¶ Of the life or conuersation of a Christen man, a right godly treatise, wrytten in the latin tonge, by maister Iohn Caluyne, a man of ryghte excellente learnynge and of no lesse godly conuersati­on. Translated into English by Thomas Broke Es­quier Paymaister of Douer. An: M.D.XLix. The first day of Ia­nuary.

☞Matth. v. Let your lyght so shine before men, that they may se your good workes, and maye prayse your father whiche is in heauen.
☞Luke. xix. Be doing tyl I come.
☞Eph. vi. b: walke as children of lighte, for the fruite of the spirite consisteth in all goodnes rightuousnes and truth

Ia. ii. c. shewe me thy fayeth, by thy worckes. ⸫

¶ Thomas Broke, vnto the Reader,

GRace & peace frō God the father, through oure lord Iesus Christe, be with the (Christen Reader) and wyth al ye loue our Lord vnfaynedly, Amen. The right godlie, and no lesse famous clearke, Master Iohn Caluyne, wrote in the la­ten, this treatise: of the conuer­sation of a christen man. Which litle worcke to haue been made in the treasurie, or store house of God, it doth so euidently apere: that for me, to spende tyme in the commendation of it, it were but superfluous. This muche onely I wyl say: it so setteth furth, and paynteth before our eyes, what is the office or dutie of a christen [Page] man: yea how in al thinges, and at al times, we ought to be haue oure selues: that who [...]o shal at­tētiuely, reade this worke, can­not be deceiued in iudginge whether he him selue be a christē mā or not, neither shall nede, to seke elleswhere besides the scripture a perfct rule, to order his life by. Here may we learn that it is not inoughe for vs,Gal. v. a. vi. d, to haue receiued the outward sacramente of Baptime,Ga. iii. d. but that nowe, we must al­so put on Christe,Ephe. v. a. Ro, vi. a. and expresse him in our cōuersacion. For, as many of vs, as are christened or baptised into Christe, are bapti­sed into his death, that, as Christ was raised vp frō deth, through the glorie of hys father, euen so we shoulde walke in a newenes of life.Bat. vii. c For, not al that say, Lord, Lorde, shal enter into the kyng­ [...]ome of heauen, but they which [Page] do, the wyl of the father, which is in heauen. Here maye we also learn, yt we ought not to rekē our selues christians, whē our dedes decleare, that we know not, what Christe hath done for vs: neither to thynke it sufficiente to saye, or wene, yt we haue fayth, when con­trariwise, oure dedes shew,Ia. ii. d yt we haue onely a dead faith, or rather no fayth at al, but a vayne opini­on yt lacketh the fruites of a liue­ly fayeth, whiche are here by the auctor euedentlye set furth. For fayth (as S Paulle discribeth it) is a sure confidence of thynges hoped for,Heb. xi. & a certentie of thyn­ges, whiche are not sene. Thou hearest (good reader) ye fayth is a sure cōfidēce (or, as it were, an hauinge alredy) of thynges to be hoped for, & a certentie of thyn­ges, yt are not sene. Yea, for howe cā it be otherwise,Ga. iii. d when we tho­rowe [Page] it,Ephe. iii. d be made the chyldren of God: and haue Christ him selfe, therby dwellynge in our hertes? cā it be, ye God hath made the his sonne, & yet keepeth it so secrete frō the, yt thou cāst by no fatherly touche nor tēder kindnes of his, haue any experience or certentie therof, no more thē his enemies, the vngodly persons haue: who, though they haue often times in thys world plētie of riches, very good helth, high estimation, multitude of friendes, & an idle and longe lyfe, yet are they the chyl­dren of Sathan & cary about wt them an vnquiet cōscience?Esa. xlviii. d. Nay nay,i. Cor. ii. d. God hydeth not so, from his children, his fatherly loue, for by his spirite in vs we knowe what he hath geuē vs, yea & we knowe & beleue the loue whiche he hath vnto vs, and know that he dwelleth in vs and we in him, neither [Page] dwelleth his sonne Christ idlely in our hertes. For if thou haue a true fayth & not an opinion one­ly, thou hast now a certentie that thou art the childe of God,i. Io. v. c. & (as S. Iohn sayth) that yu arte tran­slated frō death into lyfe.i. Io. iii. c. Nowe therfore, that thou maiest feele, & knowe, yt thou hast a true faith, a sure cōfidence, & an infallible certentie, in thy herte of gods mercy towards the, I wil, by discribing vnto yt, what I take a true saieth to be, induce the thereunto, af­ter the pore talent of my knowe­ledge: ☞Fayth is such a trust in the promise of God, as worketh in a mans herte an ernest repen­taunce of sinne and a desire to do Goddes wyll.Act. [...], [...] Io iii, b. Askest thou what that promise is? I answere: it is thys, that all that beleue in hym, haue remission of their synnes & euerlastynge lyfe. Or els: fayth [Page] is suche a sure confidence in the mercy of God the father (promi­sed vnto vs, for his sonne Chri­stes sake) as worketh in our hert, an earnest lothyng of our synne, and a loue to his commaunde­mētes. Or els, to discribe it more at large, fayth is such a sure con­fidēce in the mercy of god (which for Christes sake he hath promi­sed to all that beleue in him) that it not onely feeleth our synnes to be so vile, yt for them God myght by his iustice, worthily dampne vs: but also feeleth goddes mer­cy to be so greate (first, in the free forgeuenes of oure synnes: then, in the enrichynge of vs, wyth the enheritaunce of euerlasting lyfe: and thirdly, in keepynge & defendyng vs in thys wretched world, vntyll the tyme of our departure from hence) that it worketh now in our hertes towarde God (euē [Page] of a thākfulnes for his goodnes) suche an ernest loue, as, not only repenteth our sinnes, and abhor­reth them, but also hertely desi­reth to do the wyl and cōmaūde­mentes of God. Here thou seest (good christian) a lyuely fayth & a sensible or feelynge fayth. But here considre wel that first herein is required of the, yt thou knowe, the vilenes of thy synnes to be such as God by his iustice might worthily dampne the for thē for,Rom. vi. d. before thou seeste thē so vyle and daungerous, thou canste neuer be forgeuen of them. And thys is also very true, that thou canst neuer to much consider the vilenes of sinne, so far furth as thou dis­peireste not of the mercy of God. Nowe that thou maiste therefore consider thy sinnes and the gre­uousnes of them,Lu. v. [...]. Mat. ix. b. it is expediente that thou loke in the moste holly [Page] and ryghtuous lawe of God, for it sheweth vnto the, boeth what thou shouldest folowe, and what thou shouldest flie from, if thou shalt therfore truly compare thy lyfe and it together thou shalte vndoubtedly fynde thy selfe, in­numerable wayes a synner by transgressynge agaynste it, and mayest see the vilenes of thy sin­nes to be excedyng greate by the punishemente that is thretened therūto, which is the curse of god and euerlastynge dampnation. Unto the knowledge of sinne,Rom. iii. c. by the lawe are broughte, not onely the faythful, but also the wicked. But in deede it worketh in either of them cōtrary effectes. For, the vngodly, when by the law is de­clared vnto them, the ryghtuous wyl of God, and the punishment that is due to the transgressours of the same: they streighte waye, [Page] either vtterly dispayre of the mercy of God (whiche of al synnes is the greatest) or els turning their hertes awaye frō that holy lawe,Gen. iiii. b. Mat. xxvii. a whiche should be a lyght to their feete to lead thē vnto ryghtuous­nes, they geue thē selues ouer in­to securitie of synne, murmuring agaynst God the geuer of ye law.Ephe. iiii. c. Rom. iiii. c But contrawise the faythful whē by the law they knowe them sel­ues innumerable wayes trāsgressours, are thē by it,Rom. iii. c Gal. ii. d. as by a scole maister, broughte vnto Christe. But thē, wher before by the lawe they saw their offēces to be hai­nous & great:Heb ix. d. Ro. vii. d now by the price ye was payed for their raunsome, the vilenes of thē appearth more horrible and greuous a greate deele: so that they are vtterly dis­mayed, and as it were in an exta­sy, therby. But considre & marke well that then they herken and [Page] geue eare mooste gladlye vnto Christ.Ie. iii. d. Who sayth: he yt beleueth in me, hath euerlastynge lyfe. O most merciful promes & most confortable newes. He saieth also:Mat. xi. d. come vnto me al ye ye laboure and are ladē and I wyll refreshe you. O moste ioyefull voyce, to thē that are burthened with fear of hel paynes for the iust reward of their sinnes ther owne consi­ences witnessinge agaynste thē. But howe wil he refreshe them? for soth meruelously,Rom. ii. c Ro. iii c. d Iohn. iii, c Mat. x. c. for he pro­miseth vnto al that beleue in him firste, fre forgeuenes of their sinnes: secondarily, after this life e­uerlasting ioye: and thirdli, whil thei lyue in this wretched world, to kepe and defend them so, that one here of theyr head, cannot be minished without his wyl & pleasure:Rom. viii. c yea and therwithal promy­seth to turne vnto the beaste for [Page] them, what so euer thyng, at any tyme shal come to them, either by the deuyll, or any other euyl cre­ature. Me thinke I here the say: if I were assured to atteyne this greate mercy at Goddes hande, then shoulde I haue greate ioye in my herte: I answere, considre dearely beloued, two thynges: fyrste,Io. iii. c. that it is God that hath made the promise, who is fayth­full, and can no more cease to be true,i. Cor. i. [...]. Nu. xxiii. c. then he can cease to be god, therefore he wyll fulfyll his pro­mise for his truethes sake.Mat. xi. d I [...] iii. c. Ro. iii c. d Mat. x. [...]. Ga. iii. d And agayne considre, yt he hath made that promise to all that beleue it to be true. Nowe why doest thou not then, beleue it? thou doubtest peraduenture of thy fayth, lest it be but an opinion: well I shal tel the, or rather, I haue told the al­ready, and nowe once agayne I do tell the, howe yu mayest know [Page] and feele whether it be a lyuely fayth. For if, it worcke in thy hert a lothsomnes of thy synne, and a desyre to do goddes wyll 'then arte thou sure that thou haste a true fayth: for thy repentaunce on the one syde, and thy desyre to worcke rygtuously, on the other side, do testify it, yea & that yu hast already, and (as I maye saye) or euer thou arte ware, obteyned goddes mercy, for, they are the ryghte fruite of a lyuely fayeth,Ro, v. a. yea onely,Eph. v. c of suche a fayeth, as through the holy goste, hath ap­prehended mercy, and of suche a conscience, as wherein, the same spirite, who is the earnest of euer lastynge lyfe, doth dwel for euer. Haste thou not nowe cause then to haue greate ioye in thy herte?Ro. xiili. c naye rather howe canst thou but haue excedynge greate ioye, and Phi. iiii, d.the peace of god also whiche pa­sseth [Page] all vnderstandynge? Thus thou seest ye fayth, is not a vayne opinion, but an assured cōfidēce, of thinges hoped for, and of thinges whiche are not seene. And what is more to be hoped for, or lesse can be seene, then God hym selfe? then fayth is an assurednes and a certentie of the hauyng of god, yea of hauynge God to be oure mercifull father, oure ten­derly louynge brother and saui­our, our continually present, and moste strongest comforter. Hym therefore, of a thankefulnesse for his mercy and goodnes, let vs al our lyfe long so vnfeinedly loue, that our lyfe and conuersation maye declare that we haue thus tasted of his plentuouse mercye, and in is holye ryghtuous and good lawe, lette oure meditati­on be daye and nyghte. And nowe that we maye the more re­dilie [Page] walke therein, beholde we haue here before oure eyes, the conuersation of a trewe beleuer or Christian, so godlie, so playn­lie, and so learnedlie, sette forth, that if we shall expresse the same in oure selues, we shall declare, that we are not feyned Christi­ans, but worthy warryours of Iesu Christe, agaynst selfe loue, synne, and Sathan. And fur­thermore we shal shewe, yt Christ by fayeth, dwelleth in oure her­tes not idelly, but workynge, yea myghtelie workynge, being neuer vnlyke vnto hym selfe, so that nowe thou shalt, in thy lyfe and conuersation, shewe thy selfe an other certeyne Christe vnto thy neighbour, in so muche, that where Christe came into thys worlde, and bestowed hym selfe vpon vs, and to oure vses, euen so Christ wyll nowe, do the same [Page] in vs: as once he dyed for vs, euen so, wyll he kyndle in oure hertes, a loue to oure bretherne and that in so sure & ferūet wyse, that we shall reioyse, not onely to be euyll spoken of, or to suffre losse of goodes or imprisonment, but allo (if neede require) to su­ffre death for their sakes. Thou wylt say, I am weake and fraile I am not able to do thus: no. But haue fayth and thou shalte be stronge,Io, xvi. g. for all thynges are possible to hym that beleueth, and thou arte able to do al thyn­ges thorugh him that strengthe­neth the & dwelleth in the. Ther­fore merueilous thynges shal he do by the, his instrument. For, as when Christe was conuersaunte here on earth, he lette nothynge passe hym, whereby he myghte expresse his great loue towardes vs, euen so nowe, Christe shall [Page] likewise be mynded in the: as thē, for oure loue, Christe was scour­ged, crucified, and put to open shame, euen so nowe, Christe shal be pacient and sufferynge in the: as then Christe moste liberally, gaue hym selfe and all that he had, vnto vs, while we were syn­ners and his enemies, euen so nowe Christe shall be boeth libe­rall and mercifull in the. And as then, Christe desired the crosse, thirsted for oure saluation, and humbled hym selfe to very death prayinge for his enemies: euen so nowe Christe in vs, shall nei­ther seeke his owne profite, nor thynke on aduengmente, nor dis­spise suche as be weake, but shall become all vnto all men, that at the lest way he may wynne some. And by thys meanes shall we stoppe the sclaūderous mouthes of the enemies of fayeth, whiche [Page] saye that the teachynge of it, di­stroyeth & taketh awaye al good worckes, so that oneles they be altogether vngodly, as thei shal se the good worckes of the faith­full, they shall glorifie our father whiche is in heauen. Nowe to make an ende, I haue (good rea­der) trāslated a good parte more, of the institution of a Christen mā wrytten by thys noble clerke, whiche I can not nowe put in print, partly through myne owne busynes, as well at Douer as at Calleis, and, partly by reason the prynter hath presently no leasure for the same. Yet, by the grace of God, I wyll shortly (the Kynges maiesties busynes geuynge me leaue) put forth either the, same or part therof, to the edifiyng (I truste (of the christen cōgregati­on. In the meane time, the grace and peace of God be wyth the, [Page] and wyth all, that thorugh the hate they haue to synne, do long­ly loke for, and patiently a­byde, the comynge of the great shepherde of our soules, Iesus Christ. To whom with the father and the holy gost be prayse worlde wythout ende. Amen.

