¶ A Svvoord agaynst Swearyng, con­teyning these principall poyntes.

1 That there is a lawful vse of an oth, contrary to the assertion of the Manichees & Anabaptistes.

2 Howe great a sinne it is to sweare falsly, vaynely, rashly, or customably.

3 That common or vsual swearing lea­deth vnto periurie.

4 Examples of Gods iuste and visible punishment vpon blasphemers, periurers, and suche as haue procured Gods wrath by cursing and bannyng, which we cal execration.

❧ At London, Printed by Richarde Wat­kins, dwelling in Paules Churchyard.


GOD the Father.

Exodus. 20Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vayne. The Lord wyll not holde hym giltlesse, that taketh his name in vaine.
Le. 19. You shall not forsweare in my name, you shal not defile the name of your God. I am the Lord.

GOD the Sonne.

Math. 6.Thus you shall specially pray. Our fa­ther which art in heauen, halowed be thy name.

GOD the holy Ghost.

Iacobi. 5. Aboue all thinges my brethren, sweare not, neyther by heauen, neyther by the earth, nor by any other kynde of othe.

The Prophet Dauid.

Psal. 68. GOD shall wounde the head of his enimies, and the heary scalpe of euery one that goeth on styl in his wickednesse.

¶ To the right worshypfull, M. Alexander Nowel. M. Iohn Mullens. M. Iohn Walker, diligent and faythful distributers of Gods heauenly Misteries.

MAN in the dignitie of his creation (right woorshyp­full, and my very good Pa­trons) hath this excellent denomination, he is termed [...], a litle world within it selfe, as carry­in within the litle compasse of his smale brayne, the whole order, and disposition of a common wealth. But if by inuersion it may be alowed, to returne vnto smaller thinges, the greatest, we may then right wel resemble the world vnto mankind, saying, The worlde is lyke vnto a man, and of good right and reason, the greatest time & age of the worlde being now consumed, and gone. This face of the worlde, as it were lying sicke of age (which age it selfe in deede is a malady vareco­uerable) this same last age of the world, may best be likened then vnto an old man: But an old man is twyse a childe, children be foolish, & froward, [Page] and besides the infirmitie of sicknesse, they be na­stie and noysome, full of vncleannesse, in whose frowarde follie, this aboue al thinges must be re­membred, that old men, howe iust soeuer the cause be, can abyde no reprehension, nor cannot endure the hearyng of theyr faultes: And so for all the worlde, though neuer any age were so wicked, so foule, so filthy, so nasty, and so loath­some, as this our age is: yet we say, we be cleane and holsome, we say we be sweete and sauery, we say they be not wyse that reprehende in age any thyng. Age in deede is honourable, howbeit not that age which Seneca ad Lucilium calleth Elementaria senectus, but that age whereof Tullie remembreth de senectute: Remem­ber alwayes, sayth he, that I speake of that age whereof youth hath layde an honest foundation. It is not yeeres, or gray hears, nor wrinkles in the browe, nor furrowes in the face, that bryngeth reuerence vnto age, but an honest life past before, which continueth with reuerence vnto the ende. An olde Ruffian, or an auncient Callet, is not for theyr continuaunce in wickednesse worthy any reuerence. A sleepie age geuen to idlenesse, that resteth not without feare, and is voyde of hope of goodnesse, seeking securi­tie [Page 3] for the time, pretendyng that we were best be at quiet for the time of our lyfe, we are not able to endure the troubles that may com­passe vs: this age is not honorable. And such is our age, and like altogeather vnto testy old fro­ward age, that how iust soeuer the cause be, can abide no reprehension. What, we lyue in the olde age of the worlde, and haue the examples of all the ages of the worlde before vs, and our end is to be looked for, no man wotteth howe soone: Shal not our punishment be the greater, our con­demnation the more iust, howe much the more warninges and examples haue been geuen vnto vs since the beginning of the worlde, yf we take no heede thereby? And howe muche I pray you haue we profited? Amongst Gods special com­maundements, is God honoured? Is Gods name reuerenced? Was euer any age so outragious in Othes? So blasphemous in railing? So rooted in periurie? When God turned his gratious counte­nance to wardes vs againe, and renued the glory of his Gospel, did we suspect that wickednesse should haue been vnweeded, that blasphemie should haue spred such blossomes, that common swearing should haue ben thus suffered as it is? Thought we that Papistes should haue had any [Page] place of aucthoritie? Thought we that contenti­on should haue ben so common, or that consience should haue ben ruled by riches. Nay veryly, we hoped for better, and I wot not when any age was worse. It is true that affliction and trouble tryeth: God is neuer letter serued, then in ad­uersitie. Wealth maketh vs Wantons, peace bre­deth pride, we haue quite forgotten Mariana tempora. This complaint as it may truely be made in diuers respectes, so specially in this, that Gods most glorious name is not halowed nor ho­noured, but vainly vsed, terribly abused, & blas­phemed most outragiously. Some faultes against the second table, because they concerne the com­mon wealth, are somewhat duely executed, nay I dare boldly say that lawes for haukes egges, for couies of Partriges, and eyes of Phesantes, are with much diligence obserued and looked vn­to: (and good cause that so they shoulde) But this that concerneth Gods honour, and the glorie of his maiestie, this whereof God hath geuen a special charge, wherunto God hath annexed his terrible threatnings, this commaun­dement of the first Table, concerning the reue­rence of Gods owne name, is (fie for shame) to much neglected. Yf Princes woulde forget it, if [Page 4] Counsellours consult for common wealth only, yet may not Diuines speake? What though we be lyke vnto women, for that when we haue sayd, we haue doone, our aucthoritie stretcheth no far­ther: yet in a reasonable cause a woman may speake with honestie, and speake agayne and agayne to, vntyl she be heard. Vnto you therefore this I remember, not in suspitiō of your diligence, that be far from me, for I professe gladly, and I geue God thankes, I knowe that both in doctrine and life, none labour more feruently: but as litle sand to continue a long lasting edge, vnto a strong gentle Scithe: So I humbly beseeche you styll to continue your earnest Zeale, to the promoting of Gods glory, Namely, and most specially when o­portunitie of time and place shal serue, that some strength of law earnestly be by your wysedomes required, againe and againe, to be established for punishment of vaine swearing, and for the vtter cuttyng of, of forswearing or periurie. The dis­commodities of the outragious excesse in appar­ret breedeth much more woe then many deemes for: drunkennes, is a deathful disease, & it disma­keth a man, so that be ceasseth to be that he was: But this vice cōcerneth not man so much as God: No tonge can vtter, no pen can expresse, no mor­talitie [Page] can conceiue the sinful wickednes, the dis­honour vnto God, the mischiefe and misery vnto mankinde, that groweth therby: Of this it plea­sed God to styr me vp to write somewhat, wher­of I yeeld most humble thanks vnto his maiesty, that it pleased hym I should bring somewhat, whether it be heare or wooll, or sand, or Oyster shelles, to the building of his Temple. The mat­ter is worthy for al men to regard, though it be a common thyng (euery body can say it is so) our age is dainty, and lusteth after nouelties: the pro­fession of our faith in religion, is like vnto our foo­lish fancy in building. We delight in shewes, in trickes and toyes, in cornered Windowes, in tops of Chimneies, though the bottomes be not. So we dispute curious vnprofitable preternecessarie que­stions, not regarding the grounde and substance, which is most necessary, as without the whiche we are not. That your godly wisedome right wel considered, when in your auncient reuerend age, you wrote yet instructions for the tender youth, a Woorke which to your presence for to commend, is not so seemely: it was in deede a hammer, a Hatchet, a swoorde, an axe, to beat, to cut, to wounde, to destroy Antechrist and all Heritiques. Old men are vncleane and nastie, [Page 5] the hope is in the youth, whom well to enstructe in faythfull literature, and studiously to traine vp to his glory, is the only hope that remaines to our age: the strength of which hope, is the stablish­ment of good lawes in tyme, for the reuerende vse and honour of Gods name. Which neglected or intermitted, the euyl of example that amongst vs remayneth, is lyke to poyson more pottes, then all the Vineger in Europe is able hereafter to make sweete or seasonable. God graunt that his honour may most specially be tendred, and that thereunto all other Potentates, Prin­ces, and Dominions whatsoeuer, may with condigne reue­rence bende and obey. Amen.

¶ Vnto your good woorshyppes, bounden by duetie, most humble in the Lorde. Edmond Bicknoll.

¶ Ʋnto the Godly Reader, through the grace of Gods spi­rite, feruentnesse of Zeale, and diligence (according to abilitie) to kil and destroy the abhominable sinne of Svvearing and periurie.

