¶The summe of the holye scripture / and ordinarye of the Christen teachyng / the true Christen faithe / by the which we be all iustified. And of the vertue of bap­tesme / after the teaching of the Gospell and of the Apostles / wi­th an informacyon howe all estates shulde lyve accordynge to the Gos­pell.


Academiae Cantabrigiensis Liber

[Page] SEing that all persones can not rede or vnderstonde all bokes / to thētent th­at every man may knowe whate ys the foundacyon of all the scriptures / and whate thinge they do teache vs. I haue shortly compyled in this present boke / the foundacyon and the somme of the holy sc­ripture of the which the hede and princy­pall is the faith [...]from whome procede ho­pe and charite. To thintent that euery mā may knowe / whate he shall beleve / wha­te he shall hope / & whye he shall love god / and howe god is oure father / and we hys children / and howe that we be enheriters of the kingdome of god / as shewith vnto vs saint Paul in all his epistles / in divers chapters [...] / whiche be many tymes alleged / and recyted / in this present boke. Also ho­we that without oure merites we be iusti­fied to thintent that we shuld not put ou­re trust in oure good workes / as dyd the Iues. Neverthelesse albeit that I wryte in this boke that God iustifieth vs wyth out oure good workes and merites / it ys not myne entent to discounsell eny mā to do good werkes / but myne euient is to te­che all persones howe they shall do the [Page] werkes / and that they shall not trust vpō theire good werkes / nor in theym to seke theire hel [...] ▪ but all only in the feith of Iesu Christ / and in the grace of god.

This faith had Abraham / as writeth saint Paule vnto the Romayns.Ro. 4. For A­braham beleved agaynst hope in hope. That is to saye / that whiche by mannes nature and vertue was impossible he be­leved alwayes hit shulde come to passe / e­vyn as god had promysed them. So must every christen lyve ageinste hope in hope / that is to sey / hit behoveth that he repute all his good workes for sinne / and thinke that if god wolde iudge him accordinge to his workes he might not be saved. For if I haue done eny good hit is of God / and not of me / for. I haue done it by the grace of God / and therby I deserve no reward And if I haue done eny thinge of my silfe without the grace of god / hit is ypochrisye and greate sinne / and therby I deserve euerlastinge deth / wherfore then shall I trust in my good workes / for I haue no good workes / all my goodnesse belongeth to god. So shulde a christē hūble him silfe and repute all his good workes for sinne [Page] as truely they be As sheweth vnto vs E­saye saying / all oure rightuousnes be as a clothe polluted with the floures af a woman.Esa. 64▪ And when the person so distrusteth of him silfe / and of his good workes he sh­all hope agayn ageinst hope / and shall tr­ust in the mercy of God / and shall beleve forth on certaynly that he shalbe saved bycause of the worde of God. For god hath promysed to vs his realme to all theym / that trust in him / and god is faithfull and veritable in his wordes / wherfore seyng that god hath promysed it vnto vs▪ let vs beleve it stebfastly / and haue ferme fayth that we shalbe saved not by oure deser­ving / but by the promyses of god. And so it behoveth that euery christen dispere ād hope (as dyd Abraham) dispeyre of him silfe / and then a newe to trust in the worde of god. And these be the two thinges which the lawe and the gospell doth. The lawe maketh vs to dispeyre / because that we never fulfill the cōmaundementes of god▪ These gospell (that is to say the grace of the newe testament / maketh vs agayn cer­teynly to hope and to trust. And for to teache these two thynges be wrytten all the [Page] cript [...]res. The parson shall alweyes abide [...] humylyte and alweyes thynke that if god wolde iudge hym according to hys workes he shulde never come vnto helth. As sheweth vnto vs Iesus christe in.Lu. 17 S. Kuke sayng / when ye haue done all the thinges whiche to you are commauded say ye / we be vnprousitable servauntes / we haue done but oure dutye. And thys is the verey Christen humylite / as in this present boke shalbe more pleynly declared And if we can thus repute all oure good workes for sinne / ād in theym to have no maner of trust and then ageyn beleve that we shalbe saved by the promyses of god / we be the children of Abraham / of who­me all the scriptures bere witnesse that by his faith he was iustified / and gat helth. And for that cause he is called the father of belevers and of the feithfull. And this ys the fayth wherof I wryte here ī this boke to thintent that all parsones myght come to knowledge and knowe whate ys the Christen sayth. Of the whyche all the sc­riptures do speake / and namely the Gos­pell after S. Iohn / and the epistles of S. Paule / for heryn do these two apostles cō ­prehend [Page] all other scripture.

And for bicause that it behoueth that the parson beleve that his faith iustifieth him / and not his workes I haue shortly compyled here and declared howe the fa­yth doth iustifie vs / and howe we be the children of God / and howe we must ser­ve oure father by charite / and howe that we shalt nothyng doubt of oure helth by­cause of the wordes of God. And when a parson getteth thys hope he learneth to bere pacyenly all tribulacyon and adver­site. For he knoweth that this lyfe ys not hys lyfe / and hath greate desyre aftrr the other lyfe / and holdeth not this lyfe for hys. And this maketh the fayth the whi­che ys alwayes affectuously attendaunte after Christ oure espouse. But he that hath not this fayth is all desolate when he hath mysfortune / and yf to hym yt hap­pon well he gyveth hym silfe to voluptu­osite and sinne. And for bicause he hath no hope of the everlasting life he thinkes in him silf I will vse this life as long as it is lēt me / And that he doth bicause he kno­weth not whate oure feith is / & whate our hope is / & howe that we be the children, of God.

[Page] To thintent therfore that none gyue him silfe to sinne by desperacion I have shortly compyled in this present boke / ho­we that we be iustified with out oure me­rites. For when eny parson hath done his best with all his power / as I haue se­yd / then let him say yet / that he is an vn­proufitable servaunt. And the humble her te wherby he knowlegith his imperfecti­on maketh that his sinnes / his evell tho­ughtes and the fragilite of his flesshe to him be pardoned of god and that lytell th­at he hath / god gyveth it him of him silfe / and god is his iustice / that is to saye / god maketh him rightuous, for Iesu christ hath satisfied for vs vnto his hevēly father / for to come in socoure to oure infirmite. And this describeth saint Paule in his fi­rst .viij. chapters vnto the Romayns / and in the first epistle vnto the Corinthyans / and saynt Iohn in the seconde chaptre of his first epistle. And of this mater treateth this present boke.

The last part of this boke sheweth howe all estates shulde lyve / if they will ly­ve according to the gospell. Myne intent is not to refourme all estates aswell espi­rituell [Page] as seculer. For of that I will not presume. But I shewe alonely by the sc­riptures howe we shulde lyve if we wol­de lyve according to the gospell / to thintēt that every man may knowe / howe farre his life is separate from the doctrine of Iesu christ / and that then wyth the grace of god he may amende and refourme his lyfe him silfe.

Nether teache I / that one shulde not obey vnto the superiours [...] but I teache them by whate meane they shall knowe howe they shulde lyve / and when they do not so lyve that then they knowlege theyre defautes / & do diligence so to lyve. For els were better before god an humble publican then an holy ypocrite for God regardeth not wh [...]te thinge thou doest outwardly / but howe thou art ordeyned and disposed inwardly. [...]

¶The table of the Chapters in generall.

  • The first fiftene chapters be of the baptesme and of the fayth.
  • Of the life of Monkes and whate it was in tymes passed. chaptre .xvi.
  • Whether the life of a monke be better then the life a [...] a common Cytezyn. chap. xvij.
  • Howe it is that the Monkes go not for­ward in spirituall life / but waxe o [...]ten worsse. chaptre .xviij.
  • Of parentes that will put theyre childrē in relygion chaptre .xix
  • Of the life of Nonnes and Chanonesses. Chaptre .xx.
  • Of the cloysters of Systers and of theyre life. chaptre .xxi
  • Howe man and wyfe shall live to gyther a doctrine after the gospell. chaptre .xxij
  • Howe the parentes shall teache and go­uerne theyre chyldren after the Gospell. Chaptre .xxiij
  • Of the life of the comon citezyns or hous­holders. chaptre .xxiiij
  • Howe the riche people shulde lyve an in­formacion and teaching after the Gospell. chaptre xxv.
  • [Page] Of two maner of regimentes or governa­ūces gostly & seculer or worldly. Ca. xxvi
  • Of Rulers / Iudges / Balives / and other like / an informacion after the Gospell. chaptre .xxvij.
  • Howe that we must pay taxes and subsi­dies vnto oure princes. chaptre .xxviij
  • Of mē of warre ād of the warre whether the christen may warre without sinne an informacion after the gospell. chaptre .xxix
  • Howe servauntes shulde lyve a doctrine after the gospell. chaptre .xxx
  • Of the lyfe of wydowes a short informa­cion after the Gospell. chaptre .xxxi

¶Of the foundacion of Christendome ād first whate thinge the baptesme dothe signifye

THe foundaciō of Christēdome is the fai­the whiche so fewe people haue perfectli And yet all­weyes we thinke all that we haue the verey true fayth. Saint Paul the worthy apostell do­th exhorte vs to no vertue so strongly as vnto the faith. And he in all his epistles [...]ayseth nothinge so moche as the faith. Therfore it must nedes be that it be a pre­cyous vertuē / for he wryteth not one epistle which is not full of faith. We take the faith for the beginnynge of christen life: but truely he that hath parfaith faith the same hath not onely begonne the christen lyfe / but hath fulfilled it. And this erroure co­mith because we knowe not whate the fa­yth is / nor whate thing a good christē ou­ght [Page] to beleve / for to be saved▪ we thinke that when we be baptised / and when we beleve that god is god that thē we shalbe saved.Mar. 19 As writeth. S. Marke sayīg. He that shal beleve & shalbe baptised shalbe sa­ved. But he that beleveth not shalbe cōdēpned. It is truth / but emong a thou­sand there is not one that knoweth wha­te thing the baptesme betokeneth nor whate thing he shall beleve.

The water of baptesme taketh not a­way oure sinne for then it were a precious water▪ And then it be [...]oved vs dayly to [...]ass [...]e vs the [...]i. Nether hath the water of the font eny more vertue in hir silf thē the water that rynneth in the river of Ryne.Act. 8 For we may aswell baptyse in Ryne / as in the font. When saint Phillip baptysed Eunuchus the servaunt of Candace a quene of Ethyope (as wryteth saint Luke in the actes of thappostles) there was then no halowed water / nor candell / nor salt / nor creame nether whyte abite / but he ba­ptised him in the first water they came to vpon the way. Hereby mayst thou perceyve that the vertue of baptesme lyeth not [...]n halowed water or in other outward thiges [Page] that we haue at the font [...] but in the fayth [...] to sey when any par­sone [...] he must beleve stedfastly that his [...] to him ar pardoned & that he is made the childe of God and that god is become his father / and y [...] made certayne that he shalbe saved. And is made parttaker of the passion of Christ whereof the baptesme hath his vertue.

And when one ys baptysed he is bor­ne agayn / and getteth an other father / and other bretheren for God ys made hys fa­ther / and he ys made the brother of Ie­sus Christ: as wryteth Saynt Paule vnto the Romayns where he calleth. Christ a sonne first begotten emong other.Ro. 8. And therfore is Christ called yn the holy scri­pture the sonne fyrst begotten / for he ys the first childe of hys father / and we all are begotten afterward when we be bap­tysed. And therfore is the baptesme cal­led in the holy scripture the seconde nati­ [...]te.Iohn. 3 As wryteth saynt Iohn in hys gos­pell. without one be borne ageyn (sayth Christ vnto Nicodemus) he may not [...]n­tre into the kyngdome of heven. For we be therby borne agayn / and they that we­re [Page] the children of the devell bicause of the originall synne are made the children of God by baptesme. As saith Saynt Paule Christ hath healed vs by the bath of re­generacyon and renovacyon of the holy gost.Ephe. 2 And vnto the Ephesyans▪ we were by nature the children of wrath: but whē we were deed Christ hath viuified vs a­gayn by his greate love / And thys shalt thou vnderstond in this maner.

There were sumtyme .ij. Adams / as writeth saint Paule. The first Adā was oure first father. The seconde and newe Adam was Iesus Christ. For the sinne of the olde Adam we were all children of the devell made hys owne and subiec­ted vnto hym by oure synne. The secon­de Adam (that ys to sey Iesus Christ) hath bought vs agayn / and hath put vs yn lybertie / and hath made vs of the chil­dren of deth / children of everlastynge ly­fe, and of the chyldren of wrathe children of grace: For Iesu Christe hath by hys deth foughe ageynste the devell hath va­ynquysshed the devell / and deth / and hath taken away all theyre ryght they had o­ver vs.

[Page] Nowe then when we be baptised we be made partakers of this grace / and so is it come to oure proufit that Iesu christ dyed for vs. For (as I haue nowe sayed) the baptisme hath his vertue of the deth of Iesu christ. Then when we be baptised / we betoken that we will dye with Christ / we betoken / I say / that we will dye as vnto the lyfe passed as touching oure sinnes & evill concupiscences: ād that / as saieth. S. Paule / we must walke in a newe lyfe.Ro. 6 And therfore be we plonged vnder the water: to thintent that by the maner of spekinge / we shuld be here deed and buryed / as wryteth saint Paule vnto the RomaynsRo. 6. Bretheren / sayth he / Esteme ye that ye a­re deed as concerning sinne but alyde vnto god: by Iesu christ oure lord. And yn the same place: Ye are buryed with Christ by baptesme into deth. So that we shall not lyve after the lyfe of the world nor af­ter the lyfe of the flesshe but we must lyve as the children of god. And oure lyfe shal be hyd befor the world and also hyd with Christ in god / as wryteth saint Paule sa­ying:Col. 3 Yf ye be mortified and your life ys hyd with Iesu christ ī god in whate tyme [Page] that Iesu christ oure life shall shewe hym silf then also shall ye be made manifest wi­th him in glory. Then when oure lord sh­al come agayn at the last day of iudgemēt oure life shalbe made open: but as long as we lyve here we must lerne all to dye▪ For we shall not repute this life that we haue here for a lyfe.

This life here is of the world and of worldly thinges that is to sey of theym / that be estraungers to God that haue no trust of the other life to come. Nether doo they loke for it nor desyre it. Suche peo­ple ioy of this world / for the world wyth his vaine desyres and plesaunces belon­geth to theym.Iohn. 15. and, 16. And they theym silves be also called the world in the holye scriptu­re. As sayeth oure lord Christ in saint Iohn. You be not of the world / but I haue chosen you from the world. And agayn. The world shalbe ioyons and you shalbe sory: Nowe call we all theym wor­ldy whiche be not monkes. Oure lord ma­de a distinction bytwene the world & hys disciples before the monkes came into the worlde. Wherfore they be not called the world in holy scripture which be not mō ­kes: [Page] but all those that lyve after the flesshe whiche desyre not here to dye with Iesu christ / and to be hydden here after to lyve with God. All suche whatesoever they be are worldly be he monke or chanone / nunne or Syster / nobill or vnnoble grete or small. For (as I have sayed) the lyfe of theym whiche apperteyn to God is here hyd / and they seme to be deed before the world. For they lyve not comunely according to the lyfe of the world. And therfo­re they be hated of the world / for they be not of the world / as sayeth the Gospell in this maner. They be not of the world / for if they were of the world / the world sure­ly wolde love theym as his owne.Iohn. 15. But for as moche as they (accordyng to theyre promyse made at the font of baptesme) do applye theym silves to renounce the plea­sures of the world and to dye with chryst in killing of the desyres of the flesshe / and also are strongly ageynst the appetites of the flesshe in other by ensaumple of theyre good lyving therfore be they persecuted of the world.

And hereby may we alweyes knowe the disciples and children of God: yf they [Page] love to gyther the one the other. And y [...] they lyve not here after the life of the wo­rld nor after the pleasure of the flesshe / ād if they do not repute this lyfe for a life / but abide with a ioyfull hart the coming of oure lord Iesu christ. Then shall theyre lyfe be made open / and shall appere before God.

So shuld we all lyve here / as though this life were not oure life. For we must abide oure life before God / and we may do none other thing in this life but fight. Ageynst oure evell desires / and learne to dye (for as the prophet Iob sayeth) the lyfe of man is a batayle vpon erth / that is to say a batayle in a goostly deth.Iob. 2 And thys do we promyse to do when we be baptised / and we signifie evē the same / when we be plonged vnder the water.

¶Whate thing the baptesme betokeneth / and howe it ys but a sygne. Chaptre. ij.

THen when we be baptised yt beho­veth vs to knowe surely and to beleve that all oure sinnes to vs are pardoned and that we be made the childrē of god. For god is bycome oure father / ād Iesus christ oure brother. And that same right that Iesus christ hath vnto the glo­ry of his father / have we also gotten / for the bretheren have egall right vnto they­re fathers goodes. And this haue we not gotten by oure good workes / for we haue yet done no good: when we were baptised But this comyth holly bi the grace of god and by oure faith / by that we put oure hole trust in hym / and that we knowlege hī for oure lorde and savionre. And that we beleve all that he hath done ād suffred for vs. for he dyed to make vs to lyve. [...]Cor. 8 He be­came lytell and poer to make vs greate and ryche. As saith Saint Paule in thys maner ye knowe the liberalite of oure lorde Christ / whiche though he were ryche / yet for your sakes became poore: that ye through his povertye myght be made ry­che / [Page] for Iesus christ is holly gyven to vs of his father / to thintent that he shulde make vs greate ryche and happy by his deth For we could not helpe oure silves & therfore he was borne for vs. As saieth Esaie A childe is borne to vs.Esa. [...] For we were all egally dettours / aud bound to god / by the sinne of Adam.

Then when we coulde not helpe ou­re silves / for asmoche as we were servauntes and subiectes vnto the devell / god ha­th gyven to us .ij. no table giftes / ād hath done .ij. thinges for the love that he hath vnto vs. First that he hath bought vs ād made vs fre from the devill / and from ou­re sinnes. Secondly that he hath made vs his children and heriters of his glorye / ād that all without oure deserving. As saide before the prophete. Esaye saying.Esa. [...] The iniquyte of Ierusalem (that is to say of the man seing by faith peace in Iesu Christ) to him is pardoned / and he hath receyved of the hond of the lorde god twyce as mo­che for all his sinnes.Zacha [...] And the prophet Za­charie saith also. Tourne you vnto defen­ce / I will gyve you double [...] as moche. In the whiche places these .ij. Prophetes say [Page] that for oure sinnes / for the whiche we haue deserved dampnacyon / we haue recey­ved of God .ij. gyftes. And therfore is there issued out of the syde of Iesu Christ .ij. fontaygnes / that is to say bloud and wa­ter. By his bloude he hath bought vs a­gayn from the devell. By the water he hath wasshed and purged vs whiche we­re defiled and [...].) For to offer vs pu­re and clene vnto his father. As sayeth Saynt Paule vnto the Ephesyans. [...]phe. 5 He hath gyven hym silfe for vs an offering / and a sacryfice of a swete savoure to god. And the water of the font doth nowe be­token the water of the syde of Iesu christ In this water be we purged and sancti­fied by oure faith / to thintent that we sh­ulde come pure and clene before God / the father whiche hath receyved vs for hys children / and hath made vs enheritours of his glorye / with hys sonne Iesu christ oure brother. And this is the grace the whiche comyth to vs and is gyven at the font of baptesme.

But to thintent that we shulde not be vnkinde / therfore for this grace we do binde oure silves ageyn and yelde vs vnto [Page] him / promysing that we will serve him / & denye the devell / & all his temptacion / pō ­pe / & counsell / & that we will serve Christ crucified for vs / and vpon this promyse receyve we oure name / & god hath writē vs as in a rolle for his Champyons & serva­untes / and so be we made propre to god. For he is oure father / and we be his chil­dren.

This baptesme was figured vnto vs when the children of Israell went tho­rough the redde see out of Egipt / &Exo. 1 [...] when Pharo with all his company was drowned in the see. The children of Israell went in the see all as though they had gone into deth. But for bicause they beleved vnto Moyses / they passed the water by theyre fayth. And be (after the maner of spekinge) gone out of the deth into lyfe. when they hath gotten on the other syde / on londe Pharo folowed theym / and so was drowned wyth his people. So doth everyone vppon the font when he is bap­tised. First he fle [...]th from Pharo / when he beginneth for to knowlege his subiection / and bondage by the which he was subiect and servaunt vnto the devell / and when [Page] he desyreth to be enfraunchised from hys synne / and from Pharo that is the devell But he may not escape from Pharo without passyng through the redde see / that is to say / he may not escape from the devell without he must be baptised. And for bicause that the children of Israell when they sawe that Pharo folowed theym beleved god / therfore vpon that faith in god / they be entred into the see / as though they we­re gone into deth. But by the meane of th­re faith / they haue passed the water and a­re gone as from the deth vnto life.

So if eny man will escape from the hō des of the devill it behoveth him to entre into the water. He entreth therin / as thou­gh he ētred into the deth / for he promyseth that he will dye as concernynge all his e­vell desyres / and that he will here lyve before the worlde as though he were deed (that is to say) that he will not live as the worlde lyveth / but will hyde ād cover his life with god. And so entre we by faith in­to the font (that is to [...] say) by faith we en­terpryse to entre into the deth / not into corporall deth / but into the deth of sinne / no more willing to lyve in sinne. And yet all [Page] be it that it seme to vs a pleasau [...]t thinge to lyve in sinne / and that we thinke yt an harde thing / thus to entre into the see (th­at is to sey / into this deth / we take alwa­yes courage / and beleve & trust in the pnissaunce and goodnesse of God / and so entre we into the see (that is to sey) into this espirituell deth / and we enterpryse and promyse to dye as concerning oure sinnes. And as by a stedfast faith and trust we dare be­gynne to entre / so gyveth God vnto vs grace and streyngth to passe through that see / that is to say / through this espirituell deth / and to come on londe on the other syde (that is) vnto the everlasting lyfe. Pharo (that is to sey) the devill with oure sinnes pursue vs. but they drowne theym silves in the water (that is to sey) the power of the devill and of all oure sinnes perisshe when we entre into the water with suche a feith.

Whē Pharo was deed then songe the children of Israell / and thanked god / that they were arryved a londe out of the wa­ter / as out of the deth. So lykewyse must every christen / when out of this water / th­at is to say / out of this espirituell deth he [Page] comyth vnto life / that is to sey / when he dyeth he shall thanke and preyse God bycause he hath brought hym out of suche a daunger / vnto the helth of euerlastyng li­fe. But as long as he is yet here in thys worlde / he shalbe in the deeth / that is to say / he shall alweyes dye spiritually / and his life shalbe hydden byfore the worlde with God. Here mayst thou well see how that oure baptesme is signified by the red­de see / as writeth saynt Paule vnto the Corinthyans saying.1. Cor. 10 Oure fathers were all vnder a clowde / a [...]d did passe the see all and were all baptyzed in Moyses / in the clowde / and in the see / and they all did ea­te one spirituell meate / and they all dyd drynke one spirituell drynke. So seest thou well whate thing [...]ignifieth the bap­tesme / and whate thing we promyse in the same.

Nowe: to thintent that we shulde be alweyes remembryng of this that we ha­ue promysed we be merked with a crosse / and with that water. The fayth that we haue at the baptesme taketh away oure sinnes / and the water is nothynge but a sygne or token / wher with we be merked [Page] that we must be vnder the standard / that is to sey vnder the crosse of Iesu Christ / ād valiauntly fight. As the Iues had the token of the circumcision / wherby men mi­ght knowe whether they were Iues or [...]aynyms. And as when the servauntes of the lordes bere the badge of theyre lor­des / one may therby knowe whose serva­untes they be. So lyke wyse receyve we the signe of baptesme at the font / by the whiche we gyve knowlege that Christ is oure lorde.

Secondly / the baptesme of the wa­ter ys also a sygne of the grace of God. wherby God maketh vs sure / that we shall enioy hys grace and mercy / and th­at he pardoneth vs oure synnes / and ma­keth vs hys chyldren. Here vppon gy­veth he to vs the token of Baptesme for a gage / to thyntent that we shulde be su­re / that he wyll not forsake vs yn oure batayle and deeth / whyche we leade he­re yn oure evyll desyres and synnes. And that he will surely gyve to vs the e­uerlastyng lyfe. And to thintent thē that we shulde enterpryse by a stedfast constance to fight / being assured and certayn that [Page] god will never forsake vs / for we haue [...]ceyved of him a gage the token of baptesme. And if it happon that we mysse sum [...]tyme in the redde see (that is to sey) in th [...] entrepryse of oure batayle / and that [...] doubt / or that oure bataile seme to vs [...] harde ād bytter / we shall beholde oure sig [...]ne and gage whiche we haue receyved [...] god / wherby he hath promysed vs [...] we be his children / and that he wil not [...] vs.

So say I then that by pure faith at [...] oure sinnes be to vs pardoned / ād that [...] be the children of god / and that we belon [...] to god / and that god shall shewe ouer [...] his mercy. Here vpon receave we a [...] that is the signe of baptesme to thītēt tha [...] as o [...]ten as we haue regard vnto this signe / we shuld be myndefull of the grace [...] mercy that god hath done vnto vs / & tha [...] we belong to god / and that we be the chil [...] ­ren of god.

Beholde nowe thou seest well wha [...] thinge the baptesme betokeneth / & it is [...] one byfore god yf thou be .lxxx. yere old [...] or twenty yere olde when thou receav [...] the baptesme / for god regardeth not hou [...] [Page] thou art / but with whate purpose ād [...]tencyon / and with whate feith thou re­ [...]avest this baptesme and grace. He regar [...]th not whether thou be Iue / or payny­ [...]e / man or woman / noble or vnnoble / bis­ [...]ope or cytezyn. But alonly he that with [...] parfait faith and trust comyth vnto god [...] maketh violence vnto the euerlastynge [...] &Mat. 26. getteth it as promyseth Iesu christ [...] the gospell.

¶Whate thinge we promyse at the Bap­tesme and whate professyon we make. Chaptre. iij.

WHen one warneth these / worldly people to do any good / they say / let the monkes and religi­ous do it / whiche haue promy [...]ed it / as though they were not bounde to [...] the doctrine of Iesu christ / or as tho­ [...]gh they had nothing promysed. All be it [...]hat no monke can promyse more then he [...]ath promysed at the baptesme.

And we be moche more bounde vnto [...] promyse made at the baptesme / then [...] eny religious vnto his professyon. For we make no promyse vnto man / but vnto god / and we promyse not to kept the rule [Page] of a man but of the gospell. Thinke ye no [...] therfore that it is a small thīg to be a christen / when thou hast promysed to Iesu [...] christ to amend thy life / ad that thou [...] not live according to the worlde / nor aco [...] ding to the flesshe. It is a greate thing [...] enterpryse the Christen faith / whiche [...] fewe people do knowe whate thing it cō teyneth / namely suche as here after [...] world do seme to be verey wise & lettered.

But one might say I have nothing promysed to God / I was a child / let him kepe it that hath promysed for me. For this cause to thintent that no man shulde so say / it was sumtyme ordeyned that no­ne shulde be baptysed before that he cam [...] to vnderstanding and knowlege / to thin­tent that he might promyse him [...]ilfe / and forsake the devell / and that he might kno­we what thing he had promysed If it were not that the children were feble & in perill of deth thē thei must haue bin baptized.

Nowe alweyes albeit that we oure silfe haue not promysed we be allegally bo­unde to observe it. For if thou haddest dyed whē thou were but a yere old / thou had dest also be saved, thou wilt saye ye / by the [Page] [...]aith of my godfathers & godmothers / ād [...] holy churche. I say ageyn. doest thou [...]fesse that the faith of thy godfathers ād [...]odmothers is so mighty that thou mayst [...]erby be saved. The same feith is likewi [...] mighty to subiect the & binde the to that [...] that they haue promysed for the [...] paine of thi dāpnaciō / & losse of thy [...]. wherfore thou must as well kepe this [...]hat thy parētes haue promysed for the / as [...]hough thou haddest promised it thy silfe. The godfathers & godmothers be boūd [...] warne the childrē / & to helpe them that [...]hey be put to stole / to thintent that they [...]ay vnderstōd the gospell the ioyfull mes [...]age of god with the epistles of. S. Paule For the vnlettered & simple people be as [...]ell boūde to knowe thē as the lettered & [...]. And god hath cōmaūded for to pub [...]she & to shewe the gospell not allonly to [...]restes / but also vnto euery creature. Go [...]e saith Christ vnto his disciples / into the [...]niuersal world / & preche the gospell to e­uery creature,Mar. 16 for we be all egally boūd to [...]now the gospell & the doctrine of the ne­we testamēt / & saint Paule hath not allōly [...]ritē his pistles vnto the prestes / but also [Page] Citezyns and housholders. And this witnessith saint Paule him silfe wryting vn­to the Corinthians and vnto the Galathians: [...]Cor. 1 where he confesseth that he sendeth his epistles to all the church / that is to sey to all thassemble of Christen men / and to all theym that call on the name of Iesus. And vnto the Romayns he saith: To you all that be at Rome the frendes of god.Ro. 1. And Iesus Christ hath aswell suffered deth for the comon housholder / as for the prestes. God shall alwayes requyre the scriptures of the prestes / for they be ydell and do not study / nor make no diligence to declare theym vnto the simple.

Therfore it is very nedefull that the common people shulde vnderstond the gospell and the doctrine of the apostles accor­ding to the lettre / ād that they knowe thē by hart with the other storyes of the olde testament / for so shulde they more lightly vnderstond the preachers.

It were also very necessary that every one dyd lerne his children to rede as men were wont to do afore tyme. The Iues had theyre lawe in Hebrue / the whiche euery one myght vnderstond accordynge [Page] to the lettre. After this the paynems we­re converted by saint Paule / to whome he wrote-in greke / whiche they all dyd vnd­stond. After that was Italy and affryque converted where as well the wymen as the men spake latyn / & for this cause was the byble translated into latyn to thintent that euery one might vnderstond it / and they preached in latyn / and the prophetes were redde in the Italien churches in la­tyn. And in that tyme there were many ladyes and wymen / whiche vnderstode ve­rey well the scriptures / as was Paul [...] ād Eustochium Demetrias and Marcella [...] many other / of whome w [...]iteth saint Ihe­rome / and the comune housholders redde the bible in theyre houses with theyre children. So is it nowe of greate necessite th­at the holy scripture be translated into all langages / or that all the children lerne the latyn tongue.