[...] or largly to entreate hereof per­aduenture the tyme maye here after serue. But thys presente worcke, requireth that we wryte a true plaine doctrine, as cōpen­diously as we can. But as phi­losophers haue certeyne endes or causes of iustice and honestie from whēce they deriue & fetche the particular properties, & the whole company of vertues: so scripture in this thynge lacketh not an ordre, but keepeth in wri­tynge a goodly maner and way, yea muche more certeyne then al the philosophers. Herein onely is the difference, that, in so much as they were men desirous of honour, they coueted to atteyne to an exquisite finenes of tea­chynge, that they might thereby boste out the excellencie of theyr witte. But the spirite of god, be­cause it doth teach without such [Page] affectation and desire, obserueth not so exactly, nor so often, a cō ­pēdious way. But yet, that such oughte not to be contemned or dispised of vs, it telleth vnto vs sufficiētli, whiles the same scrip­ture teacheth vnto vs other­whilste the same.

Furthermore this lessō, which the scripture teacheth, & whereof we speake, goeth chiefly vpon two poyntes. The firste is: that the loue of ryghtuousnes, to the whiche else (by nature) we be no­thing inclined, should be bi little & litle, poured in, & grafted, into our myndes. The second is: that there shoulde be prescribed vnto vs a rule, whiche may not suffre vs, in the seekyng & desiryng of ryghtuousnes, to be deceyued. The scripture hath mani waies, & the same very good, to prayse righteousnes, & as touching thē, [Page] we haue in other places spoken our mynde before. But yet some we wyl here touch briefly. Upon what foundation maye it better begynne then when it admoni­shethLeui. xix vs that we muste be sanc­tified or holy,i Pet. i. because oure god is holy? For when like dispersed shepe, we were scattered abrode, and put in sundre in the daun­gerous deserte of thys world, he gotte vs vp agayne, yt he myght gather vs together vnto hym selfe. Whē we heare mention of the ioynynge of god and vs to­gether, we oughte to remembre, that holines ought to be the couplinge or knyttynge together of hym & vs. Not, because we, tho­rowe worthines of our owne ho­lines maye atteyne to haue fe­lowshippe wyth hym, when ra­ther we muste cleaue fyrst vnto [Page] hym that we maye be throughly washed and sanctified wyth his holynes: but rather because it greatly perteyneth to his glory, that we haue not felowship with iniquitie and fylthynes. Wher­fore it teacheth vs thys to be the final cause, and intente, why we were called, and whereunto we muste alwayes haue respect, if we wyll answere vnto God, when he calleth vs. For, to what purpose serueth it, that we are plucked out, and deliuered from the wickednes and fylth of the worlde, in the whiche we were drowned, if we suffre oure sel­ues all oure lyfe longe to be sowsed and waltered in them?

Furthermore it admonisheth vs also, that we maye be coun­ted for the people of God,Ephe. v. et alibi. we muste dwel in the holy citie of Ierusalem: the whiche, as god [Page] hath consecrated it, and made it holy for hym selfe, so it is a dete­stable thynge, that it shoulde be defiled wyth vncleanes of then­habitauntes of it Where vpon these saiynges ryse: they shall dwell in the tabernacle of God whiche walke wythout spot and loue rightuousnes.Psal. xv &c. And that it maye the better awake vs out of our slepe,Ra. vi. it sheweth that god the father, as he made an at­tonement betwene him selfe and vs by his sonne Christe: so hath he shewed vnto vs a paterne & example, vnto the whiche, he wil haue vs to be made lyke. Go to, let them, who thynke that moral philosophie and exhorting vnto good maners, is taughte, as it oughte to be, onely of philoso­phers, fynde me a more excellent rule or ordre in wrytyng among them all concernynge the same. [Page] For they, whē they go earnestly about to exhort vnto vertue, al­ledge nothyng for it but that we shoulde lyue accordynge to na­ture. But the scripture fetcheth the ground of exhortation from the heade sprynge, whyle it not onely commaundeth vs to ordre al our lyfe accordyng to goddes wyl, who is boeth the gyuer and owner of it: but after that it hath taughte vs, that we haue gro­wen out of kynde, from the true beginnyng and lawe of our cre­ation, it bryngeth in Christ, tho­rowe whom we are come againe into the fauoure of god, to be set furth vnto vs for an exsample, that we myght expresse his like­nes or be lyke vnto hym in oure conuersation. What canst thou require of more efficacie thē this one thynge?Mala. i. Naye rather what canste thou aske more then thys [Page] alone?Ephe. v. For, if for thys cause we be chosen of oure Lorde for his chyldren,i. Iohn. iii. that oure lyfe shoulde represent Christe the bonde and cheine of his chosing of vs:Ephe. v. then except we nowe faithfully geue, and wholly betake oure selues vnto ryghtuousnes,Hebr. x. we do not onely trayterously fall away frō our creator,i. Cor. vi through shamefull breakynge of our allegiaunce & promise made vnto hym,i. Pet. i. but al­so we forsake him to be our saui­our.i. Cor. vi.vii. Furthermore the scripture taketh occasion to exhorte vs by considerynge aswell of al the be­nefites of god,Iohn. xv. as also of euerie parte of our saluation, whice it sheweth vnto vs as thus. For so muche as god is become a fa­ther vnto vs, we are worthy to be reproued of to muche vn­thankefulnes, except we agayne behaue oure selues as chyldren [Page] vnto him.Ephe. v. And sith he hath pur­ged, purifyed & made vs cleane in the bath of his owne bloude, yea, and by Baptisme made vs partakers of thys bath: it be­commeth vs not a freshe, to be defiled wyth filthynesse. And syth he hath graffed vs into his owne bodye, we oughte di­ligentlye to beware,Colo. iii. leste we, whyche are his membres, spryn­kle vpon vs anie spot or stayne: and syth he hym selfe, who is oure heade, is ascended vp in­to heauē, it is meete that earth­ly affections beinge sette asyde,i. Cor. iii.vi. we shoulde wyth all oure her­tes desyre to be there. And syth the holie goste hath made vs holie Temples vnto God, [...]i. Cor. vi. we oughte diligentlie to endeuour, that the glorie of God, through vs, myght beautifully appeare. And we ought not to cōmit any [Page] thing wherbi we mought vnha­low & defile our selues wt the fil­thines of syn. And sith both oure soule & body are appointed vnto heauenly incorruption,i. Thess. v. and to a crowne that can not fade, we muste manfully endeuour, that they may be kept and preserued pure, and vncorrupte tyll that daye. These (I saye) be the beste foundations to make a good cō uersation withal, the like wher­unto, thou shalt not fynde to be taughte of al the philosophers, who in the cōmendynge of ver­tue neuer ascend aboue the pro­pre worthines or goodnes of the onely naturall man.

And here is a good place to re­buke thē, who hauynge nothing that perteineth to christ, but onli his name & outwarde badge, co­uet neuertheles to be called chri­stiās. But how cā thei for shame [Page] bragge of his holy name? Tru­ly none hath any thynge to do wyth Christe, but they whiche haue receiued the ryghte know­ledge of hym through the worde of his gospel or ioyful tidinges, no, for the Apostle denyeth all them ryghtly to haue learned Christe, whiche haue not lear­ned and are taught to cloth thē selues whyth hym,Ephe. iiii. the olde man (which is corrupted bi folowing disceitful desires) beinge cast a­waye. Therfore wrongfully and wythout cause suche pretende to haue knowledge of Christe, al­though they talke of the gospell neuer so learnedly, and can re­herse it on their fyngers endes. For it is not a doctrine of the tonge, but of conuersation and lyuyng. Neither is it apprehen­ded or learned by vnderstādyng and memorie only, as other dis­ciplines [Page] and sciences are, but it is then onely receiued and lear­ned, when it possesseth the whole soule, and fyndeth a seate or re­styng place in the inwarde affe­ction of the herte. Therefore ei­ther let them ceasse wyth the dis­honouryng of god, to bost them selues to be that they be not: or els lette them behaue them sel­ues as disciples or scholars not vnmeete for suche a maister. To the doctrine wherein oure reli­gion is conteyned, we haue ge­uen the chiefe prayse, for surely oure saluation begynneth at it. But the same muste be poured into our hert, and must go furth yea and must so transforme and chaunge vs into it, that it be not vnfruitfull in vs. For if philo­sophers be iustlie angrie and wyth greate displeasure dryue from their cōpany those, whiche, [Page] because they professe the arte whiche oughte to teache an ho­neste conuersation, do tourne the same into Sophisticall ba­bling: vpon howe muche grea­ter cause, shall we abhore these triflynge Sophisters (I meane the swynyshe Godspisers, and not Gospellers) whyche passe vpon no more, but on the one­lie hauynge of the Gospell out­wardly in their mouthes? the efficacye and strength whereof, oughte a hundreth tymes more, then the colde preceptes or ex­hortacions of the Philosophers, to enter into the innermoste a­ffectiōs and desires of the hert, to abyde styll in the soule, and to worcke in the whole man. Yet I require not that the ma­ners of a christen man shoulde sende furth nothynge, but the perfect Gospell, whiche thynge [Page] neuerthelesse boeth oughte to be wyshed, and also is needefull to be gone aboute. But I re­quire not so straightly the euan­gelical perfectiō or that perfect­nes which the Gospell teacheth, that I would not acknowledge for a christen man, who so euer hath not yet fully atteyned ther­unto. For so all men shoulde be shytte out from the congre­gation of Christe. For there is no man founde whyche is not yet sette farre frome it. And manye haue yet gone but a li­tle waye forwarde, whoe ne­uerthelesse shoulde vnworthy­lye be abiected, or caste awaye. What then? let the marke be set vp before our eyes, to the which lette vs directe and as it were, leuell our myndes & endeuours▪ lette the pricke be appointed be­fore vs, wherunto lette vs both [Page] endeuour and stryue to attayne for thou mayst not make suche a perticion wyth god that of the thynges whyche are prescribed vnto the by his word, part thou wylte take vpon the, and parte thou wilt passe ouer at thy plea­sure. For in the firste place of all he commendethe or setteh before vs euery where, innocēcy, as the chiefe part of honouring of him by whiche name, he vnderstan­deth a true simplicitie of mynde whyche is wythout colour and fayninge, contrary wherunto is a double herte. But because no man hath so muche strength in this erathly pryson of his body, that he hasteth thitherwarde wt so muche swyftnes of runnyng, as he ought to do: and the grea­ter numbre are oppressed wyth suche weaknes, that thei stacker and halte, yea and creepe on the [Page] ground and therfore go litle forwarde, let vs therfore go, euerye man accordinge to the lytletyne power he hath, and folowe after in the iourney begon. No man shall goo so vnfrutfullye, but he shall at the leste waie, daylye rid some parte of the waye. Lete vs therfore not cease to doo thus, that so we may dayly profyt som what in the lordes waye, & let vs not be discouraged because of litle successe. For truly thoughe we go not so faste forwarde, as we desire: yet the laboure is not lost, when thys day is better thē yesterdaye, so yt with true simpli­citie we directe our eye vnto our marke, & desire to hit the prycke not folishely flateringe oure sel­ues, nor wynking at our fautes, but with a continual desire endeuoryng that we may waxe better and better in oure selues, vntyll [Page] suche tyme as we come to that goodnes, whiche in dede al oure lyfe longe we seke for, and folow to get, and only then shall laye hande vpon it when hauing cast of the weakenes of our fleshe, we shalbe receyued into the full fe­loweshyppe of hym.

Thoughthe law of god hath a very good way and wel ordered to teache a man howe to leade hys lyfe: yet it pleased our hea­uenly mayster by a more exacte waye, to fashion hys, accordyng to the rule, which he had before fetfurth in the lawe And the begynninge of that waye is thys: that it is the dutie of the fayeth­full to geue vnto God ther own bodyes a lyuelye sacrifice,Ro. xii. holye and acceptable, vnto him: & here in to consiste the true honouring of hym: wherupon ryseth cause to exhorte men that they become [Page] not lyke vnto thys worlde, but be transformed and newe shapen by the renewynge of theyr myn­des, that they maye proue by ex­perience what the wil of God is. Nowe thys is a greate thynge, that we are dedicate and offered vnto God, to the entente that hereafter we should not thynke, speake, ymagyne, nor do anye thynge, but vnto hys honoure. For a thynge being once holye & offred vnto him, is not (with out hys greate dishonoure) appli­ed to prophane vses. Wherfore if we be not our owne but the lordes: both what errour ought to be fled frō, & to what ende all the acciōs or doinges of our life, ar to be directed, it appereth. We are not our owne, therefore nei­ther our owne reasō nor wil may rule in our counsailles and de­des. We are not oure own ther­fore [Page] we may not appoynt to our selues thys ende, to desire the thynge, that after the fleshe or onely naturall man, is good for vs: we are not our owne, there­fore, as nigh as we cā, let vs for­get our owne selues & all thyn­ges that be ours. Againe we perteyne vnto the Lorde, therefore lette vs lyue and dye vnto hym: we perteyne vnto the Lorde, therefore let his wysedome and wyl, rule al our Actes or deedes: we perteine vnto the Lorde, vn­to hym therefore, as to the onely moste lawefull ende, lette al the partes of oure lyfe enforce to at­teyne. O howe muche hath he profited, whiche hauynge lear­ned that he hym selfe is not his owne, hath taken away the rule and gouerment of hym selfe frō his owne wysedome to brynge it to our Lorde? For as thys to de­stroye [Page] men is the moste hurtfull pestilence, when they obey vnto them selues: so the onely hauen of health is, neyther to vnder­stande nor to wyl any thynge by them selfe, but alonly to folowe the Lorde goinge before them. Let thys therefore be the firste steppe: a man to departe from hym selfe, to thentent he may applie the whole strength of his witte, to obeye vnto the Lorde. I speake of obedience, not that lyeth in the obedience of wordes onely, but whereby the mynde of a man being voyed of the ve­ry wysedome of the fleshe or na­tural man, turneth it selfe al to­gether vnto the becke and plea­sure of Goddes spirite. Of thys transformyng or turning which Paule calleth the renuinge of the mynde, though it be the first enteraunce into life, al the philosophers [Page] were ignoraunt, for thei say that reason only ruleth man, onely reason they thynke wor­thy to be hearde: finally to rea­son onely, they geue & suffre the gouermēt or rule of their dedes. But christiā philosophy biddeth reason to geue place, to obey & be in subiection, vnto the holy gost that man do not nowe hym selfe lyue, but rather beare Christ ly­uinge and reigning in hym.

