❧ THE EPI­stles and Gospelles with a brief Po­stil vpon the same from after Easter tyll Aduent, which is the Somer parte, set forth for the singuler cōmoditie of all good chri­sten men and namely of Prestes and Curates.

Roma. i. Euangelium est virtus dei in salutem omni credenti’‘The Gospell is the power of god to the saluacion of euery faythfull Christen man.’

☞ Cum priuilegio ad impri­mendum solum.

Rycharde Tauerner clerke of the Signet to oure so­ueraigne Lorde the kynge wyssheth to the chri­sten reader al grace from God aboue and increase of knowledge in his worde

FOrasmuche as (good christen reader) at thys pre­sentMat [...] IX. tyme according to our Lordes word, the haruest is greate and plenteouse, but the labourers are [...]ewe: I meane as thus, that the people be very desi­rous & gready to receyue gods word, yf they had plē ­tie of sobre modeste & sincere teachers, wheras nowe for skacetie of such in some places they be destitute & [...]cattered a brode euen as shepe lacking feythful she­perdes: I was instantly required, to thintent yt Lord of the haruest myght by thys meane thrust forth his labourers in to his harueste, to peruse and recognize this brefe postel which was deliuerid me of certayne godly persons for yt purpose & intente. which thinge to my lytel power and as the shortnes of tyme wolde serue, I haue done. And such sermons or homylyes as semed to want, I haue supplyed partely wt myne owne industrye, & partlye wt the helpe of other sober men whych be better lernyd then I my selfe. Now, yf ye & namely you pristes & curates shall vse thys syn­guler helpe and benifyte, whych is here offered vnto you, well and to the edificatiō of Christes churche, ye shal gyue occasis̄ that other fruteful workes may be hereafter at the cōmaūdemēt of the kynges maiestie or of his most honorable counsel set forth and publi­shed vnto you. But yf, on the contrary part, after theX [...] Luk. Mat [...] xxvi. exemple of ye vnprofitable seruaūt spokē of in ye Gos­pel, ye wol not fynde in your hartes charitably & pru dently to occupye this talent that here is frankely delyuered [Page] vnto you, but wyll eyther wrappe it vp in a fayre napkyn or els vnreuerently handle it to the de­struction and not to the edification of others: he ye then sure, that not only no mo such benefytes shalbe bestowed vpon you, but also all that whyche ye haue already, shalbe taken from you & that not vnworthy ly. Yea & fynally accordynge to our Lordes owne sē ­tence ye shalbe caste as seruantes vnprofytable int vtter darkenes, where shalbe wepynge & gnashyng [...] of teeth. But there is good hope that ye woll other­wyse demene your selues, namely nowe syth ye be so beningly inuited, inioyned, & cōtinually called vpo [...] to execute youre office in thys behalfe by oure hygh shepeherde vnder Christ & supreme heade oure most dradde soueraigne lorde the kinges maiestie whom, I doubte not, but ye woll gladly obeye, I meane to fede more often your flocke cōmytted to your charge not with rashe, erronyouse, heretical or fabulouse ser mons, but with sobre, discret, catholike and Godly in structions such as be here described vnto you or bet­ter yf better ye can deuyse. In whych thynge doyng; ye shall vndoubtedly not onely declare youre selues obedient to your supreme heade Gods minister, but also ye shall discharge youre conscience be­fore God of the due ministratiō where vnto ye be called. To whome be gyuen all prayse and glorye worlde wythout ende.

Amen.

The preface of Richarde Ta­uerner to the reader.

FOrasmoche as diuerse and sundry lyght parsons at thys day contrary to ye mynd and sentence of the aunciente doctours & also contrary the expectaciō of moderate wryters of this time, do wōderfully wrest all that they reade into the worste sense in maynte­naunce of theyr carnall lybertie and dissolute kynde of lyuinge, therfore I thynke it very expediente, yea and (as the case requyreth) more then necessarie, that [...]yth thys Postille is by me though not made, yet re­cognized and in diuerse places augmented: brefely to admonyshe the reader, howe it oughte to be redde and receyued. Ye shal therfore vnderstand, that this worke is set forth to your edificatiō, & not to your de structiō. It is I say set forth not yt by ye same ye shuld maynteyne any erronyouse doctrine cōtrary, eyther to the kynges maiesties lawes and proclamations, or to the determinatiō and sentence of the catholyke church. Ye shall not lerne here to despise gods lawes and mans, nor the decent and laudable ceremonyes and rytes of the churche. Here is taught no lawles lybertie to do what you luste, but obedience to god & to hys commaundementes, obedience to the kynges maiestie and to hys lawes, obedience to the holsome tradicions of the churche. The sacrament of the aul­tare, the sacramente of penaunce wyth the other sa­cramentes of the church be here not heretically con­temned but catholykly auaunced. Feyth is here not so nakedly extolled, but that good workes also be ne cessarily required to be in a christen man. Neyther [Page] yet be good workes here so magnifyed, that feythe whych ought to be the foundation of the christen re­lygion is befrauded of her due place. Only thys one thynge I require of you, that ye wol not rashly iuge of a pece of the matier without the hole circūstaunce, but that ye woll deliberately conferre one place with an other, & theu I doubt not but if any sentence shal happen to be eyther obscurely or incircūspectly spo­ken, yet by the conference of places ye shall perceyue the true meaninge and sense of the same. Certeynely as touchynge myne owne opinion in maters concer­nyng the chrysten relygion, I protest to al the world that as I submytte my selfe in all thynges to the cē ­sure and determination of the church, so I thynke it vnlawful for any man of his own priuate authoritie either to speake or wryte against the same. Yet I wol not denye, but mās infirmitie shal otherwhyles erre. Hierom, Ambrose, & Augustine were men of excellēt lernyg & also holines, yet some faultes escaped them in their writinges. Yea saynt Austine openly retrac­ted many thīges. This I dare say wt saynt Austine, Erre in my writing [...] I may, but an heretique I can be none. For beyng ones admonyshed of my errour, I wol not obstinately defende the same, but submyt my selfe to the iugmēt of the church. Which I wolde hartely wishe, that other wold do ye same. Then these diuerse sectes of Anabaptistes, of sacramentaries, & of other heretiques shulde not thus swarme abrode. Then shuld ye christen church be in moch more quiet then it is. Then shuld Christes religiō be more truly kepte, and Christe hym selfe better pleased wyth vs. Whych thyng I beseche god, bryng to pas.

Amen.

A TABLE OF THE EXHORTACIONS VPON the Epistles and Gospels conteyned in thys present parte.

Fyrste a sermon of the resurrection.
  • The Epistle on the fyrste sonday after Easter, called lowe sonday. The .i. epistle of Ioh. the. v. cha. fol. j.
  • The Gospell on the fyrste sondaye after Easter, the xx. chapiter of Iohn fol. iij
  • The epistle on the seconde sondaye after Easter, the fyrst epistle of Peter the: ij. chap [...]. fol. v [...].
  • The gospel on the seconde sondaye after Easter, the x. chapiter of Iohn fol. vii [...].
  • The epistle on the thyrde sondaye after Easter, the fyrst epistle of S. Peter the. ij. chapi fol. x.
  • The Gospell on the thyrde sonday after Easter, the xvi. chapter of Iohn fol. xv.
  • The epistle on the fourthe sonday after Easter, the fyrst chapiter of Iames fol. xviii.
  • The Gospell on the fourthe sonday after Easter, the xvi. chapiter of Iohan fol. xxi.
  • The epistle on the. v. sondaye after Easter, the fyrste chapter of saynt Iames fol. xxvi.
  • The Gospell on the. v. sonday after Easter, the. xvi. chapter of Iohn fol. xxviii.
A sermon in the Rogacion weke fol. xxxii.
  • The Epistle on the Ascension day, the fyrste chapter of the actes of the Apostles fol. xxxv.
  • The Gospell on Ascension daye, the. xvi. chapiter of saynt Marke fol. xxxviii.
  • [Page]The epistle on the sonday after the Ascension daye, the. i. epistle of Peter the. iiii. chap. fol. xlv.
  • The Gospell on the sonday after the Ascension daye the. xv. chapiter of Iohn fol. xlvii.
  • The Epistle on why [...]sonday, the seconde chapiter of the actes of the Apostles fol. L.
  • The Gospell on whytsondaye, The. xiiii. chapiter of Iohan fol. liii.
  • The epistle on the seconde daye of Pentecoste, the. x. chapiter of the actes fol. lix.
  • The gospell on the seconde daye of Pentecoste. The thyrde chapi. of Iohan fol. lxi.
  • The Epistle on the thyrde day of Pentecost, the. viii chapiter of the actes fol. lxiiii.
  • The gospell on the thyrde daye of Pentecoste, the. x. chapiter of Iohn fol. lxvi.
  • The Epistle on the fourthe daye of pentecost, the. i [...] chapiter of the actes fol. lxvii
  • The gospell on the fourthe daye of pentecost, the. v [...]. chapiter of saynt Iohn fol. lxix.
  • The epistle on Trinitie sonday, the fourthe chapiter of the Apocalyps fol. lxx.
  • The Gospell on Trinitie sonday, the thyrde chapter of Iohan fol. lxxiii.
  • The Epistle on Corpus Christi day, the fyrst epistle to the Corinthyans, the. xi. chapiter fol. lxvii.
  • The gospell on Corpus Christi day, the. vi. chapiter of Iohan fol. [...]odem
  • The epistle on the fyrst sonday after trinitie sonday the. i. epistle of Iohn the. i [...]i. chap fol. lxxvi.
  • The Gospell on the fyrste sonday after Trinitie, the xvi. chapiter of Luke fol. lxxviii.
  • [Page]The epistle on the seconde sondaye after trinitie, the i. epistle of Iohn the. iii. chapi fol. lxxxi.
  • The gospel on the seconde sonday after Trinitie, the viii. chapiter of Luke fol. lxxxiii.
  • The epistle on the thyrde sondaye after Trinitie, the i. epistle of Peter the. v. chapiter fol. lxxxvi.
  • The gospell on the thyrde sonday after Trinitie, the xv. chapiter of Luke fol. lxxxviii.
  • The epistle on the fourthe sonday after trinitie, the viii. chapiter to the Romaynes fol. x [...]i.
  • The gospell on the fourth sonday after trinitie, the vi. chapi of Luke fol. xcv.
  • The epistle on the fyfthe sonday after trinitie, the. i. epistle of saynt Peter the. iii. cha fol. xcviii.
  • The gospell on the fyfth sonday after trinitie, the. v. chapi of Luke fol. xcix.
  • The Epistle on syxte sondaye after Trinitie, the syxte chapiter to the Romaynes fol. ci.
  • The gospell on the syxte sonday after trinitie, the. v. chapiter of Marke fol. cvi.
  • The epistle on the seuenth sondaye after tri [...]itie, the vi. chapiter to the Romaynes fol. cix.
  • The gospell on the seuenth sonday after trinitie, the viii. chapiter of Marke fol. cx.
  • The epistle on ye eyght sonday after trinitie, the. viii. chapiter to the Romaynes fol. cxii.
  • The Gospell on the [...]yght sondaye after trinitie, the vii. chapiter of Marke fol. cxiiii.
  • The epistle on the. ix. so [...]daye after trinitie, the fyrste epistle to the Corin. the. x. chap fol. cxvi.
  • The gospell on the. ix. sonday after trinitie, the. xvi. chapiter of Luke fol. cxviii.
  • [Page]The epistle on the. x. sondaye after trinitie, the fyrste epistle to the Corin. the. xii. chapi fol. cxxviii.
  • The Gospell on the. x. sondaye after trinitie, the. xix. chapiter of Luke fol. cxxx.
  • The epistle on the. xi. sonday after trinitie, the fyrste epistle to the Corin the. xv. chap fol. cxxxii.
  • The gospell on the. xi. sondaye after trinitie, the. viii. chapiter of Luke fol. cxxxiiii.
  • The epistle on the. xii. sōday after trinitie, the second epistle to the Corin. the. iii. chapi fol. cxxxv.
  • The gospell on. xii. sonday after trinitie, the seuenth chapiter of Marke fol. cxxxix
  • The epistle on the. xiii. sondaye after trinitie, the. iii. chapiter to the Galathians fol. cxlii.
  • The gospell on the. xiii. sondaye after Trinitie, the. x. chapter of Luke fol. cxliii.
  • The epistle on the. xiiii. sondaye after trinitie, the. v. chapiter to the Galatians fol. cxlviii.
  • The gospel on the. xiiii. sonday after trinitie, the. xvii chapiter of Luke fol. cl.
  • The epistle on the. xv. sonday after trinitie, the. v. vi chapter to the Galathians fol. cli.
  • The gospell on the. xv. sonday after trinitie, the syxte chapter of Matheu fol. cliii.
  • The epistle on the. xvi. sondaye after trinitie, the. iii. chapter to the Ephesians fol. clvi.
  • The gospell on the. xvi. sonday after trinitie, the. vii. chapter of Luke fol. clviii.
  • The epistle on the. xvii. sonday after trinitie, the. iiii. chapiter to the Ephesians fol. clix.
  • The gospel on the. xvii. sonday after trinitie, the. xiiii chapiter of Luke fol. clx.
  • [Page]The epistle on the. xviij. fondaye after trinitie, the. [...]. epistle to the Corin. the. i. cha fol. clxii.
  • The gospell on the. xviii. Sonday after trinitie, the xxii. chapter of Matheu fol. clxiii.
  • The epistle on the. xix. sondaye after trinitie, the. [...]. chapter to the Ephelians fol. clxv.
  • The gospell on the. xix. sondaye after trinitie, the. ix, chapter of Matheu fol. clxvi.
  • The epistle on the. xx. sonday after trinitie, the fyfthe chapter to the Ephesians fol. cl [...]viii
  • The gospell on the. xx. sondaye after trinitie, the. xxii. chapter of Matheu fol. clxix.
  • The epistle on the. xxi. sondaye after trinitie, the. vi. chapter to the Ephesians fol. [...]lxxii
  • The gospell on the. xxi. sonday after trinitie, the. iiii. capter of Iohn fol. [...]lxxiii.
  • The epistle on the. xxii. sonday after trinitie, the fyr [...] chapter to the Philippyans fol. clxxiiii.
  • The gospel on the. xxii. sōday after trinitie, the. xviii. chapter of Matheu fol. [...]ixxvi.
  • The epistle on the. xxiii. sonday after trinitie, the. iii. chapter to the Philippians fol. clxxvii.
  • The gospell on the. xxiii. sōday after trinitie, the. xxii chapiter of Mathewe fol. clxxviii.
  • The epistle on the. xxiiii. sondaye after trinitie, the. i. chapter to the Colossians fol. clxxx.
  • The gospel on the. xxiiii. sonday after trinitie, the. [...]x. chapter of Matheu fol. clxxxi.
  • The epistle on ye. xxv. sonday a [...]ter trinitie, the. xxxiii. chapter of Ieremias fol. clxxxiii.
  • The gospell on the. xxv. sonday after trinitie, the. vi chapter of Iohn fol. clxxxv

POSTILLES OR HOMILIES VPON THE EPISTLES AND GOSPELS FROM ESTER vntyll TRINITIE sondaye, wyth certayne other frutefull and godly SERMONS drawen forth by dyuerse lerned men for the syn­gular edificacion and commoditie of al good CHRISTEN parsons and in especi­all of prestes and CVRATES.

Cum priuilegio ad impri­mendum solum.

ANNO. M. D. XL.

THE COPY OF THE KYNGES graciouse priuilege.

HENRY the eight by the grace of god kynge of Englande and of Fraūce, defensour of the fayth, Lorde of Ireland, and in earth supreme head immediatly vnder Christe of the church of Englād To all prynters of bokes wythin thys oure Realme and to all other our officers, ministers and subiec­tes, these our letters hearyng or seynge: Gretynge. We let you wit, that of our grace especial we haue gyuen priuilege vnto our welbeloued subiecte Ri­charde Bankes, that no maner person wythin thys our Realme, shal prynte any maner of bokes, what so euer our sayd subiecte shall prynte fyrste wyth­in the space of seuen yeares next ensuyng the prin­tynge of euery suche boke so by hym prynted, vp­on payne of forfetynge the same. Wherefore we woll and cōmaunde you, that ye nor none of you do presume to prynte any of the sayde bokes du­rynge the tyme aforesayd, as ye tender oure plea­sure, and woll auoyde the contrarye.

A SERMON OF THE RESVRRECTION.

CHRISTVS traditꝰ fuit ꝓpter peccata nostra & resurrexit propter iustificationem nostri.

Roma. iiij.

☞ Christ was delyuered for our synnes, and rose agayne for the iustification of vs.

Rom. iiij.

YF euer the greatnes or excellency of any matter hath styred vp youre myndes to gyue diligent eare at any tyme (good chri sten people welbeloued in our Lorde and Sauiour Christe) I doubt not, but that I shall haue you now moost diligent and redy hea­rers of that matter whyche I haue at thys tyme to open vnto you. For I am come to declare that great and moost comfortable article of our fayth, the resurrection of our Lorde Iesus. So great is thys arti­cle, and of so great weyght and importaunce, that it was thought worthy to kepe our said Sauiour styl on earth after he was rysen from death to lyfe to the confirmation therof in the hartes of hys disciples.

So that as Luke testifyeth in the fyrste chapter of the actes, he was conuersant wyth hys disciples by the space of fourty dayes continually together to enstructe them the truth therof, before he wold ascende vp to hys father in heauen to receyue the glorye of hys conquest and victory. So comfortable is thys article to our cōsciences that it is the locke and keye [Page] of all our fayth. Yf it were not true (saye [...]h S. paule) that Christe arose agayne: oure preachynge were in vayne, your fayth were but voyde, ye were yet in thei. cor. xv daunger of your synnes. Yf Christe be not rysen a­gayne, sayeth the Apostle, than are they vtterly pery shed that be entred theey slepe in Christ, than are we moost myserable of al mē yf we haue our hope fixed in Christ, yf he were vnder the power of death not re stored to blesse agayne. But now is he rysen agayne frō death, sayth he, to be ye fyrst frutes of them that be aslepe, to rayse them to euerlastynge lyfe agayne. Yea & yf it were not true, that Christe is rysē again: than were it neyther true, that he is ascended vp to heauen, nor yt he sent downe the holy goost, nor that he sytteth on the ryght hande of the father, hauynge the rule of heauen and earth, reygnynge as the pro­phetepsa. lxxi sayeth from see to see, nor that he shulde after thys worlde be a iudge of lyuynge & deade: to gyue rewarde to the good, and iudgement to the euell. That these lynkes therfore of oure fayth shulde all hange together in stedfaste confirmation: it pleased our sauiour not strayght way to wythdraw hymself from the corporall syght of hys disciples, but chose out fourty daies, wherin he wold declare vnto them by manyfolde and moost stronge argumentes and tokens that he had conquered death and was truly rysen agayne to lyfe. He began (sayeth Luke) at MoIu. xxiiij ses and all the prophetes, and dyd expoune them the prophecies that were wrytten in al the scriptures of hym, to confirme the truth of his resurrection longe before spoken of, whych he verefyed in dede, as it is declared manyfestly by hys ofte appearaunce to son [Page] dry persons, at sondry tymes. Fyrst he sente hys an­gelsMath. xxviij. to yt sepulchre, whych dyd shewe to certayne wo men, that the stone of the graue was remoued from the dore therof: and shewed them the emptygraue sa uynge that the buriall lynnen remayned therin, and of these sygnes were these women fully instructed yt he was rysen agayne and so dyd they testifye it opē ­lye.Ioh. xx. After thys Iesus hymselfe appeared to Mary Magdalene, and after that to other certayne wo­men, strayght afterwarde he appeared to Peter:i. cor. xv lu. xxiiij than to the two disciples whych were goynge to E­maus. He appered to the disciples also as they were gathered together for feare of the Iues the doresIoh. xxi shut. At an other tyme he was sene at the see of Ty­berias of Peter and Thomas and other disciplesi. cor. xv whan they were fyshynge. He was sene of more thā fyue hundred brethren in the mount of galile, where Iesus appoynted them by hys angel whan he said: beholde he shal go before you into Galile, there shal ye se hym, as he hath said vnto you. After thys he apActu. i. peared vnto Iames, and last of all he was vysiblye sene of al the Apostles, at such tyme, as he was takē vp into heauen. Thus at sondrye tymes he shewed hymselfe after he was rysen agayne, to cōfirme this artycle, and in these reuelations somtyme he shewed them hys handes, hys feete, and hys syde, and bad them touch hym, that they shulde not take hym for a goost or a spirite. Somtyme he also dyd eate wyth them, but euer he was talkynge wyth them of the kyngdome of God, to confirme the truth of hys re­surrection. For then he opened theyr vnderstandyng to perceyue the scriptures, & sayd vnto them: Thus [Page] it is wrytten, and thus it behoued Christ to suffer, & to ryse from death the thyrde daye, and to haue preaIu. xxiiij ched openly in hys name penaunce and remission of synnes to all the nations of the worlde. Ye see, good christen people, howe necessarie thys artycle of oure fayth is: seynge it was proued of Christ hymselfe by such euident reasons and tokens by so longe tyme & space. Now therfore as our sauiour was diligēt for oure cōforte and instruction to testifie it, so let vs be as ready in oure beleue to receyue it to our comforte and instruction. As he dyed not for himselfe, nomore dyd he ryse agayne for hymselfe. He was dead, sayth saint Paule, [...]or out synnes and rose agayne for our iustification. O moost comfortable worde euermore to be borne in remembraunce. He dyed, sayeth he, to put away synne, he rose agayne to endewe vs wyth ryghtuousnes. Hys death toke awaye synne & ma­lediction, hys death was the raunsome of them both Hys death destroyed death and ouercame the de­uyll whych had the power of death in his subiectiō. Hys death destroyed hell wyth all the damnation therof. Thus is death swalowed vp by Christes vic torye: thus is hel spoyled for euer. Yf any mā doubti. cor. xv of thys victorye: let Christes glorious resurrection declare hym the thynge. Yf death coulde not kepe Christ vnder his dominion but that he arose again: it is manyfest that hys power was ouercome. Yf death be cōquered: than must it folowe, yt sinne, wher fore death was appoynted as the wages: must be al so destroyed. Yf death and synne be vanished away, then is the deuels tyrannye resysted whyche had the power of death and was the author of sinne and the [Page] rulet of hell. Yf Christe had the victory of them all by the power of hys death, and openly proued it by hys valiaūt resurrection, as it was not possible for hys great myght to be subdued of them, & than thys true that Christe dyed for oure synnes and rose a­gayne for our iustification: why may not we that be hys members by true fayth reioyce and boldly saye wyth the prophete Osee & the Apostle Paule, wherei. cor, xv is thy darte O death? where is thy victory O hell? Thankes be vnto God, saye they, whyche hath gy­uen vs the victory by our Lord Christ Iesus. Thys myghtye conquest of hys resurrection was not only sygnifyed afore by dyuerse fygures of the olde testaIu. xiiij. ment, as by Sampson, whan he slewe the Lyon, out of whose mouth, came out swetnes and hony, and as Dauid bare his fygure, whan he delyuered ye lambei. Reg. xvij. Ion. ij. out of the Lyons mouth, and whan he ouercame, & slewe the great gyant Goliath, and as whan Ionas was swalowed vp of the whales mouth and cast vp agayne on londe to lyue: but was also moost clerely prophecied by the prophetes of the olde testament, & in the newe also confirmed by the Apostles. He hath spoyled (sayeth saynt Paule) rule and power and allCol. ij. the dominion of our spirituall enemyes. He hath made a shewe of them openlye and hath triumphed ouer them in hys owne person. Thys is the myghty power of the Lorde, whome we beleue on. By hys death hath he wrought thys victorye for vs, and by hys resurrection hathe he purchased euerlastynge lyfe & ryghtuousnes for vs. It had not ben ynough to be delyuered by hys death from synne: excepte by hys resurrection, we had ben endowed wyth ryghtu [Page] ousnes. And it shulde not auayle vs to be delyueted from death, except he had rysen agayne, to open for vs the gates of heuen to enter into lyfe euerlastinge And therfore saynte Peter thanketh God the fatheri. Pet. i. of our Lorde Iesus Christ for hys abundaunt mer­cy, bycause he hath begottē vs ( [...]ayeth he) vnto a ly­uely hope by the resurrection of Iesus Christe from death, to enioye an inheritaunce immortal that shal neuer perysh, whych is reserued in heauen for them that be kepte by the power of God thorowe fayth.

Thus hath hys resurrection wrought for vs lyfe & ryghtuousnes. He passed thorowe death and hell to put vs in good hope, that by hys strength we shall do the same. He payde the raunsome of synne, that it shulde not be layde to our charge. He destroyed the deuell and all hys tyranny and openlye triumphed ouer hym, and toke awaye from hym all hys capti­ues, & hath raysed & set them wyth hymselfe amon­ges the heauenly cytesins aboue. He dyed to destroyEphe. ij the rule of the deuell in vs and rose agayne to sende downe his holy spirite to rule in our hart [...], to endow vs wyth perfyte ryghtuousnes. Thus is it true that Dauid songe. Veritas de terra orta est, & iustitia dePsalm. lxxxiiij.coelo ꝑspexit. The truth of goddes promyse is in erth to man declared, or from the earth is the euerla stynge veritie goddes sonne rysen to lyfe: & the trueEph. iiij Capti­uā duxit captiui­tatem, ryghtuousnes of the holy goost lokynge out of hea­uen & is in moost lyberall larges dealt vpon all the worlde. Thus is glorye and prayse reboundinge vp warde to god aboue for hys mercy and truth: & thus is peace come downe frō heuē to mē of good & faith­full hartes▪ Thus is mercye and veritie as DauidLuce. ii. [Page] wryteth, met together, thus is peace and ryghtuous­nes,Psalm. lxxxiiij. Miseri­cordia et veri­tas obui auerunt sibi. &c. embrasynge and kyssynge themselfe together. Yf thou doutest of so great felicitie that is wrought for the O man, cal to thy mynde, that therfore haste thou receyued into thyne owne possession, the euerla stynge veritie our Sauiour Iesus Christe in forme of breade to confirme to thy conscience the truthe of all thys matter. Thou hast receyued hym: yf in true fayth and repentaunce of harte thou haste receyued hym, yf in purpose of amendement thou haste recey­ued hym for an euerlastinge gage and pledge of thy saluation. Thou hast receyued hys body: which was o [...]es broken and hys bloud shed for the remission of thy synne, thou hast receyued hys body, to haue with in the the father, the sonne, & the holy goost to dwell wyth the, to endowe the wyth grace, to strength the agaynst thy enemyes, and to comforte the with theyr presence. Thou hast receyued hys bodye to endowe the wyth euerlastyng ryghtuousnes, to assure the of euerlastynge blysse and lyfe of thy soule. For wyth Christe by true fayth arte thou quyckened agayneEph. iiij (sayeth saynt Paule) from death of synne to lyfe of grace, and in hope translated frō corporall and euer lastynge death, to the euerlastynge lyfe of glorye in heauen: where nowe thy conuersation shulde be and thy harte and desyre set. Doubte not of the truth of thys matter, how great & excellent so euer these thyn ges be. It becommeth god to do no lytle dedes: how impossible so euer they seme to the: praye to god that thou mayest haue fayth to perceyue thys greate po­wer of Christes resurrection, yt by fayth thou mayest certaynly beleue nothing to be impossible with god. [Page] Only bringe thou fayth to Christes holy worde andLu. xviij sacrament, let thy repentan̄ce shewe thy faith, let thy purpose of amendement and obedience of thy harte to gods lawe herafter, declare thy true beleue. En­deuoure thy selfe to saye wyth saynte Paule from henseforth: our conuersation is in heuen, frō whencePhil. iij. we loke for a sauioure euen the Lorde Iesus Christ whych shall chan̄ge our vyle bodyes that they may be fashioned lyke to hys glorious bodye, whyche he shal do by the same power, wherby he rose frō death and wherby he shal be able to subdue al thynges vn to hymselfe. Thus good christen people, for as muche as ye haue herde these so great and excellent benefy tes of Christes myghtye and glorious resurrection howe that he hath raunsomed synne, ouercome the deuyll, death, and hell, and hath victoriously obtey­ned the better hande of them all, to make vs fre and saufe from them: and knowynge, that we be by thys benefyte of hys resurrection rysen wyth hym by our fayth to lyfe euerlastynge, beynge in full suretie of [...]. [...]l. [...] oure hope, that we shall haue oure bodyes lykewyse reysed agayn from death, to haue them glorifyed in immortalitie and ioyned to hys gloryouse body, ha­uynge in the meane whyle hys holye spirite wythin out hartes as a fea [...]e and pledge of our euerlasting inheritaunce, by whose assistence we be replenyshed wyth all ryghteousnes: by whose power, we shall be able to subdue al our euel affections yt ryse againste the pleasure of God. These thynges I saye well cō ­sydered, let vs nowe in the reste of oure lyfe declare our fayth yt we haue to thys moost furtefull article, by conformyng vs therunto, in rysynge dayly from [Page] synne to ryghtousnes and holynes of lyfe. For what shall it auayle vs (sayeth S. Peter) to be escaped andij. pet. ij delyuered from ye fylthynes of the worlde thorough the knolege of the Lorde & Sauiour Iesus Christe yf we be en [...]augled agayne therwyth & be ouercome agayne, it had bene better (sayeth he) neuer to haue knowen the waye of ryghteousnes, than after it is knowen and receyued, to torne backewarde agayne from the holy cōmaundemente of God gyuen vnto vs. For so shall the prouerbe haue place in vs, wher it is sayd: ye dogge is retorned to hys vomyte agayn and the sowe that was washed, to her wallowynge in the myre agayne. What a shame were it for vs, beynge thus so clerely and frelye washed from oure synne, to retorne to the fylthynes therof agayne?

