other cause: That is, because that the great ones, and the rich, and the mighty, being puffed vp with their fulnesse, do chalenge all thyngs to them selues, and leaue nothing to God hym self. wherefore we must diligently take heede that we be not carryed awaye with prosperitie, we must also beware of the vnconstant fulnesse of the flesh, least that God sodenly make vs emptie. But this doctrine, that God filleth the hungrie with good things, bringeth great cōfort to the god­ly, whiche feele their owne pouertie: and as though they were hunger­storuen, doe sigh vnto God.

54. Hee hathe vpholden Israel. In this last parte, Marye doeth applye these generall sentenses to the present purpose. And the summe is, that God nowe perfourmeth the saluation, which in times past was promi­sed to the holy Fathers.

But first there is an apte Metaphore in the woorde vpholden, for the estate of the people was so throwen downe, that amongst the moste there was no hope lefte that it might be againe restored, therefore it is sayde that Israel is vpholden, because that God with his outstretched hande raised it vppe, it being throwen prostrate, and lying vnder feete. Religion was defiled manye waies, in the publicke doctrine there was left almoste nothing sounde.

The gouernement of the Church being wholely confused, did breath out nothing else but cruell barbarousnesse: The polliticke order was vt­terly ouerthrowne, the Romaines and Herode as sauage beastes, did rende in peeces the bodye of the people: So muche more notable was their restitution, for that it was then when all things being ouerthrown, not lawfull for them to hope after it.

Heere hee vseth the name of childe, which may as well be vnderstode a seruaunte, as a sonne, but to take it for a seruaunte is most apte. And Israel in this place (as in manye others) is called the seruaunte of God, because that hee was receiued into the housholde of God.

Being mindefull. Marye sheweth the cause whye this people readye to fall into ruine, was receiued of God: naye why God raised them vppe, being nowe all ready fallen downe, because that in preseruing the same, hee might shewe a token of his mercie, yea in woorde expressely he de­clareth that God was mindefull of his mercye, whereof he mighte haue seemed to haue beene somewhat forgetfull, seeing that hee suffered hys people to be so miserablye vexed and afflicted: for it is commonly vsed to attribute affections to God, euen as in their causes menne thinke him either to be angrie or to be mercifull vnto them. And because that mens mindes can not conceiue the mercie of God, but as the same is offered and testified to vs in his woorde: heere Marie calleth her selfe and o­thers to the promisses, and teacheth that God is faithfull and constant [...] in perfourming the same.

[Page 40] In this sense God is often called louing and true: because that we can ne­uer account of his fatherly goodnesse towardes vs: but that we must also remember his word, by which band he bindeth him selfe vnto vs, and the same being put in the middle, he knitteth our saluation with the goodnes of God, with a knot that cannot be vnknit. But in the same wordes doth Mary shew, that the couenant which God made with the fathers in times past was of his free grace, for there shee fetcheth the promised saluation out of the meere mercie of GOD, as out of a fountaine: and hereof we gather that shee was well exercised in the doctrine of the scripture. The Messias was then commonly looked for: but there were but fewe which had their faith grounded vpon so sincere a knowledg of the scrip­ture.

55. To Abraham and to his seede. If thou readest it ioyntly, the chaunging of the case seemeth to be absurd: for then thou shouldest rather haue v­sed the accusatiue case, then the ablatiue, but in my iudgement there is no simple apposition: because that Mary doth not onely declare who those fathers were, to whom God spake, but she sheweth that the force and ef­fect of the promises doth reach to al the posteritie, if they be of the true seede of Abraham. VVhereof it also followeth to be vnderstoode, that Mary speaketh of the solemne couenaunt, which was specially made with Abraham and his house. For there were other promises, which were made to Adam, to Noah, and to others, which generally did belong to all the Gentiles. But as vnbeliefe did cut of many fleshly children of Abraham, and because they were degenerate, they were altogether estrā ­ged from the house of Abraham: so we, which were straungers, beeing grafted in by faith, are to be accounted the true seede of Abraham. Let vs therefore hold, that God in times past so spake to the fathers, that his grace which he offered vnto them shoulde also appertaine to them that came after, and also he hath adopted al the Gentiles, that by fayth they might become the spirituall children of Abraham, which by nature were not.

  Luke. 1.

56. And Mary aboad with her about three monethes: after there turned to her owne house.

57. Now Elizabeths time was fulfilled, that she shoulde bee deliuered, and shee brought foorth a sonne.

58. And her neighbours and cosines heard tell, how the Lord shewed his great mercy vppon her, and they reioyced with her.

59. And it was so, that on the eight day they came to circumsise the babe, and called his name Za­charyas, after the name of his father.

60. But his mother answered and said, not so: but he shall be called Iohn.

61. And they sayde vnto her, there is none of thy kyndred, that is named with this name.

62. Then they made signes to his father, how he would haue him called.

[Page 41] 63. So hee asked for writing Tables▪ and wrote, saying: his name is Iohn, and they meruai­led all.

64. And his mouth was opened immedi­ately, and his tongue losed, and he spake, and praysed God.

65. Then feare came on all them thae d [...]el [...] neere vnto them, and all these woordes were noy­sed abroade throughout all the hyll countrey of Iu­dea.

66. And all they that hearde them, layde them vp in their heartes, saying, what manner childe shall this bee, and the hande of the Lorde was with him.

The summe of this historie is, that the natiuitie of Iohn became famous through diuers miracles of God, which promised some great and singu­lar thing (in time to come) of that infant. For it was the will of God to set him forth with these rare tokens from his mothers wombe, least that afterwardes, as an vnknowne person, or as one of the common sorte, he should goe forth to execute the office of a Prophet. First, Luke decla­reth, that Mary was almost three monethes with her co [...]e, euen vnto the day of her deliueraunce: for it is probable, that there was no other cause of her tarrying, but that shee might enioye the sight of the heauenlye grace, whiche the Angell tolde her of, for the confirmation of her fayth.

58. And her neighbours and cosines. It may be doubted whether these men esteemed the great grace of God of the onely blessing of bearing a child, or whether they had heard before that an Angell had appeared to Za­chary, which had promised him a sonne. Certainly this was no small be­nefit of God, that a barren woman, whose course of age was now past, should beare a childe beyonde the order of nature. Therefore it may be, that for this so great a cause, they extolled the greatnesse of the goodnesse of God. Furthermore, on the eight day (as the custome was) for dutie & for humanitie sake▪ they came togeather. But this occasion doth God vse, that he might make them witnesses and beholders of his power, and of his glory. And it is not to be doubted, but that there came a greater con­course of the people, because of the extraordinarie birth: for they accoun­ted it as a wonder, to see an old and a barren woman sodenly to become with childe. And now, when the child was borne, the wonder was renu­ed and encreased. VVe gather by the words of Luke, that although they circumcised their children at home: yet they did it not without a con­course and an assembly of men: and that not without a cause: for seeing that it was a publike sacrament of the Church, it ought not to be admi­nistred secretely or priuately.

59. They called him after the name of his father. VVe know that in the be­ginning names were giuen to men, either of the euent of thinges, or else by propheticall instinction, to declare & note some secrete work of God. But after in processe of time, when there was more store of names, so that conueniently they could not dayly inuent new, they being content with [Page 42] their old and accustomed names, called their children by the names of their auncesters: So there were many Zacharyes before Iohn his father▪ and it may be that he came of the sonne of Barachias. And we know, that most commonly that is holden for a law, which is receiued into vse and custome. Therefore these men striue, that their custome might be obser­ued in naming of the child. But as there is no religion to be put in names, so no wise men wil deny the faithful in this behalfe, to make a godly and fitte choyse: that they may giue their children such names, as may teach them and admonish them of their dueties. Furthermore, let them bo­rowe the names of the holye Fathers (that so they may prouoke theyr children to follow their examples) rather then take them from prophane men.

60. His mother answered. It is vncertaine, whether that Elizabeth was also taught by an Oracle: But it is most like, that when Zacharyas sawe him selfe punished for his slacknes to beleeue, that he tolde his wife by writing that, which the Angell had giuen in commaundement as con­cerning his name: for that otherwise shee woulde not haue obeyed the commaundement of God. Why also this name was giuen to the Baptist from aboue, I haue before declared. The kinsfolkes although they knew not the cause, yet they are moued with the newnes of the thing, especially because that they suppose that this is not vnaduisedly done.

64. His mouth was opened. God renoumeth the birth day of his Prophet by restoring the tongue to the father. And it is not to be doubted, but that this benefit was differred to this day, for this end and purpose, that hee might turne mens eies vpon Iohn. It is sayde that Zacharyas praised god, not onely that he might declare his thankfulnes, but that his kinsfolke and neighbours might know that this punishment was laid vppon him, because that he was so slacke to beleeue. And hee was not ashamed with his owne reproache, to declare and sette forth the glorye of GOD. So it is euery where knowne to all men, that there is a childe borne not at aduenture, or after the common order, but promised by heauenlye Oracle.

65. Then feare came on them all. This feare whereof Luke maketh men­tion in this place, sprang of the feeling of Gods power: For the workes of God are with such reuerence to be considered, that they may earnestly moue vs. For God playeth not with his miracles, but he stirreth vp the senses of men, which otherwise he perceiueth to be slow and dull. And Luke saith that this fame was spread abroad throughout al the hill coun­trey of Iudea. Although that many tooke no profit by it (yet they were for a time touched with the power of God) for when that Iohn beganne to execute his office, few did remember how wonderful his natiuitie was. But God would that the fame of these thinges should be spread abroad, not for their sakes only that heard the same, but that the miracle might be of more credit in all ages after, which was then so famous in euery place: yet as in a looking glasse we may here set beefore our eies the common vnthankefulnesse of man. For when as vaine and foolish thinges are fast fixed in our mindes: the remembrance of the graces of God, which ought alwayes to be fresh in memorie is presently let passe and forgotten. Luke speaketh not of blockish men, or of bruitish cōtemners of God: For hee saith that they layd vp these thinges in their heart, that is, they were di­ligent [Page 43] to consider these thinges. And it is probable that some at the time remembred these matters, but the greater part had shortlye after cast off this reuerēt feare, which they had cōceiued: Yet it is to be noted, that they did not digresse from the purpose, which referred these miracles which they sawe to the excellencie, which should in time to come be found in the childe: for such was the counsell of God, as we haue saide, that Iohn should not after come abroad without singular commendation. In that Luke saith that the hand of God was with him, this is the meaning: The grace of God was euident so many waies, which openly declared that he was not a common man. It is a figuratiue speech, which affirmeth that the power of God was as plainely shewed, as if the hand of God had beene openly seene, that euery man might readily discerne that God was present.

Mathew.Marke.Luke. 1.

67. Then his father Zacharyas was filled with the holy Ghost, and prophecied, saying,

68. Blessed be the Lorde God of Israel, because he hath visited and redeemed his people.

69. And hath raised vp the horne of saluation to vs in the house of his seruaunt Dauid:

70. As hee spake by the mouth of his holy pro­phetes, which were since the world began, saying:

71. That hee would send vs deliueraunce from our enemies, and from the handes of all that hate vs:

72. That he would shew mercie towardes our fa­thers, and remember his holy couenaunt,

73. And the oath which he sware vnto our fa­ther Abraham: that he would graunt vs.

74. That we being deliuered out of the handes of our enemies, might serue him without feare

75. All the dayes of our life, in holinesse and righteousnesse before him.

67. Zacharyas was filled with the holy Ghost. But a litle before it is shewed what this manner of speach meaneth: that is, that the seruantes of God are indued with more aboundant grace of the spirit, the which they yet were not without before. VVe read that the spirit was giuen to the Pro­phetes, not that they were at other times without the same, but because that the power of the spirite did more plentifully and fully shew it selfe in them, as oft as they (as it were by the hand of God) were brought in­to the light, to execute their office. Therefore the knitting togeather of those two clauses, which Luke vseth, is to be obserued, that hee was filled with the holy Ghost, and prophecied, For it signifieth that hee was then inspired from aboue more then ordinarily, so that hee spake not after the fashi­on of men, as a priuate man, but that hee spake onelye heauenly doc­trine. So Paule ioyneth Prophesie and the spirit together, 1. Thess. 5. 19. Quench not the spirite, despise not prophesie, that we might knowe that by the contempt of doctrine▪ the light of the spirite is extinguished.

But this goodnes of God is worthy to be remembred, that Zacharyas had [Page 44] not onely the vse of his speach restored to him againe, which for niene monethes hee wanted, but also his tongue was made an instrument of the holy Ghost.

68. Blessed be the Lord. Zachary beginneth with thankes giuing, but with a propheticall spirite he setteth forth the accomplished redempti­on, promised before time in Christ, whereof the saluation and felicitie of the Church did depend: why he should be called the God of Israel, vn­der whose gouernment the whole world is subiect, it doth better appeare by the texte: namelye, for that the redeemer was speciallye promised to the seede of Abraham: Because that GOD had made his coue­naunt onely with one people and nation, whereof Zachary was now a­bout to speak. For good cause therefore doth he expresly name the name of that people, to whom the grace of saluation properly, or at least princi­pally was sent and appoynted. There is vnder this visiting a secrete op­position▪ because that the countenaunce of God, for a time, was turned from the wretched children of Abraham: for they were fallen into that calamitie, and ouerwhelmed with so great a heape of mischiefes, that no man would haue thought that God had any regard vnto them. Further­more, this visitation of God, whereof Zachary mentioneth, is put as the cause and the beginning of the redemption: Therefore resolue it thus, God looked vppon his people, that he might redeeme them. And seeing that they were prisoners, which God redeemed, and that this kind of re­dēption was spirituall: we thereof gather, that euen the holy fathers were not free from the yoake of sinne and the tyrrany of death, but through the grace of Christ: For Christ is said to be a redeemer sent, euen to the holy and elect people of God. But if redemption was but then at length brought of Christ, when as he appeared in the flesh: It followeth that the faithfull, which were dead before his comming, were all their life time seruauntes of sinne and of death, which were a great absurditie. I answer that the force and effect of this redemption, which was once giuen in Christ, was common in all ages.

69. He hath raysed vp a horne of saluation. That is a power to saue. For the throane of Dauid being throwne downe, and the people being dispear­sed, the hope of saluatiō in outward shew was also fallē away. And sure­lye Zachary alludeth to the prophesies of the Prophets, in the which there is promised a sodaine restitution, when that al thinges with them were in greatest miserie and destruction. And this sentence is taken out of the Psalm. 132. 17▪ where it is sayde: There will I make the horne of Dauid to budde, for I haue ordayned a light for mine annoynted. If that God doth shew his power to saue vs in no other meanes, but in Christ, then it is a most hainous offence to bow from him any way, if that we hope to be saued from aboue. But obserue, that that is a horne of saluation to the faythfull, which to the wicked is terrible: so that dispearseth them, or rather ouerthroweth them, and beateth them to the dust. He calleth Da­uid the seruaunt of god, not simply, because he worshipped God, as euery one of the godly doe: but in an other respect, namely that he was chosen his minister, to gouerne and to preserue his people, that he and his succes­sours should represent the person and offices of Christ. And although there was then no shew of a kingdome left amongst the Iewes: yet bee­cause that Zachary reposeth himselfe in the promises of God, he doubteth [Page 45] not to call Dauid the seruaunt of God, in whom God shewed a token of saluation that was to come: VVhereof it followeth that Christe is then indeede constituted as the aucthour of our saluation, when that there is a throane set vp for him amongst vs, from the which he may gouerne vs.

70. As hee spake. Least for the newnesse of it, the saluation should be doubted of, which he saieth was brought by Christ, he citeth all the pro­phetes, as witnesses of the same: which being raysed vp in diuers tymes, doe yet teach with one consent, that we must hope for saluation from Christ alone. And this is not the onely purpose of Zachary, to prayse the fayth and constancie of God, because that hee perfourmeth and fulfil­leth, that which he before in times past hath promised: But his minde is rather to call the faithfull to the old prophesies, that with the more cer­teintie and readines, they might imbrace the saluatiō offered them, wher­of all the Prophetes from the beginning witnessed. For truely our fayth in Christ is established vppon a sure stay, when as it cometh forth con­firmed with the testimonies of al the Prophets. He calleth the Prophetes holy, that thereby their wordes might haue the greater aucthoritie and reuerence, as if he should haue sayde, they are not light or common, but approoued witnesses: yea they are set forth by publike commaundement, as if that from heauen they were called for this purpose from the com­mon sorte of men. But in small and seueral perticular poyntes, to discusse how that all the Prophetes did witnesse of Christ, it would be too long. Let this suffice for this time ( [...]ith it is knowne to all men, that the people could not be otherwise brought to beleeue that God would be mercifull to them any otherwise, but by bringing in that couenaunt, which was e­stablished in Christ) that he plainely speaketh of the redemption to come, as it was reuealed in Christ. Hether belong many notable places, which doe verie plainly prophesie of Christ, and shew him forth, as it were with a finger. But especially that seale of the couenaunt of God is to bee re­membred, the which if any man neglect, hee shall neuer vnderstande any thing in the Prophetes, as the Iewes miserably wandred in reading of the scripture: for that they being onely curious in wordes, they strayed farre from the purpose.

71. Deliuerance from our enemies. Zachary doth more plainely set forth the power and office of Christ. And truely it would profit vs litle or no­thing, to heare that Christ was giuen vs, except we also knew what good hee brought vs. For this cause therefore he doth more fully teach to what end the horne of saluation was erected, euen that the faithfull might bee preserued from their enemies. It is not to be doubted but that Zachari­as knew well ynough, that the greatest warre that the Church of GOD hath, is not with fleshe and bloud, but with Sathan and all his retinewe, wherewith he doth deceitfully deuise the destruction of vs all. And al­though that outward enemies doe also molest the Church, and that it is deliuered from them by Christ: yet seeing that the kingdome of Christ is spirituall, this sentence is spoken especially of Sathan, the prince of this world, and of his powers. Againe the miserable condition of men with­out Christ is here noted, that is: that they lye prostrate vnder the tyran­nie of the deuill: for otherwise Christ could not deliuer his children out of his hand, that is, from his power. Yet this place doth declare, that the [Page 46] Church especially liueth amongst her enemies, while shee remaineth in this world, and is alwaies in daunger of their violence, if Christ were not present to helpe. But this is the inestimable grace of Christ, that our sal­uation remaineth certaine and safe, although our enemies doe compasse vs on euery side. And although it is a hard speech, when he saith that hee wil send deliueraunce from our enemies, yet the sense is not hard, because that no deuises of our enemies, or strengthes, no deceites, no forces can hinder God, but that he deliuering vs from them, will perpetuallye pre­serue vs.

72. That he would shew mercy. Zachary doth teach vs ageine from whence this redemption commeth, euen from the mercy of God, and from the couenaunt of his free grace. For hee declareth the cause why it pleased God to saue his people: euen because he was mindefull of his couenant hath he shewed his mercie: And he is said to be mindefull of his coue­naunt, because that his so long delaying might seeme to be a certaine forgetfulnesse: for he suffered the people afflicted with most grieuous mischiefes to languish. This order is diligently to be obserued, that god was lead of his own meere mercie, to make the couenaunt with the fa­thers: Then he hauing made the couenant▪ he was bound by his word to perfourm the saluatiō of men. Thirdly, that what thing soeuer is good, he giueth it in Christ, that so he might sanctifie al his promises, that so the faith of them should be no otherwise established, but when the fulnesse should appeare in Christ. There is promised in the couenaunt forgiue­nes of sinnes, but the same is to be had in the bloud of Christ: there is promised righteousnes, but the same is giuen by the satisfactiō of Christ: there is promised life, but it is not to be sought, but in the death and re­surrection of Christ. And this is the cause why God cōmanded in times past, that the book of the law also shuld be sprinckled with the blood of the sacrifice. It is also worthy to be obserued, that Zachary extendeth to the fathers that are dead, the mercy which was shewd in his age, that they al in cōmon might receiue the fruite of the same. For hereof it foloweth that the grace & power of Christ cannot be cōtained within the straits of this fraile life, but that it is eternal: And it cannot be ended by the death of the flesh, seeing that both the soules are free from death, and also that a resurrection doth follow the destruction of the flesh. As ther­fore neither Abraham, nor any of the saintes could by their own power or merits obtaine saluation for them selues: so there is a common salua­tion shewed forth in Christ to all the fathfull, aswell to them that are dead, as to them that are aliue.

73. According to the oath. The preposition is not expressed in the greek, but it is sufficiently known, that it is the cōmon vse of that tongue, whē the nowne is put in the accusatiue case, without a word to gouerne it, that then a proposition is to be vnderstood, wherof it may be gouerned. He maketh mention of his oath, that he might the better set forth how sure and holy his truth is: for God doth so much submit him selfe to our capacitie, that he vouchsafeth to vse his name as a stay and helpe of our infirmitie: wherefore if the bare promises doe not suffice vs, let vs yet re­member this confirmation, and if that take not all doubt from vs, wee are too vnthankful to God, and iniurious to his holy name.

That he would giue vs. Zachary doth not declare what the couenaunt of [Page 47] God doth conteine in al and euery of the particular pointes of the samet But he teacheth for what purpose GOD in his mercie dealt so louingly with his people, when he redeemed them, that is, that they being redee­med, should addict and vow them selues wholy to worship the aucthour of their saluation. Therefore as the free goodnes of God is the efficient cause of mans saluation: so the finall cause is, that men by liuing a god­lie and a holy life, might glorifie the name of God: the which is dili­gently to be noted, that we being mindefull of our calling, might learne to referre the grace of god to his true vse. These sentences (I say) are to be considered, that we are not called to vncleannes, but to holines, that wee are redeemed with a great price, not that we should be seruauntes to the desires of the flesh, or that we should runne on in vnbrideled libertie, but that Christ might reigne in vs: that wee by adoption are placed into the houshold of God, that we againe, as children, should obey our father. For Tit 2. 11. In this appeareth the goodnes of God, & Philanthropia, that de­nying worldly lusts, we should liue soberly, righteously, and godly. Ther­fore Paule in the Ep. Rom. 12. 1. when that he would effectually exhort the faithful, that in newnes of life they shoulde offer vp them selues vnto God, and that by putting off the old man, & forsaking the former mind, they should giue vnto him a reasonable seruice, hee proposeth vnto them the bowels of the mercie of god. The scripture is ful of such testimonies, which declare that the grace of Christ is made of no effect, if we bēd not to this purpose. But it is to be noted, that he saith, that we shuld serue him without feare: For it signifieth that god cānot be rightly serued, but with quiet setled mindes: for they which are not perswaded, but are in doubt with themselues, whether they shal finde him merciful or offended, whe­ther he accepteth their obedience or refuseth the same: to be short, they which vncertainly wauer betweene hope and feare, it may be that som­times they carefullye busie thē selues in seruing him, but they neuer sub­mit themselues sincerely, & from the heart vnto him: for feare & doubt­fulnes cause thē to abhor him: so that, if it were possible, they wold rather wish that his Godhead were extinguished. But we know that no sacrifice is acceptable to God, but that which commeth of a free wil, and which is offered with a glad heart. VVherefore, that men may worship aright, it is necessarie that their cōsciences be first quieted: as Dauid saith, Psa. 130. 4. Mercy is with thee, that thou maist be feared. For God hauing giuē peace to men, doth cal them louingly to him, and causeth them to come gladly, and with a free & bold affection to worship him. And hereof doth Paule gather that sentenc [...]: whatsoeuer is not of faith, is sinne. Rom. 14. 23. For seeing that God hath reconciled men to himself in his sonne Christ, seeing he defendeth them by the ayde of the same his sonne, that they might be without al feare, and seeing hee hath layd vp their saluation in his hand and keeping, Zachary hath good cause to say, that by his grace we are deliuered from feare. Therefore the Prophetes ascribe this as a propertie to his kingdome, that men should haue a certaine peace, and should enioy most quiet ioy.

75. In holynes and righteousnes. As God hath comprehended in two ta­bles the rule of liuing well: So Zachary doth shewe heere, that wee haue then serued god, according to his law, whē as our life is framed to holines & righteousnes. For it is not to be doubted, but that holines doth cōtaine [Page 48] those dueties of godlines, which belong to the first table of the law: And of this thing Plato was not ignoraunt, and rigteousnes extendeth to all the dueties of charitie. For God requireth nothing else of vs in the second table, but that we should giue to euery man, that which is his due.

There is added, before him, that the faythfull may know, that it is not suf­ficient for them to gouerne their life wel, or that they keepe their hands, their feete, and their whole body from all sinne before the sight of men: for it behooueth them to liue to the iudgement of God, who is not satis­fied with an outward holines, but he especially beholdeth the heart. Last of all, least any man thinke that he hath done his duetie, when as he hath serued God for a small time, Zachary saieth that they were redeemed of this condition, that they should spend their whole life in endeuouring to serue God. And seeing that our redemption is eternall, it is our duetie neuer to forget it. And seeing God adopteth vs vnto him selfe for euer, our thankfulnes ought not to be trāsitorie, or for a smal time: to be short, seeing that Christ died, and rose againe for them, it is conuenient that hee should be Lord both of their life and death. Therfore Paule in that place which I cited a litle before, commaundeth vs to lead a holy and a righte­ous life, vntill the comming of the mightie God, looking for (saith he) the blessed hope &c.

Matthew.Marke.Luke. 1.

76. And thou babe, shalt be called the Pro­phet of the most heigh: for thou shalt goe before the face of the Lord, to prepare his waies:

77. And to giue knowledge of saluation, vnto his people, by the remission of their sinnes.

78. Through the tender mercie of our God: whereby the daye spring from an high hath visited vs.

79. To giue light to them that sitte in darke­nesse, and in the shadow of death, and to guide them into the way of peace.

80. And the childe grewe, and waxed strong in sprit, and was in the wildernesse til the day came, that he should shew himselfe vnto Israel.

76. And thou childe. Zachary returneth againe to the commendation of the grace of Christ: but he doth this, as it were vnder the person of his owne sonne, briefly setting forth the office of teaching, for the which he was prepared and apponted. And although that he could not yet di­scerne any prophetical giftes in the litle childe, being but eight dayes old, he yet turning his eies to behold the counsaile of God, doth speake as of a thing perfectly knowne. To be called a prophet of God, is in this place taken for to be accompted, and to be openly knowne. The secrete calling of God was gone and passed before, it onely rested that it should be made knowne vnto men what he was: But because that the name of a prophet is generall, therefore by the reuelation brought vnto him by the Angel, he is appoynted to be the forerunner of Christ.

[Page 49] Thou shalt goe before the face of the Lord (saith he:) That is, this office thou must vndertake, that by thy preaching thou maist turn men to heare the Lord▪ But why Iohn, when he had almost ended his course, denied that he was the Prophet of God, it is declared in that place in Iohn. And we shal here­after see what manner of preparing of a way this is, whereof Zachary here speaketh.

77. To giue knowledge of saluation. Zachary nowe toucheth the chiefe poynt of the Gospell, in that he teacheth that the knowledge of saluatiō is put in the forgiuenes of sinnes. For seeing that by nature we are born the children of wrath, it followeth that by nature wee are condemned and lost: and this is the cause of our damnation, that we are guiltie of vn­righteousnes: wherefore there is no other way, whereby we may escape death, except that God should reconcile vs to him selfe, by not imputinge or laying our sinnes to our charge. And it is easily gathered out of the words of Zachary, that this is the onely righteousnes that remayneth for vs before God: For wherof commeth saluation, but of righteousnes? And if that it be not lawful for the children of God to acknowledge any other saluatiō, then through forgiuenesse of sinnes, it followeth that righteous­nesse cannot any other where bee sought: so the righteousnesse (which proude men haue forged and framed to them selues, of the merites of workes) is nothing else but imputation of righteousnes, whilst that God freely absolueth vs from the guiltinesse of sinne. Moreouer it is to bee noted, that Zachary speaketh not of straungers, but of the people of god: whereof it followeth, that not onely the beginning of righteousnes doth depend vppon forgiuenesse of sinnes: but that the faythfull also are by imputation or imputatiuely (that I may so speake) righteous before god, euen vntil the end: because that otherwise they cannot stand before his tribunal seate, except that dayly they haue recourse to the free reconcili­ation in his grace.

78. Through the tender mercie. In this so great a benefit, Zachary, as it is requisite, doth set forth the mercy of God: and he was not content to call it simply, the saluation which was brought vs through Christ, but he saith that it came out of the tendernesse or very bowelles of Gods mercy, the which is more forcible. Afterwardes hee metaphorically addeth, that through the great mercie of God it came to passe, that the daye gaue light to them that satte in darkenes. Oriens. (i. the day springing) in this place is not a participle: for in greeke it is anatole, that is the coast where the sunne ariseth, to the which the fall is opposed. Therefore Zachary extolleth the mercy of God in this, that the darkenes of death being sha­ken off, the light of life was restored to the people of God. In this maner it becommeth vs, as oft as we speake of our saluation, to lift vp our minds to the mercy of God. It seemeth to be an allusion to the 4. chap. 2 v. of Mal▪ where Christ is called the sunne of righteousnes, hauing health vn­der his winges, that is, carrying it in his beames. For the wordes light and darknesse, there are the like in Esa. 9. 2. The people that walked in darknes haue seene a great light, they that dwelled in the land of the shadow of death, vppon them hath the light shined: And in many other places are those wordes vsed. But by these wordes wee are taught that there is no light of life in the world without Christ, but that al thinges are couered with the most horrible darkenes of death. Therefore in an other place [Page 50] Esay doth testifie that this is proper to the Church alone. Behold (saith he) darknesse shall couer the earth, and grosse darknesse the people: but the Lorde shall arise vpon thee, and his glorye shall be seene vpon thee, Chap. 60. 2. Yet it is demaunded how the Israelites satte in the shadow of death, whose heartes the Lord alwayes lightned through faith. I aun­swere, that the godly, which liued vnder the law, being on euery side com­passed with the darknesse of death, did beholde light a farre off in the comming of Christe, wherewith they were refreshed, least they shoulde haue ben ouerwhelmed with present death. It may be also that Zachary had respect to the miserable estate of his time. But generally this is true: for by the comming of Christ there arose a light to all the godly, which were before, and also which were to come, which should quicken them: because he extended his life also euen, to the dead. To sitte, signifieth as much as to lye downe: therfore Esay commaundeth the Church to arise when the day shone, 60. 1.

79. To guide our feete. By this clause Zacharyas teacheth, that the chefe perfection of all goodnesse and felicitie doth consist in Christ alone. The word peace might here haue beene vsed in his proper sense, and shoulde not haue beene much amisse, because that the light of Christ pacifieth the mindes of men. But because that amongst the Hebrewes peace doth sig­nifie a good & blessed successe of al things; I doubt not but that Zachary in this place would make Christ the aucthour of all perfect blessednes, least that we should seeke any thing that is good else where: but that we being perswaded, that through Christ we should be made perfectly and wholy blessed, might rest in him alone. To the same purpose belong those wordes of Isaias, 60. 19. Thou shalt haue no more sunne to shine by day, nor moone by night: for the Lord shall be thine euerlasting light. If that Zachary by the onely beholding of his sonne, that was yet a childe, was lead to speak so notably of the grace and power of Christ, before he was borne; are not they thrise & foure times vnthankfull, which after that he is dead, risen againe, and ascended into heauen, that hee might sitte at the right hand of his father, doe esteeme lesse honourably & reuerently of Christ, and they extenuate his power, whose praise the holy Ghost set forth, while he was yet in his mothers wombe? For we must remember that which I touched before, that Zachary spake not of himself, but as the spirit of God gouerned his tongue.

80. And the childe gr [...]w. Luke addeth this to conclude the history with. First he declareth that Iohn was strong in the spirit: whereby hee signifi­eth that there was a rare and vnwoonted towardnesse in the chylde, which was a signe that the heauenly spirite dwelt in him: yet withall he saieth that hee remained hidde as one vnknowne in the wildernesse, vn­till the day came that hee should shewe himselfe: that is, vntill the Lorde appoynted to bring him forth: whereby we gather, that although Iohn knew well of his calling, yet hee would not attempt anye thing before the time, but taryed the calling of God.

Math. 1.

1. The booke of the generation of Iesus Christe, the sonne of Dauid, the sonne of Abraham.

[Page 51] 2. Abraham begate Isaac, and Isaac begate Iacob, and Iacob begat Iudas, and hu brethren,

3. And Iudas begate Phares, and Zara of Thamar, and Phares begate Esrom, and Esrom begat A­ram,

4. And Aram begate Ami­nadab, and Aminadab begat Naas­s [...]n, and Naass [...]n begate Salmon▪

5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab, and Booz begate Obed of Ruth, and Obed begat Iesse.

6. And lesse begat Dauid the king, and Dauid the king begat So­lomon of her that was the wife of Vrias.

7. And Solomon begat Robo­am, and Roboam begate Abia, and Abia begate Asa.

8. And Asa begat Iosaphat, and Iosaphat begat Ioram, and Io­ram begat Ozia [...]

9. And Ozla [...] begat Ioatham, and Ieatham begate Achaz, and Achaz begat Ezechias.

10. Ezechias begate Manas­ses, and Manasses begat Amon, and Amon begat Iosias.

11. And Iosias begat Iochoni­as and his brethren, about the time they were caried awaye to Baby­lon.

12. And after they were ca­ried away to Babylon, Iechonias be­gat Salathiell, and Salathiell be­gat Zorababell.

13. And Zorobabel begat A­biud, and Abiud begat Eliacim, and Eliacim begat Azor.

14. And Azor begat Sadock, and Sadock begat Achim, and A­chim begat Eliud,

15. And Eliud begat Eliazar, and Eliazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Iacob.

16. And Iacob begate Ioseph the husbande of Marye, of whome was borne Iesus, which was called Christ.

[Page 52] 17. So al the generations from Abraham to Dauid, are fourteene generations: & frō Dauid vntil they were caryed away into Babylon four­teene generations: and after they were caryed away vnto Babylon, vn­til Christ, fourteene generations.

Marke.Luke. 3.
[Page 50]

23. Iesus was supposed to bee the sonne of Ioseph, which was the sonne of Eli.

[Page 51] 24. The sonne of Matthat, the sonne of L [...]ui, the sonne of M [...]lchi, the sonne of Ianne, the sonne of Io­seph,

25. The sonne of Mattathias, the sonne of Amos, the sonne of Na­hum, the sonne of Esli, the sonne of Nagge,

26. The sonne of Maath, the sonne of Mattathias, the sonne of Semei, the sonne of Ioseph, the sonne of Iuda,

27. The sonne of Ioanna, the sonne of Rhesa, the sonne of Zoroba­bell, the sonne of Salathiel, the sonne of Neri,

28. The sonne of Melchi, the sonne of Addi, the sonne of Cosam, the sonne of Elmadam, the sonne of Er.

29. The sonne of Iose, the sonne of Elieser, the sonne of Iorim, the son of Matthat, the sonne of Le [...]i,

30. The sonne of Simeon, the sonne of Iuda, the sonne of Ioseph, the the son of Ionan, the son of Eliacim.

31. The sonne of Melea, the sonne of Mainā, the sonne of Mat­t [...]tha, the sonne of Nat [...]v, the sonne of Dauid,

32. The sonne of Iesse, the son of Obed, the sonne of Boot, the son of Salmon, the sonne of Naasson,

33. The sonne of Aminadab, the sonne of Aram, the sonne of Es­rom, the sonne of Phares, the sonne of Iuda.

34. The sonne of Iacob, the son of Isaac, the sonne of Abraham, the sonne of Thare, the sonne of Na­cher▪

35. The sonne of Sarug, the son of Ragau, the sonne of Phaleg, the sonne of Eber, the sonne of Sala.

36. The sonne of Cainan, the sonne of Arphaxad, the son of Sem▪ the sonne of No [...], the sonne of La­mech.

37. The sonne of Methusala [Page 52] the sonne of Enoch, the sonne of La­red, the sonne of Malel [...]ell, the son of Cainan.

38. The sonne of Enos, the son of Seth, the sonne of Adam, the son of God.

Because that both these genealogies, which are written of Matthewe and Luke doe not agree in all thinges: it must first be seene whether that both of them doe fetch the genealogie of Christ from Ioseph, or whether Matthew doth so onely, and Luke dooth fetch it from Mary. They that are of the latter iudgement haue a good colour for the dif­ference, that is in diuers names. And truely at the first sight, seeing that Luke doth so much differ from Matthew, it seemeth nothing lesse, then that they should declare one and the same genealogie: For from Dauid vnto Salathiell, and againe from Zorobabell to Ioseph, they name alto­gether diuerse names. Furthermore, they pretende that it is absurde to bestow so much labour in a matter not needefull, as to accompt the pe­tegree of Ioseph twise, who yet was not the father of Christ. To what purpose (say they) is this repetition, whereby there is nothing prooued, that doth much appertaine to the edifying of faith? For if this thing be onely known, that Ioseph was one of the posteritie and house of Dauid, yet the line of Christ romaineth doubtfull: therfore, by their iudgments it was superfluous that both the Euangelistes should imploy themselues vppon this matter. But that Matthew repeateth the progenie of Ioseph they excuse thus, that hee did it, because that manye did yet thinke him to be the father of Christ. But it were to be scorned at, that with this cockering hee should nourish this most pestilent error, and the text doth openly confute the same. For Matthewe assoone as hee commoth to the ende of the genealogie, teacheth that Christ came not of the seede of Ioseph, but that by the secrete power of the holy Ghost he was con­ceiued in the wombe of the Virgin: wherfore if their iudgements should stand, Matthew might be reprooued of foolishnes, and for want of con­sideration, as one, who in vaine would recite the genealogie of Ioseph. But their obiection is not yet aunswered, that the genealogie of Ioseph doth nothing appertaine to Christ. The answere is old and commonly known, that in the person of Ioseph the petegree of Mary is also compre­hended: because that the law commaunded that euery man shoulde take him a wife in his owne tribe.

They take exceptions against this lawe, because that it was negle­cted almoste in all ages: but the argumentes which they vse are friuo­lous. They cite that example, that the eleuen tribes promised with an oath, that they woulde not giue a wife to the men of Beniamin. If this were prescribed by law (say they) then needed there not a new oath. But I answer that they doe yll and vnwiselye, to drawe this extraor­dinarie facte of theirs into a common rule: For it was necessary, one trybe being cutte off, that the bodye of the people shoulde haue beene maimed, if that by this remedie there had not bin some help prouided for [Page 53] so great a necessitie. Therefore the common law is not in this to be con­sidered. Againe they obiect, that Mary the mother of Christ, was cosine to Elizabeth, whō Luke before witnessed to haue bin of the daughters of Aarō. The answer also to this is easie. It was lawful for the maides of the tribe of Iuda or of anye other tribe, to marrie into the tribe of the priesthoode: because that, that reason which is expressed in the law, was not thereby hindered, which was, least that the woman should carrye her inheritaunce to any other, but to them of her owne tribe. So the holy historie 2. Para. 22. 11. declareth that the wife of Ioiada the high priest came of the kingly stocke: Therefore it is neither meruaile nor thing vnwonted, if that the mother of Elizabeth was married to a Priest. But if any denie that these thinges are not so fully prooued, that it is lawful to determine Mary to be of the same tribe that Ioseph was, because that shee was his wife: verily I graunt, that it cannot simply be prooued out of the bare historie, as it is here read, except that other circumstances bee added to the same. But first it is to be noted, that the Euangelistes spake of thinges well knowne in their age: so that when the genealogie of Ioseph was drawne vnto Dauid, it was easie for euery man to draw the genealogie of Mary from thence also. And it is not to be doubted, but that the Euangelistes beeing occupied in that which was commonlye knowne in their age, were therefore the lesse curious about the same: For if any had doubted, they might easily & speedily haue made inqui­sition.

Furthermore, they take this as a thing graunted, that seeing Ioseph was a good man and modest, hee would not take a wife, but out of his owne tribe, according to the appointment of the law. Although that ge­nerall law sufficed not to proue that Mary was of the kingly stocke: for Mary might haue come of the tribe of Iuda, though shee came not of the stocke of Dauid. Therefore the matter being thus, the Euange­listes had a care of the godly which would not contentiously striue, but might in the person of Ioseph knowe the genealogie of Mary, especially seeing the matter (as we said before,) was in that age well knowne and not doubtfull.

But it may seeme to be incredible, that these poore despised marryed folkes should be of the posteritie of Dauid, and should be that kinglye seede, whereof the redeemer should come. Nowe, if any aske whether the genealogie, as it is set downe by Matthew and Luke, doth clearely and euidently shewe, that Mary is of the stocke of Dauid: I graunt that it cannot certeinely be gathered by it. But seeing that the kindred of Mary and Ioseph was not then vnknowne, the Euangelistes were the lesse carefull in this matter: but yet the purpose of them both was to take away the offence, which the basenes, and the contempt, and the pouertie, aswel of Ioseph as of Mary might breed, least that there might not be knowne in them any thing apportaining to the kingly race.

Furthermore, that they imagine or faine that Luke setreth downe the genealogie of Mary, and letteth passe that of Ioseph, is easily confuted: For thus; word for word he writeth, Iesus was supposed to bee the sonne of Io­seph, which was the sonne of Eli, the sonne of Matthat. Truely hee maketh men­tion neither of the father, nor of the grandfather of Christ, but expresly [Page 54] declareth the progenie of Ioseph him selfe. But I am not ignoraunt what aunswere they vse to knitte vppe this knotte withall: For they saye that Sonne in that place is vsed for a Sonne in lawe. And so that Ioseph was the sonne of Hely, they interprete thus: because hee had his daughter to wife. But this is not agreeable with the order of nature, nei­ther is there in any place of the scripture any such example read.

Nowe, if Solomon bee excluded out of the genealogie of Mary, then shall Christ cease to be Christ: for whatsoeuer is sayde of that stocke, it is grounded vppon that solemne promise. Thy successour, which shall sitte vppon thy throane shall reigne for euer, 2. Samuel 7. 12. and Psal. 132. 11. I will be his father, and hee shall be my sonne. And it is with­out question that Solomon was the figure of this euerlasting king, which was promised to Dauid. And the promise cannot otherwise be applyed to Christe: but as the trueth of it was shadowed in Solomon, 1. Chron. 28. 5.

Now if the stocke of Christ be not referred to him, how, or by what meanes shall hee be accompted the sonne of Dauid? Therefore whosoe­uer putteth Solomon out of the genealogie of Christe, hee doth with­all blotte and wipe away the promises, by which he is knowne to be the sonne of Dauid. And how Luke fetcheth the petegree from Nathan, and yet reiecteth not Solomon, it shall be seene hereafter in his place. And (least I seeme too tedious) for that which is the summe of the matter, I say that these two genealogies doe agree together: yet there are to be noted foure differences in them. The firste is, that Luke with a backe­warde order (as they say) ascendeth from the last to the first: when that Matthew beginneth at the very originall. The seconde is, that Matthew stretcheth not his historie beyonde the holy and electe stocke of Abra­ham: But Luke goeth on euen vnto Adam. The third, that Mattew en­treateth of the genealogie, according to the lawe, and also permitteth himselfe, to leaue some out of the course of his accompt: in that he pro­uiding for the memorie of the readers, dooth onelye recite the numbers of three fourteenes: but Luke doth more exactlye followe the naturall stocke.

The fourth and laste is, that they both speaking sometimes of the same men, doe yet varie in their names. Of the first difference seeing there is no great difficultie in it, it is but in vaine to make may woordes about it. The seconde wanteth not verie good reason: for because that God had chosen the stocke of Abraham to him selfe, whence the redee­mer of the worlde should be borne, and the promise of saluation was after a sorte therein included vnto the comming of Christe, therefore Mattwew dooth not passe beyonde those boundes appoynted of GOD. VVee must remember that Paule saieth, that Christe was a minister of circumcision, for the trueth of GOD, to confirme the promised salua­tion made vnto the holy fathers, Rom. 15. 8. To the which that saying of Christ doth very well agree, that saluation is of the Iewes, Iohn. 4. 22 Therefore Matthew proposeth him to be seene in that holy stocke, to the which he was properlye appoynted. And also in the catologue of Mat­thew the couenaunt of GOD is to be considered: whereby he chose the [Page 55] seede of Abraham for a people vnto him selfe, that it might be separate from all other nations, as with a wall made vppe betweene them. But Luke looketh higher: for although the redeemer was peculierly promi­sed to the seede of Abraham, after that GOD had made his couenaunt with him: yet wee knowe that all had neede of him, presently after the fall of the first man, as hee was then also promised to the whole world: But it was done by the wonderfull counsell of God, that Luke should propose Christ vnto vs as the sonne of Adam, and that Matthew should include him in one stocke of Abraham: for it shoulde haue profited vs nothing, that Christ was giuen of his father, the aucthour of saluati­on, except hee had beene generally common for vs all. And also that had not beene true, which the Apostle saieth, Hebrewes 13. 8. that hee was yesterday, and to day, and is the same also for euer; if that his po­wer and grace had not beene powred out vnto al ages from the creati­on of the worde. Therefore let vs know that saluation in Christ is re­uealed and giuen to all mankinde: because that hee was not without cause called the sonne of Noah, and the sonne of Adam: yet because, that hee is to be sought in the worde of GOD, the spirite dooth not without aduise call vs by an other Euangeliste to the holye stocke of Abraham, where the treasure of eternall life together with Christ was layd vp for a time.

Let vs come to the thirde difference. It is not to be doubted, but that Matthewe obserueth an other order then Luke dooth: for the one pla­ceth Solomon next after Dauid, and the other placeth Nathan, where­by it euidently appeareth that they sette downe diuerse lines. Good and learned interpreters doe thus reconcile this shewe of discorde, that Mat­thew leauing the naturall genealogie (which Luke followeth) doth re­hearse the legall genealogie: and I call that the legall genealogie, wher­by it came to passe, that the right of the kingdome was translated to Salathiell. And in that Eusebius in the firste booke of his Ecclesiasti­call historie, following the iudgemente of Aphricanus, dooth rather call that the legall genealogie, which Luke setteth downe; hee spea­keth it in the same sense: for hee meaneth not any thing else, but that the kingdome, which was establyshed in the person of Solomon, by lawefull meanes did fall at length vnto Salathiell. But they saye better and more aptly, which saye that the legall order was set downe by Mat­thew: For he naming Solomon presentlye after Dauid, doth not obserue from whome Christe came by continual course after the fleshe: But how he descended from Solomen and other kinges, that hee might bee theyr laweful successour, in whose hand the perpetuitie of the kingdom should be established, according to the couenaunt of God. Their iudgement is probable, which think that the stocke of Solomon ended by the death of Ochozias, as 2. Kings. 9. 27. and 11. 1

That whiche some reporte out of the commentaries of the Iewes, that Dauid was commaunded, if Solomon wanted ofspringe, that the kingly power shoulde come to the posteritie of Nathan; I leaue as I find it: onely I take that which is certaine, that the succession of the kindome was not cōfused, but had his distinct degrees. Now whē the holy history [Page 56] reth, that after the slaughter of Ochozia his mother Athalia did hold the kingdome, and the kingly stocke being wholy ouerthrowne, it is more then probable, that those wicked and most cruell murthers were com­mitted of that woman so ambitious of gouernment, least that shee bee­ing driuen to liue a priuate life, should see the kingdom translated other­where. Therfore, if Ochozias had, had a son liuing after him, she might haue reigned in the court, vnder the colour of protection, freely & safe­lie without enuy and daunger. Therefore that she had made her selfe in­famous and odious by her extreame offences, was a signe of desperati­on, for that shee coulde not hold her kingdome at home in her owne house. But the reason why Ioas is called the sonne of Ochozias is, bee­cause he was next in degree vnto him, 2. Chr. 22. 9. So that he might be rightly called the true & natural heire of the kingdom. For besides that Athalia (if we graunt that shee was his grandmother) would gladly haue so abused the title of the infant, who is there endued with anye small discretion, that can thinke it likely, that the naturall sonne of the king could be so hidde of the priest Ioiada, and that his graundmother should not more diligently haue sought him out? But rather if a man consider all thinges wisely, it is easily gathered, that the next heire of the kingdom was of an other line. And that is the meaning of the wordes of Ioiada: the kinges sonne shall reigne according to the couenaunt of the Lord with Dauid, 2. Chron. 23. 3. as if he shoulde haue saide, that it hadde ben an hainous offence, if that a womā, being a stranger, should with vio­lence take vnto her self the scepter, which God had appointed to remain in the house of Dauid. VVherefore there is no absurditie, if Luke doth fetch the petigree of Christ from Nathan: because it may be that the stock of Solomon, which appertained to the succession of the kingdome was decayed.

Nowe if any obiect that Iesus cannot be acknowledged for the Mes­sias, which was promised, except he had come of the posteritie of Solo­mō, who was certainly knowne to haue bin a figure of Christ: although that naturally he came not of Solomon, yet by the leagall order he is to be accounted as his Sonne, because he had his originall from kinges. But such diuersitie in the names doth trouble many very much. For from Dauid euen vnto Ioseph there appeareth no consent betweene the two Euangelistes, but in Salathiell and Zorobabell. The excuse which was woont to be made (that the difference rose hereof, that the Iewes for the moste parte had two names) is hardly admitted of manye. But at this day seeing the cause that mooued Matthew to drawe and sette downe this genealogie is vnknowne to vs, it is no meruaile if we knowe not why in these perticular names, they both agree, or disagree: but it is not to be doubted, but after the captiuitie of Babylon they rehearse certaine, the same men by diuerse names. But I thinke that the names of Zo­robabell and Salathiell were aduisedlye retained for the chaunge of the estate of the people: beecause that then the kinglye maiestie was ex­tinguished. The small shadowe of gouernment which remayned, testi­fied a great chaunge, which admonished the faythfull to hope after a more notable kingdome then that visible kingdome of Salomon, which florished but a short time.

[Page 57] Nowe it is worthe the labour to note this also, that there is no absur­ditie in that, that Luke doth recken and accompt moe in his Cataloge then Mathew doth, for it is ordinarily seene that there are moe In num­ber in the naturall generation, then in the legall. To this also appertai­neth, that Mathew (when he deuided the genealogie of Christ into three partes, and woulde apply to euery part 14. generations,) thought that he might freely leaue oute certaine names, which Luke might not omitte, seeing that he bound not himselfe to that lawe. Thus farre haue I dis­coursed of the genealogie of Christ, as muche as seemeth profitable and conuenient for the summe. If any man be tickeled with a further curio­tie, I remembring Paule his admonition, doe preferre sobrietie and mo­destie before the friuolous arguings about things of no waight: the place to Tit. 3. 9. is well knowen, where hee forbiddeth vs to dispute ouer cu­riously of genealogies. Now lastly it remaineth to shewe why Mathew comprehendeth the whole genealogie of Christe into 3. portions, and placeth 14. menne in euery one. They that say that hee did this, that hee might prouide for the memorie of the readers, they neither say all, nor nothing, for this is true, the cataloge proposed in 3. equal numbers, may the easelier be remembred, yet withall it is plaine that heere are expresly noted, the 3. sortes and states of people, which were after the time that Christ was promised to Abraham vntill the fulnesse of time wherein he was shewed in the flesh, for although that the tribe of Iuda did excell all the rest of the tribes in honour, yet before Dauid it had no principalitie. In Dauid the kingly maiestie shone foorth beyond the hope of all men, which continued to Iechonias, from that time there remained some dig­nitie and gouernement in the tribe of Iuda, which staied the mindes of the godly vnto the comming of the Messias.

1 The booke of the generation. Many interpreters haue laboured in vaine about this title, that they mighte excuse Mathewe for naming the whole hystorie of the one halfe part of his first chapter, for this epigraphe (or in­scription) doth not extende to the whole booke. But the worde booke is put heere and vsed for a cataloge, as if it should haue bene sayde, the ca­taloge of the generation of Christ: Furthermore he calleth Christ in re­specte of the promisses, the sonne of Abraham, the sonne of Dauid, be­cause that God had promised that a seede shall rise from Abraham, in whome all the nations in the world shall be blessed Gen. 12. 3. But vnto Dauid there was a more euident promisse made, that it shoulde come to passe that the kingdome shoulde remaine stedfast in his house vnto the ende of the worlde, Psal. 72. 5. 7. and a king out of his stocke shall sit vp­on the throne, so long as the sunne and the moone doe shine in the hea­uen, Psal. 89. 29 whereuppon it became a common speach amongste the Iewes, that Christ was called the sonne of Dauid.

2. Iacob begate Iudas. Seeing that Mathew couered with silence Ismael the first begottē son of Abrahā, and Esau who by order of nature was superiour to his brother Iacob, he doeth not without aduise geue a place to the 12. Patriarkes in this genealogie, seeing that God bestowed grace of adoption vpon them all. Therfore he declareth that the blessing pro­mised in Christ, did not belong to the only tribe of Iuda, but that it was common to all the children of Iacob whome GOD gathered into hys Church, when Ismael and Esau were made straungers.

[Page 58] 3. Iudai begate Phares and Zara of Thamar. This was the beginning of that humbling, whereof Paule speaketh, Phil. 2. 7. The sonne of God might haue kept his genealogie free and pure from all offence & note of infa­mie, but he comming into the world that he might humble himselfe, and taking vpon him the forme of a seruant, became a worme & not a man, the scorne of men & the outcast of the people, and at the length endured the most curssed death of the crosse Also this infamie in his genealogie hath not he refused, that he should spring from an incestuous bed, which was made amongst his ancesters: for although that Thamar was not en­forced through lust, to desire the company of her father in lawe, yet by an vnlawfull meane shee attempted to reuenge her iniurie. And Iudas when he desired to lie with a whore, fell vpon his daughter in law. But the incomparable goodnes of God striue with the sinne of them both, so that this adoulterous seede should neuerthelesse enioy the scepter.

6. Begat Dauid the king. Dauid only is adorned with this title, because that God proposed in his person the figure of the Messias of the go­uernour and captaine that was to come. The kingdome first began at Saule, but because that this came to passe through a tumult, and by the wicked desires of the people, therefore the change at length from him to Dauid was estemed lawful, especially in as much as pertained to the couenant of God, wherein he had promised, that he should be a gouernor for euer ouer his people: when as the people 1. Sam. 8. 4. had vnhappely [...]alten off the yoke of God, and with coudemned voices demaunded a king for themselues; Saul was graunted them for a smal time: but God presently established his kingdom, which shuld be a pledge of true bles­sednes in the hād of Dauid. Therfore let vs know that here is noted the second estate of the people, as it was ordained of the Lord: yet withal, the shame & dishonesty of man is added by the Euangehst, how that the same can after a sort defile the glory of God his blessing, in that Dauid begat Salomon of Bersabe, whom he had wickedly taken from her hus­band: & that he might enioy her, he most vnfaithfully betraied the inno­cent man to be slaine with the swordes of his enemies. This deformitie falling out about the beginnings of their kingdome, ought to make the Iewes not to glory in flesh; God also would it shuld be declared, that in the establishing of that kingdom he would not be bound to the merites of men: but in that succession which Mat. described, it appeareth by the sacred hystory, that 3. kings wer omitted. They which say that this was done through forgetfulnesse, are not to be heard, neither is their reason to be allowed of, which say that they are vnworthy to haue any place geuen them in the genealogie of Christ: for that shuld haue falne also to the lot of many other, whom yet Mathew mixeth indifferētly with the godly & holy ones. Therfore it semeth rather to be true, whē he wold make a catalogue of 14. kings, he was not very curious in making his choise, because it was sufficient for him to compose a genealogie to set before the eyes of the readers vnto the ende of the kingdome, but that there are red onely 13. it is most likely to be the fault and carelesnes of Printers or wryters of bookes. Epiphanius in his 1. booke contra hareses. sheweth the cause: that when the name of Iechonias was put in twise, the vnlearned presumed to scrape it out of the second place, as a worde more then needed, but he admonisheth that it shoulde not haue beene [Page 59] done so, because that Ioaclm the sonne of king Ioachin, had the name Iechonias common with his sonne. 1. Chron. 3. 17. 2. Chron. 36. 1. Ier. 27. 20. and 28. 4. And Robert Stephanus citeth a Greeke copie, where this name Ioacim is put in.

12. After they were caried into Babylon. That is after the Iewes were ca­ried into captiuitie, for the Euangelist declareth that the posteritye of Dauid, of kings were then become slaues and banished men. Further­more, when that captiuitie was a kinde of destruction, it was wrought by the wonderfull prouidence of God, that the Iewes were not onely gathered together into one body, but also that there remained certaine remnants of gouernment in the house of Dauid, for they which retur­ned home, did of their owne free wil obey the gouernment of Zoroba­bel, therfore the fragments of the kingly scepter endured and lasted in this worlde, vntill the comming of Christ was at hand, according to the Prophecie of Iacob. The scepter shal not depart from Iudah nor a law­geuer from betweene his feete, vntil the Shiloh come. Gen. 49. 10. and in that estate, although there was a miserable and a sorowfull dissipa­tiō of the people, yet they neuer were without some sparks of the grace and fauor of God shining amongst them. The Greeke woorde (for the which the old interpreter vsed transmigrationem, Erasmus hath put Exilium) it properly signifieth a changed dwelling place, wherby vnderstād that the Iewes were enforced to go out of their countrey, that in other pla­ces they might dwell as strangers that were neuer there.

16. Iesus that is called Christ. In the surname Mathew doeth declare his office, that the readers may vnderstand him to be no priuate mā, but an­noynted from aboue to fulfil the worke of redemption. But what ma­ner of annoynting his was, & to what purpose it appertained, I will not in many words at this presente declare. Of the voice it selfe this is to be vnderstode: After the kingdom was abolished, they began to refer it to that one from whom the full restitutiō of their decaied estate was to be hoped for: for so long as there did any maiestie flourish in the house of Dauid, the kings were woont to be called Christi. But least the deformed wastnesse which after folowed, should throwe the mindes of the godly into desperation, it was the will of God that this name should be appli­ed to the only redemer, as it appeareth out of Daniel, and the Euange­lical hystorie doth declare that after the sonne of God was geuen in the flesh, that this was the common maner of speach in euery place.

Mathewe 1.Marke.Luke.

18. Nowe the birth of Iesus Christe was thus, when as his mother Marie was betrothed to Ioseph before they came together, shee was founde with childe by the holy Ghoste,

19. Then Ioseph her husband being a iust man, and not willing to make her a publike example, was mineded to put her away secretely.

20. But whiles hee thoughte, these thinges, beholde, the Aungell of the Lorde appeared vn­to hym in a dreame, sayinge, Iosephe the Sonne [Page 60] of Dauid, feare not to take Marie for thy wife, for that which is conceiued in her, is of the holye Ghost.

21. And shee shall bring foorth a sonne, and thou shalt call his name Iesus, for he shall deliuer his people from their sinnes.

22. And all this was done, that it mighte be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lorde by the pro­phet, saying:

23. Beholde a virgine shall beare a sonne, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is by interpretation, God with vs.

24. Then Ioseph being raised from sleepe, did as the Angel of the Lorde had inioyned him, and tooke his wife.

25. But he knew her not, till she had brought foorth her first sonne, and he called his name Iesus.

18. The birth of Iesus Christ. Mathewe doth not as yet declare, where, or after what maner Christ was borne, but how the heauenly generati­on was reuealed vnto Ioseph. First he sayth that Mary was founde with childe of the holy Ghost, not that, that secrete worke of God was com­monly knowen, but as it became knowen vnto men, so doeth he reueile the power of the spirite, which as yet lay hid. He sheweth the time, when shee was betrothed to Ioseph, and yet before that they came together: for in respecte of the assuraunce of the mariage, assoone as the mayde was promised to a man, the Iewes esteemed her as a lawfull wife, and there­fore the lawe condemned them of adulterie, which defiled them selues with them that were contracte. The woorde which the Euangelist doth vse, doth either modestly signifie a secrete accompanying together, or it is simply taken for to dwell together, as husband and wife, shoulde make one house and one familie. So the sense is, that the virgin was not yet de­liuered by her parents into the hand of her husband, but as yet liued vn­der the custodie of her parents.

19. Being a iust man. Some interpreters vnderstande, that Ioseph be­cause that he was iust, would haue spared his wife, so iustice with them should signifie humanitie, or a moderation of the winde bent vnto gen­tlenesse. But they are of better iudgement which reade these two clauses contrarily, that Ioseph was iust, but yet hee was carefull for the fame of his wife, so that the iustice which is heere commended, was in respect of the hatred and detestation of the sinne. Because that he suspected lier of adultery, nay because that he was perswaded that she was an adulteresse, he would not nourish such an offence with his gentlenesse: and certainly he is his wifes bawde, who soeuer hee is that winketh at her vnchastitie, good and honest mindes doe not onely abhorre such an offence, but also the lawes doe spot with infamie such negligent slouthfulnesse, as that is whereof I spake. Therefore Ioseph with a zeale of iustice, condemned the fault which he supposed to be in his wife, yet his minde bent to hu­manitie, staied him from executing the extremitie of the lawe. This was a meane more qualified, if he, priuely departing, shoulde go toe an other [Page 61] place, whereby wee gather that hee was not of so softe and so effemi­nate a minde, that vnder the pretence of mercye he woulde nourish the sinne by couering it. Onely he remitted some what of the extremitie of the lawe, and would not cast her foorth to the infamous reproche: and it is not to be doubted but that his minde was stayed by the secrete in­stincte of the spirite: for we know how outragious gelousie is, and howe violently it carieth a man away, wherfore although Ioseph had endured an ouer daungerous inuasion, yet was he wonderfully crossed with di­uers perilles which were at hand, when he first beganne to deliberate of the matter. I iudge the same of Maries silence, though we graunt that for shame shee durst not tell her husband that shee was with childe by the holy Ghost, yet shee was rather stayed by the prouidence of God, then by her owne counsell or witte: for if shee had tolde him, as it was a mat­ter incredible, so Ioseph should haue thought that shee had mocked him, and that all men would haue laughed at, and haue taken as a meere fa­ble, neither should the Oracle of God haue bene so muche estemed of, if it had followed after. Therefore the Lorde suffered his seruaunt Iosephe to be caried awaye into a wrong opinion, that with his owne voyce hee might reduce him into the way, but it is to be knowen, that it was rather done for our sakes, then for his owne priuate cause, for the Lorde by all meanes preuented, least there should be any sinister suspition in the Ora­cle. For seeing the Aungell commeth to Ioseph, as yet ignoraunt of the whole matter, the wicked haue no occasion to cauell: for he came with­out parcialitie to heare the voice of God, he was not entised by the flat­teries of his wife, the opinion which he had conceiued was not drawne from him by entreaties, he was not bent to the contrary part by humane reasons, but when the false offence of his wife stacke fast in his minde, then did God shewe him selfe, as lette downe from heauen to vs, that he might be the more conuenient witnesse, and haue the greater credit with vs. VVe see that it was God his will to teache his seruaunt Ioseph by an Angell, to that ende that hee himselfe might be a heauenly messenger to others, and might declare and tell that whiche hee hearde neyther of his wife, nor of any other mortall creature. That this mysterie was not at the first reuealed to moe, this seemeth to be the reason, because that it was meete, that this incomparable treasure shoulde be kept secreate, and only reuealed to the children of God. Furthermore there is no absurdi­tie in it, if the Lord (as he often vseth) would by this meanes prooue and trie the faith and obedience of his children. Certainly except a man ma­liciously refuse to credite God, and to yelde himself in obedience to him, hee will be sufficiently satisfied with these testimonies, wherewyth this principle of our faith is prooued, for the same cause also did the Lorde permit Marie to marrie, that the celestiall conception of the virgin might be hidde vnder the veile of marriage, vntil the appoynted time of reuea­ling the same. In the meane while, the vnfaithfull (as their vnthankful­nesse and malice deserued) are blinded and see none of these mercies.