THe notable sayinges of Gods chosen seruantes, in whom the holy Ghost it selfe speaketh, are worthy perpetual remem­braunce. Which if they be not regarded, the godly are taken away to their rest and ioy, and then foloweth (in plague to the people) the miseries and calamities that before were threatned by the mouthes of those his messengers. So after the death of S. Am­brose, folowed the horrible vastation of Italie, after the death of Augustine the Vandales entred Affricke, and then sprang the Arryan Heresy, after the death of Iohannes Hus the fierce battayles of Bohemia, after the death of Martin Luther, what terrible troubles, and cruell cala­mities happened? Who in his lyfe tyme amongst al o­ther, left in memorial this notable prophesie: That these three thynges would be the destruction of Chri­stian religion. The fyrst, is forgetfulnesse of the bene­fites that we receiue at Gods handes by the Gospell, and vnthankefulnesse for the same. The seconde, is carelesnesse: the woorde is brought vnto vs, and we care not for it, we make a profession of a fayth for a shewe, but we reckon not what we doo, nor how we lyue. The third, is that we loue & like better of worldly wisdome, then of godly wisdome: within the compasse [Page 6] of our foolyshe braines, we wyll comprehende the reason, rule, order, and ende of euery thyng: vngodly counsel is a prop and stay vnto our determinations, we depende not vpon the Lordes prouidence, we aske not counsell at the mouth of the Lorde: yf the Lorde guide not the worlde after our owne wyl, we lyke no longer to be gouerned by hym: We forsake the Lorde, we flie streight vnto fleshe and blood. The prosperitie of the worlde is our delyght, and therefore we say iumply as it was sayd vnto Ieremie, We remember what we haue Ieremi. 4 [...] doone, and lyued meerily after it: when we sacrificed vnto the Queene of heauen, the worlde went merily with vs, we sawe none euyll: but since we left sacrifi­cing vnto the Queene of heauen, we haue liued in lack, and felt much wo: Euen so say we, yf we shoulde lyue accordyng to the Gospel, we should leaue of craftie cun­nyng in getting, and perchaunce become beggers, we should leaue our faise swearing, and not sel our wares, we shoulde leaue our excesse in vanitie, which is our chiefe delyght, we should labour earnestly, and leaue out slouthfull rest, we should geue to them that want, and haue no certenty our selues, but stil waite vntil the Lorde would geue vs more. Fleshe and blood is our de­light, the glory of the world is our ioy: and, this is con­trary thereunto. Thus we forsake the Lorde, and cast of the yoke of Christian profession, nay, of Christian re­ligion I woulde say, for we professe somewhat, but we lyue nothyng. These thynges, sayde that excellent ves­sell of the. L. Doctor Martin Luther, woulde destroy christian religion: So as Moses law shalbe continued, and the Turke very farre shall spread the prayse of his Mahumet, but christian religion amongst vs shal war full colde. It is God hym selfe that speakenh by the mouth of his ministers, and therfore it would be speci­ally regarded, what the holy ghost moued them to tel, [Page] before it pleased God to take away our good Iosias, our [...]xample in [...]emorie. sweete king Edwarde, this voyce was hearde out of euery Preachers mouth, The Gospell shalbe taken from yon, the Gospell shalbe taken away from you. I am horribly afrayde because of the vngodly, so often as I heare my deare brethren and felowe labourers in the Lord: Who, I am sure with earnest groninges, pray vnto the Lorde, that his spirite may teache them what to speake: So often as I see that the spirite woorketh in them to threaten, aboue al other this woe, to haue the kyngdome of heauen taken away from vs, to haue the glorious Gospell of GOD, the immortall seede, the spirituall foode of our soules, taken quite a­way from vs: So often, me thynketh, I feare and tremble to thynke how soone that terrible hunger shall come, that we shal go, and run, and seeke earnestly, and yet not fynde the foode of our soules wherewith to be comforted. If we wilfully forget Gods glory, wyll he care for vs? wherefore? There was neuer a goodlyer thyng vpon the earth, then was Hierusalem: and yet when they refused to be obedient vnto the Lorde, and began to waxe forgetfull of his great benefites, when they left of to aske counsell of the Lorde, and trusted to mans foolyshe wysedome and pollicie, to mans vayne strength, euen then they were destroyed by vnciuyll dis­cention, poysoned with the plague of pestilence, murde­red by cruell famine, deuoured of the enimies swoord, many thousandes of their Nobles forced to doo the dayes labour of slaues, no more accompt of them, but that. 30. of them were solde for one poore penie: the rest were forced to lyue agaynst theyr wylles in lacke and wo, pinched with penurie, oppressed with labour in most cruel bondage and perpetual slauery. To come nearer and next in deede to our selues: Howe gallant and glorious a Citie was Antvverp? Howe floorished [Page 7] some part of Germanie and Flaunders, but when the voyce of the Gospell is not obeyed, when Gods kingdome is not sought fyrst and afore all other thynges, when Gods mercy is despised, and his Gospell no more em­braced, when the spirite of God is resisted and refused? then in deede we must needes looke for that whiche Martin Luther, that chosen instrument of the Lorde, fore­tolde vs, that the Gospell shalbe translated from vs, to some other people, or rather returned backe agayne from vs Gentiles vnto the Iewes, from the newe cho­sen refusers, to the olde refused professors: It hath an hyd darke misterie, that many false professed Christi­ans denie the reuerende Sacrament of Baptisme, and some naturall Israelites, carnal Iewes, haue earnestly desyred the benefite of the same. Doubtlesse it is true that Christe sayd, You shall not finyshe all the Cities of Iuda vntyll the commyng agayne of the sonne of man, some­what shall be to doo amongest them: GOD hath a woorke amongest them that he wyl doo, he hath a rem­nant that he wyll call home, whereof Paul speaketh, saying, Blindnesse is partly happened vnto Israel, vntyl the fulnes Romans. [...] of the Gentiles be accomplished, and so Israel shalbe saued. Hert­of sayth Hillarius, Al is not yet doonem Israel: after the ful­nesse of the Gentiles is come in, there is a remnant yet Hillarie. left in Israel that shalbe gathered vnto the Lord. Our loosenesse of lyfe is vnto any Christian conscience a terrible feare, or rather a dispayre of any long conti­nuance of Gods Gospell among vs. The Foxe of whom Methodius speaketh in his Vaticinis whom di­uers learked interprete to be Mahomet or his faction, Methodi [...] was neuer so lyke to bryng red and blooddy Turkes and Iewes out of Cancasus cloysters, as now, neyther was our battayle euer so great in deede with them our frowarde neyghbours that ware blacke Bootes, as it shall be with those strangers that weare red Buskins, [Page] wherof a iust prouocation is in good sadnes that which Bessarion layeth to our charge, that we are so diuers of hew, so variable in colour, that it is hard to find a num­ber Bessarion. of Christians of one colour, of one consent, of one lyke disposition, some are whyte, some are blacke, some are dun, some are blew, some are falowe, some are red, some are ful of speckles, some are vnspotted: on the o­ther syde, one Wolfe is lyke an other, all wicked ons, as byrdes of one feather, as beastes of one kynde, they are all alyke, of one minde, of one consent. The De­uyll, the Pope, the Turke, the Iewe, they haue one and the selfe same intent, they shoote all at one marke: seeke to destroy Christes kingdome, and haue with you, for our pick of Mault set the whole Kylne on fyre: deface Gods glory, blot out his name, and set vp whom you wyl: Let God and Moses be forgotten, in the Mount al Israel wyll plucke of their speciall Iewels and Ornamentes to make a molten Image. Let the people proclayme a sacrifice vnto the Queene of heauen, you shall haue company that wyl spare for no cost, young men wyl cut wood, chyldren wyl gather [...]eremi. 44 chyps, women wyl fetch water, olde men wyl afoorde wheate, one wil fetch fire, an other wil heate the Ouen, make cakes to sacrifice to the Queene of heauen, spare for no cost, you shal lacke for no company. Gedeon dyd but once aske it, and he had it redily geuen hym to Iudges. 8. make an Ephod to set vp in Ephra 1700. sicles of redy golde, besides Iewels and precious apparrel. Aboue al thynges, we shoulde be most thankefull for that in­estimable treasure of Gods most sacred woorde, we shoulde seeke most specially his honor, in respect wher­of, al pompous glory should be as dunghyl fylthinesse. Philip. 3. In this case lament al you that loue God: Helpe al you that be good Christians, with one consent, let vs be felowe labourers in the Lorde: For Gods glory, for [Page 8] the reuerent vse of his name, spare no labour, speake, sue, entreate, encourage, helpe, succour, make good choyce (if I speake not to late) of your Knightes of the Shyre, of the Burgesses of the Parliament, of the Clarkes of the Conuetation, she we your zeale, doo what you may to mooue, to procure some godly lawe, whereby the customable euyl vse, the vayne abuse of our sacred God, his most mightie name may be refour­med. The force of Papistrie GOD be thanked is beaten downe, they wryte not, nor haue not what to wryte. Our lacke of good lyfe is the greatest losse, the strongest stoppe, the vnhappiest hinderance that nowe remayneth agaynst the fulnesse and plentifulnesse of Gods kingdome: Whose kingdome, yf we buylde not vnto the ende, whose spirite yf we resist, and refuse, as heretofore (a fruite of infidelitie) we were geuen ouer to beleeue Hobgoblin, Robin goodfelow, Fayries, and suche other fancies, so hereafter we may be sure, haue­uyng cast of the spirite of grace, the Deuyll shal euery where in the terrour of our conscience, appeare and shewe hym selfe vnto vs: So as hereafter it shalbe (I feare) as great a woonder to see many hou­ses free from some one or moe visibly possessed of the Deuyl, as heretofore it hath been strange to see one in a parish. Strange sightes, earthquakes, vnnatural mut­thers, Monsters by Sea and by lande, as tokens of Gods wrath, we haue seene abundantly: Nay we may write againe to the beginning of the worlde, suche thynges as they neuer heard of. These thynges should frame or rather force vs to a newnesse of lyfe, to a redy wayting for the Lorde Christe his last commyng. A­mongst al other, this great and horrible vice of vayne swearing, to the destruction whereof, I beseeche GOD graunt some strength and force of lawe, it is so great a sinne, so vnprofitable a mischiefe, so common [Page] an euyll, as there is nothyng more to be woondred at in my iudgement, then that after twentie whole yeeres preachyng of the Gospell vnder so gratious and godly a Queene, and mother vnto his Churche, there shoulde any man, no [...] [...]r simple, be so vngodly, so vn­thankfull, so [...] once to dishonor God by dishalow [...] of his name, [...] hym selfe by euyll outragious othes forgetfull o [...] [...] benefite of the Gospell, or through disobedience and lacke of good lyfe, to hynder the commyn home of [...]ther vnto the societie of Gods holy congregation. And in this so good and necessarie a motion, I am and sory that some man of good learnyng and great [...] had not taken this enterprise in hande: Howbeit [...] matter it selfe is woorthy euery where to fynd [...] [...] Patrone▪ And as helpers and ayders, I doo earnestly desyre in this behalfe all good Christians to succour and fur­ther this motion: But most specially as Patrones by name, I haue chosen thres suche (as, though compari­sons be odious) (And blessed be GOD therefore, our Churche of Englande aboundeth with good men, so as I dare say, no one function in subiectes state is more faythfully and diligently discharged then the ministerie) yet hereof I dare clappe my handes vnto my selfe, that all other eyther learned, or godly, wyl easily geue them the tytle (besydes theyr excellent vni­uersall gyftes of literature) of diligent and faythful [...] distributers of Gods heauenly misteries, whereunto yf theyr lyfe be not correspondent, let hym that can, step foorth and rebuke, so that he doo it per [...] iuste coarguere. Of the whiche three, as the one hath th [...] fyrst place before our most gratious Queene, and her most honourable Counsellours, in the which place, a [...] A shwensday his wisdome of godly zeale hath mooued diuers thing [...] heretofore to be reformed: So at this tyme I trus [...] [Page 9] in God his spirite wyll worke a mightie effect in hym, And the other wayne I am sure in theyr condition and place, wyl mooue and further this Christiam request to Gods owne glorie: Hereof also. I hope largely that whatsoeuer so godly learned, and faythful stewardes of the Lorde shall [...]ue, al other that be eyther godly, learned or zelous, wyl assent, prosecute, and further the same, to the vttermost of theyr strength and habi­litie: Whiche God graunt for his sonne Christe Iesus his sake, to his onely honour, and reuerence of his most gloryous name, as also to the great commen­dation of the gouernment of his church in England, that other congregations of Christ els where, may confesse England to be no whyt infe­riouy vnto any in the world, but rather a lyght and lantherne vnto the rest.

Amen. Amen.

ASword against swearing god send vs, god send vs.
LOrde, thy Swoord brandysheth, wrath agaynst it.
EXcept our Englande, leaue her othes outragious.
XEgypt plagues were not so sharpe a scourge.
AS God wyl sende, when he his floore shal purge.
NO thyng doth more, diminish Gods glory.
DOth not God threaten, swearers his vengaunce?
EXcept you repent, and be hartily sory.
REmember hel fyre, shalbe your pyttaunces.
NOVVVVEL, God speede thy tongue,
And guyde thee with his grace:
That when to preach, thy course shal come,
This vice, thou mayst deface.
And as. S. Ridley dyd,
procure the poore some ioy,
When good King Edward dyd from hym
perceyue their hard distresse:
So God geue thee to moue, that sharpe
Lawes may destroy
This filthy sinne, and thyne attemptes,
God blesse with good successe.

A Swoord agaynst Swearyng.

CHriste our most bles­sed Sauiour, in that his most perfect fourme of prayer, wherein al neces­sary goodnesse for soule or body is desired for vs, and al euylles due vnto vs, are required to be turned from vs, hath, as the most speciall, set downe this in the fyrst place before al other, a petition of al Christi­ans, most necessary to be required at Gods handes: That the name of our heauenly fa­ther be sanctified, that is, alwayes esteemed holy and reuerend. And in deede, for good and louing chyldren, howe is any thing more re­quisite, or what more perfect note of true and sonlike loue is there, then this, That the sonne aboue al other thynges, doo seeke especially the honour and reuerende estimation of his father. So also God, the father of our Lorde Iesus Christe, with the sonne, and the holy Ghost, one only God, of al myght and power, when he had chosen one peculier people, to shewe his myght by them ouer al the worlde, he gaue vnto them, and consequently to vs al, Lawes, or Commaundementes, ten in num­ber: [Page] but he gaue them by thunder and lyght­ning, by myste and darkenesse, by smoke and fyre. Mount Sinai was al on smoke, and the smoke went vp to the middest of heauen: tea­chyng vs by dreadeful signes, that his lawe is to be had in reuerence, and his Maiestie to be feared. Amongest whiche commaunde­mentes, as in the former twayne, he teacheth, that he is GOD alone, and therefore onely to be honoured: so the next is, that his name be no more lyghtly or vaynely vsed. Vsed yet, but not in vayne: whereunto (yf God be to be feared, that not without these great and dreadeful signes gaue vs these his commaun­dements) he addeth the penalty of his wrath, The Lord wyl not hold him giltlesse, that taketh his name in vayne. And if the Lord, the lawe geuer, that knoweth best the entent and purpose of the law, the Iudge also against the transgressours of the same, shal pronounce vs gyltie, what remayneth to the person con­demned, but bitter execution? How is it then, that GOD by terrour commaundyng vs, Christe by dutie of loue exhortyng vs, aboue al thynges, to seeke the honour and reuerende estimation of God his name? his most glori­ous [Page 11] name notwithstandyng is most vaynely vsed, most shamefully abused, and blasphemed most outragiously. Howe faere this accu­sation woulde stretche, howe generally this fault is spread, that concerneth the dishonou­ryng of Gods name, it is not mine intent here to discouer it. As the name of God in it selfe is most glorious, and can not be dishonoured, yet al the wayes & meanes practised by man­kynde, agaynst the glory of Gods name, to set them all downe, were a woorke infinite. This smal Treatise, whiche I pray God it may be to the honour onely of his name, shall concerne the lawfulnesse of swearyng, the ab­use of vayne swearyng, the punyshment of per­tury or forswearyng. As two false Knaues neede no Broker, for they can easily enough agree in wickednesse sine mediante, without any to breake the matter betweene them: so amongst true and faythful men, there neede no othes. Where Vertue fayleth not, trueth of it selfe carrieth credite sufficient. But God onely knoweth who are his, and the simple cloke of Hipocrisie couereth many a sub­tyl soule. Double dealyng of the moste, maketh manye men doubtfull where they [Page] may trust. Christe is so conueyed by subtil­tie, and falsehood is so disguysed with fayre colours, that in a deepe deceyptfulnesse, a man woulde almost dread no danger: and he that standeth in no feare or doubt of subtiltie, is soonest endomaged, wherout for our safetie the Lawyer teacheth vs this lesson, to trust fewe or none vpon their woordes, woordes are but winde, bynde euery mans bargayne sure by writing.

Because that fayth and troth
with no degree wyl stande.
Therefore the Lawyer sayth,
take wryting of his hande.