What a foly were it, thus endowed wyth ryghtous­nes, to lo [...]e it agayne? What madnes were it to lose the enherytaunce that we be nowe set in, for the vyle and transytory pleasure of synne? And what an vn­kyndnes shulde it be, where our Sauiour Christ of hys mercy is come to vs to dwell wythin vs as our geste, to dryue hym from vs, and to expell hym vio­lentlye out of our soules, & in stede of hym (in whom is all grace and vertue) to receyue the vngracyouse spirite of the deuyl, the autor of al naughtynes and myschefe, How can we fynde in our hartes to shewe such extreme vnkyndnes to Christ: which hath now so gently called vs to mercy, & offered hymselfe vn­to vs, and he now entered wythin vs. Yea howe dare we be so bolde to renounce the presence of ye fa­ther, the sonne, and the holy goost nowe receyued in thys holy sacrament (for where one is there is God [Page] al hole in maiestie together we al his power wyldō & goodnes) & feare not I saye the daūger & peryl of so traytorous a defiance? Good christē brethrē & systers aduyse your selfe, cōsyder ye dignitie yt ye be now set in. Let not foly lose the thynge yt grace hath so preci ously offered and purchased. Let not wylfulnes and blyndnes put out so great lyght that is now shewed vnto you. Only take good hartes vnto you and putEphe. vi vpon you all the armoure of God, that ye may stāde agaynst your enemyes whych wolde agayne subdue you and brynge you into theyr thraldome. Remēber ye be bought from your bayne conuersation & your fredome purchased neyther wyth golde nor syluer, but wyth the price of ye precious bloud of that moosti. pet. i. innocent lambe Iesus Christ, whych was ordeyned to thys same purpose before the worlde was made, but was so declared in the later tyme of grace, for your sakes, whych by hym haue your fayth in God, who hath raysed hym from death & hath gyuen hym glorye that you shulde haue your fayth and hope to ward god. Therfore as ye haue hytherto folowed ye vayne lustes of your myndes and so displeased god to the daūger of your soules, now lyke obediēt chyl­dren, thus purifyed by faythe, gyue youre selues to walke that waye whych god moueth you to, that ye maye receyue the ende of your faith the saluation ofi. pet. i. your soules. And as ye haue gyuen your bodyes to vnryghtuousnes, to synne after synne, nowe gyue youre selfe to ryghtuousnes: to be sanctifyed therinRom. vi Yf ye delyte in thys artycle of youre faythe that Christ is rysen agayne from death to lyfe: So fo­low you the exemple of hys resurrection, as S. Paul [Page] exhorteth vs sayng: As we be buryed with Christ byRom. vi our baptisme into death, so let vs dayly dye to sinne mortifynge and kyllynge the euell desyres and mo­tions therof. And as Christ was raised vp frō death by the glory of the father: so let vs ryse to a new lyfe & walke cōtinually therin, that we may lykewyse as natural chyldren lyue a cōuersacion to moue men to glorifie our father whych is in heuen. Yf we then beMath. v rysen wt Christe by oure fayth to the hope of euerla­stynge lyfe: so let vs ryse also wyth Christ after hys exemple to a new lyfe, & leue our olde. We shal then be truly rysen, yf we seke for thynges that be heuen­ly,Col. iij yf we haue our affection vpō thynges yt be aboue and not on thynges that be on erth. Yf ye desyre to know, what these erthly thynges be, whych ye shuld put of, and what be the heuenly thynges aboue, that ye shulde seke and ensue, S. Paule in ye epistle to the Collossians declareth, whan he exhorteth vs thus: Mortifie your erthly mēbers and olde affections of synne, as fornication, vnclennes, vnnaturall lust, e­uell concupiscence and couetousnes whyche is wor­shippynge of ydols for whych thynges the wrath of God is wont to fal on the chyldren of vnbeleue. In whyche thynges ones ye walked, whan ye lyued in them. but nowe put ye also awaye from you, wrathe tearsenes, maliciousnes, cursed speakynge, fylthye speakynge out of your mouthes. Lye not one to an other that the olde man wyth hys workes be put of and the newe put on. These be the earthly thynges whych saynt Paule moueth you to caste from you & to plucke your hartes from. For in folowynge these, ye declare your selues earthly and worldly. These [Page] be the frutes of the earthly Adam. These shulde ye dayly kyll by good diligence in wythstandynge the desyres of them, that ye myghte ryse to ryghtuous­nes. Let your affection from henceforth be set on he­uenly thynges. Sue and serch for mercy, kyndnes, mekenes, paciens; forbearynge one another, and for gyuynge one another. Yf any man haue quarell to another, euen as Christ forgaue you, euen so do ye. Yf these and such other heuenly vertues ye ensue in the residue of your lyfe, ye shall shewe playnly, that ye be rysen wyth Christ, and that ye be the heauenly chyldren of youre father in heauen, frō whom as frō Iaco. i. the gyuer commeth these graces & gyftes. Ye shall proue by thys maner that your cōuersacion is in he­uenphil. iii where your hope is, and not on earth, folowing the beastly appetites of the flesh. Ye must consyder that ye be therfore clensed & renewed that ye shulde from henceforth serue God in holynes & ryghtuousLuc. i. nes all the dayes of your lyues: that ye may targue wyth hym in euerlastynge lyfe. Yf ye refuse so great grace wherto ye be called, what other thynge do ye, then heape your damnation more and more, and so prouoke God to caste hys displeasure vnto you and to reuenge thys mockage of hys holy sacramentes in so great abusyng of them. Applye your selfe good frēdes to lyue in Christ, that Christ may styl lyue in you: whose fauour and assistēce yf ye haue, thā haueIoh. v ye euerlastynge lyfe alredy wythin you, than can no thynge hurte you. What soeuer is hytherto done and cōmytted, Christe ye se hath offered you pardon and clerly receyued you to hys fauoure agayne: in full suertye wherof, ye haue hym nowe uihabytynge [Page] and dwellynge wythin you. Only shewe you youre selfe thankeful in your lyues, cōpounde wyth youreCol. iii. selfe to refuse and auoyde al such thynges in youre conuersations that shuld offende hys eyes of mercy Endeuoure your selfe that waye to ryse vp agayne, whych waye ye fell into the well & pyt of synne. Yf by your tonge ye haue offended, now therby ryse a­gayne and glorifye God therwyth. Accustome it to laude and prayse the name of God, as ye haue ther­wyth dishonoured it, and as ye haue hurte the name of your neghboure or otherwyse hyndered him, now entende to restore hym agayne, for wythout restituci on God accepteth not your shryft nor yet your repē ­taunce. It is not ynough to forsake euell except yePsasm. xxxvi. set your corage to do good. By what occasiō so euer ye haue offended, tourne now the occasion to the ho­nourynge of God & profytynge of your neyghbour. Truth it is that synne is stronge and affections vn­ruly, harde to subdue & resyst our nature so corrupte & leuened wt the soure bitternes of the poyson which we receyued by the inheritan̄ce of our olde father A­dam, but yet take good corage sayeth our SauiourMar. vi Christ: for I haue ouercommed the world & al other enemyes for you. Synne shall not haue power ouerRom. vi you, for ye be now vnder grace sayeth saynt Paule. Though your power be weake, yet Christ is rysen a gayne to strength you in your batel, hys holy spirite shall helpe your infirmities. In trust of hys confi­dence take you in hande to purge thys olde leuen ofRo. viij synne that corrupteth & soureth the swetnes of your lyfe before God, that ye maye be as newe and freshe dowe voyde of all soure leuen of wyckednes: so shalli. cor. v [Page] ye shew your self to be swete bred to god to haue his delyte in you. I say kyl & offer you vp the worldly & erthly affectiōs of your bodyes, for Christ our Ester lambe is offred vp for vs, to flee the power of synne, to delyuer vs from the daunger therof and to gyue vs exemple to dye to synne in our lyfe. As the Iues dyd eate theyr Ester lābe & kept theyr fest in remem­braūce of theyr deliueraūce out of Egypt: Euē so let vs kepe our Ester feast in yt thankfull remēbraunce of Christes benefytes whych he hath purchased for vs by hys resurrectiō & passyng to hys father: wher by we be deliuered from ye captiuitie & thraldome of al our enemyes. Let vs in like maner passe ouer the affections of our olde conuersacion to be delyuered from ye bondage therof to tyse wt Christ. The IuesExo. xij kept theyr feast in absteynynge from leuened breade by the space of. vij. dayes: let vs christen folke kepe our holy day in a spiritual maner yt is in absteining not from material leuened bread, but from the olde leuen of synne the leuen of maliciousnes & wycked­nes. Let vs cast frō vs yt leuen of corrupt doctrine yt wyl iufect our soules. Let vs kepe oure feast yt hole terme of our lyfe wt eatynge the bred of purenes of godly lyfe, & truth of Christes doctrine. Thus shall we declare yt Christes gyftes & graces haue theyr ef fect in vs. & that we haue yt right beleue & knowlege of his holy resurrection, whervnto yf we applye our fayth to yt vertue therof, & in our lyfe cōforme vs to the exemple & signification ment therby, we shalbe suer to ryse hereafter to euerlastynge glorye by the goodnes and mercy of our Lorde Iesus Christe, to whome wyth the father and the holy goost. &c.

The Epistle on the fyrste sondaye after Ester daye, called lowe sondaye. The fyrst Epistle of Iohn, and the. v. Chapter.

Thargument of thys Epistle.

☞Of the excellency of fayth and how it ouercō ­meth the worlde.

MOst dere beloued brethren, al that is borne of God ouercōmeth the worlde. And this is the victory that ouercōmeth the world, euē our faith. Who is it that ouercommeth the worlde: but hei. cor. x. whyche beleueth, that Iesus is the sonne of God? Thys Iesus Christe is he that came by water and bloud, not by water onely: but by water & bloud. And it is the spirite that beareth wytnesse, because the spirite is trueth. (for there are thre whiche beare recorde in heauen, the father, the worde, and holy goste. And these thre are one.) And there are thre whyche beare record (in erth) the spirite water and bloud: and these thre are one. Yf we receaue the wytnes of men, the wytnes of God is greater. For thys is the wytnes of God (that is greater) whyche he testifyed of hys sonne. He that beleueth on the sonne of god hath the wytnes in hymselfe.

An exhortation vpon thys Epistel.

OUre Epistle taken out of the first epistle catho­lyke of saint Iohn good christen brethern doth shewe vnto vs that we haue a generation from god which is that which procedeth of faith, & this ouer­commyth [Page] the worlde that is to saie the concupiscen­ces of syn̄es, which be pryde, couetous, and lecherye. Assuredly my frendes ther is I trust noman amon­ges vs but knoweth that of nature we be al born in synnes, in vnrightuousnes, in vtter ignorance of al ghostly and spiritual thinges. And therfore Sainct Austine wryteth on this wise. Beholde my brethernThe wordes of S. Austine. beholde the generacion of mankynde from the firste death of that first man. For synne from the first man hath entred into this world and by syn̄e hath death entred and so hath passed thorough all men as wit­nesseth thapostle. But marke (sayth saynte Austine) this worde passed through. Synne is rūne throughPertransijt. vpon all the ofsprynge of Adam, and for this cause is the new borne chylde gylty of eternal damnation, he hath not yet done syn, but he hath caught synne. For surely that fyrst synne of oure foreparentes dyd not styll remayne in the headsprynge, but it passed through into the ofsprynge not into hym and hym but into al men. The fyrst synner the fyrst trāsgres­sour begat synners subiecte to death. Than came the Sauiour of a virgine to heale & saue them, he came to the, but not the waye that thou cāmest. For he proceded not of the concupiscēce of the male and female, he came not of that bonde of concupiscence. Bycause therfore he came to the not by yt waye that thou cammest: therfore he delyuered the. But where dyd he fynde the? He founde the solde vnder synne, lyenge in the death of the fyrste man drawynge vp the synne of the fyrst mā beynge gylty and hauynge condemnation yet thou couldest discerne good and euell asunder. Hetherto I haue rehersed vnto you [Page ij] the wordes of saynt Austyne. Wherfore to retourne to my purpose: forasmuch as we be borne in synne whych bryngeth wyth it ignoraunce, blyndnes, and infidelitie, therfore we can not chalenge thys to our owne power and vertue that we beleue Iesus to be Christ, but for the beleuynge herof we haue nede to be borne agayne and to be renewed through the ho­ly goost and by ye worde of God to thintent we may purely vnderstande the thynges that be of God andIoh. iij. that we maye by faythe take holde of the promyses of Christ and so finally wyth sure confidence deter­mine wyth ourselues that Iesus is Christe, that is to saye, the annoynted kynge and Sauioure of the worlde. For no doubte before we be thus borne a­gayne,Before we be newe borne a gayn by spirite we beal Nicode mes. we be all but Nicodemes, that is to saye, we maye well beleue that Christ came as a greate may­ster from God and that nomā coulde do the sygnes and myracles that he dyd. But thys is but an histo­rial fayth, and they that haue it do as yet walke out of the kyngdom of heuen wyth Nicodemus, to whō Christ answereth. Uerely, verely, I saye vnto the, onles a mā be borne agayne from about he can not se the kyngdome of God, whych selfe thynge the ho­lyIoh. iij. apostle saynte Ihon doth in thys place declare ini. Ioh. v. other termes saynge: he can not beleue Iesus to be Christe. For he that beleueth not thys, can not se the kyngdome of god. To beleue yt Iesus is Christe, is surely to determine and conclude wyth thy self thatWhat it is to be leue that Iesus is Christ. Iesus is fyrste to the a Sauiour: and secōdly, that he is a kynge anoynted wt the oyle of gladnes, per­petually to rule, to preserue, & to defend the so saued by hym, And here saynt Ihons entent and purpose [Page] is to declare vnto vs a difference betwene the histo­riall faythe concernynge Christe (whyche the deuyllA diffe­rence of faythes. also hath, and so all hypocrites) and betwene yt true and sauynge fayth whych beleueth that Christ doth both saue vs and also taketh a continuall charge & regard of our saluation. To thys fayth we be bor [...]e agayne when through the holy goost we be casted by the worde to the knowlege of Gods wyll, to thu [...] tent we maye vnderstande that Iesus is Christe, I meane, that he is such one in whome is reposed all grace, helth, defense, and sauegarde agaynste synne, death, Satan, the worlde and so forth. This he thatBorne of God. beleueth, is sayd to be borne of god, as though saint Ihon shulde say: To beleue yt Iesus is Christ is not a worke of humane power & strength, but it is suche a worke whervnto is requyred the power of God & an heauenly renewyng or regeneration wherby the holy goost transformeth vs into newe creatures.

And what is this faith whiche is so myghty? It is (as I haue sayde) the fame that maketh vs beleue that Iesus is the sonne of god that was baptysed (which thinge is to be comen by water) that suffered death and passion for the redemption of men (which is to be comen by bloude) That Iesus Christ is ve­rite (for the holy ghost doth witnesse it) that is to say both trew god and trewe man. And that he is trewe god, thre thinges doth witnesse it in heuē, the father the sonne (which is him selfe) and the holy ghost, and these thre be one selfe witnesse. And that he is trewe man, thre thinges doth witnesse it in erth, the spirite which he hath bequethed into the handes of his fa­ther at his death, the water with which he was bap­tised, [Page iij] and the bloude which he hath shed with water when his syde was percyd after that he was deade. And these thre thinges be one selfe witnesse. And if we receyue the witnesse of menne, why shuld we not take the witnesse of god (which is infinitely greater than mās) that he is the sonne of god? This witnesseMat. iij. was made by god the father in his baptisme. And also he hath testified yt in the mountaine, he hath testified it by the lawe & by the prophetes. Who so e­uer then beleueth that he is the sone of god, he hath the witnesse of god in him, he receyueth the recorde and testimonye of god, he is borne of god and in the spirite of his faith, he is farre stronger ouer ye world and victorious of the worlde. Folowe we then good brethren and systers this generation of God, of fayth and of baptisme and lo we haue ouer­come all thynges, that is to wytte the worlde the fleshe and the concupis­cences. Nowe yf we be rydde and not combred wyth these thynges su­rely the yuel spirite can haue no­thynge in vs but than the spirite of god only may all and doth all in vs. Unto god then be all thankes honour and glory according­ly.

Amen.

The Gospell on the fyrst sondaye after Ester daye, called lowe sondaye, the. xx. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument of thys Gospell.

☞ How Christ appeareth to hys disciples which were assembled togyther, and of theyr cōmission that was gyuen them to preache.

THe same daye at nyght, whyche was the fyrst daye of the Sabbothes, whan the dores were shut (where the disciples were assembled together for feare of the Iewes) came Iesus, and stode in the mydde, and sayeth vnto them: Peace be vnto you. And whan he had so sayd, he shewed vnto them hys handes, and hys syde. Then were the disciplesEsa. lxi. Mat. xi Ioh. xvii glad whā they sawe the Lorde. Than sayd Iesus to them agayn: Peace be vnto you. As my father sent me, euen so sende I you also. And wha he had sayd those wordes, he brethed on them and sayeth vnto them: Receyue the holy goost. Whosoeuers syn­nes ye remytte, they are remytted vnto them. And whosoeuers synnes ye retayne, they are retayned. But Thomas one of the twelue (whych is called Di dimus) was not wyth them, whan Iesus came. The other disciples therfore sayde vnto hym: we haue sene the Lorde. But he sayde vnto them: excepte I se in hys handes the prynte of the nayles, and put my fnnger into the prynt of the nayles, and thurst my hande into hys syde, I wil not beleue. And after eyghte [Page iiij] dayes, agayne hys disciples were wyth in, and Thomas wyth them. Then came Iesus when the dores were shut, and stode in the myddes, and sayde: peace be vnto youe. After that sayde he to Thomas, brynge thy fynger hyther, and se my han des, and reache hyther thy hande, and thurste into my syde, and be not faythlesse, but beleuyng. Tho mas answered and sayd vnto hym, my Lorde and my Cod: Iesus sayth vnto hym: Thomas, because thou haste sene me, thou haste beleued: blessed are they that haue not sene, and yet haue beleued. AndIoh. xxi many other sygnes truly dyd Iesus in the presence of hys disciples, whyche are not wrytten in thys boke. These are written, that ye might beleue, that Iesus is Christ the sonne of God, and that (in bele­uynge) ye myght haue lyfe thorowe hys name.

An exhortacion vpon thys Gospel.

THe Gospell of thys daye good people doth de­clare vnto vs the appearyng of our Lorde Ie su Christ vnto hys disciples after hys resurrection, that is to wyt how he came and shewed hymselfe vit to them, the dores beynge shut for feare of ye Iues. And here truly he dyd shew the diuersitie of bodyes, and what difference there shalbe betwene the sensu­all bodyes, and betwene the spirituall, betwene the materiall and corruptible bodyes in thys worlde, & betwene the spirituall bodyes and incorruptible af­ter the resurrection. Trouth it is also that we ought not to suffer any [...]nfideles as were the Iues to enter [Page] in amonges vs from whome the Apostles dyd shut theyr dores. Nowe Iesus beynge in the myddes of them dydde salute them in gyuynge vnto them hys peace wyth whych gr [...]tynge or salutation he confor ted and confirmed hys disciples myndes that they shulde nothynge doubt of hys resurrectiō whych asLuke. xxiiij. the Euangelist Luke wytnesseth they counted but for a dreame. Wherfore he shewed vnto them hys handes and hys syde perced. And by thys shewynge of hys handes and feere, Christe openeth two thyn­ges. Fyrst by these sygnes he wolde be knowen. For in affliction is Christ truly k [...]owen. Seconde by them he wolde assure hys disciples of hys glorious resurrection. And verely thys shalbe the signe of sal uation vnto the faithful at the greate daye of iuge­ment, and the signe of lamentation and of sorowe vnto the infidels which thā shal se whome they haue percyd. The faithfull shalbe gretly cōforted in seing him as his diseiples were at this tyme. To these dis­ciples I saye he did ones gyue his peace and made them his apostles that is to saye his legates or am­bassadours not onely of Iurye, but of al the worlde, in lyke maner as god the father had sent him and made hym apostle in the worlde. And he gaue them the holy gost for to remytte synnes, and to pardō in his name, and whose synnes so euer they pardoned shuld be forgyuen in heauen. The pardone of the a­postles assuredly was but a signe of the trewe par­done, which was made on hygh alredye. And vnto them to whome they wolde not remytte here in erthe they shulde not be remytted nor pardoned in heuen. And this that they did not pardon them, was signe [Page v] that they were not pardonyd on hygh. Suerly it isS. Cypri an. not man that foregyueth or reteyneth but God. For as saynt Cypriane sayth. Non potest seruus remit­tere quod in dominum cōmissum est, that is to say the seruauut cannot pardon the thynge that is tres­passedS Am­brose. agaynst ye maister. And saynt Ambrose sayth in his boke of Cain and Abell, that synnes be fore­gyuen by the worde of God wherof the prest is but an interpretour and as a certiane executour. But I praye you good frendes who were they whome they dyd not forgyue? Truly all those whych dyd not be­leue in their wor [...]s. And in this apperynge Tho­mas called Didimus was not presente. Wherfore when the disciples did shewe him that they had seneDidi­mus. i. Gemel­lus a twynne. our Lorde rysyn agayne to liefe, whych had shewed vnto them both his handes and his syde percyd, he dyd aunswere that he wolde not beleue them, onles he myght se hym and put his fynger into the holes of the nayles and his hande into hys syde. Eyght dayes after our Lorde (the dores beyng shutte) dyd eftsones apere in the myddes of them as he hadde done before and gaue them for salutinge hys peace according to the vsage of the Iues by whych is vn­derstandePax vo­bis. tranquyllitie of conscience and all good­nes. And Thomas was there also vnto whome he sayde (aunswering hym vnto the wordes whyche he had sayde by his infidelite) behold my handes and put thy fynger into the holes, holde forth thy hande and put it into my syde. Be no more in mys [...]eleue, but faythfull. Declaryng vnto hym that he seeth al, that he heareth all, that he is in all places, and that he may do al. And thys done Thomas dyd confesse [Page] him to be his Lorde and hys God. And truly not so moch Thomas as the spirite of fayth whyche with the fayth entred into hym. At that tyme our Lorde gaue witnesse of fayth vnto Thomas whyche hath beleued in seynge of hym, but he doth gyue farre greater prayse and cōmendation vnto them whiche haue beleuyd, and yet haue not sene him corporally, but only spiritually with the eye of faythe, and also vnto them whych shal beleue hym. Then let vs be­leue him, by seyng him spiritually, and so doyng we shalbe more happy then Thomas, in thys that he hath sene hym corporally. Now, sayth the Euange­lyst al these thynges be wrytten vnto vs, to thende that we beleue that Iesus is Christe the sonne of God: and in beleuynge thys, that we shall haue theThe vse of mira­cles. liefe eternall by hys name. Forasmoche as the ende and vse of al the signes and miracles of Christe is that by them we shuld be brought and allured to be leue on Christe, whyche thynge only shall make vs haue euerlasting blysse through his name that is to wit, by hys worde. For the worde is the vertue and power of God vnto the health and saluation of all that beleue on Christ Iesus our Lord and redemerRom. i. To whome with the father and holy ghost be glorie and prayse &c.

The Epistle on the seconde sondaye after Ester. The. i. Epistle of Peter the. ij. chapter.

Thargument.

☞ The Apostle sait Peter doth exhorte vs here to folowe Christ in al thynges euen as shepe do folowe theyr shepeherde.

MOst derely beloued brethren, Christ also suffe­red for vs leauyng vs an exēple, that ye shulde folowe hys steppes, whych dyd no synne, neyther was there gyle founde in hys mouth: whych whan he was reuyled, reuyled not agayne: whan he suffe­red, he threatened not, but commytted the venge­aunceMat. viij Esa. liij. to hym that iudgeth ryghtuously whych his owne selfe bare our synnes in hys body on the tree that we beynge delyuered from synne, shulde lyue vnto ryghteousnes. By whose strypes ye were hea­led. For ye were as s [...]epe goynge astraye, but are nowe turned vnto the sheperde & bysshop of your soules.

THe Epistle of thys daye good christen people whyche is of saynt Peter doth put before oure eyes the liefe of oure Lorde Iesu Christ to the effect and purpose that we shuld folowe him as a perfecte president and exemplar. For it is he whyche is deed for vs whych hath done no synne accordinge to the sayeng of the prophete Esaye, and in whose moutheEsa. lij. hath bene founde no gyle nor deceipte. The whyche when any sayde harme by hym, he sayde no harme agayne. When he suffered he dyd not threaten, but he commytted the vengaunce vnto him that iugeth iustely, that is to wyte vnto God. No doubte God iugeth ryghtly, neyther regardynge mens persons (as doth the worlde) neyther only after the outward workes but after the harte and outwarde workes to. And therfore is godes iugement accordinge to ye trouth as Paule sayth. Furthermore it is ChristeRom. ij. [Page] whych hath borne our synnes on ye wode of ye crosse to thende that our synnes myght be by hym takē a­waye and we beynge deade wyth synne shulde lyue vnto iustice. But what iustice? Truly iustice of faith whych is from aboue, and whych is hymselfe. For we be healed of our synne by hys woundes, by hys passion, by hys hostie and oblation. For surely thys is the fynall vse of our delyueraūce or iustification by Christ that we shulde no longer lyue vnto sinne, but vnto iustice and vertue. As though saynt Peter wolde saye. Ye wol be christians whom Christ hath redemed, than go to, it shall not become you any lon ger by disobedience towardes your rulers and supe riours to lyue vnto synne but vnto righteousnes to thintent ye be obedient vnto them and suffre perse­cution, vexacion, and crosse of them yf occasiō be gy uen, euē as Christ dyd. And truly thys is euen the ryght vse of Christes passiō, I meane to lyue a new lyfe & to become iust & ryghtuous in al our lyuynge For as the Apostle saynt Paule testifyeth wrytynge to the Ephesians, we be the workmanshyp of GodEphe. ij created & made to do good workes. But to returne to the texte, S. Peter allegeth here vnto you good people the wordes of the prophete Esaye where heEsa. liij. sayeth that by the strypes & woundes of Christe ye were healed. O moost comfortable wordes. Bytter verely were these strypes to our Sauioure Christe, but they were swete to vs, so swete yt wythout them we shulde haue ben in moost paynfull mysery & an­guysh. Let vs than neuer put out of our myndes thys moost comfortable tydynges, thys swete & me­ [...] Gospell that Christ bare our synnes in hys body [Page vij] on the tree. Thys treasure I meane the knowlege of thys thynge who so wanteth is most nedy & pore yea he hath nothynge at all. For thys is (no doubt) that preciouse perle that Christe speaketh of in themat. xiij Gospel of Matheu, where he sayth, yt the kyngdom of heauen is lyke vnto a marchaunt man, sekynge goodly perles whych whan he founde one precious perle, wente and solde all that he hadde and bought it. Nowe thoughe thys thynge be playne ynoughe and apparaunt: yet wyth youre pacience I wyll de­clare vnto you what the moost excellente doctoure of the churche saynte Hierome wryteth vpon thys place. Surely (sayeth saynt Hierome) there is oneThe wor des of S Hierom perle moost preciouse of all, that is to wyte, ye know­lege of oure Sauioure and the mystery of hys pas­sion and resurrection, whyche whan a marchaunte man hath founde (as saynt Paule the Apostle dyd) he despyseth al the mysteryes of the law & prophetes and hys olde obseruauncies wherin he lyued wyth­out reproche, yea and he regardeth them▪ no better than the parynges of his nayles or chyppes to thin tent to wynne Christe vnto hym. Thys Christe (as Thon baptist wytnesseth) is the lambe of god whichIoh. i. taketh awaye the synne of the worlde. Where as before hys commynge we were as shepe wande­rynge wythout sheperde but nowe by faythe we be conuerted vnto oure shepeherde whych is the onely good shepeherde, and vnto the byshop of our soules which is eternal, alwayes mediatour & intercessour for vs, alwayes presentyng & offrynge himselfe for vs. Let vs thā good people folow hys cōuersation. Let vs beare paciently all thynges for the loue of [Page] hym, whych hath suffered so many tribulations and extreme paynes for vs. Let vs not synne wyllyngly Let vs not speake any vntrouth, fraude, deception, and lyes. Let vs not curse yf any saye euyll of vs. Let vs not threaten yf any do greue vs. Let vs re­mytte and commytte all vengeaunce vnto God. Let vs haue remembraunce of the benefytes whyche he hath done to vs by hys glorious passion, that we maye be deade wyth hym as to hym, & let vs be mor tifyed by hys spirite as to vs. Let vs not lyue no­more to our selues but let vs lyue to hym, whych is our iustice, for we be the shepe whych he hath cōuer­ted from wanderynge forth of the ryght pathe from errour and infidelitie vnto fayth. He is our shepe­herde let vs folowe hym vnto the pasture of lyfe. He is our byshop, our mediatour, our intercessour, oure hostie. And how do we feare that we shuld not be ex alted? Let vs haue thys fayth that none is refused, none goeth awaye with out beyng exalted. Who so euer hath thys fayth in him cannot peryshe, yea ther was neuer so greate a synner but that this me­diatour and raunsomer hath satisfied for hym yf he hath this fayth. Our epistle willyth that we vnderstande this vnto the glory of hym whych is al vnto vs, by the wyl of the eternal father, to whō be glorye without ende, in secula se­culorum.

Amen.

The Gospel on the secōde sonday after Ester daye The. x. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument

[Page viij]☞ Christ is the true shepherd.

IEsus sayd to hys disciples. I am the good shepe herde. A good shepeherde giueth his lyfe for the shepe. An hyred seruaunt, and he whych is not the shepherd (neither the shepe are hys owne) seeth the wolf cōmyng & leueth the shepe and flyeth, & the wolfe catcheth, and scattereth the shepe, the hyred seruaunt flyeth, bycause he is an hyred seruaunt, &.itim. ij. Mat. xi. Luke. x. Mat. xi. careth not for the shepe. I am the good shepeherde and knowe my shepe, and I am knowen of myne. As my father knoweth me, euen so know I also my father. And I geue my lyfe for the shepe: and other shepe I haue, whych are not of this fold. Them al­so muste I brynge, and they shall heare my voyce, and ther shall be one folde and one shepeheerd.

IN this Gospell good people our Lord doth shew vs, that he is the true and ryght shepherd. And it is good reason, for he onely hath geuen hymselfe vn to the death, and hath quyckened all his shepe. He alonly doth nourish with his doctrine all his shepe wyth ye fode of eternall lyfe. Yf the wolfe doth come (that is the great deuell of hell or any of hys mem­bers) he neuer forsaketh hys shepe but doth defende and delyuer them from the puissaunce and myghte of the enemye, for he is stronge aboue all, & is more myghty then all. And also the shepe be hys, and he hath bought them wyth a great pryce, whyche is a­boue all prices. He doth loue them accordyng to the price, yt is to saye more than any thought can thinke or tonge expresse. And he hath not alonly bought them agayne, but he hathe made them and created [Page] them, they be his owne workes and his owne shepe. It is the shepherde by whome al thinges hath bene made. Wherfore naturally he cannot hate them. He is no forgetful shepherd, but he is a shepherd know yng al, he cannot forgette any thynge. For as the e­ternall father knoweth al, in lyke maner he knowith all. As the father eternal knowyth al in gyuing him all, in lyke maner he knowyth his sh [...]pe in gyuinge them all. For he gyueth them liefe, wisdome, myght. Yea and such liefe, wisdom, and myght, as is aboue the world. For those that be according to the worlde, be but shadowes of thē. And by this wisdom whych surmountyth the world, hys shepe doth knowe him. This is the good herdman gyuing liefe to al, know ing all, which is alinyghty. But the hyred shephard is none such. He doth not dye for his shepe. He doth not gyue them liefe. And when the wolfe commyth he doth leaue them. They be not his owne. He hath nother made them nor yet bought them agayne. He connyth awaie. He letteth them be lost, and suffereth them to be deuoured wyth the wolfe, and fynally to go into eternall damnation. He is vnmyghty. He is ignorant & cleane vnlyke vnto the good herdman. The hyred shepherd hath but a lytle and a particu­ler flocke. But ye good herdmā hath a greate flocke, he hath the flocke of ye nation of Israel & of al other nations. He hath the vniuersall flocke, the whych from daye to daye he leadyth & gatheryth together, for to here hys swete voyce and hys holy doctryne, whych is the doctryne of the gospell vnto the tyme that all the worlde shalbe but one flocke, and that there shulde be but one herdman which is our Lord [Page ix] Iesu Christe, as it is sayde here. And there shalbe made one shepecote and one herdman. Now by this parable good frendes we be taught and enformed of the true office of Christ, and wherfore he came in­to thys worlde. Hys office whervnto he was sent of hys father was to teach vs and also to saue vs. As touchynge hys doctrine and teachynge, who euer in fedynge of hys flocke was more vigilant, more bu­sy, more paynfull than he was? Who euer ministred to hys shepe more diligently the fode of the euange licall veritie? All that herde hym speake and preach were astonnyed vpon hys doctrine. For he taught them not after the fashion of the scribes and phari­sees whych neuertheles were the greate doctours & learned men of the lawe but as one hauynge a won derfull grace and authoritie. Yea euen his very ene myes were cōpelled to testifie of hym that he taught the waye of God in trouth, as appeareth in the .xxij. thapter of Matheu. Neyther dyd Christ only teach hys shepe, that is to saye, those that folowed hym lyke shpe that were well nere lost, but he also hea­led them bestowynge euen hys very lyfe for them. For I praye you dyd he not dye for our synnes? Was it not he only which with his bloude wasshed awaye the fylthynes of oure synnes? Yea doubtles. But who be these hyrelynges whyche whan they se the wolfe come to deuoure the shepe they rūne theyr waye? Surely these be those whych preach ye worde and that also purely and syncerely, but they prech it for lucre, for honoure, for glorye, or for the belyes sake. These I saye be no true herdmen but hyrelyn­ges, for these dryue not awaye the rauenous wol­ues [Page] that is to saye the deuyll and hys lymmes I meane the Antichristes whych persecute & deuour [...] Christes flocke, but as soone as persecution & trou­ble for the worde commeth, anone they are gone. OfIer. xxiij these do the prophete Ieremy speake, sayenge: Wo be vnto the shepeherders that destroye and skatter my flocke. I wyll therfore vysite the wyckednes of theyr ymaginations. It is true that the Apostle wryEpisco­patus quid sit. teth. Qui episcopatū desiderat bonū opus concu­piscit, that is to saye: He that desyreth an ouersyght or a cure ouer a flocke (whych after the greke worde is called a byshoprych) coueteth a good worke. Lo sayeth saynt Ierome wrytynge to Oceanus) the A­postleSaynt Hierom calleth a byshopryke a worke and not a digni tie, a laboure and not a deyntenes, a worke wherby through humilitie he muste be lowly & not to swelle in pryde. For a byshop or curate must be fautles, so­bre, full of good doctrine, not gyuen to foule and fyl thy gaynes, but meke, diligent, full of charitie accor dynge to thexemple of Christ the hygh and supreme shepeherde of all and the shepeherde of shepeherdes whych as thys Gospell sayeth gaue hys owne lyf [...] for the sauegarde and health of hys shepe that is to saye of all vs that folowe and beleue on hym. Whe [...] fore my brethren and systers to conclude how hap­py be we for to haue suche a herdman & for to know to loue, to folowe, to heare hys swete voyce that gy­ueth lyfe, to heare hys doctrine, to be refectioned & fedde wyth the meate whyche gyueth euerlastynge lyfe, to haue wysedome and myght that surmoūteth the worlde by the sayd our herdmen, lyghtenyng vs in hym by fayth, drawynge vs to hym by hope, & in­flamynge [Page x] vs by charitie. Unto hym therfore be glo­rye in all the nations wythin the compasse of ye erth for euer and euer.