Therupon followeth also thys other thynge that we seeke not the thynges which be ours, but whiche are, accordyng to the Lordes wyl, and make for the settynge furth of his glory. And thys is a token that a man hath muche profited, when, hauynge in a maner forgottē our selues, yea the consideration of our sel­ues set asyde, we bestowe oure myndes or desires, faythfully v­pon [Page] the Lorde and his cōmaun­dementes. For whē the scripture commaūdeth vs to leaue of, the priuate consideration of our sel­ues, it doeth not onely race out of our hertes gredy desire of ha­uynge and affectynge of power, and the fauour of men, but also plucketh out by the rotes, am­bition, and al desire of the prayse of men, & other more secrete pe­stilences. Truly it is meete that a christen man be so ioyned and so prepared vnto God, that in al his conuersation, he counte that he hath to do with God. By this meanes, as he shal cal backe al that he hath, to goddes wyl and pleasure, so wyll he referre the whole purpose or entente of his mynde, reuerētly vnto hym. For he that hath learned to beholde God in the doinge of al thynge, therwythal turneth away from [Page] al vayne thynges. Thys is that deniynge of oure selues, whiche Christe, assone as he had called his disciples, wyth so greate di­ligence taught them: the whiche after it hath once taken place in the hert: firste leaueth no place either for pryde, or disdayne, or braggynge: and after that, nei­ther for couetousnes, nor vnlaw­ful lustes, nor lechery, nor wan­ton delicates, nor for other mis­chiefes, whiche come of the loue to oure owne selues. Contrary­wyse, where so euer it reygneth not, there eyther moste fylthy vi­ces, wythout shame, straye a­boute: or elles if there be anie outwarde shewe of vertue, the same is corrupt with the naugh­tie desire of praise. For shewe me a man (if thou canst) who, except he haue according to gods com­maūdemente forsaken him selfe, [Page] wol frely, or for naught, exercise goodnes amonge men. For who so euer hath not bene of thys minde, thei haue folowed vertue for prayse sake. But who so euer at any tyme amonge the philo­sophers cōtended ye vertue was to be desired for it selfe, and not onely for the goodnes that was in it, were neuerthelesse puffed vp wyth arrogancye that it ap­peareth, they desired vertue for none other cause, but to haue matter to be proude of. But god so litle deliteth, either in the flat­terers of the cōmon peoples ea­res, or in their proud hertes, that he telleth them that they haue receyued their rewarde in thys worlde & maketh harlottes and other open synners nerer to the kyngdome of heauen, then such. But we haue not yet declared wyth howe many & howe greate [Page] hynderaunces a man is let from desirynge of goodnes, so longe as he hath not denyed him selfe, for it was truly sayed long ago: a worlde of sinnes to be hidde in the soule of a mā. And thou cast fynde none other remedye, but that first deniynge thy selfe, and settynge asyde the consideration of thy selfe, thou do applie thy whole minde to seeke those thin­ges, whiche oure Lorde requi­reth of the: & to reckē, that ther­fore onelie they are to be sought for, because they please hym.

Furthermore thys deny­all of oure selfe hath respecte partlie vnto men, and partly or rather chieflie vnto God, for when the scripture byddeth vs so to behaue our selues amonge men, that we geue honoure vn­to them before oure selues: and that wyth greate faythfulnes, [Page] we bestowe oure selues al toge­ther vpon doinge good to them: it geueth those cōmaundemētes whiche oure mynde can not vn­derstande, excepte it firste lacke his owne natural wysedom. For euerie man thynketh, through the blyndnes wherewyth we al runne headlyng into the loue of oure owne selues, that he hath a iust cause to auaunce hym selfe, and to dispise al other in respect of hym selfe. If God haue geuē vs any thynge whiche is not to be repented of, we puttynge our delectation therin, by and by are high mynded, and do not onely swel, but also wel nigh bruste for pryde. The vices wherwith we abound, those we both diligent­ly hide frome other men, and in flatterynge of our selues, recken them lyghte and smal, yea and other whyleste delyght in thē as [Page] though they were vertues. And if we see the same giftes in other men, whiche we wondre at or be in loue wyth in oure selues, yea let them be greater then oure owne: yet, lest we should be con­strayned to take them for oure betters, those gyftes we do tho­rowe malice make worse and di­minish: but if there be anie faul­tes in them, then being not con­tented, wyth rigorousnesse and bitter tauntynge, to harken and spye them out, we wyll malici­ously make, of ant egges, ant hylles, and sette out the matter at lēgth. Whereupō ryseth thys lordly presumption wyth euery one of vs, that as being by a cō ­mō law exempt, eueri one would aboue the reste excell or be taken higher. There is no man elles but eyther wythout cause we fierflie defye hym or elles at the [Page] leste waye, as oure inferioure, sette noughte by hym. In deede pore men geue place to the rych, the comminaltie to the nobilitie, the seruauntes to the maisters, and, the vnlearned to the lear­ned. But for all that, there is no man, who inwardly and wythin his brest, nourisheth not some o­opinion of excellēcie. Thus eue­ry man in flattering of him selfe, doeth execute or beare a certeine kyngdome in his herte. And at­tributing to muche to him selfe, that he may ye better stand in his owne cōceite, he taketh vpō hym authoritie to iudge other mens wittes & maners: but if it come so far furth yt thei once cōtend or be at wordes, then their poyson breaketh out. For mani in deede pretēd much meknes or gētlenes so lōg as thei find al things pleasaūt, & after their owne mindes.

[Page]But howe manye be there, that whē they be once pricte or stirred vp, vse such maner of moderaciō or humblenes? And there is no other remedy but that this most noysome pestilence of blind loue and of loue to oure selues, muste be plucked vp, out of the bottom of oure hertes, euē as also by the doctryne of the scripture, it is puld vp. For, this we be taught, that the giftes, whiche god hath geuē vs, we ought to remembre not to be oure goods, but the fre giftes of god, of the which, if mē be proud, they therby vtter theyr vnthākfulnes. Furthermore by the continuall considerynge of oure synnes, we calle our selues backe vnto lowlines of herte. Thus there shal nothynge reste in vs wherefore we shoulde swel for anger or pride, but ther shal­be greate cause, why we shoulde [Page] throwe downe oure selues or beare our selues low. Againe we be commaunded, what so euer giftes of God we beholde in o­ther, so to reuerence and behold those same, that we also honoure them, in whō thei be. For it were a parte of great wyckednes, to take awaye from them that ho­noure, whyche oure Lorde hath vouchsaued to geue them. But at their vices, we are taughte to winke, not that through flatterie we should nourish or maintaine them: but that we should not, be­cause of them, speake reproche of those persons, vnto whome we ought to beare frendshippe and honoure. Thus shall it come to passe that with whom so euer we haue to do, we shall beare oure selues not onely lowly & gently: but also familiarly & frēdly: euē as cōtrariwyse, vnto true meke­nes [Page] thou shalte neuer come a­nye other waye, but if thou shalt haue thy herte tempered boeth wyth the throwynge downe of thy selfe and also wyth the reue­rencynge of other.

Now to do thy dutie in seking of thy neyghbours profite howe hard a thing is it? Surely onles thou departe from the conside­rynge of thy selfe, and after a sorte put of thy selfe, as a man doeth hys garmente: thou shalte brynge nothyng to passe heare. For, how cāst thou shewe furth the workes, whiche Paule teacheth to perteine to charitie, except yu forsake thy selfe, yt thou maiest bestowe thy selfe all together v­pon other? loue or charite (sayth he) is pacient and suffereth long and is curteous, loue inuieth not, loue doeth not frowardely swelleth not, dealeth not disho­nestly, [Page] seketh not hir owne, is not prouoked to angre. If thys one thyng be required of vs, that we seke not our owne thē there must no little strēgth be brought vnto nature, for it inclineth vs so to ye onely loue of our owne selfe, yt it suffereth vs not so sone wythout regarde, to ouer passe both vs & ours, that we may care for other mens profite, yea & wylyngly de­part frō our owne right, that we may ye more diligētly loke to our neybours profite. But the scrip­ture to lead vs, as it were by the hande, to it, warneth vs what so euer gift we obtene of our Lord, the same to be comitted vnto vs, vpō this cōdicion or couenaūt, yt it shoulde be bestowed on the cō ­mon proffite of hys congregaci­on: and therefore the lawful vse of all gyftes, to be a liberall and gētle departyg frō them vnto o­ther. [Page] And there could be deuised no rule more sure, nor any exhortacion for the keaping of it more strong, then wher we be taught, all gyftes and qualities whiche we are indued wyth, to be sente vs of God or put of truste into our handes, on thys condicion, that thei should be bestowed vn­to our neyghbours profit, yea & the scripture yet goeth further, whyle it compareth the gyftes, whyche euery man hath, vnto the powers or qualities whyche the mēbers in a mans bodye are indued wyth. Neuer a member hath hys powre, for hym selfe alone, neyther applieth it to hys owne priuate vse: but powreth it furth vpon his felow membres, and taketh no profit therby, but that, which cōmeth forth, for the comon commoditie of the whole bodye besydes. So a good man [Page] what so euer he can do: he oweth that habilitie to hys bretherne: prouiding no other wise priuatly for hym selfe, but that his mynd neuertheles, is bente vnto the comon edifiyng or mayntaining of the congregation. Therefore let thys be a short rule vnto marcie and compassion: what so euer God hath indued vs wyth, wherby we can healpe oure neygh­bour, thereof we, to be stuardes, who are bounde to yelde accom­ptes of the orderyng and bestowynge of it, moreouer yt only to be the ryghte orderynge and besto­wynge of it, whyche agreth with the rule of charitie. So shall it come to passe that not onely we shall alwaye ioyne the desyre of our neighbours profit with the carynge for oure owne, but also shall regarde it before oure oure owne. And that we myght know [Page] that thys is the lawe of true mi­nistrynge or vsinge of what so e­uer gyftes we haue receyued of God, in tymes paste he made the same lawe also in the smalleste gyftes of hys benignitye. For he commaunded the firste frui­tes of corne to be offered vnto hym: whereby the people should beare record, that it was not le­ful for them to take any fruite of suche goodes, as were not firste consecrated or applied to gods vse. Wherefore if the gyftes of God be sanctified or holye vnto vs then only, when we haue de­dicate thē wyth our handes vnto the geuer of them: it is plaine that the abuse is euil which sauoreth not of suche dedicacion or appliyng of them, Yea but thou wylte saye, that thou shouldeste to no purpose make oure Lorde ryche wyth the departiuge from [Page] thy substaunce vnto hym. Wel then, syth thy liberalitie can not extende vnto hym,P [...]. xvi. as the pro­phete sayeth, thou muste exercise the same vpon his holy ons or sainctes whyche lyue here in earth. Furthermore, leste we shoulde be wery of wel doinge (whiche thynge by and by muste els needes come to passe) vnto thys muste be added also, the o­ther thynge, whiche the Apostle speaketh of: charitie, to be paci­ent & not sone stirred to wrath. Our Lorde commaūdeth vs to do good vniuersally to al men, of whom a greate part, are very vnworthy, if they should be este­med after their owne desertes: here the scripture healpeth by a strong reason, when it teacheth, that of vs is not to be regar­ded, what mē of them selues de­serue: but in al men the Image [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] of god is to be considered, vnto whom we owe al honour & loue. But yet in those of the houshold of fayth, the same ymage is most diligently to be had in reuerēce, because yt by the spirite of Christ it is renued and repared.

Therfore what soeuer man be offered vnto the, whiche lacketh thy healpe, thou haste no cause why thou shouldest let to bestow thy selfe vpō hym. Say he is an Alyaunt or a stranger, yea but oure Lorde hath set vpon hym a marke, whiche thou oughtest to be acquaynted or familiar wt: saye he is in no estimation nor any thynge worth, no but oure Lorde sheweth hym to be one, vnto whom he hath vouchsaued to geue the honoure of his lyke­nes. Saye thou arte not bounde to hym, by any benefite that he hath done the: no but god hath, [Page] as in his owne stede, appoynted hym in suche sorte, that towards hym thou shouldeste consider and (as muche as in the lieth) re­quite, the whole goodnes and great benefites, for the whyche thou arte bound vnto God him selfe: saye he is vnworthye that for hys cause thou shouldeste la­boure any thynge at all: but the image of God, whereby he is set before the, is worthy, that thou shouldest geue vnto him thy self and all thyne. Nowe if he haue not onely deserued at thy hande no goodnes, but hath also prouoked the wyth wronges and hurt yet is thys no iuste cause where­fore thou shouldeste seace boeth to loue hym and to execute the workes of loue vpon hym. He hath (thou wylte saye) deserued farre other wyse at my hande: Yea but what hath oure Lorde [Page] deserued? Who while he biddeth the to forgeue hym what so euer he hath offended agaynste the, wol surely recken it euen as for­geuē to him self. Surely by this one waye, men come vnto that thynge, whiche is not only hard vnto mannes nature, but also vtterly agaynste it, to wytte: that we loue them whyche beare hatered vnto vs: that we requite euylles wyth goodnes: and ren­dre blessynges for curssynges: by thys one waye (I saye) we at­teyne therunto, if we remembre, that we maye not regarde the malice of men, but muste behold in thē, the ymage of god, whiche Image, their synnes being hid & blotted out oughte to allure vs hertely to loue and imbrace thē for the bewtie & worthynes of it.