20. VVhiles he thought these things. Heere we see how the Lord vseth to be present with his children in conuenient time, and (as they say) euen in the very poynt or time of neede, whereby we also gather, that while hee seemeth to dissemble at our cares and sorowes, he yet hath a regard vnto vs: but he so staieth and secretely resteth, while hee examineth our pati­ence: [Page 62] and then in his time appoynted hee helpeth vs. And althoughe his helpe seemeth to be slow and late, yet it is profitable that it shoulde be so deferred. The Aungel appeared in a dreame: this is one of the ordinarie maners of reuelations, wherof mention is made, Num. 12. 7. where God speaketh thus. To the Prophets which are among you, I will shewe my selfe either by a vision or by a dreame, but I will not do so with my ser­uaunt Moses, to whom I will shewe my selfe face to face: but it is to be obserued that these sortes of dreames doe much differ from them which come of natural causes, for they haue a marke of assurance engraued in them, and they are sealed from aboue, that we shoulde not doubt of the truthe of them. The dreames which men commonly haue, are woont to rise either of the constitution of nature, or throughe euill disposition of the bodies, or of such like causes. But sometimes the spirit geueth wit­nesse to those dreames which are of God, to assure vs certainly that it is god which speaketh. Sonne of Dauid be not afraid. This exhortatiō of the an­gel, declareth that Ioseph was careful in his mind, least he should be de­filed with any infection, by bearing with his wifes adulterie. He therfore taketh away that opinion of the offence which he had conceiued in his minde, to that ende that with a quiet conscience he might remaine and dwell with his wife: hee applieth the epithite of the Sonne of Dauid to the presēt cause, that he might stir vp his mind to that high mystery, because that he was of that familie (and that remaining aliue but with a few o­ther) from whence saluation was promised to the worlde. Ioseph there­fore hearing Dauid named, out of whose stocke he came, out to remē ­ber that notable couenant of God, of the restitution of the kingdom, & so should know that he speakes not of any new or straunge thing: for it is as much as if the Aungel by setting foorth the prophesies of the Pro­phets shoulde prepare Ioseph his minde to accept this present fauoure. Thou shalt call his name Iesus. Of the word it selfe I haue before spokē brie­fly but sufficiently. I will nowe onely adde one thing. Their dreame is confuted by the woordes of the Angell, which deriue this name from Iehoua the essentiall name of God: for the Aungell sheweth why the sonne of God is to be so called, that is, because he shal saue his people: whereof we gather an etymologye, meere contrary to that which they imagine. But in vaine doe they seeke by this cauill to slippe away: Christ is to bee compted the author of saluation most properly and most aptly, because that he is God eternall. For we must not heere seeke onely, what GOD hath performed and bestowed vppon vs: but this name was geuen vnto the sonne, for an especiall cause, because of the commaundement whiche was enioyned him from the father, and by reason of the office which he had when he descended to vs. Nowe it were meere madnesse to knitte these two woordes, Iesu & Iehoua together, as if they were but one name, seeing that they agree but in two letters and differre in all the rest, and which haue no likenesse in them at all. I leaue this kinde of forging to the Alchumystes, from whom the Cabalistes do not much differre, who haue inuented for vs these filthie and vaine toyes. But the sonne of God when hee came to vs in the flesh, had also his name geuen him of his fa­ther, that by the same it might be openly shewed, to what ende he came, what his power was, and what properly was to be looked for of hym: for the roote of this name Iesu, is from the Hebrewe verbe [...] [...]iphil, which [Page 63] signifieth to saue, and in the Hebrew is after an other maner pronoun­ced, namely Iehosua. But the Euangelistes wryting in Greeke, folowed the accustomed maner of speache: for the Greeke interpreters as well in Moses as in other bookes of the olde Testament, haue translated it Ie­s [...]un, whereby their ignorance is again reproued, which wrest & wrythe, rather then deriue this name Iesu from Iehoua: for they accompt it for a great absurditie, if that any mortall man should haue this name common with the sonne of God, and they crie our tragically, that Christ will ne­uer suffer his name thus to bee prophaned: As thoughe that it were not well knowne of the contrary, that the name of Iesu is as common to those menne, as that of Iehosua. Nowe seeing that it sufficiently appea­reth that the Sonne of God, vnder the name of Iesu is commended vnto vs as the authour of saluation, we will sifte more neerely the Aungelles woordes. Hee shall saue (sayeth hee) his people from their sinnes: first this is to be obserued, that they of themselues were lost, whome Christ was sent to saue: and namely hee is called the Sauiour of the Churche. If they whome GOD hathe ioyned so neare vnto hymselfe, are drow­ned in death and destruction, vntill Christ restore them life: then what shall wee saye of straungers, to whome there was neuer anye hope of life appearing. VVherefore it is to bee concluded, while saluation in Christe is reiected, that all mankinde is subiecte to destruction. But the cause of destruction is with all to bee noted: for the celestiall iudge doeth not pronounce the cursse against vs rashly and wythout a cause. Therefore the Aungell witnesseth that wee pearished and were holden oppressed vnder the miserable yoke of damnation, for that by our sinnes wee were estraunged from life, whereby the corruption and wicked­nesse of our nature is reuealed vnto vs, for if any manne were perfecte and able to liue a righteous life, hee might be without Christ the deli­uerer: but all, without the exception of any one, haue neede of hys grace. Therefore it foloweth that they are all the seruauntes of sinne, and are destitute of the true righteousnesse. Heere againe wee gather; what maner and way it is that Christ vseth in sauing, that is, that hee deliuereth vs from sinnes.

Furthermore there are two partes of this deliueraunce: first, in that he by sacrifice hauing made a full satisfaction, geueth vs free pardone and forgeuenesse, whereby wee are exempted from the guiltinesse of death, and are reconciled to God. The next, that he sanctifying vs wyth his spirite, chalengeth vs from the tyrannie of Sathan, that wee shoulde liue to righteousnesse: therefore Christ is not acknowledged truely as a Sauiour, vntill that by faith wee learne to embrace the free forgeue­nesse of our sinnes, and that we knowe that we are accompted righ­teous before God, because that we are freed from guiltinesse: then that we being without all trust either of our workes or of oure power, aske of him the spirite of righteousnesse and truthe. The Aungell wythout doubte nameth the Iewes the people of Christe, whose heade and king he was ordained. But because the Gentiles were shortly after to be graf­ted into the stocke of Abraham, this promisse of saluation is general­ly stretched to all, whiche by faith are vnited to that one bodye of the Churche.

22 All this was d [...]ne. They verye fondly and childishly trifle, whiche [Page 64] affirme that this name of Iesu was geuen him because he shoulde be cal­led Immanuel. For Mathew doth not only snatch at one onely clause, but hee comprehendeth what thing so euer was heauenly and diuine in the conception of Christe: to that purpose also appertaineth that note of v­niuersalitie. Now lette vs see howe aptly this prophesie of Isaias is cited, thē place is sufficiently knowen and muche spoken of, chap. 7. 14. But the Iewes according to their woonted malice depraue the same, althoughe that they therein shew no lesse blinde and foolish then a wicked hatred of Christ and of the truthe. And many of their Rabbines were growen to that impudencie, that they expounded the same of king Ezechias, who was at that time borne, and was about 15. yeare olde. I pray you what maner of libertie of lying is this, that they will rather ouerthrowe the order of nature, and hide a yong manne againe in his mothers wombe, that he mighte be borne at 16. yeares of age, then they will admitte the truthe to come to light? But these ennemies of Christ are woorthy to be stricken of God with the spirite of giddinesse and astonishment, that they might so be besotted. Others fain vnto themselues some vnknowen sonne of king Achaz, whome the Prophete foretolde that shoulde bee borne. But I demaunde by what right he was called Immanuel, and howe the earth was subiecte to his gouernment, who as a priuate man ended his life without honour: for shortly after, the same Prophet appoynteth (that same childe who so euer he was) Lorde of the earthe: and they as foolishly doe bable, which will that this shoulde be spoken of the Pro­phet his sonne: and truely, the Christian wryters were in this matter ve­ry grossely deceiued, in drawing that prophesie whiche foloweth in the next chapter to Christ. The Prophet there sayeth, that by a vision he was commaunded to keepe companie with his wife, and the Sonne which he had begotten, had this name geuen him by God, Make haste and spoyle: for in that place is onely noted the vehemencie of the warre, which was at hande with horrible destruction, wherby it may easily be gathered that these matters were altogether diuers. Therefore let vs seeke the righte sense of this place, when that at the besieging of the citie of Ierusalem, kinge Achaz was afraide, naye hee was almoste dismayde with feare: a Prophet was sente vnto hym, who shoulde promisse that GOD woulde bee the keeper of the Citie: But seeinge a simple promisse did not comforte hys confused minde, the Prophette was commaunded to geue him what signe so euer hee shoulde aske, either in heauen or in earthe. VVhen as that wicked hypocrite coueringe his infidelitie refu­sed a signe, the Prophette vrged him more hardlye, and at the lengthe sayd: Yet God shall geue vnto you a signe, for beholde the Virgine shall conceiue and bear a sonne. &c. we interprete this to be spoken of Christ in this manner: All you the posteritie of Dauid, you endeuour as much as in you lieth to blotte out and abolish the fauour promised vnto you, (for the Prophet expresly nameth the house of Dauid in reproche) yet your vnfaithfulnesse shall neuer bring to passe, but that the truth of God shall haue the vpper hand: God promiseth that this citie shall be safe and free from the ennemies, But if his worde be not sufficient, he is ready to geue you a token of assurance at your pleasure: you exclude bothe the graces, & you driue them frō you, yet God wil stand fast in the assurance of his couenaunt, for the promised redeemer shall come, in whome God [Page 65] will perfectly present himselfe vnto his people. The Iewes obiect that I­saias shoulde haue done foolishly and absurdly, if he shoulde haue geuen to those men in that age, such a signe as should be shewed eight hundred yeres after or there about. And heere they very proudly lift vp thēselues, because that this obiection was let slippe and buried, either through the vnskilfulnesse or the carelesnesse of the Christians. But the answere see­meth not hard to me, if we obserue, that the couenaunt of adoption was geuen vnto the Iewes, whereof all the rest of God his benefites shoulde depend. Therfore there was a general promise, wherby God had chosen the children of Abraham as a people for himselfe, vpon the which coue­nant all the special promisses had their ground. Againe, the Messias was the foundation of this couenant: Now we perceiue that the cause of the deliueraunce of this citie was, for that it was the sanctuarie of God, and that the redemer was to come out from thence. This respect being taken away Ierusalem should haue pearished a 100. times. Now let the godly readers consider, seeing that the king had openly reiected the signe offe­red him from God, was it not conuenient for the Prophet to goe to the Messias? as if he shuld haue sayd: Although this age is vnworthy of that deliuerance which I promised from the Lord, yet God being mindefull of his couenant, shal deliuer this citie from the enemies. That he might therefore shewe them no particular signe to testifie his fauour, this one ought to be enough & more then enough, that the Messias should come of the stock of Dauid. And it is to be noted, that the Prophet calleth the vnbeleuers to the general couenant, to be a maner of reproofe, because that they did admit no particular signe. Now it is sufficiently proued as I thinke, that when as the gate was shut against al myracles, it was high time for the Prophet to repaire to Christe, that the vnbeleeuers might know that there was no other cause of their deliuerance, then the coue­nant which was made with the fathers. And by this wonderfull maner of teaching, it was the wil of God to testifie to all ages, that he therfore continually was so merciful to the childrē of Abraham, because he had made a free couenant with them in Christ, and not for any of their de­serts. But the Iewes with an other cauil endeuour to shift away this our iudgemēt, because that presently it foloweth in the text of the Prophet: Afore the childe shall haue knowledge to eschew the euil, and to chuse the good, the land shalbe forsaken of 2. kings. &c. Heereof they gather that the birth of the childe is promised, which shoulde not be long de­laied, otherwise that should not agree which is spoken of the change of the kingdoms so hard at hand, which the Prophet declared should be be­fore the infant had passed the one halfe of his age, I answer, when as I­saias had brought him as a signe which should be the author of saluati­on, and saide that an infant should be borne which shoulde be the true Immanuel, or (that I may vse Paules worde) God manifested in the flesh, 1. Tim. 3. 16. He then generally speaketh of all the infants of that age, for the which matter, there is a strong reason at hand. For hauing first spoken of the generall couenant of God, he retourneth to the especiall promisse, for the which cause he was sent: so the first place which apper­taineth to the last and full redemption, noteth one certaine childe to whom the title of God shoulde only belong: but the latter place which is referred to that speciall benefit which was then at hand, appoynteth the [Page 66] time by the infancie of thē which then were new borne, or shortly after were to be borne. Hetherto (except I be deceiued) I haue with strong & sound reasons refuted the cauils of the Iewes, wherwith they endeuor to ouerwhelme the glory of Christe, least by this prophesie it shoulde shine forth. Now it resteth for vs to take away that cauil in the woorde gl [...]. They very frowardly shake vp Mathew, who proue that Christ should be borne of a virgin, when that the Hebrewe worde doth simplie note a yong woman, and they scorne vs, as men deceiued with a word wrong­fully translated, that we shuld beleue that he was conceiued by the holy Ghost, whē that the Prophet only sayth that he was the sonne of a yōg woman. But first therein they shewe ouer much pleasure in contending, while they vrge that worde to be vnderstode of a yong woman known vnto a man, which the scripture attributeth euery where to virgins. The etymologie also agreeth with the same which signifieth a hiding, wher­in is noted a maidenly shamefastnesse, they bring one place oute of the Prouerbes, chap. 30. 19. which yet helpeth them nothing at all, for there Salomon speaketh of a maid, whom a yong man loueth, but it doeth not presently folow, that she should be defiled whom a yong man loueth, nay the cōiecture on the other part is more probable. Furthermore, if I shuld graunt that which they require of the word, yet the matter it selfe con­uinceth them and enforceth them to confesse that the Prophet speaketh of a wonderful and an vnwonted birth. He crieth that he bringeth them a signe from the Lord, and that no commō signe but such a one as shuld excel al others: if he had only said that a woman shoulde beare a childe, then howe ridiculous a thing had it beene for him to make so solemne a preface? VVe see how the Iewes through their owne frowardnesse, doe not only set forth themselues to be scorned at: but also the most reuerēd mysteries of God. And it is not a vaine argument which is gathered out of the whole text: a damsel shal conceiue: why is there no mention made of the man? The prophet commendeth & speaketh of some vnaccusto­med & vnusuall thing. Furthermore, the commandement of geuing the name to the child, was geuē to the damsel, in the which matter the Pro­phet also speaketh of a thing extraordinarie: for although that the scrip­ture declareth that the mothers oft times gaue the names to the childrē: yet they did it by the authoritie of the fathers: therfore the Prophet dire­cting his speach to the damsel, doth in this childe take from the mē what right soeuer the order of nature had geuen them. Then let this remaine stedfast, that the Prophet cōmēdeth this great myracle of God, that al the godly might attētiuely & reuerently consider the same, which the Iewes do vnworthely prophane, applying that to a cōmon maner of cōceiuing which is spoken of the secrete working and power of the spirite.

23. His name Emmanuel. The scripture vseth to speake thus, that God is with vs, when that he is present with vs, with his help & with his grace, & exerciseth the power of his hand to defend vs. But heere is the meane expressed, wherby God communicateth with men: for without Christe we are alienated from God, and by Christ we are not only receiued in­to his fauour, but we are also made one with him. And that which Paule teacheth to the Ephes. 2. 17. that the Iewes vnder the law were nere vn­to God, and that there was a deadly hatred betwene him & the Gētiles, meaneth nothing els, but that God in shadowes & figures gaue signes of [Page 67] his presēce vnto this people which he had adopted, for that promise was in force, God in the middest of thee. Deu. 6. 15. & 7. 11. Also this is my rest, Psal. 132. 14. But seing that familiar coniunction of the people with God, did depend of the mediatour, because that in substance he was not yet fully reuealed, by signes he was shadowed. His seat and his dwelling place was placed betwene the Cherubims, because that the arke was the figure and the visible pledge of his glory. But in Christe no more a sha­dowed but a perfecte presence of God was geuen and shewed vnto the people: for the which cause Paul sayth to the Col. 2. 9. that al fulnesse of the Godhead doth dwel in him bodely. And truely, he could not other­wise haue ben a lawfull mediator, except that vnseparable conioyning of both the natures in him had ioyned men to God: neither is there anye cause why the Iewes shuld iangle, that the name of God is often trāsfer­red to those monuments, wherin he witnesseth his presence to the faith­ful: for it cannot be denied but that this name containeth in it a secreate contrariety, which cōpareth the presence of God reueled in Christ, with the whole maner of his presence, as he was shewed to the old people be­fore the cōming of Christ. If the cause of this name begā then in dede to be manifest, whē that Christ appeared in the flesh: then it foloweth that in times past God was ioyned to the fathers not fully, but only in parte: wherof againe it is concluded, that Christ is God manifested in the flesh. And he hath exercised the office of a mediator euen frō the beginning of the world. But because al this did depend of the later reuelation, then as though he were cloathed with a newe person, he was woorthely at the length called Immanuel, when as he came foorth as a priest, who with the sacrifice of his owne body shuld wash away the sins of men, & with the price of his owne bloud shuld reconcile them to his father, & to be short, should fulfil al the partes of mans saluation. So first in this name the di­uine maiestie of Christ is to be cōsidered of vs, that it may haue that re­uerence of vs which is due to the only & the eternall God. But yet ne­uertheles that fruit is not to be neglected, which God would therof ga­ther & receiue from vs: for as oft as we behold God & man in the per­son of one Christ, we may certainly determine that God possesseth vs, if by faith we be ioyned vnto Christ. That the number is changed in that verbe, they shall call, it differeth nothing from those things which I spake before, the Prophet speaketh to one virgine, and therefore hee vseth the second persone, thou shalt call. But for what cause this name was firste vt­tered, this is the common confession of all the godly, that God gaue him selfe in Christ to be enioyed of vs.

24. Ioseph being raised. The readinesse of the obedience which is heere described, doeth make no whit lesse to testifie the certaintye of the faith of Ioseph, then it doeth for the praise of his obedience, for excepte that euery doubte hadde beene taken away, and his conscience very well set­led, he neuer so willingly and so sodainly had changed his counsell and taken his wife, through whose companie hee lately iudged himselfe to haue bene defiled, therefore there was some note of the power of God imprinted in his dreame, which suffered not his minde to wauer. Then folowed the effecte of faith, that the will of God being knowen, he pre­sently prepared himselfe to obey it.

[Page 68] 25. He knew her not til shee. Vnder the colour of this place, Heluidius in times past moued great troubles in the church, for that he would ga­ther therof, that Mary was a virgin but vnto her first birth, & that after she had other children by her husband. The perpetual virginitie of Mary was very sharply and copiously defended by Hierome, let this one thing suffice vs, that it can be very fondly and il gathered out of the wordes of the Euangelist what became of her after that Christ was borne. Hee is called the first borne, but not in anye other respecte, but that we mighte know that he was borne of a virgine. It is denied that Ioseph had to do with her, vntill shee had brought foorth: this also is restrained vnto the same time, but what folowed after he doeth not declare. It is sufficiently knowen that such is the vse of the scriptures: and certainly, no man wil at any time mooue question of this matter, except he be curious: and no man wil obstinately stād in the same, except he be a contentious brabler.

Mathew.Marke.Luke 2.

1. And it came to passe in those dayes, that there came a commaundement from Augustus Cae­sar, that all the world should be taxed.

2. This first taxing was made, when Cyrenius was gouernour of Syria.

3. Therefore went all to be taxed, euery man to his owne Citie.

4. And Ioseph also went vp from Galile out of a citie called Nazareth, into Iudea, vnto the city of Dauid, which is called Bethlehem, (because hee was of the house and linage of Dauid)

5. To be taxed with Marie, that was geuen him to wife, which was with childe.

6. And so it was that while they were there, the daies were accomplished that shee shoulde bee deliuered.

7. And shee brought foorth her firste begotten sonne, and wrapped him in swadling cloathes, and laide him in a cratche, because there was no roum [...] for them in the Inne.

Luke declareth howe it came to passe that Christ should be borne in the citie of Bethlehem, when that Marye his mother dwelte in an other place, and was now nere vnto her trauel. And first he excludeth all hu­mane counsel, when he sayth that Ioseph and Mary left their house and came thither, that they mighte bee taxed accordinge to their familie and stocke. If throughe their owne deuise and counsell, they hadde chaunged their place that Mary might be deliuered in Bethlehem, then should we only haue considered the persons themselues: but now, when that they haue no other purpose, but that they might obey the comman­dement of Augustus, we plainely see that they as blinde folkes were led by the hande of God thither, where it behoued Christ to be borne. And this semeth to fal out by fortune, as prophane mē ascribe vnto fortune al other things which are not gouerned by the determined coūsel of men.

[Page 69] But it is not sufficient simplie to beholde what is done, but we muste also remember what was forespoken by the Prophet many ages before. And this comparison shall euidently shewe, that this taxe was not com­maunded by Augustus Caesar, and Ioseph and Marie remoued not from their house, that they might at that time come to Bethlehem, without the wōderful prouidēce of God: so we see that somtime the holy children of God, although they wander in minde, not knowing whether they goe, yet they holde the right way, because the Lord directeth their steps: and the wonderful prouidence of God doth no lesse shew it selfe in this, that the tyrannical gouernmēt draweth Marie from her house that the pro­phesie might be fulfilled. God by his Prophet had apoynted the place (as we shall after see) where he would his sonne should be borne: but if Mary had not by force ben compelled, she had determined to haue bene laid at home. Augustus commanded that a taxe should be seased in Iuda, & that euery man shuld geue his name, that thence forth they might pay a yere­ly tribute, which before they were woont to pay to God. So that which God vsed to require of his people, a prophane manne doeth violently snatche vnto himselfe: and that were as much, as if hee shoulde binde the Iewes wholely to himselfe, and should forbid that after that they should be accompted for the people of God. So when the matter was come to vtter despaire, and the Iewes seemed for euer to be cut off and alienated from the gouernment of God: God doth not only speedily and beyond the hope of all men, geue a remedy, but he vseth that wicked tiranny for the redemption: for the gouernor (or whosoeuer he was that was Caesar his deputie) while he executed that which was geuen him in commaun­dement, was the secrete messenger of God, to fetch Mary to the place ap­poynted of God. And certainly to this purpose tendeth the whole hy­storie of Luke, that the faithfull might knowe that Christ was brought forth from his birth by the hand of God. For this auaileth not a litle for the assuraunce of faith, that Marie was sodenly and against her owne minde drawen to Bethlehem, that the redeemer might come frō thence, as he was promised.

1. All the world. This Synecdoche ought not to seeme hard, seeing that it was vsed in diuers places by the Romane wryters: and I doubt not but that this taxe was generall throughout all the prouinces, that it mighte be the more tollerable and not so odious, yet the manner of the tribute might be diuers. That this was the first taxing I interpreat, because that the Iewes then as it were throughlye tamed, hadde this newe and vn­accustomed yoake laide vppon them. For that whiche some saye that it was the first after that Cyrenius was gouernour of Syria, hath no co­lour in it: for there was a yearelye tribute, but the description or taxing was not made euery yeare. Therefore this is the meaning, that the Iewes were then more grieuously oppressed. There is no absurditie in the di­uersitie of the Gouernours name, while some call him Cyrenius, some Quirinus or Quirinius: for wee knowe that the Greekes in translating the Latine names, often chaunge somewhat in the pronounciation. But there riseth a farre greater difficultie then this from other where: for Io­sephus in his eighteenth booke of Antiquities the first chapter, declareth that when Archelaus was banished to Vienna, Quirinus came as Pro­consull, who shoulde vnite Iudea to the prouince of Syria.

[Page 70] Also it is agreed vppon amongest the wryters, that Archelaus raig­ned nine yeares after the deathe of his father Herode, whereof it is ga­thered, that there were aboue thirteene yeare betweene the birthe of Christe, and this taxing. For almoste all subscribe to Epiphanius, who affirmeth that Christe was borne the xxxiij. yeare of the raigne of He­rode, that is foure yeares before his death. This also is not a litle doubt­full, that the same Iosephus in the thirde chapter of the 18. booke, sayeth that this taxing fell in the 37. yeare after the victorie wonne at Actium. If that be true, Augustus liued almoste seuen yeares longer at the moste, so eight or nine yeares shall be detracted from his age. For it appeareth out of the third after Luke, that he had then raigned but fifteene yeare. But seeing it is certaine that the age of Christe is better knowen, then that the same ought to be called into question, so it is not vnlike but that Iosephus had forgotten himselfe in this matter, as also in manye others. And truely the Chronicles declare that Quirinus was Consull aboute nineteene yeares before that Antonius was ouercome, and that Augu­stus enioyed the Empire alone, so hee was a very olde manne when hee was sent into the prouince. Obserue that the same Iosephus numbreth foure gouernours of Iudea in the space of eight yeares, yet he graunteth that the fifte gouerned eleuen yeares: that was Valerius Gratus whome Pontius Pilate succeeded. Yet there may be geuen an other aunsweare, that they coulde not goe through with the taxe, presently as it was com­maunded, for Iosephus declareth that Coponius was sente thether with an hoste, that he might keepe the Iewes vnder, whereof it is easily gathered that through the tumult of the people, this taxe was for a time hindered. And the woordes of Luke doe beare this interpretation, that there came out a commaundement about the time of Christes natiuitie for taxing the people: but the description could not be made, except the estate of the kingdom had ben chāged, because that Iudea was brought into a part of the prouince: so this latter part was added in steade of cor­rection. This first description was vnder the gouernour Cyrenius: that is, it was then first brought to effecte. Thoughe the question is not yet wholely answered. For to what purpose shuld the people be taxed, whē that Herode gouerned Iudea, who paide no tribute to the Romane Em­pire. I answere there is no absurditie in the matter, if Augustus (that hee might accustome the Iewes to the yoke, whose stubbernes was sufficient­ly knowen) would also haue them taxed vnder Herode: and the peculi­ar kingdome of Herode was no hinderaunce but that the Iewes in the name of a tribute might pay somewhat for euery of their heades to the Romane Empire: for Herode only raigned by entreatie, and almoste ser­uilely. I knowe not from whence Eusebius tooke that which hee sayeth, that this taxing was decreed by the consent of the Senate.

7. There was no roume for them in the Inne. Heere we see not only howe poore Ioseph was, but also how sharpe that tyrannie was, that no excuse is receiued, but that Iosephe is compelled in that troublesome time to bring his wife neare vnto her trauel, with him. And it is to be supposed that they which came of the kingly stocke were more sharply and more reprochefully handeled then the rest. Ioseph was not so blockishe, but that hee was carefull to prouide for the trauell of his wife, and so hee woulde willingly haue eschewed this necessitie.

[Page 71] But because he coulde not, enforced, he geueth place, and commen­deth himselfe to God. Yet wee see what a beginning of life the Sonne of God hadde, and in what place and swadling clowtes he was enter­tained. And the maner of his birthe was suche, because that to this ende hee tooke our flesh, that for our sakes he might humble himselfe: there­fore he was cast out into a stable, and laide in a maunger, and hadde the roumthe of a guest denied him amongste menne, that hee mighte open heauen for vs, not onely as guestwise, but as an eternall kingdom and an enheritaunce, and that the Aungelles shoulde admitte vs into their felowshippe.

Matthew.Marke.Luke 2.

8. And there were in the same country shep­heardes, abiding in the fielde, and keeping watche by night because of their stocke.

9. And loe, the Aungell of the Lorde came vppon them, and the glory of the Lord shone abou [...] them, and they were sore afraide.

10. Then the Aungell sayde vnto them, Bee not afraide: for beholde, I bring you tidings of great ioy that shall be to all the people:

11. That is, that vnto you is borne this daye, in the Citie of Dauid a Sauiour, whiche is Christe the Lorde.

12. And this shall be a signe to you, yee shall finde the childe swadled, and laide in a cratche.

13. And straight way there was with the Angel a multitude of heauenlye souldiours praisinge God, and saying:

14. Glorye bee to God on highe, and peace in earth, towardes men good will.

8. And there were shepheardes. It shoud haue bene in vaine to haue Christ borne in Bethlehem, except it were knowne to the world. Yet the maner which Luke describeth semeth vnlikely in the iudgment of men. First; Christ is reuealed but to a few witnesses, and that in the darke night. Then, when God had at hand many both honourable and excellent witnesses, which being put by, he chuse only sheapherds, that is, menne contemned and of no estimation. The reason and wise­dome of flesh must of necessitie heere become foolish, and lette vs con­fesse, that the foolishnesse of God excelleth what soeuer is, or seemeth to be wise in this world. 1. Cor. 1. 25. But this also was a part of the hum­bling of him, not that any thing of the glory of Christe was by this ta­ken away, but onely that he shoulde lie hidde for a time. Furthermore, as Paule, 1. Cor. 2. 4. admonisheth, that the Gospell is contemptible ac­cording to the flesh, that our faith mighte be grounded in the power of the spirite, and not in high woordes of mannes wisedome, or in any glo­ry of the worlde: So God from the beginning laide vp this incompara­ble treasure in fraile vesselles, that the obedience of our faith mighte the better be prooued.

[Page 72] VVherfore if we desire to come to Christ, let it not grieue vs, to followe them whome the Lord to the ouerthrowing of the pride of the world, hath taken as masters euen out of the filth of the beastes.

9. The Angell of the Lorde came. He sayeth, that the glory of the Lorde shone about the shepheards, wherby they might know the Angell. For it should haue little auailed to haue that tolde them of the Angel, which is reported by Luke, except God by some visible signe had witnessed that that came from him which they heard. Therefore the Angell appeared vnto them not in any common shape, or without dignitie, but adorned with a brightnesse of heauenly glory, which shoulde mooue the mindes of the shepheards, that they might receiue the word which was brought them no otherwise, then as oute of the mouthe of God himselfe. From thence came that feare, whereof Luke presently speaketh, whereby God vseth to humble the hearts of men, that he might gette reuerence to hys woorde, as I haue before declared.

10. Be not afraide. This exhortation tendeth to the taking away and lightening of the feare: for although it be profitable that the mindes of menne shoulde be stricken with feare, that they mighte learne to geue God his honour, yet together with it they haue neede of comforte, least they should be vtterly ouerwhelmed. For it can not be, but that the ma­iestie of God should swalowe vppe the whole world, if the terrour that it hath in it, were not mixed with some sweetenesse. Therefore the re­probate fall downe halfe deade, because hee appeareth to them but as a iudge: but the Angel that he might refresh the mindes of the shepheards, testifieth that he was sent for an other ende: namely, that he might de­clare the mercy of God. For this voyce doeth not onely raise vppe those menne that are fallen, but restoreth those that are lost, and calleth backe from death to life, where they heare that God is mercifull to them. But the Angell sayeth that he bringeth tidings of great ioy, then hee addeth the cause or matter of this ioy, that there is a Sauiour borne. By which woordes we are first taughte, that vntill menne haue peace wyth God, and that they be reconciled by the grace of Christ, what ioy soeuer they conceiue, is but vaine and deceitfull. The wicked ones do often triumph with a drunken and a madde mirth: but except there be a meane and a pacifier betweene God and them, of necessitie they must be miserablye tormented with blinde stinges of their conscience. Furthermore, al­though that flatteringly and daintily they nourish vppe themselues in delightes, yet their pleasures are so many torments to them. This then is the beginning of a perfecte ioy, to feele the fatherly loue of God to­wardes vs, who onely geueth peace to our mindes: and this is the ioy in the holy Ghost, wherein Paule sayeth that the kingdome of God doeth consist, Rom. 14. 17. And that Epithyte of Great is therefore added, that we might not onely knowe that we should especially ioy in our salua­tion offered vs in Christ: but that the greatnesse of this good is such and so vnmeasurable, that it woorthily recompenceth all the sorowes, griefs and troubles of this present life. VVherefore let vs learne so to be satis­fied with this one Christ, that the feeling of his grace might exceede all the troubles of the flesh, yea and at the length abolish the same. That shall be to all the people. Although the Angell speaketh to the shepheards onely, yet he declareth that this message of saluation which he bringeth them, [Page 73] reacheth further, so that not they onely should heare it priuately, but o­thers also shoulde heare the same. Furthermore obserue that this ioye is sayd to be common to al people, because it was generally offered to all. For God promised Christ, not to one, or to other, but to all the seede of Abraham.

And that the Iewes, for the moste parte, were depriued of that ioye, which belonged vnto them, was because of their vnbeliefe: as at this day God calleth generally all to saluation by the Gospell, but the vnthank­fulnesse of the world bringeth to passe, that few inioy this grace equal­lye profered to all. Therefore this ioy being included amongst a few, is yet called common in respect of God. But although the Angel spea­keth onely of the elect people, yet now that the wall is broken downe, the same message belongeth to al mankinde: for Christ preacheth peace not only to them which are nere: but also to them that are farre off; and no lesse vnto straungers, then to them that are of the houshold. Eph. 2. 17. But because that vntil the comming of Christ this couenaunt was peculier with the Iewes, therefore the Angell seperateth them from all other nations.

11. Vnto you is borne this day. Here is expressed the cause of the ioy, as euen now wee declared, that is, because the redeemer, which in tymes past was promised, is borne: who should restore the Church of God in­to his estate. And the Angell doth not speake, as of a thing vtterly vn­known, but he taketh the beginning of his message out of the law & the Prophets: because that it had beene in vaine for him to haue vsed this manner of speech to the Gentiles and prophane men. Christ the Lord to you is borne a Sauiour: that same is also the cause why hee maketh mention that hee was borne in the citie of Dauid, which had beene in vaine, but for the renuing of the remembrance of those promisses, which were euery where known and famous amongst the Iewes. To be short, the Angell applyeth his speech to his hearers, which were not altoge­ther ignoraunt of the promised redemption. And hee ioyneth the Gos­pell with the doctrine of the law and the Prophets, as that which sprin­geth out of that fountaine. But seeing that Sot [...]r expresseth more amōgst the Greekes, as Cicero witnesseth, Verrina 4. 109. then Seruator dooth amongst the Lattins: and that there is not extant a latine word, which answereth vnto the same: I haue thoght it better to speake barbarously, then to diminish any thing from the power of Christ: And I doubt not but that the common interpreter, and the olde doctours of the Church, had the same purpose: therfore is Christ called Saluator, as he which brin­geth full saluation. And also this pronowne to you, hath a great Empha­sis: for it should but smally auayle to heare that a Sauiour was borne, ex­cept that euery man might apply it, as that he was borne to him. In this manner speaketh Isaias, chap. 9. 6. A childe is borne to vs, a sonne is gi­uen to vs. So also saieth Zacharyas 9. 9. Behold thy king commeth vnto thee, poore.

12. And this shalbe a signe vnto you, you tha [...] finde the childe swadled. The Angel answereth to that, whereat the Shepheardes might haue taken offence, and whereby their faith might haue bene hindered: for what a mockery [...]s it, to see him layd in a stall, which was sent from God, as the king and onely Sauiour. Therefore, least this vile & abiect estat of Christ, should [Page 74] feare the Shepheardes from faith in Christ, the Angell foretelleth them what they shall see. And this order (which to the iudgement of manne may seeme absurde, and almost ridiculous) doth the Lord dayly vse to­wardes vs. For by the voice of the Ghospell sent downe from heauen hee doth commaund vs to imbrace Christ crucified, and he setteth signes in earthly and transitorie elements, which might lift vs into the glory of blessed immortalitie: so hee promising vs a spiritual righteousnes, setteth a litle water before our eies, and he sealeth eternall righteousnes to our soule by a small taste of bread and wine. If that the stable offend not the shepheards, and that they neuerthelesse seeke their saluatiō from Christ, and that they submit themselues vnder the gouernment of him, being yet but an infant, there ought no signe, be it neuer so contemptible darken his glory with vs: but at the least that wee might humbly worship him, sith that he is ascended into heauen, & sitteth at the right hand of the father.

13. And str [...]ght way there was a multitude. Although that in one Angel there was giuen a shew of Gods glory [...] yet GOD would that his sonne should be more royally adorned, and that aswell for the confirming of vs, as of the shepheardes. The credit of two or three witnesses is suffici­ent amongst men to take away a doubt: but the heauenly host with one consent and with one voyce giue testimonie to the sonne of God. Then what a peruersnesse were it, not to credit the generall testimonie of the Angelles, whereby our saluation in Christ is witnessed? whereby we ga­ther how detestable this incredulitie is vnto God, which disturbeth this sweete harmonie both of heauen and earth? Againe, we are to be con­demned of more then beastly blockishnes, if this song (which the Angels with one consent haue song that they in wordes might beginne to vs) doe not kindle in vs a fayth and an endeuour to praise God. Adde this also, that the Lord would by this example of heauenly melody, cōmend vnto vs the vnitie of faith, and exhorte vs with one consent to sing his praises vpon the earth.

14. Gl [...]ry in the hyghest▪ The Angels begin with thanks giuing, or with the praises of God, because that the scripture euery wher teacheth vs that we are redeemed frō death, to this end, that aswell in tongue as in works we might testifie our thankfulnes to God. Let vs therefore remēber that this is the finall cause wherfore God reconciled vs to himselfe by his on­ly begottē sonne, that the riches of his grace & great mercie being made knowne, his name might be glorified. And at this day how much euery one of vs is strengthened through the knowledge of grace to set forth the glory of God, so much hath he profited in the faith of Christ: yea as oft as mention is made of our saluation, we must know that there is as it were a signe giuen vs, to stirre vs vp to giuing of thankes and prayses vnto God. In earth peace. This is the more vsuall reading, that then the third clause may follow, towardes men goodwill▪. And although for the sum of the matter there is no great difference, which of the two thou readest: Yet the other interpretatiō seemeth to agree better, because it is not to be douted, but that these two clauses agree together, Glory to God on high, and in earth peace: but except thou opposest men vnto god, it cannot be a ful An­tithesis. Peraduenture this preposition En deceaued the interpreters: be­cause that the sense of the words was darke, to say peace to be in men. But seeing that in many places of the scripture this prepositiō is superfluous, [Page 75] there is no cause why it should hinder Vs. Yet if any hall rather place it in the latter clause, the same sense shall still remaine, as I will presently de­clare. Now it is to be seene what the Angels meane by this word peace: certenly they speak not of the outward peace, which men maintaine be­tweene thēselues, but he saieth that the earth is appeased, when men are reconciled to God, & are quiet within in their minds. We know that we are borne the children of wrath, and by nature that wee are enemies to God; so that it is then necessary that we should be vexed with horrible disquietnes, so long as we finde God offended with vs: therefore a short and an euident definition of peace is to bee gathered of the contraries, that is of the wrath of GOD, and the terrour of death, and so there is a dubble relation to be had: the one to God, the other to men, because that we haue then peace with God; and he blotting out our guiltines: & not imputing our sinnes, beginneth to be mercifull vnto vs: and we resting in his fatherly loue; do call vpon him with a sure faith, & without feare we reioyce in that saluation promised vs. And although that in Iob 7. 1. the life of man vpon earth is called a continual warfare, and the thing it self declareth that there is nothing more troublesome then our estate, while we remaine here in the world, yet the Aungelles expressly place peace on the earth, that wee might know that no troubles can hinder vs, but that we enioying the grace of Christ, might haue setled & quiet minds. therfore let vs remēber that there is a seat of peace placed euē in the mids of the stormes of tēptations, amongst diuers dangers, amongst violēt tē ­pests, in the middest of battels & feares, least our faith being driuen back with any of these engines, should wauer or waxe faint. Good will. I know not how it came to passe, that it was put in the genetiue case: certeinlye the cōmon translation, which hath vnto men of goodwil▪ ought not onely to be forsaken as adulterous, but because it corrupteth the whole sense. Yet many are deceaued also, which reading it in the nominatiue case, good will doe referre the same to men, as if it were an exhortation to them to embrace the grace of Christ. I graunt that it is no otherwise confirmed, then as God offereth his peace vnto vs, except that we receiue the same. But seeing that Eudokia is taken in euery place in the scriptures, for that which the Hebrewes call [...], the old interpreter translated it Benepla­citum. This place is very yl expounded of the accepting of grace. But that which the Angels speak of, doth rather shew the fountaine of peace, that we might know that it is a free gift, & to flow out of the meeremercy of god. If you please to read it Good will in men▪ it shal not be amisse in respect of the sense: for in this maner of speach the cause of the peace shal also be noted: that is, that God freely accepteth men into his fauour, with whō he before had warli [...] or deadly discord. If thou wilt read peace of good­wil, for willing, I wil not be against this exposition: yet that is the plai­nest to haue Eudokian put appositiuely, that we might know from whēce peace commeth to vs.

Matthew.Marke.Luke. 2.

15. And it came to passe, when the Angelles were gone awaye from them into heauen, that the Shepheardes said one to another, let vs go then vnto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to passe, which the Lord hath shewed vnto vs.

16. So they came with hast, and founde both [Page 76] Mary and Ioseph, and the babe layd in the cratch.

17. And when they had seene it, they publi­shed abroad the thing, which was tolde them of that childe.

18. And all that hearde it wondred at the thinges, which were tolde them of the Shepheards.

19. But mary kept all these sayinges, and pon­dred them in her heart.

20. And the Shepheardes returned▪ glorifiing and praising God, for all that they had heard and seene, as it was spoken vnto them.

21. And when the eight dayes were accompli­shed, that they should circumcise the child, his name was then called Iesus; which was so named of the Angel, before he was conceaued in the wombe.

15. After the Angelles were gone away. Here is the obedience of the Shep­heardes described vnto vs: for when the Lord had appoynted them as witnesses of his sonne to all the world, hee effectually spake to them by the Angelles, least that should be forgotten, which was tolde them. It was not plainely and by worde commaunded them, that they shoulde come to Bethlehem: but because that they sufficiently vnderstoode that the counsell of God was so, they make haste to Christe, as at this daye, when we know that Christe is shewed vnto vs, to this ende, that our heartes by faith might come vnto him, our loytering cannot bee excu­sed.

And Luke doth not in vaine declare that the Shepheards tooke coun­sell of their iourney assoone as the Angels were departed, least we suf­fer (as many vse) the word of God to vanish away with the sound, but that it may take liuely rootes in vs, and thereby that it may bring foorth his fruite, when it hath ceased to sound in our eares. Furthermore, it is to be noted, that the Shepheardes doe mutually exhort one an other: for it is not sufficient for euery one of them to looke to themselues, excepte that also there be vsed mutuall exhortations. Luke amplifieth the praise of their obedience, when he saith that they made haste, euen as a prōpt­nesse of fayth is also required of vs. VVhich the Lord hath shewed vnto vs. Very skilfully and rightly doe they ascribe that to God, which they heard not but from the Angel, for, whome they acknowledge as the minister of God; they also thinke worthy of that auctoritie, as if he had put on the person of the Lord. Therefore for this cause doth the Lord call vs back often vnto himselfe, least the maiestie of his word should become of no estimation in the sight of men. Againe wee see here, that they accompt it to bee an offence in them to neglecte that treasure shewed them of the Lorde: for of that knowledge reuealed to them, they argue that they must go to Bathlehem, that they may see. And so it behooueth euery one of vs, according to the measure of his faith and vnderstanding to be pre­pared to follow whether as God calleth.

16. They found Mary. That truely was an vnseemely sight, and by that onely they might haue beene driuen from Christe: for what is there more vnlikely, then to beleeue that hee should be king of all the people, [Page 77] who was not accompted worthy of a meane place among the common people? and to hope for the restitution and saluation of the kingdome from him, who for his want & pouertie was throwen out into a stable? Yet Luke writeth that none of these thinges hindred the Shepheardes, but that with great admiration they praysed God: namely because that the glory of God was throughly fixed in their eies, and the reuerence of his word printed in their mindes, that whatsoeuer they mette with either infamous or contemptible in Christ, they with the height of their fayth doe easily pas [...]e ouer the same. Neither is there any other cause why e­uery of those small offences doe either hinder or turne our faith from the right course: but because that we taking small hold vpon God, are easily drawne hether and thither. For if this one cogitation possessed all our senses, that wee haue a certaine and a faythfull witnesse from heauen, it were a defence strong and stable enough against all kinde of temptations, and it shoulde well enough fortifie vs against all of­fences.

17. They published abroad the thing which was tolde them. Luke commendeth the fayth of the Shepheardes, in that they deliuered sincerely through their handes, that which they receiued from the Lord: and it is profitable that the same should be witnessed for all our sakes, that they might be, as second Angelles for the confirming of our fayth. Againe, Luke tea­cheth that they reported that which they had heard not without profit. And it is not to be doubted, but that the Lord gaue effect to their word, least it should be mocked or despised. For the estat of the men discredited the matter, and the matter it selfe might seeme to be but fabulous. But the Lorde suffereth not those thinges to bee in vaine, which hee enioy­neth them. And although this manner of working smally pleaseth the iudgement of men, that the Lordes will is that his word should bee heard of poore and meane men: yet it is approoued of God himselfe, and vsed partly to humble the pride of flesh, and partely to prooue the obedience of the fayth: but that al men meruaile, and no manne moo­ueth his foote, that hee might come to Christe: hereof it may be gathe­red, that they hearing of the power of God were amased, not being stri­ken with any earnest affection of the heart: wherefore this word was not so much spread abroad for their saluation, as that the ignoraunce of all the people might be inexcusable.

19. Mary kept all those, The diligence of Marye in considering the workes of God is proposed to vs for two causes. First, that wee might know that the keeping of this treasure was layde vp in her heart, that, that which shee had layd vp with her, shee might publ [...]sh the same to o­thers in time conuenient. Next, that all the godly might haue an exam­ple which they might followe. For if wee be wise, this ought to bee the especiall trauell, and the chiefe studie of our life, that wee might be dili­gent to consider the workes of God, which should buylde vp our faith. Furthermore, the word conserue is referred to the memorie: and Symballein doth else signifie to conferre, as to make vp one perfect body, by gathe­ring all thinges together, which agreed amongst themselues to prooue the glory of Christe. And Mary could not wisely consider the value of all thinges together, but by conferring some thinges with others.

20. Glorifying and praising of God. This also appertaineth to the common [Page 78] vse of our faith, that the Shepheardes might certeinely know it to be the work of god. And the earnest glorifying of God which is praised in thē, is a certeine secrete reproofe of our sluggishnesse, or rather of vnthank­fulnesse: for if the swathing cloutes of Christ so much preuailed amōgst them, that they could rise out of the stable and cratch euen vnto hea­uen: howe much more effectuall ought the death and resurrection of Christ be with vs, that we might be lifted vp to God. For Christ was not onely lift vp from the earth, that he might draw al things after him: but he sitteth at the right hand of the father, that we which are pilgrims in this world, might with our whole hearte meditate of the heauenlye life. But Luk declareth the true nature of godlines, whē he saith that the witnesse of the Angell was in steede of a rule to the Shepheardes, to the which they directed all thinges. For then is faith rightly holpe by the workes of God, if it directeth al thinges to that purpose, that the trueth of God, which is reuealed in his word may more clearely shine forth.

21. That the childe should be circumcised. That which generally is to be cō ­sidered of circumcision, let the readers fetch out of Ge. 17. 10. It shal be sufficient at this time briefly to touch those things, which beelong to the person of Christ. God would that his sonne should be circumcised, that he might be subiect to the lawe: for circumcision was a solempne signe, wherewith the Iewes were initiated into the obseruation of the lawe. Paule declareth the end, Gal. 4. 4. when he saith that he was made vnder the law, that he might redeeme them which were vnder the law. Ther­fore Christ taking circumcision professed himself a seruaunt of the law, that he might obtaine libertie for vs. And so by this meane not onelye the seruitude of the lawe was abolyshed by him: but the shadow of the ceremonie was applyed to his sound and perfect bodye, that it might soone take an end. For although the abrogating of it depended of the death and resurrection of Christ, yet this was a certaine beginning of the same, that the sonne of god suffered himselfe to be circūcised. His name was then called Iesus. This place also witnesseth, that it was a manner re­ceiued amongst the Iewes; that on the day of circumcision▪ they gaue names to their children, as we at this day vse to doe at baptisme. But the Euangeliste noteth two thinges, that the name of Iesu was not giuen vnto the sonne of God, rashely or for the pleasure of men, but that the Angel brought it from heauen: Thē that Ioseph & Mary obeyed the cō ­mandement of God: & this is the consent of our faith with the word of God, that that word going before, wee should speake to the same, and our faith shoulde answere to his promises. Especiallye Luke commen­deth vnto vs the order of publishing of the word, when hee saieth that saluation was testified by the mouth of men, which was promised by the Angell from aboue through the grace of Christ.

Matth. 2.Marke.Luke.

1. VVhen Iesus then was borne at Bethlehem in Iudea, in the dayes of Her [...]e the king: beholde there came wise men from the East to Ierusalem.

2. Saying, where is the king of the Iewes that is borne? for we have seene his starre in the East▪ [Page 79] and are come to worship him.

3. VVhen king Herod heard this, hee was trou­bled, and all Ierusalem with him:

4. And gathering togeather all the chie [...] Priestes and Scribes of the people, he asked of them where Christ should be borne.

5. And they sayde vnto him, at Bethlehem in Iudea: for so it is written by the Prophet:

6. And thou Bethlehem in the lande of Iu­da ar [...] not the least among the princes of Iuda: for out of thee shall come the gouernour, that shal feede my people Israel.


1. VVhen Iesus was then borne. Matthew concealeth the cause whye Christ was borne at Bethlehem: but the spirit of God, who had appoin­ted the Euangelistes as his Scribes, seemeth aduisedly so to moderate their stile, that with most notable consent, they al write one and the same historie, though it be in diuers manners: that thereby the trueth of God might be the more certeine and euident, when as it was openly mani­fest, that his witnesses did not purposely before consent to speake, but e­uery one separate from other, nor hauing one respecte of an other, did simply and freely write that, which the spirite taught them.

Furthermore, here is a historie declared worthy to be remembred, that God fetched wisemen out of Chaldea or Persia, which should come in­to Iudea to worship Christ, where hee lay without honour, and contem­ned. Truely a wonderfull counsell of God, that God would his Sonne should come forth into the world vnder this obscure humilitie: yet hee excellently adorned him, as with phrases; so with other tokens, least any thing for the triall of our faith had beene wanting from his diuine ma­iestie: yet here is to be noted a notable harmonie of thinges seeming to be repugnant. The starre from heauen declareth him to be a king, whose throane is the beast [...] & stall, because that hee is denied a place euen amōgst the common sorte of men. His maiestie shineth in the East, which not onely appeareth not in Iudea, but is also difiled with many reproches. To what purpose is this: namely, the heauenly fathers will was to ap­poynt that the starre and the wisemen should lead vs the right way to his sonne: but yet hee stripped him naked of all earthly honour, that we might know his kingdome to be spirituall. VVherefore this storie is not onely profitable, because that God brought these wisemen to his sonne, as the first fruites of the Gentiles: but also because hee woulde set forth the kingdome of his sonne, as with the praise of them, so of the starre for the helpe of our fayth, least the wicked and malitious dispite of his own nation, should cause him to be despised of vs.

It is sufficiently knowne, that the Astrologers and Philosophers with the Perseans & the Chaldeans were called Mag. (i. wisemen:) Therfore is is easily to be coniectured that these came out of Persia. Furthermore how many they were in number, it is better not to know, because the E­uangeliste doth not expresse it, then rashly to affirme for certaine, that which is doubtfull.

[Page 80] A childish errour lead the Papistes, that they imagined them to be three, because Matthew saith that they offered gold, franckencense and mirrh: as if hee should distinctly assigne a proper office to euery of them, and that rather hee should not declare that these three thinges were general­ly offered by them. VVhosoeuer that old writer was, whose vnperfecte commentarie vppon Matthew beareth the name of Chrisostome, and is accompted amongst Chrisostomes workes, saith that they were four­teene: which hath no more colour, except that peraduenture it came by tradition of the fathers, yet that same also hath no assuraunce. But the Papistes are more then ridiculous, which imagined to themselues that they were kinges, because they did read that beefore sayde Psal. 72. 10. That the kinges of Tharsis, of the Iles and of Saba should come, which should offer giftes to the Lord: Verily they are wise workemen, who that they might giue a newe shape to men, they haue begun at the tur­ning of the worlde: for of the South and VVest they haue made the East.

And it is not to be doubted, but that by the iust reuenge of God, they were so amased, that their grosse ignoraunce might be laid open to the reproofe of al men, who made no religion to corrupt the trueth of God, and to turne the fame into a lye. But here is first demaunded, whether this starre was one of the number of them, which the Lord in the bee­ginning created, for the garnishing of heauen: then whether the know­ledge of Astrologie brought these wise men hether, that thereby in mind they conceaued the birth of Christ. Although we may not contentiously striue of these matters, yet it is to be gathered out of the words of Mat­thew, that it was not a naturall starre, but extraordinary: for it was not by the course of nature, that at certeine times it vanished away, and af­ter sodenly shone againe: then that it went a streight course towardes Bethlehem, and at the length that it stoode fixed ouer the house wherein Christ was, none of which thinges agreeth to naturall stars. It is more probable that it was like to a Comet, and that it was seene in the ayre, rather then in heauen. And it is no absurditie, that Matthew speaking ac­cording to the manner of the people improperly called it a starre: here­of is almost gathered an answere of the second question. For seeing it is certaine, that Astrologie is contained within the boundes of nature, the wise men could not by the onely direction of the same haue come to Christ: therefore it behoued them to be holpen by a secrete reuelation of the spirite: yet I deny not but that they had some beginning or seede out of the arte: but I say it was necessary that the same shoulde be holp with some new and extraordinary reuelation, least it should be in vaine or va­nish away.

2. VVhere is hee that is borne king? That some interpreters thinke a king borne, to be secretely opposed against a king made or created, seemeth to me to be too subtill: therefore I take it more simplye that the wise men meane that this king was lately, borne, and remaineth yet an infant, that they might make a difference betweene him and a king growen in age, and holding the gouernment of the people: for presently they say, that they were mooued neither with the fame of his actes, or with his pre­sent greatnesse openlye knowne, but by a diuination from heauen, of a thing that was to come. But seeing that the sight of the starre was so ef­fectuall [Page 81] with the wisemen, woe be to our sluggishnes, which so coldely seeke Christ the king reuealed vnto vs.

VVe come to worship him. The starre was shewed to this end, that it might draw the wisemen into Iudea, that they might be witnesses and proclai­mers of the new king. But for that which appertaineth to them, they came not to giue any godly worship to Christ, as is due to the sonne of God, but after the Persian manner, they would salute him as a moste ex­cellent king. For it is not probable that they thought more of him, then that hee should be endued with singular power and dignitie, that hee might worthilye turne all men into admiration and reuerence of him. For it may be, that they would before hand gette his fauour, that they might haue him friendlye and fauourable to them: If peraduenture it came to passe, that hee obtained the gouernment of the East.

3. Herod the king was troubled. Herod was not ignoraunt of the prophe­sies, wherein the Iewes had a king promised them, who should restore their afflicted and ouerthrowne conditions into a happy estate. For hee had from a childe liued in that kingdome, and had perfectly learned all their matters. Adde also that this rumour was so spread, that it could not be vnknowne to the people which dwelt neere about them: yet hee is troubled as it were with a newe matter, vnheard of beefore: that is, because hee distrusting God and his promisses, thought it but vaine to hope for a redeemer, especially seeing he imagined (as proud men vse to doe) with a foolish confidence, that he had established the kingdome to him and to his. But seeing he being dronken in his own felicitie, had be­fore in his securitie contemned the prophesies, now is he sodenly feared with the remembraunce of them. For he should not so much haue beene mooued with the simple speach of the wisemen, if the oracles or prophe­sies had not come into his minde, which before seemed to be as toies, & of no importaunce: so the Lord, after he hath suffered the vnbeleeuers to sleepe, sodenly he shaketh them out of their rest. That which Matthewe saieth, that Ierusalem also was troubled, may be expounded two waies: either that with the sodein noueltie of the matter, the citizens were tu­multuously raysed vp, as if that they very desirously receiued the ioyfull message of the king that was borne then: or that they being accusto­med to mischiefes, and through long pacience being couered with vnsē ­siblenesse, feared a chaunge, least that greater calamitie should rise ther­of. For they were so worne and almost consumed with continuall wars, that a miserable and cruell seruitude ioyned with peace, was not onely tollerable, but was also to be wished for of them: whereby it is to be per­ceiued how yll they had profited vnder the whippes of God. For they were so benummed with amasednesse, that the promised redemption and saluation after a sort stanck before them. And I doubt not but that Matthewe would haue their vnthankfulnes noted: for that they beeing tired with a wearines of euils, had throwne away the hope and desire of grace promised them.

4. Gathering together the chiefe Priestes. Although there was no speake at all of Christ in Herodes court, yet assoone as the wise men had made mention of a king, the prophesies came into their minde, which beefore were forgotten: so Herod presently coniectureth, this king, for whom the wisemen seek, to be that Messias in times past promised frō the lord. [Page 82] And here againe it appeareth, that Herod was woonderfully affearde, while that he so carefully enquireth; and no meruaile: for seeing that al tyrantes are fearefull, and that their owne crueltie striks more feare in­to themselues, then it doth vnto others: It behoueth Herod to be affraid aboue all other, as one that perceiued him selfe to reigne against the lord. Furthermore, this new inquisitiō declareth how grosse the contēpt of Christ was before the comming of the wisemen. That the Scribes and high Priestes doe sincerely aunsweare out of the scripture (who yet afterwardes furiously endeuoured to corrupt the whole scripture, least they should giue any testimonie or credit to Christe) is therefore done, because that as yet Christ had not troubled them with his Gospell; so all the wicked ones doe easily subscribe to God in all generall principles: but when the trueth of God dooth vrge them neerer, then they vomit forth the poyson of their contumacie: of the which thing at this daye wee haue a notable example in the Papistes: for without controuersie they confesse that Christ is the onely begotten sonne of God, cloathed with our flesh, and they acknowledge in the two natures one person of God and man. But when we come to the power & office of Christ, ther presently riseth a conflict: because they wil not suffer themselues to bee brought into order, much lesse to be brought to nothing. In summe, as far as the wicked thinke that nothing is taken from themselues, so much re­uerence they will graunt to God and to the scripture. But when that Christ hand to hand striueth with ambition, couetousnes, pride, vaine hope, hypocrisie, and deceites, then forgetful of all modestie, they are ca­ried into madnesse. Therfore let vs know that wicked affections are the chiefe cause of blinding the enemies of the trueth, which turne light into darknesse.

6. And thou Bethlehem. It is not to be doubted, but that the Scribes did faithfully cite the wordes of the text in their own tongue, as it is in the Prophet: but it was enough for Matthew to note the place: and because that he writ in Greeke, he followed the allowed translation. For by this place and such others it is easily gathered, that the Gospel was not writ­ten by him in the Hebrew tongue. Furthermore, this is alwaies to be ob­serued, as oft as the apostles do cite any testimonie of scripture, although they render it not word for word; nay, sometime they are far from the same: yet they are very aptly and fitly applyed of them to the matter. VVherefore let the readers alwayes marke to what purpose the Euan­gelistes bring the places of scripture, let them not stand scrupulously vpō euery word, but let them be content with this one thing, that the scrip­ture is neuer wrested by them into a diuers sense: but that it is properly applyed to the peculiar and proper vse. And certeinly seeing it was their purpose to giue milke to drink to infants and nouices in the faith, which were not yet able to take sound meat: no religion staid them that lesse diligently and exactly they should enquire what the scripture teacheth of the sonne of god, and so that taste which the Apostles giue them, should lead them to the fountaine. Now let vs returne to the prophesie of Mi­cheah. These are the words that are read in the Prophet; and thou Beth­lehem Ephrathah art litle to be among the thousands of Iudah: yet out of thee shal he come forth vnto me, that shalbe the ruler in Israel. Mat­thew for Ephrathah putteth Iuda, but in the same sense: for the mind of [Page 83] Micheah was onely by this note, to put a difference betweene this Beth­lehem, whereof he speaketh, & that other in the tribe of Zabulon. There is more difficultie in the rest of the text: for the Prophet saith that Beth­lehem is litle, that it should be accounted amongst the gouernours in Iu­da. Matthew on the other side extolleth the dignitie, as that it should be one of the chiefe. This cause mooued many interpreters that they reade this place of the Prophet interrogatiuely: yet some of a better iudgment thought that Matthew would in this chaunge set forth the praise of the grace of God: because that his poore and obscure towne was made a place of the birth of this great king. But although that Bethlehem excel­led in this honour, yet it profited nothing the dwellers there; so that it rather fell into a grieuouser destruction, because that the redeemer was worse then vnworthily receiued thither. Mathew also for a rular putteth this word shephearde: yet he expresseth both two, for that he declareth that Christ should be the captaine of the people, and that the office of feeding was committed vnto him.

Matthew. 2.Marke.Luke.

7. Then Herod priuilye called the wisemen, and diligently enquired of them, the time of the starre that appeared;

8. And sent them to Bethlehem: saying, goe, and search diligently for the babe, and when ye haue found him bring me word againe, that I may come also and worship him:

9. So when they had hearde the king, they de­parted, and loe, the starre which they had seene in the East, went before them, till it came, and stoode ouer the place where the babe was.

10. And when they sawe the starre, they reioy­ced with an exceeding great ioy.

11. And went into the house, and founde the babe with Mary his mother, and fell downe and wor­shipped him, and opened their treasures, and presen­ted vnto him gifts, euen gold, and incense, & mirrh.

12. And after they were warned of God in a dream, that they should not go againe to Herod, they returned into their countrey another way


7. Herod priuily called the wisemen. The tirant durst not shew his feare & carefulnes, least he shuld so arme the people with audacitie, with whō he knew himself hated: therfore opēly he dissebleth the cause as thogh it per tained not to him. But priuily he enquireth, that he may preuent the pre­sent peril. But although an euil cōscience made him feareful, yet it is not to be doubted but that stroke his mind with an vnusual feare, that being destitute of counsell, & distraught in mind, he was for the time amased. For there is no easier a matter, then vnder the cloak of humanitie to sub­orne a cōpanion from amongst the courtiers, which espying out ye whole matter, might presētly return. Certenly Herod was wonderful subtil, & ther was in him a rare magnanimity; so that it is the more to be wōdred at, that now in so extreame daunger, when as he had a remedie at hand, that he should lie astonished & half dead: wherfore we may know that [Page 84] it was wonderfull, that the sonne of God did then escape the iawes of the Lyon. And the Lorde at this day doth no lesse bewitch his enemies, least they should deuise a thousande sleightes to hurte & to destroy his Church: nay, that they often take not the occasions which are in a readi­nesse. And the Lord by an other meanes, as wee shall see, laughed to scorne and mocked the subtiltie, wherewith hee had deceaued the wise­men, faigning that he himselfe would come to worshippe him. But as Heord fearing the tumult of the people, was bereft of his minde; so a­gaine he was so madde, that he did neither doubt nor feare, to stirre vp God against himselfe: for he knew that if a king was borne, that he was ordained of God, that hee might raise vp the decayed throane of Dauid. Therefore he sets not vpon men, but foolishly he presumes to war with God: Both therefore is to be noted, that hee was taken with a spirite of giddines, that he might strik God: yet he dealt very childishly, because his counsell was brought to naught; so that he was euen as a blind manne, which gropeth in the darke.

9. VVhen they had heard the king, they departed. Truely this was a vile slug­gishnes of the Iewes, that none of them kept companie with these strā ­gers, that they might goe see the king promised to their nation. The Scribes shew them the way, and assigne the place where he is borne, yet they suffer them to goe alone, and no man stirres foote. Peraduenture they feared the crueltie of Herod: but this was also a wicked vnthank­fulnesse, that they woulde incurre no daunger, for the obtaining of the saluation offered them, and that they set lesse by the grace of God, then by offending the tyrant. But I shewed a litle before, that the whole peo­ple were too much degenerate, which had rather be oppressed with a yoake of tyrannie, then that by the chaung they would feele any discō ­moditie. And if God had not confirmed with his spirite the mindes of these wisemē, they might haue fallen at this offence: yet the zeale of their endeuour is not diminished, but forward they goe without a compani­on. But they want not matter to confirme their faith; while they nowe heare him renoumed as king by diuine oracles, who was shewed vnto thē by the star. That the star directeth thē as they wēt on their way, euē vnto the place, it may be easily gathered, that it vanished away before: for no other cause, but that they might enquire at Ierusalē for the new king: & that to take away excuse from the Iewes, which after they were taught of the redeemer sent vnto them, yet wittingly & willingly despised him.

11. They found the babe. So vncomly a sight might haue bred a new of­fence to the wisemen, whē as they saw nothing in Christ that appertai­ned to a king; so that he was vilier vsed & more contemned, then any cō ­mon infant. But because they are perswaded that he is appointed of god to be a king, this only thought fixed in their mindes, causeth thē to reue­rence Christ: for in the counsel of god they do behold his dignitie, as yet hid & kept secret. And because they certeinly appoint that he shal proue otherwise then he yet appeared, they are no whit ashamed to giue him kingly honour. Also by their gifts they declared whence they cāe: for it is not to be douted, but yt they brought these as tokens & fruits of their coū trey. And vnderstād that euery one of thē did not offer his gift: but these 3. things were in cōmō offred by thē al, that which almost al the interpre­ters disput of the kingdō, priestod & burial of christ, & make gold a tokē [Page 85] kingdom incense of his priesthood, and mirrh of his buriall, in my iudg­ment hath no likelihood in it. VVe know that it was a solemne custome amongst the Persians to haue some gift in their hand so oft as they sa­luted their kinges. And these wise men chose these three thinges, the fruites and commodities whereof doe make the East parte renoumed and famous. Euen as Iocob sent into Aegypt the best and chosen fruites of the land, Gene. 43. 12. But seeing they after the manner of the Persi­ans, worshipping him, whom they as yet thought to be an earthly king, offered fruits of the earth: It is our parte spiritually to worship him. For this is that lawfull and reasonable worshipping, which hee desireth: first, that we should offer vp our selues vnto him, and then all that wee haue.

Mathew.Marke.Luke. 2.

22. And when the dayes of their purification after the law of Moses were accomplished. they brought him to Ierusalē, to present him to the lord:

23. (As it is written in the law of the Lorde, euery man childe that first openeth the womb, shall be holy vnto the Lord,)

24. And to giue an oblation, as it is comman­ded in the law of the Lord, a paire of Turtle doues, or two young Pigeons.

25. And beholde, there was a man in Ierusa­lem, whose name was Simeon: this man was iust, and feared God, and waited for the consolation of Israel, and the holy Ghost was vpon him,

26. And a reuelation was giuen him of the holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before hee had seene the Lord Christ.

