THE Agreemente of Sondry places of Scrip­ture, seeming in shew to Iarre, Seruing in stead of Commen­taryes, not onely for these, but o­thers lyke, Translated out of French, and nowe fyrst publyshed by Arthure Broke.

¶Seene and allowed, accordyng to the ordre appoynted in the Queenes Maiestyes Iniunctions.

Imprynted at London, in Paules Churchyard, at the signe of the Crane, by Lucas Harrison. Anno. 1563.

The Prynter to the Reader.

THE AVTHOVRS AB­sence, whose only coūtenaūce wold haue feared faults, & polished a far meaner work: pleadeth in excuse of the ap­paraūt flacknesse, in perusīg this smal treatise which, as now it swarmes with matter and singuler ꝓfite, had also flowed wyth Eloquēcemought he haue enioyed himself, whē the Realm thought good to cōmaūd him. But, syth, euen absent, he mought hereby benefit the godly: though repyning to see his learned know­ledge racked frō Eloquēce, enforced he was, by my oft entreaties, to leaue behinde him this or­phane Babe. Worthy in deede, for lawfull and vnspotted doctrine, to beare his Syres Name: howbeit, yet rough, vnmete to match with ma­ny other his trauaylles, satisfieng the hygh ex­pectation that fame had blowen of hym. Not­withstāding, syth it is not the least tryal of mercy, to father the fatherlesse: what he disdayneth in this yoūg Imp, for it hath not yet raught the honorable roomes of the rest: that, ye, to whō hereby cōmodity by our meanes shall grow, ac­cept to your patronage. That, as the cause of im­perfection, [Page] (if any be) rose for your sakes, thro­ugh my meanes: so the ꝓtection frō the enuious (sitheuen much it shroudeth worthy enuy) may ꝓcede frō your Curtesyes. It doing, y [...]ure selues shal ye discharge of vnkindnesse, me of blame, him of feare, Which, if by one prayse worthye worke, ye wyll not, small encouragement hath be, hereafter, wyth the venture of hys fame, to tender your profyte. And I as lyght cause, to h [...]sard my thanckes, in lyke importunity on the Lerned Shame therefore be it, to neglecte your frendes, Feare and doubt to hynder your selues. Which as ye shal seke to auoid: so, in eschuing the Causes, pursue the contrary.

[Page] SOme mē heretofore haue attempted this self maner of writyng & ye same worke that is here offred vnto you: Neyther was their labour altogether vayne. For at the least if they had but gathered suche places of Scripture as seme to dysagree, and done theirende­uour to agree thē, thoughe they haue not yelded the true meanyng of places which thei had takē in hand to expoūd: yet so it is ye thys inuention of theirs hath geuen a taste & opened away vnto such other as followed thē, who were able to geue a more certayne resolutiō of the same differences. Let euery one haue hys prayse: but chiefly let not the first inuentours be greued y those whi­che came after holpe thēselues wt their inuentiō, and yt hauing a greater light of y scripture they laboured to open y whiche beefore was very darkly han­dled. Neither let y laste sort seke to set forth themself to ye dyscōmendation of those y went before: but let both partes setting abrode simply yt which god hath geuen thē, bryng forth their workes wt [Page] a common agreement to the glorye of hym only whiche openeth the eyes of men, and geueth them vnderstandyng and wysedome to speake well.

Be it so than (frendly Reader) that you read y others workes yt haue trea­ted on thys maner, or be it y you be de­sirous to take profite of thys presente worke: I pray you bring with you a so­ber & quiet Iudgement. And I hope y whē you shal haue red ye other you wil not refuse y reading of this as vnprofi­table. As at other tymes it hath bene nedeful to represse the fransy of many troubled spirits: so thinke you y at this day all such are not yet so stilled, but y they geue many occasions of terrible frayes, ouerthrowing & corruptyng y meanyng of ye scriptures to confyrme their opinions. And it is necessary that they should be withstode. And bicause y moste troublesome and hard fighte of theirs, y we must abyde, is when y as­sault is geuē vs by ye holy▪ scriptures, of which self scriptures we must borrowe al oure strength & defence, it behoueth vs in this case, to vse great wisedome by which we may repulse y deceiptes & [Page] sleyghtes of our aduersaries, and so to applie thē to our purpose as neuerthe­lesse we mystake thē not & so bee desti­tute of weapon & defence. For if wee were assayled by any other meane, ey­ther by Philosophye or by any other doctrine of men, it were an easye mat­ter to repulse such assaults, for y worde of God which we make our bucklar & defence, is of strength agaynst al doc­trynes, & is aboue al doctrynes. But here in is al ye doubt whē by y word mē wil destroy y word in vs and vs in the word. There are many yt reade ye holy scriptures, to this purpose only y by the they may establysh ye traditions & ordi­nances of men. They seke in thē some couer to kepe their trifling ceremonies Ther ar other yt hauyng Imagined or takē some opiniō in their head holding wilfully and stubbornly, yt whiche they haue once conceaued, they wrest awrie & ouerthwartly the places of scripture hauyng regard to their own ambition rather thē to y teaching & edif [...]yng of ye symple ones. There are also diuerse whiche (not caring for any religiō but rather wishing y al thing wer disorde­red, [Page] & y euery one shold do what semeth hī best) wickedly take certain scrapings of y holy scriptures, and assone as they haue foūd in thē some litle shew of dis­cord, they lay hand on y as if they had ouer cōme al, tending to no other end but to brīg y word of god to be despised & hated & the readyng of it suspected. How is ye world at thys day fyld ful of Epicures & contemners. Cōtrarywise ther ar very fewe y hyt y marke, which bryng with thē a good mynde & read & heare ye scriptures to fynde Christ in thē, & to cōfyrme thē self in ye true faith, & to obey God deuoutly as they ought But these Hogs & Dogs wold not once voutchsafe to opē their eies to loke vpō one only sillable in thē if it were not to finde some Iarre in thē & to make thē disagree, & to haue some occasiō to find fault with thē. But ye holy ghost which is ye teacher and author of ye scriptures who is y spirit of truth euer like to him self, alwaies fast & cōstant profers nor brings forth any thing yt is contrary to himselfe, nor any thing to entangle or trouble ye spirit of y fathful reader, or to make him vncertayn, or in doubt what [Page] opiniō to beleue & what not to beleue. For verely if there be any disagreeing in ye holy scriptures how maye a man know what is certayne & sound? How shal a mā discerne y truth frō y whiche is false, y good frō y il, y certain from y vncertayne, the lyght frō y darknesse? Wherfore we must not feare that the scriptures deceaue vs, as if ther wer a­ny disagreeing in thē, neither nede we doubt yt the false expoūders of thē shal haue ye vpper hand, & reach to y marke y they shotte at, if to y readyng of thē we bryng with vs a spirite ready to be taught: but rather we shal haue wher­on to staye vs, & to defende vs agaynst al assaultes. I hope yt they which shalbe guyded with such a spirit of mekenesse may be holpe by this worke which as yet is but begon.

Thys is but only a profe offered in hast, at whiche if you shal beginne to take profite, let vs vnderstand it, & you shal geue hym y hath thus begon ye oc­casion to go further foreward whiche thyng also he promiseth you. Read and profiite in the feare of the Lorde.

FINIS

1

‘No Man knoweth vvhether he bee vvorthye of Loue or of Hate.’Ecclesiast. [...]‘I knovv in vvhom I beleue and am sure that he can keepe that vvhych I gaue hym to keepe vntyl that Daye.’Tym. [...]. ep. [...]

THE MOST IGNORANT of al, so they be not stubborne may easely vnderstande what Salomon meaneth in thys part of Scripture, to [...], y we trauail in hayne if we iudge by the presente state, whome God loueth or whom he hateth: for God sheweth not his loue continually to those whom he wil prosper, nor hys hate to them whō he wyll afflict. And that to reproue the vayrenesse of mannes vnderstanding whiche is dull euen in those thinges which chiefly ought to be knowen.

But thys that is spoken touching ye iudgement of outward things, and so [Page 2] farre foorth as a man may Iudge of hymself letts not at al the certainty of fayth neyther doth it cause a faythfull man to be vnassured of y loue of God, and not resolued that life is layd vp for him in heauen. This assurednesse ma­keth vs know what difference there is betwene faith and opinion. Fayth lea­neth not on the authority of men, nei­ther doth it doutfully rest on God: but a certayne knowledge is ioyned wyth fayth. So if according to the conceit of men we speake of things that chaunce vnto vs, we haue no assurance of gods goodnesse toward vs. But when fayth guydeth the sprite of man, then man is well assured what so euer betyde hym, that nothyng shall separate hym from the loue wherwith God loueth him.

2

‘Seeke and you shall finde.’Math. 7.‘I vvas found of those that sought me not.’Esai. 65.

THis commodity we haue by faith in our praiers, y if in faith we seke God, we shal find him always re­di [Page 3] to succor vs in al our necesities, he is prest of hymself to graunt our reques­tes, so that we pray to him. And his ri­ches shalbe displayed vnto vs, so that we seke them and aske them. It is cer­taine that God watcheth often for the safety of hys faythful when they slepe, to the ende he may preuent their pray­ers. For, we were more than misera­ble if in thys our brutall dulnesse God taried for our prayers. But bicause Christ speaketh here to hys Disciples he sheweth them playnly in what ma­ner the heauenly father wyll make vs partakers of his gifts. Although ther­fore he geue vs all good things freely: yet notwithstandyng to exercise our fayth, he wyl haue vs seke hym by our prayers, on which he wyl bestow that which proceadeth from hys goodnesse only.

So, God wyl haue vs seke hym, yet he is the first that sought and foūd vs, which thing appeareth in that he saith he was found, but it was of those that sought hym not, which was when he graffed vs into his household by faith. [Page 4] And therin he declareth that hys grace and mere goodnesse hath preuēted vs, & that we brought wyth vs no desert, or worthinesse at all.

3

‘I vvyll remēbre their sinne no more.’Genesis. 3‘Verely I saye to thee, thou shalt not depart from thens til thou haue paid the last farthing.’Math. 5.

EVEN after that we haue offēded, God notwtstanding promyseth to be at one wt vs: for of nature he is gentle and prone to pardō, ells our of­fences and wickednesse wold shut the doore and entraunce to hys bounty, yf we had not thys thing euer set before our eyes, that he easely pardoneth and forgetteth our sinnes, he kepeth not in mind the faultes and wrongs that are done to him: for he condescendeth wyl­lingly and of his owne accord to fal to agremēt. But it behoueth vs to know that thys is not spoken to all mankind indifferently, but is a priuiledge belō ­ging properly to his Church. For it is [Page 5] saide in Deutronomy, that God reuēgeth terribly casting back the faults of the Fathers into the bosome of the Children. Gods wrath agaynst rebelles, vnbeleuers and ob­stinate persones shall neuer be appea­sed. And in some sorte that may agree hereunto, which Christ our Lord saith. Verely I say vnto thee thou shalt not come oute from thens tyll thou haue payed the vttermost Farthing. Albeit Christ simply geueth warning that it is very profitable for vs euen after the maner of men to a­gree with our aduersaries betime, by­cause that rigorous men are often do­maged by their owne euel desire. Yet this similitude may be well and fytly applied to God, that Iudgement with out mercy shalbe executed on him that wil not agre or be reconciled with hys brethren, or that shall striue to the vt­termost.

4

‘Art thou called a seruaunt? care not.’1. Corint. 7.‘Yet if thou cā be at liberty, be so rather.’1. Corint. 7.

EVery man muste be content wyth hys calling and follow it: not that [Page 6] men are so bound but some may law­fully chaunge their estate or trade of life: but men ought to amend their vn­aduised desire, by which some are stird to chaunge their sort of life without a­ny iust occasion, whether it be through superstition or curiousnesse of conscy­ence, or some other fond motion. To be short, this sentence bringeth al men to thys poynt to remembre what stādeth with their calling. If any be called to bōdage sayth Saint Paul, he must not be vexed with carefulnesse: but rather masse haue his conscience quiet. He wil haue bondmen to be of good there and not troubled as thoughe bondage shuld let them frō the seruice and true obedience of God. Notwithstanding he mitigateth that sentence: for (sayeth he) if the seruaunte can fitly bryng to pas to com into fredome, let him take to hym that more comodious state of lyfe. He teacheth that liberty not only is good: but also more cōmodious thā bondage. This then maketh these two sentences no whitte to disagree. For Saint Paul biddeth not seruauntes to [Page 7] steale away from theyr maisters, or to vse any force toward their masters, so to shake of the yoke of bondage from theire neckes: But he aduiseth them not to be trobled, as though their state of lyfe did take from them the Christi­an liberty.

5

‘VVhen I held my peace my bones vvoox olde.’Psalm. 23.‘In cryeng and groning my bones vvaxe olde.’Psalm. 23.

ALthough there be some litle shew of contrariety in these words, yet they may be easily agreed. The poore sinner is spoken of who feeleth himself cast out of the fauour of God. And the Prophet speaketh not here of a cōmon kinde of trial: but of an extreme rigor, by whych ye sinner is vtterly ouerthro­wen. As in dede if we be not drawē by forcible means, we neuer aduaūce our self wt a very earnest desire to seeke to be at one wt God. Therfore whether ye sinner seke ease by holding his peace & [Page 8] saying nothing: or by crieng and bray­eng, his bones neuer lyn to waxe olde, nor all his strength to wast: on which syde soeuer he turne him, and by what soeuer wil or affectiō he be led. Let his mouth be shut vp that he say nothing: let him haue it open to bray and fil the aire with cries: To be short, let him do all that semeth hym good to finde ease of his grief, yet it auailes him nothing tyll he be come agayne into the fauour of God.

6

‘Thy God is one only God.’Deutero. 6.‘I haue appointed thee the God of Pharao.’Exod. 1.

THIS is very true, y there is but one God, & the same very. God & onli God y by his sō Iesus Christ shewed himself only wise, only almighty, and wholly good, at whose hand a­lone we must loke for safety, & all ma­ner of good things. He is ye true God whō faith discerneth frō the vayn & fo­lish inuētiōs of mē, & embracīg him wt an assured certainty, it neither boweth [Page 9] nor wauereth. Yet for all that a man may also say. Many are called Goddes not of their own being: but by parta­king of dignity, insomuchas God hath made thē his vicars & Deputies in som particular office, as it is sayd in the. 83. Psalme. I haue sayd you are Goddes. For he speaketh ther to Princes & Gouer­nors of ye earth. By ye self reasō y scrip­ture calleth the Angels Goddes, for y the glorye of God shineth in the world through thē. Now this tittle conueyed ouer from God as wel to Angels, as to men, declareth what God doth by thē, & what charge and office he hath geuē thē. And yt is in such sort, that no parte of Gods glory is therby minished. For he doth not so impart his force & stren­gth to creatures, as in y meane season any of his power is taken frō him. He doth not so work by thē that in ye mean time he resigneth his own power. He wil not haue his glory so shine in thē. y the whilest it be darkned in himself.

7

‘All flesh shall see the Saluatiō of God.’Esai. 40.[Page 10]The vvicked shall not see the glory or magnificence of God.’Esai. 26.

IN ye the Prophet Esay saith, al flesh shall see ye saluation of God, his pur­pose is to shew yt the work of ye redēptiō of ye Church shal be so glorious that all mē shal opēly see yt God is ye author of such a deliuerance, & it shall make visi­ble his Maiesty & Power. But ye wic­ked & vnbeleuers haue no eyes mete so to considre it, as it may profit thē. The Lord by sūdry meanes maketh his po­wer, his iustice, & bounty shine: and yet ye unbeleuing & proud occupy not their spirits and wits about it. So although al may behold ye glory of Iesus Christ: neuerthelesse few haue knowen it by­cause of their blindnesse. There haue bene but few that haue had their eyes opened by the holy Ghost, to see this glory in our Lord Iesus.

8

‘I vvyl harden the hart of Pharao.’Exod. 4.‘Pharao hath hardened his hart.’Exod. 8.

LYKE as God hath kept vnto himself [Page 11] this liberty to haue mercy on whome it seemeth good to hym, and that ther­in we can finde out no cause aboue his will: so also hee refuseth as manie as he will, and therin his wil sufficeth for all reasons. Saint Paul handling this argument in the. 9. Chapter to the Romaines, allegeth that which God had sayd to Moyses before, I wyll haue mercy on whomsoeuer I wyll haue mercy. On the contrary syde he proponeth that which the Scriptures say to Pharao, Exod. 9. I haue stirred thee vp euen to thys selfe purpose that in thee I may shew my power, & that my name may be renowmed through all the earthe. Then after he concludeth y God hath mercy on whom it semeth good to him and hardeneth whom he wil. The lord affirmeth that it is himself that stirred vp Pharao to this very ende that be­ing vāquished and subdued whylest he stubbournly resisted the power of god, hee shoulde serue for an instruction to teache howe inuyncyble the arme of God is. Then, in that he hardened the hart of Pharao, he is not only vnre­proueable: but also in hys wysedome [Page 12] and equity wonderfull. And when it is sayd that God hardeneth, it is not on­ly me it therby that God suffereth, but also that his Godly wrath worketh: for al outward things which serue to bild the reprobare, are euident tokēs of his angre. And Sathan himself which in­wardly worketh strongly, is so Gods minister that he doth nothing out by the commaundement of God. Yet not withstāding this also is true that Pharao hath hardened his heart God tru­ly, doth harden, but he doth wel & iust­ly that which he doth. [...] an hardeneth himself, but what he doth, he doth stub­bournly, agaynst the will of God who calleth him to repeniaunce and salua­tion.

This we may see playnly by the ex­hortation which yt holy Ghost maketh in the. 95. Psalme, when he sayth, If to day yee wyll heare his voyce harden not youre heartes, He declareth that our stubbour­nesse and rebellion agaynst. God com­meth out of none other fountayn than of our wicked will, whē we shut ye dore against his grace. We haue alredy by [Page 13] nature a hart of stone, and this harde­ning is naturall vnto vs euen frō our mothers wombe, and onely God may soften and amend our hardnesse. Not­withstandinge in that wee refuse the voyce of God, that proceadeth of our wilfull obstinacy, and not of any con­straynt that commeth from els where or from without vs. Euery man may be a witnesse of this to himself: Wher­fore it is not without iust cause that the holy Ghoste reproueth all vnbeleuers forsomuch as stubbournly they wyth­stand God, neyther is [...] any beside themselues that taught them to rebell. Pharao may well scrue for a notable crample hereof. So God remaineth iust, & the naughty and hardened mā is Iustly punished.

19

‘Encrease and Multiplye,’Genesis [...].‘Happy are the barraine that &c,’Luke. [...]3.

WHEN God had at the begining ordayned mariage, he spake thus to Man & Womā which he him­self had ioined together, Grow and mul­typly.

[Page 14] In geuing them hys blessing he wyl­leth them to engendre a line, begin­ning at the mariage which he had or­dayned and hallowed, he cōmeth doun to generatiō. Such is thē the blessing of God from which as from a spring al mākinde is deriued. And we ought not onli to consider it in a generalty but in euery one particularly: for we are frutfull or barraine touching the begettīg of issue, according as god poures forth his blessing and power on some, and withholdeth it from other some. But when it is sayd Luc. 23. that blessed shall be barraine women that shal not con­ceiue. This is not spoken symply as though a woman were to be accomp­led happy in that she bringeth not forth children, for rather therin is the lacke of the blessing of God wherof we spak: but our Lorde Iesus speaketh there of the dreadfull Iudgement of God whi­ch shuld come vpon the Iews, so y then the barrain womē should be happy in cōparisō of others which shuld not on­ly feele their own misery in their own propre bodies: but also their chyldrens. [Page 15] To be short, seeing this sheweth an extremity of dispaire to wish moūtaynes to fall on them, to curse their issue, Ie­sus Christ sheweth that the Iewes shal feele that they haue not had to do with a mortal mā but with the liuing God.

10

‘There is no respect of persons vvyth God.’2. Ephesi. 6. Colloss. 3.‘Vnto vvhome shall I haue regarde but to the poore and lovvly of spirit, and trembling at my vvordes.’Esay. 66.

WHen we reade y God accepteth not nor hath respecte of persons: that is not to say y he hath no re­gard to mē, as though he wer carelesse of thē: but by thys maner of speaking we must vnderstand that he loketh on y cleannesse of the hart, & on ye inward innocēcy, & that he regardeth not those things which bleare the eies of men, & are cōmonly estemed of them, as race, country, dignity, riches, honor, beauty & other lyke things. Also he hath no re­spect vnto ye cōtrary thyngs which procure disdain & sōtimes hate, as pouerti, [Page 16] lowe and base state. And this hapneth oftenest in Iudgement, where affecti­ons ouerthwartly reigne, whiche are conceyued by respect of persons. They that are in any dignity flatter themselues, as though God should sauor them for such corruption, and think that the little or pore ones cannot be so worthy as they, that God should voutchsafe to cast his eyes on thē to take their part: but of what estate or cōdition, of what country or kindred, soeuer mē be, they shall bee pleasing vnto God that feare him and do that is right.

Now when it is sayd that god lo­keth vpon the poore, and lowely, it is not meante that he hath more respect vnto the person, but to the truth that is in the person whiche canne not bee in hym but throughe the goodnesse of God. So he hath regard to that that is his and not to that that men can haue of themselues. In this place of Esay the false opinion that men conceyue of the seruyce of God is ouerthrowen in as­muchas they suppose that ceremoni­es and outewarde, obseruaunces are [Page 17] much worth of themselues: but God careth not awhit for them. When mē think to appeace & cōtent him by such shewes he rather casteth his eyes on hartes throwen down, & trembling at hys woorde, wherebye hee sheweth openlye howe wee muste beehaue oure selfe to becōme acceptable vnto God, to weete, so that al our powers, & all our senses be ordred to geue true obedience vnto God, and that we at­tribute nothyng vnto oure selues by fonde presumption: for the nature of our fayth is to obey God, and causeth him whē he speaketh to vs, to be heard of vs attentiuely and quyetly.

11

‘Thou arte not a God that louest iniquitye.’Psalme. 5.‘He hardeneth vvhom he vvyll.’Roman. 9.

DAued in thys fyfth psalme setteth forth a confort to al the faythful, & geues thē councel how to behaue them selues as often as their enemies cruelly persecute them, and gylefully, and violently oppresse them. Hys ad­uise [Page 18] is that they should haue recourse to the defence of God, whoe will not fayle to represse in good time, all their crueltye. And seyng it is so that ryght and equitye are pleasyng vnto him, it can not otherwise be but that he wold take vengeance of all wicked and vn­ryghteous men. For howe can it be y such shoulde auoyde hys Iudgement, and abyde vnpunyshed, sith he is the Iudge of the world? For hys offyce is to destroye all the wycked, for he ha­teth all wyckednesse, and hath already prepared a reward for the proud. And although he deferre the punyshment and vengeance for a whyle, yet he wil at laste goe vp into hys Iudgemente seate, & will openly declare that he is a iuste Iudge enemy to the wicked & a frend to the good and ryghteous.

Now then to agree thys place with that other which sayth, God hardens whom he wyll, there nedeth none o­ther doctryne but that whiche maye bee gathered out of thys sentence, to weete, that God hateth all iniquitye, that is to saye, althoughe he woorke [Page 19] by Satan and by the wycked, & vseth their iniquitye to execute hys Iudge­mentes: Yet he is not author of sinne, neyther doth synne please hym, for al­wayes he setteth before hym a iuste & holy purpose, so that he condemneth & punisheth righfully & Iustly those y he dryueth by hys secrete prouydence, whether it seemeth good vnto hym. Verely he hardeneth whom he wyll, yet is there no vnryghteousnesse in hym, for he doth nothyng but y which is ryghteously done. And not only he foreseeth the ruyne of the wicked: but also theyr fall is appoynted by hys councell and will. As Salomon say­eth. Prouerb. 16. that not onely the destruction of the vnryghteous and proude was knowen before: but also they were appoynted to perdition, e­uen as God by hys bountye and mer­cye keepeth the faythfull, and suffe­reth not the deuill to haue power on them, nor them to be suppresse wyth synne. So also, he doth not only geue ouer those and denyes them his grace [Page 20] whom he wil punishe: but also he blin­deth them and geueth them ouer into a reprobate sense, deliueryng them to the power of the deuill. Shall we then attribute vnto God any thyng at all in euyll woorkes bycause that if he denyed not hys grace, no man shoulde bee geuen into a reproued sense? It is certayne that the wic­ked are geuen into a reprobate sense not only by the sufferyng of God: but it commeth to passe through hys iuste Iudgement, & hys vpryght order that the wycked are vexed by thys rage, as­wel through their own concupiscence, as by the force of the deuill. Yet we must not lay any fault on God, for the rootes of synne ar stil remayning in a synner. Therfore, when we finde such sentences in the Scripture, that God hymself blyndeth or hardeneth ye hart of man, they assigne not the begyn­ning vnto God, neyther do they make hym author of euil, so as y fault ought to bee imputed vnto him. It is sayd that God geues ouer the reprobate to diuerse desyres, is thys to saye that he [Page 21] depraueth or corrupteth their heart? Not so, for the reason why the hart of man is subiect to froward desyres, is forasmuch as it was already corrupt and faulty. Moreouer it is sayd that God blyndeth and hardeneth. May a man say therfore that he is the author or mynyster of synne? God forbyd, but rather by thys meanes he taketh ven­geance and punysheth synnes, & that he doth Iustly wythout doyng them wrong, in asmuch as they haue refu­sed to be ruled by hys spryte. It follo­weth then that the spryng of synne is not in God, neyther may the fault bee imputed to hym as thoughe he tooke pleasure in euel doyng. Thus it boo­teth man nothyng to hast with God endeuoryng to lay hys faultes and of­fences on hym. And thys is the reason whatsoeuer euyll ther is, it procedeth from the euyll appetite of men.

12

‘Hys mercyes are aboue all hys vvorkes.’Psalm. 145.‘He shevveth mercy to vvhō he vvil.’Roman. [...].

[Page 22] WE haue already sene that God is no waye beholdyng or bound to any creature, he is free in al hys wylls and workynges, no man hath geuen vnto hym to prouoke hym to recompence. If he reccaue to mercy, and if he saue, it is of hys mere good­nesse, as also yf he condemne he hath a iuste cause to do it. He hath mercye then on whom he will, and not on all, he offereth hys grace to all, but all are not made partakers of hys grace: but yet hys bountye & mercy is stretched ouer al his workes, that is to say, God not onely of hys mercye and fatherly bountuousnesse forgeueth synnes: but also vseth liberality indifferently to­wardes al, as he maketh hys sunne to shyne vpon the good and euil. The re­probate ar among the works of God, in asmuch as he formed their bodyes and their soules. Althoughe therefore the remyssion of synnes be a treasure hydden from the wycked & proud: Yet their iniquitye letteth not God from spreadyng hys mercyes and bountyes largely vpon thē also. But in ye meane [Page 23] tyme these vnthankfull ones swallow down ye liberalitye of God not tasting or felyng it at all: Only the beleuyng know what it is to enioye the grace & fauour of God, as it is sayd in the. 34. Psalme. Drawe you nere to hym and bee you lyghtened & your faces shall not be ashamed. See and taste howe swete the Lorde is. And moreouer seing it is so y our offences & synnes, wrap al the worlde in Gods curse, his mercy likewyse both stretch euē to brute beastes which he helpeth.

13

‘God tempteth no man.’Iacob 1.‘God tempted Abraham.’Genesis. 2 [...].

IT is an easy thyng to agree these two places, if we vnderstand, what difference ther is betwene plucking that out which is hyd within ye hearts, and styrring the hartes inwardly to naughtye desyres. When Sainte Iames sayth that God tempteth none it is to the end that no man shoulde laye hys synne vppon an other, and muche lesse vpon God, and the rea­son followeth, that God is not temp­ted [Page 24] to doe euyll: But euery one is tempted when he is drawen & takē by the bayte of his owne concupiscence. He treateth then of inward temptati­ons which be nothing but vnruly ap­petites that styrre vs to synne. Thys then is very well sayd that God is not y author of such temptations bycause they ryse from the corruption of oure nature. Thys doctryne is set forth bi­cause it is a very cōmon thing among men to lay els wher the fault of euils which they commyt: Yea, & they sticke not to charge God with it, wherein they shew themselues the very sonnes of their father Adam that sayd, the wo­man that thou gauest me disceyued me. Thē we ar brought, backe to the confessing of our own fault and sinne, to the end that we should not put God in oure place as though he hymself dyd moue vs to synne. We may not therfore re­moue our offences from vs to others, seyng that we haue & carry the roote in our own concupiscence. For al­thoughe Sathan make vs taste hys poyson, and his blastes kyndle euil [Page 25] desyres in vs: Yet are we not dryuen to synne by any outward constraynt, but our fleshe styrreth vs, and we of our own accord obey the intycemen­tes of it. Thys notwythstanding shal not let vs to saye that God hath hys manner of tempting, as he tempted Abraham, y is to saye, he broughte him to a true profe to search the fayth of hys seruaunte to the quicke. Thys oughte to be moste manyfest, ther are also outward remptations which are sent vs of God to proue our pacience and to trye our fayth by offryng vs some occasion to make oure mynde knowen.

14

‘No man euer savve God.’Iohn. 1.‘I savve the Lord face to face.’Genesis. 32.

THys sentence that no man euer saw God must not be vnderstan­ded onely of the outwarde syghte which is wyth bodily eyes: But also generally, that as God dwelleth in a light that can not be attayned to, so al­so he can not be knowen but in hys [Page 26] sonne Iesus Christ who is hys liuely Image. God whiche was before as it were hyd in hys secret, and profounde glory, became as it were visible in Ie­sus Christ. And so when the sonne is called the liuely Image of the father, that belongeth to the particular bene­fyte of the newe testament. And when it is added the only Sonne, whiche is in the bosome of his father, the same hath told it thee, it is shewed how God is manifested in the Gospell and what difference there is betwene the olde fathers and vs, and howe we bee in higher degree than they▪ as S. Paule sheweth. 2. Corin. 3. that there is no more a veyle nowe as there was in olde tyme vnder the lawe. But God is openly behelde in the face of Iesus Christ, not that the auncient fathers were withoute the knowledge of God, among which the Prophetes euen at thys daye beare a torch before vs to lyght vs: but in cō ­parison of vs they had but smal spar­kes of the true lyghte, and we at thys day be lyghted with a full lyght. Now as touching that, that is sayd of Iacob [Page 27] that he sawe the Lord face to face, it is very true that he had but a little taste of the glorye of God: Yet was it not without cause that this holy patriarke dyd set forth thys vision aboue all the other in which God had not so many­festly appeared vnto hym: Yet not­wythstandyng in comparison of the bryghtnesse of the Gospell yea or of the lawe it was only a little sparke or a very dymme beame. Iacob thē sawe the Lord of an vnwonted fashion, so he speaketh in respect of other reuela­tions that he had, and not in compari­son of the apparaunce of the Gospell which we haue at thys day. If we wil speak of an excellent visiō, ther is scar­celye any such as Moyses visiō which he obtayned in the hyll, which is spo­ken of in Exo. 33 and yet God pronoun­ceth expressely thou mayest not see my face, only thou shall se me behynd. He signifyeth by thys similitude that the tyme of the ful and cleere reueling was not yet come. But now, let ye face of Christ be takē frō vs, & ther is no meane wher­by any man be he neuer so excellent, [Page 28] may see God, the sygnes in which of old he shewed hymself, haue declared, that the loke of man can not pearce to the beholding of God, whose beyng is incomprehensible, as when he appea­red in a cloude, in flame, and smoke.

15

‘The vvicked shall not ryse in iudgement.’Psalme. 1.‘VVe shall all ryse to iudgement.’1 Corint. 15.

THere is very great diuersity be­twene these two sentences, for in the fyrst Psalme ther is nothing spoken of the laste Iudgement, nor of that rysing vp, which shalbe when the sone of God shal come to Iudge both the quicke and the dead. The Pro­phets mynde is to shew that the state of the happy lyfe is grounded vpon a good conscience, wherefore it is no meruayll if the wicked be by and by disappointed of the felicitie which they them selfe haue imagined. They haue their pleasure in thys world, and they tryumphe whylest al things are ful of trouble here beneath, as theues skir­myshing [Page 29] in the forest & woodes when the prouost Marshall is farre of from them: Yet things shal not be alwayes so dysordered, but when they shalbee broughte into some good order, then their pleasures shalbe taken frō them, so that they shall feele that they were dronke when they thoughte they had bene happy. The wicked then & proud are pronounced to bee myserable for asmuche as to bee blessed, a man must haue a good cōscience. It is very true, that beefore they bee searched to the quycke, al thyngs laugh on them, but the whilest none deserueth to be cal­led or accompted blessed, except he bee helde vp by a fast soundnesse of heart, when the good and iuste be tryed, thē at length men know which is the fast and true purenesse. Thus when it is sayd that the proude and wicked, shall not ryse vp in Iudgement, the mea­nyng is, they cannot stand vpright or abyde it when they are examined by the Iust Iudgement of God: And withal, thys also is true, that the wic­ked shal rise againe in the last Iudge­ment [Page 30] of Christ aswel as the good: but in a diuerse sorte as it is sayd. Iohn. 5. the houre shall cōme, in which all they that ar in the graues shall heare the voyce of the sonne of God, and they that shall haue done well shal goe into the resurrection of lyfe, and they that shall haue done euill into the resurrection of condemnation. True it is that in the Ar­ticles of our fayth there is no mention made of y rising of the wicked neither of their eternall death bycause y [...]rede which contayneth the sayd Articles is a briefe summe of the faith of ye Chris­tians wherin nothyng is intreated of but that which serueth to confort the chosen, shewing them the good things which God hath prepared for them. It was made to quiet the consciences of the faythfull in y they haue wherwith to mayntayne and stablyshe themsel­ues in y hope of their saluation, which the wicked shal haue no part of Brief­lye, the resurrection of the wicked is not to set them in better state: But ra­ther to make them altogether cōfoun­ded, and accursed for euer more. How­beit the power of God shal appeare in [Page 31] their resurrection when he shall pu­nyshe euerlastyngly both their bodies and soules, as also it shalbe sene in the risyng agayne of the good and Iuste, when he shall make them wholly and continually blessed.

16

‘Iesus Christ forbyddeth vs to bee angrye.’Mathe. 5.‘Dauid sayeth be angrye.’Psalme. 4.