If no man woulde deceyue his neighbour, yf euery man woulde speake the trueth from his hart, we then shoulde neede no wrytten bondes, othes should haue no vse amongst vs. A remedy therefore it is agaynst our corrup­tion, that in doubtful matters (confessyng God almyghtie his wysedome, that he kno­weth all and euery singuler woorke and woorde, deede and thought of man) we take his name, we vse the name of God, that is, [Page 12] not in vayne, but lawfully: we confesse his almyghty power, that he knoweth al thinges: (A matter that muche concerneth his Ma­iestie) for who can doo so (but God alone?) we cal hym as witnesse of our trueth, that we may prosper therein: we desyre hym also to be a reuenger and punisher of our sinnes, yf we doo not speake the trueth. And there­fore the Hebrues begyn their othe with this coniunction of condition, If: and vse the fi­gure [...] suppressyng the rest, and yet in deede intendyng this muche: Yf I deceyue you, or yf I breake this othe, the Lorde that is of al power reuenge it vppon me. An othe therefore parteyneth to that part of Gods seruice, which we call inuocation: Cal vppon me, sayth the Lorde, make vnto thy selfe none other Godds, I am the Lord thy god, vse my name. So yt when we heare the Lord say, Take not my name in vaine: let vs remember yet that the Lord said before, I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt haue none other gods but me. Preach my name. Cal vppon my name. Confesse my name. Vse my name: take it not vaynely, nor in trifling matters abuse it not: I am the [Page] Lorde, therefore to be reuerenced. But in matters of doubte, when mans wysedome canne goe no further, Confesse mine omni­potent power, cal vppon me, I am God a­lone, and knowe al. Make vnto your selues no other gods, by attributyng vnto them that whiche is proper onely vnto mee, but cal me for a witnesse, call me for a reuenger. The Lorde sayde not at any tyme. Take not my name in vse: but he sayde, Take not my name in vayne, vse it not but with great re­uerence, in consideration of my Maiestie: yet vse my name, Inuocate my name, or call vppon my name onely, for I onely am the Lorde, Thou shalt haue none other Goddes but mee. If inuocation parteyneth not vnto me alone, I am not God alone. Anabap­tista, & Manachei, and other sectaries, are thus easily confuted: when they deny the law­ful vse of the name of God, they deny Gods reuerence, they deny Gods power, they de­ny God to be God. But yf they wyll not vnderstande that Inuocation confesseth and attributeth omnipotencie vnto the person that they doo inuocate or call vppon, and where there is no inuocation, there is no god­head [Page 13] or power diuine acknowledged, let them yet consyder this substaunce follo­wyng.

1 Gods commaundement vnto his people, to sweare by his name.

2 That God forbyddeth his people to sweare by the name of strange goddes, least by inuocation, they shoulde attribute that omnipotencie vnto Idolles and De­uylles, that is proper to hym alone.

3 The example of God, swearyng for our capacitie.

4 Examples of Patriarkes, Prophetes, A­postles, and Christe hym selfe, which in no case can be contrary vnto GOD his fa­ther.

[Page] WHen the Lorde had chosen Israel from al other nations, and had procured, by Exodus. 19. terrour of his power, the reuerence of his maiestie, the force whereof was so great, that the people fled for feare of his myght, & stoode a far of from the mountayne, and sayde vnto Moses, Talke thou with vs, we wil heare Exodus. 20 thee: but let not god talke with vs, least we die. Euen the Lord hym selfe by Moses vn­to Israel from his owne matestie, amongst many other, gaue this lawe: If a man deliuer his neighbour money or stuffe to keepe, if Exod. 22. it be stolne out of the house, if the theefe be found, he shal pay the double: But if the theefe be not found, then the maister of the house shalbe brought vnto the iudges. 7. 8 To sweare whether he hath put any hand vnto his neighbours goods, or no. Heere the Lord him selfe appointed an oth, as an or­dinarie meane to decide a controuersie, and a sufficient testimonie of trueth in a doubtfull matter. Againe in ye. 10. &. 11. verses of the said chapter, If a man deliuer vnto his neigh­bour 10 11 an Asse, or an Oxe, or any other beast to keepe, if it die, or be hurt, or be taken a­way of enimies, and no man see it. An oth [Page 14] of the Lord shal be betweene themtwaine, that he hath not put his hande vnto his neighbours goods. Here is the apoyntment of an oth by the Lord him selfe. It is called an oth of the Lord, because they should sweare by the name of ye Lorde onely. Also. 6. Deut. Moses heedefully & carefully remembring a­gayne vnto Israel the Lorde his commaunde­ment, when he commaunded them to lay vp in their harts, to teache them to their children, when he geueth them this most earnest Caue­at, Beware lest thou forget God, he addeth specially, Thou shalt feare the Lorde thy God, and serue him, and shalt sweare by his name. Which commaundement he also rehearseth in the. 10. of Deut. 25 & in the. 4. of Ieremi. 4. Ieremie. 25. shewyng howe great a part of re­ligion consisteth in inuocating or callyng vp­pon the name of the Lord only. The Lord by his Prophet mouyng them earnestly to re­turne, not haltyngly, nor halfly, nor holowly, but holyly, and wholy vnto the Lorde, he espe­cially teacheth them to sweare by his name, Thou shalt sweare, The Lorde lyueth: Tyeing an oth, or euery oth, to these lymits, Vaynely thou shalt not sweare: but in [Page] trueth, in iudgement, in righteousnesse, and then thou shalt take none other to witnesse but the Lorde hym selfe, whereunto he addeth the maiestie of the Lord, & the benefite of the peo­ple, That the nations may be blessed in the Lorde, that the people may glory in the Lorde. Agaynst the glory of whose maiestie ful highly it is, if any other be taken in his place, if any other be sworne by, if any other be called vpon, either for grace, to geue blessyng vnto trueth, or for might of power, to reuenge falshood. For what is that, but cleane to for­sake the lord, & to attribute omnipotencie or al power & strength to some other. Wherfore the Lorde in his zelous wrath agaynst Iuda, a­mongst al other sinnes, for which in his iustice he powreth vengeance agaynst them, euen to Iere. 5. 7. the vtter destruction thereof by the handes of the Chaldeans, he reckoneth this as a capital crime, How should I spare thee for this, thy children haue forsaken me: The Lord himselfe sheweth him the maner how, They haue sworne by them that are not Gods, they haue forsaken me. This fault the Lord reckoned so iniurious to his glorie, that with a myghtie vehemencie of speach he saith, How [Page 15] can I spare thee for this? in effect thus, Surely I wyl not spare thee, the Chaldees shal destroy thee.

Hereof the Lorde gaue a speciall com­maundement in the. 23. of Exodus. Take Exodus. 23. heede to al thinges that I haue sayd vnto you, and ye shal make no mention of the name of other Gods, neyther shal it be hearde out of your mouth. And in the. 23. of Iosua, Make Iosue, 23. no mention of theyr gods, nor geue or take a­ny cause to sweare by them. He said not, Take not theyr names in vayne: but, take them not at all, let them not be heard out of your mouthes. So the. 19. of Esay, where the Esay. 19. Lord geueth a speciall fourme how the Lord is serued and honoured accordyng to his owne good will and pleasure, the Prophet expresseth it thus, At that day, fiue Cities of the Lord shal speake the language of Canaan, & shal sweare by the Lord of Hostes. And thus the Lorde hym selfe also dyd most zelously, as to shewe his only omnipotencie, and how it stretcheth vniuersally. In Esay. 45. I haue Esay. 45. [...]worne by my selfe sayth the Lorde, the worde [...] gone out of my mouth in righteousnesse, & [...]hal not returne. Euery knee shal bow vnto [Page] me, and euery tongue shal sweare by me: ac­cordyng whereunto, not vainely, but reuerent­ly, in matters of great waight, to ende conten­tions. To make assurance of promises to be kept in testimonie of trueth, we reade how the fathers, both Patriarkes and Prophets, haue sworne.

So Abraham swore vnto Abimelec in Gen. 21. couenant of his safetie.

Isaac lykewyse in the lyke case, swore vnto Gene. 26. Abimelec, Ahuzzah, and Phicol.

Iacob swore vnto Laban, concernyng Gene. 31. the bounds of theyr grounde.

Moses agreed by couenant of oth to [...]w [...] with Iethro. Exod. 2.

Ionathan sware to Dauid. Ibidem.

Dauid sware to Ionathan.

Ionathan and Dauid sware both. Ibidem.

Lykewyse Saul required an oth of assu­rance, for his seede after hym: and Dau [...] sware vnto Saul.

Also Dauid in the presence of Natha [...] 1. Reg. 1 the prophet, sware vnto Bethsheba that Solomon should raigne after hym.

Helias the Prophet sware vnto Ach [...] the kyng. 1. Reg. 17.

[Page 16] Elizeus sware vnto He lias that he would goe with hym. 2. Reg. 2.

The Angel sware by hym that lyueth worlde without ende. Apoc. 10,

So also the Lorde yeeldyng vnto our weakenesse, confirmed al his promises by an oth, hauing no greater to sweare by, according to the fashion of men, he sware by him selfe, concernyng his couenant with Abraham.

By my selfe haue I sworne, I wil surely Gene. 22. blesle thee and thy seede: which oth he con­firmed vnto Isaac.

I wyl surely performe the oth which I Gen. 26. sware vnto Abraham.

Also Esay. I haue sworne by my selfe. Esay. 45. sayth the Lord, The woorde is gone out of my mouth, and shal not returne.

So Dauid remembreth the Lorde his couenant confirmed vnto hym by the Lordes Psalm. 89. oth, I haue sworne vnto Dauid my seruant. and againe, I haue sworne once by my bo­ [...]inesse, I wyl not fayle Dauid.

Lykewyse the Prophet remembryng the Psalm. 96. disobedience of the Israelites, remembreth al­so how the Lorde sware that they shoulde not enter into the lande promised vnto them. [Page] The Lorde sware concernyng the euerlasting Priesthood of Christ. And agayne vnto Da­uid, Psalm. 110. The Lorde sware in trueth, and wyl not shrinke from it. Psalm. 132.