27. And he came by the motion of the spirite into the temple, and when the parents brought in the childe Iesus, to doe for him after the custome of the law:

28. Then he tooke him in his armes, and prai­sed God, and said,

29. Lord, now lettest thou thy seruaunt depart in peace, according to thy word:

30. For mine eies haue seene thy saluation,

31. VVhich thou hast prepared before the face of all people.

32. A light to be reuealed to the Gentiles. and the glory of the people Israel.

22. And when the dayes were accomplished. The fourtie day after her de­liueraunce, the rite of purification ought to be solemnised: yet Mary and Ioseph came also to Ierusalem for an other cause, that they might presēt Christ to the Lord, because hee was the first borne. Nowe, first we must speake of purification. Luke maketh the same common to Mary and to Christe: for the pronowne Their can by no meanes be applyed vnto Io­seph. And it is not absurde, that Christ, who for vs beecame accursed vp­pon the crosse, for our sake tooke our vncleannesse vppon him, though [Page 86] he was free from fault and sinne, as concerning the guiltinesse: that is, if the fountaine of puritie would be accounted vncleane, that hee might wash away our vncleannesse. They are deceaued, which thinke that this law was but for pollicy; as if the woman should be vncleane before her husband, and not before the Lord: when rather there was set before the eies of the Iewes, aswell the corruption of their nature, as the remedie of God his grace. And this one law aboundantly suffiseth to proue original sinne, as it containeth a notable testimonie of the grace of GOD. And the curse of mankinde cannot be more plainely shewed, then when the Lorde testifieth, that the infant commeth vnpure and polluted out of his mothers wombe, insomuch as the mother her selfe is defiled by the byrth. Certeinely except man were borne a sinner, and were by nature the childe of wrath, and that there rested in him some spotte of sinne, he should not neede a purgation: wherefore it followeth that all were corrupt in Adam, seeing that they are by the mouth of the Lorde con­demned of vncleannesse. And that is not against it, Rom. 11. 16. That the Iewes are called holye branches of a holy roote, because this good came vnto them not of themselues, but as by other meanes. For although that by priueledge of adoption they were seuered for a chosen people, yet corruption from Adam was their first enheritaunce by order. Ther­fore it is conuenient to distinguish betweene the first nature and the pe­culiar benefit of the couenaunt, wherein God freeth his from the curse. And to this purpose belonged the purification in the law, that the Iewes might know, that by the grace of God they are cleāsed from those filths, which by their birth they brought with them into the world. Hereby is also to be learned howe horrible the infection of sinne is, which in some parte defileth the lawful order of nature. Verily I graunte, that neither matrimonie in it self, nor bearing of children are vncleane: nay, I graunt that the fault of lust is couered with ye holines of matrimony: but yet the ouerflowing of sin is so deep & plentiful, that alwaies some sins flow out from thence, which sprinckle with blottes, whatsoeuer is otherwise pure.

23. As it is written in the lawe. This was an other parte of godlinesse which Ioseph and Mary perfourmed: The Lord commaunded, Num. 3 13. that all the males shoulde bee offered to him in remembraunce of their deliueraunce, because when the Angell slewe all the first borne of Aegypt, hee had spared the first borne of Israell: after it was lawfull for euery man to redeeme his first borne for a certaine price. That was an old ceremonie.

Now sith the lord is a cōmon redeemer of al, by right he challengeth vs to him from the least to the greatest. Surely it is not in vaine that Luke doth oft repeat, that Ioseph & Mary did that which was prescribed in the law of the Lord. For by these words we are taught, that nothing is to be attempted after our own witte in the worship of God, but that must be obediently followed, which he hath by his word commaunded.

24. And to giue an oblation. This sacrifice belonged to the rite of pu­rifying, least any shoulde thinke that it was offered for the redeeming of the first born. VVhen the Euanglist nameth a paire of turtle doues; or two pigeons, he taketh it for graūted, that the pouertie of Ioseph & Ma­ry was such, that their abilitie reached not to the offering of a lambe. For this exception is plainely set down, Leuit. 12. 6. If any obiects that there [Page 87] was gold offered a litle before by the wisemen, wherewith they might haue bought it: I answere, we cannot imagine that there was such plen­tie of gold, as could sodenly make a poore man rich. For we read not that they had camels laden with gold: but it is more credible, that it was some small portion, which they brought only for honours sake. Neither did the law precisely commaund that the poore shoulde consume theyr substaunce vpon a sacrifice: but making a difference betweene them and the rich, it eased them of charge. VVherefore it shall be nothing hurtful, if we say that Ioseph and Mary gaue as much as their abilitie did beare, although that they had laid vp some money, to beare the charges of the iourney and of their life.

25. Behold, there was a man in Ierusalem. This history is set down, that we might know, that when almost al the people had prophaned themselues with a wicked contempt of God, yet there remained a few worshippers of God, & Christ was known of thē from his first infancy. These were those remnants, which (as Paul to the Ro. 11. 5. teacheth) were reserued, according to the free election of God. And in this smal handful was the Church of God included, although the priestes and scribes did no lesse proudly then falsly boast of the title of the church. The Euangelist only maketh mention of two, which knew Christ as Ierusalem, when he was brought into the temple, Simeon and Anna. And first I must speake of Simeon. VVe read not of what estate he was, and it may be, that he was some meane man, and vnknowne: but Luke commendeth him for god­lynesse and righteousnesse, to the which he addeth the gift of prophesie. Godlynesse and righteousnesse are referred to the two Tables of the law, and so in these two poyntes consisteth the integritie of life. It was a testimonie of godlynesse that hee looked for the comfort of Isra­ell: for without the hope of saluation GOD is not rightlye worshipped, which dependeth partly in beleeuing his promises, then especially by the restauration promised by christ. But now seeing this waiting or looking for is praised in Simeon, as a rare vertue, heereof gather, that there were then but few, which truly nourished the hope of redēption in their harts. Al men had in their mouthes the Messias, & the blessed state vnder the kingdom of Dauid▪ but in the meane while almost no man did patiētly beare the present miseries, staying vpon this cōfort, that the redemptiō of the church was at hand. And as the godlines of Simeon in this did shew it self, that he lift vp his mind in waiting for the promised saluation; so at this day, as many as wil proue thēselues the sons of god, wil sigh with cō ­tinuall desires for the promised redēption. For sufferance is very needful euen to the last cōming of Christ. The holy ghost was vpon him. He speaketh not of the spirit of adoption, which is cōmon to al the children of God, though not in equal manner: but he speaketh of a more peculiar gifte of prophesie, which doth more plainly appeare in the next verse, & by that which foloweth, where it is sayd, that he receiued answere by the holye Ghost, and that the same spirit guiding him, hee came into the temple. Therefore although that Simeon exceeded not in any publik honor, yet he was adorned with many notable gifts: as godlynes, innocency of life, faith & prophesie. And it is not to be doubted, but that he alone did pri­uatly receiue this oracle, that it might passe from him as a common con­firmation to all the godly. Iesus is called the Christe of God: because that hee was annoynted of the Father, and together with the holy ghost [Page 88] hee tooke the honour of the kingdome and of the priesthood. Simeon is said to haue come into the temple by the spirit: that is, by secret instinct and certaine reuelation that he should meete Christ.

29. Now lettest thou thy seruaunt departe. By this songe it appeareth that Simeon beheld the sonne of God with other eies, then with the eies of the flesh: for the outward beholding of Christ could bring nothing but a contempt, at the least it could not so haue satisfied the minde of the ho­ly man, that so glad as enioying the summe of all his desires, hee shoulde make haste to die. Therefore the spirit of God lightened his eies with faith, that he might discern the glory of the sonne of God in that vile & contēned habite. When he saith that he would depart in peace, he vnder­standeth that hee woulde die with a quiet mind, as hee that was filled, and had obtained his desires. But it is demaunded if he should haue died before, should Simeon haue bene drawen to it with trouble and tumult, as they vse that are vnwilling? I aunswere, the circumstance which is added, is to be noted, according to thy woorde. For seeing God hath promi­sed him the sight of his Sonne, it was sitte he shoulde stay in suspence: nay, it behooued him to liue carefully, vntill that hee was made parta­ker of his hope. This is therefore to be obserued, because that many fal­sly and naughtely doe pretend the example of Simeon, boasting that they would willingly die, if it were graunted them to enioy this or that matter, when as yet they take libertie to thēselues to conceaue vowes ac­cording to their owne lustes, or to forge vaine hopes without the word of God. If Simeon had said precisely now with a staied & a quiet mind I will die, because I haue seene the sonne of God: in this speach he had bewrayed the weakenes of his faith: but because he had the word for it, it was lawfull for him, according to the rule of faith, to flee death vntil the comming of Christ.

30. Because mine eies haue seene. Although this maner of speaking, is oftē seene in the scriptures, yet the corporal beholding of Christ seemeth ex­pressly to be noted in these words: as if Simeō shuld say, that he now had the sonne of god present in the flesh, vpon whom he had bent the eies of his mind before. I take saluation for the matter of saluation▪ because that al the partes of saluation and of a blessed life are laid vp in Christ. Now if the only sight of Christ, being as yet but an infant, did so much preuail with Simeon, that ioyfully & quietly he would go to death: how much more aboundāt matter of saluation is there giuē to vs this day, who may see al the points of our saluation fulfilled in Christ. Christ is not con­uersant vpon the earth, neither do we beare him in our armes, but his di­uine maiestie doth clearly & openly shine in the Gospel, & therin he she­weth himself to be seene of vs, as it were face to face, as Paule saieth, 2. Cor. 3. 18. neither sheweth he himself any more in weaknes of flesh, but in the wonderful power of the spirit, the which he declareth in miracles, in the sacrifice of his death, and in the resurrection In summe, he is so ab­sent from vs in body, that yet wee may beeholde him sitting at the right hand of his father. If such a beholding of him bring vs not peace, that we may goe ioyfully to death, we are more then vnthankfull to God, and we carelesly account of the glory, which he hath bestowed on vs.

31. VVhich thou hast prepared. By these wordes Simeon signifieth that Christ was ordained of god, that al people might enioy his grace, & that [Page 89] shortly after he shoulde be placed vp on high, that he might tourne the eyes of all men vnto him. And in this worde he comprehendeth what prophesies so euer there be of the encrease of the kingdome of Christe. But if Simeon embracing the tender infant in his armes, coulde yet ex­tend his minde to the vtter borders of the world, that he acknowledged his present power euery where: howe much more doeth it become vs at this day to thinke more royally of him, sith that he is lift as a banner to the Gentiles and hath made himselfe knowen to the whole worlde.

32. A light to lighten. Now Simeon sheweth to what ende Christ was brought foorth from the father before all people, that is, that hee might lighten the Gentiles, which before were in darknesse, and that he might be the glory of the people Israel, for betwene this and them he maketh a difference, and that not without a cause, because that the children of Abraham by right of adoption were neare vnto God, but the Gentiles with whom God had made no couenant, were accompted as strangers from the church. By the which reason, Israel, Ier. 31. 9. is not only called the childe of God, but also the first borne, and Paul teacheth to the Ro. 15. 8. that Christ came that he mighte be a minister of circumcision, ac­cording to the promisses geuen vnto the fathers. But Israel is so prefer­red to the Gentiles, that al they in common might obtaine saluation in Christe. A light to lighten, signifieth as much as if it had bene sayde, to geue light to the Gentiles, whereby we gather that menne are naturally without light, vntill that Christ the Sonne of righteousnesse shine vnto them. As concerning Israel, although they were endewed with greate honour from God, yet Simeon sheweth that all this glory dependeth of this one head, that the redeemer was promised them.

Matthew.Marke.Luke. 2.

33. And Ioseph and his mother maruailed at those things, which were spoken touching him.

34. And Simeon blessed them, and sayde vnto Mary his mother: Beholde, this childe is appoynted for the fall and rising againe of many in Israel, and for a signe which shalbe spoken against.

35. Yea, and a sword shal [...] pearce through thy s [...]ule, that the thoughtes of many hearts may be o­pened.

36. And there was a Prophetesse, one Anna the daughter of Phan [...]el, of the tribe of Aser, which was of a great age, and had liued with an husband [...] 7 [...] yeares from her virginitie.

37. And she was widowe foure score & foure yeares, and w [...]nt not oute of the temple, but serued God with fastings and pra [...]ers, night and day.

38. Shee then comminge at the same instante vppon them, confessed likewise the Lorde, and spake of him to al that l [...]ked for redēption in Ierusalem.

39. And when they had performed al things ac­cording to the law of the Lorde, they ret [...]ned into Galile, to their owne citie Nazareth.

[Page 90] 33. And Ioseph and his mother. Luke doth not say that they were amased as at a new or a straunge matter, but that they reuerently considered, & with due estimation embraced this prophesie of the holy Ghoste oute of the mouth of Symeon, that they mighte more and more profite in the knowledge of Christe. And we are taught by this example, after we are once enstructed in a right faith, to gather what small helpes soeuer may seeme to auaile for the confirmation of the same: for he hath then right­ly profited in the word of God, who ceaseth not to esteme whatsoeuer he daily readeth or heareth, for the continuall furtherance of faith.

34. And Simeon blessed them. If thou referrest this to Ioseph and Mary, there is no difficultie in the matter, but because Luke semeth to compre­hend with them Christe; it maye be demaunded by what righte Simeon tooke vpon him this office of blessing, for the lesse is blessed of the grea­ter, as the Apostle teacheth. Heb. 7. 7. Furthermore, it seemeth to be ab­surde, that any mortall manne shoulde conceiue praiers for the sonne of God, I aunsweare that the Apostle doeth not speake of euery blessinge, but of the priestes onely, for men otherwise do blesse one an other. And it is more probable that Simeon as a priuate manne, and as one of the common sorte of the people blessed them, rather then as a publike per­son: for as it is sayd before, he was neuer called a priest. But there is no absurditie if we say that hee prayed for the happie successe of the king­dome of Christe, because the spirite in the Psalme, commaundeth this maner of blessing to all the godlye. Beholde this childe is appoynted. Simeon properly directeth this speache to Marye, yet it generally belongeth to all the godly. The holy Virgine hadde neede of this admonition, least that shee triumphing at these pleasant beginnings, as it commonly com­meth to passe, should be the lesse able to beare the sorowes that were to come. And also, least shee shoulde hope that Christe shoulde be receiued with the generall fauour of all the people, but rather that shee might be armed with inulncible strengthe of the minde against all contrary bla­stes. But yet the spirite of God woulde deliuer a generall doctrine to all the godly, that they beholdinge the worlde with wicked contuma [...] resisting Christe, should not be shaken nor broken with such hard dea­ling. VVe knowe howe grieuous and sore a hinderance: the vnbeliefe of the worlde is vnto vs, but it behooueth vs to ouercome it, if we will be­leeue in Christe Iesu: for the estate of menne was neuer broughte to so good passe, that the greater parte should followe Christ. VVherefore it is necessarie that whosoeuer shoulde geue their names to Christ should be instructed in these principles, and armed with these defenses, that they may continue in his faith. But this was [...] most greuous temptation, that Christ was not knowen of his owne. Naye he was contumeliously re­iected from that people, which boasted themselues to be the Church of God. And especially for that the Priestes and the Scribes which had the gouernement of the Churche, were his most deadly ennemies: for who woulde thinke that he was their king, that shoulde see him so vnwoor­thely and reprochefully reiected from them? Therefore Symeon doeth not withoute cause foretell that Christe was appoynted for the fall of many, and those of the people of Israel. And the meaning is, that he was ordained of God, that hee shoulde ouerthrowe and cast manye downe headlonge. But it is to be noted that the fall rose heereof, that the vnbe­leeuers [Page 91] stumbled at him, the whiche is shortly after declared, where Si­meon calleth hym a signe to be spoken againste. Therefore because the vnbeleeuers are rebelles vnto CHRISTE, they strike themselues againste him, whereof foloweth their fall. And it is a Metaphore fet­ched from a marke or butte, at the whiche archers doe shoote, as if that Simeon shoulde haue sayde: Heereby is the malice of men perceiued, nay the wickednesse of all mannes witte, that all menne had made a conspi­racie, and should stirre and crie out against the Sonne of God. For there coulde not bee suche a consent of the worlde to speake against the Gos­pell, excepte it were as a naturall discorde betweene the Sonne of God and those menne. And thoughe the ennemies of the Gospell disagree a­mongest themselues, so as their ambition and furie carieth them into di­uers factions; and factiously are deuided into diuers fantasies, as the va­rietie of their superstitions which separateth the Idolaters is manifolde, Yet in this they all agree, that they maye withstande the Sonne of God. VVherefore it is truelye sayde, that it is too euidente a token of the wic­kednesse of manne, for that euer it withstandeth Christe. And thoughe it bee an incredible woonder, that the worlde so riseth againste his crea­tor: yet because the Scripture foretolde that it shoulde so bee, and rea­son openly sheweth, that when menne were once estranged from God throughe sinne, they alwaies flee from him, there is no cause why suche examples shoulde disturbe vs, but rather that our faith being furnished with suche armes, shoulde buckle it selfe forwardes to fight with the re­sisting of the worlde. Furthermore, because that God hadde then ga­thered Israel to himselfe out of the whole worlde, and nowe that there is no more difference betweene the Iewe and the Grecian: It was con­uenient that that shoulde nowe come to passe, whiche we reade shoulde then be done.

Isaias had do sayde in his time chapter 8. [...]4, Beholde, the Lord shall bee as a stumblinge store, and as a rocke to fall vppon to the two hou­ses of Israel: from that tyme the Iewes neuer almost ceased to strike a­gainste God, but their moste violente conflicte was againste Christe. Nowe, they whyche call themselues Christians, doe imitate the same fu­rie. Naye, they whyche proudly arrogate to themselues the supremacie of the Church, do often bend that power they haue, to oppresse Christ. But lette vs remember that they shall nothinge preuaile, but that at the lengthe they shall be broken and torne in peaces. For vnder the woorde of Falling downe, the spirite dueth so pronounce a punishment vppon the vnbeleeuers, that we might learne to goe farre from them, least compa­nye shoulde wrappe vs in the same destruction. And Christ is not ther­fore anye lesse to be beloued, for that he rising, many fall downe: for the sauour of the Gospell ceaseth not to be pleasant and acceptable to God, although i [...] be deadly to the wicked worlde.

If anye manne demaunde howe Christe canne be an occasion of fal­ling to the vnbeleeuers, which nowe are destroyed withoute hym: The aunsweare is easie: they pearish twice that wilfully depriue themselues of that saluation offered them from God.

Therefore the fall signifieth a double punishment whyche remaineth for all vnbeleeuers, after that wittingly and willingly they haue striuen with God.

[Page 92] And rising again [...]. To the former clause this comfort is opposed, that it might mitigate the matter odious to our sense: for this is sorowfull to be heard, if nothing else were added, but that Christe shoulde bee a stone of offence, which through his hardnesse should breake and rend in pee­ces a great number of men. Therefore the Scripture calleth vs backe to his other office, that the saluation of men hath the foundation in him, as Isaias 8. 13. also speaketh: Sanctifie the Lord of hoastes, let him be your feare, and he shall be vnto you as a Sanctuary, or a defensed tower. And Peter speaketh more plainly: to whome yee come as vnto a liuing stone disalowed of menne, but chosen of God and precious: and yee as liuely stones are built, 1. Pet. 2. 4. for so it is contained in the scripture: Beholde I putte in Sion a chiefe corner stone, prooued, electe and precious, and he that beleeueth therein shal not be ashamed, vnto you: therfore which beleeue it is precious, but to them whiche beleeue not, the stone whiche the builders disalowed. &c. Therefore least this title wherein Christ is called the stone of offence, should make vs afraid of Christ, he presently on the contrary side affirmeth, that hee is also called the corner stone, whereby the faith of all the godly is sustained: nay, he woulde put vs in minde; that that is but accidentall, and that this is naturall and proper. Furthermore, it is woorthy to be noted, that Christ is not called the stay or proppe of the godly, but the rising, for the estate of men is not suche, as it were expedient for them to remaine in the same, therefore it beho­ueth them first to rise from death, before they can begin to liue.

35. Through thy soule. This admonition auailed to the confirming of the minde of the holy virgin, least shee should be throwne downe wyth sorow, when the time for those bitter conflictes were come whiche shee shoulde passe through. But although her faith was shaken and troubled with diuers temptations, yet the most bitter strife she had, was with the crosse, wherby Christ seemed as one vtterly extinguished. And although shee was neuer swalowed vppe of sorowe, yet her brest was not so sto­nie, but that it was greuously wounded, for the constancie of the Saints doeth muche differre from vnsensiblenesse. That the thoughts of many hearts may be opened. Some ioyne this sentence with that clause whiche goeth somewhat before, that Christ was appoynted for the fall. &c. and they include in a parenthesis, that which we last expounded of the sword, but in my iudgement it were better to referre it to the whole sentence. And that woorde That, is not heere properlye a causall, but onelye noteth a clause folowing: for when the lighte of the Gospell shineth, and then persecutions arise, with all are the affections of the heart opened whiche before were hid: for suche are the cloakes of mannes dissimulation, that without Christ they are easily hidde. But Christ throughe his light wi­peth awaye all their fained excuses, and laieth their hypocrisie naked. Therefore this office of righte is attributed vnto him, that he layeth o­pen the secrea [...]s of the heart: but where the crosse foloweth the doctrine, he searcheth the hearts more to the quicke. For they which in outward profession doe embrace Christe, they abhorre from suffering the crosse: and because they see the Churche subiecte to diuers troubles, they easily forsake their standing.

36. There was a Pr [...]phetesse one An [...]. Luke only maketh mētion of two, by whom Christ was receiued, and that for this purpose, that we might [Page 93] learne to preferre that which is of God, before all the worlde, though it be but small. The Scribes and the priestes had then great renowne. But seeing that the spirite of God remained vpon Simeon and Anna, wher­of the Priestes were vtterly destitute, these two only deserue more reue­rence, then the whole company of them, which are onely lift vp in pride with vaine titles: for this cause is the age of Anna expressed, and shee a­dorned with the title of a Prophetesse. Thirdly, there is noted a notable testimonie of her godly holinesse of life. For these are the things whiche by right gette authoritie and estimation. And truely the disguised re­nowne and vaine pompe deceiueth none other, but them which for the vanitie of their witte, are addicted to fantasticall deceits. It is sayde that shee liued. 7. yeares with her husband from her virginitie, that we might know that shee was a widow euen in the flower of her age: for being a yong maide she was maried, and shortly after she lost her husband. And by this circumstance, that shee abstained from a seconde mariage, hauing as yet a lustie body, encreaseth the praise of her chastitie: yet that whych foloweth may be expounded two waies, that she was a widowe almoste of foure score and foure yeares: that is, that there was so much time pas­sed in her widowhoode, or that shee had liued so long. If thou accomp­test foure score and foure from her widowhoode, it must folow that she was aboue a hundred yeare old, but I leaue this indifferent. And that the spirite of prophecie did as yet shine in some fewe, the doctrine of lawe and the Iewish religion was as it were by these signes approoued, vntill Christ should come: for that it was necessary in suche a vaste wastnesse of religion, that the electe of God, should be staid with these helpes, least they should fall away.

37. Shee went not out of the Temple. It is an hyperbolical kind of speach, yet the sence of it is plaine, that Anna was almoste continuallye in the Temple. Luke addeth that shee worshipped God with fastings & con­tinuall prayers, whereof we gather that she frequented not the temple, as if with this bare going thither shee woulde discharge her duetie, but also that shee vsed other exercises of godlinesse. But it is woorthy to be noted, that one and the same rule is not: heere prescibed to all: neyther ought these things be drawen into a generall example, whiche are heere praised in this widowe woman, for it behooueth vs wisely to discerne what appertaineth to euery mannes calling: for foolish emulation hathe filled the worlde with Apes, while superstitious menne doe more gree­dily then wisely snatche vnto themselues, whatsoeuer they heare praised in the Saintes, as thoughe that as there are distincte degrees of orders, so there were not also a choise to be had of woorkes, that euery one mighte answere to his seuerall calling. That whiche is heere spoken of Anna, Paule doth especially restraine to widowes, therefore maryed folkes shal doe very preposterously, if they shoulde frame their life after an vnlike example: yet there rēmaineth a doubte, that Luke seemeth to establish part of the worship of God in fastings. But it is to be noted, that of those workes which belong to the worshippe of God, some are required sim­ply, and (as they saye) are necessarye of themselues, and there are others which are to be referred to this end, that they might serue those former. Praiers doe properly appertaine to the worshippe of God: and fasting is an inferiour aide, which is no otherwise approued of God, but as it hel­peth [Page 94] the endeuor and zeale of praying: for the rule is to be holden, that the offices of men are to be esteemed by the right and lawfull end. The distinction also is to be holde, that god is directly worshipped with prai­ers and not with fastings, but in consideration of that which foloweth. And it is not to be doubted but this holy woman vsed her fastinges, to lament for the calamitie of the Church that then was.

38. Confessed likewise. Luke commendeth the holy melodie, which re­sounded in the tounges of Simeon and Anna, that the faithfull mighte mutually exhort themselues with one mouth to sing the praises of God, and that some should likewise aunsweare others. VVhen he sayeth that Anna spake vnto all that looked for the redemption, hee againe noteth the small number of the godly: for the chiefe head or foūdation of faith was put in this expectation, and it appeareth that there were but fewe which nourished the same in their mindes.

39. They retourned into Galile. I doe easily graunte that the iourney in­to Egypte was betweene these. And that which Luke sayeth that they dwelt in their owne citie Nazareth, was in order of time after the flight into Egypt, which Mathew reporteth. Furthermore, if it be not absurde to haue that omitted by one Euangelist, whiche is declared by an other, there is also no let, but that we may say that Luke cutting off that time, whereof he had appoynted to make no mention, passed ouer to the hy­storie folowing: but yet I assent not to their comment which faine that Ioseph & Mary after they had performed the sacrifice of purgation, re­tourned to Bethlehem, that they might dwell there. For they foolishly imagine that Ioseph had a dwelling place there, where hee was so vn­knowen, that he coulde not finde a place to remaine in as a guest. Ney­ther doeth Luke vnaduisedly call Nazareth as well his citie as Maryes, whereby we gather that hee neuer dwelt in Bethlehem, althoughe hee sprange or rise from thence. But of the order of times I will presently speake more fully.

Mathewe 2.

13. After their departure, beholde the Angel of the Lorde appeareth to Ioseph in a dreame, say­ing: Arise, and take the babe and his mother, & flee into Egypt, and be there till I bring thee worde, for Herode will seeke the babe to destroye him▪

14. So hee arose and t [...]oke the babe and his mother by night, and departed into Egypte.

15. And was there vnto the death of He­rode, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying: oute of Egypt haue I called my sonne.

16. Then Herode, seeing that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wr [...]th, & sent forth and [...]lewe all the male children that were in Beth­lehem, and in all the coastes thereof, from two yere olde and vnder, according to the time, which he had diligently searched out of the wise men.

17. Then was that fulfilled which was spoken [Page 95] by the Prophet Ieremias, saying [...]

18. In Rama was a v [...]yce heard [...], mourning [...] and weeping, and great lamentation, Rachel we [...] ­ping for her children and woulde not be comforted, because they were not.


13. After their departure. Howe many daies there were betweene the departure of the wise men, and vntil the time that Ioseph was comman­ded to flee into Egypte it is vnknowen, neither is it anye great matter: but that it is probable that the Lord spared Marie vntil she were strong out of her childebedde, that shee might be able to take her iourney. And this was the woonderfull counsell of God, that he woulde preserue his Sonne by flight: and it is not to be doubted but that the minde of Ioseph was shaken with daungerous temptations, when as there was no hope shewed him but onely by flighte: for in flight there was no token of the helpe of God, then it was very vnlikely that he which should be the sa­uiour of all men could not be preserued but by the aid of a mortal man. But the Lord held this moderatiō in preseruing his sonne, that he might shewe some signes of his heauenly power, & yet he shewed not the same so euidently, but that it shoulde lie hidde vnder a forme of infirmitie; for as yet the time was not come that Christ shoulde be openly glorifi­ed. It is an euident shewe of the Deitie, in that the Aungell foretelleth a matter hid and vnknowen to men: and it appertaineth to the infirmitie of the flesh, whereunto Christe was become subiecte, in that he com­maundeth to defend the life of the childe by flight and banishment: but heereby we are taught that God doth not alwaies preserue his children by one meane, but nowe he sheweth his power gloriously, and nowe a­gaine he sheweth some litle sparkes of the same from vnder obscure co­uerings or shadowes. Nowe this wonderfull maner of preseruing the sonne of God vnder the crosse, doeth teach that we do wickedly, which do prescribe a certaine way to God. Therefore let vs suffer our saluation to be furthered of him by diuers meanes, neither let vs refuse to be hum­bled, that thereby he may the better shewe foorth his glorie. But especi­ally we must not flee the crosse, wherewith hee exercised his sonne euen from his first infancie. Furthermore, this flight is a parte of the foolish­nesse of the crosse, but whyche excelleth all the wisedome of the worlde. That the sauiour of Iudea might come forth in his time, he is enforced to flee out of the same, and Egypt nourisheth him, from whence neuer anye thynge came before, but that whiche was deadlye to the Churche of God.

VVho is not amazed at this so sodaine a woorke of God? Againe, hereof gather the certaintie of the dreame, in that Ioseph presently obei­eth the commaundement of the Aungell▪ for his readinesse to obey, doth plainely shewe that he doubted not, but that he hadde God for the au­thour of his flight which hee was about to take. Yet this maye seeme to rise vpon distrust, because that he hasteth so speedily, for this fleeing al­so in the night cannot be without feare: but the excuse is easie. He sawe that the meanes whiche God had ordained for their preseruation, was very meane and base, therefore hee gathereth that it is lawfull for hym fearefullye to flye in the nyghte, as vse is in extreeme daungers, [Page 96] so it behooueth vs alwaies to moderate oure feare at the warninges of God, to the which if the Lord consent, it shall not be against our faithe. Be there till I bring thee woorde. By these wordes the Aungell declareth that God hath a care of the life of the childe, yea euen for the time that is to come, and Ioseph had neede of this confirmation, that he mighte be cer­tainly perswaded that God woulde not onely be a guide to him in thys iourney, but also that he woulde be a continual keeper of him in banish­ment. And by this meanes the Lorde woulde stay many cares whyche might trouble the minde of the godly man, that he might remaine quiet in Egypt: for otherwise no moment of time should haue passed without diuers torments, when as he shoulde discerne and see himselfe depriued, not only of the enheritaunce promised of God to all the Sainctes, but of the temple, the sacrifice, the publike profession of the faith, and shoulde remaine amōgst the most wicked enemies of God, and in a depe whirl­poole of superstitions. He caried with him in the person of the infante, what good things soeuer the fathers hoped for, or that the Lorde had promised them: but because hee had not as yet profited so muche in the faith and knowledge of Christ, hee had neede to be vpholden with this commaundement: Be there vntill I bring thee worde, least that it should be troublesome to him to languish amongst the Egyptians, banished out of his countrey.

15. Out of Egypt haue I called my sonne. Because that Mathew sayeth that the prophesie was fulfilled, many haue thought that the Prophet meant nothing but that which is expressed, and they imagined this sence to thē selues, that the Iewes doe foolishly, while they resist and endeuoure to oppresse the Sonne of God, because the Father will call him oute of E­gypte. And in this maner doe they wickedly wrest the woordes of the prophet, whose purpose is to make the Iewes guiltie of vnthankefulnes, which from their first infancy and beginning, haue found God a louing and a bountifull father, yet they foorthwith prouoke him wyth newe sinnes. Therefore lette this be out of controuersie, that this place oughte not to be restrained to Christe: neither yet is it wrested by Mathewe, but aptly applied to the present purpose. Thus ought the woordes of the Prophet be vnderstoode, when Israel was but a childe I broughte hym out of that miserable captiuitie wherein he was drowned. Firste he was like to one dead, and Egypt was to him in stead of a graue, & I brought him from thence, as one brought out of the graue, and did bring him in­to the light of life. And the Lord sayeth so for good cause, for that deli­ueraunce was a certaine birth of the people, for then were the tables of adoption made openly, when as by the lawe proclaimed, hee was recey­ued into the charge of God, a priestly kingdom, and a holy nation, when as he was separate from all other people: to be short, when as the Lorde erected a tabernacle to himselfe, that he might dwel in the midst of him. So that then the woordes of the Prophet are of this force, as if he should haue sayde, the people were pulled out of Egypte no otherwise, then as out of the deepe swalowe of death. Nowe the redemption broughte by Christe, what was it else then a resurrection from death, and the begin­ning of a new life: for then was the light of saluation almoste extingui­shed, when as God in the person of Christ, begate againe the Church vn­to himselfe. Then in her head came the Churche out of Egypte, euen as [Page 97] the whole body was broughte from thence before. And this Analogie causeth, that it seemeth not absurd, that Christ shoulde passe some time of his childehode in Egypt. But rather so muche more glorious was the grace and power of God, and his wonderful counsel did so much more shine foorth, because that light came out of darknesse, and life from out of the helles: for otherwise the reason of flesh might be amazed, name­ly that the redemer should come out of Egypt. Mathewe therefore de­clareth that it is no newe or straunge thinge, that God shoulde call hys sonne from thence. And this rather auaileth for the confirmation of our faith, that as in times past, so nowe againe the Church of God shoulde come out of Egypt. In this was the diuersity, that in times past the whole people were shut vp in the prison of Egypt: but in the seconde redemp­tion, only the heade of the Church lay hid there, but caried included in him the saluation and life of all men.

16. Then Herode seeing. Mathew speaketh of the iudgement and opini­on of Herode, who thoughte himselfe deceiued by the wisemen, because they would not be the ministers of his crueltie. He rather was taken in his owne subtilety, who vnfaithfully had fained, that he also was mine­ded to worship the newe king. But there is no mention made of this hy­storie in Iosephus. Only Macrobius in his second booke Saturnaliorum, re­porting the iestes and mery sporting sayings of Augustus, sayth when he heard that at the commandement of Herode, the children in Syria vnder two yeare olde were slaine, and in that sturre his owne sonne was also slaine: I had rather (said he) be Herodes hogge then his sonne. But lette the authoritie of one Mathew aboundantly satisfie vs. This offence so famous ought not to haue bene omitted of Iosephus. Yet it is no mar­uel that he sayeth nothing of the infants, who very lightly & obscurely toucheth as detestable an example of crueltie, that almoste at the same time he slew all the iudges, which they called Sanhedrim, least there might remaine any remnant at all of the stock of Dauid. And I doubt not, but that by the same feare he was driuen to bothe these murthers. Yet there is a question mooued of the time: for when Mathewe sayeth that they were slaine which were two yere old and yonger, according to the time he had searched out of the wise men: whereof it maye be gathered that Christ was about that age, or at the least that he was not farre from the poynt of 2. yeare olde. Some drawe this further then so, affirming that Christ was almost at that age at that time that the wisemen came: but I denie that the one of these may be gathered by the other. Howe fear­full Herode then was, when the rumour was spred among the common people of the new born king we haue sene a litle before, and seeing that feare thē staied him that he durst not send some priuie traitour to search out the cause, there is no cause why we should maruell that he was for a time restrained from so odious and so cruell a slaughter: especially sith the late report of the comming of the wise mē was as yet fresh & new. And certainly the coniecture is probable, that he deferred the execution of that villanous offēce which he had in his mind, vntil he saw occasion, and it may be that the iudges were first slaine of him, that the people be­ing without their captaines, he might without cōtrolment compel them to beare any thing. Wherby it may be gathered that they vse a friuolous argument, which say that Christ was two yere olde when he was wor­shipped [Page 98] of the wise men, because that according to the time wherein the starre appeared, Herode slewe the children of two yeare olde and some­what vnder, and foolishly they take it as graunted, that the starre appea­red not vntill the virgine was deliuered. But it is much more likely to be true, that they were warned before, and that they tooke their iourney a­bout the natiuitie of Christ, that they might finde & see the infant new borne in his swathling bandes, or in his mothers lappe. And that aboue the rest is a childish deuice, that they came out of some vnknown coun­trey, and as it were oute of an other worlde, so that they hadde almoste spent two yeres in their iourney. Furthermore, those things which Osi­ander bringeth, are rather to be laughed at, then neede any confutation. But in this text of the hystorie whiche I propose, there is no inconueni­ence, that the wise mē came before the time of her childbed was passed ouer, and they soughte a kinge whiche was borne, and not one whiche was nowe two yeare olde, and that Ioseph (they being retourned into their countrey) fled away by night, but yet in passage of his iourney hee executed at Ierusalem that duetye of religion whiche by the lawe of the Lord was prescribed: (And coulde hee in so populous a citie, whereunto there was a continuall concourse of people out of al places, be safe from daunger)? that when he was gone into Egypte, Herode carefully consi­dered of his daunger, and at the lengthe the boyle of his crueltie brake, which he had nourished within him aboue a yeare and a halfe: for that aduerbe Then, doeth not alwaies signifie a continuaunce of time in the scripture, but is often vsed where there is a long distance of things.

18. In Rama was a voyce. It is certaine that the Prophet describeth the destruction of the tribe of Beniamin, whiche came to passe in his tyme, for he had fortold the cutting off of the tribe of Iuda, wherunto the half tribe of Beniamin was annexed. Hee ascribeth the mourning to Rachel which was dead, by the figure prosopopaia, which auaileth much to the mo­uing of affections. But Ieremias bringeth not in these Rethoricall cou­lers, only for the setting forth of his oration, but because the hardnes & sluggishnesse of the liuing could not otherwise be corrected, then by cal­ling the dead after a sort out of their graues to lament for the vengeāce of God, which they that liue, vse for the moste parte to haue in derision. And sith that prophesie of the prophet was fulfilled at that time; Ma­thew doth not vnderstande it, as if it were there foretolde what Herode should do: But that at the comming of Christ that lamentation shoulde be renewed, which the Beniamites had vsed many yeares before, and so he wold mete with an offence, which might trouble & shake the minds of the godly: namely, that no saluation was to be hoped for from hym, for whose sake these infants were slaine assoone as he was borne. Naye, this seemed to be an vntowarde and vnhappie prophesie, that the birth of Christe shoulde kindle a greater flame of cruelty, then was woont to burne in moste seuere warres with enemies. And as the prophet promi­seth a restoring, where a nation was cut vp euen from the very infantes: so Mathewe declareth, that that destruction shall not hinder, but that Christ shall shortly after appeare as a redemer of all the people: for wee know that all that chapter is filled with most sweete consolations. And after that funeral complaint, there presently foloweth, refraine thy voice from weping, & thine eyes from teares, for thy worke shalbe rewarded, [Page 99] and there is hope in thine ende. Therefore this similitude is there of that former destruction executed vppon the tribe of Beniamin with this se­cond, that both of them was a signe of saluation that should be restored.

Mathew. 2.

19. And when Herode was dead: beholde, an Angell of the Lorde appeareth in a dreame to Io­seph in Egypte.

20. Saying, arise, and take the babe & his mo­ther, and goe into the lande of Israel: for they are dead which sought the babes life.

21. Then he arose vp, and tooke the babe and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22. But when hee hearde that Archelaus did raigne in Iudea, in steade of his father Herode, hee was afraid to go thether: yet after he was warned of God in a dreame, hee tourned aside into the partes of▪ Galile.

23. And went and dwelte in a citie called Na­zareth, that it mighte be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophets, which was, that he should be called a Nazarite.


19. VVhen Herode was dead. In these words is the cōstancy of the faith of Ioseph shewed, in that he remained in Egypt, vntill he was againe by the cōmandement of God called backe into his coūtrey: wherby we see that the Lord neuer forsaketh his, but that he helpeth them in time cōueniēt. But it is probable that Ioseph presently after the death of Herod retur­ned out of Egypt, before that Aug. Caesar by his decre had apoynted Ar­chelaus ruler of Iudea: for by his fathers wil he was apoynted to succede in the kingdō, yet he abstained frō the name of a king, being admoni­shed that this depended vpō the wil & apoyntment of Caesar, yet he go­uerned al things, then he went to Rome & got the same cōfirmed: only the name of a king was denied him, vntil by dedes he should deserue the same. But Philip was gouernour of Galile, a man of a soft wit, & almost like to a priuate man. Therfore Ioseph by the aduise of the Angel, went into his Countrey, because that there was lesse daunger vnder a Prince not geuē to bloud, which louingly nourished his subiects. Also the pur­pose of God is alwayes to be had in memorie, in that he kept his sonne alwayes from the beginninge vnder the exercises of the crosse, because that this was the way whereby he shoulde redeme the Church: and for that cause tooke he vpon him our infirmities, and was subiecte to daun­gers, and endaungered with feares, that by his deuine power he deliue­ring the Church from them, he might geue it euerlasting peace: VVher­fore his daunger was our safetie, and his feare our assuraunce, not that he then coulde be afraide by reason of his age, but because that through the feare of Ioseph and Marye hee was caried hither and thither, it might be worthely sayde, that our feares were layed vppon him, that he might obtaine a peaceable assurance for vs.

23. That hee shoulde bee called a Nazarite. Mathewe doeth not deriue a Nazarite of Nazareth, as if that this were the proper and certaine Eti­mologie, but it is onely an allusion. But n [...]ir signifieth one holye and [Page 100] consecrate to God, of Nezar, which is to separate, and the Hebrewes call Nezer a flower. But it is not to be doubted but that Mathewe conside­red the former sence: For we neuer read that the Nazarites were called flourishing: but such as were consecrat to the Lord, according to the pre­scription of the law, which is in the booke of Numbers, chap. 6. 4. Ther­fore this is the meaning. Although that Ioseph was driuen by feare into a corner of Galile: yet God had a farther purpose in his counsell, and thereby was the citie of Nazareth ordayned for him to dwell in, that he might worthily beare the name of a Nazarite. But it is demaunded by whiche of the Prophets this name was giuen to Christe, sith in no place there remaineth any such testimonie. To some it seemeth sufficient, that the scripture doth oft call him holy, but this is too cold an answear. For Mathew, as we see, doth stand vpon the word, and hath respect vnto the olde Nazarites, who had a peculyer kinde of holynesse: as if hee shoulde say, that it was meete that that should be fulfilled in the person of christ, that was then shadowed in the Nazarites, who were as the firste fruites chosen vnto GOD. Yet it remayneth to searche where the Prophetes say, that this name was giuen to Christ. Chrysostome because he cannot vndo the knotte, cutteth it thus: saying, that manye of the bookes of the Prophetes are lost. But that aunswere hath no colour in it: for although the Lord, that he might punish the sluggishnes of the olde people tooke from them some part of the scripture, or cutte away some part that was not so necessary: yet since the comming of Christ nothing was lost. And very vnlearnedly is that place of Iosephus brought for this purpose, wher he saith, that there were two bookes left by Ezechiell. For that which E­zechiel prophecieth of a new Temple and of a kingdom, is euidently di­stinguished from the former prophesies, & maketh, as it were a new vo­lume If that at this day we haue al those bookes of Scripture remayning and safe, which were extant in Matthewes time, it is necessary that this testimonie of the Prophet, which hee citeth shoulde be founde in some place.

But amongst them all, in my iudgement, Bucers opinion is most right, who thinketh that the place out of the booke of Iudges, chap. 13. 5. is heere noted. And there is mention made of Sampson, but because that Samson is not called a redeemer of the people, but as he was a figure of Christ, and the deliueraunce brought by his hand and ministerie, was a certaine token shadowing that full saluation, which at the length should be brought vnto the world by the sonne of God. VVhatsoeuer the scrip­ture speaketh of Sampson in good parte, is rightlye referred to Christe. If any desire to haue it plainer, Christe was the principall example, but Sampson was an inferiour shadowe or figure of him: therefore when he was cloathed with the persone of the redeemer, we must know that none of those praises wherewith that excellent and diuine office was a­dorned, doeth so properlye belonge to him as to Christe: for the fa­thers tasted that grace of redemption, which throughe Christe is geuen vs to comprehend at the full. That Mathewe placeth this woorde Pro­phets in the plurall number, the answeare is easie, because that booke of the Iudges was composed by diuers Prophetes. Yet I thinke, that that whiche is heere sette downe of the Prophets doeth reache farther. For Ioseph (who was a temporall preseruer of the Church, & many wayes [Page 101] bare a figure of Christe, or was rather a liuely image of him) was called the Nazarite of his brethren, Gen. 49. 26. and Deuter. 33. 16. Therefore God woulde that the excellent dignitie, whereof hee had made a shewe in Ioseph, shoulde shine in Sampson, and he gaue him the name of a Na­zarite, that the faithfull beinge instructed with these small beginninges, mighte more diligently looke for their redeemer whiche was to come, who was to be separate from al, that he might be the first born amongst many brethren.

Matthew.Marke.Luke 2.

40. And the childe grewe, & wa [...]ed stronge in spirite, and was filled with wisedome, and the grace of God was with him.

41. Nowe his parents went to Ierusalem eue­ry yeare, at the feast of the Passeouer.

42. And when hee was twelue yeare olde, & they were come vppe to Ierusalem after the cu­stome of the feast,

43 And had finished the daies therof, as they retourned, the childe Iesus remained in Ierusalem, and Ioseph knew not, nor his mother,

44. But they supposing, that he had ben in the companie, went a daies iourney, and soughte him a­mong their kinsfolke and acquaintance.

45. And when they found him not, they tur­ned backe to Ierusalem, and sought him.

46. And it came to passe three dayes after, that they founde him in the Temple, sittinge in the middest of the Doctours, bothe hearinge them, and asking them questions.

47. And all that heard him, were astonied at his vnderstanding and answeres.

40. And the childe grewe. Mathew goeth presently from the infancie of Christ to his manifestation. Luke heere reporteth one thing at the least worthy to be remembred: that is, that Christ in the midst of his youthe gaue a shew of his office to come, or at the least by this one exercise in his childehoode, he would shewe what he should be hereafter. And first hee sayeth that he grew and waxed strong in spirite: by which woordes he declareth that the giftes of his minde did encrease also together with his age. VVherby we gather that these profitings or encreasings are referred to his humane nature, for nothing can be added more to his Godhead. Yet it is demaunded whether he did not excell in all fulnesse of spiritual gifts presently after that he was conceiued in the wombe of his mother, for it seemeth to be absurd that any thing should be wanting to perfe­ction in the sonne of God. Yet the answere is easie, if it derogateth no­thing from his glory, that he was altogether humbled & laid lowe: then there can be no incōueniēce to him in this, that as his wil was to grow in body, so also to profite in mind for our sake. And certainly, when the apostle teacheth the He. 4. 15. that he was like vnto vs in all things ex­cepting [Page 102] sin, without doubt he also comprehendeth this, that his soul was subiect to ignorance. This is the only difference betwene vs & him, that those infirmities which of necessitie are tied to vs, he toke vpon him fre­ly and of his owne will. Therfore Christ for the reason and estate of his age according to his humane nature, encreased in the free giftes of the spirite, that out of his fulnesse he might imparte to vs, because we receiue grace out of his grace. Some which are too fearful, restrain that which is sayd heere to an outward shewe, and expounde it, that Christ seemed to profite as though in deede he encreased not in any new vnderstanding. But the words soūd otherwise, and this error is yet more plainly confu­ted, when as shortlye after Luke addeth. The childe profited in age and wise­dome with God and men. For it is not lawfull to imagine that there lay hid in Christ any vnderstandinge, whiche in successe of time appeared vnto God. And it is not to be doubted but that the counsel of God was plain­ly to expresse howe truely and perfectly Christ embraced al partes of a brotherly vniting with men, when he toke vpon him our flesh. Neither doe wee by this meanes imagine him to be two: for although there was one person of God and man, yet it foloweth not that what soeuer was proper to the Deitie, should be attributed to the humane nature: But for asmuch as it was necessary for our saluation, the sonne of God kept his diuine power hidde. And that which Ireneus sayth, his Deitie resting, he suffered his passion, I do not only interpreat it of his corporal death: but also of that incredible sorow and vexation of the soule, who vttered this complaint vnto him: my God why hast thou forsaken me? In summe, ex­cept a man should deny Christ to be made very man, let him not be asha­med also to confesse that he willingly tooke vppon him all those things which cannot be separate from our humane nature. And it is foolishly obiected that ignorance coulde not light vpon Christ, because it was the punishment of sinne, for the fame may be saide also of death: but rather the scripture affirmeth that hee fulfilled the office of a mediator, because that what punishments soeuer we had deserued, he toke from vs & laid vpon himselfe. Furthermore they do very grosely and ignorantly, in that they make ignorance a punishment of sinne: for it cannot be thoughte, that Adam when he was yet sound, knewal things. Neither do the An­gels beare the punishment of sinne, whē they are ignorant of any thing. Some conclude more subtilly, that there was no ignorance in Christ, be­cause that ignorance is a fault. But these also doe take very euil a false & a vaine principle: for otherwise it were necessarye for the Angelles to be like to God, that they might be without fault. Blindnesse or ignorance of a mans minde is a fault, and is worthely accompted as a parte of ori­ginall sinne: but here is no other ignoraunce attributed to Christe, then suche as may be in a manne pure from all spot of sinne. But when Luke sayeth that he waxed strong in spirite, and was filled with wisedom, he meaneth whatsoeuer wisedome is in men, and dailye groweth in them, that it floweth out of this only fountaine, that is from the spirit of God. That speache which foloweth (the grace of God was with him) is more gene­rall, for it comprehendeth what excellencie soeuer was in him.

41. Nowe his parentes went euery yeare▪ Heere is the godlinesse of Marye and Ioseph praysed, because that they diligently exercised themselues in the outwarde woorshippe of God. And they tooke not this yerely iour­ney [Page 103] vppon them rashly, but by the commaundement of God: for in that the lawe onely commaundeth the males, that they should present them­selues in the fight of God, it doeth not wholely exclude women, but by permission spareth them. And by this note is pure religion discerned from vaine and wicked superstitions, for that shee keepeth her selfe in obedience to God, and the commaundement of his lawe: but the other wander after their owne fansie beside the woorde of God, wythout any certain rule▪ And although the worship of the temple was infected with many corruptions, and the priesthoode saleable, and the doctrine fi [...]led with many errours: yet because that the ceremonies of the lawe did as yet flourish there, and they keepe the outward rite of sacrificing, as was appoynted in the lawe, it behooued the faithfull to testifie their faith by suche exercises. But the name of father is after the common opinion of men, improperly geuen vnto Ioseph.

44. That hee hadde beene in the companie. It appeareth by diuers places of the Scripture, that they which came on the feaste daies to the Tem­ple to woorshippe, did vse to make their iourney in greate companyes. VVherefore it is no maruaile if that Ioseph and Marye were not so care­full for the childe the first daye. But after they shewe that they were not carelesse, neyther throughe slouth nor negligence.

46. Sittinge in the middest of the Doctours. There must needes shine some beames of Gods glorye openlye in the childe, that hee was allowed to sitte by those proude menne. And althoughe it be probable that hee sate in some lower seate, rather then in the place of the Doctours: yet these proude disdainfull menne woulde neuer haue geuen him the hearinge in the publike assemblye, excepte that some diuine power hadde com­pelled them, therefore this was but as a signe of his callinge, whose full time was not yet come. And therefore hee gaue them this onely taste, which presently menne had forgotten, but that Marye kepte it laid vppe in her heart, that afterwardes shee myghte bringe the same from thence with other treasures for the common vse of the godlye. And these two thinges are to be noted, that all menne meruailed, because that they ac­compted it as a woonder, that a childe shoulde frame his questions so aptly and fittely. Againe in hearing and demaunding, Christe hymselfe rather played the parte of a scholler then of a maister. Because that as yet hee was not called of hys Father, that hee mighte professe hymselfe a publike Doctour of the Churche, hee doeth onely moue questions mo­destly to the Doctours. Yet it is not to be doubted, but that by this exer­cise he nowe began to reproue their corrupt maner of teaching for that whiche Luke addeth after of answeares, I interpreat to be vsed after the Hebrew maner, for any woorde or speache.

Mathewe.Marke.Luke 2.

48. So when they saw him, they were amazed▪ and his mother sayd vnto him: Sonne, why hast thou thus dealt with vs? Beholde, thy father and I haue sought thee with heauie hearts.

49. Then said he vnto them: How is it that y [...] sought me? kn [...]w yee not that I must goe about my fathers businesse.

[Page 104] 50. But they vnderstoode not the worde that he spake vnto them.

51. Then hee went downe with them, & came to Nazareth, and was subiect to them, & his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

52. And Iesus encreased in wisedome & sta­ture and in fauour with God and men.

48. His mother sayd. In my iudgement they are deceiued which thinke that the holy virgine sayde so as boasting of her authoritie. But it may be that shee hauing him aside, and no witnesses being by, she beganne at the lengthe to expostulate with her sonne, after that he was come from the assemblie. Howe soeuer the matter was, shee was not caried awaye wyth ambition, but because of her three daies sorowe, shee vttered this com­plaint vnto him: yet that she expostulateth as if she was vniustly iniuri­ed, doth plainly declare how ready we are by nature, hauing no regard of God, to defend our owne righte. This holy virgine had rather haue died a hundred times then of sette purpose of minde shee woulde prefer her selfe before GOD: but while shee cockereth her motherly sorowe, through inconsideration, shee slideth into that fault. And truely by this example we are admonished to suspect all the affections of the flesh, and howe needefull it is for vs to take heede, least that wee holde oure righte further then is conuenient, and being addicted to our selues, we shoulde defraude God of his honour.

49. Knew ye not. Christe reprehendeth his mother woorthely, yet hee doeth the same sparingly & gently. The summe is, that the duetie which he oweth to God his father, is farre to be preferred before all obedience to menne. Therefore those earthly parentes doe ill, which sorowe that they are neglected in respecte of God. And hereof is a generall doctrine to be gathered. VVhat soeuer is due vnto menne, ought to be subiecte to the first table of the lawe, that the power of God may remaine vntou­ched. So obedience is to be geuen to Kings, to Parents, and to maisters: but no otherwise then vnder the power of God: that is, that nothing be taken or pulled from God for mannes cause: neither is oure obedience then broken towardes menne, when as there is an especiall regarde had of God. About my fathers businesse. By this woorde hee declareth that hee hathe somewhat greater then manne. Hee also declareth the principall ende whye hee was sent into the worlde: namely, that he mighte fulfill that office enioyned him of his heauenly father. But it is maruell that Ioseph and Marie vnderstoode not this aunsweare, who had ben taught by manye testimonies that Iesus was the sonne of God, I aunsweare: Thoughe they were not altogether ignoraunte of the heauenlye stocke of Christe, yet they vnderstoode not in euery poynte that he was occu­pied in fulfilling the commaundements of the father, because that as yet his calling was not euidently made knowen vnto them. But in that Ma­rye keepeth in her heart those thinges, whiche as yet shee conceiueth not in the vnderstanding of her minde, lette vs learne reuerently to take, and (as seede conceiued in the earth is nourished) to laye vppe in our mindes those mysteries of God, which as yet excell the capacitie of our minde.

51. He was subiect to them. This humblenes in that the Lord & head of [Page 105] Angelles willingly made himselfe subiect to mortal creatures, did Christ take vpon him for our saluatiō. For so had the counsel of god determi­ned, that for a time he should be hidde vnder the name of Ioseph, as vn­der a shadow. And though no necessitie enforced Christ to this subie­ction, but that he might haue exempted himselfe from the same: yet bee­cause that vppon this condition he had taken the nature of man vppon him, that he might be subiect to his parentes, and withal, he tooke vpon him the person of a man and of a seruaunt, as concerning the office of a redeemer, this was his lawfull condition; so that it becommeth euery one of vs more willingly to beare that yoake, that shall be laid vppon vs of the Lord.

Mathew. 3.

1. And in those dayes, Iohn the Baptist came and prea­ched in the wildernes of Iu­dea.

2. And said, repent, for the kingdome of heauen is at hand.

3. For this is he, of whō it is spoken by the Prophet Esaias, saying, the voyce of him that crieth in the wil­dernes, i [...], prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his pathes streight.

4. And this Iohn had his garment of camels haire, & a girdle of a skin about his loynes: his meat was also lo­custes and wild honney.

5. Then wente out to him Ierusalem and al Iudea, and al the region rounde a­bout Iordan.

6. And they were bap­tised of him in Iordan, con­fessing their sinnes.

Marke. 1.

1. The beginning of the Gospel of Iesus Christe, the sonne of God.

2. As it is written in the Prophets: Behold, I send my messenger before thy face which shall prepare thy way before thee.

3. The voyce of him that cryeth in the wildernes is, prepare ye the way of the Lorde, and make his pathes streight.

4. Iohn did baptise in the wildernes, & preach the bap­tisme of amendment of life, for remission of sinnes.

5. And al the countrey of Iudea, and they of Ierusa­lem went out vnto him, and were all baptised of him in the riuers of Iordan, confes­sing their sinnes.

6. Now Iohn was cloa­thed with camels haire, and with a girdle of a skin about b [...] loins, & he did eat locusts and wild honney.

Luke. 3.

1. Now in the fifteenth yeere of the reigne of Tiberi­us Caesar, Pontius Pilat being gouernour of Iudea, & Herod being tetrarch of Galile, & his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea, & of the countrey of Trachonitis, & Lysanias the tetrarch of Abylene.

2. VVhen Annas and Caiphas wer the high priests, the word of God came vnto Iohn, the son of Zacharias in the wildernes.

3. And he came vnto al the costs of Iordan, preaching the baptisme of repentance, for the remission of sinnes.

4. As it is writtē in the book of the sayings of Esaias the prophet, which saith, the voice of him that crieth in the wildernes is, prepare ye [...] the way of the Lorde, make his pathes streight.

5. Euery valey shalbe fil­led, and euery mountaine & hill shalbe brought low, and crooked thinges shalbe made streight, and the rough waies shalbe made smooth.

6. And al flesh shal see the saluation of God.

Although that is parte of the Gospell which we haue set downe bee­fore out of Matthew and Luke, yet it is not without a cause that Marke [Page 106] accompteth the beginning of the Gospell at the preaching of Iohn Bap­tist. For as it is recorded in the first of Iohn, that then the lawe and the Prophetes were ended. The law and the Prophets to Iohn, and since the kingdome of God, Luke. 16. 16. And to this very aptly agreeth the testi­monie of Malachy, which hee alleageth. The Lorde that hee might the more incēse the mindes of men to the desire of the promised saluation, had ordayned for a time, that the people shoulde bee without new pro­phesies, and wee know that Malachy was the last of the lawefull and certaine Prophetes. Also least the hungrye Iewes should in the meane while faynt, he exhorteth them that they shoulde keepe themselues vn­der the lawe of Moses, vntill the promised redemption should appeare. And he maketh mention of the lawe onely, because that the doctrine of the Prophets doth differ nothing from the same: but it was only an Ap­pendix & more ful exposition, that the whole manner of gouerninge the Church might depend vppon the lawe. And it is no new or vnaccusto­med matter in the scripture, to comprehende the prophesies vnder the name of the law: because that al of thē were referred to them, as to their fountaine and principall poynt. And the Gospell was not an inferiour addition to the lawe, but a new manner of teaching, which abrogateth that first. Malachy also discerning a double estate of the Churche, ap­poynteth the one vnder the law, and beginneth the other vnder the gos­pell. For it is not to be doubted but that he meaneth Iohn Baptist, whē he saith: Behold, I wil send my messēger: because (as it is now said) here is an expresse distinction made betweene the law, and the new order & e­state of the Church, which was to be in the same roome. In the same sence he had sayde a litle before (that which is cited by Marke: for the places are very like) Behold I send Elyas the Prophet to you, before that great day of the Lord shal come. Also, behold I send my messenger, who shall make cleane the way before me, then shall the Gouernour, whom ye seeke, come to his temple. Because that he promiseth in both these pla­ces a better estate of the Church, then was vnder the Gospell, without doubt the beginning of the Gospell is thereby noted. And before the Lord should come forth to restore the Church, it is sayd that a forewar­ner and cryer should come before him, who should declare that hee was at hande: whereby wee gather the abrogation of the law and the bee­ginning of the Gospell, properly to be set in the preaching of Iohn. But sith Iohn declareth that Christ was cloathed with flesh, both his natiui­tie, and the whole historie of his appearance is contained vnder the gos­pell.

But here Marke declareth when the Gospell beganne to be published, wherefore hee dooth not without cause beginne at Iohn, who was the first minister of the same. And for this cause was it the will of the hea­uenly father to bury, as it were in silence, the life of his sonne, vntill the tyme of his full reuelation shoulde come. Neyther was it doone without the determinate prouidence of God, that the Euangelists should passe by that whole time, that Christ lyued priuately at home: & should by and by passe from his firste infancye to the thyrtie yeere of his age, wherein he endued with the estate of a publike person, is openlye she­wed as redeemer to the worlde▪ but that Luke brieflye toucheth about [Page 107] the twelfe yeere one signe and token what his calling should be. And this especially appertaineth for this cause: first, to know that Christ was very man, and then the sonne of Abraham and of Dauid, which the Iord would testifie vnto vs.

The rest which we haue set downe of the shepheardes, the wisemen and Simeon, doe appertaine to the proouing of his deitie. And that which Luke declareth of Iohn and his father Zacharyas, was as a pre­face to the Gospell. There is no absurditie in chaunging the person in the wordes of Malachy. Thus God speaketh by the Prophet: I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me. But by Marke the father is brought in speaking to the sonne. But wee see that Marke had no other purpose, then that he might more fully declare the minde of the Prophet.

Marke giueth Christe the title of the sonne of God, whom the other Euangelists witnessed to be borne of the seede of Abraham and of Da­uid, that he might also be the sonne of man. But Marke thereby declareth that no redemption can be hoped for, but from the sonne of God.

MAT. 3. 1. In those dayes. LVKE 3. 1. In the fifteenth yeere. It cannot be gathered oute of Mathewe and Marke what age Iohn was of, when hee beganne to come abroade. But Luke declareth euidently that he was then thirtie yeare olde or there about. The olde wryters of the Church declare almost with one consent, that he was borne fifteene yeare before the death of Augustus. His successour Tyberius hadde nowe enioyed the Empire fifteene yeares when the same Iohn began to preach: there­fore that time of thirtie yeares which I spake is gathered; whereby it also foloweth, that hee did not long execute the office of a teacher, but that in shorte time hee gaue place vnto Christe: for Christe as a little after we shall see was also baptized when hee was thirtie yeare olde, and then he was entred to the performance of his office. But when Christ the sonne of righteousnesse, presently folowed Iohn his morning starre, or rather the morning, it is no maruaile if that Iohn vanished away, that Christes onely glory might be the more manifest. LV. Pontius-Pilate. It is pro­bable that this was the seconde yeare of Pilate. For after that Tiberius hadde obtained the Empire, Iosephus declareth in the eighteenth booke of Antiquities, that hee created Valerius Gratus gouernour of Iudea, placing hym in the roume of Annius Rufus. And this putting one in an others roume, might fall out in the second yere of hys gouernment. The same Iosephus declareth that Valerius was Gouernour of Iudea for the space of eleuen yeares, therefore Pilate hadde holden that prouince aboue two yeare, when Iohn beganne to preache the Gospell. This He­rode whome Luke maketh Tetrarche of Galile, was the seconde heire of Herode the Great, who succeeded his father by will: for the gouern­ment of Iudea was geuen to Archelaus, but when hee was banished by Augustus into Vienna, that portion fell into the handes of the Romanes for a praie.

So Luke heere rehearseth two of Herodes sonnes: namely, Herode Antipas, who was made Tetrarche of Galile, and hadde in possession, Samaria and Peraea, and Philip who was Tetrarch of Trachonitis and Iturea, raigned from the sea of Tiberias of Genesara, to the foote of Li­banus, from whence the floude Iordane ariseth▪ [Page 106] [...] [Page 107] [...]

[Page 108] They vntruely imagine that Lysanias was the sonne of Ptolomeus Mennaeus, who was king of Chalcis, who had bene slain before by Cle­opatra, about thirtie yeers before the birth of Christ, as Iosephus decla­reth in his fifteenth booke of antiquities. Also he could scarsly haue bin his nephew, whom the same Iosephus in the first booke of the warre of the Iewes reporteth to haue beene the kindler of the parthean war: for then he should haue beene aboue three score yeere old. Furthermore, see­ing that he stirred the Parthians to warre vnder Antigonus, he was of necessitie then growen to the estate of a man. But Ptolomeus Mennaeus died not long after the slaughter of Iulius Caesar, beeing entred into the office of the Triumuir betweene Lepidus, Antonius, and Octauius: as Iosephus witnesseth in the 14. booke, chap. 23. But this nephew of Pto­lomeus, was called Lysanias, as his father was, and hee might also leaue a sonne of his owne name. Yet their errour is without question to be re­iected, which imagin that Lysanias, who was slaine by Cleopatra shuld liue threescore yere after his death.

The name of Tetrarch is here vsed improperly, as though the whole region should bee deuided into foure partes. But seeing that in the bee­ginning the countries were deuided into foure partes, and then that o­ther chaunges followed: yet for honors sake the name was stil cōtinu­ed: in the which sense Pliny numbreth seuenteene Tetrarches of one re­gion.