Amen.

The Epistle on the .iij. sonday after Ester. The fyrst epistle of saynt Peter the .ij. Chapter.

Thargument.

☞Peter exhorteth to laye asyde all vyce, to ab­steyne from fleshly lustes and to obeye worldlye rulers.

DEarely beloued brethrē, I besech you as straū Gala. v. ger [...] and pylgrems, abstayne frō fleshly lustes, which fyght agaynste the soule, and se that ye haueRo .xiij. honest conuersaciō among the Gentils, that where as they backbyte you as euyll doars, they maye se your good workes, and prayse God in the daye ofMat. v. visitation. Submytte youre selues therfore vnto al ma [...]er ordinaūce of man for the Lordes sake, wheRo .xiij. Tit .iij. ther it be vnto the Kynge, as vnto the chiefe heed: other vnto rulars, as vnto thē that are sent of hym, for the punyshemēt of euyl doars: but for the laud of them, that do well. For so is the wyll of God, that wyth well doynge ye maye stoppe the mou­thes of folysh and ignoraunte men: as fre, and not as hauyng the libertye for a cloke of maliciousnes, but euen as the seruaūtes of God. Honoure al men.Ro .xij. Loue brotherly feloshyp. Feare God, honoure the Kynge. Seruauntes obey your masters wyth feare, not onely yf they be good and courteous: but also thoughe they be frowarde. For it cometh of grace in Christ Iesus our Lorde.

THys Epistle, good christian brethern & systers is very excellent and notable. For in it is han­deled the second part of Christianitie that is to wit, how in thys liefs after we haue ones receyued and taken the euangell or glad tydynges of oure sal­uation (whych thyng we call commonly in englyshe a gospell) we ought to lyue. In the processe that go­eth before thys epistle, saynt Peter taught and she­wed ye other parte of Christianitie, whych is of fayth and howe we ought to beleue the gospell and also how we be edified and buylded vpon Christ the cor­ner stone, wheras before that tyme we were the chyl dren of vengaunce and as ab [...]ectes and castawayes in gods syght but nowe we be made the chyldren of God by Christ. Whyche treasure truly saynt Peter doth extolle and lyfte vp wyth prayses aboue mea­sure, so that it were well with vs, if after the know­lege of so greate ryches we myght be lycenced forth with to departe out of thys miserable lyfe. But for asmoch as we dye not by and by after the receyuing of so greate commodities & felicities, therfore nowe doth saynt Peter teache vs how and by what mea­nes we shuld lyue here in erth that we dye not eter­nally. For Satan our mortal ennemy neuer slepeth but euer watcheth that he maye eyther quite and cleane plucke vs frome gods worde, or at lest waye that he myght wery vs and make vs slauthful and negligent in doyng of good workes. For assuredly it commethe so commenly to passe, that forthwyth when we heare by the preachyng of the gospell, that we be set at pear wyth God & iustified in hys syght by only faith in him, then noman wil do any longe [...] [Page xi] any goodnes at al, whych thynge no doubte chaun­ced euen in saynt Peters tyme. By reason wherofThe oc­casion of thys epistle. he toke occasion to wryte these thynges concernyng the institution of the christian liefe. As though this holy Apostle Peter wold say. Good brethern syth ye haue now receyued the gospell, and syth ye be iusti­fied by fayth in Christ, now it shalbe very good and necessarie for you to goo about to redresse your ma­ner of lyuing, and to absteyne from carnal and fles­shely desires and lustes. But it is an horrible thyng to be spoken, that fleshly disires and lustes do not cease no not in the iustified persons. Yea we se by daily experience that then more and more carnall desires do breake forth, not bicause this faulte com­meth by the gospel, as many ennemyes of the Gos­pell and [...]es blasphemously do allege, but by­cause Satan is the ennemy of the gospel and of the iustice whych the gospell teacheth. He doubtles ne­uer slepeth though we slepe neuer so soūdly & care­lesly, but lyke a roryng lyon he runnyth and leapeth about, seakyng whome to deuoure as thapostle S. Peter doth testifie in the ende of this firste epistle.i. pet. v. But forasmoche as the power of desires and lustes is so greate yea & that after iustification receyued, saynt Peter vseth certein warlyk wordes wherwith he expresseth the strength and power of these carnal & worldly desires, which he sayth do war [...]e againste vs and (as the greke worde purporteth) do dayly ex­ercisemilitant with vs a pyched felde, whych thing the scrip­ture otherwhyles calleth the conflycte of the fleshe and of the spirite, agaynst whych no outwarde wor­kes can do any good. As the holy fathers also haue [Page] confessed and complayned of themselues. For saintNote thys ex­emple of saynt Hierom Hierom hymselfe when he sought euery where a pre sent remedy agaynst the desyres of the fleshe, at last after longe delyberation departed into the woode, trustynge that by thys meane he shulde eschue and shake of from hym hys carnal and fleshely desyres, but it wolde not be, for euen in his very mysery and vexation of hys body whych he toke vpon hymselfe for that purpose, he yet thought he satte at Rome a­mōges the Romane ladies and fayre wenches, and that he daunced wyth them. Wherfore syth here in thys lyfe it is not in our powers vtterly to do awey carnall desyres: the holy fathers and prophetes de­syred wyth hygh lamentation that they myghte be lycenced to departe out of thys vale of teares to the heauenly and perfyte ioyes. For here they thought themselues onely straungers and as pylgrimes or wayfarynge men. Whych thynge thapostle Paule in hys seconde epistleto the Corinthians doth won­derfully well declare, wrytynge on thys wyse. Weij. cor. [...]. knowe, sayeth he, that yf our erthy mansion of thys dwellynge were destroyed, we haue a buyldynge of God, an habitation not made wyth handes, but eter nall in heauen. And therfore sygh we desyrynge to be clothed wyth our mansion whych is from heuen, so yet yf that we be founde clothed and not naked, and so forth. Now, suche straungers S. Peter here wyll [...]th vs to be, whyche ought continually to loke vp, to contende, and laboure thyther, settynge asyde all earthly thynges, all cares and worldly desyres, and euer to stande redy in hope to be delyuered out of thys our earthly tabernacle or hostrye, and to en [Page xij] ioye the euerlastynge inheritaunce. Howbeit yet in the meane season, good people, we teache not (as do these Anabaptistes) that he that hath ryches, shulde cast them awaye, but that he cleaue not in harte vn­to them, lyke as other places of holy scripture do teach vs and namely thys present epistle of S. Pe­ter, whych by a similitude of straungers or pylgri­mes, doth declare vnto vs, that in ye hostrye of thys present worlde, we shulde be in loue with nothynge, we shulde vaynly & ambiciously require nothynge, that is in our hoostes house whych is the worlde, e­uen none otherwyse, than a straunger, a pawmer, or wayfarynge body doth, whych knoweth yt nothinge in hys ynne or lodgynge doth pertayne vnto hym, but only maketh hast homewarde into hys owne cō trey. Now they whych be in loue & admiration with any thynge in thys worlde, they can not be called forenners, straungers, or pylgrimes, but cytizens and inhabitauntes of thys worlde. Wherfore it is great folly now amonges christen men to be in loue wyth the thynges of the worlde, & to seke pleasure in car­nall desyres, syth suche thynges belonge nomore towhat be carnall desyres. christians. But I praye you what vyces doth saynt Peter cal here desyres? Surely not only those grosse faultes, but also ye inwarde croked affections, which doubtles be the very causes of those outwarde and grosse vyces. Saynt Peter therfore wrytyng especy ally to the Iewes whych were disperpled abrode in dyuers countreyes and by them vnto vs Englyshe men and to all others ryght tēderly exhorteth them (callynge them hys moost derely beloued brethren) to absteyne as forenners and pylgrymes, from all [Page] fleshly lustes, that is to wit, all vices, whyche of na­ture do stycke to the fleshe, whych vices do kepe con tinuall warre and batell agaynst the soule and spi­rite of mā that euer more tendeth and laboureth to do the wyll of God. And he wylleth them that they haue honest conuersacion amonges the Gentyls or pay [...]ems whych worshipped false Goddes amonge whome at that tyme when saynte Peter wrote thys [...]pistle the christen men lyued. Saint Peter therfore wyll not that christen men shulde departe from the panyms, but that they shulde lyue honestly amōges them, to thi [...]tent that where as they backbyte them as [...]uyll doers, they myght se theyr good workes & myghte prayse and glorifye God in the daye of vi­sitation, that is to saye, that the paynyms beyngeIn the daye of visitatiō more ryghtly instructed and taught by the honeste lyfe of the christians, myghte by gods visitation be called also to the Gospell and so to haue a better opi nion and iudgement of gods worde, whych thynge in dede came to passe in the primatiue church by the godly exemple of the good Apostolicall fathers and christen people in Rome and els where. Where as now the paynims and infidels as be turkes & Iues be rather plucked frome the Gospell then allured vnto it by the [...]emple of those that woll neuertheles be called the successours of Peter and Paule and ye vicares of Christ. Wherfore it is to be feared, leste God wyll visite them, not by heapynge vpon them hys benefytes and graces whych they refuse & neg­lecte, but by pourynge vpon them hys iuste yre and vengeaunce accordynge to theyr desertes. Be you subiecte therfore good christen people to the worde [Page xiij] of God. Obeye hys commaundementes prescribed in the same. Let your lyght shyne before mē and na­m [...]ly before the proude Pharisees & infidels (whych thynke there is no God) that they may se your goodMat. v [...] workes and honest conuersacion and glorifye your father in heauen. Submytte your selues, according to Peters counsayle here, vnto euery humane crea­ture, that is to saye, vnto all maner ordinaunce or power whych humane creatures do administer, and that euen for the Lordes sake. For it pleaseth the Lorde ye shulde so do, lest your conscience shulde be polluted and defyled wyth synne through disobedi­ence. And euen here maye ye lerne good people that when ye obeye the publyke ruler and magistrate ye do please God by thys obedience. Be obedient ther­fore [...]ayth S. Peter whether it be vnto ye kynge as vn to ye chefe head, or vnto rulers as to thē yt are sent of hym for the punyshmēt of euel doers. And surely asRo. xiij. wytnesseth S. Paule, whosoeuer resysteth power, re­systeth the ordinaūce of God. For he is the minister of God to take vengeaunce on them that do euell. Wherfore ye must obeye (sayth Paule) not only for feare of vengaunce, but also bycause of conscience.

For as it foloweth here in the text so is the wyll of God, that with well doing ye may stoppe the mou­thes of folyshe and ignorant persons, whych often­tymes iuge such thinges as they vnderstand not, and whych esteme the gospell and the worde of god by the maners of the gospellers (whych of humayne frayltie [...]nay tymes do fal into fowle vices) and do not esteme it by the owne proper nature. WherasRom. i. in very dede it is the power & vertue of God to the [Page] helth and saluation of al them that beleue. Let vs then good christen brethern so be free and vse the li­bertie of the gospell, that we haue it not for a cloke of maliciousnes, workyng (vnder the pretence of it) all naughtynes accordyng to our foule lustes and desires, as many gospellers and euangelicall bre­thren do, which be in dede no gospellers but babler [...] no trewe brethern but false brethern, no christians but antichristes and sklaūders to gods holy worde. Let vs then be no feyned christians, but ryght chri­stians and seruauntes of God. Let vs honoure and haue in reuerence all men. Let vs loue fraternitieFrater­nitie. not fraternitie of monkes, fryers, nunnes, and such other [...]oystered & disguysed people whych vnder ye cloke of fraternitie deuoured pore wydowes houses & the lyuinges of other in their fratryes, & of whom the christen people were fowly mocked and seduced while they perswaded them that they could not do better then be of their brotherhode or fraternitie, whych in dede was nothyng elles but a swarine of ydle dranes that lyued not by the swette of their fa­ce (as gods commaundement wylled them) but by other mens labours vnder the pretence of longe prayer; but let vs loue such brotherhode and frater­nitie as gods worde alloweth, whych is yt we shulde loue one an nother after a gentle and christian ma­ner, al lordlines and proude lokes layde downe, and when we make a dyner or feast, not to call the ryche whych may quyte vs agayne but our poore christen brethern and systers whych cannot acquite vs, but our father in heuen shal acquite it vs. This is the fraternitie or brotherhode that Christ alloweth and [Page xiiij] that saynt Peter doth here speake of. Let vs then feare God whych doth prospere our obedience and helpeth vs that we maye truly honour all men, that we may loue brotherhode and gyue due honour to our kynge whych is our supreme hedde next vnder Christe none excepted, neyther bishop of Rome nor other. For if there were, saynt Peter wold not haue passed it ouer wt silence. Neyther is it to be thought that Peter which was one of Christes Apostles and that of the chefest knewe not the bisshop of Romes power or his own power. He aganized no such supre­macie as the bishoppe of Rome doth chalenge vnto him as S. Peters successour. Saint Peter byddeth vs here feare god and honour the king. If the bis­shop of Rome were to be honoured next God and before kynges, why doth saynt Peter set the kynge nexte God? Yea why doth he speake nothynge at all of the byshop of Romes authoritie? So ye se good christen people that saynte Peter maketh nothynge wyth the byshoppe of Rome, and yet he sayeth he is hys successour. But what shulde I speake more of thys mater? I doubt not but lōge age there is none of you but regardeth the byshop of Rome none o­therwyse then an other byshop in hys byshopryche ought to be regarded. Let him medle with his owne flocke, with vs he hath no thing a do, any otherwise then one christen man hath to do with an other. Let vs therfore charitably pray for him that he may ex­ecute his office in his owne diocese and not entre in­to other mens officies. Let vs thā honour our kinge next vnto God as our supreme hedde according to S. Peters counsayle in this epistle, and according [Page] [...] p [...]a [...]e before alle­ [...]. Let also seruauntes obey theyr maisters not only it they be good & courteouse, but also thoughe they be froward, not doynge seruice to the eye (as Paule sayth wryting to the Ephestans (and as theyphe. vi do that go aboute to please men, but as the seruaū ­tes of Christ, doing the wyll of God from the harte with good will, seruinge the Lord and not men. For it is then thanke worthy, sayth saynt Peter. Hither­to haue I brefly declared vnto you the meanyng of this Epistle. Now therfore good people if ye wol be true christians, if ye woll be true feithfull persons, boost not of your feyth in wordes only, but declare in youre dedes and workes that ye haue the feith of Christ. Shewe your beleue in such workes as thys Apostle saynt Peter doth here exhort you vnto, and then shal we beleue that you haue the right belefe & fayth in Iesu Christ, which in whom so euer it is in, can not but fructifie and brynge forth fruct euen as sede doth that is sowne in the good grounde, somemat. x [...]ij an hundreth folde some syxty fold some thyrty folde. And this feyth shall iustifie you and make you the chyldren of god and: inheritours of his heu [...]ly kyng dome which was prepared for you before the begin­nyngMath. xxv.. of the world by the father of heuen, to whome with the sonne and holy goost be glorye and prayse eternally.

The Gospell on the thyrde sondaye after Ester. The. xvi. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument

☞ Of the spiritual raigne & kyngdom of Christ.

IEsus sayd to [...]is disciples. After a whyl [...] ye shal not se me, and agayne after a whyle ye [...] Ioh. vij. me, [...]or I go to the father, Then sayd some of hys disciples betwene themselues: what is thys that he sayeth vnto vs, after whyle, ye shall not se me, and agayne after a whyle ye shall se me, and that I go to the father? They sayd therfore: what is this that he sayeth: after a whyle? we can not tell what he sayeth. Iesus perceaued that they wolde aske hym, and sayd vnto them: Ye enquyre of thys betwene youre selues, because I sayd after a whyle ye shall not se me, and agayne after a whyle ye shall se me. Verely verely I saye vnto you: ye shall wepe and la ment, but contrary wyse, the worlde shall reioyse. Ye shall sorowe, but your sorowe shalbe turned toIoh. xx. ioye. A woman whan she trauayleth, hath sorowe, because her houre is come. But as sone as she is de lyuered of the chylde, she remēbreth nomore the anguysh, for ioy that a mā is borne into the world. And ye now therfore haue sorow: but I wyl se you agayne, and your hertes shal reioyse, and your ioye shall no man take from you.

IN the Gospell of thys present daye (good christē people) it is fyrst to be consydered & marked, how Christ sheweth hys louynge disciples of hys crosse and passion that he shulde suffre for the redemption of the worlde, and also of hys moost glorious vpry­synge agayne from death to lyfe. And furthermore how and in what wyse by hys vprysyng or resurrection [Page] he shulde cōmence hys raigne and haue accesse to hys father. And assuredly the preachyng and fore shewynge hereof was ryght necessary to the Apost­les of Christ to be often made and dryuen into theyr heades. For the flesh (as Christe sayeth hymselfe) is weake, and agayne the articles of oure religion be suche that they surmount the sklender capacitie of mans wyt neyther can they easely be perceyued.

Thys is the cause why Christ lyke a faythful may­ster neuer ceaseth to dryue into hys disciples heades the sūme & cōtent of our fayth, to thintent he myght fully execute thoffice that he came for. Now thys is hys sentence and mynde whych he declareth to hys disciples, Wythin a lytle whyle O you my louynge scholers and disciples I shalbe betrayed vnto the Iues, as I haue often tymes heretofore shewed vn to you that I shulde be condemned, scourged, bob­bedMat. xij and at last nayled to the crosse. And for asmuch as euen lyke as Ionas was in the whales bely thre dayes and thre nyghtes I must in lykewyse be bu­ryed in the grounde for the space of thre dayes and thre nyghtes: Therfore for a lytle whyle in dede yeChristes raigne. shall not se me. But agayne after a lytle whyle, that is to wyt, the thyrde daye after whan I shall ryse a­gayne ye shall verely se me, how be it that shall not be longe, for I must awaye to my father and begyn wt hym my spirituall raygne. Lo my deare frendesEphe. i. and. iiij. wt such wordes Christe teacheth hys apostles what maner thyng his kyngdō shuld be & how ye cōmyng is to ye same. Assuredly ye kingdō or raigne of Christ is none other thynge thā that Christ hath cōquered the world, syn, death, satā, & hell, & furthermore hath [Page xvi] taken of his father all power both in heuen and in erth in such sort as hensforth he is to be ye most puissauntPsal. iiij and mighty kinge ouer the mount Sion, lea­ding and gouernyng his subiectes with the holy spi rite of comforte. Into this his kingdom it behoued hym to entre by the crosse, by sheding of his mooste precious bloude and by death, euen as the prophete Dauid longe before had prophecied of him, sayeng, he shall drynke of the floude in the waye, and there­forePsa. cix. he shall lyft vp his heade. Now this spirituall kingdome was not moche knowne to his apostles. For they thought rather that the kingdom of Christ shulde haue ben a worldly and an outwarde kyng­dome whych thinge they styl loked for, vntyl the spi­rite was gyuen them whych taught them the know­lege herof, and how they ought to come vnto it and to gette it, and how to perseuer and continue in the same. If we therfore good brethren and systers be lykewise mynded to entre into thys kingdome, and by Christ to vanquysh synne, death, Satan, and hel: we must nedes acknowledge and take Christ for oure Lorde and sauiour, for our kinge and hyghe bishop, fastelye beleuing that we be reconciled and made at one agayne with the father of heuen by his bloude and in suffering and doinge the thinges that Paulei. tim. ii▪ speaketh where he sayth. If we shall suffer togither with him: we shall also reigne with him.

Seconde, we haue here (good people) an exempleAn exē ­ple of our ig­norauce▪ of oure ignoraunce and blyndnesse and that in tha­postles. For loke how lytle they attayned the myste­ry of the gospell wythout the holy goost: so lytle can we also attayne by oure owne powers to iustice or [Page] soule health. But harkē your selues out of the very texte the rudenes or ignoraunce of the appostles. Christ had shewed them that after a litle whyle they shulde not se hun, & agayhe after a lytle whyle they shulde se him agayne for he muste go to hys father. This must nedes be vnderstande of his death and resurrection and of his spiritual kyngdome. For as­suredlyWhat it is to go to the fa ther. Ps. lxvij. to go to his father is nothinge elles, but to fulfyll all thynges (as it is declared in the. v. chapi. to the Ephesians) and by hys holye gooste to exalte gloryfie & saue mankynde, or (to speake the wordes of ye prophete) dona dare hominibus to gyue gyftes to men. But I praye you, how do thapostles vnder­stande thys? They talke and conferre wt themselues what meaneth that he sayeth, after a whyle ye shall n [...] se me: and agayn, after a whyle ye shal se me, we knowe not (saye they) what he speketh. Lo my fren­des the apostles do here confesse theyr ignoraunce and that they atteyne not to ye wordes that he spake albert he had spokē often tymes before of hys crosse deathe and resurrection vnto them. Wherfore I do not a lytle wonder, what these men meane whyche fyghte so strongly for the defence of theyr owne na­turall and ca [...]tall power syth they se here so many­festly ye the apostles themselues whyche had Christe so mo [...]h conuersaunt anionges them coulde not by theyr owne mere power before the holy gooste came vnto them, vnderstande the spirituall kyngdome of Christe. So that it manifestly appeareth that while they woll be doctours and teachers of other, they be them selues full of all blyndenes and ignoraunce.

Thys therfore is the su [...]ine and effecte of thys [Page xvij] place, that the flesh in suche thynges as perteine to iustification can do no good, onles the holy gost be­yng communitate by the word be receiued and had. For as the prophete Ieremy recordeth, they shalbeIer. xiij. taught of God and not of themselues.

Thyrdly Christe doth preuent his apostles when he espyed them not to atteine his wordes and that they wold aske him the meanyng of the same, sayeng vn­to them in thys wise. Of thys ye do question amon­ges your selues that I sayd a litle and ye shall not see me and agayne a lytle and ye shall se me. Uerely verely I saye vnto you ye shall wepe and lamente, but the worlde shal reioyce. Ye shal sorow but your sorowe shalbe turned into ioye. Lo how Christ ten­dereth his apostles, he shaketh them not of for their rudenes and ignoraunce but moste gentlye instruc­teth them, shewinge them howe his format wordes ought to be vnderstand, sayenge vnto them in thys wise. Ye shall wepe and be sory but why? bycause ye shall see youre Lorde and mayster apprehended andCrosse & ꝑsecutiō takē nayled vpon the crosse and put to death. Then shall calamitie and sorow begynne, and principally this shall trouble you, that the world shal reioyce at your aduersitie and your maysters aduersitie. And euen as Christ had spoken, so it came to passe concer [...]yng both hys owne crosse affliction and heuines & also his apostles. For do ye thynke yt a lytle crosse vnto hym when yt he was reuiled and vpbrayded of the Iues [...]ayeng vnto hym, let God delyuer hym if he woll haue hym? I omytte and passe ouer with si­lence the thing that he himself complayneth of wherPsa. cxx he sayeth by his prophet Dauid, I am a worme and [Page] not a man a laughing stocke or an obprobrie of men and the refuse of the people. As many as behold me mocke me, they shake their hedes at me. What is thys but to cast Christ into trouble and heuynesse & not only hym but also hys apostles and louyng frē ­des, whyche kept hym company? And albeit Christe dothe specially in this place speake of the tyme of his owne crosse whych shulde be the occasion of we­ping and mournyng to his apostles, yet hys mynde was hereby to shewe what state and fortune is to be loked for in thys world vnto all true christiās. True christians no doubt can not but suffer in this world moch displeasures and persecution, wheras the wic ked persons and such as care neither for God nor deuell make good chere and lyue according to their hartes ease. Hereunto agreeth Salomon in his pro [...]rou. iij uerbes sayeng. Cast not awaye the chastisement of the lord. Loye se how Christ instructeth his apostles and arineth them with pa [...]ience to abyde and suffer thobprobriouse wordes scornes and persecutions of the wicked persons and Antichristes. And that he willeth the apostles to do, the same he commaūdeth and speaketh euen vnto vs so many as wolbe hys disciples and folowers.Sorowe turned to heuy [...]es.

Fourthly fora [...]noche as Christe hath tolde hys apostles of the sorowe and heuines & of the persecu­tions that shuld happen vnto them for hys sake: he nowe agayne doth comforte them declaringe vnto them what shall happen after such stormes of afflic­tion. Your heuines sayth he shalbe chaunged into ioye, as who shulde saye the worlde as sone as they shal haue kylled me woll thynke they haue won th [...] [Page xviij] spurres & that they haue put me downe, but it shall not be so: for ye thyrde daye after shall I ryse agayne from death maugre theyr heades. I shall comforte you, and in your heuynes pacifie you, & make you gladde. And albeit, after that tyme also ye must styll suffre moch wronge and reproche for my name and for the gospel sake: yet your affliction & crosse shall not laste longe, but eternall ioye shall anone ensue & folowe. An exemple of thys thynge I wol ye take in a woman that traueleth with chyide: A woman whā The pa­rable▪ of the tra­uelyng [...] woman. she traueleth ye know is in heuynes & payn, for her houre is at hande. But assone as she hath brought forth into the worlde a chylde & is delyuered, she re­membreth no more her payne and greife for the ioye she hath of the chylde that is borne into the worlde.

In semblable wise ye be nowe sadde and heuy for my departure, but I shal come see you agayne, and thā your hartes shal leape for ioye & no man shalbe hable with all the displeasure he can do you, to take awaye this your ioye from you. Assuredly (my fren­des) thys similitude whych is here brought forth of Christ, is excedingly comfortable. For fyrst of all yt sheweth that persecution trouble and crosse must as surely folowe the confession of the gospell, as it is sure that a trauelyng woman cannot brynge forth her chyld without sorow and grefe, but in the meane season the Christen man thorough the word of God muste nedes afterwarde haue greate comforte and ioye. Furthermore this trouble crosse affliction and persecution of the true christians shall not be conti­nuall and euerlastinge, but it shall endure but for a season. And on the contrary parte the worlde shall [Page] ioye for a season. But their ioye shal not longe laste as Christe himself in an other place witnesseth wher he sayth: wo be to you which laughhere, for ye shalLuc. vi. wepe and lamente. Albeit in very dede the christian man shall not be cleane voyde of ioye in this worlde but what ioye is thys? I woll (sayeth Christ) see you agayne, and your haries shal ioye and no man shal take your ioye from you. Undoubtedly the ioye that Christe here speaketh of is the gladnes and peace of conscience that the true christians shall haue in as­moche as they knowe that God shalbe merciful vn­to them throughe Christ and shal kepe and preserue them into euerlasting liefe whych was prepared for them before the worlde was made as Christ hymself witnesseth by the father of heuen. To whome wyth the sonne and holye ghost be thankes &. c.

The Epistle on the. iiij. sonday after Ester daye. The. i. chapter of Iames.

Thargument.

☞ Saynt Iames sheweth that Gods worde is an heuenly gyfte and howe it ought to be recey­ued.

Most derely beloued brethren, euery good gyft and euery perfect gyft, is from aboue, and cō methe downe frome the father of lyghtes wythe whome is no variablenes, neyther is he chaunged vnto darkenes. Of his owne will begate he vs wyth the word of trouth, that we shulde be the first fru­tes of his creatures. Wherfore (deare brethren) let euery man be swyfte to heare, slow to speake, slow [Page xix] to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not that whych is ryghteous before God. Wherfore laye a parte all fylthynes and superfluitie of malycious­nes, and receaue with mekenes the word that is graf ted in you whych is hable to saue your soules.