Paul also remembreth at large, howe the Lorde sware vnto Abraham, and as it were ratifiyng ye vse of an oth: An oth, saith he, for Hebrues. 6 confirmation, is an end amongst men of al strife. Whiche thyng also for testimonie and confirmation in his earnest zeale, Paule also dyd, as first to the Romanes, God is my wit­nesse: And to the Corinthians, I cal God to recorde vnto my soule: And to the Galathi­ans, 2, Corinth. 1 Behold I witnesse before God, or I cal God to witnesse that I lye not: And to the Galathi. 1. Ephesians, God is my record: & so likewyse Ephe. 1. to the Thessalonians. And yet no Christian euer doubted but yt Paul was led by the spirite of God when he wrote those Epistles: In so­muche that Augustine sayth, It were an hey­nous Agust. con­tra mend. wickednesse to say that Paul, especially in his written Epistles, hath violated or bro­ken that Gods commaundement, Thoushalt not sweare. Therfore, saith he, you must vnder­stand that which is set downe (non omnino not at al.) That is, as much as in you lyeth, [Page 17] haue none affection at all to sweare, thynke an othe to be no grace nor no garnyshyng vnto your speache: Otherwyse howe shoulde [...] excuse Christ him selfe? Or shal we with Por­phirius or Iulianus condemne Christe, that his woordes and commaundementes are one thyng, his lyfe and conuersation are ano­ther? for so these vile Heretiques carpe a [...] Christe, and vpon the lefe same saying, [...] they harpe with the Manichees and Ana­baptistes, vrging vehemently the woordes without sense, Sweare not at al, not at all, let your communication be yea, yea, no, no, that which is more then thi [...], is sinne. Which commaundement if it were not to be enterpreted, Christ in deede had done violence, for he hath vsed often, as a testimonie of trueth, and as a confirmation of his speach, Amen. Amen. Which is somewhat more then a playne yea, for it soundeth as much as, Cer­tainely, Truly, Verily, or, of a certayne trueth. And in this sense Paul sayth, All the 2. Corin. [...]. promises of God in Christe are yea, and are in him Amen, that is, truly, perfectly, fully, assured, perfourmed, compleat & ended. And let vs marke nowe what a great oth this [Page] is, Amen, Veryly, & Truly, or, Of a trueth: whereby I appose their conscience to re­clayme them thereby, that thinke it is no oth to say, Truly, or, Veryly: insomuche that in our customable speache, yf a man say, Truely: it is replied, Yea, but you dare not sweare: when he alredy hath sworne full deepely. S. Paul sayth, God sware. Marke nowe the fourme of the oth set downe by Paul, Truely: Heb. 6. or, Surely I wyll blesse thee. So also the Prophet Dauid remembreth that the Lorde sware vnto the Israelites, that they shoulde not enter into the lande of promise. Turne [...]salm. 95. vnto the. 14. of Numbers, where the Histo­rie of their murmuring is expressed, and the Num. 14. fourme of that oth is thus set downe, Surely, or, Certainly, they shall not see that good land. So often as we say, Certainely, assured­ly, truely, or veryly, so often in deede we doo sweare: for though GOD be not expresly Truely. Veryly. named, yet in namyng trueth, God is named, for God and trueth are one, and the selfe same: And the strength of an othe consisteth more in honouryng God by trueth, then in the out­ward namyng of God. Let all men then either learne or remember, whereas customably [Page 18] they vse vaynely, Truely, when many tymes there is neyther trueth nor veritie in their saying, how that they most greeuously offend God, who is in deede all trueth, and the onely trueth. So then neyther may the Anabap­tistes restrayne this vnto the tyme onely of the olde Testament, neyther may they so vrge the woordes by the letter, that they thereby take away the iust interpretation and sense thereof: For so should Paul and Christ hym selfe be condemned, so shoulde God his mer­cy, declared heretofore by his Prophets vnto the Gentiles in Christe, and after Christe his commyng, be frustrated and made voyde, which were blasphemie agaynst the spirite: and an infinite heape of other mischiefes woulde ensue, yf lyke places of Scripture were violently forced accordyng to the letter. We must therefore vnfolde them according to their meanyng, and take them vp as they lye. The sense dooth offer it selfe as playne as can be, yf we marke vppon what occasion, and to what purpose Christe gaue this commaunde­ment. The Iewes had gotten this euyll cu­stome of swearing by creatures, as, by the Temple, by the Aulter, by Heauen, by Hieru­salem, [Page] by the Earth. &c. And though they swore falsely, and entended to deceiue theyr neyghbour, yet yf they named not God ex­presly, they thought it was no sinne. Muche lyke vnto the foolyshe people of our age, that entendyng to deceyue others, by subtiltie of sounde, or by eclipsing the pronunciation, reckon yet their craftie entent to be no de­ceipt: suche I meane as sweare thus. GOD pronounce me at the last day. By God, I neuer defended hym in all my lyfe. When they thynke and hope that other men wyll iudge that they meane, GOD reuounce me, I neuer offended hym. Thus dyd the Iewes, though [...]ugustine [...]. ser. dom. they carried in theyr mindes a full and per­fect entent of deceipt, though theyr com­munication was myngled [...]th common and customable othes, yea though they dyd foresweare them selues falsely, except there were some expresse namyng of GOD, they reckoned it none offence at all. And to this Dyuelyshe purpose they abused this text, Thou shalt not forsweare in my name, least thou defile the name of the Leui. 19. Lorde thy GOD. Otherwyse (so that they vsed not inuocation of GOD expresly [Page 19] by name) although they sware and forsware, although they vsed execration, which con­ceyneth cursyng and bannyng, and desiring of vengeaunce (As in example, The earth open and swalowe me. The stones of the Temple fall vpon me: or suche lyke) they made none account of any suche othe or exe­cration. And this Christe correctyng in the 23. of Matthewe, he calleth them blynde Math. guydes, and blynde Bussardes, shewyng them that there is no place nor plot in the worlde, wherein God hath not set some cog­nisaunce of his glory: Heauen is his seate, the earth is his footestoole. He that swea­reth by the Temple, sweareth by it, and by hym that dwelleth in the Temple. He that sweareth by Heauen, sweareth by the throne of GOD, and by hym that sytteth therein. This spake Christe, to confute their damnable custome of swearyng commonly, and their doltyshe interpretation of swearyng or forswearyng by the name of GOD, and teacheth them withall an orderly fourme of behauiour in theyr com­mon speache, Let euery man speake the trueth to his neyghbour from his hart, [Page] and say, Yea, it is so: Let hym renounce falshood, and say, Nay, it is not so. Let this be Math. 5. an order established for your dayly commu­nication. And nowe let vs harpe vpon com­munication, communication: as they chaunte out, Not at all, not at all: and then the true sense is, In your dayly communication, vse none othes at all, or vse not at all any othes in your dayly communication: But speake truely, and say, yea, or nay. So that Christe is not contrary to GOD his father, he re­pealeth not the decree of GOD, established for the vsyng of his name in iudgement, in iustice, in doubtfull causes concernyng equi­tie and ryght: but he rebuketh that whiche God forbade, Vayne and rashe swearyng, and foolyshe conceyued opinions, of this or that othe. Thus vsyng Gods name lawful­ly, we must neuer abuse the same. GOD that sayd, Take not my name in vayne, hath therefore appoynted the ryght vse of his name, because he hath forbydden the ab­use thereof. Of strange Gods he hath sayd, Exo. 23. By the name of strange Gods thou shalt not sweare at all: the name of any of them shall not be heard out of your mou­thes. [Page 20] He sayd not In vayne: but, Not at all, of any other besydes hym selfe. Of his owne name onely, there is a lawfull vse alowed and commaunded vnto the Godly: as to spread his glory.

1 By preachyng his name.
  • Goe and preache the Gospel
    M. 11.
    vnto all creatures.
  • Preach the word, be earnest in season, and out of season.
    2. Ti. 4.
2 By geuing thankes and honour vnto his name.
  • I wil alwaies geue thankes
    Psal 33.
    vnto ye Lord, his prayse shall euermore be in my mouth.
  • I wyl deliuer ther, and thou
    Psal. 49.
    shalt honour mee.
3 By professing and confessyng Goddes name and power.
  • He that confesseth me before
    M. 10.
    men, I wyll confesse and ac­knowledge hym before my father.
  • To confesse Gods name,
    Rom. 10.
    proceedeth from the mouth.
  • Confesse the Lorde, and call
    Psal. 14.
    vpon his name.
4 To inuocate or cal for helpe at the name of the Lorde.
  • Call vpon mee in the tyme
    Psal. 49.
    of trouble.

VNto the which part, most specially the ryght vse of an othe apparteyneth: As, [Page] when by callyng GOD to witnesse, we confesse his omnipotent power, and desyre A memo­ [...]ndum for swearers. hym to maynteyne and prosper vs in trueth, and punysh vs, or to be auenged vpon vs, yf we speake, or doo, or entende any falshood or deceypt: which both we are sure he wyll doo, because he is God. But what is it to take Gods name in vayne? It is,

1 To call God a witnesse in vniust or in trifelyng matters.

2 To sweare rashly, vnaduisedly, or with­out vrgent necessitie, tyme, place, and auc­thoritie not considered.

3 Or once to name God, without the reue­rence due vnto the Maiestie of his name, of whom nothyng may occupy so muche as our thought, without due remembrance of his honour.

Thynke not of the Lord, but in good­nesse, sayth Solomon, and the Lord him selfe, Sap. 1. Ye shall not sweare by my name in vaine, neither shalt thou defile the name of thy Leui. 19. God. I am the Lord.

Vnto all the Curses and Plagues that Moses from the mouth of the Lorde remem­breth: Deut. 28. As the curse at home, the curse abrode, [Page 21] the curse of hunger, the curse of thyrst, the curse of yll successe, the curse of sicknesse, of madnesse, of penurie, of oppression, of captiui­tie, vnto them all, he addeth this as a chiefe addition, These and many moe plagues shall the Lord heape vpon thee, vnlesse thou feare the glorious, mightie, and terrible name of the Lorde. Thy name is woonderfull, O Psal. 8. Lorde, and onely to be had in reuerence. The Lorde wyll not holde hym gylt­lesle, Exodus. 20 that taketh his name in vayne. It is remembred by Aben Ezra, that the Egyp­tians had a custome to sweare by the head of their king: which othe, who so euer perfour­med not, no raunsome woulde redeeme hym from death, because he despised the king: How muche more, not without due reuerence and feare, ought we to name or thinke once vpon the name of our God, who only is God, and without or besides whom there is no God. Thou only art great, O Lorde, and great is Iere. 10. thy name in strength and power, who feareth not thee thou King of Kinges? thine is the glory aboue al. How much the hyghlyer we esteeme of Gods glory, with so much the more reuerence ought we to thinke [Page] and to speake of his name: but as he that spea­steth much, speaketh sometymes vnaduisedly for haste, as Solomon remembreth, Vnto many wordes, folly is neuer absent or wan­ting. Prou. 10. In much speach, there is eyther flatte falshood, or vanitie, or superfluitie at the least, or peraduenture all at once. So of the often naming of God, much more of often swearing by his name, there aryseth a vayne abuse, an vnhonourable derogation, a path way to the Palace of periurie, an open accesse, or rather a compultion to the pyt of perdition. The Ad­ulterer, the Theefe, the Murderer, can not al­wayes doo that wickednesse that they would: But he that accustometh him selfe to vayne swearing, though of purpose he woulde some­tymes Euyll of custome. frame and fashion him selfe to abstaine from swearing, yet can he not for his lyfe so doo: Custome succeedeth, or rather groweth in natures rome. So that at al times he swea­reth, and by swearing dishaloweth, as muche as in him lyeth, the most holy and reuerent name of God: In so muche, that a common swearer, yf he be in the feare of God reprehen­ded for his vayne swearyng: he answeareth with an other othe, that he sware not afore. [Page 22] I haue hearde ere nowe, a vayne fellowe to gently reprehended for the damnable custome of swearyng, and his answeare hath been with an execrable othe, that suche reprehension nee­ded not, for he neuer sware lyghtly: whose woordes truely vnderstoode, he spake more truely then he was aware, not lyghtly, but heauily. Coulde any Christian beare it, to heare the most honourable name of our glo­rious GOD so terribly abused? Hereof sayeth Chrisostome, Lyke as a continuall babler pratleth intemporally some vnseasonable Chrisost. super. Ma. speache: so no man sweareth often, but he also too many tymes for sweareth hym selfe. There­fore sayth Augustine, because he is farther of from periurie that vseth not at all to sweare, then he that sweareth redily in matters of trueth, the commaundement of our Saui­our is, that by abstayning from swearing, we myght be sure not to forsweare, rather then by swearing in matters which we suppose to be true, to drawe or driue our selues into the acquaintaunce or familiaritie, nay rather into the danger, damage, and destruction of per­furie. To sweare that which a man deemeth to be true, is not expedient, nay it is intollera­ble, [Page] and may not be admitted, and thereof Michael de Hungaria, settyng downe per­ticuler kindes of swearing, by the fyrst and last letters of this woorde Fato, and by Ido­nea, forbyddeth fyrst to sweare falsely, and then also to sweare that which we deeme to be true. For though a man see his freende on Horsebacke at Byshoppesgate in London, entendyng to ride to Cambridge the nexte day, he may not therefore sweare that he is at Cambridge, though he thynke veryly that he is there: for though he iudge so, yet it may be otherwyse. And, but in trueth a man may not sweare. Sweare not then sayth he per pri­mas [...] fato, per idonea notificato.

Sweare not
 Falsely: for God is trueth.
 As you thinke: for you may be de­ceiued, be sure first that it be vndoub­tedly true, before ye sweare.
IIrreuerently: for it is against Gods honour.
DDeceitfully: for your fayth is ge­uen as it is receiued, and as he vnto whom you made or gaue your fayth vnderstande it, so it is to be interpre­ted and perfourmed.
OOciously or idelly. Sweare neuer, but to good purpose, and then not but in trueth, in equitie, and iudgement.
NNegligently: not regarding what you sweare, for God is the reuenger.
EErroniously: for it diminisheth the reuerence due vnto Gods name.
AAccustomably: for who so doth, the plague of God shall not depart from his house.