2. VVere the high priestes. It is certaine that two high Priestes togea­ther at one time neuer occupied the priesthod. Iosephus witnesseth that Caiphas was made high priest by Valerius Gratus, a litle before he went out of the prouince. VVee read nothing In Iosephus, that should be al­tered by Pilate, in that time that he gouerned Iudea: but when hee was restrained of his aucthoritie, and was commaunded to goe to Rome to aunswere his cause, then at that time Vitellius, the gouernour of Syria dryuing Caiphas out, transposed the priesthood to Ionathas, the sonne of Anani, Antiq. 18. But that Luke nameth two high priests must not so be taken, as if yt tytle was giuen to them both: but beecause that the one halfe of the honour of the priesthood was in Annas, the high priestes father in law. VVherefore Luke declareth that matters were then so troubled and confounded, that there was then no one true and certaine high priest, but that through ambition and tyrannicall power, that sa­cred office was torne in sunder.

The word of God came. Before that Luke reporteth, as others doe, that Iohn entred the office of teaching, he saith, that he was called thereunto of God, that his ministerie might beare aucthoritie with it. I see not why the interpreters had rather to translate it vppon Iohn, rather then To Iohn: yet because the sense is not doubtfull, namelye, that this ambassage was layde vp with him, and that the commandement of preaching was giuen vnto him, I follow the receiued translation. Heereby gather that there are no true teachers, but to whom that office is enioyned of GOD. Neither doth it suffice to haue the word of God, except there be also an especiall calling.

That Matthew and Marke make not mention but of a desert, recon­cile it with the wordes of Luke thus, Iohn beganne his office of teach­ing amongst his neighbours with whom hee dwelt, then he spread his [Page 109] Gospell farther, that it might be knowne in mo places: whereby it came to passe, that in short time his fame spread vnto Ierusalem. Yet that coast of Iordan might be called desertum, a desert: for it doth not signifie a place not in habited, but a sharpe and hilly countrey, which is occupyed with a lesse resorte of men.

2. Math: Repent. Matthew differeth from the other two Euange­listes in this, that in the person of Iohn he setteth downe the summe of his doctrine, and they set it downe in his owne words. Yet Marke hath more by one word then Luke: for he saith, he came, baptising and prea­ching the baptisme of repentaunce, but in the matter it selfe the consent is very good: because that all ioyne repentaunce with forgiuenesse of sinnes. For the kingdome of GOD amongst men is nothing els then a restoring to a happy life, and so a true and eternall felycitie. Therefore when Iohn saith, that the kingdome of God is at hand, he meaneth that men, which were estraunged from the righteousnesse of God, and bani­shed the kingdome of heauen, are againe gathered vnto God, that they might lyue vnder his hand. And this doth free adoption and forgiuenes of sinnes worke, whereby hee reconcileth the vnworthy to himselfe. In summe, the kingdome of heauen is nothing else then newnesse of lyfe, wherein God restoreth vs into the hope of eternall immortalytie. For we being taken out of the bondage of sinne and death, he chalengeth vs vnto himselfe, that wee wandring here vpon earth, might now by fayth possesse that heauenly life: to the Ephesians 1. 4. For although we be like to dead men, yet we know that our lyfe is in safetie, while that it is hidde in Christe. Colloss. 3. Frō hence, as out of a fountaine is the exhortation to repentaunce gathered. And Iohn saieth not repent, and then by this meanes the kingdome of heauen shall appeare: but in the first place he proposeth the grace of GOD, and then hee exhorteth menne that they shoulde repent. VVhereby it is euident, that the mercy of God, whereby he restoreth those that are lost to be the foundation of repentaunce. Nei­ther doe Matthew and Luke in any other sense reporte that he preached repentaunce for the remission of sinnes: for repentaunce, (as some vn­wisely imagine) is not placed first, as if it should be the cause of forgiue­nesse of sinnes, or that it might preuent God, that hee might beginne to be mercifull vnto vs: but men are cōmaunded to repent, that they might receiue the reconcilyation offered them. But as the free loue of GOD, whereby hee imbraceth miserable men, not imputing their sinnes vnto them, orderly goeth before; so it is to be noted, that we haue forgiuenes of sinnes in Christ: not that God would nourish them through his loue: but that hee might heale vs from them. Neyther can any man taste the grace of GOD, except he hate sinne, and be displeased with offēces: but by the definition of repentaunce and fayth it may be fullyer knowne, how vnseperably they are ioyned togeather: therefore in entreating of this doctrine I am the sparer.

But for the better vnderstanding of this present place, it is meete to obserue that the whole Gospell consisteth of two partes: forgiuenesse of sinnes, and repentaunce. And in that Matthew noteth the first parte by the kingdome of heauen, it may thereby be gathered, that there was ho­stile dissention betweene men and God, and that they were wholy ba­nished out of the kingdome of heauen, vntill that God shoulde againe [Page 110] receiue them into his fauour. And though Iohn proposing the grace of God, exhorteth menne to repentaunce, yet it is to be noted, that this al­so i [...] the gift of God, aswell as the enheritaunce of the kingdom of hea­uen. For as hee freely forgiueth vs our sinnes, and by his mercy delyue­reth vs from the guiltinesse of eternall death; so also hee repayreth vs after his owne image, that we might liue to righteousnesse. As he freely adopteth vs to be his sonnes; so hee regenerateth vs by his spirite, that our life might testifie, that we doe not falsly cal him father. And Christ doth no lesse quicken vs vnto righteousnesse, by crucifying our old man, and by extinguishing the faults of our fleshe, then he doth wash away our sinnes by his bloud, and appease his heauenlye father towardes vs, with the sacrifice of his owne death. Yet this is the summe of the Gos­pell, that GOD embraceth vs in his Sonne, our sinnes being washed a­waye: that wee denying our selues, and our owne nature, might liue holylye and godlyly; and so shoulde meditate a heauenly lyfe vpon the earth.

3. LV. Preaching the baptisme of repentaunce. This maner of speaking dooth first generally shewe, what is the right vse of the Sacramentes: Then for what purpose Baptisme was instituted, and what it doth con­taine.

A Sacrament therefore is not a dumbe ceremonie, which sheweth I wotte not what pompe, without doctrine, but hath the worde of God annexed to it, which giueth lyfe to the outwarde ceremonie. I meane not that worde, which some Exorcist muttereth with magycall whispe­rings: but that which pronounced with clear & open voyce doth auaile to the edifying of fayth. For it is not simplye sayde that Iohn bapti­sed to repentaunce, as if the grace of GOD hadde beene included in the visible signe: but that hee preached what the profit of baptisme was, that the signe might be made effectuall by the woorde preached. And this is peculyar to baptisme, that it is called the seale of repentance for forgiuenesse of sinne.

Nowe seeing that his Baptispme hadde the same signification, po­wer and manner, which ours haue: If a figure bee esteemed by the trueth thereof, it is false, that the baptismes of Iohn and Chrste are diuerse.

MATH. 3. The voyce of a cryer in the wildernesse. Although that place of Isaias 40. 1. ought not to be restrained onely to Iohn: yet hee is one of them, of whom that is there spoken: for after the Prophet hath spo­ken of the ouerthrowe of the Citie, and the extreame calamitie of the people, he promiseth a new restitution of the people. The words were, the Lord shal say againe, comfort ye, comfort ye my people. For after the temple was ouerthrowne, and the Sacrifices abolyshed, the people were lead into captiuitie, and their estate was almost desperat: and be­cause their eares were deaffe at the continuall calling of the Prophets, the Lorde did as it were holde his peace for a time. Least the godlye mindes shoulde fall downe in that sorrowfull silence the Prophet de­clareth that there shoulde agayne aryse newe Preachers of grace, which shoulde comforte the people in the hope of saluation, Suche were Za­charyah, [Page 111] Haggai, Malachy, Esdras, and such lyke. But beecause that there is promised a restitution, which shoulde bee perpetuall, and not for a shorte tyme: and Isaias especially respecteth the redemption which was hoped for: by the comming of Christe, Iohn was rightlye accoun­ted the chiefe amongst the ministers of comforte. Then it followeth in the texte of the Prophet: The voyce of a cryer, and that voyce is opposed to the silence for a time, whereof I spake euen nowe: for the Iewes, were for a tyme depriued of that doctrine, which they had vn­godlyly contemned.

The name of a deserte is metaphorically put for a desolation or a de­formed ruine of the people, as was in the time of the banishment. For there was so horryble a dissipation, that it might bee compared to a deserte; so the prophet amplifieth the grace of GOD, as if hee shoulde haue sayde, although the people was thrown farre from their countrey, and was banyshed out of the company of menne, yet the voyce of God shall also resounde in the deserte, which shall ioyfullye comforte them that are halfe dead. In this sense Ierusalem was the deserte, when Iohn beganne firste to preach: for in euery place all thinges were brought into a waste and horyble confusion. But it behooued those grosse and foolishe men the more to be styrred vppe by beeholding this visible de­serte, that thereby they might the more greedilye haue receiued the pro­mise of saluation offered vnto them in death.

Now wee see how truely this prophesie agreeth vnto Iohn, and how properly it is applyed vnto him. Prepare ye the way of the Lord. It is not to be doubted, but that the Prophet speaketh to Cyrus, & the Persians whose ayde GOD vsed: and the meaning is, that the Lorde would by a won­derfull power bring to passe, that a waye shoulde be opened to his peo­ple by wayes vntrauailed, by steepe rockes, and by the drye deserte, beecause that hee had at hande ministers of his grace, which should take all lettes and hinderaunces out of the waye. But that was a beeginning, shadowing the redemption.

And when the spirituall trueth commeth into the light, Iohn is sent, that hee might remoue those lettes. And daylye the same voyce soun­deth in our eares, that wee shoulde prepare a way to the Lorde: that is: that vices beeing taken awaye, which shutte vppe the kingdome of Christe, wee shoulde giue accesse to his grace. To the same pur­pose also beelongeth that which followeth in the Prophet: The croo­ked shall bee made streight: for hee meaneth that there are onely rough and troublesome courses in the worlde: But that through so hard pas­sages the Lorde will make himselfe a waye, that by a woonderfull meanes hee might pearse through to the accomplishing of our salua­tion.

6. All fleshe shall see. The meaning is, that this saluation shall not bee kepte secrete, or tasted onely by a fewe menne▪ but that it shall be knowen and common to all. VVhereof it followeth, that this pro­phesie was not fulfilled in the returne of the people. For although GOD then shewed a token of his fauour woorthye to bee remem­bred, yet hee did not then reucale his saluation to all the woorlde, [Page 112] Naye, it is the purpose of the Prophet to oppose the wonderfull excellē ­cie of saluation, which was to be reuealed, agaynst the former benefites of god, that the faithful might know that he neuer dealt so notably with the Church, and that the power of God was neuer so excellently she­wed in the deliueraunce of his. Flesh in this place doth signifie men, with­out the note of sinne.

4. Matth. Iohn had his garment. The Euangelist dooth not accompt this amongst his especiall vertues, that hee was addict to a rude and au­stere manner of lyuing, he also fled a meane and an accustomed clean­nesse; But because he had said before that he was a manne dwelling a­mong the mountaines.

Now he addeth that his meate and his apparell was according to his dwelling place. And this hee reheaseth not onely, that wee might know that hee tooke no delycates, being content with countrey meate and ap­parell: But that in his filthy and contemptible habite he was much estee­med amongst men very delicate and renoumed. Furthermore, as super­stition appoynted almoste a perfect rigghteousnesse in these outwarde shewes, they commonly thought that such decency was a heap of holy­nesse. There was an other fault neere vnto this, that they woulde ima­gine that this man in this solitarie lyfe, abhorred the common maner of lyuinge, as Eremites and Moonkes excell in this one thing, if they could differ from the rest. At the length there grew ouer grosse igno­raunce, that they made of his garmente of hayres, a whole skinne. And it is not to be doubted but that the Euangeliste discrybeth heere a mountaine man, farre from all vrbanitie, finenesse, and daintinesse, not onely content with meate that might be gotten, but onely eating natu­rall meates; as wilde honney, whereof there was good plentie enough in that place, and Locustes, whereof the countrey was also very fruitful. Or, because it was profitable, that a man contemned, and not fauoured for any excellency, should come forth into the world, that the onely ma­iestie of GOD might shine in him, which yet shoulde draw all men to wonder at him. For that is to be noted, which is added, that great con­course of people came vnto him from euery place: whereby wee gather how renoumed his fame was. Or because it was the purpose of God to propose in him a rare example of frugalytie, that by this meanes hee might allure the Iewes to reuerence his doctrine, or at the leaste, that he might conuince the Iewes of vnthankfulnesse, according to that say­inge of Christe, Iohn came neyther eating nor drinkeing, &c. Luke 7. 33.

6. Matth. 5. Mar. They were baptised, confessing their sinnes. This confessi­on was a testimonie of their repentaunce. For as the Lord in his sacra­mentes doth binde himself vnto vs, as it were by giuing vs his hand wri­ting; so it is also meete that we should aunswere him againe. In baptism he witnesseth that our sinnes are forgiuen vs, and he calleth vs to repen­taunce. Therefore that men may rightly offer themselues vnto baptism, they are required to confesse their sinnes: otherwise the whole action should be nothing else but a vaine sporte. It is also to be noted, that hee heere speaketh of them that are growen to some age: who we know are not to be admitted without consideration into the Church, nor by bap­tisme to be receiued into the body of Christ, except there be first an exa­mination [Page 113] had. VVhereby it is manifest, how ridiculous the Papists were, which wrest this to auricular confession. For the sacrificers were not present, into whose eares priuilye all of them shoulde whisper their own sinnes: neither is there mention made of all the sinnes, neyther is it said that Iohn commaunded, or gaue his Disciples an ordinary manner of confessing: And that wee maye graunte the Papistes that, which they require: Confession shall beelonge to them onely, that shall bee cate­chyzed, and after Baptisme it shall haue no place. Truely they agaynst the example of Iohn doe prescrybe a lawe of Confesion after Bap­tisme.

Matth. 3.Marke.Luke. 3.

7. Now, when hee sawe manye of the Pharises and of the Saduces come to his baptisme, hee saide vnto them, O generations of vypers, who hath forewarned you to flee from the anger to come?

8. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy amendment of life.

9. And think not to say with your selues, wee haue Abraham to our father: for I say [...], that God is able of these, [...]ones to rayse vp children vnto Abraham.

10. And nowe also is the axe put to the roote of the trees: there­fore euery tree, which bringeth not forth good fruite is heawne, down, and cast into the fire.


7. Then sayd he to the people that were come out to bee baptised of him: O generation of vipers, who hath forewarned you to flee from the wrath to come.

8. Bring forth therefore fruit [...] worthy amendment of lyfe, and be­ginne not to say with your selues, we haue Abraham to our father: for I say vnto you, GOD is able of these stones to raise vp childrē to Abrahā.

9. Now also is the axe laid vn­to the roote of the trees: therefore euery tree, which bringeth not forth good fruite, shall be hewen downe, and cast into the fire.

10. Th [...] the people asked him, saying, what shall we doe then?

11. And he answered and said vnto them: he that hath two coates, let him parte with him that hath none: and he that hath meate, let him doe likewise.

12. Then came there Publicans also to be baptised▪ & said vnto him, maister, what shall we doe?

13. And he saide vnto them, require no more then that, which is appoynted vnto you.

14. The soldiours likewise de­mounded of him, saying: And what shall we doe? And he said vnto thē [...] doe violence to no man, neyther ac­cuse any falsly, and be content with your wages.

MAT. 7. VVhen he saw many of the Pharises. Here Math, and Luke doe [Page 114] declare that Iohn did not only generaly preach repentāce, but also that he applyed his speach to the persōs. And truly it wil be a cold maner of tea­ching, except the teachers doe wisely consider what the time requireth, and what is [...]itte for the persons: and there is not in this behalf any thing more vnequall then a perpetuall equalytie. And for this cause it is sayde that Iohn did more seuerely hādle the Pharises and the Saduces: because that through the hypocrisie & prid, wherein they swelled, it seemed meet that they should be more sharply punished then the comon sort of men: But that we may well vnderstand his purpose, it is to be known that ther is no people more without sense and feeling then the hypocrites, which with an outward shew of holines deceiue themselues and others. For as God thundereth euery where against the whole world; so they in a false imagination frame vnto themselues a sanctuarie: because they are per­swaded that they haue nothing to doe with the iudgement of God. If a­ny think that Iohn dealt preposterously, that at the first salutatiō he entertained them so hardly: I answer that they were not vnknown vnto him, and the knowledge which he had was not by custome or experience; but rather by the secrete reuelation of the spirit: wherfore they were no whi [...] the lesse to be spared, least with the greater prid they shuld return home. If any againe shall obiect, that they were not to be feared with so sharpe a rebuking, which by baptisme professed that they would become other men: an answere is also readie, they which are accustomed to lie to God, and to please themselues, and shew deceite & dissimulation for the truth, are more hardly to be vrged to true repentaunce▪ For there is, as I sayd [...] a wonderfull obstinacie in hypocrites: therefore vntill they be skoured with violence, they hold very fast their shew.

Now that Iohn reprooueth and rebuketh them openly before al men, is for an example, in which sense Luke reporteth that he spak this to the people. For though Iohn pinched but fewe menne, yet he had regard of all, that he might strike [...] feare into them [...] Paule, [...]. Tim 5. 20. com­maundeth, that in open reproouinges this profit should be looked for. Therefore he peculyarly speaking to the Pharises and Saduces, dooth in their person admonish all the reste, that they shoulde not shewe forth a faigned shewe of repentaunce, for a true affection.

Furthermore it was greatly for the profitte of al the people to know what manner of menne the Saduces and the Pharises were, by whome the worshippe of GOD was miserablye corrupted, the Churche wa­sted, and the whole relygion ouerthrowne, and to be shorte, who hadde with their corruptions extinguished the light of GOD, and with theyr sinnes had infected all thinges. Therefore it is probable that Iohn did openly sette vppon the Pharises, that hee might prouide for the whole Church of GOD: that, they should no more with a vaine shewe holde the eyes of the simple, nor oppresse the people with their wicked tiran­nie. And therein was also shewed his wonderful constancie, that though they excelled all others: yet be spared not their dignitie, but sharplye, as they were worthy, he brought them into course. So it becommeth al god­lye teachers to be bolde▪ that they shoulde not feare anye power of men, but that without feare they should striue to throwe downe euerye hygh thing, which lifteth vp it selfe against Christ. If that they which willing­lye came to Baptisme, that they might giue theyr name to the Gospell, [Page 115] were so sharpely saluted by the instrument of the holy Ghost how must we then doe at this day with the professed enemies of Christ, which not onely stubbornly refuse all taste of sound doctrine, but more violentlye goe on with sword and fire to blotte out the name of Christe▪ Certein­lye if thou shouldest compare the Pope and his filthy cleargy, they shalbe very gently dealt with, if they be cast into one bundle togeather. Wher­fore let them quarell not with v [...], but with the spirit of God, whose cares are so delicate, that they can abide nothing to be spoken sharply agaynst the Pope. Yet let godly teachers take heede to themselues, while they are caryed with a godly zeale against the tyrantes of the Church, least they myxe the affections of the fleshe. And because that no vehemencie canne be approoued of GOD, but that which is moderated by the wisedome of the spirite, let them not onely restraine theyr affections, but let them delyuer and commit themselues to the holy Ghost to be gouerned least any thing passe from them without consideration.

Hee calleth them generation of Vypers, rather thou Vipers, that hee myght lay that venymous poyson to all the sorte of them▪ for he would not condemne only these fewe, which were there present, but the whole bodye: as if he should say, that both the sortes did but engender serpents. There were great dissentions betweene them, but the contempt of God, a wicked desire of rule, a hatred of sound doctrine, and a heaue of many sinnes. VVho hath farewarned you? Because he suspected thyr repentaunce, he doubting it, enquireth with admiration, whether it be possible that they should repent from the heart. By this meanes he stirreth them to a more neare examination of their conscience, that they should sifte them­selues more deeply, & that al flatteries being remoued farre from them, they might exercise a more seuere sensure in calling their sinnes into que­stion.

VVrath is here taken for the iudgment of God, [...] in diuerse other places it is vsed▪ as when Paule saith, Rom. 4. 15. & 1 [...]. 19. The lawe worketh wrath, and giue ye place to wrath. And he calleth it to come, which han­geth ouer their heads, least according to their wont, they nourish vp thē ­selues in securitie. Yet hee therefore maketh mention of the tyme to come: because the hypocrices as long as GOD spareth them, doe care­lesly despyse his threates: for they are not wakened, except they be stri­ken hard. For though the wrath of GOD flowe forth, and that his roddes doe stryke the whole earth, yet the hypocrites doe alwayes hope that they are free.

To flee the wrath of God is here taken in good parte: for it is as much as to seeke the meanes to appease GOD, that he might cease to be angry with vs. For a great number of men, that they might escape the wrath of God do withdraw themselues from his hand and iudgement, but so the sinner profiteth nothing by fleeing from God, but dooth rather more and more encrease his wrath vppon him.

MAT. LV. 8▪ Bring forth therefore fruit [...]. He confirmeth that which I sayd before, that the repentaunce which is testified in wordes is of no value, except they proue the same in deede: for it is a thing more precious, then that there should be a lyght and vaine opinion of the same. Therefore Iohn denyeth, that the open testimonye which they gaue was sufficient: [Page 116] but he saith that in processe of time it shalbe reuealed by their workes, whether they doe earnestly repent. It is to be noted that good works are called the fruits of repentaunce: for repentance is inward, which is pla­ced in the heart and the minde: but then in the chaung of the life it brin­geth forth the fruites of the same. And because that in popery all this poynt of doctrine was filthyly corrupted, this difference is to be holden, that repentance is an inward renewing of a man, which springeth forth in outward life, as the tree bringeth forth fruit out of it.

MAT. 9. Think not to say with your selues. LV. 8. Begin not to say. Sith it is cer­tain that there is but one meaning of both these speaches, we do easily ga­ther what Iohn would. The hypocrits do either sleepe in their sins, or li­centiously & proudly vaunt thēselues vntil they be oppressed: but when they are cited to the tribunal seat of god, then they carefully seeke means to escape, & lurking corners, or pretend some colour: Therfore Iohn thus speaketh vnto the Pharises & Saduces. Now that you are sharply repro­ued of me, do not as such as you are, vse to doe: that is, seek not a reme­die by a vaine & false pretence. And he wresteth from thē that wicked hope, wherwith they were betwitched: the couenant which GOD made with Abrahā was vnto thē in [...]steede of a shielde to couer an euil consci­ence, not that they setled their hope in the persō of one man: but because that God had adopted the whole stock of Abraham. In the meane while they thought not, that none are to be accounted of the seede of Abrahā, but they which folow his faith▪ and the couenaunt of God is not ratifi­ed, that it may profit to saluation but by faith. And that clause in your selues is not superfluous: for although in speach they did not boast themselues to be the sonnes of Abraham; yet inwardly they pleased themselues with this title: so that the hypocrites are nothing more ashamed to mock God then men.

God is able. The Iewes flattered themselues almost with the same pre­tence, which the Papists at this day do insolently chaleng to themselues. It is necessary that there shoulde be a Church in the worlde: for GOD will be knowne, and haue his name called vppon in the worlde, and the Church cannot bee other where but with vs, with whom the Lord hath made his couenaunt. The Priestes and other, which had the gouerment and aucthoritie, were especially puffed vp with this arrogancie: for they accounted the common people prophane and accursed, as wee reade in Iohn 7. 49. And they thought themselues to be the holy first fruites: as at this day the horned bishops, Abbots, Canons, Monks, Sorbonists, & al the sacrificers being lift vp with the proud title of the Cleargie, do in cōpa­rison of themselues despise the laitie. This errour doth Iohn reproue & refel, in that they do to straightly restraine the promise of God, shewing that though God had none of them▪ that yet he would not be without a Church. Therefore the meaning of the words is, God made a couenant with Abraham & his seede. One thing deceiueth you, that whē you are more thē degenerate, you think your selues to be the only sons of Abra­ham: but god wil frō an other place raise vp a new seed to Abrahā, which doth not now appear: & he speaketh in the datiue case: He wil raise vp chil­drē vnto Abraham, that they might know the promise of God was not to no effecte, and that Abraham, who obeyed hym, shoulde not bee de­ceyued, although there wanted seede in them; so from the beegin­ning [Page 117] of the worlde, the Lorde was true to his seruauntes, neither did he euer fayle in perfourming his promise of shewing fauour to their children, although hee reiected the hypocrites. That many thinke that Iohn speaketh this of the calling of the gentiles, seemeth not to me to be of force: but because that it seemed incredible to these proude men, that the Church might be transferred to any other place, he admonisheth thē that God hath meanes to preserue his Church, which they did not think of: as if he should make him children of stones.

MAT. 10. LV. 9. Now also is the axe. After that Iohn had taken that couer of vaine hope from the hypocrits, he pronounceth that the iudge­ment of God is nigh. He had said before, that they being cast off, that god shuld not want a people: now he addeth that God himself is now in the same, that he might driue the vnworthy out of the Church, as barrē trees vse to be cut vp. The summe is that the hand of GOD is now stretched forth to purge the Church: for the grace of God doth neuer shewe it self for the saluation of the godly: but withal his iudgement commeth forth for the destruction of the worlde, and that for two causes; because that then the Lord seperateth his from the reprobate, and the vnthankfulnes of the world prouoketh his wrath a new. VVherefore it is no meruaile, if the preaching of the Gospell, and the comming of Christ doe put the axe to cutte away the corrupt trees, and should dayly hasten the venge­aunce of God against the wicked.

LV. 11▪ The people asked him. A true affection of repentaunce en­gendreth this carefulnesse, that the sinner desirouslye enquireth what God willed and commaunded, and the aunswere of Iohn doth brieflye define the fruites worthy of repentaunce. For the worlde alwayes de­sireth to be discharged of the ceremonies towardes God, and dooth no­thing more readily then sette faigned and deuised worshippinges before God, so ofte as hee calleth to repentaunce. But what fruites dooth the Baptist commende in this place▪ The dueties of charitie, and of the se­cond table, not that God neglecteth the outward profession of godlines, & of his worship: but because this note of difference is more certaine, & dooth often lesse deceiue. For the hypocrites doe painefullye endeuour, that they might shewe themselues worshippers of GOD in ceremonies, and yet lette passe the care of true righteousnesse, when they are eyther vnkinde to their neighbours, or giuen to deceites and spoyles. VVhere­fore necessarilye they are to be called to a straighter examination, whe­ther they lyue honestly amongst menne, whether they helpe the poore, whether they spare them in misery, whether they louingly communi­cate those thinges, which the Lorde hath giuen them. For this cause Christe in Matthew 23. 23. calleth iustice, mercie, and trueth, the chiefe poyntes of the lawe, and the scripture in diuerse places commendeth iu­stice and iudgement.

This is to be noted, that the dueties of charitie are first named, not that they excell the worshippe of GOD; but as the witnesse of the godlynes of menne, that their dissimulation may be layd open, which bragge that with their mouth, which is farre from their heart. But it is demaunded whether Iohn laid this law precisely vpon al thē, which Christ had pre­pared to be his disciples, that they should not haue two coates. Fyrst it is to be noted, that this is a figuratiue speech, from the parte to the whole: [Page 118] because that vnder one kinde there is comprehended a general doctrine. Hereof it followeth that such a meaning is to be gathered, as agreeth to the rule of charitie, which is prescribed of God: namely, that euery man of his aboundaunce should helpe the neede of the poore. For the Lorde doth not wrest a tribute from them, that they should giue sorowfullye and vnwillingly, which by compulsion should be constrained to doe that they would not: but he loueth cheereful and willing giuers, as Paul saith 2. Cor. 9. 7. This I speake for this purpose: because it auayleth much that men should be perswaded, that that which they offer of their goodes is an acceptable sacrifice of a sweete sauour vnto God. And they doe not onely cast a feare vppon the consciences, but they drowne them in dys­payre, whosoeuer make a lawe that no man should possesse any thing of his owne. But there nead no long confutation to bee vsed against these fanatical men, which so bytingly snatch at the letter. If it be not laweful to haue two coates, the same is to be said of dishes, of saltsellers, of shirts, and of all housholdstuffe. But by the text it appeareth, that Iohn meant nothing lesse, then to ouerthrow the politike estate: whereby we gather that he commaunded nothing els, then that the rich menne, according to their abilities, should bestow vpon the poore, that, which their necessitie required: as if he should haue said, looke what thinges your neighbours doe want, for the sustentation of their life, and you haue aboundance of, that your aboundaunce may helpe their neede. Furthermore, how much more God nourisheth vs; so much more must euery man beware, that we cocker not our selues. Let rather the necessitie of brethren vrge vs, and what benefites of God soeuer we haue by vs, let them enforce vs to charitable well doing.

12. And the Publicans came. Hee doth not onely generally exhort the Publycans, that they shuld repent, but he requireth those things, which be­lōg to their calling. For we know that besids the general rule of the law, euery one must looke what the estate of lyfe, whereunto he is called re­quireth. Loue is generally commaunded to al christians: but there folow particular dueties, wherein the doctour to the Church, the magistrate or prince to the people; and againe, the people to the magistrate, the hus­band to the wife, and againe, the wife to him: and last, the children and the parēts are bound the one to the other. Furthermore, because that they vexed (as it is a couetous, rauenous, and cruel kind of men) the common people with vniust exactions: the Baptist reproueth those faultes, where­with that people was most infected, forbidding that they should not ex­ceade measure in exacting tributes: yet hereby we gather, that it is no lesse lawfull for a Christian to gather tribute,, then it is graunted to the ma­gistrat, to lay it vpon them. The same is to be thought of warfare, Iohn commaundeth not the soldiours to throw away their weapons, and to forsake their calling: but he forbiddeth vnder the pretence of warfare to spoyle the poore people, to oppresse the innocent with iniuries, to go a­broade after the manner of theeues, as manye were woont; so in these words there is a priuat approbation of a polliticke estate. It is a friuolous cauill, that here are onely delyuered instructions for the rude, which are farre vnderneath a Christian perfection. It was the office of Iohn to make the people perfect to the Lord: and it is not to be doubted, but that wholly he applyed himselfe faythfully in this matter. And truely they [Page 119] diffame the gospel with a sacrylegious accusatiō, which make it contrary to the gouernementes of men; as if Christ should destroy that, which his heauenly father hath ordayned. For without the sword the lawes are dead, and there is no power nor aucthoritie in iudgements. Neither hath the magistrate onely neede of an executioner, but also of other officers, of which number are soldiours, where peace cannot otherwise bee pre­serued, but by their ayde and hand: only the end is to be considered, that Princes make not a iesting sporte at mans bloud, that soldiours placed to bestow their helpes to kill, be not caryed with the desire of gaine to cru­eltie, but that they both be drawne with the necessitie & respect of pub­like profit.

Matth. 3.Mar. 1.Luke. 3.

11. Indeede I baptise you with water, to amend­ment of lyfe: but hee that commeth after me, is migh­tier then I, whose shoes I am not worthy to beare, he will baptise you with the holye Ghost, and with fire.

12. VVhiche hath his fanne in his hande, and will make cleane his floore, & ga­ther his wheat into his gar­ner, but wil burn vp the chaf with vnquenshable fire.

7. And preached, say­ing, A stronger then I com­meth after me, whose shooes latchet I am not worthye to stoupe down, and vnlose.

8. Trueth it is, I haue baptised you with water: but hee will baptise you with the holy Ghost.

15. As the people wai­ted, and all menne mused in their heartes, of Iohn, if he [...] were not the Christ:

16. Iohn answered, and sayde to them all: In deede I baptise you with water: but one stronger then I commeth, whose shooes latchet I am not worthy to vnlose: he wil bap­tise you with the holy Ghoste and with fire.

17. VVhose fanne is in his hand, and hee will make cleane his floore, and will ga­ther the wheate into his gar­ner: but the chaf wil he burn vp with fire that neuer shalbe quenshed.

18. Thus then exhorting with many others thinges, he preached vnto the people.

The Euangelistes reporte the same wordes of the Baptist. In this one thing Luke is more plentifull, in that he first declareth vpon what occa­sion this sermon was made: namely, because it was in daunger least the people through a false opinion shoulde giue the honour due to Christe, to him. Therefore that he might speedily take away the occasion of the errour, he openly testifieth that he is not Christe, and so putteth a diffe­rence betweene himselfe and Christe, that he might giue him his right. And this he doth willingly, that he might delyuer his disciples to Christ from hand (as they say) to hand: but hee preuenteth it the speedilyer, least by holding his peace the longer, hee might confirme the errour of the people.

VVhen hee saieth that a stronger shall come, hee meaneth one en­dued with a farre other power and dignitie, in respecte of whom hee himself is to be brought into order. And he vseth common phrases, wher­with [Page 118] because that vnder one kinde there is comprehended a general doctrine. Hereof it followeth that such a meaning is to be gathered, as agreeth to the rule of charitie, which is prescribed of God: namely, that euery man of his aboundaunce should helpe the neede of the poore. For the Lorde doth not wrest a tribute from them, that they should giue sorowfullye and vnwillingly, which by compulsion should be constrained to doe that they would not: but he loueth cheereful and willing giuers, as Paul saith 2. Cor. 9. 7. This I speake for this purpose: because it auayleth much that men should be perswaded, that that which they offer of their goodes is an acceptable sacrifice of a sweete sauour vnto God. And they doe not onely cast a feare vppon the consciences, but they drowne them in dys­payre, whosoeuer make a lawe that no man should possesse any thing of his owne. But there nead no long confutation to bee vsed against these fanatical men, which so bytingly snatch at the letter. If it be not laweful to haue two coates, the same is to be said of dishes, of saltsellers, of shirts, and of all housholdstuffe. But by the text it appeareth, that Iohn meant nothing lesse, then to ouerthrow the politike estate: whereby we gather that he commaunded nothing els, then that the rich menne, according to their abilities, should bestow vpon the poore, that, which their necessitie required: as if he should haue said, looke what thinges your neighbours doe want, for the sustentation of their life, and you haue aboundance of, that your aboundaunce may helpe their neede. Furthermore, how much more God nourisheth vs; so much more must euery man beware, that we cocker not our selues. Let rather the necessitie of brethren vrge vs, and what benefites of God soeuer we haue by vs, let them enforce vs to charitable well doing.

12. And the Publicans came. Hee doth not onely generally exhort the Publycans, that they shuld repent, but he requireth those things, which be­lōg to their calling. For we know that besids the general rule of the law, euery one must looke what the estate of lyfe, whereunto he is called re­quireth. Loue is generally commaunded to al christians: but there folow particuler dueties, wherein the doctour to the Church, the magistrate or prince to the people; and againe, the people to the magistrate▪ the hus­band to the wife, and againe, the wife to him: and last, the children and the parēts are bound the one to the other. Furthermore, because that they vexed (as it is a couetous, rauenous, and cruel kind of men) the common people with vniust exactions: the Baptist reproueth those faultes, where­with that people was most infected, forbidding that they should not ex­ceade measure in exacting tributes: yet hereby we gather, that it is no lesse lawfull for a Christian to gather tribute,, then it is graunted to the ma­gistrat, to lay it vpon them. The same is to be thought of warfare, Iohn commaundeth not the soldiours to throw away their weapons, and to forsake their calling: but he forbiddeth vnder the pretence of warfare to spoyle the poore people, to oppresse the innocent with iniuries, to go a­broade after the manner of theeues, as manye were woont; so in these words there is a priuat approbation of a polliticke estate. It is a friuolous cauill, that here are onely delyuered instructions for the rude, which are farre vnderneath a Christian perfection. It was the office of Iohn to make the people perfect to the Lord: and it is not to be doubted, but that wholly he applyed himselfe faythfully in this matter. And truely they [Page 119] diffame the gospel with a sacrylegious accusatiō, which make it contrary to the gouernementes of men; as if Christ should destroy that, which his heauenly father hath ordayned. For without the sword the lawes are dead, and there is no power nor aucthoritie in iudgements. Neither hath the magistrate onely neede of an executioner, but also of other officers, of which number are soldiours, where peace cannot otherwise bee pre­serued, but by their ayde and hand: only the end is to be considered, that Princes make not a iesting sporte at mans bloud, that soldiours placed to bestow their helpes to kill, be not caryed with the desire of gaine to cru­eltie, but that they both be drawne with the necessitie & respect of pub­like profit.

Matth. 3.Mar. 1.Luke. 3.

11. Indeede I baptise you with water, to amend­ment of lyfe: but hee that commeth after me, is migh­tier then I▪ whose shoes I am not worthy to beare, he will baptise you with the holye Ghost, and with fire.

12. VVhiche hath his fanne in his hande, and will make cleane his floore, & ga­ther his wheat into his gar­ner, but wil burn vp the chaf with vnquenshable fire.

7. And preached, say­ing, A stronger then I com­meth after me, whose shooes latchet I am not worthye to stoupe down, and vnlose.

8. Trueth it is, I haue baptised you with water: but hee will baptise you with the holy Ghost.

15. As the people wai­ted, and all menne mused in their heartes, of Iohn, if hee were not the Christ:

16. Iohn answered, and sayde to them all: In deede I baptise you with water: but one stronger then I commeth, whose shooes latchet I am not worthy to vnlose: he wil bap­tise you with the holy Ghoste and with fire.

17. VVhose fanne is in his hand, and hee will make cleane his floore, and will ga­ther the wheate into his gar­ner: but the chaf wil he burn vp with fire that neuer shalbe quenshed.

18. Thus then exhorting with many others thinges, he preached vnto the people.

The Euangelistes reporte the same wordes of the Baptist. In this one thing Luke is more plentifull, in that he first declareth vpon what occa­sion this sermon was made: namely, because it was in daunger least the people through a false opinion shoulde giue the honour due to Christe, to him. Therefore that he might speedily take away the occasion of the errour, he openly testifieth that he is not Christe, and so putteth a diffe­rence betweene himselfe and Christe, that he might giue him his right. And this he doth willingly, that he might delyuer his disciples to Christ from hand (as they say) to hand: but hee preuenteth it the speedilyer, least by holding his peace the longer, hee might confirme the errour of the people.

VVhen hee saieth that a stronger shall come, hee meaneth one en­dued with a farre other power and dignitie, in respecte of whom hee himself is to be brought into order. And he vseth common phrases, wher­with [Page 120] he so extolleth the glory of Christ, that in comparison of him, hee declareth that he himself is nothing. This yet is the chief, that he accoun­teth Christ the aucthour of the spirituall baptisme, and that he is the mi­nister onely of the outward. And it seemeth to be an answere to a se­crete obiection, if peraduenture any should obiect to what ende belon­ged that Baptisme, which he tooke to himselfe: for it were not a matter of light weight, to bring any thing into the Church of God, but especi­ally to professe a newe kinde of instruction which should be more per­fecte then the law of God: therfore he answereth that he taketh nothing in hand rashly, that yet he was the minister of the outward scale, whiche diminished nothing from the power and glory of Christ: whereby we gather that his purpose was not to distinguish his baptisme from that, which Christ commaunded to his disciples, and whose perpetuall vse he willed to flourish in his church. Neither doth he oppose the visible signe, to the other signe, but comparing the persons of the Lord and of the ser­uaunt together, he teacheth what is proper to the Lorde, and what is to be attributed to the seruant. Neither let that opinion hinder vs, which now long ago was spread euery where, that the baptisme of Iohn doth differ from ours: but we must learne to iudge by the matter it self rather then by the errour of men. And truly the coparison which they imagine should bee too absurd: for therby it foloweth that the holy ghost should bee giuen at this daye by the ministers: agayne it shoulde followe that the baptisme of Iohn was a dead signe, and voide of all power. Thirdlye it should folow, that we had not a baptism common to Christ & to vs, seeing it sufficiently appeareth, that by this seale he sanctifieth that felow­ship, which he vouchsafeth to haue with vs, while that in his owne body he consecrated baptisme. Therefore here is to bee holden that, which I sayde before, that Iohn here simply discerneth the person of Christ, from himselfe and all other ministers of Baptisme, that the Lorde might be aboue the seruauntes. And here is gathered a generall doctrine, what are the dueties of men in baptisme, and what is proper to the sonne of God: for the onely administration of the outwarde and visible signe is committed to men: but the trueth it selfe resteth in the power of Christ alone. The scripture doth somtime improperly assigne that to mē, which Iohn here chalengeth to Christ alone, & affirmeth that belongeth not to men: but thē the scripture waieth not what specialy man hath of himself, but simply teacheth the power & the profit of the signes, and how God worketh with his spirit through the same. But here is a distinction made between Christ and his ministers, least that which is worthily due to the one, the world should wickedly giue to the other: as it is not more bent to any thing, then to adorne the creatures with those thinges that belōg to God. And this obseruation shal helpe vs out of many difficulties. VVe know how great iars there are in our age about the vse & effecacy of the signes, all which may be answered▪ that the whole institution of the lord comprehendeth the aucthour himself, and the power of the spirit, togea­ther with the figure and the minister: but whereas the minister is compa­red with the Lord, that the Lord may haue al, & the ministers brought to nothing.

[...]. VVith the holy Ghost, and with fire. It is demaunded why Iohn also sayd not, that it is only christ, which washeth our soules with his bloud: [Page 121] Namely, because that the washing also it selfe is wrought by the power of the spirite, it was sufficient by the only name of the spirite to expresse the whole effect of Baptisme. And the meaning is plaine, that Christ a­lone doeth geue what grace so euer the outward Baptisme doth figure, because that he sprinkleth the consciences with his bloude, and he him­selfe mortifieth the olde man, and geueth the spirit of regeneration. The worde Fire is added in stead of an Epithyte, and is applied to the spirite, because that it so purgeth our filthinesse, as golde is tried in the fire: As Iohn 3. 5. metaphorically calleth it water.

MAT. 12. VVhich hath his fanne. In the former sentence Iohn prea­ched of the grace of Christe, that the Iewes mighte geue themselues to him to be renewed: nowe also he speaketh of iudgement, that he mighte strike a feare into the contemners. For sith many hypocrites do proudly refuse the grace of Christ offered them, it is also necessary to pronounce vnto them that vengeāce which remaineth for them: for this cause Iohn doeth here describe Christ as a seuere iudge against the vnbeleuers. And this order of teaching must be obserued of vs, that the hypocrites maye know, that they shall not go vnpunished which reiect Christe, that they being raised out of their sluggishnesse maye begin to feare him as a re­uenger, whom they haue despised as the authour of saluation. Also it is not to be douted but that Iohn would teach what Christ would worke through his gospell. Therfore the preaching of the gospel is a fanne: be­cause that before the Lord sift vs, the whole worlde is full of confusion, euery man seeketh to please himselfe, and the good are mixed with the euill, and last of all it pleaseth them to wallowe in chaffe. But where Christ commeth foorth with his Gospel, while he reprooueth the con­sciences, and citeth to the tribunall seate of God, the chaffe is fanned a­way, which before couered the most part of the floore And thoughe the Gospell purgeth euery man from chaffe, yet Iohn heere compareth the reprobate to chaffe, and the faithfull to wheat. Furthermore, the floore is not taken for the world (as some imagine) but for the Church: for it is to be noted to whome Iohn speaketh. VVhen the Iewes were lift vppe with the bare title, Iohn warneth thē that they do folishly to be proud, because that they possesse a place for a time in the church of God, out of the which they were shortly to be throwen as chaffe oute of the floore. In this maner he reprehendeth the corrupt state of the Church: because that it was full of huskes, weedes, and other filthie things, but was pre­sently to be purged with the liuely voyce of the Gospell. But howe is Christ sayd to purge the chaffe from the wheate, who can finde nothing in men but meere chaffe? The answeare is easie, the Elect are made into wheat, that they being taken from the chaffe, maye be gathered into the barne. But Christ began this cleansing, and daily goeth forwarde wyth the same, yet he shall not fully performe the same before the latter day: therefore Iohn calleth vs thither. But we must remember that the faith­ful now at this day through hope do enter into the garner of the Lord, that there at the length in deede they may haue an eternall seate. And the reprobate now through their guiltinesse doe conceiue a heat of that fire, the perfecte burning whereof, they at the last day shall feele. I know that many haue subtilly disputed of the eternal fire, wherein the wicked shallbe tormented after the iudgement: but it maye be gathered out of [Page 122] many places of the scripture, that it is a metaphoricall kind of speaking. For if there bee appoynted a reall or materiall fire (as they call it), then must there also be added brimstone, & a fanne to kindle it: because that there is mention made of them both▪ in Isaias, chap. 30. 33. Certainely there is no other maner of fire, then worme: for if by the consent of al, it is receiued that there is a metaphore in the name of worme, then is the same to be thoughte of fire. VVherefore lettinge passe the speculations wherein vaine men weary themselues without profit, let it suffice vs to vnderstand, that with these maner of speaches; for the rudenesse of oure capacitie, is that horrible torment noted, which at this day can neither be conceiued in mans vnderstanding, nor expressed in wordes.

Mathew. 3.Marke. 1.Luke. 3.

13. Then came Iesus from Galile to Iordan, vnto Iohn, to be baptized of him.

14. But Iohn put him back [...], saying; I haue nede to be baptized of thee, and commest thou to me?

15. Then Iesus aunswearing, said to him: let be nowe: f [...]r thus it becommeth to fulfil al righte­ousnesse. So he suffered him.

16. And Iesus when he was baptized, came straight out of the water. And [...]ee, the heauens were opened vnto him, and Iohn sawe the spirit of God descending like a doue, and lighting vpon him.

17. And lo a voice came frō heauen, saying: This is my belo­ued sonne, in whome I am well pleased.

9. And it came to passe in those dayes, that Iesus came from Nazareth a citie of Galile, and was baptized of Iohn in Iordan.

10. And assoone as hee was come out of the water, Iohn sawe the heauens clouen in twaine, & the holy Ghost descending vppon him like a Doue.

11. Then there was a voice from heauen, saying: thou arte my beloued sonne in whom I am well pleased.

21. Now it came to passe as al the people were baptized, & that Iesus was bapti­zed, and did praye▪ that the heauen o­pened.

22. And the holy Ghost came downe in a bodily shape like a Doue vpon him, and there was a voice frō heauen, saying: Thou art my beloued sonn [...] in thee I am wel ple­sed.

2 [...]. And Iesus himselfe began to be about thirtie yere of age.

13. To be baptized of him. To what end the sonne of God would be bap­tized, we do partly gather by his answeare. First there is a speciall reason brought why he was baptized as we are, that the faithful mighte more certainly be perswaded that they are grafted into his bodye, and buried with him through baptisme. But the end which he proposeth here, is lar­ger: for so it becommeth to fulfil al righteousnesse. The word righteous­nes doth often signifie as muche in the scripture as the obseruing of the law. And so this place may be expounded, that it became Christ, in that he willingly submitted himself to the law to performe the same in euery poynt. Yet I had rather take the same more simplie in this manner; as if Christ shuld haue sayd, omit now to speake of my dignitie: for the que­stion is not, which of vs two excelleth other, but wee must rather looke what our calling requireth, & what is enioyned vs of god the father: for this was the general cause why Christ was baptized, that he might per­form obedience to his father; & the special cause was, that he in his own body might cōsecrate baptisme, that it might be cōmon to vs with him.

14. I have nede to be baptised of thee. It is certain that Iohn knew Christ to be not only a notable prophet as many doe foolishly dreame, but for the [Page 123] sonne of God as he was. Otherwise he shuld haue [...] to God, submitting his holy calling to a mortal man. But how he knew this, let the readers learne out of the 1. cha. 15. of Iohn. And this was a probable cause of refusall, that Christ had no neede of baptisme: but in this doeth Iohn fail, that he considereth not that he demādeth baptisme for others sakes. Therfore Christ commandeth him to consider what belongeth to him that occupieth the place of a seruant: because that a volūtary subie­ction doeth derogate nothing from his glorye. And although in that so great a man some part of his office was hid for a time: yet that perticuler errour shoulde not hinder the Baptist, but that rightlye and lawfully he shuld haue executed his office. By which exāple we are taught, that they which haue an office enioyned thē of the lord, may not do any thing rashly for any reuelatiō, though at the first they do not vnderstād euery thing annexed to their office, or depēding vpō the same. His modesty is also to be noted, that he ceasing frō his own opinion, doth presētly obey christ. 16. Lo the heauens were opened. The opening of the heauēs is somtime taken for the manifestation of the heauenly glory, and here also it signifieth a diuision of the visible heauen, so that Iohn might see somwhat aboue the planets & the stars; for the meaning of Markes words cannot be other, who saith that he saw the heauēs clouen in twaine. But more narowly to inquire what maner of diuision this was, it doth neither apertain muche to the matter, neither doth it profit: for it is sufficient to know, that this was a token of the presence of God. Further, when the Euangelists say that Iohn sawe the holy Ghost, it is probable that the heauens were es­pecially opened for his cause, though I repugne it not, but that Christe also as he was man, was made more certaine of his calling. And to this purpose the w [...]ordes of Luke seeme to tende, when he sayth: that while Christ praied, the heauens opened: for although he poured out his prai­ers alwaies for the profit of others▪ yet he had nede as he was man, see­ing he was to fight so hard a battel, to be armed with a singuler power of the spirite. But here arise 2. questions. The first is, why the spirite then descended vpon Christ, which was in him before. This question is aun­swered by the place of Isai 61. 1. which is entreted of in an other place. The spirit of the Lord vpon me, therefore hath the Lord anoynted me, to preach glad tidings to the pore he hath sent me. Although christ wō ­derfully excelled with a singular grace of the spirit, yet he kept himself at home as a priuate manne, vntil he was brought foorth by his father. Therfore now whē the appoynted time is come wherein he should pre­pare himselfe to fulfil the office of a redemer, he is endued with a newe power of the spirite, and that not so much for his sake as for others. For this was done of purpose, that the faithful might honour and reuerently embrace his diuine power, & that the infirmity of flesh shuld not be cō ­temned in him. That same also was the cause why he deferred his bap­tisme to the 30. yere of his age. Baptisme was a beginning of the gospel, & therfore together with the preching of the gospel it begā. And christ preparing himselfe to preache the gospel, was by Baptisme as wel entred into his office, as instructed by the holy spirit. The holy spirite therefore appeared vnto Iohn descending vpon Christ, to admonish that nothing carnall or earthly, should be sought for in Christ, but that he came from heauen as a diuine man in whom the power of the holy spirit raigneth. [Page 124] VVee certainly knowe him to be God manifested in the flesh, but in the person of a seruaunt, and in his humane nature there is also a celesti­al power to be considered. The secōd question is, why the spirite appea­red in the likenesse of a Doue, rather then of fire: whose aunsweare de­pendeth of an analogie or similitude of a thing signified with the figure. VVe know what the Prophet I say attributeth to Christ, chap. 42. 3. A brused reede shall he not breake, smoking flaxe shal hee not quenche, hee shall not crie, nor his voyce shalbe heard. For this gentlenesse of Christe, wherin he louingly and gently calleth, and daily biddeth sinners to the hope of saluation, the holy spirite descended vppon him in likenesse of a Doue. And in this signe there is a notable pledge of moste sweete com­fort geuen vnto vs, that we should not feare to come vnto Christe, who commeth foorth vnto vs not with a fearfull power of the spirite, but endued with a louing and pleasant grace. He sa [...]e the holy spirite; Namely Iohn: for it presently foloweth that the spirite descended vppon Christ. Nowe heere ariseth the thirde question, how Iohn could see the spirite: I answeare, seeing the spirite of God is spreade in euery place, and filleth the heauen and the earthe, a descendinge is vnproperly attributed to it. The same is to be accompted of the sight, for although in it selfe it is in­uisible, yet it is sayde to be seene, where as there is shewed some signe of his presence. Iohn seeth not the essence of the spirite, which falleth not vnder the sense of the eye, neither did he see the power it selfe, which is not cōprehēded by humane sense, but only by the vnderstāding of faith: but hee seeth the likenesse of a Doue, vnder the which God shewed the presence of his spirite. Therefore it is a Metonymicall kinde of speache, wherein the name of a spirituall thing is geuen to a visible signe. For as they doe folishly and preposterously vrge the letter, that they mighte in­clude the signified thing in the signe, so it is to be noted that in these kin­des of speaking is noted a coniunction of the thing with the signe. Ac­cording to this meaning the bread of the holy supper is called the bodye of Christ: because it testifieth that it is truely geuen to vs for foode. Yet that withall is to be remembred which I now touched, there must not be imagined a descention of the thing signified, that it should be soughte in the signe, as thoughe it were there locally included; but this one thinge ought enough, and more then enough to suffice vs; that the Lorde by his secrete power wil performe whatsoeuer he hath promised vs by figures. Many also rather curiously, then profitably▪ doe demaund wh [...]ther this Doue were a perfecte body or but a goast. Though that the wordes of Luke seeme to affirme that it was not the substance of a body, but only a likenesse, yet least any man should therby take occasion of quarelling, I leaue it as I finde it.

17. A voice from heauen. That voyce did sounde out of that diuision of the heauens, whereof mention is made before: that thereby his maie­stie might the more certainly be manifest vnto him. Also when Christe came openly to execute the office of a mediatour, hee was sent from the father with this testimonie to vs, that wee hauing this pledge of oure a­doption, might without feare call God himselfe our father. The title of a sonne doeth truely and naturally belong to Christe alone: but yet the sonne of God was shewed in oure flesh, that that one which the father hath by his owne right, might also obtaine the same for vs. VVherefore [Page 125] God bringing foorth Christ a mediator for vs, with this title of sonne, he declareth that he will be a father to vs all. To the same purpose ap­pertaineth the Epithyte of beloued, for that wee of our selues being ha­ted of God, it is necessary that his fatherly loue should flowe vnto vs by Christ. And the best interpreter of this place, is Paule to the Ephesians, chap. 1. 6. when hee sayeth that we haue obtained fauour in his beloued sonne, that we might be beloued of God. The which is also more fully expressed in this clause. In whome I am wel pleased. For he doeth declare that the loue of God doeth so rest in Christ, that he will powre forth himself from him vnto vs all? and not to vs onely, but also to the Angels them­selues: not that they needed a reconciliation, which neuer were at dis­corde with God: but because that they doe not perfectly adioyne vnto God, but by the benefite of the head. For the which cause he is also cal­led the first borne of euery creature, Col. 1. 15. And againe Paule in an other place teacheth that he came, that hee might gather what things so­euer, are in heauen and in earth, Col▪ 1. 20.

Mathew. 4.Marke 1.Luke 4.

1. Then was, Iesus led aside of the spirite into the wildernes, to be tempted of the deuill.

2. And when he had fasted forty daies and forty nightes, hee was afterward hungrie.

3. Then came to hym the tempter, and sayd: if thou be the sonne of God, cōmaund that these stones be made bread.

4. But he answearing sayd: It is wrytten, man shall not liue by breade only, but by euery worde that procedeth out of the mouth of God.

12. And im­mediatly the spi­rite d [...]i [...]eth him into the wilder­nesse.

13. And he was there in the wil­dernesse fourtye dayes, and was tempted of Sa­tan: he was also with the wilde beastes, and the Angels mini­stred vnto him.

1. And Iesus ful of the holy Ghost retourned from Iordan, and was led by the spirit into the wil­dernesse.

2. And was there fourtye dayes tempted of the deuil, and in those dayes hee did eate nothing: but when they were ended, hee was hungrie.

3. Then the deuil sayd vnto him: If thou be the Sonne of God, commaunde this stone that it [...] made bread.

4. But Iesus answered him, saying: It is wrytten, That manne shall not liue by breade onely, but by euery woorde of God.

[...]. Then Iesus was led aside. Christe went aside into the deserte for two causes: First that after the fast of fortie dayes as a newe man, or rather a heauenly, hee mighte come foorth to execute his office: Then that hee should not enter into so hard and notable an office, except he were tried with rēptations, as if he should so lay the foundation of his first exercise. Therfore let vs know that Christ by the direction of the spirite was led from the companie of menne, that the great doctour of the churche, and embassadour of God should come abroade as one rather sent from hea­uen, then taken out of some little towne and common sort of men. So God vsed Moses, when by his hand he would deliuer his law, he tooke him into the mount Sinai, and being led aside from the sight of the peo­ple, he kept him as it were in a holy sanctuarie. Exod. 24. 12. It behoo­ued Christ to be adorned with no fewer or lesse tokens of diuine grace and signes of power then Moses, least the maiestie of the gospell shoulde [Page 126] be les then of the law: for if the Lord thought that doctrine which was the minister of death woorthy of rare honour; how much more honour doeth the doctrine of life deserue? And if the shadowed figure of God hadde so great light, then with howe perfecte brightnesse is it meete to haue his countenaunce beautified, whiche appeareth in the Gospell? This same was the ende of his fast: for Christ abstained not from meat and drinke, that hee mighte geue an instruction of temperance: but that he might thereby haue the more authoritie, whyle he being exempt frō the common sorte of men, doeth come foorth as an Angel from heauen, and not as a man from the earth. For I beseeche you what maner of ver­tue was there in that abstinence, not to eate meate, whome no hunger mooued to desire the same? For it is certaine, and the Euangelistes doe plainly pronounce, that he no otherwise bare the hunger, then if hee had not bene clothed with flesh. VVherefore it were a mere follye to esta­blish a Lenten fast, as they call it, as an imitation of Christ. For there is no greater reason why we at this daye shoulde followe this example of Christe, then had in times past the holy Prophets, and other fathers vn­der the lawe to imitate the fast of Moses? And we knowe that this ne­uer came in their minde. God almost for the same cause continued Eli­ah fasting in the mount, because he was the minister that shoulde restore the lawe. They faine thēselues to be folowers of Christ, which through the Lent do daily fast: that is, they so stuffe their belly at dinner, that vn­to supper time they easily passe the time without meat. VVhat likenesse haue they with the sonne of God? Greater was the sparinge of the el­ders: but they also had no affinitie with the fast of Christ, no more then the abstinence of men commeth neere to the hunger of Angels. Adde al­so that neither Christe nor Moses did yearely keepe a solemne faste, but both of them did it only once in their whole life. And I woulde to God that they had onely plaide like apes with these follies. But it was a wic­ked and a detestable scorning of Christ, in that they attempted in theyr fained fasting to frame them selues after his doing. It is moste vile su­perstition that they perswade themselues that it is a worke meritorious, and to be some part of godlinesse and diuine worship. But this contu­mely is not to be borne: first against God, that they obscure his notable myracle. Then against Christ: because they taking his glorye from him, decke themselues with his spoiles. Thirdly against the Gospell, from the which no small credite is taken, if this fast of Christ be not acknowled­ged to be a seale of the same. God shewed a singular myracle when hee kept his sonne from the necessitie of eating, and do they not in a madde boldnesse spite at God, when they affecte to do the same by their owne power? Christ was noted with deuine glory by this fasting. And shall he be spoiled of his glory and brought in order, when as all mortall menne shall make themselues his felowes? This was the ende which God ap­poynted to Christes fast▪ that it shoulde be a seale to the Gospell: They that apply it to any other vse: do they not take so much from the digni­tie of the Gospell? Therefore let this counterfetting cease, which per­uerteth the counsell of God, and the whole order of his workes. But of fastes in their kinde I speake not, (which I wish were more common a­mongst vs, so that the same were pure) for it was mete to shew for what [Page 127] purpose Christ fasted.

Also Sathan tooke occasion of hys hunger to tempte Christ, as a little after shall bee shewed more at large, nowe it muste bee generally seene whye God woulde haue him tempted. For the woordes of Mathewe and Marke doe sounde that hee was broughte into thys combate by the determinate counsell of God, which saye that hee was ledde by the spi­rite for thys cause into the deserte. I doubte not but that God in the personne of hys Sonne, woulde shewe as in a moste cleare glasse howe deadlye and importune an ennemie of mannes saluation Sathan is. For whereof commeth it to passe that hee shoulde assaile Christe so sharpe­lye, and shoulde powre oute all his forces and violence against hym at thys time whiche the Euangelistes note, but because he sawe hym at the commaundemente of his father, prepared for the redemption of man­kinde? therefore hee then resisted in the personne of Christe, our salua­tion, as hee deadly persecuteth daily the ministers of the same redemp­tion, whereof Christe was the authour.

But it is to bee noted wythall, that the sonne of God did willinglye endure those temptations, whereof it is nowe entreated, and that hee striue wyth the Deuill as it were hande to hande, that by his victorie he might gette vs the triumphe. Therfore as ofte as Sathan assaileth vs, let vs remember that his violence canne no other way be sustained and dri­uen backe, then by opposinge thys shielde againste him, as for that cause the sonne of God suffered himselfe to bee tempted, that hee myghte stande betweene vs so ofte as Sathan▪ stirreth anye exercise of temptati­ons againste vs. Therefore when hee l [...]dde a priuate life at home, wee doe not reade that hee was tempted: but when hee vndertooke the of­fice of a Redeemer, then hee in the common name of hys Churche came into the combate.

Then if Christe was tempted as in the publike personne of all the faithfull, lette vs knowe that these temptations whyche befall vnto vs, are not by fortune, or stirred at the pleasure of Sathan without the per­mission of God: But that the spirite of God, gouerneth these conflicts, whereby oure faithe is exercised, whereby is gathered a certaine hope, that GOD who is the chiefe and great captaine and gouernour, is not vnmindefull of vs, but that hee will helpe vs in oure streightes wherein hee seeth vs▪ ouermatched.

The woordes of Luke sounde somewhat otherwise, That Iesus ful of the holye Ghoste, retourned from Iordan, in whyche woordes hee signifieth, that hee was then armed with a more plentifull grace and power of the spirite, that hee myghte bee the more stronge to endure suche bruntes, for the spirite did not in vaine descende vppon hym in a visible shape.

And it is sayde before, that the grace of GOD did the more shyne oute, because that the cause of oure saluation so required. The same Euangelist and Marke, do teach that the beginning of his temp­tations was sooner, for Sathan assaulted him forty dayes also before hys hunger: but the especiall and moste notable conflictes are here declared▪ that we may knowe that sathan being ouercome in many conflictes, did more sharply inuade, and laide on more strongly with his whole force, [Page 128] if it might be, that at length he might oppresse him that yet was inuin­sible. For as euery man is more exercised in spirituall battelles, so muche more vehemently doth God suffer him to be stricken. VVherefore lette vs learne neuer to bee wearied, vntill wee haue perfourmed the whole course of our warfare, and come to the marke. But at the first sight it see­meth to be absurde that Christ should be subiect to temptations: for that men may be tempted, there must be sinne and infirmitie: I answere, first that Christ had taken our infirmities, but without sinne. Then it did no more derogate from his glory that he was tempted, then that he tooke vppon him our flesh. For on this condition was he made manne, that he might take vpon him our affectiōs together with the flesh. But al the dif­ficultie doth consist in the former clause, how Christ coulde be compas­sed about with our infirmitie, that he mighte be tempted of Sathan, and yet be pure and free from all sinne. But the answere shall not be hard, if we remember the whole nature of Adam, when as yet the pure image of God shined there, and yet was subiect to temptations. Howe manye corporall affections there are in manne, so manye occasions of tempting them doth Sathan take. And this is woorthely accompted the infirmity of humane flesh, to haue the sences mooued with the things obiecte: but such as was not faulty of it selfe, except that corruption had bene added, whereby it commeth to passe, that Sathan doeth neuer assault vs, but that he geueth some wound, or at the least doeth hurt vs with some prick. In this poynt the integrity of nature hath separate Christ from vs, yet there is no meane condition to be imagined to be in him, as was in Adam, to whome it was onely geuen a possibilitie not to sinne. And wee knowe that Christ was armed with that power of the spirite, that hee could not be pearced with the weapons of Sathan. Then came the tempter. The spirite of purpose doth geue this name to Sathan, that the faithfull might ther­by the more diligently take heede of him. VVherby we also gather that temptations which prouoke vs to euil, come not but from him. For that in Gen. 22. I. Deut. 13. 3. God is sayd to tempt, it belongeth to an other ende, that is, that he might trie their faith, or mighte take vengeaunce of the vnbeleeuers, or that he might laye their hypocrisie open, which obey not the truth from the heart.

MAT. 3. That these stones. Heere also the olde wryters played wyth weake deuices: for they say the first temptation was of gluttonie, the se­conde of ambition, the third of couetousnesse. But it is ridiculous, if any man that is hungrie desireth meat, that hee might satisfie nature, to refer that to the intemperancie of the throte. Further, what dainties doe they imagine to be in bread, that he should be accompted too delicate, that is content (as they say) with drie breade? But that we lose no woordes in vaine, the only answeare of Christ doth sufficiently declare that Sathans purpose was otherwise. Truely the Sonne of God was not a rude and vnskilfull champion, that he knewe not howe to auoide the blowes of his enemie; that being stricken on the right side, hee shoulde rashly holde his shield to the left. Therefore if Sathan had endeuoured to driue him to the delightes of gluttonie, he had the testimonies of scripture readye, wherewith he might driue him away. But he vttereth none suche, but ta­keth this sentence, men liue not by breade, but by the secreate blessing of God, whereby we gather that Sathan streightway assaulted the faith of [Page 129] Christ, that the same being extinguished, he might driue Christe to vn­lawfull and wicked wayes to seeke his breade. And then doeth Sathan wounde to death, when he attempteth to bring this to passe, that we di­strusting God, should otherwise prouide for our selues, then by his word is lawfull. Therefore the meaning of the woordes is: sith thou seest thy selfe forsaken of God, necessitie compelleth thee that thou shuldest pro­uide for thy self. Therfore get thee meat, which god prouideth not for thee. And althoughe he pretende the diuine power of Christe, whereby those stones should be tourned into bread; yet this one thing he seeketh, that Christe departing from the woorde of God, infidelitie shoulde fo­lowe what soeuer he shoulde say. Therefore Christ aunsweareth aptly, manne shall not liue by bread only, as if he shoulde say: thou comman­dest me to seeke some remedy, whereby I mighte helpe my selfe other­wise then God doeth permitte: But this were a poynte of distrust, with­out all reason, so long as God promiseth that he will nourish me. Thou Sathan tiest his grace to bread. But he contrarily witnesseth, if all meats were wanting, his onely blessing sufficeth to feede vs. Nowe we vnder­stande what kinde of temptation this was: namely that, wherewith Sa­than doeth assault vs daily. For the sonne of God woulde not subiecte himselfe to any vnaccustomed assault, but he had fightes common wyth vs, that we being defended with the same armours, shuld not doubt but that the victorie is in our hande.