Some man wolde sey euery mā may not set his children to s [...]ole bicause they be poore, wherfore I wolde well that the children of the pore were holde to scole at thexpences of the comynaltye / or that fol­kes shulde take the money whiche they [Page] spende so outragio [...]ly in making and gil­ding of ymages / ād in dressing the aultres of the churches / and in buylding of Monasteris Chanonryes and chapels and foun­ding of Obites and prebendes. Or of the money that men offer in churches / and of the whiche men make vessels of golde and silver and other precious ornamentes. They might enploy this money a thou­sand folde better / if ther with they dyd holde these yong children to scole / till suche tyme that they corde reade well. For (alas) ye shall fynde thousandes of auncyent persones that can not sey the pater noster and Crede in theyre mother tongue / and of th­eym that say it in latyn are many that wote not whate they sey / nor knowe not of never an article of the faith. Wherfore I say that it is expedient for the christen to set all theyre children to skole till they can reade a [...]d vnderstonde the holy scrip­tures namely when they be wrytē in theyre mother tongue. And then they that had not wyt and vnderstondinge worthy to be contynued at scole / shulde be caused to lerne an occupacion. If they did thus they shulde bring into the worlde double prou [...]fit. First we shulde not haue suche a great [Page] nombre of prestes and monkes vnlettered and knowing nothing in the christen churche. For nowe there are made many pre­stes / monkes and freres / that for lacke of litterature are nothing cōveniēt for that office. By the vnlettered prestes is this gre­te erroure comen into the worlde / that ys / that in the stede of the pure scriptures whiche is the lyvely worde of God / whiche they knowe not / they preche narracions fables lyes and tradicions of the invenciō of the yppochrites / that (alas) the faythfull trust & honoure which belongeth to gods worde / they cause the people to gyve to theyre fables and lyes.

Secōdly it wolde proufit, for if euery body wēt so long to skole / they shuld vnderstōd more lightly the prechers / & if thei thē silves / had redde the storyes or the Gos­pell after the letre / then they might reherce to theyre childrē & servaūtes / ī doing of their busines / some thing of the gospell of the stories or of the scripture / īstede of vaine fables / ydell wordes / & vncouenabill maters which they speake the one to the other. As we se sūtyme nowe a dayes / that felowes of one crast whiche haue bin at scole / syng [Page] many tymes the song in doing theyre bussynesse / whiche they haue learned to sing at the scole or at the churche / and the other vileyn songes / for they haue lerned none other thing.

¶Whate thing is the Christen faith / and whate thing one ought to beleve to haue helth. Chaptre. iiij.

I Haue seyd at the beginning that the foundacion of Christendome is the faith whyche so fewe people haue: and vnderstond not whate the faith is, we thī ke that when we beleve that god is god / and can oure crede that we haue the faith that a Christen is bounde to haue. The devell beleveth also that there is a God / and one life everlasting and one hell / but he is never the better for it. Ye and he tremble­th alway for this feith / as faith saint Ia­mes.Iam. 2. The devels beleve and they trem­ble.

Som [...] man might axe whate shall I thē beleve. Thou shalt beleve then first plainly and vndoutedly that the father / the sonne / and the holy gost / is one onely god [...] And this thou shalt not desyre to vnder­stond howe / nor busy thy silfe moche the­rin: [Page] for this is not the principall that we must beleve: Oure faith lyeth not princi­pally therin. For this likewise beleve the wicked sprites as is saide before and are nothing the better therfore. There is yet an other feith whiche Christ so moche re­quyreth of vs in the gospell / and wher unto also saint Paule almost in all his epist­les so strongly exhorteth vs. That is that we must first beleve the gospell, when oure lorde began first to preache he said (as reherseth saint Marke) haue repentaunce ād beleve in the gospell.Mar. 1.

Thou mayst axe me / whate thing ys the gospell? Hit is a good and ioyfull message or glad tydinges. For it is newes of the favour / grace / mercy / and goodnesse of god towarde vs. It is (I sey) tydinges that god hath taken vs to mercy / and therfore songe the aungels when Christ was borne (as reherseth saint Luke)Lu. [...] I shewe vnto you greate ioy / for this day is borne youre savioure whiche is Christ the lorde In this gospell that is to sey in this message we beleve certainly that god the father hath sent hither his sonne / for to bye vs a­gayn to enfraunchise vs / and to delyuer [Page] vs frō the devel to whome we were made subiectes and servauntes / by the sinne of oure fore father, we coude not helpe ou [...] silves / bicause we were servauntes and b [...]nde. None of vs was abill to satisfie for vs For we were all like wise subiected, as sa­yth Saynt Paule vnto the Romayns.Ro. 3. They haue all sinned ād haue nede to the grace of god. It was nedefull then that he that shuld satisfie for vs shulde be wi­thout sinne without subiection or obliga­cion. And no suche patron or mediatour was there founde in the worlde. Thē th­is one thing was of necessite that other we must abide lost for euer / or it behoved that god shulde be made mā. So hath oure god almighty had pitye and compassion on vs by the greate love that he had toward vs and hath sent his onely sonne Iesu christ.Hiere. 31 As writeth the prophete Hieremye saing: I haue loved them a-perpetuell charyte / therfore I haue drawen the having mer­cy. He hath sent him to thintent / that b [...] his deth whiche he had not deserved / he myght appayse God and satisfie hym for vs.Co [...]. 5 As wryteth saynt Paule. All is of God / whiche hath reconcilyed vs vnto [Page] him by christ. Then is Christ made a me­diator bytwene god and man and hath of­fered him silfe an oblacion for vs to his father / wherby he hath reconsiled vs agayn and made oure peace. And for bicause the devell did set his honde vppon Christ to whome he had no right he hath so lost all his right whiche he had over vs. And so are we delyuered from the servitude and subiection of the devell / and belong vnto Christ. And by that that the sonne of god is nowe made man / he is also made oure brother. And if we be his bretheren / we be also enheriters wyth hym of the glory of his father.Ro. 8. As writeth saint Paule vnto the Romayne / saying. If we be child­ren we be also heyres with Christ. And we haue as moche and as greate right to heven as Iesu Christ hym silfe. For chri­ste is a sonne of God / so be we / reserved / that he is a sonne naturall / and was for e­uer without beginning the sonne of God. But we be the children of God allonly by the goodnesse and grace of God / whyche he hath done to vs, as sayeth Saynt Paule.Ephe. 1. He hath predestinate vs into an electi­on of the children of God. Then ys [Page] it this comen to passe / that we must beleve surely / that we be the children of god / and that god is oure father.

Secondly thou shalt stedfastly bele­ve the wordes of god / that is to sey / that all that god hath seyde shall come to passe and be done / without ony f [...]lse. [...]ene. 17 and. 2 [...] As did the faithfull Abraham whiche when god had promysed to him (a thing impossible in all mannes reason) that he shulde haue a son­ne of his baraine wife Sara / of whom kinges of the people shuld aryse / and that in his sede all people shulde be blessed (all be it that it was a thing ageinst nature that a woman of foure score and tenne yeres olde shulde conceyve and bere a childe) be­leved vndoughtedly / ād as the childe was borne god as [...]rforth as coude appere vn­to mannes iudgement / working clene con­trary to his promyse / commaunded that he shulde s [...]e him and make sacrifice of him. Abraham albeit that all carnall wisdome wolde haue persuaded him to haue dispeyred in the promesse / never douted / was all redy to do it / beleving stedfastly that it sh­ulde rather be possible / that his son shulde ryse again from deth / rather then the wor­de [Page] and promyse of god shulde not be true. So stedfast aud so certayn must we ston­de vnto the worde of god / ye and althou­gh it were so / that all men aungels and devels wold persuade vs to the cōtrary / we must beleve surely that the worde of god is true / & that he will fulfill all that he ha­th promysed.

Whate thyng hath god promysed vs?Ma. [...] 4 Mar. 16 he hath promysed vs his everlasting lyfe / saying: repent the kingdome of heven is at honde.Mar. 16 And in an other place: whosoeuer shall beleve and be baptised shall be saved He hath also promysed vnto vs remission of all oure sinnes / as seyd saint Peter spe­king of Christ to Cornelius the centurion To him (sayd he)Act. 10 gyveth all the prophe­tes witnesse / that thorowe his name shall receyve remission of sinnes all that beleve in him / that is to sey / that al they that wi­th entyre courage forsake they m s [...]lfe and put all there trust in the grace and mercy of him / shall haue remission of all there sin­nes. Moreover he hath promysed vs that we shall be the children of God / as sayth saint Iohn.Iohn. 1. He hath gyven to theym po­wer to be the childrē of god / to theym that [Page] beleve in his name. All this must we bele­ue stedfastly / all though that we thinke it impossibill after oure workes and sinfull life. We must also with a parfa [...]t courage put all oure trust in god / as did Abraham for as saint Paule wryteth. Abraham be­leved god and hit was imputed vnto him for rightuousnesse.Ro. 4. Then when with a parfayt courage / we do so put all oure tr­ust in god / and in his promyses it is unpo­ssible that we shulde perisshe. For he hath promysed vs his life euerlasting. And for asmoche as he is almightye and may all thing he may wel holde to vs that he ha­th promysed. And in that that he is mercy­full and true he will holde to vs his pro­mys if we can beleve it stedfastly / and put all oure trust in him. For as (witho [...]t ou­re me [...]tes) he hath made vs his children / and heyres vppon the font of baptesme / so may he lykewise gyve to vs / that thing that he hath promysed vs / if we can one­ly trust in him / albeit that we haue not [...] served it by oure workes.

Therfore be not discomfort nor yn­desperacyon for thy sinnes though thou hast not deserved by thy good workes [Page] [...]hat god hath made the his heyre. for as sayeth saint Paule: By grace are ye saved by faith and that not of your silves.Ephe. 2 And agayn: It is the gifte of god and cometh not of workes▪ lest eny man shuld host him silf. For when we were yet sinners / and before that we haue done eny good: Ye when we were yet his enemyes he hath not spared his owne sonne but (to make [...]s likewise his children ād heyres by hī)Ro. 8 hath delyuered him vnto deth / to make sa [...]sfaction for oure sinnes / to purchase vs pardon and forgyuenesse to make vs one as he is in Christ / and Christ in him / thatIohn. 17 [...]o we in god and Christ might be one / that the worlde may know that he hath loved vs as he hath loued Christ that there as he is we may be with him that we may se his glory which he hath gyven him bicause he loved him before the world began.Ro. 8. Here maist thou se (if thou cāst beleue it) that it is god that iustifieth who is it thē that shall cōdēpne / who shall ley eny sinne to the charge of goddis elect / sith christ ys [...]eed for oure sinnes / & risen ageyn for our [...]ustificaciō which also sitteth at the right hōde of god the father and praieth for vs.

[Page] Beholde whate a servent occasion go [...] hath gyven the to loue him / whē thou w [...]re yet his enemye. wherfore let no tribula­cion / anguysshe / persecucion / fere / imprisonement / hunger / nakednesse / nor swerde [...] separate vs from the love of god. Wherfo [...]re if eny wolde discomfort vs (be he aun [...]gell or devell) let vs not beleve hym / [...] the promyses of god may not be distroyed [...] If thou canst surely / and stedfastly beleve in god / he will holde his promyse. He hath sworne to vs / to thintent we shulde bele­ue him. But if thou beleve him not / and [...] by thy sinnes thou comest in dispeyre / [...] abideth stedfast in his promyse / but tho [...] holdest not thy faith. As sayeth saint Pa [...]ul to Timothe.2. Timo. 2 A faithfull word for if we be ded with him we shall lyve lyke wys [...] with him. For god hath boūd him silfe to vs: ād for bicause of his promyse he ow [...] ­th vnto vs heven / in case that we beleve him. But if we beleve him not he oweth to vs nothing.

Rede all the Euangelistes thorough [...] and ye shall not finde that oure lord Iesu [...] christ hath so moche exhorted vs to any [...] thing as vnto faith / nor that he hath so [...] [Page] hated and reproved eny thinge in his [...]sciples as incredulite. As it is wryten in [...] Mathewe in the .xiiij. Chaptre that [...]hen saint Petre went vppon the water [...]nd doubted. O thou of lytell faith (sayde [...]esus) whie didest thou doubt? Also to [...] paralitique (that is to sey a mā sike of [...] paisey) beleve son thy sinnes be forgy­ [...]en the. And vnto the woman labouring [...] a bloudy flyxe.Mat. 9 Beleve doughter thy [...]nnes are forgiven the. And vnto the fa­ [...]er of the possessed in the .ix of Marke: If [...]ou couldest beleve all thinges are possi­ [...]le vnto him that beleveth: and vnto thap [...]ostles whiche coude not cast out the devel [...]om the same possessed: O generacion wi­ [...]out faith howe lōg shall I be with you [...]reby mayst thou lightly knowe howe [...]any tymes oure lord Christ hath repro­ [...]ed his disciples of theyre infidelite. And [...]oyses coude not bring the people of If [...]ell into the lond of promyssion / bycause [...] gave not the glory to god / and that he [...]egan to doubt of god to thintent that he­ [...]by we myght knowe that allonly one [...]edfast faith and trust in God may bringe [...] vnto the lon [...] of promission of the kin­gdome [Page] of heven: As it is writen in De [...] ­teronomion. where the prophete Moyse [...] saieth vnto the people of Israell. Thou shalt not entre into the lond of promission bicause of thyne owne rightuousnesse and the equyte of thine hert: but bycause tha [...] god will fulfill his worde w [...]iche he hath promysed by othe made vnto thy father [...] Abraham Isaac and Iacob. And therfore is it called the lond of promission: for that we be saved that comyth not thorowe [...] good workes: but that oure god hat [...] so promysed. And we must stedfastly and without doubt beleve that god will [...] power vnto his wordes as ferre forth a [...] with a parfait courage we beleve in hym. For God hathe bound him silfe vnto vs & hath promysed vs that he will gyve vs the euerlasting life. For he desireth nothing but oure helth. And he biddeth vs that we shall pray vnto him. For he will hei [...] vs graciously as he promyseth vs in the gospell / saying. And whate soeuer ye [...] in my name that will I do.Iohn. 14. And he is re­dy at all houres to forgeue vs oure sinnes when we haue repentaunce: As saieth the prophete Ezechiell.Eze. 18. If the wikked tour­ [...]he [Page] him silf from his sinfull lyfe to rightu­ousnesse he shall lyve and not dye: and I will no more haue remembraunce of thynyquyte that he hath done. And seynt Paule vnto the Romayns. All they that bele­ve and trust in hym shall not be shamed. And Iohel the proprete as recyteth saint Paule: All they that shall call on the na­me of god shalbe saved. That is to sey th­ey (that by a stedfast feyth abide vppon god as dyd the good thefe that was cru­cified with christ whiche when he with a stedfast beleue had called vppon Chryst was answered: this day shalt thou be wi­th me in paradize. And as did Mary mag­daleyne to whome it was likewise sayde / thy faith hath saved the goo thou in pea­ce) shalbe saved.

Thirdli we must also beleve that god desiteth none other thing but oure helth. and therfore whatesomever thīg happō to vs here be we in helth or in dysease / riche or pore / honoured or dispised / noble or vnno­ble / alyve or deed: we shall alweyes be cō tent whate thing soeuer god send know­yng certeynly that nothing comith with­out the wil & sufferaūce of god. for if it so [Page] be that one leefe falleth not from the tree & that a sparowe or a flie descend not on the erth without the will of your father? Ho­we moche more comith there nothinge to vs without the wil ād suffraunce of god? As writeth saint Mathewe / where oure lord sayeth be not .ij. sparowes solde for a peny and none of theym doth light on the ground without youre father. Then whate soever thing god send vs let vs recey­ve it yeldinge to him thankes with good hert: [...] Mat. 10 as dyd Abraham whiche forsoke his contrey and his lond as it is writen in the boke of Genesi [...] where god seyd to Abra­ham: go out of thy contrey and out of thy lynage / and go into the lond that I wyll shewe the: which also was redy to kill his welbeloved son Isaac. Nowe seyng that we be the children of Abraham / and that we haue obteyned helth by meane of the saith of Abraham. As saith oure lord in. S Iohn. If ye be the children of Abraham / do the workes of Abraham. And therfore must we bere all thinges paciently / and with good will whiche god will that we shall suffre and bere. For if he knewe th­at they were not covenable and proufita­ble [Page] for vs / he wolde let theym they shuld not come as de [...]th / warre / pestilence / povertie / malady aduersite / persecucion / discom­fort for oure children: losse of oure tempo­rall goode [...]:Ro. 14. finally the verey deth. For as saint Paule saieth. whether we lyve or dye we are alweyes the lordes. And therfore the Christen shall not be troubled for none suche thinges but shalbe rather ioy­full as were thappostles whome god had made worthy to suffre any thing for hys [...]ove. For it is a sure token that thou arte the childe of god if thou haue pacience. for it is writen by saint.Act. 5. Luke in thactes of thappostles that thapostles were ioyfull that they were reputed worthy to suffre dishonour before the world for the love of god. And god hath promysed nothing els to his disciples in this world but payne & tribulacion: as Christ saieth in saint IohnIohn. 16 Ye shall wepe and lament / and the world shall reioyce / and ageyn in the world ye shall haue tribulacion but be of good chere / for I have overcome the worlde.

And there is not a more certeyne sig­ne that a man shalbe dampned then when he ledith here an yvell life & hath alweyes [Page] prosperite. for this prosperite shalbe hys paradice. On the cōtrary part there is not a more certeyn signe of euerlasting helth then when a man lyveth iustly / and hath alway adversite: for that is it that god sendeth vs for oure sinnes and oure purgatory: or so to make open his glory in oure pacyence. And therfore shall the Christen al­weyes more reioyce when he suffreth ad­uersite and tribulacyon then when all thinges comyth prosperously vnto him. For prosperite in an evell life signifieth comō ly that god hath reproved the parsone. [...] it maketh him to forget God. But adver­site signifieth comonly that god loveth the person: And the parson is warned by tri­bulacion ād sufferaunce to call vppon god for socoure.Hebre. 12 For as seith saint Paule him that God loveth him doth he chastise: and he stourgeth euery child that he receyveth For whate is the child that the father do­th not chastise? And if ye be out of the dis­cipline and chastisement of the whiche all the children of god haue byn part takers / ye are then bastardes and not sonnes. And in thapocalips speaketh God and sayeth:Apo. 3 as many as I loue I rebuke and chasty­se. [Page] Also Salomon in the Proverbes saie­th: theym that the lord god loveth he rebuketh.Pro. 3 [...] Therfore let none be sory when tri­bulaciō / maladye / pestilence / or also the de­th it silf comith / But let him alweyes ac­cord his will to the will of god / and suffre paciently & ioyfully knowing for trouth / that it is all the good & holy will of God oure right good father. And let him than­ke him that it pleaseth him to make hym / worthy to suffre any maner trybulacyon for his sake as dyd Iob and Thobias / ād many other. For without doute god kno­weth whate thīg is helthfull for vs. And he that murmureth & grudgeth ageynste god in tribulaciō is not a Christē. For he beleveth not that god gouerneth & entreatith him for his helth. But whate are we ought els thē erth in the hond of a potter? As saith saint Paule in this maner:Ro. 9 O mā whate arte thou that doest this murmure ageinst god? may the pot say vnto hī that made hī whie hast thou made me on this faciō? Nay. And as the potter may make suche a pot as he will of the erth so be we yn the hōdes of god▪ & we must be cōtēt with all that god wil do with vs▪ for we be his [Page] we live or dye saith saint Paule.Ro. 14. For th­is cause he that with a stedfast faith suffe­reth and endureth paciently all thinges & tribulacions is a christen. And this is the faith and the stedfast stone vppon the whiche the cristente is founded. For in this doing we beleve ād trust stedfastly that god is oure father and that he will not forsake vs: albeit that nowe he do here chastise vs for as I haue sayd there can be no more certayn signe that god loveth the. thē whē sorowe and tribulacion happeneth vnto the. for all the scriptures of the newe testament promyse vs here nothing but sorow and sufferaunce.

¶Of the most certayn weye to come to salvacyon. Chaptre. v.

THis must euery Christē knowe th­at none syns the tyme of Adam vnto this day hath deserved the euer­lasting life by his good workes. And th­at none by his good workes shall deserve it:Hebre. 7 as writeth saint Paule vnto the Hebrewes. The lawe hath brought nothing vnto perfection. wherfore all they do erre th­at thinke that then they shalbe saved whē [Page] they haue done many good workes. And like wise all they that thinke that they sh­albe dampned when they have done no good. For good workes make no mā cer­teyn that he shalbe saved And he that ha­th done no good is not also certeyn that he shalbe dampned. The workes can gyve no maner certeynte. For the Pharisey th­at had done moche good whiche loked for grete reward of god was reproved / and despised.Luke. [...] As writeth saint Luke where the pharisey thanked god that he was not as other were extorcioners / vniust / aduoutrers / nor as the publican was: and bosted him silf of his good workes. And the publican that had done no good and confessed mekely his sinnes was of God receyved vnto grace, for this cause to thintent that euery man may knowe that god hath no nede of oure good workes for to save vs / with all I will declare here first how we be iustified and obteyne helth.

First we must knowe that by the originall sinne we were made subiectes and servauntes vnto the devell / and none yn the world mought helpe vs for all man­kinde was dettoure vnto God. And that [Page] worse was we did not knowlege oure mysery nor are socoure of god. Then when there was no comforte nor meane to hel­pe vs and to deliver vs ageyne from the subiection of the devell: Oure god almightye by his greate mercy and goodnesse of him silf hath willingly suffred that his o­nely begotten son Iesu Christ was made mortall man for vs to thintent that by his deth whiche he had not deserved he might by vs ageyn and delyuer vs from eternal deth wherunto we were all subiectes. As writeth saint Paule saying.Ro. 5 If it be so th­at by the sinne of one man (that is to sey of Adam) deth hath reygned vppon many / moche more the grace of god and the gyft of grace of one man Iesuchrist aboundeth vppon many.Ephe. 2 And vnto the Ephesians. Blessed be God father of oure lorde Iesu christ whiche hath blessed vs with a spiri­tuall benediction by his son Christ. Thus is this grace comen hoelly to vs from god of his goodnesse and not by oure meryte / or good workes. For we dyd not knowlege oure bondage and subiectyon nor dyd not ones desyre to be delyvered from ou­re myserye.

[Page] Then for asmoche as the devell dyd se [...] honde vppon Chryst / to whome he had no right for bicause he had not sinned christ hath gotten right vppon vs agaynst the devell and hath made vs fre and delyve­red vs and we be made his heyres and all his glory is ours: as saint Paule doth largely declare in all his epistles. This hath God gyven vs without oure deservyng and we nede not to laboure for these thin­ges. For we haue all this alredy. As wit­nessith saynt Iohn saying:Iohn. [...] Behold wha­te love the father hath shewed on vs that we shuld be called the children of God. And in the same chapter. sayeth he. Derely beloved nowe are we the children of god. This helth hath god gyven to vs willingly by hys sonne Iesu Christ. For Iesu Christ ys bycome man to satis­fie vnto hys father for vs and to make oure peace with hys father.Ro. 3 And as writeth Saynt Paule vnto the Romayns / sayīg we be iustified frely by the grace of God and by the redempcyon whyche ys in Iesu Christ. So ys Christ made a medi­ator and a peace maker bywene God the father and man. As sayeth saynt Paule [Page] vnto the Hebrewes: he may make theym safe for ever that come vnto god by hym:Hebre. 7 he is allweyes lyving for to praye for vs Suche an hyghe prest it becometh vs to haue whiche is holy / harmles / vndefiled separat from sinners and made hygher thē hevens. And by his deth it is graūted vs that we be christen and children of God.Gala. 3. As lyke wise teacheth saint Paule saying Ye are all the children of God by the faith whiche is in Iesu christ. And for asmocheas Iesu christ is made man he is also ma­de oure brother. And seyng we be his bre­theren we be also heyres of his glory whiche he hath with his father: as sayth saint Paule vnto the Romayns. whiche hath not spared his owne sonne:Ro. 8. but hath gyvē him for vs all: howe shall he not also gy­ue vnto vs all thinges with him.

We be then sure that all that is Iesu Christes is ours if we can beleve it. So­me man mought demaund. Hath god the father willingly gyven vs all this? hath none deserved it? No truely: None hath deserved it. None by his deserving or good workes hath enduced god to do this. But he hath done it of him silf / and by his greate [Page] mercy:Hiere. 3 [...] as saieth the prophete. Ieremy In a perpetuell charite I haue loved the And therfore haue I had compassion on the and haue taken the to mercy.Iohn. 3. And Ie­su christ saieth in the gospell of saint Io­hn. God hath so loved the world th­at he hath gyven his onely begotten son­ne to thintent that whosoever beleve yn him shuld not perisshe but haue everlastīg life. as wryteth. S. Paule. If a lawe had byn gyven which might haue iustified the iustice shuld haue byn truely of the lawe.Gala. [...] But the scripture hath concluded all vn­der sinne to thintent that the promyse sh­uld be gyven vnto the belevers by fayth. And vnto the Romayns. If God be for vs who is he that may be againste vs? as though he wold saye:Ro. 7. None. for we haue receyved all thing of god with his sonne. But whate thing haue we receyved? this lybertye from the subiection of the devell that is remission of all sinnes / that ys the ioy and glory of the everlastinge life. And this hath god gyven vnto vs by his son­ne. as saint Paule sayeth vnto the Hebru­wes. The bloude of Christ whiche by the holy ghost hath offred hym silfe withoutHebre. [...] [Page] spot vnto God hath clensed oure conscien­ces from mortall workes for to serve vn­to the lyving God. And therfore we haue no nede to laboure by oure good workes to get euerlasting lyfe / for we haue that alredy: we be all iustified we be all the children of God. God hath gyven vs all thys of him silf without oure deserving.

Some man might say. I will also do sumwhate to thintent that I may be so moche the more certeyn to be saved. All they that say so: and all they that thinke that theyre good workes helpe eny thing or proufit for to get the gift of saluacyon they blaspheme ageynste God / and robbe god of his honoure and speke ageynst the might and goodnesse of God.Gala. 5 as wryteth saint Paule. If ye be circumcised Christ shall nothinge proufit you. that is to say: if ye put eny trust in the lawe or in any workes Christ shall not helpe you. And yet sayeth saint Paule in that same Chaptre. whosoever will be iustified by the la­we is fallen out of the grace of god. Howe may the wordes be more clere. wherfore al they blaspheme ageynst the dyvine puis­saunce that will eny maner wey deserve [Page] by theyre good workes. for this cause we must do oure good workes alweys by lo­ve to the proufit of [...] & not for the necessite of oure h [...]th for by Iesu christ be we made sure of the euerlasting life / as it is bifore said. They that by theyre workes will satisfie vnto god be agaynst God / as though God were not puissaunt ynough of him silf without the helpe of oure werkes for to pardone vs oure sinnes / and as though the passion of Christ were not vertuouse ynough without oure de­servinges for to helpe vs to come vnto heven. Therfore (say I) we must allonly & hoelly trust in the grace & mercy of god / & not in oure workes or els christ shall no­thing proufit vs.

¶Howe that by the onely grace of God / and by nothing elles we be sa­ved. Chaptre. vi.

NOwe might some man sey / I knowe wel that god is mightie ynough to save me without my wor­kes / but I cā not tel whether he wil do it if it be not that I live therwith al rightuously. parauēture my good werkes shal en­duce hī to make me rightuous & to save me [Page] or els he wolde not do it. All they that so saye or thinke (as I haue said) blaspheme against the goodnesse of god / as though god were not of him silf mercyfull ād good ynough / except he were first stered vnto mercy by oure werkes.Ro. 4. Not withstōding that saint Paule sayeth that the promesse was not made vnto Abraham by the la­we but by the iustice of the faith. And se­yng also that of his proper nature he is nothing els but goodnesse and mercy / as he hath alweyes taught and shewed whē he was teaching in the world / for he hath never dispysed nor left none discomforted of eny thing that eny hath requyred him but onely suche as wold not beleve.

Wherfore thou must knowe ones for all that by the onely grace of god we be saved. And god will not that thou put thy good workes or thy iustice with his pre­tending to helpe him by thy workes / for he will do it a lone / and will haue no ma­ner helpe. For he hath no nede of the coū ­sell nor of the dede nor of the workes nor of the iustice of any other.Ephe. 2 For saint Paule saieth: By grace are ye saved thorowe faith and that not of your silves for it ys [Page] the gift of god and cometh not of workes lest eny man shulde bost himsilf. Now were it possible to speake it more pleynly / and vnto the Romains:Ro. 5. Being iustified by fa­yth we are at peace with god. And saynt Iohn saieth: He is the recōciliacion for oure sinnes.1. Iohn. The deth of Iesu christ and his iustice be vertuous ynough for to take a­wey all the sinnes of the world.

Nowe might one demaunde whi will god iustifie vs and so save vs of him silfe? God doth it to thintent that he make hys goodnesse and mercy vnto vs more clere / and more open.Ephe. 2 As writeth saint Paule vnto the Ephesians: God that is riche yn mercy thorowe the grete love wherwyth he loved vs even when we were d [...]ed by sinne hath quykned vs with Christe by whose grace ye be saved and with hī hath reysed vs vp and with him hath made vs sitte in hevenly thinges thorowe Christ / for to shewe in tyme to come the exceding richesse of his grace in kindnesse towarde vs thorowe Iesus Christ. Here seest thou by these wordes the cause whye god will do it alone: for if god shuld iustifie vs / ād shuld gyue helth bicause of oure workes / [Page] he shuld not do it by his goodnesse / but oure workes had deserved it: and so shulde we not nede to thanke God therfore but mo [...]ght ascribe it to oure selves: and vn­to oure workes. But saint Paule and all the prophetes do teache vs that we be iu­stified and haue gotten helth by the onely grace of God and not by oure deservyn­ges / for we haue none. And as god wyll that we do not thanke laude or loue other then alonely him. Also like wyse will he not that we serche elswhere or of any o­ther helth but of him onely for god wilbe oure helth and oure savioure alone / and he will not that we serche els where comfort but in him and of him / and not in oure silfe nor in oure good werkes. And for this cause thus writeth saint Paule vnto Titus. But after that the kindnesse and loue of oure savioure appered vnto man / not of the dedys of rightuousnesse which we haue wrought but of his mercy he hath sa­ved vs by the fonteyne of the newe birth & with the renewing of the holy gost whiche he shed over vs abundauntly / thorow Iesus christ oure savioure.Titū. 3 And therfore whosoever thīke to haue deserved the kingdome [Page] of heven by his rightuous life / he robbeth god of his goodnesse. for god hath frely iustified vs of hī silf. & oure lord him silf hath seid in the gospel of S. Ioh: None may come vnto me except my father th­at sent me drawe hī.Iohn. 6 And in an other place without me ye cā do nothing.Iohn. 15 & god spa­ke by the prophete Osee: O Israel thi perdiciō comith of thy silf / alonely of me cometh thy helpe.Osee. 14 And saint Paule vnto the romains.Ro. 9. The enerlasting life is not his that will or that r [...]neth after it: but it is in the hondes & will of god to gyve it to whome he will by his mercy.