AS our prouerbe is of swearing, Set your minde on it, and it wyll come alone: So in deede, vse breedeth facilitie, facilitie engen­dreth familiaritie, familiaritie maketh redi­nesse, redinesse frameth perfectnesse, perfect­nesse breedeth custome, custome forceth con­tinuaunce, continuaunce conueyeth vs to senselesnesse, senselesnesse lulleth vs a sleepe in the cradle of Securitie, so that we feare not, nor feele not our desperate fall into the payneful pyt of Periurie, the vnhappie re­warde where of, is perpetuall infelicitie. Let vs take heede then of swearing, or of the rashe or hastie naming of GOD, without the reue­rence due vnto his most glorious name. For, as with muche water passeth eyther Grauell or Mudde, and, as the seruaunt that is often tymes beaten, is seldome without some blewe spotte: so, he that often tymes nameth God, nameth hym vaynely, and vnreuerently, and [Page] he that sweareth often, dishonoreth his ma­iestie, and oftentymes falleth into periurie. What mockery and derision is this agaynst Christe, in the Churche, when the name of Christe Iesus is sounded, to bende or bowe in token of reuerence, and all the weeke after to sweare by hym, as though he were woorthy none honour at all: The Iewes, as we vn­derstande by the gesture of the hygh Priestes, vsed to teare their garmentes when they sup­posed Mar. 14. that they heard any blasphemie. The Turkes reckon and esteeme so reuerently of their Mahomet, that they neuer lyghtly or vaynely sweare by his name, neyther doo they Tripolita­nus. admit vnto any office of gouernement any swearer, what byrth soeuer he be of, or though he be for any other qualitie neuer so notable. Amongst the Heathen people, it is woonder­full, a terrible shame to Christians, that Re­gulus, a woorthy Romane, beyng taken pri­soner August, de ciuitate dei. 1. Li. 15. c. of the Carthaginians, when they of Carthage desyred rather to haue had theyr owne prisoners from the Romans, they sent this Regulus to Rome, without any gage or pledge, saue his fayth only. When he was at home at Rome, he perswaded his countrey­men, [Page 24] that his message was not profitable for his Countrey: and for his othes sake yet, not otherwyse compelled, but onely to keepe his oth, he returned as a prisoner to Carthage: where, after the most cruellest maner that the mischiefe of their most blooddie mindes could inuent, after such a sort as I neuer read the lyke, they put hym to death most terribly. This was their guyse. They compassed hym close rounde about with plankes, the plankes were driuen thycke with Iron prickes, the poyntes wherof were made exceeding sharpe, so that he coulde not bende hym selfe to leane any way, without greeuous woundes, where­of his fleshe rancklyng, the longer he lyued, the more grecuous woulde be his payne, wa­kyng or sleepyng his feete must beare the burden of his whole body: he myght truely say, Viuus, videns (que) perio, I lyue, and see ful wel I dye. So the Saguntinians, rather then they would breake their fayth made vnto the Ro­manes, they endured willingly all the punish­mentes that hunger, sword, or fire could do vn­to them. Liuius remembreth two Romane Li. 3. cap. 20 Souldiers taken prisoners, dismissed by Ha­nibal vpon their othes, to returne agayne to [Page] his Campe. The first, subtilly left his sworde behinde hym, and when he was gone a good way of from the Campe, he returned agayne to fetche his swoorde: meaning by his subtyl recurnyng, to saue his oth, and neuer more to returne. But when this case came to be dis­puted at Rome, the Heathen Romanes sent hym backe agayne as a periured person, af­firming that an othe ought so to be perfour­med, as he vnto whom the oth was made dyd vnderstande the promise. What shame is this to Christians, that the Heathen people which knowe not GOD, woulde not sweare rashly, but reuerently? and duely dyd keepe theyr fayth promised. And we, that professe Christ, sweare rashly, and vnreuerently: and, so we be trusted when we sweare, we care not afterwarde for keepyng our fayth. Beleeue not a common or customable swearer: howe Counsell. can he keepe any fayth or credit in hym, that powreth it out continually? He that sweareth alwayes by his fayth, sweareth all away. So a swearer may be beleeued, his care is neuer after to perfourme his fayth. If a common swearer dyd beleeue in God, yf he dyd hope to he comforted by hym, yf he dyd thynke that [Page 25] God woulde punishe his perturie, surely he would not, without reuerence and feare, he woulde not without vrgent cause in cases re­quired, take once the most blessed name of Gods maiestie in his mouth. Nowe when he beleeueth not hym selfe that whiche he af­firmeth vnto another, who shal beleeue hym? Why do we not say vnto common swearers, why do you lye? Or yf you speake trueth, why doo you sweare? If you doo beleeue in God, why do you so dishonour the glory of his name? If you do not beleeue in God, why woulde you haue me to beleeue you, when you sweare by that God, in whom you your selfe do not beleeue? Solomon in the case of two women contendyng for one chyld, to crye where true natural loue rested, made a coun­tenance as though he would haue cut the child in peeces. The wicked blood thirsty woman, of whom the child had no nature or substance, cried with aloude voyce, deuide it, deuide it. The true mother, in whom nature rested, made her humble request: Not so my Lorde, let the chylde lyue and prosper, let no violence be done vnto it. In the auncient recordes of the Romanes it is remembred, of an adultres [Page] hauing three sonnes, that vppon her death bed she told her husband, that of three boyes, one only was his. This father, when he shoulde dye, entreated earnestly his executours that they would do theyr diligence, by al wisedome, to trye whiche of the three was his naturall sonne, & vnto hym by Wil he bequeathed his whole lande. The faythful and trustie Execu­tours thus made experience where nature res­ted: They tooke the dead corpes of the father, and set it agaynst a tree: vnto euery of the three children they deliuered a bow and an ar­row, they tolde them that theyr fathers wyll was doubtful, and the diuision of the land was harde: the best way was to try by happy ha­zard, he that coulde shoote nearest the fathers hart, should haue al. The two bastardes, in whom rested no sparke of natural loue. shot with good wyl: the third with reuerence refu­sed so fylthy a fact: Whereby, if he were perceyued to be the truesonne. What bast­ardes shal we know them to be that shoote at euery part of Christes most blessed person? Common swearers truely beare no naturall loue to GOD, but teare him in peeces, shoote at his hart lyke bastardes, and crye with that [Page 26] Strumpet, Deuide hym, deuide him, cut him in peeces. Whereof sayth Agustine, They Augustine in Mat. synne no lesse that blaspheme Christ nowe rayg­nyng in heauen, then they whiche crucified hym here vpon the earth. Thine enimies O Lorde, take thy name in vayne. Remember this Psalm. 135 O Lorde, howe the enimie hath rebuked: Psalm. 74 And howe the foolishe people hath blas­phemed thy name. God shal wounde the Psalm. 6 [...] head of his enimies, & the heary scalpe of suche a one as goeth on stil in his wicked­nes. Powre out thine indignation, O lord, vpon the Heathen that haue not knowen Psalm. 75 thee, & vpon the kingdomes that haue not called vpon thy name. As for the blasphe­mie wherwith our neighbours haue blas­phemed thee, reward thou them, O Lorde, seuen fold into their boosomes. Make their faces ashamed, O Lorde, that they may seeke thy name. Let al good Christians say with hart and voyce, in woord and lyfe, Blessed be the Lorde our GOD, euen the Psalm. 75 Lorde GOD of Israel, yea blessed be the name of his Maiestie for euermore. They that in profession sometymes graunt this re­uerence and honour vnto the Maiestie of [Page] Gods name, and yet, by the vnreuerent abuse of his name, practyse the contrary, are very welresembled vnto those Iewes, that put vp­pon Christ a purple Robe, & platted a crowne of thornes vpon his head, and put a Reede in his hand like a Septer, mocking him in deede after the moste despytefull maner that they could deuyse, but yet in woordes they saluted hym courteously, and sayde, Hayle king of the Iewes. They are a lyke vnto those people, whom the Lorde by his prophet Ieremi re­prehended, They say the Lord lyueth, this is Ieremi. 5. theyr spech, in wordes they say so, but examine theyr religion in deede, they sweare falsly. Gods name is not honored, but dishalowed as much as in them lieth. They take the Lordes name in testimonie that it is ful true, when yet notwithstandyng it is ful false: what greater dishonour can they do vnto the Lord? Do they beleeue that God knoweth it not? which were agaynst his omnipotencie: or do they thynke that God wyl leaue so great a sinne vnpuni­shed? which were agaynst his promise. The greatnesse of this sinne, the Prophete thus de­scribeth, They haue made their faces harder then a stone. Right terrible is that whiche [Page 27] GOD threatneth by Zacharie, Behold a fly­ing Zacha. 5. booke of xx. cubites long. and .x. cu­bites brode, conteyning a curse of GOD agaynst theeues and swearers, I wil bring this curse foorth sayth the Lord of Hostes: it shall come foorth vpon the house of the theefe, and vpon the house of the swearer, that sweareth falsly by my name. This curse shal remayne in the middest of their howses, and shal consume them, tymber, stones, and al. And this good counsayle from the Lord, we haue by the wyse Kyng Solomon, Eccle. 23. Let not thy mouth be accustomed with swearing, for in it there are many falles. Let not the namyng of GOD be continu­ally in thy mouth. For lyke as a seruant that is much beaten cannot be without some spots: So he that sweareth, and hath the name of GOD continually in his mouth, cannot be free from sinne. A man that vseth much swearing, shalbe fylled with iniquitie, and the plague shal neuer go from his house. He that sweareth in vayne, shal not be founde righteous. Much swearing bryngeth suche horrour, that it maketh a mans heare to stande vpryght, [Page] and the irreuerence thereof, would make a man stoppe his eares. Though the proud blaspheme and are scorneful, yet vengance lurketh for them as a Lion. The woordes of the swearer bring death, God graunt it be not founde in the house of Israel.

If there were in all the worlde no more faultes but this alone, it were enough to pro­uoke more vengeance then the whole masse of mankynde were able to beare. God graunt that England may once throughly be purged from this execrable cryme. The Lorde hath promised that he shalbe pronounced gyltie that taketh his name in vayne. A greater threatnyng is not added vnto any of the com­maundementes among them al: but vayne­ly, in vayne for euery vayne trifling matter, as though GOD were of no power to re­uenge, as though he were woorthy of no woorshyp. Fye, fie, it is to fylthy, to to ab­hominable. Woulde to GOD al kynges, Queenes, and Princes, would with more ear­nestnesse tender chiefly Gods honour, & deepe­ly consyder that they liue & enioy theyr states and kingdomes by Gods merciful ordinance and sufferaunce: to this ende, that aboue all [Page 28] thynges they shoulde promote the glory of his name. Howe are they lulled a sleepe in the cradle of securitie, in the drowstnesse of theyr owne transitorie glory, yf they forget that which most specially concerneth Gods glory? Me thinketh al Princes shoulde rec­kon all them that vnreuerently vse Gods name, neuer lyke to afforde theyr persons any reuerence or true obedience. They that feare not God, wyl they care for man? No truely, who so keepeth of God neyther feare nor loue, wyl easily breake his fayth to any Prince. A woorthy obseruaunce it is, that good Kinges here in Englande, haue made right good and holsome lawes to Gods glory agaynst common swearing. We haue good cause to hope, that as GOD hath geuen vs a moste gracious Queene, aunsweryng in any good Title to any other kyng that hath been in this Realme: So in this case al­so, it wyll please hym to woorke by her Grace, and her Graces most honourable Counsell, that they shall most specially ex­cell, exceede, and goe beyonde al others, in studious care and prouision for the reuerence and honour due vnto Gods most glorious [Page] name. In this number of good kynges, in this respect, are to be remembred.

1 Kyng Iue. De quibus consule. Iob. Fox.

2 Kyng Alfride.

3 Kyng Edwarde.

4 Kyng Edmonde, whose lawe was, that whosoeuer was once proued periured, shoulde for euer be separated from Gods congregati­on. And of [...]awes made in his tyme for this, and other matters, looke the collections of M. William Lambert, whiche were imprin­ted by Iohn Day. Anno. 1568. Lambert.

5 Kyng Henry the first, for example to the whole Realme, beginning at his owne house, first ordeyned that within his owne Pallace, yf any dyd sweare, he shoulde forfayte to the [...]aldenus. vse of the poore for euery othe.

If he were
  • A Duke, xl. s.
  • A Lorde. xx s.
  • A Knight, Squire, or Gentleman .x. s.
  • A Yoman .iii. s .iiii. d.
  • A Page o Lackie, to be scourged.

There be lawes for meaner matters more duely obserued. GOD graunt that his honour may be most specially regarded. A­men.

[Page 29] In Fraunce. Kynges that holde theyr Crowne in Homage to the kynges of Eng­land, haue made these lawes, to this purpose: Fyrst Ludouic Kyng of Fraunce ordey­ned, that al periurers and common swearers, shoulde haue theyr lyppes seared with an hot burnyng iron: and this punyshment he cau­sed to be put in execution, openly at Paris, vp­on a Citizen there.

Philip, an other of the kynges of Fraunce, Vincenti [...] in speculo. constituted this general lawe: that who so euer, were he Gentle or simple, yea though he were for byrth ryght noble, in what place so euer it were, though it were in a common Tauerne (where many wyse men forget themselues) if he blasphemed Gods name, he should strayght way be drowned.

Maximilian, the Emperour, made this Law, that whosoeuer was iustly reprehended as a vayne swearer, shoulde leese and pay xiii. s. iiii. d. but if after his reprehension, he woulde not both be sorowful for his sinne, and willingly pay the sayde money, he shoulde lose his head.

Philip, an Earle of Flaunders, for the precinct of his dominion decreed, that who so [Page] euer forsware hym selfe, shoulde loose both his goodes and his lyfe.

Iosephus counsayleth, that the blasphemer Libr 4. Antiq. C. 6. shoulde be stoned, and then hanged vp one whole day: afterwarde, beyng taken downe, that he should be throwen into a holl or pyt, without any solemnitie of buryal.