Therefore thys mortification shall then onely take place in vs [Page] if we haue feruente charitie, but he hath so, not that alonly doth execute all the offices or partes of charitie, thoughe he preter­mitte none: but he that of a pure affectiō of loue, doeth the same: for it maye be that some man paye fully to all men, what so he oweth them, so farre as belon­geth to the outwarde dutie, and neuertheles he maye the whylest be far frō the true maner of pay­ing. For thou maiest se sone who wyll seme very liberall, who yet geue nothing which wt a proud coūtenaūce, yea & loftines of wordes to, thei cast not a man in the teeth wt afterwardes. And vnto this calamity in this our vnhappy daies is it come yt almoste no almes, at the leste way of ye most part of mē, is geuen without re­bukes or taūtes which froward­nesse or churlyshnes oughte not [Page] to be tollerable, no, not amonge Ethnikes, for of christē mē there is somwhat more required, then that they shal shewe a chereful­nes in their coūtenaunce & with familiaritie of wordes, cause the thing whiche they of dutie do, to be wel taken. For first they must beholde the parson of hym, whō thei perceiue to lacke their helpe, and euen so muste pitie his nece­ssitie, as if they them selues felt and suffered it, so that, by the fe­lynge of mercy & cōpassion, they may be no otherwyse desirous to healpe hym, then if he were thēselfe. Who soeuer being thus encouraged, cometh to healpe his bretherne, he not onely, shal not with any lostines or casting in the teeth, defile the doinge of his duty toward his neighbour, but also, shal not despise his bro­ther to whom he doeth a good [Page] turne, as one that lacketh his healpe, nor shal therfore brynge hym in subiection, as one great­ly bounde vnto hym for it. No more surely then either we re­ioyce that a membre of oure bo­dye is sycke, when to the heal­pynge of it, the reste of the bo­die laboureth: or elles thynke that membre speciallie bounde to the other membres, because it hath had more laboure done vnto it then it hath requited. For the commune ministration of the membres, in doinge of their offices one to an other, is beleued to haue nothynge that it loketh to be recompensed for agayne. But rather reckeneth the same to be a payinge of that thynge, whiche by the lawe of nature is owynge and due. By thys meanes also shall it come to passe that he shall not thynke [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] hym selfe quitte or discharged whiche hath done in one maner his dutie, as it is comonly wont to come to passe, that a worldely ryche man, after he hath geuen somewhat of his to the poore, he wyll appoynte vnto other men the other charges, as thoughe they nothynge belonge to hym But thus rather shal euerye mā thynke wyth hym selfe, that how great so euer he be, he oweth him selfe to hys neyghbours, & that he must appointe no other tyme of seacynge to shewe mercy and frēdship vnto them, but only thē whē he lacketh powre and habi­litie to do it which habilitie how much it is, is to be limited after the rule of charitie.

Now let vs declare the chief parte of deniynge of oure selfe, whyche we sayde dyd perteyne vnto god. Mani thinges are al­redy [Page] spokē touching it, which to repete were in vaine. It shal su­ffice to speake of it so far forth as it teacheth vs equanimitie & pa­tientnes, that is to saye, a quiet moderatiō of mynde yt is neither extolled in prosperitye, nor discō forted in aduersitie, but taketh al thinges in good parte. In the beginning therfore, in ye seeking either of the cōmoditie, or the trā quilitie of this presēt life, ye scrip­ture calleth vs hyther, that resy­ninge or geuinge ouer vnto our Lordes pleasure, our selues & al ours, we shal geue vnto him the taming & bringing vndre of the affectiōs or desires of our herte. To the desiringe of riches & ho­nours, to the couetynge of po­wer and bearing rule, to the heaping together of substaūce, & to the gathering together of those folishnes, which seme to further [Page] a man to hyghe estimacion and pompe, we are almoste mad for very gredines, and our appetite is insaciable. On the other syde againste pouertie reproche and losse of estimacion or poore state, we haue a wonderful feare lothsomenes and hatred, by the whych we be pricked forward, to the remouynge, and puttynge of them awaye, by al possible mea­nes. Here vpon it is good to se what vnquiet mindes they haue howe many craftes they assaye, and wyth what cares they werie and tire them selfes, who so euer order there lyues by there owne counsayle onely, to thentente on the one side thei might attaine to those thynges, wereunto the de­sire of ambition and couetous­nes carieth them: and on the o­ther syde, that they maye scape pouertie & lowe estate. Of good [Page] men therefore, leste they shoulde be wrapped in such snares, thys waye is to be holden. Firste that they neyther desire, neyther hope neyther thinke, that the waye to prospre and be ryche, commeth any other waye, then by the ble­ssinge or gyfte of the Lorde, and therfore let them saftie, and with a sure truste leane vnto it, and cast them selues vpō it. For how so euer the fleshe (or natural mā) thinketh that he is veri wel able to helpe hym selfe, whylest either by his owne diligence he labou­reth for honours & riches: either endeuoreth by study, or is holpē vp the fauoure of men: yet the trueth is, for al that, that al these thynges are nothynge, and that we shall not preuaile any thyng either by wyt, or by laboure, but only so farre forth, as our Lorde shal prospre both. But contrari­wise, [Page] ye only blessing of our Lord, fyndeth awaye thorough all maner of lettes or stoppes, that it maketh all thynges to come vnto vs wyth a ioyfull and happie ende.

Further more, be it so that we coulde wythout hys blessinge, get some honour and wealth (as we dayely se the vngodly to be heaped vp with honours and ri­ches) yet for so muche as they whyche haue goddes cursse ly­inge vpon them, tast not the least parte of felicitie that may be, thē wythout his blessinge, we shal attayne to nothing but that, which turneth to oure hurte. Further more, that is not to be desiered which maketh mē more wretched therfore if we beleue yt al the way to prosper consisteth and is reposed in the onely blissinge of God which beinge absent, al kynde of [Page] myserye and calamitye abideth vs, it resteth also, that we labour not gredelie, to attayne to riches and honours, vsinge either the finenes of our owne wyt, or oure owne diligence, or trustynge to the fauour of men, or hopinge in the folishe imaginacion of for­tune: but that we haue alwayes respecte vnto oure Lord, that by his fauorable goodnes, we may be led to what so euer degre or state, he hath before appointed. Thus firste shal it come to passe yt we shall not by vnlaufulnes, gyle, and yll craftes, or throughe rauyn, or extorcion, or the wrong of oure neyghbours, runne hed­lynge to get riches, and come to honour: but we shall only folow those fortunes or states, whyche shall not leade vs away from innocencie, for who can hope to be aided wyth goddes benediccion, [Page] whyle he vseth disceites, robbe­ries and other sotelties and wic­kednes? For, as ye foloweth none but hym that thynketh truly, & doth rightfully: so al thē, of whō it is desired, it calleth backe from croked thoughtes and euyll de­des. Also there shall be a brydle cast vpō vs, leste we burne, with immoderate desire or gredines to become ryche, or lefte we am­bitiously gape for honours. For howe can any man for shame, stedfastly beleue that he is hol­pen of God to gette those thyn­ges, whiche he desireth contrary to his worde? for God forbidde, that the thing, which our Lorde cursseth wt his mouth, he should healpe wyth his blessynge.

Finally if it succede not af­ter our desire and hope, we shall be kepte backe yet from impati­entnes, and shall not abhorre [Page] nor cursse, what so euer state we be in, because we shall knowe, that to be a murmuring against God: by whose appoyntment, ri­ches, and pouertie, reproch, and honours, are disposed. To be short, he, whiche after that sorte, whiche is spoken before, putteth his truste in the blessing of god, neither shal wt deceitful meanes hauke for those thynges whiche are wont to be outragiously de­sired of men (for wyth them he shal thynke hym selfe nothynge to preuayle) neither if any thing shall happen prosperously, shall impute it to him selfe, and to his owne either diligence, either in­dustrie, either fortune, but shall ascribe it and geue thākes ther­fore vnto God, the auctor and geuer thereof. And farther if o­ther mens wealth encreasynge, he litle go forward, or rather go [Page] backwarde: yet shal he beare his owne state wyth more equitye and moderation of mynde, then any vngodly parson shall do a meane state, whiche alonly is not al together after his minde, yea and shall haue cōforte wher­in he shall take more pleasure & quietnes then in the highest de­gree either of wealth or of ho­nour, because, as it worketh for his saluatiō, so he rekeneth and beleueth his thinges to be orde­red of our Lorde. And also god­ly myndes maye not alonly in thys parte haue that quietnes and patience, but the same must be extended vnto all chaunces, whereunto thys presente lyfe is subiect, or in daunger. Ttherfore no man hath ryghtly denyed or forsaken hym selfe, but he, which hath so geuen ouer hym selfe all together vnto our Lord: that he [Page] suffereth al the partes of his life to be ruled by his wyl and plea­sure. But he which shalbe so set­tled in his mynde, what so euer happen, he neither shall recken hym selfe wretched, neither shall murmure agaynste God com­playnyng of his fortune or state. Howe necessarie thys affection or mynde is, hereupon shall ap­peare, if thou considre to howe many casualties or sodeine chaū ces we be subiecte. A great mea­ny of diseases on euery syde a­ssaulte vs, otherwhylest rageth the pestilence, otherwhylest with the calamitie of warre we be cruelly vexed, some tyme the froste or hayle, the hope of the yere be­inge put awaye, bryngeth in ba­rēnes, whiche dryueth vs to pe­nurie, oure wyfe, parentes, chyl­dren, and neighbours, be taken away by death, our house is de­stroyed [Page] by fyre. These be the thynges, at the chaūcyng wher­of men wishe they had broken their neckes, they crye out alas that euer they were borne, they bidde auēgeaunce vpon al place and tyme, or crye out harrooe, yea they braule wyth God and cursse hym, they are eloquent in vtteryng blasphemies, they laye to his charge boeth vnryghtu­ousnes, & cruelty. But the faith­full man, in these thynges also, muste behold the mercy and ve­ry fatherly loue of God. There­fore, if he se his owne house left alone, al his neighbours beinge taken away, yet then he shal not cease to praise the Lord: but ra­ther shal turne hym selfe to this thought: for all thys the grace or mercie of oure Lorde, whiche dwelleth in my house, shall not leaue it desolate, or yf his corne, [Page] being blasted with lyghtenyng, or destroyed wyth cold, or beaten downe wyth hayle, he see famin to be at hande: yet for al that, he shall not be discomforted in his hert, nor shall murmure against God: but in thys sure truste shal stande faste, thynkynge: we yet be in the Lordes keepynge, and be sheepe bred vp in his folde, he therefore wyll minister vnto vs fode, yea in moste greatest ba­rennes. Or if he shall be visited wyth sycknes, he then shall not be so ouercome thorowe the gre­uousnes of his sorowe, that he shoulde breake forth into impa­tientnesse, and so shoulde chyde or fynde faulte wyth God. But consideryng in the rodde of god boeth iustice and mercie, he wyl call hym selfe backe to patient receyuynge of it. And finally what so euer shall happen, be­cause [Page] he shal knowe, that it is ordeyned by the hande of God, he shall take it wyth a ioyfull and thankful hert. And shal not stubournly withstande the com­maundemente and pleasure of him, vnder whose powre he hath once willingly throwē hym selfe and al thinges that be his. First of all lette be caste awaye out of christen mens hertes the folishe and most miserable consolation of the infidels: who, to streng­then the mynde agaynst aduer­sities, dyd impute them vnto so­dayne chaunce and fortune, a­gaynst which to murmure or to be angry, they thought it folish­nes, because it was in vaine and to no purpose, for so muche as fortune, being blynd, did wound them yt sorowed, aswell as them that sorowed not. But contrari­wise, this is the rule of godlines [Page] or true honouringe of God: to thinke yt the onely hād of god, is the iudge, or orderer, of both the fortunes or states, to wit, of pro­speritie & aduersitie: and that he rūneth not forth headlynge in a rage, without al cōsideratiō, but by most true ordre of iustice ap­pointeth, both the good thinges and the euyll. Yea, & yet higher, must a godly mind ascēd, to wit, thither as Christ calleth his dis­ciples: yt euery man take vp his owne crosse. For who soeuer our Lord hath chosē to his childrē, & hath vouchsaued yt they shoulde haue felowship wt his, thei must prepare thē selues to a life or cō ­uersatiō very hard, full of labor, vnquiet & stuffed ful of many & sundry kindes of euyls.

Truly it is the wyl of our hea­uenly father, to exercise his chil­dren after this sort, that he may [Page] haue sure experience or tryall of them, yea begynynge at Christe his fyrst and onely begotten na­turall sonne, he kepeth the same ordre and way, wyth all his chil­drē. For where he was his sonne before al other beloued, and in whom the fathers mynde was fully at reste and well pleased: yet we see how he was delt with al, not dayntely and wantonly, that it maye truly be spoken, not only that he was exercised wyth a continuall crosse, so longe as he dwelte vpon the earth, but also that his whole lyfe, was nothynge elles, but the repre­sentation of a continuall crosse. Wherfore then do we go about to rydde oure selues out of that state or condition, into whiche it was necessarie that Christe our heade shoulde entre? specially, syth he intred into it, onely for [Page] oure cause, to the entente that, euē in hym selfe, he would shewe vnto vs an example of pacience? Wherfore the Apostle teacheth that all the chyldren of God,Rom. viii. are appoynted vnto thys ende, to wytte, to be made lyke vnto Christe: whereupon also thys very excellent consolation com­meth vnto vs: that in harde thynges and sharpe, the whiche are counted vnfortunate and euyll, we suffre wyth Christe: that euen as he, from the hurle­pole of al euylles, wente into ce­lestial glorie: so by sundry tri­bulatiōs we myghte be brought into the same.Phi. iii For thus sayeth the same Paul in another place: whyle we learne to suffre wyth hym, we therwyth laye hande v­pon the powre of the resurrecti­on: and whyle we be made lyke vnto his death, we so be prepa­red [Page] vnto the felowship of his re­surrection. Howe muche is thys able to aswage & make pleasaūt, al the bitternes of ye crosse? yt the more we be aflicted wt aduersi­ties & trobles, ye more certēly our fellowship wt christ is cōfirmed? by suffering with whom, our su­fferinges and aduersities be not only made blessed or happie vn­to vs, but also thei greatly helpe to the atteyning of our saluatiō.