Therfore erre all they that thīke that god owith to theym the euerlastīg life / or that they haue deserved it / when they haue done many good workes. for that thing that god onely gyveth to whome he will / that wold they take frō him / & plucke it out of his hōdes. & thei yeld no thākes vnto god as did. S. Paul vnto the ColossiāsCol. [...]. sayīg we gyve thākes vnto god the father which hath made vs mete for to the partakers of the inheritaūce of saintes in light / whi­che hath delyvered vs from the power of derknesse / and hath translated vs into the [Page] kingdome of his dere sonne / in whome we haue redempcion thorowe his bloude / that is to sey forgevenesse of sinnes. Such people get lest of all and are in many tymes reprobate and forsaken of god.Lu. 18 As the Pharisey whiche rehersed vnto god his good workes as though he had not knowē th­eym. But if thou wilt haue the kingdome of heven. I counsed the that thou trust nothing in thy good workes / but that thou be exercising thi silf after thy power in de­des of charite and mercy toward thy chri­sten brother. So as oure lord teacheth yn the gospell saying:Lu. 17. when ye haue done all that to you is commaunded / yet say ye / we be vnproufitable servauntes. Suche humble opinion and feling must a christen ha [...] if he wilbe saved. For (as saint Petre sa­yeth) God resisteth alweyes the proude / but vnto the humble he gyveth grace.1. Pe. 5. for god loveth moche more a sinner whyche humbleth him silf axing mercy / then one that thinketh that he is holy / and that he hath done many good workes exaltynge him silf in theym and thinkinge that God owith to him the kingdome of heven / bycause of his good workes. For (as I ha­ue [Page] seyd) God will save none for his good workes / but he wil save vs all by his mercy: to thintent that we shuld thanke hym for it / and to thintent that to him alone ād to his name may be gyven all glory prey­se and grace / and that all the worlde may prayse and exalte the goodnesse and mercy of him alone.Ro. 3 For saint Paule saieth that the rightuonsnesse that cometh of god ys declared without the fulfillinge of the la­lawe and for this cause wold God suffre none to come into euerlasting lyfe byfore the comyng of Iesus christ nether Abra­ham / Isaac nor David.Ro. 3 For (as saint paule seyth (they all haue sinned and lacke the preyse that is of valure byfore God. and this he wolde also to thintent that bothe they and we shuld also knowe that all th­ey that haue obteyned or shal opteyne he­lth haue and shall opteyne it / by the deth of Iesu christ and not by theyre rightuousnesse or workes for if eny might haue bin saved by his workes / Abraham and Da­vid had come to heven byfore the comyng of Iesu christ. But God wolde it not to thintent that we shuld knowe that all ou­re helth lyeth in the deth of Iesu Christ / [Page] which by his mercy he hath suffred for vs There is none other wey for to come to e­verlastīg life but by Iesu Christ crucyfi­ed for vs. And therfore we must put all oure trust in God alone / we shall take all oure comfort of God onely calling vppon his mercy in this maner.

O dere lord god almighty / I poore sin­ner confesse byfore thy dyvine p [...]ssaunce / that by my sinnes. I haue deserved the e­verlasting deth of hell by thy grete iustice. But alweyes I take hope and comfort in thy godly promesse wherby thou say­dest in thy gospell: He that beleveth in the sonne of god shall haue everlasting life.Iohn. 3 for this cause I poore sinner come toward the dere lord Iesu christ whiche art the onely fontayne of mercy not trusting in my good workes (which be but stinkīg byfore the) nor in any worldly thing but onely in the alone: for thou alone art the wey the tro­uth and the lyfe. And I pray the th­at vnto me poore sinnar thou wilt do thy grace and mercy Amen.

So shall the christē hūble him silf & vnderstōd of hīsilf & of his good workes.Esaie 64 for (as saieth Esai) all oure iustice is as it were [Page] the clothe of a womā suffering the floures. God hath saved none by his workes but onely by his divine grace & mercy As teacheth saint Paule:Ephe. [...] ye are saved by grace thorowe faith & that not of your silf And if it be by grace (as saieth saint Pau­le ageyn) then is it not by the deservinge of workes for then were grace no grace.Ro. 1 [...] Hereby mayst thou perceive that god wil that oure helth come of his grace and mer­cy and not of oure deserv [...]nges. For if any may deserve heven by his workes then is it no grace or gift of god: but it is vet & wages. And then god of him silf giveth it not vnto vs: but we get it as for vauntes that serve for wages. And that can be by no meanes for saint Paule teacheth vs in many places that we be iustified & haue obteined helth by the grace of god & not by ou­re good workes but by oure feith. for it is a gift of god & not hyres or wages for la­boure:Ephe. [...] to thintēt that we shuld not esteme that we had saved ouresilves. for. s. Paule saith: whē we were dede by sinne / he hath quickened vs with christ. wherfore we shall not glorifie ī oure silves / but ī god alone. for god will not that we serche hī for [Page] wages as servauntes. But he will that we shall love him as children theyre fath­er and that we serve him by love without desiringe eny thing but to please him. for he him silf hath seid to his apostles:Iohn. 15 I call you not nowe servauntes / but frendes.Psal. 21 And Christ hath said by the prophete to his hevenly father I will shewe thy na­me to my bretherē. And ageyn to his apostles:Mat. 23 Call ye no man father on the erth: for ye haue one father in he [...]en. And therfore hath Iesu christ not learned vs to pray. Oure lord whiche arte in heven:Mat. 6 but oure father / for we be his children / and if we be the children of god we be his heyres / as sayeth saint Paule.Ro. 8

¶To whome the grace of god is gy­uen. Chaptre .vij.

ONe myght axe: Is thys grace of god gyven to every body: Nay / but it is gyven to all theym that beleve. And all they that beleve in Iesu christ in suche maner as we haue byfore declared / and shall all declare more pleynly th­ey be the children of god / as wryteth saint Iohn in the gospell saying.Iohn. 1 Unto as ma­ny as receyved him gave he power to be [Page] the sonnes of god in that they beleved yn his name. And as sayeth saint Paule. He that comith to god must beleve that he ys God and that he is a rewarder of theym that seke him.Hebre. 1 [...]. Therfore we haue seid th­at all the newe testament doth teache vs principally none other thing but faith and trust in Iesu christ. and therfore the feith is the foundacion of Christendome. For this cause if thou wilt that the passion ād grace of christ be to thy socoure and prou­fit it behoveth that thou beleve him sted­fastly without ony maner waveringe to thinten: that thou knowe that it is all grace / and not deserving and that the wordes and promyses of god be verey certein and true. for god hath called vs his child­ren as saint Paule saieth: Because that ye are sonnes god hath sent the sprite of hys sonne into oure hertes crying Abba father Then arte thou nowe no servaunt but a sonne.Gala. 4 and if thou be a sonne then art th­ou also heyre of god by christ / ād so be we delyvered from oure sinnes and from the bondage of the devell: and made heyres of the kingdome of heven by the benefit of Iesu christ.

[Page] He beleveth in god that putteth all his trust and hope in god and in the iustice of god / living after his power accordinge to the rule of charite / having no maner hope nor trust in the world / in his good works or good life / but alonly in the goodnesse of god / and in the merites of Iesu christ beleving certeynly that god will hold to hym that he hath promysed remission of sinnes and certeynte of everlasting life. He that doth so is a true christen and beleveth stedfastly that the wordes of god must nedes be true. Notwithstanding that according to his workes he thinketh it a thing ym­possible. Neverthelesse he beleveth that he shalbe saved without deservinge of any good workes rather then the wordes of god and all thinges that they do promyse shuld not come to passe. As writeth saynt Paule of Abraham which beleved rather that his wife whiche was bareyne & out of thage of generacyon shuld conceyve a childe rather thē the promyse of god shuld not be fulfilled. And by this fayth was Abraham reputed iuste byfore God & not by his good workes. So behoveth it that euery christen do / albeit that it seme to him [Page] ympossible to be saved bycause he hath done no good / he shall neverthelesse stykke stedfastly vnto the goodnesse and mercy of God and vnto hys worde yn suche ma­ner that he doubt not yn nothyng.Lu. 2 [...] For Christ sayeth in Saynt Luke. Heven and erth shall passe but my worde shall never passe.

Of this sayth wryteth Saynt Paule vnto the Romayns.Ro. 10. whosoever shall call on the name of the lord God shalbe saved. He therfore that calleth vppon hym on whome he beleveth not that he may hel­pe hym loseth but his laboure. Therfore thou must first beleve in hym. And then if thou call vppon hym with suche a fayth as we haue spoken of thou shalt be saved Of this fayth speaketh also the prophete Esaie (as recy [...]eth Saynt Paule the apostle yn the forseyd Chaptre) All they that beleue yn hymshall not be ashamed. And ageyn saint Paule.Ro. 10 If thou confesse with thy mouth that Iesus is the lord / and th­at thou beleue with a perfaict herte that God hath reised christ frō deth thou shalt be saved. And the word that Christ pre­ched first as recyteth Saint Marke was: [Page] The tyme is full come and the kingdome of god is evyn at honde repent and bele­ve the gospell.Mar. 1 Of this faith writeth lyke wise saint Iohn and they be the wordes of Christ vnto Nicodemus as Moyses lift vp the serpent in wildernesse / even so must the sonne of man be lift vp that no man that beleveth in him perisshe but haue eternall life.Iohn. 3 God so loued the worlde that he gaue his onely sonne for the entent that none that beleve in him shuld perisshe but shuld haue everlasting life. And a lytell after he that beleveth in him shall not be cō ­dempned / and ageyn in the same chaptre. He that beleveth on the sonne hath ever­lasting life / and he that beleveth not the sonne / shall not see life but the wrathe of god abideth vppon him.

By all these escriptures here maist th­ou see that we be all the children of God / alonly thorowe faith, and this had God lever promyse vnto vs bicause of oure fa­ith then bicause of oure good workes to thintent that we shuld be so moche the more certeyn of oure helth And therfore saith saint Paule / by faith is the enheritaunce gyven that it might come of grace that theRo. 4. [Page] promyse be sure and stedfast to all the sea­de, for if god had said whosoever will do suche or suche workes shalbe saved / we shuld ever haue byn īcerteyn whether we shuld haue byn saved or not. for we shuld never haue knowen whether we had do­good ynough to haue deserved the lyfe e­ternall. But nowe god hath promysed it vnto vs bicause of oure faith / by hys fa­voure not by oure workes / to thintent th­at we be the more sure therof. For let vs beleve stedfastly and we may knowe for certeyn that we be the childrē of god. Not that we haue deserved it: but bycause he hath promysed it. And it must nedes be that the word of god be true for this cau­se if we haue perfeit trust in god and be­leve perfeitly in him we shalbe sure that we shalbe saved. It was suche a feith th­at saint Paule had when he seid:2. Ti. [...] I kno­we and am sure that he to whome I haue cōmitted and gyven my gage to kepe ys mighty ynough to kepe it for me tyll that day: And ageyn: I haue fought a good batayl.2. Ti. 4. I haue fulfilled my course and haue kept the faith / from hensforth is leyd vp for me a crowne of rightuousnesse whiche [Page] the lord that is a rightuous iudge shall give me at that day: Not vnto me onely but vnto all theym whiche love hys co­ming.1. Ioh. 3 And saint Iohn saieth: Derely be­loved nowe are we the sonnes of God. And yet it hath not appered whate we shal be we knew that whē he shal appere we shalbe like hī for we shal see hī as he is

This faith had also saynt Martine at the houre of his deth when he saide vnto the devell: whye art thou here thou bloudy beest? thou hast nought in me / the seed of Abraham shall receyve me.

This suertye had likewise saint Imbrose when one axed hym if he feared not the deth? he answered whye shuld I fea­re? seyng that we haue one so good a lord [...]

For this cause must we love the deth and more desyre to dye ād to be with god (as dyd saint Paule) then to feare the de­th.Phi. 1 for Iesu christ is deede for vs to thin­tent that we shuld not feare to dye. And he hath flayne the deth and hath destro­yed the streynght of deth. as writeth saint Paule saying:1. Cor. 15 O deth where is thy victory? It is swalowed and brought to nou­ght by victory.Phi. 1 And vnto the Philippy­ans. [Page] Christ is my life and deth is to me advauntage.

¶Howe that feith bryngeth Charyte and Charyte good workes Chaptre .viij.

NOwe might one axe: when I beleve certeynly that I am the childe of god & that Iesu christ hath satisfied for me vnto hys hevenly father / as teacheth saynt Paule saying:1. Ti. 2 whiche hath gyven him silf a pri­ce and raunsome for all men. Then when I beleve: nede I not to do nothing? Ne­de I not to do no good? shall I not kepe the commaundementes of God? Herken whate saint Paule answereth. The faith (saith he) worketh by loue.Ga. 5 Then when thou thus beleuest without doutīg that is to sey that thou art the sonne of god / and that god hath so made the grete and riche thou shalt thinke thus in thy [...]ilf. Behold nowe god hath made me his childe enheri­tour of his glory & brother of Iesus christ hath givē me pardō of al my sinnes ād I shall shortly be with hī in the euerlasting life which he hath gyvē me without deserving it [...] thīg shall I do agein to god [Page] by love and kindenesse for all this that he hath gyven to me?Psal. 115 As saith the prophete David: whate shall I yeld to god ageyn for all that he hath gyven to me: when e­ny parson speaketh thus in him silf consi­dering and beholding the greate goodnes­se and mercy of god / then comith and entreaseth the loue of god in him by the fayth / bicause that he beleveth surely that God hath thus made him grete and riche. And after that the loue is thus entred and en­chauffed in the hert of the parson it maketh him to suffre and bere all thīges & maketh him to laboure to thinke and to do all that he thinketh wold please god / without re­garding [...]ny thing but the loue of god.Cor. 13. as sayeth saint Paule: Loue suffreth all thinges / loue doth nothing in vaine. and he that hath suche a loue toward god: all that he doth is agreable to god: Ye when he gyveth but a drop of water for goddis sake as writeth saint Mathewe. for loue ī god can not sinne all that he doth is well done For the holy goost that hath put this cha­rite in vs can not do evill. A [...]d if of aduenture by suche a good entent one did any e­vell by errour this evell shul be pardo­ned [Page] incontinent and reputed for good by the good entent and loue that he hath to­wardes god.Mat. 6. For Christ saieth in the gos­pell. If thyne yie (that is to sey thyne en­tencion) be simple and applying to good / all thy body that is to sey (all thyne ope­racion) shall be lightened and good. And saint Paule saieth:Ro. 8 we knowe that vnto theym that loue god al thinges worke for the best. All they that are constant in this faith and charite be the children of god ād please god. As witnessith saint Petre where he speaketh in thactes of thappostles. Of a truth I perceyve that god is not percyall / but in all people he that feareth hym and worketh rightuousnesse is accepted with him, for god nedeth not oure works when he thus hath oure hertes albeit that suche a loue can not be ydell.

This loue comith in vs (as I haue se­id) by faith / when the parson beleveth su­rely that he is the childe of God. It nede­th not that suche a parsone be constreyned to doo good workes by any commaunde­mentes. For the love of god dwelling yn him can not be ydell. For loue (as sayeth saint Paule suffreth long and is courteys1. Cor. 13. [Page] loue ēvyeth not / love is not craving / swelleth not / dealeth not dishonestly / seketh not her owne / is not provoked to angre / thinketh not evell / reioyseth not in īiquite: but reioyseth in the truth / suffreth al thing beleveth all thinges / hopeth all thinges / Suche a love or charyte bryngeth a par­son to good workes / and not good works a parsone vnto suche a love / or to suche a faith & trust in god. These workes spring out of feith and not feith out of these workes. for as I haue seid feith bringeth loue and loue bringeth good workes.

Lyke as though there were a riche mā with out children or heyres which might take a poore beggar out of the strete and make hym his heyre of his goodes. This poore man beyng this made greate and ryche if he wold be thankefull (as becomith hym to be) shuld serve hys lorde or ma­ster (whiche had thus exalted hym & ma­de him ryche) truely and with greate loue Ye and if he ones might knowe the wil of his master / he wold not deferre the doing therof till he were commaunded: But he wold do all thinges by and by of his ow­ne courage for the charyte or loue that he [Page] hath toward his master without comma­undement.

Behold this poore man so exalted hath not deserved by hys workes nor by hys service that this riche man shuld so make him his heyre / but the riche man hath made him his heyre of hys owne goodnesse without that the poore mā had in eny maner wyse deserved it. And the service th­at this poore man doth afterward comith of loue and kyndnesse. For he knoweth and beleveth surely that he is heyre of the godes of his lord bifore that he do any service. And for bicause that he beleveth that the ryche man will kepe promyse wyth hym / he beginneth to love him by the meane of this faith. And so when he loveth hym / he doth to him willingly and wyth good hert / all the service he can / and fulfil [...]leth ioyfully his commaundementes and all by love. And the more laboure & servi­ce that he can do for his good master the more grete pleasure he taketh.

So is it of a good Christē, for whē he was yet enemye of god by the sinne of A­dam / he was accepted of God byfore he [...]esyred it: and byfore that he had yn [Page] eny maner wise deserved it. Thus hath god made vs his children and heyres without oure deserving. Then when we be­leve this stedfastly this faith bringeth lo­ue into oure hertes: so that we beginne to love God by cause that he hath made vs so greate and excellent. And when we so love him we kepe his commaundemētes by loue and do all thinges with good wil As saieth Christ in saint Iohn:Iohn. 14. He that loveth me kepeth my commaundementes. And so kepe we all thinges and suffre all thinges which we thinke agreable to god and nothing is to hevy for vs, and as sa­yeth saint Paule:Ro. 5 we reioyce in tribulaciō for we knowe that tribulacion bringeth pacience / paciēce bringeth feling / feling brī geth hope and hope maketh vs not a sha­med / bicause the love that God hath vnto vs is shed abrode in oure hertes / by the holy goost whiche is gyven vnto vs / whiche love maketh all thinges light vnto vs plesaunt / and easy to bere: so that after the word of Christ in the gospell his yoke ys easy and his burthen is light.Mat. 11. Act. 5

This faith and love had thappostles (as wryteth saint Luke) when they de­parted [Page] from before the iudges they reioy­sed that they were made worthy and able to suffre shame and dishonoure byfore the worlde for the love of Iesu christ. Thys char [...]te had saint Paule when he seid vnto the Romayns.Ro. 8. Who is he that shall sepa­rate vs from the love of god? shall tribulacion or anguisshe / or persecucion / or hun­ger / or nakydnesse [...] other parell orswerd? we be sure that neither deth nor life nether aungell nether rule nor thīges present nor thinges to come / nether height nor depnesse nether eny other creature shalbe abyll to separat vs from goddis love which is in Iesu christ our lord.

But I axe you nowe wherby ys it that thou knowest that thou are the childe of god? by the service that thou hast done hi? Nay. Wherby then? by the faith wher by thou belevest the worde of god whiche sayth that thou art the childe of god before thou begynnest to serve hym / as wry­teth saint Paule in all his epistles. Thy service and thy workes haue not gyvē the the faith and trust wherby thou belevest that thou art the childe of god and his heyre / for thou haddest that or thou dydest hī [Page] any service. but bicause that thou belevest stedfastly that god hath made the so grete by this faith beginnest thou to loue hym. And when thou lovest him so / thou doest him all the service that thou knowest ys agreable vnto hī. Thou [...]beyst his cōmaundementes / alweyes humbly knowele­ging thyne ymperfection / ascribing all th­at thou doest vnto God. for els as sayeth saint Paule.Ro. 4 If oure heretage came of the lawe / the feith were but in vayne and the promyse of none effect.

Behold nowe seest thou that we do not deserve the euerlasting life by oure good workes / for God hath promysed it vnto vs all surely bifore that we began to do good. wherfore thou must knowe and be­leve that good workes make none sure that he shalbe the childe of God and hys heyre. But contrary wise the feith & trust that thou hast in god (wherby thou bele­vest stedfastly that he ha [...]h made the hys sonne) maketh the to serve god and to ke­pe his commaundementes by love▪ wherfore all they are abused (Theology­ans and doctours: that sey that certeynte or hope procedeth out frō good workes▪ [Page] For contraryly / out from the certeynte & from the feith (wherby thou belevest the goodnesse that god hath done vnto the) comith the good works. That is to sey whē thou belevest / thou begynnest to love and when thou lovest / thou doest that God wold haue done.

¶Howe that we shall not serve God for hyres or wages. Chaptre. ix.

THe workes done in suche fayth and charyte be allonely plesaūt vnto god and worthy to be cal­led good workes. for they be the workes of the holy gost that dwelleth in vs by this faith. But they that are done by tediousnesse & evill will / for fere of hell or for desire of paradise be none other thīg but shadowes of workes makīg ypochrytes. The ende of oure good workes may sēke nought but to please god knowlegīg that if we do never so moche we cā neuer do our duety. for they that for feare of hell or for the ioyes of hevē do serve god do a cōstreined service which god will not. Suche people do not serve God bicause he is theire god & theire father: but bicause he is riche & for to haue part of his richesse, they [Page] not god but his wayes and richesse: that is to sey they serue for none other purpo­se but to haue theyre rewardes and for to avoide his punissions. And suche people be as it were hyred men and waged servauntes and are not children for the service they do is but for wages and hyres. But the children of god serve theyre father for loue for they knowe the goodnesse that god hath done to theym alredy in that th­ey beleue that god hath made theym hys children and heyres.Gala. 3 For saint Paule se­ith ye are all the children of god by the fe­ith which is in Iesu Christ: And ageyn: forasmoche as ye be childrē god hath sent the sprit of his sonne in to your hartes crying:Ga. 4 father father. Thou art then nowe no servaunt but a sonne. And if thou be the sonne thou art also heyre of god by christ as saieth saint Paule. ye are all the child­ren of [...]ight and children of god.Tessa. 5 Then the children of god (that is the true christen do not desyre to get the heretage by theire service for they knowe by the sure promyses of god (whiche they do beleve) that God of hym self hath purely and liberally gyuē it vnto theym alredy. Is when a burgo­ys [Page] hath a servaunt and a sonne. The ser­vaunt serueth his master and dare not of­fend hym for feare of losing of his wages whiche he attendeth for: for he serveth for wages / and after that he hath receyved theym he levith his master & axeth no more of him for he demaunded nothing els but his money which he hath receyved alredy. The sonne of the house serveth hys father and kepeth his commaundementes not to haue wages but for loue that he hath vnto hys father. For he knoweth the goodnesse that his father hath done to him and that he is heyre of the goodes of hys father. And knoweth that he shall ever dwelle in his fathers house / as saieth saint Iohn.Iohn And therfore doth he liberally the will of his father by cause he will not an­ger him. So must euery christen serve god and kepe hys commaundementes by true loue and not by hope to get for his service everlasting life or the heritage of his hevē ly father but knowleging alonly that god hath gyven him that alredy / and that he hath made him hys heyre [...]yfore he requyred him. So shall he serve him by love declaring that god is all good, and to shewe [Page] that ageynst his goodnesse he wyll not be vnkynd.

¶Howe that we disheret oursilves by oure disobedience. Chaptre. x.

NOwe must euery mā know that alonly they that by suche love serue God be the children of god his heyres and shalbe saved. For he that gy­veth not thankes to God and loveth hym not of this facyon for the goodnesse that god of hym silf hath willingly done vnto him is cause that he is not the child of god and maketh him silf vnworthye of all the promyses of God.

Lyke as though there were a ma [...] th­at had gotten some grete rychesse by his laboure & that he had .ij. sonnes / The. ij. sonnes be here egally like nighe vnto the goodes of theyre father & the herytage of theyre father belōgeth egal [...]i [...] vnto thē / for thei be both sonnes. But if the one be rebell & dis­obedient vnto his father & do to him dishonour after that he come to thage of discre­tion by suche meanes may h [...] be cause of dishereting of him silf [...] he is naturelly son­ [...]nd heyre to the goodes as well as his o­ther [Page] brother / but he disheriteth him silf by his evill life.

So are all parsones the childrē of god / & bought ageyn by Iesu Christ but they that rebell ageinst god / and obey not vnto his commaundementes disheryt theym silves ād theym silves because of theyre dā pnacyon. God wold willingly haue sa­ved theym / for he did promyse to theym (emong other) the heritage of his kingdo­me and had made theim his children / but they dampne theym silves. They are the children of God / as concerning goddis behalf / but they are alweyes dampned bicause of theyre disobedience.

Ye some tyme god calleth suche people his frēdes / not that they be so / but bicause thei mought haue bin so.Mat. 2 As he said vnto Iudas / My frēd whie art thou come hi­ther?Mat. 2 And vnto hī that came vnto the we­dīges / my frēde how art thou entred here not hauīg the weddīg garmēt. Behold he is called frēde & yet neverthelesse he suffreth hī to be cast into darknesse. he had bī the frēd of god if he wold haue cōsented to the wil of god.1 Iohn Saint Iohn saieth. There is now mani an̄christes / thei wēt out frō vs [Page] were not of vs / for if they had byn of vs they had bydden with vs. So be all peo­ple the children of god / but there be many that make theym silves vnworthy ād depart theym silves from god.

The other sonne that abideth with his father is a sonne / and abydeth a sonne and heyre bicause he is obeisaunt vnto his fa­ther. He hath not deserved by his good lyfe and obedience the possessyon ād goodes of his father / but he hath onely byn well ware that he hath not lost theym by diso­bediēce: For the father may sey. Dere son it is true that thou hast kept to the best of thy power my commaundementes / not­withst [...]nding thy goodnesse had never made the riche yf I had not gotten it. Then lyke wise all though that we kepe the cō ­maundementes of god never so streytly it shuld profit vs nothing if it were not th­at Iesu christ had obteyned for vs the ly­fe eternall byfore of his hevynly father by his deth. Oure goodnesse or iustice shulde profit vs nothing if Iesus christ had not laboured for vs. For (as saieth saint Paule) The lawe hath brought nothing vnto perfection.Hebr. 7 The Iues kept the cōmaundementes [Page] and the lawe of god yet they co [...] de not come vnto heven. It was nedeful that Iesu Christ must first dye for theym Lykewyse can we not be saved by oure workes. Oure helth is come to vs of god For if by oure workes we may got helth [...]hen must we nedes say that Christ is de­de in vayne. As saieth saint Paule. Ye if workes mought haue saved? Abraham / Isaac / Iacob / David and many other Iu [...]s had byn saved (as we haue seyd) byfo­re the natiuyte of Iesu Christ / for they kept better the commaundementes of god then we do. But god will do it alone to thintent that none glorifie or bost him silf therof and that to him alone and to none other he gyven all honour and glory for ever Amen.

For (as wryteth saynt Paule) The sc­ripture concludeth al thinges vnder sinne that the promys by the feyth of Iesus Christ shuld be gyven vnto theym that beleve.Ga. 3 For this cause when the parsone knoweth surely that god hath made hym childe of the everlasting lyfe / by hys deth byfore he had deserved it / he will do agayne to god all the service that he can thin­ke / [Page] and all by love aud kindnesse shewing that he will not be vnkind / not to get eny thing of god­but bycause he is his good father / and that he hath receyved al thinges of him. For we haue nowe alredy al that wherfore we must serve god. For he ha­th made vs his children / and his heyres / while we were his enimyes / and byfore that we knewe him as we haue many ty­mes byfore saied. And hereyn lyeth the deserving of the christen faith / that thou beleve certeynly that thou art the child of god and that thou kepest his commaundementes bicause thou knowest and belevest stedfastly that he hath so made the riche & gre­ate / and that thou servest him by this faith as a good childe his father / For the childe dou [...]teth not / but beleveth stedfastly that he shall haue the substaunce of his father / and bycause he beleveth it stedfastly he laboureth for to entreteyne it. So shalt thou beleve without doubting eny thing that thou art enheryter of heven. And therfore shalt thou do thy diligence to kepe that herytage to the honour of thy father.

Thou shalt be ware that thou anger him not but thou shalt thanke him oft bycause [Page] he hath gyven the thys hevenly heryta­ge.

Behold nowe seist thou well bifore thine yien howe moche we are bound to thā ke / prayse and serve god. and to kepe hys commaundementes / and to kepe vs from sinne and to do many good workes of fa­ith by verey love.