IEsus Christ leadyng men backe to his authoritye which of ryght ought to be set before al,Pau. Eph. 4▪ auncient and repul­syng the commō opinion of yt scribes, setteth forth three degrees of condem­nation besyde the violence of handes, signifying therby that thys decree of God, thou shalt not kill, doth not onely restrayne the handes: But also all af­fections that ar contrary to brotherly loue, and he openly calleth them man­quellers which shal but be angry with their neyghboures, or that shall arro­gantly mocke them, or that shall by any outragious woorde offend them. [Page 32] And althoughe he condemneth to the torment of fyer only those whiche vse agaynst theyr neyghboures open re­proches and dyspytes: Yet he doth not exclude wrath and anger from thys payne: But alludyng vnto earthlie Iudgementes he doth wytnesse that God will be also the Iudge of secrete and hydden anger to punysh it. Now when Saint Paule: Eph. 4. sayth, bee angry and sinne not, whether he haue therin alledged the testimonye of the Psalme eyther ells that he dyd only al­lude therunto followyng the greeke translation. Howsoeuer it be, he hath applyed thys sentence very well to his purpose: for he sheweth therby what a fault it is for men to spewe vp their coller on other mē, seyng in them self they haue matter ynough to be angry with themselues to kepe them from offendyng other, wherfore he woulde they should rather frett inwardly and exercyse their coller agaynst themsel­ues, for there is cause ynough for thē to be angry and to deale dyspytefully with themselues. And forasmuch as [Page 33] the infidels that haue no feare of God nor any quicke feeling of hym runne hedlong at al auenture. They ar war­ned (if at least wise ther be yet any hope of helpe in thē) to cry & trēble wtin thē selues. For hereof c̄ometh the presup­tiō and foole hardinesse of all the proud through which they stick not to make warre wyth God. They are dronke with a vayne and fond assurance, and they hardē themselues with their own wyll, when forgetting god and them­selues, they follow at that, to whiche their fond and lewd sensuality driueth them. The medecine to make them sin no more in thys behalfe is that they wake out of their depe slombre, and be­gyn to stirre and tremble in themsel­ues. So when they shall haue wel sha­ken of their sluggishnesse the desire to sinne shall ceasse in them, for whence commeth it that the vnbeleuing sorte deale so spitefully with the good and simple, and that they rayse vppe so many troubles and stormes? but here­of, that they are to wel at ease in them self. Doutlesse by our anger and indignation [Page 34] we offend God, fyrst, when we are angry for euery lyght cause, and ofte without a cause, or being moued by the wronges which are done to vs particularly. Again being once moued to coller we passe beyond our bownds and runne foorth withoute measure. Lastly we stirre vp that anger against our brethren which we shuld styrre vp against our selues, & against our own offences: but the true tempering of a lawfull coller which causeth vs not to offend is when we seeke the matter of angre rather in our self, than in others bendyng our angre agaynst our owne vices. As touching others we must be angrye wyth their faultes rather than with their persones, and we must not conceiue displeasure of faultes and of­fences committed agaynst vs: but ra­ther the zeale of the glory of the Lorde ought to enflame vs to angre. To conclude, let our anger be so moued in vs that when nede is it maye be appeased but let it not bee myngled wyth the troublesome affections of the flesh.

17

‘Eye for eye and toth for toth.’Exod. 21 [...]‘If any man stryke thee on the right cheke gyue him the other also.’Math. 5.

IN this place of Exodus, God geueth a Lawe for Iudges and Magistrats to the ende they might punishe with a lyke payne the wrongs and dispightes that are doone. As it is reason that hys bloude shoulde bee spilte that hath spilt bloud. Likewise it is reason that he that hath pulled oute another man­nes eye should haue his eye pulled out also, and so in like case his toth. But bi­cause then that vnder thys cloke euery one wold auenge himself and reward wyth like, the Lorde Iesus dooth geue warning that althoughe it was decre­ed that Iudges shoulde represse the vi­olence of the Wycked and Proude and punnyshe it: yet euerye manne oughte patientlye to endure the pri­uate wronges that shoulde be doone to them. Butte by thys sentence, [Page 36] if any Man strike you on the ryght cheke, offre hym the other also, the Lorde Iesus ment not to ouerthrow the law appoynted by hys father, but only so fashion the heartes of hys faythful to a measure & softnesse, to the ende that when they shoulde be once or twice stricken they should not be discoraged therwtall. It is true that Iesus Christe wythholdeth as wel our handes from reuenge as our heartes: but when any man with out outrage and reuenge can defende hymselfe, and so keepe his goodes that no man wrong hym, the woordes of Christe forbydde not such a man pea­ceably and sobrely to tourne away the violence which he seeth nere vnto him. A man may castlye thinke that Christ would not exhorte hys faithful to whet or kyndle foorther the malice of them that already burne to much with a ra­gyng appetite to hurt. Now to offre or gyue the other cheeke after that one blow is receyued at a proud mannes hand what wer it els but to moue him ye more? Euery one mai easily know at what mark our lord Iesus shoteth, y is [Page 37] to say that ende of one fraye wil be the beginning of another, and therefore the faythfull all the tyme of their lyfe, must abyde diuerse dispites and many iniuries by continuall degrees, when they haue bene once harmed. By thys lesson he wil haue them fashioned and brought to suffre, that in suffring pati­ently they may learne to be patient.

18

‘Thou vvhen thou prayest goe into thy chambre.’Math. 6.‘My house shal be called the house of prayer.’Esai. 56.

OF olde tyme the Lord wold be cal­led vpon onlye by the Iewes, and therfore he had appoynted a tem­ple to them only, as Saint Paul sayth in the 6. to the Romanes. To Israell be­longeth the choyse, the glory, the agreementes, the decrees of the Lawe, the seruice of God, and the promyses. The temple then was pla­ced among them by a singular priui­ledge. Now that which is saied by Esay agreed with the circumstance of the tyme: for he foretelleth the callyng [Page 38] of the Gentiles, for he promiseth that God shall not onely cause hys temple to recouer the former magnificence: but also that all nations shal assemble ther and al the world shal agree in the true religion. And til the time of christ the temple was truly the place or house of prayer, to wete, so long as the lawe had force with her shadowes. And it began to be a house of praier vnto al na­tions when the doctrine of the Gospell was blowne abrode, by which al the world hath bene vnited in agreemente of fayth. Now then since all the diffe­rence that was betwene the Iewes & the Gentiles is at the last taken away, the entry into the house of God is open to al men, of what country soeuer thei be. For the Chirch is so enlarged that it stretcheth through all the regions of the earthe: for all people are called to pray and to cal vpon the name of God But when Christ sayth, that when we would make our prayer we should go into our secret chambre, it is to teach vs to [...] the example of the Hipocrits and not the commune places where [Page 39] the faithful come together to pray. For the Hipocrites are wont to pray in the assemblies and in the endes of the stretes bicause they would be sene of men. They grosly and shamfully prophane the name of God in that they praye o­penly or rather make shew of praying bycause they would be praysed of men. Therefore he commaundeth those that be his to entre into their closets if they wyl pray as they ought, and make such a praier as may be pleasing vnto God. It is true that we are commaunded in sondry places of the Scripture to pray vnto God in the middest of a great as­sembly and to geue hym thanckes be­fore all the people, and that to the end to witnesse our faith or to acknowlege our selues vnto him, and also to moue others to doe the lyke, neyther dooth Christe tourne vs awaye from suche a zeale and exercise: but onlye hee dooth warne vs to haue God before our eies as often as we purpose to pray. Thys is not then, to say, that we should flye from men and that we cannot rightly pray except we wtdraw our self a part: [Page 40] for he speaketh by comparison signifi­eng that we should seeke some solytary place, rather than conet the presence of men to see vs pray. To be shorte whe­ther any man pray alone, or before o­thers, he muste be contented with the onely witnesse of God, as thoughe he were wtdrawen into some place apart.

19

‘I am the Lord and there is none o­ther forming the light & creating the darknesse making peace & vvorking euell, I am the Lord doing al things.’Esai. 45.‘VVhen the Deuyl speaketh lies, he speaketh that that is hys ovvn, for he is a [...] and the father of lying.’Ieremy. 8.

IN thys place of Esay Godds proui­dence is spoken of by which al thyn­ges are gouerned both the good and [...], the mery & sad. Here al men are war­ned (wheras before they did assigne all thinges to fortune & to their Idolls) to acknowledge the power and stength of God to the ende they shoulde yelde [Page 41] to him the gouernment and glory of al things. If thys be required euen at the Pagans handes, let vs considre a little what shame it ought to be to thē that beare the name of Christians to take from him his power and to spoyle him of his strength and glory to the end to giue it ouer vnto diuerse gouernours which thei themselues haue forged af­ter their owne apetit. For God is not acknowledged or aduoutched for God when men attribute vnto hym a bare name onely: but when all authority is geuen vnto hym. Hereby we may see that when it is sayed that God is hee that maketh peace and createth il, it is not to be vnderstode that he is the doer or autor of naughty things, and the o­position which is heere shelues it more plainly, to wete, this woord peace, for there is a contrariety herein betwene prosperity & aduersity, for a mā ought to vnderstād by peace prosperity as al­so by ye al aduersity, to wete, war fa­mine, & al other lyke things, wher as if ther were a cōtrariety betwene iustice & euil this error might haue sōe colour: [Page 43] but the contrariety that is here shewes veri wel another selfe, to were, that ther is neither prosperity nor aduersity, neither good nor euil but that proceadeth frō y hād of God of whō we cannot say that he is author of the fault but of the payne. There are restimentes [...]now in the holy Scripture which shew plainly that the Lord shal [...]aue the mischeuous and proud to chasten vs by them: yet for all that we cannot say that he brea­theth into them the [...] but he vseth it or serues his cour [...]e with it or correct vs, & therin doth the [...] Iudge. So we may conclude that God is the only author of al things, that is to say, prosperitye and adue [...]sity are sente by him (although he vse the hand of men) to the ende that nothing be attributes to forrane or to any other cause.

But euen as God tempreth not nor stirreth any persone to euel dooing as he himself is not tempted to euel, so al­so the Diuel burneth with a raging desire of doing il. God wil vse hym & hys wickednesse to proue & try vs: yet the wickednesse is roted in y sprite of y Di­uel, [Page 43] and God hath not breathe [...] into him: he is called a liar and a murtherer and that he hath of his owne, he is ac­customed to lie and can do nothing els but forge lies, with craft and guile, but that he hath of hymselfe and not of the fyrst creation of God: for when y Lord Iesus maketh hym the workman and author of lies he doth manifestly sepa­rate him from God and makes him al together contrary to God, so much we may wel say of al the wicked and reprobate that are obstinate in their wicked­nesse God hath in no wise wrought y euel or mischef that is in them.

20

‘Honour thy father and thy mother and he that shall curse his Father & Mother let hym die the deathe.’Exod. 20. [...]‘If any com to me & hate not his Father and Mother he cannot be my Disciple.’Luke. 14.

THIS cōmaūdement is set forth in the law of God that we shoulde honor our fathers & mothers, and this cōmaundementt requires that the [Page 44] children be lowly toward their fathers obey them, reuerence them, and helpe them, as they are bound, and to be at their commaundement. The true loue is there required without which there can be no true obedience, and as the promise of lōg life is made vnto those that obei their fathers and mothers, in the curse is pronoūces against such as curse or speake ill or are stubborne to­warde their parentes, yea they are ad­iudged to Death by the lawe of God. Exod. 21. Leuit. 10. Deut. [...] and thoughe they shuld escape the hand of men▪ yet God wyll reuenge [...] in some sorte al­though he [...]arry long, as we may see it by cōmon experience. For how many of such people die either in the warres either in bralles, or are eueri day geuē into the hands of the hangman or dye shamefully before their age, or in some other sort: so that a man may perceaue that it is Goddes hande that maketh them dy wt shame. And if it com to pas that they escape to the old & later age: yet do they but pine away bicause thei are destitute of the blessing of God. [Page 45] Then seing the loue of Parentes is so muche commended vnto vs, yea and that in such sorte that whosoeuer doth agaynst it eyther by rebellion, eyther by disobediēce, or by striking, is adiud­ged to Death by the certaine decree of God. How may this agree with it, that a man shuld hate his Father and Mo­ther to follow the sonne of God. Our Lord Iesus cōmaūdeth vs not to take away and put of the affections of men, he doth not forbid vs to loue our parē ­tes as we ought, but he doth decree, that all the mutuall loue y is betweene men should kepe his owne due ordre to the ende that the feare of God shoulde be farre aboue all. Let the house band loue his wife, the wife hir houseband, the father his sonne, the sōne his father so as for al yt, the loue of man beareth not the reuerence that is due vnto our Lord Iesus. For if among men them­selfe euen where the line of frendshyp is strayghtest, there are some aboue o­thers, is it not reason y the sōne of God should be placed before all. And in very dede this is not a sufficiēt acknowled [...] [Page 46] to considre what it is to be receaued a­mong the Disciples of Iesus Christ if the price of thys honour and dignitye haue not the force in vs to subdue and represse al the affections of our fleshe. It now any man thinke that thys ma­ner of speach, to hate his Father is to hard, yet it is one self sense, as if he said if the loue of our fathers and mothers let vs from following Christ we must Manfully resist it.

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Hebr. 6.‘They that haue bene once illumy­nated, and haue tasted the heauenlye gyft, and bene partakers of the holye Ghost & haue tasted the good vvord of God and the povver of the vvorld to cōme, it is vnpossible they should be renevved by repentaunce if they fall back.’‘VVhosoeuer shall call vpon the name of God shal be saued.’

[Page 47]WHEN God pronounceth hys threatnings vnto vs and is wyl­ling to astonne vs wyth them, he pryckes vs forward as sluggish & slow asses to seke our saluatiō. And in these Iudgements he setteth before vs dred­ful signs, as though the sūne wer alto­gether dimmed wt darknesse, & y Mone tourned into blood, and al that is here below mingled and confounded. And also after that he hath so filled the hea­uen and earth with darkenesse, yet for all that he sheweth vs the meane how we mai openly see our saluation shine before our eyes, that is by calling vpō hys name. If God dyd but simply pro­mise to saue vs, yet that were a greate mater: but behold here a more excellēt and farre greater thing, when he pro­miseth this saluatiō among diuers bottomlesse depthes and gulfes of Death. When al thynges shalbe confounded, and that ther shal be on euery side fear of death, only let vs cal vpon the good­nesse of God and we shal be saued. Al­though therfore ther be a gulf of euels to swalow in y pore siner, yet a remedi [Page 48] is set before him to escape. This sen­tence is generall, for without exceptiō our good God receaueth all men vnto hym, and by this meanes calleth them to saluation. And seing that no man is shut oute from calling vpon God, the gate of saluation is open vnto all, and ther is nothing but our own vnbeleefe that letteth vs to entre. But although it be sayde al, yet notwithstanding we must vnderstand only those vnto whō God sheweth himself by his gospel. As in the calling vpō him ther is a certainty of saluation, euen so we must be re­solued that without this calling on the name of God wee are more than wret­ches and castawayes. In the meane tyme the calling is not separated from fayth seeing it is grounded vpon fayth onely: but the Praier of an Hypocrite and of a dispiser deserueth not to be called the calling vpon the name of God. Now to the ende that thys sentence of the Epistle to the Hebrues maye not seeme to take away that which is here set foorth, we must marke the circum­staunces thereof, and how the name of [Page 49] God cannot be called vpon by them which after they haue tasted heauen­ly thynges becōme obstinate, and of what fal y Apostle speaketh, to the end that seme not strange vnto vs which he sayth, it is vnpossible that they which fall backe shoulde be renewed by repentaunce, let vs vnderstand then that there be two sortes of falles, one is perticular, the other is general and vniuersall. Whē a man hath commytted one fault or many, he is fallen from the state of a Christen man, then how many sinnes there are, so many failes ther are, and from this fal a man may be raysed vp by repentaunce through the grace & goodnesse of God. But the Apostle speaketh not of thefte, of adulterye or whoredome, of periurie, of slaughter, or dronkennesse: but he noteth a gene­ral tournyng backe or vniuersall ap­postasle or fallyng from the Gospell, when the obstinate synner offendeth God, not only in one sort: but wholly forsaketh hys grace for euer. But yet we must note y graces of God, which are there rehearsed: For what may a [Page 50] man loke for at hys hand that turneth backe from the word of the Lord, that quencheth the lyght therof, that spoy­leth himself of the heauenly gyfte, and forsaketh the partakyng of the holy ghost? Nowe seyng that is to refuse God fully, it is also to shut vp his hart wholly in suche sorte as repentaunce whiche is one of the heauenly gyftes shoulde not haue power to enter, and yt cannot chaunce to a man excepte he sinne against the holy ghost. And such a faulte is vnforgeueable, as Christ hath pronounced. For he that trans­gresseth the second table and the fyrst by ignorance is not yet gylty of such a tournyng backe or fallyng from God. And God taketh awaye hys grace from none but from the reprobate, that is to saye, in suche sorte as he leaueth them no hope remaynyng. Then they that by their pryde and obstinate wyckednesse haue caste of the benefytes of God, with what re­penta [...]nce can they at any tyme bee touched?

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[Page 51]Of my selfe I iudge no man.’Ierem. 8.‘The father hath geuen all Iudge­ment to hys sonne.’Ioan. 5.

FOR the good vnderstandyng of the fyrst of these two sentences we must also loke on y whiche Christ sayd before, making answer to his ad­uersaries. He said to thē you iudge ac­cordyng to ye fleshe, he reproued them for y they Iudged after y froward vn­derstanding of their flesh or according to the apparaunce of y person. Nowe, wher y eyther affections & desyres of the flesh raigne or the respect of y per­son causeth iudgement to be geuē, we must in no sort loke y truth and equity may haue place, & there where the spi­rite ruleth not, the fleshe cannot wel & rightly iudge. And touching him, to shew vnto his enemyes yt they be rash & led with a fierce & proude spirite, he sayth y he iudgeth not folyshly as they do. His enemies toke vpon them to great licence to iudge folishlye & rash­ly, & he y whylest forbare to do y offyce of a iudge, although he myghte iudge [Page 52] without doing them wrong, and yet they could not abyde hym. But to the end that it should not seme that he ge­ueth vp the authoritye that was geuē hym of hys father, he addeth farther, and if I iudge my Iudgement is true. That is to saye, that hys witnesse deserueth well to be allowed. So, a man may knowe what thys sentence meaneth, to we [...]e, that the father hath geuen all iudgement to hys sonne, that is, that the father gouerneth all the worlde in the person of his sonne, and exerciseth his iurisdiction vnder the rule of him: Not that the father as a priuate man remayneth nowe idle in heauen with­out medling with any thing: for thys manner of speaking is not so much in respect of God as of men. The father chaunged not hys state at all when he appoynted Christ to be Kyng, ruler, & souerayne gouernour of heauen and earth: For being in hys sonne he wor­keth in hym and by hym: But bycause that when men wil clymbe vp to God all their senses by and by fayle them. Therefore Iesus Christ is set before [Page 53] our eyes as the visible Image of inui­sible God. See now how a man must agree these two places. Christ iudgeth not hys aduersaries folyshlye as they did iudge him proudly and stoutly and yet he myght wel iudge them without takyng any thyng in hand that belon­ged not to hym: Yet he iudgeth al the worlde as hys father hath appoynted hym therunto. And we muste not seke the secretes of hygh places, seyng God prouideth for oure weakenesse when he sheweth himself nere vnto vs in the person of his sonne. Whensoe­uer there is any thyng to do touchyng our state, touchyng the gouernement of al the world, and touchyng the hea­uenly defence of our saluatiō, we must direct our syght vpon Iesus Christ ye sonne of God, as in dede al power is geuen hym and the heauenly father appeareth to vs in the face of hys sonne.

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‘VVho is he that hath knovvē the mynde of the Lord.’Roma. 12.[Page 54]But vve haue knovven the mynde of Christ.’1. Cor. 2.

SAINT Paule speakynge of the predestination of God, sheweth vs that if men consider it accordyng to their owne vnderstandyng they ar therein altogether blynde. And a man can not dyspute of an vnknowē thyng but by greate foolehardinesse and fonde ouerweenyng. Where­fore men may not ryse aboue the O­racles and reuelations of God, for howe maye a man knowe hys mea­nyng and councell any farther than those thynges whyche by hym haue beene reueled vnto vs. In that case men can dyscerne no more than a blynde man in the darke. But yet for all that oure fayth is not a whyt ouerthrowen, it leaueth not to make vs certayne of Goddes good­nesse towarde vs, seyng it proceadeth not from the fynenesse of mans wyt: But from the only lyghtenyng of the holy ghost. For thys cause in the se­cond Chapiter of the fyrst to the Cor­rinthians Saint Paule hauing shew­ed [Page 55] that as the mysteryes of God doe farre surmount the conceite of oure vnderstandyng, by and by after he ioyneth thereunto, that the faythfull vnderstande and knowe the meaning of the sonne of God, bycause they haue not receaued a spirite that is of thys worlde, but the spirite that they haue was geuē them of God, by which they are taught y mercye and goodnesse of hym which otherwise is comprehensi­ble. Al faythful seruauntes know by ye teachyng of the holy ghost, yt which is farre aboue ye fleshly sense so that they speake boldly and freely as out of the mouth of y Lord. Wherfore euē as by their own abilitye they cannot cōme vnto y knowledge of y hygh mysteries of God: so by the grace of y holy ghost they haue a certayn and cleere know­ledge of the same. Now the holy ghost must go before & we muste folowe, we must staye where he leaueth vs, & ther we must set fast our foote. But if any man desyre to know more than y same spirit hath opened, he shalbe euerprest wt the infinite brightnesse of his light.

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‘The same is Helye.’Mathe. 11.‘I am not Helias.’Ioan. 1.

ACcordyng to the true interpreta­tion of the Prophet Malachy Ie­sus Christ affyrmeth iustlye that Iohn the Baptist is Helias, if you wil receaue hym sayth he the same is He­lia that should cōme. He shewes howe Iohn began to Preache the good ty­dynges of the kingdome of God, that is to say, in asmuch as he was y same Helias that shoulde be sent before the face of God. Then Iesus Christes wil is to haue thys fearefull commyng of God that was celebrated by Malachy acknowledged of y Iewes seyng that the same Helie that was there promi­sed, dyd then as it were the dutye of a porter. But Iohn the Baptist also speaketh the truth in saying that he is not Helia. The Iewes knewe by the Prophecy of Malachye y Helie should be as it were as a daystarre to shewe the commyng of the Messias. In the meane time they held this ouerthwart [Page 57] opinion that the soule partyng forth of one body, should enter into the body of another man. Bycause Malachye sayd that Helia shoulde bee sent, they thought that the same Helie that was in y tyme of kyng Achab should cōme agayne. Wherfore Iohn the Baptist aunswered ryghtly and trulye that he was not Helia, for he spake and aun­swered accordyng to theyr opinion.

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‘Those that he hath called he hath also sanctified.’Roman. 8.‘Many are called but fevve are chosen.’Mathe. 20.

IT will be an easye matter to agree these two places, so we vnderstand that ther are two sortes of callings, one of the whiche is spoken of in the eyght of the Romaynes, the other in y xx. of Mathew. Fyrst then there is one callyng which is effectuall that is the dyscoueryng of the eternall election, whē God by y mynistery of his word & the grace of his holy spirit declareth [Page 58] vnto vs & maketh vs to know perfect­ly y he is our father. Here we haue not to do only with y outward preaching, which shoulde but beate our eares ex­cept y the second wer ioyned to it, y is to saye, the holy ghost whiche causeth this calling to haue his effect. And thei y in this sort be called be also sanctify­ed, they, possesse ye free ryghteousnesse which is in Iesus Christ. They bee sanctified, they haue also a continuing of Gods goodnesse frō y callyng vntyl ye death▪ Ther is another sort of calling wt which god calleth al [...] by his gos­pel. Many infected & vncleane persōs preace in by force which though for a whyle they occupye a place among o­thers: yet at y last they ar driuen out, & drawē to punyshment. Not al they by a great many y be called, or bydden, or y haue some entry into y Church, are made pertakers of euerlastyng lyfe: but only they whō y sonne of God shal fynd prepared, & clad in such a garmēt as is worthye of the heauenly palace.

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‘He is not the lyght.’Ioan. 1.[Page 59]He vvas the burnyng and shyning lampe.’ [...]

IN both these places Iohn y Baptist is spoken of. First when it is sayd y Iohn was not ye light, that is to be vn­derstode of y lighte whiche doth geue light to euery man cōmyng into the world. Iesus Christ only is that light, who maketh euery one of vs to feele some force of his clerenesse. And true it is y as he is the eternal lighte: so he hath a bryghtnesse y is natural to him & is not takē frō any wher els: But ra­ther we ar sent backe to y experience y we al haue of it. Seing our lord Iesus maketh vs al partakers of his bright­nesse, we must also cōfesse this honor to belong to him alone, & generally al mē ar here cōtayned. For we know, y mē haue thys singular to thē aboue al liuing things y they haue reason & vn­derstanding, they carrye grauen in their hartes the difference of good and euil. There is no man therefore but hath some syghte of thys great & euer­lastyng light. Thys cannot be sayd of [Page 60] Iohn the Baptiste nor of any other whosoeuer he bee, of whom it is sayd ryghtly y he is not the light, to the end hys bryghtnesse bee it neuer so greate dymme not the clerenesse of the glory of God. For some did so sticke to Iohn y Baptist that they made no accompt of our Lord Iesus: As if a man should be astonned with the sight of the daw­nyng day, or of some little starre, and the whilest voutchsafe not to turne his eyes toward the sunne.

Nowe as touchyng the other sen­tence, it is also true that Iohn y Bap­tiste was a burnyng and shynyng lampe. Thys may be sayd of al fayth­full, that they be lyghtes to the Lorde, as Saint Paule calleth them. Ephe. 5. and the reason is bicause they ar ligh­tened by hys spirite. And they haue their eyes open not only for them self: but also to direct and guyde other into the way of saluation. The Apostles also haue caried the torche of the Gos­pel to dryue darkenesse out of y world. Although therfore the faythfull be dec­ked wyth this honorable title that they [Page 61] are called lyghtes, and that inasmuch as they haue the word of lyfe and sal­uation, they must shyne in the world as lyghtes & torches: Yet Iesus Christ doth attribute thys particularly to his Apostles and the ministers of his Gos­pell bycause they carry a lanterne be­fore other to lead & to guyde thē. For seing we be al blynd in the myddest of darkenesse, God lyghteth vs by the lyght of hys worde which is spoken to vs by his ministers: Yet he garnisheth Iohn the Baptiste particularly with thys title of honour, bycause that by his ministery, God gaue a much more excellent lyght to hys Church.

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‘There is but one good, and that is God.’Mark 10.‘A good man bryngeth forth good out of the treasure of hys hart.’Luke. 6.

IT is true that men be they neuer so excellent cannot deserue so honora­ble a title as to be called good, no not y Angels. For they haue not one only [Page 62] droppe of goodnesse of themselfe: But they haue from God whatsoeuer they haue y is good. Besyde, be it in men, or be it in the Angels, goodnesse is but begonne in thē, it is not perfect. Yet we must vnderstand what y meaning of our Lord Iesus Christ is, when he sayth to the yong man, whye doest thou call me good? There is none good but God, he will not affirme there y he is God: but he bryngeth thys yong man in, to be­leue hys doctryne. He had already a certayne affection to obey: but Iesus Christ wil haue hym mount hygher, to heare this holy doctryne as frō the mouth of the liuyng God, and not of a mortal man. For as men are wont to make of diuels Angels, so without dis­cretion, men cal them good teachers, which haue no true or good felyng of God. And so ar the gyftes of God pro­phaned. It is no maruel then y Christ sendes thys yong man to God to the end he may geue authority to his doc­tryne. Yet there is no inconuenience in callyng a man good whē God hath chaunged hys hart, whiche by nature [Page 63] was ill, and when he hath prynted in hym some of hys goodnesse. So the goodnesse shalbe alwayes Gods, and the man also shalbe good: Yet it shal not be of hym selfe: But in that God hath made him such. So it is sayd that a good man bryngeth forth goodnesse from the good treasure of hys harte. Thys sentence admonysheth y fayth­ful which made profession to be Gods seruauntes to examyne and aduise thē diligently what they set forth. No­thing wil cōme oute of the sacke but what is in it, as the prouerbe sayeth, The naughtye hart cannot but beare witnesse of it self by prophane words, and by wicked wordes. So a hart fea­ryng God sends forth fruites worthy a Christiā man. But we must returne to thys poynt that the hart cannot bee good but by the onely goodnesse and grace of God, and out of this self roote the good fruytes also shall sprynge.

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Mark. [...].‘Touching the day and houre, none knovveth it, no not the Angels [Page 64]that are in heauen, nor the sonne him self: none but the father.’‘All povver is geuen me in heauen and in earth.’Math. [...].

IF all power bee geuen to our Lord Iesus as wel in heauen as in earth, it semeth there is nothyng, no not in heauen hyd or vnknowen vnto hym. But by the way we must note to what purpose he spake thys. Christ willyng to appoynt hys Apostles to Preache the Gospell, fyrst spake to them of hys power. A meane or common authori­tye had not in thys case sufficed. But it was mete that he which sent to haue eternal and happy life to be promysed in hys name, should haue an Empyre souerayne, and in very dede diuine, to thend y al the world might be brought in awe of hym and that hys doctryne which shoulde be published should bee able to [...]ame al loftynes, and to bryng downe al mankynde, the Apostles had neuer bene persuaded to take on thē so hard a charge except they had bene [Page 65] very certaine that their warrante was placed in heauē being of soueraine po­wer. He calles himself Lord and kyng as wel of heauen as of earthe, bycause that in that he bringeth men so true obedience, by the preaching of his gos­pel he hath established and appoynted the throne of his Kingdome on earthe. And in that he regenerateth his faith­ful into a new lyfe, and calleth them to the hope of saluation, he openneth the heauens to the end to lyft vp to happy immortalitye with the Angels those which before not only crepe in y world but also were plunged in the dark bot­tomlesse depth of death. True it is that Christ euerlastingly hath had with his father al power and autority, and that of his own right: but yet it is sayd that it was geuen him, to we [...]e, in our flesh. Then he is apointed gouernor, iudge, & soueraigne Prince ouer al the whole Church, but it was not clearly knowē tyl after hys resurrection. For then at the laste he was adorned with the mar­kes of a soueraigne King, and recea­uing a name aboue al names, hee had [Page 66] also the endes of al things in his hand [...] to dispose them at his good pleasure. But whilest he is yet in our mortal flesh it is sayd that the sonne him selfe knoweth not when the day shal be of hys fearful comming. In asmuchas he is God nothing is vnknowē vnto him. He hath bene euer God, neyther hath his Manhode taken any thing frō hys diuine maiesty. The two natures were vnseparably ioyned together in hym: but it was in such sorte, that neither of both lost their property. Chiefly the Diuinitie rested and shewed not it self as often as it was expedient that the nature of man did that which belonged to it, to accomplish the charge and of­fice of a Mediatour. Wherfore ther is no absurdity or inconuenience in thys that the sonne of God who knew al, yet according to the conceyte and vnder­standing of hys manhoode there was some thing which he knew not: for o­therwise he coulde not haue bene sub­iecte eyther to griefe or to carefulnes, or haue bene like vnto vs.

A man may reply yt this cānot be spo­ken [Page 67] of the sōne of God that he was ig­noraunt, bicause ignorance is the pun­nishment of sinn, and he sinned neuer. It is also spoken here of the heauenly Angels, that this day is hidden from them, wil any say that this ignoraūce procedeth of sinne? Though they haue in no wise offēded, yet are they in som­wise ignoraunt. As touching the sonne of God, he hath so put on mans fleshe that he hath taken on hym the paynes due for sinne. And where he knew not of ye later day according to his humain nature, that doth no more take away any thing from his [...]nne nature, thā his being mortal dyd.

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‘You haue the poore vvyth you al­vvays, but me you shall not haue al­vvayes.’Math. 26.‘I am alvvayes vvyth you, vntil the ende of the vvorld.’Math. 28.

THe Lord Iesus speaketh of hīself in both places touching ye first, alowīg y which Mary had don, he shewes how this seruice plesed hī, yt is not y he toke [Page 68] pleasure in the [...] which had bene poured out vpon him for the good [...]auours sake: but in [...] respecte of hys burial, bycause that by such a [...] he woulde geue them to vnderstand that his graue shuld be filled with good sa­uour, as be did spred sauour of life and saluatiō through al the world. But sith that the truth of this figure hath bene perfectly accomplished, and the sonne of God when he came out of the graue performed with the good sauoure and quickening smel of hys death, not only one house, but the whole world. It wer a folly to begin again to do that which should be without cause or profite. And therfore he sendeth vs back to the pore to the end we shuld not excuse our selfe as though we could no more occupye ourselues in his seruice: for once he re­quyred such seruice as that which Ma­ry did to hym. But nowe seeing he is mounted into ye heauenly glory, ther is neyther golde nor siluer nor precious oyntments, nor sumptuousnesse what­soeuer they be which we may offre vn­to hym to do hym acceptable seruice. [Page 69] Now wher he sayth, you shal not haue me alwais with you, that is to take frō vs al excuse, as though he said, that frō thence forward he would nomore take pleasure in that which once he woulde haue done to him. He maketh a distinctiō betwene y ordinary seruice, which must be euer vsed among the faythful, and that extraordinary seruice whyche had an end when he went vp into hea­uen. Wil we bestow our money wel in true Sacrifice and in holy offering? Let vs bestow it to relieue the necessity of the poore and neady. For our Lord Iesus sayth that he is no longer wyth vs in this world to be serued with pompes and outward preparations. And we know, yea and we feele by the experience of faythe that Christ is presente with vs by his strength & gostly grace. But he dwelleth not visibly among vs [...] of vs earthly honor. He saith [...] you vnto the end of the world. He had [...]yd that he was appoynted Kyng of heauen and of earth. Afterwarde vs promiseth to assist his Apostels whom he had enioined a hard office & charge, [Page 70] warning them not to loke vpon that which they could do of themself: but to leane vpon his strengthe and inumer­ble power. The maner of this presence which the Lord promiseth to his faith­ful must be vnderstode spiritually: for it is not nedeful that he should not cōe downe from heauen to succour vs see­ing he can help vs by the grace of hys holy spirite, stretching forth his hande to vs from the highest of the heauens. As touching hys humayne nature it is certaine that there is an infinite dis­taunce betweene hym and vs. But he not onely spreads the efficacy of his spirite through al the worlde: but also he dwelleth truely in vs. Moreouer thys promisse is not made only to the Apos­tels: for it reacheth euen to the end of the world. Very true it is that he pro­myseth hys ayde, chyefly to hys mini­sters whyche for that they are weake and needy in euery condition, coulde not execute the lest part of their office. Seing then their charge is as trouble­some and harde as it is healthful, assu­redly they haue more neede than all o­ther [Page 71] of the assistance of oure Lorde Ie­sus, to the end they may haue the victorye of al the assaultes and battayles of thys world: as in these dayes it is she­wed vs by playne experience, that christ worketh wonderfully by a secret manner, so that y gospel hath his course though Sathan lay many lettes in the way. But generally al the faythfull ar partakers of thys promisse, to the ende no man shuld be discoraged as though he were forsaken.

Let vs then make thys conclusion that although Christ be departed into heauen, yet he is not so departed butte that hee euer is and wil bee to the ende with vs. He hath taken away the pre­sence of hys body from our sight: but he leaueth not the whylest to assist hys faythfull which muste yet liue in thys worlde, but hee gouerneth the worlde wyth a more presente strength. Thys promysse of hys continuall assistaunce was accomplyshed by hys ascētion, in which as y body of y sōn of god was lifted vp aboue al y heauēs: so his power [Page 72] and efficacy is spred beyond al the boū des of heauen and of earthe. So then these two things may wel be said, that the sonne of God is no more amōg vs, and yet he is among vs, and shal be e­uer vntil the ende of the worlde. He is here no more according to the presence of hys humaine nature, but he is here acording to the presence of his Maies­ty. For a few dayes the Church had hym present in his flesh, now not seing him with bodily eyes, shee possesseth hym by fayth.