The holy Apostle saynt Iames (good christian brethren and systres) in the epistle of this daye doth fyrste open and declare vnto vs the causes of gods worde frome whence it commeth, and then he commendeth and setteth oute the authoritie of the same as a meane or instrument, whereby throughe new birth or regeneration we be the chyldren of god and as saynt Iames here speaketh the firste frutes of gods creatures. As towching the causes of gods worde, ye shall vnderstande that the gospell or word of God is no humaine thinge, it is the word neither of Emperour, Kinge, Prince, Duke nor other tempo rall ruler, neither is it any meritorious word whych cā chaūce vnto vs for our own deseruinges or meri­tes, neyther yet is it an vnpythy weake or vnperfect word whych eyther of it selfe is not stronge ynough, or nedeth any other worde to the perfection and ac­complyshement therof, but it is a diuine or heuenly worde a good gyft of God and perfecte, that is to saye whyche hath almyghty god for authour of yt, whych god gyueth of his mere grace and fauour & whych is stronge and full of efficacie and power ac­cording to saynt Paule whych sayth it is the power of god to the helth and sauetye of all such as beleueRom i. the same. It is perfecte forasmoche as it neither ne­deth any other word neyther yet can it suffre any o­ther [Page] to be matched with it. Nowe al thys tendeth to this purpose and intent, that saynt Iames woll cō ­mende and set forth vnto vs the authoritie of gods worde, lest by errynge and strayeng out of the waye we myght happen to deceiue our selues thynkyng it ynough & sufficient to heare the worde of god wyth out any maner of regeneracion and newe lyefe. For the worde is a farre greater thyng, it is euen an he­uenly diuine good and perfecte gyfte whych cōmeth from aboue euen from the father of lyghtnes, wyth whome is no transmutation of lyght and of darke­nes, neither can he suffer that we shuld mengle our dreames and darknes with his lyghtsome worde, I meane our owne inuētiōs, our blindnes, our careles maners, our carnal lybertie, our euel liefe & so forth. We be also here admonished and taught of the final vse of gods worde & wherfore it serueth. Yt serueth doubtles, that by it we shulde be regenerate and be made the fyrste frutes of the creature of god, whych cometh not of oure owne deseruynges, but it is the worke of god the father, whych doth renewe and re­gendre vs wythe ye worde of trouth that we maye be the first frutes of hys creature. Saynt Iames ther­fore in thys place wylleth vs to sette asyde and laye downe all securitie and slauthfulnes towardes the worde of god, and that we shulde praye god that he woll vouchesaue to open & disclose vnto vs the vn­derstandynge of hys worde, and that he wolle gyue vs also encrease in the same, that we maye heare the worde wyth frute, [...]nderstandynge if, and beynge regenerate therby, might be made the fyrst frutes ofNolite errate. ye creature of god. Do not then erre my dere brethrē [Page xx=y] as thoughe it were inoughe only to heare the wor­de of god and not to vnderstande it wyth the harte, not to catche holde of it by faythe, not to worke well outwardlye. Euery good and perfyte gyfte is from aboue, that is to saye, the worde of god is perfyte, it nedeth none other worde to stey it, & to make it per­fyte. Yea thou cā [...]est neither take it nor vnderstāde it perfytly, onles it be gyuen the of god. Yt is of it selfe moste perfyte, and it is it also whych onlye can make vs perfyte. Yt procedeth frome the father of lyghtes, that is to wytte from god whych is ye only cause of all lyght in such sorte that ye thynge whych we se in vnderstandynge the worde, is of god. Yt is also the gyfte of god that hys worde dothe lyghten, for the father is of hymselfe lyght. Wyth whom is no variablenes nor chaunge into darkenes, that is to saye, he can not abyde nor suffer that the lyght & darknes shuld be confounded or myngled togither. For he is the father of lyght only, and not of darke­nes, Neither can he suffer that we shulde glorye and bragge of his worde as of a gyfte and in the meane season do the workes of darkenes. And by this the apostle saynt Iames doth moue vs from euyl wor­kes by thexemple of god whyche is intransmutable and inconuertible that is to say he is not now light now darkenes. And therfore ought not we to folow both lyght and darknes togither. For wyllyngly be gatte he vs wyth the worde of his trouth, that we shulde be the first frutes of his creature. As though saynt Iames wold saye. Bicause god hath regene­rate vs by the word of trouth that we might be now [Page] [...] [Page xix] [...] [Page] [...] [Page xx=y] [...] [Page] his [...]irst frutes, then seing we be his first frutes, i [...] de commeth vs not to folow the darkenes, it becōmeth vs no more to leade oure lyefe in vyce and naughti­nes, but it behoueth vs to be doers & not only hea­rers of the word. In that he sayth, voluntarily, or ofVolun­tarie. his owne will, he excludeth merite. It is called the word of trouth aswel because of it selfe & of the own nature it is true as bicause it maketh other true.

Secondly, Ye shal diligently note and marke (good people) that thappostle Iames in the latter parte of this epistle doth sturre vs to newe liefe and to such workes as the worde of god and regeneration wold aske. For it is euen due and annexed to newe byrth that a man shulde do good workes, as also Paule testifieth sayenge. What shall we then saye, shall weRom. vi abyde in synne yt grace myght aboūd? God forbyd. We that be deade to synne, howe shall we hereafter lyue in the same: Also to the Ephesians he sayeth.Ephe. ij.

We be gods hād worke created in Christ to do good workes whyche god hathe prepared that we shuldeCol. iij. walke in them. And to the Colossians. Wherfore if ye haue risen wythe Christe, seke ye the thynges a­boue, regard heuenly thinges & not erthly thinges. wherfore deare brethren (sayeth saynt Iames) let e­uery man be swyfte to heare, slowe to speake. BySlow to speake. whych wordes he forbyddeth chefely moch talkyng and pratlynge wherby in saynte Iames tyme many dyd bragge (as they do at this daye) of the gospell without chaunging of their former liefe and wyth­out lyuinge after the gospell. Such persons sainte Iames wolde haue swyft to heare & slow to speake tyl tyme they rightly vnderstande the worde and do [Page xxi=y] dedes worthy for the same. He willeth vs also to be slowe to wrath, but he wol we shuld be meke and pa­ciēt. For the wrath of mā worketh not that whych is rightouse before god, that is to saye. Ire or wrath & the effectes therof can not do the thynges whych be iust before god, or whyche god requireth of vs. And saynt Iames calleth here the iustice of god, not that where by we be iustifyed before God, but that whych god requireth of vs beyng alredy iustified to the declaration of that iustice whyche iustifieth and whych is gotten by fayth. Wherfore casting awaye all vnc [...]enlynes and superfluitie of maliciousnes seIn man­suetudi­ne. ye receyue with mekenes the worde that is grafte & implanted in you of god the father of heuē. Receyue it (he sayth) with mekenes that is to say with al mo­destie and reuerence, not after a ryottouse and sedi­ciouse sorte as thoughe ye wolde fyght for it, nor a­gayne with an euel and struglyng mynde (as many [...] do) but gladly thankfully and gently. For it is the thinge whych is hable to saue youre soules. whych thing also saynt Panle proueth wrytinge toRom. x. the Romaynes where he teacheth that we be iustifi­ed by fayth by the ministery of gods worde.

Nowe therfore good people let vs accordinge to the meanyng of this epistle whych I haue brefly decla­red vnto youe imbrase this worde of trouthe that saynt Iames doth here speake of, and so imbrace it that we may be coūted doers and not hearers only. Thus doynge we shall declare our selues to be the chosen people of God and we shall inioy at last the kyngdom prepared for vs of almyghty God. Who be lauded &.c.

The Gospell on the. iiij. sondaye after Ester. the. xvj. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument.

☞ Christe promyseth to sende the holy gooste. and of hys offyce.

Iesus sayd to hys disciples. Nowe I go my waye to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me whyther I go. And because I haue sayd such thyn­ges vnto you, your hartes are ful of sorowe. Neuer thel esse I tel you the trouth, it is expediēt for you that I go awaye. For yf I go not awaye, that cōfor­ter wyl not come vnto you. But yf I departe, I wyl sende hym vnto you. And when he is come, he wyl rebuke the worlde of synne, and of ryghtousnesse, and of iudgemente. Of synne, because they beleue not on me. Of ryghtousnes, because I go to my fa ther, and ye shall se me no more. Of iudgemente, because the prynce of thys world is iudged [...] I haue yet many thynges to saye vnto youe, but ye cannot beare them away nowe. Howbeit, when he is com (whych is the spirite of trouth) he wyl leade you into al trouth. He shal not speake of himselfe, but what sō euer he shall heare, that shall he speake and he wyll shewe you thynges to come. He shall glorifie me, for he shall receaue of myne, and shall shewe vnto you.why [...]holy goost was pro mysed.

THe cheife parte of this daye gospell good bre­thren and sistres consistethe in the declaration of the office of the holy ghost which for that purpose [Page xxij] is sente of Christe that he myghte [...]u [...]late and open the spirituall kingdome of Christ and myght detect the blyndnes of the worlde concernynge this king­dome. For the spirituall kingdome of Christ bicause it consysteth in feyth is not perceyued of the worlde, no more then is his iustice and beatitude, forasmoch as the worlde, bicause it is ledde with reason, requi­reth an other kingdome, an other iustice, and conse­quently an other blesse, euen such as be most agrea­ble to the iugement of reason and may be seen wyth the carnall eyen and groped withe the fleshely han­des. Suche thinges bicause reason alloweth them, they flatter the worlde, and they be letters and im­pedimentes, that the true spirituall raigne or kyng­dome of Christe can neuer be rightly vnderstanded of the worlde. And assuredly the disciples dyd here gayly represente the worlde, for they also dyd as yet after a carnall sorte trust and hope vpon the carnall presence of Christe as thoughe he had come into the worlde to set vp some carnal raigne or Empire that all the worlde shulde haue loked vpon and sene.

Wherfore when they harde Christ saye he wolde go agayne to hys father from whom he was sent, their hartes were cold and replenished wyth care and he­uynesse. As though they shulde saye vnto hym: We trusted that thou woldeste haue commenced and set vp here a galant and triumphante kyngdome, and now thou sayst that thou wolt departe hence to thy father. Assuredly my brethren all we be euen thus naturally affected and disposed before the sendinge of the holy ghost that we styl dreame vpon some car nall thynge concernynge Christes kyngdome. But [Page] when the holy ghoost come, he shall teache vs that the kingdom of Christ consisteth in feyth and spirite and not in an outward dominion or worldly power. Thē also shall our iustice shrynke and quake which we feyne we haue before the lightenyng of the holy ghost, and our iugement shall appere wherby accor­dinge to reason we iuge of the reigne of Christe. Fi­nally also our synnes shal be disclosed concernynge our incredulitie or misbelefe whyche we had towar­des Chryst the only Sauiour, when we se that those be synnes whych before we iuged for rightuousnes as for exemple the affiaunce and truste in our wor­kes and suche lyke. And leste a man shulde feyne to himselfe some peculiar vision and illumination I wot not what, ye shal vnderstand that the holy gost commeth when the worde is preached whych worde no doubte is the worke of the holy ghost. This holy ghost doth lyghten vs and leadeth vs to the know­legeBut now I go &c. of gods worde. Now therfore (sayth Christe) I go my wey to him that sent me, to thintēt I mought come agayne and begynne a newe and spirituall raigne in reuerting by death. And notwithstanding that I saye vnto you that I muste departe and go my wayes from you, ye aske me not whether I go. As who shulde saye, yf ye were not blynded with the care of the flesshe and soughte not for worldly thyn­ges, ye wolde vndoubtedly haue asked me whether I go, syth I tolde you I must departe. Neuertheles bycause I haue sayd such thynges vnto you, your hartes be full of sorowe, not so much bycause of my departure, as bycause ye se that ye shall lacke those outwarde and worldly pleasures and promocions [Page xxiij] whych ye hoped to haue receyued in my kyngdome.Expedit vobis. Howbeit I tel you the trouth, it is expedient for you that I go my waye, as who shulde saye, your opiniō concernynge my raigne is false and cleane wronge. But I wole shewe you the treuth why I muste de­parte, partly bycause ye maye vnderstand what ma­ner kyngdome my kingdome is, and partly what ye ought to loke for in it. I saye it is expedient and pro fitable for you that I departe. Brethren here ye see that all thinges whych Christ doth, he doth the same for our vtilite and profyte, insomoche that euen his departure out of thys worlde yt is to saye his deathe was so profytable to vs that without it we shulde neuer haue bene delyuered oute of oure damnable state of euerlastynge death. He addeth. For yf I go not awaye, that comforter shall not come vnto you.The pro fyte of Christes death. [...]o good people in this place is conteyned the great vtilitie and profyte of the death and departure of Christ vnto hys father. For therfore departed he out of this world, bicause he wolde begynne a spirituall kyngdome, which neuertheles could not helpe, yf he hadde not also sente the holy ghost. For where there shulde be a spirituall kyngdome, and we yet car­nall, we coulde in no wise vnderstande nor ꝑceiueit. Nomore then euen at thys daye we vnderstād it but by the helpe and ayde of the holy gooste. Wherefore let vs remembre that Christ hath for our cause sent the holy goost whych myght leade vs into all truth that is to wite, whych might disclose and open vnto vs oure synnes that do naturally stycke in vs and yet neuertheles we take them for no synnes, whyche holy ghost also myght bewrey our ryghtuousnes to [Page] be be [...]or god more vnrightuousnes, & finally whych myght shewe the deuell to be iuged by the ouerture and openyng of the gospell, all whyche thinges no­man shuld haue vnderstanded, had not Christ sente his holy ghost, whom in this place he surely promi­sethActu. [...]. shulde come and he came in dede accordinge to hys promise vpon the daye of Pentecoste as it is redde in the first chapter of the Actes of the Apost­les. Now the holy ghost is called a comforter whych in the Greake is called Paracletus of hys effecte orParacle­tus quid it. office forasmuche as his office and feate is euen frō tyme to tyme so longe as this spirituall kyngdome shall endure, to comforte mens consciences in this world. When this comforter commeth, saith Christ, he shal rebuke the worlde of synne, of rightuousnes, and of iugemente. Here ye se good people, thre lettesThre iet tes. or obstacles, whych by thoffice of tholy ghost muste be moued awey to thintente thys spirituall kyng­dome mighte be vnderstande, that is to saye, synne whych is, not to beleue in god, & this thinge noman doth vnderstande by his propre nature, and yet on­les it be vnderstande noman can haue accesse to the kingdome of Christ. The seconde is the ignoraunce of the true iustice whych pleaseth god, and this also can no man take nor perform of himselfe. The third is iudgement, wheras we vnderstand not naturally that the deuell is iuged by the disclosing of the gos­pell. These thre lettes and impedimentes be roted naturally in euery mans mynde whych no man can vnderstande of himselfe or take them awaye by hys owne power. Wherfore to the doinge hereof is the holy gost promysed in this gospell. Now for asmoch [Page xxiiij] as the kingdome of Christe is heare conuersaunt a­monge men which be synners and whyche of nature can do nought but synne but loue their own rightu­ousenes and iudge after their owne faschion of the gospell: therfore the holy ghost in executinge his of­fice doth not moue the to departe out of this worlde that thou mayste haue no occasion to synne, neyther woll he that ciuile iustice or humane iudgemente shulde not be executed in thys worlde, but he tea­cheth the, truly to knowe, what thynge synne is.

For euery man of hys owne brayne, & by hys owne power & wytte feyneth thys or that to be synne, as it hath been sufficiently proued vnder ye kyngdome of the Byshoppe of Rome. But when the holy gooste cometh and repryueth vs by gods worde, our owne imaginacions & fantasyes destroyed, then we know that to be synne whyche no man iudged before to be synne. So we knowe nowe that it is synne, yf a mā beleue not in only Christe concernynge iustice, why­che thynge before the receyuynge of the holy gooste none of vs all knewe. In semblable wyse it is to be spoken of ryghtousnes and iudgement, whych two thynges, we vtterly cōsydered not before ye openyng of the gospell, wherby the holy gooste reproueth the worlde. But leste ye shuld suspecte thys interpreta­cion to be not grounded of scripture, harken howe Christe hymselfe expouneth thys thynge: The holyOf sinne gooste (he sayeth) shall rebuke the worlde of synne. Why? because they beleue not (sayth Christ) on me. Loo howe Christ expouneth hymselfe what he mea­neth by synne, that is to witte incredulitie or mysbe­leue towardes hym, whyche only thynge doth con­demne [Page] men, lyke as on the contrary parte the onlye belefe in Christe saueth. The papistes haue wrested thys texte (as they do al other) to the mys [...]eleue of ye Turkes & Sarasynes, and such people as be farre from vs, but they oughte to remembre that in thys behalfe they do synne worse then the Turkes, foras­moch as they wold be counted Christianes, and yet in ye meane season they labour to be made rightouse and iuste before god by theyr owne workes without fayth in Chryste. Of thys abhon [...]able synne, the worlde knoweth nothynge at all. Of ryghtuosnesse shall the holy goost rebuke ye worlde. Why? because sayeth Christe, I go to my father, and ye shall se me no more: That is to saye, bicause I shall begynne my newe reigne, wherin an other maner of iustice then ye ymagine, must be required and shalbe of va lour before god. Of iudgement the holy ghost shall rebuke the worlde, why? bycause (sayeth Christe) the Prince of this worlde is iudged alredy. And he cal­lethIugemēt iugemēt the blyndnes of mā wherby the worlde alloweth naturallye the reygne and the workes of Satan, for the worlde hath a corrupt iudgement by Adams fall, so that it seeth not what thinges god a­loweth and what not. But (sayth Christ) I haue yetAdhuc multa habeo. many thynges to speake vnto you meanyng of his crosse and of hys glory but by reason of your wea­kenes and infirmytie ye are not able to beare them nowe. As who shuld saye ye be yet carnall and ther­fore ye perceiue not the thinges that be of the spirite But whē the spirite of trouth that is the holy ghost shall come he shall leade you into all trouth. The spirite shall teache you thinges spirituall. He shall [Page xxv] transforme you and of carnall persones shall make you goostly. For surely because ye be yet carnall, ye cānot perfytly perceyue the scriptures concernynge my death and gloriouse resurrection, whych is to be fulfilled for your redēptions sake. Here ye se playn­ly good people, yt thys place maketh nothynge at al for the confirmation of the papisticall traditiōs but rather agaynst them. For I praye you what is thys trouth that the holy ghost shall teache you? Man­nes traditions? no not so. In them is no certayntie. It is Christ and hys worde that is the only trouth. Wherfore he shal teache only Christ and the worde of god, for this is all trouthe. For (as ChrysostomeChrysostom. sayth) the gospel conteyneth al together. And the of­fice (sayeth he) of a good preacher is truly to prose­cute all that is in hys commission & not to thaunge, put to, or take away any thyng. But this ye Bishop­pes of Rome in tymes paste haue done, and yet at this day do presume to do. Wherfore they are no in­terpretours but deprauers of scripture, no vicars of Christe, but of the deuell. They speake of their owne heddes their own inuentions and dreames, wheras the holy ghost whyche here is promysed by Christe vnto vs shall speake nothyng of hymselfe, but what so euer he shall heare, that shall he speake, that is to saye, he shall speake none other worde or gospel, on­ly he shal open and declare the worde that is alredy spoken by Christ. This do not the papistes, for they expoūde not Christes worde, but they bring another word besides Christes word. Thys spirite of trouth shall also shewe of thynges to come, that is to wit, of the spreading abrode of Christes gospel through­out [Page] the hole world euen vnto the Gentilles or hethē persons aswell as to the Iewes, whom yet the Iues despysed and toke for refuse and abiecte persōs and counted them selues onely for Gods electe and cho­sen. This holy ghoste shall glorifie Christe, that is, he shall expoune him, he shall make him clearer and shall auaunce and set him forthe. But the byshop of Rome doth cleane contrary for he obscureth & darkeneth Christe and his doctryne. This holy ghost (say­eth Christ) shall receyue of myne and shall shewe vn to you. And al that the father of heuē hath are myn. This is to saye good people that the holy spirite of god wherwyth euery christen man must be renewed (according to Christes communication wyth Nico­demus)Ioh. iij. shall breath or inspire nothing into the min­des of christian folke but that whych Christes gos­pell and worde wylleth. He teacheth no newe thing Wherfore my frendes, if we woll be true christians not only in name but also in dede let vs put of oure carnall and olde man, and let vs be ledde wyth the spirite of god which is here called ye spirite of trouth Whych spirite by the instrument of godes word as here is declared shall open and disclose vnto vs all trouth necessarye to oure saluation and soule helth. Which thyng also the aūcient doctour Ihon Chry­sostomeChryso­stome in cap. mat xxij. ho­mi. xli. witnesseth, sayeng. What so euer is sought to the soule helth the same is al togither conteyned and accomplished in holy scripture. He that is igno­raunt shal fynde there ynoughe to lerne. He that is stubborne and a synner shall fynde there the skour­gies of the iudgemente to come that he maye feare. He that laboureth shall fynde there the gloryes and [Page xxvi] promises of lief euerlasting, by chawyng wherof, he may be more & more kyndled to do good workes as becommeth a christian man to do. Let vs praye then to god with pure hartes that he woll vouche saue to send vs this holy ghost this cōforter vnto our myn­des which may open vnto vs al trouth. To whome be glory and prayse immortally &.c.

The Epistle on the. v. sondaye after Ester. The fyrste chapter of saynt Iames.

Thargument

☞ Saynt Iames exhorteth christen men to de­clare their feyth wyth good workes. And he she­weth what thyng true Religion or deuotion is.

MOst deare beloued brethren, euery good gifte and euery perfyte gyfte is from aboue and cometh downe from the father of lyghtes, wyth whō is no variablenes, neither is he chaunged vnto darckenes. Of hys owne wyll begat he vs wyth the worde of trouth, that we shuld be the fyrste frutes of hys creatures. Wherfore (deare brethrē) let eue­ry man be swyft to heare, slowe to speake, slowe to wrath. For the wrath of mā worketh not that why [...]he is ryghtouse before god. Wherfore laye aparte all fylthynes and superfluitie of maliciousnes, and receaue wythe mekenes the worde that is grasted in you, whych is hable to saue your soules.

THe holy Apostle of God saynte Iames good christen people in the epistle of this day dothe discerne the true hearers of gods worde from the false hearers. And ye shal vnderstande that the true [Page] [...] [Page xxv] [...] [Page] [...] [Page xxvi] [...] [Page] heaters of gods worde be they whiche take it withwho be the true hearers of gods worde [...]at. xiij fayth, whiche vnderstande it in theyr harte & whiche do garnishe it outwardely with suche workes as be prescribed and appoynted them to do, and (as the pa rable of Christe declareth) whiche do heare the word of god and vnderstande it, whiche also bryng forthe frute some an hundred folde, some sixty folde, some thyrty folde. And it is he (according to the wordes ofPsal. i. the prophete Dauid) whiche is lyke a tre planted by the ryuer syde, bearyng his frute in due tyme.the false hearers.

But the false hearers of the worde be they, whiche heare it, but they receiue it nat with fayth, they vn­derstande it nat in theyr harte, neyther do they fur­nyshe and declare it to the worlde with good workes and as the parable of ye sower sayeth, they suffre the deuyll to take the worde out of theyr harte. These be only temporall hearers and but for a season, they be but starters, they stycke nat by it. They be also suche as when they haue perceyued & taken the true word of god, they choke it with the care of this world and with the disceitfulnes of ryches & so make the worde vnfruteful, for they receiue it nat with ful mynd but by snatches and myndyng other thynges, euen as he whiche beholdeth his bodely face in a glasse, and forthwith goeth hys waye and forgetteth by and byEstote factores verbi. what maner thyng it was. Be ye then doers of the worde, that is to were, declare wt good workes that ye truly vnderstande it, and be [...]at hearers onely, as who shulde say. Ye that heare the worde of god with your eares and do boste and glory in the knowledge therof, and neuertheles be occupyed and intaugled in other maters ye do nothyng els but deceiue your [Page xxvii] selues whych thyng he declareth with a wonderful goodly and apte similitude. For lyke as it nothinge helpeth a man to stāde before a glasse and to se hym selfe faire, whan he goeth away forthwyth, and for­getteth strayte hys beawtie, So it helpeth a man no thynge at all to heare gods worde, onles he receyue it in hys harte, and take holde of it by fayth, depely printyng in hys mynde the beautie therof, and be de lyted therin, and fynally declare wyth good workes that he doth truly vnderstande it. Furthermore he that standeth before a glasse maye well glorie and bragge of hys beautye for a tyme: So he that hea­reth the worde may well reioyse and glorie of it.

But whan the glasse is taken away anone the beau tie is out of the mynde. So in tyme of necessitie and tribulation, yf the true glasse of gods wyll that is to wyt the worde of God be taken awaye and not cō sydered, anone the promyses and gospell that is to saye the glad tydynges concernynge our redempti­on is out of mynde, the beautie of gods goodnes is forgotten, and finally the wyll and pleasure of the Lorde is neglected. But on the contrary parte who so loketh in the perfyte lawe of lybertie and continu eth therin, yf he be not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the worke, the same shalbe happy in hys dede. As who shulde saye: He that rightly heareth and vnder standeth the worde and doeth expresse the same with worthy workes in such wyse as he sheweth hymselfe to haue a firme & sure vnderstandynge of the same whereby he may vaynquish and chase away death, Satan, and synne: he shalbe happye in hys dede or worke, he shalbe declared by hys dedes to be a iusti­fyed [Page] person and saued. For dedes & workes in christē men be testimonies and wytnesses of our iustifyeng fayth and that we do vnderstande ryghtly and tru­ly gods worde. For (as saynt Augustine affirmeth)Augus. fayth ought to go before workes. Yea he declareth playnly yt workes wythout fayth can not be good, and he allegeth for hys purpose that texte of saynte Paule: Omne quod non est ex fide peccatum est. Ro. iiij. That is to saye, what so euer is not of faythe, the same is synne. Herevnto also agreeth ChrysostomeChryso­stome de fide et Lege. True re­ligion. where he sayeth: Fayth ought to shyne before wor­kes, and workes muste be the handmaydes or way­tynge seruauntes and folowers of fayth.

Secōde, in thys epistle saynt Iames doth teach vs (good people) what the ryght and perfyte religi­on of a christian man or woman is. Yf any man (say eth saynt Iames) woll seme to be religiouse amon­ges you, not refraynynge hys tonge, but seducynge and deceyuynge hys owne harte, thys mans religi­on is vayne. Pure and vndefyled religion before God the father is thys: to vysite the fatherlesse and wedowes in theyr aduersitie, & to kepe thy selfe vn­spotted in the worlde. Lo good people here ye haue a true definicion of religion. It is not to be locked vp in stone walles and to departe from the compa­ny of the worlde, as those disguysed and false religi ouse persones lately in thys realme dyd, bu [...]t is to be conuersaunt amonges men wythout spotte or re proufe, it is to vysite orphanes and fatherlesse chyl­dren, to go and succour the poore wydowes, to go a­boute and to wynne ye people to Christ, to fysh mens soules and to brynge them into the kyngdome of [Page xxviij] Christ out of the tyranny and raygne of Antichriste. I call Antichrist whosoeuer teacheth other deuoti­ons and holynesses then Christ dyd ordeyne. For he that is not wyth Christ is agaynst Christ. Wherfore good brethren and systers, let vs be accordynge to saynt Iames monition here, not onely hearers but also doers of the worde, but of what worde▪ of the bishop of Romes worde, of Antichristes word which is contrary to Christes vnspotted & syncere worde? no but of gods worde, to thintent we maye loke into the persyte lawe whych breaketh out of fre spirite & fayth into workes of charitie. Let vs imbrace ye true religiō that is here prescribed and set forth vnto vs Let vs vysite the orphanes, the desolate wydowes & our poore neyghbours that be destitute of comforte and relyfe. Thys let vs do of a fre and franke harte not as constraynedly but wyllyngly and gladly.

Thys doynge we shall declare by our dedes that we haue the lyuely fayth that shall iustifie vs in gods sight. In these our dedes, but not by these our dedes nor through these our dedes, we shall as saynt Ia­mes assureth vs be happy, and so happy that nomā shalbe able to take our ioye and blysse from vs. For we shall not onely lyue here in thys worlde in peace of conscience and in the kyngdome of Christ, but we shall also in an other worlde inherite the vnspeaka­ble ioy [...] and felicitie of heauen, where lyueth & rayg neth the father the sōne and holy goost perpetually

Amen.

The Gospel on the. v. Sondaye after Ester daye which is the next sonday before the crosse dayes, the. xvi. Chapter of Ihon.

Thargument

[Page]☞Prayers are hard through Christ.

IEsus sayd to his disciples, after a whyle ye shall not se me, and againe after a while ye shal se me, for I go to the father. Thā sayd some of his disci­ples betwene them selues: what is this that he saith vnto vs, after a while ye shal not se me, and againe after a whyle ye shal se me: and that I go to the fa­ther? They said therfore: what is this that he saith; after a whyle? we can not tell what he sayth. Iesus perceyued that they wolde aske him, and said vnto them. Ye inquyre of this betwene youre selues, be­cause I sayd after a while ye shall not se me, and a­gayne after a whyle ye shall se me. Verely, verely I saye vnto you: ye shall wepe and lament, but con­trary wise, the world shall reioyse. Ye shal so rowe, but your sorowe shalbe turned to ioye. A woman whē she traueyleth hath sorowe, because her hour is come. But as sone as she is deliuered of the child she remēbreth no more the anguyshe for ioye that a man is borne into the worlde. And ye nowe ther­fore haue sorowe: but I wyll se you agayne, and youre hartes shall reioyse, and youre ioye shall no man take from you.

IN the first parte of the Gospel of this daie (good people) is a commaūdemēt and promise set forth vnto vs wherby we be allured and sturred to praye. [...] The vertu of prayers And surely sith a christian person can no whe [...] haue better coumforte in such thynges as he is troubled [Page xxix] in, and in tyme of necessitie and aduersitie, then in­stantly to pray and to open his affliction and grete with ardent peticion and humble sute to God, who onely wyll and can helpe him in his distres & gyue him comforte, vndoutedly it is ryght necessary that we throughly perceuie & knowe the institucion and intent of this present gospel, to the intent we might be the more inclined and disposed vnto prayer. For who wolde reiecte and despice prayer as a thyng ly­tie necessary, seyng it is so muche auaunced and cō ­maunded by Christe vnto vs? Yea this cōmaunde­ment dothe as straytly bynde vs, as the fyrste com­maundemēt of the Decalogie doth. This to be true [...]u. xviij. we may se in another place where Christe byddeth vs alwayes to pray and that without ceasing or in­termission. Marke that it is necessary then and con uenient that we shulde pray. Wherfore as we be by speciall word and cōmaundement of Christe drawē and inforced to pray: So also this gospell allureth vs to the same with a speciall promise. For it is here promised vs by Christe that our prayers that is to we [...]e the prayers of christen ꝑsons shal not be vaine ne frustrate, but that we shalbe surely herde & shall obteyne our sutes. For why elles wolde Christ haue bounde this his worde and promise with an othe, sayeng, verely verely, What so euer ye aske the fa­ther in my name he shall gyue it you. Also aske and it shalbe gyuen you. Do ye not heare how our pray­ers shal not be vayne nor frustrate? Who then wold nowe be slouthfull to pray seyng Christe by his [...] ­ciall cōmaundement hath wylled vs to the same.

Forthermore, ye shal here vnderstande that bycause [Page] we shuld not thynke that the labour of our prayers shuld be in vayne: therfore doth Christe here in this place allure vs with a notable and special promyse as is before remembred. But herin are two thinges to be considered & pondered of vs. The one is yt wewe must pray on ly in the name of Christe. shuld pray in none other name thē in only Christes name. Now we pray in the name of Christ when we approche to god in the faythe of Christ and do com­forte our selues with the trust and affiaunce in him, that is to were, that he only is our mediatour or ad­uocate, by whom all be forgyuen vs, and without whom we can deserue nothyng but gods indigna­cion and wrath. For I pray you what saynte, what holy man is there either in heauen or earthe whiche sueth maketh intercession and is mediatour to the father of heauen for vs in suche wyse as Christe is? Assuredly it is Christe only by whose merite and in­tercession not only we obteine pardon of our synnes & ryghteousnes but also he taketh vs in the place of his brethren cōmunicating vnto vs the rouine or of fice of presthoode as testifyeth also S. Peter in his [...]. Pet. ij. fyrst epistle so that we also by authoritie and vertue herof may lykewyse haue accesse to the father & seke of him in our afflictions grace helpe and comforte. Thys thyng confirmeth also Christ himselfe where he sayeth I saye not vnto you that I shalbe an in­tercessour or suter for you to my father. For the fa­ther himself loueth you because ye haue loued me in beleuyng that I am come frō the father. Wherfore good christen brethren syth we haue suche an aduo­cate and mediatour for vs yea sithe we also our sel­ues be admitted by Christe to the function & offyce [Page xxx] of prestes: I pray you why shulde we so muche de­pēde vpō confidēce of others to be meanes & suters for vs? This thyng also doth the auncient and holy father S. Chrysostom ful wel declare in his homelyChriso­stome. De profectu euangelij Where he writeth in this wyse. Thou shall nede no patrones or aduorates wt god, neyther shalt thou nede to runne hyther and thyther to flatter other that they maye intreate for the, but albeit thou be alone and hast no patrone or intercessour, but prayest to god by thy selfe alone, yet shalt thou throughly obteyne thy sute & demaunde. For god doth not so easely graunte when other men praye for vs as when we praye our selues although we be full of many vices and synnes. Lo what thys holy doctour saythe. He certifieth the that thou arte soner herd when thou praiest for thy selfe then when thou makest other to praye for the. Whyche thyngeTheo­philac­tus in Io han. ca. xv. Theophilactꝰ affirmeth also, where he saith. Marke that albeit sayntes or holy men praye for vs, as the Apostles dyd for the woman of Cananee, yet we be rather herd when we praye for our selues.