¶Of two maner people lyving in this world. Chaptre. xi

THere are īthe world. ij. sortes of people / good & evill / & be cōpared vnto the two theves that suffred on the crosse with Iesu christ▪ the good are berokened by the theef on the right side / which axed pardō: & thei be thei that knowlege thē silves pore sinners / & fele mekely of them silves:Lu. 18 as did the poore publican that durst not lyft vp hys yies toward heven / for they knowe that they haue not kept the commaū demētes of god so streytly as thei were bound. They perceyue also that though thei thīke to kepe thē never so well they fele theim silves failing alweyes in detraction [...]n hastinesse in anger / in idell wordes [Page] in infidelite ād in lakke of loue / albeit that suche folke do moche good­yet theyre conscience is not content and in rest but as cō cerning theym silves euer in sorowe. For they knowe that they must appere byfore the rightuous iudge / bifore whose face (as sayeth the Psalmist) shall none lyving be iustified / if we shuld be iudged after oure deservinges.Psal. 142 And therfore come they and cast theym silves prostrate byfore the mercy of god and sey with the thefe on the ri­ght syde.Lu. 23 Lorde haue mynd on me when thou comest into thy kīgdome. Thou hast commāunded me many thinges and I perceyue in my silf that I am frayle and cā ­not entierly kepe thy commaundementes though I loke never so well therto. Ne­verthelesse I knowe that thou nedest not my good workes. Seing it is so that th­ou hast so moche loved me that thou wol­dest suffer deth for me / when I dyd not yet knowe the / and was yet thyne enemye I haue trust vnto the my most mercyfull god that thou wilt not suffre hym to pe­riss he for whome thou hast shed thy bloude. For I knowe that thou art a lord al­mightye that mayest all thinges in heven [Page] and in erth. And I knowlege and wor­ship the / & am certeyn that thou wilt not dampne me. Albeit that I haue not deserved heven by my good workes. I kno­we and beleve that thou hast satisfied for me whē thou dydest suffre deth on the crosse. Thou hast bought me agayn with thy precyous bloude / and I am thyne / the de­vell hath no ryght in me. Neverthelesse yf thou wylt dampne me o mercyfull god thou mayest well do it and ryghtuously / for I am thyne / and thou mayst do wyth me all that thou wilt. I am thy creature. Thy wyll be fulfilled yn erth as yn he­ven.Mat. 6 Yet alweyes to thintent that thy do­lorouse passyon be not lost in me I praye the o my most mercyfull lord Iesu chryst / that thou wilt receyve me into grace / as thou hast done the good these I knowe that I am not worthye / and that I haue not deserved yt. But to thintent that thy greate mercy may be alweyes the more manyfest / vnto the augmentacyon of thy glory / I requyre the o God most pnissa­unt that thou wilt not put me a bak out of thy syghte. For thy onely passyon ys myghty ynough for to save me / wyth­without [Page] my good workes. For if I [...]ou­ght deserve the life euerlastīg by my good workes it shuld seme that thou haddest suffered thy passion in vayne and that th­ou haddest dyed on the crosse in vayne. Seing therfore that thou art surely deed for me and for all the worlde / not for thy silf: whye shuld I then be lost o gracyous Iesus christ? Save thou me / for thou art all good / and mayst save me / for thou ma­yst all thinges. Wherfore I knowe no re­medye but to come to thy grete mercy. and I prostrate at thy fete requyre of the par­don of all my sinnes. All they that of an entier hert do thus trust in God / and trust stedfastly that god will save theym / it sh­all come vnto theym accordinge to theyre feyth. And this is the most certeynte and the most sure wey for to come to heven & vnto the lyfe eternall / that euery one forsake him silf and put all in the hond of god / alweyes doing his best to kepe the commaundementes of God / and to lyve accordīg to the teaching of the gospell / and altogy­ther distrusting of him silf.

The other that be signified by the thefe on the lyfte honde are they that put all [Page] theyre trust in theyre good workes. Thei goo daily to the churche: they kepe & halo­we all the festfull dayes: they fast oft they here masse daily: And when they must dye they trust in theyre good workes / & thin­ke that god oweth to theym the kingdom of heven & that they theym silves haue deserved it. These maner of people be sonest dampned for they knowlege not that god hath satisfied for theym / but make to th­eym goddes of the workes of theyre hondes counting therby that they haue deser­ved heven, for that thing is euery mannes god wherin he putteth his trust. This ys one of the grettest errours that is in christē dome. for if a man might save him silf by his good workes Christ were deed in vayne: As saieth saint Paul. Saint Iohn baptist / Abrahā / Isaac / ād Iacob / with many other patriarkes have lyved moche more holily then ever we shall lyve.Ga. 2 Yet coude they never by theyre good workes come to hevē. It was nedefull that christ shuld first come to suffer deth for them that his passion shuld sa [...]e theym / not theyre wor­kes / but the feith and trust that they had yn [...] Goddis promyses / wherby they [Page] beleved that Iesu Christ shuld come / and shuld deliver theym?

But I do not sey these wordes that the good workes done in feyth shuld be e­vill. No: I do counsell all the world to do many good workes / principally the wor­kes of loue and mercy toward theyre neyghboures / yn socouring theym in all theyre necessites onely for the loue and honou­re of god / without seching any other thing and that he shuld so laboure frely & with a ioyous hart to obey vnto the commaun­dementes of God and counsell of the gos­pell / doing the workes comprysed in the holy scripture / and not theym whiche the covitousnesse of the Pharysees have de­vysed.

But to do these workes and to thinke to deserve everlasting lyfe and so to put his trust in theym / is to lyve as do nowe at this-day the Iues ād verey Idolatres. For God will have the hole hart ād will not that it be fixed on ony other thing­but in hym alone. Ye he willeth that all that we do in this lyfe / shalbe none other thing but a token of kindnesse and giving of thā kes of that we haue receyved of hym. for [Page] if we haue stedfast faith and trust in hym alone / we haue nowe receyved ād be sure of that that suche tedious and wery wor­kers wold get / as we haue seid bifore ād will sey more pleynly. And all suche scri­pulous doers of good workes and therin seking theyre helth and-trusting in theym that thinke they shalbe saved when they haue slayne noman / and when they have drawen noman to sinne / and theruppon putting theyre trust / be like vnto the pharisey of whome Christ speaketh in the gospell whiche rehersed his workes for to haue prayse and reproved the poore humble publican knowleging his faute and axing pardon.Lu. 18

It were better for the a thousand fold that thou / haddest byn a sinner and never done good dede / and that thou knowlege thyne offences and evill life vnto god ax­ing mercy with good hert lamenting thy sinnes: then to haue done suche good workes and in theym to put thy trust thin­kinge that therfore God were bounde vnto the. There is nothing whiche (after the maner of speaking) byndeth God but ferme and stedfast feith and trust in him & [Page] his promyses. for god requyreth not prin­cipally oure good workes / for he nedeth theym not: but he desyreth oure hartes ād all oure intencion to seke in all thinges no thing but his honour: And that we trust not in oure workes / but (forsaking oure silves) all hoelly in him and not in oure deservinges. For we can shewe vnto god no gretter honour then feith and trust yn him / for whosoever doth that / he confesseth that god is true / good / mighty / and mercyfull. And when we sinne it is not the worse vnto god. we mynisshe not his glory by oure sinnes for his glory cā nether be augmented nor mynisshed forasmoche as it is infinite. And for bycause that we can do no maner hurt or annoysaunce vnto God by oure sinnes therfore is he lightly appaised this stonding that with an entier hert without ony fayning we knowlege oure defaute and demaunde humbly pardon. And likewise when we do any good we do not encrease his glory by oure workes for god abideth alweyes one. All the daū ­ger that there is in oure synne is the evyll example that we gyve to oure neyghbour in that we hurt him therby dispising the [Page] good councell of oure good god whiche he hath givē vs in his holy cōmaūdemētes / for bicause we be vnkind ageinst the grete grace that he hath done vnto vs / which is a thing horrible & worthy of eternall pu­nisshemēt bicause that it is infinite & eter­nall (the holy cōmaundemēt) ageinst whi­che we haue offended. But bicause his proper nature is good & mercyfull he pardo­neth all these that confesse him to be suche. Therfore loveth god better a sinnar repenting & axing pardone of his sinnes then he doth a worker of good workes proudely bosting him silf & tru [...]ling in theym. For (as it is said) God hath loved better the publicā then the pharesey & hath shewed more love vnto the poore opē sinners then to the phareseys & ypochristes to whome it semed that they had fulfilled the cōmaun­demētes of god / & that god coude nothyng demaund of theym.

For they reproved Iesu christ that he was frende of the sinners & that he ete a­mōg theim.Mat. 9. Oure lord demaūdeth nothing but the hert and when he hath the herte / he regardeth not whether we fast / pray / or here masse / or whether we bere blewe [Page] or gray. For all suche outward thī ges be indifferent bifore god. When oure hartes be ruled in God according to the doctrine of the gospell / it is all one whate thing we do / for we haue alweyes love / whiche teacheth vs whate thing we must do / or leve vndone / for love doth nothing in vayne.

For this cause an humble hart not a­byding vppon his good workes though he do theym: but putting all his hope and trust in god and founding him silf vppon his goodnesse / grace / and mercy / belevyng stedfastly that god hath all satisfied for vs and that of him silf he hath iustified vs & gyuen vs helth / doth purely and liberally without demaunding eny wages all the service and all the good he can alweyes knowleging him silfe to be dettour vnto god and axing grace. Suche an hert is onely plesaunt vnto god.

Some might nowe sey. I beleve wel all this that I am the childe of God / and I must serve god by love and kindnesse / in knowleging onely by my service the godnesse that he hath done vnto me but whate shall I do for the better / how shall [Page] I shewe vnto god my kyndnesse and lo­ue? Albeit that we have oft touched thys mater byfore / yet we will declare yn the Chaptre folowing more pleynly the thinges that shall be nedefull to thys pur­pose.

¶Of good workes and by whate meane they be most pleasing to God. Chaptre .xij.

FOrasmoche as I haue moche spoken of the feith and trust yn god to thintent that the evill ād perverse (whiche interprete and take all thinges to the worse and corrupt theym) shall not sey that I do lerne and counceyle you to do no good workes I will nowe shewe you whate thinges ye shall do.

I haue many tymes seyd that fayth bringeth Charyte / and charite good wor­kes. For if thy feith induce the not to do good workes: then hast thou not the right fayth. Thou doest but onely thinke that thou hast it. For saint Iames sayeth that faith without workes is dede in it silf.Ia. 2 He feith not that it is lytell or feble but that it is deed. And that that is deed is not. Therore [Page] when thou art not moved by feith vnto the love of god / and by the love of god vnto good workes / thou hast not the fe­yth / but the feith is deed in the. for the sprite of god that by feyth comith into our hertes to styre vp loue can not be ydell. Eue­ry one doth as moche as he beleveth / and loveth as moche as he hopeth.Iohn. 3 As wry­teth Saint Iohn / he that hath this hope that he is the sonne of god purifyeth hym silf as he is pure. He seith not he that purifyeth him silf hath this hope. for the hope must come byfore / proceding from the feith as it behoveth that the tre must first be good whiche must bring forth good frute. Thē it behoveth to know first that ye are the children of God and afterward to la­boure.

But whate shall we do? we shall do and lyve so with oure christen bretheren / as Christ hath lived and done with vs that is to sey as Iesu christ hath offred him silf to vs and for vs so must we present & give oure silves as it were a Christ for to serve theym / and to socoure vnto theire nede.Phi. 2. As saieth Saint Paule: Let the same mynde be in you the which was in Christ [Page] Iesu / which being in the shape of god ād thought it no robberi to be equal with god Neuerthelesse he made him silf of no reputaciō & toke on him the shape of a servaūt ād all for our proufit. And so must we helpe serve & comfort one an other as Iesu christ hath done with vs. we may not seke oure owne proufit avaūtage or honoure but al thīges profitable vnto our neighbour alweyes mīdfull to procure the honoure of god & that in al thīges we helpe oure christē brother, for so warneth vs. S. paule that none seke his owne profit / but his neyghboures & that all that we do be vnto the honoure of God. we must set byfo­re vs the lyfe of Iesu Christ as a rule of all thing that is expedient for vs to do / or to leve vndone. we must take payne to folowe hym in mekenesse / in love / in swet­nesse / and in compassyon. And to lyve so with oure neyghboure as Iesus christ hath lyved with vs.

For Iesu Christ was not borne for hym silf / nor hath not lived here for hī silf / but for vs. He sought not his owne hono­ure but his hevēly fathers Likewise shalt thou not seke that is proufitable vnto the but [...]ovenable vnto thi neighbour. As teacheth [Page] vs saint Paul in al his epistles & namely in the first vnto the Corīthiēs I seke [...]or. 10 not (saieth he) that that is necessary & proufitable vnto me but that that is proufita­ble to many to thintent that they shuld be saved.Ephe. 4 And vnto the Ephesians. He that robbed let him robbe no more but laboure rather with his hondes and that is good / to thintent that he haue wherof to gyve to him that hath nede.Ga. 6 And vnto the Gaiathiens. Bere (sayeth he) eyther of you o­thers charges and burdons & so shall yon fulfill the lawe of god.

And for bicause that we speke nowe of good workes. It must be knowen that we must do some workes for our silves & some for oure christen bretheren / but all for the love and honour of god. Theym that we shall do for oure silves teacheth vsEol. 3 saint Paule seying that we must mortyfie in vs all evill desires / and all carnall ope­racyons as vnclennesse covityze / wrathe / blasphemye / detraction pryde and other lyke vices.Ro. 6 And vnto the Romayns. That sinne reygne not in your mortall b [...]dy / that is to sey / albeit that we cā not lyve without the mocyon of suche evill desyres we [Page] shall not suffre thē to rule in vs but shall mortyfie theym in resisting theym.

Whate we shuld do for oure Christen bretheren teacheth vs like wise saint Paule sayng. Serve ye one an other by love & bere ye one an others burthen. For christ commaundeth vs to exercyse the workes of mercy wherof he shall hold his iudge­ment. All other workes that men do at this day in the churches be rather found by auarice then commaunded of god / except the prayers whiche may in no wise be done to get money / but alonely by loue yn praying one for an other.

Behold nowe seest thou well howe grete occasyon thou hast to do good. For thou hast alweyes occasion to mortyfie thine evill desires to serve thyne neygh­boure / to comfort hym / to helpe hym / with worke / with worde / with counceyl / with exhortacyon / and by other semblable mea­nes / In suche loue towardes oure neyghboure for the loue of God lyeth all the la­we and the prophetes (as sayeth Christ). Ye and all the verey Christente / and nat in fasting / keping of halydayes / watching praying and synging long prayers / dayly [Page] and all day hering of masses / setting vp of candels / runnyng on pilgremages / and o­ther suche thinges / whiche aswell the ypochrites / proude people / envious / and sub­iectes to all wikked affections doo: Ye ād many tymes enforce theym silf more there vnto then the good christen. But so to serve and socoure the one the other by verey love can none do but they that haue true faith and the verey love of god. And whosoever so loveth his christen brother he is alweyes ioyfull in his conscience. For he knoweth surely that he is the child of god and that God is his good father / and is well content in his courage of all that god sendeth vnto him. But he that hath not this love is alweyes sory / full of anguis­she and woteth not whate to do to deser­ve more / he fasteth / he kepeth halydayes / nowe of one saint / nowe of an other. He se­yth his prayers nowe bifore one altre / nowe bifore an other. He renneth on pilgre­mage nowe here nowe there and can ne­ver come vnto the rest and quyet of his cō science. For suche workes make no man sure / but make rather ypochrites trustyng in theyre workes.

[Page] But the verey faithfull cleveth to god / for he knoweth that he may never satisfie nor do ynough to deserve the everlasting life. And therfore he putteth hys trust yn god & beleveth stedfastly that he hath sa­tisfied for vs / & that he hath iustifyed vs. And therfore it is all one to hī whate thīg he do so that he please him & exercyse cha­ryte to his neyghbour for the love of god for he knoweth that God demaundeth nothing but the hert ād that he regardeth not howe we doo the worke so that yt be according to the teachīg of the gospell whiche commaundeth but charyte. And so co­mith he by feyth and trust in God vnto rest and quyet of hert and conscience and is well cōtent to dye whē it pleaseth god

¶Of .iiij. maner of feythes after the holy scripture and whiche is the Christen feyth. Chaptre .xiij.

THis present Chapitre (bycause I haue moche spoken of faith / & that scarcely of a thousand one knoweth not this feith) teacheth of how many maner feithes there is made mēciō in the holy scripture / not as do now [Page] the doctours whiche have founde many maner of feythes. I will onely speke of iiij. maner of feithes whiche are most comunely foūde in the holy scripture. The first faith is this whiche the marchauntes hold one to an other and feithfull frendes / wherby they kepe promyse and fidelite the one to the other:Eccle. 2 [...] [...]nd. 27 wherof speketh the wise say­ing: possesse or kepe feith with thy frende / in his povertye: to thintent that in his welth thou mayst be ioyfull. And ageyn he that discloseth the secret of his frende / lo­seth his faith. And in the Proverbes: He that gyveth his faith for a straunger shall be vexed with evell. And this is the faith wherof the worldly people complaine seying there is no feith in the worlde.

The seconde feith is when we beleve that a thing is to come / and suche thinges as we here or rede: as we beleve that Ro­me is a Cytie in Italye / or that Cartage was destroyed of the Romayns / and this we beleve although we haue not sene yt. Also we beleve that Iesu Christ hath he relyved on erth and that he hath preached and that he is d [...]ed for vs / and that he hath done many other thinges. when we bele­ve [Page] these thinges after the story we beleve that this is oure christen faith / The sim­ple people aloneli doth not beleve this but also many doctours in Theologye which are taken for wise. Ye the devell hath al­so this faith / as sayeth saint Iames: The devels beleve and tremble.Ia. 2. for (as we ha­ue seyd byfore) the devell beleveth that god is god / and that Iesus Christ hath here preached / that he was deed / buryed & rysen. This must we also beleve / but yet this is not the faith wherof speaketh the gospell and saint Paule.

The third faith is that we beleve that god may all thinges / and that he is righ­tuous / good and holye. This faith haue also the devels and Iudas had it also / ād other disciples that did miracles in the na­me of Iesus but they were therfore never the better. for when they bosted theym sil­ves and were ioyfull that by theyre faith they expulsed the devils in the name of Iesus.Lu. 10 Iesus Christ hath reproved them saying: Ioy not you that the spretes be vnder your power / but reioyce bicause youre names be writen in heven.1. Cor. 1 [...] Of this fayth writeth saint Paule vnto the Corin­thians [Page] saying: If that I had all feith so that I coude move mountaignes oute of theyre places / and yet had no love I we­re nothing.

The .iiij. faith is oure Christen fayth / wherof so moche speake Iesu christ / saynt Paule and saint Iohn / and sey that it ys the foundacion of christendome. And this is the feith wherof I speake in this boke None hath this faith but they that put all theyre trust / hope comfort / refuge and fy­nally all theire helth in god alone serching all these thinges in him and loking for thē of him / and not of theyre deservinges or good workes. Of this feith speaketh saint Paul saying: whosoever call on the name of god shalbe saved.Ro. 10 And the prophete Ieremye / Blessed is that man that trusteth in the lord god.Iere. 17 And Christ in the Gospell To thinient that none that beleve in him shuld periss he but shuld haue everlasting life.Iohn. 3 And in the boke called Paralipomenō Beleve in your lord God and you shalbe assured and without thought.Pa. 20 Beleve his Prophetes and all happy thinges shal come vnto you. And almost all the Psalmes all the prophetes and all the leves of the [Page] holy Byble teache vs that we must bele­ve and hope in God by a sted fast fayth. wherof speaketh so moche Saynt Paule the apostle / and whiche he prayseth so moche in all hys epistles. And (as we haue abundauntly sayd in the Chaptres by­fore) none may comprehend thys fayth / but he that considereth whate was the fayth of Abraham: As wryteth saynt Paule vnto the Galathyans saying: Abraham beleved God and yt ys rekened to hym for ryghtuousnesse.Ga. [...] For by hys fayth ha­th he obteyned that he ys called oure fa­ther and we be called hys children yn the holye scripture / that ys to sey / we be the childern of the fayth. For by the meane of oure fayth we be saved / as Abraham was iustified by his fayth and hath got­ten by hys fayth that all they that shall haue suche fayth may lyke wyse be iusty­fyed. For this cause whosoever hath not the fayth of Abraham / nothing can come vnto hym of that whiche Abraham beleved. That ys to say / when God ys not thy hope and thy com­forte / when thou abydest not wyth a [Page] stedfast trust vppon God when thou art not redy to suffer and endure all thinges / namely also the deth for the loue and ho­nour of god: And also to lose all that thou hast in the world thou art not the childe of Abraham. For Abraham was redy to all thinges wherunto god wold send hym. Suche was Iob when he sayed:Iob. 13 Albeit that he kill me I will put my trust in him And the wise saieth.Pro. 12 Whatsoever thing come to the rightuous let him not sorowe. And saint Pa [...]le saieth who shall separat vs from the love of Iesu Christ?Ro .8. shall tribulacion persecucion [...]werd or deth? And as saint Petre saieth:1. Pet. 3. who is he that may hurte you if ye be haunters and folowers of goodnesse. For all that ever comyth vnto the when thou hast this feith be it of mā or of the devell all comyth to thy proufit. As saieth saint Paule vnto the Romains To theym that love God all thinges be helping and avauncement to good.Ro. 8.

And therfore pray we alweyes that the will of god be done. For as he is not here come (as he seyd him silf) to do his will / Mat. 6. but the will of his hevenly father / So shallIohn. 5 not the good Christen desyre that hys [Page] owne will be done / but the will of God. And therfore shalt thou bere al thinges paciently as did Abraham with a stedfast fe­yth knowing surely that god will not forsake the for god is thy father and thou art his childe. And it behoveth that he do with the what him pleaseth. For seyng that he is all good he will nothing but thine helth.

None can have suche a feyth if he haue not therwith the love of god. And he that hath the loue of god / hath fulfilled the la­we for all the scriptures teache vs none o­ther thing but that we loue god with all oure hartes and oure neyghbour as oure silf / as it is writen in saint Mathewe.Mat. 22. None is a true christen but he that hath this loue. All other be rather ypochrites then Christen. For all good workes which be not done by charyte / and of good will are all synne byfore God as saieth saint Au­styn: He that doth good ageynst his will / he doth evill albeit that that that he doth be good. For all that I do ageynst my will I hate it. And when I hate the commaundement I hate also him that hath cō maunded it. And as long as the parsone [Page] ys suche he may not be rightuous▪ for no­ne may be rightuous but he that kepeth & fulfilleth the commaundementes of God by charyte / and with a ioyfull hart. And this is a singular grace of god. And therfore may none be proude of it / for he cā not haue it of him silf. So hath a man nothing of him silf wherwith he may exalt him silf For without God can we do nothing.Iohn. 15 As Christ him silf sayeth / wit out me cā ye do nothing / No not ones haue of your silf one good thought as sayeth saint Paule.1. Cor. 4 whate hast thou that thou hast nor re­ceyved wherfore there is no wey more sure to come to everlasting life then to hum­ble him silf byfore God / and to pray hym humbly of mercy nothing trusting in hys good workes / but with a ferme trust for­saking him silf to knowlege alweyes to god his imperfection. For we can come to nothing by oure good workes if we put eny trust in theym. For they are nothing eis but sinne / and stinking byfore God / when God helpeth vs not by hys grace.Esai. 64 As saieth the prophete Esaie. We are all made vnclene and all oure iustice is as yt were a clothe of a womā that suffreth the [Page] fluxe of bloude.

And therfore I can never merveyle ynough that many of the religyous par­sones wolde make other parttakers of th­yre good workes / by bretheryeldes and fraternytees / seyng that Christ saieth yn the Gospell: After that ye haue done all that to you ys commaunded / say ye / we be vnproufitable servauntes / we haue done but oure duetye. For none can do to moche. None doth more then he ys bo­und to do / but onely Iesu Christ why­che1. Pet. 2. onely (as sayeth Saynt Petre the a­postle yn his .ij. epistle) Never dyd synne nether was there deceyte found yn hys mouth) hath done that he was not bo­und to do (And as sayeth the Prophete Esaye) hath taken vppon hum all oure languores.Csa. 53 And all oure sorowes dyd he beare / he was wounded for oure inyquy­tees / he was beten for oure offences / and by hys strype spottes were we made ho­le.

His iustice was onely parfait iustice for he hath done that he was not boūd to do. But we of our silves whē we do our best yet can not oure iustice be parfeyt when [Page] after oure advice we do more then we are bounde to do yet be we vnrightuous and if we will be rightuous so must goddes rightuousnes make vs rightuous. for as sayeth saint Pa [...]le / Christ of god to vs is made wisdome iustice sanctificacyon and redempcion to thintent that (as it is wry­ten) He that rei [...]yseth shuld reioyce in the lord.1. Cor. 1 Saint Paule also teacheth vs yn all his epistles that Iesus Christ is oure iu­stice and that by him we shalbe saved ād by none other.

Nowe seest thou well / that none can do to moche. For of him silf none can do ynou­gh: and that we must take oure comfort of the satisfaction of Iesus Christ. Then whye will some sell vnto vs theyre merytes aud good workes and make vs parttakers of theym: And if it be not that suche ypochristes forsake theyre tru­sting vppon there good workes and that they lerne for to trust vppon the iustice ād satisfaction of Christ they theym sylves shall never be saved. For the Pharesey had done many good workes but bycau­se that he stode well yn hys owne con­ceyte gloryfyed and bosted hym sylf the­rof / [Page] therfore he was forsaken of God.

¶In whate thing lyeth the Christendome. Chap­tre .xiiij.

TKen lyeth the verey Christianyte in this thing / that thou do all thing that Charyte proceding from thy faith iudgeth to be agreable vnto god. And whē thou hast all do­ne with the lest evill that thou canst / that thou iudge thy silfe yet an vnproufitable servaunt / and that by all thy good wor­kes thou hast yet deserved nothing / or yf there be eny thing well done that it apar­tayneth to god albeit that by his goodnes­se he will reward it and that he so reward the goodnesse that he hath done himsilf by his holy sprite beyng in vs. And therfore haue we nothing but that that comyth of god vppon whome we must abyde (for I haue often sayed) Christ is oure iustice that is to sey Christ hath satisfied for vs / not to thintent that we shuld not satisfye but bycause we can not satisfye. And whē one vnderstondeth this he seeth well ho­we he shuld humble him silf byfore God / and in whome he shal seke his helth. And [Page] when we thus distrust in ur silves of oure good workes we shall forsake our silf and stikke all holly to god with a stedfast faith and parfait trust. And so doyng we make force vnto the kingdome of heven.

And this is it that God requyreth of vs and then he holdeth to vs hys promy­se and he iustifieth vs when we dye with suche a trust not for oure workes / but for hys holy name: For he hath promysed vs that we shall be his children. So brought he the children of Israell into the lond of promission / not by theyre meryte (for they were many tyme rebelles / and murmu­red ageynst hym) but to fulfyll hys pro­myse. For he had promysed it to Abrahā / Isaac and Iacob.

So shall not the Christen distrust al­beit he fynde no good in hym sylf / nor yn his owne vertue / but he shall yeld hym sylf hoelly to the mercy of god and axe pardon of his imperfection wyth a perfayt trust consydering howe grete love Christ hath shewed vnto hym. And thus doyng he ge [...]e [...]h an hope and trust yn the good­nesse of God / and beleveth stedfastly that his synnes are forgyven not by his good [Page] workes (for when they be compared vnto the goodnesse requyred of God there ys no comparyson) but by Iesu Christ to whome he putteth his trust. For Iesu Christ possessith the kingdome of heven / by double ryght.

First for bycause he is the sonne of God and verey enheryter of his Royalme.

Secundly bycause he hath gotten hyt by his passyon and deth. Of this secunde ri­ght he hath no nede / and therfore he gy­veth it to all theym that beleve and trust yn hym and yn hys promyses.

For as God the father loveth Christ he loveth likewise all theym that love him & beleve in him.

So there shall none discomfort hī silfe when he shall dye but he must beleve surely that he shalbe saved. And albeit that one have not deserved by his good works yet neverthelesse he must beleve it bicause of the promyse of god. for god hath promysed it to all theym that beleve it. And if we beleve it he owith hyt vnto vs bycau­se of hys promesse and bycause that he ys true.

[Page] But if God had promysed heven vn­to vs bycause of oure workes we shuld ever be vnsure of oure helth for we shuld never knowe howe moche nor howe lōg we must laboure to be saved and shuld be ever in thought that we had done to litell and that more is we shuld never dye ioy­fully. But god wold assure vs of heven / by his promesse to thintent we shuld be certeyn and sure: For he is the truthe that can not lye. And also to thintent that we shuld haue trust ād hope in him / Notwithstonding that after the gretnesse and mul­titude of oure synnes it seme to vs a thing impossible yet alweyes we shall beleve it without ony doubt bicause of his su­re promesse. And whosoever kno­wyth thys he may ioyfully dye and abyde the iudge­ment of God why­che els were yn­tollera­bill.

¶Howe that we shall not sorowe for feare of deth. Chaptre .xv.

[Page] THe helth of a Christen ly­eth not in this life or in that that one lyveth longe yn this world / but rather yn the deth. For we can not be saved but by deth. Therfore the deth in him silf is not yvill but is rather to be desyred. As did saint Paule saint Martyne saint Austyn and many o­ther saintes whiche desired al the deth for in this lyfe there is no proufit / but alwey to sinne more and more / and alweyes vnredy to dye.

Therfore thou shalt diligently studye and exercise thy silf in this present boke / ād in the faith wherof I haue moche spoken of ād then forsaking thy silf entyerly thou shalt trust vnto the grace mercy and good will of god alweyes rather desiring to dye and to be with god then to lyve here ony longer. This shall thy sprite desy­re. for the flesshe can not desyre suche thin­ges. And so shalt thou holde thy silf sted­fastly vnto god beleving that thou art his childe and that he is thy father & that thou belongest to him.

For God hath bought the ageyn and [Page] hath made the his child and his heyre whē thou were yet hys enymye. And if he ha­ue bought the when thou knewest hym not howe moche more will he nowe take the to mercy when thou knowest hym / and when thou axest mercy with a sted­fast fayth and trust in hym. And bycau­se a man can not lyve here without synne therfore he can never satisfye vnto God for hys synnes. And for this cause shall the Christen willingly yeld hym silf vn­to the deth for the love of God: As Iesus Christ hath done for vs. And by suche a willing deth which is taken with a good will by suche fayth and trust / and also by the love that we have to God all synnes are clerely defeated and put awey. For none can do more greate penaunce then to dye wyllingly for to fulfill the will of God.

Therfore thou shalt not be sory for de­th / but thou shalt forsake willingly and with a ioyfull hert all thy goodes and all thy frendes for to obey god. They that die with suche a courage and suche a trust yn god it is a certeyn signe that they be saved And to thintent that none shuld feare or [Page] be discomfort by deth / Christ is first deed him silf and hath takē awey the power of deth. None shall haue horror of the deth / if he haue this feith for it is nowe none o­ther thing but a dore and entre wherby one goith from this lyfe tēporall vnto the life eternall. For christ saieth by the mou­th of the prophete Osee.Osee. 13 1. Cor. 15 O deth I wilbe thy deth. And saint Paule saieth. Deth where is thy victory.

Wherfore yt is moche to be rebuked the folisshe custume and maner of wepyng bewaylyng and takyng of sorowe for the deed as though we had no maner of ho­pe or beleve on the other lyfe. Let the paynems wepe and wayle which haue no hope of the euerlastyng lyfe. I mer­vayle that we be so moche ynfideles se­yng that seint Paul teacheth vs not to be sory for oure frendes deed saying vnto the Thessalonyans: My bretheren we wyll not that ye be ignoraunt of theym that slepe that ys to sey of theym that be deed to1. Tessa. 4 thintent ye shulde not be sory as are other that have no hope. Behold Saynt Pau­le calleth the deth none other thyng but a slepe from the whyche Iesu Christ shall [Page] wake vs at the day of iudgement. And yf we haue suche a feith / as is that wherof I haue nowe spoken of we shall be no­thing sory but rather ioyfull when eny dyeth. Whosoever is sory for suche thing he synneth. For he is sory that the will of god is done. Then let none be sory therfore for it is but all folye and infidelite.