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‘Thy vvyll be done on earth as it is done in heauen.’Math. 6.‘Appeasing by the bloud of hys crosse the thinges vvhiche be as vvell in heauen as in earthe.’Colloss. 1.

WE desire by this petition contai­ned in the Lordes prayer, that al creatures may truely and perfit­ly obey God on earth, as his▪ Angels in heauen do, and execute his cōmaūde­mēts & al his holy ordinaūces without [Page 73] any gayn saying, and not seeke to dys­please hym in any sorte. Lyke as they know that ther is nothing better than that which God wylles: so they do rea­dily obey hym. And this is the cause why they abide stil and are not subiect to chaunge and corruption, and why they haue quietnes and continual hap­pinesse. To weete, bicause they are in al and altogether agreeing to the wyl of God. Seeing then there is nothyng in them that wtstandeth the holye and good wyl of God, nothing that turnes them awaye from his holye decrees, nothing that can be desired or wyshed biside his good pleasure, it can not be but they enioy soueraine rest and true blessefulnesse.

Syth it is so that the Angelles of heauen synce their creation haue euer in al things and altogether yelded vn­to God true obedience, & by that mea­nes there hath neuer bene strife or ha­tred betwene him and them, how commeth it to passe that they had neede to be reconciled? For in the fyrst Chapi­ter of the Collossians mentiō is made [Page 74] not onely of men which are meant by the things which be on earth: but also of Angelles which are meant by thyn­ges that are in heauen. If hereupon a man woulde say that the Angels haue bene sette at one with men, and so the heauenly creatures are at one againe with earthly things. This is not that which Saint Paul meaneth here: for he sayth expressely that God hath recō ­ciled thē to himself. The maner of mās reconciling to God is this, that before while they were estraunged from hym by sinne, they should haue felte him to be a Iudge to their ruine and condem­nation, if the grace of the Mediatoure had not cōme betweene to appease hys angre. So the attonemente made be­twene God and men, is that the hatred and strifes were taken away by Iesus Christ our Lord, and so god of a Iudge was made a Father. Betweene God and the Angels there is another reasō for in thys case ther was no offence or starting backe, and therfore ther was no separation or alienating: yet ther is two reasons why the Angels should be [Page 75] attoned with God. For since they be creatures they wer not out of danger of stumbling, but that they wer strengthed by the grace of our Lorde Iesus. This now helpeth greatelye to make continual peace with God, to wete, to tarry in one steady state of righteous­nesse so that ther be no feare of falling or reuolting, or otherwyse dooing so that they might be estrāged from god. Moreouer in this same obedience whi­che they yeld to God, it is certayn that there cānot be so exquisite or so perfit a perfitnesse as may thorowly and in al respects satisfie God so that they shuld neede no pardon. And for that conside­ration is it that good Iob sayd, God shall finde wickednesse in hys Angels. So what­soeuer perfecte cleannesse a man may finde out, if it be broughte before the Iustice of God, it shall be but vnclean­nesse. Wherefore let vs conclude that the Angels haue not so perfect righte­ousnesse as sufficeth to [...]oyne thē who­ly with God. Wherfor they haue nede of a peace and attonement maker by whose grace they may cleaue fully vn­to God.

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‘My flesh is verely meate.’Ioan. 6.‘The flesh profiteth nothing.’Ioan. 6.

THAT is very true which is sayd in the 36 Psalme, to we [...]e that the spring of life resteth in God, and no man can iustly vaunt hym to haue lyfe but in somuch as it is breathed in­to him by God But bicause the maies­ty of God should be as a hydden foun­tayne (as in dede it is farre aboue oure knowledge) it is openly shewed foorth in Iesu Christ, in him we haue a clere welspring whereout we may drawe, we may see it by that whiche is sayed Ioan. 6▪ that as y father hath life in him­selfe so he hath geuen to hys sonne to haue life in himself, Wherby he shew­eth that he only is the fountaine of life and that by his voice and word he spredeth thys life on al men, for life would not flow from his mouth vnto vs if he had not in himself the cause and origi­nall of it: for it is not sayed that God hath life in himselfe only, bicause he ō ­ly [Page 77] liueth of his owne power: but also bicause that hauing in himself fulnesse of life, he geueth lyfe to all thinges. So hee woulde not haue life to be as it were hidde and buried in himself. And for this cause he hath yelded it ouer vnto his sonne, that so it might fal downe vpon vs. Now then this life is poured into ye flesh of Iesu Christ, so that who­soeuer seeketh life els where shal finde Death. The soules then finde no wher but in his flesh the meate wherwt they are fedde into euerlasting life. This is a wonderful secret of God that in our flesh he hath offred vs life, wher before there was but mater of Death, and by that meane he prouideth for our infir­mity and weaknes, when to enioy life he calleth vs not aboue the cloudes, but displaies it v [...]on earth as if he drew vs into the secrete places of his kingdom. In the meane time correcting the [...]O [...]tinesse and pride of our mindes, he try­eth the lowlinesse and obedience of our fayth. His wil is that to finde lyfe we shuld stay on the flesh of his sōne, whi­che in shewe is litle to be regarded. As [Page 79] the body waxeth weake and dryeth vp when the ordinary fode is taken from it: so if the soule be not fed with y flesh of the sonne of God, which is the hea­uenly foode, it wil sodainely sterue for hunger. When we seeke the matter of lyfe in the fleshe of Iesus Christ, then we finde life in hym. So the glory and excellency of the children of God, is in Christ crucified: for that as sone as we turne vs back from the sacrifice of hys death, we can finde nothing but death, and there is no other meane by which the faythful are brought to the know­ledge of his power, but by his death & resurrection. If then we wil the sonne shall shewe hymselfe vnto vs to be the head and authour of life, we muste re­ceaue hym as the seruaunt of hys Fa­ther. For we are made rich in all sorte of good thinges in that he empouerish­ed and abased hymselfe, hys humbling of hymselfe, and hys going downe in­to Hell hath lifted vs vppe into heauen by taking on hym the curse of the cros hee hath raysed vppe a triumphaunte [Page 78] bowe in token of glorye and victorye. But now Christ hymself sayeth of hys flesh that it profiteth nothyng. Yet in so speakyng bee doothe not exclude alyke all profyte of the fleshe, as thoughe there were no profyte to be taken of it. Hee sayeth it profiteth nothing when it is parted from the spirite. Whence proceedeth it that it geueth lyfe but in­asmuche as it is spyrituall? They that stycke at the earthy nature of hys fleshe shal fynde nothing in it but that that is Deade. But when wee lyfte vppe oure eyes to the strengthe o [...] the spirite which is spread vpon the fleshe, wee shall there fynde effectuously and by the experience of Faythe that it is notte wyth oute cause that it is called quyckenyng. Well then wee maye wel saye that the flesh of Iesus Christ is verelye meate, and yet for al that it profyteth nothinge. It is meate bycause wee gette lyfe by it, bycause that in it God hath bene reconcyled vnto vs, bycause in it we fynde all the parts of our Saluation accomplished. [Page 80] It profiteth nothing if it be considered according to it own nature and begin­ning. For the sede of Abraham whiche of it selfe is subiecte to Deathe can not geue life, but it receaueth of the spirite that wherwith we may be fedde. For our part, to the ende we may eate, we must bring with vs a spiritual mouthe of fayth before we can be truly norish­ed or sustayned by it, now the selfsame flesh is not immortal of it selfe. Moreo­uer it belongeth not to the nature of it in any wise to quickē souls, yet though this vertue yrocede from els wher, not­withstanding it letteth not this title to belong to it. Euen as the euerlasting word of God is the spring and foūtain of life, so the [...] that is in him in his di­uinity commeth from the flesh of hys sonne euen vnto vs, as by a pipe. But we shal yet better vnderstand this, if we marke what is the cause of life, to were righteousnesse. Thoughe righte­ousnesse come not but from God: yet it cānot be clearly shewed vnto vs but in the flesh of his sonne: for in the same the redemptiō of men was fully ended, [Page 81] in the same the sacrifyce was offered to wype out synnes, in the same the o­bedience was yelded to God, by which he was made at one with vs, the same also was fylled with the sanctification of the holy ghost, the same fynally was receaued into heauenly glory after the conquest had of death. In the same then all the partes of lyfe were placed to the end none myght Iustly fynde fault that he is depryued of lyfe, by­cause it is hyd farre from him.

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‘He that taketh the svvearde shall dye vvith the svvearde.’Mathe. 26.‘He that hath a garment let hym sell it and bye a svvearde.’Luke. 22.

IEsus Christ speakyng thus whosoe­uer taketh a sweard shall dye on a sweard, confyrmeth the commaunde­ment of the lawe by whiche pryuate persons are forbydden the vse of the sweard. Whē God strayghtly forbad vs all slaughters & wycked murders, hys wyll was to shewe therby, howe well he loueth mankynde. So Iesus [Page 82] Christ would not that folke should de­fend thēself by violence & strong hand bicause y god in y law hath forbiddē to strike. It wer thē a mad folly to infer therupon yt it is not lawful for [...]dges & Magistrates to strike wt the sweard. It is very true yt it is not lawfull for any mā to take ye sweard in hand to vse it at his fantasie, to be ye cause or furde­rance of any murder. But ye Magistrates who ar apointed to be ye officers of God by whō he exerciseth his iudge­ments, must not be set among ye cōmō sort of men. Ther is more in it thā so, to wete, by these words of Christ their power & authoritie is maintayned: for when he pronounceth y murtherers shalbe put to death, we may very well inferre therof yt the sweard is put into y hand of ye iudges to punyshe those y vniustly haue slayne. It may happen somtyme y mansleyars shalbee other wyse punished, but thys is y ordinarie meane by which god would y the cru­eltie & proud fellonye of y wicked shold be repressed & not abyde vnpunished: Yet for all y hys mynde is not by the [Page 83] other sentence to arme euery one with a sweard to strike whensoeuer he wil. He signifieth by a figure y great and terrible troubles were at hand, as if a captayne in y warre mynding to set his mē in battayle a ray, should cry a­larum he cōmaundeth y laying aside all other cares they shoulde be bent to nothyng ells but to fyght, so that they shoulde not care eyther for meate or drynke: for as mē are wont to do in ex­treme daungers he wil haue thē sel al euen to their walle [...] or scryp to fur­nyshe thē with weapon. But this bat­tayle to which he calleth thē is not an outward battayle, but only vnder this similitude of fighting, he admonisheth thē to thynke that they must sustayne many fearefull & hard conflictes and horrible charges of spiritual battailes. So a man may easely see y these sen­tences are not so diuerse that there is any contrarietie in them.

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‘VVhosoeuer cōmeth to me I vvill not cast hym of.’Ioan. 6.[Page 84]It is not of hym that vvylls nor of him that runnes but of God, that hath mercy.’Roman. 6.

BEfore that our Lorde Iesus spake thys that he wil cast of none of thē that cōme vnto hym, he had sayd. All that my father gaue me, &c. Where he sygnifyeth that fayth is not in the wyll of men so as any can saye that it is in his liberty to beleue or not to be­leue, or y fayth is a thyng by chaunce or at al aduentures. But God choseth his faythful to geue them to hys sōne, euen as it were from hande to hand. For when he sayeth that al that is ge­uen hym, cōmeth, we maye easely ga­ther hereof that al cōme not. We may wel say also that God worketh in hys chosen by so great an efficacie of hys spirit when he so vseth hys free good­nesse that none of them falleth. For the father regenerateth hys chosen, & then geueth thē to his sonne to make them obedient to the Gospel. Fayth then being a free gyfte procedyng frō the goodnesse of God is the same that [Page 85] openeth the way for men to goe to the Lord Iesus, and the obstinate and vn­beleuyng haue no accesse thither, and they that cōme to him, cōme to him af­ter an other maner than by their own force or wills. And whē they haue sub­mytted themselfe vnder hys defence, they shall be freely receaued. These two sentences therefore not onely doe not disagree: but rather one doth con­fyrme the other. For where Sainte Paule sayth that it is neyther of hym that wills nor of him that runnes, but of hym that hath mercy, it is to shewe that mē may runne or wil or bestowe all their force: but yet they cannot make open the way of God Of neces­sitye, God must work in it of his mere mercye, he is no waye bounde to any man, if he do good to any al thys good cōmes of hys mere liberalitye. And whē he hath ones vsed this liberalitye it is so done as he foloweth hys worke to the end, as muche as belongeth to the saluation of the faythfull It is thē God y of hys mercy geueth hys fayth­full to hys sonne whiche cōme not to [Page 86] hym of their own motion but bicause they are geuen to the sonne, or as. S. Paule sayeth bycause that God hath vsed mercy where it hath pleased hym to vse mercy.

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‘I am not cōme to iudge the vvorld but to saue the vvorld.’ [...]. 1 [...].‘I am cōme into the vvorlde vvith iudgement.’Ioan. 9.

IT is certayne that the sonne of God came into the worlde chiefly to thys end to saue men. Surely he was not sent hither without cause. Nowe so it is that he was not sent to destroye, thē it foloweth that he came to doe the of­fyce of a sauiour. For what neded he to cōme down to cast vs away sith we were more than castawayes. Then we must consider nothing in our Lord Iesus, but y God according to his in­finite goodnesse would saue vs by him yea vs, that wer lost. As often therfore as our synnes presse vs, & that Sathan eggeth vs to dispaire or discōfort, we must hold before vs thys buckler, that [Page 87] God wil not suffer vs to be oppressed with eternall ruyne, forasmuche as he hath ordained his sōne to be y saluatiō of y world. And for this cause he sayth, y he came not to iudge & to cōdemne y world, but to saue it, y wickednesse of them y proudly retect God, is worthy to be cōdemned. But yet he asswageth y seueritie which he might vse against such while he stayeth frō pronouncing iudgement agaynst thē, bicause he ra­ther came to saue al. And although he spake here of those y of a wilfull stub­bornesse despyse y doctryne of y Gos­pel whiche was offered thē. Yet for a while leauing y person of y souerayne iudge he offers saluatiō indifferentlye to all, and gentilly reacheth forth his hand to al, to the end y al might be ve­ry desyrous to repent. He came to cal all, & hauyng forgotten y person of a iudge he myndeth nothyng els but to drawe al mē to hym, & to deliuer from death and destruction those that seme to be altogether lost. But in y means season, thys belongeth to the proper and naturall offyce of Iesus Christ. [Page 88] For where the vnbeleuyng and obsti­nate be more greuously condemned for refusyng the Gospell, it is by acci­dent, and not by nature. As touchyng that he came in iudgement, as tou­chyng that he is called the stone of of­fence, as touching that he is appoyn­ted for the fall of many, al these thyn­ges are accidentall: for those that re­fuse the grace that is offered in him, deserue to feele hym as a rigorous iudge reuenging so vylannous a con­tempt, and so horrible an vnthankful­nesse. As much may a man say of the Gospell althoughe it be the power of God to saluation to all that beleue it: Yet the vnthankefulnesse of many makes it turne to thē vnto death. So the ministers are ready at hand to re­uenge, to breake and throwe down the pryde of all the enemyes of the Gos­pell: when the true obedience of the faythfull shalbe accomplished. 2. Cor. 10. The Gospell is fyrst and cheiflye ap­poynted to bee for the saluation of the faythful. But thē afterward the stub­borne & vnbeleuyng shal not remaine [Page 89] vnpunyshed, who despysing the grace of the Lord Iesus haue chosen to haue hym rather the author of death than of life. Beholde how the sonne of God is cōme to saue and not to Iudge or condemne, and yet he came in iudge­ment. Howbeit in thys seconde sen­tence thys word of iudgement cannot be symply taken for the punyshment of the obstinate and contemners of God: for it streatcheth forth euē to the grace of illumination. Iesus Christ is cōme in iudgement, that is to saye, he setteth agayne in good order thynges that were out of order, which is done by a maruelous secrete wysedome of God and beyonde al mannes vnder­standing.

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‘Yf I vvitnesse any thing of my self my vvitnesse is not true.’Ioan. 5.‘Though I vvitnesse of my self my vvitnesse is true.’Ioan. 8.

AS touching the first sentence, our Lord Iesus meaneth not that his witnesse it not sufficient to be be­leued, [Page 90] for y in other places he defendes it strongly, and earnestly: but he spea­keth as agreeing herein with hys ad­uersaries, as he shoulde thus saye wel beleue me not, yet ar there ynough of others y witnesse of me. He speaketh thē after y cōmon fashion of mē which bryng thēself into suspition when they beare witnesse of them self, as though he would his enemyes should take the matter as if hys witnesse wer nothing worth. It is certayn that y witnesse y any mā beareth of himself ought in no case to be receaued as true & lawfull, no, not though y thīg y be he saith be true for in dede no man is a sufficient wit­nesse in his own cause. Now although it is not reason or me [...]e y the sonne of God should be set among thē: Yet he had rather geue ouer his right to con­uince hys aduersaryes by the authori­tye of God. But yet the witnesse of our Lord Iesu is of authoritye ynough of it self and hath no nede of mens con­firmations for asmuch as he is not of the common sort of men. And therfore he addeth y he knoweth well whence [Page 91] he came, and whither he must goe. He exempts hym self out of the common sort of other men. Although therefore other be suspected in their owne and priuate causes, and that it is appoyn­ted by the lawes that a man shoulde not beleue or trust any man that spea­keth for hys owne profyte or aduan­tage: yet thys hath no place in Christ who is farre aboue all the world, & is not reckened to be of the cōmon sort of men, but hys father hath geuen hym thys priuilege that by hys only word he causeth all men to obey hym,

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‘I vvill do nothyng of my self.’Ioan. 5.‘No man taketh my lyfe from me but I leaue it of my self.’Ioan. 10.

IN the fyrst sentence our sauior Ie­sus Christ maketh aunswere to the slaūders of ye Iewes which iudged maliciously of y worke which he had done in healyng y man y had ben. 38. yeres sicke. Thei loked only on his humaine fleshe, and therefore dispysed him al­thoughe they sawe in hym woorkes [Page 92] that were in dede Godly. Wherefore he would haue them to go hygher and to beholde God in hym and in y wor­kes whiche he wrought, to the end by that meane they myghte be moued to beleue hym. Thys then is not symply to say that he can do nothyng of hym self, for he is God eternal & almyghty. And thys belongeth not perticularly to the euerlastyng worde: but to the sonne of God, in asmuche as he was manyfested in the fleshe. Such is thys manner of speakyng when he sayeth Ioan. 14. The worde which you heare is not myne, but hys that sent me. It is wel knowē that he is the eternal wise­dome of God hys father which made all the Prophetes & Apostles, & other trustye seruauntes of God to speake. But this he sayth to lifte men vp vnto the Maiestye of God, which staying at y outward loke of Iesus Christ, could not owe such reuerence to the worde as it deserued, excepte they had bene wel assured that it is God which spea­keth in hys sonne, and that the sonne speaketh through hys father. All this [Page 93] matter must be referred to thys oppo­sition, to weete, that they that thynke they haue to doe with a mortall man when they accuse the Lorde Iesus of hys doynges which were in very dede diuyne, are farre out of the way. And therfore he affirmeth earnestly that he hath done nothyng in the healyng of thys man that is diuerse or contrary to hys fathers will.

And by the other sentence, he mea­neth that men haue no power on him to take hys lyfe from hym, but that he could haue thondered vpon al his ene­myes if he woulde, and so haue consu­med al their attempts. But in y he di­eth, it is with his wil, he being able to withstande the violence of his aduer­saries: but beyng also willing to obey the will of hys father which had orde­red and appoynted hys sonne to die to deliuer vs. Now then not only he say­eth that men cannot put him to death but in as muche as he suffereth them: but also he exempteth him self from al force of necessitye. But it standeth o­ther wyse with vs, for we must nedes [Page 94] dye bycause of our synne. Christ in dede was borne a mortall mā, but hys submission was voluntarie and not a forced bondage enioyned him from els where. Then let vs conclude that he can do nothyng of hymself in asmuch as he wills that al hys works be way­ed accordyng to hys diuyne power, & that the respect of his manhode should not dymme their brightnesse, and also that none of their dignitie shoulde be taken away from them. In y meane season he may of him self in respect of men geue ouer hys lyfe, obeying ra­ther the good pleasure of his father, & burnyng with the desyre of the salua­tion of his, than to withstand the furi­ous assaultes of hys aduersaries.

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‘VVho is he that resisteth hys vvil.’Roman. 9.‘You haue euer resisted the holy ghost.’Act. 7.

SAINT Paule asketh this question in the person of the proud & wicked whiche cannot refrayne from bar­kyng with open mouthe agaynst the [Page 95] iustice of God. And thus their affectiō is very well expressed: for not content to defend thē self, they put God in their place. Beside, when they haue layd the fault of their condemnation vpō him they speake dispytfully against his in­uincible power. They are constray­ned to agree that he is iuste, but it is wyth murmuryng bycause they can not resiste hym, as if they woulde saye thus. What reason is there that God should be angry with vs? Doth not he whatsoeuer semeth good to hym? who shoulde withstand hym, seyng he hath formed vs suche, seing he doth all after hys wyll and pleasure, what ells doth he in destroying vs, but reuenge him selfe vpon hys woorke? for it is not in oure power to warre with hym, if we should resyste hym yet he would con­tinually haue the victorye. They ther­fore will conclude that it is a wronge iudgemente yf God doe destroye thē. Such are ye murmuryngs of y proud. And yet thys is true that no man can withstand the will of God, by whiche [Page 96] all things are made, yea made with al vpryghtnesse. If the causes of this good pleasure be hyd frō vs we muste not therefore enquyre whye he doth thus and thus: we must heare quietly that which the Lord will say, and wee must with al lowlinesse and obedience subscribe to his faythful & true iudge­ments. Ells what maner of madnesse were it, and deuilishe presumptiō that man ful of vanitye should not graunt to God more wisedome thā to his own fleshlye reason. And when the thyngs that are done, lyke hym not, to pleade with hys Master that he shoulde haue done otherwise. There is also another will of God which is declared to vs in hys worde, which men cannot bee ig­norant of except it be maliciously, & by whiche hys grace is offered vnto all. Whē the vnfaythful refuse this grace offred by the Prophets and seruaunts of God, it is sayd that they withstand the holy ghost: for thys toucheth not secrete reuelations whiche God brea­theth inwardly into euery faythfull man: but the outwarde ministerye by [Page 97] which y goodnes of god is set befor mē

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‘VVhosoeuer asketh hee receaueth.’Math. 7.‘You aske but receaue not,’Iacobi, 4.

IN the fyrst sentence the Lord Iesus offreth the grace of hys Father to sinners, signfieng that god of his good wil is ready to heare vs so that we pray to him. Hys riches are poured foorth to vs so that we aske them of him. But this asking and prayingmust be made in fayth, elles it is neyther asking nor prayer vnto God. They then that bee­ing void of al goodnes sake not this remedi to help their pouerty or nede, shal haue punishmēt due to their negligēce As cōtrariwyse as many as shal ask in faith shal not fail to enioi y frut of their prayers. It happeneth truly many ty­mes that the faythful sleepe and God watcheth for their saluation, and so he preuenteth their desires and prayers. For we wer more thā miserable cōsy­dering our great dulnesse if God shuld tary tyl we open our mouthes to pray to hym. But to speake better, there is [Page 98] nothing but his owne goodnesse that stirreth him to geue vs faith which go-before al prayers both in tyme and or­dre. Yet bicause he speaketh these wor­des onely to his faithful he sheweth vs simply how the heauenly Father wyll make vs partakers of his benefites. Although he hee geue vs al thynges fre­lye: yet to exercise oure fayth he com­maūdeth vs to pray to hym, to the end hee maye graunte to our prayers that which notwithstanding flowes frō his mere goodnesse and liberality.

But bycause fayth only is that which obtayneth and goeth not beyonde the boundes of Gods will which is decla­red by hys word. Saint Iames sayth here very well, You aske but receaue not. and hee addeth to it the cause, for that you aske it to the ende to bestow it on your desires and pleasures. Is it reasō that men shal make God the seruant of their pleasures and fonde desires? when they temper not their desires af­ter the maner that God hath ordained but with an inordinate libertye geue them selfe the bridle to aske thinges [Page 99] which they should be ashamed to aske or to open before a man who soeuer he were. It is good reason that they shuld be denied. Certaynly ther is no feare nor reuerence nor good opinion of god among vs when we are so hardy and rashe to aske of God things which our owne conscience would not graūt vs. Then before we shal obtayne we must bridle our desires. The way to brydle them is to make them obediente and subiect to God. To conclude wee shall obtayne when Fayth whych is ruled by the holy and good wyl of God shall frame our harts. We shal not obtaine when we aske according to our desires neyther should it be expedient for vs to obtaine in that sorte.

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‘By one onely offering he hath hal­lovved for euer those that be sāctified.’Hebr. 10.‘I fulfyl the vvante of the aflictions of Christe in my fleshe for hys bodye vvhych is the Church.’Colloss. 1.

[Page 100] AL thinges that were expedient for our saluation were accomplished and broughte to perfection by the only oblation of the Lord Iesus. And surely no man can alledge anye thing agaynst thys. And al faythful are fully hallowed and sanctified in his only sa­crifice. If the Lord Iesus be Christ he is also ye true Priest. And if he be y true Priest, then must of necessity his sacrifice be perfect. For els he should in nothing differ from the Leuitical Pries­tes which were sinners. And his sacri­fice should differ no whit from the olde sacrifice of beastes. Seeing then hys sacrifice is perfect, it is also sufficient, and it must not be offered againe, nor ani other added to it. God hath no nede of mennes help, neyther must men set to their hands after him when he hath perfected or ended any thing. Then if it be so that all other oblations that haue bene added after Christes oblation are not onely vnprofitable, but also abho­minable, as put to wtout & agaīst Gods woord. What other thing shall ther be for men to offre to God by which they [Page 101] may adde some ouerplus to the merite of the passion of the sonne of God? The death of the Iust is precious before the face of God, and chefly of hys martirs which haue shed their bloud for the tes­timony of his truth. Yet their bloud is not so pretious as that it may deserue anye thing to fyll oure redemption as though it had not bene altogether accō plished by our Lord Iesus. But nowe Saint Paul saith that he supplies that whiche lackes in the passion of Christe for the Church. True it is that y faith­ful martirs suffer for the church, as al­so the sonne of God the chiefe of mar­tirs suffred for the Church: but yet ther is a diuerse reason of their suffering: For though the martirs dy as brethrē for theire brethren: yet there is no one whose bloud is shed for the remissiō of sinnes, which thing the lord Iesus dyd for vs. And he therein did set forth no­thing for vs to folow but for which we should geue thanks to him. And as the sonne of God only was made the sōne [...]man to y end he might make vs chil­dren of God. So he onely being with­out [Page 102] fault hath receaued punnishmente for vs to the end we myght obtayne by him and without any desert of oures y grace which we could not deserue. So we may say, y y faythful haue receued crownes: but they haue not geuen thē. Of their strength and constancy haue bene taken examples of patience, not gyfts of righteousnesse. Their deathes also were particular, and there is not one that by hys death hath cleered any mannes dette. Shall we then saye that Saint Paul would say that any thing that belonged to oure saluation lacked in the passion of christ which had nede after to bee accomplished and supplied by the death of any other, as if that which Iesu Christ suffred sufficed not for the redemption of men? it were an execrable blasphemy. But saint Paull so speaketh bicause y body of y Church must be made perfect by the affliction of the faythfull when the members of the body are made lyke vnto their hed. Let vs then see how the holy martyrs suffre for the Churche. Those that god [Page 103] hath chosen he hath also apoynted and [...]idestinated to be made like to y Image of hys sonne, that he may be the fyrst borne of many brethren. Wee knowe that betwene the hed and the members there is suche vnity, that the name of Christ containeth somtime al the bodi. As when Saint Paull maketh mentiō 1. Corinth. 12. of the Church, he conclu­deth at the lengthe that it is wyth Iesu Christ as wyth a mannes body. As the Sonne of God once suffered in hym­self so hee suffereth dayly in hys mem­bers. And in thys sorte the passions are accomplished whych the heauenly fa­ther hath appoynted by hys ordinance vnto the body of hys sonn.

Moreouer wee muste not seeke another more faythfull expounder of that whyche Sainct Paul sayeth than hym selfe whenne hee addeth to it that hee suffereth for the Church according to the dyspensation or commission that was geuen vnto hym. For he was not appoynted to bee a minister of redemption, neyther dydde hee sheadde hys [Page 104] bloud to deliuer the faythfull frō euer­lasting death. But we know the minis­tery was committed to hym to edyfye the Church and not to redeme it. And this is it that he saith in another place that he suffreth al thinges for the cho­sens sake, that they might obtayne the saluation which is in Iesus Christ. And 2. Cor. 1. he saith that he suffreth al thing for their comfort and saluation. Then let vs take thys for the conclusion, that the sonne of God only hath suffred for the remission of the sinnes of the faith­full. The Martirs also suffre for the Church, but it is onely for the confir­mation of the same.

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‘Preach the gospel to euery creature.’Mark. 16‘Cast not your pearle before Svvyne.’Math. 7.

THE Apostles had commission to Preach the Gospel to al creatures that wer able to heare and receiue it, and that without accepting of anye person, people, or nation, forasmuchas the Lord Iesus was com to take away all difference betweene the Iewes and [Page 105] Gentiles, yt the Iewes on the one side should not shut vppe saluation among themself, and that the Gentiles on the other side shoulde not dispaire as shut out and banished from the eternal kīgdome. He wyl haue his kingdom pub­lished euery where that the Gentiles with the Iewes may be brought to the true obedience of Fayth, and that the Gospell may bee a seale to all faithfull shepheardes and ministers wherwyth their doctrine should be sealed. Vnder the Lawe the Prophetes had limittes appoynted them within the bounds of Iury: but after that the fence was bro­ken the sonne of God woulde that the ministers of hys Gospel should go far­ther of to sowe and spread the doctrine of saluation throughout al the regions of the world. Fyrst the birthright abod among the Iewes: yet afterward the heritage of the happy life was made common to the Gentiles. So the pro­phecy was accomplished of which the Prophets make so often mention that the Messias was geuen to the Gentils for a light, to the ende he might be the [Page 106] saluation of God euen to the endes of the earth. To thys purpose hee sayed, Goe and preache the Gospell to euery creature. For after that peace was proclaymed to all the householde folke, the same message came also vnto straungers, and to those that were farre of. Al­though that charge were geuen to the Apostels: yet it behoued them also to keepe thys decree, and euen at thys day it behoueth all ministers to keepe it, to weete, that they geue not ho­lye thinges to dogges and that they hurle not pearle before Swyne. The treasure of the heauenlye wysedome oughte to bee kepte for Goddes chyl­dren onely, and not to be throwen abroade to the proude contemners of God. They haue commaundement to preache the Gospell to euery crea­ture, and Sayncte Paule affirmeth that the preachyng thereof is a sauour of Death to the reprobate. And there is nothyng more certayne than that it is offered euery day to the vnbeleuing and obstinate by the commaūdement of God as a wytnesse agaynste them, [Page 107] to make them the more wyth oute ex­cuse. Bycause the ministers or the Gospell and all they that are called to the office of teaching can not discerne betwene the children of God & Swine. Therefore theyre charge is to offre the doctrine of Saluation indifferently to all. For thoughe at the fyrst they see many selfe wylled stubbourne and vn­apte to be taught: yet Christian cha­ryty wil not suffer vs to accompt them as people altogether desperate. Yet in the meane season we muste see who they bee that Christ calleth doggs and Swyne. We muste not at the first take all those for suche that are eyther prophane or vncleane or that are voyd of the feare of God and of true religi­on. But those that by sure and ma­nifeste tokens haue alreadye shewed a stubbourne contempte of God, so that a man knoweth that theyre malice is out of all hope. Here then dogs and Swyne are they whych haue already bene as it were glutted ful with a poi­soned dyspysyng of all Gods good­nesse, and wyll not bee refourmed.

[Page 108] And so wee muste denye the Gospel to none but to such as so proudly haue retected it when it hath bene offred them that a man knoweth that they themselues of their owne stubbournesse haue condemned themselues.

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‘God vvyl that all men shuld be saued.’ [...]. 2.‘There are but fevve that are saued.’ [...]. 14.

IF the Gospell be the power of God to Saluation to all beleuers, it is certaine that al they to whom the Gospel is offered are also called to the hope of euerlasting and blessed life. Moreouer as the calling is a teaching of the se­cret election, so God admitteth those to the possession of eternall saluation whych he maketh partakers of his gospel. For the Gospell openneth vnto vs the righteousnesse of God whiche is a certaine entry into life. But how com­meth this to passe that all men are not saued, seeing God willeth it? for who can let the will of God? whiche as it is very good and very iust, so is it almighty. [Page 109] Thys question myght haue som co­lour if Saint Paul spake of euery mā. But yet thereto a man myghte make answere. For althoughe wee may not wey the wyl of God by hys secret and hydden Iudgements, yet when he she­weth it to vs by outeward sygnes and testymonyes, a man may saye that hee hath in himself decreed that whych hee wyl euery man should do. But bicause thys serueth nothyng for the expoun­dyng of thys sentence, we must vnder­stand what Sainte Paul meaneth, to wete that there is no estate in ye world shut out from saluation, and from the blessed life: but rather God would that the Gospel should be offred to all. And if we vnderstand that the preaching of the Gospel is quickening, in that it re­ueleth to vs the righteousnesse of God which is a certaine way to geue an en­trance into lyfe, we shal not think that straunge which sainct Paul sayth that Gods will is that al men should be sa­ued seing he wold haue all come to the knowledge of the truth. But heere he speaketh of sorts of men, of estats and [Page 110] conditions of them, and not of euery man a parte. For the intent of the Apostle is none other but to contayne Princes in the number, and that men shuld not considre what maner of men Princes were at that tyme: but what God woulde haue them to be. Salua­tion commeth to vs no otherwyse but by Gods free liberalitye. Nowe the same God which hath made vs parta­kers of the happy lyfe & of eternall sal­uatiō, may somtimes stretch his grace euen to them. The same y alredy of his goodnesse hath drawen vs vnto hym, may one day bryng thē likewise wt vs.

But the whilest how many are ther that by their vnthankfulnesse and stubbournesse make themselfe vnworthye of thys saluation? What coulde God haue done of all that whiche belonged to the saluation of men whiche he hath not done? And behold the greater part stoutly and proudly reiect the grace of God. Is not thys agreable to Goddes righteousnesse that suche shoulde feele him a rigorous Iudge, whome they would not acknowledge or accept for a Sauiour.

[Page 111] If wee compare the greate nomber of those with the little nomber of the cho­sen and faithful, we shal perceaue how true thys sentence is that there are ve­ry fewe of those that be saued. Howe many Mahometes are heere beneath in the world? how many Iewes? And how many are ther which vaunt them of the name of Christians, yet are they no Christians? And among the fayth­full how many Hypocrites are there? and what shal we make of the reste of other men? but a little grayne hid vn­der a greate heape of chaffe. Then a man may well say that Godds wyll is that all men should be saued, yet there are but fewe saued. God stretcheth hys hand and arme to all men vpon earth: but y more part draw back as though they had not to do with God nor wyth his boūty, with his grace nor with hys saluation.

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‘God hath shutte all in vnbeleefe to the ende he might shevve mercy to all.’Roma. 11‘He that vvil not beleue shal be cōdēned.’Mar. 16.