Furthermore we muste take hede good people that we be suters vnto god in our prayers for nothinge that is repugnaunt to the glory of god to our owne saluation and to gods will. For in thys behalfe that god almyghty wyll neither admytte nor heare oure prayers it is manifestlye shewed by that he teacheth vs in our pater noster to saye. Fiat voluntas tua, thyMath. v. wil be done. Wherfore we shall then be hard when in our necessities we desire and require gods helpe ha­uing respect euer and casting our eyes to his wyl to hys cōmaundement and promise and not alledging [Page] owne worthynes (whyche is nothyng at all) but only the merite of Christe, then I saye oure petition and sute shal surely be admitted & hard. Forasmoch as all the promises in Christ be est and amen that is to saye moost certeine and sure, as Paule in his se­condij. cor. i. epistle to the Corinthians wrytcth. Moreouer bicause oftentymes we be so vntoward and folyshe, that we cannot espye oure owne necessitie and nede: Therfore Christ wil likewise teache vs what manerRo. viij. thyng our petition ought to be, (praye sayth he) that your ioye may be ful. What ioye I pray you is this? vndoutedly it is no worldely or corporall leapynge or daunsing and reioising, but it is a spirituall ioye wherof saint Paule maketh mention wher he saith.Phi. iiij. Reioise in the lord. And againe I saye reioise. From whence then procedeth this ioye? Surely of faythe. But howe is this? Truly if at any tyme I heare the gospell taughte wherin is offeryd by Christe to all men remission of synue: I muste beleue it if I woll that that sermon or preachyng of Christe shulde do me good. But beleue it I cannot, onles by the word the holy ghost be gyuen me whych maye worke such feith in me. That if the worde & the spirite workethe in me fayth, I nede not to doubte any thynge at all herein, but that Christe hathe not only perdoned me my synnes in suche wise that they canne no more beFrom whence the pea­ce of cō science sprin­geth. called into iudgement and condemne me, but also that he hath recōciled the father in heauen vnto me and made him my speciall good lorde and father in such sorte as he now knowledgeth and reputeth me for his sonne and that he wol preserue and conserue me vnto euerlasting liefe, and from hens afterward [Page xxxi] spryngeth oute peace of conscience vnto me and the spirituall ioye wherof in thys gospell oure sauioure Christe speaketh, but suche ioye oughte alweyes to growe and to be increased if it wolbe made perfecteij. pe. iij. and ful. Wherfore that it may growe and wyth per­petual encrease waxe greater and greater, vndoub­tedly god of his most bountifull mercy will brynge to passe, [...]f so be we instantly call vpon hym with cō ­tynuall prayers. Syth therfore (good christen peo­ple) Christ hath gyuen vs in commaundement that for such ioye of harte we shulde praye to thentente it myght be made consūmate & fully perfecte, we must here obey him that we may truly saye with ye blessed virgine Marye. Et exultauit spiritus meus in deoLuce. ij.salutari meo. That is to saye. My spirite reioyseth in god my sauioure.

Finally (my brethren) Christe doth here agayne set­oute the rudenes and ignorance of his apostles be­fore theyr eyes, and confesseth that hys lessons and teachinges haue bene hithervnto but as ridles and parables vnto them, and that to the vnderstanding of such thynges as he taught them it was necessarie that he shulde not speake vnto them in parables and ryddelles, but that he shulde speake of hys fa­ther vnto them openly and frely, that is, that it was necessary that he shulde sende them the holy ghoste who myght make them able to attayne hys wordes.

And suerly good people this kinde of ignoraunce and blyndnes was not only in the apostles beforePsa. xiij Ioh. iij. they were confirmed with the holy ghost, but it is al­so naturally planted in all men in so moch that ther is not one whych canne either vnderstand or worke [Page] any thinge that good is, onles he be transformed by the spirite of god vnto a newe creatu [...]e. We thinke our selues neuertheles very prudent and wyse euen as the apostles dyd in this gospell sayenge, [...]o nowe thou speak este frely & openly, neyther speakest thou any parable, now I know that thou knowest al thin [...]s. &c. But no doubt thys was a very folyshe rash­nes and arrogauncie euen as that was, that Peter dyd when he wolde go with Christ both into pryson and into death by whyche rashe promise he shamed hymselfe when before the cocke crewe he denied his Maister Christ thryse.

Wherfore all thys hole thynge is wrytten for oure cause that we shuld not arrogaūtly presume to take any thynge vpon vs rashely and temerariously, but that we shuld rather walke in an humble mynd and spirite, confessinge and knowledginge continually that we be bothe miserable and ignoraunte persons in such thynges as concerne Christes glorye, foras­moche as without the spirite of god we canne neuer vnderstande the mystery of the gospel. For assuredly the wysdome of the fleshe is foly before god, and the more knowledge it boasteth & pretendith in spiritual and diuine thynges, so moch the more is the foly of it declared and vttered. Let vs then my good bre­thren and sisters in all oure necessities and troubles pray accordynge to the wordes of this gospel, but to whom? To the father of heuen. In whose name? In Christes. And what shall we praye for? that our ioye may be perfyte & full. What is thys to saye? that by Christ our sinne beynge taken away, our conscience maye be quyet and sure of euerlastinge lyfe, whyche [Page xxxij] is a ryght perfecte ioye. Let vs praye that we maye be taught openly and playnly wythout prouerbes or parables, that is, yt we maye receyue the holy spi­rite of cōforte into our soules whych in gods worde maye instructe vs of all trouth. Whych graunt vs God the father of heuen. Qui viuit et regnat in secu la seculorum.

Amen.

A sermon in the Rogation weke or a briefe instruc tion for the weake in the faithe what they ought to do in these dayes of Rogation.

GOod people thys weke is called the Rogation weke, bicause in thys weke we be wōte to make solemne and general supplycatiōs or prayers which in Greke be called Lytanyes. Nowe therfore I ex­hortelitanies. you and in the Lordes name I require you, that in al your Litanies or supplications ye wol so do, that the thynge maye agre to the name, and that this oure Litanye, thys our supplication and roga­tion may be made wythe such true and ernest fayth, that we may admonishe god and put him in mynde of hys fatherly promises. He that wyll not endeuour hymselfe to do this, let hym tarye styll at home, let him kepe hun and absteyne from thys holy processiō lest he happen to iritate and to angre god more, then other men shalbe hable to pacifie and styll hym. Al­beitThe a­buse of these dayes. (alacke for pitie) these solemne & accustomable processions and supplications, whyche we vse com­monly as in this weke to make, be now growen into [Page] a ryght foule and detestable abuse, so that the moost parte of men and women in these solemne dayes of supplication do come forth rather to set out & shewe themselues and to passe the tyme wyth vayne & vn­profytable tales and mery fables than to make ge­neral supplications and prayers to god for theyr necessities. I let passe the other enormities and vices, whych on these dayes be customably perpetrate and done. I wyll not speake of the rage and furour of these vplandysh processions and gangynges about, whych be spente in ryottynge and in bely chere. Fur­thermore the banners and badges of the crosse be so vnreuerently handled and abused that I maruayle greatly God destroye vs not all in one yeare. What shall I say? Surely they are now growen into such abuse that there be farre greter causes to take them awaye and vtterly to abrogate them wyth the other holydayes, than ther were in tymes past to institute and ordeyne them. And assuredly it is the parte of byshops, of parsons, of vycares, and curates, yea & also of ye prophane Magistrates to se that those vn­christen and vngodly abuses bē auoyded and taken awaye, or, yf the thynge be past remedy, vtterly to a­bolish and abrogate these letanies and supplicaciōs thus abused. For assuredly it were much better and more christian lyke, that christian men and women were gathered and assembled together in the church there to make theyr supplications & prayers to god, than after such an hethē & vnruly fashion to mocke God and his holy sygnes. And (no doubt) such as be curates and herdmen of Christes churche shall ren­dre a sharpe rekenynge and accomptes to God for [Page xxxiij] wynkynge at these abuses.

Now in these Rogation dayes, two thynges areWhat is to be de maūded in sup­plicati­ons. to be asked of God and prayed for. The fyrst is, that God of hys goodnes and clemēcy woll defende and saue ye corne in the felde, and that he woll purge the ayer, to thintent that not only the lappe of the earth may be replenished wyth seasonable rayne, and that the ayer maye be tempered to the vtilitie and furthe raunce of the corne, but also that it be not infected & that by the eatynge and drynkynge therof neyther we nor our bestes do catche any pestilence, poxe, fe­uers, or other diseases. For as testifyeth saynt Pauli. Tim [...]. iiij. in hys fyrst epistle to Timothie, gods creatures as meate, drynke, corne, and such other thynges be sanctifyed by the worde of God, and by prayer. For frō whence come pestilencies & the other kindes of disea ses and of syckenesses than that the noysome spiri­tes do infecte the aier? And by reason herof cōmonly our corne and grayne be peryshed, infected, and bla­sted, and so we (God permyttynge the same) by ea­tynge and drynkynge our owne grayne do gette vs death and greuouse affections of the body. For this cause be certayne gospels redde in the wyde felde a­mōges the corne and grasse, that by the vertue and efficacie of gods worde, the power of the wycked spi rites whych kepe in the ayer may be broken, and the ayer made pure & cleane, to thintent the corne maye remayne vntouched & not infected of the sayd hurt­full spirites but serue vs for our vse and bodely su­stenaunce. Wherfore (my deare brethren) we oughte to make these solemne processions wyth ernest myn­des and wyth all reucrence, & in especiall we oughte [Page] to handle and to heare the worde of God wyth de­uoute and religiouse myndes. Thus doynge, doute we nothynge, but that gods worde wol vtter and ex ecute hys vertue vpon the corne and ayer, that those noysome spirites of the ayer shall do no hurte at all to our corne.

Seconde, thys is also moost of all to be desyred & humbly to be prayed for in these rogation dayes, that God woll vouchsaue to blesse hys creatures not only (as before is sayd) for the cōmoditie of oure bodyes, but also for our soules helth, lest our misera ble soules do herby catche vnto themselues pestife­rous infection and damnable contagion. I meane as thus: The poyson and infection of the soule is synne. Now whan God poureth vpon vs plentyful croppes and increase of all thynges: forthwyth we beynge moost ingrate and vnkynde persons do vy­laynously gyue oure selues to dayly bankettes and feastynges and to moost beastly fyllynge of our pā ­chies, herof by & by ensueth ydelnes, & of it sprynge whordomes, adulteries, blasphemies, cursynges, per iuries, murders, warres, and all myschiefe, so that it were much better for vs yf our corne and cattel dyd not so happely and plenteously prosper and take.

So the thynge that we demaunded in our processi­ons and supplications we do fynde, for god maketh vs here aboundauntly in this behalfe to enioye our requestes and desyres and doth minister al thynges to the bodye wyth a large blessynge, whyche thynge neuerthelesse is moost present poyson and pestilence to the soule and it is the occasion of great myschefe. For doubtles surfettynge and ydelnes, of all nough [Page xxxiiij] tynes be the rotes, and the fountaynes of all euels. But alake, alake, thys goostly infection we nothing at all regarde, we passe not of it. The pestilēce whichNo man regar­deth the spiritu­all pesti­lence. noyeth the body we eschue it with great care and we study to dryue it awaye wyth often prayers and sup plications laynge vnto it all the medicines and re­medies we can deuyse. But in thys spirituall pesti­lence we go styll on and procede wythout care or thought and euen for thys purpose as it semeth we desyre of God large sustentacion and aboundaunce of [...]l thynges and to be delyuered from the corporal pestilence and infections that we maye the more fre­ly and aboundaūtly endure after a delicate sorte in yt spirituall infection. But assuredly (my frendes) al­myghty god the sercher of hartes whyle he seyth vs slepynge in such careles wyse and that we nothynge regarde thys so pestilent a pestilēce: he also winketh at our destruction accordynge to our owne vowes & requestes, he graunteth vs copye and aboundaunce of all thynges and so blyndeth vs wyth the prospe­rous successe of all thynges and drowneth vs in the synke and puddell of synnes tyll at last oure synnes by longe vse runne into a custome and that the na­me of synne be forgotten.

Wherfore moost dearely beloued brethren and systers albeit euery day we ought to exhibite suppli cations and prayers to the Lorde wyth a rough cha stisement of our body to dryue awaye frō vs so hor­rible floudes of all myschefe, namely in thys region moost addict and gyuen to cōmessacions, to banket­tynges, to reuelynges, to surfettynges, to ydelnes, & to the vyces that [...]nsue of them to thintent that god [Page] ones at laste maye lyghten vs wyth hys grace that we maye vse his gyftes to the helth of our soule and to the holsomnes of our body, in suche sorte, as these goodes of the contrey, I meane our corne and cattel myght be auaylable aswell to the tuicion and defēce of our body as to our soules health. But as I haue sayd and saye agayne God hath made vs so blynde and so vnsauery, that we are waxen playne Epicu­resThe a­buse of goddes gyftes. vtterly voyde of all feare or care of God mooste shamefully abusynge hys gyftes to the ryot of the body and destruction of the soule. And for asmuche as thys our detestable wickednes and abuse of this godly institucion is not amended but waxeth yerly worse and worse, therfore God hath gyuen vs vp in to a disalowed mynde so yt we make these letanyesRom. i. and rogation dayes by our synnes vtterly vnprofy table and vnfrutfull vnto vs. Beholde how angrye and how sore displeased God is wyth vs, neyther is there any to aswage and appeace hys fury, syth our letanyes, our supplications, processions, & prayers wherewyth we rather mocke god thā worshyp hym, spendynge our tyme and abusynge hys benefites in thys wyse: be rather kyndlynges and nouryshmen­tes of goddes indignation and vengeaunce, thā mi­tigacions and swagynges therof. God graunt ther­fore and be presently at hāde & assystent to vs (good people) that ones at last we may come home againe to our selues and to returne to the hart and that we may beynge instincted and kyndled wyth ernest and sure fayth put from vs hys wrath and displeasure, to whome be prayses and glory, in secula seculorum

Amen.

The epistle on the Ascension daye. The fyrst chap­ter of the actes of the Apostles.

Thargument.

☞ Christes Ascension into heauen is here des­cribed.

IN the former treatyse (Deare Theophylus) we haue spoken of all that Iesus beganne to do and teach, vntyll the daye in whych he was taken vp, af ter that he, thorow the holy goost, had gyuen com maundemente vnto the Apostles whome he hadde chosen, to whom also he shewed hymselfe alyue afIoh. xx. ter hys passion (and that by many tokens) appea­rynge vnto them fourtye dayes, and speakynge of the kyngdome of God, and gathered them to ge­ther,lu. xxiiij and commaunded them, that they shulde not departe frō Ierusalē: but to wayte for the promiseIoh. iiij. of the father wherof (sayth he) ye haue herd of me For [...]hon truly baptysed with water: but ye shalbeIoh. i. baptised wyth the holy gost after these few dayes. Whan they therfore were come together, they as­kedmath. iij of hym, saynge: Lorde, wylt thou at this tyme restore agayne the kyngdom to Israel? And he said vnto them: It is not for you to knowe the tymes orMath. xxiij. lu. xxiiij the seasons, whych the father hath put in hys owne power: but ye shall receaue power after that the ho ly goost is come vpon you. And ye shalbe wytnes­sesIoh. xv. vnto me, not only in Ierusalem, but also in all Iewry and in Samary, and euen vnto the worldes ende. And whā he had spokē these thynges, whyle they behelde, he was taken vp an hye, and a cloudeMar. xvi [Page] receaued hym vp out of theyr syght. And whyle they loked stedfastly vp toward heauē, as he went, beholde, two men stode by them in whyte apparell whych also sayd: ye men of Galilee, why stande yeMath. xxiiij. mar. xiij Apoc. i. gasynge vp into heauen? Thys same Iesus whyche is taken vp from you into heauen, shall so come, euen as ye haue sene hym go vp into heauen.

WElbeloued brethren and systers in our Saui­our Christe, thys daye is called the Ascension daye, because that as thys daye, Christe our Saui­our and redemer mounted or styed vp to heauen af­ter hys resurrection leauynge hys Apostles and dis­ciples vpon the earth whych thynge is one of the ar ticles of our Crede or beleue. And albeit saynt Luke the holy Euāgelist doth ascertayne vs of this thing in the ende of hys Gospell whych he wrote of the ac­tes and lyfe of Christ, yet for asmuche as he touched the thynge but brefly and lyghtly there, therfore he doeth here in the lesson of thys daye whych is the be gynnynge of an other boke that he wrote for our in­struction of the dedes and actes of the Apostles, in­treate the mater more at large.

Fyrst therfore ye shall marke and obserue (good people) that the Euangelical histories do paynt out Christ vnto vs as yet couered wyth the burthen of ye fleshe, & as yet not glorifyed, how be it in the meane season he declared hymselfe aswell by hys heauenly doctrine as by many hys myracles which he shewed that he was very God. But in the actes of the Apost l [...]s he is described and set forth vnto vs as one that nowe raygneth & is glorifyed. Thus therfore saynt [Page xxxvij] Luke begynneth hys description. In the former treatyse or boke whych I wrote dearly beloued frēdTheo­philus. Theophilus (whych by interpretation sygnifyeth a louer of God) we haue spoken of all that Iesus be­ganne to do and teache. He sayeth not of all that Ie sus began to teache & do. For our Sauiour Christe fyrst dyd practyse and worke such thynges as he af­terwardeMat. iij. taught. He wente to Ihons baptisme. He wythdrewe hymselfe for a season out of the compa­ny of the worlde afore he wolde take vpon hym to preache, and to teach other. The spirite led hym intoMat. iiij wyldernesse, where he fasted fourty dayes and four ty nyghtes. He suffred there moost sharpe honger to arme hymselfe wyth abstinence and pacience. He there endured the mooste bytter assaultes and tem­tacions of our goostly enemye the deuell, as appca­reth manyfestly in the fourth chapter of Mathewe. Al thys he dyd to shewe vs an exēple how we ought to do. We haue many teachers but fewe doers. Thou (sayeth Paule) whyche teachest another, tea­chestRom. i. not thy selfe. Thou preachest a man shulde not steale, and thou stealest thy selfe. Thou that sayest a man shulde not commytte adultrye, cōmytteit hore­dome thy selfe. Thou abhorrest ymages, & yet thou doest robbe God of hys due honour. Christ byddeth hys Apostles and preachers that theyr lyght shulde shyne before men. He wolde haue them to be the saltMath. v of the earth. But yf the salt (sayeth he) be vnsauery, wherewith shal it be sauered? it is good for nothyng but to be cast out of the dores and trodē vnder fete. And in conclusion he sayeth in thys wyse. Whosoe­uer doth and teacheth, the same shalbe called greate [Page] in the kyngdome of heauen. Yea he furthermore as­sureth vs, that onles our ryghtuousnes do passe theMath. v ryghtuousnes of the scribes, and pharisees: we shall not entre into the kyngdome of heauen. But wol ye knowe good people what be scribes and pharisees? Herken what Christe sayeth in the. xxiij. chapter of Mathew. The scribes and pharisees syt in Moses chaire. All therfore that they byd you obserue, that obserue and do, but do not ye after theyr workes, for they saye and do not. Yea they bynde together heuy burthēs and greuous to be borne, and laye them on mens backes, but they themselues wyll not heue at them wyth one of theyr fyngers.

But let vs now se, whether there be any suche scribes and pharisees amōges Christē men, as wereOrigene in olde tyme amonges the Iues. Origene that aun­cient doctour, wrytynge vpon thys place of Ma­thew,who be scribes. sayeth, that those be scribes, whych depart not from the letter of the law. These be such persons as teach nothynge but the outwarde obseruynge and as who shulde saye the barke of the lawe, where asRo. vij. accordynge to saynt Paule the lawe kylleth and the spirite quyckeneth. For as saynt Austine doth veryAustine. well declare, the letter of the lawe wythout the spi­rite is not ynough. It is the spirite that quycke­neth,Ioh. iij. of whome, onles a mā be borne agayne, he can not entre into the kyngdome of God. Thys spirite is wont to lede men into al trouth, he discloseth and openeth vnto vs the pyth of the lawe, that is to say, the lyuely and ernest fayth in Messias that was pro mysed so longe before by the prophetes, euen our sa uiour Christ Iesus, for whose loue we ought frelye [Page xxxvij] to fulfyll and worke the lawe and not constrainedly lyke slaues and bondmen, forasmuch as the spirite of God hath infranchised vs and made vs Christes freemen. They than whych teach not thys fredome and enfranchisement of christian men, that is to wit whych teach not the pyth or karnell of the lawe but the barke or houske, be no better than scribes. NowThe pa­pistes be scribes. I pray you, what other be al papistes but euen such & worse, for they can skant abyde to teache so muche as the letter of gods law, whych neuertheles beyng taught nakedly and alone doth but kyll, it quycke­neth not. Yea they wol teach welnere nothynge but theyr owne traditions, customes and beggerly ele­mētes. I haue brefly shewed you (my frendes) which be scribes, accordynge to the definition of the auncient doctour Origene. Let vs now se, what he callethwhat origene calleth phari­see. a Pharisee. Such as professynge (sayeth he) some greater thyng do diuide themselues as better from the multitude and cōmon sorte of men, be called pharisees, which by interpretacion be as much to say as diuisi or segregati, that is to wyt, diuided or seuered persons. For Phares in Ebrue is called a diuision. Now accordynge to thys definicion whether there be any pharisees in Christendome I reporte me to your selues. Lorde God what diuisions, what sectes what sūdry sutes of holy holy persons haue we had in Englāde now of late whych thought themselues better and holyer than the rest of people, yea whiche wolde suffer none to be called religiouse but them­selues, where as after the diffinitiō of saint Iames, they were as farre wyde and differed as much from religiouse persons, as an [...]e differre from an owle.

[Page]But let vs retourne to our lection. These scri­bes and pharisees dyd teach but they dyd not ye thinges whych they taught. Christ (as saynt Luke doth here wytnesse) fyrste dyd the thynges, and after he taught them. And of all these thynges (sayth Luke) whych Iesus began to do and teache vntyll ye tyme of hys ascension haue we spoken in the former trea­tyse. Thys treatyse we call cōmonly the Gospell of saynt Luke. Now than whan the Apostles were as on thys daye assembled and come together they as­ked Christ, sayenge: Lorde wylte thou at thys tyme restore agayne the kyngdome to Israel? Lo (good people) here ye haue a ryght notable exemple of the Apostles infirmitie and weakenes. For albeit theyThe we kenes of the apo stles. had herde oftentymes that Christes kyngdome or raygne shulde be spirituall yet they continued styll to dreame of a certaine corporal Monarchy or rule. But nowe what doth Christe vnto them? Albeit they thought & spake foolyshly, yet he reiected them not; but ryght gently he plucketh them awaye from those carnall thoughtes, saynge: It is not for you to knowe the tymes or the seasons which the father hath put in hys owne power, as who shulde saye, medle ye wyth your office wherevnto ye be appoyn­ted. Your office is to testifye of me & of my doctrine. Ye shalbe wytnesses (sayeth Christ) vnto me, not on ly in Ierusalem, but also in all Iury and in Sama ry, and euen vnto the worldes ende. And here is toThe of­fice of a postles or prea­chers. be noted that Christ woll not haue hys preachers cu riouse vpon ydle questions or vayne philosophie. For theyr only office and feate is to preache Christe and hys doctrine, that is to wyt, to set forth and pro [Page xxxviij] powne only such thynges as Christe hath taught & done to be beleued of the ignoraūt people for which cause also the holy goost was gyuen vnto them, euē to thintent to make the Apostles mete to teache and vs to receyue theyr teachynge. Now whan Christe had spokē these thynges, whyle hys Apostles beheld hym, lo sodenly he was taken vp on hygh, & a cloud receyued hym vp out of theyr syght. Here (my bre­thren)The fru te of the ascēsion ye shall marke the frute and profyte of our sa uiour Christes Ascension. For by hys styenge or as­cendynge vp into heauen he wrought two thynges for vs. The one was, he had a most goodly and glo riouse triumphe vpon oure mortall enemye the de­uell. The other was, he anone sent downe the holy goost to hys Apostles, as also the prophete Dauid wytnesseth, sayenge: Ascendit in altum, captiuam duxit captiuitatem, dedit dona hominibus. That is to saye. He ascended vp on hygh, he led captiuitie captiue, he gaue gyftes to men.

Fynally, ye shall marke yt our Sauiour Christe at hys departure from hys disciples whan he moū ­ted vp to heauen, comforted them by hys angels, su rely promysynge them, that euen suche one as they sawe hym ascendyng now vp to heuē, they shulde in the last daye se agayne, at whych tyme vndoubtedly he shall rendre to euery man hys rewarde according to hys dedes. They which haue done wyckedly, and wolde not beleue, shalbe condemned into hell fyre, where shalbe wepynge and gnashynge of teth. But they that haue beleued on Christ Iesu & wyth wor­thy dedes haue expressed and declared theyr fayth to the worlde, they shal inherite the kyngdom of heuen [Page] and shall entre into the ioye whych the father of hea uen hath prepared for them. To whome wyth the sonne and holy goost be glorye and laude in infini­ta secula.

Amen.

The Gospell on Ascension daye, The xvi. chapter of Marke.

Thargument.

☞ Of the commission that Christe gaue to hys Apostles to preach hys gospell through out the hole worlde. And howe Christe ascended vp to heauen.

AFter thys Iesus appear edagayne vnto the ele leuē as they [...]at at meat: and cast in theyr teeth theyr vnbelefe and hardnes of harte, because they beleued not them whych had sene that he was ry­sen agayne frō the deade. And he sayd vnto them: Go ye into all the worlde, and preach the Gospell to al creatures: he that beleueth and is baptised shal be sau [...]d. He that beleueth not shalbe damned.

And these tokens shall folow them that beleue. In my name they shal cast out deuels, they shal speake wyth new tonges, they shall dryue awaye serpētes. And yf they drynke any deadly thynge, it shal not hurte them. They shall laye theyr handes on the sycke, and they shall recouer. So then whan the Lorde had spoken vnto them he was receaued into heauē, and is on the ryght hande of God. And they wente forth, and preached euery where: the Lorde workynge wyth them and confirmynge the worde [Page xxxix] wyth myracles folowynge.

THe Christian mans lyfe in thys present Gospel (good people) is set before our eyes. For fayth and charitie are here propouned vnto vs as in all ye rest of the gospels. Wherfore syth the Gospell bryn­geth euer these two wyth it, we ought also continu­ally to preache and entreate of them. For he sayeth who so beleueth and be baptised shalbe saued, which thynges we shall now in order peruse and consyder.

Fyrst of all Christ vpbraydeth in thys GospellIncredu litie. hys Apóstles of theyr faynte beleue and hardenes of harte and consequently blameth them declaryng what they wanted and yet he reiecteth them not ney­ther is moued rygorously and hastely agaynst them but he gently blameth them none other wise than yf one of vs wolde saye to an other. Arte thou not asha med to do the thynge thou goest about? speakynge after thys sorte to brynge hym to knowe hymselfe & to make hym ashamed that he may leaue of his euel enterpryse or worke, and yet we reiecte hym not nor hate hym nor yet plucke our loue from hym. Ney­ther was it a lyghte matter why the Lorde rebuked hys disciples, for surely infidelitie or lacke of beleue is of all synnes that can be named the greatest. And he expresseth vnto them the maner of theyr mysbe­leue whan he sayeth, that theyr hartes were harde­ned, and yet notwythstandynge he handleth them gently and myldely. All these thynges were done to our comforte and consolation that we shulde not be discoraged though we be any thynge fautye in oure fayth as yf we doute, stomble, or fall, but rather that we shuld quyckly ryse agayne, establysh oure fayth [Page] and runne to God takynge trust & affiaunce at hym and constantly also retainynge it, namely syth he de leth wyth vs not accordynge to rygoure, but can wynke at our falles & infirmities. And he that repu teth hym to be such shall also fynde hym such one: I saye yf he can take hym for a mercyfull God he wyll suffer hymselfe to be founde such one, he woll so de­clare hymselfe towardes hym. Contrary wyse an euell conscience and an vnfaythfull harte doth not so, he beareth no such affiaunce towardes God, but flyeth from hym, reputynge hym a sore & rygorouse iudge, and therfore also fynde hym such one. The same we must also do wyth our neyghbours. Yf we se any swarue frō the fayth he is not to be beloued in hys malyce but we ought to reproue and laye hys faute and shrynkynge before hys eyes but yet not af ter such forte that we shulde hate hym or be agaynst hym or turne our frendshyp and loue from him. ForGal. vi. thus sayeth say [...]t Paule. Brethren although a man be founde in any faute, you that be spiritual redresse such a person wyth the spirite of mekenes. But the moost holy father or god rather, the bishop of Rome whych wol be called Pope, hys byshops, hys prestes hys monkes, hys chanons, hys freers, and hys non­nes can not abyde whan that they be founde in any notable cryme, to be reproued. For what so euer euel do chaunce they pretende and allege for them that it come not through theyr faute but through the faute of theyr subiectes. Theyr subiectes and suche as beEuell ought to be pu nyshed. vnder theyr obedience shalbe cruelly and roughlye handled. Summa summarum any iniury and wyc­kednes ought to be punyshed, but loue and veritie [Page xl] must be kept towardes euery man. Neyther oughte we to suffer our mouth to be stopped. For none of vs all shall so lyue as longe as we be in thys fleshe that we can be founde on euery parte blameles. But I am fauty in thys thynge, and an other in that.