Iustinian, the good Emperour, vnto his Citizens of Constantinople, counsayleth and commaundeth thus. Whereas many in woordes and othes execrably abuse the most reuerend name of God, whereby Gods hea­uie wrath is procured: we exhort you, that you abstayne from cursing and bannyng, and Iusti. 77. Nouel con. from swearyng, eyther by your head, or by your heare, or by any other othes. For if iniu­ries done vnto man, be not vnreuenged, much more, he that dishalloweth Gods name, is woorthy of great punishment, for such faultes truely both hunger and earthquakes, and the plague of Pestilence, falleth vppon vs. We therefore gently exhort you, that you ab­stayne from suche greeuous crimes. If any wyl not be warned by this our Counsayle, fyrst as he shal procure Gods displeasure, so shal he be sure not to escape vnpunished: for [Page 30] we haue geuen vnto our most worthy gouer­nour of this our royal Citie, this earnest com­maundement, that he shal apprehend the of­fenders herein, & cause them to die the death, least God hym selfe should punishe both this Citie and the whole Realme, for leauyng so great faultes vnpunyshed.

The lawe of the Egiptians was, that no Egypt. swearyng shoulde be vsed, but in lawfull cau­ses. If any were prooued periured, he lost his head.

The Sithians had a Lawe lykewyse, that Sithia. whosoeuer was prooued periured, should lose his head: and he that made proofe thereof, shoulde haue his goodes.

The Romans had a Lawe, that who so Romane [...] euer was prooued periured, he should be thro­wen downe from the high Rocke Tarpeius: and therefore when they dyd sweare, they helde a Stone in their hand, and protested: If I lye, or sweare ought but trueth, cast me downe the Hyll violently, as I flyng this stone from me.

But to goe beyonde men. The Lorde hymselfe hath made a Lawe: He that blasphe­meth Le. 24. the name of the Lorde, shall dye [Page] for it, al the multitude shal stone hym to death: whether he be Citizen or Stranger, yf he blaspheme the name of the Lord, let him dye the death. And this law God com­maunded to be put in execution vpon ye sonne A remem­brance for Fathers & Mothers. of Salomith, whiche was the daughter of Dibri, where no doubt the Mothers name is remembred and the Grandmothers, for their offence of yll education.

Lykewyse Iosue, & the Israelites, made a Iosuah. 9. faythful oth with the Gibeonites. In ye dayes of Saul that oth was broken: which breache of fayth, the Lorde punished with three yeeres continuall famine: whiche famine was not taken away, vntyl seuen of the sonnes, or next 2. Reg. 21. c of the kinred of Saul, were hanged vp vnto the Lorde. Lykewyse Mathathias, whom the kyng of Babilon named Sedechias, he contrary to his oth rebelled against the king of Babilon: whiche periurie, the Lorde thus punished, Nabuchodonosor tooke Sedechi­as prisoner, fyrst he flue his sonne in his owne 4. Reg. 24. 25. sight, after that, he plucked out both his eyes, he bounde him with Chaynes of Iron, and caryed hym prisoner to Babilon, where he kept hym in perpetual miserie. What neede [Page 31] I remember that Troy, and diuers other Cities, were destroyed for periurie. Eusebius telleth of three wicked disposed persōs, that of mischiefe pretended agaynst Narcissus, the good Bishop of Hierusalem, layde vnto his charge an heauie & haynous crime, & to make their false accusation the more probable, they sware greeuously, and desired GOD to shewe vengaunce vppon them, on this wyse: The fyrst wyshed, to be destroyed with fyre, yf it were not true: The seconde wyshed, to be consumed with a most greeuous sicke­nesse: The thyrde, to loose both his eyes. Narcissus perceyuing their desperate intence vnto mischiefe, and his weakenesse not able to resist three suche aduersaries, remoued hym selfe vnto the solitarie Wyldernesse, there to leade a priuate solitarie lyfe: In the meane tyme, vnto them whiche so willingly, and wyckedly forsware them selues, this happe­ned. The fyrst, as he wyshed, by casualtie of fyre, was burnt to death, and al his family: whiche fyre rose but of one litle sparke. The seconde was taken with a greeuous strange sickenesse, from top to toe, and deuoured of the same. The thyrde, hearyng and seeyng [Page] Gods iust iudgement to fal vppon the other twayne, confessed the fault, and through great repentaunce, powred out such abundaunce of teares, that he lost both his eyes. Thus was their false perturie punished by God, and the good Byshoppe receyued home agayne with ioye.

Saint Gregorie telleth vs a wonderfull storie of a young Chyld, vnder the age of seuen S. Gregorie. yeeres (at whiche age we say chyldren haue no discretion) yet for swearyng, and blasphe­myng the name of the Lorde, his Father holdyng hym in his armes, the Dyuel entred possession of the sayde Chylde, as it visibly appeared.

But to come to meere Englysh Stories.

Though not first in order, yet for dignitie, I wyl place Kyng Stephan, and that compa­nie, King Ste­phan. whiche contrary to their oth made in the dayes of Kyng Henry the fyrst, vnto Mahld or Mold, yet they crowned Stephan Earle of Bolloigne Kyng of Englande: in whiche number, were VVilliam, Archbyshop of Caunterburie, Roger, Byshop of Salisbury, Hugh Bigot, Steward sometimes to kyng Henrie the fyrst, and diuers Lordes more. [Page 23] The Archbyshop, God punished shortly after with death: the Byshop of Salisbury, the kyng vanished hym the lande: Hugh Bigot died miserably: Diuers other Lordes, were diuersely punished. Eustace, the kynges sonne, taking vp his horse before his father, had a fall, and brake his legge. The kyng, in remembraunce of his periurie, with sorowe ended his miserable lyfe, euen when he had now made a composition to lyue in peace, and to holde his Crowne quietly duryng his lyfe tyme, proclayming Henry Duke of Nor­mandie heyre apparaunt to the Crowne, euen then, when he most desired to lyue, most likely to lyue in most quietnesse, with sorowe he payed the price of his periurie with the losse of his lyfe.

Edwarde the fourth, at Yorke toke a so­lemne othe, to holde him contented with his Edward. 4. owne Dukedome, and to yeeld due obedience vnto Kyng Henry: but his oth rashly taken, was as soone broken, and his periurie God punished in his posteritie: none of his chyl­dren came to the possession of the Crowne.

Elfred, because he was a Duke, shal haue the next place: This Elfred conspired a­gaynst Elfred. [Page] Kyng Adelstane at Winchester. [...] put out his eyes: his conspiracie suspected and detected, the kyng secretly fledde. The wycked Duke was dryuen to purge him selfe by his oth, of the suspition. In the Churche dedicated to. S. Peter at Rome, periuriously he forsware him selfe: but euen so soone as he had forsworne hym selfe, he fel downe dead in the Church, and so was taken vp, and cari­ed to the Englyshe house at Rome, and from thence, after three dayes, to his Graue.

Earle Godwin, traiterously slue Alphred, brother to Kyng Edward the thyrde: after­warde, Godwin. as Godwin sate at the Table with the kyng at Windsor, it happened that one of the cup bearers (one of this Earle Godwins owne sonnes) brynging a Cuppe of Wyne towardes the kyng, tripped on the one foote, and yet recouered by the stay of the other foote, so that he shedde none of the Wyne; wherat the Earle Godwin laughed, saying, Howe the one brother gently had holpen the other: Ryght so, sayd the Kyng, shoulde my brother Alphred haue holpen me, had not the Earle Godwin been: At whiche woordes Godwin, to excuse hym selfe, falsely forsware [Page 33] the fact, and takyng a morsell of bread in his hand, wyshed that that peece of bread myght choake hym, yf he were gyltie of that deede: but so soone as he had receyued the bread, foorthwith he was choaked, and fell downe dead: whereat, quoth the kyng, haue away this periured Traytour, and by Harold his sonne, he was conueyed to Winchester to be buried: Vpon whose Land also, GOD sent such a Plague, that vntyll this day, all Eng­lande heareth of the infortunate place, called Godwins Sandes.

Syr Roger Mortimer brake his solemne Sir Roger Mortimer fayth and allegiaunce vnto his souerayne Lord, Kyng Edwarde the seconde, and for the same his periurie, is thus punished: In the dayes of Edwarde the thyrde, he was fyrst set openly vpon a Ladder, his priuie members cut from hym, and cast into the fyre before his face, his hart pluckt out of his bel­ley, his body diuided into foure quarters, and sent to the foure principall Cities of the Realme.

Howe many corrected in Gods mercifull iudgement for our example haue we knowen, some punished by losse of theyr goodes, some [Page] by fyre, some by strange sicknesses, some with tongues so blacke as a coale, some with suche Diuers pu­nishmentes hotte tongues, that they coulde not in any case cloase their mouthes agayne, which be­fore they had opened to the dishalowyng of Gods most blessed name: as notable of late dayes aboue the rest let vs remember Rich­arde Richarde Long. Fox Mar. [...]97. Long in Caleis, that wyllyngly to trou­ble Smyth and Brooke, tooke his oth vpon a Booke, that they twayne ate flesh togea­ther in Lent, in the sayd Brookes house, yet in trueth, the sayd Smyth came not into Brookes house all that Lent: he long after this periurie committed, drowned hym selfe at the iuttie ende of the hauen in Caleis.

Grimwood of Hitcham in the Countie of Grimwood. [...]bidem. Suffolke, agaynst Iohn Cooper of Wat­sam, in the sayd Countie, at an assise holden at Berry, wylfully forsware hym selfe: at Har­uest after, feelyng no payne, complaynyng of no disease, iudgyng hym selfe strong and able to labour, as he was stacking vp a Goffe of Corne, sodenly his bowels fell out of his body, and immediatly he dyed most miserably. That woorthy instrument in Gods Church, Mai­ster Iohn Foxe, from whom I collected [Page 34] these two last stories, geueth a gentle and fa­therlyke warnyng to all young Gentlemen, to leaue their outragious swearyng, by the fearefull example of this Gentleman follo­wyng.

In the tyme and raigne of King Edward the syxt, there was in Cornwall, a lustie young Gentleman, who dyd ryde togeather with o­ther moe Gentlemen and their seruauntes, in number about twentie Horsemen, amongst whom this lustie yonker entryng into talke, began to sweare most horribly: vnto whom one of the company, not able to abyde suche blasphemous abhomination, in gentle wordes sayd to hym, that he should geue accompt for euery idle woorde. The Gentleman ta­kyng snuffe thereat, Why, quoth he, takest thou thought for me? Take thought for thy wyndyng sheete. Well quoth the other, a­mende, for death geueth no warnyng, as soone commeth a Lambes skinne to the mar­ket, as an old Sheepes: (Gods woundes) sayd he, Care not thou for me: ragyng styll after his swearing maner woorse and woorse in woordes, tyll at length, passyng on theyr iorney, they came rydyng ouer a great [Page] Brydge, which standeth ouer a peece of an arme of the Sea, vpon which Brydge, this gentleman swearer spurced his Horse, in such sort, as he sprang cleane ouer the Brydge with the man on his backe? Who, as he was going, cryed aloude, Horse and man, and all to the Deuyll.

WYddowe Barnes beyng rebuked for [...]iddowe [...]. Corne­ [...] in Lon­ [...] 74. swearing, to the entent she myght de­feate an Orphant of her ryght, not regardyng good admonishmentes, within foure dayes af­ter cast her selfe out at a window in Cornehil, and brake her necke.

Arthure Myller, a fylthy talker of rybald­rie, Arthure Miller, at Hackney. 1573. a common swearer and blasphemer of Gods name, in his sickenesse the yeere of our Lorde. 1573. refused all comfortable doc­trine of fayth in Christe, and cryed out, The Deuyl, the Deuyl: Confessing in deede gods omnipotent power, for he sayd, he felt it, but he coulde not pray for grace, the cause he hym selfe knewe, but he woulde not vtter it. So that kyssyng his hande often, in which he sayd he helde the Deuyll, crying for helpe onely vpon the Deuyl, he most miserably ended his most wretched lyfe.

An Aueris. 1575. II. Februarie.