4. It is wrytten, manne shall not liue by bread onely. This is first woorthy to be noted, that Christe vseth the scripture for his shielde. For thys is the right maner of fighting, if wee desire to obtaine the victorie. For Paule doeth not in vaine call the woorde of God the spiritual sworde, and ar­meth vs with the shield of faith. Ephe. 6. 16. 17. wherby we also gather, that the Papistes, as if they hadde made a couenaunt wyth Sathan, gaue ouer soules to be destroyed at his pleasure, when they maliciously sup­pressinge the scripture, spoyled the people of God of their weapons, by the whiche they coulde onely defende their saluation. They that wil­lingly caste from them this armoure, and doe not dailye exercise them­selues in the schoole of God, are woorthy euery moment to be slaine of Sathan, to whome they betray themselues vnarmed. And truely there is no other cause whye Sathan is so weakely withstoode, and that euerye where hee taketh awaye so many, but because that God reuengeth their slouthfulnesse and contempte of his woorde. Nowe the testimonie of Moses is to be sifted, whiche Christe citeth. Some wrongfully wrest the same to a spiritual life, as if he had sayd, that the soules are not nouryshed wyth visible bread; but with the word of God. And that is true in it self: but Moses hadde a further respecte: Deut. 8. 3. For when they wanted breade, hee declareth that the people had Manna, an extraordinarie ma­ner of meate: that by this instruction it mighte be witnessed for euer, that the life of menne is not included in bread, but to depend vpon the pleasure and good will of God. Therefore woorde is not heere taken for doctrine, but for a decree which God hath published for the preser­uation of the order of nature, and nourishing his creatures: for hee ca­steth not menne from him when he hathe made them, but on that con­dition he geueth them life, that he might daily sustaine that whyche hee hath once geuen.

[Page 130] So sayeth the Apostle,Heb. [...]. 3. all things are sustained by his mighty woorde: that is, the whole world is preserued, and euery parte of the same doeth remaine in his estate by his will and decree, whose power is spreade in euery place both aboue and belowe. Therefore though we eate breade, yet the maintenance of life is not to be attributed to the power of bread, but to the secreat grace which God geueth to bread to feede vs. VVher­of also foloweth an other lesson, that God which nowe vseth bread for our nourishment, cā by other meanes as oft as he shal thinke good, pro­uide that we may liue. Also in this sentence of Moses their beastlinesse is condemned, which accompt of fulnesse and aboundance as their lyfe. Furthermore, distrust and vngodly carefulnesse is reprooued, which dri­ueth vs to seeke vnlawfull meanes. And to this purpose is the answeare of Christe properly directed; for foode and other maintenances of thys present life, we must so trust God, that none of vs passe the bounds pre­scribed by him. If that Christ accompted it vnlawfull, to make bread of stones besides the commaundement of God: it is muche lesse lawfull to get thy liuing by deceits, thefts, violence and murthers.

Mathewe 4.Marke 1.Luke 4.

5. Then the Deuill tooke him vp into the holye citie, and set hym on a pinacle of the temple.

6. And sayde vnto hym: If thou be the Sonne of God, caste thy selfe downe: for it is wrytten that hee shall geue his Angelles charge ouer thee, and with their hands they shall lifte thee vppe, least at anye time thou shouldest dashe thy foote against a stone.

7. Iesus sayde vnto him: It is wryt [...]en again: thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

8. Againe the deuill tooke him vppe into an exceeding high moun­tain, & shewed him all the kingdōs of the world, and the glory of them,

9. And sayde vnto hym: all these will I geue thee, if thou wilte fall downe and worship me.

10. Then sayd Iesus vnto him. Auoide sathan: for it is wrytten. Thou shalt woorship the Lorde thy God, and him only shalt thou serue.

11. Then the deuill lefte hym, and beholde the aungelles came and woorshipped him.

13. And the aungels ministred to him.

5. Then the deuill toke him vp into an high mountaine, & she­wed him al the kingdoms of the world, in the twinkling of an eie.

6 And the deuil said vnto him: al this power wil I geue thee, & the glory of those kingdoms: for that is deliuered to mee: and to whome soeuer I wil, I geue it.

7. If thou therfore wilt worship me, they shulbe all thine.

8. But Iesus answeared him, & sayd. Hence from me sathan: for it is wrytten. Thou shalt woor­ship the Lord thy God, & hym alone thou shalt serue.

9. Then he brought him to Ie­rusalem, and set him on a pi [...]a­cle of the Temple, and sayde to him. If thou bee the sonne of God, cast thy self down frō hēce.

10. For it is wrytten, that hee will geue his angels charge ouer thee to keepe thee.

11. And with their hands they shal lift thee vppe, least at anye time thou shouldst dashe thy foot against a stone.

12 And Iesus answered & said vnto him: It is saide thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

13 And whē the deuil had ended all his temptation, he departed from him for a season▪

[Page 131] 5. Then the deuil tooke him. It is no great matter that Luke doth rehearse that temptation in the seconde place, which Mathewe placeth in the last place. For it was not the purpose of the Euangelists, so to set downe the order of the hystorie, as they would alwaies exactly obserue the poynte of time: but to gather the sum of the things, so as they might propose in a glasse or a table, those things which are most profitable to be knowen of Christ. Therefore let it suffice vs to knowe, that Christ was tempted 3. maner of wayes. But whiche was either the seconde or the thirde con­flict, there is no cause why we should curiously seeke. In the exposition I wil folow the text set downe by Mathew. It is sayd that Christ was set vpon a pinacle of the temple. But it is demanded whether he was caried vp on high in dede, or whether it was done by a vision. Many do boldly affirme that it was a true and a reall cariage of his bodye (as they say) for they thinke it a thing vnwoorthy that Christe shoulde yeelde himselfe in daunger to sathans sleights. But this obiection is easily wiped away, that there is no absurditie in the permission of God, and voluntarie subiecti­on of Christe, so that we thinke not that hee suffered any thing wythin, that is, in minde and soule. And that which foloweth after, that all the kingdomes of the worlde were sette in the sight of Christ, and that also which Luke wryteth, that hee was caried far in the twinkling of an eye, doth rather belong to a vision, yet in a doubtfull matter, & which with­out danger a man may be ignorant of. I had rather suspende my iudge­ment, then geue the contentious occasion of quarelling. Also it maye be that the 2. temptation did not presently without distance of time folow the first, nor the third the seconde, but it is more probable, that there was some distance, though by the woordes of Luke it is gathered that there was no long space betwene: for he sayth that Christ had rest geuen him for a season. But this appertaineth much to the matter, to know what sa­than went about in this kind of temptation, which is to be learned by the answer of Christ, as I said a litle before. Christ, that he might mete with the subtletye of the enemie, and beate backe his force, holdeth oute for a buckler, God is not to be tempted. VVhereby it appeareth that the de­ceites of the ennemies tended to this purpose, that hee liftinge himselfe vppe aboue measure, shoulde rashly rise vppe againste God. First sathan tried to drawe Christ to desperation, because he wanted meat and ordi­narie meanes: nowe he procureth him to a vaine and proud confidence, that neglecting the meanes which were at hande, he should throw him­selfe without necessitie into manifest daunger, and as though he should leape beyonde his boundes. But as it becommeth vs not to despair, when we are pressed with the want of all things, but that we shoulde depend vpō the assurance of God: so it is not lawfull for vs to set vp the combs, that we should lift vp our selues higher then God permitteth. Now we vnderstand what the purpose of sathan was: namely, that Christ making a triall of his diuinitie, shoulde with a foolish and a wicked [...]ashnesse rise vp against God.

6. Hee will geue his aungels charge ouer thee. This malice of sathan is to be noted, that hee abuseth the testimonie of the scripture, that might make the life of Christ deadly, and tourne his bread to poyson. For he ceaseth not to vse the same craft daily. And the sonne of God (who is a common exāple of al the godly) wold in his own person suffer this cōflict, that they [Page 132] al might learne diligently to take hede to themselues, least vnder a false pretence of the scripture, they fall into the snares of sathan. And it is not to be doubted, but that the Lord graunteth so much libertye to our ene­my, that we shoulde not rest in securitie, but be rather bent to keepe our watches. But let vs not be like to ouerthwart men which reiect the scrip­ture, as if it might be tourned euery way, because that the deuill abuseth the same: so for the same cause we must abstain from meates, least we be poysoned. Sathan prophaneth the woorde of God, and endeuoureth to wrest the same to our destructiō, but seeing it was ordained of God for our saluation, shal the counsel of God be to no effect, except that through our slouthfulnesse, the healthful vse of the same should pearish vnto vs? But this matter needeth no long disputation: only let vs see what Christ doeth teache vs by his example, which we must folow as a certaine rule. Doth he geue place to sathan, wickedly wresting the scripture? Doth he suffer the scripture wherwith he armed himself before, to be shakē away or to be taken from him? Nay by obiecting the scripture again, he migh­tily ouerthroweth the wicked cauil of sathan. Therfore so oft as sathan by his subtleties pretendeth the scripture, & that vngodly mē vnder this same pretence shal set vppon vs, that they might circumuent our faith, let vs borow weapons for the defence of our faith, frō no other place then out of the scripture. But though this promisse; (He wil geue his Angels charge ouer thee, &c.) doth appertain to al the faithful, yet it especially belongeth to Christ, who as he is the head of the whole church, so in his own right he gouerneth the angels & geueth them charge of vs. Wherfore in that, sathan doth not yet deceiue, that by this testimonie he prooueth that the angels were geuen as ministers vnto Christ, that shuld kepe him & bear him in their hands: but the deceit is this, that he draweth the keeping of Angels to a vaine and a rash course, which is then promised to the chil­dren of God, while they kepe themselues within their bounds, & walke in his waies. If this clause haue any force it in (in al thy wayes) then doeth sathan maliciously corrupt & maim the saying of the Prophet, generally & confusedly wresting the same to wandring & erronious courses. God commandeth vs to walke in our waies, & he sayth that his angels shall be our keepers. Sathan pretending the custodie of angels, doeth exhort Christ that he shoulde rashly procure him danger: As if he shoulde haue sayde: If in spite of God thou wilte cast thy selfe to death, the Angelles shall defende thy life.

7. It is wrytten thou shalt not tempt the Lord. Christ answeareth most aptly, it is not otherwise to be hoped that God doeth there promisse his helpe, then if the faithful do modestly commit thēselues to him to be gouer­ned: for we cānot otherwise trust his promises, except we obey his com­maundements. Further, when God is tempted many wayes, yet in thys place he is said to be tempted, when as we neglecte his meanes which he putteth into our hād. For they which neglect the means which God ap­poynteth, do as if they tried his power and his strength: As if any should cutte away the armes and handes from a man, and after bid him worke. In summe, whosoeuer desireth to take a trial of the diuine power, where as it is not necessary, he tempteth God, by bringing his promisses to vn­iust examination.

8. The deuil toke him into a [...] hi [...] mountaine. That is to be had in memorie, [Page 133] whych I sayde before, that it came not to passe through [...] the imbecillitie of the nature of Christe, that Sathan helde his eyes; but by his free ap­poyntment and permissiō. Further, his senses were touched and enticed wyth the glory of the kingdomes whiche were sette before him, that no inwarde couetousnesse mooued his minde: when as the pleasures of the fleshe are caried and doe carie vs as wilde beastes to those thinges that please vs: for Christ had the like sense that wee haue, but no disordered appetites. But it was a kinde of temptation, that Christ should aske the enheritaunce which God promiseth to his children, of anye other then of God himself. And heere the sacrilegious boldnesse of the Deuil doth bewraye it selfe, in that hee takinge the gouernment of the earthe from God, doeth vsurpe it to himselfe. All these things (sayeth hee) are mine, neither can they be obtained otherwise then at my hand. And wee must daily striue with this assault, which both all the faithful do feele in them selues, and is more euidentlye seene in the whole life of the vngodlye. For thoughe wee sette all our defences, richesse and commodities in the blessing of God: yet oure sences prouoke vs therefroe, and driue vs to seeke the assistances of Sathan, as if one God were not sufficiente. And a great parte of the worlde chalenging the righte and gouernmente of the earth from God, doeth imagine to themselues that Sathan is the ge­uer of all good things. For whereof commeth it, that almoste al doe ad­dicte them selues to euill Artes, and theftes, and deceits, but that they as­cribe that to Sathan whiche was the propertie of God, to enriche wyth his blessinge whome hee pleaseth? They pray wyth mouthe that God woulde geue them daily breade, but wyth the mouthe onely. For they make Sathan the chiefe, in distributing the richesse of all the worlde.

10. Auoyde Sathan. Luke hathe for it. Goe after mee Sathan. VVhere­fore some doe stande in vaine vppon that Aduerbe, when it was sayde to Peter: Goe behinde, Mathewe 16. 23. as if Sathan himselfe heard not the same. But Christe commaundeth him simplie to depart. And nowe hee goeth forwardes in the same kinde of defence, holdinge foorth the scripture not as a shielde of bulle rushes, but as of right brasse. And he [...] citeth a testimonie out of the law, that one God is to be worshipped & serued. Also it is easily gathered by the applying and the circumstāce of the place, to what ende the purpose of God belongeth, and what it pro­fiteth. VVhen as the Papistes doe denie that only God is to be worship­ped, they shift off this place and such like with a sophisticall Comment. That woorshippe whiche they call Latria, they graunte as due onelye to God: but dulia they geue to the deade, and to their bones and their ima­ges. But this friuolous distinction of wordes being reiected, Christ doth chalenge a falling downe to woorship to God alone. VVhereby we are warned to haue consideration rather of the matter, then of the word, so ofte as wee haue to doe wyth the woorship of God. The Scripture com­maundeth to woorshippe one God. It is to bee seene to what ende. If manne shall take awaye any thinge from his glorye, and geue the same to creatures, it is a sacrilegious violating of the woorshippe of GOD. And it is moste euident that wee doe so, when as wee geue to creatures those good things which we haue receiued, wherof God himself would be acknowledged to be the only author. But now as religion is proper­ly spirituall, and the outwarde confession of the same appertaineth to [Page 134] the body [...] ▪ So not only the inward woorshippe is due to God alone, but also the outward testimonie of the same.

11. Then the deuil left him, and beholde. Luke expresseth more, namely, when he had ended all the temptation. As if he should haue said that Christe had no rest nor truce geuen him, vntill hee was exactlye tried with all kinde of temptations. He also addeth that he was onely left for a season, that we might know that the rest of his life was not altogether free from temp­tations, but that the violence of sathan was restrained by God, that hee should not importunately molest Christ, euen as God vseth to doe with all his. For if sometime he permitteth them to be more sharply vexed, af­ter he releaseth them somewhat of that great conflicte, that they should breathe a while, and gather vp their mindes, yet hee spareth them not, that they should nourish slouthfulnesse, but only that they shoulde pre­pare themselues to new conflicts. That it foloweth after that the angels ministred vnto him; I accompt it as a comfort, that Christ shoulde feele that God the father had a care of him, and by his mighty aid should be defended against sathan. For the desart it self might haue encreased his griefe, when as he being depriued of all comfortes of menne, he liued a­mongst wilde beastes, which Marke also expresly noteth. Yet it is not to be thought that Christ was at any time forsaken of the Angels: but that place might be geuen to temptation. Somtime the grace of God, though it be present, yet is hid to the sence and vnderstanding of the flesh.

Mathew. 4.Marke. 1.Luke 3.

[...]2 And when Ie­sus had heard that Iohn was deliue­red vp, he retour­ved into Galile.

17. Frō that time Iesus beganne to preache and saye: Amende youre liues, for the king­dome of heauen is at hand.

14. Nowe after that Iohn was committed to prison, Iesus came into Galile, preaching the Gospell of the kingdome of God;

15. And saying: The time is fulfilled, and the kingdome of God is at hand: repent & beleeue the Gospell.

19. But when Herode the Tetrarch was rebu­ked of Iohn, for Herodias his brother Phillips wife, and son all the euils which Herode hadde done:

10. He added yet this about all, that he shut vp Iohn in prison.

Luke 4. 14. And Iesus returned by the power of the spirite into Galile; and there went a fame of him throughout all the region rounde about.

15. For he taughte in theyr Synagogues, and was honoured of all men.

LVKE, 19. But Herode the Tetrarche. Only Luke in this place doeth shew the cause why Herode did cast Iohn into prison. Yet Mathew and Marke doe make mention of it in an other place. Iosephus in the 18. booke of Antiquities sayeth, because Herode feared a tumulte of the people and new stirres, he shutte vp Iohn in the tower of Machaerontis, because he feared the credite of the man. Hee sayeth that Herodias was not geuen to Phillip (whome hee affirmeth maried Salome) but that she was geuen in mariage to an other Herode. But because that in this mat­ter he is taken forgetting himself, and also he doth not sette downe the death of Phillip in his right place, therfore a more certaine troath of the hystorie is to be sought oute of the Euangelistes, and we must stande to their testimonie.

This is sufficiently knowen, when Herode had the daughter of Areta king of the Aabians in mariage, he was enamored with the beautie of [Page 135] Herodias his Neece, and by fraude tooke her away. And this iniurie he did to his brother Phillippe without punishment: for the same Iosephus witnesseth that he was a manne of a gentle and quiet disposition. Also in this hystorie wee euidently see what rewarde remaineth in the worlde for faithfull and bolde ministers of the truthe, especially where they re­prooue sinnes▪ For scarce the hundred man doth admit correction: ther­fore if they be seuerely touched, they runne foorth into madnesse. If this pride be founde in the moste of the common people: no maruell if ty­rantes doe more sharply rage against them that reproue them, to whom nothing is more bitter then to be brought into order. Againe, in Iohn there sluneth a notable example of constancie, wherewith it becommeth all godly teachers to be endued: that they should not doubt to prouoke against them great and mighty men, as ofte as necessity shall so require. For hee serueth not God sincerely, that maketh acception of personnes. Further, when Luke sayeth that this euill was added aboue all the rest: Hee meaneth that his malice was then past hope, and that the sinner is then come to the highest steppe, when as he is angry with the remedies: and doth not only refuse correction, but also taketh vengeaunce vppon him that admonisheth him, as vpon his enemie.

MAT. 12. VVhen Iesus had heard. The hystorie of Iohn seemeth not to agree with these, who witnesseth that Iohn and Christ began the office of teaching both together at one time. But it is to be noted that our thre Euangelistes doe therefore in silence passe ouer that shorte time, because▪ the course of Iohn was not yet finished, that is the preparation to re­ceiue the Gospell of Christe. And certainly, though Christe within that time executed the office of a teacher, yet he properly began not the prea­ching of the Gospell, vntil he succeeded Iohn. VVherfore it is no absur­ditie that the three Euangelists doe graunte and assigne that time to the ministerie of Iohn, wherein Christe gathered his disciples, as if they should say: the morning passing, the sunne arose. But that speach is to be noted which Luke hathe, that Iesus in the power, or by the power of the spirit, came into Galile, for it is to great purpose that we do not imagin any earthly or humane thing in Christ, but that the celestial and diuine power in him may come into our minde, and occupie our senses.

MARKE. 14. Preaching the Gospell of the kingdome of God. Mathew see­meth to haue somewhat differing from the other two. For he sayth that after Christ went into Capernaum, and had left his country Nazareth, then at length he began his preaching: But Luke and Marke doe say that he taught openly in the countrey. But the answeare is easie: For the Ad­uerbe of time in Mathewe ought not onelye to be referred to the nexte clause, but to the whole course of the hystorie. Therfore at his comming into Galile, Christ entred his course. Also the summe of the doctrine as it is deliuered by Mathew, differeth nothing from that which a litle be­fore we read, that Iohn vsed. For it consisteth of two partes, repentance and the preaching of grace and saluation. Hee exhorteth the Iewes to conuersion, because the kingdom of God is at hand, that is, because God will take his people into his hande to gouerne them, which is the ful and perfecte felicitie.

Marke speaketh a little otherwise. The kingdome of God is at hande: R [...] ­p [...]nt and beleeue the Gospell: yet in the same sence: for hauing spoken before [Page 136] of restoring the kingdome of God amongst the Iewes, hee exhorteth to repentaunce and faith. Yet it may be demaunded, sith repentance doeth depende on the Gospell, whye Marke separateth the same from the do­ctrine of the Gospell. It may be answeared two wayes. For God some­time so calleth vs to repentaunce, so that hee onely commaundeth that the life be chaunged to better. Afterwardes he sheweth that conuersion and newnesse of life, is the gifte of his spirite, that we might knowe that we are not onely commaunded that which is our duetie, but that there is together offered the grace and power of obedience. If after this maner we take this whiche Iohn preached of repentance, the meaning shall be: the Lorde commaundeth you to tourne to him: but because yee can not doe it by your owne industrie, he promiseth the spirite of regeneration. VVherfore it behooueth you to embrace this grace by faith: though the faith which he requireth to be hadde in the Gospell, ought not to be re­strained to the gift of renouation. But it belongeth especially to forgeue­nesse of sinnes. For Iohn ioyneth repentaunce with faith: because God doeth therefore reconcile himselfe to vs, that as a father he may be wor­shipped of vs in holinesse and righteousnesse. Furthermore, there is no absurditie if we saye that to beleeue the Gospell, doeth signifie as muche as to embrace fre righteousnesse. For this speciall relation betwene faith and remission of sinnes, is often found in the scripture: as when he tea­cheth that we are iustified by faith. This place may be expounded both wayes, yet let that principle remaine vnshaken, that free saluation is of­fered vs of God, that being conuerted to him, we should liue to righte­ousnesse. Therefore he promising vs mercy, doeth call vs to the denial of the flesh The Epytheton is to be noted wherewith Marke adorneth the Gospell: For heereby we learne, that by the preaching of the same, the kingdome of God is erected and established vppon the earthe, neyther doeth God raigne by any other meanes amongst men. VVherby it also appeareth howe miserable the condition of menne is wythout the Go­spell.

LVKE. 15. Hee was honoured of all menne. Thys is namely set downe by Luke, that we mighte knowe that the diuine power did presentlye from the beginning shine in Christe, which driue men not as yet infe­cted with a malitious desire of gainsaying, into admiration of him.

Matthew.Marke.Luke 4.

16. And he came to Nazareth where he had been brought vppe, (and as his custome was) went into the Synagogue on the Saboth daye, and stoode vppe to reade.

17. And there was deliuered vnto him the booke of the Prophet Esaias, and when hee had ope­ned the boke, he foūd the place where it was wryttē,

18. The spirite of the Lord is vp [...]n me, because he hath anoynted me, that I [...] should preach the Go­spel to the poore: hee hath sent me that I shoulde heale the broken hearted, that I sh [...]uld preach deli­uerāce to the captiues, & r [...]uering of sight to the blind, that I shuld set at libertie thē that are brused▪

[Page 137] 19. And that I should preach the acceptabl [...] yeare of the Lord.

20. And hee closed vppe the booke, and gaue it again to the minister, and sate downe: and the eyes of al that were in the Synagogue were fastened on him.

21. Then hee beganne to saye vnto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your eares.

22. And all bare witnesse, and wondred at the gracious words, which proceeded out of his mouth: and sayd, Is not this Iosephes sonne?

16. Hee came to Na [...]areth. The Euangelistes doe stand vpon this one thing, that they might shewe by what meanes Christ was made known, for which purpose Luke here reporteth a thing worthy to be remēbred: that is, that he expounding the place of Isaiah, and applying it to the pre­sent vse, he turned the eyes of all menne vppon himselfe. VVhen he saith that he came into the Synagogue, according to the custom: we hereby ga­ther that he did not onely speake to the people in the streetes and hygh wayes, but as much as hee might, he obserued the vsuall order of the Church. Also we see withall, though the Iewes were degenerate; yet in such confusion of thinges, and in the estate of the Churche miserablye corrupted, this good thing remayned, that they read the scripture before the people, that thereby they might take occasion of teaching and exhor­ting. VVhereby it also appeareth what was the right and lawfull maner of keeping the Saboth. For GOD did not therefore commaund his peo­ple to keepe holy dayes, as though that he was simply pleased with their reste: but rather that hee might exercise them in meditating his workes. Also because the mindes of men are dimme in considering the workes of God, it is necessary that they should be directed by the rule of the scrip­ture: but though Paule numbreth the Saboth amongst the shadowes of the lawe, Colloss. 2. 17. yet in this poynt wee haue like cause to obserue it, as the Iewes hadde, that the people maye come togeather, to heare the word, to publike prayers, and to other exercises of godlynesse: for the which cause the lords day came in place of the Iewish saboth. Now, if the times be compared, it shall easily appeare out of this present place, that the corruptions of the popishe hierarchy are at this day more filthy & more deformed, then they were amongst the Iewes vnder Annas and Cayphas. For the reading of the scripture, which then was vsed, was not onely vnder the Pope growne out of vse, but with sworde and fire was driuen out of the Churches: But that which they songe in an vnknown tongue, as it seemed, in mockerie. Christ rose vp to read, not onely that his voyce might be the better heard, but in signe of reuerence. For this doth the maiestie of the scripture deserue, that the interpreters of it shuld professe them selues to come modestlye and reuerentlye to handle the same.

17. He found the place. It is not to be doubted but that Christ of pur­pose chose this place. Some thinke that it was euen offered to him by God: but sith he had graunted him a free election, I doe rather referre it to his iudgment, that he chose this place before others. Also Isaiah pro­miseth [Page 138] in that place, that after the captiuitie of Babylon there should yet be some witnesses of the fauour of God, which should gather the peo­ple from destruction, and out of the darknes of death, and should with a spirituall power restore the Church afflicted with so manye calamities. But because that redēption was to be proclaymed in the name & aucto­ritie of Christ alone: therefore he speaketh in the singular number, & af­ter a sorte taketh vppon him the person of Christe, that he might the more effectually stirre vp the mindes of the godly to an assured trust. It is certaine that the wordes which are here set downe cannot properlye be applyed to any, but to Christ alone, and that for two causes. First, be­cause that he alone was endued with the fulnes of the spirite, that hee might be a witnesse and a messenger of our reconciliation with God (by which reason Paul assigneth that peculiarly to him, which is commō to all the ministers of the Gospel, Ephe. 2. 17. that is, that they shuld preach peace to as many as are nigh and farre off:) then because he only wor­keth and perfourmeth by the power of his spirit, whatsoeuer good things are promised.

18. The spirit of the Lord vpon me. This is therfore said, that we might know that Christ aswel in himself, as in his ministers doth not the work of mā, or any priuate busines, but that he was sent of God to restore the saluati­on of the Church. For he testifieth that he doth nothing by the motion and counsell of man, but al things by the gouernment of the spirit, that the faith of the godly might be grounded vpon the aucthoritie and po­wer of God. That clause that next followeth, Because he hath annoynted mee, is added to expound the former. For many do falsly boast that they haue the spirit of God, whē they are without the gifts of the spirit. But Christ by the annoynting, as by the effect proueth that hee is endued with the spirit of God. Then hee sheweth to what end hee was endued with the grace of the spirit: namely, that he might preach to the poore: whereby we gather, that whosoeuer are sent of God to preach the Gospell, ought first to be endued with necessary giftes, that they maye be able to dis­charge so great an office. VVherefore they are indeede to be laughed at, which vnder the pretence of the calling of God, doe vsurpe the place of Pastors, when they are most vnapt to execute the office: as the horned bi­shops in poperie, when they are more ignorant then any Asses, yet they proudlye cry out, that they are the Vicars of Christe, and that they on­ly are the lawful gouernours of the Church. It is also expresly said, that the Lord doth annoynt his seruauntes: beecause that the true and effe­ctuall preaching of the Gospell dooth not consist in windy eloquence, but in the celestiall power of the spyrite: as Paule sayeth. 1. Cor. 2. 1. & 4.

To the poore. The Prophet declareth what the estate of the church was before the beginning of the gospel, and what al our condition is without Christ. Therefore he calleth them poore, broken, captiues, and blind, and brused, to whom God promiseth restitution. But though the body of the people was oppressed with so many miseries, that these titles might agree to euery member of the same: yet because that manye in their pouertie blindnesse, bondage, and to bee shorte, in death, doe flatter them­selues, or ar senselesse: therfore few are fit for the receiuing of this grace. And first we are taught here, to what ende the preaching of the Gospell [Page 139] belongeth, and what it bringeth vs: that is, when we were wholly ouer­whelmed with all kind of euils, there God shineth vnto vs with his light of life, that he leading vs out of the great depth of death, might restore vs into a full felicitie. Truely this is no vsuall commendation of the gos­pell, that we gather such incomparable fruit of it. Secondly we see whō Christ calleth to him, and whom he maketh partakers of the grace com­mitted to him: that is, they that are wretches in al-poyntes, and are with­out all hope of saluation. But againe we are admonished, that we cannot any otherwise enioy these benefits of Christ, except we be humbled with a deepe feeling of our miseries; and as people hungarstarued, doe de­sire and seeke for him to be our deliuerer: for whosoeuer swell in pride, and sigh not vnder their captiuitie, and are not displeased with theyr owne blindenesse, they doe with deaffe eares dispyse this prophe­sie.

19. That I should preach the acceptable yeere. It seemeth to many to be an allusion to the yeere of Iubile, whose iudgement I doe not refuse. Yet it is worth the labour to note, how the Prophet taketh paines to aunswear a doubt, which might trouble and shake the weake mindes, seeing that the Lord had so long differred the promised saluation, and had holden them in suspence. Therefore he appoynteth the time of redemption in the counsell or goodwill of God, as he saith, chap. 49. 8. In an acceptable time I haue heard thee, in a day of saluation haue I helped thee. Paule to the Galla. 4. 4. calleth it the fulnes of time; that the faithfull may learne not curiously to enquire further then is expedient: but to reste in the will of God: and this one thing was sufficient for them, that the saluation in Christ was giuen, when God saw it good.

20. And the eyes of all that were in the Synagogue. I doubte not but that God had touched their heartes, that the straungnes of the matter might make them more attentiue, and so should giue eare to Christ speaking: for it was necessary that they should be stayd, least they presently shuld haue made a noyse, or at the leaste that they shoulde not breake off the course of the word, seeing that otherwise they were more bent and rea­dye to contemne Christ, as we shall see.

21. This day is fulfilled. Christe doth not onely vse these three words: but prooueth in deede that the tyme is nowe come, wherein GOD would restore the decayed Church, that the exposition of the prophesie might be euident and plaine to the hearers, as the interpreters do right­ly and in order handle the scripture, when they applye the same to the present vse: and he saieth, that it was fulfilled rather in their eares then in their eies: because the bare sight doth litle profit; except that doctrine had the chiefe place.

22. They bare witnesse. Here Luke first commendeth vnto vs the di­uine grace which was in the mouth of Christe: then hee liuely paynteth out the vnthankfulnes of men. He calleth them the words of grace, or gratious wordes in the Hebrew phrase, wherein the power and grace of the holy Ghost was seene. Therefore the Nazarites are compelled to ac­knowledge with admiration, God speaking in Christ: yet they willingly hinder themselues from giuing the right and due honour to the heauen­ly doctrine. For when they obiect that he is the sonne of Ioseph, they do not amplyfie with this circumstaunce the glory of God, as it became thē: [Page 140] but malitiously they take this as an offence, that they might with the fai­rer colour refuse whatsoeuer shalbe sayde by the sonne of Ioseph. So at this day we see very many, who though they are enforced to graunt that to be the word of God, which they heare: yet they get them friuolous excuses, wherewith they may exempt themselues from the necessitie of obedience.

And truelye the cause why we are not so touched with the power of the Gospell, as it were meete, commeth not by any other meanes, but that wee are a lette vnto our selues, and with our malice we choake the light, by beholding whereof, wee are moued whether we will or no.

Matth.Marke.Luke. 4.

23. Then he sayd vnto them, you will surely say to me this prouerbe, Physition heale thy selfe: what soeuer we haue heard done in Capernaum, doe it here likewise in thine own countrey.

24. And he said, verily I say vnto you, no pro­phet is accepted in his countrey.

25. But I tell you of a troath, manye widowes were in Israel in the dayes of Elyas, when heauen was shut three yeeres and sixe monethes, when great fa­mine was throughout all the land:

26. But vnto none of them was Elyas sent, saue vnto Sarepta, a citie of Sydon, vnto a certain wy­dowe.

27. Also there were many lepers in Israell, in the time of Eliseus the Prophet: yet none of them was made cleane, sauing Naaman the Syrian.

28. Then all that were in the Synagogue, when they heard it, were filled with wrath.

29. And rose vp, and thrust him out of the ci­tie, and lead him vnto the edge of the hill, whereon their citie was builte, to caste him downe head­longe.

30. But he passed through the middes of them, and went his way.

23. Phisition heale thy selfe. By the wordes of Christ it is easily gathe­red, that he was contemptuously receiued by the Nazarites: for he vtte­reth that, which he knew they thought in their mindes. Then he layeth the falt vppon them, why he stayeth from working miracles amongste them: and he reproueth their malice, because they gaue no reuerence to the Prophet of God. The obiection which he preuenteth is this: It is no maruell, if his countrey men haue him in no estimation, seeing that hee doth not ennoble his owne countrey, with miracles, as he doth straunge places: therefore this is a iust reuenge, if he be reiected of his, which he lesse esteemeth then any other. To this purpose belongeth the common prouerbe, that a Physition shoulde beginne first with himselfe and his owne people, before he shew his skill of curing to strangers. The summe [Page 141] of the obiection is, Christ did preposterously, for that with his myracle hee renoumed other cities of Galile, & had no respect to his own coun­trey. And this seemed to the Nazarites to be an honest excuse, why they againe might refuse him.

24. Verily, I say vnto you. Hee layeth to their charge that it is through their own fault, that he sheweth not his power in miracles amongst thē, as in other places. For the incredulitie of men, stayeth God that he work not for their saluation, as were to be wished. Matth. 13. 58, and Mar. 6. 5. Therfore could not Christ doe miracles amongst them, because they be­leeued not in him: not that it is in the will of men to tie the handes of God: but because he depriueth them of the fruit of his workes, which through infidelitie make themselues vnworthy. Therefore the aunswere is asmuch, as if Christe should haue sayde: If you wil be partakers of mi­racles, why doe you not giue place to God? Naye, why doe you proud­lye reiect the minister of his power? Therefore you haue a iust reward of your contempt, that you being passed by, I should rather shew my mi­racles in other places, that I am the Messias of God, to whom the re­storing of the Church is committed. And truely that vnthankefulnesse might not be borne, that when God would haue his sonne brought vp in their citie, that they should despyse such a nourse. VVherefore of ryght he withdrew his hande from thence, that it should not be scorned by so wicked contemners. But here we learne how much the Lord esteemeth his word: for that he may punish the contempt of the same, hee taketh from amongst them the graces, which are testimonies of his presēce. For the vnderstanding of this sentence, That a prophet is not esteemed in his owne countrey. let the readers looke what we haue said in the fourth Chapter of Iohn about the end.

25. There were many widowes. after that Christ had layd the fault v­pon them, that they were without miracles, he now proueth by two ex­amples, that it should not seeme absurde, if God should preferre straun­gers before his owne housholde people: and they ought not to laye the faulte vppon him, if that he obeyed the calling of God, as Elyas and Eli­saeus did in times past. And sharply he restraineth their vaine confidence, that they would haue him bound to them; because he was brought vppe amongst them. At what time (saith hee) the famyne continued for two yeares and a halfe,1. Ki. 17. 9 there were manye widowes in the lande of Israel: whose neede the Prophet was not commaunded to helpe,2. Ki. 5. 14 but he was sent to a straunger of the citie of Sydon. Likewise Elisaeus cured none of the Lepers of his owne countrey, but Naaman, that manne of Syria. And though he peculyarly nyppeth the Nazarits: yet hee also reproueth the vnthankefulnesse of al the nation, for that almost al were wont so much the more vnworthily to despise the Lord, by how much he came neere to them. For how came it to passe, that God preferred the straung woman before all the Israelites: but because that the Prophet being thrown forth of them, was enforced to seeke entertainment in a prophane land? And wherefore would God that Naaman the Syrian should be healed by E­lisaeus, but for the reproofe of the people of Israell? Therefore the mea­ning is, that it now falleth out, as it did in times past, that God will send his power a farre off vnto straungers, because he is driuen backe by thē, that dwell at home with him. Yet Christe declareth that nothing of his [Page 142] glory is diminished, in that he is nought set by of his countreymen: be­cause that God, to their ignominie and shame, can other where honour and exalt his sonne, as in tymes past hee honoured his Prophets in the middest of the Gentiles. In this manner the foolish glorying of flesh is beaten downe, when wee see the Lorde reigne not onelye where and when hee will: but euen in the vttermoste corners, not regarding the lande which hee had chosen for a dwelling place for himselfe. Also heere is a generall doctrine to be gathered, that it becommeth not vs to prescribe God a lawe for the bestowing of his benefites, but that at his pleasure hee may rayse the lowe and the most contemned menne, to ho­nour, the chiefe being reiected. Neyther is it lawefull for vs to styrre, if he altogether ouerthrow that order yt pleaseth our iudgement. And the Antithesis betweene Israell and the prophan nations must be noted. But it behooueth vs alwayes to consider this, thas he chooseth none beefore other for their own worthinesse: but that rather commeth by the won­derfull counsell of God. Yet though the reason be hidden, it is necessary to honour and to worship the depth.

28. They were filled with wrath. They vnderstoode to what purpose those two examples tended, which Christ alleaged: that is, that the grace of God should be trasferred to a place. Therefore they took it for theyr reproach. But wheras their consciences ought to be touched to the quick, that their faults being corrected, they might seeke remedie, they are one­ly driuen into a madnesse. So the wicked do not onely stubbornly resist the iudgementes of God, but they cruelly rise against his seruants. Here­by it appeareth what force these reproues haue, which come from the spirite of God: for they enflame their mindes with madnesse, that wil­lingly do scorne the same.

Further, when we see the mindes of menne to be so full of poyson, that they waxe madde against God, so soone as they are sharpely hand­led, we must aske the spirite of meekenesse, that the same fury cary not vs into this deadly battayle. VVhen Luke saieth that Christ went tho­row the middes of them, and so escaped their handes, hee declareth that he was delyuered by God not without a great myracle from the present death. By which example we are taught, although our aduersaries pre­uaile, that our life seeme to be at their pleasure: yet the power of GOD shall alwayes be the conquerer, to preserue vs so long as he will keepe vs in this world, eyther he will binde their handes, or strike their eyes with blindnes, or amase their heartes and mindes.

Matth. 4.Marke.Luke.

13. And leauing Nazareth, went and dwelt in Capernaum, which is neere the sea, in the borders of Zabulon, and Nepthalim,

14. That it might be fulfilled, which was spo­ken by Isaias, the Prophet saying:

15. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Ne­pthalim by the way of the sea, beyond Iordan, Galile of the Gentiles:

16. The people which sate in darknesse, sawe [Page 143] great light, and to them that sate in the regi [...] and shadow of death, light is risen vp.


13. And leauing Nazareth. I haue thought good therefore to adde this place of Matthew to the hystorie of Luke, because it may be gathered, that Christ to this time was accustomed to frequent the citie of Naza­reth: he bidding that citie farewell; that hee might auoyde daunger, hee went to Capernaum, and the cities thereaboutes. This history hath no difficultie, but that Matthew seemeth to abuse the testimonie of the pro­phet into an other sense. But if we weigh the naturall sense of the Pro­phet, the applying of it to this present cause, shal be apt and easie. For I­saias, after he had spoken of the most grieuous calamitie of the people, that he might comfort them in sorow, promiseth, when the people shall be brought to the lowest ebbe, presentlye delyueraunce shall followe, which, darkenesse being shaken off, shall restore the light of lyfe. The wordes are, the darknesse shall not be according to the affliction, that it had, when at the first he touched lightly the land of Zebulō, & the land of Nepthali,Isa 9. 1 nor afterwarde when he was more grieuous by the way of the sea,2. Ki. 15. 26 & 18. 9 beyonde Iordan in Galile of the Gentiles. The people that wal­ked in darkenesse, haue seene a great light. The Israelites were now op­pressed with a double calamitie: for, first foure trybues or thereaboutes were lead into captiuitie by Theglath Pelefer. Then whē Salmanasar stroke all the kingdome of Israell, there remayned a thirde plague: whiche the Prophet about the end of the eight chapter saieth, shalbe the sharpest of all. But nowe in the wordes, which we haue rehearsed, there followeth a mittigation: because God reacheth his hande to his people, death shall be easier to be borne then sicknesses were before. Although (saieth hee) the whole people shall be blotted out, yet the shining light of grace shall bring to passe, that there shalbe lesse darkenesse in this latter destruction, then was in the double destruction of the tenne trybes. Also I doubte not but that the promise ought to be extended to the whole body of the people, which in shewe seemed to be in like miserable and lamentable e­state. For the Iewes do preposterously apply the same to the deliuerance of the citie of Ierusalem: as if they lyght of lyfe had bene restored, when by the flight of king Sennacherib the siege was raysed. Certeinly, it doth plainely appeare by the text, that the Prophet had a further regard. Therefore, when he shall promise a general restitution of al the church, it followeth that the lande of Zabulon, and the lande of Nepthalim, and Galile of the Gentiles, were comprehended in the number of thē, whose darkenesse of death were chaunged into the light of life. The re­turne of the people from Babylon was the beginning of this light, and as the morning. At the length the sonne of righteousnes Christ, came forth in his full brightnes, and by his comming hee vtterly abolyshed the darknes of death. Therefore P. to the Ep. 5. 14. admonisheth that in him was fulfilled, that which euery wher is foūd in the prophets: Awak thou that sleepest, & stand vp from the dead. Now when wee knowe that the kingdom of Christ is spirituall, it is necessary that the light of saluation, which he bringeth, and what help soeuer we receiue from him, should be agreeable to the nature of the same. VVherof it followeth that our soules are drowned in the darknes of eternal death, vntil he lighten thē with his grace. [Page 144] The Prophet speaketh of the ouerthrowing of a countrey: but the con­dition of mankinde is described as in a glasse, vntill it be sette at lybertie by the grace of Christ. That they that sate in darkenesse are sayd to see a great light: so sodeine and so notable a chaunge dooth amplyfie the greatnesse of the diuine saluation. The lower Galile was called, Galile of the Gentiles, not onely because it was so neere to Tyre and Sydon, but because the Gentiles were there myngled amongst the Iewes: especi­ally for that Dauid had graunted certaine cities to king Hiram.

Matth. 4.Mar. 1.Luke. 5.

18. And Iesus walking by the sea of Galile, sawe two brethrē, Simon, which was called Peter, and An­drew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19. And he sayd vnto them follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20. And they straight way leauing the nets. follo­wed him.

21. And when he was gone forth from thence, hee sawe other two brethren, Iames the sonne of Zebe­deus, and Iohn his brother in a shippe with Zebedeus their father, mending their nets, and he called them.

22. And they with­out [...]arying, leauing the ship and their father, follo­wed him.

23. So Iesus went a­bout all Galile, teaching in their Synagogue, and prea­chinge the Gospell of the kingdome, and healing eue­ry sicknes and euery disease among the people.

24. And his fame spread abroade through all Syria, and they brought vn­to him all sicke people, that were taken with diuers di­seases and grypinges, and them that were posses­sed [Page 145] with deuilles, and those which were Lunatike, and those that had the palsie: and he healed them.

25. And there follo­wed him great multitudes out of Galile, and Decapo­li [...], and Ierusalem, & Iudea, and from beyond Iordan.

[Page 144]

16. And as hee wal­ked by the sea of Galile, he saw Simon, and Andrewe his brother, casting an [...]tte into the sea: for they were fishers.

17. Then Iesus saide vnto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

18. And straightway they forsooke their nettes, and followed him.

19. And when he had gone a litle further thence, he saw Iames the sonne of Zebedeus and Iohn his bro­ther, as they were in the shippe, mending their nets.

20. And anon he cal­led them: & they left their father Zebedeus in the ship with his hyred seruants, and went their [...]ay after him.

1. Then it came to passe, as the people preassed vpon him, to heare the word of God, that he stoode by the lake of Gene­ [...]areth.

2. And saw two ships stan­ding by the lake side, but the fi­shermen were gone out of them▪ and were washing their nettes.

3. And he entred into one of the shippes, which was Simōs, and required of him, that hee would thrust off a litle from the land, and he sate downe, and taught the people out of the ship

4. Now, when he had lefte speaking, hee saide vnto Simon, launch out into the deepe, & le [...] downe your nettes, to make a draught.

5. Th [...] Simon answered & said vnto him: maister, we haue trauelled all night, and haue ta­ken nothing: neuerthelesse as thy word I wil let down the nette.

6. And when they had so done, they enclosed a great mul­titude of fishes, so that their net brake.

7. And they beckned to their partners, which were in the other shyp, that they should come, & help them: who came then, and filled both the shippes, that they did sincke.

8. Now when Simon Peter saw it, he fel down at Iesus k [...]es. saying, Lord goe from me: for I am a sinful man.

[Page 145] 9. For he was vtterly asto­nyed, and al that were with him: for the draught of fishes which [...] they tooke.

10. And so was also Iames & Iohn, the sonnes of Zebedeus, whiche were companyons with Simon. Then Iesus sayde vnto Simon: Feare not, from hence forth thou shalt catch men.

11. And when they hadde brought the shippes to lande, they forsooke all, and followed him.

MAT. 28. And he walking. Because this hystorie is set down by Luke after two miracles, which wee shall see afterwarde, it was commonlye thought, that the myracle which is reported was wrought by him som­what after they were called by Christ. But the reason which they follow hath but small force: for it was not the purpose of the Euangelistes to write Chronicles from yeere to yeare in a certeine and distinct order of tymes: whereby it came to passe, that the order of dayes being not regar­ded, they accounted it sufficient to gather summarilye the chiefest of the deedes of Christ: yet they kept an account of the yeares, that it might be euident to the readers how Christe bestowed the course of three yeares from the beginning of his preaching, vnto his death. But those myracles, which were wrought at that time, they set downe at lybertie, as hereaf­ter by many examples shall more plainely appeare.

But now it appeareth by manye argumentes, that this hystorie is re­ported by the three: of the which yet this one may suffice the reader that is not contentious, that the three with one consent doe teach, that Peter and Andrew, Iames and Iohn, were created Apostles. If they had beene called before, it should followe that they had beene Apostats, that forsa­king their mayster, and despising their calling, had returned to their olde manner of life. This is the only difference betweene Luke and the other two, that hee onely rehearseth the myracle, which the other doe omitte. But this is not vnusuall amongst the Euangelistes, to touch one part of a hystorie, omitting many circumstances. VVherefore there is no absur­ditie, if we say that one myracle is left out by two, which is reported by one. And that is to be remembred that Iohn saieth, 20. 31. that of innu­merable miracles of Christ, there were some chosen, which migh suffice for the proouing of his diuine power, and for the confirming of our fayth in him. Therefore it is no meruaile, if Matthewe and Marke doe briefly touch the calling of the foure Apostles, whose circumstance Luke doth more at large set forth.

LV. 1. Hee stoode by the lake. Matthew and Marke call it the see of Galile, after the olde manner of theyr tongue. That lake in times paste among the Hebrews was properly called cinduth, Thē the language being [Page 146] corrupted, the word was turned into Genezareth. The prophan writen doe call it Genesar: on that part that bordered vppon Galile, they called it the sea of Galile. The banke that was neere to Tiberias, was named after that citie. In an other place there will be a more fitte occasion to speake of the largenesse and cituation of the same. Now we will come to the matter it selfe. Luke saieth, that Christ going vp into Peters shyp, launched out a litle from the land, that he might the more commodiou­slye teache the people from thence, whiche were come out of diuers places, for the desire they had to heare him: and when he had ended his teaching, by a miracle he shewed a token of his diuine power: for though it is vsuall to fishers to make many draughtes in vaine, and then with one good draught to recompence the labour that they had spent in vaine: yet the myracle was set forth by this circumstaunce, that when they had taken nothing all the night (which yet is most fit for catching) sodenly a great multitude of fishes was heaped into their nettes, which filled their shippes. Therefore Peter and his felowes doe easily acknowledge, that such a pray, as exceeded measure, came not to them by chaunce, but was giuen them of God.

LV. 5. Mayster, wee haue trauayled all night. It is not to be doubted but that Peter knowing that Christ executed the office of a teacher, and tou­ched with a reuerence of him, did so call him: yet he had not so profited, as he deserued to be accounted amongst his disciples. For it is not enough to thinke reuerently of Christe, except we embracing his doctrine with obedience of fayth, do hold that which he requireth of vs. And though hee had no taste, or very small taste of the Gospell: yet he sheweth how much he attributeth to Christ, wheras being wearyed with labour, with­out profit, that which he in vaine had tried, he againe attempted. There­fore it cannot be denyed, but that Christ was great, and that his aucto­ritie much preuailed with him. But this perticular fayth had in one on­lye commaundement of Christe, and that in a priuate earthlye busines, had not made Peter a Christian, nor giuen him a place amongste the chyldren of God: but that from this beginning of obedience, he should at length be lead to a full obedience. But sith that Peter was so ready to obey the commaundement of Christe, whome as yet hee did not know eyther to bee a Prophet, or the Sonne of God. No excuse canne serue our slouth, that being taught that hee is our Lord, and king, and iudge, and being tenne times commaunded by him to doe our duetie, doe not yet stirre a finger.

LV. 6. They enclosed a great multitude of fishes. The ende of the mira­cle was, that the deitie of Christe beeing knowne, Peter and others shoulde yeelde themselues to be his disciples. Yet generallye by this ex­ample wee are taught not to feare that the blessing of God and happye successe shal not folow our labour, as oft as at the commaundement and direction of Christe wee laye our handes to worke: But there was such plentie of fishes as sanke the shyppes, and astonyed the myndes of them that beehelde it. For it was meete that the diuine glorye of Christe shoulde bee reuealed by this myracle, that the credite might be wholly his.

[Page 147] LV. 8. Lorde, goe from mee. Though menne in their dayly prayers doe desire the presence of God: yet it is necessary that assoone as GOD appeareth, that they shoulde be affrayde, and halfe dead with feare and amasednesse, vntill he giue them comfort. There is good cause whye they should so earnestly pray for the presence of God: for he beinge ab­sent, they are enforced to feele them selues to bee miserable wretches: and his presence is therefore fearefull, because they then beginne to feele that they are nothing: nay, with what a heape of euils they are filled. Af­ter this maner Peter so reuerenceth Christ in this myracle, that he being amased with his maiestie, would flee as much as he could. And this did not onely befall to Peter, but as by the text we doe gather, they were al afrayd. VVherefore we see that this feeling is planted in all men, that they should be afraide at the presence of God. And it is profitable for vs, that what foolish boldnes or pride soeuer is in vs might be humbled; so there shall presently be giuen comfort, which may hold vs vp. There­fore Christ with a sweete and friendly answere dooth recreate the mind of Peter, and forbyddeth him to feare. So the Lorde buryeth his in a graue, that then he may giue them life.

LV. 10. From henceforth thou shalt catch men. Matthew saieth, I will make you fishers of men. But Marke hath, I will make you to be fishers. By which wordes we are taught, that Peter and the other three were not onelye chosen of Christ to be disciples, but created Apostles, or at the least cho­sen in hope of Apostleshippe. Therefore here is not onely discribed a ge­nerall calling to the fayth, but a speciall calling to a certaine office.

I graunte that the office of teachinge was not yet committed vnto them: but yet Christe calleth and chuseth them into his company, that he might frame them to teaching. And this is wisely to be considered: for all are not commaunded to leaue their parentes and their old trade of lyuing, that they maye followe Christe on foote: but the Lorde is contente to haue some in his flocke and Churche, and to others hee ap­poynteth a proper standing. Therefore lette them that haue the office of a publike person layde vppon them, knowe, that there is more to be required of them then of anye priuate persons. So Christe chaunging nothinge in the common lyfe of others, dooth bring these foure from theyr worke, whereby they lyued before, that hee might vse their help in a more notable office.

Also Christ chose vnto him grosse Idiotes no lesse rude in witte, then voyde of learning, that hee myght frame them, naye, that hee might re­new them with the grace of his spirite, that they might excell all the wisemen of the world. For so it was his will to pull downe the pryde of fleshe, and to giue a notable token of spirituall grace in them, that we might learne to aske the lyght of fayth from heauen, knowing that it cannot be obtained by our own industrie.

Furthermore, that he chose not the vnlearned and rude, that he would leaue them alwayes such: that which he did, maye not be drawne into example: as if at this daye also such Pastors were to be ordayned, as are after to bee instructed to execute theyr office. For wee know what rule hee prescribeth vs by the mouth of Paule:1. Tim. 3. 2 that is, that [...]one may be called, except they be apt to teach.

[Page 148] And he did not chuse such, as if he preferred ignoraunce before know­ledge: as some frantike men doe triumph to themselues in theyr owne ignoraunce, and how much more they abhorre learning, so much the ne­rer they thinke themselues to the Apostles. And his will was at the first to chuse these base men, that he might ouerthrow the vanitie of thē, that thinke that the vnlearned shall not enter into heauen. But after he ioy­ned Paule as a companion to these fishers: who from his youth was di­ligently trayned vp in learning, Act. 22. 3. But yet it pertaineth nothing to the matter, to dispute more subtilly of the maner of the metaphor: for that it was taken of the present matter: yet when Christe spake of the preaching of the Gospell, he aptly alluded to fishing: because that menne wandering, and scattered abroad in the world, as in a vast and confused sea, are gathered togeather by the preaching of the Gospell. But the hy­storie which is recorded in the first chapter of Iohn differeth from this. For when Andrew was one of Iohns disciples, he was by him delyuered to Christe, and after he brought his brother with him, and then they tooke him as their mayster: but after they were receiued into a hygher office.

MAT. 22 And they without tarying. Here first appeareth the force of Christes voyce, not that the onely voyce of Christe dooth so effectuallye pearse into the hearts of men: but because the Lord by his spirit doth in­wardly driue all them, that he will draw and pull to himselfe, that they may obay his voyce. Secondly, the aptnes to be taught, and the readinesse to obey, is praysed in the disciples, which prefer the calling of Christ be­fore all the busines of the world. Especially it becommeth the ministers of the worde to marke this example, that all other cares being sette by, they may addict & giue themselues wholly to the Church, whereto they are appoynted.

MAT. 23 Iesus went about all Galile. Matthew reportes the same things agayne in an other place. But there is no inconuenience, seeing Christe for a time ceased not dayly to worke almost innumerable myracles, that generally the course of the same is twise or thrise mētioned. Now in the wordes of Matthew first it is to be noted, that Christ neuer rested, that he might spread the seede of the Gospel euery where. Also Matthew cal­leth it the Gospell of the kingdome: whereby the kingdome of God is established amongst men, for theyr saluation. Therefore he maketh a dif­ference betweene the perfect and eternall beatitude, and the prosperous and pleasaunt things of this present life. That Mathew saith that Christ healed all diseases, the meaning is, of what kinde soeuer they were. For it is certeine, that al were not healed of their diseases, but there was no kind of diseases that were offered him, that he healed not. And hee reckoneth the chiefe kindes of diseases, wherein Christe shewed his power. The scripture calleth not all generally, that were vexed of the deuill, men pos­sessed with deuils: but those that with a secret vengance of God are deli­uered bound to Sathan, that hee might possesse their mindes and senses. They are called Lunatiks, in whom the force of the desease encreaseth or decreaseth, after the inclination of the moone, as they that are sick of the falling sicknes, and such like: when we knowe that suche diseases are not curable by naturall remedies, it foloweth that the deitie of Christ is here witnessed, sith that he cured them wonderfully.

[Page 149]

Matth.Mar. 1.Luke. 4.

21. So they entred into Ca­pernaum, and straightwaye on the Sabb [...]th day he entred into the Sy­nagogue, and taught.

22. And they were astonyed at his doctrine: for he taught them, as one that had auctoritie, and not as the Scribes.

23. And there was in their synagogue a man which had an vn­cleane spirit, and he cryed.

24. Saying, ah, what haue we to doe with thee, O Iesus of Na­ [...]areth? Art thou come to destroy vs? I knowe thee, what thou art, euen that holy one of God.

25. And Iesus rebuked him, saying, hold thy peace, and come out of him.

26. And the vncleane spirit tare him, and cryed with a loude voyce, and came out of him.

27. And they were all ama­sed, so that they demaunded one of an other, saying, what thing is this? what now doctrine is this? for hee commaundeth the fowle spirites with auctoritie, and they obey him.

31. And he came down into Capernaum▪ a citie of Galile [...] and there taught them on the Saboth dayes.

32. And they were astonied at his d [...]ctrine: for his worde was with aucthoritie.

33. And in the Synagogue there was a man, which had a spi­rit of an vncleane diuell, whiche cryed with a loud voyce.

34. Saying, oh, what haue we to doe with thee, thou Iesus of Na [...]areth? Art thou come to de­stroy vs? I know who thou arte, euen the holy one of God.

35. And Iesus rebuked him, saying, hold thy peace, and come out of him. Then the deuil thro­wing him in the middes of them, came out of him, & hurt him n [...]t.

36. So feare came on them all, and they spake amonge themselues, saying, what thing is this? for with aucthoritie and po­wer [...]ee commaundeth the fowle spirites, and they come out.

It is to be thought that this manne possessed with a deuill was one of that company, which Matthew made mention of somwhat before. But the narration of Mark and Luke is not in vaine: because they shew cer­teine circumstances, which do not onely make the miracle more manifest, but also doe containe profitable doctrine. For the deuill doth craftilye graunt, that Christ is the holy one of God, that he might make men sus­pect that he hath some familiaritie with Christe: by which subtilty hee also endeuored to bring the gospel into suspitiō, & at this day he ceaseth not to attēpt the same. This is the cause why Christ causeth him to hold his peace. And it may be that this confession was violently wrested out of him: but these two do not differ betweene themselues, that hee being enforced to giue place to the power of Christ, that he might proclayme him to be the holy one of God, and yet subtilly he endeuoureth to couer the glorye of Christe, with his darknes. It is also to be noted, that hee doth so flatter Christ, that hee might craftely conuey himselfe from his hand. And after this maner he fighteth with himselfe: for to what pur­pose is Christ sanctified of the Father, but that delyuering menne from the tyrannie of the Deuill, hee might ouerthrowe his kingdome: but because Sathan cannot abyde that power, whiche hee perceyueth to bee prepared for his destruction, hee desires to make Christe quiet, and [Page 150] to be content with a vaine title.

MAR. 22. They were astonied at his doctrine. The Euangelists do meane that the power of the spirit did appeare in the wordes of Christe, which caused euen the prophane and colde hearers to wonder at them▪ Luke faith, that his word was with aucthoritie: that is, full of dignitie. Marke setteth it out more fully, and addeth an Antithesis, that it was vnlike to the wordes of the Scribes. But when they were adulterous interpre­ters of the scripture, their doctrine was literall and dead, which shewed no force of the spirite, and there was no maiestie in it, but such colde stuffe,1. Cor. 4. 28 as may at this daye be seene in the speculatiue dignitie of popery. Those maysters doe imperiously thunder out what soeuer they thinke good. But whē they in prophane maner do brabble of diuinitie, so that no religiō appeareth in their disputations, whatsoeuer they bring is filthy and toyish: for Paule hath not sayd in vaine, the kingdome of God stan­deth not in word, but in power.

In summe, the Euangelystes doe shewe, that when the maner of tea­ching was degenerate and verye corrupte, which touched the mindes of men with no reuerence of God, then the diuine power of the spirit was euidently seene in the words of Christ, which gate him credit. This is the power or rather dignitie and aucthoritie, whereat the people was a­stonyed.

LV. 33. A man which had an vncleane spirit. This speach auayleth as­much, as if Luke should haue sayd, that he was stirred vp by the motion of the deuill. For by the permission of God, Sathan possessed the powers of the soule, so that hee woulde enforce them aswell to speake, as to o­ther motions at his pleasure. Therefore, when menne possessed with di­uelles doe speake, the diuelles doe speake in them, and by them, whom they haue aucthoritie to rule. It is probable that the tytle of the holy one of God was taken out of the common and accustomed maner of spea­king: and therefore they so called the Messias: because he was seperate from al other, as one endued with a singular grace, and the head of al the Church.

MAR. 26. The vncleane spirit tare him. Luke vseth a more gende word▪ yet in sense they agree very well: because they both would teache, that the departure of the diuell was violent and forcible. Therefore hee so threw down the wretched mā, as if he he wold haue torn him in sun­der: yet Luke saith, that his purpose was in vaine, not that, that force was altogeather without [...], or at the leaste without some payne: but that hee was after delyuered a hole and a founde manne from the di­uell.

LV. 36. So feare came on them all. The fruit of the myracle is, that they are enforced to thinke that there is in Christe somewhat more then appertaineth to men. And they wisely referre the glorye and power of the myracle to the doctrine. VVhat doctrine is this (say they) whereto the deuilles themselues are enforced to obey? They cal it a new doctrine, not in reproch, but because they acknowledge some vnusuall & extraordina­rie thing in it. Therfore they do not accuse it of newnes, that they might discredit it: but this is rather a poynt of admiration, in that they deny it either to be common, or in the power of man. In this they onely offend, [Page 151] that they continue still in theyr doubting, when it becommeth the chil­dren of God to goe on in further profiting.

Matth. 8.Mar. 1.Luke. 4.

14. And when Ie­sus cāe to Peters house, hee sawe his wiues mo­ther layd down, and sick of a feuer.

15. And hee tou­ched her hand, and the feuer left her, so she a­rose and ministred vn­to them.

16. VVhen the euen was come, they brought vnto him manye that were possessed with di­uels: and hee caste out the spirits with his word and healed those that were sicke.

17. That it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by Isaias the pro­phet, saying, he took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses..

18. And when Ie­sus saw great multitud [...] of people about him, he commaunded them to goe ouer the water.

29. And assoone as they were come oute of the Synagogue, they entred into the house of Simon and Andrew, with Iames and Iohn.

30. And Simons wiues mo­ther in law lay sick of a feuer, and anon they told him of her.

31. And hee came and tooke her by the hande, and lyfte her vpp, and the feuer forsooke her by & by, and the ministred vnto them.

32. And when euen was come, & the so [...]ne was down, they brought to him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with di­uels.

33. And the whole citie was gathered together at the dore.

34. And hee healed manye that were sicke of diuers diseases: and hee caste out manye deuilles, and suffered not the deuilles to saye, that they knew him.

35. And in the morning ve­rye earlye before day, Iesus arose, & wente out into a solytary place, and there prayed.

36. And Simon and they that were with him▪ followed after him.

37. And when they had found him, they sayd vnto him, all men seeke for thee.

38. Then hee sayd vnto them, lette vs goe into the nexte townes, that I maye preache there also: for I came out for that purpose.

39. And hee preached in theyr Synagogues throughout all Galile, and cast the deuils out.

38. And he rose vp, and came out of the Syna­gogue, and entred into Si­mons house. And Simons wyues mether was taken with a great feuer: & they required him for her.

39. Then hee stoode ouer her, and rebuked the feuer, and it left her: and immediately she arose, and ministred vnto them.

40. Now when the sunne was downe, all they that had sicke folkes of di­uerse diseases, brought thē vnto him, and he layde his handes vpon euery one of them, and healed them.

41. And deuilles al­so came out of manye, cry­ing, & saying▪ Thou art the Christe the sonne of God? but hee rebuked them, and suffered them not to saye, that they knewe him to be Christ.

42. And when it was daye, hee departed, and went forth into a de­serte place, and the peo­ple sought him, and came to him, and kept him, that he should not depart from them

43. But hee sayde vn­to them, surely I must al­so preache the Gospell of the kingdome of God to o­ther cities: for therefore am I sent.

[...]9. MAR. They entred into the house▪ It may bee easily gathered, that [Page 152] Mat. doth not rehearse this history in his order, by this, that Mark saith, that Christ namely had but foure disciples onely following him. Also when he came out of the Sinagogue, & went straight into Peters house, it is easily seene that the time was not exactly obserued by Mathew. Also the Euangelistes seeme to haue reported this miracle for some specyall cause, not that it was more notable then the rest, or more worthy to be remembred: but because that in it hee gaue to his disciples a priuate and secrete token of his grace: then that the healing of this one woman gaue an occasion, or was the procuring of many miracles; so that they came to him from al places to aske his help. Yet the power, which Christ shewed here, Luke doth amplifie in one word, saying that Peters mother in law was taken with a great feuer: for it was the more certeine and no­table declaration of diuine power, in a moment of time, and only by tou­ching, to take away so vehement & so grieuous a disease. And though he could haue done it onely with a becke, yet hee touched her hand, eyther to shew his affectiō, or for that he knew that this signe was then profita­ble: for wee knowe that he freely vsed outward signes, as the time re­quired.