Namelye sythe it is ryghte manifest to all men that euen thapostles themselues lacked that whych was chyfe and the hyghest poynt of al, where as notwith standynge, they were the corner stones and the roc­kes of foundacion, yea and the beste and the most ex cellent part of christendome. No man yet thynketh that thapostles were vtterly and all together infide les. For they beleued the thynges that were wrytten in the law and in the prophetes, albeit they had not yet the full perfection of fayth. Fayth was in them and it was not in them. Fayth therfore is a thynge whych alwayes groweth bygger and bygger accor­dynge to the parable of the mustarde sede. So the Apostles were not vtterly voyde and destitute of fayth for they had a parte of it. For it is wyth fayth as it is wyth a man that is sycke and begynneth by lytle and lytle to crepe vp & waxe stronge. The lord than expresseth and declareth to hys apostles where in they beleued not and what they wanted, whyche doubtles was that they perfytly beleued not his re­surrection. For albeit they beleued all the rest, yet in thys behalfe they remayned infideles. For happely they beleued also thys that God wolde be mercyfullChrist vpbray­deth his apostles of theyr infideli­tie. vnto them, but yet this was not ynough. For it was necessary also that they shulde beleue Christes resur rection. Wherfore he vpbraydeth them of theyr infi­delitie sayenge that albeit they had sene altogether [Page] yet they beleued it not, and that they yet wāted thys article of resurrection. What is it than to beleue theWhat it is to be­leue the resurrec tion of Christ. resurrection of Christ whych beareth so great a stro ke and is of such importaunce that ye disciples were called infideles and mysbeleuynge persones for the defaute of it? Certes, to beleue the resurrection of Christ is nothynge els than to beleue we haue a re­conciler before God whych is Christ whych maketh vs at one wyth God the father and iustifyeth vs in hys syght. For what so euer is in man of hys owne nature and byrth wythout regeneratiō is but synne and death whereby he heapeth vpon hymselfe gods vengeaunce. Agayne, God is the eternal iustice and clerenes, whych of hys nature hateth synne. Hereof it commeth that betwene God and man is perpetu­all enmitie neyther can they be frendes or agre to­gether. Christe therfore beynge incarnate dyd bothe translate our synnes vpon hymselfe and drowned ye wrath of the father in himselfe to reconcile vs to his father. Wythout thys fayth we be ye chyldren of vē ­geaunce, we can do no good worke that maye be ac­ceptable to God, neyther wyll God heare our pray­ers. For thus in the. xviij. psalme it is wryttē. They cryed and ther was no helper, to the Lorde, and he answered them not. Yea the moost excellente worke wherby we thought to obtayne grace, helpe, & com­forte of God was imputed vnto vs for synne, as the prophete in the. cix. psalme sayth: Oratio eius in pec catum fiat. Be hys prayer counted for synne, for su­rely we can not wyth al our powers of our owne na ture pacifie god. We neded therfore Christ to be me diatour for vs to the father, and to make vs at one [Page xli] wyth hym, and finally to obtayne what so euer is ne cessary for vs. By the same Christ it behoueth vs to aske of God what so euer thynge we nede, as ChristIoh. xvi hymselfe enstructeth vs sayenge: What so euer ye aske the father in my name it shalbe done vnto you. What soeuer we demaunde of God, surely by thys Christ (which hath satisfied for our synnes) we must obteyne and get it. For Christ is he whych layeth a garison about vs, he is the defēce and bukler vnderlindx; whome we be hydden, euen as the chekens be nou­ryshed and hydde vnder the wynges of the henne. By him only our prayer is allowed before God. By hym onely we be herde and get the fauoure & grace of the father. Thys is now to beleue vpon Christes resurrection yf as it is recited we beleue that Christ hath borne vpon hym aswell our synnes as the syn nes of the hole worlde & hath drowned in hymselfe the one and the other and also the yre of the father wherby we be reconciled to God and made ryghtu­ouse before hym. Now ye se your selues howe fewe christian men and wemen there be whych haue thys fayth wherby all men be delyuered from theyr syn­nesAll out warde christen men be­loue not in the re surrec­tion. and be made ryghtuouse. For they beleue not in the resurrection of Christe, that theyr synnes be ta­ken awaye also by Christe, but go about to be iusti­fyed by theyr owne workes. Thys man entreth into the cloyster & is made a monke or freer, she a nonne some one thynge, some another, that they may be de lyuered from theyr synnes, and yet they saye they be leue in the resurrection of Christe, where theyr wor­kes do shew cleane contrary. Wherfore thys article haue the holy fathers preached and inculked speci­ally before other. For thus saynt Paule in the. xv. [Page] chapter of hys fyrste epistle to the Corinthi. sayeth. Yf Christ hath not rysen frō death to lyfe thā vayne is our preachynge, vayne also is your fayth, And a lytle after. Yf Christ haue not rysen vayne is youre fayth, ye be yet in your sines. What maner cōsequēs is thys? how do thys folowe? Thus truly, yf Christe rose not from death to lyfe, it foloweth, that synne & death dyd swalowe hym vp and kylled hym. After that we could not ryd our selues out of our synnes, Iesus Christ toke them vpon hym to treade vnder hys fete death and hell, and to be made Lorde ouer them. Now yf he rose not agayne, than surely he o­uercame not synne, but was ouercome of synne.

And yf he rose not agayne, he redemed vs not, and so we be yet in our synnes. Furthermore in the tēth to the Romaynes he sayeth thus. Yf thou confes­sest wyth thy mouth Iesus to be the Lorde, and be­leuest in thy harte, that God hath raysed hym from death, thou shalt be saued. Here vnto agreeth all scripture both olde and newe. But it is not yet suffi cient to beleue the resurrection of Christ. For al wic ked persones beleue thys, yea Satan doubteth not but that God suffered & rose agayne. But we must also beleue the summe of the resurrection and also what frute and profyte we haue taken therby, that is to saye, pardon of our gylt and as it were a gayle delyuerey of all our synnes that Christe passed tho­rough death and by it ouercame synne & death, yea and what so euer coulde hurt vs he trode vnder his fote and is constitute and made at the ryght hande of the father in heauen the myghty Lorde ouer syn, Satan, death, hell, and what soeuer hurteth vs and that all these thynges be done for our sake whyche [Page xlij] thynge the wycked persons beleue not. Ye se than (my frēdes) how much is layde in thys artycle of re­surrection so that we may better wante all the reste than thys one article. For what were it to beleue all the artycles, as that God was borne of the virgine Mary, that he dyed and was buryed: yf thou doest not also beleue that he rose agayne? And thys GodAbac. i. meaneth in Abacuc where he sayeth: I shall worke a worke in you whych no man shall beleue whan it shalbe tolde. And thys is the cause why Paule in al hys epistles handleth no worke or myracle of Christ so diligently, as he doth the resurrection of Christ.

Yea he letteth passe all the workes and myracles of Christ, and chefly teacheth vs the frute of it, so that none of thapostles hath so paynted Christ vnto vs as Paule. Wherfore not wythout cause Christ saydActu. ix to Ananias: Thys is my vessell of election to beare my name before the Hethen people, and kinges and the chyldren of Israell. It foloweth in the texte: Go ye into the hole worlde, and preach the Gos­pell to euery creature.

What shall they preach▪ none other thynge, but that Christe is rysen from death, and that he hathe vaynquished and takē awaye synne and all mysery,what is gospel. he that beleueth thys, is saued. For ye gospel (which in the Greke soundeth a glad tydynges) is nothyng els, but a preachynge or shewynge of Christes resur rectiō, he that gyueth fayth vnto it is saufe, he that doth not, is lost. And here consyder me the nature ofFayth constray neth no man. fayth. Fayth constrayneth none to the gospell, but leaueth euery man to hys owne lybertie and choise He that beleueth, maye frely beleue, he that cōmeth [Page] let hym come, he that wyl not, chose hym. And here agayne ye shall marke that the Romysh byshop er­reth and doth nought, in that he goeth about by vi­olence to drawe men to the christen fayth. For besy­des the preachynge of the Gospel, Christe gaue no­thynge in commission vnto hys disciples. So they preached it accordyngly to theyr commission & lefte it in mens free lybertie to come to it or not. They sayd not, eyther beleue it or I wyl kyll the. So ye se yt infidels as turkes, sarasēs, & Ieus ought not vio lently to be drawē to our fayth, but louyngly rather inuited and allured. But here is a doubte, how thys texte ought to be vnderstande (go into al the world) syth the Apostles neuer passed through out all the worlde. For none of the apostles came so farre as to vs. Further more there be many Ilandes foūde out now in our tyme whych be inhabited with people to whome gods worde was neuer preached, where asPs. viij yet the scripture confirmeth, sayenge: In omnem terram exiuit sonus eorum, that is, theyr soūde wēt forth into all the worlde. I saye theyr preachynge wente out into al lādes although it be not yet come into the hole worlde. And thys commynge out is be gonne, albeit it be not yet fynished and ended, but it spredeth continually more and more and shal do ty [...] the last daye. And it is wyth thys commyssion or am bassadie of preachynge as it is wyth a stone, whan it is cast into the water, for it maketh waues about it, & one waue dryueth forth another, tyll they come to the shoore, & albeit there be in the myddes a great caulme, yet the waues cease not, but go continually forth. Euen so it is wyth the preachynge of the gos­pell, [Page xliij] it began by thapostles, and it styll goeth forth, and by preachers it spreadeth further and further, it suffreth in the worlde persecution and chasynge a­waye, yet it is alwayes opened more & more to suche as herde not of it before, though in the mydde iour­ney it be dryuen downe and be made starke herisie. Or it may be lykened to an ambassage that one sen deth out, as yf oure soueraygne lorde the kynge of Englande shulde sende hys ambassadours into Fraunce, or Spayne, we saye that an ambassadie is gone forth from our kynge thyther, all be it the am bassadours be not in dede as yet come thyther. It foloweth in the text. He that beleueth and is bapti­sed shalbe saued. Here ye shal note that god dothSygnes ioyned to the worde. hange an outward sygne to hys worde whych signe maketh hys worde to be the strōger vnto vs, so that it confirmeth our hartes & maketh vs not to doubt therof. Thus God dyd set ye rayne bowe for a signe to. Noye to assure hym he wolde nomore destroy the worlde. wyth [...]loudes. So that thys rayne bow is as it were a seale or suretye both to Noye and to al vs none otherwyse than a seale is put to wrytynges to make them sure. And lyke as princes and noble mē he knowen by theyr colours, badges, and armes: e­uen so dealeth god wyth vs and hath stablished his wordes as wyth a seale yt we shuld nothynge doubtGe. xvij He gaue to Abrahā circumcision for a signe of Chri stes cōmynge that shulde blesse the worlde. Lyke­wyse hath he done here by puttynge to this promise of saluation an outwarde sygne, I meane baptisme For baptisme is as it were a watchword to put god in remembraunce of hys promyse, which yf it can be [Page] had, ought in any wyse to be takē (as saynt AustineAustine. sayeth) and not to be despysed. But yf it can not be had, or yf it be denyed a man, yet he shall not be dam ned so that he beleueth the Gospell. For where the Gospel is, there is baptisme and al that pertayneth to christianitie. And therfore the Lorde sayeth. He that beleueth not shalbe damned. He sayeth not, he that is not baptised. For baptisme wythout fayth is nothynge worth, but it is lyke to a paper that hathe a seale hangynge to it and hath no wrytynge in it. Wherfore they that haue sygnes (whych we call sa­cramētes) wythout fayth, they haue seales without wrytynges. Furthermore ye se here (good people) what is thoffice of such as wolbe called Christes a­postles, that is to wyte, to go into the world & preach Christes Gospel. And so here ye may iudge whether the byshop of Rome with his galant prelates which ryde lyke princes vpō theyr moyles & neuer preach one worde but rather stoppe the mouthes of true preachers, ought to be called Apostolyke persons or no. It foloweth in the texte.

And these tokēs shall folowe them that beleue. In my name they shal cast out deuels, they shal speke wyth newe tonges, they shal dryue awaye serpen­tes. And yf they drynke any deadly thynge, it shall not hurte them. They shall laye theyr handes on the sycke, and they shall recoues.

My frendes how shal we ver [...]fy thys texte, that he that beleueth shal haue power to worke all these sygnes? for the Lorde sayth that these tokens shal [...]olowe the beleuers. Moreouer it is certayuly kno­wen [Page xliiij] vnto vs that not all ye Apostles wrought them. For it is recorded of none to haue dronken poyson but of Ihon the Euangelist. Furthermore yf thys sayenge of Christ must nedes stande, few shalbe sa­ued for very fewe of the sayntes haue done al these. Some therfore to auoyde thys inconuenience do exA mysti­cal inter pretaci­on. pounde these sygnes mystically, sayenge that they do speake wyth new tonges whych where as before they taught deuelysh doctrines, nowe they confesse Christ and so they be new men. By takynge awaye of serpentes they vnderstande the destroyenge of pe stiferouse doctrines, heresies and sectes. By dryn­kynge of poyson wythout hurte, they vnderstande that the readyng or hearyng of false doctrines shal not hurte them. By healynge and curynge of sycke persons they vnderstande the healynge of the soule. Albeit thys interpretation is honest and a mater of trouth that such as beleue shall worke these feates, yet it is not the ryght sense and meanynge of thys text. This than is the meanynge. Where a christian man hath fayth, he shall haue power to worke these sygnes and they shal folow hym, as Christ hymselfeIo. xiiij. sayeth in an other place: Uerely verely I saye vnto you, he that beleueth in me the workes that I do he shal do, yea and he shal do greater then they be. For the christen man hath the same power wyth Christe, Christ is a cōmunitie, he is sette in the same goodes wyth Christ. Furthermore Christ gaue them power agaynst wycked spirites to cast them out & to heale al maner of syckenesses as it is redde in the tenth of Matheu. Also in the. xix. psalme ye rede: Thou shalt walke vpon Lions and Dragons. Wherfore where [Page] a christen man is, the power to worke these sygnes & myracles is not taken awaye, as by many exemples it hath ben proued. But no man ought to do them, onles it be necessarie and the case requyre it. For the Apostles thēselues wrought not these myracles but only to the testification of gods worde that so by my racles the Gospell myght be confirmed, as the texte sayeth. They went and preached euery where, the Lorde workynge wyth them and confirmynge the worde wyth myracles folowynge. But nowe after ye the Gospell is spred abrode and opened to the hole world, myracles be not necessary as they were in the Apostles tyme. [...]loweth: whan the Lorde had spoken vnto them, he was receyued into heauen. That is to saye, he went vp to begyn hys spirituall and heauenly kyngdome, and drewe wyth hym oure hopes into heuen that thyther, whether we sawe him ascende we shulde also folowe. And he sytteth on the ryght hande of God. Thys is a maner or fy­gure of speakynge and it sygnifyeth, he is God, [...]all and of lyke power wyth the father. And as the prophete sayeth, he ascended vp on hygh & hath led captiuitie a prisoner. So that nowe, we be no longer in thraldome, for Christ hath ca­ryed it awaye wyth hym and made vs the chyldren of hys father to lyue eternally wyth hym in heauen. To whome be glorye for euer and euer.

Amen.

The Epistle on the sonday after the As­cension daye. The. i. Epistle of Peter the. iiij. chap.

Thargument.

☞ An exhortacion to do good workes according to thexemple of Christ.

MOost deare beloued brethren. Be ye therfore sober, and watch vnto prayer. But aboue all thinges haue feruent loue amonge your selues. For loue shall couer the multitude of synnes. Be ye her­berous one to another, wythout grudgynge. As e­uery man hath receyued the gyfte, euen so minister the same one to another, as good ministers of the manyfolde grace of God. Yf any man minister, let hym do it as of the abilitie whych god ministreth vnto hym, that god in all thynges maye be glori­fyed thorow Iesus Christ.

GOod brethrē and systers in our sauiour Christ the lection of the epistle of thys daye redde in ye church is taken forth of the. iiij. chapter of the fyrste epist [...]e of ye Apostle & messanger of Christ S. Peter.The oc­casion of thys epistle.

Ye shall therfore vnderstande that forasmuch as thys holy mā S. Peter had now in the chapters go ynge before thys place sufficiently taught the Iues and others whome he wrote thys epistle vnto, of the fayth and iustification whych cōmeth by Christe, he doth now in the chapters folowynge monysh them of good workes, accordynge to the maner of syncere and pure preachers, whych before they gyue any pre ceptes of good maners, woll fyrst intreate of ye cau­ses of new lyfe. Wherfore thys present lesson is no­thynge but an exhortation to good workes after the [Page] exemple of Christe. Thus than he sayeth:

Be ye therfore sobre and watch vnto prayer.

Thys texte contayneth a generall exhortacion to all such thynges as become christen men to do inSobre­nes and mode­stie. this lyfe. For modesty and sobrenes be not so great­ly good workes, as they be the selfe rules wherby al good woorkes be tempered. Ye shall therfore vn­derstand here by modestie and sobrenesse fyrst those ciuile vertues whych haue contrary vyces, arrogan [...]ye and pryde. In lyke wyse doth also Paule vnder stande them in the. xij. to the Romaynes where he wryteth. I saye vnto you by the grace whych is gy­uen me to euery one of you, that none thynke proud ly of hymself aboue that it becōmeth hym to thynke but lette hym so thynke that he be demure and sobre euen as God hath bestowed to euerye one the mea­sure of fayth. Seconde, ye shal vnderstande by mo­destye and sobrenes here, also the soūdnes of mynde so that ye thynke modestly & soberly of gods worde, lest through your owne ymaginations and good in tencions ye go awaye from the true vnderstandyng of gods worde, or suffer your selues to be plucked a­way wyth any maner wynde of new doctrine. Now whā we be modest and sober as well in lyfe as in doc tri [...]e it foloweth consequently that we muste nedes watch and gyue our selues to prayer. It foloweth.

But afore all haue feruent loue amonges youre selues, for loue shal couer the multitude of synnes.

As though saynt Peter shuld saye. It may hap pen peraduenture that a man may fayne wyth hym selfe that he is sober, modest, and busye in prayer.Charite Therfore before al thynges se ye haue charitie with [Page xlvi] out whych, youre demurenes, youre sobernes, your prayer maye be but fayned and cloked workes, with out whych charitie also they be nothynge worth nor yet thankfull to God accordynge to the sayenge ofMath. [...] Christ. Whan thou shalte offer thy offerynge at the aulter and remembrest, that thy brother haue ought agaynst the, leaue there thy offeryng, and go and be at one wyth thy brother first, and then come and of fre thy oblation. Doubtles (my brethren) charitie is to be preferred before all other workes for wythout it none of all oure other workes can please God as Christ hymselfe wytnesseth Math. v. And also the prophete Esay in the fyrst chapter. Thou shalt no­more offer to me sacrifice and so forth, but learne to do ryghte, helpe the nedye. &c. And saint Peter wylVehe­mēt cha ritie. that our charitie be vehement or feruent, not colde and negligent such as theyrs is, whych wyth theyr mouth make as though they loue a man, but wyth theyr harte they hate hym as euel as a tode. And he addeth the cause, for loue or charitie couereth ye multitude of synnes. Thys sentence is taken forth of ye x. chapter of the prouerbes. For the moost proper of­fice of charitie is to hyde the infirmities of the neghboure. Furthermore hospitalitie and harbourynge wythout murmurynge or grudgynge is also one of the effectes of charitie. It foloweth in the texte.

As euery man hath receyued the gyfte, euen so minister the same one to another as good dispen­sours or stewardes of the manyfold grace of god.

Here good people, the Apostle Peter exhorteth e­uery man particularlye to do hys office in hys cal­lynge. [Page] He that is a preacher of gods worde, oughte to be content wyth hys gyfte and to execute his du­tie in hys vocatiō, that is to wyt, he ought to preach not hys owne dreames, but the sermōs and wordes of God, and so of all other offices in Christes cōgre gation, whych yf they were done accordynge to S. Peters aduyse here, we shuld both haue gods word more purely set forth, and also the churche in better vnitie and concorde. Then accordyng to euery mās gyfte, and (as Paule sayeth) euen as God hath allot ted euerye man accordynge to the measure of hysRo. xij. fayth, so let hym serue in hys callynge. As good ste wardes or dispensours let them behaue themseluesGood stewar­des. in executynge theyr office. I praye you is not he a foolysh stewarde whych of other mēs goodes wold glorie and take a pryde, where he is but onely ye ste­warde and not the owner of them? Nowe they be good stewardes whyche be faythfull and prudente, whych knowe what, how, to whome and what tyme they oughte to preache and laye out the treasure of gods worde, the treasure I saye of the manyfolde grace of God accordynge to the sundry and many­fold gyftes. He that speaketh let hym speake the ser mons and wordes of almyghtye God, let hym not preach hys owne gloses, hys owne inuencions hys owne dreames and fausies. And to what so euer mi­nistracion he be called and appointed in the church,Ex vir­tute. let hym do it (sayeth saint Peter) as of the vertue, po wer, and abilitie whyche God ministreth vnto hym, and not as though he were able by hys owne wyt & prudence to execute hys ministerie. It foloweth.

That God in all thynges maye be glorifyed tho [Page xlvij] row Iesus Christ.

Here saynt Peter declareth the principall ende of all our gyftes offices and good workes, whych is that by them shulde ryse contentions, stryfes, deba­tes, and discordes. Nowe God is glorifyed by oureHowe god is glorifi­ed by our gyf­tes and workes gyftes, offices, duties, and workes, when we so vse them that the congregacion may take profyte & edi­ficacion therby, and may take occasion by the good distribution of the same to glorifye God by Iesus Christe. For oure Sauiour Christe Iesus ascen­dynge vp to heuen distributed and gaue gyf­tes vnto men as the prophete sayeth. ToPs. lxvij whome be all glorie, al prayse, all im­perie and dominion aswel to saue as to rule and gouerne hys faythful ones, together wyth the father and the holy goost fore­euer and euer

AMEN.

The Gospell on the sondaye after the Ascension daye. The. xv. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument.

☞ The holy goost is promysed to be sente by Christ to hys Apostles.

IEsus sayd vnto hys disciples. But whan the com forter is come whom I wyll sende vnto you frō the father (euen the spirite of trouth, whych pro­cedeth [Page] of the father) he shall testifye of me. And ye shall beare wytnesse also, bycause ye haue ben with me from the begynnynge. These thynges haue I sayd vnto you bycause ye shulde not be offended. They shall excommunicate you: yea the tyme shall come, that whosoeuer kylleth you, wyl thinke that he doth god seruice. And such thinges wyl they do vnto you, bycause they haue not knowē the father neyther yet me. But these thynges haue I told you that whan the tyme is come, ye may remēber them that I tolde you.

FOr asmuch as our Lorde Christ in his maundie (good people) wyth many promyses had beque­thedParacletus. and deputed the holy goost to his Apostles, he doth now at last name hym more playnly wyth hys proper name of office, declarynge therby what pro­fyte and commoditie he shall brynge to the worlde. He sayeth: whan the comforter is come. Thys pro­pre and true name he gyueth the holy goost callyng hym paracletum, that is saye a comforter. For who els certifyeth our conscience, that we shulde beleue yt Ro. viij. by Christ we be the chyldren of God and crye Abba father, but thys only comforter? I praye you, who maketh vs both desyrefull and also hardy to cōfesse thys fayth? Who comforteth vs in all such mysfor­tune and afflictions as we suffre in thys worlde for thys confessions sake? Surely the same selfe good spirite, whych procedeth from ye father doth al thys, thys is hys feate and offyce. For thobteynynge of whych spirite, the prophet Dauid so busely prayeth [Page xlviij] in the. l. psalme. But ye maye more lyuely beholde the nature and workynge of thys holy goost or spi­ryte in the apostles, whyche before the commynge of the holy goost, in tribulation fledde from the Lorde and vtterly denyed hym. For they hyd themselues in corners, some here some there. But wha thys spi­rite, thys comfortour was ones confirmed in them: then they confessed Christ frely and hys resurrectiō in so much that they also toke pleasure and delyteAct. v. in the crosse or affliction that was layde vpon them as appeareth playnly in the Actes.The spi rite of truth.

Now thys comforter, bycause by the vertue of hys offyce he maketh men trouthe tellers, yea and com­forteth and strengtheneth the faythfull in the con­fession of the trouth, by the vertue also of hys office he shall testifie of Christ. So ye must here marke that ye holy goost ought to beare wytnesse of Christ. But what shall he testifye, what shall he teache of Christ? Undoubtedly none other thyng but yt which Christ preached and taught before, that is to say, he shall make them whyche before coulde not perceyue Christes doctrine, now to vnderstāde it, by wrytyng the gospel in theyr hartes. A mans owne wysedome can here do nothynge, it muste be thys holy spirite & comforter whych must do the dede, euen as IeremyThe pro phecie of Iere­mye. the prophete in the. xxxi. chapter sayeth: I shal plant my lawe in the inwarde partes of them and wryte it in theyr hartes, and wylbe theyr God and they shall be my people. And from thence forth shall noman teach hys neyghbour or his brother and saye: know the Lorde. But they shall all knowe me from the lo­west to the hyghest, sayeth the Lorde. Of all these [Page] thynges it is gathered manyfestly that wythout the holy goost we neyther can know the truth nor beare wytnes vnto Christ Iesus.

Seconde, ye may espye here (good people) verye playnly thoffice of Apostles or Christes messangers That is to wyt, that they ought to beare wytnesse of Christ. For to testifye or beare wytnes in scripture sygnifyeth to teach and speake not the thynge that pleaseth vs but the thinge that almyghty god hath cōmaunded. After thys sorte is Christ named in the psalme a faythfull wytnes in heauen. Also Esay thePsalm. lxxxviij. Esa. lv. prophete speaketh of Christ in the persone of the fa­ther. I haue set hym for a wytnes to the people for the prince and mayster of the gentyls. Wherfore syth the recorde and wytnes of Christ and of hys a­postles ought to be egall and agreable togethers: surely they muste haue one tenure of theyr testimo­nies, and furthermore it must nedes folowe that the holy goost executed his testimonie and recorde by ye apostles as in the. x. of Mathew it appeareth. It is not you (sayth Christ) whyche speake, but the spirite of my father whych shall speake in you. Where be nowe these felowes whyche here tofore haue cryed that the holy goost haue reuelated and disclosed to thapostles and fathers certaine secreter and hygher thynges whych be not comprised in the gospell? To whome wyll ye gyue more credence? To Christe or to these vayne tryflers? Christe sayeth that the holy goost shall testifye of hym to the worlde and shall make mē mete and apte to receceyue his gospel and shall teach none other thynge than that whyche he hymselfe hath taught. But these tryflers bable that [Page xlix] the holy goost ought to teach some thynge of more excellencye than that whych is comprysed in ye ho­ly gospell. Surely I wolde thynke it moost conue­uient that we shulde obey and beleue hym to whom the father of heauen bare wytnes sayenge: Thys ismath. iij my welbeloued sōne in whom I am right wel plea­sed heare ye hym. But they that can not be satisfied wyth Christes doctrine to whome not only thapost­les but also the holy goost hath borne wytnesse, let them at theyr parell chose them other doctrines. Certes I wyll not counsayle you lyke owles to wā ­der in darkenes but rather to fyxe stedfastlye youre fete in the [...]yght.

Last of all ye shall consyder and note (good chri sten brethren and systers) in thys gospell, yt the word and institution of Christ, of whych the spirite & the apostles do testifye, can in no wyse b gratefull and acceptable to the worlde. For those that wol admyt thys worde, the worlde wolle caste them out of al ho nest mens company (as they call honeste men) they woll as heretykes dryue them out of theyr churches and assembles, they woll excommunicate them, they woll curse them wyth boke bell and candell. Yea yf they may wyth all kynde of punyshment and death persecute the true Apostles and messēgers of Christ they wyll thynke to do a hygh seruice to God, & that theyr zeale hath hyghly serued gods wyl. But what sayeth Christ in the meane season? Therfore I wyll be wyth you. They shal so handle themselues towar des you, bycause they knowe nother me nor my fa­ther. Here ye se wyth what successe and fortune in thys wycked world the moost precious worde of the [Page] gospell wyth the imbrasers therof be commonly re­ceyued. For thou mayst not loke to lyue a swete an ydle and a delicate lyfe yf thou wolte confesse Christ for he that woll lyue after a godlye sorte (as sayethij. tim. ij saynt Paule) must nedes suffer persecution. And in an other place he sayeth: Yf I wolde please men IGala. ij▪ shulde not be the seruaunt of Christ.

Wherfore yf persecution shall inuade vs for cō ­fessynge of Christ: it is good that we be armed wyth goddes worde that we maye knowe how persecutiō hangeth ouer our heades by the proper wyl of God to thyntent our fayth myght thus by such persecu­tion be clarifyed, tryed, and purged. For yf we be ful certifyed hereof, we can not easely be offended wyth temptation but wyth a pacient mynde we shall suf­fer all the wronge that the world for Christes cause woll put vs to. And surely thys shalbe a comforte vnto vs, that oure persecuters for all theyr proude bragges and vauntes neyther know Christ nor his father. Fynally we be ryght well assured that ye trouble and affliction of thys tyme (as Paule sayth) can in no wyse be cōpared wyth the glorye to come thatRo. viij. shalbe disclosed vnto vs. Wyth thys our knowlege comfortynge our selues we shall remayne quyet in our conscience, styll awaytynge wyth stedfaste hope for the immortall crowne of the sayd glorye whyche the father of heauen hath prepa [...]ed for vs. To whom wyth the sōne & holy goost be al glo­rye and prayse for euer and euer.

AMEN.

The Epistle on wytsondaye. The. ij. chapter of the actes of the Apostles.

[Page l]☞ The holy goost is here gyuen accordynge to Christes promyse before.

WHan the fyftye dayes were come to an ende, they were all wyth one accorde together in one place. And sodenly ther came a sounde frō hea uen, as it had bene the cōmynge of a myghty wind and it fylled al the house where they sate. And there appeared vnto them clouē tonges, lyke as they had ben of fyre, and it sat vpon ech one of them: and they were all fylled wyth the holy goost, and begā to speake wyth other tonges, euen as the same spi­rite gaue them vtteraunce. There were dwellynge at Ierusalem, Iues, deuoute men, out of euery nati­on of them that are vnder heauen. When thys was noysed aboute, the multitude came together, and were astonnyed, bycuase that euery man herde thē speake wyth hys owne langage. They wondered al and marueled, saynge amonge themselues: behold are not al these whych speake, of Galile? And how heare we euery man hys owne tonge wherein we were borne? Parthians and Medes, and Elamytes, and the inhabyters of Mesopotamia, and of Iury, and of Capadocia, of Ponthus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, of Egypte, and of the parties of Ly bia whych is besyde Syren, and straungers of Ro­me, Iues and Proselytes, Grekes and Arabians: we haue herde them speake in oure owne tonges the great workes of God.

CHrist had oftentymes (good people) promysed vnto hys disciples the holy goost to confirme them in the true doctrine. For wythout ye holy goost noman can tyghtly eyther vnderstande or certainly beleue the worde of God, neyther can stycke by it co­stantly wythout staggerynge or shrynkyng from it.Io. xiiij It is the holy goost doubtles that teacheth al thyn­ges and that putteth men in mynde of gods wyll. And therfore Christ sayeth in the .x. Chapter of Mathew. It is not you that be the speakers, but it is ye spirite of your father whych speaketh in you. Wher fore thys often promys [...] of sendynge the holy goost which was made to the disciples, Christ now in this daye of Pentecost perfou [...]neth. But bycause it hel­peth lytle to know that the disciples receyued the ho ly goost, oules we draw thys receyuyng also to our profyte, & auanntage, therfore it were good to know the causes why the holy goost was sent.

Ye shall therfore vnderstande (good people) that the holy gost was not sent to thapostles nor at this daye is sent as some men do dreame, to teache a dy­uerse or straunge doctrine frome Christes doctrine whych Christ either taught not before or had forgotThe cau ses why the holy goost is sent. ten to teache: But he was sente and is sente for thre causes. The fyrst is that he sh [...]de teache and put in mynde & expoūde all such thynges as Christ taught And of thys fynal cause and offyce of the holy goost our Sauiour Iesus Christ in the .xiii [...]. and .xv. chap ters of Ihon very co [...]iously and at length speketh.

The seconde cause that the holy goost is sente, is to confirme, strengthen, and as it were to sease vs & to make vs full assured and certayne of the veritie [Page li] of gods worde. Of thys office the epistle of thys day maketh menc [...]i [...], whyle it declareth that the holy goost sat vpō euery of them and fylled them, whych thynge betokeneth nothynge els, but that the holy goost confirined and certifyed the myndes of the A­postles vpon the veritie of gods word, and therforeEphe. i. 1. cor. i. he is called of Paule the gage and the ernest.

The thyde cause that the holy goost is sente, is that in temptation he myght comforte vs and pre­serue vs from desperacion, and therfore he is called paracletus that is to say a comforter. Now therfore yf ye couete to knowe, who & what the holy goost is whych is called the thyrde persone in trinitie, consy­der wel the forsayd offices of hym, and ye shal ryght ly answere: The holy goost is God equall wyth theA descri ption of the holy goost. father and sonne, whych was to thys intent sent of them both, that he shulde more clearly expoune the diuine wyll of the father whych was openly publis­shed to the worlde by Christ, and that he shulde put men in remembraunce of the same and confirme it in theyr hartes to thintent they myght boldlye con­fesse it. But let vs now approche to the texte of thys present lesson.

Whan the daye of Pentecoste. Pente­cost.