AN Aueris wyddowe, which at that tyme dwelt in Ducke Lane, without Alders­gate in London, in the Parish of S. Bartho­lome we the litle, by Smythfielde (iudged to be .lxx. yeeres of age, or thereabout) came the day and yeere aboue dated, to the house or shop of Richarde Wylliamson in Woodstreete (whose wyfe exerciseth the sorting & dressing of Flaxe and Towe) to buye there (as hereto­fore she had been accustomed) some course Towe: and hauing cheapened and agreed for vi. pounde of course Towe (a very small va­lue) but marke whyther customable vse dooth bryng one, She perceiuing the seruauntes in the shop busie about other Customers, secret­ly slypt away, imagining by lykelyhood, that because of their great businesse they nothyng regarded her: Howbeit (as GOD woulde) the Mayden that in her Mistres absence vsed to delyuer Ware, and receiue money, re­membryng redyly that no money was recei­ued for the sayd. vt. pound of Towe, sent one of them that best myght be spared from the shop, home to the house of this An Aueris in Ducke Lane, to require eyther the Towe a­gayne [Page] or els money for it. This vngodly wo­man (in whose mouth a wicked oth was the rediest thyng) Sware by and by, that she payed the money whyle she was yet in the shop: But beyng earnestly desyred that she would agayne returne to the sayd shop, there to affirme the same: As one that would put on a countenaunce of honestie, she refused not so to doo, lashyng out by the way bytter cur­ses and terrible othes, that she had alredy pay­ed the money, neyther ceassed she when she came backe agayne to the shop: But beyng gently reprehended for her vngentle and vn­godly deede, with terrible othes, periuriously she forsware the fact (Vidz. that she departed without payment) And, yf she payed not the money before her departure out of the shop, she desyred vengeance at the Lordes handes, and that he woulde openly shewe vppon her in his iust iudgement (that yf she departed out of the shop without payment of the money for the sayd .vi. pounde of Towe) that she myght presently sincke or fall sodenly downe, and neuer haue power after to styrre or go out of that place: thynkyng perchaunce, as A­theistes doo, that there is no GOD, or els [Page 36] that GOD heareth not the prayers of the people, eyther to rewarde the godly, or to pu­nyshe the wycked. Howbeit as GOD is a swyft GOD to reuenge when his mercie is refused: so in the deapth of his iudgement, he heard her prayer, and stroke her so imme­diatly vnto the grounde, that staggeryng to and fro, the strength of her legges faylyng her, and ceassing to doo theyr duetie in vphol­dyng the body, downe she fell in the shop, and became speachlesse, neuer able to ryse without helpe, neuer able to vtter any more blasphe­mous othes agaynst the Lorde: Onely, a woonderfull thyng to tell, as yf GOD would playuely shewe the cause of his procu­red wrath, she helde out in her left hand .xiii. d. with which she should haue payed for the Towe, and that sayd money she tossed and tumbled vp and downe vpon her Apron, so as al the standers by might beholde the same. As she fell downe in the deuylles name, so to stande vp agayne no helpe coulde support her that she myght be able agayne to goe: Her mouth also was put to a most vyle office, as yf GOD woulde shewe that in his iustice he would punishe the place from whence, and the [Page] instrument wherewith, his most holy name was so vnreuerently blasphemed: So as that which nature woulde haue cast downewarde at the bostome of the bellie in some secrete place, when she had withdrawen her selfe from all companie, that selfe same fylthynesse she was forced to voyde at her mouth in the open streete in open day iyght, as many men, women, and chyldren, as came by ga­zyng, woonderyng thereat: from thence beyng carried home, her dwellyng house de­nyed to receyue so vyle a person, so as of force she was fayne to be lodged in a stinkyng Stable (a Parlour sweete yenough for so vn­sauery a wretche) from whence she was after­warde carried to her lodging, and from thence a fewe dayes after to her graue. The exami­nation of this fact was taken before Sir Ly­onel Ducket, Knyght, Alderman, and Iustice of Peace within the Citie of London: and as witnesses are set downe.

  • M. Doctour Fulke.
  • M. Newstubbes.
  • M. Crake.
  • M. Edmundes.
  • M. Robert Pistor.
  • M. Robert Aske.

Who so listeth, may see this storie at large, imprinted by Iohn Alde. 1576.

[Page 37] Of whose printyng, you may also see ano­ther strange story of Father Lea. dated the. 28 of Ianuary. 1577.

Father Lea, a man almost of .lxxx. yeeres, Father Le [...] 1577. whose whyte hoary heares wan credite to his tale, was hyred for a small summe of money to forsweare hymselfe: God in his mercy de­ferryng his iudgement, full two yeeres and more, he bare about hym the heauy burden of a wounded conscience, a priuie payne, yet in deede a more irksome griefe, then it woulde haue been to haue endured publique punysh­ment for the same. He needed none other, ey­ther Iayler, or Hangman to torment him, that fyndeth that inward woo. But euen lyke as an Arrow set in a Bow redy to be shot, dooth fray a man more then an Arrow that alredy hath hyt his leg or his arme: Or lyke as the feare of death, or punyshment, where grace hath ben wanting, hath made many to murder them selues wilfully: Euen so, the inward festeryng wound of a gylty conscience, voyd of hope, full of dispayre, is more greeuous and more intolierable, then any outward correcti­on. Two long fastyng yeeres, Father Lea hearyng this importable burden, at the last [Page] the force of the fyre brake through the ashes that so long had couered it. In foster lane in London, this Lea met that partie, agaynst whom, or to whose hynderaunce he had for­sworne hym selfe, and holdyng vp his handes (after the manner of our askyng of forgeue­nesse) he desyred hym to forgeue hym his former offence agaynst hym committed, con­fessyng that agaynst hym he had falsly for­sworne hymselfe. The partie offended, cha­ritably answeared, that the offence agaynst hym myght easily be forgeuen, but the offence agaynst God, in abusing his most holy name, was most heynous and wicked: But more, to witnesse his repentance, he desyred hym to come home to his house, and so Lea dyd, and there confessed his fault to hym, and dyuers other credible persons. And on Munday the xxviii. of Ianuarie (ten weekes after this con­fession) beyng alone in his house, (as the deuyll is cunnyng in choosyng his tyme) he then assaulted hym, when he had no helpe or comfort, by the presence of his wyfe, or any o­ther, and so mightyly ouercame hym, that as it seemed, the sayd Lea entended to haue mur­dred hymselfe, with an old rustie knyfe he rip­ped [Page 38] his owne belly, and so hard was his hart, (his mind being vanquished with the horrible remembraunce of his detestable periurie) that he gryped his owne guttes with his owne handes, and so let them fall from hym into an earthen vessell. But as Gods mercie is vn­speakeable, so (blessed be God therefore) the deuyll hauyng shewed his tyrannie, his wyfe came sodaynly, and at this strange syght scri­kyng very loude, some of the neyghbours came runnyng in, and sent for a Surgeon, who presently stytched vp his woundes, and dressed hym so cunnyngly as he coulde. After him came also a spiritual Surgeon, the pastor of that Parry she where he dwelt, named M. Simpson (Father Lea dwelled in Sone Al­ley in Norton folly, in the parrysh of S. Bo­tulphes without Byshopsgate of London) and he with the Spirituall comfort of Gods sweete promises of remission of sinnes to all penitent sinners, that in Christes name aske and entreate for forgeuenesse, so salued his af­flicted conscience, that this distressed creature was recomforted therewith, and earnestly cal­led vpon God for mercy and forgeuenes, pro­fessyng that he stedfastly hoped to be saued by [Page] the blood of Iesus Christe, who of his ryche mercie had geuen hym a tyme of repentance after his desperate fact: And so ended his lyfe, the .xxix. of Ianuarie.

These examples beyng meere Englyshe, let vs borowe some out of the Germane Histories, the profitablest members for vs to take example by, for that they had the Gospel before vs, and for their vnthankfulnesse, and loosenesse of lyfe, these ensamples ensuyng were shewed vpon them. Let vs be warned by their woo, least after warnyng refused, by counsell and example, we feele also with them the punishment of warre.

Melancthon remembreth, of two wan­ton young men, makyng but a iest of Gods most glorious name, stryued whether of them could sweare most terriblest, or curse most horriblest: but their iestyng was so odious in Gods syght, that the one of them was pre­sently stryken with madnesse.

In the Citie Eslingen, where vpon Sainct Katherins day there is a great Fayre kept, Eslingen. a Gentleman of a noble house by byrth, fell amongst other yll company to Dyce, and lost a great deale of money, whereat beyng mo­ued [Page 39] earnestly, the Gentleman swearyng and cursyng outragiously, in a furious heate called to one of his men for his Horse, euen when it was now in the edge of the euenyng: his man disswaded him from riding, alleaging that the wayes were foule, and hard to fynd, dangerous through many waters, and it now began to be darke alredy, earnestly entreated he his Maister, to tarrie vntyll the next mor­nyng: But as he must needes go, whom the Deuyll dryueth: so, ful of rage and fury foorth they went, in number but three, the Gentle­man, and two men: They had not rydden far, but they met with more company, as yll or woorse then them selues, Deuyls no doubt, who bent theyr force directly agaynst this swearyng Gentleman: these feendes plucke hym of from his Horse, and would no doubt haue carried hym away body and soule, yf they had could: his men (through Gods mer­cie) especially the one of them, hauyng a good measure of fayth, and a good conscience, were vnto their Maister good Angels at that time, defendyng hym from the force of the enimie: Howbeit, all the nyght long they wandred out of the way, those euyl spirites stil troubling [Page] them, seekyng the destruction of the swearyng Gentleman, vntyll the day was lyght: then when they sawe the coast of the Countrey, and knewe where about they were, they brought theyr blaspheming Maister vnto Bethen Hawsen, where, after he had lyen three dayes sicke, he departed this lyfe.

At Tubinga, a desperate Boy deuised new othes, such as were not in common vse: but the Tubinga. Lord sent a canker, or some worse disease, that ate out his tongue, euen the very instrument where with he blasphemed God.

At Ciguea in Schueberg, for greedinesse of the gaynes of certaine Moynes, a wretched Ciguea in Schueberg. creature forsware him selfe: but God remo­ued his blessing from the place, a Snayle, as an instrument of Gods wrath (for the Lorde can woorke by any weake creature, through his owne power and myght) a Snayle made lytle holes, which at this day remayne to be seene, and so deuoured the mettall in the Moynes, that from thencefoorth no mettall remayned in the Moynes to be founde, as be­fore they were, though with much wastful cost and expences, they haue been sought for, since that committed periurie. In Thuringia the [Page 40] Deuyll, as he thought his commission would haue serued hym, seased vpon a young man, for dishalowyng the name of God, whom yet in mercy vpon repentance GOD delyuered from his tyranny: So as the young man re­mayned an open and visible witnesse, both of the Deuyls vnmerciful tyrannie, and of Gods vnspeakable mercie.

Rodolphus, Duke of Sweathen, had Duke of Swethen, made a faythfull othe vnto the Emperour Henrie the fourth: but Gregoric the seuenth Pope of Rome, absolued hym from that oth, as wel as he coulde. It came to passe, that this Duke now, beyng (contrary to his oth) on the contrary part agaynst his liege Lorde the Emperour, in a battayle fought hard by Merspurge, he lost both the feelde, and his The Pope could not set on his hande a­gayne. ryghthand, and fled into the Citie for refuge, where lying sicke, his ryght hand beyng brought vnto hym, diuers of the Popes Cier­gie standyng about hym, with deepe sighes and grouynges, he sayd vnto them, Lo, this is that same hand with the which I gaue my fayth vnto my Lorde the Emperour: You gaue me counsell to rebell agaynst hym, you procured myne absolution from the [Page] Pope, you see Gods iudgement vpon me: consyder now in your consciences, whether you haue well doone or no: And shortly after, he yeelded vp the ghost. Manlius remembreth one of Swether, a man of noble byrth, whom the Palatine toke prisoner: but of mercie the Palatine gaue him licence to depart into his owne Countrey, vpon his promise made by an oth, that he should by a tyme limitted re­turne as a prisoner priuileged, by promyse of his fayth, vnto Heydelbergum: but the prisoner esteemyng more of his libertie, then of his fayth, played the Truant, and returned not: afterward hoasting with a Iewe, hauing now broken his Christian fayth, not farre from the valley of Ioachim, his lyfe that he lo­ued beyonde honest measure, was dispatched by a Gunne.

Ladislaus kyng of Polonia, though it Ladislaus king of Po­lonia. were vnto a Turke, namely vnto Amu­rathes, yet he sware by GOD to keepe his fayth, which othe when he had broke, by the Souldiours of the Turke he was shortly af­ter slayne.

A most notable example doone in Marchia. 1528, by Iohannes Man­lius [Page 41] remembred also.