39. LV. He rebuked the feuer. Though this speech may seeme harde to the reader not sufficiently exercised in the scripture, yet it wanteth not a reason. For the feuer and other diseases, famine, pestilence, and all kinde of misery are the officers of God, by whom he executeth his iudgments. Therfore, as at his commandement and appoyntment, it is said that hee sendeth forth such messengers: so also doth he rebuke & cal back, whē he thinketh good. Matth. & Mark cōceale how he healed others. Luke saith it was by laying on of hands. And it was a signe of reconciliation vnder the law. wherefore neither without cause, nor out of time, doth Christ also lay his handes vpon thē, whom he absolueth from the curse of god. It was also a solemne manner of consecration, as shall more at large be sayd in an other place. But I simply interprete that Christ layd his hands vpon the sicke, that commending them to his father, hee might obtaine grace and delyuerance from diseases.

17. MAT. VVhich was spoken by Isaias. This seemeth to bee cited litle to the purpose: nay, this prophesie seemeth to bee wrested into a contrarye sense. For Isaias doth not speake there of myracles, but of the death of Christ: nor of temporall benefites, but of the spiritual and eternal grace. And that which is certeinly spoken of the vices of the soule, Matthewe applieth to corporal diseases. The answer is not hard, so that the readers consider not onely what Christ outwardly bestowed vppon these sicke people, but to what end he healed their discases. They felte the grace of Christ in their bodyes: but we must looke vppon the ende. For it were very proposterous to stay vpon the outwarde benefit, as if the sonne of God were a Phisition of the bodyes. VVhat then? namely, hee gaue sight to the blinde, that he might shew himselfe to be the light of the world: he restored life to the dead, that he might proue himselfe to be the life & the resurrection. The same is to be thought of the lame, and of the sicke of the palsie: wherfore let vs follow this analogie, that what benefites so­euer Christ bestowed vpon men in the flesh, we may referre the same to that scope which Matthew proposeth: that is, that he was sent of his fa­ther, that he might delyuer vs from al euils and miseries.

[Page 153] MARKE. 34. Hee suffered not the deuils to saye that they knewe him. There might be two causes why he suffered them not: one generall, that as yet the appoynted time of his full reuelation was not come: the other spe­ciall which we touched a litle before, that he refused them as preachers and witnesses of his Godhead, which through their praising, coulde doe nothing else but slaunder and discredite him. And this last is wythout doubt, for the deadly discorde ought to bee shewed which the authour of eternall saluation and life shoulde haue with the prince of death and his ministers.

MAT. 18. VVhen Iesus sawe great multitudes. I doubt not but that Ma­thew doeth briefly touche that which others doe more fully and plenti­fully set forth: That which is concealed by Math. the other two do ex­presse: before it was day Christ went secretely into a desert place, to seeke rest. Marke sayeth after, that Peter tolde him that all men soughte hym. And Luke sayeth that the people came thither. Nowe that Math. sayeth that he went ouer to the further shoare; both they say that he did it, that he might goe through all Galile, that he might preach in all places. But the further shoare in my iudgemēt, is called not that which is right ouer against it on the further side, but in respect of that place which was be­lowe Capernaum. Therefore he so went ouer parte of the lake, that he would not leaue Galile. It is to be noted that he sayeth, that hee went or was sent for that ende: for in these woordes he witnesseth, howe readily he was bent to fulfil his office. But if any man shall aske whether it were better for the ministers of the Gospell, to runne hither and thither, that they might in al places sparingly and slenderly tast the doctrine of God; or remaine teachinge their hearers perfectlye whome they haue once wonne: I aunsweare, the purpose of Christe whereof mention is heere made, was groūded vpon a most notable cause, because it was agreeable to the commandemēt and calling of the father. For Christ was in short time to goe throughout Iudea, that hee mighte euerye where waken the mindes of men, as with the sounde of a trumpette, to heare the Gospell, which matter shall more largely be entreated of other where.

Mathewe.Marke 3.Luke 6.

13. Then he went vppe into a mountaine, and called vp vnto hym whome he woulde, and they came to him.

14. And he appoynted twelue, that they shoulde be with him, and that he might send them to preach,

15. And that they might haue power to heale sicknesses, & to cast out deuils.

16. And the first was Simon, and he named Simon, Peter.

17. Then Iames the sonne of Zebedeus, and Iohn, Iames brother, (and named them Boanarges, which is the sonnes, of thunder.)

[Page 154] 18. And Andrew, and Phillip, and Bar­tlem [...]we, and Mathew, and Thomas, and Ia­mes, the sonne of Al­pheus, and Thaddeus, and Symon the Cana­nite:

19. And Iudas Is­cariot, who also betrai­ed him.

[Page 153] 12. And it came to passe in those daies that he went into a mountaine to pray, and spente the night in praier to God.

13. And when it was day, he called his disciples, & of them he chose twelue, which also hee called Apostles.

14. Simon whom he named also Peter, and Andrewe hys brother, Iames and Iohn, Philip and Bartlemewe,

15. Mathewe and Thomas: Iames the sonne of Alpheus, & Simon called Zelous.

16. Iudas Iames brother, and [Page 154] Iudas Iscariot, which was also the traitour.

17. Then hee came downe with them, and stoode in a plaine place, with the com­panie of his disciples, and a greate multitude of people out of all Iudea, and Ierusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyrus and Sidon, which came to heare him, and to be healed of him.

18. And they that were vexed wyth foule spirites, and they were healed.

19. And the whole multitude soughte to touche him: for there went power oute of him, and healed them all.

MARKE. 13. He went vp into a mountaine. By this election hee doeth not as yet ordaine the Apostles, that they shoulde presently execute their office: but onely in hope of Apostleship, he adopteth them as disciples to keepe him companie, wherin the interpretors haue bene deceiued, which vnaduisedly doe confound these places with the tenth chapter of Math. And the woordes doe euidently declare, that they were only appoynted that they shoulde after be of that ambassage, which is enioyned them in Mathewe. And Marke and Luke doe afterwardes in the right place sette downe their sending foorth, which Mathewe doeth there make menti­on of. And it is no maruell if that the heauenlye master woulde a little frame and accustome them to so harde a charge, whose rudenesse coulde not be restrained by long vse of discipline. Both the Euangelists saye that Christ went vp into a moūtaine. Luke declareth the cause, that he might the more freely pray out from companie, which he was wont to do very often, as may be seene in other places. But this example ought to be a per­fecte rule to vs, that we doe begin with prayer, so oft as pastours are to be chosen for Churches: otherwise what soeuer we attempt, shall not pros­per. For the Lorde did not praye so muche for his owne sake, as that hee might prescribe a lawe for vs: for we want wisedome and councell, and though we were moste prouident, yet wee cannot in any thing be easier deceiued then in this. Now how can we be out of daunger of offending, except the Lord should moderate our affections, considering howe great the force, or rather the violence of fauoure and loue, or of hatred, or of ambition is to drawe vs away? Furthermore, though there be great dili­gence vsed in the election, yet all things shall prosper ill, except the Lord take vppon him to gouerne those that are chosen, and endew them with necessary giftes. VVhat then? will some manne say: Did not Christ ear­nestly require of his father that he would rule his election? I graunt this, and withall I adde, that by this testimonie he declared howe carefull he was for his Churche: therefore hee prayed not his father, after a dailye maner, but spent all the night in prayers. But if he that was full of the ho­ly Ghost did so earnestly and carefully pray his father to be gouernoure of his election, howe much is our necessitie greater.

MARKE. 13. And called vnto him whome he w [...]ulde. I doubte not but that Marke woulde heereby signifie that they were taken to this so ho­nourable an office by the meere grace of Christe, not for theyr owne woorthinesse. For if thou vnderstande that they were chosen that were [Page 155] more notable then others, this cannot agree in Iudas. Therfore the mea­ning is, that the Apostleshyppe was not bestowed according to the me­rites of menne, who were nothyng woorthy to be lifte vppe into that e­state, but by the free mercy of God: And so that was fulfilled that Christ sayde other where, you haue not chosen mee, but I haue chosen you. Iohn. 15. 16.Eph. 3. 7 In the same sence also Paul often commendeth the purpose of God in his Apostleshippe.Col. 1. 25 But heere do arise moe questions. First, why hee chose Iudas of a determinate purpose, whome hee knowe to bee vn­woorthy of that honour, and should become a traitour. Then, why God being so earnestly besoughte of his sonne, suffered so faithlesse and wye­ked a manne to creepe into the chiefe order of hys Churche, as if he had despised Christe. Thirdly, whye hee woulde that the first fruites of hys Churche shoulde be polluted with so vile a reproache. Fourthlye, whye Christ wittingly and willingly preferred Iudas before honest and faith­full ministers. The first Obiection is thus aunsweared: It was the will of the Lorde purposely to meete with such offences that should fal out, least we shoulde be troubled beyonde measure, so oft as wee see false teachers occupie a place in the churche. Or that of professours of the gospell there become Apostates. And also in the person of one manne, he gaue an ex­ample of a horrible defection, least they that are placed in higher estate of dignitie, shoulde flatter themselues too much. Yet lette vs not saye that Christ suffered the repulse. VVhen the father in woonderful councel ad­ioyned one deuill to eleuen Angelles, yet hee so gouerned the falling out of the matter, that his falling awaye shoulde confirme the Faithe of the Churche, rather then shake the same. Thys same aunsweare may be ge­uen to the thirde question. In the first beginnings it was speedely shewed what the estate of the Churche shoulde be, least the weake shoulde waxe faint at the fall of any of the reprobate: for it is vnmeete that the stabili­tie of the Gospell shoulde depende vppon menne. As concerning the last Obiection, Christe did not preferre Iudas before the holy and the god­ly disciples: but he lifted him vppe on high, from whence he was to fall, because he woulde he shoulde be a spectacle to all men, and an instructi­on to all ages, that no man shoulde abuse the honour geuen him of God: then the pillers falling, that they that seeme to be of the common sort of the faithfull might remaine stedfast.

LVKE. 13. VVhich also he called Apostles. This may be expounded two wayes: Either that he after consecrating them into their office, gaue thys name vnto them: Either that he gaue them thys title in hope of the dig­nitie to come: that they mighte knowe to what purpose they were sepa­rate from the common sort, & for what vse they were ordained. VVhich latter exposition doeth agree with the woordes of Marke: for hee sayth, that Christ did this, that they should be with him, and that he might send them to preache. Therefore his will was, that they should be hys compa­nions, vppon whome he would after lay a greater charge, for when hee sayeth that they should be with him, and that he would send them foorth to preach, he doeth not appoynt that they should be both in one moment of time, as I haue sayde before.

MAR 16. And [...] named Symon, Peter. Although it behoueth al christians to be liuing stones of the spiritual tēple, yet christ for the mesure of grace which he wold bestow vpō Simō, gaue him a peculiar name, neither doth [Page 156] his shamefull infirmitie in denying the Lord hinder this: for with this ti­tle his inuincible power and constancie, which continued euen to death, is set foorth. Yet the Papistes are to be laughed at, which thereof gather that the church was grounded vpon him, as shalbe shewed more at large in the 16. chapter of Mathewe. Christ called the sonnes of Zebedeus, the sonnes of thunder, for that he would geue them a soūding voyce, wher­with they shoulde thunder throughout all the worlde. And the thunder out of the mouth of Iohn is heard to this day, and it is not to be doubted but that his brother shoke the earthe while hee liued. But the woorde is corrupte, for the perfecte pronounciation shouldee be BENAE Reges or Ragas. But it is not vnknowen howe easily woordes are chaunged when they are translated into an other tounge.

Mathew 5.Marke.Luke 6.

1. And when he saw the multitude, hee went vp into a mountaine: and when he was set, his disciples came to him.

2. And he opened his mouthe and taught them, saying:

3. Blessed are the poore in spirite, for theirs is the kingdom of heauen.

4. Blessed are they that mourne: for they shalbe comforted.

5. Blessed are the meeke: for they shall inherite the earth.

6. Blessed are they which hunger & thirst for righteousnesse: for they shall be filled.

7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtaine mercy.

8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shalbe called the children of God.

10. Blessed are they which suffer per­secution for righteousnesse sake: for theirs is the kingdome of heauen.

11. Blessed are you when men reuile you, and persecute you, and say all maner of euill against you for my sake, falsly.

12. Reioyce, I say, and be glad, for great is your rewarde in heauen: for so persecu­ted they the Prophets whiche were before you.


20. And hee lifted vp his eyes vpon his disciples, & sayd. Blessed be ye poore: for yours is the kingdome of heauen.

21. Blessed are yee that hunger nowe: for ye shall be sa­tisfied. Blessed are ye that wepe now: for yee shal laugh.

22. Blessed are yee when menne hate you, and when they separate you, and reuile you, and put out your name as euill, for the sonne of mans sake.

23. Reioyce you in that day, and bee glad: for beholde youre rewarde it greate in heauen: for after this maner their fathers did to the Prophets.

24. But woe be to you that are riche: for yee haue receiued your consolation.

25. VVoe be to you that are full: for yee shall hunger. VVoe be to you that nowe laugh: for yee shall waile and weepe.

26. VVoe be to you when al men speake well of you: for so did their fathers to the false Prophets.

MAT. 1. He went vp into a mountaine. They that say that this is another ser­mon of Christes, and not that which is set down in the 6. chap. of Luke, are drawen with too light and friuolous an argument: for that Mathew sayeth, that Christ spake in the mountaine to his disciples, and that Luke seemeth to note, that he spake vnto them in a plaine place. For they doe [Page 157] very preposterously read the wordes of Luke, adioyning them together, that Christ came downe into a plaine place, and that he lifting vppe hys eyes vpon his disciples, spake thus. For it was the purpose of both the E­uangelistes, to gather together into one place, the principall poynts of the doctrine of Christe, which did belong to the rule of godly and holy life. Therfore though Luke had first made mention of a plaine place, yet hee doeth not in a continuall course prosecute the same hystorie, but from myracles hee passeth to doctrine, neither assigning time nor place. As in Mathewe there is no noting of the time, but only of the place. And it is very likely that Christ did not so preach, but after hee hadde chosen the twelue. But I woulde not be too curious in keeping the order of time, which I did see not regarded by the spirite of God. For this ought to suf­fice the godly and modest readers, that they haue heere set before theyr eyes a briefe summe of the doctrine of Christ, gathered out of many and diuers of his sermons, wherof this was the first, where he entreateth with his disciples of true felicitie.

2. He opened his mouth. Heere in the Hebrew phrase is the figure Pleonas­ [...]os vsed, for that which were corrupt in other tongues, is vsuall amongst the Hebrewes, to say he opened his mouthe, for, he began to speake. And though many thinke it to be an Emphatycal kinde of speache, vsed whē either some weighty or notable matter is vttered either in good parte or in euill. Yet because many places of scripture doe gainsaye the same, the first exposition doeth please me best. Also let their subtile speculation go, which doe teach that Christ allegorically led his disciples into the moun­taine, that he might carie their mindes on highe, farre from earthly cares and studies, for by going vp the mount, he rather soughte a secreate place out of the way, that being farre from company, he might refresh himself a litle with his disciples from wearinesse. And first it is to be considered for what cause Christe spake to his disciples of true felicitie. VVe knowe that not only the common people, but also the wise men were herein de­ceiued, thinking him to be happy that led a mery & a quiet life, free from all griefe, and had what he desired. And certainly by the iudgement al­moste of all menne, felicitie is esteemed by the present state. Therefore Christ, that he might accustome his to the bearing of the crosse, reproo­ueth this wicked opinion, that they are happy which nowe liue wel and prosperously according to the flesh. For it cannot be that they should pa­ciently submit their necke to beare sorowes and iniuries, which accounte patience to be an enemie to a blessed life. Therefore it is one comforte whereby the bitternesse of the crosse and of all mischiefes is mitigated & also made sweet, while wee are perswaded, that in the midst of miseries we are happy: because that our patience is blessed of the Lord, & shortly there shall folow a more ioyfull ende. I graunt that this doctrine doeth muche disagree from common sense: but so it behooued the disciples of Christ to be taught wisedome, that they might accounte their felicitie to be out of this world, and beyond the vnderstāding of flesh. And though carnall reason will neuer allowe that which Christ here teacheth, yet hee proposeth no fantasticall deuice, as in times past the Stoickes did sporte with their Paradoxes: but in deede he declareth, why they are truly hap­pie, whose estate is accounted miserable. Therefore let vs remember that this is the chiefe poynte of the doctrine [...] that Christ denieth that they are [Page 158] miserable and wretched that are oppressed with the iniuries of the wic­ked, and are subiect to diuers dangers. And Christ doeth not only proue that they are of a peruerse iudgement, which measure the felicity of man by the present state, because that the miseries of the godly shall shortly be chaunged into better: but also hee exhorteth them to patience, by propo­sing a hope of rewarde before them.

[...]. Blessed are the poore in spirite, for In Luke there is a bare Metaphor. But Mathewe doeth more plainly expresse the minde of Christ, because that the pouerty of many is accursed and vnhappy. Therefore when there be many oppressed with euils, which yet cease not inwardly to swell wyth pride & cruelty, Christ pronounceth them happy, which being tamed & subdued with troubles, do submit thēselues wholely vnto God, and be­ing inwardly humbled, they commit themselues into his custody: others do interpreat thē pore in spirite, which do arrogate nothing to thēselues, but throwing downe al trust in flesh, they acknowledge their own nede. But because it is necessary to be one, and the same sense in the wordes of Luke and Mathewe. It is not to bee doubted but they are called poore which are oppressed & afflicted with aduersities. This only is the diffe­rence that Mat. by adding that Epithyte, doth restraine the felicity to thē only, which vnder the discipline of the crosse haue learned to be humble. For theirs is. VVe see that Christ doth not puffe vp the minds of his disci­ples with a vain perswasion, or harden them with a hard hearted obsti­nacy, as the Stoicks do: but he calling them to the hope of eternal life, he encorageth thē to patience: because by this meanes they shuld enter into the heauenly kingdō. But it is worth the labor to note, that no mā is pore in spirit, but he that is brought to nothing in himself, & reposeth himself in the mercy of God. For they that are brokē or ouerwhelmed with des­peration, when they fret against God, are of a lofty and proude spirite.

4. Blessed are they that mourne. This sentence is not only next to that which goeth before, but it is as an Appendix or confirmation of it. For it was wont to be iudged, that troubles make a man vnhappy, because they al­wayes doe drawe sorow and griefe with them, and that nothing is more cōtrary to felicitie then sorow. But Christ doth not only deny that they that mourne are miserable, but hee teacheth that they are holpe, euen by that sorowe to happy life. For that they are by this meanes framed to re­ceiue eternall ioy, and pricked forward as with spurres, least they should seeke any comforte any other where. So Paule sayeth to the Romaines, chapter. 5. 3. we reioyce in tribulations, knowing that tribulation brin­geth foorth patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed.

5. Blessed are the meeke. He meaneth those meke and quiet, which are not easily prouoked with iniuries, & are not geuen to frowardnes for euery offence, but are ready rather to suffer any thing, then to do as the wicked do. But it seemeth very absurde that Christ promiseth the enheritance of the earth to suche. For they rather vsurpe the gouernment of the earthe, which couragiously repell all iniuries, and if at anye time they be hurte, they are ready with the hand to reuenge the same. And certainly experi­ence teacheth, that the wicked do so much the more boldly and stoutlye go on forward, for that they are the more gently borne with. And here­of roase that deuelish prouerbe. They must howle with the wolues: be­cause [Page 159] that whosoeuer maketh himselfe a shepe, is presently to be deuou­red of the wolues. But Christ opposing his owne aid and the helpe of his father, against the fury and violence of those euilles, doeth not wythout cause declare that the meeke shalbe Lordes and enheritors of the earth. The children of this world doe not thinke themselues otherwise in safe­gard, except they sharply reuenge what euill soeuer is done them, and so with force and armes defend their life. But sith it is certaine that Christe is the onely keeper of our life, there remaineth nothing else, but that we shoulde hide our selues vnder the shadowe of hys wings. Also it behoo­ueth vs to be sheepe, if we couette to be accounted of his flocke. If anye Obiecte, that this heere spoken is against experience: Firste I woulde hee shoulde weigh howe vnquiet those cruell men be, so that they euen trou­ble themselues: So that in so troublesome a life, thoughe they were the Lords of the earth a hundred times, yet in possessing all things they pos­sesse nothing. But for the children of God I aunsweare, though they can in no place sette their foote vppon their owne grounde, yet they quietly enioy a dwelling place vpō the earth. And this is not an imagined pos­fession, for they dwel vpon the earth, which they know is graunted them from God. Also they are armed wyth the hande of God agaynste the tempest and rages of all mischiefes, and though they be set forth against all the dartes of Fortune, and subiecte to all inconuenience of euilles, and compassed aboute wyth all daungers: yet they dwell safelye vnder the defence of God, so that at leaste they maye taste nowe the fauoure of God. And this is sufficient for them, vntill at the last daye they enter into the enheritance of the world.

6. Blessed are they which hunger. To hunger and to thirst, is by the figure Synecdoche, taken for to want, to be without things necessarye, and also to be defrauded of their owne right. That which Mathew sayth, to hun­ger after righteousnesse is a placing of a part for the whole. Yet hee am­plifieth the vnworthines, when he sayth that by carefull sighing they get nothing but that which is righteous: as if he should saye: they are blessed, which though they moderate their desires, so that they desire nothing to be geuen them, but that which is right; doe yet neuerthelesse languishe as hungry soules. For though their carefulnesse wherewith they bee trou­bled, is scorned at, yet it is to them a preparation to felicitie, because they shall at length be satisfied: for God will at length heare their sighes, and wil heare their iust desires, whose office it is to fil the hungry with good things as it is in the Virgines song.

7. Blessed are the merciful. This sentence also is hard & cōtrary to the iudge­mēt of man. For the world accoūteth them happy, which are carelesse of the miseries of other men, & prouide for their own ease: but Christ here calleth thē blessed, which are not only ready to bear their owne harmes, but do also take other mēs vpon thēselues, that they may help thē that are in misery, & willingly ioyn thēselues to thē that are troubled, and put on the same affections, that thereby they maye the more willingly employe themselues to helpe them. Hee addeth, for they shall obtaine mercy, that is, not onely with God, but also amongest men themselues, whose mindes God will bowe to humanitie. But though sometimes the world is vnthankful, and bestoweth the woorst reward vpon them that deserue best, it ought to suffice vs, that there is fauour laide vp with God for the mercifull and [Page 160] kinde▪ so that they shall haue him kinde and mercifull againe to them.

8. Blessed are the poore in heart. Christe seemeth heere to saye nothynge but that which is agreeable to the iudgement of all men. Al confesse that cleannesse of heart is mother of all vertues, but yet it is scarce the hūdred man that doeth not accompt subtletie as a most notable vertue. Heereof it commeth to passe that they are commonly thought blessed, which are most subtile in craftie conueiances, whiche by euill meanes doe craftelye circumuent them with whome they haue to doe. Therefore Christe a­greeth not with the iudgemēt of the flesh, while he calleth them blessed, which are not delited with craftinesse, but walke sincerely amongst men, and in words and countenance pretend no other thing, then they thinke in heart. And because the simple are laughed at as men nothing warye, and because they doe not with deceite enoughe prouide for themselues, Christe calleth them higher: that if they be not wise enough to deceiue vpon earth, they shall enioy the sight of God in heauen.

9. Blessed are the peacemakers. He doeth not only meane them which loue peace, and flee from quarels as muche as in them lieth, but doe also dili­gently ende dissentions raised vppe amongest others, are the authours of peace vnto all, and doe take awaye the occasion of hatreds and displea­sures. Neither is this rashly spoken, for, sith it is a painefull and a trouble­some matter to pacifi [...] them that disagree amongst themselues, the quiet men which studie to maintaine peace, are enforced to beare this crueltie, that they heare the reproches, the complaints, and the quarelles on bothe partes. And thereof it riseth that euery man would wish to haue them al patrons to be on his side. Therefore, least we should hang vppon the fa­uour of men, Christe commaundeth vs to regarde the iudgmente of his father, who being the God of peace, accounteth vs for his children, while we nourish peace, although our labor please not men, For to be called, sig­nifieth as much, as to be accounted.

10. Blessed are they which suffer persecution. The disciples of Christ haue great neede of this doctrine, and how much the lother and more hard­ly flesh doth admit the same, so much more dilygently it must be medi­tated. Neyther canne we vnder any other condition war vnder Christ, then that the greater parte of the world will ryse vp in hatred agaynst vs, and shall persecute vs euen to death. So standes the matter, Sathan the prince of the world wil neuer cease to arme his children with mad­nes, that they may strik the members of Christ. This is very monstrous, and against nature, that they which loue righteousnes should be vexed as enemies, which they haue not deserued. Therefore Peter saieth, if you a­uoyde from euill deedes,1. Pet. 3. 13. who is he that will harme you? But in so vn­brydeled wickednes of the world, it falleth out too often, that the good men through the zeale of righteousnes do enflame the displesures of the wicked against them.

But this is the lotte, especially of Christians, to be hated of the greatest number of men: for flesh cannot beare the doctrine of the Gospel; none can beare to haue their faultes reproued. They are sayde to suffer for righteousnes, which thereby kindle the displeasures of the wicked, and prouoke theyr fury agaynst them: because that with a care of right and equitie they oppose themselues against euill causes, and defende the good as muche as in them lieth. And in this behalfe the truthe of God hathe [Page 161] woorthely the chiefe place. VVherfore by this note Christ discerneth his Martyrs from wicked men and euil doers. Now I returne to that which I sayd euen now: Syth all that will liue godly in Christ must suffer perse­cution,2. Tim. 3. 12 [...] as Paule witnesseth, this admonition doth generally belong to all the godly. If that at any time the Lord spareth our weakenesse, and per­mitteth not the wicked to vexe vs at their pleasure: yet it is meete vnder a shadowe and at leisure to meditate this doctrine, that we maye be pre­pared as oft as nede require to come forth into the field, nor come to the battell except we be well furnished. But sith the condition of the godlye is moste miserable throughe the whole course of this life: Christe for a good cause raiseth vs vp in hope of a heauenly life. And heerein the sen­tence of Christ differeth much from the inuentions of the Stoicks, which commaunde euery manne to be satisfied with his owne opinion, that hee might be his owne chuser of felicitie. And Christ doeth not vncertainlye plant felicitie vppon a vaine imagination, but groundeth the same vppon hope of a rewarde to come.

11. VVhen men reuile you. Luke sayeth, when they hate you, and separate you, and reuile you, and put out your name as euill. By whiche woordes Christ would comfort his faithfull ones, that they shoulde not faynte in their mindes, though they see themselues detested before the worlde. For this was no small temptation, to be throwne out of the Churche as wic­ked and prophane. For sith he knewe that nothing was more deadlye to the hypocrites, then that hee might foresee with howe furious a violence the ennemies of the Gospell were enflamed against his little and despi­sed flocke; his will was perfectlye to arme them that they shoulde not bee ouerthrowen, though a great heape of reproches should hang ouer them to ouer whelme them. And heere appeareth howe popish excommunica­tion is to be feared as nothing, while that those tyrantes seperate vs from theyr synagogues, because we will not be deuorced from Christ.

12. Reioyce and [...]e glad, for. That wee shoulde not be ouerthrowen wyth vniust reproches, he declareth that there is a remedy at hand: for assoone as we lifte vppe our mindes to heauen, then presently a great occasion of ioy doeth offer it selfe, that it maye swallowe vppe the heauinesse. The sporte which the Papistes make wyth the name of rewarde, is heere ea­sily wiped away. Neither is there, as they dreame, a mutuall relation, be­tweene rewarde and merite: but it is a free promisse of a rewarde. Fur­ther, if wee consider howe maimed and corrupte those good deedes are which come euen from the best menne, God shall neuer finde any worke woorthy a rewarde. Againe these clauses are to be noted, for my sake, or for the sonne of man, also they shall say all maner of euil against you fals­ly: least they which suffer persecution for their owne faultes, should pre­sently boast themselues to be Martyrs of Christe: As the Donatistes in times past pleased themselues wyth this only title, that they had the ma­gistrates againste them. And at thys daye the Anabaptistes, thoughe they disturbe the Churche wyth theyr doating dreames, and slander the gos­pell, yet they glory that they beare the ensignes of Christe, when as they are condēned righteously. But Christ pronounceth none blessed, but they which suffer in a iust defence of his quarell.

F [...]r so persecuted they the Prophetes. This was purposely added, least the A­postles hoping to triumph without sweat or trauell, should faint in per­secutions. [Page 162] For because that euery where in the scripture the restitution of all things is promised in the kingdom of Christ, it was daungerous least they should in a vaine hope lift vppe themselues, and neuer thinke of the warfare. And it may be gathered our of other places, that they imagined that the kingdome of Christ, was full of richesse and pleasures. VVhere­fore Christ doth not without a cause admonish them that the same trou­bles are prepared for them, which the Prophetes sometime had experi­ence of, for as much as they succeede in their place. Neither doeth he say that the Prophets were before them only in respecte of time: but because they were of the same order, therefore it behooued them to frame them­selues after their example. That common fancie of nine be atitudes is so friuolous, that it neede no long confutation.

LVKE. 24. VVee be to you riche men. As Luke rehearseth onely foure principall blessings: so nowe he opposeth foure curses, that the sentences might answere one to the other. But this Antithesis doeth not only tende to striking a feare in the wicked, but to the stirring vppe of the faithfull, least they should sleepe in the vaine and captious snares of the world. For we knowe howe quickely and readily a man may be made drunke with prosperitie, or entangled with the faire speaches of men: whereby also it doeth often come to passe that the children of God doe enuie at the re­probate, to whome they see all things flowe prosperously and happelye. Further, he cursseth the riche, not all of them, but they that take their cōfort in the worlde, that is, they so rest in their fortune, that they forgette the life that is to come. Therefore hee meaneth that richesse are so farre from making a man blessed, that they often become an occasion of de­struction. Otherwise God doeth not remooue rich men out of his king­dome, so that they make not snares for themselues, or by fixinge theyr hope in the earth, doe shut the gate of heauen against themselues. It was aptly sayde of Augustine, who that he might shewe that richesse of them selues are no hinderance to the children of God, doeth saye that poore Lazarus, was receiued into the bosome of riche Abraham. In the same sence doth he curse them that are ful and haue aboundance, because they being pusfed vppe with a confidence in present ioyes, that they refuse all heauenly ioyes. The same is to be thought of laughter: for now by laugh­ter he vnderstandeth them that are geuen to the pleasure of Epicures, & are drowned in the pleasures of the flesh, and doe flee from all troubles that are to be endured, for the defence of Gods glory. The last woe ten­deth to the correction of ambition: for there is nothinge more common then to seeke the praises of men, or at the least to be entāgled with them. Christe therefore sheweth that the fauour of men is venimous & dead­ly, that he might feare his disciples from it. But this admonitiō especially belongeth to teachers: who haue more neede to feare ambition then anye pestilence, for it can not be but that they shoulde defile the pure doctrine of God, when as they seeke after the fauour of men. That Christ sayeth All men, ought to be referred to the children of this world, which speake well of none but of deceiuers and false prophets. For the faithfull and good ministers of sounde doctrine haue their praise and fauoure wyth good men. Therfore the wicked loue of the flesh is here condēned: for he can not be the se [...]uaunte of Christe that seekes to please menne,Gal. 1. 10. as Paule teacheth.

[Page 163] Mathewe 5.Marke 9.Luke 14.

13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt haue lost his sauoure, wherewith shall it bee salted? It is thence [...]orth good for nothing, but to be cast oute, and to be troden vnder foote of men.

14. Yee are the lighte of the worlde: a citie that is sette vppon a hill, can not be hidden.

15. Neither do men [...]e light a candle, and putte it vnder a bushell; but on a candlesticke, and it geueth light vnto al t [...]at are in the house.

16. Lette your lighte so shine before men, that they may see youre good workes, and glorifie your father which is in heauen.

49. For euerye manne shall bee sal­ted with fire: and e­uerye sacrifice shalbe salted with salte.

50. Salte is good: but if the salte bee vnsauerie, wherewith shall it bee seasoned? Haue salte in youre selues, and haue peace one with another.

Marke 4. 21. Also he sayd vnto them: Is the candle lyghte to bee putte vnder a bu [...]hel, or vnder the table, and not [...]n a candle­sticke?

34. Salte is good: but if salte haue loste his sauoure, wherewith shall it be salted?

35. It is neither meete for the lande, nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out. He that hathe eares to heare, let him heare.

Luke 8. [...]6. No manne when hee lighteth a candle, couereth is vnder a vessell, neither put­teth it vnder the table, but setteth it on a candlestick [...], that they that enter in, maye see the light.

Luke 11. 3 [...]. No manne lighteth a candle, and putteth it in a priuie place, neither vnder a bushell: but on a candlesticke, that they which come in, may see the light.

MATH. 13. Yee are the salte of the earth. That which is proper to the doctrine, he doeth attribute to the persons, to whom the ministerie of the same was committed. For Christe by calling his Apostles the salte of the earth, doeth meane that it is their office to season the earth: because that menne haue nothing but that which is vnsauerie, vntill they bee seasoned with heauenly doctrine. And after hee admonisheth them to what they are called, and pronounceth a grieuous and horrible iudgement against them, except they perform their office. And he sheweth that the doctrine which was laid vppe with them, is so adioyned to a good conscience and to a godly and vpright life: so that the corruptiō which were to be borne with in others, is detestable in them, and to be accounted as monstrous: as if he should say, if other menne are vnsauery before God, there is salte geuen to you, wherewith they may be made sauery: but if you be vnsaue­ry, frō whence shal you haue remedy, that ought to helpe other [...]? But the Lorde doeth excellently prosecute his Metaphore, when hee sayeth that when other things doe degenerate from their owne nature, are yet after their corruption profitable some way: but that salte is hurtfull, so that it also maketh the very dunghilles barren. This therefore is the sum. The sicknes is very incureable, whē that the ministers & teachers of the word doe corrupte and make themselues vnsauerye▪ because they oughte with their salte to season the rest of the worlde.

[Page 164] Furthermore, this admonition is not only profitable for the ministers; but also for the whole flocke of Christe: for sith it was the will of God that the earth shoulde be seasoned with his word, it foloweth that what soeuer wanteth this salte, is vnsauorie before him, although it sauour ne­uer so well vnto menne. VVherefore there is nothing better, then to ad­mit that seasoning, by which meanes only our vnsauerinesse is amended. But yet let the seasoners take heede that they nourishe not the worlde in his corruption, and especially that they infecte it not with a vile and cor­rupt sauour. Therefore the wickednesse of the Papistes is not to be borne with. As thoughe it were the purpose of Christe, to geue vnto hys Apo­stles an vnbrideled libertie, and to make them tyrauntes ouer soules, and not rather to admonishe them of their duetie, that they turne not oute of the righte waye. Christe declareth what maner of teachers hee woulde haue for his Churche. They that by no lawe doe chalenge themselues to be Apostles, doe vnder this couer maintaine what abhomination soeuer they please to bringe in, because Christe called Peter and suche lyke, salte of the earth. And yet they doe not consider howe grieuous and seuere a threatninge is added, that they are woorste of all if they become vnsa­uerie. This sentence is placed by Luke abruptly, but to the same end that it is red here, so that it neede not any peculiar exposition.

MARKE. 49. Euery manne shall be seasoned with fire. I haue ioyned these woordes of Marke to the former woordes of Mathewe: not that they doe altogether agree in sense, or that they were vsed at the same place or time, but rather that the readers may the better by thys comparison per­ceiue the diuers vse of the same sentence. VVhen as Christ hadde spoken of the euerlasting fire (as Marke reporteth) hee on the other side exhor­teth his, that they shoulde nowe rather offer themselues to the Lorde, to be seasoned with fire and salte, that they may be made holy sacrifices, least that by their sinnes they purchase to themselues that fire whiche is neuer quenched. To be seasoned with fire is an vnproper speache, but be­cause that the nature of salte and fire is like in purging and trying out of humours, therefore Christe applied the same woorde to bothe. Nowe we vnderstande the occasion of thys sentence: namelye, that the faithfull shoulde not refuse to be salted with fire and salte, since without this they cannot be made holy to God. And he alludeth to the commaundemente of the lawe,Leuit. 2. 13. where the Lorde expreslye forbiddeth that no oblation bee made without salte. And nowe in the Gospell he teacheth the faithfull to be seasoned, that they may be sanctified. VVhen after he addeth, Salte is good: he generally extendeth it to al, whō God once vouchsafeth to sea­son with his woorde, and hee exhorteth them that they alwayes keepe their sauoure. The Metaphore is somewhat the harder, because that hee calleth whatsoeuer i [...] seasoned by the name of salte: yet the sense is not made any thing the doubtfuller by it, for when they haue through their carelesnesse lost their sauour whiche they had by the grace of God, there is no more remedye. And so they are vtterly lost, that corrupt their faith, (wherby they were consecrate) and themselues, seeing that a good sauour cānot be obtained by any other seasoning. Furthermore, they are become corrupt by forsaking the grace of God, and are woorse then the infidels, euen as salte corrupteth the earth and the dunghill.

[Page 165] MARKE. 50. Haue salte in your selues. This woorde maye be taken heere diuers wayes, as it maye signifie either a seasoning of good sauoure which is obtained by faith,Col. 4. 6. or the wisedome of the spirite: as when Paule commaundeth that oure communication shoulde be seasoned with salte, hee meaneth that it ought to be purged and pure frō all prophane fol­lies and corruptions, and to be filled with spirituall grace, which maye e­difie, and with his sauour maye perfume all that shall heare it. If this ex­position stande, then the last clause must be vnderstode of mutual peace, which is nourished with that salte. Yet because it is more probable that this latter sentence doeth depende of the former speache, Christ seemeth to me to exhort his disciples to preserue the force and strengthe of theyr faith, which may also helpe others. As if he shoulde haue sayde, you must doe your diligence, that you be not onely seasoned within, but also that you may season others: yet because salte doeth bite with hys sharpnesse, he therefore doeth presently admonish, that the seasoning shoulde so be tem­pered, that peace may yet remaine safe.

MATH. 14. You are the lighte of the worlde. Thoughe wee be all chil­dren of the light, after that we be lightened with faith, and are comman­ded to beare burning lightes in oure handes, least wee wander in darke­nesse, and also to shewe the waye of life to others: yet because the prea­ching of the Gospell was committed to the Apostles aboue all others, & at this day commaunded to the pastours of the Church, therefore Christ geueth thys title peculiarely to them: as if he shoulde haue sayd, that they were on thys condition placed in suche a degree, that they mighte geue lighte as from an highe to all others: After hee addeth two similitudes. A towne sette vppon a hill cannot be hidde, neither is it vse to hide a candle when it is lighted: By which woordes he woulde signifie that they should so liue, as if they were sette oute to be looked vppon of all menne. And certainly, the higher a manne is placed, the greater hurte he doeth by hys euill example, if he behaue himselfe peruersly. Therefore Christe willed hys Apostles to bende themselues the more to godly and holy life, then a­ny meane men of the common sorte: because that all mennes eyes were sette vppon them as vppon lanternes, neither are they by any meanes to be borne wyth, except that godlinesse and integritie of life doe answeare to the doctrine, whereof they are ministers. The applying of this simili­tude by Marke and Luke seemeth to be vnlike, for there Christe general­ly admonisheth them, diligently to take heede least any manne beinge in darkenesse shoulde nourish vppe himselfe in a libertye of sinning: for that which is hidde for a season, shall at lengthe bee reuealed. And thys is the meaning, excepte that Christ rehearsed both these sentences abruptly not depending of the text.

MATH. 16. Let your light so shine before menne. After that he had taught his disciples, that they are so placed that their vices as well as their vertues are seene farre off, either for good or for euill example: nowe he commā ­deth them so to frame their life, that they may mooue all men to glorifie God.2. Cor. 8. 2 [...]. Let men (sayeth he) see your good woorkes. For as Paul witnesseth, the faithfull doe prouide for good things, not only before God; but also before men. For that he doeth after commaunde them in secrete and pri­uily to doe their good woorkes, is only spoken to reprooue their ambiti­on. But now he commendeth to them a farre other end, that is, the glory [Page 166] of God alone. Furthermore, if the glory of good workes cannot be right­ly attributed to God, except they be acknowledged as receiued frō hym, and he accounted as the only authour of them: Heereby it appeareth that without open and grosse contempte of God, freewil cannot be exalted, as if that good workes either in parte or in whole sprang out of the po­wer of man. Againe it is to be noted howe louingly God dealeth with vs, in calling good woorkes ours, whereof by right he shoulde ascribe the whole praise vnto himselfe.

Mathewe 5.

17. Thinke not that I am come to destroy the lawe or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy them, but to fulfill them.

18. For truely I saye vnto you: Till heauen and earth pearish, one iote, or one title of the Lawe shall not scape, till all things be fulfilled.

19. VVhosoeuer therfore shall breake one of these least commaundements and teache men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdome of heauen: but whoso­euer shall obserue and teache them, the same shall be called great in the kingdome of heauen.

Marke.Luke. 16.

17. Nowe it is more easie that heauen and earth shoulde passe a­waye, then that one title of the lawe shoulde fall.

17. Thinke not. Though Christ was of that perfection of life, that he might rightly say that he came to fulfill the law, yet he doth not here en­treat of life, but of doctrine. Because that he did proclaime that the king­dome of God was come, and did stirre vppe the mindes of menne wyth an vnwoonted hope, and did also receiue his disciples by baptisme: It is probable that the mindes of many doubted and diligently sought to what purpose that newnesse tended. Nowe Christ declareth that his doctrine is so farre from any dissenting with the lawe, so that it agreeth very well with the lawe and the Prophets, and not so onely, but it bringeth a full perfection to the same. And it seemeth that he was especially led by two causes to testifie this consent of the law and the Gospel. Assone as there springs out any newe kinde of teaching, the common people take it, as if there shoulde be an alteration of all things. And the preaching of the go­spell was in that order, (as I sayde euen nowe) that made them hope that the Churche shoulde bee altered into an other estate then it was before: they did therefore thinke that the olde and vsuall kinde of gouernment was abolished. VVhich opinion had bene very hurtfull many wayes: for the godly woorshippers of God, woulde neuer haue embraced the Gos­pell, if it had beene a defection from the lawe, and the light and trouble­some spirites would assay by taking suche an occasion greedily to ouer­throwe the state of religion: for we knowe howe ouerthwartly rashnesse lifts vp it selfe in new things. Furthermore, Christe sawe very manye of the Iewes, which thoughe they professed that they beleeued the lawe, yet they were altogether prophane and degenerate, for the estate of thinges amongest that people were so decaied, and all thinges were filled wyth suche corruptions, so that through either slouthe or malice, the Priestes hadde quenched the pure lighte of doctrine, so that there remayned no [Page 167] greate reuerence of the lawe. If that there hadde beene brought a newe kinde of doctrine, that shoulde haue discredited the lawe and the Pro­phetes, then religion hadde beene miserably shaken. This seemeth to be the first cause why Christe denied that hee came to destroye the lawe, as it may be easily gathered oute of the texte. For to confirme the same, he presently addeth that it cannot be that one iote or title of the lawe shuld passe vnfilled, and hee accurseth those teachers, that doe not labour faith­fully in mainteining the authoritie of the same. And the seconde cause was, that hee might take away the vile reproche whiche the rude and ig­noraunt woulde charge him with. For it appeareth that the Scribes char­ged hys doctrine wyth this faulte, in so muche as he presently inueigh­eth against them.

VVee must consider this purpose of Christe, that he so calleth and ex­horteth the Iewes to receiue the Gospell, that yet hee keepeth them vnder obedience of the lawe: then hee mightily refelleth those vnwoorthye re­proches and cauilles, wherewith the ennemies sought to bringe his prea­ching into slaunder and suspition. For if anye minde to restore thinges confused into a better estate, hee muste alwayes vse this wisedome and moderation, that the people maye knowe that the eternall woorde of God is touched thereby, and that there is no newe thing thrust in, whych derogateth any thing from the scripture: least any suspition of repugnan­cie shoulde weaken the faith of the godly, and leaste that rashe vnaduised menne shoulde become insolent vnder pretence of holinesse: Lastly, that the prophane contempte of the woorde of God maye be staied, and that religion be not brought into no reputation amongst the vnlearned. And this defence of Christe wherewith hee excuseth his doctrine, oughte to comforte vs, if we at this day suffer the like reproaches. The same faulte was also obiected against Paule,Act. 21. 21. that hee was an Apostate from the lawe of God, wherefore it is no maruell if the Papistes out of the same mould doe coyne the like againste vs. And by the example of Christe it is meete to auoide slaunderous reportes, yet so, that the truthe may be freely pro­fessed, though it be subiecte to many vniust reproches. I came not to destroy. God hadde promised a newe couenaunt at the comming of Christe, but hee sheweth also that it shall not be diuers from the firste, but that thys rather was the ende that the league whiche he hadde made with his peo­ple from the beginning, might be sanctified for euer. I will wryte (sayeth hee) my lawes in their heartes,Ier. 31. 3 [...]. and I will forgette their sinnes: By these woordes hee is so farre from departing from the former couenaunt, that hee rather affirmeth that it shall then be established and confirmed when [...]s the newe shall come in place. And that was the meaning of the wordes of Christe, when hee sayde that he came to fulfill the lawe. For hee ful­filled it truelye, quickeninge the deade letter with his spirite: then hee in deede perfourmed that whyche before was shewed onelye vnder figures. So that the cursse beinge abrogate, the subiection is taken awaye, and a libertye purchased for the faithfull, and nothynge is derogated from the doctrine of the lawe, but onelye expoundeth the minde of the lawe ge­uer, as appeareth Galathians the thirde and the fourthe Chapiters.

Therefore, as concernynge the doctrine, wee maye not imagine a­nye abrogation of the Lawe by the comminge of Christe. For sithe it is [Page 168] an euerlasting rule of a godly and a holy life, it must be vnchangeable, as the iustice of God is one, and the same whiche is therein comprehended.

As concerning the Ceremonies, thoughe they maye be accounted as a certaine addition to the same, yet the onely vse of them was abrogate: but the signification was the more approoued. So that the commyng of Christ did not derogate anye thing from the ceremonies, but rather the truth of the shadowes being shewen foorth, doeth obtaine the more assu­red credite vnto them: while wee beholding the perfecte effecte, doe ac­knowledge that they are not vaine nor vnprofitable. Therefore lette vs learne to keepe this sacred knotte of the lawe and the gospel inuiolable, which many do wickedly dissolue: And it doeth much auaile to the esta­blishing of the truth of the gospell, while wee heare that it is nothing else but the fulfilling of the law, so that in a mutuall consent they shewe that God is the authour of them both.

18. Till heauen and earth pearish. Luke vseth other woordes, but the same sense. It is more easie for heauen and earth to passe away, then that one title of the lawe shoulde fall. For it was the will of Christ to teach in both places, that there is nothing so sure in the whole frame of the worlde, as is the certaine truth of the lawe, and that in euery poynte of the same. Some doe verye subtillye play with the woorde vntill, as if that the passing of heauen and earth which shall be in the last daye of iudgement, shoulde putte an ende to the lawe and the Prophets. And truely, as the tongues shall then cease, and prophesies be abolished, so I thincke that the wrytten lawe wyth the exposition shall cease. But because I thinke that Christe spake more sim­ply, I will not feede the readers eares with suche deuices. Therefore lette it suffice vs to vnderstande this, that heauen shoulde fall, and the whole frame of the worlde shoulde come together, rather then the certaintie of the lawe shoulde wauer. But what is the meaninge of this; all thinges of the lawe shall be perfourmed euen to the least title? For we see how farre menne are from the perfecte fulfilling of the lawe, euen they that are re­generate with Gods spirite. I aunsweare, this fulfilling is not referred to the life of menne, but to the perfecte truthe of the doctrine, as if hee shoulde say, there is nothing inconstante in the lawe, and nothyng putte rashly in the same: Therefore it cannot bee that one letter of the same should vanish away.

19. VVhosoeuer therefore shall breake. Heere Christe speaketh namelye of the preceptes of life, or of the ten woordes, according to which prescript order, it becommeth all the children of God to frame their liues. There­fore he pronounceth them to be false and peruerse teachers, which keepe not their disciples vnder obedience of the lawe: and that they are vn­woorthy to haue a place in the Churche, whiche diminish the authoritie of the lawe in the least parte of the same: and that they are good and faithfull ministers of God, whiche teache the obseruation of the lawe, as well in example of life as in woordes. Also hee calleth them the leaste commaundements of the lawe, according to the sense and iudgement of men: for thoughe there is not like waight in all the commaundementes, but while they be compared betweene themselues, some are lesse then o­ther: yet may we nothing soner esteme and account that, as little, wherof the heauenly lawgeuer hath voutchsaued to geue a commaundemente. [Page 169] For what sacriledge were it contemptuously to receiue that, which com­meth out of his mouth? For by this meanes his maiestie shuld haue bene abased: wherefore whereas Christ calleth them the least preceptes, is a kinde of yeelding to our vnderstanding. VVhen hee sayeth he shall be called least, is an allusion to that was sayde before of the commaunde­mentes, but the meaning is euidente, they that bring the doctrine of the law into contēpt, yea though it be but in one sillable, shal be reiected as the woorst sort of men. The kingdome of heauen is taken for the renoua­tion of the Church, or the second state of the Church as it then began to arise by the preaching of the Gospell. So in Luke 7. 28. Christ accoun­teth him that is least in the kingdome of GOD, greater then Iohn: the reason of the speache is, because God restoring the world by the hand of his sonne, framed his kingdome perfectly. Therefore Christe will not that any teachers be admitted into his churche after the same be renew­ed, but suche as are faithfull interpreaters of the lawe, and wil endeuour to keepe the doctrine of the same sounde. But it is demaunded whether the ceremonies were accounted amongst the commandements of God, which are not required now to be obserued. I answere, the purpose and the end of the lawgeuer is to be considered: For God commaunded the ceremonies, that the outwarde vse of them mighte be temporall, and the signification eternall: hee breaketh not the ceremonies, that holdeth the effecte of them, and omitteth the shadowe. Nowe sith Christe banisheth them out of his kingdome, which accustome menne to the contempte of his lawe: their beastlinesse is monstrous, that are not ashamed wyth sa­crilegious indulgence, to remit that which God doth so seuerely require, and vnder pretence of a veniall sinne to beat downe the righteousnesse of the law. Againe that title is to be noted which he geueth to good and holy teachers, that is, to such as exhort men not only in words, but espe­cially in example of life to keepe the lawe.

Matth. 5.Marke.Luke.

20. For I saye vnto you, excepte your ryghte­ousnesse exceede the righteousnesse of the Scribes & Pharises, yee shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen.

21. Yee haue heard that it was sayde to them of the old time. Thou shalt not kill: for whosoeuer killeth, shalbe culpable of iudgment.

22. But I saye vnto you, whosoeuer is angrye with his brother vnaduisedlye, shall be culpable of iudgement. And whosoeuer saith to his brother. Ra­cha, shalbe worthy to be punished by the councel: and whosoeuer shall say, Foole, shalbe worthy to be pu­nished with hell fire.


20. Except your righteousnes exceede. He reprehendeth the Scribes, which endeuoured to charge the doctrine of the Gospell, as though it were the ouerthrow of the law. Hee disputeth not this matter, but onely dooth shewe briefly that they haue nothing lesse in their mindes, then the zeale [Page 170] of the lawe: as if he should haue sayde, they pretend that they hate mee, because they woulde not breake the lawe; but it appeareth by their lyfe how coldly they esteeme the law, nay how securely they scorne at God, while that with a painted and faigned righteousnesse they beare vp thē ­selues amongst men. This is the iudgement of most of the interpreters. But see if hee doe not rather reproue the corrupt kind of teaching, which the Scribes and Pharises vsed in teaching the people. For when as they restrayned the lawe of GOD onely to outward dueties, they framed their disciples as Apes to hypocrisie. And I speake not against it, that they lyued as wickedly, nay worse then they taught. Therefore I do wil­lingly ioyne theyr glory of false righteousnesse with their wicked doc­ctrine: yet it dooth easily appeare by those wordes that followe (what it is that Christ doth especially inueigh against in this sentence) where as he purging the lawe from their wicked commentes, doth restore the same to his former puritie. In summe, that which was wickedly obiected, (as we haue sayde) against him, he forcibly returneth backe vpon them­selues. Behold, said he, how perfect and apt interpreters of the lawe they are: for they doe frame a righteousnesse which shall shutte the gate of heauen against the followers of it. It must be remembred, that we said otherwhere, that for the amplifying of the matter, the Pharises are ioyned to the Scribes: because that secte had got the reporte of holynes to themselues before all others. Though they are deceyued that thinke they are so called of a separation, as menne separate from the common sorte of men; they challenged a degree proper to themselues. For they were called Pherus [...]im, that is interpreters: because that they not contente with the simple letter, professed that they hadde the kaye, to gather the secrete vnderstanding: whereof their greate heape of mixed inuen­tions sprange, when as they drawing the maistership to themselues with a wicked pleasure and like boldnes they durst intrude their own inuen­tions in steede of the scripture.

21. You haue heard what was sayde. This sentence and others following doth agree with that, that goeth before. For Christ dooth more at large shew in their kindes how ouerthwartly they doe wrest the law; so that their righteousnes is nothing els but drosse. But they are deceiued that thought, that this was the reformation of the law, and that Christe ex­tolled his disciples into a higher degree of perfection, then Moses euer could bring his grosse and carnall people vnto, which was hardly fitte to learne the first elementes. So went the opinion, the beginning of righ­teousnes was in tymes paste delyuered in the lawe, but that the perfe­ction is taught in the Gospell.

But Christe meant nothing lesse, then to chaunge or alter anye thing in the commaundementes. For God hath therein once established a per­fecte rule of lyfe, whereof he will neuer repent. But beecause that the lawe was corrupted with adulterous commentes, and was wrested in­to a prophane sense, Christ delyuereth the same from such corruptions, and sheweth the right vnderstanding of it, from the whiche the Iewes were fallen away. And the doctrine of the law doth not onely beginne, but also perfourmeth an vpright lyfe: as maye be gathered out of this one Chapter, in that it requireth a perfect loue of God and our neigh­bour: so that he that is endued with such a loue, wanteth nothing of [Page 171] the chiefe perfection. Therefore the law, by the commaundements of good lyfe, leadeth men to the marke of righteousnesse. Therefore Paule accounteth it weake, not in respect of it selfe, but in respect of our flesh. For if the lawe did onelye giue an entraunce to true and perfect righ­teousnesse,Deu. 30. 19 then was Moses protestation in vaine; I take heauen and earth to recorde this day against you, that I haue sette before thee the waye of lyfe & death.Deu. 10. 12 Againe, & now O Israel, what doth the Lord thy God re­quire of thee, but that thou shouldest wholly cleaue vnto him. This pro­mise were also in vaine,Leuit. 18. 5 and to no purpose, hee that doth these thinges shall liue in them. And it euidentlye appeareth out of other places of scripture, that Christ meant not to alter any thing in the commaunde­mentes. For he commaundeth them, that woulde through their good workes enter into lyfe, to obserue nothing but the commaundements of the lawe: and neyther hee nor his Apostles doe giue anye other pre­ceptes of godly and holy lyfe. And truely they doe great iniurie to God the aucthour of the law, which imagine that hee did onelye frame the eyes, handes, and feete to a feigned shewe of good workes, and that onely the Gospell teacheth vs to loue GOD from the hearte. There­fore let that errour passe, that the wantes of the law are here amended by Christe: for we may not imagine Christe to be a new lawgiuer, to adde any thing to the eternal righteousnesse of his father: but as a faith­full interpreter he is to be heard, that wee might know, what manner of law it is, to what purpose it tendeth, and how farre it reacheth.

Now it remaineth for vs to see what Christ condemneth in the Pha­rises, and what his interpretation differeth from their commentes. The summe is, thet they had translated the doctrine of the lawe to a politike order, as if it sufficed to doe the outward dueties. So it came to passe, that he thought himselfe free from manslaughter, that had not with his hand killed a mā. And he that had not defiled his body with adultery, thought himselfe chaste and pure before God. But this profanation of the lawe might not be borne, when as it is certaine, that Moses did euerye where require a spirituall worship of God: and God, who delyuered the same by the hand of Moses, according to his owne nature spake as well to the [...]eartes, as to the handes and eyes. Christe alleadgeth the wordes of the law, but he applyeth himselfe to the common capacitie of the simple, as if he should say: the Scribes haue as yet deliuered vnto you, but a literall exposition of the law, as if it were sufficient if a man keepe his hands from manslaughter & violence. But I admonish you to looke deeper into the matter: and because that charitie is the perfection of the lawe, I say that thy neighbour is iniuried, as oft as any thing is vncharitably done against him. The last clause that he rehearseth, that he shalbe culpable of a iudg­ment that killeth a man, doth confirme that which I said euen now, that Christ reproueth that fault: that the law of God, which was giuē to go­uerne the mindes of men, was turned into a polytike gouernement.

22. But I say vnto you. He doth not oppose his answere against the cō ­mandement of Moses, but against the cōmon fantasie of the Scribes. Also because that the Pharises did boast of antiquity (as commonly a long pre­scription of time is pretēded for defence of errors) Christ calleth the peop­ple backe to his auctoritie, whereto al antiquitie ought of right to giue place: whereby we gather that the trueth is much more to be esteemed thē either antiquitie or custome.

[Page 172] VVhosoeuer shall say vnto his brother. Christ setteth down three degrees of condemnation, besides the violence of the handes: wherby hee declareth that that commandement of the law, doth not only restraine the hands, but all affections contrary to brotherlye charitie: as if he shoulde haue saide, they that are onely angry with their brethren, or doe proudly lyfe vp themselues, or doe hurt them with any opprobrious words, are mur­derers.

Now sith it is euident, that this word Racha is placed in the middest be­tweene anger and manifeste reproofe, I take it to bee an interiection of contempt or despite. And though Christe adiudgeth them onely to hell fire, which break out into open reproofes, yet hee acquiteth not an­ger from this punishment: but alluding to the iudgementes of the world, he declareth that GOD will become iudge of that priuate and secrete wrath, that he may punish the same. And because that hee proceedeth further, that sheweth his indignation with bitter speech, hee saieth, that hee shall be found guiltie before a heauenly councell, that he may haue a greater punishment. And he adiudgeth them to hell fire, which breake out into reproaches, signifying that hatred or whatsoeuer else is against charitie, sufficeth to purchase the reward of eternall death, though no vi­olence be offred. It is not to be doubted, but that this worde Gehenna is borowed: for with the Hebrewes it signifieth a valley. Also the valley of Hennon was an infamous place: because of their detestable superstition, for that they there offered their children to idolles. Heereof it came to passe, that holy men vsed that word for hell, that that vile vngodlynes might be had in the greater detestation, that the people might abhor that so detestable and horrible a name. And it appeareth that this manner of speach was vsed in Christ his time, and hell was called almoste by no other name then Gehenna, the worde somewhat altered from the natural sound.

Matthew. 5.Mark.Luk. 12.

23. If then thou bring thy gifte to the altar, & there remembrest that thy brother hath ought against thee.

24. Leaue there thine offering before the al­tar, and goe thy way: first, be reconciled to thy bro­ther, and then come and offer thy gift.

25. Agree with thine aduersary quicklye, whiles thou art in the way with him, leaste thine aduersary delyuer thee to the iudge, and the iudge delyuer thee to the sergeaunt, and thou be cast in­to prison.

26. Verily I saye vnto thee, thou shalt not come out thence, till thou hast payd the vttermost farthing.


58. VVhilest thou goest with thine aduersarie to the ruler, as thou art in the way, giue diligence in the way, that thou mayst be do liuered from him, least hee bring thee to the iudge, & ye iudge deliuer thee to the iayler, and the iayler caste thee into prison.

59. I tell thee, thou shalt not departe thence, till thou hast payd the vt­moste mite.

23. If then bring thy gift. VVith this clause he confirmeth and also ex­poundeth the former doctrine. The summe is, that we doe then sa­tisfie that commuundement of the lawe, wherein wee are forbydden to [Page 173] kill, if we nourish agreement and brotherly loue with our neighbours. And that he might the better perswade vs to it, Christ pronounceth that euen the dueties of religion are not accepted of God, but refused of him, if we dissent amongst our selues. For in that he commaundeth them, that haue hurt any one of their brethren, to be first in fauour with him, bee­fore that they offer their gifte: hee declareth that there is no entraunce for vs vnto God, so long as through our faulte wee are at enmitie with our neighbours. If that men pollute and corrupt with their hatreds their whole worship which they offer, we hereof gather how much he estee­meth mutuall concord amongst vs. Yet here may a question be moued, whether it be not absurde that the dueties of charitie are more accoun­ted of, then the worshippe of God. For wee must say, that eyther the order of the law is preposterous, or els the first table should be preferred before the second.

This is easily aunswered: for the wordes of Christe doe tend to no other purpose, but to shew that they doe in vaine and falsly professe themselues worshippers of God, which doe contemptuously dispise their bre­thren, which they haue vniustly iniuried. For vnder this one kinde hee noteth all the outward exercises of relygion by the figure Sinecdoche: by which outwarde exercises men doe oft counterfeit holynesse, rather then truely testifie the same. And it is to be noted that Christ, after the maner of that time, spake of the sacrifices. At this day our estate is vnlike: yet the same doctrine remaineth: that is, whatsoeuer we offer vnto God is cor­rupt, except we be at one with our brethren as much as it lyeth in vs. The scripture calleth almes, Philip. 4. 18. sacrifices of a sweete sauour: yet we heare out of Paule his mouth, 1. Cor. 13. 2. 3. that he that bestoweth all his goodes vppon the poore, is yet nothing, except hee haue charitie. Also God dooth not take nor acknowledge them for children, excepte they againe do shew themselues to men as brethren. And though Christ doth commaunde them only that haue iniuried their brethren, to apply themselues to appease them: yet vnder this one kinde hee sheweth howe precious brotherly concord is before God. And this setteth out much more, that he commaundeth to leaue the gifte before the altar, as if hee shoulde haue sayde: in vaine doe menne come to the Temple, or of­fer sacrifices to GOD, so longe as they are at discord with their neigh­bours.

25. Agree with thine aduersarie. Though Christ seemeth to goe further, not onely to exhorte them to reconciliation, which haue done iniurie to their brethren, but them also which haue bene iniuried: yet I thinke that he had a further regard: namely that he might cut off all occasion of ha­treds and discordes, and shew the meanes to maintaine good will: for from whence spring all iniuries, but that all men are too carefull to hold their owne right? that is, they are giuen too much to mainteine theyr owne commoditie, with the losse of other men: For almost all men are blinded with a peeuishe loue of them selues; so that they [...]latter them­selues, euen in the worst causes. Therefore Christ, that he might preuent discordes, hatreds, strifes, and all iniuries, forbiddeth that selfe loue, and commaundeth his disciples to bend themselues to moderation and equi­tie, that parting from the extremitie of their right, they might with such equitie redeeme peace and friendship.

[Page 174] It were to be wished, that there should neuer fall any strife or contro­uersie amongst vs: and surely men should neuer fall into contention or strife, if there were such loue amongst them as ought to be. But because that it can hardly bee brought to passe, but that some strifes will arise, Christ sheweth a remedie how the same may presently be ended: name­lye, if we bridle our lustes, and be readye rather to passe it ouer with our losse, thē to prosecute our right with an vnappeasable rygour. But christ vsed this exhortatiō diuerse times, as it appeareth out of the 12. of Luke, where as the sermon which he made in the mount is not set downe, but an epitome gathered of diuerse sentences of Christ. VVhereby it also ap­peareth what it is to be in the way: that is, beefore thou commest to the Iudge. Least thine aduersary delyuer thee to the Iudge. Some expound this clause metaphoricaly, that the heauenly Iudge wil deal with extremitie of law; so that he will forgiue nothing at all, except wee endeuour to pacifie those contentions, which we haue with our neighbours. But I take it simply, that Christ, admonisheth vs, that this is profitable for vs euen a­mongst men. For the couetous desire is often daungerous to the conten­tious. Yet I doe not deny but that the similitude may bee aptly applyed to God: that is, that he shall feele iudgement without mercy, that is ry­gorous to his brethren, or bendeth himselfe wholy to contention. But the Papistes are more then ridiculous, which by expounding this place alle­gorically, doe build their purgatory: but there is nothing more euidente, then that Christ doth speake of maintaining good will amongst men. They make no religion without shame, to peruerte his wordes, and to drawe them to a straunge sense, so that they might deceiue the vnlear­ned. But because they are vnworthy of any long confutation, I will shewe in one onely word, how shamefull their ignorance is. They ima­gine the aduersary to be the deuill, and that Christe commaundeth his faythfull ones to be louing vnto him: therefore that the Papistes maye finde out a purgatorie, it behooueth them first to be brethren & friends to the deuill.