Put hereunto, that our Lorde had no neede to take vpon hym the bearyng of the crosse, but did for our sakes testifie & acknow­ledge, to the father his obediēce. But we haue many waies nede, to leade our lyfe in a continuall crosse, for, fyrst, as by nature, we are to muche enclined to attri­bute all thynges vnto our fleshe or the onely naturall man: so ex­cept our weaknes, as it were wt [Page] an eye, be shewed vnto vs, we do sone esteme oure owne powre or strēgth, more then it is: & doubte not, what so euer may happē, the same oure strength to be able to endure it, yea and thynke that is it is inuincible against al daun­gers. Wherupon, we are lift vp into a folishe & vayne cōfidence, or truste, of the fleshe or naturall mā: wherein while we trust, sto­burnly, by & by, we waxe proude against god him self, as though our owne powres were, at ye full, sufficiēt for vs, yea, wythout his grace. Thys arrogancy or pre­sumptuousnes can not better be beaten downe, then when we learne by expereriēce, how much both weaknes, & frailnes is in vs. Therfore either wt reproch, or pouertie, or losse of frēdes, or wyth sycknes, or other calami­ties, he scourgeth vs: whiche to [Page] susteyne, we, as touchynge oure owne powre, are farre vnable, & so are ouerthrowen therewyth And beinge so brought lowe, we lerne to cal for the powre of him, who only, vnder the heuye bur­den of oure afflictions, maketh vs to endure. Yea the most holy men or seintes here in earth, how so euer they knowe them selues to stande by the mercy of God, & not by ther owne strengthes, yet they trust to muche in ther owne strength and stedfastnes, except our Lorde, by triall of the crosse, do brynge them into a more in­ward knowledge of them selues. Because therfore, in prosperitie, they do flatter them selues, wyth an opinion of greater stedfast­nes and pacience, then in dede they haue, they be made humble by aduersities, and so lerne that it was Ipocrisye. By suche do­cumentes [Page] (I say) when the fayth full be warned of ther diseases, they atteyne to lowlines of hert: that castinge of the stoborne confidence of the fleshe or naturall man, they maye get them to the grace and mercy of God. Fur­thermore, when they haue once get them hither, they haue expe­rience, & fele the presence of gods powre, in the which, ther is helpe inough & inough agayne. And thys is it that Paule teacheth, where he sayth: tribulatiōs to be get pacience, & pacience to be get triall, for where goddes promise is, that he wyl healpe the fayth­ful in trobles, that do they proue or fele to be true, when beinge strengthened by hys hande, they patientely endure the thynge, whiche by ther owne powre they were by no meanes able. Pacie­ence therefore bryngeth experi­ence [Page] to godly and holy men, that oure Lorde doeth in dede, when nede is, geue the healpe, whyche he promised them. We se nowe, howe manye goodnesses at­tonce, come of the crosse. For, turninge awaye that opinion of oure owne strength, whyche wrongfully we take vpon vs to haue: and disclosinge oure Ipo­crisie, whyche maketh vs to de­lyghte therein: it shaketh of the parelous confidence of the fleshe or naturall man, and teacheth vs, after we are so once brought downe, to truste only in one God wherby it commeth to passe, that we nether be ouercome, nor yet geue ouer: but after the victory there foloweth also hope, for so muche, as oure Lorde, in fulfyl­lyng that he hath promised doth ratefye stablishe and confirme his trueth, touchinge thynges [Page] for to come. Surely thoughe there were no more causes then these, it appereth howe necessarye it is for vs to be exercised wyth the crosse. And it is not a thynge of small importaunce, the blinde loue of thy selfe to be wyped a­waye, that thou mayste be made wel to know thin owne wekenes and by feling of thyn own wekenes, that thou maist learne to di­strust thi selfe, that yu maist repose thi assured trust in god: and to re­pose, and laye vp, thy sure truste in God, that hauinge his healpe yu mayst perseuer vnto thende vnuanquished: & to perseuer in his grace yt thou mayst know him to be true in hys promisses: and to knowe assuredly, by experience, the certentye of hys promises, that thy hope thereby maye be strenthened.

Our Lord hath also another [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] purpose whie he afflicteth and scouregth his: to wete, that he maye proue there pacience, and may teache them obedience. Not that they can yelde to him any other obedience then that, whych he hym selfe hath geuen them: but so it pleaseth him, by euident documentes or exāples, to make the graces and gyftes, whych he hath geuen to hys lyuinge sein­tes or holy men to be boeth kno­wen and honorable, leste they should lurke ydelly within thē. Therefore, when he bringeth o­penly furth the vertu, & strength of pacience, wherewyth he hath instructed hys seruauntes, he is sayde to trye their pacience wherupon come these sayinges: God proued Abraham,Gen. xxiiii. and had sure knowledge of hys godlines in that he had not sticked to slay his own, only sonne, in sacrifice. [Page] And Peter teacheth yt our fayth is tried by tribulatiōs,i. Pet. ii. no other­wyse, then golde is tryed by fyre in a furnes. Who therefore can saye, that it is not meete that the moste excellent gyfte of patience, whiche the faythfull receyue of God, be brought forth, to the en­tēt it may be made certeyne and euident? For els, men shal neuer esteme it, as it is worth. There­fore if oure Lorde (leste the ver­tues, which he hath bestowed on his faythfull shoulde be hidde in the darke, or rather shoulde lye a syde vnprofitably, and be loste for lacke of occupiynge) doeth rightuously and well, when he ministreth matter, wherewyth to stir thē vp: then, the aflictions of holy men ryse on a good cause, yea for wythout it, they shoulde haue no patience. I say also, that by the crosse, they be taught obe­dience, [Page] because, so thei be taught to lyue, not after their owne de­sires, but accordynge to goddes pleasure. Truly if all thynges shoulde folowe after their owne myndes, they should not knowe what it were to folow god. And thys (Seneca sayth) was the olde prouerbe, when men exhorted a­ny mā patiently, to beare aduer­sitie: folowe god. Wherby truly, they dyd signifie, that then one­ly a mā came vndre gods yoke, when he dyd offre his hande, or backe, to his correction. Nowe then, if it be good reason that we shewe our selues, in al thynges, obedient to our heauēly father, we maye not surely refuse, that by al maner of meanes, he bring vs in vre, to geue due obedience vnto hym. Neither do we, for all thys, perceiue, how necessary vnto vs this obediēce is, except we [Page] also cōsidre, of how great strēgth & force, to caste of ye yoke of god, the wātonnes of our fleshe, or of the natural mā is, after yt once it is a litle softly, & gētly handled. For it fareth altogether wyth it, as with horsses, but halfe brokē, which, if a fewe daies they stand vp pampered in the stable, vnla­boured, afterwardes for wyld­nes and fersnes, can not be ta­med, neyther knowe they their ryder, whose gouernmēt & plea­sure, before they dyd some what obeye. And wythout fayle, that thyng is cōtinually in vs, which our lord lamēteth to be in ye peo­ple of Israell.Deu: xxxii For, beinge made fat & pampered wyth delicates, we wynche, and lashe out wyth oure heeles, at hym, who hath fedde and nourished vs. In deede the liberalitie, and kynd­nesse of oure Lorde towardes [Page] vs, oughte greatly to moue vs, to consider and hertely to loue his goodnesse. But seinge oure wyckednes is suche, that by his continuall gentlenes, we be the soner corrupted and euyll: it is more then necessarie, that oure nose be holdē to the grynstone, and we kepte in, by some correc­tion, leste we breake out, into suche wātōnes. So lest we waxe ferse and wylde, by to muche a­boundaunce of rychesse: leste set vp in honours we waxe proude: or leste, puft vp wyth other gyf­tes, eyther of the soule, or of the bodye, or of fortune, we waxe insolente and forgette oure sel­ues: oure Lorde, as he forseeth to be expedient, meeteth vs on the waye, and healpeth vs: and wyth the remedye of the crosse, subdueth and bridleth the wyld­nesse of oure fleshe, or naturall [Page] man: and that sundrie wayes, euen so muche, as is needfull for euerie one of vs. For ney­ther haue we all one disease, or be in lykewyse payned in oure syckenes, neyther are we of lyke difficultie to be healed. Where vpon we may se that some haue one kynde of crosse, and some an other layed vpon them, But for so muche as the heauenlye phisitiō, desireth the health and saluation of vs al: he handleth some veri gētly, & purgeth other some, wyth verie sharpe reme­dyes: and so letteth none escape scotfree, or vntouched, because that he knoweth, that al, yea euery one of vs is sycke.

Adde hereunto, that oure most mercifull father hath ne [...]e, not onelie to preuente oure in­firmitie, but also to correcte of­ten tymes oure synnes paste, [Page] that he maye make vs to couche quayle, & maye keepe vs in law­full obedience, towardes hym. Therefore, as often as we be a­flicted, by & by oughte to come to our mynd, the remembraunce of our lyfe paste, so wythout fayle, we shal fynde, that we haue committed, wherefore we are worthy of suche chastismente. Yet for all that, we maye not take occasion chieflie, vpon the consyderynge of our synne, to exhort vnto pa­tiēce, For, the scripture teacheth vs a farre better consideration, when it sayeth, that by troubles we are corrected of the Lorde,i. Cor. xi. to thentēt we should not be damp­ned wyth the worlde. Therefore in the very bitternes also of our troubles, it is necessarie yt we cō sidre ye mercy, & benignity of our father towardes vs: for so much as then also, he ceasseth not, to [Page] worke our saluation. For, he pu­nisheth, not to destroy, or kil, but rather, to deliuer from the dam­nation, which the world shal su­ffre. This thought wyl leade vs to that, which the scripture, in an other place, teacheth vs, saiyng: my sonne refuse not the Lordes correctiō,Pro. xvi. neither thynke it long when yu art reproued of him: for whom god loneth, he chastineth, yea & loueth hym, euen as a fa­ther doth his childe. Nowe whē we knowe, and considre that it is our fathers rodde, is it not our partes rather to shewe oure sel­ues obedient and tractable chyl­dren, then by stubbournesse, to do lyke desperate parsonnes, whiche are become harde her­ted in theyr wyckednesse? oure Lorde doeth in deede destroye vs, excepte, when we be fallen from hym, he call vs agayne by [Page] correction.Hebr. x. So that truly he cal­leth vs bastardes and not chyl­dren, if we be wythout correcti­on. We be therefore verie fro­warde, and stubburne, if we can not suffre and abyde our Lorde, whylest he declareth his tendre mercie towarde vs, and his di­ligente care, whiche he hath for oure saluation. The scripture teacheth thys differēce, betwene them that beleue, and them that beleue not, that the one sorte, as vesselles of cankarde and per­boyled wyckednesse, by chastise­mentes, become yet worsse and worsse, yea & more stubbourne: but the other, as naturall chyl­dren, go forth vnto repentaunce or amendemente of lyfe. Chuse the nowe, in whether numbrē thou haste rather to be. But be­cause, of thys thyng I haue spo­ken ynough in an other place, [Page] beinge content to haue but tou­ched it, whyppe and go: I wyll thereof nowe make an ende.

Furthermore it is a special comfort, to suffre persecution for ryghtuousnesse sake. Yea then, oughte to come to oure mynde, how great honour, god vouch­saueth vpon vs, whom he hath so marked wyth the speciall to­kē of his owne warryours. And I say that not onely they, suffre persecution for ryghtuousnesse sake, which suffre for the defence of the gospel: but also thei which suffre for ye helpyng forth, & fur­therynge of any maner of rygh­tuousnes. Whether therefore it be, in affirmynge the veritie of God, agaynst the lyes of Satā, or whether it be, in takyng vpon vs to defēde the good and inno­cent, agaynst the wronges of the vngodly, that needes we muste [Page] be an offence, slaunder and stom­blinge blocke vnto the worlde, yea and be hated of them, and therby also stand in great daun­ger of our lyfe, or goodes, or ho­nour & estimaciō: yet for al that, let it not be greuous, or sorowful vnto vs in thys poynt, to bestow oure selues vpon God, & to geue our selues vnto hym. Nor let vs not thynke oure selues wretched in those thynges, in the whiche, he by his owne mouth, hath pro­nounced vs happye and blessed. Pouertie in dede,Mat. v. if it be estemed in it selfe, is miserie: & so is ba­nishmēt, disdaine, imprisonmēt, and open shame: finally death it selfe, is of all other, the gretteste calamitie. But, when the fauour of our Lorde aspireth or cometh thereunto, there is none of these thynges, which turne not to our felicitie and greate profit, Ther­fore [Page] let vs be cōtēt with the true testimonie of Christe: and beleue it,Act. iiii. rather then the false estimati­on or iudgemente of the fleshe or natural man. So shall it come to passe, that by example of the Apostle, we shall reioyce, as of­ten as oure Lorde, shall counte vs worthie to suffre rebuke for hys name sake. For whie? if we be Innocentes and haue cleare consciences, and yet, thorowe the mischeuousnesse of the vn­godlie, be tourned out, from oure substaunce: in deede, we be then, dryuen vnto pouertie amonge menne: but euen that waye, trewe ryches growe vnto vs before God. If we be thruste out of oure dores, and cabbynes we therbi are receiued the farther in, into the noble family of God. If we be vexed and troubeled: we take ye deeper rotes in Christ. [Page] If we be distained with rebukes and open shame: we therby haue a large place in the kyngdom of God. Yea if we be slayne: so is the enteraunce vnto the blessed lyfe, opened vnto vs. Lette vs therefore be ashamed to haue those thynges, whyche our Lord hath in so hygh estimaciō, in les­ser estimacion, then the shaddow lyke and vayne discetfull plea­sures of thys presente lyfe. For so muche nowe as the scripture doth aboundantly inoughe, by these, and suche lyke warnynges comforte and encorrage vs, to beare, the shames, & the calami­ties, whiche we susteyne, for the mayntenaunce and defence of iustice or righteousnes: we are to muche vnkynde and vnthanke­full, except we take them willingly & gladly at our Lordes hand. And that chefelye, because thys [Page] is that kynde of crosse, which specially perteyneth to the faythful,i. Pet. iiii. wherebye Christe desyreth to be glorified or honored in vs as Peter teacheth▪ But that same wyl­lyngnes, or gladnes, whyche ta­keth a waye al fellinge of bitter­nes and sorowe, is not required of vs, for the Seintes, or godly men, shoulde haue no pacience in the tyme of their crosse, except they were greued wyth doloure and anguyshed wyth heuynes. No, if there were no sharpenes in pouerty, no paine in sickenes, no abashfullnes in open shame, nor any feare in death, thē what eyther stedfastenes, or moderati­on and patience were it, not to passe, ye waging of a rush for thē ▪ But, for so muche as euery one of these, thorow a natural bitter­nes that is in them, greueth eue­ry one of vs at the herte, in thys [Page] poynte the strength and valiantnes of a faithful man sheweth it selfe: if, beinge proued wyth the felinge of suche bitternes, yet, what so euer he suffer, he manfully persistinge, abydeth it: in thys poynte is patience shewed, if, be­inge outragiously sterde vp, yet by the feare of God, he be kepte backe so yt he breakes not furth into any impacience: and in thys thyng apeareth gladnes, if woū ­ded wyth sorowe and heuines a man be delyghted in the spiritu­al comfort of God.