Thou shalt not ordeyne where thou wilt be buryed or whate stone thou wylt haue on thy tombe for it is all pryde and vaynglory and proufiteth nothing / ye yt is grete synne bifore god. For it is all one bifore god if thou be buryed in the churche or in the churcheyard or yn any other place. And all the pompes and ceremonyes wherwith the deed are buryed is more institute for the proufyt and advauntage of the lyving / then to help the deed. For th­ey proufit or helpe nothing at all vnto the deed.

The best preparacyon vnto deth ys to love nothing in this world / to set his hert on none erthly thing: but so to entreate ād vse all temporall thinges that one may be alweyes redy to forsake theym ād to loue better to be with god then here.

[Page] wilt thou nowe knowe who dyeth helthfully as ferre as man may haue knowlege. Me semyth after the scripture that when a man or a woman hath loving cō ­versacion with his neyghboure / or if they be maryed to gyther in an holy love / glad to here talke of god / giving willingli after theyre power for goddis sake / and are not sory or discomforted for the losse of theyre goodes / or of any other adversite willin­gly comforting the desolate and dieth in a stedfast faith and with good will it is to be thought that suche a parsonne shuld be saved.

Nowe forbicause I haue moche spo­ken of the faith and howe we be the child­ren of god I will write howe all estates shuld lyve / and of every estate alone a doctryne after the Gospell and epistles of. S. Paule. And first of monkes ād nonnes.

¶Of the life of Monkes whate it was yn tymes passed. Chaptre .xvi.

[Page] IN tymes passed there were no holyer parsones then monkes. And all they that wold lyve according to the gospell were wont to gyve theym silves vnto that life bycause they had a more gretter occasyon ād help to leade a good lyfe / then with theym of the world. A parsone mought better kepe his symplicite / chastyte / sobryete / humilyte and other vertues in such assemble of holy parsones then he coud do among the seculers and worldly whiche sought but thinges carnall. So was then the lyfe of monkes the fontaygne of christendome. But thou must know that the monkes of that tyme were all other then they of this present tyme. They made no vowes no [...] promyses as they do nowe. None was then constreyned to chastite or to other vertues ageynst his will. They were subiect and obeysaunt vnto the commaundement of theyre Abbot willingly as though god had commaunded theym. For theyre superyours commaunded theym nothing but the commaundementes of God and of the Gospell.

And bycause I may not reherse the [Page] lyfe of all Monkes I wyll speke here of .iiij. maner of Monkes / to thyntent that ye may knowe how the life of monkes is chaunged.

The first monkes was Helyas & He­lizeus / the sonnes of Ionadab / the sonnes of the prophetes / saynt Iohn Baptist / & other lyke. They were parsones lyvyng yn abstynence / yn wyldernesse. But the lyfe of theym hath no maner simily­tude vnto the life of oure monkes nowe a dayes.

Not long after that oure savioure christ is ascended vnto heven / ys there come an other sect of Monkes / of whome wryteth Pi [...]lo and Eusebius. These monkes had theyre begynning of the disciples of saynt Marke. with theym dwelled wymen ād lyued to gyther separat from the people yn sobryete / chastyte and love. And they lauded God with reding of the psal­mes / with fastinges and prayers: And ly­ved hoelly after the life whiche thappost­les had first enterprysed emong whome all thinges were comon.Acto. 4 As wryteth Saynt Luke yn thactes of thappost­les.

[Page] Many have folowed the life of these mo [...] kes here as saint Effrem / saint Machay­re / saint Hierome / saint Heliodore / and many other holy parsones that then were in the world as a man may perceyve in the bokes of saint Iohn Chrysostome.

Of suche life was also saynt Martyne with his bretheren. They were not ydell but writing of bokes and labouring with theyre hondes for to get theyre expences. They made no vowes nor profession. Every one mought eate fast & reade whē he wolde like as did the seculers. They came many tymes to gyther to communyon and prayer. They had no certeyn masses / nor houres to syng dayly. And when yt was noyous vnto theym they mought a­voyde out of the company / for they were not constreyned there to abyde by any professyon. And when a Bisshop or an herd­man dyed they toke custumably one of these monkes for a newe Bisshop and herd­man / for they were then holy and lettered parsones.

After theym came the thyrde secte of monkes / of the whiche was saint Benet / Montanus / Gregory / and other monkes / [Page] of the ordre of saint Benet. In that tyme was the life of monkes sum whate char­ged with a certeyn nombre of Psalmes / with certeyn prayers / with one certeyn habite and ordre and with other ceremo­nyes. Neverthelesse saint Benet dyd not so charge his ordre / but submitted all vnto the discrecyon of the Abbot to dispence chaunge and do all thinges accordinge as he shuld thinke it best convenient after the tyme. And bicause they were men of holye life the [...]ytesins toke of theym to theyre pastores & bisshopes. So came it afterward to passe that the princes and grete parso­nages haue had favoure ād love vnto the cloysters / and haue gyven theym moche goodes and possessions / and haue founded newe monasteryes / so that they be thus multiplied in the worlde / as thou mayst see. And bicause that to moche goodes ād possessions haue be gyven vnto thē they­re good discipline and life is by lytell and lytel brought to nought and corrupted by rychesse. So that they have enterprysed to make sumpluous bnyldinges / costly vestmentes / and haue begonne to eate and drynke delyca [...]ly / haue bought precyous [Page] vessels / chalices / and other ornamentes in theyre churches. So haue they enterpry­sed to lyve / not as monkes but as lordes By these thinges here is coled the spryte and love of God. Thus loving the sprite they haue taken the flesshe ordeyning all theyre holynesse yn foreyn / and out­ward thinges / and ceremonyes / as in reding theyre houres / in singing / in kne [...]g in habytes and many other ceremonyes. But humilite / contemptibilite / sobriete / pacyens and povertie they haue forgetten. And by suche meanes is the life of mon­kes come vnto voluptuousnesse and vnto all vanyte by thabundaunce of richesse. Thus haue they begonne to be ydell / and wold not get theyre expences by laboure of theyre hondes / as it was ordeyned at the beginning. Thus by ydelnesse are thei come vnto all evell and perversite and by grete hepes be they fled out of theyre cloysters Monkes and Nonnes. Then was it ordeyned (as it semith) that bifore saint Bernardes tyme the monkes did make professyon.

After that the life of monkes was so corrupted came saint Bernard to cloyster [Page] and then were the monkes refourmed. Then did they ageyn diligently take theyre astate and began ageyn to charge theyre ordre with profession and promesse and haue made many statutes after the whi­che they mought live / and wherby they might compell men therto for the willing sprite was clere extinct in theym.

After this is comen the .iiij. secte of monkes. As Norbertus / saint Dominyk saint Fraunceys. And of theym are nowe comen many sectes / as the observau [...]tes / freres minors / Collettes / and Mar [...]ās Saint Dominyk hath byn as fertill as saint Fraunceys. And thus be the cloy­sters and monkes multiplied without nō ­bre. But the gretter that the nombre of mō kes and nonnes hath byn the gretelyer hath vertue and charite ben minisshed for they haue begonne to make divysions and partes the one ageinst the other for to knowe whiche of theyre ordres were most holy and better then other and many other folyes.

After this haue the mōkes gottē popes and cardynals of theyre relygion. And also they haue purchased and gotten to [Page] the despyte and contempte one religyon of an other many privileges / pardons and auctoritees to make cōfrayries for the seculers whome thy make parttakers of they­re good workes as though: they dyd mo­re then they are bounde to do. Notwith­stonding that Christ him silf sayeth in the gospell:Lu. 17 After that ye haue done all that to you is commaunded: yet sey ye: we be vnproufitable servauntes we haue done but that whiche we were bound to do.

Thus are the cloysters and monkes multiplied / and all charyte among theym mynysshed. In tymes passed was the ly­fe of monkes a departing from the world / and nowe they are called monkes whiche in the myddes of the world by ād sell / iudge / drynk / eate and be conversaunt like seculers / and yet will still be called monkes or racher religious. They do the better to be called religyous then monkes after the life that they lede nowe. for monkes after the greke worde signyfieth solytary or lyving alone as they were wont to lyve byfore tymes when theyre life was good ād holye. But religyous after the la [...]yne ys bonde and subiect. For whate is now the [Page] life of the religious but a supersticious subiection vnto certeyn vayne ceremonyes. Therfore they may nowe by good reason be called religious that is to sey captyves imprysoned in a ceremoniall life ād all Indaicall / forasmoche as they kepe not they­re ordre liberally / and willingly / but for the most part by constreynt. But there intent is not to be called religyous sor thys cause. For this worde religious betoke­neth sometyme / holy and gyven to the ser­vise of god. And therfore they wolde so be called entending to be taken more holyer then other. Albeit that thappostell sey: If eny man thinke that he is sum whate whē in dede he is nothing / the same deceyveth him silf in his imaginacion.

Alweyes in old tymereyned all ver­tue emong the religious. They haunte [...] not the worldly people ād therfore might they well be called monkes / that is to sey / solitaryes living alone and also religious that is to sey holye and bound vnto all vertue. But nowe ye shall finde no whe­re no gretter eaters / banqueters / drinkers (I dare not sey drūkardes) chidinges nor envy thē emong theym. They thinke that [Page] when they kepe theyre rule outwardly in habite / kneling / becking / singing / reding / fasting / seying of masse / ād in other semblable ceremonyes / that they be then saintes and vertuous / albeit that all these thinges thus done without the sprite and fre will be nothing els bifore god but supersticion pryde and ypochrisie.

Thus do they dayly encrease theyre supersticious ceremonyes trusting therun to bicause they haue not the same feyth & sprite that the religious had in tymes pa­ssed. Beforetymes the [...]ove of God stered theym to do suche thinges. Nowe they do it all of a necessite as though they coude not be saved without suche thinges / ma­king to theym ydols and Goddes of the workes of theyre hondes. Then ho­we is it nowe a religious lyfe? I se no­thing wherfore one shuld entre ynto reli­gyon.

¶Whether the life of a Monke be better then the lyfe of a comon Eytesyn. Chaptre .xvij.

[Page] THe life of monkes as it is nowe vsed in the worlde is none other thing but a secte and theryn lyeth no more holynesse then in the life of a good housholder. wherfore the state that the mōkes become to nowe a dayes is moche to be playned. And if thou wilt knowe that I sey truth cōpare the life of a good honsholder vnto the life of a good monke / & behold whiche agreeth most vnto the doctrine of the gos­pell. The monke is obeysaunt vnto hys Abbot / Pryour or warden. The housholder vnto his pastor or herdman in that it pleasith him to commaund him in fastin­ges holydayes and suche like and that many tymes more willingly then the monke to his Abbot.

The monke promyseth povertye but he never wanteth as seith Saynt Bar­nard. He is fedde and nourisshed of the goodes of other gayned by the laboure of other. He gyveth to none but recey­veth every where. The housholder liveth not of almesse as doth the monke or [Page] frere but gayneth his lyving with the la­bour of his hondes / ye he giveth almesse according to his power. So is better he­rin the housholder then the religious: [...] 20 For Christ him silf saieth that it is more blessed to give then to receive.

The thirde thing that the monke pro­miseth is chas [...]ite / neverthelesse the state of matrimonye pleaseth god also / for he himsilf hath institute it. The monke promisyth to kepe the rule of a man. The housholder is content with the promise that he hath made at the font of baptesme so that he may kepe it well. For the good life lieth not in moche promising / but in kepīg wel that whiche one hath promised. The monke reioyseth bicause saint Fraunceys or saint Dommike is his superiour. The housholder holdeth god for his superiour. The monke hath the rule of a man. The housholder the rule of god / that is to say / the gospell. Then whie will the Monke holde him silf more holy then the comon housholder? God is egally like nighe vn­to all theym that love him with all theire hert and lyve according to the gospell [...] be he monke or chanone / reguler or seculer.

[Page] The Abit of Monkes nor theyre ceremo­nyes can not helpe theim when their hert is not good / likewise as the seculer abit cā not hurte the seculer man when the herte is spirituall. For the perfection of Christē dome lyeth not in mete or drinke or in other outward workes / as is fasting / praing with the mouth / watching / reding / syn­ging / making obeysaunce with the hede / kneling or in eny other outward thing semblable. As testifieth saint Paule vnto the Romains / saying: The kingdome of god is nother mete nor drinke / but it is rightuousnesse / peace / and ioy in the holy goost. If thy hart and entent seche none other thing but the honour and will of God / if thou reioyse that thou maist do and suffer all thing for the love of god then art thou sure that thou lovest God and that he lo­veth the.

This let every religious k [...]owe that he may not thinke that he shalbe iustified by his outward workes / or that he is eny thing better then the seculer man: As at this day (god amend it) we se that many religious esteme theym silves so holye / as though they alone were christen. And he­rof [Page] many tymes the seculers are cause whiche playne theyre life when they behold the life of the religious. They prayse the state of religion bicause they regard onely the outward workes and pleyne that god hath not called theym to suche a life. whē the religious here this they glorifie heryn trust in theyre workes and thinke that it is even so and that they be more holy thē the other.

This is the most daungerous temp­tacyon that a religious may haue for by this temptacyon they beginne many ty­mes to trust and abyde vppō theyre good workes notwithstonding that they be of­ten done ageynst theyre will whiche can never be good. As at this day we se howe many monkes and nonnes lyve in theyre cloysters ageynst their will: And all that they do procedeth from an hart constrey­ned and not voluntary. And out dare th­ [...]y not go for shame bicause they haue o­therw [...]se promysed. And they curse ofty­mes all evill to theym that haue councey­led theym and brought theym into that religyon / aud wolde fayne that theyre cloyster were bu [...]ned. And so be they never [Page] content in theyre hart nether can finde eny rest of conscience and be then moche ferther from god then they were whē they were seculers. Suche people oftymes do many evelles toward theym silves by impacience and rebellion ageinst god. They do no­thing by. love that they haue to god or bycause that they beleve theym silves to be the childrē of god but onely by constreynt and ageynst theyre will. And when they must dye they trust and stikke vppon su­che workes by theim done ageynst they­re hartes and by constraynt of theyre or­dre and thinke even thus.

Behold dere lord: my life hath byn to me hard and bitter: I haue oftymes had evill will: I haue alweyes abiden in my Cloyster / I haue kept myn ordre / I haue valiantly fought vnto the ende / gyve me nowe the crowne of glorye / and the e­verlasting lyfe. In all the worlde ys there not a more daungerous synne then this perversyte and ypochrisye.

It were better for suche people to voy­de from theyre cloyster: For synners knowyng theyre synnes and requy­ryng pardone and grace be receyved [Page] vnto grace where as suche ypochrites are reproved of god: As we may sein the gos­pell where god received vnto grace Ma­rye Magdaleine / saint Mathew / the good theef and meny other open sinnars: But he hath lest the scribes and phariseys in theyre blyndnesse whiche trusted on theyre workes.

Ye fathers and mothers behold well whate ye do when ye put your children in to religion: For ye are causes of all theyre sinnes. And it suffiseth theim not to lyve alone in suche abusion b [...]t they teache it theim silves vnto other / whome they write in theire confraynes and make thē par­ticipant of theire good workes which procede often from an evill willed sprite whiche can never be good bifore god for God will no constreined service. Nether is there any worke agreable vnto god but su­che as procede from faith / charite and out of a willing hart. And if God wold haue suche a constreyned service he wold con­streyne the devels to pray moche to syng / moche to watche moche and to do suche o­ther thinges.

But god will none of oure workes / [Page] when he hath not oure hertes. And all the workes that we do daily be agreabill vn­to god if with all oure hartes we love hī / beleve and trust in him. And all the wor­kes done without suche faith and loue be sinne and dampnabill bifore god / ād if we s [...]ikke vppon theim as though they were good workes. And so were it better for the to go out of thy cloyster and to be an open sinnar and to knowlege thy misdo­ing bifore god as did the publican then so for to trust vnto thy workes as though god for theim did owe vnto the the king­dome of heven.

But thou saiest: I haue promysed it I must abide.Iudi. 11. Mar. 6 I sey ageyne: None is bo­ [...]nde to hold a promyse whiche is contra­rie vnto his helth: as did Iepte and Herode whiche had byn better to breke theyre othes then to holde theire promyses. For none may promise nor holde a thing that is cōtrary vnto hys helth. S. Fraunceis and saint Dominike had lever that thou were saved in keping the gospel then dāpned trusting vppon thy workes. And it is better to be shamed here bifore the worlde then bifore god.

[Page] But whate is it that thou hast promysed when thou madest thy profession? hast thou promised that thou wilt not live af­ter the promise that thou hast made at thy baptesme? Tho [...] saiest nay / But therfore saiest thou I am entred into religion for the better to fulfill the promyse made at baptesme. Then whan thou perceyvest that thou livest worse in the monasterye / then thou didest when thou were seculer / whi [...] darest thou not take ageyn the life & astate wherin thou maist worke better for thy helth without offending any parsone but rather amend other? Or if thou be en­tred into religion for to seche the helth of thy soule and findest there more noise en­vye drinking bankettes diuisions / hatre­des then from whens thou camest thou maist alweyes sey I am come hyther to amend my lyfe. And I finde that I waxe daily worse: therfore I will goo there I may amend my life and serve God with more grete rest of conscience. Therfore I tell the that it is better to live well in the world then yll in the monasterie & to trust vppon thy good workes.

But thou must thinke not to leve [Page] the cloister to haue libertie and carnall pleasure but onely to serve God more frely as saieth Saint Paule. Give not youre libertie an occasion vnto the flesshe. And none can give the better knowlege herofGa. 5. then thine ownr conscience when thou axest it counceil for it deceyveth none but saith alwey manifestly the trouth.

The world hath likewise his daun­giers and his perilles and it is impossible to live in the world without sinne. Therfore when the religious seith that he may be saved in his cloister / [...]er hym a­bide there although he haue there moche to suffre. But when thou percey vest that in thy cloister thou workest ageinst thy helth / thou maist then retourne into the world without synne / and lyve according to the Gospell although that it be gre­te shame bifore the worlde: For it is better to obey vnto god / then vnto men / as sayd Saint Peter in tha­ctes of thappo­stles.Act. 5

¶Howe it is that the Monkes go not forward in spiritua [...]l life but waxe often worse. Chap­tre .xviij.

WIlt thou knowe whie they live nowe sloughtfully in the monasteries and wherfore that there be so many that wold faine thei were out? This happeth for none other cause but that they never entred for that entent that they shuld have entred. One entreth there of necessite / to haue his expences: An other to become a greate prelate: The thirde to live Idelly & to haue good tymes. Many for vaine glory to be repu­ted holy / ād devout / to be honoured of the comon people / or so in preching to shewe theym silves that they be wise. None ta­keth that astate with suche a sprite and courage as sometyme did saint Fraunceis or saint Benet. And therfore they prouf [...]t nothing. But the longer they be there / the more sloughtfull they waxe to do good. For to be ydell and to be nourisshed deli­catly dulleth vs and maketh the flesshe rebell / so that they are the more enclined vnto lubricite vnclēnesse hatred envye and [Page] slought then the seculers that labour with theyre hondes.

Some se the religious rede moche praysing watche goo wolwared and were meke clothīg: And this pleaseth them. They get a pleasure to serve god in suche a sort. They here sey that euery body promiseth the kingdome of heven vnto the observa­untes / so that they kepe well theire rule / and by this meane conceive they sprite ād courage / to lerne this life bicause they con­sider not what thing is promised theim if they kepe well the promises made at theyre bapt [...]sme. And after that they be thus entred into the cloister they here of none other thing / they lerne none other thing but outward workes / as reding singing / watching fasting and other like ceremonies. Thei know none other thing but that the summe of all perfection and helth resteth in these thinges. So think they that they haue the principall part of all perfection & that they are sure to be saved when with grete vnlust and tediousnesse they haue accomplisshed and observed these outward thinges And bicause they thinke thus thei abide hanging and trusting in suche thin­ges. [Page] And so come they never vnto the ho­ly and blissed sprite of saint Fraunceys or of s [...]int Bene [...].

They haue never experiēce howe it stō ­deth with a spirituall hart: for they know not whate thing they shuld do with info­rth. They thinke that all lyeth in outwa­rd workes and bicause they come not vn­to the sprite therfore abide they so coide we [...]y and slought [...]ull. And so recule they more bakward then they goo ferward in go­odnesse. And comonly when they haue li­ved in theyre religion twenty or thirty yere they are lesse worth as vnto the purpose of helth then they were at theyre en­tre. For they haue nought gotten there but a good estimacyon of theym silf of theyr good workes supersticion and ypoch­risye.

They haue not yet ones tasted the sobrie­te and lytell estymacyon that the spiritu­all parson bereth in his hert of him silf. for they abide alweys in the flesshe and in the lettre of theyre rule and of the com­maundementes. And they do nought by love nor with good hert. And as long [Page] as they kepe thus theyre ordre they are reproved of God with the Pharesey yn the .xviij. Chaptre of Saint Luke.Lu. 18

For if the lawe of Moyses and the Ce­remonyes whiche God him silfe did or­deyne might iustifie nor save none (as wryteth Saint Paule the Apostle yn all his epistles) howe moche lesse may a mon­ke be iustified by his rule and ceremony­es whiche be institute by men. wherfore we must serche all in the hert and in the sprite wherby we may be iustified.

For the outward workes whiche we do without the sprite be sumtyme called flesshe by Christ in the Gospell.Iohn. [...].

Suche flesshe proufiteth nothing: it is the sprite that quykeneth as Christ saieth.

That is to sey: All outward and foray­ne thinges seme they never so holy yf yt procede not from the sprite fulfylled with fayth and love. That is to sey: if it be not done by Charyte and love ioyfully by the mocyon of fayth and trust that we have to God. All suche thing seme it ne­ver so holy or haue it never so goodly apparaunce proufyteth nothing but rather hurteth and maketh an ypochryte. For [Page] seing that god is a sprite he lovith nothing but that whiche procedeth from the sprite as he him silf saieth in the gospell.

Saint Paule ostymes calleth suche outward workes elementes that is to seyGa. 4 Commencementes and entrees into chri­stendome: as though he wold sey that su­che thinges are ordined and institute for theym that begyn to take vppon them the christianite: As the children of the scole lerne first theyre.Col. 2 A. B. C. He warneth vs also that we suffer not oure silves to be deceyved & that we serve not nor abide sub­iectes to suche elementes / but willeth that we shuld procede vnto the sprite. For whate proufit shuld a scoler hane to abide all his life in his. A. B. C. & lerne. no ferther? No more proufit bring the workes wit­hout the sprite and feith. Moreover oure saviour Christ calleth theym mannes constitucions saying.Mat. 15 They honour me in vayne teching doctrines and commaundemen­tes of men.1. Tim. 4 Saint Paule also calleth them bodily exercitacion / that is to sey thinges wherby oure body is onely exercised / bu­syed and letted to do worse. They of thē silves proufit nothing vnto oure soules: [Page] For he saieth / exercitaciō or bodily labour is litell thing proufitable / but mekenesse proufiteth to all th [...]nges. And this is bi­cause that we do it with the body onely & that therby oure hert and sprite is not to­urned to god. Suche outward workes a­re moche mocked of the prophete Esaye / where he speketh in the parsone of god in this maner:Esa. [...] Offre me no more sacrifice: Sence to me is abhominacion: I will no more suffre the festes of the newe mone / nor of the sabbat / nor other festes: My soule hath hated youre calendes and solemp­nitees. And ageyn: Heven is my seate / the erthe is the fotestole of my fete:Esa. 66 whate is the house that thou cāst bild to me? And whiche is the place of my rest? My hond hath made all these thinges saieth the lord God.

But wherunto shall I take regarde but vnto the pore and contrite sprite and vnto the fearer of my wordes. He that maketh sacrifice of an oxe as he that slewe a man. He that killeth a shepe as he that br­ayned a dogge he that offreth oblacion as he that offered the bloude of a hogge. He that remembreth the eusence as he that [Page] blissed an ydoll. They haue chosen all these thinges in theyre wayes and theire soules haue takē pleasure in theire abhommacions. wherfore I will also reherce they­re illusions and deceites. And I will bring vnto theym the thinges that they feared bic [...]use I haue called and there was none that answered I haue spoken and they haue not herd. Thinke well on these wordes you all that make suche estimacion of your Ceremonies / festes / obla­cions / sensinges / and all other outward workes. for albeit that ye will sey that all these wordes be spoken of I [...]es that abode obstinate in the lawe of Moyses: shall they not? ye / ought they not? Likewise to be vnderstond of all theym that folowe the I [...]es in suche rites? As do all they that thinke to do grete pleasure to god by theyre ceremonies / sumptuous bildinges singinges / pleying at the organs / sensin­ges / diversitees of abites and a thousand other dreames / whiche thinges may be done by any envious parson proude parsonye verely also by a murtherer or a the [...]e as well as by a verey christen. But to love god with good hert / to recognise his im­perfection / [Page] to pray for his enemies to socoure by verey loue his christen brother / to [...]ere paciently and with a ioyfull hart all that god sendeth: these thinges can none do but he that is all holly given vnto god They that be suche be onely verey religi­ous byfore god. For onely suche do fulfill there rule. For they do observe it and ke­pe it ioyfully / and with a will fre & good. But otherwyse when one doth all by constreynt and tediousnesse it is but a small comfort.

But that there be nowe so fewe religious having the verey feling of the sprite / this is for none other cause but (as I ha­ue seid bifore) forbicause that they ētre not with suche a courage & entent as they shuld do and that they be not enstructed as it aperteyneth.

Therfore whosoever will entre ynt [...] religion let him be ware aboue all thinges that he entre not vppon thintencion to deserve the kingdome of heven by his wat­chinges / fastinges / abstinences / prayers / singinges / redinges / and other thinges ly­ke. For if thintent be suche / he trusteth yn hys workes / and becometh an ypo­chrite. [Page] And the more he doth of suche workes the more great ypochriste he becomyth And so abideth he alweyes a merchaunte with god for he serveth for wages. But if thou wilt entre into religion thou must do it for the love of God bicause god hath made vs his children for to thanke him a­geyn and to fle the synne whiche reyneth emong the worldly. For he that doeth th­us he thinketh that he can never do servi­ce ynough vnto god for that he hath receyved alredy: for loue knoweth no measure. He laboureth not for to get the eternall lyfe as the merchaunt for his wages / but o­nely to give thankes of the goodnesse that god hath done vnto him alredy bycause that he beleveth and knoweth of trouth that he is the childe of God and his heyre.

And therfore when eny hath the feith wherof we haue bifore spoken he is to be praysed that by thankfulnesse doth separate him silf from the worlde for to fle the daungyers therof. For the worlde hath a thousand occasyons to synne / principally for yong people. Wherfore this is not a thing to be dispraysed that a parson yelde him in a good religion to amend his lyfe. But if [Page] one fynde nowe in the Monasteryes mo­re debates / drinkinges / banquettes / pom­pes / hatred / envye and ypochrysye then in the worlde it were moche better to abyde out / ye or if one be entred to voyde out ra­ther then to lerne there to haunt suche life. For one must go thider to amend his life / not to waxe worse.

But thou mayst saye: I haue made profession and promesse: I must abide. I haue seid bifore that none is bounde to holde / ye that none ought to hold eny promy­se that is contrary vnto his helth. Herken to this that saint Paule sayeth:2. Tessa. 3 We com­maunde you bretheren by the name of Iesu Christ that ye withdrawe your silves from every brother that walketh inordi­natly and not after the institucion whiche ye receyved of vs. And ageyn: If he that is called a brother emong you be a fornicatour or covitous or a worshippper of images1. Cor. 5 or a rayler or a dronkard or an extor­cyonar / wyth hym that ys suche see that ye eate not. And in an other place: God hath not called vs to lyve in strife and discencion but in peace and love.

¶Osparentes that will put they­re children into religion. Chaptre .xix.

HEre must we warne the paren­tes that they be ware to put theire children into religion without advice whiche they do often bi­cause they seche more theyre owne proufit then the helth of theyre children. For so­me do it bicause they haue many children / and to thintent that they may mary the o­ther the more richely they put one or .ij. hauing some bodily imperfection into religiō Some also do it to haue honour by theyre children bicause they be made monkes prestes or prelates. Other do it by hope to be holpe and socoured of theyre children.

Behold howe that by suche meanes there be so fewe that entre into relygyon with suche int [...]ncion as I haue seid abo­ue. Hit is not to be preysed but gretely to be dispreysed when by suche occasion eny entreth into religion. Therfore shulde the parentes se first whether theyre children were enclyned therunto or not / and whe­ther they dyd desire it or not [...] and for whate [Page] cause they desired it. for if they be not enclined therunto whye wilt thou lese thē as though none mought be saved yn the worlde?

Howe dyd men bifore that monkes came into the world? And why were not thappostles mōkes? Ye why were ye not monkes your silves that wolde so haue your children? God (as sayeth Saint Paule the apostle) loketh on no mannes parson whether he be monke or seculer man or woman / nobill or ignobill / But he onely is agreabill vnto God that loveth him with all his hert be he housholder or preste / religious or lay yt ys all one to him. And as Saynt Peter saieth in tha­ctes of thappostles.Acto. 10 There is no respect of parsones bifore God.

And in these thinges are manye ty­mes moche giltye the religious that with fayre wordes drawe yought vnto they­re cloysters.

Some tymes the children theym silves because when they se the religyous syng / rede / pray / watche / knele / avale theyre hedes and do suche lyke thynges they esteme that to do suche thinges ys an [Page] holy life. And get a will to do likewise.

And when they haue byn there a yere th­ey repent that ever they there entred: for they haue not the sprite that may comfort theym / and to avoyde they are asshamed / and so make theyre profession ageynst theire will. And even as they began with a cold courage / so abode they comunely cold and chaunged f [...]om god. Wherfore it were well done to absteyne him silfe from ma­king of suche profession vnto thage of .xxx yeres / as biforetyme none was sacred a prest bifore thage of .xxx. yeres in whiche tyme one might prove him silf whether he might kepe his rule or not. for we see ma­ny yong people promesse chastite but few can kepe it.

¶Of the life of Nonnes and Chanonesses. Chap­tre .xx.