It is well knowne that a quarterne is the fourth parte of a pound, but in this place it is taken for a farthing, or any other smal peece of money, as it also appeareth out of Luke. Now, if I would vse cauilles, I woulde here also refell the folly of the Papistes. For if he that is once in purga­torie shall neuer goe out from thence, vntill he haue payde the vttermost farthing: it followeth that those rites, which they call the suffrages of the luying for the dead, are in vaine. For Christ doth not admit others to make satisfaction for the release of the debter, but expresly requireth of euery manne the payment of his owne debt. If then their Masses and other sacrifices be vnprofitable, howe hotely soeuer their fire of Purga­torie doe burne, yet their Priestes and Monkes kytchens shall wax cold: for which cause they haue so painefully striuen for the same.

Matth. 5.Mark.Luke.

27. Yee haue hearde that it was sayde to them [...]f old time. Thou shalt not commit adulterie.

28. But I say vnto you, that whosoeuer looketh [Page 175] on a woman to lust after her, hath committed ad­ultery with her already in his heart.

29. VVherefore if thy right eye cause thee to of­fend, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is bet­ter for thee, that one of thy members perishe, then that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30. Also if thy right hande make thee to of­fende, cutte it off, and caste it from thee: for bet­ter it is for thee, that one of thy members perishe, then that thy whole bodye shoulde bee caste into hell.


27. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Christ proceedeth in his disputati­on, prouing that the law of God is not only a gouernour of life, to fram the outward behauiour after a pollitike maner: but it also requireth the perfect and whole affections of the heart. But that must be remembred, which I gaue warning of before. Although Christ reporteth the words of the law, yet it is the grosse and adulterous sense, which false interpre­ters had gathered, that he reproueth: for he had said before, that he came not to be a new lawgiuer, but a faythfull interpreter of the law alreadie giuen. And for that it might be obiected, that that interpretation had cō ­tinued long, Christ expresly graunteth it: but after this maner he answe­reth it, that the long continuance of errour ought to bee no preiudice to the truth.

28. Hee that looketh vpon a woman. The purpose of Christ is generally to condemn the lust of the flesh. Therfore he saith that they are adulterers before God, not only that defile other mens wiues, but they also that pollute their eyes with an vnchaste looke. But it is a figuratiue kinde of speeche, because that not only the eyes doe make men guiltie of adulte­rie, but also the blinde burning lustes of the hearte. Therefore Paule pla­ceth chastitie in the body and the spirit, 1. Cor. 7. 34. But Christ thought it sufficient to confute that grosse opiniō, which had taken place: because that they did thinke that they should auoyd nothing but outward adul­terie. Notwithstanding, because the eyes, for the moste parte, procure the mindes to such filthy deuises, and lust entreth as it were by these dores. Christ vseth this manner of speach, when as he would condemne concu­piscence, and that may easily be gathered by that word lust: whereby we are also taught, that not they onely are to be accounted adulterers, which conceaue whoredome in their mindes with full consente: but they also that admitte any prickes or motions of the same. VVherefore the hypo­crisie of the Papistes is too grosse and carelesse, which deny concupiscēce to be sinne, vntil the whole hart do yeeld consent. But it is not to be mer­ueiled at, that they lessen sinne as they doe, when as it behoueth them to be dul and slow in accounting of their sinnes, which ascribe righteousnes to the desertes of their works.

29. If thine eye. Because in the weakenesse and imbecilitie of fleshe, Christe might seeme to vrge men too seuerely, he preuenteth and aun­swereth all those complayntes. In summe he declareth, though that bee hard, difficult, troublesom, or sharp, which God commandeth: yet we can make no excuse therby: because that the righteousnes of God ought to be [Page 176] esteemed of vs, then all other thinges which are moste deare & precious to vs. As if he should haue sayde, there is no cause whye thou shouldest obiecte to me, that thou canst scarsly turne thine eye hether and thither: but that they are caught in snares before thou art aware For thou must rather forsake and leaue thine eyes then to departe from the commaun­dementes of God. Yet, it is not Christes meaning that the body should be lamed, that we might obey God. But because that all men doe gladly desire that their senses may not be so maymed, but that they maye haue the free vse of them, Christe dooth hyperbolically teach vs to cut away any thing that hindreth vs from that obedience vnto God, which hee re­quireth of vs in his lawe. And this hee dooth of purpose, because that men do in this behalfe too licentiously nourish vp themselues. If the mind were pure, the eyes and handes would also be obedient, which haue no proper motion of their owne. But we doe herein offende grieuouslye, that we are not so carefull as wee ought to bee in auoydinge deceitfull baytes, so that rather with an vnbrydeled libertie we doe willingly pro­uoke our selues to euill.

Matth. 5.Marke.Luke. 16.

31. It hath beene sayde also, whosoeuer shal put away his wife, let him giue her a testimoniall of diuorcement.

32. But I say vnto you, whosoeuer shall put away his wife (except it bee for fornication) cau­seth her to commit adultery: and whosoeuer shall marry her, that is diuorced, committeth adulte­rie.


1 [...]. VVhosoeuer putteth away his wife, and maryeth another, committeth adultery: and whosoeuer mary­eth her that is put a­way from her husbād, committeth adultery.

31. VVhosoeuer shall put away. Because there will be a more conueniēt place to entreate of this doctrine more at large in the 19. after Mathew: I will now briefly touch that which Christ saith here. As the Iewes did falslye thinke that they had doone their duetie towardes GOD, if after a politike sorte, they had obserued the law: so againe they fondlye ima­gined that it was lawefull for them to doe whatsoeuer the politike law did not forbidde.

The diuorcementes which they were wont to make with their wiues Moses had not forbidden, in respect of an outwarde order: but onely for restraint of lust he had cōmanded to giue a byll of diuorcement to those wiues that were put away. And it was a certeine testimonie of manu­mission, that the woman might after be free from the yoake and power of her husband. And the husband did also confesse that hee did not put away his wife for any fault, but because he did not lyke her. From hence sprang that errour, that they thought no fault to bee in such a diuorce­ment; so that they satisfied the law: but they tooke a very wrong rule of a godly and holy lyfe, out of the ciuil lawe. For the politike lawes are sometime bent to mens manners: but God in giuing a spirituall law did not regarde what menne could doe, but what they ought to doe. Ther­fore a perfect and vpright righteousnesse is therein contayned, though we haue not power to fulfill the same. So Christ dooth admonishe vs that that is not presently lawful before God, which the polytike law of [Page 177] Moses doth tollerate. He saith, that vnder the pretence of the law, he ab­solueth himselfe, that putting away his wife, giueth her a bill of diuorce­ment. But the band of matrimonie is holyer, then that it may be brokē & vnknitte at the will, or rather pleasure of men. For though manne and wife doe ioyne themselues togeather with a mutuall consent: yet GOD doth ioyne them and knit them togeather in such a knot, that cannot be dissolued, that after it is not lawfull for them to depart. Yet hee putteth an exception, except it be for fornication. For that woman is worthylye put away, which hath traiterously broken matrimonie: for the band be­ing broken through her fault, the man is set at libertie.

32. Causeth her to commit adultery. Because the byll of diuorcement did permit, that the woman so separated, might enter into new mariages, hee is worthily condemned as a baud or a betraier, that against all lawe and right, casteth of his wife to others, which was giuen to him of God.

Matthew. 5.Marke.Luke.

33. Againe, yee haue hearde that it was sayd to them of old time, Thou shalt not forsweare thy sel [...]e, but shalt performe thine oathes to the Lord.

34. But I say vnto you, sweare not at al, ney­ther by heauen: for it is the throan of God:

35. Nor yet by the earth: for it is his footstoole: neyther by Ierusalem: for it is the citie of the great king.

36. Neyther shalt thou sweare by thine head: because thou canste not make one hayre white or blacke.

37. But let your communication be, yea, yea: nay, nay: for whatsoeuer is more then these, commeth of euill.


33. Thou shalt not forsweare thy selfe. This also is not a reproofe of the law, but rather a true interpretation of the same: for God hath not one­ly condemned in the law al periuries, but vaine & light swearing, which derogateth from the maiestie of his name. For not only he doth take the name of God in vaine, that sweareth falsly, but he that vseth the name of God in friuolous matters, or rashly and contemptuously in common speach. Further, when as the law of God condemneth euery prophaning of the name of God, the Iewes did imagine the fault to be onely in per­iuries. Christ reproueth this grosse errour, that they thought it lawefull for them to abuse the name of God without reproofe; so that they were not forsworne. It is commaunded that we should religiously performe our oathes to God. For he that doth defraud and deceaue his neighbours after that he hath vsed the name of God for it, doth iniury, not to men onely, but to God. But the fault is in restraining that to one point, which extendeth more largely. Some apply this word perfourme, to vowes pro­mised to God for relygions sake. But the word doth best agree to al co­uenauntes and promisses confirmed by adding the name of God there­to: for then is God made a witnesse between both parties, to whom they pledge their faith.

[Page 178] 34. Sweare not at all. This clause, not at all, hath deceiued many: so that they thought that Christ had generally condemned all oathes. And ma­ny good men were driuen to this vnmeasurable rigor, through the vn­brideled libertie of swearing, which they sawe abounde throughout the world. And the Anabaptistes vnder this pretence haue kept a great stir, as though Christe would suffer vs to sweare for no cause, for that hee forbiddeth to sweare at all. But we must not fetch an exposition out of any other place, then out of the wordes of the text: presently there fol­loweth, neither by heauen, nor by the earth. VVho seeth not that these kindes of oathes are set downe for interpretation sake, which by this numbring of these perticuler oathes, might interprete the former sen­tence? The Iewes had certaine extraordinary or indirect (as menne saye) maner of oathes: and when they swore by heauen, earth, or the altar, they counted this almost for nothing. And as one sinne ariseth of an other, so vnder this colour they faigned, that they did not so openly prophane the name of God. Christe, that he might meete with this sinne, saieth, that they may not at all sweare, either after this maner, or after that, neither by heauen, nor by the earth, &c. VVhereby wee gather that this phrase (not at all) is not referred to the substaunce, but to the maner of swea­ring: as if he should haue saide, neither directly nor indirectly: otherwise it were in vaine to rehearse these kindes. VVherefore the Anabaptistes doe shewe their grosse ignoraunce, and their delight in contention, while that frowardly they enforce one word, and with closed eies doe passe by the whole meaning of the sentence. If any obiect that Christ permitteth no oath: I aunswere that the interpreters wordes must bee vnderstoode according to the meaning of the law. Therefore this is the summe that the name of God is taken in vaine other waies then by periury. There­fore we must refraine from all superfluous oathes: but where as there is cause, the law doth not only permitte, but also commandeth to swear. So Christes meaning was nothing else, then that al those oathes are vn­lawful, which by any abuse prophane the sacred name of God, the reue­rence whereof they ought to preserue.

Neyther by heauen. They are deceiued that say, that Christe reprooued these formes of swearing, as corrupt, because that God alone shoulde be sworne by: for the reasons which he bringeth doe rather bend to the cō ­trary parte: because that then also the name of God is sworne by, when as heauen and earth are named: because there is no parte of the worlde, wherein God hath not imprinted some note of his glory. Yet this opi­nion seemeth not to agree with the commaundement of the law, where­as God expresly commaundeth to sweare by his name, nor yet with di­uerse places of the Scripture, whereas he complayneth, that he is iniuried so oft, as his creatures are sworne by. I aunswere it is an offence lyke to idolatrie, when as eyther the power of iudgement, or the aucthoritie of trying witnesses is giuen to them. For we must consider the end of swe­ring: namely, that menne doe appeale vnto God, as the reuenger of per­iurie, and the defence of trueth. And this honour cannot be giuen to an­other, but that his maiestie shalbe prophaned. And for this cause the A­postle saieth, that one cannot sweare, but by the greater: and this was pe­culyer to God alone, that he sweareth by himselfe. So whosoeuer swore in tymes paste by Moloch or by any other Idoll, did so much diminishe [Page 179] from the glory of God, in that an other was placed in his roumth, as vn­derstander of the thoughtes, & Iudge against their [...]oules. And they that at this day doe sweare by Angelles or dead Saintes, doe spoyle GOD of his honour, and do ascribe a vain godhead to those creatures. But there is an other thing to be considered, when as heauen and earth are sworne by, in respect of the maker. For the relygion of an oath is not setled vp­pon the creatures: but God alone is called to witnesse, they being brought forth as seales of his glory. The scripture also calleth heauen, the seat of God, not that he is included therein, but that menne might learne to lyfte their mindes on high, so oft as they thinke of him, and that they shoulde not imagine any earthly or base thing of him. Yea, the earth also is ther­fore called his footestoole, that we might knowe that hee being euerye where, could not be contained in any certaine place. The holynesse of Hierusalem did depende of the promisse: therefore it was holy, because the Lorde had chosen it for the seat and palace of his Empyre. VVhen men swear by their head, they lay their lyfe as pledge of their good mea­ning, which is their singuler gyft of God.

37. But let your communication be. Secondly, Christe prescribeth a re­medy: namely, that menne should deale truely and faythfully amongst themselues: for then playne speach shall be of more value, then an oath is amongst them, that knowe no other but corrupt and false dealing. And truely this is the best way to reproue and correct vices by, to note the fountaines from whence they spring. From whence commeth this rash readinesse of swearing, but that in so much vanitie, in so manye de­ceites, vnconstancy and ficklenesse, nothing almost is beleeued? Therfore Christe requireth trueth and constancy in our wordes, that wee shoulde not neede to sweare anye more. For, the repetition aswell of the af­firmation, as of the denyall, is for this purpose, that wee should keepe our promisses, that all vpright dealing maye thereby appeare. And bee­cause that this is the true and lawefull kinde of bargayning, where men speake no otherwise with their tongue, then they thinke in their hearte, Christ saieth that whatsoeuer is more, proceedeth of euill.

And I allowe not their iudgemente, that attribute the faulte of swearinge to him, that dooth not beleeue the speaker. But in my iudge­ment Christe teacheth, that it proceedeth of the vices of men, that they are enforced to sweare: for if there were vpright dealinge amongste them, if they were not diuerse nor inconstant of theyr worde, but mayntayned that simplicitie, which nature teacheth: yet it followeth not but that it is lawefull to sweare, so ofte as neede requireth: for ma­nye thinges may bee well vsed, which ryse of an yll beginning.

Matth. 5Marke.Luke. 6.

38. Yee haue hearde that it hath bene sayd, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

39. But I saye vnto you, re­siste not euill: but whosoeuer shall [Page 180] smite thee on thy right cheek, turne to him the other also,

40. And if any one will sue thee at the lawe, and take away thy coate, let him haue thy cl [...]ake also.

41. And whosoeuer will compell thee to goe a myle, goe with him twane.

[Page 179]

29. And to him that smy­teth thee on the one cheeke, offe [...] also the other: and him that ta­keth away thy cl [...]ak, forbid not to [Page 180] take thy coate also.

30. Giue to euerye man that asketh of thee: and of him that taketh away thy goodes, aske thē not againe.

38. And eye for an ey [...]. Heere is an other fault reproued, that whereas God had by his law commanded the Iudges and magisttates to reueng iniuries with like punishment, euery man vnder that pretence would re­uenge themselues. Therefore they thought they did not offende, so that they did not first prouoke any: but being iniuried, did recompence lyke for lyke.

But Christ teacheth vs otherwise, though the Iudges are commaunded to defend all men; and are ordained reuengers to bridle the wicked, and to restraine their violence: yet euery one ought patiently to suffer the in­iuries done vnto them.

39. Resist not euill. There is two wayes of resisting: the one, when as without daunger we driue awaye iniuries: the other, when wee recom­pence like for like. But though Christ permitteth not his, to repell vio­lence with violence: yet he forbiddeth not them to withstand vniust vi­olence. And Paule can interprete vs this place best, when he commaun­deth to ouercome euill with good, rather then to striue with euill doing, Ro. 12. 17. For the Antithesis is to be noted betweene an offence and the correction of a fault. Here he speaketh of reuengmēt: and Christ, that he might take that lybertie from his disciples forbiddeth them to resist euil with euil. And also he stretcheth the law of patience further, that we shoulde not onely receiue iniuries without grudging, but rather pre­pare our selues to beare new iniuries. In summe, this is the purpose of this admonition, that the faythfull should learne to forgette what mis­chiefes soeuer are done vnto them, least that when they are hurte, they breake into hatred or enuie, or desire to hurt againe: but that they shuld frame themselues to a greater patience, if that mischiefes and iniuryes should encrease and stirre vp more and more.

VVhosoeuer shall strike thee. Iulianus and suche lyke did wickedly cauill at the doctrine of Christe, as if it did vtterlye ouerthrowe all lawes and iudgementes. For as Augustine sayde very aptly and wisely in his firste Epistle, The counsell of our Sauiour was for no other purpose, then to frame the mindes of the faithfull to a moderation and equitie, that for one or two iniuries they should not faynte nor waxe wearie. And it is true that Augustine saieth, the lawe is not giuen for outwarde workes, if thou vnderstand them rightly.

I graunt that Christe restraineth our handes aswell as our mindes: but whereas a manne cannot defende him selfe and his, from iniuries▪ without reuenge, the wordes of Christe let not, but that lawfullye, and without offence he may auoyde the daunger comming. Certeinly Christ would not teach his disciples to whet the mallice of the wicked, whiche burnt too hotte before with a delight to iniury them.

[Page 181] And to turne the other cheeke, what were it else, but a prouocation to further mischiefe? Therefore it is not meete nor conuenient for an inter­preter to stand vppon the sillables, but to marke the purpose of him that speaketh. And there is nothing more vncomely for Christes disciples thē to▪ play and cauil with the wordes, whereas the meaning of their maister is playne. And it is not harde to vnderstande what Christes purpose is: namely that the end of one trouble is the beginning of an other: and so the faythful must through the whole course of their life, with continual steppes passe through many iniuries. Therfore when they are once hurt, he woulde by that instruction frame them to bearing, that by suffering they might learne to be patient.

40. And if any will sue thee. Christe toucheth the other faulte, which is when the wicked disturbe vs with suites. And in this behalfe hee also commaundeth vs to haue our mindes so armed to patience, that our coat being taken way, we shuld be ready to giue our cloake also. It shalbe but folly for any man to stand vpon the wordes. First, to giue vnto the ene­mies whatsoeuer they desire, rather then to goe to lawe with them: For suche a facilytie were as a fanne, to kindle the mindes of the wicked to theftes and robberies, from the which wee know Christe his minde was farre. Then what meaneth this, that thou shouldest giue thy cloak to him that vnder colour of lawe, woulde take away thy coate? That is, if anye man oppressed with wrongfull iudgement loseth that which is his, & yet is ready to leaue the rest, if neede be, deserueth no lesse praise of patience, then he that suffereth himselfe to be twise spoyled, before hee wil goe to lawe.

Therefore the meaning is, that Christians, when any attempt to spoile them of parte of their goodes, shuld be ready to be wholy spoyled. Here­by we gather, that they are not altogether secluded from iudgements, if they at any time haue place giuen them of iust defence: for though they lay not forth their goodes to the spoyle; yet they goe not from this do­ctrine of Christ, which perswadeth them to beare oppression with pa­cience. Truly it is a rare example, that any man should come to sue in the court with quiet and patient affection. But because it may be that one maye defende a good cause, not in respect of his owne priuate commo­ditie, but for the common wealth, it is not lawfull simplye to condemne the thing it selfe, vntill the corrupt affection doth appeare. The diuerse Phrases in Matthew and Luke, doe not alter the sense. A cloake is com­monly of greater value then a coat: therefore when Matthew saith that thou must giue thy cloake to him that taketh awaye thy coat, hee mea­neth, that when we haue a small losse, we should be willing and readye to beare a greater losse. But the wordes of Luke do agree with the olde prouerbe, my coat is nearer then my cloake.

LV. 30. To euery one that asketh, giue. Mathew hath the same words, as we shall see shortly after. For it may easily be gathered by the text, that Luke doth not speake here of them, that by entreatie and prayers doe seeke for help: but of the contētions and violence, which the wicked vse in taking away other mennes goodes. Aske not againe, saieth he, of him, that taketh away thy goodes. Yet, if any manne had rather reade these two sentences a sunder, there is no difference in the matter, and so it is [Page 182] an exhortation to be ready and willing to giue. As concerning the se­cond clause, where Christe forbiddeth to demaunde againe those things, which were vniustly taken away, is vndoubtedly an exposition of the former doctrine: that is, that we should not take grieuously the losse of our goodes. But that must not be forgotten, which I spake of euen now, that the wordes are not to be vrged sophistically, as though it were not lawfull for a godly manne, to recouer againe that, which is his, if at anye time God shall giue him a iust remedie: but onely prescribeth to vs a law of patience, but that we should pa [...]iently waite, vntill the Lord himselfe shall take an account of those spoyling theues.

Matth. 5.

42. Giue vnto him that as­keth, and from him that woulde borowe of thee, turne not away.

Mark.Luk. 6.

34. And if yee lende to them, of whom yee hope to receiue, what thanke shall yee haue? for euen the sinners lend to sinners, to receiu [...] the like.

35. Lende, looking for no­thing againe, and your reward shal be great.

42. To him that asketh. Though the wordes of Christe, reported by Matthew, doe [...]ounde, as if hee commaunded to giue to all, without re­spect or choyse: yet we may gather an other meaning out of Luke, who setteth out the whol matter more fully. First, it is certein yt the purpose of Christ was to frame his disciples to be liberall rather then prodigall. But it were fond prodigalitie rashly to consume those things, which the Lord hath giuen. Further, we see what a rule of charitie the holye Ghost hath deliuered other where. Therefore let vs hold this, that Christ doth exhort his disciples here: first, yt they be liberal & charitable. Further, this is the maner that he prescribeth them, that they shuld not think that they had do [...] their duetie, when they had holpē some few, but that they shuld endeuor to helpe al with their liberalitie, & that they shuld neuer be weary, while that the Lord doth giue them abilitie. Further, that no man cauill at the wordes of Matthew, let vs conferre them with Lukes wordes. Christe saith that we doe no duetie to God, while that in lending or doing other dueties we looke for any reward againe: and so he maketh a distinction betweene charitie and carnal friend [...]hip. For prophane men doe loue to­geather not franckly, but with an affection of reward & gaine: and so it commeth to passe, that euery man, in that he loueth others, doth seeke to be beloued himselfe, euen as Plato also doth wisely weigh the same. But Christ requireth of his disciples charitie, without hope of gaine, that they should endeuour to helpe the poore, from whom there is no hope to haue ought againe. Now we see what it is to beare an open hande for them that aske: namely, to be liberally minded towardes all that neede our helpe, and which cannot recompence the benefit they receiue.

LV. 35. Le [...]d. This sentence was corruptly restrayned, as if that in this place Christe did not onely forbidde his to commit vsury: But this [Page 183] hath a further meaning, as it appeareth out of the former sentence. For after that Christ had declared what the wicked are woont to do: that is, that they doe loue their friendes, and helpe them, of whom they hope for some recompence, and they lende to them that are like themselues, that they may receiue the like from them againe. He addeth, what he requi­reth of his disciples more then this: namely, that they should loue theyr e­nemies, that they should freely doe good, and freely lend. Now we see that this clause, looking for nothing▪ is corruptly vnderstoode of vsury to be so perticularly applyed: when as Christ onely exhorteth his to mutual of­fices of charitie, and saith, that the hyrelings shall haue no fauour before God: not that he simply condemneth those benefites, which are doone with hope of recompence: but he teacheth that it maketh nothing to te­stifie their charitie: because that hee onely is accounted liberall towardes his neighbours, which helpeth them without anye respecte of his owne commoditie, but hath only regard of the neede of them that he helpeth. But whether it be lawfull for Christians sometime to take some gayne of that which is lente, I will not dispute here at large, least of a corrupte sense, I should moue a question out of time (which I now confuted:) for I shewed euen now, that Christ meant nothing else, then that the faith­full shoulde exceede the prophane menne in lending: that is, that they should maintaine free liberalitie.

Matth. 5.Mark.Luke. 6.

43. Yee haue heard that it hath bene said, Thou shalt loue thy neigh­bour, and hate thine enemy.

44. But I saye vnto you, loue your enemies: blesse them that curse you: doe good to them, that hate you: and pray for them, which hurte you, and persecute you.

45. That yee may be the chil­dren of your father, which is in hea­uen: for he maketh his sunne to arise [...]n the euill and the good, and sendeth raine on the iust and the vniust.

46. For if yee loue them, which loue you, what rewarde shal ye haue? Doe not the Publycans euen the same?

47. And if yee be friendly to your brethren onelye, what singuler thing doe you? do not euen the Pub­licans likewise?

48. Yee shall therefore be per­f [...]ct, as your father which is in heauen is perfect.


27. But I saye to you which▪ heare. Loue your enemies, do wel to them, which hate you.

28. Blesse them, which curse you, and pray for them, which hurte you.

And a litle after.

32. For if yee loue them, which loue you, what thank shal you haue? for euen the sinners loue those, that loue them.

33. And if yee doe good for them, which doe good for you, what thanke shall yee haue: for euen th [...] sinners doe the same.

And a litle after.

35. VVherefore loue yee your enemies, and yee shall be the childrē of the most high: for he is kind vn­to the vnkind, and to the euil.

36. Be yee therefore merciful, as your father is mercifull.

[Page 184] 43. Thou shalt loue thy neighbour. It is wonderfull that the Scribes were faln to that absurditie, that they restrained the name of neighbour to their welwillers, when as nothing is more manifest nor more certeine, thē that God meaneth al mankind, when he speaketh of our neighbours For be­cause that euery man is addicted to himselfe, so oft as some priuate com­modities doe separate some men from others, that mutuall communica­tion is left, which nature it selfe doth teach. Therfore God, that he might keepe vs within the band of brotherly loue, he testifieth, that al they that are men, are our neighbours, for that common nature dooth tie them to vs. For so oft at I looke vpon man, it is necessary that I should beholde my self as in a glas: because that he is my bone and my flesh. And thogh the greater parte moste commonly doth seperate it selfe from that holy societie: yet the order of nature is not violated through their wickednes: because that God is to be considered the aucthour of the fellowshippe. VVhereby we gather that the commaundement of the lawe is generall, which commandeth vs to loue our neighbour. But the Scribes esteeming neighbourhood according to euery mans minde, will haue none to bee accounted neighbours, but they that through their desertes were worthy to be beloued, or at the least, they that woulde deale friendly with them againe. And this did common sense teach them: and therefore the chil­dren of the world were neuer ashamed to professe their hatredes, wher­fore they could yeelde any account. But charitie, which God commen­deth in his law, regardeth not what euery man deserueth, but stretcheth out it self to the vnworthy, to the peruerse & to the vnthākful. But Christ restoreth this to the natural sense, and deliuereth it from corruptiō: wher­by that also only appeareth that I said before, that Christ did not make newe lawes: but only reproue the corrupt comments of the Scribes, wherwith the puritie of the law of God had bene corrupted.

44. Loue your enemies. This one poynt containeth in it all the former doctrine. For whosoeuer can frame his minde to loue his enemies, wyll easily temper himselfe from all reuenge, and wil be patient in affliction: but much more ready to help those that be in miserie. Further Christ in a few wordes sheweth the way and maner of fulfilling this commande­ment: Loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. For he shall neuer satisfie this cō ­maundement, that banisheth not the loue of himselfe, or rather deny him selfe, and so make much of those men, which GOD hath ioyned to him, that he goeth on to loue euen those, of whom lie is hated. And by these wordes we learne, how farre the faithfull ought to bee from reuenge, wherein they are not onely forbidden to aske of God, but so to remitte & wholy to put our of their minds; so that they shal wish wel to their enemies, yet in the meane while they cease not to cōmit their cause to God, vntill hee take vengeaunce of the reprobate. For they desire as muche as lyeth in them, that the wicked should return to a perfect mind, & so they seeke for their saluation, that they shuld not perish. Yet with this comfort they case al their troubles, that they doubt not, but that god wilbe a reuē ­ger of that obstinate malice, that he might declare yt he had a care of the innocent. This is a very hard thing, & altogether against the nature of flesh, to recompence good for euil: but we must not seeke any excuse out of our faultes or infirmities, but we must rather simplye seeke what the law of charitie requireth that we vsing the power of the heauenly spirit, [Page 185] and that by striuing we might ouercome what affections in vs were cō ­trary to the same. This was the cause why the monkes and suche like ra­bles imagined that these were counselles and not precepets, because that they measured what was due to GOD and to hys lawe, by the ba­lance of mannes strength. And yet the monks were not ashamed to cha­lenge to themselues a perfection, because they did voluntarily bind them­selues to obserue his counselles, and howe faithfully they performe the same which they doe onely vsurpe in woordes, I doe nowe omit to saye. And howe preposterous and fond a deuise it is of counsels, doeth heereof appeare. First, because it cannot be sayd without iniurie to Christ, that he counselled his disciples, and did not according to his authority command that whiche was righte. Then it is more then follie to sette the dueties of charitie at suche liberty, whiche depende vppon the lawe. Thirdlye, that woord, I say to you, signifieth in this place as muche as to denounce or to commaunde, which they haue corruptly expounded to counsell. Lastly, that he expresly establisheth it as a thinge necess [...]rilye to be done, is easily prooued by Christes woordes, while he presently addeth,

45. That you may be the children of your father. VVhen he expresly sayth that no manne can be otherwise the childe of God, except hee loue them that hate him, who nowe dareth say that we are not bounde to obserue thys doctrine? For it is as much as if hee shoulde haue sayde: who soeuer will be accounted a Christian, let him loue his ennemies: surely it is a horrible monster that the worlde in three or foure ages should be so ouerwhelmed with thicke darkenesse, that it could not see that to be expresly comman­ded, which who soeuer neglecteth, he is wiped out from amōg the num­ber of the children of God. Further it is to be noted that hee proposeth not the example of God to be folowed, as though that what soeuer hee did, became vs. For he punisheth the vnthankefull, and often driueth the wicked out of the worlde, in which respect he proposeth not himselfe for vs to folowe: for the iudgement of the worlde belongeth not to vs, but is proper to him: but hee woulde that we shoulde be folow [...]rs of hys fa­therlye goodnesse and liberalitye. And not onelye the prophane philo­sophers did see that, but some of the moste wicked contemners of god­linesse coulde make this confession, we are in nothing more lyke to God then in being liberall. In summe, Christe witnesseth that this is a note of our adoption, if we doe good to the euill and to them that are vnwoor­thy. Yet thou must not vnderstande that wee by this liberalitie are made the children of God, but because the same spirite (whiche is the witnesse, earnest, and s [...]ale of our free adoption) doeth reforme the wicked affe­ctions of the flesh, which striue against charitie. Christe prooueth of the effecte that none else are the children of God, but they which shewe it in gentlenesse and clemencie. And for that phrase Luke sayeth, yee shall be the children of the moste high: Not that any man getteth this honour to hym­selfe, or that he then beginneth to be the sonne of God, when that he lo­ueth his ennemies: but because it is the accustomed maner of speaking in the scripture, to propose the benefitte of the free grace of God in steade of rewarde, while that he woulde encourage vs to doe well. And this is the reason, because he had regarde to what ende we are called: namelye, that the image of God beinge repaired in vs, wee shoulde liue holily▪ and godly.

[Page 186] Hee maketh his sonne to rise. He rehearseth two testimonies of the good­nesse of God towardes vs, which are not onely most knowen vnto men, but common to all, when that rather societie it selfe shoulde prouoke vs to performe the same one to another, though by the figure Synecdoche it comprehendeth many other like.

46. And doe not the Publicanes? Luke vseth in the same sense thys worde sinners that is, naughty and wicked men: not that the office of it self was to be condemned: (for the Publicanes were gatherers of tolle, and as it is lawfull for Princes to sette the taske, so is it lawfull to demaunde and gather the same:) But because thys maner of menne was wont to be co­uetous and snatching, yea faithlesse and cruell: then, because they were ac­counted amongest the Iewes as ministers of vniust tyrannie. Therefore if any man shall gather out of the woordes of Christ, that the Publicanes were the woorst of all men, he shal argue amisse; for he speaketh after the common maner of speach: as if he should say, they that are almost with­out all humanitie haue yet some kinde of mutuall loue, while they seeke their owne commoditie.

4 [...]. Be yee therefore perfecte. This perfection requireth not an equalitie, but is only referred to a likenesse. Therfore though we be far from God, we are accounted to be perfecte as hee is, while we bende to that marke, which he proposeth to vs in himselfe. If any interpreat it otherwise, lette there he made no comparison here betweene God and vs, but the perfe­ction of God is called, first the free and meere liberalitie, whiche is done without accounte of gaine, then▪ the singular goodnesse which striueth with the malice and vnthankfulnesse of menne: The which appeareth by the wordes of Luke. [...]e you mercifull as year heauenly father. For mercy is oppo­sed to bought loue, which is tied to a priuate commoditie.

Mathewe 6.

1. Take heede yee gaue not your almes bef [...]re men, to be seene of them, or else yee shall haue no rewarde of your father which is in heauen.

2. Therefore when thou geuest thine almes, thou shalt not make a trumpet to be blowne before thee, as the hypocrites doe in the Synagogues and in the streetes, to be praised of men. Verely I saye vnto you they haue their rewarde.

3. But when thou doest thine almes, lette not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.

4. That thine almes may be in secreate, and thy fa­ther that seeth in secreate, hee will rewarde thee o­penlye.


1. Take heede. Christ doeth in this place exhort his disciples to a syncere studie of good workes: that is, that they should studie simplie to doe wel before God, and that they shoulde not boast themselues before men. It is a most necessary admonition: because that in vertues ambition is alwaies to be feared, and there is no woorke so laudable, that is not thereby often corrupted and defiled. But by the figure Synecdoche vnder this one kind is there a generall doctrine deliuered: For hee speaketh of almes no more [Page 187] then he speaketh a little after of prayers. Yet in many copies the woorde Right eousnesse is vsed for almes, as the olde interpreter also translated it. But that is of no wayght, for both wayes it sufficiently appeareth, that he correcteth this disease of ambition, whilest that in doing well, it seeketh glory of men.

2. VVhen thou geuest thine almes. Heere hee reprooueth by name, the faulte which was commonly vsed and in custome, wherein the desire of vayne­glory may not onely be seene, but almoste felt with the handes. For they emptied their baskets amongst the poore in the corners of the streetes, & in publike places where they vsed their publike meetings. In that they sought the publike places that they might haue many witnesses, shewed & appeared manifest, and vainglorious boasting: and not satisfied with that, they also vsed the sound of trumpettes. They fained that they called the poore vnto them (as they neuer want pretences): yet nothing was more euident, then that they sought commendation and praise. Further, when we serue the eyes of men, we then make not God the iudge and exami­ner of our life. Therfore Christ sayeth not without cause, that they that boast themselues after this sort, haue their reward now already: for they cannot haue regard to God, that haue their eyes possessed with such va­nitie. By the same reason all hypocrites are called couetous of vaine glo­rye. For when hypocrites were called by prophane gesters which played counterfait persons vpon the stage & in playes: the scripture geueth thys name to men of a double and dissembling heart: Althoughe there are di­uers kindes of hypocrites. For some though they be most guiltie to them­selues, yet most impudently they chalenge to be accounted for good men before the worlde, and they endeuour to couer those faults whereof they are conuict in their owne conscience. Others do so securely nourish vppe themselues, that they dare also chalēge vnto themselues a perfect righte­ousnes before God. Others do wel, not for a desire of righteousnesse, nor for the glory of God, but onely that they may get themselues a fame and opinion of holinesse. Christ now noteth this later kinde, and rightly cal­leth them hypocrites, whiche while in their good woorkes they propose themselues no good end, they put the persons of others vppon them, that they might seeme holy and good worshippers of God.

3. Let not thy left hand know. The meaning of this speach is, that we ought to be content that God alone is witnesse of our doings, and so to bende our selues in obedience to him, that we be not caried about with vanitie. For it falleth often out that men doe not sacrifice so muche to God as to themselues. Therefore Christes meaning is that we shoulde not be caried away with contrary thoughts, but wholely bende oure selues to this, that we may worship God with a pure conscience.

4. That thine almes may be in secreate. This sentence seemeth contrary to many places of scripture, where wee are commaunded to edifie oure bre­thren wyth good examples. But if we consider the purpose of oure saui­oure, we may not stretch the woordes any further. He commandeth hys disciples freely, and wythout all ambition to applye themselues to good woorkes. That this may be done, he willeth them not to looke for the be­holding of menne, that they maye thinke it sufficient that God alone ap­prooue their deedes. But this simplicitie taketh not away the care and di­ligence of profiting others by our example.

[Page 188] And a little before he doeth not precisely forbid to do good deedes before men, but condemneth the vaine ostentation. Thy father which seeth in secreat. He couertly condemneth the folly which raigneth euery where amongst men, that they thinke their labour to be lost, if they haue not many wit­nesses of their good deedes. Therefore he sayeth that God needeth not a great light to see and knowe their good deedes by: for he knoweth euen those that seeme to be buried in darkenesse. Therefore there is no cause why we shoulde thinke those things loste which menne see not, nor can beare witnesse of, because that God hathe his seate euen in the darkest dennes. And hee ministreth the aptest remedye for curinge this disease of ambition, while hee calleth vs to the beholding of God, who maketh to vanish, and vtterly blotteth, all vaine glory oute of our mindes. In the seconde clause which foloweth next, Christ warneth vs in seeking for a reward of our good woorkes, patiently to wait to the last day of the re­surrection. Thy father, sayeth he, shall rewarde thee openly: VVhen? euen then when the morning of the last day shal arise, those things which are nowe hidden in darkenesse, shall be laid open.

Mathewe 6.Marke.Luke.

5. And when thou prayest, be not as the hypocrites: for they loue to stande, and pray in the Synagogues, and in the corners of the streetes, because they woulde be seene of menne: verely I saye vnto you, they haue their rewarde.

6. But when thou prayest, enter into thy cham­ber: and when thou hast shut thy doore, praye vnto thy father which is in secreate, and thy father which seeth in secreate, shall rewarde thee openly.

7. Also when yee praye, vse no value repetitions as the heathen: for they thinke to be hearde for their muche babling.

8. Be yee not like them therefore: for your father knoweth whereof ye haue neede, before ye aske of him.


5. VVhen thou prayest. He teacheth nowe the same of prayers, whych he taught before of almes. And this is too grose and shamefull prophaning of the name of God, that hypocrites praye or rather faine themselues to pray openly, that they may haue glory of menne. But sith that hypocri­sie is alwaies ambitious, it is no wonder that it is so blinde: therefore he commaundeth his disciples, if they will praye rightlye, to enter into their chamber. And though some, because it seemeth at the first to be absurde, doe expounde it allegorically of the inwarde parte of the heart, yet there is no neede of this subtletie. VVe are commaunded in very manye places of the scripture, to pray to God or praise him in the publike assembly or company of men, and before al the people, to testifie our saith or thank­fulnesse, that also we might stirre others by our example to doe the lyke. And Christ doeth not forbidde vs this, but onely admonisheth vs to haue God before our eyes so oft as we prepare our selues to prayer. Therfore these woordes are not to be vrged, Enter into thy chamber. As thoughe hee commaunded vs to flee from the company of menne, and should affirme that we coulde not pray rightly if any were by. For he speaketh by com­parison, [Page 189] signifying that we should rather seeke a secreate place, then desire the company of men which shoulde see vs praying. And it is conuenient for the faithfull, to drawe themselues from the companye of menne, that they may the more freely powre out their desires and sighs before God. A secreate place is also profitable for an other cause, that their mindes maye bee the rather sequestred and free from all allurementes: therefore Christe himselfe did very often hide himselfe in some secreate place that he might pray: but this is not the matter that is entreated of in this place, for he only reprooueth the desire of vaine glorye. But this is the summe, whether a man pray alone, or whether he pray before others, yet he must haue this affection, as if he were secreat in his chamber, and had no other witnesse but onely God. VVhen Christ sayth that we shall haue a reward for our praiers, he declareth sufficiētly that what reward soeuer the scrip­ture in diuers places doeth promisse vs, is not paied as of dette, but is a free gifte.

7. Vse not muche babling. He reprehendeth an other fault in praier: name­ly much babling. And he vseth two wordes, but in the same sense. For Bat­tologia signifieth a superfluous and vnsauerie repetition: but P [...]lul [...]gia is a vaine babling. Christ reprooueth also their foolishnesse, which, that they might perswade and entreate God, do powre oute many woordes. And that diligence in praying which is so often commended in the scripture, is not contrary to this doctrine. For where the prayer is conceiued with earnest affection, the tounge doeth not runne before the minde. Also the fauour of God is not obtained with a vaine heape of woordes: but the godly heart doeth rather sende oute his affections, which as arrowes shall pearce the heauens: yet their superstition is heere condēned, which thinke they pleasure God and doe him seruice with their longe murmured prai­ers, with which errour wee see Poperie so infected, that the greatest force of their prayer is supposed to consist in many wordes. For the mo wordes any manne hathe muttered, the more effectually he is accounted to haue prayed. Also they doe daily resounde out in their churches long and tedi­ous songs, as though they would allure Gods eares.

8. For your father knoweth. This one remedye is sufficient to purge and take away this superstition which is heere condemned. For from whence commeth this foolishnesse, that men should thinke that they haue profited muche, where as they weary God with their muche babling, but because they imagine him to be like a mortal man, which hath nede to be taught and admonished. But who soeuer is perswaded that God hath not only a care of vs, but knoweth also oure necessities, and noteth oure desires and cares before he is admonished, he vseth not many woordes, but thin­keth it sufficient to make his prayers, as is expedient for the exercise of his faith. And he acknowledgeth it to be a thinge absurde and to be laughed at, to deale with God rethorically, as if that hee were bowed with copye of woordes. But if God, before we aske doth know what we haue neede of, it seemeth to be in vaine to pray. For if of his owne accorde he be rea­dy to helpe vs, to what purpose is it for vs to adde oure prayers, whiche breake as it were the willing course of his prouidence? The answeare is easie by considering the ende of prayer: for the faithfull doe not praye as if they admonished God of things that he knew not, or exhorted hym to doe his duetie, or stirred him vppe as one negligent or slowe: but rather [Page 190] that they might stirre vp themselues to seeke him and exercise their faith in meditating of his promisses, and that they might ease themselues by dis­charging their cares into his bosome, and lastly, that they might testifie as well to themselues as to others, that of him alone they hope & aske what soeuer is good▪ And that which he frely and vnasked determined to geue vs, he yet doeth promisse to geue at our requests. VVherefore both is to be holden, he of his owne wil preuenteth our prayers, and yet by prayers we obtaine that which we aske. But why he sometime delayeth vs to a lon­ger time, and also sometime graunteth not our requestes, shall be shewed in another place.

Mathewe 6.Marke.Luke 11.

9. After this maner therfore pray ye: Our father which art in heauen, halowed be thy name.

10. Thy kingdome come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen.

11. Geue vs this daye oure dailye breade.

12. And forgeue vs oure dettes, as we also forgeue our detters.

13. And lead vs not into tempta­tion, but deliuer vs from euill: for thine is the kingdom, & the power, and the glory for euer. Amen.


1. And so it was, that as he was pray­ing in a certain place, whē he praied, one of his disciples saide vnto hym: master teache vs to pray, as Iohn also taught his disciples.

2. And he said vnto them, when yee pray say: our father, which art in heauē, hal [...]wed be thy name, thy kingdom come, Lette thy will be done euen in earth, as it is in heauen:

3. Our daily bread geue vs for the day:

4. And forgeue vs our sinnes: for euen we forgeue euerye man that is indet­ted to vs: and leade vs not into temp­tation, but deliuer vs from euill.

It is vncertaine whether Christ deliuered this forme of praier to hys disciples once or twise. This latter semeth more probable to some: because Luke sayeth that he was asked. But Mathewe bringeth him in teachinge of his owne accorde. Yet because that Mathew, as we sayd, gathereth to­gether all the chiefe poyntes of doctrine, that by the continued course the readers may the better perceiue the summe and meaning: And so it maye be that Mathew omitteth the occasion which Luke reporteth. yet I will not contend with any man about this matter.

LVKE. 1. As Iohn also taught. That Iohn taught his disciples a priuate maner or forme of prayer, which I iudge he did as the time required. It is certaine that all things amongst the Iewes were then very corrupt, & the whole religion was then so decayed, that it is no maruail that there were but fewe which held the right order of prayer. Againe, when as the pro­mised redemption was at hand, it was necessary that the myndes of the faithful shuld by prayer be stirred vp to the hope and desire of the same. Iohn therefore might oute of diuers places of the scripture gather some praier which might be agreeable to the time, and moste according to the spirituall kingdom of Christ which he began now to reueale.

MATH. 9. After this maner therefore pray you. For the whyche Luke sayeth, VVhen you pray, say yee. Yet Christe commaundeth not his disciples to pray in these conceiued wordes, but onely sheweth to what purpose they should referre all their requests and prayers. Therefore in these 6. petiti­ons [Page 191] is comprehended whatsoeuer is lawfull for vs to aske of God. And there is nothing more profitable for vs then this doctrine: for when as this is a principall exercise of godlinesse, yet in making prayers and con­ceiuing our requests all our senses doe faile. So no man shall praye right­ly, but he whose mouth and heart the heauenly master guideth. For thys cause was thys rule geuen, according to the which it is necessary to frame all our prayers, if we couette to haue them accounted lawful and appro­ued of God.

It was not the will of the sonne of God (as was sayde euen nowe) to prescribe vnto vs what woordes we shoulde vse, as if it were not lawfull to decline from that fourme which he set downe: but yet he woulde that our praiers shoulde bee so directed and ordered, leaste they shoulde wan­der beyonde these boundes. VVhereby we gather that the lawe of prayer which hee sette downe, consisteth not in woordes, but in the matters and thinges themselues. Further, in that I sayde that this prayer consisteth of sixe petitions, it is to be knowen that the first three, not hauinge regarde of vs, haue onely respecte to the glorye of God: And the last three are framed for those thinges whiche are profitable for our saluation. For as the lawe is deuided into two tables, whereof the first containeth the due­ties of godlinesse, and the other of charitie: so in prayer Christ comman­deth vs partly to looke and seeke for the glorye of God, and partlye hee permitteth vs to prouide for our selues. Therefore lette vs know that we are then well prepared to prayer, if we be not onely carefull of our selues and our owne commoditie, but doe first seeke the glorye of God: for it were too preposterous, onely to haue care of our owne matters, and to neglecte the kingdome of God, which is to be preferred farre before all thinges.

Our father which art in heauen. So ofte as we prepare our selues to pray­er, we must especially consider two things, partly that we may haue en­traunce to God, partly that wyth full and perfecte trust we maye repose our selues vppon hym, that is, his fatherly loue towardes vs, and his great power. VVherefore lette vs not doubte but that God will willingly em­brace vs, but that he is ready to heare our prayers, and also that he is wil­ling of hys owne accorde to helpe vs. He is called by the name of father. Therefore Christe in this epythite doeth minister vnto vs muche matter for the staie of our faith: but because that wee rest on the goodnesse of God onely in parte, in the next clause hee commendeth to vs his power. For when the scripture sayeth that God is in heauen, it declareth that all things are vnder his power, and that the world and what soeuer is in it, is contained in hys hand, that his power is spredde in euery place, and all things are ordained by his prouidence. Dauid sayeth in the Psalme 2. 4. The dweller in the heauens shall laugh them to scorne. Also in the Psal. 115. 3. Our God in heauen hath done what soeuer he woulde But God is not so placed in heauen, as if he were shutte vppe therein: for that ra­ther is to be considered which is sayde in the seconde booke of the Chro­nicles, seconde chapter, and sixte verse. The heauen of heauens cannot containe hym. But this maner of speache exempting him out of the or­der of his creatures, warneth vs that there ought no base or earthly thing enter into our mindes, when as he is considered of, because that he is grea­ter then all the worlde.

[Page 192] Nowe we conceiue the purpose of Christe: namely, that in the begin­ning of prayer he woulde establish the faith of his disciples in the good­nesse and power of God, for prayers shall want their fruite, excepte they be grounded vppon faith. Nowe sith it is fonde, yea madde arrogancie, to cal God father, but as grafted into the body of Christ, we are acknow­ledged for sonnes: Heereby we gather that there is no other maner of prayer to come to God with, but in the person of the mediatour.

Halowed be thy name. Heere doeth more euidently appeare that I said, that in the first three petitions, the care of our selues beinge not regarded, the glory of God is sought, not that it is separate from our saluation, but that the maiestie of God deserueth to be preferred farre aboue al other cares. It is for our good that God doeth raigne, and that his glory be geuen vn­to him: but no man is zealous enough for Gods glory, but he that after a sorte forgetteth himselfe, and aduaunceth foorth himselfe to seeke the height of the same. Also there is greate similitude and likenesse betweene these three petitions. For the halowing of the name of God is alwayes ioyned with his kingdome, and the principall parte of his kingdome is e­stablished in this, that his will may be done. But who soeuer doeth consi­der howe great our coldnesse is, and howe sluggish we are in seeking the chiefest things of all, whereof wee are heere in these petitions admoni­shed, he will graunte that there is in this nothing superfluous or in vaine: but it is that these three things heere required, shoulde be thus distingui­shed. To sanctifie the name of God is nothinge else then to geue to▪ God his honour, whereof he is woorthy, that menne should neuer speake nor thinke of him without great reuerence. This is hindered by prophaninge of his name: that is, when either his maiestie is deminished, or that menne doe with lesse reuerence and honour vse it, then hee doeth deserue. Also the glory whereby hee is sanctified, riseth and dependeth of this, when as men doe acknowledge his wisedome, mercy, iustice, power, and all good­nesse that is in him. For God hath his holinesse alwaies remaininge per­fecte to himselfe: but men do partly obscure the same through their own malice and wickednesse, and partly desile and pollute it throughe theyr sacrilegious contempte. Therefore the summe of this petition is that the glory of God maye shine in the worlde, and be celebrated amongest men as it ought. And then doth religion flourish best, when men account that which proceedeth from God, to be right laudable, and ful of righteous­nesse and wisedome. For heereof it commeth to passe that they embrace his woorde in obedience of faith, and are satisfied and rest in all hys de­sires and woorkes. For that faith which we yeelde to the woorde of God (as Iohn sayeth 3. 33.) is as a subscription, wherewith we testifie that God is true: euen so incredulitie, and contempt of his word striketh him with moste grieuous contumely. Nowe we see for the moste parte howe mali­ciously we account of Gods woorkes, and how great a libertie of repro­uing, euery man taketh to himselfe. If he chastice anye of vs, they keepe a stirre, complaine and murmure, and some also doe breake oute into open blasphemies, and except he satisfie our affections, we doe not thinke hym liberall enoughe towardes vs. Many doe ouerthwartly or scornefully ba­ble of his vnspeakeable prouidence and secreate iudgements. Also his holy name is ofte taken to grose iestinges: to be short, the greatest parte of the worlde doeth prophane his holinesse as much as in them lieth. Therfore [Page 193] It is no maruaile if we require first that he may haue in the worlde that reuerence that he deserueth. But thys is no small accounte that GOD doeth make of vs, when hee commendeth to vs the care to seeke hys glorie.

10. Thy kingdome come. Thoughe the Greeke verbe bee a sumple, yet the sence shall remayne perfecte if we reade it as a compounde, as the olde interpreter doeth translate it. But first the definition of the kingdome of God is to be considered: for he is sayde to raigne amongest menne when as their flesh is brought vnder the yoake, and that they haue bidden their affections farewell, and doe willingly and freely geue themselues to bee ruled by him. For in thys corruption of nature all our affections are so many souldiours of Sathan, whyche striue againste the righteousnesse of God, and so do hinder or disturbe his kingdom. VVherefore in thys pe­tition we desire that all lettes being taken away, he wold bring al mortal menne vnder his gouernment, and leade them to the meditation of the heauenly life, and this is brought to passe partly by the preaching of the woorde, and partly by the secreat power of his spirite. His will is to go­uerne men with his woorde: but because his naked voyce, without the in­warde woorking of his spirite be added, cannot pearce into the heartes, it is necessary that they bothe bee ioyned together to the establishing of the kingdome of God. Therefore we pray that God woulde exercise his po­wer as well in woorde as in spirite, that the whole world may willingly submitte it selfe vnto him. All disorder and confusion hindereth the king­dome of God: neither is there any thing ordained in the world, but when he with his hande gouerneth their councelles and affections. Hereby we gather that the beginning of the kingdome of God in vs, is the destructi­on of the olde man, and the denial of our selues, that we might be renew­ed into an other life. But God also raigneth after an other sort, while that he ouerthroweth his enemies, and bringeth them with Sathan their head perforce vnder his power, vntill they all are made his footestole. VVhere­fore the summe of this petition that God shoulde lighten the world with the light of his worde, and with the breath of his spirit frame the hearts in obedience to his righteousnesse, and that he would through his forces bring into order what soeuer is disordered vppon earth: and that hee will beginne his kingdome at pulling vnder the lustes of our flesh. But nowe because the kingdom of God encreaseth continually vnto the ende of the world, it is necessarie daily to pray for his comming. For asmuch iniqui­tie as remaineth in the world, so farre is the kingdome of God from that full perfection it requireth.

Thy will be done. Althoughe the will of God be one and simple, in res­pecte of it self: yet it is proposed vnto vs in the scriptures after two sortes. For it is sayde to be done that pleased God, when hee perfourmeth the secreate decrees of hys prouidence, thoughe menne doe obstinately bend themselues against it. But wee are commaunded to praye heere that hye will may bee done after an other maner: that is, that all creatures may quietly and wythout resistaunce obey hym. The which doeth the better appeare by comparison: for as hee hath the Aungelles ready at all com­maundementes (whereof they are called his ministers alwaies ready to obey him) so we desire to haue all mennes mindes framed to that con­sent to the righteousnesse of God, that they may willingly bende, whiche [Page 194] way soeuer hee becke. And this is a godly will wherein we submitte our selues to the will of God, and subscribe to all his decrees: but this petiti­on comprehendeth somewhat more: that is, that God abolishing all resi­stance of menne which ceaseth not to stirre against him, woulde make them apt to be taught and humble to him, that they will not, nor desire a­ny thing except it please him and bee approoued by him. Yet a question may be mooued, whether we ought to pray to God, for that whyche he sayeth shall neuer be to the ende of the worlde: I aunsweare it is no nede to sifte euery manne while we pray that the earth may bee framed to o­bedience. For it sufficeth vs to testifie in this petition, that what soeuer we see against the will of God, we hate and sorowe and wishe the same extinguished that he shoulde be not onely a gouernour of all our affecti­ons, but that we might offer our selues wholely to fulfill that will, with that readinesse that becommeth vs.

11. Geue vs this day our daily bread. This is, as I sayd, the seconde table or part, of the order of prayer which Christ taught vs: for that I mighte the more aptly teache, I did so at the first distinguish them. As of the 2. tables of the lawe the first giueth in charge for the righte worship of God, and the other of the dueties of charitie. So in this prayer the first parte instru­cteth vs to seeke the glory of God, then in the other part he sheweth what is conuenient for vs to aske for our selues. Yet it is also to be noted that those prayers which we conceiue for our owne saluation or profit, ought to be referred to the last ende: for it is not lawfull for vs so to be occu­pied with the care of our owne profite, but that the glory of God should alwayes haue the first place. Therfore as oft as we pray, we must neuer tourne our eyes from this marke or line. There is yet this difference be­twene the two sortes or partes of prayer which I sette downe: that while we speake of the kingdome of God, and of the halowing of his name, it behooueth vs to lift vp our senses on high, that hauing no regarde of our selues, they should attend vpon God alone. And then, that we should des­cend to our selues, and ioyne the care of our saluation with those former petitions, whiche belong to God alone. And althoughe forgiuenesse of sinnes is to bee preferred before foode, euen as muche as the soule excel­leth the body, yet Christ beginneth at breade, and the sustentation of thys earthly life, that from such a beginning he might lead them higher. Ther­fore we doe not desire to haue our daily breade before reconciliation to God, as though that we should esteeme more of the corrupt foode of the belly, then of the eternall saluation of the soule: but our mindes doe as­cend from the earth into heauen, as it were by steppes. For when as God vouchsaueth to imploie himselfe to nourishe the bodies, it is not to bee doubted but that he is muche more carefull of the spirituall foode. Ther­fore his so louing kindenesse doeth raise vppe our faith higher. That ma­ny doe take the Greeke worde signifying bread, for more then substanti­all or supernaturall, is altogether absurde. And the reason which Eras­mus bringeth is not onely friuolous, but also contrary to godlinesse, it se­meth not probable to him, that while we appeare in the sight of GOD, Christe should commaund vs to speake of nourishments. As thoughe the like is not to bee founde oute of diuers places of the scripture, that by the taste of these present goodes, we may be ledde into the hope of heauenly things: nay, but this is a iust triall of our faith, when as we aske nothing [Page 195] from any other then from God, and we do not onely acknowledge him to be the onely fountaine of al good things, but we also feele his father­ly goodnesse stretched out euen to the least thinges, so that hee refuseth not to take care euen of our flesh.

And that Christe speaketh heere of the corporall foode, may firste bee gathered heereof, that otherwise it shoulde bee maimed, and no full or perfecte prayer. For we are commaunded in many places to cast all our cares into the bosome of God, and hee promiseth liberally, that hee wyll faile vs in nothyng. Therefore in an exacte rule of right prayer, it is ne­cessary that somewhat should be commaunded for the innumerable ne­cessities of this present life. Also thys woorde This day, signifieth that we aske heere of God, that we neede not care but for a day. For it is not to bee douted, but that his meaning was to restraine and moderate the co­uetousnesse of earthly foode whereunto we all are immoderately caried. Also it is sufficiently knowen that the figure Synecdoche is vsed in thys woorde breade, for vnder it the Hebrewes doe comprehend all kinde of nourishment. But it is vsed heere more largely: for we doe not onely de­sire to haue foode geuen vs by the hande of God, but also that he would geue vs what soeuer is necessary for to passe this life through with. Now the sence is cleare: we are first commaunded to pray, that God would de­fende and nourish in this world the life which he hath geuen vs: and be­cause it needeth many helpes, that hee woulde geue vs what soeuer hee knoweth necessary. Nowe because that the loue of God floweth conti­nually to feede vs, the breade which he giueth, is called daily or continu­ally comming, for so it may be interpreated.

Therefore this woorde signifieth as muche as if hee hadde sayd. Lord sith our life hathe daily neede of newe nourishment, be thou neuer wea­rie in bestowing the same daily vppon vs. That Aduerbe This day, is vsed as I sayde before, to brydle our greedie couetousnesse, that we myght learne continually to depende vppon the goodnesse of GOD, and to be content wyth that measure whiche hee bestoweth vppon vs day by day (as they say). But a question is mooued: Sith it is certayne that Christe gaue thys as a generall rule of prayer to all the godly: and of that number there are some riche menne whych haue muche layed vppe in store, howe hee commaundeth them to aske that which they haue at home, and to aske for a day whyche haue aboundaunce to serue them a yeare. The aunsweare is easie: for we are warned by these wordes, that there is not any heape of store and prouision ought worth▪ excepte that God doe daily feede vs: thoughe wheate, wine, and all o­ther thynges doe abounde, excepte they bee watered wyth the secreate blessinge of God, they shall presently vanishe away, or the vse of them shall be taken away, or that power whych is ingrafted in them to feede vs, shall fall away, that in our aboundaunce wee shall bee hunger star­ued.

VVherefore it is no meruaile if Christe doeth generally call riche and poore to thys heauenly nourishment: but no manne shall pray so hear­tely, as hee that hathe learned by the example to hunger, and to abound, so that hee canne beare hys neede and wante patiently, and not become drunke with the deceitfull hope of his aboundaunce?

[Page 196] If any manne demaunde, why we aske to haue this breade geuen vs which nowe we doe call and accounte our owne: I aunsweare, it is called ours, not because that it is due to vs by righte, but because that it is ap­poynted for our vse by the fatherly goodnesse of God. And so after that sorte it is made ours, for that the heauenly father doeth geue it vs freely, least our wante be not supplied. VVee must till the fieldes, endeuoure to gather in the fruites of the earth, euery manne must applie himselfe and beare the laboure of his calling, that hee may gette his liuing, yet this let­teth not, but that wee are fedde by the free goodnesse of God, without the whiche menne shoulde waste away themselues in laboure in vayne. Therfore we are taught to acknowledge as receiued from thence, what­soeuer seemeth to be gotte by our industrie. Yet by this woorde it is al­so to be gathered, if we desire to be fedde of God, we must abstaine from that which is none of ours. For all the children of God, so ofte as they vse this maner of prayer, do testifie that they desire nothing but that which they may rightly call their owne.

11. Forgeue vs our debtes. Here it behooueth vs to remember that which I sayde euen nowe, that Christe in placing the requestes of his, regarded not what was firste or last in order. For sith it is wrytten in the foure & fourtie chapiter of Isai, and the two and twentie verse, and the fiftie, and nine, the second verse, and Lam. 3. 44. that our sinnes are as a wal which hinder vs from comming to God, and as a cloude whereby his eyes are hindered from beholding vs, it is necessary that our praiers should alwaies beginne at the forgeuenesse of sinnes, because that wee are heereby firste emboldened to pray to God while that hee is mercifull vnto vs, because that hee cannot bee otherwise appeased towardes vs, then by forgeuinge sinnes freely. But Christ comprehendeth in two petitions those thinges which appertaine to the eternall saluation and spiritual life of the soule: as these two are the principall partes of the couenaunt of God, in which our whole saluation consisteth: that hee offereth free reconciliation, not imputing sinnes vnto vs, and promiseth the spirite whiche engraueth the righteousnesse of the lawe in our heartes. Therefore we are commaun­ded to aske both, and first we make request for the obtaining of forgiue­nesse of sinnes.

Mathewe calleth sinnes debtes, because that in guiltinesse they binde vs to the iudgement seate of God, and make vs debters: Nay, they do whol­ly estraunge vs from God, so that there is no hope of obtaining peace & fauour, but by forgeuenesse. So is that fulfilled which Paule teacheth, Ro­manes 3. 23. All are guiltie and are depriued of the glory of God: for though the righteousnesse of God doeth partly shine in his Saincts, yet so long as they are cloathed with flesh, they remaine laden with sinnes. So there can none be founde so pure, whiche needeth not the mercy of God, whereof if we desire to be partakers, it is necessary that we should feele our owne miserie. And they that imagine that they haue suche a perfe­ction in thys worlde, that they are free from all sinne and faulte, they doe not so muche forsake sinne, as they doe Christe himselfe, from whose Churche they exclude themselues. For whereas hee commaundeth all his disciples to flee daily to forgiuenesse of sinnes, hee wipeth himselfe out of the number of hys disciples, that thinketh this remeady to be super­fluous.

[Page 197] Nowe this remission which we desire to haue bestowed vppon vs, o­uerthroweth those satisfactions which the world endeuoureth to redeme it selfe withall. For that creditour is not sayde to forgeue, whiche ha­uing receiued his paiment doeth require no more: but hee that willingly and freely leauing his owne right acquitteth his debtour. Neither hathe that common distinction of the faulte and of the punishment, any place heere. For it is not to be douted but that dettes doe signifie the deseruing of the punishment.

If it be forgeuen vs freely, all recompences must needes vanish away. Neither is Luke his meaning anye other, thoughe hee nameth sinnes, be­cause that God doeth not otherwise pardon, then by takinge awaye the guiltinesse. As wee forgiue. This clause is therefore added, least any man shoulde presume to come to God to aske forgeuenesse, except he be free and voide from all hatred, yet this pardonne which we desire to be ge­uen vs, doeth not depende of that which we perfourme to others: but it was the will of Christe after this maner to forgeue all offences, and al­so the better to confirme the hope of oure forgeuenesse as wyth a seale. Neyther is that clause which Luke hath, which signifieth As or For, anye thyng contrary: because that it was not the purpose of Christe to note the cause, but onely to admonish vs what minde we oughte to beare to­wardes the brethren, while we desire to be reconciled to God. And cer­tainly if the spirite of God doeth raigne in our heartes, all euill will and desire of reuenge must cease. And sith the spirite is a witnesse of oure a­doption, we see that heere is simplie set downe a note whereby the chil­dren of God maye be discerned from straungers. They are heere called detters, not of money, or of some duetie, but they that are endaungered to vs through iniuries offered vs.