Thys co [...]flict which, against the naturall felynge of sorowe, the faythfull (while they hartely desire patience and moderacion) do susteine,ii. Cor. iiii Paule elegantly dis­cribeth in these wordes: we are troubeled on euery syde, yet are we not wyth out shyfte: we are in pouertie, but not vtterly wythe­out [Page] somewhat: we suffer persecu­tion, but are not forsaken therin: we are caste downe, neuertheles we perishe not: Thou seeste yt to beare ye crosse paciently▪ is not to be insēsible as a block, & to lacke the felyng of all sorowes: as the stoykes folyshely discribed, hym to be a valiante, or stronge man, whiche layinge a syde humani­tie, or the naturall propertie of a man, shoulde in aduersitie and prosperite, in mirth and heuines, be lyke wyse affected, or minded yea, that lyke a stone shoulde be affected or moued with nothing. What goodnes toke thei of this their highe wysdome? for sooth they paynted furth an image, or representation of such a wisdom as nether was, nor can be found at anye tyme a monge men no, but rather, while they go aboute to haue, to exacte and precise a [Page] patience: they dyd take awaye the strenght, or vertue, of it from the conuersacion of man. Nowe also be amonge christians newe stoykes, in whose opiniō, not on­ly to mourne & wepe, but also to be soroweful, or careful, is synne. And thys doctrine, for the moste parte, commeth furth from ydle men, who occupiynge them sel­ues more in the speculation or beholdyng of such thynges then in doynge of them, can bringe furth to vs nothynge but suche preceptes. But we haue nothing to do wyth these yron lyke Phi­losophers, whom Christe oure Lord and maister not only with his worde, but also wyth his ex­ample, condemned. For he lamē ­ted and wepte, both for his owne hurtes, and the hurtes of other, and taught his Disciples no o­ther wise. The worlde (sayeth he) [Page] shal reioyse but you shal mourne & wepe. And lest any man should find fault therwt, a cōmaūdemte being put furth, he pronoūced thē blessed whiche mourne. And no meruel for if al teares were reproued: what shoulde we thynke of the Lorde him selfe? out of whose bodye teares, lyke bloude tricled downe? If euery feare be iudged infidelitie: in what place shoulde we recken that feare whereby we rede that he hym selfe was not a littel a fearde, if all heuines my­slyke vs: howe shall it lyke vs yt he confessed his soule to be heauie euen vnto death? I haue spoken these wordes for thys cause, to call backe godly mindes from desperaciō (I mean) lest straight waye, they shoulde geue ouer the hertye desyre or loue vnto paci­ence, because they can not put of the naturall affection or felynge [Page] of sorowe. Whiche desperacion or distrust must nedes come vn­to those, which make of pacience an amasednes: and of a strōg and stedfast man, a blocke. The scripture geueth prayse to the seintes or godly men for their sufferaūce and pacience, while they are so afflicted wyth yt hardnes of euils, that yet they dispeire not neither geue ouer, and whyle they are so abashed in the betternes of their payne, that yet therwithall they are indued wyth spiritual ioye: & while they are so oppressed wyth a [...]guishe, that yet, beinge chered by the consolation of God, they take herte of grace vnto them, thys repugnācie being neuertheles in the meane time in their hertes, that on the on side, the feling of their nature, feleth and abhorreth those thynges, whiche it fe­leth contrary vnto it: but on the­other [Page] syde, the godly affection or desire, laboureth and stryueth, euē through these difficulties, to obey Goddes wyl. Thys repug­naūcy our Lord expressed when he saied thus to Peter:Iohn. xxi. whē thou waste yonge thou dyddest gyrde thy selfe, and walkedest whether thou listed: but when thou arte olde, an other shal guide the, & leade the, thither as thou woul­dest not. Surely it is not lykely that Peter, sith it was necessarie that he shoulde glorifie or ho­nour god by his death, was dra­wen thereunto spite of his teeth or he resistynge agaynst it. For thā his martirdom should haue had smal prayse. But, although wyth al reioysynge of herte, he dyd obey vnto the ordinaunce of God, yet, because he had not put of, humanitie or the very nature and propertie of a man, he [Page] was boūde wt a double wil. For, whyle, by it selfe alone, he regar­ded & cōsidered the cruell death, whereof he shoulde dye: then, be­ing smytten wyth the feare ther­of, he woulde gladly haue esca­ped. But againe, when he remē ­bred that he was called therun­to by the wyll of God: nowe the feare ouercome and troden vn­dre fote, he wente vnto it gladly, yea & ioyfully to. Therfore thys thynge we must endeuour, if we wyl be disciples of Christe, that our myndes maye be taughte, so to waite vpon God, and to obey hym, that we tame & make sub­iect all contrary affections vnto his ordinaunce. So shal it come to passe, that wyth what soeuer kynde of crosse we be vexed, yea in the greatest anguishes of our herte, we shall styll keepe pati­ence stedfastly. For, the aduersi­ties [Page] shall haue their sharpnesse or pinchynges, whereby we shal be greued: so, being aflicted with diseases, we shal mourne and be vnquieted, yea and desire health to: so, beinge punished wyth po­uertie, we shal be wronge wyth the griefe boeth of carefulnes, & sadnes: so, shall we be stryken wyth the sorowe of open shame, vile estimation, and wronges: and so, in burialles of our frien­des, we shal paye the teares that nature oweth. But yet thys sen­tence shal alwayes be at hande. ☞Wel our Lorde would haue it thus, therefore let vs obey his wyl. Yea whyle we shalbe pre­sently stonge wyth sorowes, euē amongest oure gronynges and weepynges, needes muste that same thoughte beate a stroke wyth vs, whiche wyl incline our herte gladly to beare and suffre [Page] those thynges, which are ye very cause, why the hert is so greued. But because we haue groū ­ded the chiefe cause of patient bearynge of the crosse, vpon our consideryng of the wyl of God, it is to be shewed in fewe wor­des, what diuersitie there is, be­twene the pacience of Philoso­phers and of christians. Fewe of the philosophers atteyned to the knowledge, to vnderstande, that by aflictiōs we are excercised of Gods hande, & to thinke that it is our dutie to obey God in this behalfe. No, they bring no other reason but thys, because it is of necessitie, or needes must be so. But what is yt to saye, but thou must geue place to god, because thou labourest in vaine to resist hym? for truly if we obey God, alonly because we muste do so: thā, if we could otherwise do, we [Page] woulde no lōgar obey him. But the scripture biddeth vs to cōsi­dre a far other thinge in the wyl of god, yt is to saye, firste his iu­stice & equitie: & then the diligēt care of our saluation. ☞ Ther­fore suche as these be, are the ex­hortatiōs of a christian vnto pa­ciēce: whither pouertie, banish­mēt, imprisonment, rebuke, sick­nes or losse of friendes, or what soeuer like thing trouble vs: we must thinke yt none of these thin­ges happē, without the becke & prouidence of our Lorde: & that God doth nothing, but by moste iuste ordre. For (alas) do not our innumerable and daylie offen­ces, deserue that we shoulde be punished more greuouslye, and wyth sharper scourges then these be, wyth whyche of hys mercye we nowe are plaged? is it not good reason that oure [Page] fleshe, and naturall man, be ta­med and vsed as it were wyth a yoke, lest stubbournli, as the ve­ry propertie of it is: it waxe as wylde, as [...] bucke of Shere­wod? is not the iustice and truth of God worthy, that we shoulde labour and take payne to know it? nowe if the vndoubted equi­tie and ryghtuousnesse of God appeareth in oure aflictions, we can not without iniquitie, either murmure or resist against them. We allowe not nowe, this colde songe, or faynte excuse, saiynge: we wyl geue place because we cā not chuse, but rather this lyuely teachynge full of efficacie, thyn­kyng thus, we wyl obey, because it is wickednes to resist or mur­mure: we wyl patiently suffre it, because impatience is a stub­bournes against Gods iustice. Nowe because that thing, at the [Page] lest way pleaseth vs wel, whiche we thinke is for our owne helth and aduauntage or goodnes: in this behalfe also oure good fa­ther cōforteth vs, while, he affir­meth that, in that he aflicteth vs with a crosse, he worcketh oure health & saluatiō. ☞ Thē if this be once of a suretie, that tribula­tions healpe vs to saluation, wherfore shoulde we not receiue them wyth a thankful and ioy­ful mynde? wherefore in the pa­tient sufferynge of them, we are not ouercharged or greuouslie burdened with necessitie, but we leane & cōdescend, or agree vnto thē, yea & recreate our selues, wt the goodnes, y cometh to vs, by them. These thoughtes (I saye) cause yt, somuch as our myndes, are dismayed in the crosse, by the natural feelinge of the griefe: so much agayne are they chered wt [Page] spirituall gladnes, whereupon also followeth geuyng of than­kes, which cā neuer be, wythout ioye in the thynge, that the same thankes are geuen for. Where­fore if the praysing of our Lord, and geuynge of thankes vnto hym can not flowe, but from a glad and mery hert: and againe there oughte nothynge to inter­rupt or hyndre that prayse and thankes in vs: hereupon it ap­peareth how necessary it is, that the griefe of the crosse be tempe­red wyth spiritual gladnes.