ONe may se nowe a dayes many monasteryes of Nonnes in the whiche they syng and rede mo­che. And this I merveyle at from whence comith theyre synging. For seing they vnderstond not whate they sy­ng I can not tell whate proufit it comith [Page] to.1. Cor. 14 For saint Paule defendeth to syng yn the churche (that is to sey ī thassēble of the christen) but in a tongue that all may vn­derstond. Then the synging of Nonnes / can not be agreabill vnto God seing that they do not vnderstōd it. No maner spiri­tuall ioy can they take therby nor none a­mendement but do all by constreynt of theyre rule and ageynst theyre hert many tymes seching nothing els but vayne glorye Moche better were it for theym to rede theyre houres in a langage that they vnder­stode. for when the sprite is not adressed vnto god the synging or reding proufiteth nothing. for if synging without vnderstō ding plesed God the birdes / lutes / herpes and other instrumentes shuld moche plea­se god. Then when eny singeth without vnderstonding it proufyteth him litell and therfore it were moche better that the Nō nes and other religious did reade and sing theyre houres and theyre psaulter in their comune langage. Paula and Eustochium and also other ladyes of whome writeth saint Hierom did reade in theyre tyme theire service in the latyn tōgue but that was bicause they did well vnderstond it. And [Page] here [...]y is it nowe come to passe that oure Nonnes singe and reade in latyn and most for vaine glory bicause they vnderstond it not. They thinke that the latyn tongue soundeth more plesauntly bifore the world. Nowe is there a thing in the life of the nō nes moche to be dispreysed and that whi­che is contrary to the Gospell / hit is that they are so sumptuously clothed and ap­pareyld. It was the custume of old ty­me (whiche I do not approve) that suche religious wymen went bareheded and ba­re nekked and so came to churche. This maner hath the bisshoppes wisely repro­ved and chaunged / and haue ordeyned th­at they shuld come to churche theyre he­des covered like other wymen. Thus when eny yong woman promysed chasti­te the bisshoppe covered her hede and her nekke to thintent that they shuld not be seen and that none shuld couvite her. And bicause there were then no monasteries suche virgins kept theym silves in the hou­ses of theyre parentes and went not out but with theyre parentes and that onely for to goo to masse or to the sermon / or to visit the martyres in pryson.

[Page] One might lightly knowe them by the clothe that they bare about theyre hedes and nekkes.

After this Marcella and Paula did enterpryse to bilde a monastery at Rome for that suche virgyns did not lyve without daunger in the houses of theyre parentes. Thus hath the cloisters of Nonnes takē theyre beginning whiche were wo [...]t to get theyre expences by the laboure of theyre hondes. They sang not as do Nonnes nowe a dayes but red psalmes working. Thus served they God in all obedience / chastite / laboure simplicite / and mekenesse / Theyre rayment was simple to dispyse the world. Theyre hedes were covered to thintent that they might see noman and noman theym. But nowe (God amend it) all is tourned to pryde in suche maner of blasing facyon and costly yn all theyre appareill and lyving whiche was gyven theym in token of sobriete / chastite / and mekenesse so that I can not see whate ho­lynesse there is in the Nonnes lyving as it is nowe vsed in the worlde.

It is more agreabill vnto the worlde then vnto god. For simplicite contemptibilyte / [Page] po [...]ertie and humilite whiche god requi­reth is nowe bannisshed and reproved. All is tourned into pryde excesse and co­stly apparell as though in these thinnges lay parpayt spiritualtye and holynesse of religyon.

¶Of the Cloysters of Sisters / and of theyre lyfe. Chap­tre .xxi.

There be also divers cloisters of Sisters whole life semeth to be more according to the gospell / For to labour with theyre hondes and to helpe one an other by love is a christen life. And saint Paule bosteth him silf in his epistles that he hath gotten his expences in the laboure of his hondes exorting vs strongly to do likewise. As vnto the Tessalonians / we haue not (sa­ieth he) eaten oure brede for nought and without getting of it. And heryn is better the life of sisters then of the nonnes for they are alweyes diligent in theyre labour as in spynning / knetting / wesshing / and other like occupacyons. So shuld all par­sones do. for to be ydell and to be, worthe [Page] moche is impossible. And (as said saint Ierome) there is nothing worse in a good purpose then idelnesse. And therfore they of Egipt wold receive none to be a monke if he were not redy to gayne his expences in labouring. Saint Austyne holdeth thē for heretikes that sey that religious shuld not laboure.

But whie are all the religious at this day so corrupted and dissolute but bicause they are become so riche that they will no more labo [...]re. wherfore to be moche idell to ete and drinke dilicatly / to haue all ma­ner of case and yet to abide in goodnesse / is a thing impossible. wherfore when the monasteryes shalbe empouerisshed ageyn the monkes will beginne to laboure with theyre hondes / and then will the religious waxe better. For bodely laboure is com­maunded to all parsones by the comma­ [...]nd [...]ment that God gaue vnto Abd̄ whē he said:Gen [...] . [...]. In the swet of thy face thou sha­lt eate thy breade. Likewise saith the scripture that he that laboureth not shulde not eate.2. T [...]ssa. Hereby may ye se wherby it cometh that the religious and prestes be so cor­rupted. This is by none other cause but [Page] that they be ydell and haue to moche good wherby all humylite and simplesse / that was yn Iesus Christ and his appo­stles yn theym ys holly perysshed and quē ched. But yet is there an unperfection e­mong these Sisters moche to be disprey­sed / it is that they laboure to make to sumptuous and pompous edyfices / monaste­ryes and chapelles / wilbe easyly lodged / and are to supersticyous yn garnysshing with grete cost there chapelles and aul­ters makīg sumptuous aulter tables aulter clothes courteyns and other thinges lyke whiche is all nothing but pryde pompe and concupiscēce of the yien. As sayth saint Iohan.Iohn. 2. And albeyt that some do it / of a good entent thinking by suche thin­ges to do grete service vnto god / yet is it all nought els but abomynacyon byfore hym / he setteth not by suche thinges. As witnessith the prophete Esaie.Esa. [...]6. For he lo­veth all symplicite humylite and pouertye aswell outward as ynward as he hath shewed in all hys conuersacion and doctrine. And this knowe ye my dere sisters ād ye also my relygious bretherē that ye robbe from the poore all the goodes that ye [Page] dispose and spende vppon suche pompous buyldinges and ornamentes of your cha­pelles for whē one entreth ynto your monasteryes one can se nothing like vnto the povertie of Iesu Christ whiche had not where he mought rest hys heed. But contraryly your monasteries seme rather the palaces of kinges or princes then housesLuce. 9. of hospitalite to harbour your silues and your▪ poore nedy bretheren. Remember ye not that good will requyre the bloude of the poore of your hondes bicause they dye for hunger by your outrage.

There is nothing that planteth covyty­se yn the hertes of the religious and that maketh theym begge but this superfluyte and outrage for without these thinges hereit were no nede to begge thei myght get honestly theyre expences yn the laboure of theyre hondes and myght do almesse hol­somly of that that they shuld haue superfluous / for they shuld fynde worke y­ [...]o [...]gh: And vnhappy were he that could not get hys expenses / for al the worlde wolde take pleasure to helpe theym to get it / and to se theyre holynesse pea [...]ible symplicite and conuersacyon. So truly [Page] shuld they live pleasing god and accordīg to the doctrine of the gospell. But one mi­ght saye whate shuld they do if [...]ny mis­fortune happened vnto theym as of pesti­lence or of other thing? I answere you that it is a demaund of vnbeleve. Thinke you that God wold leve theym in daun­ger? I certifie you that in suche a case he shulde not thinke him silf happy that mo­ught not assist and ayde theym for the lord wold move the hertes to do it. For he never leveth his true servauntes and child­ren in daunger if they trust in him. But nowe when one seith there sumptuous e­difices so manyfold garnisshinges of aul­ters and ymages courtey [...]s of silke and gold and many other costly thinges whi­che truely represent nothing but vanyte vnto spiritull hartes one can in no wyse take pleasure therī albeit that the worldly make moche therof and prayse it moche bycause they knowe but the flesshe ād lettre whiche sleyth.

¶Howe man and wife shall lyve to­gyther a doctrine after the Gos­pell. Chaptre. xxij.

[Page] OUre savioure Christ hath commaunded nothing so streytly as to love one another ye also to love oure enemyes / as it is writen in saint Mathewe where he sayeth.Mar. 5 Love youre enemyes. Then how moche the more shuld the man and wif love the one the other whiche are but one body.Ephe. 5 Saint Paule teacheth that the mē sh­all love theyre wives. But (alas) there ar but fewe that knowe howe they shall lo­ve the one the other. For if thou love thy wife onely bicause she is thy wife and bi­cause she serveth and pleaseth the after sensuall appetite of the flesshe in beautye / no­blesse / richesse▪ and suche like / this is no lo­ve bifore god. Of suche love speaketh not saint Paule: for suche love is among har­lottes ye among brute bestes. But thou shalt love her bicause that she is thy sister in the christen feith and that she is enheri­ter togyther with the of the glory of god / and bicause ye serve togyther one god by­cause that ye have receyved togither all one baptesme and semblable sacramentes. Thou shalt also love her for her vertues / [Page] as shamefastnesse chastite diligēce sadnesse pacyence attemperaunce secresye obedien­ce and other gostly vertues albeit that she be poore of a small lynage and foule. For ye may not love the woman b [...]t that is in her that is sey vertues ād the grace of god. Also thou maist not hate her / but thou must hate the imperfection that is yn her as her vices detraction / lakke of sha­me lak of chastite vayne and ydell woor­des / gloutony dishoneste sloughtfulne­sse wrath pryde and other vices. Lykewi­se shall the woman love or hate that that is yn the man. The man shall reprove his wise by good maner when she shall make eny faute without hating of her ha­ving alweis pacyence with her as with a frayle vessell / as teacheth saint Petre. W­hen suche a good and holye love is bytwene the man and wife then shall the man be [...]. Peti. 3. the hede and the woman the lesse. The wife shall willingly serve her husbond as her lorde.Ephe. 5. The man shal love hys wife and honour her as his owne body. For although the man be the hede he may not therfore suppresse and dispise his wife but he must dyligently defend her and kept [Page] her from ewill as his owne body / he shall more enforce hym silf / that his wife love hym / thē that she feare hym. He must love her as god hath loved vs while we were yet hys enemyes and yet enfect with oure synnes. So shal the husbond love his wife / albeit that she be foule or difforme / he shal not be hard or cruel vnto her but shal support her pacyentli and shall warne her swetely. For if thou be hede whye wilt thou hurt or dispise thy body / that is to sey thy wife.

The man shall defende warne teache and conduyte his wife / taking hede that she clothe not her silf to sumptuously and pō ­pousely and that she were no Ievelles / for veyne glory. For wymen be natural­ly gyven vnto suche folyes vnto brague­ry and pryde. It is not expedient that a christen woman shuld appareill her out­wardly as do the paymems for scar­cely is she the wife of one man alone that so costly doth appareil her silf outwar­dly aboue her astate. Also they that do so gyve vnto many occasion of evill de­sires. And seing thou hast a husbond whye wilt thou go so to please other. [Page] Herin shall the man be the hede and lorde over the woman and shall defende suche superfluite and vaine glory in his wife. He shall teche her and exhort her that she do her diligence to please by vertue and holy conversacion and not by Iewelles and costly appareil. For with suche thinges do the most folisshe wymē of all garnisshe theym silves.

Therfore shall the husbond take hede that the wife kepe measure herm. Then shall the wife obey vnto her husbond as vnto her so vereygne / and shall love hym as her owne body shall honour and feare him as her lord. For so was Sara subiect vnto her husbond Abraham and she cal­led him her lord [...] 1. Pe. 3. as writeth saint Petre. So did Monyca the mother of saint Au­styn honour her husbond. And when he was wrothe or dronken she tempted him not / but after that it was passed she war­ned hym of yt by swete wordes. So shuld all good wymen do vnto theyre husbondes.

Thus shall there be no sensuall or carnall love in the state of mariage but a god­ly and a spirituall. Then shall both man & [Page] wife helpe the one other for to get theire expences. The woman shall take care for that that must be done within the house and the man without. For suche a life is moche plesaunt vnto god / as it is wry­ten in Eccles [...]astes in this maner. In thre hath my sprite had pleasure whiche are approved bifore god and man.Eccle. [...]5 The concord of bretheren / the love of thy neyghboure / and the man and wife well agreing togi­ther emong theym silves. Suche a life in mariage is pleasaunt vnto god for he hym silf did institute mariage in paradise.

The man shall alweyes attribute so­mewhate vnto the woman for she is a frayle vessell. They shall live sumtyme also in chastite with one purpose and accord to thintent they may fast and pray.

It is also alweyes best that in maria­ge the like take the like. For if a poore mā take a riche or nobill woman / she wold be the hede / and that is ageynst the teaching of saint Paule. And if the poore maydon take a riche and nobill husbond she is not felowe to h [...]m norlsady of the house / but a servaunt for he knowelegith her not for his wife / but holdeth her as his servaunt [Page] and drugge: And this is like wise ageynst the theching of saint Paule. For by suche meane the woman hath not gotten an husbond but a tyraunt and a violent lord. Nether was Eve made of the fete of Adam / but of his syde. Neverthelesse when the riche is ioyned in maryage with the poore / and love well the one the other after such maner as I have seyd so that the man be alweyes the hede and that he dispyse not his wife it is a christen life be they riche or poore / nobill or vnnoble. For in this ma­ter the will of god is more to be considered then povertye or richesse.

¶Howe the parentes shall teache and go­verne theyre children after the Gospell. Chaptre .xxiij.

NOthing in all Christendome ys so necessary as to teache and go­verne the children / as it apper­teyneth. For for defa [...]te of go­vernaunce of theym comyth all evilles in­to the worlde. And oftymes it is the faute of the parentes that the childrē be nought bicause that they kepe not them silves frō gyving theym evill ensample whiche is a [Page] grete and daungerous sinne. This is the cause of the moste part of the synnes that be done in the worlde / wherfore it beho­veth that the parentes take good hede th­at they governe theyre children well and [...]rafiely from the begynnyng of theyre yo­ught▪ For heryn may they do service mo­che acceptable vnto God.

Then first▪ shall the parentes do theyre diligence to make theyre children to ler­ne good maners: And for to kepe theym from stameryng / lysping / and pronoun­syng theyre wordes by half / whiche vyce comyth oftymes by theyre nouryces whi­che speke so to the children and whiche speche those children lerne and folowe.

And this that they lerne so yn youth can they scarcely leve. Ye must also take good hede that no body make theym a frayed of eny thyng yn theyre yought: For they be sumtyme ferefull all theyr lyfe af­ter. And when they become to tha­ge of .vi. or .vij. yeres at the vttermost / let one send theym to the scole to some good man that feareth God.

Theyre parentes shall often enstruct theym of God: howe that Iesus Chryst [Page] verey god and verey man died for vs on the crosse / and howe that we shall haue another better life after this life here and howe that god hath made and created all thinges and that all that is in the worlde belongeth to him / and howe that he lende­th it vs for to lyve with all and to vse it well. And howe that it is he that nouriss­heth and entreteyneth vs: And how that we must trust and stikke vppon him / and that he will kepe vs well from all evilles And so shall they enstruct theym by lytell and lytell vnto the f [...]ith and trust in God. And howe that God ys theyre father and they hys [...]hyldren / as we have shewed bifore:

Wherfore is moche to be playned the e­vell custume that is emong the Christen: that they ronne into so ferre contreyes on pilgremages and leve theyre children and meynye at home without hede and governour. It were a thousand tymes better that they abode at home / and lerned they­re children in the lawes of god. For God requyreth not that we shulde go on pilgremages. he never commaunded nor pre [...]sed theym. for it is nothing but all incredulite [Page] and lakke of feith that maketh vs to ron­ne here and there and to [...]che God in one certeyn place whiche is like mighty in all places. But god hath commaunded al his people to governe and teache theyre children and theyre maynye / as writeth saynt Paule vnto Tymo [...]he saying:1. Tim. 5 If eny one take not charge and care for his owne ād principally for his manye / he hath renyed the feith / and is worse then an infidele or paynyme. Who is he that wold not trēble hering these wordes of this holy apostell O ye fathers & mothers masters & mast­resses take these wordes into your hartes for it is grete perill to be worse then a paynime and to renye the feith.

Take good hede what servauntes ye take into your house. For your children oftymes will become like vnto theym.

Take also good hede that your manye tel no vile ta [...]es / singe no vile songes / nor speke no foule wordes for that doth moche corrupt the children. ye must also be ware that ye do not aray or clothe your childrē pompously to flater theym or to make to moche of theym shewing theym to moche folisshe loue. For when ye gyve theym to [Page] moche of the brydell ye can not afterward chastise or reprove theym. It is expedient also that ye take hede / that ye clothe not your silves to sumptuously: for if the pa­rentes do it: It proufiteth nothing to kepe the children from it. For the child­ren will lerne it of theym silves by the e­vill ensample of theyre parentes. For when they see theyre▪ parentes do it / they thinke it is no sinne: notwithstonding th­at theyre comyth of hit grete sinne and moche evill. Let not your childe [...]onne whe­re he will but knowe alwey where he is / and who is with him or in his cu [...]pany / and whate thing he doth. Se that your childe hanut honest games I say not ry­the or nobill games / but of good maners / and that they be therto well instructed.

Suffer not your children to go to weddinges or banquettes: for nowe a dayes one can lerne nothing there but ryba [...]drye ād foule wordes. For if it be so that thou wilt nat suffer thy childe to come ynto a place where he may be in daunger to ta­ke hurt of his body: How m [...]che more art thou bounde to kepe hym from comyng there where he shuld flee or hurt his sou­le. [Page] Thou sendest him to the weddinges / where thou knowest well (as the worlde goeth nowe a dayes) that it is likely that he shalbe hurt in his soule by hering of suche wordes that he shall with grete diffi­cultye be made hole / and yet thou wylt not kepe hym thence. O world without witte.

Thou must take hede to whate vi­ces thy childe ys most enclyned whether it be to covetous pryde or other vnclen­nesse / and accordyng therunto he must be warned and kept. Thus shalt thou do thy diligence to applye h [...]m to vertue yn tyme whiles he is yong for then maist th­ou bend applye and coudnyte him as th­ou wilt. And if thy childe be naturally enclyned to any vertue / thou shalt do thy diligence to entreteyn him and to avaun­ce him therin. Thou shalt also knowe th­at in the men children there reyneth co­monly other synnes then do in the dough­ters. In the doughters reyueth most pry­de of beautye and of rayment: In the [...]oyes slouth dronkennesse / and harlott­rye. So behoveth it that a good father / and mother consyder dilygently to whate [Page] thing theyre children are most enclyned & to conduyte and warne theym theryn. The parentes ought also to be ware th­at they be not to hard and rigorous vnto theyre children to thintent they make thē not rebelles disobedient and fugityues ād then rynne they awey vacabundes by the cuntrey as many do. They shulde cause theym to lerne an occupacion wherunto they shuld haue most courage and apte in­tent whiche shuld be laufull without fraude and wherby they might honestly get theyre expences in tyme coming. This sh­ulde be done in tyme bifore they be gyven to the scoles for we se comonly that cler­kes will put theym silves to no craft but become men of warre. And although that thou be riche thou shalt alweyes make thi [...] children to lerne an honest and laufull oc­cupacion. for in so doyng they occupye the tyme of youth well and kepe theim silves from dronkēnesse hasarding and fighting / and from other mischevous busynesse.

And if by ony chaunce they come to po­vertye it is good that they can some craft wherby they may get theyre breed. And if it happon not vnto theym yet shall they [Page] alweyes do sum whate that they thereby may the better helpe the pore for after the scripture none may be ydell. For laboure is a penaunce enioyned vnto all the wor­lde / not of man but of god / after that Abā had sinned. And he that laboureth not shuld not eate after the scripture. Moreover at the festfull dayes thou shalt bring the children to the churche to here the sermonGene. 3 2. Tessa. 3 And when they shalbe comen home thou shalt are theym whate they haue kept yn memory of the sermon. Then shalt thou admonest theym to lyve well and to put all theyre hope and trust in God rather to die then to do eny thing that is ageinst the will of god.

Thou shalt also teche theym the chri­sten faith after the naner aboue declared / exhorting theim to pacience / charite and hope in god. And principally thou shalt ler­ne theym the contentes of the prayer of oure saviour Christ called▪ the Pater noster / and that in theyre moder tongue / that ys to sey / howe they haue an other father in heven of whome they must loke for all goodnesse and without whome one can ha­ue no goodnesse. And howe that we may [Page] seke nothing in al this life / in all oure workes and in all oure ententes but the hono­ur of this hevenly father. And howe they must desire that this father wolde governe all that we do or desire. And howe th­at we must submyt all to his holy will.

And howe that his will can be but good / and helthfull. Finally howe that aboue all worldly thinges they be myndfull of the contentes of this prayer / and set most by it of all other prayers. And for to do this the better thou shalt kepe theym from reding of all wilde storyes / of batailles / of love / and other fables. Thou shalt bye theym holsome bokes as is the holy Gos­pell / the epistles of the holy appostles: Ye and in conclusion both the newe and olde testament / that is to sey the hole bible yn langag [...] that they may vnderstond / and also this present boke. And thus thou shalt do to thintent that thy children may accu­stume and lerne theym silves in the holy divine scripture and drinke of the swe [...]e fo [...]taigne whiche is descended from hevē And by suche meanes mayst thou poore out good water when they shalbe old.

For if thou be carefull and doest grete la­boure [Page] to get thy children theyre bodely expences as thou art boūde howe moche more art thou bounde to get theym there spi­ [...]uail expences of theyre soule whiche is made after the similitude and image of god And the more that the soule is worthyer then the body / the more gretter care must thou take to lerne him his helth.

But whate mete is better to nourisshe the soule then that of the gospell and of the holy scripture the whiche onely is the nu­triment of the soule. Thou hast kept the body of thy childe from fyre & water whē he was yong: whye wilt thou not nowe also kepe his soule from perill.Iaco▪ It were moche better to be carefull in this mater. then to runne to Rome or to saint Iames or elles where on pilgremage.

For (as I haue seyd) all this is infideli­te. for thou hast the helpe of God as redy at home as els where and if t [...]ou pray him with a stedfast fayth nothyng doutyng.

As saieth saint Iames. And if thou fynd not God yn thy hert thou shalt fynd him no where. The parentes can do not gretter service to God / then to teache and lerne well theyre children.

[Page]For herin lyeth grete vertue. Hereby may one please god singulerly. Ye parentes al­so be ware that ye give not to moche mo­ney to your children. And that that ye gi­ve theym take hede howe they spende it and wheruppon. And when they bringe eny thing home that is not yours / or yf that they report any newes of detraction / ye must sharply reprove theim. And whē thou wilt do any almesse bifore thy hou­se thou shalt do it by thy childrē to thintēt that they may lerne to serve the poore.

And when they have strived the one age­inst the other thou shalt cause theym to come forth in the evening to axe the one the other mercy and forgivenesse. And likewise shall they do whē they haue offended or angred theyre parentes. Thou-must be well ware that thy childe growe not vp into partinacite / rebellion / or incredulyte: And that he be no fighter nor striver. and when thou herest thy child swere / curse / strive / fight / lye or speke eny foule wordes or sing eny rybaud songes thou shalt re­prove him sharply. The parentes shall alweyes laboure that theyre children shall rather feare theym for love and reverence [Page] then for pnisshement and feare. For children that obey vnto theyre parentes for feare of beting they feare theym no lenger thē the stripes and beting endureth. As all they that serve god for feare of peynes they serve him no longer then the peynes or tribulacion endureth. And after that they be delivered they retourne ageyn to their old sinnes. But the children that feare theyre parentes by dilection abide alweyes obe­dient by that same dilection. The pa­rentes must be well ware that they stri­ve not the one ageinst the other / that they swere not and that they speke none inordinate or dishonest wordes / principally bifore theyre children / for when they lerne e­ny vnhappinesse in youthe they shall wi­th grete difficultie leve it in theire age.

Ye may never shewe your silf sorow­full / waile nor make compleynt bifore yo­ur children for losse of erthly goodes or bicause ye haue not good gaines. For when they here you plaine for suche thinges thei get a desire and a love of temporall thin­ges so that they take pleasure in nothing els but in temporall richesse / and have so­rowe of nothing but for the losse of suche [Page] thinges for they lerne it of theyre parētes The childe foloweth nothing so moche as that whiche he seeth his father mother ād other frendes do.

Finally thou must marke verey dili­gently whether they haue desire or will to be maryed at the state of mariage or not And as ye perceive it so must you incon­tynent helpe theym and care for theym th­at they may make a good manage. As Abrahā was carefull for his sonne Isaac And forbicause that the parentes be many tymes not carefull in suche case it comyth to passe that so fewe come chast to the state of maryage / that theyre children be often deceyved and that they haue shame disho­nour and sorowe of theyre children. And this is most the faute of the parentes whi­che be more carefull for the bodyes of theire children then for theyre soules. And therfore they will in no wise that theyre children be poore but seke rather to mary theym richely then helthfully / ād axe mo­re for temporall goodes then after vertue good maners and goodes spirituall. And for to make theym haue good tymes they make theym many tymes prestes or rely­gious. [Page] And so for to provide theym of the case of theyre bodyes they are oftymes ca­use of the everlasting payne of theyre soules. For none ought to be brought in vn­to the state of prysthod / except he be first chosen to some office in the congregacyon and that bycause that we mought se whate lyfe that he ledith. This thyng compleyneth saint Austyne in the boke of his con­fessions in the secunde Chaptre / that hys parentes were not carefull for him in this mater.

¶Of the lyfe of the comune Cyteuns or houshol­ders. Chaptre .xxiiij.

IN all the worlde there is not a more Christen life / nether more accordaunt vnto the Gospell / then is the life of comune Ci­tesins or housholders whiche by the labo­ur of theyre hondes & in the swette of theyre visage get theyre brede & expences.1. Tessa and. 4 for saint Paule reioyseth that he gayned his brede in the labour of his hondes. And he rebuketh the idell w [...]dowes that ronne a­bout pleying from house to house.

[Page] Wherfore it were moche better emong the christen that euery one were set to so­me occupacion / and that we shulde not suffer so many yong and strong parsones to begge theire brede / but rather cause theim to lerne some occupacion. And if that all yong prestes / monkes / and religious did likewise it were nether sinne nor shame. wil thei be better then saint Paule was & the other appostles? we se nowe a dayes that thei be forboden to worke whiche isGa .1. manifestly appostasie and ageinst the christen faith. It becometh none to forbid thē to laboure although he were an angell of heven / moche lesse man: The monkes also were wont to laboure in olde tyme. It is plaine that there be to many prestes and religious in the world by half. And seing prestes will not laboure / then if all the world were prestes who shulde laboure the erth? I can not tell whate holinesse there is now a dayes in the life of prestes or mō kes aboue the life of the housbondman.

The husbondes life is betrer nowe after the Gospell then the life of a grete parte of prestes monkes or freres. For all prestes monkes and freres whiche haue none office [Page] that is necessary vnto the christen [...]e do [...]ate vnrightuously the goodes of the poore / and are called of Christ in the Gospell / Iohn. 10 murtherars and theves.

But let vs shewe vnto the houshol­ders howe they shall live holsomely. For it behoveth that they also knowe howe they shulde live.

The housholder shall first (whether he be husbond / craftes man / or marchaūt) kepe the rule that God hath given in the gospell / thatMat. 7 is to sey that in all his mar­chaundise and in all his businesse he do to another as he wolde be done vnto not se­king his owne proufit to the hurt or dammage of an other. He shall never dispreyse his neighbours goodnesse but wisshe him as moche good as he wolde haue him silfe Thus commaundeth vs saint Paule that1. Tessa. 4 none oppresse or disceyve his brother in a­ny maner bicause the lord god is vengear of all suche. for we be all bretheren and mē bres of one body. Therfore thou shalt be ware to striveo and to move eny maner of dissention with thy neighbour be he riche or poore / noble or ignoble. for we be all li­ke nobill bifore God / bicause we have all [Page] togyther one father.Ga .3. For saint Paule sa­ieth ye are all one in Christ. And therfore shall none dispise the poore / nor cast hys povertye in his teth / but shall socoure him with his goodes and comfort him alwe­yes in his povertye. If thy neyghboure or christen brother be sike and poore thou shalt oft go to him and comfort him / distributing to him of thy goodes according to thy power. Thou shalt be redy to serve him and to gyve thy life for him / as saieth saint Iohn: Here [...]y knowe we the love bicause he hath given his life for vs. [...]. Iohn. 3 And we ought also to gyve oure lyves for o [...] ­re bretheren. And if thou haue nothing to gyve vnto him / thou shalt gyve knowle­ge therof vnto theim that haue / and shall exhort theym to socoure this pore parson. Biforetymes it was accustumed to gyve knowlege to the pastor or curate of the ch­urche whiche did socoure the poore wyth the treasure of the churche / wherof was made mencyon in the life of saint Lauren­ce & of saint Gregory / & whē there was no­more the bisshop toke the chalices & the oth­er vessels of gold & silver / brake thē & dist­ributed the price therof vnto the pore: The [Page] bisshoppes also were wont to warne the [...]ytesins that they shuld gyve him kno­wlege when eny were diseased or syke.

But nowe (God amend it) it is all otherwise / the Bisshoppes take care of no suche thinges / the treasure of the churcheis spēt [...]gilding of ymages / in founding of gre­ [...] prevendes / in bilding of tabernacles / in [...]ostly auter tables / and suche superfluous [...]rodigalite. And thus are the poore mem­ [...]res of Christ deprived of that that to thē [...]pperteyneth. O world blynd and Idola [...]rous. The poore were not wont byfore­ [...]yme to axe almesse: For they that were stronge were compelled to laboure / and [...]he old ympotent poore widowes and or [...]hantes were kept and susteyned of the ta [...]le of the poore whiche they called the tre [...]sure of the churche / as teacheth.1. Cor. 16 S. Pau [...]e wryting vnto the Corinthiens councey [...]ing theym to assemble a treasure for the poore. This was also institute of thappo [...]les to thintent that the infideles that we [...]e conversaunt emong the Christen shuld not mocke the Christen when they sawe theym haue disease saying that there was [...]o Charyte emong the Christen / bycause [Page] they did not socoure the one the other: therfore they axed none almesse at that tyme If were also good nowe at this day tha [...] we shuld not suffer theym that be yong & strong parsones abill to get theyre living to axe almesse. for the worlde is full of su­che idell people.