[Page 112] The Apostle signifieth two thinges by this former sentence. First that there is nothing in man whereby he deser­ueth to be preferred before other beside the meere grace and goodnesse of god. Wherfore they that already haue som hope of saluation must not dispayre of other: for whatsoeuer they are nowe they haue bene heretofore as all the o­thers now are. If by the onely mercy and goodnesse of God they are come out of vnbeleefe they oughte lykewyse to leaue some place to others. Yet thys is not to saye that God so blindeth all men that their vnbeleefe oughte to bee imputed vnto hym: but he by hys pro­uidence so ordred the matter that all should be gylty of incredulity to thend he might kepe al men short and bound vnder his iudgementes, and that is to the end that saluation might come frō hys onely goodnesse and all desertes should be troden vnder fote. Seconda­rily that God in the dispensatiō of hys grace is not letted from bestowing it on whō it shalseme good to him. Let vs then say that he hath shut vs all vnder [Page 113] vnbeliefe to the end he myghte haue mercy on all. That is to say, to the end that none of those which shalbe called to saluation should thynke to obtayne saluation but only through the mercy of God.

Then seing it is so that God in be­stowing hys grace, is not let from ge­uyng it to whom he will, we may also save that he is not let to exercise hys iudgementes wheresoeuer it semeth good to hym. The Gospell is the pow­er of God to saluation: but that is to the faythfull only. And whosoeuer be­leueth it shalbe saued. But as promise is made to draw mankynd vnto fayth: so is there a terrible threatnyng of de­struction agaynst all the obstinate & vnfaythfull, to as [...]ōne them. These ar they that refuse saluation that is offe­red thē, which plucke vpō their heades fearefull ruyne and condemnation. And they are not only wrapped in the common and generall destruction of all mankynde: but also they beare the fault of their owne vnthankfulnesse.

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[Page 114]Iudge not and you shall not bee iudged.’Mathe. 7.‘Iudge iuste iudgement,’Ioan. 7.

WHEN the Lorde Iesus sayeth iudge not, he doth not precisely forbyd to iudge: but his meaning is to heale a sickenesse whiche is natu­rally almost in al This we see ordina­rily that euery man geues him y head but euery mā busyeth himself to iudge other men streight. And hardly shall a man finde any one that is not tyckled with desyre to enquyre of other mens faultes. Al wil confesse that it is an vn­sufferable euil to slatter thēself in their own vyces, and to be so nere markers of the offences of their brethren. But there is a plage yet more daungerous that diuerse whyle they condemne o­ther, themself wil haue leaue to synne. See then what our Lorde Iesus doth in saying Iudge not, to wete, he repres­seth the fleshe and froward appetyte of checking, tawntyng and backbyting: yet is it not ment hereby ye the fayth­ful should haue their eyes blynd filded [Page 115] to y end they should discerne nothing: but they oughte to brydle themselues least they should be caryed away with to great a desyre to iudge. For when any one coueteth to iudge his brethrē, he cannot but be ouer rigorous. Thus when Christ commaundeth that wee shoulde not Iudge, he meaneth that we shoulde not curiously enquyre of the doynages of oure brethren. But in the meane season he wil not haue vs to be without iudgement or discre­tion in suche sort as we should not bee able to put a dyfference beetwene the good and the euill or to saye what is iuste and ryghte, and what is wrong: but he woulde there shoulde be a wise moderation vsed, and that to iudge well and ryghtly a man shoulde loke simplye to the dede, and not to the per­son. It behoueth vs to marke whye the Lorde Iesus spake thus. He had to do with the Iewes which dyd inter­prete hys workes maliciouslie & with a peruerse affection though they were forced to graunt that they wer diuine. [Page 116] He setteth before their eyes circumci­sion to whiche they beare reuerence & that of ryght. When they dyd it on the Sabboth day they knewe wel that the lawe of God was not broken, for as­much as the workes of God agree ve­ry wel one with another. What rea­son is there that they dyd not saye as­much of the workes of Christ but that their spirites were occupied beefore with a folyshe iudgement which they had conceaued of hys person. Where­fore there shall neuer be ryght iudge­ment geuen if it bee not pronounced accordyng to the truth of the dede: for as sone as a mā setteth the persons be­fore hys eyes, he directeth also his sen­ses to them, so that forthwith the truth vanysheth.

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‘VVhē you pray speake not much.’Mathe. 6.‘Praye vvithout ceasing.’1. Thess. 8. 5.

OVR Lorde Iesus reproueth a fault in Hipocrites which thynke they are able to persuade God by much bablyng and folyshe rehearsal [Page 117] of words. And the continuing in pray­er that is so muche praysed and com­maunded in the holy scripture is not contrarie to thys doctryne: For when the faythful man conceaueth a prayer and maketh it with a holy & good af­fection, his tong goeth not before hys hart. Moreouer the fauoure of God is not gotten by an affected bablyng of words: but rather a true faythful hart shoteth oute hys affections as flying shaftes which haue power to pearce e­uen vnto heauen. Thys forbydding of bablyng and vayne repetyng of wor­des in prayer, doth not let the continu­aunce of prayer, not that God on hys behalfe hath any nede y a man should make hym any rehearsalls, or that a man shoulde offer vnto hym any re­membraunces, or when a man hath spoken to hym on [...]e that he hath nede to be moued the second tyme: but thys taryeng still or continuyng in prayer is of duety requisyte in vs. Euery mā ought to consider well hys necessities, and howe he hath continually nede of the succour of God. It is true that he [Page 118] could geue vs al necessarie thyngs be­fore we should opē our mouth to pray to hym: and surely if of hys good­nesse he preuented not oure prayers, yea our desyres we should be more thā myserable: but he wyll so exercyse our fayth, and the end and vse of our pray­ers is, that casting our playntes and grones into the fatherlye bosome of God, we myght be wel assured that he would forsake vs in nothyng.

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‘Beare the burdens one of another.’Galat. 6.‘Euery one shall beare hys ovvne burden.’Galat. 6.

THIS nature teacheth vs, when we see any mā loden with a bur­den which he cannot beare or vn­der which he falleth downe, to vnlode him in some sort, either els to ease him with the least hurt y may be. If ther be any gentlenesse in vs, we must chiefly shewe it to the bearyng the faultes of our brethrē, which faultes ar properly called lodes or burdens. But whē we are cōmaunded to beare y weaknesse [Page 119] one of another, it is not ment y by [...]a­uoryng or clokyng we should noryshe the euils or vices of oure brethrē and neyghboures: but rather y we should vnlode them. Now y must be done by softe and quiet correction. There are many adulterers and whoremasters that woulde haue Christ to be bawde, Many theues that would that he were their hider, Many folkes of euil lyfe y woulde make hym defendour of theyr wicked dedes, and y the faithful should serue them with their shoulders to dis­charge them of their own vncleānesse. But we see wherfore we are appoyn­ted to beare y burdens of our brethrē, to wete, to the end that in supportyng them we should endeuour to set them agayne in the ryght waye. Nowe this that he addeth afterwarde serues for y interpretation of that that was sayd before. Then we shalbe preste & ready louyngly to vnburden others when e­uery man shal wel loke on hymself to see what maner of one he is. And whē he shall haue diligently examined hys own worke not deceauyng hymself by [Page 120] thinkyng that he is any thyng, or is worth oughte. We haue nothyng of our own wherof we may bost but we are so voyde of al good that al our glo­ry is but mere vanitie. If we thynke diligently hereon we shall wax more gentle and meeke towardes others. Whence cōmeth thys pryde that ma­keth vs exalt our selues aboue others? whence commeth the proud and cruel sharpnesse? but hereof that euery one will be set a lofte, and loke vpon al the rest as beyng vnderneath at hys fete: but yet bicause in comparyng our sel­ues with other we make other by esti­mation to be of very smal value, wee are sent backe to the tryeng of our sel­ues to the end we should not measure oure selues by another mans yarde, to y end that none of vs shoulde please hymself bicause others diplease him: but turnyng his loke from other, eue­ry one ought to searche out hys owne conscience, and to consider liuely hys own worke. That is no true pray [...]e whiche we seke to attayne by the dys­aduantage of another mannes good [Page 121] name: but that which we get without makyng comparison of their base re­nowne with oure greatnesse, and to take from vs all pryde, the conclusion is that euery one shall beare his owne burdē. Gods iudgement is hereby set before oure eyes before whom euery one muste geue accompte of hys lyfe, and ther shalbe no comparison made, but euery mā shal there carry his own burden: for thys is that that decea­ueth vs. He that hath but one eye or he that is pooreblynde, beyng among the blynde thynketh that he seeth wel: but one shall not acquyte another frō hys synne.

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‘Carry nothyng on the vvaye ney­ther staffe nor vvallet nor bread nor mony.’Luke. 9.‘You shall carry nothyng on the vvay but a staffe.’Marc. 6.

THE difficultye is in thys that Saint Mathew and Saint Luke say that it was forbidden them to carry a rodde or staffe. And Saint [Page 122] Marke sayth, they wer suffered to car­ry a staffe. Before thys dyfficultie bee resolued we muste see what the purpose of oure Lorde Iesus is. He woulde that his Aposties shoulde in a little tyme visyte all the countrey of Iewrye, and that they shoulde spedely returne to hym. And that thys mighte bee done he forbyddeth them to carry with them any baggage which might let them from makyng haste. And thys commaundemente muste bee re­strayned to thys vyage. They myght well haue had wallets, staues, shoes, garmentes, golde and syluer in their houses: but to the end they myght bee the lyghter he commaundeth them to leaue behynde, euery burden y myght lode them. But as touchyng the staffe Saint Mathew and Sainte Luke meane suche staues as myghte lode or hynder them that should cary them. But Saint Marke meaneth a staffe which they carry commonly that take Iourneyes in hande, and they carry them onely to staye them vp and to helpe them oute of the myer or an ill [Page 123] way, or to leape a dyke as the custome and manner in olde tyme was to cary a staffe to Iourney wythall. As ap­peareth by that whiche is sayd in Ge­nesis. I passed Iordan with my staffe. Iacob confesseth by these words that he was not loden with ryches when he came into Siria.

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‘Iesus taryed in Ievvry & baptysed.’Ioan. 3.‘Iesus dyd not baptyse.’Ioan. 4.

ONE of these places serues to ex­pounde the other. For when it is sayd in the. 4. of Iohn that oure Lord Iesus baptised more Dysciples than Iohn, the correction is also added to wete, thoughe Iesus baptised not, but hys Disciples baptised, and thys baptyme is called the baptyme of the Sonne of God, and that to the end we shoulde vnderstand that the baptyme ought not to be estemed after y person of the minister but the strength ther­of dependeth wholly on hym that is the author of it, in whose name it is geuen, and on hys holy ordinaunce. [Page 124] And thys serueth to comfort vs, that we knowe that baptyme is no lesse a­ble to washe and renue vs than yf it were administred to vs by the very hand of the sonne of God. If we aske why he stayed from the administrati­on of the outward sygne, the reason is easely geuē, to were, bycause he would leaue a testimony to all ages and ge­nerations that the baptyme is in no­thing diminished when it is offred by a mortal man. Wherefore Christ not only baptyseth inwardly by hys holy spirit: but we ought asmuch to esteme yt sygne which we receaue at the hand of a mortall man as yf Christ himself streatched oute hys hand to vs from heauen. Iesus Christ thē baptised and dyd not baptyse. He baptysed foras­much as the baptyme that was myni­stred by the handes of hys Dysciples was aduoutched to be hys, and este­med suche as if hymselfe had baptised. He did not baptise, bycause he did not admynister the outwarde sygne but caused hys Dysciples to do it.

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[Page 125]Thou shalt hate thyne enemy.’Mathe. 5.‘Loue your enemyes.’Math. 5.

WHen God speaketh of our neigh­boures, it is certayne that he cō ­prehendeth al the kynde of man: for as euery man is geuen to himself as often as any perticular commodi­tyes part one from the other, the mu­tuall pertaking which nature her self enioyneth vs, is forsaken, to the ende then that we might be kept in bond of brotherly loue, God testifyeth that al men be our neyghbours bycause that nature common to vs al maketh vs al frendes among our selues. As often as a man beholdeth a man, bycause it is hys fleshe and hys bone, so often it behoueth hym necessarily to beholde hymself as in a glasse, but bycause the most parte departe from thys holy fe­lowshyp, yet notwithstandyng the or­der of nature is not broken by theyr lewdnesse, bycause we must loke vpon God who is author of thys vnitye and coniunction. And therfore thys com­maundement by which we ar appoin­ted [Page 126] to loue our neyghbour, is general. But it is maruell how the Scribes fel into thys absurdltie to restrayne thys worde neyghboures vnto weldoers, and those whyche by their pleasures and seruices that they doe deserue to be loued. They measured neyghbour­hode accordyng to the affection of eue­ry one. Wherefore they sayd those only were to be taken for neyghbours whiche for their good dedes are wor­thye to haue frendship borne vnto thē, or at the least suche as doe pleasure for pleasure. Common reason counselleth euery one so, and for thys cause the chyldren of the proude worlde were neuer ashamed to confesse and shewe openly their hatred hauyng some rea­son to make it of value: but the loue which God commaundes and recom­mendeth in hys law doth not loke vp­on that that euery one deserueth: but it stretcheth forth vnto the vnworthy, the ouerthwart & vnthankfull. Nowe when Iesus Christ sayeth, but I saye vnto you loue your enemyes, he ma­keth not a newe lawe or ordinaunce: [Page 127] but he bringeth agayne the law of his father into hys true and natural mea­ning correcting the false and pernerss expositions and gloses of the scribes, by which they had corrupted and falsi­fied the purenesse of the lawe of God, he leaueth then thys holy ordinaunce in hys perfect state. Thou shalt loue thy neyghbour: yet he will shewe how it shalbe duely accomplyshed, to wete, when we shal loue not only those that do vs good: but also those that procure our hurt.

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‘Take hede thou tel it to no bodye.’Math. 8.‘Tell all the thynges that God hath done to thee.’Luke. 8.

CHRIST forbyds the leper whom he healed to tel vnto other what was happened vnto hym. And the rea­son is thys, the conuenient tyme to tell it was not yet cōme. True it is that thys myracle oughte not to bee hydde or suppressed: but there was a certayne cause whye the Lorde [Page 128] Iesus would not that the brute of this miracle shoulde be so sodaynly spread abrode, or at the least would not haue it done by y leper. And touchyng that the leper coulde not holde hys peace, althoughe it seme that therein he dyd shewe some sygne of acknowledgyng the benefyte: yet he was so farre from deseruyng any prayse thereby, that he was rather worthy of rebuke, bicause he dyd not obey the commaundement of the Sonne of God. If we were wil­lyng to reknowledge the healyng of hys leprosye to hym that had healed hym, he could not haue done it better than by vsyng symple obedience which before God is better worth than all of­frynges and sacrifice and it is the be­gynnyng of the true seruyce of God. And as touchyng that he sayth to the possessed with a spirit whom he had al­so healed, report al that God hath done vnto thee, we must lykewyse note the reason why he gaue thys commaundemente. All the miracles that Christ did could not be long hyd, neyther had it beene reason to suppresse the power of God [Page 129] by which his will was that al ye worlde shuld be prepared to life: but somtimes he would that men should holde theyre peace a while bycause the oportunitye was not yet come. Somtime also he cō maūded his miracles to be published to y end he might be taken for y true mi­nister & Prophet of God, & to haue au­tority to teach, calling hys miracle the work of god. For it was requisite that ye people which as yet were rude shuld be instructed, forasmuchas they as yet knewe not his Diuinitie. And thoughe Christ be ye ladder by which we goe vp to the father: neuerthelesse bycause he was not yet manifested he begā wt hys Father til suche time as he had a more tipe oportunity.

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‘If any man strike thee on the ryght cheke turne the other to hym also.’‘Iesu Christ smittē by the seruaūt of the high Priest ansvvered. If I haue il said bere vvitnes of the il: but if I haue sayd vvell, vvhy doest thou strike me?’

[Page 130] THys fyrst sentence was expoūded here aboue. The sūme is that our Lorde Iesus woulde fashion the heartes of the faythful to kepe a mea­sure and vpryghtnesse, who (althoughe they be prouoked) ought for al that ra­ther to appease the iniuries by patiēce than by yealoing agayne wronge for wrong to styre vp men which alredy were to muche styred. The waye to quench fier is not to put to it such mat­ter as is mete to kindle it more. To re­presse one wrong by another wronge, and one outrage by another outrage what is it els but to set on fier y which already burnt to much. He wyll then haue vs so to be measured in our passi­ons that when any outrage is don vn­to vs we shuld be redy to suffer a new wrong rather than to wreak vs of that which hath ben don vnto vs. Notwith­standing when Christ answered so vn­to the seruant of the bye Priest, it see­meth he fulfilled not that which he ap­pointeth and cōmaundeth hys faithful to obserue for he turneth not his ryght cheeke to him that strake him on y left. [Page 131] But it is to be vnderstand, that in christian patience it is not alwayes requy­site that he that hath ben stricken and wronged, should put vp the wrong don vnto hym withoute speaking a worde: but first he muste patientlye suffre the wrong that hath bene done hym. Fur­thermore he must forget al reuenging lust, and endeuour to ouercōme the ill by wel doing. The wicked are butte to much stirred by the sprite of Sathā to hurt and endomage, and of themselfe they are tomuch prouoked though thei be not otherwise egged forth. Therfor this wer an il interpreting of Christs wordes to say that a mā shuld by new prouocatiō styr those to il doing which are alredy ouermuch infained by their wicked affectiō. For y meaning of hys words tēd to nothīg els but y euery ōe of vs shuld be redy to suffre y. ii. wrong rather thā to reuē [...]e y first. This then letteth not but y a Christen man that hath ben strickē & outraged wrongful­ly may cōplain, so y his hart be void of al rācor, & his hāds clean frō al reuēge

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[Page 132]I am not cōme to bryng peace but the svvearde.’Marc. 10.‘I gyue you my peace, I leaue you my peace.’Ioan. 14.

BYcause the greater parte of men, not only are enemies to the gospel: but also resiste it maliciously, it is not possible to professe Christ wythout fighting and without the hatred of many. All the faythful therefore are war­ned to prepare thēself to fight, bicause they must nedes fight for the testimo­ny of the truth. But the Prophets euery wher promise peace and quiet state vnder the reigne of Christ. Hereupon what could a mā hope for, but that out of hand whersoeuer a man wer al thinges should be quiet? And seeing y sōne of God is called our peace, and that y Gospel reconcileth vs to God, what cā a man say therof but that ther is a brotherly agreemente appoynted to be a­mong vs. And therfore it seemeth not that thys agreeth with the oracles of y Prophets that strife, bralles, and war­res should be kindled in y world wher [Page 133] peace and the Gospell is preached. And besides it is much lesse agreing wyth y office of Christ, and with the nature of the Gospel. But the peace of which the Prophets make mentiō is only amōg the true seruauntes and the faithful of God, and in Godly consciences, in as much as it is ioyned with fayth, and reacheth not vnto the vnbeleuing and stubborne, though it be liberally offred vnto them, and they can not abyde to enter in fauor and couenaūt with god. And thereof cōmes it that the message of peace rayseth in them troubles and greater stormes than before. For Sa­than that raigneth in the reproued, is mad assone as he heareth of yt name of Iesus Christ, and the vngodlinesse of the proud and wicked is sharpned whē the doctrine of the sonne of God is set before them. So the naughtinesse of men causeth that Christe which is au­thour of peace is made an occasion of troubles. Thus our lord Iesus Christ may wel be sayed to leaue vs peace for in that he wēt to his father, he forsoke vs not: but left vs the good sauor of his [Page 134] spiritual presence. It cā not be but that peace is with vs, & that we be alwayes happy by his blessing which is the frut that we reape when we yeald true and perfect obedience to his Gospel, which bycause it taketh away the silthinesse of the wicked, and that they cannot a­bide to be clensed to be brought to god is rightly called a sweard sente to the wicked to waken their cōsciences and to stirre vp troubles against them.

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‘VVhen you haue done all thinges, say, vve are vnprofitable seruauntes.’Luc. 17.‘VVee haue follovved thee, vvhat shall becōme of vs then?’Math. 19.

BOTH we and all that we haue be­long to God by right, and he posses­seth vs as slaues. Therfore what seruice soeuer we indeuour to do hym, yet is there nothing that bindeth hym as though we deserued. For seeing we belong to him, it is certain that he can owe nothing vnto vs. We are no lesse bounde and beholdyng vnto him than bondmen and slaues were in olde time [Page 135] to their masters, whiche were in suche state that they got nothing for thēself: but were held and kept vnder the bon­dage of their masters with all their la­boures, their force, and diligence, yea euen vnto bloud. If such power be grā ted to one mortall man ouer another man, that he may make hym work day and night, and yet thereby he shall not be bound to recompence him with like how much more shall it be lawfull for God to require of vs al that we can la­boure and do in al our life as farre as our power and abilitye can stretche, so that notwythstanding hee be no way [...] bound vnto vs? Althoughe it be a fro­warde arrogantnesse to imagine that god oweth any thing to mē, as though they deserued at hys hande: yet there is no faulte more common than suche pryde, for euery manne woulde call God to a reconing. And thys is the cause whye menne haue imagined de­seruinges, and thys opinion hathe had place almoste in all tymes. And thys is that that made the Apostels to ask this questiō, we haue folowed thee [Page 136] what commoditie then or recompence shal we haue? And it seemeth that they haue som colour to aske it seing ye scripture so many times promiseth hier and recompence to works, to which by this meanes it seemeth to attribute some worthinesse or desert. But true it is yt we are so subiecte to the rule of God y we owe to hym both our self and all y is in vs. Now then the hyer is not pro­mised any other way but of the meere and good pleasure of God. For they that by mutuall relation ioyne the de­sert with the hyer are greatly deceued bycause that God is not moued by the worthinesse of the workes to recōpēce them: but by his gentlenesse and free goodnesse. True it is that by the bar­gaines of the law God is bound to mē but it is on that conditiō that they per­forme al that is there required of them. But bicause this bonde is voluntary it is certayne and sure that man can ask or require nothing of God as thoughe he had deserued any thing at his hand By thys meanes the pryde of the flesh falleth downe flat on the ground. For [Page 137] although a man had fulfilled the lawe: yet he could not bring in any reckonīg to God, as if he were bound to yeld vn­to him some ouerplus, for he shuld on­ly haue paied that which he ought. And in this sense it is sayd that we be vnprofitable seruaunts, for God receaueth nothing of vs that commeth from els­where, but onely he gathereth vp the frute of hys demayne.

Now the Apostles vaunt that they haue left al and followed Christ. But what was that all? for seeing they wer handy craftes men, and poore as tou­ching the goods of thys world, and al­so dispised. Scarcely was ther any thīg in their houses to leaue behinde them. It was then a vayne boaste, as we see ordinarily how free men are to preyse and value the seruices that they doe to God. But howsoeuer the case stand, if we had forsaken Kingdomes and rych possessions to follow Christ, yet al our seruices be they neuer so exquisite and heaped together deserue not y leaste of his graces, neither cā we bring to passe but y we shal remain vnprofitable ser­uaunts.

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‘If any man clense himself of these thīgs he shalbe a vessel sāctified to honoure.’Timot. 2.‘God vvorketh all in all.’1. Cor. 12.

THIS sentence is alwayes true that it is not of willer nor of y rū ­ner but of God that hath mercye. If a man alledge that it is in the pow­er of man to cleanse hymselfe and to make hymself a vessel sanctified to ho­nour: it is a vayne obiection, for Saint Paul speaketh not here of the election of men to shew who is the cause of our election as he doth in the. 9. Chapiter to the Romaines: but only he wyl that we resemble not the in [...]dels which we see to be borne to destruction. It is thē a folly to gather of these words that it is in the power of man to associat him selfe in the number of the chyldren of God, and to make hymselfe the cause of hys owne adoption. If the reprobate bee vessells of shame and dyshonoure, they haue thys dyshonoure enclosed within them. But yet they disfygure not the house, neyther is the maister [Page 139] of the house dishonored by them, which in the dyuersytye of members orday­neth and appoynteth euery vessell to to the vse that it is worthy of. It beho­vs to learne to make our self meete for more honest vsages. For we haue as it were a glasse before oure eyes in the person of the reproued to beholde that there is a detestable vnhappynesse in man when he serueth not the glory of God, thys onelye warninge is to vs a strong buckelar to repulse those that wil haue men to be the cause of theyre owne predestination, as though Saint Paul had geuen a rule to men of that whyche they shoulde doe beefore they were borne, yea, beefore the foun­dations of the world were layd. More­ouer if a man wyll gather hereof that man hath free choyse ynoughe to pre­pare hym selfe to bee fourmed to geue obedience vnto God. Although it haue some likelyhode: yet they that so say do argue verye weakely, for here an ex­presse commaundement is geuen to y faithful to to clense thēself frō y filth of y infidels. Forasmuch as they must be sanctified vnto God.

[Page 140] There is a like commaundement euery where in the holy Scriptures. Wee see cleerly heereby that we be called to holines. Ther is a difference betwene the calling and the office of Christians and betwene their faculty and power. It is certaine that the faythful are re­quired to purge themself: but God wit­nesseth sufficiently that it is hys office to purge when hee promiseth to sende pure and cleane waters, to the end wee may be made cleane. And therfore we must desire of God that he will purge vs of our filthines rather thā to proue our owne strength without hys ayde. Now hereof we will take this doctrine that ther is no goodnesse in men whi­che procedeth not of God. And we may boldly pronounce that it is God that worketh all thinges in al. True it is y Sainct Paul stretcheth not thys sen­tence to the general prouidence of god but he speaketh onely of the liberalyty that God vseth toward vs when he be­stoweth sombenefit on eueri one of vs. So that we may gather of this sentēce that there is no good in men nor any [...] [Page 141] thing worthy praise but that which procedeth from the goodnesse of God.

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‘They shall be al taught of God.’Ioan. 6.‘Search the Scriptures.’Ioan. 5.

OVR Lord Iesus to confirme that which he had said, to wete, that no man cōmes to hī except his father draw him, alledgeth y witnesse of Esay 54. Chapter. Wher y Prophet maketh mention of ye restoring of y Churche, & promiseth y hyr childrē shal be taughte vnder y scholing of God. And hereof a man may rasily gather y the Churche cānot be set again in good ordre vnles y God taking y charge of instructing y faythful bring thē to him. This meā of teaching stādeth not only in y out­ward voice: but also y secret strength & working of y holy ghost. So y this in­struction of God is the inward lighte­ning of y hart. Esay sheweth openly y thē y Church is truly bylded when she hath childrē taught of god. And this cō sequēce maketh wel to y purpose, y mē haue not yet eyes meete to beholde the [Page 142] lyght of lyfe, vntyll God haue opened them. It is certaine that al the sermōs should serue to no purpose, if god tau­ght not inwardly by hys spirit. Neuer­thelesse hee woulde not take awaye the meane whiche hee himselfe had orday­ned, to weete, to heare and reade the Scriptures, as though it were not ne­cessary for mē to be instructed by y outward ministery, but y it shuld not be­hous thē only to wayt for reuelatiōs from aboue. But when Christe sayeth. Search the Scriptures, he reproueth y fond vauntyng of the hypocrites which said they had life in them and yet they medled onely wyth the dead letter. Truly lyte should be sought in the Scripturs saing they be appoynted for vs for that vse and to that ende: not withstanding what booteth it to think that the scrip­ture bringeth lyfe, and the whylest to go away from the natural meaning of them, and to put the light of life by peruerse opinions. How may it be that y law shuld quicken wtout Christ which only quickeneth it? Beside, thys place teacheth vs that if we would haue true [Page 143] knowledge of God and of Iesu Christ hys sonne we must take it of the scrip­tures. For if we forge imaginations of God after oure fantasyes, and as it shall seeme good to vs wee haue but a vayne Imagination, and a shadow in stead of God. But the whilest let vs re­member how we must search the scriptures. If we go to to them thinkyng to finde any thyng in them by our owne diligēce or wisdome, we shal brīg awai wt vs nothing els but false & vaine opi­niōs. But we must resigne our spirits to god, to ye end that he which is ye autor of ye scriptures may make vs wel to vnderstand the truth of them.

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‘Flesh and bloud cannot possesse the Kingdome of God.’Cor. 15.‘VVe beleeue the resurrection of the flesh.’

EMong the articles of our fayth wee beleue that our bodies shall ryse a­gayne: without thys the preaching of ye Gospel wer vain, for if our bodies rise not again, christ is not risē agaī & [Page 144] if he be not risen agayne, what shal be­cōm of our hope? This is the argumēt which Saint Paul maketh. 1. Corinth. 15. then euery man shal rise againe in his owne body, and the fleshe of euery one that shal haue bene corrupted and shal haue slept in the earth shal be fully re­stored and ioyned agayne to hys soule, when it shal haue put of al weakenesse and corruptiō to be made like vnto the glorious body of Iesus christ. Though ther be nothing that the vnderstāding of man repulseth more: yet faith is not deceued when she holdeth assuredly on the power of God ioyned with his pro­misse. He that hath made man of no­thyng, can easily make him hole again after y he hath bene wasted. Now to y ende this should not seeme so strāge to vs, y spirit sets before our eies an ordi­nary experience. After that the corn is cast into the ground it semeth to be lost for it rottes and wasteth in the ground but afterwarde it springeth vp fairer. So when the body hath ben corrupted it tarieth the time apointed by God to cōme out of y earth & to be altogether perfect.

[Page 145] So then euen as the corne by meanes of the sede taketh agayn a new shape, and that more fayrer: so the faythfull which dyeth and goeth to rest with the sede of Iesu Christ which is the spirite of God, is raysed agayne by the same spirite which raysed the sonne of God from death. Moreouer God hath geuen a visible certayntye hereof in Iesus Christ, so that is manyfestly set before our eyes which otherwyse semed vnto vs altogether incredible. Therefore to vnderstand perfectly what our resur­rection shalbe, we must still loke vpon Christ whoe is the myrrour and sub­stance of it. Lyke as he rose agayne in the self body in which he suffered: so we also shal ryse agayne in the selfe same fleshe which we carry about wyth vs. And also as after hys resurrection he had another glorye much greater than he had had before: so we shall bee farre other after our rysyng agayne. And thys serueth to expound the other sen­tence, that fleshe & bloude cannot pos­sesse the kyngdome of God, to wete, in the same qualitie y now they are in, [Page 146] and vntil thys corruption be chaunged to incorruption. Before we be able to receaue this heauēly heritage, our bo­dyes muste bee renued, in asmuche as they ar subiect to corruption they can­not enter into the kyngdome of God whiche is incorruptible, vnto whiche they shall haue no accesse till Christ haue fashioned vs a newe after hys owne Image, otherwyse our flesh shal not be partaker of the glory of God til it be renued and quickened by the spy­rite of Christ.

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‘And he is the attonement for our synnes, and not only for ours. but also for the synnes of the vvhole vvorlde.’1. Ioan. 2.‘I praye not for the vvorlde,’Ioan. 17.

THE summe of the first sentence cōmes to thys poynt, that y fayth­ful should be thorowly persuaded that the clensyng gottē by Iesu Christ extendeth vnto all those that haue re­ceaued the Gospell by fayth, and that [Page 147] is to the end a man shoulde not thynke that thys benefyte is restrayned to a fewe people onely, or to certayne a­ges. A man maye replye, howe maye thys bee that the synnes of all the worlde are blotted oure. There at certayne frentrycke spyrites which vnder thys coloure receaue al the re­probates to saluation, yea the deuyl hymselfe. But wee oughte not to tarye aboute the refutyng of thys monstruous opynion. If a man saye that Iesu Christ hath sufficient­lye suffered for the faultes of all the worlde but that hys death hath pro­fyted the faythfull onely thys is some­what, but it is not all. For here is another meanyng in the woordes of Sainte Iohn, that is to saye, that thys benefite is becōme cōmon to the whole Church, and therfore the reprobate ar excluded. Whē he sayth of al the world it is spoken of thē that shoulde beleue, and whiche were scattered in diuerse countreyes of the world. For then we are made trulye to vnderstande what the grace of Iesu Christ is when it is [Page 148] tolde vs that it is the only saluation of all the worlde.

As touchyng y other sentence wher Christ sayth that he prayeth not for the worlde, thys worde world is taken in another meanyng, to wete, for the re­probate. And therein he sheweth open­ly that he will aske nothyng whiche a­greeth not with the good pleasure of his father. He recōmendeth vnto him those onely which hys father loueth of hys owne good will. For he sayeth he prayeth not for those that are cutte of from the kingdome of God, bycause he hath not care but onely for hys owne shepe which he had receaued at y hand of hys father. A man will saye that here is an absurditie, for the beste rule we haue to make our prayers by, is to folow Iesu Christ and to haue him for our Master and leader. Then we are appoynted to praye for all generally, moreouer the Sonne of God himselfe prayed afterward indifferently for all saying, forgeue them, for they knowe not what they do. Very true it is that we must praye for all men: Yet for all [Page 149] that such prayers ar restrayned to the faythfull and chosen onely. We ought to desyre that thys man and that man, and euery man myght be saued and so to comprehend all mankynde bycause we cannot yet dyscerne the faythfull from the reprobate. In the meane sea­son nowithstanding when we desyre yt ye kyngdome of God should cōme, we also pray that he confounde and beate downe hys foes. Behold the only dyffe­rence that there is, we pray for y health of all those whom we knowe to be for­med after the Image of God, whyche haue one nature cōmon with vs. And we leaue to the Iudgement of God the destruction of those which he knoweth to be reprobates. But as touching our Lorde Iesu Christ, there is another manner of reasō to be alledged. Fayth and loue make hym to pray so: but this is not all, he mounteth aboue all men, he entreth into the inner chamber of the heauens where he goeth euen vnto the secretes of hys father, and hauyng presentlye before hys eyes hys fathers hidden iudgementes, he knoweth wel [Page 150] for whom he should pray, desyryng no­thyng that is agaynst the will of hym, nor makyng any prayer or request for those that are caste backe from him, he is the propitiation for the synnes of all men, yea truly, of the chosen and faythfull, he is not so for the repro­bate, bycause hys Father hath caste them of.

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‘It is easier for a cable to passe throu­ghe a nedells eye then for a ryche mā to enter into the kyngdome of God.’Mark. 10.‘My yoke is fauourable & my bur­den lyght,’Mathe. 9.

VERELY the yoke of our Lorde Iesu is fauourable: yet it wil not seme so to vs accordyng to y flesh­ly felyng, bycause of the rebellion of oure fleshe wee shall euer shunne thys yoke as combersome & harde to beare. But then it shal becōme easye vnto vs, and we shall bowe oure neckes quiet­ly vnder it, when beyng clothed with myldnesse we shall be made lyke vnto [Page 151] the sonne of God. And therefore it is that he sayeth learne of me for I am gentle and lowly of heart. He wyl haue vs beare hys yoke, but to the end the vneasynesse should not astonne vs, he sayth learne of me, sygnifying ther­by that thys yoke wyll not bee trou­blesome when by hys example wee shall bee brought to myldenesse and lowlynesse. To thys also belongeth that whiche he addeth, you shall fynde rest, for as long as the fleshe shall kycke agaynste it wee shall doe nothyng but braye and storme, and they that refu­syng to take the yoke of the Sonne of God, goe aboute to appease God by another meane, doe but laboure in vayne.