That is to saye the fyftye daye from Ester was a fulfyllyng whych was one of thre solemne feastes in whych all the Iues were wont to be assembled ac cordynge to the lawe of Moses in Deuteromye in the .xvi. chapter, whych feast we christen men do ob­serue wyth an other lybertie & for an other respecte then it was kept of the Iues. For we do solemnize & kepe thys daye onely in memorie of the speciall and [Page] wonderfull sendynge of the holy gooste as on thys daye. Whan thys feast (I saye) of the Iewes called Pentecost otherwyse named the feast of wekes was in the complyshynge and doynge, the Apostles were all wyth one accorde together in one place, as Christ had commaunded them before to do, that they shuldActu. ij▪ not departe from Ierusalem but that they shuld a­wayte for the promyse of the father.

And sodenly there came a soūde from heauē, as it had been the comynge of a myghtie wynde, and it fylled all the house where they sate.

My frendes thys soden commynge of the holy goost doth admonyshe vs of the maner or forme of hys commynge whych is not humane nor chaūceth after mans fashion, but as the similitude declareth in the thyrd chapter of Ihon. The spirite or wynde bloweth where it woll, and thou hearest hys voyce, but thou knowest not whence it cometh nor whether it goeth. Now for as much as Christ applyeth thys similitude and sayth: So is euery one that is borne of the spirite, therfore ye must also vnderstand here, that the holy goost in dede commeth vnto vs, but how or after what sorte it passeth mans wyt and ca­pacitie▪ whyche neyther can comprehende the maner of hys commynge neyther yet the qualitie of hys ac cion, albeit of the accion & presence of the holy goost we be made certayne euen as we may be certayne of the blowynge of the wynde.

Finally it is here to be consydered in what wyse the holy goost is to be receyued of vs. Surely he is not to be receyued simpliciter as a doue that muste [Page lij=y] be miraculously sent from heauen, (as certayne here tykes at thys daye do thynke) neyther is he to be ta­ken as a vertue of God procedynge from the father and from the sonne (as Campanus thynketh) ney­ther yet in a prescribed and diuised forme as the pa­pistes haue prefixed hyin before all theyr counsayl­les were they neuer so contrary to gods worde, but he is to be receyued as very god of the selfe same es­sencie and godhed wyth the father and sonne. It fo loweth in the texte:

And there appeared vnto them clouen tonges lyke as they had bene of fyre and sat vpon ech one of them.

Here (good people) ye maye learne the effectes or frutes of the holy goostes comminge, for he cōmeth not in vayne but maketh dispertite or clouen tōges and fyry, he maketh men to speake wyth other ton­ges, that is to saye, he regendreth them, he createth in them new motions, he assureth them of the word that they heare, he openeth theyr mouthes and ma­keth them boldly and wythout feare to confesse the trouth. And al they that is to wyt the Apostles that were assebled together for thys purpose were forth­wyth and sodenly al at ones replete and fylled with the holy goost in such straunge sorte that by and by they beganne to speake wyth sondry and newe ton­ges,Dyuerse tonges. not wyth olde tonges and such as the tonge of Moses the lawspeaker is discribed to be that is to wyt harde and vnpleasaunt, as it is wrytten in the fourth chapter of Exodus. And here maye ye note the dyuersitie and difference of the lawe and gospel. [Page] Moses tonge was sengle and but one, for one cer­tayne people. But the tonges of the gospell be soun dry, whereby is sygnifyed the lybertie of the gospel. They spake therfore wyth sundry tōges euen as the spirite gaue them vtteraunce. The holy goost gaueRo. xij. [...]. cor. xi. not all to all, but (as Paule sayth) accordynge to the measure of faytli as it semeth good vnto hym. It fo loweth in the texte.

There were dwellynge at Ierusalem Iewes de­uoute men out of euery nation of them that are vn der the heauen and so forth.

Here be contayned the cōmune and vulgate ef fectes whych be wont to folowe the workes of ye ho­ly goost. These effectes be stoynynge & wonderyng, and they declare vnto vs ye power of the holy gooste in them whych were moued wyth the workes of the holy goost. For the reste of people were rather more and more offended wt the workes of the holy gooste than kyndled to unbrace them. They sayd then, how happeneth thys yt we heare euerye one in hys owne tonge whych be of sundry nations, speake the greatMagna­lia Dei. wonders and hygh workes of God, that is to saye, the thynges that God hath wrought in hys Christe. For to thys intent surely was the holy goost come euen to expoūde and declare Christ to the disciples, and no doubt he exhorted them frely and boldlye to preache hym vnto the hole worlde, whych thynge af terwarde they▪ manfully executed, as the sermon of Peter immediatly after made, doth declare & shewe. Surely the holy goost sent from heauen make men frely to confesse the Euangelicall trouth before kyn [Page liij] ges and prynces, whych thynge the fleshe otherwyse is not able to do. For it is to muche afrayed, that it can wyllyngly and gladly suffer the hatred of thys worlde whych is knyt and ioyned wyth thys confes sion. Fynally ye shall vnderstande that ye holy goost was gyuen to the Apostles in a vysible forme. But it is now gyuen to the chosen and electe persons in­uisiblye only by the worde. Wherfore good christen people I hartely exhorte you, that ye woll earnestly imbrace and loue gods worde, and not mocke & de­ryde it as certayne of the Iues here sayd that the a­postles were dronken and full of new wyne. Ney­ther do I exhorte you onely to reade and prayse the worde, but also to worke after it, to declare by youre dedes and procedynges that ye haue an vnfayned and ryght fayth in Christ. So doynge, no doubte the holy goost shal come and dwell wythin you and declare and open vnto you all trouthe necessary to your soules helth, to the ex tirpacion of all wycked doctrine and auauncement of gods glorye. Unto whome be all honoure and prayse worlde wythout ende.

Amen.

The gospell on Wytsondaye. The xiiij. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument.

☞ Of the worde of Christe and of the holy goost

IEsus sayd vnto hys disciples, Yf a man loue me, he wyl kepe my saynges, and my father wyl loue him, and we wyl come vnto him, ād dwel with him He that loueth me not, kepeth not my sayenges. And the word which ye heare, is not myne, but the fathers whych sent me. These thynges haue I spo­ken vnto you, beynge yet present wyth you. But the comforter which is the holy goost whome my father wyll sende in my name, he shall teache you all thynges, and brynge all thynges to your remem braūce what so euer I haue sayd vnto you. Peace I leaue wyth you, my peace I gyue you. Not as the worlde gyueth, gyue I vnto you. Let not your her­tes be greued, neyther feare. Ye haue herde howe I sayd vnto you: I go, and come agayne vnto you. Yf ye loued me, ye wolde verely reioyse, bycause I sayd: I go vnto the father. For the father is greater then I. And now haue I shewed it you before it co­me, that whan it is come to passe, ye myght beleue Hereafter wyll I not talke many wordes vnto you. For the prince of thys worlde commeth, and hath nought in me. But that the worlde maye know that I loue the father. And as the father gaue me cōman̄ dement, euen so do I.

BEfore we touch the gospell (my brethrē) we shalThe ori ginal be gynning of Pēte­cost. speake somwhat of this dayes feast. This feast whych they call Pentecost, began in thys wyse. Whan God shulde leade the Israelites out of E­gypte, ye nyght before he ordeyned Passeouer which we call Ester to be solemnised, and cōmaunded that [Page liiij] euery yeare about that tyme yt daye shulde be kepte holydaye for a memory of theyr departure out of E­gypte. And from that daye afterwarde for the space of fyfty dayes they walked in the wyldernes, tyll at last they came to the moūt Sinay, where by Moses the lawe was gyuen them of God. For thys cause they kept that solempne holydaye whyche we call in Greke Pentecost that is to saye the fyftye daye and in Englysh Wytsonday. Now therfore fyfty dayes from Ester beynge accomplyshed and the memory of the lawe whych god had promulgate to the peo­ple in the mounte Sinay fulfylled: the holy goost came and gaue an other lawe. Nowe therfore, thys day is celebrate of vs not because of ye olde facte but because of the newe, I meane, of ye sēndyng of ye holy ghost. So we declare a certayne difference betwene oure Pentceoste, and the Iues Pentecost. Fyrste the Iues kept this daye, bycause the lawe wrytten was then gyuen vnto them. But we oughte to celebrate oure Pentecoste bycause the lawe of God was then spiritually delyuered vnto vs. For the better vnder­standynge hereof, Saynte Paule is to be broughteij. co. iij and iiij. forth whiche also putteth the same difference, wher he speaketh of two maner prechynges. And as there be two maner preachynges, so be there two sortes of people. First was the lawe wryten, which God com­maunded and comprised in lettres and therfore it is called the lawe of the lettre, bycause it remayneth in lettres and entreth not in the brest, neyther do any workes folowe it saue hypocritical and constreyned workes, and therfore the people also remayne styll but lyterall and fleshly. And bycause it was compry­sed [Page] onlye in lettres and was all togyther in deade wry­tynge, it kylled and made a dead people, for the hart was dead bycause it dyd not of the owne accorde the commaundement of god. For yf euery man shuld be lefte to his owne wyll to do what hym lusteth wyth­out all feare of punyshement there shulde be founde none but wolde rather be fre and louse from the law then bounde therto. For thus he naturally thinketh. Lo God wyll surely punyshe me, yea and dryue me into hel, onles I kepe his commaundementes. Thā nature feleth it selfe vnwyllynge, and to do them wt no maner loue or delectation, wherfore man is forth wyth made enemye to god by reason of the penaltye when he fealeth hymselfe a synner, and that he wal­keth not ryghtly before God, so that he wold rather that there were no God. Thys bytternes is infixed in the harte agaynst God, thoughe nature goeth a­bout neuer so much to garnysh her selfe wyth [...]ayre workes. It appeareth therfore how that the lawe cō prysed in scripture and letters doth iustifye noman nor yet can entre into the harte.The law spritual.

The other lawe is spirituall whyche is wrytten not wt penne or ynke, nor is declared wyth ye mouth after the fashiō as Moses wrought the mater in ta­bles of stone, but lyke as we se in thys story. The ho ly goost commeth downe from heauen and fylleth them all together, makynge them to haue clo [...]en & fyry tonges and to preache frankely and frely farre otherwyse then it was done before, so that al the peo ple was as [...]onnyed thereat and wondered. The ho­ly gooste I saye commeth and replenisheth ye harte, he chaungeth the man whych loueth God and doth [Page lv] gladly all that euer is acceptable vnto hym. Wher­fore al thynges be there lyuely, quycke is the vnder standynge, the eye, the mynde, and the harte, whyche brenneth and is rapte wyth the desyre of all good­nes. And thys is the true difference betwene ye lawe comprysed in letters and the spirituall lawe, & here is it sene whych be the workes of God. Wherfore here is al the crafte set to discerne and preach ryght ly of the holy goost. Heretofo [...] men haue preached of hym that he bryngeth to passe and prompteth all thynges what so euer eyther the counsayles decerne or the B. of Rome in hys canonic [...]l law cō [...]deth where as neuertheles al those thynges be only exter ne and outwarde whych he ordeneth or gouerneth.

Wherfore thys order of thynges is clene ouer­ [...]wharte and preposterous, in that they make of the workes of the holy goost a lettered and a dead lawe where it ought to be spiritual and lyuely, & so there is made of it a Mosaicall and humane tradition. The cause is that they know not what ye holy goost is, wherūto he was gyuē, or what hys f [...]te & office is. Let vs learne then and consyder wel what he is,The of­fice of the holy goost. to thintent hys offyce maye be discerned. In the e­pistle of thys daye it is shewed howe the holy goost is sent downe from aboue, and fylleth the disciples whych before sat in heuynes & feare, he cleueth theyr tonges, he kyndleth, he enflameth them, that they myght take strength of harte and frely preache the Gospell without feare of any man. Here thou seest it is not the offyce of the holy ghoost to make bokes & to enacte lawes, but that he is suche a God that on­ly wryteth the thynge in ye harte, ye kyndleth it, that [Page] createth a new mynde, makynge man to reioyse be­fore god and to be rauished with a new loue toward hym, & consequently wt glad mynde to do hys dutye and seruice to all men franckly. After thys sort the partes of the holy ghost be ryghtly preached, he that paynteth them otherwise, beleue him not. For where he commeth thus thou seest he taketh awaye the let­ter and maketh men fre from synne and from the compulsion of the lawe so that he taynynge in theyr brest maketh thē in whome he is resident to do wyth out compulsion all that the lawe cōmaundeth. But thou wylt aske wherby he bryngeth to passe & what thynge he vseth thus to chaūge and renue the hart? Surely by that he sheweth and preacheth of Iesus Christ (as Christ hymselfe in the .xv. chap. of Ihon sayeth) whan the comforter cōmeth whome I shall sende you from my father I meane the spirite of trouth whych procedeth from ye father he shal beare wytnes of me. Nowe oftentymes ye haue herde that the gospel or Euangel is the thynge whych god suf­freth to be preached in the worlde and to be tolde to euery man that is to wyt that none can be iustifyed by the dedes of the lawe but rather yt a worse thinge come therby, and therfore he sente downe hys moost deare sonne to dye and to shede hys bloud for vs by cause we of our owne powers coulde not rubbe out the spotte of synne nor be delyuered from it. But to the preachynge hereof another thynge yet is requy­red, euen the holy goost whome God must sende. He printeth in the harte thys sermon and preachyng to make it fixed and roted in it, for it is moost sure and certayne yt Christe hath done all thys geare, he hath [Page lvj] taken awaye oure synne and ouercōmen all, that by hym we myght raigne ouer al, and euen here in one heape is all the treasure hurded. Thys treasure we can not get onles the holy goost be gyuen vs whych maye put in oure hartes and myndes to beleue and saye: And I also am of the nombre of them to whōso greate treasure doth belonge. When we haue ones felte thys, that God hath thus holpen vs and bestowed vpon vs so great treasure: then the mater goeth well forwarde, neyther can it otherwise be but mans mynde must be rauyshed wyth a pleasure to­wardes God and lyfte vp hymselfe & saye: Oh good father, if thys thy wyll be that thou haste shewed so great loue and suche excedynge kyndnes towardes me I must nedes agayne loue ye wyth my hole hart and reioise, and gladly do what so euer thy pleasure is. Then the harte is nomore waywarde nor croked in the meditacion of God, it thynketh not to be dry­uen downe to hell of hym, as before the cōmynge of the holy goost it thought, when it felte no goodnes no loue no fydelitie, but styll a pace the wrathe and indignacion of God. Now therfore whyle the holy goost prynteth into the christen mās harte howe he hath God hys mercyfull and graciouse Lorde, it is a pleasure for hym for Gods sake boldly to execute and suffre any maner of thynge. After thys wyse thou shalt learne to knowe the holy goost and hys office whych is to distribute ye great treasure Christ and al that in hym is whych is, gyuen and declared vnto vs by the Gospell to thintent thou mayest put hym into thy harte to make hym thyne owne good. Hytherto I haue declared vnto you, the hystorie of [Page] the holy goost. Now what we shall do in it, we shall knowe further in the gospell. Thus sayeth Christ

Yf a man loue me he woll kepe my saynge, and my father shall loue hym.

Lo good people here ye maye se (as I haue often tymes preached vnto you) that the frute of fayth isCharite is the frute of fayth. charitie, whych thynge can not be denyed. For chari tie or loue perfourmeth and doeth euen of the owne accorde all that euer scripture cōmaūdeth. And thys doth saynt Paule declare Gal. v. He that loueth his neyghboure hath fulfylled the lawe. Wherfore they that haue not fayth and charitie, do not fulfyll the lawe, albeit they seme in outwarde appearaunce to perfourme all the workes of the lawe. The worde whych Christ preacheth he sayeth is not hys worde but hys fathers worde declarynge herby yt nothyng ought to be added nor taken awaye from it. And these thynges (sayeth Christe) concernynge aswell your loue towardes me, as the kepynge of my word haue I spoken vnto you, beynge yet present & dwel lynge amonges you. But that same comforter of whome I haue made so muche mencion vnto you, I meane the holy goost, whose feate and offyce shal be to sanctifye & lyghten you vnto all trouth, which holy goost my father shall sende in my name that is to saye for my cause, he shall teach you altogether & shall put you in remembraunce of all that euer yeA que­stion. haue herde of me. Thou wolt saye vnto me. Why? knewe not the disciples all before, whyche were so longe tyme wyth Christ? I answere, that ye disciples ought nedes to haue bene taught by the holy goost, for wythout hym they were yet imperfecte and car­nall, [Page lvij] for they vnderstode neyther Christes glorifica­cion by the crosse nor yet hys raygne or kyngdome. Wherfore they neded the holy goostes teachynge, yt is to saye, hys sanctifyenge and makynge the thyn­ges lyuely in them whych they had lerned of Christ For ye disciples were as yet but (litera) they percey­ued not the thynges that were of the spirite of God, and therfore they neded the holy goost to quycken them, accordynge to the sayenge of saynt Paule.

The letter sleeth, but the spirite quickeneth. Ye may not then vnderstande by thys worde (teach) that thedocebit holy goost shal set abroch a new doctrine that Christ had not taught before, but ye must vnderstande by it that the holy goost shall interprete the doctrine al ready taught by Christ and declare it to the spiritu­all vnderstandynge. And therfore Christ expouneth hymselfe and sayeth he shall put you in remēbraūce of al the thynges that I haue shewed you. So that ye can not gather herby that ye holy goost shall adde any thynge to Christes doctrine, as the wycked pa­pistes do wyckedly gather. It foloweth.

Peace I leaue wyth you, my peace I gyue vnto you▪ not as the world gyueth, gyue I vnto you &c.

My frendes what is Christes peace? Surely (toThe pe­ace of Christ. be short) it is nothynge eis but the quyet and tran­quilitie of conscience. Thys peace the worlde can not gyue, mans traditions can not gyue, mās owne voluntary workes can not gyue, [...] mōkery, [...] pyl­grimage, no popysh pardons, no pardon beades, no relyques, bre [...]y no fleshly thynge can gyue thys pea ce of conscience. It is only Christe that can gyue vs [Page] thys peace whan we spiritually eate hym & drynke hym, that is to saye, when we know wherfore Christ serueth vs and so suffre hym by true fayth and cha ritie to entre into oure soules and to dwell wythin vs whych thynge he promyseth vs here in this gos­pell that he woll do, in case we declare the frute of our fayth and kepe hys worde.

Furthermore ye shall obserue (good people) in thys gospell, that Christe here shewed hys disciples that he must go awaye from them, but yet he sayeth he woll come agayne. But I praye you when com­meth Christ agayne vnto vs? Surely he cōmeth a­gayne, when he sendeth hys worde and hys spirite vnto vs. For loke where the worde is and there is Christ moost presently. So in an other place he say­eth: Lo I am wyth you euen to the ende of ye world.Math. xxviij. Fynally where Christ sayeth that the father is gre­ter then he, ye shall vnderstande, that Christe other­whyles speaketh as a man, otherwhyles as God, whyche thynge oughte diligently to be obserued of such as woll studye holy scripture. For that he here sayeth: My father is greater than I, ye must referre it to hys humanitie. But of hys diuinitie in an otherIoh. x. place he speaketh in thys wyse. I and my father be one. And now sayeth Christ callynge backe hys dis­ciples to hys worde whereby they myght comforte themselues after hys departure, I haue tolde you of it before hande, to thintent that whan it is come to passe ye myght beleue that I wolle surely come vnto you agayne. Herafter woll I not speake much vnto you, that is to wyt, presently & in person wythPriceps mundi. mans voyce. For the prince of this worlde commeth [Page lviij] that is to saye, my mortall enemy and yours Satā the deuel whych treadeth vpon my hele is at hande.Gen. iij. And he calleth hym the prince of the worlde of hys effecte, bycause he cōmaundeth and ruleth ye worlde after hys wyll and pleasure, and draweth it whether he woll as he lust hymselfe. But thys prince of the worlde thys Satan (sayeth Christe) hath nought in me. As who shulde saye, albeit the prince of ye world is commyng agaynst me to vtter and worke al that euer he can deuise to put me downe, yet sure I am that I shall ouercome hym. So he maketh hys dis­ciples afrayed in that he telleth them that the prince of thys worlde is marchyng forwarde agaynst him, but agayne he comforteth them when he sayeth, he hath nought in hym. And in these few wordes is ex pressed the [...]yth of the hole gospell. Wherfore to cō ­clude, of thys victory of Christ all we good christen people shalbe partakers, in case we beleue accor­dynge as in thys Gospell we be taught. And conse­quently the holy goost who is the true and only comforter in al troubles and affliccion shal make hys mansion and abode wythin vs, and put vs in mynde of all Christes wyll and plea­sure, to the glorye of God the father of heauen and hys only be­gotten sonne Christ Ie­sus our Lorde. Qui viuit & reg­nat in infinita secula.

Amen.

The Epistle on the seconde daye of Pentecost. The. x. chapter of the Actes.

Thargument.

☞ How the Heythen receyued the holy goost & were baptised.

PEter opened hys mouth and sayd. Iesus com­maunded vs to preach vnto the people, and to testifye, that it is he, whych was ordeyned of God to be the iudge of quycke and deade. To him gyue all the prophetes wytnes, that thorowe hys name who so euer beleueth in hym, shall receaue remissi­on of synnes. Whyle Peter yet spake these wordes the holy goost fell on all them whyche herde the preachynge. And they of the circumcision whyche beleued, were astonnyed, as many as came with Pe ter, by cause that on the Gentyls also was shed out the gyfte of the holy goost. For they herde them speake wyth tonges, and magnifye God. Then an swered Peter: can any mā forbyd water, that these shulde not be baptised whyche haue receyued the holy goost as well as we? And he commaunded them to be baptised in the name of the Lorde.

GOod people the summe of saynt Peters sermō The sū ­me of S. Peters prechig here is, that Iesus Christ whych for hys bene­fytes and wonderfull vertues that he shewed amon ges the Iues, was crucifyed, that is to wyt, nayled moost vilanously to the crosse (whych was the moost paynfull and cruell death that the Iues coulde y­magyne) dyd notwythstandynge ryse agayne from [Page lix] death to lyfe and that who soeuer wol beleue in him shalbe saued. And he sayeth furthermore that God annoynted thys Iesus of Nazareth wyth the holy goost and wyth power. Wherby he declareth hym to be the true Messias whych was promysed to the fathers and of whome the prophete Dauid spake: I haue anoynted my kinge ouer Zion my holy hyl He declareth also that Christes office is to do good to all. Now thys resurrection of Christ he cōfirmeth both wyth hys owne wytnesse and wyth the wytnes of all that sawe the thynge wyth theyr eyes. And lest a man shulde reiecte them as parciall wytnesses by­cause they were hys seruauntes and disciples, he fet cheth out a moost sure recorde of scripture sayenge: that all the prophetes do testifye of thys Christ. Fy­nally lest a man woll fynde cauillacion and say they cain forth of their owne mynd vncalled to beare wyt nes of thys thynge, he addeth that they were com­maunded and sent by God to preache to the people, & to testifye that it is thys same Iesus Christ which was ordeyned of God to be the iuge of the quycke & deade. Whych thynge is also an vndoubted artycle of our fayth. To thys Christ (sayeth Peter) gyue all the prophetes wytnes that through hys name who so euer beleue in hym shalbe saued. And amonges other, the prophete Esaye who wryteth of Christe in thys wyse. He only hath taken on hym our infirmi­tieEsa. liij. and borne our paynes. The payne of our punish ment was layde vpon hym, and wyth hys strypes are we healed. Surely we haue gone all astray lyke shepe, euery one hath turned hys owne waye. But through hym, the Lorde hath pardoned all our syn­nes. [Page] Lo here ye maye se playnly aswell by the wor­des of saynt Peter in thys place as by thys prophet Esay how we get remission of synnes by beleuynge in Christ. Thys doth also saynt Paule in many pla ces declare & namely through out hys hole epistle to the Romaynes. Whereupon the auncient doctoureOrigene in epist. ad Ro. li. iij. ca. iij. Origene wrytynge, sayth: Man therfore is iustified by fayth, whome the workes of the lawe do nothyng helpe to ryghtuousnes. For where fayth is not which iustifyeth the beleuer, althoughe a man haue workes of the lawe, yet bycause they be not buylded vpon the foundacion of fayth, albeit they seme to be good, they can not iustifye the worker, yf fayth be a­waye whyche is the seale of all that be iustifyed of God. Saynt Ambrose agreyng her vnto sayth, thatAmbro­se of the callynge of the gentyls. the redemption of Christes bloude were very vyle, yf iustification whych is done by grace shuld be due to the merites goynge before, so that it shuld be not the gyfte of the gyuer but the reward of the worker. Also Ierome wrytynge vpon the epistle to the GalaIerome. thians sayeth: None is saued by the lawe, but we be all saued by fayth. Neyther doth saynt AugustineAustine. disagre from thys, saynge: Our fayth that is to say the catholyke faythe discerneth the ryghtuouse frō the vnryghtuouse not by the lawe of workes, but by the selfe lawe of fayth. But what go I aboute to allege a fewe doctours? All the prophetes (as Pe­ter here sayeth) Christe hymselfe, all the Apostles yea all the holy scripture throughe out, all the aun cient and ecclesiasticall doctours and holy exposi­tours of scripture do gyue wytnesse to Christe that [Page lx] through hys name whosoeuer beleueth in hym shal receyue forgyuenesse and pardon of theyr synnes. It foloweth in the texte.

Whyle Peter yet spake these wordes, the holy goost fell on all them whych herde the preachyng And they of the circumcision whych beleued were astonnyed. &c.

Brethren ye shall note that Christ was peculiarly promysed to the Iues as he hymselfe also sayeth in the. xv. Chapter of Mathew. I am not sent but to ye lost shepe of the house of Israel. Howbeit the cal­lynge of the Gentyls was longe before prophecyed of by the prophetes, and here also it was opened to saynt Peter by a vision of a shete sente downe fromActu. x. aboue vnto hym. And therfore he began hys sermō on thys wyse. Of a trouth I perceyue that there is no respecte of persons wyth God, but in all people he that feareth hym and worketh ryghtuousnes is accepted wyth hym. Now so many as beleued of the circumcision that is to wyt, the Iues not knowyng hereof but beynge ignoraunt that the Gentyls also were to be admytted to the felowship of the Gospell wondered, whan they sawe that on the Gentyls also was shed out the gyfte of the holy goost, and herde them speke wyth tonges & magnifyed God. Here ye shal also marke, yt thys gyft of tonges wherwyth at the sendynge downe of ye holy goost ye Apostles and other were so indowed yt they were vnderstanded of the people of al nacions, is now ceased, but in ye mea ne season the prayse of gods name ceaseth not nor ought not to cease. It foloweth in the texte.

[Page] Then answered Peter, can any man forbyd wa­ter that these shulde not be baptised whych haue receyued the holy goost as well as we?

Here ye se manyfestly (good people) that ye Gentyls by Peters preachynge of gods worde were re­plenyshed wyth the holy goost before they were out wardly baptysed wyth the water, for wyth the spirit it is playne that they were baptised. Saynt Peter therfore to confirme them, and as it were to seale them wyth an outwarde sygne, commaundeth them to be baptised wyth water in the name of the Lorde for baptisme is not only a sygne of mortificacionwhat is baptis­me. and of remission of synnes, but it is also a badge or knowlege that we be receyued into the nōb [...]r of the chyldren of God. Wherfore as al holy doctous and expositours do agre, there be two maner of baptis­mes. Now as also saynt Ierome affirmeth, mā onlyIerome sup Esa. gyueth the water, but God gyueth the holy goost wherby the fylthe is washed awaye, and the synnes of bloude purgeb. The same Ierome also wrytyng vpon the Epistle to the Galathians, sayeth in thys wyse. Yf then they that be baptised in Christe haue done on Christ, it is manyfest that they whych haue not put on Christ, be not baptised in Christe. For it was sayd to them whych were counted faythfull & whych were supposed to haue had the baptisme of Christ: Put ye on the Lorde Iesus Christ. Yf a mā taketh only thys corporall washyng of water whi [...]h is sene wyth the eyes of the flesh, he is not clad with the Lorde Iesus Christ. For albeit Simō Magus in the actes of the Apostles had receyued ye washing [Page lxi] of water, yet bycause he had not the holy gooste, he was not baptised in Christ. Wherfore (as I decla­red vnto you on the Ascēsiō day) baptisme wythout fayth is as who shulde saye, a paper sealed wythout any wrytynge in it. But ye shall alwayes vnderstād that I excepte and speake not of the baptisme of in­fauntes or babes. For they (as saint Austine and the other expositours of scripture do full well declare) be saued yf after baptisme they chaunce in theyr in­fauncy to dye, by the fayth of the catholyke church. And furthermore we saye agaynst the wycked Ana baptistes that the baptisme of children is not vayne but necessarye to saluacion. For no doubte the pro­myse of saluacion perteyneth also to chyldren or in­fauntes. But it pertayneth not to them that be oute of the church where is neyther the worde nor the sa­cramentes. And here vpon do all lerned men agre. Now therfore (good christen people) syth your bap tisme woll not serue you wythout faythe, no nor all the workes ye can do, I ernestly exhorte you that accordynge to saynt Peters declaracion here for the obteynynge of remission of your [...] synnes ye woll fastlye beleue in Christ. So doyng no doubt the holy goost shal en­ter into your har­tes & make you euen of loue without compulsion of lawe, to worke wel to the glorye of God, and helth of your soules eternally.

Amen.

The gospell on the seconde daye of Pentecost. The. iij. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument.

☞ The moost comfortable glad tydynges of Christ is here wonderfully well described.

IEsus spake vnto a ruler amonge the pharises. God so loued the worlde, that he gaue hys only he gotten sonne, that whosoeuer beleueth in hym, shulde not perysh, but haue euerlastynge lyfe. For God sente not hys sonne into the worlde, to con­dempne the worlde, but that the worlde through hym myght be saued. He that beleueth on hym, is not condempned. But he that beleueth not, is con­demned already, because he hath not beleued in the name of the only begotten sonne of God. And thys is the condempnacion: that light is come into the worlde, and mē loued darkenes more thā lyght bycause theyr dedes were euell. For euery one that euell doeth, hateth the lyght: neyther commeth to the lyght, lest hys dedes shuld be reproued. But he that doth trouth, commeth to the lyght, that hys dedes may be knowen, how that they are wrought in God.