Oure lorde both nowe at this day th [...] [...]silf same miracles that he did when he sed [...] suche a grete nombre of people with .v. loves and .ij. fisshes / albeit that by oure vn­kindnesse we regard it not.Mat. 14 for there are [...] ve parties of the people in the worlde / and one parte of the same .v. partes nourisshe­th and kepeth the other .iiij.

The first partye be prestes / monkes / chanons / freres and clerkes. They get nothing but spende all.

The secunde are the lordes / councey­lours / governours of contreys / and other ryche people that lyve of theyr rentes.

The thirde be auncyent people / impo­tent and children.

The .iiij. be men of warre theves / mur­therars / ruffiens / comon wymen and baudes. All these get nothing but spende all.

The .v. ce comon Cytesins / artificers [Page] [...]nd husbondmē that by theyre labour get [...]heyre owne expences and also thexpences of the other .iiij. partes. And so it behove­ [...]h that one parsone must nourisshe fyve.

If it were not that god provideth meruey [...]usly for oure necessite howe shulde it be possible? For this cause have I saied that the life of Cytesins / housholders / and husbondmen is moste holsome after the gos­ [...]ell. It behoveth alweyes that the hous­ [...]older come in socoure vnto his neighbour [...]nd that he serve him and comfort him as I haue seid bifore by charite. For we be [...]l bretheren togyther and membres of o­ [...]e body. And therfore shall the good chri­sten be as sory of the hurt of his neyghbo­ [...] as of his owne.Ro. [...] As saieth saint Paule. Reioyse you with theym that be ioyfull / & wepe with theym that wepe.

And if thou knowe that thy neygh­bour is of evell life / and that he give evill [...]sample vnto other / God commaundeth [...]he in the Gospell that first thou shalt warMat. 1 [...] [...] him bytwene him and the alone swete­ [...]y praying him that he wil [...] amend hym. And if he here the and obey vnto thy co­ [...]nceyte (Iesus Christ saieth that) thou [Page] has [...] wonne thy brother. But if he will not here the thou shalt call .ij. or .iij. fren­des and shalt reprove him in theyre pre­sence. And if he will not yet obey thou sh­alt tell it (saieth Christ) unto the congrega­cion that he may be openly reproved. And yf he yet abide obstynate not wylling to amend hym then shalt thou take hym fo [...] an hethen and publique synnar. This is the brotherly reprehension the whiche Christ hath lerned vs in the gospell. Som [...] man wold say if I shulde do thus to my christen brother he wolde be angry wyth me and fight with me. I tell the to avoy­de that / thou shalt be ware to warne hym dispitefully or in mocking him. But thou shalt pray him swetely and brotherly she­wing him howe that a christen shulde ly­ve. And if of adventure he slewe the in s [...] che a case thou shuldest dye for the trouth as did saint Iohn baptist / & so were thouMat. 14 Iohn. 14 goddes marter for god is the trouth. The housholder shal laude & rendre graces not onely bicause that he is descended from a [...] highe riche or noble linage: but also bicau­se that he hath made him to be borne in suche astate that he is fayne to get his brede [Page] with his laboure. For that is the life of a verey christen. But he shall not put hys trust therin at tall as though he were therfore better then an other. for albeit that yn this mater he kepe the commaundement of God: It ys possyble that he kepyth yt not yn other thynges / wherfore we must alweyes be verey studyous to abide in humylite.

God myght nourisshe vs without oure laboure as he nourisshed the .v. thousand persones in the wildernesse and might ke­pe vs well without having so many occupaciōs in the world. But he hath so ordeyned it for to entreteyne & to move charyte emong the christen / bicause that the one hath nede of the socoure of the other / as the baker of the brewer and likewise the bre­wer of the baker and so of other occupaci­ons / to thintent that we shulde so serve & ayde the one the other by love / ād that we shulde not be idell. And therfore shall the housholder and every craftes man do hys laboure diligently and ioyfully yn to­urning all his laboure to the honoure of God / beleving that in doing his businesse by suche a good intencion he serveth god & [Page] that his laboure pleaseth god and that by Iesus Christ in whome he beleveth and trusteth. All were it so that ye knowe th­at ye shulde dye that day ye shall abide at your laboure surely beleving that your laboure is plesaunt vnto god. Thou shalt thinke that thou maist not do thy laboure for covense / for to waxe riche / for to eate & drinke delicatly or for to haue good tymes For when thou labourest with suche an intent thy labour is not acceptable to god / but is grete offence. And if percase thou waxe riche without care therfore thou sh­alt thanke god / and vse it to his honoure but thou shalt not laboure principally to be ryche. Nether shalt thou reioyse of thy richesse. Nether if thou be pore thou shalt not therfore be sory / but shalt do thy labo­ure truely recommending all to the will of god that he make the poore or ryche after that he knoweth to be helthfull vnto the. Thou shalt not be a bringer vp of newe facyoned garnementes for hereby is the people many tymes enduced vnto sinne & vnto the losing of grete expences lost yn waste. But thou maist say: If I will ha­ue it / an other shall make it: and then am I [Page] not fynder of the newe facyon. I tell th [...] ageyn that none shall make it / for if thou woldest not make it nor none other / it wolde abide vnmade well ynough. For thys is not taught for one or .ij. but for all the worlde.

Thou shalt not d [...]spende thy goodes vnproufitably in making sumptuous buildinges or bying of costly housholde for vaine glory or in making to precyous clothes / or in delicate metes or drinkes. For all that thou doest thus spende outragio­usly / thou robbest it from god and frō the poore. Thou maist not abuse thy goodes as thou wilt: for god hath lent theym vn­to the for to vse theym in all reason / & for to socoure the poore with theym: As tea­cheth saint Paule. Thou shalt clothe the eate and drinke after the most resonabill custume of the cuntrey where thou dwellest and after the maner of thinhabitaūtes the it. For this mayst thou do after the Gos­pell. Thou maist never lye / swere / nor do nothing that god hath defended for to get temporall goodes. Thou shalt not count at evenyng howe moche money thou hast gained / but howe moche thou hast prou [...]i­sed [Page] in goodnesse and vertue / and howe moche goodnesse thou hast lost in that dayes iourney.

Thou shalt not vexe or greve by iustice or otherwise the pore that owe vnto the for thou maist not do it without sinne.

As Christ saieth in the gospell.Mat. 5 Resist not (saieth he) vnto the evill. But whosoe­ver streke the on the right cheke tourne to him the other. And he that will drawe the parforce into right and take awey from the thy cote give hīthy gowne also. And he that constreyneth the to go a myle with him / go with him twayne. Give to hym that axeth the. And f [...]e not from hī that desireth to borowe of the. Also it is sayde more in the same chapter: Love your ene­myes do good to theym that hate you. for if ye love thē (saieth he) that loue you whate grete thinge do you: do not the nethen even the same. Moreover Saint Paule vnto the Romayns.Ro. 12 Blisse theym that persecute you / Blisse theym / but curse theym not. And ageyn: Yeld not evill for evil circumspectly brynging forth that ys honest in the sight of all men / And if it be possible as moche as is in you to lyve yn [Page] peace with all men not revenging youre silf my welbeloved / but give place vnto wrath.Hebre. 10 For it is writen: To me be the vengeaunce / and I will rendre it sayeth the lord God. And if thyne enemye be hongry gyve him to eate. And if he be th­ursty gyve him drinke. Be not overcome with evill / but overcome the evill wyth good.1. Pe. Saint Petre saieth also. None shall yelde evill for evill nor curse for curse.

These wordes and other lyke seme to meane (ye they will) that the good Chri­sten shall not defende theym silfe by iusti­ce in no maner for eny maner wrong that they suffer of the evill but shuld recomend all vnto the good will of God / whyche shall defende theym and rule all thynges for the best / and more holsomely and ry­ghtuously then all the iudges of the wor­lde. But of this mater will we speke in the Chaptre of two maner governe­mentes.

Thou shalt oftymes lift vp thy harte and thought to God as thou doest thy laboure / and shalt sey to hym a short prayer / doyng thy busynesse wyth a good wyll / and wyth a ioyfull hart.

[Page] or god hath enioyned the that laboure yn paradise in Abam for a penaunce.Gene. 3 Phi. 4 Be al­weyes ioyfull in the lord / and mery wyth thy wife servauntes and manye. Herafter wil we tell how the housholder shall live with his servauntes / and how he shall be obedient vnto hys prince in paying hys taxes fystenes subsidies or suche other semblable demaundes.

¶Howe the ryche people shuld lyve / an informacyon and teaching af­ter the Gospell. Chap­tre.xxv.

HE that is riche and liveth of his rentes ought first to knowe th­at he may not vse nor spend his goodes as he will: for he is but a kepar and a dispensatour therof. For god hath not given the that richesse for to spende it ontragiously in mete and drinke or in costly bildinges and pompous clothiges for vaine glory or to hasard it at dyse / and at other gamyng. But thy goodes belong as well vnto the poore as vnto the For God hath sent the rychesse ynto the worlde as well for the poore as for the reche. For they must lyve all aswell the one [Page] as the other.

The riche be none other thing but dis­pensatours and dystributers of the goo­des of God / as the lordes of this worlde have theyre dispensatours. And therfore when thou spendest thy goodes outragi­ously in etyng and drynking and other excesse thou shalt yelde accompt byfore god at the day of iudgement. For the riche man of whome speketh Christ in the gos­pell / was dampned for none other thyng but bicause that he was not mercyfull ād that he lyved evill of hys rychesse beyng an yll dispensatour.Lu. 1 [...] Wherfore it behoveth that every body be circumspect howe he spende. For all that folke spende so with­out necessyte is robbed from the poore. for saint Paule saieth: when we haue oure fode and wherewith to cover vs let vs be contented. Oure nature is content with litell. And they that live so in pleasure ta­king all theyre ease are not Christen. for they devoure that which belongeth to the pore whiche are theyre bretheren and mē ­bres of one body. This let the paynyms do that vse suche voluptuousnesse plesa­unce honoure and worldly vanite bicause [Page] they haue no hope of a beter life. The christen shall not love his temporall goo­des but shall vse theym to ministre vnto his necessitees and vnto his neyghboures ever giving thankes vnto God to who­me all belongeth. And the richer that thou art the more care shalt thou take / for to the is given more to kepe then vnto many other. The richesses be not evill / for Abraham Isaac Iacob Iob and David were ryche but evill vsing of richesse is evill.

Of suche riche speketh Saint Iames yn this maner:I [...]. 5. Go to ye riche / wepe ye / way­ling vppon your miseryes / whiche shall come vppon you. And Christ in the gospell: wo be to you riche that haue here youre consolacion.Lu. 6. And in another place: True­ly (saieth he) I tell you that the riche shal with difficultye entre into the kingdome of heven:Hat .19. And I tell you ageyn: It is more easy for a camell to passe thorowe the yie of a nedell then a ryche man into the kingdome of heven.

Therfore let the riche take hede theyr richesse be not there everlasting life: & that they haue not an other thīg after their deth As had the riche of whome speaketh oure [Page] saviour in the gospell saying / A mā wasLu. 16 riche & was cloted with purpure & silke & did eate & drinke daily costly meates & drī ­kes: ād there was a certeyn begger called Lazarus lying at his gatefull of sores desiring to be fedde with the cromes that fill from the bourde of the ryche / but the dog­ges came and likked his sores. It happe­ned that the begger dyed and was borne with angels into the bosom of Abraham / the riche also dyed and was buryed in hell And lyfting vp his yies when. he was in his tormentes he sawe Abraham a ferre of and Lazarus in his bosom / and he cry­ed and sayed: Father Abraham haue mer­cy on me [...]nd send Lazarus that he may put the ende of his finger into the water to cole my tongue / for I am tormēed in this flamme. And Abraham said vnto him / Sō ne remembre that thou hast receyved thy goodes in thy life / and Lazarus evill ther­fore he hath nowe consolacion ād thou art tormented. Thus gyveth God many ty­mes to theym that shall not be heyres of the everlasting life the richesse and prospe­rite of this worlde / and payeth theym ther with.

[Page] Therfore shall not the riche be prou­de of his richesse: but shal be alweyes in care fearing lest god shuld paye him in this worlde ād that he shall haue noue other thyng.Tim. [...]

Therfore saieth saint Paule vnto Timothe: Commaunde (saieth he) vnto the riche of this worlde that they be not prou­de mynded and that they trust not in vn­certeyn richesse but in the living god whi­che giveth vs all thinges abundauntly to vse / to do well / to be made ryche yn good workes / to be made redy to distribute that they may willingly haue feloweship in those thinges bisding to theym silf a good foundaciō in tyme couring that they may set hond on the everlasting life. And a lytell bifore: They (saieth he) that will be riche fall of tymes in temptacion and in the snare of the devell / and into many vnproufita­ble and noyons desires the whiche tum­ble a man into destruction and perdicyon: for the rote of all evill is co vitize / the whi­che while some folkes desired they did er­re from the faith ād wrapped them silves into many sorowes. And many other pla­ces there are in the holy scripture the whi­che [Page] shulde strongly feare the riche and gyve grete consolacion vnto the poore. for let all the riche knowe that when they socoure not the pore with theyr richesse they do as grete sinne as though they robbed eny body.

For god hath not given theym the ri­chesse for to bost & bragge therwith and to make grete chere nether to make theym silves lordes but to thintent that they shuld be servauntes of all the worlde / & to helpe all pore parsones / as are poore virgins / or yong wymē at thestate of mariage to thintent they come not to dishonour / & the po­re yong people to lerne an occupaciō: And so to give lend and socoure one an other. And thus teacheth vs saint Iohn where he saieth he that hath the richesse of thys1. Iohn. 3 world & seeth his brother haue nede & shit [...]ith vp his hert ageinst him / that is to sey hath no pytie of him / howe is the love of god in him? As though he wold saye he that seeth his brother haue nede and helpeth him not / it is not possible that the charyte and love of god shuld be in him. Likewise saieth saint Paule:Hebre. [...] Forget not hospitalite that is to sey to logge & helpe the poore) [Page] for some therby haue received aungels in­to theyre houses without knowing the­rof. And therfore shalt thou not be assha­med sometyme to call the poore out of the stretes / and to give them to eate and drin­ke.Lu. 14 For it is the counceyle of oure saviour Christ in the gospell where he forbiddeth to byd the riche to the fe [...]t whiche may rendre it to vs ageyn. But when thou ma­kest a fest (saieth he) call the poore / the weke / the lame / the blynde / and thou shalt be happy: for they may not rendre it to the a­geyn: it shall be yolden to the ageyn in th [...] geyn rising of the rightuous.

But some man wolde nowe say: It is myn owne I haue gayned it rightuously: whye may I not vse it at my will? I answere the that is not true that thou hast gained it / but God hath sent it the he hath not made the lord of it / nor will not that thou vse it at thy pleasure. Thou art but onely a dispensatour / for to distri­bute it and to vse it after the counceyll of the Gospell and of the holy scripture / that is that thou shalt vse it without eny maner of outrage in thy house and out of thy­ne house to all poore people as thou shalt [Page] see nede. For that thou spendest other wyse / thou robbest from God and from the poore whiche are the membres of Iesus Christ. And it thou do theym eny good thou doest it to the parsone of Iesus Christ. for it is seyde in the Gospell:Mat. [...] All that ye do to one of my lest bretheren ye do to me. Therfore he that doth good vnto the poore he doth it to Christ. And he that doeth evill vnto the poore / he doeth it to Christ. Thou canst not employ thy mo­ [...]ey and almesse so well uppon no thyng [...] the worlde as on the poore. For the holy scripture commaundeth not to gyve it [...]ny where els. Oure savioure Christ shal [...]ot preyse the at the day of iudgement for [...]one other cause but that thou hast holpe [...]he poore in gyving theym mete and drin­ [...] and clothing in vysiting theym / and in [...]y bing to theym of thy goodes when th­ [...]y were syke. Even as for none other [...]ing shalt thou be reproved but for for­ [...]etting of the poore. wherfore thou arte [...]ot bounde to make to be song many ma­ [...]s and obytes / to edyfye chaunteryes / [...]happelles / churches or aultres or to give [...]eringes to saintes or cādels of waxe / for [Page] of all this shall ye yelde none accompt th­ough ye haue lest it vndone. For the holy scripture maketh no mencion of those thinges. They are rather invented by the co­vetous mynde of men then otherwise.

As saieth saint Iohn Chrisostome:Chriso­stome so give vn­to the poore wherof they may lyve & thou hast edified a resonable house to God. for men dwelle in bildinges but god dwelleth in holy men and in men of good life. Also saint Iherome writing to one called Ce­lautia:Ihero [...] when thou givest socouring honde vnto the poore / when thou comest in so­coure to a man in his necessitees / when th­ou settest hī that erreth into the right wey thou hast bilt a plesaunt temple to god. for the hertes of the holy parsones be called1. Cor. 3 the tēple of god / the whiche whosoever [...] violat / god will distroye him.

wherfore ye riche people haue ye alw [...]yes mynde on the pore. And se that ye lo­ve better to bestowe your almesse whe [...] ye are sure that it is acceptable vnto god / & also where god hath commaunded you [...] to do thsim / rather then there where as y [...] knowe not whether ye do well or evill as [Page] in making of ymages chappelles pilgrimages obites and other mannes in vencyons wherby the pore be nowe a dayes misera­bly robbed & vnkindly pilled by thē that shulde ayde & helpe theym if they did not serche more theyre owne proufit then the proufi [...] and honour of god.

¶Of two maner Regimentes / or governaunces / goostly and seculer or worl­dly. Chaptre .xxvi.

FIrst we must diligently serche out the right and seculer power / swerde / and governement to thi­tent that none doubt whether it be of the ordinaunce of God or not. The wordes wherby we knowe that the secu [...] power is īstitute of god be these of saint [...]aule vnto the Romayns where he saie­th:Ro. [...]. Every soule shall be subiect vnto the highe powers / for there is no power but of god. Then he that resisteth the power / resisteth the ordinaunce of God. More [...] ­ver saint Peter saieth.1. Pe. [...] Be ye subiectes to euery humayne creature / be it vnto the kinge as vnto the sovereyne / be it vnto the [Page] hede rulers / as by him sent for vēgeaunce vnto the offēders but for preyse to theym that be good. Moreover the right of the seculer power & of the ciuile iustice hath bin frō the begīnīg of the world. for whē Ca­in had slayne his brother Abell / he feared moche that he shuld be kild ageyn. Like­wise after the floude god cōfirmed it ageinGene. 9 saying whosoever shede mānes bloud his bloude shalbe shed agein. The same ryght was cōfermed agein in the lawe of Moses where he sayde in Exode:Exo. 2 [...] whosoever strike a man willing to kill hīshall dye of deth And ageyn if any with dede advised iying in a wayte kill his neighboure thou shalt drawe him out of my house / and that he dye. And in the same lawe it was cōmaū ­ded to take awaye life for life / yie for yie / to the for to the / hand for hand waūde for wounde / & so of other. Likewise hath our savioure Christ in the gospell confirmedMat. 25 it saying to saint Petre in the gardeyn of Olivete: He that streketh with the swerd with the swerde shall perisshe. Then is it all certeyn & manifest that it is the will of god that there shulde be a swerd & iustice tēporall for the punycion of the evill & cō ­ [...]vaciō [Page] of the good & for thēterteynīg of the publique peace christen & comune bro­therly love. ¶Secūdly it semeth to be moche cōtrary herūto / that whiche Christ sa­ieth in the gospell in this maner: Ye haue herde whate hath byn sayed:Mat. 5 In yie for anyie a toth for a toth: but I sey vnto you / ye shall not resist evill. But whosoever strike the on the right cheke tou [...]e to him the other. And to him that will go to lawe with the by force & take awey thy core / gyve to him also thy gowne: And he that will constreyne the to go a myle with him go with him twayne. And a litell after: Love your enemyes say well of thē that [...]urse you do good to theym that persecu­ [...]e you with hatred / praye for theym that hurt you & persecute you. And over & be­sides this there are yet many places in the holy scripture for be doing all maner of vē ­geaunce. As in saint Paule vnto the Ro­mayns.Ro. 1 [...] 1. Pe. [...]. and. 3. Saint Petre in his first epistle / and in many other places. Wherfore it se­ [...]eth that the swerd of iustice shuld be for bodē in the new testamēt emōg the christē.

Then thirdly for to vnderstond thys well we must fyrst knowe that the­re [Page] are: [...]wo sortes of people in the worlde. The first belong vnto the kingdome of god. The other to the kingdome of the worlde. They that belong vnto the king­dome of God be all true faythfull people in Iesus Christ and vnder him.

For Christ is king and lord in the king­dome of God / As techeth vs the secunde Psalme / and also all the olde and newe testamēt. He came also in to the worlde to begyn and to lest vp the kingdome of god in the worlde. Therfore saide he to Pylate: My kingdome is not of this worlde.

And whosoever is of the trouth hereth my voice.Iohn. 18 And in saint Marke sayeth he that the tyme is fulfilled and the kingdo­me of God shall approche.Mar. 1. And in Saynt Mathewe sayeth he.Mat. 16. Seche first the king­dome of God. He calleth the Gospell a gospell of the kingdome of god / bycause the Gospell teacheth / governeth and kepeth / the same kingdome. Then they that are stedfast in the faithe & in the love of god yf they obey vnto his cōmaūdemētes have nought to do with the swerd of iustice nor of the seculer power to make theym righ­tuous. And yf all the worlde [Page] were true and verey Christen (that is to sey) veri feithfull there nede no governoure king lord sworde nor iustice. For wherto shulde they sarve seyng that all true christē shulde haue the holy goost whiche governeth and teacheth theym to do no wronge / to love all the world / to suffre / and endure the evell and iniurye of all the worlde willingly and ioyfully / ye also the deth. And where as all persones are con­tent willingly to suffre wrong and iniu­rye. And where as there is none that doth wronge nor iniurye / but where as all persones do ryght / there is no dyscord hatred envie nor other discencion. And there ne­deth no ryght nor punycyon.

Wherfore it were īpossible that the swerd of iustice shuld haue ought to do emong the verey true christen / seyng they do mo­che more of theym silves then eny man cā commaunde theym or then eny lawe or worldly doctrine can teche theym. As sayth saīt Paule vnto Timoth. vnto the ryghtuous there is no lawe sette / but vn­to the vnryghtuous.1. Tim. [...]. And this is thus bi­cause that the iugement and ryght of a ve­rey true christen fordereth and avaunceth [Page] more then all other ryghtes ād lawes: for it procedeth from the holy goost whiche possesseth and inhabiteth the hart of a ve­rey christen. But the vnryghtuous do ryght to no man / therfore they haue nede of ryght and of lawes wherby they be taught and constreyned to do well. A good tree nedeth not that one teche hym to bry­ng forth good frute for his nature gyveth it without ony reching. Likewise are all the verey true christen natured by the ho­ly goost and saith that they do all thinges well and as it aperteyneth more then eny man can commaunde theym by all the cō ­maundementes in the worlde. And for theym silves haue they no nede nether of lawe nether of ryght.

But some man myght axe whye then hath god gyvē vnto men so many commaundementes / yn the olde and newe testa­ment? I answerethe. Saint Paule seith as it is sayde byfore vnto the ryghtuous there is set no lawe: but to the vnright­uous that is to sey to theym that are not yet true christē. And forbicause that none is true and verey christē or good of natu­re / but be all synnars and evill: As witnesseth [Page] the prophete sayng: God hath lo­ked from heven vppon the children of mē that he mought se if there be eny vnder­stondingPsat. [...]3. Rom. 3. or seching god. All are fallen and are become abhominable there is none that doeth good no not one. Therfore god re­freyneth the malice of the people by the lawe that they dare not accomplisshe hit outwardly by worke and dede according to theyre evill will.

Mereover saint Paule gyveth vnto the lawe an other office / that is that it letneth vs to knowe oure synnes / by the whiche knowelege a man is made meke / and yeldeth hym silf to the faith / and vnto the mercy and grace of god as is bi­fore seyde.

Fourthly all they that be not yet christen belong vnto the kingdome of the worlde and be vnder the lawe. In this nombre are all the evill christen whiche seke nou­ght elles but all worldly pleasure and are called christen but they are not so.

Seyng then that there be so fewe good Christen and so many evill people god hath gyven vnto the same evill out of the Christen astate and out of his kingdome [Page] an other regyment and governaunce / and hath put theym vnder the swerde that is to sey vnder the seculer power and cyvill ryght to thintent that they may not accō ­plisshe theyre malice when they wolde As a myschevous wylde best is tyed with chaynes and bondes that he may nether bite nor stryke after his nature albeit that he wolde saine accōplisshe hys evel nature whiche is not nedefull vnto a gentill tame best / for without the cheynes and without bondes he doth noue evill to no man.

If it were not thus (bicause that there be many m [...] evill persones yn the worlde thē good / ād that the good do not resist evill) the one wolde devoure and put the other to destruction / yn suche facyon that none shulde be abill to kepe nether wife nor children nether yet be abill to maynteyn hym silf. And by suche meane shulde the worl­de yn contynuaunce become wast ād with out inhabitauntes. For this cause hath god ordyned these .ij. governemētes. The spirituall the whiche maketh christen and good persones by the holy gost vnder the king of that kingdome Iesus christ. And the seculer gouernaunce the whiche [...]o­streyneth [Page] the evell parsones to kepe out­ward peace and to be tame ageynst theyre will.Rom. Thus teacheth vs saint Paule / to vnderstond the swerd and seculer instice saying the prynces / are not to be feared to theym that be good but vnto theym that be evill.

Nowe if eny man wold governe the world (that is to sey the evill) only after the gospell and cause to cease all worldly lawe and iustice saying that they are bap­tised and christen to whome the swerde of iustice nedeth not. Unto theym may be answered. Hit is of a truth that the true christen haue no nede of ryght nor of the swerde for theyre iustifying. But do your dyligence to fulfill the worlde with true christen bifore that you governe theym christenly ād after the gospell whiche shal be verey hard for you to do. For the worlde is all gyven to synne and starcely can they abide good christen. They are not all christen that are baptised and called chri­sten. Therfore it is not possible vnto the worlde to observe and kepe a comon chri­sten governaunce / namely also yn the iuddes of a grete comonte / for the evill are al­weys [Page] more yn nombre then the good feithfull. For this cause to governe a cuntrey after the gospell without the swerde of iustice is as though a man wolde put togy­ther yn a stable / heries wolves lyons shepe and other lyke / and to suffre all these bestes to be conversaunt togyther the one with the other / howe long I pray you shuld they haue peace to gyther the one with the other? Ye howe long shuld the poore shepe lyve / we therfore must nedes haue here bothe these governementes.

The spirituall or eva [...]gelye all bicause it iustifieth ād bryngeth helth. The other bicause it entreteyneth and holdeth peace The one is not sufficient in the worlde without the other. For without the spirituall governement of Iesus christ can none be saved nor iustified bifore god by the worldly regyment. So may ye perceyve that the rule or governemēt of christ hath not lordship over all persones. For the true christē be alweys lesse yn nombre ād be yn the middes among the not christen / as a rose emong the thornes. Then where as the worldly governaunce reyneth e­very where alone / there can be none other [Page] thīg but ypocrysye. For without having the holy goost yn the hert can none be made ryghtuous nor saved. Lykewyse where the spirituall governaunce reyneth every where alone / there is perversite vnbrydeled ād vnbound redy for to accōplisshe all malice for the worlde cā not vnderstōd the spirituall governaunce bicause that it fyghteth onely by the swerde of the spry­te / whiche is the worde of god. And vseth none other swerde. Nowe seest thou well whate the wordes of onre savioure christ meane (whiche we haue recyted bifore) where he sayeth that the christē shall drawe nomā yn to iustice / and that they shall not resist evill. He speketh that onely of hys dere christē / the whiche alone take it ynto theyre hartes ād also do it alone for so are thy enolyned ād disposed by vertue of the holy gost workīg yn theyre hartes that they do harme to nomā but suffer willīglī evell & wrong of every mā. Then if all the worlde were suche christē all persones wolde kepe egally this peassible cōma [...]n demētes / & all thing wold they do accor­dīg therūto. But nowe because thy be not christen the word of god entreth not ynto [Page] theyre hertes / nor they do not according ther vnto and therfore they apperteyne vnto the other seculer governaunce wher by the not christen be constreyned to kepe peace outwardly / and to do none evill.

For this cause hath not Iesus christ [...]orne the swerde nor ordined it yn hys spiri­tuall kingdome / for he is king over all the true christen / ad governeth without swerde and without ony outward lawe onely by the holy goost working inwardly yn the hert of man. And albeit that god hath orde [...]ned the seculer swerde for the corre­ction of the evill / yet he hath not vsed it / for i [...] belongeth not vnto hys kingdome / yn the whiche kingdome there are none but suche as be good ād iust. And for this cause mought not david bilde the tempel of god bicause he had shed moche blode ād vsed the swerde / not that he had done e­vill or vnryghtuousnesse / but bicause he myght not yn this thing be a figure ofEphe. 5. Christ whiche shuld haue a kingdome peasible and without swerde. But god com­maunded to solomon whiche had a peasi­ble kingdome to bilde the temple / for Sa­lomon is as moche to saye as peasible by [Page] the whiche kingdome of the verey Salo­mon Iesu christ mought be figured and signified Moreover yn all the edificatiō of the temple of god was never herd stro­ke of Iron / nor of hamer / nor of Axe / norking. 6. of none other lyke thing as it is writen yn the therd boke of kinges yn the .vi. chap­tre. All these thinges here sigrufied that Iesus Christ shulde haue yn his kingdo­me a people willing to serve hym without constreynt without commaundementes without swerde.Esa. 1 [...] This was also bifore prophesied by Esaie saying: They shall not hurt and shall not sle yn all my holy mountaigne. As [...]o yn his secunde chapitre They shall tourne theyre swordes ynto cultres and theyre speres ynto sythes.

The one shall not lyst vp a swerde ageīst the other and they shalbe no more exercy­sed yn thē warre. These wordes here and other lyke be not sayed of al persones that bere the name of Iesus christ but oneli of theym that bere bothe the name and the spryte of christ / that is to sey of all true christē the whiche willingly do ryght the one to the other.