But if so bee that among other, the couetous wyll not bowe theyr necke vnder the yoke of the Lorde Iesus, what letteth that this sentence shoulde not bee true? to wete, that it is an ea­sier matter for a cable to passe through the eye of an nedle, than for a riche mā to enter into y kyngdome of God, not [Page 152] that riches of their nature hynder vs to folowe God: but in as muche as our nature is peruerse & naughtye, hardly can it cōme to passe but yt they whiche are rych and haue great aboundaunce of goods should straye ercedyngly out of the way. Couetousnesse is condem­ned by thys sentence as a deadly pesti­lence: notwythstandyng there with all is shewed what hynderaunce ryches bryng. And this must not seme vnto vs newe or straunge that he sayth that the rych shal hardly fynde an open place to enter into the kingdome of heauen: for it is a vyce almoste common to all to trust in their richesse. So then yt ryche warned of the daunger wherunto they may fall must take hede. The poore cō ­tentyng themself with their lowe state ought not to couet that whiche maye bryng them more losse or trouble than profyte or ease. By thys meane, they which haue great wealth, are as it wer helde tyed by Sathan that they should not aspyre to heauē: but couetousnesse and all other vyces of men, let not the easynesse of the yoke of Christ.

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‘The abolishyng of the former cō ­maundement commeth by meanes of the vveaknesse and vnprofitablenesse of it.’Hebr. 7.‘Do vve abolyshe the lavv by fayth? no, rather vve establyshe the lavve.’

WHEN the Apostle to yt Hebreues sayeth that the fyrst ordinaunce ceased sygnifying that the lawe and the office of Priesthode were at an end bycause this lawe was weake and vnprofitable, he sheweth euidently y he speaketh in respecte of ceremonyes forasmuch as he addeth thereunto the offyce of sacrifycing. The ceremonyes had no certayntie in themselfe, and of themselfe they helpe not a whyt to sal­uation: for as touchyng that the pro­mise of grace was tyed vnto them, and that which Moyses testifieth in sondry places that God should be apeased by sacrifyces, and yt by them synnes shuld be blotted out, it belonged not proper­ly to the oblations and sacrifyces: but [Page 154] it proceded from another thyng. For euen as all ceremonyes were referred to Christ: so thei borrowed of him their power and workyng, or to saye better, they coulde nothyng of themselfe and dyd nothyng: but all their vertue de­pended onely vpon the Lorde Iesus. Seyng then the Iewes aledge them a­gaynst Christ, the Apostle applying hys purpose to their falyshe opynion, he also denydeth them from Christ. But what? are they seperated from Christ there remayneth nothing vnto them but thys weakenesse, and vnpro­fytablenesse of which he speaketh. To be short, a man shal fynde no commo­ditie in olde ceremonies til he be cōme to Christ. Let vs saye then, that yt lawe is called vnprofitable when it is with­out Christ, of thys sorte is the takyng awaye of the fyrst commaundemente. The fyrst lawes and ordinaunces are abolished by the latter. The lawe had bene publyshed long beefore Dauyd. Then he rayned whē he brought forth thys Prophecye of the creatyng of a new priest. It is thē a new law which [Page 155] abolysheth the fyrst. Nowe seyng the fyrst is abolished by yt latter that came after, a man myght say yt fayth whiche came after, dyd abolyshe the lawe that wente beefore Yet we see what Saint Paule sayth in thys place, that not on­ly the lawe is not made vayne and vn­profitable by fayth: but rather it is cō ­fyrmed and establyshed, that as often as the lawe is set agaynst fayth, the fleshly sense taketh holde byandby of an opinion of repugnaunce, as though one were contrary to the other. Nowe thys peruerse imagination hath place chieflye among those, that hauyng no ryght vnderstandyng of the lawe, like nothyng ells in it but the ryghteous­nesse of woorkes, and leaue the promy­ses. And thys was sayd in reproche to Christ himself, yt he endeuored to abo­lish ye law by his preaching. This made him to protest y he came not to abolishe ye lawe: but to fulfyl it. And this suspitiō belonged as wel to maners as to y ce­remonies. For seing ye Gospel maketh an end of y ceremonyes of Moyses, it was thought yt it went about to destroy [Page 156] or ouerthrow the ministery of Moyses. Besyde, forasmuche as it bryngeth to naught all righteousnesse of workes, it is thought lykewyse that it is contra­cye to so many wytnesses of the lawe where God affyrmeth that in the lawe he hath shewed to the Israelites ye way of ryghteousnesse and saluatiō. Wher­fore thys that Saint Paul sayth here, is not referred only to the morall law [...] but to al the lawe generally. For first, the lawe of manners is truly confyr­med and established by the fayth which is in Christ, in asmuche as it was ge­uen to the end y it should admonishe a man of his iniquitye & so should bryng hym to Christ without whom it is vn­perfect, & cannot but farther prouoke y desyre of ill doyng, & so to plucke vpon man a greater condemnatiō. But whē a man is cōme to Christ, he fyndeth in hym y perfect righteousnesse of y lawe whiche righteousnesse is becōme ours also by imputatiō. Secōdarilie ther we finde sanctificatiō by which our hartes ar fashioned to y obseruing of the law, True it is that thys obseruation is yet [Page 157] imperfecte, howbeit it leauelleth at the butte. There is a lyke reason touchyng ceremonyes which cease and vanyshe by the cōmyng of Christ: yet notwith­standyng they are truly strengthened by hym. If a man esteme them by thē ­self, they are but fygures and vnprofi­table shadowes. Thē only a man shal fynde that there is some strength in them when they loke to a better end.

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‘Goe not to the Gentiles.’Mathe. 10.‘Goe through all the vvorlde.’Mathe. 16.

THE fyrst charge that Christ gaue hys Dysciples stretched no fur­ther thā to the countrey of Iewry, his wil was y the Iewes beyng styred vp to hope for saluation at hand, shuld becōme attentyue hearers of Christ. Afterwarde he commaunded them to Preache euen to al the endes and cor­ners of the earth. But for that tyme he would that their voyce shoulde be as it were shut within the land of Iewrye. And the reason thereof is bycause hys father sent hym to bee the minister of [Page 158] circumcision to performe the promises that had bene made of olde tyme to the fathers: as it is said in the. 15. to the Ro­maynes. Well, is it so that God entred into a speciall league with the lyne of Abraham? then is it not without cause that Christ at the fyrst kept in grace a­mong the chosen people tyl the proper & fytte tyme to publyshe it were cōme. But synce hys resurrection he hath poured forth vpon all nations the bles­syng that for the second tyme had bene promysed. For, then the Veyle of the temple was broken and the wall of de­bate broken down At the fyrst the dig­nitie of the byrthright taryed among ye Iewes, yet afterwarde the heritage of lyfe was made cōmon to the Gentiles. So Christ was appointed to be a light vnto the Gentiles, and saluation vnto the endes of the earth Therefore after that peace had bene Preached to the householde folke, y message of the same peace came also vnto straungers.

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‘Be ye vvyse as serpentes’Mathe. 10.[Page 159]If any among you thynke to bee vvyse, let hym be made a foole in this vvorlde.’1. Cor. [...].

BYcause the Apostles shoulde bee sente as shepe among wolues and wylde beastes, they had nede to be wyse. For if they had not had wytte to take good hede to themself they myght haue bene deuoured of wolues, and ye rage of wylde and cruell beastes had letted them from doyng their duetye. They were sente with thys condition that they should haue store of enemies. Their wysedome then ought so to bee tempered that they should not be more fearefull than nede was they should, and to slacke in executing there office. For wee see it cōme ordinarilye to passe that they whiche wyl be accomp­ted very wyse and ware, are for the moste parte feareful and slowe in their woorke. True it is that bycause of the daungers that are layed on e­uerye syde, it behoueth greatlye the Dysciples of the Sonne of GOD to bee hedefull in lookyng to themselfe. [Page 160] But because there is greate domage y they shoulde be kept backe by s [...]outh and ydlenesse, he wills that they should go roundly and francklie where their vocation allotteth them. Fyrst y fayth­ful are commaunded so to haue care of lyfe that they cast not themselfe folysh­ly into daungers and that they take not on them to presumptuously ouer­hard aduentures. Then afterward symplenesse is requyred at thery hand, to ye end they should not be so feare ful and so letted from doing of their duety, but that they should be symple withal, to the end nothyng shoulde bee done rashlye. Such is the wysedome y God requireth, fyrst in the ministers of his worde, then afterward generally in al hys faythfull But when Saint Paule sayth that to be truly wyse we must be made fooles in thys world, he speaketh agaynst the folyshe presumption of mē that will be wyse in their own conceit. He exhorteth vs not to disceaue oure selues by a false opinion, attributyng vnto our self any wisedome. For in ve­ry dede al they which leane vpon their [Page 161] owne wyt are greatly abused, and it is spoken chiefly against those which are not content with the simplenesse of the Gospel, not that it is requisite we shuld altogether refuse the wysdom which is geuen vs of nature, or that whych we haue gotten by long vse and knowlege of things: but onely that we should re­duce it to the true obedience of God, to the ende we should not be wyse but by his word. For to be made a fole in this worlde, is to desyre to geue place to the wyl of God, and to receaue wyth feare and reuerence all that he teacheth vs, rather than to folow that which to our self semeth good and alowable.

To the ende then those two places may be wel agreed, we muste make a distinction betweene the true wysdome and the false. The false wysedome and that whych disceaueth vs, is when we content vs wyth our self as touchyng the takyng of counsell in our businesse eyther to gouerne our selfe, or to take ordre for that we haue to do, when wee depend not of any other, whē we haue not neede of the guydyng of another, [Page 162] but when we think we are able inough to guyde our selfe. And contrariwyse the true wysedome is when we are fo­les to the world renouncing our owne reason and wisdome, and as it wer ha­uing our eyes shutte, we suffer God to gouerne vs. And when distrusting our self we reste vpon hym setting all oure wisdome in him, yelding our self easy to be taught and altogether obedient. Thus our wisdom must turn to smok, to the end the will of God may raygne ouer vs, that we be voyde of our owne wysedome that wee may be filled with the wisdom of God.

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‘Greete no man by the vvay.’Luc. [...]0.‘Greete one another vvyth a holy kysse.’1. Cor. 16.

WHEN Christ gaue thys cōmaū ­dement to the. 70. Disciples, hys wyll was that they shuld vse such diligence that when they should meete any man on the way, they shoulde not tarry, no, not to bid god spede them, for feare of being letted, so. 1. of the Kings [Page 163] the. 4. the Prophet Elisee sending hys Boye to the Sunanite woman forbad hym to salute anye man by the waye. Therto also belongeth that which saīt Luke addeth that Christ commaunded his Disciples to take and eate y which should be offred them, he doth not commaund them onely to be content with litle meate: but also while they were in iorney to liue vpō other mens charges to ye end they should not tary to bie and to make prouision of any thing for thē self: he wil not thē haue them to be vn­curteous, disdaining to salute those y they meete, but that they should walke so as they should ouerpasie al stoppes. But as for that which saint Paul saith it was a very cōmon custom amōg the Iews to salute one another by kissing, as a mā mai see in ye scriptures. The grekes also vsed it oftētimes, but it is veri like he speaketh of the accustomed kis­sing by which they saluted ech other in the holy assēblies. For a mā mai easly iudge y euē in y Apostels time in y ad­ministring of y supper thei vsed y kisse. Sins y tyme certain natiōs disdaning [Page 164] thys custome of kyssyng, in steade of it haue had a Pax which was offered to be kyssed. But howsoeuer the case stande, seing that kyssyng was a signe or wit­nesse of mutuall loue, Sainte Paules mynde is to exhorte the Corrinthians to beare good wyl one to another, and to vse such sygnes to make theyre loue knowen, alwayes prouyded that there be no vncleanenesse or faynyng. Thus a man may see easylye that there is no contrariety in these two sentences.

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‘Take heede and bevvare of the Le­uaine of the Pharysies.’Math. 16.‘The Scribes and Pharisies are set in Moyses chayre, all thyngs thē vvhich they shall cōmaūd you to kepe, kepe them and doe them.’Math. 23.

THAT whych Saint Luke addeth to the first sentence in the. 12. chapter, is to expound it, when he saith Beware of the Leuayne of the Pharysies, why­che is hypocrysy. But yet thys shoulde not be enough if that should not be ad­ded [Page 165] which is spoken in Saint Mathew to wete that Christ spake of theyr doc­trine. Beside then that he warneth thē to flie the lyfe and maners of the Pha­risies, he wylleth thē also to take heede of ye spring of all fayned and false shew of wysdome or holinesse, and the mat­ter of al vayne pompe and folish boast, whyche though before men it seeme in shew to be a great matter: yet it is no­thyng before God. Euen as the eyes of the Lord do behold the truth. Ieremy. 6. so doth he instructe the faythfull and tea­cheth them a true and perfit holynesse to the ende they may cleaue to Iustice with a pure and sounde heart.

Contrarywyse the ordinaunces and traditions of men leauing asyde y spy­rytuall seruice haue goodly outwarde shewes as though God wold be ētrap­ped or disceaued by such inticementes and allurings. Although there be great shewes in outer ceremonies: yet if they be wayed by themselfe, they are but small trifles before God. So see we that the leauains of men are puffed vp, but before God thei haue no strength at al. [Page 166] In the other sentence our Lord Iesus sheweth wt what reuerence we ought to receiue the doctrine of God. Out of what mouth soeuer it proceedeth it be­houeth vs to hearken to it and obey it. Thoughe the Scribes and Pharisies were ill liuers and that a man shoulde in no wise follow their lyfe: yet muste he frame his manners and lyfe accor­ding to the rule of the lawe, whiche is hard at their mouthe. It was necessary for him to reproue many faults in thē to the end al the people should not bee infected with them. They were minis­ters of the doctrine, but to the end the doctrin shuldnot be corrupted through theire faultes, the Lord Iesus willeth the faithful to bee diligente hearers of their words and not followers of their workes.

But now we must see whether with out making any cōscience a mā ought to obey al that which the Doctors of ye church cōmaūd and ordayne. For it is certaine that ye scribes of y time which S. Luke calleth Doctors of ye lawe did wickedly & falsly corrupt ye law by false [Page 167] interpretatiōs and gloses, and did lode the poore soules with vniust lawes and with many superstitions depraued the pure seruice of God. And loe here the Sonn of God will haue their doctrine kepte as though a man shuld not resist their tyranny at al. But it is very easy to resolue this doubt: for the meaninge of Christe was to make difference be­twene the holy lawe of God and theire prophane works. To syt in the chair of Moses is nothing els but to teach (by y law of God) how a man shuld liue. So that a man may say he is set in Moises chair which cōmaūdeth not of himselfe or of his own minde, but by ye autority of God. So if a mā mark which is y le­uain of y Pharisies, & what y fastnes & purenes of y chair of Moses should be, which doth not admit but ye holy ordi­naūces of God, a man shall finde that ther is no cōtrariety in these. ij. places.

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‘There shall bee one shepheard and one flocke.’Ioan. 10.‘He shal deuide the sheepe from the goates.’Math. 25.

[Page 168] THE difficulty shal be easyly resol­ued whē we shall vnderstand that in the firste sentence mention is made onely of all faythful which shuld be gathered together in one flock. And in the second it is shewed that at y laste the sheepe shall bee separated from the Goates where nowe they are myngled one wyth another. As touching y first, euen as wee beleeue and confesse that there is one holy vniuersal Chyrch: so it necessarily behoueth that ther should be a body of one onely heade. There is one God sayth saint Paul, ther is one fayth, ther is one baptisme, so we must be one as also we be called to one selfe hope: so it is sayd Ephes. 4. Now albeit it seme to be deuyded into many flockes: yet the faythful which are scatred here and there through al the world, ar shut within one park and closed within one hedge and closure, for one self worde is preached to al, they vse al lyke sacramē tes, they haue al one selfe rule of pray­eng to God, they haue al in one maner that whych is requisite for the professi­on of theyr fayth. Nowe the meane by [Page 169] whych al the flocke of God is gathered together, is when there is but one shepheard for all, and when hys voyce one­ly is heard, when the Churche is made subiect to Christ onely and obeyeth his cōmaundement and heareth his voyce and his doctrin then is it in good state. But when the Lord Iesus is dumme, when his maiesty is troden vnder fote when hys holy ordinances are set forth to be mocked at and contemned, what can a man saye of that goodly vnitye, but that it is a diuilish Sinagoge or cō ­spiracy, worse and more execrable with out all comparison than anye waste or spoyle. There is no Church but where Christ raygneth, there is no knowlege of God but wher the honor of the shep­hearde is geuen vnto Christ.

But the other sentence sheweth that al the disorders that are thys day in the world shalbe brought agayn into good ordre. There are Hypocrites mired wt the true chyldren of God, they haue sō shew to be of the flock and are among the sheepe but when the sonne of God shall come to restore them, the goates [Page 170] shall be put apart and cast [...], and the shepe shal be gathered together in­to the eternal Kingdome of God.

The state of this Kingdome shall be wel gouerned when the iust shall haue obtayned the crowne of glorie, and when the wycked shalbe recompenced as they haue deserued. Now this di­uision which shall be of goates from a­mong the lambes signifieth that nowe ther ar wicked mired among the good, yea, in suche [...] that they liue as in one self folde. So the faithful must not thinke their state ouer troublesom bycause as nowe they bee constrained to liue with the goates, yea, and that at their hand they endure terrible assau­tes and displeasures.

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‘God rested the seuenth day from al the vvorkes that he had made.’Gensi [...]. 2▪‘My Father vvorketh euen tyll thys houre.’Ioan. 6.

A MAN muste vnderstande what the rest of God is, and then he shal [Page 171] easly resolue this doubt when it is sayd that he rested the seuenth day that is not to say that he left his workes so as he hath no more care of them, as if a master Mason or Carpenter hauing finished the building of his house shuld leaue it to him that could ocupy it, not caring any more for it, or as a shippe-wright afterthat he hath finished a vessel should geue it ouer to the waues of the sea not caring what shoulde betide of it. So the reste or Sabat of God is not a sluggishnesse or idlenesse, but a sound perfection which bringeth with it a quiet state of rest. God then rested from al his workes, that is to saye hee ceassed from creating of new kindes of any thing. There was so sounde a perfection that nothing coulde bee ad­ded. Wherfore it is said that God hath set to the last hand. And that which is recited by Moises is asmuche as if hee had said, that which God was determi­ned to do was thē fulfilled. To be short this is spoken onely to shewe the per­fectnesse of the building of the worlde, so that heere of a manne coulde notte [Page 172] gather that God so rested frō his wor­kes that he hath left them of seing they haue no vertue or force nor substance but in hym. In the meane tyme it is certayne that God worketh and is oc­cupied continualy in that he vpholdeth the world by hys power, that he gouer­neth it by hys prouidence, that he maintaines al creaturs in their being, and also multiplies them. Thereby a man may see how true thys sentence of the Sonne is, My Father worketh from the be­ginnyng euen tyll now: for if God neuer so litle wythdrawe hys hand, all thinges shal perysh in a momente, and shall be strayghtways brought to naught, as it is sayd in the. 104. Psalme. Besydes a man could not well know that God is the creatour and fashioner of heauen and earth except this be attributed vn­to hym that he geueth strēgth and quickening to al things, that he sustaineth the world by hys hygh vertue, that he gouerneth it by his hyghe councel and mayntayneth it by his goodnesse and stayeth al things acording to his good pleasure, as well beneath here in earth [Page 173] as there aboue in heauē. Lo thē how it behoueth vs to conclude, the makyng of the world was perfect in syx dayes, but the gouerning it dureth for euer, & God is continualy busied to maintayn and cōserue the ordre of the same. This is that which Saint Paul sayth. Act. 17 that we lyue and haue our mouyng and beeing in God. And he not onely mayntayneth by a generall prouidence the nature whych he hath created: but also he go­uerneth and ordreth euery parte of it. And chiefly hys faythfull be gouerned and kept by him whome he hath recei­ued vnder his defence and safegard.

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‘It is appoynted for men that they should once dye.’Hebr. 9.‘VVhosoeuer beleueth in me shall neuer dye.’Ioan. 2.

ALthoughe we had no wytnesse of the Scripture, yet our own frayl­nesse doothe warne vs enoughe of the truth of thys sentence, that it is or­dained that al men shal once dye. The riches, the honor, the dignity & strēgth [Page 175] of men, nor whatsoeuer there is beside can redeme a man from this conditiō. And this argument is infallible: wher sinne is there is death, al men are sin­ners, it foloweth then that al men shal die, & we nede no other reason to proue that all that went beefore vs were sin­ners but that by Death they were ta­ken out of this world, and that we also and they which shall followe vs be sin­ners, but that it is decreed by the sen­tence of God that we and they shal die. Death is the hyer or rewarde of synne. But now that which is said hetherto exten­deth vnto the Deathe of the bodie, for the body is subiect to Death bicause of sinne. Furthermore we must vnder­stand how Christ protesteth so often times that he is life and how he saith els where that Who so beleueth in hym are now already raysed from Death to Lyfe, that they shall neuer dye. He speaketh of the soules of his faithfull whiche are begotten a­newe with an vncorruptible sede, and whiche haue the spirite of Christ dwel­ling in them by whiche they receue continuall force. The body is subiect to dy [Page 174] bycause of sinne: but this spirit is life bicause of righteousnesse. Rom. 5. Then Iesu Christ is the life bicause he neuer suffreth the life to decay which he hath once geuen, but conserueth it to y end. Seing the fleshe is so fraile, what wold befal of men, if after they haue once obtayned life, they were lefte to themsel­ues? Therfore we muste conclude that there is a continuall and permanente state of lyfe grounded in the strengthe of Iesus Christ, to the end he may per­fourm that which he hath once begon. This is verye true that the outewarde man is marred and corrupted daily in the faithful: but they are so farre from losing by that meane any of their true lyfe that rather it is soe encreased by that mean: for the inward man is ther by renued as it is said. 2. Cor. 3. and (whi­ch is more) Death it self is vnto them a freedome from the bondage of Death.

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‘He that kepeth Israel vvil not slomber nor sleepe.’Psal. 121.‘Ryse vp Lord vvhy slepest thou?’Psal 44.

[Page 176]THys Sentence is very worthy to be noted, that God is the keeper & defender of all his faythful, yea, so a keper that he will make them whole and safe in al sortes. Ther is great tal­king of the power of God, but in the meane tyme how many are there that in al their talk haue this reply in their mouth. God can if he wyll, but we are vncertayne and in doubte of his intēt. So we must not onelie attribute pow­er vnto God: but also a fatherly care and continual watchfulnesse. And we oughte to haue him before our eies as our cōtinual defender which watcheth at al houres for our saluatiō to the end we might rest vs fafely vpon hys holy prouidence. On one syde the Epicures forge y God hath no care at all for the world and so they quench al feare and reuerence of God. But on the other syde there is daunger leaste when a man hathe ymagyned that God go­uerneth the world it should be a con­founded ymagynation by whyche a man were not resolued that God hath care for al his faythfull partycularlye: [Page 177] for so oure spirites shoulde hang in doubt, & shoulde flote in continual vn­quietnesse. And surely a man can neuer cal vpō God earnestly nor with a good and liuely affection, till the certayntye of thys kepyng be well prynted in the heart. But now such complayntes are many times in the scriptures, & chiefly in the Psalmes. Lorde ryse or awake whye slepest thou? The iudgement of the fleshe maketh vs so to speake and thinke that God is layed down, and that he slepeth when he doth not manifestly exercyse hys Iudgements when we are afflic­ted and that we fele not the remedyes as sone as we haue called vpon God: It semeth to vs that he slepeth, but it is not so. Thys good Lord suffereth vs to lament so and to make hym such com­playntes in oure prayers: yet it beho­ueth vs to be certaynly persuaded that he continually and wythoute ceasyng watcheth for our profyte and saluatiō: but bycause our spirites be stowe, we conceaue not at the fyrst what care h [...] hath of vs. The faythful then requyr [...] he should shew in effecte y he is neither [Page 178] forgetfull nor a slepe. Al must be resol­ued that God hath hys eyes set on thē though he dyssemble: yet notwithstan­dyng bycause thys persuatiō is of faith & not of the fleshe, they cast familiarlye into the bosome of God thys contrary iudgement which they haue conceaued of the present syght of y dede, & by thys meanes they caste out of their heartes these fylthy affections to the end fayth shuld afterward com forth pure & clere.

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‘The iuste shall liue by fayth.’Abac. 2‘Thys do and thou shalt liue.’Luke. 10.

THE proud confydence of the flesh is contrary to fayth which ye Pro­phet sayth the iuste shal liue. Whē he hath made mention of the destructi­on of the proud, he addeth also that the lyfe of the meke and iuste consisteth in fayth. But there is nothyng that ma­keth a mā to line before God but righ­teousnesse. It foloweth thē y our righ­teousnesse also consisteth in fayth, and thys lyfe which we haue of fayth is not to dure onely for a whyle: but is fyrme [Page 179] for euer. For it is sayth by which wee mount a lofte, it is fayth by which wee passe ouer al daungers of thys present life, & ouercōm al myseries & troubles, fayth is to vs an assured port in ye mid­dest of y stormes and tempestes of this world. To be short, faith maketh vs to obtayne victorie against al y world as S. Iohn sayth in hys fyrst canonicall. Wherfore let vs thus conclude yt they which ar counted iuste with God, liue by faith only. Then let vs hold this, se­ing no man can be iustifyed otherwise thā by fayth, also no mā can liue but by fayth, for life can not be but wher righ­teousnesse is. The lawe veryly contay­neth perfect Iustice, so yt if any coulde accomplyshe a lawe he should obtayne lyfe bicause he should fynde righteous­nesse in ye lawe sufficient to make hym liue: as also the promyse is made in the lawe that whosoeuer shal do y thinges contayned in it shal lyue. And this is y which is here sayd Do this and thou shalt lyue. But in the meane season we must see how thys promyse agreeth with the free iustification whiche is by fayth. [Page 180] For the reason why God iustifyeth vs freely, is not for that the lawe sheweth not perfect righteousnesse: but bycause we fayle in kepyng it. Wherfore al the scripture pronounceth that there is no man that can obtayne lyfe by it. The fault is not in the lawe but in y weak­nesse of man, and the faulte is in oure fleshe. So a mā may say that these two sentences agree well together: for the lawe sheweth howe men may obtayne ryghteousnesse by their woorkes, and that no man is iustifyed by his works, for the lacke is not in the doctryne of the lawe, but in men. Besyde, it was mete that Iesus Christ shoulde cleere hymself of the false accusyng of ye Iew­es, and of the slaunder which he knew well the rude and ignorante charged hym with, as though he had abolyshed the lawe in that it is the continual rule of ryghteousnesse.

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‘The Lavve administreth death.’2. Cor. 5.‘Hys commaundement is euerlas­tyng lyfe.’Ioan. 12.

[Page 181]SAINT Paule calleth the lawe not only ye administer of death but also of damnation, and that iustly. For where men are warned of their duety and they heare that all they that satis­fye not the iustice of God are cursed, they are constrayned to fynde themself gyltye of synne and death They bring therfore from the lawe nothing els but suche a condemnation: forasmuche as God claymeth y to which a man stan­deth bound to hym. And in the meane season he geueth not the power or abi­litye to fulfyl it. The lawe only geues the rule of wel liuyng, but the whilest it reformeth not the heartes to the obe­dience of iustice, and it declareth eter­nal death to transgressours, and there­fore it can not but condemne, or to say better, the offyce of the lawe is to shew the sycknesse, but it is in such sort as it geueth no hope of healyng. For seyng it leaueth a man to hymself, it muste nedes be that it awardeth him to dye. Loe, howe the lawe is the minister of death.

But to accorde thys sentence with [Page 182] the fyrste, it behoueth to loke vpon the opposition that is beetwene the lawe & the Gospel. For Iesu Christ in the se­conde place speaketh of hys Gospell when he maketh protestation that he spake not of hymselfe: but hys father that sente hym he hymselfe gaue com­maundement to hys sonne of y whiche he shoulde saye and speake. And he ad­deth that he knoweth well that thys commaundement is eternall lyfe. To vnderstande thys opposition it beho­ueth vs to returne to that which Saint Paule sayeth in the self place. 2. Cor. 3. the lawe was written in tables of stone. Then it was but a doctryne of y letter. Thys lacke in the lawe was to be amended by the Gospel: for so long as it was en­graued in tables of stone it must nee­des be frayle. The Gospel then is ho­ly & vnbreakeable attonement, foras­muche as it was ratifyed by the holy ghost. In steade then that the lawe is the minister of death and damnation, the Gospel by which men are regene­rated and reconciled to God by ye free forgeuenesse of synnes, is the minister [Page 183] of ryghteousnesse, and consequentlye of lyfe. It was sayd that the office of the law is to set forth the sicknesse, but not to shewe what remedy a mā might haue to heale it. But the offyce of the Gospel is to geue to the hopelesse a re­dy remedy. It was shewed that ye lawe leauyng a man to hymself geues & pro­nounceth sentence of death: but y Gos­pell brynging vs to Iesu Christ opens the gare of lyfe. So a man may say at a woorde that thys is a continual acci­dent to the lawe to kil, bycause all they that abyde vnder it ar vnder the curse. But in the Gospel the iustice of God is reueled from fayth to fayth, and there­fore it is the power of God to saluation to euery one that beleueth.

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‘The lavve is the minister of death.’2. Cor. 3.‘The lavve of the Lorde refresheth the soule, the testimony of the Lorde geueth vvysedome to the ignorante, his commaundement lyghteneth the eyes.’Psal. 1 [...].

[Page 184] HERE before a mā myght see how the lawe is the minister of death, not that it is such in it self, for per­fect ryghteousnesse is contayned in it, and by consequent life is inclosed in it. But suche it is in vs whiche be weake and not able to fulfyll it, and as brea­kers of it not able to drawe any thyng out of it but death, whiche it pronoun­ceth to all those that shall not do ye thin­ges whiche are therin contayned. If nowe we wil agree these two senten­ces, we must adde to them that whiche Saint Paule hymselfe addeth in thys thyrd Chapter of ye second to y Corrin­thians to wete, that oure Lorde is the spirite. He had sayd before of the lawe that the letter killeth, but y spirite ioy­ned with the letter quickeneth. The doctryne of the law is litteral and not onely dead but also the geuer of death. Contrarywyse he calleth Christ y spi­rite of it, sygnifying therby that then it shalbe quicke and quicknyng, when it shal be breathed in by Christ. Let the soule bee ioyned with the body, and of those two shal be made a man quycke, [Page 185] garnyshed with sense and vnderstan­dyng, and mete for all workes of lyfe. Take awaye and part the soule frō the body, and it shal be but a carrayn dead without any felyng at al.

Now a man may accord these pray­ses whiche Dauyd geues to the lawe with these sentences of Saint Paule. For when Christ is ioyned to the law as the soule with the bodye, the prayses which Dauyd geueth it, belong to it, it lighteneth the eies, it geueth wisedome to little ones, it refresheth the soule. Take away and seperate Christ from the lawe, and it shal remayne dead and the minister of death and damnation. Then Christ is the lyfe of the lawe.

These thinges verely seme to be cō ­trary altogether one agaynst another, that the lawe recreateth the soules, and yet it is a dead letter and geueth death, that it lyghteneth the eyes, and yet it suppresseth the lyghte which is wythin hauyng a Veyle set agaynst it that it reioyseth the heartes and the spirites, and yet brynging a spirite of bondage it astonneth and agasteth. But Dauyd [Page 186] speaketh not symply of the bare com­maundements, but he comprehendeth al the league by which God had adop­ted the childrē of Abraham for his peo­ple. And therefore he ioyneth the fres promyses of saluation with the rule of well liuyng, yea Christ hymselfe vpon whom the adoption was grounded. Saint Paule whoe had to doe with the peruerse interpretours of ye law which dyd separate it from the grace and spi­rite of Christ, doth but touch the sym­ple ministery of Moyses. Now it is ve­ry certayne that when the lawe is not quickened by the spirite of Christ, it is not only vnprofitable: but also it bryn­geth death to ye scholars of it. For with­out Christ there is in the lawe nothing but an vnintreatable rigoure whiche bringeth all mankynde vnder y wrath and curse of God. Moreouer the rebel­lion of the fleshe taryeth remaynyng in vs, whiche inflameth in vs an obsti­nate hatred agaynst God and his law, and thence procedeth thys weary bon­dage and horrour.

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[Page 187]Novv vvhy tempt you God in lay­ing a yoke on the neckes of hys Dys­ciples vvhich neyther our fathers nor vve haue bene able to beare.’Acte. 15.‘And his commaundements are not heauye.’1. Ioan 5.

OVR own experience and the holy scriptures sufficiently beare wit­nesse y the yoke of the law is more thā we can beare. Moreouer it is clere yt bicause the renouncing of our self is as it were a trial of the true obseruati­on of y law. We dare not say y it is ea­sye for a man to renounce hymself: but rather seyng the lawe is spiritual (as Saint Paule saith) & of our part we ar nothyng but fleshe, ther must nedes be a great difference beetwene ye lawe of God and vs. And where Saint Peter sayeth it is a yoke whiche not oure fa­thers were able to beare, he speaketh not of y onely which men haue accom­plished but also of y which they myght haue done. Neyther speaketh he of any cōmon persons but of y holy fathers: [Page 188] seth he sayth that such coulde not beare the yoke of the lawe, it appeareth that it is impossible for mē to beare it. Here he medleth not only with the woorkes and will of men, but also with theyr power & abilitye. With this also Saint Paule agreeth affyrmyng that it was impossible for the lawe to geue vs life, bicause it was weake through y fleshe. If any man can performe the lawe, certaynly he shall fynde in it the lyfe whiche was promysed in it. But when Saint Paule sayth that lyfe cannot be attayned by the lawe a man may well conclude that in it is requyred a righ­teousnesse so hygh and perfect as man can not accomplyshe. If a man looke vpon nothyng ells but the strength of mans nature not only he shall not bee strong ynough to beare the yoke of the law: but also he shal be vnable to moue hys little fynger to fulfyll the least iote of it. These sentences are very certayn and true, that al the thoughts of mans vnderstandyng are peruerse euen frō chyldehode, y al the senses of the fleshe are enemies to God, that there is none [Page 189] that seketh God, and many other lyke which ar often found in the scriptures A man then may conclude that not on­ly mans abilitye is weake and vnper­fect touchyng the fulfylling of ye lawe: but also y he hath no strength or power at al to accomplishe it. What is then to be vnderstode of Saint Iohns wordes who sayth that the commaundements of God are not heauy? This is the an­swere, that the hardnesse procedeth not at al from the lawe: but from the fault of our fleshe. Thys is that whiche was alledged by Saint Paule, whoe after he had sayd it was not possible for the lawe to iustifye vs, byandby after lay­eth the fault on our fleshe. Saint Paul in these sentences which haue ben here aboue alledged compareth the lawe with the faultie nature of man. Dauid in other places which seme to bee very contrary to the fyrst sheweth how they are mynded and affectioned which are regenerate by the holy ghost, thei take great pleasure in it. And in dede Saint Iohn restraynes thys sentence to the children of God, saying that thys com­meth [Page 190] of the power of the holy ghost, that it is no grefe to the faythfull to o­bey God.