THe Gospell of thys daye, good people, is in ve­ry dede an Euangell or gospell that is to saye a glad tydinges. For in fewe wordes it declareth vn to vs the summe of the Christen mans religion. Fyrst therfore it sheweth the cause that moued God to sende downe hys sonne to the earth. The wordes here spoken be Christes wordes vnto Nicodemus. [Page lxij] Thus he sayeth: God so loued the worlde that he gaue hys only begotten sonne that who soeuer bele­ueth in hym shulde not perysh, but haue euerlasting lyfe. Here ye se that the cause whych moued God to sende Christe to redeme vs was loue and not mans meryte, as also saynt Austine noteth. And surely the dede selfe declared gods excedynge loue towardes vs in that he sent hys only sonne to delyuer vs out of bondage. For true loue standeth not in fayre wor des and amiable countenaūce or gesture, but in the dede selfe. Nowe the more mysery we were in before Christes commynge: the greater is his benefyte and the more bounde be we vnto hym. God (as wrytethRom. v. saynt Paule) setteth forth hys loue towardes vs, se­yng that whyle we were yet synners, Christ dyed for vs. Now Christ hymselfe assureth vs that who so e­uer beleueth in hym thus sente of the father downe vnto vs, shall not quayle, shall not be confounded, shall not peryshe, but shalbe sure to attayne euerla­stynge lyfe. Seynge Christ hymselfe doth assure vs of euerlastynge lyfe for oure belefe or faythes sake, why shulde we doubt? Why shulde we go aboute to seke heauen by other wayes than Christ appointeth vs? The sentēce is vniuersall, all that beleue in him shall not perysh. Wherfore let noman thynke hym selfe exempted as vnworthy. Here is no respect ey­ther to thy worthynes, or to thy vnworthynes. Yf thou hast faith, thou shalt be sure to be of the chosen company. Only take hede thou mockest not God, & dissemblest not before the face of the worlde, sayeng thou hast fayth, and haue it not in dede. Yf thou hast fayth in dede, thou must nedes brynge forth the [Page] [...] [Page lxi] [...] [Page] [...] [Page lxij] [...] [Page] frutes of fayth, thou canst not but declare thy faith wyth workes of charitie both to God & man, whom for God thou canst not but loue as thy natural bro ther. Yf thou beyst a good tree, thou muste nedes brynge forth good frute. But a bad tre bryngeth forth bad frute. Christe goeth further and sayeth:Math. [...]. For God sente not hys sonne into the worlde to con dempne the worlde but to saue the worlde. Here ye se the fynall cause of Christes commynge whyche was to saue that was lost. Howbeit thys texte is to be vnderstande of Christes fyrst commynge and of the tyme of grace, ye maye not vnderstande it of his seconde aduent or commynge whyche shalbe at the last daye, for thā he shal wythout fayle come to iugeIoh. v. accordynge to an other place where he sayeth. The father hath gyuen all iudgement to the sonne. Ne­uerthelesse in the meane season whosoeuer beleueth not is already iudged and condempned, wheras on the contrarye parte they that beleue can in no wyse be condempned. But why is the infidele alreadye condempned? Bycause (sayeth Christe) he hath not beleued in the name of the onely begotten sonne of god. Lo here ye se agayne how fayth saueth, & lacke of fayth condempneth. And thys is the condempna cion that lyght is come into the worlde, and men lo ued darkenes more then lyght, bycause theyr dedes were euyl. Who is thys lyght? Christ. Who is ye darkenes? The worlde. The lyght then shyned in ye darkenesIoh. i. , and the darknes dyd not comprehende it. Do not men loue styll darkenes more then lyghte? Had they not rather walke in theyr owne fanseys & wyl­workes [Page lxiij] then in Christes doctrine? Alacke for pytie. Yea though the lyght neuer so much shyne, though the Gospell be neuer so much in the hande, yf Christ by hys holy spirite do not teache the, thou arte styll but darkenes, and why so? for thou louest styll dar­kenes better than the lyght, for thy dedes are euell, and therfore thou muste nedes conuince and damne thy selfe of infidelitie. It foloweth. For euery one that doth euell hateth ye lyght, neyther woll he come to the lyght that is to saye to Christ and hys worde lest the bryghtnes of the lyght shuld reproue his de­des. Thys is the cause (good people) why these pa­pistes are so loth that the scripture of God shulde be redde of you laye people, lest ye myght happen to es­pye theyr hypocrisie and crafty iugelynge agaynste Christ and hys trouth. For scripture is the rule or touchstone wherby ye maye easely trye and discerne the chaffe from the corne, the chalke from chese, that is to saye, hypocrisye from true religion.

They haue (good people) longe holden you in igno­raunce and in blyndenes to auaunce them selues and to raygne lyke kynges ouer you, contrary both to gods lawe and mans lawe. Wherfore I blame them the lesse though they hate scripture, whych dis closeth theyr hypocrisie and vsurped authoritie, lest (as Christe here sayeth) theyr dedes shulde be rebu­ [...]ed and reproued. But he (sayeth Christe) that doeth trouth, cōmeth to the lyghte, that hys dedes may be knowen, bycause they are wrought in God, as who shuld saye. He that is iustifyed & declared a good person by hys fayth whych he hath in me & for [Page] de [...]laracion therof doth the truth that my worde mo ueth hym to do, and worketh not after hys owne fā ­sey, thys man commeth to the lyght, that is to wyt, he gladly suffreth hys workes and procedynges to be tryed and examined by the rule of my worde, by­cause they be do [...]e in God and be godly workes.

Where as cōtrary wyse the hypocrite doth so much abhorre from the iudgement of my worde, that he fle eth by all meanes he can from it, & woll suffre none other to loke vpon it. He woll neyther enter into theMath. xxiii. kyngdome of heauen hymselfe nor yet suffer others that wolde enter. Such persons vnder pretence of holynes haue longe shut vp the kyngdome of heauē from many men. But now thanked be God yt lyght hath somwhat shone agayne. Wherfore good peo­ple let vs not hate thys lyght and loue darknes styl as we haue done in tymes past, whan we were decey ued by the iuglynges of these papistes. Let vs be­leue in thys Christe sente downe from the father of heauen to redeme vs. And yf gods worde be true we shall surely be saued and raygne wyth hym in hea­uen, worlde wythout ende. &c.

The Epistle on the thyrde daye of Pentecost. The. viij. chapter of the Actes.

Thargument

☞ Peter & Ihon be sent into Samaria, where after baptisme the Samaritanes receyued the holy goost.

WHen the Apostles whyche were at Ierusalem hearde say, that Samaria hadde receyued the word of god, they sent vnto them Peter and Ihon Whyche when they were come downe, prayed for [Page lxiv] them, that they myght receaue [...]he holy goost. For as yet he was come on none of them: but they were baptysed onely in the name of Christe Iesu. Then layed they theyr handes on them, and they recea­ued the holy gooste.

THys lesson (good people) is taken forth of the eyght chapter of the Actes of thapostles, for a more perfyte vnderstandynge wherof, ye shal know that in the selfe chapter a lytle before it is shewed, how S. Philip thapostle entered into a cytie of Sa maria and preached there to the Samaritanes the glad tydinges of our Sauiour Christ Iesu, how he beynge the sonne of God came downe for the redēp­cion of mankynde. Thys his preachynge he dyd al­so confirme wyth myracles. For (as the texte also de clareth) the vncleane spirites cryenge wyth loude voyce came out of many that were possessed of them And many takē wyth palse [...]s and many that halted were healed. Now the people gaue great hede to the thynges whych Philip spake. And assone as they gaue credence to Philips preachynge of the kyng­dome of God and of the name of Iesu Christe, they were baptised both mē and wemen. Here ye se (good people) how the Samaritanes whych were Hethen persons yea and such persons as the Iues whyche were the peculiar and proper people of god toke for very contempte and vyle persons, receyued the gos­pell of Christ forthwyth at the preachynge of saynt Philip and were by and by baptised. Thus farforth are the Samaritanes brought▪ Now the lection red in the church thys day goeth further and sayth, that [Page] when the Apostles whyche were gathered togyther at Ierusalem herde say that the Samaritanes had receyued the worde of God, they sent vnto thē Pe­ter and Iohn, whiche when they were come downe from the hyghe cytie of Ierusalem thyther vnto thē they prayed for them, to thintent they myght receiue the holy ghoste. For as yet the holy ghoste was not come on none of thē, onlye they were baptized in the name of Christ Iesu. Thā layde these two Apostles theyr handes vpon ye Samaritans, and anone they receyued the holy ghost. This is the history redde in the church as thys daye. But now my frendes what frute and profyte shal we beare away of this lesson? What is here to be gathered? Nothyng? Yes truly for there is nothynge wrytten, sayeth S. Paule: butRo. xv. it is wryten for our learnynge, that by pacience and confort of scriptures we shuld haue hope. Fyrst ther fore ye shall [...] note howe glad the Apostles were to heare, that these Samaritans were turned to the Gospell of Christe, and they were not only glad, but also carefull for them, lest they myght happen to go backe agayne to theyr olde baguage and blyndnes. And therfore in all hast they sent these two Apostles Peter and Iohn to confirme and strengthen theyr faith. Here we be taught what ye office of true & good Apostles, yea of all good Christen men is. For we ought in lykewyse to be carefull for oure brethren yt they maye be broughte to the perfeyte knowlege of gods worde. And namely suche as call them selfes Apostolicall persons and Apostles fellowes & suc­cessours (as the byshoppes of Rome do) oughte in this behalfe to folow therēple of thapostles charite. [Page lxv] But they do cleane contrary, they rather plucke me from the Gospell, then allure them vnto it.

Seconde, ye shall note, that before the resurrecti­on of Christe, when as yet the Iues and Gentyles were not ioyned togyther by all one fayth, the Apo­stelsMath. x were forbydden to entre into the cyties of the Samaritanes. But after the resurrection, whē they were bydden for the spredynge abrode of the gospell to go into all partes of the worlde, then that former commaundemente whiche was but temporall and whyche dyd serue but for a tyme, was taken awaye and cessed.

Thyrdly, in this historye ye shall marke, that the Samaritanes receyued forthwyth the holy ghoste assone as they beleued and were baptized. For assu­redly true and perfecte baptisme can not be without the holy ghost. Furthermore it is not possible that fayth can be in that person where the holy spirite of God dothe not inhabite, as many places aswell of scripture, as of auncient fathers do wytnesse. Yea S. Austin affirmeth playnly in his boke, de presen­ [...]ia de [...], that the holy ghost dothe dwell and inhabiteAustine in infauntes or childrē yt be baptized. Wherfore how muche more is he resident and abydynge in persons of age and discretion which haue fayth and be bap­tised? So it is no doute, but these Samarit [...]nes at the preachyng of S. Philip receiued the holy ghost, excepte perchaunce ye woll saye, that S. Philippes preachynge had lesse vertue and efficaciein it, then the preachynges of thother Apostles had, whyche in no wyse is to be graunted. But peraduenture yeQuestiō woll meruayle then, howe it is that it followeth in [Page] the historye red in the Churche this daye, that after the Samaritanes had receyued the worde of God, the holy Ghost as yet was not come on none of thē. And therfore the Apostles euē for that purpose sent Peter and Iohan, whiche prayed for them that they myght receyue the holy Ghoste. My frendes, what shal we say to this? Dyd the Samaritanes receyue goddes worde, dyd they beleue, were they baptised, and yet were they voyde of the holy ghost? Howe cā this be? Chryste hym selfe sayeth, he that beleueth & is baptysed shall be saued. But onles a man be re­nuedmar. xvi with the holy ghost, he can not be saued, as the same Chryst also testifyeth in the thryde Chapter of Iohn. Wherfore it must nedes folowe that the Sa­maritaynes had receyued the holy ghost, forasmuch as true baptisme can not be without the holy Ghost Howe than sayth S. Luke here that the holy ghost was not yet come on the Samarytanes. To thisThe so­lution. doubte I answere in fewe wordes, that this texte in this place that the holy Ghost was not yet come v­pon them, is to be vnderstande not o [...] the substaūce of the spirite or holy Ghoste, but of those manifest and notable gyftes of the holy Ghost. They had the holy Ghost to comforte them, and to lede them to al trueth necessary to their saluacion, but they had him not yet to do miracles and speake straunge [...]onges as in the primatyue Churche they had for the con­firmacion of Christes doctrine. Neyther is it at this day necessarye, the Gospell being nowe stablyshed, that men shuld haue suche wonderfull gyftes of the spirite.

Wherfore good chrysten people I exhorte you, [Page lxvi] and in the name of Christ I requyre you, that accor­dynge to the exemple of these Samaritanes here, ye wol laye downe your supersticion a [...]d blyndnes of harte, wherin ye haue wandered, and wyth glad min des receyue the worde of God, accordynge to youre profession and promyse whych ye made at the fount stone, and put on Christ, renouncynge ye worlde, the flesh, and the deuell wyth stedfast and earnest fayth. And no doubt ye shalbe endowed wyth ye holy goost who in all your trouble and afflictions shall cōforte you and directe you in youre waye to heauenwarde where is our dwellynge place prepared wyth the fa­ther, sonne, and holy goost. To whome be all glorye wythout ende.

Amen.

The gospell on the thyrde daye of Pentecost. The. x. chapter of Ihon.

Thargument.

☞Christ is the true shepeherde.

IEsus sayd vnto hys disciples. Verely verely I say vnto you: he that entreth not in by the dore into the shepefolde, but clymmeth vp some other way, the same is a the [...]e and a murtherer. But he that en­tereth in by the dore, is the shepherd of the shepe: to hym the porter openeth, and the shepe heare his voyce, and he calleth his owne shepe by name, and he leadeth them out. And whan he hath sent forth hys owne shepe, he goeth before thē and the shepe folowe hym, for they knowe hys voyce. A straun­ger wyll they not folowe, but wyll flee from hym: for they knowe not the voyce of straungers. Thys prouerbe spake Iesus vnto them, but they vnder­stode [Page] not what thynges they were whych he spake vnto them. Than sayd Iesus vnto them againe: Ve rely, verely, I saye vnto you: I am the dore of the shepe. Al (euen as many as came before me) are the ues and murtherers: but the shepe dyd not heare them. I am the dore: by me yf any man enter in, he shalbe safe, and shall go in and out, and fynde pa­sture. A thefe commeth not but for to steale, kyll, and to destroye. I am come that they myght haue lyfe, and that they might haue it more aboūdaūtly

IN the Gospell of thys daye (deare frendes) our sa uiour Christ declareth hys owne propertie or of­fice and he setteth out vnto vs the excedynge loue and kyndnes whyche he beareth to mankynde by a very proper and feate parable or similitude, where­by he resembleth hymselfe to a good shepeherde, and the false preachers or prelates to theues and mur­therers. Certaynly all false doctours, all false pro­phetes, all proude pharisees that woll iustifye them selues by theyr owne workes and all hypocrites be here wonderfully touched. And why? Bycause they entre not into the shepefolde by the dore, but clyme vp an other waye. What call ye clymmynge vp an other waye? Surely it is to seke forgyuenes of thy synnes, ryghtuousmakynge, and euerlastynge lyfe by other meanes then Christ (whych is the waye, theIo. xiiij. trouth, and the lyfe) hath taught. Wherfore yf thou enterest not in by the dore, that is to saye by Christe, but an other way, I meane, yf thou wylt iustifie thy selfe and promyse thy selfe soule helth, bearynge thy [Page lxvij] self bold of thyn own proper workes, & not cleauing to the mercy of God (accordynge to thexemple of the publicane) nor dependynge vpon the merytes of Christes passion, art thou not, trowest thou, by Chri stes owne iudgement and sentence here, a thefe and a murtherer? But what a greate thefe art yu yf thou also teachest other folke to thynke ye same that thou doest? By me, sayeth Christ, he that entereth in, shal be saued. But what is thys shepefolde that he spea­keth here of? surely the shepefolde is the church, it is the congregacion and assemble of Christen people. He that wol entre into thys congregacion, into this church, into the holy communion and felowship of christen persons any other wayes than by Christ, he is a thefe and no christian person. He that also woll teache any other doctrine in Christes churche than such as Christ hath taught, is no pastoure, no bys­shop, no true shepeherde, but a thefe rather, a mur­therer, a wolfe. And it is much to be feared, lest there be at thys daye many mo wolues and theues, than be true herdmen & feders. I saye, I am sore afrayed lest the prophecye of saynt Paule be yet styll very­fyed & in force in christendome. For whan S. Paule shulde departe from Ephesus, and knewe by the spiAct. xx. rite of God, that his death approched, he called toge ther the prestes or elders of the congregacion and a­monges other wordes he sayth thus. Take hede vn to your selues and to all the flocke wherin the holy goost hath made you byshops that is to saye ouerse ers, to fede or guyde after the maner of good shepe­herdes the church of God, whych he hath purchased wyth hys owne bloude. For I am sure of thys, that [Page] after my departynge shal greuouse wolues enter in amonges you, not sparynge the flocke. But who is the porter of thys shepefolde whych openeth ye dore to the good & faythful shepeherde of Christes flock? Surely it is yt holy goost, for he openeth vnto hym the scriptures of God, he leadeth hym into al trouth And hys shepe, that is to say, his paryshners, heare hys voyce, and he calleth hys owne shepe by name,Prouer. xxvij. accordynge also to the coūsayle of Salomon in his prouerbes, where he sayeth: Se that thou know the nombre yf thy catell thy selfe, and loke well to thy flockes. Moreouer thys good shepeherde, this good curate, thys byshop, thys ouerseer goeth before hys shepe and hys shepe folowe hym. What is thys to saye? Truly he that is a good byshop, a good pa­stoure, and curate woll make himselfe comformable to hys doctrine, he wol leade them the waye, that by hys steppes and good exemple of lyuinge, they may walke in Christes groundes and pastures. He woll not playe the crabbe fysh whych wolde haue taught her doughter to go streyght, but wold not leade her the waye her selfe and teach her by her exemple how to go, as it is in Esopes fables. I am afrayed we haue many crabbes. Saynt Paule wold haue a by­shop yt is to saye an ouerseer or curate to gyue good exemple of lyuynge hymselfe and to haue a good &i. tim. iij Tit. ij. honest reporte of straungers, leste hys lyuyūge be a slaunder to his doctrine. So doynge, hys shepe shal folowe hym, and shal knowe hys voyce. For assured ly, they that be godly persones woll knowlege none for theyr shepeherde, but such as teache gods worde True teachers of Christes Gospell be easely discer­ned [Page lxvij] of good christen men. And agayne the good chri sten mē be easely discerned and knowen of true prea chers. Thys prouerbe or parable nakedly and vnap plyed spake Iesus to hys disciples. But they vnder stode not what thynges they were whyche he spake vnto them, and no maruayle. For (as saynt Paule sayeth) the flesh perceyueth not yt thynges yt be goost ly. The disciples were as yet but carnall. And ther fore our Sauiour Christ lyke a good mayster decla reth vnto them the meanynge of hys parable, & say­eth, that he hymselfe is the dore of the shepe, by hym who soeuer entreth in, shalbe saued and shal go in & out and fynde pasture, as who shulde saye, whether so euer he turneth hym, whyther so euer he casteth hys eyes, he shall fynde that shalbe for the behoufe and edificacion of hys flocke, brefley to speake, God shalbe wyth hym, the holy goost shall prompt hym and put hym in mynde of such thinges as he ought to teach hys paryshners and flocke that is commyt ted to hys charge. But (sayeth Christe) as many as came before me are theues and murtherers, and the shepe dyd not heare them. Here doth our Sauioure Christ shewe vs the difference betwene the doctrine of the true preachers and the doctrine of heretikes, of false prelates, & hypocrites. Nowe, they go before Christ whych beare not Christ with them and which woll seme wyser than Christ, as Peter dyd when heMat xvi rebuked Christ bycause he sayd that he shulde suffer death. And therfore Christe called hym Satan. and bad hym come after hym: Wherfore marke the diffe rence of Christ and of the false Apostles. Christe isIoh. i. the preacher of grace, the pscudapostles preach mās [Page] merytes. Christ is carefull for the fode of hys shepe,Ioh. viij the false Apostles seke theyr owue luere and gaynes Christ seketh the glorye of the father, the false Apost les steale from God hys glorye, Christe quyckenethIoh. xi. wyth hys worde, the false Apostles kyl mens soules wyth wycked doctrine. For the thefe cōmeth not but to steale, to kyll, and to destroye. Hytherto I haue brefly and playnly declared the parable of the shepe herde. Now it shalbe your partes (good people) so to acquaynte youre selues wyth gods worde, that ye maye knowe the voyce of the shepeherde from the voyce of the thefe and murtherer accor­dinge to our Sauioure Christes wor­des here. So doynge ye shall at laste be conducted to the moost swete & plea­saunt groun­des of the lyuinge, and shall syt wyth Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob, and wyth the aungels in heauen, where ye shall se God face to face and haue fruicion of all ioye wyth God. To whome be al honour and glorye worlde wythout ende.

AMEN.

The Epistle on the. iiij. daye of Pentecoste, that is to saye, on the wednesdaye in wytsonweke. The. ij. chapter of the Actes.

Thargument

☞ The sermon of saynt Peter, conteynynge the prophecye of Iohel.

PEter stepped forth wyth the eleuen, and lyft vp hys voyce, and sayd vnto them: Ye men of [...]u­rye, and al ye that dwell at Ierusalem, be thys kno­wen vnto you, and wyth your eares heare my wor­des. For these are not droncken as ye suppose, se­yng it is but the thyrde houre of the daye. But thys is that whych was spoken by the prophete Iohel: And it shall be in the last dayes, sayeth God: of my spirite I wyll poure out vpon all fleshe. And your sonnes and your daughters shall prophecye, and your yonge men shal se visions, and your olde mē shall dreame dreames. And on my seruauntes, and on my hande maydens I wyll poure out of my spi­rite in those dayes, and they shall prophecye. And I wyll shewe wonders in heauen aboue, and tokēs in the earth beneth, bloude, and fyre, and the vapor of smoke. The Sonne shalbe torned into darckenes and the Mone into bloude, before that greate and notable daye of the Lord come. And it shall come to passe, that whosoeuer shall call on the name of the Lorde, shalbe saued.

IN the lesson of thys present daye (good Christen people) is conteyned the ryght godly sermon of ye holy Apostle saynt Peter, wherin he soberly, coldly, [Page] and lernedly maketh answere and defense to the vn reuerent talkynge and hurly burly of the people of all nations whyche when they herde Christes disci­ples speake wyth new tonges the great workes and wonders of god, were partly abashed and wondered therat, and partly gested vpon them and sayde they were dronken and full of newe wyne.

Saynt Peter therfore which of a fysherman is now become a great byshop and pastor ryseth vp, not a­lone yet, but the. xi. apostles standyng vp wyth him, leste (as Erasmus doth full well note) he myght beErasmꝰ in para­phrasi. thought to vsurpe any tyrannye or raygne ouer hys felowes. He only spake ye wordes, but he spake them in the name of all hys felowes, euen as he alone dyd also before Christes passion in the name of al his fe­lowes confesse Iesus Christ to be the sonne of the ly uynge God. Who wolde haue thought that so sim­ple a creature and that a fysherman shuld haue had suche audacitie ones to haue loked vpon so great a multitude. Oftentymes great Oratours when they brynge theyr oration that they haue longe studyed for before, to speke in a great audiēce of people or be fore a great ruler, chaūge colours, be astōnyed & vt­terly dismayed. Truly thys was that heauenly drō ­kennes whych they had caught of that heuenly cup wherof the prophete sayeth. Calix meus mebrians q̄ praeclarus est. Thys fysher man I saye stode before so great a multitude, he ioyned wt hym in cōmission the eleuen Apostles, not to ayde hym but to accom­pany hym, he fixed hys eyes vpon the people whych were vnknowen vnto hym, he lyfted vp hys voyce and wythout any premeditacion at al, he spake vn­to [Page lxviij] them accordynge as the Lorde had commaunded hym to do. Neyther speaketh he for himselfe, but be­ynge the shepherde he defendeth the flocke, whyche thynge he doth not wyth humane craft or eloquēce, but wt the ayde of holy scripture. Now ye hole multi­tude awayteth to heare what he woll saye. Let vs al so attende, for asmoche as these thynges be spoken to all. Fyrst after he hadde ones wyth mouynge hys hande assuaged the murmuryng of the people, he be ganne wyth such a proheme as myghte make them attente and desyrous to heare wythout any rhetori­call flattery at all.

O ye men (sayeth he) of the Iuysh nation, whomeThe or [...] tion of Peter. it behoueth not to be ygnoraunte of the lawe and of the prophetes and namely you whych be inhabitaū ­tes of the cytie of Ierusalem where the heade of our religion and knowlege of the lawe is: Ye haue cause perchaūce to wonder, but ye haue no cause to sklaū ­der. Wherfore so many of you as be here, gyue attē ­tiue eares a lytle whyle vnto me, and knowe ye mat­ter as it lyeth. For it stande you all vpon so to do.

For these men of Galilie whome ye se here wyth me be not dronken nor full of new wyne, as some of you thinke, syth it is now mornynge & but ye thyrd houre frō the sonne rysynge, at whych tyme nomā is wont to be dronke. But in these men ye se now the thynge accomplyshed whyche God longe ago promysed by Iohel hys prophete shulde come to passe. Harken to the prophecye, and consyder whether the thynge be fulfylled or not. Sklaunder not, bycause ye se a thynge vnwont, but receyue rather the grace whychIohel. ij almyghty god offereth vnto you. For Iohel beynge [Page] inspyred wyth the holy goost and seynge, that the ty me shulde come that God whych at sondry tyines be fore had unparted hys spirite to Moses and to ma­ny prophetes for your cōforte and instruction wolde ones at laste whan hys onely begotten sonne shulde come, poure out moost plentefully the same spirite not vpon one or two (as hertofore) but vpon all na­tions of the worlde euen as many as wyth syncere fayth shulde receyue thys glad tydynges whyche at hys cōmaundement we brynge now vnto you: thus vttered the heuenly prophecye. It shal come to passeErit in nouissi­mis die bus. in the last dayes, sayeth the Lorde. I shal poure out plentefully of my spirite vpon all flesh, and sodenly your sōnes and your doughters shal prophecie and your yonge men shall se visions, and your olde per­sons shall dreame dreames. And truly vpon my ser­uaūtes & my handmaydens I shal poure out of my spirite and they shal prophecie. And I shal gyue wō ders in heauen aboue, and tokens in earth beneth, bloude and fyre, & the vapoure of smoke. The sonne shalbe conuerted into darkenes and the moone into bloude, before that great and renowmed daye of the Lorde come. And whosoeuer shall call on the name of the Lorde shalbe saued. Thys my frendes hath ye prophete Iohel so longe ago prophecied vnto vs. And hetherto goeth the lesson of thys presente day [...] whych conteyneth the fyrst parte of S. Peters ser­mon. Now as touchynge the fyrste parte of Iohels prophecie concernynge the sendynge downe of yt ho ly goost after such a plentyful sorte, the scripture tea cheth vs that it was fulfylled aboute thys tyme of Pentecost, as in our sermons before we haue fully & [Page lxix] at large declared vnto you. And as for the rest of the prophecie concernynge the great calamitie and ter­rible tokens that shall come agaynste domes daye, there is no doubte but it shall come to passe, as outeMath. xxvij. lu. xxiij. sauiour Christ hath also certifyed vs. But my fren­des let vs be nothynge dismayed nor troubled wyth the remembraunce of thys dradfull tyme, whych no doubt yet approcheth nere and shall steale vpon vs or euer we be ware, we knowe not how sone. Onely let vs do as the prophete teacheth vs here, & we shal not nede to feare. Let vs cal on the name of yt Lorde and we shalbe saued. Let vs thā in al our aduersitie woo, and trouble, yea and also in our welth, prospe­ritic and felicitie remember God, loue God, prayse God, call on God with fayth. But let it be such faith as shall worke by charitie. Let it be a lyuely fayth & no deade fayth, that maye brynge forth good wor­kes. Yf we thus do, we shall not nede to feare these terrible tokens, but we shalbe sure to be translated from thys myserye vnto immortall ioye wyth God. To whome. &c.

The Gospell on the .iiij. daye of Pentecost. The. vi. chapter of S. Ihon.

Thargument.

☞ Christ teacheth vs here yt onles we be renew­ed by the holy goost, we can not come vnto him.

IEsus sayd to hys disciples, and to the company of the Iewes. No man can come to me, excepte the father whych hath sent me, drawe hym: And I wyll rayse hym vp at the last daye. It is wrytten in the prophetes: and they shalbe all taught of god. [Page] Euery man therfore that hath herde, and hath lear­ned of the father, cōmeth vnto me. Not that any man hath sene the father, saue he whych is of god: the same hath sene the father. Verely, verely, I saye vnto you: he that putteth hys trust in me, hath euer­lastynge lyfe. I am that bread of lyfe. Your fathers dyd eate Mana in the wyldernes and are dead. This is that breade whych cōmeth downe frō heauen, that a man maye eate therof, and not dye. I am that lyuynge breade whych came downe from heauen. Yf any mā eate of thys bread, he shal lyue for euer. And the breade that I wyll gyue, is my flesh which I wyll gyue for the lyfe of the worlde.

IN thys Gospell (good people) our sauiour Christ makynge answer to the murmourynge of yt peo­ple agaynst hym, bycause he sayd he was the breade of lyfe, and declarynge that theyr thoughtes coulde not be hyd from hym, expouneth and also fortifyeth the worde yt he spake, sayenge vnto them, yt they had no cause to murmoure amonges themselues of the thynge yt he spake. For therfore hys worde dyd not synke into theyr myndes bycause of theyr mysoeleue Seynge, they saw not: and hearyng, they herde not:Nemo potest venite ad me. & beynge present they were absent. Whosoeuer com meth to Christ shall attayne euerlastynge lyfe. But there is no waye to come vnto hym but by fayth.

Thys fayth is not lyghtly had, but cōmeth by the in spiracion of the father, who lyke as by yt sōne he dra­weth mens myndes vnto hym: so wt secrete inspira­cions of fayth he draweth them to the sonne. He be­stoweth [Page lxx] not so great a gyfte but to suche as be wyl­lynge & gredy. Whosoeuer then shall meryte by hys prompte wyl & deuoute mynde to be drawen of ye fa­ther, the same shall attayne by Christ to euerlasting lyfe. For our sauiour Christ shall also rayse ye [...] deade to lyfe agayne in ye last daye. A great thynge taketh he that beleueth Christ, but without the helpe of the heuēly father, he can not do it. Yet neuertheles they are not excused bycause they be not drawen. For the father as much as in hym is coueteth to drawe all. He yt is not drawē, is in fault himselfe, bycause he wt draweth hymselfe frō hym yt wolde drawe hym. Hu­mane thynges be lerned wt humane studye, but this heauently lernynge is not perceyued, onles ye secrete inspiracion of the father maketh hym an apte & tea­chable harte. And this is it yt longe sythens was proEsa. liiij phecied of the prophetes to come to passe. And they all shalbe taught of God. But the desyre of thys worlde do make many vnapt. I say it is the gyft of god, but the indeuoure must be ours. A mā heareth wt hys bodely eyen Christes wordes in vayne, onles he heare wtin fyrst ye secrete voyce of ye father, whych breatheth the mynde wt an insensible grace of fayth. For god is a spirite & is neyther herde nor sene, but of spiritual persons. Many haue sene & herd Christ to theyr damnation. And albeit the Iues boasted yt god was both sene & herde of Moses & of yt prophe­tes: yet no mortall mā euer sawe or herde god as he is. For thys is only graūted to the sonne of mā ours sauiour Christ. Let vs then shake of the care of this lyfe and not so moch seke for the bread whereby our bodyes be fedde, as thys breade whych giueth euer­lastynge [Page] lyfe. We counte the olde fathers happye whych dyd eate Manna, yet thys Manna preserued them not from death, and why? Not bycause Man­naAustine. was euyll (sayeth saynte Austine) but because of theyr euyll eatyng. Christe is the breade whych des­cendeth from heauen, whyche is signified by Man­na. He that eateth of thys breade, shal lyue for euer. But ye wol aske who thys is? Saynt Austine answe­rethAugu. de ciui­tate dei li. xxi. cap. xxv in thys wyse: He that is in ye vnitie of Christes bodye, that is to wytte, in the felowshipe of the chri­sten mēbres: the sacramēte of whych body all fayth: full persones be wonte to receyue, when they cōmu­nicate at the altare & come to gods borde, doth truly eate the bodye of Christe, and drynke the bloude of Christe. Nowe therfore let vs by all indeuours we cā, make ourselues mete and apte to receyue ye holye spirite of god, wherby we maye be drawen to Christ. Let vs also take parte of hys passions, and folowe the cōuersation whych he had in hys fleshe. WhycheAustine. Bernard thynge (as S. Austine & others expoune thys place) is to eate hys fleshe and drynke hys bloude. To whome wyth the father and holy goost be all glorye.

AMEN.

¶ Imprinted at London by Richarde Ban­kes, and are to be solde in Fletestrete at the sygne of the whyte Harte.

Cum priuilegio ad imprimen­dum solum.

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