A Common Souldiour, hauing gotten in some skirmish, or other waies, as a [...]o [...]ty, a good, or rather a great bagge of money, sodenly he was visited with sickenesse, so as of necessitie he betooke hym selfe to rest in an Inne, vntyl by ordinarie meanes he myght recouer his strength. Vpon the fyrst condici­on, or entraunce of his soiournyng there, sup­posing no body lykelyer to be of good and sufficient credite then his Hostes, he deliuered vnto her custody his whole bagge of money: Afterwarde recoueryng, as God woulde, his health, he required to receiue his bagge a­gayne. It greeued his vnhonest Hostes to depart from so great a pray, therefore she entreth an earnest consultation with her husband, what shyft they myght fynde to deteyne the sayde spoyle. Her vnhappie husbande, beyng beyonde al conscience of that iudgement (that too too many men be of nowe a dayes) that what so euer by open proofe of lawe, can not be wonne from them perforce, is therefore their owne gotten good, he geueth his wyfe counsel to denie the re­ceipt of the sayde bagge, or money: his Hoa­stes [Page] denied it. Howe coulde the Souldour Olde wic­ed woman. prooue it? Marke the boldenesse of a wicked woman, she seemeth to wonder at the Soul­diour, that he woulde be so impudent, as to aske at her handes, that whiche she auowched she neuer receyued: in this case she rayleth at hym, and reuileth hym, so far as the vttermost of her vayne Rethorique woulde stretch. The Souldiour (as they are commonly allowed to be somewhat more bolde then other men) obiecteth agaynst her, her open falsehood, for that contrary to her fayth, she forsweareth the trueth agaynst her conscience. Her husbande, a principal partie in this periurie, as yf it were to defende his wyues honestie, with vi­olence thrusteth the Souldiour out at his doores. The Souldiour bold in war, abrode, at home, thought, that in a good quarrell he myght wel be more bolde, and hauing almost in choyce as liefe to leese his lyfe, as his mo­ney (the whole recompence of his lyues ad­uenture) sloutly he draweth his swoorde, pro­fessyng, that eyther he wyl leese his lyfe, or saue his money, and breakes with too muche haste his Hoastes house to reenter, alleagyng, that where his goodes are, there he may safe­ly [Page 42] be. The hoast pleadeth an action of burg­larie, and maketh open cry for helpe vnto his neyghbours. And as in braulles and broyles to many fees belong to Sergiauntes, with violent force a number of officers carry hym, as an open malefactor, vnto the Gayle. The common Counsayle, accordyng to the inti­mation of the fact, are agreed deliberatly what iudgment to geue, when publique iudg­ment shalbe craued: agreed it was, the Soul­diour by most voyces shoulde haue been con­demned. The Dyuell, who knoweth some thynges by permission, in some forme and fashion commeth vnto the prisoner, and to winne the more credite, he telleth hym what iudgement the Senatours would pronounce, vnlesse he toke good heede, and dealt wysely. The [...] entent And as he woulde fayne haue some testimonie agaynst man, wherein he falleth from God, and cousenteth vnto hym: so he perswadeth the Souldiour a free delyueraunce from his whole trouble, yf he woulde geue hym his soule to hyre. Nay quoth the Souldiour, I had rather yet leese my lyfe, then my soule. Wel quoth the Diuel, though I get nothyng of thee, as a rewarde, yet wyl I delyuer thee, [Page] so that thou be ruled by me. Follow therefore (quoth he) these instructions: when thou shalt be brought before the Iudges, pleade for thy selfe ignoraunce, desyre to haue an Atturney. Chose me, quoth the Dyuell, to debate thy cause: by these notes thou shalt knowe me, by a blewe Cappe and a Feather. The Soul­diour easily graunted to vse his counsel. The [...] Dyuell [...] her. Session is holden, the Souldiour is brought foorth as a malefactor, his Hoast pleadeth the death of the Souldiour, the Souldiour vseth the counsayle of his vnhappie aduocate: Licence he craueth, that the Gentleman with the blewe Cappe and the Feather myght pleade for hym: Leaue is graunted, foorth commeth the Proctor, and lyke a skylfull Lawyer, he maketh this Caution: The par­tie not gyltie, is not to be condemned, for from the Souldiour grue no cause of strife: the Inholder by violence, thrust the Souldi­our out at the doores, an open and a manifest crime. Searche the cause, quoth the Dyuell, and (as one of the priuate Counsayll with all vnhappinesse) geue me leaue and aucthoritie, sayth he, to searche the house, I dare vndertake to fynde the bagge and the money, so shal the [Page 43] Inholder be gyltie, and the Souldiour cleare. The Typler standyng now vppon his credit, Not [...] thy th [...] [...]ame [...] or discredite for euer, added, as the Dyuell would haue hym, many blasphemous othes, that he by no meanes knewe of any suche money, and for confirmation of his fayth made by oth, he requireth, as the custome of swearers is, vengeaunce at Gods handes, yf he sware falsly: I woulde (quoth he) the Dy­uel myght fetche me away presently body and soule before you al, yf I sweare vniustly. Whiche terrible woordes, when the Typler had earnestly repeated once or twyce, this Dyuelyshe Lawyer, or this lawing Dyuell, leaft the cause, and snatched the Corpes (ac­cordyng to the vengeaunce desyred at Gods hande) of this typlyng Hoast, and carryed hym throwe by the wyndowe, and then [...]si­bly ouer the market place of the Towne, so as his body was neuer seene any more, nothyng beyng left behynde hym, but an horrible stincke, as a witnesse what an vncleane spirite had carryed away suche an vncleane person. Of this notable remembraunce, the tyme is set downe, and the place, and the au­thours name, that nothing myght want to the [Page] certaintie of the trueth.

I wyl adde hereunto the destruction of that detestable vyce, of bannyng and cursyng, whi­che is the next brother vnto this sinne of per­tury (whether is worse, God knoweth) both tende to the dishonouryng of Gods name, an example or two, in hatred of the same.

Not far from Eslengen (whereof be­fore it was remembred) sayth Melancthon, [...]elanc­ [...] [...] with [...] certayne wanton youthes, players by lykely­hood of description in Enterludes, after a solemne Pageant set out to the people, spor­ted them selues with cursyng and bannyng (thynkyng to make but a Maygame of the Lords reuerence) but amiddes theyr cursings, God sent his punyshmentes: One of them was striken starke dumbe, the other fell starke madde.

At the feast of Whitsontyde, a wretched In [...]. woman, by cursyng and bannyng, forsakyng the helpe of GOD, and procuryng the vengeance due vnto her by the Dyuell, was by the Dyuell sodaynely snatche vppe into the ayre, many people beholdyng the same: and as he tooke her vp in the De­nylles name, so he flang her downe with a [Page 44] very vengeance, a number of people be­holdyng how she was snatched vp, and howe she was hurled downe, but runnyng to the place where she fell, they founde her starke dead, and her face turned quite behynde her.

Iohannes Manlius, a man of great cre­dite, Manlius A remembrance fo mothers. one of the first visitors of the Churche of Germanie, recordeth, that the excellent man of GOD, Doctor Martin Luther, and he at Basile sawe a woman guivyng her daughter vp and downe the countrey, the daughter beyng possessed of a wicked spirite, which inuasion of the spirite, grew by the mo­thers dyuelysh curse. The mother confessed (that her daughter disobeyng her commaun­dement) she cursed her sayde daughter, with these woordes, The Dyuel take thee: or, the Dyuel flye vpon thee. And the selfe same houre her daughter fel madde, and was pos­sessed of a Dyuel. Doctor Luther seeing the woman, communed with them, and a­gaynst ye Diuel he vsed that place of Iames: GOD rebuke thee thou foule spirite, vnto whiche woordes the Diuel answeared a­gayne: so as it was wel manyfest what spirite possessed her.

[Page] In the Towne of Freburg in Misnia, an hastie froward father, yl accustomed with con­tinual In exam­ [...]le for fa­ [...]ers. [...]anlius [...]llection. [...] To. et [...]elueche­ [...]s. To. 1. [...]edagogie. [...]. swearyng, cursyng, and bannyng, com­maunded his sonne to doo a certayne businesse with al speede possible. The sonne not yeel­dyng honour enough vnto his father, neg­lected disobediently his fathers commaunde­ment: (a great fault in deede, and woorthie to haue been wel punished:) but vnorderly and wickedly, the frowarde vngodly father, when he hearde his sonne yet at home, whom he thought before that tyme to haue been gone a­bout his businesse, in the Diuels name fal­leth to cursing his sonne, and these or suche lyke woordes he vsed: Did I byd thee goe in hast: and standest thou still there: Nowe stil moughtest thou stand, I pray GOD, and neuer mayest thou styrre alyue out of that same place. (Oh dire imprecation) Gods mer­ciful grace absented, and his iudgement ear­nestly prouoked, styl stoode his sonne. What gayned the vngodly father: vnlesse he woulde plucke the sonne in peeces, the father nowe could not, would he neuer so fayne, eyther by his owne strength, or by any others help, way, or meanes, once mooue or styrre his distressed [Page 45] childe. The chylde wanted his ease, but the father byd the woo: styrre could not the sonne, helpe must the father: and since that accor­dyng to the fathers curse the sonne coulde not be remooued, the wylful father, accordyng to Gods commaundement, must needes of due­tie succour his woful sonne. Glad and fayne was the father to vnderprop his sonne with a Chayre and a Cushion, & so to keepe hym in that place by the space of three whole yeeres. Many a godly man came to see this sorowful sight, many a good prayer, both priuate and publique, was powred out vnto the Lorde for him, many a publique exhortation was made vnto the people to auoyde such offences, and to pray for grace for him: long it was or euer the Lorde woulde be entreated. But The fort of contin prayer. as Gods mercie is aboue al his workes: so the Lorde after three yeeres space was entrea­ted for some mercy, his feete were loosed, whose footesteppes or print of his feete (a woonderful thing to tel) remayne to be seene at this day in the pauement where he stoode. So sate he then yet in miserie foure more long yeres, with a long leane countenance, ea­ting litle or nothyng, speakyng but nowe and


[Page] 3 It obscureth Gods glory, whiche aboue al thynges we must promote.

4 It breaketh fayth and credite amongst Christians, which we must maintayne.

5 It encreaseth infidelitie, whiche we must abhorre.

6 It is the woorke of the Dyuell, & Christe came to destroy it.

7 It neuer dyd good vnto any, & we must doo good vnto all. Vse breedeth custome, custome breadeth continuance, familiar easie continuance leadeth vs readyly and perfectly vnto the most damnable sinne of periurie▪ Stop therfore the beginnyng. Strike not, and you shal not kyl. Sweare not, and you shall not be forsworne. Aboue al thynges my bre­thren, Sweare not, neyther by Heauen, for it is Gods seate, nor by the Earth, nor by any other thyng. It was sayde before Christes commyng, Thou shalt not forsweare thy selfe: But Christe sayde, Sweare not at all Let your communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay: yea in woorde, yea in deede: dishallowe not Gods most glorious name. As you professe a fayth in Christe, so expresse the same continually: Let Christe be seene in your [Page 47] lyfe, as he is heard of in your language: let his holy name neuer be taken in vayne, but studie and endeuour with your whole power and strength, that Gods name may be sanc­tified, that is, alwayes esteemed holy and re­uerent, alwayes honoured and glorified, in you, and by you: Vnto whom onely, of only ryght alone, be al honour, prayse, and glory, woorshyp, renowme, and dominion, for all, and aboue al, worlde without ende. A­men. Amen.

Amen. The Lorde raigneth. The Lorde only is trueth, and shal haue the victory and only glory.



Reasons that vayne swea­ryng sauoreth of infidelitie, and of seueral othes perswadyng the same.

Howe can we call vpon God for helpe in our aduersitie, whose honour we so lightly regard in prosperitie?Psalm. 49.Call vpon me in ye tyme of thy trou­ble, and I wyl de­liuer thee. Our health is only of the Lorde.
Actes. 4.
The sonne of God came to this end, to destroy the woorkes of the diuel.Iohn.What hope then haue they in ye sonne of God, yt fulfyl des­peratly this woorke of ye diuel, in disho­noring Gods name?
Christe hath geuen hym selfe for vs an offeryng, & a sacrifice of sweete smel­ling sauour, vnto God.Ephe. 3.Who beleueth this, and wyl vaynely sweare by Christe, or by the blessed bo­dy of Christe?
By his owne blood, entred he once into the holy place, & ob­teyned eternall re­mission for vs.Hebrues. 9Who beleueth this, & yet wyll idelly or vaynely sweare by the precious blood of Christe?
1. Iohn.
1. Peter. 1.
What hope haue we of that comfortable beholding christ at the last day, face to face? [...]Whose honour, & reuerence we dimi­nish dayly, and dar­ken, as much as in vs lyeth, the glory of his name, by litle esteemyng or vayne­ly v [...]ng it for eue­ry trifle.
By his woundes we are healed, & by his stripes we are made whole.Esa. 9.who beleeueth this, and wyl yet sweare by ye precious woun­des of Christ?
One of the souldi­ers pearsed his side with a speare, and foorthwith ran out water and blood.Iohn. 19.who beeleueth this, and wyl yet sweare by Gods sides?
God shal come to iudge the quicke and the dead.Actes. 7.who beleeueth this, and wyl sweare, as God shal iudge me?
Vnto the cursed, God shal say, goe you cursed of my fa­ther, into euerlast­yng fyre.Mathevvwho beleeueth this, and wyl sweare, God renounce me?


Of Cursing.
The vengaunce of God shal eate vp your gold and your syluer. [...]The diuell a peny, that is, the diuell haue the peny.
Vengance lurketh for them, as a Li­on.Solomon.The foule euyll haue thee, or take thee: howe many see we euery yere come from the north pla­gued with this di­sease, in whiche countrey this curse is most ryfest?

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.