Yet hereunto a man may reply that althoughe the faythfull are gouerned and regenerate by the spirite of God, yet haue they a harde fyght to sustayne agaynst their own fleshe. And let them enforce themselues the most they can, yet scarcely shal they do halfe their du­tye. And besyde there is thys withal, that they are oftentime shaken, and ar ready almoste to fall downe vnder the burden. We see whereabout Saint Paule that greate and excellent Apo­stle went. He complayneth that he was kepte captyne, & mournes accompting hymself to be in miserable case, in that he can not serue God with a franke will. But consyder whye, the lawe is called softe and easy, it is forasmuch as beyng defended with heauenly power we ouercōme the concupiscence of our fleshe. For howsoeuer the fleshe stry­ueth, the faythfull see that there is no­thyng that maye more delyght them, than the seruyng obeying, and folow­ing [Page 191] of God. But yet that thys may be better vnderstode, it behoueth vs to Ioyne with these commaundementes ye fatherly goodnesse of God, by whiche the rigour of the lawe is asswaged. So when we knowe that God beareth fa­uourably with vs although we can not fulfyll the lawe with oure workes, yet thys goodnesse maketh vs readyer to obeye hym. And thys is that whiche is sayd in the. 130. Psalme. Forgeuenesse is with thee O Lorde that thou shouldest bee fea­red and redoubted. So a man maye per­ceaue hereby y the lawe is softe & easy to kepe. And if it chaunce y faythful to fal in some sorte, yet their heart fayles thē not bycause y pardō holdeth thē vp.

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‘No man euer hated hys fleshe.’Ephes. 5.‘They that are of Christ haue cruci­fied their fleshe.’Gal 5.

THese two sentences are altogether different but not contrary at all. The Prophet Esay willing to shew what one man oweth to another saith. Dispyse not thy flesh, we ar bones & flesh one of [Page 192] another we ar of one self shape & nature. We can vse no violence or do wrong to an­other except we defile our own shape & nature whyle wee scorne other, the re­buke is on oure selfe. Though thys bee spoken of the cōmon nature of al men: yet Saint Paule applying thys sen­tence to the coniunction whiche is be­twene a man and his wife, passeth far­ther forth, shewing that ther is not be­twene them a coniuntion only by like­nesse of nature: but also y bonde of ma­riage which maketh thē both one. He then formeth hys argument bringing it from nature it self, to exhort husban­des to loue their wyues. For there is no man but that naturally loueth him­self, & no man can loue hymself vnlesse he loue hys wife also, in asmuch as his wife is hys own fleshe.

What letteth thys but that we may say that they which are of Christ haue crucifyed their fleshe? For is not the crucifying of the fleshe a hatyng it or rather tamyng it? to the end y it turne not a man awaye from hys saluation. And thys is our true Christendome as [Page 193] touching our lyfe, that we make not a false profession to be Christians. That is to say, that thys faulty flesh be mor­tified which is a worke of the crosse of the Sonne of God, for it is not the propre worke of men: but by the grace of God we are graffed in the fellowshyp of the death of Christ, to the ende wee shoulde lyue no more after our owne appetite. So then we enioy the pryuy­ledge of Gods chyldren when wee are buried with Christe through a true re­nouncing of our self, and abolishing of the olde man: not that flesh is altoge­ther destroyed: but bicause it may not haue rule, but rather must geue place to the spirit. What contrariety or dys­corde is there betweene these two sen­tences?

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‘They haue not receyued the promises.’Hebr. 1 [...]‘They haue obtayned the promises.’Hebr. 11

ALTHOVGH god remayn true, thoughe we all should be vnfayth­ful, yet our vnfaithfulnes maketh the promises to bee vnto vs vayne and [Page 194] without effect. Faith contrarywise maketh men to haue experience of Godds truth in al hys promises. So it is sayed that the fathers obtayned the promy­ses of God. But it behoueth vs to adde that which is there also added. It is sai­ed in the same Chapiter that Abraham offred hys onely sōne after that he had receaued the promises. It seemed that in the deathe of Isaac al the promises shuld ceasse. For it was sayd, thy seede shalbe called in Isaac. Furthermore we must not consider Isaac as som priuate man among other: but as hym that had Christ inclosed in hym. But Abraham had so receaued the promises by faith that he gaue such honor to god that had made the promise that he was able to rayse his sonne Isaac from the dead. Now then he reiecteth not ye pro­mysse that had bene made: but he stret­cheth the vertue and the truth of it far­der thā the lyfe of his sonne: for he li­miteth not the power of God within so strayght bonds, as though it should be tied or buried in ye death of Isaac: Loe how he was not afterward disapointed of ye truth of ye promises.

[Page 195] But now let vs see how the same A­postle saith yt the fathers receaued not the promisses. He speaketh not simply, but by cōparison, & sheweth what dif­ference is betweene the fathers of olde tyme and vs, where God aboundantly poureth forth hys grace vpon vs, he gaue them onely a taste of it wher he she­weth hymselfe as it were presente to oure eyes: hee shewed them from a farre in the darke the Image of hys Christ: yet they were at quiet and ne­uer fel from the faith. The Apostle thē maketh hys argument thus. A farre greater occasion of perseueraunce is nowe a dayes geuen vnto vs, therefore if we shrinke wee are doubly inexcusa­ble.

They from far of beheld the spirituall kingdō of Iesus Christ, whose face in these dayes is so nere vnto vs. More ouer they saluted ye promises frō a far, in stead of that they dwel so famyliarly thys day amōg vs: And yet they conty­nued til the death. What a negligence wer it, if we shuld not beleue, yea, how great wer our sicknes if we shuld fayle in our fayth?

[Page 196] But yet a man mighte saye that they could not beleue except they had recea­ued the promisses. Vpon the whiche it behoued necessarilye that their faythe should be grounded. Thys (as we haue sayd already) is spoken by comparison, for they were farre of from this degree vnto whiche God hath lyfted vs vppe. Wherefore, though on selfe saluation were promised to them and vs: yet they had not the same clearenesse of the pro­mises that we this day enioy vnder the kingdome of Iesu Christ: but they wer content to beholde it from a farre.

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‘None is gone vp to heauen but he, vvhych came dovvne from heauen, the Sōne of man vvhych is in heauē.’Ioan. 3.‘O Father, I vvyll that they vvhych thou haste gyuen me shall bee there vvhere I am, that they may see my glory.’Ioan. 17.

AL men that thinke to mount vp to heauen by the quicknesse of theyre wittes, that is to say, who by theyr [Page 197] owne sense think purely to knowe the mysteries of God, and to be illumina­ted with spirituall vnderstanding, are greatly deceiued. The carnal mā (saith Saint Paul) comprehendes not ye thinges which are of God. So then all the finenesse of mans wit is farre recoy­led backe from those thinges that be­long to God, bycause man is farre vn­derneath God. The Lord Iesus sayeth that he alone went vp into heauenand that the passage is shut agaynst all the rest. Fyrste hee humbleth vs when hee shutteth the entry to heauen frō al mē. And hyther also Saint Paul ledeth vs when he sayth that we muste be fooles in our selues if we wil be wise in God. But there is nothing that we do more vnwillingly. And when we com to God all our wytts fayle vs and fall quite a­way. But forasmuche as Christ hath openned heauen vnto vs, he offreth vs with al the ready remedy, when he sai­eth, that that which is denied to al the rest, is graūted vnto the sōne of man. For it is not for his owne commodytie that he went vp to heauen, but that he [Page 198] myghte be our leader and sure guyde. Therfore he called himself the sonne of man that we should not doubt but the entry into heauen is common to vs as wel as to hym. He hath put on our hu­maine fleshe, that wee might be parta­kers of al his benefits, yea he only knoweth the secretes of hys father. But he admitteth vs to his secretes whyche o­therwise should be hidden from vs.

Nowe to come to the vnderstand­ing of the other sentence. The sonne of God desyreth that wher he is now ther also we shuld be. And hys desyre importeth an effect, that is, that we shal be indeede where he is. True it is that he is with vs vntyl the ende of the worlde, and accordyng to hys promysse we en­ioye hys blessed presence and for euer shal enioy it. But bysyde that he wil also haue vs at the laste brought to hys heauenly Kingdome, and that we then shoulde enioye the same glorye, to the whych he is nowe raysed vppe. For he speaketh of the perfect blessefulnesse of hys faythful. Hys desire that his faith­full shoulde be receaued into heauen, [Page 199] shal not be frustrate. Vnto this part is referred that whyche is added after, namelye that they may see my glorye. From that tyme forward the Apostels sawe the glory of the sonne of God: but it was as a litle glimpes of light, in re­spect of that glori which shal be thorowlye manifested in the heauenly Kyng­dome, as if one being shut in darknes through a litle cleft enioied a litle light The whylest, let vs remembre that e­uen as no man can now go vppe vnto the hidden counsels of God, how sharp soeuer or subtile hys wyt be, except the sonne of man whiche is Iesus Christe cause him to go vp: so no man shal com vnto the heauenly glori, vnles the same sonne of man heaue hym vp.

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‘I come not to cal the ryghteous but synners.’Math. 9▪‘Saluation is farre from sinners.’Psal. 119.

THE righteous are welcom to god namely they that with a good con­sciēce do al that they may to obey God acording to his holy righteousnes [Page 200] which not withstanding make not ac­compt of their own righteousnesse, but as of dong. But here mention is made of those righteous whiche contentyng themselues with their owne righteous­nesse would not be better by the grace and meere goodnesse of God. And that also which Christ sayth here, is not on­ly to beate back the pride and hypocry­sy of the Scribes: but there is byside a general doctrine in thys sentence, that the grace of the sonne of God shall not profit vs except we earnestly feele our synnes and grone vnder their burden. And that therby we be moued to come to hym in all humblenesse. On the o­ther part the weak consciences are lyf­ted vp into a sure truste: for we muste not feare that Christ wil cast away sinners, syth he is descended from hys heauenly glory to call them.

The contrariety then shall be taken away when we shall vnderstande that there are two sortes of sinners. The scripture many tymes vseth thys word in that sort, and chiefly in the Psalmes, meaning those that of stubbournesse [Page 201] harden themself in al il and of pride re­fuse al the graces of God. And to speak at a word, which in their dissolute and desperate lyfe carry a certayne marke of reprobation. It is truely said of such that saluation is farre from them, see­ing they reiect Iesus Christ whiche is author of saluation. Christ then is not a Sauiour vnto al sinners, as also it is added that he is come to cal sinners to repentaunce. Pardon is gyuen vs, but it is not to nourish and maintayn sine but to bring vs to lyue wel and Godly. For the sonne reconcileth vs to his fa­ther vnder this condition, that beeing bought agayne by hys bloud, we shuld offre our self as liuely sacrifices, as. S. Paul saith. Tit 3. The goodnes and mercy of God is opened to the end that re­nouncing all carnal desires we should lyue holily. Where there is no repen­taunce there also is no saluation.

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‘I vvrite you not a nevv cōmaunde­ment but the olde commaundement vvhiche you had frō the beginnyng.’1. Ioan. 2.[Page 202]Agayne I vvrite you a nevve com­maundement.’ [...] Ioan. 2.

THE commaundement that is spoken of here is of charity & loue. It is called an olde commaundemēt bycause the faythful haue heard it spo­ken of from the beginning. Long v­sage ought to make it olde, We know wel inough that nouelty is alwayes o­dious and suspected. Beside, we receue not easily a yoke which before we haue not ben accustomed to. Moreouer whē we haue receaued any manner of doc­trine, if we see it changed or any thing in it altered, we are troubled. To the end then we should not hate or suspecte this cōmaūdement, to the ende also we shuld not think that any thing is added to it. It is said that it is old, not for by­cause that of long time since this com­maūdemēt was geuē to y fathers: but bicause ther is euē at this day non of y faithful but hath learned it, euē frō his first ētrīg into y knowlege of ye Gospel. Beside, it behoueth vs not to take nor receue ye gospel as a doctrine forged of [Page 203] late: but as proceding frō god, & as his eternal truth. A mā must not measure ye aūciēcy of ye Gospel by yt space of the time, in which it was brought vs. In it Godds eternal wil is manifested vnto vs. He not only gaue vs y rule of good & holy life whē we were called first to y fayth of Iesus Christ: but also he aloweth it in all tymes, and it hath bene al­wayes abyding before hym. In dede y true aunciency, and that that deserueth to haue credire, and to bee had in reue­rence among men, is y whiche taketh beginning at God. For whatsoeuer p̄ ­scription of yeares ther be in the inuē ­tiōs of men: yet can they not haue so great autority as to bury Gods truth. Thys self cōmaūdement is also called new, as y which God (as a man would say) renueth in geuing it ordinarily to ye end ye faythful shuld abyde in it al the tyme of their lyfe, bycause there is no­thīg y they ought to desire more. After y children haue learned their first rules they lay thē aside to geue place to more hye & fast doctrin. But cōtrariwise this doctrine of brotherly loue is neuer out [Page 204] of seasō but it hath a cōtinual strēgth, so y it is as wel yt latter perfection as yt first teachīg. And this is that that Iesu Christ sayth. Ioan. 13. I geue you a new commaūdement, that is, that you loue one another. When the lawes and or­dinaunces are new they are more dili­gently obserued, afterward they slippe by litle and litle out of the remēbrance of men, and at length are clere oute of vse. To the end then that Christ might the better print the doctrine of loue in the heartes of hys faythfull, he recom­mēdeth as new. He wold we shuld continually remember thys commaunde­ment, as if it were an ordinance newe­ly decreed. So by that which hath bene sayd here before, a man may see howe the commaundemente of charitye and brotherly loue is aūcient and also how it is newe.

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‘Gyue almose and beholde al thyn­ges are cleane.’Luc. 11.‘And if I gyue all my substaunce to succour the pore, if I haue no loue I am nothing.’

[Page 205] IT behoueth vs to mark who they be to whom Christ directeth this saiēg. and to what purpose. He had reproued the Pharisien hypocrites which did a­poynt cleannesse to be in outward wa­shings: sayeng, you clense those things that are without, and the whilest, that which is within you, is ful of thefte, of deceit and malice. O foles hath not he that made that which is without made also that that is within? So, accordyng to hys custome he mindeth to wtdrawe them from ceremonies, to bring them to true loue: saying opēly that it is not water that clenseth as wel men as the meates: but it is weldoing. Not that he would diminishe the grace of God by these words, neither doth he reiect y ceremonies of the law as vayne and vn­profitable: but speaking to those that with sygnes and bare figures did arrogantly mocke God, he shewed that the lawful vse onely sanctifieth the meate. But haue we a wyll to knowe how we shal vse our meates wel and ryghtlye, that shal be when of our plenty we shal [Page 206] relieue the nede of the pore. Wherefore it were farre better to giue almose of our ouerplus, than to be to scrupulous in washing our hands and vessels, and in so doing to let passe and forget the pore. When he sayth that al things are cleane when we geue almose, this sig­nifieth not that in almose there is any satisfaction by which we should be clē ­sed from our offences. For Christe de­bateth not heere wyth what price wee should bye the forgeuenesse of our sin­nes: but he sheweth that they that dis­tribute a part of their bread to the pore shal eate their bread purely. But saint Paul sayth that though he should geue al hys goodes to be employed to the re­lieuing of the necessity of the pore, ne­uerthelesse if he haue not loue, al that is nothing, And thus wher is the cleannesse of whych mentiō is made before? He hymselfe soluteth sufficientlye this question when he sayth, If I haue no loue. Loue then maketh almose pure: and almose well and charitably distributed maketh vs to vse wel and holylye the meates whiche God hathe geuen vs. [Page 207] There are then almoses which are ge­uen wythout loue. If a man consyder by it selfe the almose done to the poore and chyeflye when a man vnclotheth himselfe to clothe other, it is worthy of great prayse. But bycause often tymes one kynd of ambition goeth before and commeth forth of another kinde of ambition, and not of a true liberalitye, or els when he hymselfe which is lyberal is destitute of other partes of loue (for the inward liberalyty it selfe is onelye one parte of Christian loue) it may be that thys worke that otherwyse is cō ­mēdable, though it be fayre before the eyes of men and greatly praysed, yet it shal be nothing before God.

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‘Rebuke before all mē those that sinne.’Timo. 5.‘Reproue thy brother betvvyxt hym & thee alone.’Math. 18.

SAYNTT Paul speakyng of the accusation that ought to be made a­gaynste the Elders of the Churche, wyl not haue it receaued vnder two or three wytnesses.

[Page 208] For seeing they must reproue the faul­tes of other they shuld easily com to be hated of other, & their doctrin shuld be easly reiected, if a mā shuld easly admit the accusers that woulde blame them. Yet lest y il lyuers shuld take an occasion therof to synne & to exempt thēself from al correction, hee willeth that al they that leade a dissolute and offensiue lyfe shoulde bee openly rebuked. And forthwith the reason is added, That o­ther may feare. Whensoeuer any ordre is taken for the good, the wycked take holde of it and by that means wil haue a priuiledge or freedome from punish­mente. Hee moderateth then y whiche he had sayd of false and vniust accusa­tions, to the end y none should thinke y vnder thys shadow it should be lawful for him to sinne. That is to say, it beho­ueth that babling tonges should be re­pressed, y y elders falsly accused should not be wrongfully blamed & defamed. Yet if ther be among thē an il lyuer he ought rygrously to be punished & cor­rected. And why? y whē other see y thei which ar of degre & dignity are not for [Page 209] borne, they being warned by suche ex­ample should be the more in feare For why should a mā geue more libertye to those whose synnes may most hurt, thā to those whose faultes shal not be of so great offence. By the way, thys muste be vnderstode of those synnes & faultes whiche geue open occasion of offence. For if any of the auncientes or mini­sters committe any lyght fault and no notable crime, he should rather bee re­buked a parte, than blamed openly. Now thys is so farre from contrary­ing the sentence of our Sauior Christ, that it rather serueth it for an expositi­on. For when by the fyrst sentence we know howe a man should behaue him­self in rebuking open synnes, we may also vnderstand by the seconde howe a man shoulde vse hymself in reprouing the faultes which as yet are secret and hydde. Christ hauyng shewed how we muste beare the weakenesse of other, sheweth afterward howe and to what end & howe long it behoueth vs to suf­fer them. He geueth vs a meane, which is, not to offende to muche, or to geue [Page 210] occasion of euil to the weake: and yet it is fytt their syckenesse shuld be healed. He geueth thys cōmaundement to his faythfull so to spare one another that notwithstanding thei endeuour to cor­rectvice And this is worthy diligently to be noted, for when we spare or beare with mē, it can hardly be but y we shal forbeare to reproue them boldly. We do al (welnyghe) declyne to one syde or to the other, eyther we are content to disceaue one another by daungerous & deadly flattery, eyther ells wee are to sharpe in pursuing faultes and synnes when we should redresse thē. He there setteth forth three degrees of brotherly correctiō: but hereit shal suffice to shew that as a mā ought to reproue openly those synnes which ar open or knowen of al. So as touchyng ye sinnes y as yet are secret, we must proue this remedy, beefore wee passe any further namely whether by warnyng geuen a parte to the offender a mā may withturne him from hys offence. But if he cannot bee wōne by such a meane, other remedies [Page 211] are spoken of also. The difference then betwene open faultes and particular synnes taketh away al difficultye.

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‘I saye not that I praye to my father for you.’Ioan. 16.‘He intreateth for you.’Rom. 1.

SAINT Iohn in the seconde Chap­ter of hys fyrst canonical, sayeth, if wee haue synned we haue an aduo­cate namely Iesus Christ y iuste. We are yet very farre of from the perfecti­on of righteousnesse, & besyde we do or­dinarilye make our self faultye. But herein are we comforted that we haue a ready and souerayne remedye to ap­peace god, by hauing recourse vnto Ie­sus Christ hys Sonne. And thys is a thyng whereon oure consciences may reste, thys is that wherein standeth the righteousnesse of men, and wherein is grounded the hope of their saluation: otherwise our tonges & mouthes ar de­filed & our prayers synne. But ye sonne of God is oure mouth, oute of whiche we speake things pleasyng vnto God: [Page 212] he is our altare wherupō we offer our prayers in a sacrifyce of swere sauour: he is our eye with whiche wee beholde God a mercifull God vnto vs. So he speaketh & intreateth for vs, not that we muste accompt or measure thys in­creacyng accordyng to our fleshly vn­derstandyng. For we must not thinke that he is on his knees to make any re­quest or supplicatiō, or that he hath his handes ioyned together and lyfted vp to pray: but bycause he presenteth him­self continually with hys death and re­surrection which are in steade of a per­petual intercession and haue the conti­nuall efficacye and strength of a liuely prayer to get vs grace at hys fathers hand, and to make hym graunt our re­quests. But he is so our aduocate, that we must aske nothing but in his name, & when we shall aske or make request in hys name, then the treasures of hea­uen must be opened and liberally dealt out. For God wil denye nothyng that shalbe asked in ye name of Iesus Christ hys Sonne. How sayth he then that it shal be no more nedeful that he should [Page 213] entreate for hys Dysciples? And what nede is there to praye in hys name, yf he take on him the charge to be our ad­uocate or intercessour. And Saint Paule sayth in thys eyght of ye Epistle to the Romaines that he entreateth for vs. Saint John calleth hym our aduo­cate. For answere, It behoueth to vn­derstande that Christ sayeth not here symply yt he wil not bee our aduocate, he meaneth that hys father shal bee so bent to doe good to hys. Disciples that he wil geue them of hys owne accorde & without muche a do, al that they shal requyre of hym, for the great loue that he beareth them. He wil preuent the aduocate or intercessour which (if thys wer not) should speake for them. And to conclude he addeth, the father hymselfe loueth you bicause you haue louer me, and haue beleued y I came forth from God. Yet the father can heare & graūt no prayer, neyther can he receaue any as pleasyng vnto him but through his Sonne. So we are taught that when God hath once be gonne to loue vs, his loue is so great that he euen preuenteth [Page 214] al that which is necessarye to bring vs vnto hym.

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‘My God my God vvhye haste thou forsaken me.’Psalme. 22.‘I am not alone for my father is vvith me.’Math. 27.

THys was the chiefe fyght,Ioan. 16. and the hardest of al ye to [...] that our Lord Iesus suffer [...] for he was so farre of from ayde or fauour at hys fa­thers hand to ease hym in hys last dys­tresse, that he rather felt hym somthing remoued and gone from hym. For not only thys good Lord offred hys bodye for the ransome of our attonement wt God: but also he suffred in hys soule the paynes whiche wee had deserued, & by thys meane he was truly made the mā of sorrowes, as Esay saith, Chap. 53. And therfore we must not staye on­ly at the vtter torment, for it behoued Christ to present hymselfe bee fore the Iudgement seate of his father, bearing vpon hym our condemmatiō, to the end he myght make amendes for vs. Now [Page 215] there is nothyng more horrible than to fynde God a Iudge whose wrath sur­monnteth al the deathes that a mā can deuyfe. Seyng then thys kynde of trial was offred to [...] Lorde Iesus y God was agaynst hym, & that by y meane he was as it wer appoynted to distruc­tiō. Feare and honour toke him, yea, suche as had an hundred tymes six alo­wed in al the men in the world: but he abode a vanquysher by a wonderfull power of the holy ghost. Thys feare made hym to make thys our crye, My God my God why haste thou forsaken me, not faynedly nor after the opiniō of other: but the inwarde heauinesse of hys spy­rite was so violent and burnyng that it made hym so to cry. Nowe then, not onely he suffred the natural death, not only his soule was seperated from hys bodye: but as Saint Paule sayeth, Act. 2. he fett y panges of death, that is to say, he was pressed with meruelous anguysh. It had bene a very smal mat­ter if Christ had escaped wyth a natu­ral death only: but it was expedient he shoulde fele the rygour of Gods iudge­ment [Page 216] that he myghte bee oure true in­tercessoure to hys father and that he myghte stande beetwene him and vs to keepe the wrathe of God from fal­lyng on our heades. To do thys it was nedefull he should abyde the assault of al the powers and force of hel and the horrour of eternal death. And thys is that that is sayd in the Articles of oure fayth, that he descended into hel when he suffered so many vylannyes, so ma­ny iniuryes & outrages, when he swet bloude, when hys soule was payned e­uen vnto ye death, when he was shame­fully hanged beetwene two theues as one forsaken of God and of mē, with­out helpe fauour and comfort, when he yelded hys ghost vpon the Crosse, bea­ryng the curse of the anger of God whiche is the true hel, felyng condem­nation vpon hymselfe, the paynes and grieses that we oure selues had deser­ued for our synnes and iniquityes. To bee shorte when he was counted as a worme of ye earth, & not as a mā. May we not wel say y he went down into hel which had wel nigh swalowed hym in.

[Page 217] Synners had deserued to be altoge­ther swalowed vp & confounded by the iuste iudgement of God, before whiche they could in no wyse stand. Seing thē he represented ye person of al synners, and presented himself before God to a­byde the iudgemente for them, it was nedeful y he shoulde fele thys distresse in hys conscience as if he had bene for­saken of God, and euē as though God had bene angr [...] with hym, so horrible and feareful is the iudgement of God, Albeit he was in al things pleasyng to hys father and albeit he had no waye offended him: yet he was accounted on the Crosse more wicked than theues: for Barrabas was quite and he con­demned. Al dutyes of humanitye were denyed, yea such as wer offred to other which shoulde be put to death for their mysdedes. He shewed then suche extre­mitye of anguyshe when on the Crosse he made thys outcrye. My God my God why haste thou forsaken me? It is no mer­uayle then if it be sayd that he descen­ded downe into hel, that is to say to the depe gulfes of al miseries, and mysche­uyng. [Page 218] For he suffered the death which by the wrath of God was layd vpon il doers. Is not thys a terrible thyng for a man to fele himself forsaken of God, to fynde no fauoure or suttour at hys hand when he calleth on hym, when a man loketh for nothing els of him but that he hath conspired to destroye him.

Now seyng it is so that he spake not thys worde after the opinion of other but as he felte it in dede, how is it that he sayeth in thys 16. of Iohn, that he is not alone but that hys father is with hym? Althoughe it seme that there­in is some absurditye, that such a word of dyspayre shoulde come oute of the mouth of the Sonne of God: yet when he felte the death and destruction ac­cordyng to the felyng of the fleshe, he ceased not to haue a faste fayth in hys heart, by whiche he behelde God pre­sent, of whose absence he complayneth. For a whyle hys God head gaue place to the weakenesse of the fleshe in as­muche as touched our saluation, to the end he might accomplyshe al the parts of our redemption.

[Page 219] There is also a dyfference betwene the felyng of nature and the know­ledge and vnderstandyng of faythe, Wherfore these two thyngs may wel agree, that Christ conceaued in hys spiryte that God had forsaken hym, and that accordyng as the felyng of man tolde hym. And yet for all that he had thys fyrmnesse of fayth yt God was gentle and fauourable to hym. Whiche thyng he sheweth when he maketh thys preface that he hath re­course to God as to his God, & that, be­fore he make any mention of the temp­tation, whych he beateth backe strong­ly and fyrmely by the buckler of fayth.

Furthermore in thys feareful care­full carefulnesse, hys fayth abode safe and whole so that complaynyng to bee forsaken he trusted to the nere ayde of God. But we must marke to what purpose he sayth that his father is with hym. For albeit he myghte well haue spoken thys woorde euen in hys an­guyshe: yet it behoueth vs to marke the circumstance of the place. He had sayed beefore that the houre was [Page 220] cōme already that euery one of hys A­postles should be scattered abrode and shuld leaue hym alone. He addeth ther­unto by and by thys correctiō. Though I be not alone, but my father is with me. He sygnifyeth that thoughe al the world shoulde forsake hym yet shoulde he bee nothyng abated thereby. Hys truth and hys glorie are grounded in hym and depend not on the worlds be­leuing it, or not beleuing. If al ye world forsake hym, yet he ceaseth not to abide whole. For he is God not hauyng any nede at al of the helpe of any other. Let hym be lefte alone yet hys father will take his part: so that he shal not nede to borrowe ought of men. Whosoeuer shal haue thys wel prynted in his hart shal not cease to abyde faste though al the world shoke, yea and the very for­sakyng of al other shal not ouer throwe his fayth. For he which contenteth not hymselfe with God onely he doth hym not the honour that belongeth to him, howsoeuer it bee although the violence of the extreme anguyshe, made this cry and this vehement worde to cōme out [Page 221] of the mouth of the sonne of God, My God my God why hast thou forsaken me? yet was, it euer true that hys father was with hym. Wherfore we ought not to thynke y hys father was at any tyme agaynst hym or angry with hym: for howe should he be angry with his wel­beloued sonne in whō he was wel plea­sed. Or howe could Christ appease or quench the wrath of God and make an attonement betwene God and men yf he were angry with hym.

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‘The vvorlde cannot hate you.’Ioan. 7.‘Bycause you are not of the vvorlde but that I haue parted you from the vvorlde, therefore the vvorlde hateth you.’Ioan 15.

CHrist in thys fyrst sentence spea­keth of hys kynsfolke that as yet were fleshly (for it is there sayd of them that they beleued not in hym) he sayd to them, my tyme is not yet cōme, but your tyme is alwayes ready. And he addeth, the worlde cannot hate you, [Page 222] he sheweth wherein he dyffereth from them.

They myghte and had libertre to shewe themself at al times to the world and without daunger, bycause y world was frendly and fauourable to them. But as for him he is afrayd of his per­son, and not without cause, for that the world is his deadly enemie. Therby he openly declareth that they wer fleshly. For whosoeuer wil haue peace with y world he must consent to vice and to al manner of wickednesse.

Touchyng the other place, he spea­keth to another sort of folke, to were, to hys Apostles whiche were begotten a newe, and by that begettyng, parted from the world. Now the true felicitye of the faythful standes herein, bycause that by thys meane they are deliuered from destruction. Thē he maketh here a dyfference beetwene, those that are not regenerated and the true faythful, which though they study to haue peace with al men: yet they loke on y whiche is lawful not geuyng themselues ouer to y corruptions of ye world to please it. [Page 223] Thys notwithstandyng is not to saye that al they which are hated of ye world are therfore welbeloued of God: For we see thys cōme to passe yea ordina­rilye, that there is stryfe beetwene the worldlynges, and one of them hateth another, forasmuche as the worlde is full of hote debate within it selfe. But here Christ goeth aboute to shewe that the world hateth nothyng in the fayth­ful but that whiche is of God. Nowe the diuersitye of the persons wel consi­dered in these two sentences shal make vs to knowe that there is no dysagree­ing. The one sort cannot be hated of the world bycause they are of ye worlde. The other cannot be loued of ye worlde bycause they be not of it.

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‘As for me I take vvitnesse of no mā.’Ioan 5.‘And you also shall beare vvitnesse of me’Ioan. 15.

BYCAVSE the Apostles of Christ shuld be the instrumentes of ye holy ghost and he should speake by their mouth he telleth them that the witnesse [Page 224] whiche the holy ghost shall beare vnto them, shal not be of suche sorte as they shal haue it for their priuate profyte, or that they alone shoulde enioye it: but they themselues shal spread it a greate way further abrode.

Thus he ioyneth together these two thynges that fayth is by hearyng, and yet the certayntye of it is by the seale of the holy ghost. A mā should deceaue hymself to thynke that naturally a mā conceaueth fayth by only hearing. On the other parte a man ought to cast a­way the peruerse opinion of a heape of fantastical & stubburne spirites which disdayne preaching, & yet in the means season haue their mouthes ful of reue­lations, and doe nothyng but vomyte out heauenly Oracles. So thē, besides that, y holy ghost must seale the grace of Christ in our heartes, the ministers must declare it vs. So oure Lorde Ie­sus saith y Iohn the Baptist had borne witnesse of hym and pronounced of his Apostles that they shalbe his witnesses How thē sayth he that he wil not haue ye witnesse of man? The answer is this, [Page 225] Christ vseth the witnesse of Iohn the Baptist, not that he on his behalf hath any neede of his testimony: but in re­spect of vs it is expedient for vs to haue sō cōfirmation that way. Men borrow wytnesse one of another bycause they cannot mysse such an ayde. There is a farre other maner of reason touchyng God and his sonne Christ. A man may wel say that vertue needeth not to bee ayded or stayed by any others: But what hath man in hymself wherewith he may vpholde the truth of God. And Christ hymself afterward addeth that he bringeth foorth the recorde of Iohn the Baptist bycause of them. He sygni­fieth by these words that he loketh not so much vnto himself as to the profite and health of men, when hee styrreth preachers of his gospel and Herawlds of hys word whereby he assureth vs of his good wil which hee sheweth to bee wonderful in thys that hee tempereth and moderateth al thyngs for our pro­fite and saluation. The sōne of god thē taketh not witnes of any mā in respect of himself, & yet he taketh it in respecte of vs.

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‘The natiōs do naturally the things that are of the Lavve.’Rom. 2.‘Flesh is not subiecte to the lavve of God.’Roma. 8.

SAint Paul not content to condemn men by the word and to pronoūce y iust iudgement of God against thē: wil also conuince them by euidēt rea­sons, to the end he may stir thē to loue and seke the sonne of God. What shal it auayle men to pretend ignorance, e­uen those that haue not the law? for by their workes and their owne doinges they declare sufficiently that they haue some rule of righteousnesse in themsel­ues. This is it that he sayth the Genti­les or Pagans do naturally the things yt are of ye law. For ther was neuer na­tiō so muche ennemy to humanity but hath had some ordinaunces and lawes to kepe them in some discipline. Seing then all nations are inclined of theyre owne accord to geue and to make law­es for themself, not forced thereto: it appeereth that there is a certayne vn­vnderstanding [Page 227] of ryghteousnesse and equity naturally emprinted in the mindes of men. By this meane they haue law wtout ye law. For though they haue not the law geuen and written by Mo­ses: yet are they not altogether desti­tute of the knowledge of equitye and right. For otherwyse they could not discerne betwene vertue and vice, nei­ther shuld they prayse vertue nor pun­nish vice. Loe what is to do naturally the things that are of the law, yet not­withstanding this letteth not the other sētence to be true, that flesh is not sub­iect and cannot stoup to the law of god For seeing ther is in men some sede of religion althoughe they bee corrupted they are naturally styrred forwarde to some kinde of righteousnesse to thend they myghte bee the better conuinced, and that no man should be able to saye that ignorance should excuse him. But the corruption that is in them causeth that how many thoughts, meditatiōs, affections, or wils soeuer they haue, so many hatreds haue they against God. [Page 228] He hath openly declared his wil in his law. The fleshly thoughtes altogether withstand it. It foloweth thē that they make open warre agaynst the wyll of God. Thys proueth that it is an intol­lerable blasphemy to say that nothing is doone but that whiche is allowed of God.

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‘Cyrcumcision profiteth true [...]ye if thou performe the lavv.’Rom. 2.‘If you be circumcised Christ profi­teth you nothing.’Gal. 5.