13. And leade vs not into temptation. This petition hathe bene corruptly deuided by some into two, when as by the matter it selfe it appeareth to be one and the same, and the conioyning of the woordes doeth shew the same. For that coniunction aduersatiue, which is placed in the middest, ioyneth two clauses together, whiche Augustine doeth also wisely consi­der. Therefore the sentence ought thus to be taken, least we be caried in­to temptation, deliuer vs from euill. And the summe is, that we acknow­ledging our owne weakenesse, doe desire to be defended by the power of God, that we may stande strongly againste all the attempts of Sathan. As out of the former petition we haue shewed that no manne can be ac­counted a Christian, except hee acknowledge himselfe to be a sinner, so by thys wee gather, that wee haue no powers of our selues to liue well, but as God doeth geue the same vnto vs. For who soeuer for the vanqui­shing of temptations doeth require the healpe of God, he graunteth hym­selfe to haue suche neede of him to be his deliuerer, that he should other­wise be ouerthrowen. But this woorde Temptation is often taken general­ly for euery triall: in whiche sence it is sayde that Abraham was tempted of God whē his faith was tried. So we are tried as with aduersities, so al­so wyth prosperities; because that by this occasion the affections whiche before lay hidde doe come to lighte. But heere is noted the inward temp­tation whiche may bee aptly called the scourge of the deuill to stirre vp our concupiscence. For it were absurde to aske of God, that hee shoulde [Page 198] deliuer vs from all instructions of our faith. Therefore all wicked moti­ons which stirre vs vppe to sinne, are comprehended vnder thys woorde temptation. And though it cannot be, but that we shall feele such prickes in our mindes, because that throughe the whole course of life wee haue continuall warre wyth the flesh: yet we aske of the Lorde that he make vs not subiecte to temptations, or suffer vs to be ouerwhelmed. And that Christe mighte the better declare howe apte wee are to slide into these daily falles and ruines, excepte God sustaine vs wyth his hande, hee vsed this maner of speache, leade vs not into temptation: or as others translate it, Carie vs not. It is certaine that euery manne is tempted of hys owne concupiscence, as Iames teacheth in the first chapiter, and fourteene verse. But because God doeth not onely deliuer vs to the pleasure of Sathan, that hee mighte kindle the sire of concupiscence, but vseth hym as the minister of his wrathe, so ofte as hee will driue menne headlonge to de­struction, hee also after his maner leadeth menne to destruction. In the which sence it is sayde that the euill spirite of God came vpon Saule: and diuers places of the scripture tende to the same purpose, yet we may not call God the authoure of euill: because that in deliuering menne into a reprobate sence, hee doeth not exercise an vniust tyrannie, but executeth his iust iudgementes though they be secreate. Deliuer vs from euill. Euill in thys place may as well bee taken in the neuter gender as in the mascu­line.

Chrysostome referreth it to the deuill, who is the framer of all euilles. and as a deadly ennemie of our saluation, doeth daily assaulte vs, yet it may as conueniently be taken for sinne, but there neede no strise aboute that matter: Because the sense remaineth almoste all one: that is, that we are cast foorth to the deuill and sinne, excepte the Lorde doeth defende and deliuer vs.

For thine is the kingdome. It is maruaile that the Latines did omitte thys conclusion of prayer. For it is not onely added to stirre vppe our heartes to require the glorie of God, and to admonish vs what oughte to bee the ende of our prayers: but also that it may teache vs, that our praiers which are heere taught vs, oughte to bee grounded no other where then vppon God alone, least we shoulde stay vppon our owne merites.

Mathewe 6.Marke 11.Luke.

14. For if you do forgeue men their tres­passes, your heauenly father will also for­giue you.

15. But if yee doe not forgiue menne their trespasses, no more will your father for­geue you your trespasses.

25. But when yee shall stande, and pray, forgiue if yee haue any thing againste any manne, that your father also which is in heauē, may forgiue you your trespasses.

16. For if you wil not forgiue, your father which is in heauen, will not pardon you your trespasses.


Christ doeth heere onely sette downe, for what purpose that clause [Page 199] was added, forgiue vs, as we forgiue: that is to say, that God will not bee otherwise entreated of vs, then we do shewe our selues ready to forgiue; if any shall hurt vs. And certainly, except we were harder then yron, this exhortation shuld mollify vs, that we might be ready to forgeue offences. Except God doe daily forgiue vs diuers offences, we know that we shall pearish many wayes. But he promiseth vs forgiuenesse of no other condi­tion, except we pardonne our brethren what soeuer they haue faulted a­gainst vs. Therefore they doe willingly and with set purpose & mindes addicte themselues to destruction, & they doe their diligence to prouoke Gods anger, whiche will not forgette the iniuries offered and done vnto them.

Mathewe 6.Marke.Luke.

16. Moreouer, when yee fast, looke not sowre as the hypocrites: for they disfigure their faces, that they might seeme vnto men to fast. Verely I say vn­to you, that they haue their rewarde.

17. But when thou fastest, anoynte thine heade and wash thy face.

18. That thou seeme not vnto men to fast, but vnto thy father which is in secreate: and thy father which seeth in secreat, will reward thee openly.


Hee retourneth againe to the former doctrine. For when hee hadde begonne to reprehende the vaine ostentation in almes and prayers, hee sette downe a lawfull rule of praying. Nowe as concerning fasting, hee giueth the same commaundement to his disciples, that he gaue before of prayers and almes, least they wyth greater diligence seeke to please the Worlde, then to haue GOD a witnesse of their woorkes. Also, that hee commaundeth to annoynt the heade and washe the face, is hyperbolical­ly spoken: for Christe doeth not so drawe vs from one kinde of hypocri­sie, that he might lead vs into an other.

Therefore hee doeth not commaunde vs to faine daintinesse, neither doeth he so exhorte vs to temperate diet, that hee might nourish a delica­cie in oyntments and apparelling: but he doeth simplie exhort vs to kepe a moderation, wherein there shoulde bee nothing either straunge or affe­ctate: as if he shoulde haue sayde, we must so apply our selues to fastings, that we chaunge nothing in the accustomed maner of our life. That hee promiseth frō God a reward to fastings, is an improper maner of speach, as is sayde a little before of prayers, thoughe there is a greate difference betweene prayers and fastings. For prayers and almes are chief amongst the dueties of charitie: but fasting is of it selfe a woorke indifferente, and not of that sorte whych God requireth and approoueth, as almes are. But it pleaseth him onely as it is referred to an other ende: that is, that it may exercise vs to abstinencie, that it may tame the wantonnesse of the flesh that it may stirre vs vp & inflame vs to prayer, that it may be a testimony of our repentāce, so oft as we are vrged with the iudgemēt of God. Ther­fore the meaning of Christes words is, that God wil sōtime declare opēly [Page 200] that those good woorkes doe please him, which seemed to be lost, because that men sawe them not.

Mathewe 6.Marke.Luke 12.

19. Laye not vppe treasures for your selues vppon the earth, where the moth and canker corrupte, and where theeues digge through and steale.

20. But lay vppe treasures for your selues in heauen, where neither the moth nor canker corrupteth, and where theeues neither digge through nor steale.

21. For where your treasure is, there wil your hearts be also.


33. Sell that you haue, and giue almes: make you bagges which waxe not olde, a treasure that can neuer faile in heauen, where no theefe cōmeth, neyther moth corrupteth.

34. For where your trea­sure is, there will your hearts be also.

19. Lay not vppe. This deadly plague raigneth euery where in the world, so that menne become madde through an insatiable desire of hauing. But Christe reprooueth them of foolishnesse, that their felicitie being sette in richesse, gathered with greate care, is made subiecte to woormes and the canker, and is layed foorth to the spoyle of theeues. And what is more contrary to reason, then to lay vppe their goodes there, whereas eyther they may pearish of themselues, or be stolen away by menne. But the co­uetous menne thinke not thus, for they shutte vppe their richesse into chestes well locked: yet they cannot auoide, but that their richesse shalbe subiecte to theeues or to the mothes. Therefore they are blinde, and lacke their right sence, which bestowe so muche labour and paine in gathering richesse, whiche are subiecte eyther to rottennesse, or to stealthes, or to a thousande other suche casualties: especially sith God doeth allowe vs a place in heauen to lay vp treasure in, and doeth louingly call vs to pos­sesse those richesse which doe neuer pearish. And they are sayde to lay vp their treasure in heauen, whiche beinge loosed oute of the snares of this worlde, doe employ their cares and studies in meditation of the heauen­ly life.

Luke setteth not downe the Antithesis, but noteth the other occasion why Christe commaunded them to prepare sackes that doe not waxe olde. For hee hadde sayde: sell those things which you possesse, that you may geue almes. Nowe because it is harde and sharpe to menne to spoyle themselues of their owne goodes, to ease them of this trouble he propo­seth a large and a liberall hope of recompence: that is, that they whiche healpe the neede of their brethren vppon earth, doe lay vppe treasure for themselues in heauen, according to that saying of Salomon: Hee that ge­ueth to the poore, lendeth to the Lord. But that commaundement which hee geueth of selling the possessions, is not so precisely to bee vrged, as though it were not lawfull for a Christian to keepe any thing for him­selfe. His will was onely to teache, that we must not geue to the poore after that sorte, as that if any thing be superfluous, that should be bestow­ed of them: But our landes may not be spared if the reuenewes whyche we haue at hande suffice not the necessitie of the poore. As if he shoulde haue sayde, lette your liberalitie extende it selfe euen to the diminishing of the patrimonie and the alienation of landes.

[Page 201] 21. VVhere your treasure is. In this sentence Christe conuinceth and proueth them to be miserable menne, which haue their treasures laid vp vppon earth: because that their felicitie is corrupt and vanishing. But co­uetous menne say, that they are nothing the lesse hindered, but that they may haue their heart in heauen. But Christ opposeth this generall rule, that whersoeuer men doe faigne their chiefe felicitie to be, they are thy­ther bound and tied. It followeth hereeof that they renounce heauen, which desire to be happy in this world. VVe know how diligently the Phylosophers disputed of the chiefe felicitie, yea and they traueiled most about this point, and not without a cause, sith that thereuppon depen­deth the whole course of framing mans lyfe, and all the senses haue re­garde to this.

If honour bee adiudged to be the chiefe felicitie, it is necessarye that ambition shoulde whollye possesse the mindes of menne: if money, then couetousnesse shall presently obtaine the kingdome: if pleasure, it cannot be but that men should degenerate into a beastlye wantonnesse: for naturally we are all enclined to desire the chiefe good, so it com­meth to passe, that false imaginations doe cary vs hither and thither. If that we were rightlye and certeinelye perswaded that our felicitie is in heauen, it were easie to ascend & clime into heauen, treading the world vnder feete, and despysing all earthly goodes, whose deceitfull bayghtes doe bewitch the moste parte of men. After this maner Paule, while hee would lift the faithfull vp on high, and exhort them to the study of the heauenly life, proposeth Christ vnto them, in whom onely the perfecte felicitie is to be sought: as if he shoulde haue sayde, that it were an absurd and an vnworthy thing, that their mindes shoulde bee setled vppon the earth, whose treasure is in heauen.

Matth. 6.Mark.Luke. 11.

22. The light of the bo­dye is the eye: if then thine eie be single, thy whole bodye shall be light.

23. But if thine eye bee wicked, then all thy body shall be darke. VVherefore, if the light that is in thee, be darke­nesse, how great is the darknes?

24. No manne can serue two masters: for either he shal hate the one, and loue the [...] ­ther: or else he shal lean to the one, and despise the other, yee cannot serue God and riches.


34. The lyght of the bodye is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, then is thy whole body light: but if thin eye be euill, then thy body is darke.

35. Take heede therefore, that the light, which is in thee, bee not darke­nesse.

36. If therefore thy whole bodye shall be light, hauing no parte darke, then shall all be light, euen as when a candle doth light thee with the bright­nesse,

Luke. 16. 13. No seruaunte can serue two maisters: for eyther hee shall hate the one, and loue the other, or els hee shall leane to the one, and despise the other. Yee cannot serue God and riches.

22. The light of the body is the eye. That is to be remembred, whiche I did first giue warning of, that here are short sentēces gathered togeather, [Page 202] and not a continuall sermon. Also the summe and meaning of this sen­tence is, that menne through slouth do go astray: because they bend not themselues, as it becommeth them, to the right purpose. For whereof cō ­meth it to passe that men so filthily doe wander, slide, or fall: but because that through their corrupt iudgement, while that they had rather satisfie their owne pleasures, then the iustice of God, they do not onely choake the light of reason, which ought to gouerne their life, but they do wholy turne it into darkenesse! And Christ vseth a similitude, calling the eie the light of the whole body: as if he should haue said, when menne walke, neither the handes, nor the feete, nor the belly can direct nor gouerne the way, but onely the eye sufficeth to guide the other members. Therefore if the handes and the feete are rashly caried whither it is not meete, the fault is to be imputed to the eyes, which did not their duetie.

Now the similitude is to bee applyed to the mind: al the affections are as certeine members of the same, but they haue neede of direction, bee­cause they are blinde of themselues. Now God vseth a reason, which may bring them into order, and excel a candle for shewing the way. But what vse they to doe for the most part? namely, that vprightnesse of mind that was giuen them, they doe willingly corrupt and peruerte; so that there remaineth not one spark of light. He calleth that a simple eye, that is not couered with any webbe, nor blemished with blearednes, nor troubled with any other faulte. Hee taketh poneron for faultie. The light bodye, that is lightened, so that his deeds are rightlye ordered. And that is called darke, which is confusedly caryed into diuers errours. Therfore wee see as we haue sayde before, that the slouth of those men is reproued in these wordes, which neglect the opening of the eyes of their mindes, to the go­uernment of their affections. And it is friuolous that the Papistes doe hereof gather, that men do excell in reason and wisdome, so that they haue free election of good and euill. For Christ doth not declare in this place what power we haue: but how it becometh vs to walke: that is, that we may be directed to some certeine purpose. And hee teacheth that the course of mans life is therefore darke, beecause that no manne pro­poseth to himselfe a right end: but all menne doe nourishe themselues to follow that which is euil, greedily. I graunt that by nature there is rea­son grafted into men, whereby they might discerne betweene vices and vertues: but I say that it was so corrupted through sinne, that it fayleth at euery steppe. Yet it followeth not, but that menne doe willingly thruste themselues into darkenesse, as if with cloased eyes they fledde the pro­fered light: because that witting and willing they folow after their own lustes.

23. If the light that is in thee. Hee calleth reason light, how litle soeuer was left remaining in menne after the fall of Adam: and hee calleth darkenesse grosse and beastly affections. The meaning therefore is, that it is no meruaile if that menne doe so filthyly and beastly wallow them selues in the myre of sinnes: seeing that there is no reason, whiche might gouerne the blinde and darke pleasures of the fleshe. But he saieth, that the light is turned into darkenesse, not onely when menne doe suffer the iudgement of their minde to be ouerwhelmed with the wicked lustes of the fleshe: but yeelding their witte to peruerse thoughtes, do degenerate as it were into beastes. For wee see how malitiouslye menne doc turne [Page 203] that wisdome, that was giuen them to craft or subtiltie, that they myght seeke deepe thoughtes, as saith the Prophet Esai. 29. 15. that throughe their subtill shiftes they might proudlye ryse vppe against GOD: to bee shorte, they do diuerse wayes attempt to be wise, to their own destructi­on. VVherefore Christ doth not without cause pronounce, that it can­not be, but that horrible and thicke darkenesse shall reigne in the lyfe, when menne of set purpose doe make themselues blinde. The same is the meaning of those wordes in Luke, but that Christe doth there ioine this sentence with that, which was expounded before in the fifte chap­ter of Matthew, no man lighteth a candle, and setteth it in a secret place, &c. Also in steede of this clause, if the light that is in thee, are darkenesse, &c. he setteth downe an exhortation, Take heede that the lighte that is in thee be not darkenesse: as if he should haue saide, take heede, least thy minde, which should shine as a light, for the direction of all thy actions, doe not darken and peruert thy whole lyfe. After hee addeth, when the body is lightened by the eye, all the members of the same shalbe the bet­ter gouerned, euen as a light lighted shineth and pearseth into al the parts of the chamber.

24. No man can serue. Christ returneth to his former doctrine, which is, that he may withdraw his disciples from couetousnesse. He had said be­fore that the heart of man is bound and tyed to his treasure. Now hee telleth them that their hearts are alienated from the Lord, which addict themselues to riches. For the greater part of men do sport themselues vn­der a false pretence, while that they doe imagine that they canne deuide themselues betweene God and their couetous desires. But Christe deni­eth it to be possible, that any man can at one time obey God & his own fleshe. And without doubt that prouerbe was then commonly vsed: no man can serue two maisters at once. Therfore that which was receiued by the opinion of all, he taketh for graunted, and so doth apply it to the present cause, where riches do reigne, there is the gouernment takē from God. It is not impossible for them that are rich men to serue God: but whosoeuer deliuereth himselfe to serue his riches, it is necessary that hee should set himselfe free from the seruice of God: because that couetous­nesse doth alwayes make vs the bondslaues of the deuill. I haue ioyned that to this texte, which Luke set downe in an other place: because when the Euangelistes doe here and there, as occasion serueth, set downe out of the doctrin of Christe sentences in diuerse places, we neede not think much to apply them together. But that which is here especiallye sayd of riches, may be well extended to all other kinde of vices.

VVhen as God doth euery where commend so much sinceritie, and doth abhorre the double heart, they are all deceaued, that thinke that hee will be content with the one halfe of their heart. They all confesse in worde, that God cannot be truely worshipped, but with an entyre and whole affection: but indeede they deny it, while they endeuor to recōcile things contrary between themselues. The ambitious man saith, I wil not cease to serue God, though I apply a good part of my witte to hunte af­ter honors. The couetous, the voluptuous, the gluttenous, the leacherous, the cruell, and euery one doe boast the same for themselues, as though it were possible, for them to serue GOD in parte, which are openly seene of purpose to fight against him. It is true that the faythfull them selues [Page 204] are neuer so wholly addicted to obey God, but that they are ofte with­drawne with sinfull lustes of the flesh. But because they sigh vnder this miserable slauerie, and are displeased with themselues, and doe not other­wise serue the flesh, but vnwillingly, and with resistance; they are not ac­counted to serue two maisters: because that their studies and endeuours are so approued to the Lorde, as if they had yeelded perfecte obedience vnto him. And here is their hypocrisie reprooued, which flatter them­selues in theyr sinnes, as if they coulde ioyne light and darkenesse to­geather.

Matth. 6.Mark.Luke. 12.

25. Therefore I saye vnto you, be not carefull for your lyfe, what yee shall eate, or what yee shall drinke: nor yet for your body what you shall put on Is not the lyfe more worthy then meat, and the body then rayment?

26. Behold the sowles of the heauen: for they sowe not, neither reape, nor cary into the barnes: yet your heauenly father feedeth them. Are yee not much better then they?

27. VVhich of you by taking care, is able to adde one cubit to his stature?

28. And whye care yee for rayment? Learne how the lylyes of the fielde do grow, they labour not, neither spinne.

29. Yet I say vnto you, that euen Salomon in all his glory was not arayed lik one of these.

30. VVherefore, if God so cloath the grasse of the fielde, which is to day, and to morow is cast into the ouen; shall hee not doe much more vnto you, O ye of litle faith?


22. And he spake vnto his di­sciples: Therefore I say vnto you. Take no thought for your life, what yee shal eate: neither for your body, what you shal put on.

23. The life is more then meat, & the body more then the raiment.

24. Consider the Rauens: for they neither sow, nor repe: which neither haue store house, nor barne, & yet God feedeth them: how muche more are yee better then fowles?

25. And whiche of you by ta­king thought canne adde one cubit to his statute?

26. If yee then be not able to do the least things, why take ye thought for the remnant?

27. Consider the Lylyes howe they grow, they labour not, neyther spinn [...] they: yet I say vnto you, that Solomon himselfe in all his royaltie was not cloathed like one of these.

28. If then God so cloath the grasse, which is to day in the fielde, and to morow is cast, into the ouen, how much more wil hee cloath you, O yee of litle fath?

In all this Sermon Christe doth reprehend the excessiue care of meat and cloathing, wherewith menne doe vexe and torment themselues, and hee giueth also a remedie to heale this disease. That hee forbiddeth them to be carefull, ought not to be taken so precisely, as if hee would haue his to be carelesse. For we know that men are borne of that condition, that they should sustaine some care: yea, this is not the laste portion of the mi­series, which the Lorde hath enioyned to vs, as a punishment, that hee might humble vs. But he condemneth the immoderate care for two cau­ses: that is, because menne doe waste and torment themselues therewith [Page 205] in vaine, by taking more then is meete, or their calling wil beare: then, that they take more vppon themselues, then is meete for them, and vsing their own industrie, they neglect to call vppon God. That promisse is to beholden, Psal. 127. 2. VVhen the vnfaithfull doe lye downe late, and shall ryse early, they shall eate the bread of sorowe, the faythfull shall through the grace of God, enioy rest and sleepe. Therefore the sonnes of God, though they be not free from labour and care, yet it cannot be pro­perly sayde, that they are carefull for the lyfe: because that they reposing themselues in the prouidence of God, doe quietly take their rest. Hereby it may be easily gathered, how much euery man ought to care for theyr lyuing: namely, that euery one of vs should labour asmuch as his callinge doth beare, and the Lorde dooth further appoynte, that their necessitie shoulde prouoke euery man to call vppon God. Suche a care is a meane betweene slouthfull securitie and excessiue tormentes, wherewith the vnfaithfull doe waste themselues. If that wee doe weigh the wordes of Christ wel, he doth not forbid vs euery care, but that which groweth of distrust. Be not carefull, saith he, what yee eate or drinke, for that is the propertie of them that tremble for feare of pouertie and want, as if that they should want prouision euery moment.

25. Is not the life more worth? Hee reasoneth from the more to the lesse. He had forbidden them to care too much how the lyfe may be mayne­tained, now he addeth a reason: The Lord, which gaue the lyfe it selfe, will not suffer that those thinges should be wanting, which apperteine to the sustaining of the same. And certeinely we doe God no smal iniu­rie, so oft as we distrust that God will not giue vs foode and cloathing, as though that he had cast vs out vppon the earth by fortune. For who­soeuer is certeinely perswaded, that he knoweth what the estate and con­dition of our life is, let not the same man doubt, but that hee will verye well prouide for his necessities. Therefore as oft as any feare or careful­nes for prouision shall assaulte vs, let vs remember that God hath a care of our life which he hath giuen vs.

26. Beholde the fowles. This is the remedie whiche I spake of: that is, that we might learne to rest vppon the prouidence of God: for infideli­tie is the mother of all these excessiue cares. Therefore the onely meanes to amend this couetousnesse is, if wee embrace the promisses of GOD, wherein he witnesseth that he himselfe hath a care of vs. After this ma­ner the Apostle minding to draw the faithfull from couetousnesse, con­firmeth this doctrine, Heb. 13. 5. because it is written, I will not fail thee, neither forsake thee. Therfore the summe is, that he exhorteth vs to trust in God, who neglecteth none of his creatures, though they bee the mea­nest.

It is diligently to be noted, that hee saith the heauenly father noury­sheth the fowles. For although it is to be wondred at, how they sustaine their life, yet how many of vs doe thinke that their life doth depende of that, that God doth vouchsafe to extende his prouidence euen to them? If that it be throughly fixed in our mindes, that God doth with his hand minister nourishment to the fowles, our hope maye be the easier, which are created after his image, and which are accounted amongste his chil­dren. VVhen he saieth that the fowles doe not sow, nor mowe, hee doth not in these wordes perswade vs to slouth and idlenesse, but onelye mea­neth [Page 206] that though all helpes should cease, yet the only prouidence of God shall be sufficient, which aboundantly bestoweth vppon the beasts, what soeuer is needefull.

Luke for the fowles, nameth Rauens, alludinge peraduenture to that place of the psal. 147. 9. who giueth foode to the young Rauens, that cal vppon him▪ And some thinke that Dauid did especially speake of the Ra­uens: because that when at the first the olde ones haue forsaken them, it is of necessitie that they should be fed of God. Hereby it appeareth, that Christes wil was none other, then that he might teache his to caste theyr cares vpon God.

27. VVhich of you by taking thought. Christe heere condemneth an other faulte, which is almost alwayes ioyned with the immoderate care of pro­uision: that is, that a mortall man taking vpon him more then is lawefull for him, doubteth not through sacrilegious boldnesse to passe his bounds. I know (saith Ieremy, 10. 23. that the way of manne is not in himselfe, neither is it in man to walk & to direct his steps. And there is scarse the hundred man found, which dareth not promise himselfe any thinge of his owne industrie and power. Heereby it commeth to passe, that God being not regarded, they doe not doubt to attempte anye thing, whiche chalenge to themselues the prosperous successe of thinges. Christe, that hee might brydle this madde boldnesse, dooth say, that whatsoeuer per­taineth to the sustentation of our lyfe, dependeth of the onely blessing of GOD. For it is asmuch as if he should haue sayde, menne do fondly weary themselues, when all their labours are superfluous and vaine, and all their cares doe come to no effect, but as God blesseth them: the which is more plainely expressed by Luke, when Christ addeth: If you cannot doe that which is least, why are ye carefull for the remnant? For by those wordes it sufficiently appeareth that hee reprooueth not onelye the dy­struste, but the pride that men doe challenge to their witte more then is meete.

Not Salomon in all his glory. The sense is, the goodnesse of GOD whiche shineth in hearbes and flowers, doth excell whatsoeuer menne can doe with their riches, power, or by any other meanes: so that the faithfull may account that they shall want nothing of perfect, lentie, although all outwarde meanes be wanting; so that the only blessing of God may flourish.

O yee of litle faith. Christ dooth not without a cause in this beehalfe blame the want and weakenesse of faith: for the more care we haue ac­cording to the grosnesse of our witte: so much the more doth our infide­litie bewray it selfe, except that all thinges fall out after our desire: ther­fore very many, which in great matters seeme to be endued at least with an indifferent faith, yet doe faint at the daunger of pouertie.

Matth. 6.Mark.Luke. 12.

31. Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall wee eate? or what shall we drinke? or wherewith shall wee be clo­thed?

[Page 207] 32. For after all these thinges seeke the Gentiles: for your heauenly father knoweth that ye haue need of al these things.

33. But seeke yee first the kingdome of God, and his righ­teousnes, and all these thinges shal be ministred vnto you.

34. Care not then for the morow: for the morow shal care for it self: the day hath ynough with his own griefe.

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29. Therefore aske not what yee shall eate, or what ye shall drinke, nei­ther stand in doubt.

30. For al suche thinges, the peo­ple of the world seeke for: and your fa­ther [Page 207] knoweth that yee haue neede of these things.

31. But rather seeke yee after the kingdome of God, and all these thinges shalbe ministred vnto you.

32. Feare not litle stocke: for it is your fathers pleasure to giue you a kingdome.

He hath the same purpose here, that he had in the former doctrine: that the faithful trusting in the fatherly care of God, & hoping to haue from him what things soeuer they think to be necessary for them, shoulde not torment themselues with extreame carefulnes. He forbiddeth them to be carefull, or to seeke, as Luke reporteth: that is, after their manner, whiche seeke here and there, without respect of God, to whom onely they ought to bend themselues. Neither doe they rest at any time, but where they see aboundance of encrease: & they which do not attribute to God the go­uernment of the world, do sweat and vexe themselues with cōtinual dis­quietnes. VVhen he saith that the gentiles do seeke after all these things, he vpbraideth them with their too grosse folly, from whence al such cares do spring. For whereof commeth it to passe, that the vnbeleeuers doe ne­uer rest in quiet state: but because they imagine that God is ydle, and slee­peth in heauen, or at the least that he looketh not vppon those thinges which appertaine vnto men, as vpon them, whom he hath taken into his charge, and feedeth as his houshold? So by this comparison, hee declareth that they haue profited ill, and doe not as yet vnderstand the firse ru­diments of godlines: which doe not looke with the eies of their fayth to the hand of God, secretely filled with aboundaunce of all good thinges, that they might patiently, and with quiet mindes from thence looke for their sustentation. Your heauēly father, saith he, knoweth, that you need these things: as if hee shuld haue said, al they that are so careful for their foode, doe giue no more honour to the fatherly goodnes of God as his secrete prouidence, then the vnfaithful doe.

LV. 29. Stand not in doubt. This clause answereth to the last sentēce which is set downe in Matthew, Bee not carefull for the morowe. For Christ reproueth an other fault, that men bending their will to prouide for themselues, would gladly imbrace fiue worlds. The worde which Luke vseth doth properly signifie to looke aloft, as wee doe commonlye say, to make long discourses: for the intemperature of our fleshe hath ne­uer enough, but that it would turne ouer the heauen & the earth a hun­dred times.

Hereof it cōmeth to passe, yt they giue no place to God his prouidēce. Therfore vnder this title is reprehended too much curiositie or careful­nes: because that through the same we procure our selues troubles with­out profit, and doe so become willingly wretches before the time. That Matthewe saieth, That the daye hath enough with his owne griefe, appertay­neth to this purpose, that the faythfull shoulde temper theyr cares, [Page 208] least they desire to prouide beyond the boundes of their vocation. For as it is sayde, euerye care is not condemned: but that whiche wande­reth throughe ouerthwarte and vnmeasurable compasses, beeyonde boundes.

MAT. 33. First seeke the kingdome of God. He brydeleth that too great care for foode by an other argument. For he reprooueth that grosse and slouthfull neglecte, which the soule hath of the heauenly life. Therefore Christ teacheth vs, that it is preposterous, that menne being borne to a better life, doe wholly occupy themselues in earthly thinges: And who­soeuer shall esteeme of the kingdom of God as the best, wil not exercise himselfe in prouiding for his lyuing, but moderatelye: neyther is there a­ny thing sitter to bridle the wantonnesse of the flesh, that it triumph not in the course of this present life, then the meditation of the heauenlye life.

The word righteousnesse may as well be referred to God, as to his king­dome: for we know yt the kingdom of God consisteth in righteousnes, that is, in spirituall newnesse of lyfe. VVhen he saieth, that other thinges shalbe ministred, hee meaneth those thinges, which belonge to this pre­sent life, are to be placed in the second place, and so ought to be set after, or vnder the kingdome of God.

LV. 32. Feare not my litle flocke. VVith this sentence Christ confirmeth that hope, whereunto hee exhorteth his disciples: for how can God deny vile and corruptible meate to his, whom he hath adopted to be heires of his kingdome? And purposely he calleth his by the name of a litle flock, least they should therefore think themselues to be of lesse account with God: because that through their fewnesse, they are nothing accounted of before the world. The word which he vseth, signifieth, that eternall lyfe doth flow vnto vs out of the fountaine of his free mercy. To this pur­pose also appertaineth the word of giuing. And when Christe witnesseth openly, that God hath giuen vs a kingdome, and that for no other cause, but for that it so pleaseth him: it is heereby more then manifest, that it is obtained by no desertes of workes. Therfore so oft as the Lord raiseth vs vp to the hope of eternall lyfe, we must remember that wee maye not feare the want of dayly foode.

Matth. 7.Marke. 4.Luke. 6.

1. Iudge not, that yee be not iudged.

2. For with what iudgment yee iudge, yee shall be iudged, and with what measure yee meate, it shalbe measured to you againe.

3. And why seest thou the meate, that is in thy brothers eie, and perceiuest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4. Or how sayst thou to thy brother, suffer me to cast out the m [...]at out of thine eye, and behold a beame is in thine own eye?

[Page 209] 5. Hypocrite, firste caste out the beame out of thine owne eye, and then shalt thou see clerelye to cast out the meate out of thy bro­thers eye.

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24. VVith what measure ye meate it shal be measu­red vnto you.

37. Iudge not, and yee shal not be iudged: condemne not, and ye shal not be condemned: forgiue, and yee shall be forgiuen.

38. Giue, and it shal be giuen vnto you: a good measure, pressed downe, shaken togeather, & running ouer shal men giue into your bosom: for with what measure yee meate, with the same shal men meate to you againe.

41. And why seest thou a moa [...] in thy brothers eye: and considerest not the beame, that is in thine owne eye.

[Page 209] 42. Eyther howe canste thou say to thy brother: brother, let me pull out the moat, that is in thine eye, when thou seest not the beame that is in thine own eie? Hypocrite, cast out the beame that is in thine owne eie first, and [...] shalt thou see per­fectly to pull out the moat that is in thy brothers eye.

1. Iudge not. Christe dooth not in these words preciselye restraine from iudgeing: but his will was to heale that disease, whiche is settled almost in all. For we see how al menne doe flatter and spare themselues, and euery man is a seuere censor against others. And there is a certaine sweetenesse in this sinne, so that there is almost no man that ytcheth not with a desire to enquire out other mens faultes. All menne doe confesse that it is a mischief intolerable, that they which spare themselues in their owne sinnes, should be so malitious against their brethren. And in time [...] past prophane men did also condemne it by many prouerbes: yet it con­tinued in all ages, and also remaineth at this day: nay, there is added to it an other plague worse then that, that the most parte by condemning o­thers, seeke to get themselues further libertie of sinning. This wicked de­lyght in biting, carping, and slaundering doth Christ refraine, when hee saith, Iudge not. Neither ought the faithful to be so blind, that they shoulde discerne nothing: but only that they should bridle themselues, that they be no more desirous to iudge then is meete. For it cannot bee otherwise but that whosoeuer desireth to be iudge of his brethren, shuld be too ex­treame and rygorous. There is the like sentence in Iames, bee not manye maisters. Yet he doth not restraine nor withdraw the faithfull from ex­ecuting the office of teaching: but he forbiddeth them to desire honour ambitiously. Therefore to iudge, doth signifie as much as to enquire cu­riously into other mens deedes. But first this disease doth alwayes drawe with it this sinne, that we condemn euery light offence, as though it were a most grieuous faulte: then it breaketh out into a peruerse boldnes; so that we doe proudly iudge ill of euery matter, although it may be taken in good parte.

Now we see to what purpose Christes counsel tendeth: that is, that we be not to desirous, or ouerthwart, or malitious, or els curious in iudging our neghbours. But he that iudgeth by the word and law of the Lorde, and directeth his iudgement according to the rule of charitie, dooth al­wayes begin his iudgement at himselfe, he doth obserue the right manner and order of iudging: whereby it appeareth howe wickedlye they abuse this testimonie of this moderation, which Christe setteth downe, vnder which pretence they desire to take away all difference of good and euil. For it is not onely lawfull for vs to condemne and reproue all sinnes, but also necessary: except we wil wrangle with God himselfe, and abrogate his lawes, cut down his iudgements, and ouerthrow his throane of iudg­ment. For his wil is that we should declare his iudgment, which he pro­nounceth of the deedes of menne, wee must onely retaine that modesty, that he mey remaine the onely lawgiuer and iudge.

[Page 210] Least you be iudged. he denounceth a punishment againste those rygo­rous censors, which so much desire to sift out the faultes of others: that is, it shall come to passe, that they shall bee nothinge gentler entreated of others, but they shall finde the same extremitie exercised againste themselues, which they haue executed againste others. As there is no­thing more deare or precious to vs then our name; so there is nothing more sharpe and bitter, then to be condemned and subiect to the reproa­ches and infamie of menne: and through our owne faulte wee procure, our selues that, which we of our owne nature doe so much abhorre. For which is hee amongst many, which doth not search more narrowly into other mennes deedes then is conuenient? whiche dealeth not hardlyer with light offences? which dooth not more ouerthwartly improue that which is of it selfe indifferent? And what is this els but to doe our dily­gence, to prouoke God to be a reuenger against vs, that hee againe maye repay the like to vs. And though this be done by the iuste vengeaunce of God, that they should again be punished, which haue iudged others: yet the Lord doth execute this punishment by menne. For the iudgement of Chrisostome and others, which referre it to the life to come is wrested. For as Iesaias 33. 1. threatneth that they shall be spoyled, whiche haue spoyled others: so Christ meaneth that there shall not wante reuengers, whiche shall punishe wicked and slaunderous menne with the lyke poi­son or rigor. If that menne cease, so that they escape punishmente in the world, which haue bene too desirously bent to condemne their brethrē, yet they shall not escape the iudgment of God.

In Luke there is sette downe a promisse: Forgiue, and yee shall bee forgiuen: giue, and it shall bee giuen vnto you, the meaning whereof is, that the Lorde will bring to passe, that hee that sheweth himselfe lo­uing, gentle, and right towardes his brethren, shall feele the same gentlenesse of others towardes himselfe, so that hee shall bee handled gentlye and friendlye of others. But that which often falleth out to the children of GOD, to be recompensed with a moste vniuste rewarde, so that they are oppressed with many vniust slaunders, when as they haue hurte no mannes name, but haue spared the faultes of their brethren, dooth not disagree with this sentence of Christe. For wee knowe that those promisses, which apperteine to this present lyfe, are not perpetuall, nor without exception.

Also though the Lorde suffereth the innocency of his children to bee oppressed, and almoste ouerwhelmed: yet withall hee fulfilleth that which hee speaketh in an other place, that their vprightnesse shall shine as the morning. So his blessinge alwayes exceedeth all their vniuste slaunders. For so hee maketh the faythfull subiecte to vniuste reproa­ches, that at the length hee maye shewe forth the goodnesse of theyr cause.

Furthermore, the faythfull ones, howesoeuer they desire to execute that, whiche is ryght towardes theyr brethren: yet beecause they are sometyme caryed with extreame rigour againste their brethren, whiche either are innocent, or are not so much to bee blamed, they prouoke through their owne faulte the lyke iudgement against themselues. And though it may be imputed to the vnthankefulnesse of the worlde, that [Page 211] they doe not receiue measure pressed downe and running ouer: yet certeinelye they muste in parte impute it vnto themselues: beecause there is no manne that hath so lyberally nourished his brethren, as hee ought.

3. VVhy seest thou a moate. Hee dooth expresly reproue that faulte, which the Hypocrites doe commonlye commit. For when they are too quicke sighted in discerning other mennes faultes, and they doe not on­lye amplifie them seuerely, but almost tragically, they cast their own of­fences behynde them: or els they are so wise in making them to seeme lesse, that euen in the moste grosse offence they desire to seeme excusa­ble. Therefore Christ reproueth both the offences, too curious search­ing, which groweth of the want of charitie, while wee will too scrupu­louslye searche out the sinnes of the brethren, and the sparing flatterie, wherewith we couer and nourish our own sinnes.

MAT. 7. 6. Giue yee not that which is holye to dogges, neither caste yee your pearles before swine: least they tread them vnder their feete, and turning againe all to ren [...]e you. There is no cause why I should often rehearse, that Matthew setteth downe manye shorte sentenses, which are not to be read: as in one text depending vppon an other. For this doctrine doth not depend vppon that which went before, but is altogeather of an other matter. For Christ admonisheth his Apostles, and in their person all the prea­chers of the Gospell, that they shoulde preserue and keepe the treasure of the heauenly wisdome onely for the sonnes of God, and that they should not throw it forth to the vnworthy and prophane contēners of God. But here aryseth a question: for afterwarde hee commaundeth them to preach the Gospell to euery creature.

And Paule saieth, 2. Corinthians, 2. 16. that his preaching is to the reprobate a sauour of death. And there is nothing more certeine, then that God commaundeth it daylye to bee proposed as a testimonie to the vnfaythfull, that they might be therby made the more inexcusable: I an­swere, because the ministers of the Gospel, & they that are called to the office of teaching cannot discerne betweene the children of GOD and swine, it is their partes to offer the doctrine of saluation generally to al. For although that at the first they shall see many stubborne and vnapte to bee taught: yet charitie dooth not suffer vs presentlye to accounte of them, as castawayes and loste: for this is to be considered, that Christe calleth dogges and hoges, not all menne, that are wicked or voyde of the feare of God, and without true godlynes: but them which by certein tokens doe shew a stubborne contempt of God, so that the disease may appeare incurable.

In an other place Christe opposeth dogges against the electe people of God, and them of the housholde of faith, when he saith, it is not good to take the childrens bread, and to giue it vnto dogs: and here he vnder­standeth dogges & swine, which being too corrupted with a wicked cō ­tempt of God, wil not admit nor abide any medicine. Heereby it appea­reth how wickedly they do wrest the words of Christ, which think that he restraineth the doctrin of the gospel, to those only, whiche are apte to be taught, & wel prepared. For what shuld be done, if the godly teachers shoulde call no manne, but him that nowe by his obedience preuenteth [Page 212] the grace of God? but by nature wee all are rather wicked, and bente to stubbornesse: VVherfore the remedie of saluation is to be denied to none but them that doe filthily refuse the same offered vnto them, that it may appeare that they are reprobate, and damned of them selues: as Paule speaketh of Heretikes, Tit. 3. 11. But there are two causes, why Christe forbadde that his Gospell should be proposed to the desperate contem­ners. For it is a manifest profanation of the misteries of God, if wee submitte them to the reproachfull skornes of the wicked. Christe also minded to comfort his disciples, that they should not cease to beestowe their labour in teaching the Gospell to the electe of God, though they should see the same ouerthwartly refused by the wicked and prophane menne: as if he should haue sayde, least this incomparable treasure shuld waxe vile, and be of no account, the swine and dogges are to be dryuen from it. But these titles are to be noted, wherewith he adorneth the do­ctrine of saluation. Christ calleth it a holye thing, and compareth it to pearles. And heereby we gather how much wee ought to esteeme of it. Least they tread it vnder their feete. Christe seemeth to make a difference be­tweene swine and dogges: attributing a beastly dulnesse to the swine, & madnesse to dogges. And certeinely experience teacheth, that there are two such sortes of contemners God. For example sake: whatsoeuer is spoken in the scripture of the corruption of mans nature, of free iustifi­cation, of eternall election, many turne it either to carelesnesse, or to the wantonnesse of the flesh, such are aptly and worthily accounted swine. And others do rend the doctrine and the ministers of the same, with sacriligious raylinges: as though it shoulde ouerthrow the desire of wel doing, the feare of God, and all care of saluation. Therefore though christ doth by both the names signifie the vncurable enemies of ye word of God; yet by these two similitudes he brieflye sheweth what some of them doe differ from others.

Matth. 7.Marke.Luke. 11.

7. Aske, and it shal bee giuen you: seeke, and yee shall finde: knock, and it shall bee opened vnto you.

8. For whosoeuer as­keth, receiueth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shal be opened▪

9. For what man is there among you, which if his sonne aske him breade, would giue him a stone?

10. Or if hee aske fish, will hee giue him a serpent?

[Page 213] 11. If yee then which are euill canne giue to your children good giftes, howe much more shal your father which is in heauē, giue good thinges to them that aske him?

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5. And he sayde vnto them, whiche of you shall haue a friend, and shall goe to him at midnight, and say to him: friend, lend me three leaues?

6. For a friend of mine is come out of the way to me, and I haue nothing to set before him.

7. And hee within should aunsweare and say, trouble me not, the dore is nowe sh [...]te, and my children are with mee in bedde: I cannot rise to giue them thee.

8. I say vnto you, though hee would not arise & giue him, because he is his friend, yet doubtlesse, because of his importunitie, he would rise, and giue him as many as hee needed.

[Page 213] 9. And I say vnto you, Aske, and it shalbe giuen you: seeke, and yee shall finde: knocke, and it shall bee opened to you.

10. For euerye one that asketh, re­ceyueth: and hee that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shalbe ope­ned.

11. If a sonne shall aske breade of anye of you, that is a father, will hee giue him a stone? or if hee aske a fish, wil he giue him a serpent?

12. Or if hee aske an egge, will hee giue him a scorpion?

13. If yee then which are euil canne giue good giftes vnto your children, howe muche more shall your heauenlye Fa­ther giue the holye Ghoste to them that desire him?

7. Aske. This is an exhortation to prayer: and because that in this exercise of godlines, which we should haue an especiall care of, we are so flowe and slouthfull, Christ vrgeth the matter by speaking it three ma­ner of wayes. For his speach is not in vaine, when he saith aske, seeke, knock: but he applyeth himselfe to stirre vp our slouthfulnesse, least the doctrin should waxe colde. To the same purpose also beelonge the promisses which are added. yee shall finde, it shall bee giuen you, and it shalbe opened to you. For nothing shall better encourage vs to pray, then a certeine assuraunce of obtaining. For it cannot be that they shuld pray diligently, that doubt: yea prayer, without fayth, is but a vaine and sporting ceremonie. Christe therefore that he might effectually stirre vs vp to this parte of our due­tie, he doth not onely commaund vs what we ought to do: but promiseth that our prayers should not be in vaine. And this is diligentlye to be no­ted: first, that we might know that this lawe of prayer is appoynted and prescribed vnto vs, that he might be certeinely perswaded, that God is so mercifull to vs, that he wil heare our desires. Then, so oft as we prepare our selues to prayer, or as oft as we feele that wee are not earnest enogh in this desire to pray, that we should remember this so louing a bidding, wherein Christe testifieth vnto vs God his fatherly affection. So it shall come to passe, that euery of vs enioying the grace of Christ, may boldlye pray, and freely call vpon God, as Paule teacheth Ephes. 3. 12. And bee­cause we are more ready to distrust then is meete, Christe repeateth the promise in diuerse wordes, that he might also reproue this faulte. But hee vseth the Metaphor of seeking, because that wee thinke those thinges which wee haue neede of to be farre from vs: and of knocking, because that the fancies of our flesh do imagine, that those thinges are shutte vp from vs, which we haue not ready at hand.

8. For whosoeuer asketh, receiueth. Some thinke it is a prouerbe gathered of the common trade of lyfe: yet I doe more willingly encline to the con­trary [Page 214] parte: for that Christ offereth the fauour of the father to them that pray: af if hee should haue saide, God is willing and ready to heare vs, if that we pray, & that there are great riches layd vp for vs, if yt we do aske them. By which words he declareth that they do suffer iust punishments for their slouthfulnesse, which wanting thinges necessary, doe not seeke this remedie for their want.

It is certeine, that often when the faithfull doe sleepe, GOD waketh for their saluation, that he may preuent their requestes. For there is no­thing more wretched then we are, if in so great a weakenes, or rather a slouthfulnesse, he should waite for our prayers, if hee shoulde not looke vppon vs in so much carelesnesse of vs. Nay, he is not perswaded by any ot [...]er then by himselfe, to giue vs fayth, which should preuent our prai­ers both in order and in time. But because Christe speaketh heere to his disciples, hee dooth onely teach how the heauenly father would make vs partakers of his giftes. Therefore, although he doth giue vs all thinges freely, yet that he might exercise our faith, hee commaundeth vs to pray, that he might graunt to our requestes, those thinges, which come of his owne goodnes.

9. VVhat man is there among you. This is a comparison from the lesse to the greater. First, Christ opposeth the malice of men to the great good­nesse of God. And selfe loue maketh vs malitious: for while euery man is too much addicted to himselfe, hee despiseth and neglecteth others. But fatherly loue ouercommeth this faulte, so that menne forgettinge themselues, doe more lyberally bestow vppon their children. And from whence proceedeth this, but because that God, from whom all fatherly­nesse descendeth, Eph. 3. 15. powreth this portion of his goodnesse into their heartes? If that a fewe droppes of loue in manne doe so much pre­uaile to doe well, what is to be hoped for out of the sea it selfe, whiche canne neuer be drawne drye? Can God himselfe bee strait, which doth so open the heartes of menne? yet heere must bee considered that sayinge of Iesaias 49. 15. Although a mother should forgette her children, yet the Lorde will be lyke himselfe, so that he will alwayes shew himselfe to be a father.

1 [...]. Good giftes. Christe did of purpose vse these wordes, leaste that the faythfull in prayer shoulde lose the raines too much to fond and e­uill desires. VVe know how intemperate and presumptuous our fleshe is in this behalfe: for there is nothing that we do not aske of God: & ex­cepte that hee yeeld to our folly, we frette and fume against him. Christ therefore maketh our requestes subiect to the will of God, that he shuld not giue vnto vs any thing, but that which hee knoweth profitable for vs. VVherefore let vs not thinke that hee hath no care of vs, so ofte as he graunteth not our requestes: because it is in him to iudge what is conue­nient for vs.

But now, because all our affections are blinde, the rule of our prayer must be taken out of the word of God, neither are we meete to iudge of so weigh [...]ie a matter. Therefore, whosoeuer desireth to come to GOD with faithfull prayer, let him learne to bridle his heart, that hee aske not any thing, but according to his will, as Iames teacheth, 4. 3. of his Epi­stle.

[Page 215] Luke in the laste clause for good gifts, placeth the holy Ghost, not ex­cluding other benefites, but shewing what is especially to be desired. For that ought alwayes to be in our minde, seeke first the kingdom of God, and other thinges shal thē be ministred vnto you. VVherfore it behoueth the children of God, to that ende that they might prepare themselues rightlye to prayer, to put of earthly affections, and to ascend to the me­ditation of spiritual life. And so it shal come to passe, that they shal make lesse account of meat and cloath, then of the seale and pledge of their a­doption: But when God shall giue so precious a treasure, he will not de­ny others that are lesse.

LV. 5. VVhich of you shall haue a friend. Luke addeth this similitude, whereof Matt. maketh no mention, & the meaninge is: there is no cause why the faithful shuld faint in their heartes, if they do not presentlye ob­taine their desires, or if that seeme harde to be obtayned, which they doe desire. For if importunitie of demaunding doth wreste out of men that, which they woulde not willingly doe, there is no cause why we shoulde doubt, but that God wilbe entreated of vs, if wee constantly continue in prayer, and that our mindes either through delay or difficultie waxe not weary.

Matth. 7.Mark.Luke. 6.

12. Therefore whatsoeuer yee would that men shoulde doe to you, euen so doe yee to them: for this is the law and the prophetes.

13. Enter in at the streight gate: for it is the wide gate and broad waye that leadeth to destruction: and many there be, which go in thereat,

14. Because the gate is streight, and the way narrow, that leadeth vnto life, and few there be that finde it.


31. And as yee would that men should doe to you, so doe ye to them.

It is in vaine to shew how this dependeth of the former, sith that often in such shorte sentenses, these clauses doe abounde. I sayde beefore, that Matthew doth not reporte one onelye Sermon of Christes: but out of diuerse sermons hee gathereth the summe of the doctrine. Therefore this sentence is to be read by it selfe, wherein Christ instructeth his di­sciples to equitie, and setteth downe a shorte and an easie definition of the same: that wee might know that so many contentions doe reigne in the world, and that men do hurt one an other so many waies, for no o­ther cause, but because that wittingly & willingly they tread equitie vn­der their feete: and yet euery one would haue the same streightly obser­ued towards himself. VVhere it standeth vpon our own profit, there is none of vs that cannot distinctly & subtilly declare what is right. Ther­fore sith al mē do shew thēselues ready teachers of righteousnes for their own cōmoditie: how commeth it to passe, that the same knowledg is not ready, whē either the profit or the losse of other men cōmeth in questiō: but because we are onely wise for our selues, & no man prouideth for his neighbours. And not so onely, but malitiously, and of set purpose, we close our eyes at the rule of equitie, which shineth in our heartes.

[Page 216] Therefore Christ teacheth that euery man may be a rule vnto himselfe of iust and vpright dealing towardes his neighbours, if he would per­fourme that to others, which he requireth to be done vnto himselfe. So he confuteth all vaine pretenses, which menne imagine to couer, or to counterfeit their owne vnrighteousnesse. For without doubte perfecte equitie should reigne amongst vs, if we were as faithfull working (that I may so speak) disciples of charitie, as we are ready teachers to haue o­thers to doe to vs.

For this is the law and the Prophetes. Christ doth not meane that this one poynt of doctrine is onely deliuered in the law and the Prophetes: but whatsoeuer is there commaunded concerning charitie, and what lawes and exhortations are there set downe for the maintenaunce of righte­ousnesse, are all referred to this purpose. The meaning therefore is, that hee satisfieth the second table, if hee shew himselfe in that sort to others, as he desireth others should shew themselues to him: as if he should haue saide, there should be no neede of long and tedious disputations, if this simplicitie were maintained, and menne should not with a preposte­rous loue of themselues blot out that equitie, which is engrauen in their heartes.

13. Enter in at the strait gate. Because there is nothing more against the flesh, then the doctrine of Christ, no man shall at any time well profitte in the same: but he that learneth to gather his owne senses and all his affections as into a narrow straite, that they may keepe themselues with­in those straites, in which the heauenlye maister brideleth our wanton­nesse. Because menne doe willingly [...]latter themselues, leape and runne out of order: therefore Christe dooth here admonish his disciples, that they shoulde prepare themselues, as to a strait and thorny iourney. But because it is hard to restraine our lustes from this vnbrideled and wan­dring folly, he mittigateth this bitternesse with a comfortable reward, when hee saieth, by the narrow gate and way we enter into life.

Againe, least being caught with the baightes of a lycentious and a dissolute life, wee shoulde wander whither the pleasure of the flesh doth draw vs: he saieth, that they doe runne headlong to death, which hadde rather goe through the wide way and broad gate, then to goe through the straites, which lead to life. But he saith expresly, that many do runne through the wide way: because that men doe ouer throw one an other, by peruerse and euil examples. For whereof commeth it to passe, that all menne doe wittingly and willinglye without all care, caste them­selues headlong: but because they doe not thinke that they shall perishe while they perishe with a great companye? And on the other side, the small number of the faithfull dooth make many carelesse: for we are hardlye brought to renounce the worlde, and to frame our selues and our liues after the maners of a fewe. For wee thinke it an absurd thing to pull vs from the multitude, as if wee were not a parte of manne­kinde.

But though the doctrine of Christe dooth holde vs as bondmenne, bringeth our lyfe into a streight way, seperateth vs from the multitude, and ioineth vs to a few companions: yet this straightnes ought to be no hinderaunce vnto vs, that wee shoulde anye whitte the lesse striue after life.

[Page 217] But it doeth sufficiently appeare by Luke, that Christe sayde this at an other time, and not then when hee vttered those paradoxes of the blessed life (which we haue sene before,) and deliuered to them an order of prai­er. And that is it which I haue touched so oft. Those things which are set downe by the other Euangelistes, according to the order of the hystorie, are gathered together by Mathewe into one summe, that so it myght the better appeare, howe Christ instructed his disciples. Therefore I thought it meete to adde all the place of Luke which agreeth to this matter. For when I shall diligently admonish the readers of the course of time which Luke obserueth, I hope they will graunt me pardonne if in gathering the doctrine I be not more curious then Mathewe.

Mathewe.Marke.Luke 13.

23. Then sayd one vnto him, Lord are there [...] that shalbe saued? And he sayd vnto them.

24. Striue to enter in at the straighte gate, for many I say vnto you, will seeke to enter in, and shall not be able.

23. Then sayde. Although Mathew rehearseth this answeare of Christ in one texte, with other sentences spoken to the people, yet I thinke that he had occasion geuen him to speake this, by this present question. Fur­thermore, the occasion that mooued that this question shoulde bee asked semeth to be, because that Christ who professed himself to be the author of life, could scarce gather him a few disciples. And he might seme to con­dēne the whole Church, a smal company of men only excepted. But out­wardly the whole people which regarded not the doctrine of Christ, but refused him altogither, seemed to bee adopted of God as heires of life. And we oftentimes doe doute the same, so ofte as we beholde the ouer­thwart estate of the world. VVhat meaneth thys, that the greater parte foloweth a way contrary and disagreeing to the gospel? Therfore Christ speaking to all, exhorteth them to striue to enter in at the straighte gate. By which woordes Christ meant to drawe his disciples from foolish cu­riositie, which hindereth and staieth many, which looke aboute whether any other doe ioyne themselues to them, as though they woulde not bee saued but with a great companie. In that he commaundeth to striue or to endeuour, hee meaneth that they cannot come to euerlasting life wythout great and many difficulties. Therefore lette the faithfull rather bestowe their studie vppon this, then be too curious about the multitude that go astray.

24. For many will seeke to enter. Thys is therefore added, least we should be deceiued wyth a vaine hope, as if many companions shoulde helpe vs. For as flesh is gladde to [...]latter it selfe, many doe promisse themselues an easie way to life, which in the meane season doe please themselues wyth euery thing. So others do againe deceiue others, that they sleepe in a wic­ked securitie. Christ that he might shake off such delightes from his disci­ples, affirmeth that they shalbe excluded, which promisse now vnto themselues a certaine possession of life.

Mathewe.Marke.Luke 13.

25. VVhen the good man of the [...]ouse is risen vp. [Page 218] and hath shutte to the doore, and ye begin to stande without, and to knocke at the doore, saying: Lorde, Lorde, open to vs, and he shall answeare, and say vn­to you, I know you not whence you are.

26. Then shall yee beginne to say, wee haue eaten & drunke in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streetes.

27. But he shall say, I tell you, I knowe you not whence you are: depart from me all yee woorkers of iniquitie.

28. There shall be weepinge and gnashinge of teethe, when ye shall see Abraham & Isaac, and Ia­cob, and all the Prophets in the kingdom of God, and your selues thrust out at doores.

29. Then shall come many from the East, and from the VVest, and from the North, and from the South, and shall sit at the table in the kingdome of God.

30. And beholde there are laste, whiche shall be first, and there are first, which shalbe last.

25. VVhen the goodman of the house is risen. Although these things were spo­ken after at another time, as I sayd euen nowe, yet I had rather to haue respecte of the doctrine then of the time. For this is no small helpe to the vnderstanding, if those may be red together in one text, which do agree together in one sence. Because that Christ had affirmed that the gate is not opened to many which desired to enter into heauen. Nowe he sayeth that they shal profit nothing, although they occupy a place in the church: because that God shall at length rise in iudgement, that he maye exclude out of his kingdome, all them that vsurpe a place amongest them of his housholde. And he vseth the similitude of a housholder: who if he vnder­stoode that some of his wicked and wanton seruauntes should steale out by night, and leaue the house open to theeues: he himselfe ariseth & loc­keth the gate: and will not lette in those wandering and nighte straying men, which do out of season wander by the high wayes. Further, in these wordes he admonisheth vs to take occasion while it is offred. For so long as the Lord calleth vs vnto him, we as it were haue a gate sette open for vs into heauen: but the greater part doth not vouchsafe to stirre a foote. Therefore Christ pronounceth that the gate shall at the length bee shut, and so they shalbe in danger to be shut out which waite for companie.

26. Thou hast taught in our streetes. Christ expresly excepteth, that it shall pro [...]itte the Iewes nothing, that he came neare vnto them, and that he fa­miliarly offereth himselfe that they shoulde enioy him, except they aun­sweare at the day when they are called. But he doeth not prosecute that similitude. For, speaking of a housholder, hee doeth plainly without a fi­gure declare himselfe to bee the iudge: and this doeth not agree to any other then vnto himselfe. Thou hast taught in our streetes: that is, that the Iewes shoulde not through their negligence lose that saluation which they might now obtaine.

[...]. VVhen yee shall see Abraham. VVhen as the Iewes had nothing like [Page 219] vnto the holy fathers, yet they woulde vainly bragge of that stocke, ney­ther was there any thing so vsuall amongest them, as to abuse the title of the Churche: Christe testifieth that this degenerate people, which depar­ted from the faith and Godlinesse of the fathers, are estranged from the kingdome of God. And heerein is contained a secreate reproofe, because that they which desire to haue companions in seeking saluation, did not rather endeuour to adioyne themselues to Abraham, the Prophettes, and the holy fathers, then seeke about for their equals, which by their exam­ples were fallen farre out into innumerable corruptions. As if he shoulde haue sayde, if you doe nowe neglecte to enter in at the straighte gate, be­cause the multitude of them which goe astray doeth come behinde you, doe you not see howe you are seperated from the company of the faith­full, while you doe linke your selues to the company of the vnfaithfull? If that the sight of the worlde doeth nowe blinde your eyes, this slouth­fulnesse shalbe taken from you at the last day, but too late. For then you shall knowe that you and your like are straungers from the kingdom of God, and that you haue not any thing common with Abraham.

29. They shall come from the East. It is an amplification gathered heereof, that the Iewes being reiected (which thought themselues only to be the lawfull heires of God) the Gentiles shoulde bee sette in their place, that they may receiue the life promised to Abraham and his stocke. And hee opposeth the Gentiles against them, that he might pricke them forward as with a godly iealousie to faith. Euen as Paule Romanes 11. 14. wry­reth that it shoulde be an ornament of his ministerie, if hee mighte pro­uoke them of his owne countrey and flesh to suche an emulation. And so it was necessary that the Iewes shoulde be pricked when as they plea­sing themselues too muche, did proudly contemne God and all his giftes. But because that Mathewe hath this sentence againe a little after, I doe nowe touche the same the more sparingly.

30. Beholde there are last. Christ vseth these woordes oftentimes, as wee shall see other where, but in a diuers sence. In this place hee meaneth nothing else but to ouerthrowe the vaine confidence of the Iewes: which when all the worlde was forsaken, were chosen of God, being placed in this dignitie, imagined that God was bounde to them: For thys cause Christ telleth thē that their lot shalbe shortly altered, so that the Gentiles which were then as outcastes should haue the chiefe roumthe: And the Iewes being put from their honour, shoulde not holde the lowest corner in the Churche.

Mathewe 7.Marke.Luke 6.

15. Beware of false Prophetes, whiche come t [...]. you in sheepes clo­thing, but inwardly they are [...]aue­ning wolue [...].

16. Yee shall know them by their fruites, doe me [...]ne gather grapes of thornes? or figges of thistles?

17. So euery good tree bringeth foorth good fruit, and a corrupt tree bringeth foorth euill fruit. [Page 218] [...] [Page 219] [...]

[Page 220] 18. A good tree cannot bring foorthe euill fruite: neither can a corrupt tree bring foorth good fruite.

19. Euerye tree that bringeth not foorth good fruite, is hewen downe and cast into the fire.

20. Therefore by their fruites yee shall knowe them.

 [Page 219]

43. For it is not a good tree that bringeth foorth euil fruite: nei­ther an euill tree, that bringeth forth good fruite,

44. For euery tree is knowen by his owne fruite: for neither of thernes gather menne figges, nor of bushes ga­ther they grapes.

[Page 220] 45. A good man oute of the good treasure of his heart bringeth foorth good, and an euill manne out of the euill treasure of his heart, bringeth foorth euill, for of the abun­dance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

15. Beware. Christ teacheth in these woordes that his Church should be subiect to diuers deceits, and therefore it woulde be daungerous least many should fall from the faith, except they bent thēselues to take hede. VVe know how ready men are to vanitie, and so they doe not onely of nature desire to be deceiued, but al men seeme to be wise to deceiue them selues. And Sathan also a woonderfull craftes man in deceiuing, ceaseth not to lay snares wherein he may entangle the simple and vnwarie. But the [...]ewes did hope that they shoulde haue a pleasant estate vnder the kingdome of Christ, free from al trouble and vexation. Therfore he ad­monisheth his disciples, if they desire to stand fast, that they shoulde pre­pare themselues to auoide the subtile sleights of Sathan. For it is the wil of the Lord (as I haue already sayd) to exercise his church with continu­all warfare in this worlde. VVherefore, that we may continue his disci­ples vnto the ende, it sufficeth not onely that we be taught, and that we submit our selues to be gouerned by his worde: but because that we shall be daily assaulted by Sathan, it is necessary that our faith be armed to re­sist. And it is the chiefest thing, if we suffer our selues to be gouerned of the good and faithfull ministers of Christ: but because that on the con­trary side there doe arise false teachers, except we doe watche diligently, and be armed with constancie, we shall be easily led from the flocke. To this purpose also pertaineth that saying of Christ, Iohn 10. 3. The sheepe doe heare the voice of the shepheard: and they will not heare a stranger, but flee from him. VVhereby we also gather that there is no cause why the faithfull shuld be discouraged in their mindes, or troubled, while the wolues doe breake into the folde of Christ: while the false Prophets do endeuour with false doctrines to ouerthrowe the pure faith of Christ, but they ought rather to be stirred vp to sette diligent watch. For Christ doeth not in vaine bidde vs beware, wherefore if our owne slouthfulnes doth not circumuēt vs, we shal easily escape al his deceits. And certainly without this hope we should not be bolde nor couragious to take hede, VVhen we know now that the Lord wold not haue deceiued vs by the inuasions of Sathan, lette vs goe forwarde without feare, asking of him the spirite of discretion, by whom as he sealeth the beleefe of his truth in our hearts, so, that he would reueale the deceits and suttleties of Sathan, least we be deceiued. VVhen Christ sayeth they come in shepes clothing, which are inwardly rauening wolues: hee meaneth that they wante not faire pretences, if we doe not with wisedome [...]ift them throughly.

16. By their fruites. If this note of difference had not bene added, the authoritie of all teachers might without exception haue come in questi­on. For if a deadly daunger were to be feared in the teachers, and that there were no meanes to auoide it, then all of necessitie should be suspe­cted, [Page 221] and there should not be a better remeady, then for all men to shutte their eares. And we see prophane menne pretend this daunger, that they might without punishment reiecte all kinde of doctrine, the weake also and the rude doe stande in doubt. Christ therefore least that his Gospell and the syncere and faithfull ministers of the same should loose the reue­rence due, commandeth that they should iudge of false Prophets by their fruites. VVherefore the Papists are too foolish and corrupt, which that they might stirre vppe enuie against vs, doe precisely cast foorth this sen­tence of Christe: beware of false prophets: and with their outcries, they make the simple, not knowing any cause why, rashly to abhorre vs. But it is necessary that who soeuer desireth to obey the councell of Christe, should iudge wisely and discretely: for we doe not onely willingly con­fesse, that false prophets should be taken heede off, but we do also diligēt­ly and earnestly exhort the simple that they shoulde beware of them. Onely we admonish them, that according to the rule of Christ they doe first certainly knowe them, least the simple doe beare the punishment of their rashnesse in refusing the pure woorde of God: for there is great dif­ference betweene carefull heede taking, and preposterous loathing. But the Papists doe too wickedly abrogate the commaundement of Christe, which by casting foorth a false feare, do driue the miserable soules from searching. Therefore let this be first considered, that they which through feare doe refuse or flee the doctrine whiche they knowe not, doe therein wickedly, and make small accounte of this commaundement of Christe. Now remaineth to be seene, what fruits Christ noteth, and in my iudge­ment they are deceiued which restraine it to the life. For this triall were very vncertaine, when as the moste wicked deceiuers doe imitate a moste fained holinesse, and also pretende I kn