But with what soeuer kind of tribulation we be oppressed, al­wayes we muste loke to thys ende, that we cōtinually vse our selues, to sette litle store by thys present lyfe, & by that meanes, be stirred to the cōtēplacion of the lyfe to come. And because oure Lorde knoweth very wel, howe [Page] greatly we are by nature, bente vnto the blinde and beastly loue of this world, he geueth vs very good cause to plucke ourselues backe therfrom, and to shake of our slugishnes, leste we shoulde sticke to faste in the same loue. There is none of vs whiche wyl not seme greatly to desire & en­deuoure all this short course, of his lyfe, to atteyne to heauenly immortalitie. For we are asha­med to passe in nothynge, brute beastes, whose condition or state shoulde be nothynge worse then ours, if we had not assured hope of euerlastyng lyfe, after the na­tural death here. But if y exa­min ye coūsailes, purposes, min­des, and deedes of euery man, thou shalt fynde no other thyng there but earth. And there v­pon commeth suche lacke of fe­lynge, that oure mynde beinge [Page] ouercome & dased, by the vayne glitteringe of riches, powre, and honours, as dimmed so that it seeth no furder of: yea and oure herte being set on couetousenes, desire of honour, and vnlaufull lustes, is so pressed downe, that it ryseth no higher: finally the hole soule, beynge caughte in a snare wyth the flatterynge intisementes of the fleshe or naturall man seketh in earth hir hole feli­citie? Oure Lorde to healpe thys mischeife wythall, by dayly documentes or lessons of miserie, tea­cheth, vnto his, ye vanitie of thys life. Therfore lest thei shuld pro­messe to them selues, greate and sure peace in it, and so rekē with out their hoste, he suffereth them often tymes to be vnquited and troubled: eyther with war, or vp­rores, or robryes or other iniu­ries: yea lest with to much gredynes, [Page] they shoulde gape on vnstable and transitorye riches: or else whē they haue them, shoulde put their trust in them, he driueth thē sometime by banishement, some­time by barrēnes of thearth, somtime by burning of their houses, and sometyme by other meanes into pouertye: or at leste waye, keepeth them backe in a meane state leste they shoulde be ouer muche delighted in the commo­dites of mariage, either with the biternes or vnthriftines of their husbondes: or the shrewdnes or naughtines of ther wyues, he causeth them to be vexed: or by euel chyldrē bringeth them lowe and abateth their pride: or by ta­kinge their chyldren from them afflicteth thē. Nowe if in al these thynges he somewhat cocker or spare them, for all that, leaste ey­ther throughe folyshe reioysinge [Page] they shoulde waxe proude: or throughe truste in those thinges shoulde excedingely reioyse: he setteth before their eyes at the leaste way be other mens desea­ses, and daungers, howe vnsted­faste and slypper are all those goodes (as men cal them) which are transitorye or subiect to mor­talitie. Therfore, then only haue we well profited in the doctrine of the crosse, when we learne, that thys lyfe, when we esteme it in it selfe only, is vnquiet, troublesom innumerable wayes miserable, and no waye thorowly blessed or happie: and that all the thinges, whyche be called the goodes of it are vncerteyne, transitorye, vayne, yea and defiled with ma­ny myngled myscheffes: & what thereupon, we do there wyth de­cre, nothynge here to be soughte for, or hoped, but conflicte, or batayl: [Page] and therefore that our eyes ought to be lyfte vp vnto heauē, where we loke to haue a crowne. ☞For thys we must reken: the minde neuer to be ernestely lyfte vp vnto the desier and contem­placion of the lyfe to come, except it be fyrst taught to dispise or set light by thys presēt lyfe. For be­twen the these two, ther is no midle poynte, but eyther the earth must be estemed of vs as vile: or else it wyll keape vs bounde vnto it wyth an inordinate loue. Therefore if we haue any desier of euerlastinge lyfe, we must di­ligentely loke vnto thys, that we maye vnshakell oure selues out of these noughty giftes. Furthermore because thys presente lyfe hath many pleasant toyes, wherby entiseth vs: & many outwarde apparaunces of pleasures and of gyftes and of thynges swete [Page] in taste, whereby it flattereth or inticeth vs, strokynge oure hea­des, and calling vs goldpolles: it standeth vs muche vpon, euer nowe and then, to cal our selues backe, lest we be bewitched with suche pleasaunt disceitfulnes, or disceitful pleasure. ☞For howe woulde the worlde go wyth vs, (I praye ye) yea howe would we dote vpon it, if we shoulde haue here continual aboundaunce of goodes and felicitie? when with continuall prickes and scabbes of euyls, we can not inough be moued to considre the miserie of thys lyfe. Mans lyfe, to be lyke a smoke or shadowe, is not one­ly knowen to learned men, but also the cōmō people vse no pro­uerbe more in their mouthes. And because they sawe it was a thing very profitable to be kno­wen: thei haue commended it, or [Page] set it forth, wyth many goodly sentences. But almoste there is nothyng, but either we weigh it to negligently, or remembre it to litle. For, we go aboute all thyn­ges, as though we ordeined vn­to oure selues immortalitie here in earth. If ani corse be brought forth, or if we walke among graues: because then the Image of death is presēt before oure eyes, excellently (I cōfesse) we reason and dispute of the vanitie and frailnes of thys lyfe, though yet we do not thys alwaye, for ma­ny tymes al these thynges moue vs nothynge at all. But when it happeneth that suche thynges moue vs, the consideration is very shorte, the whiche (alas) as sone, as oure backes be turned is quite gone, & leaueth hehinde it no maner of token, that once we remembred it, for we forget [Page] not onely death, but also that we are mortall. Yea and as though we had neuer hearde tel of ye ma­ter, or knew what it, ment, we be lulled and rocked in a safenes or retchlesnes of earthie inmortali­tye. If any man the whyleste re­herse this prouerbe that man is here to day and gone to morow: in dede we acknowlege ye same, but yet wt out hauing any consi­deratiō therof, so yt the thinkinge of cōtiūance here, doth neuertheles abyde styll in oure myndes. Therfore now who denieth that we haue all verye greate nede I say not by wordes to be warned, but, by as manye experiences as may be possible, to be taught, the miserable state of thys earthye lyfe? whē we now that be taught it whether we wyll or not, yet ne­uertheles we scacely ceasse to be astoned wyth the naughtye and [Page] folishe wonderinge at it euen as though it conteined in it all ma­ner of goodnes. Nowe if it be nedefull yt oure Lorde teache vs thys, it is agayne oure duties to geue eare vnto our Lorde while he calleth vs and rebuketh oure slogishnes, that the world being despised, we may endeuour with all our herte contemplate or be­hold the lyfe to come.

But lette the faythfull acco­stome them selfe to suche a dispi­sing of thys life, as neyther may beget hatered of it, neyther vn­thākefulnes towardes God. For albeit thys lyfe be ful of neuer so many miseries, yet it is not with out cause reckened amonge the good blessings or giftes of God. Wherfore, if we therin acknow­ledge or consider no benefite of God, we are then giltie of muche vnkindnes against God. For the [Page] faythful, oughte chiefly to beare witnes of Goddes mercie, syth the same is wholly apoynted to worke their saluation, for, before that he sheweth openly vnto vs, the enheritaunce of eternal glo­rie: he wyl firste by smaller expe­rimentes, declare hym selfe to be a father vnto vs, to witte, by the good thynges whiche he dayly geueth vnto vs. Therefore, syth thys lyfe serueth vs, to vnder­stande the goodnes of God, shal we disdaine or loth it, as though it had not a my [...]e, or crome of goodnes in it? naye. Therefore we muste be indued wyth thys vnderstandynge & mynde, that we nūbre it among the excellent giftes of goddes mercy & kynd­nes towardes vs. For, if there lacked hereof testimonies of scripture, whiche are many & very playne, yet nature it selfe exhor­teth [Page] vs to geue thankes to god, that he hath brought vs forth in to the light of the same lyfe, and that he hath graūted vs the vse of it, & that he geueth vs al ma­ner of helpes necessarie, to the cō seruatiō of it. And furthermore, there is yet, a muche greater cause thē this, if we shall cōsidre, that in it, we are, after a sort pre­pared vnto the glory of the hea­uēly kingdō. For thus our Lord hath ordeyned, yt they, whiche in tyme to come, shalbe crowned in heauē, shal entre first into cōflict here in earth: that they may not triumph but hauing firste ouer­come the hardnes of the battail, & hauing gottē the victory. And yet there is an other cause, to witte, yt by sundry benefites we may begin in it, to tast the swet­nes of goddes goodnes & mercy towarde vs: wherby our hope & [Page] desire maye be whet and stirred vp longly to loke for the full re­ueling or openinge of it. When this is once decreed, yt it is the gift of gods mercy, that we lyue this terrestiall lyfe: & that as we be bounde vnto hym for it, so we oughte to haue it in remem­braunce & to be thankful to hym for the same: thē in good time we shal come downe to this poynte, I meane to cōsidre the wretched state of it, that therby we may be rydde from the ouer gredy desi­ring of yt, whereunto we are by nature (as I saied) of our selues greatly inclined. Furthermore what so euer is wythdrawen frō the naughtie loue of it, oughte to be applied vnto ye desire of the better life. I confesse, yt they iud­ged rightly, who thought it best not to be borne, & nexte that ve­ry shortly to dye: for why, what [Page] could they se in it yt was not vn­happy & euyl, they beinge desti­tute of the light of god, and true religion, or ryght honouryng of god? And thei lacked not reason, whiche mourned & wept, at their childrens birth, & made solemne ioy and reioysyng at their buri­als. But that dyd they wythout profite, because, lacking the true doctrine of fayth, howe yt thynge turneth vnto goodnes towards the godly, which of it selfe is nei­ther blessed nor worthy to be de­sired, they therefore ended their iudgemēt in desperatiō. Let this therfore be the marke, yt the faith ful shote at, in the estemynge of thys mortal lyfe: yt whylest they perceyue it to be of it selfe no­thing but miserie and wretched­nes, the more merily & the more redyly lette them therefore gette them selues to the cōtemplation [Page] of the euerlastynge lyfe to come. When we once come to the com­paringe of these two liues toge­ther: then truly thys earthye life, not alonly is eassely set lyght by, but also, in consideracion of the heauenly, is vtterly contempned and dispised. ☞For if heauen be oure countrie, what other thing is the earth here, but a banishe­mente? if the goynge out of the worlde, be the enterynge into lyfe: what other thynge is the world then a graue? in it to tary, what is it else, but to be drowned in death? yf, to be deliuered from the body, is to be plāted into per­fect libertie: what other thing is the bodye, but a prison? if to haue the presence of God, be the high­est some of felicitie: is not the lackynge of it miserye? And more o­uer til we haue escaped clean out of the worlde, we be straungers [Page] from God.ii. Cor. v Therefore, if the ear­thye lyfe, be compared wyth the heauenly, no doubte it wyll sone be sette lyght by, or dispised, and troden vnder fote. But yet, it is not to be hated, but in that it holdeth vs subiecte vnto synne. Although yet, that hatred can not properly be turned or appli­ed vnto it. For howe soeuer it be, yet it becometh vs, so onely, to loth or hate it: that desiringe the ende of it, we may also be readie at the Lordes pleasure, to abyde in the same, that is to saye, that our lothyng, maye be farre from al murmuryng and impatience. For it is lyke to a standynge or gole,Rom. vii. wherin our Lorde hath set vs, to keepe it styll, tyll he shall call vs thence. Paule lamenteth his chaunce that he is longar kepte bounde in the bandes of his bodie, then he woulde, and [Page] sigheth,Phi. i. wyth a feruent [...] desire to be delyuered from it. Neuer­thelesse, that he myghte obey the pleasure and commaundemente of God, he cōfessed that he was ready to boeth of them, because he cōsidered and acknowledged, that he ought vnto god, that his name mighte be honoured, both through his lyfe and his death. But it belōgeth only, vnto god, to appoynte what is moste expe­dient for his owne glorie. Ther­fore, if it become vs to liue & dye vnto our Lorde, let vs leaue to his free choyse and pleasure, the terme boeth of oure death and of our life. Neuertheles in suche wyse, that we maye burne in the desire and loue of hym, & maye be diligent in exercisynge of the same, and in respecte of the im­mortall lyfe to come, let vs de­spise thys presente lyfe. Yea and [Page] because of our bōdage to synne, let vs desire to forsake it, when it pleaseth our Lorde.