CYRcumcision was a signe of oure Lordes league by which he had se­parated Abraham and hys sede for his herytage, it seemeth to the Iewes that they had somwhat to bost of whē they were Circumcised: but bicause leauing the truth of the sygne, they stayed onely at the outward aparance, Saint Paul sheweth that by the bare sygne they haue nothing that they may attri­bute to themselues. The truth of Cyr­cumcision did consyste in the spiritual promisse to which Fayth must necessa­rily [Page 229] be adioyned. The Iewes dispised the one and the other, both Faith and y promysse. Al then that they had was but a fond and vayne trust. Wherfore applying hys purpose to this so grosse an errour, he leaueth to speake of the chiefe vse of Circumcision. They thou­ght that Circumcision was of it selfe a work mete to purchace righteousnesse To speake then after their opinion he sayth that if a man loke vpon the work in circumcision, he that is circumcised must shew himself a perfect and sound seruaunte of God. The worke then of circumcision shal be perfection, as if S▪ Paul should say. If you wil haue Cir­cumcision profit or serue for any thing it shalbe when you perfitly kepe y law. As much may a man say now a dayes of our Baptisme if any mā leaning to y trust of the water of Baptyme thynke to be iustified bycause he hath receiued the outer sygne as though he had alredy holinesse by that worke, and that by that meanes he should not regarde the end of Baptyme to were, that by it the Lorde calleth vs to holinesse of lyfe. [Page 230] What shoulde then becōme of the pro­messe and grace which Baptime testi­fieth and sealeth vnto vs, it were to cō ­tent vs with a vaine signe, and not to care for that which is sound and fast in the Baptyme. Here then he speaketh not of Circumcision purposely what it is worth in it selfe: but he speaketh to those that did falsely interprete the sig­nes, and sendeth thē to the truth. Here he meaneth that men must obserue the law before Circūcision [...] profit him.

He tendeth to another ende in thys place of the Epistle to the Galathians wher he sayth, beholde I Paul declare vnto you that if you be [...] Circumcised Christ profiteth you nothing, he spea­keth not onely of the outward cutting [...] the ceremony but, he striueth agaīst the peruerse doctrine of false Apostels which sayd that it ought to be kepte as a [...] of God necessary for al faith­ful and that in the same was a certain desert: These gloses and Diuellyshe inuentions made Christ vnprofitable, not y the false Apostels denied Christ or would that he were altogether cast [Page 231] of, and takē away, but they made such a partenership betwene his grace, and ye works of ye law, that they did ascribe vnto him but ye halfe part of saluation. But the sōne of God wil not be so deuided and yet he can nothyng at al profit vs vnlesse we receue him al whole. To be short, it is vnpossible to mingle the grace of Christ & meritorious works to­gether. Circūcisiō thē profiteth if a mā ioine ye truth to it: on ye other part if we go about to ioine Circūcisiō wt ye grace of Christ as if by it a man were helped to get saluatiō, not only it is vnprofita­ble but also it diminisheth the grace of Christ.

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‘Thou shalt vvorship the Lord thy God and him only thou shalt serue.’Deut. 6.‘Abraham rising vp vvorshipped the people of the Land.’Genesis. 2 [...].

IT is not nedefull to heape vp many testimonies of Scripture to proue y only God is worthy of worshippe: for it is cleare enough and easy to be kno­wen. And though in this first sentence [Page 232] thys word alone be not added to the first part but onely to the second: yet it wer a triflyng and more than childish cauillation to say that God ought to be ser­ued onely. But as touching worship­ping there are other to whome it maye wel be offred, as men speak of the wor­ship of seruice which is geuen to sain­tes that are dead and to their Images and Idols, and to their bones and reli­ques, but we must loke vpō the deed ra­ther thā vpō a word or two, as oft as the seruice of God is spoken of. This sen­tence is manifeste and playne and is sufficiently vnderstode of it selfe. Thou shalt honour the Lord thy God and shalte serue hym onely: and if it haue nede of an ex­pounder, why was the Diuel (when he would haue made christ to worship hī) repulsed by this self sētēce, but bicause y sōne of God gaue, to vnderstand that no other ought to be worshypped but God? The Scripture appoynteth and commaundeth that God only should be worshipped serued and honored. Wee muste see to what ende. If man take away or breake how litle so euer it be, [Page 233] of Gods glory, to geue it to creatures, it is a haynous robbing of Godds ser­uice and honor. And se [...]we not playnly that this is done as oft as we acknow­lege these benefites to com from crea­tures of which God would be acknowleged ye only autor? Nowe euen as to speake proprely, religion is spirituall but y outward profession of religiō be­longeth to y body: so not only ye seruice and inward obedience are due to God alone: but also we must ioyne to it the outwarde wytnesse. This then is certayne that onely God oughte to bee honoured.

Notwithstanding the Scripture leaueth not to vse the same word in many places in another meaning. As in thys sentence we heare that Abraham wor­shipped the people of the land, of whose inhabitāts he went about to bie a pece of inheritāce for a buryīg place. Now by this maner of speaking Moises sig­nifieth, that Abraham did reuerence to the people as custome is to do in bow­ing the knee, or by some other coun­tenance or gesture of the body.

[Page 234] This reuerence is done both to men and to God, but the end is very diuers. Men one to another bend theire knee when they meete, or bow downe y hed or put of their cap: and thys is don for good manners, or ciuile honours sake: but if they do it one to another for reli­gion or conscience sake, it is Idolatrie and an outragious sacrilege: for religi­on suffreth no other seruice or honour to be done but that which belongeth to God. Moreouer it was the comon fas­shiō of those of ye East which wer to ful of ceremonies as it appeareth by ye hi­stories. Therfore we must not mesure thys honor which Abraham did to this people according to the maners of the people of these partes whych are not so ceremonial.

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‘Eue speaking of Cayn her sonne sayd I haue gotten a man of the Lord▪’Genesis. 4▪‘Not as Cayn vvhich vvas of the vvicked and kylled his brother.’ [...]. Ioan. 3.

[Page 235] HOwsoeuer this place of Genesis may be expounded, a man myght thinke that Cayn was blessed of God. Fyrste if it be expounded, I haue gotten a man wyth the Lord, thys is as if it wer sayd by the benefit or grace of god, as if Eue imputed it to the blessing of God that she had ofspring, as it is sayd in the. 126. Psalme, The fruyte of the wombe is a gyfte and blessing of God. Secondarily if a man say I haue gottē or possessed by the Lordes helpe, it is as muche to saye as God hath don me thys good turne that I haue a man. In thys manner Eue shoulde geue thanckes to God for that he had begon to rayse posterity of her, wher she was worthy neuer to haue children, as wel as shee deserued to be euerlastingly destroyed. Thyrdely if a man expound it. I haue possessed a man of God, it shuld be as if Eue did promesse herself already to haue the ouercommer of the Serpent which had bene promised. So the Faythe of Eue shoulde be pray­sed in that, that shee hadde embraced [Page 236] the promesse by Fayth that the head of the Diuel shuld be crushed by her sede. Fourthly if a man receiue this exposi­tion which is the most allowable of al, I haue gotten or possesse a man vnto the Lord, it should be as if Eue ioyed in herselfe for the childe that was born vnto her, offring it to God as the firste frute of her generation. Howsoeuer this be taken, it seemeth that in the byrthe of Cayne there is matter of re­ioicing for asmuchas he is of the Lord. Eue truely not knowing what a one her Sonne Cayn shoulde be, eyther prayseth the Lord or geueth him than­kes, or acknowlegeth the benefit of god but y end shewed euidētly that S. Iohn spake very well, when entreating of brotherly loue hee woulde haue vs ab­horre and feare the example of Cayn whiche was the murderer of his owne brother whoe is as a patrone of all the wycked whych are filled with cruelty, hypocrisye, enuye, euel wil and hatred and suche as can not but shewe that they are possessed of the Diuel. Cayn then was had through the Lorde, for [Page 237] was his mothers desire in conceauing. But the whyleste hee was of the wic­ked whyche is the Diuel, in that he had a peruerse hearte, and hate bare rule in all his life: and hauing killed hys brother for no other cause but in as muche as the workes of hys brother were Iuste, hee shewed manifestly that the Diuel whoe is the Father of murtherers possessed him.

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‘Dyd oure Princes knovve trulye that this is very Christ? but vve knovv vvhence this man is.’Ioan [...].‘If they had knovven him they had neuer crucified the Lorde of glory.’1. Co [...] 2.

SOme of the Iewes knowing what deadly hatred the gouernoures and chiefe of them bare to the Lord Ie­sus, and seing that he preached openly, and notwithstanding no mā layd hand on him: they ask this question, howe might it be that our rulers had knowē that this fellowe is the true Messias? [Page 238] Herein there is some sygne of know­ledge, bicause that although they desy­red to put hym to death, yet they doe it not. These Iewes askyng thys questi­on thynke it to be a worke of God: yet can they not lift vp their eyes to Gods prouidence. So do fleshly men. For as ofte as they see before thē any straūge worke of God they wonder at it, but it cōmeth not in their minde at al to con­syder the power of God & to take pro­fyte of it. And as for these men that say they knowe whence Christ is, they know but who are his fleshly parents: but when they should ascende vnto the wonderful wisdome & infynite good­nesse of God whence he was sente vs, they are together blynde.

A man seeth hereby howe not onely me haue their eyes stopped when they shuld iudge of thyngs y belong to God: but also they haue thys fault as it were of nature, y is to say, they ar very wit­tye in forging thēselues lettes to kepe thē frō cōming to ye knowledge of god.

Sathan truly offereth very often occasions of offence by whiche many [Page 239] turne away frō the sonne of God. But though their way were playne and ve­ry smothe, yet so it is that euery one wil laye stomblyng blockes before his own fete. There neded nothyng but y vnbeliefe of the gouernours to with­drawe all thys preace of people from Christ: but is thys let taken frō them? yet deuyse they a new occasion to kepe them from comming to the fayth. The example of the gouernours oughte to moue them: yet so farre are they from folowing that whiche is good & ryghte that they stomble euen at the fyrst step So if the Lord conduct not and guyde our steppes vntill the end thoughe wee haue somthyng wel begon, yet after­warde wee shal stroy & loose stomacke. But Saint Paule speaketh of another manner of knowlege in thys seconde Chapiter of y first to y Corrinthians. Thys knowledge cōmeth not of fleshly sight, for so Pilate, Iudas, y scribes, & Christes very enemyes which wer led & driuē with a mad rage to put hym to death, might wel haue knowē hī. Ther was another thyng in hym wherein y [Page 240] wysedome of God shyne clearely, the which notwithstanding the great ones could not comprehend. To crucifie our Lorde Christ, of one syde were the go­uernours of the Iewes which were in reputation of holynesse and wysedome aboue all other, on the other syde Py­late and the Empyre of Rome. Herein a man seeth manyfestly the blyndnesse of al those whiche are not wyse but af­ter the fleshe. But for the better vnder­standyng hereof let vs note that there are to sorts of ignorance, the fyrst is that which procedeth from an vnadui­sed zeale, and doth not symply reiect y which is good, but it reiecteth it bicause it thynketh it to be ill. But although no man so synneth of ignorance that the whylest he is not gyltye before God of a naughtie conscience bicause hypocri­sye is euer myxed withal, or some pride or dyspisyng: Neuerthelesse it happe­neth sometymes that al Iudgement & vnderstandyng is so cloked in the witt of man that nothyng appeareth but mere ignorance, not only to the eies of other, but also of themself. Saint Paul [Page 241] was such a one beefore he was lyghte­ned. For he hated Iesus Christ and his doctryne in that he was caryed awaye with a fonde zeale not knowing what he dyd, and yet he was not without hy­pocrisye nor without pryde, so that he was inexcusable before God. But his vyces were altogether couered wyth ignorance and blyndnesse, so that him­self perceaued them not nor felt them.

The second manner of ignorance is more like to a stubbornesse and wilful­nesse than a mere ignorance: for they that of their own accord rise vp against God, ar as it wer freniticke mē. They haue eyes and yet they see not. These gouernours were suche, and we muste not maruell that Saint Paule so spea­keth of them, for if they had wel know­en the wysedome of God, they had ne­uer crucifyed Christ. For the Scribes and Pharisyes dyd not so knowe that the doctryne of Iesus Christ was true but that in the meane tyme they erred as doltyshe people.

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[Page 242]There are many Antichristes euen already, vvherfore vve knovve that it is the latter tyme.’1. Ioan. 2.‘Brethren, vve pray you be not sone moued in your vvittes, and bee not troubled, neyther by spyrite nor by vvoorde, nor by Epistle as from vs, as if the day of the Lord vvere at hand.’ [...]. Thess. 2.

IT is certayne that among other to­kens the cōmyng of Antichrist is an infallible marke of the latter dayes. Now the Apostles by y latter dayes or ye latter time note the raigne of Christ which is frō his fyrst cōmyng, vnto the day of y resurrection, as it is shewed. 2. Peter. 3 and as Saint Paul saith. 1 Cor. 10 y endes of ages are cōme vnto vs. And els where he foretelleth y from the be­gynnyng ther shalbe a turnyng backe, which shalbe as a general euil. After y he setteth forth the aduersarie of Christ to be head of al Apostasie which shal sit in the temple of God attributing God­head vnto hymself and y honours that [Page 243] be due [...] God. Duryng thys tyme or duryng the raigne of Christ which is y latter tyme ther shalbe many Antichri­stes: For synce Christ, as many here­tykes as ther haue bene and authors of sectes, so many members wer there of the kingdome which is contrary to the Kyngdome of Christ.

But yet it is not in vs to make the tyme nere at hande or to limyte it in certayne yeares or ages after oure fo­lyshe fantasyes and dreames. And ney­ther must we folishly receaue at others hands such prognostications, least we might be vnaduisedly astōned through such reportes, or that wee shoulde pro­myse oure selfe vaynely some lyghte or sodayne passage to the resurrection as though we shoulde bee exempt from the Crosse of our Lorde Iesus Christ. There are many places in the holy Scriptures which beare witnesse y the day of the Lord is at hand, yet it beho­ueth vs to consider in what meanyng it is spoken, to wete, in respect of God, wt whō a thousand yeares ar as a day. [Page 244] But in the meane season God wil haue vs wayte for hym from houre to houre and continually, so that wee appoynte hym not a certayne space of time. And so he geueth vs this warning. Watch, sayth he, for you knowe neither the day nor the hour. Moreouer these false pro­nosticatours whiche are repulsed by Saint Paule in steade of y they should holde the myndes of men in doubt, to the end the tarrying should not be tedy­ous to them, they would haue mē assu­red that the sonne of God would cōme very shortlye.

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‘VVho confesseth me beefore men I vvill acknovvledge hym also before my father vvhich is in heauen.’Math. 10.‘Haue vvee not Prophecyed in thy name? But then I vvill saye to them, I knevve you neuer.’Math. 7.

THE strength and valiaūtnesse of Christes Dysciples ought to tend to thys end, that they should be al­wayes ready to cōfesse hys holy name. [Page 245] The greater part of mē make smal ac­compt of thys confession, yet the sonne of God doth put it among the chiefe ex­ercises of true religion & that of good ryght. For if earthly prynces cal their subiectes to beare weapon for the de­fence of their glory and honour, and to augment their ryches: what reasō can there be yt the faythful of Christ should not at the least employe their tonges to mayntayne the glory and honour of their heauenly King. There is not one Christen man alone, whom the sonne of God wil not haue to be a witnesse of hys truth.

But to inflame our zeale he addeth to it a syngular promyse yt if we make confession of hym beefore men he will lykewise aduoutch vs before his father whiche is in heauen. When wee shall haue cōfessed him here beneth in earth, deserue we that he should aduoutch vs in heauen? Who is the sonne of God? And who ar we? He wil beare witnesse of vs. And what a vyllanny shall thys be of vs to refuse to beare witnesse of hym. If we make comparison of our [...] [Page 246] selfe whiche are mortall men and of no value with God and hys Angells, and all hys heauenly glorye, howe muche more excellent is that whyche Christ promyseth vs, than that which he requyreth of vs? For thoughe the vnbeleuers are men and peruerse men, yet Christ oure Lorde esteemeth the witnesse whiche wee beare of hym beefore them as if God with hys Aun­gels wer present to heare our witnesse. Howe then oughte thys promyse to moue vs to make confession of hym here beneath beefore men seeyng he wyl aduoutche vs in heauen before his father?

But in the seconde sentence oure Lorde Iesus summoneth the hypocri­tes beefore hys Iudgement seate. For whylest they occupye any place in the Churche, they flatter themselues, and wythall they abuse other. He pro­nounceth then that the daye shal cōme in whyche the floure shalbee pourged and the strawe and chaffe shalbee par­ted from the good grayne. They shall [Page 247] boaste yt they Prophecyed in the name of the Sonne of God, that is to saye, done the offyce of teachyng vnder hys authoritye or leadyng: but they shal at the length know that what fayre con­fessiō so euer they haue made outward­ly, it shal be for all that nothyng in ef­fect, howsoeuer men esteme it.

They shal haue confessed hym with their tong, so Christ will confesse also on hys part, that al the fayre professiō that they shal haue made, hath ben but lyes and vanitye. And behold what the confession of Christ contayneth, that he neuer accounted them for hys, no not when they boasted themselfe to bee the pyllers of the Churche. The Lord knoweth well those that be hys sayth Saint Paule, let them that call vpon the name of the Lord withdrawe thē ­self from al iniquitye. Let vs thē make a distinction betwene the true confessi­and the false, and we shal know whoe they are that Christ aduoucheth & who they be that he casteth of,

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[Page 248]Blessed are they that feare the Lord.’Psalme. 128.‘Feare is not in Loue.’1. Ioan. 4.

THERE are two sortes of feare, the firste procedeth of Fayth whi­che maketh vs apprehend the pre­sence of God: and thys apprehension can not bee wythout feare: notwith­standing that feare is not without comforte. The wicked also may haue feare and horrour of the presence of the lord but that feare maketh them to remayn confounded.

There is a goodly example of bothe in the resurrection of the Sonne of God. The Soldiours that kepte the tombe feared. The holye wemen also that came to anoynt hys body were afraid. But let vs heare what difference there is betwene the one feare and the other. The Soldioures whyche were inured with tumultes and stryfe were for all that so astonnied and swallowed vp with fighte that they fell as half dead, yea not hauing strengthe or power to ryse. The wemen lykewyse feared but comforte followed by and by after [Page 249] which raysed thē vp from their feare & flyghte so that at the last they began to hope for some better thing. And truely it is very conuenient that y hygh ma­iesty of God should indifferently make al to tremble, as well the good as the ill, to the ende that all flesh may kepe scilence before hys face. But after that the Lorde hymselfe hath humbled the faythfull, foorthwith he appeaseth their fearfulnesse leaste beeing ouer­charged they shoulde fal vnder the burden, and not that onely, but also he healeth by the mildenesse of hys grace the wound and hurt which he himselfe caused. But as touching the repro­bate and proud they are sodenly flygh­ted, and wyther by little and little in their tourmentes: as men out of theyr wittes are agaste for a litle whyle: yet are they not touched to the quicke, for by and by they forget that they wer in feare, not that the remembraunce of the feare is altogether oute of them, but bycause thys lyuely apprehension of Gods power is fallen from them.

[Page 250] Nowe as touching the fyrst Feare whiche proceadeth of Fayth, it maketh vs to walke in all reuerence and obe­dience vnto Goddes Iustyce. And therefore it maketh vs happy bycause God wyl neuer forsake those that obey him in feare and lowlynesse. Thys is contrary to the common opinion of al men that they that seate the Lord are happy and principally in thys life. For how many Epicures are there whiche vomite oute blasphemies, saying that God fauoureth the wicked when they prosper in their wickednesse. More­ouer the prosperity of the wicked trou­bleth and maketh the weake to wauer: besyde, they faint in trouble and vn­quietnesse. And althoughe the dis­pisers of God ar not very wel at their ease, and that the state of the good is in some sorte good and tollerable: yet so it is that the more parte haue their eyes blinde or shutte vppe when they consider Goddes prouidence. But howsoeuer it be, this is very cer­tayne that happye are they that feare the Lorde.

[Page 251] Nowe if it be so that true chary­ty (whiche can not be withoute Fayth, and is not but of the holy Ghoste) cau­seth vs to know that we abyde in God and hee in vs: howe is it sayed that fea [...]e is not in loue? but that loue dri­ueth out al feare?

We muste remembre the seconde kinde of feare which bringeth nothing but trembling and horroure. There is in deede a seruyle feare which is al­together contrary to willing reuerēce. When we loue not God francklye as our father but ar chiefely constrayned by feare of punnishment: but Saynte Iohn meaneth another thynge: hys mind is to shew that when we knowe by Faith what the loue of god to vs is, wee haue peace in our conscience why­che is contrary to this feare. And though we cannot yet altogether driue feare awaye, bycause we canne haue but a little taste of the loue of God to­wardes vs, yet whennesoeuer we haue recourse to God as to an assured porte free from all feare and daun­ger of wracke and of all stormes and [Page 252] tempestes feare is truly driuen awaye bycause it geueth place to fayth. Feare then is not in loue, not that it moueth not our hearts, but bicause it troubleth vs not nor letteth not our reste whiche wee obtayne by fayth. So a man maye saye of those two sayinges that there is in them diuersitye, but no con­trarietie.

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‘Touche me not for I am not yet gon vp to my father.’‘The vvemen handled hys feete and bent themself dovvne before hym.’Ioan. 20.

A Man may easely agree these two places,Math. 28. if we loke vpon the affectiō of Marye Magdalene and on the manner of the other wemens doyngs. Christ suffereth these to touche hym to the end hys resurrection myghte bee certaynlye knowen. And therefore Saint Mathew addeth that the we­men, bowed downe before hym which [Page 253] was an argumente or a sygne of an vndoubted knowledge. Also he suffe­red hys Dysciples to touche hym and specially Thomas to put hys fyngers within the hollownesse of his wounds. And that he dyd bycause it was nede­ful, to put them out of al doubt of hys resurrection. But when he sawe that Marye stayed at hys bodily presence and loked for no other happier maner of enioying hym than that he shoulde bee conuersante in earth with them, a man oughte not to maruell if he were willyng to moderate and correct thys vnaduised zeale. Wherefore let vs take thys for a certayntye that Christ forbad not Marye to touch him tyll he sawe that shee Importunely de­syred to keepe hym styll in the worlde. The reason is added therunto whiche sufficiently sheweth that whiche is ve­ry worthy to be noted, to wete, that he is not yet gon vp to hys father. Nowe he wil make Marye to vnderstand that shee oughte to suspende her affection til time he were receaued into the hea­uenly [Page 254] glorye. Besyde thys he shew­eth what the end of hys resurrection is: not suche as Marye deuysed it to bee according to her fantasye, to wete, that after hys resurrection he shoulde tryumphe here belowe in y world, but rather that by going vp into heauenly glorye he myght take possession of the kyngdome that was promysed hym & being set on the ryght hand and in the glorye of hys father, he myghte mayn­tayne hys Church by the power of hys holy spirite. Mary then dyd ill, for­asmuche as contentyng her selfe with the halfe of the resurrection of Iesus Christ she desyred to haue hym present in the worlde. And as for vs, if wee will not fayle to fynde Iesus Christ, wee muste lifte vp our spirites a lofte. Moreouer, as many as endeuour to goe to him haue nede to vnwrap thē ­selfe of all earthlye affections of the fleshe.

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‘Bevvare you doe not your ryghte­ousnesse before men to the end to be sene of them.’Math. 6.[Page 255]Let your lyghte so shyne beefore men that they maye see your good vvorkes & may glorifye your father vvhich is in heauen.’ [...]

CHrist warneth hys faythfull to doe good works simply before god, not hauyng care for their apparaūce before men, which is a warnyng very necessary, for it is alwaies to be doub­ted leaste ambition thruste in it selfe a­mong the vertues: and it commeth to passe often tymes that ther is not so cō ­mendable woorke but by ambition is corrupted. Christ speaketh nowe of al­mose, now of prayers, & both are good testimonyes of the honestye of a man: but when a mā dealeth almose or pray­eth onely to thys purpose to bee sene of men, what beelongeth to suche an almose man or to suche a prayer, but onely that he bee esteemed of men? We see then that here he goeth aboute to cure the syckenesse of ambition, by [Page 256] whiche men seke for glorye at mennes handes for their wel doing. But the whylest the Christian vertues can not be in a man except they shyne vnto o­ther. Thys cannot otherwise be. Euen as a man fylled ful of vyces cannot be so close but that he shal be an ill exam­ple to other: so the vertues can not so abyde in a vertuous mā but that other shal perceaue them. Yet a Christian man beyng as it were hyd in hymselfs ought to desyre that men should so see hys vertues that al the glory should be geuen to God. So not onely these two sentences dysagree not in themself but also the seconde serueth to expound the fyrst. For thys seconde exhortyng the faythfull to al good workes taketh frō them al ambitition and pryde syth it wil that the whole tend to thys end y God be glorifyed. Good workes can not but shyne though we hyde vs as muche as we wil. Saint Paule sayth. 1. Cor. 8. The faythful procure good not only before God: but also before men. Thys shall bee sayd ells where by Christ hymself, that it behoueth vs to withdrawe oure [Page 257] selfe into secret places and into our closets when we wyl do any good worke: But it is sayd onely to take away and to correct ambitiō. But here he setteth forth before vs another ende, namelye the only glory of God to be our mark. So it is not inough to do good works, but we must looke to what ende we do them. An il end wyl make that the workes which of them self are good shal be corrupt, not in themselfe, but in the person of him that doth them.

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‘A good sheaphearde giueth his life for his shepe, but the hierling run­nes his vvay.’Ioan. 10.‘VVhen they shal persecute you in one tovvne flie to another.’Math. 10.

THE Lord Iesus as the chief shep­heard and Prince of Bishops, she­weth with what affectiō he loueth hys shepe whē he sayth that he gyueth his lyfe for them, which thing he did in dede so that al they which refuse to bee kepte and defended of thys so louing [Page 258] and so gentle a sheepheard shew them­self very vnthankful, and are woorthy to die an hundred times, and thei offer themselfe to al wretchednesse. Then afterwarde he sheweth of what sorte the hierling is, and he that is not the true shepheard, and to whome the shepe be­long not. If the wilde beast cōme vpon the shepe he leaueth the whole flock for a pray and runneth away. They which are the true ministers of Christ in whō he worketh by his holy spirit indeuour to folow him that setteth them a work: among whiche there haue bene many that haue notspared to shed their blood for the safety of their shepe and that as wel before his comming as afterward But there is a perfecte patrone in the persone of Christe whiche muste serue for a certayne rule to all the ministers of hys Gospel, but the hierling which thinketh that the sheepe belong not all to hym, careth not for the scattring of them, no not when hee shoulde see them in the Wolues throte. Such a one then hath nothing in hym that be­longeth to a good sheaphearde: for hys [Page 259] flyghte sheweth that he hath respecte to hys belly and not to the flocke. Let him beare a good countenance as lōg as he wyl whyle there is quietenesse in y Churche: but when tyme is to abyde blowes, hee can not hyde the vntrusti­nesse and slouthe that is in hys hearte. Nowe seeing Christ condemneth such a vilannous flighte, and good cause whye: howe commeth it to passe that in another place he appoynteth hys A­postels to flye from towne to towne when they are persecuted? It is ea­sye to aunswere. In geuyng them thys commaundemente hys minde is not that they shoulde becomme hier­linges and should set asyde all careful­nesse for theyre sheepe, or to forsake theire charge as if they were well and wholy discharged: but he suffreth them yea and he appoynteth them whē they are hūted from one place to flie to ano­ther: but not on the cōditiō yt they shuld slepe or rest thē, or leaue al: but to ye end to endeuour to employ thēselfe frō wel to better. For thys happeneth but to ofte that they which haue suffered one [Page 260] persecution would be willing to rest as foyled Soldiours. But Christ giueth no suche time of rest to his seruaunts, but his commaundemente is that they shoulde not ceasse till they haue ended their course. And we must marke that he hiddeth them not to flie into Caues or secrete places: but when theyre la­boure profiteth not in one towne, hee would that they shuld withdraw them selfe vnto another, where other maner of people are for y saluation of y which they may busy themselfe agayne. Ha­uing this resolution wee maye easilye soyle this doubt, to wete, if al that flye ought to be holden for hyrelings.

Thus a man may say that we ought not without difference to condemne al those that flye: yet the whileste euerye flyght is not lawful. Some to precise and strayght haue condemned flyeng away as if it were a kinde of denial: if it were so, a part of the reproch shoulde fall on Christ and his Apostels. And on the other syde, if it were lawful to flye for euerye occasion, what difference were there in the tyme of persecution [Page 261] betwene the good sheapheard and the hierling? A man may kepe here a good meane. Let not the shepherd leaue his place for feare, nor let him by his flight betray his flock, nor let him geue ex­ample of ficklenesse, yet let him not wt ­oute good aduysement throw himselfe into daungers. If all the Churche bee persecuted, or if men seeke to put to death a part of it, it were il don of the sheephearde to absente himselfe whose duety was to offer foorth his owne life to saue others. But sometyme it maye comme to passe that by absēting hymselfe, he may appeace the rage of the ennemyes, and so he maye by departing prouide profitably for al the whole Church.

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‘Thou art perfect in beauty aboue the sonnes of men, grace is poured forth in thy lippes.’Psalme. 45.‘There is in him neither fauour, nor beauty and vve haue seene him that he had no fassion or forme.’Esay. 53.

[Page 262] WHOsoeuer was authour of thys 45. Psalm spake so of that whi­che was worthy syghte in Salo­mon, that the whylest he loked hygher vp, to wete to the description of the ex­cellency of the King of Kinges whiche is our Lorde Iesus Christe. Among o­ther thinges he prayseth the beauty of the face of a King and so beginneth. Not that beauty for it self ought gret­ly to be estemed, seeing it hath no place among the vertues: but bycause that in the face oftē tymes is shewed a wit­nesse of a good and noble naturall dis­position, as by Salomons looke onely it myghte appeare that he was endued with excellente graces. It is not nede­ful for vs to passe furder foorth to de­clare other vertues and graces contayned in thys Psalme. It is enoughe to shewe that thys beauty did more fully shyne in the face of Iesus Christ, than in any other, which was a proofe that he was filled ful of all graces beyonde and aboue al other. But wher Esay sayeth that in Christ was neither form nor beauty, he mente not to take from [Page 263] hym the glory whiche was euer geuen him of hys father, but he sheweth to how euel and hidous a forme hee was brought for the loue of vs. When he bare oure langes, al hys beautye (after the opinion of men) was layed downe: yet that notwythstanding hee was lyf­ted vp vnto hyghe glory before hys fa­ther. A man then ought not to iudge of the glory of Christ according to the re­spect of men, but to apprehend by faith al that whych the Scriptures teach of hym. And when it is sayed that ther was neyther beauty nor shape in him, thys is not to be vnderstoode onelye of his persone whiche was dispised of the world and at the last iudged to shame­ful Death, but also of his whole raign which in the Iudgemente of men had neither forme nor magnificence, nor apparaunce of beauty, nor any thyng to tourn the eyes of men on him to be­holde any goodly ornament vpon him: for although Christ wer risen agayne. yet y Iewes euer considred him cruci­fied and in infamy.

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[Page 264]He shal reigne ouer the house of Ia­cob for euer and his reigne shal haue no end.’1. Cor. 15.‘And then the end, vvhen he shal haue gyuen the kingdome to God the Father.’Luke. 2.

THE Prophetes in manye places haue foretold & promised ye yt king­dome of Dauid shuld be continual yet did it florish only in the time of Dauid & Salomō his sōne. The third king after Dauid, that is to say Robā, had but one tribe & a halfe of ye twelue: and so the strength & the riches of his king­dome were greatly diminished. After Roboam the kingdom ceased not to be troubled and endaungered by mani o­uerthrowes, tyl that at the last it fell downe altogether: but the Angell de­clareth here, that when thys Kingdom shal bee once stablished in the persone of Christe, it shall not bee subiecte to ruine, but shal bee endelesse. But it behoueth vs also to mark that thou­ghe God oughte chiefelye to bee keper and gouernour of Christes Kingdome [Page 265] and of the Churche, and to see that it shoulde neuer decaye on earth so long as the Sunne and Moone should last, yet the true continuaunce beelongeth to the blessednesse and glorye to cōme. The faythful then succede so in conty­nuall ordre one after another, that at the laste they muste bee receaued into heauen where they shall reigne with­oute ende. Nowe thys seemeth to make agaynste thys eternitye, to were that the Sonne shal once geue vp the king­dome to the Father, and that whiche is added by and by after, when the father shal haue made all thing subiect to hys sonne, the Sonne also shal make himselfe subiecte to the Father. Howe maye a man agree these two thynges, that the raigne of Christe shal haue no end, & that which is spokē here y Christ shal bee broughte into subiection. It behoueth vs to note that al power was geuen to Christe, in that that he was manifested in y flesh. True it is y such a maiesty belōged not to a man which wer only a mā: but y father hath exal­ted [Page 266] and glorified him in ye same nature in which he had bene abated and hum­bled, and hath geuen him a name vnto the which euery knee should bende and bow. Bisydes we must note that he hath ben so appoynted soueraine Lord and King that he is as it wer Goddes Deputy and Lieutenant for the gouernement of the worlde, not that he wor­keth, and that in the meane tyme the father doth nothing but is idle: for how might this be seing the sonne is y wis­dom and counsell of the father? seeing he is of one selfe substaunce and being with him, yea truly one self God? But y reason why the Scripture testifieth that Iesu Christ now hath the Empire or rule as Deputy of his father, it is to the end we should not think that there is another Lord, Gouernour, Protec­tour, and Iudge of the quicke & Dead: but y we shuld haue al our senses stated on the beholding of him. We acknow­ledge God for our conductor, and Go­uernor, but it is in ye face of Iesu christ a man. Yet ye sōne shal then restore the Kingdō which he hath receued to y end [Page 267] we may cleaue wholly vnto God. And in this doing he wil not depart frō this Kingdō, but he wil trāsport it from his manhode vnto his glorious Godhead: for thē y accesse shalbe opē to vs frō which now we ar put back by meās of our weaknesse. So Christ shal becōme sub­iect to his father: for then ye veile shalbe taken away & we shall openly beholde God in his glorious maiesty, and ye mā hode of the sō shal be no more betwene both, to make vs see the face of God as through a glasse.

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‘I am not sent but to the lost sheepe of the house of Israel.’Math. 10.‘I gaue thee to be a lighte vnto the Gētils to the end thou mightest be my sauing helth euē to the ēds of the earth.’Esai. 49.

SAynt Paul in the. 15. Chapter to the Romaines, sayth that Christe was apointed to be ye minister of Circū ­cision. He himselfe testyfieth here that he was appoynted to be the minister of heauenly grace only for the Iewes. [Page 268] Hereon he argueth that he oughte not to succour straungers: but this is not to say that the grace and vertue of the Lord Iesus was continually shutte in within so straight bounds, but bycause the reason of the tyme so would that he should begin with the Iewes, and for that time geue himself only vnto them, for the wall was not broken before the resurrection, so that the Sonne of God himselfe might proclayme peace vnto the Gentiles which were banished frō the Kingdom of God. This is the rea­sō why he forbode his Apostels to sow their doctrine any where but in Iewry onely, yea for that time. And therefore he sayth here truly & iustly that he was not sēt but for y Iews vntil at y lēgth y gētils shuld succed also in their ordre.

For a time he gaue hymselfe to the Iewes, but after that by his resurrec­tion he had broken the wal, he sheweth in dede that he was not onely cōme to preach peace to those that wer at hand but to those also that were farre of: & he was apoīted to be y light & sauing helth of y Gentiles as well as of the Iewes. [Page 269] So the trauayle of Christ and of al the Church had not their efficacy towarde the Iewes onely but also towarde the Gentils. And moreouer seing that the Iewes dyd take no profite of the prea­ching of the Gospel, but dyd obstinatly reiect our Sauiour Christ, therfor the Gentiles were put in their place. Loe nowe how Christ was geuen to be the lyght of the Gentiles, and how his sa­uing health was manifested euen vnto the fardest endes of the world.