Nowe myght one demaunde: Seyng [Page] that the true christen haue no nede of the s [...]rde nor of the seculer ryght for theyre owne ryghtuousnesse / then why teacheth saynt Paule that every [...]dule shalbe sub­iect vnto the hyghe powers:Rom .13. And lyke­wyse saint Peter that the christen shall be1. Pe. 2 subiectes vnto enery humayne creature I answere the that I haue taught bifore that the christē amōg theym [...] & they emong the other haue nought to do with the swerde nor with the lawe for that is to theym nether nedefull nor profitable. Alweys for bicause that the true christēly veth not vppon the erth for hys owne proufit but for the profit of hys neygh­bour. He doth by the nature of the holy goost that wherof hys neybour hath nede And bicause that the swerde ys a thing verey necessary for all the worlde / for to kepe peace and concorde / for to punysshe the offenders and to refrayne theyre malice. Therfore the verey christen yeldeth hym silf willingly vnder the governaun­ce of the swerde & tēporall iustice / he pay­eth tailles he honoureth the puyssaūce and worldly hyghnesse / he serveth he helpeth he doth all that ever he maye to thintent [Page] that the same puissaunce may prosper be kept yn honour & feared. Albeyt that the same puissa [...] ̄ce to hym is nether nedefull nor profitable. And forbicause he thinketh alweys whate thing is prou [...]able vnto hys neyghbour / that both he / As techeth saint Paule vnto the Corinthiens.1. Cor .10. Su­che a service is the worke of a christē and bryngeth alweys grete proufit ynto the worlde. And if he shulde not do so he we­re no christē / but shulde synne ageynst the rule of charite / for he shuld gyve evill en­sample vnto other that they shuld not honoure the temporall puissaunce but shulde dispyse it: Albeit that it shuld be alweys to theym verey necessary and profitable wherby shulde come grete dispy [...]ing of the gospell. For suche dispysing of the tē ­porall puissaunce bryngeth dissention and maketh sen [...]uall parsones profitable vn­to nothing:

The gospell maketh all true christē serv [...] [...]ntes to all the worlde by the rule of cha­ryte the whiche alweys yn theym silves & by theym silves be yn true lybertie & ha [...]e nede of nothing beyng suffised of theyr lorde / and king Iesu Christ and of hys [Page] governaunce yn theym.Mat. 17. So lykewyse dyd Iesu christ paye the trybute wherunto he was not bounde at tall to th [...]tet that he shulde not dispyse the puissaunce / and that he wolde not gyve theym occasion to be offended / but gave theym exēple of obedience. As he hym silf teached yn .v. chap­ter of saynt Mathewe.Math. 5. Where he seyeth that the christen shall not resist evill nor sue any man at the law [...]. He forbid­deth not to be subiect and to serve theym that haue the swerde and seculer [...]uissaunte. But the lesse nede that thou hast vnto it for thy silf the more shall thou conferme thy silf therunto. Thou shalt serve theryn theym whiche haue yet nede and are not so stedfast yn theyre feith as thou art ād that onely by charite supporting theym yn theyre ynfirmyte as Christ hath sup­ported vs / and hath made hym silf conformable vnto vs. For albeyt that by the stedfastnesse of thy fayth and love that thou hast vnto god thou hast no nede that eny man shuld punysshe thyne enemye bicause that thou wilt suffer wrong willingly for the love of Christ. Thy neyboure hath alweys nede bicause he is yet feble [Page] and therfore thou shalt helpe hym / to him tent that he may haue peace and that hys enemye may be refrayned and let that he hurt hym not: whiche can not be so done if the temporall power be not had yn ho­nour and feare. Oure saviour Christ-say­eth not thou shalt not serve or shalt not be subiect vnto the temporall puissaunce / but he sayeth. Thou shalt not resist evill. As thought he wolde saye: Maynteyne thy life so that thou be pacyent that thou ha­ue no nede of the lawe of ryght nor of the temporall puissaunce for to revenge the. But cōtrary wyse be profitable vnto the weke / and feble multitude yn serving theym and helping theym by obeying the temporall puissaunce. I wold that thou sholdest be so worthy and nobill to haue no nede of the seculer ryght / but that that ryght shulde haue nede of the to helpe to maynteyn hyt.

Thus to vse the seculer puissaunce shulde be a grete worke of charite wherby a parsone is gyven hoelly to the service of hys neygbour / and seketh not to defende hys owne life honour or goodes / but se­keth meanes onely to be proufitable vnto [Page] hys neyghbour. As wryteth Saint Paule vnto the Corinthiens saying. Charyte seketh not that is hys owne / & this shalt thou not do of entent to rendre evill for e­vill / but onely by charite for the cōservation & defence of the comon christen cōcorde & vnto the proufit of thy neyboure not to revenge thi silf.1. Cor. 14 For touching / vnto thy silf thou abidest vppon the gospell. Thou holdest & governest after the worde of Iesus christ that is thy king. So that thou wilt willingly tourne the other cheke vere the blowe pacyently & let thy mantell go with thy cote / if it touche but onely thyne owne busynesse. Thus may it well sto [...]d to gyther that thou be indifferently subiect vnto both kyngdomes (that is) of god ād of the world: vnto the one ynwardly and vnto the other outwardly / So that thou dost suffer evill and wrong / and doest al­weys punysshe & reprove evell & wrong. Thou dost not resist the evill / ād yet thou doest alweys resist it for yn the one thou considerest thy silf ād thyne owne welth. And yn the other thy neyghbour and hys welth. Touching vnto the and vnto thy welth / thou holdest thy silf and governest [Page] thy silf a [...]ter the gospell / thou suffrest in­iurye and lyke a true christen doest not re­sist the evill. Touching thy neyghbour / & hys welth / thou holdest & governest thy silf after the ordre of love & doest resist the m [...]rye whiche is done vnto hym / whiche the gospell doth not forbydde but rather commaundeth it.

Many holy parsones haue vsed the sw­ [...]d after this maner syns the begynnyng of the worlde. As it is wryten of Abrahā howe he delyvered loth the son of hys brotherGene. 14. and s [...]ewe .iiij. kinges ād yet was A­braham alweys an holy man. Also the holy prophete Samuell slewe / likewyse [...] k [...]g Agag. Lykewise Helias sle­we the false prophetes of the Idoll Ba­ [...].1. king. 15 In lyke maner dyd Moses / Iosue / the children of Israell / Sampson / David and many other holy kinges vse the swerde as appereth yn the old testament yn many places / Some man myght no­we saye.3 king. 18 The olde testament is nowe ended and hath no more place / wherfo­re we can no more gyve suche ensam­ [...]les nor set theym forth vnto the Chri­ [...]ten. I answer the that is not trewe.

[Page] For faint Paule wryteth yu hys first epistle vnto the Chrinthiens. Oure fathers haue all eten one spirituall mete / and haue all dronke one spirituall drynke:1. Cor. 01. They drōke of the spirituall stone that folowed theym / truely the stone was christe. That is to sey they had the same spryte ād feith yn christ that we haue for they beleved then that christ was for to come to redeme theyme / as we beleve nowe that he is co­me and hath redemed vs. Aud so were they christen as well as we. Wherfore seyng that they thus vsed alweys the tē ­porall swerde from the begynnyng of the worlde vnto the comyng of christ for to depresse the outwarde malice of thoffen­ders / likewise may also the christen do vnto the ende of the worlde. For the tyme and outward chaunge make no differen­ce emong the christen. The olde testament is not so cessed that we nede yn no maner wise to kepe it / or that he doth evill that observeth every part therof. But it is so ceased that yn some thinges and some ty­mes it is indifferēt / and yn some thinges and some tyme it is of necessite to do it or to leve it.

[Page] Hit is not nowe nedefull to kepe it yn all poyntes eny more vnder payne of dampnacion as it was then. But we must kepe it onely there where brotherly love requy­reth it / As when saint Paule circumsised his dis [...]iple Timothe whiche was not nedefull vnto hym for hys helth / but he dyd it to satisfie the mynde of the feble ād weke Iues whiche thought that he myght not be saved without that he were circū ­sised after the lawe of Moyses to thintēt that by that meane he myght drawe the more of theym to the christen faith. The olde testament as concernyng the comma­undementes gyven vnto Moyses is not yet ceased nor shal not cease vnto the ende of the worlde. Hit is of necessite. that ar­te thou bounde to observe and kepe vn­der payne of dampnacyon as they were yn that tyme. As concernyng vnto they­re ceremonyes they are clerely ceased yn Christ / so that if thou woldest circum [...]se they silf at this day & forbeare suche mea­tes as were defended vnto the Iues to e [...] te and to do other ceremonyes not having trust to deserve eny thing therby / it is to the indifferent yn so doyng thou hast not [Page] [...]ffended. But yf thou shalt come yn the company of Iewes or of other parsones whiche reken that they can not be saved oneles they shulde kepe suche ceremony­es whome thou woldest fayne wynne to the christen faith and hast hope and lyke­lyod yn the same there art thou bounde by brotherly love whiche hurteth nomā but servith euery man to kepe theyre ceremo­nye with theym and to do as they do till suche tyme as they may be better taught to knowe that all theyre helthe dependith vppon the faith and trust of Iesus christ and vppon hys merytes and deservinges and not yn these blynde ceremonies. For charite regardeth not whether the thing be newe or olde that thou doest but onely the vtilite and profit of thy neighbour.

¶Of governours / Iuges / baylifes / and other lyke an informacion ofter the gospell Chapitre xxvij.

THe gospell is wryten for all parsones aud for all estates of the worl­de. And there is none estate yn the worlde but that he may fynde yn the gos­pel howe that he shulde lyve yf that he will folowe it. Let none thinke that he is not bound to [...]yve after the gospell tho­ugh he be never so greate a person / be he duke prynce Emperour or pope. For god hath commaunded that the gospell be preached to euery creature that is to sey to all mankind. B [...]fore god there is no difference nether distinction whether thou be a comon husbond man or a governoure / of a towne or of a cuntrey / noble or igno­ble / we haue all promissed at oure baptes­me the one as moche as the other. we haue all taken one rule that is the teching of the gospell after the whiche we must lede and governe onre life. we may not sey / let the monkes and prestes kepe it [Page] for we haue all promised at oure baptesme the one as moche as the other. Wherfore when the lordes will lyve as they shu [...]d do after the gospell they must first obser­ve and kepe .ij. thinges / that is to sey mer­cy and iustice. And also that they knowe when they must be mercyfull and when they must vse iustice.

Then [...]irst [...] [...]ehoueth that thyne in­tent be to defende the ryghtuous and in­nocent and so with the secu [...]er ryght to come yn ayde vnto the ryght of the gospell reproving and rebuking openly and wit­hout ony favour all vnryghtuousnesse to th [...]tēt that the people may lyve frely vnder thi protection preserved from theves [...]. therars and from all maner oppressiō and iniurye as ferre forth as it is possible vnto the / when thou doest so thou art goddes servaunt. But it behoveth that thou be well ware yn suche thinges to aduen­ge thi silf yn thy iugement and that thou gyve no iugement nor sentence but onely where thou knowest that thy iugemēt is ryghtfull and that nether for hatred en­dye nor favour. And yet thou must do it with as grete mercy & compassion & as tenderly [Page] as thou woldest cut of a corrupte mē bre from thyne owne body / whiche by the malice of hys corruption if thou dydest let hym alone wolde corrupt thy hole body. It were also no hurte yn this mater to kepe the ordynaūce somtyme made by Theodosius Emperour whiche ordined that none shulde be put to deth bifore that he had byn .xxx. dayes yn pryson to thintent that yn the meane tyme he myght be well aduysed to make answer. And to thintent that the iuge shulde cause no man to dye hastyly and with out aduysement / but that he mought haue tyme to [...]ole hys enchauffed courage.

And whē eny of the comynaltie shulde happē to do eny evill by mysfortune age­inst ryght and iustice the whiche hath al­weys bifore byn of good life & name / su­che a one may a iuge helpe ageinst the la­wes & procure hys delyueraūce without synne. For if it be so that the lawe of Moses had so grete distreciō that therby they dyd not put theym to deth whiche vnwarely & by case of mysaduenture had cōmitted murther ageynst theyre will. [...] As it ys wryten yn Deuterono. So that Mofes [Page] had assigned thre citees vnto the whiche they that had cōmytted homycyde by misfortune ageynst theyre will mought fle for theyre safegard. Howe moche more shulde we whiche are christē that lyve af­ter the gospel and love oure enemyes ha­ue & kepe discretiō & regard yn this mater

This I saye to thintent that the iuges shall not thinke that they offende if they helpe suche. For whē they haue hope & lyklyod that the evill doer shall amēde they [...]. 8 must be alweys mercyfull. As christ was vnto the woman whiche was founde yn aduoutrye As saint Iohn reherseth. The temporall lawe must obey and serve vnto the gospell: hit may in no wyse be cōtrary therunto wherfore if en [...] thing theryn [...]e ageinst the gospell then the tēporall lawe must gyve place & perisshe yn that poynt: For we must alweys obey more vnto god then vnto [...]en: As teacheth vs saint Petre. Theym that we may amende by warnyng we shall not correct theym by iusti­ce. All that a iuge may do without synne yn the cause of an other he may not do it yn hys owne. For none may ad [...]ge hys owne iniurye / nor vexe his christē brother [Page] for his owne proufit: As it is bifore sayde that the true christen never playneth vn­to the iuge of the iniurye that men do vn­to hym but suffreth all pacyently. As sa­yeth saint Paule.1. Cor. Nowe is synne yet al­weys yn you bicause that ye haue stryves to gyther [...]mong you. whi do ye not ra­ther suffre wrōge? whye do ye not rather receyve hurte. It behoveth the iuges to loke dylygētly that the one do not wrōg the other without lokīg that euery mā shuld cōpleyne vnto him & al by charite seching nothing but the rest & quietnesse of theyre christē brother whome the evill people do oppresse. The prophete Esaie reproveth the princes & inges that in theire iugementes & sentences take regard vnto richesse / seching theire owne proufit: or bering fa­voure vnto theire frendes / saying on this wife: Thy princes be vnfeithfull / felo­wes of theves. They al love bribes they folowe rewardes / they iuge not vnto the orphantes / and the cause of the wydowe entreth not vnto theym. They ought to determine the cause with good aduy­sement and as shortly as were possible / & to exhort the parties to make brotherly [Page] appoyntement the one with the other shewing theym by the gospell that the chri­sten ought nat to haue sute and proces a­mong theym. They ought to be verey so­ry of the dissention of theyre christē bre­theren / and of the evill governaunce of e­vill doers.

Hit behoueth also that the lordes enforce theym silues to put a wey al evill custu­mes and that they forbid streytly that no yong stronge parsones go on beggyng. For therof comyth grete evill / but shall cōstiayne theyme to i [...]rne a cra [...]e. There is a place yn the Ciuile lawe that forbid­deth that no strong parsones beyng yn he [...]th shall begge theyre brede. A [...]d therfore I merveyle gretely that the temporall lordes kepe not this l [...]we / seyng that it is good & not cōtrary but agreable vnto the gospell whiche cōmaunde [...]h that he that laboureth not shulde not eate. The lordes shulde procure and counceyle the riche folke that they shulde do theyre dyligence to cause the pore yong folke to lerne a crast to thintent that they shulde not go a begging and that they haue none occasion to take theym to the w [...]let.

[Page] The ruelars shulde also ordeyne some honest provision that the poore impotent / yong children / and old peple that can not get theyre brede / and haue not wherof to lyve / shulde not be constreyned to go from dore to dore. But it wer [...]rather better that they shulde ordeyne thre or foure ho­nest parsones yn enery parisshe whiche of a comon treasure / as of the treasure of the poore / myght provide every weke as moche as shulde be nede to enery house of the poore. And that by porcyon after the nombre of the poore. And that they shul­de exhorte the ryche to gyve theyre alme­fie to that comon treasure and to bequeth that that they wold bequeth by theyre te­stamentes other weys to that comon trea­sure. For we can fynde the meane to buylde grete abbayes for to nourisshe yn de­licate lyving strong people that may laboure and some t [...]me me hores and bawdes also And whye can we not aswell fynde the meane to do oure charytable workes according to the gospell to the poore impo [...]ent syke and feble: we shulde also by houses for the poore to dwell yn as are the hospi­talles situate yn a fayre plesaunt and lar­ge [Page] out of the towne. And likewise shulde we provide vnto theym an honest mā that mought every day make vnto theym a sermon shewing vnto them the word of god for to comforte theym in theyre povertye / and languores: whiche shulde be a service honest holsome and verey acceptable vnto God.

¶Howe that we must paye taxes and subsidies yn ayde vnto oure prynces. Chap­tre .xxviij.

WHen saint Paole had converted the gentiles vnto the christen fayth: then thought the Christen (seing that nowe they had got­ten god for theyre lorde) that they shulde be delyuered from theyre erthly lordes / ād that it shuld be no more nedefull vnto thē to honoure theyre temporall lordes nor to pay vnto theym taxes or tailles. whiche opinion Saynt Paule reproved writing vnto the Romayns.Ro. 13 And albeit that God almighty hath delivered you by his son­ne Iesu Christ from your sinnes ād from the subiection of the devill / ye may not thinke that ye be therby delivered from [Page] [...]he obedience ond service of your princes [...]nd lordes of this worlde. For the [...]ervice that ye do vnto youre princes ys [...]ot hurfull vnto your helth. Hit can but [...]nely hurt or greve your body and tem­ [...]orall goodes if percase ye did paye vnto [...]heym eny taxes or subsidies / when they [...]ad no nede to requyre it. For these thin­ [...]s ye shall not therfore murmure / nor [...]udge ageynst the punissaunces / nether [...] rebell ageynst theym albeit that it so we [...] that they were uerey tirauntes / to thin­ [...]ut that ye sterre theym not to more gret­ [...] anger / wherby they shulde take occa­ [...]on to do the more gretter oppressyon and [...]yefe vnto the christen. For ye must al­ [...]yes laboure to give good ensample vn [...]other by your paciēce for to drawe your [...]des after that maner from theire evill li [...]as they shall se and beholde your holy & [...]fible conuersacion.

And therfore to him that exeth you taxe [...] [...]subsidye ye shall give it him. In all [...] thinges shall ye be obediēt vnto your [...]des although they were paynems / to [...]ntent that by that meanes ye may dra­ [...] theym vnto the christen faith.

[Page] This is thobedience that saint Paul [...] speketh of in the sayd Chaptre. After thi [...] maner was our saviour Christ obedyen vnto the temporall puissaunce / and pay [...] the tribute money for him silf and for sain [...] Peter.Mat .17. Not that he owed it but bycaus [...] he wolde gyve noman occasion to be offe [...]ded. This shuld all the christen considre [...] kepe theym silves from murmuryng an [...] grudging when subsidie or taxacion is a [...]ed of theym. But when they axe nough [...] thou owest theym nought bifore god. fo [...] as Christ was passed by theym that axe [...] tribute he profered theym none / for he owed theym none / but when yt was axed / he payed it / as we have sayde byfore. And the lordes ought to be well ware that they oppresse not theyr subiec­tes / for therof they shall yeld a streyte acco­mpt bifore God.

¶Of men of warre and of the warre whether the Christen may war­re without synne an informacyon after the Gospell. Chaptre .xxix.

THe men of warre haue no­thing in the gospell for the gospell knoweth no mē of warre nor the warre but onely peace. Albeit that many doctoures sey that the men of warre is a thing resonable & good bicause of the wordes of saint Iohn bap­tist who as (writeth saint Luke in the gospell) answered vnto the men of warre ax­ [...]ing him whate thing they shulde do to be saved that they shuld hurte nomā but sh­ulde be contented with theire wages. By these wordes will the doctours and / The­ologyens saye that the men of warre may warre pill and do evill without synne. But they vnderstond not the wordes of saint Iohn.

ye must vnderstond that the teching of saint Iohn brought noman vnto full perfectiō. It did but onely make redy the hert [Page] of man vnto god and vnto the teaching o [...] Iesu christ. He rebuked the most grettes [...] euilles by his preaching. He did but onely teche the beginning of rightuousnesse / a [...] though he wolde haue seyed: If I shuld all ar [...]once forbid you to warre / ye migh [...] not yet for your wekenesse suffer it [...] nor ye [...] might not leve [...]t all sodeynly. But begin­ne first to [...]eue the most grettest evill as to do hurt and outrage vnto other / as to burne / to kill / to pill and so forth. And be alweyes content with your wages.

So was saint Iohn Baptist none o­ther thing but as a man that abateth and cutteth of from a pece of timber the most gretest knotres. He doth it not to thintent that it shulde abide so. But whē the knottes and warres be cut of then comith a better master carpenter that planeth it & ma­keth it more smothe with a large fine ra­bot. Likewise did saint Iohn by his pre­aching / he did but onely abate and cut of the grete knottes / that is to sey / the grete sinnes. And yet they were not clene taken away [...]nd cut of till an other better master workman came after and [...]ut them of with his fine rabot. And therfore was he no­thing [Page] els but a voyte crying in the deserte whiche cryed:Esa. 40 Make redy the wey of the lorde: make [...]reyght his fete pathes.

He was not the light as saieth saint Io­hn the Evaungelist. He coude not pardo­ne oure sinnes / for he was not Christ.Iohn. 1

He was but onely a voyce a foregoar and a shewer whiche made redy the wey a­geinst the coming of Christ.

And for this cause did Saint Iohn sen­de his disciples to Iesu Christ / when he shulde die to thintent that they might ler­ne the full perfection of him. For he had but onely made them redy for to come vnto christ. for this cause & reason it is al ma­nifest that saint Iohn hath not preised the warre by these wordes / but hath rather forboden it: As teacheth all the gospell. for as it is a thing evill agreing that the hōde fight ageinst the hede / So is it a thing as evell agreing and grete sinne that one Christen warre ageinst the other.Ro. 12 For we are all bretheren and membres of one body / the body is Christe / whiche in all his life preached peace and concorde to all theim that he taught.

Saynt Iohn in his fyrst epistle saieth:1. Ioh. 4 [Page] He that hateth his brother is an homicide We may hate noman / we must love oure enemyes / we must pray for theym and do good vnto theym that persecute vs. How can it then be possible after the gospell that we may warre without sinne? wherin so many people lose theyre livis and wherby so many parsones come to wildenesse ryot and evill life. There be textes in the canon lawe that suffre some warres. But the re­ehing of Christ forbiddeth all warres.

It is a thing horrible and daungero­us for body and soule to enterpryse & mo­ve a warre. For all malice reyneth in ty­me of warre. Neverthelesse when a cun­trey is invaded or a towne beseged & whē the comon peace is troubled / and grete vi­olence is done vnto the subiectes: the lord of that cuntrey ys bounde by brotherly love to helpe hys subiectes / and to de­fende theym to punysshe the evyll / and to put hys lyfe yn ieoperdy for hys subie­ctes.

But he must alweyes beware that he do it not to revenge his owne wronge / or for to enlarge his londe and lordship / but onely to defende his subiectes. And so may [Page] he vse the horrible businesse of the warre / charitably and christenly.

But if it were possible to agre for gol­de or silver / he is bounde to do it. For the life of a chrilren is more worth then all the richesse of the worlde.

A lorde shall thinke alweyes that there is a king aboue him in heve bifore who me all parsones shall yeld accompte at the last day of iugement ye of the lest workes and thoughtes that he shall do / be he king or Emperour / [...] / nobill or ignoble / yong or olde.

We rede that the people of Israell did warre many tymes but theire warres were1. Co. 10 but all figures / As saieth saint Paule. wherfore it betokeneth to vs that we shal likewise fight not the one ageynst the o­ther / but ageynst oure silves / that is to sey / ageynst oure synnes ageynst pryde wrath co­vitize / lechery / ha­tred / envye and suche o­ther.

¶Howe servauntes shulde lyve a doctrine after the Gospell. Chaptre .xxx.

SErvauntes that serve theyr lordes / mastres / ladyes and mastresses / shalbe true vnto theym as vnto theym silves and shall al­weyes do the proufit of theyre lordes and mastres as though it touched theym sil­ves / They shall nor do theyre service onely for temporall rewardes. For thou ma­yst by the service that thou doest vnto thy master please god as wele as though thou were no servaunt and as though thou were in the churche [...]prayng on thy knees.

Therfore thou shalt do thy service by faith and love in god thus thinking in thy silf. Behold dere lorde God I thanke the that thou hast not made me riche / I am well content with the state that I am yn. I will with a good wil [...] for the love of the serve all the worlde. And I thanke the that thou hast made me worthy to suffereny thing for thy love / and that I may in this worlde be one of the lest and le [...]t este­med when thou serve [...] thy lorde in suche a faith with a good will thou receivest not [Page] onely the rewarde or wages of men / to­whome thou servest / bnt that more is of God.

Therfore thou shalt do thy laboure diligently and ioyfully / not as though thou didest sarve a man / but as though thou di­dest serve God / as truely thou doest.

For so doeth saint Paul teche the writing to the Ephesians where he saieth:Ephe. Servauntes obey vnto youre carnall mastres / with feare and trembling in ynnocency of your hartes as vnto Iesu christ / not with service in the yie [...]ight as men pleasers / but as the servauntes of Christ doing the will of god with all your hartes with go­od will / even as though ye served the lord and not men.

Remembre also that whatesoever good eny man doth / that shall he receyve ageynCol. 3 of the lorde whether he be bonde or fre, and ageyn vnto the Colossians. Servauntes (saieth he) obey vnto your bodily ma­stres in all thinges / not with yie service as mē plesers / but in simplicite or ynnocency of hert fearing the lord god. Do all that ye do with a good will / as though ye dyd it vnto the lorde God / and not as vnto [Page] men / knowing that ye shall receive of the lord the reward of enherifaunce for ye vo serve the lord Christ. But he that doth wrong shall receyve for the wrong that he hath done: for there is no respect of par­sones.1. Pe. [...] And also saint Petre saieth in hys first epistle. Servauntes be subiect in all feare vnto your lordes not onely vnto the good and courteys / but also though they be froward. For it comith of grace if a mā for conscience toward God endure griefe suffering wrongfully. For whate preyse is it if when ye be beten for your fautes ye take it paciently? But and if when ye do well ye suffer wrong and take it pacient­ly / then are ye grete thank worthy byfore god. Therfore thou shalt in all thinges haue god alweyes bifore thyne yies and not the men whome thou servest outwardly. As did Paule the bisshoppe whiche put hī silf into the service of the lordes for the sonne of a widowe. And bicause that he had given all his goodes for the will of God. He gaue also him silf into service for the love of God / for to deliver the sonne of the wydowe.

Be not sory that thy mastre both not [Page] suffre the to go to the churche to here masse For thou mayst please god aswell in do­yng thy worke by suche a good intent as though thou were in the churche whē th­ou belevest: but thou must do thy laboure in suche a faith as is bifore sayd. God re­gardeth not whate thing we do or in whate place we be: but of whate courage ād in whate feith we do it.

The servauntes shall take good hede that they anger not theyre maystre or ma­stresse. And when it shall so happon that then incontinent they axe theym forgy ve­nesse. He shall alweys honoure his mastre bering his hasty wordes / keping him silfe that he do not rebell and answer spitefully vnto his master.Gen For thou art bounde to support him and to gyve place vnto hym As the aungell taught vnto Agar the ser­vaunt of Sara [...] the whiche fled from her mastresse as it is writen in the .xvi. chaptre of Geneūs where the aungell came vnto her and sayde: Go and tourne toward thy lady and humble thy silf vnder her honde So shulde the servaunt humble him stife vnder his lord / and when he hath angred him / to appayse him ageyn with humble [Page] demeanure and obedience. So did Saint Paule make agremēt bitwixt Onesimus and Philemon from whome he was fled awey: [...] Phile [...]onē,

The lordes & mastres shall vse theyre servauntes as mē / not as asses. They shal entreate theym lovingly and softly / & not as tirauntes / for they be theyre christē bretheren and membres of one body (that is) of Iesus Christ wherfore thou shalt not overcharge theym with thinges not con­venient or vnreasonable: but thou shalt v­se theym as membres of thine owne body For Christ is oure hede / and we all to gyther be his body / & every one of vs by him silf is a membre of his body be he man / or woman / lord or servaunt / riche or pore: as writeth saint Paule vnto the Corinth [...]ēs For this cause as no mā hateth his owneCor. 12 membres / but kepeth theym a [...] well as he can: So shall we loue the one the other / & shall serve by charite and socoure the one the other as one membre socoureth an o­ther. It was sometyme the custume that all parsones did call the one the other bre­theren and sisters. This did [...]appostles institute to thintent that the hethen might [Page] knowe whate love there was emong the Christen. we may finde many mastres nowe a dayes that vse theyre servauntes like asses / not like men / nor like theyre owne membres / wherof they shall yelde vnto god a full streyte accompt.Ephe. Saint Paule exhorteth you to entrete your servauntes with all swetenesse. Ye masters (saieth he) shewe the same love & dilection vnto your servauntes that they shewe vnto you / ab­steyning your silf from threteninges remē bring that theire mastre and yours is in heven / And there is no respect of persones bifore him. And vnto the Colossians: ye masters do vnto your servauntes that whi­cheCol. 1 is iust ād egall remembring that ye haue also a master in heven. Neverthelesse although the mastres be rigorous & hard yet I counceile (with Saint Petre in his first epistle) all servauntes that they take all that theire masters & mastresses ley vnto theire charge paciently / & that for the lo­ve of god / if it be not so that they commaunde to do a thing that is ageinst the cōmaū ­dement of god / for in suche a case they must rather obey god then men. As saieth saint Pe [...]er in the actes of thappostles.Act.

¶Of the widowes life a shorte informacion after the Gos­pell. Chaptre .xxxi.

THappostle saint Paule teacheth vs writīg vnto his disciple Timothe that the widowe shall vse her libertye vnto the honoure of god and that she shall serve willingly the pore wesshing theyre fete / and socou­ring theym after her power. And to thin­tent that she shulde haue wherof to socoure the poore she shall not runne aboute y­dell from house to house clatering / but sh­all get her expences in her owne house by her laboure. And she must kepe her silfe from ydelnesse / and from delicate eating & drinking for by suche meanes they f [...]ll into evill desires and foule sinnes. Suche widowes so living in carnall pleasure / ly­ving be dede alredy / As saint Paule sa­yeth in the seyde place. They lyve in a daungerous estate / it were moche better th­at suche widowes dyd marye ageyn then so to lyve in idelnesse and pleasure.

But the widowe so taking her pleasures desireth not the everlasting life bicau­se she hath no travayle here / and this is [Page] the grettest blyndnesse that eny parsone may fall in to. And therfore it were moche better that she were maryed ageyn for the carefulnesse and rule of house keping / and the obedience that the maryed woman to vn­der her husbonde de­ly vereth the par­sone frō evill desires. ād for this cause co­unceyleth sa [...]nt Pau­le that the yong wydowes ma­ry ageyn.

¶Laude and honoure be onely vnto God. AMEN.

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