Thys is a marueilous, or ra­ther a mōsterous thing, yt, in the steede of beinge desirous to dye, many, who boste thēselues to be christiās, be takē wt such feare of death: yt, at euery namynge of it, thei trēble; & their hert is at their mouth, as at the naming of a very vnhappy and vnlucky thing. For soth it is no marueile, if the naturall wysedome, whiche is in vs, do greatly feare when it heareth of dissolution, or departure, of our soule from the body. But it oughte not in any wyse to be once suffered, that in a christian mans hert there should not be a light of godlynes, which should ouercome & suppresse that feare, were it neuer so greate wyth a greater cōfort, for if we considre [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] this vnstable, sinfull corruptible vanishinge, driynge and rotten house of our bodi, to be dissolued or broken downe, for that intent that we shoulde strayghte waye be put into stedfaste, perfecte, in­corruptible, and heauenly glorie, wyl not fayth make vs hertely to desire the thynge, whiche nature greatly feareth? if we thinke our selfe by death to be called backe frō a place of banishmēt, that we may dwel in our contrie, yea and yt our heauenly countrie, shal we take no cōforte thereby? wyl yt set our hertes nothinge a gog? yes, but yet ther is nothinge (yu wylte say) yt desiereth not to cōtinue stil. In dede I confesse that, & there­fore I contend that we shoulde desire the immortalitie to come, where that sure state happeneth, which in earth neuer appeareth. Shall brute beastes, yea and the [Page] same creatures that lacke life, til ye come to verye wood & stones, knowing ther owne presente va­nitie, longly loke for the last day of resurection, that they maye wt the children of God, be deliuered from vanitie: and shall we, boeth indued with the light of wisdom and aboue wisdō lightened with the spirite of god, when our own beinge is in hand, not lift vp our hertes aboue thys rattennes of earth? But here, neyther the time nor place serueth, to writ against thys so great peruersite & naughtines. And more ouer in the be­ginninge I sayd, that I woulde not take vpon me very largly to treate of anye comon place, I would therefore counsayle suche fareful myndes to reade the litle boke of mortalitie whiche sain [...] Ciprian wrote: but that they be worthye to be driuen away from [Page] it euen vnto heathen Philoso­phers, that, for somuche as the same Philosophers did pretende to haue ateined vnto that point: that they dispised death, these mē at last maye now beginne to be ashamed. And let vs make our reckening of this, yt no mā hath wel profited in Christes scole, but he which wt ioye lōgeth for the day, boeth of death, and of the laste resurrection. For not only sainte Paule, blaseth all the fayethfull, wyth thys difference and token: but also, it is a familiar thyng in the scripture, as often as it wolle set before our eyes a greate cause of true gladnes, to calle vs vn­to thys pointe: exceadyngely re­ioyse (sayeth our Lord) and holde vp your heads like men,Tit. ii. for your redemcion is at hande. Were it, reasonable or semely thynge (I praye you) that ye thing which [Page] he woulde, shoulde be of somuch force and strength to stirre vs vp vnto excedynge great reioysinge and mirth, shoulde do no thynge but make vs sad and halfe out of our wyttes for feare? if ye wind be in that dore, what do we yet bragge,Math. v. as thoughe Christ were styl oure mayester? Therefore let vs plucke oure wyttes better to vs. And thoughe the blynd & fo­lish desire of our flesh or natural mā be against it, let vs not sticke to desier the cōming of our lord: yea not onely wyth wyshinges, but also wyth groninges and depe sighinges, as that, which of all thynges, is the most happye. For our redemer shal come to vs whoe drawinge vs out of thys greate golfe of all micheifes and miseries, wyll leade vs into hys blessed inheritaunce, of euerlast­ynge lyfe and glory. And thys is [Page] a cleare case: that the whole com­panye of the faythfull so long as they dwell in earth, muste be as shepe appoynted to slaughter, that they maye represente Christ their head. Therfore they should be most wretched, except, hauing their mynd lifte vp vnto heauen, they dyd ouercome,Ro. viii. what so euer is in the worlde, and dyd passe ouer the presente outward shewe of thynges. [...] Cor. xv. Cōtrarye wyse, after they haue once lifte vp their hea­des aboue al earthie thynges: al thoughe they se the florisheinge riches & honours of the vngodli: althoughe they se thē haue great worldly qu [...]ecnes: although they se thē to waxe proud, in the bew­tifulnes and plentuousnes of al thinges: yea and althoughe they se them flowe in al maner of pleasures, and dilicates: and agayne on thother syde thoughe they thē selues [Page] be hurte by them, and by their naughtines: though they susteyne displeasures and rebu­kes, through the others pryde: though thei be robbed thorough their couetousnes, or, by any o­ther vngodly desire of theirs, be vexed: yet in al such mischieffes, they shall well inough endure. For before their eyes, shalbe that daye, wherin, our Lorde shal re­ceyue his faythfull, into the qui­etnes of his kingdome: and shal wype away, euery teare frō their eyes: and shall put vpon them, stoles of ioye and gladnesse. and shall feede them, wyth the vn­speakable swete tast of his deli­cates: and shal lyfte them vp, in­to the felowshippe of his high­nes: and finally, shall vouchsafe to make them partakers of his felicitie. But the vngodly, who florished here in earth, he shall [Page] cast furth into vtter reproch and shame: their dilicate, and wantō pleasures, he shall chaunge into greuous tormentes: their outra­gious laughters and mirth, to howlinge and gnashing of teth: their peace or quietnes in synne, shall he disquiet wyth cruell tor­mente of conscience: their nice tē ­dernes, and effeminate softnes, shall he punishe wyth vnquen­chable fire: yea, and vnder the godlions whose pacience they a­bused, shal he cast their headdes. This,Psal. lxxiii. truly is our only comfort. And if it be taken awaye, eyther we muste nedes dispayre, or els, to oure owne distruction, delight our selues, in the vayne comfor­tes, and discetefull pleasures of this world. Yea, for the prophet him selfe cōfesseth, yt also his fete began to slide, while he taryed to longe in consideringe of the pre­sente [Page] prosperite of the vngodly: and that he coulde not haue kept him selfe stil on his fete, but that enteringe into the seintuarye of the Lorde, he turned hys eyes to the last ende of the godly and vngodly. To conclude at once, then only in the hertes of the faythful the crosse of Christ hath the vic­tory ouer the deuel, the flesh, syn, and the vngodly mē: when their eyes be turned, towardes the po­wre & strēgth of the resurrection. By grosse thynges also, the scripture hath well taughte vs, what the ryghte vse of earthly goodes, is. A thyng surely in the orderinge of our life not to be set light by. For, if we must lyue, we must also vse ye necessarie helpes, and meanes, which preserue lyfe. And besides yt, we cā not flie or es­chew those things which seme rather to serue for our delectatiō & [Page] pleasure, then for oure necessitie, and neede. Therfore a meane is to be kepte, that we maye vse a pure conscience, whether it be touchyng necessitie, or pleasure. That meane our Lorde prescri­beth in his worde when he tea­cheth, that thys presente lyfe, is vnto his, a certeyne straunge place, in the whiche they labour, and stryue to come to the heauē ­ly kyngdome. Nowe if we must needes passe through vnto it, by the earth onely: no doubte we may, so farre forth, vse the good thynges of it, as they rather fur­ther, then hyndre oure course. But because thys place is slip­per, and on either syde ready to geue vs a fall, let vs endeuoure to take sure fotynge, where we may stande saffe. For there haue bene many, otherwyse good and holy men, who when they sawe [Page] intemperauncie and superflui­tie, wyth vnbrydeled voluptu­ousnes continuallie to go forth, excepte it were somwhat sharp­lie restrayned, they were desi­rous to reforme that mische­uous euyll: but because they knewe no other waye, they suffe­red a man to vse the goodes of the body but alonely as necessi­tie required. Truly it was good counsayle: but they were some what to straighte. For (whiche thing is verie daungerous) they dyd put straighter snaers, vpon mennes consciences, then wher­with they are bound by the word of God. But nowe in our dayes many, whyle in the vse of out­warde thynges they seeke a co­lour to excuse the vntemperat­nes of the fleshe or natural man, and yet in the meane tyme, wyll all together agree to it when it [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] waxeth wāton, they do stiflie de­fende (whiche thynge I wyll not graunte) that by no limittes this libertie ought to be restrayned: but that it shoulde be referred to euery mans consciēce, to vsurpe or vse it, as often and as muche as he wyll. In dede I confesse that consciences here, neyther ought, nor can, be bounde to sure & precise rules, of lawes: but, sith the scripture geueth generall ru­les of ye right or lawful vse: according vnto thē, ye vse of such thin­ges is to be limitted. Let thys be the begyninge, or fyrst: the vse of goddes gyftes not to go a mys, when it is referred to that ende, whereunto oure Lorde created and appointed it. And he created thē, for our profit, & not our hurt or distruction. Wherfore no mā shall holde hys iournie streigh­ter then he, which diligently shal [Page] behold this ende. Nowe, if we cō sider for what purpose, he hath created our fode or sustenaunce: we shal fynde that he would not onely prouide for our necessitye, but also for oure recreacion and & delight. So in garmentes be­side the neede we had of them, their ende was cōlynes & hone­stie. In herbes, trees, & corne, be­side their sundrye vses, their is pleasaūtnes of sight & delectatiō of sauour. For wtout thys were true,Psal. C. ii. ye prophet woulde not haue rehersed among the benefites of God, that wine cheareth the hert of a man, and that oyle maketh his face fayre. Nor ye scriptures, woulde not euery where reherse, to the cōmendation of his mercy and goodnes, that he geueth al such thinges vnto mē. No, & the very natural gyftes of thynges shewe ynough to what entent, & [Page] how farre furth, we may vse thē dyd oure Lorde geue so muche fayrenes vnto flowers, whiche shoulde wythout desire of vs, come to oure syght: and so great swetnes of sauour, which should blowe into oure nosethrilles, and smellynge: and yet shall it be vn­lefull, eyther for the eyes, wyth the bewtifulnes, or for the nose wyth the pleasante smel, to be delighted? whye? hath he not so de­uided the coloures that he hath made some of them more plea­sante then other? whie? hath he not geuen a grace or excellencye, to golde and siluer, to Iuery and marble, whereby thei were made more precious then other metal­les or stones? Finally hath he not made many thinges worthie to be praised of vs, for more, then for ye necessarye vse of thē alone? Therefore lette vs caste a waye [Page] that Philosophie or loue of wisedome, whyche is so vngentle, that, while it graunteth vnto vs none but needfull vses of crea­tures, not onely maliciously de­priueth vs of the lawfull fruite of Gods liberalitie & goodnes: but also can not take place in a man, excepte it dryue hym into a blocke & spoile him of al his sen­ses. But wyth no lesse diligence on the other syde oughte the vo­luptuous desire, or vnlawful lu­stes of oure fleshe and naturall man to be preuented, wythstand & holpē. For except it be brought into an ordre, it ouerfloweth wt ­out measure, and hath (as I sayed) suche as wyll prayse it, who, vnder the cloke of the libertie whiche is graunted, thynke they maye do what so euer they luste. Nowe firste, one brydle is put on it, if we thynke thus: that [Page] all thynges were created for vs, to the intēt that we myght know & knowledge God to be the ge­uer of them: and shoulde for hys greate loue towardes vs, geue vnto hym thankes. But wher is thy geuinge of thankes: if with meates or drinckes, thou so fylle thy paunch, that either thou hast astonied al thy senses, and so hast mynde of nothinge: or else, art, at the leste waye, vnmete and vna­ble to do worckes of Godlynes, & of thy vocation? where is thy consideryng of God, if thy fleshe, through ouermuche crammyng in, bublynge out filthy and vn­leful lustes, do infect so the mind with hir vncleanes, yt thou canst behold or regarde no iustice, nor honesty? where is in our apparel, our thankfulnes toward God, if by the sumptuous garnishynge of them, we boeth ouermuche [Page] stande in oure owne conceites: & also disdayne other? if also by the gorgiousnes, and trickenes, therof, we prepare oure selues to filthines of liuing? where is our considering of God, if our myn­des be set in the galātnes & beu­tifulnes of them? The selfe same thing, is also to be considered in other thynges. Wherefore it is playne, that here nowe, the liber­tie of abusyng thynges, is some what restrayned.

But there is no surer nor bet­ter way then yt whiche we get by the settynge litle by this present life, and often cōsidering of hea­uenly immortalitie. For there v­pon folowe two rules: that they whyche vse thys worlde be so mynded as thoughe they vsed it not:ii. Cor. vii they that haue wyues, as though they had none: they that bie, as though they bought not: [Page] as Paule teacheth. Agayne that they learne to beare as quietly, and patiently, pouertie: as tem­peratly prosperitie. He that pre­scribeth vnto the, yt thou shoul­dest vse thys worlde, as though thou dyddest not vse it, not only cutteth of glotony the intempe­ratnes and excessiuenes: & in ta­bles, buildinges, & raymet, ouer much delicates, desire of honour & fame, prid, hautenes of minde, & frowardnes: but also all loue and affections, whiche shoulde other leade away or let the from thynkynge on the heauenly lyfe, & frō the desire of garnishing of thy soule. It was truly spoken of Cato longe ago, that to be much careful for clothes, is to be muche careles for vertue. And it is an olde prouerbe: that who so euer is much occupyed in caring for the body, for the moste parte, [Page] careth lytle or nothynge, for the soule. Therefore admit that the libertie of the fayethfull in out­warde thynges oughte not to be driuen vnto a sure and stedfaste rule: yet it is subiecte vnto thys lawe, that they shoulde make li­tle of thē selues: and wt continu­all desire of mynde, applye them selues, to cut of all preparaciō of superfluous store of apparel: and muche more to a voyd to muche aboūdaunce of it. And let thē diligently take hede, lest of aydes, or healpes, or futheraunces, they make vnto them selues hurtes, and hynderaunces. Another rule shalbe that they whose sub­staunce is scāt and poore, learne paciētly to wāt, lest they be trou­bled wt immoderate desire of ha­uing. Which rule who so kepeth, hath not alitle proffited in the scole of our lord: as on the other [Page] side he cā scarsly haue, wherby to proue hym selfe christes disciple, who hath not, in this part, at the lest way, somwhat profited. For besides that, yt many other vices accompenye the desire of earthye thynges: he that vnpatientlye beareth penury, vttereth for the moste parte, in prosperitie the contrarie dissease: I meane this, he that is ashamed of a pore gar­mente, wyll brag of a costlie: and he that is not cōtent with meane fare, shalbe vnquieted thorough desire of better or deintier, and wyl also without measure, abuse those delicates, if they happē vn­to hym: and he that hardly, and wyth an vnquiet mynde, bea­reth a priuate & lowe state, if he shal ryse vnto honour, he wil not absteyne from pryde & disdayne­fulnes. Therfore let al mē which haue not a feyned desire of god­lines [Page] and of true honourynge of God, labour to atteine vnto this poynte that they maye learne by the Apostles example, to be full and to be hungrye, to haue pro­speritie and to suffer penury. Furthermore the scripture hath yet the thirde rule, whereby it mea­sureth the vse of earthy thinges: wherof somwhat is spoken, whē we dyd entreate of the preceptes of charitie. For the scripture hath iudged that al those earthy thin­ges are geuen to vs of the libe­ralitie of God, and ordeyned for oure profite: and that they are as thynges lefte wyth vs of truste: wherof hereafter we must make a reckenynge. So therefore we muste bestowe them, that thys saiynge maye alwaye sounde in our eares: come make accompte of thy baylywyke. Therewythal remembre who wyl require such [Page] accompte of the. Euen he, who, as he hath verie highly praysed abstinence, temperaunce, libera­litie, and gentlenes: so he abhor­reth excesse of meates and sensu­alitie, pryde, bragging, and va­nitie: who alloweth no other be­stowing of goodes but that on­ly, whiche is ioyned wyth chari­tie: who also hath already con­dempned, with his owne mouth, al suche ryches as draw a mans herte from purenes, and clea­nes, or dulleth the mynde wyth darckenes.

Finally thys is also a no­table thynge: that oure Lorde commaundeth euery one of vs, in all our deedes, to loke well to our owne vocation. For he kno­weth wyth howe great vnquiet­nes mannes witte boyleth vp: wyth howe maskyng lyghtnes, it is caryed hither and thither: [Page] yea, and howe gredy his ambi­tions desire is to embrace and get many thinges at once. Therfore leste through oure folishnes and gredy rashnes, all thynges should be ministerd wythout or­dre, he hath appoynted vnto all men thetr offices by distinct and seuerall kyndes of lyfe. And lest any man shoulde rashly go past his limittes he hath named such kyndes of lyuynge, our vocati­ons. Therfore mannes kinde of lyuynge is, as a standynge ge­uen vnto hym of our Lorde: lest at all aduentures, he shoulde be dryuen aboute, durynge all the course of his lyfe. And thys di­stinction, or seperatiō, or marke, is so necessarie: that all oure ac­tions and doinges, are estemed before our Lorde, by it. Yea and that farre otherwyse often ty­mes, then the iudgemente of [Page] mans reason, and philosophers opinions do weigh the thinge. There is nothynge counted a more noble deede, after the myn­des of philosophers, then to de­lyuer thy natyue countrey of a tyraunt. But for all that, by the voice of oure Lorde, the priuate parson, is openly condempned, whiche violently layeth hande on a tyraunt. But I wyll not ta­rie vpon rehersing of examples. It is ynough, if we shal knowe, that the vocation of our Lorde, (or whereunto oure Lorde hath called vs) is the beginnyng and foundation of doing wel in eue­ry matter: to the whiche, he that referreth not hym selfe: shall ne­uer holde the right waye in offi­ces. He maye perchaunce, sometyme do somthynge worthie of prayse in the outwarde shewe: but the same, howe so euer it ap­peare [Page] in the syght of men, shall, before the throne and maiestie of God, be reiected: and also ther shall be no cōuenient agrement, in the partes of the lyfe or con­uersation. Therefore, then shall thy lyfe be well led: when it shal be directed vnto thys marke. And hereupon shall growe an excellent consolation: I meane that there shall be none, so foule and vile a worcke, if thou fol­lowe thy vocation in the same, which before God shal not shine bryght, and be counted very pretious in his syghte. To whom be euer­lastyng prayse. Amen.

¶Imprinted at London by Iohn Daye & Wyllyam Seres dwelling in Sepul­chres parishe, at the signe of the Resurrection: and are to be solde at the litle conduit in Chepeside.

Cum gratia & priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.

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