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‘VVe vvere by nature the chyldren of vvrath as others.’Ephe. 2.‘Othervvise your children shuld be vncleane but novv they are holy.’1. Cor. 7.

IT is certayne that al men withoute exception are worthy of condēnatiō til they be quit by ye sōne of God wtout whom ther is no righteousnesse or sa­uing health nor excellēcy, for when. S. Paul sayeth that we were children of wrath, he meaneth that wee were lost and woorthy of eternal Deathe. For thys woorde wrath signifieth Goddes [Page 270] Iudgemente, as thoughe hee sayed that we were condemned before God. And we were such by nature, that is to say from our byrth and from our Mo­thers wombe. And if the Iewes were for a while the blessed seede yet as tou­ching nature they wer like vnto other: the difference was onely herein, that God dealing graciously with them de­liuered them from distruction: but thys was a remedye that followed the il. But howe soeuer man eauyl, the Holye Ghoste pronounceth that there is neyther Iewe nor Greeke but are al by nature subiect to condemnation: And if we be of nature worthy of con­demnation, it followeth then that sinne hath the firste and chiefe place in euery one of vs, for God is not an­grye but agaynste synne. And the other sentence of the seuenth Chapiter of the fyrste to the Corinthes, tendeth to a diuerse end: for it is spoken of the holinesse of Mariage. The band of mariage is singular: The wife is the half part of the houseband, there be two in one flesh, there the housebande is the [Page 271] wiues hed, ther the woman is her hus­bandes fellow in al things. It seemeth thē that a faythful man cānot dwel wt an vnfaythful wyfe, or contrarywyse, but that by so strict a knotte the fayth­full muste bee polluted: but Mariage leaueth not therefore to bee holy, ney­ther muste thou feare the infection, as though the beleuing part were defiled by the vnbeleuing. And beholde the argument is brought from the effecte. If the Mariage were defiled the chyl­dren which should come of it should be vncleane: but they be holy, it foloweth then that the Mariage is holy. Euen therefore as the vnbeliefe of the one of the twayn, either of the father or of the mother letteth not but that y children are borne holy, so also it letteth not but that the Mariage is holy.

How then shal we agree this sētence with the other that of nature wee are the children of wrath? or with this sen­tence of Dauid? Beholde I am conceyued in sinne. As it hath bene sayed before, ther is an vniuersall encreasing of synne and Damnation in the seede of Adam. [Page 272] All then from the fyrst to the laste are shut in vnder thys curse whether they be descended from the faythfull or frō the vnfaythful: for the faythful get not children accordyng to the fleshe in as­muche as they are regenerate by the holy ghost There is therfore in al one equall state and condition of nature so that they are subiect as wel vnto sinne as to eternal death. But where the ho­ly ghost geueth here a special pryuilege to the faythful, that procedeth from the benefyte of the league: and when thys grace foloweth, yt former course of na­ture is blotted out, and they which be­fore were prophaned and foule of na­ture, are now sanctifyed and halowed to God by grace.

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‘Clensyng it in the lauer of vvater by the vvord.’Ephe. 5.‘The bloude of Iesu Christ clen­seth vs from al synne.’ [...]. Ioan. 1.

WE muste not let passe that whiche was sayd before, to wete, that the Sonne of God gaue himselfe for [Page 273] hys Churche, to the end he might sanc­tifie it from al vncleānesse, which thing is done throughe the forgeuenesse of synnes, and by the regeneration of the spirite, the sanctifycation is inwarde but hee addeth an outwarde sygne in which the cōfyrmation appeareth, that is, that the pledge of this sanctification was offered in baptisme, but it is not ment that we should make vs an Idol of baptysme. We are washed & cleane sayth Saint Paule by baptysme, but it is bycause God in it geueth vs a testi­mony of our washyng, and in y same instante doth that whiche he represen­teth vnto vs. For if the truth were ad­ioyned to the sygne, thys were no fytt manner of speakyng to saye baptysme is a washing of the soule: for who is so blockheaded to graunt that ye outward sygne which is water hath in it y pow­er to clense the ordures of the soule, if there wer nothing els in the baptysme but water. And a man could not truly saye that baptysme is the washyng of soules. The true and onely washing of them is the bloude of our Lorde Iesu, [Page 274] which is applyed vnto vs by y power & grace of y holy ghost. And we must be­ware yt we geue not ouer to the out­warde sygne, to the figure, or to ye mi­nister, y which belongeth to God only. The minister ought not to be accoun­ted y author of thys washyng, nor wa­ter to bee estemed as the washyng of soules, for y belongeth only to y bloud of the sonne of God. Besyde, we must take hede y we in no wyse trust eyther in ye element, or in ye man, seyng y only & lawfull vse of ye sacrament is to leade vs straight as it were by the hande to Christ, & there to staye vs. So. S. Iohn sayth, that it is the bloud of Christ that washeth vs from all vncleānesse, he ex­cepteth nothing to the end y no part of oure washyng howe little soeuer it bee should be attributed to any thyng ells. For thys is y cause of our clensyng y Christ hath blotted out al our offences with hys bloude, to the end y faythfull should be assured y they are pleasyng vnto hym, bycause he is appeased to­wardes thē by ye sacrifyce of ye death of his sonne. And this sacrifyce cōtaineth [Page 275] vnder it clensyng, washing, and sancti­fication, wherfore y power & workyng of al these thyngs belongeth onely to y bloud of Christ. But albeit it be God y clenseth by the bloud of hys sonne, and that it is not lawfull to transporte hys glory to ye sygne, or to impart it to the figure, neuerthelesse ther is no incon­uenience or absurditie in saying y God vseth y sygne as an instrument, not yt ye power of God is inclosed in y figure but bicause according to the conceiuīg of smalnesse & weaknesse he dystribu­tes his vertu by such an aide. And God so workes by y sygne that the whylest al the vertue and efficacye of the sygne dependeth on the spyrite of God, and that is to the ende we shoulde not feare that any thyng is taken from the ho­ly ghost whiche belongeth vnto hym: for ther is nothyng therby attributed to the sygne more than that it is an in­feriour instrumente vnprofitable of it self, sauyng in asmuch as it borroweth hys vertue els where.

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[Page 276] VVho can forgeue synnes but on­ly God.’Marc. 2.‘VVhose synnes soeuer you haue forgeuē they are forgeuen, & vvhose soeuer you haue kept they are kepte.’Ioan. 20.

CHrist hauyng healed the gowtye sayed to hym, man thy synnes are forgeuen thee. The scribes & hypo­cryte Pharisies hearyng it, althoughe he had spoken nothyng but what the Prophets were wonte to say whē they bare witnesse of the grace of God, they murmure notwithstandyng, & blame Christ as thoughe he had spoken blas­phemy and of a myscheuous desyre to slaunder they aske thys question, whoe besyde God only can forgeue synnes? But although this came out of malici­ous mouthes: yet moste true it is that onely God hath power & authoritye to forgeue synnes, as he onely can con­demne, so only he can quyte. But whē in thys. 20. Chapter of Saint Iohn Christ geueth charge to hys Disciples to forgeue synnes he geueth not ouer [Page 277] vnto them that which is propre to him­selfe. It is propre vnto him to remytte and forgeue synnes, whiche honour he resygneth not to them, in asmuch as it belongeth to hym: but he wil haue thē beare recorde in hys name of the for­geuenesse of synnes and offences: so that it is he ye reconcileth men to God. To bee shorte it is he alone to speake fytly that forgeueth synnes by hys A­postles and ministers. Howe commeth it then to passe that hee aduaūceth so hyghly their dignitie, seing that he ap­poynteth them only for witnesses and declarers and not for authors of the benefyte. Thys is done for the greate establishyng of oure fayth. As in dede there is nothyng that more profyteth vs, than that we resolue and persuade our self that our synnes cōme not into Iudgement or accompt beefore God. Zachary in the first Chapter of Saint Luke calleth thys knowledge of y for­geuenesse and pardon of synnes the knowledge of synnes.

Nowe seyng the good pleasure of God is such to vse the witnesse of men [Page 278] for to allowe thys forgeuenesse of syn­nes, then wee shall quyet our selues, when wee shall knowe that it is God himselfe that speaketh to vs in the per­son of hys ministers. For thys cause Saint Paule saieth, we exhorte you to be reconciled to god, as if Iesus Christ hymself made obtestation by vs.

The faythfull then ought to be so resolued, that what they heare touchīg the forgeuenesse if synnes, is ratified, and ought nolesse to esteme the recon­cilyng or attonement whiche is decla­red vnto them by the voyce and worde of men, than if he hymself stretched his hand to them. Now marke two things which it behoueth vs to remēber. First that a treasure is offred vs, but it is in little vessels, those are men, which are sente vs to offer and open thys trea­sure vnto vs in the name of another, not as theyr owne ryches but as hys that sente them vs. Nexte that we oughte to esteeme thys treasure no whyt the lesse bycause it is in dyspisea­ble vessells, but rather wee haue occa­sion [Page 279] to geue thankes vnto God in that he hath dealte so fauourably with men that they represente hys person and the person of hys Sonne, when they heare wytnesses of the forgeuenesse of synnes: so God onely forgeueth syn­nes, yet he confyrmeth that whiche men appoynted by hym declare vn­to vs touchyng the forgeuenesse of synnes.

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‘Call no man on earth your father for ther is but one that is your father, vvho is in heauen.’Mat. 23.‘Honour thy father & thy mother.’Exod. 20.

THe Lord Iesus had shewed before y thys honor belonged to no other to be called Lord but to God only. If this seme to hard forasmuche as he himself hath appoynted men to be our Masters & teachers, y answer is easye. True it is ye Christ hymself whē he yet dwelt on the earth chose his Apostles & appoynted thē to y offyce of teachyng [Page 280] and if the stryfe be for the title, it is ve­ry certayn that when Saint Paul na­med hymself the Master teacher of the Gentils, hys mynde was not wickedly to steale from Christ the honour y be­longed vnto hym. Neyther is Christes meanyng any thyng ells but to bryng euery man vnder hym from the grea­test to the smallest, to reserue his right wholly to hymselfe. He careth not then with what tytle they be adorned which haue the charge of teachyng, only hys wil was to kepe al mē wtin these boun­des that no mā should vsurpe any rule ouer ye fayth of hys brethren. Nowe in the same sense the honour of the name father belongeth to God: for men haue not geuen to themselfe that name, but it hath bene graunted them of God. And it is not ynough to saye that men which haue children are fathers accor­ding to the fleshe and that God alone is father of the spirites. True it is that sometime a mā shal finde thys distinc­tion in y scriptures as in the. 12. Chap­ter to the Hebrues. But seing Saint Paule calleth hymself very often a spi­ritual [Page 281] father, it behoueth vs to see how this agreeth with ye words of our Lord Iesu, loe then what we must say. The honour of father is falsely geuen vnto men when by that name the glorye of God is darkened, that is when a mor­tall man seperates hymself from God to be accompted a father, seyng that al degrees of kyndred depend of God on­ly by Christ, and those degrees are so knytte together, y to speake fytly God is alone the father vnto al.

The whilest God willeth and com­maundeth vs to honour our fathers to reuerence them, to obeye them, and to loue them, and thys commaundement is confyrmed by threates, and by pro­mysse. The threate is that al stubborne & dysobedient children to their fathers should be punyshed by death. The pro­mysse is that they that shal honour and obeye their father shal liue long on the earth. Yet notwithstandyng we muste haue thys resolution before our eyes, that a man neuer ought to turne aside from the will of God.

Nowe touchyng that the fathers [Page 282] haue rule ouer theyr children it is for thys reason, bycause God hath chosen them, impartyng to them some parte of hys honour. The subiection then that children owe vnto their fathers ought to bee vnto them as a stayre to leade them to the reuerence and obedi­ence of God, whoe is the chiefe father. But if the fathers wil make their chil­dren to withstande God, they are no­more theyr fathers but straungers, whiche woulde tourne them from thys true obedience, which they owe to their true father.

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‘Abraham beeleued in God and it vvas imputed to him for ryghteous­nesse.’Gene. 5.‘VVas not Abraham oure Father Iustifyed by hys vvoorkes vvhen he had offered hys sonne Isaac vpon the aulter?’Rom. 4.

SAINT Paule to the Romaynes the. 4. Chapter, [...]. 2. to shewe that Abra­ham was not Iustifyed by hys wor­kes, [Page 283] maketh thys argument. If Abra­ham were Iustifyed by hys woorkes, he maye beaste of hys deserte: but so it is, that he hath nothyng whereof to boast beefore God. It followeth then that he was not Iustifyed by his wor­kes. But thys is hys glorye, & the thing he may boaste of, that he embraced the goodnesse of God by fayth.

Fayth maketh a man to cōme oute of hym, and leadeth hym to God. So the glorye of Abraham was not in hys woorkes nor in the worthinesse of hys person: but in the mere good­nesse and grace of God. For when a man will trulye boaste hymselfe, he must bryng nothyng of hys owne, but the knowledge of hys owne myserye, throughe whiche he may cōme to seke the goodnesse and mercye of God. And surely the ryghteousnesse whyche is of faythe is the onely reskue that the poore synner hath beyng destitute of all workes. So then Abraham, in the promyse that was made to hym dyd apprehend the goodnesse of god whiche was offered hym, by which he felt that [Page 284] righteousnesse was imparted vnto him.

Let vs nowe shewe howe he was Iustifyed by workes. It is a thyng ea­sye for euery man to know that Saint Iames intreateth not how mē obtaine righteousnesse, for if we loke narrowly to hys meanyng, we shal fynde that he medleth not at al wt the matter of Iu­stification: but he goeth about to shew what yt profession of fayth is worth wt ­out works. The proues which he brin­geth, ar to be applyed to thys sentence, that fayth is but dead without workes: and that good workes are euer ioyned with fayth. To solute at a woorde thys doubt, we must vnderstād y double sig­nification of thys word Iustifie. Whē S. Paule teacheth y wee are Iustified by fayth, he sygnifieth nothyng els but yt we obtayne this cōmoditye, yt we are accompted to be iuste before God. But S. Iames loketh to another marke, namely whosoeuer sayeth he is a bele­uer it behoueth he shuld shewe by wor­kes ye truth of his beliefe. It is certaine that. S. Iames mynded not to shewe whereon the trust of Saluation ought [Page 285] to rest, wherin Saint Paule resteth only. Thys worde then Iustification, accordyng to Saint Paule, is the im­putyng of free ryghteousnesse beefore God or before hys Iudgemente seate. And according to Saint Iames it is a declaration or approuyng of ryghte­ousnesse by workes or by effectes, and that before men: as also a mā may ga­ther it of yt he sayeth, Shewe me thy fayth wythoute thy woorkes, and I will shewe thee my fayth by my woorkes. In thys sense a mā may cōfesse without gaynsaying yt man is Iustified by his workes, as if any man should say of some other yt he is becōme riche synce y he saw him bye a good & ryche inheritance, forasmuch as hys riches which before were hiddē were set to sight. This is ye conclusion. Before God mē ar Iustified by faith, y is so say counted Iuste, before mē they are Iustified by their workes, that is to say declared or approued Iuste.

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Ioan. 18.‘I spake nothyng in corners, I spake openly to the vvorlde, I haue taught [Page 286]in the assembly and in the temple.’Math. 10.‘That vvhich I tell you in the darke tell you it in the lyght, & that vvhich you heare in your eare, Preache it on the houses.’

THe doctryne of saluatiō is offered to men to diuerse endes. Christ speaketh to many after such a sort as though hys word wer vnto them a language altogether straūge & barba­rous, & as though it serued to no pur­pose but to beate their eares wt a disor­dred & confused sound. True it that the word of god is euer clere of it own na­ture, but y lighte of it is choked by the darknesse of mē. As touching the lawe though it wer couered with a veyle, yet Goddes truth was manifestly shewed forth in it, sauyng that many had their eies blynded. Touching y Gospell it is not veyled but vnto y reprobate, as. S Paule witnesseth, whose eyes & vnder­standings ar blynded by Sathan. We must then holde this, that the worde of God, is not darke but in asmuch as the [Page 287] worlde darkeneth it by hys stubborne blyndnesse. But though Christ say that it is not geuen to al to heare y secretes & mysteryes of the kyngdome of God, & that therfore he graunteth yt grace to none but to hys Dysciples: yet not­withstandyng so it is y he wil that that which he hath sayd to thē in darknesse or in their eares, shoulde be publyshed openly. He wil yt hys Gospel be spread euery where, & that it passe ouer al the lets & stoppes of men. This is a pro­uerbe or a cōmon saying, y there is no­thing so hid, but at some time it is ope­ned: but thys oughte to be specially re­strained to ye doctrine of saluatiō which be victorious, as y sonne of god promi­seth, whatsoeuer men obstinatly go a­boute, to oppresse it. It is certaine that Christ preached somtimes in ye temple, but bicause his doctrine was reiected it was yet as it were hid in certain darke corners: but he affirmeth y the tyme shal cōme yt it shal be high & clere, and published ouer al. which we know cāe to passe in S. Paule very shortly after, for a man neuer heard thonder sounde [Page 288] lowder in any part of ye world, than y voyce of yt Gospel was heard through­out al y earth. So then whē the Gospel had no great blase or shew of magnifi­cence, it seemed that Iesu Christ spake as it wer in the darke & in the eare.

In the meane tyme notwithstan­dyng true it is that there is nothyng sayd in corners. It behoueth vs to marke to what purpose he maketh this protestation. Cayphas the Priest calleth hym to accounte as if hee had had to doe with a seditious man that had deuyded the Church by Scysmes and factious gatheryng Dysciples to­gether, and as if he had had to doe with a false Prophet whiche had endeuored to corrupt the fayth and true religion. Christ hauyng exercised the offyce of a teacher entreth not into a newe, ney­ther wil he let slippe any thyng that be­longeth to the defence of the truth: but he sheweth that he is ready to mayn­tayne that which he taught. But in so saying he debateth not what is lawful or not lawfull, as if it bee lawfull to Preache secretlye or openly but hys [Page 289] minde is to repulse the proud vnsham­fastnesse of the Priest that inquired (as of a thing doubtfull) of a thing whyche was very openly knowē. So, to make these two places agree, wher he sayth, hee hath spoken nothing in secrete, it oughte to bee referred to the very sub­staunce of the worde which hath euer bene like though the forme and maner of teaching hath bene diuerse. He hath oftentimes taught those that were par­ticularly hys. He hath many tymes taughte in the temple openlye, but he hath taught nothing pryu [...]ly, as touching the substaunce, but that which he hath taught openly. He did not thys of crafte, as if of set purpose he woulde haue kepte close or hid from the people things which he sayd to ve­ry fewe in secret. Wherfore he myght boldely protest with a safe conscyence that had frely spoken, and purely pub­lished the sūme of his doctrine.

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‘The sonne shal not beare the vvyc­kednesse of hys Father.’Ezechiel. 18▪[Page 290]I vvill visite the iniquitie of the fa­ther vpon the childrē euen vntill the thyrd and fourth generation.’Exod. 20.

IT semeth ther ar many places in ho­ly scriptures which shew y God som­times punysheth the innocent, whiche thing is greatly agaynst al equity, and chiefly against ye equitie of God, who is not a God willing or allowing iniqui­tye. And yet a man might thinke yt this were signifieng by these words y God wil visite yt iniquitie vnto the thyrde & fourth generatiō. What hath he deser­ued y is not yet? If a mā consider y cō ­dition of mankind thys doubt shal ea­sely be soyled. No mā can loke for any thing els but yt the wrath of God shold fal on hys head, and yt shoulde cōme to passe of very right: for we ar al sinners and vnworthy of yt fauour of God. If God leaue vs as we are what occasion haue wee to complayne to hym? It is not ynough to saye that children shall abyde temporall paynes for the synnes and offences of their fathers. For thys is farther extended, & the reuenge or [Page 291] punishment which he threateneth here can not bee restrayned to the presente life, but as it is a signe of his loue whē he blesseth hys seruauntes children, so when he leaueth the sede of y wicked in hys curse, it is a witnesse of his venge­ance on them. In thys maner, seing al yt nature of man is worthy of condem­natiō, they to whō God sheweth no fa­uour can loke for nothyng els but the destruction which is prepared for thē. What cā a father forsaken of the holy ghost do but liue wickedly? Lykewyse his sonne forsakē of God, what can he do but followe ye trace of perditiō? And they y shal folow, what shal they do but goe after into ye same ruyne? By thys meanes a mā may see yt euery one pe­rysheth by hys own iniquitie & not by yt vniuste hate of God. Touching yt the chyldren are punnyshed for the offen­ces of their fathers, it is bycause they followe thē, and though they be war­ned yet they amende not. But as touching that Ezechiell sayeth in hys 18. Chapter, that the sonne shall not beare the wickednesse of hys father, [Page 292] that was a cōmon prouerb in ye mouth of the Israelites, that their fathers had eaten sower things, and their teth we [...] on edge with it. They signified therby that their fathers had cōmitted y fault and that they endured ye il and pūnysh­ment wtout deseruing it. But the Pro­phet Ezechiel pronoūceth yt they suffer for their owne faultes, and yt it is in no sort agreing wt the iustice of God that the iuste and innocent childe should be pūnished for y faults and offences of another. Neither is it ment by this sen­tence yt he visiteth the iniquity of ye fa­thers in their childrē: for touching that the curse falleth vpō their head, it is bi­cause they follow y condicions and the tracte of those that wente before them. And therfore are punished as their fa­thers were. And althoughe God leaue them in cursednesse, before they come into the world, yet he doth thē no wrōg neither cā they accuse him of vnrighte­ousnesse.

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Psalm. 5.‘Thou shalt destroy thē that speak Lies.’Genesis. 12.‘Abraham Lied and vvas not destroyed.’

[Page 293] GOD so often forbidding Lieng in the holy Scriptures, and witnes­sing that Liars are not welcome vnto him, sheweth sufficiently how he wil punish al Liars: for seeing y truth is in such sorte natural to him that wt ­out it he wer not God, [...] should he leaue Lies vnpunished, seeing they he altogether contrarye to his righteous­nesse and truth? And hereupon we ga­ther that a man ought not to excuse a­ny maner of Lie with what fayre color soeuer a mā couer [...]. It is not inough to reiect or condemne Lies that ar do­mageable, or ioined with forswearing, but those also that are called pleasaunt Lies or Lies for recreation, or those that may serue to saue the lyfe of anye [...]an. As [...]ruth cannot be but of God, so a Lie what one soeuer it be cānot be but of the Diuel. In this place of the fyft Psalme, Dauid speaketh more specially, he setteth forth the iudgemente of God vpon those that geue themselfe to deceyte Lieng and vnrighteousnes And therwithal he cōforteth the faith­ful to the end that as often as they shal [Page 294] haue occasion to beare the oppression of the vnryghteous they should wyth­drawe themself toward God whoe ab­horreth all vnryghteousnesse. For it is a good consequent. God hateth al the vnryghteous, it followeth he will pu­nishe al the vnryghteous.

But as touching Abraham who lied saieng Sara his wife, was his sister. Truly a man can not excuse his fault, for God had had other meanes to saue his life than by his endangering his Wifes chastitis by help of a Lie. Hee excuseth him selfe after, that he hath not lied, and that he forged nothing contrary to the truth. This was surely a great fault, for it was not lōg of him that his Wife was abādoned ouer to adultry. If he were carefull of his life (which thing was lawfull for him and right) at ye least he should haue cast his care on God. True it is that the proui­dence of God letteth not the faithfull from prouidyng for them selfe: but it ought so to be done that they passe not the limites which God hath set for thē: It is their certayne that Abraham of­fended: [Page 295] but what reason were it to put thys holy patriark in ye ranck of ye wic­ked, whiche haue al their delite in dea­lyng deceiptfullye wyth theire neigh­bors, & lying, yea, before ye eies of god. Abrahams ly, & Isaacks hys sonnes, & the lyes of al other faythful are worthy of blame, yea, and of punyshment: but wher faith hath place, there is also for­geuenesse of sinnes. And God suffereth not a faythful soule so to straye in such impietie, yt at the last dystruction shuld followe, yet notwithstandyng ye grace that is geuē to the faythful shal not let the truth of thys sentence, that will de­stroye al Liars.

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‘Thou hast layd the earth from the beginning O Lord, and the heauens are the vvoorkes of thy handes, they shal perysh but thou art euerlasting.’Psalm. 21. Hebre. 1.‘The earth abydeth for euer.’Ecclesias. 1.

WHEN it is sayed the earth aby­deth for euer, it is in respect of mē yt their vanitie might be rebuked [Page 206] and their pride beaten downe. One generation passeth and another cōmeth on, and the earth serueth for a continual dwelling place for men, euen to the ende of ages. The seasons haue their ouerturnings, and the nightes follow after the dayes, there are diuerse chaū ­ges and wonderful, which a man seeth to com ordinarily: and al that doth not make the earth to waste or to stir oute of her place The [...]louds of the sea rore and swel, as it were to swallow al vp and yet the earth ceaseth not yearly to bring forth her frutes, and to serue mē for their abode. Such is Gods excellēt workmanshyp, such is his wonderful goodnesse toward mankinde. For how commeth it that the earth is aboue the waters, but that God would of purpose prepare a lodging for men. The Philosophers themselfe confesse, that seeing the Element of water is aboue ye earth it is against al ordre of nature, that in al the worlde there is left any one coū ­trey dry and habitable, as also it is said in the. 28. Chapter of Iob▪ that God re­presseth the violence and flowinges of [Page 297] the sea, to the end the earth should not be couered, and so followe an horryble confusion. Yet this abideth true that heauen and earth shal perish. And it is spoken in respect of God, for if a man make comparison of al the world with God, it is but a figure that vanisheth away. In respect of vs what is the aū ­ciency of heauen and earth? Our lyfe passeth, or rather flieth very fast away But how many ages of mē are passed while the heauens kepe their nature by continual mouing? how many generations haue perished since the earthe abode faste? Neuerthelesse there is no­ther aunciency nor excelent ornament that keepeth Heauen ond Earth from perishīg. And this shal not be a suffici­ent exposition to say that there shal bee onely a chaūge whiche shalbe as a cer­tayn kinde of ruine: for though Heauē & Earth shal not be altogether brought to nothing, yet the chaūge of nature shal consume y which is mortal or cor­ruptible, so y the Heauens & earth shal becō altogether other than they are. If this content not, let vs heare what. S. [Page 298] Paule sayth. Rom. 8. Euery creature is sub­iecte to vanitie not of it owne accorde▪ but by­cause of hym that made it subiecte in hope. For also the creature shal be delyuered from the bondage of corruption to be in the freedome of the glory of the chil­dren of God. We know y al creatures mourne and trauail, as to bryng forth yong euen till nowe. Heauen then and earth shal peryshe in asmuche as man throwyng hymselfe downe headlong pluckt all the world with hym into dis­struction.

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‘He vvill not breake the brokē rede.’Esay 43 Mathe. 12▪‘Thou shalt broose them as the pot­ters vessel.’Psalm. 2.

THE Prophetes describe in many places the softnesse & gentilnesse of Christ, and by such similitudes as thys is which is here set forth, they de­clare y he shal hold vp ye feble & weake. He wyll not breake altogether those that are halfe cracked: but rather will ease and strengthen them so that he wil conserue and encrease the good that [Page 299] is in them, and will helpe their weake­nesse. For where there is any sparke of true religion he keepeth it, and ma­keth that to shyne which was halfe put out: where if he woulde vse rygour we should be brought to nought. Wee are lame and do but halt & stagger, we are broken and taken out of our place: yet he casseth vs not sodaynly away as al­together vnprofitable, but he long suf­fereth vs to the end he myght make vs more constant and stronger. There was a sygne of thys myuldnesse geuen from heauen when the Sonne of God was consecrated and appoynted to ex­ecute hys charge, for ye holy ghost was sent on him in shape of a Pigeon which representeth nothing els but mildnesse & softnesse. Now thys terrible saying, y he shal breake as an earthē pot, is not cōtrary to y softnesse & gentilnesse wt which the Lord Iesus entertaines his faythfull: for as he sheweth hymselfe a louyng shephearde, to those that are quyet sheepe: so it beehoueth hym to handle the wild beastes roughly, to the ende he maye correcte or at the leaste [Page 300] represse their wickednesse and cruelty. Also in the hundred and ten Psalme, after that the true obediēce of the faithful hath bene praysed, Christ is armed with force and strength to destroye in the day of hys angre all the Kings, and al the armyes that shal contrary hym. And in dede both the one and the other is proprely attributed to hym. The fa­ther sent hym, that by the ambassade of reconciliation he should make glad the poore and miserable, vntye and let go the captiues, heale the sicke, drawe the afflicted oute of the darke shad­dowes of Death, and leade them to the light of life. But bicause many prouoke him to vengeaunce by theyre stubbournenesse and vnthankfulnesse, therfore he playeth a new part to daūt their stowtenesse. He vseth (then) a Scepter of yron to breake and broose the pryde of rebelles: hee hathe hys sheephoke to strengthen and stay hys faythful, and in shewing them hys fa­uourable staffe, he turneth their sorow fulnesse into Ioy.

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[Page 301]He hath set me at large and hath de liuered me bycause he loued me.’Psalm. 1▪‘The Lord hath revvarded me according to my ryghteousnesse and hath yealded me according to the cleane­nesse of my handes.’Psalm. 1▪

DAuid hauing protested that he had bene drawen out of the lowe dep­thes by the onely hand and power of God, confesseth at the laste, that no­thing hath moued him to deliuer hym but his good pleasure, to the ende that al the prayse should be geuen him. But herewithall also it behooueth to note that hee speaketh of the good pleasure of God, loking on hys calling, & chiefly resting thereupon, that al the battailes that had bene set against him wer not styrred vp for anye other cause but by­cause he had simply obeyed the calling of God. And so the succor of God was euer ready and at hand, forasmuche as he did not thrust in himself of his owne motion, but had bene anointed before by the hand of Samuel, whiche was a [Page 302] figure of the free choise of God. But soone after he sayth that God hath yel­to hym acording to his righteousnesse, and according to the cleanenesse of his handes. It semeth at the first sight that he is contrary to hymselfe. He had at­tributed al to the good pleasure of God now he vaunteth that he hath bene re­compenced as he deserued. But a mā may easyly agree these two sentences. He had first protested that he cam not into the hope of the Kingdome but vn­der the admission and conduct of God, and that men had not geuen their voy­ces to heaue him vp to this dignity, neither had hee thruste himselfe in by his owne motion: but forasmuche as the good pleasure of God was such. Both were necessary. Fyrst it behooued that God should preuent his seruaunt with his free fauour and grace, and that he should choose hym to bee King, and then after seeing Dauid on his part o­beyed hym with a good conscience, and receiued the Kingly dignity which god had offred hym. whatsoeuer his enemyes deuised to ouerthrow his Fayth, he [Page 303] followed constantlye the ryghte course of his calling. Then not onely these two sentences do not dysagree, but one of them very wel answereth the other: Moreouer Dauid doth not here presēt himselfe before God as beeing armed wyth whole and perfit ryghteousnesse, he offereth not here hys whole lyfe to be examined, whether there were any thyng in it to be found fault wythal or no, and that therfore he ought to ob­tayne grace and to be accoumpted iust. But willyng to defende hys innocency before God agaynst the selaūders and false reproouinges of hys ennemyes, he affyrmeth that in thys case hee had borne hymself purely and vpryghtlye: forasmuche as he had enterprysed no­thyng farther than God commaunded hym and whatsoeuer conspyracye hys aduersaryes had made agaynste hym, yet he kept himself with the bounds of hys calling.

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Math. [...]‘I vvyl not henceforth drink of this frute of the vine, vntyll I shall drink [Page 304]it nevv vvyth you in the Kyngdom of my Father.’Act. 10.‘VVe ate and drank vvyth hym af­ter that he rose from the dead.’

TRVE it is that Christ after hys resurrection had no neede to eate and drinke, he had in dede taken his body agayne, but it had such quali­ty that it was no more subiecte eyther to hunger or to thyrst. But when it is sayd that after his resurrection hee ate and dranke, it is to shewe what care he had to prouide for ye rudenesse of those that were hys, abacing hymself so low that albeit he was adorned wt heauenly glory yet hee dyd eate and drynke as if he had bene a mortal man, and that was to the ende his resurrection shuld not be darke or doubtful vnto vs. If curious men aske what became of that meate, the aunswere is, that as it was made of nothing so it was easly brought [...]o nothing by the power of the Sonne of God. The meate which is taken for the nourishmēt of the body is digested: but we knowe that Christe tooke that [Page 305] meate to nourrish our fayth. If a man replye that only he seemed to eate and drynke, what had such a semyng prost­ted? It is not thē nedeful to such scapes or stertyng holes: for whan it is sayd yt the sonne of God was not by his owne nede to eate & drinke, but was willing to helpe the weakenesse of those that were his, it is ynough to cutt of all the triflyng gloses of men. But when in the other place ye Lorde Iesus speaketh by an Allegorie he warneth his Disci­ples as well of hys death that was at hand, as also of the heauenly life which he calleth newe. For how much nerer the death of their Master, was so much the more ought they to be confyrmed, to the end they should not be altogether dyscouraged. Moreouer seing his pur­pose was to set forth hys death before their eyes in the holy Supper as in a glasse, it is not without cause yt he sayth he shall shortlye departe oute of this world. Now bicause they wer trouble­some newes he addeth strayght after a comfort that they should not be afrayd to dye, seing that after death that shall [Page 306] haue a farre better life. His death was nigh, but from thence he should pas to happy immortality, and shuld not liue alone in the Kingdome of God, but his faythfull beare hym company in thys heauenly lyfe. By thys meane hee lea­deth hys faythful as it were by ye hand to the Crosse, and from thence he lyf­teth thē vp to ye hope of rysing agayne. If a man say that eating and drinking belongeth not to the Kingdom of God, it is to no purpose, Christ meaneth no­thyng but that hys Disciples shalbe very shortly depriued of his presence, so that he shal liue no more with them tyll he and they together shal enioy the blessed & heauenly lyfe. He sayth that then there shalbe a new maner of drink and meate. And this is spoken symplye and without a figure in Saint Luke til the Kingdom of God come. Lastly thys cā not be vnderstode of the tyme be twyrt hys resurrection and his ascention du­ryng whiche hee ate and dranke with his Discyples as it hath bene sayed be­fore. It was then a state or meane con­ditiō betwene the course of the mortal [Page 307] lyfe and the marke of the heauenly life And then the Kingdome of God was not yet opened, and therfore he sayd to Mary I am not yet gone vp to my Fa­ther. And withal the Disciples wer not yet entred into the Kingdome of God to drink of the new wine with y Sōne of God beeing made partakers of one selfe glory. Then to take away al shew of contrariety that myght be betwene these two sentences, that hee wyll not drink and yet he hath dronken he spea­keth not preciselye of eating and dryn­king, but of the conuersation of thys presente Lyfe.

FINIS.

☞ Imprinted at London, in Paules Churchyarde at the sygne of the Crane, by Lucas Harryson. Anno. 1563.

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